BEGINNING OF THE END!
THE BIBLE SABBATH
were referred to this study from page 110.)
FACT NUMBER ONE—The Sabbath was given to all mankind at the Creation of this world.
The seventh-day Sabbath was given to mankind on the seventh day of Creation Week.
“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.
God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had
rested from all His work which God created and made.”—Genesis
God dedicated and set aside the Sabbath as a rest day—2,000 years before the first Jew. Abraham is considered by all to have been the first Jew. He lived about 2000 B.C. Biblical records indicate that the Creation of this world took place about 4000 B.C. So the Bible Sabbath is not Jewish! It is for mankind; it is for all the world.
“The Sabbath was made for man.”—Mark 2:27.
FACT NUMBER TWO—The Sabbath is a memorial of Creation and our salvation.
First, it is a memorial of Creation.
“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 31:17.
As a memorial of the Creation of this world, the Sabbath cannot pass away without first having this world pass away—and creating a new one! Our planet could not have a new or different Sabbath day, without having it first hurled into oblivion—and then a new planet created from nothing. But no such event has occurred.
Second, the Sabbath is a symbol of our salvation. When we keep it, we tell all the world that we belong to God and that we serve and obey Him. The seventh-day Sabbath is a sign of our conversion, sanctification, and salvation:
“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 31:13.
also 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
hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye
may know that I am the Lord your God.”—Ezekiel 20:20.
But what about Christ’s resurrection? Nowhere in Scripture were we told to keep any day in honor of Christ’s resurrection. To do so is unscriptural. On the contrary, to set aside the Creation and sanctification Sabbath of the Bible—for another day of the week—and excuse it by saying that we do so “in honor of Christ’s resurrection”—is indeed to do a very daring thing. Who dare presume to set aside the Memorial of Creation and salvation for any reason! To knowingly do so, flies in the face of repeated, direct, Biblical commands by the God of heaven. To do so denies that He is our Creator and Redeemer.
If we abandon the Bible Sabbath and keep another day holy, in the Judgment what excuse can we offer? There is no Bible reason for keeping the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh day.
FACT NUMBER THREE—The people of God kept the Bible Sabbath before the Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai.
The Sabbath Truth was first given to our race in Eden before the fall of man. It was given before sin existed, and apart from it. It was given to every man to link him to his God. And if Adam needed the Sabbath, we need it all the more today.
God’s people had it before Mount Sinai. Four chapters before the Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sinai, the God of heaven spoke in such a way that it is obvious that the seventh-day Sabbath was already well-known by the people of God—but not always well-kept: Read Exodus 16.
There are those who say that the seventh-day Sabbath was not commanded by God, nor kept by man before it was spoken from Mount Sinai in Exodus 20. But Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 16 prove otherwise.
FACT NUMBER FOUR—The seventh-day Sabbath Commandment lies in the very heart of the Moral Law of Ten Commandments.
“Remember The Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”—Exodus 20:8-11.
The Sabbath Commandment is part of the Moral Law of Ten Commandments. The Apostle James tells us that if we break any part of this law, we have broken it all (James 2:10-12). We cannot tear out the Fourth Commandment without setting aside all the others as well. They all stand together, because the God of Heaven put them all together.
We do not decide which day of the week is to be kept holy unto God; He alone is to do this. It is for Him to command; it is for us to obey.
Some say that Genesis 2:1-3 is not a command for man to keep the Sabbath, and therefore we do not obey it. But Exodus 16 and 20 clearly show that man is commanded to keep it holy. And who dare say that the Ten Commandments were only for the Jewish race? Are the rest of us permitted to lie, steal, cheat, and commit adultery? Are only the Hebrews to observe these ten moral principles?
The reason for the commandment is the Creation of this world: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth.” This is not something local, merely for a Semitic race;—it is a commandment for all in the entire world who shall bow down and worship their Creator in humble thankfulness for His plan to save them through the life and death of Jesus Christ. It was given at the Creation of this world, and was given to every man, woman, and child who shall live on this planet.
God wrote these Ten Commandments with His own finger (Ex 31:18; Deut 9:10). He wrote them on the most enduring thing in the world, and that is rock (Ex 31:18). And He wishes to write them also on our hearts.
is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the
Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I
write them.”—Hebrews 10:16 (Heb 8:10; Jer 31:33).
And, if we will let Him, through the New Covenant He will write His holy law upon our hearts. To have the Ten Commandments written on our hearts means two things: First, a willingness to obey them and, second, letting God enable us to do so by the grace of Jesus, His Son. Obedience to God’s law is to become an integral part of our lives.
