Even in its early days, the Church of Rome did not hesitate to eradicate the biblical Sabbath from this earth. Apostle Paul already saw the war against the gospel coming to humanity and he warned about it. The Roman Catholic Church has largely succeeded in erasing the Sabbath from Christian scriptures and from people’s minds, but the final triumph will still not be achieved.
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Paul already announced it in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 in his time in the 1st century after the birth of Christ. The opposing forces against the gospel and therefore the truth were already present. It just needed a little more time before the outlaw could unfold his disastrous work. There was still a power present that prevented the adversary from doing what he did and this hurdle first had to be overcome:
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Paul knew the character of the “lawless one” and particularly warned the church in Rome, as in Romans 16:17-18:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
This power, which was particularly opposed to the Gospel, still had two centers at this point in time. One was in Alexandria, Egypt, and the other was in the metropolis of Rome. The capital of the Roman Empire, which was still dominant at the time, was also the headquarters of contemporary paganism in the Roman Empire. A mixture of traditions from ancient Egypt, its polytheism and influences from Persia. This took shape in Rome in the form of sun worship, planetary worship, and the special branch for the “elites”, Mithraism (Info). Paul unequivocally denounced this pagan worship of nature practiced in Rome, Romans 1:25:
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.“
A central point of the gospel is the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath. God established this special day in each week on the seventh day of creation and later re-established it on Mount Sinai within His 10 Commandments as a day of rest to be sanctified. The Sabbath is the 4th commandment and therefore part of the law that God gave directly to Moses. Today the Sabbath (2. Moses 20,8-11) is referred to as the “Jewish Sabbath,” which has nothing to do with Christianity. But this thesis was put forward very early on by the person whom Paul described as “the lawless one” in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 and also urgently warned against him.
The Sabbath, the 4th commandment, differs significantly from the other 9 commandments. While the “rational” person, be it a pagan and his mistakenly worshiped “God” or a Christian, is also able to understand and adhere to the 9 commandments of morality as a “good person”. In contrast, however, the Sabbath commandment is an exclusive sign of the true Creator God. A “thought of reason and morality” that determines how one lives together with one’s fellow human beings is not included in the Sabbath commandment. The Sabbath is God’s personal sign to us. The seal of His authority, His dominion, the ownership of His creation.
By observing the seventh day of the week, man recognizes the identity and authority of our Creator God. Therefore, the Sabbath commandment cannot represent the exclusivity of the Jewish faith, but rather it is a commandment for every individual person (Info). The term “Jewish Sabbath” fails simply because of the fact that at the time of the people of Israel’s wanderings in the desert, there was no land of Judah and therefore no local inhabitants, i.e. the Judeans. Anyone who objects at this point that the entire biblical people of Israel is actually meant would have to clearly explain why the tribes of the former northern state of Israel were referred to as Samaritans and despised by the Judeans after the country was divided.
What is now seen as completely outdated was taken for granted by the first Christians, especially the churches of the first and second centuries. The observance of the seventh day, the biblical Sabbath.
Josephus Flavius, a Jewish-Hellenistic historian born in 37 AD. a man “of the first hour”. Born in Jerusalem and died in Rome. He was a witness at the time when the apostles of Jesus spread the gospel and wrote their letters. Some of these letters can be found today in the New Testament. Josephus’ records show that the seventh day of the week was observed throughout, or at least was known. “Notes and Queries on China and Japan”, Volume 4, page 100:
“The mode of reckoning by ‘seven days,’ prevailed alike amongst the Indians, the Egyptians, the Celts, the Scalvonians, the Greeks and the Romans. Josephus then makes not groundless statement when he says, ‘there ist not any city of the Grecians nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the sevent day hath not come.’“
The early Christians in the first century observed the Sabbath, as did the Jewish community. A special feature of the Christians, however, was that in addition to observing the Sabbath prescribed by God, they also celebrated the first day as a day of devotion for Jesus’ resurrection. “A textbook of church history”, Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler (1792-1854), volume 1, page 93:
“While the Jewish Christians of Palestine retained the entire Mosaic law, and consequently the Jewish festivals, the Gentile Christians observed also the Sabbath and the passover, with reference to the last seenes of Jesus’ life, but without Jewish superstition. In addition to these, Sunday, as the day of Christ’s resurrection, was devoted to religions services.“
The observance of the Sabbath was also confirmed by Reverent Jeremey Taylor in the early 17th century (1613-1667). “The Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor”, Volume 2, 1839, page 416:
“Upon this or some equal account, the primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews ; not only for their compliance with the Jews till the distinction were confessed and notorious ; but because the moral religion, which was served by that day, was not brought into the religion of the Lord’s day as yet ; 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 con- tinued till the time of the Laodicean Council; which also took care that the reading of the Gospels should be mingled with their , reading of the law : which was, in a manner, the first public reasonable essay of uniting the religion of both days into one.“
Joseph Bingham (1668-1723) also reported on a Sabbath that was naturally observed by the early Christians. At the same time, however, the confusion between the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) and the customs of the communities of Rome and Alexandria of observing the “Lord’s Day” (Sunday) is already obvious. The mixing has already taken place. “The Antiquities of the Christian Church” (1850), Volume 2, page 1137.
