The Porter-Dugger Debate
The First Day Question
The Scriptures teach that the first day of the week as a day of worship is enjoined upon God’s people in this age of the world.
The proposition which I am to affirm at this time reads this way: “The Scriptures teach that the first day of the week as a day of worship is enjoined upon God’s people in this age of the world.” The fact that I am affirming this proposition is evidence that I believe it; friend Dugger denies it because he does not believe it. One of us, of course, must be wrong; and it is the purpose of this discussion to get before the public the truth on the question. But first, I wish to define the terms of the proposition. By the term “Scriptures” I mean the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, the word of God. There will be no disagreement between us as to the meaning of this term. By “teach” I mean the word of God either says so in so many words, or that such statements are made regarding it as to make necessary that conclusion. By “the first day of the week,” I mean the day that is commonly called Sunday. The word “Sunday” nowhere occurs in the Bible; the Bible calls it “the first day of the week” and “the Lord’s day.” This last expression will be discussed at the proper time. But I am under no obligation to defend the name “Sunday” or any idea or condition that gave origin to that name. All the days of the week have names by which they are commonly called -- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- none of which occurs in the Bible. And I am no more obligated to defend anything associated with the name “Sunday” than my friend is obligated to defend what may be associated with the name “Saturday.” If he makes any effort along this line, it will be taken care of when he does so. By “a day of worship” I mean that a certain worship has been ordained for that day. In other words, I am not affirming that the first day of the week is a sabbath, or a Christian sabbath, or anything like that. The first day of the week has never been called “the sabbath.” Denominational preachers who make that claim are as far wrong as is my opponent in the position which he occupies. By “enjoined” I mean commanded, required, or in some way made binding. By “God’s people” I mean Christians, those who have met the requirements that make people children of God. We might not agree as to what those requirements are, but we are not discussing that point. By “this age of the world” I mean what we commonly call the Christian age. I do not mean that this was binding upon men in the Patriarchal age or the Jewish age, but in this age -- the age, or dispensation, that began with the reign of Christ on the first Pentecost after his resurrection.
I believe I have defined the terms of the proposition in such way that there can be no misunderstanding as to the issue of debate. I am contending that God requires Christians to worship him on the first day of the week; that he has specified a worship for that day and expects his people to honor him in meeting his requirements. And now I invite your attention to a consideration of some things relative thereto.
I. Events that make the first day of the week important. A number of things I wish to notice here, which do not within themselves give a requirement for worship on the first day of the week, but which serve as a background for the institution of such a worship. God saw fit to show us the importance of the first day of the week in this age by showing us some things accomplished on that day. 1. Jesus arose from the dead on the firs day of the week. In Mark 16:9 we read this statement: “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.” This states plainly that Jesus “was risen early the first day of the week.” No greater event than the resurrection of Christ ever occurred on any day, but this happened on the first day of the week. This will be discussed more fully in connection with another argument to be give later. Elder Dugger will disagree with this, of course, but I shall take care of him when he does. 2. Regeneration was completed on the first day of the week. In I Peter 1:3 Peter tells us that God “hath begotten us again” (or regenerated us) “unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Since Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week, this regeneration was completed on that day. 3. Jesus was acknowledged the begotten Son of god on the first day of the week. In Psalms 2:7 we have the statement: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” In Acts 13:32, 33 we learn that this was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus. 4. Many notable and important events occurred on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus. All of these add importance to the first day of the week as Pentecost always came on the first day of the week. (Leviticus 23:11, 15). Among the events that occurred on the first day -- the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection -- are these: the Holy Spirit was given in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:1-4, 16, 17); the church -- the mountain of the Lord’s house -- was established on that day (Isaiah 2:2, 3; Acts 2:17); Christ was crowned king on his throne on that day (Zechariah 6:13; Acts 2:29-36); and the new law went into effect as the word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem on that day (Isaiah 2:3; Luke 24:47, 49; Acts 2). All of these events show that God honored the first day of the week as the day for the accomplishment of so great things.
II. The first day of the week begins to come into prominence after the Lord’s resurrection. This is shown by the number of appearances that Jesus made to his disciples on that day. His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, and that occurred on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). In Matthew 28:9, 10 Matthew tells us that on that same day Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and to another. “And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” The first time the risen Savior was ever worshipped was on the first day of the week. It would have been a good time for Jesus to point out to them that such action placed upon them “the mark of the beast,” if so it did. On “that same day” -- the first day of the week -- two of his disciples were on their way to Emmaus when Jesus appeared to them (Luke 24:13-15). Immediately they returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together, and as they discussed these things, Jesus appeared to them (Luke 24:33-36). And we read in John 20:19: “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 saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” And in John 20:26 we learn that “after eight days,” which would be on the next first day of the week, Jesus appeared to them again as they were assembled. These appearances of the Lord to his disciples following his resurrection begin to give prominence to the first day of the week.
III. The Lord’s supper and the assembly. There are a number of things I wish to present regarding this. 1. I want you to notice the fact that Jesus commanded his disciples to partake of the supper. In Matthew 26:26-28 he said to them concerning the bread, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And referring to the fruit of the vine, he said: “Drink ye all of it.” Luke records him as saying: “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Paul mentions the same thing in I Corinthians 11:24, 25. So it is definitely revealed that the Lord has commanded his people to eat of his supper. But that is not all. 2. The Lord’s people are commanded to assemble. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Here an assembling is commanded. It doesn’t say the first day of the week. In fact, it doesn’t say what day is the day of the assembly. That must be learned from some other passage. But it does imply that some day is necessary -- there could not be an assembly without some time for the assembling. So the Lord commands an assembly on some day. Well, we have two things thus far established: the disciples are commanded to eat the Lord’s supper; and they are commanded to assemble. But is there any connection between the eating of the supper and the assembly? That brings us to the next point. 3. The disciples ate the Lord’s supper when they assembled. This is shown in I Corinthians 11:20-33. They were perverting the institution by making a full meal out of it, and thus they received condemnation on that occasion. But the passage does not reveal what was God’s will in the matter. This was not an eating at home, but when they came together in the church -- into one place (Verse 20). 4. Christians came together for the purpose of eating the Lord’s supper. Read I Corinthians 11:33: “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.” What did they come together to do? Paul said they came “together to eat.” That was the purpose of their assembling. Thus we see that their eating the Lord’s supper and their assembling were closely related. Jesus commanded both of them; and they assembled for the specific purpose of eating. And bear in mind this fact: the Lord’s supper is the only thing God has ever required Christians to eat in an assembly. Or God has never required Christians to assemble to eat anything else but the Lord’s supper. 5. Now, if we can find when Christians assembled -- or came together -- to eat, we will know when they partook of the Lord’s supper in remembrance of Jesus. We have the record in Acts 20:7: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” Here is an assembly -- they “came together.” And the Lord commanded an assembly (Hebrews 10:25). They broke bread. And the Lord commanded Christians to do that (I Corinthians 11:24-26; I Corinthians 10:16). Furthermore, they came together to break bread -- for the specific purpose of eating. And since the Lord has never required his people to come together to eat anything else but the Lord’s supper, this is the Lord’s supper. And when was it done? “On the first day of the week.” So here is a worship God has ordained for the first day of the week. I challenge Elder Dugger to take up this argument point by point and show it to be fallacious. I have numbered the points so as to make it easy for him to get at them. Now, let him try his hand on them.
IV. The meeting at Troas. The last point of the preceding argument introduced the statement regarding the meeting in Troas as recorded in Acts 20:7. I wish now to use this as a separate, distinct argument to prove that the first day of the week is a day of worship enjoined upon Christians. It was the custom of Paul and his companions, as they journeyed here and there, to spend a week at a place. Such practice we find revealed in Acts 21:3, 4: “Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unload her burden. And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days.” Just what was their purpose in remaining at Tyre for seven days is not revealed. The ship unloaded her cargo there, and Paul and his companions took advantage of the opportunity to find disciples of the Lord: and having found such, they tarried seven days. If nothing were revealed elsewhere of such practice, we would at least conclude from this that they took advantage of the occasion to spend some time with the disciples, and, in all probability, the opportunity to worship with them. But we do have similar history revealed elsewhere. In Acts 28:13, 14 we read this: “And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days.” This occurred while Paul was on his way to Rome as a prisoner. At Puetoli they found brethren, or disciples of the Lord, and those Christians desired Paul and others to “tarry with them seven days.” Why would they specify seven days? Why not tarry five days, six days, or eight days? Evidently seven days would bring them to the time of their regular worship, and they wished Paul to be with them at that time.
It is unnecessary for the word “custom” to be used in order to mark a certain custom. When we find a certain practice being followed by a number of men on a number of occasions, we are certain that they were doing what was their custom to do. And here are two instances where they tarried seven days in order to be with the Lord’s people. But another remarkable instance we have in the meeting at Troas. The history of such meeting is found in Acts 20:6, 7: “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 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.” Again we note that they abode at Troas seven days. And, furthermore, this text gives us a reason for the custom of waiting seven days, for upon the first day of the week they met with the disciples for worship.
My opponent will have a hard time facing this Scripture. Although Paul and his companions were there for seven days -- a full week -- the only assembly of the disciples mentioned is a first-day meeting. There is not even a hint of a sabbath day, nor of a meeting on the sabbath day. Can it be possible that Christians there were sabbath keepers who did not believe in first-day worship? If so, is it not strange that a first-day meeting is mentioned with no reference to a sabbath service? If Sabbatarians had been writing this history, they certainly would never have mentioned a meeting on the first day of the week. They would have told about their meeting on the sabbath day according to the law. But Luke did not even hint at such a thing. If the sabbath day had been observed by Christians at Troas, surely some mention of their service on that day would have been mentioned instead of a service on the first day of the week. Yet the only assembly during that whole week mentioned by the inspired writer was a meeting on the first day of the week. Could it be possible that my opponent, if he were recording the assemblies of his people for any particular week, would mention an assembly on the first day of the week and pass in utter silence their sabbath day service? Such is not in harmony with the Sabbatarian attitude.
But why did they assemble on the first day of the week? Luke is very specific about it. He did not say they came together to hear Paul preach. If my friend could find in the divine record where any band of Christians met on the sabbath day, exclusive of Jewish worship and influence, to hear one of their number preach, he would at once seize on it as proof of sabbath keeping. He found a number of occasions in the book of Acts, in connection with Jewish worship or influence, on which Paul preached. These he introduced to prove that Paul kept the sabbath. But Acts 20:7 tells us that Paul preached on the first day of the week. If his preaching on the sabbath day proves he kept the sabbath, I would like to know why his preaching on the first day of the week does not prove that he kept the first day. Elder Dugger, please tell us why the rule won’t work both ways. Certainly preaching on a day does not prove the preacher is keeping that day; but if it proves it in one case, it proves it in the other. My friend will never be able to explain this. Paul preached on that first day of the week in Troas, but that was not the thing that occasioned the assembly -- they did not come together to hear Paul preach. Luke says they “came together to break bread.” Jesus had instructed his disciples to break bread in remembrance of him (Luke 22:19, 20). Paul taught that when they did this they were showing the Lord’s death (I Corinthians 11:26). Also that the breaking of bread was the communion of that body of Christ (I Corinthians 10:16). So when the disciples at Troas met to break bread, they did it in memory of Christ, to show his death, or as a communion of the body of Christ. In other words, it was religious worship. So when they came together on the first day of the week, they came together to worship God. It was a day of religious worship. No such meeting by Christians on the sabbath day is ever recorded in the word of the Lord. My opponent and his people would rejoice to find in the Bible a statement that Christians came together on the sabbath day for such a service. It would be abundant proof that they were keeping the sabbath. We are, therefore, following a good example when we meet on the first day of the week for worship, for such worship is backed by the inspiration of the Almighty and recorded under the direction of the Holy Spirit. My friend may oppose it, but it will read the same way when he has finished his opposition.
V. The time and frequency of the Lord’s supper. This argument will be very closely related to the preceding one, but from a slightly different angle. The Lord’s supper was placed in his kingdom. Jesus said: “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29, 30) So the Lord placed his table in his kingdom that his disciples -- citizens of that kingdom -- might eat and drink in his kingdom. I do not anticipate any discussion with my friend as to whether the “Lord’s table” means the “Lord’s supper.” In I Corinthians 10:16 Paul said: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” And just following that he declared: “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and table of devils” (verse 21). So what he calls “the communion of the blood and body of the Lord” in one verse he calls “the Lord’s table” in the other. Consequently, reference is made to the Lord’s supper. That table, or supper, was to be placed in the kingdom of Christ that his disciples might eat and drink at that table. But eating and drinking at the Lord’s table involve the two things that follow. 1. There must be a time for the observance of that service. 2. Unless it is to be observed but once in life, there must be the recurrence, or frequency, of it. You cannot eat the Lord’s supper without eating it at some particular time, on some particular day. And the question naturally arises: Does the New Testament inform us of the time of the Lord’s supper? Does it specify a day for its observance? If no day is mentioned, then the time element is unimportant, and we might partake of it any time that is convenient for us. But if a day is specified, that day must be regarded by those who would partake acceptably before the Lord. If it is a yearly service, we will have a certain day of a certain month mentioned. In that case, it could come but once a year. This was true of the Passover of the Old Testament which was to be observed on the fourteenth day of the first month. It was an annual service. If it is to be a monthly service, we will have a certain day of the month -- not of any certain month -- mentioned. But a certain day of the month would make it come on that day of every month; hence, a monthly service. But if it is to be a weekly service, we will have a certain day of the week mentioned. In that case, it would come once a week. But what do we find with respect to eating at the Lord’s table in his kingdom? A certain day of a certain month is never mentioned in connection with it. So it cannot be a yearly service. Neither is a certain day of the month mentioned. It cannot, therefore, be a monthly service. But what is the statement with respect to time? The only statement in all the New Testament that points out the time is the statement found in Acts 20:7. Let us read it again: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” Here is the time for the Lord’s supper -- they came together to break bread “on the first day of the week.” This cannot mean a yearly service or a monthly service. We never refer to an event that recurs annually as coming on a certain day of the week. We say Christmas comes on the 25th day of December, or Independence Day comes on the fourth day of July. We never say these come on the first day of the week, although they may sometimes fall on that day. But they come regularly on a certain day of a certain month. So it was with the Passover of the Old Testament. It came on the 14th day of the first month, and that day was set apart for that religious service. Just so with respect to the Lord’s supper. The New Testament specifies “the first day of the week.” As the 14th day of the first month would designate an annual service, and as the 10th day of the month would point out a monthly service, so the first day of the week specifies a weekly service. I ask my opponent the following questions: 1. Do you partake of the Lord’s supper? 2. At what time do you partake of it? 3. Upon what scripture do you base your practice? Please don’t forget to answer these questions.
That the early church partook frequently of the Lord’s supper is shown in Acts 2:42. The passage reads like this: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This was said of them during the period that immediately followed the establishment of the church in Jerusalem and the addition of 3000 souls to it. As they continued in a number of things, those things recurred frequently. If they had prayed but one time and would pray no more for another year, it could not be said they “continued in prayer.” And if they had broken bread but one time and would break it no more until another year, it could not be said they “continued in breaking of bread.” But they did continue in it. Hence, it was a duty that occurred frequently, which would agree perfectly with the idea of a weekly service. But it can never be made to agree with my opponent’s idea of the Lord’s supper. Watch for his position when he answers my preceding questions.
VI. The Corinthian contribution. The record of this contribution gives us adequate proof in favor of a religious service for the first day of the week and, therefore, substantiates my proposition. The Jerusalem church had been impoverished by persecution and famine, and it became necessary for other churches to send it relief. The apostle Paul, while endeavoring to arouse churches to this duty, wrote the Corinthian church in this language: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (I Corinthians 16:1, 2).
In this statement a number of things of interest is revealed to us. Beyond doubt this is instruction in the matter of religious service. Such giving to the saints of God and to his cause could not be thought of as less than a religious service. And not only was it a religious service, but it was a religious service enjoined for a particular day. Giving of our means to the cause of the Lord upon any day of the week would be a religious service; but when such service is commanded for a particular day, it makes it all the more significant, for it not only teaches the service to be religious, but also makes the day a day for that service. And that would exalt the day to the position of a “religious day.” Notice that Paul says, “Upon the first day of the week” perform this service. What reason could there be for giving such instruction unless the first day of the week was a day to be devoted to religious service? It would be a fine thing if Dugger will answer this question for us. But watch him and see if he does. If the sabbath had yet been binding on the people of God, then that day would have been the logical one for such contribution to be made. But Sabbatarians claim that the Corinthian contribution was but a home duty. That will doubtless be my friend’s claim. If he so contends, I want him to tell us why Paul specified the first day of the week as the day for it to be performed. What reason could there be for performing any home duty on any particular day? Why would not the second day or the third day of the week serve just as well for a home duty? My friend will be helpless when he undertakes to explain why the “first day of the week” is mentioned for a home duty. Home duties are never enjoined for a particular day of the week. But this duty was, and there is no reason for its performance on the first day of the week, except that that day was their day of religious worship.
Furthermore, the apostle did not limit the matter to one week; but, as the original language clearly states, it was to be done on the first day of every week. That makes it a religious service to be repeated. It is a service for every week. Why specify the first day of every week unless that day was a day of worship and assembly? Certainly any day of the week would be appropriate for a home service -- the middle of the week, or even the last. But Paul did not say, “Sometime during every week perform this service”; but he said to do it on “the first day of the (every) week.” The first day of the week, then, is a day particularly enjoined upon Christians as a day for religious service. If friend Dugger denies this, then let him answer these questions: 1. Was this service a religious service? 2. Could it be performed just as well on any other day of the week? 3. If so, then why did Paul specify the first day? I predict that he will pass these questions by in complete silence. His position will not allow him to answer them. If he thinks it will, I am begging for the answers; so let us have them.
Another interesting thing about this is the fact that Paul gave an order for this to be performed: “As I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.” Webster says that an order is “a rule or regulation; also, a command; direction.” Hence, the apostle gave a commandment for a first-day religious service. This commandment (order) had also been given to the churches of Galatia. And through the Corinthian letter it is given to churches of the Lord everywhere (I Corinthians 1:2). Can my friend find where any apostle ever gave a commandment to any Christian to perform any particular religious service on “the seventh day of the week”? No such record can be found in the New Testament. Suppose Elder Dugger could find in the New Testament a passage like this: “Upon the seventh 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.” He would present that as abundant proof in favor of sabbath observance. And he would be right about it. Then when Paul commands a particular service to be done on the first day of the week, why does not that prove the first day as a day for religious service? It does, and my opponent will never be able to set it aside. Preaching, or many other religious services, might be done on any day of the week; but the apostle in this text commands a particular religious service for a particular day of the week -- “upon the first day of the week.” It is the only day of the week for which a specific, definite service is commanded in all the New Testament. This is significant, and silence on the part of my friend will not answer the argument. But what is involved in this commandment? Paul answers: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Corinthians 14:37). So we have a “commandment of the Lord” for first-day religious service. Does my friend claim to be spiritual? Will he acknowledge that this is a commandment of the Lord? Furthermore, I should like to know, and our readers have a right to know, if my friend and his people obey this commandment. So tell us this, Elder Dugger: Do you lay by in store on the first day of the week? Don’t evade the question, but give us an answer. Let us know whether you do what Paul ordered in I Corinthians 16:1, 2.
This text tells Christians to lay by “in store.” This is from an original word that means “in the treasury,” or “treasuring up.” It simply means “putting it into the treasury.” This excludes the idea of a home duty. This laying by in store, or putting into the treasury, was to be done on the first day of every week, Paul said, “that there be no gatherings when I come,” or as the Revised Version reads, “that no collections be made when I come.” If they did this as a home duty, each one putting aside his contribution at home, then when Paul came this would all have to be collected -- there would have to be a gathering of it. But this very thing Paul wished to prevent. And if they carried out his “order” in this matter, no such gathering would be necessary -- it would already be placed in the treasury. This is unmistakable evidence that they were to “lay by in store” in their assembly, not at home; for how would their contributing at home prevent the gathering of it when Paul arrived? Perhaps it would be a good idea for friend Dugger to answer that question. I wonder if he will even try. His past silence on so many questions leads me to wonder. It is easy to see why such contribution would be required on the first day of the week. Christians met on the first day of the week to “break bread” (Acts 20:7). The church at Corinth engaged in the breaking of bread (I Corinthians 10:16). Inasmuch as they met on the first day of the week to break bread, there could be no better time to make their contribution. Therefore, Paul ordered them to lay by in store on this day. It is a divine commandment that cannot be set aside by human authority.
As we enter upon the friendly discussion of this second proposition we deem it of much importance to stay with the divine Word of God as outlined by Elder Porter. God’s word is the standard, and by it we will be judged in the last day. Therefore it will take more than mere supposition or man-made-assumptions to establish another day of worship in the gospel age from the day blessed by our creator and used by whatever people were his chosen people in every age down through the gospel age. We shall expect to find some strong texts of scripture supporting this important change in the day of rest, if there was a change made. If Elder Porter can find some plain commands to worship God on the first day of the week, or even just one command, then we will be glad to join in with him in serving God on this popular worldly day, which the whole world reverences by frolic and amusement.
In the first affirmative of Elder Porter he has simply given texts that command certain things to be done on the first day of the week but in no case are the people commanded to assemble on this day as the Lord’s day, or to meet on it instead of the ancient sabbath. Perhaps in his next affirmative he will give such texts. We know he will if they are to be found, but let us watch closely and see. Surely there will be very strong evidence, and very plainly set forth, that a new day has been given to take the place of the sabbath of God blessed at the creation of the world, if such a change has been made as he affirms.
All the texts thus far given in his affirmative, are of breaking bread on the first day of the week, and making a special collection of fruit and provisions for the poor saints at Jerusalem on that day which required labor to perform. He says Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, hence there was a change made, but surely we would be informed, that because of his resurrection, Christians were to use this day instead of the ancient sabbath day, if God really desired the change to be made. God commenced his work of creation on the first day of the week but that did not make it a sabbath. Jesus walked eight miles with his apostles to Emmaeus on that day, and met with them in the evening where they were assembled for fear of the Jews, and had the doors all locked so no one could get in. This surely would have been an opportune time for Jesus to have told them to continue to meet on that day for other purposes than the one occasioning this meeting -- “For fear of the Jews.” Then after eight days they met again and Elder Porter says this was also on the first day of the week. Surely his mathematics slipped a cog here. Let him calculate again and see if he could start on any first day and get another first day, after eight days. After one day, could not be before the same time on Monday: after two days the same time on Tuesday, after three days the same time Wednesday, after four days the same time Thursday, after five days the same time Friday, after six days the same time Saturday, after seven days the same time Sunday, and after eight days the same time Monday. This is surely very careless mathematics, as well as argument. He surely needs evidence very badly to use such a text in such a careless manner as this, and say this next meeting was on the first day. It says after eight days, and it might have been several days after for that matter.
