Seventh-day Sabbath

"Remember the Sabbath Day..."

Introduction

"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 Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

Mrs. E. G. White, Faith I Live By, p. 33.5

The Sabbath is one of the most special blessings which God has given to His people. Originating at the time of creation, the Sabbath has been continuously observed since, and will still be observed on the earth made new. God, the creator of all things, rested on the Seventh-day of creation and set it apart as a day of rest to memorialize His work as the creator. Given as a perpetual reminder that the true God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, it is also a sign distinguishing God's true people, an ongoing assurance of God's wonder-working transforming power in our lives, a command to rest from common labor on God's special day of rest, and an invitation to meet with God in a special way during that twenty-four hour period. The Sabbath rightly observed brings blessings that come in no other way.

The Sabbath is sometimes referred to as a "sanctuary in time," reminding that the Sabbath is a unique period of time, whose hours should be carefully guarded from the encroachments of the regular routines of the week.

There are many questions concerning the Sabbath. When did the Sabbath originate? What does the Sabbath memorialize? What makes the Sabbath different from other days? What does it mean to observe the Sabbath? Do we really need to observe the Sabbath on the Seventh-day? Who changed the observance from the Seventh day to the first day of the week? When does Sabbath begin? etc.

There are of course practical questions as well. How do we prepare for the Sabbath? What does it mean to keep the Sabbath on a practical basis? What about necessary travel on the Sabbath? 

In this section I provide information and answer questions about the Sabbath. Among the offerings are (1) a wonderful Bible Study that you can use to study on your own or with others, or use to preach a sermon in your church; (2) a Question and Answer dialogue on the Sabbath; (3) some sermons and other resources on the Sabbath (forthcoming); (4) some questions answered on the Sabbath (forthcoming); (5) links to other resources (forthcoming), etc. Some of these resources are still forthcoming, but I believe you will be blessed by what you read. Write if you have questions.

All quotations come from the writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White unless otherwise indicated.—Dan

 

Introductory Sermon

A Sabbath Reform Needed

This short, but excellent, sermon from the Signs of the Times shows the need of a keeping the Sabbath in a manner that honors God, and some of the ways in which the Sabbath is broken.

 

A Question And Answer Dialogue On The Seventh-Day Sabbath

Which day is the Sabbath?

Exodus 20:10 (NKJV) "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God."

 

When did the Seventh-day Sabbath originate?

Gen. 2:1 (NKJV) "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done."

"Two Institutions Came From The Garden—There were two institutions founded in Eden that were not lost in the fall,—the Sabbath and the marriage relation. These were carried by man beyond the gates of paradise. He who loves and observes the Sabbath, and maintains the purity of the marriage institution, thereby proves himself the friend of man and the friend of God. He who by precept or example lessens the obligation of these sacred institutions is the enemy of both God and man, and is using his influence and his God-given talents to bring in a state of confusion and moral corruption."—Ellen White { ST February 28, 1884, par. 11 }

 

Who instituted the Seventh-day Sabbath?

Gen. 2:3 (NKJV) "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

"The Sabbath Is The Prince Of Days—The Sabbath is of divine appointment. It stands in the center of a list of divine requirements. What right has man to drop out one of these rules of life? Who has authorized the blotting out of the fourth any more than the second or the eighth? If the fourth commandment is not binding upon man, how then can the law of murder be binding? The moral law is not exclusively Jewish. The ceremonial, the social, and the political laws delivered to Moses when he was in secret council with God on the mount were for Israel; but the moral law, spoken in awful grandeur from the smoking mount, in the hearing of all the people, and written on the tables of stone, was for all men who should live upon the earth till the close of time. {Lt35a-1877} 
The Sabbath is mentioned among things which are to be remembered, and not to pass out of our minds. It is endeared to God as a memorial of His creative works. It is the prince of days, bearing the holy signet of Jehovah. He sanctified and blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart for man to keep holy in respect to Himself. God has declared that He will certainly punish a violation of His day, and He will bless those who observe it according to the commandment. Very great and professedly very good men may show no regard for this sacred institution, but this will be no excuse for me. We have God’s word against theirs. Which shall we heed? They may, by their practice, show contempt of that which God has sanctified. God has, on the other hand, rested upon that day and blessed it. Whose example is it safest to follow?—the practice of man or the example of God Himself who made and sanctified the day of His rest?"—Ellen White {Lt35a-1877} 

