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    Contents

    December 4, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School” The Signs of the Times, 10, 46.

    E. J. Waggoner

    LESSON FOR THE PACIFIC COAST—DEC. 20

    1. Where do you find the story of the rich man and Lazarus? Luke 16:19-31.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.1

    2. What description is given of the rich man? Verse 19.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.2

    3. What is said of Lazarus the beggar? Verses 20, 21.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.3

    4. What happened to them both? Verse 22.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.4

    5. Throughout the narrative, in what condition are they both represented as being? Verses 30, 31.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.5

    6. What further shows that they are not considered as being alive? Verse 25.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.6

    7. What is cited in the narrative as sufficient authority concerning the future? Verses 29, 31.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.7

    8. In the Old Testament, what do we learn as to the condition of the dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.8

    9. What becomes of their thoughts? Psalm 146:3, 4.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.9

    10. How much interest are they able to manifest in the affairs of their friends who still live? Job 14:21.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.10

    11. Where is the rich man represented as being after his death and burial? But 16:22, 23. (See Revised Version.)SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.11

    12. What does the word “hell” (hades) signify? 1 Corinthians 15:55. (See marginal reading of the word “grave.”)SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.12

    13. What have we learned as to the dominion of death and the grave over mankind? Psalm 89:48.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.13

    14. To what place did Christ go when he died? Acts 2:29-32.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.14

    15. What kind of a place is the grave? Job 10:20-22.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.15

    16. What can you say concerning the activity of the wicked in the grave? Psalm 31:17.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.16

    17. Why should people not put off that which they find to do in their life-time? Ecclesiastes 9:10.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.17

    18. In view of this state of things, what kind of a land is the grave called? Psalm 88:10-12.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.18

    19. In the narrative before us, where is the beggar represented as having been taken? Luke 16:22.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.19

    20. What does the inspired record say of Abraham and his death? Genesis 25:8.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.20

    21. Can this mean that he went to Heaven? Joshua 24:2.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.21

    22. What is meant by “being gathered to his people’? Genesis 15:15.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.22

    23. Was any different disposition made of Abraham than of the rich man in our lesson? Compare Genesis 15:15; 25:9, with Luke 16:22.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.23

    24. Then must not all of these persons, if all of them ever really existed, have gone to the same place?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.24

    25. What is the place to which all the dead go?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.25

    LESSON FOR DECEMBER 27

    1. Relate what is stated in the 16th of Luke concerning the rich man and the beggar.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.26

    2. What happened to them both?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.27

    3. To what place have we learned that they both went?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.28

    4. Do you know of any people who are exempt from going into the grave?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.29

    5. What does the psalmist say about all men going into the grave? Psalm 89:48.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.30

    6. Of what was “man” formed? Genesis 2:7.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.31

    7. What did he afterward become? Ib.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.32

    8. What was imparted to him to bring about this change? Ib.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.33

    9. Does the breath have life and consciousness in itself?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.34

    10. How does the wise man describe the death of man? Ecclesiastes 12:7.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.35

    11. Since there is nothing to man but that which is formed of the dust, and the breath, can there be any conscious entity when the dust returns to the earth?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.36

    12. Give a brief summary of the Scripture statements concerning the dead-their place and condition.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.37

    13. Since both Lazarus and the rich man are represented in Luke 16 as dead, could the conversation ascribed to them have been real?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.38

    14. What other instances can you cite of inanimate objects represented as talking? Genesis 4:10; Habakkuk 2:10; James 5:4.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.39

    15. What are such representations called?See Webster’s definition of “apologue.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.40

    16. What important lesson is taught by this apologue?SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.41

    17. With what precious statement of Christ is it in harmony? Luke 16:11-13.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.42

    18. What action of the Pharisees made its recital necessary? Luke 16:14.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.43

    19. Why is human judgment as to the comparative worth of man liable to be at fault? 1 Samuel 16:7.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.44

