Sabbath School Lesson for December 8-14, 2018


Aspects of worship worth noting this week are…

  • who and why we worship (Sunday)
  • what is false worship (Monday)
  • worship in the last days (Tuesday)
  • worship in the early days–by the early Christians (Wednesday)
  • methods of worship that still work today (Thursday)


Since worship has always been a main issue of contention in the great controversy between Christ and Satan, it is especially vital that we see how worship affects our unity with God and each other. The three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 are pointed warnings for us to be united in our worship of the Creator.

Understanding and participating in true worship will be more helpful than identifying false systems of worship, because just knowing that something is wrong doesn’t mean we will do what is right. Emphasizing correct expressions of worship can do much more in helping us see counterfeit worship that will undoubtedly be apparent, especially in the last days.

Memory Text: “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–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 14:6, 7 NKJV

This prophetic message from the first angel mentions aspects of God that must be remembered when we worship Him.

  • He is our Creator (“who made heaven and earth…”).
  • He is our Redeemer (“the everlasting gospel” we are to preach).
  • He is our Judge (“for the hour of His judgment has come”).

Sunday: Worshiping Our Creator and Redeemer

One has only to read some of David’s psalms to see that intense emotions are certainly appropriate in our worship experience. Praising God in His holiness and majesty is expressed in Psalm 29:2, when it says, “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” NKJV

It’s obvious here that worshiping God consists of recognizing His glory and giving Him the honor He deserves. This should be the whole purpose of worship.

There are many ways to express our praise of Him. It can be through song or poetry, through financial giving, or by service to others. Whatever way we choose, God will look at the condition of our heart, for the emotions that accompany our worship experience.

True worship is only possible when we keep our attention on God, and not on ourselves. Remembering Him as our Creator and Redeemer should always be on our mind. The Sabbath was created expressly for this purpose, as an avenue for worship, a weekly reminder to spend time with God, our Creator and Redeemer.

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 5:11-14 and Matthew 4:10. Why is Jesus, identified as the Lamb, worshiped by the whole universe in this prophetic scene in Revelation? How does this support Christ’s deity?

Read Revelation 4:8-11. For what else is God worshiped in this scene in heaven’s throne room?

Read John 1:29 and Isaiah 53:2, 3. Why did so few recognize Christ’s deity when He lived on this earth?

Monday: False Worship

False worship has been with us from the days of Cain and Abel. Cain, you remember, chose a false form of worship by offering his own chosen sacrifice of garden produce, instead of the symbolic lamb God had designated.

Daniel’s three friends recognized that bowing down to a golden idol consisted of false worship. They rightly chose not to bow, in spite of the king’s threat of death.

Satan’s third temptation to Jesus in the wilderness involved false worship. “Bow down and worship me,” he offered, in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world.

Yes, Satan has made it his studied effort to entice people to worship anyone or anything but the rightful God, who created and redeemed us. As saved children of God, we have experienced that redemption firsthand.

No one has more reason to worship this Redeemer God than we do. Not evenGod’s angels still in heaven. How they must long to hear our stories of redemption firsthand when the Lord takes us to heaven with Him at the Second Coming.

Discussion Questions:

Read Daniel 3:10, 11 and Revelation 13:13, 14. What kind of image will Satan use to deceive so many into bowing down to it in the last days? Why will it most likely not be an actual image, such as the one in the story of Daniel’s friends?

Read Revelation 16:2 and 14:12. How are God’s saints able to stay strong and not worship Satan’s image? In what ways are obedience and faith necessary to our survival, both now and in the future?

Read Matthew 4:8-11. Why was this temptation so great for Jesus? What was false about Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms of the world?

Tuesday: The First Angel’s Message

A careful examination of all three of these angel messages in Revelation 14 brings us to the conclusion that they are given just prior to the earth’s harvest by the Lamb of God. Indeed that harvest is described just after the announcement of the messages.

The theme of the messages is also undoubtedly worship. Specifically, worshiping the Creator, as mentioned here almost identically in the fourth commandment about the Sabbath. Those who don’t worship Him are described as having the mark of the beast and being lost.

No wonder Seventh-day Adventists are not shy about worshiping on the seventh-day Sabbath, and proclaiming that doctrine with such enthusiasm. In the end times it should be made a “big deal”, because worshiping God will be a “big deal”.