"God Wants To Especially Bless On The Sabbath Day—It is the hours of the Sabbath that are sacred and sanctified and holy, and every true worshiper who keeps holy the Sabbath should claim the promise, “That ye may know I am the Lord the doth sanctify you.” { 21MR 294.1 } … that on the Sabbath the Lord was in the assembly to bless and sanctify, and if they have faith in the Lord, every Sabbath would be a day when His people, is a special manner, will be blessed in their acts of obedience in keeping the commandments of God."—Ellen White { 21MR 294.2 }

 

Who sanctified the Seventh-day Sabbath?

Ex. 31:15 (NKJV) "Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord [set apart or “sanctified” to God]. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

“The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Man has no right nor power to substitute the first day for the seventh. He may pretend to do this; “nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.” The customs and teachings of men will not lessen the claims of the divine law. God has sanctified the seventh day. That specified portion of time, set apart by God Himself for religious worship, continues as sacred today as when first hallowed by our Creator."  {DA 281.2}

"During the Christian dispensation, the great enemy of man’s happiness has made the Sabbath of the fourth commandment an object of special attack. Satan says, “I will work at cross purposes with God. I will empower my followers to set aside God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus I will show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day that does not bear the credentials of God, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead those who accept this day to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day." {PK 183.3}

 

Who made the Seventh-day Sabbath holy?

Genesis 2:3 (NKJV) "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

Ex. 20:11 (NKJV) "…Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."

"The Sabbath was hallowed at the creation. As ordained for man, it had its origin when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7. Peace brooded over the world; for earth was in harmony with heaven. “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good;” and He rested in the joy of His completed work. Genesis 1:31. {DA 281.1} Because He had rested upon the Sabbath, “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,”—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 Scripture says, “He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.” “The things that are made,” declare “the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world,” “even His everlasting power and divinity.” Genesis 2:3; Psalm 111:4; Romans 1:20, R. V." {DA 281.2}

"It [the Seventh-day Sabbath] is God’s day, sanctified by Himself and made holy, and should be treated as a holy day." {21MR 295.2}

"God has given men six days in the week in which to labor and do all their work; the one day wherein He rested after creating the world and all things that are therein was to be His own holy day, when men should worship Him, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This portion of time is especially set apart for rest and for worship, that men may look upon the heavens and the earth, and honor, worship, praise, and exalt the God who created all things by Jesus Christ." {5MR 85.1}

 

How is something made holy?

God can declare something to be holy. His presence also makes something holy. Man cannot make anything holy. In the Bible references that follow, we find that ground became holy because of God's presence. In the same way that some ground became holy. so a portion of time every week has been declared holy, and made holy by a special sense of God's presence on that day.—Dan

Exodus 3:1-5 (NKJV) 1 "Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”

Joshua 5:13-15 (NKJV)  Joshua 5:13-15 (NKJV) 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

"It is the presence of Christ that makes holy, and his presence has been put into a particular portion of time in a special manner, and that portion of time has been bounded off, separate and distinct from other portions of time. When the children of Israel came up to the boundary of Sinai, they knew it. God did not leave them in ignorance of the boundary line between the common and the sacred. God has not left us in ignorance. He has appointed means that we may know when we come up to that portion of time which he has made holy by his own presence in it, and by his own blessing upon it. But just as the presence of Christ at Sinai made that mount holy, just as his presence in the Sabbath makes that holy, just so the presence of Christ in the individual makes him holy. The Sabbath was designed as a constant reminder of the work of God through Christ in redemption."—W.W. Prescott 

"God in Christ never blessed any other day. He blesses man upon every day, but he has blessed only one day, and that is the seventh day. So when man, upon whom the blessing of God already rests, comes to the seventh day, upon which a blessing rests, there are two blessings, and both of them for man; and so it is possible upon the seventh day of the week to enjoy a blessing which cannot be enjoyed upon any other day because it is not there. When the Sabbath goes by us, the Sabbath blessing goes along with it. Prescott, Blessings of the Sabbath."—W.W. Prescott

 

What does the Seventh-day Sabbath memorialize?

