Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)

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Ms 93, 1908

Sermon/The Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment

Los Angeles, California

August 23, 1908

Portions of this manuscript are published in Te 224. +Note

(Sermon, Camp-ground, Los Angeles, August 23, 1908, by Mrs. E. G. White.) 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 1

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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 seven day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God had created and made.” [Genesis 2:1-3.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 2

In the book of Exodus we have given the commandment of God regarding the keeping of the seventh day. We have to see why the seventh-day Sabbath has been cast aside and the first day placed in its stead. The first day has been given the honor that belongs alone to the day on which God placed His rest and blessing. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 3

“And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” [Exodus 19:3-5.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 4

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord hath spoken, we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee forever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.” [Verses 7-9.] There the children of Israel denominated themselves for God as a nation that would obey Him. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 5

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today, and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people on Mt. Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live; when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” [Verses 10-13.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 6

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people forth from the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” [Verses 16-18.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 7

There was every evidence before Israel that God was in the mount, the God who would not bear iniquity. “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by voice. And the Lord came down upon Mt. Sinai, on the top of the Mount; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the Mount; and Moses went up. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 8

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord, to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near unto the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mt. Sinai; for Thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And the Lord said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee; but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest He break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.” [Verses 19-25.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 9

The people had been delivered from Egyptian slavery, that they might be given such a knowledge of God as they had never before had. In coming down upon Mt. Sinai, the Lord gave them evidence that He was God. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 10

“And the Lord spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” [Exodus 20:1-3.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 11

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above; or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 12

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 13

“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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor the 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.” [Verses 4-11.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 14

When did the Lord remove His blessing from the day He hallowed? “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth.” [Verse 11.] On the seventh He rested, and He sanctified the day on which He rested. Let us teach these things to our children, that they may honor God and learn to serve Him. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 15

“Honor thy Father and thy mother: that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” [Verse 12.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 16

Parents need to charge themselves with their responsibilities, that their children may have a knowledge of God. When they learn to honor and obey God, they will honor father and mother. Let not parents interpose between their children and God, by failing to give an example of obedience themselves; for when they do this, they place upon themselves the responsibility of the sins of their children. God is in earnest with us, He wants every soul to come into right relation to Him. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 17

In the home the children are to be taught to respect the requirements of father and mother. Parents are called upon to understand their obligations to their children to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let all come into right relation to God, that they may receive the blessing that He pronounces on all who obey His requirements. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 18

When children have placed before them in their parents an example of unswerving obedience, they will dread to disobey. They should never hear cross words from their parents. Parents are to learn to discipline and govern their own dispositions. Let them not pursue a course that will create a lack of confidence in their children. The youth need every day the example before them of those who fear God and keep His commandments. We need to recognize constantly the requirements of God, that we may not be led into paths that will cause us to dishonor Him, and thus lead our children astray. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 19

“Thou shalt not kill. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 20

“Thou shalt not commit adultery. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 21

“Thou shalt not steal. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 22

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 23

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” [Verses 13-17.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 24

These commandments are before us, and there is no excuse for disobedience. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 25

“And all the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not, for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness, where God was.” [Verses 18-21.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 26

We should fear to sin, fear to place ourselves where He cannot approve our course of action. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 27

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” [Verses 22, 23.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 28

Are not very many today doing these very things? They are gathering together the gold and the silver, and hiding it. And the community is allowing them to do this, while these very means are needed in order that men and women may have the light of truth. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 29

The Lord continues: “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen: in all places where I record My name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” [Verse 24.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 30

Let us turn now to the 23rd chapter of this book of Exodus. We read, beginning with the 20th verse: “Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For Mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee unto the Amorites and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” [Verses 20-25.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 31

In the twenty-fourth chapter we have the record of Israel’s promised obedience: “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said, we will do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Verses 3, 4.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 32

“Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were the paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 33

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matter to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mr. Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went up into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” [Verses 9-18.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 34

The glory of God was revealed before the eyes of Israel, and they could reason from cause to effect. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 35

“Now therefore, hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” [Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 36

We need to ask ourselves constantly, What word hath God spoken? Has He said that we shall observe Sunday? There is no such requirement given in His Word. Not the first day, but the seventh is the day that He bids us observe. How can He regard those who claim that Sunday is the Sabbath of the Lord, and who oppress the people of God who obey His specified law? They take the minds of the people from the very day that He has blessed and present the first day of the week as the day that they must honor. But God declares, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” [Deuteronomy 5:13, 14.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 37

“Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive everyone of you this day. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 38

“Behold, I have taught your statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous, as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thine heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather Me the people together, and I will make them hear thy words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 39

“And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” [Deuteronomy 4:3-13.] They were never to be effaced or changed. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 40

Every soul will one day meet those commandments which were written on the tables of stone by God, and then every soul will understand their meaning. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 41

“And the Lord commanded me at that time,” Moses continues, “to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude in the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire.” [Verses 14, 15.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 42

Why did not God leave them a similitude?—“Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air. The likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. But the Lord hath taken you, and hath brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto Him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 43

“Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance: But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land.” [Verses 16-22.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 44

The Lord had followed Israel in their jouneyings in the desert. When they had thirsted, He had commanded Moses to smite the rock, and waters had gushed out. When they changed their place of abode, He still supplied them. At Meribah, when Israel cried for water, the Lord said to Moses, “Speak unto the rock, and it shall give forth water.” [Numbers 20:8.] But Moses was provoked with Israel’s unbelief and rebellion, and he lost sight of the glory of God. He forgot the words of God, “Speak to the rock,” and he smote it twice with his rod. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 45

The Lord showed Moses that by this act of disobedience, he had given evidence to Israel of his lack of faith in Him. Therefore God said, “Ye shall not enter into the promised land. You have not obeyed My words; you have dishonored Me. Had you spoken to the rock as I commanded, the waters would have gushed forth.” This was Moses’ first recorded failure as leader of Israel, yet God refused him the privilege of entering the promised land that all Israel might be convinced that there must be no departure from His commandments in spirit or in word. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 46

“Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 47

“When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of anything, and shalt do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke Him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall be utterly destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 48

“And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn unto the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His voice; (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them.” [Deuteronomy 4:23-31.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 49

Read the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy. “These are the commandments, the statutes and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it. That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life.” [Deuteronomy 6:1, 2.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 50

“These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” [Verses 6-8.] These commandments were to be kept constantly before them; they were to be as frontlets between their eyes, that they might be kept from every false way. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 51

“And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which He sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, and houses full of good things, which thou fillest not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, and vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 52

“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him, and sware by His name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you. (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Ye shall not tempt the Lord thy God, as ye tempted Him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and His testimonies, and His statutes, which He hath commanded you.” [Verses 9-17.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 53

I will not read any more at this time, but I want you to study the Bible. Those who entertain the idea that Sunday is the Sabbath to be observed, let me say to you, There is no sanctity in Sunday. People professing to be Christians are keeping the first day of the week, but there is no sanctity in this day. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 54

I have not had a night’s rest since I have been at Glendale. The message has come to me again and again, Speak to the people about the Sabbath. Tell them that Sunday, the first day of the week, is not the Sabbath of the Lord. Take these Scriptures and put them into print, and scatter them everywhere, that those who are professedly serving the Lord may know the truth in regard to the Sabbath God has given for a thousand generations. Has that one thousand generations ended? Make the people understand the requirements of God, that they may not deny Him in any respect. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 55

If you will search the Scriptures, you will see the light for yourself. I want you to search the Word. I do not want you to accept the sayings or opinions of others for the observance of the day of rest. I want you to have an entrance into the city of God. Keep the day that He has sanctified and blessed, and you will find a blessing come to you that you have not found in the observance of Sunday. Carry these words with you. I shall print them in a pamphlet, as I have been instructed. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 56

This is perhaps the last testimony I shall bear to this church. Last night I could not sleep. All night the Lord was presenting the truth of the Sabbath before me, “On the seventh day God ended all the works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” [Genesis 2:2, 3.] 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 57

I wish the meeting might be extended, and I could present before you the wickedness that is in the world. “As it was in the days of Noah,” the Saviour declared, “so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.” [Luke 17:26.] At that day the people were doing everything they should not do, until the day that the flood came and took them all away. Christ is calling His people at this time to come out of the world and obey His requirements in regard to the day that He has made holy. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 58

There are the women workers of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. God will work in power with these women if they will heed the light of His Word. When my husband was living, we always endeavored to work in co-operation with these people. They were often present at our meetings, and we labored side by side. They would give up their desk for us to occupy, and we would speak on the Sabbath of the Lord. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 59

On one occasion a man came to me and said, Do you know what your talk did for my wife? You said, “Open the windows, and let in the light of heaven.” My wife is a changed woman. She has been an invalid for ten or fifteen years. You do not know what reformations are taking place because of the light you are giving to others. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 60

The old soldier who labored by my side now sleeps in Jesus. We laid him to rest in the grave until the Lifegiver shall come. A few weeks before he died, he said that if either of us should be called to die, he wished it might be himself. At his deathbed I held his hand, and said to him, “If you wish me to continue my work and become a missionary in foreign fields, press my hand.” He did so, and since that time I have continued the work that he was compelled to lay down. I shall soon be eighty-one years old. I want you to help me bear this message. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 61

In the night season I was talking with a company of people as I have talked with you today. I want to unite with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union workers, but we cannot unite with them in a work of exalting a false Sabbath. We cannot work in lines that would mean the transgression of the law of God, but we say to them, “Come on to the right platform.” 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 62

My friends, let us follow all the light God has given in His Word. God is in earnest with us in this matter. It means everything to us to obey the Lord and to sanctify Him in our hearts. What a missionary work we might do in this world! God invites you to come into line. He wants me to invite you to plant your feet on the eternal rock. Let us stand on God’s platform and bring all our powers to labor for the souls who need to be converted. I invite you today to come into line with God in keeping the Sabbath holy that He has given us. 23LtMs, Ms 93, 1908, par. 63