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The History of the Change of

God's Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday


The Law of God is as sacred as God
Himself. It is a Revelation of His will, a
transcript of His Character, the
expression of Divine Love and Wisdom.
Patriarchs and Prophets- page 52
There is a lot of history in the change of the
Sabbath. This study will be devoted largely
with what occurred after the first century
church. We have learned in our previous
study of Daniel 7, that the beast power would
think to change the times and the law, Daniel
7:25. We also studied that the Papacy
declares that they changed the Sabbath and
did so on their ecclesiastical authority, for
which there was no Biblical authority to do
so. We learned that there were nine points of
identification in both Daniel 7 and Revelation
13, to show that the beast of Daniel 7 and the
beast of Revelation 13 were one and the
same, and could be no other power but Papal
Rome. Now we will discover what actually
took place to bring about the change of the
Sabbath.
We learned that the entire Bible is silent on Sunday
sacredness. But the Bible is filled with references to
God's blessed Sabbath day. We learned that Jesus as
God of creation made the worlds and He made the
Sabbath on the seventh day when He rested from His
work of creation. Jesus as man kept the seventh day
Sabbath and declared it was made for man, and not man
for the Sabbath. He spoke that it would be in existence in
AD 70 and the Bible tells us that it will be kept in the
earth created anew. Jesus kept the Sabbath in the tomb
as He rested from the work of redemption. He spoke of
no change to anyone and Himself declared He did not
come to destroy the law but to fulfill, and fulfill the
righteous requirements is what He did, leaving us an
example to follow.
NO CHRISTIAN EVER kept Sunday until after 200 AD
In all of the Old Testament, reference is made 126 times to the
Sabbath that God commanded as His expressed will, the
seventh day. There are 61 New Testament references to the
same Sabbath, 51 are harmoniously in the four Gospels,
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In 2003, only the Israelites
and those Christian churches keeping the seventh day
Sabbath have the exclusive weight of scriptural evidence on
their side, while any church claiming the Bible and the Bible
only, has not a word in self-defense of their position on
accepting the substitution of Sunday for Sabbath. At the
conclusion of this historical look at the change of the
Sabbath, we are going to quote leaders of various Protestant
denominations on the Sabbath question.



The fact of the matter is that NO CHRISTIAN EVER kept
Sunday until after 200 AD. The earliest Christians were
Jews and there never was a question as to which day
was Sabbath. The Jews of today still worship on the
Sabbath of creation week. In fact, they have been keeping
the same weekly seventh day Sabbath from Sinai to
today, 2003, a period of 3,493 years. In the time of Christ
we know that the fourth and final world empire, Rome
was in power. The pagan Romans hated the Jews
because of Jewish rebellions throughout the empire. In
115 AD the Jews revolted in Cyrene, Egypt and Cyprus.
More than 220,000 Greeks and Romans perished in
Cyrene alone. After crushing each revolt the Romans
would tighten their yoke around the Jews.
The Roman emperor Hadrian said he would rebuild the
temple of the Jews, but it would be dedicated to a
Roman Deity. A Jew named Bar Kochba proclaimed
himself to be the long awaited messiah and began a
revolt in Palestine in 132-135 AD. In the first year of the
revolt, the Romans were driven out of more than 50
cities and villages. Bar Kochba proclaimed himself king
and even struck his own coinage. Hadrian had his top
general Julius Severus to lead the troops into a three
year battle to crush the rebellion and finally killed Bar
Kochba.
These rebellions inflamed Roman Anti-Judaism. After
the Bar Kochba revolt, Jews were forbidden to enter
Jerusalem. Hadrian outlawed Judaism, the study of
the Torah and Sabbath-keeping. The first day of the
week was the Pagan day of worship and most of the
Roman empire was largely pagan. Through the
influence of Eastern sun cults, sun worship had
become dominant in Rome by the early second
century.




Christianity was still in its infancy and it was
caught between Roman Imperialism and Jewish
Nationalism. Since Christianity originated in the
land of the Jews, and its Holy Writings were
Jewish, Christians were mistaken for Jews. A
small number of Christians after 200 AD, eased
away from the seventh day Sabbath so as to
appear different from the Jews.

The Gradual Shift to Sunday
A dispute arose amongst Christians about
annually observing one day in honor of Christ's
resurrection. The church of Rome suggested
Sunday, but all the other churches preferred
Nisan 16 regardless of what day it fell on. Rome's
insistance on Sunday prevailed and all accepted
that day as a yearly celebration.



Later on, while still keeping the seventh day
Sabbath, a dispute arose over introducing
lent into the church. Then it was decided to
keep every Sunday during those 40 days. It
was not until the fourth century that a
decision was made to keep every Sunday in
the year. Christians were keeping both
Saturday the Sabbath, and Sunday in honor
of the resurrection.

