- Sabbath vs Sunday Issue -
Manuscript 3, October 8, 1885
Manuscript 18, 1888
Manuscript 6, 1889
Manuscript 16, October 1, 1890
Letter 8, 1895
Manuscript 22a, November 20, 1895
Manuscript 7a, February, 1896
Manuscript 15, March 27, 1896
Letter 24, May 23, 1896
Manuscript 1, January 11, 1897
Letter 123, March 8, 1897
Letter 98a, April 9, 1897
Letter 138, 1897
Manuscript 34, April 16, 1897
Manuscript 65, June 6, 1897
Letter 90, August 18, 1897
Manuscript 163, December 17, 1897
Manuscript 27, March 19, 1899
Manuscript 39, March 23, 1899
Manuscript 51, April 2, 1899
Letter 77, May 1, 1899
Manuscript 77, May 14, 1899
Manuscript 82, May 21, 1899
Letter 98, July 10, 1900
Letter 47, February 5, 1902
Manuscript 153, November 5, 1902
Manuscript 38, April 9, 1903
Letter 21, January 16, 1905
Letter 38, January 23, 1906
Manuscript 125, July 4, 1906
Letter 38, February 11, 1909
Manuscript 29, November 14, 1910
Our brethren cannot expect the approval of God while they place their children where it is impossible for them to obey the fourth Commandment. They should endeavor to make some arrangement with the authorities whereby the children shall be excused from attendance at school upon the seventh day. If this fails, then their duty is plain, to obey God's requirements at whatever cost....
If parents allow their children to receive an education with the world, and make the Sabbath a common day, then the seal of God cannot be placed upon them. They will be destroyed with the world; and will not their blood rest upon the parents? But if we faithfully teach our children God's commandments, bring them into subjection to parental authority, and then by faith and prayer commit them to God, He will work with our efforts; for He has promised it.
And when the overflowing scourge shall pass through the land, they with us may be hidden in the secret of the Lord's pavilion.
There are many who are at ease, who are, as it were, asleep. They say, "If prophecy has foretold the enforcement of Sunday observance, the law will surely be enacted," and having come to this conclusion, they sit down in a calm expectation of the event, comforting themselves with the thought that God will protect His people in the day of trouble. But God will not save us, if we make no effort to do the work He has committed to our charge. We must be found faithfully vigilant soldiers, lest Satan shall gain an advantage, which it is our duty to prevent.
We should diligently study the Word of God, and pray in faith that God will restrain the powers of darkness, for as yet the message has gone to comparatively few, and the world is to be lightened with its glory. The present truth--the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus--has not yet been sounded as it must be. There are many, almost within the shadow of our own doors, for whose salvation no personal effort has been made.
We are not prepared for the time when our work must close. We must take a firm stand that we will not reverence the first day of the week as the Sabbath, for it is not the day that was blessed and sanctified by Jehovah, and in reverencing Sunday we should place ourselves on the side of the great deceiver. The controversy over the Sabbath will open the subject to the people, and an opportunity will be given that the claims of the genuine Sabbath may be presented. Blindness and disloyalty to God so prevail that His law is made void, but the Psalmist says of such a condition, "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126].
It is time for God's people to work as never before, because of the increase of wickedness. The God-fearing, commandment-keeping people should be diligent, not only in prayer, but in action, and this will bring the truth before those who have never heard it. The world is overborne with falsehood and iniquity, and those whom God has made the depositaries of His law and of the pure religion of Jesus must be determined to let their light shine. If they do nothing to disabuse the minds of the people, and through ignorance of the truth our legislators should abjure the principles of Protestantism, and give countenance and support to the Roman fallacy, the spurious sabbath, God will hold His people, who have had great light, responsible for their lack of diligence and faithfulness. But, if the subject of religious legislation is judiciously and intelligently laid before the people, and they see that through Sunday enforcement the Roman apostasy would be re-enacted, then, whatever comes, we shall have done our duty.
The man of sin thinks to change times and laws. He is exalting himself above God in trying to compel the conscience. But God's people should work with persevering energy to let their light shine upon the people in regard to the law, and thus to withstand the enemies of God and His truth. When the law of God is made void, and apostasy becomes a national sin, the Lord will work in behalf of His people. Their extremity will be His opportunity. He will manifest His power in behalf of His church....
As faithful watchmen you should see the sword coming and give the warning, that men and women may not pursue a course through ignorance which they would avoid if they knew the truth. The Lord has enlightened us in regard to what is coming upon the earth that we may enlighten others, and we shall not be held guiltless, if we are content at ease, with hands folded and quibble over matters of minor importance....
Light must come to the people through agents whom God shall choose, who will give the note of warning, that none may be in ignorance of the purposes of God or the devices of Satan. At the great heart of the work Satan will use his hellish arts to the utmost. He will seek in every possible way to interpose himself between the people and God, and shut away the light that God would have come to His children. It is his design to keep them in ignorance of what shall come upon the earth....
The people must not be left to stumble their way along in darkness, not knowing what is before them and [thus be] unprepared for the great issues that are coming. There is a work to be done for this time in fitting a people to stand in the day of trouble, and all must act their part in this work. They must be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and be so fortified by the truth that the delusions of Satan shall not be accepted by them as genuine manifestations of the power of God....
It is a solemn time for God's people, but if they stand close by the bleeding side of Jesus, He will be their defense. He will open ways that the message of light may come to the great men, to authors and lawmakers. They will have opportunities of which you do not now dream, and some of them will boldly advocate the claims of God's downtrodden law....
There is now need for earnest working men and women who will seek for the salvation of souls, for Satan as a powerful general has taken the field, and in this last remnant of time he is working through all conceivable methods to close the door against light that God would have come to His people. He is sweeping the whole world into his ranks, and the few who are faithful to God's requirements are the only ones who can ever withstand him, and even these he is trying to overcome....
Go to God for yourselves; pray for divine enlightenment, that you may know the truth, that when the wonderful miracle-working power shall be displayed, and the enemy shall come as an angel of light, you may distinguish the genuine work of God from the imitative work of the powers of darkness....
A world is to be warned, and when the third angel's message goes forth with a loud cry, minds will be fully prepared to make decisions for or against the truth. The great charge is to be made by Satan and his evil angels, united with evil men, who will fix their destiny by making void the law of God in the face of convincing evidence from His word that it is unchangeable and eternal.
The very time of which the prophet has written will come, and the mighty cry of the third angel will be heard in the earth. His glory will lighten the world, and the message will triumph, but those who do not walk in its light will not triumph with it....
When the crisis comes, brought on by Satanic miracles, many will be prepared to make right decision as a result of house-to-house work. The bible will be opened from house-to-house, and men and women will find access to these homes, and minds will be opened to receive the word of God, and, when the crisis comes, many will be prepared to make right decisions, even in the face of formidable difficulties that will be brought about through the deceptive miracles of Satan....There will be an army of steadfast believers who will stand as firm as a rock through the last test....
Increased light will shine upon all the grand truths of prophecy, and they will be seen in freshness and brilliancy, because the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will illuminate the whole....
When the angel [Gabriel] was about to unfold to Daniel the intensely interesting prophecies recorded for us who are to witness their fulfillment, the angel said, "Be strong, yea, be strong" [Daniel 10:19]. We are to receive the very same glory that was revealed to Daniel, because it is for God's people in these last days, that they may give the trumpet a certain sound.
There has arisen in our conference questions that need to have careful attention, whether the Sabbath-keepers in the Southern States where they are liable to feel the oppressive power of their State laws if they labor on Sunday shall rest on Sunday to avoid the persecution which must come if they do any labor. Some of our brethren seem anxious that a resolution shall be passed by the General Conference advising our Sabbath-keeping brethren liable to imprisonment and fines, to refrain from labor on that day....
Some minds are so constituted that they can not treat these questions wisely. When the Sunday question is legislated to become law, there will not be so great a danger of taking steps that are not of a character to receive the sanction of heaven, though they may receive the sanction of the General Conference,--for the reason that the Lord gives light and knowledge just when it is most needed.
I am afraid of these many resolutions. One year ago resolutions were brought into the Conference for adoption that, had they all be accepted, would have bound about the work of God....Human traditions and permits and non-permits have been of a character that would have bound them about with restrictions that were wholly unnecessary, out of God's order, and that would have created a condition of things that would have been detrimental to the progress of the work....
In General Conference, many things are rushed through without being duly canvassed....They devise and execute without God's counsel....It has become habit to pass laws that do not always bear the signature of heaven....Then to toss these questions into the Conference without the prayerful consideration of the subject would be the greatest folly.
This is the third angel's message to our world and men had better keep their hands off the ark. There has been revealed the disposition to cavil over some questions that are plainly revealed in the Word of God....
If the decision is made that our people shall not labor on Sunday and that our brethren in the Southern States shall appear to harmonize with the Sunday law, because of oppression, how long before all over the world [our people] shall be in like circumstances as they are in the South? The decision is to be universal one. If it comes to the light of day as it will in degrees and there will be concessions and servile bowing to an idol god by those who claim to be Sabbath-keepers, there will be a yielding of principles until all is lost to them....
The counsel to be given is "Finally, my brethren, be strong, in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand"--in harmony in outward appearance. No, but "against the wiles of the devil" [Ephesians 6:10, 11].
There are some trying testimonies to be manfully borne by Sabbath-keepers and some bitter persecution finally endured, for, says Christ, "Ye are My witnesses" [see Isaiah 43:10-12]. Yes, witnesses for God, standing in defense of His holy law. We are a light to reveal the moral darkness, and the reward will be given to the overcomer.
Let no resolutions be passed here which will encourage half-hearted service or cowardly hiding our light under a bushel or under a bed for we will certainly be tried and tested. The Bible heroes of faith are to be our example and the Bible readers and Bible workers, if truly on the Lord's side, will be earnest, whole-souled, humble, meek, and lowly of heart, and God will teach them....Should resolutions be passed that because of the trials and inconveniences that arise because of our faith such ones should cease their labor on Sunday, bowing to the idol sabbath, will it give those who do this vigorous, spiritual sinew and muscle or will they grow into cowards and be swept away with the delusions of these last days? Leave these precious souls to God's dictation. Be sure the Sabbath is a test question and how you treat this question, places you either on God's side or Satan's side. The mark of the beast is to be presented in some shape to every institution and every individual.
The position taken by some is, that this civil enactment has no relation to the present observance of the Sabbath. Here again great blindness is shown to be upon them. In this they are not correct. For every move from the first made by Satan was the beginning of his work to continue to the end to exalt the false, to take the place of the genuine Sabbath of Jehovah. He is just as intent now and more determined to do this than ever before.
He has come down with great power to deceive them who dwell on the earth with his Satanic delusions. His work has a direct reference to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and should the resolution be passed that because of inconveniences and loss of property, imprisonment and fines, the enactment of laws of the State shall compel Sunday observance, all must obey these laws God would certainly be dishonored; and the lesson given to those who need better advice shall be a character to open the way and make it easy for souls to be carried away with the bold, swift current of evil. They will be tempted strongly because of the universal scorn which they see thrown upon the law of God to think slightly of it and to place the laws of men on an equality with the laws of God and give less and less reverence to the laws of Jehovah. Shall the overseers of the flock work with the great deceiver to make apostasy from God easy?
We have all the way along known that this battle must come and the two great powers, the Prince of Darkness and the Prince of Light, will be in close battle, and not one of God's people who understand the truth, if in the light where God would have them to stand, will teach by precept or example any soul to shirk now. Give them strengthening Bible diet and Bible duty to strengthen and brace the soul for the coming conflict. But there will be need at this time of men who have been leaders in this work of keeping step where Jesus leads the way. If they do not walk in the light as Christ leads the way and advance with the increasing light of the third's angel's message, they will surely become blind leaders of the blind. [Exodus 31:12-17 quoted].
