Pope Francis pushes for no work on Sunday–a prelude to a new Sunday law? What about Saturday?

“Sunday Church” in Naxos, Greece


A reader sent me the following:

Pope: No-work Sundays good, not just for faithful

July 5, 2014, p.m.

CAMPOBASSO, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis has lamented the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays, saying it has a negative impact on families and friendships.

Francis on Saturday traveled to Molise, an agricultural region in the heart of southern Italy where unemployment is chronically high. While he said poor people need jobs to have dignity, he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn’t beneficial for society.

Francis said the priority should be “not economic but human,” and that the stress should be on families and friendships, not commercial relationships. He added: “Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom.”

He said that spending Sundays with family and friends is an “ethical choice” for faithful and non-faithful alike.  http://news.yahoo.com/pope-no-sundays-good-not-just-faithful-130300599.html

While Sunday was never the true weekly day of rest for true Christians, the Pope’s pushing of Sunday is not a surprising move. Future Sunday laws have long been considered likely by those of us who observe the seventh-day Sabbath.

Many countries have or have had ‘Sunday’ laws, including the USA.  There have been periodic calls in Europe over the past several years for tougher Sunday laws, and Germany has increased the enforcement of at least one Sunday law within the past year or so.

Sunday has been considered as “the mark of the Beast” by many Sabbath-keepers, and is related to at least part of it.  The Bible tells of persecution coming to those who keep God’s commandments, and that is specifically including those who keep the Fourth one related to the seventh-day Sabbath.

Sunday was not the day of rest for Jesus, His disciples, the original apostles, or the early faithful Christians–they all rested on Saturday.  So, while I do not believe that Sunday should be pushed.  The truth is that faithful Christians do not keep Sunday as the weekly day of rest.

Here is something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about it:

Now, they call the Sabbath “The Lord’s Day.” They say the church changed it. And the church did change it, the Roman Catholic Church; but GOD DID NOT.

Cardinal Gibbons of the Roman Catholic Church wrote in my earlier life… He’s dead now, but I remember when he did. You see, he wrote this: “You may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you cannot find one word in the Bible authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Bible everywhere enforces the sanctification of Saturday, the 7th day of the week.” But he said, “You Protestants have to admit the AUTHORITY of the Roman Catholic Church that is BRANDED ON YOU WHEN YOU OBSERVE SUNDAY, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO OTHER AUTHORITY FOR SUNDAY BUT THAT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.”

And it came out of the sun worship that they brought in. The so-called Christianity, they put the name of Christ on it. It has to affect one of the commandments of God. Now what commandment affects your business? How many of our people have had to change their jobs (that has affected their job and their earning of a living and the buying or selling) because of the Sabbath?

Now the Roman Catholic Council of Laodicea, that was 363 AD, they passed this. “Christians must not Judaise by resting on the Sabbath.” They called it “the Sabbath.” They didn’t try to say… It’s the Protestants that began to call Sunday ‘the Sabbath.’ The Roman Catholic Church never did. Rather they said, at this Council of Laodicea: “Christians must not Judaise by resting on the Sabbath (That, they said, is Jewish.), but must work on that day, resting rather on Sunday. But if any be found to be Judaising, let them be declared anathema from Christ.” AND WHEN THE CHURCH CALLED THEM “ANATHEMA FROM CHRIST,” THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE TORTURED THEM OR PUT THEM TO DEATH if they didn’t obey and start to worship on Sunday. …

Now I’d like to have you notice back in Daniel the 7th chapter and verse 25. And this is speaking of the Roman Catholic Church, among Daniel’s four beasts here. And there was to be a small horn that was to come among them, which was the papacy.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High [Isn’t that just like I read in Revelation?], and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws… You change the law in respect of time, and they changed the Sabbath into Sunday. And they changed the day from beginning at sunset, to beginning at midnight. And they changed the months from the new moons to the way it is. They’ve changed times all along, and it all came through the Roman Catholic Church.

Daniel 7:25 …think to change time and laws, and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. In other words, 1260 years. And they did that, carry it on for 1260 years.


Now I want you to notice that the Sabbath is NOT a mark. It is a sign. And I want to show you there is a difference between a sign and a mark. A sign is something that a man hangs out in front of his business. “Jones & Company Furniture.” Now that identifies it, tells who owns it, tells what it is. It’s not a drug store. It is not a men’s clothing store. It’s a furniture store. A sign identifies. But a merchant hangs it out of his own accord. It is not branded on him. He takes that himself and puts it out. A sign is always something that you hang up yourself to identify. Or even a doctor would have a little neat sign outside of his door; but it identifies who is in there, who is in that room.

Let’s turn back for a moment to Exodus 31, beginning with verse 12. Exodus 31:12 And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, I want you to notice that this is something. It is a covenant, and it’s eternal. And it has nothing to do with the Old Covenant. This is made after the Old Covenant was made. That means set apart for holy use and purpose. It IDENTIFIES WHO ARE GOD’S PEOPLE. IT IDENTIFIES GOD. Now, let’s read on. I’ll show you how. Exodus 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you… The world doesn’t want to put any difference between the holy and the profane.

