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Can a person keep both the Sabbath and Sunday?

That is an interesting question. Yes, a person can keep both the Sabbath and Sunday, but is it right in God’s eyes? That is the more important question to ask, and we hope to prove that the Sabbath is the only day in the week that God honors our worship of Him! (We are not addressing here in detail God’s annual Holy Days which also must be observed today, and which can fall on any day of the week).

This question follows on some remarks made by an internet contributor who proves that Wednesday is the day of Christ’s crucifixion and not Friday. Most of his article seems to be in line with the Church of God’s historical teaching of a Wednesday crucifixion. However, there are some remarks towards the end of the article which we will quote in their entirety:

“More important is the corollary, that this removes any basis for honoring Sunday. The sabbath is and has always been the 7th day. However, anyone can worship on Sunday and God our Father accepts them without reservation. Even the Roman Catholic church has written extensively that they created Sunday as the day of worship and that there is no scriptural basis for it, it is by tradition only. Their writings point out that since protestant churches follow their traditional teachings of honoring Sunday, then protestants are acknowledging that the Roman Catholic church has precedence and authority over them. There is no reason to honor Sunday, since Yeshua rose as the sabbath was ending, on the 7th day. The only point it brings up is the commandment, remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. That’s why I bring up the sabbath and Sunday point.

“Don’t run to your pastor to prove the Wednesday crucifixion and the resurrection late on the sabbath. The fourth commandment is not church law, it is an individual’s requirement. A person can keep the sabbath day and go to church on Sunday. After all, keeping the sabbath means to refrain from normal work, don’t shop, spend time with your family, and spend time with God. What this knowledge will do is allow you to know the truth and answer non-christians who often see the error propagated by the institutional church. Knowing the truth should also motivate you to keep the sabbath day. Revelation 12:17 speaks highly of believers in the end-times, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.”

There is some excellent writing to prove that Wednesday was the day that Jesus Christ was crucified but those two paragraphs are a mish-mash of truth and error that could be confusing to someone new to the Truth, or even to others. A “Church of God” member some years ago said that “she went to the local Sunday-keeping church in case there was someone there who was being called.” What a travesty of understanding that is, but there were so many theories and changes that were articulated and instituted during and after the apostasy in the mid-1990s that many did genuinely became confused. Such was this case.

It is not the purpose of this Q&A to have to prove that the weekly Sabbath and annual Holy Days are the days that are God’s (Leviticus 23:2); the Church of God has much information on this, which has been produced over many years. The question is whether a person can keep both the Sabbath and Sunday. Here are just a few reasons why the answer is a resounding NO!

In our Update #292, dated 4th May 2007, the question was asked: “I have heard it taught that the ancient house of Israel engaged in Sunday worship. Is this correct, as I cannot find this stated anywhere in the Bible?” Part of the answer given was as follows:

“Even though the Bible nowhere states explicitly that the ancient house of Israel kept Sunday, it is very clear from the implicit record that they did. It is also clear that God punished them severely for this practice. We know that they abandoned the weekly Sabbath–the seventh day of the week (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). This was one reason why they went into slavery. We also know that they were guilty of idolatry, e.g., Baal worship. And historical records prove that Baal–the sun god–was worshipped on his day, Sunday, the first day of the week. In fact, Baal, the pagan sun god, was worshipped under many different names throughout man’s history.

“… in 2 Kings 17:16-17, we find this revealing statement: ‘So they left ALL the commandments of the LORD their God [including the Sabbath commandment and the injunction against committing idolatry], made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshipped all the host of heaven, AND SERVED BAAL. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD…’

“The fact that they turned to Baal worship is proof in itself that they began to observe his day–the first day of the week, i.e., Sunday. Some 200 years later, God rebuked the house of Israel through the prophet Hosea, comparing it with a fallen or unfaithful woman: ‘“I will punish her For the DAYS of the Baals to which she burned incense… But Me she forgot,” says the LORD’ (Hosea 2:13)…

“Returning to King Jeroboam, note what else is revealed about him in 2 Kings 17:21-23: ‘Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight… So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria…’

“It appears, therefore, that Jeroboam’s GREAT sin, as well as ALL THE SINS which he did and which were adopted by the house of Israel, included the abolishment of the Sabbath and the adoption of Sunday worship. The Bible says that they continued with that practice, until God punished them severely by carrying them away–into Assyrian slavery (compare Ezekiel 20:12-13, 18-20, 23-24).”

