The Signs of the Times


March 18, 1897

The Sabbath of the Bible


Had the Jewish nation been true to their trust, and communicated to the world the light they had, they would have remained the depositary of the truth of God. God had brought his people out of the cruel bondage of Egypt, and had exalted them before the nations around them. They were favored with every temporal and spiritual blessing. God's presence went with them, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. They were under his guardianship, and his love and care were manifested in protection and blessing. But they were unfaithful; they rebelled against God, and transgressed his holy law spoken from Mount Sinai by his own voice, and written on tables of stone by his own finger; and God sent his Son to make known to the world his character and the laws of his kingdom. ST March 18, 1897, par. 1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.... That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.... And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” ST March 18, 1897, par. 2

At the time when he was most needed, Jesus, the Son of God, the world's Redeemer, laid aside his divinity, and came to earth in the garb of humanity. He came to live out in his life God's holy law that had been misrepresented, and buried beneath human tradition and the commandments of men. Forms and ceremonies had been put in the place of the Word of God, until its pure and holy principles were almost extinct. ST March 18, 1897, par. 3

Christ came as the representative of God, the Light of the world. His mission to earth was to dispel, with his clear, bright rays, the moral darkness that was enshrouding the world. He gave no heed to the traditions and maxims of men. These human inventions were opposed to the Gospel of the kingdom he had come to establish. He sought to remove from the law the mass of rubbish with which men had covered it. Of priests and rulers he said, “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” ST March 18, 1897, par. 4

In his Sermon on the Mount, Christ declared: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” ST March 18, 1897, par. 5

Many professing Christians of today are closing their hearts and minds to the Sun of Righteousness, whose bright beams would chase away the darkness and mist that exist there. They refuse the light, and make God's requirements and will of secondary importance. In place of the rest day given them by Jehovah, they accept a counterfeit Sabbath; they worship an idol, and transgress God's holy law in trampling upon the Sabbath which he has instituted and blessed. ST March 18, 1897, par. 6

The object of the Sabbath was that all mankind might be benefited. After God had made the world in six days, he rested, and blessed and sanctified the day upon which he rested from all his work which he had created and made. He set apart that special day for man to rest from his labor, that as he should look upon the earth beneath, and the heavens above, the tangible proofs of God's infinite wisdom, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker. Had man always kept the day which God has blessed and sanctified, there would never have been an infidel in our world; for the Sabbath was given as a memorial of the Creator's work; it was given, that upon that day in a special sense, man might draw his mind away from the things of earth to the contemplation of God and his mighty power. ST March 18, 1897, par. 7

“But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King; at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” The heathen in their blindness bow down to idols of wood and stone. “These be our gods,” they say. But in the fourth commandment we have the proof that our God is the true and living God. In it is the seal of his authority: “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 thy 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.” In the heavens, that declare the glory of their Maker,—the sun, shining in his strength, giving life and beauty to all created things; the moon, and the stars, the works of his hands,—we see the superiority of the God we worship. He is the God that “made the heavens and the earth.” ST March 18, 1897, par. 8

Great blessings are promised to those who place a high estimate upon the Sabbath, and realize the obligations resting upon them in regard to its observance: “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.” ST March 18, 1897, par. 9

Christ commanded his followers, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” Peter exhorts us, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” The earth itself is not more interlaced with golden veins and precious things than is the Word of God. It is the field of revelation, the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of Christ. The truths contained therein are as treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, for joy thereof he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field, that he may search every part of it, and make himself master of its treasure. ST March 18, 1897, par. 10

That field is the Word of God; and it must be searched before its precious things can be brought to light. But by the grace of God, and the enlightenment of his Holy Spirit, we may make ourselves the possessors of its hidden treasure. Then let us search the Scriptures daily, as did the noble Bereans of Paul's day, to find out if these things be so, and be willing to receive “with all readiness of mind” the pure Word of God. ST March 18, 1897, par. 11

Mrs. E. G. White