FACT NUMBER FIVE—The weekly seventh-day Sabbath is part of the Moral Law contained in the Ten Commandments. It will stand forever. The yearly sabbaths were part of the ceremonial laws that prefigured, or foreshadowed, the death and ministry of Christ.
These “shadow laws,” such as Passover and the Wave Sheaf, which were a part of the ceremonial or sacrificial law, would not endure past the death of Christ.
“For the [ceremonial] law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? . . But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”—Hebrews 10:1-4.
These ceremonial laws were not written on rock, but were contained in ordinances, written on parchment. The rock was to endure, but the ordinances that foreshadowed the death of Christ were to pass away at His death. It is for this reason that we do not today observe the yearly sabbaths of the Passover and the Wave Sheaf.
out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary
to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross . . Let no man
therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or
of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. Which are a shadow of things to
come; but the body is of Christ.”—Colossians 2:14,16-17.
In the Greek it says, “or of the sabbaths.” There is one weekly Sabbath; it comes down to us from the Creation of this world and will be kept in the New Earth (Isa 66:22-23). But the yearly sabbaths did not begin until Moses. They foreshadowed and explained the coming death of Christ till it happened; and, at His death, they were nailed to His cross.
If the ordinances containing the yearly sabbaths had not been set aside at Calvary, we would need now to sacrifice animals on various occasions throughout the year. But we are not now to slay lambs; for Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John
even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”—1 Corinthians
FACT NUMBER SIX—Christ’s disciples faithfully kept the Bible Sabbath, not Sunday.
The disciples had been with Jesus for three and a half years, and had listened closely to His teachings. What they did at the time of His death on Calvary shows what He taught them. The sacred importance of the seventh-day Sabbath was of such concern to them that they would not even prepare the body of Jesus properly for burial on Friday, lest they transgress the Fourth Commandment.
“And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath . . Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where He was laid.
when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James,
and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto
the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves,
Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?”—Mark
For more on this, read Luke 23:53-24:2.
FACT NUMBER SEVEN—According to the New Testament, the Apostles of Jesus always kept the Bible Sabbath.
The Apostles kept the Bible Sabbath. Read Acts 13:14; Acts 13:42; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:1-2.
Paul supported himself by tentmaking; and then on the Sabbath, he would preach the gospel.
he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their
occupation, they were tentmakers . . And he reasoned in the synagogue
every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks . . He continued
there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them.”—Acts
18:3, 4, 11.
Paul’s manner was the same as Christ’s custom: to keep the Bible Sabbath (Acts 17:1-2; Luke 4:16).
Paul never taught that the Moral Law was, or could be, set aside. It will ever govern the conduct of mankind:
then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the
shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God
forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”—Romans
shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin,
but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou
shalt not covet.”—Romans 7:7.
Paul clearly saw that the problem was that we needed to obey the law; there was nothing wrong with the requirements of the law itself.
the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”—Romans
is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but [that which is important
is] the keeping of the commandments of God.”—1 Corinthians 7:19.
The moral standard that governs mankind was not relaxed or destroyed by the death of Christ; for, indeed, it is through the merits of Christ’s sacrifice that we can be empowered to keep that law.
shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their
Jesus saves us from our sins, not in our sins. And since sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, it is obvious that He saves us by enabling us, strengthening us, to keep that law.
committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the
transgression of the law.”—1 John 3:4.
The other Apostles saw this same great truth, that the moral standard that governs mankind was not relaxed or destroyed by the death of Christ:
“But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face In a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he
being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed . . For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet
offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For He that saith, Do not commit
adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if
thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so
do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty . . Faith, if it
hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith,
and I have works; shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew
thee my faith by my works.”—James 1:22-25; 2:10-12, 17-18.
this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep
His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His
commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.”—1 John 5:2-3.
FACT NUMBER EIGHT—God predicted in Scripture that men would later try to change the Law of God—and especially the “time law.”
The Bible Sabbath is very important—for it is the very center of our worship of God! If men were later to try to change it to another day, we should surely expect a Bible prophecy saying that it would happen.
he [the little horn power] shall speak great words against the most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times
and laws: and they shall be given into His hand until a time and times and
the dividing of time.”—Daniel 7:25.
The church of the Dark Ages was to rule the world for 1260 years, and during this time would try to tear out God’s holy Time Law and put a counterfeit in its place. Oh, what blasphemy men can dream up, when they are tempted by Satan to gain religious control of their fellow men!
“For that day [the Second Coming of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.”—2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
“And hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” —Ezekiel 20:20.
