A Sabbath of rest is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. Most Christians agree that the observance of a Sabbath is an essential part of the worship of God. Much was involved in the making of the Sabbath.


Who made the Sabbath?

It was Jesus Christ. Read John 1:1-3, 10, 14.


Note: It is evident according to Hebrews 1:1, 2 that God created the world through Christ. Since Christ was the active agent, He made the Sabbath.


When was the Sabbath made?

At the time of creation. Read Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11.


How was the Sabbath made?

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

Genesis 2:1-3.


Of what was the Sabbath made?

God made the Sabbath out of a day. The day He used was the seventh day. Read Genesis 2:2, 3.


When did the days of creation week begin and end?

Read Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, etc. Each day of creation week began at sunset with the dark part, since darkness was here first, and ended with the following sunset. Evidently all days were reckoned from sunset to sunset.


For whom was the Sabbath made?

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.”

Mark 2:27.


Who is the Lord of the Sabbath?

Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

Mark 2:28.


For how long was the Sabbath intended to be kept?

It will be kept throughout eternity. Read Isaiah 66:22, 23.



The seventh-day Sabbath was made by Jesus Christ at creation. It was to be kept throughout all time, and was to be observed from sunset to sunset.

Leviticus 23:32 mentions the observance of one of the ceremonial sabbaths, the Day of Atonement, and says it was to be kept "from even to even."



What is the first word of the fourth commandment?

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Exodus 20:8.


This is the only commandment prefaced by the word “remember.” When God gave the Sabbath He knew its value and He also knew it would be disregarded by many. He knew the devil would do everything possible to lead men to forget the Sabbath. He knew that men in time would ignore the binding obligations of this commandment. For these reasons God calls special attention to this commandment and urges by use of the word “remember” that it be kept in mind. It is not to be forgotten.


What is God’s reason given in the commandment for observing the Sabbath?

The reason given is the example of God. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Exodus 20:9-11.


Must a man work six days of every week? May he never take a vacation?

The commandment does not end with the command. “Six days shalt thou labour” but it goes on and says “and do all thy work.”

Exodus 20:9.


Note: If the work can be done in less than six there is no question. The point is we are to get our work done in six days. And we must never shirk our responsibility while enjoying wholesome recreation. Getting our work done in six days would always make the Sabbath available for rest and communion with God.


How is the Sabbath to be kept?

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.”

Isaiah 58:13.


Note: God's Sabbath day is holy. We must not trample it under foot. We are not to do our own pleasure on it. We are not to pollute it (Ezekiel 20:13, 21).


What is the chief demand of the Sabbath commandment?

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Exodus 20:8.


Note: Cessation from our gainful employment is commanded but that is not all. The day is to be kept holy. Man is to cease "from his own works, as God did from his." Hebrews 4:10. When a person ceases from his own works he will cease from sin. It is only such a person who can keep the Sabbath as God expects. This commandment does not suggest idleness on the Sabbath for there are proper activities which are in keeping with its spirit.



Sabbath keeping is more than the mere observance of a day; it is living a life for God. God asks us to keep the Sabbath day for Him; to cease from sin; to do that which is good; to meet for worship and to follow the example of Jesus by going about doing good. Cease from your own works and enter into God's rest. What a blessing such a Sabbath keeping affords!






Attention is next focused on the Sabbath in the experiences of Israel in Egypt and at Mount Sinai. The institution of the Sabbath and God's observance of the Sabbath is recorded in Genesis 2:1-3.


What was Pharaoh’s complaint to Moses?

And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works?  get you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.”

Exodus 5:4, 5.


Note: Pharaoh accused Moses of making the people rest. Why did they stop working? The word used in the Hebrew for rest is the word for the Sabbath rest. Moses was calling for a Sabbath reform.


After God brought Israel out of Egypt what conditions did God lay down if they expected His continued protection?

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

Exodus 15:26.


In the raining of bread from heaven what was God going to prove?

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”

Exodus 16:4.


What instruction did God give relative to their food on the day before the Sabbath?

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.”

Exodus 16:23.


Note: All the cooking and the baking for the Sabbath was to be done the day before. Then on the Sabbath read what Moses said to them in Exodus 16:25, 26.


Did all the people do what God had said through Moses?

And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Exodus 16:27, 28.


Was the Sabbath a new institution and was God’s law something they were unfamiliar with?

The words of Exodus 15:26 are similar to those spoken to Abraham many years previously when God had said: “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:5.


Note: In arranging that the manna should fall six days and none on the Sabbath God taught Israel two important lessons: to depend on God and to obey Him.



The Sabbath was commanded in God's law proclaimed at Sinai. Prior to this God had given Israel a visual demonstration of His regard for the Sabbath. One purpose for the Sabbath commandment was so that Israel would have time to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord. The keeping of this commandment affects the keeping of all the others.






Did God give the Sabbath on Mount Sinai for the Jews only and not for Christians? If so, then the commandments "Thou shalt not steal" as well as the others were for the Jews only. All of these commandments would be Jewish if the Sabbath is Jewish. The Bible says, "The sabbath was made for man." Mark 2:27.


What was the regulation in Israel during their wilderness journey regarding breaking the Sabbath?

The general law which had to do with the breaking of any of the commandments read, “But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.”

Numbers 15:30, 31.


Note: The marginal reference for "presumptuously" reads with a "high hand." And it is the meaning of knowingly, obstinately, or defiantly. This way of dealing with those who broke the law applied to any of the commandments. At this time Israel was a theocracy which meant that the church and government were one and God was the direct ruler. Hence, moral as well as civil violations were punished directly. This helps us to see God's attitude toward sin and what the ultimate judgment on sin will be.


Was Sabbath breaking as serious as breaking any of the other commandments?

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Numbers 15:32-36.


Note: It was not merely for gathering stick on the Sabbath that the man was punished; it was "because he hath despised the word of the LORD." Numbers 15:31. His gathering of the sticks showed his contempt for God. Moses, however, put the man in a "ward" until a decision should be made. Much was at stake. Would the Sabbath take its place with the other commandments? God gave His decision. The Sabbath was as important as the other commandments. What a lesson for us! May we never speak lightly of or defiantly break God's Sabbath!


