Beyond the Sabbath is a tale of two cities, Jerusalem and Constantinople, a story that will grip you and anger you, even make you cry. Beyond the Sabbath is a story of intrigue and compromise, a saga of well intentioned men who implemented politically correct ideas on a grand scale. But were their ideas founded in the truth? Put on your spiritual bifocals and get set for a gripping ride through some explosive church history. Read this astounding story that just might change the way you live!
"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (Heb 4:10).
Once upon a time there were two cities. One was called Jerusalem, the city of Peace. The other was called Constantinople, renamed by the fourth century Emperor Constantine, who became a Christian ally.
Emperor Constantine "the Great," singular head of the vast Roman Empire, from 324AD to his death in 337AD, made up in shrewd political savvy what he lacked in merit as a Christian of questionable genuineness. He was a great compromiser, a placater of the people. He conceived the idea of using Christianity as political glue to hold together his vast, splintering, pagan empire which by then had fallen into thorough disarray. He moved the headquarters from mostly pagan Rome, against the Senates outcry, to the beautiful Greek city of Byzantium, which he rebuilt and renamed Constantinople or New Rome, presently called Istanbul.
Many of the pagans of Constantines realm, which reached from Britain to North Africa and from Spain to Asia, were not inclined to give up their Sunday morning sun worship and other pagan rites. In 321AD as previous head of the eastern half of the empire, Constantine issued his famous "Edict of Milan for the legal observance of the Day of the Sun. " (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, Edited by A. Roberts and J Donaldson, P. 9). Thus, Sunday worship became the official government sanctioned day of preference, as a replacement sabbath day, in Christendom. Only four years later, this same Constantine presided over the Council of Nicea, which gave ecclesiastical rubber stamp approval to Constantines choice of Sunday as the new Christian Sabbath. Of 325 voices present, there was not one standing protest, not one single audible outcry, not a written word of opposition.
For Constantine it was easy. Sun worshipping pagans were "Christianized" by proclamation. The venerable "Day of the Sun" was once again made supreme, not only among the heathen this time, but among Christians as well.
A synodal letter issued in 321AD by the Council of Nicea reads: ". . . celebrate. . . Easter at the same time with the Romans," (The Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Vol. 14, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, P. 54) who had for two centuries built support for the Easter/Sunday observance, in opposition to Passover/Sabbath observance, using the Jews as their well deserved whipping boys, against whom they railed. Why did they not, instead, simply base their beliefs and practice on the Bible alone? These churchmen failed to build "upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20). The "apostles and prophets" had kept Passover and the Sabbath. Instead, these fourth century church fathers followed Rome, which proved to be a cardinal error. The Roman church handed down the most compromised form of Christianity to be found in the world today! Yet protestants and fundamentalists alike have followed suit in favor of Easter/Sunday over Passover/Sabbath. What a travesty!
Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea blessed Sunday and prohibited many forms of work in the towns on that day, and thereby officially rejected the seventh day Sabbath. "One day in seven," Constantine must have thought. "God will be happy. And my pagan subjects are now Christians, at least in name, never mind their heathen practices!" The Christian bishops yielded without a whimper, saying "AMEN!" to the Emperor. Thus, Emperor Constantine and the Catholic Church switched from Sabbath to Sunday, and nearly the whole Christian world followed.
But hold the fort! Sit tight and wipe your bifocals. This is not even the beginning of the story. Three hundred years earlier in a city called Jerusalem, a man named Jesus walked and talked and taught his disciples. Jesus was ultimately put to death on a cruel, Roman cross. His followers were devastated at first and wept openly. Judas hanged himself. Darkness fell upon the land. The temple veil was rent in twain. A devastated Peter returned to his fishing boat. The third day after that notorious crucifixion and burial in the virgin tomb of a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of Arimathaea, Jesus carefully-wrapped body disappeared from the tomb, previously secured by two Roman soldiers. The first witnesses early Sunday morning saw only an open tomb, no body, no Jesus, only grave clothes neatly folded and placed in the crypt where He was laid.
