Christ and the Sabbath

Christ and the Sabbath

Scripture: Mark 2:27-28, Genesis 2:1-3, Hebrews 1:1-3
Date: 05/03/2014  Lesson: 5
"The issue of an alternative day of worship was not introduced into Christianity unitl more than a century after Christ ascended to Heaven. ... almost all Christianity has adhered to keeping Sunday, despite the Bible teaching that the seventh day remains the true Sabbath."
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Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are right here in Sacramento, California in the United States of America. And I know that there are very many of you that join us each week to study God's Word together - from across the country, around the world - you pull out your hymnals, you sing with us, we get out our Bibles, we see what God's Word has to say to us every week. And we are so appreciative that you constantly and faithfully tune in. Let's begin this morning with singing hymn #198 - 'and can it be?'.

This comes as a request from jessica in australia, emmanuel antwi in italy, Ezekiel in kenya, esseline, henk, and elfrieda in the netherlands, silvia in peru and many more around the planet have requested this song - 'and can it be?' - Hymn #198. We'll sing the first, the second, and the last verses. You cannot sing that song without absolutely beaming from ear to ear because we have an amazing Savior. Let's sing hymn #98. This is a new hymn that we're going to pull out this week.

As you know, we are going through the hymnal and singing new hymns. If you have a request that you'd like to sing with us - whether it's new or old - I invite you to go to our website at 'saccentral.org'. There you can click on the 'contact us' link and you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we will sing that with you on a coming study together. Hymn #98 - 'can you count the stars?' - This comes as a request from winona in Canada, Joseph in florida, antoinnette in jamaica, and eugene in thailand. And we will sing all three verses - 'can you count the stars?'.

I just think that's a sweet song. I think it's a great song to teach our children - a new song for the children's divisions because it just talks about God and his greatness and his creative power and how much he loves us. Let's pray together. Our Father in Heaven, we thank you so much that you created everything around us that reminds us of you and your creative power. How you formed the world - you placed us here not to die, not to sin.

And we thank you so much, Lord, that you have promised that you're going to come back and redeem us and restore us to what you first intentionally made us to be and that is a friend to walk with you face to face. We look forward to that day, Lord. Help each of us within hearing of my voice to do our part to hasten your coming. Lord, we just can't wait to see you so please come soon. Please bless pastor mike today as he brings us our study, Lord, words of refreshing to each of us.

We pray these things in your name, Jesus, amen. Our study today will be brought to us by pastor mike thompson and he is the visitation and health pastor here at Sacramento central. Good morning everybody. Happy Sabbath. Thank you, jolyne and the singers.

It's good to be here. Amen, Michael. There's Michael and his - my librarian. I don't have any books to give you today so you've got the day off. Anyway, I'd like to begin by presenting our free offer.

So it's offer #179 - 'feast days and Sabbaths' - if you call 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966 We will send this to you. At least Amazing Facts will - 'feast days and Sabbaths'. My voice sounds a little strange this morning but maybe it'll warm up as we go along this morning so pray for me. We're in lesson #5 on this quarterly's theme, which is 'Christ and his law' and we're looking, this week, at a very pertinent subject: 'Christ and the Sabbath' - and there's a memory text there from Mark chapter 2:27 and 28. Jesus said, "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Therefore The Son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Now there is, on Sunday's section - it's actually a question - it says, "the Jewish Sabbath?" Because I remember before I - well, kind of about the time I was becoming a seventh-day adventist and I would talk about the Sabbath, people would say, 'oh, the Jewish Sabbath?' And you've probably heard that yourself. 'Oh, it's the Jewish Sabbath.' Well, yeah, the jews had it, but it's for everybody. In fact, let's begin. Let's go to Genesis chapter 2 and read verses 1, 2, and 3 - Genesis 2, verses 1, 2, and 3 and we'll just refresh ourselves about the origin of the Sabbath and who it was actually made for. Genesis 2, the first three verses: "thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

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. 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." Now the first human man that was made - was his name Abraham or was he called adam? Adam. That's right. So adam comes along and, of course, along comes his sweet wife, after a little bit of surgery on his ribcage, but the first two human beings were adam and eve and they were the first two, on the sixth day, as the sun went down, to enter into the very first Sabbath that God had created and then he blessed it. And they were there, actually, to be a part of that - to see that happen.