After the New Testament was finished and the Apostles had died, men tried to transfer the sacredness from the seventh to the first day of the week. They tried to change the “time law.”
Roman Catholic: “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.”—Priest Brady, in an address at Elizabeth, N.J., March 17, 1903; reported in the Elizabeth, N.J., News of March 18, 1903.
may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a
single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures
enforce the religious observance of Saterday,
a day which we never sanctify.”—James Cardinal Gibbon, The
Faith of Our Fathers, chapter 8.
Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath
day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic
Church.”—Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore,
replying for the Cardinal, in a letter of February 10, 1920.
“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”—Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894; The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, p. 304.
“Prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church.”—Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, MO, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas Weekly Call, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal, in June 1893, p. 173.
“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act . . AND THE ACT IS A MARK of her ecclesiastical power.”—From the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor H.F. Thomas, November 11, 1895.
How important it is that we obey the commandments of God rather than the commandments of men.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?”—Romans 6:16.
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou
in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of
long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if
Baal, then follow him.”—1 Kings 18:21.
FACT NUMBER NINE—The seventh-day Sabbath, instituted by God at the Creation of this world, is the seal of His governmental authority.
God’s basic governmental code for mankind is the Ten Commandments. Of those ten, only the Sabbath commandment reveals the name of our Creator and Lawgiver.
Of all the commandments in the Decalogue, only the Fourth Commandment reveals the (1) name, (2) authority, and (3) dominion of the Author of this Law:
In six days, (1) the Lord (name) (2) made (office—the Creator) (3) heaven and earth (dominion or territory over which He rules). This commandment alone contains the seal of God.
Examine the notary seal of a notary public or any other legal seal. Each seal will always contain the above three identifying marks.
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy . . for in six days the Lord made
heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”—Exodus
The Sabbath commandment contains the seal of God, and the Sabbath itself—given in this commandment—is inseparably connected with this seal. For the Sabbath is the basis of all true worship of our Creator. And this worship lies at the heart of all our acknowledgment of His authority as our Creator and our God. The Sabbath is ever to be kept as a sign that we belong to Him. And the keeping of it brings us within the circle of this seal.
The seal is impressed in order that all may know the authority from whence it comes—and that all may know that it is not to be changed. The seventh-day Sabbath comes from God. Let no man dare to tamper with it—for the seal of God is upon it.
O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed.”—Daniel
up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.”—Isaiah 8:16.
[the Sabbath] 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 31:17.
hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye
may know that I am the Lord your God.”—Ezekiel 20:20.
The Sabbath is a powerful sign of God’s creative power—not only of this earth, but within our lives as well. It requires the same power to clean our lives and redeem us as it did to create us in the first place.
in me a clean heart, O God.”—Psalm 51:10.
are . . created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”— Ephesians 2:10.
The Bible tells us there is to be a special sealing work in these last days, just before the return of Jesus in the clouds of heaven.
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 . . saying, Hurt
not the earth, neither the sea, or the trees, till we have sealed the
servants of our God in their foreheads.”—Revelation 7:2-3 (Ezekiel
looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred
forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their
The name of the Father is expressive of His character. When Moses asked to see the glory of God, the Lord passed by and told His name—that which He was like:
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”—Exodus 34:6.
And as we look at God’s holy law, we see another view of His character. It is a transcript of that character. It is God’s characteristics written on everlasting stone. He wants us to live it out in our lives.
When God writes His name on your forehead and right hand, this means He writes His law on your heart. This is the work of the new covenant (Heb 8:10; 10:16; Jer 31:33); and that work reaches its climax when God “seals in” His own people, just before He returns the second time in the clouds of heaven. What are those sealed ones like? They are fully obedient to the Law of God:
in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the
throne of God.”—Revelation 14:5.
But in the final crisis before His return, there will be a people who will yield obedience to the beast instead of to God.
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.”—Revelation
he [the beast] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and
bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”—Revelation
In contrast with those who serve the beast and receive his mark, are those who in the last days will serve God and receive His seal. How can they be identified? God has told us in His Word. Here is a description of God’s remnant people at the end of time:
the dragon [Satan, working through his agents] was wroth with the woman
[the true church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus
And the third angel of Revelation 14, which warns men to not receive the mark of the beast, also tells them how to avoid receiving it—by keeping the commandments of God through the faith of Jesus Christ:
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 .
. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments
of God, and the faith of Jesus.”—Revelation 14:9-10, 12.
The final crisis will be caused by a decree by the beast, that all men must disobey a commandment of the law of God. The nations and churches of the world will not require men to steal or lie or commit adultery. The growing movement toward national Sunday laws is growing stronger every passing year. It is seen that in this point, and in this alone, will be found the heart of the crisis of Revelation 13 and 14.
