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Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346]

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    MR No. 277—The Sabbath

    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.5MR 78.1

    Oh, if the world could only know this perilous fact, and turn away from the course which they are pursuing! How shortsighted is the policy that is being brought in by the rulers in the land to restore to the man of sin his lost ascendancy! They are manifesting wonderful zeal in taking this spurious sabbath under the care and protection of their legislatures; but they know not what they are doing. 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 commandment of men will be clothed with sacred garments, and will be pronounced holy.—Manuscript 15, 1896, 14, 15. (“Revelation,” April 27, 1896.)5MR 78.2

    The people of God will have all the test that they can bear. The Sabbath question is a test that will come to the whole world. We need nothing to come in now to make a test for God's people that shall make more severe for them the test they already have.—Letter 19, 1897, p. 3. (To Elder J. H. Haughey, July 4, 1897.)5MR 78.3

    How could the fathers work in harmony with the directions here given, while accompanying their children to the schoolroom or the academy on the Sabbath, the day that God has sanctified and blessed? How can they repeat the words of Moses, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye shall do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.5MR 78.4

    “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons and thy sons’ sons.”5MR 79.1

    With such special directions as these, how can fathers consent to their children attending school on the Sabbath, or any part of the Sabbath, the same as on any common weekday? 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 at 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.5MR 79.2

    One teacher 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.” 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, which is to be a test to the world, a sign between God and His people, is brought down on 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 we are hearkening diligently to the voice of God and teaching His statutes to his children.5MR 79.3

    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 in such awful grandeur that the people “did exceeding fear and quake.” 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.—Manuscript 34, 1897, 9, 10. (“Two Opposing Armies; The Sabbath, the Real Test,” undated.)5MR 80.1

    On Friday the clothing of the children is to be looked after. During the week, they should be all laid out by their own hands under the direction of the mother, so that they can dress quietly, without any confusion or rushing about, and hasty speeches. Then come to the table without levity. Boisterous noise and contention should not be allowed any day of the week; but on the Sabbath all should observe quietness. No loud-toned commands should be heard at any time; but on the Sabbath it is entirely out of place. This is God's holy day, the day He has set apart to commemorate His creative works, a day He has sanctified and hallowed.—Manuscript 57, 1897, 7, 8. (Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy,” undated.)5MR 80.2

    The worship of a common working day, and the multitudinous ceremonies in connection with this false sabbath, are of the same nature as the wrongs pointedly exposed by Christ when he said, “And many such things ye do.” The plain evidence of truth is not discerned. Laying aside the commandments of God as altogether unimportant, men follow tradition. They reject the commandments of God, that they may keep their own traditions. Common things are exalted above those that are sacred and heavenly.5MR 81.1

    The heavenly universe is amazed that in their credulity people transfer the benediction given to the seventh day to the first day of the week. 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.”—Manuscript 65, 1897, 4. (“Jewish Tradition,” June 6, 1897.)5MR 81.2

    The fourth command is the only command to which “Remember” is prefixed. God says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Do not forget it. “Ye shall do My judgments and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments; which if a man do he shall live in them: I am the Lord.” The Lord presents Himself as the authority for His requirements. There is to be no departure from the word of the Lord in order to exalt the word of man. God is authority, and what He says is to be done.—Manuscript 4a, 1898, p. 4. (“The True and the False,” typed January 9, 1898.)5MR 81.3

    If men and women would acknowledge the true Sabbath, they would not as they now do despise the word of God. The observance of the seventh day would be a golden chain binding them to their Creator. But the commandment which points out who the true God is—the Creator and Ruler of the earth—is dishonored and disobeyed. This is the reason why there is so little stability in the world. The churches have refused God's sign and misrepresented His character. They have torn down God's sacred rest day, exalting a spurious sabbath in its place. Oh, that men would cease to lock themselves out of heaven by their own perversities.—Manuscript 28, 1900, 10, 11. (“Obedience or Disobedience,” typed May 10, 1900.)5MR 82.1

    When it is made a crime for My people to keep holy the Sabbath, then will I arise out of My place and punish the world for its iniquity. The earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.—Manuscript 33, 1900, 5. (“Unfaithful Shepherds,” typed June 25, 1900.)5MR 82.2

    A breach has been made in the law of God, and He is calling for a people that will repair this breach. A spurious Sabbath has been exalted instead of the Sabbath of Jehovah. Soon laws will be passed compelling all to observe the first day of the week instead of the seventh. We must meet this difficulty, and we shall find trouble enough, without stirring up contention among those who profess to be keeping God's commandments.—Manuscript 43, 1908, 7. (Sermon, “Lessons from the Fifty-eighth of Isaiah,” March 14, 1908.)5MR 82.3