For what did Ezekiel say God had given the Sabbath?

Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.”

Ezekiel 20:10-12.


Note: There is great significance in Ezekiel's statement that the Sabbath is a sign of sanctification. Breaking the Sabbath is a symptom which reveals an attitude toward all the commandments. It is a rejection of or a rebellion against God. The proper observance of it is the sign of obedience to God.


What was one reason Judah was taken into captivity for seventy years?

Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;

Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.”

Jeremiah 17:21-27.


Subsequent to their return home from Assyrian-Babylonian captivity, what was the attitude of God’s people toward the Sabbath?

In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city?  yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall?  if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you.  From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day.  Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.”

Nehemiah 13:15-22.


Note: Nehemiah did not force those outside the walls to keep the Sabbath. He simply exerted his responsibility to keep them away and to let them know they could not do business in the city on God's holy day. Forced Sabbath keeping is never after God's order. Since it is a sign of sanctification, without a life of holiness the Sabbath is an empty ceremony that can never substitute for genuine sanctification.



After the Babylonian captivity was over the Jews began to realize that their failure to keep the Sabbath had been one of the causes of their calamities. So after Nehemiah's time no more did they make the Sabbath a common working day. But their mistake now was as seriously fatal as their former mistake. They began to consider the Sabbath a means of salvation instead of a sign of sanctification. The Sabbath is of little value without the reality of holiness.




5. THE sabbath in the new testament


Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” Mark 2:27. It was to be a blessing for the human family. Jesus showed by His manner of observing the Sabbath that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath day. Read Mathew 12:10-12; Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 5; John 9. Nowhere in the New Testament is there the least indication that God’s holy Sabbath day was set aside. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus left no doubt as to His position to the Ten Commandments. Read Mathew 5:17-19.


Did Christ have anything to do with making the Sabbath?

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:3.

Read Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2.


Note: Since Christ was the active agent in creation the Sabbath was made by Him at the end of the creation week.

Read Genesis 2:1-3.


Upon which day did Christ worship?

And he 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 for to read.”

Luke 4:16.


Did Christ expect the Sabbath to be abolished?

He recognized it would still be in existence long after His ascension, at the time of the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, for He said to His disciples, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.”

Mathew 24:20.


Which day comes before the first day of the week?

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

Mathew 28:1.


Which day did the women keep after the crucifixion?

And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

Luke 23:56.


Note: The Sabbath day "according to the commandment" is the seventh day. (Read Exodus 20:10.)


What was Paul’s example – which day did he observe as the Sabbath?

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down… And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Acts 13:14, 42; 16:13.


Note: It was Paul's custom to attend religious services on the Sabbath.


What did Paul do on the working days as compared to the Sabbath?

And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Acts 18:3, 4.


Note: Paul's manner as well as Christ's custom was to worship on the seventh day Sabbath.


On which day was John in the Spirit?

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

Revelation 1:10.


Note: This expression "The Lord's Day" points to the seventh day Sabbath in both the Old and New Testaments. He says, "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God." Exodus 20:10. In Isaiah 58:13 He call the Sabbath "my holy day." The Lord's day is the day of which Christ is the Lord, He says He is Lord of the Sabbath day. (Mathew 12:8; Mark 2:28). Read Exodus 20:11.



Christ did all He could to restore Israel the Bible Sabbath as it had been given to them. It was intended to be a blessing rather than a burden. Christ attempted to show that the real purpose was doing good, healing the sick, and performing acts of mercy.

The book of Hebrews mentions the seventh-day Sabbath. "God did rest the seventh day from all His works." Hebrews 4:4. "He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." Hebrews 4:10. God calls His people into a spiritual rest, a rest from there own works, a ceasing from sin. The keeping of the Sabbath is a symbol of this rest. God demands holiness of life. Of this the Sabbath is a sign. Let us not reject the sign, much less reject that for which it stands.






The Sabbath and the first day of the week are both mentioned in the New Testament. However, the names of the days such as Saturday or Sundays are never mentioned because at the time the New Testament was written these names had not yet been given to these days. Each time the Sabbath is mentioned it has a reference to the seventh day or Saturday. Each time the first day is mentioned it has reference to the day known as Sunday.


How many times is the first day mention in the New Testament?

The first day of the week is mentioned eight times but at no time is it called the Sabbath.

Here are the eight texts:


Which text records the only religious meeting in the New Testament that was held on the first day of the week?

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.”

Acts 20:7.


Note: This meeting was held in the evening for there "were many lights in the chamber" and Paul not only preached till midnight but he continued "even till break of day." In the Bible the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset. Strictly speaking a meeting held in the evening of the first day of the week would be what is known as Saturday night. Notice these points:

   a.   This is the only record of the disciples breaking bread on the first day.

   b.   They broke bread every day according to Acts 2:46.

   c.   The account of this meeting says nothing about the Sabbath.

   d.   This was a special meeting held because Paul was about to leave on a journey.

   e.   The meeting is mentioned by Luke because of the restoration of a young man who fell and was killed.

    f.    The meeting was held on a Saturday night.


Is there a text where Paul says a collection should be taken in the church on Sunday?

There is a text which says, “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.”

1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.


Note: Notice that neither church nor meeting is mentioned as Paul exhorts the saints to lay by on the first day a sum proportionate to the prospering hand of God. Each was to lay "by him in store." This would mean by himself at home and he was to keep it until it was called for. Paul was encouraging systematic giving. This text does not support Sunday sacredness. Paul did not mention a public collection. He is not speaking of a church service. This was not a "regular" weekly collection, but was a special gift being made up by Gentile churches for the poor saints at Jerusalem. Paul was taking the gifts with certain representatives from each group who would represent the token of love. Read 1 Corinthians 16:3, 4; Romans 15:24-28. This is also referred to again in 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 9:1-5.


According to Mathew what is the relationship between the Sabbath day and the first day of the week?

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

Mathew 28:1.


