[Note: This booklet was originally published as three separate entries, here combined into one. You may request a free hard copy by emailing Questions@TheSimpleAnswers.com]
Why do you worship God on Sunday? Do you know? Did you ever stop to ask where the proof came from? Most don’t! Most simply accept what they’ve always been told and leave it at that; but you will be shocked when you learn just WHY you keep Sunday – and what day you SHOULD be keeping holy!
If you read the Bible from cover to cover you will never find a verse which commands you to keep Sunday holy. Sunday, which the Bible calls merely “the first day of the week”, was a day of work throughout Biblical times. Most ministers are aware of all this, if you ask them – so why do they teach you to keep Sunday holy regardless?
This article will answer those questions; it will show you first WHICH day God commanded you to observe as a day of rest. Then it will show you what happened to that day in the early church, who changed it and why, and you will learn why YOU observe Sunday – the record is all there to be uncovered. Finally, it will tell you why it matters to God – and it DOES matter to God which day you observe!
WHICH DAY DOES GOD COMMAND?
In keeping Sunday, most people believe they are fulfilling this commandment of God…
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
But few realize that this “sabbath day” is NOT Sunday! Sunday is the first day of the week, and has been in every ancient calendar since time immemorial. But the Bible does not call the first day of the week holy!
Verse 9-10 (NKJV) 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 male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
When God commanded you to keep the Sabbath holy, He spoke of the seventh-day Sabbath – the end of the week, not the beginning! How can we be sure that the Sabbath is the seventh day of our modern week? Quite easily! The word “Sabbath” is from the Hebrew word “shabbat”. And almost every language on Earth still calls the seventh day of the week the SABBATH! For example, the Spanish sabado, the Italian sabbato, the Russian subbota; much more on this later.
But why did God choose the seventh day as a day of rest? Was it an important reason, one WE should care about today, or did God merely play “Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe” with the days? The Bible gives the answer in the next verse:
Verse 11 (BBE) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and everything in them, and he took his rest on the seventh day: FOR THIS REASON the Lord has given his blessing to the seventh day and made it holy.
So if this is what the Bible plainly says, why do so many keep holy the first day of the week – the day God worked and created light (Genesis 1:3), a day that was not holy, instead of the day God specifically made holy – the seventh day?
Genesis 2:2-3 (BBE) And on the seventh day God came to the end of all his work; and on the seventh day he took his rest from all the work which he had done. And God gave his blessing to the seventh day and MADE IT HOLY…
God made the seventh day holy. GOD made it holy! And He blessed the seventh day, and no other! Why did He do that? He goes on to tell us!
Verse 3 …BECAUSE on THAT DAY he took his rest from all the work which he had made and done.
God made this day holy because it commemorated the rest He took after the work of creating the things it Genesis chapters 1 and 2. So again, how is it that so many sincere Christians keep Sunday instead of Saturday? When was it changed? Many suppose that it was in the New Testament, but if that is true we should find Jesus and the Apostles keeping Sunday. And yet we don’t! Instead we find them all observing the seventh-day Sabbath regularly!
Luke 4:16 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.
It was Jesus’ CUSTOM to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day! So it certainly hadn’t been changed by then! So perhaps it changed after He died?
Luke 23:54-56 That day [the crucifixion] was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
The women who had been present at Jesus’ crucifixion returned after His burial – after He was dead and buried, His blood having completed the changes to the law, and they STILL returned and “rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment”!
Yet perhaps it was changed by Paul – so do we find Paul observing Sunday and shunning Sabbath services as most modern Christians do?
Acts 13:14 But when they [Paul and company] departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
But some would object and say that perhaps it had indeed been changed, but Paul just observed the Sabbath to please the Jews; but surely Paul wouldn’t have kept the Sabbath with New Testament Gentiles!
Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
The Jews, offended by Paul’s teachings, were GONE from the synagogue! They had left! Only the Gentiles remained, and those Gentiles requested to hear Paul again NEXT Sabbath – did Paul object and say “Oh, no, we just keep Saturday for the Jews – I’ll meet you back here tomorrow, or next Sunday…”? Is that what Paul did?
Verses 13:44-45 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
The whole city of GENTILES came together, excluding the Jews, who were off by themselves and saw “the multitudes” flocking to Paul! And this took place on the SABBATH! The apostle Paul taught Gentiles to keep the SABBATH! When no Jews were involved!
Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we [Paul and company] went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, AS HIS MANNER WAS, went in unto them, and THREE SABBATH DAYS reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue EVERY SABBATH, and persuaded the Jews AND THE GREEKS.
Far from doing away with the Sabbath, we find Paul repeatedly sanctioning its use! And keeping it with GENTILES, week after week, never once even hinting that Sunday was to be the new day of worship! And never once is there a word from ANYONE in the Bible saying “Saturday is done away, we now keep Sunday holy”! Not a single word!
There are a half-dozen scriptures which some try to use to defend their Sunday worship from the Bible – but they all fall of their own weight when you really look at them, as you’re about to see for yourself. After that, you will learn WHO changed the Sabbath observance to Sunday – and you will be appalled when you learn who it was!
THE LORD’S DAY
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Does this quote God as saying “The day of worship is no longer the seventh day, the Sabbath, as I commanded for so long; it is now the first day of the week – which from henceforth shall be called the Lord’s day”??
Scrutinize this verse carefully. This is the KEY SCRIPTURE people use to prove that Sunday observance replaced Saturday. Please read it slowly, carefully, and then tell me – does it mention the Sabbath? Does it mention Sunday, or the first day of the week, or ANY day of the week? Does it mention a day of rest, or worship?
Does it mention a change of ANY kind? No! It says merely that John was “in the spirit on the Lord’s day”. What is the Lord’s day? Does the Bible tell us? Yes, of course it does! God never leaves us to guess at what things mean – He knows how badly we would mess things up if we trusted to our own guesswork!
The phrase “the Lord’s day” means the exact same thing as “the day of the Lord”, just like “The president’s cat”, and “The cat of the president” are the same thing. And there are hundreds of references to the day of the Lord, so we can KNOW what it means!
2 Peter 3:10 But the DAY OF THE LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
God says on the Day of the Lord – on the Lord’s day – the earth will be burned up. Surely that isn’t referring to Sunday!
1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Surely they weren’t to be perfect next Sunday – but rather, like this verse says “unto the END” – the END, when God judges man, Paul trusted that these people would be judged BLAMELESS!
Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Surely the moon doesn’t turn to blood and the sun stop shining before each Sunday! The day of the Lord doesn’t refer to a weekly day, but to the day of judgment – the great and dreadful day of God when the nations are punished and the dead are judged!
And those things are EXACTLY what John saw “in the spirit”, because God had projected him in vision into that future time, when John saw all the apocalyptic visions of the judgment of the world! So John was in the spirit, or to make it clearer, he was in a vision of the spirit, on the day when God came back to take power over all the nations – not on Sunday!
Surely anyone must admit there is no reason whatsoever to connect that verse with the first day of the week, and every reason to connect it with the day of God’s wrath referred to hundreds of times throughout the Bible! The very wrath John proceeds to record for us, when he was in a vision of the Day of the Lord!
And surely no one can say there is ANY JUSTIFICATION to be found in that verse for CHANGING the Sabbath which God, Jesus, and the apostles ALL kept holy!
THE JEWISH SABBATH
The first thing most people do when you mention the Sabbath is to sneer “Oh, that’s just the JEWISH Sabbath – that’s not for US!” – but why do they think that? Where is there a SINGLE scripture that EVER says the Sabbath was given to the Jews?
Leviticus 19:30 Ye shall keep MY SABBATHS, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
So whose Sabbath is it? It’s GOD’S Sabbath!
