The Narrow Way Bible Study Lessons

Number Ten

The Christian in the Workplace

Does being a Seventh-day Adventist affect our choice of occupation? Are there certain careers or business connections we cannot in good conscience have as Adventists? The answer to both questions is yes. In this lesson we will look at several specific areas which illustrate this.

A. Sabbath Work

1) Is it okay to have a job where I have to work on Sabbath? YES / NO

“________________ the ______________ day, to keep it ________. ______ days shalt thou labour, and do all thy ________: But the ______________ day [is] the _______________ of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt ____________________ ________, 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 ______________ the sabbath day, and ________________ it.”

Exodus 20:8-11

“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works…. There remaineth therefore a ________ to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ____________ from his own __________, as ______ [did] from his.” Hebrews 4:4, 9, 10

“The enemy was telling you to wait for a more convenient season. He has been on hand with his devices presenting to you the advantages you would gain if you did not keep the Sabbath, and the disadvantages you would realize in keeping the Sabbath…. You have thought when you could realize a certain prosperity in your business, then you would obey the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. But the Lord requires of every one of His subjects entire obedience. God's requirements were upon you, and you have been making terms with God. And all the time Satan has been working to make it more and still more impossible as you look at the matter, to decide to keep the Sabbath…. When your mind is brought into conformity to the will of God, to obey His commandments, think you that the Lord will not have a care for you and your temporal interests? You have been almost persuaded, but did not obey. You thought you would wait until the way cleared before you. The Lord has left every human agent responsible for his course of action. God's claims are to be your first consideration. Obedience to God is your first duty. You are to leave all the consequences in His hands…. Your business now is to work decidedly from principle, to make your decisions irrespective of consequences.” EV 242, 243

“You acknowledge the requirements of God to keep the Sabbath, but your works do not harmonize with your declared faith…. When your temporal circumstances seem to require attention, you violate the fourth commandment without compunction. You make the keeping of God's law a matter of convenience, obeying or disobeying as your business or inclination indicates. This is not honoring the Sabbath as a sacred institution…. It is the grossest presumption for mortal man to venture upon a compromise with the Almighty in order to secure his own petty, temporal interests. It is as ruthless a violation of the law to occasionally use the Sabbath for secular business as to entirely reject it; for it is making the Lord's commandments a matter of convenience…. My dear brother, your works are at variance with your professed faith, and your only excuse is the poor plea of convenience. The servants of God in past times have been called upon to lay down their lives in vindication of their faith. Your course illy harmonizes with that of the Christian martyrs, who suffered hunger and thirst, torture and death, rather than renounce their religion or yield the principles of truth…. Every time you put your hands to labor on the Sabbath day, you virtually deny your faith. The Holy Scriptures teach us that faith without works is dead, and that the testimony of one's life proclaims to the world whether or not he is true to the faith he professes. Your conduct lessens God's law in the estimation of your worldly friends. It says to them: "You may or may not obey the commandments. I believe that the law of God is, in a manner, binding upon men; but, after all, the Lord is not very particular as to a strict observance of its precepts, and an occasional transgression is not visited with severity on His part." Many excuse themselves for violating the Sabbath by referring to your example. They argue that if so good a man, who believes the seventh day is the Sabbath, can engage in worldly employments on that day when circumstances seem to require it, surely they can do the same without condemnation. Many souls will face you in the judgment, making your influence an excuse for their disobedience of God's law. Although this will be no apology for their sin, yet it will tell fearfully against you. God has spoken, and He means that man shall obey. He does not inquire if it is convenient for him to do so. The Lord of life and glory did not consult His convenience or pleasure when He left His station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience…. If we are true servants of God, there should be no question in our minds as to whether we will obey His commandments or consult our own temporal interests. If the believers in the truth are not sustained by their faith in these comparatively peaceful days, what will uphold them when the grand test comes and the decree goes forth against all those who will not worship the image of the beast and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands?… Circumstances will not justify anyone in working upon the Sabbath for the sake of worldly profit.” 4T 247-251

2) What if I’m a doctor or nurse? Don’t the sick need to be cared for on Sabbath?

