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The Coming Sunday Law

Michael Hargreaves

Recorded

  • September 12, 2015
    11:15 AM
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Heavenly Father, we thank you that Sabbath is soon to be upon us that we can lay aside all the cares of this week, and rest in your presence. Bless us this evening, Friday evening we pray in Jesus' name amen.

The Coming Sunday Law.

I've had a number of people ask about, Could it be that with the pope's visit this month, that we may see this under law? The Sunday law actually started in America back in the 1600’s, 1700’s as Sunday Blue Laws, you may have heard about them. The term Blue Laws actually was a derogatory term. Blue was referring to people that had a very strict moral code, and they call them blue noses. So that's where the term The Blue Law came from.  

The first Sunday Blue Law was in Virginia, all the way back in 1617. That law required church attendance, and authorized the militia to force colonists to attend church services. This is right here in America back in the 1600’s. Other early blue laws prohibited work, travel, recreation, and activities such as cooking, shaving, cutting hair, wearing either lace our precious metal,  so you couldn't wear your fancy clothes on Sunday, you couldn't wear jewelry on Sunday, sweeping not allowed, making beds, kissing and engaging in sexual intercourse. The Puritans believed that the baby would be born on the same it was conceived, so when a baby was born on Sunday, it meant that the parents, nine months earlier, had violated the Sunday blue law, they were punished in Puritan America.

Back in 1891 Alice Morse Earle wrote a book entitled, Sabbath in Puritan New England. Now you understand that by the Sabbath, most Christian’s are thinking of Sunday, so she's referring to Sunday here in her book Sabbath in Puritan New England. In the book, one place she describes Captain Kemble of Boston, Massachusetts, was in 1656 locked in the public stocks for two hours for kissing his wife on the Sabbath (Sunday) after spending three years at sea. The charge? "Unseemly behavior."  Now when you were put in the public stocks that was very embarrassing, and not just embarrassing. When they had you either with your feet, or your head and your hands, locked in the stocks, people could come along and throw dirt, on you throw rocks at you, poke at you with us sticks, whip you with switches, spit on you, and do all manner of derogatory things to you, you are a public spectacle. Well what was his lewd an unseemly behavior, Captain Kemble? Which consisted in his kissing his wife publicly on the Sabbath Day (Sunday), upon the doorstep of his house, see this was out in the open, when he had just returned from a voyage and an absence of three years. He had been gone three years and unfortunately when he got home it was Sunday, and he forgot the law, kissed his wife in public, so for two hours they put him in the stocks.

In her book, Sabbath in Puritan New England, Alice says the Vermont Blue Book contained equally sharp Sunday laws. Whoever was guilty of any rude, profane, or unlawful conduct on the Lord's Day - Sunday as they saw it, in words or actions by clamorous discourses, shouting, hollowing, screaming, running, writing, dancing, jumping, was to be fined 40 shillings and whipped upon the naked back, not to exceed ten stripes, that was here in America.

The New Haven code of laws, New Haven that's Connecticut, I’ve have been there. The New Haven code of laws were more severe still, ordered that profanation of the Lord's Day (Sunday), shall be punished by fine, imprisonment, or corporal punishment, like a whipping, and if proudly and with the high hand, against the authority of God, with death. That was here in America, in the 16 and 1700’s.

Now let's fast forward to 2009. C.B.S. News, A History of Sunday, and in this article on Sunday, C.B.S. was talking about this lady who wrote a book. Writer Judith Shulevitz in a world of 24/7 commerce, she's pushing for return to laws. This is what C.B.S. News said back February 1, 2009. Writer Judith Shulevitz in a world of 24/7 commerce, she's pushing for return to laws that would shut down businesses one day a week, which day do you suppose that might be? Sunday, which brings us back to the Puritans of the 1630’s, which I've just described to you tonight. Their measures may now seem extreme, in some places Sunday observance was required on pain of death but, what if they were actually onto something? Notice that's a statement from C.B.S. News. Back in early colonial America if you did not observe Sunday right, you were faced with fines, imprisonment, whippings, torture we might say, and even death.

In 2009 C.B.S. News said, well maybe that's not a bad idea, maybe they were on to something.

