Christ and the Pharisees

Christ and the Pharisees

-OR-
Christ’s Faithfulness in Sabbath-Keeping.

BY A. T. JONES.

[Religious Liberty Library, No. 18]

Jesus Christ was persecuted because he did not keep the Sabbath to suit the Pharisees, the scribes, and the priests, in his days on earth. CAP 3.1

Christ was not only persecuted, but he was rejected, and a robber and murderer was chosen in his stead, and he was crucified, because he would not keep the Sabbath to suit the Pharisees, the scribes, and the priests. CAP 3.2

Although Lord of the Sabbath, himself, yet he was denounced as a Sabbath-breaker, was spied upon, was persecuted, was rejected, and a robber and murderer chosen in his stead, and was crucified, because he would not conform to the narrow, bigoted ideas of the Sabbath held by the Pharisees, scribes, and doctors of the law. CAP 3.3

All this is worthy of peculiar attention in every way just now, when the Pharisees, the scribes, the chief priests, and the doctors of the law, are making such a great stir over the Sabbath question, and are spying upon, and persecuting, and imprisoning people as “Sabbath-breakers,” who are actually Sabbath-keepers, according to the plainest word of the Lord, and according to the lifelong example of Jesus Christ himself. In view of this it is well to study the life and example of Jesus in this matter. CAP 3.4

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him.” Hebrews 3:1, 2. CAP 3.5

The one thing for us all to do all the time is to consider Christ Jesus. In him all perfections meet; in him we find faithfulness on every point; and if you want to be faithful, and want to “hold out faithful,” just consider Christ Jesus who was faithful, and draw from him faithfulness. We are to draw from him faithfulness, as we are to draw righteousness and every other virtue. He is to be unto us faithfulness, just as he is to be unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. “Wherefore ...consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him.” CAP 4.1

This verse begins with a “wherefore;” that is, for this reason; and the reason is expressed in a previous verse. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a [original illegible] and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” “Wherefore,” that is, for this reason, “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful.” That is true in everything, and to us, especially now, is it emphatically true; and we are to consider his faithfulness in connection with the Sabbath of the Lord, and its keeping, if we would be faithful in the keeping of it. The Sabbath means Christ, and Christ means the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the Lord’s own sign of what Jesus Christ is to men; and we are to consider him in respect to it, and his faithfulness in keeping it. CAP 4.2

And along with that we are to consider his faithfulness in keeping the Sabbath under persecution and at the risk of his life, and in giving up his life even, rather than to give up the Sabbath of the Lord. Because it was for not keeping the Sabbath to suit the Pharisees and the scribes and the doctors of the law, that he was persecuted first; and when he persisted in his way of keeping the Sabbath, that is, the Lord’s way, in spite of their persecution, then they went about to kill him. And when he would not give it up, then they did kill him. But God raised him from the dead, and took him to ’a world where he can keep the Sabbath without being annoyed, and without “disturbing” anybody. CAP 4.3

When Jesus came, he did not come in exactly the way that suited the Pharisees and the scribes and the doctors of the law; nevertheless they were not certain but that he might develop into that after awhile. Consequently they studied his course for a considerable time, without making any positive opposition against him publicly. In fact, for about eighteen months of his public ministry, this people were studying him, and looking to see what would develop. Of course as he did not come according to their ideas, they would have nothing to do with him if he did not develop into what would conform to their ideas. And they watched him to see how the matter would come out. But he made no great demonstration of putting himself forward or calling attention to himself; he simply went on quietly teaching and healing the people, doing good everywhere that he went. They could not very well find fault with that, and it would be all right if in the end he should develop into what they expected. CAP 5.1

But when a year and a half had gone by, his fame had spread through the land, and had attracted the attention of the Pharisees, the scribes, and the doctors of the law, as well as the common people. By this time he had attracted their active attention, their interested attention, and their selfish attention, too; because as they watched him in his course, they saw not only that he did not develop into what they expected, but, on the contrary, they saw that he was gaining an influence with the people in a way that was not playing into their hands; and that as he went on longer, the people were drawn more to him. They hoped that if he did not develop into what they wanted,-in fact, they thought, they really supposed, that if he did not develop into what they expected,-then, of course this would be evidence in itself that he could not possibly be the Messiah, and therefore his work would come to nothing. CAP 5.2

But there appeared in his words a something that held the attention of the people-the common people. And they were glad to hear him again when they had heard him once; for his words were mildly spoken, and with a simplicity that everybody could understand. He did not speak in the learned, highflown utterances of the doctors of the law and the scribes, but always used language that the people could understand. They did not have to use a dictionary to find out the meaning of the words that he used. His word was in simplicity and with power, and it clung to the people and remained with them, and had a tendency always to draw them more and more to him. The Pharisees and scribes seeing this, began to see that they would have to do something if they were to save their own credit with the people. So at the end of the first year and a half, near his second passover, that event occurred which is recorded in the fifth chapter of Luke; it is also recorded in the second chapter of Mark; but Luke’s record has a point or two in it that Mark’s has not. It was the time when he was in the house teaching. A great multitude had gathered about the house, and some men came bearing a man sick of the palsy. They could not get through the door for the press of the people, so they went up on the housetop, and took up the tiling and let the man down at Jesus’ feet, and Jesus said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” Now the record is this:- CAP 6.1