“And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift [it] out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is ___________ to _____________ on the ______________ days.” Matthew 12:11-12

“According to the fourth commandment the Sabbath was dedicated to rest and religious worship. All secular employment was to be suspended, but works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited by time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God's holy day. The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God's holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an hour's pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.” ML 231

“Often physicians are called upon on the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and it is impossible for them to take time for rest and devotion. The Saviour has shown us by His example that it is right to relieve suffering on this day; but physicians and nurses should do no unnecessary work. Ordinary treatment, and operations that can wait, should be deferred till the next day. Let the patients know that physicians must have one day for rest…. Let no man, because he is a physician, feel at liberty to disregard this word of the Lord. He should plan his work so as to obey God's requirements.” MM 214

“(speaking of healthcare workers) Let no man, because he is a physician, feel at liberty to disregard this word of the Lord. He should plan his work so as to obey God's requirements.” CH 422

As pointed out in these quotes, we must do what is necessary to care for the sick and make them comfortable on the Sabbath, as on other days; but at the same time we must be careful that we do not perform labor which is unnecessary (treatments or care that could have been done the day before or could be done the day after, routine cleaning, cooking, or laundry that could have been done earlier, or could wait, etc.). If we are working for a worldly institution where we are required to do these things, then we must ask not to be scheduled for Friday evening or Sabbath, or else to be excused from doing these unnecessary tasks if there is no one to take our place.

B. Trade Unions and Secret Societies

3) Is it okay for Seventh-day Adventists to belong to trade unions or secret societies, even if to do so is required by their job? YES / NO

“Be ye not _____________________________ together with _____________________: for what ____________________ hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what __________________ hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that __________________ with an ______________? And what __________________ hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore __________________ from among them, and be ye ________________, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“No man can serve ______________________: for either he will ________ the one, and ________ the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve ______ and _____________.” Matthew 6:24

“Jesus answered him, I spake ____________ to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in ____________ have I said ______________.” John 18:20

“ The work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force. In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed. Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the folds of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men.” CL 10

“We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions. We are to stand free in God, looking constantly to Christ for instruction.” CL 11

“Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us?” CL 12

“The wicked are being bound up in bundles, bound up in trusts, in unions, in confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organizations. God is our Ruler, our Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate.” LDE 116

“The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.” LDE 116

“The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labor unions will be very oppressive.” LDE 117

“But the servants of Christ cannot bind themselves up with the world; they cannot belong to secret societies, without binding themselves in with the tares. He who has placed himself under the banner of Christ, has pledged himself to follow no pursuit, to engage in no enterprise, that shall interfere with his service to the Lord of heaven. Christ is to be his all, and in all.” RH, January 10, 1893 par. 15

“I have been permitted to look in upon these secret societies, their feasts, their order, their works, and my prayer has been, "Hide them from my sight forever. Let me not understand more." One thing I do know, that those who remain in connection with them will be burned up with the bundles of tares, one with them in the last day.” 20MR 286

C. The Military

4) What does God say about His people killing and taking vengeance? Write the answer in your own words: _______________________________________________________


“Thou shalt not ________.” Exodus 20:13

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye _____________________________: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, ____________________________

______________, __________ them that __________ you, ______________ to them that ________ you, and ________ for them which ________________________ use you, and __________________ you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore _______________, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:38-48

“And as ye would that men should __________________, ____ ye also _____________ likewise.” Luke 6:31

“But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of ___________ ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to ______________ men's lives, but to ________ [them].” Luke 9:55-56

“Jesus answered, My ______________ is not of this __________: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants __________, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36

“Then said Jesus unto him, ____________ again thy __________ into his place: for all they that ______________________________ shall _____________ with the __________.” Matthew 26:52

“For though we ________ in the flesh, we do not ______ after the flesh: (For the ______________ of our ______________ [are] ____________________, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, ____________________________ with ______________. Dearly beloved, ____________________ yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, __________________ [is] _________; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine __________ hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt ____________________________________ on his head. Be not overcome of ________, but __________________________________________.” Romans 12:18-21

5) What does the Bible say about God’s people making promises and commitments to obey unbelievers, as one does when they join the military?

“Be ye not _____________________________ together with _____________________: for what ____________________ hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what __________________ hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that __________________ with an ______________? And what __________________ hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore __________________ from among them, and be ye ________________, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

“No man can serve ______________________: for either he will ________ the one, and ________ the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve ______ and _____________.” Matthew 6:24

6) What stand did the early Adventist Church take in regard to military service?

