By Pastor Hal Mayer
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Thank you for joining me again today as we consider the signs of the times. We are living in a powerful age, an age in which cultural forces are in conflict, religious values are waning and there are tremendous upheavals between and within nations on a global scale. Yet, God’s people are called to witness to the truth as it is in Jesus no matter what their circumstances. And He gives them grace to do so. You are called by God to reveal His glory, His character in this modern and degenerate age. The purity of the lives of Christ’s followers and those of the secular world will be seen in stark contrast. May God give us grace to live our faith in our times.
Sunday is being promoted in many parts of the world as a day of rest. It is a day that is being pushed as a substitute for God’s holy seventh day Sabbath. Our study today will bring us face to face with this movement and will help us understand it more deeply. The fourth commandment in the Ten Commandments requires that man rest and worship on the seventh-day of the week. But it is being substituted by another day in conflict with the law of God.
Before we begin our study today, let us bow our heads in prayer. Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and for the Bible that reveals Your love. We can see that we are near the end of time and that soon there will be a series of events that will lead to a Sunday law, both a national and global. This has clearly been predicted in scripture. In this age when so many of Your people think that the Bible is not accurate or is not relevant, we see the certainty of the predictions of Your prophets. We pray that we will learn to rely fully on God and faithfully trust Your holy word and prepare our lives for the coming test of our loyalty to Jesus Christ and faith in His power to transform our lives. Send Your Holy Spirit today as we open Your word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Revelation 12:11. Notice what is predicted here. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
These powerful words describe the people of God. These are the ones who have been saved by grace and have given their lives completely over to Jesus Christ. They would rather die than offend Him. They reveal by their lives that they love Jesus supremely and are prepared to follow His Ten Commandments no matter what the consequences or cost may be. They love the Lord with all their hearts, and with all their souls, and with all their minds, and with all their strength. See Mark 12:30. These faithful men and women do not reason with intellectual philosophy and explain away the plain teachings of scripture. They do not excuse themselves by vain imaginations. They live by the Ten Commandments and because of that, they are the true followers of Jesus.
In the last days they will be tested. Satan is developing a global coalition to lead the world in opposition to God’s law. There are many that say the law was nailed to the cross, and that because of the blood of Jesus, we don’t have to keep the law anymore. They really mean the fourth commandment, because most Christians would not argue that you can steal, commit adultery or covet your neighbor’s possessions. Most of them do not believe or teach that you can swear and take the name of the Lord in vain. The real aim of this argument is the fourth commandment. They do not want to keep the instructions of Jehovah, so they make excuses, all manner of them, to avoid their duty to live by the principles of God’s express will.
The end-time coalition is described in scripture in a very succinct way. Listen to it from Revelation 13:12. Speaking of the second beast, or the United States of America, the scripture says, “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” That first beast is the religious and political power based in Rome. There is no other entity on the planet that matches this description than the church of Rome and the Vatican State.
It is clear from the rest of the chapter also that worship is at the center of the geo-political and religious struggle in the last days. Listen to verse four, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”
Verse 4 tells us that in those days all the people on the earth will worship the dragon, or Satan, and that Satan will give power to the Church of Rome. The verse says that they worshipped the beast also. In other words, a very unusual power is rising to take this position and it is right in front of us. It works by stealth, covering its aims and global purposes under the guise of religious piety.
It is also plainly evident that a coalition of earthly powers is getting ready to enforce this false worship. In fact, in verse 16 we are told that the second beast, the United States, does something that today is perhaps, unthinkable. “He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads”
Notice that the mark of the beast is placed on small and great. In other words, this includes the common people and their political leaders. The mark of the beast is placed in their right hands or in the foreheads. In other words, there are some who will go along with the world religious order even though they don’t think it is right. And there are others who will agree with it and will act out their convictions. Either way, they get the mark of the beast.
I’m amazed that so many of God’s people are so into politics. Do they not know that the very political leaders they vote for and support, when pressed beyond measure, they will enact the very laws that will remove the freedoms from God’s true people. Great people, or powerful people, as they are referred to in scripture are people with influence, people with stature and political sway. But these people are the last ones you should trust. They cannot solve your spiritual problems. They cannot and will not help you in a crisis where your faith must run counter to their plans. And their plan, we are told plainly in these verses, is to compel the worship of the beast and the dragon. Who is the dragon? It is Satan who has always wanted your worship. He has wanted it from the day you were born. He has wanted it from the day he was thrown out of heaven. Your worship is at the center of the end-time crisis.
