The Narrow Way Bible Study Lessons
Keeping Sabbath Holy
We all know how the beautiful truth of the Sabbath, God’s memorial and seal, is taught throughout the Bible. Now let’s look at the Sabbath very practically and ask, how does God want me to keep it? What is your typical Sabbath like? Sleep in, hurried breakfast, no time for devotions, rush off in time to barely make it to church service, try to stay awake through the sermon, eat a big fellowship dinner or eat out at a restaurant, go home and take a nap…? Does any of this sound familiar to you? As in the other areas we have been looking at, God has a better plan for us. Remember, He has our best interest and happiness in view.
1) What is going on in heaven each Sabbath now? _______________________________
“All heaven is keeping the Sabbath, but not in a listless, do-nothing way. On this day every energy of the soul should be awake, for are we not to meet with God and with Christ our Saviour?” 6T 362
2) What will we be doing every Sabbath in the New Earth? ________________________
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and ________________________________ to ______________, shall all flesh come to ______________ before me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 66:22-23
3) For what purpose was the Sabbath created? Read the quote and then write the answer in your own words. ________________________________________________________
“It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship.” GC 53
4) Which day is the preparation day, and how are we to prepare for the Sabbath?
“And that day was the ______________________, and the ______________ drew on.” Luke 23:54
“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight….We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.” 6T 355
5) On the lines below, list the things that need to be done in your home before Sabbath arrives. You may be able to get some of them done even before Friday, and thus avoid such a rush.
6) When and how should we welcome the Sabbath? ____________________________
“From ________ unto ________, shall ye celebrate your ______________.” Leviticus 23:32
“Before the setting of the sun, let the members of the family assemble to read God's Word, to sing and pray.” 6T 356
In addition to evening worship, there are other family traditions you can form to make the arrival of Sabbath a special, looked-forward-to event. If you eat supper, make a special fruit dish you don’t normally have; play quiet Sabbath music, and have a special pretty “Sabbath candle” you light only on Friday evenings. Think of what you would like to do to make the coming of Sabbath special in your home.
7) What should Sabbath morning be like in our homes? Read the quote, then write on the lines below what you would like your home to be like on Sabbath morning.
“Let not the precious hours of the Sabbath be wasted in bed. On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early. If they rise late, there is confusion and bustle in preparing for breakfast and Sabbath school. There is hurrying, jostling, and impatience. Thus unholy feelings come into the home. The Sabbath, thus desecrated, becomes a weariness, and its coming is dreaded rather than loved.” 6T 357
8) Is meeting with fellow believers for church on Sabbath important? YES / NO
“Not __________________ the ____________________ of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the ________, as ye see the ______________________________.” Hebrews 10:25
“For where two or three are __________________________________ in ________
________, there am I in the __________ of them.” Matthew 18:20
“ Some have made a serious mistake in neglecting to attend the public worship of God. The privileges of divine service will be as beneficial to them as to others, and are fully as essential.” 4T 539
It is not really important whether your church is large or small or even in a home. As long as it is teaching and upholding the true doctrines and standards of Adventism (more in lesson #17 on what to do if it is not), and you are coming together reverently to worship God and learn His will for your life, He will be there.
9) What example did Jesus give us in regards to going to church on Sabbath?
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as __________________ was, he went into the __________________ on the ______________ day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16
10) How important is it to be reverent in the sanctuary, and to teach our children to be reverent? _____________________________________________________________
“Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and ____________________________________________: I [am] the LORD.” Leviticus 19:30
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may __________ God ____________________ with __________________ and godly fear:” Hebrews 12:28
“God is greatly to be feared in the ________________ of the ____________, and to be had in __________________ of all [them that are] about him.” Psalms 89:7
“I have seen that in the assembly of the saints a holy stillness should reign. But the house where God's people assemble is often made a perfect babylon, a place of confusion and disorder. This is displeasing to God.” 2SG 288
“Reverence is greatly needed in the youth of this age. I am alarmed as I see children and youth of religious parents so heedless of the order and propriety that should be observed in the house of God. While God's servants are presenting the words of life to the people, some will be reading, others whispering and laughing…. God sees every irreverent thought or action, and it is registered in the books of heaven.” MYP 265-266
“When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats…. Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service…. If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house.” 5T 492
“Sometimes young men and women have so little reverence for the house and worship of God that they keep up a continual communication with each other during the sermon. Could these see the angels of God looking upon them and marking their doings, they would be filled with shame, with abhorrence of themselves. God wants attentive hearers.” 5T 493
“When the benediction is pronounced, all should still be quiet, as if fearful of losing the peace of Christ. Let all pass out without jostling or loud talking, feeling that they are in the presence of God, that His eye is resting upon them, and that they must act as in His visible presence. Let there be no stopping in the aisles to visit or gossip, thus blocking them up so that others cannot pass out. The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence. It should not be made a place to meet old friends and visit and introduce common thoughts and worldly business transactions.” 5T 494
The church is God’s house, a place where we come to worship Him, and we should behave as we would in the visible presence of the King of the universe - very reverently. How do you think God feels when children are running around laughing and screaming, cell phones are ringing/playing and we’re rushing to answer them, and young people and adults are whispering during the sermon and loudly laughing and chatting in the sanctuary afterwards? I’m afraid that sometimes without realizing it, we treat our Lord very rudely. May we make a commitment to come higher, by God’s grace.
11) What story from Jesus’ life shows us how important reverence in the sanctuary is to God?
“And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry [any] vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the ______________________________? but ye have made it a ___________________________.” Mark 11:15-17
12) What should our words and acts on the Sabbath be?
