Thursday: The Attempted Change of the Sabbath

God’s law, the Ten Commandments, is still binding (see also James 2:10-12) , and that law includes the seventh-day Sabbath. Why, then, do so many Christians keep Sunday when there is no biblical justification for it?


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Daniel 7 talks about the rise of four great empires: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and then Rome, the fourth and final earthly empire. In a latter stage of the Roman Empire, a little horn power is depicted as coming up out this empire (Dan. 7:8) . It is still part of the Roman Empire, just a later phase of it. What else could this power be but the papacy, which arose directly out of Rome and, to this day, is still part of it? Wrote Thomas Hobbes in the 1600s: “If a man consider the original of this great ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive, that the Papacy, is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof”. — Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 463.

Read Daniel 7:23-25. What do these verses teach that can help us understand the origins of Sunday keeping?

The original language, Aramaic, shows in verse 25 that the little horn power “intended” to change the law. What earthly power can, indeed, actually change God’s law?

Though exact details are blurred in history, we do know that under papal Rome the seventh-day Sabbath was replaced by the tradition of Sunday keeping, a tradition so firmly entrenched that the Protestant Reformation kept that tradition alive, even into the twenty-first century. Today most Protestants still keep the first day of the week, rather than following the biblical command for the seventh day.

Read Revelation 13:1-17 and compare with Daniel 7:1-8, Daniel 7:21Daniel 7:24-25. What similar imagery is being used in these texts that help us understand last-day events?

Using imagery directly from Daniel, which included imagery about the latter (papal) phase of Rome, the book of Revelation points to end-time persecution that will be unleashed on those who refuse to “worship” according to the dictates of the powers seen in the book of Revelation.

How does Revelation 14:6-7 — especially verse 7, which reflects language taken from the fourth commandment (Exod. 20:11) — help show that the Sabbath will be crucial in this final end-time crisis over worship?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons