The Sabbath
Lesson 20

From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan’s purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God’s law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will ultimately be the same.

When mankind sinned against his Creator, he lost his garden home. There were two institutions, however, that God had given him in Eden that he brought out with him—marriage and the Sabbath.

1. When and by whom was the Sabbath instituted?

Genesis 2:1–2
Genesis 2:1–2

2. What was Christ’s role in the Creation?

John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2
John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2

3. After resting on the seventh day, what did God do?

Genesis 2:3
Genesis 2:3

Note: By three distinct acts the Sabbath was set apart: God rested on it, He blessed it, and He sanctified it.

4. For whose benefit did God especially make the Sabbath?

Mark 2:27
Mark 2:27

Note: In Eden man had forgotten that God was his Creator and that, as a creature, he was dependent upon Him for all that he had, including life itself. By giving man the Sabbath as a memorial of Creation, God seeks to keep ever before our minds that all we have and are comes from Him. In this He shows us not only the fact that we depend on Him for everything, but also His great love for us.

5. What reason is given for Sabbath-keeping?

Exodus 20:11
Exodus 20:11

6. As one of the ten, what does the Sabbath commandment require?

Exodus 20:8–10
Exodus 20:8–10

7. Of what is the Sabbath a sign?

Exodus 31:13
Exodus 31:13

Note: The people could not of themselves keep God’s law. This fact has been shown over and over again in the lives of all who have ever lived. The Sabbath is to remind us that we have to depend upon our Creator for everything, even our obedience. If we fail to keep the Sabbath holy, it is certain that we will not keep the rest of God’s law; for we have refused to recognize the sign God has given us, whereby we acknowledge our dependence on Him for obedience.

8. By what sign did God set apart those who worship Him from those who worship false gods?

Ezekiel 20:20
Ezekiel 20:20

Note: In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Lawgiver. Though in different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone.

9. Did Jesus change the law in any way?

Matthew 5:17–18
Matthew 5:17–18

10. What did He say about those who seek to take away from the importance of obeying any part of the law?

Matthew 5:19
Matthew 5:19

11. Can we keep nine of the ten commandments and find acceptance?

James 2:10
James 2:10

12. What was Christ’s custom on the Sabbath?

Luke 4:16
Luke 4:16

13. Did Christ expect His followers to observe the Sabbath commandment following the resurrection?

Matthew 24:15–20
Matthew 24:15–20

Note: The destruction of Jerusalem occurred in A.D. 70, approximately 40 years later. We may know with certainty that Jesus expected His followers would still be keeping the Sabbath at that time.

14. On what day did Paul and Barnabas go into the synagogue at Antioch?

Acts 13:14
Acts 13:14

15. After Paul’s sermon, and the Jews had left the synagogue, what did the Gentiles request of the Apostles?

Acts 13:42
Acts 13:42

Note: This was at least 15 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Jews had all left the meeting, and as Paul was called of the Lord especially to be the minister to the Gentiles, there was nothing to keep him from announcing a meeting for them on the following day, which would have been Sunday. If Sunday were to have been the Christian Sabbath, it would have been logical to do so, but he did not do this.

16. What was the result of the Gentile’s request?

Acts 13:44
Acts 13:44

17. On what day did the women at Philippi hold their prayer meetings?

Acts 16:13
Acts 16:13

18. What was Paul’s customary day for holding religious services?

Acts 17:1–2; 18:4
Acts 17:1–2; 18:4

19. How does Jesus view worship that follows tradition instead of God’s commandments?

Mark 7:7, 9
Mark 7:7, 9

20. How do we demonstrate the fact that we indeed have a living relationship with Jesus?

1 John 2:3
1 John 2:3

21. When is a person held accountable for transgression of God’s law?

James 4:17
James 4:17

22. How does God view those who have ignorantly transgressed a part of His holy law?

Acts 17:30–31
Acts 17:30–31

23. What does the judgment hour message of Revelation especially call upon us to do?

Revelation 14:6–7
Revelation 14:6–7

Note: We are called upon to worship God as Creator. The Sabbath is the only sign given to men by God by which they can show Him respect as the Creator.

24. To whom is the heavenly inheritance promised?

Revelation 22:14
Revelation 22:14

The Sabbath was given to man at Creation and restated in peals of loudest thunder at Sinai. Within the pages of Scripture there cannot be found any command doing away with, or in any way altering the Sabbath; for the Lord has given no sign to replace it as a memorial of His creative power, or of His power to sanctify us. See Exodus 31:13, 17. In the last days many will claim to have had a relationship with Christ (see Matthew 7:22–23), but will find that they are not recognized by Him, because they, like Cain, have chosen their own way to worship Him, rather than the way He laid out for them. See Genesis 4:3–7.

God’s law, just as His character, is eternal. It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes and permit the people to do as they please, than for the Ruler of the universe to annul His law and leave the world without a standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient. He who rules the world in wisdom and love is a God who changes not. See Malachi 3:6. He does not abolish today that which He enforced yesterday. The law of God may be ignored, despised, rejected, trampled upon, but it is still the great standard of righteousness, immutable and indestructible.

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