Likewise, the early Church of God faithfully kept the SEVENTH DAY SABBATH (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) for several hundred years. Later, under political pressure and religious opposition, they backed down. They allowed the observance of “the venerable day of the Sun” back-to-back with God’s Sabbath. What a tragic mistake! We’re still suffering the consequences of such shameful compromise.
By sanctioning Sunday services, the Church gave SUNday the necessary clout to claim “equality.” That peaceful coexistence was short-lived, however. Soon the Gentile “converts” managed to make it illegal for Christians to keep the “Jewish Sabbath!” In 365, during the Council of Laodicea, they forcibly substituted Sunday for the seventh day Sabbath! Constantine or Christ? Yeshua said He was Lord of the Sabbath - the seventh day Sabbath is the Lord's Day. Yet Constantine pimped SUNday and his Christian reprobates- apostate Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant followers - continue to keep it as an idolatrous tradition over the commandment of God. This plain truth angers many of the self-righteous!
Earlier, to promote “unity”—NOT the truth—the Council of Nicea (in 325 AD) ruled the Christian PASSOVER (commemorating Jesus’ death) had to go! Whoever disagreed faced the death penalty! Their religious fabrication supposedly emphasized Jesus’ resurrection—in direct violation of Christ’s command! Eventually they stopped their charade of keeping the Jewish Passover of the Lord, moved their new Roman holiday to a different date that the faithful - like Polycarp and Polycrates who kept the biblical Passover- opposed, knowing it was devised by deceived and deceiving Gentile men) and eventually even called their celebration Easter instead of Passover or Pascha. But they forgot to give it a Christian-sounding name. Easter’s the Babylonian spring goddess—Baal’s playboy bunny! They had given up the kosher Lamb of God for a rabbit trick! And to this day, many Gentilized Christians, misled by Romanizers, even go so far to add insult to injury by pigging out on Easter ham and having Easter egg hunts!
In time, anything even remotely “Jewish” about the Church of God came under attack. The Gentile minority-turned-majority demanded changes to reflect their “universal” appeal. They wanted to appear more inclusive—at the expense of the Church’s Jewish (read biblical) heritage. They were intent on destroying the doctrines they once held dear.
Changes… for the Worse!
Misguided ministers GUTTED THE BODY OF CHRIST and were now picking at the bones (Micah 3:1-3). In their racist zeal, they were throwing out the original truths and replacing them with popular error. The early Church of God, with its now-derided leaders, should’ve NEVER attempted to power-share! It only led to disaster. They foolishly enabled their “equals” to oust them (3 John 9, 10).
Not everyone was thrilled about all the changes taking place. The flood of “new truths” had come so fast and furious, many were caught off guard (Rev.12: 15). They were simply unprepared for this “scholarly” onslaught (Malachi 2:12). Some expressed concern, others questioned what was going on, but everyone sensed something just wasn’t right. It seemed almost overnight everything they’d been taught was somehow wrong. Now there were DIFFERENT MEANINGS given to biblical words, and supposedly the Church now had a “deeper understanding” of various scriptures.
What was troublesome to longtime members, though, was that these DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES didn’t enhance or add to whatever they already understood—it took away, undermined, or totally denied what they’d PROVEN to be true. They felt that they shouldn’t give these new “Christians” the time of day (Galatians 2:5) and agreed with the words of the apostle Paul who spoke against adultery, warned about whoring around with foreign gods and alien religions, who condemned mixing and matching biblical truth with pagan error:
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
Therefore, unlike the majority of spiritual drunks and whores, the many who followed after false Christs, they refused to surrender God’s truth, accept a pagan truce, or enter into a marriage of convenience. They knew better! And they weren’t going to deny God’s truth or ignore it—despite charges of “refusing to grow” and “worshiping a man” (Paul). They knew the true source of such slander (Rev.12: 10).
The Faithful Few
"For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted... 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:4).
Those Sabbath-keeping Church of God members, who remained faithful to the original Christian beliefs and authentic practices established in Jerusalem, who didn't succumb to seducing spirits or fall for the many different versions of "Jesus" and other "gospels" attractively offered that they were warned about, were forced to flee for their lives. They became part of the “underground” and got involved in “the resistance movement.” They had to hide out in the mountains and valleys of Europe and Asia Minor to escape persecution and death (Revelation 12: 6).
Beyond the pale of the pope, these “wandering Jews” carried their “Sanctuary” with them, and its attendant truths (Hebrews 11: 38). During their wilderness trek, God’s true Church would retain its unique identity (John 17: 11). Though banished upon penalty of death, these freedom fighters kept the FAITH alive (John 8:32). They knew that God would end their exile, and waited patiently for TRUTH to triumph over tradition.
Excerpt from Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall