The Sabbath (2 of 2)
Introductory texts (
Php 2:10, Ps 138:2, Mt 5:19, 2Co 6:14-18)
The Great Sabbath Deception
Daniel predicted the Sabbath apostasy. (
The fourth commandment is the only one that involves a time element.
Paul predicted apostasy in the church. (
Ac 20:28-31, 2Th 2:1-12)
The Roman Emperor Hadrian persecuted the Jews in early second century AD.
Some Christians sought to separate themselves from the Jews by observing the resurrection day (Sunday) in addition to the Sabbath (Saturday).
The Roman Church initiated a yearly Sunday observance in honor of the resurrection (Easter).
The other churches wanted to make Easter fall on the same calendar date every year.
Rome dictated the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox.
The Roman Church initiated observance of Sabbath with fasting as a day of gloom and Sunday as a day of joy.
Consider the effect on youths' attitudes toward these days. As adults, they would prefer Sunday.
As Roman Church's power increased, Sunday worship increased.
"Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this." (Ecclesiastical History, Socrates Schutasticus, Bk. 5, ch. 22)
"Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord's day they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ." (Council of Laodicea, Canon 29, 364 AD)
Forbidding Sabbath worship implies its widespread practice at this time.
Pagan sun worship (Gnosticism, Mithraism)
"The worshippers [of Mithra] held Sunday sacred and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December." (The Mysteries of Mithra, trans. by Thomas J. McCormack, p. 191)
The Roman Emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity in the fourth century.
He passed first Sunday law to make Christianity easier for pagan adoption.
"On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed." (History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, Vol. 3, p. 380)
"The retention of the old pagan name of Deis Solis, or sun day, is in great measure owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagans and Christians alike, as the venerable day of the sun." (The History of the Eastern Church, Arthur B. Stanley, p. 184)
Pagans brought pagan beliefs and practices with them into the church (including worship on Sun Day).
The change occurred gradually over many centuries, one compromise at a time.
We Must Obey God Rather Than Men
We must obey God rather than men. (
Mt 15:3,8,9, Ac 5:29)
God says "remember", men say "forget". (
The Sabbath vs. Sunday controversy has at its center the issues of worship and obedience.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (
The Remnant Sabbath Keepers
Throughout the centuries, God has preserved a remnant church that has faithfully kept His Sabbath. (
Ex 31:16,17, Eze 20:12,20)
The remnant church fled to the "wilderness" during 1260 years of persecution by the Roman Church. (
In the last days, God's remnant church will keep the Sabbath. (
Rev 12:17, Rev 14:12, Rev 22:14)