Header Image: Greg Rakozy

What is the “eighth day” you may ask; surely we know there are only seven days in a week!

But in ancient times, Sunday – which was also known as the first day of the week, was also referred to as the eighth day by Christians.

This day was considered a holy day from the earliest of times by Christians (despite some weak arguments that Constantine, or the Pope, “changed the Sabbath” some 400 years later), and this was because it was the day on which Christ rose from the dead!

I will make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. For that reason, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day on which Jesus rose again from the dead.

Barnabas 15:8-9

 

Barnabas, in his epistle, makes the first recorded mention of this day as specifically called the “eighth” which is as early as somewhere between 70 - 130 AD.

Advertisement

But the concept of an "eighth day" isn't new and is found throughout the Scriptures in the Old Testament, specifically in the last of the great feasts: the feast of booths (Leviticus 23:33 onwards), and circumcision on the eighth day after birth. The priests and Nazirites also had seven days of cleansing before offering sacrifices specifically on the eighth day (Numbers 6, Leviticus 8:33ff).

The apostles pick up on these themes, like with the eight people, including Noah, who were “saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20) and how we now have a spiritual circumcision of the heart instead of a physical procedure (Romans 2:29). But if we look back at the gospel in John 7:37-38 and also John 8:12, we can see that during the festival of booths Jesus used the symbols of that festival (water and light) to declare that he himself is the true fulfillment of that! You can read a more in depth explanation of that at jewsforjesus.org.

After Barnabas, we find scattered references in other early writings which show understanding of Christ's fulfillment in these things – such as Justin Martyr, who wrote saying that the eighth day “possessed a certain mysterious significance, which the seventh day did not”; and Cyprian who wrote that this was also the fulfilment of the Jewish practice of circumcision on the eighth day after birth (Genesis 17:12) which was a shadow of Christ rising from the dead to give us “the circumcision of the Spirit”. This symbolism and spiritual fulfillment carries on throughout various early authors too, and is also sometimes referred to as the “Lord’s Day”, which is a phrase you might recognise from Revelation 1:10 too.

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

Didache 14:1

 

As early as Acts, we can see the believers all began to gather and teach on a Sunday (the first day):

Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.

 

Advertisement

Praise and worship was held on Sunday’s because of the resurrection – this day was to be a celebration of what Jesus accomplished and what that now means for the rest of us who are in Christ: being a part of the New Covenant, which makes us a new creation through baptism and through our outworking of the faith, we reconcile the world back to God as co-workers with Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:9)!

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

 

Resting with God

Advertisement

This is God showing that things work differently now. No longer is he only found in a physical brick and mortar temple, or a specific holy place (as Jesus points out in John 4:21) – now God dwells with us and in us because our bodies ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)!

Because of that, we have now entered the fulfillment of the Sabbath – which is Jesus, who is our Sabbath rest.

Matthew 11:28-29

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Advertisement

 

Jesus is the fulfillment of all the types and shadows which the Old Testament predicted (Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:5-6), and that includes having a certain day for rest and worship.

Hebrews 4:3, 9-10

For we who have believed enter that rest … So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

Advertisement

 

Dwelling with God

Compare what Paul says about believers being the temple, with what is declared in Revelation about this very concept:

2 Corinthians 6:16b

For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will live in them and walk among them,

   and I will be their God,

   and they shall be my people.”

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God himself will be with them”

 

This is why everything is new! Heaven will never be the same again, and neither will the Earth! God has set up a new temple where he dwells now: in us!

Paul had grasped this concept and if you read through his letters you will notice that he really hammers this point home quite often! We need to stop viewing everything so physically, and look beyond to see what God has done in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

 

Made new by God

If we are “in Christ” then WE are that new creation! Hence why, in the preceding verse, Paul writes that we should “regard no one from a human point of view” if they are believers.

Advertisement

Again we see this theme in Colossians 1:19-20, where Paul writes that “God was pleased” to reconcile all things to himself, whether “on Earth or in Heaven” – in other words, all of Creation.

This again is echoed in Rev 21:5, where “the one on the throne” (ie. God) declares: “See, I am making all things new.”

Reconcile means “the restoration of friendly relations”, so now if God is on friendly terms with “all things” in Heaven or Earth, and has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” as “co-workers with Christ”, then this must make us think about what a new earth really means. You don’t destroy something you have reconciled with, do you?

