001. Remember the Sabbath Day, TO KEEP IT HOLY (The Forgotten Part of the Fourth Commandment).

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Remember the Sabbath Day, TO KEEP IT HOLY

Friends, this message today is not for people who are wanting to be lukewarm in their obedience to God --- people who are trying to work out how little they can do for God and still hold on to their ‘ticket’ to eternal life.

This message is not for people who have never studied the Bible and history about how the Sabbath day was changed from Saturday to Sunday.  This message is only for those very special people who have studied, and already observe the Sabbath, and who genuinely want to progress even further in their relationship with our wonderful heavenly Father and Jesus. Please bow your heads with me as we pray. Thank you.


I pray Father, that these dear people, who call themselves your children, will give their undivided attention to this message.  Father, what we do with this message, may have an impact on our eternal destiny.  Please bless us, as we open your Word, in the name of our wonderful saviour Jesus. Amen.

The Story

Very late one night, I was wondering how to introduce this message I believe God wants me to present. Early the next morning at 3.30, I woke up and a voice in my head said, “Introduce the message by asking the question, ‘According to the Bible, is lukewarm good?’

I thought – “I can’t do that!”   But the question wouldn’t go away – “Is lukewarm good?”

I got out of bed and checked the thought in the Bible.  The word ‘lukewarm’ is only mentioned once.  That’s interesting.     In the New King James Version of the Bible, Jesus says in Revelation 3 starting at …

verse 14  “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

  • verse 15  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I would wish you were cold or hot.
  • verse 16   “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
  • The old King James Version says, “… I will spew you out of My mouth.”

Jesus said, “I wish you were cold or hot.”  He seems to be saying, “I would rather wish you were cold, not interested in Christianity.”  Those kind of people don’t do Christianity any harm.  Or, “I wish you were hot.”  People who are hot and on fire for Christianity, they don’t do Christianity any harm either.  But He said, “… because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Then I opened the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary to the word ‘lukewarm’.  It says there are two meanings for the word.

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: Lukewarm  =

  1. moderately warm
  2. not ardent; not zealous; cool;   indifferent;  eg. lukewarm obedience.

Well I thought that was interesting. Then I thought to myself that: ‘A really big problem for you and me, would be, to be lukewarm, and yet not realise it.

Friends, you and I are on a journey.  And, while we’re on our individual journeys, God tries various ways to get our attention.  The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Some years ago, Rob Randall, a teacher and school principal, said to our young son Dwayne, “When someone hands you a ball in life, you can trip over the ball that’s been handed to you, or you can pick it up and run with it.”   -----    Rob said, “It’s your choice!”

Today friends, I believe that God is handing us a ball and we have to choose what we’re going to do with the ball we’re being handed today.

We’ll read this again:

Revelation 3:14-16 verse 14 and 16

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, (Friends there are churches and individuals today who are honest enough to see themselves as fitting into this Laodicean church scenario.) ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

  • verse 15  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I would wish you were cold or hot.
  • verse 16   “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
Now verse 19-22, revelation 3:19-22
  • v19    “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.
  • v20   “Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
  • v21   “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
  • v22    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Friends, “Is it possible that we could actually be lukewarm in how we keep God’s Ten Commandments, including how we keep the Sabbath day holy?”

Let’s look at that point.
‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’
There is a church denomination called the Seventh-day Adventists who say they are champions of the Sabbath. But it is not the only denomination that says they keep Saturday, the Sabbath, to honour God. I googled  ‘How many denominations keep the seventh day Sabbath.’

I found that there were …. 563 Sabbath-keeping denominations. Not 563 churches – 563 denominations! At the top of the list there are Adventists and Jews then hundreds of others. But we ask the question --

Do any of the Sabbath-keeping denominations keep the Sabbath the way that our wonderful heavenly Father and Jesus ask us to in the Bible?

I would like to dedicate this message today to the 560+ Sabbath-keeping denominations as well as the huge number of individuals who don’t even belong to a church but who love God and with His help, want to keep His seventh-day holy.

I would like to use this message as a reminder of our possible lukewarmness – and also, as a reminder of the Bible verse in John 14 verse 15 that says, … John 14:15 ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments.’

The proper keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath is in the fourth commandment of God’s very important Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are so very important to God that He personally wrote them with His own hand. Of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, only 15 of them were personally written by God Himself. The other 31,087 verses were written by humans, under God’s guidance.

If you wish to listen to it, I have a half-hour message called... ‘God’s Special Message’. It’s about the Ten Commandments.

