Chapter 12 THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
We have seen that one of the major reasons the earth was created was to illustrate to the universe the utter depravity which results when people disregard the law of God. We saw that each of the commandments is extremely important and that when a person breaks any one of the Ten Commandments he is guilty of breaking all of them.
The Fourth Commandment has been chosen by God for a very special purpose, and God has given the Fourth Commandment great significance. The Fourth Commandment will also play a key role in events just before the end. Today, however, practically the entire Christian world ignores this commandment. Many cannot understand the reasoning behind the Fourth Commandment as they can with some of the others; and so, since nearly everyone else breaks the Fourth Commandment, they simply disregard it also. It does indeed seem strange that so many people who claim to believe what the Bible says do not follow this clear command of God.
Psalms 111:7-9 tells us clearly that all of the Ten Commandments, Gods covenant, will continue to be in effect forever. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath commandment, will therefore stand fast for ever and ever. This commandment is in effect today, and God requires strict obedience to this commandment today as well as to all the others.
The Fourth Commandment is found in Exodus 20:8-11:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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 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.
God has instituted a special day of the week on which we are to put aside our secular activities and concern ourselves only with fellowship with Him. The Sabbath day is to be a day of pleasant companionship with God, much like the first Sabbath in the Garden of Eden.
Consider how Adam and Eve must have cherished that first Sabbath day. Can you imagine how they must have felt as they first opened their eyes and beheld the beautiful world which God had just created? Adam and Eve were created as adults, having mature, intelligent minds, but as yet they had had no experience. As yet they had gained no practical knowledge of the world in which they were placed. They looked at the beauty and grandeur which surrounded them and must have wondered, Where am I? What is all this? Where did I come from? So, Adam and Eve spent the first Sabbath day in close companionship with God as He answered their questions and taught them about the beautiful world He had prepared for them. They must have greatly enjoyed their companionship with God on that first Sabbath day.
Today, as the entire earth groans under the curse of sin, we need this close companionship with God even more than did Adam and Eve, for our minds have been so dulled by our close association with sin and by the multitude of Satans lies which we have accepted as truth that we are extremely slow in recognizing the truth God would have us to understand.
Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the Sabbath day. The day to be kept holy has been changed for the world, not by God, but by a worldly power claiming the prerogatives of God. The many Bible texts which we will examine in this chapter will show clearly that God still requires us to obey the Fourth Commandment and to keep His Sabbath day holy.
Christ, of course, understood the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, and He loved the close companionship with God which makes this day so precious. He had a custom of attending church, the synagogue, on the Sabbath day, as described in Luke 4:16. 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.
We are told in 1 Peter 2:21 that Jesus Christ is our example, and that we should pattern our lives after His. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. Since Christs custom was to keep the Sabbath day holy and to worship God on the Sabbath day, and since He is our example, we should follow in His steps and also obey the Fourth Commandment.
First John 2:3-6 tells us in rather forceful language that we should follow Jesus example. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. As these verses indicate, no one can know the Lord without obeying all of His commandments. Those who say they do and are not keeping all ten of the commandments are liars. If they truly knew the Lord they would want to keep the Ten Commandments, including, of course, the Sabbath commandment. If a person claims to be a Christian he ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Acts 13:42-44 records an instance in which Gentiles were extremely interested in the message of the gospel being preached in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. Notice that these verses describe Sabbath observance after Christs resurrection. If the Sabbath day had been changed, if the Sabbath commandment had been nailed to the cross, why did not these devoted followers of Christ know anything about it? Paul was among them, preaching to them. If the law had been nailed to the cross or otherwise abolished, surely he would have known about it and would have told them. No, the Sabbath commandment was never abolished; it is, in fact, in total harmony with the grace of God, as these verses clearly indicate.
Another instance in which the people were keeping the Sabbath day holy according to the Fourth Commandment is found in Acts 16:13: And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. Sabbath-keeping was practiced everywhere among Christians of the New Testament.