Then, as if from nowhere, He appeared, His identity concealed at first, to Mary Magdalene and to two disciples, then openly to the eleven, and to Peter separately, and to others. Later, doubting Thomas felt his pierced side. They all rejoiced: "Our friend Jesus, Son of God, is back for sure! Hallelujah!" each must have exclaimed with ecstatic glee and tears of joy.
Up from the grave he arose! And there He was, walking, talking, encouraging, preaching and exhorting his disciples to keep the faith. God the Father had raised him from the dead on resurrection morning the first day of the week. What a glorious event it was. Graves were opened and men not seen in Jerusalem for many years were again seen walking the streets, talking, rejoicing, praising God! The Savior was back! The grave could not contain him. Hallelujah!
The disciples had been meeting and talking all day long that incredible Sunday. Their bodies were tired, their voices hoarse, but adrenaline kept them charged. An electricity of anticipation filled the air. They received reports from the women, and from Peter and others. They talked. They walked. They met for a meal that Sunday evening in Jerusalem when, suddenly, through a wall, out of nowhere, Jesus appeared. What an experience! He appeared to them time after time, and again the following Sunday, and often thereafter for 40 days. He spoke many words, so many words the Bible says, "that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25). What incredible excitement filled their minds, as conversations would leave off one day and pick up again, over and over and over. "Jesus is alive! Can you believe it," they exclaimed!
Then one day He was gone, "taken up from you into heaven" (Act 1:11), before their very watchful, longing eyes. Some of His last words exhorted them to "wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me" (Act 1:4), a reference to the next great event and first great New Covenant Pentecost to come in just ten days on yet another Sunday morning! What a series of Sunday mornings this was!
With such illustrious, miraculous, emotion packed events spread over 40 days, it is easy to see how the early Christians had great expectation when Sunday mornings rolled around, and rightly so. Within another 10 days, exactly 50 days apart, two separate earth shattering events took place, both on the first day of the week, those two events being the: 1) resurrection and wave sheaf ascension/acceptance, and: 2) the first New Covenant Pentecost. You can understand how the early disciples felt a heightened sense of awareness come Sunday morning. "When will He appear again? What will happen next?" they must have wondered. The very last question they asked him, just before He was finally taken up into the clouds was, "wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). They knew He was prophesied to take the kingdom and rule all the world with a rod of iron, but when? Could it be now, they queried? He answered, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Act 1:7). They were disappointed, naturally.
Yet the answer of, "not right then, but soon, according to the Fathers will," kept their hearts pounding with expectation. Slowly, they began to understand the great commission, as the Holy Spirit called His teachings to their remembrance.
Two incredible Sunday mornings. Two miraculous Sunday mornings. What events, earthshaking events. Could these be signs of more to come? Early Christians met often at first to discuss the possibilities. How could they wait? In addition to keeping of the Sabbath, informal gatherings sprung up almost daily, certainly on Sundays. Imagine how many times at first Mary Magdalene must have visited that empty garden tomb looking for Jesus, and later, day after day, longingly looking up, in hopes of receiving another angelic message. No angel appeared, for ten days, ten long days, not even a gardener. Once Jesus was taken up, there were no further messages for Peter or James or John either. Silence on earth. These ten days seemed like an eternity. Then Pentecost and, hold your hat, a rushing mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire! God the Holy Spirit now appeared on the scene!
By now doubting Thomas no longer doubted. He knew Jesus rose and was now taken up to be with the Father. And Peter had once again laid down his nets in favor of the gospel call to fulfill the great commission. He stood on that great Pentecost Sunday, preaching the very first New Covenant evangelistic campaign. What a glorious new beginning, now a New Covenant in place of the Old. Was it to be a new day (Sunday) in place of the old (Sabbath)? From the evidence of holy scripture, that thought never took hold, since the seventh day Sabbath was already entrenched into their Christian lifestyle. Just days earlier, the disciples "returned, and prepared spices and ointments: and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). The disciples knew innately that these great Sunday morning events were timed, not in opposition to the weekly Sabbath, but in perfect harmony with the annual holy days found in the law and prophets which foreshadowed these very great New Covenant events! Truly, "there is no new thing under the sun" (Eccl. 1:9).
