Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)


Ms 77, 1900

God’s Sign


December 19, 1900 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 10/28/1902.

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” “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. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work.” [Genesis 1:31; 2:2, 3.] 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 1

“And the Lord 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.” “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” [Exodus 31:12, 13, 17.] 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 2

God gave the Sabbath to His people to be a continual sign of His love and mercy and of their obedience. As He rested upon this day and was refreshed, so He desired His people to rest and be refreshed. It was to be a continual reminder to them that they were included in His covenant of grace. Throughout your generations, He said, the Sabbath is to be My sign, My pledge to you that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you, that I have chosen you and set you apart as My peculiar people. And as you keep the Sabbath holy, you will bear testimony to the nations of the earth that you are My chosen people. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 3

During their bondage in Egypt, the children of Israel lost their knowledge of the true Sabbath and with it their knowledge of the Creator. God called His people out of Egypt, and in the wilderness gave them His law, the expression of His character and authority. From Mount Sinai He spoke the commandments in an audible voice, and then wrote them with His own finger on tables of stone, thus denoting their enduring character. In the law God declared, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; ... 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 seventh day and hallowed it.” [Exodus 20:10, 11.] 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 4

But before the law was given from Sinai, God wrought a miracle each week to impress the people with the sanctity of the Sabbath. He rained manna from heaven for their food, and each day they gathered this manna, but on the sixth day they gathered twice as much, according to the directions of Moses: “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 which ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. ... 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. So the people rested on the seventh day.” [Exodus 16:23, 29, 30.] 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 5

“And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” [Verse 35.] Thus for forty years God worked each week a miracle before His people, to show them that His Sabbath was a sacred day. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 6

God directed that a tabernacle should be built, where the Israelites, during their wilderness-journeying, could worship Him. Orders from heaven were given that this tabernacle should be built without delay. Because of the sacredness of this work and the need for haste, some argued that the work on the tabernacle should be carried forward on the Sabbath as well as on other days of the week. Christ heard these suggestions, and saw that the people were in great danger of being ensnared by concluding that they would be justified in working upon the Sabbath, that they might complete the tabernacle as quickly as possible. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 7

The word came to them, “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep.” [Exodus 31:13.] Though the work on the tabernacle must be carried forward with expedition, the Sabbath must not be employed as a working day. Even the work on the Lord’s house must give way to the sacred observance of the Lord’s rest day. Thus jealous is God for the honor of His memorial of creation. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 8

The Sabbath is a token between God and His people. It is God’s holy day, given to man as a day upon which to rest and reflect upon sacred things. God designed it to be observed through every age, as a perpetual covenant. His people are to regard the Sabbath as a peculiar treasure, a trust to be carefully cherished. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 9

As we observe the Sabbath, let us remember that it is the sign heaven has given to man that he is accepted in the Beloved, that if he is obedient he may enter the city of God and partake of the fruit of the tree of life. As we refrain from labor on the seventh day, we testify to the world that we are on God’s side, and are striving to live in perfect conformity to His commandments. Thus we recognize as our Sovereign the God who made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 10

The Sabbath is the clasp which unites God and His people. But the Sabbath command has been broken. God’s holy day has been desecrated. The Sabbath has been torn from its place by the man of sin, and a common working day has been exalted in its stead. In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is outlined the work God’s people are to do. A breach has been made in the law, and this breach is to be healed. The true Sabbath is to be exalted to its rightful position as God’s rest day. We are to magnify the law and make it honorable, to build up the old waste places and raise up the foundations of many generations. 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 11

To those who do this work God says, “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, 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.” [Verses 12-14.] 15LtMs, Ms 77, 1900, par. 12