Now we come to his next argument of Paul’s command to the churches of Galatia to lay by in store on the first day of the week. He says if I had such a text as this in support of the ancient sabbath I would have something indeed. If there was such a text as this in the Bible, it would prove to me that God’s ancient sabbath had truly lost its place among Christians, for this was a command to gather fruit and provisions on the first day of the week and not a command to assemble for worship. It was a command to work on the first day, as you will clearly see, if you will follow me with subsequent texts. This same commandment is mentioned in II Corinthians 9th chapter, and Romans 15th, as well as in the text Elder Porter calls attention to. Now let us see just what the nature of this commandment was and if it required labor on the first day to carry it out. In Romans 15:25 to 28 we read, “But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the poor saints there. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. . . When therefore I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit I will come by you into Spain” (Romans 15:25, 26, 28). This is exactly the same collection and for the precise purpose. There was a drought in the land and great want among the poor saints at Jerusalem, and it says this was a certain contribution, and it was fruit. The text in question (I Corinthians 16:1-5) plainly confirms that it was the same collection. It says: “Let every one of you lay by him in store.” It was a personal matter. It does not say one word about assembling together but let every one of you lay by him in store. Paul says, “I will come by you when I shall pass through Macedonia” (verse 5). Here he speaks of others going with him to bring your liberalities to Jerusalem (verse 3). It shows the collection was not coins or money but liberalities which required assistance to carry. In these parts they raised figs, raisins, dates, etc. and this was the fruit Paul mentions, that embraced this collection, for the poor saints at Jerusalem (Romans 15:25, 26, 28), and it required labor to gather it together. In II Corinthians 9:1 to 6 it is called bounty, and the reason for the command is set forth there, that Paul wanted the churches to be ready. It is a command to labor on the first day of the week at home, and not a command to assemble at church. Elder Porter asks me if we take up a collection every first day of the week, and if not, why not? I ask him if he takes up a collection every first day for the poor saints at Jerusalem? If not why not? Is it not true that your people take up a collection for the preachers on Sunday, and not one penny of it goes to Jerusalem? Read your Bible and you will see that this was “A certain contribution,” and for a certain purpose. It teaches the people Christian benevolence, and also that the first day of the week is the day to labor on and has no other significance in the gospel age more than it ever had.
Now our readers would like to know, Elder Porter, if you gather up provisions for the poor saints at Jerusalem every first day.
Now don’t evade the question like you did so many of my questions in the previous debate. I lived at Jerusalem over six months and never heard of any of your substance going there to the poor. Why do you not obey the command of Paul if this is yet to be practiced, and why do not many poor saints at Jerusalem receive any of your bounty?
“If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I wrote unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Corinthians 14:37). You affirm that this commandment extends to us in this age, and there are many poor saints at Jerusalem, then why not obey the command?
You say this is from an original word meaning the treasury. I deny this assertion and demand the proof. I have studied Greek, and lived in Missouri over twenty years, so come across and show us the goods. The scripture reads, “Let every man lay by him in store.” Paul says it was fruit, and if it was placed in a general storehouse, it required work to put it there on the first day of the week, and that is exactly what I earnestly contend that the first day of the week is a day designed for this work, and any other legitimate work for a Christian to perform on any of the other five laboring days.
He says it is legitimate and easy to see why Christians were required to make a collection for the saints on the first day of the week because it was the day set apart for them to use in breaking bread (Acts 20:7). Where is the command to take the communion service every first day of the week? If this was the communion service (Acts 20:7) then why is not the wine also mentioned? Paul says the “days of unleavened bread” were passed before they left Philippi (verse 6). When the apostles met every day to break bread (Acts 2:46) why not also assume that they took the Lord’s supper every day? The writer lived in Egypt and Palestine for about seven months, and it is still a common expression there to break bread when the people eat their common meals. Bread is made in long twists, some of which are from a foot to about two feet in length, and they always break them in eating. This gives place to the expression all over that country “breaking bread” when eating the common meal. If this was a solemn and important even such as the Lord’s supper, why did not the other ministers remain and break bread with Paul? We notice that they set sail and went on to Assos which was by ship route about seventy-five miles around the bay from Troas. Paul by remaining at Troas and preaching through the night could walk across the cape (about 19 miles) the next morning and meet the brethren there. This he did, note verse 13. This was a farewell meeting of Paul with these brethren, and he chose to stay with them all night after the others had departed, and to walk the next morning across the cape and join them there. The scriptures tell us that they gathered together on the first day of the week to break bread, and that there were many lights in the upper chambers (verse 8), hence this meeting was a Saturday night meeting, for the first day of the week commences at sundown Saturday, (Bible time), and what right have we to use any other time. When God made the world, darkness covered the face of the deep, and the Lord said let there be light and there was light, and the darkness and the light he called the first day. Darkness always comes first and then the light. The sun was made to rule the day, and the moon the seasons. This is why the scriptural day commences at sundown, and always did until Rome changed it to midnight. Now people use a machine man has made (a clock or watch) to mark off the day, but God’s clock is still running, and has never been rewound or set over. It still marks off God’s day, or the Lord’s day, on the seventh day of the week and not the first day. The Lord says: “From evening to evening shall you celebrate the sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32). The first day of the week, therefore in question here began at sundown Saturday. The Jews to this day have the same custom of gathering together as soon as the sabbath is past and having a common meal which many of them call “breaking bread in Palestine.” This is exactly what they had in Paul’s time for it was a night meeting, and many lights were in the upper chambers, and they broke bread after midnight. Read verses 7 to 11 inclusive. Look up your maps on Paul’s journeys and you will see clearly that he chose to preach all night and then to walk across the cape which you will see was about 19 miles and join the brethren there, which was the light part of the first day of the week. It was generally practiced by the apostles to remain in one place about a week, and to spend the sabbath with the church, and then go on as in this case. You will notice here that after the brethren had observed the sabbath at Troas, they set sail. Paul remained until the morning preaching through the night and they did not break bread according to the record until after midnight. If you believe, Elder Porter, that this is a command of the Lord, for the communion service, why don’t you obey it, and take your communion service at night? The New Testament calls it the Lord’s supper, then why take it at noon? Now do not evade the issue, but please answer the question. The readers have a right to know, and we will wait for your answer.
The apostles in the New Testament, and for over 300 years their followers kept the ordinance of the Lord’s supper at the proper time for supper, and kept it once a year on the very day Jesus shed his blood. It was, and is, a yearly ordinance, as the following furnishes abundance of proof. Paul delivered the ordinance to the church at Corinth as he received it of the Lord. This scripture reads, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.” Paul delivered it to the church on the same night Jesus was betrayed, and tells us plainly that the ordinance is to show for the “Lord’s death until he comes.” How can you show forth the Lord’s death just any time you choose? It has always been the custom to celebrate important events on the very day they occurred, and that would have to be once a year. Could you celebrate your birthday every week, or just any time? No. You show forth your birth with your friends on the same day you were born. The world accepts the 25th of December as the day to commemorate the birth of Jesus, and they do it once a year, but the day he actually died, and shed his blood which is of far more importance, they forget. We could not celebrate the declaration of independence on the 4th of August, or once a week or just any time. Our independence is celebrated once a year on the proper day, viz. the 4th of July. The death of Jesus on the cross, and the day he shed his blood was the 14th day of the month Abib as God named the months, and not as the heathens named them which names the world today follows. The month Abib was to be the first month of the year, and it corresponds about to our April. It was the 14th day of this moon or month that Israel always killed the lamb which typified Christ, and Jesus was crucified also on this same day. In Exodus we read: “This month shall be the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year unto you” (Exodus 12:2), also 13:5, and the Lord said to Israel: “They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, every man a lamb. . . Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year . . . and ye shall keep it up until the 14th day of the same month and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening” Verses 3-6. This lamb was a type of Christ, and its blood was a type of his blood. We read further, “And this blood shall be to you for a token upon the house where you are, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.” Verse 13. This was the beginning of the Passover, or Lord’s supper, and note carefully what the Lord says further in the next verse, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations: Ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” Notice particularly the two phases in which this sacred ordinance was to be kept. It is clearly separated here, and in a number of other places. It was to be kept as a feast throughout the generations of Israel, but a feast by an ordinance forever. This last phase is the ordinance of Jesus Christ, as he introduced it. The first phase was observed as one of the feasts of Israel throughout their generations just as the Lord said it would be, and before Jesus died on the cross he introduced the ordinance supper to be perpetuated forever, also as the Lord had herein plainly set forth. This is why the church of the New Testament kept it in its season once a year as we are going to show. It was not an ordinance to be kept just any time people chose to do so, but at the proper time specified by the Lord.
We read further, “Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year” (Exodus 13:10). Israel obeyed and kept this ordinance as a feast of seven days throughout her generations. This is why Joseph and Mary came to Jerusalem every year, as it says, “Now his parents went up to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.” This proves conclusively that Israel kept this ordinance as a feast throughout their generations. It is here called the feast of the Passover. It is called the Passover because the destroying angel passed over Egypt that night, and where the blood of the lamb was not found it smote the house with death (Exodus 12:29, 30), hence it is called the Passover. As the Lord said the 14th of Abib was to be kept as a feast throughout the generations of Israel, he also said it was to be kept by an ordinance forever. We have proven the first phase to be true, for Joseph and Mary were observing it as the feast of the Passover, but just before Jesus died and shed his blood he introduced the ordinance service with the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine which stood for his body and his blood.
Now we shall come to Luke 22nd chapter and see what we find. Here we read as follows, “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover and the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him (Jesus) for they feared the people.” Verses 1, 2. “Then came the day of unleavened bread when the Passover must be killed.” Verse 7. This shows that Jesus was killed on the very day the Passover lamb was slain. The next verse reads, “And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat.” (Verse 8). “And when the hour was come he sat down and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup and gave thanks and said take this and divide it among yourselves, for I say unto you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God be come. And he took bread and gave thanks and brake it, and gave unto them saying: this is my body which was broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Here we find Jesus telling his apostles that he would not eat of this bread again or drink of the cup with them until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Hence the same ordinance of Passover took on the second phase of its significance and was to be continued as an ordinance forever. It was to last down through the Gentile dispensation and on into the kingdom of God when Jesus would take it again with his apostles. This is why the apostles of Jesus observed the Lord’s supper, which is the Passover ordinance once a year in the proper season, and on the same day that Jesus died.
In the previous chapter of Luke viz. the 21st, Jesus is giving the apostles special instructions regarding when the kingdom of God was to come, in which he would partake of the Passover ordinance in the second phase of its significance. Notice verse 21 of this previous chapter where he says: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake a parable, Behold the fig tree and all the trees. When they now shoot forth ye see and know of your own selves that summer is nigh at hand. So likewise ye when ye see these things come to pass know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:24 to 31). Hence the kingdom of God of which Jesus was here speaking, was not to come until after Gentile times were past, which is yet future, and then he will sit and partake of the same yearly Passover in the ordinance form as he introduced it with the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine.
In the 11th chapter of I Corinthians we find Paul the apostle giving the emblems of the Lord’s broken body, and his spilled blood to the Corinthian brethren, and he says, “I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread” etc. Paul introduces it the same night, and not in the day time at noon. Elder Porter, why do you not follow Paul, and Jesus? You do not eat your supper at noon, then why try to eat the Lord’s supper at noon? Paul says further, “As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do shew forth the Lord’s death until he comes” (Verse 26.). As the church was dispersed and driven out into the mountains and scattered by persecution it would not be possible for them to keep the Passover ordinance even once a year. Many times they would not be able to observe it and this was true after the persecution commenced when they were driven hundreds of miles into the forests and mountains, but as often as they were able to keep the Passover, in its ordinance form, as Jesus gave it to them, they would show forth his death until he came. They could not properly commemorate his death on any other day than the 14th of Abib on which day he died, any more than you could celebrate your birthday just any time. The Lord knew that the church would be persecuted and driven out into the forests and mountains, which did happen, and for more than a thousand years they were so scattered. It would not therefore be possible for them to keep the Passover in its “ordinance” form every year, and that is why he said, “As oft as ye do this ye show forth the Lord’s death until he comes.” The church thus scattered, lived on fish, venison, and wild game, and could not have celebrated the Passover, in its ordinance form, because of a lack of the necessary provisions, the grain for bread and the grapes for the fruit of the vine. Consequently the expression, “As oft as ye do this,” did not mean that this event would be, or even could be celebrated any other time besides the month and the day of the month it occurred. This is why the apostles kept the feast once a year which the following scriptures clearly show. We read as follows, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice, and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:7, 8). This is very clear that the feast which the Lord had declared would be kept in its season from year to year, forever, was still being kept by Paul. It was not being kept as the Jews had kept it, for they were to keep it as a feast throughout their generation, (Exodus 12:14), but it was to be kept in the second phase forever. Paul said Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast.” Here is a command to keep it, and whatsoever Paul commands us to do are the commandments of the Lord. Now why not keep this feast as Paul says, “Not with the old leaven,” but as Jesus gave it to us, and Paul says plainly he delivered it “the same night he was betrayed.” Again we find Paul refusing to remain longer at Ephesus because he was bound for Jerusalem to keep this feast. He says: “But bade them farewell saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem but I will return again unto you if God will, and he sailed from Ephesus.” For further evidence that Paul was teaching the churches to keep his commandment about the Passover (I Corinthians 5:7, 8), by keeping it himself, we read, “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread and came to them at Troas in five days, where we abode seven days, and when the disciples came together to break bread Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.” The Lord’s supper had passed before they left Philippi. It was a yearly ordinance and was to be kept “in its season from year to year, forever.” Therefore it was only a common meal the disciples partook of at Troas. It says they came together to break bread, and that was and still is the common expression used in that country for eating what we call a meal. No wine is mentioned in the meeting at Troas, and furthermore no command is given to break bread every first day, but we are told that they had things common among them and broke bread daily (Acts 2:46), which was a common meal, and is so conceded. They would therefore meet on the first day to break bread, for they did it every day, and it was for this occasion the disciples met at Troas, for it plainly says so. It does not say they came together to worship God, or came together for preaching, but the purpose of the gathering was to break bread, which was their regular way of speaking of eating their meals. Why jump at conclusions and claim this was a religious meeting scheduled to take place every first day of the week, when the scriptures no where say so. You are assuming this. It is a jump into the dark, and it only provides you with a flimsy straw to hold to a popular worldly practice of keeping Sunday. You know the keeping of the sabbath separates you from the world, and makes you so different you do not want to deny yourself this much, or bear this cross, therefore like a drowning man you grasp at a straw to support this pagan institution christened by the Roman Catholic church, and forced upon the world to take the place of the ancient sabbath. The Catholics themselves clearly state in their own books that they instituted the Sunday because they did not want a day of rest in common with the Jews. The Jews were at one time God’s chosen people, and therefore they observed God’s chosen day. Just because the Jews turned away from God and forgot him, is no reason that God changed and accepted another day besides the one he had chosen and blessed at creation. He says, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). He did not therefore change, but whoever have become his chosen people, now in this Gentile age, will observe God’s sabbath instead of the Pope’s counterfeit Sunday.
We shall expect you, Elder Porter, to show a command in the New Testament to meet every first day, or to keep the first day of the week. Or at least give a scripture where the church made it their custom to assemble to worship God on the first day, and this does not mean a command to gather raisins, figs and dates on that day, either. Surely when an old institution like the ancient sabbath was to be changed, and another day take its place, there will be something explicit and definite about it. He says that the day of Pentecost was the beginning of the new order, and the establishment of Christian church which he assumes took place on Sunday, but which we shall later also prove absolutely false. How does he know Pentecost fell on Sunday? By a misunderstanding of Jewish customs, and confusing the yearly sabbaths with the weekly sabbath he says Pentecost fell on the first day of the week, but I shall show by his own church authority that it did not fall on the first day of the week. He places great stress on Pentecost being the time when the Christian church was launched, but there is not a word said about the change from keeping the ancient sabbath to another day, but we do find the Lord telling us that “They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42). They did not institute anything new, but “Continued in the apostles doctrine.” Pentecost surely would have been an opportune time to have given wide birth to the new order of first day observance, if such a thing was to be introduced then, as Elder Porter assumes was introduced, but where is the evidence? Where is his scripture that the early church was to keep another day? What is said about this important change from Jewish worship, as he says was made? We want the scripture, and have a right to demand it.
I have given a direct command by Paul to keep the Lord’s supper at Passover season by Paul, and I wonder if the elder will keep it. Paul says: “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast” (I Corinthians 5:7, 8). Let us keep the feast is surely a command. Now, Elder Porter, you find where Paul or any of the apostles says, “Let us observe the first day of the week,” or let us rest on that day. Paul in discussing this matter says, “If Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8). This does not say Joshua either as Elder Porter will try to make you believe. Get our Bible and see what it says. Paul is here discussing the day of rest, and says “If Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God, and he that has entered into his rest hath ceased from his own work as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:8-10). Paul is here speaking of a day of rest, and not a dispensation. The expression, “Would he not afterwards have spoken of another day,” is sufficient evidence to the searcher for truth, that Paul is here discussing a day. Jesus did not give them another day, therefore Paul tells us to enter into our rest as God did his, and tells us in verse 4 that God rested on the seventh day. Surely this is sufficient evidence to show that God did not substitute the first day of the week for the ancient sabbath.
If Elder Porter could give such evidence as this in support of Sunday he would be right there with it. Paul in speaking of his work among both the Jews and Gentiles says: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” (Acts 17:2-4). If Elder Porter could find where “As his manner was” Paul taught the scriptures on the first day of the week, he would surely make a big display of such a scripture. Furthermore it says: “The next sabbath day came almost the whole city (of Gentiles) together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:42, 44). How he would like to find such a scripture in support of his argument. Let us watch closely and see if he can produce just one such scripture in support of Sunday. We find another scripture speaking of Paul which says, “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4), and in verse eleven it says he continued there a year and six months. During the other days of the week he made tents (verse 3), and not one word is said about him having special meetings with the Gentiles on the first day of the week. Yet he taught the Gentiles every sabbath. How well Elder Porter would like to get such a text in support of Sunday, but thank God there is no such texts found in the New Testament, hence we do not have the confusion they would bring on this sabbath question. The Holy Spirit in giving us the New Testament says, “In the end of the sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week"(Matthew 28:1). Hence the first day of the week, is just the first day of the week, while the day before is still the sabbath in this age.
Before replying to my friend’s negative I wish to present another major affirmative argument, in order to complete my major affirmatives, and then I shall give attention to the things which he has said and will devote the remainder of the discussion of all those things that may be presented in connection with them.
VII. The Lord’s day. In Revelation 1:10 we read this statement from the pen of the apostle John: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” I maintain that the Lord’s day mentioned by John was the first day of the week, the day of worship for the Lord’s disciples in this age of the world. This will be proven by various points that follow.
My friend will claim, of course, that the Lord’s day was the sabbath day. Application of the expression “the sabbath” to the seventh day of the week was a well-established practice, dating back to Sinai. Many times in his writings John referred to that day, but he always called it “the sabbath,” never did he call it “the Lord’s day.” Note the following references in proof of this. “The same day was the sabbath” (John 5:9). “It is the sabbath day” (John 5:10). “He had done these things on the sabbath day” (John 5:16). “Had broken the sabbath” (John 5:18). “On the sabbath day circumcise a man” (John 7:22). “I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day” (John 7:23). “It was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay” (John 9:14). “He keepeth not the sabbath day” (John 9:16). “That sabbath day was a high day” (John 19:31). In these references John referred to the seventh day of the week, and in every one of them he called it the sabbath day. The custom of calling the seventh day of the week “the sabbath” was so well established and so generally known that John, if he had been referring to the seventh day of the week in Revelation 1:10, would have said: “I was in the spirit on the sabbath day.” Then there would never have been any misunderstanding or discussion as to what day he meant. But he used a term that had never been used with reference to the sabbath, saying: “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.” It was a new term that described a new institution.
In Jeremiah 31:31-34 God promised to make “a new covenant with the house of Israel.” It was not to be according to the covenant that he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. But when did God make the former covenant? In I Kings 8:9 we read: “There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.” So the old covenant was made at Horeb, or Sinai, when the ten commandments were delivered to Moses. But what was that covenant? Read I Kings 8:21: “And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.” The covenant of the Lord was placed in the ark, but the thing placed in the ark was the two tables of stone containing the ten commandments. God calls this the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. But he promised a new covenant. The old covenant contained the sabbath day, but the new covenant contains a new day, called the Lord’s day.
New institutions require new names. And we have a new name for the day of worship -- it is the Lord’s day. The word “Lord’s” in this passage comes from a word that was coined by the apostles. It is the Greek word “kuriakos.” It is used two times in the New Testament. While the word “Lord” sometimes refers to God the Father, it is here used concerning Jesus Christ. The word used by the apostles points out something that belongs to Jesus, something that has a direct connection with him. In I Corinthians 11:20 we find this language: “When ye come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.” “The Lord’s supper” is from the Greek “kuriakon deipnon,” which means the supper belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. It cannot refer to any other person. The Passover of the Old Testament is called “the Lord’s Passover” (Exodus 12:11). And in John 13:2 it is called “supper.” So the Lord’s Passover may be called the Lord’s supper. But the Lord’s supper of I Corinthians 11:20 has no reference to the Old Testament supper, but to the supper which Jesus instituted that is in memory of him. And while God called the sabbath “the sabbath of the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:10), or the Lord’s sabbath, this cannot be “the Lord’s day” of Revelation 1:10. The Lord’s day of Revelation 1:10 is no more the sabbath of the Old Testament than the Lord’s supper of I Corinthians 11:20 is the Passover supper of the Old Testament. In both these passages “Lord’s” comes from the word that points out something that belongs especially to Christ.
We also have the word “Lord’s” used a number of times in the New Testament when it comes from the Greek word “kurios.” In I Corinthians 10:21 we read of “the Lord’s table (trapedzes kuriou).” The expression is given in the Greek genitive case -- the table of the Lord. Whom can this point out but Jesus himself? The altar of the Old testament is called “the table that is before the Lord” (Ezekiel 41:22) and “the table of the Lord” (Malachi 1:7). Hence, it was the Lord’s table. But the Lord’s table of I Corinthians 10:21 has no reference to that altar, but it refers to a table directly associated with Christ. We likewise read of “the Lord’s death” in I Corinthians 11:26. This refers to the death of Jesus and to no other. Then “the Lord’s body” is mentioned in I Corinthians 11:29. To no other body but the body of Jesus can this refer. In all of these references the term “Lord’s,” whether from kuriakos or kurios, means no other being but the Christ. Consequently, “the Lord’s day” points out a day that has a special reference to Jesus Christ. And what could that day be? Certainly the day on which he arose from the grave, the first day of the week. It was on that day that Jesus arose (Mark 16:7). No other day has so great an association with Christ and Christianity as the day of his resurrection. The Lord’s table does not mean the altar of the Old Testament, but it is a new table introduced in the new covenant; the Lord’s supper does not mean the supper of the Old Testament, but it points out a new supper in the new covenant; and the Lord’s day has no reference to the day of the Old Testament, but to a new day required in the new covenant.
Furthermore, the first day of the week was a day of gladness and rejoicing among the Lord’s people. In Psalms 118:22-24 David prophetically declared: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
The language of this Scripture evidently points to the same day to which John referred when he said: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). Surely “the day which the Lord hath made” is the Lord’s day. I know, of course, that in a general sense the Lord made all days, and in that sense all days are his; but there is a particular sense in which he made one day, and that day, therefore, is the Lord’s day in a way that the other days are not. “This is the day which the Lord hath made,” said David.