Note: Mathew mentions two days: the one is called the Sabbath; the other is called the first day of the week. The Sabbath comes before the first day. No change of the Sabbath is even suggested. The Gospel of Mathew is generally supposed to have been written about thirty years after the crucifixion and Mathew still calls the seventh day the Sabbath.


What is the testimony of Mark concerning the first day of the week?

Mark mentions the first day twice. He says, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mark 16:1, 2, 9.


Note: The same first day is mentioned in verses 2 and 9. Verse 9 merely affirms Christ arose on the first day and met Mary Magdalene. Verse tells that the women came to anoint Christ on the first day and that the Sabbath was past when they started on this errand. Mark indicates that the Sabbath comes just before the first day. They would have further embalmed Christ's body on the first day, a service they did not even attempt to do on the Sabbath.


How does Luke make the distinction between Sabbath and Sunday clear?

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”

Luke 24:1.


Note: This is the same event recorded by the other writers with some added information. Read Luke 23:54-56. Christ was crucified on the day of preparation which was Friday. He died as the Sabbath was drawing on. On the same Friday the women prepared spices for His anointing. The following day which was Saturday they rested "according to the commandment." Therefore three days are noted: the days of preparation, the Sabbath, and the first day of the week. The women worked on the preparation day, Friday, and on the first day of the week, Sunday, but they rested on the Sabbath day, Saturday.


Why did the disciples assemble together on the evening of the first day?

The last two places where the first day is mentioned is in John 20:1, 19 which says, “”The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 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.


Note: In the first verse John merely repeats what the other evangelists have written. Verse nineteen points out that the disciples assembled and that the doors were shut and bolted "for fear of the Jews." They were not there to celebrate the resurrection even though they knew He was not in the tomb. They did not believe He had risen.




Every text in the New Testament that mentions the first day of the week has now been considered. Not one of them is favorable to the first day of the week as Sabbath. But there is in these texts strong evidence for the sacredness of the seventh-day Sabbath. It is interesting to notice that when the Bible mentions the first day of the week that it usually does so by contrasting it with the Sabbath.

Sometimes the text in Revelation 1:10 which says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet" is used as having reference to Sunday. However, nowhere in the Bible is the first day referred to as being the Lord's day. Much to the contrary, the Lord's day is the seventh day. Read Mark 2:28. We can believe only what God's Word says.






There is in the Bible a divine command to observe the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. Read Exodus 20:8-11. Since God's Sabbath commandment is so plain, why do so many who believe in the Bible keep an entirely different day from the one God mentions in the commandment? This is truly a puzzling situation. Many claim the Sabbath was changed by Christ when He was crucified and that the new Sabbath was established by the same event. We ought to know how the change was brought about. We can know what the Bible says concerning this question of the Sabbath day. Read Psalm 119:18.


Upon what fact does our duty to worship God depend?

Wherever God makes a claim to reverence and worship above the gods of the heathen He usually cites evidence of His creative power. Read Psalm 96:5; Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18; Psalm 100:3; 95:6. The reason given by heavenly beings for their worship of God is, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Revelation 4:11.


Note: The Sabbath is a memorial of creation keeps ever before us why worship is due to God – He is the creator, and we are His creatures. Just as long as God as our creator continues to be a valid reason for divine worship the Sabbath will remain as a memorial to that fact.


Did Christ change the Sabbath?

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Mathew 5:17, 18.


Note: Jesus kept the same day the Jews observed which everyone know was the seventh day. This was His custom. Read Luke 4:16. He also indicated the disciples would be keeping it after His ascension (Mathew 24:20).


Did the disciples make the change from the seventh to the first?

The Bible records them as always keeping the same seventh-day Sabbath that the Jews observed.

Read Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 17:1-3; 18:4.


Did God know that a power would arise that would claim the right to change His law? If so, how did He make this known?

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Daniel 7:25.


Note: Daniel was shown in vision a power that would arise called a "little horn" which as it came on the scene of action would pluck "up by the roots" three other powers. In this little horn "were eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things." Read Daniel 7:8. This "same horn made war with the saints." Read Daniel 7:21.


What power is represented by the little horn?

In verse 25 of Daniel 7 the prophet was shown three characteristics of this power and the length of time it would be supreme.

Its characteristics are:

    1. It would “speak great words against” God – blasphemy.
    2. It would “wear out” God’s people – persecution.
    3. It would “think to change times and laws” – a disregard for God’s authority.


The length of time allotted for this power to be supreme was “a time and times and the dividing of time.” This same period of time is mentioned in Revelation 12:14 and is interpreted in Revelation 12:6 to be “a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Since this is prophetic time we apply the principle of prophetic interpretation – each day stands for one year (Ezekiel 4:6). This power was to endure then for 1260 years. The Papacy fits every part of this prophecy. She arose to supremacy in A.D. 538 after destroying three Arian powers, namely the Heruli, Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. And she remained supreme for 1260 years until in 1798 her power was finally broken when General Berthier went to Rome and took the Pope prisoner. There was no Pope for two years. Even though another Pope was elected in 1800 yet she had been divested of her civil power and therefore from that day to this her power to persecute has not been restored. John spoke of this same power having received a deadly wound in Revelation 13:3.


Does the Papacy claim that it has the power to change the law of God, and in particular the right to change the Sabbath day?

We shall notice the claims of the Papacy:


Question. – Which is the Sabbath day?”


Answer. – Saturday is the Sabbath day.”


Question. – Why do we observe Sundays instead of Saturday?”


Answer. – We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because of the Catholic Church, in the Council of Loadicea (A.D. 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” – Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 2d edition, 1910.


"Question. – Has the [Catholic] church power to make alterations in the commandments of God?"


"Answer. -- …Instead of the seventh day, and other festivals appointed by the old law, the church has prescribed the Sundays and holy days to be set apart for God's worship; and these we are now obliged to keep in consequence of God's commandment, instead of the ancient Sabbath." –Rt. Rev. Dr. Challoner, Catholic Christian Instructed, p 211.


