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Monday, July 11, 2011

7/12/11 The Day of Worship Changed

A devotional on the Ten Commandments with special reference to the New Testament.
Fourth Command- Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

 7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. (Acts 20:7)

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. (1 Cor. 16:3)

10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, (Rev. 1:10)


THE following General Order has been issued respecting the observance of the Sabbath day in the army and navy:


The President, Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and naval service. The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest; the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors; a becoming deference to the best sentiments of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. The discipline and character of the national forces should not suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled by the profanation of the day or the name of the Most High. At this time of public distress, adopting the words of Washington in 1776, "Men may find enough to do in the service of God and their country without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality." The first General Order issued by the Father of his Country after the Declaration of Independence indicates the spirit in which our institutions were founded, and should ever be defended: "The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and privileges of his country."

Harper’s Weekly 11/29/1863.

This was NOT made up by the Roman Catholic Church.  Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic even (some of the ancient churches that preceded the Roman Catholic Church); Every major Protestant Church, Evangelical Church, - celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday- remembering that the resurrection of Christ (who is Lord of the Sabbath) changed the day from a national Jewish day to a universal "Lord's Day" for all people.  There is no ancient Christian church that celebrates the Sabbath on a Saturday.
The scriptural evidence is that all the apostolic churches were in the habit of assembling at regular times for their common worship (1 Cor. 11:17,20; 14:23-26; Heb. 10:25). 
These assemblies were on the first day of the week according to Paul in Troas (Acts 20:7).
Paul said to regularly take up offerings as a part of worship on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:3).
John said that he was in the spirit on "The Lord's Day." So this indicates by the end of the scripture Sunday had it's own name for Christians, "The Lord's Day." 
There is also evidence in the very early church fathers that Sunday was the Christian holy day.
     Ignatius- a friend of the apostles, and martyred in Rome said "Those who have come to the possession of new hope, no longer observe the Sabbath (seventh day), but living in observance of the Lord's day, on which also our life has sprung up again, by him an db his death.  He calls the Lord's Day "the queen and chief of all the days."  (Epistle to the Magnesians 9).
    Epistle to St. Barnabas says, "We celebrate the eighth day with joy on which, too, Jesus rose from the dead."
    Justin Martyr (d. 140 AD)- "On the day called Sunday is an assembly of all who live either in cities or in the rural districts, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, ...because it is the first day on which God dispelled the darkness and the original state of things and formed the world, and because Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead upon it." (Apologies 1:67 Dial. v. Tryph).  "Therefore it remains the chief and first of days.
    Tertullian writing at the close of the second century said, "On the Lord's day Christians in honor of the resurrection of the Lord...must avoid everything that would cause anxiety, and defer all worldly business, lest they should give place to the devil." 

Christianity was illegal up until the time of Constantine- so there could be no great gathering or collection.  Constantine's immediate predecessor sought to burn all Bibles and kill all the clergy.  Constantine gathered the Christians from all over the world together in 321 at the Council of Nice.  His famous edict said, "All judges with the civic population, together with the workshops of artisans, should rest upon the venerable day of the sun." 
In the Western world, the Sabbath has regularly been kept until this generation.  Every one of the thirteen colonies had laws about keeping the Sabbath on Sunday.  Both North and South kept the Sabbath during the American Civil War.  Today few states have such rules.  But Christians are still called to keep the Lord's Day holy. God has blessed America partly because of our ability to show restraint in materialism (standing against the materialist atheists and Marxists), and the ability to not give ourselves solely to things, work, and money.  However today, even in a recession, we are consumed with things.  Perhaps God is calling us to rest, to stop and worship and call out to Him?

Prayer: Give me grace to keep your day holy to you, for you are the author of all of time, and worthy of my time and worship and rest. 

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