SUNDAY LAW CRISIS
12: How Long Is
Several years ago the present writer wrote a tract,
thousands of copies of which were distributed, in which he offered
$100,000 for one Bible text. Many people looked for that text of
Scripture in order to claim the reward, but no one was ever able to
find it. This offer still stands. Here is that offer:
Part of God’s plan for our lives is a return to
the day He appointed for His worship—the Biblical seventh-day
Sabbath—in order that we may have that closer experience so much
needed for the trials and duties of each oncoming week.
"For this reason, I hereby offer $100,000 to
anyone who will give me one text from the Bible that proves that we
should keep Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of Saturday,
the seventh day. In order to change the day of worship from that which
God commanded in Scripture to another day, we would need a definite
Biblical command of God before attempting such a thing.
"You may look for this text in any Bible in
any language, but the text itself must be readily located and clearly
evident in all standard Bibles, such as the King James Version. For
this purpose, added notes by commentators could not be accepted.
"It is our intention to continue this offer
until it is claimed, that there may be no question as to the
teaching of the Bible in regard to this important matter. We honor God
when we obey Him. And His will for our lives is given in the Bible.
"As long as this offer remains unclaimed, it
will be a standing witness to the fact that the seventh-day Sabbath,
given at the creation of this world, continues to be the only true
Sabbath for all of its inhabitants."—Vance Ferrell,
Beersheba Springs, TN 37305 USA.
Actually, the study of God’s Word—and obedience
to it—is worth far more than any amount of money! You and I want to
know what the Bible says about everything that might effect our lives.
We surely would not want to make any mistakes, and the only way to
avoid making them is to do what the Bible tells us to do. Jesus once
said, "In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9). How important it is, in God’s
sight, that we worship Him the way He told us. We dare not accept
later teachings—after the Bible was finished—that would alter what
God commanded us in Scripture!
One of the czars of Russia, walking in his park,
came upon a sentry standing guard over a little patch of weeds.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
The sentry replied, "I don’t know. All I
know is that the captain of the guard ordered me to stand over this
The czar sent for the captain. "Captain, what
is that man guarding?"
The captain answered, "All I know is that the
regulations call for a sentry to be posted here."
The czar then ordered an investigation, but no one
in the government of Russia could discover why that spot needed
guarding. They opened the royal archives, and the mystery was solved.
The records showed that, a hundred years earlier, in the late
eighteenth century, Catherine the Great had planted a rose bush on
that plot of ground and ordered a sentry posted there to keep people
from trampling on it. Eventually the rosebush died, but nobody thought
to cancel the order. For a hundred years men stood guard over a spot
where a rosebush once had grown and didn’t know what they were
Year after year. None of the guards knew how long.
Guarding something that wasn’t there.
It is only as we open the archives of God’s Word
that we can understand God’s will for our lives today.
After the time of Christ and the apostles, a great
apostasy began. It continued and deepened for over a thousand years.
When the great Reformation began, in the sixteenth century, men such
as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Knox tried to restore all
of the Bible teachings. An important beginning was made, but the work
they began was not completed at that time. Important Bible truths were
yet to be discovered.
It is not men’s traditions that are needed today,
but lifegiving Bible truth. God has a beautiful plan for your life,
and that plan is to found in the Bible. It requires cheerful
obedience; but, by the empowered grace of Christ, all that He asks we
Part of God’s plan for your life is the Bible
Sabbath. He says, "Abide in Me, and I in you" (John 15:4).
Our greatest need is to be linked with Christ. And that is what we so
much want! He tells us, "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the
same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing"
That first Sabbath must have been a beautiful
experience. The first sunset Adam saw began on a Sabbath. On this
first seventh day, the Creator rested; and Adam, in union with His
Creator, kept this first Sabbath also.
The Bible Sabbath is something special that has
come down to us all the way from the Garden of Eden. It is not
"Jewish," for it was given to all mankind at the foundation
of this world. It is a great blessing from our heavenly Father to us.
It is worth finding; it is worth keeping.
Ever since Eden, God has planned for the Sabbath
day to be a holy meeting time between Himself and man. You see, the
Sabbath is a cord of love that binds people with their Creator. It
does this by providing a closer fellowship with the Lord than they
could obtain on the six working days.
Of course, some might think that this can be done
by selecting our own day as the special holy day. But obedience to the
Word of God is part of that worship and its blessings. How can we say
we are worshiping God when we refuse to obey Him? For us, today, the
day is the test—just as in Eden the tree was the test.
