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Why Does it Matter Which Day We Keep? — 45 Comments

  1. Ah! I love the way you brought it all together under the context of love, which is the underlying theme of the law & all of scripture! Well written! Praise God!

  2. Have been asked that same question. Sometimes they understood, though they didn't decide to keep the Sabbath, and others [like you experienced] they go defensive.
    Thank you for this, you have said it like I never could.

  3. I would always ask people these 2 simple questions before answering such a question,

    1. Would a country accept to have a different date for it's independence?
    2. Would a person choose to have their birthday changed?

    Under normal circumstances, I believe the US for instance cannot change it's July 4 to July 5 independence date just because a day doesn't matter! Or even change a known historical landmark leave alone a date to something else without causing an uproar!

    Why then do we (people) feel it doesn't matter what day we choose to rest when God Himself instituted one single day?

    • Actually, there's good reason to change from July 4. July 2, Sept 17 for example? If my week of labor begins on Monday, then my 7th day is Sunday. Or is the bible telling us to disregard our society and start working on Sunday so that we can take Saturday off?

  4. Each one of us is like an iceburg. There is the attitudes, knowledge, and experiences we have on display at any given time. But it is only a very small part of where we are. Under the surface of everyone of us there is a vast background of knowledge, attitudes and experiences gained from every minute of our lives. The knowledge may be factual, it may be perceived, but it is there. It shapes our ideas. It shapes our attitudes. It shapes the way we interact with people.

    Every person we witness to regarding God's word is like this as well. The best we can do is live the life God wants us to live. Then the Holy Spirit chips away at the iceburg that is the life of every person around us.

    All too often I have come across people who are damaged by the witness they have received, especially regarding the Sabbath. I went to a funeral recently and when the service was over, I tried to open up a conversation with the penticostal pastor who took it. I had noticed there were some special interest groups advertised on their notice board. I asked him if his church were using these for outreach. he said they were. I then asked how effective they were. He then asked me if I went to Church. I then told him I was a Seventh Day Adventist. Then his claws came out. Straight away he challenged me on the Sabbath in a way that was aggressive.

    I guess that in this post, I am venting my frustration. But I hope we can all learn something from this.

    I really believe that this guy loves God with all his heart. He also loves his congregation. He challenged me on whether I was saved by faith or saved by works. He challenged me on whether I believed the Gospel message. But I could see in his eyes the hurt that someone in the past had caused him.

    I satisfied him of my belief in Jesus Christ and that my salvation is by faith alone through Jesus and the fact that He died for me. He then shook my hand and said that he would be happy to see me in heaven when we get there. I left the encounter at that and said no more because it would not have been appropriate.

    When we talk to people of the Sabbath, why do we use our Bibles as hammers. It only closes doors, it rarely opens them. We smash away at what we can see of the iceburg of the other person failing to comprehend the vastness of a person's life that is hidden. The Holy Spirit knows what to chip away and when. Our job is to witness when called upon to do it and do it gently without causing offence.

    It does matter what day we worship on. It also matters how we communicate it too.

    • i really enjoyed your post. Thank you. Would you help in this. How would you discuss the Sabbath without hitting off the iceberg? I find it very difficult to discuss the sabbath for fear that i would harden people's hearts. I have been a non SDA. I was quite aggressive against the seventh day. I honestly do not know how and why the attitude changed. Sometimes i met people who would be hard, sometimes i met people who would fail to state a case for the sabbath. Overally i am glad the Spirit led me to the truth, and He is not finished yet. I loved God with all my heart, i love Him even now. i know there are many many people out there, my friends, my family, my brothers and sisters who love God. the challenge is the moment i start to talk about it everybody thinks i want to convert them. My heart bleeds for them but i have no clue how to engage them

      • maparo just continue to uplift Jesus and point people to Him. Lead them to Jesus and then let Jesus's example lead them to the Sabbath. If people truly love Jesus they will keep His commandments. Jesus says, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me." Don't make the Sabbath the main focus and goal of your ministry. Make Jesus the focus and goal.