Now there was a decided shift from being
identified with anything Jewish. The Roman
Church began to show their prejudice by
making Saturday a day of mourning and
fasting, while exalting Sunday with feasting
and joy. The Bishop Victorinus extended the
fast to include both Friday and Saturday, to
make sure the populace REALLY liked
Sunday.
The Pagan Emperor Constantine Converts to Christianity
Obelisks and altars, objects of Pagan sun worship,
had proliferated throughout the city and the empire,
from the early second century. By the third century,
Roman Christians favored Sunday, the day of the
resurrection, over the Sabbath.



For Justin Martyr, Sunday commemorated
the First day of creation, the creation of
light. For the church fathers of that day, the
resurrection was a secondary reason for
Sunday observance. As sun worship
began to fade in the Roman empire, the
resurrection became the primary motive for
Sunday keeping.



It was early in the fourth century that the Roman emperor
Constantine converted to Christianity. He gave power and
authority to the Church at Rome as well as its base of
operation. The emperor moved his power base to the city
known today as Constantinople. He had great influence over
the pagan world. The church at Rome made many
concessions to accommodate the flood of Pagans converting
to Christianity. The first day worship was an easy one, since
so many concessions had already been made. The Pagans
worshipped many gods and carved out likenesses in wood
and stone. The Pagan-Christians would merely stop making
heathen idols and start carving likenesses of Mary, Jesus,
Joseph, apostles and other saints. The church fathers
reasoned God would not be particular when so many
numbers were swelling the ranks of Christian believers. The
second commandment of God, forbidding idol worship was
thrown out. The tenth commandment became the ninth and
tenth.
Emperor Constantine the Great, as he was
known, issued the first known secular
Sunday blue law, ordering Sunday rest
instead of Sabbath rest. And in later Church
councils the Catholic Church enforced
Sunday-keeping on pain of death. This is that
law given the seventh of March in 321 AD:


"Let all judges and all city people and all
tradesmen rest upon the venerable day of
the sun. But let those dwelling in the
country freely and with full liberty attend to
the culture of the fields; since it frequently
happens that no other day is so fit for the
sowing of grain, or the planting of vines;
hence, the favorable time should not be
allowed to pass, lest the provision of
heaven be lost."



Many Christians felt that this was good and
Constantine brought about the end of the
persecution of Christians. However, the
questionable conversion of Constantine brought
into the church the secular law ordering fourth
commandment violation through a counterfeit
Sabbath, Mother-Goddess worship of Mary, idol
worship in general and Caesar like proclamations
of being God.
Sunday envelops Christianity and is firmly rooted by the sixth century
The Council of Trent convenes in the sixteenth century to deal
with Protestantism
The total transition from Sabbath to Sunday finally enveloped
Christianity by the sixth century. By the early sixteenth century, the
Catholic Church convened a series of meetings known as "The
Council of Trent". The purpose was to formulate its permanent
fundamentals to be known as the Catholic Creed. The other purpose
was to deal with the questions raised and forced upon the attention
of Europe by the Protestant reformers. They charged that the
Catholic Church had apostatized from the truth as contained in the
written word, the Bible. Their constant watchwords were, "The Bible
and the Bible only." The Catholics insisted on "The Scripture and
Tradition." The Bible as interpreted by the Church and the reasoning
of its "Holy Fathers" the Popes and Bishops of earlier generations.
There was a large and strong party of Catholics who were in favor of
abandoning "tradition" in favor of "the scriptures only," as the
standard of authority.
Debates were long and heated. The church fathers
realized that to accept this position would be a big
step toward justifying the claims of the protesters.
The ultra-Catholic portion of the council had the
difficult task of convincing the others that "scripture
and tradition" was the only sure ground to stand on.
If this could be done, a decree could be issued that
would condemn the reformation. Day after day
debates raged and sides remained fast until the
council was brought to a standstill. Finally the
Archbishop of Reggio introduced the following
argument to the council:




"The Protestants claim to stand upon the written
word only. They profess to hold the scripture alone
as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by
the plea that the church has apostatized from the
written word and follows tradition. Now the
Protestants' claim, that they stand on the written
word only, IS NOT TRUE. Their profession of
holding the scripture alone as the standard of faith
is FALSE!

The PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the
observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath!
They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it!
If they do truly hold the scripture alone as their
standard, they would be observing the seventh day
as is enjoined in the scripture throughout. Yet they
not only reject the observance of the Sabbath
enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted
the observance of Sunday, for which they only
have the TRADITION of the Church. Consequently
the claim of scripture alone as the standard FAILS
and the doctrine of scripture and tradition as
essential, is fully established, the Protestants
themselves being the judges."
By this observation the archbishop scored
a telling point, for the Protestants' own
statement of faith, the Augsburg
Confession of 1530, had clearly admitted
that the observation of the Lord's day had
been appointed by the church only.