Paul, in fact, as well as Christ, had a custom of keeping the Sabbath day holy according to the Fourth Commandment and of worshiping God on the Sabbath day. Acts 17:2 relates: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. If the day to be kept holy had been changed to Sunday, the first day of the week, why did not Paul abide by the change and observe Sunday?
Acts 18:4,11 tells us that Paul kept the Sabbath day holy according to the commandment during the year and six months that he preached the gospel to both the Jews and Gentiles at Corinth. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. He was certainly not persuading them on the Sabbath day to keep Sunday holy instead! Verse 11: And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Since he was keeping every Sabbath day holy, the Word of God that he was teaching must have included the Fourth Commandment. This year and six months Paul spent in Corinth preaching the word of God includes 78 Sabbath days which he kept holy.
Near the end of his life Paul could make the statement that he had done nothing against the customs of the Jews. Therefore, throughout his entire life, he faithfully kept each Sabbath day holy. Acts 28:17 relates: And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. If we are to keep Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath, why did Paul disobey his Lord and not abide by this change? Simply because the change was not made by God but occurred hundreds of years later by the decree of man.
Those who advocate Sunday-keeping can find not even one verse in the Bible which states that Paul or the other disciples had a custom of worshiping on Sunday. Rather these verses we have just been considering and others show that the Commandments received on Mount Sinai, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone to show their permanence, are still in effect.
The fact that Saturday is the Sabbath day is shown by the events immediately following Christs death on the cross. The Jews had names for only two days of the week. The other days were numbered. The Jewish week was as follows: First day, Second day, Third day, Fourth day, Fifth day, Preparation day, and the Sabbath day. Friday was called the Preparation day because that was the day on which the people prepared for the Sabbath. They cooked their food, cleaned their houses, and finished other business and household chores so that they would be free to spend the Sabbath day with the Lord. That the Preparation day preceded the Sabbath is shown in Mark 15:42. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath. . . . Mark 1:32 indicates that even is evening at sunset. And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
The days as God instituted them in creation week began in the evening and ended at evening the following day. This is shown in the first chapter of Genesis, where the days of creation are described successively as the evening and the morning were the first day, etc. The Sabbath is observed from sunset Friday night to sunset Saturday night, according to Leviticus 23:32: From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Both history and the Bible show that Christ was crucified and died on Friday. Many celebrate Good Friday in commemoration of Christs death and Easter Sunday in commemoration of His resurrection. The following verses make it abundantly clear that the Sabbath day, which falls between Friday (the Preparation day) and Sunday (the First day), is Saturday.
With these facts in mind, consider Luke 23:50-Luke 24:3. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counseller; and he was a good man, and a just: The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them; he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. 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. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
This is truly amazing. The Sabbath was so important to the followers of Jesus that they would not even embalm the body of Christ, their Lord, on the Sabbath, but waited until the first day of the week (Sunday morning). The women did not have sufficient time to prepare spices and ointments and return to the sepulchre to embalm Christs body before the sun set on Friday evening, when the Sabbath began. They waited in accordance with the Fourth Commandment until the Sabbath ended at sundown Saturday night. Since it was then too dark to see, they had to wait until Sunday morning. If the Sabbath had been changed as the day of worship, these devoted followers of Christ knew nothing about the change.
Some claim that the Sabbath of Luke 23:56 was not the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, but one of the special yearly Sabbaths which the Jewish people celebrated. John 19:31 shows that the Sabbath day during which Christ rested in the tomb was both the regular weekly Sabbath and also one of the yearly Sabbaths. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, for that sabbath day was an high day, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The term high day was used to denote the occurrence of both the weekly Sabbath and a special yearly Sabbath on the same day. The Sabbath after the crucifixion, therefore, was both the weekly Sabbath and also one of the yearly Sabbaths.
