Presenting the Law and the Sabbath

Our Special Message—The Lord has a special message for His ambassadors to bear. They are to give the people the warning, calling upon them to repair the breach that has been made by the Papacy in the law of God. The Sabbath has been made a nonentity, an unessential requirement, which human authority can set aside. The holy day of the Lord has been changed to a common working day. Men have torn down God's memorial, placing a false rest day in its stead.—Manuscript 35, 1900. Ev 225.2

The Last Message to the World—The last message of warning to the world is to lead men to see the importance that God attaches to His law. So plainly is the truth to be presented that no transgressor, hearing it, shall be excusable in failing to discern the importance of obedience to God's commands. Ev 225.3

I am instructed to say, Gather from the Scriptures the proofs that God has sanctified the seventh day, and let these proofs be read before the congregation. Let those who have not heard the truth be shown that all who turn aside from a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” must suffer the result of their course. In all ages the Sabbath has been the test of loyalty to God. “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever,” the Lord declares.—Gospel Workers, 148, 149 (1915). Ev 226.1

The Deciding Question for Whole World—The light concerning the binding claims of the law of God is to be presented everywhere. This is to be a deciding question. It will test and prove the world.—Special Testimonies, Series A, 7:17, 18. (1874). Ev 226.2

The Build-up in New Fields—I have had to break off writing to have an interview with Brother _____. He is in some perplexity.... He wished to know how to present the truth in entering new fields, whether the Sabbath should be presented first. Ev 226.3

I told him that the best and wisest plan would be to dwell upon subjects that would arouse the conscience. He could talk to them upon practical godliness; devotion and piety; and present the self-denial, self-sacrificing life of Jesus as our example until they will see the contrast in their self-indulgent life, and become dissatisfied with their unchristian lives. Ev 226.4

Then present to them the prophecies; show them the purity and binding claims of the Word of God. Not one jot or tittle of this law is to lose its force, but hold its binding claims on every soul to the end of time. When the law of God is made void; when the Christian world is joined to the Catholic and the worldly, in making of none effect the commandments of God, then God's chosen people arise to defend the law of Jehovah. Ev 226.5

This is the guile that Paul used; this is the wisdom of the serpent; the harmlessness of the dove. When we come to a community that is acquainted with our faith, this cautious course need not to be pursued, but in every case special efforts should be made to come close to hearts by personal efforts. Avoid running down the churches; do not let the people receive the idea that your work is to tear down, but to build up, and to present the truth as it is in Jesus. Dwell much upon the necessity of vital godliness.—Letter 2, 1885. Ev 227.1

Broaching the Sabbath in New Fields—The message of truth is new and startling to the people of this country [Australia]. The Bible doctrines presented are as a new revelation, and they really look upon the sentiments advanced as infidelity. In presenting the Sunday question, or the union of church and state, handle it carefully. It will not answer to present the strong positions that have been and will of necessity be presented in America. Ev 227.2

These subjects must be broached guardedly. We have not as yet obtained standing place in this country. The enemy of all righteousness has been and still is working by every device he can invent to hinder the work that ought to be done in enlightening and educating the people; his forces are increasing. Delays have been giving Satan advantage of the situation, and these delays have caused the loss of many souls. The Lord is not pleased with the retarding of the work. Every delay renders more difficult the work that must be done, because advantage is given for Satan to preoccupy the field, and prepare for determined resistance. Ev 227.3

The tardy movements of our people in raising the standard in our large cities are not in harmony with the light given of God. A glimmering of light has been shining in the cities, but just enough to make the false shepherds feel that it is time for them to be actively at work in presenting fables and falsehoods to turn the people away from the message of truth. Some little effort has been made, but men and money are not furnished to do the work. Satan has worked and will work with his lying wonders, and strong delusions will be accepted where the banner of truth should have been uplifted. Now the fact that God's people that know the truth have failed to do their duty according to the light given in the Word of God, makes it a necessity for us to be more guarded, lest we offend unbelievers before they have heard the reasons of our faith in regard to the Sabbath and Sunday.... Ev 228.1

There is need now to give to the people patient, kind instruction; the education of a lifetime is not to be readily counteracted; great tact and patient effort are needed by those who shall present the truth in any manner.—Manuscript 95, 1894. Ev 228.2