So the Sabbath was given to them - the first progenitors - that's a big word, but I think it's right - of the human race - the first man and woman and the first mom and dad - there they were. And so the Sabbath was given to them. Now Abraham didn't come along until close to 1,900 - 2,000 years thereabouts - just in ballpark figures there. Abraham didn't come along until about 2,000 years after the creation. And so this is where our memory verse ties in: Jesus, in Matthew :27 and 28, he reminds us that the Sabbath was made for man.

And this is why, when God declared his law verbally - the Ten Commandments from the top of Mount Sinai, and he got to the Sabbath commandment, he used the words - what did he say? How did it begin? He said what? 'Remember' - right? God said, 'remember the Sabbath day'. In other words, if the Sabbath was something brand new just for the jews he would have said, 'here's something new.' But he said no. He said, 'remember the Sabbath day' and God is referring back here to when the Sabbath was first brought into being, created, and blessed - and that was creation, when it was first established for the benefit of all humanity, not just for the jews. But you know as well as I do, there's a lot of Sunday-keeping Christians who don't know any better, so let's be very gentle with these people. They don't know any better and they keep Sunday and they hear about the Sabbath - the real Sabbath - and they say, 'oh, it's the Jewish Sabbath.

It was given just for the jews.' Again, a lot of them don't realize that but sometimes, perhaps their pastors or some Bible teacher will tell them, 'no, look, let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 5' - let's turn there by the way - let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 5 and they may be given this kind of instruction: they say, 'let's turn to Deuteronomy chapter 5 and let's notice what the Sabbath - who it was given to and why.' Deuteronomy chapter 5 - because the Sabbath is here - repeated here in Deuteronomy chapter 5, verses 12 through 15 - Deuteronomy 5:12-15. And it says, "keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labor, and do all thy work:" - now, is there anything here about creation yet? No, I don't see it. Verse 14 - but I'm going to come back to something in a moment - "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, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. 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.

" So some Bible instructors will tell their inquiring students, 'see, look, there's the Sabbath. It was given to the jews as a memorial that God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. Well, that's true but it's not the whole story and there's a little giveaway here. If you go back to verse 12 of this same passage, God says, "keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee." What does that mean? Hath - hath - it's another reminder - keep the Sabbath day as I have previously reminded you to do. You get the point here? And so what is this? It's a reference that takes us back again to Exodus chapter 20 where God said, 'remember the Sabbath day.

' In Exodus 20 when it says, 'remember the Sabbath day' - that takes us right back to Genesis chapter 2, verses 1, , and 3. So it takes us all the way back again to creation. Now it's - but of course, this passage here in Deuteronomy - it's still true, I mean, we can't throw it out. And it's not actually clashing with the Genesis account of creation or in - account of the Sabbath or in Exodus 20, but God is bringing to light here two things about the Sabbath. He's reminding us that he is the creator - that he made us - but he's also reminding us as we extrapolate here from Deuteronomy chapter 5, verse 15 the fact that he's also our redeemer.

He's our creator and he's our redeemer and in the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20, we're reminded he is our creator. And in this one, as we draw this lesson out, as he's spoken to the Israelites, we draw from this that he's also our redeemer and deliverer and the Sabbath is also a memorial of that as well. Let's go back to verse 15 and see what he says here to the Israelites, "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." And so what he tells the Israelites there, 'you were a slave and the Sabbath is there to remind you that you were delivered from slavery; therefore keep it as a memorial of both things. And when we go - I'm just harking back a little bit here to Exodus 20, verse 1 - God actually mentions this bondage thing again - Exodus 20, verse , "and God spake all these words saying," - this is on the top of Mount Sinai, just getting ready to recite the ten commandments - "and God spake all these words saying, 'I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.'" - So it's actually in as well - Exodus 20 also. So it's a wonderful thing.

It's to remind us of God's creative power and also his redemptive power. In Exodus 20, verse 2 - actually I'll just mention that - Exodus , verse 2 - we looked again how you find this bondage thing also mentioned when God gave the Ten Commandments from sinai. So, from what we read about God speaking to the Israelites saying, 'you were once in bondage and the Sabbath is to remind you of that,' then that also is something we also can take to heart ourselves, can we not? To remind ourselves, 'here but by the grace of God go I - here but by the grace of God - here I am. I'm born with a sinful nature. I'm just programmed to do what's wrong.

