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Thursday: The Sabbath as the Seal — 39 Comments

  1. The significance of Sabbath satan will never ever can replace.
    It shows authoritative power of God on earth and in heaven.

    Enter God's rest and rest from your own works.

    Let him be the Lord of your life.

  2. Can someone answer if possible, If the Sabbath is the Seal of God's chosen few. How does this balance with other denomination that keep the Sabbath but don't believe all the truths that we as SDA do?

    • Shay, the seal spoken of in Revelation 7 will be given at a specific time when the contest of truth and false doctrines clash in the open for the last time. Every living soul will make a choice in that hour and all decisions will be final. Those who follow Christ, no matter where they are found or their previous understanding, will hear His voice and follow Him then as the loud cry will be seen and heard by all. The wicked "shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise will understand". So our focus should be to "get wisdom".

    • Shay, I believe that the Sabbath is only an outward sign of the inner sealing by the Holy Spirit. Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is not, by itself, the seal of God. See Phil's post for more context on this.
      Thus, today the majority of God's people are still in Sunday-keeping churches. They are being sealed by the Holy Spirit. When the issues become clear to all the world, and people will be forced to choose between obeying God or a manmade edict, they will choose God because they are His. That means that at that time, they will have the outward seal of their inner loyalty.

  3. I feel that Ex 31:12-17 is also an important passage for today's portion of the lesson in regard to the first question. This is God speaking to His people in every age, placing the highest importance upon careful observance of the Sabbath while understanding it's meaning and purpose. In this life on this world, the Sabbath is a haven of Rest from the unrest so prevalent around us. There is no amount of worldly prosperity that can take the place of this Holy day appointed by God as a divine gift to man. Few seem able to realize the true blessing of this day, and our great need of it, even among Sabbath "keepers".

    • But without a personal relationship with Jesus and without the "born again" experience in Jesus the Sabbath Rest means absolutely nothing and is just a legalistic way of being right with God.

      • Of course Pete, there is no way to keep the Sabbath Holy and benefit from it's Rest without this union with Christ. Read those verses in EX 31 and notice what it is saying. Without taking Jesus' yoke upon us, we cannot learn of Him.

  4. Shah,
    Our beliefs as SDA are supported by scripture (see the list on back of your bulletin) therefore if others are not keeping all of the truths in God's word they are still not studying to show themselves approved. We will only be held accountable for what we know, have been told or could have known. God is our Judge and knows our hearts.

    • Lenora, they may be studying to show themselves approved but just don't have the same convictions we do. We all grow more or less in different areas of our lives.

      "In Wesley’s time, as in all ages of the church’s history, men of different gifts performed their appointed work. They did not harmonize upon every point of doctrine, but all were moved by the Spirit of God, and united in the absorbing aim to win souls to Christ." -Ellen White, Great Controversy, Page 257.

  5. The seal is what we receive when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Sabbath is important and a great blessing but keeping it will not seal me. The Holy Spirit is the seal given and He will guide in all truth, including keeping the Lord’s commands with all our heart soul and mind.

    Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

    Ephesians 1:13-14
    In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

    Ephesians 4:30
    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    • We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy is a sign of that sealing, but not the seal itself. The Sabbath points to God, who is our Father, and to our Creator and Saviour, who is the second Adam. As Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, the last Adam is a "life-giving spirit." 1 Corinthians 15:45.

      The sanctification of Sunday comes from the Roman church, who believes that what she binds on earth is bound in heaven. It points to her and is the sign of her authority and man-made religion, which purports to manipulate God.

  6. The bible bears witness that Christ's death was followed by his witnessing to the spirits(1pet 4:6, 1Pet 3:18). I am Kinda confused here, if you imply Christ rested on the sabbath, who was it that went preaching? I sought to understand this from the writings of Ellen White (https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/1311.450#450) but it only gave me more questions. Even if so, what then shall we say, Jesus rested to save mankind, or died to save mankind?
    Also if the intention was to rest on a sabbath day, did he also ressurrect immediately after the sabbath? if not what need was there for a continual rest?
    Thank you. stay blessed.

    • Thank you for supplying the reference which is to a chapter by Uriah Smith, not Ellen White. His argument is worth reviewing. Among other points, he writes:

      The preaching was certainly to the antediluvians. But why, according to the popular notion, should Christ single out that class to preach to, about twenty-four hundred years afterward, in hell? The whole idea is forced, unnatural, and absurd. The preaching that was given to them was through Noah, who, by the power of the Holy Ghost (1 Peter 1:12), delivered to them the message of warning. Let this be the preaching referred to, and all is harmonious and clear; and this interpretation the construction of the original demands; for the word rendered in our version. “Were disobedient,” is simply the aorist participle; and the dependent sentence, “when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” limits the verb “preached” rather than the participle. The whole passage might be translated thus: “In which also, having gone to the spirits in prison, he preached to the then disobedient ones, when once [or at the time when] the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” Christ is said to have preached because it was Christ’s Spirit in Noah. Noah was his representative; and according to the Latin maxim, “Qui facit per alium, facit per se,” “What one does through another, he does himself,” the preaching of Noah by this means, was the preaching of Christ. HHMLD 96.5