Notice also that the verse includes both rich and poor that receive the mark of the beast. Wealthy people are very vulnerable because they have to keep the wealth coming. That means that they have to be involved with parties that often cause them to compromise their faith principles if they have any. The really wealthy people of the world are in league with politicians, government bureaucrats and international elites who are controlled by forces they may or may not understand. And in order to keep the wealth coming their way, they have to stay close to Rome.
Chapter 18 of Revelation tells us that the wealthy merchants of the world are in league with Rome. Listen to it from verse three. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”
You see there is a coalition developing against you, if you are faithful to Jesus Christ. It is a secular and religious coalition. It is a political and religious coalition. They will work together to bring about the final crisis and test for God’s true people.
Notice who is involved in the coalition. The Roman Catholic global system is at the bottom of it. That includes her political and economic influence on the nations of the world. Is it any wonder that the pope continues to talk about the economy? They are working to bring the global economy under the control of Rome. They know that the economy is the basis of political power. Without money, politics cannot happen. So, they know that they must control the economy if they are ever going to gain control of the political or religious order.
The political leaders, or the kings of the earth, are involved with Rome too. They are often visiting the pope when in Europe. One after the other goes to Rome and has an audience with the man who is really the head of the new world order, or at least is waiting in the wings for it to mature. This interaction between the kings of the earth and the Papacy the Bible calls fornication. And they have been committing spiritual fornication with Rome for a long, long time. They have consulted her. They have linked up with her, and they work carefully, steadily and stealthily to achieve her goals.
Why do they all work together? Certainly they are not all seeking to have everyone worship Satan and the Roman Catholic system. The great corporations of the earth, are not that concerned about whether or not you worship or go to church, or not. They don’t care one bit, mostly. However, they still cooperate with Rome because Rome gives them economic advantages that they need. They in turn cooperate with the Papacy to let her have her way. In exchange for cooperation, Rome gives these merchants and political leaders advantages that they could not buy on the open market.
The day of rest and worship for Rome is Sunday. The popes have been pushing global Sunday laws to ultimately achieve that worship. Right now, they are not pushing Sunday worship laws. They are pushing Sunday closing laws and Sunday rest laws in order to lay the foundation for Sunday worship laws that will come later.
Perhaps I should explain that there are four levels of Sunday laws. First there are Sunday closing laws that involve the shops and businesses in retail and industry. These are the most basic Sunday laws and they lay the foundation for higher levels of Sunday laws. In some parts of the world there are no laws against Sunday opening of shops and industries. In other places there are laws in place requiring them to be closed for the morning, but they can open Sunday afternoon. Still other places require that shops be closed all day Sunday, and in some places there are laws on the books that are not really enforced. They are called Sunday blue laws.
The second level is Sunday rest laws. This is referring to laws that require more than just the closing of shops and other businesses on Sunday. These laws require that most secular activities, such as mowing the lawn, and doing the laundry are not permitted on Sunday. God’s law forbids this on the Sabbath, or the seventh-day. But human laws forbid this on Sunday to comply with Rome’s agenda.
The third level is Sunday worship laws. Though currently I am not aware of any nation on earth that requires its citizens to actually attend worship services on Sunday, the history of the world is full of examples. Medieval Europe required Sunday attendance at worship services. Protestant England required Sunday worship observance. And colonial America, probably colonial Australia and other colonies in Africa, Latin America and Asia required Sunday attendance at church as well.
The fourth level is anti-Sabbath laws, or laws that forbid the worship of God on His holy Sabbath day. These also carry the most stringent penalties including the eventual death penalty.
But times have changed. First, Sunday laws were gradually less and less enforced, and eventually, especially in the 1980s and 1990s were done away with all together in many countries as secularism became more and more entrenched in their societies.