“And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” Luke 5:17. CAP 6.2

As Jesus said to the man sick of the palsy, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” these Pharisees and doctors of the law began to reason and murmur in their hearts, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And instead of following the logic of their own proposition,-that nobody could forgive sins but God alone, and here was one who was forgiving sins, and therefore he was God with them,-they took the other course, and said, “This man is forgiving sins, and therefore he is a blasphemer.” But we read:- CAP 7.1

“That ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive tins (he said unto the sick of the palsy). I say unto thee, Arise, and lake up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” Verses 24, 25. CAP 7.2

They had heard his word, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” but as they could not see the power of his word in this, he said also to the man, “Arise, take up thy couch and go into thine house.” Then they saw that there was divine, even creative power in the word which he spoke. It followed from is that there was power to forgive sins in the word of forgiveness which he had spoken. And as they themselves had said, “None can forgive sins but God,” it followed from the evidences which he gave them, that upon their own proposition he was God. Yet their selfish hearts would not yield, and although Jesus had given them the proof upon their own proposition, that he was God with them, and God there present, they did not accept it, but went on with their reasonings about his being a blasphemer. CAP 7.3

It is seen from this passage, how extended the attention was at this time among these classes,-the Pharisees, and the scribes, and the doctors of the law,-and the reasons of what followed. This verse shows plainly that Christ had by this time attracted the interested and selfish attention of this class of men all over the land, from Jerusalem as well as elsewhere. And in nothing had the selfishness of the Pharisees and doctors of the law taken a more perverse turn than in the matter of the Sabbath and its true meaning and purpose. So far as the Lord’s meaning and purpose in his Sabbath in concerned, they had utterly lost sight of it themselves, and by their traditions and exactions had completely hidden it from the minds and hearts of the people. This was the crowning result of their perverse-minded course. And as Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, and to bring to mind what he is to mankind being the true intent of the Sabbath,-in other words, he himself as he lived among them being the manifestation of the true intent of the Sabbath,-it is evident that in nothing could his course arouse more, or more bitter antagonism from these men than in his words and actions with relation to the Sabbath. CAP 7.4

The passage just quoted was at the end of his first full year, near the second passover that he attended; the following passage was at his second passover. It may have been within a few days of the other, but whether it was less or more, it was but a short time. CAP 8.1

“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore laid unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.” John 5:1-15. CAP 8.2

And of course they then knew who it was who had told him to do this “unlawful” thing-to take up his bed and walk, on the Sabbath day. CAP 9.1

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.” Verse 16. CAP 9.2

We know, and have always known, that persecution is coming on the people who in this day keep the Sabbath of the Lord. Then of all people we need just now to consider the faithfulness of Jesus in Sabbath-keeping. This scripture speaks to us just now; “Wherefore; holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him,” when he was persecuted for keeping the Sabbath We need his faithfulness in keeping the Sabbath, to hold us faithful in the keeping of it, during the times in which we are now to enter. CAP 9.3

Jesus was persecuted for keeping the Sabbath. Then whoever else is persecuted for that is in most blessed company. CAP 9.4

Now think of this. Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath being the sign of what he is to mankind, and he being the living expression of the Sabbath in his life, it was impossible for him to do anything on the Sabbath that was not Sabbath-keeping, because the very doing of it was the expression of the meaning of the Sabbath in itself. CAP 9.5

But his Sabbath-keeping did not suit the Sabbath ideas of the Pharisees and the doctors of the law and the scribes, and they called it Sabbath-breaking. So he was counted a Sabbath-breaker when he was a Sabbath-keeper. We see people in our day who, like him, are counted Sabbath-breakers when they ire Sabbath-keepers. May all such be like him indeed in every other respect. CAP 9.6

Now Christ’s ideas of the Sabbath are God’s ideas of the Sabbath. The Pharisees’ ideas of the Sabbath and, Sabbath-keeping, being directly the opposite of the Lord Jesus’ ideas were wrong. Therefore the controversy in that day between Christ and the Pharisees and the doctors of the law, was simply whether God’s ideas of the Sabbath should prevail, or whether man’s ideas of it should prevail. There was no dispute then about what day was the Sabbath, the dispute was as to what the true Sabbath idea is. In our day it is still the same controversy, but with it there is a dispute as to the day; yet the thought is the same to-day that it was then,-whether God’s idea of the Sabbath, or man’s, shall prevail. God says the seventh day is the Sabbath; man says the first day is the Sabbath; so, it is still the same controversy between Christ and the Pharisees of this day that it was between Christ and the Pharisees of that day. CAP 10.1

Well, then, as Jesus was persecuted for Sabbath-breaking when he was keeping the Sabbath truly, all people forever are in good company, when they are persecuted for Sabbath-breaking when they are keeping Sabbath. CAP 10.2

“Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:16-18. CAP 10.3

By this we further see that the very first open steps that the Pharisees and the doctors of the law ever took against Jesus Christ to do him harm in any way, were taken because he had not kept the Sabbath to suit them. That was the controversy between Christ and them; and upon this point everything else turned. CAP 10.4

Shortly after this we have the record in the second chapter of Mark 23rd verse, to the third chapter 6th verse: it is also in the twelfth chapter of Matthew, and the sixth of Luke, verses 1-12; but Mark’s record gives a point that is not in either of the others, and it is all-important:- CAP 11.1

“And it came co pass, that he went through the corn-fields on the Sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day, that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them that were with him? And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” CAP 11.2

Now Matthew and Mark carry the record right on as though it was the same Sabbath day. Luke’s record says it was “on another Sabbath;” but at any rate it seems not to have been later than the next Sabbath. Thus we read.- CAP 11.3

“And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse him.” CAP 11.4

Now notice; they were already persecuting him for keeping the Sabbath,-for breaking the Sabbath as they would have it,-and they were ready to kill him. The next time they have an occasion, they are watching him to see whether he will yield to their demands, and compromise the Sabbath, or compromise himself, in order to please them. They are watching him now to see whether their attempt to get him to compromise with them and yield to their ideas is succeeding; and so they watch him to see what he is going to do, so that they may accuse him if he does as he has formerly been doing. And if he does not now compromise and yield to their ideas of the Sabbath, they will accuse him, and follow it up in the way which the record shows. CAP 11.5

And Jesus knew they were watching him, and what they were thinking about, and what they were watching him for. He knew that their attention was all on him. And that they might have the fullest evidence possible, he called to the man who had the withered hand, and said to him, “Stand forth in the midst.” The man stepped out into the midst of the synagogue. This drew everybody’s attention to Jesus, and the man standing there waiting. Then he asked the Pharisees and those who were accusing him, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” They could not say it was lawful to do evil, for that would be contrary to all their own teaching, and they did not dare to say it was lawful to do [original illegible], because then they would sanction his healing this man on the Sabbath. “Is it lawful to save life or to kill?” They did not dare to say it was lawful to kill, and they did not dare to say it was lawful to save life. For he told them to their faces, and they knew it was so, that if one of them had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath day, they would pull it out to save its life. Whether they would do this out of mercy to the sheep, or for fear of losing the price of it, matters not, they knew it was so. Therefore, “they held their peace,” and if they had done the same thing oftener, they would have done a good deal better. CAP 12.1

“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out; and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.” CAP 12.2

Here is another element which enters in now. The Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians. The Herodians were a sect of the Jews, who stood at the extreme opposite pole from Phariseeism. They derived their title-Herodians-from being the friends, the supporters, and the rigid partisans of Herod and his house in their rule over the nation of Israel. The Pharisees were the “godly” of the nation, especially in their own estimation. They held themselves to be the righteous ones of the nation, the ones who stood the closest to God, and therefore they stood farthest from Herod and from Rome. They despised Herod; they hated Rome. The Herodians were the political supporters of Herod, and consequently the friends of Rome and Roman power. Therefore as denominations, as sects, the Pharisees and the Herodians were just as far apart as they could be. CAP 12.3

Now Herod was the stranger that sat on the throne of Judah when the prophecy was fulfilled which Jacob had spoken: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Herod, a stranger, an Idumean, a heathen, was sitting on the throne of Judah and was lawgiver to Judah by direct appointment of Rome and the Roman Senate; and they all knew that the time was come when the Messiah should appear. For when the wise men came to Jerusalem, and said, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews,” Herod was troubled “and all Jerusalem with him.” Why was Herod troubled and all Jerusalem with him when they heard that Christ was born?-Because they knew the time was come that he should be born. And therefore they called the scribes and inquired where Christ should be born, and they said, “In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” Matthew 2:1-6; Micah 5:2. CAP 13.1

Herod was that stranger, and the Pharisees hated him and his family, because he was the one from the Gentiles, from the heathen, that was ruling over the house of God, More than that, they hated Rome, because it was Roman power that not only held them down, but that held up Herod. CAP 13.2

By this it is seen also that these Herodians were a political sect,-they were a religious sect too, for that matter, but more political than religious. They were the partisans of Herod and his household, to sustain him among the people, to plead for him, to apologize for him, and set him in the most favorable light all the time; and also, as a consequence, they had to be friendly to Rome, and do the same thing for Rome, because Roman power sustained Herod. CAP 14.1

Now when the Pharisees saw that, Christ was not going to yield to their ideas of Sabbath-keeping, they, in order to carry out their purpose to kill him,-it was a far-reaching purpose,-joined themselves, not only to their sectarian enemies, but to these particular religio-political sectarian enemies, so that they could get hold upon Herod, arid at the last upon Pilate, so that they might have the government on their side, that they might have the civil power under their control, and thus make effectual their purpose to destroy Jesus. So they entered politics. CAP 14.2

