The Signs of the Times
March 31, 1898
The Sabbath of the Lord
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
And in His law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
His leaf also shall not wither;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so;
But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous;
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
The Hebrews were held in bondage by the Egyptians, but the Lord delivered them from their bondage with a strong arm. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, Christ, their invisible Leader, guided them through the wilderness. Through Moses, their visible leader, he educated and instructed them, that they might love and serve the only true and living God. For their food the Lord gave them manna from heaven. Day by day this food was given, and on the sixth day enough fell for the Sabbath. This miracle testified constantly to the Sabbath commandment, which was given in Eden. ST March 31, 1898, par. 1
The Lord brought the children of Israel to Mount Sinai, and there He spoke the Ten Commandments, and enjoined upon His people the observance of the Sabbath. “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. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you; every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” ST March 31, 1898, par. 2
To Adam and Eve in Eden the Lord gave the use of every tree in the garden save one. So the Lord has given to men six days in which they are to engage in common labor; but He has put His sanctity upon the seventh day, declaring it to be holy. That day is to be sacredly observed as a memorial of creation. “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work.” ST March 31, 1898, par. 3
God has declared in His Word that the seventh day is a sign between Him and His chosen people,—a sign of their loyalty. “I am the Lord your God,” He says; “walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” The day God set apart to be kept free from secular labor He designed should be respected in commemoration of His wisdom, power, and goodness in creating the world and man. The Sabbath was instituted before the Jews were distinguished as a people, and was given to all mankind to keep holy, “that ye may know,” God declares, “that I am the Lord which do sanctify you.” If the Sabbath is accepted, the rest of the commands in the Decalogue will be obeyed; for no one can truly keep the Sabbath and disregard one precept of the law. ST March 31, 1898, par. 4
From the pillar of cloud Christ constantly set before His church in the wilderness the requirements of God. “Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.... Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. 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, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man servant and thy maid servant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched-out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” ST March 31, 1898, par. 5
The seventh day is God's chosen day. He has not left this matter to be remodeled by priest or ruler. It is of too great importance to be left to human judgment. God saw that men would study their own convenience, and choose a day best suited to their inclinations, a day bearing no divine authority; and He has stated plainly that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. ST March 31, 1898, par. 6
Every man in God's world is under the laws of His government. God has placed the Sabbath in the bosom of the Decalogue, and has made it the criterion of obedience. Through it we may learn of His power, as displayed in His works and His Word. But today the world is following the example of those that lived before the flood. Now, as then, men choose to follow their own inclinations, rather than to obey the commandments of God. The inhabitants of the antediluvian world glorified themselves instead of commemorating the glorious works of creation. They did not obey the law of God; they did not honor the Sabbath. Had they done this, they would have recognized their duty to their Creator. This was the original and supreme object of the command, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” ST March 31, 1898, par. 7
Men could not place themselves more decidedly in opposition to God's work and to His law than by upholding a day that is without one evidence of sanctity, and professing to worship Him on that day. Those who have corrupted the law by substituting a false sabbath for the holy Sabbath of God, and who compel the observance of this false sabbath, exalt themselves above God, and honor the spurious above the genuine. ST March 31, 1898, par. 8
Sanctification is claimed by professed Christians who ignore God's holy rest day for a spurious sabbath. But God declares that the sanctification coming from Him is bestowed on those only who honor Him by obeying His commands. The sanctification claimed by those who continue in transgression is a spurious sanctification. Thus the religious world is deceived by the enemy of God and man. ST March 31, 1898, par. 9
In the temple service the Lord gave special directions that the priests were to use on their censers only the sacred fire of God's own kindling, which was kept burning day and night. But Nadab and Abihu perverted their senses by the use of wine, so that they could not distinguish between the sacred and the common. They “took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not.” ST March 31, 1898, par. 10
Those who ignore the Lord's Sabbath to keep holy the first day of the week, offer strange fire to God. It is a strange sabbath, which He has commanded them not. Will He accept it at their hands? Men have sought out many inventions. They have taken a common day, upon which God has placed no sanctity, and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives. They have declared it to be a holy day, but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity. They dishonor God by accepting human institutions and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day which has no “Thus saith the Lord” for its authority. As did Nadab and Abihu, they offer the common in place of the sacred. ST March 31, 1898, par. 11
Mrs. E. G. White