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Vol. 2 No.2 February 2009

Keeping Keeping God's

Are you sometimes GLAD when the Sabbath is over? Does time hang heavy on the Sabbath? Do you "force" yourself to be in a good attitude about the Sabbath? Read this article and find out how to avoid these troublesome pitfalls!
o you keep God's Sabbath holy? Do you find the Sabbath a real delight and joy? Or is it a day of "bondage" or question to you?


‘How often have you wondered if you have broken the Sabbath by a particular act or thought? How many times have you felt condemned about the Sabbath? Should you attend a funeral, a wedding, a movie on the Sabbath? How do you take care of unconverted relatives who drop in unexpectedly on the Sabbath? Is it okay to have a family outing on the Sabbath? How many dishes should you wash? This is just a sampling of some of the many questions asked regularly about the Sabbath. Since God's Sabbath is special HOLY time set aside by God, you need to understand it, know its purpose and meaning to you as a true Christian. Too often, (See next page…)

When Does Your Sabbath Begin? I
have been car pooling to work each day. A fellow worker and I take turns driving to work. Late last fall, I needed to tell him about the Sabbath. On Fridays I would have to get to work by 7:00 AM and leave at 4:00 PM, so we would have to drive separately on Fridays. My friend is a zealous Protestant. Several days later he wanted to know why I keep the Sabbath, so I gave him an article to read on the subject. Later he began discussing the Sabbath issue. As an "honest" student of the Bible, he admitted that Sunday is not the Bible Sabbath. The first issue he was concerned with was exactly WHEN the Sabbath begins. "When does your Sabbath begin?" I replied that the Bible indicates that Friday sunset is the beginning of the Sabbath. He said, "do you mean that at the exact split second of sundown, the Sabbath begins, and that if you are working after this time, it is sin, but if you are working before the exact moment of sundown, it is not sin?" Continued on page 6… 1

the tendency is to the two extremes — either treating the Sabbath too lightly as the world does, or becoming completely Pharisaical — afraid to move on the Sabbath. Petty Arguments Because of the many supposed complications in keeping the Sabbath, men have excused themselves from keeping it — saying it is too difficult. Of course, these are only their puny excuses to keep from obeying God, but many of the questions which come up are derived from these petty arguments. You need to understand them. Once they are cleared up completely in your mind, you will be ready to understand how to keep the Sabbath as God intended! Fire on the Sabbath They say you cannot build a fire on the Sabbath according to Exodus 35:2. Then what about people who live in cold climates? Won't they freeze to death? If this is true, then God made the Sabbath too harsh, and it should not be kept — according to the rebellious, carnal mind! Notice Exodus 35:2 with the context around it. Verse three says, "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day." From the original Hebrew, this word, "kindle," means a consuming flame, a flame that would devour — that is, a great, roaring fire! The question is why would you need such a fire on the Sabbath? Read the rest of Chapter 35 and you will see. They were building the tabernacle and needed a fire large enough to work metal! Haven't you ever looked out on the Sabbath day and noticed some trimming you would like to get done on your lawn, or have a job you would like to get finished — and catch yourself wanting to get it done in spite of the Sabbath? This is exactly what the Israelites were doing. They were so zealous for the tabernacle that Moses even had to tell them to stop bringing materials. God knew that if He did not stop them, they would work right through the Sabbath on the Tabernacle. This was not a cooking or household heating fire! It was an industrial fire. The same principle holds true today. There should be no industrial fires kindled on the Sabbath. On the other hand, fires of the proper type were commanded by God to be kept burning! Notice Leviticus 6:13: "The fire shall be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." Hence a sacrificial fire (from which the Israelites cooked their meat and grain) remained burning on the Sabbath! God was not even discussing a cooking, sacrificial or personal heating fire — but a fire which is used for work that should be done only on one of the other six days provided for that purpose. Sabbath Day's Journey

The Sabbath day's journey question seems to stipulate that a true believer should travel no more than the distance from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem (Acts 1:12) about 2,000 cubits or approximately seven-eighths of a mile. Almost all the brethren who attend church around the world travel many times that distance each Sabbath! Does this mean almost all our people are breaking the Sabbath each week by attending church? If you will check carefully, you will find that this reference is the only place in the entire Bible a "Sabbath day's journey" is mentioned. This was a common expression of the Jews at that time, but was never employed by Christ and his disciples. It was derived as a custom by the legalistic Jews from Exodus 16:29: "...let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." The explanation of this is found in Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, page 573, under "Sabbath day's journey": Acts 1:12. The law as regards travel on the Sabbath is found in Ex. 16:29. As some departure from a man's own place was unavoidable, it was thought necessary to determine the allowable amount, which was fixed at 2,000 cubits or about 1,000 yards, from the wall of the city. The permitted distance seems to have been grounded on the space to be kept between the ark and the people, Joshua 3:4, in the wilderness, which tradition said was that between the ark and the tents. We find the same distance given as the circumference outside the walls of the Levitical cities to be counted as their suburbs. Num. 35:5. The terminus a quo was thus not a man's own house, but the wall of the city where he dwelt. Notice it is not a law of God, but simply a tradition of the Jews! Since God required attendance at Sabbath services, they had to leave their homes or tents and travel to the tent of meeting. It just happened that the distance from the fringe tents to the center of the encampment where the tent of meeting was, measured about 2,000 cubits. Rather than strive to understand and obey the principle of the Sabbath, they punctiliously set about on their own to draw up definite physical limits for Sabbath observance. God has never set on his people a "Sabbath day's journey"! Ox in the Ditch Christ said, "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?" (Luke 14:5.) From this, many have argued that their job was an ox in the ditch because it requires them to work, or they work at a job which has "regular emergencies" requiring work on the Sabbath. They reason that God surely would not want the men to lose their jobs which provides for their families and also enables them to continue to give offerings to God's Work. Some have gone so far as to work on the Sabbath, then give

that whole day's pay as an offering, to avoid losing their jobs. But these persons have not known that God says, "Hath the Eternal as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Eternal? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice..." (I Sam. 15:22). God is not interested in sacrifices or offerings at the expense of disobedience to His laws! But what about the ox or ass in the ditch? How often should you expect it to happen, and what does it really mean and how does it apply today to people who don't own oxen and asses? First, you need to understand literally what an "ox in the ditch" means. Since the ox and the ass are rather surefooted creatures, the odds against them regularly being stuck in a ditch are quite high. When you add the fact that the Sabbath is only one day out of a total of seven, the odds go even higher. Normally, in order to have an ox in the ditch, you have to have the following factors: It must be Sabbath, you must have some kind of severely inclement weather (snowstorm, rainstorm, etc.), and you need a clumsy ox! Rest assured that if the ox is in the ditch on the Sabbath, Christ makes it very clear you should pull it out. But an ox in the ditch on the Sabbath is a very rare occurrence — that is, a genuine emergency. Normally, a farmer can go through a whole lifetime and be able to count on one hand the number of oxen (cattle) or asses he has pulled out of a bog or ditch — and the odds are seven to one against it being on the Sabbath. The principle of the ox in the ditch obviously includes such genuine emergencies as personal injuries, burning houses, power failures, accidents and other occurrences which would entail injury, loss of life or personal property. The principle does not include, however, the person who "pushes his own ox into the ditch" by acquiring or keeping a job where he knows he will be required to work on the Sabbath each week, or by "putting off" work which should have been done during the week. Nor does it include harvesting or plowing on the Sabbath — even if there has been bad weather or machinery breakdowns during the week. God says, "Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing [better translated, "plowing" — see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2758} time and in harvest thou shalt rest" (Exodus 34:21). Jewish Ritualism — Pagan Permissiveness By their strict adherence to certain physical limitations they (not God) placed on the law, the Jews consistently broke the spirit of the law. One story is told of how the Pharisees, to prohibit a profit from milking on the Sabbath, decreed

that the cows should be milked on a rock so the milk would not be gathered in a bucket and sold. This apparently worked fine until one enterprising person began milking his cow on a rock — which had been placed in the bottom of a bucket! Christ scorched them with the truth, "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers" (Mat. 23:4). They were totally carnal and could not see nor understand the principles behind the law. On the other hand, the pagans have rejected completely God's laws, thinking they could make up for it with selfflagellation, pilgrimages, enforced fasts, assuming that is what God wants. They have completely forgotten what God is like. Our so-called "Judeo-Christian" society has inherited a strange mixture of this ill-conceived "marriage." This is what the people of God must come out of! We have grown up being too lax in some things — thinking we had to be punished for nonsensical things — and too strict and legalistic in others. We must come out of this and strive to learn the right balance of living and keeping the Sabbath from God! From the Beginning God ordered the Israelites at Mount Sinai to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy! (Ex. 20:8.) They were to remember how the Sabbath began and what it was all about from the beginning. Genesis 2 describes the Sabbath as the day God hallowed by resting. He rested the seventh day after working six — thereby setting the perfect example. It was done for man — for his well-being and benefit. It is not nearly as complicated as some think! "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath," states Christ (Mark 2:27). It was created after man for his good and physical and spiritual health — not before man with a long list of stringent requirements and harsh bondage! FIRST a Day of Rest and a SIGN! It is a day of rest for God and man! God set us a positive example by taking extra pains to set aside this special space of time — holy to Him — as His time, belonging to Him, It was so important to Him that He set it up as a special sign to man, to be observed throughout his generations. Notice Exodus 31:12-17: "... Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations.... Ye shall keep the Sabbath...for it is holy unto you... It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel

FOREVER: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed." A sign is an identifying mark, or brand. God's people were to have been identified throughout their generations by the keeping of God's Sabbath. A mark or brand shows ownership. God "bought" the children of Israel out of the bondage of abject slavery to the Egyptians. His token of ownership became the Sabbath Day! "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual COVENANT" (Ex. 31:16). Why would His people be different, strange and even "peculiar"? Because of this covenant! "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine," says God! (Ex. 19:5.) He continues, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth" (Deut. 14:2). In an evil world fraught with wretchedness, misunderstanding, and separation from God the Almighty Creator, only His people, Israel, would have His sign, His identifying mark or brand of the Sabbath day. The world lost sight of the Creation and the True God because they did not have His sign of Creation, the Sabbath! God worked six days creating physical masterpieces on earth, and rested the seventh, creating the spiritual masterpiece — the everlasting sign and symbol of creation with Him as Master of creation! When rebellious man lost sight of that sign of creation, he lost sight of God! When Israel later lost sight of the Sabbath, they too lost sight of God with disastrous results! Notice Jer. 17:27, "But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched!" The result was the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (See Jer. 52:12-30). God's people lost His protection! Type of the Millennium God's people today still are to have this sign and covenant with their Creator! "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Heb. 4:9). The original Greek word for "rest" here is "Sabbatismos" which means a literal Sabbath observance! It denotes a literal cessation from labor as a type of the far more important meaning of the Sabbath.

But notice Heb. 4:5: "... As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest [Gr. "Katapausin"}" — and again, "And God did rest ["Katapausin"] the seventh day from all His works" (verse 4). In addition to a Sabbath observance, "Katapausin" literally means "the act of giving rest; a state of settled or final rest" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon by Bagster). It can also mean a place of rest, place of abode, dwelling, habitation. "For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest [i.e., final rest or habitation], then would he not afterward have spoken of another day?" This is the millennial rest, a time of final settling down, cessation from the 6,000-year struggle of man in a sin sick world. "For he that is entered into His [God's] rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His" (verse 10). A day with God is as a thousand years (II Pet. 3:8), and this represents that final SEVENTH-thousand-year rule of peace and rest under Jesus Christ! The Personal Application Theologists have for years argued the technical "meanings" of the Sabbath, but how does it apply to you, personally? How does it affect your weekly life? You cannot understand the ultimate meaning of the Sabbath without first knowing and applying the Sabbath properly in your own life! It is a time of relief and relaxation from your regular daily work and cares. God did not intend man to slave his life away seven days a week. He made man to need a day of rest and recuperation from a vigorous, work-filled week. You, as a member of God's Church, need to realize this and take advantage of it! Set the Sabbath aside as the very special day it is and enjoy it. Rest up and recuperate. "Recharge your batteries!" Plan to sleep in and not feel guilty about it. Don't become a Sabbath sluggard, but get a little extra, special rest. Far from a day of bondage, it is a day of freedom — freedom from daily cares and problems; freedom from the stress and frustration you have already endured for six long days. Notice God's positive instruction on the Sabbath: "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" (Isa. 58:13-14). Here are three important facets to keeping the Sabbath. Let's analyze them: 1. YOUR ways. This means course of life, mode of action — that is, your employment, enterprises, finances, the more serious business of making a livelihood. You should not

involve yourself in doing what you normally do during the week — those things by which you feed, clothe and care for yourself physically. This includes working at your job or business, working around the house, sewing, cleaning, washing the car — all the things that pertain to your physical maintenance during the normal course of the week. This is the day to be about God's ways! You rest from doing your ways. Devote this time to God's business of eternal life. The Sabbath gives you extra time to study and meditate about God's course of eternal life, His principles and mode of action. You will need all the knowledge about God's business you can acquire if you hope to be an active and living part of it one day! 2. YOUR pleasure. Your desire, delight, that which you take extra pleasure in doing — hunting, fishing, golfing, swimming, cards, movies, boating — those things which take up the majority of your "leisure" time. This would also include the many time-consuming hobbies such as the "ham" radio operator, woodworking shop, stamp collecting, etc. Of course, it would be impossible to list all the hobbies and activities available, but you know what yours is. Whatever your pleasure, or leisure-time activity is, you should not engage in it on the Sabbath. You should engage in God's pleasure on the Sabbath. What is God's pleasure? It is His creation — planning, working and building for the future of eternity! "... for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev. 4:11). Just as you have or may have had an absorbing interest in your hobby or leisure-time interest and all of its interesting facets and details, God has an absolutely absorbing interest in His creation and all its myriad facets! He gives us the Sabbath to learn to have an interest and pleasure in His creation. His pleasure — the true and lasting pleasure — is to become our pleasure! 3. YOUR words. This is the spiritual application of the first two principles. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." We talk about what we are thinking. Our words show what is going on in our minds and hearts. This is obviously the most difficult of all! We may cease our ways and our pleasures, but it is much more difficult to cease thinking or talking about them! Really, it is no problem just to rest and do no physical exertion on the Sabbath. Some people regularly do this seven days a week! You must serve God with your mind. Those who can't or don't control their minds call the Sabbath bondage, because they can't wait 'til sunset to be about their ways and pleasures which they have been thinking about all day anyway! Once you are able to get your mind and thoughts on God's pleasure and God's ways on the Sabbath, you will find out

what real delight and joy in the Sabbath is! "Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord" (Isa. 58:14). How do you accomplish this? Devote your Sabbath time to extra Bible study, extra prayer and especially extra meditation! This is your one time in the week when you don't have to worry about getting to the job, making payments, working out schedules, cleaning house and all the other things you find that takes away from your study, prayer and meditation during the week. This is free time — free from all your daily cares and worries — free to be completely absorbed in God and His word. However, there is one more basic element necessary to make all this possible — that is preparation. Preparation for the Sabbath Many do not or cannot properly observe the Sabbath because they have not understood when or how to prepare for it. On the Sixth Day of the week— Friday to us—God said, "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe (boil) that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." (Ex. 16:23). The preparation day is the time to get everything ready for the Sabbath so you won't even be tempted to do it on the Sabbath. Specifically mentioned are baking and boiling — or, the heavier cooking and household duties. The principle here includes everything which can be done before the Sabbath begins such as cooking a roast, baking a cake or pie, cleaning house, getting chores done, etc. Obviously, there are some things which cannot be done before the appointed time on the Sabbath. Common sense will tell you which would be easier, to fry an egg on Friday, store it in the deep freeze, thaw it out the next morning and eat it, or to simply wait until Sabbath morning to cook and eat. But the items which will keep for a period of time such as roasts, bread, etc. should be prepared ahead of time. Keep a Checklist Many find themselves run "ragged" on Friday trying to frantically get everything done only to collapse in a heap Friday night to discover something they forgot to get done! This can all easily be avoided if each member of the family will make a checklist of everything he must get done to prepare for the Sabbath. Then, each week, all he has to do is run down the list in a rapid, organized manner to get everything done. But remember, the preparation day is only one day. Don't make the mistake of leaving everything — house-cleaning, baking, cooking, grocery shopping, car washing, etc. — until that day! Do this and you will find the Sabbath a day

of total collapse rather than a peaceful day of rest and relaxation with enough energy to communicate with God! It is to be a day to prepare for the Sabbath, not a day to catch up on what you should have been doing all week. Plan to have everything in readiness to truly greet God's Sabbath — making sure there are no other things pressing on your mind or schedule. Only when you have everything done and out of the way can you really become absorbed in the Sabbath as you should. Plan it this way and you will be amazed at how much more you delight in the Sabbath. You don't have to go to work, nor worry about the endless trivia which clutters up every normal week. This is the day to completely put all that away from you! A good checklist will help you accomplish this. Just sit down and think it over carefully. Then prepare a list you can use every Friday, and you will be amazed at how much easier and more simple your preparation becomes. What About the Many Questions ?

The main reason God has never "listed" in the Bible any "do's and don'ts" for the Sabbath is that He wants us, as individuals, to learn to think, be personally responsible and use the principles He has given us. It is too easy to lose sight of the goal when you have a myriad of legalistic lines drawn up for you. But once you know and can apply the principles, you will be able to almost automatically answer your own questions. Just remember some very basic questions to ask yourself: "Is this in God's service? Is this a genuine emergency, or can I put it off till tomorrow? Should I have already done this as a part of preparation? Have I prayed about this and thoroughly gone over the principles in my mind?" If you find there is some question which still bothers you after thoroughly studying it out, you should seek advice from one who should know more about the principles of Sabbath-keeping — your local minister. Apply these principles and you will soon find that God's Sabbath is one of His greatest gifts to mankind — a gift for rest, peace, knowledge and true delight! by Bill McDowell (
Good News Article - March 1968 )

When Does Your Sabbath Begin...?
Sabbath No Different Than Other Commandments I replied that such a hairsplitting view was Pharisaical and contrary to the spirit of love and obedience to the Creator. The Sabbath is no different than any other Biblical law. There are definite, explicit dividing lines between obedience and disobedience. It is the natural human tendency to attempt to get as close to the dividing line as possible. On the other hand, some want to say that there is no dividing line, but instead they say there is a large grey area, which gives them a great deal of latitude to do as they please. Like any other Biblical law, the Sabbath law has to be rightly interpreted, that is, applied, to our personal lives. Let's look at another of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." If adultery is the act of illicit sexual intercourse, suppose I get in bed with my neighbor's wife and caress her, but don't complete the sexual act. Would I have committed adultery? Of course.