Defer Its Presentation—You should not feel it your duty to introduce arguments upon the Sabbath question as you meet the people. If persons mention the subject, tell them that this is not your burden now. But when they surrender heart and mind and will to God, they are then prepared candidly to weigh evidence in regard to these solemn, testing truths.—Letter 77, 1895. Ev 228.3

Caution Against Undue Delay—Caution is needed; but while some of the workers are guarded, and make haste slowly, if there are not united with them in the work those who see the necessity of being aggressive, very much will be lost; opportunities will pass, and the opening providence of God will not be discerned. Ev 228.4

When persons who are under conviction are not brought to make a decision at the earliest period possible, there is danger that the conviction will gradually wear away.... Ev 229.1

Frequently when a congregation is at the very point where the heart is prepared for the Sabbath question, it is delayed through fear of the consequences. This has been done, and the result has not been good.—Letter 31, 1892. Ev 229.2

In a Brief Campaign—When you have a congregation before you for only two weeks, do not defer the presentation of the Sabbath question until everything else is presented, supposing that you thus pave the way for it. Lift up the standard, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Make this the important theme. Then, by your strong arguments, make it of still greater force. Dwell more on the Revelation. Read, explain, and enforce its teaching. Ev 229.3

Our warfare is aggressive. Tremendous issues are before us, yea, and right upon us. Let our prayers ascend to God that the four angels may still hold the four winds, that they may not blow to injure or destroy until the last warning has been given to the world. Then let us work in harmony with our prayers. Let nothing lessen the force of the truth for this time. The present truth is to be our burden. The third angel's message must do its work of separating from the churches a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth.—Testimonies For The Church 6:61 (1900). Ev 229.4

Life and Death Message—We are as a people in danger of giving the third angel's message in such an indefinite manner that it does not impress the people.... Our message is a life-and-death message, and we must let this message appear as it is,—the great power of God. Then the Lord will make it effectual. We are to present it in all its telling force.—Letter 209, 1899. Ev 230.1

Message Not Muffled—Satan has devised a state of things whereby the proclamation of the third angel's message shall be bound about. We must beware of his plans and methods. There must be no toning down of the truth, no muffling of the message for this time. The third angel's message must be strengthened and confirmed. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation reveals the importance of presenting the truth in no measured terms but with boldness and power.... There has been too much beating about the bush in the proclamation of the third angel's message. The message has not been given as clearly and distinctly as it should have been.—Manuscript 16, 1900. Ev 230.2

As Christ Presented the Law—Christ presented the principles of the law of God in a direct, forcible way, showing His hearers that they had neglected to carry out these principles. His words were so definite and pointed that the listeners found no opportunity to cavil or raise objections.—The Review and Herald, September 13, 1906. Ev 230.3

Paul Adapted His Methods—To the Gentiles, he [Paul] preached Christ as their only hope of salvation, but did not at first have anything definite to say upon the law. But after their hearts were warmed with the presentation of Christ as the gift of God to our world, and what was comprehended in the work of the Redeemer in the costly sacrifice to manifest the love of God to man, in the most eloquent simplicity he showed that love for all mankind—Jew and Gentile—that they might be saved by surrendering their hearts to Him. Thus when, melted and subdued, they gave themselves to the Lord, he presented the law of God as the test of their obedience. This was the manner of his working—adapting his methods to win souls.—Special Testimonies, Series A, 6:55. (1895). Ev 230.4

First the Fundamental Principles—Do not make prominent those features of the message which are a condemnation of the customs and practices of the people, until they have opportunity to know that we are believers in Christ, that we believe in His divinity and in His pre-existence. Let the testimony of the world's Redeemer be dwelt upon.—Testimonies For The Church 6:58 (1900). Ev 231.1

We Preach the Gospel—Let the outsiders understand that we preach the gospel as well as the law, and they will feast upon these truths, and many will take their stand for the truth.—Letter 1, 1889. Ev 231.2

Will Convict of Sin—The law and the gospel, revealed in the Word, are to be preached to the people; for the law and the gospel, blended, will convict of sin. God's law, while condemning sin, points to the gospel, revealing Jesus Christ, in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” The glory of the gospel reflects light upon the Jewish age, giving significance to the whole Jewish economy of types and shadows. Thus both the law and the gospel are blended. In no discourse are they to be divorced.—Manuscript 21, 1891. Ev 231.3

The religionist generally has divorced the law and the gospel, while we have on the other hand almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, and brought in the theories and reasonings, preached arguments.—Manuscript 24, 1890. Ev 231.4