Some people claim that because of changes in the calendar, we cannot be sure which day is the Sabbath. There was a major change made in the calendar in October, 1582, but this change did not interrupt the weekly seven-day cycle. In order to correct for certain errors which had crept in over the centuries, ten days were dropped from that particular month. Thursday was the fourth, and Friday was made the fifteenth. Actually, we change our calendars every four years by adding an additional day to February and call that year leap year. These changes do not interrupt the normal sequence of the days of the week. The calendar has never been changed in such a way as to disrupt the normal sequence of the weekly cycle.
As further evidence that Saturday is Gods holy Sabbath day, let us ask the power that attempted to change the day of worship which day is the Sabbath:
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Peter Geiermann, The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957 ed.), p. 50.
Which is the most commercial day of the week? Festivities generally begin on Friday night as many go out to dinner and a movie or nightclub to celebrate the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend. On Saturday much of the weekly shopping is done. Do you think this happens by accident? With a knowledge of how the devil works in this world, we can understand that the fact that Gods holy Sabbath day is the most commercial day of the week is an additional indication that Friday evening and Saturday are the Sabbath.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 tells us that what God does shall be forever. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. When God, therefore, blessed and sanctified the Sabbath day, as described in Genesis 2:2,3, it would remain blessed and sanctified forever. 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. Will the Sabbath day be changed? According to these verses, it will not. The Sabbath is the day which God blessed and sanctified and shall forever remain the day which we should keep holy.
Consider again the verses of Deuteronomy 4:12,13, which clearly tell us that the Ten Commandment law is Gods covenant. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. God tells us in Psalms 89:34 that He will never break or change His covenant, His law. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Gods covenant, including the Fourth Commandment, will last throughout all eternity.
Let us review again from Galatians 3:28,29 the fact that the term Israel, which means ruling with God, refers to Christs true people. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise. The true followers of Christ, those who obey His Ten Commandments, are referred to as Israel. True Christians are the children of Israel today.
The following verses, therefore, when they mention Israel, are referring to Christs true followers today as well as to the Israelites led by Moses. Exodus 31:13-18 indicates that the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people forever. 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. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 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. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Notice that these verses say the observance of the Sabbath is a perpetual covenant. Perpetual means never ending, continuing forever. The Sabbath, indeed, continues forever, for we saw that God will never change His Ten Commandment law.
Notice also that the Sabbath is the sign between God and His people forever. You could be keeping all the other commandments except the Fourth, and people would not particularly notice; but when you go to church on Saturday morning with your Bible under your arm, everyone knows. It is indeed a sign between God and His people.
We saw in Isaiah 24:1,3-5 that one of the reasons the earth is to be completely destroyed when Christ returns is that the people have changed the law and continue to break the everlasting covenant. Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Regardless of the fact that the papacys change in the law of God has been accepted by the vast majority of the Christian world, one must realize that God still requires strict obedience to the Fourth Commandment as well as to the others.
Those who worship on Sunday refer to Sunday as the Lords day. Where did this term come from? The Bible certainly never calls Sunday the Lords day. In Revelation 1:10 John says, I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. Is John speaking about Sunday here? We saw that it was the custom of the early church to observe the Sabbath day as the Lords day, and indeed, this verse is referring to Gods holy Sabbath day.
In Isaiah 58:13,14 God tells us that His day is the Sabbath day: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath (from trampling on Gods 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. What did God call His Sabbath day? He called it My Holy Day. The Lords day is the Sabbath day, as these verses plainly show.
Ezekiel 20:12,20 shows not only that the Sabbath is the Lords day, but also that the Sabbath was specifically given to be a sign between God and His true people. 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. 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. Notice how God repeats My Sabbaths. The Sabbath day is the Lords day regardless of how many make the claim for Sunday.
