SHOULD CHRISTIANS FREQUENT RESTAURANTS ON THE SABBATH?
by Randy Rondeau
Most professing Christians do not keep Gods
Sabbath. As a former Roman Catholic and Pentecostal, I, by the grace of
God, have come out of religious Babylon and into His marvellous light
(Revelation 18:4; I Peter 2:9). I can tell you that
according to Gods Word, the Bible, Sunday is NOT the day that God
has made Holy. There are, of course, differences in how these days are
For those professing Christians who keep Sunday, most
will get up and get the family together and plod off to church services
about ten or eleven in the morning, and then after an hour or two at
the most, they will go for breakfast or brunch with many of their
friends to a local restaurant. It is a tradition for many, perhaps tens
of thousands, do this every Sunday. If you dont believe me, try
to go out to eat at that time, its usually standing room only in
After this, families will often go home and lounge around
the house, in a laid-back sort of way, watching TV, tinkering with a
hobby, mow the lawn, do other yard work or attend to chores that may
have piled up during the week. Some may spend the afternoon visiting
friends or relatives, but this time is usually and generally viewed as
their own free time.
Hundreds of thousands observe Sunday this way and they
are not sinning by doing these things or their own things, because it
is not Gods appointed time. The Sabbath, however, is
different. All Bible students realize that the Sabbath has
restrictions. Sabbath-keepers would never think of coming home from
church services and mowing the lawn or doing chores. They wouldnt
think of spending a significant portion of the day watching TV, or
being occupied with some sort of hobby. They know that these things are
not pleasing to God on His Holy day, because these activities do not
make His Sabbath separate, special, and holy, the way God intended.
In these later years, however, some Sabbath-keepers have
begun, in some ways, to "Sunday-ize" Gods Holy Sabbath, that is,
they have begun to let the spirit (attitude) of the way in which Sunday
is kept, creep into their observance of Gods Holy day. They have
begun to water down Gods Sabbath by not treating it as special as
God wants us to keep it. While most would not watch their favorite TV
show or sitcom, many Sabbath-keepers think little of going out to eat
at restaurants before or after services just like Sunday-keepers
Should we be doing this? Is it wrong to eat in a
restaurant on the Sabbath day or frequent restaurants as a regular part
of our Sabbath worship? Is it sin? Have we, perhaps, allowed ourselves
to go a little too far in permitting ourselves to do what we want to
do, what we enjoy, instead of letting Gods Word be our sole
guide? Again, I ask, is it wrong to go to a restaurant on the Sabbath,
when you are feeling hungry? Is it all right to go once in a while,
occasionally, as long as you dont make it a habit? Are there
exceptions to the rule, say, for example, when you are travelling or at
the time of Gods annual Holy days, especially the Feast of
One brother recalls that during the Feast of Trumpets in
1969 in Craftsman Hall, San Diego, as people were filing in that
morning, carrying covered dishes, the serving tables were filling up
with food that had been prepared the day before. After the morning
service, the congregation enjoyed a potluck meal together before
assembling for the afternoon service.
Im told that such was the norm during the 50s, 60s,
and early 70s. Obedient Church members never went out to a restaurant
for a meal on a Holy Day or on the Sabbath.
So what has changed things? Are the Scriptures that were
once used to demonstrate that purchasing food on the Sabbath is sin, no
longer valid? Are people following people, the example of men, and not
Christ? Why have we slackened in this regard? Is it our Christian
liberty to do so? Has Christ loosened the Sabbath for us in this regard
as many believe today? Did the liberalization which crept into the
Church during the mid-70s have anything to do with the change in
peoples hearts? I understand that Mr. Herbert Armstrong even
began to eat out on the Sabbath, he said due to his continual
travelling. An old saying comes to mind, "As goes the leadership, so
goes the church!"
Were the early Church brethren taught that it was a sin
to buy food on the Sabbath, either at a store or at a restaurant? Did
the disciples frequent establishments to buy and eat food on the
Sabbath? Did Christ, Himself, set an example for us in this regard? Did
He eat in restaurants or the local "Inn" on the Sabbath at least "once"
during His three-year ministry?
Brethren, God dealt with me on this very issue of buying
food, or visiting restaurants on His Holy Sabbath day in 1995, and I am
beginning to see that there are many others who are being awakened in
these end times, having their minds impressed upon by Gods Holy
Spirit, to know and to understand that God wants us to keep His Sabbath
Our Savior, Jesus Christ (Yeshua Meshiach) is coming back
for a Church, His Bride, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing and
NOW is the time to get our spiritual houses in order. "For the time is
come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first
begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of
God?" (I Peter 4:17).
The convicting power of Gods Holy Spirit caused me
to revisit this matter. It was not an issue of deciding to become more
"strict" in my Sabbath observance, but simply started out from a
sincere desire to please Him in everything and respond in loving
obedience to His gentle correction.
As we approach this subject, we must fully realize, first
of all, that God wants us to know and understand that He is our
provider (Yahveh-Yireh). When He was showing (reminding) the Israelites
which day was His Sabbath, after they had lost track of it during their
many years of slavery in Egypt, He commanded them: "Tomorrow is a
Sabbath rest, a Holy Sabbath to Yahveh. Bake what you will bake today,
and boil what you will boil, and lay it up for the morning." Then Moses
said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Yahveh, you will not
find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh
day which is the Sabbath, THERE WILL BE NONE." (Exodus16:23,
Now, I realize that this verse does not mention anything
about buying, but what is the principle here?
The fact is, that they were commanded to prepare TWICE as
much on the day before the Sabbath, in order to carry them through the
Sabbath, to the first day, work day of the week. This is a wonderful
example of the DAY OF PREPARATION, which many Sabbath-keepers have
forgotten or completely ignore today in the various churches of God. I
will comment more on this later.
