Bible Study on the
The Creator of the heavens and the earth gave us rules to
follow, which if broken, indicate our lack of spiritual connection with
THERE HAS BEEN MUCH CONFUSION ON THIS
TOPIC. PLEASE PRAYERFULLY REVIEW THESE BIBLICAL STATEMENTS ON THE
LAW OF GOD...
are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right
to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the
city." Revelation 22:14.
Jesus said, "If
you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15.
"Fear God, and
keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl.
"For assuredly, I
say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle
will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
"Faith by itself,
if it does not have works is dead." James 2:17.
"Do we then make
void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we
establish the law." Romans 3:31.
"He that says, ĎI
know Him,í and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him." 1 John 2:4.
"The works of His
hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand
fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and
uprightness." Psalms 111:7,8.
"For whoever shall
keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty
of all." James 2:10.
sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." I
"By this we know
we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His
commandments." 1 John 5:2.
"If you will enter
into life, keep the commandments." Matt. 19:17.
"My covenant I
will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips."
"Here is the
patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of
God and the faith of Jesus" Rev. 14:12.
"And the dragon
[Satan] was wroth [angry] with the woman [God's church], and went to
make war with the remnant [final portion] of her seed, which keep the
commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus
Christ" Rev. 12:17.
The old and new covenants
explained: (1) The old covenant was ratified by the blood of animals
(Exodus 24:5-8 and Hebrews 9:19,20) and based upon the promises of the
people that they would keep God's law. (2) The new covenant is based upon
God's promise to write His law in our hearts, which was ratified with the
blood of Christ. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law into
their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God,
and they shall be to me a people." Hebrews 8:10. See also Jeremiah
Jesus taught us to keep the
entire Law, and pronounced a curse on those who teach otherwise.
"Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven. Do not think that I come to destroy the Law or the
Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly,
I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will
by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore
breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall
be called least in the kingdom of heaven" Matt. 5:16-19.
"Jesus said to him, ĎYou shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and
great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor
as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the
Prophets" Matt. 22:37-40. By loving Jesus with all our heart we
can obey the first table of the law which deals with obeying God; then we
can keep the second table of the law, which deals with loving our fellow
Friend, the false
assumption has entered the Christian church where some say that only part
of the law is binding today. Most say we should not kill, steal and lie,
but the one commandment that begins with "remember" is forgotten
Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your
work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In
it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your
manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who
is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the
earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
Exodus 20:8-11. In this next text we will see how God rested,
blessed and sanctified this same day: "And on the seventh day God
ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day
from all His work which he had done. Then God blessed the seventh
day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work
which God had created and made." Genesis 2:2,3
Comments from others
concerning the true Bible Sabbath.
Martin Luther, "They
[the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord's day,
contrary to the Decalogue, as it appear, neither is there any example more
boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, they say, is
the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the
Ten Commandments." Augsburg Confession of Faith, art.
28, par. 9.
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox,
author of the Baptist Manual, "There was and is a commandment to keep
holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday....It will be
said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was
transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week....Where can the
record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New
Testament--absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the
change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the
week. To me [it] seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years'
intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the
Sabbath question...never alluded to any transference of the day; also that
during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was
intimated. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into
use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the
Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes
branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun
god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as
a sacred legacy to Protestantism!" A paper read before New York
ministers' conference, 11-13-1882
Sunday School Advocate,
11-31-21, "The people became Christians and were ruled by an emperor
named Constantine. This emperor made Sun-day the Christian sabbath,
because of the blessing of light and heat which came from the sun.
So our Sunday is a sun-day, isn't it?"
Friend, let us study the
one commandment that the world has forgotten,
"Only one part of the
Bible was written with God's own finger (Ex. 31:18), the Ten
Commandments. In the very heart of the Ten Commandments God wrote
these words, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy....' Exodus
20:8-11. It should be noticed that this commandment does not command
us to worship "one day each week," but to worship God on the
seventh day of each week. There is, of course, no technical
difference between one day of the week and another--they are each 24 hours
long--except that God said that we are to keep it on a specific day.
This commandment, like the tree of life versus the tree of knowledge of
good and evil in the Garden of Eden, is a simple test of loyalty to
God. Throughout Revelation, God identifies His people, in contrast
to the world, as those who keep the commandments: 'Here are they that keep
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus' Rev. 14:12.
"The Sabbath commandment
was lost sight of by the majority during the Middle Ages when the Bible
was outlawed. During the first centuries after Christ died, the
early Christians began to make more and more concessions to the pagan
practices around them. One of the practices that separated the
pagans from the Christians was that they worshiped Jesus on the seventh
day that we now call Saturday. Over a process of time, the
Christians gradually began to worship on Sunday also, until both days
became holy days (holidays). This resulted in the five day work week
from Monday to Friday.
"Finally, at the Council
of Laodicea, in A.D. 364, the leaders of the main body of the early
Christian church officially changed the observance of the Sabbath from the
seventh day to the first day of the week. The Bible foresaw this
apostasy coming into the Christian church. In Daniel 7:25 the Bible
predicted a power that would 'intend to change times and law.'
"It should be noted from
the preceding text that this change of the Sabbath was predicted to be an
intentional change. Paul also spoke about this intent to change
God's law. Some people, in Paul's time were expecting Jesus to come
in their day. But Paul reminded them that this lawless power,
predicted by Daniel, who would act as though he were sitting on God's
throne, and would change God's law, had not yet arisen. He said,
'Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless
the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or
that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, [where the
Ten Commandments were located] showing himself that he is God...then the lawless
one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His
mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming' 2 Thessalonians
"Many people have asked:
'What is the difference between one day and another?' That is just
the point. Since there is no difference between the days of the
week, except that God says to keep one specific day holy, the only reason
to change the day of worship from the day that God said to keep, to
another day which He did not say to keep, is out of intentional rebellion
against God. If God had said to keep Sunday, man would have decided
to keep Monday. If He had said to keep Monday, man out of rebellion,
would have decided to keep Tuesday. And once some men change the
day, they would have sought to force all other men to follow them, and to
make God's law unpopular. The real question concerning the Sabbath
is: Will we obey God or will we obey man's traditions that were
originally made out of rebellion to God? Jesus said, 'Why do you
also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?'
"Many believe that one of
the reasons the Bible was outlawed during most of the Middle Ages, was to
keep the people from understanding the Bible truth about the
Sabbath. But today, the Bible is everywhere. As a result, many
people are learning the truth about the Sabbath, which is a sign of
allegiance to God.
"The Bible predicted that
the Sabbath would be restored in the last days. It will not be
popular, but there will be a few people who will be determined to follow
God completely by keeping all His commandments. These people, 'shall
be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell
in. If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your
pleasure on My holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of
the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor
finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall
delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high
hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your
father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken' Isaiah 58:12-14.