      • Maparo, I believe that the best way to share the Sabbath with anyone is to learn to enjoy it as Christ intended. Then you can share how you are being blessed by keeping the Sabbath God designed as a special time to meet with you.

        When you do this, likely people will ask why you can't do this on Sunday. Then you need to be prepared to present the reasons for the seventh-day Sabbath in a Christ-centered way. The lessons this week should help.

        The key is to start the conversation with sharing, not telling anyone what they ought or ought not to do.

        May the Lord give you wisdom as you seek to share His wonderful love. 🙂

      • Maparo, What Inge and William have said.

        There is a right time to share about the Sabbath. Let them ask you the questions. Answer the questions clearly. Don't over burden anyone with information. Just say enough to satisfy the question. If they want to know more, they will ask more questions.

  5. dear brethren can you help me these questions about keeping holy the sabbath.
    1."is it allowed to cook the food in a sabbath day"
    2."if your a soldier and you are required to obey the command is it allowed to do millitary work on sabbath day"
    please answer according to the holy bible.

    • Kamokene, I believe every soldier would have to make their own decision about that, but your question reminds me of a great book I read, "A Thousand Shall Fall" about an Adventist who was drafted into Hitler's army but never compromised his faith and never worked on Sabbath. It is an incredible story!


  6. I'd like to take a different tack altogether and suggest that the source of the lady's frustrations might have been the arbitrariness of it all--not any special evil in her heart.
    God is not arbitrary, therefore His Sabbath cannot be an arbitrary day that God "just likes". If this is so, then it could very well change to Sunday legitimately.

    The Sabbath is filled with specific meanings (evidences/reminders of the true character of God that has been maligned in the Great Controversy) that Sunday does not have. This is why we keep the Sabbath (and is also why we should have no beef with Sunday--nothing is wrong with Sunday it's a nice day).

    Christ's miracles, the ten commandments (twice), creation week, crucifixion Sabbath--all of these infuse deeper and deeper meaning into the Sabbath day.

    So a better analogy (than flower colour) would be a birthday or anniversary--which is not just some random day that your spouse happens to like--and so which you keep out of a sense of obligation (while not understanding anything about it). No, you share in the meaning of the Sabbath just like you share in the meaning of your anniversary or spouse's birthday.

    When I understood this, I lost any desire to "prove" the Sabbath to anyone again. I decided to try to live it and enjoy it. I am thinking that others will see it in action.

    • Brother Andrew,
      Permit me to share a different perspective from yours.

      SDAs understand Sabbath keeping to be a major feature of last day events, which is one reason for the name SDA. It involves more than someone feeling good about the day on which they worship. Along with much of what is discussed in this week’s lesson it involves a test. To this extent it is not optional that people be educated about it, although no one can be compelled to accept. As well no church member is bound to share if he/she is not so inclined.

      There is something very wrong with Sunday or any other substitute as far as Sabbath keeping is concerned. It may be okay (equal opportunity) with mankind, but is not an equal option to God. It is a counterfeit.

      How did Sabbath get all the meaning attributed to it, which Sunday does not have? Whether considered arbitrary or hard to accept God simply declared it holy. Mankind can and have come up with rationale for keeping Sunday and have even suggested that the good reasons for keeping the seventh day have been transferred to Sunday. Why not worship or mark creation on the day it was started or the day man was created? Why not honor the crucifixion day or the resurrection day? Which day did Christ actually do most miracles? Who can contest these, except God says.

      If we have a problem with God being arbitrary, which He has every right to be, then what are we going to do when in Heaven God lays down a law which we cannot rationalize? Exempt ourselves or rebel? Was God unfair to Eve with his arbitrary placement of the forbidden tree in Eden?