THE SABBATH IS HOLY
The Sabbath is Gods Holy time, "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," (Genesis 2:2). God
sanctified the Sabbath day, which means that He set it apart for a
special purpose. This day is not like other days. God set it apart in
order to make it holy, "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." (Exodus
God made this day HOLY. When something is HOLY it is the
opposite of common or profane. God elevated this day to a special
status and it is SACRED and PURE, belonging to God, and it is a part of
time that is wholly devoted to God. Therefore, since the Sabbath day is
Holy time and God made it this way, it is up to His children to KEEP IT
THAT WAY! "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus
Notice that it says that we are to "Remember the
Sabbath," which implies that we would tend to "forget" this day. Now,
it does not say that we would forget WHICH day it was, but that we are
to remember to keep the day a certain way HOLY! We must remember
the WAY we ought to keep the day. IT IS HOLY TIME!
When we go out to eat at restaurants on the Sabbath, are
we keeping this day sacred and holy? Are we keeping it holy by spending
this holy time in the company of those who are profaning the Sabbath?
Is it sanctified (set apart) by going to restaurants? Is it somehow
elevated by doing this? Is it making this day more devoted to God? Or
are we simply using this time to enjoy our own pleasure? I believe that
the Apostle Pauls words apply to our Christian conduct every day
of our lives and especially the Sabbath, "Follow peace with all men,
and HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord," and "Be ye
HOLY; for I am HOLY." (Hebrews 12:14; I Peter
This does not mean that we go around trying to establish
our own righteousness, like the Pharisees did. No, instead we seek to
follow GODS WAYS, and allow Christ to live out His righteous life
through us. As I have said before, time and time again, its not
enough to HAVE the spirit of God, we must be LED by the Spirit of God!
THOU SHALT NOT DO ANY WORK
In order to protect and safeguard the Sabbath, God put
some restrictions on the observance of this day. The chiefest of these
restrictions is that we should do no 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." (Exodus
God was very specific in this. He legislated that
everyone have this day off. The servants were not to work, the children
were not to do any work, a stranger, a person who was not of Israel,
could not work. Even animals were given the day off.
It is absolutely clear that no one is to do any work on
the Sabbath. This is important to understand because when Christ
returns to set up His Kingdom and rule planet Earth, I can guarantee
you that there will be no restaurants operating on the Sabbath.
Absolutely no one will work on the Sabbath!
Think about it! The Sabbath pictures the Millennial rest
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isnt it ironic that we would celebrate
the Sabbath by doing something that Christ Himself will not allow to be
done when He institutes His Kingdom?!?
All of this strongly implies that it was never Gods
intention that we go to restaurants on His Sabbath. Whether people
choose to or not, the fact is that people working in restaurants ARE
violating Gods day of commanded rest. Ignorance of the law is no
excuse, especially now that Christ has come with the full knowledge of
God. (Acts 17:30). If we go to the restaurant to
purchase their food, are we not in some way contributing to them
breaking the Sabbath? Are we not condoning it? Are we not a party to
Think about it! In our own judicial system, a person who
aids or contributes to the commission of a crime or offense, (but not
necessarily as the chief instigator) is considered an ACCESSORY TO THE
CRIME! Are human judges more righteous and just than God? Will God
judge His people differently?
Additionally, most of us would not consider forcing an
employee (servant) to work on Gods Sabbath. There are those who
believe that when you visit restaurant establishments that the waiters,
waitresses and cooks are not working "for you"; they are working for
their employer. The idea is that they are going to work whether we are
there or not. We are not making them work on the Sabbath. This is a
weak, shallow, argument put forth by those who do not see the sanctity
and holiness of the Sabbath.
When we frequent a restaurant, we ARE hiring servants on
a temporary basis while we are there. It may be true that WE are not
making them be there on the job, but we certainly do not DECREASE their
workload when we go. We actually increase the amount of work that they
have to do! In the case of waiters or waitresses, these people are
indirectly in our employ and we will "TIP" them depending on how well
they "worked" for us.
Restaurant owners pay very little and expect them to get
the majority of their pay in tips. There is no escaping this
when we are there, THEY ARE OUR SERVANTS! They serve us and the WORK
they do FOR US is definitely IN OUR CONTROL. The work they do for
others is NOT in our control. The work they do for us is directly in
our control. That makes the work they do for us OUR RESPONSIBILITY!
We dont make people work in bowling alleys,
amusement parks, or movie theatres, any more when we go there, than we
do the restaurant employees. In fact, they work probably LESS in
comparison. We dont force people in any business to work on the
Sabbath, but, would it be right (in Gods eyes) to do business
with any of them on the Sabbath? So then, whats the difference?
The main difference is that the restaurant employees have to work even
harder for us than the clerks in a store!
The spirit of the law, as taught by our Master, says that
only in such an emergency situation that life, limb, or property is in
danger, should we be permitted to buy anything, or do any work, or
cause anyone else to work on the Sabbath.
Some may insist that these people do not work for you
because you do not pay their salary. However, in terms of their wages,
any restaurant manager will tell you that the price of the menu item
covers three things -- food costs, operating expenses, and WAGES. You
DO pay their wages! In fact, one brother recently told me that when he
worked for a well-known Winnipeg restaurant, his paycheck had these
words written on it, "REMEMBER, CUSTOMERS MAKE YOUR PAYCHECK
God says that our servants are not to work. Even if they
are strangers (not Christians) within our gates (our control), they are
not to work, when it is within our control. The maitre de, chefs,
waiters and waitresses are strangers, they are not Christians.
When God says that those who are "within our gates" must
not work, this means inside our homes, on our property, or within the
whole of the city gates, but the underlying meaning is THOSE WHO ARE
WITHIN OUR IMMEDIATE CONTROL. That would apply to waitresses, waiters,
Brethren, we need to see sin through Gods eyes. We
need to realize how severe this is from Gods point of view: "Six
days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy
to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall
surely be PUT TO DEATH," (Exodus 31:15). God repeats
this four chapters later, "Six days shall work be done, but on the
seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the
LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be PUT TO DEATH,"
This decree was not just an idle threat. In
Numbers 15, the man caught gathering sticks (wood, timber) on
the Sabbath was STONED TO DEATH: "And while the children of Israel were
in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the
Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto
Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in
ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the
LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the
congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp,"
(Numbers 15:32-36). So, in Gods eyes this IS
We need to realize that what may appear to be a "small
thing" to us, is NO SMALL THING to God! There are many examples in the
Scriptures of things that appeared little or insignificant to the
Israelites, yet in Gods eyes they were ABOMINATIONS!
