October 30, 2016 – November 5, 2016
“Hallow My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 433–450.
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired.” Prophets and Kings, 678.
- What expression in Exodus 20:8 shows that the Sabbath day was being kept before God spoke and wrote the Decalogue at Sinai?
Note: “The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator’s work.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.
- What did God do on the seventh day of creation? Genesis 2:1, 2. What was special about this day? Genesis 2:3.
Note: “Like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 111.
“Because He had rested upon the Sabbath, ‘God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it’ (Genesis 2:3),—set it apart to a holy use. He gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God’s power and His love.” The Desire of Ages, 281.
2 A MEMORIAL OF CREATION
- What is the Sabbath to remind us of? Exodus 20:11; Psalm 111:4.
Note: “Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it [the Sabbath] distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man’s allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.
“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 beauty that clothes the earth is a 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.” Ibid., 48.
- If God made all things, what position does that place us in? Psalm 100:3; Ephesians 2:10.
- Who is the Creator to Whom the Sabbath belongs? John 1:3; Mark 2:27, 28.
Note: “Because the Sabbath was made for man, it is the Lord’s day. It belongs to Christ. For ‘all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Since He made all things, He made the Sabbath. By Him it was set apart as a memorial of the work of creation. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He Who created all things in heaven and in earth, and by Whom all things hold together, is the head of the church, and that by His power we are reconciled to God.” The Desire of Ages, 288.
“The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by Whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.
3 A SIGN OF SANCTIFICATION
- What additional purpose did the Sabbath serve after sin entered the world? Ezekiel 20:12.
Note: “The Sabbath is a sign of Christ’s power to make us holy. And it is given to all whom Christ makes holy. As a sign of His sanctifying power, the Sabbath is given to all who through Christ become a part of the Israel of God.” The Desire of Ages, 288.
- Of what was the Sabbath especially a reminder to the children of Israel? Deuteronomy 5:15.
- How are the themes of “enmity” against sin and deliverance from it reflected in the meaning of the Sabbath? Genesis 3:15; Exodus 31:13.
Note: “It is the work of conversion and sanctification to reconcile men to God by bringing them into accord with the principles of His law. … ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). But ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son’ (John 3:16), that man might be reconciled to God. Through the merits of Christ he can be restored to harmony with his Maker. His heart must be renewed by divine grace; he must have a new life from above. This change is the new birth, without which, says Jesus, ‘he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3).” The Great Controversy, 467.
“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.
“All who cherish the Lord as their portion in this life will be under His control, and will receive the sign, the mark of God, which shows them to be God’s special possession. Christ’s righteousness will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The Lord protects every human being who bears His sign.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 969.
4 THE EXPERIENCE OF TRUE SABBATH KEEPING
- What does true Sabbath keeping involve in these final days of earth’s history? Matthew 11:28–30; Ephesians 4:22–24.
Note: “Everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). Here alone can true rest be found. … Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace.” The Desire of Ages, 363.
- What is the result of the process of renewal? 2 Corinthians 5:17.
- To truly keep the Sabbath holy, in what spiritual condition must we be? Leviticus 20:26; Ephesians 1:3, 4.
- What should we earnestly seek for daily? Psalm 51:10.
Note: “The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 206.
“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 70.
5 A DELIGHT AND A JOY
- If we receive the Sabbath covenant, and it does the intended work in us, what will it become? Isaiah 58:13, 14. What is meant by the words “My holy day”? Matthew 12:8.
- What blessing will the Sabbath bring to all who truly receive it? Matthew 11:28.
Note: “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him.” The Desire of Ages, 289.
“All heaven was represented to me as beholding and watching upon the Sabbath those who acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment and are observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and high regard for, this divine institution. Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strictly devotional frame of mind, and who sought to improve the sacred hours in keeping the Sabbath to the best of their ability, and to honor God by calling the Sabbath a delight—these the angels were specially blessing with light and health, and special strength was given them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 704, 705.
- If we are found faithful, what will we be doing every Sabbath in the kingdom on the earth made new? Isaiah 66:23.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Explain the reasons why God said “remember.”
2 What things does the Sabbath remind us of?
3 What other significance does the Sabbath have in the Christian’s experience?
4 How may we truly experience Sabbath rest?
5 How are you benefiting from the blessings of the Lord’s day?
Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.