"An increasing number of
people, throughout the world, are realizing the importance of keeping the
seventh-day Sabbath, and are finding the blessing and peace that comes
from obedience to God. God has pronounced a special blessing upon
this day, and upon all who seek to keep it holy.
like faithfulness in marriage, has nothing to do with earning one's
salvation. Salvation is a free gift of Jesus Christ, which was
purchased by His death. Nothing we can do can pay the penalty for
sin or earn our way to heaven, yet salvation is offered only to those who
are willing to obey (Hebrews 5:8,9). Jesus said, 'If you love Me,
keep My commandments" John 14:15. When we can truly know Jesus
we will become like Him in character and practice. 'Now by this we
know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I
know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is
not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is
perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who
says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked'
1 John 2:3-6.
"The Sabbath is the
oldest religious practice known to man. It was established at the
Creation of this world, before the first sin was ever committed, or there
was ever a need for an animal sacrifice or for salvation from sin.
'Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were
finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had
done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had
done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in
it He rested from all His work which God had created and made'
"Not only was the Sabbath
kept at Creation before sin, but it will also be kept by the redeemed in
heaven, after sin is abolished; 'For as the new heavens and the new earth
which I will make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your
descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that
from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh
shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord' Isaiah 66:22,23.
"God has wonderful
Sabbath blessings awaiting you as you join the inhabitants of heaven, and
follow the faithful obedience of the Patriarchs and Apostles, in keeping
God's specified day holy. When this life is over, may you receive
the blessing of Revelation 22:14, 'Blessed are those who do His
commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may
enter through the gates into the city.'" Steps to Life
SABBATH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Jesusí Example and Teaching
Let us look at what the Bible says about the Sabbath. First we should
start with Jesusí teaching and example. "Jesus said to him, ĎI am
the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except
through Me.í" John 14:6.
Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." He
"suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His
steps." 1 Peter 2:21. "He who says he abides in Him ought
himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6.
Did Jesus give us an example of Sabbath-keeping? Did He say anything
about the Sabbath? Indeed He did. "So He [Jesus] came to Nazareth,
where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the
synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Luke 4:16.
Jesus kept the Sabbath. The Scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus and His
disciples of breaking the Sabbath (see Matthew 12:1-14; John 5:1-21;
7:21-240, but Jesus always claimed that He and His disciples were innocent
of Sabbath-breaking. Jesus kept the Sabbath according to the Bible, not
according to the rules of the Pharisees. Those who accuse Jesus of
Sabbath-breaking today are doing the same work as the Scribes and
Pharisees did in Jesusí day.
Jesus not only kept the Sabbath, but He taught His followers to keep
the Sabbath also. Before His crucifixion, in predicting to His disciples
the fall of Jerusalem, He told them to pray that they might not have to
flee on the Sabbath day. Jesus was speaking of an event that was not to
take place for another forty years, showing that He expected the disciples
to still be keeping the Sabbath then. (See Matthew 24:20.)
Does The Sabbath Still Apply After Jesusí Death?
Though it is generally acknowledged that Jesus kept the Sabbath during
His earthly ministry, some say that since His death, it no longer matters
which day a person worships. Jesusí teaching in Matthew 24:20 disagrees.
But to support their idea they quote Colossians 2:16: "Let no one
judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or
This important text bears consideration. It should be noted first of
all that the text speaks of sabbaths (plural) rather than the Sabbath
(singular). In the Jewish economy there were two kinds of sabbathsĺ
the seventh-day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and the yearly ceremonial
sabbaths of the sanctuary service. The word "sabbath"
means rest, and in the Jewish economy there were several yearly feast days
on which all the people rested and worshipped. One of these was the
Passover. The Passover came on the 14th day of the first Jewish
religious month each year. Thus, it came on Monday one year, on Tuesday
the next year, etc.
You can read about these yearly ceremonial sabbaths in Leviticus 16:31;
23:4-44. These yearly feasts pointed forward to Jesus and His ministry and
had no more significance after He came. The Passover Sabbath, for example,
was actually a prophecy foretelling the day of Jesusí crucifixion. He
died on the day of the Passover, at the moment of the slaying of the lamb.
Jesus is the true Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).
These yearly ceremonial sabbaths were all instituted as part of the
sanctuary services and pointed forward to Jesus. The Sabbath of the Ten
Commandments pointed back to the Creation: "Remember the
Sabbath day . . . for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth
. . . and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath
day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.
Thus there were two kinds of sabbathsĺ the
yearly ceremonial sabbaths established at Sinai, and the weekly Sabbath
established at Creation and embodied in the Law of God. Paul is very clear
in Colossians, which sabbaths he is talking aboutĺ
the ceremonial sabbaths only. Many people read only until the word "sabbaths"
and fail to read the rest of the sentence in the next verse. "So let
no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new
moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance
is of Christ." Colossians 2:16, 17. Paul said not to judge people
regarding these ceremonial sabbaths, but the Bible makes plain that the
seventh-day Sabbath is a perpetual memorial.
John, the last of the apostles, stated that there was still a day that
belonged to the Lord, when he wrote the book of Revelation in A.D. 96.
"I was in the Spirit [in vision] on the Lordís day . . ."
While John here does not say which is the Lordís day, Jesus tells us
plainly that His day is the Sabbath. "For the Son of Man is Lord even
of the Sabbath." Matthew 12:8.
That was a very bold statement for Jesus to Make when He claimed to be
the "Lord of the Sabbath," for it is taken directly from the
fourth commandment which states that "the seventh day is the Sabbath
of the Lord." (When LORD is in all capital letters in the Old
Testament it is translated from the Hebrew word "Jehovah.")
Jesus was claiming to be the Creator of the fourth commandment. "And
He [Jesus] said to them, ĎThe Sabbath was made for man, and not man for
the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.í"
Notice also that Jesus did not say that the Sabbath was made for the
Jews, but for man. It was established and created in the beginning of
Creation. Jesus was the Creator. It was He who created the Sabbath in the
first place. (See John 1:1-14 and Colossians 1:16.)
The Day The Apostles Kept
Following the example of Jesus, the apostles kept the true Sabbath.
There is not a single instance recorded of any of the apostles worshipping
on Sunday. Yet there are scores of recorded examples of their keeping the
Sabbath. Let us look at some examples:
"And when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged
that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. So when the
congregation had broken up, many of the Jews, and devout proselytes
followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to
continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city
came together to hear the word of God." Acts 13:42-44. Not that this
second Sabbath worship meeting mentioned was not for the Jews, but for the
"And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside,
where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women
who met there." Acts 16:13. They were in a heathen city where ther
was no Jews or Jewish synagogues, but when the Sabbath came they went to
the river to worship. This was twenty-two years after the resurrection.
"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they
came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul,
as his custom was, went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them
from the Scriptures." Acts 17:1,2.
"And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and
persuaded both Jews and Greeks . . . And he continued there a year and six
months, teaching the word of God among them." Acts 18:4,11.
The First Day Of The Week
Where, then, did the keeping of the first day of the week come from?
