Gospel Order

The Sabbath Day


At the very beginning of the fourth precept, God said, “Remember,” knowing that men and women, in the multitude of their cares and perplexities, would be tempted to excuse themselves from meeting the full requirements of the law or, in the press of worldly business, would forget its sacred importance. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work,” the usual business of life, for worldly profit or pleasure. These words are very explicit; there can be no mistake. God has given us six days in which to do our own work and carry on the usual business of life; but He claims one day, which He has set apart and sanctified. He gives it to us as a day in which we may rest from labor and devote ourselves to worship and the improvement of our spiritual condition. - 4T 249

WHAT IS GOD'S FINAL MESSAGE TO MANKIND?

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, 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.

WHAT IS THE BASIS WHY WE WORSHIP GOD?

Revelation 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things , and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

WHO WAS THE ACTIVE AGENT IN CREATION?

Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Ephesians 3:9. And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

HOW DO WE WORSHIP OUR CREATOR?

Exodus 20:8-11. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy .Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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.

WHEN DID GOD SANCTIFY THE SABBATH?

Genesis 2:1-3. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And 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. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Note that the Sabbath was set apart at creation. God rested upon the seventh day, blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.

"The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God"--because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. "The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten."--J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. (GC 437-438)
TO WHOM WAS THE SABBATH GIVEN?

Mark 2:27-28. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Note that the Sabbath was given to the human race even before the existence of the Jews as a memorial for all mankind.

There are those who hold that the Sabbath was given only for the Jews; but God has never said this. He committed the Sabbath to His people Israel as a sacred trust; but the very fact that the desert of Sinai, and not Palestine, was the place selected by Him in which to proclaim His law reveals that He intended it for all humankind. The law of ten commandments is as old as Creation. Therefore the Sabbath institution has no special relation to the Jews, any more than to all other created beings. God has made the observance of the Sabbath obligatory upon all men and women. - RH, 08/30/1898

HOW DID GOD ESTABLISH THE SABBATH FOR ALL MANKIND?

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.

Ezekiel 20:20. And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

Note that the Sabbath was inaugurated for all mankind as a sign between God and His people, and a sign of God as the sanctifier.

WHAT WAS JESUS PRACTICE DURING THE SABBATH?

Luke 4:16. And he (Jesus) 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.

WHAT DID JESUS TELL HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY FOR ON THEIR FLIGHT WHEN JERUSALEM WOULD BE DESTROYED?

Matthew 24:20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day :

Note that Jesus predicted the Sabbath would be kept in 70 AD at the destruction of Jerusalem over 35 years after His death.

DID PAUL AND BARNABAS OBSERVE THE SABBATH?

Acts 13:42-44. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God .

Note that Paul and Barnabas both kept the Sabbath themselves and met to worship God with the whole city, Jews and Gentiles alike.

WHERE DID PAUL SPEND HIS SABBATH IN PHILIPPI?

Acts 16:12. 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.

Acts 16:13. And 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 .

Note that Paul met privately with a group of believers on the Sabbath day where they went outside the city gate by the riverside to worship God.

DOES GOD HAVE A SPECIAL DAY?

Revelation 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

WHAT DID CHRIST SAYS HIS DAY?

Mark 2:28. The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Note that if the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, the Sabbath must be the Lord's Day.

WHAT DID THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT DECLARES?

Exodus 20:10. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.

HOW DID THE LORD DESIGNATE IT THRU THE PROPHET ISAIAH?

Isaiah 58:13. … My holy day.

Note: “The Lord's day mentioned by John was the Sabbath, the day on which Jehovah rested after the great work of creation, and which He blessed and sanctified because He had rested upon it. The Sabbath was as sacredly observed by John upon the Isle of Patmos as when he was among the people, preaching upon that day. By the barren rocks surrounding him, John was reminded of rocky Horeb, and how, when God spoke His law to the people there, He said, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Ex. 20:8). -SL 74

WHAT DAY DID JESUS CRUCIFY?