It is a time now when God calls for brave men having on the whole armor of God, presenting a united front to the foe. And as we meet the emergency the law of God becomes more precious, more sacred, and as it is more manifestly made void and set aside, in proportion should arise our respect and reverence for that law. David said, "They have made void Thy law; therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold" [Psalms 119:126, 127].
The Lord will be constantly leading and guiding His people to meet this emergency if they ask the help of God. It is a high point of spiritual advancement they have reached that the love of God's commandments grows with the contempt which is manifest to that law by those around them. There are great principles in the reformation which must not be overlooked or disregarded. God forbid we should be self-made invalids in this great crisis. Paul prayed for the removal of the aggravating thorn but God sees this is not the best and sends the blessed promise, "My grace is sufficient for thee" [2 Corinthians 12:9]. The Lord does not remove the trial, but gives him all that is needed that he can endure it.
In the exercise of the long suffering of God, He gives to nations a certain period of probation, but there is a point which if they pass, there will be the visitation of God in His indignation; He will punish. The world has been advancing from one degree of contempt for God's law to another, and the prayer may be appropriate at this time, "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126]. In answer to this prayer ere long the wrath of an offended God will be poured out without mercy, then as we approach this time, be careful what advice and counsel we give to the people who need to be strengthened in Christian experience, lest you prove yourself to be like Aaron who consented to make the golden calf.
This was a terrible thing for him to do because all Israel looked up to him as their leader, a good man. If he had given his voice against this in a certain, decided manner, this wicked worship of an idol would not have been to disgrace the people of God. We do not want to repeat Aaron's cowardice or Israel's sin. Let the Lord work for His people, and be careful that you give to the trumpet a certain sound now. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Let all be careful what they say and what they do; be careful to move in God's order. Keep step with the Captain of the Lord's host. Let not anyone make any proud boast either by precept or example to show that he is defying the laws of the land. Make no resolutions as to what persons in different States may do, or may not do. Let nothing be done to lessen individual responsibility. To their God they must stand or fall. Let none feel it his duty to make speeches in the presence of our own people, or of our enemies, that will arouse their combativeness and they take your words and construe them in such a way that you are charged with being rebellious to the government, for this will close the door of access to the people.
Let Christ be seen in all that you do. Let them see that you are living epistles of Jesus Christ. Let the soft fillings in the life of character appear. Be lovable. Let your life win the hearts of all who are brought in contact with you. There is too little done at the present time to render the truth attractive to others. There have been some who have in speaking to the people, felt like making a raid on the churches. They sour minds by their censoriousness. We want our hearts mellowed by the love of Jesus. That is in God's order. If not presented in the most pleasant, acceptable form, truth will be unpalatable to many. While we must present the truth in contrast with error, let it be presented in a manner that shall create as little prejudice as possible.
While we cannot bow to an arbitrary power to lift up the Sunday by bowing to it, while we will not violate the Sabbath, which a despotic power will seek to compel us to do, we will be wise in Christ,--Christ's wisdom and not in our own spirit. A consistent, substantial, lovable Christian is a powerful argument for the truth. We must say no words that will do ourselves harm, for this would be bad enough, but when you speak words, and when you do presumptuous things that imperil the cause of God, you are doing a cruel work for you give Satan advantage. We are not to be rash and impetuous, but always learning of Jesus how to act in His Spirit, presenting the truth as it is in Jesus.
Do not in this critical time mark out ways for God's people, for how do you know what God designs to do with and for His people? He means to make exhibitions of His power before our enemies. The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord, and His wisdom and His strength are then present and sufficient help in every time of need. He can work for them whatsoever seemeth good in His sight, and nothing can be done for or against them other than His providence shall permit to be done. The Children of Light are wise and powerful, according to their reliance upon God, and the wisdom and help of men may defeat the very purpose of God....
In all ages, the righteous have obtained help from God, and the enemies of His people can never put down those whom God would lift up...Then let no decision be made by this Conference to get in the way of the work of the Lord....Let everyone be careful and not step off from the ground where God is, on Satan's ground.
Many did this in the ranks of the reformers of past ages. Luther had great trouble because of these elements. Rash persons stepped out of their place and rushed needlessly forward when God did not send them to do a very objectionable, impulsive work. They ran ahead of Christ and provoked the devil's wrath. In their untimely, misguided zeal, they closed the door to great usefulness of many souls who might have done great good for the Master.
We have all kinds of material to deal with. There are those who will, through hasty, unadvised moves, betray the cause of God into the enemy's power. There will be men who will seek to be revenged who will become apostates and betray Christ in the person of His saints. All need to learn discretion; then there is danger on the other hand of being conservative, of giving away to the enemy in concession. Our brethren should be very cautious in this matter for the honor of God. They should make God their fear and their dread. Should this Conference make resolutions and pass them, that it would be right and proper for Seventh-day Adventists to rest on the first day of the week in order to avoid arrests and what might probably arise if they did not obey the laws, would this be showing that we stand in right relation to God's holy law? [Exodus 31:12-17].
I have been shown that from the first rebellion Satan was working to this end, to exalt his own power in contradiction to God's law and God's power. He does this in exalting Sunday observance, and anything that shall by this people go forth as their voice, to respect the idol sabbath, would it not dishonor God and confuse minds and place them where they will be deceived by Satan's devices? Anything we may do that lifts up the spurious to take the place of the true and genuine Sabbath, is disloyal to God and we must move very carefully lest we exalt the decision of the man of sin. We are not to be found in a neutral position on this matter of so great consequence. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus must be from conviction of duty inscribed on our banners.
If we shall do as some of our brethren in sympathy with our brethren of the South have urged, then where do God's people stand? Where will be the distinction from the Sunday observers? How will we be recognized as the Sabbath-keeping people of God? How shall we show that the Sabbath is a sign?
The two armies will stand distinct and separate, and this distinction will be so marked that many who shall be convinced of truth will come on the side of God's commandment-keeping people. When this grand work is to take place in the battle, prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ's sake in standing in defense of the truth. They will be brought before kings and rulers, and before councils to meet the false, absurd, and lying accusations brought against them, but they must stand firm as a rock to principle, and the promise is, "As thy days so shall thy strength be" [Deuteronomy 33:25]. You will not be tempted above what you are able to bear. Jesus bore all this and far more. The express command of God must be obeyed, for God has been working. [Luke 21:8-19 quoted].
An intelligent knowledge of His word has been given to prepare men and women to contend zealously for the law of Jehovah; to reestablish the holy law; make up the breech that has been made in the law of God and restore the tables of stone to their ancient, exalted, honorable position. And God's faithful servants when brought into straight places should not confer with flesh and blood.
There will be, even among us, hirelings and wolves in sheep's clothing who will persuade the flock of God to sacrifice unto other gods before the Lord. We have reason to know how Paul would act in any emergency. "The love of Christ constraineth us" [2 Corinthians 5:13]. Youth who are not established, rooted and grounded in the truth, will be corrupted and drawn away by the blind leaders of the blind, and the ungodly, the despisers that wonder and perish, who despise the sovereignty of the Ancient of Days and place on the throne a false god, a being of their own defining, a being altogether such as one as themselves,--these will be agents in Satan's hands to corrupt the faith of the unwary.
Those who have been self-indulgent and ready to yield to pride and fashion and display, will sneer at the conscientious, truth-loving, God-fearing people, and will, in this work sneer at the God of heaven himself. The Bible is disregarded, the wisdom of men exalted, and Satan and the man of sin worshiped by the wisdom of this age, while the angel is flying through the midst of heaven crying, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth" [Revelation 8:13].
I have been shown that the hand of the Lord is stretched out already to punish those who will become monuments of divine displeasure and holy vengeance, for the day of recompense has come when men who exalted the man of sin in the place of Jehovah in worshiping an idol sabbath in the place of the Sabbath of the Lord Jehovah will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, for He is a consuming fire.
We say to our brethren, Do not for Christ's sake, get in the place of God before the people. Enough of this kind of work has been done. Let God work human minds. Do not hinder the workings of God for His people in this important period of time, when tremendous interests are being enacted among God's people. Do not in your human wisdom fix up things too much bearing the human imprint. Leave God something to do. Let the hand of God appear in molding and fashioning men's minds and character, and let man walk softly and humbly with God. Lift no burdens from God's people that He would have them to bear. Jesus bore the cruel cross to Calvary. Do not cast burdens upon any class that He would have them released from.
Satan's work is constantly to perplex, to mix up things, to confuse, to get things into a tangle that is hard to straighten out. It is not a desirable job to be engaged in, to take the work out of God's hands into your own finite arms. It is best for all parties concerned to leave the people of God in God's hands for Him to impress and teach and guide their consciences. It is not safe for any one to attempt to be conscience for God's people. If the servants of God will patiently instruct them by precept and example, to patience, to faith, and to look to God for themselves, to understand their own duty as God would have them, then many, in trying circumstances would obtain a rich experience in the things of God. Teach man to ask wisdom of God. There should be precept and example in lessons given, that God is our only trust and wisdom, and we must pray to Him without ceasing for light and knowledge.
Many have not had that religious experience that is essential for them, that they may stand without fault before the throne of God. The furnace fires of affliction He permits to be kindled upon them to consume the dross, to refine, to purify and cleanse them from the defilement of sin, of self-love, and to bring them to know God and to become acquainted with Jesus Christ by walking with Him as did Enoch....
The Lord will lead His people and guide them. The commandment will go forth from God as to Daniel, to help those making earnest intercession to the throne of His grace in their time of need. Said Christ, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" [John 14:12-13].
In the name of the Lord I advise all His people to have trust in God and not begin now to prepare to find an easy position for any emergency in the future, but to let God prepare for the emergency. We have altogether too little faith....
This history [Elijah's experience after the priests of Baal were slain] carefully and prayerfully studied will be a help to the people of God under difficulties. Let man be careful not to assume responsibilities that God does not require of him, and interpose himself between the Lord and His tempted and tried ones so that the purposes of God shall not be carried out in the experiences of these persons. Difficulties will arise before the people of God, but every soul must put his trust not in the wisdom of men but in the Lord God of Israel. He will be his defense....In trusting implicitly in God, we shall see the wonderful display of His power, if we wait patiently and prayerfully for Him, and have confidence in God.
God works in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform....Conflicts and trials are the very means ordained or suffered of God to perfect the Christian character unto eternal life.
Teach every soul to lean heavily on the Arm of infinite power. There is an individuality that must be preserved in every human agent in Christian experience and the responsibility cannot be removed from any soul. Each one has his own battles to fight, his own Christian experience to gain, independent in some respects from any other soul; and God has lessons for each to gain for himself that no other one can gain for him....
All are not tried in the same way. Some will meet more severe trials than others, but cling to God is the encouragement to give to each and all. The registered experiences of believers of former days is to be an encouragement to us living down near the close of time....We have no new, strange path to tread, in which others have not had a similar experience.
The Lord's ways are unchangeable. He will do in our days as He has done in earlier days....We may be encouraged by the truthfulness of God's word that Christ never failed His children as their safe Leader in the hour of their trial; for we have the truthful record of those who have been under the oppressive powers of Satan, that His grace is according to their day. God is faithful who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.
Our heavenly Father measures and weighs every trial before He permits it to come upon the believer. He considers the circumstances and the strength of the one who is to stand under the proving and test of God, and He never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance. If the soul is overborne, the person overpowered, this can never be charged to God, as failing to give strength in grace, but the one tempted was not vigilant and prayerful and did not appropriate by faith the provisions God had abundantly in store for him. Christ never failed a believer in His hour of combat. The believer must claim the promise and meet the foe in the name of the Lord, and he will not know anything like failure.
