The one commandment that begins with "Remember" has been forgotten

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If we support the Ten Commandments, should we not include the Sabbath?

 

 

Bible Study on the Seventh-day Sabbath

 

The Creator of the heavens and the earth gave us rules to follow, which if broken, indicate our lack of spiritual connection with Him.

THERE HAS BEEN MUCH CONFUSION ON THIS TOPIC.  PLEASE PRAYERFULLY REVIEW THESE BIBLICAL STATEMENTS ON THE LAW OF GOD...

  • "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14. 

  • Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15. 

  • "Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12:13. 

  • "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Matthew 5:18.  

  • "Faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead." James 2:17. 

  • "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." Romans 3:31. 

  • "He that says, ĎI know Him,í and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." 1 John 2:4. 

  • "The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." Psalms 111:7,8. 

  • "For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. 

  • "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." I John 3:4. 

  • "By this we know we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments." 1 John 5:2. 

  • "If you will enter into life, keep the commandments." Matt. 19:17. 

  • "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips." Psalms 89:34.

  • "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus"  Rev. 14:12.

  • "And the dragon [Satan] was wroth [angry] with the woman [God's church], and went to make war with the remnant [final portion] of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ"  Rev. 12:17. 

The old and new covenants explained: (1) The old covenant was ratified by the blood of animals (Exodus 24:5-8 and Hebrews 9:19,20) and based upon the promises of the people that they would keep God's law. (2) The new covenant is based upon God's promise to write His law in our hearts, which was ratified with the blood of Christ. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law into their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Hebrews 8:10. See also Jeremiah 31:33,34.

Jesus taught us to keep the entire Law, and pronounced a curse on those who teach otherwise.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" Matt. 5:16-19.  "Jesus said to him, ĎYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets" Matt. 22:37-40.  By loving Jesus with all our heart we can obey the first table of the law which deals with obeying God; then we can keep the second table of the law, which deals with loving our fellow man.

Friend, the false assumption has entered the Christian church where some say that only part of the law is binding today. Most say we should not kill, steal and lie, but the one commandment that begins with "remember" is forgotten Ö

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.   In this next text we will see how God rested, blessed and sanctified this same day: "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which he had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Genesis 2:2,3

Comments from others concerning the true Bible Sabbath.

Martin Luther, "They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord's day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it appear, neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day.  Great, they say, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments."  Augsburg Confession of Faith, art. 28, par. 9.

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual, "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday....It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week....Where can the record of such a transaction be found?  Not in the New Testament--absolutely not.  There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.  To me [it] seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question...never alluded to any transference of the day; also that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.  Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources.  But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"  A paper read before New York ministers' conference, 11-13-1882

Sunday School Advocate, 11-31-21, "The people became Christians and were ruled by an emperor named Constantine.  This emperor made Sun-day the Christian sabbath, because of the blessing of light and heat which came from the sun.  So our Sunday is a sun-day, isn't it?"

Friend, let us study the one commandment that the world has forgotten, 

"REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY"

"Only one part of the Bible was written with God's own finger (Ex. 31:18), the Ten Commandments.  In the very heart of the Ten Commandments God wrote these words, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy....' Exodus 20:8-11.  It should be noticed that this commandment does not command us to worship "one day each week," but to worship God on the seventh day of each week.  There is, of course, no technical difference between one day of the week and another--they are each 24 hours long--except that God said that we are to keep it on a specific day.  This commandment, like the tree of life versus the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, is a simple test of loyalty to God.  Throughout Revelation, God identifies His people, in contrast to the world, as those who keep the commandments: 'Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus' Rev. 14:12.

"The Sabbath commandment was lost sight of by the majority during the Middle Ages when the Bible was outlawed.  During the first centuries after Christ died, the early Christians began to make more and more concessions to the pagan practices around them.  One of the practices that separated the pagans from the Christians was that they worshiped Jesus on the seventh day that we now call Saturday.  Over a process of time, the Christians gradually began to worship on Sunday also, until both days became holy days (holidays).  This resulted in the five day work week from Monday to Friday.

"Finally, at the Council of Laodicea, in A.D. 364, the leaders of the main body of the early Christian church officially changed the observance of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week.  The Bible foresaw this apostasy coming into the Christian church.  In Daniel 7:25 the Bible predicted a power that would 'intend to change times and law.'

"It should be noted from the preceding text that this change of the Sabbath was predicted to be an intentional change.  Paul also spoke about this intent to change God's law.  Some people, in Paul's time were expecting Jesus to come in their day.  But Paul reminded them that this lawless power, predicted by Daniel, who would act as though he were sitting on God's throne, and would change God's law, had not yet arisen.  He said, 'Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, [where the Ten Commandments were located] showing himself that he is God...then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming' 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8.

"Many people have asked: 'What is the difference between one day and another?'  That is just the point.  Since there is no difference between the days of the week, except that God says to keep one specific day holy, the only reason to change the day of worship from the day that God said to keep, to another day which He did not say to keep, is out of intentional rebellion against God.  If God had said to keep Sunday, man would have decided to keep Monday.  If He had said to keep Monday, man out of rebellion, would have decided to keep Tuesday.  And once some men change the day, they would have sought to force all other men to follow them, and to make God's law unpopular.  The real question concerning the Sabbath is:  Will we obey God or will we obey man's traditions that were originally made out of rebellion to God?  Jesus said, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?'  Matthew 15:3.

"Many believe that one of the reasons the Bible was outlawed during most of the Middle Ages, was to keep the people from understanding the Bible truth about the Sabbath.  But today, the Bible is everywhere.  As a result, many people are learning the truth about the Sabbath, which is a sign of allegiance to God.

"The Bible predicted that the Sabbath would be restored in the last days.  It will not be popular, but there will be a few people who will be determined to follow God completely by keeping all His commandments.  These people, 'shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.  If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.  The mouth of the Lord has spoken'  Isaiah 58:12-14.

"An increasing number of people, throughout the world, are realizing the importance of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, and are finding the blessing and peace that comes from obedience to God.  God has pronounced a special blessing upon this day, and upon all who seek to keep it holy.