The argument was hailed in the council as "pure
inspiration", and the party of Catholics in favor of
scripture only surrendered. The council at once
unanimously condemned Protestantism and the
whole Reformation as only an unwarranted revolt
from the communion and authority of the Catholic
Church.

Note- This information on the Council of Trent was
taken from the booklet, "Romes Challenge" pages
25-27.
The Protestants stand on "The Bible and the Bible Only",
defeated by Sunday Sacredness
It was only on the basis that the Protestants rejected the Biblical seventh
day Sabbath, that the Catholic Church had the grounds to condemn the
movement, and tradition was to continue. And what did Jesus say
regarding tradition? In Matthew 15:3 "Why do ye also transgress the
Commandment of God by your tradition?" And in verse 6 Jesus said,
"Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your
tradition." Now the Jews had enacted a rule that let a person by-pass
leaving his possessions to his parents in case of his dying, which ran
contrary to the commandment to "Honor thy father and mother...." Clearly
the Lord is not pleased with us following the traditions of men in place of
any of His commandments. Read very carefully what Jesus then said in
verse 9. "In VAIN do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men,". But this is exactly what the Catholic Church
has perpetrated!! And when Protestants endorse worshipping on
Sundays, they support the Roman Church's traditions. Is the Holy Spirit
reaching your understanding?


It was only on the basis that the Protestants rejected the Biblical seventh
day Sabbath, that the Catholic Church had the grounds to condemn the
movement, and tradition was to continue. And what did Jesus say
regarding tradition? In Matthew 15:3 "Why do ye also transgress the
Commandment of God by your tradition?" And in verse 6 Jesus said,
"Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your
tradition." Now the Jews had enacted a rule that let a person by-pass
leaving his possessions to his parents in case of his dying, which ran
contrary to the commandment to "Honor thy father and mother...." Clearly
the Lord is not pleased with us following the traditions of men in place of
any of His commandments. Read very carefully what Jesus then said in
verse 9. "In VAIN do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men,". But this is exactly what the Catholic Church
has perpetrated!! And when Protestants endorse worshipping on
Sundays, they support the Roman Church's traditions. Is the Holy Spirit
reaching your understanding?


Now read what the position of
different Protestant churches are in
regards to the Sabbath day:
Baptist
Dr. Edward T.
Hiscox, author of
"The Baptist
Manual," made this
candid admission
before a group of
ministers:



"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that
Sabbath day was not Sunday. Earnestly desiring information on this
subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record
of such a transaction [change of the Sabbath] be found? Not in the New
Testament, absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change
of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week. Of
course I know quite well that Sunday did come into use in early Christian
history. ... But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of
paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted
and sanctioned by papal apostasy and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to
Protestantism!" (In a paper read before a New York Ministers' Conference,
November 13, 1893.)
Christian
"There never was any change of the
Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is
not in any place in the Bible any intimation
of such a change." First Day observance,
pp 17,19.
Church of Christ
"I do not believe that the Lord's day
came in the room of the Jewish
Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was
changed from the seventh to the first
day." - Alexander Campbell,
Washington Reporter, Oct. 8, 1821.
Congregationalist
"The current notion that Christ
and His apostles authoritatively
substituted the first day for the
seventh, is absolutely without any
authority in the New Testament." -
Dr. Lyman Abbott, Christian
Union, January 19, 1882.
Episcopal
"Is there any command in the
New Testament to change the
day of weekly rest from
Saturday to Sunday? None." -
Manual of Christian Doctrine,
page 127.
Methodist
"Take the matter of Sunday....there is
no passage telling Christians to keep
that day, or to transfer the Jewish
Sabbath to that day."
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian
Advocate, July 2, 1942.
Lutheran
"The observance of the Lord's day
(Sunday) is founded not on any
command of God, but on the
authority of the church."
Augsburg Confession of Faith,
quoted in Catholic Sabbath Manual,
part 2, Chapter 1, Section 10.
Presbyterian
"The Christian Sabbath
(Sunday) is not in the
Scriptures, and was not by the
primitive church called the
Sabbath."
Dwights Theology, vol. 4, page
401.
Sunday Sacredness is not Biblical,
it is purely a Papal Instituted TRADITION
And from the Cyclopedia of Biblical,
Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. 9
page 196, "It must be confessed that there is
no law in the New Testament concerning the
first day."
There you have it, but for the icing on the
cake, let's look at a quote from James
Cardinal Gibbons of the Roman Catholic
Church, in "The Faith of Our Fathers," page
111. "You may read the Bible from Genesis to
Revelation, and you will not find a single line
authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The
Scriptures enforce the religious observance
of Saturday, a day which we (Catholics)
never sanctify."


Note- Though some individual pastors
may argue the point, and even trivialize
the keeping of any particular day, there is
not one single Sunday-keeping
organization which did not in its official
literature plainly admit that there is no
Scripture to support Sunday observance.