I'm born with six thousand years, thereabouts, of skewed dna and every - I've said this before - every generation that comes along is really the weakest because, you know, my grandfather was bad enough, but I got his genes and my dad's genes and i, in turn, passed them on to my kids and to my grandchildren. So every generation is actually the weakest. But by the grace of God, that deliverance from whatever holds us in the bondage of sin, Jesus can set us free. And so, when we come to church on Sabbath, you see, we sit here and - we should - and rejoice and you look at it, this beautiful California sunshine - I'm sorry about everybody there in england but we've got beautiful California sunshine here and it's beautiful, right? And as we sit here we're reminded of the fact that God made us and this is the day for us to remember that. But we're also here this morning, to remember the fact that Jesus not only made us but he came to redeem us.

And so, on this beautiful day - this beautiful Sabbath - I can just bask and rejoice in the fact that Christ has delivered me. Can you say 'amen' for that? And there's nothing - there's nothing he cannot deliver us from. And the book comes to mind - 'ministry of healing' - I forget the page. It says, 'it does - it matters not what master passion holds you in bondage, Jesus - Jesus can set you free.' Let's go to Luke chapter 4 - in the new testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke - Luke chapter 4. I love this passage here - especially when Jesus speaks - we're going to go to verse 16 - Luke 4:16 - Luke chapter 4, beginning in verse 16.

Jesus has just begun his ministry - we read here, "and he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written," - I'd love to have heard the voice - I'd loved to have heard the voice of Jesus - I just really would. It must have just - oh - so I'm sorry you have to put up with mine, but to have listened to him speak. And he's actually - we'll read His Words in a moment, but he's actually reading from Isaiah chapter 61, a prophecy given about 700 years by Isaiah - pointing forward to the Messiah.

And here's this, you know, the carpenter's son. He grew up in nazareth. 'Oh, it's just the carpenter's son.' They didn't see what was behind that exterior. So the carpenter's son gets up to speak and those words must have just been something. And so he's reading this and he's reading about himself.

He says, "'the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' And he closed the book," - imagine him doing it just very slowly - closed the book - closed the scroll - "and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were" - note, it says they were - "fastened on him." Now, they must have heard people read every week, you know? They read very well. And they probably listened to them and while he's handing the scroll, they probably look down like we do, you know, you shuffle around - you do a few things - but every eye was fastened on him. I've sometimes thought about it - why was every eye fastened on him? Because somehow, the way he read from the Word of God, this - this carpenter's son, he was different. Every eye was fastened on him.

And then he says this: "and he began to say unto them, 'this day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'" And someone probably thought, 'did you hear that? Did he - this day is Scripture fulfilled - this is about the Messiah.' - "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, 'is not this Joseph's son?'" - Anyway, you know the rest of the story - you know they wanted to throw him over a cliff. But to have heard Jesus speak. So here he is, he is the one who, looking at Christ and the Sabbath, he was the creator. We did have some verses about - I think I must have skipped them somewhere.

We'll look at a verse in a moment. Here is the creator and he's in this little synagogue on Sabbath and he's reading about himself. What humility and meekness. You know, if it had been 99,999 other, you know, rabbis out there, they would have probably wanted, you know, that were want to open their tunic and let - you know, like superman - but not Jesus. No, not Jesus, he was just totally different.

And it's a sad thing that they wanted to do what they did to him, which makes me want to go to John. Let's go to John chapter 1. The creator - he's standing there just in ordinary garb. John chapter 1, verse 1, "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

" - And it says in verse 3 - "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." So here he stands and this light is shining - because men's eyes were so dull, they comprehended the light not. And it says in verse 10, "he was in the world, and the world was made by him," - here he is again - "and the world knew him not." - Look at verse 11 - "he came unto his own," - and what does it say? - "And his own received him not." You know, it was william booth who started the salvation army. He - I think it was in the east end of london - and he would have these preaching services and his heart would rejoice as he saw people accept Jesus Christ.

