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Three Sabbaths

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    THE PAPAL SABBATH

    This is something entirely different from the Sabbath of the Jews, and infinitely different from the Sabbath of the Lord. The Sabbath of the Lord is the acceptance of God’s own works, and rest in them alone, allowing Him to work both to will and to do of His good pleasure; the Jewish Sabbath represents the vain attempt of zealous and self-confident men to do the works which God Himself does, and which God alone can do; but the pope’s sabbath signifies the substitution of man’s work for God’s work, as being not only as good, but even better. It dispenses with even the form of the commandment of the Lord. Let us see how this is.THSA 8.3

    The Lord’s Sabbath has been sufficiently dwelt on for the present. We know what it is. We have seen that the Jews’ sabbath is the observing of the form of the Lord’s Sabbath, without the substance which can come only by faith. It falls on the same day, but is man’s Sabbath, not the Lord’s. The papal Sabbath has nothing in common with the Sabbath of the Lord, not even in form, but utterly repudiates it. Thus, a Roman Catholic book, entitled, “A Sure Way to Find Out the True Religion,” says:-THSA 8.4

    “The keeping holy the Sunday is a thing absolutely necessary to salvation; and yet this is nowhere put down in the Bible; on the contrary, the Bible, says, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8), which is Saturday, and not Sunday; therefore the Bible does not contain all things necessary to salvation.”THSA 8.5

    This is only one out of many similar citations that might be given, but is sufficient to show that in the observance of Sunday the Catholic Church deliberately repudiates the Word of the Lord, and sets itself above it. It has placed its sabbath on an entirely different day from the Sabbath of the Lord,-a day which even God Himself could not possibly have made His Sabbath, since on it He began His work, in order to emphasize its claim to be above God. It would teach men that they are to obey the church rather than God.THSA 8.6

    Notice that the citation speaks about the necessity of “keeping holy the Sunday.” But God has not made the Sunday holy. In fact, the Bible knows nothing about such a day. It does know the first day of the week, which it calls a working day, but the Sunday, a day composed of parts of two days, was made in Rome. The only day that God has ever spoken of as holy is the seventh day of the week. That day He Himself has made holy, and all He asks of us is to keep it holy. But since God has not made the Sunday holy, it follows that if man is to keep it holy, man himself must make it holy. All the sacredness in the world that Sunday has is that which man gives to it. The Sunday-sabbath, therefore, stands as the sign of man’s pretended power to make things holy. For it man can make one thing holy, it is evident that he can make anything holy. If man can make and keep a day holy, then he can make and keep himself holy. The papal sabbath is thus the sign of his claim to take the place of the Lord as the sanctifier of sinners.THSA 9.1

    While the seventh day is the sign of God’s power to save by His own works, the Sunday is the sign of man’s assumed power to save himself by his own works, entirely apart from, and in spite of the Lord. It repudiates the Lord, in repudiating His Word. Take notice that this is said of the Pope’s Sunday, and not of all those who regard it as a holy day. There are thousands who are keeping the Pope’s day, honestly supposing it to be the Sabbath of the Lord. Such of course believe in justification by faith, although they unwittingly observe the sign of justification by works. It is for the benefit of such that this article is written, that they may be wholly consistent in their profession of faith. We are dealing with facts, regardless of how men may stand related to them; and the facts are that the Lord’s Sabbath is justification by faith; the Pope’s Sabbath means justification by works, and that man’s own works. On which side will you stand?THSA 9.2

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