The Bible Truth About Sabbath

Which day is the real Sabbath according to Bible? Since most churches observe Sunday as their day of rest and worship, many people assume that Sunday is the true Sabbath. Where do today’s professing Christians get the idea that Sunday is the Christian day of worship? Does it matter which days we observe the Sabbath? The Savior of mankind Yahshua the Messiah said the way of truth is a narrow way and few are going to find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Therefore, the Bible truth will be accepted only by a relatively few, and that includes the truth of the Sabbath (2 Peter 2:2). In today’s message, we are going to share with you the Bible truth about Sabbath. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to know the real truth about this very vital subject matter. As always, we will ask for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to help and guide us as we faithfully and truthfully share this message with you. We hope that you will give us your full and undivided attention, as we proclaim that obeying the true Sabbath day is forever binding for the true worship of Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah!

Do you know that our Heavenly Father Yahweh instituted the seventh-day Sabbath at the very beginning of human history? The Bible tells us: “Then Yahweh blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which Yahweh had created and made” (Genesis 2:3). The Sabbath is here described as holy time, something to set aside each week to honor the Elohim who introduced it. Quite apart from any social good that the Sabbath undoubtedly brings, we should rest on the Sabbath day because Yahweh Himself set the precedent to rest on that day. Resting on the seventh-day Sabbath would enshrine Yahweh at the very center of our life. When we honor the seventh-day Sabbath, we become mindful that Yahweh created the whole universe, including planet earth with all life upon it. Yet, how many people today believe or know such things? A world that has forgotten Yahweh needs desperately to be reminded about the true Elohim of the Bible—and keeping the seventh-day Sabbath would play a major part in fulfilling that goal. The account in Genesis 2 makes it clear that Yahweh intended the seventh-day Sabbath to be observed by everyone—not just by the Jews! This is reinforced by Yahshua’s own words: “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Master also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). Indeed, Yahshua Messiah is “Master of the Sabbath,” which means that His followers should be keeping the Sabbath!

Today, many who profess to follow Yahshua Messiah do know that they should keep the Sabbath, yet they try to do so on Sunday! But, according to the Bible, Sunday—the first day of the week—is not the Sabbath! The real true Sabbath day is properly kept on the seventh day of the week, beginning each Friday at sunset until Saturday sunset. That is the day on which Yahweh rested, and is when the first Christians rested from biblical times! What example did Savior Yahshua set, Himself? Notice what the Bible says about Yahshua’s own practice at the start of His ministry. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). Yes, it was Yahshua’s regular custom to worship on the Sabbath! Those who worship on the seventh day today are worshiping on the same day Yahshua did! How about the apostle Paul? Did he observe the Sabbath? Notice that when apostle Paul was in Greece, in the city of Thessalonica, he preached for three consecutive Sabbaths to the Jews in the synagogue. His custom was to regularly preached on the Sabbath. “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Yahshua whom I preach to you is the Messiah” (Acts 17:2-3). But did he also speak to the Gentiles on the Sabbath? Notice what Paul did in the Gentile city of Corinth in Greece. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4).

Then what happened after Paul’s usual Sabbath sermon to both Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue based on the biblical accounts above? “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath” (Acts 13:42). Think about it! If Yahshua Messiah or the apostles had changed the commanded day of worship to Sunday, here was a perfect opportunity for the apostle Paul to tell the Gentiles, “No, you don’t have to wait until Saturday, we Christians now worship on Sunday. Meet with us tomorrow!” But Paul did not do that! What does the Bible say? “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of Yahweh” (Acts 13:44). The apostle Paul taught the Gentile Christians on the seventh-day Sabbath! He also commanded the Gentile Christians to follow his example. Remember Paul’s instruction to them: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Messiah” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Yes, Paul, the other apostles, and Yahshua Messiah Himself set an example for all Christians in observing and obeying the seventh-day Sabbath! Yes, the seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of the creation—and it points to the true Elohim and true Creator of the entire universe. The book of Hebrews in the Bible depicts the Sabbath as a foreshadowing of the earth’s millennial rest, as well as a memorial of Yahweh’s rest at creation. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of Yahweh. If Christians are to cease from their works, just as Yahweh ceased from His (Hebrews 4:10), we must ask: “How did Yahweh cease from His works? The Bible gives us the answer: “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And Yahweh rested on the seventh day from all His works” (Hebrews 4:4). Both the Old and the New Testament of the Bible give Christians the clear example and instruction to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy! There is no guessing here! Therefore, both ancient and modern Christians are commanded to rest just as Yahweh rested—on the seventh day! Yahweh and His Word (Bible) is the true authority, not men and their traditions!