    20. When will every man be judged according to his real merit? 1 Corinthians 4:5.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.45

    21. What will the righteous Judge give to those who love his appearing? 2 Timothy 4:8.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.46

    22. How will the despised, humble poor man stand then? James 2:5.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.47

    23. When will the angels actually take the righteous to the mansions of rest? Matthew 24:30, 31.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.48

    24. When will the wicked be tormented? Matthew 13:40-42.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.49

    25. When the separation is thus made, what fixes the gulf between the righteous and the wicked? Revelation 22:11.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.50

    That which forms the basis of these two lessons, is the story of the rich man and Lazarus, as found in Luke 16:19-31. It is given in the lesson under the general heading, “Immortality,” although the Scripture has really nothing to do with that subject. The condition of the dead, or the final reward of the righteous and the wicked, was not the subject under consideration, and Christ did not design by this passage to teach anything concerning either of those things. The only object, then, in considering it as bearing on the subject of immortality, is to show what it does not teach, rather than what it does, and to make it the means of refreshing our minds on certain plain declarations of Scripture already learned.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.51

    The idea that has become popular in regard to this passage of Scripture, is that a real occurrence is described-that the soul, or spirit, of Lazarus, and his death, was borne a way to a place called Abraham’s bosom, in the full enjoyment of unutterable bliss, and that the disembodied soul, or spirit, of the rich man, as conscious as when it inhabited the body, was cast down to hell, there to suffer the torments of the damned. So firmly fixed is this idea in the minds of the majority of people, that it will be necessary to show its inconsistency before stating what the text is really designed to teach.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.52

    Let us, then, for a moment suppose the passage to be a plain narration of fact. “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” Verse 22. The other is the law of language by which it can be made to appear that that which “was carried” is not the same thing that “died.” Popular theory would have it that the body of Lazarus died, and that his soul, or spirit, was carried to Abraham’s bosom. But the language forbids any such construction. “The beggar died and [the beggar] was carried.” If only the body died, then only the body was carried; if it was the soul or spirit that was carried, then it was only the soul or spirit that died. Let us suppose, by way of illustration, that a man is describing a hurricane and its effects. Of a certain building, he says: “The house trembled to its foundation, and was blown down.” Now if, when you inquire the amount of the loss, he should say, “Oh, the house was not blown down, it was the people who were in it,” would you not think that he needed to learn how to use the English language? So we think concerning those who would argue from this passage that one part of Lazarus died and another part was carried to Abraham’s bosom.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.53

    Again, we meet with the same difficulty in the case of the rich man. “The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes.” In this case the language plainly says that that which died was the same that was buried, and this again was the same that is next said to be in hell. If it was only the body that died and was buried, then it was only the body that was in torment. If it was the soul that was in torment, then was the soul that died. It will be noticed that throughout the narrative, all parties are represented as possessed of all the organs and faculties of ordinary living beings. These things are sufficient to show that the popular idea is inconsistent with itself, and that we cannot look upon this scripture as containing the relation of an natural occurrence.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.54

    This conclusion is still further sustained by a consideration of the fact that both parties in this narrative are represented as dead. It is said of both that they died; Abraham says to the rich man, “Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy goods things, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” Here is a direct contrast between their present condition and their life-time. Now when we remember that “the dead know not anything;” that when man’s “breath goeth forth and he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish;” that they perceive not when their friends are exalted or abased (Job 14:21), we conclude that this passage must partake of the nature of a fable.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.55

    We find, moreover, that the word here translated “hell,” is hades, and this, we are told, is the Greek word signifying the place of all the dead. If we turn to 1 Corinthians 15:55, we find that “hell” (hades) is placed in the margin as the equivalent of “grave” in the verse. Now in Psalm 89:48 we learn that there are none who can deliver their souls from the power of the grave; and in harmony with this, we find that both righteous and wicked go there. Genesis 37:35; Job 14:13; Psalm 31:17. Still further, we find that this place where all go is a “land of forgetfulness” (Psalm 88:10-12); a “land of darkness, as darkness itself,” “where the light is as darkness” (Job 10:22); and that in it “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Since all the dead go there, this narrative concerning those who are expressly declared to be dead, could not have been an actual occurrence.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.56