Luke 23:54. And that day was the preparation , and the sabbath drew on.

Luke 23:54 [TEV]. It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

WHEN THE PREPARATION OR FRIDAY IS OVER, HOW DID THE DISCIPLES OBSERVE THE SABBATH?

Luke 23:56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Note that the day Jesus rested in the tomb was on the Sabbath or Saturday.

WHAT DAY DID JESUS RESURRECT?

Luke 24:1. Now upon the first day of the week , very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:1 [TEV]. But on the Sunday morning very early they came to the tomb bringing the spices they had prepared.

Note that the Sabbath is clearly Saturday, the seventh day of the week.

IS JESUS EVER THE SAME LORD OF THE SABBATH?

Hebrews 13:8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

IS THE SABBATH TO BE OBSERVED IN THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH?

Isaiah 66:22-23. For as the new heavens and the new earth , which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.


IMPORTANCE OF THE 7th DAY SABBATH

  1. As Creator’s Memorial
  2. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment, sanctified by God, was given to man as the memorial of the creation of the world and all things therein. - 5MR 88
    The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation. . . . -8T 117
    “The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God”—because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. - GC 437

  3. The Sign of God’s Authority
  4. Ezekiel 20:20 - And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

    The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. It points to God as the Creator, and is the sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made. - ST, 11/01/1899

  5. As God’s Sign/Seal for His people
  6. 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.
    Ezekiel 20:20 - And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
    Exodus 31:13 - Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the LORD that doth sanctify you.

    The seal of God's law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all 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. - GC 452

    There is the highest reason for us to prize the true Sabbath and stand in its defense, for it is the sign which distinguishes the people of God from the world. - 2SM 369

  7. As a perpetual covenant
  8. Exodus 31:16 - Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
    Isaiah 66:22 - For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
    Isaiah 66:23 - And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

  9. To Bring Us Into Harmony With God
  10. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
    It is the service of love that God values. When this is lacking, the mere round of ceremony is an offense to Him. So with the Sabbath. It was designed to bring men and women into communion with God; but when the mind was absorbed with wearisome rites, the object of the Sabbath was thwarted. Its mere outward observance was a mockery. — DA 284-286

    "The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God"--because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. "The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten."-- J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. - GC 437-438


Duration of a day

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. {Genesis 1:5}

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. {John 11:9}

It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. {Leviticus 23:32}

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. {Mark 1:32}


The preparation day

And it came to pass, [that] on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one [man]: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. {Exodus 16:22}

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. {Luke 23:54}

Things to do during preparation day:

On the sixth day (Friday) all needful preparation for the Sabbath is to be made. . . .

  • All purchases should be made and
  • all our cooking should be done on Friday
  • Let baths be taken,
  • shoes be blacked, and
  • Clothing be put in readiness.
  • On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away.  - HP 151;CG 528

PROPER SABBATH OBSERVANCE

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, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father. {Isaiah 58:13, 14}

The Lord is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath, than when he gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. {The Spirit of Prophecy Vol. I, p. 225}

  • Secular Work be laid aside

“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.” Leviticus 23:3

“Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death” Exodus 31:15

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” Exodus 35:2

Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. {FLB 34}

  • No cooking must be done

“Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe," Exodus 16:23

He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment, and are transgressors of God’s law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment will not cook any food upon the Sabbath." {The Spirit of Prophecy Vol. I, p. 225}

The Lord has placed barriers around his Sabbath, that it may not be regarded with the least carelessness or irreverence. When the Lord said, "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe," he meant that Friday should be our preparation day, in which we are to do all our cooking. The Sabbath is not to be a day when tidbits shall be prepared or cooked. If it is really essential to have beans on the Sabbath, let them be cooked on Friday, and kept warm in the oven. They need not be eaten cold unless preferred. But let no remarks be made as though it were a very light thing whether or not we regard the special requirements of God in regard to the Sabbath. It is not left for any man or woman to venture to disregard one requirement of God.  {RH, June 8, 1897 par. 3}

