About Our Cover ...
A typical scene on Sunday morning in the Christian-professing world is a crowd leaving church after worship services.
Professing Christians practice the innocent-looking custom of Sunday observance without ever questioning its origin. They sincerely believe this day honors the true God and Jesus Christ - - assuming it is a Christian practice based on Bible authority. This lesson gives the shocking TRUE ORIGIN and PURPOSE of Sunday observance!
PERILOUS TIMES ARE JUST AHEAD! The worldwide DANGER signals are up -- just as Christ SAID they would be!
Your Bible prophesies that unparalleled VIOLENCE from fierce, SATANIC MEN -- men having an OUTWARD form of godliness -- is just ahead!
These men will soon DIABOLICALLY enforce the observance of SUNday upon the people of this earth. They will use every means at their disposal -- including sheer brute force!
WHY will these men be so intent on enforcing SUNday worship? Your Bible warns that they will be inspired by the very DEVIL himself!
God inspired the apostle John to WARN us of these perilous times: "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth ... for the devil is come down unto you, having GREAT WRATH, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time"! (Rev. 12:12.)
God continues to warn YOU AND ME: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (human beings), but against ... spiritual wickedness (wicked SPIRITS) in high places" (Eph. 6:12).
Exactly what does all this mean? What is the PLAN of these evil spirit beings?
You need to KNOW -- and quickly!
It is vitally imperative that you realize we are already ENTERING the time of crisis at the close of this age (Mat. 24:3).
You must KNOW -- and KNOW that you know -- in order to AVOID this soon-to-be-enforced mark of SUNday -- whatever the cost!
You can't afford to put it off. Now is the time you must UNDERSTAND and ACT on God's revealed truth!
Satan at once appeared in the Garden of Eden to DECEIVE the very first human beings. And he has been just as busily engaged in the same work from that time on!
Let's understand how Satan and his demons continued to deceive humanity.
1. There were many people on the earth before the great flood of Noah's time. But had they become very DISOBEDIENT to their Creator? Gen. 6:5. Of all this great number of people, how many were allowed to ESCAPE the great destruction of "Noah's Flood"? Gen. 7:7 and I Pet. 3:20.
COMMENT: To save the people from FURTHER sin and suffering, God had to DESTROY them. Only EIGHT of the billions of people who lived at that time escaped death!
2. Did Satan have a guiding hand in causing the people to SIN? I Pet. 3:19-20.
COMMENT: Satan and his demons were so very active in deceiving and causing mankind to become extremely wicked PRIOR to the flood, that they succeeded in completely deceiving the whole world!
It was for this reason that Christ, BEFORE He came to this earth in human flesh, "went and preached unto the spirits (these fallen angels) in prison (confined to this earth, having a spirit of error): which sometime were disobedient ... while the ark was a preparing ... " (I Pet. 3:19-20).
While the ark was being built, God was warning the fallen angels of the FUTURE punishment they would receive for aiding the Devil in deceiving the earth's inhabitants.
Satan knew that if he could influence all mankind to sin, God would necessarily have to destroy them all, for sin -- DISOBEDIENCE -- brings destruction from God! (Rom. 6:23.)
Satan was -- and is to this very day -- extremely successful in causing man to sin! SATAN IS TRYING TO PREVENT MORE ADDITIONS TO THE FAMILY OF GOD -- MORE SONS OF GOD!
1. When Christ -- who is one of the two divine members of the Kingdom of God -- became mortal, human flesh and subject to death, did Satan see a "golden opportunity" to be RID of one of these two great beings who are holding him back in his mad quest for dominion of the universe? Rev. 12:4 and Mat. 2:3-4, 16.
COMMENT: Remember, the great red dragon is revealed to be Satan in Revelation 12:9, and we see here in Matthew that the child is Christ.
Satan tried to destroy Christ by INSPIRING Herod to have these helpless little children killed!
2. Does God warn us that Satan the Devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? I Pet. 5:8.
3. Will Satan soon try to destroy God's SABBATH-keeping True Church -- the Church which keeps the SEVENTH day of the week -- the day which God commands us to keep today? Rev 12:12-17.
