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Which Day is the Sabbath?

The following article was extracted from a sermon (RLJ-688) preached at Resurrection Life of Jesus Church by John S. Torell in a series entitled, "Earth - God's University of Faith," in which he addressed the topic of the Sabbath day, the many calendars that have come into existence, and God's purpose for this particular day.


THE SABBATH DAY

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

The word "Sabbath" in Hebrew comes from the Chaldean word "Sabattu," which means "a day of rest for the soul." This shows us that the divine institution of a 7th day was known by the ancestors of Abraham, all the way back to Adam through the lineage of Seth.

CALENDAR CONTROVERSY

Which day is the Sabbath day? Do we know the original days going all the way back to the Garden of Eden? The answer is no! The current Jewish calendar is a development of the Babylonian calendar, which dates back to the Sumerians around 5000 B.C.  King Solomon developed a calendar for Israel around 930 B.C., which was called the “Gezer calendar."  With the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C., the Jewish leadership adopted the Babylonian calendar, including the names of the months.

At the time of Moses, when the people of Israel lived in Egypt, they were subjected to the Egyptian calendar.  Each calendar used by the different nations contained errors and days had to be added at certain intervals of years in order to keep up with the turning of the sun from the south to the north (summer and winter).

When the Roman Empire had conquered all the nations in the Middle East, Julius Caesar, around 50 B.C., reformed the Roman calendar, abandoning the lunar calendar completely, and went to a tropical solar year, with a length of 365.25 days in a year. In order to get in step with the sun, two corrections were made in 46 B.C. On February 23, another 23 days were inserted, and at the end of November and the beginning of December another 67 days were added. This made the year 46 B.C. to have 445 days.

By 1545, the vernal equinox had moved 10 days from its proper date. But it was not until 1572 that Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull (decree) for a new calendar.

In order to bring the calendar back to line up with the sun, and bring the vernal equinox back to March 21, ten days were omitted from that year. In order to keep it accurate in the future, leap years were introduced, when one extra day would be added.

Most nations in the world today have adopted the Gregorian calendar, while the Jews have their own calendar. The Chinese are one of a number of nations that have their own calendar.

It is noteworthy that there is a proposed International Fixed Calendar, but this does not properly divide into quarters for the business community, so instead there will be a World Calendar, divided into four quarters, each having 91 days with an additional day at the end of the year.  

"In each quarter, the first month is of 31 days and the second and third of 30 days each.  The extra day comes after December 30 and bears no month or weekdaqy designation, nor does the intercalated leap year day that follows June 30.  In the World Calendar January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 are all Sundays.  Critics point out that each month extends over part of five weeks, and each month within a given quarter begins on a different day.  Nevertheless, both these proposed reforms seem to be improvements over the present system that contains so many variables. (C.A.R.)" Excerpted from "Modern schemes for reform," under "CALENDAR REFORM SINCE THE MID-18TH CENTURY" of the Encyclopaedia Britannica ©1994-1999.


To the Jews, the day we now know as Saturday is the Sabbath for them, for most Christians, Sunday is the Sabbath day, and to the Muslims, Friday is the Sabbath day.

The principle God has given His people is this: Work six days and the seventh is the Sabbath day.  Since God did not specify any specific day of the week for the Sabbath day, this principle works for all people around the world regardless of which calendar they follow.

God used the Apostle Paul to settle this issue once and for all. Romans 14:1-23

Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. Mark 2:23-28

Jesus ministered on the Sabbath. Matthew 12:1-15

The Sabbath day is a day of rest, worship, fellowship with the believers and a time to reach out to the lost!

The Sabbath day is not a day to do business, paint your house, wash your car, go shopping, etc. God has given you six days to do all your work!

Instead of arguing if the Sabbath day is Saturday or Sunday, let us unite in love, respect one another, and live out our Christian life in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8


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