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The True Origin of Christmas

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The Real Truth - Who Authorized Sunday Worship?

Who Authorized Sunday Worship?

I grew up in a large, respected Protestant church. I can recall sitting on a stool wearing a bow tie in Sunday school at age three, surrounded by other children. As I grew older, Sunday school became Sunday church services, with everyone taking for granted that we were there on the right day. No one remotely suggested otherwise. We all appeared weekly in our “Sunday best.”

In 1966, at age seventeen, I was challenged to look into the Bible to see what it actually says on the matter of Sunday-keeping. I was absolutely shocked by what I found! You will be also.

While the world is geared contrary to Sabbath observance on the seventh day of the week, I realized there was no excuse for breaking the Sabbath. I found the Bible was plain, leaving no room for doubt. The scriptures about the Sabbath and Sunday were most clear. I saw that common objections to Sabbath observance were easily disproven, if one had an open mind.

Unless God did not exist, and the Bible was the word of men—merely ancient Hebrew and Greek literature—I had no choice but to observe the Sabbath. Since proving that God exists and the Bible is His Word, and since seeing proof of the Sabbath command from the Bible, I have not attended church on Sunday or observed that day. I found that the Fourth Commandment is a law. When kept, it brings spiritual blessings, “keeping” those who obey it. When broken, it brings spiritual curses, “breaking” those who disobey it.

Universal Acceptance

There are approximately two billion professing Christians on earth. They attend over 2,000 different church denominations and organizations in the United States alone. This number continually increases, bringing no end of confusion over beliefs and disagreement between them. However, almost all professing Christians are in agreement about Sunday observance, thinking it to be the “Lord’s Day” of the New Testament.

Are they correct? Does the New Testament establish Sunday in place of the Old Testament seventh-day Sabbath? Did Christ do away with the Sabbath, making Himself “Lord of Sunday”? Vast numbers are told—and believe—that He did. But, if Christ established Sunday to replace the seventh-day Sabbath, why did He tell His disciples, “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:28)?

Have you ever noticed this verse? Probably not. Yet there it is in the New Testament. Most ministers are fond of preaching from the New Testament, almost to the complete exclusion of the Old Testament. But have you ever heard a preacher mention this passage? Almost certainly not—and this is just one of many plain scriptures about the Sabbath.

Most people never ask why they believe what they believe or why they do what they do. In a world filled with popular customs and traditions, few try to determine the real origin of things. Most generally accept common religious practices without question, choosing to do what everyone else does because it is easy, natural and comfortable—because there is a certain “safety in numbers.” The power of peer pressure alone makes most practice what is acceptable—and fashionable.

Most follow along as they have been taught, assuming what they believe and do is right. They take their beliefs for granted, almost never taking time to PROVE them.

Nowhere is this more true than Sunday observance. Two billion people keep Sunday without knowing why—or where this practice originated. Most suppose it is found in the Bible because they see so many professing Christians observing it. Surely billions cannot be wrong. Or can they?

Incriminating Honesty

A study of the Bible on almost all doctrines generally accepted by the churches of this world—professing Christianity—reveals that they have almost no biblical basis whatsoever. This statement is shocking, yet true!

But here is an irony: When confronted with the truth of what the Bible really says on a matter, most will attempt to deny the facts, however indisputable. They will twist, distort and blur the issues in order to hold to cherished beliefs, preferring what is familiar to what is right—and true!

The Sabbath question is somewhat different. Though, in the end, most people are unwilling to observe it, many ministers, theologians and religionists openly acknowledge what the Bible says about the Sabbath. When pressed, they admit the Bible authorizes observing the seventh day.

You will be stunned at their honesty!

Roman Catholic Admission

Catholic publications, popes, cardinals, bishops, theologians, historians, professors, and the Vatican itself, have candidly admitted there is no biblical basis—whatsoever!—for Sunday observance. This article includes many quotations from them. You will be astonished at the extraordinary candor with which Catholic leaders address this subject.

