Sabbath – The Reminder of the Evidence
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Andrew Legall recommended this video, writing that “it changed my view of the Sabbath radically.”

This conversation was recorded 30 years ago by the late Graham Maxwell, professor of New Testament studies at Loma Linda University, and Louis Venden of the PUC church. It is from a series of Friday evening programs called, “Conversations About God.” If you’ve never heard Graham Maxwell speak, you’re in for a treat – not just because of his marvellous speaking voice, but also because of how he focuses on the loving character of God. (My husband and I knew his voice long before we saw his face, having listened to many of his sermons on tape about 30 or so years ago.)

The first 33 minutes are taken up by Maxwell’s presentation, and the rest of the video consists of exchanges between Louis Venden, who reads some questions from the audience, and Maxwell’s responses. The whole video is worthwhile, but if you don’t have time for the full hour, try to make time for the first 33 minutes at least. I trust that it will change your view of the Sabbath if you currently find the Sabbath “difficult” or guilt-inducing, as some of you have commented. You can also view the video on Youtube perhaps on your YouTube app.)

New! MP3 file for those of you who would like to listen to this “Conversation” on the road. You may click on the link below to listen on your computer and save bandwidth over the video. Or right-click on the link and “Save us” to download to the device of your choosing: MP3 Reminder of the Evidence (13.0 MB)  

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Sabbath – The Reminder of the Evidence — 31 Comments

  1. Thank you very much Sis. Anderson! This really helped me to begin to appreciate that the Sabbath was not arbitrary but rather a brilliant, brilliant idea straight from the God who loves us--and as a bonus the principles outlined began to help me determine for myself which activities were or were not sabbatical.

    Like(3)
  2. Sis. Anderson, Thanks for your referral; however, I have not watched it as yet, but I will. I am troubled by what someone said in my Sabbath School class on Sabbath "There is no verse in the bible that say you have to go to church on Sabbath" Does that mean it's ok for Sunday worshipers to go to church on Sunday even if they do not keep it holy? Please elaborate on this for me.

    Thank you

    Like(1)
    • Hi Elaine,
      God told the Israelits that the seventh day was to be a sabbath (rest day) of "complete rest." Since "sabbath" already means "rest," this was a double emphasis on "rest" on the seventh day. Furthermore, the Lord told them that this was to be a day olf "holy convocation" for them. (See Lev. 23:3 NASB) And that's why Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. (Some examples: Mark 1:21, Luke 4:16)

      And while Paul doesn't specify assembling on the Sabbath (I believe the day was taken for granted), he does reminds the believers not to stop meeting together to exhort one another. (See Heb. 10:25)

      I really encourage you to watch the video, because you'll find a whole different approach that hardly leaves room for such questions. :)

      Like(6)
      • Thank you for the link. It was a blessing to listen to the presentation. Simple and so beautiful that even a child can understand. I can see now so much better the meaning of the Sabbath. Praises to our God!

        Like(0)
  3. I have a question in regard to our responsibility to teach our children(young adults) or to help each other in observing the Sabbath the way God has intended for us to do it. How can we do it in a nonjudgmental way? for example sleeping late and skipping church or traveling for pleasure or work on Sabbath.

    Like(4)
    • Emil, I know nothing about teaching our children in a "nonjudgmental" way. Young children don't get to choose. They go with Mom and Dad where they go.

      As for Young Adults, that's a different matter. It very much depends on the relationship you have with them and whether or not they are still in your house.

      By the time they do their own traveling, you treat them as you would other adults and share the blessings of the Sabbath and how certain activities detract from those blessings, and others allow us to receive the blessings. Pray for wisdom. God has promised to supply it. (James 1:5)

      Then say what you are impressed to say and realize that what they do with what you said is their responsibility, not yours. (In other words, don't nag. :) )

      Like(1)
      • Thank you sister. I pray for the Holly Spirit to work in our lives and our children lives to become followers of Jesus and please God in everything we do. I pray for wisdom on how to work with them since they are at the age of 20 and 18. I'm also reminded of Job who interceded for his children before God for their sins.

