Covenant Sign

Scripture: Exodus 31:16
Date: 05/29/2021 
Lesson: 9
Where does the Sabbath have it origins? What evidence proves that the Sabbath existed before Sinai? What makes the Sabbath such an appropriate covenant sign?
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Shawn Brummund: Hello, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." It is so good to be able to have you join us here again in the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the Greater Sacramento area of California. It is a privilege to be able to invite all those who are with us with our local church family here in our new sanctuary, and it is always a pleasure to be able to have those who are watching live on Amazing Facts TV as well as the different social media outlets and then, of course, our different satellite stations in the future. So it is nice to have each and every one of you join us. We know that you will be blessed as we study a very--another very important topic from the Bible, which is the covenant sign.

So we're going to be looking at lesson number nine for those of you who are running for your quarterly and asking yourself, "Where are we this week again?" And so we want to turn to lesson number nine, which is entitled "The Covenant Sign." We've been studying the promise of God's everlasting covenant, and we're seeing that theme and thread that threads all the way from the first covenant with Adam and Eve all the way to our day and age here today. So don't miss it. Stay tuned with us as we continue to study.

We also have a free gift offer that we have for you here today as we'd like to offer each and every edition, and today's free offer is entitled "The Lost Day of History" and this is directly tied to the subject that we're looking at today in the quarterly as well. And so if you don't have a copy of this, you've never studied through this study guide--it's one of my favorites. It's certainly very enriching, answers many of the most common thinking questions that many people have. And you can just go ahead and dial the toll-free number which is 866-788-3966, and that's 866-STUDY-MORE.

Now, when you call into that, if you're in continental USA or Canada, then you can just ask for offer number 113 and the agent that answers that will be happy to be able to get that to you. And then of course we have a digital copy that is available to those who are in the United States as well, and you just dial 40544 and you want to plug in there in the message box "SH082," and that will direct you to the link on the internet that will give you that free download copy. So please take advantage of that.

And before we invite our teacher, Pastor Luccas, up to teach the lesson study, we're going to invite our singer as--Jolene as she sings for us and leads us in worship. Let's worship from our hearts even here this morning.

♪ There is a name I love to hear, ♪

♪ I love to sing its worth. ♪

♪ It sounds like music in my ear, ♪

♪ the sweetest name on earth. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus. O how I love Jesus. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus because He first loved me. ♪

♪ It tells me of a Savior's love, ♪

♪ who died to set me free. ♪

♪ It tells me of His precious blood, ♪

♪ the sinner's perfect plea. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus. O how I love Jesus. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus because He first loved me. ♪

♪ It tells of one whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe, ♪

♪ who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus. O how I love Jesus. ♪

♪ O how I love Jesus ♪

♪ because He first loved me. ♪

Shawn: I invite you to pray. Father in heaven, as we open Your Word, we thank You for the privilege of being able to--again to invest in a knowledge of what You have revealed to mankind concerning this important Bible topic. We want to pray that You will fulfill Your promise to give us the Holy Spirit and that we might be able to truly know that You are the one that is guiding our minds, opening our hearts and understanding to the things that You would have us know. And so please we ask for that. We claim that promise even now. We pray for Your blessing upon our teacher, Pastor Luccas, as he brings the truth--the word of truth to us again this morning. We thank You for listening, God. In Jesus's name, amen.

Luccas Rodor: It is so good to see you, to be here. My wife and I have been--we were on vacation for the past two weeks. We were in Brazil. And--well, it's always good to see family and to be with them. It was my brother-in-law's wedding. And it had been pushed off already because of COVID, but this time, thank God, there was a window in the whole situation and we were able to be there and to see family and have such a good time. But I'll tell you that it's also good to be home, isn't it? It's always good to be home, there's no place like home, right?

Our study for today is a really beautiful study. It's one of the central studies of what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist. After all, we do have a reference for this in our name, in the name of our church. We are the Seventh-day Adventists. So there's an emphasis on the seventh day Sabbath, and there's an emphasis on the Advent. And so it's just so good to be here and to be able to talk about this subject that is such a--it's a subject that we do talk a lot about, but at the same time it's always good to be able to go deeper. And so welcome to the local church that's here. It's good to see you.

Welcome to you watching from anywhere in the world. Wherever you may be, be that here in the United States or around the world, it's so good to be able to relate to you that way and to be able to share the Word with you. Pastor Shawn just prayed, but I would like to offer up another word of prayer so that we can begin--so that I can begin on the right foot, so let's pray.