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, [etc]…
The Sabbath of WHOM? Of the Jews? Of the Old Covenant? Or the SABBATH OF THE LORD?
We just read that the “day of the Lord” in Revelation 1:10 refers to a future time of judgment; but there IS a day of the week Jesus considers “His”. Do you know which one that is?
Mark 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Jesus is Lord of the SABBATH DAY! The Jews are not Lord of that day! No MAN can lay claim to that day which GOD made holy, set apart, and commanded EVERY Christian to observe!
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
This says two things, neither of which is “the Sabbath has moved to Sunday”. One, it says that Paul preached on that day; it does not not say it was a church service. Jesus preached on many days that were neither Sabbath nor Sunday; that did not mean they were to replace the regular Sabbath services it was His custom to attend.
And two, it tells us that the disciples came together to break bread on the first day of the week. This week – it doesn’t say they did that every week! That can be inferred, but it does not say that every week they broke bread together on Sunday. Does it? Read it again. These are the verses upon which Sunday is based – DOES IT SAY they met every week for church services or not?
Nonetheless it is clear that at least this week, they did come together to “break bread”. Most suppose that to mean communion. But later, after Paul had talked until after midnight, and the next day had begun, he AGAIN broke bread; does this mean he took communion again?
Acts 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
Honestly, does it make more sense to believe, that with no scriptural evidence whatsoever of a change being made, indeed with actual facts to prove that Paul regularly kept “every Sabbath” with Jew and Gentile alike, does it make more sense to believe that “breaking bread” in these scriptures in every case means communion – or does it make more sense to believe that breaking bread meant… breaking bread? Eating a simple meal?
Webster’s Dictionary says “break bread: to dine together”. Bread in Biblical times wasn’t the fluffy stuff we have today, even leavened bread would be considered a brick by today’s standards. It was customary to break the bread into smaller pieces and pass the pieces around. That’s simply how bread was eaten, and still is in many countries around the world.
In order to make such a huge change in God’s clear command to keep the seventh day holy, we must have an equally clear command to keep Sunday – not a vague inference that could be read in other ways! Here, it says they gathered to break bread (which Webster says means “to dine together”) on the first day of the week. Does this mean Sunday is now the special day of worship? Do you really think it says that? Really?
And if you do accept that breaking bread on Sunday means the holiness God gave the seventh day was transferred to the first… then the same logic requires you to make holy every day!
Acts 2:46 And they, CONTINUING DAILY with one accord in the temple, and BREAKING BREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
These early Christians continued DAILY, breaking BREAD DAILY from house to house! Most people assume that means communion. Again, it doesn’t say communion bread. It just says bread. Anything else is an ASSUMPTION! So that verse can either read “they, continuing daily… dined together from house to house”, or “they, continuing daily… took communion from house to house”.
Which REALLY makes more sense??
Acts 27:33-36 (NKJV) And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing.” Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had BROKEN it he BEGAN TO EAT. Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.
Did Paul tell these Gentiles (who were complete heathens every one) to take a small wafer of communion to assuage their hunger after TWO WEEKS OF FASTING? Or did he simply ask them to “take nourishment” – physical, not spiritual – then thank God for the bread, break it, and start DINING TOGETHER WITH THEM by eating it – after which they “were encouraged, and ALSO TOOK FOOD“?
Breaking bread does not, alone, indicate a church service of any kind. Breaking bread indicates… breaking bread! It might be the passover service, as indicated in 1 Corinthians 10:16 – or it might be a meal, as indicated in Acts 27. Without evidence – clear evidence – you cannot simply assume one way or another.
Back in Acts 20, the disciples had gathered together to break bread on Sunday. Paul then preached to them until after midnight. Now this means one of two things. Remember, Biblical days always start and end at sundown (see Genesis 1:13, Leviticus 23:32). The midnight day is a later Roman invention.
So suppose, as most believe, they started talking on Sunday morning. They broke bread, and let us suppose that was a Sunday communion service as most believe. At sundown, Sunday ended and Monday began; then Paul preached until late in the night, then he broke bread again! Then he continued preaching until dawn. That means that Paul broke bread once on Sunday, and once on Monday. By the logic that “breaking bread on Sunday means that day was the new Sabbath”, Monday now shares holiness with Sunday! And BOTH must be the Sabbath!
And that conclusion is clearly absurd. But now let’s look at what the facts really indicate; we know beyond question that Paul kept the Sabbath regularly. So let’s suppose, with the Bible on our side, that this weekend was like any other and Paul kept the Sabbath with these folks. Suppose the services ran late, after dark. Now it was Sunday – being after sundown on what we call Saturday.
Not having eaten lately, they all got together to eat dinner – breaking their crusty bread in the process. Afterwards, Paul preached some more. Then sometime in the middle of the night, the man fell out of the loft and died. Paul revived him, then broke bread and ate again – because after five hours of preaching, HE WAS HUNGRY! Then at dawn he departed.
Which really makes more sense?
LAY BY HIM IN STORE…
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
First, let it be made clear, that this is not speaking of passing an offering plate for a regular offering as so many churches do. The purpose of this is clearly stated – it was a collection for the saints, and this offering was going to help those in Jerusalem (verse 3). The same type of collection, possibly the very same collection, was mentioned in Romans…
Romans 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
So this wasn’t a tithe, a collection for the priesthood or for the spreading of the gospel; this was strictly an offering for the poor saints in the church of Jerusalem. Such a task is a large job, since this wasn’t necessarily a collection solely of money. Further, note that it says “lay up BY HIM in store” – that is, by HIM, on his property, not at church at all! Weymouth translates this verse:
1 Corinthians 16:2 (Weymouth) On the first day of every week let each of you put on one side and store up AT HIS HOME whatever gain has been granted to him; so that whenever I come, there may then be no collections going on.
Now if Paul commanded each member to take his donation and STORE it up AT HIS HOME, how can this be used as justification for a church service of ANY KIND?? Think about it! If he’s at HOME, gathering the things he’s going to give to the poor saints in Jerusalem, HE ISN’T AT CHURCH WORSHIPING!
Besides which, there is no mention here of church services on Sunday; there is no mention of prayer, worship, reading of scripture, preaching, or anything else associated with your Sunday services! The only thing given is a command to put stuff together for a donation on Sunday, AT HOME!
You’ve probably had a yard sale, or gotten together a pile of stuff to give to charity; how long does that take? Digging through your garage and attic, sorting through your things that you don’t need, deciding what to keep, what to give? Days of work, isn’t it? This collection would require lots of time and effort, and getting together the things for this charity drive on Sunday as Paul commanded would probably prevent people from going to church on Sunday!
And Paul KNEW this would be time consuming, and when he arrived to visit the Corinthians he wanted their FULL ATTENTION on what he was going to preach to them! So he gave this command, and to tell us why he specifically said “so that whenever I come, there may THEN be no collections going on.“ – he wanted all this work DONE before he arrived so there could be no distractions from what he had to teach them!
But did you notice that? He said that THEN – when He comes – there will BE no more collections on Sunday! So these collections were clearly temporary! Only to last until Paul came!
So why did Paul even bring this up? Why give them a specific day each week to hold their “charity drive”? Simple. These Corinthians had a lot of problems. They were probably breaking the Sabbath in order to put together these donations, or simply forgetting them altogether in the rush of their weekly tasks.
And so to PREVENT them from doing this work on the Sabbath, and to ensure they didn’t get sidetracked and forget to do it altogether, Paul told them to do it on SUNDAY! So far from proving that the apostles kept Sunday, this actually proves that Paul commanded them not to take up collection on the Sabbath, but rather to wait until the next day, a day of work, to take it up!