The old devil wants us to think that these Ten Commandments are just a bunch of don’ts – don’t do this and don’t do that.  --  But they’re not! The Ten Commandments (friends) are God’s Law of Love.  The first four commandments are about loving God.  And the last six are about loving people.

His Law of Love, God’s wonderful Ten Commandments, are spelled out in the book of Exodus chapter 20 and from verse 3 through to verse 17. And in verse 8 we see the fourth commandment about keeping the Sabbath. It starts by saying…

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8

Here we see two points.  Firstly, God asks us to remember the Sabbath day.  That means don’t forget it.  Well that seems easy to do.  ----   But what about the second point, “…… to keep it holy.”?  Friends I believe that this second part is very clearly, and very seriously, a salvation issue.  Let me explain.

Delphine and I wanted to join a church that followed the Bible closely.  We studied the different churches and finally chose the Seventh-day Adventist Church.   We didn’t know about the other Sabbath-keeping denominations but we went to an evangelistic programme that was run by the Seventh-day Adventists.  That church taught us to keep 10 Commandments, not 9, not 8, but 10, including the 4th one that says, "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy."  So off we went to church.

For me, I found it was hard to keep the Sabbath the way the Bible taught.  Why was it hard for me?

Friends, it was hard because I didn't love Jesus properly yet.

And do I think I’ve got it altogether yet? 😊  No, not at all.  I’m still on the journey, still moving forward --- mostly forward 😊.

I tell people I’ve been baptised three times.  When I was about a week old, I was baptised by immersion by my grandfather, in a bathtub. Then at age 26, Delphine and I were baptised when we’d learnt all the church membership rules.  We now knew the church rules, but we hadn’t yet fallen in love with Jesus.

As time went by, my relationship with Jesus and our wonderful heavenly Father, began to grow.  So I personally decided to re-dedicate my life to God by being re-baptised.  That was pretty special.

So friends, it is easier to keep the Sabbath day properly when our love for Jesus grows.   I had been spending a lot of time with the rules but I was not spending enough time with Jesus. There is an old saying that, …

‘We grow like the company we keep.’

If I was keeping all my company with the rules, I would grow like the rules.  But if I spent more time spending time with Jesus, then I would grow more like Jesus.

"We grow like the company we keep."

As I began to spend more time with Jesus, I began to appreciate the fact that He had taught me how to have better health, better relationships, and all sorts of good things in this life, and then He had given me an eternal life to come.   Out of thankfulness for all that Jesus had done for me, I began to love Him more and it became easier for me to keep His Sabbath properly.

Now, ... If we want to know how to keep God's Sabbath day properly, who do we ask?

  • Satan? Of course not!
  • Do we ask our friends in the world how to keep the Sabbath? No!
  • Do we ask our church friends how to keep the Sabbath? No!  We won't even ask them because many of them will lead us astray.
  • So what do we do? We are going to ask God how we should keep the Sabbath.

Let’s have a look at that in His Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:8-11

  • v8  “Remember the Sabbath day, (that means don’t forget it) Remember the Sabbath day, to-keep-it-holy.
  • v9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
  • v10  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.  (Friends, it says, don't work yourself or expect anyone else to work).
  • v11  (Verse 11 tells us why) For (or because) 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.

God did three things to that day that He did to no other day of the week.

  1. God Rested on the 7th day
  2. God Blessed the 7th day. God’s blessing is on the 7th day and it’s on no other day
  3. God Hallowed the 7th day. He set it aside as holy

That’s something He didn’t do to any other day of the week.

And friends, only a holy God can make a holy day. No man can do that.
Therefore Muslims come Friday for a blessing (they’re one day too early).  Most Christians come Sunday (one day too late).  Only a holy God can make a holy day - the Sabbath is Saturday, the 7th day - the only day that God made holy.
Some church folk say, “Well maybe the days were mixed up.
”Well they don’t really believe they were mixed up.
Just about every Christian believes in Easter.  And what does the Bible say about Easter?  Here are the facts from your Bible.
Jesus had been crucified, He had died, and He was still hanging on the cross.  What happens next?

Luke 23:50-56 and 24:1

  • v50  “Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.
  • v51  He had not consented to their decision and deed.  (that’s the Jews decision and deed to crucify Jesus.  Then it says about this man Joseph that) He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.
  • v52  This man (Joseph) went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
  • v53  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.
  • v54  That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. (the simpler Good News translation says, “It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin.”)
  • v55  And the women who had come with him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
  • v56  Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils.  And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” (Now the very next verse that follows in that story is Luke 24:1 which says) … “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.”

