Friday: Further Thought ~ The Sabbath and the End
“The reason provided … to worship God is that He is the Creator. In the heavenly liturgy, celestial beings expressed the idea in a very succinct way: ‘For You created all things’ ([Rev.] 4:11, [NKJV]). On earth, God’s creatorship needs to be emphasized as much as possible, so the angel says, ‘Worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters’ ([Rev.] 14:7).
It has been correctly indicated that the angel is using the language of the fourth commandment to justify the call to worship God (Exodus 20:11). …
Within the Decalogue the Sabbath commandment stands as its seal in that it identifies who God is — the Creator; confirms the territory over which He rules — everything He created; and reveals His right to rule — for He created everything. In order for the dragon to succeed, he had somehow to set aside this memorial.” — Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, “The Closing of the Cosmic Conflict: Role of the Three Angels’ Messages,” unpublished manuscript, Pages 40, 41.
We Seventh-day Adventists have become quite good at protecting and proclaiming the Sabbath. We can argue about the continuity of the week, We show texts that the Sabbath was kept before Abraham, that the Israelites were reminded to keep it, that Jesus kept it, and that the early church kept it. We can also argue quite vociferously that the papacy ambushed the Sabbath, changing the day of worship to Sunday. And, we argue that the Sabbath will be kept in Heaven and the new earth. But my question is: What are we protecting?
I think that for a fair bit of the time, all we are doing is protecting the notion that we have got it right. I keep coming back to the awful fear that all we are doing is protecting the notion that we should go to church on Saturday.
This is a hypothetical but I want us to think about it. What if we were to destroy all our churches and all our pastors were struck dumb so that they could not preach to us on Sabbath? What would we be left with?
Now don't get me wrong. I actually like to go to church, and I really enjoy a good sermon, but Sabbath-keeping has to be more than that. If you tell your secular mates, "Hey, I go to church on Saturday!", they will usually view it as some sort of religious torture, like wearing a hair shirt.
The truth is that switching church-going from Sunday to Saturday may not really be what the fourth commandment is all about.
What is the Sabbath? What is Sabbath rest? What is it about the Sabbath that we can share with our secular friends? Is the Sabbath valuable, or is it an empty box that we try to convince others that what's inside is valuable?
A simple question that comes to mind, What do/should we do on the Sabbath? How should we keep the Sabbath?
Perhaps it is illuminating for this discussion to remember that the Jews came to call the day before the Sabbath, the preparation day. Did they really prepare to do nothing?
I believe our church has taken a similar position on this 6000 year earth's age that has weak bibical support.
Hi, Melvin. I've personally gone through the Bible record as it pertains to the passage of time since Adam and Eve were created. It's all there, in plain black and white. An exact number of years is likely impossible to calculate, but seeing I do believe the testimony of the Scriptures, I know with certainty that it's been about 6,000 years, not 5,000, and not 7,000. For me, it's not a case of believing something, and then looking for biblical support. It's a case of going into it with an open mind, and accepting what the Bible tells me.
One of the greatest sermons I ever heard on Sabbath keeping was by Charles Stanley. And he closed his sermon with words to this effect 'If you want to know how we should be keeping Sunday look at how the Seventh-Day Adventists keep their Sabbath!'
Have a blessed Sabbath… Royce
Maurice made a profound statement when he asked: “Is the Sabbath valuable, or is it an empty box that we try to convince others that what’s inside is valuable?” If the box is void of practical and spiritual values applicable to life, it turns out to be just one of the ‘religious icons or rituals’ observed by an organized body of believers.
If the content expresses the identification of the Creator and shows the way of life for all who believe, then the ‘box’ [following the law to observe the 4th commandment], is used as a frame; it cannot possibly be representative of the entire content, the Whole of the Creator’s Identity. It needs Jesus Christ throught the Holy Spirit to reveal the full extend of this to the believer.
Cultures all over the world have their own creation story supporting or justifying those deities they choose to worship. However these choices may have come about, their believes are firmly established and maintained through and expressed by their rituals during gatherings for religious worship.
In my opinion, this is were the answer to Maurice’s question needs to be found. Is keeping the Sabbath a religious worship ritual, or is it a time set aside to personally meet the God of Creation?
I consider God promoting His work of Creation because it points out who the true Creator is. There has always been the spiritual context in which we worship/meet Him. We have been taught that true worship of the Creator of all things is vested in His Spirit and Truth. Having our life in Jesus Christ, our lives are lived expressions of God’s Spirit and Truth as revealed to us by His Son.
"Is the Sabbath valuable"? Yes, the spiritual aspects of worshipping our God on Sabbath ‘stand as the seal’ that we have chosen to follow the True God who created the laws for heaven and earth and all that has life within them.
I do not have the power to convince anyone. Rationality has to come out of itself. But the strength of new perspectives can give me creativity!
Be creative today! Bounce toward the Truth and be free! "That's the Spirit!"
Hi, I'm Thomas from Ethiopia i have two questions for this week Sabbath schools
1 What is meaning of the Sabbath in our personal lives and discover ?
2 How Sabbath influences our attitude, our choices and our actions ?
We often talk about the papacy and/or Constantine changing the day of worship. While it is true that both lent their influence to promote it, and the papacy openly takes credit for it, it is equally true that the change occurred long before that. History tells us that the first generation of Christians knew nothing of Sunday worship. But it also tells us that the change occurred gradually, starting around 100 A.D. And that the root cause was the fact that the Jews had antagonized the Romans (and everyone else) to the point of being despised and persecuted. The Christians didn't want to be thought of as Jews, and the Sabbath reminded people of Judaism, so they started worshiping on the day of Christ's resurrection in order not to be confused with Jews. I'm not sure we do ourselves any favors by concentrating on events that happened 200 years later instead of admitting the gradual transition that occurred during that 200 year.
I think the emphasis is on Constantine because he codified into “law” by exerting his influence as the head of a secular state onto the (Roman Catholic) church.