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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

August 2010  

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3). I pray that the Lord has been blessing you richly. I encourage you to use the little time we have left on this earth to prepare for God’s eternal kingdom and help others to do the same (Ecclesiastes 11:1-7).

Prayer Request: Please pray for Everitte Freeman. He has stage four cancer and is being treated at the Home for Health (www.homeforhealth.net) Lifestyle Center in Kentucky. Everitte is a precious brother in Christ who has been working to share the gospel in Orlando, Florida. Please pray for him, his wife, Lisa, and their children.

In this Issue

Walking with God

by Lynnford Beachy

Something for the Young at Heart
WV Camp Meeting Blessings

by Allen Stump

The National Sunday Law (Part 20)

by Alonzo T. Jones

You May Freely Eat

by Jim Raymond

Gospel in Creation (Part 18)

by Ellet J. Waggoner

A New Printing Machine

by Joseph Lahud


Walking with God

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). Walking with God is an integral part of the Christian experience. It is not an option, but a requirement. 

Enoch was one of the two men in the Bible who went to heaven without seeing death. The Bible says, “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). The testimony we have of Enoch was that He walked with God, and this pleased God. 

Walking with God does not always involve your feet, for a man in a wheelchair, or bedridden can walk with God just as thoroughly as someone who has strong, healthy legs. Walking with God is living your life by being led of God’s Spirit. Each step of the Christian walk is a decision to follow God’s instructions for your life, to walk after the Spirit. Those who are in Christ “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). 

John wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6, 7). To have fellowship with God is to walk in the light He gives through His Spirit. 

Walking with God is not the same as walking to the store. When you walk to the store you use your eyes to watch for obstacles along the way so you can avoid them, and see where the path is so you can arrive safely at your destination. The Christian walk does not require your eyesight, but faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Every step in the Christian walk is to be made by faith, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23), and “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Hebrews 11:6). Enoch pleased God, so he must have walked by faith. 

A Growing Experience 

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). As we walk in the light, God’s light grows brighter and brighter. The Christian walk is a continually growing experience. Job said, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9). 

Paul exclaimed, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for [or because] it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For [or because] therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16, 17). Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation, and it is so powerful because it reveals the righteousness of God. The gospel, or good news, is a revelation of the righteous character of God. This goodness of God is revealed “from faith to faith,” or from faith to increased faith, and from that increased faith to even more faith. Faith is to continue to grow. As the apostles of old, we should ask the Lord, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). Our faith is increased by the word of God: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Bible says that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, so as faith grows, so does the revelation of God’s goodness. The more we see the goodness of God, the more we trust in God. 

The Bible says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The glory of God is His goodness; His character. When Moses asked God, “Shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18), God replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee” (Exodus 33:19). As we behold God’s goodness it changes us into the same image “from glory to glory,” from one manifestation of glory to increased glory. In this way our characters are transformed into the likeness of God’s character. “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). 

Paul explained, “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Our outward man is our bodies. They perish, or grow old, but the inward man is renewed (made new) everyday. Each day we can have a new experience in Christ. We can be converted everyday. Each day we must choose to be dead to the old life, and live the new life in Christ. Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Following Christ is a daily, and moment by moment experience, with each day containing new experiences and growth to more closely resemble the character of Christ. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). 


Walking with God is a growing experience, and as we are learning to walk with God, it is possible that we fall from time to time. Falling is a possibility, but not a necessity. The Bible says that God “is able to keep you from falling” (Jude 1:24). If we fall, then, to continue our walk with God, we must get up and start walking again. When a child is learning to walk he will probably fall several times. I have three children, and all have learned to walk. In all three cases there was a learning process that involved falling. Fortunately, falling has become rare for each of them. They still fall occasionally, but not usually when walking, instead it happens when they are running or doing something unsafe. 

Falling in the Christian life is any lapse in our walk with God and can take place when we go somewhere or do something unsafe. Walking with God is living in submission to His instructions for our lives, falling, then is when we fail to submit to those instructions, and choose our own path. This is sin. If we fall into sin, God has provided a remedy. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). We can be forgiven! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). If we fall, the only way to begin our walk again is to come to Christ and ask to be forgiven. 

Micah wrote, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8). A Christian may fall, but if they want to continue to be a Christian they have to get up and continue walking. Solomon wrote, “A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Proverbs 24:16). Notice that in this text, both the wicked and the just fall. In fact, the just man falls more often than the wicked in this text. The just man falls seven times, while the wicked only falls once. The reason the just falls seven times is that he rises up again. The wicked fall only once because when they fall, they stay down. 

When my children were learning to walk, they fell, but they didn’t stay down. They got up and gave it another try. As they continued this process they were able to walk further and further without falling. If, when they fell, they stayed down, then they never would have learned to walk. To walk you have to get up. 

You may have begun your walk with God, and then found that some sin continues to plague your experience. You may have finally given in to it and let it have its way in your life. Friends, this does not have to continue! God has made a way of escape. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Satan wants you to think that there is no way out, that you have to stay down when you fall, but that is not the case. You can get up and start walking again. 

To get up we must come through Christ, for there is no other way. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This is a two-part promise. Not only does God promise to forgive us, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God is able to keep you from falling, He is able to cleanse you for even the worst sin that you can imagine. Jesus “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). There is no sin that you could possibly commit that is so grievous that it cannot be forgiven if you come to Him. The only unpardonable sin is the sin that is not confessed. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). If we come to Him, He will forgive us, for He promised, and He “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). Notice the requirement is coming to Christ and confessing your sins. If this takes place, He will accept you no matter what you have done. 

Satan tries to convince you that you are not good enough to be accepted, that your sins are too great for God to forgive you, that you have committed them too often and God cannot accept you. These are all tricks of the devil to keep you down when you fall. Do not believe these lies. God has promised to accept you if you come to Him. The only way you will be lost is if you fall and stay down. 

