..To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"
A few thoughts on
The Sunday Law
Those who are expecting a Sunday law as the mark of the beast, are blessed.
9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 and the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name".
12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Those who are expecting that law to originate in the Federal United States of America and then spread to the rest of the world, have great understanding.
11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb [at first], and [then] he spoke as a dragon.
Those who are expecting it to be first proposed by the Protestant ministers of the United States are looking in the right direction.
12And he [the second beast] exercises all the power of the first beast before [in front of] him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Those who understand that it will actually come about at the request of the people of the U.S. through their ministers, are getting close to the whole truth.
13And he [the second beast] does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do [through Satan’s engineering] in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image [a copy] to the [of the first] beast, which had the wound by a sword [the KJV Bible in 1611, Ephesians 6:17], and [yet] did live.
There will be great miracles and wonders to convince the people of the world that this power is of God, and that a church/state union upholding Sunday as the only day of worship is what He wants. Some will be convinced and receive the "mark" in their foreheads (their minds), while others will be apathetic but will go along with the idea because it suits them (the "mark" is only in their hands).
The Federal government of the United States will then pass religious laws which will end up with a death penalty for non-observance. Other governments throughout the world will then quickly follow this action.
15And he [the second beast] had power to give life to the image [the copy] of the [first] beast, that the image of the beast should both speak [by law], and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. [Note that it is NOT the first beast of this verse which is being worshipped, except by proxy, for the image beast is a COPY of the first beast. It is a THIRD beast.]
16And he [the third beast] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark [of the image beast] in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark [of the image beast], or the name [identity] of the [image] beast, or the number of his name [character].
The third beast ends up as a union of ALL the religions and ALL the governments of the world, and these will impose sanctions (restrictions on buying and selling) on those who disagree and rebel (in their eyes) against the will of the people.
4And they worshipped the dragon [i.e. Satan, thinking he was God] which gave power to the beast [the worldwide union of religions and states]: and they worshipped the [image] beast, saying, "Who is like to the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" [He has conquered the world.]
5And there was given to him [by Satan] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty-two months [three and one half years] . . .
7And it was given to him [the worldwide union] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them [as the Son of man was overcome on the cross!]: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations [by their choice].
Those who have read their history will know that a law with a death penalty is only enforced after a period of time, and usually in this way:-
First: the law contains fines as penalties for infringement;
Second: then continued transgression of it invokes imprisonment;
Third: habitual breaking of the law calls for sanctions;
Finally: only under great stress and abhorrence does the nation call for the
death penalty for persistent offenders.
The Federal Sunday laws will probably come into existence in several steps:
1. The first law will prohibit work on that day,
which Sabbath-keeping Christians can obey;
2. Then another decree will prohibit entertainment on that day,
which Sabbath-keeping Christians can also obey;
3. Then a third will compel people to have religious observances
on that day in their churches;
which Sabbath-keeping Christians can also obey
by keeping both days;
4. Then an amendment will list the only recognised church venues
for that day,
which some Sabbath-keeping Christians
will find against their conscience to obey;
5. Then the final decree will prohibit worshipping on any other day,
which Sabbath-keeping Christians will find impossible.
The above list is based on the following excerpts from a book by A. T. Jones of how the original Sunday laws were applied in the Roman Empire during the early centuries of Christianity. The whole chapter from the book is also attached to this article for your consideration, with the excerpts coloured red for easy identification.
[There's also a link to Jones' book at the end of this article.]
Great Empires of Prophecy, by A. T. Jones.
CHAPTER XXXII. page 476 paragraph 1
12. As we have found in the evidence of the previous chapter, the church had become filled with a mass of people who had no respect for religious exercises, and now it became necessary to use the power of the State to assist in preserving respect for church discipline. As the church-members had not religion enough to lead them to do what they professed was their duty to do, the services of the State had to be enlisted to assist them in doing what they professed to believe it was right to do. In other words, as only worldly and selfish interests had been appealed to in bringing them to membership in the church, and as they therefore had no conscience in the matter, the services of the State were employed as aids to conscience, or rather to supply the lack of conscience. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 476 paragraph 2
13.[The numbers at the start are the original paragraph identifications in the book.]
