THE SABBATH QUESTION RE-EMERGES
This website focuses on the history and significance of the Sabbath. It is an issue that has never died in the story of our world. It is an issue that is re-emerging at the present time. The website as a whole will give you all the information that you need to understand this issue.
It has shown how the Apostles and the early church kept the seventh-day Sabbath, but how for a variety of reasons Sunday began to take the pre-eminence.
- Politically, to emphasise Sunday was a way of holding together a large and fragmenting empire, in a way acceptable to the majority.
- Socially, the emphasis on Sunday found popularity due to the hatred at the time of anything that appeared Jewish.
At first Sunday keeping was voluntary, although community pressure developed against any who chose to be different. To harden the efforts for unity, Sunday observance later became a law of the Roman Empire. It was at this point that small groups, in order to avoid punishment in matters of conscience, began to leave centres of population for the quieter areas of the countryside and the mountain retreats. The prophesied ‘church in the wilderness’ had begun and the Sabbath had gone underground. Papal supremacy held sway over most of Europe, and as personal freedoms disappeared and access to the Bible was forbidden, each succeeding generation lost more of the light of the gospel. Superstition and fear was rife. Sometimes this period of time is referred to as the Dark Ages. It was in this period when efforts to obliterate the Sabbath were the strongest.
The previous page followed the history of those underground Sabbath keepers through the centuries. Much of what we know today as freedom came from their stand for what they knew to be right. They upheld the freedom to live what they believed, and to teach and preach it as the Truth. In the fires of the stake, in the torture chambers of their inquisitors, in the dungeons and cells of jails, many laid down their lives for this God-given freedom. Beginning with the Waldenses who scattered hand-written fragments of Scripture in local languages to those they came in contact with, this faithful, underground group of believers were the ones through the long dark centuries, who enabled the Bible to be preserved for us and eventually to be