But now, there is a resurgence of concern about Sunday. In recent times, there have been several little steps that support Sunday closing laws. For instance, a French court in July of 2014 has fined IKEA’s French branch 120,000 Euros, which it has to pay to 8 employees for not following the French Sunday closing laws. The cost, however, could become 30 million Euros. French laws were liberalized to allow furniture stores to be open on Sunday since 2008, but Ikea had been opening since 2003 on Sundays. The judge awarded the plaintiffs 3,500 to 34,000 Euros each, “depending on the number of Sundays they had to work” before the law was changed. There were other employees that were working on Sundays up until 2007 and some of them have also accused IKEA of breaking the law. They too could receive compensation.
IKEA maintains that the employees only had to work on a voluntary basis, and they were paid an additional 125% for their work.
Meanwhile in Israel, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has announced on June 30, 2014 that she will support legislation to institute a two-day weekend in Israel, including Sunday. “This is the right move,” Livni said in her remarks at the opening of a Lobby for Religion and State event. “And I know all the questions and arguments against it, but the moment we set a goal, we will be able to find solutions to all the problems that arise.”
Israel already has a two-day weekend, which includes Friday and Saturday, so observant Jews and Muslims can keep their religious days of rest. Muslims worship on Friday and Jews use Friday to prepare for the Sabbath.
The Knesset has been talking about making Sunday part of the weekend for a number of years. But in 2011 one of the Knesset members, Silvan Shalom began a campaign to include Sunday in the official weekend. The aim is to synchronize Israel’s work week with most of the rest of the world. Shalom has said that embracing globalization is good for Israel both socially and economically. “Seventy-five percent of the world has a Saturday-Sunday weekend,” he said. “We must be part of the globalization. As of today, we only work with the world four days of the week instead of five. The status quo does not allow the capital, import and export markets to operate in synchronization with the rest of the world.”
More recently, the Knesset reached an agreement in which one Sunday per month will be set aside as a rest day in a gradual transition toward every Sunday being a rest day. One argument in favor of Sunday rest even suggested that a Sunday off would increase Jewish observance on the Sabbath. Right now a lot of Jews do their shopping on the Sabbath because that is the only day they have to do it.
It is interesting that part of the reason for advocating Sunday rest in Israel is for globalization. Globalization is about centralization of political and economic power in the hands of fewer people. It involves supranational governments over many nations and involves a religious component as well. Rome is pushing Sunday as a day of rest in globalization.
Listen to what Revelation 13:8 says “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him…” That’s referring to a global worship, and it happens that it will be forcefully imposed by sanctions and penalties, including the death penalty. Verse 15 tells us that those who refuse to worship in the new world order way will be killed. Also, there will be economic sanctions against them as well, so that they cannot buy or sell.
There is no religious and political entity on earth that can be the rallying point for global worship other than the Roman Catholic Church. Muslims have a state religion, but they do not have a hierarchical system of organization that has global political reach. Besides Muslims can’t agree among themselves and are continually at war with each other. So there is no hope of an Islamic global religion. No protestant church, no Hindu state, no Buddhist government has anything like the global reach and influence of the Roman Catholic church. Since it is both a church and a state, and has a hierarchical authority along with the political and international stature, it is the only global entity that can rally the world around its Sunday worship. And with a Jesuit pope, it now has enormous popularity once again.
Not only political leaders visit the Vatican on a regular basis, but religious leaders continually make their way to Rome to visit the pope as well. Recently Joel Osteen, a mega church leader in Texas, Kenneth Copeland, another Texas pastor and a charismatic leader, James Robison, a famous evangelical pastor, and several other religious leaders from the United States, met with Pope Francis in an effort to forge unity between them.
Pope Francis is also doing all he can to warmly welcome evangelicals into the bosom of Rome. For instance, he visited a Pentecostal church in Caserta, Italy on July 28 to offer them a warm and reconciling hand. He spoke a few words to about 350 Pentecostal faithful and apologized for the Catholic persecution of Pentecostals during Italy’s fascist regime. He also emphasized unity and brotherhood. “Someone will be surprised: The pope went to visit the evangelicals?” he said. “But he went to see his brothers.”
The ecumenical movement has nearly reached its maturity. It is the ecumenical movement that has made it possible for Sunday to be pushed more strongly both now and especially in the future. As the churches rally around the friendliness of Rome, they resonate with the papal declarations concerning Sunday closing laws, Sunday rest laws and other religious pronouncements.
Let us think for a minute about a previous attempt at globalization. Babylon in the days of Daniel was a prophetic type of the spiritual Babylon that would arise in the last days.
