The Great Hope (Condensed)


Restoration of the Truth

Sabbath reform in the last days is foretold in Isaiah: “Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.... The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:1, 2, 6, 7. GrH_c 34.3

These words apply in the Christian age, as shown by the context (verse 8). Here is foreshadowed the gathering in of the Gentiles by the gospel, when His servants preach to all nations the glad tidings. GrH_c 34.4

The Lord commands, “Seal the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16. The seal of God's law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. When the Sabbath was changed by the papal power,* the seal was taken from the law. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to restore it by exalting the Sabbath as the Creator's memorial and sign of His authority. GrH_c 34.5

Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But no such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday had its origin in that “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, RV) which, even in Paul's day, had begun its work. What reason can be given for a change which the Scriptures do not sanction? GrH_c 34.6

Protestants acknowledge “the complete silence of the New Testament so far as any explicit command for the Sabbath [Sunday, the first day of the week] or definite rules for its observance are concerned.”1 GrH_c 34.7

“Up to the time of Christ's death, no change had been made in the day”; and, “so far as the record shows, they [the apostles] did not ... give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week.”2 GrH_c 34.8

Roman Catholics acknowledge that the change of the Sabbath was made by their church, and declare that Protestants, by observing Sunday, recognize her power. The statement is made: “During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified; but the Church, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of the Lord.”3 GrH_c 35.1

The command is given: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression.” Those whom the Lord designates as “my people” are to be reproved for their transgressions, a class who think themselves righteous in the service of God. But the solemn rebuke of the Searcher of hearts proves them to be trampling upon the divine precepts. Isaiah 58:1, 2. GrH_c 35.2

The prophet thus points out the ordinance which has been forsaken: “Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” Isaiah 58:12-14. GrH_c 35.3

The “breach” was made in the law of God when the Sabbath was changed by the Roman power. But the time has come for the breach to be repaired. GrH_c 35.4

The Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in Eden; by Adam, fallen yet repentant, when driven from his estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs from Abel to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob. When the Lord delivered Israel, He proclaimed His law to the multitude. GrH_c 35.5