Do you know what it means that we will be proclaiming “the Sabbath more fully”? Here is the statement by Sister White to which I’m referring:
And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth.
— Early Writings, p. 33
Now, that is not the only statement we have on this topic; we also have this one:
I saw that we sensed and realized but little of the importance of the Sabbath, to what we yet should realize and know of its importance and glory … But when the refreshing and latter rain shall come from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power … Then shall we see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory.
— Letter 3, 1851
The Sabbath More Fully, not Just More Powerfully
Clearly, this not just about us preaching the Sabbath with more power; there is more to the Sabbath itself that we will learn, but only as we receive the latter rain. Our pioneers understood this without even ever referencing the latter quote. They quoted the former statement in five different articles—R.C. Porter, twice; A.T. Jones, twice; and J.O. Corliss once. Here is one of Jones’ quotes:
Can the Sabbath ever be more fully preached than to preach the fullness of Christ in it? Can any truth be more fully preached than to preach the fullness of Christ in it, and to preach it as the fullness of Christ, and Christ is the fullness of all things. Now that is not saying that we see all in the Sabbath that there is in it; we are to find there more fullness of Christ always; but I say it is impossible to preach the Sabbath, or anything else, more fully than to preach the fullness of Christ in it, and as the Living One to us.
— Home Missionary, August, 1893
The others say similar things. But how do we know that it’s true? How can Christ be in the Sabbath? And how can Christ be in the Law (one of the major themes of the 1888 message)? They accepted this by faith, as I did when I was intrigued with the message of the Sabbath more fully. Well, in the last several years, I began investigating things more closely.
The Answer Is in Leviticus 23
This is what the Lord revealed to me through my studies. Let’s read the first four verses of the chapter together.
And Yahuah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the appointed times (‘moedim’, Hebrew; ‘feasts’, KJV) of Yahuah, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed times. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is a Sabbath of Yahuah in all your dwellings. These are the appointed times of Yahuah, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed times.
The rest of the chapter identifies the seven annual holy convocations and their meanings (in types); and these types explain the Gospel of Christ in symbols. So, what is this chapter really about? Christ! As Seventh-day Adventists, we know the antitypes to be the crucifixion of Christ (Passover), the death and burial of Christ (High Sabbath), the resurrection of Christ (First-fruits), the entry of Christ into His Holy Place ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (Pentecost), the proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel of Christ (Trumpets), the Second Coming of Christ (Tabernacles), and the marriage supper of Christ (Last Great Day). Do not these types more fully explain the plan of redemption executed by Christ than anywhere else in the Torah? Indeed, more than the whole Bible!
The Fullness of Christ
Therefore, we see a fullness of Christ in Leviticus 23, at least as far as types can go; and the introduction of it that we quoted references the Fourth Commandment. Moreover, the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment connects to the seven annual Sabbaths via the term “holy convocation”. The seventh-day Sabbath is the great archetype of the other Sabbaths. The others receive their authority from the Fourth Commandment; and they explain the meaning of the Sabbath more fully, as they explain the Gospel of Christ. Thus, we see Christ in the Fourth Commandment, and through that commandment, the rest of the Law. We see Christ IN the Law. And isn’t this the Gospel — the Glad Tidings? Christ is our Great Lamb dying in our place, who kept the Law perfectly for us, that He may keep it in us today.
The Spirit of Prophecy Speaks
Let’s confirm this. We will read what Sister White says about the statutes of the Torah in general. Thus we will see if it is that way for the Fourth Commandment as well.
In consequence of continual transgression, the Moral Law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses the religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the Ten Commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the Moral Law, and they clearly and definitely explained that Law.
— Review and Herald, May 6, 1875
There it is! It works! The annual statute Sabbaths, according to Leviticus 23, are enforced by the power of the Fourth Commandment of the Moral Law written by the finger of Christ. This is plain in the chapter’s introduction. And they clearly and definitely explain the Sabbath in terms of the spiritual rest that comes from our redemption wrought by Christ starting from the Passover of 31 AD. This is the Sabbath more fully!
But Wait, There’s More!
For further proof of this we can read the following:
That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given.
— Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 310
Amazing! The statutes under the Fourth Commandment, particularly the annual Sabbaths, their associated festivals, and the types of Christ connected to them giving everything meaning, explain the Sabbath more fully! The fact that this is coming out now is important; it tells us that we are approaching the commencement of the time of trouble, when the infilling of the Holy Spirit will empower us to give this message to the whole world! It is especially significant that a number of messengers aside from me are sharing this truth independently. God never shares new light with only one or two men. We are praying that, as our people experience true revival, we will accept this light as a body.
