The Change of the Sabbath

The Open Bible Studies Number Twenty-Three


How did Sunday observance originate?

Note"Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath. But, from His own words, we see that He came for no such purpose. The responsibility for this change must therefore be looked for elsewhere."


In His most famous sermon, what did Christ say of the law?

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matthew 5:17

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:18.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19.


What did God, through the prophet Daniel, say the power represented by the "little horn" would think to do?

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:"Daniel 7:25.


What power has claimed authority to change God's law?

Note — "The pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws. . . . The pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth" — Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Ready Library), "Papa," art. 2.


What part of the law of God has the papacy thought to change?

The fourth commandment.

Note — "They ( the Catholics) allege the change of the Sabbath into the Lord's Day, contrary, as it seemeth, to the Decalogue; and they have no example more in their mouths than the change of the Sabbath. They will needs have the church's power to be very great, because it has dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue." — The Augsburg Confession (Lutheran), part 2, art. 7, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom. (Harper), vol. 3, p. 64.

"It (the Roman Catholic Church) reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday." — N. Summerbell, History of the Christian Church (1873), p. 64.

"The Sunday, as a day of the week set apart for the obligatory public worship of Almighty God, to be sanctified by a suspension of all servile labour, trade and worldly avocations and by exercises of devotion, is purely a creation of the Catholic Church." — The American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883, pp. 152, 139.

If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." — Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter of Feb. 10, 1920.


What kind of teaching have men substituted for the words that are spirit and life?

"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.. . . . And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:7-9.

"How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him." 1 Kings 18:21.


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