"We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy, instead of Saturday, as we have every other article of our creed: namely, the authority of "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15); whereas, you who are protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God's word and the church to be it's divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it, denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often "makes the commandment of God of none effect." "Clifton Tracts, vol. 4, article, "A Question for All Bible Christians," p. 15.


"Question. – have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals or precepts?"


"Answer. – 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." –Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, p. 174. New York: Edward Dunigan and Brothers, 1851.


"Question. – By whom was it [the Sabbath] changed?"


"Answer. – By the governors of the church, the apostles, who also kept it; for St. John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day (which was Sunday). Apoc. 1:10"


"Question. – How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?"


"Answer. – By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church."


"Question. – How prove you that?"


"Answer. – Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church's power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin; and by not keeping the rest [of the feasts] by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power." Rev. Henry Tuberville, D.D.R.C., An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, p 58. New York: Edward Dunigan and Brothers, approved 1833.


How will a Protestant answer this challenge?


"You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday! But by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer."


"You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which the fourth commandment is expressly altered." –Library of Christian Doctrine: Why Don't you Keep Holy the Sabbath Day? pp. 3, 4. London: Burns and Oats (R.C.).


And here is another challenge.


"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. We say by virtue of her divine mission, because He who called Himself the "Lord of the Sabbath," endowed her with His own power to teach., "he that heareth you, heareth Me"; commanded all who believe in Him to hear her, under penalty of being placed with the "heathen and publican"; and promised to be with her to the end of the world. She holds her charter as teacher from Him – a charter as infallible as perpetual. The Protestant world at its birth [in the Reformation of the sixteenth century] found the Christian Sabbath to strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the church's right to change the day, for over three hundred years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world." – The Catholic Mirror (Baltimore), Sept. 23, 1893.


Do Protestants recognize the Papal claims and do they acknowledge them?


Note: Although the following writers kept Sunday for a variety of reasons, they acknowledged it has no Biblical basis.


"They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord's day, contrary to the decalogue, as it appears; as it appears; neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, say they, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the ten commandments." – Augsburg Confession, Art. XXVIII.


"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 can 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." R.W. Dale, M.A. (Congregationalist), The Ten Commandments, pp 106, 107. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1871.


"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday…Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands on exactly the same footing as the observance of Sunday." – Canon Eyton (Church of England), The Ten Commandments, pp 62, 63, 65. London; Trubner & Co., 1894.


"And where are we told in Scripture 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 instead of the seventh day is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church, has enjoined it." – Rev. Isaac Williams, B.D. (Church of England), Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp. 334-336. London: Rivingtons, 1882.


"It is impossible to extort such a sense from the words of the commandment; seeing that the reason for which the commandment itself was originally given, namely, as a memorial of God's having rested from the creation of the world, cannot be transferred from the seventh day to the first; nor can any new motive be substituted in its place, whether the resurrection of our Lord or any other, without the sanction of a divine commandment." – The Christian Doctrine, book 2, chap. 7, in Prose Works of John Milton, vol. 5, p. 70. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853.



The transition from the keeping of the Sabbath to observance of Sunday was a gradual process beginning sometime before A.D. 150 and it continued for nearly three centuries. There was an attempt by some Christians to make clear they were not Jews; hence, they abandoned the Sabbath in favor of Sunday. Eusebius, one of the foremost church historians of that time, wrote in his commentary on Psalm 92, "All things whatsoever it was a duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's day, as more appropriately belonging to it, because it has a precedence and is first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath." The first official action of the Catholic Church in favor of Sunday was taken at the Council of Laodicea in the 4th Century. However, the law which had to do with the observance of Sunday specified Judaizing (being like the Jews) as the reason for not keeping the Sabbath.

Why did Sunday sacredness develop? First, it was an effort not to be like the Jews and thus avoid persecution. Second, as Rome grew into power she put her influence on the side of Sunday rather than the Sabbath. Third, as a result of the Roman influence Sunday was made a matter of church law as with many unscriptural practices: such as, the worship of Mary, veneration of saints and angels, use of images in worship, and also praying for the dead.

What should I do about keeping the Sabbath? Allow God's Word to give the answer. Read Acts 5:29; Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 56:1, 2.






It is important to understand that the heavens and the earth and all things in them were created by God. In the Bible we read, "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6, 9. Concerning the earth David declares that God "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever." Psalm 104:5.


Who was involved in creation?

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Genesis 1:1, 2.

Read Hebrews 1:1, 2; Genesis 1:26; John 1:1-3.


Note: The Bible record indicates that God and the Holy Spirit participated in creation. In Colossians 1:16 the Son is included with the Father as a participant in creation. So, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the complete Godhead or Trinity – were active in creation.


How is the true God distinguished from false God’s?

"But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion."

Jeremiah 10:10-12.


Why does God have the right to rule and to be worshipped?

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

Revelation 4:11.

Read Psalm 95:3-6.


Note: The God whom we should serve and worship created everything from nothing (Hebrews 11:3). Then He hung the earth on nothing (Job 26:7). He upholds all things (Hebrews 1:3). He sustains all life (Acts 17:28).


What is the sign that God is Creator?

"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."

Exodus 31:16, 17.


Of what else is the Sabbath a sign?

"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."

Exodus 31:13.

Read also Ezekiel 20:12, 20.


Note: The same divine power necessary for creation is also needed to re-create spiritual life. The new birth is God's creation in the spiritual realm, just as the new earth at creation was God's creative power at work in the physical realm.



The Sabbath is a sign of God's sovereignty. He is both Creator and Redeemer. Christ must be supreme in the Christian's life. The keeping of His holy Sabbath day is always a sign of loyalty to Him as Lord and Saviour.






For centuries the great controversy between Christ and Satan has continued. That controversy began in heaven when Lucifer rebelled against God. Read Revelation 12:7-9. It is evident from the words of Jesus that Satan will be successful in leading nearly the whole world to follow him. Read Mathew 7:13, 14. However a few will respond to God's invitation to "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:7.


In whose image was man made?

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

Genesis 1:26.


Note: Just as long as Adam looked to God and trusted Him he reflected the Creator's image. The devil came to Adam and Eve to do away with the image of God and to make them like him.