The day mentioned by David is a day that would become for the followers of the Lord a day of gladness and rejoicing -- “we will rejoice and be glad in it.” What day could be such a day? Think of all the days of the week, and which of them could be an especial day of gladness and rejoicing for the Lord’s people? On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we find nothing in all divine history that would designate them as days of gladness above other days. Many things have doubtless occurred to the people of the Lord on those days for which they should rejoice, but no more so than on other days. On Thursday the Lord was betrayed into the hands of sinners. That incident was one of sadness to the Lord’s people. On Friday the Lord was crucified. While by his death he purchased our redemption and made possible our rejoicing over sins forgiven, yet to the Lord’s disciples it became a day of gloom and despondency. They had trusted him as their redeemer, they had looked to him as their great leader and coming king; but on that day he was put to death by wicked men. Their hope was blasted, and they were a despondent group. That day would not be associated in divine history with gladness and rejoicing. Then on Saturday the Lord’s body lay in the tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:62-66). Reflection upon that day by the Lord’s people would always bring to their minds the sorrow of his disciples. It could not be the day of gladness to which David referred. During these days sorrow clouded their hearts. Even on the night in which Jesus was betrayed, “Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62). On the way to the place of crucifixion a great company followed Jesus “which also bewailed and lamented him” (Luke 23:27). Such sadness and sorrow remained even till the first day of the week, and on that day we read that “Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:11-13). To two of the disciples on the way to Emmaus who did not recognize him, “because their eyes were holden,” Jesus said: “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” (Luke 24:17).
On that first day of the week their sorrow was turned into joy. It became a day of gladness to them and to all the children of God till time shall end, for on that day Jesus arose from the dead (Mark 16:9). It was the crowning event of it all, without which even his death would have been of no avail. When once more his disciples came to a realization that their Lord lived again, they were filled with joy. In Matthew 28:8 we learn that certain ones had come to the tomb of the Lord and found his body gone, and they were told by the angel that he had arisen and they should go and report to his disciples. The record states: “They departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear, and the angel’s announcement filled them with great joy. It was a day of rejoicing to them. In another Scripture we read of an occurrence on this same resurrection day: “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 saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19, 20). They were in sorrow before they saw the Lord, but when they saw him their sorrow was turned into joy -- then were they glad. Often we hear news that seems to us too good to believe. Such was the case with some of the Lord’s people then. Whether it was the same appearance as the foregoing, or whether it was another appearance, it matters not. The Lord stood in their midst, showed them his hands and his feet, explaining that it was not just a spirit, but that it was he himself; and so we are told that “while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?” (Luke 24:41). They were so filled with joy at the thought of a risen Lord that they could scarcely believe; it seemed too joyful to think it could be true.
With all these facts before us, how can we reach any other conclusion but that the first day of the week was a day of great rejoicing to the Lord’s people? To this day the prophet evidently pointed as “the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is the Lord’s resurrection day. It is the Lord’s day, a day that has a peculiar reference to him as no other day has, thus fulfilling the meaning of the expression “kuriake hemera” (the Lord’s day) of Revelation 1:10, which points out a day that belongs to Christ. The day, therefore, has been set aside as a day of worship in this dispensation (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1, 2).
I shall now notice Elder Dugger’s first negative. I shall have to be brief, but the points can be enlarged upon later if necessary. All that he said concerning a new day of rest, a new sabbath, and so on, was wasted effort. I am making no effort to prove that Sunday is a sabbath. Although my arguments were all numbered, he paid but little attention to any of them except two. I would be willing to risk the whole issue on these two, however. I thought he would deny that Jesus arose on the first day of the week, but he made no denial of it. Perhaps he will later. John 20:19 does not state the disciples met on this first day of the week “for fear of the Jews.” But the “doors were shut where they were assembled for fear of the Jews.” Whoever heard of a group of men meeting in a public assembly because they were afraid of somebody? Verse 26 tells of another meeting “after eight days.” Dugger says my “mathematics slipped a cog” when I said this was the eighth day, the next first day of the week. Then I suppose the “mathematics of Jesus slipped a cog” when he said he would arise “after three days” (Mark 8:31) but also said it would be “the third day” (Matthew 16:21). According to Dugger, if he arose “after three days” it would have to be on “the fourth day,” and it might be several days later. But according to Jesus, “after three days” meant “the third day.” So I have pretty good company when I say “after eight days” meant “the eighth day.”
Now to a further study of the Corinthian contribution (I Corinthians 16:1, 2). My friend says this contribution was a collection of figs, raisins and dates. Suppose it was. They would still have to lay it by in store on the first day of the week. But how does he prove his contention? He refers to II Corinthians 9 and Romans 15. In Romans 15:28 he found this statement: “When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.” The word “fruit,” he thinks, indicates it was figs, raisins and dates. My! My! What an argument! I suppose, then, when he “sealed this fruit” to them, that he canned it for them when he got there. Certainly it was their “fruit,” for it was the product, or effect, of their love and liberality. I wonder if Dugger never heard of such use of the word “fruit.” Otherwise, when John told the Jews to “bring forth fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8), he meant for them to bring a basket of grapes. And when Paul wished to “have some fruit among” the Romans (Romans 1:13), he wished to raise a fig tree. Or when he desired fruit to the account of the Philippian church (Phillipians 4:17), he, of course, was looking for a shipment of dates. This argument of Dugger’s is about as sensible as one made by one of his brethren once. He said that this contribution was “meat” of some kind, for in I Corinthians 16:4 Paul said: “And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.” But others had to help him carry it, according to verse 3, and Dugger thinks that proves it was not money. Well, I wonder how many bushels of figs, raisins and dates a few brethren could carry from Corinth to Jerusalem. Could they carry enough that it would be called a liberal contribution for a whole church, or for a number of churches as in this case? (I Corinthians 16:3; II Corinthians 9:13; Romans 15:26).
Dugger refused to answer my question as to whether his brethren take up a collection on the first day of the week, but he asks me if we take up one for the poor saints of Jerusalem. The residence of the saints is an incidental matter. If we thus obtain funds for the saints in Tulsa, in Washington, or anywhere else, we are carrying out the principle of the commandment. Dugger, do your brethren take up a collection the first day of every week for anybody anywhere? Please give me an answer. His reference to our previous debate, in which he says I evaded his questions, will produce a laugh for those who heard that debate; and it will doubtless cause those who have read the first proposition of this one to smile. I have no reputation for evading questions; and he can rest assured that his questions will be answered, although he has definitely refused to answer mine. He tells us that this collection was a home duty. They why did Paul say “that no collections be made when I come”? According to Dugger, collections would have to be made after Paul arrived. Furthermore, why require a home duty to be done “on the first day of the week”? Why wouldn’t some other day do just as well? Why didn’t Dugger answer these questions? Then the expression, “in store,” is from the Greek “thesauridzon,” from the verb “thesauridzo,” which means according to Liddell and Scott: “to store up or treasure up, lay by.” The noun form “thesauros,” is defined by the same authority: “a store or treasure house: any receptacle for values, a chest, casket.” So it does refer to the treasury, not to a home duty, and a man from Missouri who has studied Greek has been shown.
Let us now notice his argument about the meeting in Troas (Acts 20:7). He says this could not refer to the Lord’s supper, for there is no mention of the wine. Well, he claims I Corinthians 5:8 refers to the Lord’s supper, but no wine is mentioned in that verse either. To be consistent, Dugger, you will have to give up your argument on I Corinthians 5:8. The fruit of the vine is not mentioned in Acts 2:42, but it certainly refers to the Lord’s supper. Acts 2:46 does not say “the apostles met every day to break bread.” This breaking of bread was “from house to house,” or “at home,” as the margin says. Certainly it was not the Lord’s supper. I know that “breaking bread” often refers to a common meal; and I know that it also refers to the Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 10:16). Dugger will not deny this. So what does it mean in Acts 20:7? Dugger says they came together to eat a common meal, but Paul, writing to Christians on another occasion, said: “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home” (I Corinthians 11:33, 34). Christians did not come together in public assembly to eat common meals -- they ate such meals at home -- but in Troas “the disciples came together to break bread” on the first day of the week. This breaking of bread was therefore not a common meal. The bread which Christians broke when they came together was the Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 11:20). This point my friend will never be able to touch. The argument stands as an impregnable wall against all the assaults of Sabbatarians.
But Dugger wants to know why the other preachers did not stay for this meeting if it was the Lord’s supper? I suppose they could break bread wherever they were, as the service is not limited to any locality. But the record does not say they left before this meeting. In verse 6 Luke says: “We abode seven days” in Troas. So that would embrace the meeting here. Dugger says this was a farewell meeting; however, the record does not say, “they came together to bid Paul farewell,” but “they came together to break bread.”
My friend informs us that this was a Saturday night meeting. Suppose they did begin their count at sundown Saturday, would that change it? It would still be “the first day of the week,” and that is all I am contending for. But why don’t I take the supper at night, since it is the Lord’s supper? The time of the day is not specified in God’s requirements -- any time on the first day of the week -- in daylight or in dark -- is still the first day of the week. And the word “supper” in the expression, “the Lord’s supper,” does not necessarily mean a night meal. It is from the Greek “deipnon” which may refer to the early meal, the late meal, or the chief meal. So his contention fails here. Dugger says: “You will notice here that after the brethren had observed the sabbath at Troas, they set sail.” I wonder where he “noticed” that. Not a word is said about it in the divine record. The fact still stands that the only meeting mentioned was a first day meeting -- not a word is said about a sabbath meeting. Isn’t that strange if they were so strict in observing the sabbath? Why does not my friend clear up this matter? He has made no effort to do so. His silence emphasizes his inability to do it.
Next he informs us that the apostles, throughout the New Testament, observed the Lord’s supper once each year, on the 14th day of the first month. Let us have one verse of scripture that says so. There is only one passage in all the New Testament that gives the time when they observed it, and that is Acts 20:7, which says “on the first day of the week.” I challenge him to produce a passage anywhere that says they did it on the 14th day of the first month. I Corinthians 11:23 does not say that Paul delivered the supper to the Corinthians on the same night that Jesus was betrayed. But it states that Jesus instituted the supper the same night that he was betrayed. I sometimes wonder if my friend can read simple English. It is contended that we could not show forth the death of Jesus unless we eat the supper on the day of the month on which he died. I wonder! Baptism, then, could not picture his burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3, 4) unless the person baptized is put under the water on the day of the month on which he was resurrected. That, according to Dugger, would require every man to stay under the water a full 72 hours.
But he endeavors to prove his position by going back to the Passover of the Old Testament which was observed annually on the 14th day of the first month (Exodus 12:2; 13:3). In Exodus 12:14 he finds “two phases” of it. 1. To be kept a feast throughout their generations. 2. To be kept “as an ordinance forever.” He says the Jews observed the first phase of it, and the second phase began when Jesus instituted the supper. I am beginning to think that no absurdity can faze my opponent. Let me ask him this question: If the “ordinance phase” did not begin till Jesus instituted the supper, how did the Jews keep it as an ordinance for 1500 years before it began? Moses said to the Jews in the very text he gave: “Ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” So the Jews were told thus to keep it from its very beginning in the days of Moses. The command is repeated in Exodus 13:10, which you introduce. Even the stranger that sojourned among them could keep it in that “phase” (Numbers 9:14). An ordinance is simply something that is ordained, an established rule or law. And the Passover existed in “ordinance form” from the time it was first commanded. His claim that it began in “ordinance form” when Jesus instituted the supper is the height of absurdity. Let him tell us how the Jews kept it that way for 1500 years prior to Jesus. I predict he will keep silent. A little later he argues that the Jews kept it as a feast throughout their generations, but the apostles did not keep it that way. But he introduced I Corinthians 5:7, 8 and Acts 18:21. The first passage says: “Let us keep the feast.” The other says: “I must by all means keep this feast.” If these passages refer to what Dugger claims, they contradict his argument. Christians did not keep it as a feast, my opponent says, but the Jews kept it that way. But both Scriptures refer to “feast.” So his texts contradict his argument, and he has lost again.
There is no discussion between us as to whether Joseph and Mary, Jesus and his disciples kept the Passover till Jesus died. The New Testament references that he gave to show this I gladly accept. But I deny that it was continued in the Christian dispensation and call for the proof.
He introduces Luke 22 relative to the institution of the supper. Attention is called to the statement of Jesus that he would not eat any more till it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Then he connects with this Luke 21:21-31 to show the kingdom of God would not come till Jesus comes. Then he will eat again the Passover annually, according to Dugger. Well, Jesus in Luke 22:29, 30 told his disciples they would eat at his table in his kingdom. So if his kingdom has not come as yet, neither Jesus nor his disciples can eat of it in this age, and if his disciple ate of it throughout the New Testament period and in all their wilderness wanderings that Dugger described, they did so in rebellion to the Lord. Where were they to eat it? Jesus said “in the kingdom.” Dugger says that is still future. So if Dugger eats of it on the 14th day of the first month now, he has started too soon. Dugger, please explain this to us.
We have abundant proof in Acts 20:6, 7 that the Lord’s supper was not taken during Passover week once a year. Luke says: “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 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.” I have already shown that this breaking of bread was not a common meal, for Christians did not assemble for common meals on that day. It is the Lord’s supper. And it was celebrated after the days of unleavened bread. Hence, it was not taken on the 14th day of the first month. Dugger says they met every day to break bread, and of course, did the same on the first day of the week. I challenge him for the text that says they met every day to break bread. His assertions are not sufficient; let us have some Scripture for it.
But Dugger says: “The Catholics themselves clearly state in their own books that they instituted the Sunday because they did not want a day of rest in common with the Jews.” But does this Catholic claim prove anything? They also claim the Catholic Church is the true church, that Peter was the first pope and has had successors all down the line, that popes are infallible and that priests should not marry. Will Dugger swallow all of this because the Catholics claim it? If the fact that the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6) proves the sabbath must still be observed, it also proves animal sacrifice must still be offered. Why does my friend refuse to notice this point?
I have shown both a command for a first day meeting (I Corinthians 16:1, 2) and a Scripture that shows it was their custom to assemble for worship on that day (Acts 20:7). The sabbath was not changed, but it was abrogated, done away, and there is “something explicit and definite about it” in Colossians 2:14-17.
My opponent promises to prove that Pentecost did not fall on Sunday. I will be looking for the proof. He says nothing new was instituted that day, but “they continued in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). but don’t forget that a first day assembly is part of the apostles’ doctrine (I Corinthians 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7). He contends that he has “a right to demand” the Scripture that shows “this important change from Jewish worship.” Let him read Colossians 2:14-17 and he will find the Scripture he demands. But he thinks it should be revealed in the record at Pentecost. I wonder if he thinks that all the differences between the Jewish religion and Christianity are revealed in the second chapter of Acts. Why that chapter doesn’t even say anything about Christians observing the Passover in its “ordinance phase.” Neither does any other chapter. Yet that is what my friend needs to find somewhere.
He returns to I Corinthians 5:7, 8 and claims Paul gives a direct command to observe the Lord’s supper on the 14th day of the first month. If I should grant that this text refers to the Lord’s supper, there is not a word in it that tells anything about when it was to be. The only passage that does tell when they observed it is Acts 20:7, and it says the first day of the week. Reference is again made to Hebrews 4:8, and the expression, “Would he not afterward have spoken of another day” is used to prove he did not speak of another day. But is shows the very reverse. Verse 7 says he did speak of another day through David a long time after they had received the sabbath. But he would not have done so if the Canaan rest or the seventh day rest had been the rest Paul says remains for the people of God. Whether it was Jesus or Joshua does not change the meaning. The marginal reading of the King James Version says Joshua; so does the reading in the Revised Version. Check it for yourself.
His return to the references in Acts gives him no help. I fully blasted him from his position on this in the first proposition. He found where Paul on the sabbath day “reasoned with them out of the Scriptures as his manner was.” But he needs to find a text that says “his manner was” to “observe the sabbath.” This he has signally failed to do. No, if I couldn’t find better proof in favor of first day worship than that, I would make no display of it. All of these references merely state that Paul preached on the sabbath. Does that mean he kept the sabbath? If so, then when the record says he preached on the first day of the week, why does not that mean he kept the first day? I insisted that Dugger tell us about this, but he passed it by in complete silence. If it proves it in one case, it proves it in the other. But preaching on a day does not prove the day is being religiously kept. I have preached on every day of the week. So has my friend. Please tell us, Dugger, if you keep the first day of the week when you preach on that day. Don’t dodge, nor evade, but face the point with courage and tell us about it. Watch and see if he does.
I do wish my friend would go back and deal with my other arguments that he passed by silently. And especially my fifth argument concerning the time and frequency of the Lord’s Supper. Luke tells us the church in Jerusalem “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). This was said of those who were baptized on the day of Pentecost. It points out their practice within the first year of their service. It shows a frequency of breaking bread for they continued in it. But the Passover of that year had already passed, and it was not time for another, and according to Dugger, they had not broken bread at all. I challenge my friend to deal with the statement of Acts 2:42 in the light of his position on the Lord’s supper. He will probably answer with silence.
My friend seems to think I have slighted his most important arguments in favor of Sunday observance, but the readers will be the judge of this. No argument in favor of first day observance by the apostolic church has been slighted, or intentionally overlooked. There are no scriptures whatever that furnish arguments in favor of first day observance that we need to fear, or that anyone else has any difficulty in answering. He again refers to Acts 2:42 where they broke bread daily. Now if the breaking of bread on a day makes it holy, and proves it to be, a day of rest, then every day is holy. It does not make a day holy or confirm it as a day of rest just because anyone makes it their custom to preach on that day, but when I have positively proven that Saturday was the Holy Day of the Bible, and our friend willingly admits this, then when I show positive proof that Paul, an apostle to the Gentiles, made it his custom to observe it all through his ministry, and have shown 84 Sabbath days he used in preaching the gospel, surely this adds weight to our argument that the seventh day Sabbath not only was, but still is, God’s Holy Day. Then when the Holy Spirit has called this day upon which Paul preached “the Sabbath day” surely this proves my argument true.
My friend says it makes no difference whether the word in Hebrews 4:8 is Jesus or Joshua, then he goes ahead to try and prove it is Joshua, saying the revised version gives it that way. The same word is used in the Greek where it says Jesus was baptized where he was crucified, where he was buried and where he was resurrected. Therefore if it means Joshua in one place, why not in the other places also? This attempt to dodge the force of this text, by saying it is a wrong translation-and should be Joshua will not take well with honest readers. Your Bible says: “If Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8). It makes no difference how much comment is made on these verses, they read just the same, and they surely mean what they say. God here says a “sabbath remains for the people of God,” and tells us to enter into our rest as God did his, and plainly says he rested on the seventh day (Hebrews 4:4). Now why not turn your back on the old world, with all of her false worship, and worship the true God, in the true acceptable way. Nothing else will be accepted by him, and no one will be saved besides those who “keep the commandments of God, and the testimonies of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17 and 14:12, also 22:14).
I wish Elder Porter would quote all of certain verses he has given on the sabbath question and not stop the quotation just at the right point to throw a false light on the practice of our Saviour. We appreciate his frank admission that when John spoke of the seventh day he always called it “the sabbath,” and never called it the Lord’s day, but he quotes as follows: “It was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay” (John 9:14) and “He kept not the sabbath day” (John 7:23), It looks like our friend purposely just quoted enough of this Scripture to make it appear that Jesus did not keep the sabbath, when if he had given the full quotation, the readers would see clearly that Jesus made the clay on the sabbath to heal the blind man, and then the evil men said he broke the sabbath. Surely our opponent did not intend to place himself with these accusers of our Lord, when Jesus in defense of the sabbath said, “It was lawful to do good on the sabbath,” and not once did he ever tell anyone not to honor it or to keep it. It was his accusers who said: “He kept not the sabbath.”
Our friend assumes that the text in Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, refers to the first day of the week. but there is not a word said about which day it refers to. If we go by the Bible and the Bible only, then if this expression referred to any particular day of the week, it would refer to God’s sabbath day because we read, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:8), and Jesus says in speaking of the seventh day, “I am Lord even of the sabbath day” (Mark 2:28), Therefore if we settle this point according to the scriptures, and the scriptures only as our proposition is affirmed. then the seventh day of the week is the day the apostle refers to, and not to the first day of the week. Our friend again assumes that Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the first day of the week, hence it became the “Lord’s day,” but again we appeal to the Bible, what does the Lord say?
We ask our readers to prayerfully consider this important matter, and ask God to give wisdom and guidance in its consideration, because Good Friday as the crucifixion day, and Easter Sunday as the resurrection, must be established by the word of God if God’s people accept them as true. How in the name of reason can anyone get three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday morning. The only sign Jesus gave that he was the Son of God was that he would be in the grave “three days and three nights.” He said to the doubters. “There shall be no sign given but the sign of the prophet Jonah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). Now if Jesus was not in the earth three days and three nights then he is not the Christ. If buried, as my friend says he was, on Friday and resurrected on Sunday, then he has failed, for it is a mathematical impossibility to get three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday. By calling a part of a day one day, and if the resurrection did occur on Sunday morning, then we might get the days in, but what about the nights? This is impossible. Furthermore, there is not a text of scripture showing the resurrection to have occurred Sunday morning. Let us examine every one. Mark in 16:2 says: “Very early in the morning the first day of the week they came unto the sepulcher, at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, who shall roll us away the stone, from the door of the sepulcher. And when they looked they saw that the stone was rolled away.” Then we find the angel saying to them, “He is not here, he is risen, behold the place where they laid him.” This text tells of a visit to the tomb, early in the morning of the first day, but Jesus was gone. Not a word is said about when he arose, but we will give you the scripture soon that tells the full account. Luke 24:1-3 says: “Now upon the first day of the week very early in the morning they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them, and they found the stone rolled away from the Sepulcher, and they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus,” Again we see that he was gone when the visitors came, and nothing said about when he was resurrected. John 20:1-8 also tells of a visit early the first day of the week when it was yet dark, but they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. He was gone. Not one of these witnesses tell us when he was resurrected. But we have still another witness left to testify, and that is Matthew. We therefore go to the last chapter of this book viz.: Matthew 28: 1-6 which reads, “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 behold there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door of the sepulcher.” Here we are told just when these events did take place, and the Lord say it was “In the end of the sabbath.” From creation when the Lord said darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Lord said “Let there be light and there was light,” and when he said, “The evening and the morning was the first day,” this has been the divine order. The dark part of the day always comes first. Man has commenced the day at mid-night. It was the Roman power that did this. God says “From even until even shall you celebrate your Sabbaths” (Leviticus 23:32). All Bible dictionaries and Bible scholars know that the original day ended with sundown, therefore, the days met each other, at sundown when Jesus was resurrected, and not at midnight. In the end of the sabbath, was just before sundown on Saturday, as it was drawing near to the first day of the week. If anyone wishes to believe that the days met at midnight, then the visitors would have to come to the tomb just before midnight when it was getting light toward the first day of the week, if the word “dawn” meant getting light in the morning, as is often contended. The Greek word from which “dawn” is here translated means drawing on towards, and not getting light in the morning. Consequently the earthquake occurred in the end of the sabbath, just as it says, and the angel descended in the end of the sabbath, and they rolled away the stone in the end of the sabbath. They also told the visitors “he is not here for he is risen as he said” (verse 6). My friend has already admitted that when the word sabbath occurred, it referred to the 7th day, or Saturday, therefore Jesus was resurrected on Saturday and not on the first day. He lay in the tomb through the sabbath day resting as God did at creation, and “in the end of the sabbath,” the angels came delivering him from the powers of darkness. Now if as our friend argues, the resurrection of Jesus on the first day makes it “The Lord’s day,” then Saturday is sure enough the Lord’s day. We have the scripture on our side, and he has no argument whatever for assuming that the resurrection occurred on the first day. He gives Mark 16:9 as evidence of the crucifixion on Sunday, but let us examine the text, which reads “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.” As punctuation was placed in these texts by the translator, we must seek the true meaning, that will harmonize with other scripture, regardless of punctuation, which is not inspired. The fact that the word “risen” is used here, is evidence that the act did not occur on the first day of the week, but at some time indefinite. All grammarians know, that “risen” is the past perfect tense of the verb “rise.” This verb is conjugated “rise, rose, risen.” “Risen” is past perfect tense, showing the act was at sometime previous but indefinite. Consequently there is nothing in this text to show that Jesus arose early the first day of the week, and as other texts clearly teach us that the resurrection occurred the night before or “In the end of the sabbath,” this text must show when Jesus appeared to Mary rather than when he was resurrected from the dead, and in John 20:14, 15 we find that he did appear first to Mary Magdalene, and this appearance was on the first day of the week. Jesus commenced his work on the first day of the week the same as God did in the beginning of creation, and he walked with the apostles to Emmaus a distance of eight miles that day (Luke 24:13-19).