The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit 

I spoke with a man who told me that he said something bad about the Holy Spirit and God cannot forgive him, so he believed he is doomed with no hope of salvation. This conclusion is based on a misunderstanding of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10; compare with Matthew 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29). There are some who think this text means that speaking words against Jesus and the Father are forgivable, but speaking words against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven. This is not what the text means. In fact, if you read all of the texts listed above you will find that they only mention two, “the Son” and “the Holy Ghost.” You see, “the Holy Ghost” is “the Spirit of your Father” (Mark 13:9-11; Matthew 10:18-20). Jesus said, “the Comforter [which is the Holy Ghost]… proceedeth from the Father” (John 15:26; within brackets is John 14:26). When Jesus mentioned “the Son” and “the Holy Ghost” He was referring to Himself and His Father, not to a third god who is superior to them both, called, “the Holy Ghost.” 

The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not speaking some bad word about the Holy Spirit, but rather it is a persistent rebellion and rejection of the promptings of God’s Spirit so long that you consider the working of God’s Spirit to be the work of the devil. The immediate context of Christ’s statement was where the Jews claimed that Jesus was casting out devils by the spirit of the devil. They were so out of harmony with God and had rejected His promptings so long that they considered the work of God’s Spirit to be the work of the devil. When a person reaches this point it is not that God is unwilling to forgive them, but that they are unwilling to repent. If we come to Christ, He has promised to accept us, so the unpardonable sin has to be a sin that is never brought to Him for forgiveness. If it had been brought to Him in repentance, He would have kept His word and would be faithful and just to forgive. The Bible says that God is “ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalms 86:5). So the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not a reluctance on God’s part to forgive, but rather a reluctance on the sinners part to come to Him for forgiveness. 

God is able to forgive even the worst sinner. Jesus “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25). David said, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalms 40:2). After David horrible sin in taking another man’s wife and then having him killed, David cried out to God, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalms 51:7-12). God answered David’s prayer and his life was changed. 

It doesn’t matter what you have done, it doesn’t matter where you have been, it doesn’t matter how many agreements you have made with the devil, God will forgive you if you come to Him. God has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). 

Rising Again 

Micah wrote, “When I fall, I shall arise” (Micah 7:8). Falling is a painful and shameful thing, but it does not have to be the end of your walk. The righteous will arise again. The first book I read after beginning on my journey to follow God was a little book entitled, Steps to Christ. This book contains many gems of truth for every Christian. One of them states, “There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Steps to Christ, p. 64, 65). 

Paul admonished us to be “confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Never give up in your walk with God, never stay down if you fall. Always get up and serve the Lord again. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand” (Psalms 37:23-24). God does not utterly cast us down if we fall. The important thing is that we get back up. When my children were learning to walk, and they fell, I did not go to them and push them further down or kick them while they were down. Instead, I would encourage them to get back up, or help them get back up. God is even more kind than any earthly father. He wants us to succeed and if we fall He encourages us to get up and try again. 

If, when you fall, you feel like giving up, you can be sure it is not God who is making you feel this way. If you think that you have failed too many times for God to accept you again, this is a trick of the devil. He does all he can to keep you from getting back up, and if you do get up he tries to make you fall again. Then he reminds you of your failures as evidence to support his claim that God cannot forgive you. All of this is a farce, for God is abundantly willing and able to forgive all sins. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus has already born all of our sins to the grave. Every sin that could possibly be committed has already been paid for. The Bible says, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). God is far from discouraging us, instead He “upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down” (Psalms 145:14). 

Keeping You from Falling 

The Bible says that God “is able to keep you from falling” (Jude 1:24). The Psalmist wrote, “When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up” (Psalms 94:18). And again, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalms 119:11). God’s Word is “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). His Word is the tool to fight against all the advances of the devil. 

Peter wrote that God’s “divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3, 4). The promises of God, found in His Word, are the means by which we can be partakers of His divine nature. Isaiah wrote, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19). The standard that the Spirit of the Lord raises up against the enemy is the word of God. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He met the enemy with, “It is written” (Luke 4:4). 

Living a life of victory is living a life of faith in God’s promises. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Receiving God’s promise of victory and maintaining it is dependent upon faith. As long as you believe God’s promises, you have them, but when you doubt, you lose them. A graphic example of this is when Peter walked on the water at Christ’s bidding. He took several steps on the water, “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). As long as Peter had his eyes fixed on the Lord and His abilities he could walk on water, but when his attentions were turned to his circumstances and his own inabilities he sank. The same is true for us. Faith in God’s abilities and “exceeding great and precious promises,” enables us to escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). 

Paul wrote, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). This is a promise! As long as you walk in the Spirit you will not sin. John wrote, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not” (1 John 3:6). This is another precious promise. As long as we abide in Him, we will not sin. God is able to keep us from falling, and this power is in His word. 

I pray that God will give you all the victories you need in your life. Believe God’s promises, and they will change your life! 

WV Camp Meeting Blessings

by Allen Stump

The theme of the 2010 West Virginia camp meeting was Christ Triumphant. I gave a series of four messages about the triumph of Christ throughout the great controversy theme. We were also blessed to have some first-time speakers with us. Brother Maurizio Esposito came from Italy. Brother Marc Fury came from France, and Brother Nadar Mansour came from Australia to share with us. All of these men shared testimony and Scriptures that were instructive and encouraging. 

Brother Elvis Alberto focused on the subject of “The School of the Prophets” stating that we have been given a blueprint for schools and Christian training today. Pastor David Sims emphasized the need of working for the families and especially the need for dead-beat dads to take responsibility. Brother Lynnford Beachy was here and we enjoyed his detailed Bible presentations. 

On Friday morning we had communion and it was a special time of renewal. As the Sabbath came in Friday night we were certainly a blessed people. Sabbath was surely a high day with many blessings including the health panel discussion in the afternoon. This favorite item, which we began last year, had Dr. Glenn Waite, Jim Raymond, Elvis Alberto, and David Sims answer questions on health from the congregation. Several questions were asked and a wide range of information was then shared by the panelists. I hope you will be able to attend camp meeting next year. 