Through whom is God’s image restored in man?

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

2 Corinthians 4:4.


Note: Anyone who comes to God in faith will be changed into God's image by the Holy Spirit. Read 2 Corinthians 3:18.


What is a seal?

It is a device which reproduces an image in a soft substance, like wax or clay. Anciently rulers had rings which were used as seals. Today, most legal documents require the seal of a notary public to be binding.


By whom is the sealing accomplished?

"…after…ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise."

Ephesians 1:13.


Under the New Covenant where is God’s law placed?

"This is the covenant that I will make…I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts."

Hebrews 8:10.

The law is love (Romans 13:8) and love is placed in out hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).


What condition will Christ produce in His church?

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

Ephesians 5:25-27.


How does John describe God’s people at the end of time?

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."

Revelation 14:1, 4, 5.


Note: The seal and the divine name cannot be separated. A seal on an object testifies to its ownership. Read 2 Timothy 2:19. This is a mark of truth, the mark of God's approval. Those who are thus sealed are like Christ in character.


What is another illustration of the work of the Holy Spirit and its effect on the characters of God’s people?

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."

Hosea 6:3.


"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring."

Isaiah 44:3.


Note: In Palestine the early rain caused the seed to germinate while the latter rain near the close of the growing season caused the grain to mature and prepared it for the harvest. The early rain of the Holy Spirit enables a person to grow in grace. The final outpouring of God's Spirit in the latter rain will prepare His church for the harvest. In their experience God's law will be sealed in the minds of God's followers.


When God rested on the seventh-day Sabbath in the beginning what was the result?

"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."

Exodus 31:17.


How can I enter into God’s rest?

I must accept the perfect, finished work of Christ. I must come before His throne of grace and He will give me the needed help in my conflict with Satan. Read Hebrews 4:16. The penitent sinner accepts Christ as Lord of his life and he willingly gives his allegiance and obedience to God to be both molded and used by Him in His service.


What has God especially designated as the sign of His relation to His people? What is His seal?

It is His holy Sabbath day. Only the Sabbath commandment contains the essential elements of an official seal and gives authority to the Ten Commandments law. It gives the name and title of God and shows His right to direct the obedience of the human race.

Read Exodus 20:8-11.


Name: "The LORD thy God"

Title: Creator of "heaven and earth"



The Sabbath is a sign of God's total activity, His creative power in the universe, and His re-creative power in the heart. Read 2 Timothy 2:19. The seal of God's approval when placed on a person will indicate he has the victory over sin and it will be evident that he belongs to God. According to Revelation 7:1-3 we are living in the sealing time. God's people will be commandment keepers. The Sabbath is the outward sign, the mark or the seal distinguishing them from those who do not obey or recognize the commandments of God. But to God's people the Sabbath means sanctification. It is a sign between them and God that marks them as belonging to God.






God teaches in the Bible that the seventh day is the Sabbath. The fourth commandment says, "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God."


What is the attitude of God’s people towards all of God’s commandments?

"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Revelation 14:12.


Note: The saints spoken of here are sanctified and holy without spot and blameless since the word "saints" is the same word that is in other places translated "holy." Many who claim holiness repudiate anything that has to do with God's law. But not so with God. Those who are really holy God says will keep His commandments.


Since most people today do not keep the Bible Sabbath, can we expect it will be restored?

"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.


"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."

Isaiah 58:12-14.


Note: Just as in ancient times God called for His people to restore the trampled Sabbath to its rightful place, so He calls for its restoration today, and the restoration of all the commandments which are being trampled down. Read Revelation 14:6, 7, 12, 14.


By whom will the Sabbath be restored and how?

The Sabbath is restored by the ones who keep it.

They will be called "The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."


Note: When the enemy attacked the walled towns anciently they would endeavor to make a breach in the walls. Then the battle would rage around that spot.


Whom did God charge with the breaking of His law in ancient times?

"Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."

Ezekiel 22:26.


Note: In addition to being unfaithful, having violated God's law, and hiding their eyes from the Sabbath the priests have done even more. Read Ezekiel 22:28. God charges the ancient ministry with saying, "Thus saith the LORD God, when the LORD hath not spoken." This has to do with the Sabbath since this is one of the matters under consideration. Unfortunately there are Christian ministers today who hide their eyes from God's true Sabbath like the priests of Israel. God's attitude towards the misuse of leadership has not changed. Read Mathews 15:8, 9.


What was God looking for someone to do?

"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."

Ezekiel 22:30.


Note: The word "gap" used here is translated from the same Hebrew word as "breach" in Isaiah 58:12. Isaiah refers to those who are faithful as the "repairer of the breach." Ezekiel was looking for someone to stand in the breach but he found none.


In ancient times, when man should have been repairing the breach made in Judah’s religion what were they doing?

"Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter."

Ezekiel 13:10.


Note: Instead of calling Israel to repentance for their sins and to obedience to God's will, the ancient false prophets failed to make up the gaps or breaches in the nation's moral defenses. Rather, they suggested other solutions for Israel's problems. It was like building a flimsy wall, said Ezekiel, and the prophets whitewashed it so that it looked good. A similar situation exists today, when instead of calling men to repentance and obedience to God's law, false teachings are put forward and men whitewash them with their affirmations. No such whitewash can hold up man-made traditions and teachings as a substitute for any part of God's law. God is jealous for His Sabbath. What befell the ancient attempts to substitute for God's truths will befall all modern attempts. Read Ezekiel 12:11-16.



Some have wondered whether it is possible to keep God's law. Read Revelation 14:12 again. John mentions four characteristics of God's people. First, they have patience, that is they endure and are steadfast. Second, they are holy and sanctified which is the meaning of a saint. Third, they keep all Ten Commandments. Fourth, they have the faith of Jesus. Do all Christians have faith in Christ? Evidently not for Jesus said, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46. Faith and obedience must never be separated.






The final struggle in the controversy between Christ and Satan is fast approaching. The Bible says, "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12.


What is the devil’s attitude towards God’s people in the last generation?

"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."

Revelation 12:17.