Since Jesus did not mention Sunday or the first day of the week in the
Bible, He did not institute worship on this day. In fact, there are only
nine references to the first day of the week in the whole Bible, from
Genesis to Revelation. These references are Genesis 1:5; Matthew 28:1;
Mark 16:1,2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; and 1
Corinthians 16:1,2. A perusal fo these texts will reveal that nowhere is
the first day of the week called "the Sabbath day," "the
Lordís day," "the day of the assembly," or anything like
that. None of these references even hint that the sanctity of the Sabbath
was transferred to that day. Nowhere is it called the Christian Sabbath or
the Christian day of worship.
Let us review these nine texts. The first text tells what God created
on the first day of the week. The next six give a simple account of the
resurrection of Jesus after resting in the tomb over the Sabbath, with no
command of change or example of worship. That leaves just two more texts.
The first is in 1 Corinthians 16:2: "On the first day of the week
let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper,
that there be no collection when I come."
Here Paul is speaking to the believers about special provisions,
possibly grain or other food supplies, which he was taking to the saints
in Jerusalem. We read in the book of Acts that there was a famine in
Jerusalem and Paul wanted to take an offering for their relief. He sent
word ahead to get things ready so that he could take these gifts with him.
Even if this text had referred to money, it is better to manage our
finances on other days than on the Sabbath.
Now let us turn to the only other verse that mentions the first day of
the week. "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came
together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them
and continued his message until midnight." Acts 20:7.
This text without careful analysis could support Sunday worship.
However, there are two important questions that need to be asked: First,
does the meeting on the first day of the week make that day a holy day?
Jesus partook of the Lordís supper on Thursday night before the
crucifixion. Even today many churches hold meetings on Wednesday evening
and on other days of the week. Now, if this text should call the first day
of the week a Sabbath or a Lordís day, that would be different; but it
does not. It merely says he talked until midnight.
Now notice verse 8: "There were man lamps in the upper room where
they were gathered together." Notice that this was a night meeting on
the first day of the week. If that be the case, on which night was it
held? In the Bible, God said the Sabbath day was to run from sundown on
the sixth day until sundown on the seventh day. In the Bible, days were
always counted from sundown to sundown on the seventh day. In the Bible,
days were always counted from sundown to sundown. (See Leviticus 23:32;
Genesis 1. Without modern watches, how would people have known when a new
day began?) Thus the Jews considered Saturday night to be the first day of
the week. That is why the New English Bible translates verse 7 as follows:
"On the Saturday night, in our assembly for the breaking of the
bread, Paul, who was to leave the next day, addressed them, and went on
speaking until midnight."
Now notice what happened Sunday morning. Did he go to church? No:
"Now when he had come up, had broken bread [this expression in Bible
times referred to any meal, not just the Lordís supper] and eaten, and
talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed." Acts 20:11.
On Sunday morning Paul did not go to church, but hiked 14 miles across
the peninsula to Assos to meet the other disciples. He had been there with
these people some days before the Sabbath came. As soon as the Sabbath was
over, he bade them good-bye, gave a last discourse and left the next
We have looked at all the first day texts and found the obvious; the
Bible does not say, anywhere, that Sunday is a sacred day.
THE SABBATH IN EARLY HISTORY
1st Century A.D.:
Jesus. "And He came to Nazareth, where
He had been brought up; and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue
on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Luke 4:16.
Jesus. "But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither
on the Sabbath day." Matthew 24:20.
Paul. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and
three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." Acts
Paul and the Gentiles. "And when the Jews were gone out of the
synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to
them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city
together to hear the Word of God." Acts 13:42,44.
2nd Century: Early Christians. "The primitive
Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in
devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived their
practice from the Apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to
that purpose." Dialogue on the Lordís Day, 189. London:
1701. By Dr. T.H. Morer (Church of England).
3rd and 4th Centuries: Orient and Most of the
World. "The ancient Christians were very careful in the
observation of Saturday, or the seventh day . . . it is plain that all the
Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the
Sabbath as a festival . . . Athanasius likewise tells us that they held
religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with
Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath; Epiphanius says
the same." Antiquities of the Christian Church, vol. 2, Book
XX, chap. 3, section 166, 1137, 1138.
Council of Laodicea. "From the apostlesí time until the
council of Laodicea, which was about the year 364, the holy observation of
the Jewsí Sabbath continued, as may be proved out of man authors; yea,
notwithstanding the decree of the council against it." Sunday a
Sabbath, John Ley, 163. London: 1640.
5th Century: Constantinople. "The people of
Constantinople and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as
well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed in
Rome or at Alexandria." Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, Book
7, chap. 19.
6th Century: Rome.
"About 590, Pope Gregory, in a
letter to the Roman people, denounced as the prophets of Antichrist those
who maintained that work ought not be done on the seventh day." James
T. Ringgold, The Law of Sunday, 267.
7th Century: Scotland and Ireland.
"It seems to
have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as
well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest
from labour. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh
day of the week." Professor James C. Moffat, D.D., Professor of
Church History at Princeton, The Church in Scotland, 140.
8th Century: India, China and Persia.
and enduring was the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath among the
believers of the Church of the East and the St. Thomas Christians of
India, who never were connected with Rome. It also was maintained among
those bodies which broke off from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon
namely, the Abysinians, the Jacobites, the Maronites, and the
Armenians." Schaffĺ Herzog, The New
Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, art. Nestorians; also
fur Protestantische Theologie und Kirche, art. Nestorianer.
10th Century: Church of the East, Kurdistan. "The
Nestorians eat no pork and keep the Sabbath. They believe in neither
auricular confession nor purgatory." Schaffĺ
Herzog, The New Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, art.
11th Century: Scotland. "They held that Saturday
was properly the Sabbath on which they abstained from work." Celtic
Scotland, col. 2, 350.
12th Century: Wales. "There is much evidence that
the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until A.D. 1115, when the first
Roman bishop was seated at St. Davidís. The Old Welsh Sabbath-keeping
churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to
their hiding places." Lewis, Seventh Day Baptist in Europe and
America, vol. 1, 29.
13th Century: Waldenses of France. "The inquisitors
. . . [declare] that the sign of a Vaudois, deemed worthy of death, was
that the followed Christ, and sought to obey the commandments of
God." History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, H.C. Lea,
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make
war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and
have the testimony of Jesus Christ . . . Here is the patience of the
saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of
Jesus." Revelation 12:17; 14:12.
15th Century: Norway. "We are informed that some
people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed
Saturday-keeping. It is severely forbiddenĺ in
the holy church canonĺ one and all to observe
days excepting those which the holy Pope, archbishop, or the bishops
command. Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted
hereafter further than the church canon commands. Therefore, we counsel
all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient
towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturday-keeping alone; and
the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep
Saturday holy."" Catholic Provincial Council at Bergen, 1435.
Dip. Noverg., 7, 397.
"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall
persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times
and law." Daniel 7:25
THE SABBATH IN LATER HISTORY
16th Century: Council of Trent. "On the 18th
of January, 1563, the Council of Trent ruled that Tradition is greater
than Scripture, after a powerful speech by the Archbishop of Reggio, in
which he said that the fact that the Church had changed the Fourth
Commandment clearly proved that Tradition was greater than the
Scripture." H.J. Holtzman, Kanon und Tradition, 1859 edition,
Jesus replied, "Why do you also transgress the commandments of God
because of your tradition? . . . Thus you have made the commandment of God
of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about
you, saying: ĎThese people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor
Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they
worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew
Holland and Germany. "Barbara of Thiers, who was executed in
1529, declared: ĎGod has commanded us to rest on the seventh day.í"
Martyrology of the Churches of Christ, commonly called Baptists, during
the era of the Reformation, from the Dutch of T.J. Van Bright, London
1850, 1, 113, 114.