Gen. 20:8,11 (NKJV) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."

Ex. 31:17 (NKJV) "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

"To Obliterate God From The Minds Of Men, Satan Has Sought To Tear Down The Sabbath—Had the Sabbath always been sacredly observed, there could never have been an atheist or an idolater. … In order to obliterate God from the minds of men, Satan aimed to tear down this great memorial. If men could be led to forget their Creator, they would make no effort to resist the power of evil, and Satan would be sure of his prey." { CCh 270.5}

"The Sabbath Is A Constant Distinction Between The Creator And His Creature—“The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God”—because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. “The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.”—J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God, “Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” It follows that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment." { GC 437.2}

 

Who does the Seventh-day Sabbath identify?

The True, Creator God!

"We may go to the heathen and say to them that we love the truth and serve the true God, and they will tell you that they worship the true and living god. We have no other way to tell who the true and living God is, only as we turn to this commandment. That God, that made the lofty trees and every thing that is lovely and beautiful under the heavens, He that weighs the hills in the balances, that God is the true and living God; He created the whole universe. And these commandments tell us who the true God is. If Satan can get this fourth commandment out of the Decalogue, then you will not be able to tell who the true and living God is. {Ms5-1885.13} Well, who is the true God? The God that created everything that is beautiful in nature. We are to look up through nature to nature’s God; there we are to see the true God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. The first four of these commandments show our duty to God, and the last six to our fellow men. We cannot break one of these first four and be in favor with God. Neither can we break one of the last six and be in favor with God. These we must urge upon the people."—Ellen White {Ms5-1885.14}

"The seal of God, the token or sign of His authority, is found in the fourth commandment. This is the only precept of the Decalogue that points to God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and clearly distinguishes the true God from all false gods. Throughout the Scriptures the fact of God’s creative power is cited as proof that He is above all heathen deities. { ST November 1, 1899, par. 9 } The Sabbath enjoined by the fourth commandment was instituted to commemorate the work of creation, thus to keep the minds of men ever directed to the true and living God. Had the Sabbath always been kept, there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The sacred observance of God”s holy day would have led the minds of men to their Creator. The things of nature would have brought Him to their remembrance, and they would have borne witness to His power and His love. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. It points to God as the Creator, and is the sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made."—Ellen White { ST November 1, 1899, par. 10 }

 

What additional promise is reminded of in the Seventh-day Sabbath?

That God will sanctify His people.

Ex. 31:13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you."

Ezek. 20:12 "Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them."

"The Sabbath Is the Sign That God Is The Sanctifier—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. { 6T 350.1} To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given “for a perpetual covenant.” To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God’s government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise." { 6T 350.2} 

"[E]very true worshipper who keeps holy the Sabbath should claim the promise, “That ye may know I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” {Lt8-1898}

"True sanctification comes through willing obedience. We are distinctly and decidedly taught that the proper observance of the Sabbath brings a knowledge of what constitutes true sanctification. Reputation and even life itself might better be sacrificed than the truth of the word of God. God declares that when His Sabbath is honored as sacred and holy, it is to His people a sign between Him and them, whereby they may know that He is that doth sanctify them. “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you.” God has set it apart to be devoted to holy service. It is His memorial of Creation. By His creative power God is distinguished from all other gods that are worshiped. The Sabbath is a public token by which the world may recognize the true and living God. If they obey Him and reverence His holy day, the Sabbath is a continual sign between Him and them, a pledge that He will recognize and fulfill His covenant." {5MR 123.2}

 

Have we been commanded to observe the Seventh-day Sabbath?

Ex. 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

"He who instituted the Sabbath has never changed it to another day. He rested on a definite day, and blessed and sanctified a definite day, and he requires the human family to observe that definite day. The position that God blessed and sanctified a seventh part of time, and no day in particular, is a deception. By this means many have become so confused that they regard God’s holy rest-day as possessing no special sacredness. Because the world do so, they feel at liberty to set the Bible Sabbath aside, and select one that suits their own convenience; and ministers of the gospel assure their congregations that this course is right." {ST May 20, 1886, par. 7}

"The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they are His obedient subjects, that they keep holy His law. The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the transgressors of His law. This is the faith once delivered to the saints, who stand in moral power before the world, firmly maintaining this faith." {8T 198.3}

 

In what way is the Seventh-day Sabbath a sign between God and His people?