They understood the Old Covenant wave sheaf Sunday service as readily as a modern Christian child knows how to find easter eggs, probably better. They knew and understood the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) as readily as a practicing Catholic moves around the rosary. These two first-day-of-the-week events were long established in their lives ever since they could remember, as was the weekly Sabbath, none of which they were inclined to soon give up.
It is against such an historical backdrop that Sunday as an official day of rest and worship, versus the seventh day Sabbath, has been debated now for almost two thousand years. Important as the two annual Sunday events are, there is absolutely no Biblical evidence that the Sunday events supercedes the weekly Sabbath day. The two travel in parallel alignment together, both reminding the Christian of different aspects of Gods great plan of salvation for mankind.
Into this great Jerusalem excitement and controversy, we enter, once again, the city of Constantinople and the royal court of Emperor Constantine the Great.
Born a pagan, Constantines father and he were men of war. Constantine had little interest in Christianity, except as a means to an end. He became "Christianized," originally in an effort to bring together his haphazard empire. He put off baptism until near his death, in hopes of washing away more of his sins! Presiding over the Council of Nicea was a political opportunity for Constantine. Churchmen, whose vision had been fogged by the constant plying of political pressure to reunite Christendom, met. One of their goals was to forge a Byzantine unified New World Order of the day, bringing together under the banner of Christianity the hopeless, helpless pagan, heathen masses without ever having preached the gospel to them. It was a grand design.
However, political conversions never last. The love of God does not fill the hearts of men who fear other men. Constantine knew how to ply these two concepts of love and fear to the end of forging a political union between church and state, not based on Gods word, sola scriptura, but based on the old political ploy known as compromise.
The enemy had plowed the soil of Christendom well and sowed his seed carefully. Military strategists know that by creating a diversion, generals confuse and disorient the opposing army. They know it must be a realistic appearing diversion (think, "Jewish sabbath") large enough to cause the enemy to turn in confusion. Such was case of the Jews, who had claimed the Passover and most other Bible holy days. In confused disorientation, most Christians were left with pagan Easter! By then the Jews had claimed the Biblical calendar, leaving Christians with the pagan Julian calendar. Jews had also claimed the weekly Sabbath, leaving Christians holding their "friend," Emperor Constantines Christmas stocking stuffed with "the day of the sun," as naturally as pulling a rabbit out of a magicians hat! What a travesty. Dont you wish you could get into a time machine, travel back to that Council of Nicea and punch somebody out! Woe to you churchmen, hypocrites!
"Whew!" you say. "Thats a lot of food for thought. But it is still not crystal clear, just how the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath to Sunday." All right, then. Lets look at some additional documented, historical evidence:
From one official Catholic catechism, question and answer style, we read:
Q. "What is the Third Commandment?" [Catholic clergy cannot count; this should obviously be the "Fourth Commandment"Ed. comment]
A. The Third Commandment is: Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Q. Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday, because Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles on a Sunday.
Q. By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.
Q. What does the Third Commandment command?
A. The Third Commandment commands us to sanctify Sunday as the Lords Day.
Q. What does the Third Commandment forbid?
A. The Third Commandment forbids (1) The omission of prayer and divine worship; (2) All unnecessary servile work; (3) Whatever hinders the keeping of the Lords Day holy.
Q. Is the desecration of the Lords Day a grievous matter?
A. The desecration of the Lords Day is a grievous matter in itself, though it admits of light matter. ("The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine," by Rev. Peter Geiermann, B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis, MO).
Here the Catholic Church blatantly claims to have switched the Sabbath to Sunday on authority of no one but itself. Yes, this is a little scary, but read on, theres more to this saga.