      Love does not remove, but includes the need for submission to authority, especially to the Creator of the universe. Love is not merely a feeling, but a principle at work.

      • Brother Dalhouse you said:
        "If we have a problem with God being arbitrary, which He has every right to be, then what are we going to do when in Heaven God lays down a law which we cannot rationalize?"

        I cannot use any stronger terms to state my disagreement with you on this matter (although we do not disagree totally on everything).

        Mr. Dalhouse, God is *not* arbitrary. That was Satan's original lie in heaven. We cannot then agree with that falsehood and say "Amen!".

        God *always* gives reasons for what he does. Always. And the Sabbath is no exception. The Sabbath commandment has many reasons attached to it, not the least of which is in the Sabbath commandments in Exodus and Deuteronomy:

        "Remember the sabbath day, to keep 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."


        "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: *therefore* the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."

        The *entire purpose* of the Sabbath is to celebrate the non-arbitrariness of God, therefore it cannot be arbitrary itself. As a matter of fact, it is *precisely* because some see it as arbitrary that they see a rationale for changing or abolishing it!

        This post is getting long, so I'll address the test portion in another comment. The gospel is about the character of God, and we must never forget this.

        Hope I'm not too strident.

        • Andrew,
          It is okay to disagre. However a bit of clarification follows:

          Maybe we are applying different definitions for arbitrary. See the definition applicable to my statement from Dictionary.com below: "subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary decision."

          Arbitrary (in relation to the tree) in the post was meant to describe an action; not what someone is (as in a despot). However God can be said to be arbitrary in the sense that He exercises independent discretion in decision making without the need to consult with any creature. He is not obligated to explain to our satisfaction His reasons. He does his creation a favor if and when He consults with us.

          The other direct reference to arbitrary has to do with our perception of God as arbitrary in Heaven based on our failure to give an 'acceptable' reason for what God does. Did God give Adam and Eve a reason or explanation for the forbidden tree (which was intended to be a temporary test during a probationary period), notwithstanding any retroactive reasoning we may offer today? Do we today understand everything God does? For example explain the bear killing the children who mocked Elisha (2 Kings 2:23, 24).

          See EGW quote from Christ Triumphant p. 355 below:
          "Every person has been placed on trial, as were Adam and Eve in Eden. As the tree of knowledge was placed in the midst of the Garden of Eden, so the Sabbath command is placed in the midst of the Decalogue. In regard to the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the restriction was made, Ye shall not eat of it ... lest ye die. Of the Sabbath, God said, Ye shall not defile it, but keep it holy.... As the tree of knowledge was the test of Adam’s obedience, so the fourth command is the test that God has given to prove the loyalty of all His people."

      • Two other things which are related:

        You said: "Was God unfair to Eve with his arbitrary placement of the forbidden tree in Eden?"

        My answer is this:
        The forbidden tree was not forbidden arbitrarily, neither was its placement arbitrary.
        The tree was forbidden in order to protect Adam and Eve from the wiles of the enemy before they were prepared enough to make a fully informed choice--which they would have had to do eventually. (The Great Controversy started in Heaven, and as God only desires free, informed and willing worship and allegiance, everyone would have had to make a rational choice to serve God--including Adam and Eve.) This is why God put the tree in the middle of the garden and not in some corner.
        He was very fair to them because He hid nothing in the Great Controversy from them.

        Mind you, you are correct in seeing that even with their level of maturity, they still had a choice to make.

        But as to your larger question: "Along with much of what is discussed in this week’s lesson it involves a test."

        My answer is that the Sabbath is not a test by *design* but by *default*. God designed it to be a blessing, and it will continue to be a blessing (not a "test") in the Earth made new.
        Do keep in mind, though, that many of those who killed Jesus kept the Sabbath fastidiously. Neither of us would say, though, that they had passed any "test"!

