WHAT DOES ACTS 21:23,24 TRULY MEAN?


EDITED


What Does Acts 21:23,24 TRULY mean?


Let us begin this study in God's word by reading Acts 21:23,24 out of its CONTEXT.


Acts 21:23,24.


“Do therefore this that we SAY to you: (The pronoun “WE” in this verse is referring to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. And the pronoun “YOU” in this verse is referring to the apostle Paul. In verses before these two verses the apostle James, speaking on behalf of all the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem points out to the apostle Paul of all the MANY Jewish Christians that there are in Jerusalem. And the James says some other things and then continues to say the following) We have four men which have a VOW on them;

24. Them take, and purify yourself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning you, are nothing; but that YOU YOURSELF also walk orderly, and KEEP the LAW.”


Now, the seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians use Acts 21:23,24 out of its CONTEXT to dogmatically demand that the early church KEPT the law of Moses. And by the early church, I, myself, and referring to the church AFTER God turned to the Gentiles. For you see the early church was still yet continuing to LEARN from Jesus THROUGH the teaching of the Holy Spirit even AFTER Acts 21:23,24. Anyway, all the seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians conclude that since the apostle Paul himself KEPT the Law of Moses here in Acts 21:23,24, then this proves beyond any shadow of a doubt, according to Sabbath-keeping Christians, that ALL Christians MUST keep the Law of Moses.

It has also come to my attention that there are two other groups of Sabbath-keeping Christians who believe that they are the TRUE Hebrew race of people. One group is white or Caucasian and the other group is black or black Africans, Now, SOME Sabbath-keeping Christians in these two groups are teaching that ONLY the TRUE Israelite Hebrew Christians MUST keep the Law of Moses and NONE of the Gentile Christians are required to keep ANY of the law of Moses contained in ordinances but ALL Christians MUST keep all the MORAL laws of God.

And while watching some of their videos and reading some of what they teach they SEEM to separate themselves from the title of being a CHRISTIAN. They say that Jesus is their Messiah but they ALSO say that the Holy Spirit is leading THEM to keep the Law of Moses.

So then, is the overall general INTERPRETATION of all the Sabbath-keeping Christians a SOUND Biblical interpretation?


All anyone needs to do is to read the next verse.


Please read Acts 21:25.


As touching the Gentiles which BELIEVE, we have written and CONCLUDED that THEY observe no such thing, (In other words, back in Acts chapter 15 THIS MATTER of whether or not the Gentile Christians should keep the Law of Moses was SETTLED once and for all time that NO SUCH COMMANDMENT should be given to ANY Gentile Christians for them to keep the Law of Moses) save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”


So then, does this mean that ONLY the Jewish Christians must keep the law of Moses?

In other words, IS THEIR interpretation of Acts 21:23,24 that every Christian must keep the law of Moses a SOUND Biblical interpretation?

Well, as I said a moment ago there are SOME Hebrew Israelite Christians who have drawn the conclusion that THEY MUST keep the Law of Moses which ALSO is NOT SOUND Biblical teaching. And that is what led me to do this study in God’s word.

So far we know with 100% absolute assurance that the Gentile Christians are NOT to keep the Law of Moses for ANY reason. But what about the Jewish Christians?

Now the argument of the Christians that WRONGLY teach that the Jewish Christians MUST keep the Law of Moses CLAIM that there are TWO DIFFERENT gospels being taught in the New Testament. They say that there is one gospel for the Jews. And they say that there is a different gospel for the Gentiles.


But is their interpretation of there being TWO different gospels a SOUND Biblical interpretation?


The short answer is a blatant absolute NO! There is but ONE TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we are all called to speak the SAME things according to the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.


Please read Philippians 1:27.


Only let your conversation be as it becomes the GOSPEL of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving together for the FAITH of the GOSPEL;”


You see, there were some Jews Christians in the Philippian church that CONTENDED with the apostle Paul about the gospel. And they believed that all Christians must keep the Law of Moses.


Please read 1 Thessalonians 2:2.


“But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as you know, AT Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the GOSPEL OF God with MUCH CONTENTION.”


