Sabbath to Sunday – Part 2

TimeWatch Editorial
December 02, 2016

One of the reasons Joe Kovacs gives for people, as he so very correctly puts it “gathering on Sunday,” is “the belief Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.” The use of the word “gathering” is especially significant since it accurately describes the function of those who simply go to church on Sunday. If the argument was being made that the Sabbath was changed, then the specific instructions given in scripture regarding how the Sabbath should be kept, would apply to any day that might have been substituted for the Seventh Day. As we of course know quite well, not only is the Seventh Day not recognized by those who “assemble” on Sunday, but the way that the day is recognized is not according to the biblical instruction regarding the Sabbath. Listen to Mr. Kovacs as he continues his presentation.

“One reason many Christians provide for gathering on Sunday is the belief Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. But the idea Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday is not universal. The Bible is actually silent on the precise moment of resurrection. Jesus’ followers came to His tomb before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), but they did not witness Him coming back to life. They merely found an empty tomb.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christian’s war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Then Mr. Kovacs uses the belief held by some Sabbath keepers to defeat the Sunday rising argument. You should know that there are those who embrace the flawed idea that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and was raised on a Saturday afternoon. Listen to Mr. Kovacs continued argument.

“Christ was already gone!” exclaims John Pinkston , a retired Air Force navigator who is founder and president of the Congregation of God Seventh Day in Kennesaw, Ga. “So that shoots in the foot the belief that He was raised on Sunday.” Pinkston is typical of many Sabbath-keepers, believing Jesus was neither killed on a Friday, nor raised on Sunday. He believes Jesus was actually put to death on a Wednesday, and remained in the grave 72 hours until Saturday evening. When the women came to the tomb early Sunday, they found it empty, indicating Jesus arose prior to their arrival. Even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell , a Sunday-keeper and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., agreed with that timetable, telling WND in 2001 , “I personally believe He was crucified on Wednesday evening … and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christian’s war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Mr. Kovacs continues his presentation by enlarging upon the disputed texts of scripture and the possible meaning as argued by both sides in the debate. He however describes the early Papal involvement in the change of the Sabbath and reveals the positions held to this day by Rome.

“In the 1876 book, “The Faith of Our Fathers,” James Cardinal Gibbons, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, agreed the shift to Sunday was not based on the Bible, but was solely the work of the Catholic Church. “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,” Gibbons wrote.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christian’s war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Mr. Kovacs also quotes Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi, a Seventh Day Adventist who earned his doctorate in Church History at the
Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was awarded a gold medal by Pope Paul VI for his summa cum laude class work and dissertation, “From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity.”

Bacchiocchi, a Seventh Day Adventist, believes there’s no Scriptural mandate to change or eliminate Sabbath-keeping, and he singles out the Catholic Church for its role in changing the day. “The Church of the capital of the empire, whose authority was already felt far and wide in the second century, appears to be the most likely birthplace of Sunday observance,” he writes. Bacchiocchi also explains the influence of pagan sun worship provides a “plausible explanation for the Christian choice of Sunday” over the day of Saturn. Its effect wasn’t just limited to Sunday. It apparently led to the placement of Jesus’ birth in late December. “The adoption of the 25th of December for the celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most explicit example of sun worship’s influence on the Christian liturgical calendar,” Bacchiocchi writes. “It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Kovacs continues his argument by including the ancient sun god Mithra in his presentation. He makes the point that worship of this sun god included many of the elements that were ultimately grafted into Christianity.

“One of the Roman names for this “Invincible Sun” god in the days of the apostles was Mithra. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithra and today’s Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs. Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithra was worshipped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the “mother of God” on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity; and had a “Last Supper” with his 12 followers before his death and resurrection at Easter time near the spring equinox.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

The scope of Kovacs’ presentation delivers a wide scope of origin regarding the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath. He even includes the action of Constantine.

“On March 7, 321, he decreed, “On the venerable Day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.” Farmers were given an exception. “The importance of the actions of Constantine cannot be overstated,” says author Richard Rives in “Too Long in the Sun.” “During his reign, pagan sun worship was blended with the worship of the Creator, and officially entitled ‘Christianity.'” Before the end of the 4th century, Sunday observance prevailed over Saturday.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

For someone who according to one of his websitesis “an acclaimed journalist, and Bible believer, who has applied his research skills to uncover shocking truths found in God’s word,” his contribution to the subject of the change of the Sabbath should stir one to engage in personal study.

Cameron A. Bowen

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