Alonzo T. Jones
Reprinted for the author by
Revelation Messengers Publishing
Alonzo Trevier Jones
Alonzo T. Jones was a deep Bible student and loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Rock Hill, Ohio in 1850, and at the age of 20 joined the U.S. Army, where he served until 1873. Following his baptism in 1874, Jones acquired his knowledge of the Bible through personal study. He became assistant minister to Isaac Van Horn shortly after, and the two ministers moved to northwestern Oregon where they held evangelistic meetings and organized churches. Jones later moved northward to Washington where he continued this same work and, in 1884, moved to California where he became editor of a Christian periodical. In 1889, Jones spoke before the U.S. Congress in opposition to a bill that would require national Sunday observance. The arguments used and set forth by Jones in the hearing he later published in book form, titled The National Sunday Law. Thus he became known as a prominent speaker on religious freedom. Among his studies, Jones familiarized himself with world history, as well as Biblical, and the prophecies contained in the Bible, and this lead to the authorship of many written works on the subject of Bible prophecy and their fulfillment as demonstrated in history. Jones believed that the Bible should be “preeminent” among those books studied by Christians, stating: “Nothing that is not Christian can ever properly be brought into the education of a Christian, any more than can anything that is not Christian be properly brought into any other phase of the life of the Christian. Therefore, the Book of Christianity, the Bible, must be the standard of Christian education.”
T he Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, which He Himself has named and appointed; which He declared with His own voice from heaven; which is His own, upon which He placed His blessing, which He made holy, and which He sanctified;—this, the Sabbath of the Lord, is the sign of what Jesus Christ is to those who believe in Him. The observance of it by faith—the true observance of it—brings into the life of the believer in Jesus, as nothing else can, the living presence and power of Jesus Christ. This is true, and every man may know it by faith in Jesus.
Let us candidly study this important thought. It is written: “Hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” There is, therefore, that about the Sabbath by which he who hallows it may know not only that the Lord is God, but that the Lord is his God. But to know God is to know not only that He is, but also what He is; for His name is not simply “I AM,” but “I AM THAT I AM,”—I am what I am, I am that which I am,—so that “he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,”—must believe not only that He is, but also what He is. Therefore as the Sabbath is a sign which God has set, by which those who hallow it may know that He is the Lord their God; it follows with perfect certainty that there is in the Sabbath, that by which those who hallow it may find the knowledge of God. There is in it that by which he who hallows it may know what God is to the person who believes in Him. In other words, the Sabbath is a means of the revelation of God.
This is yet more fully seen in the truth that “no man knoweth…the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Matt. 11:27. Thus God is known only as He is revealed in Jesus Christ. What God is, is revealed only through Christ, and can be known only in Christ. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” Christ is therefore and forever, “God with us.” 2 Cor. 5:19; Matt. 1:23.
Now as the Sabbath is God’s sign by which men may know that He is the Lord, and as He is known only as He is revealed in Christ, it is the very certainty of truth that the Sabbath is God’s sign by which those who hallow it may know God as He is revealed in Jesus Christ,—the sign by which men may know what God is to the believer in Jesus.
Again: the Sabbath is God’s sign by which those who hallow it may know that the Lord sanctifies them. Eze. 20:12. But no man can be sanctified except by faith that is in Jesus Christ. Acts 26:18. Therefore as the Sabbath is the Lord’s sign that He sanctifies men, and as men can be sanctified only by faith in Jesus, it is the plain truth that the Sabbath is God’s sign by which men may know the sanctifying power and purity of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.
This is why it is that only the believer can enter into God’s rest in the Sabbath, as it is written, “We which have believed do enter into rest.” And this is why it was that Israel, who did not believe, could not enter into God’s rest; as it is written, “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” But “to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Thus faith in Jesus Christ is and always was the object of the Sabbath; and the whole life of Sabbath-keeping.
The Sabbath, then, being the sign of what God in Christ is to the believer, it follows that there must be found in the Sabbath that which is also found in Christ. In other words, the Sabbath being the sign by which men may know that God is the Lord; and as God is known only in Jesus Christ: it follows that in the Sabbath there is the very reflection of Jesus in what He is to the believer otherwise it could not be such a sign.
Let us, therefore, look at the Sabbath as God made it: and at what the Lord did in the making of it by which it became the Sabbath of the Lord. First, He created all things; then He ceased from His works and rested the seventh day; He then blessed the seventh day; He made it holy, and sanctified it. The Sabbath, therefore, is—
burning with fire yet not consumed, turned aside
and approached to behold, “God called unto him out
of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.
And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. 3:4, 5. That place was made holy ground solely by the presence of “Him who dwelt in the bush.” Again, when Joshua, near Jericho, beheld “a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand,” and Joshua asked him, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” “he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come….And the Captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” Joshua 5:13-15. That which made holy the place whereon Joshua stood, was the presence of the “Captain of the Lord’s host,” who was there. And as it is the presence of the Lord which makes holy; that which made holy the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord, was the presence of Him who rested the seventh day from all His works.
Thus connected with the Sabbath there is the creative power of God; the rest of God; the blessing of God; the presence of God which makes holy; and the continuing, dwelling, presence of God which sanctifies.
