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The Sabbath

 

of God

 

through the centuries


Direct to the centuries

The following records (Centuries 1-20) were compiled from personal research and published by
J. F. Coltheart in 1954. They are used here with permission.
J. F. Coltheart. 1954.

Some obvious spelling mistakes in the quotations and their sources have been rectified.

The rest of the pages, and Century 21, are the words of this site host.
You may use his information as you wish.


These records show that the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible has been kept by more than one group of Christians in every one of the centuries since the time of Calvary. Rather than being a new-fangled idea of the 1800’s this covenant with God has always been observed by some loyal part of His Christian church.

In many cases the knowledge of their existence is found only in the books of their enemies, for they were often proscribed and hunted to the death for their beliefs, and their writings destroyed. But the God of heaven has preserved enough records of their presence for any fair-minded professor of Christianity to be convinced of their existence.

The original compiler of this chart was able to personally consult old manuscripts and original sources of many of these quotations in the libraries and museums of Europe, Constantinople and the East. There he read of people such as the Waldenses who were noted for their Sabbath-keeping and for this reason were sometimes called "Sabbatti" or "Insabbatti". He visited some of the valleys where their descendants still live and was shown some of their early records, monuments and refuge places.

In some of the records of this chart you will see that at times whole countries kept God's seventh-day Sabbath, such as Bohemia. In Scotland it remained until the 12th century, while in Abyssinia it was observed until the 17th. Although the keeping of the Sabbath went into decline in many places in Europe from the early centuries of Christianity, it has been revived since the middle of the nineteenth century and today is observed by some Christian churches throughout the world.

That it is a Christian memorial as well as a Jewish one there is no doubt. God calls it "My Sabbath", or, "The Sabbath of the LORD your God". Ezekiel 20:12; Exodus 20:10.

 

But first some texts:

Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Click here to see the Ten Commandments in a new light when repeated by Moses

Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [set it apart as special]: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

Hebrews 1:1-4

God, who at sundry times and in divers [different] manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made [shown to be] so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

These texts show us quite convincingly that Jesus the Son of God (the LORD God) was the actual Creator of this world (as well as the rest of the universe), and as such, He was the One who blessed and sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath in the Garden of Eden when he "rested" from His works.

Some in modern times have voiced uncertainty about which day is the seventh day, but that doubt can soon be settled. Since the giving of the commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai, some of the the Old Testament people of God (commonly called Jews) have faithfully observed the Sabbath without a break, on the day which we modern folk call Saturday. From Friday night at sunset to Saturday at the going down of the sun has always been their twenty-four hours of sacred time.

For those who want more than a Jewish witness, the festival of Easter which was installed by the early church in place of the Passover puts the crucifixion on Good Friday, the Sabbath rest day on Saturday, and the resurrection on the first day of the week as having occurred on Easter Sunday. Regardless of the so-called "changes" to the calendars over the centuries, these institutions have not altered in their witness to God's day, the LORD's day, the seventh day.

Luke 23:50-56; 24:1-3

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation [Friday, the day BEFORE Sabbath], and the Sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the [seventh-day] Sabbath day according to the commandment.

Now upon the first day of the week [Easter Sunday], very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 3:7-19; 4:1-11

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost says, "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts," as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works [of protection] forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, "They do always err in their heart; and they have not known My ways." So I sware in My wrath, "They shall not enter into My [Sabbath] rest [because they have refused to].")

[See Ezekiel 20:5-24 for the sad story of this].

Take heed, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today" [the day of opportunity]; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; while it is said, "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." For some, when they had heard, did provoke [refuse Him]: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His [Sabbath] rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For to us [in the New Testament times] was the gospel preached, as well as to them [in the Old Testament times]: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

For we which have believed do enter into [Sabbath] rest, as He said, "As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest [I will work and protect them]": although the [creation] works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, "And God did rest the seventh day from all His works."

And in this place again, "If they shall [would only] enter into My rest."

Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again, He limited a certain day, saying in David [in the Psalms about 1000BC], "Today, after so long a time [about 500 years];" as it is said, "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." For if Joshua [about 1500BC] had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day [of opportunity].

There remains therefore a [Sabbath] rest to the people of God [today].

For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man [or woman today] fall after the same example of unbelief.

This "rest" is sometimes called "righteousness by faith" and the literal Sabbath is the outward sign of it.

Another interesting site

 

The witnesses

 

The First Century in the years of our Lord

The Second Century

The Third Century

The Fourth Century

The Fifth Century

The Sixth Century

The Seventh Century

The Eighth Century

The Ninth Century

The Tenth Century

The Eleventh Century

The Twelfth Century

The Thirteenth Century

The Fourteenth Century

The Fifteenth Century

The Sixteenth Century

The Seventeenth Century

The Eighteenth Century

The Nineteenth Century

The Twentieth Century

The Twenty-first Century


Ezekiel 20:19-20

I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.

If you would like more information on the meaning of the Sabbath sign in Christianity, mail me and ask.

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