Dear Father, thank You so much for Your love for us. Thank You so much for Your guidance. Thank You for the wisdom that comes from Scripture and from the Bible, Lord, and thank You so much because You have provided discernment for us so that we can too understand more about You. Lord, we know that we've been studying about the covenant. So allow us to understand the sign of the covenant in the context of that deal that You've made to rescue us from the tragedy of sin. I ask You for these things and I ask You for these following moments in the name of Jesus Your son and our Lord, our Savior, and our best friend. In his name, amen and amen.

So, you know, the joy of my ministry is giving Bible studies, all right? The joy of my ministry is giving Bible studies. There are things that I do in my job that I do because it's my job, all right? I think that that goes for everyone--for anyone. There are things that you do in your job because it's your job, but there are other things--I don't know about you, but there are things in my job that I do because I purely love it. You wouldn't have to pay me to do it, and part of that is giving Bible studies. You put me anywhere in the world, I will try to find a Bible study, I love it.

And through giving Bible studies, this subject is one of the central, it's one of the main ones. It's one of the distinguishing realities because while there are other denominations that do keep the Sabbath, they don't keep the Sabbath in the same way as us or sometimes not even because of the same reasons as us. And so it's always a central part of that Bible study to talk about the Sabbath, and what it means for us, and what it means to us, and how we do observe this day.

Now, as we get into the actual lesson--and I do want to make something clear. The Sabbath school lesson study where you have a teacher that comes out and that teaches the lesson, the purpose of that teacher, if he's doing a good job, is to bring more than what the student learned in the lesson. I was a chaplain and a Bible teacher for a few years, and the reality is that I would give homework but I wouldn't feel that my objective would have been complete if I had not gone beyond the homework, if I hadn't gone deeper into what I was teaching. So it's the duty of the student to study the lesson, and then the duty of the teacher to go beyond that, that which was brought in the lesson. Otherwise, I'm just repeating what you already studied, right?

So here when you have someone up front teaching a Sabbath school lesson, the objective is to go deeper and to go beyond what is already in the lesson. So that's why you'll see that sometimes I will go beyond, I will mention some things that you didn't really get from the lesson itself but that actually tried to go a little bit deeper, and the reason for that is because I want to give you more. I like setting more and I want to give more than was already there. So that's why you'll see that sometimes there are some things that weren't there in the lesson itself but are an addition.

In any case, friends, the narrative that we find in Genesis, the narrative creation, right? You'll find that in the book of creation--in the Book of Genesis, we'll have the first attribute of God is that God is a creator, right, God is a maker. I mean, that's the first thing that you find out about God in the Bible: in the beginning, God did what? God made. He created, and it's--what's interesting is that the verb used over there for create is a verb that is attributed and used only when God creates--only for when God creates.

And so the first attribute about God is that he is a creator God. And the narrative of creation that we find in the first two chapters of the Bible, what does it culminate in? That week of creation, how does it culminate, how does it end, what is the last part of that week? It's the Sabbath. It culminates with the day of rest, and the Sabbath is that seventh day of creation. All right, the Sabbath--what we know as Sabbath in the context of Genesis is that seventh day of creation.

But remember that while it is the seventh day of creation, how long had humans been alive for? One day. Humans had just been created. So while this is the seventh day of the creation week, it's the first day of existence for the human family, the first day that they had been alive. They had not worked yet, had they? How could they have? So how would they rest? And that just brings a little innuendo, a little detail in what it means to keep the Sabbath. The human family on their first Sabbath, they weren't tired yet. They hadn't worked yet. The Sabbath was a day for them to--in the presence of their creator, in the presence of the maker, in the presence of the architect to establish their priorities as to what was truly important.

The first act of mankind was what? To rest. That was their first act. It was to rest in the presence of God and to learn from Him what the purpose of their existence was. Have you stopped to think about that? Their first act, their first Sabbath was God providing a manual or providing an explanation as to why they had just been created; and God was explaining what they were created for, why they had been created.

Another important point to remember is that God wasn't tired either. Does God get tired? What does the Book of Isaiah chapter 40, verse 28 says? It says that the eternal one, He neither faints nor is weary. God doesn't get tired. God doesn't need physical rest. God doesn't need rest. He doesn't get tired. How could you tire out the untireable one?

Now, in the new earth--and here we're just seeing a lot of little facts about the Sabbath. The human family, they were given the day of rest in a moment where they weren't even tired yet. God doesn't get tired and yet he rested on the seventh day. In the new earth the day of rest will continue to be observed according to Isaiah 66:23; but the question is, will the inhabitants in the new earth, will they be tired? Doesn't the very Book of Isaiah chapter 40 say that he will give wings to the youth, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not be tired? So how would the inhabitants of the new earth be tired? What would they need the Sabbath for? What kind of rest are we talking about here if these inhabitants don't get tired?