Now as we have shown clearly that Jesus was resurrected in the end of Saturday, the crucifixion must have taken place, and the burial just three days and three nights before. This would bring us to Wednesday as the day of crucifixion, and not Good Friday, as the world claims. Daniel 9:26 and 27 says the Messiah would be cut off, and that the sacrifice would cease “in the midst of the week.” The Jewish animal sacrifice and blood offerings ceased in having any more virtue, the very moment the blood of Jesus was shed upon the cross. Daniel said the offering was to cease in the midst of the week. Consequently Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. As Jesus was placed in the tomb in the end of the day (Matthew 27:57-62), hence he would have to be resurrected in the end of the third day from the time he was buried. This would be Saturday, and it perfectly harmonizes with all accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection. The prophecy of Daniel 9:26, 27, evidently has a two-fold meaning as do some other prophecies. We have written to eminent astronomers in both England and the United States to calculate the day of the week the crucifixion of Christ occurred. The scriptures clearly teach that it was on the 14th of the Jewish month Abib, Exodus 12:1-6, and Luke 22:1-7. Their answer has always been Wednesday.
In regard to our opponent’s argument that David prophetically declared of the first day of the week, “this is the day which the Lord hath made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it.” He assumes this refers ahead to the first day of the week, but it says “This is the day our Lord hath made.” He will affirm that Jesus was with God in creating the world, therefore Jesus had a part in making the sabbath day from the seventh day of the first week of time, hence Jesus was with the Father in this work, and the “Lord’s day” if referring to any certain day of the week would refer to Saturday and not Sunday. The special form of the Greek word “Kuriakos,” which he says has a special meaning, relative to a special day belonging to the Lord Jesus, simply refers to something belonging to Jesus. It is the possessive case of this word. Those who read this work, and who have studied either Latin or Greek, will know that in these languages, there are different words, and different forms of the same word according to their grammatical use in the sentence. All nouns as well as verbs have different endings, when used in the possessive case, as this word is here used. It does refer to something belonging to the Lord for it says “Lord’s day.” I never did believe that this referred specially to any day of the week, but that it does refer to the “Day of the Lord,” or the Lord’s day. John was in vision, looking forward to the “Day of the Lord’s Wrath,” the day of the Lord’s judgments upon sin. He was taken ahead to the “Day of the Lord” referring to the judgment day.
If the Lord had of intended to change as important an institution as the sabbath day, and give the followers of Jesus another day, surely he would have made the matter very clear and definite. Our friend would not have been compelled to use the far fetched, assumptive arguments, in his claims for the first day of the week as he has been referring to. For him to try to make so much out of this text “Lord’s day” when not a word is said about any day of the week, shows that he lacks good sound definite scriptures in support of his proposition. Not one argument has been presented yet, which proves his proposition, and every scripture he has used will apply more forcefully, and harmoniously with the truth of the same sabbath day being continued in this age, than it will for the establishment of another day of rest.
My friend keeps constantly persisting that I will not answer his arguments, surely he knows better than this. Not one argument have I refused to notice and answer, yet on the sabbath question and also on this question he willingly ignores my arguments, and passes over some of them as if they do not pertain to the question. There is a reason why he thus slips over them. When he assumed that “After eight days” brought them to another first day I challenged his mathematics. and he fails to acknowledge his mistake and frankly admit that “after eight days” beginning with a first day, would not bring us squarely on another first day. Then when he tries to answer another argument that the collection for the saints was fruit, he makes light of this scripture. Romans 15:28 is speaking of the very same collection for the same saints as in I Corinthians 16, and I challenge him to prove otherwise, and the Lord says it was fruit. They raised and dried fruit in the territory of that church, and the Lord says it was fruit they were sealing or sending to the poor saints at Jerusalem. The very reason why Paul said “There be no collection when I come” proves again that it was not money, for they could have easily taken that up after he came, as is usually the case now. It being fruit and provisions, he wanted it gathered and prepared and ready. I Corinthians 16:3 again shows the liberalities to be burdensome as others would have to go with Paul to bring them to Jerusalem.
He says a man from Missouri who has studied Greek has been shown that the Greek word “thesauridzon” means “in store,” which means to store or to treasure up, suggesting a store house or treasure house. Our friend from Missouri, is happy indeed that his opponent has made this discovery for himself, as it is exactly what I have been trying to show him from the text in question (I Corinthians 16:2), that this was a laying by in store at home, in a storehouse, and not at church. It required labor to store away these provisions in a storehouse, and they were consequently commanded to labor on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16) in order to do this.
My friend, there is no meeting mentioned in I Corinthians 5:8. Paul is not speaking of a certain meeting held there, as you certainly know. Therefore neither bread, or wine are mentioned. The Lord simply tells us here that the old institution was to be carried over into the New Testament church. That the Passover was to be kept, but in a different way. My reason for using this text was to prove that they did not take the Lord’s supper just any time, or every week, but it was a definite institution, to be observed once a year, just as it had been in the Old Testament order. But here it was to commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross, and you have not answered this argument and cannot do so. It is the word of God, and is irrefutable. You say “Christians did not come together in public assemblies to eat a common meal.” But the Lord says they had all things in common, and they went from house to house, and did break their bread daily. This was of course at home, and it was at one of these home gatherings when it says they came together “to break bread.” that Paul preached unto them. Why does it not say they came together to take the Lord’s supper. What right have you to assume this, when the Lord does not say so? The Lord tells us just why they came together at this night meeting, and it says it was “to break bread.” It does not say it was to worship God, to hold a public meeting, or even to take the Lord’s supper. If it said this then we would have to believe it, but why try to read something else into this text that is not there? Why not leave it just as it is. It was a farewell meeting of the brethren with Paul as the context shows, and held after sundown Saturday for it was “the first day of the week and dark.” Therefore it was the dark part of the first day, and the light part of the day was spent by Paul walking across the cape to Assos, while the other brethren were sailing around the cape, after having kept the sabbath at Troas. My friend says “the bread which Christians broke when they came together was the Lord’s supper,” and he refers to I Corinthians 11:20. It was the Lord’s supper referred to in this particular text, but if the bread Christians broke whenever they came together was the Lord’s supper, then they ate the Lord’s supper daily, for they broke bread daily, when they came together, in one another’s home, (Acts 2:46) having all things common. He says, it was Dugger who said the other brethren sailed away before the Troas night meeting of Paul’s when they broke bread, but he failed to notice verse 13 where the author of Acts 20:13 says: “We went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos there intending to take in Paul for so he had minded to go on foot.” So it was not my statement but that of the Lord’s, although my friend said not a word was found that told us this in the divine record. He better read his Bible a little more closely hereafter. No wonder my friend hangs so hard to Acts 20:7 for it is the only place in the entire New Testament where a religious service is recorded as taking place on the first day of the week, and it happened to be in the night where Paul preached until morning, to a company of disciples who came together to eat their common meal as was always their custom following the sabbath. He has admitted that the day before the first day of the week was, and still is the sabbath day, consequently he must agree that this Troas meeting where they met to eat their common meal on the dark part of the first day of the week, was following the sabbath. It is not necessary for this to be stated in that particular text, neither is it necessary for the Lord to mention every meeting occurring on the 7th day as having occurred on the sabbath. We have over fifty such texts in the New Testament however.
He makes another wild assertion, as follows, “There is only one passage in all the New Testament that gives the time when they observed the Lord’s supper, and that is Acts 20:7.” Please read the text. Not one word is said about it. The word “Lord’s supper” is not there, or even hinted at being there. What right has anyone to try to read such things into the Bible when anyone can see that it is no where to be found? There are several texts in the New Testament that tells us when they observed the Lord’s supper, as previously given. One of these is in Luke 22:1-7 where it says Jesus introduced the supper on the very day the Passover lamb was killed, and this was on the 14th of the month Abib. It was not confined to any certain day of the week, for it came on different days each year the same as your birthday, or any other fixed date. The noted historians, Mosheim, and Eusebius speak of Constantine about the year 321 placing the Passover or Easter on a fixed Sunday, stating that before this time it occurred on different days of the week, falling on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan or Abib. Jesus tells us in Luke 22:7 to 20 when it took place then, and Paul speaks of another Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 11:23-26), where he plainly says he gave it to the church “As he received it from the Lord, the same night he was betrayed.” This does not say he gave it to the church for every first day of the week. No, it is indeed far from that. He again says, “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us therefore let us keep the feast.” He was speaking of the Passover feast, and tells them how to keep it, with the unleavened bread, and the fruit of the vine. Now I have accepted your challenge, friend Porter, and given you the texts, and I can give you plenty more if this is not enough. Paul says “He received of the Lord that which he delivered unto the church, that the Lord Jesus the same night he was betrayed took bread” (I Corinthians 11:23-26). I ask my friend if this was on the first day of the week, Jesus was betrayed? You are not keeping the Lord’s supper as commanded by Paul when you try to observe it the first day of the week. You have no scriptural authority. Paul says “the same night he was betrayed,” and not the day after he was resurrected. His comparison to baptism, misses the mark a long ways, for it does not in any way compare to this truth. God has given us special instructions concerning both of these ordinances, and not left us to guess at their application.
He asks why Paul mentions keeping “this feast,” when it was only to be kept a feast by Israel, and then kept as an ordinance forever. I see this truth is new to my opponent, and he has several things to learn yet. I am glad to answer every question concerning this matter. Moses said it would be kept “A feast to the Lord throughout your generations, ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever” (Exodus 12:14). Now you see it is to be kept a feast in both dispensations. The word “feast” is mentioned in both phases, therefore Paul speaks of keeping the feast of the Passover, but he kept it as we all know, and as the Lord plainly tells us, by using the unleavened bread, and the fruit of the vine, and just observed it at one service, and not for a whole week as Israel did under the first phase of this ordinance. It was of course an ordinance, as far as the word “ordinance” applies, but under the second phase when it was to be kept forever, there was to be a change, and the New Testament makes this change clear.
My friend seems to think that the disciples have already eaten the Lord’s supper with Jesus in his kingdom, according to his promise in Luke 22:29, 30. I would like for him to give the text when this occurred. Surely if it happened the Bible must record it. Elder Porter does not believe the kingdom is yet future, hence he must think it is already set up here on earth. Surely it has utterly failed in its intended mission if this is true, in such a world filled with sin, sorrow, misery, death, war and destruction. The kingdom was to grow and fill the whole earth with peace, and not with war. See Isaiah 2:1-5, also 11:1 to 9, and 9:6, 7. Then Daniel 2:44, 45, and Psalms 110. The kingdom was to grow and fill the earth, and surely there has been but little progress during these 1900 years since Christ was here. The kingdom is future, and the apostles are going to sit with Jesus and eat the Lord’s supper in his kingdom here on earth. This is not what Dugger thinks either, but it is exactly what the Lord says. Note this “when the Son of man shall come in his glory with all the holy angels with him then, shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. . . Then shall the king say unto those on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:31, 34). This is when the Lord’s supper is to continue forever, and when Jesus will eat it anew with his disciples. See Matthew 5:5, also Matthew 6:9, 10, Revelation 11:15, 18, and Revelation 21 where the holy city comes down from God upon this earth.
In my previous negative, the facts were brought out that the Roman Catholic church changed the law of God, when it changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and I gave some statements in proof of this. Now my friend asks me why I accept their teaching about this when I will not accept it on other matters? Here is the reason why, Elder Porter. The prophet Daniel would be a false prophet, if the Roman power did not change the law of God, for he told us plainly in chapter 7:25, that the little horn of the 4th beast was going to change times and laws. No one acquainted with history will dare to deny that Rome, and the church of Rome fulfill this prophecy. Hence this power must be found to do the things Daniel said they would, or Daniel has prophesied falsely. Many histories tell us that Rome changed the sabbath, through a long series of civil edicts, the first of which was by Constantine, 321 A.D., and then later the popes placed their supposed divine approval upon it, and it became the general practice of the church, and of the world.
While the names we have for all the days of the week, are of heathen origin, the same as Sunday, yet this day, having been named after the sun, “sun-day,” became the greatest of days to the heathens. Most of them worshipped the sun because it was the greatest body of light in the heavens. Some worshipped the moon also, and called the next day, Moon-day, or Monday, when the Roman emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, he desired to make a law pleasing to the religion of the heathen, and especially to many who claimed to have embraced Christianity, but wanted to hold on to many of their pagan rites and festivals. See book called “Library of Universal Knowledge,” article Sabbath. Or any history of Constantine. The Catholic book called Catholic Christian Instructed says, Question.- “What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday in preference to the ancient sabbath which was Saturday?” Answer. “We have for it the authority of the Catholic church, and apostolic tradition.” Question.- “Have you any way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals and precepts?” Answer.-“Had she not such power she could not have done that which all modern religionists agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority.” These and many more could be taken from her works, to prove that she pleads guilty of the charge. That she makes a self confession of being the very power Daniel prophesied would come and would change the law of God. Hence the keeping of Sunday, instead of the true Sabbath, is “worshipping the beast,” the same as is sprinkling for baptism, instead of immersion, for sprinkling came from the same source. God made the heavens and the earth in six days, and gave the sabbath to commemorate his power, and also as an everlasting sign of his greatness. Now the fourth beast (Daniel 7th, and Revelation 13th chapter), comes along and gives Sunday as a sign of it’s power. Which are you going to believe and follow? Are you going to receive the mark of the beast in your forehead, which is the seat of your intelligence, and thinking power, or in your hands with which you perform labor? This is the closing message of the age, (Revelation 14:9, 10), and the seven last plagues will visit those who fail God and worship another in his place. Reader, you better take this matter seriously, and ask God earnestly in prayer, to lead you and guide you in its decision. Everything popular with the world is wrong in religious matters, because the Holy Spirit has largely been withdrawn from mankind because of their wickedness and rebellious hearts. Prayer and much prayer, for God’s help, and presence, is all that will avail in studying your Bible, amidst the confusion of this time.
Pentecost did not fall on Sunday the year of the crucifixion. My friend says it did, but he also said Jesus was crucified on Friday, but as he was not, then Pentecost could not come on Sunday either. Pentecost was always calculated from the yearly sabbath which came the next day after the Jews killed the Passover lamb, the day of the week it came each year would of course depend on the day of the week the Jewish Passover fell upon. Jesus was killed on the same day they killed the lamb (Luke 22:1-7). As Jesus was crucified on Wednesday as we have shown, and not on Friday, hence Pentecost did not fall, and could not have fallen on Sunday that year. We take the following from Millennial Harbinger, Vol. 7, page 555, and Alexander Campbell says:
“The Hebrews, as you are aware, observed with great solemnity the seventh day, which they called ‘Sabat’ -- rest, cessation from labor, because on this day God rested from the work of creation. From this word is derived the Greek and the English ‘sabbath.’ They used the word Sabat, however, to denote any cessation from work, whether that of the seventh day, Exodus 16:23, 25, 26, 29, etc.; or of the tenth day of the month, Leviticus 23:32 (comp. Leviticus 22:39) or of the feast of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 24); or that of the seventh year (Leviticus 25:2, 4, 6, 8).
“From the great respect paid to the ‘sabbaths’ they were accustomed also to reckon by them. Thus in Leviticus 25:8: ‘Thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.’ Here we have the ‘sabbath of years,’ or the period of seven years. And in the computation for the day of Pentecost, (Leviticus 23:15, 16.): ‘And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete; even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days.’ Here we have the sabbath of days, or the period of seven days. In this way sabbath came to signify, both among the Greeks and Hebrews, not merely the principal day of the week, but the week itself.”
The above evidence is conclusive, and exactly agrees with all Hebrew works, and Bible dictionaries, regarding the calculation of Pentecost. My friend will not discredit this eminent scholar of his own church and its founder. I have this old book before me on my desk as I write, and it is open for the inspection of anyone visiting my home.
My friend has failed so far to bring up any substantial evidence from the sacred writings for the observance of Sunday. Every argument like this one relative to Pentecost, has fallen down. Even his assertion that Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, has proven false, by Jesus’ own words, that he would be in the earth three days and three nights. I want him to bring up some evidence. He only has one more affirmative to do it. Let him show where it was the custom of the apostles to gather together for prayer and for preaching the gospel on the first day. Let him give one text where Jesus or the apostles told any one not to work on that day, or where it is called a holy day, a day of rest, or even a day of worship.
As he has failed so far, remember reader, that the seventh day is still God’s day. It belongs to him, and none of us have any right to use it for ourselves. It is for God’s work, and God’s worship, and our rest spiritually and physically, and is so set forth in both the Old and the New Testament.
I need only to keep emphasizing my major affirmatives, discuss the points that come up in relation to them and keep my opponent’s covering thrown back. Dugger refers to Acts 2:42, “Where they broke bread daily,” and says, according to me, this makes every day holy. But Acts 2:42 does not say they “broke bread daily.” I challenge him to find that statement In the text. This text tells us “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers.” I predicted he would make no reply to my argument, and he did not. This passage shows frequency -- they continued in breaking of bread. According to Dugger they had not broke bread at all at that time and would not till the 14th day of the first month of the next year. The daily breaking of bread is mentioned in verse 46 as another thing altogether and was done “from house to house,” or at home, as the margin reads.
My friend keeps going back to the sabbath question, trying to establish that which he failed to establish in the first proposition. He tells us, however, that “it does not make a day holy . . . just because any one makes it their custom to preach on that day.” Fine! I thank you for that admission. But he says he has found “84 sabbath days” which Paul “used in preaching the gospel,” and he thinks this proves the sabbath holy. Suppose he had found a thousand sabbaths which Paul “used in preaching the gospel;” He has already said that such a custom would not prove the day holy. So all that he has said on that point during this discussion has been surrendered by this admission. Yes, your Bible says “Jesus,” in Hebrews 4:8 if you read the King James Version, and it says “Joshua” if you read the Revised Version. I have made no effort to correct the translation but merely gave two translations already made. But read it either way, and it does not affect the argument. The fact remains that the rest that remained for the people of God had not been entered (verse 6) and a long time after they had received the sabbath God spoke of another day in David (verse 7). Furthermore, this rest was a promise (verse 1) but the sabbath rest was a commandment (Luke 23:56). I wonder if my friend doesn’t know the difference between a promise and a commandment.
He complains because I did not quote all of the verses that mentioned the sabbath in the book of John. I was merely showing that he referred to the seventh day as the sabbath and that had he meant the sabbath in Revelation 1:10 he would have used that term instead of “the Lord’s day.” So I just quoted enough of the passages to show that point. I didn’t think any one would fail to see that, and certainly I didn’t think Dugger would miss the point. Yes, I know it was the enemies of Christ who said “he kept not the sabbath” and did not intend to suggest anything else. I have said all the time that Jesus kept the sabbath because he lived “under the law” (Galatians 4:4). But Christians are “not under the law” (Romans 6:14). That shows the difference.
My argument relative to “the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10 still stands. I said the verse itself does not tell what day was meant, but that related texts do show. And he has miserably failed in his effort to overthrow the argument. He thinks it might refer to the seventh day. if it refers to a day of the week at all, for Jesus said: “I am Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:28). But note the word “also” -- Lord also of the sabbath. That shows he was Lord of the other days too, and that would prove all days are the Lord’s day. But the truth is that Jesus was showing them he was Master even of the sabbath and could do with it as he pleased. He did and took it away, according to Colossians 2:14-16. Later in my friend’s argument he says “the Lord’s day” of Revelation 1:10 refers to the day of judgment. If so, John was already there, for he said: “I was in the Spirit on the lord’s day.” He did not say: “I saw a vision of the Lord’s day.” But it was “on the Lord’s day” that he was “in the Spirit” and had the vision. The day of judgment was far in the future to John, and he could not be any where on it. He refers to the past – “I was in the Spirit,” when were you in the Spirit, John? “On the Lords’ day.” The day was present when John was in the Spirit; it was past when he told about it. If I should say: “I was in my car on Independence Day.” I wonder if Dugger would think that Independence Day could be in the future. It would have to be present at that particular time that I was in my car; and it would be past when I told him about it. Now, you watch how my friend clears up this matter about “the Lord’s day” being the judgment day. I predict he will pass it in complete silence. He is making a reputation for silence when he gets into a predicament.
I showed from Mark 16:9 that Jesus arose on the first day of the week. But my friend denies this and tries to prove he was crucified on Wednesday and arose on Saturday. I shall notice his effort and then show that he was crucified on Friday and arose on Sunday. Other Scriptures besides Mark 16:9 show this to be true. Matthew 12:40 is introduced to prove Wednesday crucifixion, as it states that Jesus would be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” If Jesus was not in the grave full 72 hours, my friend thinks, the sign of his Messiahship falls. He wonders how “three days and three nights” can be found from Friday to Sunday. It is easy enough when you consider the Jewish method of counting. There are three expressions which they used interchangeably-three days and three nights, after three days, and the third day. I might ask my friend if Jesus was in the grave full 72 hours, how he could get out “on the third day”? The Bible says he would arise “the third day” (Matthew 16:21). But according to Dugger, it would have to be “the fourth day.” Don’t expect him to clear this up, for if you do, you will likely be disappointed. But these expressions are used interchangeably. Matthew says “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40). Mark says “after three days” he would rise again (Mark 8:31). And Matthew, quoting the very same statement of the Lord, says he would be raised again “the third day” (Matthew 16:21). Why these different expressions? Simply because they counted any part of a day a whole day. So any part of three days could be called “three days and three nights,” for the word “day” often included the night. Esther said: “Fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day” (Esther 4:15). At the end of that time she promised to appear before the king. This involves “three days and three nights,” for it says: “three days, night or day.” But Esther 5:1 says: “Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house.” So the three days and nights simply reach to the third day. That is also true of the statement of the Lord about his burial and resurrection. “After three days” and “the third day” are also used to mean the same thing in Matthew 27:63, 64. Consequently, the sign of the Messiah does not fail if Jesus was crucified on Friday and arose on Sunday. We have one full day and parts of two others. With these parts counted as days, as the Jewish method was, it takes care of the “three days and three nights.”
He introduces also Daniel 9:26, 27, which speaks of the Messiah being cut off “in the midst of the week,” to prove Wednesday crucifixion. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were on one side of it, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday on other side. So Wednesday was the midst of the week. But the fallacy of Dugger is easily seen here. Begin reading at Verse 24 and you will find “seventy weeks determined” upon God’s people. These are divided into groups of seven weeks, sixty-two weeks and one week. In the last week, in the midst of it, the Messiah is cut off. So Dugger makes this a literal week of seven days. If that is so, then the other 69 weeks are literal weeks also. But Daniel says: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and three score and two weeks.” (verse 25). Here we are told there would be 69 weeks from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah. If these are literal weeks, and they must be if the 70th week is, then it was only 483 literal days from the command to restore Jerusalem to the Christ. But we know it was that many years. Hence, in this prophecy a day is to be taken for a year, as Ezekiel on one occasion gave instruction to do (Ezekiel 4:6). So the week, in the midst of which Jesus was cut off, was a week of seven years and not seven literal days. A man is hard pressed for an argument who will so misapply Scripture in order to prove a theory.