After the many clear examples of Paul keeping the Sabbath week after week with Jews and Gentiles alike, are we to believe that because of a single instruction take a charity collection – one that would require a lot of work, and which was to take place AT HOME – that now the day of worship was changed? Seriously?
THE DISCIPLES WERE ASSEMBLED…
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, ‘Peace be unto you.’
Remember, the women had just that morning gone out to embalm the body – a clear act of work. They had rested the day before, on the Sabbath day. Now read it carefully – does it say they assembled for a church service? NO! It tells us WHY they assembled, right here! “The disciples were assembled FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS” – not for praise, worship, singing, scriptural reading or preaching – but out of FEAR of the Jews! They were HIDING together! Not having church services!
BECAUSE IT COMMEMORATES JESUS’ RESURRECTION
Practically everyone believes that this is the reason they keep Sunday. That somehow, this event moved the holiness that God said commemorated the seventh day of creation to the first day – Sunday. But such an idea is NOWHERE FOUND IN THE BIBLE!
It isn’t in there. At all. I can’t argue it here because there are no scriptures to explain, no arguments to attack; it is based on no evidence of any kind. There is no scripture telling us to commemorate His resurrection, much less to say that the Sabbath has been moved to Sunday to commemorate it. It simply isn’t there!
Sure, you can make up stuff – you can say that the Easter Bunny made Sunday holy because he wanted you to eat chocolate eggs. But why are you a Christian if you don’t do what Jesus Christ said? Why bother, if you’re going to make up your own doctrines, or let someone else make them up for you?
Luke 6:46 (NKJV) “But WHY do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?
When you keep Sunday and work on Saturday you are rejecting a day God Almighty commanded; a day Jesus kept regularly; a day Paul observed with both Jews and Gentiles; a day revered, honored, and made holy throughout the Bible. A day which commemorates the day that God rested after the work of creation.
Are you really willing to reject all that for a vague idea that someone made up, which has zero (that’s right, zero) scriptural proof to back it up? Why? Just because everyone else does the same thing? Is that what God wants you to do?
Exodus 23:2 (Douay) Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou yield in judgment, to the opinion of the most part, to stray from the truth.
Or the same verse in another translation…
Exodus 23:2 (BBE) Do not be moved to do wrong by the general opinion, or give the support of your words to a wrong decision:
And finally, as if that weren’t enough, your Bible makes it clear that the resurrection was not on Sunday at all! So there is no possibility whatsoever of that being a reason for a transference of the day of worship! Request the free booklet “The Resurrection Was NOT On Sunday!” – you will be SHOCKED when you see the proof revealed so clearly in your own Bible!
LET NO MAN JUDGE YOU
Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Amazingly enough, people use this scripture to say that you don’t have to keep the Sabbath, that it doesn’t matter! But is that what it says?? Read it again and again. Does it say that? It says don’t let anyone JUDGE you in regard to meat, drink, holyday, new moon, or sabbath days. That’s all. Does it say you shouldn’t eat meat? Does it say you shouldn’t drink wine? Does it say you shouldn’t keep those days?
For that matter, does it say that GOD doesn’t judge you for it? Does it say you shouldn’t judge yourself? No! It says none of those things!
What it says – ALL it says – is don’t let MEN judge you for it! It commands you not to let MEN’S opinions sway you in your obedience to the law of God! Don’t let a MAN sneer “oh, that’s just for the Jews”, and keep you from obeying the clear command of God!
Isaiah 51:7 (NKJV) Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.
God commanded you not to let MEN judge you for keeping the Sabbath day – or the holy days, or for any of the things God commands you. In this world, you will be reviled, laughed at, insulted and shunned for keeping the Sabbath; and God specifically commanded you NOT to let that bother you – not to let people judge you for obeying His laws!
That’s ALL that scripture said. There was not one word about a change to Sunday, nor of abolishing the Sabbath!
ONE MAN ESTEEMS ONE DAY ABOVE ANOTHER
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Does this verse say it doesn’t matter which day you observe? Does it say God doesn’t care? No! In fact, it doesn’t mention the Sabbath, Sunday, church, prayer, worship, or ANY of the things associated with church. So how can it be used to prove it doesn’t matter?
What it is actually speaking of are the pagan holidays of Rome; like the Catholic Church today, the majority of days were dedicated to some particular god; these gods had traditions associated with their day, analogous to eating chocolate bunnies on Easter, ham on Christmas, turkey on Thanksgiving, black-eyed peas on New Years, and so on.
When you read the whole chapter of Romans 14, you see that the association is strong between “eating” and “days”. Verse 6 for instance. What Paul is saying is quite simple really; think of it this way: I would have no problem eating black-eyed peas on New Years. It means nothing to me, neither good luck nor bad. But then I never cared about that superstitious custom in the first place.
On the other hand, someone else might want to go out of his way to avoid doing that so as not to defile his conscience with superstitious beliefs. I would never try to persuade such a person to eat black eyed peas on the rare chance that I should happen to be doing it that day. Rather, I would respect his conscience and “judge not him that eateth not”.
That is all that is being said here. Certainly nothing that can indicate a change in the Sabbath observance, or in the moving of one day to another, much less a statement that it simply didn’t matter any more!
ANY ONE DAY IN SEVEN?
Some believe we can keep any one day in seven holy. It doesn’t really matter which one, they reason. Why do they believe that? Is it what the Bible says?
WHERE does it say you can keep any day that is convenient? Show me the chapter, the verse? Where does it say it doesn’t matter which day you keep?
The Bible says that the seventh day commemorates the rest God took. The seventh day is the one God made holy, set apart for us to use, and explicitly commanded us to use. None of that was ever done for any other day. Keeping a “floating Sabbath” will never fulfill any of those commands, so you might as well not keep ANY day holy – if you’re not going to obey God like He asked, don’t bother!
Mark 7:6-9 (BBE) …These people give me honour with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But their worship is to NO PURPOSE, while they give as their teaching the rules of men. For, turning away from the law of God, you keep the rules of men. And he said to them, Truly you put on one side the law of God, so that you may keep the rules which have been handed down to you.
Some have told me “well, I know that Saturday is the Sabbath, and I know that God commanded me to keep it; but I have to work on Saturday, so I set aside Monday as my Sabbath.” And I respond “YES! Monday IS your Sabbath! It is the day that YOU MADE UP, based on YOUR OWN SELFISH REASONING!”
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that SEEMS RIGHT to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Monday is a day that YOU said was “good enough” for God; but it is NOT God’s Sabbath! So don’t kid yourself that you’re obeying HIM when you set aside Monday as what you very truly call YOUR SABBATH! Because you aren’t obeying God, you’re obeying your OWN IDEAS!
God well knows the Sabbath can be inconvenient! He specifically commanded:
Exodus 34:21 (NKJV) Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
Those are the two most important times for a farmer, times when a single day’s work can make the difference between feeding your family and going hungry next winter! And so God SPECIFICALLY commanded this rest EVEN IN THOSE BUSIEST OF TIMES! And He expects you to TRUST HIM to take care of you even if you should lose money or even your job over OBEYING HIM!
Mark 10:29-30 (Philips) “I PROMISE YOU,” returned Jesus, “that nobody has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for my sake and the gospel’s without getting back A HUNDRED TIMES OVER, now in this present life, homes and brothers and sisters, mothers and children and land-though not without persecution-and in the next world eternal life.
JESUS PROMISED! If you lose your house because you obeyed Him and the gospel, HE WILL MAKE IT RIGHT! And not only that, but make it up to you a HUNDRED TIMES OVER NOW! IN THIS PRESENT LIFE! Do you, or do you NOT, believe your Savior and take Him at His word??
