SUNDAY LAW CRISIS
14: The TWELVE
The Bible Sabbath hit the headlines in New York
City not too long ago. The following article appeared in the New
York Times on March 14, 1966. The title in bold type said this:
"An earnest appeal to the pope of Rome to lead Christians back to
Here is that news article:
"Dr. Earnest R. Palen, pastor of one of New
York’s largest churches, the Marble Collegiate, for more than thirty
years, created a stir that hit the headlines, when on March 13, 1966,
he delivered a sermon in which he called for Protestants and Roman
Catholics to join in returning to the Bible Sabbath that Jesus kept on
"This Reformed Church (in America) theologian
and pastor startled hearers by quoting from Exodus 20:8, and then
saying, ‘It should not be too great a break for us . . to observe
the same Sabbath day that Jesus Himself observed.’
"In this sermon, he pled for all the churches
to return to the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath; and noting that
mankind can only truly keep holy that day which the God of heaven has
commanded to be kept holy, he said that this ‘one day of the week
really kept holy by Catholics, Protestants, and Jews would give an
uplift to the moral tone of our day that nothing else could do.’
"Dr. Palen, recognizing the well-known
leadership of the pope in Sunday sanctification, asked that Pope Paul
VI take the initiative in this matter. Dr. Palen predicted that if the
pontiff would designate ‘the seventh day—the historical and
Biblical Sabbath—as the day to keep holy,’ that most of the major
Protestant bodies of our time would ‘go along.’ "—Article
by George Dugan. "Christians Urged to Join Jews in Observing
Saterday Sabbath," in New York Times, March 14, 1966.
And Dr. Palen is right. The Ten Commandments given
by God, on Mount Sinai, is to be the great pattern for our lives.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ we can be empowered to keep that
holy law of God. The purpose of Christianity is to bring people back
to God and enable them to obey Him.
The Bible Sabbath was given to us not only for
healthful rest, but also as a test here in regard to our willingness
to keep a Sabbath day because He has asked us to do so. But it is also
a special test in another way: Will we be willing to observe it on the
particular day of the week that He selected for this purpose?
At the creation of this world, centuries before
there was a Jew, God gave the seventh-day Sabbath to all mankind.
Later, on Mount Sinai, He wrote it down on tables of stone as the
fourth of the Ten Commandments. Reading it, in Exodus 20:8-11, we see
that we are not commanded to keep a sabbath but the seventh-day
Sabbath. And we are told why: because the Sabbath is a memorial of the
creation of this world. Thus, every week that we keep it, we
acknowledge that He is the Creator of this world and the One whom
alone we are to worship.
Fortunately, we can all know which day of the week
is the seventh day, for the Jews have kept the Bible Sabbath for more
than 3,500 years; and to them, as God’s commandment-keeping people
in ancient times, were given the Ten Commandments and the seventh-day
Fifteen hundred years afterward, Jesus, while here
on earth, faithfully kept the seventh-day Sabbath as an example for
us. He kept it on the same day which the Jews of His time were keeping
it—the same day of the week that their fathers and forefathers had
been keeping it for 1,500 years.
In all the time that has elapsed from Christ’s
time down to our own, the Jewish race has continued to keep the
seventh-day Sabbath. Thus we today can clearly identity the Sabbath of
the fourth commandment: It falls on Saturday of each week—the Bible
Sabbath, the seventh-day Sabbath, the only true Sabbath given by God
anywhere in the Bible.
The Creator made this entire world on the first six
days of Creation Week. We are told this in the first chapter in
Scripture. It is only because He is the Creator that He is our God and
should receive our worship. Keeping the Bible Sabbath shows that we
believe that He created us. On the seventh day of that first week, God
made the Sabbath and gave it to us as a rest day (Genesis 2:1-3), to
be forever kept as a sign that He is our Creator (Exodus 31:17), our
Redeemer (Ezekiel 20:12), and that we belong to Him (Ezekiel 20:20).
He knew better than we how much we would need this weekly rest.