Russia. "The accused [Sabbath-keepers] were summoned; they
openly acknowledged the new faith, and defended the same. The most eminent
of them, the secretary of state, Kuritzyn, Ivan Maximo, Kassian,
archimandrite of the jury Monastery of Novgorod, were condemned to death,
and burned publicly in cages, at Moscow, December 27, 1503."
(Council, Moscow, 1503). H. Sternberf, Geschichte der Juden
(Leipzig, 1873), 1117, 1122.
Sweden. "This zeal for Saturday-keeping continued for a long
time; even little things which might strengthen the practice for keeping
Sunday were punished." Bishop Anjou, Svenska Kirkans Historia
efter Motet I Upsala.
Europe. About the year 1520 many of these Sabbath-keepers found
shelter on the estate of Lord Leonhardt of Liechtenstein, "as princes
of Lichtenstein held to the observance of the true Sabbath." History
of the Sabbath, J. N. Andrews, 649.
India. "The famous Jesuit, Francis Xavier, called for the
Inquisition, which was set up in Goa, India, in 1560, to check the ĎJewish
wickednessí (Sabbath-keeping)." Adeney,
The Greek and Eastern
Churches, 527, 528.
Abyssinia. "It is not therefore, in imitation of the Jews, but
in obedience to Christ and His holy apostles, that we observe that
day." (Abyssinian legate at court of Lisbon, 1534). Geddesí Church
History of Ethiopia, 87, 88.
17th Century: England. "Here in England are about
nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered
disciples, who have been eminently preserved." Stennetís letters,
1668 and 1670. Cox. Sab., 1, 268.
Dr. Peter Chamberlain. Dr. Peter Chamberlain was physician to King
James and Queen Katherine. The inscription on the monument over his grave
says Dr. Chamberlain was "a Christian, keeping the commandments of
God and the faith of Jesus, being baptised about the year 1648, and
keeping the seventh day for the Sabbath above thirty-two years."
America. "Stephen Mumford, the first Sabbath-keeper in America
came from London in 1644." History of the Seventh day Baptist
General Conference by Jas. Bailey, 237, 238.
England. "It will surely be far safer to observe the seventh
day, according to the express commandment of God, than on the authority of
mere human conjecture to adopt the first." John Milton, Sab. Lit., 2,
18th Century: Romania. (1760). "Joseph IIís edict
of tolerance did not apply to the Sabbatarians, some of whom again lost
all their possessions." Jahrgang 2, 254.
Bohemia and Moravia. "The condition of the Sabbatarians [from
1635 to 1867] was dreadful. Their books and writings had to be delivered
to the Karlsburg Consistory to become the spoil of flames." Adolf
Dux, Aux Ungarn, 289-291, Leipzig, 1880.
America. Before Zinzendorf and the Moravians at Bethlehem thus
began the observance of the Sabbath and prospered, there was a small body
of German Sabbath-keepers in Pennsylvania. See Ruppís History of
Religious Denominations in the United States, 109-123.
19th Century to present: America. The Seventh-day
Adventist movement was formed in 1844.
China. "The Taipings, when asked why they observed the seventh
day Sabbath, replied that it was, first, because the Bible taught it, and
second, because their ancestors observed it as a day of worship."
Critical History of the Sabbath and the Sunday.
Sweden. "We will now endeavor to show that the sanctification
of the Sabbath has its foundation and its origin in a law which God at
creation itself established for the whole world, and as a consequence
thereof is binding on all men in all ages." May 30, 1863, p. 169. Evangelisten
(The Evangelist) Stockholm, May 30 to August 15, 1863, (organ of the
Swedish Baptist Church).
We gratefully acknowledge J. F. Coltheart, who personally consulted old
manuscripts and the original sources of many of these quotations in the
libraries and museums of Europe, Constantinople and the East.
HAS THE CALENDAR BEEN CHANGED?
How can we be absolutely sure that our seventh day today is still the
Sabbath? Could the calendar have been changed? In over 100 languages of
the world, the seventh day is still called Saturday the Sabbath. In Italy
it is called Sabbato, in Spain Sabado, in Portugal Sabbado,
in Russia Subbota, in Poland Sobota. All of these names mean
"Sabbath" or "rest day" in their various languages.
Except for those languages that have adopted the pagan names for the days
of the week, the seventh day is still called the Sabbath, as the Lord
named it at the time of the creation of the world.
The weekly cycle of seven days comes directly from the Creation week.
The heavenly bodies control all the other measurements of time. The year
is dependent on the revolution of the earth around the sun. The month has
to do with the lunar cycles. The seasons have to do with the revolution
and rotation of the earth. Only the weekly cycle has no natural origin,
and so only can point back to the Creation week when the Sabbath was
If the theory of evolution were correct, every nationality would by the
law of averages, have come up with different weekly cyclesĺ
some five days, some ten days, etc. But we all have the same seven-day
weekly cycle because God Established it at Creation and it has continued
to the present day.
Has the calendar been changed? Yes, but the weekly cycle has never been
changed. Pope Gregory initiated a change in the calendar to make up for an
error in the Julian calendar by dropping ten days. In October 1582,
Thursday the 4th was followed by Friday the 15th in
Italy and a few other countries. England changed its calendar in 1752 and
Russia finally in 1914. Yet the weekly cycle was never affected. During
the time that England, Russia, and Italy had different calendars, Sunday,
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were always the same in each country.
History has exact calendar records going back to Julius Caesar, several
decades before Christ, and the weekly cycle has always remained intact. We
have exactly the same weekly cycle today as was used in Jesusí day, and
Jesus said that the day then called the Sabbath by the Jews, the seventh
day of the week, was His day, the true Lordís Day. Moreover, since Jesusí
day, millions of Jews have continued to keep track of the Sabbath each
week. It would be absolutely impossible to mix up a whole nationality
overnight and have them all wake up unified and worshipping on another
day, thinking it was the Sabbath. Moreover, since it is Jesusí day, and
He has commanded us to worship on that day to show allegiance to Him, donít
you think He would preserve its identity?
From the book Your
Amazing Calendar, "The week of seven days has been in use ever
since the days of Moses, and we have no reason for supposing that any
irregularities have existed in the succession of the weeks and their days
from that time to the present."
Jesus was killed on Good
Friday, rested over the Sabbath in the tomb on the seventh day of the
week, or Saturday, and arose from the grave on the first day of the week
and went back to work. Luke 24:1, Mark 16:9
BY WHAT STANDARD WILL WE BE JUDGED?
Can we earn salvation? "For by grace you have been saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that
we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10.
What experience must we have to receive this free gift? "Jesus
answered and said to him, ĎMost assuredly, I say to you, unless one
is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.í" John 3:3.
