July 4, 1891
Marian Davis has been reading a chapter upon the Sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees were charging the Lord who made the Sabbath with transgression of the Sabbath. Oh, how blindly people will work! They acted as if they had put out their eyes. There were those who wished to carry the work in America in their own way, and these lost their bearings.
The special work of Satan is to misinterpret the purpose and object for which the Sabbath was instituted. The Sabbath was made for man and given to man as a blessing—not merely as a form, but as a test question, an everlasting memorial that God made the world and all things that are therein in six days and rested upon the seventh, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hollowed it. He made the seventh-day Sabbath a memorial that He created the world and all nature in six days and rested upon the seventh day. To move or transfer this memorial destroys its significance and its sanctity. The Lord created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day and sanctified the day of His rest.
The creation of our world was brought into the councils of heaven. There the covering cherub prepared his request that he should be made prince to govern the world then in prospect. This was not accorded him. Jesus Christ was to rule the earthly kingdom; under God He engaged to take the world with all its probabilities. The law of heaven should be the standard law for this new world, for human intelligences. Lucifer was jealous of Christ and this jealousy worked into rebellion and he carried with him a large number of the holy angels. Jesus, the Son of God, was not deceived by Lucifer's sophistry. He stood true to principle and resisted every line of reasoning of Lucifer and all the angels who had taken sides with him, thus evidencing that as He stood, every angel might have stood.
When the world was created by Jesus Christ through the power of God, Satan tempted Eve and she sinned, and she tempted Adam and he sinned. Then was the divine council from the beginning of the world hid in God. Ephesians 3:9-11. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The priesthood of Christ commenced as soon as man had sinned. He was made a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The order had fallen and [they were] under the dominion of death, but they were made prisoners of hope; they were not left to become extinguished. Satan thought the Lord had given up His hold on man, but the Star of Hope lighted up the dark and dismal future in the gospel preached in Eden. The seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head and the serpent should bruise his heel. The other worlds that God had created were watching with intense interest the sad apostasy. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:7, 8. See Romans 16:25-27.
When there was no eye to pity, no arm to save, His eye pitied and His arm wrought salvation. Then he laid help upon One that was mighty, saying, Save them from going down into the pit, for I have found a ransom. Satan shall not have the apostate race. But Jesus was given into his power to tempt as he would tempt the race, only in a much more intense manner, as His character and greatness and righteousness were above the fallen race. Jesus became man's substitute and surety. He became responsible for the race. Their sins were imputed to Him. He assumed all their debts. He pledged His word to atone for their transgression, and He would form in them a character like His in the grand plan of salvation, imputing to man His own righteous character. Through faith in Christ they would be gathered together under His banner, His sheltering care, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.
Satan renewed his controversy which was commenced with Christ in heaven and broken off because of his expulsion from heaven. As soon as Christ came to our world in the form of humanity Satan commenced his work to subvert or to destroy. He claimed to have possession of the world as its prince. He claimed it as his possession. He was the prince of the world because he had caused the fall of man whom God had created. He tried to bribe Christ to acknowledge his supremacy.
The Sabbath of the fourth commandment, standing in the very bosom of the Decalogue, was a memorial of the creation of the world. It has been Satan's studied plan to put this seventh-day Sabbath out of sight. He has, with the Jewish nation, wrought in such a way as to bring it into contempt. He has covered it with exactions which God has never given. And the scribes and Pharisees, not walking in the light but choosing the darkness, made this institution which should be called “a delight, the holy of the Lord,” and “honourable” [Isaiah 58:13], a yoke of oppression and bondage. The limited, gross ideas of the Sabbath were the work of Satan. The Lord Jesus came to our world to vindicate the character of God and to destroy the works of the devil, to give to all men a perfect example of holy obedience to the law of God. It was not a yoke of bondage.
The divine nature of Christ was not transformed into human nature, but the divine and human were united. Christ was God in the flesh; in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily to act out the principles that govern all heaven. “All things,” He says, “are delivered to Me of My Father.” [Luke 10:22.] “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given the Son to have life in Himself and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of man.” [John 5:26, 27.] The scribes and Pharisees was impatient to accuse Him, and after waiting and critically spying upon all His actions and words and finding nothing, they charged His disciples with breaking the Sabbath because passing through a field of grain they plucked the heads of the wheat and rubbed them in their hands and ate the kernels. He, Christ, repelled their charge, and not only established the innocence of His disciples in the deed, but with a dignity which He alone possessed He cast over them His shield of His own prerogatives.
The Son of man is the Lord even of the Sabbath day. When [they] accused [Him] of transgressing the Sabbath on another occasion—through their bigotry and intolerance cloaking their hypocrisy under a pretense of special reverence and sanctity for the Sabbath—they made the act of healing into a breach of the Sabbath. He, Christ, the Son of God, declared that He was guiltless. He declared, “The Father worketh hitherto and I work.” [John 5:17.] The work of His Father knew no intermission. The working of providence does not come to a standstill upon the Sabbath day, for then the world would perish, but continues every moment of time. So was His own work. He must fill the world with His agency, and thus He placed His own miraculous work on the Sabbath to relieve suffering humanity on a level with the work of His Father. Thus He assumed an identity with God in will, in power, in might.
If Satan can so deceive human minds as to change the day God has pronounced blessed and holy, then there is no sacred day. The Lord's memorial is of no value, for it ceases to be a memorial that He is the Creator of the world, its Lord and Sovereign. Satan claims to have the possession of the world, and he offered it as a bribe to Christ if He would fall down and worship him, but the Lord Jesus rebuked him. Satan hated Christ because He was preferred before him. He hated Him because he saw Him rolling back the hellish darkness of the hellish shadow he had thrown over the Sabbath, which loaded it with traditions and customs. It became of no force, but was a rigorous burden in the place of being regarded as “a delight, the holy of the Lord,” and “honourable.” [Isaiah 58:13.] If he made the Sabbath to be dishonored, then the Lord would be dishonored.
Christ came to reveal God, to place the Sabbath free from the human traditions and rubbish under which it had been buried, and place it on its eternal basis. The human minds of His disciples were constantly obtaining new discoveries of truth in the precepts and examples of Christ. He presented the kingdom of heaven and of the earth as united in harmonious action. The Lord Jesus put His divine sanction on the seventh day. - Ms43b-1891