"Yet, Sabbath-keeping, like faithfulness in marriage, has nothing to do with earning one's salvation.  Salvation is a free gift of Jesus Christ, which was purchased by His death.  Nothing we can do can pay the penalty for sin or earn our way to heaven, yet salvation is offered only to those who are willing to obey (Hebrews 5:8,9).  Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments" John 14:15.  When we can truly know Jesus we will become like Him in character and practice.  'Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.  By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked'  1 John 2:3-6.

"The Sabbath is the oldest religious practice known to man.  It was established at the Creation of this world, before the first sin was ever committed, or there was ever a need for an animal sacrifice or for salvation from sin.  'Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made'  Genesis 2:1-3.

"Not only was the Sabbath kept at Creation before sin, but it will also be kept by the redeemed in heaven, after sin is abolished; 'For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your descendants and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord'  Isaiah 66:22,23.

"God has wonderful Sabbath blessings awaiting you as you join the inhabitants of heaven, and follow the faithful obedience of the Patriarchs and Apostles, in keeping God's specified day holy.  When this life is over, may you receive the blessing of Revelation 22:14, 'Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.'"  Steps to Life Sabbath Calendar

SABBATH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Jesusí Example and Teaching

Let us look at what the Bible says about the Sabbath. First we should start with Jesusí teaching and example. "Jesus said to him, ĎI am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.í" John 14:6.

Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." He "suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." 1 Peter 2:21. "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6.

Did Jesus give us an example of Sabbath-keeping? Did He say anything about the Sabbath? Indeed He did. "So He [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Luke 4:16.

Jesus kept the Sabbath. The Scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath (see Matthew 12:1-14; John 5:1-21; 7:21-240, but Jesus always claimed that He and His disciples were innocent of Sabbath-breaking. Jesus kept the Sabbath according to the Bible, not according to the rules of the Pharisees. Those who accuse Jesus of Sabbath-breaking today are doing the same work as the Scribes and Pharisees did in Jesusí day.

Jesus not only kept the Sabbath, but He taught His followers to keep the Sabbath also. Before His crucifixion, in predicting to His disciples the fall of Jerusalem, He told them to pray that they might not have to flee on the Sabbath day. Jesus was speaking of an event that was not to take place for another forty years, showing that He expected the disciples to still be keeping the Sabbath then. (See Matthew 24:20.)

Does The Sabbath Still Apply After Jesusí Death?

Though it is generally acknowledged that Jesus kept the Sabbath during His earthly ministry, some say that since His death, it no longer matters which day a person worships. Jesusí teaching in Matthew 24:20 disagrees. But to support their idea they quote Colossians 2:16: "Let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths."

This important text bears consideration. It should be noted first of all that the text speaks of sabbaths (plural) rather than the Sabbath (singular). In the Jewish economy there were two kinds of sabbathsĺ the seventh-day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and the yearly ceremonial sabbaths of the sanctuary service. The word "sabbath" means rest, and in the Jewish economy there were several yearly feast days on which all the people rested and worshipped. One of these was the Passover. The Passover came on the 14th day of the first Jewish religious month each year. Thus, it came on Monday one year, on Tuesday the next year, etc.

You can read about these yearly ceremonial sabbaths in Leviticus 16:31; 23:4-44. These yearly feasts pointed forward to Jesus and His ministry and had no more significance after He came. The Passover Sabbath, for example, was actually a prophecy foretelling the day of Jesusí crucifixion. He died on the day of the Passover, at the moment of the slaying of the lamb. Jesus is the true Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).

These yearly ceremonial sabbaths were all instituted as part of the sanctuary services and pointed forward to Jesus. The Sabbath of the Ten Commandments pointed back to the Creation: "Remember the Sabbath day . . . for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth . . . and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.

Thus there were two kinds of sabbathsĺ the yearly ceremonial sabbaths established at Sinai, and the weekly Sabbath established at Creation and embodied in the Law of God. Paul is very clear in Colossians, which sabbaths he is talking aboutĺ the ceremonial sabbaths only. Many people read only until the word "sabbaths" and fail to read the rest of the sentence in the next verse. "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." Colossians 2:16, 17. Paul said not to judge people regarding these ceremonial sabbaths, but the Bible makes plain that the seventh-day Sabbath is a perpetual memorial.

John, the last of the apostles, stated that there was still a day that belonged to the Lord, when he wrote the book of Revelation in A.D. 96. "I was in the Spirit [in vision] on the Lordís day . . ." Revelation 1:10.

While John here does not say which is the Lordís day, Jesus tells us plainly that His day is the Sabbath. "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." Matthew 12:8.

That was a very bold statement for Jesus to Make when He claimed to be the "Lord of the Sabbath," for it is taken directly from the fourth commandment which states that "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord." (When LORD is in all capital letters in the Old Testament it is translated from the Hebrew word "Jehovah.") Jesus was claiming to be the Creator of the fourth commandment. "And He [Jesus] said to them, ĎThe Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.í" Mark 2:27,28.

Notice also that Jesus did not say that the Sabbath was made for the Jews, but for man. It was established and created in the beginning of Creation. Jesus was the Creator. It was He who created the Sabbath in the first place. (See John 1:1-14 and Colossians 1:16.)

The Day The Apostles Kept

Following the example of Jesus, the apostles kept the true Sabbath. There is not a single instance recorded of any of the apostles worshipping on Sunday. Yet there are scores of recorded examples of their keeping the Sabbath. Let us look at some examples:

"And when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. So when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews, and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God." Acts 13:42-44. Not that this second Sabbath worship meeting mentioned was not for the Jews, but for the Gentiles.

"And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there." Acts 16:13. They were in a heathen city where ther was no Jews or Jewish synagogues, but when the Sabbath came they went to the river to worship. This was twenty-two years after the resurrection.

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures." Acts 17:1,2.

"And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks . . . And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them." Acts 18:4,11.

The First Day Of The Week

Where, then, did the keeping of the first day of the week come from? Since Jesus did not mention Sunday or the first day of the week in the Bible, He did not institute worship on this day. In fact, there are only nine references to the first day of the week in the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. These references are Genesis 1:5; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1,2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:1,2. A perusal fo these texts will reveal that nowhere is the first day of the week called "the Sabbath day," "the Lordís day," "the day of the assembly," or anything like that. None of these references even hint that the sanctity of the Sabbath was transferred to that day. Nowhere is it called the Christian Sabbath or the Christian day of worship.