The word contention means HEATED disagreement, heated dispute, heated disputation, heated argument, heated discord, conflict, friction, strife, dissension, and disharmony. And there were SOME Jewish Christians in the Philippian church that even preached the gospel with contention in order to bring even MORE persecuted and hatred toward the apostle Paul. And even in the church today there are SOME seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians who hate the apostle Paul’s teaching so much that they CLAIM that Paul is a FALSE Apostle. They claim that Paul had a vision from Satan and that it was NOT Jesus who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Please read the studies “IS THE APOSTLE PAUL A FALSE TEACHER?” and “IS PAUL A TRUE APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST?” But for now, let us read Philippians 1:16 where we see that SOME Christians were preaching out of contention to ADD more persecution to Paul and the other NON-Torah keeping Christians.


Philippians 1:12-17.


“But I would you should UNDERSTAND, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the GOSPEL; (And I would say that due to some Torah keeping Christians becoming Paul haters has opened the eyes of MANY Sabbath-keeping Christians that they have been deceived by a false gospel that is wrongly teaching Christians to keep the Law of Moses)

13. So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

14. And many of the brethren in the Lord, growing with confidence by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word WITHOUT FEAR. (This being WITHOUT FEAR is a KEY to understanding the TRUE meaning of Acts 21:23,24 and as to WHY Paul agreed to do as he was ASKED to do. For you see, the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem FEARED that the coming of the apostle Paul to Jerusalem would only add MORE to them being persecuted by the unsaved Jews.)

15. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

16. The one preaches Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

17. But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the DEFENSE of the GOSPEL.”


So we can clearly see that the unsaved Jews were persecuting the Christians because of the GOSPEL that the Christians were preaching and teaching. And the apostle Paul was set to DEFEND the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of God no matter how much persecution that teaching of the TRUTH brought upon him. Now let us go back and read the CONTEXT of Acts 21:23,24 so that you can see the FEAR in the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem.


Please read Acts 21:17-32.


“And when we came to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. (Or the common Christians received him gladly. Meaning that Paul and the others who came to Jerusalem with Paul had not yet gone to see the apostles and the ELDERS which were at Jerusalem that were over the church in the city of Jerusalem)

18. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the ELDERS were present.

19. And when he had saluted them, he (Speaking of Paul) declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

20. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: (In other words, James and the other Jewish Christians that were ELDERS in the church in Jerusalem agreed with Paul of all the things that God was doing among the GENTILE Christians. BUT you, Paul, also need to understand that God is doing good among the Jews here in  Jerusalem as well. And many of them have heard how you are teaching the Jewish Christians in the churches that you have established among the Gentiles to NOT keep the Law of Moses)

21. And they are informed of you, that you teach ALL the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

22. What is it, therefore? (Or why are you teaching the Jewish Christians to NOT keep the Law of Moses. I THOUGHT that the whole church agreed back in Acts 15 that we should give no such commandment to the GENTILE Christians. And here you are teaching that all the Jewish Christians ALSO are to NOT keep the Law of Moses. That is just ONE interpretation. But in truth, I personally believe that James and the elders knew full well that they agreed that NO Christians would be commanded that they must keep the Law of Moses. I personally believe that the ELDERS of the church at Jerusalem were in FEAR of the unsaved JEWS that were persecuting the church at Jerusalem. I believe that they were afraid that the unsaved Jews were going to KILL the Jewish Christians for NOT keeping the Law of Moses. Anyway, James is asking Paul to come into agreement with him and the ELDERS in the church AT Jerusalem saying) the multitude must needs come together: FOR (Or BECAUSE) THEY will hear that you have come. (Now, the BRETHREN already KNEW that Paul was there and they received him GLADLY. So the THEY here is speaking of the UNSAVED JEWS)

23. Do THEREFORE this that we say to you: (Or please Paul do as we ask of you to do for the sake of these four men who have a VOW AGAINST them by some of the UNSAVED Jews who seek to KILL them.) We have four men which have a VOW ON them; (The Greek word translated as ON them also means UPON them, AT them, TOWARD them and AGAINST them. So to me, I am seeing that some UNSAVED Jews had sworn an oath and made a pact or VOW to KILL these four Jewish Christian for NOT keeping the Law of Moses. So for THEIR SAKE, Paul PLEASE I am begging you to)

24. Them take, and purify yourself WITH them, and be at charges (Or SPEND) with them, that they may shave their heads: (In other words, please, Paul, do as they do. For you see we have asked them to do this before you arrived. We asked them to SPEND themselves and not we are asking you to SPEND yourself with them) and ALL may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning you, are nothing; but that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the law. (Now the old English meaning of the word SPEND is not used so much today so we do not understand what it means for someone to SPEND THEMSELVES. The word spend also means to spend time in a specific manner. This same Greek word is used in 2 Corinthians 12:15 where Paul gladly SPENT his time preaching the gospel for the sake of OTHERS. I will explain more on this shortly)