    This narrative may then properly be called a fable or an apologue. But the latter, Webster defines as “a story or relation of fictitious events, intended to convey useful truths; a moral fable.” It differs from a parable, in this respect: a parable relates things which do take place among mankind, and which therefore might occur in the case supposed; but an apologue relates the supposed actions and words of brutes and inanimate things. Of this figure of speech there are many instances in the Bible, as in Genesis 4:10, where Abel’s blood is said to cry; in Habakkuk 2:11, where the stone and the beam are said to speak together; in James 5:4, where the hire of the laborers is said to cry; and an extended instance occurs in Judges 9:8-15, where the trees are represented as talking among themselves, and choosing a king. In all of these cases, some truth is designed to be conveyed in a striking manner.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.57

    In order to understand what this fable is designed to teach, we must observe the connection. The chapter opens with the parable of the steward. He was commended because he prudently provided for the future. From this, the Saviour showed the necessity of using the wealth with which God may intrust us, in his service, so that he may commit to our trust true riches. Said he, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things; and they derided him.” They regarded riches as a mark of God’s especial favor, and poverty as indicating his displeasure. He therefore, by a fable drawn from their own tradition, showed that if a man has all his good things in this life, he can expect nothing more. He may seem to be far above his poverty-stricken but pious neighbor, but when things are seen as they really are, as God sees them, it will appear that there is indeed a great gulf between them, but that the advantage is all in favor of the poor man. Death ends the probation of every man, and thus fixes this gulf, so that there can be no changing of positions. E. J. W.SITI December 4, 1884, page 726.58

    “The Salvation Army” The Signs of the Times, 10, 46.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Several weeks ago we copied from an editorial in the Holiness Evangelist a few sentences descriptive of an all-night meeting of the Salvation Army. The editor, although expressing a mild doubt as to the strict necessity for all their antics, was very enthusiastic in his praise of the meeting, telling how much good he had received, and advising everybody to attend the next one. One has just been held in San Jose, and a delegation of about seventy-five went down from Oakland. From the report of it in a paper published in Oakland, by members of the Salvation Army, we make the following extracts:-SITI December 4, 1884, page 728.1

    “On the way down the drums and brass instruments, the tambourines, and the human lungs and voices were strained to their utmost. The psalmist, if he had been there, would have been reminded of his old days when men rejoiced before the Lord with all their might.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 728.2

    If incoherent screeches, and a jargon of confused sounds constitute praise to God, then a minstrel show must be a very pious place, and a gang of hoodlums must be devout beyond all computation. Lest any should think that our comparisons are unjust, we quote from their own description of what took place after they reached the place of meeting in San Jose:-SITI December 4, 1884, page 728.3

    “The Salvationists filled the platform full. Then commenced a meeting that is perfectly inconceivable to those who haven’t seen it,-a meeting into which is brought into combination all the amusing features of a minstrel show, and the earnestness and solemnity of the day of Judgment. There was levity without license; unbounded fun, without a thought of sin in it; faces laughing in every feature with unmeasured glee, yet all radiant with the glory of God. Here was war in Heaven sure enough. Any one who has the idea that fighting sin is going to be a long-faced business had better go to an all-night meeting of the Salvation Army.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 728.4