I’ve had jobs where I had to explain the Sabbath to a new group of customers and employers every week! And I faced ridicule, threats, and occasionally the loss of a good customer over it. And I didn’t work Saturdays, which was the day my competitors made over HALF of their money for the week!
And yet I STILL made twice as much money as most of my competitors! Because I TRUSTED God to supply whatever I lost on Saturday, and HE ALWAYS HAS, and then some!
That is every single verse that mentions the Sabbath or Sunday that I have ever heard used to discredit the Sabbath or promote Sunday worship. You have now read every single one for yourself. What do you think? Do you see ANYTHING there that says “let’s worship on Sunday now”? Do you see ANYTHING that says “Paul did away with the Sabbath” or “Paul didn’t keep the Sabbath with the Gentiles”? Didn’t you see the exact opposite?
God knows man is rather dense; and if God wants us to do something, HE MAKES IT CLEAR! If He had wanted to move Sabbath to Sunday, a single verse, a dozen words would have been enough, and He didn’t do it! In fact, He tells us that it will be observed FOREVER!
Isaiah 66:22-23 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass … from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the LORD.
There is a thus-saith-the-Lord on the subject. Ask yourself, if the Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ, transferred, changed, moved, abolished, or in any other way modified… why, after the “New Heavens and the New Earth” arrive, will ALL FLESH (Jews, Gentiles, black, white, rich, poor – ALL FLESH) worship God EVERY SABBATH??
SABBATH VS. CIRCUMCISION
And finally, think about this; circumcision only affects half the population, and only once in a lifetime. And yet by teaching it had been changed, Paul stirred up such a hornets nest that it seems half the New Testament is spent defending his position. There was so much strife in the church over the subject that a special conference was called to decide it (Acts 15), and even though the elders came to an agreement, many people in the church continued to teach circumcision anyway!
And can you honestly believe that if they made such a big deal about circumcision, which wasn’t a part of the Ten Commandments and affected only half the people once in a lifetime… that there is not a SINGLE WORD mentioning a disagreement over the observance of the Sabbath??
The Sabbath affects EVERYONE, EVERY WEEK, for their ENTIRE LIVES! It means money made or lost, crops planted or harvests missed; it was at the very heart of the Ten Commandments! And these Jewish Christians who made such a fuss over circumcision NEVER EVEN MENTIONED IT TO PAUL?
That is impossible to believe. No, if there was silence on this in the Bible – a silence punctuated only by repeated examples of New Testament Gentile Christians observing the Sabbath – then the silence existed because, on this one subject at least, there was harmony in the church. Because they ALL gave due reverence to the command of God to “remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy”.
So why doesn’t modern Christianity do the same?
PART 2: WHO CHANGED THE SABBATH?
Tradition and habit are hard things to break. Despite all this evidence that makes it clear – unarguable really – that Sunday has no basis in the Bible, no one likes to change. After all, all your friends go to church on Sunday and you’ll look strange to them. You’ll have to stop working on Saturday, which means you might lose money, perhaps even your job. So does it really matter?
You may remember that in all of this, I have shown you what the Bible plainly says, but I have not yet told you WHY you observe Sunday today. Once I do, you will perhaps understand why it matters. We have seen that no change took place in Biblical times. We have addressed every verse anyone ever seriously proposed as proof of a change, and found NOTHING that could support such a conclusion.
Christianity was a religion with Jewish origins; the bulk of the first converts had been raised in Judaism and as such the Sabbath and commandments were taken as a matter of course; relatively little is taught on them in the New Testament simply because these new, mostly Jewish, Christians didn’t need a list of the Ten Commandments; they had them already, and heard them every week (Acts 15:21). And they didn’t need to know that the seventh day was the Sabbath – everybody already knew that.
“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 that they derived this practice from the apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to the purpose.” – T.H. Morer [A church of England clergyman]
“The gentile Christians observed also the Sabbath.” – Gieseler’s Church History
So primarily all that Paul and the other Apostles had to do was teach these Jewish converts the differences between what they were already doing, and what Jesus expected of His new church. So they stopped circumcision and the rituals of Moses, but the things which did not change – such as the Sabbath which Paul observed – they held on to them as the Bible taught them to do. And they did this for a long time – several early, primary sources testify that the early Gentile Christians kept the Sabbath:
“Christ did not at all rescind the Sabbath.” – (Tertullian, 2nd century)
“Thou shalt observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence.” – (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, c. 3rd century)
But Christianity was a relatively tiny voice in the tremendous Roman Empire all of which was pagan; the principle religion of which was sun worship. And sun worship services were held on SUN-day.
“The first day of each week, Sunday, was consecrated by Mithra (pagan god of the sun) since times remote, as several authors affirm. Because the sun was god, the Lord par excellence, Sunday came to be called the Lord’s day, AS LATER WAS DONE BY CHRISTIANITY.” (Agostinho Paiva, O Mitraisimo, p. 3)
Notice that LONG BEFORE Christ, pagans were calling Sunday “the Lord’s Day”, because it was the day bearing the name of their greatest Lord, the Sun! The day of the Sun was the most important day, since the Sun was widely acknowledged as the most powerful god, the source of light, warmth, growth, and seen as the embodiment of divinity, so his day came first.
So as pagans began to come into the church, they clung tenaciously to the ways they’d always held before; and so gradually Sunday began to supplant the Sabbath as the preferred day of worship. The primary force behind this movement began in Alexandria, Egypt.
Alexandria had replaced Athens as the center of learning of the world; meaning, the center of the teaching and development of Greek thought – of teaching and studying the doctrines of Plato and Pythagoras and other pagan philosophers. The city was full of all cultures, and its primary business was the training of eloquent teachers and philosophers who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21).
So when Christianity came along, it was like giving a child a new toy – suddenly here was an entirely new philosophy to discuss, debate, and incorporate with what they already believed! They kept the aspects of Christianity that they liked – forgiveness, the resurrection of the Son of God, and so on – but immediately began to allegorize and spiritualize away every actual command in the Bible, using the most fantastic reasoning imaginable, thus creating a NEW version of Christianity – the things the apostles taught BLENDED WITH the beliefs of Plato and other philosophers.
“We are the religious heirs to the builders and founders of the Egyptian temples. Many of the theories of Egyptian religion, modified and transformed no doubt, have penetrated into the theology of Christian Europe, and form, as it were, part of the woof [fabric] in the web of modern religious thought. [modern] Christian theology was LARGELY ORGANIZED and nurtured IN THE SCHOOLS OF ALEXANDRIA.“ – Professor A.H. Sayce, “Religions of the Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians”.
And the one thing that the pagan Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and other religions of Alexandria agreed on was that the Sun was the greatest god, and that he should be worshiped on the first day of the week – Sunday. And so gradually, because Alexandria had money, respect, and eloquence they grew in power; and because they were willing to accept ANYONE into the church, whether they believed the Bible and repented of paganism and sun-worship or not – they rapidly grew in numbers and popularity. And as that happened Sunday-worship spread just as rapidly – but even so, a large portion of Christianity kept the Sabbath.
“The ancient Christians were very careful in the observance of Saturday, or the seventh day… it is plain that all the oriental Churches [meaning the Middle East, as opposed to Rome and Alexandria], 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, Ephiphanius says the same.” (Antiquities of the Christian Church)
Initially as has been shown, only the Sabbath was observed in the church; then as these philosophers infiltrated the church, knowing they couldn’t destroy the Sabbath outright, they sought a compromise; they began to encourage the keeping of both days – with the Sabbath as a rest, and Sunday as a day of celebration. As always, some went along, some didn’t.