The first angel of Revelation 14 calls on all men everywhere, today, to reverence God—by returning to the worship of the Creator of all things.
“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:
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.”—Revelation 14:6-7.
As the crisis nears, we must prepare for it.
observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of
themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.”—Monsignor
Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today,
Already we are facing Sunday closing laws on local levels. Men are prohibited from doing business on the first working day of the week, lest they be fined or imprisoned. And the situation will grow worse in the days just ahead.
“That the image of the beast should both speak, and cause [decree] that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.”—Revelation 13:15-17.
But there is victory for those who will stand true to the God of heaven. There is overcoming power for those who will “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12).
saw . . them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his
image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the
sea of glass, having the harps of God.”—Revelation 15:2.
FACT NUMBER TEN—God’s remnant people will keep the Bible Sabbath, and that holy day will be kept throughout eternity.
(1) Even though there are over two thousand denominations today, the remnant people of God, living at the end of time, can be identified. God has identified them for us. After speaking about how the antichrist power in the Dark Ages tried for centuries to destroy the people of God, we are told how to identify them in these last days, just before Christ returns in the clouds for His own:
the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant
of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of
Jesus Christ.”—Revelation 12:17.
And the third angel, after warning all men against receiving the mark of the beast, tells us clearly who will be the little group that will stand apart from this almost universal apostasy:
is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of
God, and the faith of Jesus.”—Revelation 14:12.
It will be an almost universal apostasy. All around us can be seen a rising tide of rebellion against the Ten Commandments. The colleges and universities teach that man is but an animal descended from worms and amoeba. The churches teach that God destroyed the Ten Commandments at Calvary, and that Jesus died to take sinners to heaven just as they are. Governmental agencies are relaxing moral restrictions and permitting gambling, abortion, homosexuality, and other vices.
This world is becoming a curse, but soon God will intervene. Prophecy tells us that before the end there will be a small company who will stand true to the commandments of God, by faith in Jesus Christ.
(2) And soon this present evil world will be ended suddenly by the return of Jesus Christ—and heaven will begin for the faithful.
And in that heaven the seventh-day Sabbath will be kept forever. God’s people suffered and died for it down here, and they will worship God on that holy day through all ages to come.
Revelation 21 and 22 tells us about this new life with Jesus, when sin has come to an end and the wicked are no longer alive.
saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth
were passed away; and there was no more sea . . And he shewed me a pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of
God and of the Lamb.”—Revelation 21:1; 22:1.
And then we are told who will enter that beautiful new world:
are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of
life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”—Revelation
But more: There is the promise that they will keep the holy Sabbath through all eternity:
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind . . And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands . . The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord . .
as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain
before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it
shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one
Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the
Lord.”—Isaiah 65:17, 21-22, 25; 66:22-23.
Now you have seen God’s plan for His people. And it is a wonderful one. It can begin for you right now. And it will continue on throughout eternity. Why not begin today—this very week? Ask God to forgive you for the past, and tell Him that, by His grace, you will worship your Creator on His day! This is the best decision you can make. Go to Him just now. He will help you make it.
And next Sabbath—begin that holy walk with God on His day, the holy day of Isaiah 58. Read that chapter and see the blessings He will add, if you will but let Him take over your life.
But think not that there will be no problems or trials. Satan will bring many upon you. He hates the Sabbath and all who will stand loyal to it. Yet if you will determine to be true to God and His Word, you will have strength from above to go through all that lies ahead.
And one day soon, if faithful to the end, you with the redeemed of all ages will rejoice on the sea of glass and will receive from the hand of Jesus the overcomer’s crown. And you will be given that new name, expressive of a new character. And you will begin a walk with Jesus that will last through all eternity to come.
one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are
arrayed in white robes? and whence come they?
“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall
lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes.”—Revelation 7:13-17.
many minds, the origin of sin and the reason for its existence are a
source of great perplexity. They see the work of evil, with its terrible
results of woe and desolation, and they question how all this can exist
under the sovereignty of One who is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in
love. Here is a mystery, of which they find no explanation.
And in their uncertainty and doubt, they are blinded to truths plainly
revealed in God’s Word, and essential to salvation. There are those who,
in their inquiries concerning the existence of sin, endeavor to search
into that which God has never revealed; hence they find no solution of
their difficulties; and such as are actuated by a disposition to doubt and
cavil, seize upon this as an excuse for rejecting the words of Holy Writ.