Accordingly, one of the first, if not the very first, of the laws secured by the bishops in behalf of the church, was enacted, as it is supposed, about A. D. 314, ordering that on Friday and on Sunday "there should be a suspension of business at the courts and in other civil offices, so that the day might be devoted with less interruption to the purposes of devotion." -– Neander.3. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 476 paragraph 3
14. This was simply to confess that their Christianity was altogether earthly, sensual, and selfish. It was to confess that there was not enough virtue in their profession of religion to pay them  for professing it; and they must needs have the State pay them for professing it. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 477 paragraph 1
15. This, however, was but the beginning. The State had become an instrument in the hands of the church, and she was determined to use that instrument to the utmost for her own aggrandizement and the establishment of her power as supreme. As we have seen by many proofs, one of the first aims of the apostate church was the exaltation of Sunday as the chief sacred day. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 481 paragraph 5
26. Such was the character and intent of the first enactment respecting Sunday. And of the second Sunday law we have a statement equally clear, that its purpose was the same. In praise of Constantine, the episcopal "orator" says: -–
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 481 paragraph 6
"He commanded too, that one day should be regarded as a special occasion for religious worship." -– Eusebius.11. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 485 paragraph 1
"But to sum up matters briefly, it was determined by common consent that the most holy festival of Easter should be solemnized on one and the same day[Sunday]; for in such a hallowed solemnity any difference is unseemly, and it is more commendable to adopt that opinion in which there will be no intermixture of strange error, or deviation from what is right. These things therefore being thus ordered, do you gladly receive this heavenly and truly divine command; for whatever is done in the sacred assemblies of the bishops is referable to the divine will."
[Some of the Christian churches in the east were honouring the death and the resurrection at the time of the Jewish Passover as the apostles had taught them, and Rome wanted this stopped.]
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 485 paragraph 2
36. This throws much light upon the next move that was made; as these things were made the basis of further action by the church. At every step in the course of the apostasy, at every step taken in adopting the forms of sun-worship, and against the adoption and the observance of Sunday itself, there had been constant protest by all real Christians.. . .
[Because of much civil unrest and disobedience, some exemptions had been made, but to no avail, for the religious people won in the end.]
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 486 paragraph 1
38. In order, therefore, to the accomplishment of her original purpose, it now became necessary for the church to secure legislation extinguishing all exemption, and prohibiting the observance of the Sabbath so as to quench that powerful protest. And now, coupled with the necessity of the situation, the "truly divine command" of Constantine and the Council of Nice that "nothing" should be held "in common with the Jews," was made the basis and the authority for legislation utterly to crush out the observance of the Sabbath of the Lord, and to establish the observance of Sunday only in its stead. Accordingly, the Council of Laodicea enacted the following canon: -–
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 486 paragraph 2
"CANON 29. Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord's day they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ."19 . . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 488 paragraph 3
45. But this was not what the bishops wanted. This was not that for which all work had been forbidden. All work had been forbidden in order that the people might go to church; but instead of that, they crowded to the circus and the theater, and the audiences of the bishops were rather slim. This was not at all satisfying  to their pride; and they took care to let it be known. "Church teachers . . . were, in truth, often forced to complain that in such competitions the theater was vastly more frequented than the church." -– Neander.22
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 489 paragraph 1
46. And the church was now in a condition in which she could not bear competition. She must have a monopoly. Therefore, the next step to be taken, the logical one, too, was to have the circuses and theaters closed on Sundays and other special church days, so that the churches and the theaters should not be open at the same time.. . .
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 490 paragraph 3
52. In the logic of this theory, there was one more step to be taken. To see how logically it came about, let us glance at the steps taken from the first one up to this point: First, the church had all work on Sunday forbidden, in order that the people might attend to things divine; work was forbidden, that the people might worship. But the people would not worship; they went to the circus and the theater instead of to church. Then the church had laws enacted closing the circuses and the theaters, in order that the people might attend church. But even then the people would not be devoted, nor attend church; for they had no real religion. The next step to be taken, therefore, in the logic of the situation, was to compel them to be devoted -– to compel them to attend to things divine.
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 490 paragraph 4
53. This was the next step logically to be taken, and it was taken. The theocratical bishops were equal to the occasion. They were ready with a theory that exactly met the demands of the case;  and one of the greatest of the Catholic Church Fathers and Catholic saints was the father of this Catholic saintly theory. He wrote: -–
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 491 paragraph 1
"It is, indeed, better that men should be brought to serve God by instruction than by fear of punishment or by pain. But because the former means are better, the latter must not therefore be neglected. . . . Many must often be brought back to their Lord, like wicked servants, by the rod of temporal suffering, before they attain the highest grade of religious development." -– Augustine.27
ATJ GEP CHAPTER XXXII. page 491 paragraph 2
54. Of this theory, the author who of all the church historians has best exposed the evil workings of this false theocracy, justly observes that "it was by Augustine, then, that a theory was proposed and founded, which . . . contained the germ of that whole system of spiritual despotism of intolerance and persecution which ended in the tribunals of the Inquisition." -– Neander.28
This is why any religious law must eventually end up requiring a death penalty on those who reject it – they are considered by the majority as rejecting God.