At the last, Herod and Pilate were made friends over this very thing; the priests and the scribes and the Pharisees took Christ to Pilate, and Pilate sent him to Herod for Herod to judge him, and he did. Then they took him again to Pilate, and they afterward under threats drove Pilate to judge him also. Now we can see the far-reaching purpose which the Pharisees had in this counseling with the Herodians. It was to get both Herod’s and Rome’s power in their hands, to carry out their determined purpose to kill Jesus because he would not yield to their ideas of the Sabbath, and give up God’s ideas of the Sabbath. CAP 14.3

That is why they joined the Herodians-they wanted political power, and political power, too, which they themselves despised, The Pharisees despised this political power; and were professedly separated from it, and infinitely above it. They despised Herod and hated Rome, but they hated Jesus more than they hated these. And in order to carry out their purpose against Jesus-which was as really against the Sabbath-they joined themselves to their extremest sectarian enemies, in order to get political power to carry out their wishes; because they could not carry out their wishes without political power. CAP 14.4

Well, we may as well carry along the parallel. Haven’t we and all the people seen the same thing not only in our day, but within the last five years? Haven’t we seen a people professedly and confessedly separated from political power-Protestants, pledged to a total separation from political power, and having nothing whatever to do with it-have n’t we seen a professed Protestantism, in plain opposition to the Sabbath of the Lord, joined with politicians and with Rome herself, the chiefest political power on earth, and religio-political also? Have n’t we seen this Protestantism taking counsel with Catholicism, to get possession of the civil power, in order to crush out of existence God’s idea of the Sabbath, even the Sabbath of the Lord as he made it and as he has named it, and to set up man’s, even the Sunday of the papacy, as the Catholic Church has appointed it? Then do we not need to consider Christ Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, in his faithfulness to Sabbath-keeping in such a time as that, when we live now in just such a time? This story of Jesus was written for us. It was written for the people who live in the United States and in the world to-day. Then let us see that we consider his faithfulness, and draw from him that faithfulness that will keep us as faithful to God’s ideas of the Sabbath, as it kept him. CAP 15.1

And just here is another important point. The record says: “They were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:11, 12. While they were plotting, he was praying. While they were courting political power, he was praying for the power of God. While they were putting their dependence upon the power of man and earthly government, he was putting his sole dependence upon the God of heaven and earth. Let it be so now with us, and with all who would be like him. CAP 15.2

The next instance is in the seventh chapter of John. This follows on not a great while after the other. Beginning with the first verse:- CAP 16.1

“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” CAP 16.2

And why did they seek to kill him?-Because he kept the Sabbath of the Lord according to God’s ideas and would not surrender to them, nor their ideas. CAP 16.3

“Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come; but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” CAP 16.4

And as he was teaching in the temple, we have this, the 19th verse:- CAP 16.5

“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil; who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers); and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Mosey should not be broken; are ye angry at we, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” CAP 16.6

What is the controversy still?-The Sabbath. Read the 30th verse:- CAP 17.1

“Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.” CAP 17.2

But when the officers got there, they heard him speaking, and they stood there charmed, listening to his words. And when Jesus ceased speaking, they turned and went buck without him to the Sanhedrim whence they were sent. Now beginning with the 43rd verse:- CAP 17.3

“So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them), Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look; for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And every man went unto his own house.” John 7:43-53. CAP 17.4

And in their angry zeal they were about to judge and condemn him right there, without any hearing, and without his presence even, but Nicodemus put a check upon the proceedings by the inquiry, “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” The assembly broke up and every man went unto his own house. But Jesus went unto the “Mount of Olives,” John 8:1. While they went on with their wicked plotting against him, he himself went to the Mount of Olives to pray, and to pray for them. Psalm 31:13-15; 69:11-13. While they were allying themselves to political power, he was holding fast to God. While they were putting their trust in earthly power, he was showing his steadfast trust in God. CAP 17.5

For the next point on this, turn to the ninth chapter of John beginning with the first verse. There Jesus met the man who had been born blind, and anointed his, eyes with clay, and sent him to the pool of Siloam, and the man went and washed and came seeing. His neighbors and others brought to the Pharisees him whose sight had been thus given him. CAP 18.1

And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes, ...therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man it not of God because he keepeth not the Sabbath day.” Verse 14-16. CAP 18.2

The next instance is related in Luke 13:10-17:- CAP 18.3

“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he killed her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her; and immediately she was made straight and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue, answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed; and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.” CAP 18.4

Again we read:- CAP 18.5

As he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath day, they watched him. And behold there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful lo heal on the Sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things.” Luke 14:1-6. CAP 18.6

Every time they watched to see whether lie would do so and so on the Sabbath day, they saw just what they were looking for. And they saw it so plainly, too, that there was no mistaking it, Nor did he ever make any apology for it; nor did he ever attempt to prove that what he did could not have “disturbed” anybody. CAP 19.1

Next we read in the 11th chapter of John. Jesus went on doing his miracles, even to raising Lazarus from the dead, and they went so far as to try to kill Lazarus, to destroy the evidence of Christ’s power to raise the dead. But as the work went on with Christ, they found they were losing ground more and more with the people, as Christ was gaining more and more influence. CAP 19.2

“Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their way to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.” John 11:45, 46. CAP 19.3

