Is Sunday the True Sabbath of God?

2/11

I

That the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is one of the greatest truths in the universe. For a person to fall under the deception that the first day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord is, therefore, one of the greatest misfortunes in the universe. STSG 3.1

This transcendent truth that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is of especially transcendent importance in the time in which we now live. The great importance of this truth for this time is in many ways urged in all the world. Wherever this truth is urged, and so there is seen the enormity of the error of keeping the first day of the week as the Sabbath, there are many people who will not admit it, but throw themselves on the defensive, and put forth great exertion to prove that it is not so. STSG 3.2

This is found to a greater or less degree everywhere that the truth is preached. This has been so throughout the more than fifty years that this mighty truth for this time has been preached. Yet not one of these defenses has ever been of such vitality as to enable it to live to any great length of time; therefore, from time to time new ones must be invented. The latest of these inventions is one by “Samuel Walter Gamble, of Ottawa, Kansas, a member of the South Kansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,” etc., etc. It is given an introduction by Bishop Fowler, and public advertisement has said that, “So important is his work that the whole Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church has sent him out all over the United States, to labor as a special teacher and evangelist in his chosen line.” The “line” of this book is “his chosen line.” This, therefore, in no small sense makes his work the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church. STSG 3.3

This production is not only the latest of the inventions in defense of the error that Sunday is the Sabbath of the Lord, but it is, without exception, the most toilsome one that has ever appeared. And it is the most toilsome one, in vain: the most toilsome, palpably for nothing: as the production in itself shows. STSG 4.1

It is a book of 208 pages, entitled “Sunday the True Sabbath of God.” And in the “Introduction” Bishop Fowler says that “on the controverted point raised by Saturdarians this argument moves with all the quietness and certainty of a mathematical demonstration. It is this or nothing.” STSG 4.2

Mr. Gamble argues all the way through his book that “the seventh day is the Sabbath,” and on page 168 emphasizes it by declaring that, “in every dispensation, the ‘seventh day is the Sabbath.’” He declares the seventh day to be “the creation Sabbath;” that it was “given to Adam;” that it is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, given at Sinai; and, in short, as already quoted, that, “in every dispensation, the seventh day is the Sabbath.” STSG 4.3

On pages 91 and 92 he prints these words:- STSG 5.1

“If Genesis 2:2, 3 teaches anything, it teaches that in Eden God ‘blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [set it apart as a day of rest and worship]; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.’” (The brackets are his own.) STSG 5.2

On page 62 he says:- STSG 5.3

“God appeared upon Mt. Sinai, and revealed the creation Sabbath.” STSG 5.4

On page 90 he prints, concerning the giving of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment at Sinai, that the keeping of the Sabbath of that commandment “in commemoration of creation takes us back to the reason that God gave Adam in Eden for Sabbath-keeping,” and “hence” that God “identifies” the “Sabbath mentioned at Sinai with the creation Sabbath.” STSG 5.5

On page 96 he prints:- STSG 5.6

“The fourth commandment, given to Adam, required the Sabbath to be a fixed seventh day.” (Italics his.) STSG 5.7

On page 97 he prints:- STSG 5.8

“The Sabbath commandment to Adam was of universal application.” STSG 5.9

Again, on the same page he prints:- STSG 5.10

“The Sabbath given to Adam was to commemorate God’s work of creation.” STSG 5.11

Again, on page 97 he says:- STSG 5.12

“The creation Sabbath had been on a fixed day of the week.” STSG 5.13

Now these statements admit all that anybody ever can claim as to the seventh day of the week being the Sabbath of the Lord, for it declares that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, given at Sinai, revealed the creation Sabbath; that that Sabbath was given to Adam; that, accordingly, the fourth commandment was given to Adam; that the Sabbath of the commandment was of universal application to commemorate the work of creation; that it was “on a fixed seventh day;” and that it was “on a fixed day of the week.” And, when the Sabbath was on “a fixed seventh day,” and “on a fixed day of the week,” that is plainly to admit nothing else than that the creation Sabbath was on a fixed seventh day of the week. STSG 6.1

Again we say that this is all that any observer of the seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord,-any “Saturdarian,” as Mr. Gamble delights to call them,-claims, or that any could claim, as to the seventh day being the creation Sabbath, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. STSG 6.2