25. As touching the Gentiles which BELIEVE, we have written and CONCLUDED that THEY observe no such thing, (In other words, back in Acts chapter 15 THIS MATTER of whether or not the Gentile Christians should keep the Law of Moses was SETTLED once and for all time that NO SUCH COMMANDMENT should be given to ANY Gentile Christians for them to keep the law of Moses) save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

26. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

27. And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

28. Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: (Here we see that there is no doubt that Paul did NOT teach the ANY of the Christians to KEEP the Law of Moses. All the unsaved Jews knew full well that Paul taught BOTH the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians to NOT keep the Law of Moses. And that is why some of the unsaved Jews made a VOW or and OATH to KILL the apostle Paul. But it was not yet in God’s timing for Paul to be killed) and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and has polluted this holy place.

29. (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

30. And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

31. And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

32. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.”


So then, all the effort to try and pull off this charade to pretend to keep the Law of Moses to avoid persecution from the unsaved Jews did not work.

You see, Paul was WARNED two times by the Holy Spirit to NOT come up to Jerusalem but he did not take heed to those warnings. Rather, Paul told those, who by the Holy Spirit warned him to not go to Jerusalem, that he was ready to be bound and even to be killed for the sake of the GOSPEL. Before we read those verses where Paul was being warned to not go to Jerusalem let us read Acts 23:19-23 where we see some unsaved Jews making a VOW or an OATH to kill the apostle Paul.


Please read Acts 23:19-21.


“Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that you have to tell me?

20. And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire you that you wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.

21 But do not you yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from you.”


Now, one of the reasons of why I sincerely believe that Paul was ACTING as a Jew in Acts 21:20-27 is because Paul HIMSELF said that he BECAME AS a Jew to win the Jews. And Paul also said that he BECAME AS a Gentile to win the Gentiles. Paul understood his LIBERTY in Jesus Christ. So there is no way that Paul would have spent his time in the manner of the ceremonial Laws of Moses contained in ordinances with the INTENT of his HEART that he was keeping the Law of Moses so that he would not be displeasing to God. Paul became AS a Jew to keep those four Jewish Christians from being JILLED by the unsaved Jews who had a VOW on them.


Please read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.


“For though I am FREE from all men, (Meaning that Paul does not allow any man to judge him and compel him to do that which Jesus has set him FREE) YET have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20. And unto the Jews I became AS a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, AS under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; (In other words, James and the ELDERS in the church at Jerusalem knew full well that Paul became AS a JEW in order to WIN as many JEWS to Jesus as he could. So the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem knew that Paul would be alright with acting like a Jew in order to keep four of his Jewish brethren in the FAITH of Jesus Christ from being KILLED by the unsaved Jews. So in Acts 21:20-24 the elders at Jerusalem asked Paul to live AS the Jews for the sake of all the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. And obviously, Paul agreed to their pretense of him becoming like a Jew for the sake of all of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem which was the epicenter of persecution from the unsaved Jews)

21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”


So then, Paul living AS a Jew was not being done to DECEIVE the Jews. But rather Paul became like a Jew in order to not be OFFENSIVE to the Jews. In other words, when Paul was with the Gentiles he ate whatever the Gentiles ate in order to not OFFEND the Gentiles. And when Paul was with the Jews, he ate as the Jews so that he would not OFFEND the Jews. For you see, IF Paul would have eaten AS the Gentiles in the presence of the UNSAVED Jews, then they would have not listened to a word he had to preach to them about Jesus being the Messiah. So what Paul did in Acts 21:20-27 was FOR the SAKE of the GOSPEL. Paul was NOT becoming like a Jew because he FEARED displeasing God if he did not keep all the Law of Moses.

Now let us read where Paul was WARNED to not go up to Jerusalem but he would not listen to them and he went anyway.


Please read Acts 21:4.


And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.


Then a few verses later we read again where Paul is WARNED a SECOND time to NOT go up to Jerusalem by the Holy Spirit.


Acts 21:11-14.


And when he came unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus says the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. (The Roman soldiers)

12. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, implored him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13. Then Paul answered, What mean you to weep and to break my heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14. And when he would NOT be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.