Let us review these nine texts. The first text tells what God created on the first day of the week. The next six give a simple account of the resurrection of Jesus after resting in the tomb over the Sabbath, with no command of change or example of worship. That leaves just two more texts.

The first is in 1 Corinthians 16:2: "On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collection when I come."

Here Paul is speaking to the believers about special provisions, possibly grain or other food supplies, which he was taking to the saints in Jerusalem. We read in the book of Acts that there was a famine in Jerusalem and Paul wanted to take an offering for their relief. He sent word ahead to get things ready so that he could take these gifts with him. Even if this text had referred to money, it is better to manage our finances on other days than on the Sabbath.

Now let us turn to the only other verse that mentions the first day of the week. "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." Acts 20:7.

This text without careful analysis could support Sunday worship. However, there are two important questions that need to be asked: First, does the meeting on the first day of the week make that day a holy day? Jesus partook of the Lordís supper on Thursday night before the crucifixion. Even today many churches hold meetings on Wednesday evening and on other days of the week. Now, if this text should call the first day of the week a Sabbath or a Lordís day, that would be different; but it does not. It merely says he talked until midnight.

Now notice verse 8: "There were man lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together." Notice that this was a night meeting on the first day of the week. If that be the case, on which night was it held? In the Bible, God said the Sabbath day was to run from sundown on the sixth day until sundown on the seventh day. In the Bible, days were always counted from sundown to sundown on the seventh day. In the Bible, days were always counted from sundown to sundown. (See Leviticus 23:32; Genesis 1. Without modern watches, how would people have known when a new day began?) Thus the Jews considered Saturday night to be the first day of the week. That is why the New English Bible translates verse 7 as follows: "On the Saturday night, in our assembly for the breaking of the bread, Paul, who was to leave the next day, addressed them, and went on speaking until midnight."

Now notice what happened Sunday morning. Did he go to church? No: "Now when he had come up, had broken bread [this expression in Bible times referred to any meal, not just the Lordís supper] and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed." Acts 20:11.

On Sunday morning Paul did not go to church, but hiked 14 miles across the peninsula to Assos to meet the other disciples. He had been there with these people some days before the Sabbath came. As soon as the Sabbath was over, he bade them good-bye, gave a last discourse and left the next morning.

We have looked at all the first day texts and found the obvious; the Bible does not say, anywhere, that Sunday is a sacred day.

THE SABBATH IN EARLY HISTORY

1st Century A.D.:

Jesus. "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Luke 4:16.

Jesus. "But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Matthew 24:20.

Paul. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." Acts 17:2.

Paul and the Gentiles. "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the Word of God." Acts 13:42,44.

2nd Century: Early Christians. "The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived their practice from the Apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to that purpose." Dialogue on the Lordís Day, 189. London: 1701. By Dr. T.H. Morer (Church of England).

3rd and 4th Centuries: Orient and Most of the World. "The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day . . . it is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival . . . Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath; Epiphanius says the same." Antiquities of the Christian Church, vol. 2, Book XX, chap. 3, section 166, 1137, 1138.

Council of Laodicea. "From the apostlesí time until the council of Laodicea, which was about the year 364, the holy observation of the Jewsí Sabbath continued, as may be proved out of man authors; yea, notwithstanding the decree of the council against it." Sunday a Sabbath, John Ley, 163. London: 1640.

5th Century: Constantinople. "The people of Constantinople and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed in Rome or at Alexandria." Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, chap. 19.

6th Century: Rome. "About 590, Pope Gregory, in a letter to the Roman people, denounced as the prophets of Antichrist those who maintained that work ought not be done on the seventh day." James T. Ringgold, The Law of Sunday, 267.

7th Century: Scotland and Ireland. "It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labour. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week." Professor James C. Moffat, D.D., Professor of Church History at Princeton, The Church in Scotland, 140.

8th Century: India, China and Persia. "Widespread and enduring was the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath among the believers of the Church of the East and the St. Thomas Christians of India, who never were connected with Rome. It also was maintained among those bodies which broke off from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon namely, the Abysinians, the Jacobites, the Maronites, and the Armenians." Schaffĺ Herzog, The New Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, art. Nestorians; also Realencyclopadie fur Protestantische Theologie und Kirche, art. Nestorianer.

10th Century: Church of the East, Kurdistan. "The Nestorians eat no pork and keep the Sabbath. They believe in neither auricular confession nor purgatory." Schaffĺ Herzog, The New Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, art. Nestorians.

11th Century: Scotland. "They held that Saturday was properly the Sabbath on which they abstained from work." Celtic Scotland, col. 2, 350.

12th Century: Wales. "There is much evidence that the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until A.D. 1115, when the first Roman bishop was seated at St. Davidís. The Old Welsh Sabbath-keeping churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to their hiding places." Lewis, Seventh Day Baptist in Europe and America, vol. 1, 29.

13th Century: Waldenses of France. "The inquisitors . . . [declare] that the sign of a Vaudois, deemed worthy of death, was that the followed Christ, and sought to obey the commandments of God." History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, H.C. Lea, vol. 1.

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ . . . Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 12:17; 14:12.

15th Century: Norway. "We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturday-keeping. It is severely forbiddenĺ in the holy church canonĺ one and all to observe days excepting those which the holy Pope, archbishop, or the bishops command. Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further than the church canon commands. Therefore, we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturday-keeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy."" Catholic Provincial Council at Bergen, 1435. Dip. Noverg., 7, 397.

"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law." Daniel 7:25

THE SABBATH IN LATER HISTORY

16th Century: Council of Trent. "On the 18th of January, 1563, the Council of Trent ruled that Tradition is greater than Scripture, after a powerful speech by the Archbishop of Reggio, in which he said that the fact that the Church had changed the Fourth Commandment clearly proved that Tradition was greater than the Scripture." H.J. Holtzman, Kanon und Tradition, 1859 edition, 263.