“Next to the Lord’s day the ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day, which was the ancient Jewish sabbath. Some observed it as a fast, others as a festival; but all unanimously agreed in keeping it as a more solemn day of religious worship and adoration. […] From hence it is plain, that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the sabbath as a festival. And the Greek writers are unanimous in their testimony. The author of the Constitutions, who describes the customs chiefly of the Oriental church, frequently speaks of it. On the sabbath and the Lord’s day, on which Christ rose from the dead, ye shall more carefully meet together, to praise God, who created all things by Jesus, to hear the Prophets and the Gospels read, to offer the oblation, and partake of the holy supper.“
Evidence that the early Christians kept the Sabbath up to the 5th century can be found in the legislation of the still reigning emperors of Rome. To protect Jews and (Orthodox) Christians, the emperors Honorius (Western Rome) and Theodosius II (Eastern Rome) initiated corresponding legislation in 409 AD. Shown in “A Critical History of Sunday Legistlation from 321 to 1888 AD” (1888), by Lewis Abram Herbert (1836-1908), pages 41-42.
“In the year 409 two ohter laws, addressed to different officers, appeared recognizing the rights of the Jews, and also indicating that Christians still observed the Sabbath, and were not to be disturbed by legal business. The fact of this legislation, stretching over a period of nearly tow hundred years, is important, as showing the continuation of Sabbath-keeping. These laws are as follows:
The two august emporers, Honorius and Theodosius, to John, pretorian prefect:
On the Sabbath day and other days, during which the Jews pay respect to their own mode of worship, we enjoin that no one shall do anyting, or ought to be sued in any way; with regard to public taxes and private litigations, it is plain that the rest of the days can suffice.
Dated the seventh before the calends of August, at Ravenna, our lords Honorius VIII and Theodosius III, both august, being consuls (409)
The Emporrs Honorius and Theodosius, A. A., to Jovius, pretorian prefect:
In respect to the Sabbath and other days when the Jews pay respect to their religion, we enjoin that no one shall do anything, and that no one ought in any respect to be pleaded against judicially; yet, so that no license be given to prosecute orthodox Christians on the same day, lest, perchance, by the prosectuion of the Jews on the aforesaid day, Christians shall be molested with fiscal affiars; and as for private litigation, let the remaining days suffice.
Given the eighth before the calends of August, at Ravenna (409)
(“Codex Just.,” book i, tit. ix, lex 13.)”
The biblical Sabbath is by definition the seventh day of the week (Saturday) and the Church of Rome designated the “Lord’s Day” as Sunday. If today the Sabbath is associated with Sunday, then this only serves to mislead, as is traditionally done. This also applies when the major churches (Catholic and Protestant) speak of the Sabbath (e.g. “Sabbath for the Earth”). In this case, these institutions generally mean the Sunday of the Roman Church, but not the biblical Sabbath.
The “non-Christian” Socrates Scholasticus (ca. 379 – ca. 440) already knew that “Sabbath” means “Saturday”. Socrates reported from the time of Constantine in 305 AD to the 38th year of Theodosius II.
“For although almost all Churches throughout 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, refuse to do this.“
The footnote to this statement explains:
“That is, upon the Saturday. It should be observed, that Sunday is never called ‘the sabbath’ by the ancient Fathers and historians, but ‘the Lord’s day’“
What was then neatly and accurately separated to clearly distinguish between Sabbath and Sunday is now thrown together to the confusion of people. The Church of Rome now equates “Sabbath” with “Lord’s Day” and thus means Sunday. Formerly Protestant and now apostate churches have also taken this path and, if you look closely, failed to take the biblical path as early as the Reformation.
The name “Lord’s Day” for the pagan day of sun worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) goes back to a “Petrus Alfonsus”, as Peter Heylin published in his book “The History of the Sabbath” (1636).
“This was the Sabbath which they principally looked for, in this prefent life; never applying that name to the Lords day, in any of those Monuments of Learning, they have left behinde them. The first who ever used it, to denote the Lords day, (the first that I have met with, in all this search) is one Petrus Alfonsus, (hee lived about the times htat Rupertus did:) who calls the Lords day by the name of the Christian Sabbath, Dies Dominica, dies viz. Resurreliconis, que fuae salvationis causa extitit, Christianorum Sabbatum est. […] As for the Saturday, the old Sabbath day, though it continued not a Sabbath; yet it was still held in an high esteeme, in the Eastern Churches : counted a Festivall day, or at least, no Fast; and honoured with the meetings of the Congregation. In reference to the first, wee finde how it was charged on the Church of Rome, by the sixt Councell in Constantinople, Anno 692.“
Socrates also knew how to report on the early conditions in the city of Alexandria. A human sacrifice cult of Mithraism. A religion that also found its way into ancient Rome and whose symbols and structures can be found today, among others, in the Roman Catholic Church. “The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates” Book 3, Chapter 2, page 173:
“A great disturbance accurred at Alexandria in consequence of the following circumstances. There was a place in that city which had long been abandoned to neglect and filth, wherein the Pagans had formerly celebrated their mysteries, and sacrificed human beings to Mithra. This being empty and otherwise useless, Constantinus had granted to the Church of the Alexandrians; and George, perishing to erect a church on the site of it, gave directions that the place should be cleansed. In the process of celaring it, an adytum of vast depth was discovered which unveiled the nature of their heathenish rites : for there were found there the skulls of many persons of all ages, who were said to have been immolated for the purpose of divination by the inspection of entrails, when the Pagans were allowed to perform these and such-like magic arts in order to enchant the souls of men.“
The Sabbath commandment, the sanctification of the seventh day of the week, and widespread paganism, with its observance of the “Sun Day” (“Lord’s Day”) on the first day of the week, were directly opposed. Paganism in the Roman Empire is based on the religion of sun worship practiced in ancient Egypt. The interaction between the “gods” Osiris, Isis, Horus and Seth was also found in Babylonia, Medo-Persia and Greece. The “gods” simply received new names in each respective empire. Paul also warned about this in his letters to the church in Rome (Romans chapter 1)..