The Messiah came to magnify -expand to the full spiritual intent and purpose -- the law. He said that even to lust after another woman is the same as committing adultery. The Sabbath is no different. To go right up to the edge is NOT keeping the Sabbath in its spiritual intent. Are You Consistent? That is why I try to leave work at 4:00 PM on Fridays when sundown is at 4:30 PM. I want to be on the safe side, and be home by sundown. I don't always make it as a result of busy highway traffic, but that could happen even if I left work at 3:30 PM. I do NOT want to be at work a few minutes before sundown Friday. It is typical in our office for a "crisis" to occur on Friday afternoons. Some "crash project" simply "has" to be done. It must be Satan who causes this to happen. It is often difficult to get off work early in the midst of critical work. Nobody said the Christian life was easy. To go right up to the edge is tempting, but to do so would lead to occasionally going over the edge, and this would destroy the credibility of my religious beliefs in the eyes of my employer.

You see, "unconverted" people are often very logical. They can instantly spot religious inconsistencies and contradictions, "phonies." Suppose I did once work a half hour after sunset to help out because of a truly critical need. The next time I wanted to leave before the Sabbath, my employer would say "But you worked past sundown last time." If I worked past sundown for a big crisis why wouldn't I do it for a crisis almost as big? The road to compromise is easy to take, but there is no turning back. Non believers usually respect believers who are totally consistent, even if they do ridicule their beliefs. A believer who is unsure of himself will earn no respect. "When does your Sabbath begin?" My Protestant friend wanted to know. The underlying, unasked question was really, "Does your belief make logical sense, and are you consistent in doing what you say?" The Sabbath and Sunset Recently, the issue of when the Sabbath begins was addressed by Desmond Burke in his article "Sunset," which appeared in the 6

September-October 1985 issue of The International News, published by Church of God, International, led by Garner Ted Armstrong. Mr. Ted Armstrong has recently written that "Sabbath breaking is a sin." Supposedly he keeps the Sabbath, so the article on Sunset would tell us what Sabbath breaking is so we would know how not to sin. One of the major functions of the ministry is, and should be, to show God's people their sins. Mr. Burke states that the Bible does not say a new day begins at sunset. He says this is a false assumption that has been preached by a Pharisaical dictatorial ministry "born out of an insatiable lust to be correct to the letter no matter what the cost in human blood, sweat and tears." The Bible does say the Sabbath is "from even to even," Leviticus 23:32. According to Mr. Burke, "Evening is an undefinable period of time during which one day fades into history and a new one begins." Also, he says that it is a "satanically -inspired Pharisee-propagated lie that the day ends at sunset." Mr. Burke says that Jesus died "as the sun was setting." For him, "sunset" could be anywhere from 3:00 PM to some time after dark. Burke concludes that if you have the right attitude, God will honor you, and there is no reason to lose your job for refusing to work a little past sundown. Sarcastically, Mr. Burke says that a person that insists in getting off work prior to sundown will lose his job and no longer have to worry about being off by sundown. He would not be able to provide for his household, and as a result is now worse than an infidel, I Timothy 5:8. All because of heeding a Pharisaically inspired lie. Let us honestly look at the Bible. A Lesson in Bible Time If Sabbath breaking is a sin, punishable by eternal death as Garner Ted Armstrong says, then certainly in the Bible we ought to be able to find when the Sabbath begins.

Exodus 31:12-18 shows that the death penalty was administered to Israelites who broke the Sabbath. They didn't have electronic watches nor computerized sunset tables. They had the sun to go by. Would it make sense to administer the death penalty for a nebulous law? It wouldn't be possible for anyone to tell who was breaking the Sabbath according to Mr. Burke, because for him the Sabbath is "an undefinable period of time." Genesis 1:3-5, 14-18 says that the Eternal uses the sun and moon to divide day and night, light from darkness. Does it usually begin to get dark at 3:00 PM in the afternoon? No. The "evening and the morning" differentiate each day. When the sun went down, it was dark, Genesis 15:17. This began a new day, verse 18. Jacob stayed for the night at a place, because the sun was set, and he lay down to sleep, Genesis 28:11. A priest who became unclean by touching a creeping thing was "unclean until even." He was to wash himself "and when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things," Leviticus 22:5-7. An unclean person had to stay out of the camp, wash himself when evening comes on, and when the sun was down he could come into the camp again, Deuteronomy 23:11. Time and again, when the sun is down (sunset) is a distinct Biblical demarcation of time. A hanged dead body was to be buried as soon as the sun was down, Joshua 8:29. Samson gave his thirty wedding guests seven days to guess his riddle. On the seventh and last day the men came to him "before the sun went down" with the answer to the riddle that they had gotten from his wife, Judges 14:12-18. At the news of Abner's death at the hands of Joab, David fasted until sundown, II Samuel 3:35. He fasted for dead Saul and Jonathan until evening, II Samuel 1:12. The morning is when the sun is up, Judges 9:33. In darkness the young

lions stalk and at sunrise, they go to their dens while man gets up and goes to his labor until evening, Psalms 104:19-23. Thus, man is designed to work by day. During Jesus' day, many Jews thought it was wrong for Him to heal on the Sabbath. They came to Him just after sunset Saturday night to be healed, Mark 1:32, Luke 4:31,40. We are not to hold grudges, or let our anger build up to the explosion point. This is expressed in the verse "let not the sun go down on your wrath," Ephesians 4:26-27. Don't let the day pass without getting rid of your anger. We are to use the lights God created to divide time, to differentiate between day and night. In the New Heavens and New Earth, there will be no need for the sun and moon, Revelation 21:23, 22:5. Based on the above scriptures, it is evident that according to the Bible, sunset divides one day from another. Far from being a Pharisaical Satanic lie, the Sabbath does begin on Friday sunset and ends on Saturday sunset. When Did Jesus Die? Jesus did NOT die as the sun was setting, nor did He die when the evening sacrifice was being given. The evening sacrifice was given "at even," Numbers 28:4. The margin explains "between the two evenings." the Hebrew phrase here is ben ha erevim, which means after sundown and before dark. Detailed proof of this is given in our free article, "Passover: 14th or 15th?" The evening sacrifice was given at sundown. The Savior died just after "the ninth hour," Matthew 27:45-50. During the time of the spring equinox, sunrise is about 6:00 AM. Counting from sunrise, the ninth hour would be about 3:00 PM. Jesus said "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" John 11:9-10. There are twelve hours of daylight around the time of the equinoxes. During the summer, there are more than twelve hours of daylight. During the winter there are 7

less than twelve hours of daylight. Twelve hours of daylight is the median. Some have concluded that days begin and end at 6:00 PM. Joseph Bates and other early Adventists in the 1850's observed Sabbath all during the year from 6:00 PM Friday to 6:00 PM Saturday. To do this is to use Roman time, which disregards sunrise and sunset. The context of John 11:9-10 disproves such an observance. The day, Jesus said, is when there is light, and the night is when there is darkness. Jesus clearly stated that sunset divides day and night. Did Jesus Relax The Sabbath? Matthew 5, 6, and 7 gives the account of the so-called Sermon on the Mount. Jesus made the laws of the Old Testament much more binding and expanded the law to its full spiritual intent. Jesus said even to look lustfully at a woman is adultery, 5:27-28. Rather than relax or water down the laws, He made them stricter. Those who "break [Greek luo, relax or loosen] one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven," 5:19. Unless our righteousness exceeds -- goes far beyond -- that of the Pharisees, we will not be in the Kingdom of Heaven, verse 20. Does it sound like Jesus relaxed the Sabbath? NO! The Pharisees had added false traditions to the Sabbath, such as the prohibition of healing on the Sabbath. The Bible tells when the Sabbath begins: on sunset of the end of sixth day. The Savior went beyond this to the spiritual intent of the Sabbath. On the Sabbath, He demonstrated by His own actions that we must not just rest physically on the Sabbath, but we must also perform spiritual work of helping others. Yes at times even attending to human needs. Yet to Mr. Burke, we can now "relax" and not worry about working past sundown on the Sabbath. He has totally and completely missed the intent of the Sabbath.