There may be large mountains of difficulties in regard to how to meet the claims of God and not stand in defiance of the laws of the land. He must not be making ample provisions for himself to shield himself from trial for he is only God's instrument and he is to go forward in singleness of purpose with his mind and soul garrisoned day by day that he will not sacrifice one principle or his integrity, but he will make no boasts, issue no threats, nor tell what he will or will not do. For he does not know what he will do until tested. He will just go forward in a contrite spirit with an eye single to the glory of God, depending on the word of God and the grace promised through Christ, and the mountains may become molehills.
To every soul who meets difficulties in the strength of Jesus and is not overcome, who faces enemies and opposers, and in the strength of Christ stands firmly, who undertakes and discharges duties in the meekness of wisdom, not calculating the results, knowing that none of these things can be met in human strength, his experience becomes knowledge that Christ is faithful that hath promised....He has taken hold of the Surety, Jesus Christ the Mighty One and he reposes in the fullness and strength of Christ, and knows by experience that Christ in his righteousness, and that he can be touched with the feelings of his infirmities. Although he may be enclosed in prison walls he may believe it is for the truth's sake. Jesus is by his side. We are not to be rash, bold, presumptuous, defiant. In Jesus we may trust, having faith in His power to save, we may be conquerors.
There should be a constant walking in all humility. There should be no just occasion to our enemies to charge us with being lawless and defying the laws through any imprudence of our own. We should not feel it enjoined upon us to irritate our neighbors who idolize Sunday by making determined efforts to bring labor on that day before them purposely to exhibit an independence. Our sisters need not select Sunday as the day to exhibit their washing. There should be no noisy demonstration. Let us consider how fearful and terribly sad is the delusion that has taken the world captive and by every means in our power seek to enlighten those who are our bitterest enemies. If there is the acceptance of the principles of the inworking of the Holy Ghost which he must have to fit him for heaven, he will do nothing rashly or presumptuously to create wrath and blasphemy against God. The process of sanctification is constantly going on in the heart, and his experience will be, "Christ...is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption" [1 Corinthians 1:30]. He knows that Christ by His Spirit is dwelling in his heart by faith.
Oh, there is a great work to be done for the people of God, ere they are prepared for translation to heaven! The heat of the furnace upon some must be severe to reveal the dross. Self will have to be crucified. When each believer is to the very extent of his knowledge, obeying the Lord, and yet seeking to give no just occasion to his fellowmen to oppress him, he should not fear the results, even though it be imprisonment and death.
After Jesus rises up from the mediatorial throne, every case will be decided, and oppression and death coming to God's people will not then be a testimony in favor of the truth.
Our whole attitude must be the saving of the souls of those surrounding us--souls for whom Christ has died. The largest class have never heard anything about the seventh day being the genuine Sabbath of Jehovah. They are uneducated in the Scriptures, and the position and work of the Seventh-day Adventists to cling to their faith brings resistance in the highest degree. The Christian world is ignorantly bowing down to an idol. Every soul, ministers and laymen, should consider the world their missionary field, and these reasons should be presented in the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God. Through God alone can they reach the hearts of the people.
We must lose no time in becoming thoroughly versed in the Scriptures, for we must come to the people not merely with flimsy arguments, neither alone with sound logic, to convince them that that which has been taught as truth by their fathers and that which has been preached to them from the pulpits is untrue, for the opposition you create by this kind of labor will be like scattering seeds of darkness. You will be called apostates, for publishing that which causes distraction, but if you have the attractiveness of Christ, if you are balanced in all you do by the wisdom of Christ, your own heart imbued with the Spirit of Christ, you will accomplish a good work for Christ.
We urge you to consider this danger: That which we have most to fear is nominal Christianity. We have many who profess the truth who will be overcome because they are not acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ. They cannot distinguish His voice from that of a stranger.
There is to be no dread of anyone being borne down even in a wide-spread apostasy, who has a living experience in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If Jesus be formed within, the hope of glory, the illiterate as well as the educated can bear the testimony of our faith, saying, "I know in whom I have believed" [1 Timothy 1:12]. Some will not, in argument, be able to show wherein their adversary is wrong, having never had any advantage that others have had, yet these are not overborne by the apostasy because they have the evidence in their own heart that they have the truth, and the most subtle reasoning and assaults of Satan cannot move them from their knowledge of the truth, and they have not a doubt or fear that they are themselves in error.
Let every soul consider his responsibility to give an account before God for the influence he has exerted over the souls of those brought under the sphere of his influence. When this undying love to save souls takes possession of heart and mind, there will not be any rash move made.
Faith, saving faith, is to be taught. The definition of this faith in Jesus Christ may be described in few words: It is the act of the soul by which the whole man is given over to the guardianship and control of Jesus Christ. He abides in Christ and Christ abides in the soul by faith as supreme. The believer commits his soul and body to God, and with assurance may say, Christ is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. All who will do this will be saved unto life eternal....
When profligacy and heresy and infidelity fills the land there will be many humble homes where prayer, sincere and contrite prayer will be offered from those who never heard the truth and there will be many hearts that will carry a weight of oppression for the dishonor done to God. We are too narrow in our ideas, we are poor judges, for many of these will be accepted of God because they cherished every ray of light that shone upon them. There are thousands who are praying as did Nathaniel for the light of truth. Christ's lightbearers must not be unfaithful. There is work to do in our world for many souls and God calls us to labor for souls who are in darkness of error, but praying for the light, for the revealing of God's holy spirit.
Let not side issues take the mind and the affections. We want to make the most of our present opportunities. We want to work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work. There are many men of influence who are to have a knowledge of the truth, and we must be sure not to hedge up the way. The knowledge of truth is ever increasing. It is not a new truth that opens to the mind; it is not a new principle but a new discovery or a forcible application or revival of that which existed before. The Lord is prepared to present His light to our minds as fast as we will receive it. Open the door and let Jesus in.
The formality, worldly wisdom, worldly caution, worldly policy, will appear to many to be the very power of God, but, when accepted, it stands as an obstacle to prevent God's light in warning, reproof, and counsel from coming to the world.
He is working with all his insinuating, deceiving power, to lead men away from the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with mighty power. If Satan sees that the Lord is blessing His people and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his master power to bring in fanaticism on the one hand, and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls. Now is our time to watch unceasingly. Watch, bar the way to the least step of advance that Satan may make among you....
I have been warned that henceforth we shall have a constant contest. Science so-called and religion will be placed in opposition to each other, because finite men do not comprehend the power and greatness of God. These words of Holy Write were presented to me, "Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" [Acts 20:30]. This will surely be seen among the people of God, and there will be those who are unable to perceive the most wonderful and important truths for this time; truths which are essential for their own safety and salvation, while matters that are in comparison as the merest atoms, matters in which there is scarcely a grain of truth, are dwelt upon and are magnified by the power of Satan so that they appear of the utmost importance....
The moral sight of these men is diseased. They do not feel their need of the heavenly anointing, that they may discern spiritual things....They will fall into deceptions and delusions that Satan has prepared as concealed nets to entangle the feet of those who think they can walk in their human wisdom without the special grace of Christ....
True light is to stand in distinction from all other lights. The system of truth must stand distinct from all other systems, whether of religion or of morals. It is the light emanating from Christ. Our great work is to reveal Christ to the world, and thus reveal the Father.
There are men of the world that will volunteer to be our guides. They regard their course as wise, but their tendencies and actions are evil. They are of the class who, professing to be wise, need to become fools in order to be wise in God's wisdom. They lead away from the path where the voice of Jesus is heard, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it" [Isaiah 30:21]. They are false teachers, blind leaders of the blind. They divert attention from the very work to be done in this period of the world's history. But those who follow the Leader, step by step, will hear and recognize the voice of the true Shepherd....
In the last struggles of the great controversy, God has called us to aid in giving the final warning to the world. While the Christian world are honoring a false sabbath, we are to show them its true character. It must be made plain to them that they are honoring a man-made institution in place of that which God sanctified. Every rival must be made to appear as an idol. Solemn is our responsibility.
The people of the world will try to induce us to soften our message, to suppress one of its more distinctive features. They say, "Why do you in your teachings make the seventh-day Sabbath so prominent? This seems to be always thrust before us. We should harmonize with you, if you would not say so much on this point."...And there has been a disposition on the part of some of the workers to adopt this policy. I am bidden to warn you that deceptive sentiments are entertained, a false modesty and caution, a disposition to withhold the profession of our faith in the night season, matters have been presented before me that have greatly troubled my mind. I have seen to be in meetings for counsel where these subjects were discussed, and written documents were presented advocating concessions. Brethren, shall we permit the world to shape the message that God has given us to bear to them?...Shall we for the sake of policy betray a sacred trust?
If the world is in error and delusion, breaking the law of God, it is our duty to show them their sin and danger. We must proclaim the third angel's message....We are not to cringe and beg pardon of the world for telling them the truth. We should scorn concealment. Unfurl your colors to meet the gaze of men and angels. Let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists can make no compromise. In your opinions and faith there must not be the least appearance of wavering. The world has a right to know what to expect of us, and will look upon us as dishonest, as hiding our real sentiments and principles out of policy, if we carry even the semblance of being uncommitted till the popular voice has pointed out the safe way. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which Christ said He would send into the world, was to bear an unwavering testimony....
On no account will one real believer of the truth remain in appearance neutral in an important crises, or in the questions that concern the salvation of the soul. We are not to voice the sentiments of the world....All the success and patronage that can be secured by policy plans will be a snare to every soul who works on this principle.
Some are flattering themselves that a more auspicious time is coming when God, who ever sides with the right, will vindicate His honor by lifting up His holy law, and then they will obey the truth and will triumph with it. I have been shown that in maintaining the right, it is not safe to yield one hair's breadth because of circumstances, or to teach others that we may do this with comparative safety....
While we are to stand firm as a rock to principles, we should be courteous and Christlike in our dealings with all men. We should tell the people plainly that we cannot accept the papal sabbath, because it is a mark of special dishonor to God, whom we love and worship. But while we sacredly observe the Sabbath of the Lord, it is not our work to compel others to observe it. God never forces the conscience; that is Satan's work. Since God is the Author of the Sabbath, it must be presented to the minds of men in contrast to the false sabbath, that all may choose between them....
Those who are living in transgression of the holy law of God will complain, when it is made plain that the spurious sabbath is founded in the power of the man of sin, such knowledge is not palatable to them. They will say in language too plain to be misunderstood, "We want not a knowledge of Thy ways, O Lord" [see Job 21:14]. Others will say, as did Pharaoh, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?" [Exodus 5:2]. But we must hold aloft the banner of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus....While Satan will make masterly efforts to suppress the truth, we must stand firmly to reflect light to the world. let not the fear of man, the desire for patronage, be allowed to obscure a ray of heaven's light....
We should be alarmed when we see the least disposition to hush the voices that proclaim the message of the third angel. That angel represents the people of God who give the warning to the world. No greater contempt could be shown to the Creator than the contempt manifested for the day which He has sanctified. And, as Satan with his human agencies pushes the warfare against God, by leading men to trample on the Sabbath, the few who honor God should be aroused to greater zeal and earnestness in its defense....
In the great conflict between faith and unbelief the whole of the Christian world is involved. All will take sides. Some apparently may not engage in the conflict on either side. They may not appear to take sides against the truth, but they do not come out boldly for Christ, through fear of losing property or suffering reproach. All such are numbered with the enemies of God.
