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The Constitutionality of Sunday Laws – “Crisis Coming Soon, Are You Ready?”

Pastor Cary Rodgers, Jr.

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Revelation 13:15-17 prophetically records the mark of the beast crisis. It says, “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. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 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.” “He” is the United States of America that represents the beast with two lamb like horns in Revelation 13:11. He has authority to give “life” to the apostate Christian churches. With the merging of church and state, they have power to legislate “religious” laws for the “common good” and “liberty”. These legislations with the political influence of the image of the beast “cause” or make people “worship” them. How? It is through enforcement. Those who refuse to worship as they have legislated are characterized as a small minority of “trouble-makers”, “extremists”, “terrorists”, and “hateful.” They are not able to buy or sell and eventually receive the death penalty. These “religious” laws will be enforced in the midst of major economic, social, political, moral, environmental, and violent crises.

Currently, many Christian churches in America have unified to build a formidable and powerful political infrastructure to influence elections and laws within the U.S. government. For example, The Gathering, a popular conference movement for the purpose of unifying Christians throughout America from various denominations, churches, and ministries, says, “The church must again become the conscience of the government. Through its national solemn assembly, it should clearly and respectfully call political leadership to God’s principles for government... It also means we must begin speaking with one voice so that the nation might see a unified church and not one that is fractured and scattered by differences in how we practice our faith.” [1] There are many other Christian conferences and strategy sessions like these sweeping America to gain more political power.

When the popular and influential churches and ministries in America put away their differences and unite on doctrines that they have in common to influence the U.S. government to enforce their religious decrees and support their institutions, “then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” [2]

Do not forget that the major unifying religious doctrine that brings both the beast and its image together is the Sunday counterfeit sabbath that was established by Papal Rome. This is the “mark” of Papal Rome’s authority.

According to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, concerning “Article 3 - The Third Commandment” referring to the sabbath commandment: “2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day... In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employee. 2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society.”[3]

“Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort” is a call for governments to legislate Sunday “sabbath” laws for “religious liberty and the common good of all.” “Public authorities should ensure a time off intended for rest and divine worship.” These public authorities include the legislators or judges who make and interpret the law and law enforcement who enforce the law. For Sundays to be recognized as “legal holidays” also requires the government to legislate a religious doctrine. Papal Rome believes that a Sunday holy day legislation will not only benefit Christians, but all people, including non-Christians. It will be a time to “defend their tradition” and contribute to the “spiritual life of society”. The legalization and enforcement of Sunday “sabbaths” is the goal of Papal Rome.

Ellen White who also wrote much on this topic says, “The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected.” [4]

The legalization and the enforcement of Sunday “sabbaths” is the mark of the beast crisis in which both the beast – Papal Rome, and the image of the beast – apostate Christian churches, will push for in America and around the world.

America is not new to Sunday laws. In the past they have been enacted and enforced in various states to restrict secular and business activities or sales to promote the Sunday as a religious day of worship and rest. These Sunday laws where mainly known as “blue laws” and were legislated and enforced at the state level. Those who violated the “blue laws” by working or selling on Sundays were punished with fines, or imprisoned. In the 1880s many Seventh-day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists were punished as violators of the Sunday laws because they typically worked on Sundays.

In 1888 there was a push at the federal level to expand the blue laws nationally in every state.  It was believed that Sunday laws should be legislated and enforced by the U.S. federal government and not by individual states.  With the support of labor unions and churches, U.S. Senator Henry Blair introduced Senate Bill No. 2983, “The National Sunday-Rest Bill” to congress, May 21, 1888. The purpose of the bill was clearly stated at the introduction of the bill, “Bill to secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord’s day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of religious worship.”

