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Lesson 14: The Commandment Most of the World Is Breaking.

In our last lesson we studied about how important it is that we keep all God’s Commandments. Although Jesus said that the Ten Commandments will stand as long as heaven and earth remain, there is one commandment that most of the people in the world are breaking. It is very important that we be certain we are not doing this.

The Seventh Day Is the Sabbath

1. Which day of the week did God command all men to keep? Exodus 20:8-11.

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Note: Notice that God asks all, men, women, and children, and even strangers who may be visiting you—to keep the Sabbath day holy. On that day we are not to do any work. This is the day when God Himself draws near for special fellowship with us. He set it aside for that purpose in the beginning and all those who choose to truly obey will receive special blessings.

God plainly tells us which day is the Sabbath-the seventh day of the week. If you look at the calendar, you will see which day of the week is the Sabbath. It is the last day of the week. In Bible times the days of the week were usually called by numbers, all except the seventh day, which was called the Sabbath. It is an interesting fact that in many languages of the world the seventh day of the week, the day we usually refer to as Saturday, is still called Sabbath.

God asked people to work six days and rest on the seventh. That is perfectly natural, isn’t it? Work comes before rest, so God gave the last day of the week as the Sabbath.

When God brought Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness, there was no food for the people to eat. To feed them, God gave them manna.

2. While giving them bread from heaven, what did God seek to prove, or reveal about Israel? Exodus 16:4.

"Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no."

3. To do this, how many days of the week did God rain down bread? Exodus 16:26.

"Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none."

4. What did the people find who went out on the seventh day to gather manna? Exodus 16:27.

"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none."

Note: Some people believe that it doesn’t really matter what day we keep, just so it is one in seven. For forty years God gave Israel manna to eat and each week for those forty years, God showed that it did matter which day they kept. Every week on the sixth day of the week, a double portion of manna fell, and each seventh day, or Sabbath, there was none.

If you have a very dear friend and they say they are coming to visit and spend the day with you and they ask you to pick them up at the airport Thursday Morning—does it make any difference if you go on Friday, or Monday? Of course it does! God has placed Himself in a special way into the Seventh Day—only those who choose to meet Him in that time-space will find the special Sabbath blessings.

The Sabbath Was Introduced in Eden

5. When did God first give man the Sabbath? Genesis 2:1-3.

"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."

6. For whose benefit did God especially make the Sabbath? Mark 2:27.

"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."

Note: Think deeply about these words of Jesus. God gave the Sabbath to man, quality time that He promises to spend with us. He did not just make a man so He could impose rituals on him.

7. What does God say about those who break one of the Ten Commandments? James 2:10.

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

8. What was it Jesus’ custom to do on the Sabbath? Luke 4:16.

"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."

9. What day did Paul and Barnabas go to worship on? Acts 13:14.

"But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down."

10. What was Paul’s usual day for holding religious services? Acts 17:1, 2; 18:4.

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks."

11. What day, in a special sense, belongs to Jesus? Mark 2:27, 28.

"And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."

Note: Many people will say that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath because in Revelation 1:10 John says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day." However, Sunday, or the first day of the week, was not the day which the Lord set apart for Himself, which He claimed as His. This was only true of the seventh day. If the Spirit of God planned at this time, to establish a new Sabbath, it was necessary that He should point this out as a new and important change, but He did not do this. Because Jesus was the One through which all was created, it was actually Jesus Himself who made that first Sabbath and blessed it!

John wrote the gospel of St. John after his return from the island of Patmos where he received the visions he wrote about in the book of Revelation. Twice in his Gospel, he referred to the first day of the week, but in neither instance is it called by any other name than "first day."

12. Did Jesus change the law in any way? Matthew 5:17, 18.

"And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."

13. How long did Jesus say the law would last? Matthew 5:18.

"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."

14. In heaven, how are those viewed who fail to keep the law, and who taught others to think lightly of its requirements? Matthew 5:19.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Note: In saying that they would be least in heaven, Jesus was not saying that anyone who broke the commandments would be in heaven, but heaven places a very low value on the character of those who break God’s law. This is very clear in verse 20, where Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees, who broke the commandments and taught others to do so, would not be in heaven.

15. How does Jesus view worship that follows tradition instead of God’s commandments? Mark 7:7, 9.

"Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

16. How do we show that we have a living relationship with Jesus? 1 John 2:3.

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

17. When is a person held responsible for breaking God’s law? James 4:17.

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

18. How does God view those who have ignorantly broken a part of His holy law? Acts 17:30, 31.

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

Note: When we love Jesus and are choosing to please Him, even if we unknowingly break His Sabbath, He reads our hearts and accepts us. When, however, we learn about the Sabbath, we should start to keep the Sabbath, and ask forgiveness for having broken it in ignorance. Thus we show how much we really love and respect Him.

The Sabbath Begins at Sunset

19. When does the Sabbath begin? Leviticus 23:32.

"It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath."

20. When does the Bible say "even" begins? Deuteronomy 16:6.

"But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt."

Note: The first chapter of Genesis tells us: "God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." We see that at Creation, the evening came first, followed by the day. So the Sabbath should be kept from the going down of the sun at the end of the sixth day—the day we call Friday—until the going down of the sun on the seventh day, or Saturday.

The Sabbath As a Sign

21. What does God say the Sabbath is to be between Himself and His people? Ezekiel 20:12.

"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."

Note: God called the Sabbath a sign, or token, between Himself and His people. Sometimes, for security reasons, companies will require their employees to wear a badge, or pass that shows they belong with the company. These badges are signs, or tokens of evidence that they work for that company, and have a right to be in the work area. No one is allowed into the work area who does not have one of these passes. Just so, the Sabbath is a token, or evidence of the fact that we are God’s people, that we belong to Him, and that we recognize His authority in our lives. It is a token of our membership in His family.

22. What will we not do on the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:13, 14.

"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:"

Note: In His life, Jesus taught us that it is right to do good on the Sabbath. Works of mercy, such as caring for the injured or sick, or helping injured animals, are things that are always proper to do. There are other works that, even though they may be good works, are not proper to do on the Sabbath.

Right after giving Moses the plans for building the sanctuary, God again commanded the people, through Moses, that they do no work on the Sabbath. God did not want them to think that just because they were doing a special work for Him, that it excused them to work on His holy Sabbath.

How careful we should be about not doing on the Sabbath those things we do on the common days of the week. During these hours we will not play, or watch programs on television, or talk about the common things we talk about all week. We need to remember that in a special way, the time belongs to God and His presence is with us. If we just want to do our own things in that special time—His presence will just leave us to our own affairs and we will have no blessing.

23. How must we test all things? Isaiah 8:20.

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

Note: God has revealed His will to us in the Bible. No matter what men may teach, if it is contrary to this inspired book, we are not safe in accepting it. In these days we are seeing many miracles and supernatural events occurring and some people are saying it is all from God—BUT if it is in connection with anything the Bible condemns or if it tells people to break God’s law or ignore His Bible—then we know it is Satan’s power doing these things no matter how wonderful they may seem!

24. Does God ever change? Malachi 3:6.

"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

25. What kind of a law does God have? Psalm 19:7.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

Note: Any change in God’s law would mar its perfection. The smallest change in any part of it would leave men and angels wondering if God’s word could be depended upon, or if at some future time it might change.
You wouldn’t think of trying to change your birthday, would you? Why wouldn’t you? It is because that special day marks a special event that took place once upon a time—the day on which you were born. If you were to change the day, it might commemorate some other event, but it certainly wouldn’t be your birthday, would it? Well, no more can we change the Sabbath. The Sabbath marks a special event that took place right at the time of Creation. Only in keeping that special day, can we commemorate that event. Only on the day that He promised to spend with us can we have that special time with Him and that special blessing! And it is a real blessing—don’t ever doubt it!

The Sabbath was given to man at Creation, and God stated it again in peals of loudest thunder at Mt. Sinai. He gave it to us as a reminder of the fact that He is our Creator, and all that we have, we receive from Him. Nowhere within the Bible is there even a hint that God ever intended that the Sabbath should be changed. We may ignore God’s holy Sabbath, but it is a part of the great standard of righteousness—God’s law—by which we will one day be judged. If ye LOVE Me KEEP My commandments!

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