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THE "SABBATH" TEST [message #2926] Sat, 30 May 2020 03:33
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THE “SABBATH” TEST



The Sabbath was given to all mankind to commemorate the work of creation.


The great Jehovah, when he had laid the foundations of the earth, when he had dressed the whole world in its garb of beauty, and created all the wonders of the land and the sea, instituted the Sabbath day and made it holy
.

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, the Sabbath was set apart as God's memorial.

God sanctified and blessed the day in which he had rested from all his wondrous work.

And this Sabbath, sanctified of God, was to be kept for a perpetual covenant.

It was a memorial that was to stand from age to age, till the close of earth's history.


God brought the Hebrews out of their Egyptian bondage, and commanded them to observe his Sabbath, and keep the law given in Eden. Every week he worked a miracle to establish in their minds the fact that in the beginning of the world he had instituted the Sabbath.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God speaks thus of his works for Israel: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. . . . I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love." Through the psalmist he says: "He brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: . . . that they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws."

On the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from Egypt, the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin; and there "the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron. . . . And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: and in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord; for that he heareth your murmurings against the Lord: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? And Moses said, This shall be, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord."

"And in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. . . .


"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe: and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a Sabbath unto the Lord: today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.

"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."


In the third month they came to the desert of Sinai, and there the law was spoken from the mount in awful grandeur. During their stay in Egypt, Israel had so long heard and seen idolatry practised that to a large degree they had lost their knowledge of God and of his law, and their sense of the importance and sacredness of the Sabbath; the law was given a second time to call these things to their remembrance. In God's statutes was defined practical religion for all mankind. Before Israel was placed the true standard of righteousness.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep." Some, who have been anxious to make of none effect the law of God, have quoted this word "Sabbaths," interpreting it to mean the annual sabbaths of the Jews. But they do not connect this positive requirement with that which follows:--

"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. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."

There are those who hold that the Sabbath was given only for the Jews; but God has never said this. He committed the Sabbath to his people Israel as a sacred trust; but the very fact that the desert of Sinai, and not Palestine, was the place selected by him in which to proclaim his law, reveals that he intended it for all mankind.

The law of ten commandments is as old as creation.

Therefore the Sabbath institution has no special relation to the Jews, any more than to all other created beings. God has made the observance of the Sabbath obligatory upon all men.

"The Sabbath,"it is plainly stated, "was made for man."


Let every one, therefore, who is in danger of being deceived on this point give heed to the word of God rather than the assertions of men.


In Eden, God said to Adam concerning the tree of knowledge, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Adam listened to the voice of Satan speaking through his wife; he believed another voice than that which spoke the law in Eden.


Every man has been placed on trial, as were Adam and Eve in Eden. As the tree of knowledge was placed in the midst of the garden of Eden, so the Sabbath command is placed in the midst of the decalogue.

In regard to the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the restriction was made, "Ye shall not eat of it, . . . lest ye die."


Of the Sabbath, God said, Ye shall not defile it, but keep it holy. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."


As the tree of knowledge was the test of Adam's obedience,
so the fourth command is the test that God has given to prove the loyalty of all his people.


The experience of Adam is to be a warning to us so long as time shall last. It warns us not to receive any assurance from the mouth of men or of angels that will detract one jot or tittle from the sacred law of Jehovah.

Notwithstanding the deplorable results of our first parents' belief of a lie, similar presentations are made today. Satan claims to be the prince of this world, and he wishes to obliterate from the minds of men all knowledge of the Creator, the rightful owner of the earth. As the most successful way to accomplish this, he has attempted to change the fourth commandment of the decalogue. He knows that if he can change the Lord's rest day from the seventh to any other day of the week, if he can succeed in deluding the world in regard to this one commandment, he will gain the homage that is due to the Lord of heaven; therefore he presents a day in his own honor,--a day that God has not blessed and sanctified.

God could not alter one precept of his law to meet man in his lost condition; for in so doing he would reveal that he was not an all-wise and infallible being, without variableness or shadow of turning. No man can prove that God has changed the thing that has gone out of his lips. God is not changeable. He is not a man, that he should lie. One precept, one jot or tittle, of the law changed or altered, would have given Satan all he asked in heaven in his controversy with Christ. Satan could not point to any time when the Lord had changed his holy rest day, when he had removed his sanctity from the seventh day of the week and placed it upon the first. Therefore he had to employ his deceiving power to make men believe that the fourth commandment had been changed.The scheme of Satan has been successful, and he is well pleased that he can sway the religious mind by presenting a mass of false theories and innumerable conjectures and sayings of men.

