Sunday Law

Did You Know? ‘Sunday Law’ barred people from working on Sunday.

We read the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Iniquity is unrighteousness, the breaking of God’s law. Daily news reports tell us the iniquity is increasing.

The Great Controversy behind all worldly controversies is between Christ and Satan over the law of God. Prophecy tells us that the fourth commandment will be nullified by the United States. “When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” The Great Controversy, 605.

God’s people choose to obey all of His commandments and “… sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668. “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” Ibid.

The Ten Commandments define this “line of distinction” between those who serve and obey God and those who do not serve and obey Him, especially the commandment referring to the day of worship. Jesus tells us, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee, into the mountains.” Matthew 24:15, 16.

A decree will be issued against the people of God which will “… be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman toward Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done him harm, but he had refused to show him reverence which belongs only to God. The king’s decision against the Jews was secured under false pretenses through misrepresentation of that peculiar people. Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counterpower that reigns among the children of men. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to protect the people of God, and the plots of their adversaries returned upon their own heads. The Protestant world today see in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.

“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. 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. 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.

“By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

“As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 450, 451.

“The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people.” Ibid., 452.

The Sunday Law In La Crosse, Wisconsin

It is very interesting to read the history of the Sunday movement which took place in La Crosse, Wisconsin, my home town, in 1886, 129 years ago. From The Morning Chronicle of Friday, November 5, 1886, we read: “To the citizens of La Crosse: Notice is hereby given that the police force of this city have been instructed to strictly enforce the observance of the ‘Sunday Law,’ and they will hereafter arrest each and every person found violating said law, regardless of the nature of the business carried on. This in accordance with chapter 186, section 4595, revised statutes of Wisconsin, which reads as follows.

“ ‘Any person who shall keep open his shop, warehouse, or workshop, or shall do any manner of labor, business, or work, except only works of necessity and charity, or be present at any dancing or public diversion, show or entertainment, or take part in any sport, game or play, on that day of the week shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding ten ($10) dollars; and such day shall be understood to include the time between the midnight preceding and the midnight following said day. D. F. Powell, Mayor.’

“Mayor Powell informs The Chronicle that the above step has been rendered necessary by a notice served upon him by Lawyer Higbee, signed Thomas M. Rosse, W. D. Thomas, Gilbert Shepard, George W. Case., H. G. Miller, H. B.Smith and D. B. Cheny, Jr., who have ordered the mayor to prosecute twelve violators of the Sunday law, whose names are given in the notice. Mayor Powell says that he considers the Sunday law, as it now stands on the statute books, too contracted and indefinite for a progressive people. He hopes to convince the citizens of La Crosse by forcing them to obey it, that the Sunday law should be amended.

“Some people will say that the mayor has taken this step on account of some feeling over the late election, but this is not true. He states last Saturday night that he had been pressed very hard to enforce the Sunday law against saloons, and had made up his mind, first, not to discriminate against any class; and, second, to give the Sunday law in its entirety a fair trial from top to bottom, from beginning to end. It is stated on the streets that the chief of police has orders to swear in twenty-five extra policemen for service next Sunday, and to arrest every man who does any sort of labor, either for himself or any person or corporation.

“Police didn’t waste any time as shortly after [Saturday] midnight they made their first arrest, ordering the editor of the La Crosse Chronicle, Ellis B. Usher, to appear in court after employees were found working on that paper’s Sunday edition. Usher would not be alone in court. Others found violating the Sunday Law included street car drivers, mill workers, tannery workers, the superintendent of the gas works, the engineer of the electric light works, a porter and shoe shine boy from the Cameron House Hotel, [and] a ferry operator …”

And so, this is how the Sunday Law was enforced in La Crosse. gives the most recent updates of Sunday Law News. Here is an interesting quotation from another page entitled “Sunday – The Perfect Deception.” This is what a Protestant minister stated: “Great! I would welcome a Sunday law, so that we could have one day a week where we can rest. We need a day of rest.” So we can see how the world is divided into two classes; those who keep all of God’s commandments and those who keep only nine because they are convinced that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week.

The mark of the beast is in the forehead or hand. Now apply this to the Sabbath. Exodus 20:8: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy….” Where do we remember? In our foreheads (our minds). Exodus 20:9, 10: “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 maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”

With what do we work? Our HANDS! Are you seeing this important truth? Those who make a free will decision in their minds to give their allegiance to the beast (the Roman Catholic Church) and keep their Sunday sabbath instead of “remembering” and keeping God’s seventh day Sabbath will receive the mark of the beast in their foreheads. Those who simply bow under economic pressure of not being able to “buy or sell” will receive the mark in their hand.

And just look at the state of the world today. Look at the economic troubles of the nations with unemployment and debt. Look at how people rely so much on the lifestyles they have built up— entertainment, food, having a good time. Satan is bringing about a position in this world where people will welcome the mark of the beast with open arms in order to continue buying and selling.

Do those who keep Sunday as Sabbath have the mark of the beast now? No, because Sunday needs to be enforced by law in order to become the mark. God still has many of His people within the Roman Catholic Church and the other fallen churches, and is calling His people out of these Sunday keeping churches. “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.” Revelation 18:4.