The popular opinion of what saith the Fathers will not help my case. My work is given me of God to know and understand His will for my own individual self. By thoughtful, prayerful study, I must seek to know for myself the true meaning of the Scriptures. We should thank God every day that we are not left to human traditions and man-made assertions. We cannot be safe in trusting to any other word except "It is written." We cannot float with the current; we cannot build our faith on any human theory, lest we come under condemnation as did the Jews. "Ye teach for doctrines the commandments of men" [Mark 7:7], said Christ to them. And this statement is made decidedly plain to us in these last days.
In Sunday observance the commandments of men are made supreme. Human authority and church pretensions are made as the word of God, to which all must bow. Should we do this, we would be laborers together with the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who exalted himself above God and all that is written in the word of God.
When the heavenly intelligences see that men will no longer present the truth in simplicity as did Jesus, the very children will be moved upon by the Spirit of God and will go forth proclaiming the truth for this time....
There is a terrible crisis just before us which all must pass, and especially will it come and be felt in Battle Creek. My mind has been much troubled over the positions which some of our brethren are liable to take in regards to the work to be done among the colored people in the southern states. There is one point that I wish to lay before those who work in the Southern field. Among the color people they [white workers] will have to labor in different lines from those follow in the North. They cannot go to the South and present the real facts in reference to Sunday-keeping being the mark of the beast and encourage the colored people to work on Sunday, for the same spirit that held the colored people in slavery is not dead, but alive today and ready to spring into activity. The same spirit of oppression is still cherished in the minds of many of the white people of the South, and will reveal itself in cruel deeds, which are manifestations of their religious zeal. Some will oppose in every possible way any action which has a tendency to uplift the colored race and teach them to be self-supporting. When the whites show an inclination to help the colored people by educating them to help themselves, a certain class of white people are terribly annoyed. They do not want the colored people to earn an independent living. They want them to work their plantations.
When the white people try to educate the colored people in the truth, jealousy is aroused, and ministers, both colored and white, will bitterly oppose the truth. The colored ministers think that they know how to preach to their own race better than the white ministers can, and they feel that the whites are taking the work out of their hands. By falsehood they will create the most decided opposition, and those among the white people who are opposed to the truth will help them, and will make it exceedingly hard for the work of the message to advance.
When the truth is proclaimed in the South, a marked difference will be shown by those who oppose the truth in their greater regard for Sunday, and great care must then be exercised not to do anything to arouse their prejudice. Otherwise, we might just as well leave the field entirely, for the workers will have all the white people against them. Those who oppose the truth will not work openly, but through secret organizations, and they will seek to hinder the work in every possible way. Our laborers must move in a quiet way, striving to do everything possible to present the truth to the people, remembering that the love of Christ will melt down opposition....
Not a word should be spoken to create prejudice, for, if by any careless or impulsive speech to the colored people in regard to the whites, if prejudice is created in the minds of the white people against them, the spirit of the enemy will work in the children of disobedience. Thus an opposition will be aroused which will hinder the work of the message, and will endanger the lives of the workers and of the believers.
We are not to make efforts to teach the Southern people to work on Sunday. That which some of our brethren have written upon this point is not based on right principles. When the practices of the people do not come in conflict with the law of God, you may conform to them. If the workers fail to do this, they will not only hinder their own work, but they will place stumbling blocks in the way of those for whom they labor, and hinder them from accepting the truth.
On Sunday there is the very best opportunity for those who are missionaries to hold Sunday schools, and come to the people in the simplest manner possible, telling them of the love of Jesus for sinners, and educating them in the Scriptures. There are many ways of reaching all classes, both white and black. We are to interest them in the life of Christ from His childhood up to manhood, and through His life and ministry, to the cross. We cannot work in all localities in the same way. We must let the Holy Spirit guide, for men and women cannot convince others of their wrong traits of character. While laboring to introduce the truth, we must accommodate ourselves as much as possible to the field and the circumstances of those for whom we labor....
There is danger that as soon as the opposing elements can get the slightest opportunity, they will stir up one another to persecute those who do...[work on Sunday] and pick off those whom they hate. At present Sunday-keeping is not the test. The time will come when men will not only forbid Sunday work, but they will try to force men to labor on the Sabbath. And men will be asked to renounce the Sabbath and subscribe to Sunday observance or forfeit their freedom and their lives. But the time for this has not yet come, for the truth must be presented more fully before the people as a witness....
Slavery will again be revived in the Southern states, for the spirit of slavery still lives. Therefore it will not do for those who labor among the colored to preach the truth as boldly and openly as they would be free to do in other places, even Christ clothed His lessons in figures and parables to avoid the opposition of the Pharisees. When the colored people feel that they have the Word of God [on their side] in regard to the Sabbath and the sanction of those who have brought them the truth, some who are impulsive will take the opportunity to defy the Sunday laws, and by presumptuous defiance of their oppressors they will bring to themselves much sorrow. Very faithfully the colored people must be instructed to be like Christ, to patiently suffer wrongs that may help their fellow men to see the light of truth.
A terrible condition of things is certainly opening before us. According to the light that has been given me in regard to the Southern field, the work there must be done in the manner in which Christ would work. You need not cut short your work by yourself laboring on Sunday. It would be better to take the day to instruct others in regard to the love of Jesus and true conversion....
The light that I have is that God's servants should go quietly to work, preaching the grand, precious truths of the Bible--Christ and Him crucified, His life and infinite sacrifice--showing that the reason why Christ died is because the law of God is immutable, unchangeable, eternal. The Spirit of the Lord will awaken the conscience and the understanding of those with whom you work, bringing the commandments of God to their remembrance....In preaching the truth, it is not always best to present those strong points of truth that will arouse prejudice, especially where such strong feelings exist as is felt in the Southern states. The Sabbath must be taught in a decided manner, but be cautious how you deal with the idol, Sunday. A word to the wise is sufficient....
After the Sabbath has been sacredly observed...If work is done on Sunday, let our brethren make that day an occasion to do genuine missionary work. Let them visit the sick and the poor, ministering to their wants, and they will find favorable opportunities to open the Scriptures to individuals and to families. Thus most profitable work can be done for the Master.
When those who hear and see the light on the Sabbath take their stand upon the truth and keep God's holy day, difficulties will arise, for efforts will be brought to bear against them to compel men and women to transgress the law of God, and, if opposition and persecution are determinedly kept up, let them heed the words of Christ, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" [Matthew 10:23]....
The final issue on the Sabbath question has not yet come, but by imprudent actions we may bring on a crisis before the time. You may have all the truth, but you need not let it all flash at once upon minds, lest it become darkness to them....
When we begin to work with parliaments, and with men holding high positions in governments, the enemy is roused to exert all his strength against us, and he will make the work hard. Do not let your work be known any more than is necessary....
We are not to reveal all our purposes and plans to men. Satan will take advantage if any indiscretion is shown on this point. He does not work openly and above board. He works in an underhanded manner, and will continue to do so. Before the people are prepared for it, he leads men to set powerful movements on foot by working on their minds....
It means a great deal to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We have so much determination in us that often we do things unguardedly and rashly. We must appear before these men as trying to help others, working on the lines of Christian help work. As they see the good work we do in these lines, their prejudice in a measure will be removed; their hearts will be opened to the truth. Do not abruptly present the Sabbath; present Christ....
We should have nothing to do with the actions of governments. Our duty is to obey God. When you are arrested, take no thought what you shall say or do. You are to follow Christ step by step. You need not commence weeks beforehand to examine the question, laying plans as to what you will do when the powers shall do this or that; neither need you think what you are to say. Study the truth and the Spirit of the Lord will bring to your remembrance what you shall say. Our minds should be a treasure house, filled with the Word of God.
When brought before courts, we are to give up our rights, unless by so doing we are brought into collision with God. We are not pleading for our rights, but for God's right to our service. Instead of resisting the penalties imposed unjustly upon us, it would be better to take heed to the Saviour's words, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" [Matthew 10:23].
John in the Revelation writes of the unity of those living on the earth to make void the law of God: "These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chose, and faithful" [Revelation 17:13-14]. "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" [Revelation 16:13]. All who will exalt and worship the idol sabbath, a day that God has not blessed, help the devil and his angels with all the power of their God-given ability, which they have perverted to a wrong use. Inspired by another spirit, which blinds their discernment, they cannot see that the exaltation of Sunday observance is entirely the institution of the Catholic Church.
A corrupt union has been formed to tear down God's memorial of creation, the seventh day, which he hallowed and blessed, and gave to men to be a sign between God and His people, to be observed throughout their generations forever. A period is coming when everyone will take sides between the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which the Lord has sanctified and blessed, and the spurious sabbath instituted by the man of sin.
An idol sabbath has been set up as the golden image was set up on the plains of Dura, and, as Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death. Thus the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled underfoot. But the Lord has declared, "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and write grievousness which they have prescribed" [Isaiah 10:1]. "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fires of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger" [Zephaniah 1:14, 2:1-3].
The Lord of heaven permits the world to chose whom they will have as ruler. Let all read carefully the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, for it concerns every human agent, great and small. Every human being must take sides, either for the true and living God, who has given to the world the memorial of creation in the seventh-day Sabbath, or, for a false sabbath, instituted by the men who have exalted themselves above all that is called God or that is worshiped; who have taken upon themselves the attributes of Satan in oppressing the loyal and true, who keep the commandments of God. This persecuting power will compel the worship of the beast by insisting on the observance of the sabbath he has instituted. Thus he blasphemes God, sitting "in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God" [2 Thessalonians 2:4].
This worship of a false sabbath is a wedge that split the Protestant churches from God, and left them naked. They had not a text of Scripture to sustain their false God, but yet a deception. Hoary with age, but still a deception, was commenced to reverence, and exalted, while the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was trampled upon and God dishonored. The Bible was before them with a plain "thus saith the Lord" and the penalty that is the part of the transgressor. But as Adam and Eve in Eden listened to the falsehoods of Satan, so the religious world are following their example.
Satan who was expelled from heaven is leading the world, blindfolded by his sophistry, in the same way that he led the angels who accepted his theology before a "Thus saith the Lord." Already the churches are naked, and without a covering. Like the arch deceiver, they are without excuse, for they have the Word of God, plain and clear and pointed. While they would rein up the faithful and loyal subjects of the kingdom of God, depriving them of their liberty of conscience, bringing them before magistrates and judges, and pronouncing sentence against them, delivering them unto prison, putting them into the chain gang, and even condemning them to death; they themselves, before the universe, are showing determined and obstinate contempt of the laws of the eternal Jehovah.
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb" [Revelation 14:1-4].
One of the marked features in the representations of the one hundred and forty-four thousand is that in their mouth there was found no guile. The Lord has said, "Blessed is the man...in whose spirit there is no guile" [Psalms 32:2]. They profess to be children of God and are represented as following the Lamb "whithersoever He goeth." They are prefigured before us as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which "is the righteousness of the saints" [Revelation 19:8]. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven will first have followed Him on earth in trustful, loving, willing obedience; followed Him, not fretfully and capriciously, but confidently, truthfully, as the flock follows the shepherd.
Are these the ones who are bruising and imprisoning their fellowmen, humiliating them to the depraved association of those who compose the chain gang? Is this [spirit] the sign of those who follow the Lamb? No, no. All who do this work evidence that they have chosen the side of the one who was expelled from heaven, who was a falsifier of God, and who, by oppression, tries to compel God's chosen ones to worship an idol sabbath which is without one text of scripture for its authority.
Did Christ give His followers any such lesson or example? No, He came not to break down the moral power of men, but to restore it. He came to break the power of oppression. His work was to release those who were in bondage to Satan. Those who say, "I am a child of God," yet do work that will grieve and oppress, executing cruel actions against their fellowmen, are not following the Lamb withersoever He goeth, but are followers of another leader. They develop the attributes of Satan, and make it manifest that they are participators and co-workers with him to bind, imprison, and condemn; to cause all the suffering possible to body and mind, because they cannot compel men to be untrue to God and dishonor His work and transgress His holy law.