    • George, the Bible explains this passage in 1 Peter 3:18,19 if we read it correctly. The key words in verse 19 are "by which" and "when". In verse 18 the last mention is the Holy Spirit, and the first words in verse 19 are "by which", and "which" can also be translated as "who". So if we read back the phrase without the verse numbering, it would say "...but quickened by the Spirit: by which/whom also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah". So now we can understand that Jesus had spoken through the holy spirit in the days of Noah as he preached to those souls that were disobedient while living on the earth, but are now in "prison"(understood to be the grave) in the days of Peter. Jesus himself had taught that once having died, there is no further probation, so if He had gone to preach to the dead, it would have been against His own words, which also tell us the dead can't hear anything.

      Many have twisted this passage to mean something contrary to the Word of God and teachings of Jesus, but a correct reading proves otherwise and the Word of God remains consistent throughout.

      Also, the wages of sin is death, so Jesus had to die in order to offer propitiation for sinners. Resting is not the wages of sin.

  7. I really struggle to position sabath day as a seal of Good which is refered in the book of Revelation,Because such position makes Sabath observance a Salvation issue this contradicts John 3:6. We are only Saved through faith not by keeping the law.

    Jesus said we will be killed for his name Mathew 24:9. It cant be a sabath day. I think atack will be on beliving Jesus as lord and Saviour.

    Ephesians 1:12-14 and Eph.4:30 clearly call out the Seal of God.

    • Eric, may I suggest that the Sabbath will be an outward sign of inner sealing by the Holy Spirit? When people will have to choose between obeying God by keeping His Sabbath day holy or being persecuted or killed, only those who have been sealed by the Spirit will be keeping God's Sabbath day holy. Thus the Sabbath will become a sign at that time. (It is not now such a sign.)

      Daily we are making decisions to prepare us for that time. An intellectual assent to the correctness of the Sabbath teaching will save no one. Neither will worshiping on the correct day save anyone. Only being fully sealed by the Holy Spirit will enable anyone to stand in that day. (Please see my response to John Herscher for an explanation of what I believe it means to be sealed by the Spirit.

      • Thanks Inge. Agreed. We will be sealed by Holy spirit. We can only defeat the Dragon through the blood of the lamb.

    • Eric, every commandment of God is a salvation issue isn't it? Adam and Eve lost eternal life from disobeying one small commandment of God. Notice how the Revelation points out clearly that those saved will be keeping the commandments, while those lost are violating them in rebellion against God.

      How can it not be a salvation issue? However, salvation is more than just observance of rules, and for those who have sinned, it involves being forgiven, which requires repentance, and then being transformed. Salvation involves being rescued from sin and sinning, to become like God in character and purpose. This is the work of God in all who believe(Rom 1:16). If after all this, one chooses to not observe the Sabbath commandment, can they be saved while in rebellion against God?

  8. Worshipping on Sunday after being exposed to and understanding the significance of the Sabbath shows a spirit of rebellion. Like other forms of disobedience it shows a lack of faith in God’s ability to transform us into His likeness.

    • Nanci, I think there's one more component into which we have no insight. I say this because I've known church members to give up on people because "they know the truth," or something like that.

      But we have no insight into whether or not the Holy Spirit convicted them. Thus we need to continue to teach the gospel message whether or not we think that people already "know the truth." It is only when people have totally grieved away the Holy Spirit that their case is hopeless.

      I believe it is likely that the Lord allows some people to be in churches that worship on Sunday because they are currently better off there than they would be in the nearest Adventist congregation. (I understand that the majority of God's people are currently in Sunday-keeping churches.) The Sabbath is only a sign of relationship with the Lord whose character is love. It seems to me that if our characters do not reflect His character of love, the sign of Sabbath-keeping is next to meaningless.

        • My comment was not meant to be one on judgement. I’m sorry it appears to be just that.

          The Bible is clear about our loyalties being associated with God’s word or with satanic deception. It is never within our scope of spiritual knowledge to decide anyone’s connection or relationship with God and that was not my intention to describe in any way that we should.

          My response has to do with the question posed at the end of the lesson concerning the meaning of Sunday worship in relationship to Babylon...

          I will in the future be very careful not to mention what might be misconstrued as a right to judge or decide on one’s standing with God. That is definitely not not what I believe on any spiritual subject nor do I support treating people out of such foolishness.

          • By the way, I don’t believe by a long stretch that Seventh-day Adventistism is mentioned in the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy as a requirement for salvation.

          • Nanci, your comment above did not come across as being a judgment, but only an observation supported by scripture. I happen to agree with it.

