March 7, 2021, marked the 1700th anniversary (321 A.D.) of dies Solis, Constantine's decree that "Sunday" is the Roman day of rest. It stated: “All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the sun.” At that time, the Roman empire was a mix of primarily pagans and Christians. The pagans worshiped the sun on "Sun"day. The majority of the Christian world worshiped on the Sabbath, following the example of Christ and His disciples in obedience to the 4th Commandment.1
Constantine was previously a “sun” worshiper, but after allegedly seeing a cross in the sky before he won the Milvian Bridge battle, he ostensibly converted to Christianity. Now, hoping to unite his kingdom by bringing the pagans and Christians together, Constantine thought to change the Christian day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday so that all could worship together. The bishops of the church encouraged this change, seeing it as an opportunity to gain more power and prestige.
While this change did bring about a power shift, eventually changing pagan Rome to papal Rome, it came at the cost of compromise with God’s Word. Instead of dropping all of the pagan practices, Rome merely "Christianized" them. Now, instead of worshiping idols of planet gods and stars (like Saturn and the Sun), Rome worshiped idols and relics of apostles and Mary. These changes were in addition to worshiping God on the day of the sun.
It was not God who made these changes, as God does not change [See James 1:17 and Hebrews 13:8]. Satan, using the powers of the world, has tried to deceive mankind by creating a counterfeit day of worship. This attempt to change the time of worship and God’s law was predicted by the Bible. Daniel 7:25 states that a power would arise that “Shall persecute the saints of the Most High and shall intend to change times and law.” Notice this power that would make the changes to God’s law comes from the 4th beast in Daniel 7, the beast that represents Rome. (The first 3 beasts represented Babylon — the lion, Medio-Persia — the bear, and Greece — the leopard.)
Initially, true Sabbath worship was not prohibited by Rome, but it was slowly done away with during the following centuries. In 386, “It was decreed that all litigation and business should cease [on Sunday].”2 Thirty years later, Pope Innocent I declared that the Sabbath should only be observed as a day of fasting. As the Roman Catholic Church made Sabbath observance more and more of a burden while promoting its “new times and laws”—Sunday—it finally came to the point of abolishing God’s day of rest altogether. In 590 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church outlawed worshiping on the seventh-day Sabbath. In a letter to the Roman people, Pope Gregory condemned identifying the Lord’s Day with the Jewish Sabbath. He labeled those who believed in keeping the Fourth Commandment, “prophets of the Antichrist.”3
While man has "intended" to change God’s law, the Bible says, “The Commandments are sure, and stand fast forever and ever” (Psalm 111:7-8). In fact, the Bible says “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law” to be changed (Luke 16:17)!
Satan hates God and wants everyone to rebel against His law. For those that won’t rebel, Satan “makes war with those who keep the Commandments and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).
The Bible’s last message before Christ returns to earth a second time, warns man to come back to true obedient worship. The message isn’t just for Jews; it is for “every nation, tribe, tongue and people” (Revelation 14:6). “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come: worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of waters” (Revelation 14:7). This message calls man back to creation — back to worship and rest on the Seventh day which He created.
Right after calling man to remember to worship His Sabbath, Revelation warns of worshiping “the beast and his image” (Revelation 14:9). So there are two worships in the last days: an obedient worship on God’s day — the Sabbath; and a disobedient worship on the beast’s day — Sunday. We humans are left to decide who we will obey.
Call to Remember
Though we might have to battle Satan, God promises that "they that do His commandments, may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
Please, choose eternal life!
Let's remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy.
Scripture taken from the New King James
Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights
- Luke 4:16; John 15:10; Acts 13:42-44 – Jews and Gentiles worshiped on Sabbath; Acts 15:21 talks about how Moses’ books are still preached in every city; Acts 16:13, 17:2 and 18:4 each talk about Paul’s Sabbath worship.
- James T. Ringgold, The Law of Sunday (Jersey City, New Jersey: Frederick D. Linn & Company, 1891), 265-266.
- James Robertson, History of the Christian Church (Albemarle Street, London: John Murray, 1862), 230.