The Sabbath More Fully: More than Festivals
Please don’t take this to mean that the preaching of the Sabbath more fully is a proclamation of the feast days. It is more than that. The emphasis is on Christ, just where our pioneers put it. The feasts have no meaning without the types of Christ connected with them, though the types are no longer practiced since that ceremonial system ended at the Cross when the veil in the earthly sanctuary was rent in twain. Indeed, the Sabbath has no meaning in terms of redemption without the statutes that thus magnify it. The Sabbath already has that meaning in terms of creation, however, the creative power of Christ in His plan of redemption should really be the focus. It is the Gospel that saves us, which the Bible most clearly reveals; the Book of Nature is secondary.
Even More Fully: Beyond the Weekly Sabbath
Now, Leviticus 23 only goes through the annual appointed times; the others are in Numbers 28 and 29. The foundational cycle of all appointed times is the daily – the mornings and evenings. Do we cease our morning and evening worship times after the Cross because the typical system connected to them ended then? No, God forbid; we would lose our spirituality in a hurry! The next cycle up is the Sabbath cycle. Numbers 28:9-10 reveals that the priests performed special typical sacrifices on the seventh-day Sabbath, just as on festivals and New Moons; yet we know as seventh-day Adventists that the Sabbath day is an eternal memorial. One of our greatest proofs for this is Isaiah 66:23:
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith Yahuah, 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 Yahuah.
Please notice that in our same proof text for the immutability of the Sabbath worship time is the New Moon! Here is one of Sister White’s commentaries on it:
The redeemed host shall be in the city of God and observe the Sabbath there, and especially come up to worship God from Sabbath to Sabbath and from one new moon to another.
— Manuscript 173, 1897
We Can’t Cherry-Pick
Since the mornings and evenings, the weekly Sabbaths, and the New Moons are all worship times after the Cross, why would it be any different for the annual worship times? It is only human tradition that has kept this back for so long. It is not enough to have a head-knowledge of the plan of redemption. We need to have an ongoing experience. And each of the appointed times — especially the annual ones — have spiritual signficance that we are to partake in. It is to be a living experience from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. We are to continually review the glories of our salvation and experience them in holy convocations, and it is when we gather together with God at these times that He will pour out special blessings of the Holy Spirit.
A Prophetic Injunction
In fact, the special outpouring of “latter rain” (Zechariah 10:1) is prophesied to fall upon those who go up “from year to year to worship the King,” particularly on “the Festival of Tabernacles” (14:16). God is not arbitrary. There is nothing magical about these times that invokes the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is in the obedience to what God commands, and He commands these times, not times of our own choosing. Why are these times so significant? Because only these times connect with the complete plan of redemption that we are to review from year to year. On this subject, Sister White says this:
God designs that the plan of redemption shall come to His people as the latter rain; for they are fast losing their connection with God. They are trusting in man, and glorifying man, and their strength is proportionate to the strength of their dependence. Some matters have been opened before me which will be fulfilled ere long. We are to know more than we do at the present time. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. There are themes to be dwelt upon which are worthy of more than passing notice. Angels have desired to look into the truths which are revealed to the people who are searching God’s word and with contrite hearts praying for wisdom, for greater lengths and breadths and heights of that knowledge which God alone can give.
— Bible Training School, January 1, 1913
Let Us All Keep the Sabbath More Fully
Will we continue to study these things? There is so much light that God wants to shine to us from the Fourth Commandment. And there is so much that He wants us to experience from it, to fit us for Jacob’s time of trouble and to stand without a Mediator in our sinful flesh. He has led the Advent Movement step by step into the statutes, such as abstaining from unclean foods and tithing, but He has saved the best for last. With the knowledge we have now, we can connect the Law with the Gospel unlike we have ever been able to do before, and this will enable us to proclaim the Everlasting Gospel with even greater power — even the power of the Angel of Revelation 18.
What will we do with this light, power, and glory? Let us learn from our past of darkness and doubt in 1888 and following. Yahuah has wonderful things for His faithful flock, even the heritage of Jacob! Let us receive every new ray of light that shines from the heavenly portals, that lights the rest of the narrow way to the Heavenly City!
PS: Still troubled by the types associated with the worship times and whether one can really continue without the other? Let’s clarify the distinctions between the times, types and antitypes.