Jesus replied, "Why do you also transgress the commandments of God because of your tradition? . . . Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ĎThese people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:3, 6-9

Holland and Germany. "Barbara of Thiers, who was executed in 1529, declared: ĎGod has commanded us to rest on the seventh day.í" Martyrology of the Churches of Christ, commonly called Baptists, during the era of the Reformation, from the Dutch of T.J. Van Bright, London 1850, 1, 113, 114.

Russia. "The accused [Sabbath-keepers] were summoned; they openly acknowledged the new faith, and defended the same. The most eminent of them, the secretary of state, Kuritzyn, Ivan Maximo, Kassian, archimandrite of the jury Monastery of Novgorod, were condemned to death, and burned publicly in cages, at Moscow, December 27, 1503." (Council, Moscow, 1503). H. Sternberf, Geschichte der Juden (Leipzig, 1873), 1117, 1122.

Sweden. "This zeal for Saturday-keeping continued for a long time; even little things which might strengthen the practice for keeping Sunday were punished." Bishop Anjou, Svenska Kirkans Historia efter Motet I Upsala.

Europe. About the year 1520 many of these Sabbath-keepers found shelter on the estate of Lord Leonhardt of Liechtenstein, "as princes of Lichtenstein held to the observance of the true Sabbath." History of the Sabbath, J. N. Andrews, 649.

India. "The famous Jesuit, Francis Xavier, called for the Inquisition, which was set up in Goa, India, in 1560, to check the ĎJewish wickednessí (Sabbath-keeping)." Adeney, The Greek and Eastern Churches, 527, 528.

Abyssinia. "It is not therefore, in imitation of the Jews, but in obedience to Christ and His holy apostles, that we observe that day." (Abyssinian legate at court of Lisbon, 1534). Geddesí Church History of Ethiopia, 87, 88.

17th Century: England. "Here in England are about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved." Stennetís letters, 1668 and 1670. Cox. Sab., 1, 268.

Dr. Peter Chamberlain. Dr. Peter Chamberlain was physician to King James and Queen Katherine. The inscription on the monument over his grave says Dr. Chamberlain was "a Christian, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, being baptised about the year 1648, and keeping the seventh day for the Sabbath above thirty-two years."

America. "Stephen Mumford, the first Sabbath-keeper in America came from London in 1644." History of the Seventh day Baptist General Conference by Jas. Bailey, 237, 238.

England. "It will surely be far safer to observe the seventh day, according to the express commandment of God, than on the authority of mere human conjecture to adopt the first." John Milton, Sab. Lit., 2, 46-54.

18th Century: Romania. (1760). "Joseph IIís edict of tolerance did not apply to the Sabbatarians, some of whom again lost all their possessions." Jahrgang 2, 254.

Bohemia and Moravia. "The condition of the Sabbatarians [from 1635 to 1867] was dreadful. Their books and writings had to be delivered to the Karlsburg Consistory to become the spoil of flames." Adolf Dux, Aux Ungarn, 289-291, Leipzig, 1880.

America. Before Zinzendorf and the Moravians at Bethlehem thus began the observance of the Sabbath and prospered, there was a small body of German Sabbath-keepers in Pennsylvania. See Ruppís History of Religious Denominations in the United States, 109-123.

19th Century to present: America. The Seventh-day Adventist movement was formed in 1844.

China. "The Taipings, when asked why they observed the seventh day Sabbath, replied that it was, first, because the Bible taught it, and second, because their ancestors observed it as a day of worship." A Critical History of the Sabbath and the Sunday.

Sweden. "We will now endeavor to show that the sanctification of the Sabbath has its foundation and its origin in a law which God at creation itself established for the whole world, and as a consequence thereof is binding on all men in all ages." May 30, 1863, p. 169. Evangelisten (The Evangelist) Stockholm, May 30 to August 15, 1863, (organ of the Swedish Baptist Church).

We gratefully acknowledge J. F. Coltheart, who personally consulted old manuscripts and the original sources of many of these quotations in the libraries and museums of Europe, Constantinople and the East.

HAS THE CALENDAR BEEN CHANGED?

How can we be absolutely sure that our seventh day today is still the Sabbath? Could the calendar have been changed? In over 100 languages of the world, the seventh day is still called Saturday the Sabbath. In Italy it is called Sabbato, in Spain Sabado, in Portugal Sabbado, in Russia Subbota, in Poland Sobota. All of these names mean "Sabbath" or "rest day" in their various languages. Except for those languages that have adopted the pagan names for the days of the week, the seventh day is still called the Sabbath, as the Lord named it at the time of the creation of the world.

The weekly cycle of seven days comes directly from the Creation week. The heavenly bodies control all the other measurements of time. The year is dependent on the revolution of the earth around the sun. The month has to do with the lunar cycles. The seasons have to do with the revolution and rotation of the earth. Only the weekly cycle has no natural origin, and so only can point back to the Creation week when the Sabbath was instituted.

If the theory of evolution were correct, every nationality would by the law of averages, have come up with different weekly cyclesĺ some five days, some ten days, etc. But we all have the same seven-day weekly cycle because God Established it at Creation and it has continued to the present day.

Has the calendar been changed? Yes, but the weekly cycle has never been changed. Pope Gregory initiated a change in the calendar to make up for an error in the Julian calendar by dropping ten days. In October 1582, Thursday the 4th was followed by Friday the 15th in Italy and a few other countries. England changed its calendar in 1752 and Russia finally in 1914. Yet the weekly cycle was never affected. During the time that England, Russia, and Italy had different calendars, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were always the same in each country.

History has exact calendar records going back to Julius Caesar, several decades before Christ, and the weekly cycle has always remained intact. We have exactly the same weekly cycle today as was used in Jesusí day, and Jesus said that the day then called the Sabbath by the Jews, the seventh day of the week, was His day, the true Lordís Day. Moreover, since Jesusí day, millions of Jews have continued to keep track of the Sabbath each week. It would be absolutely impossible to mix up a whole nationality overnight and have them all wake up unified and worshipping on another day, thinking it was the Sabbath. Moreover, since it is Jesusí day, and He has commanded us to worship on that day to show allegiance to Him, donít you think He would preserve its identity?