But you know the thing that really hurt him? He rejoiced on one hand, but the thing that really hurt him is when he saw others turn around and go out the back door. That was the thing - it was a bittersweet experience. Imagine what it was like for Jesus the creator - he created every single human being and he comes also to be their redeemer. And he comes and he speaks this truth - he is the light that lights every man - that comes into the world - and he goes back to his little hometown church and he says, 'this day is tHis Word fulfilled in your ears' hoping that there might be somebody that says, 'I get it! You're the Messiah!' - Not one. He had feelings, you know? How do you suppose he felt? God goes through a lot of grief - he goes through a lot of grief.

With these little things down here we give him so much grief but, yet, he never stops. Just like the relentless tide that keeps smashing up against those rocks - day after day, year after year, just smashing up against those rocks. A lot of times, those rocks, they hardly seem to do anything, but by and by you find some rocks - they crumble and they fall. And I pray here in this sanctuary today or somebody watching - I hope you're not one of those rocks where Jesus, for the longest time, has been sending in the flood tide of his love just splashing all over you and he's trying to tell you that he's your Savior and you need him. And he's telling you, 'this day is tHis Word fulfilled in your ears.

You need me. I made you but I also redeemed you.' Don't, don't, don't resist those waves anymore. Just say, 'Lord, just wash me out and wash me away into your arms of love.' Oh, God is good. Anyway, just to get back here, so he came to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are blind. Now, I want to go back to Isaiah 61, which Jesus was actually reading from in Luke chapter 4, but he didn't - he didn't quote all of it.

But I want to go back there - Isaiah 61 - and I'm going to - we'll read it - it's three verses and just try and take this in. This is all Jesus: "the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;" - that Egyptian bondage, you see. Jesus sets you free - verse 2, "to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;" - and he says, - "to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the Spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." - Isn't that beautiful? To proclaim liberty - and, you know, the only way that Jesus can set us free is by coming in. And the only way that Jesus can come in through that door into our lives is if we're willing to open that door. There's Egypt and he can only open the door and let us out of Egypt if we'll open another door and let him in and that is into the door of our hearts.

And when this happens, then there's freedom. We're no longer in bondage - we have the new birth experience. You know, you read the Bible and you read Ellen white's writings - you know what it all boils down to so often? It means conversion. It's really as simple as that - conversion - being born again. You can't have conversion - you can't be born again unless you're willing to lay it all down.

But if we will do that, Jesus will come in and he will sanctify it - it'll bring forth the fruits - the sanctifying fruits of his glory. Then the Sabbath - the Sabbath, in all its fullness will become the signet - not just the fact that he created me, but also the fact that he redeemed me. Ezekiel 20:12 - sorry, Ezekiel , verse 12 - yeah, I did say it right. It says, "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." And those who are sanctified through the Spirit and born again, they are recognized as the children of God. So you can go from a slave to a son.

You can go from a slave to a daughter. You can go from a slave in Egyptian bondage - bondage to sin - to one who is set free to become a son or a daughter of God. And this is a wonderful thing - that God, through Christ, has already accomplished for us all the grace - all that grace was released there at the cross and that grace continues to be released from the most holy place where Jesus intercedes for us and it's just waiting - just waiting in abundance. I want to read from Romans 8 how we go from slaves to sons and daughters. Romans 8 - let me find it here - Romans 8, verse 9 - Romans 8, verse 9 - it says - actually the latter part - it says, "but ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is not of his." - If you don't have that spirit through the new birth then you're not his - you're not his child. But if you are - if you are born again - if you are converted - Romans 8, verse 14 - it says, "for as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are The Sons of God." And the Sabbath is a sign of this - his creatorship and his redemption. The sign of our deliverance from spiritual Egyptian bondage to be men and women in Christ Jesus who was set free from sin. Another verse in Ezekiel 20 I'd like to read - Ezekiel chapter , verse 20 - now in 12 he says this - I'll read this again - first of all he says, "moreover I also gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they night know that I am the Lord that sanctify them." We looked at that, but in verse 20 it says, "and hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you that ye may know that I am the Lord your God." We're his children. Praise the Lord for that.