        Like(1)
    • My dear Emily, The answers may vary according to what/or where you live in the world, or what culture you belong to. I experienced/lived in 3 different cultures and I could not say which one was right or wrong. One has to consider if the young adults are still in school/collage? Are the still Christians or go only sometimes to church? Are the working and taking care of themselves? Are the in school and working at the same time? etc, etc. But many times it had to do with the up bringing and the relationship. I can tell you about myself and children at another posting.

      Like(0)
      • I lived in two different cultures. My children were born in US and are now 18 and 20. They live home with us but they consider themselves indipendent. We go a lot in nature but when it comes to going to the Sabbath School on time We have to use two cars instead of one(we live one hour away). We are trying to make the Sabbath hours a delight but recently we had to come to an agreement in regard to the use of the social media on Sabbath(both have their phone on hand constantly even in the church. We live in a generation that is confronted with the instant gratification in any possible way. I pray a lot for my children because I don't want to be in heaven without them.

        Like(2)
        • Smartphones are not a problem. It's the way they are used. We can have different versions of the Bible on smartphones. We can have the Sabbath School lesson on smartphones. Some my have minds that work much faster than the speaker, and they may want to check out whether what the speaker says is true while they are listening ... Some speakers encourage the use of smartphones and suggest that young people with Twitter accounts tweet about the sermons. Now that's a great idea :)

          On the other hand, we can have any number of distracting apps on phones or tablets ...

          At 18 and 20, they are young adults, and we need to trust them to make good decisions. We can set an example and gently offer opinions. Nagging won't help. ;)

          Like(1)
  4. Inge, thank you very much for sharing this study tape with us. I have been blessed and appreciate the simple yet scholarly way in which Graham Maxwell presented The Reminder of the Evidence.

    Like(1)
  5. Hallo Inge - I am due to take a LOOONG bus trip and only have an old fashioned mobile. Is the message also in Audio form. I would love to download it and listen to it on the trip.

    God bless

    Like(0)
    • Hi Maureen,
      I found an MP3 file and uploaded it for you and anyone else who would like to listen to the audio. The link is at the bottom of the post. I trust it will work for you. :)

      Like(0)
  6. I listened carefully, in those type of videos I personally like to critique, analyze etc, etc. I have a lot of questions myself. In the explanation of Isa 58:13-14. Pleasure is interpret as business. But I am not so sure because what might be business for some might not be business for others. Is Gods' commandment across the board for everyone about business/gain? For example, Pastors/preachers/ evang/bible workers leave one SDA church on Sabbath and give a talk or do an activity at another SDA church. At the end of such they are paid for what they do on the Sabbath. Is that working on the Sabbath or doing business? Remember money is involved.

    Like(0)
    • Hi Marva,

      It sounds like you might come from Berea :) It is good to listen carefully and examine the evidence in our own minds, rather than just absorbing what we hear.

      In this case, I consulted BibleGateway.com to see how different versions translated the passage. But even better is BlueLetterBible.org which allows you to see the meaning of the original Hebrew word and how it is translated in other texts in the Bible.

      Just go to the site and type in the text in the search form (never mind the version, because only KJV is indexed). Then, in the screen that comes up, click on the link of the text. A popup screen will show the Hebrew, with each word indexed below it. Click on the reference under "Strong's," and this will bring you to the entry in Strong's concordance. (This is not perfect or complete by any means, but it's enough for most of us.)

      This is what comes up:

      Outline of biblical usage:

      delight, pleasure
      delight
      desire, longing
      the good pleasure
      that in which one takes delight

      KJV Translation Count — Total: 39x
      The KJV translates Strongs H2656 in the following manner: pleasure (16x), desire (12x), delight (3x), purpose (3x), acceptable (1x), delightsome (1x), matter (1x), pleasant (1x), willingly (1x).

      So it seems to me that the translation of "pleasure" is as good as any. It could also be translated as "delight."

      So, if we go back to the text, it seems to me that what it is saying that on the Sabbath, we are to delight ourselves in the Lord, rather than focusing on self-indulgence.

