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Claims of the Fourth Commandment
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

Claims  of  the  the  Fourth  Commandment

The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible  serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By introducing the belief that God's law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man's consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God's holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.   Great Controversy, page 586.2   Summary of Chapter 36

"The verity and truth of the binding claims of the fourth commandment must be presented in clear lines before the people. 'Ye are My witnesses.' The message will go in power to all parts of the world, to Oregon, to Europe, to Australia, to the islands of the sea, to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Preserve the dignity of the truth. It will grow to large proportions. Many countries are waiting for the advanced light the Lord has for them; and your faith is limited, it is very small. Your conception of the work needs to be greatly enlarged. Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Woodland, and the large cities in the United States must hear the message of truth. Go forward. God will work with great power if you will walk in all humility of mind before Him. It is not faith to talk of impossibilities. Nothing is impossible with God. The light of the binding claims of the law of God is to test and prove the world." . . . {CET 217.1}

The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God's appointment.  {Ev 234.1}
There are many at the present day who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. "Sin is the transgression of the law" and "he that shall offend on one point is guilty of all."  {Ev 372.1}
While some have been urging their man-made tests upon the people, the claims of the fourth commandment have been held very lightly. We knew that the blessing of God could not rest upon this church until there was a reformation upon this important point. Those who stand in responsible positions should be careful that their words and example are such as will lead the people to correct views and practices. They should be sure that in no way they belittle the requirements of God. Because the fourth commandment is so widely disregarded, we should be the more earnest and decided in seeking to honor this precept of God's holy law. The third angel's message is that which we are to present to the world. Here God has a test for us, and if we come up to the standard, we shall be a peculiar people. Whoever obeys the fourth commandment will find that a separating line is drawn between him and the world. The Sabbath is a test, not a human requirement, but God's test. It is that which will distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve him not; and upon this point will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error.  {HS 215.2}
There are many at the present day who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. "Sin is the transgression of the law" and he that shall "offend in one point, he is guilty of all." 1 John 3:4; James 2:10.  {FLB 148.2}
All heaven was represented to me as beholding and watching upon the Sabbath those who acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment and are observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and high regard for, this divine institution. Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strictly devotional frame of mind, and who sought to improve the sacred hours in keeping the Sabbath to the best of their ability, and to honor God by calling the Sabbath a delight,--these the angels were specially blessing with light and health, and special strength was given them. But, on the other hand, the angels were turning from those who failed to appreciate the sacredness of God's sanctified day, and were removing from them their light and their strength. I saw them overshadowed with a cloud, desponding, and frequently sad. They felt a lack of the Spirit of God. -- Vol. 2, p. 702.  {GW92 209.1}
Those who died before the light was given upon the law of God and the claims of the fourth commandment were not guilty of the sin of violating the seventh-day Sabbath. The wisdom and mercy of God in dispensing light and knowledge at the proper time, as the people need it, is unsearchable. Previous to His coming to judge the world in righteousness, He sends forth a warning to arouse the people and call their attention to their neglect of the fourth commandment, that they may be enlightened, and may repent of their transgression of His law, and prove their allegiance to the great Lawgiver. He has made provision that all may be holy and happy if they choose. Sufficient light has been given to this generation, that we may learn what our duties and privileges are, and enjoy the precious and solemn truths in their simplicity and power.  {2T 693.3}
The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Roman church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false Sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal Sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God's appointment.  {BTS, February 1, 1913 par. 4}
Many and determined were the efforts made to overthrow the faith of those who would build up the old waste places, and heal the breach in the law of God. How hard evil men, headed by the prince of darkness, tried to close the door that had been opened into the sanctuary where Jesus had entered to make atonement for his people! Christ had opened the door, or ministration, of the Most Holy Place, and light was shining out, that all who desired might see the claims of the fourth commandment, and believe. God had established his law, and not a jot or tittle of it was to be annulled.  {ST, May 5, 1887 par. 7}

present  the  claims  of  the  Fourth  Commandment

And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God's ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.   Great Controversy, page 590.1   {4SP 408.1}

 

That which especially excites the enmity of the world in our day is the presentation of the claims of the fourth commandment. And this is the special work for the people of God at this time. The prophet John, looking down to the last days, saw that the temple of God was open in heaven, and the ark of his testament was seen. That ark contains God's holy law, and John sees a people whose eyes are directed to the temple; their attention is fixed upon the law contained in the ark. "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Heaven is watching this work with the deepest interest. Angels are watching the development of character, and are weighing moral worth. They are bidden to place a mark upon those who are loyal to God's commandments; such will have special help from God to endure the test and proving of the time of trouble.  {HS 196.3}

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