    With these plain words [Exodus 31:16, 17] before us, who of those who know the truth will dare to make less prominent the distinguishing features of our faith. It is an established fact, to be made prominent before all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, that the Lord God made the world in six days, and rested on the seventh day. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and on the Seventh-day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.”—Manuscript 162, 1903, 5. (“Written for Our Admonition,” June 29, 1903.)5MR 83.1

    We are very anxious for the success of the work and cause of God. Let us remember that the very first victories are to be won in the home life. During the week let the spirit be kept free from all irritation. Let parents remember that their home is to be a school in which their children are to be prepared for the courts above. Let their words be right words. No word which their children should not hear should escape their lips. Parents, during the week live as in the sight of a holy God, who has given you children that you may train them for Him. Train for Him the little church in your home, that when the Sabbath comes they may be prepared to worship in the Lord's sanctuary. Each morning and evening present your children to God as His blood-bought heritage. Teach them that their highest duty and privilege is to love and serve God. Teach them that in Him they live and move and have their being. Let the prayer at the commencement of the Sabbath be a prayer of consecration and devotion.—Manuscript 70, 1900, 1, 2. (“What God Expects From Us,” typed December 3, 1900.)5MR 83.2

    We would charge all not to wash their dishes on the Sabbath if this can possibly be avoided. God is dishonored by any unnecessary work done on His holy day. It is not inconsistent, but proper, that the dishes should be left unwashed till the close of the Sabbath, if this can be managed.—Letter 104, 1901, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother and Sister E. K. Braman, August 4, 1901.)5MR 84.1

    The Sabbath was Christ's busiest day for healing the sick. On this day He could best reach those who were laboring during the week. Wherever He went, He was a medical missionary, an unerring physician, speaking words of comfort and love! From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and the sick were made whole. He healed men and women with unhesitating willingness and with hearty joyfulness; for He was glad to be able to restore suffering ones to health.—Letter 168, 1902, p. 1. (To “Dear Sister Ross,” October 23, 1902.)5MR 84.2

    The Sabbath was God's sign between Him and His people, and evidence of His kindness, mercy, and love, a token by which His people are distinguished from all false religionists of the world. And God has pledged Himself that He will bless them in their obedience, showing Himself that He is their God, and has taken them into covenant relation with Himself, and that He will fulfill His promise to all that are obedient. Not upon the first day, but upon the seventh day, God rested and was refreshed—satisfied with His work of Creation. Then the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, and now man's observance of the Lord's day of rest will again cause joy among the angels of heaven. The time in which we live is a time when the church militant will realize the oppressive power of persecution, because they keep the Sabbath of Creation, which God has sanctified and blessed.5MR 84.3

    The observance of the Sabbath is a line of demarcation between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. It is God's great memorial of the fact that in six days He created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. It is His memorial to preserve among the nations a clear, definite, unmistakable knowledge of the only true God, an evidence that He is a God above all gods. For this reason He set apart the day on which He rested after creating the world, a day in which no common work should be done. God has given men six days in the week in which to labor and do all their work; the one day wherein He rested after creating the world and all things that are therein was to be His own holy day, when men should worship Him, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This portion of time is especially set apart for rest and for worship, that men may look upon the heavens and the earth, and honor, worship, praise, and exalt the God who created all things by Jesus Christ.5MR 85.1

    By observing the Sabbath day wherein God rested, the knowledge of God would be preserved. It is a “sign between Me and you that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Those who keep the Sabbath holy as the Lord has specified, reveal that they are His peculiar people, and that He who made the heavens and the earth is their God.—Manuscript 139, 1903, 7, 8. (“The Message in Revelation,” typed October 23, 1903.)5MR 85.2

    The world is now realizing the sure results of transgression of the law of God. His work of Creation completed, the Lord rested on the seventh day, and sanctified the day of His rest, setting it apart as the day which man should devote to His worship. But today the world is largely disregarding the law of Jehovah. Another day has been instituted in the place of God's day of rest. The human agent has set his way and his will against the positive teachings of the word, and the world is plunged in rebellion and sin.—Manuscript 117, 1908, 2. (“A Message to Our Churches in California,” December 17, 1908.)5MR 86.1

    Let us reverence God's institution, the Sabbath day; for it is the sign of our relationship to God, the sign by which we are demonstrated as His people. Let us strive, not to stand highest, but to be always obedient to all of God's requirements. It is our privilege to be loyal and obedient, true as steel in maintaining the faith. It is through our obedience, and our loyalty to the truth, that we stand before the world as subjects of Christ's kingdom.—Letter 54, 1911, p. 2. (To Sister [Dr. Lauretta] Kress, July 28, 1911.)5MR 86.2

    Released August 10, 1971.

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