Ex. 31:13 "Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you."

"The observance of the Sabbath is the sign between God and His people. Let us not be ashamed to bear the sign that distinguishes us from the world. … The Sabbath is ever the sign that distinguishes the obedient from the disobedient." {CH 235.1,2}

"I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel’s message means much to us, and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. Let those who have become sleepy and indifferent awake. We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honor God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings—the blessings so essential for the people who are to be so severely tried. To give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonor God. Thus we turn from His commandments, which are our life, denying that He is our God and that we are His people." – {CH 238.2}

 

What do we learn about Sabbath-keeping in the Scriptures?

Was the Seventh-day Sabbath kept in the Old Testament

Sabbath was observed prior to the commandments being given on Sinai.

Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV) "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

"Exodus 20:8 (KJV) "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (The Sabbath was known prior to the giving the commandments since they were told to "remember" the Sabbath.)

God’s blessings were continually reminded through the observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

They were forbidden to do any work on the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

Exodus 31:12-17 (KJV) "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. 14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."

"Ezekiel 20:12 (KJV) "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them."

The manna was provided in a manner that honored the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

"Exodus 16:23-26 (KJV) "And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none."

Exodus 16:27-30 (KJV) "And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day."

The Seventh-Day Sabbath was pointed to in the people's deliverance from Egypt.

Deuteronomy 5:15 (KJV) "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."

The returning captives were admonished to keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath to retain God’s blessings.

Jeremiah 17:21-25 (KJV) "Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. 24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; 25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever."

Nehemiah sought to prevent the desecration of the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

Nehemiah 13:15-16 (KJV) "In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem."

Nehemiah 13:19-22 (KJV) "And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy."

Severe individual and national punishment came for breaking the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

Jeremiah 17:27 (KJV) "But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched."

Isaiah promised special blessings to those who kept the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

Isaiah 56:2 (KJV) "Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil."

Isaiah 58:13-14 (KJV) "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath,
from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

 

Is the Seventh-day Sabbath a "testing" truth?

Rev. 14:6 "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Rev. 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those[fn] who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

"As The Sabbath Was The Sign That Distinguished God’s People During The Exodus Journey, So The Sabbath Is The Sign That Now Distinguishes God’s People—When the Lord delivered His people Israel from Egypt and committed to them His law, He taught them that by the observance of the Sabbath they were to be distinguished from idolaters. It was this that made the distinction between those who acknowledge the sovereignty of God and those who refuse to accept Him as their Creator and King. “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever,” the Lord said. “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Exodus 31:17, 16. { 6T 349.2} As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God’s people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest. The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they honor His law. It distinguishes between His loyal subjects and transgressors." { 6T 349.3}

"The Sabbath draws a separating line between us and the world, not faintly, but in plain, distinct colors. To those who have received the light of this truth, the Sabbath is a test; it is not a human requirement, but God’s test. It is what will distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve Him not; and upon this point will come the last great conflict between truth and error. All who profess to keep God’s law should stand united in the sacred observance of His holy Sabbath. {Ms3-1885}"

"The Sabbath, sanctified and blessed by God, was designed as His great memorial of creation. It is ever to stand unmoved, a rock of offense to the Christian world, as was Christ to the Jewish nation. The Sabbath is the test today, as Christ was the test when He was in our world in human form. The rejection of the Son of God decided the eternal destiny of the Jews. So will the rejection of God’s holy memorial decide the fate of Christians." {Ms78-1897}

 

Who changed the Sabbath from the 7th day of the week to the first day of the week?