From the book Your Amazing Calendar, "The week of seven days has been in use ever since the days of Moses, and we have no reason for supposing that any irregularities have existed in the succession of the weeks and their days from that time to the present."   

Jesus was killed on Good Friday, rested over the Sabbath in the tomb on the seventh day of the week, or Saturday, and arose from the grave on the first day of the week and went back to work. Luke 24:1, Mark 16:9

BY WHAT STANDARD WILL WE BE JUDGED?

Can we earn salvation? "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10.

What experience must we have to receive this free gift? "Jesus answered and said to him, ĎMost assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.í" John 3:3.

To be born again means to receive the gift of Jesusí divine nature. (In the Scriptures, this nature is variously called life, power, seed or spirit.) How can we receive this new nature? "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:3,4.

Unless we are "eating" the Word of God, through Bible study and prayer, can we have Jesusí life (or nature) abiding in us? "Then Jesus said to them, ĎMost assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.í It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." John 6:53,63.

When we are born again, what must happen to the sinful habits in our life? "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." Romans 6:4-6.

What is sin? "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4.

How will God know that we have been born again? By what standard will He judge us on the Day of Judgment? "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For he who said, ĎDo not commit adultery,í also said, ĎDo no murder.í Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:10-12.

When Jesus gives us anew beginning (new birth) by imparting to us His Spirit (or nature), what does He write on our hearts? "íFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,í says the LORD: ĎI will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.í" Hebrews 8:10.

What motive should prompt us to keep Godís law? "If you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15.

Are Godís commandments burdensome to those who are truly born again? "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the worldĺ our faith." 1 John 5:3,4.

Why will many that think they are born again be disappointed on the day of judgment? "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ĎLord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!í" Matthew 7:21-23.

How does the Bible summarize the answer to our question, "By what standard will we be judged on the Day of Judgment?" "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.

Who will be admitted into heaven? "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14.

Is it your desire to be among this group of people who have surrendered their sins and evil natures to Him (1 John 3:5) and allowed Him to write His laws on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10)? Godís requirements are plain and unequivocal. We will be judged according to Godís law, for our works show whether we have been born again (1 John 2:29). "Let no one deceive you" on this point (1 John 3:6,7). He is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). His standard is the same as it was in the Garden of Eden, at Sinai, and in Paulís dayĺ it never changes. But just as His standard is forever the same, so are His mercy and love and power to save. He can change your heart. He can change your life (Hebrews 7:25). Do you desire Jesus to give you that new-birth experience, which involves a total, growing change of character, habits and thinking? "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Hebrews 3:15. Today is the day of probation. Today is the day of salvation.

THE SABBATH, A SIGN OF ALLEGIANCE TO GOD

How is the "man of sin" (sometimes called the "Beast" power in Scripture) described by Paul? "Let no one deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called god or is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God . . . And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 8.

The people who receive the mark of the Beast (unknowingly, of course) will actually think they are saved through faith in Jesus and will be astounded to find, too late, that they are lost! How did Jesus describe these professed Christians in the last days that follow the "lawless" Beast power? "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lordí shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ĎLord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!í" Matthew 7:21-23.

How many commandments may we disregard without being considered "lawless" by God? "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For he who said, ĎDo not commit adultery,í also said, ĎDo not murder.í Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:10-12.

What commandment in Godís law do most Christians disregard? "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God." Exodus 20:8-10.

When does the biblical Sabbath begin and end? "From evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath." Leviticus 23:32.

What day does Jesus claim as His day, the Lordís day? "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Mark 2:27,28.

What right does Jesus have to claim a day as His? "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible." Colossians 1:16.

When did Jesus make the Sabbath? "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which he had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." Genesis 2:1-3.

How did Jesus relate to the Sabbath when He was on earth? "So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Luke 4:16.

On what day did Paul, long after the crucifixion, worship with both the Jews and Gentiles? "So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of god." Acts 13:42-44.

Was this Paulís custom? "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures." Acts 17:2.

On what day did John, the last apostle, have a vision while in exile? "I was in the Spirit on the Lordís Day." Revelation 1:10.

The Bible describes a people who will repair the broken-down law of God that has been trampled on for many generations. What commandment is it? "Those from among you shall build up the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the repairer of the breach. The restorer of streets to dwell in. If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord." Isaiah 58:12-14.

On what day will the redeemed worship God in the new earth? "íFor as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,í says the Lord, Ďso shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,í says the Lord." Isaiah 66:22,23.

While all the commandments show our allegiance, which one is a special sign of allegiance that we may know we are truly following God, as His people, and that He is our God? "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:20.

THE MARK OF DISOBEDIENCE

What sign, or mark, reveals allegiance to God? "Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always . . . Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess . . . Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." Deuteronomy 11:1,8,18.

People look at outward marks, but where does God look? "For a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b.

Everyone will one day receive a mark. What mark will Godís people receive? "Then I looked, and behold, a lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, have His Fatherís name written on their foreheads." Revelation 14:1.

Anciently a name represented oneís character. God wants to write His nameĺ or characterĺ in us. Godís character is described in His law. Where will Godís character, or law, be written? Will this writing be visible to mankind? "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.

Which one of Godís laws especially identifies Godís people, marking them as those who accept His authority? "Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them . . . Hallow My Sabbath, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:12,20.

Will the Beast power acknowledge Godís authority? "Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

What will the Beast boast that he can do to Godís law? "He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25.

What is it that identifies and marks the Beast power? "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition . . . For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders." 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7-9.

When Jesus comes, all will have accepted Godís mark or the Beastís mark. How are those who have received the mark of the Beast described? "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ĎLord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!í" Matthew 7:21-23.

How are those who receive Godís mark (Revelation 14:1) described? "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.

What will Satan do to those who refuse to receive the mark of the Beastís authority by keeping Sunday? "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17.

How will Satan make war with them? "And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16, 17.

In 321 A.D. the Roman Emperor Constantine passed the first Sunday law forcing all men, pagans and Christians, to worship on Sunday.

The Roman Emperor Constantine passed the first Sunday law forcing Christians and pagans to worship on the same day. "All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon The Venerable Day of the Sun." History of the Christian Church states, "Constantine reverenced all the gods as mysterious powers, especially Apollo, the god of the sun."