You May Freely Eat? 

by Jim Raymond 

(Brother Jim Raymond has been a food scientist for many years, and has agreed to share some of his knowledge with us.    Editor

Ingredient Watch: Fructose 

Aside from the toxic compound, hydroxymethylfurfural which is produced in High Fructose Corn Syrup when it is heated, even moderately [Read about this in the October 2009 issue of Present TruthYou May Freely Eat?”] there is a growing body of evidence that fructose has some serious effects on the human system. Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California San Francisco candidly refers to fructose as a toxic poison. He and other prestigious medical researchers are showing how the liver metabolizes fructose similarly to the way it does another toxin, alcohol. Both fructose and alcohol tend to cause the liver to accumulate fatty deposits. Such deposits can result in the disease state called Cirrhosis of the Liver. 

Fructose is prevalent in fruits and some vegetables. However, he believes that the fiber parts of whole fruits and vegetables contain what he calls the “antidote” for the “poisonous” effects of fructose. This, of course, is not the case where juices are concerned, so juices should probably be enjoyed in moderation (around 4 to 6 ounces a day). This is consistent with some of the research on fruit juice intake and the incidents of Type-2 Diabetes. 

A recent research project [Journal of Clinical Investigation: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385; see also: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/65470.php.], which substantiates a list of several harmful effects of fructose, involved a mixed group of people who ranged from overweight to very overweight. Half of the group drank a fructose sweetened beverage and the other half drank a glucose sweetened beverage. Both beverages added the same (too much) caloric value as evidenced by the fact that both groups gained about the same amount of weight during the study. 

The group consuming too much glucose had a rise in fasting triglyceride (fat droplets in the blood) levels. This is not as bad as it seems. I’m not saying that this is good, or even the “normal” plan. Just remember, the problem is that too much was eaten and the body dealt with this excess as appropriately as possible, by turning the excess into fat droplets, and getting as much of these out of the liver and on toward the storage sites (fat cells). Unfortunately, the storage sites were already stressed as they were already over weight. When the body is forced to deal with (“burn”) fructose, it leaves behind molecular debris that appear to be toxic waste products. We can be thankful that God designed glucose to be the body’s preferred source of cellular fuel. Glucose indeed burns very cleanly. 

Fructose has been implicated as a possible cause of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), and indeed those in the group who drank the fructose sweetened beverage, experienced the set of symptoms defining MetS. 

The fructose group displayed: 

  • Significantly increased visceral (belly) fat gain 
  • New fat being created by the liver 
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity (both blood sugar and insulin rise at the same time – as in Type-2 Diabetes) 
  • Worsened abnormal blood cholesterols (and the risk of blood vessel and heart problems) 

Because fructose is metabolized in the liver, the fat build up can result in fatty liver problems leading to weight gain—especially frontal (belly) fat; then follows high blood pressure, and insulin resistant diabetes. As if the list of bad effects isn’t enough, fructose also increases uric acid levels which can lead to gout.

Other studies have also shown MetS like symptoms resulting from frequent use of processed food and beverage products sweetened with fructose.

A most interesting finding is the fructose related Leptin resistance, where (as with insulin resistance) there is an unusually high level of Leptin in the blood, but none of its essential benefits. Leptin is a hormone that helps prevent fatty liver, and signals the brain based hypothalamus to turn off hunger and so stops eating. Fructose impairment of leptin means that the feeling of fullness is never achieved which predictably leads to overeating, and we all know the rest of this story!

Because fructose is both cheaper and sweeter than regular sugar, it has found its way into most processed foods, including baked goods and cereals. Those who rely heavily on processed foods will find it difficult to avoid fructose.

Practice Points: Fructose avoidance will usually be all that is needed to see reversals in the metabolic problems associated with fructose. The FIRST thing to do is to switch from fructose sweetened beverages to water. People who make this switch usually see and feel a difference in less than five months. Next, read the labels, and learn to rely on more truly natural “whole” foods and less on processed foods and snacks. Up front planning and creativity can greatly minimize the time and effort that could be involved in making the switch to more natural meal preparation.

Lastly, I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but Agave Syrup, and of course, crystalline fructose can be much higher in fructose than High Fructose Corn Syrup, so the better part of valor would be to avoid all processed forms.

What’s On Your Kingdom Menu? (A Personal Testimony)

Years ago we bought an unfinished home and hired a builder to finish the job. The builder had a helper, Doug, who was a former prizefighter. Doug had taken a lot of blows to the head. He was by no means unintelligent, yet it sometimes took him a while to make connections and draw conclusions.

A little before the job was done, the builder moved to Costa Rica. Doug was left to finish the job by himself. It was his custom to leave for lunch promptly at 11:30 a.m. and return, just as promptly, at 12:30 p.m. On one occasion, my wife invited him to stay and eat lunch with us. Along with the invitation she warned him that we were vegetarians and that her burgers contained no meat. He graciously declined the offer, but he was fascinated to learn that we ate no meat. He quickly turned to me and asked why we did not eat meat. I usually tout the health and longevity side of this issue, but this time I was impressed to share the spiritual relationship involved. I told him that we had decided to accept Jesus’ offer to live with him in his kingdom, and because we were sure he would not want us to eat his pets, we felt that we should get used to the kingdom diet while we were here. Immediately he said: “Wow! Preparing in this life for the afterlife? I’ve never thought of that before.” Of course this opened the door for other kingdom discussions—but the story does not end here.