To be born again means to receive the gift of Jesusí divine nature.
(In the Scriptures, this nature is variously called life, power, seed or
spirit.) How can we receive this new nature? "As His divine power
has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the
knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been
given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through
these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:3,4.
Unless we are "eating" the Word of God, through Bible study
and prayer, can we have Jesusí life (or nature) abiding in us?
"Then Jesus said to them, ĎMost assuredly, I say to you, unless
you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life
in you.í It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." John
When we are born again, what must happen to the sinful habits in our
life? "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into
death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have
been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall
be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man
was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin." Romans 6:4-6.
What is sin? "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness,
and sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4.
How will God know that we have been born again? By what standard will
He judge us on the Day of Judgment? "For whoever shall keep the
whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For he who
said, ĎDo not commit adultery,í also said, ĎDo no murder.í Now if
you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a
transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by
the law of liberty." James 2:10-12.
When Jesus gives us anew beginning (new birth) by imparting to us His
Spirit (or nature), what does He write on our hearts? "íFor
this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those
days,í says the LORD: ĎI will put My laws in their mind and
write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My
people.í" Hebrews 8:10.
What motive should prompt us to keep Godís law? "If you love
Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15.
Are Godís commandments burdensome to those who are truly born again?
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His
commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes
the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the worldĺ
our faith." 1 John 5:3,4.
Why will many that think they are born again be disappointed on the day
of judgment? "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í
shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father
in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ĎLord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many
wonders in Your name?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never
knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!í"
How does the Bible summarize the answer to our question, "By what
standard will we be judged on the Day of Judgment?" "Let us
hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring
every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good
or whether it is evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.
Who will be admitted into heaven? "Blessed are those who do
His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14.
Is it your desire to be among this group of people who have surrendered
their sins and evil natures to Him (1 John 3:5) and allowed Him to write
His laws on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10)? Godís requirements are plain
and unequivocal. We will be judged according to Godís law, for our works
show whether we have been born again (1 John 2:29). "Let no one
deceive you" on this point (1 John 3:6,7). He is "the same
yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). His standard is the
same as it was in the Garden of Eden, at Sinai, and in Paulís dayĺ
it never changes. But just as His standard is forever the same, so are His
mercy and love and power to save. He can change your heart. He can change
your life (Hebrews 7:25). Do you desire Jesus to give you that new-birth
experience, which involves a total, growing change of character, habits
and thinking? "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your
hearts." Hebrews 3:15. Today is the day of probation. Today is
the day of salvation.
THE SABBATH, A SIGN OF ALLEGIANCE TO GOD
How is the "man of sin" (sometimes called the
"Beast" power in Scripture) described by Paul? "Let no
one deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless the
falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called
god or is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God,
showing himself that he is God . . . And then the lawless one will
be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and
destroy with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4,
The people who receive the mark of the Beast (unknowingly, of course)
will actually think they are saved through faith in Jesus and will be
astounded to find, too late, that they are lost! How did Jesus describe
these professed Christians in the last days that follow the
"lawless" Beast power? "Not everyone who says to Me,
ĎLord, Lordí shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ĎLord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name,
and done many wonders in Your name?í And then I will declare to them,
ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!í"
How many commandments may we disregard without being considered
"lawless" by God? "For whoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For he who
said, ĎDo not commit adultery,í also said, ĎDo not murder.í Now if
you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a
transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by
the law of liberty." James 2:10-12.
What commandment in Godís law do most Christians disregard?
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor
and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your
God." Exodus 20:8-10.
When does the biblical Sabbath begin and end? "From evening to
evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath." Leviticus 23:32.
What day does Jesus claim as His day, the Lordís day? "The
Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Mark 2:27,28.
What right does Jesus have to claim a day as His? "For by
Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth,
visible and invisible." Colossians 1:16.
When did Jesus make the Sabbath? "Thus the heavens and the
earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day
God ended His work which he had done, and He rested on the seventh day
from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and
sanctified it." Genesis 2:1-3.
How did Jesus relate to the Sabbath when He was on earth? "So
He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom
was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to
read." Luke 4:16.
On what day did Paul, long after the crucifixion, worship with both the
Jews and Gentiles? "So when the Jews went out of the synagogue,
the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout
proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded
them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost
the whole city came together to hear the word of god." Acts 13:42-44.
Was this Paulís custom? "Then Paul, as his custom was,
went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the
Scriptures." Acts 17:2.
On what day did John, the last apostle, have a vision while in exile?
"I was in the Spirit on the Lordís Day." Revelation
The Bible describes a people who will repair the broken-down law of God
that has been trampled on for many generations. What commandment is it?
"Those from among you shall build up the old waste places; You shall
raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the
repairer of the breach. The restorer of streets to dwell in. If you turn
away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My
holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord
honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your
own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself
in the Lord." Isaiah 58:12-14.
On what day will the redeemed worship God in the new earth? "íFor
as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before
Me,í says the Lord, Ďso shall your descendants and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath
to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,í says the
Lord." Isaiah 66:22,23.
While all the commandments show our allegiance, which one is a special
sign of allegiance that we may know we are truly following God, as His
people, and that He is our God? "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they
will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the
Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:20.
THE MARK OF DISOBEDIENCE
What sign, or mark, reveals allegiance to God? "Therefore you
shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His
judgments, and His commandments always . . . Therefore you shall
keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong,
and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess . . .
Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your
soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets
between your eyes." Deuteronomy 11:1,8,18.
People look at outward marks, but where does God look? "For a
man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7b.
Everyone will one day receive a mark. What mark will Godís people
receive? "Then I looked, and behold, a lamb standing on Mount
Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, have His Fatherís
name written on their foreheads." Revelation 14:1.
Anciently a name represented oneís character. God wants to write His
nameĺ or characterĺ
in us. Godís character is described in His law. Where will Godís
character, or law, be written? Will this writing be visible to mankind?
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,
says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds
I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.
Which one of Godís laws especially identifies Godís people, marking
them as those who accept His authority? "Moreover I also gave
them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might
know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them . . . Hallow My Sabbath, and
they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the
Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:12,20.
Will the Beast power acknowledge Godís authority? "Who opposes
and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped,
so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is
God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
What will the Beast boast that he can do to Godís law? "He
shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the
saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25.
What is it that identifies and marks the Beast power? "Let no
one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the
falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition . . . For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He
who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then
the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the
breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The
coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all
power, signs, and lying wonders." 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7-9.
When Jesus comes, all will have accepted Godís mark or the Beastís
mark. How are those who have received the mark of the Beast described?
"Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í shall enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many
will say to Me in that day, ĎLord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your
name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?í
And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you
who practice lawlessness!í" Matthew 7:21-23.
How are those who receive Godís mark (Revelation 14:1) described?
"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.
What will Satan do to those who refuse to receive the mark of the Beastís
authority by keeping Sunday? "And the dragon was enraged with the
woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who
keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
How will Satan make war with them? "And he causes all, both
small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their
right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell
except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his
name." Revelation 13:16, 17.
