With this Update, we will begin to publish several Q&As, discussing the important question pertaining to the manner in which we ought to keep the weekly Sabbath. It is not enough to know about God’s sanctified day; it is also necessary to observe it in the right way. God’s Sabbath was made for MAN (Mark 2:27), and God expects MAN to keep it. The Ten Commandments are still in force and effect, and the Fourth Commandment still reads, “REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to KEEP it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
God’s people know that the Sabbath is the time span from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, even though some misguided religious teachers claim erroneously that the biblical Sabbath is “Sunday.” However, “Sunday” has always been described in the Bible as the “first day of the week,” while the Sabbath has always been identified as the “seventh” or “last day of the week,” when God completed the days of recreation (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11).
But does God really care whether His Sabbath is kept today? And if He demands that one day is observed in His honor, isn’t it enough to just keep one day (any day) out of seven?
In my recent sermon, “Why Will God Punish America?”, it was explained why God punished Israel and Judah in Old Testament times; and since God does not change and is not a respecter of persons, He will punish the modern descendants of the ancient houses of Israel and Judah for the same reasons. God’s people know that these descendants can be found today in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other English-speaking nations. In addition, God will also punish the ENTIRE world for their disobedience of His Law.
The cause for God’s wrath toward mankind has not changed. Idolatry and the breaking of His Sabbath were and are two of the foremost reasons why God did punish and will punish the ancient and modern houses of Israel and Judah. Of course, other reasons existed and exist as well, showing the perversion and appalling ungodliness of Israel, Judah and the entire world, which are, for example, evidenced by the murder of innocent people (including through abortions of unborn children or the killing of innocent civilians in war); wrong political alliances; elections or appointments of leaders contrary to God’s standards; removing ancient landmarks (by illegally occupying territories); national pride, dishonesty and the spreading of lies; the rejection of God’s Law and His warning of impending disaster; adultery and fornication (including homosexuality and other sexual practices which are not condoned by God); false religions, sorceries and hypocritical religious conduct; and even the consumption of unclean meat.
All these reasons, and many more, were discussed in the above-mentioned sermon, and biblical proof was presented for each of these reasons.
But as mentioned, the violation of the Sabbath was and is a very important cause for God’s punishment. Sadly, most people do not ascribe any relevance to God’s command to keep the Sabbath day holy. Even though God’s people know about this command, some may disobey it in practical application. They might not know HOW to observe it—which activities are permitted on the Sabbath, and which are to be avoided. Some might be too strict, prohibiting activities which God allows; and others may have become too liberal, engaging in activities which they should not participate in.
We hope that you will carefully read our Q&A’s on this very important, but sometimes grossly misunderstood subject, in order to escape God’s punishment for the violation of His Sabbath day.