Nebuchadnezzar tried to bring about globalization of religion as well as the political order, the economy, education, language, etc. And God let him do it, no doubt, so that we can all see the destination to which globalization is headed. There can never be globalized religious laws, unless there is a globalized political order, a globalized economic order, globalized education, language and other matters. We are nearing that time, my friends. Globalization is taking on huge proportions. And its final end will be religious laws.
So now there is an approaching ecumenical maturity between the churches at the same time as globalization is reaching deeper and deeper into the geopolitical arena. These two issues are preparing political and religious leaders and their nations and churches to receive Sunday as a unifying power among them. Sunday is the basis of their unity. For a Sabbath keeper to have unity with Rome, he has to give up the seventh-day Sabbath. This is very hard to do for those who have a deep loyalty to God’s law. But Sunday keepers have no such barrier. They, like Rome, do not keep God’s holy law and consequently they are vulnerable to Rome’s advances.
Rome is angling to have Sunday become the day of rest and worship for the whole world. Rome wants to rule the world. That’s what is says in Revelation 18:7. When Rome is punished, the Bible says, it will be because “she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” And each passing day, she gains more credibility and power over the nations of the world. Yes, the priestly sex scandals set them back a bit, but with a charismatic pope, Rome’s popularity is soaring again.
And now modern Israel, a seventh-day Sabbath keeping nation, perhaps the only one on the planet, is following in the globalization track and is laying the foundation for the nation to accept the mark of the beast, by creating Sunday rest laws that will, one day, likely mature into Sunday worship laws.
I think it is rather amazing that Jews and Muslims could join together with Rome in establishing Sunday as a day of rest. Yet, this is what is being proposed, at least in Israel. Perhaps they will rally around the papal pleas for peace in the Middle East. Perhaps they will see the pope as the great peace broker. Daniel 8:25 suggests this by saying “and by peace he shall destroy many.” This means that through peace initiatives, the pope will deceive many and lead them to reject God’s law.
India, a Hindu country, has also been pushing Sunday closing laws. Andra Predesh has strict Sunday closure laws for all shops both large and small. In 2013 the labor department of the government decided to enforce Sunday closing laws in Hyderabad where there are about 1000 large shops, by penalizing shops that open on Sunday.
Shopping malls in Andra Predesh have government permission to remain open 365 days per year, but they must meet 17 criteria. Most of them do not meet the conditions.
Argentina is also working on Sunday closing laws. The Board of the Centre for Trade and Industry (CCI) has backed a bill for the closure of shops on Sunday in order to guarantee rest for workers.
“We are extremely pleased to promote the closure of shops on Sunday, a move that will be the basis to recover the values of harmony, solidarity and respect among the… people,” said the president of CCI, Andronicus Suarez.
“It is important to recover Sunday rest to humanize working relationships, revitalize family relationships, encourage spiritual life and give back to society the ability to enjoy their free time, so we welcome the provincial legislature concerning this point” he added.
And to add religious strength to the Sunday closing movement, the executive committee of CCI also stressed that Pope Francis himself has encouraged Sunday closing laws by saying “I ask God to enlighten their Christian life and in their efforts to highlight the value of the worthy celebration of the Lord in all its dimensions.”
“The Trade and Industry adheres to Sunday nonworking“https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nuevodiarioweb.com.ar%2Fnota%2Flabanda%2F519175%2Fcentro-comercio-e-industria-se-adhiere-al-domingo-no-laborable.html&edit-text=&act=url
In Poland, the Catholic Church is very active in promoting Sunday rest. In October of 2013, a conference was held with members of Parliament, and members and supporters of the Light-Life Movement, Catholic Action and the Association of Catholic Families to talk about Sunday rest. They are lobbying for laws in parliament for the legal protection of Sunday as a day of rest because, they say, it is necessary for the healthy functioning of families.
Henry Kowalczyk, secretary of the group, said that recent studies showed that Sunday closures would not increase unemployment or decrease economic development.
Hanna Crochet, president of the National Institute of Catholic Action, emphasized that the free Sunday is important… for believers… because the Third Commandment obliges us to celebrate Sunday, she said. Crochet also said that many people are not believers and for them the Decalogue is not important. It is therefore important to also look at the social reasons for Sunday rest. In other words, they are looking for secular reasons to promote Sunday rest among secular people who don’t want Rome’s religion crammed down their throats.