His disguise gives him an advantage in his master working
.

In his counsels the way is prepared in so specious a manner that his satanic cunning is not detected.


Thus he turns men's minds from the genuine to the false.


The day instituted by God, when men should engage in the worship of Jehovah, is trampled underfoot,
and Satan's invention--a spurious, idol sabbath--is exalted.


By the falsehoods and devices of the man of sin, the Sunday has gradually gathered to itself a covering of sanctity, and its claims upon the human race have become established; many now honestly believe that God has changed his purpose, and that he now designs Sunday to be exalted above the day which, in the beginning, he blessed and sanctified. Thus Satan gathers into his ranks not only the unbelieving world, but also the churches. Some who profess to be God's peculiar people go over to the enemy's side. They profane the day that he has sanctified, and exalt and honor a day on which he has placed no sanctity.

Thus, just as surely as did Adam, they constitute themselves transgressors of the law.


Many who profess to be Christians have divorced themselves from Christ. They second the efforts of the man of sin, and, infused with his spirit, show determined opposition to the holy law of God. They array themselves against the fourth precept of the decalogue, and accept a spurious sabbath. They place themselves on Satan's side of the question. They heed the voice of Satan rather than the voice of God. Notwithstanding the most positive assertions from lips in which is no guile, men professing to believe the word of God take the word of Satan, and believe his lie; and they act in accordance with the character of him who has deceived them. They are inspired with hatred and malice against those who will not receive the lies of the great apostate, who will not bow down to worship an idol sabbath.

The world and many of the professed followers of Christ are united in their efforts to honor the Sunday. Through the deceiving power of Satan, they will strive to make God's law of no effect.

But the word of God contains the truth, and all who support the truth of God for this time are doing their work for time and for eternity. Those who bring the word of God into mind and heart take their stand on the side of God and the heavenly universe. They will stand heart to heart and hand to hand in defense of the holy and the pure, while those who support error by word, and pen, and voice, and by the oppression of those who are linked with the truth, are ranged upon the other side. They are leagued with the first great apostate and the evil men who are his agents. The Word declares of these that they shall "wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

God foresaw the workings of the arch-deceiver--every art and device in his crooked twistings and turnings. He knew that Satan's purpose was to make void the law of God, especially the fourth commandment, which specifies in unmistakable language who is the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Therefore God gave his word through Moses: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

God has not left the matter so undefined that we can not tell when the true Sabbath comes. "Six days," he says, "may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord." He has given directions that on Friday, the day prior to the Sabbath, shall be prepared all the food to be eaten on the Sabbath. "Bake that which ye will bake," he says, "and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." Servile work for a livelihood, or common business transactions upon the Sabbath, constitute those who take part in them transgressors. All labor necessary to provide for the sustenance of the body is to be done in the six working days.

In the fourth commandment the claims of God are expressed. In it he has specified his holy day; and he declares that so long as heaven and earth remain, not one jot nor tittle of his law shall be changed. "Think not," he says, "that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

If the Lord designed to change the day, why did he give no intimation of it? He certainly knew if he designed to do any such thing. When the transgressors of the law of God raise their objections to the Sabbath specified in the fourth commandment, they have their answer in the words of Christ: "Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

Heaven and earth still stand to confirm every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. For a time the powers of darkness have seemed to prevail, the man of sin has seemed to triumph; but during all the days when darkness seemed to eclipse the light, the Sabbath has been kept by God's representatives. And as we near the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven, when he comes to take the kingdom under the whole heaven, and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords; when light shines from the throne of God, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment stands in its own merits and native dignity,--then all who are true to God will see and acknowledge its perpetuity.

The practical application of the word of God reveals the principles of righteousness in all their relations to the human being; and these principles, brought into the heart, work outwardly in the life, and thus become manifest from generation to generation. The principles of truth and holiness have existed since the world was created; but Satan's constant effort has been to eclipse every ray of light coming to man from the throne of God. The great apostate is constantly at work to put darkness for light and light for darkness. But light is constantly shining forth from heaven to the children of men; and if they walk in the light, they will advance. The light will make manifest the errors that have accumulated through the assertions of men.

Satan has worked through deception to institute a spurious Sabbath, that the worship of God's people might become an offense to the Creator. When the people did this in their ignorance, the Lord was merciful, and bore with them. Men will not be judged for light they have never had. But those who have kept Sunday, whose attention has been called to this error, but who would not open their eyes to behold wondrous things out of the law, will be judged according to the light that has come to them. All who will not give attention to the message from heaven will take the side of Satan, and will denounce the only true Sabbath. They will not change their course of action, but will bring all the attributes of Satan to bear against the truth and make it of none effect; for exceedingly repulsive to them is the day upon which the Lord places so much value.