“During the first two centuries there developed two separate and distinct types of Christian worship. The one in Syria and Asia Minor [Turkey, the Middle East] held to the old orthodox ways of life, and adhered to the Sabbath and primitive Christianity as handed down by the apostles. The other from Alexandria and Egypt allowed many Gnostic [pagan philosophical] and foreign sentiments to enter, and with them Sunday worship and other foreign practices unknown in the apostolic church and opposed by the early apostles.” – (W.E. Straw, “Origin of Sunday Observance”)
The dispute raged for centuries; in general the churches in Asia where the apostles and the people they trained did the most work held fast to the teaching of the apostles; the headquarters of this region was in Antioch, in modern Turkey; but in places like Rome and Alexandria, pagan centers of so-called “higher learning”, the philosophers held sway.
“The school of Antioch led a revolt against the Alexandrian exegesis [interpretation] of Holy Scripture, and founded a more critical method.“ (Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, article “Alexandrian Theology”).
By “a more critical method”, it means they actually READ the Bible literally and believed what it said – while the Alexandrians would dismiss anything they didn’t like, such as the Sabbath, as a “beautiful allegory”, and strove to make the Bible fit their cherished beliefs from the doctrines of Plato.
“The church of the second century rang with alarm, and the consequence was that all the Christian writers of that period, except Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria, shrank with horror from the very name of philosophy.” (Charles Bigg, “the Origins of Christianity”)
It was in the eastern Roman Empire that these true, apostolic doctrines were preserved longest. Naturally, in the centers of paganism like Alexandria and Rome, the doctrines were corrupted first. Paul, it is supposed, did away with the Sabbath; but it is in the place where Paul did his entire life’s work, the place where the other apostles spent the MOST TIME, in modern Turkey and Greece, that we find the STRONGEST tradition of Sabbath-keeping!
“It is certain that the ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed… by the Christians of the East Church [then centered in Antioch], above three hundred years after our Saviour’s death.“ – (A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath)
THE FOURTH CENTURY AND CONSTANTINE
Even though the Alexandrian-trained ministers were totally dominating Christianity by the fourth century, there were STILL so many Sabbath-keepers, so many STILL holding on to the “more critical interpretation” of the Bible, that the paganized Christians found it necessary to pass a LAW making Sabbath-keeping illegal!
“Christians MUST NOT judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but MUST work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Constantine, Council of Laodicea, AD 365).
Why would this be such a major problem that Constantine had to pass a LAW against obeying the Sabbath over THREE HUNDRED YEARS after Christ’s death? Only if a great number of Christians were STILL keeping the Biblical Sabbath!
“The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews [which, you read in part one, is NOT the Sabbath of the Jews, but the SABBATH OF GOD]; … therefore the Christians, for a long time together, did keep their conventions upon the Sabbath, in which some portions of the law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council [AD 365].” (Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor)
But surely if the apostles, who BUILT the New Testament church, had abolished the Sabbath, the CHURCHES that they nurtured would ALL KNOW that the Sabbath was no longer binding! And yet it is in the places they worked the hardest and longest – the regions around Antioch – that we find the LONGEST LASTING tradition of keeping the seventh-day-Sabbath! And it is from the then-world-capital of paganism – Alexandria – that we find Sunday observance first being promoted!
THE DAY OF THE LORD
You have seen that the first day of the week, Sunday, was called the day of the Lord – meaning the day of THEIR lord, the Sun-god – hundreds of years before Christ. But how did this get into Christianity?
“Sylvester, Bishop of Rome (314 to 337 A.D), officially changed the title of the first day of the week, calling it ‘the Lord’s Day’. This decision to call the first day the ‘Lord’s Day’ was not based on scripture.” (Historia Ecclesiastia by M. Ludovicum)
Constantine before his conversion to Christianity was a sun-worshipper, and many historians believe he accepted Christianity for political, not personal, reasons. In the time of Constantine, the battle between Sabbath and Sunday keepers was dividing the empire and causing all sorts of trouble. So they passed a law “deciding” that Sunday was the proper day. But look at the terminology they used!
“On the VENERABLE DAY OF THE SUN [Sunday] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed…” (Codex Justinianus AD 321)
They chose to exalt “the venerable day of the Sun”, calling it “the Lord’s day”, because it WAS their Lord’s day – the day of sun-worshipers everywhere! By doing this, they managed to keep the pagans happy by worshiping on the day of their Lord, the sun… and at the same time, to pacify most of the apostate Christians by calling this day “Christian”.
“The [Catholic] Church made a sacred day of Sunday largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun; for it was a definite Christian policy [at Rome] to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance.“ (Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, p. 145)
And it was only those who held to the TRUTH of the Bible – the TRUE Christians, who followed “the Lord of the Sabbath” – who rejected Sunday worship, and many paid the ultimate price, dying in horrific fashion at the hands of these paganized Christians.
I asked the question up front, and now it is time to answer it: WHO changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
“All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these WE HAVE TRANSFERRED TO THE LORD’S DAY.” – Eusebius (Constantine’s Historian, fourth century)
There you have your answer! THAT is who transferred the Sabbath to Sunday! God never did it; we have seen that the apostolic Church never did it! The true Church for three hundred years after Christ did not do it! It was done by the fledgling Catholic Church in the days of Constantine – a fact that they freely admit – in fact, they BOAST of it!
“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” (Priest Brady, in an address reported in “The News”, Elizabeth, NJ, 3/18/1903)
Where did they get the authority to TRANSFER the duties of the Sabbath to Sunday? Did God give that authority to a heathen Roman emperor, or an apostate church corrupted with pagan Greek doctrines? And what were their motives – a love of truth… or greed?
“…and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed.” (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons)
Does God meet paganism half-way? Does God meet Satan half-way, saying “Ok Satan, we can do things HALF my way, and HALF your way”?? God says “for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?“ (2 Corinthians 6:14, Rotherham)
God said “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32, NKJV) – and by moving Sabbath to Sunday, they both ADDED to, and TOOK AWAY from God’s commandment! Do YOU acknowledge their authority to do that, with NO PROOF from the Bible, in fact in direct contradiction to the Bible and the practices of the early church?? I most certainly do not!
“Indeed we shall find, that when Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire, and took the place of paganism, it assumed, in a great degree, the forms and rites of paganism, and participated in no small measure of its spirit also. Christianity as it existed in the dark ages, might be termed, without much impropriety of language, BAPTIZED PAGANISM.” (Sketches of Church History, Presbyterian Board of Publications, 1840)
And IN SPITE of these facts, KNOWING that it meant death to continue keeping the Sabbath, so many coninuted to do so that history is full of the records of Sabbath keepers being persecuted by the young Catholic Church!
“The people of Constantinople [Istanbul, Turkey], and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome, or at Alexandria“ (Sozemen, early fifth century)
Notice by this time many have compromised and are keeping BOTH days, but that still shows a strong tradition of Sabbath keeping in that area, 400 years after Christ and His apostles supposedly “abolished it”! And it is only in Rome and Alexandria, the centers of paganism, that it had been completely eliminated – but even so, Sabbath-keeping just wouldn’t die, even there – God wouldn’t let it! Nearly two hundred years later, again we find anti-Sabbath legislation in Rome!
An important reference work, “Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers”, says that Pope Gregory I (590-604) condemned “Roman citizens [who] forbid anywork being done on the Sabbath day.”; it also says “moreover this same Pope Gregory had issued an official pronouncement against a section of the city of Rome itself because the Christian believers there rested and worshiped on the Sabbath.“
These incidents of Sabbath keepers in defiance of laws, governments, and even the death penalty has continued down to our day; there have ALWAYS been Sabbath keepers observing the commands of God. There are many books written on that subject, some the size of pamplets and others the size of toasters, so I won’t belabor the point any more here; any decent history of Sunday or Sabbath observance will show you the facts.