Proponents of Sunday closing argue that it won’t do to have one day off in seven, with family members taking different days off. Family time has to be synchronized to be at the same time for benefit to happen, they say. Therefore Sunday is the best day for rest since it is the best day to bring families together. They are confident that a legal free Sunday will succeed. “We want to recover Sunday, because it is the right of every human being, regardless of beliefs” said Miroslaw Chmielewicz, a spokesman for the Light-Life Movement.
Europe is, perhaps, the most advanced in regard to promoting Sunday observance. That stands to reason since Europe is in the Vatican’s “back yard.” The Papacy can never become queen of the world unless she first gets Europe under her wing again. She has to be very careful and work very quietly and stealthily in order to recover her previous position.
But the Papacy is very active in supporting Sunday legislation at the European Union level. The European Catholic bishops’ conference, or COMECE and the European Sunday Alliance which was formed a few years ago, are working very hard to gather support for stricter Sunday closing and Sunday rest laws. Organizations in the European Sunday Alliance include many Catholic organizations and alliances. The European Sunday Alliance is largely made up of Catholic organizations. It also includes Protestant or formerly Protestant organizations, as well as family organizations, trades unions, and other associations and organizations in most European countries.
Organizations from all the nations of Europe and Scandinavia except Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro are represented. Each passing year, more organizations are added to the list of those promoting a work free Sunday.
In 2014 COMECE and the European Sunday Alliance jointly sponsored a conference to encourage and plan strategies to promote Sunday laws in Europe. The conference was held in January at the European Union offices in Brussels. During the conference they officially launched a pledge in support of a work free Sunday ahead of European Parliamentary elections. The pledge was given to ambitious politicians who want a seat in the EU Parliament seeking their commitment to promote a common weekly day of rest, namely Sunday.
The pledge reads as follows. “A work-free Sunday and decent working hours are of paramount importance for citizens and workers throughout Europe and are not necessarily in conflict with economic competitiveness. Especially in the present time of socio-economic crisis, the adoption of legislation extending working hours to late evenings, nights, bank holidays and Sundays has direct consequences for the working conditions of employees and for small and medium sized enterprises. Competitiveness needs innovation, innovation needs creativity, and creativity needs recreation.”
In other words, rest and recreation are important for productivity and creativity, which underlines the need for Sunday laws.
In signing the pledge politicians, including current members of the EU Parliament commit themselves, 1. To ensure that all relevant EU-legislation both respects and promotes the protection of a common weekly day of rest for all EU citizens, which shall be in principle on a Sunday, in order to protect workers’ health and promote a better balance between family and private life and work; 2. To promote EU-legislation guaranteeing sustainable working time patterns…” Sixty-five political candidates have already signed the pledge.
As you can see there are a number of key elements that are being promoted in defense of Sunday legislation. They include health and safety, family time, life balance, social cohesion, recreation and creativity, etc.
They cite studies showing that with one day off per week, workers have better mental and physical health, and they have less accidents while working, less illness, and less absenteeism. They show from studies that non-standard working hours (such as nights and weekends) de-synchronizes social rhythms and upsets the social life of the individual, leading to increased stress and illnesses. They even say that Sunday as a weekly rest day contributes more than any other day of the week to the health and safety of workers. And they now have studies showing that mental health involves the ability to grow spiritually as well as have a balanced social life.
The European Trade Confederation, which is an organization for the various trade unions, is pushing for a Sunday rest law in Europe. The trade unions are in support of Sunday rest and will help Rome and other churches push for Sunday legislation.
Listen to this statement from Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, page 88.
“Satan will do that which will close the Southern field against the truth, if the Lord does not interpose. And the trade unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.”
That’s pretty serious my friends. To see trade unions in alliances with the Sunday rest movement shows us that as they gain strength, trade unions will eventually have the power to make it very difficult for God’s people who keep all of his commandments. In fact, there is another statement that should interest us. It is also from Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, page 23. “The trade unions will be the cause of the most terrible violence that has ever been seen among human beings.”
Vatican Radio published an interview with Laila Castaldo, head of the Syndicate Trade Uni-Europa, which is a trade union association. Castaldo said a number of important things.