In the Garden of Eden, God appointed the fruit of
certain trees for Adam and Eve to eat of—and specifically told them
that the fruit of one was not to be eaten. That tree was probably no
different than all the others in most every way. It was probably just
as pretty, with fruit that tasted just as good. But, regarding that
one tree, God said No.
"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest
freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou
shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou
shalt surely die."—Genesis 2:16-17.
It was a simple test, but death came to the human
race because it was disobeyed. There were lots of trees, but a special
command of God specified which one. Simple as that. So simple that Eve
thought it surely could not be that important. So she partook of that
tree that looked so much like all the others.
There are a certain number of days in the week, but
a specific command of God says we are to worship Him on the seventh
day of each weekly cycle. Simple as that. So simple that many people
imagine that it surely cannot be that important. So some select
Sunday. Others select Friday while others excuse themselves saying
that they "keep every day holy." Yet it is a command that
God considered so important that He placed it in the middle of the Ten
Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11).
God appointed man one special day on which to rest
and worship Him. All the other days looked just like it. But,
regarding that one day, God said Yes as the special weekly day of
divine worship. To the other days, He said No as the day of special
rest and worship. The other six days He declared to be common working
"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
"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 hollowed it."—Exodus
God intended that the Sabbath would be kept
continually by His people through all time to come.
This beautiful Sabbath walk of God with man was to
continue forever. That is why He called the Sabbath a "perpetual
covenant" (Exodus 31:16-17). His holy seventh-day Sabbath will
even be kept and honored by His faithful children in the New Earth.
"For 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 Me, saith the Lord."—Isaiah 66:22-23.
It should be quite obvious that the matter is
settled: God has spoken, we must obey. He gave us the Ten
Commandments, and He has never abolished them. And, of course, we know
that to be true. If God abolished the Ten Commandments as the moral
code of mankind, then we could with all impunity lie, steal, murder,
commit adultery, worship heathen images—and still go to heaven and
do it there too!
The only question remaining would be whether or not
the weekly cycle has changed. And we will find a full and complete
answer to that in the next chapter of this book. If we can today know
which day is the seventh day of the week, then we are required to
worship God on that day. That point will be explained in the next
chapter; but, even without reading it, we can know that if God
considered the Bible Sabbath to be so important—He would carefully
guard the weekly cycle down through the centuries, so that there can
be no doubt as to which day is the seventh-day Sabbath. The Bible
Sabbath is a special test of obedience to God in these last days; and
the weekly cycle has been preserved so that we can clearly decide
where we shall stand in the matter.
How long is eternity? It can only be experienced to
be realized. And God’s Sabbath will be part of that experience. When
one understands that the Sabbath is a token of God’s love, as shown
both in creation and redemption, it becomes very precious to him. So
precious that he will happily, gratefully honor and worship God for
the great salvation provided through Jesus Christ to all those that
will be loyal to their God. And part of that worship will involve an
obedient hallowing of His Sabbath.
Obedience is the key word here. We are not really
loyal to God if we will not obey Him. On the other hand, those that
genuinely love Him will gladly, cheerfully obey His every command.
That is Bible religion, and it is not complicated.
It does not require educated people to spend long years in
universities in order to tell the rest of us what the Bible means.
Instead of waiting for the learned to "interpret" the Bible
for you,—through earnest prayer and humble, reverent study of His
written Word go directly to God for yourself and obey what you read!
Contrary to what many people say, the Bible is always safe.
The Sabbath is a twofold sign of our relationship
to God. It is a sign that He is our Creator (Exodus 31:17) and
Redeemer (Ezekiel 20:12, 20). Every soul who accepts the Sabbath as
this twofold sign is united in love and obedience, with Christ, in
that walk that leads to heaven.
True Sabbathkeeping is a great blessing in many
ways. Whenever we do what God asks of us, we are always blessed. One
of those blessings is that, by faithfully keeping it, we are far less
likely to ever leave God. In fact, slipping in our Sabbath observance
will be one of the first indications that we are getting ourselves
And now, for the first time in history,—a uniform
worldwide law has been placed on the books of nearly every civilized
nation on earth! And it is worded in such a way that it can be used to
bring devastating enforcement on an international level—to the
National Sunday Law when it is enacted.
"Obedience is to be rendered
to all human governments, in subordination to the will of God. These
governments are a recognized necessity, in the nature of the case, and
their existence is manifestly in accordance with the divine will.
Hence the presumption is always in favor of the authority of civil
law; and any refusal to obey must be based on the moral proof that
obedience will be sin . . It is too obvious to need discussion, that
the law of God, the great principle of benevolence, is supreme, and
that ‘we ought to obey God rather than men,’ in any case of
conflict between human law and the divine."—James H.
Fairchild, Moral Philosophy, 178-181.