And all this is precisely, and in order, what is found in Christ by the believer in Jesus; for—
Thus it is plainly seen that in the Sabbath is the very reflection of all that the believer finds in Jesus; and thus it is that the Sabbath is a sign to everyone who hallows it, by which he knows that the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is his God. And as no one can know God except as He is revealed in Jesus Christ; and as the Sabbath has connected with it the suggestion, the reflection, of all that the believer finds in Jesus; it is plainly God’s sign, by which he who hallows it may find the knowledge of God as He is revealed in Christ.
In all this it must also be borne in mind that it was in Christ and by Him that God created all things; for, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3. “By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Col. 1:16. Thus it was Christ who created all things; it was Christ who rested on the seventh day from all His work; it was Christ who blessed the seventh day because that in it He had rested; it was Christ whose presence made the day holy; and it is the continuing, dwelling presence of Christ which sanctified, and sanctifies, the seventh day. It was Christ Himself, therefore, who connected with the Sabbath of the seventh day that which is the reflection of Himself, that which is the expression of what He is to the believer in Him, so that whosoever would hallow the Sabbath might know that the Lord, who is known only in Christ, is his God.
God’s rest is in the seventh day; and God’s rest is in Christ. It is impossible for God’s rest to be in antagonistic places; for as with God “there is no variableness neither shadow of turning.” God’s rest is the same wherever it may be. Therefore, God’s rest being ever the same, God’s rest in the seventh day, and God’s rest in Christ, is precisely the same rest. And this, being impossible to be in antagonism, is in perfect unity, and therefore demonstrates that the Sabbath is in Christ and Christ is in the Sabbath.
A beautiful lesson that shows Christ in the Sabbath and the Sabbath in Christ, is found in the ancient sanctuary. There was the table of showbread, upon which were placed, at the beginning of every Sabbath, twelve fresh-baked cakes. Those cakes remained there until the beginning of the next Sabbath, when they were replaced by the fresh bread. Thus at the beginning of every Sabbath the bread was renewed.
The term “showbread” is literally “bread of the presence;” and signifies Christ the “true bread which came down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” This bread of the presence therefore signified the presence of Christ with the whole people—the twelve tribes—of Israel. The bread’s being always there, signified the presence of Christ always with His people. But this bread of the presence was always there only by being renewed, and it was renewed every Sabbath. And thus God would teach the people then, and now, and forevermore, that His presence in Christ is renewed to the believer every Sabbath. When the Sabbath is past, however, His presence still abides through all the days of the week until the next Sabbath, when it is renewed; and thus is fulfilled the scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” Ex. 33:14.
Thus the true believer in Jesus, the true observer of the true Sabbath, is ever growing in the knowledge of God as He is revealed in Christ; and thus the Sabbath is a sign by which he knows that the Lord is his God, and by His abiding presence He sanctifies him.
It is so also with the blessing of God in the Sabbath. When on the sixth day God made the man, “God blessed them.” Gen. 1:28. Then came the seventh day, in which God rested, and “God blessed the seventh day.” Gen. 2:3. Thus both the man and the seventh day were blessed. The man was blessed before the day was blessed. Then when that blessed man came to that blessed day, he found additional blessing; and each succeeding Sabbath he found yet additional blessing. And had he remained faithful, it would ever have been the blessed man coming each Sabbath to the blessed day; and so he would ever have grown in the knowledge of God. And so it is to-day with every soul whom God has blessed in turning him away from his iniquities, and who hallows God’s blessed Sabbath day: every time this blessed man comes to that blessed day, he receives additional blessing, and so is ever growing in the knowledge of God.
And thus, whether before man sinned, or since he sinned,
the Sabbath has ever been, and is still, and will ever be, God’s sign, by which he who hallows it may know that the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is his God; and may know what God is, as He is revealed in Jesus Christ, whether in creation or in redemption.
And what shall we more say? The Sabbath, truly understood, means all of Christ; and Christ, truly understood, means all of the Sabbath. And neither can be truly understood without the other. The Sabbath is God’s sign, and Christ is God’s sign. Christ is God’s sign spoken against, and the Sabbath is God’s sign spoken against: and all, “that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34, 35. Yet ever He is indeed “the glorious Lord” (Isa. 33:21); and ever “His rest,” His Sabbath, is indeed “glorious.” Isa. 11:10.
“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 we which have believed do enter into rest.” “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.” “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”
“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” Isa. 56:1, 2.
“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasures, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isa. 58:13, 14.
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isa. 66:22, 23.
Since, then, the
Sabbath of the Lord—the seventh day—is the key to the
fullness of the knowledge of God as He is revealed in Christ, these
evidences demonstrate that the Sabbath is the key to the true
knowledge of the whole law of God—the Ten Commandments. And
even this thought, in just this way, is revealed in the Scriptures:
When God had brought out of Egypt His people of old time, to bring
them into His own promised land, He said He would prove them whether
they would walk in His law or no. And it was distinctly and alone by
the Sabbath that He proved them as to whether they would walk in His
law or no. Ex. 16:4, 5, 22-30. And now, when He has set His hand the
second time to bring His people into His own promised land, again,
to-day, He will prove all the people whether they will walk in His
law or no. And the test by which to-day He will prove the people
whether they will walk in His law or no, is the same as ever—the
Sabbath—the Sabbath as it is in Christ; for there is no other
law, there is no other key, and He, whose is the law and its key, is
“the same yesterday and to-day and forever.” With Him “is
no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
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