Gods Ten Commandment law, His covenant, will exist forever. Isaiah 66:22,23 tells us that those who are saved to enjoy life in Gods new earth, which He has not as yet created, will assemble to worship God on each Sabbath day. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. and it shall come to pass, that, from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. The New English Bible translates verse 23 as, Month by month at the new moon, week by week on the sabbath, all mankind shall come to bow down before me, says the Lord. At each new moon the redeemed of earth will gather in the holy city, New Jerusalem, to eat the fruit of the tree of life, which yields a different fruit each month (Revelation 22:2); and on each Sabbath day they will assemble before God in New Jerusalem for worship. If it is no longer necessary to observe the Fourth Commandment, why will the saved continue throughout eternity to worship God on the Sabbath day in His new earth?
Satan has spread this Sunday lie far and wide in the world and has many thousands of priests, ministers and other people preaching this counterfeit with great power. Those who believe this lie and repeat it to others are unwittingly Satans tools of indoctrination. We must all understand that God means exactly what He says when He tells us to Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
In the New Testament we are told in Hebrews 4:9-11 that the Sabbath commandment remains in force. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. The word in the Greek which is translated rest in these verses is sabbatismos, and it means a keeping of the Sabbath. Hebrews 4:9 therefore would be more correctly translated, There remaineth therefore a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God. This verse in the New International Version of the Bible says, There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.
Let us now examine every text in the Bible which mentions the first day of the week. The term first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in the Bible, all of them being in the New Testament. Most of these verses emphasize the fact that Christs resurrection occurred on the first day of the week, the third day after His crucifixion. The following four texts relate that the women returned to anoint the body of Christ on the first day after having rested on the Sabbath day according to the Fourth Commandment.
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. (Matthew 28:1).
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. (Mark 16:1,2).
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. 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 23:56-Luke 24:1).
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. (John 20:1).
Mark 16:9 tells us that Jesus appeared first to Mary after His resurrection on the first day. 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.
John 20:19 describes a gathering of the disciples on the first day of the week. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week (the days ran from sunset to sunset), 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. The disciples were not gathered here to worship or to commemorate Christs resurrection, as some people claim; they were gathered for fear of the Jews, as the verse plainly states. The Jews were still inflamed over the evil business of the crucifixion, and the disciples feared for their lives because of their close association with Jesus. Jesus came to comfort them and tell them not to be afraid.
Another meeting on the first day of the week is described in Acts 20:7. 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. Here Paul preached to the people after sunset on Saturday and continued until midnight. The Jewish days, remember, ran from sunset to sunset, and the Sabbath day ended at sunset Saturday night. The first day of the week, of course, began at sunset Saturday night, which is when Paul started to preach. In our modern reckoning of the days of the week, Sunday starts at midnight, which is when Paul ENDED his preaching. So, you see, according to this verse Paul did NO preaching on Sunday. Many refer to this verse as an example of a Sunday religious meeting in the New Testament, but as we have seen, Paul stopped preaching just as Sunday was beginning, at midnight.
Some claim that the phrase to break bread in Acts 20:7 refers to the Lords Supper or Communion service, and that the people were celebrating this service on this first day of the week in honor of the Lords resurrection. 1 Corinthians 11:26 shows that a celebration of the Lords Supper is not a memorial to His resurrection, but to his DEATH. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.
Even if Paul did hold a Sunday meeting, would that change the fact that the Sabbath day remains blessed and sanctified? Sunday-keepers have Wednesday meetings, but that doesnt change the day they observe. Religious meetings are held every day of the week during evangelistic series. Holding meetings on various days does not change the fact that we are to remember Gods Sabbath day to keep it holy.
These first-day meetings, in any case, do not establish a precedent since the early Christians actually were accustomed to meeting, breaking bread (eating dinner), and hearing the Word daily as reported in Acts 2:46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. The word meat in this verse means dinner. The people were simply visiting one another daily to share the good news of the Gospel.
Another text that mentions the first day of the week is 1 Corinthians 16:1,2. Paul was collecting money to help the Christians in Jerusalem, the majority of whom were poor due to oppression and persecution by the Jews at that time. 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. Notice that the word day is in italics in many editions of the King James translation of the Bible. These italicized words are words which the translators have added and which were not in the original text. The word day was therefore not in the original text. It was the custom of the Jewish people to do their bookkeeping after the Sabbath was over at sundown Saturday night, and Paul was simply instructing each person individually to set aside his offering at the first of the week so that he could collect the offerings quickly on his way to Jerusalem.