Note: The dragon here represents the devil. The woman is God's church and the "remnant" of the woman's seed is the latter end of the church. The remnant are identified by two characteristics: they are commandment keepers and they have the "testimony of Jesus" which is interpreted to be the "spirit of prophecy" in Revelation 19:10.


What is God’s seal, His sign or mark of authority?

"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."

Exodus 31:13.


"Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them."

Ezekiel 20:12.


"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."

Ezekiel 20:20.


How does the Bible foretell the great counterfeit of Christianity that was to arise?

This is foretold in prophecy by the use of many names. It is spoken of as "antichrist" (1 John 4:3), "that man of sin"

(2 Thessalonians 2:3), the "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:3), "the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3), "the mystery of iniquity" (2 Thessalonians 2:7), he "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped"

(2 Thessalonians 2:4), and "mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth" (Revelation 17:5).


Through whom was it predicted the devil would work to bring disloyalty to God and His law?

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

Daniel 7:25.


Note: In the prophecies of Daniel there is pictured the rise of four world empires – Babylon, Mede-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Rome was finally divided into ten kingdoms. Finally, another kingdom arose in the midst of the ten by doing away with three kingdoms (Daniel 7:24.)


What are some of the characteristics of this apostate power?

    1. Like a man. "Eyes like the eyes of a man." Daniel 7:8. "A mouth speaking great things." Daniel 7:8; Revelation 13:5. "Man of sin." 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
    2. Opposed to truth. It would "cast down the truth." Daniel 8:12. It would flourish when there would be a "falling away" from the truth in the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
    3. Opposed to God and Christ. "He shall speak great words against the most High." Daniel 7:25. "Magnified himself even to the prince of the host [Christ]." Daniel 8:11. "He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes [Christ]." Daniel 8:25. "Opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He will blaspheme God and His name

     (Revelation 13:6).

    1. Opposed to Christ's mediation in the heavenly sanctuary. He would take away the "daily" or the continual ministration of Christ in the sanctuary (Daniel 8:11). He would cast down "the place of his [Christ's] sanctuary" (Daniel 8:11). He would sit "in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4. And he would blaspheme God's tabernacle (Revelation 13:6).
    2. Opposed to God's law. He will "think to change times and laws." Daniel 7:25. "The mystery of lawlessness."

      2 Thessalonians 2:7, R.S.V.

    1. A persecuting power. He would make "war with the saints" persecuting them for a "time and times and the dividing of time" or three and one half times. (In the Bible a time is a year of 360 days and three and one half times would be 1260 days.)

      Daniel 7:21, 25.


As a result of the “Falling away” from the truth as predicted by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 what two important things took place in the second century?

a.      The church began to lose sight of the gospel.

b.     The church began to turn away from the Sabbath.


Note: Relative to the Gospel three trends developed. (1) Meritorious works began to be proclaimed. In the Epistle of Barnabas written about A.D. 100 is this statement: "By thy hands thou shalt labour for the redemption of thy sins." –Chapter 19. (2) God's grace began to be associated with the work of the Holy Spirit rather than the person Jesus Christ. (3) Finally, grace was associated with the church. They reasoned that since the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit and since grace is imparted through the Holy Spirit the church is the channel of grace. And further because the bishop is the leader of the church, grace particularly resides in him. And in harmony with this reasoning Ignatius wrote early in the second century: "To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop." – Epistle to the Philadelphians, chapter 8.


Note: Relative to God's Sabbath this to was cast to the ground rather gradually. Justin Martyr wrote in A.D. 155: "On the Day called Sunday, all who live in the cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read…Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead." – First Apology, chapter 67.


How was Sunday exalted in place of the Bible Sabbath?

The first recorded attempt by the bishop or pope of Rome to assert power over other churches was in A.D. 195 when Bishop Victor excommunicated a group of several thousand Christians in Asia Minor who taught that Easter should be observed according to the Jewish calendar, but Victor felt the celebration should be held only on Sunday. Tertullian, a prominent Christian at the beginning of the third century, taught that Sunday should be a day of at least partial rest. The first civil Sunday legislation was ordered in A.D. 321 by Emperor Constantine.


What prompted Constantine to make the first Sunday law?

Willy Rordorf, a Swiss church historian, gives the following evaluation of Constantine:


"Like the majority both of his contemporaries and also more particularly of his predecessors on the imperial throne, Constantine was warmly disposed towards sun-worship. We have already mentioned that the cult of Mithras was at that time widespread, particularly among the soldiers, and the emperor was their supreme commander. It is, therefore, possible that Constantine promulgated legislation to make Sunday an obligatory day of rest in order to unite the empire under a monotheistic sun-religion. Constantine did, of course, know about the Christian day of worship, and it is possible that by means of this step he wished to win for himself the support of the Christian minority, which had already grown considerably in size and to which he had granted toleration." – Sunday, pp. 163, 164.


When did the Papacy become a supreme power and for how long did her supremacy continue?

As the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate the Pope at Rome took over the leadership. However, this was not fully accomplished until the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were uprooted. These powers were finally out of the way in 538 A.D. Then as the prophecy had indicated the Papacy was supreme for 1260 years. This supremacy ended in 1798 when Berthier, the French general, took the Pope prisoner and proclaimed Rome a republic.


How does John in Revelation refer to this loss of power by the papacy?

"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."

Revelation 13:3.


Will there be a restoration of Rome’s power?

"And his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."

Revelation 13:3.


Note: The restoration of Rome's power is explained in great detail in Revelation 17. This will be accomplished by a great international confederation of powers symbolized by ten horns that "have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Revelation 17:12, 13.


  1. What power will be responsible for causing people to worship the beast, setting up and image to the beast, and causing people to receive the mark of the beast?

"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. 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. "

Revelation 13:11, 12.

Read also Revelation 13:14-18.


Note: This second beast of Revelation 13 is a prediction of the rise of a lamblike power that would come to the forefront around 1798. The United States did arise in the late 1700's. It was lamblike, founded on the two great principles of civil and religious liberty.


How can an image to the beast be set up in the United States?

