To a large degree the religious world is following in the path of the Jews. The Pharisees taught for doctrine the commandments of men, making the word of God void by their traditions, and this the teachers of today are doing by upholding the first day of the week,—a day that bears not the divine credentials. They clothe their false Sabbath with a garb of sanctity, and many would compel its observance by imprisonment and fine. Under the enemy’s training, their zeal will grow until, like the Jews, they will think they are doing God a service by heaping reproach on those who have the moral courage to keep his commandments.
Those who do this venture to make of none effect a commandment instituted in Eden; for there, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, the foundation of the Sabbath was laid, and the seventh day was set apart to be observed as sacred. The Lord blessed this day as the day of his rest, and sanctified it, commanding man to “remember.” Do not forget it; keep it holy.
Man has no permission from God to nullify one precept of the decalogue. He has no permission to lead the minds of others to bow to an idol, or to make laws compelling God’s heritage to worship that which is false. Of those who do this, God says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” They place the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements; yea more, they exalt a spurious Sabbath above the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
Their obedience to man-made requirements makes their worship null and void; but God bears with their ignorance till light comes to them.
The worship of a common working-day, and the multitudinous ceremonies connected with this false sabbath, are of the same nature as the wrongs pointedly exposed by Christ when he said, “And many other such like things ye do.” The plain evidence of truth is not discerned. Laying aside the commandments of God as altogether unimportant, men follow tradition. They reject God’s law, in order that they may keep their tradition.
Common things are exalted above those things that are sacred and heavenly.
Satan has taken the world captive. He has introduced an idol sabbath, apparently giving to it great importance. He has stolen the homage of the Christian world away from the Sabbath of the Lord for this idol sabbath. The world bows to a tradition, a man-made commandment. As Nebuchadnezzar set up his golden image on the plain of Dura, and so exalted himself, so Satan exalts himself in this false sabbath, for which he has stolen the livery of heaven.
In this work the principles of the enemy are deep and deceiving, and Christ’s words are appropriate, “Laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.” The heavenly universe is amazed that, in their credulity, men transfer the benediction given to the seventh day to the first day of the week.
The Sabbath is God’s memorial of creation and rest, and at the beginning of the Sabbath command he places the word of warning, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Thus it was with the Jewish nation, and thus it will be with all who, laying aside the commandments of God, teach for doctrine the commandments of men. RH March 8, 1898, par. 9 – RH March 8, 1898, par. 14