Will it happen again? Well from my study of prophecy I believe the answer is yes. If you were raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, then you have heard for a long time about a future Sunday law, sort of like the great final landmark, indicating that we have now come to end time. T7.141 says “The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is what? is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself.—Testimonies for the Church 7:141 {ChS 50.2}

So this is sort of like the final landmark, Sunday law when it's passed. There are actually 23 stages of the Final Crisis, final events.

Stage number one is natural disasters. We're not going to go into all the details, this is actually part of a long series that I've done on the Chronology of the Coming Crisis. Stage number one is natural disasters, and we could spend a whole evening talking about that. I’d like to read with you tonight, from the book Great Controversy page 589-590 it says “In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, that fires, are we seeing that on the West Coast? in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. We would assume that’s referring to people, but you may have heard earlier this year, over in Kazakhstan, I believe it was, over 100,000 antelope dropped dead. They’re trying to figure out what happened. “These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Tell me is that happening today? This is current events, written way back in the book Great Controversy, continuing. … {GC 589.3}

And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. That’s you and me. … It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath;  and some preachers are already saying this, that this sin breaking Sunday has brought calamities which will not cease will not stop until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; {GC 590.1

o the national disasters will bring about the Sunday law. Are we seeing the natural disaster taking place, the increase of that? very much and that's what's going to bring on the Sunday law.

Stage number three. Sunday law agitated. I know some of you are thinking, now pastor you went from stage one the stage three, what happened? What is stage two?

Stage two as I understand it from studying prophecy is Ecumenism, threefold Union. You’re looking at a very, very amazing photograph there. That is a picture which was taken back in June of 2014. You recognize the man in white in the middle, but who are all those around him in black suits and dresses? Those are all Protestant leaders. can anybody tell me who is a man to the director left of Pope Francis is? That is Kenneth Copeland, one of the most well-known, famous, Pentecostal, charismatic preachers in America, tongues speaking preacher. And there he is standing side by side with the pope, which brings me to the statement from GC 588 this is one page earlier from the statement we just read 589 about the natural disasters which will bring about the Sunday Law, it says:  

The Protestants   the who?   of the United States there's a picture of them, those are all Protestants from the United States, except for the men in white in the middle, the pope   will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism;   that’s already happening with the contemplative of prayer movement, other movement's, tongues speaking, most of these commandment breaking churches today are working miracles, speaking in tongues, casting out devils. Spiritualism, that’s what it is. 

they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power;  there you can see the fulfillment of that in the picture  and under the influence of this threefold union,   what's the threefold Union? Protestantism, Spiritualism and Romanism.  this country   That’s the United States   will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.   Or in other words passing a Sunday law.   {GC 588.1}

So if you're following tonight,

Stage number one, already happening, Natural Disasters.

Stage number two, threefold union, already happening. Those two stages will bring about the

Third stage which is the Sunday law. First will be the agitation of the Sunday law, then there will be the Sunday law. The Sunday law isn't here yet, we can see it on the horizon, we hear its footsteps, but it isn't here yet.  

I might mention somebody asked me just recently, do you think we might have the Sunday law after the pope comes to America? From my study, before the Sunday law is passed, there will be a period of agitation of the Sunday law issue.

There’s another event that I'd like to add in here which is not necessarily a stage, as I see end time events taking place, but it is an event that has pushed us closer to end time, closer to the Sunday law.

That event happened just a few months ago, you notice I called it Sodom and Gomerica. It was our Supreme Court back in June, who voted that every state in America, you can as a gay person, you can legally get married. That was enacted right here in Christian America. I'd like to add to that a thought from Spirit of Prophecy, Review and Herald November 10, 1884 says  There is a strange abandonment of principle, the standard of morality is lowered, and

the earth is fast becoming a Sodom.  Now America seems like we're headed that way.   The Sodomitish practices which brought the judgment of God upon the world, and caused it to be deluged with water,   that's Noah’s flood  and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing.   So it's those practices which brought the destruction of the ancient world by water, and the destruction of Sodom by fire. and now we as a country have passed the law that says okay, it’s okay.   We are nearing the end.   Would you agree?  God has borne long with the perversity of mankind, but their punishment is no less certain. Let those who profess to be the light of the world, depart from all iniquity.

{RH November 10, 1885, par. 17}

That’s a warning to us, you know when God made this world in the beginning, He gave man two sacred institutions. We’re told by inspiration they are twin institutions. One was the Sabbath, the other was marriage, and they are both under attack today. First marriage, Sabbath is coming. Here’s another interesting statement Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884. There were two institutions founded in Eden that were not lost in the fall,—the Sabbath and the marriage relation. These were carried by man beyond the gates of paradise.

Now tell me, when Adam walked out of the Gates of Eden, who walked by his side? Not another man. God didn’t make Adam and Steve, he made Adam and Eve. That was God’s plan, man and woman.

He who loves and observes the Sabbath, and maintains the purity of the marriage institution, thereby proves himself the friend of man and the friend of God. He who by precept or example lessens the obligation of these sacred institutions is the enemy of both God and man, and is using his influence and his God-given talents to bring in  what?  a state of confusion and moral corruption. {ST February 28, 1884, par. 11}

Are we seeing that in America? A state of confusion, and moral corruption; and please notice, if you are promoting that, you are an enemy of both God and man, and now we've legalized that by our highest court. Makes you wonder where America stands today before God. Which of those two institutions came first marriage or the Sabbath? Marriage came first. which was destroyed first in America? Marriage. What comes next? You know what's going to be the next. So you can say that

Number one natural disaster is happening now

Number two the threefold Union is happening now

Gay marriage, happening now the next event will indeed be the

The number three the Sunday law agitated.

Just as gay marriage was agitated for a period of time before it was actually legalized, so no doubt the issue of Sabbath versus Sunday will be agitated for a period of time before it is actually enacted. GC 605 says

But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is  is what?  widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching… {GC88 605.3}

Ex-Adventists, disgruntled Adventists who said a Sunday law in America, will never happen. they say that Adventists who are thinking of that, just made up this imaginary scenario, never happen. Well when it starts to be agitated then we're going to recognize, yes it's coming, and we know that of course the pope is coming, and some have speculated that perhaps his visit to America could begin the agitation for the Sunday law. Now I don't know, I'm not predicting anything, but I do know this, the pope is agitating the Sunday law. If you've been watching and listening to the news you read about that you've heard about that.

Here's from last year. Catholic Online July 6, 2014 NEVER ON A SUNDAY: Pope Francis says working on Sunday has negative effect on families

He's coming to Philadelphia for what purpose? for the great family summit to promote families. If you're working on Sunday that's not good for the family, he says, the full commercialization of Sunday from business being open, to people working on what is biblically to be a day of rest.

Has Pope Francis in lamentation? Now tell me, where in the Bible do you find the day of Sunday to be a day of rest? I know people that have offered $10,000 dollars for one text. I know an Adventist preacher that's offered a million dollars for a one text, and a Sunday preacher says nobody will ever collect, because there is no text. So why he is saying that it's biblically to be a day of rest, I don't understand, I can’t find it in the Bible. Of course, he can’t either.

“the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays. Has a negative impact on families and friendships, he says, maybe it's time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom.

Now that was 2014. We are today being afflicted by all sorts of natural disasters and the pope is taking advantage of the natural disasters impacting the globe to promote a day off. You may have heard about his most recent encyclical on, the case of our common home, which came out back in May 2015, addressing the issue of climate change, which most people believe is back of all the natural disasters that are happening in our world. So he wrote this encyclical on climate change. He is seeking in his encyclical to bring the whole human family together to save the planet, through a resurrection of spirituality and a returning to God. On paragraph 237, you know the encyclicals every paragraph has a number so on paragraph 237 he says this, Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.

We want to heal our world, then the day we need to set aside, essentially he’s saying is Sunday.

Sunday prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else.

That was this year, so essentially the pope is saying in his encyclical, that part of the solution for global climate change is for the world to set aside Sunday for rest.

He's coming to America in two weeks, and he's going to talk about global climate change, not only with the president, but probably also with Congress.

I was interested in the reaction of our president to the encyclical. Here's what the news said, this is The Hill June 18th shortly after the encyclical. The heading was Obama Cheers Pope's Climate Change Push. President Obama said he deeply admires Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, and his decision to make the case for action on global climate change, which is to blame for most of the natural disasters.

