You are here:

Seventh-Day Adventists/The Catholic Church Changed The Sabbath


Frank wrote at 2014-06-24 10:36:01
6 21 2014 - The Catholic Church Changed The Sabbath

<<< The expert’s answer: >>>

First off it really doesn't matter what the Catholic Church claims because it was God who ended the Old Covenant and its holy days including the 7th day Sabbath (see Leviticus 23 for an inspired list of Old Covenant holy days). The covenant to which the sabbath was the sign (cf. Exodus 31:13, 16-17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20) was never meant to be eternal. The eternal covenant (cf. Hebrews 13:20) would have to wait until the coming of Christ.

<<< The commandments of God always include the Ten. The eternal covenant was to have been established with Adam and Eve. It was because of their sin that God instituted His plan of salvation which included the added ceremonial law. Anyone who is saved is saved because of the atoning sacrifice and grace of Jesus Christ, not because they kept the law. >>>

"Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith" (Galatians 3:23-26 NRSV).

<<< The law is no longer our “disciplinarian”. The law that was added to the moral law because of sin, is fulfilled in Christ. Now all who come to Christ are required to repent of sins (2 Peter 3:9) and believe in Him for forgiveness of sins and cleansing from unrighteousness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 KJV) In this manner the law (the principles of the 10 C’s) is established as the rule of life, (Romans 3:31) just as it was to have been from the beginning.

  God created Adam and Eve in His image and that necessarily included writing the principles of the His law of love in the heart and mind. Were it not so the test of obedience He gave them would have been meaningless. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17 KJV) Had A&E not eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good (righteousness) and evil (sin), and broken the law that defines sin (that which is evil) and reveals righteousness (that which is good), they would have been faithful to one another and to God (that is they would have done only that which is good), forever. They would have remained in perfect harmony with the principles of the law. They would have worked the first six days of the week and rested the seventh, forever. They would have worshiped their creator exclusively, by keeping holy the Sabbath day, forever. All their desires would have been fulfilled, forever. They would have had no occasion to be angry with anyone or to misrepresent the truth to anyone and it would have been the same for all who came from them throughout eternity (a.k.a. forever). Had Adam and Eve not sinned by failing the test of obedience, thus transgressing God’s holy law of love, they never would have been given the Ten Commandments because those principles would have been established in the heart and mind and to transgress those principles would never have occurred to them. >>>  

Then God did away with the entire Old Covenant including the 7th day Sabbath. "By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear" (Hebrews 8:13 NIV).

<<< The moral law did not change when Jesus ratified the New Covenant promise (see Gen 3:15) on the cross , ending the Old Covenant. There was no problem with God’s holy law. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7:12 KJV) The covenant was ended because the children of Israel did not keep it. “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” (Hebrews 8:8-9 KJV) >>>

Therefore, it is a moot point that the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath. The ending of the Sabbath as a necessary practice occurred long before the Catholic Church came into existence. I say, "as a necessary practice" because many devout Christians still observe the Sabbath and there is nothing wrong with that practice (cf. Romans 14:5).

<<< “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Rom 14:5 KJV) This verse is applied by Paul to Jewish traditions and ceremonies, not the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. Man’s estimation of a day can do nothing to change the righteous requirement of keeping holy God’s Sabbath day. >>>

I believe that it's obvious that the Catholic Church claims to have changed the Sabbath in order to show it has authority over all other Churches. Their claim to have changed the Sabbath is proved false by the above Scriptures. The statement in your quote that to follow the Bible alone means one must keep the Sabbath reveals an ignorance of the Bible as there are many texts that show the Sabbath to be for Israel and not the Church.

<<< Israel is the Old Covenant Church. Old covenant believers were required to keep the law (Lev 22:31). Israel is the New Covenant Church. New Covenant believers are required to keep the law (John 14:15). When Christ comes a second time, He comes to reward Israel with immortality. Not as a nation, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38 KJV), but as a nation of believers, “And so all Israel shall be saved . . .” (Romans 11:26 KJV) “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

(Hebrews 9:15 KJV) >>>

In point of fact Christians did not wait until the Catholic Church came into existence to begin observing Sunday as their day for corporate worship instead of the Sabbath.

Ignatius the bishop of Antioch wrote between 107-110 AD, "[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death" (Letter to the Magnesians).

<<< “This paragraph is the one out of which a part of a sentence is quoted to show that Ignatius testifies in behalf of the Lord’s-day festival, or Christian Sabbath.  But the so-called Lord’s day is only brought in by means of a false translation.  This is the decisive sentence: meketi sabbatizontes, alla kata kuriaken zoen zontes; literally: “no longer sabbatizing, but living according to the Lord’s life. Eminent first-day scholars have called attention to this fact, and have testified explicitly that the term Lord’s day has no right to appear in the translation; for the original is not kuriaken hemeran, Lord’s day, but kuriaken zoen, Lord’s life.  This is absolutely decisive, and shows that something akin to fraud has to be used in order to find a reference in this place to the so-called Christian Sabbath.” (The Testimony of the Fathers of the First Three Centuries Concerning the Sabbath and the First Day, J. N. Andrews, Steam Press, SDA Publishing Assn. 1873) >>>

Justin Martyr wrote in 165 AD, "But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead" (First Apology).

<<< Nowhere in the Bible is observing the first day of the week commanded. Not because someone believed it was the day on which God made the world or because it is the day the savior was resurrected. If Christ had changed the day to Sunday, it would be unnecessary for anyone to make excuses for keeping it instead of the true Sabbath. Sunday is and will always be a common working day. >>>

Bardesanes wrote between 154-200 AD, "Wherever we are, we are all called after the one name of Christ Christians. On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together" (On Fate).

<<< Who is this Bardesanes? Can we rely on His testimony for truth? Bardesanes, the Syrian, flourished about A.D. 180.  He belonged to the Gnostic sect of Valentinians, and abandoning them, “devised errors of his own.”  In his “Book of the Laws of Countries,” he replies to the views of astrologers who assert that the stars govern mens actions.  He shows the folly of this by enumerating the peculiarities of different races and sects.  In doing this, he speaks of the strictness with which the Jews kept the Sabbath.  Of the new sect called Christians, which “Christ at his advent planted in every country,” he says:–

“On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together, and on the days of the readings we abstain from [taking] sustenance.”

This shows that the Gnostics used Sunday as the day for religious assemblies.  Whether he recognized others besides Gnostics, or Christians, we cannot say.  We find no allusion, however, to Sunday as a day of abstinence from labor, except so far as necessary for their meetings.  What their days of fasting, which are here alluded to, were, cannot now be determined.  It is also worthy of notice that this writer, who certainly speaks of Sunday, and this as late as A.D. 180, does not call it Lord’s day, nor give it any sacred title whatever, but speaks of it as “first day of the week.”  No writer down to A.D. 180, who is known to speak of Sunday, calls it the Lord’s day. (Ibid.)>>>

Therefore, the later Catholic claim to have by its authority changed the Sabbath to Sunday is proven false.

<<< The critic of the SDA Church and the prophetic ministry of E. G. White is fulfilling the prophecy she recorded 125 years ago.

“Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of Spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” {The Great Controversy, p. 588.} >>>

Thank you for sharing you comment.

Have a great weekend,

Brother Sal  

<<< In Christ’s love,

        Frank >>>

Seventh-Day Adventists

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.


I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

©2016 All rights reserved.