But what does the Bible say about when Jesus was crucified? Referring to the day of the Lord’s death. Mark says: “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath” (Mark 15:42). This writer says Jesus died the day before the sabbath. The sabbath came on Saturday; and the day before the sabbath was Friday. Let my friend’s astronomers deny it, if they will; I would rather take Mark’s statement for it. But what sabbath was this? The one which was immediately followed by the first day of the week. Read Mark 15:42 to 16:2 and you can see for yourself Jesus died the day before the sabbath and “when the sabbath was past” (Mark 16:1) certain ones came “very early in the morning the first day of the week” (Mark 16:2). This was the same sabbath that followed the death of Jesus, and it was followed by the first day of the week. Read the whole account, Mark 15:42 to 16:2, forgetting about the chapter division, for it was not divided into chapters when Mark wrote it, and you can’t fail to see that it was the weekly sabbath that immediately followed the crucifixion of Jesus.
Let us now look at his proof of Saturday resurrection. He introduces the records of Mark 16:1, 2; Luke 24:1-3; and John 20:1-8, which state that certain ones came to the tomb “early in the morning the first day of the week.” But my friend thinks these give no idea as to when he arose, for his body was gone when they got there. Then Matthew’s record is given to prove when he arose, but according to Matthew’s record Jesus was gone when they got there. So that would not prove anything, according to Dugger. Yet Matthew said: “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week.” I am not contending that they followed the Roman division of days; certainly they began their count at sundown. My opponent wastes a lot of effort along that line. Nor does the passage indicate that they came at the time the days met. My friend’s position on this reduces the records to an absurdity. He claims that Matthew records a visit that took place on Saturday, and the others a visit that occurred on Sunday. But Matthew and Mark name the same persons who came. So I want Dugger to tell me why these women came on Sunday morning with spices to anoint the body of Jesus when they had been there on Saturday and knew his body was already gone. Dugger, please explain this in the light of your position. Then, why did the women, according to Mark’s record, wonder who would roll away the stone, when they had been there the day before and knew the stone was already rolled away? I wonder if he thinks these women had no more sense than that. Yet that is the way it was if Dugger’s position be true. Watch and see if he makes any effort to explain this absurdity. I predict he will answer with his usual silence. But there is perfect harmony between the records -- all record the same visit. “In the end of the sabbath” of Matthew’s record is from the Greek opse de sabbaton. The word “opse,” according to Greek scholars, may be translated “after.” Defining this word Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon says: “With a genitive -- opse de sabbaton -- the sabbath having just passed, after the sabbath, i. e. at the early dawn of the first day of the week.” So “in the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” simply means “when the sabbath had ended, as the first day of the week began to dawn.” And many translations so give it. Note the following. C. B. Williams’ translation: “After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning.” Twentieth Century Translation: “After the sabbath. as the first day of the week began to dawn.” Weymouth’s Translation: “After the sabbath, in the early dawn of the first day of the week.” Wesley’s Translation: “Now after the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Goodspeed’s Translation: “After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning.” Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott: “Now after the sabbath, as it was dawning to the first day of the week.” These translations are in perfect harmony with the meaning of the Greek. and they make perfect harmony between the four records of the event; but if we accept Dugger’s application, we have intelligent women coming to anoint the body of Jesus, knowing his body was not there, and wondering who would roil away the stone, knowing it was already rolled away. I still say he will make no effort to clear up this absurdity in his position. But I am willing to be surprised if he wants to undertake it. This, too, agrees with the meaning of the word “dawn” -- “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” The other writers say it was early in the morning” of the first day. But my opponent says the Greek word from which “dawn” comes does not mean “getting light in the morning.” That is what he says. What do the Greek scholars say? The word is “epiphoskouse” from the word “epiphosko.” Thayer’s Lexicon recognized as one of the greatest in all the English speaking world, defines this word like this: “To grow light, to dawn.” And Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon says: “To grow towards daylight” But Dugger denies these great Greek scholars and says the word never means what they say it means. So take your choice. If you think he knows more about it than they do, then take what he says. But I believe I’ll accept the Lexicons. So Jesus did not arise on Saturday, and my friend’s argument fails.
But when did he arise? Mark says: “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene” (Mark 16:9). No one would ever have thought this meant anything but that Jesus arose the first day of the week if he had not been looking for proof of a false theory. But “was risen,” my friend says, “is past perfect tense.” So he thinks Jesus arose before the first day of the week. Yes, it was “past perfect tense” when Mark wrote about it, but remember that he wrote about thirty years after the incident occurred. So he said he “was risen.” But “appeared” is also past tense, and I suppose that means he appeared to Mary before the first day of the week. If it works in one case, it works in the other. What straits false teachers are driven to as they try to defend their theories! But let us look at some other texts that show Jesus arose on Sunday. In Matthew 16:21 Jesus said he would “be killed and be raised again the third day.” Note that. He would he raised “the third day” from the time he was killed. Now turn to Luke 24. Verse 1 tells of certain disciples who came to the tomb “upon the first day of the week.” Then verse 13 says “that same day” two of them went to Emmaus. That was still the first day of the week. While on their way to this village they were discussing the death of the Lord and were sad. Jesus appeared to them in such way that they did not recognize him and asked them why they were sad. One of them asked him if he was a stranger and did not know the things that had come to pass. Jesus asked, “What things?” They told him about the death of Jesus (verses 14-20). Then they said: “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done” (verse 21). What “today”? That same first day of the week on which some had been to the tomb and on which these went to Emmaus. So they said: “Today (this first day of the week, Sunday) is the third day” since Jesus died. But Jesus said he would be raised “the Third day” from his death. If a man is able to put two and two together and get four, he should be able to see that if Jesus would arise “the third day” from his death, and Sunday was “the third day” from his death, then Sunday was the day of his resurrection. At least, that is what these disciples thought, for they said “certain women” of their company “were early at the sepulcher” and found the body of Jesus gone (verses 22 and 23). I wonder why they did not say “They found his body gone late yesterday afternoon.”
Dugger thinks David’s statement, “This is the day which the Lord hath made” (Psalms 118:24), could not refer to the future, for it said “hath made.” I wonder if he doesn’t know that prophecy is often spoken in past tense. Verse 22 says: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Does he think this means Jesus was already rejected and had become the chief corner stone before David wrote? I have before shown that “this day which the Lord hath made” is the same as “the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10. It was a day of gladness and rejoicing because Jesus arose on that day. The effort to set aside the argument on the Greek word kuriakos by calling it the possessive is very weak. Certainly there is a way to express the possessive in the Greek. But the word kurios, generally translated “Lord,” has its possessive; and the word kuriakos has its possessive. They are not the same word -- kuriakos is found only twice in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10) and refers to Christ. The Lord’s day (kuriake hemera) is a day especially associated with Christ, and no other day is as the day of his resurrection. Of course the possessive in the Greek is expressed by the genitive case. But the day is the Lord’s, the one he made, a day of gladness and rejoicing, the day of his resurrection, the first day of the week.
Dugger says he has not refused to notice even one argument, but I “willingly ignore” this. Turn back to those questions in the first proposition that I begged so hard for him to answer. Then see if you can find where he said anything about them. I even enumerated them for him, but not a word did he say. Now let him point out the one I have ignored of his. I challenge him to do it. Watch and see if he does.
As to the Corinthian contribution he says I made light of Romans 15:28. Oh no, I merely showed the absurdity of his application of it. He claimed it was literal fruit -- figs, dates and raisins -- and I showed him some other Scriptures containing the same use of the word “fruit.” Although Dugger says he has answered every argument, I am unable to find where he even mentioned these Scriptures. He thinks the collection could not have been money, for if so, it could have been collected after Paul arrived. Well, Dugger, if it was what you say it was, a collection would have to be made after Paul arrived, for you say each man put it in his own storehouse at home. There would have to be a collection of it after Paul got there. But Paul said: “That there be no gatherings (collection) when I come” (I Corinthians 16:2). Please explain how there would be no gatherings after Paul came, if your position is true. I haven’t been able to get you to say anything about this, although “you have answered all my arguments.” And tell us, too, why Paul specified “the first day of the week.” Why would not the second day or the fourth day of the week do just as well ? What reason could there be for specifying the first day, if your position is true? I have begged you to answer this, but not a word have you said; although you have “not refused to answer any argument.” Perhaps I don’t know what it means to refuse; but if I do, you have done it. And still he thinks it had to be literal fruit, for he had to have brethren to help him take it to Jerusalem (I Corinthians 16:3). I asked him if this little band of brethren could carry enough bushels of figs, dates and raisins to be called a “liberal contribution” from all the churches concerned. He says he has answered everything, but reader, see if you can find where he said anything about this. I just can’t find it. Since my friend does not seem to know why other brethren went with Paul to take this offering to Jerusalem, if he will read II Corinthians 8:19-21, he will find this precaution was taken to prevent any blame, or suspicion, being placed upon Paul in the matter -- not to carry a heavy load of figs.
The man from Missouri still thinks this offering was laid by at home, and he denied that the Greek word thesauridzo ever means treasury. Certainly it sometimes means store-house, but Dugger denied that it ever meant treasury and called for the proof. I gave it, but he ignored it. I’ll give him some more. The noun form of this word is thesauros. Thayer’s Lexicon says it means: “The place in which goods and precious things are collected and laid up; a. A casket, coffer, or other receptacle, in which valuable are kept. b. A treasury, c. A storehouse, repository, magazine,” Dugger, can you see those two words, a treasury? You say it never means that. Thayer says it does. Which shall we take? Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, in defining the word, gives as an example, “the treasury of a temple.” Dugger, can you read that? Then don’t say it never means that. The reader is going to be able to see your blunder here whether you can see it or not. And in I Corinthians 16:1, 2 it cannot be a store-house at home, for then there would have to be a gathering after Paul arrived. The fact remains that Paul ordered Christians to perform this religious service on the first day of the week, and the argument stands as an impregnable fortress against the attacks of Sabbatarians.
And the argument on Acts 20:7 still stands. The disciples “came together on the first day of the week to break bread.” Dugger says this was not the Lord’s supper but a common meal. I showed from I Corinthians 11:34 that Christians did not come together to eat common meals -- they did that at home. But Dugger says it was the custom of Christians to “come together to eat their common meals,” following the sabbath. Show us some passage that mentions any such custom. Your word is not sufficient. Paul said: “If any man hunger, let him eat at home” (I Corinthians 11:34). Dugger says: “You are wrong Paul. It was always their custom to assemble following the sabbath for such meals. And you did it yourself at Troas.” The “Lord’s supper” is not mentioned in Acts 20:7. No, those words are not, and there are many expressions concerning that institution in which those words are not used. It is often called “breaking bread.” And the bread which Christians broke when “they came together” was the Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 11:20, 33). And the bread broken in Acts 20:7 was the bread broken when “they came together.” It was the Lord’s supper. Dugger says: “They broke bread daily, when they came together” (Acts 2:46). The passage says they broke bread daily “from house to house,” or at home; not when they came together. Read the passage for yourself. I can’t understand a man’s heart who will add things like that to a passage. He thinks I made a wild assertion when I said Acts 20:7 is the only passage that tells when Christians observed the supper. Certainly I knew it was instituted the night Jesus was betrayed, but he said he would place it in his kingdom (Luke 22:29, 30), and the only passage that tells when they did it in that kingdom is Acts 20:7. The statement still stands. He thinks Acts 20:13 which says “we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos” proves they left before the meeting at Troas in verse 7. Oh no, it merely shows they left before Paul did. But verse 7 says they stayed at Troas seven days. I called his attention to this before, but he silently passed it by. So I had already read the Bible a little more closely than he thought. I take no issue with my opponent about the Old Testament Passover being observed on the 14th day of the month Abib, but we are not discussing the Old Testament Passover; we are discussing the Lord’s supper of the New Testament. It was observed on the first day of the week after the days of unleavened bread had passed (Acts 20:6, 7).
My friend quotes I Corinthians 11:23-26 as saying Paul says he gave it to the church “as he received it from the Lord, the same night Jesus was betrayed.” But the passage says no such thing. Dugger even emphasized “as he received it from the Lord,” but that is not even in the passage. But Paul said: “I have received from the Lord that which I delivered unto you.” Nor does he tell them to take it “the same night Jesus was betrayed.” I am astonished at my friend’s not being able to read simple English. Even a sixth grade pupil would be ashamed of him. Paul said: “Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.” He instituted the supper, “the same night in which he was betrayed.” But Dugger says Paul told them to partake of it “the same night in which Jesus was betrayed.” I would not want to impugn any man’s motives; but this looks to me like a willful wresting of the scripture to sustain a theory. I don’t see how any man otherwise could get such an idea of it.
Dugger thinks he presented to me a new truth from Exodus 12:14 about his two phases of the Passover. No, no. It was just a new form of error. Truth is consistent, but Dugger’s position is not. Note his contradictions. In his first negative referring to the practice of Paul he said: “It was not being kept as the Jews had kept it, for they were to keep it as a feast throughout their generations.” In his second negative he says: “Now you see it is to be kept as a feast in both dispensations.” That is a clear-cut contradiction and cannot be truth. Concerning the “ordinance phase” he said in his first negative: “This last phase is the ordinance of Jesus Christ, as he introduced it.” In his second negative he says concerning the Jews before Jesus introduced it: “It was of course an ordinance, as far as the word “ordinance” applies.” That’s another plain contradiction. Do you call that truth? Truth does not contradict itself. But it was to be for “an ordinance forever.” I see. But I note that the blowing of trumpets was given “for an ordinance for ever,” (Numbers 10:8). Is Dugger keeping this ordinance?
A full discussion of whether the kingdom is future cannot be had here -- only as it pertains to this question. Not one of the references given by Dugger, Isaiah 2:1-5, 11:1-9, 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45; Psalms 110, even intimate the kingdom to be future. They are all contrary to that idea. And his reference to Matthew 25:31-34 is unfortunate for him. This points out the judgment scene, not the beginning of the kingdom. Any one can read Matthew 25:31-46 and see for himself. The Lord said he would place his table in his kingdom (Luke 22:29, 30). Did the apostles eat of it where Jesus placed it or did they eat of it elsewhere? (I Corinthians 11). I challenge Dugger to answer this. Jesus said he would “drink it new” in his Father’s kingdom. This simply refers to a new method -- to a communion with his disciples as they partake of it -- hence not the old literal form of drinking. Paul said he and the Colossian brethren were in the kingdom (Colossians 1:13). John said he was in the kingdom (Revelation 1:9). But Dugger says it is still future. Yes, I know that in the regeneration the apostles were to sit on thrones (Matthew 19:28), but they were to do that the same time they would eat at the Lord’s table (Luke 22:30). But they were to eat at the Lord’s table before Jesus comes -- “till he comes” (I Corinthians 11:26) -- not after he comes. Why don’t you notice this, Dugger? I called your attention to it before, but you said not a word about it, although you claim you have answered everything. The reader will see your failure in this. You put it “after he comes”; Paul put it “till he comes.”
I know that the Roman power, according to Daniel 7:25, would seek to change times and laws. But I deny that they abolished the sabbath and substituted Sunday, regardless of their claim. If so, then Paul was a worshiper of the beast when he said to let no man judge you in respect to the sabbath (Colossians 2:14-16) and when he ordered a first day service (I Corinthians 16:1, 2). And the brethren who met at Troas in Acts 20:7 were all worshipping the beast. Furthermore, early writers spoke of first day observance a long time before Constantine made his edict in 321 A.D. Daniel did not prophesy falsely, but my friend made his prophecy sustain a false idea. Remember that the Catholics claim their church is the true church, Peter was the first Pope and that popes are infallible; but that doesn’t make it so. And the same is true with their claim concerning Sunday. And let Dugger remember there is a vast difference between worshipping the sun on Sunday and worshipping God on Sunday.
I showed the importance of Sunday by the many things that occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. My friend denies that this Pentecost fell on Sunday. I am amused at his statement relative to the quotation he gives from Alexander Campbell. He said his opponent “will not discredit this eminent scholar of his own church and its founder.” I inform my friend that I have no church. Also that Campbell did not found the one to which I belong, nor any other. I no more accept Campbell as authority than I do Dugger. The Bible is our authority -- nothing else. But the quotation from Campbell does not even intimate that Pentecost did not fall on Sunday. He might have said it somewhere else, but he did not say it in the quotation Dugger gives. Let us see, however, if Pentecost that year fell on Sunday. The rule given in Leviticus 23:15, 16 says: “Ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days.” Pentecost means fiftieth. So fifty days must be counted in reckoning It. And within that fifty days there must be “seven sabbaths complete.” And it follows “the morrow after the seventh sabbath.” Let us try the rule on Dugger’s position. He says Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of the month; that the yearly sabbath came on Thursday, the 15th; and that the count for Pentecost began the next day-Friday, the 16th. So let us begin our count that way -- on Friday -- and count fifty days. I shall number each day and emphasize each 7th day to mark the sabbaths and see the results. So here we go. Friday, of course, is the sixth day of the week. So we will begin with the sixth day: 67 - 1234567 - 1234567 - 1234567 - 1234567 - 1234567 - 1234567 - 123456
Note that we have seven sabbaths. That is what the law said. Also we have 50 days. That is right too. But where does the 50th day fall? On Friday, the sixth day of the week. And that is what Dugger wants. But what did the law say? “On the morrow after the seventh sabbath.” But Dugger’s count makes it fall on the sixth day after the seventh sabbath. The law said on the first day -- the morrow -- after the seventh sabbath; but Dugger makes it on the sixth day after that sabbath, which would be five days too late. Check the count and you will see this is true. But suppose we start counting where he does and stop “on the morrow after the seventh sabbath.” Look at the diagram again. We count to the morrow after the seventh sabbath” and we have only 45 days, but the law said 50 days. So he is wrong either way we take it. Seven sabbaths had to be complete, and these were weekly sabbaths, for you couldn’t get seven sabbaths of any other kind within a period of fifty days. The weekly sabbath always came on the seventh day of the week, “The morrow after” any of them would be the first day of the week, and since Pentecost always came “on the morrow after the seventh sabbath,” it always came on the first day of the week. That was true the year Jesus died; and Dugger is just wrong as to when to begin the count. I call upon him to take up this argument and deal with it. But I will not be surprised if he ignores it entirely. Such has been his custom in the past. I know that he cannot answer it; and if he does not know it, he will find it out when he tries. But I do beg him to make an effort. We wait to see what he will do about it.
Elder Porter denies the fact of Alexander Campbell having anything to do with the founding of the church with which he is affiliated. This is no doubt true of that particular offshoot he holds to, as there are no less than eight different branches coming from the old line church known as the Christian Church of which Alexander Campbell was the founder. This is a fact generally known by old members of all of these different branches. He says he will not take Alexander Campbell’s word for anything any more than he will my word, but he wants the Bible. This is fine, but when it comes to an understanding of the Greek language, from which our Bible was translated, this is quite another matter. The Bible itself does not deal with these points. Alexander Campbell was a Greek scholar, and he knew the facts concerning the ancient word for “week” which was “Sabat,” and the truth, if you want the truth, hangs on his explanation of these facts. The Lord says. “From the morrow after the sabbath (and this sabbath was a yearly Jewish holy day, and not the weekly sabbath), you shall count seven sabbaths or seven weeks.” Hence this does not teach, or even infer, that Pentecost would always fall on a Sunday, as my opponent tries to teach. The work of Josephus, that eminent Jewish scholar and historian agrees with this, and so do all other Jewish Rabbis, teachers and scholars. The Jews never did celebrate Pentecost on a fixed Sunday, as it would be if our opponent’s contention were true. Why does he oppose all scholars on this point, and even disregard the clear explanation of Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Christian Church, from which his church sprung, which fact he cannot deny? The only reason is, to try to make a point that Pentecost, in the days of the apostles came on Sunday, which facts will not allow. He claims the crucifixion occurred on Friday, and as already clearly explained, it fell on Wednesday. Pentecost is calculated always from the Jewish Passover, hence the day of the week this event fell upon, fixes definitely the day of the week Pentecost fell the year our Lord was crucified. These seven sabbaths, were not weekly sabbaths, but the word “Sabat,” as Alexander Campbell clearly explains, set forth fully in the previous negative, means a week, or a period of seven days, counting from the morrow after the yearly high day sabbath, which always fell on the 15th of the Jewish month Abib.
I have in my possession all of the copies of the Millennial Harbinger, issued for three years under the editorship of Alexander Campbell, and there are many excellent articles by this profound student of the Greek text that would do my opponent good to read. Alexander Campbell understood the correct system used by the Hebrew people in calculating their festivals, and he teaches very plainly that Pentecost did not come on a fixed first day of the week, or Sunday, but that it rotated falling on different days of the week on every year, just as our birthdays and the 4th of July and other events falling on certain days of the month. Our opponent has entirely the wrong slant to these things, and he is in opposition to all scholars who give forth the truth, when they have no ax to grind, or no other prompting motive except the plain facts of truth.
Elder Porter calls Acts 20:7 one of his major affirmatives, when there is absolutely nothing said in this text about keeping the first day of the week, as a holy-day, or a sacred day, or of it taking the place of the ancient sabbath, which was the seventh day of the week. The text says nothing about worshipping God as the purpose of their meeting, but that they came together to break bread. We have shown already that following the sabbath the Jews had always made it their practice to meet together and eat or take refreshments, which they called “breaking bread.” Furthermore we lived in that country ourselves, and it is still the custom there of speaking of a common meal as breaking bread. Surely if this is one of his best arguments, he has failed to produce any good reasons for observing Sunday, instead of the ancient sabbath of God, in this age. He has but one more affirmative after this one, and it seems from his first statement here, that he is already through bringing forth evidence on the subject, and he says all he needs to do now, is to hold to his major affirmative argument, and keep the covers rolled back from over his opponent. It seems that Elder Porter, has finished his evidence, and no more scripture is forthcoming in proof that the first day of the week was chosen by the apostles as a day of worship in place of the ancient sabbath. Surely he has some definite proof of this change. So far his three affirmatives, which include this one, is void of such proof. Not a text has yet been produced showing that Jesus or the apostles made it their custom to meet with the saints on the first day of the week. He has not given a text where we are told not to work on the first day, or where it is to take the place of the ancient sabbath, or where anyone was told not to work on the first day. When an institution like the sabbath was to be changed, which has been observed for thousands of years, by all people in the world, who were God’s people, surely there is something definite about such a change. We urge him in this final thesis to bring forth the evidence. Show where the apostles made it their custom to assemble for worship on the first day of the week, if it is there. Show one text where they ever held a religious meeting on that day. So far he has shown but one religious meeting occurring on that day, and that was after dark on Saturday night, as we have proven. Also it was not called for the purpose of a religious gathering, but they came together to eat a common meal after the sabbath was passed. Then Paul preached to them through the night, and walked about nineteen miles on the light part of the first day to catch the other ministers who did not stay for the night meeting, but who spent the light part of that first day sailing around the cape from Troas to Assos. This day was spent in labor, for sailing in those days, required real work, rowing and manipulating the sails on the ship. Now we urge him to bring forth some concrete evidence. Produce some scripture where they made it their custom to meet on the first day, and where they did hold one religious meeting on that day, or where in the entire Bible God, or Jesus, or any of his apostles or prophets, ever called the first day of the week, a holy day, a sabbath day, or where anyone at any time, was ever told not to work on that day, or where the first day was ever called the sabbath day. We have given you many texts where the seventh day of the week, Saturday, was called the sabbath, in both the Old and the New Testament. One you remember is in Matthew 28:1 where it says “In the end of the sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” This is New Testament scripture, and it calls the first day of the week, just the first day of the week, but the lord calls the day before the first day of the week, the sabbath. Hence it is the sabbath. The word sabbath means rest, hence it is the rest day, just the same as it always was. God says he never changes, (Malachi 3:6), and unless you can give us positive proof, that another day was substituted for the seventh day sabbath, the readers will see your failure.