The Danish historian Troels Frederik Lund (1840-1921) described in his book “Dagligt Liv I Norden”, Volume 13 (1903) some details about the religion of sun worship that was passed down from Egypt to pagan Rome.
“With the belief in a triune God who allowed himself to be born on earth, and even descended into the realm of death to save mankind, the interpretation of the stars unmistakably took on a different character. Well, the Will of the Creature radiated immutably from above down. But Saturn’s ominous glance was, as little as the Nile’s torpidity or death itself, merely and bringing misfortune, which like a ferocious jackal pounced on Man. Behind the passage of the planets, as behind the lobe of the Nile and the roads of life, a stronger power loomed, leading it all, meandering but firm, to happiness.
This found its clearest expression in the new view of the week. According to the Assyrian-Babylonian view, the main emphasis here necessarily lay on the number seven. Only with the seventh day was the week completed, towards this seventh day, the feast day, the day of rest, therefore aimed the whole week, in it it was collected, in it it perished. “Sabbath” is derived both from “Rest” and from “seven”. Opposite for the Egyptians. They were not bound by any inherited Tropaa, a sinister tyrannical god, who, by a command of power, let the whole week and its effects be doomsday on a day of rest. For them, on the contrary, the Sun God was the beginning and origin of everything. The day of the sun, Sunday, therefore necessarily became the day of celebration for them.
And by a lucky coincidence, the new week followed just after the opening of the horoscope. Without breaking the astrological sequence, the weight of the week could then be turned up and down, the holy day could be moved from the last day of the week to its first day. And while according to the Babylonian view everything was over, when the holy seven had become full and the day of rest had taken up the previous ones, then according to the Egyptian view there was precisely a promise in the sequence of the weeks. For in the course of the world, as in the course of weeks, God returned steadfastly again, allowed himself to be born again on his own day, the day of the sun, the signed day of the Lord.”
“The victor himself was dragged into the stream, and in the Greek language, for the first time, the great exchange of opinions took place between the formerly separated peoples. Plato’s and Aristotle’s thoughts met with those of the Assyrians and Babylonians, with the Egyptians, and even with the strict Jewish people, whose sacred writings were translated into Greek. The educated Romans and the newly awakened group of fixers from Galilee expressed themselves in writing in the same language. Rightly, the city founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria, became the center of this whole new helm.”
“The translation was made around 250 BC in Hellenistic Judaism, predominantly in Alexandria. Most of the books were translated up to around 100 BC, the remaining books followed until 100 AD.” (Source). The result of this translation is now known as the “Septuagint” (LXX). A translation that partly contradicts itself in terms of content (Info) and is now incomprehensibly favored by “modern theologians”.
Alexandria, the former stronghold of the Gnostics, lost weight rather quietly. This city was famous for its large library with an important collection of ancient writings. This library was built in the 3rd century BC, right after the city was founded by Alexander the Elder. Huge. This collection is said to have fallen victim to a fire. But the timing of this fire remains mysterious. The range is between 48 BC until the seventh century AD. What is significant, however, is the fact that the former weight of Alexandria passed to Rome.
“In Rome, the earth was prepared for the interpretation of the stars through the work of the augurs and haruspices. Faith in these had begun to wane, but the desire for knowledge of the future was as alive as before, and astrology came here as the new evangelium. Irresistibly it made its way. What did it help that old-fashioned thinkers like Cato and Ennius condemned it? Before the beginning of our time reckoning, the belief was so widespread that everyone knew about the mysterious twisting of the planetary days behind the division of time that people themselves used on a daily basis. In particular, the fear of Saturn’s day, or as it was often called the Sabbath, was widespread. The Jewish historian Josephus could misunderstandingly and yet rightly say: ‘There is not a single city, neither Greek nor non-Greek, where our observance of the seventh day has not spread’.“
It may seem surprising that Pope Francis, in his first address at World Youth Day 2023 to a delegation of politicians and business representatives, used an analogy to the “son of heaven, Uranus”, emphasized the “vastness of the Ocean” and described him as the son of ” Earth Gaea”. (Info).Another striking feature is the same Pope’s declaration that it was the “penultimate day”, i.e. Saturday (Sabbath), the “day of evil”. (Infos). If you consider that in the paganism of ancient Egypt this day was considered the “Day of Saturn” and therefore evil par excellence, then these analogies used by a “Pontifex Maximus” become quite understandable.
Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath and did not abolish this seventh day, which was to be sanctified (Info). The apostles consistently observed the Sabbath even after Jesus Christ’s ascension. Jesus Christ exhorted people to pray that the escape from Jerusalem would not take place in winter or on a Sabbath (Matthew 24:20). The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple took place in 70 AD under the general and later emperor Titus. Therefore, it is no surprise that the so-called early Christianity kept the Sabbath in the various communities. In only two regions were the “clerics” of the opinion that not the seventh day (Sabbath) but the first day (sun-day) of the week should be sanctified. These were Alexandria and Rome.
