Every week, Adventists have a special date with God—a guilt-free break from work and a whole day to deepen our friendship with the Creator of the universe.
God Started It
“On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2,3). Because God rested on the seventh day, he designated it a holy day to be remembered for all time. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He says in the fourth commandment. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10).
The Reason for the Sabbath
God designed the Sabbath for two main reasons: to commemorate creation and as a sign of our salvation. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). “I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy” (Ezekiel 20:12).
The Hebrew word sabbath literally means “to cease.” Just as God rested from His creation work, we are to rest from our day-to-day occupations and refocus on what’s really important. It’s a day to push the reset button. Taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith; it’s a reminder that no matter what we do, God is in control. When we cease from pursuing our material goals for one day each week, we’re saying, “God, I trust You to maintain control while I spend this day focusing on You. I trust You to provide for my needs seven days a week even if I only work for six of them. Regardless of how much money I could earn today, or how much remains on my to-do list from last week, today I’m going to rest my mind and body and bask in Your presence.”
Take the Opportunity
God knew that in our human tendency to further our own interests, we would need opportunities for spiritual growth, to refocus on things of eternal importance. The Sabbath is an opportunity to break away from the pressures of everyday living.
- Emily Thomsen
Why keep the Sabbath day? What is the object of the Sabbath? Who made it? When was it made, and for whom? Which day is the true Sabbath? Some keep the seventh day, or Saturday. What Scripture have they for that? Here are the facts about the Sabbath, as plainly stated in the Word of God:
- After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth, the great God rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:1.3.)
- This stamped that day as God's rest day, or Sabbath day, as Sabbath day means rest day. To illustrate: When a person is born on a certain day, that day thus becomes his birthday. So when God rested upon the seventh day, that day became His rest, or Sabbath, day.
- Therefore the seventh day must always be God's Sabbath day. Can you change your birthday from the day on which you were born to one on which you were not born? No. Neither can you change God's rest day to a day on which He did not rest. Hence the seventh day is still God's Sabbath day.
- The Creator blessed the seventh day. (Genesis 2:3.)
- He sanctified the seventh day. (Exodus 20:11.)
- He made it the Sabbath day in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:1-3.)
- It was made before the fall; hence it is not a type; for types were not introduced till after the fall.
- Jesus says it was made for man (Mark 2:27), that is, for the race, as the word man is here unlimited; hence, for the Gentile as well as for the Jew.
- It is a memorial of creation. (Exodus 20:11; 31:17.) Every time we rest upon the seventh day, as God did at creation, we commemorate that grand event.
- It was given to Adam, the head of the human race. (Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:1-3.)
- Hence through him, as our representative, to all nations. (Acts 17:26.)
- It is' not a Jewish institution, for it was made 2,300 years before ever there was a Jew.
- The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath, but always "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Men should be cautious how they stigmatize God's holy rest day.
- Evident reference is made to the Sabbath and the seven-day week all, through the patriarchal age. (Genesis 2:l-3; 8:10,12; 29:27,28.etc.)
- It was a part of God's law before Sinai. (Exodus 16:4, 27-29.)
- Then God placed it in the heart of His moral law. (Exodus 20:1-17.) Why did He place it there if it was not like the other nine precepts, which all admit to be immutable?
- The seventh-day Sabbath was commanded by the voice of the living God. (Deuteronomy 4:12,13.)
- Then He wrote the commandment with His own finger. (Exodus 31:18.)
- He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable nature. (Deuteronomy 5:22.)
- It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the holy of holies. (Deuteronomy 10:1-5.)
- God forbade work upon the Sabbath, even in the most hurrying times. (Exodus 34:21.)
- God destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned the Sabbath. (Ezekiel 20:12, 13.)
- It is the sign of the true God, by which we are to know Him from false gods. (Ezekiel 20:20.)
- God promised that Jerusalem should stand forever if the Jews would keep the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:24, 25.)