Shall we selfishly argue, as reasons for not obeying the command, that it will put us out of joint with all the world? It were better thus than to be disconnected from God. But no excuse of selfish interest or unbelief, no arguments of the long observance of a false sabbath, will be accepted by God. The Sunday-sabbath is hoary with age, but this does not give it one tittle of sanctity, for God has not made it sacred. Sunday is not the Lord's day; although it is called so by ministers throughout Christendom. This assertion of men has not removed the sanctity from the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, nor made the Sunday a day to be reverenced. God has not placed one particle of sanctity upon the first day of the week.

The transgression of the fourth commandment came little by little. It did not come abruptly; but the first day gradually usurped the place of the holy Sabbath until the light of God's great memorial, which pointed to him as the living God, the Creator of the world, was no longer kept before the people; the first day was exalted.

But the Lord would not have his church left in darkness. The light of truth has been shining in our world in clear rays. The binding claims of the law of Jehovah, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, are clearly and distinctly defined.

"My father," reasons one, "kept Sunday, and he was a good man; and what was good enough for my father is good enough for me." But this is a mistake. We can not be accepted in rendering to God the same service that our fathers rendered. In order to be blessed of God as our fathers were, we must manifest that faithfulness and devotion to God that will honor him before the world. We must acknowledge him as supreme. In order to reveal the truth, we must improve the light in our day as our fathers improved the light in their day.

To the apostles and prophets, Christ revealed himself, and gave light for their time. Holy men of old walked with God. These men of faith lived the truth revealed to them for their time. They improved their opportunities and privileges, and returned their talents to God with an increase. They believed in the light, they walked in the light; and the light in them did not become darkness.

More is demanded of those who live under the proclamation of the last message of mercy to be given to the world. We must reveal the binding claims of the law of God, every precept of which is "holy, and just, and good." We are not required to serve God as did the people of Israel, in going to Jerusalem to worship; neither are we required to offer up to him our flocks and herds as sacrificial offerings, symbolizing the one great Offering. At one time the chosen of God were to do this, bearing in mind that, through the shedding of the blood of the only begotten Son of God, their sacrifices were acceptable. But no such sacrifice is now required at the hands of the church. By the exceeding great and precious promises we are made partakers of the divine nature. Our path is enlightened now, and the light reveals the fraud practised by Satan in bringing in a false sabbath, thus gaining in the world what he failed to gain in heaven,--a change in the law of God.

The Lord now requires of his church perfect obedience to all his commandments.

He will not accept less than his due.

Man may receive grace and truth to obey all his commandments, which are reasonable and just.

All his righteous demands must be fully met;
for this second probation granted to the fallen race cost an infinite price,
even the life of the Son of God.


In his life and death, Jesus taught the strictest obedience. He did not consult his convenience or pleasure when he left his station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience. Jesus died, not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. Man is to leave the error of his ways, to follow the example of Christ, to take up his cross and follow the Master, denying self, and obeying God at any cost.

If men, after this great and merciful condescension on the part of God, maintain their position with the first apostate, no force will be used with them. God accepts no unwilling service. Rational, accountable beings have the light in contrast with darkness placed before them, and they are invited to walk in the light in harmony with God. If they receive the words of men in place of the plainly stated word of God, and follow the inclination of their own hearts in disobedience to the law of Jehovah; if they trample upon his Sabbath, and honor the sabbath brought into existence by the man or sin,--they will treasure up against themselves the wrath of the Lamb.


It is not a lack of knowledge of spiritual light and understanding that will separate any soul from the presence of God.

These are not the things that will decide his destiny.

It is the truth, brought home to the understanding, but rejected because of the cross it involves, that will condemn the sinner in that day of final judgment.




GOD’S HOLY SABBATH



The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are testing us.


If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us, and 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 a 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.

Great blessings are promised to those who keep holy
God's Sabbath.


"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath," God says, "from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."




GOD WILL HONOR THOSE WHO HONOR HIM












SOURCE:

PERIODICALS
RH – The Review and Herald
August 30, 1898 The Sabbath Test.--No. 1.
September 6, 1898 The Sabbath Test.--No. 2.
September 13, 1898 The Sabbath Test.--No. 3.
July 13, 1897 – God’s Holy Sabbath
-
Mrs. E. G. White.





Your brother in Christ
Mel

[Updated on: Sat, 30 May 2020 04:11]

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