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The Christian Counter


Sabbath Reform


Unacceptable Worship


What kind of worship does Christ say results from doctrines based on the commandments of men?


They worship me in vain; they teachings are but rules taught by men.”

 Matthew 15:9.


What commandment had the Pharisees made void?


“For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother and “Anyone who curses his father and mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father and mother, ‘What ever help you might otherwise received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Matthew 15:4-6.


Note – They taught that buy a gift of property to the Temple service a man might be freed from the duties enjoined by the fifth commandment.


When asked, “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended?” what answer did the Savior make?


“He replied, Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.” Verse 13.


Note – What is true of the fifth commandment is true of every other commandment. If through tradition men set aside any other of God’s commandments, these words are equally applicable to them. They are guilty of making void the commandment of God.


Two Plants in the Church Garden


When and by whom was the Sabbath “planted”?


“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11.


Who claims to have planted the Sunday institution?


“Q. Has the [Catholic] Church a power to make any alterations in the commandments of God?


“A. Instead of the seventh day, and other festivals appointed by the old law, the Church has prescribed the Sundays and holydays 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.” Richard Challoner, The Catholic Christian Instructed (1853), p. 204. 


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 Timothy iii. 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 we do, in fact, follow tradition in this manner; but we follow it, believing it to be part of God’s word, and the Church to be it’s divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it, denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandment of God of none effect.’

Clifton Tracts, Vol 4, art. “A Question for All Bible Christians,” p. 15.


A Special Message of Reform


When is final salvation to be brought to God’s people?


“Who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5.


When God’s salvation is “near to come,” upon whom does He pronounce a blessing?


“This is what the Lord says, “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keep s his hand from doing any evil.” Isaiah 56:1,2.


Is this promised blessing confined to any one class?


“And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Verses 6,7. 


Note – It is evident from these scriptures that in the last day, when men are waiting for the Savior to appear, there will be a call for those who really love the Lord to separate themselves from the world, to observe the Lord’s true Sabbath, and to depart from evil.


What does God tell His ministers to do at this time?


Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.  


What message of Sabbath reform does He send?


If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Verses 13,14.


Note – The Sabbath of Jehovah is not now, by the majority even of professed Christians, called holy and honorable. By many it is stigmatized as “Jewish.” The Lord foresaw how this would be in this age, and inspired the prophet to write as he did. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath.” This is a strong expression, indicating that many would be trampling upon God’s day and doing their own pleasure upon it, instead of seeking God and honoring Him by keeping the Sabbath day.


What will those be called who engage in this reformation?


“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Verse 12.  


Untempered Mortar


What does another prophet say professed teachers among God’s people have done?


“Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” Ezekiel 22:26. 


Note – Untempered mortar is that which is improperly worked, and will not thereafter hold together or stand the test. Thus it is with the reasons advanced for keeping Sunday instead of Sabbath, the seventh day. They are not only unsound and untenable in themselves, but are utterly inconsistent, contradictory, and destructive one of the other, among themselves. They are life the witnesses employed by the Jewish leaders to condemn Christ. Of these the record says, “The chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For man bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.” Mark 14:55,56.  The lack of agreement among them was evidence in itself of the falsity of their testimony. In nothing perhaps, is a lack of agreement better illustrated than in the reasons assigned to Sunday keeping. Note the following:

One says the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. Another says that the Sabbath commandment requires only one day of rest after six of labor, and that there has been no change. 

Some reason that all ought to keep Sunday, because although, as they affirm, God did not appoint a particular day, yet agreement is necessary; and to have any or every day a Sabbath would be equal to no Sabbath at all.

Others, to avoid the claims of God’s law, assert that the Sabbath precept is one of those ordinances that were against us, contrary to us, blotted out, and nailed to the cross. Still, they admit that a day of rest and convocation is necessary, and therefore the day of Christ’s Resurrection, they say, has been chosen.

Another class says they believe it is impossible to know which is the seventh day, although they have no difficulty in locating the first.

Some are so bold as to declare that Sunday is the original seventh day.

Others, with equal certainty, say that those who keep the seventh day are endeavoring to be justified by the law, and are fallen from grace.

Another class, with more liberal views, say they believe that everyone should be fully persuaded in his own mind, whether he keep this day, or that, or none at all.

Still again, as if having found the great desideratum or missing link in the argument, men credited with even more than ordinary intelligence will sometimes declare it impossible to keep the seventh day on a round and rolling earth; yet, strangely, they find no difficulty in keeping Sunday anywhere, and believe that this day should be observed the world over!

Lastly, and more terrible and presumptuous than all the rest, some, like Herod of old in slaying all the children of Bethlehem in order to make sure of killing Christ, go so far as to teach that all ten commandments have been abolished, in order to avoid the duty enjoined in the fourth. But as in that case God’s Anointed escaped Herod’s murderous blow, so in the judgment such will have to meet God over His broken law, and will find the Sabbath precepts stands there unchanged with the rest.

Christ said, “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19.


What does the Lord say will become of this wall thus daubed with untempered mortar?    


Therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, an d I will send hailstones hurling down, and violent winds will burst forth.”

Ezekiel 13:11.  


When are these hailstones to fall?


“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle.” Job 38:22,23.


Under which of the last seven plagues will this hail fall?


The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.” Revelation 16:17-21.


In order to prepare His people for that terrible time, what does God expect His ministers to do?


You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:5.


Instead of trying to close up this breach made in God’s law [the loss of the Sabbath], and so make up the hedge, what have they done?


“Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The Lord declares,” when the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.” Verse 6.


During the closing scenes of earth’s history during the seven trumpets, what message is God sending to the world to turn men from the false worship to the worship of the true God?


“He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” A second angel followed them and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured out full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.”

Revelation 14:7-10.


Note – There is too be one last call for Babylon with the fourth angel’s message to appeal to the last few sinners that will come across the line and be saved and worship God before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet and final probation is eternally closed. Those who have passed the four step test during the trumpets will have the seal of God upon them and their carnal natures will be gone, but for the wicked who have chosen to take the mark of Satan, will be given God’s full wrath in the last seven plagues and be destroyed at Christ Second Coming in the clouds of glory.


What does the Bible describe those who accept this message?


“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.   


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