These are the ones who have guile in their mouths. These are the ones who profess to be followers of Christ, while they are following a leader who was expelled from the courts of heaven. These men, who are working unrighteousness with such zeal, show before the whole world and universe that, if Christ were upon the earth as at His first advent, they would do as did the unbelieving Jews--follow Him as spies, seeking to get Him to say something which they could use against Him to condemn Him to death. If they had opportunity and power, they would do as did Nebuchadnezzar, when he set up his golden image on the plains of Dura.
It is the spirit that dwells in the children of disobedience that decides their future eternal destiny. Men who conceal their convictions of duty, because they are afraid of suffering persecution, are not following the true, but the false shepherd. To maintain principles at all hazards is the highest path one can travel, because by doing this we follow Jesus. That which has a "Thus saith the Lord" is right and expedient. God has said, "He that walketh uprightly walketh surely" [Proverbs 10:19]. If you suffer for the truth's sake, you are partakers with Christ in His suffering, and will be partakers with Him in His glory.
God is weary of professional falseness and hollow hypocrisy. "And in their mouths was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God" [Revelation 14:5]. What grand words; how cheering and uplifting. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He hath walked uprightly and work righteousness, and kept the truth in his heart. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation" [Psalms 24:3-5].
The third angel's message, following the first and second, which have proclaimed the hour of God's judgment and the fall of mystical Babylon, is proclaimed in louder and more explicit tones, giving a warning to all co-workers in the great antichristian apostasy. "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues [Revelation 18:1-5].
The whole chapter is full of importance, and is of consequence to every human agent. Consider this matter; it will bear close searching. The men who are denying the Sabbath instituted by God Himself, who are trampling upon the commandments of God, are the devil's spies who seek to find accusation against those who will not reverence a man-made institution and worship an idol sabbath. The observance of the seventh day according to the commandment, reveals to them a neglect of duties which they owe to God. If there were not a people voicing the third angel's message, they would have no conscientious scruples for Sunday observance, but it is the truth that they do not wish to receive. The Jews did not want their customs and practices to be disturbed; neither do the professed Christian world of today wish to be disturbed. They reject the message of truth, which God in mercy has sent to them to arouse their moral sensibilities. The Jews treated Christ just as professed Christians today would treat Him should he come as He did at His first advent.
The world is in co-partnership with the professed Christian churches in making void the law of Jehovah. God's law is set aside; it is trampled underfoot, and from all the loyal people of God, the prayer will ascend to heaven, "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126]. Satan is making his last and most powerful effort for the mastery; his last conflict against the principles of God's law. A defiant infidelity abounds.
After John's description of Revelation 16 of that miracle-working power which was to gather the world to the last great conflict, the symbols are dropped, and the trumpet voice once more gives a certain sound: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" [Revelation 16:15]. After the transgression of Adam and Eve, they were naked, for the garments of light and security had departed from them. The world will have forgotten the admonition and warnings of God, as did the inhabitants of the Noatic world; as did also the dwellers of Sodom. They awoke with all their plans and inventions of iniquity, but suddenly the showers of fire came from heaven and consumed the godless inhabitants. "Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" [Luke 17:20].
The world, full of rioting, full of godless pleasure, is asleep; asleep in carnal security, putting afar off the coming of the Lord, laughing at warnings, calling those who try to arouse their attention almost fanatics, enthusiasts, not level headed. The lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God are taken unawares. This is the proud boast that is made: "All things remain as they were from the beginning. Tomorrow shall be as this day, only much more abundant. We will go deeper into pleasure-loving" [see Isaiah 56:12]. But said Christ, "Behold, I come as a thief" [Revelation 16:15].
When the scorner, the rejecter of truth has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is being carried on without regard to principle; when the student is fully engaged in ambitious aims to obtain knowledge of everything but the Bible, Christ comes as a thief. The warning has been given, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up" [Matthew 24:42, 43]. Every hour that passes is one less for you to make preparations of character for this great event.
The Sabbath is God's memorial of His creative work, and it is a sign that is to be kept before the world.
There is to be no compromise with those who are worshiping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors.
A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" [Revelation 14:12]. This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God's memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and the disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance....
When the people accept and exalt a spurious sabbath, and turn souls away from obedience and loyalty to God, they will reach the point that was reached by the people in the days of Christ....They are placing upon a false sabbath divine honors, and when this is fully done, persecution will break forth upon those who observe the Sabbath that God gave in Eden as a memorial of His creative power. Then the commandments of God will be clothed with sacred garments and will be pronounced holy.
Shall anyone then choose to hide his banner to relax his devotion? Shall the people whom God has honored and blessed and prospered, refuse to bear testimony in behalf of God's memorial at the very time when such a testimony should be borne? Shall not the commandments of God be more highly esteemed when men pour contempt upon the law of God?...
When the law of God is made void, when His holy name is dishonored, when it is considered disloyal to the laws of the land to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath, when wolves in sheep's clothing, through blindness of mind and hardness of heart, are seeking to compel the conscience, shall we give up our loyalty to God?--No, no. The wrongdoer is filled with satanic hatred against those who are loyal to the commandments of God, but the value of God's law as a rule of conduct must be manifested. The zeal of those who obey the Lord will increase as the world and the church unite in making void the law. They will say with the Psalmist, "I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold: [Psalms 119:127].
This is what will be sure to occur when the law of God is made void by a national act. When Sunday is exalted and sustained by law, then the principle that actuates the people of God will be made manifest, as the principles of the three Hebrews was made manifest when Nebuchadnezzar commanded them to worship the golden image in the plains of Dura. We can see what our duty is when the truth is overborne by falsehood.
The law of God cannot be made void by the law of a nation. When the law is trampled in the dust, the sacredness of the commandments of God will be vindicated by those who are loyal to Him. We are to make no railing accusations against the nations, for this would close our way so we could not set the light before the people. Every objection raised against the commandments of God will make a way for the advancement of truth, and enable its advocates to present its value before men. There is a beauty and force in the truth that nothing can make so apparent as opposition and persecution. When this is revealed, many will be converted to the truth.
All who advocate truth in distinction to error have a special work to do in vindicating the law of God. Men inspired by a power from beneath have considered it their duty to uphold as the Sabbath of the Lord the first day of the week. By thus disregarding the claims of God, ministers who claim to preach the gospel are voicing the words of Satan who told Adam and Eve that, if they transgressed the law, they would not die, but would be as gods, knowing good and evil.
By their influence and example these false shepherds have caused a lie to be received as truth. With persevering energy they have labored to establish a spurious sabbath, and this man-made institution has received the homage of the greater part of the world. But this does not make a day holy which God has given as a common working day. Though this error be hoary with age, though the world bow in reverence to it, it still remains an error and a delusion, for God says, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" [Isaiah 8:20].
Well-nigh universal contempt is shown to the law of God, and all who are loyal to Him have a sacred and solemn work to do in magnifying the law and making it honorable. God placed His sanctity upon the seventh day, and gave it to man to keep holy; and He says, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips" [Psalms 89:34]. By rendering obedience to His commandments, we uphold the honor of God in the earth.
Satan works against the law with untiring energy, and God calls upon His people to be witnesses for Him by pressing the battle to the gates. This work must advance or it will go backward. In this war there is no release. Those who take part in it must put on the whole armor of God, that they may fight manfully the warfare against evil.
The sign or seal of God is the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of His work of creation. "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" [Exodus 31:12-13]. Here the Sabbath is clearly defined as a sign between God and His people.
The mark of the beast is the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority, seen in the man of sin,--thinking to change times and laws,--and those who acknowledge the authority of God....
A refusal to obey the commandments of God, and a determination to cherish hatred against those who proclaim these commandments leads to the most determined war on the part of the dragon, whose whole energies are brought to bear against the commandment-keeping people of God. "He causeth all, both small and great...to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads" [Revelation 13:16]. Not only are men not to work with their hands on Sunday, but with their minds they are to acknowledge Sunday as the Sabbath. "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" [verse 17]....
On which side are we ranging ourselves?--on the side of the dragon, who was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ? "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs," writers John, "come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" [Revelation 16:14].
On which side are you standing?--on the side of those that worship the beast and his image?
A vast reformation would be wrought upon the world if the veil of the future could be lifted, and all could see and understand that very soon there is to be a change in the attitude of God in His dealings with the perversity of man....
There are diligent students of the word of prophecy in all parts of the world who are obtaining light and still greater light from searching the Scriptures. This is true of all nations, of all tribes, and all peoples. These will come from the grossest error and will take the places of those who have had opportunities and privileges, and have not prized them. These have worked out their own salvation with fear and trembling, lest they...become deficient in doing the ways and will of God, while those who have had great light, have through the perversity of their own natural hearts, turned away from Christ, because [they were] displeased with their requirements.
But God will not be left without witness. The one-hour laborers will be brought in at the eleventh hour and will consecrate their entrusted means to advance the work. These will receive the reward for their faithfulness, because they are true to principle and shun not their duty to declare the whole counsel of God. When those who have had abundance of light throw off the restraint which the Word of God imposes and make void His law, others will come in to fill their places and take their crowns....
While many have reduced the Word, the Truth, the Holy Law of Jehovah to a dead letter, and by their example testify that the Law of Jehovah is a hard, rigorous burden, while they said: "we will lay off this yoke; we will be free; we will no longer remain in covenant relation with God; we will do as we please," there will be men who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew not any other or better way to whom beams of light will come...and the one supposed to be a hardened sinner will be found to have a heart as tender as a child, because Christ has deigned to notice him.
Great is the work of the Lord. Men are choosing sides. Even those supposed to be heathen will choose the side of Christ, while those who become offended, as did the disciples, will go away and walk no more with Him, and others will come in and occupy the places they have left vacant. The time is very near when man shall have reached the prescribed limits. He has now exceeded the bounds of the long suffering of God, the limits of His grace, the limits of His mercy. The record of their works in the books of heaven is, "weighed in the balances, and found wanting." The Lord will interfere to vindicate his own honor, to repress the swellings of unrighteousness and bold transgression.
What effect will the attempt of men to make void the law of God have upon the righteous? Will they be intimidated because of the universal scorn that is put upon the holy law of God? Will the true believer in the "Thus saith the Lord" become wavering and ashamed because the whole world seems to despise His righteous law? Will they be carried away by the prevalence of evil? No! To those who have consecrated themselves to God to serve Him, the law of God becomes more precious, when the contrast is shown between the obedient and the transgressor.
In proportion as the attributes of Satan are developed in the despisers and transgressors of the law of God, the holy precept will become more dear and valuable to the faithful adherent. He will declare, "They have made void Thy law. Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold" [Psalms 119:126, 127]....It is the ones who have been faithful stewards of the grace of God, whose love of God's commandments grows with the contempt which those all around them would put upon them.
Wicked men and the church harmonize in this hatred of the law of God, and then the crisis comes. Then we see the class specified in Malachi 3:13-15--"Your words have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against Thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." Here are a company of disaffected professed Christians, whose chief business is to murmur and complain and accuse God by accusing the children of God. They see nothing defective in themselves, but very much to displease in others.
But while they are murmuring and complaining and falsely accusing and doing Satan's work most zealously, another class is brought to our notice--"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord harkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not" [verses 16-18].
This subject is urging itself upon my mind. I want you to consider it, for it is a matter of vast importance, with which of these two classes shall we identify our interests? We are now making our choice, and we shall soon discern between him that serveth God, and him that serveth Him not. Read the fourth chapter of Malachi, and think about it seriously. The day of God is right upon us. The world has converted the church. Both are in harmony and are acting on a shortsighted policy. Protestants will work upon the rulers of the land to make laws to restore the lost ascendancy of the man of sin, who sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Roman Catholic principles will be taken under the care and protection of the state. This national apostasy will be speedily followed by national ruin. The protest of Bible truth will no longer be tolerated by those who have not made the law of God their rule of action. Then will the voice be heard from the graves of the martyrs, represented by the souls John saw slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ which they held. Then the prayer will ascend from every true child of God, "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126]....
From time to time the Lord has made known the manner of His working. He is mindful of what is passing upon the earth. And when a crisis has come, He has revealed Himself, and has interposed to hinder the working out of Satan's plans. He has often permitted matters with nations, with families, and with individuals to come to a crisis, that His interference might become marked. Then He has let the fact become known that there is a God in Israel who sustains and vindicates His people.
When the defiance of the law of Jehovah shall be almost universal, when His people shall be pressed in affliction by their fellowmen, God will interpose. The fervent prayers of His people will be answered because He loves to have His people seek Him with all their heart and depend upon Him as their Deliverer. He will be sought to do things for His people and He will arise as the Protector and Avenger of His people. The promise is: The Lord will avenge His own elect, which cry unto Him day and night. [see Luke 18:7].
By looking constantly to Jesus, from morn till eve, with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. They feed upon His word, for it is spirit and life. This word kills the natural, earthly nature, and a new life in Christ Jesus is created. The Holy Spirit comes as a comforter to them. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the mold of the divine similitude. The image of Christ is reproduced in the human agent, and by the transforming efficacy of the grace of Christ he becomes a new creature. This is the new birth. [See John 1:14, 16].
The yearning after entire conformity to the will of God, after His Holiness and peace, opens the eyes of the understanding to see the doctrines of the word. Thus God's children are strengthened and established: they are..."steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord..." [1 Corinthians 15:58].
The Lord is soon to appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to take those who have received Him to the mansions He has gone to prepare for them. We are anxiously awaiting His coming. We need to keep the armor on. We need to be all that the name Christian signifies. We need to live in habitual communion with God our Saviour, abiding in Him.
Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. It is a conflict, a battle, a march day after day. All who reach the standard must learn the lesson that it is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. If we sit with Christ on His throne, we must be partakers with Him of his sufferings. "For it became him...in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering" [Hebrews 2:10]. Shall we then be timid and cowardly because of the trials we meet as we advance? Shall we not meet them without repining and complaints?...
At times I have had to face nearly the whole church in defense and vindication of the heaven-sent light. Yet God has upheld me, and these many years and unchangeable testimony has been borne....The puny arm of man has been powerless to hinder.
Though my heart is pained when I see how little the work given me by God is comprehended, yet I am neither discouraged nor disposed to yield up the work God has given me. I know that God has laid this work upon me. Any course that my brethren may take will not alter my mission or my work....
With every departure of our institutions from straight lines, with every new departure from right principles, strange methods and principles are brought in. But abuses come with them and follow one after another in endless succession....
God is calling for volunteers, for men who will not turn away from the truth they have strenuously advocated for years to advocate erroneous doctrines. Because some have not been diligent students, because they do not understand the true reasons of the genuine faith, there will be no less power or fewer laborers. Others will take the places in the ranks made vacant, who will be receptive, and who will appreciate the sacred character of truth.
At the eleventh hour, when the work grows harder and the people are more hardened, there will be a variety of talent brought in. These workers will prove faithful and receive their penny. Sacrificing men will step into the places made vacant by those who would not be fitted for a place in the heavenly temple. These resources will continue to come in. The Lord will provide openings and facilities. He will call upon the youth to fill up the places made vacant by deaths and apostasies. He will give young men and women, as well as those who are older, the cooperation of the heavenly intelligences. They will have converted characters, converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues. Their lips will be touched with a living coal from the divine altar. It they will learn the lesson of walking humbly before God, if they will not seek to invent new plans, but will do that which the Lord has appointed them to do, they will be enabled to carry God's plan onward and upward without narrowing it....
All who join the ranks of Sabbath-keepers should become diligent Bible students, that they may know the pillars and groundwork of the truth. They should study prophetic history, which has brought us down point by point to where we are at the present time...uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, even from Genesis to Revelation. Christ is the Alpha, the first link, and the Omega, the last link of the gospel chain, which is welded in Revelation....
With what care should every one come to the study of The Scriptures! With what a determination to know all that is possible for him to know of the reasons of every point of the faith. Especially should he study the Sanctuary question, and the first, second and third angels' messages....
There are souls to be saved, souls who must have the truth for this time from the word of God, to prepare them for that which is opening before us. Satan is moving with intensity from beneath, and is bringing all his forces to bear to unsettle those who have once been established in the truth. These are the very ones who, by yielding up the truth which they have once advocated, can do the greatest harm to the cause of God. Quite a large number will enter this path, because the truth they once believed has not been brought into their life-practice. But those who depart from the faith and refuse to give the last message of warning to the world will walk in paths in which the Lord does not lead. Satan goes before them, clothed as an angel of light. They will follow on in false paths until they shall discern what is comprehended in the wrath of the Lamb.
Angels are holding the four winds, represented as an angry horse seeking to break loose and rush over the face of the whole earth, bearing destruction and death in its path....I tell you in the name of the Lord God of Israel that all injurious, discouraging influences are held in control by unseen angel hands until everyone that works in the fear and love of God is sealed in his forehead.
How could the fathers work in harmony with the directions here given (to keep Saturday holy), while accompanying their children to the school room on the academy on the Sabbath, the day that God has sanctified and blessed?...How can fathers consent to their children attending school on the Sabbath, on any part of the Sabbath, the same as on any common week day? Here is a cross to lift, here the line of separation is drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. This is the sign that there is a people who will not make void the law of God although it is a sacrifice to themselves. Here we may bear our testimony to the world of our allegiance to the Creator and governor of the world. Here the testimony is borne to the world of the truthfulness of the Sabbath.
One teacher (SDA) stated before the church that he thought it right to send the children on the Sabbath, quoting the words of Christ, "It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath Day" [see Matthew 12:12]. The question is, shall we transgress the plain letter of the Commandment in order that our children may be educated in the schools? In the very act of giving them lessons in which there is no sacredness, the Sabbath, that is to be a test to the world, a sign between God and His people, is brought down to a level with the common working days. When we see the law of God made void in our world, then it is the work of every loyal child of God to elevate the standard and show that they are hearkening diligently to the voice of God and teaching His statutes to His children.
Has God made a distinction between the Sabbath and the six working days? If he has done this, man must abide by His decision. The question is not left for each one to decide as his human wisdom shall dictate. God has not left His law for men to sanctify or profane. They are not left to cut and carve for the Almighty. They are to obey the laws of God instituted in Eden, and proclaimed from Mount Sinai....The Lord's chosen ones must take His law just as He has given it to them, and obey it right loyally, without seeking to change or alter one jot or tittle.
The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarkation between the loyal and true, and the disloyal and transgressor. This Sabbath God has enjoined, and, those who claim to be commandment-keepers, who believe that they are not under the proclamation of the third angel's message, will see the important part the Sabbath of the fourth commandment holds in that message. It is the seal of the living God. They will not lessen the claims of the Sabbath to suit their business or convenience.
The religious world is, to a large degree, following in the track of the Jews. The Pharisees taught for doctrine the commandments of men, making the Word of God void by their traditions, and this the religious teachers of today are doing by upholding the first day of the week, a day that bears not the divine credentials. They clothe their false sabbath with a garb of sanctity, and many would compel the observance by imprisonment and fines. Under the enemy's training their zeal will grow until, like the Jews, they will think they are doing God a service by heaping reproach upon those who keep the commandments of God....
As Nebuchadnezzar set up his golden image in the plains of Dura, and so exalted himself, so Satan exalts himself in the false sabbath, for which he has stolen the livery of heaven.
Man has no permission from God to nullify one precept of the decalogue and make it of none effect. He has no permission to lead the minds of others to bow to an idol or make laws compelling them to worship it. Of those who do this, God says, "This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" [Mark 7:6]. They place the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements. Yes, they exalt a spurious sabbath above the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Their obedience to man-made requirements makes their worship null and void. But God bears with their ignorance till light comes to them....
The Sabbath is God's memorial of creation and rest, and at the beginning of the Sabbath commandment, He gives the word of warning, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" [Exodus 20:8].
This movement, demanding that all observe as sacred an idol sabbath, resembles the act of Nebuchadnezzar in making the golden image and setting it up for all to worship....The Sunday idol is set up as was this image. Human laws demand that it be worshiped as sacred and holy, thus putting it where God's holy Sabbath should be. Men speak great swelling words, and exalt their power, placing themselves where God should be. Sitting in the temple of God. When Pilate said to Christ, "I find no fault in Him," the priests and elders declared, "we have a law, and by our law he ought to die" [John 19:7].
As the advisers of Nebuchadnezzar hit upon the scheme of ensnaring the Hebrew captives and causing them to bow to the idol by leading the king to proclaim that every knee should bow to the image, so men will strive today to turn God's people from their allegiance. But the men who sought to destroy Shadrach, Meshech and Abennego were themselves destroyed.
When power is allied with wickedness, it is allied to satanic agencies, and it will work to destroy those who are the Lord's property. The Protestant world have set up an idol sabbath in the place where God's Sabbath should be, and they are treading in the footsteps of the papacy. For this reason, I see the necessity of the people of God moving out of the cities into retired country places, where they may cultivate the land, and raise their own produce. Thus they may bring their children up in simple, healthful habits. I see the necessity of making haste to get all things ready for the crisis....
All false religions run counter to the commandments of God. Those who accept these religions have no inward purity and beauty. They depend on their position of authority to compel those who acknowledge God as their Creator and their Sovereign, to bow to human enactments without a question. They depend upon outward display, upon outward beauty, trusting to its subtle influence upon the senses.
When a church depends upon parade, ceremonies, and display, be sure that inward holiness is wanting. To make up for the absence of the Spirit of God, to conceal spiritual poverty and apostasy, the outside is made attractive.
John [the Revelator] was directed by the "Alpha and Omega" to a people who in the last days were making void the law of God. But these churches which have drunk deeply of the wine of Babylon are to hear a startling message of truth which will reveal to them their true position. The loud cry, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Revelation 14:8), has been, and will again be given.
This is the judgment appointed in that great day to be executed upon all who have deceived the inhabitants of the earth, and caused them to believe the fatal lies that have been presented as truth. This is plainly brought to view in Revelation 13. Let all who will, read this definite explanation of the apostate power against the law of God: "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven, and it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints" [Revelation 13:6-10]. Read to the close of the chapter.
In Revelation 14 John beholds another scene. He sees a people whose fidelity and loyalty to the laws of God's kingdom grows with the emergency. The contempt placed upon the law of God only makes them reveal more decidedly their love for that law. It increases with the contempt that is placed upon it....
By the Lord's appointment, all the evil that is countenanced and vindicated by a nation,--all injustice and oppression practiced against God's people for the truth's sake, all the device made to hinder and oppress them,--will return upon themselves. Mark God's dealings with nations, as recorded in His word. Selfishness and oppression practiced by one nation on another has always brought the sure result. That oppression which they have made others to suffer, has come upon the oppressors themselves. One part of the nation rises up against the other part, and God allows that nation to destroy itself....
Those who have allowed officers to rule and govern by despotic power, have created a spirit of retaliation, and this will react upon those who have caused pain and suffering to their fellow men. Those who for many years rested on the seventh, and who sanctified and blessed the day of His rest.
