Speaking of those who substitute a man made commandment for one of God's commandments, what kind of worship does Christ say they render? "But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. 15:9.
Concerning what commandment did Christ reprove the Pharisees on that occasion?
"For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother; . . . but ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free." Matt. 15:4-6.
What was the result of their course?
"Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Matt. 15:6.
What question did the disciples soon afterward ask Christ concerning what He had said? "Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?" Matt. 15:12.
What answer did the Saviour make?
"But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matt. 15:13. NOTE: What is true of the fifth commandment of the decalogue is true of every other part of it. If a tradition of men has set aside any other one of the commandments of God, the words of Christ to the Pharisees are applicable to those who will, in the face of light, persist in regarding the tradition rather than the commandment.
Where and by whom was the Sabbath of the fourth commandment planted?
"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 hallowed it." Ex. 20:11.
Who claims to have planted the Sunday institution?
"Question - Has the church power to make any alterations in the commandments of God?
"Answer - Instead of the seventh day, and other festivals appointed by the old law, the church has prescribed the Sundays and holy days to be set apart for God's worship; and these we are now obliged to keep in consequence of God's commandment, instead of the ancient Sabbath." Catholic Christian Instructed, page 204, ed. Kelly, Piet and Co., Baltimore. NOTE: "We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy, instead of Saturday, as we have for every other article of our creed; namely, the authority of 'the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Tim. 3:15); whereas, you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and wo do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God's word, and the church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it, denouncing it all the time as a fallible and trecherous guide, which often 'makes the commandment of God of none effect.'" --Clifton Tracts, vol. 4, art. "A queston for all Bible Christians," page 15. For further quotations on this point, see reading "The Change of the Sabbath."
When is salvation to be brought to the people of God?
"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:5 (Isa. 25:9) (Isa. 35:4). NOTE: The salvation here spoken of is the redemption that Christ brings to His people at His second coming.
When God's salvation is near to come, and the advent doctrine is being preached, for what will God pronounce a blessing on the people?
"My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." Isa. 56:1, 2.
Is this promise to be confined to the Jews at that time?
"Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer." Isa. 56:6, 7.
What other promise has He given to the Gentiles who will then keep the Sabbath?
"Even unto them will I give in Mine house and within M¥ walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." Isa. 56:5. NOTE: It is evident from these scriptures that in the last days, when men are waiting for the Saviour to appear, there will be a call for those who really love the Lord to separate themselves from the world by observing the Lord's Sabbath.
What does God call upon His ministers to say to His professed people at this time? "Cry aloud, and spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isa. 58:1.
After speaking of their lack of devotion in certain directions, and offering a corrective, what other wrong does He point out and offer a remedy for?
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words." Isa. 58:13. NOTE: The Sabbath of Jehovah is not now, by the majority, called holy and honorable. It is by many stigmatized as "Jewish." The prophet undoubtedly saw how this would be in this age, and was moved to speak as he did because of this. "Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath." This is a strong expression to show that many would trample upon God's day, and do their own pleasure upon it, instead of seeking God's honor.
To those who will have courage to heed the appeal here given, what does the Lord promise?
"Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isa. 58:14.
And what will those be called who turn from their transgressions?
"And thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." Isa. 58:12.
What does another prophet say that God's professed teachers will do? "Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Eze. 22:26.
What does He say they have done to maintain their theories?
"And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken." Eze. 22:28. NOTE: Untempered mortar is that which is unworked, and therefore will not stand the test. It is said by many that the Sabbath has been changed, and that God says so. This is "untempered" mortar, and after it has been thus used in order to plaster up the first-day theory, it is found to be unsound because "the Lord hath not spoken" to that effect.
What does the Lord say will become of this wall thus daubed with untempered mortar?
"Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend." Eze. 13:11.
When are these hailstones to fall?
"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?" Job 38:22, 23.
Under which of the seven last plagues will this battle take place?
"And the seventh angel poured our his vial into the air; . . . and the cities of the nations fell; . . . and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent." Rev. 16:17-21.
In order to prepare His people for that terrible time, what does God expect His ministers to do? "Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." Eze. 13:5.
Instead of their trying to close the breach made in God's law (the loss of the Sabbath), and to make up the hedge, what will they do?
"They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word." Eze. 13:6.
During these closing scenes, what message will God send forth to call attention to His commandments? "And 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... Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:9-12.
How are those of the remnant church treated?
"And 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." Rev. 12:17. NOTE: This message is the last before the Lord comes. Under it will be two classes of people, one having the mark of the beast (the Roman Church), and the other keeping the commandments of God. These latter are in the minority, or they would not need so much patience. Patience supposes trials; otherwise no patience is required. These then, will meet oppositions and persecution.
And when the earth is made new, and God's people are saved therein, how often will they all come to worship Him?
"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." Isa. 66:23. NOTE: The Sabbath of Eden will be restored when Eden itself shall be brought back to God's people. The same reason will then exist for keeping the Sabbath that existed in the days of Adam, before he lost his right to the tree of life; hence the necessity of a message calling for people to keep the Sabbath as a preparatory work to fit them for that blessed state.
Will the tree of life also be restored to the saints?
"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." Rev. 22:14. NOTE: Everything pure and holy will then be restored, and the obnoxious weed planted by the Roman Church to take the honor of the plant started by the hand of Jehovah, will then be rooted up. That time is near. All may now heed the word of God, and accept the closing message of the third angel to the world, and so be counted among those who will be called the Repairers of the breach, and the Restorers of paths to dwell in.