Now Mr. Gamble’s book, as we have seen, is entitled “Sunday the True Sabbath of God.” Accordingly he claims that “Sunday was that ‘seventh day.’” Therefore, the only point of controversy between him and Seventh-day Adventists, the only thing for him logically to dwell upon or to demonstrate, is that Sunday is the seventh day. Yet, while this is the only point upon which he could logically dwell, instead of dwelling upon that one point and showing that that is the truth he toilsomely piles up a whole bookful of matter, which, by the structure of the book itself, is both logically unnecessary and altogether vain. STSG 6.3

He makes the pivot of his book, and the pivot of his theory, a scheme that he has invented concerning what he calls “fixed-date Sabbaths,” which, by the aid of a slide, he makes to fall upon the same days of the year forever. At the same time, he distinctly separates this whole scheme from that which he repeatedly says is the creation Sabbath, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; from the whole decalogue, of which the fourth commandment is a part; and from all that pertained to the seventh day as the creation Sabbath. STSG 7.1

Since, therefore, the whole ground of controversy between him and the Seventh-day Adventists, with respect to the seventh day being the Sabbath, is solely whether Sunday is the seventh day or not; and since he himself separates from the whole thought of the creation fixed seventh-day Sabbath and the fourth commandment, his scheme of “fixed-date Sabbaths,” which is the pivot of his whole book; then it is perfectly plain that all that he has said, written, or published with respect to his “fixed-date” or “Jewish-dispensation Sabbaths” has neither truly nor logically any connection whatever with the sole point that is at issue. His whole scheme of “fixed-date” or “Jewish-dispensation Sabbaths” is a sheer invention and fraud. Yet, even if it were all admitted to be true, the very structure of his argument makes it so that it would have no bearing upon the one point in controversy here, viz., Is Sunday the seventh day? STSG 7.2

In this controversy, then, of Mr. Gamble with the Seventh-day Adventists, the sole question of truth is, What day of the week is the “fixed seventh day,” “the Sabbath of the fourth commandment,” “the creation Sabbath,” “the Sabbath given to Adam,” to be “of universal application,” “to commemorate God’s work of creation”? STSG 7.3

He and we are agreed in the following statements, every one of which is his own, quoted from his book:- STSG 8.1

“The fourth commandment, given to Adam, required the Sabbath to be on a fixed seventh day.” P. 96. STSG 8.2

“The Sabbath commandment to Adam was of universal application.” P. 97. STSG 8.3

“The Sabbath given to Adam was to commemorate God’s work of creation.” P. 97. STSG 8.4

“The creation Sabbath had been on a fixed day of the week.” P. 97. STSG 8.5

We agree that “God appeared upon Mt. Sinai and revealed the creation Sabbath.” P. 62. STSG 8.6

We agree that in the Sabbath of the fourth commandment God “identifies” “the Sabbath mentioned at Sinai with the creation Sabbath.” P. 90. STSG 8.7

We repeat, therefore, the only question between us is, “Is that seventh day Saturday or is it Sunday?” STSG 8.8

What saith the Scripture? That is, does the Scripture, just as it stands, give to us any definite information by which we may know what day of the week is the fixed seventh day of the week, according to the names by which the days of the week are now customarily called,-Saturday or Sunday? When God identified the Sabbath of the fourth commandment mentioned at Sinai with the creation Sabbath, did He do anything to identify what day of the week that Sabbath is? or were the people to whom the fourth commandment was spoken left, and were all people left, to choose for themselves, to decide and fix for themselves, what day of the week that seventh day should be? Let us see. STSG 8.9

When “the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai,” the Lord said 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.” This was the promise of the manna; and, when the manna fell, and they gathered it, they were commanded, “Let no man leave it till the morning.” Yet “some of them left it until the morning.” But their purpose in this was utterly defeated, because “it bred worms, and stank.” So, according to the Lord’s own regulation, they were compelled to confine themselves each day to the daily individual needs of the host. STSG 9.1

They were commanded to gather on the sixth day “twice as much as they gather daily.” Accordingly, when the sixth day came, “they gathered twice as much bread; ... and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe [or boil] 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 to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord; to-day 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.” STSG 9.2

Here, then, the seventh-day Sabbath was distinctly singled out and held apart from all the other days of the week by the fact, first: that the manna would not keep over to any other day than the seventh-day Sabbath, by which fact they were excluded from using or keeping any more than a single daily portion for each individual; second: on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, and on that day alone, would any portion keep, beyond the single daily portion for each individual, and, in view of this fact, a double portion was gathered on the sixth day; and, third: there was no manna given on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath. STSG 10.1