The Synod of Laodicea (AD 343-381) carried the previous Councils switch from Sabbath to Sunday a step further. Canon 29 of the Laodicean Council reads:
"Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lords Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ." (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 14, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI).
Can you believe it! Give a heretic an inch, and he will take a mile. Here the churchmen did far worse than wimp out. These churchmen actually forbade keeping the Sabbath day, the very day Christ and his followers kept, calling it judaizing, under penalty of excommunication! How lame! One previous small compromise in doctrine opened the floodgate to anathematizing the very truth of the Bible Sabbath! What a leap, and they actually got away with it, can you believe it?
If this is not enough, then see what some notable scholars have written concerning the Sabbath switch:
"I have shown elsewhere that, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy, is a command of perpetual obligation, and can never be superceded but by the final termination of time" (Clarkes Commentaries, Dr. Adam Clarke, 1851 Ed., commentary on Col. 2:16)
". . . there is not the slightest reason to believe that He meant to teach that one of the ten commandments ceased to be binding on mankind" (Notes on Colossians, Dr. Albert Barnes, 1850AD Ed., page 306-307).
"Opposition to Judaism introduced the particular festival of Sunday very early, indeed, into the place of the Sabbath. . . The festival of Sunday like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps, at the end of the second century a false application of this kind had begun to take place; for men appear by that time to have considered laboring on Sunday as a sin." (History of the Christian Religion and the Church, Wilhelm August Johann Neandeer [called the prince of church historians], page 186).
"The ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed by the Christians of the East Church, above three hundred years after our Saviors death" (A Learned Treastise of the Sabbath, Prof. Edward Brerewood, page 77).
"Almost all churches through the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this" (A select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Socrates, [Fifth century], Vol 2, page 132).
"Thou shalt observe the Sabbath on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence; it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for the idleness of hands" (A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, The Apostolic Constitutions, [4th-5th Centuries], Vol 7, page 415).
"Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church, but with a rigor and solemnity gradually diminishing until it was wholly discontinued" (Ancient Christianity Exemplified, Dr. Lyman Coleman, page 527).
"The notion of a formal substitution by apostolic authority of the Lords day for the Jewish Sabbath, and the transference to it, perhaps in spiritualized form, of the Sabbatical obligation established by the promulgation of the fourth commandment, has no basis whatever, either in Holy Scripture or in Christian antiquity. The idea afterwards embodied in the title of the Christian Sabbath, and carried out in the ordinances of Judaic rigor, was, so far as we can see, entirely unknown in the early centuries of Christianity" (Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, Smith and Cheetham, page 1823).
"The Sunday law of Constantine must not be overrated. There is no reference whatever in this law either to the fourth commandment or to the resurrection of Christ. Besides he expressly exempted the country districts. Christians and pagans had been accustomed to festival rests; Constantine made these rests to synchronize, and gave the preference to Sunday" (History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, page 999).
"Then, too, in the Catechism that was used during the fourteenth century, in Sabbath commandment read thus: Thou shalt not forget to keep the seventh day (Documents and Studies Concerning the History of the Luthern Catechism in the Nordish Churches, 1893AD, page 89).
Q: "Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
A: "Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority" (Doctrinal Catechism [Catholic], P. J. Kenedy, 1886AD, page 174).
"Although the name and the observance of the Sabbath had been established for the seventh day, we [Christians] celebrate the feast of the perfect Sabbath on the eighth day of the week which is also the first." (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Bishop Hilary, 315-367 AD, Vol 22, page 14).
"The Sabbatarians teach that the outward Sabbath, i.e., Saturday, still must be observed. They say that Sunday is the Popes invention" (Refutation of Sabbath, Wolfgang Capito, 1599 AD).
"The observance of the Sabbath is a part of the moral law. It has been kept holy since the beginning of the world" (Private letter, R. Hospinian [Swiss Ana-Baptist writer], 1592 AD).
