The Sabbath Was Instituted In Eden
THE commandment for Sabbath observance reads: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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; not 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."
The Sabbath commandment is placed in the very bosom of the Decalogue, amid the unchangeable precepts of Jehovah. And yet from many pulpits of our land a contemptuous cry is raised against the Sabbath instituted by the Lord God of heaven, and it is stigmatized as "the old Jewish Sabbath." Let all who are seeking for truth remember that the Sabbath was instituted in Eden before there was a Jew in existence, and that the Saviour said, "The Sabbath was made for man." The fourth commandment was spoken with the other nine of God's moral precepts, amid the thunders and grandeur of Mount Sinai, and in the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary above, is the ark of God. It is called the "ark of the testament," and under its cover, the mercy seat, are the ten commandments that were written with the finger of God.
On the tables of the law, written with the finger of the infinite God, is the fourth commandment. Does the commandment read, "The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God?" No, it reads: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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." Thus it reads today in the sacred law as engraven by the finger of God, and thus it is preserved in the ark in the temple of God in heaven.
The institution of the Sabbath was made when the foundation of the earth was laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Like the other nine precepts of the law, it is of imperishable obligation. It is the memorial of God's creative power, the reminder of his exalted work. The fourth commandment occupies a sacred position in the law, and bears the same hallowed nature as do the other great moral precepts of God. God has stamped it with his divine authority as a law of his eternal government. No change can come to it, nothing can alter the thing that has gone out of his lips, or lessen in any degree its sacred obligation. The law of the Sabbath is placed in the very midst of the Decalogue, and walled in with the sacred immutability of truth, justice, and holiness.
The fall of Adam was a terrible thing, and the consequences of his sin so fraught with evil that language cannot portray it. By his disobedience of the divine law, the world was thrown into disorder and rebellion. Because of his disobedience, man was under the penalty of breaking the law, doomed to death. The only definition given in the word of God as to what is sin, is found in 1 John 3:4: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law." The law of God is that standard by which character is to be measured in the judgment. Do those who are contending that the first day of the week [Sunday] should be observed instead of the day commanded by Jehovah, understand what they are doing? Do they realize that they are leading men to trample upon one of the precepts of Jehovah?
Verily My Sabbaths, Ye Shall Keep
What significance has the Sabbath if its observance is transferred to the first day of the week? God gave it to men as a memorial of his creative work in six days and his rest upon the seventh. "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; everyone 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 forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
God Blessed The Seventh Day
Satan, the apostate, the rebel against the government of God, has proposed to obliterate the fourth commandment, which brings to view the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and, instead of the Sabbath, he designs to cause all men to honor a common working day. God blessed the seventh day, he rested upon it and sanctified it for man's observance, but Satan is determined to set aside the claims of the Sabbath, and cause men to accept a spurious sabbath. The excuse for refusing to observe the Sabbath of God's appointment is often made that it does not make any difference upon which day we rest, so long as it is one day in the seven. But it makes every difference upon which day you rest. Resting upon the day God commanded reveals the fact that you honor the Maker of heaven and earth; but disregarding that fact makes it evident that you do not honor God or obey his commandment to "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Your non-observance of the memorial of creation shows that you place no merit upon the day that has been sanctified and blessed, and think that you will be excused if you observe the day that has been appointed by the Papacy, which has exalted itself above God and all that is worshipped.
You accept a common working day instead of the day that has been sanctified and blessed, but in thus doing you offer positive insult to the God of heaven. In holding to an observance commanded by the Papal Church, you exalt the opinions and traditions of men above the commandments of the God of heaven.
The Lord understood in just what lines the enemy would work in seeking to tear down his memorial, thus destroying from the minds of men the reminder of his creative work and rest. But to his children he has given this message, that the Sabbath shall have such significance in their eyes that they will not be moved away from obedience to his requirements: "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. . . . It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." "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."
Two Parties Are To Be Developed
In the issue of the great contest between the forces of good and of evil, two parties are to be developed, those who "worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark," and those who receive "the seal of the living God," and have "the Father's name written in their foreheads."
In the fourth commandment is found the seal of God's law. This only, of all the ten, brings to view the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law was given.
The Sabbath enjoined by the fourth commandment was instituted to commemorate the work of creation. Had the seventh day always been kept, there would never have been an idolater, and atheist, or an infidel. The sacred observance of God's holy day would have directed the minds of men to their Creator, the true and living God. Everything in nature also would have brought Him to their remembrance; and would have borne witness to His power and love.