Thus, by these specific facts, which were directly and wholly controlled by the Lord Himself, the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, was distinctly designated. STSG 10.2

And that all this was not only without their choice, but even against their choice, is plain from the fact that, though for all the days except the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, they were commanded not to leave any of it till the morning, yet they disregarded the command, and would have their own way, and left some of it till the morning. But, by causing to spoil all that they had so carefully laid up, the Lord instructed them that His word means exactly what it says. STSG 10.3

Again, when they were told that on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, “Ye shall not find it in the field,” because “there shall be none,” still there were those who disregarded the commandment, and went out on the seventh day to gather manna. But again, by the fact that there fell none on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, the Lord taught them what His word meant, and what He intended when He said the seventh day is the Sabbath. STSG 11.1

These facts demonstrate that the people had nothing whatever to do with choosing or deciding or fixing what day should be the seventh day, nor what day should be the Sabbath, nor anything whatever in connection with that Sabbath. It was all done by the Lord; and by specific acts of the Lord the Sabbath day was designated, against their will, and against what they would have chosen. STSG 11.2

Now, when they came to Sinai, God spoke from Sinai the fourth commandment, in which He “revealed the creation Sabbath.” In that commandment He said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” and identified this Sabbath “mentioned at Sinai” with the creation Sabbath. And at that time, and continuing for forty years, He distinguished the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, by refusing to allow the manna to keep over to any day but the seventh day, which is the Sabbath; by causing that which was gathered on the sixth day to keep upon the seventh day, which is the Sabbath; and by causing that there should be none on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath. And that seventh day, which is the Sabbath, thus regulated by Him in connection with the manna, He identified with the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which He spoke from Sinai, in which He “revealed the creation Sabbath,” and which Sabbath He identified with the creation Sabbath. STSG 11.3

Beyond all room for fair question, these Scripture facts settle it that the Sabbath which, against their will as to what they would have chosen, the Lord thus caused Israel to keep for forty years in the wilderness was the Sabbath which God revealed at Sinai, which is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and which was identified by the Lord with the creation Sabbath. And that Sabbath, being identical with the creation Sabbath, being “on a fixed seventh day,” and “on a fixed day of the week,” was therefore on a fixed seventh day of the week: fixed by the Lord Himself, in connection with His arrangement of the manna. STSG 12.1

What day of the week, then, as the days are now named, was that seventh day of the week which the Lord thus fixed and identified with the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and the creation Sabbath, and which He continued in their forty years’ sojourn in the wilderness, till they had crossed the Jordan into the promised land?-It was the same day then that it was while they dwelt in Palestine, and that it has been to this day, the day which the people of Israel have ever known as the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord, which is Saturday. For the people with whom the Lord thus fixed the seventh day of the fourth commandment, which He identified with the creation Sabbath, have continued in unbroken existence from that day until this, and have not lost the count of the days of the week from that day until this. Therefore, that day which God then designated as the seventh day of the week, and which He identified with the creation Sabbath, has been the seventh day of the week to that people unto this day, and is so still. And the day which since then has been, and is now, the seventh day with that people is the day called Saturday. This fixes it, therefore, that the day called Saturday is the seventh day which the Lord definitely designated for Israel in an unbroken experience for forty years, is the day which is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and is the day which He identified in the fourth commandment at Sinai with the creation Sabbath. The days as named are commonly spoken of as being the same as the corresponding days as numbered: Saturday the seventh day, Sunday the first day, etc., etc. Yet strictly neither the seventh day nor any other Bible day corresponds exactly to the day as named-Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc. This because the Bible day is measured from evening to evening-sundown to sundown; while the days as named are measured from midnight to midnight. Therefore strictly and technically speaking the seventh day begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening at sunset; while Saturday begins at midnight Friday night and ends at midnight Saturday night. So also the first day of the week begins Saturday evening at sunset, while Sunday begins at midnight Saturday night. This difference is because that it is Roman time, and not Bible time, that is followed by the nations of to-day. STSG 12.2

And that at Sinai this day was Saturday is practically admitted by Mr. Gamble himself, in the fact that he has quoted from Dion Cassius, with approval, the statement that “the Jews made Saturday their Sabbath when they left Egypt.” This is plainly an admission by Mr. Gamble that Saturday was the seventh day which, in connection with the manna, the Lord unmistakably designated to Israel as the Sabbath of the Lord. For, as we have seen by the Scriptures, instead of the Jews having made Saturday their Sabbath, it was the Lord Himself who did it, not only without their choice, but even against their choice. STSG 14.1