"We, the undersigned, Executive Comittee of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, respectfully beg leave to present for your consideration the following statements: "The denomination of Christians calling themselves Seventh day Adventists, taking the Bible as their rule of faith and practice, are unanimous in their views that its teachings are contrary to the spirit and practice of war; hence, they have ever been conscientiously opposed to bearing arms. If there is any portion of the Bible which we, as a people, can point to more than another as our creed, it is the law of ten commandments, which we regard as the supreme law, and each precept of which we take in its most obvious and literal import. The fourth of these commandments requires cessation from labor on the seventh day of the week, the sixth prohibits the taking of life, neither of which, in our view, could be observed while doing military duty. Our practice has uniformly been consistent with these principles. Hence, our people have not felt free to enlist into the service. In none of our denominational publications have we advocated or encouraged the practice of bearing arms, and, when drafted, rather than violate our principles, we have been content to pay, and assist each other in paying, the $300 commutation money."-Seventh day Adventists in Time of War, p. 58.

The Report of the Third Annual Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, published in The Review and Herald of May 23, 1865, contains the following resolution: "Resolved that we recognize civil government as ordained of God, that order, justice, and quiet may be maintained in the land; and that the people of God may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty. In accordance with this fact we acknowledge the justice of rendering tribute, custom, honor, and reverence to the civil power, as enjoined in the New Testament. While we thus cheerfully render to Caesar the things which the Scriptures show to be his, we are compelled to decline all participation in acts of war and bloodshed as being inconsistent with the duties enjoined upon us by our divine Master toward our enemies and toward all mankind."

"As voluntary enlistment into the service of war is contrary to the principle of faith and practice of Seventh-day Adventists as contained in the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, they cannot retain those within their communion who so enlist." RH March 7, 1865.

"I was shown that God's people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war, for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience. Worldly men are governed by worldly principles. They can appreciate no other. Worldly policy and public opinion comprise the principle of action that governs them and leads them to practice the form of rightdoing. But God's people cannot be governed by these motives." 1T 361.

"Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one an other, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God." GC 589.

In view of these clear instructions, we hold that it is inconsistent with the teachings of Christ and the rest of inspired writings to voluntarily participate in military training and service, or to support war measures of any kind; and if drafted, we are to refrain from all combatant training or service.

D. Issues of Purity

7) Is it appropriate for men doctors, nurses, massage therapists, etc. to give treatments to women, and women to men? YES / NO

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a ______ not to __________ a __________.” 1 Corinthians 7:1

“But the ________________ feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.” Exodus 1:17

“It is not in harmony with the instruction given at Sinai that gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be. Women should be educated and trained to act skillfully as midwives and physicians to their sex. This is the Lord's plan.” 9T 176

“In the medical missionary work to be done, women should give treatment to women…. When women who are sick are treated and cared for by women, a door through which Satan tries to enter is closed against him. Many cases have been presented to me where Satan has entered through this door to ruin families.” MM 140

“The light given me of the Lord regarding this matter is that as far as possible lady physicians should care for lady patients, and gentlemen physicians have the care of gentlemen patients. Every physician should respect the delicacy of the patients. Any unnecessary exposure of ladies before male physicians is wrong. Its influence is detrimental…. It is a most horrible practice, this revealing the secret parts of women to men, or men being treated by women. Women physicians should utterly refuse to look upon the secret parts of men. Women should be thoroughly educated to work for women, and men to work for men. Let men know that they must go to their own sex and not apply to lady physicians. It is an insult to women, and God looks upon these things of commonness with abhorrence.” CH 363-364

8) What cautions should we use when working closely with persons of the opposite sex (in other, non-medical settings)?

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not __________________ for the __________, to ______________ the __________ [thereof].” Romans 13:14

“______________ from all ___________________ of ________.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an ______________ of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in ____________.” 1 Timothy 4:12

“________ also youthful __________: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a ________ heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

“Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, ______________ from __________________________, which war against the ________;” 1 Peter 2:11

We must be very careful never to indulge in flirtatious or coquettish looks, words, or actions. Avoid teasing or lengthy casual chatting. Whenever possible, avoid working closely for extended periods with someone of the opposite sex. Always remember that you are a child of God, and pray for wisdom and strength to act accordingly under all circumstances. This will guard purity.