Paul understood that persecution was a part of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. For you see, Paul suffered much persecution for preaching the TRUTH of the GOSPEL. And part of that truth was to NOT allow anyone to judge us for NOT KEEPING the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES. And Paul was worried that those Christians who desired to be teachers of the LAW OF MOSES would lose their salvation. And that is WHY Paul warned the Jewish Judaizing Christians in the Philippian church to work out the OWN salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING.


Please read Philippians 2:12.


Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, NOT as in my presence only, but now much more in my ABSENCE, work out your OWN SALVATION with FEAR and TREMBLING.


For you see, Paul knew that he would not always be in their presence to rebuke them when they were not walking according to the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of God by becoming SUBVERTED to keep the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES.

And in the next study in God’s word, we will cover the many verses that Paul was AFRAID that the Judaizing Jewish Christians receive their faith in Jesus Christ in VAIN. Please read the study “WAS PAUL A JUDAIZING CHRISTIAN?” In other words, did Paul teach Christians to KEEP the Law of Moses? And for further study on this subject as to whether or not Christians should keep the weekly Sabbath please read all the studies under the heading >>>“WHAT IS THE TRUE SABBATH?”<<<


Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to read ALL the studies that I gave links to throughout this study concerning this subject on Sabbath TRUTH. I will post them again below along with all the studies that I have on this subject. Also, below are some quotes from early church writers that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the early church did not keep the seventh day of the week as the Jews.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.

 

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Some Christians CLAIM that the early church kept the Sabbath as the Jews, but I assure you that the early first-century church was accustomed to gathering together BEFORE the light of daybreak on the FIRST day of the week that THEY called the Lord's day.

Please read all the studies linked within this study and all the studies linked below. This study was just the TIP of the iceberg of exposing the ERRORS of interpretation made by the Saturday seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping churches, and the Sunday first day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians. All of the studies listed below can be sent to a brother or sister caught up in the Hebrew Roots Movement or a Sabbath-keeping church by sending them this one link “>>>WHAT IS THE TRUE SABBATH?<<<”

Or you can pick and choose any of the links below to send to them or read for yourself. Be sure to read the HISTORICAL evidence if you have not already done so. I post the SAME historical evidence at the end of almost every study on this subject of the Sabbath day. But if you want to read it again you may see something that did not stand out before.

 

“YES CHRISTIANS MUST KEEP THE SABBATH!”

“JESUS IS LORD OF THE SABBATH!”

“MATTHEW 5:17-19 SABBATH TRUTH!”

“MATTHEW 24:20 FUTURE SABBATH KEEPING!”

“SABBATH TRUTH REMEMBER THE SABBATH!”

“REALLY ONLY NINE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?”

“MUST CHRISTIANS KEEP THE 4th COMMANDMENT?”

“SABBATH KEEPING VERSUS SUNDAY WORSHIP?”

“60 ARGUMENTS FOR THE SABBATH!”

“IS JESUS OUR SABBATH REST?”

“THE SABBATH REST IS A SIGN!”

“THE SABBATH, SUNDAY, OR NEITHER DAY?”

“WHAT IS THE TRUE SABBATH?”

“HAS GOD'S LAW BEEN ABOLISHED? (Matthew 5:17-19)”

“IS SATURDAY THE LORD'S DAY?”

“WAS JESUS RESURRECTED ON SUNDAY?”

“JESUS WORDS ONLY! SABBATH TRUTH!”

“IS PAUL A TRUE APOSTLE OF JESUS?”

“IS THE APOSTLE PAUL A FALSE TEACHER?”

“DO PAUL'S TEACHINGS CONTRADICT JESUS?”

“MUST CHRISTIANS KEEP THE DIETARY LAWS?”

“ACTS 10 PETER'S VISION OF CLEANSED MEATS?”

“IS THE HEBREWS ROOT MOVEMENT BIBLICAL?”

“119 MINISTRIES ERRORS PART 1”

“119 MINISTRIES ERRORS PART 2”

“WHO ARE THE TRUE JEWS?”

“ARE BLACK AFRICANS THE TRUE HEBREWS?”

“WHAT IS THE ONE TRUE CHURCH?”

 

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Again, some Christians make the CLAIM that the early church kept the Sabbath as the Jews, but I assure you that the early first-century church was accustomed to gathering together BEFORE the light of daybreak on the FIRST day of the week that THEY called the Lord's Day.