Friends, the purpose of this rest is to celebrate redemption. After the fall, after the entrance of sin, humans became slaves to the incessant rat race of modern life and its feverish consumerist activism. That's why the Bible focuses on teaching us the basic questions about existence. What are the basic questions about existence?

What do--what is a religion, have you ever asked yourself that? You know, the word religion today, it's a really charged-up word. It's really--you know, it's become something of a hindrance to a lot of people when understanding God and spirituality. What is religion? The word religion itself is the word religare, and it means to reconnect. That's what the word religion literally means. It means to reconnect. It's a search. It's a quest to reconnect with something that was lost. But when you look at the structure of any religion, it is an attempt to answer three great questions: where did we come from, what are we doing here, and where are we going. It has to do with origin, with purpose, and with destination. And so the Sabbath is God providing us time to understand these realities. That's why the Bible focuses on teaching the basic questions about existence, origin, purpose, and destination.

And that's what we get into the first subject of this week's lesson, which is the subject of origins. The Bible is related with the creation of life on this planet, and the first days of creation have to do with space and with mass, right? If you analyze those first 6 days, God is creating things in the realm of space, in the realm of mass. He creates light. We know that light has mass. He creates water. He creates the atmosphere. He creates trees, and earth, and animals, and fruits, and seeds, and plants, and--everything.

God creates first in the realm of mass, in the realm of space. But the week doesn't end with space or with mass or with things, the week of creation ends with time-- an emphasis on time. In the structure of creation, time is divided between ordinary time from the first to the sixth day of creation; and with special time, the seventh day of creation. Ordinary time flows into special time, reminding us that humans do not find their purpose in the routinely things of life but in the presence of God, of the creator who alone can realign us to our original purpose. After all, He Himself made us. And then we can truly discern what is important.

Friends, if we don't--if we only live in the realm of ordinary time, it becomes very difficult to discern between what is truly important in life and what is mundane. Ordinary time in our life must by necessity flow into special time for us to understand why we are alive. In the structure of creation, man was not primarily created in the function of things of space, or in the things of mass, or for things simplified. No, humans find their final and their most complete purpose in the presence of the creator, in the presence of God, in the time reserved and designated for this purpose.

Friends, the establishment of the day of rest has nothing to do primarily with the nation of Israel, and we're going to talk a little bit more about that because we know that Israel disfigured what the Sabbath should have meant. Do you know how many laws existed about the Sabbath when Jesus came around? One thousand five hundred and twenty-one laws just about the Sabbath. Thirty-nine times thirty-nine. Half of those with their multiples; half of those positive laws and half of those negative laws, what you could do and what you could not do. One thousand five hundred and twenty-one laws.

Isn't it sad, isn't it depressing how humans have this tendency of taking these signs that come from God; the signs of freedom, of redemption, of liberation, and we transform them in this--into this whole thing that boxes us in?

The Sabbath was given as a means to understand God's redemptive work for humans. Some modern religious interpreters use this argument, that the Sabbath was created for Israel. They use this argument as a way to do away with the sacred origin of the day of rest and all of its implications for the life that God originally intended for us; but, friends, the Sabbath is God's invitation to rest, to rest, and today more than in any other moment of history that is needed. In the modern day and age, we need to learn how to rest.

Three Hebrew words are intrinsically connected to the Sabbath that make our understanding of this day of rest different from any other day, from all the other days of the weekly calendar, and we'll find this in Genesis chapter 2. Right on the first--the first word that describes what God did on the Sabbath, it says that he rested. And by resting, what was God doing by resting? He was setting an example, a precedent for us to understand a little bit better. God is the standard by which we understand the nature of this rest. By resting, He signaled that His plan of creation was complete. After all, what did He say when He was done? He observed everything, and how was it? It was very good. It was good.

God's creation of this world was exactly, precisely what He had originally planned and intended. That's why He saw that it was really very, very good. There was nothing left to do. He could stop. He could halt. The work was--halt. The work was complete. It was done. It was finished.

Friends, we do not rest because our work is complete. After all, our imperfection is a great obstacle for that. Our works are never as complete as God's works. We rest because God's work is complete. We rest in His work. On that first day--on that Friday--on that first Friday, God had said that His work of creating was complete and so He rested. And you'll remember that on that fateful Friday on Calvary, Jesus said that his work of redemption was complete when he cried out, "It is finished." Do you see on the sixth day of creation it was finished and it was very good? On that Friday on Calvary, he also said it is finished, and the work was very good. He then lowers his head on that day. He rested on the Sabbath. He who kept his life in his--who kept the Sabbath in life, he also kept it in death, and He invites us to also rest in His complete work. Perfectly complete, we can also rest.

