From Here to Forever


Severe Penalties

A striking illustration of Rome's policy was given in the long and bloody persecution of the Waldenses, some of whom were observers of the Sabbath. (See Appendix) The history of the churches of Ethiopia and Abyssinia is especially significant. Amid the gloom of the Dark Ages, the Christians of Central Africa were lost sight of and forgotten by the world and for many centuries enjoyed freedom in their faith. At last Rome learned of their existence, and the emperor of Abyssinia was beguiled into an acknowledgment of the pope as the vicar of Christ. An edict was issued forbidding the observance of the Sabbath under severe penalties.5 But papal tyranny soon became a yoke so galling that the Abyssinians determined to break it. The Romanists were banished from their dominions and the ancient faith was restored. HF 352.2

While the churches of Africa kept the seventh day in obedience to the commandment of God, they abstained from labor on Sunday in conformity to the custom of the church. Rome trampled on the Sabbath of God to exalt her own, but the churches of Africa, hidden for nearly a thousand years, did not share this apostasy. When brought under Rome, they were forced to set aside the true and exalt the false sabbath. But no sooner had they regained their independence than they returned to obedience to the fourth commandment. (See Appendix) HF 352.3

These records clearly reveal the enmity of Rome toward the true Sabbath and its defenders. The Word of God teaches that these scenes are to be repeated as Catholics and Protestants unite for the exaltation of Sunday. HF 353.1