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Wednesday: Worship the Creator — 16 Comments

    • The question is something we should ask ourselves individually, because we all won't answer it the same way. Seeing that the Sabbath commandment confirms that God is the Creator, and that there are many theories becoming popular today that are doing away with God's existence, keeping the Sabbath is something we should not do lightly. For me, I think that I can do more to treat the Sabbath not just like any other day.

  1. I must object to one statement here:

    "As with no other commandment, the designated day of worship is suited for a test of loyalty because it cannot be deduced by logical reasoning. We keep it only because God has commanded us to do so."

    I object very strongly.

    This seems to imply that the Sabbath is an arbitrary command. In my humble but strident opinion, this is the worst thing we can say about God--even worse than any theory of evolution.

    God is not arbitrary and therefore the Sabbath is not arbitrary either.

    The vast majority of SDAs will never believe in evolution (and correctly so); yet we have had an entire quarterly on the subject.

    However, large numbers of SDAs still believe that God is arbitrary and that it is right for Him to be so! *That* belief is what undermines the Sabbath and possibly all of our other doctrines as well.
    That, in my humble opinion, is the direct threat to the core of the SDA message based on the Great Controversy over God's character.

    The Sabbath is not just some random day that God likes. It is not arbitrary.

    • Hi Andrew,

      I agree with your concern. 🙂 But perhaps this is not the best application of it. The argument is that there is no secular logical or scientific argument for the keeping of the seventh day as the Sabbath.

      The only reason for keeping the Sabbath is that as Creator, He created the seventh day for the purpose. And if keeping the Sabbath is important, then surely teaching the reason for keeping the Sabbath - that He is the personal Creator of the universe is very important. The 13 studies on creation teach us that God is not just "arbitrary" in asking us to keep the Sabbath. 🙂

      That's the way I see it. 🙂

      And as a postscript I regret to have to say that there are quite a few "educated" Adventists who do believe in evolution over billions of years. They say that's how God "created."

      • Inge, as to your postscript it is indeed unfortunate that a very significant number of people have bought into the evolution philosophy which completely undermines faith in the Bible in so many ways. I think we also need to realize that it is not only the intellectuals that are involved but also those that blindly play follow the leader whether it be concerning origins or the issue over the day of worship.

    • Andrew,
      I agree with you. Our God is not arbitrary. The commandment says, "Remember". Every week when we gather together on Sabbath, we discuss and remember. The first Sabbath that was created was for the purpose of the universe to "Remember". Through out eternity we will remember.

    • Andrew, I think you have made a valuable point. I think the way the statement is worded is how we have come to view the Sabbath issue as a church which in my opinion is not the best way to think of it. When Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27 NKJV) I think He was saying that God made the Sabbath with purposeful design to be a benefit to man rather than simply an arbitrary test.

      That being said, it also seems to me that any time we have a choice to make between God and Satan there is an automatic test involved. I really don’t believe God tests, at least not in the way we so often think of it. He is not in the business of tempting in any way (James 1:13-14) and testing seems to suggest a form of temptation, besides, why test when you know what will happen already.

      As I see it, the problem with the Sabbath is the same as it is with any of God’s commandments in that it involves a choice. For instance, in the Garden of Eden God limited Satan’s activity to one tree so that man wouldn’t be continually badgered by the devil. However, in allowing Satan a way to access man the human race was given a choice and because of that a test was automatically put in place. I believe the same exists of the Sabbath. Even though God made the Sabbath to be a blessing to humanity by its very nature it also becomes a test because we have to choose whether or not to keep it. So I don’t think the lesson was entirely wrong in saying the Sabbath is the test for the last days especially when we consider the vast majority who have chosen to disregard it in the same way that Cain disregarded God’s command concerning what to sacrifice. It is just that the emphasis is wrong in focusing on law rather than a loving gift from our Creator.

      • I agree with you completely. The Sabbath is a test more by default than by design.
        Because of what it represents it can (and will some day much more) reveal loyalties in the Great Controversy.

