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    LESSON SEVENTY The Sabbath in the New Testament

    1. It was the custom of Jesus to observe the Sabbath. Luke 4:16; Mark 6:1, 2.TDOC 202.1

    2. By his acts of healing on the Sabbath, Jesus taught the gospel of restoration. Mark 3:1-5; Luke 13:10-13.TDOC 202.2

    3. Jesus taught that acts of mercy were consistent with true Sabbath keeping. Matthew 12:12.TDOC 202.3

    4. Jesus sought to free the Sabbath from the burdensome traditions which the Pharisees had added to the commandment. Matthew 12:1-8; John 5:8-11; 7:22-24.TDOC 203.1

    5. In his great prophecy our Lord recognized that the Sabbath would be in existence at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew 24:20.TDOC 203.2

    6. At the time of the crucifixion the Sabbath of the commandment was observed. Luke 23:56.TDOC 203.3

    7. At the same time the Sabbath was recognized as the day just preceding the first day of the week. Matthew 28:1.TDOC 203.4

    8. In the Acts of the Apostles the same Sabbath is recognized as the weekly day of rest and worship. Acts 13:14, 27, 42, 44; 16:13; 18:4.TDOC 203.5

    9. The same Sabbath which is closely associated with the sanctuary in the Old Testament, is introduced in the interpretation of the sanctuary in the epistle to the Hebrews & Leviticus 19:30; 26:2; Hebrews 4:3, 4. (When the Lord gave to Moses the instruction concerning the sanctuary and its services, he connected therewith instruction concerning the Sabbath; and when Moses repeated the instruction to the people, he did the same. See Exodus 25 to 31; 35:1-3)TDOC 203.6

    10. The revelations made to the apostle John were given to him on the Sabbath. Compare Isaiah 58:13 with Revelation 1:10.TDOC 203.7


    The Lord of the Sabbath

    “Having divested the Sabbath of all Pharisaic additions, our Lord concludes with this remarkable declaration: ‘Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.’ 1. It was not a disparagement to the Sabbath, but an honor, that God’s only Son should claim to be its Lord. 2. Nor was it derogatory to the character of the Redeemer to be the Lord of the Sabbath; with all the high honors pertaining to his Messiah-ship, he is also Lord of the Sabbath. Or, if we take the expression in Matthew, he is ‘Lord even of the Sabbath day,’ it shows that it is not a small honor to possess such a title. 3. This title implies that the Messiah should be the protector, and not the destroyer, of the Sabbath; and hence that he was the rightful one to decide the proper nature of Sabbath observance.”TDOC 203.8

    False views of the Sabbath

    “From open disregard and wanton desecration of the Sabbath in the time of the prophets, Israel, the professed and chosen people of God, had swung to the other extreme, that of a rigorous, burdensome, and unreasonable observance of it, in the time of Christ. Because of the former, and of their refusal to heed the messages of reproof, warning, and reform sent by God through the prophets, their city and temple were destroyed, and they were carried away into the seventy years’ captivity. Because of the latter, and their refusal to accept Christ, the great Prophet, Teacher, and Sabbath Reformer sent of God, and his messages of reproof, warning, and reform, their city and temple were again to be destroyed, and they led away captive into every nation under heaven, there to remain till the gospel of the kingdom should be preached as a witness unto all nations. So wedded were they to their traditions, and so tenacious were they for their views respecting the Sabbath and its observance, that they would crucify the Lord of the Sabbath himself before they would yield their false views and accept Christ and his teachings, even though indorsed of God by the most wonderful miracles performed among men.”TDOC 203.9

    Observance by the apostolic church

    “That the apostolic church did sacredly regard the Sabbath, as well as all the other precepts of the moral law, admits of no doubt. The fact is proved by several considerations: (1) The early Christians were not accused of its violation by their most inveterate enemies; (2) They held sin to be the transgression of the law, and that the law was the great standard by which sin is shown, and that by which sin becomes exceeding sinful, facts which are certainly very decisive evidence that the apostolic church did keep the fourth commandment; (3) the testimony of James relative to the Ten Commandments, that he who violates one of them becomes guilty of all, is another strong evidence that the primitive church did sacredly regard the whole law of God; but (4) besides these facts, we have, a peculiar guaranty that the Sabbath of the Lord was not forgotten by the apostolic church. The prayer which our Lord taught his disciples, that their flight from Judea should not be upon the Sabbath, was, as we have seen, designed to impress its sacredness deeply upon their minds, and must have secured that result.”TDOC 204.1

    Sabbath-keeping churches

    “At this place [Corinth], also, Paul found Gentiles as well as Jews in attendance upon the worship of God on the Sabbath. The first members of the church at Corinth were therefore observers of the Sabbath at the time they received the gospel; and, as we have seen, they followed the example of the Sabbath-keeping church of Thessalonica, which in turn patterned after the churches in Judea.TDOC 204.2

    “The first churches were founded in the land of Judea. All their members had from childhood been familiar with the law of God, and well understood the precept, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ Besides this precept all these churches had a peculiar reminder of the Sabbath. They knew from our Lord himself that the time was coming when they must all suddenly flee from that land; and in view of this fact they were to pray that the moment of their sudden flight might not be on the Sabbath, a prayer which was designed, as we have seen, to preserve the sacredness of the Sabbath. That the churches in Judea were composed of Sabbath-keeping members is, therefore, established beyond controversy.”TDOC 204.3

    The Lord’s day is the Sabbath

    “That the Lord’s day is the Bible Sabbath admits of clear and certain proof. The argument stands thus: When God gave to man six days of the week for labor, he expressly reserved for himself the seventh, on which he placed his blessing in memory of his own act of resting upon that day, and thenceforward, through the Bible, has ever claimed it as his holy day. As he has never put away this sacred day and chosen another, the Sabbath of the Lord is still his holy day. These facts may be traced in the following scriptures. At the close of the Creator’s rest, it is said:TDOC 205.1

    “‘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.’TDOC 205.2

    “After the children of Israel had reached the Wilderness of Sin, Moses said to them on the sixth day:TDOC 205.3

    “‘Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.’TDOC 205.4

    “In giving the ten commandments, the Lawgiver thus stated his claim to this day:TDOC 205.5

    “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: 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.”TDOC 205.6

    “He gave to man the six days on which he himself had labored, and reserved as his own that day upon which he had rested from all his work. About eight hundred years after this, God spoke by Isaiah as follows:TDOC 205.7

    “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day.... then shall thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth.”TDOC 205.8

    “This testimony is perfectly explicit; the Lord’s day is the ancient Sabbath of the Bible.”TDOC 205.9

    The Sabbath at the crucifixion

    “At last Jesus was at rest. The long day of shame and torture was ended. As the last rays of the setting sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph’s tomb. His work completed, his hands folded in peace, he rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath day.TDOC 205.10

    “In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after their work of creation. When the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host ‘of them,’ the Creator And all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall, this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw. With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For ‘his work is perfect; and whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.’ When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began,’ the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another,’ the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.”-The Desire of Ages, 923, 924.TDOC 205.11

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