Others, however, fail of a satisfactory understanding of the great problem
of evil, from the fact that tradition and misinterpretation have obscured
the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the nature of
His government, and the principles of His dealing with sin.
is impossible to so explain the origin of sin as to give a reason for its
existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the
final disposition of sin, to fully make manifest the justice and
benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in
nowise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no
arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine
government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an
intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious,
unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be
found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our
only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is “the
transgression of the law”; it is the outworking of a principle at
war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine
the entrance of evil, there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All
was in perfect harmony with the Creator’s will.
Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word,
the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,—one in
nature, in character, and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe
that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ, the
Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By him were all
things created, that are in Heaven . . whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers” (Colossians 1:16); and to
Christ, equally with the Father, all Heaven gave allegiance.
law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness
of all created beings depended upon their perfect accord with its great
principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the
service of love,—homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of
His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced allegiance, and to all
He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.
there was one that chose to pervert this freedom. Sin originated with him,
who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God,
and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of Heaven. Before
his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.
“Thus saith the Lord God: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and
perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every
precious stone was thy covering.” “Thou art the anointed cherub that
covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;
thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast
perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was
found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:12-15.
might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the
angelic host, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify
His Maker. But, says the prophet, “Thine heart was lifted up because of
thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17. Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge a
desire for self-exaltation. “Thou hast set thine heart as the heart
of God.” “Thou hast said . . I will exalt my throne above the stars of
God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation.” “I will
ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Ezekiel 28:6; Isaiah 14:13, 14. Instead of seeking to make God supreme
in the affections and allegiance of His creatures, it was Lucifer’s
endeavor to win their service and homage to himself. And, coveting the
honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son, this prince of
angels aspired to power which it was the prerogative of Christ alone to
Heaven had rejoiced to reflect the Creator’s glory and to show forth His
praise. And while God was thus honored, all had been peace and gladness.
But a note of discord now marred the celestial harmonies.
The service and exaltation of self, contrary to the Creator’s plan,
awakened forebodings of evil in minds to whom God’s glory was supreme. The
heavenly councils pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented
before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator,
and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established
the order of Heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his
Maker, and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite
love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed
jealousy of Christ to prevail, and he became the more determined.
in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy.
The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of
God, and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his
brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. He was
beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute
his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet
the Son of God was the acknowledged sovereign of Heaven, one in power and
authority with the Father. In all the counsels of God, Christ was a
participant, while Lucifer was not permitted thus to enter into the divine
purposes. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ
have the supremacy? Why is He thus honored above Lucifer?”
his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse
the spirit of discontent among the angels.
Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real
purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to
excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings,
intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint. Since their
natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of
their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself, by representing
that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon
Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was
not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seeking to secure liberty for all
the inhabitants of Heaven, that by this means they might attain to a
higher state of existence.
in His great mercy, bore long with Lucifer.
He was not immediately degraded from his exalted station when he first
indulged the spirit of discontent, nor even when he began to present his
false claims before the loyal angels. Long was he retained in Heaven.
Again and again he was offered pardon, on condition of repentance and
submission. Such efforts as only infinite love and wisdom could devise,
were made to convince him of his error. The spirit of discontent had never
before been known in Heaven. Lucifer himself did not at first see whither
he was drifting; he did not understand the real nature of his
feelings. But as his dissatisfaction was proved to be without cause,
Lucifer was convinced that he was in the wrong, that the divine claims
were just, and that he ought to acknowledge them as such before all
Heaven. Had he done this, he might have saved himself and many angels.
He had not at this time fully cast off his allegiance to God. Though he
had forsaken his position as covering cherub, yet if he had been willing
to return to God, acknowledging the Creator’s wisdom, and satisfied to
fill the place appointed him in God’s great plan, he would have been
re-instated in his office. But pride forbade him to submit. He
persistently defended his own course, maintained that he had no need of
repentance, and fully committed himself, in the great controversy, against
the powers of his master mind were now bent to the work of deception, to
secure the sympathy of the angels that had been under his command.
