We believe that the fourth commandment, along with the others, is unchangeable and valid for all people. The Sabbath day was instituted by God after six days of creation, blessed and hallowed, and distinguished in that God rested on it. It was given as a memorial of creation and a day of rest for mankind. Therefore, it is also designated as the Lord’s day. God enjoins us to keep this day holy by resting from work, worshiping Him, and performing religious service. The Sabbath is also a symbol of redemption, a sign of sanctification, a testimony of obedience, and a foretaste of eternal life in God’s kingdom. The divine rest day is the special sign of His obedient children in the end times.
Genesis 2:1-3 – Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Exodus 20:8-11; 31:15 – Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it… Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Leviticus 23:3 – Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Mark 2:27, 28 – And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Luke 16:17 – And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
On Friday (preparation day) all preparation for the seventh day should be finished. This includes food preparation for the Sabbath day, house cleaning, preparing one’s clothing, and bathing, so we can begin the Sabbath day in peace and quiet.
Exodus 16:23 – And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, ‘confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 356.
Concerning travel we read: “In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath.” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 360.
On the Sabbath, we are to abstain from all secular and business travel, conversation, and activities. Our conversation should be of a spiritual character and be for God’s praise and our spiritual edification.
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, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
“God has directed that the sick and suffering be cared for; the labor required to make them comfortable is a work of mercy, and no violation of the Sabbath; but all unnecessary work should be avoided.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 296.
We also request that our children be exempted from attending secular school on the Sabbath.
In harmony with the order of creation, a day begins and ends at sunset. Therefore, the Sabbath begins on Friday evening at sunset and ends on Sabbath evening at sunset.
Genesis 1:5 – And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Leviticus 23:32 – It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Luke 4:31, 40 – And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days…Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
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