THE LAW OF GOD
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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 maid servant, 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.
Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may he long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not hear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
"There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruption’s of Christianity, which are embodied in the Roman system, took their rise; yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery."–John Dowling, "History of Romanism," 13th Edition, p. 65.
"It would be an error to attribute [‘the sanctification of Sunday’] to a definite decision of the Apostles. There is no such decision mentioned in the Apostolic documents [that is, the New Testament] ."–Antoine Villien, "A History of the Commandments of the Church," 1915, p. 23.
"It must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day."–McClintock and Strong, "Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature," Vol. 9, p. 196.
"Rites and ceremonies, of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard, crept silently into use, and then claimed the rank of divine institutions. [Church] officers for whom the primitive disciples could have found no place, and titles which to them would have been altogether unintelligible, began to challenge attention, and to be named apostolic."–William B. Killen, "The Ancient Church," p. xvi.
"Until well into the second century [a hundred years after Christ] we do not find the slightest indication in our sources that Christians marked Sunday by any kind of abstention from work."–W. Rordorf "Sunday," p. 157.
"The ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed, by the Christians of the Eastern Church [in the area near Palestine] above three hundred years after our Saviour’s death."–"A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath," p. 77.
"Modern Christians who talk of keeping Sunday as a ‘holy’ day, as in the still extant ‘Blue Laws,’ of colonial America, should know that as a ‘holy’ day of rest and cessation from labor and amusements Sunday was unknown to Jesus . . . It formed no tenet [teaching] of the primitive Church and became ‘sacred’ only in the course of time. Outside the Church its observance was legalized for the Roman Empire through a series of decrees starting with the famous one of Constantine in 321, an edict due to his political and social ideas."–W, W. Hyde, "Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire," 1946, p. 257.
"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday."–Augustus Neander "The History of the Christian Religion and Church," 1843, p. 186.
"The [Catholic] Church took the pagan buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan Roman Pantheon, [the Roman] temple to all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday . . . The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom. Balder the beautiful: the White God, the old Scandinavians called him. The sun has worshipers at this very hour in Persia and other lands . . . Hence the Church would seem to have said, ‘Keep that old, pagan name. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.’ And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus. The sun is a fitting emblem of Jesus. The Fathers often compared Jesus to the sun; as they compared Mary to the moon."–William L. Gildea, "Paschale Gaudium," in "The Catholic World," 58, March, 1894.
"The Church made a sacred day of Sunday . . . largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun;–for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance."– Arthur Weigall, "The Paganism in Our Christianity," 1928, p. 145.
"Remains of the struggle [between the religion of Christianity and the religion of Mithraism] are found in two institutions adopted from its rival by Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic sacred days: December 25, ‘dies natalis solis’ [birthday of the sun], as the birthday of Jesus,–and Sunday, ‘the venerable day of the Sun,’ as Constantine called it in his edict of 321."–Walter Woodburn Hyde, "Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire," p. 60.
"Is it not strange that Sunday is almost universally observed when the Sacred Writings do not endorse it? Satan, the great counterfeiter, worked through the ‘mystery of iniquity’ to introduce a counterfeit sabbath to take the place of the true Sabbath of God. Sunday stands, side by side, with Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whit-sunday, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, All Soul’s Day, Christmas Day, and a host of other ecclesiastical feast days too numerous to mention. This array of Roman Catholic feasts and fast days are all man made. None of them bears the divine credentials of the Author of the Inspired Word."–M. E. Walsh.
"Sun worship was the earliest idolatry."–A.R. Fausset, "Bible Dictionary," p. 666.
Sun worship was "one of the oldest components of the Roman religion."–Gaston H. Halsberghe, "the Cult of Sol Invictus," 1972, p. 26.