    That one of the participators could be serious and write stuff like the above, is sufficient evidence of the terrible delusion into which these people have fallen. To imagine that the solemnity of the Judgment can be associated with fun, levity, and the amusing features of a minstrel show, argues an amount of moral blindness that would be incomprehensible in professed Christians, were it not for certain texts of Scripture to be noticed hereafter. If any think that we publish such things for the purpose of holding them up to ridicule, they greatly mistake our purpose. It is too serious a matter for ridicule. We do it simply to call attention to the nature and tendency of the Salvation Army, and kindred organizations. We have held that the Salvation Army, and the so-called “Holiness Bands,” which are the same thing only less boisterous, are but feeders for Spiritualism; that they are, in fact, forms of Spiritualism; and that the leaders are simply in training, unconsciously, for Spiritualist mediums. Before we give a Scriptural reason for this judgment, we will present two or three paragraphs more, which may, perhaps, cause some to read with more interest and attention that which follows. In defending the statement that there is a Spiritualist gate to the heavenly city, the paper says:-SITI December 4, 1884, page 728.5

    “Every Christian must see that Spiritualism has in it a great truth mixed with much error. This truth is the resurrection of the dead, but the Spiritualists are not out half far enough yet. This work cannot be complete till they can materialize the dead, and keep them materialized, so that they shall put on incorruption.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.1

    Again, in another article we find this:-SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.2

    “When God shall have prepared us, and when we ‘know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of the sufferings, being made conformable unto his death’ (Philippians 3:10), then shall we attain the resurrection of the dead, that is, we shall have power to call forth the dead, and, by virtue of the God power in us, assist them to put on incorruption.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.3

    One specimen paragraph from an article, “The Vail Taken Away,” will suffice to show to what extent some who profess Christ, or even now given over to a “mind void of judgment:”-SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.4

    “Through the past dispensation men have preached ‘Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness’ (1 Corinthians 1:23), but this stumbling block, this vail, is to be taken away.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.5

    These extracts indicate the tendency of this movement. If it should be urged that no respectable number of people will ever accept such foolishness and error, we reply that there are tens of thousands of Spiritualists who seriously hold to error even worse than that which we have quoted. What is to hinder all members of the “Salvation Army” and the “Holiness Bands” from accepting the same and worse, even if they do not at present go to such great lengths? In their present attitude there is nothing to hinder it, but everything to favorite. Let us examine the guide book and see. In Romans 1:28, the apostle speaks of the heathen, whom God gave over to a “reprobate mind,” or, as the margin has it, to “a mind avoid of judgment.” The reason for this was “when they knew God they glorified him not as God,” and “did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” Again, in the 2 Timothy 3:8, the same apostle speaks of others who are “of no judgment [margin] concerning the faith.” These are not heathen, but professing Christians, men who have “a form of godliness.” In their case, also, their lack of judgment concerning spiritual things, is due to the fact that, though they are “ever learning,” they are “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” and the reason for this is that they “resist the truth.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.6

    Such a condition of mind as this,-the individual being unable to judge correctly concerning the truth,-is the legitimate result of resisting it. The Saviour said: “Yet a little while is the light with you.Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” John 12:35. From this we can learn nothing else than that light will not remain with the person forever, unless used. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day;” but if one rejects light, darkness comes, and then he will not know whither he goeth. “If the light that is in thee be darkness,” said Jesus, “how great is that darkness.” Matthew 6:23. The greater the light of man has, the greater will be the errors into which he will fall if he turns away from it. The case of Saul is an illustration of this. Called of God to rule over his people, and enjoying the favor of God, he rejected the word of the Lord, and was left to himself. The consequence was that he deliberately went for counsel to a woman who was in league with the devil, although he had previously strongly condemned all such practices. Numerous other instances might be cited to show how enlightened Christians may, by rejecting certain truth, fall to a condition where an outrageous sin will appear to them to be an act of righteousness.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.7