Okay, our time's moving on. I want to go to Monday - 'a time for rest and worship' - and I've already read from John 1 - the first three verses and verse 10 - but I want us to look here in Colossians 1, verse 16 - Colossians 1:16 - speaking, again, of Jesus the creator - it says, "for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" - and in the lesson it mentions that he created things invisible too. Now, that may mean, from an earthly standpoint, things which are so far away they're invisible to us - we can't see them. But not just that, the Sabbath - can you actually see the Sabbath? No, no you can't see it, can you? You know, suddenly the air doesn't turn blue or pink and, 'oh, it's the Sabbath.' No, we can't see it. It's an invisible entity.

Can you see the Holy Spirit? Of course, Christ didn't create the Holy Spirit, of course, but there's things - the Sabbath, for example - that we cannot see, yet it's very tangible and it's very real when we have that spiritual experience with Jesus. Hebrews chapter 1, verse 2. Hebrews is one of my favorite books in the Bible and here, too, Christ is brought to light as the creator - Hebrews 1 and verse 1 - it says, "God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto The Fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" - and in verse 10, as well, he said, "and, thou, Lord," - this is God speaking to Christ and calling him Lord - "and, thou, Lord, in the beginning has laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:" - can you really grasp the one that spake and it was done? Commanded and it stood fast? He came down here and took on a human form that was six foot, maybe. I don't know - just a human form - and yet, in there was the eternal God of the universe. I - you know, in all eternity we'll never really understand that.

We'll never be able to wrap out minds around it to be able to contemplate the length and the depth and the breadth and the height of the love of God. In 'Desire of Ages' it says there that for Jesus to have taken adam's place in his unfallen state would have been a - what was it? - An infinite humiliation. And it would. He is God. And he took adam's place - if he did before adam sinned - it would still be a sinless being, but it would have been an infinite humiliation.

But Jesus - Jesus took on human flesh after 4,000 years of sin. You look at his genealogy. Now it's true his father was the Holy Spirit but mary, she was of the seed of David - otherwise the Bible wouldn't be able to say that he was of the seed of David, so mary had to have come from the line of David. Joseph did, but he was his legal father. We look at the ancestors of Jesus and he took upon him this fallen human flesh and what an infinite humiliation, really, but yet he bore that because for reasons I don't fully understand and never will and I'm assuming for reasons that you don't fully understand.

Each one of us is so infinitely loved by God - as though we were the only creature that he had ever created that if just one of us had fallen - well, you've read that statement in 'steps to Christ' - the relations between God are as distinct and full as though there weren't another human upon earth to share his watch care - not another soul for whom he gave his beloved son. Even the angels, for all eternity - you know this will be the science, even of the angels, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. But, nonetheless, in his humanity the creator worshiped, himself, on the day that he had instituted. And I've got Mark 4:17 down here but I've already read it so I'm going to move on. But on Monday here, we're looking at 'a time for rest and worship' and would you agree with me that praise is part of worship? Yeah, I mean, what is worship if you can't praise God for something? You're sitting here in church and what are you doing? 'Well, I've come to worship God.

' Well, you could cheer up a little bit, couldn't you? Well, you know, we need to praise him, even when we don't feel like praising him. I'm not making light of this - maybe some of you here today are feeling under a cloud, so I'm not speaking in a mocking sense here. But, you know, if you're under a cloud it's all the more reason to make a choice and say, 'Lord, oh! But Lord, I'm going to praise you.' You know there's power in praise, there is. We need to praise God. There is power in praise.

So if there's somebody here who is listening to this guy at the front - you think, 'oh, he doesn't know what he's talking about.' Trust me, praise God whether you feel like it or not because there is power in praise. So, alright, 'time for rest and worship'. So we agree then, that praise is part of worship. We need to praise God. And that's all well and good.

And, you know, there's a lot of praise songs - some I like, some I don't - they're just monotonous and just go on and on and on and on and on. But there's some contemporary music - some very nice contemporary music - praise songs - that are very, very nice. I like them. But, you know, getting back now to the Sabbath and worship and praise, of all people, the ones who should be able to offer God praise and worship in its fullest are Sabbath keepers. Do you realize that? I'm going to take you to a verse here.