The biblical Sabbath was definitely rejected by the first “fathers” of the Church of Rome. The legacy of pagan sun worship should apply to the first day of the week. But the change in holiness from the Sabbath to Sunday could not be implemented from one day to the next. It had to be done gradually. The first “ecclesiastical thinkers” used the biblical Sabbath as an opportunity to observe a day of fasting in accordance with the resting of Jesus Christ in His grave. The collection “Ante-Nicene Fathers”, Volume 7, contains writings written by the “Church Fathers” of the third and fourth centuries. In “CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES – BOOK V”, page 662, fasting on the Sabbath is justified.
“But He appointed us to break our fast on the seventh day at the cock-crowing, but to fast on the Sabbath-day. Not that the Sabbath-day is a day of fasting, being the rest from the creation, but because we ought to fast on this one Sabbath only, while on this day the Creator was under the earth.“
In the area around 305 AD. The church held a synod in Elvira (Granada), Spain. The rejection of the Sabbath by the Church of Rome was already clear at this point. The aim was to make the day, which is supposed to be holy according to the Bible, as unpleasant as possible for people. However, it is clear that the Sabbath was also observed in Spain up to this point.
“In order to correct the erroneous practice, it is decided that we must celebrate the rigorous fast every Saturday.” (Source)
The prescribed fasting on Saturday in order to create an aversion to the seventh day of the week in people was the program of the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Church in Constantinople clearly did not agree with this practice. There were serious discrepancies between the Western and Eastern Churches, as Peter Haylin shows in “The History of the Sabbath” (1636) on page 166:
“That in the holy time of Lent they used to fast the Saturday; which was directly contrarie to the Canons of the Apostles, as they there alleage. This also was objected by Photius, Patriarke of Constantinople, against Pope Nicholas of Rome, Anno 867. And after that, by Michael of Constantinople, against Leo the ninth, Anno 1053. Which plainely shewes, that in the Easterne Churches they observed it otherwise. And in relation to the other, wee finde, that whereas in the principall Chruch of Constantinople, the holy Sacrament was celebrated onely on the greater Feasts, as also on the Saturdayes and the Sundayes [Sabbatis & Deminicis] and not on other dayes, as at Rome it was.”
The fasting day on the Sabbath (Saturday), established by Rome, was initially a local specialty. Even nearby Milan did not observe the Sabbath as a day of fasting. The Eastern Churches in Constantinople strictly refused Sabbath fasting. But over time, as Rome grew in influence and power, it was able to further spread the Sabbath fasting day. Peter Haylin in “The History of the Sabbath” (1636), reprinted 1996, at page 184.
“Now as the African an the Wester Chruches were severally devoted either to the Chruch of Rome, or other Churches in the East, so did they follow in this matter of the Sabbath’s fast, the practice of those parts to which they did most adhere. Millaine
Whence that so celebrated speech of his, Cum hic sum, nonjejuno Sabbato: cum Romae sum jejuno Sabbato: at Rome he did; at Millaine he did not fast the Sabbath. Nay, which is more, Saint Augustine tells us that many times in Africa, one and the selfsame Church, at least the several Churches in the selfsame Province, had some that dined uopn the Sabbath and some that fasted. And in this difference it stood a long time togehter, till in the end the Roman Church obtained the cause, and Saturday became a fast almost thorugh all the parts of the Western world.
I say the Western world, and of that alone, The Eastern Churches being so far from the altering their ancient custom that in the sixth Council of Constantinople, Anno 692, they did admonish those of Rome to forbear fasting on that day upon pain of censures. Which I have noted here in its proper place, that w might know the better how the matter stood between the Lord’s day and the Sabbath; how hard a thing it was for one to get the mastery of the other, both days being in themselves indifferent for sacred uses and holding by no other tenure than by the courtesy of Church.“
The Council of Laodicea was held in 365 AD. held. Already at this point in time, the Church of Rome defined the Sabbath as a “Jewish Sabbath,” which Christianity did not have to keep. Special observance of the Sabbath was even forbidden for Christians. People had to observe the “Day of the Lord” (Sunday). The decisions of the council are stated in Canon 16:
“The Gospels are to be read on the Sabbath [i.e. Saturday], with the other Scriptures. ” (Source)
and Canon 29:
“Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Source)
The Church of Rome has reached a turning point with its formal creep towards the manifestation of the “Lord’s Day” and the prohibition of Sabbath keeping. Pope Silvester declared Saturday to be the official day of fasting and it was now time to establish Sunday observance as official doctrine. Pope Innocent laid it down as law. The protests were not long in coming, as John Ley reported. “Sunday, A Sabbath”, 1641, pages 163-164:
“secondly, from the Apostles time untill the counsell of Laodicea, which was about the yeare 364, the holy observation of the Jewes Sabbath continued, as my be proved out of many Authors; yea (notwithstanding the Decree of that Councell against it.) About the yeare 380 Greg. Nyssen passionately complained of the violation of the old Sabbath (as a holy brother to the new Lords day) questioning the profaners of it thus: (as the Bishop of Ely brings him in) With what face (faith he) dost thow looke uopen the Lords day, who hath discredited the Sabbath. Knowest thou not that they are Germane brethren, and that thou canst doe wrong to neither, but that must be injurious to both?“
In 365 AD. Although the Church of Rome had now gained great influence, it lacked absolute political power. Imperial Rome still held the scepter in its hand. Even after Emperor Constantine had moved his seat of government to Constantinople several decades earlier, the power stopping the “outlaw” (according to 2 Thessalonians 2) had not yet been removed. This meant that there was also a lack of authority to order the construction of funeral pyres. The measures taken by the Church of Rome were still limited to threats and slander.
