In this chapter
807 ......... The Divine Building
809.......... One “Master Workman”
810.......... Memorials of God’s Creation
811.......... Its Great Objective
812.......... The Final Struggle of the Remnant
813.......... The Great Victory
813.......... The Overcomer’s Reward
813-815... The Sabbath on the New Earth
THE DIVINE BUILDING
During the twentieth century the observance of God’s true Sabbath was revived, and its divine origin was clearly manifested. Its history begins in Eden, and continues the six thousand years of time, and reaches over into eternity. Christ was its “master workman,” 1 chosen by his Father to establish it, and he laid its foundation in Eden; by his Spirit he implanted in the heart of man the command to honor the Sabbath, and he bestowed his blessing and his sanctification upon it. He had it set up as a memorial of his wonderful works; he engraved his own name upon it; and his name and his memorial will endure throughout all generations.
As human ordinances dishonoured its beneficial object, the Divine Master Builder Himself came, and removing the rubbish of human tradition, he gave it a new luster by his might miracles. The twelve apostles and the ancient church, filled with God’s Spirit, observed it faithfully.
As a rival institution gradually arose, and the enemy of truth succeeded in directing the wisdom, and the power, and the might of man unto it, and in bringing the divine institution into disrepute as “Jewish,” the humble followers of Christ quietly continued on their way. Then those honouring the rival institution issued severe commands, to hinder obedience to God’s sacred law; but in spite of the ever-increasing severity of these commands, a few remained true even in the face of death. As the faithful witnesses fell at their post of duty, the Sabbath, like a building uncared for, fell into decay, and in the darkness of the Middle Ages it was almost lost sight of.
However, with the dawn of the Reformation, willing builder sprang up everywhere, who, in order to fulfil Isa. 58:12-14, put their hands anew to the work, to “build the old waste places,” and to “raise up the foundations of many generations.” Even those professing to make the Word of God their only rule of faith and conduct treated these faithful followers of the Master Builder but little better than they had been treated in previous centuries. As the time of the end comes, the bands are broken; knowledge from the sure word of prophecy increases; the threefold message of Revelation 14 is heard everywhere, preparing a people for the coming of the Lord, -- a people who will stand in the day of Judgment, when the divine law shall be the standard by which all will be tested; and then is fulfilled the prophecy, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” They behold the ark of the testament in the opened temple in heaven. They look not only upon Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain and has redeemed them to God by His blood, ministering as their great High Priest before the throne of mercy, but they also see as the very foundation of that throne, God’s law and the fourth commandment. 2
Confiding in his help, they at once set to work.
ONE “MASTER WORKMAN”
Though the Sabbath covers a period of six thousand years, yet it has only one “Master Workman,” shows but one uniform design, is consecrated to but one object, is erected by one command, is finished by one spirit, is built by one Israel, and will ever serve to glorify one God, and his only Son Jesus Christ.
Not many wise after the wisdom of men, not many mighty, not many noble, work to build up the old waste places; and it is neither the might nor the spirit of man that accomplishes the work, but it is the spirit of God.
The builders are but few; they belong to the despised “minority.” They are only a handful, as it were; but they do not cry out, “A Confederacy:” they do not need the help of Catholics, nor of infidels; for, beholding the plummet in the hand of the Divine Master Workman, they greatly rejoice in seeing the top stone put into place, knowing that their redemption draws nigh. The seventh day is not reared up anew as Pithom and Raamses were built of old (for the workmen on these ancient cities were slaves driven to their labour by the severest of laws), but it stands forth as a glorious monument of the love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy spirit. It is the work of free men who delight in the law of God, and who, at their own expenses and often amide the severest persecutions, honor the perpetual memorial of God’s rest after he has created all things by Christ.
The observance of the Sabbath is sometimes advocated on hygienic grounds, because man lives longer if he rests one day in seven, which is doubtless true. It is claimed that God will bless in basket and store, if we obey him, and this has proved true in the experience of many; and it is also urged that man needs a set time for divine worship. These are all important considerations, though the Scriptures say little about them; they are great incidental advantages and blessings. However, man never would have grown old in Eden, where he was surrounded with blessings, and did not need to toil as we do; and yet even there the Sabbath was given for his good. The chief reason assigned in the Bible for the Sabbath is that it was ordained to commemorate the creation of the heavens and the earth.