Will You Lose Your Job Because of the Sabbath? Some people ask the question "What if my employer tells me he will fire me if I do not work past sundown, or on Saturday? Jobs are hard to find. Should I keep the Sabbath regardless, and trust God for another job?" According to Mr. Burke, the answer is "Relax. Don't throw away your livelihood over 'mint, anise and cumin'." "How am I going to support my family?" you may ask. It takes real courage and faith to obey God. Time and time we have the promise in His Word that if we obey Him, He will bless us. Have you ever seen the righteous begging bread? See Psalms 37:25. Here are two cases of Sabbathkeepers who faced the problem of not working on the Sabbath. One man I know is very strong and healthy, although he is lazy. He continually showed up late for work. When he asked not to work on the Sabbath he was fired. Another man was diligent, a real go-getter. "Why, you do the work of two men," he was told. When it came time to ask for time off early for the Sabbath, what do you suppose was the response? You're right! He was allowed to get off. Somebody may indeed lose their job because of the Sabbath. God may give you a different, or even better job. Even if there is a period of trial and hardship, the Eternal will never leave nor forsake you. If you seek His kingdom first, all other blessings will be added unto you, Matthew 6:31-33. I make this a challenge to anyone: step out in faith, be a diligent worker, keep the Sabbath day holy, without compromising, and see if the Eternal doesn't bless you. You may lose your job because of the Sabbath and suffer temporary economic hardship. But in the long

run, the Eternal guarantees to bless you. To lose your job because of the Sabbath does not make you guilty of being an infidel and denying the faith, as Mr. Burke twists I Timothy 5:8. As Wise As Serpents, Harmless as Doves Over the years that I have observed the Sabbath, I have had many different bosses. Some have ridiculed my beliefs. I still loathe when the time comes that I must inform my supervisor of my need for time off early for the Sabbath, or for a Holy Day. My palms sweat, and my knees quake. One time I made the mistake of talking too much religion. The arrogant, demanding, self-righteous approach in discussing your need to obey God's Sabbath will not work well. Pray for wisdom to say the right thing, and not too much. Be calm, soft spoken, firm and to the point: "My religious beliefs forbid me from working from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. I would be glad to work extra hours at other times if needed." If your work record, no matter how brief, has been outstanding, there will seldom be any problem. We need to stand up for our convictions without being offensive. Pray for wisdom to be as wise as serpents, as harmless as doves, Matthew 10:16. Altitude and Fowls Roosting Alfred Edersheim, in The Temple, page 179, states "Formally, the Sabbath commenced at sunset on Friday, the day being reckoned by the Hebrews from sunset to sunset . . . the Rabbis mention that the inhabitants of a low-lying city, like Tiberias, commenced the observance of the Sabbath half an hour earlier, while those who lived on an eminence, such as at Sepphoris [near Nazareth], continued it half an hour later than their brethren. If the sun were not visible, sunset was reckoned from 8

when the fowls went to roost. But long before that the preparations for the Sabbath had commenced." Thus, it is apparent that altitude and mountainous obstructions can affect when the Sabbath begins and ends in your area. Sheridan, Wyoming lies up against the east side of the lofty Big Horn Mountains. Sunset is earlier in Sheridan than in towns on the west side of the mountains, even though separated by scarcely 50 miles. We have raised chickens and have noticed how each evening they all go to roost like clockwork, at or even a little before sundown. The phrase, "to go to bed with the chickens" means to retire around sundown, before dark. Chickens go to roost at about the same time each day, regardless of whether the sun is visible. They are like a natural sunset clock. The Sabbath on a Round World How can one observe the Sabbath in polar regions during periods of continuous daylight or continual darkness? Doesn't this invalidate the sunset to sunset doctrine? Not whatsoever. An interesting book on this subject is The Lord's Day on a Round World, by Robert Odom (Seventh Day Adventist). During the winter at the Arctic Circle and further north, as well as in southern polar regions, there are times when the sun is invisible for 24 hours, and other times when it is visible for 24 hours or longer. During the time of complete darkness, Sabbathkeepers should observe the Sabbath from Friday approximately at noon to Saturday noon because that time was when the sun rose and set in Arctic midwinter. That is, before the sun disappeared, it both rose and set at noon. Conversely, during the period of complete light, the Sabbath is observed from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday, because the sun is at its lowest point around midnight during the time of the "Midnight sun." The

rule is clear: at whatever time the sun went down before the period of total darkness or total light is the time to initiate the Sabbath. In regions below the Arctic Circle, there is never a period of 24 hour darkness nor 24 hour sunshine, and whenever the sun sets on Friday is the beginning of the Sabbath. The Antarctic region works the same way. So the skeptic who says the Sabbath cannot be observed in polar regions does not have a leg to stand on. We can be glad that the Creator did indeed make it possible for His Sabbath to be kept, worldwide! Another question involves the International Dateline. This is an imaginary line west of the Hawaiian Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean. When one crosses this "line" going west, it suddenly becomes the next calendar day! Imagine that it is Friday near sunset and you cross the Dateline going west. Now it is suddenly Saturday sunset. You have "missed" the Sabbath altogether! If you crossed the line from west to east, you could end up with two consecutive Sabbaths! Since the Sabbathkeeper would not normally be making a boat or plane trip over the International Dateline around Friday sunset, this situation should rarely, if ever, come up. When traveling, you should always stop and keep the Sabbath where you are, not where you have been. Conclusion It is the natural, carnal human approach to either split hairs and come up to the edge of sin, or to believe there are no boundaries. On the one hand, we have those who will work until 4:29 when sunset is 4:30. On the other hand, we have those who will work up until or even after dark and still claim to be keeping the Sabbath. Neither are in reality keeping the Sabbath. How you keep the Sabbath is a direct reflection of your relationship with your Creator. "It is a sign

between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed," Exodus 31:17. When man observes the Sabbath, he is imitating his Creator and commemorating the creation itself. You keep the Sabbath and the Eternal will keep you! Observing the Sabbath, especially with others in fellowship, promotes spiritual health and well being so one can remain in the proper relationship with the Heavenly Father the other six days of the week. The Sabbath is a natural law without which man spiritually deteriorates. Just like the soil in many parts of the world is seriously eroding, so those who pollute the Sabbath by watering it down and corrupting it have deep spiritual gullies. We need to repent of our polluting the Sabbath. See Ezekiel chapter 20. Isaiah 58:13-14, "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 . . . ." Psalm 92, the Sabbath Psalm, is a helpful Sabbath meditation. It points us back to the Sabbath of Creation, and forward to the Age of the Eternal Sabbath. The wicked will perish like the grass. The righteous will flourish like the cedars of Lebanon, noted for their vigorous growth, longevity, usefulness, fragrance and beauty. Even in old age we should still be green and fruitful, proclaiming that the Eternal is upright, our Rock, with no unrighteousness. Let us keep the Eternal Sabbath now, and for all eternity. Written by: Richard Nickels Giving and Sharing/ 9

Ang Sabbath Sa Biblia:

Ikapitong Araw o Unang Araw?
Halos lahat ng mga Kristiyano ay inilalaan ang isang araw sa loob ng isang lingo bilang isang uri ng Sabbath. Karamihan ay sumamba ng Lingo –ang unang araw sa san-linggo, ang iba ay sa ikapitong araw (Sabado). Alin ang tama? Mahalaga bang ipagdiwang ang tamang araw o kahit anong araw ay maaari nating gawing bilang Sabbath? Habang inyong binabasa ang mga talatang sumusunod, inaanyayahan naming kayong pag-aralan ang mga pinagkunan nito sa Biblia –upang Makita ninyo sa inyong sarili kung ano ang sinasabi ng Panginoong Diyos tungkol sa mahalagang paksang ito. Ano ang sinasab ng Biblia tungkol sa Ikapitong araw? Ang Ikapitong araw ng sanlinggo ang ipinag-utos bilang Sabbath noong nilikha ang sanlibutan. Ito’y binasbasan at ipinangilin ng Diyos na Lumikha, at Siya mismo ay nagpahinga sa Kanyang madlang Gawain nang awa na iyon (Genesis 2:2,3; Exodo 20:11). Ang bansang Israel ay inutusang sunduin ito at pinagalitan sila sa kanilang pagsuway, kahit noong bago pa ibigay ang Sampung Utos sa Bundok ng Sinai (Exodo 16:23:30). Ang Ikaapat na Utos na nagtatalaga sa ikapitong araw na siyang Sabbath ay napakahalaga, na pinili ng Panginoong Diyos na ilagay ito sa pinakapuso ng Sampung Utos. Malapit ang kauganayan nito sa siyam na iba pang mga utos na ibinigay sa pamamagitan ng tinig at daliri ng Panginoong Diyos, at karapat-dapat sa kabutihan ng tao sa lahat ng salinlahi (Exodo 20:8-11). Inulit ni JesuKristo ang kahalagahan ng Ikaapat ng Utos nang Kaniyang sabihing “Ginawa ang Sabbath dahil sa tao.” (Marcos 2:27). Ang ibig Niyang sabihin ay ginawa ang Sabbath bilang isang biyaya para sa ikabubuti ng sangkatauhan –hindi bilang isang pahirap. Ginawa ito para sa tao –di lamang sa mga Hudyo. Inihayag din ni Jesu-Kristo na Siya ang Panginoon ng Sabbath (Marcos 2:28). At lagi Niyang ipinagdiriwang ito (Marcos 1:21; Lucas 4:16-22). Pinupuna man lagi Niya ang mga Fariseo sa kanilang gingawang mga alituntunin, lagi naming ipinagtanggol ni Jesu-Kristo ang Sabbath at ipinakita Niya sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang mga halimbawa kung paano ito ipinagdiriwang ng tama bilang isang araw ng pamamahinga, pagsamba, kalayaan at kagalakan (Marcos 3:4; Lucas 13:1516; Mateo 12:10-12). Noong naroon sila sa bundok ng mga Olivo, inutusan ni Jesu-Kristo ang mga alagad Niya na magsipanalangin upang hindi mangyari ang pagtakas nila sa panahon ng Sabbath (Mateo 24:20). Ang mga alagad ni Jesu-Kristo ay nagpahinga nang araw ng Sabbath habang Siya ay nasa Kaniyang libingan ayon kay Lucas na nagtala ng pangyayari pagkalipas ng maraming taon: Ginawa nila ito “ayon sa utos” (Lucas 23:56). Sina mateo at Marcos na nagsulat din pagkalipas ng mahabang panahon, makaraan ang pagkakapako sa krus at muling pagkabuhay ni Jesu-Kristo ay bumanggit din sa Sabbath bilang isang kaugalian (Mateo 24:20; 28:1; Marcos 16:1). Naging kaugalian ni apostol Pablo na gamitin ang Sabbath sa kaniyang pangangaral (Mga Gawa 17:2). Ginawa niya ito sa mga sinagoga at sa iba pang mga dako (Mga Gawa 13:42, 44). Sa loob ng isa’t kalahating taon sa Corinto, gumagawa si apostol Pablo ng kaniyang mga gawain sa loob ng isang linggo at nangangatuwiran sa sinagoga tuwing Sabbath, at nagtuturo ng salita ng Diyos (Mga Gawa 18:4,11). Sina apostol Santiago at Pablo maging si Jesu-Kristo ay nagbigay pahayag sa kahalagahan ng Sampung Utos na kung saan ang Sabbath ay isang malaking bahagi (Mga taga Roma 2:13, 21-22; 7:7-12, 22; Santiago 2:8-12; Marcos 10:17-19). Makikita natin sa kasaysayan na ang mga unang Kristiyano, Hudyo man o Gentil, ay patuloy na ipinagdiriwang ang ikapitong araw ng Sabbath sa loob ng maraming dekada makalipas ang pagkabuhay-muli ng Panginoong Jesus. Sa paglipas ng daan-daang taon hanggang sa ating panahon, laging mayroong mga Kristiyanong marubdob ang