The second Hebrew word that we'll find--and here I'm not really going to go through the words because that really won't matter, but the second description that we find after God rested is that He then blessed. And, friends, the blessing of God found in the Bible is one of the richest concepts of the Old Testament. The blessing of God, what that bless means--what that blessing means is one of the richest concepts found in the entire Old Testament. Proverbs chapter 10, verse 22 says that the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

Friends, the Sabbath represents a powerful potential of blessings. Why potential? Because I have to accept it. I have to learn to truly rest. What truly blesses the disfigured and the impoverished time-consumed life is not merely sleep. After all, have you--has anyone here ever tried to go--you know, you'll go to bed one night and you'll wake up in the morning and it seems as though you're more tired than when you went to sleep, has that ever happened to someone here? Yeah. Right? You go to bed, and when you wake up--you can sleep for maybe eight, ten hours. Sometimes it seems as though you're "tireder." I know I just came up with a word. You're more tired than when you went to sleep. It--the rest here, it doesn't have to do with that, and it doesn't have to do primarily even with an expensive or a lavish vacation at some tropical human paradise.

That's not what we're talking about here. No, friends, true rest in the Bible, the true Sabbath has to do with God's blessing, which according to this proverb that we just read enriches and adds no sorrow. In contrast to space, which we see as a symbol of human works, all right? As in contrast to what we do on the six weeks, human works, the Sabbath comes to us as a symbol of God's divine grace, a temple in time. The Sabbath is a temple in time. Anyone anywhere has access to this temple. No one is excluded. No one is denied entrance.

Sabbath is a temple in time available, accessible to anyone. It comes to us independently of our works, which are always conditioned by the reality of sin. Every week we breathe this breath of God that brings true rest, true refreshment, true renewal, and that's what it means to accept the blessing that is the Sabbath. God rested. God blessed.

And what is the third thing that God does? He sanctifies. The Sabbath was sanctified by God, and what this means is that God is the one that sanctifies us--it, friends. It's not us. God sanctified the Sabbath. It wasn't you. He separated it. He sanctified it to be a blessing.

And if understood correctly--and please if you forget everything in this lesson, remember this. If understood correctly, it's not us who keep the Sabbath. It is the Sabbath that keeps us, keeps us from all the insanity and insensibility of life that is determined by the laws of the market, of consumerism, of materialism, of greed, of competition. The Sabbath keeps us. The Sabbath is a divine invitation to rest from the rat race.

And, friends, like I said before, that is needed now more than any other time in a time where we are constantly accessible. The beauty of the modern world is that it gave us access to so many things, but the terror of it is that it gave so many things access to us as well. And the Sabbath is that rift, that temple in time when we turn off our computers, our phones, suspend our businesses, close our textbooks; and we are declaring by that that our life does not depend primarily of our effort, or of our bank account, or of our academic prestige, our intelligence. That's not what life is based upon. Our life is in the hands that never quiver in their protection and their care of human needs.

The second broad subject here of the lesson is the Sabbath before Sinai. You know, as a nation, Israel gains its identity in--or after the exodus from Egypt, and there are many reasons found in the Bible to point that the seventh day Sabbath precedes the nation of Israel or the independence of Israel as a nation. It first appears to us in the biblical narrative during the creation, and that right there indicates its universality. What was created in that week of creation? Everything, everything was created, and the Sabbath appears as a culmination of that week of creation.

Why would the Sabbath be something only for one people if it was given at a moment where everything was made? That right there tells us a lot. The Sabbath was established for the universal human. Jesus indicates precisely this when in Mark chapter 2, verse 27 he says the Sabbath was made for who? The Sabbath was made for man, and not the man for the Sabbath. Historically, Adventists have extracted arguments from the narrative of God's provision of manna, and you'll remember this from the Book of Exodus, to strengthen the crucial thesis that the Sabbath precedes Israel and the law given on Mount Sinai.

Before the Sinai, before Exodus chapter 20, the Sabbath was already recognized as the day of rest as we see in verse-- in chapter 16. What happens in chapter 16? God is giving them, the children of Israel, the laws regarding the manna, and this is before the Ten Commandments, this is before Mount Sinai. God is giving them the laws according to how--or regarding how they would take the manna or how they would gather the manna. And there are a lot of aspects here that are very relevant to this sort of study.