Now for the rest of the story: The next day I was sharing Doug’s strong reaction to my simple illustration and testimony with an associate who was a best friend at work. My associate shared an office with the bookkeeper, Norm. Norm was very much in love with the Father and His dear Son Jesus; He also had several strong pet experiences. When finished, I turned to say goodbye to Norm before leaving their office, and his eyes looked as if they were full of tears. A day or two later I received a phone call from Norm’s wife (who also happened to be one of my former college teachers). She was excitedly thanking me for helping Norm make the switch to a vegetarian diet. For the fifty-plus years of their marriage, she, an ardent vegetarian, had tried every anti-flesh, pro-vegetarian argument she could think of to convince him to stop eating the foul stuff—all without success. When Norm went home after hearing Doug’s story; his wife asked him what sort of dead animal he wanted her to prepare for him for their evening meal. To her surprise, he replied that he was now a vegetarian and would no longer be eating God’s pets. We both agreed that we would never again underestimate the power of a simple childlike testimony.

God has promised the faithful a place in his kingdom. As Norman is doing, we can put our faith in this promise to work by preparing, in this life, for life in the kingdom where the affirmation “you may freely eat” will never again include God’s pets.

“Beloved, I wish above all things
that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2).

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations” (Psalms 67:1).

“Many …are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:18, 19).

Blessings!  JR 

A New Printing Machine

by Joseph Lahud

In the year 2000, after much prayer, my family and I moved from California to a farm in Minnesota. Shortly after our arrival we came to the understanding of the truth about God’s commandments, including God’s true Sabbath (the seventh day), and the truth about the Godhead. We continued in our Bible studies, and then, in 2007, God called us to give up our prosperous woodworking business and serve Him. This we did in obedience. It has been the most painful test and challenge for us. God simply said “Serve Me, and trust in Me.” We did not expect to lose our farm and other possessions such as our machines and vehicles, but we did. God is leading us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, to encourage individuals which He places in our path, prison correspondence, and evangelism. 

Included in this work is the research, writing, printing and distributing of Bible studies. This publishing work was made possible by the new Canon copier (IR5070) which the Lord provided debt free. He also provided, through a dear brother in the Lord, a new laptop computer for this work. The Canon copier is able to fold and staple documents, converting them into booklet form. These are sent all over the world. God has moved on our family to translate our materials into other languages. He is bringing other brothers and sisters in our path to help with the translation into Spanish. Some have already been translated into Polish and they are pursuing other languages. 

All materials are given away free of charge, trusting in the Lord to provide for our needs. He has restored to us a 4-wheel-drive Suburban, debt free; and also, through the foreclosure sale of our farm, paid off over $240,000 of debt from our farm and business. God is faithful to provide. Although we do not, as yet, have a place to live, we are trusting in the Lord to provide a home, wherever that may be. Dear brothers and sisters, God is faithful. Trust in Him. 

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). 

Lahud Family

Something for the Young at Heart 

We would like to give you an interesting and easy way to study the Bible, so we are including a crossword puzzle for you. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. (The KJV is required.) 

The Divinity of Christ (Part 3)

Divinity of Christ_2


  • When Cornelius bowed to worship Peter, Peter said, “Stand up; I myself also am a ____.” Acts 10:26— 2 Across 
  • When John bowed to worship an angel, the angel said, “See thou ___ ___ ___… worship God.” Revelation 22:9 (3 words)—14 Down 

Note: We see from these examples that God’s faithful servants, whether human or angelic, refuse to receive worship from anyone. 

  • Joshua met someone called the “____ of the host of the Lord.” Joshua 5:14—1 Down 
  • When Joshua fell down to worship him, He said, “Loose thy ____ from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” Joshua 5:15—3 Across 
  • No man hath ____ God at any time.” John 1:18—15 Across 

Note: The Captain that Joshua met could not have been God, the Father, for no man hath seen Him, nor could He have been a man or an angel, for He received worship. The only person this could be is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is worthy of worship. 

  • God, the Father said of His Son, “Let all the angels of God ____ him.” Hebrews 1:6—9 Down 
  • We must ____ the Son even as we do the Father. John 5:22, 23 (KJV spelling)—4 Down 

Problems in Worship 

  • Jesus said “____ worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23—17 Across 

Note: It is important that we worship God correctly. One important aspect of worship is praise. Throughout the Bible there are many examples of people worshipping accompanied by praise and exaltation through spoken words. 

  • Angels exclaimed: “Worthy is the ___ that was slain to receive power…” Revelation 5:11-13—6 Across 

Note: Here the true worshipers in heaven extol the Son of God by saying that He was slain to receive power, riches, wisdom, etc. Notice the clarity of distinction these worshipers make between the Father and the Son. They do not extol praises to the one who sits on the throne by saying that He was slain or died. This type of worship would not be true worship, for it would not be “in truth.” 

    In a desire to show honour and respect to Jesus, many have gone to the extreme of worshipping Him at the expense of the Father. Their songs and praises are filled with confusing terminology, such as “We call Your name Jesus (Most High God” (Hymn: “Supreme High God,” by New Song Worship), or “the immortal dies” (Hymn: “And Can it be that I Should Gain,” by Charles Wesley), or similar statements that blur the distinction between the Father and His Son. We are to worship the Son as the Son of God, not as “the most high God.” 

  • The disciples “worshipped” Jesus, saying, “Of a truth thou art the ____ of God.” Matthew 14:33—8 Across 

Note: Christ’s disciples were not confused about His identity, nor did their worship include confusing statements about His relationship to God. They stated plainly that Jesus is the Son of God. There are a significant number of hymns that contain untruthful statements about the Father and Son. Sometimes we mindlessly repeat these sayings without realizing that we are not speaking the truth. There have been several times that I have been engaged in singing hymns that I must stop myself from speaking the words, because I know they are not true. We should guard against worshiping God or Christ in an untruthful manner. 