Pagan Rome then changed to Papal Rome which embraced the same idea of Sunday worship.

The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine states: "Q. Which is the Sabbath day? A. Saturday is the Sabbath day. Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." "Sunday is our mark of authority. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of sabbath observance is proof of that fact." The Catholic Record, London Ontario, Sept. 1, 1923. "The observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church." Monsignor Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, 213

The Bible mentions this religious/political power that would attempt to change the law of God.

"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and lawÖ." Daniel 7:25. The pope is said to claim to be God on earth and have the power to forgive sins.  For 1260 years, from 538 A.D. when the papacy took over Rome, to 1798 A.D. when the pope was imprisoned, 50-100 million faithful Christians where burned at the stake, tortured, and beaten to death for refusing to follow the papacy.  The papacy changed God's Ten Commandment Law.   "For that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thes. 2:3,4. Also read Rev. 13 and 17.  

While Godís followers receive Godís name in their foreheads, the Beastís followers receive the Beastís name (his character of lawlessness), signified by a number. What is the number of the Beast? "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666." Revelation 13:18.  The official title of the pope is VICARIUS FILII DEI.  When you add up the Roman numeral equivalents to each letter in his title, it adds up to 666.

What warning has God given against receiving the mark of the Beast? "Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ĎIf anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.í " Revelation 14:9-11.

God says that the Sabbath marks His people as His, and that the Beast would make war on them. The Beast is that "lawless" one who would try to "change" Godís law; specifically the law involving "times"-i.e., the Sabbath. Thus, when Sunday-keeping is enforced by law it will constitute the mark of the Beast. "You are that oneís slaves whom you obey." Romans 6:16. Today God is calling us to receive His mark (or seal). Will you acknowledge His authority by keeping His Sabbath?

BIBLE FACTS CONCERNING THE SEVENTH DAY

  1. After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth, the great God rested on the seventh day, blessed and sanctified it. (See Genesis 2:1-3.)
  2. It was made before the fall; hence it is not a type, for types were not instituted until after the fall of man.
  3. Jesus says it "was made for man" Mark 2:27; that is for the race as the word man is here unlimited; hence for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
  4. It is a memorial of Creation. (See Exodus 20:11; 31:17.) Every time we rest upon the seventh day as God did at Creation, we commemorate the grand event.
  5. It is not a Jewish institution, for it was made 2300 years before there was a Jew.
  6. The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath, but always "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Men should be cautious how they stigmatize Godís holy rest day.
  7. It was part of Godís law before Sinai. (See Exodus 16:4, 27-29.)
  8. God placed it in the heart of His moral law. (See Exodus 20:1-17.)
  9. The seventh-day Sabbath was commanded by the voice of the living God. (See Deuteronomy 4:12,13.)
  10. He wrote the commandment with His own finger. (See Exodus 31:18.)
  11. He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable nature. (See Deuteronomy 5:22.)
  12. It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the Holy of Holies. (See Deuteronomy 10:1-5.)
  13. God forbade work upon the Sabbath even in the most hurrying times. (See Exodus 34:21.)
  14. God destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned the Sabbath. (See Ezekiel 20:20.)
  15. It is the sign of the true God, by which we are to know Him from false gods. (See Ezekiel 20:20.)
  16. God has pronounced a special blessing on all the Gentiles who keep it. (See Isaiah 56:6,7.)
  17. This blessing is in the prophecy that refers wholly to the Christian dispensation. (See Isaiah 56.)
  18. God has promised to bless every man who keeps the Sabbath. (See Isaiah 56:2.)
  19. The Lord requires us to call it "honorable." (Isaiah 58:13.) Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the "old Jewish Sabbath," "a yoke of bondage," etc.
  20. After the holy Sabbath has been trodden down for "many generations," it is to be restored in the last days. (See Isaiah 58:12,13.)
  21. All the holy prophets kept the seventh day.
  22. When the Son of God came, He kept the seventh day all His life. (See Luke 4:16, John 15:10.)
  23. The seventh day is the Lordís day. (Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:10.)
  24. Jesus was the "Lord of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28.
  25. He vindicated the Sabbath as a merciful institution designed for manís good. (See Mark 2:23-28.)
  26. The pious women who had been with Jesus carefully kept the seventh day after His death. (See Luke 23:56.)
  27. Thirty years after Christís resurrection, the Holy Spirit expressly calls it "the Sabbath day." (See "Acts 13:14.)
  28. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called it "the Sabbath day" in A.D. 45. (See Acts 13:27.) Did not Paul know? Or shall we believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Sabbath at the resurrection of Christ?
  29. Luke, the inspired Christian historian, writing as late as A.D. 62, calls it "the Sabbath day." Acts 13:14.
  30. The Gentile converts called it the Sabbath. (See Acts 13:42.)
  31. In the great Christian council in A.D. 52, in the presence of the apostles and thousands of disciples, James called it the "Sabbath." (See Acts 15:21.)
  32. It was Paulís custom to preach upon that day. (See Acts 17:2.)
  33. The book of Acts alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four meetings upon that day. (See Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 11.)
  34. There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews about the Sabbath day. This fact is proof that the Christians still observed the same day that the Jews did.
  35. In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with disregarding the Sabbath day. Why not if he did not keep it?
  36. But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law. "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended in any thing at all." Acts 25:8. How could this be true if he had not kept the Sabbath?
  37. The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament 59 times and always with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Old Testament, "the Sabbath day."
  38. Not a word is said anywhere in the New Testament about the Sabbathís being changed, done away with or anything of the kind.
  39. God has never given permission to any man to work on the Sabbath. Friend, by what authority do you use the seventh day for common labor?
  40. As the Sabbath was kept in Eden before the Fall, so it will be observed eternally in the new earth after the resurrection. (See Isaiah 66:22, 23.)

HOW TO KEEP THE SABBATH

What are we to remember to do on the Sabbath day? "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8.

What makes the Sabbath day holy? "Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11.

What is it that makes something holy? Godís presence in it. (See Exodus 3:5; 29:43-46; Joshua 5:13-15.) "In order to keep the Sabbath day holy, men must themselves be holy" Desire of Ages, 283. We must have Godís presence within.