Daniel 7:24-25 (KJV) "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

"Satan is determined that the knowledge of God, of his creative power, shall be banished from the contemplation and remembrance of men. But he cannot accomplish his purpose while the fourth commandment is kept; for the Sabbath directs the minds of men to the Creator. Therefore Satan has worked through the Papacy to set aside this precept. He inspired the Romish Church to “think to change” the times and laws of God. In setting aside the true Sabbath, which is the sign of God’s power and authority, and substituting the institution which is the sign of Rome’s supremacy, the “man of sin” is indeed “sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself that he is God.” He is turning the minds of men away from God, and directing them to himself, and to the one whose instrument he is,—to the prince of evil. {ST June 12, 1893, par. 8} The Sunday sabbath, the child of the Papacy, has been accepted by the Protestant church, who have fostered and cradled it as if of heavenly birth. But their human sanction can never give it acceptance with God. It is a rival, spurious Sabbath, usurping the place of the holy day upon which God rested, which he blessed and sanctified, and gave to man as an everlasting memorial of the Creator’s work. When the facts are brought before them, will Protestants, by their deference to the Sunday, consent to recognize the sacrilegious claims of the man of sin? Will they choose to worship him instead of God?" {ST June 12, 1893, par. 9}

"Satan’s chief agent in bringing about the rejection of the fourth commandment, and the institution of the first day of the week as a day of rest, has been the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church does not deny the part she has acted in this change, but makes a boast of her power as shown in the change which she has brought about in the world. Papists acknowledge that the Bible gives no sanction to this change, and that Protestants have no Scriptural authority for Sunday worship. The Catholic Church changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day, and without the shadow of divine sanction it has been accepted by almost all the Protestant churches, and Rome, pointing to the adherents of her doctrines, claims the supremacy. In changing the fourth precept of God’s law, the papal power has thought itself able to exalt itself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. This was the very work that the prophecy foretold would be done by this power. In trampling upon the fourth commandment, the first commandment is broken. Their idolatry is similar to that of Israel’s when she substituted a god which her own hands had made, for the living and true God, and followed after the example of Egypt; for when the Catholics substitute a sabbath of their own making for that which God commanded, they too worship that which their own hands have made, and follow the example of the heathen who worshiped the sun on the first day of the week." {ST November 19, 1894, par. 1}

"He who instituted the Sabbath has never changed it to another day. He rested on a definite day, and blessed and sanctified a definite day, and he requires the human family to observe that definite day. The position that God blessed and sanctified a seventh part of time, and no day in particular, is a deception. By this means many have become so confused that they regard God’s holy rest-day as possessing no special sacredness. Because the world do so, they feel at liberty to set the Bible Sabbath aside, and select one that suits their own convenience; and ministers of the gospel assure their congregations that this course is right." – {ST May 20, 1886 Par. 7}

 

Why is an idol, first day, “sabbath” unacceptable to God?

It fails to honor the creator, the original purpose of the Sabbath.

It honors the dragon and his agents who set up the counterfeit “First Day” Sabbath.

The day was not set apart as a “holy” time by God.

The day was not blessed by God.

 

How did people come to accept the idol “sabbath” of the dragon?

Sabbath was kept into the 5th century.

Creeping falsehood, including many ideas of paganism, entered the church.

Persecution. Persecution brought opposition to Judaism.

Amalgamation. People began observing the Sabbath on the first AND the Seventh day

Legislation. Legislation for Sunday keeping was eventually brought by Constantine in 321. A.D.

The Roman Popes began to increasingly prescribe how the Sunday was to be observed.

Ignorance. People were kept in the dark about the true Sabbath during the dark medieval time period. At that time, Bibles were either unavailable or in languages that the people did not understand.

Confusion. Higher criticism questioned the authenticity of the Scriptures and the traditional ways of understanding Scripture. New understandings of Revelation were also cleverly introduced that brought great confusion.

Collusion & Coercion. By the end of time, there will be a joining of the state and the church to force people to keep the dragon's counterfeit sabbath.

 

Was the Seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible ever abolished?

Matthew 5:17 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."

John 14:15 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments."

John 14:21 (NKJV) "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

1 John 5:3 (NKJV) "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."

Ephesians 2:15 (NKJV) "having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,"

“Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” Christ made the Sabbath, and he never abolished it. The Sabbath was not rendered null and void by the crucifixion, as many claim. Christ’s death on the cross is an unanswerable argument in favor of the changeless character of every precept of God’s holy law." { RH December 20, 1898, par. 9 }

