Oswald Glaidt & Andreas Fischer (1527) give their reasons why ...

Christians Must Observe the Saturday Sabbath

Oswald Glaidt born in Germany around 1480, a Franciscan monk who became an Anabaptist Sabbatarian. He died by being forcibly drowned in the River Danube outside Vienna, Austria, in 1546 [?]. Andreas Fischer, also born about 1480, in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), executed in Czechoslovakia in 1538 [?]. In 1527 [?], they debated with the leading Protestant reformer in Silesia, Caspar Schwenckfeld, and all wrote books after the debate.

Oswald Glaidt's reasons in his book, now lost,
"Concerning the Sabbath":

The Old Testament Example

1. God himself rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 2)

2. According to Ecclesiasticus I [in Apocrypha], God's will and wisdom are eternal and not subject to change.

3. The Sabbath was celebrated by the patriarchs, even by Adam at the time of creation. (Exodus 16)

4. Abraham "kept the commandments" (Genesis 26) and therefore also the Sabbath. The Sabbath is part of a long oral tradition that predates even the written form of the Decalogue.

5. One has the duty to celebrate the Sabbath, Saturday, because it is the word, will, and commandment of God. (Exodus 20)

6. There are not eight or nine, but rather ten, commandments. We cannot say that some are to be followed while others can be forgotten.

7. The Sabbath commandment is one of the "strong" commandments.

The Moral Law

8. The Decalogue is the basis for the moral law. Therefore, the Sabbath is a part of the moral law, which Christians are to obey.

9. One who does not live according to the moral law, the Decalogue, lives a godless life.

10. If there were no moral law, then evildoers could not be punished.

11. If people are freed from following the moral law, then they must simply be replaced with another kind of law (meaning the civil law.)

12. The moral law says, "Do not murder," yet nobody would argue seriously that this is no longer in effect, nor would anyone argue that simply to refrain from murder is an attempt to achieve salvation on the basis of "works."

The Ceremonial Law

13. In Acts 15, Peter refers only to the priestly, ceremonial law.

14. Although the priestly, ceremonial law was superseded by Christ, the same is not true of the moral law, of which the Sabbath is part.

15. Circumcision is part of the priestly law of ceremony, while the Sabbath is part of the moral law. Therefore, even if one should hold that circumcision is no longer binding, this does not translate into an argument that the Sabbath is no longer binding.

The Example of Jesus

16. Jesus clearly taught us to keep the commandments. He surely must have meant to include the Sabbath commandment.

17. Jesus himself observed the Sabbath.

18. Jesus did not abolish the Sabbath by performing healing on that day. He rather chose it for special honor.

19. If Jesus of Nazareth had actually abolished the Decalogue, then he could not have been the truly promised Messiah.

Paul's Position

20. When the apostle Paul spoke of freedom from the [penalty of the] law, he was speaking to Christians who were of such character that he knew they would never break the moral law in any case.

13. The law is a blessing when used properly. (I Timothy 1)

16. The phrase in the Greek text of Colossians 2:16 excludes from Paul's condemnation the biblical Sabbath.

The Future Expectation

23. There is a difference between the law of Moses and the law of the Messiah. But since the millennial Kingdom of Christ has not yet come, the law of the Messiah is not yet fully in effect.

29. The Sabbath is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ, not the First Coming only.

25. Just as the Sabbath was a sign to the Jews of the coming rest in the Kingdom of God, so it is for Christians, who are also now waiting in expectation of that Kingdom.

24. Adam was expelled from Eden for violating the law. Therefore, if people violate the law, they will not enter paradise with Christ.

26. The Sabbath will be spiritual only when people are spiritual, that is, after the coming of the Resurrection.

30. The Apostle Paul (Hebrews 4:3) spoke of the future rest as having come already only in hope and expectation. It must still come in fact.

27. So long as the eternal rest is postponed, people should continue to observe the Sabbath.

28. After the Resurrection, the Sabbath will no longer be a sign, but it remains a sign until then.


31. The Day of the Lord (Revelation 1) was not a Sunday.

32. Sunday worship was introduced by the Popes.


32. Because it is commanded (Deuteronomy 5), we should also allow animals their Sabbath rest.

33. But if the Sabbath is also for animals, it can hardly be seen as being only "spiritual" in nature.

34. The seventh year of rest (Leviticus 25) should also be instituted along with the seventh day.

Andreas Fischer in his book, now lost,
"Defense of the Decalogue"

The Old Testament Position

1. The will of God (Ecclesiasticus l; Baruch 4) is eternal and therefore independent of any written form of God's law.

2. There are Ten Commandments of God which constitute the Covenant. The Sabbath commandment is one of these. Therefore, if one breaks the Sabbath commandment, one violates the Covenant.