When, according to the Bible, does a day begin? "And the evening and the morning were the first day." "And the evening and the morning were the second day." Genesis 1:5, 8, "For even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Leviticus 23:32. (Evening signified sunset.)

When are we to do our own work? "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work." Exodus 20:9. NOTE: All through the week the keeping holy of the Sabbath day is to be remembered. No business plans or contracts are to be made which will interfere with keeping the Sabbath holy. The Sabbath commandment includes more than merely keeping one day holy, but encompasses holy living throughout the week. The commandment should be obeyed throughout the week and the Sabbath kept when it comes.

How does the Lord indicate whose work we are to do on the Sabbath? "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 honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, 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 has spoken it." Isaiah 58:13, 14. NOTE: Whether the Sabbath becomes a delight or a burden depends upon the spirit with which a man meets it. Indeed, the spirit of the man settles the question as to the benefits to come from any duty he may perform. It should be noted that the Sabbath is not to be a day of inactivity, but we are to do Godís work on the Sabbath and our work during the rest of the week.

What is the Sabbath a sign of? "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:20.

What does the "psalm for the Sabbath day" suggest as proper acts and themes for thought and meditation on the Sabbath? "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High: to shew forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For Thou, Lord, has made me glad through Thy work." Psalm 92:1-4.

What do the works of God declare? "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3. NOTE: God designed that the Sabbath should direct the minds of men to His created works, and through these to Him as the Creator. Nature itself speaks to our senses, telling us that there is a God, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the universe. The Sabbath, ever pointing to God through nature, was designed to keep the Creator constantly in mind.

Was the Sabbath designed to be a day for public worship? "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation." Leviticus 23:3. NOTE: It was Christís practice to worship at the synagogue (or church) every Sabbath. (See Luke 4:16.)

Besides attending church, what else did Jesus do on the Sabbath? "And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes." John 9:14. NOTE: Acts of mercy are proper on the Sabbath, for this is Godís work. Many of Jesusí miracles were performed on the Sabbath.

What day is especially indicated as the day to prepare for the Sabbath? "And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man." Exodus 16:22. NOTE: The Sabbath should not be a day of either ordinary labor, idleness or amusement, but one of rest, reflection, holy joy, worship and helpfulness. It should be the happiest, the brightest and the best of all the week. Such it should be made for young and old. Very early the children can be taught the stories of creation and redemption, and taken with Him through nature. Preparation for the Sabbath, therefore, is an essential to its proper observance. Godís blessing is upon the first moments of the Sabbath as well as upon the last; and, as far as possible, everything should be made ready so that the entire day may be devoted to God and humanity.

In the new Covenant, where does God want the Sabbath commandment to be written? "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.

THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT

Isnít it interesting that the only part of the Bible specifically written by Godís own hand, His Law, is the part man wants to do away with? And isnít it interesting that the only part of that Law they say is for the Jew only, is the one commandment that states it was for the "stranger," too? And isnít it interesting that the only one of the commandments that specifically states it was instituted at Creation, long before sin or Jews or ceremonies? And isnít it interesting that the only commandment man wants to forget is the one God specifically says to "remember?"

The Sabbath commandment is Godís official seal of authority: It contains the three essential elements of any official seal or mark. It contains His name ("The Lord your God"), title and authority ("Creator") and domain ("heaven and earth"). The fourth commandment has been especially designated to be a sign or mark of loyalty to God. "Hallow My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." Ezekiel 20:20.

A MESSAGE FOR TODAY

The Bible says that a Man of Sin would arise who would seek to change Godís law, and that a period of time would be given for him to reign. But before Jesus comes again He will once more have a faithful people ready for Him to come, who will be identified as "those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. In the days of ignorance when truth has been hidden and unperceived, God says He overlooks transgression, but now He "commands all man everywhere to repent." Acts 17:30. Before the Second Coming, the Bible assures us that this everlasting Gospel, which includes the worship of the Creator as found in the fourth commandment, will once again go to all the people of the world.

"Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earthĺ to every nation, tribe, tongue and peopleĺ Saying with a loud voice, ĎFear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." Revelation 14:6, 7.

This is the message that is going forth to the world today to prevent those who will heed its message from receiving the Mark of the Beast.

Today there is a testing truth to show whether we truly believe what God says or not. Some people want to know, "Whatís the difference which day I keep?" And thatís just the point. If the days are the same anyway, why not keep the one God said to? If we keep a day, why not Godís day? The only reason we donít is that someone, the Beast power, has openly set himself up in opposition to God and has established another law. No, we did not initiate the change, but by keeping that day once we realize the change was made, we show our allegiance to that person or power that made the change, and we will eventually receive his mark. (See Romans 6:16.)

Yes, what difference does it make? The difference is that by keeping the Sabbath we are obeying God and showing allegiance to Him. But the other difference is that it is also unpopular. There has always been a cross in following Jesus.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, ĎIf anyone desire to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24.

The Sabbath itself is a great blessing (See Isaiah 58:12-14), but there is a cross in keeping it because it is unpopular. "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ĎA servant is not greater than his master.í If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep your also." John 15:18-20.

It is no more popular to follow Jesus today than when He was here on earth. Many people suppose that if they were alive when Jesus was here, they would have gladly followed Him, but the truth is just as plain today as it was then. We can know whether we would have followed then by whether we follow Him now. The choice is ours.

"Now by this we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ĎI know Him,í and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." I John 2:3-6.

Friend, I have simply presented what I believe from the Word of God (in this lesson). I have tried not to present my interpretation. I have not presented some church doctrine or creed. But these statements are from the Word of God. I urge you to search out the truth. If what I have presented is wrong, donít follow it. You will be none the worse for searching it out. But if the Holy Spirit convicts you in the reading of the Word, then follow Him. I donít have any followers. What I want is for each one of us to be followers of God.

I believe that most of you desire to follow God. That is why you are students of the Wordĺ that is why you are studying. Though I believe in the Sabbath and try, by Godís grace, to keep it, that does not earn me "merit points" or secure my salvation. What really counts is how much we love and trust Jesus. Is Jesus abiding in our hearts? All God wants is for us to follow Him step by step.