But, in the observance of that day there are always
two tests: First, will we keep God’s Sabbath; and, second, will we
keep it on the day of the week that He selected for us. How can we
possibly keep His Sabbath if we do not keep it on the day of the week
which He told us to keep it? We may ever so faithfully in keeping
someone else’s "sabbath"; but, unless we keep His Sabbath
on the day of the week He has specified, we are not keeping His!
Down through the centuries, many have not kept the
Bible Sabbath, but some always have. Will you and I keep it today?
Will we prove true to our God? Many do not know the truth about the
true Sabbath, and God will take that into account. But you and I do
know which day is the true Bible Sabbath. And we can be very thankful
that we do.
Historians, scientists, and astronomers tell us
that the weekly cycle has never been changed. The weekly cycle was
given to us at the creation of this world (Genesis 2:1-3), and
research scientists and historians confirm that it has continued down
through the centuries without being changed or altered. Scientific
statements and evidence for this is detailed tn our book, Beyond
Pitcairn, 157-170. Yet all the evidence we need is the
Jewish race. They are the only group of people that have come down as
a distinct race from Biblical times and Biblical places. God has
preserved them that we might know the true "seventh-day
Sabbath"—it is Saturday, the seventh-day of the week on the
calendars that we use today in our homes and at our places of
The basis of religion is the worship of God, and
the basis of that worship is the weekly sacred day upon which is, in
the fullest sense, to be rendered to Him. Here is a brief look at what
the Bible tells us about this important subject.
(The following information is slightly adapted from
pages 188-209 of our book, Beyond Pitcairn. Much more
information on this will be found in the complete book, a copy of
which may be obtained from the present publisher. It is a book you
should read. See page 112.
Historians tell us that, in the time of Constantine
the Great (A.D. 321), men officially tried to change the rest day from
the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week.
Government and church edicts over the next several centuries enforced
Sundaykeeping on nearly the entire Christian world. But the Scriptures
teach that we must obey the commandments of God rather than human
traditions when they conflict with those commandments.
"When they had brought them, they set them
before the council . . Then Peter and the other apostles answered and
said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ "—Acts
"But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men."—Matthew 15:9.
"For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away
their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."—2
"But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the
counsel of God against themselves."—Luke 7:30.
"He said unto them, Full well ye reject the
commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."—Mark
7-9 (Acts 4:19-20).
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is
good."—1 Thessalonians 5:21.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they
speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be thoroughly
furnished unto all good works."—2 Timothy 3:16-17.
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath
been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and
to convince the gainsayers."—Titus 1:9.
How thankful we can be that we have the Bible—the
precious Word of God! What would we do without it! We dare not leave
it for the words of men—when those words teach disobedience to the
inspired Word of God. Cling to Jesus and to your Bible all your life,
and obey all that it tells you—and you will be safe.
"Who will have all men to be saved, and to
come unto a knowledge of the truth."—1 Timothy 2:4.
"They received not the love of the truth, that
they might be saved."—2 Thessalonians 2:10.
"God hath from the beginning chosen you to
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth."—2 Thessalonians 2:13 (1 Peter 1:2).
"Ye have purified your souls in obeying the
truth through the Spirit."—1 Peter 1:22.
"If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My
disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make
you free."—John 8:31-32.
"Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is
"Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation
which keepeth the truth may enter in."—Isaiah 26:2.
"I saw a new heaven and a new earth . .
Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they might have right
to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
city."—Revelation 21:1; 22:14.
We are told, in Proverbs 9:1, that wisdom hath
builded her house out of many pillars. Here are the twelve Biblical
pillars that undergird the Sabbath Truth; here are the foundational
stones that prove the Bible Sabbath to be the only weekly rest day you
should keep today:
PILLAR NUMBER ONE
The Sabbath was given to all mankind at the
creation of this world.
"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.
"And 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 2:1-3.
In Pillar Number One, we have three unanswerables:
(1) Back in the beginning, God did three things to
the seventh day: First He Himself rested upon it. What an honor that
is to any day! Second, He blessed it. How many things all through the
Bible did God bless? Not very many—but He blessed the seventh day
and made it a rest day. Do we dare do our common labor on a day that
He blessed and set aside for rest? Third, He sanctified or hollowed
it. How many things did God hollow in the Bible? Very, very few
things. How many things did He bless and hallow? Hardly any. Let no
man tell you that the seventh-day Bible Sabbath is unimportant. It is
important to your Creator; it ought to be very important to you also.