The idolatrous ritual of holding the tamarisk branch to
the nose may have appeared innocent and quite harmless to the
Israelites, but the prophet Ezekiel writes:
"Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man?
turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than
these...Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it
a LIGHT THING to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations
which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence,
and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch
to their nose." (Ezekiel 8:15, 17).
CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT CONDUCT BUSINESS ON THE
God told Israel that they were not to make a fire on the
Sabbath day, "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon
the Sabbath day," (Exodus 35:3). This fire was one for
industrial purposes and required a lot of work to maintain, it was not
a fire to keep the family warm in winter. This fire was for the purpose
of doing commercial work. God did not want Israel to make a fire in
order to engage in some sort of commercial enterprise. They were not to
conduct business in ANY WAY on the Sabbath.
Going to a restaurant IS conducting business. A
restaurant is a business, a commercial venture. It exists for the sole
purpose of making money and when we go there we are conducting
business. We pay money to someone for their product and they give us
what they produce in return.
Think about it! What kind of all-day fire (stove, grill,
charcoal pit, etc.) is burning in a restaurant? It is fire to cook food
for commercial purposes and it is the very fire that God condemns in
Exodus 35. Most Sabbath-keepers would not think of going to Safeway or
SuperValue to buy food, go home and prepare it on the Sabbath, except
in an emergency situation. So why would that same Christian consider
going to buy food at a restaurant and have someone else prepare it and
slave over a hot stove for them? Why conduct business and contribute to
others doing business?
God sent His people into bitter captivity for breaking
the Sabbath. Israel was the first to go. They were taken captive by the
Assyrians. They lost the Sabbath completely and hence their identity,
which, up until this century, has remained a mystery. Judah was next.
They also broke Gods Sabbath after repeated warnings and went
into captivity. Judah was taken captive by Babylon. The Jews, however,
did not lose their identity. They returned to the land after 70 years.
Those who returned wanted to "revive" Gods true worship in Judah.
These people were mainly sincere, but they were also unconverted carnal
people and as a result they made mistakes. One of their mistakes was in
not keeping the Sabbath holy. They were conducting business on the
This was the very sin for which Nehemiah had to correct
the Jews after their return from Babylon. Before quoting and explaining
some key passages, here are some Bible dictionary and commentary notes
describing everyday life during his time.
"A chief location for food purveyors in Old Testament
times was outside the city walls near the Temple area. This is attested
by the last chapter of Nehemiah. The prophet resented the desecration
of the Sabbath by peddlers who had carried fish from Tyre, and those
who SOLD FOOD and all manner of wares . . . fly-flecked meats, fresh
produce from the Bethlehem terraces, and fruits from Hebron crammed the
dark, windowless masonry stalls," (Millers Encyclopedia of
the Bible, pp.121, 123, emphasis mine). Obviously, in the absence
of modern refrigeration, such goods would have to be consumed the same
"The village baker kindled his beehive oven with quick
brush fuel and baked the dough together with meat and vegetables,"
(Ibid., p. 334). Here is a scene of the village restaurateur
serving a meal!
I have heard people say, "Nehemiah was a legalist, he
went to extremes! He was really only talking about grocery shopping and
doing work (physical labor)" as if he was doing his
own thing and as if there were no eating establishments in his day. But
there WERE street vendors, those who sold prepared food, and Nehemiah
makes NO DISTINCTION! Lets take a closer look at this inspired,
In Nehemiah 9, he is explaining to the
Israelites that they need to get back to Gods Law. Is this not
the message for the Church today, for physical and spiritual Israel?
"And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto
Thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy
commandments, but sinned against Thy judgements, (which if a man do, he
shall live in them); and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their
neck, and would not hear, (verse 29).
In chapter 10 the people voluntarily
enter into an agreement (covenant) to return to the law of God. If a
whole nation was willing to repent and make an oath to God, should we
not be willing to do this as individuals today? When God calls a nation
to repentance, is He not calling each individual in that nation to
repentance? Of course He is! The nobles of Judah signed and sealed a
covenant as recorded in verses 1-27.
In verse 28 all the rest of the people
join with the nobles, entering an oath to walk in Gods Law, given
to Moses, and to observe all that Moses commanded, beginning with
abstaining from inter-faith marriages in verse 30, and
then in verse 31 we read: "And if the people of the
land bring ware or any VICTUALS (food) on the Sabbath day to sell, that
we would NOT BUY IT of them on the SABBATH, or on the HOLY DAY: and
that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every
There is no distinction here between food that might be
eaten the same day, saved for the next day, or the coming week! But
only three chapters later it seems that they had already forgotten
their oath! Once again food is being bought and sold on the Sabbath and
Nehemiah rebukes the Jews for selling food on the Sabbath day:
"In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses
on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also
wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought
into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the
day wherein they SOLD VICTUALS. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein,
which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath
unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the
nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What EVIL THING is this that ye
do, and profane the Sabbath day?" (Nehemiah
Well, what EVIL thing had they done? Was Nehemiah only
referring to WORK (treading wine presses, lading asses, etc.)? Did
Nehemiah make any distinction between buying food and buying other
items like clothing and other goods, or between buying and working?
Clearly, the evil thing was BUYING, SELLING AND PHYSICAL WORK, or
conducting business in general.
Here is what Charles Fensham has to say in his
commentary: "The Tyrians, famous Phoenician merchants, were selling
fish and other kinds of merchandise to the Jews on the Sabbath day. The
Sabbath law was totally forgotten. The real meaning of the Sabbath, a
day to acknowledge the Lord as Creator and to give all the honor to Him
for a successful week, had been abandoned. The Sabbath was celebrated
to show that mans existence as a creation was more important than
his fight for survival. Because of their need (for food) the Jews were
conducting their business on that day like the neighboring heathen. The
Lord provides food for the Sabbath; it is wrong and a sin to buy or
sell food on that day." (pp. 263-264).