We have just considered every Bible verse which mentions the term first day of the week. Notice that in these verses concerning the first day, and in fact the entire Bible, there is no commandment, instruction, injunction, mandate, precept, or even a suggestion that Sunday should be kept holy. There is certainly no clear command from God, as there was on Mt. Sinai when the Fourth Commandment concerning the Sabbath day was given. There is no precedent for Sunday observance anywhere in the entire Bible.
Proverbs 30:6 says: Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. If you are going to take the position that Sunday is the day to be kept holy, you will have to add to the Scriptures, for the Bible emphasizes the importance of Sabbath observance. Christ said that one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.
You see, therefore, that the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath commandment, will always be in force and will never be changed. Hebrews 13:8 and Malachi 3:6 give us additional evidence that Christ will not change the law, for these verses tell us that Christ will never change. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. For I am the Lord, I change not.
Have you wondered why people who worship on Sunday think nothing of going to the store or to the restaurant after church? Have you ever wondered why they go to ball games or wash their cars on Sunday? Why do Sunday-keepers engage in so many secular activities on the day they claim they are keeping holy?
That one should not buy and sell on the Sabbath is shown, not only in the Fourth Commandment itself, but also in Nehemiah 13:15-22. 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 gain, 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.
The reason that those who worship on Sunday ignore the instructions contained in the Fourth Commandment as to how to keep the day holy is that they are obeying the Catholic commandment instead of Gods commandment. Using the following chart compare again the Fourth Commandment in the Bible with the third commandment as published by the Catholic Church. Remember, that the Catholic Church deleted the Second Commandment; consequently their third corresponds to the Bibles Fourth.
God, you see, has given us instructions as to how to keep the Sabbath holy. The papacy did not do this. The papacy, therefore, tried to change not only the day, but also the way it is to be kept. Those who obey the papacy and keep Sunday often engage in secular activities because the Catholic commandment does not specify how to keep the day holy.
Romans 6:16 tells us: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
First John 5:3 tells us that love of God is keeping His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. We show our love to God by keeping His commandments, especially the Fourth Commandment, for it is the sign between God and his people.
That there would be a massive falling away from the truth of the Bible and from Gods commandments was predicted in 2 Timothy 4:3,4. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. Because the people have itching ears, that is, they will listen only to what they want to hear, they have provided themselves with ministers who will preach only what pleases them. Satan has made sure that there would be plenty of church denominations from which to choose. Today, in the many churches of the world, one can find just about any type of sermon he wants. The time has, indeed, come when people do not endure sound doctrine. They have turned their ears from the truth and are turned unto lies.
Wickedness was defined in chapter 8 as commandment-breaking. The prophecy of Daniel 12:4,10 tells us that the wicked will not be able to understand. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Do you understand Gods Sabbath truth? Do you understand the importance of obeying all ten of the Commandments?
Jesus says in Matthew 4:4 that Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Directly out of the mouth of God came these words from the top of Mount Sinai: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. . . .
Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:13,14 that most of the people will be lost. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Most of the people will be lost because they insist that they know best. They blatantly refuse to accept the clear Bible message. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15).
Sunday-keeping did not come from the Bible. Sunday-keeping is a tradition of the papacy. In fact, the Catholic Church claims that tradition takes precedence over the Bible. In Matthew 15:3,8,9 Christ specifically warned against following tradition. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. In Colossians 2:8 we find another warning against accepting tradition as doctrine. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. The Phillips translation of the New Testament renders this verse beautifully: Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on mens ideas of the nature of the world, and disregards Christ!
