Special Sabbath School Offering for
THE GAMBIA AND SENEGAL
May the Holy Spirit impress your heart as you give for these countries!
Sabbath, September 6, 2014
“God calls upon every church member to dedicate his life unreservedly to the Lord’s service. He calls for decided reformation. All creation is groaning under the curse. God’s people should place themselves where they will grow in grace, being sanctified, body, soul, and spirit, by the truth. When they break away from all health-destroying indulgences, they will have a clearer perception of what constitutes true godliness. A wonderful change will be seen in the religious experience.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 34.
Repairing the breach
1. What characterizes the Advent Movement as a true reformation? On what is it founded?
Isaiah 58:12, 13 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 13 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.
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to cooperate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 678.
“I was shown that if the true Sabbath had always been kept, there would never have been an infidel or an atheist. The observance of the Sabbath would have preserved the world from idolatry.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 76.
2. What happened to the houses of Israel and Judah in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah? Is a departure from God’s way limited only to ancient times?
Jeremiah 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their fore-fathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
“The world is defiled under its inhabitants. They have nearly filled up the measure of their iniquity; but that which will bring the heaviest retribution is the practice of iniquity under the cloak of godliness. The Redeemer of the world never spurned true repentance, however great the guilt; but He hurls burning denunciations against Pharisees and hypocrites.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 144.
“Those who have permitted their minds to become beclouded in regard to what constitutes sin are fearfully deceived. Unless they make a decided change they will be found wanting when God pronounces judgment upon the children of men. They have transgressed the law and broken the everlasting covenant, and they will receive according to their works.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 267.
The Sabbath, a pivotal issue
3. What was prophesied concerning the divine law? Why was this done?
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
“Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws.’ This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols,… the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship….
“In the early part of the fourth century, the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman empire…. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians and the heathen, it would promote the nominal acceptance of Christianity by pagans….
“Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honored as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 51-53.
4. At the time of Jesus, how far did the Jews go with their traditions? Does the fact that a tradition has existed for a very long time make it acceptable?
Matthew 15:3-6 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
“Reforms must be entered into with heart and soul and will. Errors may be hoary with age; but age does not make error truth, nor truth error. Altogether too long have the old customs and habits been followed. The Lord would now have every idea that is false put away from teachers and students. We are not at liberty to teach that which shall meet the world’s standard or the standard of the church, simply because it is the custom to do so.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 142.
5. In which of the Ten Commandments is God’s seal found? What elements of a seal does it contain?
Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 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: 11 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.
“The seal of God’s law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver…. When the Sabbath was changed by the papal power, the seal was taken from the law. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to restore it, by exalting the Sabbath of the fourth commandment to its rightful position as the Creator’s memorial and the sign of His authority.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 451, 452.
Areas of reformation
6. What message of reform is being sounded all over the world?
Revelation 14:6, 7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
“This message, if heeded, will call the attention of every nation and kindred and tongue and people to a close examination of the Word, and to the true light in regard to the power that has changed the seventh-day Sabbath to a spurious sabbath…. The Sabbath memorial, declaring who the living God is, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has been torn down, and a spurious sabbath has been given to the world in its place.” –Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 105, 106.
7. What other message of reform is being proclaimed, and for what purpose?
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 3:16, 17 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s…. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
“Reform, continual reform, must be kept before the people, and by our example we must enforce our teachings. True religion and the laws of health go hand in hand. It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind. Men and women must be taught to take a careful review of every habit and practice, and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body, and thus cast a dark shadow over the mind.” –Counsels on Health, p. 445.
8. What type of healing is included in health reform?
2 Kings 20:1-3, 7 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore…. 7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
John 9:6, 7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
“There are many ways of practicing the healing art; but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God’s remedies are the simple agencies of nature, that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Pure air and water, cleanliness, a proper diet, purity of life, and a firm trust in God, are remedies for the want of which thousands are dying; yet these remedies are going out of date because their skillful use requires work that the people do not appreciate.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 443.
“Our institutions are established that the sick may be treated by hygienic methods, discarding almost entirely the use of drugs….
“Drugging should be forever abandoned; for while it does not cure any malady, it enfeebles the system, making it more susceptible to disease.” –Healthful Living, pp. 246, 244.
9. What else is an integral part of the Adventist Reformation? What is an abomination to God?
1 Timothy 2:9, 10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
“My views were calculated to correct the present fashion, the extreme long dress, trailing upon the ground, and also to correct the extreme short dress, reaching about to the knees, which is worn by a certain class. I was shown that we should shun both extremes….
“There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 464, 457.
10. In what other area of life will reform take place? Why?
2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
Leviticus 20:24, last part I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.
Isaiah 48:20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.
“The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence…. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political scheme….
“What are we to do, then? Let political questions alone….
“It is a mistake for you to link your interests with any political party, to cast your vote with them or for them.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 391, 393.