More than this, Mr. Gamble himself says that Saturday was the Sabbath which Israel observed from their coming out of Egypt till at least after God spoke the ten commandments “first” at Sinai. For, in speaking of the time “when Israel leaves Egypt,” and onward to the giving of the law at Sinai, he says, “The children of Israel have been keeping Saturday as the Sabbath for seven weeks.” P. 92. This is distinctly to admit that the seventh day which, in connection with the manna, was designated by the Lord as the Sabbath was Saturday. STSG 14.2

Now the plain, open facts of Scripture in connection with the giving of the manna show that, by the Lord’s regulating of the manna strictly to the observance of this day, which Mr. Gamble says was Saturday, for forty years, without a single break, He specifically and unmistakably designated that day,-Saturday,-as the seventh day and the Sabbath, and also identified it with the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and, in that, with the creation Sabbath. Therefore Mr. Gamble’s statement that the Sabbath which the children of Israel kept in the time between their deliverance from Egypt and the giving of the ten commandments at Sinai was Saturday, is in truth an admission that the seventh day of the week, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and the creation Sabbath, is Saturday only. And, in view of the plain Scripture facts, Mr. Gamble’s statement that that day was Saturday is simply fatal to all his claim and argument that Sunday is the seventh day. It annihilates his whole scheme. STSG 14.3

Yet this is not all. By the direct daily and weekly acts of the Lord in connection with the manna, continued without interruption for forty years, in designating the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and the creation Sabbath, the Lord so fixed in their minds and in their experience what day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord that from that time forward all that was necessary to designate that Sabbath was simply the expression “the Sabbath,” “the Sabbath day,” or “the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” And, when the Creator of the world and the Maker of the Sabbath came into the world as man’s Example, He not only observed that Sabbath day while He lived, and taught His disciples so, but, before His death, He specifically extended it to be observed as such after His death. And, when He had died-on Friday, even as Mr. Gamble himself counts-His disciples observed the next day,-Saturday,-which was “the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” STSG 15.1

What we mean by saying that before His death Jesus specifically extended beyond His death the remembrance and observance of the Sabbath day as such is that He definitely told His disciples so to do. Thus: In telling them of the calamities and destruction that would come upon Jerusalem, against which they were to prepare, and which they must escape, He gave definite signs by which they should know what to do. He said, “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” And, when this should be seen, “then let them which be in Judea [not in Jerusalem only] flee into the mountains; let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” STSG 16.1

And, since, when that scene was seen, their going must be so urgent that one should not come from the housetop down into his house to take anything, nor he who was in the field even turn back to take his clothes, He enjoined upon them two things, which they were ever to keep in their prayers: “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” This demonstrates that Jesus definitely taught His disciples to keep as an item in their prayers for forty years after His death the remembrance of the Sabbath day, and regard for its holy observance. This demonstrates also that, as certainly as there was the succession of winter in the course of the seasons, and the disciples were to keep in their minds and pray that, when should come the time of their urgent flight from Judea, they might not be subjected to the severity of winter cold, so certainly there was also the succession of the Sabbath in the weekly course, which they were also to remember, and pray that, when the time of their urgent flight from Judea should come, it should not be on the Sabbath day. STSG 16.2

And that Sabbath day which Jesus thus taught His disciples to remember to keep after His death; that Sabbath which was as certain in its weekly recurrence as was the winter in the annual recurrence; that Sabbath day which His disciples observed the very day after His death; was “the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” STSG 17.1

And the Sabbath day according to the commandment was the day which God, in regulating the manna, designated as the seventh day of the week, and which He identified with the creation Sabbath. STSG 17.2

And that seventh day of the week which, by His regulating of the manna in the wilderness, God identified to Israel as the Sabbath day according to the commandment, and the creation Sabbath, and which Mr. Gamble says was Saturday, was the same day that is still the seventh day of the week to Israel, which is Saturday. STSG 17.3

And that was the Sabbath day which Jesus identified to His disciples, and which He continued in their experience after His death, and that Mr. Gamble himself says was the day after Friday, which, beyond all question, is Saturday. STSG 17.4

It is therefore certain, by the Bible, by the life of the people of Israel in the world, and even by the statements of Mr. Gamble’s book, that Saturday, and not Sunday, is the seventh day of the week; and therefore that Saturday, and not Sunday, is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment given at Sinai, and there identified by the Lord with the creation Sabbath. STSG 18.1