They Go Hand in Hand—If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel's message, we must present the law and the gospel together, for they go hand in hand.—Gospel Workers, 161 (1915). Ev 232.1

Reinforce the Message With Literature—The days in which we live are times that call for constant vigilance, times in which God's people should be awake to do a great work in presenting the light on the Sabbath question.... This last warning to the inhabitants of the earth is to make men see the importance God attaches to His holy law. So plainly is the truth to be presented that no transgressor, hearing it, shall fail to discern the importance of obedience to the Sabbath commandment.... Ev 232.2

There is work for all to do in order that the simple truths of the Word of God may be made known. The words of Scripture should be printed and published just as they read. It would be well if the nineteenth and the greater portion of the twentieth chapters of Exodus, with verses twelve to eighteen of the thirty-first chapter, were printed just as they stand. Crowd these truths into small books and pamphlets, and let the word of God speak to the people. When a discourse concerning the law is preached that is right to the point, if you have any means of doing so, get it into a printed leaflet. Then when those who plead for Sunday laws meet you, place these leaflets in their hands. Tell them that you have no discussion over the Sunday question, for you have a plain “Thus saith the Lord” for the keeping of the seventh day.—The Review and Herald, March 26, 1908. Ev 232.3

Make the Distinguishing Mark Prominent—We are to give to the world a manifestation of the pure, noble, holy principles that are to distinguish the people of God from the world. Instead of the people of God becoming less and less definitely distinguished from those who do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath, they are to make the observance of the Sabbath so prominent that the world cannot fail to recognize them as Seventh-day Adventists.—Manuscript 162, 1903. Ev 233.1

Called to Expose Man of Sin—In the very time in which we live the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118 (1903). Ev 233.2

A Distinct People With a Testing Message—The Lord has been pleased to give His people the third angel's message as a testing message to bear to the world. John beholds a people distinct and separate from the world, who refuse to worship the beast or his image, who bear God's sign, keeping holy His Sabbath—the seventh-day to be kept holy as a memorial of the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Of them the apostle writes, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”—Letter 98, 1900. Ev 233.3

The Mark of the Beast—When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome,—“the mark of the beast.” And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”—The Great Controversy, 449 (1888). Ev 233.4

Reception of Mark of the Beast Future—The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God's appointment. Ev 234.1

No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast. Ev 234.2

With rapid steps we are approaching this period. When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and state. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin.—Manuscript 51, 1899. Ev 235.1

When Seal of God Is Refused—If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the Word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls “My holy day,” you receive the mark of the beast. When does this take place? When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God.—The Review and Herald, July 13, 1897. Ev 235.2

As a Result of Disregard of Light—God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them, as a test of their loyalty. Those who, after the light regarding God's law comes to them, continue to disobey and exalt human laws above the law of God in the great crisis before us will receive the mark of the beast.—Letter 98, 1900. Ev 235.3

Caution in Presenting the Sunday Question—[We are] not to provoke those who have accepted this spurious sabbath, an institution of the Papacy in the place of God's holy Sabbath. Their not having the Bible arguments in their favor makes them all the more angry and determined to supply the place of arguments that are wanting in the Word of God by the power of their might. The force of persecution follows the steps of the dragon. Therefore great care should be exercised to give no provocation.—Letter 55, 1886. Ev 235.4

Let the Truth Do the Cutting—Satan's efforts against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ's day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time. The people will be led to acts of violence and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been imbued with the animosity of professed Christians against the truth. Ev 236.1

And what course shall the advocates of truth pursue? They have the unchangeable, eternal Word of God, and they should reveal the fact that they have the truth as it is in Jesus. Their words must not be rugged and sharp. In their presentation of truth they must manifest the love and meekness and gentleness of Christ. Let the truth do the cutting; the Word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword, and will cut its way to the heart. Those who know that they have the truth should not, by the use of harsh and severe expressions, give Satan one chance to misinterpret their spirit.—The Review and Herald, October 14, 1902. Ev 236.2

A Call to Enlighten the Masses—I have been shown that Satan is stealing a march upon us. The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom, religious liberty will come to an end. The contest will be decided over the Sabbath question, which will agitate the whole world. Ev 236.3

Our time for work is limited, and God calls us as ministers and people to be minutemen. Teachers as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves must come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. There are many who do not understand the prophecies relating to these days, and they must be enlightened.—Letter 1, 1875. Ev 237.1