- He sent them into the Babylonish captivity for breaking it. (Nehemiah 13:18.)
- He destroyed Jerusalem for its violation. (Jeremiah 17:27.)
- God has pronounced a special blessing on all the Gentiles who will keep it. (Isaiah 56:6,7.)
- This is in the prophecy, which refers wholly to the Christian dispensation. (See Isaiah 56.)
- God has promised to bless all who keep the Sabbath. (Isaiah 56:2.)
- The Lord requires us to call it "honourable". (Isaiah 58:13.) Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the. “old Jewish Sabbath,” “a yoke of bondage,” etc.
- After the holy Sabbath has been trodden down "many generations,” it is to be restored in the last days. (Isaiah 58:12,13.)
- All the holy prophets kept the seventh day.
- When the Son of God came, He kept the seventh day all His life. (Luke 4:16; John 15:10.) Thus He followed His Father's example at creation. Shall we not be safe in following the example of both the Father and the Son?
- The seventh day is the Lord's Day. (See Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13;Exodus 20:10.)
- Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), that is, to love and protect it, as the husband is the lord of the wife, to love and cherish her (1 Peter 3:6.)
- He vindicated the Sabbath as a merciful institution designed for man's good. (Mark 2:23-28.)
- Instead of abolishing the Sabbath, He carefully taught how it should be observed. (Matthew 12:1-13.)
- He taught His disciples that they should do nothing upon the Sabbath day but what was “lawful” (Matthew 12:12.)
- He instructed His apostles that the Sabbath should be prayerfully regarded forty years after His resurrection. (Matthew 24:20.)
- The pious women who had been with Jesus carefully kept the seventh day after His death. (Luke 23:56.)
- Thirty years after Christ's resurrection, the Holy Spirit' expressly calls it "the Sabbath day,"(Acts 13:14.)
- Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called it the "Sabbath day" in A.D. 45. (Acts 13:27.) Did not Paul know? Or shall we believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Sabbath at the resurrection of Christ?
- Luke, the inspired Christian historian, writing as late as A.D. 62, calls it the "Sabbath day." (Acts 13:44.)
- The Gentile converts called it the Sabbath. (Acts 13:42.)
- In the great Christian council, A.D. 49, in the presence of the apostles and thousands of disciples, James calls it the "sabbath day." (Acts 15:21)
- It was customary to hold prayer meetings upon that day. (Acts 16:13.)
- Paul read the Scriptures in public meetings on that day. (Acts 17:2, 3.)
- It was his custom to preach upon that day. (Acts 17:2,3.)
- The Book of Acts alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four meetings upon that day. (See Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4. 11.)
- There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews about the Sabbath day. This is proof that the Christians still observed the same day that the Jews did.
- In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with disregarding the Sabbath day. Why did they not, if he did not keep it?
- But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law. “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all." Acts 25:8. How could this be true if he had not kept the Sabbath?
- The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament fifty-nine times, and always with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Old Testament, “the Sabbath day.”
- Not a word is said anywhere in the New Testament about the Sabbath's being abolished, done away, changed, or anything of the kind.
- God has never given permission to any man to work upon it. Reader, by what authority do you use - the seventh day for common labor?
- No Christian of the New Testament, either before or after the resurrection, ever did ordinary work upon the seventh day. Find one case of that kind, and we will yield the question. Why should modem Christians do differently from Bible Christians?
- There is no record that God has ever removed His blessing or sanctification from the seventh day.
- As the Sabbath was kept in Eden before the fall, so it will be observed eternally in the new earth after the restitution. (Isaiah 66:22, 23.)
- The seventh-day Sabbath was an important part of the law of God, as it came from His own mouth, and was written by His own finger upon stone at Sinai. (See Exodus 20.) When Jesus began His work, He expressly declared that He had not come to destroy the law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.” Matthew 5:17
- Jesus severely condemned the Pharisees as hypocrites for pretending to love God, while at the same tune they made void one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition. The keeping of Sunday is only a tradition of men.