pananampalatayang tumatangap kay Jesu-Kristo bilang Tagapagligtas at lumalakad sa kagalakan ng kalayaang hatid ng ikapitong araw na Sabbath ng Panginoong Diyos. Ano ang sinabi ng Biblia tungkol sa unang araw ng Linggo? Ang salitang “unang araw ng sanglinggo” ay ginamit nang makawalong ulit sa Bagong Tipan (pansinin na ang salitang “Linggo” ay di kailanman ginanamit). Ang apat na pagkakataong ito (Mateo 28:1; Marcos 16:2; Lucas 24:2; Juan 20:1), ay simpleng basehan lamang ng mga araw kasunod ng muling pagkabuhay ni Jesu-Kristo, hanggang sa pagkatuklas ng kaniyang mga alagad, isang madaling araw na na wala nang laman ang libingan. Pansinin na ang mga babae ay nagdala ng mga pabango sa libingan ng Tagapagligtas sa unang araw, isang bagay na hindi nila gawain sa araw ng Sabbath (Lucas 23:56).

Kasaysayan ang magsasabi na humigit kumulang isang daang taon pagkatapos namatay an ating Tagapagligtas (Savior) na ang unang araw na sanlinggo ay unti-unting pumalit sa Sabbath. Ang pagbabagong ito ay isang sagot sa hindi pagkiling sa mga Hudyo ng emperyong Roma. Upang makuha ang simpatiya at pagsang-ayon ng mga pinunong politikal ng mga Romano, ang simbahan sa Roma ay lumayo sa tunay na katuruan ni Jesu-Kristo at ng mga apostol. Lumayo ito upang maisama ang mga pagano at ang mundong Romano na kung saan ang pagdiriwang ng Linggo ay isang bahagi na. Maraming manunulat na Katoliko at Protestante ang umaamin na isang kaugalian ng simbahan, at hindi ng kapangyarihan ng Biblia, ang nagdala ng malawakang pagtaggap sa unang araw ng sanlinngo bilang araw ng pagsamba. Buod Ng Mga Katotohanan 1. Ang ikapitong araw ang ibinukod para sa

Ang dalawa pang nagsasaad ng unang araw ay patungkol sa pagpapakita ni Jesu-Kristo sa araw ring yaon (Marcos 16:9;Juan 20:19). Ang ikalawa rito ay nagsasalarawan kung paano nagkatipon-tipon ang mga alagad sa lugar na nakapinid ang mga pinto dahil sa takot sa mga pinunong Hudyo. Tiyak na hindi ito mapagkamalang isang uri ng pagdiriwang ng Linggong “Sabbath”. Hindi nagbibigay ng hudyat si Jesu-Kristo na ang unang araw ang siyang ipangilin. Nangaral minsan si Pablo ng unang araw ng sanglinggo (Mga Gawa 20:7); sa pagtatala ng araw, ito ay naiintindihan ng marami na nangyari sa Sabado ng gabi. Kung isasaalang-alang natin pagbibilang ng araw sa Biblia, ang isang araw ay nagsisimula sa gabi. Nang sumunod na umaga, nagpatuloy siya sa kaniyang paglalakbay patungong Jerusalem. Walang bakas ng pagdiriwang ng Linggo rito. Ang mga taga Corinto ay inutusang gawin ang pangongolekta ng ambag para sa banal (Kristiyano) ng Judea sa unang araw (I Mga taga Corinto 16:2); subalit ang mga salitang “mabukod na magsimpan” ay nagpapahiwatig na isa itong gawaing pansariling imbentaryo, hindi isang gawaing pang madlang pangrelihiyon. Ang walong nabanggit na pagkakakitaan ng salitang unang araw ng sanlinggo ay iyon lamang. Kung susuriin nating mabuti, ang mga ito ay hindi kailanman mga patunay na ang Linggo ay isang araw ng pagasamba at pahinga. Sa katunayan ipinahihiwatig nila ang kabaligtaran.

sangkatauhan simula pa sa paglikha ng sanlibutan. 2. Ang Ikaapat na Utos, na nakalagay sa puso ng Sampung Utos, ay nagtatakda sa ikapitong araw. 3. Ipinagdiwang ni Jesu-Kristo ang Ikapitong araw na Sabbath, hindi Siya nagbigay ng hudyat na ito ay papalitan ng Linggo. 4. ipinagdiriwang ng mga apostol ang ikapitong araw na Sabbath –di kailanman ang Linggo. 5. Wala ni isang salita sa Biblia na sumasang-ayon sa Linggo bilang araw ng pangilin; ibinigay ito sa tao bilang una sa anim sa araw ng pag-gawa. Ang tanging masasabing pabor sa Linggo ay ito’y kaugalian o tradisyon ng simbahan pagkatapos ng kapanahunan ng mga apostol! Subalit ang isang tunay na nagmamahal sa Panginoong Diyos, na tumatanggap kay JesuKristo bilang kanyang Tagapagligtas at Panginoon, ay isasaisang-tabi ang kaugalian upang sundin ang kagustuhan ng Ama sa langit sa lahat ng bagay. Ang mga Kasulatan –ang Luma at Bagong Tipan –ay malinaw na nagsasaad na ang kagustuhan ng Panginoong Diyos para sa Kaniyang nga anak ay kasama ang kalayaan at kaginhawaan ng ikapitong araw na Sabbath.

Ang maikling lathalaing ito ay isang pagsasalin sa Tagalog ng “The Sabbath: Seventh Day or First Day” na isinulat ng Bible Sabbath Association. Ang Bible Sabbath Association ay isang samahan ng mga taong galing sa ibat-ibang propesyon at kalakaran ng buhay na naniniwala sa biyayang ibigay at nakapaloob sa Sabbath ayon sa Banal na Kasulatan.


Throughout history, God's people have been caught in a conflict: They've had to choose between obedience to what they believed was their Sovereign's will on the one hand, and the demands of the physical culture in which they lived, on the other. Today, Christians who espouse the seventh-day Sabbath, face the same dilemma. Many jobs require work on Saturday. Many social, athletic, and academic events occur on Friday night or Saturday -- the day Sabbatarians believe God set aside at Creation for humanity, the day sanctified in the fourth commandment, the day upheld by the teaching and example of Jesus and the Apostles. The root issues are these: Do we really believe our Father's will is for us to rest on the seventh day? And if we do, is our desire to please Him the guiding force in our lives? Christians are called to take up the cross of Christ, to put His will ahead of everything, to love Him more than they love even their own lives (Luke 6:46, 14:26). But when it comes to financial loss, reduced lifestyle, or fewer social opportunities, we often bend the Sabbath to conform to our culture. Perhaps the truth is that we believe in the Sabbath merely as a nice theological concept, but not as something to suffer for. Perhaps what we really believe is that the Sabbath makes more Biblical sense than observing Sunday, but that it's not a big deal to God. As for people who are not convicted that God wants them to observe the seventh-day Sabbath, while I think they are wrong, the following exhortations apply in a general way, not specifically to the Sabbath. A person can only be expected to live according to what he believes. Bible Witnesses From the time the serpent tempted Eve until now, individuals and groups have been severely tested on their beliefs. Would they put their faith in, and love for, God ahead of all else? Consider a few examples of people willing to make great sacrifices to obey God's will.
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Joseph refused to commit adultery, though it meant displeasing his employer, losing his job, and ending up in jail. What if he had said, "I'd better go along with what my mistress wants, or I could lose my job"? Moses chose to stand up for his people rather than live in the luxury of Egypt. He spent the rest of his life (80 years) in the wilderness herding sheep, and then "herding" people, who frequently did not appreciate him. Daniel could have gone to a private room to pray where his enemies couldn't see him, but he was not about to let them think he was compromising his devotion to Yahweh. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have said, "Boy, we won't be any good to God if we're dead! Think of all the people we can influence for Him if we live. We can just pray to Him while we're bowing down before Nebuchadnezzar's statue." John the Baptist proclaimed the sins of the people - even of the king. He wasn't popular with the royal court, ended up in prison, and then lost his head. What if he had said "I'd better tone down a bit because I can't do any good for God in prison." Jesus said there was none greater than John. Peter refused to stop preaching the name of Jesus, though he was jailed and eventually martyred. What if he had said, "I've got a family to support. Surely God wouldn't want them to suffer"?