Lets see what Matthew Henry has to say about
Nehemiah 13:15: "The keeping holy the Lords day
forms an important object for their attention who would promote true
godliness. Religion never prospers while Sabbaths are trodden under
foot. No wonder there was a general decay of religion, and corruption
of manners among the Jews, when they forsook the sanctuary and profaned
the Sabbath. Those little consider what an evil they do, who profane
"We must answer for the sins others are led to commit by
our example. Nehemiah charges it on them as an evil thing, for so it
is, proceeding from contempt of God and our own souls. He shows that
Sabbath-breaking was one of the sins for which God had brought
judgements upon them; and if they did not take warning, but returned to
the same sins again, they had to expect further judgements. The
courage, zeal, and prudence of Nehemiah in this matter, are
RECORDED FOR US TO DO LIKEWISE . . ." (emphasis mine).
Nehemiah took drastic steps to ensure the proper
observance of the Sabbath. Why is this inspired biblical account so
difficult for Christians to accept? Is this not written for our
example? From the beginning of the Sabbath to its end, the gates of the
city were closed! Now, obviously, we cannot make restaurants close
their doors (yet) to honor the Sabbath, but we should not patronize
them on the Sabbath and join them in polluting the Sabbath by paying
them to prepare a meal for us.
It is CARNAL, HUMAN REASONING to say, "They will be there
working on the Sabbath anyway, whether we go or not!" because so will
the salesmen of nearly every other kind of merchandise, but we
dont engage in financial transactions with any of them on the
Sabbath, do we?
It has been stated that we have to eat on the Sabbath.
Yes, and we have to drive our car to services and wear clothes to
services. Do we buy our gas and clothes on the Sabbath? Should we buy
our food on the Sabbath? NO! God gave us six other days each week to
buy what we need and prepare for the Sabbath SIX OTHER DAYS!
Think about it! Is there no way to prepare for this one day or are we
simply unwilling to prepare for the Sabbath?
Most people would agree that it would be a sin to go to
the store and buy all of the individual ingredients for a picnic lunch
on the Sabbath. Then what is the difference in going to the restaurant
and paying someone else to do it for you?
It is also very interesting to note that the Hebrew word
Nehemiah used which is translated "victual" (13:15),
is #6718 in Strongs concordance, "tsayid" and it can also be
rendered "LUNCH"! So Nehemiah DID INDEED condemn them for buying or
selling lunch on the Sabbath day!
The World Biblical Commentary by Williamson has
this to say about Nehemiah 10:31: "This general
statement (content of verse 31) is followed by a
number of particular stipulations. They are NOT to be regarded as
additional to the law just mentioned, as though the law did not
legislate for these areas, for ALL OF THEM can be related to it more
closely than this view would apply. Rather they spell out a few matters
where the community is particularly conscious of having LAPSED, either
through NEGLECT or through having FAILED TO APPRECIATE THE FULL
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAWS REQUIREMENTS," (p. 333, emphasis
On page 334 of the same reference it says: "It is
generally thought that it is possible to trace a developing severity in
the Sabbath laws of the Old Testament whereby the original prohibition
of occupational work spreads to cover other spheres of activity also.
The law was already understood to forbid trading (Amos
8:5). But the latter period with its closer relations between
Jew and foreigner, gave rise to a new problem, whether it was forbidden
to buy from a non-Jew on the Sabbath or any other Holy Day to which the
conditions of Sabbath observance applied. Nehemiah contended that this,
too, was forbidden (buying from a Gentile) by the law."
Do you see what foolish reasoning it is to say, "They are
going to be there selling food anyway"!
Another interesting point this commentator makes is that
in the time of Moses, when the Israelites were more isolated, there was
not as much temptation to buy on the Sabbath as there was in
Nehemiahs day. In his day the Jews were living more closely with
Gentiles, who had absolutely no regard for the Sabbath and did not
close their shops that day. This became a great temptation to the Jews
of his day.
Is it any different today in Gods Church in the
1990s? Do we dwell in "Sabbath-safe communities"? Sure, it would be
great if we could do as Nehemiah did and MAKE the markets, mega
shopping malls, and restaurants close their doors and HONOR Gods
Sabbath day, but we cant! So what do we do?
"If we cant beat em, join em?" Is that
the idea? No! But, I can assure you that one day soon they will: "And
many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the
mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will
teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall
go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
Is there a true Christian drawing breath, who would argue
that those who are working on the Sabbath day, preparing and selling
food, are not sinning? I dont think so. Then how can the same
person rationalize away Gods direct command not to buy, sell, and
trade on the Sabbath day, and show approval of the Gentiles
profaning the Sabbath by purchasing their food from them on that
Heres another quote from Williamson on the content
of Nehemiah 13:
"In taking the Jewish nobles to task, Nehemiah shows that
he held THEM (the leadership) responsible for what happened in
Jerusalem. It is possible that they had not regarded BUYING as a
profanation of the Sabbath, since only the vendor could properly be
regarded as engaging in work." (This is exactly the EXCUSE we hear
today!!) Continuing the quote, "For Nehemiah, however, it was nothing
less than an extension of those practices that had led to the
destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians," (pp.
395-396). DID YOU GET THAT?!?
Isnt that interesting? The whole content of
Williamsons remarks is that it is UNLAWFUL TO BUY on the Sabbath
day. Do you see? The Jews knew that it was unlawful to sell for gain,
and they felt convicted of that. They acknowledged that it was wrong,
and not unlike many today, they reasoned that perhaps it was all right
to buy on the Sabbath, since the vendor was the one doing all the
work!! "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end
thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12).