  7. My question is, is it ok to worship on Sundays if I keep the Sabbath (7th day) I was told by some Adventist believer that it was ok. In my opinion I respectfully disagree with them because I know my God is a God of order, and he specifically gave us the 7th day for the Sabbath, the devil instituted Sunday as Sabbath because he (the devil) uses deception and confusion to fight his war against God. Please tell me what are your thoughts.

    • I would like to understand your question further.

      Are you asking whether or not it is a sin to have a church service on any other day but the Sabbath?

  8. My understanding is that since creation, the days have continued to count from 1 to seven in its original order despite any possible changes in terminology or whatsoever. In this regard, the current seventh day is in the same order as per time of creation. The seventh day happens to be Saturday. Therefore, it is only right to recognize Saturday as Sabbath and respect the law of God accordingly. In line with the same understanding, not any day can substitute the seventh day.

  9. There is absolutely "NOTHING" that man can do to change time. If they could then God would cease to be God, hence the scripture, "they will "THINK" to change "times and laws" The heavenly bodies move in accordance with his will and man can only stand back and watch! May we accept therefore that the Lord of the Sabbath desires of us to so align ourselves to his will and commands that we may fully appreciate and experience his lovely gift of the SABBATH and worship him wholeheartedly thereupon! Come taste and see that the Lord is good 🙂 let his will be done ....Amen

  10. There is nothing wrong with worshiping God on any day, but, HE set aside a day [the seventh day] as one to be dedicated to rest and time with Him, to put away worldly concerns, spend time with Him and family. It is like an anniversary, only every week.

    • [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

      We are to WORSHIP God on HIS SPECIAL DAY Sabbath which God himself set aside to rest after completion of the 6 days of work. We are to study Gods word daily and have worship with him daily .But the Sabbath is a Special time of the week where we gather together and give honor to the God that created us. Study Gods word and know him and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

  11. If man can change the moral law (which sabbath observance is part of) then he can cause the universe to oppose its laws. So I thank my Loving God for allowing the sabbath to come looking for me on every seventh day, so I can continually worship THE ONE who creates laws that man cannot alter.

  12. I think God has dedicated a day to worship which is saturday. Doing a study on sunday or any other day is not wrong but keep holy the sabbath. Thats my opinion.

  13. It does matter which day we keep. God sanctified and set the 7th day apart as holy. We obey Him by keeping the Sabbath holy, we share in creation, we communicate with Him, and meditate on His great love.
    When the rest of the world keep Sunday and enforces it by law, and we as Sabbath keepers will be seen as separate. E.G White has written on the topic of what we should do when the Sunday Law is passed:
    The law for the observance of the first day of the week is the production of an apostate Christendom. Sunday is a child of the papacy, exalted by the Christian world above the sacred day of God’s rest. In no case are God’s people to pay it homage. But I wish them to understand that they are not doing God’s will by braving opposition when He wishes them to avoid it. Thus they create prejudice so bitter that it is impossible for the truth to be proclaimed. Make no demonstration on Sunday in defiance of law. If this is done in one place, and you are humiliated, the same thing will be done in another place. We can use Sunday as a day on which to carry forward work that will tell on the side of Christ. We are to do our best, working with all meekness and lowliness. {CCh 317.4}
    When we devote Sunday to missionary work, the whip will be taken out of the hands of the arbitrary zealots who would be well pleased to humiliate Seventh-day Adventists. When they see that we employ ourselves on Sunday in visiting the people and opening the Scriptures to them, they will know that it is useless for them to try to hinder our work by making Sunday laws.{CCh 318.1}

    Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday. Make these meetings intensely interesting. Sing genuine revival hymns, and speak with power and assurance of the Savior's love. Speak on temperance and on true religious experience. You will thus learn much about how to work, and will reach many souls.{CCh 318.2}