That was when he had raised Lazarus from the dead. Now the story goes right on from there. Some of them went to the Pharisees and told what things Jesus had done in the resurrection of Lazarus. Then and there the chief priests and Pharisees took counsel and said:- CAP 19.4

“What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” Verses 47, 48. CAP 19.5

Now notice the argument that was in their hearts, and in their words in fact. They were accusing Jesus all the time of Sabbath-breaking; and here now they say, “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him,” and that will make all men Sabbath-breakers, and it will be a nation of Sabbath-breakers, and when the nation becomes a nation of Sabbath-breakers, the judgments of God will be visited upon us, and the Lord will bring the Romans and sweep away the whole nation. CAP 19.6

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that of year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Verses 49, 50, 53. CAP 20.1

Now why do they determine to put him to death? His Sabbath-keeping which they insist is Sabbath-breaking is the reason. And now, they argue, if he goes on thus breaking the Sabbath, all men will believe on him, that will make all men Sabbath-breakers, and then this will be a whole nation of Sabbath-breakers; the nation itself will be a Sabbath-breaker. Therefore, in order to save the nation, they propose to kill Jesus. But when they do that, they are killing the Saviour. So in order to save the nation, yes, to save themselves and the nation, they would destroy the Saviour of themselves and the nation. Then whom did that make the Saviour of themselves and the nation?-Themselves. Jesus was the Saviour of the nation, and the Saviour of the people if they would believe on him. Jesus was keeping the Sabbath, the sign that lie is the Saviour. So now they rejected his salvation, and himself, and all with it, Sabbath and all, in order to save the nation; so that makes them their own saviours, and this makes self-salvation the way of salvation, instead of Christ the way of salvation. CAP 20.2

Then in the last analysis, the contest between Christ and the Pharisees was whether it was salvation by Christ or salvation by themselves. They were destroying him, the Saviour of themselves and the nation, in order for themselves to save themselves and the nation. So that it came to just this: whether Christ is the way of salvation, or self is the way of salvation? And the Sabbath, in Christ’s idea of the Sabbath, is the sign of salvation by Christ. Man’s idea of the Sabbath is the sign of self-salvation, the salvation of self, by self, through self, and for self-self all the time. So that, in the Sabbath question in that day, as in this, there was involved the question: Who is the Saviour? Is it Christ, by the faith and power of God alone? or is it the self-appointed church leaders, by the power and force of earthly government? CAP 20.3

They tried one more tack, however, before proceeding to open violence. They set a trap by which to get him to say some word or give some sign which they could twist into a charge of treason or of disrespect for authority, so as to get him into the clutch of the Roman power and authority. “Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.” And they watched him. “And they sent out unto him their disciples, with the Herodians,” as spies, who should feign themselves to be just men, that they might take hold of his words that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him that insidious question concerning the tribute, when he answered, “Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. And when they heard it, they were not able to take hold of the saying before the people: and they marvelled greatly at his answer, and held their peace; and left him and went their way.” Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 20:20-30; Mark 12:17 (R. V.). This was Tuesday before the crucifixion. Then the very next day, “were gathered together the chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people unto the court of the high priest who was called Caiaphas; and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. But they said, Not during the feast, lest haply a tumult arise among the people, for they feared the people.” Then that same day (Wednesday) came Judas to the chief priests and captains and offered to betray him secretly unto them. They gave him the thirty pieces of silver, “and he consented, and from that time he sought opportunity how he might conveniently deliver him unto them in the absence of the multitude.” And the night of the very next day they captured him in Gethsemane, after midnight, and led him to Annas, and then to Caiaphas, then to Pilate, then to Herod; and back to Pilate. CAP 21.1

Pilate tried twice to get them to judge him themselves; but they answered, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” “We have a law and by our law he ought to die” And when Pilate had insisted, even to the sixth time, that he found in him no fault, and spoke three times of releasing him, and really sought a way to release him, then it was, that in their desperation, they cried: “If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend. Whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.” Pilate then took the judgment seat, and they demanded that Jesus should be crucified. Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your King?” And in utter renunciation of God and all that he had ever done for them, they replied: “We have no king but Cæsar.” Then therefore he delivered him unto them to be crucified. “And they led him away to crucify him.” “And they crucified him.” CAP 22.1

Thus they accomplished their purpose; thus they persecuted Jesus to death for Sabbath-keeping-calling it Sabbath-breaking all the time. Thus they destroyed the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, and did all that lay in their power to shut away from, the world God’s ideas of the Sabbath, in order that man’s ideas might prevail. CAP 22.2

They shut away from the world the Son of God, and his salvation, and his sign of it, that they might appear themselves to save themselves from themselves. But how was it they accomplished this? When Pilate was determined to let him go, and sought how he might release him, and they saw he was about to slip through their hands, then they made it a charge of high treason, involving both Pilate and Jesus; Pilate, if he let him go, and Jesus, if Pilate took judgment in the case. CAP 22.3