9) What should we do if our work environment is not conducive to Christian growth?


“And have __________________________ with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].” Ephesians 5:11

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are ________, whatsoever things [are] ____________, whatsoever things [are] ________, whatsoever things [are] ________, whatsoever things [are] ____________, whatsoever things [are] of _______________ ____________; if [there be] any ____________, and if [there be] any ____________, __________________________________________.” Philippians 4:8

“I will set no ________________________ before __________________:” Psalms 101:3

“Wherefore let him that ________________ he ________________ take ________ lest he ________.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

This is a difficult area to deal with because it applies to so many work environments today; but if you must be frequently exposed in your workplace to television showing, rock music or other carnal music styles playing, immodestly dressed or flirtatious women co-workers (for men), flirtatious men co-workers (for women), cursing and swearing, filthy talking, or other such temptations to sin, you need to prayerfully and diligently look for another place of work, perhaps even starting a home business. No job, no matter how stable or well-paying it may be, is worth the loss of your soul. Satan is very clever and knows just how to ensnare us and drag us down in an unguarded moment, and we must not give him any advantage to do this.

E. Women in the Workplace

10) What is God’s ideal career for women? ____________________________________

“That they may teach the young __________ to be sober, to ________ their ________________, to love their ________________, [To be] discreet, chaste, ______________________________, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not ____________________.” Titus 2:4-5

When women have husbands and children, their place is in the home caring for their family; but there are a few jobs besides homemaking which are specially suited to women. These jobs are best done by women who are single or do not have any children. They are church school teachers, and midwives, doctors, and nurses who care for other women. Women can also have a home business, and this can be done even if you have a family, involving the children in all aspects of running the business as part of their education. You might bake bread, sew modest clothes, or do housecleaning for some godly elderly friends.

F. Sales Jobs

11) What if my job requires me to sell (as a cashier, salesman, etc.) products which are harmful to others (bad movies or magazines, liquor, tobacco, meat and other unhealthy foods, jewelry, immodest clothes, etc.)? What should I do? ______________________


“I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings. [As] the partridge sitteth [on eggs], and hatcheth [them] not; [so] he that ____________________________, and ____________ __________, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a ________.” Jeremiah 17:10-11

Ill-gotten riches never profit. We should never have any part in helping others get things which will be harmful to them physically or spiritually, or we may cause the loss of their souls, and be held accountable in the judgment for doing so. In everything that we do, we must be sure that we are helping others heavenward.

12) What is one of the qualifications of a bishop, which applies to any child of God?

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, ___________

_________________________________________; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;” 1 Timothy 3:2-3

Not to be greedy of filthy lucre means to not put money-getting above principle. In other words, if you’re making money off of someone else’s fall into temptation, if the thing you’re selling will be harmful to the spiritual life of the person who buys it, that’s being greedy of filthy lucre.

13) What does the Bible say of the liquor seller specifically (which would apply to those who sell other wrong things as well)?

“______ unto him that ____________ his _____________________________, that puttest thy bottle to [him], and makest [him] drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Habakkuk 2:15

Anything God places a woe on is a very serious thing we should avoid doing at all costs.

14) What story in the Bible shows us what we should do with evil things?

“And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts ______________ their __________ together, and ____________ them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver. So __________________________ the word of God and __________________.” Acts 19:18-20

As these new believers destroyed their books of witchcraft, in spite of the fact that they were worth a lot of money, so we should destroy any evil things we have in our possession (TVs, music albums, movies, etc.), rather than to sell them to earn some money, and pollute someone else’s home with them.

15) In conclusion, what Bible principle will further help us determine whether or not our occupation is appropriate for a follower of Christ?

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or ________________________________, do all to the ________________________.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

16) Does your work glorify God? Is it noble, moral, upright, honest, in harmony with the example and teachings of Christ? As you prayerfully examine your occupation in the light of the things we have studied in this lesson, does it harmonize with God’s standards? Will you make the commitment today that, no matter what temporal hardships or losses it might cause, you will come out of any unbiblical job situations you may be in, and seek to do only the kinds of work which God can approve of and bless?





Next Study:

11) Keeping Sabbath Holy