Here is a NON BIAS historical account found in a letter from Pliny the Younger to Trojan concerning the Christians.

Pliny was a Roman who persecuted and killed Christians, so again this is a historical NON BIAS account of WHEN Christians gathered together.

Here is what Pliny says in his letter to Trojan. The EMPHASIS and comments in parenthesis are my own:

 

“That they were WONT (Or as they were ACCUSTOMED and USED to do, or in the HABIT of doing), on a STATED day (Or on a CERTAIN preset day), to meet together BEFORE IT WAS LIGHT, and to sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god, alternately; and to oblige themselves by a sacrament [or oath], not to do anything that was ill: but that they would commit no theft, or pilfering, or adultery; that they would not break their promises, or deny what was deposited with them, when it was required back again; after which it was their CUSTOM to depart, AND to meet AGAIN at a common but innocent meal,(So after they had worship service early morning beginning before day light, they would depart and they come back together later that same day to share a common simple meal together and most likely break bread together as other early church writers give more detail) which they had left off upon that edict which I published at your command, and wherein I had forbidden any such conventicles (Or religious meetings).”

 

Below are some quotes of early church writers that clearly teach us that the early church did NOT keep the Sabbath day, as in, on SATURDAY, the 7th day of the week, but rather the early church throughout history from it's beginning worshiped God on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week, which is sometimes referred to as the EIGHTH day of the week or the day AFTER the Sabbath day, or the LORD'S DAY. (The emphasis is mine in these quotes given below):

The year AD or date is given first and then the source is given at the end followed by the quote from that historical source. The Apostle John was still alive until 100 AD.

 

#1. 90 AD DIDACHE:

"Christian Assembly on the Lord's Day:

 

1. But every Lord's day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.

2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned.

3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." (Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Chapter XIV)

 

#2. 100 AD BARNABAS:

 

"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD 15:6-8).

 

#3. 100 AD BARNABAS:

 

Moreover, God says to the Jews, 'Your new moons and Sabbaths I cannot endure.' You see how he says, 'The present Sabbaths are not acceptable to me, but the Sabbath which I have made in which, when I have rested [heaven: Heb 4] from all things, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world.' Wherefore we Christians keep the eighth day for joy, on which also Jesus arose from the dead and when he appeared ascended into heaven. (15:8f, The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pg. 147)

 

#4. 110 AD Pliny:

 

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath not to (do) any wicked deeds, never to commit any fraud, theft, or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of good food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind. (About three years after the death of Ignatius in 250, an important official communication was sent from one Pliny to Trojan the Roman emperor. Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, wrote of the Christians who had been congregating there probably from at least A.D. 62 onwards. In this remark, it is explicitly stated that these early Christians observed the substance of most of the Ten Commandments, and it is implied that they observed all ten as far as they were able to do so. As far as they were able, for as most of the early Christians were of slave stock or from other lower classes'-, and those who had heathen masters or employers—the vast majority—would be forced to work on THEIR day of rest, which was unfortunately an official working day throughout the empires' until Constantine's "Sabbath" Edict in 321 A.D. gave them some measure of public protection. Hence one reads that after meeting "on a certain FIXED day before it was light", the first century Bithynian Christians had "to separate"—many of them having to labor for their masters and/or employers from dawn to dusk—"and then reassemble to partake of . . . food". The "certain fixed day" [stato die"'] on which the Christians met, is regarded by Seventh-day Adventists as Saturday'-. Certainly, the expression would seem to indicate a regular day of meeting, probably each week. But Sunday is FAR more likely to have been the "certain fixed day" than Saturday. For if Pliny had been referring to the old Saturday Sabbath, as a Roman he would doubtless have referred to the "later" meeting first and only then to the morning meeting on the day after the "certain fixed day", seeing that the old Saturday Sabbath was demarcated from the evening of one day to the evening of the following day. But Pliny makes no such reference. Instead, he mentions that the pre-dawn meeting took place first—and only afterward, the later meeting; and that both meetings took place on the SAME "certain fixed day". This rather points to the Roman (and—more importantly!—New Testament) midnight to midnight demarcation of modern Sunday-keepers than to the evening to evening demarcation of the Jews and the Seventh-day Adventists.) (The Covenantal Sabbath, Francis Nigel Lee, Pg 242)

 

Also, I myself will further add to the comment of the writer above that mere common sense plainly teaches us that Pliny was clearly speaking of SUNDAY because the LAW that Constantine passed was not to mandate work on SUNDAY, so that these Christians could worship God on SUNDAY. So the CLAIM by the Seventh Day Advent church that the fixed day of worship for Christians was a Saturday is FALSE. Otherwise, Constantine would have made it a law that employers allow Christians off for work on a Saturday rather than on a Sunday.

