Tract 22e
Who Changed the Bible Sabbath
- Supplement to Lesson 22

At the beginning of earth's history, God created the entire world in six days and rested on the seventh day and sanctified it, or set it apart, as a special day for men to worship Him on (Gen 2:1-3). This is God's own day--His day--the Lord's Day--given to man to worship Him on.

Jesus Christ created all things (Col. 1:16, In 1:3, Heb 1:1-3) and He calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8, Mk 2:28). It is His day. The Lord's Day (Rev 1:10).

He made it for man--all mankind (Mk 2:27) and not lust for the Jewish race. God gave the Sabbath at the foundation of the world (Gen 2.1-3), and His followers kept it before it was given on Mount Sinai (Ex 16). On Mount Sinai He spoke it and wrote it that all the world might more clearly know of it (Lx 20:8-11). It is the seal of the law and the sign that He is our Creator (Ex. 11:17) and our Redeemer (Ex. 20:12) and that we belong to Him (Ex. 20:20).

Because His people, so prone to go into idolatry and serve other gods, later refused to obey Him and keep His Sabbath, Jerusalem was destroyed and His people led into captivity (Jer 17.19-27; 52:1-13).

While here on earth, Jesus gave us a careful example of obedience to the Sabbath day He had given mankind (Lk 4:16), and rebuked man-made changes in His laws (Matt 15.9, 6). He magnified the law and made it honorable (Isa. 42:2I).

Just before His death He predicted the destruction of Jerusalem thirty-nine years later, in A.D. 70, and the end of the world (Matt. 24), and He cautioned His followers to continue to carefully observe the Sabbath even when those terrible events should come to pass years and even centuries later (Matt 24:20).

He carefully instructed His disciples to keep His day holy, and He wanted them to "remember the Sabbath day" (Ex 20.8) long after He had returned to heaven. His followers faithfully kept it after His death (Lk 23:56), and later in their missionary work (Ac 13:14-16, 40-46; 16:12-15, 17:1-4). They declared that we ought to obey God rather than men (Ac 5:29), and Paul could sincerely say of himself and his fellow believers: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Rom 3:31). The Word of God was being fulfilled that Gentiles would one day faithfully keep the Sabbath the Jews were desecrating (Isa 56:3-7).

The Bible predicted that a great desolating power was to arise in later centuries that would seek to destroy the atonement and God's laws from among His people (Dan 7.8, 20-2 I, 25, 8:9-12).

The attempt by this power to change God's laws, and especially His Time Law, was specifically predicted in Daniel 7:25. Only God can change the law, and so Paul predicted the rise of a man who would call himself God (2 Thess 2:3-4). With boldness this power would sit in the temple of God and call itself God (2 Thess 2.4), and boastfully admit what it had done, declaring it to be the Mark of its authority--and indeed is it not?

You see, it's like this: I acknowledge and honor God 's authority, when I obey His commands and encourage others to do so. I declare my independence of God when I set aside His law and refuse to keep it. But I set myself up as a rival god, when having set aside His law. I establish in its place a counterfeit and then require others to keep it in place of the law that God commanded.

"Whom ye obey, his servants ye are." (Rom 6:16). God's Word declares that obedience to this man-made god by keeping his counterfeit day of worship, while knowing that there is not one word, not one hint in all of Scripture to keep that false day in place of the true Bible Sabbath--will soon bring upon oneself the Mark of the Beast (Rev 13:16-17, 14:6-12). Only the Remnant who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will at that time resist it (Rev 13:8, 14:6-12, 12:17). In fact, the Bible predicts a return to the true Sabbath as God's people will rebuild the torn-out place in the law of God--by again keeping His true Sabbath (Isa 58:13-14). And, thank God, the assuring prophecy is given that the saved of all ages will one day soon, honor the holy Sabbath of God for all eternity in the new earth (Isa 66:22-23).