(2) The Bible Sabbath was the first divine
institution given to mankind in the history of the world; and, along
with marriage, it is one of the many institutions to come down, past
Eden, into human history. The Sabbath is as sacred as is marriage and
is to be as sacredly guarded.
(3) Two thousand years before the first Jew, God
dedicated and set aside the Sabbath as a rest day. 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 definitely not Jewish!
It was given to mankind; it is for all the world.
"The Sabbath was made for man."—Mark
PILLAR NUMBER TWO
The Sabbath is a memorial as well as a symbol.
First, it is a memorial of creation.
"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."—Exodus 31:17.
As a memorial of the creation of this world, it
cannot pass away without first having this world pass away. 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, in
the place of Planet Earth which would, then, no longer have existence.
But no such event has occurred.
Second, it is a symbol of our salvation through
Christ. When we keep it, we tell all the world that we belong to God,
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.
"Moreover 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 20:12.
"Hollow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign
between Me and you, that ye may know that I am Lord your God."—Ezekiel
Nowhere in Scripture were we ever told to keep any
day in honor of Christ’s resurrection. To do so is unscriptural. But
to set aside the creation-and-sanctification Sabbath of the Bible—for
another day of the week—and then excuse it by saying that we do so,
"in honor of Christ’s resurrection," is indeed a very
daring thing. Who dares presume to set aside the memorial of creation
and salvation for any reason! Knowingly to do so flies in the face of
direct commands by the God of heaven, and thus is a denial of our
creation and salvation by Him.
Yet those who do so, will, in the great day of
judgment, only be able to plead that they did so because others did
so. There is really no reason for keeping the first day of the week
holy instead of the seventh day.
PILLAR NUMBER THREE
The people of God kept the Bible Sabbath before the
Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai.
This is understandable. The Sabbath truth was first
given to our race in Eden before the fall of man. It was given before
sin and apart from it. It was given to mankind to link him to his God.
If Adam needed the Sabbath, we need it all the more today.
It is of interest that when Moses initially
returned to Egypt, he told his enslaved people that they must begin
keeping the Sabbath again. God was about to do great things for them,
and they must show themselves to be His worshipers.
"The king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore
do ye, Moses and Aaron, let [keep] the people from their works? Get
you unto your burdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the
land are many and ye make them rest from their burdens."—Exodus
Moses had not told them to stop working. He had
told them to keep the weekly Sabbath rest. Pharaoh was angry about
Then, 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, but
not always well-kept:
"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will
rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather
a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will
walk in My law or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day
they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as
much as they gather daily."
"It came to pass, that on the sixth day they
gathered twice as much bread . . And he [Moses] said unto them, This
is that which the Lord had said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy
Sabbath unto the Lord . . Six days ye shall gather it; but on the
seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it
came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh
day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said to Moses,
How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws: So the people
rested on the seventh day."—Exodus 16:4-5, 22, 23, 26-28,
There are those who say that the seventh-day
Sabbath was not commanded by God nor kept by man before Exodus 20; it
was first introduced on Mount Sinai. But Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 16
PILLAR NUMBER FOUR
"Remember the Sabbath day to deep 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 hollowed it."—Exodus
(1) The Sabbath commandment is part of moral law of
the 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
(2) This "Sabbath commandment" is not a
one-day-a-week holy commandment, but the seventh-day holy commandment.
We do not obey this commandment by keeping holy the third day of the
week or the first. We only obey the commandment by keeping the seventh
day of the week—which is the Bible Sabbath. Adam and Eve could not
select at random any tree in the garden and call it the "tree of
life." They had to go to the one that God had appointed as the
tree of life. And the same for the "tree of knowledge of good and
evil." God made the decision as to which tree was which. And He
did the same with the Sabbath. He chose the seventh day of each week,
and this did not include any other day with it or in place of it. We
are not to 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
(3) Some say that Genesis 2:1-3 is not a command
for man to keep the Sabbath, and therefore we need not do so. But
Exodus 16 and 20 clearly show that man is commanded to keep it holy.