Note that I do not offer any of this as proof, or as a reason that you SHOULD keep the Sabbath. Part one already did that. The Bible alone is the only guide you need to follow God, and these historical works do not provide proof of what you should or should not do.
But what they DO show you is why you keep Sunday; who changed the title of the first day of the week to “the Lord’s Day” – and when and why – and whom you are really worshiping and honoring each time you assemble on the “venerable day of the sun”, instead of the Sabbath of God.
HAS TIME BEEN LOST?
Many wonder about this; for some, it’s an honest question; for others, they’re hoping for a loophole to get out of obeying the clear command of God, so that when God comes to them demanding why they aren’t keeping His Sabbath, they can say “but God, I just didn’t know WHICH day you meant!”
But that excuse won’t hold water, because we can be SURE that we know exactly which day is the Sabbath! Many different sources – astronomers, scientists, historians and linguists all agree when they tell us:
“The continuity of the week…has crossed the centuries, and all known calendars, still intact.” (Prof. D. Eginitis, Observatory of Athens)
“One essential point is that of the continuity of the week…a continuity which has existed for so many centuries.” (Two leading French astronomers of the 1920’s)
“It is to be noted that in the Christian period, the order of the days in the week has never been interrupted. Thus, when Gregory XIII reformed the calendar in 1582, Thursday, 4 October was followed by Friday, 15 October.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 740, “Chronology”)
We know for a fact that Jesus kept the Sabbath; so time was not lost between creation and then. So it is only the last 1,900 years we have to worry about, and all historians agree it has never changed. But ask yourself what would have to happen in order to “lose time”. Sure, you might fall asleep and sleep through a day and think it was Monday when in fact it was Tuesday; but did the other BILLION people on Earth all fall asleep at the same time and lose a day too?
To cause the ENTIRE WORLD to lose so much as a day is unthinkable; can you imagine anything that could have caused it? Maybe one town here or there might conceivably lose a day – but ALL of them at once? In all the countries in the world? Impossible! We have better records of the last 2,000 years than of any period in history, and they ALL agree that the weekly cycle has never changed!
But there is an even stronger proof – one you can see and touch, so to speak! Because practically every language STILL calls the seventh day “Sabbath”! And in the rare exception where the word sabbath is not immediately recognizable, the word translates in their language to “rest”, or “end of the week”! There are huge charts on this available all over the internet, but here is a good sample:
In Spanish, it is Sabado; In Italian Sabbato; in Hungarian Szombat; in Rumanian Simbata; in Polish Sobota; in Russian Subbota; in Arabic, Assabt; in Ancient Babylonian Sa-Ba-Tu. All these are easily recognizable as “Sabbath”, and all have an identical meaning – “day of rest”.
This is only a few samples of a list that has literally hundreds of entries; almost every language ever spoken has referred to the seventh-day as “the Sabbath”, so when the Bible speaks of the seventh day being the Sabbath, to know WHICH day that is, we need only ask anyone who speaks Spanish which day is the SABADO!
Online Etymology Dictionary says of the word “Sabbath”, that it comes from the “Old English sabat ‘Saturday,’ observed by the Jews as a day of rest, from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbath, properly “day of rest,” from shabath “he rested.” …
Why have you heard Sunday called the Sabbath? When did this change occur? The quote contines…
“…From the seventh day of the week, it [the name “sabbath”] began to be applied [in the] early 15th century to the first day (Sunday), a change completed during the Reformation. The ORIGINAL meaning is preserved in Spanish Sabado, Italian Sabbato, and other languages’ names for ‘Saturday’”
Notice that the word “sabbath” was NEVER applied to the first day of the week, Sunday, until the FIFTEENTH century! That’s over FIFTEEN HUNDRED years after Jesus died! So surely there can be no doubt then, that when God spoke of the Sabbath, WE KNOW which day the “Sabbath” is, because nearly every language STILL CALLS the seventh day the Sabbath!
PART 3: WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Most people after studying it themselves eventually are forced to admit that there is no scriptural justification for observing Sunday. Further, they are shocked to learn that they observe it only because of the Catholic Church. And yet tradition is so strong that they STILL resist changing and observing the only day God recognizes as a day of worship!
And so they say “well, why does it really matter? After all, God didn’t command me NOT to keep Sunday!” and so I am going to show you an IRONCLAD reason from the Bible why you MUST IMMEDIATELY stop keeping Sunday and start observing the seventh-day Sabbath!
CREDIT CARDS – THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
I want you to indulge me for a moment in a hypothetical question. Many have suggested that the “mark of the beast” is bar codes, computer tracking chips, the strips inside 20-dollar bills, or the magnetic strip on credit cards or many such things. None of that is true; however, I want you to imagine that you KNEW, for CERTAIN, that credit cards WERE the mark of the beast. Ok? So for a moment, to you, credit cards ARE the mark of the beast. What would you do with your cards?
Granted, they’re a convenience; they do make life easier for most people. Pay-at-the-pump, ATMs, no more coins to carry around, they’re great! But if it is the mark of the beast, does that matter to you? Let’s read about what God said will happen to people with this mark – people like YOU who have credit cards – and then decide what to do with your credit cards!
Revelation 14:9-10 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;…
That certainly doesn’t sound good! Those credit cards aren’t so convenient now, are they? Starting to wonder if you really need them after all? Keep reading!
Verses 10-11 … 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
ANYONE who has this mark of the beast will be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone and have no rest day or night FOR EVER! Are you scared of those credit cards yet? You should be TERRIFIED of them, if they were the mark of the beast!
Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
Is it REALLY worth “pay-at-pump” convenience if you’re going to be smitten with GREIVOUS SORES?
If credit cards WERE the mark of the beast, and you were CERTAIN of that, you would treat them like some unclean thing, rip them out of your wallet, chop them up and burn them to ashes and BEG GOD to forgive you for receiving this mark!
Wouldn’t you? Would you stop to ask yourself “what would my friends think?” – would you waste a single second in getting that dreadful mark OUT OF YOUR HOUSE?? Would you stammer, justify, and argue with God? Would you try to find some slick way to keep your credit cards and NOT be cast into the fire and brimstone with the other boil-ridden “mark of the beasties”??
Or would you QUICKLY, before another minute went by, before you even finished reading this article, RUSH TO DESTROY THIS MARK BEFORE IT DESTROYS YOU??
Of course you would. Now I want you to hang on to that thought. Because credit cards are NOT the mark of the beast. But something else, something else YOU HAVE, is – and today you’re going to learn what it is. And I will expect you to treat it the same way as you would treat those dreaded credit cards!
WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
Most sermons on this mark use only one passage, ignoring the many other times this mark is mentioned. This is the passage they use:
Revelation 13:16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
From here, most ministers start to use their imagination, waxing eloquent in various ways to prove that this mark is anything from thinking bad thoughts to the Great Seal of the USA. But if they just stopped to read all the verses on the subject FIRST, they’d find they didn’t need their imagination at all! And so that’s what we’re going to do.
This verse gives us several facts; we will add more facts as we go along until there can be no question in anyone’s mind of just what this mark is.
- This mark is POPULAR. It’s the majority that have it – “all, both small and great, rich and poor”
- The mark is received in the right hand, or the forehead, or perhaps both.
- This mark has a direct impact on making a living; buying and selling, commerce, trade are directly affected.
It’s important to set something straight right now. Most people seem to envision this mark as being instituted by a Draconian Empire, where the human cattle are driven through a narrow chute by stormtroopers and as they pass through their head is locked into a cattle-gate while the mark of the beast is tattooed on.