Lets look at one final fascinating commentary on
Nehemiah by Matthew Henry: "They would not only not sell goods
themselves for gain, but they would not encourage the heathen to sell
on that day, by buying of them, NO, NOT VICTUALS, UNDER PRETENSE OF
NECESSITY, BUT WOULD BUY THEIR PROVISIONS THE DAY BEFORE. Note: Those
that covenant to keep all Gods commandments (and, at baptism we
all did), must particularly covenant to keep Sabbaths well! For the
profanation of them is an inlet to other instances of profaneness. The
Sabbath is a market for our souls but not for our bodies," (p.
Now, in all honesty, I ask you. As a true, faithful,
God-fearing, God-loving, and God-pleasing Christian, can you deny that
buying food from a restaurant on the Sabbath is a blatant abuse and
profanation of the Sabbath?
THE FORGOTTEN DAY OF PREPARATION
In order to prevent work from being done on the Sabbath,
God provided legislation for this very purpose. He made Friday, the
sixth day, (from Thursday at sunset to Friday at sunset) a PREPARATION
"Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread
from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain
rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my
law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day THEY SHALL
PREPARE that which they bring in; and it shall be TWICE AS MUCH as they
gather daily," (Exodus 16:4).
They simply gathered twice as much food on the sixth day,
put it away for the next day and then ate that extra portion on the
"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they GATHERED
TWICE AS MUCH BREAD, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the
congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that
which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow 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. And they LAID IT UP TILL THE MORNING, as Moses bade: and
it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said,
Eat that today; for today is a Sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall
not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the
seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it
came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day
for to gather, and they found none," (Exodus
What was the provision for those who did not prepare? God
was teaching them a lesson on how to keep the Sabbath holy. The fact is
that He did not give them an alternative food source when they did not
prepare on the sixth day "THEY FOUND NONE"!
Can we see that God was teaching them a fundamental
lesson in obedience? There was no manna in the field when they went out
to get it on the Sabbath. God is not teaching us a lesson today because
WE SHOULD HAVE ALREADY UNDERSTOOD THE LESSON! He is still TESTING His
We can go out into the field (world) today and find food
everywhere. You can go to any restaurant and get any kind of food you
want on the Sabbath, but the question is, should we? God is still
testing his children to see if we have learned the lesson. If we
dont PREPARE will we go into the field to find food or will we
make preparation so that we dont have to?
What was Gods response to those who did not
prepare? "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My
commandments and My laws? (Exodus 16:28).
"See, for that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath,
therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide
ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the
seventh day." (Exodus 16:29).
God did not mean that they could not leave the tent. They
left the tent when Moses assembled them to hear him speak on the
Sabbath. The point is, dont leave your place to find food that
was to have been already prepared on the preparation day. This point
about abiding in your place is important; it referred to the place of
the camp. This was a relatively large area which later came to mean the
city and eventually a Sabbath days journey. What is the principle
I believe that God did not want people to travel so far
that they could not eat what was left over (prepared earlier) at home.
How far do we travel on the Sabbath? Some may travel a considerable
distance to attend services. Today we have cars and can travel farther
with much less work. If we are travelling so far that we must eat at a
restaurant, could it be that we are going too far?
Technology has also provided us with insulated, food
cooler chests, so we can safely carry food on trips. This means that we
can prepare the Sabbath food on the preparation day, before the
Sabbath, as God commanded. We can then take that food with us, and eat
it along the way. This would enable us to keep the Sabbath as God
commanded us, eating what was left over from the preparation day. We
should not try to get out of preparing as God said. If it is too much
trouble to prepare the day before, then chances are we are probably
travelling too far. Perhaps we should have a living room service with a
group of brethren who live near us.
As a minister of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I
believe that the MINISTRY SHOULD SET THE EXAMPLE TO OTHERS IN THE
CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD!! To "prepare" requires some effort and
planning perhaps a lifestyle change. Are you willing?
My family and I live in the country and we travel about
35 minutes to attend services in Winnipeg. We spend most of the Sabbath
day with the brethren. We start at 10:30 AM with our Bible Study, which
usually lasts for about 90 minutes. Then we take a short break and
resume our worship service (singing hymns, choruses, special music),
followed by some sharing or testimonies, a sermonette or two, and then
a final sermon.
After service, which is usually around 2:30 to 3:00, we
will have a beautiful, delicious, potluck dinner prepared in advance by
all of the ladies, with wonderful fellowship and godly conversation. In
the summer and fall, we will often go as a group to a beautiful scenic
park for a leisurely stroll, admiring Gods wonderful handiwork.
Sometimes we have outdoor services in a park, singing choruses and
preaching the gospel for whoever wants to hear. We believe that
its important to spend our time the way God wants us to.
Did the early Christians go out to eat at Gentile "inns"
What does Luke tell us? "And they, continuing daily with
one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did
eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart," (Acts
They were eating in one anothers homes! They
didnt go out into the business world to purchase food on the
Sabbath. Isnt this a good example to follow? We should not
compromise with Gods Sabbath. We should strive to keep it holy,
separate and pure!
Some say that they are following Christs example by
eating in a restaurant. I ask you, where do you see this in the
Scriptures? The truth is, there is not one single example of Christ or
one of the disciples even ENTERING a restaurant on the Sabbath. In
Luke 14:1, Jesus enters the home of a Pharisee to eat
a meal on the Sabbath. "And it came to pass, as He went into the house
of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath day, that
they watched Him."
Are we not willing to open up our homes to the brethren?
Even the Pharisees did that! Are we willing to show hospitality as Paul
instructs and according to the example of the early church?
(Acts 2:46-47). Just think what we would gain --
wonderful blessings and good wholesome fellowship that God
Some of you may remember reading articles in the Good
News magazine which stressed: "Proper Sabbath observance begins before
sunset Friday evening. Friday is the day to put the final touches on
your Sabbath plans, TO PREPARE YOUR SABBATH MEALS!!" (Oct./82). "The
Sabbath is a day we can rejoice in, by enjoying delicious meals. Early
in the week PLAN a menu for the Sabbath. Then prepare as much food as
you can on Friday or even earlier in the week. Anything that can be
reasonably done before the Sabbath should be, so we can spend our time
the way God wants us to." (Oct./85).
