Selected Messages Book 3


Chapter 29—The Sabbath: Guiding Principles in Sabbath Observance

The Sabbath a Sign to the World of Loyalty—From the pillar of cloud Jesus “spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, 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 31:12, 13). The Sabbath is a pledge given by God to man—a sign of the relation existing between the Creator and His created beings. By observing the memorial of the creation of the world in six days and the rest of the Creator on the seventh day, by keeping the Sabbath holy, according to His directions, the Israelites were to declare to the world their loyalty to the only true and living God, the Sovereign of the universe. 3SM 256.1

By observing the true Sabbath Christians are ever to bear to the world faithful witness of their knowledge of the true and living God as distinguished from all false gods, for the Lord of the Sabbath is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One exalted above all other gods. 3SM 256.2

“Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you.... 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 for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Verses 14-17).—Manuscript 122, 1901. 3SM 256.3

Early Counsel on the Sabbath and the Children—The house of God is desecrated and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath believers’ children. They run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints have met together to glorify God and to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. The place that should be holy, where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon and a place where confusion, disorder, and untidiness reign. This is enough to shut out God from our assemblies and cause his wrath to be kindled, that he will not be pleased to go out with the armies of Israel to battle against our enemies. 3SM 257.1

God would not give the victory in the ----- meeting. The enemies of our faith triumphed. God was displeased. His anger is kindled that His house should be made like Babylon.... 3SM 257.2

Above everything, take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not let them violate it, for you may just as well violate it yourself as to let your children do it. When you suffer your children to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as a commandment breaker. You transgress His Sabbath.—Manuscript 3, 1854. 3SM 257.3

No Boisterous Noise and Confusion—Come to the table without levity. Boisterous noise and contention should not be allowed any day of the week; but on the Sabbath all should observe quietness. No loud-toned commands should be heard at any time; but on the Sabbath it is entirely out of place. This is God's holy day, the day He has set apart to commemorate His creative works, a day He has sanctified and hallowed.—Manuscript 57, 1897. 3SM 257.4

Seeking Our Own Pleasure—I say to those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists, Can you claim the seal of the living God? Can you claim that you are sanctified by the truth? We have not, as a people, given the law of God the preeminence as we should. We are in danger of doing our own pleasure on the Sabbath day.—Letter 258, 1907. 3SM 258.1

No Day for Pleasure Seeking, Swimming, or Ball Playing—God would have all his gifts appreciated. All fragments, jots, and tittles are to be treasured carefully, and we are carefully to become acquainted with the necessities of others. All that we have of Bible truth is not merely for our benefit, but to impart to other souls, and this is to be impressed upon human minds, and every kindly word spoken to prepare the way to make a channel through which the truth will flow forth in rich currents to other souls. 3SM 258.2

Every working of Christ in miracles was essential, and was to reveal to the world that there was a great work to be done on the Sabbath day for the relief of suffering humanity, but the common work was not to be done. Pleasure seeking, ball playing, swimming, was not a necessity, but a sinful neglect of the sacred day sanctified by Jehovah. Christ did not perform miracles merely to display His power, but always to meet Satan in afflicting suffering humanity. Christ came to our world to meet the needs of the suffering, whom Satan was torturing.—Letter 252, 1906. 3SM 258.3

Sabbath Dishes—We would charge all not to wash their dishes on the Sabbath if this can possibly be avoided. God is dishonored by any unnecessary work done on His holy day. It is not inconsistent, but proper, that the dishes should be left unwashed till the close of the Sabbath, if this can be managed.—Letter 104, 1901. 3SM 258.4

The Sabbath a Day of Service—The first Sabbath of the week of prayer was a day of earnest activity. From “Sunnyside” and the school, two teams and a boat were sent to Dora Creek to bring to the meetings those who were not able to walk so far. The people had been invited to bring their lunch, and come to the meeting prepared to spend the day, and they responded freely to the invitation. 3SM 258.5

Some were much surprised that we would exert ourselves on the Sabbath to bring them to the meeting. They had been taught that Sundaykeeping consisted largely in physical inactivity; and they thought that because we were zealous in the matter of Sabbathkeeping, we would keep it according to the teachings of the Pharisees. 3SM 259.1

We told our friends that in the matter of keeping the Sabbath, we studied the example and teachings of Christ whose Sabbaths were often spent in earnest effort to heal and to teach; that we believed that one of our sisters who was nursing a sick family was keeping the Sabbath as much as the one who was leading a division in the Sabbath school; that Christ could not please the Pharisees of His day, and that we did not expect that our efforts to serve the Lord would satisfy the Pharisees of our day.—The Review and Herald, October 18, 1898. 3SM 259.2

Sacred and Secular Activities—The priests in the temple performed greater labor on the Sabbath than upon other days. The same labor in secular business would be sinful; but the work of the priests was in the service of God.—The Desire of Ages, 285. 3SM 259.3

Far-reaching Example of a Headquarters Church—My mind has been burdened in regard to the condition of the church in this place.... There was much need of exalting the standard in this place in many respects before a correct and saving influence could go forth to other places. As the truth has been presented here it has taken persons from the world and from the churches and brought them together in church capacity; but not all who have professed to believe the truth are sanctified through it.... 3SM 259.4

God calls upon the workers in this mission to elevate the standard, and to show their regard for his requirements by honoring the Sabbath.... From this place the publications are sent out, and the laborers go forth to proclaim the commandments of God; and it is of the greatest importance that a right influence be exerted by this church, both by precept and example. The standard must not be placed so low that those who accept the truth shall transgress God's commandments while professing to obey them. Better, far better, would it be to leave them in darkness until they could receive the truth in its purity. 3SM 259.5

Seventh-day Adventists Being Watched—There are those who are watching this people to see what is the influence of the truth upon them. The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light; when the claims of the fourth commandment are set before them, they look to see how it is regarded by those who profess to obey it. They study the life and character of its advocates, to learn whether these are in harmony with their profession of faith; and upon the opinions thus formed many are influenced very largely in the acceptance or rejection of the truth. If this people will conform their lives to the Bible standard, they will be indeed a light in the world, a city set upon a hill.—Manuscript 3, 1885. 3SM 260.1

The Importance and Glory of the Sabbath—Yesterday [August 10, 1851], which was Sabbath, we had a sweet, glorious time. The Lord met with us and the glory of God was shed upon us and we were made to rejoice and glorify God for His exceeding goodness unto us.... I was taken off in vision.... 3SM 260.2

I saw that we sensed and realized but little of the importance of the Sabbath, to what we yet should realize and know of its importance and glory. I saw we knew not what it was yet to ride upon the high places of the earth and to be fed with the heritage of Jacob. But when the refreshing and latter rain shall come from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power we shall know what it is to be fed with the heritage of Jacob and ride upon the high places of the earth. Then shall we see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory. But we shall not see it in all its glory and importance until the covenant of peace is made with us at the voice of God, and the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem are thrown open and swing back on their glittering hinges and the glad and joyful voice of the lovely Jesus is heard richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear bidding us enter. [I saw] that we had a perfect right in the city for we had kept the commandments of God, and heaven, sweet heaven is our home, for we have kept the commandments of God.—Letter 3, 1851. 3SM 260.3