“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8–10).
“Would you like to win some money?” The challenge was very simple. Anyone who could find one Bible verse in which God tells us to observe Sunday as the Sabbath would win $1000!
Participants who were biblically illiterate, but who also did not want to pass up an opportunity to win $1000, were very happy to hear us say that they could call anyone they knew for help. They could have as many lifelines as they wanted. And so the cell phones came out and calls were made to grandma, uncle, pastor, youth leader, anyone they thought knew the Bible well.
It's Not in the Bible
How many thousands of dollars do you think we gave away? Zero! Zip! Zilch! Nada! This is because there is not one Bible text to be found that tells us to observe Sunday as the holy day of worship.
The Bible tells us that “the seventh day is the Sabbath” (Exodus 20:10). Jesus died on “Good Friday,” the day before the Sabbath. (Luke 23:46, 54). Then He rose on what is now called “Easter Sunday,” the “first day of the week” (Luke 24:1–3). What is the day that falls between Friday and Sunday? It is Saturday.
In over 100 languages the name for the seventh day, or Saturday, is “the Sabbath.” For example, Saturday in Spanish is ”Sabado.” In Italy, “Sabato.” In Russia, “Subbota.” In Poland, “Sobota,” etc. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, “Saturday” is “the seventh day of the week.” And Sunday is “the first day of the week.”1 According to Wikipedia, "the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day."2
There is no doubt that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. So why do so many churches observe Sunday as the holy day instead of Saturday? Why have so many churches forgotten the one commandment that begins with the word, “Remember”? And why is it important that we, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”?
According to the book of Revelation, the dividing issue at the end of time will be the issue of worship. The word “worship” is mentioned 22 times in Revelation. It is clearly one of the reverberating themes of the book. The central issue in the final conflict will be worship. Will we worship God or Satan?
A very sobering warning is found in Revelation chapter 14, and it has to do with the worship of the beast. Carefully notice the warning in verses 9–11:
“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'"
This is clearly an austere warning from the Bible, and it has to do with worship. The third angel is saying, “Do not worship the beast or receive the mark of his name, or else.”
The third angel’s warning is preceded by the first and second angels’ warnings. Notice carefully what the first angel says in verses 6 and 7:
"Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people — saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’" (emphasis supplied).
Did you notice the call to worship? The first angel calls us to worship the Creator God “who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” The language makes an unmistakable allusion to the Sabbath command with reference to creation. Carefully notice the words of the forgotten commandment in Exodus 20:8–11, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (emphasis supplied).
The first angel of Revelation chapter 14 invites us to worship the Creator God. The third angel warns us not to worship the beast. The dividing issue in the final conflict is clearly the issue of worship. Who will you worship? Will you worship God or Satan?
Who Will We Worship?
The longing desire of Satan’s heart is to be worshiped. This should come as no surprise, as the Bible tells us that the devil even had the audacity to ask Jesus to bow down and worship him (see Matthew 4:9). Satan desperately wants to be worshiped but knows that no one in his or her right mind is going to bow down and worship him. Therefore, he gets himself a front man, called “the beast,” and gives it “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). And when the beast is worshiped, it is really the devil who receives worship.
After the third angel’s warning is given concerning the mark of the beast, Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” God will have a commandment-keeping people in the last days who keep all ten commandments and not just nine. James tells us, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
Satan, also known as the dragon (Revelation 12:9), who desires worship is angry with those who keep the commandments of God. Revelation 12:17 says, “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (emphasis supplied). And Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”
The Bible makes it very clear that the dividing issue at the end time is worship, and God will have a commandment-keeping people in the last days who will worship Him as Creator God.
Many people say it doesn’t matter which day they worship God as long as they love Him — that is all that matters. Imagine Adam saying, “God, it was just an apple. What matters is that I love you.” The issue is more than just a day. It is about biblical fidelity and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
God is calling us in the last days to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). What will be your response?
Call to Action
To learn more about the mark of the beast, read the book, The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White. This bestselling book covers the last 2000 years of Christian church history and explains how worship on the Sabbath was changed by man from Saturday to Sunday. It also covers America in prophecy, earth’s closing events, and God’s infinite love.
All scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Merriam-Webster (since 1828). merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Saturday. Retrieved July 19 2021.
- Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbath. Retrieved July 21 2021.