“Remember the sabbath day, to ________________________. 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 ______________________________, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] ________________________________: 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.” Exodus 20:8-11
“If thou ________ away thy ________ from the sabbath, [from] __________________
__________________ on my holy day; and ________ the sabbath a _______________, the ________ of the LORD, ____________________; and shalt ___________________, not __________ thine ________________, nor ______________ thine ______________
________________, nor ________________ [thine own] __________: Then shalt thou ______________ thyself in the _________; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].” Isaiah 58:13-14
“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 ____________ to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ____________ from his __________________, as God [did] from his.” Hebrews 4:4, 9-10
“ When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord's…. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The fourth commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words.” 2T 702, 703
“Work that is neglected until the beginning of the Sabbath should remain undone until it is past.” PP 296
“Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character.” PP 307
“God made man in His own image and then gave him an example of observing the seventh day, which He sanctified and made holy. He designed that upon that day man should worship Him and engage in no secular pursuits.” 4T 247
We are not to do any work on the Sabbath; neither are we to do our own pleasure. This means that on the Sabbath we will refrain from listening to secular music, shopping or making purchases (even buying gas for the car), eating out at restaurants, reading the newspaper or secular books, watching TV or sports, visiting museums or amusement parks, doing community service work projects, participating in any recreational activities that would detract from the sacredness of the Sabbath such as swimming, playing ball, gardening, hunting, fishing, birthday parties or other gatherings for our own pleasure, cooking and baking food, sleeping long hours, speaking of business or shallow worldly things, or taking part in any other activity which distracts our mind from God.
So what shall we do on Sabbath? There are a great many things we can do on Sabbath that will help us draw closer to the Lord and keep our minds on Him. The morning will likely be taken up in Sabbath school and church. In the afternoon we may study the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy by ourselves or with others, sing hymns, go for a walk in nature, look for nature object lessons, fellowship with like believers (taking care to keep the conversation on heavenly things), or visit and sing to an elderly shut-in, to name a few.
List some words and acts that are appropriate for the Sabbath: ______________________
List some words and acts that are not appropriate for the Sabbath: ___________________
13) How should we guide our children on the Sabbath? Read the quote below, then list at least four things you could do with your children this Sabbath.
“The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours…. The children can be interested in good reading or in conversation about the salvation of their souls. But they will have to be educated and trained. The natural heart does not love to think of God, of heaven, or of heavenly things…. Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God's holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers. The parents may take their children outdoors to view God in nature.” CG 532
14) What Bible story shows us how God feels about buying and selling on the Sabbath?
“In those days saw I in Judah [some] treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all [manner of] burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified [against them] in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and ________ on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What ________ thing [is] this that ye do, and ______________ the ______________ day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and [some] of my servants set I at the gates, [that] there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do [so] again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no [more] on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and [that] they should come [and] keep the gates, to ________________ the ______________________. Remember me, O my God, [concerning] this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.” Nehemiah 13:15-22
15) Is it okay to help the suffering 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
The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy make it clear that the sick must be cared for and the suffering relieved on the Sabbath as on any other day. We encourage you to re-read the Spirit of Prophecy counsel given on this subject in lesson #10, question #2. However, some misinterpret the counsel and justify going out on Sabbath to rake leaves, mow lawns, and paint houses for poor people in the community. This is a misuse of the Sabbath, a poor witness for our faith, and a dishonor to God. No one will experience physical suffering to have their house remain unpainted or their lawn un-mowed one more day, and if they would, you should rather bring them to church or to your home with you than to do this unnecessary labor on God’s holy day.
16) How shall we eat and prepare food on the Sabbath, and what story in the Bible gives us an example of this? Give a brief answer in your own words: _____________________
“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…. And it came to pass, [that] on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one [man]: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This [is that] which the LORD hath said, To ____________ [is] the rest of the ________________________ unto the LORD: ________ [that] which ye will bake [____________], and ____________ that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day [is] a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. ________________ ye shall ___________ it; but on the seventh day, [which is] the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, [that] there went out [some] of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long ____________ ye to keep my ________________________ and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people ____________ on the ______________ day.” Exodus 16:4, 22-30
“All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave his law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not as palatable. God forbade the children of Israel baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them.” 3SG 254
“ We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain…. While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day.” 6T 357
17) Aren’t all these Sabbath-keeping rules just legalism? YES / NO
“If ye ________ me, ________ my ________________________.” John 14:15
“For this is the ________ of God, that we ________ his ________________________: and his commandments are ________________________.” 1 John 5:3
Obedience to God freely rendered from a heart full of love is never legalism. God gave us specific guidelines how He would have us keep His Sabbath holy so that we could know how to best please Him, for which we should be truly thankful.
18) Is this even a matter of much importance to God? Will my small infractions on the hours of the Sabbath be brought up in the judgment , or won’t God overlook them?
Here is the counsel given in 4T 249 to one brother who was breaking the Sabbath: “Brother K, how dare you venture to transgress a commandment so solemn and important? Has the Lord made an exception by which you are absolved from the law He has given to the world? Are your transgressions omitted from the book of record? Has He agreed to excuse your disobedience when the nations come before Him for judgment? Do not for a moment deceive yourself with the thought that your sin will not bring its merited punishment. Your transgressions will be visited with the rod, because you have had the light, yet have walked directly contrary to it.” What a solemn warning to those who knowingly continue to transgress God’s law.
Think about what Sabbath in your family is generally like. Are there any areas where you can make improvement in keeping Sabbath holy, and in making it a special, joyfully anticipated day in your home each week? Would you make a commitment to God right now, that by His grace you will make the needed changes in your life and in your home so that Sabbath will be for you the day of sacred joy God intended it to be?
12) Entertainment or Recreation?