“We all have the same goal: to defend the common Sunday as a day of rest… When a worker is forced to work on Sundays, [he] can also participate less in social life… If there is not a common day of rest… there is no longer synchronization between working life and private life…
The Catholic bishops and the European Sunday Alliance also say that Sunday rest promotes family time because schools are closed on Sundays. Also, there is already EU legislation limiting youth working times on Sunday. And also Sunday is already generally recognized as a day of rest. Sunday work, along with other “irregular” working times, makes it difficult, if not impossible for “workers to enjoy a proper family life and to reconcile work with duties towards children and other dependents.
Family life is central to the Roman Catholic argument for Sunday laws. Both secular and religious people can appreciate the value of family time. Rome is capitalizing on the most basic unit of society to use it as a wedge to implement Sunday rest laws. Therefore, urging families to spend time together is a natural fit with work free Sundays because in the minds of most people, Sunday is the only day off from work or school. And in 2015, Rome is planning its large World Meeting of Families for September 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is anticipated that Pope Francis will attend, though not yet confirmed by the Vatican. It will emphasize family life, but also undergird the appeal of Sunday rest.
A third strong argument in favor of a work free Sunday and Sunday rest legislation is social cohesion. They argue that in a fragmenting society Sunday is the reference point around which the state and society organize their time. A common weekly rest day creates a framework for the collective rhythm of society. “Only a well-protected common work-free day per week enables citizens to enjoy full participation in cultural, sports and religious life, to seek cultural enrichment and spiritual well-being…” Without Sunday all these forms of social interaction and pastime would be endangered.
Notice that those pushing Sunday also aim to garner support from those who love sports. Many people are passionate about sports. They live for sports. They think sports, talk sports, and buy all sorts of sports paraphernalia. Rome is aiming to draw this passion in support of Sunday rest, because this is a time of sports, which is often called recreation. Rome sees no conflict with Sunday rest and sports.
Another thing that is being said in defense of Sunday rest is that unless you support Sunday rest you cannot be a full participant in the social life of the nation. That is an exclusionary statement. In other words, if you don’t go along with Sunday rest you will eventually be excluded from participation in society. And that is exactly what the Bible teaches.
First, those who do not worship according to the New World Order religious worship laws will be unable to buy or sell. And eventually they will face the ultimate exclusion from society with the death penalty.
Here it is from Revelation 13:15-17, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Lastly, notice the ever-present religious element that really undergirds the Sunday rest movement. Everyone knows that Rome has its worship on Sunday. So, religious people are drawn to Sunday rest as well. There is something for everyone almost, in the arguments for Sunday rest laws, something to draw most of society to support them.
Listen to this very important statement from The Great Controversy, page 592. “The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” Revelation 12:17.
So, there is no doubt where this is headed. Notice that the dignitaries of the church will unite with dignitaries of state. In other words, the Pope, bishops, pastors and other religious leaders will work with state leaders and legislative bodies to enact laws that satisfy their demands for a work free Sunday and Sunday worship laws.
Here is another interesting and important statement from the Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 450 and 451. “The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions…”
What is indignation? That’s anger. The few who oppose the new world order religion will eventually have the wrath of the majority of people on the planet against them because they keep God’s law. Only a few people will really grasp the true importance of the law of God.
And it’s going to get nasty, my friends. Right now it seems relatively harmless, but underneath it all is an agenda to compel the conscience. I’ll read on. “Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God. Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith. By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people…”
Have you ever seen irrational and emotional arguments to demonize a perceived enemy? I have, many times. Those who wish to assassinate the reputation of good people will do so by making wild claims about what they believe or practice. It has happened many times in history and it still happens today. Perhaps you have seen it around you.
Let me read on. “Not having a ‘Thus saith the Scriptures’ to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people.”
Often Bible truth concerning the Sabbath is not understood. Never in scripture do we find evidence to support keeping Sunday holy. Yet there are many who use, or rather misuse, all manner of scripture to justify their position. It is impossible to convince them of the truth of God’s word that the seventh day is His day of rest and worship.
That is the way it will be at the end of time, when the issues are clearly set before the people. Most will reject the plain utterances of holy writ. They will turn their backs on the Most High and serve Babylon. They will discard the Sabbath of the Lord and replace it with a false Sabbath – namely, Sunday.