The Seal Of The Living God
The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. It points to God as the Creator, and is the sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made. Those who obey this law will bear the seal of God, for He has set apart this day as a sign of loyalty between Himself and His people. To Moses on Mount Sinai He said, "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."
The mark of the beast is the opposite of this, the observance of the first day of the week as the sabbath enforced by human law. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.
As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite "the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, . . . because by keeping Sunday strictly they acknowledge the church's power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin."
The Roman church thus declares that by observing the first day of the week as the sabbath, Protestants are recognizing her power to legislate in divine things. And it is true that those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe a false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded.
The Roman church has not relinquished her claim to supremacy; and when the world and the Protestant churches accept a sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they virtually admit this assumption. They may claim the authority of tradition and of the Fathers for the change; but in so doing they ignore the very principle which separates them from Rome, that "the Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants." The papist can see that they are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the movement for Sunday enforcement gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome.
With rapid steps we are approaching this period. When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution: when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church, then will Protestant America have formed an image to the Papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin.
The laws of nations should be respected as long as 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 Peter when commanded to speak no more in the name of Jesus, "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Paul wrote to the Romans, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 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.
Christ never purchased peace and friendship by compromise with evil. The life of Jesus, the suffering which He endured from a perverse nation, demonstrate to His followers that there must be no sacrifice of principle. Peace is too dearly obtained if purchased by the smallest concession to Satan's agencies. The least surrender of principle entangles us in the snares of Satan.
The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict, in which all the world will act a part. Men have honored Satan's principles above the principles that rule in the heavens. They have accepted the spurious sabbath, which Satan has exalted as the sign of his authority. But God has set His seal upon His royal requirement. Each Sabbath institution, both true and false, bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each.
What Saith The Scripture?
The great decision now to be made by every one is, whether he will receive the mark of the beast and his image, or the seal of the living and true God. And now, when we are on the very borders of the eternal world, what can be of so much value to us as to be found loyal and true to the God of heaven? What is there that we should prize above His truth and His law? What is so necessary as a knowledge of "what saith the Scripture?"
The Signs of the Times – January 8, 1894
and March 22, 1910.
The Meaning of the Number 666
Two of the most important aspects of the beast’s power are brought to light in Revelation 13: “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, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:16-18. According to Revelation 13:17, the number of his name will also be the number of a man. Undoubtedly this refers to the man who heads the beast power. The ancient method of deriving the number of a name is to take the numerical value of all letters and add them up to get the sum. If we want to apply this test to the papacy, we must find the official name of the pope, who is the head of his church. If this is the number of a man, it would naturally be the man who is the head of the organization.
It is interesting to note that there is an official Latin title for the pope, a title which has been granted by the Church itself. This title is found repeatedly in the publications of Rome. But in the weekly Catholic newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, of April 1915, we have the interesting statement that the letters of the official title are inscribed in the pope’s miter. Here is the actual quotation: “The letters inscribed in the pope’s miter are these; Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for ‘Vicar of the Son of God.’ Catholics hold that the Church, which is a visible society, must have a visible head; Christ, before His ascension into heaven appointed St. Peter to act as His representative. Hence, to the Bishop of Rome as head of the church, was given the title, ‘Vicar of Christ.’” At present, the pope’s miter does not contain the Latin title, but the words are incorporated into the coronation ceremonies of each newly crowned pope.
So with this official name of the pope in hand we can proceed to apply the test of the Scripture. How do we derive the number of his name By getting the numerical value of the Roman numerals of the title Vicarius Filii Dei, we actually come to a definite number 666. Notice how it is worked out below as each letter is given its numerical value:
V = 5
I = 1
C = 100
A = 0
R = 0
I = 1
*U or V = 5
S = 0
F = 0
I = 1
L = 50
I = 1
I = 1
D = 500
E = 0
I = 1
TOTAL = 666
*NOTE: – During the late Middle Ages, two forms of "v" developed, which were both used for modern u and v. The pointed form "v" was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form "u" was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound. So whereas valorand excuse appeared as in modern printing, "have" and "upon" were printed haue and vpon. Eventually, in the 1700s, to differentiate between the consonant and vowel sounds, the "v" form was used to represent the consonant, and "u" the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter "u". Capital "U" appeared at this time; previously, V was used in all cases. Initially, once the letters 'u' and 'v' were established as separate letters, 'v' preceded 'u' in the alphabet; in modern times, this order has been reversed.