COMMENT: The Bible uses the symbolism of a "woman" to indicate a CHURCH. God's True Church is pictured as a chaste young virgin -- PURE and UNDEFILED by the PAGAN PRACTICES of this world. The True Church REFUSES to keep "this present evil world's" first day of the week -- tagged by the pagans SUNday -- the observance of which is DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE to God!
Notice in verse 12 that it is the DEVIL who is being spoken of, and that it is he who is variously referred to as "the dragon," and "the serpent."
We see here that Satan will try, with all the power at his disposal, to DESTROY the "woman" -- the collective members of God's True Church -- those who are on the verge of being born again at the resurrection as the very SONS of God -- very GODS! But these members -- UNlike those not in God's True Church -- will ESCAPE Satan's wrath since they will have God's DIVINE PROTECTION: Note the words "the earth HELPED the woman ..." (verse 16).
Here is a BLESSING for keeping God's Sabbath and other commandments!
But the rest of the inhabitants of the world -- POTENTIAL material to become Sons of God (from Satan's viewpoint) will SUFFER GREAT VIOLENCE AND DEATH at the hands of Devil and demon-inspired madmen! Note the words, "for the devil is come down unto you (the WHOLE world), having GREAT WRATH" (verse 12).
But HOW can Satan, who is a SPIRIT being, influence people? Just because we cannot see him and his demons does not mean that they are NOT around and working actively against us.
Since Satan is a spirit and invisible to the human eye, he must be REVEALED to us. God reveals that Satan is a REAL and VERY ACTIVE BEING -- make no mistake about that!
Satan is diabolically wise -- and wily -- and is our ARCHENEMY!
You need to KNOW YOUR ENEMY and AVOID HIS DEADLY TRAP!
Yes, Satan is a VERY REAL being! And his demons -- vast in number -- are also very real and EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
Now understand HOW Satan works. 1. If a person allows it, can a demon enter him and cause him to become dumb -- unable to talk? Mat. 9:32-33.
2. Can they enter a person, if that individual allows it, and cause him to have an INFIRMITY -- even become a cripple? Luke 13:11.
3. Can a demon who has entered a person impart SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH to him? Mark 5:2-4. Can many demons enter a person at the same time? Mat. 12:43-45.
4. Can a demon's entry into a person cause him to do frightful things? Acts 19:16.
5. When a demon enters a person, does that individual become Satan's own POSSESSION? Mat. 8:28. Notice the word "possessed" in this verse, and in verse 16.
6. Can a possessed person become destructive? Mat. 17:15-18 and Luke 9:42.
COMMENT: A possessed person can do great bodily injury to himself and to others!
7. Can demons CONGREGATE HEAVILY IN ONE PLACE? Luke 8:30. And can a group of demons spread out and simultaneously enter a GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS (swine, in this case)? Mat. 8:28-32.
COMMENT: Here we see that mass groups can be influenced by demons at the same time. This is important to remember regarding PEOPLE, as you will later see. For very soon Satan plans to use his demons mightily to influence people in HIGH POSITIONS to force others to disobey God. In this way he hopes -- and has reason to believe -- he can bring DESTRUCTION on great numbers.
This time is now almost upon us!
There is a great battle now going on. But it is NOT between God and Satan.
The battle now going on is between Satan and those whom God is calling into His Kingdom.
We could know nothing of this battle unless God revealed it to us. For neither Satan nor his demons are fleshly beings as we are. They are, unless supernaturally manifested, undetectable by any of our five senses: sight, touch, hearing, etc.
But God DOES REVEAL this battle to us. It is REAL -- VITAL FOR US TO UNDERSTAND!
Notice what God warns us about the deceptive ways of the Devil so we may GUARD our minds against him and his demons.
1. Does God warn us against these unseen, but nevertheless very real and deadly enemies whom we are very apt to forget entirely, as there is nothing to remind us of their presence? Does God solemnly warn us that SATAN, like a ROARING LION, IS OUT TO DEVOUR US SPIRITUALLY -- which would mean OUR ETERNAL DEATH? I Pet. 5:8. NOTHING COULD BE WORSE THAN THAT!!