In 321 A.D. the Roman
Emperor Constantine passed the first Sunday law forcing all men, pagans
and Christians, to worship on Sunday.
The Roman Emperor
Constantine passed the first Sunday law forcing Christians and pagans to
worship on the same day. "All judges and city people and the
craftsmen shall rest upon The Venerable Day of the Sun." History
of the Christian Church states, "Constantine reverenced all the
gods as mysterious powers, especially Apollo, the god of the sun."
Pagan Rome then changed to
Papal Rome which embraced the same idea of Sunday worship.
The Convert's Catechism of
Catholic Doctrine states: "Q.
Which is the Sabbath day? A. Saturday is the Sabbath day. Q. Why do we
observe Sunday instead of Saturday? A. We observe Sunday instead of
Saturday because the Catholic church transferred the solemnity from
Saturday to Sunday." "Sunday is our mark of authority.
The church is above the Bible, and this transference of sabbath observance
is proof of that fact." The Catholic Record, London Ontario,
Sept. 1, 1923. "The observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage
they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic]
church." Monsignor Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of
The Bible mentions this
religious/political power that would attempt to change the law of God.
"He shall speak
pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the
Most High, and shall intend to change times and lawÖ." Daniel 7:25.
The pope is said to claim to be God on earth and have the power to forgive
sins. For 1260 years, from 538 A.D. when the papacy took over Rome,
to 1798 A.D. when the pope was imprisoned, 50-100 million faithful
Christians where burned at the stake, tortured, and beaten to death for
refusing to follow the papacy. The papacy changed God's Ten
Commandment Law. "For that day will not come unless the
falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or
that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing
himself that he is God." 2 Thes. 2:3,4. Also read Rev. 13 and
While Godís followers receive Godís name in their foreheads, the
Beastís followers receive the Beastís name (his character of
lawlessness), signified by a number. What is the number of the Beast?
"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number
of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."
Revelation 13:18. The official title of the pope is VICARIUS FILII
DEI. When you add up the Roman numeral equivalents to each letter in
his title, it adds up to 666.
What warning has God given against receiving the mark of the Beast?
"Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ĎIf
anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his
forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the
wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His
indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the
presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke
of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or
night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark
of his name.í " Revelation 14:9-11.
God says that the Sabbath marks His people as His, and that the Beast
would make war on them. The Beast is that "lawless" one who
would try to "change" Godís law; specifically the law
involving "times"-i.e., the Sabbath. Thus, when Sunday-keeping
is enforced by law it will constitute the mark of the Beast. "You are
that oneís slaves whom you obey." Romans 6:16. Today God is calling
us to receive His mark (or seal). Will you acknowledge His authority by
keeping His Sabbath?
BIBLE FACTS CONCERNING THE SEVENTH DAY
- After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth,
the great God rested on the seventh day, blessed and sanctified it.
(See Genesis 2:1-3.)
- It was made before the fall; hence it is not a type, for types were
not instituted until after the fall of man.
- Jesus says it "was made for man" Mark 2:27; that is
for the race as the word man is here unlimited; hence for the Gentiles
as well as the Jews.
- It is a memorial of Creation. (See Exodus 20:11; 31:17.) Every time
we rest upon the seventh day as God did at Creation, we commemorate
the grand event.
- It is not a Jewish institution, for it was made 2300 years before
there was a Jew.
- The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath, but always "the
Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Men should be cautious how they
stigmatize Godís holy rest day.
- It was part of Godís law before Sinai. (See Exodus 16:4, 27-29.)
- God placed it in the heart of His moral law. (See Exodus 20:1-17.)
- The seventh-day Sabbath was commanded by the voice of the living
God. (See Deuteronomy 4:12,13.)
- He wrote the commandment with His own finger. (See Exodus 31:18.)
- He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable
nature. (See Deuteronomy 5:22.)
- It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the Holy of Holies. (See
- God forbade work upon the Sabbath even in the most hurrying times.
(See Exodus 34:21.)
- God destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned
the Sabbath. (See Ezekiel 20:20.)
- It is the sign of the true God, by which we are to know Him from
false gods. (See Ezekiel 20:20.)
- God has pronounced a special blessing on all the Gentiles who keep
it. (See Isaiah 56:6,7.)
- This blessing is in the prophecy that refers wholly to the Christian
dispensation. (See Isaiah 56.)
- God has promised to bless every man who keeps the Sabbath. (See
- The Lord requires us to call it "honorable." (Isaiah
58:13.) Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the "old Jewish
Sabbath," "a yoke of bondage," etc.
- After the holy Sabbath has been trodden down for "many
generations," it is to be restored in the last days. (See Isaiah
- All the holy prophets kept the seventh day.
- When the Son of God came, He kept the seventh day all His life. (See
Luke 4:16, John 15:10.)
- The seventh day is the Lordís day. (Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28;
Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:10.)
- Jesus was the "Lord of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28.
- He vindicated the Sabbath as a merciful institution designed for manís
good. (See Mark 2:23-28.)
- The pious women who had been with Jesus carefully kept the seventh
day after His death. (See Luke 23:56.)
- Thirty years after Christís resurrection, the Holy Spirit
expressly calls it "the Sabbath day." (See "Acts
- Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called it "the Sabbath
day" in A.D. 45. (See Acts 13:27.) Did not Paul know? Or shall we
believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Sabbath
at the resurrection of Christ?
- Luke, the inspired Christian historian, writing as late as A.D. 62,
calls it "the Sabbath day." Acts 13:14.
- The Gentile converts called it the Sabbath. (See Acts 13:42.)
- In the great Christian council in A.D. 52, in the presence of the
apostles and thousands of disciples, James called it the "Sabbath."
(See Acts 15:21.)
- It was Paulís custom to preach upon that day. (See Acts 17:2.)
- The book of Acts alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four
meetings upon that day. (See Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 11.)
- There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews
about the Sabbath day. This fact is proof that the Christians still
observed the same day that the Jews did.
- In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with
disregarding the Sabbath day. Why not if he did not keep it?
- But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law.
"Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple,
nor yet against Caesar, have I offended in any thing at all."
Acts 25:8. How could this be true if he had not kept the Sabbath?
- The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament 59 times and always
with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Old Testament,
"the Sabbath day."
- Not a word is said anywhere in the New Testament about the Sabbathís
being changed, done away with or anything of the kind.
- God has never given permission to any man to work on the Sabbath.
Friend, by what authority do you use the seventh day for common labor?
- As the Sabbath was kept in Eden before the Fall, so it will be
observed eternally in the new earth after the resurrection. (See
Isaiah 66:22, 23.)
HOW TO KEEP THE SABBATH
What are we to remember to do on the Sabbath day? "Remember
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8.
What makes the Sabbath day holy? "Therefore the Lord blessed
the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11.
What is it that makes something holy? Godís presence in it. (See
Exodus 3:5; 29:43-46; Joshua 5:13-15.) "In order to keep the Sabbath
day holy, men must themselves be holy" Desire of Ages, 283. We
must have Godís presence within.