Who will dare say that the Ten Commandments are only for the Jewish
race. Are the rest of us permitted to lie, steal, cheat, and commit
adultery? Are only the Hebrews not to bow down to idols and to honor
(4) The reason for the commandment is the creation
of the 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.
(5) The commandment says to "remember."
The people of God were not being told of some new concept. They were
to keep in mind that which they already knew.
(6) God wrote these Ten Commandments with His own
finger (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10). He wrote them on the most
enduring thing in the world (Exodus 31:18). And He wishes to write
them on our hearts.
"This is the covenant that I will make with
them after those days, saith the Lord: 1 will put My laws into their
hearts and in their minds will I write them."—Hebrews 10:16
(Hebrews 8:10; Jeremiah 31:33).
Through the New Covenant, He may write His holy law
upon our hearts, if we will but let Him. To have the Ten Commandments
written on our hearts means two things: First, it means to be willing
to obey them; and, second, it means to let God enable us to do so by
the grace of Jesus, His Son.
PILLAR NUMBER FIVE
The weekly Sabbath—the 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 the Passover
and the Wave Sheaf, which were 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 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, on parchment, 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
"Blotting 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 to an holy day, 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, "Of the sabbaths."
The weekly Sabbath comes down to us from the creation of this world
and will be kept in the New Earth (Isaiah 66:22-23). But the yearly
sabbaths did not begin until Moses. They typified, or explained, the
coming death of Christ; and, at His death, these sabbaths were nailed
to the 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 and Lamb, has been sacrificed
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world."—John 1:29.
"For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed
for us."—1 Corinthians 5:7.
"Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,
as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition
from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish and without spot."—1 Peter 1:18-19.
PILLAR NUMBER SIX
Repeatedly, in Holy Scripture, God gave warnings of
dire consequences to those who professed to worship Him but did not
keep His holy Sabbath. Examples of this can be found in Numbers
15:32-36; 2 Chronicles 36:11-21; Jeremiah 17:19-27; 52:7-14.
God also warned against professed Sabbath observers
who at the same time engaged in falsehood and wrongdoing. An example
of the problem is given in Isaiah 58:1-14. The answers are clear, aren’t
they? If we will seek God inspite all our darling sins, He will remold
us into loving, obedient children. He will place His Holy Spirit
within us and write His laws upon our hearts. And then it will be
heart work to obey Him—an act of genuine, unfeigned love.
Repeatedly, during the earthly life of Christ, we
see that the Jewish rabbis had bound heavy burdens upon the people
that God had never asked of them. Jesus ignored these man-made
restrictions. For example, on one occasion, He ate a meal with His
disciples as they walked along. But, according to man-made rules, this
was wrong to do (Matthew 12:1-2). On several occasions He healed
people on the Sabbath, but the Jews thought it a terrible thing to be
kind and helpful to God’s suffering creatures on the Sabbath day
(Luke 6:7-11; John 5:16; Mark 2:24; Luke 13:14-17; Matthew 12:2,
10-12; Luke 14:5-6; John 9:16). Never imagine that, because others do
not obey God according to His requirements, you do not need to do so.
Just because the Jewish rabbis would not keep the Sabbath properly,
many imagine that they need not do so either. But the Sabbath was not
given because of the rabbis. It was given, at creation, to all the
"The scribes and Pharisees watched Him,
whether He would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an
accusation against Him . . and they were filled with madness; and
communed one with another what they might do to Jesus."—Luke
"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed
and walk . . The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus
which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus,
and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the
Sabbath day."—John 5:8, 15-16.
PILLAR NUMBER SEVEN
Throughout His earthly life, Jesus always kept the
Ten Commandments. And, by so doing, He gave us an example to follow.
The Bible says we are to follow His example:
"It is written of Me, I delight to do Thy
will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within thy heart."—Psalm
"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in
His mouth."—1 Peter 2:22.
"[He] was in all points tempted like as we
are, yet without sin."—Hebrews 4:15.
"Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be
made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful
High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for
the sins of the people."—Hebrews 2:17.