I’ll read it from the New English Bible which makes it very clear.

Luke 23:54,56 and 24:1

“It was Friday and the Sabbath was about to begin… then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes and on the Sabbath day they rested in obedience to the commandment.  But on the Sunday very early they came to the tomb bringing the spices they had prepared.”

So friends, when some people say that maybe the days were mixed up, you and I both know that they don’t really believe it.  Just about every Christian believes in Easter.  Jesus died on Good Friday, the Preparation Day.  He lay in the tomb on the Sabbath day, the 7th day, Easter Saturday.  And, He rose from the grave very early on Easter Sunday morning, the first day of the week.

  • Here's a question. So when does the Sabbath day start?
  • Does it start at midnight on Friday night when we’re  all asleep? No!
  • What does the Bible say? It starts at sunset Friday. God's 24 hour day was always from evening to evening. With God's day, the evening comes first. We’ll let the Bible explain that.

Genesis 1:23,31

This is creation week here.

  • v23     So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
  • v31    Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.  So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. So the evening comes first and then comes the daytime. At this point I’d like to borrow a few statements you’ll find in my more detailed study on the Sabbath called ‘A Day to Remember’.

It’s interesting that the word ‘day’ is mentioned in the Old Testament nearly 1,400 times.

Sometimes the idea is put forward that in some instances in the Bible, the word ‘day’ could possibly refer to a time that is much longer than a 24 hour period.  -------   Well friends, let’s look at the six days of creation week, with God resting on the seventh day.  Here we find that when the word ‘day’ is used in the Hebrew language, with a number as an adjective beside it, eg first day, second day, seventh day and so on, it always refers to a 24 hour day.  Even without the number attached as an adjective, almost every one of the other nearly 1,400 mentions of the word ‘day’ in the Old Testament are also 24 hour periods.

It boggles our little human minds to think that God could create things so big and so amazing and so fast!  We’ve got to remember friends, that our awesome God is unbelievably bigger and smarter than us.

Now this next verse in Leviticus 23 and verse 32 was talking about one of the ceremonial sabbaths, but it’s still the same as the weekly Sabbath, in that it was kept from evening to evening.

Leviticus 23:32

“It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls;  on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”
"From evening to evening you shall celebrate your sabbath."

Question: When is evening?
Answer:  Sunset.

Mark 1:32

“At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and all who were demon-possessed.”

The sun, friends, is God's great  clock.  When the sun  sets,  the old day has finished and a new day is starting. The ancient Romans, (humans), decided to start the day at midnight.  So according to our man-made clocks, the old day finishes at midnight, when we’re sound asleep.  And the new day starts at midnight, when we’re sound asleep.    It’s not a very good way to celebrate the end of the old day and the start of the new, is it? -  when everyone’s snoring their heads off. God’s great clock, from sunset to sunset, is very good.

Sometimes on a Sabbath morning, people will talk about some TV programme they watched the night before.  Well friends, there’s another thing about the Sabbath – we can’t keep Sabbath from Saturday morning - why?  Because it's already half gone. Got to keep it from Friday sunset. Now look at this...

Mark 15:42

“Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,”

The Preparation day, the day before Sabbath, is what we call Friday today.

There were only 2 days named in the Bible – Preparation Day, and Sabbath.  All the rest had numbers.   There was the first day then the 2nd,3rd,4th,5th,  then Preparation Day, and then the Sabbath.

Romans (humans) gave those first five days names too - not God.  Sunday was named after the venerable day of the sun.  That’s the day that sun worshippers kept.  Monday was named after the moon, Moonday, and so on.

So the day before the Sabbath is called the Preparation Day.

Here’s a question:

Do we make preparation for a holiday?  Or do we wake up on the first day of our holiday and say,   “Where are we going to go, what  are we going to do, for our holiday?” Of course not. We prepare beforehand! And it’s the same for Friday, the Preparation Day.   We prepare for the Sabbath.  We wash the car, put the fuel in, prepare food, prepare clothes etc.

A good rule is this: THINK! Don’t do anything on the Sabbath Day that can be done on one of the other six working days. Let’s have a look at the story in the Bible about the bread or manna from heaven.  It’s in…

Exodus 16:4,5,14-30

  • v4.  hen the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.  And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.’  
    (Friends, it was a test.  And it’s still a test for us today.)
  • v5  And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.’

So let’s look back at what happened.