For example, the sixth day was already known as the day of what? The day of preparation. It was already known as the day of preparation. How could it have been known as a day of preparation if the case of the Sabbath being given only on Mount Sinai were true? How--why would they have a day of preparation? And I'll tell you something, this is also a very important reality in our life today. I grew up--I'm a preacher's kid. And I remember fondly, very fondly growing up, that Friday would come and it was the day of chores, right? The first part of the day--and I didn't really like my chores. I had to clean the bathroom. That was my chore. And to pick up after the dog in the backyard. I didn't like that chore very much either. Stinky chore.

But I did love the end of that day. We would always have a different meal. The family would come together. We would sing. We had worship. We would do a vespers. I miss that with the family in that case when I was a kid. I do the same thing with my wife nowadays. The day of preparation, it was already a known thing. The Sabbath as the day of rest or the seventh day of the week was following the day of preparation, which was known as the day of preparation. You'll find this, again, in Exodus 16, before the Ten Commandments are given.

The Sabbath, friends, find its origin in God. What are the two institutions that we find that precede the entrance of sin in the world? The Sabbath and marriage, holy matrimony; the two institutions that today you'll find precisely so much attack and animosity against. On that day--on the day of rest, no work was to be done and that's why it was known as the day of rest. A double portion of food, of the manna was to be collected on the sixth day--the day of preparation. And what's interesting is that miraculously the portion that was collected, if it were any other day; if it were a Monday and you wanted to get food for the whole week so you couldn't--you didn't have to wake up early the next day to go collect, if you wanted to do that, you couldn't because the food would deteriorate, get rotten. But miraculously on Friday when the double portion was collected, the food did not deteriorate.

What is God saying by that? "Rest. Don't wake up that early." Some people need to learn that. Just kidding. I'm not a morning bird. I do have to get up early, but I don't get up early happy. So--but on that day, I understand this is God's saying: "You can--a little bit more. Stay in bed." The Sabbath is a test of loyalty. That's an--that's also a very big biblical teaching. The gathering of the manna was done during the six days of the week, but not on that Sabbath. On that day recognized as the day of the Lord, the Sabbath of the Lord, the manna was not even available. Exodus 16:25-26, you'll see. It wasn't available for them to go out and take it.

Observe that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week without any possibility of confusion. Any. Where do weeks come from? I mean, if you look at, for example, a year. What is a year? One year is the rotation of planet earth around the sun. What is a month? The lunar cycle. What's a day? The earth rotating around its own axle. What's a week? There is nothing in nature that gives us the seven-day cycle. And be that as it may, as far as you go back in human history, you will always find the weekly cycle. As far back as you go, you'll find the week. Where did that come from? Some people will say that it does follow the order of the South Pacific seahorse menstruation cycle. I believe that that's a reach.

Where does the week come from? There is no possibility of confusion. Exodus chapter 16, verse 29 says, "See for the Lord has given you the Sabbath. Therefore he gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place. Let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."

As we continue the study of this broad subject in the Bible in the context of the covenant, we come to Tuesday's lesson, which is entitled "Covenant Sign." Friends, the Sabbath is designated as a sign in the Bible four times specifically; and in the biblical mentality, a sign is a symbol, an instrument that points toward a reality that is bigger than itself. It's an exterior mark, a type, a parable with the intention of communicating a distinct message, a sign of a covenant in this situation.

The Sabbath points us towards Christ, who is the true rest, He is the true rest. If you remove the Sabbath from Jesus, you will not have any rest there. Jesus is our true rest. Matthew 11:28 through 30 says, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you," what, "rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." And so this way the Sabbath in any way separate from Christ is pure nonsense, biblical ignorance.

What's more, the Sabbath can much less be used as a mark or a sign of salvation by works. In this case, salvation by Sabbath-keeping. There is no salvation by Sabbath-keeping, friends. That's not how it works. Hebrews chapter 4 makes a reference to us entering God's rest by faith, and that was something lacking in the Israel of old. You remember the 1,521 laws? They had entered the resting--they had entered the rest of the Promised Land led by their leader Joshua, who in that context was a type for Christ. They knew the day of rest, but they failed to recognize and accept the true rest that was by faith in Jesus, whom they knew as the Messiah, the one to come.

Friends, our true rest only comes from Him. The Sabbath is present in Scripture as being a sign of also knowledge and sanctification, knowledge and sanctification. These are two very important concepts to understand-- to be understood. Knowledge in the Bible--you'll remember that in the Book of Ecclesiastes and in the Book of Proverbs especially, you'll hear wisdom crying out in the streets, you remember that? Wisdom crying out in the streets.