Post-Bible Witnesses In post-Biblical days, many groups of people and countless individuals have paid dearly to be true to their convictions. Consider:

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In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella ordered all Jews out of Spain unless they converted to Catholicism. Many left, never to return to their homeland. John Hus, a Bohemian priest, refused to retract his views against transubstantiation, papal primacy, and praying to saints. He taught that the Bible alone should be relied on in matters of religion. Brought before the Council of Constance, John was convicted of heresy and burned at the stake in 1415. Exactly 120 years later, death came to another Catholic for what he believed. Sir Thomas More - member of the English Parliament, lawyer, member of Henry VIII's Privy Council, knight, speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord High Chancellor - resigned from his positions rather than approve the divorce of Henry VIII from his first wife. He was ordered to sign an oath acknowledging the king as the head of the church in England. Though his family begged him to sign, he refused, and was beheaded. Eleven years later, a young English woman, Anne Askew, was arrested for refusing to profess the Real Presence (of Jesus in the communion host) doctrine. She was mercilessly questioned for five hours, tortured till nearly dead for names of others who shared her belief, and was sent to the stake. Four years after that, things took a more Protestant turn in England, and people who didn't conform (whether Catholics or Protestants) were persecuted. Joan Bocher of Kent went to the stake for refusing to retract her questions about the Incarnation. She pointed out that her persecutors had come to believe the very doctrine for which they had burned Anne Askew just a few years before. About the same time, in the city of Geneva dominated by John Calvin, Michael Servetus was condemned for two heresies: Unitarianism, and rejection of infant baptism. Refusing to recant, he was chained to a stake and burned alive. During the twentieth century, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, and others who refused to go to war on behalf of Kaiser Wilhelm or Hitler were imprisoned, put in concentration camps, and/or executed. Lutherans and others who refused to accept the domination of the church by the Nazi party were stripped of their jobs, imprisoned, and persecuted; many died! Under Communist rule in the Soviet Union, Romania, and elsewhere, Christians who tried to practice their faith had their children taken away. Many were sent to prison camps; many died!

We may not agree with all the beliefs for which these people were persecuted. The important fact is that they really lived what they professed and were willing to suffer, gladly or not, for their convictions. What price? We live in a nation where freedom of religion is a fundamental right. Consequently, most of us have suffered little for practicing what we believe. But then there's the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, which is so out-of-step with the mainstream of Christianity that dominates the Western world. Do we who espouse the seventh day really believe it is part of God's will for His people who have been saved by His grace? Do we really believe God wants us to rest on the seventh day? Do we really believe we deny our love for Jesus when we don't do what He says? The people mentioned above were willing to pay an exorbitant price for being out of step with the mainstream of their day. But far be it from us to deprive our children of any opportunities because of our Sabbath conviction! Far be it from us to risk financial hardship due to the seventh day! Far be it from us to suffer economic or social loss to serve the Savior who gave His life for us! And if we aren't willing to suffer a small loss for Christ, how do we think we could ever suffer a great loss, as did those mentioned above? I do not write this as one who has suffered great loss for his faith. I've never gone to bed hungry because of my faith - but I hope I'd be willing to. I've never seen my children in pain for lack of medicine because I wouldn't take a job that required me to work on the Sabbath - but I pray I'd be willing to. I've never gone through a winter without heat because I wouldn't work on Sabbath - but I hope I'd be willing to. I realize that it's easy to pontificate about these things when we're not faced with suffering. But that doesn't change the truth that, if we really believe Jesus calls us to do something, we should be willing to suffer for it. Unfortunately, I fear that too many of us (including me) are more influenced by the values of this world - happiness, physical comfort, financial security, pleasure, acceptance - than we are by the values of the world to come. Of course, Jesus said that acts of mercy and pulling oxen out of ditches were entirely permissible on the Sabbath. Each individual must decide for himself where working on the Sabbath leaves off, and taking care of an emergency begins. The same principle applies to deciding how to obey every other command of God: honoring parents, loving God above all, not coveting, being merciful,

loving one another, etc. Would we take a job to feed our hungry children, if the job required us to lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, or sign a confession to things we didn't believe? Then why would we take a job requiring us to work on the day we say we believe is God's Sabbath? Again, I address this only to those who believe God wants His people to keep the Sabbath. If you don't believe the fourth commandment is for Christians, be honest about it. If you believe it is optional, or if you worship on the seventh day for family or social reasons, then be honest about it. But if you believe that God created the Sabbath for humanity, that it was, and is, part of His will for His people, that He is pleased when His people observe His Holy day, then you must be willing to pay a price for that conviction. Most of us will probably never appear before a religious or governmental body and be forced to choose between denying Christ, and death. But in a real sense, we all appear before the world every day. And by our actions we proclaim whether we love God more than anything else. We tell the world whether we really trust Him to take care of us according to His will, or whether we are willing to compromise what we believe, to avoid sacrifice and pain in this physical realm. The martyrs mentioned above were willing to suffer for theological concepts, for prayer time, for bowing down in a certain time and place, for signing a piece of paper. Oh that we who say we believe Jesus wants us to observe the Sabbath, would count it joy to suffer some loss, some pain, some missed opportunities in this life, because we are wholly committed to serving the Savior who died that we might live for all eternity! Richard Wiedenheft lives in Barrington, IL, and is a frequent guest speaker in Church of God (Seventh Day) and other Sabbathkeeping groups. He is a past President of the Bible Sabbath Association. This article appeared in the December 1999 issue of The Bible Advocate. From The Bible Advocate, December 1999

Remember the Sabbath to Keep It Holy: Business Questions Should members of the Church of God own businesses that remain open on the Sabbath?
As the sun sinks low in the sky on Friday afternoon and approaches the horizon, the people of God wrap up their daily toil and prepare to honor God by resting on the Sabbath. This Sabbath rest is a time earnestly anticipated by the laboring man and woman, but what about the business owner? Can a Christian employer or business owner keep the business open during holy time by hiring others to work during that time? What are the biblical principles involved in business owners keeping the Sabbath holy? Let's examine several biblical principles regarding Sabbath observance. The Sabbath Is Holy In addressing this issue, we must start with the basic Sabbath command. Exodus 20:8-11 states: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." The first principle stated by God is that this 24-hour period He refers to as the Sabbath should be remembered by humans so that it can be kept holy. This 24-hour period is special—unlike the other six days of the week. In the second half of verse 11 we read that this period of time is hallowed (holy). God reveals in the Bible that new days begin at evening or sunset (Genesis 1:5; Joshua 8:29; 2 Chronicles 18:34; Nehemiah 13:19; Mark 1:32). So the time from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset is holy and our responsibility as humans is to remember it in order to keep it holy. God also reveals that each Sabbath is to be a memorial to the Creator. Keeping the Sabbath holy acknowledges that God is the Creator and Life Giver (Exodus 20:11; 31:17).

Rest, Not Work God set the example of rest when it came to the Sabbath (Genesis 2:2). Exodus 31:16-17 states: "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed." God did not carry on His creative work during the Sabbath through the angels (righteous or fallen) but instead set an example of rest and refreshment. God also reveals that humans are to keep the Sabbath holy by not working on this day—"in it you shall do no work" (Exodus 20:10). God clearly shows that the other six days are for working and laboring. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (verse 9). The Sabbath is to be very special—so special that God proclaimed the death penalty upon those Israelites who ignored the command to hallow this day (see Exodus 31:14-16). Since the Sabbath is holy time, God instructs us that He did not want His people to make others disrespect Him by forcing them to work during the Sabbath. Everything that was under the control of one's household was also to cease from work on the Sabbath—even including slaves and animals! "In it you shall do no work; you, nor you son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates" (Exodus 20:10). It is clear that God did not want regular work to go on during the holy time of the Sabbath. He did not want His people to continue regular business through others—even if those workers are currently unconverted. Therefore, He commanded that children, slaves, animals and even foreigners not be compelled to work in our place. "But the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you" (Deuteronomy 5:14, NASB). In Leviticus 23:3, we are told, "For six days work may be done; but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings" (NASB). The biblical principle seems clear: as much as possible the Sabbath should be a "complete rest" from our normal working or secular activities. The overriding principle is that we are to show respect and honor toward God by respecting and hallowing the time He set aside as holy. This cessation from work and respect for holy time was—and continues to be—an example of our respect for God as our Master and Creator. Avoid Doing Business Another Sabbath principle is brought out in Nehemiah 13:15-17: "And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions . . . Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, 'What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?'" Nehemiah was clear in his instructions to shut the city gates and not allow regular business to continue. The Sabbath had become a "market day" in Jerusalem with all sorts of items being bought, sold and bartered. These were not just food items. While we must be careful not to extract too much from this example, there is a business principle here for our day— conducting normal business activities is not acceptable for Christians on the Sabbath. God's people were not to be involved in regular commerce during holy time. Our Example and the Gospel If a Christian operates a business on the Sabbath and has others work in his or her place, what is he teaching others about the Sabbath? In Numbers 15:32-36 we have the example of a man who was discovered working on the Sabbath by gathering sticks. He disrespected holy time and thereby disrespected God by not using the preparation day properly and by not resting on the Sabbath. It was judged that he should be put to death. Would it have been acceptable for this man to hire an unconverted

