August 17, 1893
LAMST week, from a number of considerations of Scripture, we found that the Sabbath question is not a question merely of days as such; not a question merely as to whether we shall have one day or another. But it is a question as to whether we shall worship the one true God, or another; and whether we shall have him the one true Saviour, or another. It is a question as to whether we shall honor the one true Creator and have him for our Sanctifier, or another.
AND this, because the Sabbath of the Lord which he made, the seventh day which he appointed—this, the Lord has declared to be a sign between him and men that they might know that he is the Lord our God; and a sign by which they might know that he sanctifies us. This being the sign that he is the Lord, the true God, the Creator, and he being also the Saviour, it is also the sign by which men may know him as Saviour. The Sabbath of the Lord being the sign that men may know that he is God, and as no man can know him except in Jesus Christ, it is, when hallowed, the sign of what Jesus Christ is to man.
IT is by the power of God manifested in and through Jesus Christ alone, and by his Holy Spirit, that salvation is wrought. And this to every one that believeth. Therefore, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16. “Neither is there salvation in any other.” Acts 4:19. “There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:21, 22. “And no man knoweth the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matthew 11:27. “Hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.” And “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:20, 12. This is the meaning of the Sabbath of the Lord, as he made it and as he gave it.
BUT in the scriptures of the prophets, it is told that there would arise another power, putting itself above God and in the place of Jesus Christ, as the Commander and Saviour of men. Thus it is written: “That day [the day of the Lord’s coming] shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple [the place of worship] of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things?” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5. This is in the letter addressed to the Thessalonians. When Paul was at Thessalonica, he had told them these same things. Now, of his visit to Thessalonica we read, “When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews; and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures…. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” Acts 17:1-4.
REAMSONING with them out of the Scriptures he told them of the apostasy and of the development and exaltation of this man of sin above God, putting himself in the place of worship of God, showing himself that he is God. Now, the only Scriptures that they then had, and out of which he taught them, were what are now the Old Testament Scriptures. Where then in these Scriptures did he find this teaching concerning one who would set himself in opposition to God and above God? Read this: “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.” “Yea, he magnified himself even to [even against—margin] the Prince of the host.” Daniel 8:25, 11. By comparing the phrase “stand up” in this verse, with the same phrase in verse 23, and Daniel 11:2, 3, 4, 7, it will be plain to all that in this verse “stand up” signifies “to reign,” as a king. It is seen, therefore, that there would appear in the world a power opposed to Christ, reigning in his stead, putting himself in his place, and even above God, showing himself off as God.
NOW, everybody knows that there has appeared, and that there still continues, in the world, just such a power as is here described. It is the Papacy. Everybody knows that the head and the embodiment of this power, calls himself before all the world, “Vicar of Jesus Christ.” A vicar is a substitute. He therefore poses as the substitute of Jesus Christ. While Christ is absent from the world he is his substitute to rule it, and to save or destroy it as his “infallible” will shall dictate. And as God is the Saviour and there is none else, and as this power puts itself in the place of God, and even above God, it follows in itself that this power—the Papacy—should, of necessity, put itself in the place of God and Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.
Every one is obliged, under pain of eternal damnation, to become a member of the Catholic Church, to believe her doctrine, to use her means of grace, and to submit to her authority.
Hence the Catholic Church is justly called the only saving Church. To despise her is the same as to despise Christ; namely, his doctrine, his means of grace, and his powers; to separate from her is the same as to separate from Christ, and to forfeit eternal salvation. Therefore St. Augustine and the other bishops of Africa, pronounced, A.D. 412, at the Council of Zuria, this decision: “Whosoever is separated from the Catholic Church, however commendable in his own opinion his life may be, he shall, for this very reason, that he is at the same time separated from the unity of Christ, not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”—De Harbe’s, Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion: Imprimatur, N. Card. Wiseman; Imprimatur, John, Card. McCloskey, Catholic Publication Society Co., 9 Barclay Street, New York, 1883: p. 238. Italics as in the book.