"For even hereunto were ye called: because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should
follow His steps."—1 Peter 2:21.
"He that saith He abideth in Him ought himself
also to walk, even as He walked."—1 John 2:6.
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk in Him."—Colossians 2:6.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Christ Jesus."—Philippians 2:5.
"I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him
who sent Me."—John 5:30 (John 6:38).
There were those who feared that Jesus intended to
overthrow the law of God. But He definitely stated His belief in its
eternity. The law of God will never pass away. Its moral precepts are
for all men through all time to come. And would we want it any other
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law
or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily
I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."—Matthew
PILLAR NUMBER EIGHT
There is no doubt that the actions and attitudes of
the disciples of Jesus, at the time of His death on Calvary, clearly
revealed that which He had been teaching them for the preceding three
and a half years. The sacred importance of the seventh-day Sabbath was
of such concern to Christ’s disciples that they would not even
prepare the body of Jesus properly for burial on Friday, lest they
transgress the fourth commandment.
"Now when the even was come, because it was
the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath . . Mary
Magadalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where He was laid.
"And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene
and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, brought sweet spices, that
they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning on 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 15:42,
"And he took it down and wrapped it in linen,
and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man
before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath
drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee,
followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the
Sabbath day according to the commandment.
"Now upon the first day of he week, very early
in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices
which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found
the stone rolled away from sepulchre."—Luke 23:53-24:2.
Now, it is true that at that time there were some
who did not sacredly regard the Bible Sabbath. But we do not wish to
be reckoned among that company! These were the murderers of Jesus, who
cared neither for His life of obedience to the Ten Commandments nor
for His teachings to obey the Ten Commandments:
Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure
until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him
away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead; so that the
last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye
have a watch [of Roman guards]: go your way, make it as sure as you
can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone and
setting a watch.
"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to
dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the
other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great
earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came
and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it."—Matthew
On Friday, while all the people were watching them,
the Jewish rulers refused to enter Pilate’s judgment hall, lest they
be "defiled." And so Pilate had to go outside to speak with
them (John 18:28-29). But on the holy Sabbath day, they secretly did
business—and walked directly into the judgment hall of Pilate to
conduct it! While the evil priests and scribes did weekday business
upon hours of the Sabbath, those who had daily listened to the
teachings of Jesus and loved and obeyed His beliefs carefully
refrained from working on those holy hours even though it would lead
them to the impossible situation of not knowing how they would anoint
His body two days later when the Roman seal would be upon the
And what was it that Jesus did during those holy
hours of that Sabbath? This is also very revealing. God, in His great
time clock, had arranged for the exact time when Christ should be born
and when He should die. His death took place in A.D. 31, in accordance
with the prophecy of Daniel 9:25-27. And it came to pass in the spring
of the year—at the Passover time—when the lamb that prefigured His
death was to be slain. On what day of the week did His death occur? In
God’s great plan, Christ died on a Friday afternoon, so that, in the
tomb, He could keep the Sabbath rest, free from harassment by enemies,
all through those sacred hours.
And then, on the first day of the week, He arose
and began working again. He went all the way to heaven in order to
present His great sacrifice to His Father and received assurance that
it had been accepted on behalf of His faithful ones on earth. Prior to
this, He told Mary He had not yet ascended to the Father (John 20:17).
When He returned to earth that evening, He walked with two disciples
to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31) and, then, spoke with many of the others in
room upper (John 20:19; Luke 24:36). That was a busy first day of the
week for Him! But then, it was just another working day, as Scripture
At the creation, God used the first day of
the week as a working day (Genesis 1:3-5). On Mount Sinai, He
commanded that it be nothing more than a working day (Exodus 20:8-9).
Our God considers it nothing more than a "working day"
(Ezekiel 46:1). Should we consider it anything more than that?
But what about the apostles? There is no example of
Sundaykeeping by any of the apostles. Twice Paul apparently mentioned
the first day of the week. Oddly enough, they are the only two
"first day passages" mentioned in all of his writings and
travels. Let us examine both of those passages. They are found in Acts
20:6-14 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
The talk that Paul gave on the first day of the
week at Troas—was actually on Saturday night. This is because a
night meeting on the first day would have to be on Saturday night
since, according to the Biblical pattern, the day begins and ends at
sunset. The next day was Sunday. On that day he chose to walk 28 miles
to Assos while his companions journeyed there by ship. This was not
Sabbathkeeping! Sunday was just another workday for Paul.