It will be accomplished by the enemies of liberty in America. The beast referred to is the papal beast mentioned in Revelation 13:1-10. What is this image? It is a union of church and state with the church dominant. This prophecy suggests that the day will come when the religious element of the country will influence the state to enforce religious dogmas just as church and state functioned in the Middle Ages. For the state to enforce religious laws under penalty is for it to speak like a dragon, a persecuting power.


What is the mark of the beast which the enemies of liberty will seek to enforce upon all?

It is something which belongs to the beast. The person who receives the mark of the beast will be marked as a worshiper of the beast. The beast is a symbol of the Papacy. The mark of the beast will be some act by which the Papacy is recognized.


What is the difference between those who worship God and those who worship the beast?

Read Revelation 14:9-12. Those who worship God keep all His commandments. Those who worship the beast do not keep all the commandments. The Roman Catholic Church endorses the Decalogue except on one basic point – the Sabbath. The fact that it claims to have the authority to change divine law at this point indicates its assumption of authority to teach in God's place.


What is the mark of papal Rome’s authority?

The Reformers of the 16th century claimed to stand on the bible yet they continued to worship on Sunday. So the Catholic Church called the Council of Trent that governed over a period of eighteen years beginning in March, 1545. The question to be solved was: Could the tradition of the church be successfully defended against the powerful witness of the Reformation which stood for the Bible alone? It was a question of authority. This was debated for many years. Finally it was a speech by the Archbishop of Reggio that turned the tide in favor of tradition. Note his words:


"Such is the condition of the heretics of this age that on nothing do they rely more than that, under the pretense of the Word of God, they overthrow the authority of the church, as though the church, His body, could be opposed to the word of Christ, or the head of the body. On the contrary, the authority of the church, then, is illustrated most clearly by the Scriptures; for while on the other hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, offers them to us to be read, in doubtful matters explains them faithfully, and condemns whatever is contrary to them; on the other hand, the legal precepts in the Scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord's day…These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ's teaching (for He says He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the church. Indeed, if she should be removed (since there must be heresies), who would set forth truth, and confound the obstinacy of heretics?" – Mansi SC, Vol. 33, cols. 529, 530. (Italics supplied.)


Dr. H.J. Holtzmann, in his book Canon and Tradition, page 263, summarizes this speech by saying:


"Finally at the last opening on the eighteenth of January, 1562, all hesitation was set aside: the Archbishop of Reggio made a speech in which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture. The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church has changed…the Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority."  (Italics supplied.)


Do people who worship on Sunday have the mark of the beast?

At present Sunday observance is not being enforced by law. It is only when the issues are clearly drawn between the religion of God and that which comes from man that Sunday observance becomes the mark of the beast.



This Sabbath question is tremendously important. However, it will become of even greater importance. It will become the great test of loyalty to God, to the truth, and to the Bible. The decision is up to you. John was privileged to get a glimpse of the people of God just before the return of Jesus and said, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.


·        If Moses were here what would he do? Read Hebrews 11:25-27.


·        What would Elijah do? Read 1 Kings 18:21.


·        What would Solomon say? Read Proverbs 28:9.


·        What would Jesus say and do? Read John 15:10; 8:29; 13:15; Mathew 16:25.


·        What would Paul say? Read Romans 6:16.


·        What would Peter say? Read Acts 4:19; 5:29.


·        What would John say? Read Revelation 22:14.


·        What shall we choose? "Choose you this day whom ye will serve;...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

           Joshua 24:15.






Many times those concerned about keeping the Bible Sabbath want to know if we can tell where we are in the stream of time. The only way to prove time had been lost would be to locate when and where it was lost and in that act we would have found it.


Was the weekly cycle lost between the time of Adam and Moses?

Read Exodus 16:1-36.


Note: Over the period of 40 years or 2,080 weeks God worked four miracles each week in which He pointed out and marked clearly the seventh day Sabbath. (1) The manna fell on each of the first five days of the week. (2) Any portion kept over one day spoiled and then on the sixth day a double portion fell. (3) The unused portion kept over to the seventh day did not spoil. (4) On the seventh day, or Sabbath, no manna fell.


Was the Sabbath lost between the Moses’ time and when Jesus lived on earth?

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

1 John 2:6.

Read Luke 4:16.

The Bible identifies the seventh day Sabbath at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. Read Luke 23:52 – Luke 24:2.


Has the Sabbath been lost since Jesus’ time?

The Jews have been scattered over the world. Where ever you find the Orthodox Jew, whether it be in Jerusalem or elsewhere you will find the seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, being observed.


How many changes of the calendar have taken place between Christ’s time and ours?

It is a common belief that there we many changes, but this is not historically true. There has been the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian. Not all countries made the change at the same time. Catholic countries changed in 1582. Each time an amount of time had to be corrected, but no change made ever effected the days of the month. The Julian calendar came into use in the days of Julius Caesar, about 46 B.C. The seventh month Julius named after himself and is still known as July.


Why was the change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar necessary and when was it made?

"The Julian calendar assumes the length of the solar year to be 365¼ days, whereas it is 11 minutes and a few seconds less. This annual error accumulated as years rolled on. Some proposals, such as that of Stofflerin 1518 and of Pitatus of Verona in 1537, were made to rectify the error, but the matter was not taken up in earnest until 1577, by Pope Gregory XIII. As in 1582 the vernal equinox occurred at a date (March 11) ten days earlier than it did at the time of the Council of Nice in 325 A.D., Gregory published a bull, dated march1, 1582, was to be reckoned the 5th October, 1582, was to be reckoned the 15th October. In order that also the displacement might not occur, it was further ordained that three of the leap years which occur in 400 years should be considered common years. The three leap years selected to be reduced to common years were those which close the centuries (i.e., which end with 00) and are not divisible by 400. Thus, 1600 was a leap year, 1700, 1800, and 1900 were common years, 2000 will be a leap year, and so on. This method of adjusting the days to the year is called the Gregorian Calendar, or the New Style." – Standard Encyclopedia of the World's Knowledge, Vol. V, art. "Calendar," p. 360.


Did the calendar change disturb the Sabbath?