Jesus put it simply, "If you love me, keep my commandments."

SATANíS ARGUMENTS AND GODíS ANSWERS

Today, Satan is coming upon the world as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, by quoting and misapplying Scripture. He quotes it out of context in such a way as to teach error and to lead people away from the law of God. What are his arguments?

Satanís Argument #1: "You are under grace, not under the law, therefore you can sin and break the law all you want to."

Godís Answer: "Sin is transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4 (NKJV). Does Godís grace permit us to sin and break the law all we want to? "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin [breaking the law], that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who are dead to sin live any longer in it . . . What then? Shall we sin [break the law], because we are not under the law, but under grace? Certainly not!" Romans 6:1,2 15.

Because we have all sinned, we are all condemned under the law as guilty. Jesus frees us from this condemnation by grace. Suppose someone is on death row in the state penitentiary for killing a policeman. He is "under the law," (our courts still use the same legal terms as the Bible uses). The governor gives the condemned man grace, and frees him and takes him out from under the law. Does that mean that the law has been abolished? Does it mean that this man under grace can now break the law all he wants to? Can he now go and kill all the policemen he wants to?

God puts us under grace when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Does that mean the law has been done away with now? Does that mean we can sin all we want to now? Does that mean we can now kill and steal and commit adultery? Let Paul answer this question: "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." Romans 3:31.

Satanís Argument #2: "Jesus fulfilled the law, thereby doing away with it, so you donít need to worry about it anymore."

Jesusí Answer: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17. You also are to fulfill the law by following My example, just as Paul said: "fulfilled in us." Romans 8:2-4.

When you fulfill a prediction, as Jesus did by dying on the cross, the prediction is no longer needed. Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice predictions, which pointed forward to His death. When He died, they were no longer needed. These predictions were part of the ceremonial law of the old-covenant sanctuary. But when you fulfill a moral law, such as "Thou shalt not kill," that has nothing to do with abolishing the law. When you fulfill a marriage vow, does it do away with the marriage? When you give your spouse total fulfillment, does it do away with your spouse? When you fulfill the requirements of the speed-limit law, is the law thereby destroyed?

Satanís Argument #3: "No one can keep the law of God anyway, so donít worry about it."

Godís Answer: "Sin is lawlessness, and you know that He [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins [our lawlessness] . . . Little children, let no one deceive you, he who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins [breaks the law] is of the devil . . . Whoever has been born of God does not sin." 1 John 3:4, 5, 8, 9.

Jesus came down to give us the power to keep the law.

Satanís Argument #4: "You are now under the new covenant of grace, not the covenant of works, so you donít have to keep the law anymore."

Godís Answer: "This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." Hebrews 10:16.

Far from making the law non-applicable for us, the new covenant can only be received if we are wiling to keep Godís law. No one who refuses to keep the law of God is under the new covenant. Many people who think they are under the new covenant today are merely under the condemnation of sin.

Satanís Argument #5: "The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6. Therefore the law is not applicable to us who have the Spirit.

Godís Answer: The reason the law kills is that "all have sinned." All have broken the law. And the wages of sin is death. The reason the Spirit gives life is that it enables us to keep it. As Paul said, "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died [that is, the law condemned him as a sinner]." "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is . . . not subject to the law of God." Romans 7:9; 8:6, 7.

Satanís Argument #6: "All you need to keep is Jesus law, not Godís law."

Jesusí Answer: There is only "One lawgiver" (James 4:12), not two, for "I and My Father are one . . . The words that I speak to you I do not speak to you on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." John 10:30; 14:10.

Satanís Argument #7: "The law was nailed to the cross."

Godís Answer: "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." Psalm 89:34.

There was a law that was nailed to the cross, and that was the law of ordinances, which pointed forward to Jesus. These were Jewish ceremonies, such as circumcision and animal sacrifices, that God gave to them in the old covenant sanctuary service. The Bible says, "He abolished in His flesh . . . the law of commandments contained in ordinances." Ephesians 2:15. But this was not referring to the moral law of God. It is still wrong to worship other gods. It is still wrong to steal. One other point: Besides the ceremonial law there was something else nailed to the cross, and that was our sins along with their penalty. Thus the penalty of the law was nailed to the cross.  (The previous "Remember The Sabbath Day" segment taken from the Steps to Life calendar.)

The Beginning of Joy

"As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful.  Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth's rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure.  The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.

"After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was wrought upon the stage of action.  To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold; for 'God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over...all the earth....So God created man in His own image;...male and female created He them.'  Here is clearly set forth the origin of the human race; and the divine record is so plainly stated that there is no occasion for erroneous conclusions.  God created man in His own image.  Here is no mystery.  There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life.  Such teaching lowers the great work of the Creator to the level of man's narrow, earthly conceptions.  Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin.  He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life.

"As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry.  His countenance bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of life and joy.  God Himself gave Adam a companion.  He provided 'an help meet for him'--a helper corresponding to him--one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy.  Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him.

"The great Jehovah had laid the foundations of the earth; He had dressed the whole world in the garb of beauty and had filled it with things useful to man; He had created all the wonders of the land and of the sea.  In six days the great work of creation had been accomplished.  And God 'rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.'  God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands.  All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author, and He rested with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory.

"After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for man.  Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God's great work of creation; and that as he should behold the evidences of God's wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.

"In Eden, God set up the memorial of His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon the seventh day.  The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the whole human family.  Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the work of His hands and the subjects of His authority.  Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind.  There was nothing in it shadowy or of restricted application to any people.

"God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise.  He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness.

"He needed a Sabbath to remind him more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.

"God designs that the Sabbath shall direct the minds of men to the contemplation of His created works.  Nature speaks to their senses, declaring that there is a living God, the Creator, the Supreme ruler of all.  'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.'  Psalm 19:1,2.  The beauty that clothes the earth is token of God's love.  We may behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening buds, and the delicate flowers.  All speak to us of God.  The Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids men open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator."  Ellen White, A Time For Joy, 2,3 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SABBATH, SEE THE BIBLE STUDIES FROM STEPS TO LIFE, THE THREE ANGELS' MESSAGES, EARTH'S FINAL WARNING, THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, ETC.

 

 

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