" ‘Babylon, the mother of harlots,’ derived much of her teaching from pagan Rome and thence from Babylon. Sun worship–that led her to Sundaykeeping,–was one of those choice bits of paganism that sprang originally from the heathen lore of ancient Babylon: ‘The solar theology of the ‘Chaldaeans’ had a decisive effect upon the final development of Semitic paganism . . (It led to their] seeing the sun the directing power of the cosmic system. All the Baals were thence forward turned into suns; the sun itself being the mover of the other stars–like it eternal and "unconquerable.’ . . . Such was the final form reached by the religion of the pagan Semites, and, following them, by that of the Romans . . . when they raised ‘Sol Invictus’ [the Invincible Sun] to the rank of supreme divinity in the Empire."–Franz V.M. Cumont, "The Frontier Provinces of the East," in "The Cambridge Ancient History," Vol. 11, pp. 643, 646-647.
"With [Constantine’s father] Constantius Cholorus (A.D. 305) there ascended the throne [of the Roman Empire] a solar dynasty which . . . professed to have ‘Sol Invictus’ as its special protector and ancestor. Even the Christian emperors, Constantine and Constantius, did not altogether forget the pretensions which they could derive from so illustrious a descent."–Franz F.V.M. Cumont, "Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Roman," p. 55.
"When Christianity conquered Rome, the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and the vestments of the ‘pontifex maximus,’ the worship of the ‘Great Mother’ goddess and a multitude of comforting divinities, . . . the joy or solemnity of old festivals, and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like material blood into the new religion,–and captive Rome conquered her conqueror. The reins and skills of government were handed down by a dying empire to a virile papacy."–Will Durant, "Caesar and Christ," p. 672.
"The power of the Caesars lived again in the universal dominion of the popes."–H.G. Guiness, "Romanism and the Reformation."
"From simple beginnings, the church developed a distinct priesthood and an elaborate service. In this way, Christianity and the higher forms of paganism tended to come nearer and nearer to each other as time went on. In one sense, it is true, they met like armies in mortal conflict, but at the same time they tended to merge into one another like streams which had been following converging courses."–J.H. Robinson, "Introduction to the History of Western Europe," p. 31.
"Like two sacred rivers flowing from paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truth. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, Tradition [the sayings of popes and councils] is to us more clear and safe."–Di Bruno, "Catholic Belief," p. 33.
"Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D."–"Chamber’s Encyclopedia," article, "Sabbath."
Here is the first Sunday Law in history, a legal enactment by Constantine 1 (reigned 306-331): "On the Venerable Day of the Sun ["venerabili die Solis"–the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost–Given the 7th day of March, [A.D. 321], Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time."–The First Sunday Law of Constantine 1, in "Codex Justinianus," lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Phillip Schaff "History of the Christian Church," Vol. 3, p. 380.
"This [Constantine’s Sunday decree of March, 321] is the ‘parent’ Sunday law making it a day of rest and release from labor. For from that time to the present there have been decrees about the observance of Sunday which have profoundly influenced European and American society. When the Church became a part of State under the Christian emperors, Sunday observance was enforced by civil statutes, and later when the Empire was past, the Church, in the hands of the papacy, enforced it by ecclesiastical and also by civil enactments."–Walter W. Hyde, "Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire," 1946, p. 261.
"Constantine’s decree marked the beginning of a long, though intermittent series of imperial decrees in support of Sunday rest."– Vincent J. Kelly, "Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations," 1943, p. 29.
"Constantine labored at this time untiringly to unite the worshipers of the old and the new into one religion. All his laws and contrivances are aimed at promoting this amalgamation of religions. He would by all lawful and peaceable means melt together a purified heathenism and a moderated Christianity . . . Of all his blending and melting together of Christianity and heathenism, none is more easy to see through than this making of his Sunday law: The Christians worshiped their Christ, the heathen their Sun-god . . . [so they should now be combined."–H.G. Heggtveit, "illustreret Kirkehistorie," 1895, p. 202.
"If every Sunday is to be observed joyfully by the Christians on account of the resurrection, then every Sabbath on account of the burial is to be regarded in execration [cursing] of the Jews."–Pope Sylvester, quoted by S.R.E. Humbert, "Adversus Graecorum Calumnias," in J.P. Migne, "Patrologie," p. 143. [Sylvester (A.D. 314-337) was the pope at the time Constantine 1 was Emperor.]