person to pick up his sticks for him on the Sabbath? No. The principle is that God desires His people to rest from their work and for their workers to be able to rest as well. To hire another person to work on what we know is holy time sends a very confusing message to that person. It conveys, "I rest on this day, but it is not important for you to do so." What gospel are we preaching by our personal example? Are we saying, "The Sabbath is holy for me, but I feel that it is fine for you to break God's law and work as my employee"? We are told in Isaiah 58:13-14, that on the Sabbath we are not to do our own ways. Certainly that would include our employment and our enterprises. Instead we are asked to devote the Sabbath to God's business and pleasure. Instead of engaging in our own pleasures we are to engage in God's pleasure on the Sabbath. We aren't supposed to even speak our own words on His day because the Sabbath should be the one time of the week that nothing should hinder us from becoming completely absorbed in God and His Word. Matthew 5:19 states: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Can we see that employing others to work while we rest is a confusing contradiction? On the other hand, what beneficial effect could a proper Sabbath-keeping example have on an employee? On our neighbors? On the community? Wouldn't it be another means to show the significance of the truth of God and how precious this holy time is to us? Not only are we to rest, but those who work for us are to be given the opportunity to rest also. If we own a business, it is not acceptable to have our employees working while we enjoy a restful Sabbath day. Is an Employee a "Manservant"? What was a manservant? Was he roughly equivalent to today's employee? A close reading of the Scriptures shows that a manservant was a bond servant or slave who lived in the owner's household. Deuteronomy 16:11 and 14 show that a manservant was taken to the Feast of Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles to worship as a part of the family. Deuteronomy 12:18 shows that an owner was to take his manservant to the place where God set His name to worship and offer sacrifice (that is, the tabernacle and later the temple). An employee, therefore, should not be classified as roughly equivalent to a "manservant" since such a servant was a household slave. Yet, it is clear that God intended that everything under the control of the believer—sons, daughters, servants, slaves and animals—have the opportunity to rest on the Sabbath. This principle clearly extends to employees. They likewise should not be working for a Christian who understands that the time during the Sabbath is holy. We cannot force unbelieving employees to rest on the Sabbath, but we should not hire them to labor for us on that day. Exceptions to the Rule Judgment is required in many circumstances because there may be exceptions to the general rule. For example in Matthew 12:5 we read, "Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?" Some work was done on the Sabbath by priests and Levites in order to be able to worship God. Today this principle is applied in our setting up chairs for Sabbath services, assembling public-address systems, information tables, coffee service, traveling to services, etc. Like the priest's labor of old, this kind of Sabbath labor seems to be a legitimate exception to the rule because it enables us to worship God together in the "holy convocation" He commands. In Matthew 12:11 we read, "Then He said to them, 'What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?'" Here we see that the need of an animal in distress took precedence over the complete rest of the Sabbath day. The clear principle is that if a genuine emergency occurs, action should be taken to handle that emergency. Also, in John 7:22-23 we read, "Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?" The Jews had judged that the work that needed to be done to circumcise a male child also took precedence over the complete rest usually observed on the Sabbath, and Christ did not disagree.

In Luke 13:15-16, "The Lord then answered him and said, 'Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?'" Jesus was upset with the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy. While they cared for the routine needs of livestock on the Sabbath so that the animals would not suffer, they refused to permit the healing of this woman on the Sabbath to end her suffering. While the lesson was about people, in passing, Jesus showed that it is acceptable to do the minimal labor to care for the routine needs of livestock on the Sabbath day. Today, judgments may need to be made regarding dairy farmers, ranchers, physicians, nurses, nursing home operators, home health care workers, and others as to how to observe the Sabbath command in their circumstances. (See the accompanying three letters addressing some of these issues.) Yet we strive to be consistent in our application. We teach Sabbath observance from the strength of biblical principle, not from exceptions to the rule. The principle is clear— all who are in a Christian's direct control should be given an opportunity to observe the Sabbath rest. Recommendations Therefore, the Church of God teaches that a believer should not hire employees to work on the Sabbath and Holy Days. It does not set the right example of respecting holy time; it does not teach them the holiness of the Sabbath; and it does not give employees the benefit or option of rest during holy time. Employees working on the Sabbath place the member business owner in a position of responsibility. Employing others on the Sabbath also brings into question our motivation for owning a business that is open on the Sabbath. Is it just to make money? Does this lead to other problems? Therefore, as a Church we recommend that members who own businesses close them on the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset in order to observe the commanded Sabbath rest. We encourage them to have faith that God will bless them for respecting His holy time and setting the right example for others. Written by Dave Myers/United News

How to Keep the

You need a new insight into this command. Here is an article that will better enable you to receive the rich blessing intended. Recent issues of the "Good News" and the "Plain Truth" contained articles on "The Sign of a Christian" and "Has Time Been Lost?" These articles proved that the true Sabbath was to be a sign between God and His children forever, and that the true seventh day has never been "mixed-up" or "lost." Made for Man Christ said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). He didn't say it was made for the Jew, but for MAN — for all mankind in other words. And it was made for him as a blessing.

Here are some basic principles which will answer many of the questions you have been asking. Unless you know the PURPOSE of the Sabbath, you can't understand HOW to keep it. YOU are "missing out" on a lot of the good things in life. There is a reason! Life lacks the real meaning and purpose it should have. "Every day is the same old thing!" you hear so many people say. But God didn't intend it that way! He has given us a specific blessing, which, when really understood, appreciated, and rightly used, will give us the zest for life that we otherwise lack. This blessing is God's Sabbath Day.

Keep this principle in mind. It was made for you, to help you, to enable you to live a happier and more godly life. God's true Sabbath is one of the greatest blessings that has ever been bestowed upon mankind. It signifies that the Creator is our God and we are His children. Our Creator knew that we would need a period of rest every seventh day, and this is one of many opportunities the Sabbath affords. Each of us tends to become overly absorbed in our daily cares during the week, but God foresaw this, and set aside the Sabbath as a time when we can completely for get our routine work and get closer to God in study, meditation, and prayer. The wonderful part of it all is that we can keep this period of rest and spiritual revival with complete confidence that God will bless and prosper us because we have done this! If we would quit working every few days and take a needed rest, we might naturally expect to get behind in our finances and material pursuits. But God has said just the opposite! So if we keep His Holy Day, we can rest assured that it will be gain instead of loss, even looking at it materially. Do you realize what this amounts to? God is giving us a paid vacation every seventh day! Human reasoning might not grasp this right at first. But God has promised this, and the experiences of hundreds of people have shown that God meant what he said. You may not be prospered immediately if you begin keeping God's commandments and paying your tithe faithfully as He has commanded. But in His way and time, God will begin to bless and prosper you in ways that you may never have expected. In Isaiah 58:13-14, God inspired Isaiah to write that if we kept the Sabbath and delighted in it, we would remember Him and He would cause us to have life in abundance, spiritually and materially. Notice that we are not to seek our own pleasure on the Sabbath. Yet, we are to delight in it. This means that we should be so busy doing good to others, and getting closer to God in prayer and study, that we will not even desire to seek any earthly amusements. We will be happy because we are able to rest, to worship God with peace of mind, and because we have a special time to do good. This same passage says we are not to speak our own words on the Sabbath. What does this mean? It shows that we should not spend the Sabbath in idle talk, but should be reading, discussing and meditating upon God's word. Then we will be drinking in the ideas of God instead of mere human notions. What a privilege it is to have a whole day in which we can read and discuss the way of life that is revealed to us in the Bible. In order that we may have our minds free from last minute duties on the Sabbath. God has commanded that we prepare for it the day before. Exodus 16:22-25 shows that we should do any baking or time consuming boiling before the Sabbath. Long hours of cooking and Stewing should never clutter up God's day. So do all your "sprucing up" and any heavy cooking on Friday, the preparation day. Then at sunset Friday evening, when the Sabbath begins, you will have put all worldly cares aside and will be able to enter the Sabbath in a spirit of rejoicing and worship toward God.

Duties on Sabbath Your time should never "drag" on God's Sabbath! Some people experience this when they first begin to keep He Sabbath, but it certainly isn't the way God intended. When we understand it properly, the Sabbath will be filled with interest and joy. The true Sabbath is not a negative thing! Christ set us an example of how to keep it. In Mark 2:23 to 3:5, Jesus showed that it was all right to procure food on the Sabbath if it is necessary. He told the Pharisees that He was Lord of the sabbath—not. Sunday! Then Christ healed an infirm man on the Sabbath, and showed that it is lawful to do good on that day. What kind of good should we do on the Sabbath day? God commanded in Exodus 20:10, that we should not work on the Sabbath. So the kind of good that we do on that day is not the kind of hard physical labor which we might do on other days. "Doing good" is not to be used as an excuse for performing those material duties, however helpful to others, which can just as well be done some other day. There is one exception to this prohibition. That is in the case of an "ox in the ditch" (Luke 14:5). This refers to a genuine emergency, not some material duty you "put off" until the Sabbath. The principal example of doing good on the Sabbath that Christ gave us was that of healing the sick or infirm that came to Him. (Matt. 12:9-13). He did not go abroad seeking them. Also, we find that He was constantly meeting with others and teaching them God's ways on this day. We can all use the Sabbath as a time to comfort and minister to those who are sick and infirm on this day. But this does not mean that we should burden ourselves with purely material services. Jesus didn't when he helped the sick according to their faith. Remember what he told Martha: "Thou art careful and troubled about many things: But