WHAT ABOUT THE ANNUAL
Do we have to prepare ahead for these days? Can we buy
and sell on High Sabbaths? A High Sabbath is still a Holy day. Did
Nehemiah make a distinction? "that we would not buy it of them on the
Sabbath or on the HOLY DAY . . ." (Nehemiah
Gods Word clearly shows if and when there is an
exception to the rule. During the High Sabbaths of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, we are permitted to prepare food on these days, but
there should be no servile work (labour) performed, other than we might
bake and boil or roast our meat in our own homes, and not in a
"And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation,
and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no
manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must
eat, that only may be done of you," (Exodus
Since we gather together as a congregation, for services
on these days, we usually have a potluck dinner which the ladies have
prepared in advance as much as possible.
When we are travelling it is more difficult to prepare
before the Sabbath, but we shouldnt use this as an excuse for not
keeping the Sabbath holy by conducting business and going to a
restaurant. There are still ways to prepare. Are we not capable of
planning ahead and arriving at our motel or hotel before the Sabbath
In our own travels when the preparation day is upon us,
we have made a point of stopping to purchase food (pizza, fruits or
sandwiches, etc.) for our meals to eat in our comfortable motel
DOING OUR OWN PLEASURE
Dont just take my word for it brethren! Prove this
matter for yourselves as I have done for myself. Does what I am saying
agree with the Scriptures? As a watchman for your souls, I am
accountable to Almighty God for what I preach and teach.
"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house
of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning
from Me," (Ezekiel 3:17).
Please understand that my motivation is LOVE and that I
do not want to see anyone come short because of the deceitfulness of
sin. Sin can be very, very subtle. Hearken unto me ye that follow
Isaiah gave a stinging rebuke to Israel before God sent
them into captivity : "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a
trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob
their sins!" (Isaiah 58:1).
For years we thought nothing of going to restaurants on
the Sabbath. We even planned our Holy Day festive celebrations in
restaurants, totally and completely ignorant and oblivious to the fact
that we were doing our own pleasure! When you are deceived, you
dont know you are deceived, otherwise you wouldnt be
deceived! And when you dont know something, you dont know
that you dont know!
Thank God for the convicting power of His Holy Spirit!
"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with
sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be
without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards,
and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which
corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be
in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" (Hebrews
Israel thought that they were Gods people. They
were religious. They sinned because they did not do what God said to
do. One problem was the way they fasted. Another was the way they
profaned the Sabbath day. They thought that they were keeping the
Sabbath, but they were doing their own thing, not what God
"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,"
(Isaiah 58:13, 14).
"Turn away your foot from the Sabbath," literally means,
"Take your dirty feet off the Sabbath!" We are not to do our own
pleasure. The word "pleasure," according to Strongs concordance
means, "desire, a valuable thing to you, something on your mind, that
in which one takes delight, your own matter or purpose."
Some have said that God intended for us to make the
Sabbath a delight. So, if going out to eat causes us to do less work,
and makes the Sabbath more enjoyable for us, then it is good for us to
go to a restaurant. This approach however, is NOT justified in the
Scriptures. The Scriptures nowhere tell us to do what we humanly think
is a delight on the Sabbath. Please read the above passage again.
Notice that we are not to MAKE the Sabbath a delight. We
are to CALL the Sabbath a delight. The point is that God made the
Sabbath. We are not to think that the Sabbath is a burden because we
are not able to do our own thing. The word for "delight" is #6027 in
Strongs, the Hebrew word "oneg," which means "luxury," or
"delicate life." We are to call the Sabbath a "LUXURY" BECAUSE WE
DONT HAVE TO WORK!!
The Scripture says that we are not to find our own
pleasure, nor do our own ways on His holy day. We are to call the
Sabbath a delight because we can stop doing the normal, routine,
everyday things that we do. We have the time, holy time, a special
time, when Gods presence is near and very real and we can seek
Our focus is on Him, which is why we call His Sabbath
honorable. We can be with Him more and draw nearer to Him, basking in
His glory! It is for this reason that we should call His Sabbath a
delight, not because we are having more fun.
WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS
Now, if we are 100% confident that it is all right to
frequent restaurants on the Sabbath, then perhaps we can do so and be
confident we are not sinning. It means that we are assured that we are
not causing others to work and contributing to their profanation of the
Sabbath. It means that we are confident that we are not conducting
business. It means that we are certain that we are not doing our own
If we are positively convinced that we are not doing any
of these things to some degree, then it would not be a sin to us. If we
believe that we might be doing some wrong to some degree, then it
becomes sin. "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is
he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he
that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for
whatsoever is not of faith is sin," (Romans 14:22,
The reason I raise this issue is because in every article
that I have read on this subject, the statement is made that it would
be all right to eat at a restaurant on the Sabbath "occasionally," just
dont make it a regular habit.
Why do they use this word "occasionally"? If it is all
right anytime to eat at a restaurant on the Sabbath, wouldnt it
be all right to eat there every time? So we should say that it is
always all right to eat at a restaurant. If it is not always right to
eat at a restaurant on the Sabbath, then it must NEVER be the right
thing, when we have a choice. If it is all right occasionally, then
there are times when it is right and times when it is wrong. How would
we know which occasion is the right occasion. Is every man (and woman)
to do that which is right in their own eyes? (Proverbs
If we have a choice and we are not absolutely, positively
sure, then the best choice is not to do it! If we dont have
complete faith that it is always right, then it is sin for us. If there
is any question in our minds brethren, then we shouldnt do it! If
we are not sure then we should "ERR" ON THE SIDE OF OBEDIENCE TO
We should stay as much within Gods law as we can.
We shouldnt try to push out the boundaries even occasionally. I
believe that the points and the questions I have expressed in this
article are legitimate. Now, lets take a look at some common
objections and lets be men and woman of understanding. Together,
let us UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH!