But is God going to punish people with grievous plagues, fiery torment and all manner of wrath because someone held them down and branded 666 on them with a hot iron?
If Big Brother’s jack-booted secret police break down your door and duct-tape you to a chair while the Man of Sin injects his computer chip into your mind so he can control your thoughts… is God going to hold that against you?
If something intrinsically beyond your power to control is FORCED on you, if the Beast tattoos his UPC code on your forehead while you kick and scream in defiance, is God REALLY going to make you burn with the devil? SERIOUSLY??
So then if God is angry at these people who accepted the mark of the beast, it must be because they CHOSE to accept it, they MUST have had a choice to reject it – no power on Earth can FORCE it on you – because God says it is clearly POSSIBLE to overcome this mark of the beast!
Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the VICTORY over the beast, and over his image, and OVER HIS MARK, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
Nothing that some man tattoos on you while you’re held in irons will interfere with your salvation! It is what you CHOOSE to do, the marks you CHOOSE to put in your forehead and hands, that will incur God’s wrath! Otherwise, it would be impossible to get VICTORY over it! So that gives us point 4:
- It is POSSIBLE to avoid this mark.
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Here we can add two more facts:
- Those who received the mark were DECEIVED; they didn’t take it KNOWING it was the Mark, they took it because they THOUGHT it was something good!
- It was the false prophet who did miracles who did the deceiving, NOT the beast.
WHO IS THE BEAST?
I have showed proof of the identity of the beast in a separate booklet, available free on request, “Who Is The Beast?”; I won’t repeat that proof here to save space. Suffice it to say that the Bible shows clearly that the beast is the Roman Empire, and that the false prophet is a Pope, or more broadly, the Papacy in general. These are easily proven, and that booklet gives the proof.
But what is that “image of the beast”? Webster says the word image means “a reproduction or IMITATION of the form of a person or thing”, so the image of the beast is a COPY, reproduction, or IMITATION of the Roman Empire!
Pope Leo I (early fifth century) is considered by many to be the first real pope; he is responsible for shaping much of the later ROMAN Catholic Church; how did he set it up? Based on the model of God’s government, in the Bible? Or was it patterned after something else? What does history tell us?
“During the reign of Leo I [early fifth century], the Church set up, within the Roman Empire, an ecclesiastical STATE [or GOVERNMENT] which, in its constitution and its administrative system, was shaping itself upon the [ROMAN] imperial MODEL.” (Myer’s Ancient History).
Get that! The Catholic church was MODELED after, or PATTERNED after the BEAST! Not that the Catholic church WAS that beast, which the Bible absolutely identifies as the civil Roman Empire. But the Church took Rome as the model and became a COPY of that Empire! It truly IMITATED the beast!
“Christianity, in the shape of the [Catholic] Christian church … Its religious impulses and premises stem from the Jews … its philosophic breadth and the illuminative power of its ideas stem from the Greeks, it’s organisational energy and its wisdom in the mastery of reality FROM THE ROMANS”
(Karl Jaspers, the Origin and Goal of History)
He credits the Catholic church with THREE SOURCES of inspiration; the basic premises from the Jews; but the philosophy and the “illumination” came from the GREEKS – the ones at Alexandria you read about in part 2!
And finally, the “organisational energy” and “wisdom” CAME FROM THE ROMANS! Only the merest, tiniest FOUNDATION came from the Bible, which was then interpreted by the Greeks and mixed with their philosophies, and then ORGANIZED like the Roman Empire!
The Encyclopedia Brittanica, article “Papacy”, calls the Roman Church an “Ecclesiastical EMPIRE” – that is, a CHURCH structured like an EMPIRE! The ROMAN Empire! Now we need to go back to that first scripture on the subject, but start a few verses earlier to get the context:
Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
After the first beast died – the Roman Empire – John sees another beast; a new, different empire; but this one looks like a LAMB, but it speaks the words of a dragon! What does this mean? Well think about it; JESUS is the Lamb of God (John 1:36); and Satan is the dragon (Revelation 20:2). So this is something that looks like the Lamb – but it speaks the words of the Devil – so it is a COUNTERFEIT Lamb!
The beast is an empire; an empire appearing like a CHRISTIAN empire – an ecclesiastical empire – one that claims to be the Kingdom of God on Earth! And the Catholic Church plainly states that IT is the Kingdom of God! But this “Ecclesiastical Empire” which appears as a Lamb in fact teaches the doctrines of ancient Rome (as part 2 proved), and thus speaks the words of Satan!
Verse 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Through the resurrections of the Roman Empire such as Justinian, Charlemagne, and the Hapsburgs, the Pope exercised all the power of the Ancient Roman Emperors by controlling these nations through the church. And he CAUSED the Earth to worship the policies and government of Rome… and Rome’s religion as well – such as the observance of Sunday.
Verse 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
This IMAGE of the beast is the church that Leo designed after the pattern of that beast; and when people serve that church, they are truly serving the original Roman Empire. And this man and a few Popes who came afterward are responsible for giving life to the Catholic Church as we know it; if not for them she might never have survived the death of Rome. He truly GAVE LIFE to the image of the beast!
Verse 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast [the church], that the image of the beast [the church] should both speak, and CAUSE that as many as would not worship the image of the beast [the church] should be killed.
But notice if anyone wouldn’t bend the knee to the church instead of God that this church CAUSES them to be killed! The church doesn’t kill them itself! Just as history tells us that the martryrs were declared heretics by the church and then handed over to the state’s police to be tortured or killed! And it is THIS CHURCH that causes the Mark of the Beast [the Roman Empire] to be forced on mankind!
Verse 16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
7. The church CAUSES all to receive this mark; it does not ENFORCE it, that is left to the state.
WHAT IS A MARK?
We have talked about what the beast is, and the image of the beast; we know where this mark comes from – Catholicism. We know that this mark will be EVERYWHERE, embraced by practically everyone, and interfere seriously with business activities. But what is a mark?
Online Bible Greek Lexicon says of the Greek word translated mark, that it means “a stamp, an imprinted mark … the mark branded upon horses”. We know that the mark is of the BEAST; and that the beast is the Roman Empire. And every ruler of every empire has had a great seal; such as the personal seal of the president of the USA such as the United States has; it has the name of the sealer and/or his title, the territory he rules, and often a motto of some sort.
Whatever has this stamp on it belongs to this empire; having the American flag on an airplane, for example, shows that it belongs to America and to shoot it down is to declare war on the nation it represents. Branding a horse (putting a mark on it) means that horse is YOURS. So anyone carrying this mark of the beast might as well hold up a sign saying “here goes someone who belongs to the Beast”.
But the astounding fact that so few realize is that GOD has a mark too! Just like the beast does (well, almost) – in fact, that is where the beast got the idea! The slight difference is, God has a sign and the beast has a mark; a sign is taken voluntarily – a mark is put on by force.
Ezekiel 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Notice it is the SABBATHS that are a SIGN between God and you! Why? So that you will KNOW that He is God. It is a sign between Him and you! It identifies those who are GOD’S people, as a SIGN that they hang out to say “Here goes a person of God!”
Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
It is a SIGN between God and you; it goes both ways! You hold out the sign for God and the world to see “Here goes someone who believes the Bible more than tradition”; but the sign has writing on both sides! That is to say, the same sign that tells God and others who YOU are, tells YOU who God is!
Verses 16-17 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, FOR A PERPETUAL COVENANT. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
The Seventh day is a memorial of Creation; it shows God’s office as CREATOR of all things. There are many gods out there to worship; Apollo is god of the sun; Venus the goddess of love; Hermes the god of travel. Each god or goddess worshiped by pagans have their own area that they govern, their own claim to fame; but OUR God created ALL that!