Will God hear a sinner pray? If someone habitually lies, will his prayers get through? Will God hear the prayers of a murderer? How about someone who continually breaks the Fourth Commandment? Proverbs 28:9 tells us that those who disregard the Ten Commandments will not be able to get their prayers through. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. We have seen that Satan answers prayers, and provides all kinds of spiritual highs for those who disregard the Ten Commandments. He answers the prayers of sinners, including those who break the Fourth Commandment, making it appear that the answers are from God. After all, if God is answering a persons prayers when that person is breaking some of the Commandments, why should he change? Acts 5:29 says, We ought to obey God rather than men.
How strongly does God feel about our keeping His Sabbath day holy? The answer to this question is found in Numbers 15:32-36. While reading these verses, keep in mind that God never changes. He is the same today as He was at the time which these verses describe. 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. The penalty for the sin of breaking the Fourth Commandment is still the same death. The penalty is only deferred for a little while. Remember that all these things happened unto them for ensamples (examples): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (1 Corinthians 10:1).
When God tells us to Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, He means exactly what He says. There is to be no debate, no argument, no trying to justify keeping Sunday instead. All we have to do is obey, for if we do not, we will pay for our sin in the lake of fire when God cleanses the universe of sin and sinners.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10).
What will those who have ignored the Fourth Commandment say to God when they have to face the record of a lifetime of ignoring His law? At that time the words of the Bible will burn in their minds as regret overwhelms them for having rebelled against God and His laws. Let us consider again the verses of Matthew 7:21-23, which describe many who think they are worshiping God in the proper way, but who will actually be lost because they ignore the law. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
These verses tell us of Sunday-keepers who are going about doing good, saying how much they love the Lord, and who are generally very pious. But it is all in vain if they do not keep the law, the Ten Commandments, for in Nahum 1:9 God tells us that after this drama of earth is ended, no one in the entire universe will ever again break Gods law. What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction [sin] shall not rise up the second time. There will not be any Commandment breakers in heaven.
But in VAIN they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9).
Christ says, If ye love me, keep MY commandments. (John 14:15).
Those who worship on Sunday are among those to whom Christ directs His message in Proverbs 1:24-33. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Among the many Sunday-keepers are those who are the true sheep of Jesus. Though they are breaking the Fourth Commandment in ignorance, when they hear the message about the Sabbath day they will follow the Lord. Jesus tells us in John 10:14-16,26-28 that He is the shepherd and His sheep follow Him. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Christs true followers, when they hear the truth about the Sabbath, will come out of the false churches and follow Him. They will begin to keep His Sabbath day holy. Christ says other sheep I have which are not of this fold. This refers to His true people in all the churches, and He has a special message for them in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Come out from among them; come out of the false churches and be separate.
Revelation 18:4 contains the same vital message. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. God does not want His true Christians to attend churches which ignore any of His Ten Commandments.
The question naturally arises as to where you should worship. This was discussed perviously but is repeated here.
In these final days of earths history, the devil and the Catholic Church have even managed to infiltrate the church organization that was Gods true church. The papacy has been able to place its people as leaders in this organization and, to a large extent, ministers in the pulpits, so that now no church denomination is following God as the Bible specifies.
Gods true people are now starting to meet in small groups in peoples houses, just as they did shortly after Christ was crucified. Romans 16:5 mentions one of these church groups meeting in a house. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Please understand that the people constitute Gods true church and not any organization or building. When Christ was on earth the denomination at that time was the Jewish organization, and the Jewish people were Gods true church, but after they crucified Christ the true church consisted of true Christians and not the Jewish organization.
Some of the small groups of true Christians today, who keep all the commandments of God, publish magazines and books, and put out audio and video tapes that contain the accurate truth of the Bible, and some even have radio and television programs that proclaim the truth. Some have even started small independent church congregations and meet in a separate church building. It is the responsibility of each of us to study the Bible continually so that we will understand enough to be able to locate a group of people who are Gods true church. We will see that just before the end, the entire world will be arrayed against the small groups of people that make up Gods true church in an attempt to put them to death!
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