Was Sunday (the first day of the week) the day of worship or the Sabbath? There are eight places in the Bible where the first day of the week are mention. Let us look at each one of them.
“Then the same day at evening, being THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.”
This was not a Sunday worship service. Nor was it to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. The Christianity of the Western empire was significantly different from that in the east and from that of other sects in North Africa. Thus, Constantine took measures to “standardize” his new found ally—Christianity.
Constantine convened the ecumenical council of Nicaea in AD 325 to resolve the doctrinal differences between the various Christian denominations. Before this time, he had already decreed that the day of the sun would be kept throughout the empire. This “day of the sun” was the pivotal point to unify various pagan sun-worshipers with those nominal “Christians” who already had accepted Sunday and had never observed the Sabbath anyway—except for the apostates who defected and joined them. Constantine forced everyone, pagan or Christian, into either conformity or exile. (Where Is The True Church? And Its Incredible History!) by David C Pack 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016 The Restored Church of God
“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.”
“And very early in the morning THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.”
Notice these passages carries no authorization for Sunday-keeping, and speaks nothing of any kind of religious service. And it still keeps the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week.
“Now when Jesus was risen early THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.”
Some use Mark 16:9 to prove the Sunday resurrection theory. Simply reading the verse shows it does not say Christ “was rising,” but rather He “was risen” from the grave.
Also, the commas, in a verse were added by man. If you move the commas from after WEEK and place it after risen, before early, it gives a different reading. Again, there is no reference to any kind of resurrection service. There is no statement about Sunday-keeping, worship services or doing away with the Sabbath. This verse is nothing more than a factual account of Mary Magdalene appearing at the tomb.
“And upon THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.”
This account does, in fact, speak of a religious meeting on the first day of the week. But the last phrase demonstrates that it had grown dark—“there were many lights.” This was because Paul had continued his Sabbath preaching “until midnight.” Since God counts days from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32; Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), this was what we would call Saturday night. It had nothing to do with a Sunday morning worship service. Paul was a visiting apostle. Such an event was special, and people wanted to hear him preach as long as possible. And it was a farewell sermon.
“Now upon THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”
Comparing this account with the parallel account in Matthew and Mark reveals that these women had waited until the Sabbath was over to do certain work. One verse earlier, in Luke 23:56, it states that these women had “rested the Sabbath day ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT.”
“THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and sees the stone taken away from the sepulcher.”
I Corinthians 16:2
“Upon THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
According to David C. Pack book, “Saturday Or Sunday Which Is The Sabbath?”, this passage is not giving authority for passing the “collection plate” every Sunday. And it does not represent a general command to all Christians, for all time, to give freewill offerings at “Sunday services”. However, the passage does speak of an offering, a collection to be taken up for a specific purpose. (Copyright © 2008, 2011 The Restored Church of God).
Published by Willie Starks