Exodus 16:14-21

  • v14  And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
  • v15  So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”  For they did not know what it was.  And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”
  • v16.  “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons;  let every man take for those who are in his tent.’”
  • v17  Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, and some less.
  • v18  So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.  Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.
  • v19  And Moses said, “Let no-one leave any of it till morning.”
  • v20  Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses.  But some of them left part of it till morning, and it bred worms and stank, and Moses was angry with them.
  • v21  So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.

Now look what happened on the sixth day, the Preparation day, the day before the Sabbath.

  • v22  And so it was, on the sixth day that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one.  And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
  • v23  Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said:  ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD.  Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil;  and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’”
  • v24  So they laid it up till morning as Moses         commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it.
  • v25  Then Moses said,  “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD;  today you will not find it in the field.
  • v26  Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

So friends, they were told to collect a double portion on the Preparation Day so no unnecessary work would be done on the Sabbath.

And on the Friday, the Preparation Day, they were to ‘Bake and boil’.   God had given a special miracle so they wouldn’t have to work by collecting and cooking their food on Sabbath. That would help the people to ‘remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy’.

  • v27  Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
  • v28  And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
  • v29  See!  For the LORD has given you the Sabbath;  therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days.  Let every man remain in his place;  let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
  • v30  So the people rested on the seventh day.

Now let’s look at these verses in Nehemiah where it says it is evil to buy, work or sell on the Sabbath unless there is an absolute emergency.

Nehemiah 13:15-22

  • v15  In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day.  And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
  • v16  Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.
  • v17  Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them,  “What evil thing is this by which you profane the Sabbath day?”
  • v18  Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning (or defiling) the Sabbath.”

Now watch this carefully:

  • v19  So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath.  Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.  
  • v20  Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice.
  • v21  Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the wall?  If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.
  • v22  And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.

So the verses tell us that we should not be buying or selling on the Sabbath.  If that is so, should we even be buying or selling Christian books on the Sabbath?

A new Christian sat in a Sabbath School class and saw advertisements in the weekly church magazine about books to buy.  He then saw an envelope going around and money was being handed in in small envelopes to the Bookshop secretary.  And he said, “I read in the Bible that it is wrong to buy and sell on the Sabbath day.  Does putting the money in an envelope make it OK?”   I think he had a good question.

Regarding the little envelopes, somebody recently commented to me that in their Sabbath-keeping church, “there’s no other way to do it!” I suggested that according to the Bible, we need to tell God that we really want to keep the Sabbath holy and He’ll show us a way to do it.  The same person said, “But the church office gave the envelopes to us.”  --  Friends, does that make it right? ---  We need to do what the Bible says.

Here’s another question.  If our kids are sick on Sabbath, is it OK to buy medicine on Sabbath or take them to the doctor on Sabbath?

If it’s an emergency, I believe it’s perfectly OK.  But, if a child has been sick all week, we should have sorted that out on one of the other six days, and not leave it till God’s day.

Here’s another thought.  Late one Friday afternoon, I picked up a hitch-hiker and drove him many kilometers out of my way to his destination, and when I looked at the fuel gauge, I saw that I didn’t have enough fuel to get back home that night.  So I bought fuel on Friday night, which of course was Sabbath.  And after apologizing to God, my conscience was reasonably clear.  Right or wrong, that’s what I did.  Nevertheless, after that experience, I always made sure that on Friday, the Preparation Day, the car had heaps of fuel so it wouldn’t happen again.

I picked up a little booklet called:

True Sabbath Keeping by Signs Publishing Company

On page 14 the heading was:  “What about eating in restaurants on the Sabbath day?” (It said) “Sometimes those who travel have no other place to eat unless they are able to make some grocery purchases on Friday.”

(The article went on to say that) “F.D. Nichol, in his book ‘Questions People Have Asked Me’, has adequately answered this question.”

(And here is F.D. Nichol’s answer) “If a person is away from home travelling, he often has no option but to go to a restaurant on the Sabbath in order to satisfy his hunger.  In such an event there can be no criticism of his action.”

Friends, firstly I want to say that F.D. Nichol is not the Bible.  And secondly, unless we’re lukewarm and don’t care too much about God’s Sabbath, it’s extremely unusual that we can’t think ahead through the six working days and have some fruit, bread, muesli bars, whatever, purchased and ready for the Sabbath, even when we’re travelling.

Well friends, let’s look at another verse that tells us that the Sabbath is not for our worldly pleasures or our worldly business. It is God's day and we should do His things, speak His words and not worldly conversation.