      One translation (forgot which) translates it as "not doing doing just what you please," which I think is a good rendering. We are not to do just as we please, but be mindful of the presence of God with us. That leaves room for all sorts of delight in nature, in the company of family and friends, etc.

      And since we are to delight ourselves, Sabbath keeping does not lend itself to rules made for everyone, since everyone is different. :)

      So, even though Dr Maxwell prefers a different translation of the text, it seems to me that his approach, which emphasizes a relationship with God (as opposed to an emphasis on rules) is still quite in harmony with the biblical text.

      Like(0)
  7. Did I misunderstand? But did he say the tree of the knowledge of good & evil came after sin?
    How can that be correct?

    Like(0)
    • You heard correctly, Donna.

      Think: When did sin begin? Did it begin after the creation of this world or before?

      What Dr. Maxwell is saying that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was not an arbitrary command. That's the only place the rebellious angel could have access to God's newly created beings. But these newly created beings needed to be allowed to choose their leader if they were to be free moral agents.

      Our individual freedom of choice is so important to God that He came to this planet to allow Himself to be crucified to preserve it.

      Like(1)
      • Inge, I have to admit that it took me some time to see what Dr. Maxwell was getting at. At first, when I heard him say that I though much the same as Donna and I am sure that we are not the only ones that thought so. For that reason I wish that Dr, Maxwell had taken some extra time to explain what he meant which would have stopped any confusion. He also does the same with the Sabbath. Since this is the first time that I heard the Sabbath presented in this way it threw me for a loop and I had to rethink it all out and place both the tree and the Sabbath in the context of the controversy that started in Heaven rather than the events on earth.

        At this point I think the title of the discussion is appropriate. Both the tree and the Sabbath were strong reminders of where the truth was and were designed to aid in discerning the evil intent of Satan.

        Like(1)
        • Tyler there are many more discussions at the link given. It was part of a series of about maybe 15 Conversations About God, which started at the rebellion in Heaven and ties all our beliefs together seamlessly in a way that I had never heard growing up. After decades, everything made sense when you realize that the sin problem is bigger than earth.

          My problem now is twofold.

          1. Application.
          2. Impatience with the old way of seeing things.

          Like(0)
        • Andrew, I know where you are coming from but I wouldn't throw out all the old ways of seeing things (1 Thess 5:21; Rom 12:9). Nor would I set aside all the does and don't for many of them can be of benefit in guiding us.

          As Dr. Maxwell said the Sabbath was to be a "reminder of the evidences" so to me anything that supports that idea is good and should be kept. The Sabbath is also a sanctified day when we meet with Jesus so anything that supports that idea is good and should be kept also. I believe that the Bible presents a vast array of ways to view issues such as the Sabbath and that we are only scratching the surface of all that can be learned.

          Like(0)
      • To me Dr. Maxwell's presentation was like an illusion where one has a hard time seeing something from another viewpoint. Over the years we have been so completely bombarded with the idea that the Sabbath is the seal of God, that it first looks back to creation as a matter of God's authority and then secondly as the redeemer who recreates and so we have a tendency to view it in terms of judgment.

        What Dr. Maxwell did was to move the reference point from earth back to the controversy in Heaven where the problem of sin began. In so doing he anchors the Sabbath to the war in Heaven and makes it a specific reminder to Adam and Eve (and eventually to us) that God is the real source of all good which contradicted Satan's lies that God was arbitrary and self serving. The tree also was a reminder that there was danger there and that the pair in Eden needed to be on their guard.

        I also think that there is another side to the Sabbath issue besides being a help to Adam and Eve in the garden. Just like the cross we tend to think that the Sabbath was just for us and us only so that it becomes rather egocentric. What Dr. Maxwell has done whether he knew it or not was to make the Sabbath universal. Even though it is specific to earth it has meaning to the entire universe with respect to the controversy.