And then there is that "first day
passage" in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. It is only a statement by Paul
that it would be well for the faithful to set aside, at home, each
Sunday morning, as they budget their weekly accounts, a donation for
the poor in Jerusalem. Paul wanted to obtain it when he later passed
through town. They were to set it aside "without gathering."
Modern translations show that this means to set aside the money at
PILLAR NUMBER NINE
According to all of the records that we have in the
New Testament, the apostles of Jesus always kept the Bible Sabbath;
they never kept Sunday sacred.
"They came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went
into the synagogue on the Sabbath day."—Acts 13:14.
"When the Jews were gone out of the synagogue,
the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the
next Sabbath."—Acts 13:42.
"On the Sabbath we went out of the city by a
river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down and
spake unto the women which resorted thither."—Acts 16:13.
"They came to Thessalonica, where was a
synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them,
and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures."—Acts
Paul supported himself by tentmaking; and, then on
the Sabbath, he would preach the gospel.
"Because 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 not be, set aside. It will always be
the rule governing the conduct of mankind:
"Do we then make void the law through faith?
God forbid: yea, we establish the law."—Romans 3:31.
"What 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 6:1-2.
"What 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 shall not covet."—Romans
Paul clearly saw that our problem was that we
needed to obey the law; there was nothing wrong with the requirements
of the law itself.
"Wherefore the law is holy, and the
commandment holy, and just, and good."—Romans 7:12.
"Circumcision 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
the law. As Jesus Himself told us:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law,
or the prophets: I am not come to destroy. but to fulfill."—Matthew
He did not come to destroy but to fulfill. The
word, "fulfill," in the original Greek means to "fill
up a good example of." The same word is also used in 1 John 1:4;
John 15:11; 16:24; 2 John 12; Philippians 2:2 (where it is
"fulfill your joy." Jesus came to increase our happiness,
not to blot it out. Also see Colossians 1:25 and 2 Corinthians 10:6.
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these
least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the
least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them,
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."—Matthew
"Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall
save His people from their sins."—Matthew 1:21.
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 by enabling (strengthening) us to keep the law.
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also
the law; for sin is the transgression of the law."—1 John
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.
"But 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 has faith, and I
have works; shew me thy faith without works, and I will shew thee my
faith by my works."—James 1:22-25; 2:10-12; 17-18.
"By this we know that we love the children of
God, when we love God, and keep His commandments: and His commandments
are not grievous."—1 John 5:2-3.
PILLAR NUMBER TEN
God predicted, in Scripture, that men would later
try to change the law of God—and the time law in particular. We can
understand why such a prophecy would be given to us, for the Bible
Sabbath is very important (it is at the very center of our worship of
God!); and, if men were later to try to change it—we could surely
expect a warning in Scripture that such an attempt was going to be
"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
According to Scripture, the little horn (Papal
Rome) was to ruled the world for 1,260 years; and, during that time it
would attempt to change God’s time law—the seventh-day Sabbath—by
transferring its sacredness to Sunday, the first day of the week. Our
book, Mark of the Beast, explains this in detail. You
will want to read it. lt is full of historical statements about the
attempted change of the Sabbath. See page 112 for further information.
"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
God said: "Hollow my Sabbaths; and they shall
be as a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord
your God" (Ezekiel 20:20). But the papacy said, "No, you
shall trample upon the Bible Sabbath; and, in its place, you shall
honor my counterfeit, and on it alone you shall have your weekly holy
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey."—Romans
"It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord
thy God and Him only shalt thou serve."—Matthew 4:10.
"But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men."—Matthew 15:9.
"How long halt ye between two opinions? If the
Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him."—1
PILLAR NUMBER ELEVEN
The seventh-day Sabbath, instituted by God at the
creation of the world, is the seal of His governmental authority; for
it alone identifies Him in His basic governmental code for mankind:
the Ten Commandments.