The Protestant world has taken this child of papacy and cherished it, and called it Christ's day--the Christian Sabbath. But it is a spurious sabbath, an idol, placed where the Lord's day should be. And, like Cain the transgressor, [the Protestant world] is exceedingly angry, because the whole world does not regard it with the sacredness of the Sabbath of the Lord....The everlasting gospel is to be proclaimed. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to very nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters" [Revelation 14:6, 7]. The attention of the people is to be called to the long neglected oracles of God. All kindreds and nations and people are to be aroused. Their minds are to be stirred, their attention called to the word of God. Men are to hear the message that proclaims the soon coming of Christ. All are to open their eyes, and unstop their ears, and hear the message of the first angel, "Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
That God who made the world is the only object to whom human beings should bow. God has not given to human beings the power to claim homage to themselves. He has given to none the power to become an object of worship....The man of sin is worshiped in the person of the pope and his representative, the cardinal. But God has not given this power to pope or prelate. The pope is not regarded by God as anything more than a man who is acting out in our world the character of the man of sin, representing in his claims that power and authority which Satan claimed in the heavenly courts.
Satan inspires these men who claim to be Christ's vicegerents upon earth. Prayers are offered to private saints in heaven for many favors. But these men are not in heaven. They lie in their graves until the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. Mary, the mother of our Lord, has not been raised. She is waiting the sound of the trump of God, which shall call the dead from their prison house. All the prayers offered to Mary fall to the ground. Mary's ears have not yet been pierced by the sound of the trump of God.
The question has been asked, "Do you not believe that we should pray to the dead apostles and saints? No; for this would teach for doctrine, not a "Thus saith the Lord," but the "Thus saith" of the man of sin, the son of perdition, "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" [2 Thessalonians 2:4].
"The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" [Verses 7-12]....
Those who trample upon God's law, make human laws which they will force the people to accept. Men will devise and counsel and plan what they will do. "The whole world keeps Sunday," they say, "and why should not this people, who are so few in number, do according to the laws of the land?" Because they are blinded by error, because they take their words from the lips of priests and human law-makers, they suppose that it does not matter if they do not keep the law of God instituted in Eden, when the foundations of the earth were laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. God's memorial was then given to man that he might honor the name of the living God who made the world in six days and sanctified and blessed the day of his rest.
We are nearing the close of this earth's history. Satan is making desperate efforts to make himself God, to speak and act like God, to appear as one who has a right to control the consciences of men. He strives with all his power to place a human institution in the position of God's holy rest day. Under the jurisdiction of the man of sin, men have exalted a false standard in complete opposition to God's enactment. But God has put His seal upon His royal requirement. Each Sabbath institution bears the name of its author--an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each. The first day of the week has not one particle of sanctity. It is the production of the man of sin, who strives in this way to counteract God's purposes.
God has designated the seventh day as His Sabbath, the memorial of the creation....This is the distinction drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. Those who have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. This is what distinguishes them from the disloyal, who have accepted a man-made institution in the place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God's rest-day is the mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not....
The substitution of the false for the true is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above the laws of God, when the first day of the week is exalted above the seventh, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity,--the transgression of His law,--and the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain....
Professing Christians think that the more contempt they place upon the law, the more commendable are they in God's sight....Those who are willing to be led by false theories and unsound doctrines, who build their hopes for eternity on sliding sand, will find, when trial comes, that storm and tempest will sweep away their refuge of lies. Their structure falls and they perish; they are lost, lost for eternity....
"Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name: and in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" [Matthew 7:22, 23]. Many mighty works are done under the inspiration of Satan, and these works will be more apparent in these last days....
There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes are recognized in the judgment--those who violate God's law, and those who keep that law. Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great day of battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth, all on His side bear His signet, they are obedient to His every command. On the other side stands the prince of darkness with those who have chosen apostasy and rebellion.
When the judgment shall sit and everyone shall be judged by the things written in the books, the authority of God's law will be looked upon in a light altogether different from that in which the Christian world now regards it....It will be recognized as holy, just, and good in all its requirements.
The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood to show that they were God's property. So every child of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. They will place themselves in harmony with God's holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God's people, just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings to preserve the people from general ruin. God declares, "I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them" [Ezekiel 20:12]....
There will be a sharp conflict between those who are loyal to God and those who cast scorn upon His law. The church has joined hands with the world. Reverence to God's law has been subverted. The religious leaders have taught for doctrines the commandments of men. As it was in the days Noah, so it is in this age of the world. But shall the prevalence of disloyalty and transgression cause those who have reverenced the law of God to have less respect for it, to unite with the powers of earth to make void God's law? The truly loyal will not be carried away by the current of evil. They will not throw scorn and contempt on that which God has set apart as holy. The test comes to everyone. There are only two sides. Which side are you on?
The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to infallibility, and, when the world and the Protestant churches accept a spurious sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Sabbath of Jehovah, they virtually acknowledge this claim. They may cite the authority of the apostles and fathers as evidence and authority for this change, but the fallacy of their reasoning is easily discerned. The papist is sharp enough to see that Protestants are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the Sunday institution gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome....The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the Authority of the Roman Church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in place of God's appointment.
No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testimony time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But, when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.
With rapid steps we are approaching this period. When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for the opposing of which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and state. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin....
The papacy is still the same. She may clothe herself in Christ-like garments, the better to carry forward her purposes, but she still retains the venom of the serpent. Her principles are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in churches, and in the hearts of men, but she is the same as in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up at the peril of their lives to expose her iniquity. Popery is the same as when it assumed the power to control kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Its spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when it crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.
Protestants have tampered with, and patronized popery by compromises and concessions, giving her vantage ground which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. The Protestant world needs to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty.
When the state shall enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church, then will Protestant America have formed an image of papacy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution as were God's people in ancient times....
Satan will excite the indignation of apostate Christendom against the humble remnant who conscientiously refuse to accept their customs and traditions. Blinded by the prince of darkness, popular religionists will see only as he sees, and feel as he feels. They will determine as he determines, and oppress as he oppresses. Liberty of conscience, which has cost this nation so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. The church and the world will unite, and the world will lend to the church her power to crush out the right of the people to worship God according to His word.
The decree which is to go forth against the people of God in the near future is in some respects similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman toward Mordecai....The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is now at work to gain control of the fallen churches, that through them he may condemn and put to death all who will not worship the idol sabbath. We have not to battle with men, as it may appear; we war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places. But if the people of God will put their trust in Him, and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai.
The decree is to go forth that all who will not receive the mark of the beast shall neither buy nor sell, and finally, that they shall be put to death. But the saints of God do not receive this mark. The prophet of Patmos beheld those that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb....
Paul writes to the Romans, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men" [Romans 12:18]. But there is a point beyond which it is impossible to maintain union and harmony without the sacrifice of principle. Separation then becomes an absolute duty. The laws of nations should be respected when they do not conflict with the laws of God. But when there is collision between them, every true disciple of Christ will say, as did the apostle Peter, when commanded to speak no more in the name of Jesus, "We ought to obey God rather than men" [Acts 5:29].
It is possible for man, by yielding to Satan in the association of the world, to lose his power to exercise his will in resisting temptation. The wiles of the enemy are constantly pressing in upon mind and soul to bind man as captive to the force of habit.
Each individual soul is on trial for his life. Has he given God that which belongs to Him? Has he surrendered to God all that is His as His purchased possession? All who cherish the Lord as their portion in this life will be under His control, and will receive the sign, the mark of God, which shows them to be God's special possession. Christ's righteousness will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their reward. The Lord protects every human being who bears His sign.
"And 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. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" [Exodus 31:12-17].
This recognition of God is of the highest value to every human being. All who love and serve Him are very precious in His sight. He would have them stand where they are worthy representatives of the truth as it is in Jesus.
The enemy knows that, if the church can be controlled by political enactments, she will lose her garments of light as did Adam and Eve. If he can lead the church to unite with the world and accept worldly enactments, they virtually acknowledge him as their head. Then the authority of man-made commandments will work to oppose the rule of the government of heaven. Under the leadership of Satan the knowledge of good and evil will work to dispense with the righteous, holy enactments of God concerning the Sabbath, the observance of which is to be sign between God and His people forever.
Satan's plan has taken hold with the religious world. He has created an order of things entirely his own, making void the law of God. He sits in the temple as God. Through his deceptive workings he has gained in the professedly Christian world all that he thought to gain in heaven--an abrogation of the law of Jehovah. Through the Roman power he has worked to remove God's memorial and has erected a memorial of his own, to sever God from His people; and today the Protestant world is estranged from God by their worship of a spurious sabbath. They cannot find one iota of divine authority for doing this, yet, full of zeal, they assert that the Lord's memorial given at creation should be ignored, despised, and trampled upon, and the first day of the week take its place....
Every man will decide his own case by his decision in regard to the law of Jehovah, then the world will ripen for the harvest. Both classes will be developed, the sentiment of every heart will be revealed. Each party will gather under its chosen leader, as loyal to God and His commandments, or as transgressors of the law, with the first great rebel at their head.
All must wait for the appointed time, until the warning shall have gone to all parts of the world, until sufficient light and evidence has been given to every soul. Some will have less light than others, but each one will be judged according to the light received. Not until the fullness of the time shall come will the crucified and risen Saviour assume His equality with God. Patiently He has waited in the heavenly courts in behalf of His people who have suffered for their loyalty to Him. Patiently He waits for the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to all parts of the world until all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people have received the light of God's word.
He who endeavored to change God's law by instituting a spurious sabbath uses every device to induce men and women to unite with him in his apostasy....
God has declared that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord....But the great apostate says, "I will work at cross purposes with God. I will empower by delegate, the man of sin, to take down God's memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus I will 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 God, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people.
"I will lead the people to accept this day, to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day. Through my vicegerent I will exalt myself. The first day will be extolled, and the Protestant world will 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" [Exodus 31:13], I will make to serve on the side of my Sabbath. Thus the world will be mine. I will be the ruler of the earth, Prince of this world.
I will so control the minds under my power that God's Sabbath will 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 law will be made so stringent that men and women will not dare 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....
When every case is decided in the courts of heaven, this covenant [the ten commandments] 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.
There is a great work to be done. The last message of mercy is being given to the world. Everything in the political world is stirred with agitation. There are wars and rumors of wars. The nations are angry, and the time of the dead that they should be judged.
A most solemn and important work is to be done in our world by God's people. This work is represented by the third angel flying in the midst of heaven. The third angel's message is preceded by the messages of the first and second angels. The first angel's message proclaims the hour of God's judgment. The second declares the fall of Babylon. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" [Revelation 14:6-10].
These messages must go to all the inhabitants of the world. The Lord is soon to come, and He calls upon all whom He has entrusted His capital to invest it in His work as it demands help. His money is not to be shut up in banks and buildings and lands, when there is such a great work to be accomplished. The Lord will not send His judgments for disobedience and transgression upon the world until He has sent His watchmen to give the message of warning....
John beholds a people distinct and separate from the world, who refuse to worship the beast or his image, who bear God's sign, keeping holy His Sabbath. Of them the apostle writes, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" [Revelation 14:12].
"After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" [Revelation 18:1-5].
What is sin?--"the transgression of the law" [1 John 3:4]. God denounces Babylon, "because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" [Revelation 14:8]. This means that she has disregarded the only commandment that points out the true God, and has torn down the Sabbath, God's memorial of creation.
God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, sanctifying this day, and setting it apart from all others as holy to Himself, to be observed by His people throughout their generations. But the man of sin, exalting himself above God, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself to be God, [has] thought to change times and laws. This power, thinking to prove that it was not only equal to God, but above God, changed the rest day, placing the first day of the week where the seventh should be. And the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy to be regarded as sacred. This is called in the Word of God her fornication.