Even the fact that Christ had warned and counseled him, was perverted to
serve his traitorous designs. To those whose loving trust bound them most
closely to him, Satan had represented that he was wrongly judged, that his
position was not respected, and that
his liberty was to be abridged. From misrepresentation of the
words of Christ, he passed to prevarication and direct falsehood,
accusing the Son of God of a design to humiliate him before the
inhabitants of Heaven. He sought also to make a false issue between
himself and the loyal angels. All whom he could not subvert and bring
fully to his side, he accused of indifference to the interests of heavenly
beings. The very work which he himself was doing, he charged upon those
who remained true to God. And to sustain his charge of God’s
injustice toward him, he resorted to misrepresentation of the words and
acts of the Creator. It was his policy to perplex the angels with
subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything that was
simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt
upon the plainest statements of Jehovah. His high position, in such close
connection with the divine administration, gave greater force to his
representations, and many were induced to unite with him in rebellion
against Heaven’s authority.
in His wisdom permitted Satan to carry forward his work, until the spirit
of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his plans
to be fully developed, that their true nature and tendency might be seen
by all. Lucifer, as
the anointed cherub, had been highly exalted; he was greatly loved by the
heavenly beings, and his influence over them was strong. God’s
government included not only the inhabitants of Heaven, but of all the
worlds that he had created; and Satan thought that if he could carry
the angels of Heaven with him in rebellion, he could carry also the other
worlds. He had artfully presented his side of the question, employing
sophistry and fraud to secure his objects. His power to deceive was very
great, and by disguising himself in a cloak of falsehood he had gained an
advantage. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character,
or see to what his work was leading.
had been so highly honored, and all his acts were so clothed with mystery,
that it was difficult to disclose to the angels the true nature of his
work. Until fully developed, sin would not appear the evil thing it was.
Heretofore it had no place in the universe of God, and holy beings had no
conception of its nature and malignity. They could not discern the
terrible consequences that would result from setting aside the divine law.
Satan had, at first, concealed his work under a specious profession of
loyalty to God. He claimed to be seeking to promote the honor of God, the
stability of His government, and the good of all the inhabitants of
Heaven. While instilling discontent into the minds of the angels under
him, he had artfully made it appear that he was seeking to remove
dissatisfaction. When he urged that changes be made in the order and laws
of God’s government, it was under the pretense that these were necessary
in order to preserve harmony in Heaven.
his dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth. Satan
could use what God could not—flattery and deceit.
He had sought to falsify the word of God, and had misrepresented His plan
of government before the angels, claiming that God was not just in laying
laws and rules upon the inhabitants of Heaven; that in requiring
submission and obedience from His creatures, He was seeking merely the
exaltation of himself. Therefore it must be demonstrated before the
inhabitants of Heaven as well as of all the worlds, that God’s
government was just, His law perfect. Satan had made it appear that He
Himself was seeking to promote the good of the universe. The true
character of the usurper, and his real object, must be understood by all.
He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works.
discord which his own course had caused in Heaven, Satan charged upon the
law and government of God. All evil he declared to be the result of the
He claimed that it was his own object to improve upon the statutes of
Jehovah. Therefore it was necessary that he should demonstrate the nature
of His claims, and show the working out of his proposed changes in the
divine law. His own work must condemn him. Satan had claimed from the
first that he was not in rebellion. The whole universe must see the
when it was decided that he could no longer remain in Heaven, infinite
wisdom did not destroy Satan.
Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance
of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and
benevolence. The inhabitants of Heaven and of other worlds, being
unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then
have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had
he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God
from fear, rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not
have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been
utterly eradicated. Evil must be permitted to come to maturity. For the
good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, Satan must more fully
develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government
might be seen in their true light by all created beings, that the justice
and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might forever be placed
beyond all question.
rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a
perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working
out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show
what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority.
It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and His law
is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the
history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual
safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived
as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and
suffering its punishment.
the very close of the controversy in Heaven, the great usurper continued
to justify himself. When it was announced that with all his sympathizers
he must be expelled from the abodes of bliss, then the rebel leader boldly
avowed his contempt for the Creator’s law.
He reiterated his claim that angels needed no control, but should be left
to follow their own will, which would ever guide them right. He
denounced the divine statutes as a restriction of their liberty, and
declared that it was his purpose to secure the abolition of law; that,
freed from this restraint, the hosts of Heaven might enter upon a more
exalted, more glorious state of existence.
one accord, Satan and his host threw the blame of their rebellion wholly
upon Christ, declaring that if they had not been reproved, they would
never have rebelled.