2. Are we warned NOT to love this "world" of the Devil's -- this, the DEVIL'S AGE -- Satan's time of dominion? I John 2:15. Why this warning? Is it because we might otherwise "give place to" -- weaken and be misled by -- some DEATH-DEALING TRAP of the Devil? Eph. 4:27. Isn't Satan, the serpent, VERY SUBTLE -- creeping in smoothly and gradually to deceive man, often completely without our even suspecting it? Gen. 3:1.
3. Remember that the Devil and his demons are SPIRIT beings. Are we warned not to receive into our minds any "spirit" other than the Holy Spirit of God? II Cor. 11:4.
COMMENT: The influence of the Devil can mislead men's minds by supernaturally suggesting customs opposed to the commandments of God. For example, SUNday observance!
4. Are we commanded to TRY THE SPIRITS whether they are of God (or of the Devil)? I John 4:1.
COMMENT: We do this BY CHECKING IN OUR BIBLE to see if what is taught is of God, or is motivated by the Devil and his demons. The Devil hates the true commandments of God and deceives people into BREAKING them!
5. What does Satan appear to be to those in the world? II Cor. 11:14. And therefore what do his ministers -- his preachers -- appear to be? Verse 15. Does Satan work in those that are disobedient? Eph. 2:2.
6. Aren't we warned that all TRUE CHRISTIANS have to WRESTLE with -- WORK HARD TO OVERCOME -- the Devil and his demons in order to live God's way and receive salvation? Eph. 6:10-13.
COMMENT: "Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto (eternal) life, and FEW there be that find it" (Mat. 7:14). The Devil already has the VAST MAJORITY thoroughly deceived about the TRUE WAY to eternal life!
But the true Christian is locked in a life-and-death battle with the evil SPIRIT WORLD. Your Bible says so!
Do you recall how determinedly Satan fought God in his attempt to seize God's throne?
From that time Satan has been constantly PERFECTING his method and plan for destroying man, both physically and spiritually -- perfecting it so there will be no more Sons of God added to the Family presently composed of God the Father, and God the Son.
Learn now of Satan's worldwide ORGANIZATION which has existed down through the centuries.
This Satanic organization instituted Sunday in honor of the sun. It cloaked this pagan custom in the name of Christ and called it "Christian." God condemns it in no uncertain terms in the book of Revelation:
"If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his MARK (to be fully explained in the next two lessons) in his forehead, or in his hand (forehead for what you THINK -- hand for what you DO) 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" (Rev. 14:9-10).
This is what will happen to those who PERSIST in SUNday observance! So says YOUR Bible!
God tells us to be careful, for MANY FALSE MINISTERS are in the world -- and ARE INSPIRED BY THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS! (II Cor. 11:13-15.)
It is high time -- yes, and extremely necessary -- that you familiarize yourself now with the satanically inspired forces that are BEHIND the awesome and fearful events which are soon to cascade upon this hapless earth.
Forewarned is forearmed for escape!
Are you ready?
1. Satan has special "religious" seats of power in some localities. Where was one of these in the time of the apostle John? Rev. 2:12-13.
2. Does Satan have HIS CHURCH -- HIS "synagogue"? Rev. 2:8-9.
COMMENT: Satan supernaturally influences people to form "churches" to spread his death-dealing doctrine of Sunday observance and other damning practices which may rid him forever of potential Sons of God.
3. Does Satan's Church LOOK as though it represents CHRIST -- the "LAMB" of God? But does it actually speak the deceptions of the DEVIL -- the "DRAGON"? Rev. 13:11.
COMMENT: This great universal church here spoken of has existed for centuries. Soon it will forge ahead with great POWER! -- with the power of the MILITARY MIGHT of a "Hitler" behind it to impose Satan's will! (This will also be covered in detail in the next two lessons.)
Hitler -- a leader of great military power -- was demon possessed at times and through him Satan swayed millions of people!
Satan can influence humans to do his will and commit murderous acts by SUGGESTING these actions to the mind, or by actually POSSESSING an individual through literally entering his body. An EXAMPLE of this is when Satan personally entered into and possessed Judas Iscariot just before he caused him to betray, and thereby kill, Christ -- "Satan ENTERED INTO him (Judas)" (John 13:27).
WHY is Sunday suddenly going to surge forward as this "present evil world's" most popular day?
Why is it soon to become the most observed "religious" day on the face of the earth?
