Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
God Started It
“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. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2, 3). Because God rested on the seventh day, he designated it a holy day to be remembered for all time. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He says in the fourth commandment. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10).
The Reason for the Sabbath
God designed the Sabbath for two main reasons: to commemorate creation and as a sign of our salvation. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). “I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy” (Ezekiel 20:12).
The Hebrew word sabbath literally means “to cease.” Just as God rested from His creation work, we are to rest from our day-to-day occupations and refocus on what’s really important. It’s a day to push the reset button. Taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith; it’s a reminder that no matter what we do, God is in control. When we cease from pursuing our material goals for one day each week, we’re saying, “God, I trust You to maintain control while I spend this day focusing on You. I trust You to provide for my needs seven days a week even if I only work for six of them. Regardless of how much money I could earn today, or how much remains on my to-do list from last week, today I’m going to rest my mind and body and bask in Your presence.”
parts 1 and 2
- Origins - Views of human beginnings from Babylonian and Aztec
- myths as well as from the Bible and the Koran.
- The Evolution Explanation - Darwin's theory of evolution challenges traditional view of origins.
- Beyond Chance - A case against blind chance as a logical explanation of human origins.
- Intelligent Designer - The Bible's portrayal of Creation and the Creator.
- The Architecture of Time - The week and the Sabbath in the structure of human life.
- Point of Contact - The weekly Sabbath in man's relationship with God.
- A Day for All Mankind - The universal and perpetual purpose for the weekly day of rest.
- Unholy Sabbath - National disaster strikes the "chosen people" due, in part, to their neglect of the Sabbath.
Sabbath Around the World - Somehow the concept of Sabbath extended into the culture and language of many peoples.
Reform - Revival of Sabbath observance among the Jews who returned from exile results in heroism and tragedy.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Parts 3 and 4
- Religion in Rome - A summary view of Roman religions during the time of Jesus.
- The Jewish Sabbath - Strict Sabbath-keeping marked the Jews as unique.
- The Sabbath Reformer - The Bible portrays Jesus as a revolutionary Sabbath-keeper.
- Prophecy - Jesus predicted that His followers would be still be keeping the Sabbath at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
- Christians and Jews - The two groups shared a view of a personal God and of the weekly Sabbath, but Christians found new meaning in the holy day.
- The Christian Sabbath - Clear evidence for Christian observance of the seventh-day Sabbath in the first century AD.
- Sunday-keepers - Second-century Christians in Alexandria and Rome begin observing the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath.
- The Day of the Sun - Roman sun worship and its link to Christian Sunday observance.
- Sunday Law - Emperor Constantine legalizes Sunday as the weekly day of rest in the Roman Empire.
- The Sabbath Survives - Proof of seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observance into the middle of the fourth century.
And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath
parts 5 and 6
- Celtic Christianity - The religious background to the story of St. Patrick.
- The Real Patrick - Once a slave in Ireland, Patrick responds to a divine call and returns to the Emerald Isle as a missionary.
- Celtic Sabbath - Saturday observed as the Sabbath by Celtic Christians.
- Margaret of Scotland - Margaret comes from England, marries King Malcolm, and attempts to reform Sunday observance in Scotland.
- Assault on the Sabbath - The Church of Rome promotes the Sabbath (Saturday) fast as an expression of anti-Jewish sentiments.
- Power Struggle - The "Sabbath fast" becomes a key issue in the rivalry between church leaders in Rome and Constantinople.
- Deceptions - The "letter from heaven" threatens Sunday-breakers.
- Fight for Truth - Resistance to church/state authority brings tragedy.
- John Wycliffe: Champion of Conscience - An Oxford professor focuses new attention on the Bible as the supreme authority for Christian faith and practice.
- The Lollards - Wycliffe's followers take his views throughout England and beyond.
- The Church vs. the Bible - The church-state establishment opposes the spread of the Bible and the ideas of Wycliffe and the Lollards.
parts 7 and 8
- Russian Reformation - This Sabbath-keeping movement reached the highest levels of Russian society and led to fiery executions in Moscow's Red Square.
- Sabbath vs. Sunday in Ethiopia - Jesuit missionaries succeeded in converting the Emperor to Roman Catholicism, but attempts to quash Sabbath observance resulted in civil war.
- Inquisition - Civil and religious authorities united to root out "heresy."
- Purging the Church in Spain - Ferdinand and Isabella, the "Catholic Monarchs," used the Spanish Inquisition to rid their church of Jewish heresies.
- Portugal Exports the Inquisition - Inquisitors carried their campaign of religious persecution into the new territories of Portugal's expanding empire.
- Authority: Sola Scriptura? - Protestant Reformers insisted on the authority of the sacred Scriptures, while Catholic leaders defended their church's stand on Tradition.
- Anabaptists - Persecuted by Protestants and Catholics alike, these radical reformers stood for strict adherence to biblical teachings. Among them were new champions of the Sabbath.
- The Seventh-day Men - While many Puritan preachers insisted on strict observance of Sunday, other prominent Englishmen called for a return to the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments.
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: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, ...
Parts 9, 10, and 11
- Roger Williams and Religious Liberty - This nonconformist preacher established the Rhode Island colony on the foundation of freedom of conscience for everybody.
- To the New World - A Sabbath-keeping Baptist couple emigrate from England to Rhode Island and help establish the first Seventh Day Baptist congregation in America.
- A Song in the Wilderness - Conrad Beisel and his followers establish a Sabbath-keeping community on Pennsylvania's Cocalico Creek — the Ephrata Coister.
- A Voice from Germany - Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf directs the Moravian mission to the North American Indians and inspires his community to keep the seventh-day Sabbath.
- Advent Movement - A Seventh Day Baptist lady shares her Sabbath beliefs with her pastor, and this leads to the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
- Kingdom of Heavenly Peace - 19th-century China is shaken by the Taiping Revolution, a huge peasant revolt that is shaped, in part, by biblical principles including observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.
- Eskimo Prophet - In Alaska's Kobuk River valley a man named Maniilaq learns about "seventh-day resting" from one he calls "the Grandfather."
- The Shining One - Deep in the South American rain forest Chief Owkwa learns about the Sabbath from a bright celestial visitor.
- Africa - The Sabbath's deep cultural roots in various parts of this continent.
- Saving Sunday - The secularization of Sunday in 19th-century America leads some political and religious leaders to promote laws that would protect Sunday as the national day of rest and worship.
- Sabbath on Trial - People who observe Saturday rather than Sunday as their weekly day of worship sometimes face financial hardship and legal trouble because of their beliefs.
- People of the Sabbath - Although still a small minority, seventh-day Sabbath-keepers are increasing in number around the world.
- Challenges - Sabbath-keeping theologians respond to critics who contend that observing the seventh-day Sabbath is legalistic or irrelevant for Christians today.
- Eternal Sabbath - Bible prophecy points to the Sabbath as part of God's plan for a perfect world in the eternal future.