This PROVES beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Christians were ALREADY worshiping God on SUNDAY, the FIRST DAY of the week from the very beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost. The truth of the matter is that Constantine only made it easier for Christians to worship God on Sunday without being persecuted by their employers or owners by passing the EDICT making it a LAW to force heathen employers to let their employees have at least some time off from work so that they could worship God on SUNDAY.

Every Sabbath keeper will AGREE that Constantine's “SABBATH” is referring to SUNDAY as the day of the week and NOT as Saturday being the REST for Christians. Again, all that Constantine did was to pass a law making it EASIER for Christians to worship on the DAY that they had ALREADY been worshiping on since the very beginning, at the DAY of PENTECOST, which is on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week that Christian called the LORD'S day, the day our Lord rose from the grave.

Open your EYES dear child of God and read what these early church writings are teaching us about the EARLIEST believers as to which day the early church worshiped God. SUNDAY has ALWAYS been the Sabbath or the day of REST of the early church and the church throughout its entire history.

 

#5. 150 AD EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLES:

 

-I [Christ] have come into being on the eighth day which is the day of the Lord. (18)

 

#6. 150 AD JUSTIN.

 

"He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane [it]. The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day AFTER the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first." (Justin, Dialogue 41:4)

 

#7. 150 AD JUSTIN:

 

...those who have persecuted and do persecute Christ, if they do not repent, shall not inherit anything on the holy mountain. But the Gentiles, who have believed on Him, and have repented of the sins which they have committed, they shall receive the inheritance along with the patriarchs and the prophets, and the just men who are descended from Jacob, even although they neither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts. Assuredly they shall receive the holy inheritance of God. (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, page 207)

 

#8. 150 AD JUSTIN:

 

But if we do not admit this, we shall be liable to fall into foolish opinion, as if it were not the same God who existed in the times of Enoch and all the rest, who neither were circumcised after the flesh, nor observed Sabbaths, nor any other rites, seeing that Moses enjoined such observances... For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now, after that, according to the will of God, Jesus Christ the Son of God has been born without sin, of a virgin sprung from the stock of Abraham. (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, page 206)

 

#9. 150 AD JUSTIN:

 

Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned [after mentioning Adam. Abel, Enoch, Lot, Noah, Melchizedek, and Abraham], though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses... And you [fleshly Jews] were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that you might retain the memorial of God. For His word makes this announcement, saying, "That you may know that I am God who redeemed you." (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, page 204)

 

#10. 150 AD JUSTIN.

 

There is no other thing for which you blame us, my friends, is there than this? That we do not live according to the Law, nor, are we circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers, nor do we observe the Sabbath as you do. (Dialogue with Trypho 10:1. In verse 3 the Jew Trypho acknowledges that Christians 'do not keep the Sabbath.')

 

#11. 155 AD Justin Martyr:

 

"[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what REASON they were enjoined [on] you--namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us--I speak of fleshly circumcision AND Sabbaths AND feasts? . . . God enjoined you [Jews] to keep the Sabbath and impose on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21).

 

#12. 180 AD ACTS OF PETER:

 

Paul had often contended with the Jewish teachers and had confuted them (Or refuted them completely), saying 'it is Christ on whom your fathers laid hands. He abolished their Sabbath and fasts and festivals and circumcision.' (1: I)-2

 

 

#13. 180 AD GOSPEL OF PETER:

 

Early in the morning when (the Sabbath dawned, a multitude from Jerusalem and the surrounding country came to see the scaled sepulcher. In the night in which the Lord's day dawned, while the soldiers in pairs for each watch were keeping guard, a great voice came from heaven. [There follows an account of the resurrection. Early in the morning of the Lord's day Mary Magdalene, a disciple of the Lord .... came to the sepulcher. (9:34f.; 12:50f.)