Perhaps the most important thing about the arguments put forward to promote Sunday rest laws is that all of these arguments are the reason why God set aside the seventh-day Sabbath at creation. He understood the need for maintaining health, particularly after the fall of man. He knew that man would need family time. After all He created the family as the most precious set of human relationships. And lastly, He was fully aware that there must be a healthy and cohesive social life. The seventh-day Sabbath was meant to enhance all these things. Now even the arguments for the Sabbath are being transferred to Sunday. I might add that transferring all the arguments on behalf of the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday does not change their validity with regard to the Sabbath. The seventh day Sabbath is still full of all the benefits that are now applied to Sunday. What an affront to the creator! Do you realize what advocates of Sunday are doing? They are in essence saying, we don’t need God’s word. We can do what we want. That is the utmost form of rebellion.
Let me add also that a church that turns its back on God and on His law is not his church at all. By keeping Sunday as the day of rest and worshipping Rome is not following the scripture, but tradition. She prostitutes the true faith. Those churches that follow in her steps are also joining her in rebellion to God.
Tradition is what gives Rome the flexibility to act in the political realm. The fact that Sunday observance comes directly from paganism, which also mixed the religious cult with the state, provides Rome with the basis on which to do the same. And the Papacy has done this throughout its entire 2000-year history, often using the state to persecute those she demonized as heretics.
Sunday observance essentially takes worship out of the realm of the spiritual and places it in the realm of the political. Sunday is a political tool in the hands of Rome to gain power over the nations. Here is how she does it. Rome is the largest church on earth because she offers salvation, not from sin, but in sin. That is very appealing to a billion people at least. The formerly Protestant churches are willing to teach that too these days only in a different way. They teach that you can’t overcome your sins, so all you need is Christ’s forgiveness. Rome prescribes penance. But the evangelicals just say you need Christ’s forgiveness. You don’t need to go on pilgrimages. You don’t need to say the rosary. You don’t need to do some other penance. That’s really the only difference. Now with all the unity developing between Rome and the evangelical churches, who knows what will happen to their doctrines. We’ll have to wait and see.
Because of the support Rome has with the masses of people, and also the churches that rally around Sunday worship with her, Rome has political power with the earthly nations. It is the power of the people that she uses to achieve her ends. She knows that if she resorts to the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible, she would lose her standing and power with the nations of the world because to follow the Ten Commandments requires humility. She would not be able to manipulate the kings of the earth any more. She would not be able to exalt her pride and arrogance because she would have to humbly follow the Bible. She would lose everything she stands for.
This is important to understand because there is coming a time when Rome will be exposed for what she has done. She will have to face punishment both from the people of the earth who will burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16), and from the God of heaven. Here is what she will face from the God of heaven. Revelation 18:4-8 says, “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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
The popes have consistently called for Sunday rest and worship. John Paul II in his apostolic letter Dies Domini started a modern trend which Benedict XVI and Francis have continued, to work for the restoration of Sunday observance, just at the time when, like never before, end-time prophecies are being fulfilled.
John Paul II pulled from every possible angle to argue in favor of Sunday rest. He misused scripture. He misrepresented the church fathers. He distorted and falsified history. He drew from Roman Catholic arguments as well as Protestant ones. He did everything he could to convincingly argue in favor of Sunday as the Lord’s day of rest. Anyone who doesn’t know the Bible would certainly be taken in and think he is right. Only those who know what the scripture says would see through his deceptive arguments. He even advocated legislation that would support Sunday rest and worship by the nations of the world.
Benedict XVI also advocated Sunday rest. For example, at a Eucharistic congress in May of 2005 in Bari, Italy, he clearly promoted Sunday worship. The theme of the congress was “without Sunday we cannot live,” and he urged the keeping of Sunday in celebration of the risen Lord.
Pope Benedict XVI also advocated Sunday rest in his book on the life of Christ. “if one considers the importance that Saturday has in the Old Testament tradition, based on the account of the creation and on the Decalogue,” he wrote, “it is evident that only an event of overwhelming force could cause giving up Saturday and replacing it by the first day of the week.”
What event could be of such overwhelming force that would require the giving up of the Sabbath of creation and the Sabbath of the Decalogue? Pope Benedict gave the answer.