Now, any one who set himself up for king, or made any pretentions toward it at all, in the Roman empire, even by a sign or a word, was guilty of high treason at that time; for Tiberius ruled. For a Jew to do such a thing was worst of all, and for a Galilean Jew to do so was even worse than the worst. For the Jews were the most unruly people under the Roman yoke, and the Galileans the most turbulent of the Jews. And when they said to Pilate, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar’s they simply said to him in other words, “Here is a Jew, and a Galilean Jew at that, who has set himself up for king of the Jews. We, the Jews, have prosecuted him before your tribunal. Now, if you refuse to take notice of this case, and thus let this pretended king of the Jews escape you, and escape us, when we inform Tiberius at Rome, that a Galilean Jew set himself up for king and we ourselves rejected him, and prosecuted him before Rome’s tribunal, and you sanctioned his kingship, and let him go, and refused to hear us,-you know what you will get. You know it will be your ruin.” That was what their argument meant, and he knew and they knew, that such a report to Tiberius would mean only death to him, for sanctioning the kingship of a Jew. And therefore under this threat they got Pilate to do what he was determined otherwise not to do. CAP 23.1

And when they said, “We have no king but Cæsar,” and thus that they would carry to Rome with the rest of their report, this, that they had unanimously proclaimed themselves loyal to Cæsar, and Pilate himself had turned traitor to Cæsar, and had fought them down against all their wishes,-you can see what an immense weight it would give to such a charge in their threatened representations, or misrepresentations, to Tiberius. Thus they finally accomplished their persecuting purpose against Jesus for keeping the Sabbath in a way that did not suit them. CAP 23.2

But that was not the end of the story. They did this to save the nation from the Romans. They said, If we let this man thus alone, all men will believe on him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation. They did not let him alone, and the Romans came and took away both their place and nation forevermore. Their efforts to save the nation destroyed the nation. Self-efforts for salvation will always destroy him who makes them. CAP 24.1

But let us follow this in its direct intent and purpose. Their efforts to save the nation, not only brought destruction to the nation; but the thing which they did that night settled the doom of destruction for that nation forever. There was no more salvation for that nation, as such, after that night, than there was for Sodom when Lot went out of it. It was only a question of time when the destruction would come. And in view of that destruction Jesus sent forth his disciples with the everlasting gospel of this same Saviour whom they had crucified; to call every one in the nation, as an individual, to believe on him, not only for salvation from self, but for salvation from this destruction that was so certain to come. Every believer in Jesus escaped the destruction that was to come. Those who did not believe on him, did not escape. CAP 24.2

From that time forth they needed Jesus Christ for their salvation in this life as well as for the other life. They were just as dependent upon Jesus Christ to save them from the ruin that was to come, as they were dependent upon him to save them from their own personal sins. And he gave them a sign by which they were to know when to flee for their lives and escape that ruin:- CAP 24.3

“When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountain; let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto; let them that are in the midst of it depart out; let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return hack to take his clothes. But pray ye that your flight he hot in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day, for these be the days of vengeance. Luke 21:20-22; Matthew 24:16-20. CAP 24.4

So the doom of the nation was fixed that night. And all that the Lord himself could do for them after that was to send his saving message to the whole nation, to all the people, telling them to believe in Jesus and they would be saved out of the nation, and from the ruin that was to come upon all the nation who did not believe. CAP 25.1

We have already spoken of a parallel to this line of things in our day. Let us notice this further now. There have been in this nation for nearly fifty years now, a people, the Seventh-day Adventists, giving a special message in which God’s ideas of the Sabbath are most prominently advocated, believed, and observed. The Pharisees and the doctors of the law saw it when it began, and they have watched it ever since; and they have said, “O, it will amount to nothing; this is just a little flurry; their preaching creates quite a stir for a little while, but as soon as they are gone, the whole thing will die out, and it will amount to nothing.” They have said that at the beginning, and all the way along; but steadily they have seen that it does not work that way. Steadily they have seen God’s ideas of the Sabbath finding a place among the people, more and more, and becoming more widespread. Although the word might be spoken in weakness, there was that about the words that were spoken, which caused them to linger with the people, and to stay in a person’s heart for twenty years or more, and at last bring him to God. They saw it doing this. And then they saw that they would have to take more active measures than that, if they were going to maintain man’s ideas of the Sabbath against the Lord’s, and they did it. They enforced the State Sunday laws to a greater or less extent at different times, and in different places; but that did not stop the spread of God’s Sabbath. Still it went on. Then they said, “If we let this thing alone, and let this people alone, this will become a whole nation of Sabbath-breakers. They go into a community and preach, and they get only a few at the most, and probably none at all, to keep the Saturday; but they break up the people’s keeping Sunday, and therefore they are simply making the nation a nation of Sabbath-breakers; and it must be stopped, or the nation will perish for Sabbath-breaking; the judgments of God will come upon the land, and destroy us all.” CAP 25.2