Isaiah 58:13,14

  • v13  “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, (that means, if you get your foot off the Sabbath and stop trampling it into the ground.)
    ‘If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
    From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
    And call the Sabbath a delight,
    The holy day of the LORD honourable,
    And shall honour Him, not doing your own ways,
    Nor finding your own pleasure,
    Nor speaking your own words,
  • v14  Then you shall delight yourselves in the LORD;  and I will cause you to ride  on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Friends, some people wonder why they don't seem to delight themselves in the Lord and love our heavenly Father and love Jesus like they are supposed to.  For many people the reason is because they don't keep God's day properly for God.

  • Verse13 is the 'condition' (“if” you do this) and verse14 is the 'promise'   (“then” you will delight yourself in the Lord, and the LORD will cause you to ride on the high hills.) Friends, we all-need-that-wonderful-promise.

Mark 7:5-9,13

  • v5.  Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him,  (that’s Jesus)  “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
  • v6  He (Jesus) answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophecy of you hypocrites, as it is written:  ‘This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
  • v7  And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
  • v8  For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many-other-such-things you do.”
  • v9  He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God that you may keep your tradition.
  • v13  Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.  (and then He repeated it again) And many such things you do.”

Friends, THINK! Does what I am doing and thinking on the Sabbath bring glory to God?

Friends, if we don't defile the Sabbath, but keep it properly, then we'll be blessed.

Isaiah 56:2

“Blessed is the man who does this, (does what?) and the son of man who lays hold on it; (lays hold on what?) who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

Exodus 34:21

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest;  in ploughing time and in harvest you shall rest.”

We all know that for a farmer, ploughing time and harvest time are both very busy times of the year.  But God still says, that a rush of work is no excuse for breaking the Sabbath.

I want to tell you a story about...

The Beggar and the Seven Gold Coins.

A beggar was standing on the side of the street begging, asking the people who were coming by if they could give him some money or some food or something like that.  And a wealthy man came past, and he looked at this beggar asking for money, and he felt sorry for him, and so he took from around his own neck, a leather string, as they used in those days, and of course some of the coins that they had back then had holes through the middle, and that leather string had on it, around his neck, seven gold coins.  And he undid the knot in the leather string and he took off six of his gold coins and out of the kindness of his heart, he gave those six coins to that beggar.  And he only kept one for himself.

The beggar was very very thankful.  He thanked the wealthy man for the six gold coins.  He could not believe his luck you might say.  He was given all of this – six gold coins.  And so he thanked the wealthy man very much and the wealthy man walked away.  ----  And then after a little while, the beggar thought to himself, well, I got six gold coins, but I would like the seven of them, and so he followed that wealthy man into a dark alley, pulled a knife out, drove it into the man’s back, dropped him to the ground, and stole the one last gold coin from around his neck.

Friends, it’s a sad, sad story. That's like God and His Sabbath Day. You and I can be like that beggar. God gives us six days for ourselves and He only keeps one for Himself. And we’re not satisfied with that ---- we want to steal His day too.

Years ago my trade was in the repair of refrigeration equipment and I couldn’t have cared less what day was God’s Sabbath day back then. The days were all the same to me.  The whole seven of them were work days.  Well this factory owner came to me and asked me to install some specialized refrigeration equipment for him.  It was urgent.  But, he said, “I endeavour to observe the ten commandments in the Bible, so please don’t work at our factory from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.”

And I thought to myself, if it’s so urgent, I’ll have a go at this fella.  So I said, “Well, you keep Saturday, and I keep Sunday (which I certainly didn’t at that time), so we’ll have to miss two days each week.”   And even though it was extremely urgent, he didn’t give in.  He was fair dinkum.  So without his knowing, in my own workshop, I worked on his job on both Saturday the seventh day and Sunday the first Day of the week. ---- Nevertheless friends, that man got me thinking, and Delphine and I finally got to studying this business about the Sabbath.

You know friends, we may say we keep the Sabbath, but we’re still that beggar if we cut off the corners of Sabbath.   For example, as we’re heading up towards sunset on Friday afternoon,  --- TV, -- remote countdown 10-9-8. ---- Thinking about business etc in church. We need to learn to love our wonderful heavenly Father and Jesus more.

Friends, if we start to keep Sabbath properly, then soon we'll find that the Sabbath day isn't long enough. We can take this wonderful opportunity to learn to communicate more with God, family and others, about God's things, and be very positive about the day.  Celebrate the day like you would a party.

Well, how can we fix the problem?

