The Review and Herald

950/1902

September 6, 1898

The Sabbath Test—No. 2

EGW

Notwithstanding the deplorable results of our first parents’ belief of a lie, similar presentations are made today. Satan claims to be the prince of this world, and he wishes to obliterate from the minds of men all knowledge of the Creator, the rightful owner of the earth. As the most successful way to accomplish this, he has attempted to change the fourth commandment of the decalogue. He knows that if he can change the Lord's rest day from the seventh to any other day of the week, if he can succeed in deluding the world in regard to this one commandment, he will gain the homage that is due to the Lord of heaven; therefore he presents a day in his own honor,—a day that God has not blessed and sanctified. RH September 6, 1898, par. 1

God could not alter one precept of his law to meet man in his lost condition; for in so doing he would reveal that he was not an all-wise and infallible being, without variableness or shadow of turning. No man can prove that God has changed the thing that has gone out of his lips. God is not changeable. He is not a man, that he should lie. One precept, one jot or tittle, of the law changed or altered, would have given Satan all he asked in heaven in his controversy with Christ. Satan could not point to any time when the Lord had changed his holy rest day, when he had removed his sanctity from the seventh day of the week and placed it upon the first. Therefore he had to employ his deceiving power to make men believe that the fourth commandment had been changed. RH September 6, 1898, par. 2

The scheme of Satan has been successful, and he is well pleased that he can sway the religious mind by presenting a mass of false theories and innumerable conjectures and sayings of men. His disguise gives him an advantage in his master working. In his counsels the way is prepared in so specious a manner that his satanic cunning is not detected. Thus he turns men's minds from the genuine to the false. The day instituted by God, when men should engage in the worship of Jehovah, is trampled underfoot, and Satan's invention—a spurious, idol sabbath—is exalted. RH September 6, 1898, par. 3

By the falsehoods and devices of the man of sin, the Sunday has gradually gathered to itself a covering of sanctity, and its claims upon the human race have become established; many now honestly believe that God has changed his purpose, and that he now designs Sunday to be exalted above the day which, in the beginning, he blessed and sanctified. Thus Satan gathers into his ranks not only the unbelieving world, but also the churches. Some who profess to be God's peculiar people go over to the enemy's side. They profane the day that he has sanctified, and exalt and honor a day on which he has placed no sanctity. Thus, just as surely as did Adam, they constitute themselves transgressors of the law. RH September 6, 1898, par. 4

Many who profess to be Christians have divorced themselves from Christ. They second the efforts of the man of sin, and, infused with his spirit, show determined opposition to the holy law of God. They array themselves against the fourth precept of the decalogue, and accept a spurious sabbath. They place themselves on Satan's side of the question. They heed the voice of Satan rather than the voice of God. Notwithstanding the most positive assertions from lips in which is no guile, men professing to believe the word of God take the word of Satan, and believe his lie; and they act in accordance with the character of him who has deceived them. They are inspired with hatred and malice against those who will not receive the lies of the great apostate, who will not bow down to worship an idol sabbath. RH September 6, 1898, par. 5

The world and many of the professed followers of Christ are united in their efforts to honor the Sunday. Through the deceiving power of Satan, they will strive to make God's law of no effect. But the word of God contains the truth, and all who support the truth of God for this time are doing their work for time and for eternity. Those who bring the word of God into mind and heart take their stand on the side of God and the heavenly universe. They will stand heart to heart and hand to hand in defense of the holy and the pure, while those who support error by word, and pen, and voice, and by the oppression of those who are linked with the truth, are ranged upon the other side. They are leagued with the first great apostate and the evil men who are his agents. The Word declares of these that they shall “wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” RH September 6, 1898, par. 6

God foresaw the workings of the arch-deceiver—every art and device in his crooked twistings and turnings. He knew that Satan's purpose was to make void the law of God, especially the fourth commandment, which specifies in unmistakable language who is the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Therefore God gave his word through Moses: “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 man servant, nor thy maid servant, 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.” RH September 6, 1898, par. 7

God has not left the matter so undefined that we can not tell when the true Sabbath comes. “Six days,” he says, “may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord.” He has given directions that on Friday, the day prior to the Sabbath, shall be prepared all the food to be eaten on the Sabbath. “Bake that which ye will bake,” he says, “and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” Servile work for a livelihood, or common business transactions upon the Sabbath, constitute those who take part in them transgressors. All labor necessary to provide for the sustenance of the body is to be done in the six working days. RH September 6, 1898, par. 8

In the fourth commandment the claims of God are expressed. In it he has specified his holy day; and he declares that so long as heaven and earth remain, not one jot nor tittle of his law shall be changed. “Think not,” he says, “that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” RH September 6, 1898, par. 9

If the Lord designed to change the day, why did he give no intimation of it? He certainly knew if he designed to do any such thing. When the transgressors of the law of God raise their objections to the Sabbath specified in the fourth commandment, they have their answer in the words of Christ: “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” RH September 6, 1898, par. 10

Heaven and earth still stand to confirm every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. For a time the powers of darkness have seemed to prevail, the man of sin has seemed to triumph; but during all the days when darkness seemed to eclipse the light, the Sabbath has been kept by God's representatives. And as we near the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven, when he comes to take the kingdom under the whole heaven, and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords; when light shines from the throne of God, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment stands in its own merits and native dignity,—then all who are true to God will see and acknowledge its perpetuity. RH September 6, 1898, par. 11