This was followed by the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD. The Bishop of Rome, Siridus, received the title “Pontifex Maximus” from the Emperor Gratian. A title from ancient Babylon that was given by the last king, Attalos III, of the “bastion” of Pergamon to the Roman tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 133 BC. Siridius was the first bishop of Rome to bear the title “Papa”. The first executions by stake took place in Trier in 385 AD. In 476 AD, the Western Roman Empire fell with its last emperor, Romulus Augustulus. This paved the way for the Bishop of Rome. The restraining power that Paul wrote about in his letter to the Thessalonians was removed.
With his hand now free after the decline of the imperial Western Rome, the Bishop of Rome immediately set out to take political fate into his own hands. The Western Rome, which had broken up into 10 Germanic tribes, was supposed to come under the wing of the now papal Rome. Rome gained an enormous strategic advantage through the successful conversion of the Frankish king Clovis. At the end of the 5th century the Merovingians became Catholic and in 507 AD. Clovis was baptized in Reims. Pope at that time was Symmachus. With Clovis at hand, the Bishop of Rome gained enormous political and military influence.
It was still necessary to eliminate Rome’s opponents and with Clovis the Pope managed to eliminate the Ostrogoths under King Theodoric. The Herulians and the Vandals were also crushed. From the year 508 AD most of the kings of the pagan peoples turned to Catholicism. But not in order to completely abandon the pagan rites, but in order to bring them into the church of Rome. The last resistance of the remaining pagans was broken in 538 AD. From this point onwards, the power of Papal Rome was unlimited. King Clovis received the title of “Eldest Son of the Church” from the Pope. Even today, France is referred to as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.”
Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), primarily Bishop of Rome, had an obvious problem with Christians who still kept the Sabbath in his day. In the collection “Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers – The Christian Church” (1898) by Philip Schaff there is a written appeal to the citizens of Rome.
Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens.
It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid andy work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, wehn he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord’s day to be kept free from all work.“
“For we read that the same our Lord and Redeemer did many works on the Sabbath day, so tht he reproved the Jews, saying ‘Which of you doth not loose his ox or his ass on the Sabbath day, and lead him away watering (Luke 13:15)?’ If then, the very Truth in person commanded that the Sabbath should not be kept according to the letter, whoso keeps the rest of the Sabbath according to the letter of the law, whom, else does he contradict but the Truth himself?”
Pope Gregory I was one of the first popes of the “new generation” who were already able to claim absolute political and ecclesiastical power. This monopoly of power was achieved in 538 AD after many wars against the princes who had previously resisted Rome. At this time, Pope Vigilius was ruling Rome. Cardinal Caesar Baronius had not left a positive “recession” for Vigilius. “Vigilius, elevated to the chair of Peter, is not a legal pontiff. The term of office of Vigilus represents Queen Jezebell from Revelation“.
Apostle Paul was absolutely right when he warned the Thessalonians that the lawless one was already at work. As early as the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century, the very early church of Rome set about strangling the Sabbath and introducing the solar day in place of the biblical day. At a later time, Pope Silvester (314-335) gave the order to observe a day of fasting on Saturday. Pope Innocent I (402-417) formulated church law from this. However, at the beginning of the second century, all people were accused of being heretics if they only fasted on the first day of the week. Anyone who fasted on Sunday (Lord’s Day) was summarily declared a “murderer of Christ”, with all the consequences. So in “History of the Sabbath”, Peter Heylyn, 1636, Book 2, Chapter 2, page 40.
“And whereas Christian men of found beleefe, did folemnize the Sunday in a joyfull memory of Christs resurrection; so likewise at the selfesame time, such Heretics as denyed the resurrection, did contrary to them that held it; ald fasted, wehn the rest rejoyced. For the expressing of which two last heresies, it was affirmed by Ignatius with such zeale and earnestnesse. If any one didfast either upon Lordsday, or the Sabbath, except one Sabbath in the yeare, (which was Easter Eve) he was a murderer of Christ.“
The transition from Sabbath to Sunday took place almost immediately after the death of the last apostle. First, the early church of Rome declared the first day of the week to be just as worthy of protection as the biblical Sabbath. This was followed by the obligation to keep Sunday and fast on the Sabbath. With the declaration of Sunday as a legal day of rest by Emperor Constantine and the Council of Laodicea, the “Lord’s Day” was finally established as a day of obligation to be sanctified and the biblical Sabbath was discredited as a “Jewish Sabbath” and banned for Christians (Catholics).
The Church of Rome still refers to Emperor Constantine as the first Christian emperor. A claim that has as much truth as the “Donation of Constantine.” This tale was the biggest lie ever told by this church throughout the early to middle Middle Ages, aside from its “theology” sold as Christianity. The Sunday law passed by Constantine in 321 has as much to do with Christianity as the East has to do with the West. The concept of “Sun Day” was thoroughly pagan. Lewis Abram Herbert (1836-1908) reveals some details in his book “A Critical History of Sunday Legislation from 321 to 1888 AD” (1888).
“The first Sunday legislation was the product of that pagan conception, so fully developed by the Romans, which made religion a department of the state. This was diametrically opposed to the genius of New Testament Christianity. It did not find favor in the Church until
Christianity had been deeply corrupted through the influence of Gnosticism and kindred pagan errors. The Emporer Constantine, while still a heathen – if indeed he was ever otherwise – issued the first Sunday edict by virtue of his power as Pontifex Maximus in all matters of religion, especially in the appointment of sacred days. This law was pagan in every particular.