Knowledge in the Bible is more than mere intellectual assent or intellectual knowledge. What does Hosea 4:6 say? "My people are destroyed by," what? A lack of knowledge. But this text is not making a reference or not referencing mere academic or intellectual knowledge because according to Jesus--in John chapter 17, verse 3 it says, "And this is eternal life, that they may," what? "Know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

In addition to bringing eternal life, the knowledge that we find here is a liberating, for John chapter 8, verse 32 also says that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. And so we understand that this knowledge of God in us both justifies and sanctifies. According to John Calvin, one of the great Protestant reformers, he said that God does not or maybe even cannot justify those who He cannot sanctify. God does not justify those who He cannot sanctify.

Some may think that justification is what God does for us and that sanctification is what we do for God, but that is absolutely incorrect. Justification is what God does for us, while sanctification is also what God does for us through the Holy Spirit but in this case in us. Justification is what God does for you, sanctification is what God does in you. By justification, God redeemed us from the bondage of--He redeemed the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, and He redeems us from the bondage of Babylon, from sin.

You remember that Exodus chapter 20, verse 8 and 11 say, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." You'll find that the Decalogue is referenced again. It's repeated again somewhere else; who remembers where? It's Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5, and they are exactly alike word for word with one exception.

There's a different emphasis in the Decalogue found in Deuteronomy chapter 5. It says, "Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."

In the first you find a memorial of creation, God justifying us because He is the creator. But in the second one you find the emphasis on what? Redemption. Through justification, God delivers us and redeems us from the bondage of Babylon, of sin, but through sanctification He keeps us out of Babylon and out of sin. Justification, what God does for you; sanctification, what God does in you. The Sabbath is a sign that declares God as the one that sanctifies us.

In the book, "Testimonies for the Church" volume six, page 350, the quote is given that says, "The Sabbath given to the world as a sign of God, as the creator is also the sign of Him as the sanctifier. Remember the Sabbath day." What does it mean to remember? What does he mean, remember? In the biblical narrative, you'll find that remembering goes beyond an action of memory. It's not just reminiscing. It's not just, "Oh, the Sabbath, I remember it. It's in my mind. It's hard to forget. Every seventh day, boom, boom, boom. You know, every seventh day, it's there." Is that what we're talking about here?

Observe the situations in the Bible where God remembers. Do you remember situations in the Bible where God remembers? The Bible says that God remembered Noah on the ark. Does that mean that before that God had forgotten him and all of a sudden, "That's right. I put some people in a boat and I sent rain." Is that what it means God remembered Noah? When the Bible says--when God tells Moses, "I have remembered My children in Egypt. I've heard their cry," what does that mean, that He had forgotten them? No, remembering in the biblical mentality, it defines action.

When God remembered Noah, He took action. When God remembered the children of Israel, He took action. Remembering in the biblical narrative means action. At the same time, there are moments where God says that He does not remember. Does that mean that God forgot? Can God forget? No. God tells us, for example, that He will not remember our sins. What does that mean? What it means is that He won't take condemnatory action against us, action. Remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy as a sanctified day is more than an action of memory. It involves the totality of life.

Remember the Sabbath day as the divine order, and that order is given for a reason. Technological advances have created an era of superficial relationships in this new digitized society that we live in of Twitter, and Facebook, and TikTok, and Instagram, and so many other platforms that I as a millennial have absolutely no way of keeping track of--that's the world that we live in. And in this new and digitized society, people live under the oppression of rush, of hurry. Always in a hurry. Tension, anxiety, stress make our hearts beat faster and faster, elevating our blood pressure. Millions of people depend on pills to face the perplexities of the day to day, and millions more rely on pills to fall asleep at night.

The number of people who are diagnosed with mental and emotional issues is alarming, and no less serious than the physical and emotional maladies of this insane rush are the devastating social consequences found within families that disintegrate due to the crisis in relationships. No one has time for anyone, it seems.

More than in any other moment in history, humans need to rediscover the renewing power of the Sabbath, the time separated by God, by the creator for physical, mental, and spiritual rest; special time for togetherness with the great architect, with our family, and with the people that we love. The voice of culture, the voice of commerce, the market, human pursuits with its philosophy and isms, its wisdom, all attempts to convince us to forget precisely what God told us to remember.

In the book, "Selected Messages," it's book two, page 160, we find a quote that is beautiful. It says that by keeping His Sabbath holy, we are to show that we are His people. His Word declares the Sabbath to be a sign by which to distinguish the commandment-keeping people, those who keep the law of God who will be one with Him in the great controversy commenced in heaven between Satan and God.