Sunday in the Bible

Sunday is never called sacred or holy anywhere in the Bible. It is never called the Sabbath or the Lord's Day. Sunday is only mentioned eight times in the Bible. The first time is Genesis 1:5, where the first day of creation week is spoken of. The next five times refer to Jesus' appearances on Sunday to His disciples after His rest in the tomb on the Sabbath (Matt 28:1, Mk 16:1-2,9, Lk 24:1, Jn 20:1,19). Jesus went and found them and told them the good news that He was alive. Nothing here about Sunday sacredness. The seventh time is in Acts 20:7-8, where Paul speaks to the Ephesian leaders. A few verses later (Ac 20:15-38), he speaks to another group in the middle of the week, but that doesn't make that day any more sacred than the Sunday preceding it. For only a direct command of God can make a day holy. Repeatedly in Acts Paul kept the Sabbath holy (Ac 13:14-16, 40-46, 16:12-1.5, 17:1-4), just as His Master had done before Him. Acts is as silent on Sunday sanctity as is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The eighth and last text is found in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 where Paul instructs the believers to do their bookkeeping at home on Sunday mornings. The first working day of the week was a good day for this since Friday they were busy preparing for the Sabbath, This is the only mention in all Paul's writings of the first day of the week.

John the Revelator saw Christ in vision on the Lord's Day (Rev 1:10). This was the Day of the Lord. The Sabbath is the day unto the Lord (Ex 16:23,25, 31:15, 35:2), the day of the Lord (Ex 20:10, Lev 23:3, Deut 5:4), and His own day (Isa 58:13). Jesus is the Creator, who gave us the Sabbath (Eph 3:9, Jn 1.3, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2, Gen 2:1-3), and John had heard Him call Himself, "the LORD of the Sabbath day." (Matt 12:8, Mk 2:28), John well knew which day was the Lord's Day. This day is the Memorial Day of the Creator (Gen 2:1-3, Ex 31:1 7), the Memorial Day of the Redeemer (Ezek 20:12, 20). It is the Lord's Day . . . a day that God wants to share with you. He plans to keep it' with you through all eternity to come (Isa 66:22-23). Come, worship Him on the Best Day--His day--the only day of worship your God ever gave you.

Protestants and Historians - What They Tell Us


Congregational: "It is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping Sabbath. The Sabbath was founded on a specific, Divine command. We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday. There is not a single line in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday."--Dr. R W. Dale in The Ten Commandments, pp. 106-107.

Baptist: "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath was not Sunday. It will, however, be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week - - - Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not"--Dr. E F. Hiscox (author of The Baptist Manual), report of his sermon at the Baptist Ministers' Convention, in New York Examiner. November 16, 1893.

Presbyterian: "There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters. "--Canon Eyton, of Westminster, in The Ten Commandments.

Episcopal: "The Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday. "--Phillip Carrington, quoted in Toronto Daily Star, October 26. 1949.

Church of England: "The Lord's day was merely of ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment."--Jeremy Taylor, Ductor Dubitantium, 1850 edition, volume 9. pages 458, 464.

Anglican: "And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church, has enjoined it." --Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, volume 1, pages 334,336.

Disciples of Christ: " 'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? when? and by whom? --No, it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned (in Genesis 2:1-31 must be changed before the observance or respect to the reason, can be changed. It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that August personage changed it who changes times and law ex-officio. --I think his name is 'Doctor Anti-Christ'. "--Alexander Campbell, the Founder of the Disciples of Christ Church writing in The Christian Baptist, February 2, 1824, volume 1, number 7.

Lutheran: "We have seen how gradually the impression of the Sabbath faded, and now completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other. "--The Sunday Problem, 1923 edition, a study book of the United Lutheran Church, page 36.

Methodist: "It is true that there is no positive command for infant baptism. Nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week. Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath. But, from His own words, we see that He came for no such purpose. Those who believe that Jesus changed the Sabbath base it only on a supposition."--Amos Binney, Theological Compendium, pages 180-181,171.

English Independent: "Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week, . . . and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day. "--Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, art. "Sabbath," page 403.

Lutheran Free Church: "For when there could not be produced one solitary place mm the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred time Sabbath into Sunday, and who has had the right to do it?"--George Sverdrup (founder of the Lutheran Free Church), En ny Dag (A New Day), in Sondagen og dens Halligholdelse (Sunday and its Observance), 1879.