Sunday legislation between the time of Constantine and the fall of the empire was a combination of the Pagan, Christian, and Jewish cults. Many other holidays – mostly pagan festivals baptized with new names and slightly modified – were associated, in the same laws, with the Sunday.”
“The earlier laws of Constantine, though in their effect favorable to Christianity, claimed some deference, as it were, to the ancient religion, in the ambiguity of their language, and the cautious terms in which they interfered with the liberty of paganism. The rescript commanding the celebration of the Christian Sabbath bears no allusion to its peculiar sanctity as a Chrstian institution. It is the day of the sun which is to be observed by the general veneration; the courts were to be closed, and the noise and tumult of public business and legal litigation were no longer to violate the repose of the sacred day. But the believer in the new paganism, of which the solar worship was the characteristic, might acquiesce without scruple in the sanctity of the first day of the week.”
“The pagan character of this first Sunday legislation is clearly shown, not only by the facts above stated, but by the nature and spirit of the law itsels. Sunday is mentioned only by its pagan name, “venerable day of the sun.” Nothing is said of any relation to Christianity. No trace of the resurrection-festival idea appears. No reference is made to the Fourth Commandment or the Sabbath, or anything connected with it. The law was made for all the empire. It applied to every subject alike.”
“Another important fact is either ignorerd or carefully concealed by most writers – namely, that the term “Lord’s day” does not appear in any civil legislation concerning Sunday, until the year 386, more than two generations after the date of the first law. Worse than this, many writers, whose high character should have prevented them from so doing, have spoken of Constantine’s legislation as concerning “the Lord’s day” or “Christian Sabbath.” Such use of terms is not only unauthorized by the facts, but is historically dishonest. For the latter term, “Christian Sabbath,” has no place in history, either civil or ecclesiastical, until the time of the Reformation.”
In the regions of Europe, the Near and Middle East and northern Africa that were not yet fully Catholicized by Papal Rome, Sabbath keeping was permanently overrun by expanding Islam. At the beginning of the 8th century, the conquests of Muhammad’s followers also reached the Iberian Peninsula, today’s Portugal and Spain. Parts of France were also invaded and only stopped with the Battle of Portier by Charles Martel in 732. The liberation of the Iberian Peninsula was not completed until 1492.
Originally Christian areas, from the far west to the beginnings of the Far East, were overrun by Islam in 945. Christianity, including the remaining Sabbath-keepers, was thus deprived of any basis for practicing religion..
Christianity spread from the Middle East to China and Japan during the first centuries after Christ’s birth. The influences of the Church of Rome were therefore present even in the most remote “corners” at a very early date.
With the founding of the Jesuit order in 1534 and its “activation” in 1540, the founders of the order did not hesitate for a minute to fulfill their very own task. The destruction of Protestantism (Counter Reformation), the spread of the Catholic faith and also the extermination of the communities that still observe the Sabbath. The co-founder of the Jesuit order, Franz Xavier, set off for the Far East in the early 1550s.
There is clear evidence that Christianity may have arrived in China as early as the 8th century. In 781, an account of prosperous China was engraved on marble. The very well-known monument was excavated near Changan in 1625 and can now be admired in the “Forest of Tables” in Changan.
After excavation, they immediately set about translating the inscriptions and one passage in particular catches the eye. “Christianity in China”, by M. L’ Abbé Huc (1857), page 51:
“We do not accumulate riches, and we share with the poor that which wie possess. Fasting strengthens the intellectual powers, abstinence and moderation preserve health. We worship seven times a day, and by our prayers we aid the living and the dead. On the seventh day we offer sacrifice, after having purified our hearts, and received absolution for our sins. This religion, so perfect and so excellent, is difficult to name, but it enlightens darkness by its brilliant precepts. It is called the Luminous Religion.“
A statement that could suggest a Christian influence based on the seventh day, repenting of sins and praying for forgiveness of sins. However, praying for the dead smacks of the teachings of the Church of Rome. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that this religion had a pagan background, as every seventh day also had a special meaning in ancient Egypt, Babylon and Rome. It was just the first day of the week, the day of the sun. Later reformulated as “Lord’s Day” by the Church of Rome.
But one piece of evidence still suggests influences from Christianity. This inscription was obviously very inconvenient for the church. Attempts were made to declare the find, which can still be viewed today, as unreliable. None other than Voltair doubted the veracity of this marble inscription. Page 69.
“Voltair, in fact, had determined to make it out that inscription of Si-ngan-Fou was nothing but a
“pious fraud” of the Jesuits to deceive the Chinese, and persuade them that Christianity had been already received by their ancestors; and the philosophical party in France, out of love for Voltaire, and hatred of the Jesuits, also contested the authenticity of the inscription.”
However, Voltair scored an own goal with this claim, because the evidence for the authenticity of these marble inscriptions could not be refuted for simple reasons. Page 78.
“If it is desired to make them known to men, it is necessary to ascend to their origin; and that is why, in the two capitals of China, it is proper to change the name of temple of Po-Sse into temple of Ta-Thsin. It is proper that, in all the circles of the empire, this rule should be conformed to.
