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January - February 2001 The Sabbath Sentinel

Editoral . . .


Royce E. Mitchell, Jr.

[ Picture of Royce Mitchell ]

We did it! The year 2000 managed to come and go without any catastrophe of global proportions shutting down the earth as we know it. It seems that we humans as a whole are incapable of accurate prophetic pronouncements.

That is not too hard to understand when we know that this world is not one of God's design. Its prophets speak of doom and gloom, yet it doesn't come to pass. We are told of this in Deuteronomy 18:21-22: "And if you say in your heart, `How may we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him."

We are not to fear those predictors of gloom because they don't know what is coming upon the earth. When then should their words cause us pause? One thing that must certainly concern us is when they get around to telling us that all is well. 1 Thessalonians 5:3, "When people say, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape." (RSV).

It seems as if whatever God calls white that men are determined to call black. God's Sabbath day is a good example of this. Of all the commandments listed in Exodus 20, there is only one that the world rejects out of hand. It is found in Exodus 20:8: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (KJV).

Amazing, isn't it? The people have no problem with refusing to worship a false god, idols or taking God's name in vain. In truth, as expanded through Christ, they break all of those commands. Yet, the people will tell you that one ought not to do those things.

As the commandments apply to our brother, people in general believe that one ought to honor one's parents--although society in America seems to be turning its back on that commandment also. The days when our children become our oppressors are fast approaching. Isaiah 3:12 states: "My people - children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths." (RSV). Do our leaders mislead us and confuse the way that people ought to live? They have inflicted on the people a system of governance that supports the murder of babies and the incorporation of profligate lifestyles ... in the name of "rights." Our paths are indeed confused.

Yes, the prophecies do approach fulfillment and one wonders just how much longer will God allow the defiling of the earth to continue. Still, what of the other commandments. People will say that one should not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery or lust after what is not theirs. But, in reality, they go about in their daily activities seemingly oblivious to how they defile themselves before God by breaking the very spirit of those commandments.

Most will tell you that we ought to obey God, and they will not balk at the commandments until you bring up God's Sabbath. Somehow, this commandment does not seem to stand up to the scrutiny of our so-called religious leaders. A myriad of contorted theologies have been conjured up in an attempt to rationalize disobedience on this one aspect.

However, the problem is a simple one for the called Christian. The issue isn't the Sabbath at all. The issue is sin. What is sin? The King James Version puts it best, I believe. It says in 1 John 3:4: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Every professing Christian will admit that once they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, that they are not to go back into sinful ways. We all have to admit, however, that we do in fact continue to sin after baptism and forgiveness. The difference is the attitude though, isn't it? We don't sin willfully anymore.

Can that be said of anyone who deliberately violates the provisions laid down by God for His Sabbath? If one accepts the commandments as sin, as it clearly says in 1 John, how can he then deny the sabbath which is listed there with the rest of the commandments, the breaking of which is sin? No amount of intellectual integrity allows for such pretzel logic in the discernment of the Word of God. It is astounding to me that the logic is so clear that a young child can understand it, yet adults will deny it that they may live as they desire.

As long as the world continues to deny the complete list of commandments laid down by God, we need not fear their predictions. Instead, we ought to continue to fear what is coming on this sin-sick world. We should pray that we are found worthy--so that we can escape that horrible fate.

Listening to the predictions of the world's sinful men is a good idea. Why? Because one day we will hear those words which will signal the end. They will attempt to tell us that "peace and security" are at hand. Then, at last, our Redeemer will come for that which is His. But, we need have no fear of what they see--or predict--for they are blind.

Royce E. Mitchell, Jr.



January - February 2001 The Sabbath Sentinel