The Seventh Day – Part Five

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Part Five Overview

Roger Williams — Champion of religious freedom and strong advocate of separation of church and state paves the way for first Sabbath-keeping settlement in Rhode Island. Seventh-day Baptists — In 1665, Stephen and Anne Mumford carry the seventh-day Sabbath to the New World. Beisel and the Ephrata Cloister — Conrad Beisel, a young German refugee arrives in Pennsylvania in 1720 forming a tight-knit spiritual community - the Ephrata Cloister. Beisel's Sabbath-keeping community brought into conflict with the Sunday laws of Pennsylvania. Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians — Count Zinzendorf, a lifelong Lutheran and observer of the seventh-day Sabbath fosters a spiritual renewal among the Moravians - reviving their faith. In 1741 some of Zinzendorf's missionaries arrive in eastern Pennsylvania to begin work among the native American Indians. Believing them to be the ten lost tribes of Israel, reintroduces them to their Jewish heritage and the seventh day Sabbath. From Millerites to Seventh-day Adventists — Former agnostic Baptist preacher William Miller preaches imminent return of Jesus in 1844. Millerite preacher Fredrick Wheeler convinced by Seventh-day Baptist lady Rachel Oaks Preston, that Saturday is the Sabbath. Shortly thereafter, retired sea captain Joseph Bates also accepts the Sabbath, becomes principle proponent of the seventh day Sabbath, which leads to beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Taipings — Hong Xiuchuan, a peasant farmer in China learns about God through a remarkable vision. His religious zeal sweeps through the oppressed peasant class, inspiring the greatest revolutionary movement of the 19th century. The Taiping leaders took the fourth commandment quite literally, requiring the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. Maniilaq — Eskimo prophet in the mid 1800's learns about the Sabbath without ever reading a Bible or seeing a missionary. Predicts future changes to the Eskimo people, frees the people from the power of the Shamans various taboos and teaches people to honor the seventh day of the week as a day of rest in honor of “Grandfather” in heaven. Owkwa — Village chief in Guyana receives an amazing dream in the early 1900's. Told how to be healthy, how to be clean, what to eat. He was taught also songs and prophecies; and yes, was even told about Sabbath being a day of rest and worship. Africa — Scores of independent churches spring up in Africa after the arrival of Protestant missionaries in the eighteenth century, many of which begin keeping the seventh-day Sabbath - Approximately 20 million members today. Saving Sunday? — Proper observance of Sunday as a holy day seen as requirement for God’s blessings. Disasters attributed to desecration of Sunday. The secularization of Sunday through professional sports, theatres and amusement parks result in strong and influential voices calling for “Sunday blue laws” to limit commercial and private activity on Sunday. In 1888 a Sunday law aimed at preserving the first day of the week as a day of rest and religious observance was challenged by A.T. Jones representing the Seventh-day Adventist Church as being unconstitutional. Other Sabbatarians — Bible Sabbath Association lists over four hundred Sabbath-keeping churches and denominations which observe the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. There's the True Jesus Church in China, Seventh Day Baptists and scores of Sabbath-keeping groups that share the generic name “Church of God.” Many of the smaller groups grew out of the World Wide Church of God, founded by Herbert Armstrong. Largest among all these groups are the Seventh-day Adventists with membership totaling more than 14 million. Sabbath Issues — Seventh-day Sabbath keeping seen by many as a rejection of Christian freedom and leading to legalism. But is it really? Old and New Covenants discussed. Sabbath observance seen as “resting in Christ.” Sabbath of Prophecy — The place of the Sabbath in Bible prophecy, particularly the prophetic book of Revelation - Chapter 11:19 and 14:6,7 and Isaiah 66:22,23. Summary — Summary of episodes 1-5. Tracing the Sabbath from it's origin at Creation, it's survival through the centuries despite attempts to regulate it, bury it, or ban it. It's revival through the teachings of early Anabaptists and the English Seventh-day men, despite persecution and martyrdom. Restored to worldwide attention through the Seventh-day Adventist Movement and other groups large and small. And finally experienced in the hearts and lives of Sabbath-keeping Christians in the 21st century. Its continued observance into eternity as a memorial of God’s creative and redemptive work.

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