This is why baptism was seen as so important in the early church, and not so much as a symbolic act of faith, and definitely not an optional choice if you wanted to be part of the Body of Christ!

Advertisement

The waters of baptism is where we see the new creation really taking place; this is where we become “in Christ” and are raised new in our spiritually resurrected bodies.

Colossians 2:12

When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 3:1

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Ephesians 2:5-6

…[God,] even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Romans 6:4

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Also, just a interesting side-note here: baptismal fonts in the traditional Church buildings are often Octagonal in shape due to the symbolism of the eighth day and baptism representing new creation!

 

A new Kingdom with God

Not only are we within the new creation, raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenlies, but we are co-workers in this new ministry! We work together with God to bring all of Creation back to Him, and we do this as ambassadors for Christ because we are also now within the Kingdom of God and have that authority through the Spirit who dwells in us!

Advertisement

As Jesus told the Pharisees in Luke 17:21, “the kingdom of God is among (or within) you”. Paul also writes to the Colossians (1:13-14) and tells them that God “has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son”.

This is our reality. If we are in Christ, then we are made new, raised up and are in the Kingdom of God as ambassadors. This is the Eighth Day.

 

Take hold of this truth and let it transform you.

Advertisement





Further Reading:

Contribute on Patreon

Enjoying this? Consider contributing regular gifts for this content on Patreon.
* Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator's community and pay them for making the stuff you love. You can simply pay a few pounds per month or per post that a creator makes, and in return receive some perks!

Subscribe to Updates
Order my new book today from Amazon or fortydays.co.uk

Subscribe to:

Have something to say? Leave a comment below.

Leave a comment   Like   Back to Top   Seen 2.4K times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates and join over 107 subscribers today!

Order my new book today from Amazon or fortydays.co.uk

Subscribe to Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Francis Chan turns towards a more historical and ancient view of Communion

| 14th January 2020 | General Interest

If you follow certain Christian blogs, or have Christian friends on Social Media, then you may have seen a short video clip being shared which has been taken from a recent sermon by popular Evangelical pastor/speaker and author, Francis Chan of Crazy Love ministries. Depending on who shared the clip will depend on which reaction you have seen; some are praising his words, others fearing for his future calling it a “red flag”. And all of this over a short statement he made about communion! I recommend you watch this 3 minute clip below before continuing, if you haven’t seen it already. I would also recommend watching the whole 47 minute sermon for some better context, where he talks about his struggles and journey to this point in his faith around the topic of communion — something he was wrestling with even back in his BASIC series teaching on Communion from around 2012, views which have clearly moved on since then towards a more historical view. Chan says he isn’t making any sort of “grand statement” here, and goes on to give a brief, if little distorted, overview of church history: “I didn’t know that for the first 1,500 years of church history, everyone saw it as the literal body and blood of Christ … And it wasn’t until 500 years ago that someone popularised the thought that it’s just a symbol and nothing more. I didn’t know that. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s something to consider.’” This part isn’t too far from reality, really, though a little over-simplified. But I understand his zeal and excitement about this discovery of his, as I went through the exact same mind-blowing realisation around five or so years ago when I first delved into the writings of the Early Church Fathers and was forced to come to the same conclusion that there was something there to seriously consider. If the Church had always understood Jesus’ words and the interpretation of Scripture in a fairly singular and unified way for nearly two millennia, then who was I to come along and say my understanding exceeds the wisdom of everyone before me? It was actually one of the earliest texts, from a second century bishop called Ignatius, that really tipped me over the edge from a “memorialist” view (that the bread and wine are purely symbolic, nothing more), to a sacramental view (that the bread and wine are a means of grace that God uses). Ignatius was writing against a heretical group who were teaching a false doctrine about Jesus not really coming in the flesh, and uses communion as an example to prove the opposite, which also gives us an interesting and early view on the sacraments: “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.”— Ignatius Of Antioch: Letter To The Smyrnaeans (c.108 AD) At first reading I was stuck by the literal nature in which Ignatius spoke of the Eucharist (communion), and as I read more of the Early Church Fathers, that same, common thread kept appearing: they all held to a view of Communion which was definitely more than simply a symbol or memorial (you can read some more quotes on the topic here). Chan later talks about unity in the early church and how he longs to see that type of unity again in the Church globally, explaining that making communion more central to worship would help with that. Chan then laments about the apparent disunity within Protestantism, citing the dramatic statistics of there being “30,000 denominations” in the Protestant world. It’s a common claim, often from Roman Catholic apologists, but it’s not exactly accurate; there’s really only about six general umbrellas if you boil it all down: Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Baptist, Methodist and Pentecostal/Charismatic. Most “non-denominational” churches are still largely Baptist in their theology, despite avoiding an...

Does Christmas have pagan origins?

| 19th December 2019 | Christmas

For most people, the question of the origins of Christmas is probably far from their minds. Some may recognise and give a cursory glance towards the Biblical narrative on the birth of Jesus as something to do with it (although a 2017 study showed that almost 1 in 20 Brits thought Easter was the birth of Jesus!);—but in some Christian circles the question (accusation?) that “Christmas is pagan” is at the forefront of their minds. Table of Contents When was December 25th celebrated? The Christian Calendar Further Reading & Sources: As time goes on and we move further and further into the future, away from the initial events of the first Nativity, the festival of Christmas has morphed into something altogether different than how the first Christians recognised and celebrated it (if they even did). We know from historical records and study now that a lot of what has been incorporated into the festivities surrounding Christmas does have pagan origins, but does that make the holiday itself still pagan today? Are you inadvertently worshipping “the birthday of the Unconquered Sun” (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) when you celebrate on the 25th of December? Let’s trace a little bit of history and see how the early church viewed these festivals, as they were still happening in full force whilst the Church was still young and were a contemporary concern, and what date they pinned the birth of Christ on to. Much of the earliest references to the Nativity occur in a passing way as a commentary on the event rather than anything celebratory about it. Justin Martyr in his First Apology (~160 AD) mentions that Jesus was born 150 years before him, in the time of Quirinius (or Cyrenius as some translations have it – cf. Luke 2:2), where his readers could “ascertain also from the registers” the accuracy of his statement. Tertullian (197 AD) also references this census as a place where “Mary is described”, in which New Testament scholar W. M. Ramsey saw as proof that Tertullian at least, had access to documents which we no longer do. Origen (~248 AD) even mentions that in his own day, “there is displayed at Bethlehem the cave where Jesus was born”, and that “this sight is greatly talked of in the surrounding places—even among the enemies of the faith” (now known as The Church of the Nativity)! The first person we see write about a specific date of the birth is Clement of Alexandria around 195 AD in book one of The Stromata, and he speaks about others who have tried to pinpoint the exact day and month of Jesus’ birth, which brings up a variety of dates: From the birth of Christ, therefore, to the death of Commodus [December 192 AD] are, in all, a hundred and ninety-four years, one month, thirteen days [18th November]. And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus, and in the twenty-fifth day of Pachon [20th May]. And the followers of Basilides hold the day of his baptism as a festival, spending the night before in readings. […] Further, others say that He was born on the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth of Pharmuthi [19/20th April]. — Clement of Alexandria, 195 AD So from this quote, we have Clement calculating the birth of Christ to around the 18th of November, 2 BC by our calendar today, and others still who he mentions have worked it out to be around April or May time. He also mentions other people who placed the date of birth on January 6th in 2 or 3 BC, which for any liturgical people reading this, will recognise as another important date in the Christian calendar (we'll come back to this date later). Keeping and celebrating birthdays was a very Roman thing to do, so it’s no surprise that earlier Christians from a more Jewish heritage didn’t see any importance on marking the exact day and month that Jesus was born, as it was his death and resurrection which...