When, according to the Bible, does a day begin? "And the
evening and the morning were the first day." "And the evening
and the morning were the second day." Genesis 1:5, 8, "For even
unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Leviticus 23:32.
(Evening signified sunset.)
When are we to do our own work? "Six days shalt thou labor,
and do all thy work." Exodus 20:9. NOTE: All through the week the
keeping holy of the Sabbath day is to be remembered. No business plans or
contracts are to be made which will interfere with keeping the Sabbath
holy. The Sabbath commandment includes more than merely keeping one day
holy, but encompasses holy living throughout the week. The commandment
should be obeyed throughout the week and the Sabbath kept when it
How does the Lord indicate whose work we are to do on the Sabbath?
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from
doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight,
the holy of the Lord honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing
thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own
words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will
cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with
the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it."
Isaiah 58:13, 14. NOTE: Whether the Sabbath becomes a delight or a burden
depends upon the spirit with which a man meets it. Indeed, the spirit of
the man settles the question as to the benefits to come from any duty he
may perform. It should be noted that the Sabbath is not to be a day of
inactivity, but we are to do Godís work on the Sabbath and our
work during the rest of the week.
What is the Sabbath a sign of? "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they
will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord
your God." Ezekiel 20:20.
What does the "psalm for the Sabbath day" suggest as proper
acts and themes for thought and meditation on the Sabbath? "It is
a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy
name, O Most High: to shew forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and
Thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon
the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For Thou, Lord, has made
me glad through Thy work." Psalm 92:1-4.
What do the works of God declare? "The heavens declare the
glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day
uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no
speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3.
NOTE: God designed that the Sabbath should direct the minds of men to His
created works, and through these to Him as the Creator. Nature itself
speaks to our senses, telling us that there is a God, the Creator and
Supreme Ruler of the universe. The Sabbath, ever pointing to God through
nature, was designed to keep the Creator constantly in mind.
Was the Sabbath designed to be a day for public worship? "Six
days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an
holy convocation." Leviticus 23:3. NOTE: It was Christís practice
to worship at the synagogue (or church) every Sabbath. (See Luke 4:16.)
Besides attending church, what else did Jesus do on the Sabbath?
"And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened
his eyes." John 9:14. NOTE: Acts of mercy are proper on the
Sabbath, for this is Godís work. Many of Jesusí miracles were
performed on the Sabbath.
What day is especially indicated as the day to prepare for the Sabbath?
"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as
much bread, two omers for one man." Exodus 16:22. NOTE: The
Sabbath should not be a day of either ordinary labor, idleness or
amusement, but one of rest, reflection, holy joy, worship and helpfulness.
It should be the happiest, the brightest and the best of all the week.
Such it should be made for young and old. Very early the children can be
taught the stories of creation and redemption, and taken with Him through
nature. Preparation for the Sabbath, therefore, is an essential to its
proper observance. Godís blessing is upon the first moments of the
Sabbath as well as upon the last; and, as far as possible, everything
should be made ready so that the entire day may be devoted to God and
In the new Covenant, where does God want the Sabbath commandment to be
written? "This is the covenant that I will make with them after
those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in
their minds I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT
Isnít it interesting that the only part of the Bible specifically
written by Godís own hand, His Law, is the part man wants to do away
with? And isnít it interesting that the only part of that Law they say
is for the Jew only, is the one commandment that states it was for the
"stranger," too? And isnít it interesting that the only one of
the commandments that specifically states it was instituted at Creation,
long before sin or Jews or ceremonies? And isnít it interesting that the
only commandment man wants to forget is the one God specifically says to
The Sabbath commandment is Godís official seal of authority: It
contains the three essential elements of any official seal or mark. It
contains His name ("The Lord your God"), title and authority
("Creator") and domain ("heaven and earth"). The
fourth commandment has been especially designated to be a sign or mark of
loyalty to God. "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign
between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God."
A MESSAGE FOR TODAY
The Bible says that a Man of Sin would arise who would seek to change
Godís law, and that a period of time would be given for him to reign.
But before Jesus comes again He will once more have a faithful people
ready for Him to come, who will be identified as "those who keep
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation
14:12. In the days of ignorance when truth has been hidden and
unperceived, God says He overlooks transgression, but now He "commands
all man everywhere to repent." Acts 17:30. Before the Second
Coming, the Bible assures us that this everlasting Gospel, which includes
the worship of the Creator as found in the fourth commandment, will once
again go to all the people of the world.
"Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having
the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earthĺ
to every nation, tribe, tongue and peopleĺ
Saying with a loud voice, ĎFear God and give glory to Him, for the hour
of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the
sea and the springs of water." Revelation 14:6, 7.
This is the message that is going forth to the world today to prevent
those who will heed its message from receiving the Mark of the Beast.
Today there is a testing truth to show whether we truly believe what
God says or not. Some people want to know, "Whatís the difference
which day I keep?" And thatís just the point. If the days are the
same anyway, why not keep the one God said to? If we keep a day, why not
Godís day? The only reason we donít is that someone, the Beast power,
has openly set himself up in opposition to God and has established another
law. No, we did not initiate the change, but by keeping that day once we
realize the change was made, we show our allegiance to that person or
power that made the change, and we will eventually receive his mark. (See
Yes, what difference does it make? The difference is that by keeping
the Sabbath we are obeying God and showing allegiance to Him. But the
other difference is that it is also unpopular. There has always been a
cross in following Jesus.
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, ĎIf anyone desire to come
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
The Sabbath itself is a great blessing (See Isaiah 58:12-14), but there
is a cross in keeping it because it is unpopular. "If the world hates
you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the
world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember
the word that I said to you, ĎA servant is not greater than his master.í
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word,
they will keep your also." John 15:18-20.
It is no more popular to follow Jesus today than when He was here on
earth. Many people suppose that if they were alive when Jesus was here,
they would have gladly followed Him, but the truth is just as plain today
as it was then. We can know whether we would have followed then by whether
we follow Him now. The choice is ours.
"Now by this we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who
says, ĎI know Him,í and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God
is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he
abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." I
Friend, I have simply presented what I believe from the Word of God (in
this lesson). I have tried not to present my interpretation. I have not
presented some church doctrine or creed. But these statements are from the
Word of God. I urge you to search out the truth. If what I have presented
is wrong, donít follow it. You will be none the worse for searching it
out. But if the Holy Spirit convicts you in the reading of the Word, then
follow Him. I donít have any followers. What I want is for each one of
us to be followers of God.
I believe that most of you desire to follow God. That is why you are
students of the Wordĺ that is why you are
studying. Though I believe in the Sabbath and try, by Godís grace, to
keep it, that does not earn me "merit points" or secure my
salvation. What really counts is how much we love and trust Jesus. Is
Jesus abiding in our hearts? All God wants is for us to follow Him step by
Jesus put it simply, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
SATANíS ARGUMENTS AND GODíS ANSWERS
Today, Satan is coming upon the world as a roaring lion, seeking whom
he may devour, by quoting and misapplying Scripture. He quotes it out of
context in such a way as to teach error and to lead people away from the
law of God. What are his arguments?