          • Nanci, there is no specific Christian religion mentioned in scripture, only Truth. Of all the denominations one might find and choose to follow, only the Seventh Day Adventist denomination teaches the fundamental beliefs supported by Scripture. All others fall away on one or more specific truths. Yet, being a "member" does not equal salvation, while some will be saved with their membership being elsewhere. Salvation is about faith and walking according the the truth available to that individual.

          • Nanci, I did not construe *your* comment to be judgmental. I did mention how some others had judged Sunday keepers. I was trying to add a little more context to the Sunday/Sabbath issue by recognizing that not everyone who keeps Sunday harbors a spirit of rebellion.

            I'm so sorry that I caused you pain by my comment.

  9. There is much more to being sealed than ticking the box, "I keep Sabbath". Personally, I am passionate about keeping the Sabbath because it is one of the best things in my life, but I recognize that for the Sabbath to be meaningful in a spiritual sense a whole lot of other things must happen as well.

    Here are a couple of things to think about:

    Do we keep Sabbath, just to show the Catholics and "apostate Protestants" that they are wrong? I have heard that argument from Seventh-day Adventists too many times. Our Sabbath-keeping is a relationship with God thing, not an, "We got it right, and you are wrong!" statement.

    Is Sabbath-keeping just going to church on Saturday instead of Sunday? This is one question that we have not really thought about too much. Sure, we have a list of "don'ts" that we like to argue about but we seldom really venture into the positive of creatively using the Sabbath as a restful experience.

    A cake typically comprises the body of the cake and the icing on the top. While the icing might be the nicest part, it is not all that nice by itself. The icing must be supported by a good cake in order to provide a great eating experience (OK health reformers - lay off on this one. I am making a point, not giving a health lesson. Grin). Likewise, The Sabbath is only meaningful when supported by a total relationship that keeps going 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If it does not have that support it is merely decoration.

  10. It is not helpful to discuss the 7th day Shabbat in isolation from the Biblical Decalogue. "Cleansing of the Sanctuary" can also mean the restoration of the Biblical Decalogue back in to the Christian Church.
    Replacement of the genuine Ten Commandments with fake Commandments is the cause of abomination, and of desolation.
    Law, in any human structure serves to maintain freedom within that structure, the Biblical Decalogue is immutable, so any change to that Law causes Lawlessness.

  11. what is the difference in keeping sunday holy and worshiping on sunday - if ever there is any?

    • Worshiping on Sunday means just that - going to church on Sunday and then spending the rest of the day in however people please. Lots of people go straight from church to the supermarket, for instance.

      The fourth commandments asks us to keep a day holy. The commandment is quite specific, and it specifies the seventh day. As part of keeping the seventh day holy, we gather together to worship on that day. That's quite different from how most people treat Sunday nowadays.

      However, there are still some people who keep Sunday just like we keep Sabbath, believing that that's what God asks them to do and not having been convicted differently by the Holy Spirit. And I believe that the Lord accepts the intention of their heart to keep the Sabbath holy, even if it is the wrong day.

  12. I’m a Sabbath keeper but i don’t think it is a seal of God.

    A Close look at Revelation 13 shows that the battle will be on worship not Sabbath!

    Very clear Saturn wants to be worshiped. Mathew 4:9. And Jesus Said Saints will be killed because of his name Mathew 24:9.

    Rev 13:1 Horns with names of Blasphemy.. Meaning claiming to be God or having a power to forgive sin

    Rev13:4 Dragon is worshiped instead of Jesus/ God

    Rev 13:5- Blasphemy- Claiming to be God

    Rev 13:8 Beast is worshiped

    13:14 Miracles and claiming to have Divine powers- Anti Christ!

    I cant relate any with fourth commandment bur First and Second Commandments and Jesus commandments.

    • Indeed, the Sabbath day itself is not the seal of God. There's much more to it. Please see http://ssnet.org/blog/mark-of-beast-or-seal-of-god-more-than-we-thought/. It's what the Sabbath symbolizes - perfect rest/trust in the Creator. I believe that at some point in the future, we will all be tested regarding whether we trust and worship our Creator God or whether, either from convenience or conviction, we will trust/worship another power.

      I think the lesson author does a reasonable job demonstrating why it is likely that the test will have something to do with the Sabbath. You probably know that there is a religio-political power in the world today that claims to have power to change God's Law and points to the change of the Sabbath as evidence.

      It seems to me that the fourth commandment is largely an expansion of the first commandment. Our God asks us to put Him first and worship Him on the day that He specified as an outward evidence of our faith relationship with Him.

      Not sure what you mean by your reference to Saturn because I know of no group that currently or prospectively worships Saturn.

      • Thanks inge. Quite a nice Article you have directed me to read. That is deep. I agree with the author there is more to it. God is love.

        I meant satan(Dragon) not Saturn.


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