Carelessness in the observance of the Sabbath has crept in among us as a people. Many have sought to please themselves rather than to honor God. If we would enjoy the blessing of the Lord, the Sabbath-day must be kept holy. All cooking should be done on Friday. {ST, May 25, 1882 par. 4}

Previously cooked food may be warmed on cold weather:
While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the families do not have every day. {CCh 267.5}
On the camp-ground, when the mornings are cool, hot water or hot gruel should be provided. In winter, at our homes, the food previously cooked should be warmed before it is eaten. In warm weather this is unnecessary.

  • No bathing on Sabbath
  • No blacking of boots and shaving

The violation of the fourth commandment is not confined to the preparation of food. Many carelessly put off blacking their boots, and shaving, until after the beginning of the Sabbath. This should not be. If any neglect to do such work on a working day, they should have respect enough for God's holy time to let their beards remain unshaven, their boots rough and brown, until the Sabbath is past. This might help their memory, and make them more careful to do their own work on the six working days.  {ST, May 25, 1882 par. 7}

  • No repairing of garments

The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun, let all secular work be laid aside, and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. 
In many families [on Sabbath] boots and shoes are blacked and brushed, and stitches are taken, all because these little odds and ends were not done on Friday. They did not "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." . . . 
On Friday the clothing of the children is to be looked after. During the week they should be all laid out by their own hands under the direction of the mother, so that they can dress quietly, without any confusion or rushing about and hasty speeches.  {CG 528.4}

  • Unnecessary Traveling on Sabbath

Unnecessary traveling is done on the Sabbath, with many other things which might be left undone. Take heed, saith the Lord, to all thy ways, lest I remove My Holy Spirit because of the lax regard given to My precepts. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Bear in mind the charge to remember. Do not carelessly forget, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. In this time all the duties necessary to prepare for the Sabbath are to be done.. Letter 51, 1901. {MM 50.2}

Things to do when compelled to travel on Sabbath
When compelled to travel on the Sabbath we should try to avoid the company of those who would draw our attention to worldly things. We should keep our minds stayed upon God and commune with Him.
Whenever there is opportunity we should speak to others in regard to the truth. We should always be ready to relieve suffering and to help those in need. In such cases God desires that the knowledge and wisdom He has given us should be put to use. But we should not talk about matters of business or engage in any common, worldly conversation. At all times and in all places God requires us to prove our loyalty to Him by honoring the Sabbath. 483 {CCh 268.1}

6T 359 - 60
When is it necessary to travel on Sabbath?

  • When needed to reach the churches that need our help.
  • To give them the message that God desires them to hear.

What to do When Necessary?

  • We should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day, if possible.
  • We should keep our minds stayed upon God and commune with Him.
  • Whenever there is opportunity we should speak to others in regard to the truth.

When there is a necessity to pay during Sabbath (Payment cannot be avoided)
In such cases God desires that the knowledge and wisdom He has given us should be put to use.

Lawful to do on Sabbath

“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” . . “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:8,12

  • Care for the sick and suffering

Divine mercy has directed that the sick and suffering should be cared for; the labor required to make them comfortable is a work of necessity, and no violation of the Sabbath. {CCh 267.4}

  • Works of mercy and of necessity

Works of mercy and of necessity are no transgression of the law. God does not condemn these things. The act of mercy and necessity in passing through a grainfield, of plucking the heads of wheat, of rubbing them in their hands, and of eating to satisfy their hunger, He declared to be in accordance with the law which He Himself had proclaimed from Sinai. Thus He declared Himself guiltless before scribes, rulers, and priests, before the heavenly universe, before fallen angels and fallen men.—
{Review and Herald, Aug. 3, 1897}

  • Soul-saving Work

The object of God’s work in this world is the redemption of humankind; therefore that which is necessary to be done on the Sabbath in the accomplishment of this work is in accord with the Sabbath law. {DA 286}

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