Therefore they were compelled to have the power of the nation joined to them to put under foot and crush out pf existence, as far as lay in their power, God’s idea of the Sabbath, and exalt man’s. They tried it little by little, and more and more, upon the national legislature and the national power; but large numbers of the national legislature, like Pilate of old, said at first: “We find no fault in this; we will have nothing to do with it; attend to it yourselves; it is a controversy of your own; it is a religious matter; and if it comes up here, we will vote against it, every one of us.” Scores of them said that. Then these Pharisees and doctors of the law said to the representatives of the government, “If you do not do what we ask of you, if you do not vote for that Sunday law, setting up Sunday here for the Sabbath of this nation, we will never vote for one of you again as long as we live, for any office under the sun.” 1 CAP 26.1

Then too, just like Pilate at last, these legislators surrendered and said, “We will do it-we will do it.” They sat down in their official seat and took jurisdiction of the case, under the threats of these Pharisees and doctors of the law. And in the doing of this, these Pharisees and doctors of the law did as certainly turn their backs upon God, and join themselves to Cæsar-to earthly power-as did the Pharisees and priests and doctors of the law of old. CAP 26.2

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation; the power of God belongs to every professor of the gospel, and he who has the power of God cannot possibly have any other. No power can be added to the power of God. CAP 27.1

Then he who professes the gospel, and calls for any other power, denies the power of God; and when he denies the power of God, and puts his confidence in the power of man, whether man as an individual, or man assembled in governments, he puts his trust in human power instead of the power of God. And when these people sent up their petitions and their prayers to Congress instead of to God, they turned their backs upon the Lord, upon the power that goes with the gospel, and turned their attention to man for their help, to carry out this work in which they were engaged. CAP 27.2

And thus they got Congress-yes, they got the whole government of the United States-to take jurisdiction of the case. They took the fourth commandment as recorded in God’s word, and put it in the official record of the governmental proceedings, and then deliberately changed it. They definitely and purposely put the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, out of God’s commandment, and put the Sunday of the papacy in its place. They said the words Sabbath day “may mean Saturday or Sunday; it may be one day or the other, and we declare that it is and shall be the first day of the week commonly called Sunday,” and that that is the meaning of the fourth commandment. CAP 27.3

Thus under these threats the Pharisees and the doctors of the law of to-day, got the governmental authority to do just what it did back yonder,-they got the governmental power to put the Sabbath of the Lord under foot, and as far as lies in their power, to crush it out of existence, and put man’s ideas of the Sabbath in it instead. That thing is done. Everybody on earth knows that that is past. And to day we are that far along in the record made by Jesus in his faithfulness to Sabbath-keeping. CAP 27.4

This nation stands now where that nation stood when it rejected Jesus Christ because of his ideas of Sabbath-keeping. Back there they did it to maintain their own ideas of the Sabbath against the Lord’s, and they did it to save their nation. And these here did it far the same purpose. Three United States senators, each one in his place, said definitely that this must be done for the salvation of the nation. Two of them had more to do than any others to carry it through, and the third one not much less,-Senators Hawley of Connecticut, Colquitt of Georgia, and Frye of Maine, each of the three placed the salvation of the nation as the purpose of setting up. Sunday as the Sabbath under these threats. 2 CAP 28.1

Then, as the same thing has been done here and now by the like parties, for the same purpose, and by the same means, we are that far along in the account. Then what comes next? Will the rest of the account be met? Must assuredly it will; for it was all written for us. We stand now at the point where that nation stood when Pilate surrendered and took jurisdiction of the case when he knew he had no jurisdiction. And when they stood at that point, the doom of the nation was sealed. As that which they did at that time fixed unalterably the doom of that nation for destruction, as the destruction certainly followed, so the destruction of this nation will follow as the consequence of that which has been done, us certainly as the destruction of that nation followed that which they did back there that night. CAP 28.2

When that was done that night, and the doom of the nation was fixed, that doom did not fall at once. No; Jesus told his disciples that they should bear witness of him in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and then in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. In Jerusalem and in Judea first, because ruin hung there; then to all the world afterward. But to Jerusalem and Judea first, in order to save by this gospel such as would be saved from the ruin that was certain to fall. And this nation stands now where that one did then. Ruin is determined; that is fixed; it is only a question of time as to when it comes. CAP 29.1

But behold, Jesus has a people to-day who are maintaining his Sabbath, and God’s idea of the Sabbath as he reveals it to the world. To this people he says by the voice of the angel:- CAP 29.2

“Go ye into all the world, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people.” Mark 16:15; Revelation 14:6, 7. CAP 29.3

This thing concerns every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, because the influence of this nation is world-wide, and that which this nation has done in this land, will lead all the other nations in the same evil way, and the ruin that falls on this, takes in all the others. CAP 29.4

Well then, the message now is, “Go forth,” as certain as it was then, “to all the world,” because it is doomed. Go, bearing the everlasting gospel to save such as will be saved from the ruin that is fixed by this which has been done. CAP 30.1

But before those disciples could go, Jesus said unto them:- CAP 30.2

“Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high;” “but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Luke 24:49: Acts 1:8. CAP 30.3