        As Warren Buffet said (I think about the economic crisis in 2008): It's only when the tide goes out that you'll know who's been swimming naked.
        That's not the *purpose* of the tide, but it sure does reveal!

        I think the Sabbath is a test in a similar way. It will become a clear line more and more (but only as we properly understand its meaning).

  2. I think I see what you are saying although for me, creation is only part of the reason for keeping the Sabbath.
    To me (and it was not always so in my mind), the sole purpose of the Sabbath is to point to the character of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ; as this is what the Great Controversy is all about. In other words, what *kind of person* is the Creator?

    As is written in Patriarchs and Prophets:
    "Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love."

    This is what I think of as the reason for keeping the Sabbath.

    Although I think God delights to see us wonder in the beauty of nature and the universe and be enthralled by its majesty--I think His real end is for us to revel in the beautiful character of the God who made it all. God has demonstrated that He is worthy of worship--and not because He can wield/has wielded a "big stick" (and so you'd better...)--but because His character is beautiful and there is none like Him (the cross basically).

    So while I reject some people's billions of years, I see it as less of a threat than those who have thousands and are that many miles away in their understanding of God's character. The latter comprise the solid majority (in my humble opinion).

  3. The lesson author makes a very important point concerning the Sabbath Commandment being suited for a test of loyalty apart from logic. The question has been asked why we cannot do everything required on the Sabbath on Sunday, or any other day? The singular answer is – No human logic, God Said the Seventh Day! It was the same with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why is the fruit forbidden – No human logic, just God said keep off something he had made!

    Lack of fear for God is a widespread characteristic of our generation. Familiarity with a loving God whose judgments are not swift in our day has led us to relate to God as a ‘chummy buddy’ or just someone upstairs. We are not equal partners with the Eternal God and Sovereign of the universe. The way of the Lord is non-negotiable, whether or not we think it fair according to our own logic. It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves. That we are allowed to disrespect and show irreverence to the Supreme Potentate without great consequence is amazing to angels.

    The lack of fear for God stems from a casual view of Him on one hand and rebellion on the other. The Savior is popular, but not so the Lord. This lesson reminds us why we are SDA, and not some other religious group. The questions of authority, allegiance, worship, submission and righteousness by faith of Jesus are central to our mission.

    Frustration and impatience with ‘poor results’ may push us to try something different. Still, we do not need a revamped marketing strategy, the rebranding of Jehovah’s image or new and modern views to make the Gospel more salable. Primitive godliness is far more advisable. If there is a problem with packaging it is with us who carry the message. We need a makeover, which is the point of the Gospel in the first instance, to restore in us the image of God.

    The Bible tells us what the last church lacks. It is the Holy Spirit. For those who still believe He who began a good work will see it to completion there is no need to panic. It may not end as quickly as we would like, but it will end. Keep pressing on and give the trumpet a certain sound.

    • I object again (nicely) to this statement:

      "The lesson author makes a very important point concerning the Sabbath Commandment being suited for a test of loyalty apart from logic. The question has been asked why we cannot do everything required on the Sabbath on Sunday, or any other day? The singular answer is – No human logic, God Said the Seventh Day!"

      This is not so in my opinion. The reason the seventh day is not the first day is outlined in the Bible:

      "but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
      For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

      That was Exodus 20:10 and 11

      Here is Deuteronomy 5:15--

      "And remember that thou wast a slave in the land of Egypt and that the LORD thy God brought thee out of there with a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore, the LORD thy God has commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."

      Plenty for reasons--none of them arbitrary.

      Finally I'd like to point out that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). God wants our allegiance to Him to be freely offered not out of an overwhelming fear; or even the idea that you'd better be on the good side of the baddest guy on the block.
      God merits our allegiance because of His beautiful character.
      It is precisely because people see the seventh-day Sabbath as arbitrary (an arbitrary command from God) that they have attempted to change the day to the first day!