In our Update #704, dated 4th September 2015, the question was asked: “How Do You Respond to a Person who Believes that Sunday Should Be Kept?” Part of the answer read as follows:

“Sunday was the Gentile day of worshipping pagan gods—sun gods. The Catholic Church adopted Sunday worship to induce pagans entering their fold. They were also motivated by strong anti-Semitic feelings which explain their hostility towards the ‘Jewish’ Sabbath.

“However, no man and no human organization or institution has the authority to change God’s Law, which would be paramount to claiming that one had the authority to say adultery and murder are no longer a sin, which would be absurd. No one has the authority to change the Ten Commandments, which were written by God in stone to demonstrate their permanency. One may decide not to obey the commandments, but one cannot change or alter them.”

After reading the above comments, why would any Sabbath-keeper want to be involved with worldly mainstream Christianity which is replete with syncretism? God thunders: “Thus says the LORD: ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them” (Jeremiah 10:2). Also, God prohibits us to add something to or delete something from His Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6)—in this case, the worship of Him on Sunday which He did NOT command. 2 John 9 reads in the New Revised Standard Version: “Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God.”

In Sunday-keeping churches, they won’t be keeping the true Sabbath, and it is more than likely that they will have a body of beliefs that is in opposition to those taught by the true Church of God, and so why would any member of the Body of Christ want to lend credence, by their attendance, to non-biblical congregations? Such groups would deny or even scoff at the need to keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths as ordained by God as well as many other truths.

We read in Joshua 24:14-15: “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

It appears that after all the miracles that God had performed on behalf of the Israelites, many were still serving foreign gods, but Joshua made it clear that he and his house would serve “the LORD.”

Would we be serving “the LORD” by going to church on Sunday, even if we kept the 7th day Sabbath? Such Sunday worship is not acceptable to God where those involved are taught man-made traditions and have a body of beliefs that have often been adapted from paganism and other sources. Worshipping on the day of the sun, absorbing error into one’s belief system and accepting syncretism practiced by so many churches is not the Way of God.

In our booklet: “Is That In the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation”, chapter 15, “The Mark of the Beast”, we read:

“Revelation 13:16–17 explains that ‘the image’ of the second (religious) beast will cause people to accept ‘a mark’ of the first beast ‘on their right hand’ or ‘on their foreheads.’ Without it, they cannot buy or sell (compare Revelation 14:9).

“This mark of the first beast is clearly associated in Scripture with the violation of God’s Sabbath commandment (compare Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:20; Isaiah 56:2; Isaiah 58:13; Amos 8:5; Exodus 16:23, 26; Exodus 31:15).  In the Bible, the ‘right hand’ is associated with work (Psalm 90:17; 137:5). The ‘forehead’ is the seat of thoughts (Ezekiel 3:8; 9:4; Revelation 7:3).

“We are told that the ‘little horn’—a reference to the Roman Catholic Church, as we have seen—would try to ‘change times and law’ (Daniel 7:25)—that is, God’s law regarding holy time. The Roman Church has changed the calendar in Europe, which identifies Sunday as the last day of the week, rather than the 7th-Day Saturday-Sabbath. It commands that Christians are to rest on Sunday, and it did command in the past that they were to work on Saturday. We will experience something similar very soon.

“The ‘image’ will influence the first beast—the final European revival of the ancient Roman Empire—to enjoin people to work on the Sabbath, while prohibiting to work on Sunday. As in the past, it will thereby ‘cause’ the death of true Christians (compare Revelation 13:15).”

We must remember that the beast and the false prophet will enforce Sunday-keeping and false Christianity on the whole world in the near future. The lady who thought that she might be doing a good deed by attending a Sunday-keeping church did not understand what God expects of us, nor, what the future holds for Sabbath keepers. Let us hope that she came to realise her error and that none of us fall into that same trap that she did, at any time in the future.

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)