I want to go to psalm 146 - psalm 146 - psalm 146 and we're going to read verse 1 and it says, "praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, o my soul." - And verse 2 - "while I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God..." Then you go down to verse 6 and it says, "which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is:" - and then the last verse is, "the Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, o Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord." So right here it begins with praise and it ends with praise and partway down there you've got praise and you've got - involved in this is him - worship heaven and earth and the sea and that is therein. Now, we know that there's a lot of people who keep Sunday and they praise God. Now a lot of them don't know any better and God accepts their praise.

But, you know, again I want to say, who can really offer God the fullest praise but those can who recognize him as their creator - not over long distances of time like you find some Christians - you know, they believe in intelligent design and they say, 'oh, God created but it was over a period of eons.' No, the Bible says literally six literal 24-hour days. That's what I believe. That's the truth. And another 24-hour day which was the seventh day on which he rested and that was the Sabbath. So I'm on about those kinds of Sabbath keepers.

They are the ones who, in all fullness, can really, really worship God and reverence his Sabbath and reverence him as their creator. Now, John the revelator saw humans in heaven worshiping God on the basis of his creatorship. Did you know that? He saw humans in heaven worshiping God praising him on the basis of his creatorship. Let's go to Revelation 4, talking about the 24 elders. Revelation chapter 4 - we're going to read verses 10 and 11 - so he was up in heaven - here's John while he sees into heaven - Revelation 4, verses 10 and 11, and as "the four and twenty elders" - I'd love to know who they were but we don't know yet - "the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying," - what do they say? - "'Thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

'" So here we have here this - humans in heaven praising God - offering the fullest praise from the standpoint that they had been redeemed from the earth, but also the fact that he was the one that created them. Now, still in Monday, as I mentioned here - did I read the right one here? We can be sure that those 24 elders up in heaven, as they're praising God, they don't sleep, especially when it's time to worship God and neither should we - when it's time to worship God on the Sabbath, neither should we sleep. We don't need to be - well, I guess you're all here so I can't browbeat you, but there may yet be some who have yet to arrive here this morning to swell our ranks. Nobody should lie in bed on Sabbath morning until 9:00 and :00 and then jump out of bed and, you know, brush your teeth and whatever and drive to church to get here before the benediction at the end of the church service. God did not give us the Sabbath to be a day where we just lie around.

We need to get up early - get up early. Of all days when we should be ready to rest - spiritually rest - and it doesn't mean a sleeping rest, it means a pause - setting aside that time to be with God. It's not speaking of - well, we physically rest from our usual labors, yes, but it is a pause. It is pulling away from those things and spending that spiritual and physical time with God. So we shouldn't spend that time in bed.

Now, I didn't bring it with me and I did a couple of weeks ago, but in volume 6 of the testimonies, there's a whole section there on observance of the Sabbath. I want to say it again. I may have kind of given it to you as, perhaps, an assignment, but if you haven't looked at it - if you've got the testimonies, look in there and you'll see 'observance of the Sabbath' and it breaks it down into certain areas. One is 'preparation for the Sabbath'. It says in there that we should, before the Sabbath - before the sun sets - I think it says about - I may be wrong here, but I think I read ten - fifteen minutes before the sun goes down, we need to sit down.

We need to, if you have a voice, sing. You know, have your Bible open. If you've got kids - I know it's very easy when you have kids to - it's always the last minute. But teach your children - the sooner you teach them and establish them in how to really worship God and how to honor the Sabbath, you're giving them a good solid foundation. So I won't labor that point, but do read that section in volume testimonies chapter 6 - it's very, very, very, very useful information and we don't read the testimonies, I don't think, as much as we should.

But we know, as we've made the point here, that only true Sabbath keepers can really offer God the full praise and worship that he deserves. There are people out there today who are yet to be these Sabbath - see, these people who worship God and praise him in the fullest sense - those who are yet to receive the third angel's message. I'm going to look in Revelation , verses 6 and 7 and we notice here that there is the Gospel, but also there is a call back to worship God as the creator. So God, in the third angel's message, which is going to the world right now, is calling people back to honor the Sabbath and be those that truly worship him and praise him. Revelation 14:6, "and I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made" - what? - "Heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

" So right there in the heart of the first angel's message, in conjunction with the everlasting Gospel, there is a call to call people back to God and recognize him as the creator. And this is taken right out of the fourth commandment in Exodus 20. It's really - and, you know, there's only one church on the face of this earth that can preach this message. I say it humbly, but the only church that can preach this is what church? You're sitting in one. The Seventh-day Adventist church.