    Now how is it with these people? Do they exalt the law of God, and require their “converts” obedience to it? By no means. The law of God is the last thing thought of. The quotations made above show the looseness of their teaching. The “holiness” people, who are more conservative than their brethren of the “Salvation Army,” also repudiate the law. Nearly three years ago a “holiness” paper published in this city, stated that one of the most effectual methods of checking the spread of holiness among the people was to “imbue them with the idea that they are to be holy by striving to do right, to keep the law of God.” We have never seen this statement repudiated by any so-called “holiness” paper, and we have kept close watch of those published on this coast. It was only recently that the editor of the principal Pacific Coast “holiness” paper, and the leader of the movement in this city, when asked concerning the duty of man to obey the law of God, and keep his Sabbath said that he had no patience with anybody that would ask such a question. Of course not. His mission is to spread “holiness,” and obedience to the law would checking it entirely. For our part we profess no sympathy with “holiness” that is opposed to God’s law, and we shall do all in our part to check it.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.8

    We have said that this movement leads directly into the follies and wickedness of Spiritualism. We repeat the statement. Give this thought careful attention: There is no intermediate ground between truth and error. Said Christ: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. If a man does not believe the truth, he must believe its opposite-error. But ever, owing to the natural deceitfulness of the human heart, rapidly propagates itself. As one falsehood leads to another, so one error accepted leads to the acceptance of another, and this, too many more. This is in harmony with the words of Christ, that if light be not accepted, darkness will come in its stead, and the unfortunate one will not know where he is going. By his own acts he places himself where he cannot control himself, and is led captive by Satan at his will.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.9

    The Bible, however, speaks plainly on this point. We read (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) that just before the coming of the Lord, the devil will work among certain people with “all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” This indicates nothing less than complete satanic possession. How is it that Satan acquires such complete control them? “Because they received not the love of the truth.” “Strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,” is allowed to come upon all “who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.” Now when we remember that the law of God alone is truth and righteousness (Psalm 119:142, 151, 172, etc.), and that these “holiness” people do not profess to believe it nor have pleasure therein, how can we doubt that they are opening the door for Satan to take possession, or, in other words, running into Spiritualism? As a matter of course, they all hold to that foundation doctrine of Spiritualism, natural immortality, or, the conscious existence of the dead.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.10

    We would not be understood as saying that all members of these “bands” and “armies” have so fully rejected truth that they cannot be reclaimed. We only show a tendency of the movement. Many of them have never seen the light in its clearness; all such will have ample opportunity to accept it if they will. There is great danger, however, that these will become too infatuated to even see the light when it comes. They are educated to believe that feeling is faith, and that self-satisfaction is the evidence of the approbation of God.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.11

    We write in no spirit of harsh criticism. We pity the poor souls who are ensnared by this terrible delusion. But we feel that we would be recreant to duty if we did not sound a note of warning to those who may be looking upon the movement with favor. We make no apology for plain words concerning Spiritualism itself, and we know not why we should not be equally zealous in warning people against its advance guard. To all those not yet deluded, we would say, Give no countenance, either by word or by presence, to this counterfeit religion. You cannot afford, for the sake of gratifying your curiosity, to run the risk of falling under its power. Do not be misled by loud professions, and fervent prayers and exhortations, while the power of the “truth,” and even the profession of it, are wanting. Remember that the Lord has said: “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” E. J. W.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.12

    “The Lord’s Day. (Continued.)” The Signs of the Times, 10, 46.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Continued.)

    From the Bible we have fully identified the Lord’s day. Following is a brief summary of the means by which it is done: The title Lord is applied to both Christ and the Father. Since these two are one, that which belongs to one must be the property of the other also; there can be no division between them. In Isaiah 58:13 we learn that the Lord’s day is holy, and that it is the Sabbath; and this at once caused us to turn to the fourth commandment, where we found that the seventh day is declared to be the Sabbath. Since the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord (Exodus 20:10), and the Sabbath is the Lord’s holy day (Exodus 20:10, 11; Isaiah 58:13), it necessarily follows that the seventh day is the Lord’s day. Lest any one should think that this is not definite enough, we have it stated that the women who rested on the “Sabbath day, according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56), did so upon the day before the first day of the week, or in other words, upon the seventh day of the week. In the naming of the days of the week, the name “Saturday” was given to the seventh day (see Webster’s Dictionary, Cyclopedias, etc.), and since the names are now used more frequently than the numerals, it may be more clear if we say that from the Bible we find that the day now called Saturday is the Lord’s day. So confident are we of the correctness of our deductions that we defy anybody to show from the Bible that any other day than Saturday is entitled to the designation “Lord’s day.”SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.13