There is a REASON, and a very powerful one! It will not "just happen."
1. Did Christ identify Satan as the RULER of this present evil world -- identify Satan as the "PRINCE of this WORLD"? John 14:30.
2. Did Christ say that He and Satan are at diametric odds -- have nothing in common? John 14:30. Isn't Satan identified as the "PRINCE" who works in the disobedient people of this earth? Eph. 2:2.
3. Is Satan plainly called the "GOD" of this world? II Cor. 4:4. And what does he concentrate on doing? Same verse.
COMMENT: As "GOD" of this world, Satan has great power, and he uses it to his utmost in blinding people to the true way of salvation. Especially in respect to the keeping of the key test of obedience to God -- the seventh-day Sabbath -- by SUBSTITUTING FOR it the first day -- Sunday!
Thus Satan deceives vast numbers into VOLUNTARILY, but unwittingly, observing the wrong day.
4. But what about those who WILL NOT VOLUNTARILY "keep Sunday"? As "god" of this world, does Satan have the means by which he can force the people of the world to observe Sunday? Has he a vast human reservoir of military might which he can use? Rev. 13:2.
COMMENT: The symbols here in verses 1 and 2 represent a SUCCESSION of several WORLD EMPIRES -- one, the last, to climax its world rule right now in our day -- just before the very end of this age. The outstanding feature of each of these is their tremendous MILITARY MIGHT.
Notice in verse 2 WHO will give SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH and cunning to this "beast" power. It is "THE DRAGON" -- whom we know to be SATAN THE DEVIL!
And we know what Satan will do. He will enforce, by military MIGHT, the branding of the people of the world with SUNDAY observance -- the "MARK OF THE BEAST"!
Now you are beginning to realize WHY SUNday is going to become so widely observed in the immediate future! Even today the ranks of SUNday "KEEPERS" are swelling due to the increased, but as yet nonviolent activity of Satan and his "ministers."
Just how did the INANIMATE sun come to have a day named in its honor -- Sunday -- the day most professing "Christians" observe IN THE PLACE OF God's commanded Sabbath Day?
Let's begin to understand how this strange day -- SUNday -- and SUN WORSHIP originated.
1. Had Satan been, in his former position as Lucifer, a bright and shining cherub, radiant like the morning star? Isa. 14:12; Ezek. 28:17.
COMMENT: LUCIFER, whose name means "LIGHT-BRINGER" (L. lux -- "light", and "fero" -- to bring), was called "son of the morning" -- that is, a herald of LIGHT like the morning star. He was the light-bringer to this earth when he was sent by God to rule here before his rebellion. His spirit body radiated SPIRITUAL light and truth to the angels under him, just as the presence of God the Father and God the Son will do on the coming new, refashioned earth (Rev. 21:22, 23).
While bright and full of wisdom and perfect in beauty (Ezek. 28:12), Lucifer had been looked up to. He received a degree of ADORATION!
2. But when Lucifer rebelled against God, did he LOSE his brightness? Rev. 12:3.
COMMENT: Lucifer, the "light-bringer," lost his brightness. He came to possess merely a DULL RED serpentine body.
3. And did this earth also become darkened? Gen. 1:2 and Jude 6.
COMMENT: Remember that between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis, chapter 1, the great battle between God and Lucifer took place. In the resulting disruption, this earth became DARK (notice the word "darkness" in verse 2) and remained so for an untold period of time, until God commenced the week of re-creation.
Lucifer and his angels did not keep their "first estate" (Jude 6) -- their rule of this earth over which God first assigned them. They became inordinately ambitious and arose to seize God's rulership. But they were cast back down to this darkened earth and remained in SPIRITUAL darkness from the time of their rebellion to this day.
4. What did Satan, the serpent, then do -- ASSOCIATE himself with the SUN?
COMMENT: Satan wanted to be LIKE God -- to radiate glory like God whose brilliance is brighter than the sun -- and to be WORSHIPPED "as" God. So Satan had himself identified with the sun, the BRIGHTEST object then known to man, and palmed himself off as the SUN-god.
That, in a nutshell, is WHY the sun became a favorite object of PAGAN worship!
Now for the details.