The proposed National Sunday-Rest law that was vehemently pushed to become the law of the land with the support of many churches, labor unions, organizations, and voters stated, “that no person or corporation, or the agent, servant, or employee of any person or corporation, shall perform or authorize to be performed, any secular work, labor, or business, to the disturbance of others, works of necessity, mercy, and humanity excepted; nor shall any person engage in any play, game, or amusement, or recreation, to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord's day, or during any part thereof, in any territory, district, vessel, or place, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.”  This bill also prohibited U.S. mail deliveries, commerce between states, military drills and parades, payment for “any manner for service rendered” with a few exceptions due to accidents, natural disasters, or the preservation of perishable goods. 

Alonzo T. Jones, who represented the Seventh-day Adventist church on December 13, 1888, was able to present his arguments of opposition to the National Sunday-Rest law before the United States Committee on Education and Labor, and Senator Henry Blair.  The Holy Spirit used Jones in a powerful way before the committee. In the end, the National Sunday-Rest bill of 1888 did not pass.  Since then, many of the individual states continued to enforce their version of a Sunday law, but over time, in the mid 1900s to our modern times, many of the state blue laws were repealed or have not been strictly enforced.

Today we are very close to the mark of the beast crisis, as the Bible predicts. God’s people must be aware that the push for Sunday observance at the federal level, and the blue laws at the state level in the past, have set a firm foundation of the enforcement of national and international Sunday laws in the near future.  They imperceptibly help create in the consciousness of all people in our society that Sunday was a common day of rest regardless of religious belief.  Even though many of the blue laws were repealed over the years, several businesses and services continue to stay closed on Sundays or have limited hours.   The majority of Americans today do not work on Sundays. Many also attend worship service on Sunday. Regardless of the overwhelming Biblical evidence that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, Sunday rest and worship have been deeply entrenched in our society.

Sadly, many nominal Seventh-day Adventists today are waiting for the National Sunday Law to pass first before they make a full surrender to the three angels' messages and God’s everlasting covenant.  They have a “wait and see” mentality.  They believe that they can participate in worldly amusements, watch Hollywood movies, be fans of the NBA and NFL, play video games, be a subscriber to Netflix and Dish Network, listen to itching-ear sermons on Sabbath and be ready for the mark of the beast crisis. They believe that they can continue to partake of the things of the world and when they see the National Sunday Law they will then take seriously the call to “Come out of Babylon”.  But the reality is that if they have known and rejected the first and second angels' messages, when the time for the proclamation of the third angel's message comes, they will be left in “total darkness” (see Early Writings pp 258-261). They will feel no conviction from the Holy Spirit.  God's Spirit will be withdrawn from them and will be poured out upon those who have faithfully received the message in order to give the Loud Cry as the final warning to the world who did not know these truths.  Those who knew and rejected the message will join the popular easy side and become persecutors of the faithful.

The decision to put off the preparation for last days events till the National Sunday Law is very delusional and confused thinking. Many believe that the Sunday law legislation will be a long drawn- out process that will give them time to get ready for the mark of the beast crisis.  Here is the reality that all of God’s remnant need to think about.  Remember, the final movements of the end of the world will be very rapid. The Sunday laws that will soon sweep over this nation and world do not have to be called the “National Sunday Law”. They will be attached to solutions to “climate change” or “religious liberty”. They can be wrapped in weekly holiday legislation or national prayer observance to promote unity in the midst of a great crisis.

The legislation of Sunday laws in this country does not have to be a long and drawn-out process. As a matter of fact, a Sunday bill may not go through the U.S. Congress at all. It is very possible that Sunday laws may be enacted by the stroke of a pen through presidential executive orders.  For many years Satan has been working stealthily as a snake to set up his false Sunday sabbath. Did you know that the Supreme Court has already set a legal precedence that Sunday-rest laws are not a violation of the establishment of religion clause of the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution?  This was established in four landmark Sunday-law U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1961, lead by Chief Justice Earl Warren who has a history of being a high ranking and active Freemason.[5]  Warren declared that "the State seeks to set one day apart from all others as a day of rest, repose, recreation and tranquility – a day which all members of the family and community have the opportunity to spend and enjoy together, a day on which there exists relative quiet and disassociation from the everyday intensity of commercial activities, a day on which people may visit friends and relative who are not available during working days."[6]  