God in Jesus Christ being the only Saviour; his power being the only power  unto salvation; and the Sabbath of the Lord being the sign of this; it follows of necessity that when another puts himself above God and in the place of God and another power is manifested unto a proposed salvation, if that other power is to have a sign by which it would be known and recognized as of authority, this sign would have to be a rival Sabbath. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. As he puts himself above God and in the place of God, and of the Saviour—as he is therefore the rival—the substitute indeed—of the true God and Saviour; as certainly as he sets up any sign by which he would be known, this sign, in order to mean anything in the case as it is, would have to be a rival, a substitute indeed, of the true Sabbath, the true sign of the true God and Saviour.
AND the case holds consistently throughout. The “man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” “the mystery of iniquity,” “that wicked,” the Papacy, this “vicar,” this substitute of Jesus Christ, has also substituted a sign of itself for the sign of Jesus Christ. It has substituted Sunday for the Sabbath of the Lord.
During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified; but the Church, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of the Lord.—Catholic Catechism of the Christian Religion.
Ques.—How prove you that the Church has power to command feasts and holy days?
Ans.—By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.
Ques.—How prove you that?
Ans.—Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin; and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power.—Abridgment of Christian Doctrine.
THUS clearly and easily is it demonstrated from the Scriptures that the Sabbath question, so far from being a question of merely one day or another as such, is a question as to whether we shall worship and serve one God or another, and whether we shall have one Saviour or another. It is a question of whether we shall worship the Lord or the Papacy; whether we shall look to Jesus Christ for salvation or to the Papacy; whether we shall honor the true God or his supplanter; whether we shall be saved by Christ or by this “substitute” for him. It is a question of whether we shall wear the badge of the Lord of Glory, or that of the man of sin; whether we shall bear the sign, which God has set, or the sign which the Papacy has substituted for it; whether we shall wear the signet of the Most High or the mark of “the mystery of iniquity,” “that wicked,” “the beast.” It is a question as to whether the Sabbath of the Lord shall be observed as he made it, and as he gave it; or whether the substitute, the Sunday, which has been set up by the Papacy shall take precedence of it and crush it out of the world—whether the Lord shall be God indeed, or whether the man of sin—the Papacy—shall indeed be exalted above him.
THIS is what the Sabbath question is, and this is precisely what is involved in it. And what the churches and Congress of the United States have done, in this Sunday legislation, is to fasten upon the Government of the United States this sign of papal authority, and to call upon all the people of the United States to receive and wear this badge of allegiance to the Papacy. In this Sunday legislation, by which the seventh day of the Sabbath of the Lord, was interpreted out of his law, and the first day the Sunday of the Papacy was interpreted into that law instead of God’s Sabbath, the churches and Congress of the United States have, so far as lies in their power, shut away form men the knowledge of the true God and Saviour, and have required that men shall receive and worship the Papacy instead. And it is an abominable piece of business. But they have done it.
THAT which now remains is for each person to decide for himself, whether he will do this which the churches and Congress have required. It is for each one to decide for himself whether he will honor the Papacy above God; whether he will worship the Papacy or the Lord, and whether he will wear this signet of the Papacy or the sign of what Jesus Christ is to men. And that this may be seen the more plainly, if need be, we set the two things here side by side:—
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 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.
Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.
Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. Ezekiel 20:12, 20.“The Catholic Church, in- structed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday, so now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means and now is, the day of the Lord.”
“Ques.—How prove you that the Church has power to command feasts and holy days?
“Ans.—By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts Commanded by the same church.
“Ques.—How prove you that?
“Answ.—Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin; and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power.”—Abridgment of Christian Doctrine.
“It is worth while to remember that this observance of the Sabbath—in which, after all, the only Protestant worship Consists—not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this to the Sunday in remembrance of The resurrection of our Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church.”—Plain Talk About The Protestantism of To-day, p. 213.
Which way do you take? Which do you choose? Which do you serve? Which sign do you bear? To which one of these do you look to be sanctified? To which one do you look for the power of salvation? Think seriously of this, and next week, from the doctrine and the history, we shall further consider the meaning of this substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath of the Lord.
A. T. J.