Because of the light and heat it gives and its vital effect on the growth of food-producing vegetation, the sun was regarded as "the giver of all good gifts." And the fact that the serpent was with the first of mankind was also WELL KNOWN to the people of the early world.
So Satan, the serpent, supernaturally influenced the leaders and their followers -- already possessing a carnal mind which "is (at) enmity against (or toward) God" (Rom. 8:7; Jer. 17:9) -- to believe that he, the SERPENT in the Garden of Eden, was the TRUE FRIEND of man. For wasn't it the SERPENT that gave the woman the advice that man acted upon? Wasn't it the serpent that showed them how they could be "as gods," knowing good AND evil?
Thus SATAN caused the sun and the serpent, the two "enlighteners," to become associated together. That's why one of the COMMONEST SYMBOLS of the sun, or sun-god, was a disk (the SUN) with a SERPENT AROUND IT (Bunsen's Hieroglyphics, Vol. I, page 497).
Of this pagan perversion your Bible says: "When they (the people of early times) KNEW GOD (for archaeological records show that the world did know God immediately after the flood -- and they knew of the Garden of Eden) they ... changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and CREEPING THINGS (the SERPENT MAINLY -- for it had the Devil's SUPERnatural influence on man to make it seem MORE attractive than the OTHERS) ... and worshipped and served the creature (thing created -- the SUN included, for its worship was especially promoted by Satan) more than the Creator ..." (Rom. 1:21-25).
In this sort of perverted fashion Satan, the serpent, secondhandedly received the worship and adoration he craved.
But of most use and advantage to Satan was the fact that he increased the IMPORTANCE of the great, fiery, lifeless SUN in the eyes of mankind! For Satan was gradually and stealthily laying the foundation for the introduction of the DAY of the sun -- SUNday!
When God originally gave man his SEVEN-DAY week, he SIMPLY NUMBERED each day "the FIRST day," "the SECOND day," etc. (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 -- last two words in each verse).
And, set apart from these six days, God gave His Holy Sabbath -- the SEVENTH day -- which is both NUMBERED and NAMED (Gen. 2:2; Ex. 16:26). Thus God EMPHASIZES the extreme importance of the SABBATH DAY to man!
Almighty God originally set apart ONE SEVENTH of MAN'S TIME to especially remind mankind of the true, eternal, Almighty God. An EXACT time -- the SEVENTH day of the week -- and an EXACT NAME -- the SABBATH!
Then how did "this present evil world" come to RENAME all seven days of the week -- with NO MENTION OF GOD'S HOLY SABBATH DAY?
Clearly it was NOT by God's authority! He NEVER changed HIS week with its seventh-day Sabbath.
This NEW week with its FIRST day -- called SUNDAY -- originated from elsewhere. It was FROM SATAN HIMSELF with the intent to confuse and trick man to suffer the penalty of ETERNAL DEATH brought about by SIN!
Let's understand how Satan gradually brought his COUNTERFEIT WEEK into being, with his SUNday immediately following God's commanded Sabbath Day!
The ancient heathen countries of Babylonia and Assyria knew of God's seven-day week with its SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH. But Babylon was where Satan started his perversion of God's week!
In ancient Babylon, "evil days" which were observed on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of the month, were gradually set apart (Webster's Rest Days, p. 230).
The seventh day of each Babylonian week was CALLED A "SHABATTUM" -- THE PAGAN CORRUPTION OF THE SABBATH. Thus the Sabbaths of GOD -- times when men might ENJOY SPIRITUAL PURSUITS -- were soon called periods of "ill omens" or "evil days" (Rest Days, p. 232).
Here we see that Satan was beginning to give God's Holy Sabbath Day a bad reputation!
On these "evil days" the pagans had to afflict themselves -- they had to do penance. They could not eat flesh cooked upon coals, nor change garments, nor could the physician lay hands upon the patient. At night, the king was to bring his gifts before the images (of pagan gods) and offer sacrifice to them (Rest Days, p. 232).
Satan had ALREADY CORRUPTED the manner of keeping the true Sabbath at this early date!
1. How did the pagans, under Satan's influence, formulate the planetary or astrological week which the world still retains today -- the week which Satan uses to HIDE God's true week from man, and in which he puts his SUNday to HIDE God's Sabbath Day?