SOME COMMON OBJECTIONS
There are some who have tried to convince me that Jesus
broke His own law in order to liberate us and give us the "freedom" to
eat at restaurants on the Sabbath if we want to. They have used the
story about the disciples harvesting and eating corn recorded in
"One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as
they made their way His disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And
the Pharisees said to Him, Look, why are they doing what is not
lawful on the Sabbath? And He said to them, Have you never
read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those
who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was
high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful
for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with
him? And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man
for the Sabbath; so the son of man is Lord even of the
The idea here is that Christ and His disciples harvested
and ate grain on the Sabbath, that they broke the Sabbath law to do
this and it was all right to do so. A reference is made to the time
when David took the shewbread, which was unlawful for him to eat. Some
say that this sets a precedent for us to do what we want because we are
hungry on the Sabbath.
Now, lets examine this carefully. Christ did NOT
break the Sabbath law, at least, not the one He created, instituted and
legislated. He did not go to unbelievers and hire them to cook food. He
ate what was already provided there by God. He did not cook the food.
He did not "harvest" in the truest sense of the word. He did not
conduct business, nor did He do His own pleasure.
Now, had the disciples walked into one of the Gentile
restaurants, in Jerusalem at that time, on the Sabbath, then we would
have seen a standard set. But they never did that. They knew the
commandment and Nehemiahs admonition. The Pharisees complained
that it was unlawful because they equated it to "harvesting" on the
In Exodus 34:21, we read, "Six days thou
shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and
in harvest thou shalt rest."
The Pharisees were being LUDICROUS! Whose "law" did Jesus
break? The Pharisees were looking for "loopholes" in the law in order
to "trap" Jesus. Plucking an ear of grain can HARDLY be compared to
harvesting. The Pharisees used this exaggerated extrapolation of their
own traditions and blew it completely out of proportion! They went
overboard in their defense of their Jewish customs and oral laws
(Halakha). They built up so many rules and regulations to govern the
Sabbath, that they SERVED the Sabbath and made it a day of bondage!
Jesus (Yeshuah), set the record straight! After all, it
was His law! He made it. He made the day! He knew the original intent
and purpose! The traditions of the elders wrongly defined harvesting as
plucking an ear of grain. Jesus reinstated the original intent of the
Sabbath! This is the "freedom" He restored!
So what precedent did the Master set? Can we glean from
this that it is all right to go to restaurants on the Sabbath? That
would really be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g it, dont you think? I believe
that the precedent Jesus set is this:
If you are taking a walk through the country, a park, or
an orchard on the Sabbath and come across a fruit tree, it is O.K. to
pick a piece of fruit for myself and my family and eat it on the
Sabbath as we walk along, and not be guilty of harvesting on the
Sabbath. This is the "freedom" He restored!
He doesnt expect US to go "overboard" either, with
our freedom! I am not permitted to buy food, or go to those who are
polluting the Sabbath, by working, and hire them to fix a meal for us
because I have failed to follow Gods instructions to PREPARE our
own meal on the preparation day. This applies to the roadside fruit and
vegetable vendors who are also profaning the Sabbath.
Notice, too, Christs comments about David and the
shewbread. Do we really understand what Jesus is saying? Can we
honestly compare Davids situation to a leisurely stroll into our
favorite restaurant for a Sabbath morning breakfast or lunch?
"And He said to them, Have you never read what
David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were
with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high
priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for
any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with
David was fleeing for his very life! He was no doubt
under tremendous strain, fatigue and famine, probably on the brink of
starvation! This was obviously a life-saving emergency, an exception to
the rule, an ox in the ditch, if you will. And not only that, but David
asked Christ for permission and Christ Himself, the Law-Giver, gave it
David asked the priest to inquire of God about the bread.
The priest enquired, possibly using the Urim and Thummin, and Christ
indicated that the answer was YES, eat it, so the priest gave it to
David who was on the run from Saul.
"And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath
commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any
thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded
thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. Now
therefore what is under thine hand? Give me five loaves of bread in
mine hand, or what there is present.
"And the priest answered David, and said, There is no
common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young
men have kept themselves at least from women. And David answered the
priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us
about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young
men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were
sanctified this day in the vessel. So the priest gave him hallowed
bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken
from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken
away." (I Samuel 21:2-6).
This first account doesnt tell the whole story. The
rest of the story is given in the next chapter. Saul received word that
David received bread from the priests, so Saul went to ask the priests
if they helped David.
"Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the
servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to
Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And HE INQUIRED OF THE LORD FOR HIM, and
gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine,"
(I Samuel 22:9, 10).
David had the high priest inquire of the Lord! It was God
who said that it was all right to give the shewbread to David to eat.
Christ gave David permission! Yes, David did that which was unlawful,
eating the bread which only the priests were allowed to eat, but Christ
gave him permission, so it was not unlawful!
David didnt just go in there and steal the bread.
In Mark 2:26 Christ was not telling these people that
its O.K. now for anyone to go in and eat the shewbread. He did
not say that anyone can do that which is unlawful if they are hungry on
the Sabbath. He was saying (to those who have ears to hear), that David
asked the "Lord of the Sabbath" for permission to do what he did.
Christ gave David permission back then, and Christ (who is greater than
the temple!) gave His disciples permission to pluck an ear of grain to
Christ knew the Scriptures and He probably remembered the
event. He knew that David asked God for permission. He was now saying
that He, as the Creator of the Sabbath, was giving permission to His
disciples to pluck the grain. This was in keeping with the true
spiritual intent of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made FOR man, for his
benefit, for physical and spiritual rejuvenation. It was never intended
to be a day of bondage.
We should not read into the Scriptures that which it does
not say. This passage can in no way be used to say that we can conduct
business and contribute to others profanation of the Sabbath by causing
them to work for us on Gods weekly or annual Holy days.
The same principle applies to the many examples where
Christ HEALED on the Sabbath. He was restoring the original intent of
the Sabbath. He taught that it was all right to do GOOD on the
"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and
walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said
unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for
thee to carry thy bed," (John 5:8).