“For me, the celebration of the Lord’s Day, which has distinguished the Christian community from the beginning, is one of the strongest proofs that something extraordinary happened on that day: the discovery of the empty sepulcher and the encounter with the risen Lord.”
There is nothing that is so compelling about the resurrection that gives a church the authority to change God’s law. But that is what the Catholic Church has done. And they use the excuse of the resurrection of Christ to justify the sin.
The former pope admitted that Saturday is the Sabbath of the Bible. He also says that man “gave up” the true, historical, and divinely required Bible Sabbath merely because Jesus arose from the tomb on that day. He cites no scripture suggesting that Jesus or the apostles changed the Sabbath, though that is often what is claimed. He can’t site any scripture because there isn’t any. The veneration of the resurrection of Christ creates an aura around Easter Sunday and each weekly Sunday and falsely elevates its importance in people’s minds.
Certainly the resurrection is important, for the Lord would not have ascended to heaven to minister before the Father on our behalf if the resurrection had not occurred. However, the resurrection is far from being as important as Christ’s death on the cross. The resurrection is only the excuse used to promote and establish Sunday rest and worship as a political, legal and moral obligation.
And now Pope Francis is also promoting Sunday observance. In a new book called “Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words,” Francis advocates relaxation and rest.
In response to the question, “Do we need to rediscover the meaning of leisure?” the pope replied, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. But this is being destroyed, in large part, by the elimination of the Sabbath rest day. More and more people work on Sundays as a consequence of the competitiveness imposed by a consumer society.” In such cases, he concludes, “work ends up dehumanizing people.”
Notice that the pope calls Sunday the Sabbath. While this is common, it is also a misrepresentation. In his own mother tongue, Spanish, Saturday is “Sabbado” which means Sabbath. He knows what day is the Sabbath, but he deliberately chooses to apply it to Sunday.
The pope also suggests that people who don’t make time for their family are living “with fraud.” Since Catholic social teaching promotes the concept that workers deserve dignity and that involves rest, the pope is saying that without family time, you cannot be a true and authentic Christian. The church then promotes Sunday as the time for family.
All of that would be true of the Sabbath as well, wouldn’t it? But to the popes, and in particular, Pope Francis, Sunday, is important as a substitute for the Sabbath. And he is referring to the whole day, not just worship or Mass.
John Paul II, in his apostolic letter Dies Domini wrote, that “even in those countries which give legal sanction to the festive character of Sunday, changes in socioeconomic conditions have often led to profound modifications of social behavior and hence of the character of Sunday.”
During the bishops conference in Rome on the movement called the New Evangelization in October of 2013, which focused on reawakening faith, one of the conclusions was, “even though there is a tension between the Christian Sunday and the secular Sunday, Sunday needs to be recovered” — in keeping, they wrote, with John Paul’s “Dies Domini.”
Friends, the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord is under a lot of pressure both from the secular world that has no interest in religion and from the religious world that wants to establish global worship. The purposes and advantages in keeping God’s holy seventh-day Sabbath are now being stolen from it and applied to Sunday, the alternative that the popes have promoted and established since the fourth century during the time of Constantine.
But now, as we near the end of time, the Sabbath will become a special point of controversy. Listen to this from the book The Great Controversy, pages 615-616.
“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument many centuries ago was brought against Christ by the ‘rulers of the people.’ ‘It is expedient for us,’ said the wily Caiaphas, ‘that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.’ John 11:50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.”
Today, the whole world is being cultivated and prepared to accept alternatives to the seventh day Sabbath. Ultimately, those who stand with Christ will face enormous pressure, but if they are faithful, they will have a home in heaven. Where will you stand, my friend? Will you join the majority, or will you be one of the faithful who stand by the law of God.
Let us pray, Our Father in heaven, we are convinced that time is short. All that is needed is a major global crisis, an epidemic, a world war, an economic collapse or some other thing that will throw the world into perplexity and panic. This in turn will trigger a global push for laws that enforce Sunday observance. Sunday worship on a global scale is the agenda of the largest church on the planet. We cannot stand faithful to God’s law if we do not have Christ in our hearts. Today we pray that You will implant Your Holy Spirit in our hearts that we may understand our times, and what it will take to survive the coming cataclysmic spiritual events. Purify us, let us live in the light of Your love, and honor You by keeping all of your commandments, including faithful observance of the seventh day Sabbath. In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray, amen.