This imperial decree of 745 is reported in an encylopedia published in 1005; the passages from Min-Khieou, author of a ‘Description of Si-ngan-Fou’, were published in 1060; so this cannot be accounted for by the supposition of a ‘pious fraud of the Jesuits.’“
Wherever the Jesuits established themselves, there was not much left of their previous faith. It goes without saying that this order does not stand on the pedestal of the Gospel
Spearheaded by the Bishop of Rome himself. The Jesuits also determined in China what was permitted and what was not to be allowed. Even a mixture of traditional beliefs and Catholicism was not a problem for the Society of Jesus. The main thing is that the gospel has been eliminated. “Authentic memoirs of the Christian church in China”, by John Laurence von Mosheim, 1862. Pages 71-72
“Besides, the honours done to the Emporer and his ministers are not the same with those others: at leasst no beast is ever killed for an offering to the Emporer and hins Mandarins. He urged, in the last place, ‘That these customs were established in China before idolatry took place there : therefore they are not idolatrous.’ This argument takes it for granted, that there could be no idolatry in China before that of Foe was introduced. However, bad as these reasons were, they satisfied the doubtful conscience of the Jesuit. He permitted his converts to reverence their ancestors and Confucius, after the custom of their country, with only some few limitations. Whatever was not expressly requied by the laws of the empire, relating to this ceremony, he enjoined them to omit; and, at the observation of the rest, to lift up their hearts to God.“
On his way to the Far East, the Jesuit Franz Xavier also passed through the region of Goa, India. He found that not only did Christianity find its way there, but there were actually groups that observed the biblical Sabbath. Xavier immediately notified the Pope and ordered an inquisition. The consequences for the people corresponded to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church that had long been maintained up to that point. The investigations were “thorough.” This report was written down by M. Dellon in “An Account of the Inquisition at Goa” in 1819. Page 71.
“Some time afterwards, he is again brought in , and many time interrogated to the same purport, without producing any other answer than before. But when the period of the Auto da Fe approaches, the Proctor waits upon him, and declares that he is carged by a great number of witness, of having Judaized; which means, having conformed to the ceremonies of the Mosaic law; such as not eating pork, hare, fish without scales, etc.”
The investigations of the “Holy Inquisition” of the Church of Rome were usually intended to explore the spread and nature of beliefs that deviated from the Roman catechism. In this way, the further necessary measures were known before the verdict was carried out. If the allegations also related to the observance of the biblical Sabbath, the verdict for the accused was certainly already pronounced before the results of the investigation were completed. And this in Goa, thousands of kilometers from Rome. Page 80.
“The Judges of the Holy Office night readily ascertain the truth or falsehood of the charge of Judaism, vould they take the trouble to investigate the matter without prejudice; and a consider that, of an hundred persons condemned to be burnt as Jews, there are scarcely four who profess that faith at their death; the rest exclaining and protesting to their last gasp that they are Christians, and have been so during their whole lives; that tehy worship our Saviour as their only true God; and that in his mercy, and the merits of his adorable sacrifice, aloine, they relose their hope.“
Ethiopia was one of the countries that were not affected by Arab conquests until the 10th century. Christianity survived in these areas. In the 16th century, missionaries from the Catholic Church discovered that the biblical Sabbath was still observed in individual regions. This immediately called the already activated Jesuits onto the scene. True to their specialized approach, they began to solve the problem of the Church of Rome at the head of the country. They also exerted influence on the ruling family in this country and successfully worked on the sovereign in this case too. “The Church History of Ethopia”, Michael Geddes, 1825, pages 311-312:
“The old Abuna was stunned so with this sudden turns of things, that he was not able to stir from the place where he had posted himself; but though several of the Imperialists knowing him to be the Abuna, hat out of Reyerence to his character and great Age passed by him without offering him any violence; yer a true Roman Catholick, fay the Jesuits, whose name was Za Michael, having found him out, gave him such a blow in the neck with his Lance, that he laid his head at his foot; wich whofe, and Julius’s death, this gread Croisade vanished, having had no other effect, than to enrage the Emporer more than he was before against the Alexandrians, and their Religion, who immedialety upon his Victory set forth a Proclamation, prohibiting all his Subjects uon severe penalties to observe Saturday no longer.
This Impious Proclamation, as the Habassins reckoned it, produced a bitter Libel, directed by way of a Letter to the Emporer, wherein he was told, ‘That his Subjects, were all amazed at his wickedness in commanding the violation of that sacred day; advising him not to be rid by the Jesuits, who were an Ignorant little sort of people; and who bein the race of Pontius Pilate, and Uncircumcised, did teach, that there are Two Natures in Christ’“
The Jesuits’ “spiritual” and probably brutal campaign in China since the 16th century obviously did not lead to the desired success. In the 19th century there were still Christian Chinese who also kept the Sabbath. The country was already close to cultural and economic ruin, instigated by the unprecedented Opium War instigated by Britain. In the book “The History of the Ti-ping Revolution – Lin-Le” from 1866, Volume 1, the following reports can be read. Page 49.