Dwight L. Moody: "I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated [abolished], but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside . . . The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine (adultery, murder, lying, theft, etc.] are still binding?"--Dwight L. Moody (the well-known evangelist), Weighed and Wanting, 1898, pages 46-47.


"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 transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. "--Augustus Neander, the History of the Christian Religion and Church, Rose's translation from the first German edition, page 186 [Neander is generally considered to be one of the Protestant church historians of modern times].

"It [the Catholic Church] reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's Word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday."--N. Summerbell, History of the Christian Church, 1873, page 415.

"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, volume 9, page 196, article: "The Sabbath."

The Bible Prophecy: "Behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things . . . then I would know the truth of the fourth beast . . . and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell: even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them . . . He said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, . . . and the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."--The Book of Daniel, chapter seven, verses 8,19-21,23- 25 (compare Dan. and Rev. 12 and 13).

Roman Catholics - What They Tell Us

"Ques. --Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?

"Ans. --Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her--she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."--Priest Stephan Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1846 edition, page 174.

"Ques. --Which is the Sabbath day?

"Ans. --Saturday is the Sabbath day.

"Ques. --Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

"Ans. --We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."--Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1957 edition, page 50 [Geiermann received the "apostolic blessing" of pope Pius X on his labors, January 26, 1910].

"You may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify."--James Cardinal Gibbon, The Faith of Our Fathers, chapter 8.

"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church."--Priest Brady, in an address at Elizabeth, N.J., March 17, 1903, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. News of March 18, 1903.

"Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible."--The Catholic Mirror, Dec. 23, 1893.

"For ages all Christian nations looked to the Catholic Church, and, as we have seen, the various states enforced by law her ordinances as to worship and cessation of labor on Sunday. Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the Church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought logically, to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. The State in passing laws for the due sanctification of Sunday, is unwittingly acknowledging the authority of the Catholic Church, and carrying out more or less faithfully its prescriptions. The Sunday as a day of the week set apart for the obligatory public worship of Almighty God is purely a creation of the Catholic Church."--The American Catholic Quarterly Review, January, 1883, pages 152, 139.

"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church."--Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, 1868, page 213.

"Ques. --How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy-days?

"Ans. --By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of [by observing it]; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most, other feasts commanded by the same Church."--Henry Tuberville, An Abridgement of the Christian Doc trine, (1833 papal approbation), p. 58.

"The Catholic Church . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."--Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, September 23, 1893.

"If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is, Saturday."--John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, 1936 edition, volume 1, page 51.

"The Pope can modify [change] the Divine Law"--Ferraris, Ecclesiastical Dictionary.

"We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world."--Labbe and Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, volume 13, column 1167 on The Council of Trent.

"The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. He is the divine monarch and supreme emperor, king of kings. Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions."--Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, volume 6, article: "Papa II" ['Papa' is the Latin name for pope, and both words mean 'Father.' Read Matthew 23.9].

''We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty."--Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter dated June 20, 1894, The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, page 304.

"Tradition, not Scripture, is the rock on which the Church of Jesus Christ is built. "--A. Nampon (a Jesuit priest), Catholic Doctrine, page 157.

"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church."--Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter of February 10, 1920.

"The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant."--The Catholic Universe Bulletin, The official newspaper of the Cleveland Diocese, Aug. 14, 1942, page 4.

"The Protestant says: 'How can I receive the teachings of an apostate [Catholic] Church?' How, we ask, have you managed to receive her teaching all your life, in direct opposition to your recognized teacher, the Bible, on the Sabbath question?"--The Christian Sabbath, published by The Catholic Mirror, pages 29-30, 1893.

"Prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church."--Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, and printed-in the Hartford, Kansas Weekly Call, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, page 173.

"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act . . . AND THE ACT IS A MARK of her ecclesiastical power"--from the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor HF. Thomas, November 11, 1895.

One Hundred Thousand Dollars - Can you use it?