And so you see that here we shift from the logic of the Bible given in creation to what the Bible will signify in the end, at the time where we are living right now and we are about to embark on the end of times, time of the end. The law begins with God, it moves on to people, it finishes with things. And that is the order of life: God, people, things. Culture tends to invert that order; beginning with things, passing on to people, and then finally God. But this process materializes everything and in the end we're left with nothing but the idolatry of forms.

Do you know what the idolatry of forms is? It's when you idolatrize, you worship something for its form. You become a plastic persona, and in that sense you can worship anything. The human heart is a fantastic fabric--or factory of idols. The human heart is a fantastic factory of idols. Anything can become an idol, even church. Adventist Christians believe that fidelity to the fourth commandment will play a very big part in the time of the end. Please remember that worship is the central concept found in chapters 13 and 14, which are the central chapters of the Book of Revelation. Worship, the verb appears eight times in this section. To worship God or to worship the beast.

Why does the Sabbath play such a big role in the end? And it's for a few basic reasons. First of all, because if understood correctly, the Bible is the ideal response to the gospel. The gospel teaches us that Christ did for us what we could never do for ourselves. That's what Romans chapter 3, verse 21 and 22 say. God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. We have nothing left to add to what He did. That's why it appears as the seventh day in the week of creation; God completed His work. There is no way that we could add to what He did. It's impossible.

The Sabbath is founded upon the principle of rest, rest after the complete work of God; and in its invitation to rest in what He has done, not on what we can do. The first work of any Christian is to rest in what God did for us. That's the first work, to rest in what God did for us. Secondly, friends, the Sabbath establishes an ideal test of obedience. All other commandments involve a logical reason for obeying them. "Thou shalt not kill." Why? Because God is a God of life. "Thou shall not steal." Why? Because God is a God of truthfulness, of integrity, of fidelity.

Each one of the Ten Commandments have a logical reasoning to them. However, the fourth commandment is based solely upon the authority of God. Only. Why not Sunday? Why not Wednesday? Why not Friday? Simple: because God said Sabbath. He didn't say anything else. It's a test of loyalty. "Who do I obey, Him or anyone else, including myself?" The commandment of the Sabbath that way is likened unto the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that the only reason not to eat its fruit was God's commandment, His authority, it's because He said so. And then human voices, even religious voices, will insist that we forget exactly what God told us-- commanded us to remember. The central element then will be authority. Whose authority will we recognize? After all, who do we worship?

Finally, friends, the Sabbath will be the central element of the last test because it is a part of our determination to follow Jesus completely and entirely. He kept the Sabbath. He left us this example. And if we desire to follow his example entirely, we must also imitate him in this aspect. The insistence on the observation of the Sabbath will seem strange, even absurd, even for people who consider themselves Christians at that time. They will have an extremely hard time understanding the logic of the fourth commandment. The enemy will explore this lack of logic. You can be certain of this. He will explore this apparent lack of logic.

The deception will be so severe that all evidence of the senses will indicate that the other voices seem to be correct. They seem to be right. Only those who learn to trust God, only people who learn to recognize His voice as sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd to bow to his authority will see the reason in the apparently arbitrary test of loyalty.

Friends, the Sabbath is rest, and it's a solemn rest. It's a solemn recognition that we are creatures of God. We're not units of economic growth. The Sabbath restores our identity. It's a symbol of redemption from the forces that oppress us. It is a day of communion, of family, and of friends. Always remember that supernatural energy, supernatural energy and vitality, what we need to survive in this world, only comes through supernatural rest, and that rest is found on the temple--in the temple in time called the Sabbath.

I urge you. I know that--look, I've been here for 31 years. I've been an Adventist for 31 years, and it is very easy to lose sight on what the Sabbath is. It really is. After hundreds, thousands--thousands? I don't know. Hundreds. Fifty-two every year times--I don't know. Yeah, thousands. I don't know, I'm bad at math. After so many Sabbaths, it's easy for you to lose sight and lose track of what it should mean the day that you celebrate your relationship with your best friend. May you find that and discover that daily, weekly. Not a once-in-a-lifetime thing, not as justification at one moment, but a sanctification that is a work throughout your life.

May God use you, may He bless you, and may He give you the true rest. God bless you, God bless you, and God bless you. I'd like to finish with a word of prayer.

Remember that if you do want this free gift, you can write into--this is for our online friends. Remember that you can find this online. All you have to do is call 866-788-3966, and you will also get this--the study guide which is about the Sabbath, "The Lost Day of History."