According to www.congress.gov, “The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated) contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law.” The annotation to the first amendment concerning the U.S. Supreme Courts’ decision on “Sunday Closing Laws” states that “The Supreme Court rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to Sunday Closing Laws in McGowan v. Maryland. The Court acknowledged that historically the laws had a religious motivation and were designed to effectuate concepts of Christian theology. However, ‘[i]n light of the evolution of our Sunday Closing Laws through the centuries, and of their more or less recent emphasis upon secular considerations, it is not difficult to discern that as presently written and administered, most of them, at least, are of a secular rather than of a religious character, and that presently they bear no relationship to establishment of religion....’  ‘[T]he fact that this [prescribed day of rest] is Sunday, a day of particular significance for the dominant Christian sects, does not bar the State from achieving its secular goals.’ ”[7] The Supreme Court landmark decisions views Sundays as a natural common day of rest for the benefit of society as a whole that protects workers, families and guarantees the free exercise of religion. They assert that leaving it up to individuals to choose their own day of rest will be confusing and not benefit society as a whole. The annotation of the first amendment of the Sunday Closing laws concludes that “the choice of Sunday as the day of rest, while originally religious, now reflected simple legislative inertia or recognition that Sunday was a traditional day for the choice. Valid secular reasons existed for not simply requiring one day of rest and leaving to each individual to choose the day, reasons of ease of enforcement and of assuring a common day in the community for rest and leisure. More recently, a state statute mandating that employers honor the Sabbath day of the employee's choice was held invalid as having the primary effect of promoting religion by weighing the employee's Sabbath choice over all other interests.” [8]

Remember, the sole purpose of the Supreme Court is to be the “supreme” legal interpreters of the U.S. Constitution.  Their court decisions set the legal precedence or standard throughout the United States that every court in the land must uphold. The Supreme Court wields a lot of legal power. Once the Supreme Court makes a determination if something is constitutional or not, neither the U.S. Congress nor the president of the United States can overturn it. The only ones who have the power to overturn decisions made by the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court itself. It is extremely rare for the Supreme Court to overturn decisions. In 1973 the landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, sadly, made abortion legal throughout the United States. After that decision, no state can ban the evil practice of abortion. The only ones that can overturn Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court.  Once legal precedence is established by the Supreme Court, justices are very reluctant to overturn decisions even if they disagree.  On June 26, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court decided that all state bans on same sex marriage was unconstitutional in the case Obergefell v. Hodges. This court decision legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states.

The reality is that Sunday-rest laws have already been deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Sunday laws are technically legal in all fifty states.  The only thing it needs is someone like the U.S. president through an executive order to activate and enforce it.  This scenario is not far-fetched.  We are living in a time when this can happen at any moment very soon. President Donald Trump’s administration has already blurred the line of separation between church and state through various actions and executive orders.  Many who make professions of the three angels’ messages, but are not fully converted, will be caught unaware waiting for the Sunday law to pass.  The mark of the beast crisis will come upon them as an overwhelming flood. 

We are on the edge of a stupendous crisis that will reverberate around the world.  Bible prophecy is fulfilling at a rapid pace.  The mark of the beast crisis is right upon us.  Have you been watching and praying that you enter not into temptation?  All of God's remnant WILL go through intense temptation, trial, torture, and persecution as we enter into the next phase of Bible prophecy during the mark of the beast crisis.  Have you taken full inventory of your spiritual life with Christ? Have you made a FULL surrender to Him in action, not just words? Is your faith anemic, or is it strong?

In Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, pages 215–216, Ellen White makes an urgent appeal, "It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character…. What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast… Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour."

 

References

1. thegathering2016.com/about

2. Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 445

3. Catechism Of The Catholic Church - www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a3.htm

4. Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 592

5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Warren

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_law#cite_note-28

7. Congress.gov, pdf document: First Amendment, Freedom of Religion Expression, p.1111 - https://www.congress.gov/content/conan/pdf/GPO-CONAN-2017-10-2.pdf 

8. Ibid

 


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