"Take which you will, either the Fathers or the moderns, and we shall find no Lords day instituted by any apostolical mandate, no Sabbath set foot by them upon the first day of the week" (History of the Sabbath, Dr. Peter Heylyn [Church of England], 1850AD, Vol 2, page 28).
"The seventh day of the week has been deposed from its title to obligatory religious observance, and its prerogative has been carried over to the first, under no direct precept of Scripture" (Later Gleanings, William E. Gladstone, Prime Minister of England, page 342).
"Is there any command in the New Testament to change the day of weekly rest from Saturday to Sunday? None" (Manual of Christian Doctrine [Protestant Episcopal Church], page127).
"The Christian Sabbath, Sunday, is not in the Scripture, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath" (Smiths Dictionary of the Bible, Dr. William Smith, page 55).
"The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty is a constitution of Constantine in 321 AD, enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (day of the sun), with an exception in favor of those engaged in agricultural labor" (Encyclopedia Britannica [11th Ed.], 1910AD, article on Sunday).
"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 never sanctify" (The Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons, 1893AD, page 111).
"There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, wither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come" (The Works of Flavius Josephus, Book 2, page 899).
"Then the spiritual seed of Abraham fled to Pella, on the other side of the Jordan, where they found a safe place of refuge, and could serve their Master and keep His Sabbath" (Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius, [appr. 4th century], Vol. 3, page 5).
"The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews. 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" (Antiquities of the Christian Church, Epiphanius, Vol. 2, Book 20, page 1138).
"The last hours of Columbas life are recorded as follows: "Having continued his labors in Scotland for 34 years, he clearly and openly foretold his death, and on Saturday, the ninth of June, and to his disciple Diermit: This is the day called the Sabbath, that is, the day of rest, and such it will be to me: for it will put an end to my labors" (The Celtic Church in Britain, Dr. Leslie Hardinge, page 80).
"The people must be made to understand that the ten commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation" (Weighed and Wanting, Dwight L. Moody, page 11).
"I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of the ten commandments. . . Can anyone think that sin exists where there is no law? Whoever abrogates the law, must of necessity abrogate sin also" (Luthers Works, Martin Luther, Vol 50, page 470).
"They [the Celtic church] worked on Sunday but kept Saturday in a Sabbatical manner" (A History of Scotland, Andrew Lang, Vol 1, page 96).
"It seems to have been customary in the Celtic Churches of early times in Ireland, as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day" (Religious History of Scotland, Prof. James C. Moffatt, Page 140).
"In this matter the Scots had perhaps kept up the traditional usage of the ancient Irish Church which observed Saturday instead of Sunday as the day of rest" (Margaret of Scotland: Queen and Saint, T. Ratcliffee Barnett, page 97).
"There is much evidence that the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until AD 1115 when the first Roman Bishop was seated at St. Davis. The old Welsh Sabbath keeping churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to their hiding places" (Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Vol 1, page 29).
"Among the documents, we have by the same peoples, an explanation of the Ten Commandments dated by Boyer 1120. Observance of the Sabbath by ceasing from worldly labors, is enjoined" (History of the Waldenses, Blair, Vol 1, page 220).
"They [the Waldenses, whom Baptists claim as part of their lineage] say that the blessed Pope Sylvester was the Antichrist of whom mention is made in the Epistles of St Paul as having been a son of perdition. They also say that the keeping of the Sabbath ought to take place" (Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont, Page 169).
"In 1310, two hundred years before Luthers theses, the Bohemian brethren constituted one-fourth of the population of Bohemia, and that they were in touch with the Waldenses who abounded in Austria, Lombady, Bohemia, North Germany, Thuringia, Brandenburg, and Moravia. Erasmus pointed out how strictly Bohemian Waldenses kept the seventh day Sabbath" (A History of the Baptists, Thomas Armitage, Vol 2, page 318).
"In the district of Upsala the farmers kept Saturday in place of Sunday. About the year 1625 this religious tendency became so pronounced in these countries that not only large numbers of the common people began to keep Saturday as the rest day, but even many priests did the same" (History of the Swedish Church, Vol 1, page 256).