In verse one of Hebrews 4, the Lord speaks of the promised rest in Eden, this is true, but he has told us how to obtain this eternal rest, and it is through obedience. Obedience to the commandments of God through the indwelling Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Unless we are overcomers of this wicked world, and all of her false ways and doctrines, and keep God’s commandments we will not enter that Eden rest. The sabbath day here in the text in question (Hebrews 4:4-9) is brought forth as important in our work of preparation. Unless we observe God’s sabbath rest, we will not enjoy the promised eternal rest, for we are disobedient. See Revelation 22:14, also 14:12, and 12:17, also I John 5:3, 4 and many more.
We have already clearly shown that all who break the law are under it. Just as the man going down the street ignoring the traffic laws, and passing the red lights is overtaken by the police and given a tag. That man gets under the law, under the power of the law; under the penalties of the law. He remains under it, until he pays his fine, or is pardoned, by the governor or judge. That is exactly where we all were. All were born in sin, under the law, and we must pay the penalty of the wicked, or receive our pardon through the grace of our Lord Jesus. After we have accepted the pardon offered by Christ, and he has set us free we are under his grace, or his favor, and released from the power of the law. Now after we are pardoned, and stand not under law any longer, but under grace, shall we break the law? Does the pardon given by the governor or judge of any court give the offender the right to go and break the speed laws again? No, by no means, does it. Then why try to argue that because we, one time sinners, now stand pardoned through the great favor or grace of Christ, can break the ten commandment law? It is absurd and ridiculous. Such teaching is exactly what the apostle Peter spoke of in II Peter 3:15, 16, where he says of Paul’s writings, there are things in them hard to understand, which some people wrest (or twist) to their own destruction. That is exactly what our opponent is here doing. He is dealing with Paul’s writings, and wresting them in such a way as to teach you that because you are under grace, you do not need to keep the law of God. Paul says “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid, yea we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). He also says the law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth (Romans 7:1). The Lord also says “Not the hearers of the law shall be justified, but the doers of the law” (Romans 2:13). James says we are to keep the whole law, referring to the ten commandments (James 2:10, 11). Therefore even if we are under grace as I gladly admit we are, we must also keep the law of God, and we can only do so, as the power of the Christ dwells within us, through his Spirit, by daily prayer.
As to the Lord’s day, we have previously made a clear scriptural statement about this, and everyone who is praying to God for wisdom, and seeking him daily for the power of the Holy Spirit, will see the truth. God repeats it over and over again, in scriptures already given that the “seventh day of the week is the Lord’s day.” What right has Elder Porter to contradict God, and declare, the first day of the week to be the Lord’s day, when there is not one text to prove it. I said if John was on any certain day of the week, and my opponent affirms he was, then it was on Saturday, and not Sunday, for God plainly says, “The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:8, 9), and also he says the sabbath day is “my Holy Day” (Isaiah 58:13).
I see Elder Porter still vainly endeavors to prove the Lord did not mean what he said, when he gave as the only sign of his messiahship, that he would be in the grave “three days and three nights.” It is certainly fine indeed that we have a man with so much profound wisdom, who can now tell us clearly what Jesus meant, in-as-much as Jesus used the wrong words and failed to say what he meant. Through different witnesses the Lord has told us how long he would be in the earth, and “By the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established” (II Corinthians 13:1). One witness says “the third day,” another says “after three days,” and another makes it specific by saying “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” We get from these three witnesses the truth. It is clear enough, that we need not be confused. The false doctrine from Rome, however, says he was crucified on Good Friday, and resurrected on Easter Sunday. This came from the wine of Babylon, upon which the whole world was made drunk (Revelation 17:1-4, and 18:1-4). It is time for us to throw off the bondage of Rome, and do away with this wine of Babylon. The only thing that keeps people from believing the truth of all these witnesses, and taking it just as it reads, is the wine of Babylon. False doctrines from Rome. If Jesus had not of said “Three days and also three nights,” then our friend’s explanation might have done, but when Jesus said three days, and he also said three nights, then just parts of days will not do. He says if my explanation is true then Jesus would have come out of the tomb on the 4th day. Let us see if he would. He was placed in the tomb late on Wednesday, then after one day would be Thursday at the same time, after two days would be Friday at the same time, and after three days would be Saturday at the same time, and the angels came to the tomb “in the end of the sabbath,” and our Saviour was resurrected then, for it is said that the angels came at that time, and rolled back the stone from the sepulcher. It does not say they had come, but that they came (present tense), at that time. Then he was not in the tomb on Sunday morning, and everyone who believes the words of God will know that he was not.
Elder Porter says the chapter divisions were made by man, and for us not to pay any attention to them but to read right on from one chapter into the other just as if there was no time elapsed between, and we would see that Jesus was crucified on Friday the day before the weekly sabbath. In the oldest Greek manuscripts, which I have personally seen, in the museums at London, England, and other places, the chapters are divided. Unless we study the word of God, as the Lord tells us, we will be mistaken about many things. He says “by the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established.” Then we must take the testimony of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke, and of John, relative to the resurrection of Jesus, for they all speak of it. After we have consulted each one, then we take all the evidence we have gathered together, remembering that it is all true. It all came from God, and must not contradict. John’s testimony clearly informs us in chapter 19:14, and 32 that Jesus was crucified on the “preparation for the Passover,” and that it was the “high day sabbath,” that drew on. Read it and see for yourself if you really want the truth. It was not the day before the weekly sabbath which would have been Friday, but the preparation for the big sabbath, that always came the 15th of Abib, the day after the Jews killed the Passover lamb. See Leviticus 23rd chapter.
Notice carefully that Elder Porter says, the different writers all record the same visit to the tomb, but he is again wrong, and contradicts the plain testimony of God. Notice the following scripture, “Yes, and certain women also of our company made us astonished which were early at the sepulcher, and when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels which said he was alive, and certain of them which were with us, went to the sepulcher, and found it even as he had said, but him they saw not” (Luke 24:22-24). Now I wonder if Porter will acknowledge his mistake, or still contend that there was just one visit made to the tomb. Here we find some went and told others, then they went. While some of the same women were in the companies that made different visits, but it was not the same women who were there the night before that did the talking, when they asked who would roll the stone away, etc. This would be absurd, of course to believe, but this was a time of great excitement. The sepulcher was near Jerusalem, and of course there was a crowd of people there, and others coming and going all day. People were just as curious then as now, and a time like this would arouse the whole population. The place of the tomb of Jesus was evidently the scene of a constant crowd with new people coming and going throughout the day. To show again that it was different visits, we notice that the women coming there in the end of the sabbath which was before sundown Saturday night, did not bring the spices to anoint his body. It says “They came to see the sepulcher.” They were keeping the Commandment relative to the sabbath, and would not embalm his body, or carry 40 pounds of spices, with which to do this work out there on the sabbath, but early in the morning of the first day of the week they brought their spices, and it says “certain others were with them.” They came from different parts of Jerusalem, a city of one hundred and sixty thousand people, and with no telephones, the news of the late evening visitors to the tomb had not reached the others, therefore according to previous arrangements, they kept their appointment and the women who were not there the night before, and knew not, the startling events that had occurred naturally brought their spices, and came in the morning of the first day of the week. It was these women who raised the question, of who would roll the stone away, etc.
After our friend gives a number of different translations which suit him, then he says “But according to Dugger’s explanation,” etc.
The common Bible which most everyone has in their home, is the King James translation. It was translated from the original Greek by 47 eminent Greek scholars. These men knew their Greek. The king of England chose 50 Greek professors from among all the professions, and religious sects known in his day. Forty-seven of them came, and in the Jerusalem hall, of West Minster Abby in London where they spent three years translating the Bible. It was agreed that if any of them mistranslated one sentence, he would lose his head. It was under this drastic discipline that the work was done. Therefore our holy scriptures, which Porter says is a wrong translation of this text, came from unprejudiced, Greek scholars. Many different churches, today have a translation of their own, made by some eminent evangelist or scholar, belonging to that particular church, and therefore giving certain scriptures a rendering that suits their doctrine. This results in the worst of confusion. Why do these men put themselves up against 47 eminent Greek scholars, and say they are all wrong, but this one man is right? What folly, and how ridiculous it is. Porter has to condemn our Bible to establish his point. He says it is wrong, that others have discovered this error, and they now correct the mistake made by all of these 47 men. Yet these men did the translating in the fear of death, if they made one crooked move. They had no motive for mistranslating Matthew 28:1. They were not trying to hold up error and propagate a false day of worship because it is popular, as many men to-day are endeavoring to do. These eminent Greek scholars he refers to, such as Liddell and Scott, Thayer, etc., do not dare say that the Greek word in this text “epiphosko,” with its special grammatical context and construction means “after,” or “past,” or “getting light towards.” Neither do they give it this meaning with the construction it has in this text in question.
I have taken the Greek text just as it reads, copying it word for word from my Greek New Testament, and presented it to the professor of Greek at the following state universities: Alabama, West Virginia, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Oklahoma, and California, and every one of these men translated it “late on the sabbath,” or “after the sabbath.” They translated the Greek sentence just as any student would in class, and any other professor of Greek will translate it the same way who wants to hold his reputation as a Greek scholar. The sabbath question is now a live issue between many people all over the world. We are in a fight over error that has crept into religious practice, such as Good Friday, Easter Sunday, etc., which came from Rome, and many people have been taught these things until they actually believe them to be true, and try to make the Bible read their way by getting out a late translation correcting errors as they call it. You have quoted from some of these translations trying to prove them right and our common version of the Bible wrong. Why inject such needless confusion into the minds of people, causing them to doubt the truth of any translation? I admonish you, Elder Porter to take our common Bible, translated by able and learned men, who were much more familiar with the Greek language than most people are today. It is time to throw off the traditions, dogmas, and teachings from Rome.
It is amusing how the Elder tries to get around the grammatical construction of Mark 16:9 viz. “When Jesus was risen,” which we showed was past perfect tense, therefore it did not say he arose that day but at a time previous and indefinite. He said it was written this way because Mark wrote it several years after it happened. How cunning and deceptive is his dodge of the real issue. So was Matthew 28:1 written several years after Jesus arose from the dead, but the Holy Spirit narrated that event as present tense. Why? This is not hard to answer. It was because Jesus arose that day, “In the end of the sabbath,” which the Holy Spirit said preceded the first day of the week. Here the Lord told us that the stone was rolled away then, present tense, that the angels also descended then, present tense, etc, although this was written years after he arose, and it was past tense when it was written. All we need to do, dear reader, is to believe the Lord, and we will not get confused.
Porter misleads us again by stating that the women talked together on the road to Emmaus, on the first day of the week, saying that “To-day is the third day,” since Jesus died. They do not say any such thing. Read just what they do say (Luke 24:14-20). They say “Besides this today is the third day since these things were done.” The question followed, “What things” (verse 19). Here is the answer “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth.” It is true that this was the first day of the week, and it was also the third day since these things were done. The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, pertaining to his crucifixion and burial were not done, or finished, until Thursday morning. He was crucified in the midst of the week, just 72 hours before his resurrection. His resurrection was “In the end of the sabbath”? (Matthew 28:1), hence he was crucified just 72 hours, “three days and three nights” before. This brings us to Wednesday. He was buried in the even (Matthew 27:57-60). Then verse 62 says, “Now the next day that followed” ....certain ones came to Pilate and said they would take his body away and say he had risen from the dead, so Pilate told them to go and make the sepulcher as sure as they could, and they sealed the stone and set the Roman watch (see verses 62-66). The Roman watch consisted of 60 soldiers, twenty of whom watched 8 hours at a time. This was done on Thursday morning, and it finished the “things concerning Jesus of Nazareth.” Therefore Sunday would be the third day “since these things were done.” They were not all done until the important event of the sealing of the stone with the Roman seal, and the placing of these 60 men guard over the tomb. This makes perfect harmony out of the whole scripture narrative, and Jesus was in the grave just three days and three nights, or 72 hours as he said, and he arose on the sabbath day, not the first day.
Porter comes back again with Psalms 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made,” and still claims it is Sunday, because some prophecies are given as if they were passed when they are future. This is true, for prophets often narrated visions they saw in the past relative to future things. If we had some other scripture showing that God or Jesus had ever made but one day holy, then we might think this possibly referred to the future, but not a word is said in the New Testament about the first day being a holy day, or made by the Lord Jesus, or even chosen by him in any way whatsoever. We still maintain, and so will any other person who has studied either Greek or Latin, that the arrangement of words in the sentence determines their endings. This is true of kuriakos, and simply shows it to be in the possessive case.
The Elder tries to make it appear that his arguments previously set forth in the other proposition were so difficult that I purposely ignored them. Let him bring forth some of these profound and difficult questions that we could not handle. I challenge him to even show one. He wants me to show some scripture that he failed to answer. I guess he has run out of anything further to present on this proposition and wants me to introduce something from the previous one, in order for him to fill in his space, and have something to talk about. So far he has just rehashed the same old arguments which at first seemed to contain evidence in favor of the first day of the week, but since I have explained them and shown positively that they contained no command whatever for first day worship, he is at sea, like a rudderless ship dodging here and there. If he has any real argument for Sunday observance, showing that Sunday is the sabbath or the Lord’s day, I want him to bring it out and stop vizzeling around. I have given substantial scripture showing that the 7th day is still the sabbath in the New Testament, such scripture as Matthew 28:1, “In the end of the sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,” etc., which no one can get around. The first day of the week is just the first day of the week, and the day before it is the sabbath. Anyway this is what the Holy Spirit called it down in the gospel age, and it must be so. He insists that it was not fruit they gathered on the first day of the week in I Corinthians 16:1, but I gave Paul’s words in Romans 15:28 that the gathering was fruit. It must have been the kind of fruit they raised at those places, and it required others to go along with Paul to carry whatever it was to Jerusalem (I Corinthians 16:3). The reason he did not want them to gather it when he came, he wanted them to have this prepared, and be ready to attend his meetings. Let me ask him a question. If it was money, then why did he not want them to gather it when he came? Most preachers take up the money when they call around. You ask why Paul does not tell them to gather this on the second day of the week or the third day? And why did he specify the first day? If you want to be critical, Paul did not specify the first day, for the word “day” is in italics. This shows it is not in the original Greek The text really reads “On the first of the week,” not on the first day of the week. Furthermore if the churches were meeting on the first day of the week, why did not Paul say, “When you come together on the first day of the week, bring your collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.” Why is there not some text similar to this found in all the New Testament, if the church was meeting on that day, and if it was to take the place of such an important practice as keeping the seventh day, over as long a period of time as they had kept the seventh day? Why is there not something more in the New Testament than simply an order to take up a special collection of provisions, on the first day of the week, and another where they just came together to “break bread on that day.” You claim the breaking of bread on the first day of the week mentioned here, was the Lord’s supper, and that it was taken on the first day of the week always. The Lord tells me that the taking of the unleavened bread and the cup, was to “show forth his death” until he came. Where do you find the scripture that they were to show forth his death, on the day you say he was resurrected? Why take the bread at noon, as you do when Jesus called it a supper, and Paul gave it at night? You have refused to answer these questions, and now you have but one more affirmative. Are you going to continue to ignore them? Let us wait and see.
Elder Porter is sure fond of misquoting me, and thus making the readers believe I have had to re-trace my steps. He says “the man from Missouri denies that the Greek word thesauridzo, ever means “treasury.” Now please go back and read the other pages and see just what the man from Missouri did say. I said I was happy indeed that my opponent had made the discovery of just what the Greek word did mean, and I agreed with just what he said it means, and I still agree. What is the sense of spending so much time rehashing over this? Is it all he has? Is there nothing in the New Testament telling us to worship on the first day, or to not work on that day, or that the early church met on that day to worship God? We admit that the Lord commanded them to use it as a day of business, collecting for the saints, and have shown that this was fruit they collected on that day in Romans 15th chapter, and thus required labor, and not rest on that day.
The Elder thinks that a sixth grader would do better than his opponent in understanding his arguments, and it is indeed unfortunate that he happened to get tangled up with such an ignorant man. It would be fine indeed to have much learning, like Elder Porter, and be able to see that “Three days and three nights” can intervene between Friday evening and Sunday morning: also that beginning to count on the first day of the week the phrase, “after eight days” brings us square on another first day of the week: that when it says “the apostles came together to break bread,” on the first day of the week, sure means they came together to hold a religious service every first day; that when the scripture speaks of “the Lord’s day,” it means Sunday when not one word is said about what day of the week it refers to: also when the Lord calls the day before the first day of the week the Sabbath in the New Testament, that he did not mean what he said. It is too bad Elder Porter that I am so ignorant I cannot see these things. You know the Lord speaks of people in the last days who he says, “will be ever learning, and not able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7 also 4:3, 4). Do you suppose I am really one of these? What would you advise me to do with myself, so I could see that from Friday evening until Sunday morning, just one day and two nights, made “three days and three nights,” etc.?
He claims the Lord established the table in the kingdom while he was here and quotes the scripture that they were to eat of the bread “till he comes,” and not after he comes, and gives Luke 22:30. This reads, “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” Again I find my thinking powers lacking, that which it takes to see, where the apostles sat on 12 thrones then, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. There may be some sixth graders who could see this, by the evidence you have given, but I will confess, that my mentality is not sufficient to be able to do so.
You have surely disjointed scriptural connections here again, dear Elder, and I adjure you to look once more. You will see that in I Corinthians 11:26 it says the bread and the cup, or “the sacrament” show forth his death till he comes, but after he comes then he partakes of these emblems again with them in his father’s kingdom. It will also be at that time, the 12 apostles will sit with him, and judge the 12 tribes of Israel. This is made even plainer in Matthew 19:28 where it says “When the son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall sit with me on 12 thrones, etc.” In Revelation 3:21 Jesus also says, “He that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame and am sat down with my father on his throne.” There are two thrones you see, and Jesus is not on his throne yet, but he will be when he comes. See Isaiah 9:6,7, Luke 1:30-33, and Matthew 25:31.
He says the following scriptures do not refer to the future kingdom, Daniel 2:44, 45, Isaiah 11:1-9, and Isaiah 2:1-5, etc. Please read them for yourself and see. If the kingdom referred to here has already come, and we are in it now, then surely it has come far short of what God said it would be, with such violence, war, wickedness and sin, as we have today. He thinks his church is the kingdom of God on earth, set up on the day of Pentecost, and that it is this stone, that was to grow and fill the whole earth. It looks to me like it had made a terrible failure during these 1800 years, when it was to grow and fill the whole earth, with peace and righteousness. Someone is surely seeing things wrong. We will let the readers be the judge.
Will he please give the scripture where Jesus established the table in the kingdom of God, and his followers were to break bread every first day of the week, to commemorate his death on the cross.
I shall notice some of the statements of my friend when I give my summary. But a few of them I wish to note in advance of that. First, however, I wish to give an additional thought on Hebrews 4:8. I have stated that the validity of my argument did not have to depend on whether it was translated Jesus or Joshua. The Authorized Version gives “Jesus”; the Revised Version gives “Joshua.” Dugger thinks Joshua would be a mistranslation, for it is the same Greek word that is elsewhere translated Jesus, referring to Christ. I wonder if Dugger did not know that the words are the same, Jesus the Greek form, and Joshua the Hebrew form. Defining the Greek word “Iesous” from which we get the word Jesus, Liddell & Scott say: “Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua.” So the word may be translated either Jesus or Joshua, and the word does not always refer to Jesus the Christ. The context of Hebrews 4:8 shows reference is made to Joshua and not to the Christ. The same thing is true of the word in Acts 7:45, translated Jesus in the King James version and Joshua in the American Revised. The same word is used in Acts 13:6, Bar- iesous, Bar-Jesus, the son of Jesus, where the word cannot refer to Jesus the Son of God. I do not expect Dugger to make any serious attempt to answer this, but he will just come back and say it refers to Christ, ignoring the fact that “Iesous” is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua.
I am astonished at my friend’s lack of information about the Church of Christ and the Christian Church. The Church of Christ is not an off-shoot of the Christian Church. We occupy the same ground that was occupied before the division occurred, and the Christian Church is the faction. People who are informed on this will feel sorry for my friend. But Alexander Campbell did not found either body. This is just another of Dagger’s blunders.
That fine speech Dugger made about the 47 translators of the King James Version losing their heads if they mistranslated any part of the Bible loses its effect when we note that, just before he made that speech, he corrected those same 47 translators. In Leviticus 23:15, 16 they translated: “Seven Sabbaths shall be complete.” But Dugger says it should read: “Seven weeks shall be complete.” This he says because the original word “sabat” means week. Well, I wonder why they did not lose their heads over that deal. Perhaps no one discovered their mistake till Sabbatarians began to try to overthrow the arguments in favor of the first day of the week, and then it was too late for them to lose their heads, for they were already dead. But did not Dugger know that in the expression, “from the morrow after the Sabbath,” the word Sabbath is from the very same original word? But he will not let it mean “week” here but says it “was a yearly Jewish holy day.” So if this original word means a day in this case, why must it mean week in the rest of the verse. I suppose Dugger had overlooked this fact. Furthermore, the Greek word “sabbaton” from which we get the English word Sabbath in the New Testament also means “a week.” But when Dugger reads that Paul at Corinth “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath” (Acts 18:4) he would not think of letting it mean week, as he wants to be sure to have Paul work on the first day of the week making tents. According to Moses the count for Pentecost began “on the morrow after the Sabbath” of the Passover week and extended till seven Sabbaths were complete, and “on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath” was Pentecost. That put it on the first day of the week, and I am not in conflict with all scholars at this point. This is purely an assertion by Dugger. But suppose we grant his claim that the word should be translated “week,” and that the count began on the 16th of Nisan, or Abib, we would still have Pentecost falling on Sunday the year Jesus was crucified. He was crucified “the day before the Sabbath” (Mark 15:42), and if he died on the 14th day of the month, Friday would be the 14th. He arose the third day (Matthew 16:21), which was the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). The first day of the week, therefore, would be the 16th. So the count, according to Dugger, began there. When you count seven weeks from that date and reach the morrow after the seventh week, it falls on the first day of the week. Thus my argument still stands that Pentecost fell on Sunday.
The discussion over the day of the Lord’s resurrection is vital to this issue. If Jesus arose on the first day of the week, it attaches an importance to that day that Dugger does not wish. So I return to the things that concern this. As to “the three days and three nights of Matthew 12:40 I have already shown the Jewish way of counting clears up this difficulty, for they counted a part of a day for a whole 24 hour day. This would take care of the night. But if Dugger is unwilling to take this, I might remind him that, after all, the text does not say “three days and three nights in the grave” but in “the heart of the earth.” From the time Jesus was betrayed till he arose he was in the hands of the ruling power of the earth. That will give him his extra night. So take it either way and Dugger’s argument fails. If he replies that Rome, not Jerusalem, was the heart (or center) of the powers of earth, I might remind him that a sepulchre in a rock on the surface of the earth is not the heart (center) of this old earth either. I have shown that Jesus would arise “the third day” (Matthew 16:21). Now, I would like to know how Dugger would get his resurrection on the third day according to his count. He has completely failed at this point. The Sabbath before which he was crucified (Mark 15:42) is clearly shown to be the one that preceded the first day of the week, if you will just read the closing of chapter 15 and the opening of chapter 16. But Dugger thinks there was a division of chapters by Mark because he has seen it so in old Greek manuscripts. I wonder if he thinks those manuscripts were the original. My friend insists that the Sabbath that followed the crucifixion of Jesus was the yearly Passover Sabbath, not the seventh day, because John calls it a “high day” (John 19:14, 31). Now, look what my friend has done. He makes the Passover Sabbath the “great Sabbath,” or “high Sabbath.” Thus he exalts the Passover Sabbath above the weekly Sabbath and makes the greatest Sabbath commandment in “the law of Moses” instead of in the ten commandments. I thought he wanted the ten commandments to be the greatest of all. He has now ruined his position on that. The fact is, the Passover Sabbath (the day after the killing of the lamb) and the weekly Sabbath (the day before the first day of the week) came on the same day that year. The day, therefore, had the importance of both the Passover Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath attached to it and was called a “high Sabbath day.”