It is critically important to take the time to read what those who keep Sunday say about their authority—or lack of authority—for doing this. Using their own words, we must first establish why 1.2 billion Roman Catholics believe they are no longer obligated to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. They tell the whole world openly!

The Bible plainly states that Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Rome, supposing that Christ, in effect, delegated away His authority over the Church to Peter—who they proclaim was the first pope—speaks plainly of how they have used this “authority.” Just as God’s statements about the Sabbath were shocking to me, so should the following statements be shocking to you! (Many are included for emphasis.)

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible” (Catholic Virginian, “To Tell You the Truth,” p. 9, Oct. 3, 1947).

“From this same Catholic Church you have accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord’s day, she has handed down as a tradition; and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as tradition, for you have not an iota of Scripture to establish it. Therefore that which you have accepted as your rule of faith, in­adequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church” (D.B. Ray, The Papal Controversy, p. 179, 1892).

“I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can 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 a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church” (Bishop T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kan­sas, Feb. 18, 1884).

“There is but one church on the face of the earth which has the power, or claims power, to make laws binding on the con­science, binding before God, binding under penalty of hell-fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday. What right has any other church to keep this day? You answer by virtue of the third commandment [the Papacy renamed the fourth commandment, calling it the third], which says, ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any school­boy knows that Sunday is the first day of the week. I have re­peatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week” (T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture delivered in 1893).

“The Catholic Church…by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday” (The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893).

“Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day—Saturday—for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day? I answer no!” (James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), signed letter).

“Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either…the keeping holy of Saturday or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Com­promise is impossible” (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, Dec. 23, 1893).

“The Bible everywhere enforces the sanctification of Saturday the seventh day of the week…You Protestants have to admit the authority of the Roman Catholic Church that is branded on you when you observe Sunday because you have no other authority for Sunday but that of the Roman Catholic Church” (James Cardinal Gibbons).

“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days” (John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, vol. 1, p. 51, 1936).

“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday…Now the 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 long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday” (Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About, p. 136, 1927).

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

  • That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

  • We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible” (Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society, 1975).

“Only gradually did Christians begin to observe Sunday as a day of rest…In the third century, as we learn from Ter­tullian, many Christians had begun to keep Sunday as a day of rest to some extent…

“The real need of Sunday as a day of rest as well as worship came much later…” (“Yes, I Condemned the Catholic Church,” p. 4, Supreme Council, Knights of Columbus).

Worship Christ in Vain?

Here is what Christ said about the popular commandments and traditions of the world—and its churches: “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men…Full well [these men know exactly what they are doing] you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:7, 9).

Let’s plainly frame the question: Do we observe the day that GOD commands—or do we observe the traditional day that the Roman Catholic Church commands, and Protestants endorse? This church and its daughter churches are wrong on virtually every doctrine in the Bible—salvation, heaven, hell, method of baptism, the Law, the definition of sin, the trinity, which annual days should be observed by Christians, prophecy, and many more. Over and over, it has substituted its commands and traditions in place of what God plainly says in His Word. Should you follow its authority, believing it to be greater than the authority of God?

It is possible to worship God in vain. Therefore, you must find out, once and for all, whether Sunday-keeping and worship is what God expects of you—or even permits.

Though there are a few very weak arguments put forth in favor of Sunday, in a sense, there is no further room for argument. If those who keep Sunday will so freely acknowledge that they have no authority from God—in His Word, the Holy Bible—for doing so, and the plain biblical command is seen, observance of the Sabbath has been clearly established!

But God has much to say about the crucial importance of observing His Sabbath every seven days. This includes understanding why Christians must do this.

Read my book Saturday or Sunday – Which Is the Sabbath? to see scriptural factabsolute proof from God!—indicating which day is the Sabbath, and that its observance was commanded 6,000 years ago! You will see that neither God nor His command has ever changed! 


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