Let's pray. Dear Father God, thank You so much for Your love, thank You so much for life, and thank You so much for being our rest. Lord, as we rest in You today, we want to truly find supernatural energy and vitality. Lord, it's easy to get lost in the rat race that is life, especially modern life, but, Lord, teach us weekly to rest in You. I ask You for the people that are watching and listening. Lord, please inhabit their lives and be their rest. I ask You these things in the name of Jesus. Amen and amen.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen. And be sure to select a digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with "Amazing Facts," wherever and whenever you want. And most important, to share it with others.

Ashley: I grew up in Northern New Jersey, just about 35 minutes out of New York City, and I grew up in a famous family. And so, my father played for the New York Giants for nine years. That's how we ended up where we were. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers, and he was in the Pro Bowl. He won two Super Bowls. And I also had an older brother who played professional baseball, so I had a lot to live up to.

Everything we did was based around sports. That was my life, and I loved it, but inside I was--I struggled daily with insecurity, lacking confidence. You know, I would look at myself in the mirror and not-- and would not see good things about myself. I started to put all my energy into soccer, and I decided that I was going to go far with that. So I ended up getting a scholarship to play in the University of Miami.

I was being pulled in these, like, two directions of, you know, wanting to live this party lifestyle with my teammates, and I was so engulfed in soccer and school, but I also had this, like, strong yearning desire to serve God, and I was just struggling to figure out the balance and how to do that. I was in Sin City, in Miami, and I couldn't-- I felt like I was swimming upstream. And I just felt like I couldn't breathe.

I had everything everyone would've wanted. I had everything. I had a scholarship to pay for school. I was playing a sport. I was the captain of my team. I was in Miami. I was--I had a great family. I had a lot of friends. But where was God? It was--all of that is meaningless unless I had Him. And the lifeline that He gave me was this soft whisper in my ear, saying, "Go." I just remember, "Go."

So I decided to go, and I spent two months in Kenya and two months in Uganda, and God was saving me by sending me there. It was God's prescription for my life, for my existence. When I returned from Africa, I went back to school. I finished school, finished soccer.

I went to the University of Tennessee to get my master's when I met my husband. Our motto in life was we wanted to live in reckless abandon for our Creator and whatever that was, whatever that looked like, and, you know, we've traveled, and we've done mission work, but we've mostly been in Tennessee, and when we spent the summer apart a year after that we were married, and it was the summer of 2015. When we came back together, he's like, "I have some things I want to share with you. I want you to listen to this." And we were on a 14-hour car ride, and he just started playing this "Prophecy Code" all the way back from 2005, and it was so clear, and I just was comprehending it so well.

You know, after a couple, like, three or four, I was like, "I need a break. My mind is going to, like, explode from all this, like, information overload," and everything that I thought I had known about the Bible and about Scripture is just completely different. I was in shock. Everything that I was hearing, it was like Scripture is proving Scripture is proving Scripture. My heart was, like, changing in that car ride because it's like learning more about God than I ever had before.

After that car ride and after listening to the whole "Prophecy Code," my life was completely changed. He's become more real to us than He ever had been before, and that has pushed us to disciple and to minister to others and share with them what we know. My name is Ashley, and I want to thank you for changing my life.

Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Connie: Nobody was there to defend me. Nobody was there to protect me. My question was why did that happen to me, God? Why didn't you intervene? Once I hit my teenage years, everything just started coming out. I felt embarrassed of what had happened because for so long I felt it was my fault. There were times that I prayed, but it was prayers of resentment, and anger and just yelling at God.

I was so confused, so depressed and I could not bear any more of the pain. You know, what's the point of living? It's might as well just die. I started cutting myself, but I heard a small, still voice and it said, "Stop. Give Me a second chance." And right there, I just felt something completely different. I felt a presence there and I put everything down and I went to my room, I just started crying. I realized that me and God connected so well. And I no longer saw Him as just a God that no longer cared, but I actually saw Him as a Father, and I continued praying.

One day, I was sleeping, my mom came to the bed, and she said, "Connie, he's here, he's in town. And the Lord impressed me that you need to face the situation. It's time for you to forgive."

When something so drastic and so painful has happened, forgiveness is very hard because you're vulnerable, you let go of that ego, that pride that has taken over you for so many years. I prayed, and when we confronted the situation, it was the most amazing moment, where we could pray, we could cry, and we could forgive. And because of that, I'm able to help others and tell others that there is hope and there's someone that does care.

Announcer: Together, we have spread the gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question