Christ Receives Worship 

  • When the wise men came from the east to see the baby Jesus they “fell down, and ____ him.” Matthew 2:11—5 Down 
  • When Jesus asked a recovered blind man if he believed on the Son of God, he replied, “Lord, I ____. And he worshipped him.” John 9:35-38—7 Down 
  • “And, behold, there came a ____ and worshipped him.” Matthew 8:2— 16 Across 
  • A Canaanite woman came up to Jesus “and worshipped him, saying, ____, help me.” Matthew 15:25— 13 Across 
  • “While he spake… unto them, behold, there came a certain ____, and worshipped him.” Matthew 9:18— 11 Down 
  • “The ____ of Zebedee’s children” came to Jesus “with her sons, worshipping him.” Matthew 20:20— 18 Across 
  • In His last visit with His disciples, “he was parted from them, and ____ up into heaven. And they worshipped him.” Luke 24:50-53—18 Across 
  • Matthew’s account says, “when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some ____.” Matthew 28:16, 17— 12 Down 

Note: There are still some today who do not believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God, and doubt that they should worship Him as such. It is time to put away our doubts and “honour the Son, even as” we “honour the Father.” Not that we should honour the Son as if He is the Father, for that would bring dishonour to both the Father and the Son. Let us worship “both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9) in Spirit and in truth. 

The National Sunday Law (Part 20) 

by Alonzo T. Jones 

(The following is a portion of an argument of Alonzo T. Jones before The United States Senate, December 13, 1888, opposing the Blair Bill that promoted a Sunday law.    Editor

Courts are guided by certain well- established rules in the construction of laws. According to these rules, what would be the result of the judicial construction of such a law upon the basis of the fourth commandment? 

1. “What a court is to do, is to declare the law as written.” 

The fourth commandment as written is as follows; 

“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 shall not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, 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.” (Exodus 20:8-11). 

That commandment as written says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” Consequently, at the very first step the first day of the week, as declared in the bill, and as these people demand, would be completely shut out. But if any should innocently inquire, The seventh day of what? the commandment itself is ready with an explicit answer. It is the day upon which the Lord rested from the work of creation. In that work he employed six days, and the seventh day he rested, and that alone, as Dr. Johnson has said, established the weekly division of time. As those seven days formed the first week of time, the seventh of those seven was the seventh day of the week, and that is the seventh day fixed in the commandment. This is confirmed by the Scriptures throughout. The New Testament itself declares that the Sabbath is past before the first day of the week comes. Mark 16: 1, 2, says: 

“And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” 

Those people mentioned in this Scripture came to the sepulcher very early in the morning of the first day of the week; yet the Sabbath was past. This national Sunday-bill which is here under discussion proposes to secure the religious observance of the Sabbath on the first day of the week. But such a thing can never be done, because according to the scripture, the Sabbath is past before the first day of the week comes. It matters not how early persons may come to the first day of the week and its observance, they will be too late to find the Sabbath in it; because by the word of the Lord it is past before the first day of the week comes. 

This is made yet more positive, if need be, by the record in Luke 23:56 and 24:1, which says: 

“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” 

Here it is declared that certain people rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment, and then on the first day of the week did what they would not do on the Sabbath day. This proves conclusively that the Sabbath day according to the commandment which these men cite, and which it is supposed that the courts will have to interpret when this becomes a law, — this proves that Sabbath day is the day before the first day of the week, and therefore plainly demonstrates that the seventh day named in the commandment is nothing else than the seventh day of the week. Therefore, if courts, in the interpretation of this commandment as the basis of a Sunday law, declare the law as written and as defined by the plain word of the Lord, they will have to declare that the seventh day of the week, and not the first day, is the Sabbath. 

2. “In the case of all law, it is the intent of the lawgiver that is to be enforced.” 

What, then, was the intent of the Lawgiver when the fourth commandment was given? Did the Lawgiver declare or show in any way his intention? — He did. When the Lord gave that law at Sinai he did not leave it to the people to interpret it to suit themselves, nor to interpret it at all. By three special acts every week, kept up continuously for nearly forty years, he showed his intent in the law. The people were fed by manna in their forty years’ wanderings. But on the seventh day of the week no manna ever fell. On the sixth day of the week there was a double portion, and that which was gathered on that day would keep over the seventh, which it could not be made to do at any other period, or over any other day in the week. 

By this means the Lawgiver signified his intent upon the subject of observing the day mentioned in that law; and keeping it up continuously for so long a time made it utterly impossible that his intent should be mistaken. 

Therefore, if the courts of the United States shall ever take judicial cognizance of the fourth commandment, which is held forth by these people as the basis and the authority for their movement, according to this rule, the seventh day of the week, and not the first day, will have to be declared the Sabbath. 

3. “When words are plain in a written law, there is an end to all construction: they must be followed.” 

Are the words of the fourth commandment plain words? — They are. There is not an obscure nor an ambiguous word in the commandment. 

Then, according to this rule, if ever that question becomes one of judicial cognizance in the courts of the United States, the seventh day of the week, and not the first day, will have to be declared to be the Sabbath. That is all that the courts can declare. 

Therefore, the conclusion of the whole matter thus far is that if our courts are to remain courts of law and are to be guided by the established rules for the construction of law, they never can uphold any law for the enforcement of the Sabbath or the Lord’s day on the first day of the week. 

Just here, however, another element comes into court, and that is the theological. The theologians step in right here and declare that the intention of the fourth commandment has been changed, and that now, instead of that commandment’s requiring the observance of the seventh day in remembrance of creation, it requires the observance of the first day of the week in remembrance of the resurrection of Christ. To reach this point they first declare that the phrase “the seventh day’ in the commandment is indefinite; that it does not enjoin the observance of any particular day, but only of one day in seven. But such a construction is not only clearly in violation of established rules for the construction of law, but it involves an assumption of power on their part that can never be allowed. Admitting for argument’s sake that that phrase in the commandment is indefinite, it must be admitted that the Lord, when he wrote it, intentionally made it indefinite, because the Scripture says that when he had spoken these words, he added no more; he had nothing more to say on the subject. What he said then was final. If, then, that statement be indefinite, he intended it so, and no other than the Lord ever can, or ever has the right to, make it definite. But the theologians, just as soon as they make it indefinite to escape the obligation which it enjoins to observe the seventh day, then make it definite in order to sustain the supposed obligation to keep the first day of the week. Consequently, when they make it definite after having declared that the Lord made it indefinite, they assume the power and the prerogative to do what the Lord intentionally declined to do; and in that they put themselves above God. 