Isaiah 66:1-2 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: …
When you worship on Sunday, you honor the god of the SUN! A “god” that was made by the LORD of the Sabbath! And when you worship on the Seventh day, you honor the God who rested on that same day after making ALL THESE THINGS!
And by worshiping on the Sabbath you VOLUNTARILY take upon yourself the SIGN OF GOD! The sign that shows GOD that you are willing to reject the groundless traditions of the paganized world and follow HIM, and keep HIS day!
HAND AND FOREHEAD
And believe it or not, God’s commandments, and His SIGN are to be put in the FOREHEAD and in the HAND – the same place the Beast’s counterfeit mark is placed!
Deuteronomy 11:18 So keep these words deep in your heart and in your soul, and have them fixed on your hand FOR A SIGN and MARKED on your brow;
God’s sign is in your HAND, and in your BROW! And the Mark of the beast SUPPLANTS the sign of God, overwriting it with ITS identifying insignia in your hand and forehead!
What does your hand do? You WORK with it! And what happens in your head? You THINK! So this sign of God and mark of the beast affects WORK, and THOUGHTS!
- The mark affects your work, and your thoughts
TWO PARTS TO THE COMMAND!
Exodus 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
This is a two-part command that no one seems to understand; God commands on the Seventh day that you MUST rest. This is not optional! In the Old Testament, it meant DEATH to work on the Sabbath – that’s how serious God feels about it! And God feels the same way today, for He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
But that verse ALSO contains a command that the other six days WORK SHALL BE DONE! “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:9) – it is just as much a command to DO work the other six days, as it is to REST on the Sabbath! So many today love idleness, just wasting their lives away with video games and TV and hating to do any actual WORK! But God inspired Paul to say “this we COMMANDED you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) – that’s a NEW TESTAMENT command to let the lazy go hungry!
God commands us “to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thessalonains 4:11). And by being out WORKING on Sunday, and the other five days, it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve the commands of the beast to keep Sunday!
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
It is now easy to see what this mark is. The mark of the beast is SUNDAY OBSERVANCE in particular, and following any commands of the Catholic Church in general.
Go back and compare to the facts we learned; (1) EVERYONE does it, small and great; (2,8) it’s in your hand (your physical labor is stopped on Sunday, but you work on the Sabbath) and in your forehead (you worship on Sunday). (3) it greatly interferes with holding down a job and buying and selling.
(4) It is POSSIBLE to avoid this mark. You may be persecuted and suffer for it, but NO MAN can force you to work on Saturday! Pressure you, yes – and they will! But know this, NO POWER ON EARTH CAN FORCE YOU!
(5) People who keep Sunday don’t KNOW they are serving the Ancient Roman sun-god! They are DECEIVED! They honestly believe this day was to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection, or some similar un-scriptural DECEPTION!
(6) It was the false prophet (the Pope – see “Who Is The Beast”) who caused this deception; NOT the Beast itself. It was the Papacy and its minions who passed off this deception, and “met Paganism half-way” and created a “baptized Paganism” Christianity. And (7) it was the CHURCH who CAUSED the true Saints – those who kept the Sabbath as God commanded – to be killed by the torturers of the beast state.
Sunday observance was a mark of the original Roman Empire (it was from pagan Sun-worship) but it was the CHURCH (Pope Sylvester) who changed the title of the first day of the week to “the Lord’s Day”! And it was the church council that declared Sabbath-keepers heretics, and CAUSED the beast to slaughter them by the millions!
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
By not working on Saturday, but working on Sunday, you acknowledge that GOD is your leader, not the traditions of pagan Rome and Egypt. This gives you the SIGN of GOD! Because you keep God’s commandments – ALL of them! And Satan and his churches will despise you for this, and persecute you to the limit of their power – thank God it is limited right now!
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The dragon – Satan – HATES it when you obey God! So he made it EASY to find those who wouldn’t obey HIS false church by making SUNDAY the day of worship; anyone who kept Sunday was on HIS side, and anyone who kept Sabbath was on GOD’S side and needed persecuted – and OH, how they were persecuted!
And so this became the MARK of the Beast, the MARK that someone accepts the authority of the Church, admitting that they have power to contradict the commands of Almighty God!
“The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.‘ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.“ (Father T. Enright, printed in “History of the Sabbath”)
And as if this plain historical fact weren’t enough, the Catholic church plainly boasts that Sunday observance is THEIR MARK!
“SUNDAY IS OUR MARK OF AUTHORITY…the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” (Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.)
Sunday is the MARK that Catholicism imposed upon Christianity! It is the mark of THEIR authority, which they freely admit does NOT come from the Bible! Do YOU want to carry that mark? Do you want to, WEEK AFTER WEEK, acknowledge the mighty power of the Catholic Church to abolish the commands of God? Is that the mark YOU want? Or would you rather have the sign of God?
“Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observation can be defended only on Catholic
principles… From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” (The Catholic Press)
So many millions of deceived Christians go to church Sunday honestly believing that they are serving God, and worshiping on the day God commanded; if only they knew this simple fact which every Catholic knows!
“Which church does the whole civilized world obey? Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of, anti-Christ, the scarlet colored beast, Babylon, etc. and at the same time PROFESS great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church.“ (Father T. Enright, Catholic Priest)
Do YOU acknowledge that power? Protestantism was built on the foundation of “Sola Scriptura”, the “Bible alone”; there is nothing in the Bible about Sunday worship, and everything about Sabbath worship; yet the reformers didn’t reform enough, and allowed certain doctrines of the Catholic Church to stay in their churches!
“The observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church.“ (Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213)
And so rather than totally rejecting the authority of Catholicism, they merely weakened it – but they kept the brand of the mighty beast on their foreheads and hands! AND EVERY SUNDAY THEY ASSEMBLE FOR WORSHIP THEY REAFFIRM HER AUTHORITY AS SUPERIOR TO GOD’S!
“Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Catholic Church protests that IT transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” (Rome’s Challenge)
SUMMARY – WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Worshipping God by resting on the Sabbath tells God, and everyone else who knows their Bible enough to understand, that “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). It makes you stand out – it is the SIGN that you are God’s people! And it constantly reminds YOU of WHO God is, WHICH God you serve! (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
On the other hand, worshiping on Sunday tells God “No thanks, I don’t really care what the Bible says; I’m going to serve the commands of the Catholic Church instead, and trust them for my salvation”. And it is a MARK of who you serve, telling everyone interested “here is someone willing to serve the beast!”
You are going to accept one mark or the either; and either one you accept will get you persecuted. If you accept the mark of God and keep the Sabbath, you will have the world sneering at you at best – persecuting and killing you at worst, when the beast returns in full power as God has prophesied it will before His return (Revelation 6:9-11, Matthew 24:21-22).
But if you accept the mark of the beast, you will have God angry at you – and I don’t need to elaborate on how that will end for you. Read just about any verse in Revelation and you will see the horrible things in store for those who have the Mark of the Beast.
So you don’t know how to keep the Sabbath? Start by not working on it – sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night – and studying your Bible instead. Use the time you would devote to YOUR labor, and YOUR work, and YOUR life, to doing the things GOD wants done. And if you do that, God will lead you into whatever you need to do, but DO SOMETHING NOW. Don’t do nothing because you can only do a little bit!
Ordinarily, I write a summary at the end of articles like this one; something to bottom line how God feels about something, and what you should do now; but as it happens, I don’t need to say a word – just to quote a scripture that’s been in your Bible all along. Want to be close to God? Want to be blessed by God? Want to take delight in God? Here’s how:
Isaiah 58:13-14 (ESV) “IF you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a DELIGHT and the holy day of the LORD honorable; IF you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”