COMMENT: Here is THE ANSWER: "The planetary week presents itself as a curious amalgum (or mixture) of ideas derived from different sources. Babylonia, the motherland of divination, provided the doctrine of the influence of the stars ("stars" are symbolic of angels (Rev. 1:20). Stars worshipped in paganism are FALLEN ANGELS -- Satan's demons!) upon human destinies: Greece furnished the mathematical astronomy which groups the planets according to their distance from the earth ... upon these foundations ASTROLOGERS of the Hellenistic (Greek) era, familiar with the cult of seven and with the division of days into twenty-four hours, built up what was, at the outset, an entirely pagan (Devil-inspired) institution."
Notice from the words just quoted that the present planetary week is a PAGAN institution!
Continuing, "This seven-day week, in its ASTROLOGICAL FORM ... probably first appeared ... (in) Syria, certainly not before the second century B.C. had passed ... thence to Alexandria (Egypt) ... and about the age of Augustus (31 B.C.-14 A.D.) ... into the Occidental (Western -- then Roman) land" (Webster's Rest Days, pp. 218-19).
So TODAY'S PAGAN WEEK WAS BORN FROM MOTHER "BABYLON"! A name which suggests to God every hateful thing! "Babylon ... the habitation of DEVILS (demons), and the hold of every FOUL SPIRIT, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (Rev. 18:2).
2. How did the pagans, under the guidance of Satan, name the days of this counterfeit week -- TODAY'S week?
COMMENT: As we have seen, old Babylonia provided the false doctrine of the influence of the stars on human destinies.
Guided by old Babylonian influences, the pagans of a later time named the days of this new planetary week for ancient heroes who became honored as gods: SUNday was at first set apart for the sun, the "god" of this world -- SATAN, the SUN-GOD. Monday was set apart for the moon; Friday for Venus or Frigga; and Saturday for Saturn.
The other days of the week received their names in similar fashion. Each received its name from a heavenly body which had been associated with some old Babylonian god or goddess.
This is NOT THE WEEK THAT GOD GAVE MANKIND -- a week with ONLY the seventh day bearing a name, THE SABBATH, and its other days bearing only NUMBERS.
SO WE SEE THAT HERE IS A STRANGE WEEK! Here is a week whose days bear the names of pagan gods. The "Sabbath" Day nowhere appears in our strange week of today.
But SUNDAY, the day of the SUN -- the sun around which the pagans symbolically entwined the Serpent (the Devil) -- DOES APPEAR! It is the one day which is most observed by the world today! (Of course, God's weekly cycle with its Sabbath on the seventh day has never been altered, as Mr. Armstrong's free booklet "Has Time Been Lost?" thoroughly explains.)
Satan was inspiring his agents. He had Sunday instituted on the first day of God's true week -- placed NEXT to God's (seventh-day) Sabbath for a PURPOSE! This CLOSE PROXIMITY causes great CONFUSION!
Satan was influencing his pawns to set apart a day -- Sunday -- on which he could unwittingly be worshipped.
1. When did the Babylonian-Samaritan conspiracy introduce the practice of keeping Sunday? When was the planetary week adopted by the professing "Christians" who were perverting Christ's teachings?
COMMENT: Here is the answer! "The early (true) Christians had at first adopted the seven-day week (God's week) with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week (of Satan). The use of planetary names (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) attests to the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by the converts from paganism" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 252).
Satan's plan was bearing REAL FRUIT. The PROFESSING "Christian" world was switching FROM God's SABBATH week to Satan's SUNday week!
2. Who was directly responsible for the ultimate WIDESPREAD rise of Sunday or "day of the Lord" worship which prevails TODAY?
COMMENT: Constantine, a CIVIL -- not ecclesiastical -- ruler of the Roman Empire, had the most to do with the ascendancy of Sunday as the day of worship. "Constantine's famous edict (321 A.D.) definitely enrolled Sunday among the holidays of the Roman State religion. The change from Saturn's day (Saturday -- the space of TIME in which GOD'S true SABBATH lies) to Sunday must have further commended the planetary week in Christian circles, where the Lord's day (Satan's SUNDAY) ... beginning the week, had long been observed as the day on which Christ, the 'Sun of Righteousness' (supposedly) rose from the dead. Thus a pagan institution (Sunday observance) was engrafted on (PROFESSING) Christianity" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 222).