"And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought
to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But
Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore
the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken
(loosened) the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making
Himself equal with God," (John 5:16-18).
This is another example of the Jews traditions and
"halakha" rules which they added to the Sabbath day commandment, making
it a burden and a yoke of bondage.
They were no doubt referring to the words of Jeremiah,
"Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day,
neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded
your fathers," (Jeremiah 17:22).
Can you imagine? Instead of rejoicing with this man
because he was miraculously healed after a 38 year infirmity, the
stiff-necked, hard-hearted, self-righteous, Pharisees became ANGRY. Now
he could simply carry his bed mat home and no longer have to lie down
in the streets, but they told him that it was "unlawful" to do such a
thing on the Sabbath. According to who? God? Or their own rules?
Again, their false accusation and imposed restriction was
based on overstepping the bounds of truth. The forbiddance spoken of by
the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah had nothing to do with carrying a
bed mat or even a box of food for the needy. This "burden" referred to
lading asses, carts, etc., carrying it in by the gates of Jerusalem; to
be unloaded and sold there, as wine, grapes, figs, and fish, were, in
the times of Nehemiah. (Compare Jeremiah 17:21 with
Nehemiah 13:15, 16, 19).
What about the priests? They work on the Sabbath and are
blameless. This verse has been used to prove that ministers can go out
to eat at restaurants and be blameless. Is this what Christ is saying
in Matthew 12:5, " Or have ye not read in the law, how
that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath,
and are blameless?"
Notice that this verse states that they are IN THE
TEMPLE. They are not profaning the Sabbath by going out and conducting
business with a Gentile, and then considered blameless. Christ is only
talking about the priests duties in the temple! On the Sabbath
the priests were commanded to do certain works. They had to circumcise
babies on the 8th day, even if it was the Sabbath. They had to light
the evening and morning fires and sacrifice and carry animals. All of
this was a lot of work, but God commanded them to do this work and it
was done in the temple. Being a priest or a minister does NOT mean that
we are exempt from Gods Law.
JUST HOW SERIOUS IS THIS?
Just how serious is this issue of buying and selling on
Gods Sabbath day? Believe me brethren, this issue goes much
deeper than we realize.
The Laodicean attitude is widespread and dominant, but as
individual Christians we can have a Philadelphian attitude and enter
the same covenant that the children of Judah did, when Nehemiah showed
them their transgression.
The Sabbath has always been Gods TEST commandment,
His mark, the identifying sign of His people. "Speak thou also unto the
children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is
a SIGN between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know
that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you." (Exodus
Today, the Most High has a "seal," a mark that is
implanted in the forehead (seat of the mind, the intellect, the will)
of His servants, figuratively speaking. (Revelation
7:4). The sealed are those who have been purchased and follow
the Lamb wheresoever he goeth.
They are sealed (anointed) with His Holy Spirit and are
led by his Spirit. They have the testimony of Jesus Christ and the seal
of the Law in their lives, (Isaiah 8:16; Revelation
12:17). They also have His Name upon them, which is another
sign of ownership. "And they shall see His face; and His name shall be
in their foreheads." (Revelation 22:4). The Law is
spiritual (Romans 7:14) therefore, Gods mark or
seal is spiritual.
The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth, (John
16:13). It is the TRUTH that seals us and sets us apart from
pagans, heathens, idol worshippers, and apostates. Whatever is put "in
place of" Gods mark or identifying signs (His Laws and
commandments), would be the mark of the beast. The beast power is a
corrupt political/religious system opposed to the ways of God. Her mark
is counterfeit Christianity. Her sign is the cross, Sunday worship, and
all her pagan religious holidays. In fact, the whole world (professing
Christians or not) wonders (follows) after the beast.
What does the apostle John tell us about this mark in
Revelation 13:16-17: "And he causeth all, both small
and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their
right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might BUY or SELL,
save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of
The "forehead" signifies submitting ones mind, will
power, and intellect. The "right hand" signifies willingness, action,
and more importantly, co-operation.
Which is the biggest BU$INE$$ day for buying and selling
in all of the world? Is it not Saturday, Gods Sabbath day?
The fact is, if you have the mark of God, you are limited
in your buying and selling because you will not be buying and selling
on His Holy Sabbath day. If you have the mark of the beast, you have no
restrictions, you will buy and sell on Gods Sabbath day. The mark
of the beast is spiritual! The mark of the beast has always been
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment
was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for
the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not
worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark
upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned
with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4).
In this passage, John is seeing a vision of the
glorified, RESURRECTED SAINTS. This is the FIRST resurrection of ALL of
those who lived and died "IN CHRIST" and ALL of those who are alive
when Christ returns. They will live and rule with Christ during His
John says that this group of individuals HAD NOT
worshipped the beast, NEITHER His image, NEITHER had received his mark
upon their foreheads, or in their hands! ALL of these resurrected
saints REJECTED the mark of the beast! They had to make a "conscious
choice" and they REFUSED the mark of the beast, which means that they
KNOW WHAT IT IS!
Dont you see? The mark of the beast has always been
here! God is marking His own. Are you numbered among them?
"And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the
city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done
in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye
after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither
have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little
children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark;
and begin at my sanctuary (Church). Then they began at the ancient men
which were before the house." (Ezekiel 9:4-6).
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which
is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him
be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still,"
"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may
have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into
the city," (Revelation 22:14).
"Earnestly study to present yourself approved to God, a
workman unashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth," II
"However, the foundation of God stands firm, having this
seal, "The Lord knew those being His;" Numbers 16:5,
also, Let everyone naming the name of Christ depart from
"Then if anyone purifies himself from these (heresies),
he will be a vessel to honor, having been sanctified (set apart) and
made useful to the Master, having been prepared unto every good work."
(II Timothy 2:15, 19, 21).
May Almighty God help you to truly see the light on this
most important matter. Yield to Him right now and allow Him to teach
you, convict you, and inspire you to REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, TO KEEP
The Bible Sabbath Association
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Battleground, WA 98604