“At this time, Hung prohibited the use of opium, and even tobacco, and all intoxicating drinks, and the Sabbath was religiously observed. About the same period he sent to Kwang-tung for his whole family, giving as his reason, that a pestilence would shortly visit the earth, and carry off the unbelievers. Singularly enough, some parts of Kwang-si were visited by a malignant distemper, whereby the number of his adherents was greatly increased, many believing they escaped disease merely by joining the God-worshippers.“
“While in Soo-chow I became one of the congregation of Ti-pings during their performance of divine service on Sunday. The Sabbath is observed not upon the same day as in Europe, theirs being the Saturday of our reckoning. My interpreter was with me, and translated every part of their service. Their numbers, and apparent devotion, could not have been objected to by the most orthodox Christian.“
“Dr. Bridgeman continues:—
‘Our Saturday we found observed by them as a Sabbath-day; but they appeared not to have any houses for public worship, nor any Christian teachers, ministers of the Gospel so called. Forms of domestic worship, forms of prayer, of thanksgiving, &c. &c., they have; and all their people, even such as cannot read, are required to learn and use these. We saw them repeatedly at their devotions; some of them were exceedingly reverent and devout, while others were quite the reverse. Most, who were asked to do it, promptly recited that form of the Decalogue which is given in their tracts.
‘A form of baptism was spoken of by them; but no allusion was made by them to the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper’.”
Christianity and with it Sabbath-keepers came to a (temporary) end in China with the rise of communism. The “Long March” resulted in Mao Tsetung coming to power. A genocide of entire regions followed and ultimately resulted in today’s anything but Christian-friendly government in China. A strategy that also brought an end to Christianity, especially Protestantism, in other parts of the world. Today, after the decades-long “iron curtain” of communism, the once Protestant Czech Republic is one of the most atheist countries in the world in terms of population.
The campaign of the Roman Catholic Church and its now returned daughters from former Protestant churches is not yet over. Given the motives behind the atrocities committed by the Church of Rome, the desired goal has not yet been achieved. The destruction of true Christianity according to the Gospel and with it the biblical Sabbath (7th day of the week, Saturday). The Sabbath was the adversary’s main target from the beginning and will remain so until the end. The seventh day of the week is the sign of the true Creator and observing this day is recognition of His authority.
The adversary wants to avoid this recognition of God by all means and for this reason he chose his own day for his own glorification, the solar day or Sunday. Already widespread in Egyptian times, passed from pagan Rome to papal Rome and is propagated to this day. The cruel violence that was once evidently emanating from this church has been transformed into cunning seduction (Info), which Jesus Christ warned against in His end-time sermon (Matthew 24:4).
But this is far from the end of this church’s atrocities and the number of its victims is constantly increasing. Not through public funeral pyres, but through provoked wars, riots, revolutions, hunger and displacement. In this context, the Church of Rome can extend a helping hand to a shattered humanity with all “gentleness and demonstrated love”.
The reports about the fight against the Sabbath shown above are just a few examples from the literature that is still available today. The campaigns of the Church of Rome against the Christians of the true Gospel have extended uninterrupted through all the centuries since their seizure of absolute power until the present day. The church found an end to open violence in 1798, after Napoleon Pope Pius VI. removed from St. Peter’s Basilica and thus broke the political power of this church (Info). From this point on, the Roman Catholic Church was no longer able to hand over declared heretics to the state for execution. A situation that continues to this day. But the rifts between church and state have now almost been filled up again. The wound is healed (Revelation 13:3)
In 1845, Reverent John Dowling had broadly described the extent of the atrocities of the Roman Church and the Jesuit order in his book “The History of Romanism”. It is merely an “interim balance sheet” within a selected extract. Page 542:
“No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death, in different ways, on account of their maintaining the profession of the Gospel, and opposing the corruptions of the Church of Rome. A MILLION of poor Waldenses perished in France; NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND orthodox Christians were slain in less than thirty years after the institutio of the order of the Jesuits. The Duke of Alva boasted of having put to death in the Netherlands, THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND by the hand of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed, by various tortures, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND within thirty years. These are a few specimens, and but a few, of those which history has recordet; but the total amound will newer be known till the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain”
The Roman Catholic Church is so sure of its “authority” even on the “Lord’s Day” as it defines it, that it can unabashedly reveal the arrogance it does not feel. Even in modern times, the Church of Rome defends the transfer of the biblically sanctified Sabbath to Sunday against any claims by the apostate Protestant churches that Sunday can be justified on the basis of Scripture. The Church of Rome objects to this because this statement would cast doubt on its “divine authority”. More Info.
The adversary is only given a certain amount of time and it doesn’t last any longer. The prophet Daniel already knew about this desolator who would wreak havoc until the last day. But Daniel also knew that the Savior’s return would put an end to the evil. And thoroughly and finally.
But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
The Bible does not use the term “Lord’s Day” in relation to Sunday. This wording occurs only once in reference to a day (Revelation 1:10). But clearly the frequently used “Day of the Lord” stands for the day on which Jesus Christ will return in all His glory (Info).
Paul has already recognized the adversary’s efforts
The biblical Sabbath was observed in Christianity except in the regions of Alexandria and Rome
The early church of Rome and Alexandria observed Sunday as an additional day of remembrance for Jesus’ resurrection
The Bishop of Rome (New Year’s Eve) introduced a Sabbath day of fasting in order to turn the day of remembrance instituted by God into a stressful day.
The Sabbath day of fasting was made a law by the church
With Emperor Constantine, Sunday observance was made a law
The Church of Rome made Sunday a church law and condemned the keepers of the true Sabbath as heretics and “Judaizers”.
The “Lord’s Day” narratives for Sunday and “Jewish Sabbath” were solidified
The Church of Rome began persecuting Sabbath keepers
With the Reformation, the Catholic Church celebrates Sunday as the “Christian Sabbath”
The Jesuit order spread the persecution of Sabbath keepers worldwide
The church now uses the term “Sabbath” for Sunday as part of the “preservation of creation.” Final confusion.
Bible verses from King James Version