The eternal covenant between God and His people
The True Sabbath of God
Today, almost all professing Christians keep the first day of the week for religious purposes. But it was not always so. There was a time when no one kept the Sunday. One day after creating Adam and Eve, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (Genesis 2:2,3). And the first couple, the only inhabitants of the earth at that time, rested and sanctified the Sabbath together with God.
Later, Adam and Eve fell into sin, had children and not all of them decided to obey God. In fact, his first son, Cain, killed his own brother Abel and rebelled against God. He became the first rebel and led his descendants on the path of disobedience. Then Adam had another son, Seth. “Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26). The world then was divided into two groups: those who worshiped and served the Creator, called “sons of God,” and the rebels who did not accept His authority and wanted to govern themselves. The Bible teaches that so it continued to be, in all ages, until the end of times. Because they did not recognize themselves as sons of God, they were called “sons of men”. “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time”, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:1-5,8).
Through Noah, God presented the message of mercy to the world and eight living people were saved from destruction when the great flood took place. Through him (Noah), God preserved the knowledge of His will. And, after the flood, He gave humanity a new chance, a new beginning, where they could, like Adam and Eve, obey His will, revealed by Noah. Noah’s family would repopulate the earth.
But the first pages of history after the flood began to unfold, and men were again divided into two classes: obedient and disobedient. The descendants of Noah’s youngest son, Cam, decided to follow the path of Cain. His grandson, Nimrod, whose name means “rebellious,” engaged in the construction of a tower that would reach the heavens, to fight against God and avenge the death of his parents (Genesis 10:6-10). The descendants of Shem, also son of Noah, remained faithful to God. Among them, God chose Abraham so that through him His covenant with man would be known again - “the Ten Commandments” (Deuteronomy 4:13). God said, “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My commandment, My precepts, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:4,5). He, and his descendants, remained faithful to God. They were the “golden thread” on earth, keeping His commandments alive and, among them, the Sabbath.
God anticipated Abraham’s future events by revealing that his offspring would go to Egypt and there would be afflicted by “four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13). When the time came, the children of Israel “During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob” (Exodus 2:23,24). Then God delivered them, led them into the wilderness and confirmed them as His “golden thread”, that is, the people elected to pass on the knowledge of His will from that generation. Hence, He announced to them “He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets” (Deuteronomy 4:13). And he repeated the Sabbath commandment given to Adam and Eve before sin: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy...” (Exodus 20: 8). Since Adam, every generation of God’s children on earth has preserved the Sabbath knowledge as a day of rest.
Parallel to the story of the Sabbath keepers, another one unfolded. Nimrod, the rebel grandson of Cam, Noah’s great-grandson, became the leader of a generation of rebels. Contrary to God’s command, he led them in another direction, so that they said: “Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). Nimrod so lacked the fear of God that he lay with his own mother and had a son - Tammuz. Yet he was greatly revered by the men of his day. “Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord” (Genesis 10: 8,9). The term “before the LORD” means against the LORD. That is, he worked actively to establish a government in opposition to God.
The story goes that after the death of Ninrode, his wife and mother, Semiramis, who was a cultist prostitute, found herself pregnant. Then she spread the lie that she had been impregnated by the spirit of Nimrod, who had been disincarnated after his death, and had become the sun god. Then his son would become the son-god or redeeming boy god. Hence, the sun cult (the Nimrod) was instituted, along with the mother goddess with the boy. The worship system then evolved into the worship of three people: Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. The cult of the trinity was established. The first day of the week, the lunar month, and the year for trinity worship were dedicated. Hence, the first day was known as “the day of the Lord God, the Sun”.
God partly frustrated Nimrod’s plans by confusing the language of the builders of the tower of Babel, which led to the disruption of the building: “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth“ (Genesis 11: 5-9).
Divided into groups of families who spoke the same language, men took their customs and religion to the places where they colonized. This is why the worship of the trinity and the sun is found in virtually every ancient civilization. And it is also the reason why the elements of religion - pyramids, representations of the trinity and statuettes of Semiramis and her son Tammuz on the lap - are seen in the vestiges of these civilizations, in different parts of the world.
The day dedicated to the worship of the sun was also called “sun day”, or “the Lord God, the sun”, by the families scattered in Babel that gave rise to different civilizations. In English, the first day of the week was named “sunday”. In German, the day is suntag, with the same meaning. In Spanish and Portuguese it is “Domingo”, which comes from the Latin “dominvs” and means “day of the Lord God, the Sun”. The name of the first day of the week in French and Italian (dimanche and domenica, respectively), also come from the Latin dominvs and have the same meaning.