I believe, this is Obama, I believe the United States must be a leader in this effort,

Does that fit prophecy?

I look forward to discussing these issues with Pope Francis when he visits the White House in September, the president said. That's not too far away, when he's coming to visit Obama.

 Now that's an interesting picture, the leaders of two world kingdoms, the two most powerful nations on the face of the globe, America and the Vatican, which I believe are found in prophecy.

Turn in your Bible to Revelation 13:11-17 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  

A beast represents what? A beast represents a kingdom, Daniel 7:23 is the reference. Many conservative Bible scholars, including myself, believe that this beast that comes up out of the earth, is a symbol of the United States of America.

12 And he the first the beast from the earth exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,  

That’s the beast that comes up out of the sea, which most protestant theologians of the past believe was a symbol of the Vatican. I know there's been a shift, but if you go back and you read Clarke's Commentary and Barnes Commentary, and all those old protestant commentaries, they understood that beast was a symbol of the Vatican.

and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;

This is already happening in most of the commandment breaking churches of America and the world, but it will increase, no doubt, as we near the end, all these miracles.

saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.  15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

What's the image of the beast? That’s when Sunday is set up as a law and free America. That's making an image to the first beast, because that's where a Sunday gets it origin from, a religious origin, Christian origin, you trace it right back to Rome. It didn’t originate with the resurrection of Jesus, like most people think today. You go back in history you'll find that it was Roman that brought that in. when free America sets it up as a law that's an image to the first beast.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive   a what?  a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:   17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

What is the mark? The Great Controversy says, What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church—“the mark of the beast”? {GC 448.1}

There it is, mark of the beast. This is echoed even by Rome itself, here's a statement from Rome “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act”.

That's changing Saturday to Sunday, even the catechism will tell you that, changing Saturday to Sunday.

And the act of changing Sabbath the Sunday is a [what?] a Mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.

So there you have the mark of the beast.

This stage, the agitation of the Sunday law, is still future, it hasn't come yet, but we can see that it's not far away. Reading from Great Controversy page 605

as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, … {GC 605.3}

Next event,

Number 1 natural disasters

Number 2 threefold Union

Number 3 Sunday law agitated. Now that will cause the fourth stage. and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before. {GC 605.3}

So the agitation of the Sunday law will bring about the, what do we call it? The Loud Cry, The Last Message. The Three Angels’ Messages. The third Angels Message all our preaching of the Third Angels Message now, will not have the effect that it will have then, as the Sunday law is being agitated.

Here is how I see End Time Events lining up.

number one natural disasters, happening now.

number two threefold Union, happening now.

number three Sunday Law agitated which will bring about

number four The Loud Cry being given. The Loud Cry begins.

We could diagram it this way:  

Sinners                                    Saints

1. Natural Disasters                1. Natural Disasters

2. Threefold Union

3. Sunday law agitation          victorious character developed

4. The Loud Cry begins.

There is something that must take place among the saints before they give a loud cry. What's that? they must develop a victorious character let me prove that here is from a statement from Historical Sketches page 155 The third angel’s message is to lighten the earth with its glory;  that's going to take place as the Sunday law is being agitated,  but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it when it shall have swelled into the loud cry. {HS 155.3}

So if we're still struggling with temptation, struggling and falling, struggling and falling, and struggling, will we be giving a loud cry? It doesn't look like it to me. So before the loud cry is given by the Saints they will have perfected a victorious Christian character. It seems to me friends, that if we wait until the Sunday law agitation begins, to seek for a victory over sin, we may have waited till it's too late. Now is the time to be seeking for victory, now is the time. Historical Sketches 155 Now is the time when we are to confess and forsake our sins   not just confess but we are to do what else? forsake ours sins,  that they may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out. Now is the time to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”    I know some people are afraid of that word, holiness. Does the LORD have enough power to make you holy? You can't make yourself holy, you know that, or you oughta know that by now. Our God has the power if we are willing to cooperate.   It is dangerous to delay this work…  Don't wait until the Sunday law is agitated to be seeking for your victorious Christian character.  … how important that we depart from all iniquity! {HS 155.2}

So now is a time to be seeking for a victorious Christian character to be seeking for revival and reformation. If we wait until the Sunday law agitation begins, it might be too late

Volume  7 says “The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath,   is what?  is the last act in the drama. {7T 141.1}

This is the wakeup call, you know in Matthew 25 there's the parable of ten virgins. How many slept? All ten of them. How many woke up? All ten of them. How many were ready? Only five. Five were ready and five are not. You can read Matthew 25:5-6 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

As the Sunday law is widely agitated, the Saints are going to awake.