Do you grasp it?
A HUMAN civil ruler -- not God -- established the custom of observing Sunday as a time of "Christian" worship instead of keeping God's key test SABBATH Day!
Here are the words of powerful Constantine's famous edict of 321 A.D.: "On the venerable Day of the Sun let all magistrates and people ... rest" (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Sunday Legislation").
3. What was Constantine's own religion?
COMMENT: Gibbon, the authoritative historian, in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", Vol. 1, pp. 636-38, tells us: "Constantine ... persevered till he was near 40 years of age in the practice of the established religion (of paganism) .... But the devotion of Constantine was more peculiarly directed to the genius of the SUN ... the sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine."
Notice that Constantine became a PROFESSING "Christian" after he was about forty years of age. But it was also after he was about forty that he, by his legislation, brought his sun-god -- the "lord Baal" -- and SUN-day into Satan's COUNTERFEIT Christian" Church TO STAY!
Today, the vast majority of PROFESSING "Christians" are blindly following in Constantine's Satanically inspired footsteps!
We've just seen how Satan instituted his diabolical day -- SUNday -- for the destruction of all mankind.
Now let's understand the human MILITARY MIGHT he has supernaturally caused to be associated with Sunday to insure that its observance would be continued.
1. After the flood of Noah's time, did Satan inspire a "MIGHTY ONE" in his cause in order to delude man? Gen. 10:8. Was the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom the city of Babel? Verse 10. ("Babel" is a word which means CONFUSION!)
COMMENT: Remember that Satan intended his planetary week to be CONFUSING. It HIDES God's week with its commanded seventh-day Sabbath and ordinary six numbered days. Satan's week originated in Babylonia, the area in which Nimrod began his kingdom.
Tradition and historical records show that Nimrod was a mighty and presumptuous one "BEFORE (correctly translated "AGAINST") the Lord" (Gen. 10:9). He was a military conqueror. From his home city of Babel on the Euphrates River in the east, Nimrod's victories ranged into Africa.
Nimrod was also high PRIEST OF THE SUN!
A church, in the Bible, is often symbolized by a woman. After his death, Nimrod's beautiful and licentious wife became PRIESTESS of the sun. She was the ORIGINAL of the prophetical woman -- the "CHURCH" of Revelation 17:1-5 -- with whom the kings (rulers) of those early days committed LITERAL FORNICATION!
They were familiar with her for the mutual "benefit" of each other. They aided the spread of her doctrine of sun worship, in return for which she rewarded them with her patronage "favors." And for the same reason today many national rulers of the world have "mutually satisfactory relations" (SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING) with her counterpart (Rev. 17:1-2) -- this world's great "UNIVERSAL" church!
Rulers to this day use their civil office to aid her -- the "church" -- in spreading her seductive false doctrines, including pagan SUN worship.
2. Sunday has continued into our day basically through a SUCCESSION of mighty world empires. Does the Bible show that Satan the "dragon" (Rev. 12:3, 9) has and is giving them great power and military authority? Rev. 13:1-2. Which are the four great world-ruling empires to which Satan, the DRAGON, gave "POWER ... and seat, and authority" to further his diabolical work of deceiving man through his false doctrines, such as sun worship and Sunday observance?
COMMENT: Here in Revelation 13:1-2 is a "beast" having seven heads -- the first head representing the CHALDEAN EMPIRE (BABYLON) of 625-538 B.C. The second representing the PERSIAN Empire (558-330 B.C.). The third beast -- composing the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th heads -- was GREECE under Alexander the Great and the four divisions -- which began 333 B.C. The last head, the ROMAN EMPIRE, beginning 31 B.C. and extending by its 10 consecutive "horns" -- 10 successive governments -- through to the END of this age.
This then is the great "BEAST" SYSTEM TO WHICH SATAN GIVES HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY. (The prophecies concerning these empires will be fully explained in the next two lessons.)
There are many of this world's "greats" in this list of empires to which the Devil gave his power. Men of violence such as NIMROD of ancient Babylon, "a mighty one before the Lord;" CYRUS "the Great" of ancient Persia, a mighty warrior whose very name means sun; and ALEXANDER "the Great" of Greece.