"All things whatsoever that were prescribed for the [Bible] Sabbath, we have transferred them to the Lord’s day, as being more authoritative and more highly regarded and first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath."–Bishop Eusebius, quoted in J.P. Migne, "Patrologie," p. 23, 1169-1172. [Eusebius of Caesarea was a high-ranking Catholic leader during Constantine’s lifetime.]
As we have already noted, excepting for the Roman and Alexandrian Christians, the majority of Christians were observing the seventh-day Sabbath at least as late as the middle of the fifth century [A.D. 450]. The Roman and Alexandrian Christians were among those converted from heathenism. They began observing Sunday as a merry religious festival in honor of the Lord’s resurrection, about the latter half of the second century A.D. However, they did not try to teach that the Lord or His apostles commanded it. In fact, no ecclesiastical writer before Eusebius of Caesarea in the fourth century even suggested that either Christ or His apostles instituted the observance of the first day of the week.
"These Gentile Christians of Rome and Alexandria began calling the first day of the week ‘the Lord’s day.’ This was not difficult for the pagans of the Roman Empire who were steeped in sun worship to accept, because they [the pagans] referred to their sun-god as their ‘Lord.’ "–EM. Chalmers, "How Sunday Came Into the Christian Church," p. 3.
The following statement was made 100 years after Constantine’s Sunday Law was passed: "Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this."–Socrates Scholasticus, quoted in "Ecclesiastical History," Book 5, chap. 22. [Written shortly after A.D. 439.]
"The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria."–Hermias Sozomen, quoted in "Ecclesiastical History," vii, 19, in "A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers," 2nd Series, Vol. 2, p. 390. [Written soon after AD. 415.]
"Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church, but with a rigor and solemnity gradually diminishing until it was wholly discontinued."–Lyman Coleman, "Ancient Christianity Exemplified" chap. 26, sec. 2, p. 527.
"Constantine’s [five Sunday Law] decrees marked the beginning of a long though intermittent series of imperial decrees in support of Sunday rest."–"A History of the Councils of the Church," Vol. 2, p. 316.
"What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labor on Sunday."–Huttan Webster, "Rest Days," pp. 122-123, 210.
Here is the first Sunday Law decree of a Christian council. It was given about 16 years after Constantine’s first Sunday Law of A.D. 321: "Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [in the original: "sabbato"–shall not be idle on the Sabbath], but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out [‘anathema,’–excommunicated] from Christ."–Council of Laodicea, c. A.D. 337, Canon 29, quoted in C.J. Hefele, "A History of the Councils of the Church," Vol. 2, p. 316.
"The keeping of the Sunday rest arose from the custom of the people and the constitution of the [Catholic] Church . . . Tertullian was probably the first to refer to a cessation of affairs on the Sun day; the Council of Laodicea issued the first counciliar legislation for that day; Constantine 1 issued the first civil legislation."–Priest Vincent J. Kelly, "Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations," p. 203. [A thesis presented to the Catholic University of America.]
"About 590, Pope Gregory, in a letter to the Roman people, denounced as the prophets of Antichrist those who maintained that work ought not to be done on the seventh day."–James T. Ringgold, "The Law of Sunday," p. 267.
In the centuries that followed, persecution against believers in the Bible Sabbath intensified until very few were left alive. When the Reformation began, the true Sabbath was almost unknown.
"Now the [Catholic] Church . . . instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory . . . We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday."–Martin J. Scott, "Things Catholic’s Are Asked About," 1927, p. 236.
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change [of the Sabbath to Sunday] was her act . . . AND THE ACT IS A MARK of her ecclesiastical power."–from the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor H.F. Thomas, November 11, 1895.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles . . . From beginning to end of scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first."–Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August, 1900.
Baptist: "There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament–absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week."–Dr. E.T. Hiscox, author of the "Baptist Manual."
A SABBATH TIME LINE FROM EDEN TO EDEN
A chain of truth in twelve links, linking God to His people in the Holy Sabbath.
All through the Bible, we find much information about the precious Bible Sabbath. And this is as we would expect, for the Sabbath is the connecting link between man and his God.
A SUNDAY TIME LINE FROM EDEN TO EDEN
A chain of facts in twelve links disproving a man-made error–the Sunday-sacredness error.
All through the Bible we find absolutely nothing said about Sunday sacredness.