Of all the commandments in the Decalogue, only the
fourth commandment reveals the (1) name, (2) authority/office and (3)
dominion of the Author of this law. It alone has the seal:
"In six days, the Lord [1-name] made
[2-office, the Creator] heaven and earth [3-dominion or territory over
which He rules]." This commandment alone contains the seal of
God. Examine the seal of a notary public or any other legal seal. Each
seal will always contain the above three identifing marks.
"Remember 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 on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed
the Sabbath day and hollowed it."—Exodus 20:8, 11.
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. 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. 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 placing of the seal identifies the owner of the
seal. The seventh-day Sabbath comes from God. Let no man dare to
tamper with it—for the seal of God is upon it.
"Now, O King, establish the decree, and sign
the writing that it be not changed."—Daniel 6:8.
"Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My
"It [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 the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."—Exodus
"Hollow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign
between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your
The Sabbath is a vivid sign of God’s creative
power—not only of this earth, but in 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.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God."—Psalm
"We are . . created in Christ Jesus unto good
In addition, there is to be a special sealing work
in these last days, just before the return of Jesus in the clouds of
"I 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 God in their
foreheads."—Revelation 7:2-3 (Ezekiel 9:1-6).
"I 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 foreheads."—Revelation 14:1.
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 (Exodus 33:18-19).
As we look to God’s holy law, we see another view
of His character. It is a transcript of that character; it is God’s
characteristics written out.
When God writes His name on your head and right
hand—He has written His law on your heart. This is the work of the
new covenant (Hebrews 8:10; 10:16; Jeremiah 31:33), and that work
reaches its climax when God "seals in" His own 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
But, in the final crisis before His return, there
will be those who will yield obedience to the beast instead of to the
law of 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 God."—Revelation 14:9-10.
"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 13:16.
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? Our Creator has
carefully explained in His Word. Here is a description of His final
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 Christ."—Revelation 12:17.
The third angel of Revelation 14, which warns men
not receive the mark of the beast and, at the same time, 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
Here is the final remnant of God’s people on
earth before the end of time. Here is how to identify them: They keep
the commandments of God by faith in the enabling grace of Jesus
The final crisis will come over 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 to 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 final crisis will be keyed to this test of
obedience to the law of God.
The first angel of Revelation 14 calls upon men
everywhere, today, to reverence God—by returning to the worship of
the Creator of all things.
"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
"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give
glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come: and worship Him
that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
As the crisis nears, we must be preparing for it.
"The 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 Today, 213.
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"
"I 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
PILLAR NUMBER TWELVE
And it is a double strength pillar:
(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
(especially Papal Rome) has tried to destroy the people of God for
long ages of time, 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
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
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are
they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."—Revelation
Yes, it will be an almost universal apostasy. All
around us can be seen a rising tide of rebellion against the Ten
Commandments. In their science, history, and psychology classes, 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, pornography,
homosexuality, and other vices.
Because of disobedience to Heaven’s laws, 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) Soon this present evil world will be ended
suddenly by the return of Jesus Christ—and heaven will begin for the
In that heaven, the seventh-day Sabbath will be
kept forever. For long ages, God’s people suffered and died rather
than repudiate it; amid the peace of heaven, they will worship God on
that holy day through all time to come. You and I want to be among
Revelation 21 and 22 tells us about this new life
with Jesus, when sin will have come to an end and the wicked are no
"I 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
We are told, in Scripture, who will enter that
beautiful new world:
"Blessed 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 22:14.
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. They shall plant
vineyards and eat 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 . .
"For as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I 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. It
is a wonderful one! It can begin for you right now. And it will
continue throughout eternity. Why not begin today? Tell God that, by
His grace, you will worship your Creator on His day.
Next Sabbath—begin that holy walk with God on His
day, the holy day of Isaiah 58. Read this chapter and see the
blessings He will add as you surrender to Him.
But do not think 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. But, 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.
One day soon, if faithful, 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. 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.
"One of the elders answered, saying unto me,
what are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence come they?
"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.
"For 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
"The Lord God is a sun and shield:
the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them
that walk uprightly."—Psalm 84:11
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