Lesson 25 | Sabbath, 19 December 2020
Lydia means “kind.”14
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.” Acts 16:14.
“True meekness softens and subdues the heart and gives the mind a fitness for the engrafted Word. It brings the thoughts into obedience to Jesus Christ. It opens the heart to the Word of God, as Lydia’s was opened.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 264.
“Lydia received the truth gladly. She and her household were converted and baptized, and she entreated the apostles to make her house their home.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 212.
The day of worship and rest for Jesus, the apostles, and the believers
- Where did the apostle Paul and Silas go on their missionary journey through Macedonia? What did they do when the holy Sabbath came?
Acts 16:12, 13 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
“The time had come for the gospel to be proclaimed beyond the confines of Asia Minor…. The call was imperative, admitting of no delay…. [Said Luke,] ‘We came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony.’” –Daughters of God, p. 73.
- What was the customary day of worship for Jesus and the apostles? Give Biblical evidence that identifies the holy day.
Luke 4:16 And 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 for to read.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.
Mark 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
“Many times the Jews charged Christ with breaking the Sabbath. Often they tried to kill Him because He did not keep it according to their traditions. But this made no difference with Him. He kept the Sabbath as God wanted it to be kept.”–The Story of Jesus, p. 71.
- With whom did the apostle Paul meet on the Sabbath after attending services in the synagogue? What city was Lydia from, and what was her profession?
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
“God’s Spirit can only enlighten the understanding of those who are willing to be enlightened. We read that God opened the ears of Lydia, so that she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God and all that was essential for Lydia to receive–this was the part Paul was to act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power, leading the soul in the right way. God and the human agent cooperated, and the work was wholly successful.” –Daughters of God, p. 73.
- Besides being a day of worship, why does God’s command His people to rest on the Sabbath day, just as Lydia did? Why is the Sabbath commandment considered the seal of His divine law?
Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But 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: 11For 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.
Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
“The Lord commands by the same prophet: ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.’ Isaiah 8:16. 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. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given. 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.
“‘To the law and to the testimony.’ While conflicting doctrines and theories abound, the law of God is the one unerring rule by which all opinions, doctrines, and theories are to be tested. Says the prophet: ‘If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Verse 20.” –The Great Controversy, p. 452.
The conversion of Lydia
- What wonderful event occurred in the lives of Lydia and her family? What was a virtue that she possessed as a descendant of Sarah?
Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
“True meekness softens and subdues the heart and gives the mind a fitness for the engrafted Word. It brings the thoughts into obedience to Jesus Christ. It opens the heart to the Word of God, as Lydia’s was opened….
“The apostles would not urge their presence where it was not desired. They complied with the request of the magistrates, but did not hasten their departure…. They went rejoicing from the prison to the house of Lydia, where they met the new converts to the faith of Christ, and related all the wonderful dealings of God with them. They related their night’s experience, and the conversion of the keeper of the prison, and of the prisoners.” –Reflecting Christ, pp. 264, 343.
The last great accusation of Rome against the elect
- What custom that both Lydia and the apostles observed was considered a crime by the Romans? Likewise, what did Jesus instruct the Christians to do in the last days when accusation will be brought against them for breaking a Roman law?
Acts 16:20, 21 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Matthew 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.
“The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.
“Heretofore those who presented the truths of the third angel’s message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and state would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd. It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been–the defender of religious freedom. But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.” –The Great Controversy, p. 605.
- According to prophecy, referring to the believers in Thyatira, the city of Lydia, what would they not adopt? What were they and those living at the end of time instructed to hold fast?
Revelation 2:24, 25; 14:12 But unto you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25But that which you have already hold fast till I come…. 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Hebrews 4:4, 9 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…. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
“The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power–all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven.” –The Great Controversy, p. 606.
Additional study – what should not be done on the Sabbath
“I say to those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists, Can you claim the seal of the living God? Can you claim that you are sanctified by the truth? We have not, as a people, given the law of God the preeminence as we should. We are in danger of doing our own pleasure on the Sabbath day.
“Every working of Christ in miracles was essential, and was to reveal to the world that there was a great work to be done on the Sabbath day for the relief of suffering humanity, but the common work was not to be done. Pleasure seeking, ball playing, swimming, was not a necessity, but a sinful neglect of the sacred day sanctified by Jehovah. Christ did not perform miracles merely to display His power, but always to meet Satan in afflicting suffering humanity. Christ came to our world to meet the needs of the suffering, whom Satan was torturing.
“We would charge all not to wash their dishes on the Sabbath if this can possibly be avoided. God is dishonored by any unnecessary work done on His holy day. It is not inconsistent, but proper, that the dishes should be left unwashed till the close of the Sabbath, if this can be managed….
“The house of God is desecrated and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath believers’ children. They run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints have met together to glorify God and to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. The place that should be holy, where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon and a place where confusion, disorder, and untidiness reign. This is enough to shut out God from our assemblies and cause His wrath to be kindled, that He will not be pleased to go out with the armies of Israel to battle against our enemies.” –Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 258, 257.