Dr. Henry Waiters: The beginning of the apostasy in the church, part 3
Bishop Sylvester of Rome, 314 A.D., by his apostolic authority, officially changed the title of the first day, calling the Lord’s Day — “Historia Ecclesiastica,” by M. Ludovicm Lucium, pp 739, 740, edition Basilea, 1624.
Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, one of Constantine’s most ardent supporters, said, “We transferred the obligations of the Sabbath to Sunday: All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lords’ Day.” — Eusebius’ “Commentary on the Psalms” in Migne, “Patrologia Graeca,” vol xxiii, col 1171.
The Council of Laodicea decreed in 364 A.D., Canon 29: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday Sabbath, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honor.” — “A History of the Council of the Church,” Charles J. Hefele, vol, ii, p 316.
Some Christians kept the Sabbath: “Down even to the fifth century, the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian Church.” — Lyman Coleman’s “Ancient Christianity Exemplified,” chap 26, sec. 2.
In the dark ages, the Waldenses continued to observe the Sabbath: “They kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the articles of their Christian faith and the commandments of God.” Jones’ “Church History,” vol ii, chap 5, sec 4.
Among the early reformers of Sabbath observance, “Carlstadt held to the divine authority of the Sabbath from the Old Testament” — “Life of Luther,” by Dr. Barnes Sears, p 402.
Luther said of Carlstadt’s Sabbath views: “Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way and the Sabbath, that is to say, Saturday, must be kept Holy.” — Luther, “Against the Celestial Prophets” quoted in “Life of Martin Luther in Pictures,” p 147.
The claim of the Roman Church concerning the change of the Sabbath to Sunday: “Had the church not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority.” — “Doctrinal Catechism,” by Rev. Stephen Keenan, p 174.
“Sabbath reform is a challenge to every Christian, and begins with proper respect for the fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, (Ex 20:8). The Pharisees had made void the fifth commandment by their teaching, and Jesus said, “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition,” (Matt 15:6). “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt 15:9)
What is true of the fifth commandment is true of every other commandment. If through tradition men set aside any other of God’s commandments, the words of Christ to the Pharisees are equally applicable to them. They are guilty of making void the commandment of God, and of instituting vain worship.
The Roman Church claims power to make any alterations in the commandments of God: “Instead of the seventh day, and other festivals appointed by the old law, the Church has prescribed the Sundays and holy days to be set apart for God’s worship; and these we are obliged to keep in consequence of God’s commandment, instead of the ancient Sabbath.” — Catholic Christian Instructed,” by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Challoner, p 211.
Final salvation will be brought to the true people of God: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). When this salvation comes near, those to be blessed are: “Thus saith the Lord, keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil,” (Is 56:1-2).
This blessing is not confined to any one class: “Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” (Is 56:6-7).
To be continued
Dr. Waiters can be reached at 704-636-3369.