When the National Sunday Law is enforced in America and throughout the world, then we will have a big decision to make. Do we reject that law, no matter how bad it gets and keep God’s Law and receive His seal? Or do we accept the Sunday law of the Papal church and receive the beast’s mark? Friend, very soon we will all have a choice to make, and some are already making that choice, because Sunday laws have already been passed in certain places. No matter how much pressure you are put under, eternity is waiting for you if you just trust in God and keep His commandments, including the seventh day Sabbath commandment, and keep the faith of Jesus Christ.

Keep your eyes open to this truth and worship Him Who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them (see Revelation 14:7). Is there any significance to receiving the mark in the forehead or hand? Yes there is, which we can see from the following Old Testament scripture:

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:6–8. [Emphasis added.]

“Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it.” “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:8, 18. [Emphasis added.]

What does it mean to bind God’s Words, His law upon our hands and foreheads? God did not mean to literally write the law on their hands and heads. He wanted His Commandments in their minds to stop them from sinning. The forehead or front of the brain is where thoughts are formed and decisions are made.

The hand represents actions. Having the mark of God’s law in their hands and foreheads meant that all decisions and actions would be in line with God’s law. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16. [Emphasis added.]

God would “seal” His law, His Ten Commandments, in the hearts and minds of His people, that they would not be deceived into receiving the mark of the beast. “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16. [Emphasis added.]

Remember, Bible prophecy reveals that there will be only two groups of people during the end times: one will have the seal of God, His name written in their forehead, while the other will have the mark of the beast. To understand this further, we need to find out the truth about the name of God.

“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5–7. [Emphasis added.]

When God proclaimed His name to Moses on Mount Sinai, it was not particular words to be called but He proclaimed His character – merciful, gracious, forgiving, longsuffering. Jesus confirmed this in John 17:6: “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them me; and they have kept Thy word.” Jesus’ whole life displayed God’s character. The group in Revelation that have God’s name in their foreheads reflect God’s character that controls their thoughts and actions. In the same way, the other group have given their thoughts and actions to the beast and receive its mark in their actions.

The Catholic Church claims that it was by her authority that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day of the week, Saturday, to Sunday. In a letter dated November 11, 1895, it says, “Of course … the change was her act …. and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” (Signed by H.F. Thomas, Chancellor for Cardinal Gibbons, in a letter dated Nov. 11, 1895.) [Emphasis added.]

“The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” (The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.) [Emphasis added.]

“Sunday is a time when all Christians discover the Eucharist form that their life is called to have … the Cardinal stressed how the way in which we celebrate Sunday determines the way in which we live the rest of the week, since it is the mark of Christian identity.” (Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, Sanctifying celebration, the family in the Lord’s Day, June 1st, 2012.) [Emphasis added.]

If the beast is the Roman Catholic Church, she makes clear her “mark” of authority—to change the fourth commandment from the seventh day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday). The Roman Catholic Church is also identified as the little horn power in Daniel 7:25 that “thinks to change times and law.”

The Mark of the Beast

If you read Revelation 13:16, 17, you will see that the mark of the beast is connected to buying and selling. There is a great spiritual war between Christ and Satan. Satan is the great deceiver, and through his miracles and wonders (Revelation 13:13, 14), he manages to deceive virtually the whole world, including professed Christians. He deceives the masses by transforming himself into an “angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14). Satan has a counterfeit for just about everything found in the word of God.

In Revelation 13 we find a certain law being enforced that is connected to buying and selling. If you keep this “law” of Satan and receive the mark, then you will be able to “buy and sell.” The fourth commandment states: “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 maidservant, 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.” Exodus 20:8–11. [Emphasis added.]

Within the fourth commandment is a command to refrain from all business transactions or “work” on the Sabbath—the seventh day. Satan has introduced a counterfeit Sabbath day through the Roman Catholic Church—Sunday, and when the time is right, he will have the Sunday law enforced, so that only those who accept the false sabbath can continue to “buy and sell.” John Paul II, Dies Domini, 1998 wrote, “Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.”

Virtually the whole professed Christian world has embraced this false sabbath (Sunday), and are ripe to be deceived by the evil one into taking the mark of the beast. It must be noted that worshiping on Sunday will only become “the mark of the beast” when it is enforced by civil law. Pope Francis, through his interest in saving the environment, is already pushing for a family day, which means closure of businesses on Sunday, the spurious Sabbath.

God’s people will find safety only in having the whole of God’s law, His own character, securely hidden in their hearts, and the faith of Jesus Christ (Revelation 14:12).

With this impending threat against being able to buy and sell, Ellen White wrote, “The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.

“Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.” Early Writings, 56.

We can prepare now for the coming time of trouble by asking God to show us our sins so that we may overcome them and have a character like Jesus. Only then will we be able to receive the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit to give the loud cry and endure. Be faithful to the law of love as spoken by our Savior: “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15 NKJV. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous [or burdensome].” I John 5:2, 3.

The Christian’s Hope

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.

In ten simple precepts, the gospel, the new covenant, is given. In these perfect Ten Commandments is revealed to us the law of the kingdom of heaven. We can come apart from the world when we surrender our lives to obey this perfect law of liberty that Jesus designed to give us life.

May we all be faithful to our Savior is my prayer.

Dennis Hallingstad volunteers at Steps to Life and is the husband of Judy Hallingstad who is an integral part of the LandMarks team.