      If God is arbitrary in picking the Sabbath, then we have no defence against the idea that the Sabbath has changed or even been abolished--because, after all, that's what arbitrary means!
      ("If you love me, do this. No do that instead!")

      • In 1859, Darwin published his Theory of Evolution, the very date when God was establishing His church to proclaim the everlasting gospel "worship Him who made the heavens and the earth". What a timing and what a wisdom the serpent has.

      • There seem to be two different views here which are making replies miss each other.
        Of course the Sabbath command is not "arbitrary" in that God says you can keep it or not keep it, it's arbitrary. Such a view of course would not be a Biblical concept.

        God purposefully choose and blessed the seventh day at the end of creation week, and set it apart for holy purpose.

        The point is that there is no scientific or logical basis for a continuous seven day week cycle with the seventh day being the Sabbath. It is so because of Creation. And by accepting it we acknowledge God as the Creator and the One who sets in place times and law.

        • Ulicia, to me the question seems to be over the purpose of the Sabbath. One can certainly say as many have said of the Ten Commandments that they are not ten suggestions but that doesn't answer the question as to why God commanded what He did.

          When the Pharisees confronted Jesus over how His disciples observed the Sabbath Jesus replied with a couple of examples and then a statement. It is interesting that the examples that Jesus used seem to flagrantly violate the laws and commandments that God gave (Mat 12:2-8) yet He didn't consider the violation a sin. What Jesus showed is that those laws that God gave were not given just to be there as some sort of inflexible legalism; that they were in fact "made for man" (Mk. 2:27 NKJV) to be a blessing to him and that there are times when they can be bent to a degree without violating them in principle.

          Many comments in the past have been concerned over exactly how the Sabbath is to be observed as a matter of law but our church has wisely chosen to refrain from making authoritative statements on such matters. Just how the Sabbath blesses is a matter between God and the individual and is not to be dictated by some commandment of man. What one sees as proper on the Sabbath may not be so in the eyes of another but God blesses both because it, "was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mk. 2:27 NKJV).

          That does not mean, however, that we can willfully disregard God's laws without consequence for if we do not only will we have turned our backs on Him and placed ourselves in Satan's camp but we will also lose the blessing that was originally intended for us to receive. The operative word here is "principle" which involves intent. There are many examples that could be given why this is so but space will not permit such a list.

          So, what do I see as Sabbath blessing?
          • A weekly rest that is in sync with our biorhythm.
          • A weekly reflection on who we are accountable to.
          • A weekly reflection on our responsibility to those placed under our care.
          • A weekly reflection on our source of life and who is capable of resurrecting us.

      • Andrew,
        For clarification neither the author nor my previous post is intended to convey the idea that there is no reason to keep the Sabbath. The reasons you advanced along with other reasons are valid. The point is one may accept all the reasons and then decide to commemorate or acknowledge these reasons by observing Sunday on the basis of human logic that God is not that peculiar or strict and He accepts whatever (This is one of the arguments presented by our Christian friends). They reason that God is not going to hurt anyone who complies with everything, just on another day. That is too arbitrary in their minds.

        Herein lies the danger, that we need to satisfy our our own logic or understanding before submitting to our Maker (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

        See if the following conection made by EGW in Review and Herald August 30, 1898 helps a little:

        "Every man has been placed on trial, as were Adam and Eve in Eden. As the tree of knowledge was placed in the midst of the garden of Eden, so the Sabbath command is placed in the midst of the decalogue. In regard to the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the restriction was made, “Ye shall not eat of it, ... lest ye die.” Of the Sabbath, God said, Ye shall not defile it, but keep it holy. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” As the tree of knowledge was the test of Adam’s obedience, so the fourth command is the test that God has given to prove the loyalty of all his people. The experience of Adam is to be a warning to us so long as time shall last. It warns us not to receive any assurance from the mouth of men or of angels that will detract one jot or tittle from the sacred law of Jehovah."


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