one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41,42). We should especially try to help those who are interested in the true teachings of the Bible, because in this way we can minister to them both spiritually and physically. As we shall find later, we are to meet with other true worshippers on the Sabbath. But if this is impossible, we may well use the Sabbath as an opportunity to meet with others who we know are really interested in the truth, to explain the Bible to them in their own homes. We are not to attempt to force God's truth on people at any time. But we are always to be ready and willing to explain the Bible to anyone who is sincerely seeking God. Some of our brethren in Texas use a portion of the Sabbath for this purpose and have helped a great many people in their community to come to a better knowledge of God. STUDY the word of God (II Tim. 2:15)! This should usually be your first duty on the Sabbath. Then you will be ready to answer the questions of those you are trying to help (I Peter 3:15). Remember that the principal command is to rest from our usual routine on the Sabbath, and to worship God and remember him as Creator. The Bible reveals that "doing good" on the Sabbath is serving others in a way that shows the power of God in our lives. Christ didn't labor for several hours to heal the sick on the Sabbath. Instead, He invoked the very power of the Creator to release Others from the bonds of sickness. So we should not spend most of the Sabbath caring for the physical needs of other people. By drawing closer to God on this day, we will then be able to help others in a lasting way thru the power of God's Spirit. "Sewing for charity" and other physical services may be worthy at the proper time, but such routine labor should not fill up God's Sabbath day. Physical things will "perish with the using." So use the Sabbath primarily to learn God's ways and make them a part of your character—and help Others to do the same. The Spirit of God in you will last forever! Commanded Assembly In Luke 4:16, we find that Christ customarily met with others on the Sabbath and read from God's word. Lev. 23:1-3 tells us that the Sabbath is to be a holy convocation for God's people. A convocation is a commanded assembly. God commands you to convoke or meet with other true believers whenever this is possible on the Sabbath. However, this does not mean that you are to meet on that day or any other day with those who are blinded to God's truth and refuse to keep all His commandments. Paul commanded Christians in II Cor. 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion hath light with darkness?" Christian fellowship should be with other people only thru God and his Spirit. God gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32). So remember that you cannot have true fellowship thru Satan, or his ministers, or his churches who refuse to obey God's commandments. When it was impossible to meet with others in a church on the Sabbath day, the apostle Paul and his helpers "went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made." (Acts 16:13). This is an admirable example for many of us, because getting closer to the natural handiwork of the Creator brings one

closer to God. The hand of God is seen in everything good and beautiful. Notice that instead of going to the river to fish, as so many do on the "day of the Sun," Paul went to a river to help others seek God in prayer. A Light to the World Christ told his followers, "Ye are the light of the world" Matt. 5:14. How much the world needs people who will fearlessly show it the way out of this spiritual darkness! But can you be a "light" to other people while continuing in the same man-made doctrines and practices they do? NO you can't! You must live by God's word to show forth the true light that will eventually turn people from darkness. You must be different from other people by obeying God by having his sign. Most people won't like you for doing this. Christ said in John 3:19, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." Men were so steeped in their own customs, then as now, that the true light of the gospel offended them. So you can see that real Christianity is not the way to be popular with men! But doesn't this show what an important "light" your keeping of the Sabbath can be to others? It is a sign that sets you apart from those following the broad way that leads to destruction. Special Problems It is easy to use the latitude and privileges of the Sabbath as a means to abuse it. You should not be overly strict or selfrighteous like the Pharisees. On the other hand human are usually inclined to "stretch" the freedom God gives us and begin doing our own work or pleasure on the Sabbath. Taking a walk on the Sabbath is fine so long as it doesn't turn into a "hike." Some people ask about the mention of "a Sabbath day's journey" in Acts 1:12.

There is no special command anywhere in the Bible limiting travel on the Sabbath. This "Sabbath day's journey" was a custom of the Jews and is nor a biblical command. However, you certainly shouldn't walk or drive so far on the Sabbath as to tire yourself unduly or to interfere with your worship of God. After sitting in church or studying for some time, a leisurely walk is very refreshing and beneficial. Also, a lengthy drive is sometimes necessary to enable you to meet with other true worshippers on the Sabbath. Within reason, this is not wrong. It serves to strengthen you spiritually and therefore glorifies God. Here is another problem? Should you kindle a fire on the Sabbath Day? The command in Exodus 35:3 was inserted in connection with instructions regarding work on the tabernacle. It was chiefly intended to forbid the kindling of a fire to melt metals or sharpen tools. However, it certainly can refer to unnecessary work done in preparing food which could be prepared on the day before. So it would not be breaking the spirit of the law to light a fire for heat in wintry weather or to warm up previously prepared food. Feeding and watering stock is necessary on the Sabbath and permissible (Luke 13:15). But if you are raising so many cattle or chickens that your "chores" add up to three or four hours' hard work, then you had better cut down on the number of your livestock or else change occupations. Our age of "specialization," when a few farmers become virtual slaves to provide food for hundreds of city dwellers, is not God's way. No man should be "tied down" to his occupation as so many are today. DON'T try to justify breaking the Sabbath by saying that "your occupation requires it"! Remember that this worldly, competitive system is called "Babylon" in the Bible and you are commanded to "come out of her" (Rev. 18:1-4). Instruct Children God inspired Solomon to write "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Pro. 22:6). This command would certainly apply to teaching your child to keep the Sabbath. However, you should remember that even sweet little children are by no means converted. They are basically selfish, and usually lack the understanding and will power to keep God's law as an adult. But they should be taught to rest from their routine work or play on the Sabbath as much as possible. They should be instructed in a kindly and straightforward manner that the seventh day is holy to their Heavenly Father, and that they can show their love for Him by refraining from their usual play on that day and thinking and learning about God. Your children should be taught these things gradually and only as their age makes it possible for them to understand. If trained properly from infancy, a ten or twelve year old child should have enough respect for God's Sabbath that he does not spend his time reading "funny books" or listening to radio serials on that day.

Love and chastening must go hand in hand in. this training. But a child so trained in God's ways would have a priceless advantage in his knowledge of life and its real meaning in relation to the Creator. Holy Time In Exodus 20:8, we find the original command, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Never forget that God has made the seventh day holy time'. You and I are commanded to keep it that way. I have already shown you in God's word that we are not to do our own work, pleasure, think our own thoughts, or speak our own words on God's Sabbath Day. To keep the Sabbath day holy: You can't spend a lot of time in worldly visiting or "shooting the breeze," or even "courting your girl." You can't be running down town for a cup of coffee or an ice-cream soda. That kind of procuring food is entirely UNNECESSARY. You can't spend several hours listening to worthless radio programs or reading the "funnies." You can't wait until after sunset on Friday evening to begin your cleaning up and preparing for the Sabbath, unless, of course, a genuine emergency has interfered. I could go on, but I think you should get the point and grasp the principle involved. Let's NOT "kid" ourselves! When God said to put the Sabbath day to a holy use, He meant exactly what He said. But we should learn to be so happily employed in doing the good things prescribed for that day, that we will have no time or inclination to violate the prohibitions anyway. So let's keep the Sabbath in a positive way! Use the Sabbath as a day to rest

from worldly labor, to get closer to God in prayer and study. Take time to do good to others, to care for the sick, to visit the afflicted. Assemble with other true believers on the Sabbath if this is possible. Then you will truly be a "light" to those around you. The Sabbath separates true Christians from this world's churches with their pagan holidays and "day of the sun." So KEEP holy the days God made holy! Rejoice in the blessings and opportunities that the Sabbath affords, and remember that it is a sign between you and the true God. By Rod Meredith (
Good News Article - Oct. 1952)

Why is the Sabbath Command Not Repeated in the New Testament?
Some people believe that, since the Sabbath commandment isn't explicitly repeated in the New Testament, it is no longer binding. The Sabbath commandment did not have to be repeated in the New Testament simply because the people to whom Jesus Christ and the apostles preached would not have imagined that it needed to be repeated. The Scriptures that later would be called the Old Testament were their Bible, their guide for living (Romans 15:4). Paul described them as being "given by inspiration of God, and...profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The holy Scriptures clearly commanded them to keep the Sabbath, and the common people accepted that as God's inspired instruction. Jesus Christ and the apostles lived and taught in a Sabbath-keeping society. Jesus' confrontations with the Pharisees were over how to observe the Sabbath, never over whether to observe it. When the apostles took their message beyond the confines of Judea, Sabbath observance was well known in other parts of the Roman Empire. The Jewish historian Josephus, during the time of the New Testament Church, wrote, "The multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination for a long time to follow our religious observances; for there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come . . . As God himself pervades all the world, so hath our law passed through all the world also" (Against Apion, 2, 40). The examples of Jesus and the apostles confirm that they believed in and obeyed all of the Ten Commandments. Throughout the book of Acts—written by Luke, a gentile— the Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths described in Leviticus 23 are mentioned quite routinely (Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 21; 20:6, 16; 27:9). Whether to observe them simply wasn't a question. Good News

Who Are We?
The Mustard Seed Newsletter is published free by The Mustard Seed Evangelistic Association –an affiliated association committed to the publishing of the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached and as recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures. This goal is to be within the framework of the Commission set forth to His believers and followers to "go and make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). It is our hope that the Mustard Seed and its other publications will become a shared-resource and vehicle for our readers to come to know and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the Kingdom of God. You are invited to join us in this exciting and marvelous work!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32

For your question and/or comment, email us at Raul deAsis Hipe/Editor