Satanís Argument #1: "You are under grace, not under the
law, therefore you can sin and break the law all you want to."
Godís Answer: "Sin is transgression of the law."
1 John 3:4 (NKJV). Does Godís grace permit us to sin and break the law
all we want to? "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin
[breaking the law], that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who
are dead to sin live any longer in it . . . What then? Shall we sin [break
the law], because we are not under the law, but under grace? Certainly
not!" Romans 6:1,2 15.
Because we have all sinned, we are all condemned under the law as
guilty. Jesus frees us from this condemnation by grace. Suppose someone is
on death row in the state penitentiary for killing a policeman. He is
"under the law," (our courts still use the same legal
terms as the Bible uses). The governor gives the condemned man grace, and
frees him and takes him out from under the law. Does that mean that the
law has been abolished? Does it mean that this man under grace can now
break the law all he wants to? Can he now go and kill all the policemen he
God puts us under grace when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Does that
mean the law has been done away with now? Does that mean we can sin all we
want to now? Does that mean we can now kill and steal and commit adultery?
Let Paul answer this question: "Do we then make void the law
through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."
Satanís Argument #2: "Jesus fulfilled the law, thereby
doing away with it, so you donít need to worry about it anymore."
Jesusí Answer: "Do not think that I came to destroy the
Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."
Matthew 5:17. You also are to fulfill the law by following My example,
just as Paul said: "fulfilled in us." Romans 8:2-4.
When you fulfill a prediction, as Jesus did by dying on the cross, the
prediction is no longer needed. Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice predictions,
which pointed forward to His death. When He died, they were no longer
needed. These predictions were part of the ceremonial law of the
old-covenant sanctuary. But when you fulfill a moral law, such as "Thou
shalt not kill," that has nothing to do with abolishing the law.
When you fulfill a marriage vow, does it do away with the marriage? When
you give your spouse total fulfillment, does it do away with your spouse?
When you fulfill the requirements of the speed-limit law, is the law
Satanís Argument #3: "No one can keep the law of God anyway,
so donít worry about it."
Godís Answer: "Sin is lawlessness, and you know that He
[Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins [our lawlessness] . .
. Little children, let no one deceive you, he who practices
righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins [breaks
the law] is of the devil . . . Whoever has been born of God does not
sin." 1 John 3:4, 5, 8, 9.
Jesus came down to give us the power to keep the law.
Satanís Argument #4: "You are now under the new covenant of
grace, not the covenant of works, so you donít have to keep the law
Godís Answer: "This is the covenant I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and
in their minds I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.
Far from making the law non-applicable for us, the new covenant can
only be received if we are wiling to keep Godís law. No one
who refuses to keep the law of God is under the new covenant. Many people
who think they are under the new covenant today are merely under the
condemnation of sin.
Satanís Argument #5: "The letter of the law kills, but the
spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6. Therefore the law is not
applicable to us who have the Spirit.
Godís Answer: The reason the law kills is that "all have
sinned." All have broken the law. And the wages of sin is death.
The reason the Spirit gives life is that it enables us to keep it. As Paul
said, "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment
came, sin revived and I died [that is, the law condemned him as a
sinner]." "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be
spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is . . . not
subject to the law of God." Romans 7:9; 8:6, 7.
Satanís Argument #6: "All you need to keep is Jesus law, not
Jesusí Answer: There is only "One lawgiver"
(James 4:12), not two, for "I and My Father are one . . . The
words that I speak to you I do not speak to you on My own authority; but
the Father who dwells in Me does the works." John 10:30; 14:10.
Satanís Argument #7: "The law was nailed to the cross."
Godís Answer: "My covenant I will not break, nor alter
the word that has gone out of My lips." Psalm 89:34.
There was a law that was nailed to the cross, and that was the law of
ordinances, which pointed forward to Jesus. These were Jewish ceremonies,
such as circumcision and animal sacrifices, that God gave to them in the
old covenant sanctuary service. The Bible says, "He abolished in
His flesh . . . the law of commandments contained in ordinances."
Ephesians 2:15. But this was not referring to the moral law of God. It is
still wrong to worship other gods. It is still wrong to steal. One other
point: Besides the ceremonial law there was something else nailed to the
cross, and that was our sins along with their penalty. Thus the penalty of
the law was nailed to the cross. (The previous "Remember The
Sabbath Day" segment taken from the Steps to Life calendar.)
The Beginning of Joy
"As the earth came forth from the hand
of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was
diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble
rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and
rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do;
the sharp, ragged edges of earth's rocky framework were buried beneath the
fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of
verdure. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and
rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.
"After the earth with its teeming
animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the
crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had
been fitted up, was wrought upon the stage of action. To him was
given dominion over all that his eye could behold; for 'God said, Let Us
make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion
over...all the earth....So God created man in His own image;...male and
female created He them.' Here is clearly set forth the origin of the
human race; and the divine record is so plainly stated that there is no
occasion for erroneous conclusions. God created man in His own
image. Here is no mystery. There is no ground for the
supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the
lower forms of animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the
great work of the Creator to the level of man's narrow, earthly
conceptions. Men are so intent upon excluding God from the
sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the
dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and
tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth
and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His
glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair
earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him
"As man came forth from the hand of
his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His
countenance bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of
life and joy. God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided
'an help meet for him'--a helper corresponding to him--one who was fitted
to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and
sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam,
signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled
under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be
loved and protected by him.
"The great Jehovah had laid the
foundations of the earth; He had dressed the whole world in the garb of
beauty and had filled it with things useful to man; He had created all the
wonders of the land and of the sea. In six days the great work of
creation had been accomplished. And God 'rested on the seventh day
from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh
day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work
which God created and made.' God looked with satisfaction upon the
work of His hands. All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author, and
He rested with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the
manifestations of His glory.
"After resting upon the seventh day,
God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for man.
Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon the heavens and
the earth, he might reflect upon God's great work of creation; and that as
he should behold the evidences of God's wisdom and goodness, his heart
might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.
"In Eden, God set up the memorial of
His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon the seventh day.
The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the
whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful
acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that
God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the
work of His hands and the subjects of His authority. Thus the
institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind.
There was nothing in it shadowy or of restricted application to any
"God saw that a Sabbath was essential
for man, even in Paradise. He needed to lay aside his own interests
and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully
contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness.
"He needed a Sabbath to remind him
more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed
and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.
"God designs that the Sabbath shall
direct the minds of men to the contemplation of His created works.
Nature speaks to their senses, declaring that there is a living God, the
Creator, the Supreme ruler of all. 'The heavens declare the glory of
God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth
speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.' Psalm 19:1,2.
The beauty that clothes the earth is token of God's love. We may
behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening
buds, and the delicate flowers. All speak to us of God. The
Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids men open the great
book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of
the Creator." Ellen White, A Time For Joy, 2,3
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE
SABBATH, SEE THE BIBLE STUDIES FROM STEPS TO LIFE, THE THREE ANGELS'
MESSAGES, EARTH'S FINAL WARNING, THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, NATIONAL SUNDAY