3. Moses and the Old Testament prophets, as well as the Apostles in the New Testament, all teach that one should keep the Ten Commandments, which includes the Sabbath.

4. The New Testament teaches that the Ten Commandments should be kept. The New and Old Testaments speak with one voice on this issue.

5. Even before Moses it is said that the Patriarchs kept the Commandments. If by this was meant the Decalogue, it must have included the Sabbath.

6. The Sabbath commandment is one of the longest commandments in the Decalogue, which indicates its importance.

7. Because the fifth commandment is called "the first commandment with a promise" (Ephesians 6:2), it is improper to place the first four commandments (which include the Sabbath) in the context of promise and fulfillment.


8. The teachings of Jesus and those of the apostles must be read in light of Ecclesiasticus 1. Therefore, when the Scriptures speak of the will and commands of God, they always mean the Ten Commandments. Where the Sabbath is not specifically mentioned, it was left out only for the sake of brevity.

9. Christ, the apostles and all of the earliest church fathers taught Sabbath worship.

10. Christ through the Holy Spirit works in the heart of the believer the will of God. Yet the Decalogue, the Covenant, expresses directly the will of God. Therefore, Christ works in the heart of the believer to create the desire to keep the Sabbath.

11. Faith in Christ does not abolish the law (Romans 3:31) but rather through Christ we are able to uphold the law. This includes the Sabbath.

12. Christians must come to Christ in both body and soul together. You cannot be constantly separating the "inner" from the "outer." Therefore, the "Sabbath of faith" must be seen as allegory and does not mean at all that the Sabbath should not be held externally.

13. References to a spiritual Sabbath are allegory.

14. Only Christ is truly free from sin, death, hell and duty to the law. But Christ fulfills that law in the heart of the believer, and the believer is therefore also free from the oppressiveness of the law, for he will follow the law out of joy and not compulsion.

15. It is exactly the "New Creature in Christ" who will keep the commandments of God.

16. The Spirit of Christ works in the believer "all good works." Therefore, the believer will not forsake the Sabbath.

17. The Sabbath should be kept out of love for God. The motivation is love, not servitude.

18. According to the New Testament (James 2:10), if you break one of the commandments, you are guilty of breaking them all. This indicates the importance of observing the Sabbath.

19. It is to be understood that when Paul or any of the Apostles referred to one or two of the laws, this was a customary abbreviation. They were referring to the whole of the Decalogue.

Paul and the Apostles

20. Paul and all of the New Testament Apostles held their meetings for worship on the Sabbath.

21. All Christian assemblies for many years after the time of Christ met on the Sabbath.

22. The "natural law" is nothing other than the Decalogue. Paul used this natural law (I Corinthians 5) to admonish the man involved with his father's wife, yet Paul is called the servant of the Spirit and not the servant of the letter. Therefore, his appeal to the Decalogue in the form of the natural law proves that it was not his intention that the Decalogue be thrown out as "written law."

23. When Paul wrote that love fulfills the law (Romans 13), he meant that we fulfill and obey the law out of love;

24. James 2:8ff. refers to the Decalogue;

Ceremonial Law

25. Only the priestly law has been superseded. This is what the New Testament refers to whenever it speaks of the law having been abolished.

26. The council in Acts 15 dealt only with issues of the priestly, ceremonial law.

27. Hebrews 7 refers only to the Priestly Law.

Sabbath & Sunday

28. Christians and Jews have much in common - they worship the same God, and both insist that this God is the only true God. Christians furthermore believe that salvation has come through the Jews. True, Christians are not Jews. Nevertheless, Christians should welcome Sabbath worship as another point of commonality with Jews.

29. While the Sabbath is mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament, there is no mention of Sunday. (Fischer said that if Sunday were spoken of in the New Testament as the Sabbath, he would gladly hold the Sunday.)

30. It was Pope Victor and the Emperor Constantine [321 A.D. etc.] who instituted and decreed Sunday worship. God instituted and decreed Sabbath worship.

Based on Daniel Liechty (1993) Sabbatarians in the Sixteenth Century. Berrien Springs MI: Andrews University Press.

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