The Origin of the Sabbath Day

August 16, 2022

The Origin of Weekly Worship

Worship is the most basic form of showing our reverence to God. Then, have you ever wondered where the custom of attending church once a week came from? The Bible names the weekly worship day the Sabbath day and God commanded us to keep it holy. When we look into the Bible, we can see that this custom was set by God at the beginning of creation.

Genesis 2: 1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

The Seventh Day is the Sabbath

God set aside the seventh day of the week, after finishing all the work of creation, as a day of rest. From the beginning, God made known to us the Sabbath day, the day of rest, that we should commemorate every week as God’s holy people. Since God rested from all His work, we too should rest from all our work on the seventh day of the week, which was made holy and blessed by God. In fact, the reason God blessed the seventh day of the week was to show that true blessings and the promise to enter the eternal rest in heaven are granted only to those who hold fast to the Sabbath. To give us such amazing blessings, God commanded us to “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” as the 4th of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:8).

Isaiah 56:1-7 This is what the Lord says, …for my salvation is close at hand…Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil…these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.”

What Day of the Week is the Sabbath Day?

Those who truly want to be blessed by God and who long to enter the eternal rest in the kingdom of heaven should obey God’s will in keeping the Sabbath day holy. Then, what day of the week is the seventh day, Sabbath, on our modern weekly calendar? In order to get a definite answer, we should first know that Jesus’ resurrection day has already been proven to be Sunday, through historical evidence. Even today, Jesus’ resurrection is always celebrated on a Sunday. The Bible confirms this fact clearly.

Matthew 16:9 NIVWhen Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”

Matthew 16:9 NLT “After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons.”

The day Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead was recorded as the ‘first day of the week” and, in the NLT version, it is more clearly recorded as Sunday. Then, we can automatically conclude that the seventh day is Saturday. Since the Sabbath day is described as the seventh day throughout the Bible, the Biblical Sabbath day is Saturday. The Catholic Church, which instituted weekly Sunday worship back in the 4th Century, also admits the Biblical Sabbath is Saturday.

“…But 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.” (The Faith of Our Fathers, pp. 72-73)

The Importance of Keeping the Sabbath Day

Thus, God commanded all people to observe the seventh day – Saturday – as the day of blessings and the day to commemorate the authority and power of the true Creator God. As God’s holy people who want to know God and follow God rightfully, we should keep the Sabbath day holy in obedience to the commandment. The importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy cannot be understated. This law of God contains God’s true love and blessings for those who obey it. God testifies to the value of the Sabbath for those who want to become God’s true people.

Exodus 31:12-13  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”

Those who long for the eternal rest in heaven and who eagerly want to truly know God should discern the true Sabbath day and obey it, according to the will of God. The Bible says that the one who holds fast to the Sabbath and keeps it will know God who makes us holy. How truly blessed it is to know the true Creator God who established the Sabbath day and who promised eternal rest to those who keep it holy!