What progress have Sunday-law proponents made so far?
Here are some quotes from DATELINE SUNDAY, U.S.A., by Warren L. Johns.
The matter boiled to the surface April 26, 1810, when Congress acted to require postmasters to provide service every day of the week, including the first day . . .
In 1815 the Thirteenth Congress reaffirmed its previous action, but the agitation continued . . .
In precedent-shattering actions taken in 1829 and 1830, both the Senate and the House adopted reports which followed the Johnson arguments and repudiated the Sunday legislation . . .
So complete was the victory for religious freedom that not until 1888 was any serious move again made in Congress for a national Sunday observance . . .
In 1912, the Federal Government did agree to eliminate Sunday delivery of all but special-delivery mail in "post offices of the first and second classes"; but it has yet to capitulate to demands for a national Sunday law.[This statement was written in 1941.]
A similar situation prevailed when a rider for Sunday closing was attached to a bill appropriating funds of Federal aid for an important World Fair (the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago).
DATELINE SUNDAY, U.S.A., by Warren L. Johns.
The House Committee on the Judiciary reported it "Inexpedient to legislate upon the subject," since the fathers of the republic had considered the matter and laid the foundation of a government which "was to be the home of the oppressed of all nations of the earth, whether Christian or pagan".
The committee pointed out that the founders of our nation had reasoned "with great unanimity that it was inexpedient to put anything into the Constitution or frame of government which might be construed to be a reference to any religious creed or doctrine.
[Yet, as some senators explained, it is hard to keep to that stand.]
When, in 1892, Congress heard demands to attach a Sundayclosing rider to the bill appropriating funds to the Columbian Exposition, New York Senator Hiscock counseled, "If I had charge of this amendment in the interest of the Columbian Exposition, I would write the provision for the closure in any form that the religious sentiment of the country demands".. . .
A Chicago newspaper reported the reaction of a House committee member on the World's Fair to the clamor for the Sunday-closing rider. He allegedly admitted, "The reason we shall  vote for it is, I will confess to you, a fear that, unless we do so, the church folks will get together and knife us at the polls next; and - well, you know we all want to come back, and we can't afford to take any risks.". . .
But Congress was not to escape easily the pressure for Federal action for enforced Sunday closing. When a rider was attached to the bill appropriating funds to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a flurry of Congressional debate ensued. In order to obtain Federal funds, the bill stipulated, the fair had to close each Sunday.. . .
After days of spirited debate and revision, Sunday-closing advocates scored a victory as President Harrison, on August 5, 1892, signed the measure into law.
Citizens who earlier had not bothered to join in a petition protesting "against the Congress of the United States committing the United States Government to a union of religion and state, in the passage of any bill or resolution to close the World's Columbian Exposition on Sunday," suddenly reacted. Moves to open the fair on Sunday were initiated in Chicago, backed by the city council, the mayor, the press, and the management of the fair. Ironically, they gave religious reasons in support of Sunday opening.. . .
Another church organization demanded, in a wire to the attorney general, to know why Federal troops could not be "used, if necessary, to maintain inviolate the national authority, and keep the fair closed on the Lord's day.". . .
While Congress had acted to close the gates of a world's fair  on Sunday, it had simultaneously opened doors to a flood of demands for future sessions of the Federal legislature to give legal recognition to religious practices. During the next half century[1893-1943] Congress considered almost a hundred measures designed to honor Sunday. [One every six months on average!]
Thus we can see that while Satan’s agents are untiring in their efforts to get Sunday-keeping raised to national level in the United States of America, God is continually frustrating their desire.
1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 saying, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads".
It will take many "signs and wonders" and even great calamities before the religious people of the world will agree to execute those who disagree with them in belief (not their leaders, they’re ready to go now).
But that’s not the reason for the delay!
The Spirit of God is waiting to "seal" His servants in their minds before any of this can happen.
But when they commit themselves to the fray as Jesus did then it will!
41And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done".
43And there appeared an angel to Him from heaven, strengthening Him [as there will be for us].
On to Great Empires of Prophecy, chapter 32
Here's a link to a site which has A T Jones' arguments on Sunday laws before the United States Senate Committee on Education and Labor in 1888 You may have to wait a while for it to load.
To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"