And of the "Holy" Roman Empire which projects itself into our age -- JUSTINIAN "the Great," CHARLEMAGNE "the Great," OTTO "the Great," CHARLES "the Great" and NAPOLEON "the Great." Mighty ones all! (Send for the free booklet, "Who IS The Beast?" for additional information about these men and their empires.)
Of Alexander the Great and others, it has been said that they seemed to have been POSSESSED OF THE DEVIL himself, because of their fervor for destruction.
Very soon mightier and fiercer men than these are to arise in Satan's cause to enforce Sunday "worship"!
3. Will the Devil soon personally possess and influence the great "religious" leader (the "false prophet") of his false church and the military leader (the "beast") of the resurrected Roman Empire to such an extent that they will force the people of the world, at the threat of torture and death, to accept the dreaded "mark of the beast" -- force them to observe Satan's day of rest -- Sunday -- the day of the sun-god? II Thes. 2:3-4, 9 and Rev. 13:15-17. Will Satan even cause these two men to gather the nations of the world to fight against Christ at His second coming? Rev. 16:13-14.
Be careful that you aren't deceived by Satan and his henchmen into participating in this dreadful -- yet deceptively innocent-looking custom of Sunday observance -- the "mark of the beast"! For those observing it can ultimately suffer ETERNAL DEATH!
The SABBATH -- which word means "rest" -- depicts the kind of eternal rest from sin which God has in mind for man. But, ironically, Satan deludes man into keeping the day of the fiery sun -- SUNday -- causing man to commemorate the kind of "rest" Satan has in mind for mankind -- the "rest" of ETERNAL DEATH brought about BY SIN!
Satan is a "serpent" -- hidden, but very deadly -- a great "red dragon" who would deceive all mankind into DISobedience and eternal damnation.
Satan would like this whole earth, which is finally to become a fiery-red molten mass (II Pet. 3:10), to contain all mankind ever created so they can be BURNED, leaving not a single human being who could ever become a very Son of God and be raised to a position higher than ambitious Satan and his fallen angels!
YOU can AVOID this fate!
Satan has plotted the overthrow of God's government ever since he rebelled against God. But Satan's schemes can be thwarted by Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ in you, through His HOLY SPIRIT (Rom. 8:9-10; Phil. 2:5; Gal. 2:20), can DEFEAT Satan -- your archenemy!
Almighty God promises that He will PROTECT you from Satan and his demons.
1. How can YOU escape the wiles of Satan? James 4:7. In what way should you SUBMIT yourself to God? Verse 8. How can you draw close to God to be protected from the Devil and his demons? Same verse.
2. Does this mean that God expects you to turn from DISOBEDIENCE to His law -- observing Sunday and other false doctrines of this world -- to QUIT SINNING -- and begin KEEPING God's seventh-day Sabbath and other commandments? Rom. 6:16.
3. If you do repent of breaking God's law and begin to KEEP it, does He PROMISE TO HELP you? James 4:10. But does God WARN that if you KNOW to keep His Holy Sabbath, and DO NOT -- if you continue observing Sunday -- it is SIN? James 4:17. Is it punishable by ETERNAL DEATH in the Lake of Fire? Rom. 6:23 and Rev. 21:8.
COMMENT: Don't be MISLED into observing any day other than God's Sabbath Day, or into keeping the Sabbath Day with any group other than God's ONE TRUE CHURCH!
Remember! God has always had but ONE Church. While a few other "churches" now may "observe" this day, they do NOT LIVE BY EVERY WORD OF GOD. "Narrow is the way ..." (Mat. 7:14) -- denoting a comparatively SMALL Church.
Yet that Church is carrying the true gospel of the Kingdom of God worldwide via the powerful voice of radio and the printed page! This is one of the many "fruits" proving which church is the True Church of God!
God has led you to KNOW His truth. He wants to know what you are going to DO ABOUT IT!
Editor's note: The editors sadly must report that as of late 1999, the Worldwide Church of God now officially shows a preference to meet on Sunday. Its present leader, Joseph Tkach, Jr. has been quoted as saying, "Anyone who attempts to keep the Sabbath is minimizing Christ's sacrifice."