"Sanctified and blessed by God, the Sabbath was designed to be the great memorial of creation, and a blessing to mankind. But men are trampling it underfoot. It is the test of today, as Christ was the test when he was in our world in human form. It will ever stand unmoved, a rock of offense to the Christian world, as was Christ to the Jewish nation. As the rejection of Christ decided the eternal destiny of the Jews, so the rejection of God’s holy memorial will decide the fate of many professing Christians. { RH December 20, 1898, par. 16 }    Men may ignore the Sabbath, they may trample it under their feet; but they can not make it less binding upon them. No one has any excuse for accepting the rubbish that has been piled upon the Sabbath of the Lord. No one has any excuse for accepting a human sabbath, created by him whom God designates as the “man of sin,” who shall think to change times and laws. He thinks to, but he does not do it; although he may think thus to show his supremacy over God, he can not change God’s law; this is God’s prerogative only. God is over all kings and rulers. He is God, and besides him there is none else." { RH December 20, 1898, par. 17 }

"Were the law abolished, then sin, which is the transgression of the law, would be immortalized and the whole question would be given up to Satan; he would have everything he asked for in heaven. His demand was not granted there, and for this reason there was war in heaven and Satan was expelled. Now he comes to the human agents and gains them to his side; he leads them to believe his falsehood, which is directly opposed to the words of Christ, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: for I come not to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” [Matthew 5:17, 18]. { 21MR 282.1 } 
This is the statement coming from the mouth of God through Jesus Christ. How then can ministers in their pulpits declare that the law was abolished at the cross? The fourth commandment is unchanged; the seventh day is God’s memorial, testifying of His creative power in making the world in six days and resting on the seventh day. Every voice that shall be heard in the pulpits on Sunday testifying that the first day of the week is the Sabbath is echoing the words of the first great deceiver. In this teaching the ministers are giving themselves away, for where there is no law there is no transgression, no sin, and if no sin, there is no need of the gospel, no need of a Saviour." {21MR 282.2 }

 

Will the “Seventh-day” Sabbath still be observed in the last days?

Revelation 12:17 (KJV) "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

Revelation 14:12 (KJV) "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Revelation 22:14 (KJV) "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

"It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who will be alive on the earth when past woes and celestial glory will be blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By the means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles; for Satan would counterfeit any miracle that might be worked. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:13-18. They are to take their stand on the living Word—“It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without hope and without God in the world. {Lt119-1904}    The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment—since this is the sign of His creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the contest, all Christendom will be divided into two great classes—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God will not receive it. The prophet of Patmos beholds “them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God,” and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb." {Lt119-1904} 

 

Will the Seventh-Day Sabbath be observed on the new earth?

Isaiah 66:23 (KJV) "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord."

"So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. “From one Sabbath to another” the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up “to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23." { CCh 271.4}

"God is true. He reigns, and will reign, notwithstanding that the church and the world have entered into a confederacy to abolish His law. Age after age Satan has been blinding men by his wiles. He has co-operated with human agencies in an effort to make falsehood truth. He has worked with intensity to defy the God of heaven by making His law of none effect. But he has not done this; for in the ark of God in heaven are the tables of stone upon which are written the precepts that are the foundation of His government. And the Sabbath, which God declares to be the sign of the loyalty of His people, is placed in the bosom of the Decalogue. Its sanctity reaches into eternity; for God declares that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, His subjects shall come up to worship before Him in the earth made new." { ST April 7, 1898, par. 12 }

"The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.” So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. “From one Sabbath to another” the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up “to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23." {DA 283.2}

 

Can people excuse their failure to observe the Seventh-Day Sabbath of the Bible?

Romans 1:20 (KJV) "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

"How many claim to be the children of God, and yet refuse obedience to the plain commandment of God! The commandment reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, not thy stranger that is within thy gates.” But instead of conforming their practice to the word of God, they make excuses, and offer to God the first day of the week, which he has not commanded or sanctified. Is not this offering as defective as was the offering of Cain? He who truly believes in Christ will be obedient to all of God’s commandments. There is no bondage in obedience; obedience brings peace and assurance and fullness of joy. Those who complain that the Christian life is full of trial, show that they think a great deal more of their inconveniences than they do of the rich blessing of God, the reward of faithful obedience. They are not connected with the Living Vine, for he that is connected in vital connection with the Living Vine will be in a flourishing condition." { ST June 1, 1891, par. 7 }

Unless otherwise stated, quotations come from the writings of Mrs. E. G. White.