So much for their theological assumptions. Such a course is not only theologically an assumption of almighty power, but on the basis of law it is a violation of the rule which declares that: 

4. “No forced or unnatural construction is to be put upon the language of a statute.” 

To make the phrase “the seventh day” in that commandment indefinite, and mean any one day in seven and not any seventh day in particular, is nothing else than to put a forced and unnatural construction upon the language, not only of the commandment itself throughout, but on all the language of the Scriptures upon the subject of the commandment. 

Further, to make that commandment support the observance of the first day of the week in commemoration of the resurrection, is not only to put a forced and most unnatural construction upon it, but is a direct violation of that other rule of law which declares that: 

5. “A constitution [or statute] is not to be made to mean one thing at one time and another at some subsequent time when the circumstances may have so changed as perhaps to make a different rule in the case seem desirable… The meaning of the constitution [or statute] is fixed when it is adopted, and it is not different at any subsequent time when a court has occasion to pass upon it.” 

As I have clearly proved, the meaning of the fourth commandment when it was given was that the seventh day of the week should be observed, and for the reason that God rested that day from the work of creation, and blessed the day and hallowed it. That Sabbath day for that reason was established before man had sinned, and before there was any need of the resurrection of Christ. If man had never sinned, the day would have been observed, for the reason given, in commemoration of the rest of the Creator from his work of creation. That being the meaning of the commandment when the commandment was given, that must be the meaning of the commandment so long as the commandment remains. And according to this rule it can never be made to mean anything else; although to the theologians who wish to have it so, the circumstances concerning the resurrection may seem to make it desirable. 

Here the question very pertinently arises, Shall the Congress and the courts of the United States adopt the wishes of the theologians, and, in violation of the rules of law, undertake to make the statute of God mean that which it was never intended to mean? In contemplation of this demand which is now made by the theologians, the words of Judge Cooley — “Constitutional Limitations,” p. 67 — are worthy of consideration by Congress, as well as by the judges of the United States courts. He says: 

“A court of legislature which should allow a change of public sentiment to influence it in giving to a written constitution a construction not warranted by the intention of its founders, would be justly chargeable with reckless disregard of official oath and public duty.” 

The theologians have given to the fourth commandment a construction which is not in any sense warranted by the intention of the Author of the Commandment. They come to the national legislature, and ask it to allow itself to be influenced by these theological sentiments in giving to that written constitution of the government of God, a construction which is not warranted by the intention of the Founder of that constitution. As Judge Cooley says, such a thing done to a human constitution, an earthly statute, would be reckless disregard of official oath and public duty. But if this is true in the case of things wholly human and earthly, what should be thought of such an action with reference to the divine constitution, and heavenly law? 

Will the national legislature allow this theological sentiment to influence it to commit an act with reference to the constitution and laws of the living God, which, if committed with reference to the laws of men, would be reckless disregard of official oath and public duty? Not only do I ask, Is the national legislature ready to do this? but is it ready also by doing it to force the United States courts into the sanctioning of it in direct violation of the plainest principles of every rule for the construction of law? Is the national legislature ready to take the step which would turn all our courts of law into courts of theology? For such would be the only effect of the enactment of such a law as is here demanded by the theologians; because when the law comes to be interpreted by the courts upon the basis upon which the law is enacted, the first day of the week as the Sabbath can never be sustained by rules of law or by the principles of interpretation established in law. The only way it can ever be sustained is by principles established by the theologians and by theological distinctions, in total disregard of the rules of law; and the effect of it can be nothing else than to turn our courts of law into courts of theology. 

More than this, the Scriptures plainly and logically show the seventh day to be the Lord’s day. The actual expression, “the Lord’s day,” is used but once in the Bible, and that in Rev. 1:10, saying, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” But that text does not say what day of the week the Lord’s day is. Other texts in the Bible, however, speak on the subject in such a way as logically to show what day is meant by the expression, “the Lord’s day.” The Lord himself said, “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28. 

The Lord also said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath.” Here are two plain Scripture statements which may form the premises of a syllogism; thus; 

Major: The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath. 

Minor: The seventh day is the Sabbath. 

The only conclusion that can ever be drawn from these premises is, 

Therefore, the Son of man is Lord of the seventh day. 

That conclusion is just as sound as these two statements of Scripture are, and the two statements of Scripture are as plain and positive on that subject as any two statements ever can be made. Forming another syllogism, of which the above conclusion shall be the minor, we have this: 

Major: Whatever day it is of which the Son of man is Lord, is the Lord’s day. 

Minor: The Son of man is Lord of the seventh day. 

Therefore, the Lord’s day is the seventh day. 

This logic is unquestionable; this conclusion is just as true as the Scripture itself. Therefore, as surely as courts undertake the interpretation of any statute enforcing the observance of the Lord’s day, and enter upon an inquiry as to what day is the Lord’s day, they will, if logical, be brought face to face with the fact as demonstrated by the word of the Lord himself, that the seventh day, and not the first day, is the Lord’s day. 

But it will probably be said that the courts are not to enter upon the interpretation of Scripture; they are to interpret the law as it has been enacted, and as it is written; and the law as enacted says that the first day of the week is the Lord’s day, and that is as far as the courts can go. Suppose that be granted. Then that puts the United States Government into the place where it establishes an institution as the Lord’s and enforces its observance, which not only the Lord has not established, but which is directly contrary to the plain word of the Lord upon the subject of this institution and its observance. 

