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    August 10, 1903

    “The Sabbath of the Lord” Australasian Signs of the Times 18, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “I am convinced that the seventh day is the only true Sabbath, and that I ought to keep it. Can you provide me with work that will enable me to do so, or tell me where I can obtain it?”BEST August 10, 1903, par. 1

    This is a sample of letters that we occasionally receive from our readers. The question shows that the questioner does not yet really know the Sabbath and its Lord.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 2

    The Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day of the week, on which the Lord rested after having created the heavens and earth in six days, is the memorial of God’s creative power. It is the sign of the power by which He makes men free. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Romans 1:16. The power of God is seen in the things that are made. Verse 20. So the Sabbath is the sign of God’s power to save. Therefore he who knows the Sabbath as God has given it, has no need to ask for the way to be made easy for him to keep it, because in the keeping of it he finds the way. It marks the measure of the power of God, who can make a way through the midst of the sea.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 3

    CHRISTIANITY AND HEATHENISM

    The difference between the two is that the first is trust in a God who cannot be seen, while the second must have a god which can be seen. The Christian who endures “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27), does not need to see the way before him; but the heathen, who cannot get along without a god that his natural eyes can see, must be able to see the end before he will begin, since he has to walk alone. The one who must “see his way” before he will begin to walk, is the same as the one who must see his god. If the Israelites had insisted on seeing their way before they proceeded to cross the Red Sea or the Jordan, they would never have reached the promised land.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 4

    The Saviour, after showing how God feeds the birds, and clothes the grass, and pointing out that He will much more clothe us, said: “Be not anxious, therefore, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:31-38, R.V. In these words the Lord shows us that Christianity means trust, while distrust is heathenism.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 5

    DEATH DOES NOT END ALL

    But someone will say that we do not touch the real point. They do not fear man, but it is a question of life or death. We know that there are many who see their duty to keep the Sabbath of the Lord, but who are deterred by the fact that the keeping of it would almost certainly mean the loss of their situation. One man wrote to us: “The thought of hearing my children cry for bread is a very great difficulty in my mind.” We sincerely sympathise with such, and we know that there are many. But when such ones see the Sabbath not merely as a duty, but as a blessed privilege, as the introduction to the Lord Himself, who owns the earth and its fulness, such difficulties will vanish.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 6

    It is indeed a sad thing to hear children cry for bread; but He who “giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry” (Psalm 147:9), will not disregard the cry of children.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 7

    The Sabbath, which rests on God’s word, carries with it all the promises of God’s Word to support the man who embraces it. It is the great test of trust in God’s word, and is thus the great seal of Christianity.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 8

    “But would you counsel a man with a large family depending on him, to begin to keep the Sabbath when it will mean the loss of his sole means of earning a living?” We would simply counsel a man to obey the word of the Lord, and to trust in the promises of the Lord of the Sabbath. God has said that He knows what we need, and that He cares more for us than earthly parents care for their children. The question is, Do we believe Him? A man must believe Him sufficiently to trust his life in His hands, or else his observance of the seventh day would not be true Sabbath-keeping. The man who says, “I will keep the Sabbath if you will provide me with employment whereby I can make a living,” does not yet know what the Sabbath is, and therefore could not keep it. A man might as well not profess to keep the Sabbath, as to profess to keep it while trusting in man instead of in God. No one but God can ensure a man a living.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 9

    Everything comes from God. Even the wicked derive their support from Him. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Acts 17:25. Now since He provides even for those who blaspheme His name, is it not reasonable to suppose that He will care for His own? We may reason thus: “All these years I have been disobeying God, yet He has fed me; surely He will not cast me off now when I turn to Him to obey Him.”BEST August 10, 1903, par. 10

    Let it be remembered, however, that the promises of God are not simply for this life. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is, to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8. But while God has promises for the present life, He has not promised that it shall continue for ever. In other words, He has not promised immortality before the coming of Christ. He has had faithful followers in all ages, but except in a few cases they are all dead. Let no one think therefore that it is an absolute necessity that this present life should be preserved at all hazards. Jesus said, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 16:25, 26.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 11

    God alone knows the life and times of men; and when He is willing that one of His servant’s should cease from labour, it is well. So if by any possibility a man should starve to death as a consequence of serving the Lord, that would not be the worst thing that could befall him, although it would be the first time such a thing ever happened. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”BEST August 10, 1903, par. 12

    Although God does not allow His servants to starve to death, He does suffer them to die for His sake. Thousands of men, with families depending on them, have died at the stake rather than disobey God. Their names and memories are honoured; yet many who honour them will refuse to serve the Lord if it means inconvenience. Men discourse eloquently of how their fathers died for the truth’s sake; yet they themselves think that they cannot serve the Lord if it will cost them anything.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 13

    Now all this talk about people’s not being able to serve God, because they are likely to lose their living if they do, is really an outgrowth of the heathen idea that death ends all. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, because he felt that he was about to die, and he thought, “What good will this birthright do me?” He had no conception of any inheritance beyond the grave. But the promises of God are for this present life only to the end that men may “lay hold on eternal life.” The man who dies in the service of God, gains his life in losing it. God is the living God, and He gives life. His servants know that the present life is of no profit whatever, except as it is the means of gaining the life to come; and if they lose this in gaining that, they have got full value out of it.BEST August 10, 1903, par. 14

    So to-day the Word of the Lord says to people as it did of old, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Happy is the man who can say in the face of the greatest difficulties, and even of death itself, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”BEST August 10, 1903, par. 15

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