        I think the greatest benefit to the rest of the universe was in the theological concept of seven. Lillianne's post strongly hinted to a rest after 7 periods. To the universe, and now to us, that would be seven millennia (7000 years) earth time after which the controversy would end and God's creation would enter into an eternal rest. So it isn't a matter of authority as much as it is a prophesy of victory and to us a weekly "reminder of the evidence" that God is good and that He is the one who made us and gave us everything we need.

        Like(1)
        • Tyler,
          And, yes, the theater has been widened to include the whole of the universe - as demonstrated in Dr. Maxwell's presentation. But interestingly the rest of the universal stakeholders have an interest in this subject only to the extent that they are watching us humans to see where we stand on the whole subject.

          Fortunately, for us, there is no big deal here. It is ours for the taking the greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind - Christ Jesus our Savior! He rested from his creation; He has promised us rest here on earth: "Come unto me ...and...rest...and find rest unto your souls" (Matt 11:28,29); He is preparing another rest for us in the kingdom to come: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." (Heb.4:9). Praise God!

          Like(0)
      • [Waiting for Inge to Moderate]

        Inge,
        Indeed, Donna is right in her observation - as I suspect most listeners will, too. The presenter did not put the context right. Here we are talking about two different settings: HEAVEN AND EARTH. The former was created and inhabited by God and the heavenly host eons before the latter (earth) was created. There was a revolt in heaven long before the earth ever existed. That revolt constituted the original or first sin which the presenter refers to. But that did not happen on earth!

        Why therefore would the presenter link this sin (in heaven)to the sin (disobedience) (on earth) of our first parents in the context that he does? To any listener, the confusion stems from the fact that we are talking about the Sabbath and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, both created with the earth and its two inhabitants.

        To make the cocktail of confusion denser is the text in Revelations where we are told of the war in heaven narrated as if the conflict occurred at a time when the earth had been created and was well populated. (Rev. 12:7-13).

        In my very humble opinion, if the speaker is still alive, his attention ought to be drawn to this seemingly innocuous confusion. For me, this brilliant exposition on the Sabbath being the LORD's and not at all for man needs to go down very well without the slightest hint of factual inconsistencies to allow the master dribbler to sow seeds of confusion in the minds of listeners, especially those who are not very well versed in the scriptures.

        Remember that all his struggle is to rob God of His creatorship which is sealed with the Sabbath. (I believe also as the speaker rightly pointed out the Sabbath is the token of the restoration which was achieved by our Savior LORD JESUS at his death, and the re-creation (of the earth anew) which will manifest at His second coming to take us home!)Any discussion of the Sabbath therefore draws his greatest ire; and he will seek to discredit any argument with the least pretext of confusion that the Sabbath is a hoax planted by some spiritual mercenaries.

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        • Hi Christopher,

          In my previous comment I attempted to explain why Dr. Maxwell's statement is legitimate. He did not say "before sin entered this world" but "before sin," and we need to stop a moment to consider when sin originated.

          Since sin originated in heaven, sin already existed when this world was created. Lucifer challenged the government of God, and in order to give His newly created beings freedom of choice, God had to allow Lucifer access to them. This He did through the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As I understand it, Lucifer was not allowed to follow them around with his insinuations and temptations. He could only gain access to them if they came close to this tree. In order to protect them from the deceptions of the rebellious angel, God asked them not to go near "the tree."

          Unfortunately Dr Maxwell did not include all this explanation, taking for granted that his listeners were familiar with the story. But in the context of this background story, it is clear that neither "the tree" nor the prohibition to go near it were arbitrary. They were for the benefit of His newly created beings.

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        • I would recommend that others take the time to listen to all the series. In this context, the one about the Sabbath will become clearer.

          Like(0)
  8. What is the difference between the commandments of Jesus and the commandment of God the father (John 14:15)? Who gave the commandment to the children of Israel, is it Jesus or God the Father?

    Like(1)
  9. Dear Sister Inge,

    I just want to register my thanks to you. You always post such informative information on various topics.

    Thank you.

    Like(1)
    • Hi Lystra and Bonnie,

      Thank you both for your comments. I'm delighted to see you here!

      So, should we post more videos?

      What, particularly, did you like about this one?

      Like(0)

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