"It will surely be far safer to observe the seventh day, according to express commandment of God, than on the authority of mere human conjecture to adopt the first" (Sabbath Literature, John Milton, Vol 2, page 46).
"Sunday, the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The sun of Latin adoration they interpreted as the sun of Righteousness. No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined" (Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Schaff-Herzog, Vol 6, page 2259).
"This drift into compromise in order to win the pagans was accented by the first civil Sunday law in AD 321, Passed by the emperor of Rome, Constantine" (Life of Constantine, Eusebius, Vol 1, page 491).
"Not any ecclesiastical writer of the first three centuries attributed the origin of Sunday observance either to Christ or to His apostles" (Examination of the Six Texts, Sir William Domville, page 6).
"The seventh-day Sabbath was solemnized by Christ, the apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did in a manner quite abolish the observation of it" (Dissertation on the Lords Sabbath, Dr. William Prynne, 1633 AD, page 44).
"The observance of the Lords day (Sunday) is founded not on any commandment of God, but on the authority of the Church" (Augsburg Confession of Faith, Coxs Manual on this Luthern Document).
"It is quite clear that, however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath was founded on a specific, divine command. We plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday. There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday" (The Ten Commandments, R. W. Dale, [Congregationalist], page 106).
"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands on exactly the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters" (The Ten Commandments, Canon Eyton, page 62).
"And where are we told in the scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh: but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church, has enjoined it" (Plain Sermons on the Catechism [Church of England], Isaac Williams, Vol 1, page 336).
"In the interval between the days of the apostles and the conversion of Constantine, the Christian commonwealth changed its aspect. Rites and ceremonies of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard, crept silently into use, and then claimed the rank of divine institution" (The Ancient Church, Dr. W. D. Killen, page XV).
"The church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. . . She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday" (The Catholic World, March 1894, page 809).
"The Catholic Church, over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. . . The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic church. . . without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world" (The Catholic Mirror, Sept. 23, 1893).
"Six days shalt thou do all manner of work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. It is not thine, but Gods day. He claims it for His own. He always did claim it for His own, even from the beginning of the world" (Works, John Wesley, Vol 11, page 164).
"Before the giving of the Law from Sinai the obligation of the Sabbath was understood" (The Sabbatic Question, J. J. Taylor, 1914, page 24).
"It is certain that our Lord when on earth did observe Saturday, and did not observe Sunday. If they are consistent, as I have said, they must keep Saturday, not Sunday, as a day of rest" (Sacerdotalism, Canon Knox Little, 1818AD, Page 89).
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will, however, be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the Seventh to the First day of the week. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament; absolutely not" (Baptist Ministers Convention of 1893AD, Paper by Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, page 450).
"It is certain, that Christ himself, His Apostles, and the Primitive Church, for some good space of time did constantly observe the seventh day Sabbath" (A Briefe Polemical Dissertation, William Prynne, page 33).
"The pope has the power to change times, abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ" (Decretal de Translat. Episcop. Cap.).
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Holy Bible, God, 1447BC, Exodus 20:8).
There you have ita tale of two cities which takes us far beyond the Sabbath. Christian friend, if you will be true to the standards of God and the Holy Bible, you will now change your life. You will return to the only Sabbath the Bible knows, the only Sabbath Christ and his disciples ever kept or taught, the one and only true Sabbath, that being the Sabbath of the seventh day, wherein we rest from our labors and keep that weekly divine appointment with God, declared so from the foundation of the world. Will expediency and political incorrectness or what your friends will say cancel your ticket and check you out of the liberating Sabbath truth? Or will you be able to buy your ticket, get on for the ride and make the trip, not to earn your salvation as Sabbath detractors say, but to "delight thyself in the LORD. . . and [to] ride upon the high places of the earth?" Hallelujah!
"If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isa 58:13-14). Amen!