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The Christian Counter

     
THE MAKING OF THE REMNANT
Lesson 24
Page 2 of 2

Counterfeit 5

Satan has led most of the world to deny the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath.  Friday is the day of worship for more than 1 billion Moslems.  About 20 million Jews recognize Saturday as God’s holy day, and one and a half billion Christians (all Christians faiths combined – Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox, Anglican.)  Nearly three billion people have no regard for the sacredness of any day of the week.

It should be clear, that worshipping on Saturday does not now, nor can it ever bring salvation to a person.  If an illegal alien sneaks into America and keeps all the laws, he does not become an American by obeying the laws.  Rather, an alien becomes an American by submitting to the immigration process of becoming an American.  Part of the process involves an oath stating that he or she will be loyal and obedient to the laws of America!  Salvation, in a similar way, comes when we submit our lives to Jesus.  This means we are willing to go, to be and to do as He directs.  The doing part of the process involves obedience to all Ten Commandments.  Thus the remnant is identified as “keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus.”

The change

The history of the change from Sabbath to Sunday worship by early Christians is important reading for anyone wanting to understand the everlasting gospel.  Each person should look into this matter and understand from a historical perspective how it came to be.  A few paragraphs follow to briefly explain how it happened.

Since Christianity was born in the cradle of Judaism, Roman rulers did not see much difference between Christians and Jews.  Consequently, Romans persecuted Christians just as they did the hated Jews.  Even more, early Christians were soon forced to disassociate themselves from the Jews because the Jews persecuted them too!

When Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Christian Church was dispersed.  Christian theology was in its formative stages at the time and as Christians scattered all over the world, they took with them “partial knowledge” about the gospel.  The Apostles wrote a number of letters over a period of 50 years to establish the Christian faith.  However, it was inevitable that Christian leaders would arrive at different theological conclusions.  Without the benefit of communication, Christians in Alexander, Egypt arrived at doctrines that were different than Christians in Rome.  As a result of time and distance, arguments broke out between Christians over various doctrines.

When Paul was imprisoned at Rome, he established the Christian faith there.  Since Rome was the capital of the world, it was only natural that the new Christian Church in Rome should gain more power and influence with Roman leaders than others Christian churches that were geographically far away from the hub of civilization.  It was also a well-known historical fact that Christians in Rome soon compromised their beliefs to avoid the fierce anger of Caesar.  Christians in remote areas however, remained less affected.

After three hundred years, the undisputed center of Christianity was Rome.  Constantine became the first Christian emperor (he saw that Christianity offered an expedient way to unite the disintegrating Roman empire), and he distinguished historically for implementing the first Sunday laws in March 321 A.D.

An early church writer, Socrates, tells us that Christians in Rome were “feasting” on Sunday (the weekly holiday of the Romans honoring the Sun-god) by the fourth century while the rest of the Christian world still worshiped on Saturday.  Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, Book V, chapter 22, Ante-Nicean Christian Library, Vol II, (Boston, 1887) pg, 132.

As time passed, the primacy of the head officer of the Church (the pope) became even greater.  Eventually he engineered the destruction of the Heruli, Ostrogoths and Vandals.  These three tribes, followers of Arius of Alexander, believed that Christ was not eternal God but a created being.  When they were finally destroyed, the authority of the pope became universal.  (Remember the three horns that were plucked up by their roots in Daniel 7?)

Sunday observance

Early Christians in Rome did not understand the importance of God’s law.  To gain wider acceptance and increase the number of converts among the Romans, they adapted a philosophical approach to worship that reflected Roman practices.  Thus, Sunday the “holiday,” became Sunday, the “holy –day.”  Historically, Sunday was transmitted throughout the Christian world without any Biblical support!  It is important to note that neither history nor Roman Catholicism offers any scriptural support for Sunday worship or sacredness.  The following statement, given at the Council of Trent, appropriately places the authority for the change in the day of worship with the “Roman Church”, not with the scriptures.  (The Council of Trent, Italy, was held from 1545 to 1563 to deal with outrageous charges by Protestants, that the Church was disobeying the plain teachings of the Scripture.)  On January 18, 1562, the archbishop of Reggio made a speech in which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture:  “The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scripture because the church had changed Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority” (Canon and Tradition, Dr. J.H. Holtzman, pg 263).