Thus stubborn and defiant in their disloyalty, seeking vainly to overthrow
the government of God, yet blasphemously claiming to be themselves the
innocent victims of oppressive power, the arch-rebel and all his
sympathizers were at last banished from Heaven.
same spirit that prompted rebellion in Heaven, still inspires rebellion on
earth. Satan has continued with men the same policy which he pursued with
the angels. His
spirit now reigns in the children of disobedience. Like him they seek to
break down the restraints of the law of God, and promise men liberty
through transgression of its precepts. Reproof of sin still arouses the
spirit of hatred and resistance. When God’s messages of warning are
brought home to the conscience, Satan leads men to justify themselves,
and to seek the sympathy of others in their course of sin. Instead of
correcting their errors, they excite indignation against the reprover,
as if he were the sole cause of difficulty. From the days of righteous
Abel to our own time, such is the spirit which has been displayed toward
those who dare to condemn sin.
the same misrepresentation of the character of God as he had practiced in
Heaven, causing him to be regarded as severe and tyrannical, Satan
induced man to sin. And having succeeded thus far, he declared that
God’s unjust restrictions had led to man’s fall, as they had led to
his own rebellion.
the Eternal One Himself proclaims His character: “The Lord God, merciful
and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping
mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and
that will by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7.
the banishment of Satan from Heaven, God declared His justice, and
maintained the honor of His throne. But when man had sinned through
yielding to the deceptions of this apostate spirit, God gave an evidence
of His love by yielding up His only begotten Son to die for the fallen
race. In the
atonement the character of God is revealed. The mighty argument of the
cross demonstrates to the whole universe that the course of sin which
Lucifer had chosen was in nowise chargeable upon the government of God.
the contest between Christ and Satan, during the Saviour’s earthly
ministry, the character of the great deceiver was unmasked. Nothing could
so effectually have uprooted Satan from the affections of the heavenly
angels and the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the
The daring blasphemy of his demand that Christ should pay him homage, his
presumptuous boldness in bearing Him to the mountain summit and the
pinnacle of the temple, the malicious intent betrayed in urging Him to
cast Himself down from the dizzy height, the unsleeping malice that hunted
Him from place to place, inspiring the hearts of priests and people to
reject His love, and at the last to cry, “Crucify Him! crucify
Him!”—All this excited the amazement and indignation of the universe.
was Satan that prompted the world’s rejection of Christ. The prince of
evil exerted all his power and cunning to destroy Jesus; for he saw that
the Saviour’s mercy and love, His compassion and pitying tenderness,
were representing to the world the character of God.
Satan contested every claim put forth by the Son of God, and employed men
as His agents to fill the Saviour’s life with suffering and sorrow. The
sophistry and falsehood by which he had sought to hinder the work of
Jesus, the hatred manifested through the children of disobedience, his
cruel accusations against Him whose life was one of unexampled goodness,
all sprung from deep-seated revenge. The pent-up fires of envy and
malice, hatred and revenge, burst forth on Calvary against the Son of God,
while all Heaven gazed upon the scene in silent horror.
the great sacrifice had been consummated, Christ ascended on high,
refusing the adoration of angels until He had presented the request, “I
will that they also, whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.”
John 17:24. Then with inexpressible love and power came forth the answer
from the Father’s throne, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
Hebrews 1:6. Not a stain rested upon Jesus. His humiliation ended, His
sacrifice completed, there was given unto Him a name that is above every
the guilt of Satan stood forth without excuse. He had revealed his true
character as a liar and a murderer.
It was seen that the very same spirit with which he ruled the children of
men, who were under his power, he would have manifested had he been
permitted to control the inhabitants of Heaven. He had claimed that the
transgression of God’s law would bring liberty and exaltation; but it
was seen to result in bondage and degradation.
lying charges against the divine character and government appeared in
their true light.
He had accused God of seeking merely the exaltation of Himself in
requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, and had declared
that while the Creator exacted self-denial from all others, He Himself
practiced no self-denial, made no sacrifice. Now it was seen that for
the salvation of a fallen and sinful race, the Ruler of the universe had
made the greatest sacrifice which love could make; for “God was in
Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. It was
seen, also, that while Lucifer had opened the door for the entrance of
sin, by his desire for honor and supremacy, Christ had, in order to
destroy sin, humbled Himself, and become obedient unto death.
had manifested His abhorrence of the principles of rebellion. All Heaven
saw His justice revealed, both in the condemnation of Satan and in the
redemption of man.
Lucifer had declared that if the law of God was changeless, and its
penalty could not be remitted, every transgressor must be forever debarred
from the Creator’s favor. He had claimed that the sinful race were
placed beyond redemption, and were therefore his rightful prey. But the
death of Christ was an argument in man’s behalf that could not be
overthrown. The penalty of the law fell upon him who was equal with
God, and man was free to accept the righteousness of Christ, and by a life
of penitence and humiliation to triumph, as the Son of God had triumphed,
over the power of Satan. Thus God is just, and yet the justifier of all
who believe in Jesus.
it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came to
the earth to suffer and to die. He came to “magnify the law” and to
“make it honorable.”