One or the other of these alternatives therefore the United States Government will be forced to adopt as surely as this bill or any one like it shall ever become a law. The Government will either have to become the authoritative interpreter of Scripture for all the citizens of the Government, or else it will have to put itself in the place of God, and authoritatively declare that observances established by the State and which it calls the Lord’s are the Lord’s indeed, although the word of the Lord declares the contrary. Is the United States Government ready to take either of these positions? Is the Congress of the United States ready to force the Government of the United States to the alternative of taking one or the other of these positions? 

The taking of either of these positions by the Government would be nothing else than for this enlightened nation, in this period of the nineteenth century, to assume the place, the power, and the prerogatives of the governments of the Middle Ages in enforcing the dogmas and the definitions of the theologians, and executing the arbitrary and despotic will of the church. 

Thus, from whatever point this subject of Sunday laws may be viewed, it plainly appears that aside from the papacy there is no authority whatever for Sunday laws, nor even for Sunday keeping; and that the only effect that a national Sunday law can ever have, will be only evil, and that continually. Let Congress now and forever decidedly and utterly refuse to have anything to do with it in any way whatever; and let all the people, instead of sanctioning a movement to bring the national legislation down to the degraded level of the States on this subject, put forth every effort to bring the legislation of the States up to that place where it shall be limited as the power of Congress is limited by the declaration of the national Constitution, that it “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

Now, in the name of law, Constitutional and statutory, moral and civil; in the name of enlightenment and progress; in the name of reason and the revelation of Jesus Christ, I seriously ask, Why should the people of such a nation as this, living under such a constitution as is our national Constitution, be asked to return to the papal system in the Dark Ages, which was only the inevitable outcome of the wicked scheme that was conceived in sin, — “the man of sin,” — and brought forth in iniquity, — “the mystery of iniquity,” — in the days of Constantine? Why should such a people as this, dwelling under the best Constitution and the most enlightened influences of all ages, be asked to return to the wicked system that characterized the Middle Ages? 

No, sir; the noble men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, when they established our Constitution, separated, as they supposed forever, this nation from all the wicked influences of the church- and-state systems of the colonies, of England, and of all other nations of all times. And under this Constitution, in true liberty, civil and religious, in genuine enlightenment and progress, this nation has deservedly stood as the beacon light of the world for a hundred years. Let this splendid nation ever still look forward and not backward; let it still hold its honored place before all the nations; and God forbid that by any such effort as is now being made in behalf of this Sunday law, this glorious nation should be brought down from her high place, and made to follow in the papal train. 

Gentlemen, no further argument is needed to show that the Sunday laws of all the States, and the principles of the decisions of the Supreme Courts which sustain them, are wholly wrong, springing from the papal principle of church and state, and supported by the equally un-American principle of the omnipotence of the legislative power. They are totally subversive of American principles. Yet Sunday laws have never been, and can never be, sustained on any other principle. And this is only to say that which is the sum of all this discussion: There is no foundation in justice, in right, or even in expediency, for any Sunday laws, or Lord’s-day laws, or Sabbath laws, UNDER ANY GOVERNMENT ON THIS EARTH. 

To be Continued… 

(This article was taken from pages 173-183 of the book entitled, The National Sunday Law, by Alonzo T. Jones. Some editing was done for this publication.    Editor

The Gospel in Creation (Part 18) 

by Ellet J. Waggoner 

SABBATH REST: The word “Sabbath means rest. It is the untranslated Hebrew word signifying rest. So where we read, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” it is the same as though it read, “The seventh day is the rest of the Lord thy God.” That this is so will be plain to any one who recalls the statement that on the seventh day God rested from all His works which He had made. 

Now let it be remembered that it is the Sabbath of the Lord that we are called upon to keep. In these days we hear such terms as “The Jewish Sabbath,” “The Continental Sabbath,” “The Puritan Sabbath,” “The American Sabbath,” “The Christians’ Sabbath,” etc., but the only Sabbath that the Bible tells of is “The Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep” (Exodus 31:13). The Lord speaks of the Sabbath as “My holy day” (Isaiah 58:13). Therefore it is the Lord’s rest that we are to keep. Not merely are we to abstain from our own work on the day on which the Lord rested, but we are to keep His rest. What does this mean? Let us see. 

The Saviour tells us that “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). More exact is the marginal reading of the Revised Version: “God is Spirit.” He is not merely one of a number of spirits, but He is Spirit. He is a spiritual, not a physical, being. Does that mean that He is only a shadow? Not by any means. The only enduring things are those that are spiritual. God is substance, for it is declared that Christ is “the very image of His substance” (Hebrews 1:3, R.V.). It is a mistaken idea that we are so prone to get, that spiritual things are unreal. “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44). Christ’s body after His resurrection, the body with which He ascended to heaven, was certainly a spiritual body, yet it was very real and tangible. We cannot tell what a spiritual body is, but we know that it is infinitely higher and more perfect than our physical bodies. It is not subject to the limitations that natural, physical bodies are. 

God is Spirit, therefore the rest that He took after creation was spiritual rest. There was no physical weariness incurred in creating the earth. “The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary” (Isaiah 40:28). Creation was not a physical work; it was wholly spiritual. God spake, and it was. And His word is spirit. Therefore, to keep God’s Sabbath, or rest, is to enjoy spiritual rest. The Sabbath is not designed for mere physical rest, but for spiritual. It has a higher meaning than is commonly attached to it. True, we are enjoined from doing our own labor on that day, but the cessation from physical labor on the Sabbath day is but an emblem of the spiritual rest which God gives to those who accept Him as the Creator of all things. Without spiritual rest there is no true Sabbath-keeping. The Lord says that they who turn away their feet from the Sabbath, and do not do their own ways on His holy day, but call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, shall delight themselves in the Lord. (Isaiah 58:13, 14). A man may refrain from labor on the seventh day as scrupulously as ever the strictest Pharisee did; yet if he does not know and delight in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is not keeping the Sabbath of the Lord. True Sabbath rest can be found only in Christ. 