"It is to be noted that in the Christian period the order of days of the week has never been interrupted. Thus, when Gregory XIII reformed the calendar, in 1582, Thursday, 4 October, was followed by Fridays, 15 October. So in England, in 1752, Wednesday, 2 September, was followed by Thursday, 14 September." – The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. III, art. "Chronology," p. 740.



When the Julian calendar was corrected by Pope Gregory in 1582, ten days were dropped from the calendar count as is shown here. What would have been Friday the 5th became Friday the 15th. The uniformity of the days of the week was not altered or interrupted, nor has it been in any calendar change.



The week in use at the time of Christ is exactly the same week as the week as our calendar of today. Sunday is the first day of the week and Saturday is the seventh day. Jesus lived under the Roman calendar. What the Jews called seventh day and first day, the Romans called Saturn's day and Sun's day.






Since Christ gave the Sabbath to man (Mark 2:27) it follows therefore that it is not to be ignored. To do so would be to disregard the Creator who made it and gave it to the human race. God says, "Them that honor me I will honor." 1 Samuel 2:30.


When does the Sabbath begin and end?

Read Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 14-19, 23, 31. Here it is evident that each full day began with the dark part and ended with the light part. Reason would indicate that the seventh day began at the going down of the sun and it ended twenty-four hours later at the end of the light part when the sun went down.


Note: The even begins at sunset according to Mark 1:32. "Even" and "sunset" are used interchangeably in the Bible. Read Deuteronomy 16:6; 23:11; 1 Kings 22:35, 36; 2 Chronicles 18:34. A full 24-hour day consists of dark and light. In the Bible the dark part precedes the light part. Sunset is the great natural sign God gave for marking the division of time into days.


On which day is special preparation to be made to keep the Sabbath holy?

"And that day [the crucifixion of the sixth day] was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on."

Luke 23:54.

Read Exodus 16:22, 23.


Note: If no preparation is made ahead of time the Sabbath will generally not be kept properly. Preparation allows more time for entering into the spiritual and physical rest on God's day.


What about working on the Sabbath?

"In it thou shalt not do any work."

Exodus 20:10.


Note: This refers to labor by which we make our living and any other labor not in keeping with proper Sabbath observance.


Is the Sabbath a day for our own pleasure and our own words?

"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."

Isaiah 58:13, 14.


What does God say about buying and selling on the Sabbath day?

Read Nehemiah 13:15-21; 10:31.


Is the Sabbath to be a day for public worship?

"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings."

Leviticus 23:3.


Note: "Convocation" means a calling together, and when used in the Bible refers to meetings of a religious character. On the Sabbath it was Christ's custom to go to the synagogue. Read Luke 4:16. We are admonished, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is." Hebrews 10:25.


What can one do on the Sabbath?

"How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days."

Mathew 12:12.


Note: On the Sabbath say Jesus healed the man with a withered hand (Luke 6:6-11). On the Sabbath Jesus healed the man who had been sick for 38 years (John 5:1-9). Jesus showed that acts of mercy performed to relieve suffering to His creatures were in harmony with the true Sabbath observance. A general guideline would be that whatever would deepen our love and appreciation of God, whatever would deepen the bond of union between God and the believer would be proper to do on the Sabbath.



Isaiah had prophesied that Christ would "magnify the law, and make it honorable." Isaiah 42:21. The Jews had placed thousands of traditional regulations on the Sabbath. For the most part these restrictions were man made and caused the Sabbath to be a burden. Christ took all these away restoring the Sabbath to its proper place as a day of worship, a day of meditation upon God, a day for doing good. One of the most prominent features of Christ's ministry was His work of Sabbath reform. He did not change the Sabbath but He did reject all of the traditions surrounding it. The blessing of Sabbath keeping can only be realized by those who lay "hold on it: that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." Isaiah 56:2. Read Isaiah 56:1-7.






How exacting is God? Must we take His commandments seriously? What about observing the exact letter of God's requirements? Remember that a person cannot keep the spirit of God's commandments while breaking the letter. Many feel that the keeping of the Sabbath commandment is unimportant and that God will hold no one accountable for failure to keep the seventh day when it is so extremely inconvenient.


Which day of the week does God tell us to keep holy?

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy… 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, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."

Exodus 20:8, 10.


Who has given the Sunday day of worship to the world?

"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before its existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day [of worship] from Saturday to Sunday…The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church, as Spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance  from the Protestant world." – Editorial, The Catholic Mirror (Baltimore), September 23, 1893.


Note: The question of the Sabbath is much more than a question between two days. God commands the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath whereas man says it is all right to observe the first day. The Sabbath question is one of authority. Whom shall we obey?


Did King Saul obey God when told to smite the Amalekites?

Read 1 Samuel 15:1-9. Here is Saul's answer: "I have performed the commandment of the LORD." 1 Samuel 15:13.


Note: Samuel did not thing Saul was telling the truth for he asked, "What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and this lowing of the oxen which I hear?" 1 Samuel 15:14. Read Saul's argument in Verse 15. He argued that in spirit he had obeyed although he had violated a bit in the letter. But he urges he did it for a good purpose. We are going to use these sheep and oxen for sacrifices to God. In other words, we have disobeyed God in order to serve Him.


What was the result in Saul’s life of not wholly following God?

"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

1 Samuel 15:22, 23.


What was Saul’s excuse for disobedience?

"And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."

1 Samuel 15:24.


Note: In Saul's excuse the real basic motive for wrong doing is revealed. It was a question of authority as to whether he should obey God or the people.


Why were only two of the original 600,000 men who left Egypt permitted to enter the Promised Land?

"Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD."

Numbers 32:11, 12.


What is the true test of love?

"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

John 14:15.

Read John 15:10, 14; 1 John 2:3, 4.



Active obedience to God's will is the great essential of every day life. Obedience is superior to knowledge. Jesus gave this principle: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17. Shall we obey God in this matter of Sabbath keeping? Which will you choose to do? Paul says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" Romans 6:16. We cannot afford to let others hinder us from obeying the truths of the Bible. "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19.