Every Seventh-day Adventist will realize then, we've come to the end time.

As the Sunday law is being agitated that will be sort of like the great divide between the wise and the foolish. While the Sunday law is being agitated, the wise are going to do what? They’re going to go out and give a last message, the loud cry, under the power of the latter reign.

The foolish, what are they going to do? They're going to go seek for the religious experience that they've been putting off. And while they are seeking for that experience, the parable says what happens? The door closes.

 Don't wait until then. There’s another parable, another story in Matthew 7. Two houses, one built on the Rock the other built on the sand. What is it that demonstrates the foundation of those two houses? The storm. The storm will be the Sunday law. We shouldn't wait to build character until the Sunday law is being agitated, it'll be too late then. You can’t start building a house when the storm starts. That's what's going to reveal the foundation of the house you've been building. So,

Number one, natural disasters.

Number two, threefold Union.

Number three, Sunday law agitated, which brings about

Number four, the loud cry begins.

 Let me read about it with you. GC page 606  As the time comes for it   the loud cry  to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through  Who?  humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. … Men of faith and prayer  these will be those who gain victory over sin  will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them.  What are they going to preach? The words that God gives them.  The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority,  as the Sunday law is being widely agitated, this is the message that is being proclaimed under the power of the Holy Spirit  the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power   if you're afraid to preach these things now, you think you'll preach them then? If you preach them then, then you know you’re risking your neck.  —all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these.  This is a loud cry being given.  In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. … {GC 606.2}  You can see the messages being proclaimed Babylon it fallen. I know some preachers are afraid to preach that these days.  The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks.  Do you get the picture? As the Sunday law is being widely agitated here in America, God through His Holy Spirit moves upon the saints that have gained a victorious Christian character, and they go out to proclaim these truths and the people are stirred, thousands of them are stirred and they go to their preachers saying what can you say about this? And the preacher said they want to shut it up. 

By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked   in other words you can be passed  against commandment keepers. {GC 607.1}

So stage number four brings about stage number five.

Number one natural disasters.

Number two threefold Union. Both of those are happening already.

Number three the Sunday law is agitated, widely agitated. As it is agitated that causes a loud cry. God pours out his Spirit upon his saints. They go forth to give the message, and the message maddens those who oppose it, and so they finally move upon the government to pass the law. The Sunday law is actually passed.

There you have it diagramed. Now is the time to prepare right? Not to wait until it is being agitated. Now is the time when we are to confess and forsake our sins that they may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out. Now is the time to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  {HS 155.2}

How much time do we have left? I don't know, I don't know when the Sunday law will be widely agitated. I know this is not being widely agitated yet, but that could come about very quickly, especially after the upcoming visit of the pope. We don't know, but what we do know is that now is the time to be seeking for a victorious character. You can have it, it's yours for the asking, if you're willing. Romans tells us in Romans 13:11-12 You know what time it is? Don't look at the clock, prophetically. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is what? high time to what? awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: that's the day of Christ's return let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

I want to give the loud cry, don't you? At least if we're alive, if I'm alive at end time then I want to be among those giving the last message. How about you? You want to give the message? Let me see your hand, now you know what it takes, right? Before you give the message you have to have gained victory over all those besetting sins. I want victory, don't you? How many want victory, let me see your hands? God can give it to you he will give it to you if you'll ask him, if you will seek for that victory with all your heart.

There is hope for you, the Sunday law is not yet passed.

There is hope for you, this world's great crisis is coming fast.

There is hope for you, the test will come will your house last?

Friend there is hope in Christ for you.

There is hope for you, the loud cry is soon to sound.

There is hope for you, victory must now be found.

There is hope for you, God's grace does for you abound.

So friend, there is hope in Christ for you, amen?  

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