Lemmings on the Road to Rome

Lemmings in migration

A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic. – Dresden James

LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a time of distress, the nations will come to You from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our fathers inherited only lies, worthless idols of no benefit at all.” Can one make gods for himself? But they are not gods. Therefore, I am about to inform them, and this time I will make them know My power and My might; then they will know that My name is Yahweh.” –Jeremiah 16:19-21

I am sure that most of you have heard the saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” What about The Lemming Condition by Alan Arkin?  The Lemming Condition is about a lemming named Bubber. Bubber is ready to follow all the other lemmings on their march to the sea and their eventual jump off the cliff into the sea. All is well until his friend Crow asks him if he knows how to swim. Bubber isn’t sure, so he begins to question and search. During his quest, he finds out he can’t swim. So he tries to stop all the other lemmings from jumping off the cliff. They were all hypnotized and he could not stop them. Eventually it looks like Bubber is the only lemming left; but soon other lemmings start popping out of their holes. He was not the only survivor, and so there was hope for the future of the lemmings.

Daniel 7:25 tells us, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law…” These deceptive changes to Sabbath and Yahweh’s appointed Feast Days have come about through many centuries, and over the torture and dead bodies of millions of followers of Yeshua. And, the lie is followed by dare I say millions of “bible believing” Christians today. They will tell you that Sunday is the Sabbath, that they observe Sunday because that’s the resurrection of Jesus (although that He resurrected on Sunday is in and of itself questionable, but that is for a later post), that God does not care which day you worship Him on (which is true to some degree…you can and should worship Yahweh every day; but He Himself has commanded that the Sabbath (7th day) be set apart, holy, and blessed). They will tell you that it was “nailed to the cross”. They will tell you that following Yahweh’s commands is legalism. There are many excuses as to why the fourth commandment is not followed. And yet…are any of these excuses based on the powerful, holy, eternal, unchanging Word of Yahweh?

Most people have no idea that Sunday worship did not start with the dawning of Christianity.  It was in fact a practice two thousand years before Yeshua. It goes all the way back to shortly after the flood with Tammuz, Nimrod and his mother/wife Semiramis founding the pagan religious system of “sun-god” worship/Baal worship. From the tower of Babel, “sun-god” worship spread throughout the entire ancient world. With the exception of the worship of the One, True God, all other religious systems come from Babylon. They also all worshipped the sun, which correlates with Satan, otherwise known as Lucifer which means “light bringer”.

When Babylon fell, and was taken over by the Medes and the Persians in 539 B.C. the Babylonian priests made their way to Pergamum and Egypt. They taught their religion in these places and eventually saw an opportunity and made their way to Rome. The Romans readily took on the ways of this religious system. By the time the “Christian” Church came into existence, the practices of the Babylonian religious system blended right in and mixed with the Christian church. The blending of these two religious systems made it quite easy for people to “convert” to Christianity. Eventually the Roman Catholic church was born. As it grew in power, it came to oppose the 7th day Sabbath and changed it to Sunday. Historical records show clearly that the Catholic Church made the change official at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD when they handed down 59 Canon laws.

Canon XXIX: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Percival Translation).

Samuel Bacchiocchi in “How Did Sunday Keeping Begin”,  which summarizes his thesis From Sabbath to Sunday, tells us, “Both anti-Judaism and Sun-worship contributed to the change from Sabbath to Sunday. Anti-Judaism led many Christians to abandon the observance of the Sabbath to differentiate themselves from the Jews at a time when Judaism in general and Sabbath keeping in particular were outlawed in the Roman empire. Sun-worship influenced the adoption of the observance of Sunday to facilitate the Christian identification and integration with the customs and cycles of the Roman empire. The change from Sabbath to Sunday was not simply one of names or numbers, but authority, meaning and experience. It was a change from a holy day divinely established to enable us to experience more freely and more fully the awareness of divine presence and peace in our lives, into holiday which has become an occasion to seek for personal pleasure and profit. This historical change has greatly affected the quality of Christian life of countless Christians who throughout the centuries have been deprived of the physical, moral, and spiritual renewal the Sabbath is designed to provide. The recovery of the Sabbath is especially needed today when our souls, fragmented, penetrated, and desiccated by a cacophonous, tension-filled culture, cry out for the release and realignment that awaits us on the Sabbath Day.”

The Roman Catholic Church itself brags and throws it in the face of Yahweh the fact that it alone changed the Sabbath.

“The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching (for He says that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” – Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.

 And they mock Protestants that follow Sunday keeping.

“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” – Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.

 “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” – Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.

 “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” – father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

 “Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

“1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

“2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.” Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

Yeshua never once mentioned the first day of the week. As followers of Yeshua, we must diligently seek the truth and line up our beliefs and behavior with His Holy Word. We must strive to enter the narrow path that leads to righteousness no matter what the cost. People argue that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life…not a truth, a way, or a life because of the definitive article THE. Well, doesn’t the fourth commandment say, “Remember THE Sabbath…”

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. –2 Timothy 4:1-5

May we all be found as the Bereans in Acts 17:11, “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” May we examine the Scriptures daily and find ourselves workmen approved. May we look beyond the way things have been done and not blindly follow the crowd in order to find THE Truth.

5 thoughts on “Lemmings on the Road to Rome

  1. Regardless of what any ill-informed Catholic might say, the fact is that Sunday worship for Christians, as well as the non-observance of the Jewish Sabbath for Gentile Christians, are both quite scriptural. The earliest Christian writings beyond the Bible further make clear that the transition from Sabbath worship to Sunday worship had nothing whatsoever to do with sun worship, and everything to do with Son worship.