God has a controversy with the churches today. They are fulfilling the prophecy of John. "All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." They have divorced themselves from God by refusing to receive His sign. They have not the spirit of God's true commandment-keeping people. And the people of the world, in giving their sanction to a false sabbath, and in trampling under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
God set the seventh day apart as the day of His rest. But the man of sin has set up a false sabbath, which the kings and merchants of the earth have accepted and exalted above the Sabbath of the Bible. In doing this, they have chosen a religion like that of Cain's, who slew his brother Abel. Cain and Abel both offered sacrifice to God. Abel's offering was accepted because he complied with God's requirements. Cain's was rejected because he followed his own human inventions. Because of this he became very angry that he would not listen to Abel's entreaties or to God's warning and reproofs, but slew his brother.
By accepting a spurious rest day the churches have dishonored God. The people of the world accept the falsehood, and are angry because God's commandment-keeping people do not respect and reverence Sunday. God says, "Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her" [Revelation 18:5-8].
God declares, "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" [Revelation 14:9-10]. God will punish those who attempt to compel their fellowmen to keep the first day of the week. They tempt them to deny their allegiance to God. They accept the fruit of the forbidden tree, and try to force others to eat of it. They will try to compel their fellow men to work on the seventh day of the week and rest on the first. God says of them, "They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation" [Verse 10].
"Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep," the Lord says, "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" [Exodus 31:13]. Some will seek to place obstacles in the way of Sabbath observance, saying, "You do not know what day is the Sabbath;" but they seem to understand when Sunday comes, and have manifested great zeal in making laws for its observance, as though they could control the consciences of men.
God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them; as a test of their loyalty. Those who, after the light regarding God's law comes to them, continue to disobey, and exalt human laws above the law of God in the great crisis before us, will receive the mark of the beast. The prosperity of God's people is dependent on their obedience. The Lord declares: "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them: And then the Lord's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you" [Deuteronomy 11:13-17].
In His dealings with ancient Israel God has given us an illustration of the result that will follow an unrighteous, disobedient course. He will punish all who make His glory to be reproached, even as He punished the children of Israel. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, even as Jerusalem, by her own course of action, was humiliated and brought low. Her people chose Barabbas, and God left them to their choice. They would not submit to God's way, and He permitted them to have their own way, and to carry out the purposes of their unsanctified hearts.
Christ warned the Jews of their danger, and entreated them to return to God, and they were too proud to accept His overtures of mercy. They persisted in a course of rebellion, and as a result the protection of God's heavenly intelligences was withdrawn from them....
Those who think they are pleasing God by obeying some other law than His, and by performing works other than those the gospel has enjoined, are mocking God. They are insulting the Holy One of Israel. Warning after warning has been given....
When Christ saw in the Jewish people a nation divorced from God, He saw also a professed Christian church united to the world and the papacy. And as He stood upon Mount Olivet, weeping over Jerusalem till the sun sank behind the western hills, so He is watching over, and pleading with sinners in these last moments of time. Soon He will say to the angels who are holding the four winds, "Let the plagues loose. Let darkness, destruction, and death come upon the transgressors of My law." Will He be obliged to say to those who have had great light and great knowledge, as He said to the Jews, "O that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." [see Luke 19:42].
Writing of the last days, John says, "The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail" [Revelation 11:18, 19].
When God's temple in heaven is opened, what a triumphant time that will be for all those who have been faithful and true! In the temple will be seen the ark of the testament in which were placed the two tables of stone, on which were written God's law. These tables of stone will be brought forth from their hiding-place, and on them will be seen the ten commandments engraved by the finger of God. These tables of stone now lying in the ark of the testament will be a convincing testimony to the truth and binding claims of God's law.
From every nation, kindred, tongue and people is to be gathered out a people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. This is the work to be accomplished in these last days. Since Satan's rebellion in heaven against the commandments of God, he has kept up a continual warfare against these commandments, and he will continue to carry on his work relentlessly to the end.
John the Revelator represented the forces of the earth as four winds, which are held in check by angels delegated to do this work. He declares: "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" [Revelation 7:1-3].
From this vision we can learn why so many are preserved from calamity. If these winds were allowed to blow upon the earth, they would create havoc and desolation. But the world's intricate machinery is running under the Lord's supervision. Hurricanes, threatening to break forth, are held under control by the regulations of the One who is the Protector of the trembling ones that fear God and keep His commandments. The Lord holds back the tempestuous winds. He will not suffer them to go forth on their death-mission of vengeance until His servants are sealed in their foreheads.
Frequently we hear of earthquakes, of tempests and tornadoes, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Apparently these are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces. But God has a purpose in permitting these calamities to occur. They are one of His means of calling men and women to their senses. By unusual workings through nature, God will express to doubting human agencies that which He clearly reveals in His Word....
Local disturbances in nature are permitted to take place as symbols of that which may be expected all over the world when the angels loose the four winds of the earth. The forces of nature are under the direction of an eternal Agency.
Science, in her pride, may seek to explain strange happenings on land and on sea, but science fails of tracing in these things the workings of Providence. Science fails of perceiving that intemperance is the cause of most of the frequent accidents so terrible in their results. Men on whom devolve grave responsibilities in safeguarding their fellowmen from accident and harm, are often untrue to their trust. Because of indulgence of tobacco and liquor, they do not keep the mind clear and composed....
The same hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at once begin the work of destruction that he has long desired to accomplish. And because God's long-continued forbearance is not now recognized, the forces of evil are already, to a limited degree, permitted to destroy. How soon human agencies will see blotted out of existence their magnificent buildings, which are their pride!...
All these symbolic representations [Revelation 7:1-3; Proverbs 8:29; 30:4; Psalms 29:10; 104:32; 135:7] serve a double purpose. From them God's people learn, not only that the physical forces of the earth are under the control of the Creator, but also that under His control are the religious movements of the nations. Especially is this true with reference to the enforcement of Sunday observance. He who gave His people, through His servant Moses, instruction in regard to the sanctity of the Sabbath...will in the hour of trial preserve those who keep this day as a sign of loyalty to Him....
In the last days Satan will appear as an angel of light, with great power and heavenly glory, and claim to be the Lord of the whole earth. He will declare that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week, and, as lord of the first day of the week, he will present this spurious sabbath as a test of loyalty to him. Then will take place the final fulfillment of the Revelator's prophecy. [Revelation 13:4-8, 11-18 quoted].
In connection with this scripture, the entire fourteenth chapter of Revelation should be studied much by God's people. Verses nine to eleven bring to view the special message of warning against worshiping the beast and his image, and receiving his mark in the forehead or in the hand. This warning is to be given by those who are mentioned in the twelfth verse as keeping "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
At one time while I was in Australia, those in charge of our school at Avondale came to me, saying, "What shall we do? The officers of the law have been commissioned to arrest those working on Sunday." I said, "It will be very easy to avoid that difficulty. Give Sunday to the Lord as a day for doing missionary work. Take the students out to hold meetings in different places, and do medical missionary work. They will find the people at home, and will have a splendid opportunity to present the truth. This way of spending Sunday is always acceptable to the Lord....
During the time of the end the activity of Satan's servants will greatly increase. The activity of God's servants is to increase proportionately. Christian is to unite with Christian, church with church, in the accomplishment of God's work, and all are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Angels are ascending and descending the ladder of shining brightness, arrayed for the defense of God's people. They are commissioned to draw nearer and still nearer to those who are fighting in defense of their faith....
Those who place themselves under God's control, to be guided and controlled by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. A holy consuming emulation will take possession of them. Let the church have increased faith, catching zeal from their unseen, heavenly allies, from the knowledge of their exhaustless resources, from the greatness of the enterprise in which they are engaged, and from the power of the Leader. Let them gain from God strength for the accomplishment of the great work to be done for the most needy people in this Christian nation [the blacks].
It is only the power of God that can hold the four winds, that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. A most important work is to be done in Washington [D.C.]....Sooner or later Sunday laws will be passed. But there is much for God's servants to do to warn the people. This work has been greatly retarded by their having to wait and stand against the devising of Satan, which have been striving to find a place in our work....
We are to humble ourselves before the Lord and at the same time we are to be as firm as a rock to principle. God's law is to be vindicated by the obedience of heart and mind, and by strong arguments.
We are every one of us to look from finite man to the Omnipotent God, who has the ownership of all to whom He has given life. They are under His government, and when finite rulers make laws that conflict with a plain "Thus saith the Lord," we are to obey the law of God. Shall man dare to take the place of God, setting aside the laws of the Ruler of the universe, and placing in their stead human enactments? Shall he dare to compel obedience to these human laws?
Here is where the man of sin finds his place in prophecy. What is sin?--The Lord defines it as "the transgression of the law,"--the law of Him who holds the life of every human being in His hands, and by whom everyone will be judged according to his works. Hereafter, when the Lord shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, every man will know who is God. Those who have trampled upon His law will then realize the sinfulness of sin.
God exalted the seventh day, placing upon it His signature, but man, exalting himself above God, places the Sabbath of the Lord out of sight, and exalts a day that has no sanctity but that given by the papal power. In this the man of sin "exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" [2 Thessalonians 2:4].
The twenty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel records the representation that was given to him of the punishment that would come upon all who would refuse the word of the Lord.
[Ezekiel 24:6-24 quoted].
I am instructed to present these words before those who have had light and evidence, but who have walked directly contrary to the light. The Lord will make the punishment of those who will not receive His admonitions and warnings, as broad as the wrong has been. The purposes of those who have tried to cover up their wrong, while they have secretly worked against the purposes of God, will be fully revealed. Truth will be vindicated. God will make manifest that He is God.
There is a spirit of wickedness at work in the church, that is striving at every opportunity to make void the law of God, while the Lord may not punish unto death, those who have carried their rebellion to such great lengths, the light will never again shine with such convincing power upon the stubborn opposer of truth. Sufficient evidence is given to every soul regarding what is truth and what is error. But the deceptive power of evil upon some is so great, that they will not receive the evidence and respond to it by repentance.
A long continual resistance of truth will harden the most impressionable heart. Those who reject the spirit of truth place themselves under the control of a spirit that is opposed to the word and work of God. For a time they may continue to teach some phases of the truth, but their refusal to accept all the light that God sends, will, after a time, place them where they will do the work of a false watchman.
The time will not be long delayed when a false sabbath will be exalted and men will be commanded to regard as sacred a day that has no sanctity in it. This spurious sabbath will be made a testing question with all.
John writes, "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell upon the earth, and to every nation, kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" [Revelation 14:6-8]. How is this done?--by forcing men to accept a spurious sabbath.
The trifling moves made and the delay have had the result of encouraging Sunday observance, and this false theory has been zealously urged to the front. Our people have not done all that they might have done. The real question at issue is yet to be met with. When it does speak, Satan will appear with the dragon. Long before this, we should have placed ourselves decidedly before the world and before the churches as a people observing the true Sabbath....The Sunday question has been working its way to the front. It is our duty not to act as a church asleep. Those at the head of the Sunday movement will wrestle for the victory....
I am instructed to call upon our people everywhere to awake and prepare for the judgment by doing thorough work in binding up with Christ. They are not to sit in calm expectancy of the storm that is coming from the power of darkness, comforting themselves with the thought that they will be sheltered and safe. They are to work with every God-given capability to save a perishing world, speaking a word in season to those who need light and instruction. Satan is not idle. He has been gathering into his ranks ministers and everyone else whom he could induce to accept his erroneous theories. Ministers who were once with us have been drawn away by their own desire to bring out something new and strange.
Those who have received the evidence of the Word of God concerning the verity of the Lord's holy day are to bear in mind that the line of demarcation between Sabbath-keepers and those who observe the day upon which no sanctity has been placed by the Lord, is never to be obliterated. We have a special work to do, and this work we are most earnestly to carry forward.