God established the Sabbath to be an everlasting memorial of His work of creation. He instituted the seventh day in Eden which keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God – the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship. For it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. So long as the fact that God is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.Genesis 2:1-3
The Sabbath had its origin when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:7. For the earth was in harmony with heaven. God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Genesis 1:31, 2:2. All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author. He rested, not as one weary, but as well pleased with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory.
Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath
Since He made all things, He made the Sabbath. By Him it was set apart as a memorial of the work of creation. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things in heaven and in earth, and by whom all things hold together, is the head of the church. Moreover, that by His power we are reconciled to God. For speaking of Israel, Jesus said:
I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. Ezekiel 20:12
Then the Sabbath is a sign of Christ’s power to make us holy. And it is given to all whom Christ makes holy. As a sign of His sanctifying power, the Sabbath is given to all who through Christ become a part of the Israel of God.
From the pillar of cloud also Christ declared: Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Exodus 31:13. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He or she who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. They are sanctified through obedience.
The seventh-day Sabbath was ordained for man
The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their creator and their rightful sovereign. Thus they were to acknowledge also the work of His hands and the subjects of His authority. Mankind needed a Sabbath to remind him or her more vividly of God. Moreover, to awaken gratitude because all that they enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator. Thus the institution was wholly commemorative and given to all human beings. One needed to lay aside his or her own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that they might more fully contemplate the works of God, and meditate upon His power and goodness.
God sanctified the day of His rest
He gave it to man to be kept free from all secular labor. He did not set apart one day and any day in seven, but one particular day – the seventh day. And by observing the Sabbath we show that we recognize God as the living God – the Creator of the heaven and the earth. Had the Sabbath always been sacredly observed, there could never have been an atheist or an idolater.
Thus God set it apart as a day of rest for man. Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day. For as he or she should look upon the heavens and the earth, they might reflect upon God’s great work of creation. Thus as they should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, their heart might be filled with love and reverence for their Maker. The Scripture says: He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered. The things that are made, declare the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world, even His everlasting power and divinity.” Genesis 2:3; Psalm 111:4; Romans 1:20.
The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath
As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God’s people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest.
Hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:20.
To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given for a perpetual covenant. To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God’s government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He or she fasten themselves to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise.
Through Moses was given also the promise: The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways . And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them. Deuteronomy 28:9-13.
The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship between God and His people
It is a sign that they are His obedient subjects. Furthermore, that they keep holy His law. The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the transgressors of His law. Those who hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord and cheerfully keep His commandments will be among the number who see God. The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:24, 25.
A false sabbath has been instituted
Who instituted it? The man of sin, who has thought to change times and laws. The world has turned from the true and living God to serve an idol. The Lord’s word reads just as it did when it was given. Satan’s counterfeits do not bear God’s signature. Though every son and daughter of Adam should endorse these falsehoods, God’s truth would not be annihilated. Not the smallest jot or tittle of the law has ever been given over to Satan, to be manipulated according to his fancy.
If this could have been done, it would have been when the matter was first agitated in the heavenly courts. But there the first intimation of a change in God’s law was met by a decided No. This led to a battle in heaven. Satan, next to Christ the most exalted being in the heavenly courts, was overcome, and with his sympathizers cast out of heaven. Thus it was shown that Satan was not in the right, and that God had not abrogated or changed his law. The law of God is the transcript of his character. Throughout the eternal ages it will remain Yea and Amen, perfect and unalterable, without variables or shadow of turning.
The Sunday sabbath is the child of the Papacy
It has been accepted by the Protestant church, who have fostered and cradled it as if of heavenly birth. But their human sanction can never give it acceptance with God. It is a rival, spurious Sabbath, usurping the place of the holy day upon which God rested, which He blessed and sanctified, and gave to man as an everlasting memorial of the Creator’s work. When the facts are brought before them, will Protestants, by their deference to the Sunday, consent to recognize the blasphemous claims of the man of sin? Will they choose to worship him instead of God?
The mystery of iniquity, which had already begun to work in Paul’s day, will continue its work until it be taken out of the way at our Lord’s second coming. The climax of the working of iniquity will soon be reached. America will reject the principles of Protestantism, and give countenance to Romish apostasy in tampering with God’s law. It is then that the final work of the man of sin will be revealed. Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the Papacy. By a national act enforcing the false Sabbath, they will give life and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience. Then it will be time for God to work in mighty power for the vindication of His truth.
In the great cities of the land the rebuke will be heard
Boldly will men of God’s appointment denounce the union of the church with the world. Fearlessly they will call upon men and women to turn from the observance of a man-made institution to the observance of the true Sabbath. Fear God, and give glory to him, they will proclaim to every nation, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Revelation 14:9, 10
Today, as in the days of Elijah, the line of demarcation between God’s commandment-keeping people and the worshipers of false gods is clearly drawn. How long halt ye between two opinions? – Elijah cried. If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. 1 Kings 18:21. And the message for today is:
…Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Revelation 18:2, 4, 5.
Every human being must take a side
An idol sabbath has been set up, as the golden image was set up in the plains of Dura. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship the image should be killed. In the same manner a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death. Thus the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled underfoot. But the Lord has declared: Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and write grievousness which they have prescribed. Isaiah 10:1.
A period is coming when everyone will take sides between the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and the spurious sabbath instituted by the man of sin. This persecuting power will compel the worship of the beast by insisting on the observance of the sabbath he has instituted. They have exalted themselves above all that is called God. They have taken upon themselves the attributes of Satan in oppressing the loyal and true who keep the commandments of God. Thus the papacy blasphemes God – sitting in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. He set it apart to a holy use. By thus setting apart the Sabbath, God gave the world a memorial. He did not set apart one day and any day in seven, but one particular day, the seventh day. And by observing the Sabbath, we show that we recognize God as the living God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth. He gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God’s power and His love.
We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus are testing us. If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us. He will bless us as His own chosen peculiar people. When perfect faith and perfect love and obedience abound, working in the hearts of those who are Christ’s followers, they will have a powerful influence. Light will emanate from them, dispelling the darkness around them, refining and elevating all who come within the sphere of their influence, and bringing to a knowledge of the truth all who are willing to be enlightened and to follow in the humble path of obedience.
The children of God will be triumphant. They will come off conquerors and more than conquerors over all the opposing, persecuting elements. Fear not. By the power of Bible truth and love exemplified in the cross, and set home in soul by the Holy Spirit, we shall have the victory. The whole battle before us links to the observance of the true Sabbath of Jehovah.
- CH 359; 14MR 91; DA 281; CH 359; 6T 350; RH, Aug, Dec, 1898; ST, Jun, 1893; RH, Nov, 1913; 2T 693; – The Ellen G. White Estate
- King James Version (KJV) Bible – BibleGateway
- Image courtesy – Pixabay
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