by Danny Vierra
Chapter 10 – Satan’s Gradual Change of the Fourth Commandment
So it was all true. The young minister had spoken the truth that Saturday morning! The “little horn” of Daniel 7 and “the leopard- bodied beast” of Revelation 13 is the Roman papacy, who thought to change “times and laws.” Satan had succeeded through his earthly agent, the pope of Rome, to change the time we are to worship the Creator— from the seventh day to the first day of the week— and, as a consequence, many Christians are keeping, most of them unknowingly, mind you, the “commandments of men.” Did not Christ warn us: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”? (Matt. 15: 9). Friends, Satan in his efforts to usurp the throne of God and sit in the sides of the north (Isa. 14: 13, 14) as God Himself, has changed “times” by changing the day the Bible says we are to worship the Creator! By this apparent change, the creature Satan, through his human agents, has claimed the authority of the Creator, and millions and millions of people all over the world are unknowingly paying homage to the “father of lies” by worshipping at his commandment on the first day of the week— the venerable day of the sun— Sunday!
“The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws. ’ Daniel 7: 25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship . The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship , and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.
“The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church , tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2: 2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as ‘the venerable day of the sun. ’ This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ . Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.
“To prepare the way for the work which he designed to accomplish, Satan had led the Jews, before the advent of Christ, to load down the Sabbath with the most rigorous exactions, making its observance a burden. Now, taking advantage of the false light in which he had thus caused it to be regarded, he cast contempt upon it as a Jewish institution. While Christians generally continued to observe the Sunday as a joyous festival, he led them, in order to show their hatred of Judaism, to make the Sabbath a fast, a day of sadness and gloom.
“In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire. The day of the sun was reverenced by his pagan subjects and was honored by Christians; it was the emperor’s policy to unite the conflicting interests of heathenism and Christianity. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians and heathen, it would promote the nominal acceptance of Christianity by pagans and thus advance the power and glory of the church. But while many God- fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment.
“The archdeceiver had not completed his work. He was resolved to gather the Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through half- converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world- loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honored as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.
“The great apostate had succeeded in exalting himself ‘above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. ’ (2 Thessalonians 2: 4). He had dared to change the only precept of the divine law that unmistakably points all mankind to the true and living God. In the fourth commandment, God is revealed as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and is thereby distinguished from all false gods . It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship. Satan strives to turn men from their allegiance to God, and from rendering obedience to His law; therefore he directs his efforts especially against that commandment which points to God as the Creator.
“Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But Scripture evidence is lacking. No such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that ‘mystery of lawlessness’ (2 Thessalonians 2: 7, R. V.) which, even in Paul’s day, had begun its work. Where and when did the Lord adopt this child of the papacy? What valid reason can be given for a change which the Scriptures do not sanction?” (The Great Controversy, pp. 51- 54).
What does the fourth commandment actually say: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [Saturday] 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).
Does the Catholic Church acknowledge that there is no command in the Bible for the sanctification of Sunday? “You may read 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.” (Faith of Our Fathers, p. 111).
Does Revelation 12: 17 make more sense to you now? “And 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 14: 12 also adds: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God , and the faith of Jesus”; and Revelation 22: 14 concludes: “Blessed are they that do His commandments [not Satan’s], that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city .” The Apostle John also penned the following words while under inspiration: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar , and the truth is not in him.” (I John 2: 3, 4). After all, Christ Himself said: “If you love me, keep My commandments…. even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” (John 14: 15; 15: 10).
Go to Chapter 11 ⇒
All emphases in this article are mine.
Published by Modern Manna Ministries