Then the world was divided into two classes of people: the people of most nations who kept Sunday and the descendants of Shem by the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - the Israelites, keepers of the Sabbath. It is seen that, although the Sabbath was the oldest institution of God, the Sunday instituted in the cult of Nimrod was by far the most widely observed and most popular.
According to history, the people of Israel wandered in the desert between the years 1450 and 1400 BC. It is believed that Adam lived around 4000 BC. Thus, after about 2600 years of humanity’s history, the Sabbath was always observed by the faithful. Sunday was later instituted by man. God’s golden thread kept the Sabbath, while the followers of the rebellious religion of Nimrod separated Sunday for religious purposes.
From Moses to Christ
While in the wilderness, God instructed Moses that, as it had always been, the observance of the Sabbath would forever be a sign that would differentiate His people from the rest. “The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:16,17). The reason for observing the Sabbath goes far beyond the needs of the Israelite people – it embraces all mankind. You should keep it to remember God as your Creator, in order to learn to love Him and to reverence Him as such. Note that God points to creation as the reason for observing the Sabbath: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,” not only for the Israelites but for all mankind; “And on the seventh day he rested, and was restored”. The Sabbath has to do with every descendant of Adam.
Another 1400 years have passed, and, throughout this time, God has repeatedly reminded His people of the importance of the Sabbath as a sign of obedience and submission to His law. About forty years after Sinai, at the end of the desert pilgrimage, he repeated the Sabbath commandment in Deuteronomy 5:12: “Keep the Sabbath day... as the Lord your God has commanded you”. The prophet Isaiah, in the eighth century BC, recalled the commandment (Isaiah 56:2-4). About two hundred years later, before the Babylonians’ last invasion, Jeremiah reminded the people of the Sabbath commandment, and the blessings of their observance (Jeremiah 17:21). Ezekiel did the same, pointing to the Sabbath as a sign of the covenant between God and men (Ezekiel 20:12,20). And Malachi, the last of the prophets of the Old Testament, denounces those who have abandoned obedience to the Ten Commandments, which commands the keeping of the Sabbath: “A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name? “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 1:6,2:7,8).
Meanwhile, pagan nations kept the day of the sun, in contrast to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. So did the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, who were masters of the world empire at the time of Christ’s coming to earth.
In the Ministry of Jesus Christ
Jesus, the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, was born in Bethlehem as had been prophesied (Micah 5:2). He was created by Joseph and Mary, both Jews and Sabbath keepers and from whom Jesus received instructions. The Bible says that He grew “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52). He loved God in everything and, in doing so, he took part in the Sabbath worship service: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,” (Luke 4:16). From this we conclude that God is pleased when the church pays him worship on this day.
In His first great sermon after beginning His ministry, Jesus emphasized that He did not come to cancel or abolish the law of the Sabbath. Instead, He confirmed that it would remain in effect for as long as heaven and earth lasted: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17, 18).
Not long afterward, Jesus purposely entered into controversy with the Pharisees, in order to deliver the Sabbath-teaching from the commandments of men. The Pharisees had added a series of ordinances to the Sabbath law, all contrary to the Bible, making it literally a burden to its observers. Two complete treatises of the Jewish book called “Mishnah” are dedicated to representing various regulations concerning the Sabbath.
We quote some:
- You could not carry a handkerchief in your hand to prevent it from doing work
- You should have one of your ends sewn into your clothes. So it was considered part of it, and to carry it would not be transgression of the Sabbath
- You could not undo a knot, write more than two letters or delete the space equivalent to more than two letters
- You could sell the egg that the hen put on the Sabbath, but the Jew was forbidden to eat it
- It was forbidden to look in the mirror on the Sabbath
- It was not allowed to light a fire or a candle on the Sabbath – but a Gentile could be hired to do the service
- It was forbidden to spit on the earth on the Sabbath, to prevent a plant from being watered by this act
- You could not walk more than a thousand feet on the Sabbath. Then, in planning where to go, one should rather evaluate whether the distance exceeded “Sabbath’s day walk” (Acts 1:12), to avoid falling into transgression.
When discussing with the Pharisees, it was Jesus’ goal to present the true doctrine of the Sabbath. He taught that the hours of this day can be dedicated to alleviating the suffering of people and animals: “Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say “ (Luke 14:5). And the Bible reports several miracles of healing performed by Jesus on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-5, Luke 4:38,39, 13:10-17, 14:1-4, John 5:1-15, 9:1 -14). In the same way, He also said that it is not a transgression of the same to seek food for those who, because of force majeure, could not prepare their food for this day: “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent” (Matthew 12:1-7).