 

 

#14. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:

 

(in commenting on each of the Ten Commandments and their Christian meaning:) The seventh day is proclaimed a day of rest, PREPARING by abstention from evil FOR the Primal day, our TRUE rest. (Ibid. VII. xvi. 138.1)

 

I will add that the meaning of the word “Primal” means an “ARCHETYPAL” which means an original TYPE pointing to the TRUE. So this early church writer is saying what Paul teaches us in scripture that the things in the OLD Testament are TYPES and SHADOWS or the TRUE which was to come. Jesus became our SABBATH, and we have entered into our REST being in Jesus Christ. The SABBATH was an ARCHETYPAL pointing toward our TRUE REST which was to come being FULFILLED in the ATONEMENT of Jesus.

 

 

#15. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:

 

He does the commandment according to the Gospel and keeps the Lord's day, whenever he puts away an evil mind . . . glorifying the Lord's resurrection in himself. (Ibid. Vii.xii.76.4)

 

 

#16. 190 AD CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:

 

Plato prophetically speaks of the Lord's day in the tenth book of the Republic, in these words: 'And when seven days have passed to each of them in the meadow, on the eighth they must go on." (Miscellanies V.xiv.106.2)

 

 

#17. 200 AD BARDESANES:

 

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)

 

 

#18. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:

"We solemnize the day AFTER Saturday in contradistinction to those who call this day their Sabbath" (Tertullian's Apology, Ch 16)

 

In other words, Tertullian is saying that we Christians DISTINGUISH us from the JEWS who hold Saturday as THEIR Sabbath by solemnizing or referencing the day AFTER Saturday as our day of worship and rest.

 

 

#19. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:

 

It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary. (An Answer to the Jews 4:1, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 3, page 155)

 

 

#20. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:

 

Let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day because of the threat of death, teach us that in earliest times righteous men kept Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and so were made friends of God. .. ...Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised, and inobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering Him sacrifices, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was by Him commended... Noah also, uncircumcised - yes, and inobservant of the Sabbath - God freed from the deluge. For Enoch, too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, He translated from this world... Melchizedek also, "the priest of most high God," uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was chosen to the priesthood of God. (An Answer to the Jews 2:10; 4:1, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 3, page 153)

 

 

#21. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:

 

Others . . . suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians because it is well-known that we regard Sunday as a day of joy. (To the Nations 1: 133)

 

Keep in mind that this was well BEFORE Constantine SUPPOSEDLY CHANGED the day of rest and worship to Sunday as the Seventh Day Adventist church CLAIMS. But in TRUTH, Christians had ALREADY been worshiping God on Sunday, the FIRST day of the week that they also called the Lord’s Day, the day that our Lord and Savior Jesus rose from the dead.

So, as early as Tertullian in 200 AD there were groups of JEWS and Christian JEWS who ASSUMED or who SUPPOSED, or who FALSELY ACCUSED Christians of worshiping God on SUNDAY that they were worshiping a sun god and not the true God.

 

 

#22. 200 AD TERTULLIAN:

 

To us Sabbaths are foreign. (On Idolatry, 14:6)4

 

 

#23. 220 AD ORIGEN:

 

"On Sunday none of the actions of the world should be done. If then, you abstain from all the works of this world and keep yourselves free for spiritual things, go to church, listen to the readings and divine homilies, meditate on heavenly things. (Homil. 23 in Numeros 4, PG 12:749)

 

 

#24. 220 AD Origen:

 

"Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection" (Commentary on John 2:28).

 

 

#25. 225 AD The Didascalia:

 

"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation, because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Didascalia 2).

 

And I add further that the church BEGAN on the day of Pentecost, on a SUNDAY, the FIRST day of the week. The early church evidence and the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible, make it quite clear that the early church worshiped God on SUNDAY the FIRST day of the week, called the LORD'S day and that they did NOT KEEP the Sabbath day as the JEWS.

 

 

#26. 250 AD CYPRIAN:

 

The eight day, that is, the first day after the Sabbath, and the Lord's Day." (Epistle 58, Sec 4)

 

 

#27. 250 AD IGNATIUS:

 

