History’s Greatest Religious Cover Up
On one evening in April, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee HQ located in the Watergate complex in D.C. Documents were photocopied, phones were wiretapped, everything that could have gone wrong in this “secretive” operation did.
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation as a result of this cover-up. He could not hide from the responsibility he held in this operation. Even now, decades later, the scandal continues to fascinate us. It is the only time in United States history that a sitting president resigned. An action that was a result of an attempt to access private information.
There is a much bigger scandal that occurred years before that. And unlike Watergate, which was specific to the U.S., this scandal has affected the entire world over hundreds of years. Tonight’s lecture exposed this cover up.
We recently talked about the seventh day as the Sabbath, and how its observance permeates the Bible from Creation to the end time. But you might be wondering, “Wait, why do Christians keep Sunday? If the Bible emphasizes Sabbath (seventh day) observance, then what is going on?”
Good question. Before we expose the scandal, we want to establish who is ultimately responsible and how we can avoid being caught in spiritual scandals.
Revelation 12:9 describes the devil as a deceiver, whose reach extends to the entire Earth. Remember in Genesis 3 that mankind fell to sin because the serpent (devil) deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. The devil has not been taking a break, he has been active in attempting to deceive even the smartest of people.
Yet, his cunning ways are not impossible to overcome. Jesus defeated him in the wilderness in Matthew 4 using only the Bible. David describes God’s Word as a lamp and a light to guide and illuminate the path ahead (Psalm 119:165). Jesus says in John 8:32 that a knowledge of the truth will set you free. The devil will use lies to deceive you, but the devil does not have a chance against those who know and follow the truth.
With these 2 things in mind, let’s look at the world’s greatest scandal. You remember that we previously revealed how the Bible emphasizes the importance of Sabbath keeping on the seventh day. It is right in the heart of God’s law. Yet, millions of Christians keep Sunday. Here’s how it began:
In 321 AD Constantine passed a law throughout the Roman Empire that declared Sunday to be a day of rest:
On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let shops be closed
See the Roman empire was falling apart, and in an attempt to bring the pagans and Christians together Constantine made rest on a specific day mandatory as a sort of compromise. At first glance, it appears that this is an innocent rest on the day of the Sun. But here’s what the Catholic World has to say (p809):
The sun was a foremost God with heathendom. There is in truth something royal, kingly about the sun, making it a fit emblem of Jesus the sun of justice. Hence, the church in these countries would seem to have said, keep that old pagan name [Sunday], it shall remain consecrated, sanctified, and thus the pagan Sunday dedicated to Balder [an ancient Norse God], became the Christian Sunday, dedicated to Jesus.
So the change from Saturday worship to Sunday worship happened gradually until it became commonplace. In fact, we can find the first instance where seventh-day Sabbath worshipping was outlawed. This is what came out of the Council of Laodicea in AD 363:
Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but the Lord’s Day they shall specially honor and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on the day. If however they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.
This is all man made friends. We do not see the change of worship from Saturday to Sunday anywhere in the Bible. It was all done by man. In fact, the Vatican is not shy about admitting that they are responsible for changing the Sabbath day. Check out the Convert’s Catechism:
Which is the Sabbath day?
Saturday is the Sabbath Day.
Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
No one is trying to hide this information, it is publicly accessible. Check out this statement from the Catholic Encyclopedia (vol 4, p153):
The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh-day to the first day of the week, made the third commandment referred to as Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.
Notice they said third commandment. If you look in your Bible you’ll see that the commandment regarding the Sabbath is the fourth commandment! But why?
The non-Christians who flooded the church of Rome brought much of their paganism with them. They were idol worshipers, and in St. Peter’s basilica today there’s a big statue of Saint Peter, which has been kissed by millions of pilgrims to the Vatican. But that statue of Peter was originally a statue of Jupiter. In a concession to the pagans, the church simply renamed the statue so they could have their statue but honor it in a Christian context. These things were done not for the sake of truth, but for the sake of unity at the expense of truth.
In a book called Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Dr. Karl Keating writes (p38):
Fundamentalists meet for worship on Sunday, yet there is no evidence in the Bible that corporate worship was to be made on Sundays. The Jewish Sabbath, or day of rest, was, of course, Saturday. It was the Catholic Church that decided Sunday should be the day of worship for Christians, in honor of the resurrection.
Do not get us wrong, we are grateful to Jesus for the resurrection because it shows that our God has power over death. We are thankful for His sacrifice because it gives us a way out of our sinful mess. But these reasons do not give us the license to change God’s law. Such an act makes a change in the Constitution of the United States pale by comparison.
Here’s what Cardinal Gibbons had to say in his book, Faith of our Fathers:
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.
The system that changed the law is not afraid to admit it. They are not afraid to admit that the Bible says something completely different.
As a disclaimer, while the quotations referenced above come from a system (the Vatican), we want to be clear that the Bible is not calling out individual people. As we’ll study later on, beasts represent nations and systems. Do not take this information to your friend of another particular faith and thump him/her on the head with it. This is an issue bigger than any one person.
Why are we sharing all of this information with you? Because this is direct rebellion against God. It is more than just a matter of which day to worship. It is a matter of whether or not you recognize God as sovereign. It is a matter of whether you love God or not (John 14:15). It is a matter of whether or not you recognize God as your Creator. The day does indeed matter friends, and by following God’s law we acknowledge God’s authority.
So what can be done? Making the change is not easy. It can split families, sever relationships, and cost you your job. There is no denying this fact. However, the Bible has some encouragement for us.
Revelation 14:4 reveals that the 144,000 (which we’ll discuss later) are ones that follow the Lamb, wherever He goes. Sometimes the places God takes you will not be comfortable. However, as long as you are with Jesus, there is nothing to fear.
Acts 17:30 reveals that in the past God overlooked our ignorance, but now calls us to repent. You will not be held accountable for what you did not know, but for what you do know. As we grow closer to Jesus, we will learn even more things about Him that will change who we are and how we view Him and others.
Mark 2:27 says that the Sabbath was made for mankind. Mankind was the crown of creation and the Sabbath was given as a gift. Adam and Eve began their relationship with God with rest. This same God is calling you to come into His rest (check out Hebrews 4).
The gift of the Sabbath is available for you today. God has revealed to you what His Word says, and He has given this to you for your sake. Will you accept His gift today? Will you and your house serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)?