By placing Himself in the position of co-Creator of all things, Jesus claimed to have the right to determine what is Sabbath transgression and what is not. He made the Sabbath. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). For this reason he said to the Pharisees, “I tell you, here is greater than the temple... For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). By affirming Himself “Lord” of the Sabbath, Jesus called Himself the owner of it. It would be so illogical to think that Jesus came to abolish what He Himself instituted, just like to believe that a man would destroy the very house he built and now lives in. He taught, by precept and example, that the Sabbath should be devoted to the worship of God and good works - to alleviate the suffering of men and animals and to preach the gospel. And, in order that there might be no doubt about it, He said that He did not come to abolish the law which contained the commandment of the Sabbath. Let us remember: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17,18).
But he gave no example, nor taught to work for one’s own benefit - to pay the bills at home - on this day. He himself had already inspired Isaiah to write: ““If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13,14). The Sabbath is not a day to work for personal gain.
After The Cross
The disciples of Jesus learned to keep the Sabbath and retained the teaching even after His death. Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus to pay the last honours to the deceased Master. Luke tells us that “It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment” (Luke 23:54-56). They returned to work “on the first day of the week, early in the morning,” when they “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb” (Luke 24:1).
Jesus himself, just before ascending to heaven, ordered the disciples to teach people to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). So far, He had given examples and teachings on how to keep the Sabbath. The disciples should therefore continue to teach about the Sabbath accordingly. In harmony with the order of Jesus, the apostle Paul teaches in the book of Hebrews the need of believers in Christ to keep the Sabbath: “Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works… There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:3,4,9-11).
The Example of the Apostles
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus commanded His disciples to teach people to “keep all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). We have already seen how Jesus Himself kept the Sabbath. And it could not be otherwise, for it expressly stated that the Ten Commandments were and would remain valid upon the earth while the heavens lasted. He said He did not come to change them: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17,18). The disciples, therefore, would demonstrate to the world that they followed the example of their Master, keeping the law and its Sabbath. And so they did, even after Jesus’ death. Shortly after withdrawing His body from the cross on Friday, “it was the Day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was dawning. And the women who had come with Him into Galilee also followed and saw the sepulchre and how His body was laid. And when they returned, they prepared spices and ointments, and on the sabbath they rested, according to the commandment.” The Sabbath was considered so holy by the followers of Jesus that even the honours to the Master’s body were not paid during its hours. Only on “the first day of the week,” on Sunday, “it was very early in the morning, that they went to the sepulchre, bearing the spices which they had prepared” (Luke 23:54-24:1).
After the ascension of Christ, the disciples continued to follow the example of the Master. Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath days. The book of Acts records, on four different occasions, that Paul and the other disciples of Christ did the same: “From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!... When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord” (Acts 13:14,16,43,44). “After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:1,4).
This last account shows that the disciples dedicated the Sabbath to prayer and preaching of the gospel, even outside the church: “On the Sabbath day we went out of the gates to the river, where we thought there was a place for prayer; and we sat down, and spake unto the women that were gathered together. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, from the city of Thyatira, who served God, heard us, and the Lord opened her heart to him to heed what Paul said. After she was baptized, she and her household prayed to us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay there. And constrained us to do so” (Acts 16:13-15).
It follows, therefore, that through teachings and examples, the apostles proclaimed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as a true day of rest, and demonstrated that it was in force even after Jesus’ death. There was no room left for church members to conclude that there was a change in the day of rest. Changing the day of rest from the Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday is the paganization of Christianity.
Though they had taught the truth with all clarity, the apostles were warned by the spirit of prophetic inspiration that apostasy would rise within the church after their deaths. And they warned the believers more than once. Paul said, “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:25-31). Peter also warned: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
The prophecies of Paul and Peter were soon fulfilled. Paul was martyred around the year 66d.C., and Peter between 67 and 68d.C., in Rome. Already at this time, Justin Martyr, who is now acclaimed by many as one of the legitimate fathers of the church, was, in fact, one of the predicted wolves. He affirmed things completely contrary to the teaching of the apostles - heresies from paganism:
“We all assembled on the day of the Sun, not only because it was the first day on which God, transforming darkness and matter, created the world, but also because on this same day Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead. They crucified Him on the eve of Saturn’s day; and on the day after this, that is, on the day of the sun, appearing to his apostles and disciples, he taught them all that we also proposed to you as worthy of consideration”. Justin, 66-67, I - Apology, pp. 6, 427-31.