"Bible study is something that we today need more of. As we prayerfully enter upon a study of the Word of God, we shall gain a better understanding of His plan for our lives, and we shall be strengthened by faith in Jesus to seek it for our own,

"Part of God's plan for outlives is a return to the day lie appointed for His worship--the Biblical Seventh-day Sabbath--in order that we may have that closer experience so much needed for the trials and duties of each oncoming week.

"FOR THIS REASON, I HEREBY OFFER $100,000 TO ANYONE WHO WILL GIVE ME ONE TEXT FROM THE BIBLE THAT PROVES THAT WE SHOULD KEEP SUNDAY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK INSTEAD OE SATURDAY THE SEVENTH DAY. In order to change the day of worship from that which God commanded in Scripture, to any other day, we would need a definite Biblical command of God before attempting such a thing.

"You may look for this text in any Bible in any language, but the text itself must be readily located and clearly evident in all standard Bibles, such as the King James Version. For this purpose, added notes or comments could not be accepted.

"It is our intention to continue this offer until it is claimed, that there may be no question as to the teaching of the Bible in regard to this important matter, We honor God when we obey Him. And His will for our lives is given in the Bible.

"As long as this offer remains unclaimed, it will be a standing witness to the fact that the Seventh-day Sabbath given at the Creation of this world --continues to be the only true Sabbath for all of its inhabitants.

"You know, actually, the study of God's Word is worth far more than any amount of money, isn't it? For we really want to know what the Bible says about everything that might affect our lives. We surely wouldn't want to make a mistake, Jesus once said, 'In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' Matthew 15:9, how important it must be in God's sight that we worship Him the way He told us to. He has told us how to do it. We dare not change it to something that isn't in the Bible.

"And listen, won't you do this for me? If after studying your Bible you decide that the Seventh day is still the Sabbath, the Bible Sabbath write and let me know, won't you? Just to know of your decision will mean a lot . . . for I'll know . . . it meant a lot . . . to you.

"For you see, Bible prophecy declares that there is a crisis just ahead--when men will seek to enforce man-made laws that take the place of God's law, Knowing your Bible for yourself will be your only safeguard in the crisis just ahead. For it is only through a knowledge of Bible truth, and obedience to the laws of God through the strength of Jesus, that you will be able to stand for the Bible Sabbath when the powers of earth decree that you must keep a different day." Vance Ferrell

From radio broadcasts of Pilgrims' Rest, the Great Controversy Broadcast--bringing special messages from the pen of inspiration--to a world on the edge of a crisis--a crisis it is unprepared to meet.

A Special Message

I love you, My child. I died to save you. Whole worlds sink into insignificance in comparison with your importance to Me. It was because of this that / gave you the Sabbath-a special day to be with Me.

I know you are having problems. But unless you will put Me first, I can't do for you all that you need. I want to do for you things that you can't do for yourself--and so strengthen and ennoble you through obedience to My laws, that the perplexities and fears you now face will vanish in the confidence of My presence.

Won't you set apart this one day--the only one I've spoken of in this way--as dedicated time--time to be with Me in a special sense, a closer sense, than all through the rest of the work-a-day week? Come now, My little one, let us reason together. It's all in My written Word. A simple, beautiful plan. One that I have personally laid out, by which you may be united with Me more closely than ever before. You need it. You know you do. And I know it, too, Don't be afraid to trust yourself to Me. Take Me at My Word. You will find I never go back on it. The same yesterday, today, and forever--just as I have written in the book I gave you.

Come--begin that new walk--that better walk--with Me on My Day. Not the day that someone down the street tells you is the Sabbath--but the day the Bible that I gave you tells you is the Sabbath. My Word can change your life. And you need it. The Sabbath rest--the Bible Sabbath rest--properly entered into--can bring you a new way of life. It can bring happiness and peace you have never known before.

For, you see, as you surrender to My plan, you will find that closeness with Me that you have been wanting for years. Though it always seemed so far off, it was really just as near us My Word.

And now . . . it's time to get started. Don't be afraid. I'll hold you by the hand and go with you. I have given you My promise; If you will stay with Me and obey My Word--I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Come, My child

Let's begin it . . . together.

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