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.
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.
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
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.
Jesus ministered on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath day is a day of rest,
worship, fellowship with the believers and a time to reach out to the
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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