My opponent admits that it would be absurd to believe the same women came back to the tomb on Sunday morning with spices to anoint the body of Jesus who had been there the day before and found his body gone. The first group, he says, did not come to anoint his body but only “to see the sepulchre” according to Matthew. But Mark tells of a different group of women who came the next day to anoint his body, not having heard of his resurrection. Well let us see what the record says about it. Who were they who came according to Matthew? He says: “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” (Matthew 28:1). Get that. Matthew mentions two Marys. But what does Mark say? Does he say the same ones came on Sunday morning, or was it a different group? Here is his statement: “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him” (Mark 16:1). Who prepared these spices? The same two Marys mentioned by Matthew, and Salome. Did these same Marys come to anoint the body of Jesus? Dugger says they did not. What does Mark say? Read the next verse: “And very early in the morning they (They who? The two Marys and Salome who had prepared the spices.) came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” And what else did “they” do? Verse 3 says: “They said among themselves, Who shall roll away the stone?” Note that is the same “they” who prepared the spices that came to anoint the body of Jesus and wondered who would roll away the stone. And they were Salome and the two Marys who were mentioned by Matthew. So according to Dugger he will have to believe what he says is absurd to believe. Certainly they did not go there on Saturday and then go back on Sunday to anoint the body when they knew it was already gone. Dugger will never get out of this predicament. If it was somebody else who brought the spices, why did not the Marys tell them that Jesus had already arisen, and let them dump their forty pounds of spices and get rid of the load? But Luke reports that some had been to the tomb and said they “had also seen a vision of angels” (Luke 24:22-24). Dugger thinks this means some had seen the vision on Saturday, and these also saw it on Sunday. No, not that. They had been to the tomb and they also saw the vision; this was in addition to their being to the tomb, not in addition to a vision seen by someone else. Who were these that made this report? Luke says: “It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and other women” (Luke 24:10). So he mentions the very ones mentioned by Matthew. That ruins my friend again. His argument that the excitement of the hour caused someone else to make these statements is ridiculous. Matthew, Mark and Luke name two of the same women. So I am still insisting that they record the same visit. My friend is wrong as usual.
I gave a number of translations that give Matthew’s record as saying “after the Sabbath.” He rejects all of these and makes his fine speech about the 47 translators losing their heads. I also showed the Greek word opse may be properly translated “after,” and gave Thayer’s definition to prove it. Dugger passed this by. Yet he tells us he presented this text to Professors of Greek in various universities “and every one of these men translated it “late on the Sabbath” or “after the Sabbath.” And any other professor of Greek will translate it the same way who wants to hold his reputation as a Greek scholar.” Thank you, Dugger. The professors of Greek whom you consulted said it might be translated “after the Sabbath.” That is the very thing I affirmed and you denied. So all your Greek professors agree with me. And every other Greek scholar, you say, will do the same thing. That’s fine. I hardly expected my opponent to admit so much. Thus he admits that Matthew’s language, according to all Greek scholars, may be translated: “After the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” This makes perfect harmony between his record and that of the other writers. I am glad to know that my opponent knows that all Greek scholars will agree with this. This is all I contended for. I thank you again, my friend. But before making this admission Dugger says that Liddell & Scott and Thayer “do not dare say that the Greek word epiphosko means “getting light towards.” I gave their definitions in my preceding affirmative. Liddell & Scott say: “To grow towards daylight.” Thayer says: “To grow light, to dawn.” So they do say what Dugger says they dare not say. Why did he not notice what they said instead of making a reckless assertion?
Mark plainly states that the resurrection of Jesus occurred on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). Dugger tried his hand on the tense of the verb and got into it. Now, he tries to recover by a reference to Matthew 28:1. He says this was written after it happened too, but Matthew used the present tense in telling it. He tells us that “they came [present tense] the stone was rolled away (present tense), the angels also descended [present tense].” Do you remember his saying something about the sixth grade pupil? Well if I had a sixth grade child, and he thought that came, was rolled, and descended were present tense of the verbs, I would want to have his mentality examined. I suggest to Elder Dugger that he make a date with a good English Grammar every night for the next six months and see if he can learn to distinguish between the past tense and present tense of verbs. I wouldn’t blame his brethren for being ashamed of him at this point: I am ashamed of him myself. And while I am talking about the tense of verbs I might mention again the words of Mark 16:9: “When Jesus was risen early the first day of the week.” Dugger said that all grammarians know that “risen” is the past perfect tense of “rise.” So he claimed the statement shows that Jesus arose before the first day of the week. I granted that the incident could be in the “past perfect tense” at the time Mark wrote, for he wrote 30 years later. But strictly speaking “was risen” is not the “past perfect tense” -- it is the simple past tense. As to the principal parts of verbs, “risen” is the perfect participle, but it might be used in any of the tenses. “Is risen” is present tense; “was risen” is past tense; “will be risen” is future tense; “have been risen” is present perfect tense; “had been risen” is past perfect tense; “will have been risen” is future perfect tense. So Dugger was wrong on this. “Was risen” of Mark 16:9 is the same tense as “was rolled,” or rolled, in Matthew 28:2. Dugger says “was risen” is past perfect tense and “was rolled” is present tense. But he is wrong about both of them; they are both simple past tense.
My friend dies hard on the statement made by the two disciples who went to Emmaus who said: “Today is the third days since these things were done” (Luke 24:21). He was so befuddled that he called them “the women.” Well, one of them was named Cleopas (Luke 24:18), and Cleopas was the husband of a wife named Mary (John 19:25). I haven’t learned yet how a woman can be a husband. Perhaps Dugger learned that along with his tense of verbs. But how does Dugger fix up their statement? They, speaking of the first day of the week following the Lord’s death, said: “Today is the third day since these things were done.” That puts the resurrection of Christ on Sunday, for he was to arise the third day, and they said “today is the third day.” My friend thinks he has it fixed by asking “What things?” Then he finds the answer: “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth.” So far, so good. But let me ask: “What things concerning Jesus of Nazareth?” Certainly not all things that concerned him. So which of the things? They answer: “How the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him” (verse 20). So they say: “This is the third day since Jesus was delivered and crucified.” Dugger says it is not so, but that it was the third day since the Roman guard was placed at his tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). It so happens, however, that they said not a single word about the guard being placed at the tomb. That is not a part of “these things” which they mentioned. Dugger puts that into their mouths, when the divine record does not even mention it. He is certainly hard pressed. He claims “these things” mentioned by these disciples were not done (finished) until the tomb was sealed and the guard was set. Think of that! Jesus was not delivered to be condemned to death till his tomb was sealed and the guard was stationed. He was not crucified till the Roman soldiers were placed at his tomb. That is what Dugger claims. A fellow who thinks that came, rolled and descended are in the present tense is likely to say anything. If he could make the present tense extend over thirty years, he ought to make it extend till the next day, of course. But Jesus was delivered (it was complete, or finished) and crucified (this was finished) the day before the guard was placed at his tomb (Matthew 27:62). Matthew says this guard was placed “the next day.” So you can’t count from that event; it was not even hinted at in “these things” mentioned by the disciples. It was “the third day” since Jesus was delivered and crucified, not since the guard was placed at his tomb. My friend’s cause is hopelessly lost at this point. Jesus arose the third day after his death, and Sunday was the third day.
Dugger professes a dislike for hash, but he goes back to the first proposition and brings up again all those scriptures about “the law,” “the commandments,” being “under the law,” and such like, which have been thoroughly discussed during the first proposition. Whether he has a dislike for hash depends on whose hash is being served.
He claimed I had willingly ignored his arguments. I challenged him to present some of the arguments ignored and predicted he would be silent about it. And sure enough he was -- not one word did he say. But his challenge to me to produce some questions in the first proposition that he would not answer is pitiful. In the summary of my final negative I numbered nine distinct “Unanswered Questions.” The reader can turn back and read them, and if any reader ever finds Dugger’s answer to any of them, I wish he would write me a letter and tell me where he found it. I could not locate such an answer. But he asks me why I take the communion at noon when Jesus called it a supper and Paul gave it at night. He says I have refused to answer this. So I guess this is what I “willingly ignored.” But if the reader will turn to the latter half of my second affirmative, he will find where I showed the word “supper” is from the Greek “deipnon” and may refer to any meal of the day. Then if he will turn to the latter part of my third affirmative, he will find my discussion of his claim that Paul gave the supper at night. It was in this connection that I mentioned the sixth grade pupil. Dugger, think hard and see if you can’t remember that. Have you completely lost your memory or forgotten how to read? What will the reader think when he sees my answer in black and white and then reads your statement that I “refused to answer” them. Don’t be so reckless with your statements and save yourself some embarrassment.
Yes, I am sure Dugger is among those described by Paul who are “ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7). Dugger wants to know what I would advise him to do. I recommend that he give up his contention for the Old Testament law, turn to the Lord, and when he does, Paul says: “the veil will be taken away” that is upon his heart or mind (II Corinthians 3:14-16). If the sixth grader can understand that “after three days” (Mark 8:31) would end on “the third day” (Matthew 16:21), then I am not uneasy but that he can also see that “after eight days” (John 20:26) would end on the “the eighth day,” even though me friend with a veil over his heart is not able to see it.
It is still unnecessary to enter a long discussion about whether the kingdom has been established. I showed that Paul, the Colossian brethren and John were all in it (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9). So I suppose it was not to be established thousands of years in the future. Dugger put on his silencer when he reached these passages. It is true that Christ is on his Father’s throne now (Revelation 3:21), but he is also on “his throne” (Zechariah 6:13). The fact is, the Father’s throne and the Son’s throne is the same throne (Revelation 22:1). But I ask Dugger the question: “Did the apostles eat at the Lord’s table where he placed it, or did they eat it somewhere else?” Jesus said he would put it in his kingdom (Luke 22:29, 30). How did Dugger answer this question? With his usual silence. And the fact remains that they were to eat of it “till he comes” (I Corinthians 11:26), not after he comes, what will it show after he comes? Don’t look for an answer or you may be disappointed.
I shall now give a summary of at least some of the things I have proven. All of his crowing about my not showing the scripture that calls Sunday the Sabbath, or that says it took the place of the Sabbath, or that says not to work on that day is misspent exercise. I do not claim it to be the Sabbath, or that it took the place of the Sabbath, or anything like that at all. So if you want to crow about that, go to it, for you can do a better job crowing about a claim that I do not make than you can in meeting the claim I do make. But the reader will see your failure.
I. I showed that the first day of the week is made important by a number of events. 1. The lord arose that day. He was to arise “the third day” following his death (Matthew 16:21). But Sunday was “the third day” from that event (Luke 24:21). So Jesus arose that day (Mark 16:9). Dugger has never been able to shake this, although he has tried desperately. His effort to prove Jesus was crucified on Wednesday by the use of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27 must have burned his hands, for he dropped it like it was hot. Maybe he’ll say some more about it now that I’ll have no chance to reply. 2. Regeneration was completed on that day, the day of the Lord’s resurrection (I Peter 1:3). 3. Jesus was acknowledged on that day to be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:32, 33). 4. A number of events occurred on the first Pentecost after his resurrection, which I have shown to be the first days of the week. These events include the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:1-4, 16-17), the establishment of the church (Isaiah 2:2, 3; Acts 2:17), the crowning of Christ as king on his throne (Zechariah 6:13; Acts 2:29-36) and the going forth of the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-3; Luke 24:47, 49; Acts 2).
II. I have shown that the first day of the week began to come into prominence after the Lord’s resurrection. This is shown by the number of meetings with his disciples on that day (Mark 16:9; Matthew 28:9, 10; Luke 24:13-15, 33-36; John 20:19, 26).
III. The relation between the Lord’s supper and the assembly has been shown. 1. Jesus commanded his disciples to partake of the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:24, 25). 2. The Lord commanded his people to assemble (Hebrews 10:25). 3. But they ate the supper when they assembled (I Corinthians 11:20-33). 4. Christians came together for the purpose of eating the supper (I Corinthians 11:33). This states definitely that they “came together to eat.” The Lord’s supper is the only thing that God required them to eat in the assembly. 5. But they “came together” to eat -- “to break bread” on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). This argument, presented step by step in my first affirmative, was never referred to by my opponent. The argument proves that the commandment to eat the Lord’s supper was obeyed when they assembled ‑- came together -- on the first day of the week.
IV. That the first day of the week was a day for religious service or worship has been shown by the meeting at Troas recorded in Acts 20:7. The passage says: “And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” Paul and other disciples had waited at Troas for seven days until this meeting (Acts 20:6). This custom of waiting seven days at a place is also shown in Acts 21:3, 4 and Acts 28:13, 14. Seven days would bring them to the regular worship, as it did at Troas, on the first day of the week. Though Paul and his companions stayed at Troas a full week, not even a hint is made of a Sabbath service; the only service mentioned is a first day service. Is it not strange that a first day service is the only one mentioned if the disciples were such devoted keepers of the Sabbath as present day Sabbatarians are? But the disciples came together on the first day of the week “to break bread.” Sometimes breaking bread refers to a common meal (Acts 2:46). And sometimes it refers to the Lord’s supper (I Corinthians 10:16). But which is it in Acts 20:7? I have shown that it could not be a common meal, for Paul tells Christians to “come together to eat” the Lord’s supper, but if any man hungered, “to eat at home” (I Corinthians 11:33, 34). So they did not assemble to eat common meals; they did that at home. But when they assembled -- came together -- to break bread it was to eat the Lord’s supper. Therefore the breaking of bread in Acts 20:7, which they “came together” to do, was the Lord’s supper. It was a religious service performed on the first day of the week. Dugger has never been able to shake this argument. He merely asserts it was a common meal, but I have never been able to persuade him to notice the language of Paul that they did not come together to eat common meals (I Corinthians 11:33, 34). Why has he not noticed this? Dugger says: “We have shown already that following the Sabbath the Jews always made it their practice to meet together and eat, or take refreshments.” I know that he asserted that, but certainly he has not shown it. He has never offered one bit of evidence for this statement; it rests upon his assertion. And that doesn’t prove anything -- except that Dugger is wrong. So here was a first day religious service, and the very form of expression, “when the disciples came together,” indicates their custom on the first day of the week. If I should say, “Upon the fourth day of July when the American people celebrate the declaration of independence,” you would understand that the American people celebrate the declaration of independence the fourth day of every July. So “upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread” indicates a breaking of bread the first day of every week. I have shown also that the Lord’s supper was not taken once a year at the time of the Jewish Passover, for “the days of unleavened bread” had passed before this meeting at Troas (Acts 20:6).
V. I have shown two things that are involved in the Lord’s supper -- the time of its observance and its frequency. It would be impossible to take it without taking it at some time. If it had been a yearly service, the record would have stated a certain day of a certain month; if it had been a monthly service, it would be on a certain day of the month; and if it is a weekly service, it must be on a certain day of the week. And this last is exactly what the New Testament says: “the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7). So it is not a yearly service, nor a monthly service, but a weekly service. That it had a certain frequency -- that it recurred -- I have shown from Acts 2:42. “They continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread.” This was said of the early church during the first year of its existence. I asked my friend to tell us how the early church continued in this service during that time if it was taken only once a year, as he claims, and the time for it had not arrived. But he has never referred to this question. According to him, they had not even taken it one time, but Luke said they “continued steadfastly” in it. Could it have been true that they “continued in prayer” if they had prayed but once or had never prayed at all? This cannot be set aside by an appeal to verse 46 which speaks of a daily breaking of bread at home, from house to house, for this in verse 42 is associated with their other public services -- prayer, fellowship and the apostles’ doctrine.
VI. I have shown that Paul, by divine authority, ordered the Corinthian church and others to lay by in store on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:1, 2). My opponent has had a hard time dealing with this passage. It was a religious service. It was ordered for the first day of the week. It was given as a divine commandment (I Corinthians 14:37). And they were to lay by in store to prevent any collections being made when Paul came -- “that there be no gathering when I come.” This was not an offering to be laid by at home, as Dugger claims, for then it would have to be collected after Paul came. I have asked my friend to tell us how a collection would be avoided when Paul arrived if his position about this is correct. Although I have challenged and begged him to give us this information, he has never made any attempt to do it. I have also begged him to tell us why Paul specified the first day of the week if this was just a matter of gathering the foods at home. Why would not some other day do just as well? I predicted he would be helpless in answering this question. And he has never been inclined to answer. His third affirmative said: “Paul did not specify the first day, for the ‘day’ is in italics.” So that is the way he answers it. He says it should read: “The first of the week.” So again he is correcting those 47 translators who were in danger of losing their heads. Dugger, can you not see an inch past your nose? And did you not know that the word “day” is not in the original in Acts 20:7? Neither in Matthew 28:1? Or in Mark 16:9? Yet you claim all of these refer to the first day. And did you not know that the word “day” is not in Acts 18:4 that tells that Paul reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath? And did you not know that it is not in scores of other passages you have used to sustain the “Sabbath day"? What is the matter with you, Dugger? You must be in a tight place. You say I Corinthians 16:1, 2 does not refer to “the first day” of the week, but just the “first of the week.” But heretofore you have been using the passage to prove that Paul commanded Christians to work on the first “day” of the week. But, in an effort to get out of one tight, you get into another. After all, what would “the first of the week” be if it is not “the first day of the week”? I won’t have any chance to reply to your answer, but I would like to see it anyway. So answer this question, please. If this had been a matter of storing goods at home, the third day or the fourth days of the week would serve just as well. I again ask why Paul specified the first day of the week. Dugger will never answer. His doctrine will not allow him to. You watch and see. But he still claims this refers to literal fruit -- dates, figs and raisins. I showed the word fruit simply meant the result of their liberality and gave a number of such uses of the term. But I want to ask my friend again, since I have not been able to get him to answer so far, if Paul and his few companions could carry enough bushels of figs, dates and raisins from Rome, Achaia, Macedonia and Galatia all the way to Jerusalem to be called a “liberal contribution” from all these churches? Dugger saw the “handwriting on the wall” and refused to answer. He asks me: “If it was money, why did he not want them to gather it when he came"? Simply because he wanted them to have it ready without further collections. Dugger says he ordered it to be laid by in store so that they would be through with their work and “be ready to attend his meetings.” That isn’t what Paul said. He said: “that there be no gathering (collection) when I come.” You or Paul, one or the other, is wrong, and I don’t believe it is Paul. He now denies that he denied that the Greek word “thesauridzo” means the treasury. This is the word used in I Corinthians 16:1, 2: “Lay by in store.” So it looks like I have misrepresented him. But I turn back to his first negative and here are his exact words: “you say this is from an original word meaning the treasury. I deny this assertion and demand the proof. I have studied Greek and lived in Missouri over twenty years, so come across and show us the goods.” So I did not misrepresent him; instead I “showed him the goods.” And now he says in his third negative: “I agreed with just what he said it means, and I still agree.” So he has retraced his steps. I am glad my friend agrees “with just what I said.” So the word does mean putting it into the treasury, and that sets aside his contention that it was a home duty. Hence, I don’t need any more than this: Dugger has surrendered the whole thing on this passage. I didn’t expect him to do so well.
VII. I have shown from Revelation 1:10; Psalm 118:22-24 and other scriptures that the first day of the week is the Lord’s day. It is the day on which the Lord arose from the dead and brought untold joy to his disciples, and the day became “a day of gladness and rejoicing among his people.” But Dugger said “the Lord’s day” of Revelation 1:10 was the judgment day. I took that so completely away from him that he didn’t even mention it again. I asked him how John could be anywhere “on a day” that was two thousand years or more in the future. He saw his predicament and said no more about it.
But my work is done. I have enjoyed this discussion and can go before God with a clear conscience in the day of judgment regarding the things I have said. My friend may have much to say in his last about giving the scripture that shows Sunday to be the Sabbath, that it took the place of the Sabbath, or that says not to work on the day. I did not bind myself to prove any such things about it. It is not the Sabbath. It did not take the place of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was abolished (Colossians 2:14-16) and the first day is an entirely different matter. I have proved that God authorized worship for the first day of the week, and that it is therefore a day of worship enjoined upon Christians in this age. That was my proposition and it has been sustained by the scriptures.
It was the purpose of our opponent to bring forth conclusive evidence from the scriptures, that the first day of the week was the day ordained of God for worship in this age. He has finished his last and final affirmative, which surely brings disappointment to many honest people who have sincerely believed that the apostles always met on the first day of the week for worship, and that there were many scriptures in the New Testament to sustain this practice. My own father, who was a college man, and a minister for many years, also believed this until he was called upon to make the matter a personal investigation. He was also surprised and disappointed, just as hundreds of others have been. This final affirmative of Elder Porter, is only a repetition of what has gone before, and it sadly lacks real evidence which many earnest people have looked for, and would like to find. My friend has done his best, and not only that, but much better than many could do. It is no fault of Elder Porter, but the trouble is a lack of evidence. When the New Testament is as silent on a subject, as it is on this one, who could do more than he has done? When there is absolutely no command to cease work on the first day, or to worship God on that day, or even where the early church made it their custom to hold meetings on the first day, there is nothing left to do in sustaining such a proposition, but to argue over the technical meaning of Greek words, translations, etc.
If the reader will carefully look back over the evidence given he will see that there is not one thousandth part as much in the Bible in favor of holding religious services on the first day, as there is on the seventh day of the week. The seventh day is so clearly set forth there is no danger of mistake. My friend admits this by saying “the first day is not the Sabbath,” and that it did not take the place of the ancient Sabbath.
He tries, however, to make you believe I have re-traced my steps, and in trying to dodge the issue have gotten into more difficulty, but you will see that I have not done so. It is the truth we want. He said the Greek word “thesauridzo,” meant “the treasury,” as if the laying by in store (I Corinthians 16:1, 2), meant a specific treasury like the church treasury. I demanded the proof for this, and I still demand it, for he has not brought forth the goods. Furthermore he fully knows he has not, and that he cannot. He quoted from Thayer the Greek lexicographer, and here is just what he said: “Thayer says it means the place in which goods or precious things are collected and laid up, a casket, coffer or other receptacle in which valuables are kept a treasury, a storehouse, repository, magazine.” Then he quotes just one illustration from Liddell and Scott because it is the one that suits him, but Liddell and Scott also give more examples of the use of this word just as Thayer gives, and they also give “a storehouse.” Surely this is just a little tricky, to make believe that the word used in I Corinthians 16:1, 2 always means “the treasury,” when it does not, for these Greek authors say it is also used for “a treasury,” or “a storehouse,” just as in this text. “Let every one of you lay by him in store,” and it does not signify a gathering together but simple a storehouse at home. This text is not translated “the treasury,” but “lay by him in store.” So here is proof that the Greek scholars translating the Bible rightly translated it “storehouse.” Also with the Greek context of I Corinthians 16:1 it does signify laying by in store at home.
