Institution of the Sabbath
In his mention of the "little horn," what does the prophet say that power should think to do?
"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25.
What does Paul say the "man of sin" should do?
"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." 2 Thess. 2:3, 4.
NOTE: There is only one way by which any power could exalt itself above God. Although it might enact numberless ceremonies, the observance of which would be demanded as strictly as God requires His commandments to be obeyed, yet as long as the people felt obliged to obey God also, no power could be said to be elevated above God. It would only be equal with Him. In order, then, for this power to exalt itself above God, it must of necessity seek to change God's law, or some portion of it, and require obedience to his own law instead of God's.
What power has attempted to change the law of God?
The papacy; as proved by history and the admissions of the Catholic writers themselves, such as the following:"
Question - "Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?"
Answer - "Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is not scriptural authority." Doctrinal Catechism (Catholic), page 174. See also chapter 90, "Change of the Sabbath," elsewhere in this book.
What does the Sabbath commandment require?
"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 man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." Ex. 20:8-10.
Why did the Lord set apart the seventh day for man to keep?
"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." Ex. 20:11.
Did God bless the seventh day while He was resting upon it, or when His rest on that day was past?
"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." Gen. 2:3.
NOTE: God blessed and sanctified the seventh day then future, answering to the day on which He had rested. The acts of blessing and sanctifying involve the idea of a future use of those things on which they are bestowed. Gen. 49; Ex. 19:23. But past time cannot be used. It is gone forever.
What three distinct acts were necessary to establish the Sabbath of the commandment?
God rested on it; he blessed it; he sanctified it. "Sanctify: to make sacred or holy; to set apart to a holy or religious use." Webster.
For whom was it thus made?
"And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27.
NOTE: It was not made for the Jews alone. The Jews derive their name from Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom they are descended. The Sabbath was made more than two thousand years before there was a Jew.
How does the Bible use the term sanctify in other texts?
"And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it." Ex. 19:23. See also Joel 1:14, where it says: "Sanctify [i.e., appoint] ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord." In all the places in the sacred text it means to appoint, or proclaim, as in Joshua 20:7; 2 Kings 10:20, 21; Zeph. 1:7, margins. So when the Sabbath was sanctified, as the last act by which it was made for man, an appointment, or proclamation, of the Sabbath was given.
NOTE: "If we had no other passage than this of Gen. 2:3, there would be no difficulty in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a Sabbath, or seventh day, to be devoted to God as holy time, by all of that race for whom the earth and its nature were specially prepared. The first men must have known it. The words He hallowed it can have no meaning otherwise. They would be a blank unless in reference to some who were required to keep it holy." --Lang's Commentary, Vol. 1, page 197.
"'And sanctified it.' Hebrew, kadash. It is by this term that the positive appointment of the Sabbath as a day of rest to man is expressed. God's sanctifying the day is equivalent to His commanding man to sanctify it. As at the close of creation the seventh day was thus set apart by the Most High for such purposes, without limitation to age or country, the observance of it is obligatory upon the whole human race, to whom, in the wisdom of Providence, it may be communicated. This further appears from the reason why God blessed and sanctified it -- 'because that in it He had rested,' which is a reason of equal force at all times and equally applying to all the posterity of Adam; and if it formed a just ground for sanctifying the first day, which dawned upon the finished system of the universe, it must be equally so for sanctifying every seventh day to the end of time." --Notes on Gen. 2:3, by Geo. Bush, Prof. of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in New York City University.
When Israel murmured in the wilderness, and God designed to give them manna for food, how did He say He would prove them?
"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no." Ex. 16:4.
On which day did the people gather a double portion of the manna?
"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses." Ex. 16:22.
When the rulers told Moses of this act, what reply did he make?
"And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD." Ex. 16:23.
NOTE: This was a full month, and more, before the proclamation of the Sabbath from Sinai.
When had God said this?
In the beginning, when God sanctified the Sabbath, thus proclaiming its sacredness.
What did some of the people do on the seventh day?
"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none." Ex. 16:27.
How did God reprove their disobedience?
"And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?" Ex. 16:28.
Was breaking the Sabbath a refusal to walk in the law of God?
"See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." Ex. 16:29.
How did the Lord prove the people (verse 4) whether they would keep His law, or not?
By the Sabbath commandment; and so the Sabbath was a part of God's law even before it was spoken from Sinai. It is this sacred institution, which God preserved by the miracle of the falling manna, that the papal power has thought to subvert.
Why did God give the Sabbath?
"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." Eze. 20:20.
NOTE: As the Sabbath was given that man might keep in memory the creative power of God, it can be readily seen that a power endeavoring to exalt itself above God would first try to cover up or remove that which called man's special attention to his Creator. This could be done in no way so effectually as by setting aside God's memorial, the seventh day Sabbath. To this work of the papacy Daniel had reference when he said, he shall "think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25.