If we are being convicted that we are treating God disrespectfully in the way we treat His wonderful Sabbath day then the first thing we need to do is to genuinely repent and say sorry to God. What you are hearing today may be new truth from God’s word that you may not have noticed before.  Or you may have noticed it but deliberately chosen to gloss over it and pass it by. Our wonderful heavenly Father doesn’t want us to pass it by.  He loves us dearly and He wants us to love Him too, and He wants to bless us. The Bible says in …

John 14:15

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Do we refuse to keep God’s commandments properly because it’s not convenient for us? Or do we refuse because our friends or our church teaches us to keep another day?  Really, ...

What’s more important?

  1. To do what’s convenient?
  2. To follow our friends?
  3. To follow man-made church traditions? Or,
  4. To obey our wonderful heavenly Father and Jesus?

I would rather serve God. And with His help, that’s what I do.

The fixing of the problem of how to keep God’s Sabbath day holy does not start with our personal conveniences, or our friends, or our church’s traditions.  The fixing starts firstly with you and me, and our personal relationship with our Father and Jesus.  As that grows, so will our love grow, and so will our desire to be obedient grow.

Then after that, after you and I personally begin to set the example in our own life, then we can talk to our friends and our church about it. But there’s a problem with the church.  The church is a big machine.  It is steeped in so many man-made, non-biblical traditions which it’s not prepared to push the delete button on.  And so often, almost always actually, churches manipulate minds to fit their traditional teachings. Churchfulls of people are hard to change.  You’ve got to make a personal decision to follow God all the way. So again I ask the question,

How can we fix the problem?

I believe the solution to the problem of how we keep God’s Sabbath day holy begins with what happens in the six working days before the Sabbath day arrives.

God has given us six days to do our work and talk to our friends and acquaintances about work, family, friends, cars, business, sport, whatever.  Get those things out of the way in those first six days from Sunday to Friday so that we can keep God’s Sabbath day for God.  

Remember what the fourth commandment says, ...

Exodus 20:8

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

So let’s say we are studying the Bible with our new converts during the week.   When we get to teaching them about the Sabbath and how to keep the Sabbath, we should invite them to come along to church.

We should teach them beforehand, during the week, that the Sabbath is a special day that we dedicate entirely to God. Tell them that when we go to church we don’t talk about ourselves but we talk about God.  We praise Him, we thank Him, we honour Him, we sing to Him, we talk about His wonderful creation and His love.  It is God’s day all day.

Unfortunately, when we get our new friend to church, to celebrate God, other church people screw it up and talk to him about all sorts of non-Sabbath things and pull him down to their level of lukewarmness. Friends, when it comes to the Bible’s way of Sabbath-keeping, the church has slowly become like a big ship that’s off-course and it’s hard to get it back again.  But we must get the big Sabbath ship back on course again or it will hit the rocks and go down.

You know friends, we don’t love God and keep His commandments by the church-full or the ship-full.  Not every person on the ship will make it safely home.  Jesus told us that only a relative few will love Him enough to make it home. Now…

The Bible says that the Sabbath is a day of rest.  That doesn’t mean sleep.  It means rest from our normal work-day things.  It’s God's day, so therefore we should do things with Him and for Him on His day.

Now if it’s your husband’s or wife’s birthday, it’s their day.  Do you sleep on their birthday? No! You do things with them and for them on their special day. If you and I stay awake 6 afternoons a week and wait until night to sleep, then why do we have to take advantage of God and sleep on His afternoon? Wouldn't that be an insult to Him?

What is our example doing for our children and others?  Is our example helping them to move forward with God, or backwards? Now…

What about Jesus and the Sabbath.
(Q) Where did Jesus go every Saturday?

Luke  4:16

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.  And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”

He went to church! Or as Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, some place where two or three are gathered in His name.

When Jesus went to church, He knew that many of them were hypocrites.
(Q)  Could those hypocrites teach Him anything?
(A)   NO …..

(Q) Then why did He go?  
(A)  Because it was God's Day! And the Bible says about Jesus that "He is our example in all things".

Well, be it right or wrong, I want to tell you the reason why I stopped going to church for some time. On Sabbath, at church, people wanted to talk to me about themselves, their latest car, their sport, holidays, business, house, all kinds of things.   And God hardly got a mention on His own day.

I found it was very difficult to keep the Sabbath properly.  And when I’ve spoken to church leaders and pastors, and even the lay people, very few people were interested in hearing about what we’re talking about today, because the traditional way of keeping the Sabbath is very difficult to change.