This text says “Lay by him.” It does not say lay by at church or even lay by together. I have given plenty of texts that this included provisions. Paul said it was fruit, and he did not mean good works either, for others were to go with him to bring the liberalities to Jerusalem. Note verses 3 and 4. Paul says “they” shall go with me. So it would have taken more than one besides Paul to carry the provisions from Corinth, as he says “they.” This would mean at least two besides Paul, and men with camels could carry more than a bushel or two of this dried fruit that Paul tells of, and I believe Paul knew more about it than our friend. This text is not a command to rest on the first day, or to worship on that day. The word “day” is not included by the translator as belonging to the text, for it is in italic letters. This was so done by the translators that we might know it was not in the original Greek, and of course they would not lose their heads for putting it that way. Yes, the word day is also in italics where it refers to the Sabbath, but the Bible sets forth so plainly which day the Sabbath is, that when it says “they met every Sabbath” we do not need the word day to specify clearly that it was the seventh day of the week, for that is stated many times in the Bible. If it said Paul “met the last of the week” with the brethren and preached, and I would try to make you believe this was on the very last day and therefore the Sabbath, my friend would sure go up in the air and tell you I was losing my head. His arguments are very loose, and uncertain when all of these places simply say “the first of the week” in the original. And even allowing him to use the word day, then where is the real substantial evidence he was supposed to present to you? He has failed in presenting one text that even shows where they held just one religious meeting on the light part of the first day of the week. He showed one text where they held a night meeting on the first day, which was a fare-well meeting of Paul as we have shown, and the purpose of their gathering together at that time was “to break bread,” or to eat a common meal.
My friend refers again to the ignorance of his opponent. Yes, it is too bad indeed that he happened to get in this discussion with one so ignorant, but it happens that I have held public discussions with just twelve leading ministers of this same church, or at least they called it the church of Christ, and their belief was the same, as near as I could tell. They all denied being followers of Alexander Campbell, but every one failed to give proof of their existence prior to his time, or to name any of their leaders before Alexander Campbell without naming men connected with the Presbyterian church, or some other known denomination. Elder Alexander Campbell, knew why Pentecost never came on a certain fixed day of the week, the same as all Jewish Rabbis know. The “sheaf offering,” of the Jews corresponds to Pentecost, or it was always calculated by counting fifty days from the sheaf offering (Leviticus 23:14-16), and there it plainly says fifty days. The sheaf offering was always calculated from a certain day of the month as we have previously shown. We are not finding fault with the translator, because as Alexander says, the Hebrew word “sabat” signified the week itself, so in verse 15 it says to number seven Sabbaths complete, but in the next verse it says to number fifty days which would cover the seven weeks. This proves that it refers to weeks, and furthermore the “sheaf offering” was calculated by the season, and the day of the month and not by the day of the week, which was the starting point for Pentecost.
Now we will again notice Hebrews 4:4-9. My friend naturally thinks the Greek word here should be translated Joshua because the way it is translated in our common Bible it ruins his theory completely, and does away with the keeping of any other day besides the 7th day. As the Greek word “Iesous,” also refers to Joshua, he is sure it should be that way here. Now let us examine the text and see. There is much difference in the position held by Joshua and that of Jesus. By reason of their position and power with the Father, which one of them, would naturally be referred to here? Joshua had no authority to change long established institutions like the Sabbath, but Jesus could have had such authority, as he was the Son of God. In this text it plainly says “There remaineth therefore (or for this reason) a rest for the people of God, and he that has entered into his rest hath ceased from his own works as God did from his.” Because, or for the reason that Jesus did not give them another day, the same day remained. This could not have been said of Joshua for he would not have had such authority, nor would his decisions altered or changed matters whatever with God, as to the Sabbath day. The text is consequently rightly translated Jesus, and Jesus did not give them rest, nor speak of another day. And for this reason, we are to enter into our rest “as God did his.” That is exactly what it says in this text, and verse 4 also tells us that God rested the 7th day from all his works. Those who pray daily for God’s presence to guide them, will possess enough of his spirit to find joy in doing his will in every matter, and also in keeping his Sabbath day instead of the counterfeit Sunday with only a few texts to furnish them a flimsy excuse, such as the night meeting where it says they came together to break bread. This I have plainly shown was only a common meal, for the Lords’ supper comes once a year, to show forth his death (I Corinthians 11), and he did not die on the first day of the week.
Jesus was not resurrected on that day either, as we have abundantly shown. Our friend is certainly very hard pressed, when he has to claim the Bible is wrong and it should have been translated different in so many places. He says the word “Jesus” should be Joshua in Hebrews 4:8, that it should read “after the Sabbath” instead of “in the end of the Sabbath” (Matthew 28:1), also that I Corinthians 16:1, 2 should read “Lay by in the treasury,” instead of “Lay by him in store.” It is surely pitiful that a man of his ability will say the Bible [is wrong], and that others will also join with him in trying to bolster up these feeble props behind a long cherished heathen tradition of Sunday keeping. He accuses me of finding fault with the translators, but not in one case have I done so. I am standing by our old standard Bible, and defending the knowledge and integrity of the 47 eminent Greek scholars who translated it from the Greek into the English. They are attacked by many modern modernists, and church prelates who want their own erroneous creeds supported, and doctrinal errors which crept in through Catholic propaganda centuries ago, defended. I simply showed to you people the facts that Hebrew “sabat” was used interchangeably in ancient times for both Sabbath, and week, and I did this by Alexander Campbell the leading theologian of my friend’s church.
The Lord plainly tells us that the earthquake occurred and that Jesus arose “in the end of the Sabbath” (Matthew 28:1), but my friend declares it is wrong and vainly tries to bring evidence forth to prove it. Liddell and Scott nor Thayer do not as he says confirm his contention. He makes much over what he says that I said, but go back and see just what I did say, as it is on record. Here it is, word for word. I said, “Liddell and Scott nor Thayer do not dare to say that the Greek word, in this text epiphosco with its special grammatical context and construction” means “after,” or “past,” or “getting light towards.” There is some difference in what I said and what he now tries to make you think I said. I said with its “special grammatical context” (the words preceding and following). Surely I have looked this up, and I know just what they say. The Greek opsie is always rightly translated “late,” and not after, having the setting that it has in this text, and that is just why 47 eminent Greek scholars put it this way. I know it does not suit my friend, but it fits the truth, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead just 72 hours after he was put in the grave.
Liddell and Scott, Wilson, and also Thayer all give Matthew 28:1, and Luke 23:54 for the use of epiphosko. In the former it says, “as it began to dawn towards,” and the latter “the next day drew on.” The word means to draw on towards, and in Matthew 28:1, with the Greek word “opsie” preceding it, we have the rendering “In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn, or draw on towards the first day of the week.” As the two days met at the going down of the sun, the event occurred just before sundown Saturday and just 72 hours after Jesus was placed in the tomb, for he was to be there three days and three nights. My friend now tries to back-track and says the tomb was not the heart of the earth. Since he sees his mathematical blunder of trying to get three days and three nights between Friday evening and Sunday morning as he tried to do at first, he now thinks that the three days and three nights apply to the time Jesus was in the hands of the Roman officers. We will therefore turn the scripture search-light on this false teaching also, and expose another of his errors. If, as Mr. Porter says, Jesus was taken Thursday night after supper (Luke 22) while in the garden, he would be in the hands of the Roman officers just Friday and Saturday, which was only two days, and not three days, as he said. This teaching again throws Jesus in the false light of an impostor because the only sign of being the Son of God has failed.
The expression the heart of the earth means the tomb, from which he was resurrected because he was there just three days and three nights just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly (Matthew 12:40).
My friend advises me to take a course in English so my brethren will not be ashamed of me, but dear people it is not English we need, it is God’s presence through the power of the Spirit. I took a course in English before graduating from Wayne college, and later I took a special course in English and Rhetoric at the University of Chicago, but where I received the greatest benefit in seeing God’s word rightly was at the throne of grace in daily prayer for more wisdom and knowledge of God’s way, the only way to eternal life. I advise my friend to take a course of prayer three times every day as Daniel, and all other of God’s ancient worthies did. All who hunger and thirst for God’s truth and righteousness and seek him for it, will be bountifully rewarded (Matthew 7:7-14). My friend makes much fun of me for mis-speaking myself as he says, and saying the women went with the apostles to Emmaus, but I fail in finding any argument in such ridicule, in establishing his proposition. I will here give his “mis-quotation” of the Bible, and on a very vital point too. He did it because of a lack of knowledge of the scriptures, and such errors when not corrected lead people into serious error, and darkness. Here is just what he said word for word. He said “was risen” in Mark 16:9 is the same tense of the verb as “was rolled,” in Matthew 28:1. Dugger said “was risen” is in past perfect tense, and “was rolled,” is present tense. He also seasoned his surrounding remarks with much ridicule, and the words “was rolled,” are not found in Matthew 28:1, or in the context. This is another of his many mistakes, of what he thought was in the scriptures. Many people believe the New Testament says things it does not say about this Sabbath question and are surprised to find that what they thought was there, is not there.
What I said about Matthew 28:1-4 being in the present tense, I still affirm, and so will every other intelligent person who reads it. While this was recorded about 30 years after the events happened just the same as Mark 16:9, yet this is written in the present, while Mark 16:9 is recorded in the past tense. The word “risen” used there is the past perfect tense of the verb “rose,” regardless of how much he tries to twist it and pull it around. The events recorded in Matthew 28:1-4 are recorded in the present tense, just as they happened then, while the angels were present, and while the holy women were at the tomb, and it says this was “in the end of the Sabbath,” and I believe it was still on the Sabbath, but in the end of the day, just as the Lord says it was. The event of the resurrection of Jesus is told in Luke 24, John 20, and Mark 16, all of which were recorded 30 years after the event happened, but it is speaking of what the women found the very morning the visitors arrived at the tomb. It makes no difference when the narrative was told whether it was 30 years or a hundred years, the writer told what they found at the tomb when they arrived, and in Matthew 28:1 when they came there in the end of the Sabbath they saw the angels roll the stone away, and this happened right then, present tense, which was quite different indeed from what they saw when arriving the next morning.
The Lord plainly tells us that Jesus arose from the dead “in the end of the Sabbath,” and that the next day that followed was the “first day of the week.” He was therefore buried just 72 hours before this, or three days and three nights, and this would bring us back to Wednesday and the end of Wednesday, the midst of the week (Daniel 9:27). It could not have been on Friday, therefore it was not on the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, but the Passover Sabbath, and this is exactly what the scriptures tell us, as we have previously shown you. In John 19:14, and 31 we are plainly told that it was the preparation for the Passover and the day before the “high day Sabbath.” Our friend now says that the high day Sabbath was when the weekly Sabbath came on the same day the yearly Sabbath came on, but you notice that he gives no authority for the statement and he has a good reason, because there is none to give. The Jews always regarded the yearly Sabbath which came once a year the special Sabbath because it only came yearly, while the Sabbath according to God’s eternal law came once every week. There is no way that my friend can get the crucifixion on Friday, and the resurrection on Sunday to save his life, without doing violence to the scriptures of truth. We agree with him that some of the same women are mentioned in each narrative by the different writers Mark, Luke and John, as well as Matthew, and that while the same visit is recorded by some of these yet, not by all because Luke 24:22-24 speaks of two visits, and says that some of the same women who were there before went back with others and found it even as the first ones had said. It makes no difference what my friend says, this is God’s word, and it is true whether he believes it or not.
The first day of the week being the third day since these things were done, has been explained in a way which does not do violence to the other scripture narrative, for this explanation makes harmony. The things mentioned as “these things” in Luke 24 certainly did include all things pertaining to the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, as well as sealing the stone and setting the watch, because they were not done until these very important things were done. They were done as we have previously shown you on the morning after Jesus was buried or Thursday morning, making Sunday “the third day since these things were done.”
It seems that our friend again tries to mislead you by emphasizing that particular part of the narrative about “a vision of angels.” He does not think the women would come to the tomb in the evening and others come the next morning and see the same vision of angels, but it does not say “the vision,” as if it was all one vision seen by the visitors on both occasions. It says the other women going to the sepulchre said they also saw “a vision of angels.” This is quite different indeed, and it puts a different meaning entirely on the narrative. Let us watch with care, and earnestly pay heed to the word of the Lord, lest we be led off into error, by those who “are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
He says he gave me nine distinct questions in his final negative on the former proposition which I refused to answer. This absolutely is not true, because I answered every argument he brought forth against the truth of God’s holy Sabbath day in our former proposition. This, the readers will be able to judge for themselves. Just because he says I have failed to answer his argument, does not make it so. There is no scripture, nor argument to be brought forth against the truth, but what can be answered, and for which God has furnished us abundant evidence. He says he answered all of my argument, but when he referred to the Lord’s supper being taken at noon as he practices it in his church, he tried to make you believe that the Greek word “deipnon” used here for supper could refer to any meal of the day. This is some more of his slippery dodges which he says are answers to my argument. He seems to forget that Paul said “I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.” Now I wonder if the Greek word here for night, could be craftily handled so it would mean day, and give him an excuse for taking the Lord’s supper at noon? After Jesus had been in the grave just 72 hours, or three days and three nights he arose, and it was immediately after three days too, or the scriptures would not have been fulfilled. It was within the very next minute after he had been in the grave three days and three nights that he came forth, but immediately “after eight days” from one Sunday would not bring us to another Sunday regardless of his vain juggling of the scriptures. No, not even if it started within a fraction of a second after, for there are just seven days in the week as everyone knows.
He again speaks of the kingdom, and says I answered his question by my usual silence, but we will let the people judge as to this matter. The apostles did eat of the Lord’s supper the night he gave it and where he gave it, but this was not in the future kingdom, soon to come. Because as I previously stated, and to which my friend is notably silent, the twelve apostles are to sit there judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and he knows this did not happen then, neither has it since. In Revelation 21:1 this throne being jointly between the Father and the Son, is here on earth, after Jesus returns for it says plainly that the holy city the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven. Zechariah 6:13 is also future when Jesus will be both priest and king, and will wound the heads over many countries as we are also told in Psalm 110. The phase of the kingdom of God, known as the kingdom of grace, is here, and has been here since the days of Jesus, and it is this kingdom and phase of the glorious kingdom we have mentioned in Colossians 1:13, and Revelation 1:9.
Now we shall briefly answer some arguments set forth in his summary which have not been given attention again in this negative, and then follow with our final recapitulation and summary of basic facts. He says “regeneration was completed on that day” meaning the first day of the week, “the day of the Lord’s resurrection,” and he gives I Peter 1:3 as proof. This says nothing whatever about the first day of the week. He says Jesus was acknowledged on that day to be the Son of God, and gives Psalm 27, and Acts 13:32, 33, but not one word is said about the first day of the week in either of these passages. Please take them down and read them for yourselves, if you really want the truth. He gives a number of scriptures showing important events occurring on the day of Pentecost, and gives his own word that Pentecost was on the first day of the week, but the scripture to prove it is sadly lacking.
He says the first day of the week began to come into prominence after the resurrection of Christ by the number of meetings with his apostles on that day and gave Mark 16:9, Matthew 29:9, 10, Luke 24:13-15, 33, 36, and John 20:19-26, but not one of these scriptures speak of a religious gathering being held, of preaching, or even reading the scriptures or praying. These were not religious meetings, but simply appearances of our Saviour to confirm the facts of his having been resurrected from the dead, the evening before, as the Lord has told us. How hard up he has been for scriptures showing meetings on that day. Again he gives John 20:26 where it says “after eight days” beginning on Sunday he met again with the disciples. This he very ridiculously claims was on another first day. How dare him to try to put such an absurd claim before intelligent people. The Lord speaks of the Jews who had a veil over their eyes because they could not look to the end of that which was abolished, and said when they turned to the Lord the veil would be taken away, surely he has a veil over his eyes, and is seeing things that cannot be true. The Jews still held to the old law of pardon through the blood of animals, but when they accepted Jesus this veil was taken away, for then they would be able to see that the old system of pardon by the animal sacrifices was abolished, and that the blood of Jesus which they must accept by faith took its place. Just as Jesus was a stumbling block to the blinded Jews, the Lord says he will be a rock of stumbling and offense to the Gentiles who want to be disobedient, and now we find them stumbling over Jesus, claiming he was resurrected on Sunday, and we are to keep another day, because they want to follow the world in disobedience to the commandments of God, which enjoin rest on Saturday the seventh day.
In Summary No. 3 he gives another series of scriptures, not one of which even mentions the first day of the week except Acts 20:7, where they met to “break bread.” He says we never answered this argument, but we kindly ask you to investigate the records of our past arguments and see if this was not repeatedly answered. How dare him to make such a bold statement which the reader can see for himself is not true. Surely he has not forgotten this.
Summary No. 4. In the entire summary number 4 he fails to give further texts or proof of his proposition wherein the first day of the week is mentioned. He repeats Acts 20:7 where it says the apostles came together on that day, and it says plainly the purpose of the meeting. They came together “to break bread,” and it says Paul preached to them with many lights in the upper chamber, and he preached until morning. We have clearly and repeatedly shown this to be a farewell meeting of Paul with the church there. Furthermore we have told you the custom of the Jews was to gather together after the Sabbath was passed, which would be on the dark part of the first day of the week and eat a common meal, and Jews will also tell you of the custom. He has failed to show proof that my statement was not true. He says here that it was the custom of the apostles to remain just seven days in one place, and claims this brought them to another 1st day of the week, but in the previous summary he claimed that “after eight days” brought them to another first day. Now I wonder which of these is true. Surely both cannot be right. Where is his evidence in this summary that the first day of the week was their regular day to meet and worship God? We have shown from the scriptures positively that the Lord’s supper was a yearly event, and to show forth the Lord’s death. We have also referred you to the history of the early church, and to the decree of council of Nice where they fixed Easter on a certain Sunday, and forbid the Christians Judaizing by keeping the Passover time with the Jews. Breaking of bread of course in some places refers to the Lord’s supper as we have shown, but that event had passed before they came to Troas (Acts 20:6) therefore this breaking of bread was only a common meal.
Summary No. 5. Here he wants me to answer his argument of how the apostles “continued” in breaking bread if it was only practiced once a year. Surely anyone can see that they could continue in this yearly practice of the Lord’s supper just as it was introduced by Jesus, the same as they could continue in it, if it were practiced once a month or once a week. Paul says “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast” (I Corinthians 5:7, 8), and we have given numerous other texts in proof that the early church did keep the Lord’s supper once a year and on the very day of the month that Jesus did. Furthermore that they could not show forth his death on any other day besides the day it occurred any more than we can celebrate our birthday once a week, or once a month or just any time.
It does not say in Acts 2:42 and 46 that they broke this bread once a week, or that it was broken on the first day of the week as our friend would like to have it say, but it says they broke it daily. It says also they had all things common, and that they “continuing daily in one accord in the temple, and in breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of their hearts” (verse 46). Here too we find that they did go from house to house and met together in breaking bread daily. Therefore in Acts 20:7 when they came together to break bread it was simply a continuation of this very practice. As the argument produced in this summary is all that Elder Porter has given, and it constitutes all he can produce to sustain his proposition, it is needless for me to tell you that he has failed, for you all know he has. We know, however, that it is no fault of his, for the scriptures are silent in teaching any such doctrine as first day observance.
1. We wish to call your attention to the fact that not one scripture has been produced by our friend where the first day of the week commonly called Sunday, was to take the place of the ancient day of worship held sacred by all of God’s people. Not one scripture where Christ ever spoke the words first day while he was here on earth, or where the apostles ever told anyone to assemble together on that day: Not one text where it says we are not to labor on that day: Not one text where the first day is called the Lord’s day: Not one text where we are commanded to meet together on that day: Not one text where it says the early church sang songs or prayed on that day: Not one text where it says it was the custom of Christ or the apostles to meet on that day: Not one text where it says they ever held preaching services on that day except the one occasion of Paul’s preaching all night Saturday night and then walking 19 miles across the cape from Troas to Assos the light part of the first day.
2. Throughout the discussion we have insisted that our friend show some such scripture, but he has failed to do so. We have repeatedly asked him to tell us why God would be so silent in the introduction of another day of worship, in place of an institution like the Sabbath, that those chosen to be saved, both Jew and Gentile, had observed for thousands of years but he has been silent. Does it not look reasonable, dear people, that God would have been very definite and clear about giving another day to take the place of the Sabbath institutions, and not left the New Testament entirely void of such a command, or of one clear and definite example of first day keeping?
We have shown you that the first day of the week was mentioned but eight times in the New Testament, and that not one of these places speaks of it as a holy day, a sacred day, or even a day of rest or worship, but to the contrary the ancient day of rest which was Saturday, is called the Sabbath more that fifty times in the New Testament.
3. We have shown you that the first day of the week came into general use as a day of worship, through the Roman Catholic church, because they did not want the Christians to hold a day in common with the Jews. We have shown you that the Roman Catholic church ruled the world for over 1260 years putting to death millions of people who would not follow their decrees, and ecclesiastical dogmas: That the prophecies of Daniel declared that this power of Rome was coming forth and would change the law of God, and set itself up above God, and furthermore that this has taken place thus vindicated God’s word and proving it true. Also that they confessed the guilt of having changed the law of God and the Sabbath just as Daniel said they would do, and boastfully claim the authority for giving Sunday to the world.
4. We have shown you clearly that the seventh day, and not the first day was the day observed in the New Testament by the early Gentile believers as well as the converted Jews who followed Paul. These scriptures were given in proof. Acts 13:42, 44, also 16:12-14 and 17:2, as well as 18:4-11 where Paul preached a year and six months on the Sabbath and made tents during the week, which must also have included the first day.
5. That Jesus made it his custom to preach on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:14-16), and that if we follow him we will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12).
6. That Paul taught us clearly on the question by saying that “If Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:4-9), and in the next verse he tells us that for this reason there remaineth a rest (margin says “keeping of Sabbath”) for the people of God, and that those doing this enter into their rest as God did his. Surely this is plain enough.
7. We have shown that the ten commandments, spoken of in the Old Testament as the law of God, are also mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament, where we are told if we break one of them we are guilty of all (James 2:10, 11). Hence if we break the Sabbath by using it for our own work, we are guilty before heaven.
8. That it was the law of Moses, and not the ten commandment law done away by the shedding of the blood of Jesus. Consequently the commandments of God, and the law of God, we are told to keep in the New Testament is the same law, and it is the only law that points out and defines sin. It is mentioned in the following texts: Matthew 5:17-19, Romans 2:13, I Corinthians 7:19, James 2:10, 11, I John 2:4, 3:4, 5:3, Revelation 12:17, 14:12, 22:14.
9. We have shown that the Sabbath days and holy days done away by Christ were the yearly Sabbaths and feast days included in the Mosaic law of pardon, which was contrary to the apostles. That it did not include the weekly Sabbath of the holy ten commandment law, given to govern the lives of all holy men.
10. We have shown that the seventh day Sabbath, and not the first day of the week was and still is, God’s holy day. That God is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8), therefore his day remains holy. We have shown that the people in every age who were God’s people, kept his day. The seventh day has always been reserved unto God as his holy day, but the first day is the world’s holiday, the counterfeit offered by Satan and christened as a day of rest by Rome.
So we leave this important question with our readers, trusting each one will make his choice to obey God, and keep his day, instead of following the decrees of Rome. “Choose ye this day which ye will serve.” “If the Lord be God serve him, but if Baal, then serve him.”
The Dugger-Porter Debate has been reprinted by The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.