    “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) — “The breaking of bread” is certainly the celebration of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the Paschal meal, the center of the celebration of the Christian mysteries.

    On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7) — Here, we see clearly that “the first day of the week” was the day when the early Christians were meeting together for “the breaking of bread.” By the Jewish reckoning, of course, the first day of the week began on the evening of the seventh (Sabbath) day, after sundown — so after attending synagogue services, the earliest Jewish Christians would then celebrate the Christian mysteries in a home church.

    “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, gas he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) — “The first day of the week would have been an ideal time to take up a collection, since the Christian community was coming together anyway for the breaking of bread.

    Paul tells us further: “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:8-14) — Paul compares Christian baptism to a “circumcision made without hands,” “the circumcision of Christ” — superseding for Gentiles the Jewish tradition of Old Covenant circumcision. And then, continuing the same thought:

    Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Colossians 2:16–18) — The three principle events of the Jewish calendar — festivals, and the observances of new moons and Sabbaths by which the festivals were reckoned — are no longer matters by which Christians are to be judged. There were “only a shadow of what was to come” — the substance belongs to Christ.

    Further, John tells us: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:10-11) — So when was “the Lord’s Day”?

    The Didache, widely believed to be the first extrabiblical Christian document, dated as early as A.D. 70, continues to tell us: “On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure.” (Didache 14) — So clearly, this “Lord’s Day,” whenever it was, was the time when the Christian faithful came together in common to break bread.

    Ignatius of Antioch, writing ca. A.D. 107, tells us much more clearly about this Lord’s Day:

    “If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things [the Old Covenant of the Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope [the New Covenant of Christ], no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death—whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master—how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.”(Ignatius to the Magnesians 9)

    “The Lord’s Day” is when “our life has sprung up again by Him” — that is, the day of His Resurrection (cf. Matt 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). And, as early as the turn of the second century, we see clear testimony that the Christian Church “no longed [celebrated] the Sabbath, but [lived] in the observance of the Lord’s Day.”

    The author of the Epistle of Barnabas (Barnabas? the true author is not certain), written between A.D. 70 and 130, writes at length about the transition of Christian worship to the eighth day (i.e. the first day of the week). The end of the passage:

    “Further, He says to them, ‘Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure.’ (Isaiah 1:13). Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

    Justin Martyr, writing ca. A.D. 150, tells us: “But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.” (Justin, First Apology)

    And there’s a lot more evidence where all of that came from.

    1. There are many places in the book of Acts that show that the apostles kept the Sabbath. See Acts 13:13-15, Acts 13:42-44, Acts 16:11-13, Acts 17:1-4, Acts, 18:1-11.

      As for Acts 2:42, taking the verse in context, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising Yahweh and having favor with all the people. And Yahweh added to the assembly daily those who were being saved.” This shows that breaking bread together was a common, daily occurrence.

      In Acts 20:7, it clearly states that they were gathered on the first day of the week. However, it was not to observe Sabbath. Paul was leaving the next day and spoke to them for this reason.

      In 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, Paul is recommending that money be laid aside on the first day of the week in order to distribute to the needy saints in Jerusalem. This in no way implies that Paul was teaching to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. In fact, taking a closer look at Acts 18:1-11 shows clearly that Paul kept Sabbath in Corinth. He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath to the Jews and the Greeks and continued there a year and six months.

      As for Colossians 8-14, Paul is in no way comparing baptism to “circumcision made without hands”. The “circumcision of Christ refers to the circumcision of the heart (See Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4, Ezekiel 44:7, Romans 2:29). And for Colossians 2:16-18, I believe Paul is telling the new followers of Christ to not worry about what other people think. They need to follow God’s ways, and not go back to their old ways because the substance is Christ.

      And John’s Revelation, quite possibly may be talking about THE Day of the Lord.

      And here are some more extra biblical quotes:
      “The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews; therefore the Christians for a long time together, did keep their conventions on the Sabbath, in which some portion of the Law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council.” The Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor, Vol. IX, p416 (R. Heber’s Edition, Vol.XII, p.416)

      “The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day. It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival…Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship [Yahushua], the [Master] of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same.” Antiquities of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Book XX, chap. 3, Sec. 1, 66.1137, 1138

      Constantine enforced keeping a Sabbath on the first day of the week, which he calls “the venerable day of the sun.” Venerable means ‘commanding respect’.
      The text of Constantine’s Sunday Law of 321 A.D. is:
      “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for gain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”

      The bottom line is you can search from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find anywhere that Yahweh or Yeshua commanded or taught that Sabbath should be changed. As a matter of fact, you will find verses throughout honoring the Sabbath and showing its importance. (See Exodus 20:10, Leviticus 23:3, Deuteronomy 5:14, Isaiah 58:13-14, Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5 etc.)

      We all need to choose whom we will serve, the traditions of man or the Holy Word of God.

    1. No offense taken. I am just not going to get caught up in useless arguments. I can see that we are on different roads, one to Rome and the other to Jerusalem. I respect that. However, truth is not relative and I am choosing to stand by the Word of God on which day I observe Sabbath. Shalom!

      1. Thanks. I don’t enjoy arguments, either; and you’re certainly welcome to observe the Sabbath. My only concern was not to see the Roman Church maligned undeservedly. There’s no real historical basis for the charge that Roman Christians, or anyone, “moved” Christian worship to the Sunday; worship on Sunday — probably originally celebrated after sundown on the Sabbath — was an early and apostolic tradition. The bigger question, which I have little to say about, is when and why Christians ceased to celebrate the Sabbath, and whether they still should today. May you find the Lord and His blessings on your road, and may His peace be with you always.

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