There’s a saying, …
‘It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.’
I stopped going to church and started spending the whole day building my relationship with God and it has been a fantastic blessing to me. But now I’ve come to feel that God wants me to spend time with others who genuinely want to keep His day holy.

Let’s look at these next verses in ….

Matthew 12:9-14

  • v9       Now when He (that’s Jesus) had departed from there, He went into their synagogue.
  • v10     And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand.  And they asked  Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” – that they might accuse Him.
  • v11    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?
  • v12     Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep?  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
  • v13     Then He said to the man,  “Stretch out your hand.”   And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
  • v14     Then the Pharisees  (the church leaders friends)went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. So,  …

(Q)   "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?"
(A)   Yes.

(Q)    “Is it lawful to take money for healing on the  Sabbath day?”  
(A)     No!  Not as far as we've read from the Bible.

God says it's evil to sell our goods or labour for money on the Sabbath. He also says that we can't be blessed while we continue to do it. We can do healing work on the Sabbath - for free - like Jesus did.

When the subject of being paid to do healing or preaching work on the Sabbath comes up, some church folk will immediately ask, “Well church ministers get paid to work on the Sabbath don’t they?”

Well friends, I can’t speak for them, but I’d like to tell you my own experience. Some years ago I was asked to care for a couple of churches and I was paid to do it. How did I sort that out? Well I made sure that I worked at least 40 hours during the first six days of the week. My conscience was clear. Helping to care for the church on Sabbath was done free. I didn’t accept money for the Sabbath, just like all the other wonderful church members who put in their time freely to help bring people closer to God on His beautiful Sabbath day. ----

I want to tell you a story about a Sabbath keeper called Dick Irvine and about working overtime after sunset on Friday.

I was an apprentice refrigeration mechanic.  One of the tradesmen, several years older than me, was Dick Irvine. Dick and I went out on a Friday afternoon to repair some refrigeration equipment at a commercial shop where it was urgent that we fixed it otherwise all the food stock would go off, and he would lose a lot of profit.  So it was Friday afternoon.  We went out and we repaired the equipment and we worked on for a couple of hours after sunset on Friday afternoon  and we got his equipment all finished and fixed.

Now, the next Friday afternoon, about midday, our job was to put on the boss’s date pad in his office, our normal hours plus our extra overtime hours - the extra hours we had worked on top of our normal eight hour day, as it was in those days.  And so, I went to the date pad to put my hours down, and I noticed that Dick had  put his down just before mine on the pad and I looked at them and I thought, he’s only put in a certain amount of time.  He hasn’t put down for that extra time that we worked late on last Friday.  And so I said to him, Dick, you didn’t put all the time in for Friday, you must have forgotten.  No, he said, I haven’t forgotten.

And then he told me something.  He said, Ray, I keep the Sabbath day.  And keeping the Sabbath day, which is Saturday, means that from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, I don’t work, I don’t take money, I don’t buy, sell or anything like that, so I’m not going to charge for that extra time that we put in.  I put it in Ray because there’s no way in the world we could let that man’s equipment be broken down like that.

So I’ve just gone and done that, but I will not charge for that time.  I want to follow what the Bible teaches, and remember the Sabbath day the way that God asked me to remember it, not buying and selling on His special day.

Well, I thought that was a bit crazy at the time, but then I started to think about it as time went by, and I thought, that’s very interesting.    So I started to pick up statements in the Bible about the Sabbath.

The Bible teaches us to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Satan couldn’t care less if we remember it.  Satan couldn’t care less if we go to church on the Sabbath. He’s not going to persecute you or me if we remember the Sabbath day and go to church.  Satan just wants to make sure we don’t keep the Sabbath. The Bible says in the fourth commandment in Exodus 20 verse 8, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it.” Keep it what? Keep it holy.

If we don’t keep it holy, then Satan’s got us.  We’re His if we don’t keep it holy. Are we really Sabbath keepers if we don’t keep it holy?   Not according to the Bible.  Do we really love our heavenly Father and Jesus if we don’t keep the Sabbath day holy?  Not according to the Bible. Jesus tells us in….

John 14:15

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Then the next verses go on to show us that Jesus’ commandments are actually the Father’s commandments.

John 14:21

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is he who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (Now)
  • Verse 23, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep My word;  and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
    (and now,)
  • Verse 24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words;  and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

So friends, when Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”, He’s talking about His Father’s commandments – the Ten Commandments.