"If, therefore, those 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-whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master-how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead. If, then, those who were conversant with the ancient Scriptures came to newness of hope, expecting the coming of Christ, as the Lord teaches us when He says, "If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me; " and again, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad; for before Abraham was, I am; " how shall we be able to live without Him? The prophets were His servants, and foresaw Him by the Spirit, and waited for Him as their Teacher, and expected Him as their Lord and Saviour, saying, "He will come and save us." Let us therefore NO longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for "he that does not work, let him not eat." For say the [holy] oracles, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread." But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, NOT in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, "To the end, for the eighth day," on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ, whom the children of perdition, the enemies of the Saviour, deny, "whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things," who are "lovers of pleasure, and not lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." These make merchandise of Christ, corrupting His word, and giving up Jesus to sale: they are corrupters of women, and covetous of other men's possessions, swallowing up wealth insatiably; from whom may ye be delivered by the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ! (Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chapter IX)

 

 

#28. 250 AD IGNATIUS:

 

"On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathaea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. "The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord's Day contains the resurrection." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, chapter 9)

 

 

#29. 250 AD IGNATIUS:

 

If anyone fasts on the Lord's Day or on the Sabbath, except on the paschal Sabbath only, he is a murderer of Christ. (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, chapter 8)

 

 

#30. 250 AD IGNATIUS:

 

"This [custom], of not bending the knee upon Sunday, is a symbol of the resurrection, through which we have been set free, by the grace of Christ, from sins, and from death, which has been put to death under Him. Now this custom took its rise from apostolic times, as the blessed Irenaeus, the martyr and bishop of Lyons, declares in his treatise On Easter, in which he makes mention of Pentecost also; upon which [feast] we do not bend the knee, because it is of equal significance with the Lord's day, for the reason already alleged concerning it." (Ignatius, Fragments)

 

 

#31. 300 AD Victorinus:

 

"The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day, he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day, we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should APPEAR to observe ANY Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body ABOLISHED" (The Creation of the World).

 

 

#32. 300 AD EUSEBIUS:

 

"They did not, therefore, regard circumcision, NOR observe the Sabbath NEITHER do we; ... because such things as these do NOT belong to Christians" (Ecc. Hist., Book 1, Ch. 4)

 

 

#33. 300 AD EUSEBIUS:

 

[The Ebionites] were accustomed to observe the Sabbath and other Jewish customs but on the Lord's days to celebrate the same practices as we in remembrance of the resurrection of the Savior. (Church History Ill.xxvii.5)

 

 

I will also add that the Ebionites were Christians who were seduced by the Jews to keep the Jewish customs. In other words, the Ebionites were Judaized Christians. The Ebionites also taught the need to be circumcised in the flesh in order to be saved. Some today would not even consider Ebionites as being true Christians since they went back to trusting the Law of Moses to be saved.

 

 

#34. 300 AD Eusebius of Caesarea:

 

"They [the pre- Mosaic saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things" (Church History 1:4:8).

 

#35. 300 AD Eusebius of Caesarea:

 

"The day of his [Christ's] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord's day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic Law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the Apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality" (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186).

 

 

#36. 345 AD Athanasius:

 

"The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord's day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord's day as being the memorial of the new creation" (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3).

 

 

#37. 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS:

 

Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord's house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day. And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food? (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 2)

 

 

#38. 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS:

 

"How We Ought to Assemble Together and to Celebrate the Festival Day of Our Saviour's Resurrection. On the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that is, the Lord's day, assemble yourselves together, without fail, giving thanks to God, and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ and has delivered you from ignorance, error, and bondage, that your sacrifice may be unspotted, and acceptable to God,..." (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 7)

 

 

#39. 350 AD Cyril of Jerusalem:

 

"Fall NOT AWAY either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from ALL observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean" (Catechetical Lectures 4:37).

 

 

#40. 360 AD Council of Laodicea:

 

"Christians should NOT Judaize and should NOT be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord's day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians" (canon 29).

 

 

#41. 387 AD John Chrysostom:

 

"You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the Law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul's words, that the observance of the Law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?" (Homilies on Galatians 2:17).

 

#42. 412 AD Augustine:

 

"Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these Ten Commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought NOT to be kept by a Christian . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the Law which was written on those two tables that the apostle [Paul] describes as 'the letter that kills' [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished" (The Spirit and the Letter 24).

 

#43. 597 AD Gregory I:

 

"But after that, the grace of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared, the commandments of the Law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must need to say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: 'If you be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing' (Gal. 5:2)" (Letters 13:1).

 

 

Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to read ALL the studies I gave links to at the beginning of this study concerning this subject on Sabbath TRUTH. I will post them again below. Also below are some quotes from early church writers that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the early church did not keep the seventh day of the week as the Jews.

 

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.

        

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