Let it not be forgotten that the Sabbath was given to man in Eden before sin entered into the world. Work was given to Adam, but it was not wearisome labor. Labor is no part of the curse, but weariness from labor is. It was not until after the fall that it was said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:17-19). All this was because he had sinned. If he had remained loyal to God, the earth would have yielded bountifully only that which is good, and labor would have been a pleasure. Yet the sabbath would have been observed, not as a rest for the body, which would never have become weary, but as a season of delightful communion with God. 

A practical lesson may be learned right here in regard to Sabbath legislation. If the Sabbath were merely for the purpose of giving men physical rest, in order that they might be able to begin the next week’s pursuit of wealth the more eagerly, it would be possible for the government to require all men to keep the Sabbath. But since the rest of the Sabbath is a spiritual rest, the impossibility of compelling anybody to keep the Sabbath must be apparent. Spiritual pertains to the Spirit of God. The rest of the Sabbath, being spiritual, is the rest which only the Spirit of God can give, and the Spirit of God is not subject to acts of parliament or the decrees of courts. Even though the seventh day, the day which the Lord Himself blessed and sanctified, were the day sought to be enforced, the result would be the same. God does not use compulsion, and He has not authorized any man or body of men to use it in His place. The Sabbath is for man; it is the greatest blessing that God has for man. It is that which shows him the power by which he may be saved. To compel men, therefore, to keep the Sabbath, would be the same as to compel them to be saved. Christ says that He will draw men to Him, but He does not drive them. He is the Good Shepherd; as such He goes before His sheep, and leads them by His voice, but He does not drive with a club. 

It is clear that mere bodily recuperation is not the object of the Sabbath day and that merely refraining from bodily toil does not at all constitute the sums of Sabbath-keeping. Yet entire cessation from our own work, of whatever kind it may be, is enjoined on the seventh day. This, not alone for the purpose of giving us time to contemplate the works of God without interruption, but to impress a much needed lesson of trust in God. As we cease all our labor by which we earn our living, we are reminded of the fact that God supplies us not only with spiritual blessings, but also with all temporal necessities. We thereby acknowledge that although, in obedience to His command, we labor for our daily bread, we are as dependent upon Him as though we did nothing. 

A proper understanding of the Sabbath and its object, therefore, would forever set at rest the inquiry that often arises in the minds of persons who are convinced that they ought to obey God in the matter of Sabbath observance. The question is, “If I should keep the seventh day, how could I make a living? I shall doubtless lose my position, and since comparatively few people keep that day, and it is the principal business day of the week, I shall not be able to find employment. What can I do?” I say such a question will never be asked by one who knows the nature and object of the Sabbath. He will know that the Sabbath itself points out the answer. The very idea of Sabbath observance is that of perfect trust in God, whose power brought the universe from nothing, and upholds it, and whose love for His creatures is equal to His power to do them good. 

It will also solve the question, or rather prevent its arising, as to whether a man should in an extremity labor on the Sabbath in harvest, when that seems to be the only hope of securing the crop. He will know that the God who alone can make the corn grow, is fully able to protect it, or to make ample provision for him in another way if it should be destroyed. But all will understand that perfect Sabbath-keeping is consistent with bestowing all needful care upon the afflicted; for the Sabbath itself reminds us that God is “gracious and full of compassion.” 

THE REST THAT REMAINS: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them [the Jews]: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter [they shall not enter] into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. . . . There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:1-10). 

The rest that is here spoken of is evidently the rest that remains for the people of God in the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is rest in the earth made new, which the ancient Jews did not obtain because of unbelief. That which they received in the land of Canaan was only a shadow of the real rest which God had promised them. The same gospel of the kingdom, which is preached to us, was first preached to them. But what has the seventh day to do with that eternal rest in the kingdom of God? We shall see. 

The Sabbath is the memorial of creation, as we have seen. But let it not be forgotten that the Sabbath was given at the time when “God saw all that He had made; and, behold, it was very good.” So the Sabbath commemorates a perfect creation. It reminds us that the earth was not always in the condition in which we now see it. Then, since no word of God can fail, and every purpose will be carried out, just as surely as the Sabbath reminds us of a perfect creation completed for the dwelling-place of man, it assures us that the earth will be renewed and made fit for the dwelling-place of those who shall be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. 

“They shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens: God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:16-18). 

God made the earth and placed man upon it. When man was created, he was upright; therefore, God intended the earth to be inhabited by a race of perfect beings. To these beings He gave the Sabbath, that they might keep in mind their Creator and thus retain their perfection. That perfection was not merely physical perfection, but it was spiritual as well. Man, in perfection of character, was made in the image of God. So he was to observe the Sabbath as a reminder of the spiritual perfection that he had received from God and that could be preserved by Him alone. Now it is to that perfect condition that the Lord is going to restore the earth, and through the gospel He is preparing a perfect people to inhabit the restored earth. Although man has fallen and the earth has been defiled, the Sabbath still remains, a fragment of Eden, both as a reminder to man of what God prepared in the beginning and as a means of lifting him up to that high position, so that he may enjoy it when it is restored. 

The rest that remains, therefore, is the earth renewed and Eden restored. The works were finished from the foundation of the world. That is, as soon as the earth was created, it was man’s rest. Man was given work to do, but it was not wearisome work. A strictly literal rendering of Genesis 2:15 would be, that God caused man to rest in the garden which He had planted. He gave man rest in the earth that was ready for his enjoyment. The proof of this is found in the words, “And God did rest the seventh day from all His works.”

Then the Sabbath was given to man as a sign that he was to rest to all eternity with the Lord. That is, he was to enjoy spiritual rest—perfect freedom from all sin.

To be Continued…

(This article was taken from pages 160-171 of the book entitled, The Gospel in Creation, by Ellet J. Waggoner.    Editor)

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