Someday soon the issues will clear, and all will have the opportunity to choose true worship or false worship. Worshiping God in any other way than He’s prescribed will in those final hours have eternal consequences.

Don’t hesitate to listen to your heart and worship God in the truest fashion. This includes, not just obedience, however. We must also have faith, a loving heart that has been transformed by God’s grace. The saints are described as having obedience, but also the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).

So, keep in mind, it’s not just about the day, it’s about what’s in our heart. Psalm 51:16, 17 identifies true sacrifice as being “a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart.” True worship goes deep and keeps us strong.

Discussion Questions:

Read Revelation 14:6 and Matthew 24:14. Who should be receiving this message about worship?

Read Revelation 14:7 and Exodus 20:11. How should the first angel’s message impact those living in the last days?

Read Revelation 11:1. Why is it important to examine our worship? Are details important when it comes to worship? What does the way we worship say about the worshiper?

Wednesday: Bible Study and Fellowship

Central to any unity we might find in our worship experience has to be our study of God’s word. It’s only through ongoing Bible searching will we be equipped to come together and fulfill our earthly mission . These valuable doctrines are Scriptural teachings we hold dear, and must be the foundation of our church’s existence.

Our Bible study can and should be enhanced by our coming together to share what we have learned through the week. Thus the Sabbath School, a place for shared insights and discoveries, has become a featured part of our worship service. We should all take advantage of this tool for church growth. Some have called Sabbath School the heartbeat of the church. Our Bible study and mission emphasis are what keeps us alive, both individually and as a church.

Discussion Questions:

Read Acts 2:42. Why are Bible teaching (or doctrine) and fellowship both important for church unity and growth? How do you see them used in your church, and how might they be improved?

Read Acts 17:10, 11 and John 5:39. What should we be looking for, when we study the Bible? Why are personal and group Bible study both necessary for the best results?

Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17. When should our study of the Bible begin, and what are some of the benefits of knowing the Scriptures?

Thursday: Breaking of Bread and Prayer

Fellowship, in any form, is a crucial component of our Christian unity. The early Christians took full advantage of it. Finding hospitality in each other’s homes, in addition to their weekly meetings on Sabbath, brought them together in unity as no other activity could have achieved. Let’s not allow apathy in this area to prevent us from the close bonding our hospitality promotes.

This is why regularly-scheduled fellowship dinners have become popular in churches today. Sharing a meal with others, anywhere, is a great way to increase unity among church members, and to make visitors/newcomers feel welcome and leave them with a desire to return.

It is thought that early Christians often used their fellowship meal times to follow the Lord’s direction about using the symbols of bread and drink to commemorate His last supper with the disciples. Their blessing on the meal would often be in memory of His death and resurrection. Many Christian denominations continue a practice of having a communion celebration of some kind to be regularly reminded of that great salvation event.

Prayer obviously was also a part of the activities of these early church members. Persecution often drove them to their knees, strengthening and uniting them at the same time. For example, a special prayer meeting was being held the night of Peter’s release from jail, as we read about in Acts 12.

Mid-week prayer meetings are one of the most important times for churches to meet, even now. But sadly, they are not always the most popular and well-attended meetings, causing the loss of many blessings for the church. God’s people should make every effort to support the prayer program of their particular church. These times together in prayer are probably the church’s greatest opportunity to achieve spiritual unity, with God and each other.

Discussion Questions:

Read Acts 2:46, 47. Why are shared eating experiences able to break down barriers and unite people? What are some ways to make your church’s fellowship meals even more welcoming and inclusive for all who attend them?

Read Acts 1:14. What might have been some of the topics of prayer in this upper room prayer meeting, so soon after Jesus returned to heaven?

Read Acts 4:27-31. Why were they praying for boldness, and not just for release from persecution? What does this indicate about their spiritual health, as they struggled with hardships?


Since our study has been about worship this week, I invite you to read this companion blog I wrote, called “Worshiping Our Creator this Christmas: Let God Be the Judge”. It too is all about worship. I hope you find it food for thought and perhaps a topic for discussion in your Sabbath School group this week. We must be careful not to label worship as false, when, in fact, it just differs from our customary practice and preference. Let God be the judge of that. Here is the link…

Next Week’s Lesson: Church Organization and Unity

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