    Although the fact that the seventh day-Saturday-is the true Lord’s day has been established, we will carry our investigation further, and show that there is no chance for even the supposition that any other day was elevated to the position of Lord’s day. In the second chapter of Mark, we find that on a certain occasion the Pharisees reproved Christ for allowing his disciples to satisfy their hunger on the Sabbath day, by eating the wheat which they plucked as they walked through the field. It will not be disputed that the day here called “the Sabbath day” was the seventh day of the week,-Saturday,-because it was the day which the Pharisees recognized as the Sabbath. Let this be borne in mind while you read the words of Christ, “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28. In the face of this, can anyone deny that the seventh-day Sabbath is the Lord’s day? The fourth commandment plainly declares that it is so, and Christ has added his testimony to the same effect.SITI December 4, 1884, page 729.14

    It is sometimes claimed that the text last quoted, “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath,” shows that, as Lord of the Sabbath, Christ had the authority to do with it as he pleased, even to changing it, or dispensing with it entirely. We will not discuss the question of his right or power; the only question that can affect the case is, Did he, as Lord of the Sabbath, violate it, or give any individuals license to do so? He did not, as we shall see; then, of course, his being Lord of the Sabbath day, does not alter our relation to it. He was its Lord from the beginning, and we cannot show our allegiance to him as our Lord, without honoring the day which he especially claims as his own. We will now examine some texts to show how Jesus regarded the Sabbath day.SITI December 4, 1884, page 730.1

    In Luke 4:16 we read as follows concerning an act of Christ very soon, after his baptism: “And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up; and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Webster’s definition of the word “custom” is this: “Frequent repetition of the same act; way of acting; ordinary manner; habitual practice; usage.” So we learn that it was his habitual practice to observe the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of public worship. This is in perfect harmony with his declaration in John 15:10: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” If he kept his Father’s commandments, He must have kept the fourth commandment, which enjoins the observance of the seventh day of the week; and so we learn from Christ’s own statement, made the very night of his betrayal, that he had always kept the Sabbath.SITI December 4, 1884, page 730.2

    John 5:18 is sometimes quoted as proof that Christ did not regard the Sabbath as sacred. His own testimony should certainly be taken in preference to that of the Pharisees. They said that he had broken the Sabbath; he said, some time after the events recorded in John 5, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” We must believe, then, that he did not break the Sabbath. It is true he went directly contrary to some of the Rabbinical traditions, but that amounts to nothing. Had he followed their traditions, he could not have kept the law, for by their traditions they transgressed the law. Matthew 5:3.SITI December 4, 1884, page 730.3

    What had Jesus done that the Pharisees accused him of Sabbath-breaking? He had on the Sabbath day healed a man of an infirmity of thirty-eight years’ standing, and had told him to take up to little mat upon which he was lying, and walk. John 5:1-9. Now was this a good act? Most certainly it was. Well, Jesus himself declared, on another and similar occasion, that “it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.” Matthew 12:12. He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and, as such, was competent to declare the law of the Sabbath. The charge that Jesus broke the Sabbath comes now, as it did then, from a narrow and mistaken idea of the Sabbath commandment. He said that his act was lawful, and so it was, but the fourth commandment forbids only our own, or secular work. Work that is done in the service of God, as was that performed by the priests in the sanctuary, work that does not in any way benefit the worker, but is solely for the glory of God, is not forbidden by the commandment. Thus the Saviour is vindicated from the charge of Sabbath-breaking. How serious a charge this is, and how blindly wicked are those who make it, will be shown next week. E. J. W.SITI December 4, 1884, page 730.4

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