Since the example of Yahshua the Messiah and the apostles is clear, the peoples may wonder: why did “mainstream” churches observe Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of rest and worship? Notice: Tertullian (202AD) is the first writer who expressly mentions the Sunday rest on his article titled “Sunday” (The Catholic Encylopedia). He wrote: “We, however (just as tradition has taught us), on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solitude, deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil.” But he wrote that not until 202AD, more than 170 years after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior of mankind, Yahshua the Messiah! Later in the 4th century AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine enforced Sunday worship throughout his empire. Constantine had been a pagan sun-worshiper. He gave the following edict in 321AD: “On the venerable day of the Sun let all magistrates and people…rest. It’s from the article titled “Sunday Legislation,” via the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Disobedience to the emperor’s command could mean death to seventh day Sabbath-keeping Christians. Just a few years later, the Roman church also passed a startling decree at the Council of Laodicea. It declared: “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, resting rather on Sunday. But if any be found to be judaizing (keeping Yahweh’s Sabbath) let them be declared anathema from Christ.” This was from “A History of the Councils of the Church,” p. 316. The governments and the “mainstream” churches accepted Sunday as the day of rest and worship and moved against Christian Sabbath-keepers. Yet the real Christianity of the 1st century—which never stopped following Yahshua the Messiah’s example of keeping the 4th commandment—has continued to this day by true Christians, in spite of the religious persecutions over the centuries!

Leaders and authorities from many religious denominations candidly acknowledge that Saturday is the biblical Sabbath day and that there is no biblical basis for Sunday observance of Sabbath. Below are some of their statements about the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) and Sunday. Read their own admissions as they help reveal the Bible truth about Sabbath.


“Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the (Roman Catholic) church outside the Bible.” (“To Tell You the Truth” – The Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9).

“Q: Which is the Sabbath day?

A: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Q: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

A: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea, transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” (Peter Geiermann – The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1957, p. 50).

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” (James Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., p. 89).

Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her—she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority…

Question: When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday…do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith…?

Answer: On the contrary, they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God’s commandments, which he has never clearly abrogated, “Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath.” (Stephen Keenan – A Doctrinal Catechism, p. 174).

“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible, and not the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about 15 centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible.” (Dr. John O’Brien – Faith of Millions, pp. 543-544).


“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the Seventh to the First day of the week…Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the Seventh to the First day of the week…(Dr. Edward Hiscox, before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, as reported in the New York Examiner, Nov. 16, 1893).

“There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day.” (Harold Lindsell, editor, Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976).

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance” (William Owen Carver – The Lord’s Day in Our Day, 1940, p. 49).


“Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest and is the seventh day of the week…and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day” (Charles Buck – A Theological Dictionary, “Sabbath”).

“Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day” (Harris Franklin Rall – Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p. 26).

“The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first” (Clovis Chappell – Ten Rules for Living, p. 61).


“The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue—The Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution…Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand…The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath” (T.C. Blake, D.D. – Theology Condensed, pp. 474-475).

“Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, whereas the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all…The truth is, so soon as we appeal to the litera scripta (literal writing) of the Bible, the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument” (The Christian at Work, April 19, 1883, and January 1884).


“The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?” (Dwight L. Moody – Weighed and Wanting, pp. 47-48).


“The Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday” (Philip Carrington – Toronto Daily Star, Oct. 26, 1949).


“Where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day…The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined it” (Isaac Williams, D.D. – Plain Sermons on the Catechism, 1882, Vol. 1, pp. 334, 336)


“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel…These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect” (John Theodore Mueller – Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15-16).


“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change” (Alexander Campbell – First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19).


“It is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath…The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday” (Dr. R.W. Dale – The Ten Commandments, 1884, p. 100).

In closing, the 4th commandment commands us to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Come to think of it! How could Yahweh state that the Sabbath is to be kept forever on the seventh day that He specifically blessed and hallowed if He planned to later abolish it? And could He waive that requirement for the early Church or Assembly—which, after all, was overwhelmingly Jewish? Obviously, the Sabbath is very important to Him. Yahweh is consistent and He does not change (Malachi 3:6), and so is the Savior of mankind Himself, “Yahshua Messiah, who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The religious authorities and theologians are the ones that are inconsistent! Remember that Yahshua condemned the practices of the religious leaders of His day, saying: “In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of Yahweh, you hold the tradition of men…All too well you reject the commandment of Yahweh, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:7-9). This is plain and simple truth that, according to Yahshua the Messiah’s own statements, it is possible to worship Him in a way that does no good—that is, it is in vain! The Almighty Yahweh does not give us the choice of how to worship Him—only whether we will worship Him according to His instructions or not. Come to think of it! Notice also the purpose Yahweh gave for keeping the Sabbath: “…That you may know that I Am Yahweh who sanctifies you” (Exodus 31:13). Observing and obeying the seventh-day Sabbath is a sign of the true people of Yahweh. It is a “test” commandment of Yahweh to His people. Yahweh’s people rest and worship Him on the seventh day Sabbath, in acknowledgement that He is their Creator. The observance of the seventh day Sabbath sets His people apart from those who rely on their own reasoning! Those who keep His holy Sabbath—seventh day—the only day of the week Yahweh has ever set apart—proclaim, by their actions, their acceptance of Him as the supreme authority over how they should live, think and worship. The Savior of mankind, Yahshua, said: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Again, He said: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Are you ready to be set free from following the tradition of men and instead embrace the true teachings of the Bible that we have just presented to you? We pray to Yahweh that this true and faithful message will open your heart, your eyes, and your mind to the Bible truth about Sabbath. In Yahshua’s name. Halleluyah and Shalom!