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What Does One Do on the Sabbath?

We got this letter from a site reader:

Thank you for your article(s) and website.
I am understand and see the Truth about the Sabbath.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a silly question but… so what are we supposed to do on the Sabbath (from Friday night to Saturday night)?

Hebrews 4:10-11
10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Is it 24 hrs of worshiping God with our family and brethren or 24 hrs of being a couch potato or time to go out and experience God’s beauty with our family and taking in the sights…?

I mean not to offend you but to be sincere. I have been struggling with the question of the so called "Sunday" sabbath for several years and about being part of a church/denomination and other questions about my… Such as the "trinity", I feel confused and guilty when I pray, not sure if I say one name but not the other, do I offend or make sure to include all three, to cover my bases. I read your articles and have found some answers. Thank you.

I look forward to hearing from you and reading more of your articles.

God bless,

Paul’s reply:

Welcome, Mark, to The Path of Truth!

No, that’s not a silly question about the Sabbath (and glad to hear we gave you some clarity on other matters like the trinity).

The Sabbath is a gift from God to mankind. Being made in God’s image (Who rested on the seventh day), the Sabbath is something men both need and are blessed by receiving. The Sabbath is therefore about so much more than being a “couch potato” or “taking in the sights.”

The Scripture you quote from Hebrews alludes to believers entering rest, a spiritual state where God rules in man and man rules in God. You can read more about this at The Three Degrees. The weekly Sabbath is something different from the rest of God, though related. We can’t fully rest externally until we’ve entered rest within. And the Law serves as a tutor to bring us to Christ, where the inner work takes place, because we find we can’t keep the Law in our own strength.

The weekly Sabbath is a day of ceasing from our everyday work. It’s a day off from laboring for income (if you do that), from mundane, servile work and activities such as shopping. You set aside these things as much as possible. As well, you keep yourself from doing your pleasure (Isaiah 58:13-14). The question then remains, what does one do with himself when ceasing from his works? How do you “rest”?

Here’s where the “gift” part comes in, because we can only rest by faith, which is true for fulfilling any of God’s Law.

“Do we then make the Law void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 MKJV).

Resting doesn’t mean pursuing your fleshly desires, but it isn’t just abstaining from things you want to do. If you approach the Sabbath as simply a list of do’s and don’ts, nothing more than a legalistic exercise, you may get some benefit, but not fellowship with the Lord. Very likely you’ll find yourself in unrest and vexed. That isn’t what God has in mind, we can assure you.

“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’” (Mark 2:27 KJV).

If, however, you receive the commandment by faith, entering into the rest from your weekly activities with thankfulness for what God has in store for you on His sanctified day, then the Sabbath will be a blessing for your whole man – body, soul, and spirit. Then you will find the Lord guiding you into what is profitable for each Sabbath day.

We have been greatly blessed by the Sabbath, which we began keeping in 2000. In January 2010, we began meeting on the internet with other believers on the Sabbath, with the Lord ministering to all who attend.

It’s possible things must first be attended to in your life before you can receive the blessing of the Sabbath. Sins, known or unknown, may stand in the way. Get honest and sincere before God, asking Him to show you what you need to do in all things. And regarding that which you already know, don’t delay in doing it. His grace is ever there for those who seek to obey Him, but His wrath is on those who know what to do but don’t do it. When you obey, good things will open up for you in other areas, too.

It’s good that you’re planning to keep reading at The Path of Truth, because it’s the Truth that makes you free. Let us know if you have further questions on this or any other matter. We’re here for you, Mark, by the grace of God.

Click HERE to go to our section on the Sabbath.


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