It says here, 'the hour of his judgment is come.' There's only one denomination teaches we're in the hour of God's judgment right now and that is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There is only one church that is preaching the Gospel along with the Sabbath on a world-wide basis. Now you'll find some smaller little groups that keep the Sabbath. It's a few years old now but have any of you ever seen that tract that came from the American Bible society? And it shows - it's got listed all - most of the Christian denominations you can think of - the major ones - it's got them all. And then it's got listed a whole bunch of countries in the world just one after one.

And the Seventh-day Adventist church - small as we are, relatively speaking, we're in the most countries according to the American Bible society. So this angel's flying in the midst of heaven are going around the whole world preaching the hour of God's judgment and calling people back to worship the Sabbath. There's only one denomination that can fit there, that is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And there's another thing, as well - I'm getting a bit sidetracked but I'll mention it - in Revelation 12:17 - another identifying Mark that you're in the right church, friends, and we shouldn't be embarrassed about, you know, acknowledging this because we're not boasting of ourselves - we have no virtue ourselves, the virtue is in the truth and that truth is there for everybody to accept. :17, "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," - now when the Bible speaks of the commandments of God, how many is it speaking about? Nine? All ten, which would include the fourth, right? Yes.

So here this remnant church in the last day - keeping all ten commandments including the Sabbath - "and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." So what's the testimony of Jesus Christ? Revelation 19:10 - the Spirit of prophecy. So here God is calling people in the world to become part of a body that, in the truest sense, will be able to offer him the fullest worship and the fullest praise because they keep the Sabbath and that's going to be the Seventh-day Adventist Church because, as we just found out, they preach the Gospel on a world-wide basis, they preach the Sabbath, they preach the hour of God's judgment and, what's more, they have a prophet. That's a hard act to follow - and I don't want to sound flippant. You can find a few little denominations that keep the Sabbath but they don't have a prophet - or they may claim to have one but not a prophet such as the way Ellen white has established herself as a prophet - the most prolific woman writer in the United States. You may find some churches that keep the Sabbath but they don't have a prophet.

But here we're sitting in one that has all the hallmarks, so are we blessed? Yeah, we're truly blessed. We have a lot of light, friends, an awful lot of light. I got a little side-tracked there but I just felt I wanted to share that with you. Our time is about gone here, but while we have a moment, I want to read from Thursday's section - probably conclude with one of these verses. Thursday's section is 'a new creation'.

And we've got several verses listed here, but I want to go to Corinthians 5:17. Let me read the note. It says, "the Sabbath not only reminds us of God's creative ability, but it points to his restorative promises as well. Indeed, of every healing of a person on the Sabbath, the promise of eternal restoration was powerfully enforced. In its own unique way, the Sabbath provides a view that reaches back to earth's earliest history and stretches forward to humanity's eventual destiny.

We can say that the Sabbath points both to creation and to redemption. And it does. And you know what? I'm going to leave that one and go to Revelation 21. Let's go to Revelation chapter and I just love this - I'm going to read the first verse and one or two others besides. John says, "and I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

" And he speaks here and says, "and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." This very earth where God had to turn his face away and hide himself because of sin, this is the very planet, after redemption has fulfilled its purpose, where God himself is actually going to come down and live here. And this race that had been plunged the deepest into debauchery and sin, this is the race that is going to be renovated and exalted to a position even higher than the angels. I don't know how God's going to do it, but I assume the whole universe rotates around the throne of God. He's got to do a little switching around here because he's going to move his throne here.

But he has ways of doing that without galaxies stopping still and everything flying off. He has his way of doing that. Let's not get too tied up on that but - verse 5, "and he that sat upon the throne said, 'behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, it is done.

I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh" - or she that overcometh - 'shall inherit all things; and I will be their God, and they shall be my children.' And the Sabbath is a beautiful memorial of that redemptive - beautiful redemptive act of God along with the miracle of creation that he brings around for us every seventh day of the week. So may we especially remember these things today on what day but, praise the Lord, the Sabbath.

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