Malankara World

40 Questions Answered

By H.G. Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios

QUESTION 26. Why the O. T. Sabbath is changed?

The Seventh Day Adventists are under the illusion that Christ made no difference to the O. T. Sabbath. There are many arguments in favor of the change of the seventh day observance to the first day of the week, which I shall only mention here. The mere mention of the points will suffice any open-minded student who is ready to see the truth.

1. Our Lord came to make everything new and any one who comes to Christ does not return the old way of Judaism or Heathenism (Mt. 9: 16; 26: 28; Jn.13: 34; Ac. 17: 19; I Cor. 5: 7; II Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15;Eph. 4: 24; Heb. 9: 15; Rev. 5: 9: 21; 5). Remember the Magi who returned a new way (Mt. 2: 12).

2. He Himself broke the O.T. Sabbath and that was one main Jewish charge against Him that led him to crucifixion. He wanted to assert that the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27; Jn. 5:18 etc.)

3. The Sabbath is made for man and man not for the sabbath (Mk. 2: 27 etc.) The point here is that Man's benefit is more important than sabbath.

4. 'In the beginning God's principle enunciated in the beginning of the Bible was consummated only on the great Event of the Resurrection on the first day of the week, which inaugurated the primacy of God in the affairs of man and nature. Since the resurrection of Christ, no one can allow six days to pass on without the observance of the first day. The first six days will be without God if Sabbath is still on the last day of the week. In the O. T. the Holy of the Holies was in the Western part of the Tabernacle and Temple, facing towards the setting sun. When the Sun of righteousness rose up in the resurrection of Christ, the Holy of Holies is also changed to East, towards the rising sun.

5. The reason attributed to the origin of the Sabbath, that God rested on the seventh day is an anthropomorphic understanding of God and not theologically justifiable. God does not get tired by the work of creation as to Him rest is work and work is rest. He is the changeless and eternal God who works all days and rests all days as to Him there is no limit. (see Isa. 40: 28; Mal. 3: 6; Ps. 121: 4; Heb. 13: 8).

6. 'Letter killeth and the spirit giveth life' (II Cor. 3:6). Literalism which is behind the Seventh Day Adventists is a dead weight, which I hope they will throw away. The Islamic view of the Quran is not the Christian view of the Bible. (See answers to the first four questions).

7. In the early church the breaking of the bread was on the first day of the week and so Easter became powerful to break the Sabbath and its strong-hold on the Jewish converts in the very beginning of the church (Ac. 20:7; I Cor. 16:2). All the ancient churches observe the first day of the week and not the seventh day as the Jews for worship in the church.

8. The Seventh day Adventists are a new sectarian movement which does not recognize the tradition or ancient practice of the church and they will not be liberated to the joy of Christianity till they recognize the Lordship of Christ over the Sabbath and everything else.

9. St. Basil has compared the Sabbath to the eternal Sabbath that awaits the redeemed. The Cycle of first day is repeated on the eighth day and so the eternal rests starts where it should start with the risen Christ.

10. Christ changed not only the Sabbath, but every one of the ten commandments with His oft repeated 'but I say unto you' in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7). Deepening of other commandments into intention and thought, naturally changed the deepening of the seventh to the first.

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