They did not go until Pentecost had endued them with the power. We are in the presence of the second Pentecost. We must be endued with the power. Will you seek for that power? You cannot be faithful to the Sabbath of the Lord as Jesus Christ was, without his living presence which that Holy Ghost brings. “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Will you? Now the call is: Go to all the earth and preach this gospel to every creature, that there may be saved out of the world such as will escape the ruin that is so certain to fall, and that speedily, too. We and this nation are now standing where they were that night when they rejected Jesus Christ, and when the doom of that nation was fixed. We stand now where they stood then, and it is only a question of time as to when that ruin will certainly fall. CAP 30.4

As the Sabbath of the Lord-the seventh day-is the Lord’s own sign of the salvation of Jesus Christ, as it is the sign of what Christ is to men, so in rejecting the Sabbath of the Lord they are rejecting Christ. As the Pharisees back yonder in rejecting Christ rejected the Sabbath of the Lord, so these down here in rejecting the Sabbath of the Lord are rejecting Christ. For the Sabbath of the Lord means Jesus Christ, and Christ means the Sabbath of the Lord. To those back yonder he said, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner.” “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Matthew 22:42; Acts 4:11. And to these down here he says the same thing. As their salvation was wrapped up in that which they rejected back there, so the salvation of these now is wrapped up in this which they have rejected down here. True, the princes of this world back there did not know what they were doing, for if they had known it “they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” But they did it. Neither did these know what they were doing. But they, too, did it. CAP 30.5

They, back there, did not know what they were doing, when they condemned and rejected Jesus on account of the Sabbath. These who have done this great evil in our day do not know what they have done, or what they are doing-they do not know that in condemning and rejecting the Sabbath they are also condemning and rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. These do not know that in this which they have done they have doomed this nation. They did not know it back yonder, either. But didn’t they do it back there?-Assuredly. They could not have done it any more certainly if they had known all about it from the beginning. These now do not know what they have done; but they have done it; and they could not have done it any more certainly if they had intentionally and knowingly done it, and went about to do it from the beginning. CAP 31.1

This whole account was written for the warning and instruction of men in the ages to follow. And to no age or time could it possibly be more applicable, or more pertinent, than to just this day and time in the United States. The parallel is complete: Here the Pharisees, the scribes, and the doctors of the law have rejected Clod’s idea of the Sabbath and have set up a man’s. God’s idea on this subject is clearly stated, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Man’s idea is, and is declared, “Sunday is and shall be the Sabbath,” and this plainly instead of the Sabbath of the Lord as the Lord himself has stated the matter. CAP 31.2

To-day also the most widely separated sects, in profession, the Protestants and the Catholics, have joined themselves together, as did the Pharisees and Herodians to get control of governmental power to make effective their purpose to put down the Lord’s idea of the Sabbath and exalt a man’s-even that of the “man of sin.” These, too, to-day, like those of old, accomplished their purpose upon the governmental authorities by threats of political ruin, like those of old did upon Pilate. And to-day, in many parts of the land, these Pharisees are persecuting those who maintain the Lord’s idea of the Sabbath, as expressed in his own words just as those Pharisees back there persecuted Jesus for doing the same thing. To-day these Pharisees are watching, and spying upon those who are loyal to God’s idea of the Sabbath, just as those back yonder were watching Jesus and spying upon him for the same thing. To-day these Pharisees are doing all this to get the Seventh-day Adventists to compromise or give up the Lord’s idea of the Sabbath and adopt man’s idea, which is but the idea of the man of sin, as did those Pharisees back yonder to get Jesus to do the same thing. CAP 32.1

And having now got the governmental power on their side and under their control, they will use it as did the Pharisees of old in persecuting to the death all who will not give up God’s idea of the Sabbath and adopt that of the man of sin. Revelation 13:15. CAP 32.2

And we are most happy to know, and to have these Pharisees find out, that there are some people to-day so much like Jesus, that when they are persecuted to get them to yield die Lord’s Sabbath and adopt man’s, they will not do it. We are glad to know that there are to-day some people who are so much like Jesus, that when they are conforming strictly to God’s idea of the Sabbath, and are therefore faithful Sabbath-keepers, they are yet persecuted and imprisoned as Sabbath-breakers. And we are especially glad to know that these people are so much like Jesus that when the Pharisees of to-day go sneaking and spying around them as the others did around Jesus, these see just what they are watching for, as the other Pharisees saw when they watched Jesus. CAP 32.3

And we sincerely hope that these people shall still be so much like Jesus that they will suffer persecution to the death us did he, rather than to compromise or yield one hair’s breadth of their allegiance to God’s idea of the Sabbath, or to adopt to that extent man’s idea of the Sabbath in the place of God’s or even along with the Lord’s. For to put man’s idea on an equality with the Lord’s is at once to put it in the place of the Lord’s. Of the Sabbath-keeping Waldenses it is written, that “many of the true people of God became so bewildered that while they observed the Sabbath they refrained from labor also on the Sunday.”-“Great Controversy,” Vol. IV, p. 65. God forbid that any of the true people of God in our day should become so bewildered as this! Far better be like Jesus and die for allegiance to God’s truth, than to live by compromises with the lies and abominations of the Pharisees and Herodians, backed up by the governmental power. CAP 33.1

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him.” CAP 33.2