MEMORIALS OF GOD’S CREATION
As the memorial of the creation, the Sabbath ever reminds us of the true reason why worship is due to God; namely, because He is the creator and has created all things through Christ. The Sabbath, rightly understood, lies at the very foundation of divine worship, teaching this great truth in the most impressive manner, which no other institution does. The true ground of all worship lies in the distinction between the Creator and the creature. The weekly Sabbath was given as a constant reminder of this fact, that it might never become obsolete or be forgotten. Adam received the Sabbath in his innocence, and notwithstanding the perversity of God’s professed people, the Lord has preserved this scared institution throughout the entire period of man’s fallen state .
The twenty-four elders redeemed from among men, in the very act of worshiping Him who sits upon the throne, state the reason why worship is due to God:
Therefore, even in the glorified state, this great truth is worthy of remembrance. It is for this very purpose that the everlasting gospel is being preached:
ITS GREAT OBJECTIVE
God seals his Israel in this time of judgment by writing in their hearts this very memorial, so that they may learn this song of praise, even here. And “blessed is the man. . .that layeth hold” on the Sabbath, when his “salvation is near to come;” for the Lord will give him in his house “a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters,” even “an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” 5
Accordingly, we read in Rev. 14:1, (ARV) of the one hundred forty-four thousand sealed ones, “having his name [the Lamb’s] and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. They will be the special body-guard of the Lamb.
THE FINAL STRUGGLE OF THE REMNANT
The remnant of Israel will go through great tribulation. The decree will go forth, “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,” “Small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” are to submit or be killed. Rev. 13:15-17. And to increase the deception, great miracles will seem to be performed in favor of Sunday ; even Elijah’s sign will be counterfeited: “He maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth.” “Then shall that wicked be revealed,. . .whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause shall God send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 6
Then in a special sense the just shall live by faith; then their patience in keeping God’s word will be tried as gold in the fire, and God’s promise is to them” “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” 7 They now know that their Savior will come quickly, and they look up. Amid the last plagues, in which the unmingled wrath of God will be meted out to those who despise the divine truth and warnings, no plague will come nigh them: “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at they right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee: 8 Man may sneer, but god will comfort.
THE GREAT VICTORY
After seeing the terrible oppression of God’s people, Rev. 13:15-18, the revelatory continues: “And I saw, and behold the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his name, and the name of His Father, written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders.” 9
THE OVERCOMER’S REWARD
Michael, the great Prince, now stands up for the children of his people, as of old when Pharaoh and his host perished in the Red Sea. He delivers them by his coming; and they “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 God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” 10
“I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying ‘Alleluia; salvation, and glory and honour and power unto the Lord our God for true and righteous are his judgment….Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reignth. Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints…blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”11
THE SABBATH ON THE NEW EARTH
But still greater things await them. The second Adam, the Lord of the Sabbath, 12 shall bear rule over the glorious inheritance promised to Abraham and his spiritual seed, and “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” 13
The prayer of his waiting people-- “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” 14 --is now answered. When the glory of the Lord fills the new earth as the waters cover the sea, the memorial of creation still shines in never -fading luster:--
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, siath the Lord, so shall you 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.” 15
As the “earnest expectation of the creature waited for the manifestation of the sons of God,” 16 when they are glorified in their Father’s house, so Paul, looking forward to this very time said, “There remained therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” 17
The reason why this monthly gathering of all the redeemed host from every part of the new earth is to be in the New Jerusalem, may be found in the language of the apocalypse:--
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it. And on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” 18
They are indeed blessed for having kept the commandments of God; for they have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city. 19 The redeemed of Israel, having come “out of great tribulation,” “hunger no more, neither thirst any more,” but the Lamb “shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters,” 20 And each successive Sabbath they meet to worship God and the Lamb. They thus attest the sacredness of the Sabbath, even in that holy state, and set the seal of the Most High to the perpetuity of his great Edenic memorial.
1. Proverbs 8:30 (ARV) --Return>
2. Rev. 5:9, 1 John 2:1-4 --Return>
3. Rev. 4:10,11 --Return>
4. Rev. 14:7 --Return>
5. Isaiah 56:2-5 --Return>
6. Rev. 13:13,16,17; 2 Thess. 2:8-13 --Return>
7. Rev. 3:10 --Return>
8. Ps. 91:7 --Return>
9. Rev. 14:1-5 (ARV)5 --Return>
10. Rev. 15:1-3 --Return>
11. Rev. 19:1-9 --Return>
12. Matt. 12:8 --Return>
13. Dan. 7:27 --Return>
14. Matt. 6:10 --Return>
15. Isa. 66:22, 23 --Return>
16 Romans 8:19 --Return>
17. Heb. 4:9 (ARV) --Return>
18. Rev. 22:1, 2 --Return>
19. Rev. 22:14 (KJV) --Return>
20. Rev.7:14, 16, 17 --Return>