Not alone that the inhabitants of this world might regard the law as it
should be regarded; but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds of the
universe that God’s law is unchangeable. Could its claims have been
set aside, then the Son of God need not have yielded up His life to atone
for its transgression. The death of Christ proves it immutable. And
the sacrifice to which infinite love impelled the Father and the Son, that
sinners might be redeemed, demonstrates to all the universe—what nothing
less than this plan of atonement could have sufficed to do—that justice
and mercy are the foundation of the law and government of God.
the final execution of the Judgment it will be seen that no cause for sin
exists. When the
Judge of all the earth shall demand of Satan, “Why hast thou rebelled
against Me, and robbed Me of the subjects of My kingdom?” the originator
of evil can render no excuse. Every mouth will be stopped, and all the
hosts of rebellion will be speechless.
cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the
universe that the wages of sin is death. In the Saviour’s expiring cry,
“It is finished,” the death-knell of Satan was rung. The great
controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the
final eradication of evil was made certain.
The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that “through
death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the
devil.” Hebrews 2:14. Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation had led him
to say, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God
. . I will be like the most High.” God declares, “I will bring
thee to ashes upon the earth . . and never shalt thou be any more.”
Isaiah 14:13, 14; Ezekiel 28:18, 19. When “the day cometh that shall
burn as an oven,” “all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall
be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord
of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi
whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of
sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have
brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love
and establish His honor before a
of beings who delight
to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again
be manifest. Says the Word of God, “Affliction shall not rise up the
second time.” Nahum 1:9. The law of God, which Satan has reproached as
the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested and
proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance
to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as
fathomless love and infinite wisdom.
A NUCLEAR ATTACK ON WASHINGTON, D.C.
1982, Pentagon and Strategic Air Command officials staged an elaborate war
simulation. Called the Doomsday Exercise, it began with rising
tensions centering on a typical European confrontation. The simulated
superpower showdown during the five-day exercise gradually escalated into
a 5,000-megaton missile attack on the American mainland and the death of
the President (on the fourth day), plus an all-out retaliatory strike on
Russia (on the fifth day) by the surviving U.S. forces (Newsweek, April
5, 1982). The elaborate simulation answered dozens of questions in the
minds of our military leaders, but did not explain how to keep it from
contrast to the 20-kiloton bomb (equal to 20,000 tons of TNT) that leveled
Hiroshima and killed 70,000 persons, the typical nuclear missile warhead
today is more than 100 times the strength of the 1945 weapons; that is,
each is equivalent to 1 to 2 million tons of TNT.
are over 48,000 nuclear bombs scattered here and there throughout the
world. Together, they possess 13,000 megatons of explosive power, equal to
13 billion tons of TNT—enough to vaporize nearly a million Hiroshimas.
would happen if just one 1-megaton nuclear explosion detonated over the
White House? (This would be the explosive power of a single SSN-6 missile
fired from a Russian submarine.) Detonated at about 2,000 feet above the
ground, the huge fireball would reduce everything—concrete, steel,
brick, etc., within 3 miles (28 square miles) of the White house to
that, winds of 400 miles per hour—stronger than any hurricane—would
blast outward, crushing brick and wood buildings, stripping bark and
branches from trees, igniting clothing, hurling people and automobiles
through the air. Then as the mushroom cloud rose into the sky, it would
suck the ground air back again, adding to the damage. Nearly everything
within a 5-mile radius of ground zero (78 square miles) would be severely
damaged, if not destroyed. People still alive would have third-degree
burns, their clothes in flames, their faces and hands charred.
that, out to eight miles from the point of impact (an additional 94 square
miles) brick and wood houses would sustain moderate damage. Cars would be
blown off the Capital Beltway. Burns and eye damage would occur to many
exposed survivors. The heat would start fires beyond the eight-mile
radius, and people as far as 40 miles away would be cut by glass from
shattered windows (R.H. Blodgett, How Will It End? 1984).
1-megaton weapon would produce an intense white light, followed by a
moment of darkness—caused when the explosion became so intense that it
was opaque to light—and then an even brighter flash. The second flash
would be accompanied by a surge of heat far hotter than the breath of a
blast furnace, moving outward in all directions with the speed of light.
Anyone exposed to the full power of that heat in downtown Washington would
be incinerated.”—U.S. News and World Report, November 28, 1983.
life is threatened as never before in the history of this planet . . I am
one of those scientists who finds it hard to see how the human race is to
bring itself much past the year 2000.”—George Wald, Harvard Nobel
Prize-winning scientist, in Countdown to Armageddon, p. 17.