In the late 19th century, Dr Edward T.Hiscox,, author of the Baptist Manuel, said:  “There was and is a command to keep the Sabbath Day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday.  It will be said however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges, and sanctions.

Earnestly desiring information on the subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not.  There is no Scriptural evidence of the change on the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.  I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at the present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions, is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history.”  (A paper read before a New York Ministers Conference, November 13, 1893).

By denying the requirements of God’s Ten Commandments, Americans have reaped a harvest of lawlessness.  Yes, most people will casually agree with the validity and importance of nine of the Ten Commandments.  But question the validity of the fourth commandment and the response will likely be that all Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross.

It is clear that the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross when Jesus, the Passover Lamb, died.  It is also true that civil law which related to Israel’s legal economy in ancient times is not applicable today.  (However, many of the principles found in our civil laws today are taken from the Jewish civil laws of the Old Testament.)

But, Israel received several types of laws from God:

1.      Moral (Ten Commandments)

2.      Ceremonial (pertaining to the sanctuary services)

3.      Civil (pertaining to the theocratic government)

4.      Health / Lifestyle

Satan has led Christians to erroneously combine these four groups of laws into one group and nail them to the cross!  The cunning and sophistry of Satan is unbelievable!  By leading the human race to abandon the health and lifestyle laws, we see unrestricted use of injurious foods, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, crack, heroin and drugs.  Some say that the drug problem is America’s greatest problem. But is it?  Could our greatest problem be lawlessness?

We see homosexuality and other gross sexual practices overtaking our society.  America has become polluted with every vile and imaginable sin because we have received counterfeit teachings from Satan.  We have put our faith in doctrines of the devil!

The road to self-destruction doesn’t end with the abandonment of health and lifestyle laws.  By leading America to abandon the great code of moral behavior, Satan has gained control of this country.  Our printing presses roll out billions of evil magazines offering the bodies of young men and women to those having an appetite for sexual immorality.  Those having an insatiable thirst for money and possessions have plenty to feed the appetite on in the form of idolatry.  People interested in gossip and slander find food for their depraved souls in the supermarket checkout line – food suitable to their warped senses.  Some interested in these awful pleasures have a hard time deciding what to read, for there is more available than any perverted mind can possibly absorb.  The printing industry of America has been taken over by Satan and he feeds Americans with soul-destroying garbage!

Hoe ironic!  The printing press was invented for the express purpose of printing the Bible!  Radio and TV development in America exceeds any other nation on earth and Satan has gained control.  These great and extensive powers promote evil on every channel by the minute.  We may talk about environmental pollution, but it is far behind the pollution of our hearts and minds.  The very airwaves have become polluted!

Satan has almost succeeded

The devil has counterfeited every truth in the gospel!  This is why the trumpets must sound and the 144,000 appear.  Jesus will gather His remnant through a proclamation of the gospel.  Do you want to be part of the gospel movement?

The gospel is called “eternal” or in the King James Version, “everlasting”, because it has always existed!  It has not changed, for God has not changed.  What is changing is our understanding.  We now see and understand more of God’s holy word – the Bible!

Your turn

Just as surely as knowledge has dramatically increased during the past century, our knowledge of the gospel has also increased.  If you believe this seminar has treated the Scriptures fairly and if you see the reasonableness of the gospel message presented here, you need to do three things:

First, completely dedicate (or rededicate) yourself to Jesus.  This simply means that you are willing to be what He wants you to be, willing to do what He wants you to do and lastly, willing to go wherever He sends you. This is what the life of faith is all about.

Secondly, you need to hear this seminar again.  You’ll pick up many things that you missed the first time you read these lessons. 

Lastly, find a friend who is open to this material and share with him or her some of the wonderful truths you have learned.

Your active support, influence and dedication to the gospel will cause heaven’s choir of billions of angels to rejoice.  The angels are anxious to come and receive us from this planet.  Jesus is anxious to deliver us.  Since the only thing we can take with us to heaven is our friend’s, lets win as many as we can!  Come, be a part of the remnant while there is still mercy!

“ The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now when we first believed.  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.”  Romans 13:11,12

Quiz:

  1. Name the five elements of the gospel.
  1. Do you believe this seminar deals fairly with scripture?
  1. Do you intend to read over these lessons again?
  1. Are you willing to completely give yourself to Jesus?
  1. What can you do to share this with friends?
  1. Are you ready for the events described in Revelation?

Notes:

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