Now look at what we read in the Bible by the prophet Ezekiel:

Ezekiel   20:19-21

  • v19  “I am the LORD your God:  walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;
  • v20  hallow (keep holy) My Sabbaths and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.”
  • v21  “Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me;  (they rebelled against God and He said) they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’;  but they profaned My Sabbaths.   Then I said I will pour out My fury on them and fulfil My anger against them in the wilderness.

Friends, God says that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and us, that He is our God. If we don't keep His day Holy then we're showing that He's not really our God. We're putting ourselves first on His holy day. Our wages, our work, our pleasure etc become our God as we insult the One who set aside the Sabbath as His special day.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31:

“Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Friends, how we keep the Sabbath either does bring glory to God, or it does not bring glory to God. Now look at this prophecy about something that’s going to happen in the future.

Isaiah 66:22-23

  • v22  “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me,” says the LORD, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.”
  • v23  “And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before me,”  says the LORD.

So here we read that in the new heavens and the new earth the Sabbath institution will always be  there.

It is an eternal institution put in place by an eternal God. It’s the cream of the week - sanctified and blessed. Friends, during the week we gather straw, but on Sabbath we gather pearls.

It’s a day of festivity, joy and blessing. It’s a high day so dress up. Not like Jezebel in the Bible with all of her face paint and jewelry and stuff. But we simply wear our special Sabbath clothes because we’re going into the house of royalty.

God said to Moses, "Tell the people to wash their clothes and come to meet Me."

Isaiah 58:13,14 in summary says that… The Sabbath is a day of delight.

Friends, sometimes the week days seem to be made of lead  -  heavy.   But the Sabbath is made of gold - if we treat it right!
Let's make each Sabbath a 'GOLDEN LIGHT' along the pathway of life that leads us on to everlasting life.

In our lives, let's prove the Bible text that tells us that if we keep God's Holy Sabbath holy, then we'll begin to  delight ourselves in the Lord and He'll cause us to walk on the high places of the earth. (Isaiah 58:13,14)

Friends do we want to have God’s Spirit in us in a greater way than we’ve ever had before?  Then look at this verse again.

John 14:15-17

  • v15  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
  • v16  “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever -    (and what is this Helper?)
  • v17.  “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him or knows Him;  but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Then a few verses on in the same chapter,

John 14:21

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest (make known) Myself to him.”

A couple of verses further on...

John 14:23,24

  • v23  “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
  • v24  “He who does not love Me does not keep My words.”

So do we keep God’s Sabbath day God’s way, out of legalism? or out of love?

John 14:15

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

We keep God’s commandments out of love. I’ll leave this question with you….
“Do I really love Jesus and our wonderful heavenly Father enough to keep the commandments the way the Bible says?”

Here’s our last verse on the screen.   It’s talking about the people who will be ready when Jesus comes.

Revelation 14:12

“Here is the patience of the saints;  here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Friends, I believe it is a salvation issue, because, we read earlier in this message, in Revelation chapter 3, that if we are lukewarm, God will spew us out of His mouth. And that’s not something that any of us wants to happen, is it?
So I pray that each one of us has heard God speaking to us through His Holy scriptures, and will be willing to trust and obey.

Just one more thing before we close……


If some of you dear people who are listening to this message are obedient simply because it says it in the Bible and we should do it, maybe we could call that LEGAL OBEDIENCE, doing it because God said to do it. But today, I pray earnestly that we will be obedient, not just because it’s right but because our love for God is growing.  We could call that LOVE OBEDIENCE.

John 14:15

“If you love Me keep My commandments.”

If we’re only following God to receive eternal life but we don’t really love Him deeply, then it’s a pain to be obedient.  It’s much easier to obey someone when we love them.

How do we get to love our Father and Jesus more, so that we will be really happy to keep the Sabbath the way the Bible asks?

I have a DVD or download that I think will help answer that for you – it’s called ‘The Hour’ and it’s yours if you wish.

Friends, as we conclude this message, I would like you to kneel with me in reverence to our wonderful God. Thank you.

Dear Father, thank you for your book, the Bible.  Thank you for your love for us.  I pray Father, that we will not be like the beggar with the six gold coins who so selfishly wanted to steal the seventh one too.  I pray that with your help, that we will not only remember the Sabbath day, but we will keep it holy. Thank you Father, in the precious name of Jesus,
Friends, if you’ve been blessed and challenged by this message, then please take time now to send it on to your friends.  
Perhaps you could say...

“I watched this interesting and very challenging video and thought you may be interested.  I hope you’ll find time to watch it.  If you do, I’d be keen to hear what you think.” https://sabbathholy.com

Thank you friends for your time and your interest.

Thank You,

Ray Archer

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