Power Cuts and the Fear of God

| 11th November 2019 | Devotional

The other week we had a series of power cuts in our town. It doesn’t happen very often here where I am, but there was particularly bad weather recently which damaged some cables; but sitting in the dark winter evening, my phone low on battery power, it made me realise just how much we rely on electricity for nearly everything these days. We don’t even have a gas supply so we were completely cut off from doing anything! Now it might sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget how dependent we are on modern conveniences until it’s suddenly taken away and you’re sat in the cold surrounded by tiny little tea-light candles. The following Sunday, the sermon at church touched on the fear of God, which got me thinking about how that concept is still kind of strange to me—God is love, He’s our Father, we’re His children… but then we are to also fear Him?  What does this have to do with electricity and power cuts, I hear you say—I’ll come to that in a moment. I’ve often been taught that the word “fear” used in this context actually means “respect”, so I decided to look up the Greek and Hebrew words that are used when we see the words “fear God” in the Bible. It wasn’t exactly what I expected to find. 2 Corinthians 5:11 is where I began, as that was the verse quoted in the sermon. Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are revealed to God, and I hope that we are revealed also in your consciences. I thought I may see a Greek word with a semantic range which includes “respect” or “honour” maybe, but what I found was the word φόβος (phobos) which literally means “alarm or fright; be afraid, fear, terror”. It’s also where we get our English word “phobia” from! So I went forward a couple of chapters to this verse: 2 Corinthians 7:1Having therefore these promises, beloved, let’s cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. But again, the word “phobos” was used, so now I decided to search across the New Testament for this phrase, and the next passage that came up was in Romans. Romans 3:18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This is part of a larger passage which ends on this verse about the fear of God (still using the same Greek word), where I saw a footnote to say it had been a quote from Psalm 36:1. Ah, I thought, maybe the Hebrew word used for “fear” will show something different! I thought wrong. This particular verse in Psalm 36 used the word פַּחַד (p̱aḥaḏ), which has a wide meaning such as: a (sudden) alarm (properly, the object feared, by implication, the feeling): — dread(-ful), fear, (thing) great (fear, greatly feared), terror. So again, the type of fear is an actual fear!  A little searching through the Old Testament revealed that the word “fear” has a couple of other Hebrew words which lie underneath the English translations, one of which does also mean “reverence” as well (יָרֵא [yârê], found in Gen 22:12 and 1 Sam 12:14). So maybe there is an element of that understanding in the Greek by the time the New Testament writers came along who meant that ‘fear’ as awe and reverence as well. So this all leads me back to where I was a week or so ago, sat in church listening to a sermon, wondering when my power would be back on. As I thought about all of this, the combination of electricity and the fear of God combined into something that helped me put some perspective on it: the fear of God is like a live, sparking electric cable.  I’ll clarify my thinking—if we saw an electric cable on the ground, flailing around and sparking  everywhere, we should be fearful of that because touching it could kill us! But when electricity is used right, it is good for and to us; it provides power and comfort etc. Without it we lose access to pretty much everything these days and go into darkness—Much like if we lose sight of,...

Patristics.info has launched!

| 13th September 2019 | Early Church

Hey everyone, so I’ve launched a new website called Patristics.info to be a new resource for all things early church related. I’ve added a few texts which I already had formatted from my book manuscript, plus other resources like timelines, maps, recommended books etc. I’ll be adding more soon in the coming days. I’ve also created a “topical index” page too which is auto-generated from the tags on the pages to aid with searching, plus I created a word highlighter on each page so you can search keywords in a text and have them highlighted if you’re looking for particular things. If anyone would like to be involved to contribute resources or blogs, or have any book you’ve written which you’d like linked/advertised on the site then just get in touch! I want this to be as useful a tool for people who are interested in this area as much as for people who are new to Patristics (the early church fathers). Features and functionality Much of the site is ready to go in terms of functionality and resources etc for the time being. I’m still working on adding more Early Church texts to the site, but this takes a lot of time as I need to transcribe them from unformatted text into a nicer format for reading, plus inserting all of the footnotes as well (I’m currently half way through 1 Clement now). While I mention the footnotes, I’ve created a feature similar to Wikipedia where if you hover on a footnote number, it will display a popup with the footnote text in it hopefully making it simpler to read the Patristic text and quickly see any additional information from the original translators as you go. This should also work well on mobiles too. Inline footnote hover popups Another new feature I’ve created is the Quote Search page: https://patristics.info/quote-search.html This is an experimental tool at the moment while I still perfect it, but please give it a go and submit any feedback if you can. The page will allow you to search a keyword and bring up a list of contextual quotes from within the Church Father texts where that word is mentioned. As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing else like this available online in this format so I hope it will prove useful for study! Example quote search for the word “baptism” I hope that you enjoy the site and find it a useful tool. Please share it online etc. and if you want to get involved with creating blogs or resources just get in touch, or if you feel so inclined, you can support this project financially via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/LukeJWilson Go and explore the site today: Patristics.info !...