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    August 21, 1907

    “The ‘Why’ of the Religious Phase of the Sanitarium.—II” The Medical Missionary, 16, 34, pp. 166, 167.

    ATJ

    ALONZO. T. JONES

    THERE is another item of the religious phase of the Sanitarium, the “why” of which was especially asked for. That is, Life only in Christ. This also is simply because of the Bible. And it stands at the very threshold of the Bible. When God made man He said to him, “Of the trees 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.” The man did eat of that forbidden tree. Why then did he not die that day?—Simply because Christ gave himself, and stepped in between, and took upon him the death that was descending upon man; and gave to man opportunity to lay hold upon the eternal life, that Christ extended in place of the eternal death that was falling. And there Christ gave to man the life which is “even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away,” that the man might have opportunity to choose and lay hold upon life that is substance and eternal. Therefore Christ said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” And in the way in which men use the life that is “a vapor,” they show just what use they would make of life that is substance and eternal. And thus they decide for themselves as to whether they can be entrusted with that life that is substance and more abundant, and that measures with the life of God. For “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.... And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?”MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.1

    Thus by the Bible, after the man had eaten of the forbidden tree he would never have had a chance even to breath a second time, except for the gift of Christ. And when man owes to the gift of Christ, the very breath by which he lives only this temporal life, how could it be possible that he could have eternal life without Christ? To think that he can, is only to argue that he has life of himself, that he is self-existent and independent of God; and therefore equal with God. But that will never do. Any life at all for man is solely because of the gift of Christ; and how much more is it so as to eternal life?MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.2

    Another item as to the “why” and “wherefore” of the religious phase of the Sanitarium is, The observance of the Sabbath. The inquiry is not as to the observance of a day, for that is expected of all; but, Why do we observe a day different from the one recognized by the great mass of the people—the seventh day? This, too, is simply because we would have the Bible to be to us the Word of God. For the Word of God says as plainly as words can say, that “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” And this is the truth of the word of God not only in the general sense of the Bible as the word of God, in the specific sense of the Word spoken by Himself personally at Sinai with a voice that shook the earth. Nearly everywhere among Christians there is found on the walls of the churches, copies of the Ten Commandments. And the fourth of these says plainly to all, “The seventh day is the work which God has created and 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.”MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.3

    The Seventh day is the Sabbath, not because it is the seventh day, but because God made it the Sabbath. He could have made another day the Sabbath, if he had chosen to do so. But he did choose the seventh day and made it the Sabbath. And since this is his will and his word, surely this must stand if he shall be God, and his word the word of God, to us. That may not be the day that we would have made the Sabbath. But we did not have the making of it. It is God who made the choice of the seventh day, and who made it the Sabbath. And he did this for us; for “the Sabbath was made for man.”MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.4

    This whole matter of our observance of the Sabbath in the Sanitarium is simply because that to us the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, the seventh day, chosen by the Lord and made the Sabbath, and declared in his word to be the Sabbath, is the Sabbath of the Lord in the religious phase of the Sanitarium. True we could refuse to recognize or observe this Sabbath of the Lord. But that would be disobedience; that would be saying, I do not want God’s will or his way of His Word. But if we should put another day in the place of the one chosen of God, and should observe this other day instead of the one which he has made and designated, that would be more than disobedience; that would be to put ourselves above him. For it would be only to say that he was not sufficiently wise to make the right choice or to do the right thing, while we are sufficient in all this to make exactly the right choice and to do precisely the right thing. And this would be nothing else than to require that God and his word should give way to us and our will; that his should cease and ours prevail. Yet even if we were to do that, and succeed in persuading many, and even all, others to do it, it never could be right nor could it prevail, for God will ever be God and his word stands forever.MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.5

    I stated that God could have made another day the Sabbath if he had wished to have it so. For, surely, when creation was accomplished only by his speaking the word he could have created the worlds in less than six days if he had chosen to do so. He could have created all in five days and rested the sixth, and blessed and hallowed and sanctified the sixth day; then the sixth day would have been the Sabbath, as the seventh day now is. Or he could have created all in four days, and rested the fifth, and made it the Sabbath; or in three days and made the fourth, or in two days and made the third, or in one day, and made the second day the Sabbath. But he could not have created all things in one day, and then made that first day the Sabbath. For Sabbath means rest, and Sabbath-day, rest day. And the day he worked, could not be also the day he rested. The day in which he created all, would necessarily be the first day; and it being impossible for that to be the rest day too, it would, therefore, manifestly be impossible for even the Lord to make the first day the Sabbath. Yet that is the very day that has been set up as a Sabbath by somebody, in the place of the day chosen and made the Sabbath, by the Lord. I remarked, a while ago, that for us to refuse to observe the Sabbath that God has made would be disobedience; but for us to observe another day instead of the one appointed by Him, would be to put ourselves above him in wisdom and righteousness. And just this thing has been done. And whoever it was that accomplished this thing certainly went the whole length; for in fixing on the first day of the week to be the Sabbath, they went beyond even what God could do; and thus put themselves above God, not only as to wisdom and righteousness, but as to power; and thus would show themselves in all things independent of God, and above him.MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.6

    But that will never do. God is still God. His will and work stand forever supreme. And in recognition of this, we yield to him in wisdom, in righteousness, and in power, accepting the Sabbath which he has made, and enjoying the rest, the blessing, the holiness, and the sanctification, of it. For just this is the purpose of the Sabbath of the Lord as it is written, “Hallow my Sabbaths and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Is it not a good thing for a person to know, really to know that the Lord is his God? Yet this is precisely the purpose of the Sabbath. The Sabbath of the Lord, therefore, is a blessed means of God’s revealing himself to the knowledge of men.MEDM August 21, 1907, page 166.7

    The Sabbath is given, that by hallowing it we may know that the Lord is our God. God is known only through Christ. Therefore, the Sabbath is divinely established means by which men may know God as he is revealed in Jesus Christ. And by observing this Sabbath of the Lord, in spirit and in truth, men ever grow in the knowledge of God. And this even to eternity, for when the new heavens and the new earth shall be brought in, then “from one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:23.MEDM August 21, 1907, page 267.1

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