This is a series of chapters from my sister's book, "The End is Near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." By E.A. James
Continued from previous post:
One of the things Daniel said about the horn was that, “He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in laws.” (Dan. 7:25) In the Commandments of God, which one of his “laws” has to do with “times”? It is this one: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)
Did one of your parents ever say to you “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it!” reminding you where you came from and who is the boss?
That is the basic purpose behind the Sabbath commandment, although God uses much kinder words. God set up the Sabbath after creation as a reminder to us that the world was made by him (Gen. 2:1) and, when we honor the Sabbath, we are recognizing God’s power and authority over us. Often, when God is talking about himself, or he is referred to by others, the fact that God is the creator is included in his title. (See Rev. 4:11; 10:6; 14:7.) He is not called the God who said not to covet, or the God who does not like adultery. No. He is referred to as our creator, and in recognition of that he asks us to honor him by devoting one day per week to him.
Photo by: Evelyn Simak
The Jews kept what we know as Saturday, the seventh day at the end of the week, as the Sabbath day. Jesus, when he was on earth, would go to the synagogue on Sabbath (Luke 13:10) and he called himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). If he is our example and if he called himself Lord of the Sabbath, why would he give us an example and call himself Lord of something that was going to be changed?
Luke, who was writing about Paul at Corinth in the book of Acts, said that Paul went to the synagogue every Sabbath to reason with the Jews (Acts 18:4) If the Sabbath had changed, why did Luke call the day the Jews gathered at the synagogue “Sabbath”? Why not say, “Paul went every Saturday”? The author of Hebrews says, “…there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9) The Sabbath “remains”, it is not a new or a different one, it is the one that has always been.
The Emperor Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to be converted from paganism to Christianity but most of his subjects remained pagan. At this time the church was still keeping Saturday as Sabbath but it was also observing Sunday as a holy day in remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection.
These days were ones of fasting and prayer.
The pagans also worshipped on Sunday, but their worship included feasting and partying. The church reasoned that there was little chance of converting the pagans if all stayed the way it was, so it slowly began to change in order to get more people to convert. The big thing they changed was Sabbath observance. By changing the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday, they knew the pagans would be more inclined to convert and, since the church already considered Sunday a holy day in honor of the resurrection, it was a simple thing to slowly shift emphasis from Saturday to Sunday.
The church knew that the more people it could get under its influence, the more power it would have and the more money it could make. The Catholic Church makes no apologies for its actions. You see, the church admits openly that it changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. (see Appendix 4) Truly the horn made ”… alterations in times and in laws.” Dan.7: 25
The true churches of God, Thyatira and Sardis, refused to obey the Catholic Church and continued to “…keep the commandments of God…” They were hunted, persecuted, and suffered the Inquisitions of the Catholic Church, but they held fast.
This is Belle writing. I'm including some quotes from Wikipedia:
While the Lord's Day observance of the Eucharist was established separately from the Jewish Sabbath, the centrality of the Eucharist itself made it the commonest early observance whenever Christians gathered for worship. In many places and times as late as the 4th century, they did continue to gather weekly on the Sabbath, often in addition to the Lord's Day, celebrating the Eucharist on both days. No disapproval of Sabbath observance of the Christian festival was expressed at the early church councils that dealt with Judaizing. The Council of Laodicea (363-364), for example, mandated only that Sabbath Eucharists must be observed in the same manner as those on the first day.Neander has suggested that Sabbath Eucharists in many places were kept "as a feast in commemoration of the Creation".
The issues about Hebrew practices that continued into the 2nd century tended to relate mostly to the Sabbath. Justin Martyr, who attended worship on the first day, wrote about the cessation of Hebrew Sabbath observance and stated that the Sabbath was enjoined as a temporary sign to Israel to teach it of human sinfulness,no longer needed after Christ came without sin. He rejected the need to keep literal seventh-day Sabbath, arguing instead that "the new law requires you to keep the sabbath constantly." With Christian corporate worship so clearly aligned with the Eucharist and allowed on the seventh day, Hebrew Sabbath practices primarily involved the observance of a day of rest.
Day of rest
A common theme in criticism of Hebrew Sabbath rest was idleness, found not to be in the Christian spirit of rest. Irenaeus (late 2nd c.), also citing continuous Sabbath observance, wrote that the Christian "will not be commanded to leave idle one day of rest, who is constantly keeping sabbath", and Tertullian (early 3rd century) argued "that we still more ought to observe a sabbath from all servile work always, and not only every seventh-day, but through all time". This early metaphorical interpretation of Sabbath applied it to the entire Christian life.
Ignatius, cautioning against "Judaizing" in his letter to the Magnesians, contrasts the Jewish Sabbath practices with the Christian life which includes the Lord's Day: "Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness .... But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's [Day, Dominicam] as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days."
The 2nd and 3rd centuries solidified the early church's emphasis upon Sunday worship and its rejection of a Jewish (Mosaic Law-based) observation of the Sabbath and manner of rest. Christian practice of following Sabbath after the manner of the Hebrews declined, prompting Tertullian to note "to [us] Sabbaths are strange" and unobserved. Even as late as the 4th century, Judaizing was still sometimes a problem within the Church, but by this time it was repudiated strongly as heresy.
Sunday was another work day in the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321, however, Roman Emperor Constantine I issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor, stating:
While established only in civil law rather than religious principle, the Church welcomed the development as a means by which Christians could the more easily attend Sunday worship and observe Christian rest. At Laodicea also, the Church encouraged Christians to make use of the day for Christian rest where possible, without ascribing to it any of the regulation of Mosaic Law, and indeed, anathematizing Hebrew observance on the Sabbath. The civil law and its effects made possible a pattern in Church life that has been imitated throughout the centuries in many places and cultures, wherever possible.