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12. Christ's Special Sign

Rest for the Restless in Today's World

The book of Revelation presents God's final message for a world in deep trouble. It is a message especially designed for a people living during the final climactic hours of earth's history. It is a universal message that leaps across geographical boundaries. It is a message for all nations, tribes, languages, and peoples. It is an urgent, compelling message of good news. It is an urgent appeal for men and women everywhere to prepare for the soon return of Christ.

As we have studied in our previous lessons, only in Christ are men and women capable of meeting the claims of God's law in earth's final judgment hour. God's last-day message is a message of surrender and commitment.

In this secular, materialistic age of humanistic thinking, many have dismissed the idea of a God who created the heavens and the earth. The theory of evolution has replaced the Bible teaching of creation. It is not surprising to find God sounding a loud and clear call to worship Christ as our Creator in the Bible's last book, Revelation.

01. In Revelation chapter 14:6-7, who is God calling us to worship?
Revelation 14:6-7
06. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people -
07. saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Revelation's final appeal to humanity is a call to worship the one who "made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of waters" (verse 7). It is a call to worship our Maker or Creator.

02. What is the basis of all worship?
Revelation 4:11

You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

03. Whom did God create all things by?
Ephesians 3:8–9

08. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
09. and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Colossians 1:15–16
15. He [Jesus, v13] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

04. How do we worship Christ as the Creator? Has He left a memorial of His creative activity?
Exodus 20:8–11

08. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
09. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10. but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

05. Wasn't the Sabbath given only for the Jews?
Mark 2:27–28

27. And He said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

06. What three things did God do to set aside and distinguish the seventh day from all other days of the week?
Genesis 2:1–3

01. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
02. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
03. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

07. What is the Sabbath called in the Old Testament?
Ezekiel 20:12, 20

12. Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
20. hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’

08. What was Jesus' practice or custom on the Sabbath?
Luke 4:16

So 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 to read.
If Jesus was going to establish another day, He would have done it while He was still alive. He left a positive example of Sabbath keeping in His life.

09. What counsel did Jesus give to His disciples regarding the Sabbath?
Matthew 24:20

And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
The Roman general Titus attacked Jerusalem and destroyed it in A.D. 70. Jesus urged His disciples to pray that their flight (escape) from Jerusalem during the Roman attack would not be in the winter or on the Sabbath day. Jesus specifically gave the instructions "Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath day" because He knew His closest followers would be keeping the Sabbath 35 years after the Crucifixion.

10. What groups did Paul preach to on the Bible Sabbath?
Acts 13:42–44

42. So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
43. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

Paul preached to the Jews on the Sabbath, convincing them that Jesus was the Messiah. He also preached to the Gentiles on Sabbath, not Sunday. Eventually the whole city listened to Paul's Sabbath preaching.

​11. On what day did the apostle Paul meet with a small group of believers to worship?
Acts 16:13

And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

12. What is the Lord's special day called?
Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

13. According to the following texts, what is another name for the 'Lord's Day'?
Luke 6:5

And He said to them, The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:8
For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 2:27–28
27. And He said to them,
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.

14a. Does the Bible actually reveal which day is the seventh day of the week? What three days does the Bible mention in succession?
Luke 23:52–56

52. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
53. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.

54. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
56. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

PREPARATION DAY - Sixth Day = Friday
SABBATH - Seventh Day = Saturday
RESURRECTION - First Day = Sunday​

14b. What other ways can we tell which day is the seventh day?
"Seventh day, Saturday, the seventh day of the week".
(Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, unabridged 2nd ed. [1973]).
"We have had occasion to investigate the results of the works of specialists in chronology and we have never found one of them that has had the slightest doubt about the continuity of the weekly cycle since long before the Christian Era".
James Robertson, director, U.S. Naval Observatory, quoted in March 12, 1932, letter to F. D. Nichol, Mar. 12, 1932).
In more than 106 languages of the world, the seventh day on our calendar called Saturday is translated Sabbath. There is no word for Saturday in these languages. The seventh day is simply called Sabbath. See the image below:

15. What does God offer those who lovingly keep His Sabbath?
Isaiah 56:2

Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Isaiah 58:13–14
13. “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
14. Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

God offers those who obey Him His richest blessings. The Sabbath is Christ's great sign of loyalty. It is a sign of His creative and redemptive power. On this day in a special sense Christians have an invitation to enter into a closer relationship with the Master.

16. What promise does God make regarding Sabbath worship in heaven?
Isaiah 66:22–23

22. “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23. And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

What a promise! Through the ceaseless ages of eternity all flesh, the entire creation, will worship God in harmony each Sabbath. If we are going to worship Him through all eternity, why not start worshipping Him on the Sabbath now? Jesus invites us to love Him with all our hearts and follow truth regardless of what others do. The book of Revelation calls us to worship Him as our Creator. The Sabbath message is part of God's urgent effort to prepare a people for earth's last hour. Pray that Jesus will fill your heart with love.

Concluding Question
The Bible is very clear that God is worthy of worship and to keep the Sabbath is a sign of our worshipful relationship to him. Would you like to accept His invitation to worship Him every week by keeping the Bible Sabbath?

Sabbath facts to consider:
1. THE SABBATH was given to the entire human race at creation (Genesis 2:1-3). The nation of Israel did not exist until the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 2300 years later. More than 100,000 Sabbaths were kept by faithful believers before the existence of the Jewish people.
2. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS were written by Gods own finger on tables of stone. To change God's law, one must have authority equal to God Himself (Exodus 31:8).
3. GOD HIMSELF testifies that he would never change His law (Psalm 89:34, Psalm 111:7-8, Malachi 3:6).
4. JESUS UPHELD the claims of Gods law in His own life (Hebrews 10:7, John 8:29, Matthew 5:17-18).
5. THE DISCIPLES LIVED godly, obedient lives (Acts 5:9; Romans 1:5, James 2:20).
6. THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT PASSAGES in the New Testament mentioning the first day of the week, and not one of them is a positive comment to keep the first day (Sunday) holy (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1, John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). Six of the first-day texts speak of the resurrection of Jesus. They are not commands of worship. They simply record the event. Acts 20:7 records a "farewell meeting that Paul had with the believers, and 1 Corinthians is not a public worship at all. Believers are encouraged to take account of their profits at home on Sunday morning.
7. THE SYMBOL OF THE RESURRECTION is baptism by immersion, not worship on the first day (Romans 6:1-6).