This one Church is one Church that does, brethren; and you’ll have to begin to put a difference between the holy and the profane. The Sabbath Day is holy. Your first tithe, which is God’s tithe, is holy to Him. You are stealing if you use it. You are stealing if you use the Sabbath Day that belongs to God. It’s not your time. It’s God’s. Exodus 31:14-15 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore for it is holy unto you; every one that defileth it shall (surely) be put to death: [Now that was, of course, in the nation Israel. It was a death penalty.] for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days may work be done; but (in) the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the [Eternal]; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Now there is a death penalty in Israel if you don’t keep the Sabbath. The beast now says there is a death penalty in THEIR law if you don’t break the Sabbath. You see how Satan wants to contradict, and yet he wants to counterfeit and let a lot of people think it is the Sabbath. Exodus 31:16-17 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. [A PERPETUAL COVENANT. This is a COVENANT.] (17) It is a sign between me and the children of Israel

That is, it identifies them as God’s people. It identifies God. Why? forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. It doesn’t say He created. He “made.” And you’ll find that many… He did create a few things. He created the land animals and people on that day. But He didn’t “make” the earth at that time. He was remaking its surface, as you find in the 103rd Psalm and verse 30. Oh, there is so many of these little things that so many people in the churches of this world just don’t understand in the Bible. But a sign identifies…


You can’t come to love God unless you love less your own children, your father and mother, or those closest to you. Not that you have to “hate” them, as it says in the King James translation of the Bible. But the world doesn’t realize that it makes any difference whether we love God or not. God’s law is love. It’s love divided into two divisions. The two great commandments: Love towards God (That’s the first four of the Ten Commandments). Love toward neighbor (That’s the last six.).

The Sabbath is the one that shows love towards God, and there is NO REASON IN THE WORLD to keep the Sabbath except it’s holy to God and you are obeying God and keeping your foot off of the Sabbath (as He says I believe…. Let’s see, is that the 56th chapter of Isaiah? It’s one of the chapters of Isaiah). Keep your foot off of it from polluting it, mudding it all up. (Armstrong HW. Mark of the Beast, sermon)

Sunday basically started to be implemented as a compromise with the Romans and Mithraism in the second century. Sunday was finally codified in the fourth century first by a law and then later by a council called by the Roman Emperor Constantine. He in 331 A.D. then issued his famous Edict Against Heretics and persecuted those who held to the original Christian faith.

The sun-god worshiping Emperor Constantine got the first Sunday law.  Various Greco-Roman leaders have supported this through laws, regulation, enforcement, and various forms of persecution since. Pope Francis seems to be pushing for another Sunday law.  The words of the gentle-appearing Pope Francis are not biblical (cf. Revelation 13:11).

Is the Seventh-day Sabbath for Christians?

Why should Christians keep Saturday instead of Sunday?  Other than the fact that Jesus, the original Apostles, the Apostle Paul, and early Christians all kept the seventh-day Sabbath, the New Testament says to keep it.

Jesus taught:

4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)

The Apostle Paul taught:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So, does the portion of scripture known as the New Testament enjoin keeping the Sabbath for Christians?

Notice that the New Testament Book of Hebrews teaches (note: one Protestant and two Catholic translations are shown):

3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience…9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NIV).

3 We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Now God’s work was all finished at the beginning of the world; 4 as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. 5 And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. 6 It remains the case, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the good news were prevented from entering by their refusal to believe…9 There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest reserved for God’s people,  10 since to enter the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his.  11 Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NJB)

3 For we, that have believed, shall enter into their rest; as he said: As I sware in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: and truly the works from the foundation of the world being perfected. 4 For he said in a certain place of the seventh day thus: And God rested the seventh day from all his works…9 Therefore there is left a sabbatisme for the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God did from his.  11 Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest; lest any man fall into the same example of incredulity. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, The Original and True Rheims New Testament of Anno Domini 1582)

Thus, the New Testament clearly shows that the command to rest and keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that it is the disobedient who will not observe it.

Even Origen understood some of this as he wrote:

But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, “There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism,” that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God…let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from…give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction…this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen’s Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).

One reason that many today do not understand this is that certain translators have intentionally mistranslated the Greek term sabbatismos (ςαββατισμóς) found in Hebrews 4:9. The Protestant KJV and NKJV mistranslate it as does the CHANGED version of the Rheims New Testament, also known as the Challoner version (changes in the 18th century)–all three mistranslate the word as ‘rest,’ whereas there is a different Greek term (katapausin), translated as ‘rest’ in the New Testament. Sabbatismos clearly refers to a ‘sabbath-rest’ and honest scholars will all admit that. Because of the mistranslations, most today do not realize that the seventh-day Sabbath was specifically enjoined for Christians in the New Testament.

Decades ago, a Protestant told me that the reason he did not keep the seventh-day Sabbath was because it was not taught for Christians in the New Testament. I handed him a Bible and read him Hebrews 4. He then looked at the verses himself. After doing so, he said because his grandmother was a good Christian in his view, and because she did not keep it, he felt that he did not. He failed to truly rely on the Bible, but instead on false tradition (see also Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings). Sadly most who profess Christianity do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath and rely mainly on improper traditions, whether they realize it or not.

Although the Sabbath is refreshing rest, many ignore that and consider it a burden. Notice the following prophecy that seems to apply to those who do not keep the Sabbath:

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear. (Isaiah 28:11-12)

Will you hear?

The New Testament never endorses Sunday as the day of rest, nor does the Old Testament.  The Bible endorses the day commonly called Saturday.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? How clearly endorsed Sunday?
Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
How to Observe the Sabbath? How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.

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