The story unfortunately shows that, in general, when there is apostasy, most go the wrong way. It was thus when Jezebel and King Ahab led the people in the worship of Baal: only Elijah and seven thousand knees did not bow to the false god. The rest of the nation, the majority, was on the wrong side. This was repeated at the time of the prophets Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and even Jesus. The Son of God did not take the majority after Himself. It stood beside the Pharisees, shouting, “Crucify Him” on the day of Calvary. And in the Christian dispensation it was no different. Justin Martyr was soon reckoned among the majority of the church believers of his days, but also taught the error. That is, the wolves were considered the true shepherds; while the sincere believers, who did not agree with the changes, were seen as dissidents, rebels, elements who were working for the division and weakening of the church; people who were accusing the “men of God.” Those who were not of God before preached falsehood. Thus, as most turned in favour of the pagan Sabbath (Sunday), it was gradually accepted as the standard. Sunday’s keeping became a doctrine accepted by tradition, not by biblical revelation. And in its wake came all the other pagan doctrines introduced into the bosom of the church: trinity, worship of carving images, baptism by sprinkling, etc.
Despite the gradual paganization of Christianity, it was not easily accepted, and its adherents were ferociously persecuted and killed. The pagans were not willing to accept the “Jew Jesus of Nazareth” as the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind.
Society in general wanted the Christians to greet the emperor with the “Ave Caesar”, and to recognize him as the legitimate representative of God. Since they did not do so, the Roman coliseums amused the heathen with performances of Christian murders by the beasts. Being a Christian was just like being disloyal to the empire. Persecution became more intense in the ten years following the command of Diocletian in 303 AD. Referring to this terrible time of trial, Jesus said in prophetic language: “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10).
Then came what seemed to be the relief of God; but turned out to be the enemy’s worst weapon: a Roman emperor proved himself, for the first time, in favour of Christianity. Constantine signed an Edict that interrupted the persecutions - the Edict of Tolerance in Milan. From then on, Christians had the same rights as pagans. Shortly thereafter, Christianity was to be recognized as the official religion of the empire. It just so happened that the political background of this scene of “tolerance” revealed to be a true trap to the sincere. Constantine had not accepted Jesus, nor recognized Him as Lord of his life. Instead, seeing that the Christians numbered almost fifty per cent of the population of the empire, he asked for their support in his campaign against Maximilian; promising them, should he win, to end persecution and turn Christianity into the official religion of the empire. The political worked. Constantine won and became emperor. He kept his promise, but only in part. As a politician, he also tried to please the other part of the population, the pagans. He achieved this by mixing Christianity with paganism, which has become the symbol of the Roman church ever since. Acting on this line, Constantine decreed that the Christian Sabbath would be the same as tge pagan’s: “May all worship the venerable day of the sun” (Constantine, 321d.C.). And most of the bishops, who from the past two centuries were already on the path of apostasy, venerating this very day, and willing to please the emperor in exchange for power and money, promptly joined the emperor in this work. So the bishops who honoured the decree of the emperor - the majority - were favoured, while the rest were gradually banished. The emperor summoned councils, in which most of the bishops - the apostates, who by now had dominated the church - voted for what was to be believed and what was not to be. And the churches received these decrees, which accompanied anathemas and threats to those who did not submit to them. The Bible was no longer the official Roman church guide. In the tradition of the bishops, the teaching doctrine of the church was regarded as being above it.
As there were still people who questioned this assumption of men’s authority over the Word of God, the decision was made that the Bible should be banished - taken from the hand of the people. Thus, the bishops of the church could direct the faithful ones according to their will, as they wrote new decrees and imposed them on the churches. And it was then when the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, guarded by Adam and all the patriarchs of the Old Testament, was forgotten. The day of rest which Jesus instituted, being his Lord; which He taught how it ought to be guarded by His example in His ministry on earth, was condemned to oblivion by the church leaders of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. And the world was immersed in the darkness of the age known in history as “Dark Ages.” In the absence of the light of the Word of God, the darkness seemed to prosper.
But, as in all times when the apostasy seemed to dominate completely, God was not left without witness. Some churches, such as some in North Africa, still observed the biblical Sabbath. And, after centuries of apostasy, the Bible was once again within reach of the people. The biblical societies were formed in the 1800s, through whose work thousands could study the Word of God. Then flourished churches that observed the appointed day of rest in the Word of God - the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It is seen from history that, in spite of the effort of apostate men to change the day of rest, God did not sanction or order any change. He had said, “The seventh day is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD ... they shall keep the sabbath ... in their generations for a perpetual covenant... it shall be a sign forevermore; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was restored” (Exodus 31:15-17). And so it will remain forever, even in the new restored earth, when God removes from it the whole stain of sin: “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:22,23).
Sunday Law: The Last Battle Between Christ and Satan
Soon this long battle between the Sabbath and Sunday as the real day of rest will come to its peak. Satan and his power structures on this earth will make the observance of the Sunday mandatory by the force of the law – the Sunday law. This will again be in direct confrontation to the commandments of the God Almighty and will require the true Church of Christ to take its final stand: keep observing the Sabbath.
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God Bless You!