The Review and Herald

1063/1902

April 17, 1900

“For a Perpetual Covenant”

EGW

A powerful foe, who puts on a very inviting appearance, is ever soliciting men and women for their companionship. He presents to them glowing advantages, which he tells them will be theirs if they will follow his advice. As the enemy tempted Eve, so he tempts human begins today, promising that in disobedience they will find liberty and freedom, which will make them as gods. Thus thousands upon thousands are drawn into the broad road that leads to destruction. RH April 17, 1900, par. 1

Satan has endeavored to change God's law by instituting a spurious sabbath, and he uses every device to induce men and women to unite with him in his apostasy; and under his leadership the Christian world has chosen another mark than that of God. I will copy a few lines from an article I have read, called “The Changed Signpost:” “Some years ago, when the world was more boisterous than it is at present [a questionable assertion], it was thought a good joke to turn round a signpost erected at a junction where two roads met. Of course the perplexity and misery which that often caused was great. Once a signpost was erected by God for those who journeyed through this world. The road to happiness was as clearly defined as was the road to the city of refuge under the Jewish dispensation. One finger of the signpost pointed out loving obedience to the Creator as the road to felicity; while the other indicated disobedience, or sin, as the path to misery. In an evil hour for our race, the great enemy turned the signpost round; so that ever since that time, multitudes have mistaken the true road to happiness.” RH April 17, 1900, par. 2

The Lord has stated expressly that life and truth are to be found in the path of obedience. Obedience is the waymark all must follow. God has declared that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. He has exalted this day as a memorial of his work of creation, plainly stating that it is to be a sign between him and his people throughout their generations. Thrice is this repeated in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, and the speaker is Jesus Christ. “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: everyone 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. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” RH April 17, 1900, par. 3

In these words the Lord has clearly defined the road to the city of God; but the great apostate has changed the signpost, setting up a false one—a spurious sabbath. He says: “I will work at cross purposes with God. I will empower my delegate, the man of sin, to take down God's memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus will I show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day bearing not the credentials of heaven, a day that can not be a sign between God and his people. I will lead the people who accept this day, to place upon it the sanctify that God placed upon the seventh day. Through my vicegerent I will exalt myself. The first day shall be extolled, and the Protestant world shall receive this spurious sabbath as genuine. Through the non-observance of the Sabbath God instituted, I will bring his law into contempt. The words, ‘A sign between me and you throughout your generations,’ I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath. Thus the world will become mine. I will be ruler of the earth, prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God's Sabbath shall be an object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws shall be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God's law; and the earth will be wholly under my dominion.” RH April 17, 1900, par. 4

The man of sin has instituted a false sabbath, and the professed Christian world has adopted this child of the papacy, refusing to obey God. Thus Satan leads men and women in a direction opposite to the city of refuge; and by the multitudes who follow him, it is demonstrated that Adam and Eve are not the only ones who have accepted the words of the wily foe. RH April 17, 1900, par. 5

The enemy of all good has turned the signpost round, so that it points to the path of disobedience as the path of happiness. He has insulted Jehovah by refusing to obey a “Thus saith the Lord.” He has thought to change times and laws; but has he done this? The words in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus answer this question. With his own finger the Lord wrote the commandments on the tables of stone. “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” The Creator has plainly stated that after creating the world, he rested on the seventh day, sanctifying and blessing this day as a memorial of creation, and giving it to his people as a rest day. “that ye may know,” he says, “that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Thus he desires to test their loyalty. Shall we set aside the divine command given in such positive language, and follow the path of the transgressor? Who will venture to change the signpost, so that it shall point the wrong way, vindicating the man of sin? It is a terrible thing to place a human institution where the Lord's great memorial should be. It is a terrible thing for men to arrogate to themselves the power to set aside the day that God has sanctified and blessed, declaring it to be his holy day, and put in its place a common working day; to try to compel men to respect and reverence this day. RH April 17, 1900, par. 6

The Lord's word is truth. It is so plain that we can not mistake its meaning. It is not evidence that people need; for this they have. But they do not desire to walk in the way of the Lord's commandments. The world is walking contrary to the divine will; but God has a people on this earth, and between him and them the Sabbath is a sign, whereby they know that he is the Lord that sanctifies them. Upon them his mark is placed. “They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: ... thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 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.” RH April 17, 1900, par. 7

It is obedience to the word of the living God that brings men into close relationship with Christ. Today he is saying, as he said to the Jewish people, Oh that “thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace”! And soon will be heard the irrevocable sentence, “But now they are hid from thine eyes.” He said, again, as he wept over the devoted city: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” It was not that the Jewish people could not receive Christ; they would not. Thus it will be with many in our day. RH April 17, 1900, par. 8

What does the Lord require of us?—The observance of his Sabbath, “as a perpetual covenant.” God wishes every family to bear this sign. Thus we may show that we are loyal and true to his commandments. Look at our world, full of disrespect for God, in open rebellion against him who in a moment could destroy every soul that breathes the breath of life. What has made the world so full of violence?—A disregard of God's law. This was what filled the earth with rebellion and corruption in the days before the flood. See the regard shown today for the spurious sabbath. And those who make laws to guard this false rest day make laws also which legalize the liquor traffic, a curse that is brutalizing the beings made in the image of God, by taking away their reason. Knowing full well the sure result, man takes the wages of his fellow man, giving him in return poison that destroys his reason, and sends him from the saloon full of false ideas. He has sold his reason for liquor, and is led into all kinds of violence. Satan presents before his mind things that, though unreal, seem real to him. He is filled with a determination to kill the one who, he supposes, stands in his way. Terrible crime, and sometimes murder, is the result. Yet notwithstanding its fearful effects, the liquor curse is protected by law. RH April 17, 1900, par. 9

Why do not those who make laws abolish this debasing traffic?—Because they do not bear God's sign. They do not keep his commandments. Therefore they tolerate that which is making the world a second Sodom. As it was in the days of Noah, when the wickedness of men was so great that God swept from the face of the earth every living thing save that which found refuge in the ark, so also shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. Man's theories are exalted, honored, and placed where God and his law should be. But God has not altered the thing that has gone out of his lips. His word will stand fast forever, as unalterable as his throne. When every case is decided in the courts of heaven, this covenant will be brought forth, plainly written with the finger of God. The world will be arraigned before the bar of infinite Justice to receive sentence,—a life measuring with the life of God for obedience, and death for transgression. RH April 17, 1900, par. 10