    Let the teachers in our schools devote Sunday to missionary effort. I was instructed that they would thus be able to defeat the purposes of the enemy. Let the teachers take the students with them to hold meetings for those who know not the truth. Thus they will accomplish much more than they could in any other way.{CCh 318.3}
    The people must be given the truth, straightforward, positive truth. But this truth is to be presented in the spirit of Christ. We are to be as sheep in the midst of wolves. Those who will not, for Christ’s sake, observe the cautions He has given, who will not exercise patience and self-control, will lose precious opportunities of working for the Master. The Lord has not given His people the work of making a tirade against those who are transgressing His law. In no case are we to make a raid on the other churches.{CCh 318.4}

    We are to do all we can to remove the prejudice that exists in the minds of many against our work and against the Bible Sabbath.57
    {CCh 318.5}

  14. I have a couple of questions for William Earnhardt.

    1) How can we be sure that the first day at evening, in Acts 20, is a Saturday night meeting, while the first day at evening, in John 20, is obviously Sunday night?

    2) Why would this question even matter, so as to deserve mention? Would a Sunday night meeting, in Acts 20, to your mind, indicate a change in the Sabbath?

    • From your article:

      Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:19

      That's a Saturday night or early Sunday before sunrise?

      • Oh okay I'm sorry R.G. I was looking at John 20:1. That is a good question. Here is what I found in the SDA Bible Commentaries Vol. 5 Page 1066-1067

        "First day of the week. That is, Roman time, which reckoned the days as beginning at midnight. According to Jewish time, which reckoned the day as beginning at sunset, the meeting took place on the second day of the week."

        Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 1066

        • Thank you, William. Of course, the quotation from the commentary is technically right. That should have been considered the second day of the week. However, it is apparent that John was speaking more loosely, referring to it as the first day at evening. To my mind, this raises a very real question as to whether Paul might not have been doing the same thing, making the Acts 20 meeting a Sunday night meeting. After all, they may well have gotten together to have supper with Paul (who was all set to leave them) on the first day of the week before sunset (i.e. on Sunday) and then Paul preached until midnight.

          My point is that the biblical case for the 7th-day (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) Sabbath is rock-solid. Let's not weaken our position in the eyes of the honest enquirer by adding weak and unnecessary arguments such as the it-was-a-Saturday-night-meeting one. Am I correct in this?

    • Amen, brother. Also, you pointed out that the reason why the specific day matters at all is because it is God's appointed way for us to show our personal loyalty to Jesus. That's why I am so adamant for the sunset-Friday-to-sunset-Saturday observance in every inhabited part of the world.

        • Good question.

          Depending on how far north one is, the sun rises and sets north of the Arctic Circle for much of the year, just like everywhere else. As the part of the year approaches when the sun does not rise (mid-winter) or does not set (mid-summer), the sunrise and sunset times approach each other, and both approach true noon (winter) or true midnight (summer).

          In view of the above, it is obvious to me that, when the sun does not rise or does not set, one should impute a sunset at actual mean noon (winter) -- when the sun rises closest to the horizon -- or at actual mean midnight (summer) -- when the sun dips closest to the horizon. This would be easy to calculate based on the record of one's actual longitude in relation to the meridian upon which one's time zone is based. In other words, as I see it, there should be little or no difficulty.

  15. So.. I was looking for a verse about what the Bible says about the day to worship. I have heard both sides for Saturday or Sunday. We live as missionaries in Chile, and contrary to United States, the calenders here put Sunday as the seventh day of the week. The first day of the week is Monday.
    In Romans 14:5,6 Paul says that each person must be pursuaded in his mind that the day he worships is the one he will keep dedicated to the Lord. So either Saturday or Sunday... but don't dilly back and forth according to Romans

    • Do you believe that a printed calendar determines which day of the week is the first day? If we printed a calendar putting Tuesday as the first day of the week, would that make Monday the day to worship? What about making Saturday the first week of the local calendar? Would that make Friday the right day for Christians to worship, putting them in harmony with the Muslims?

      It seems to me that it would be wise for us to follow the order of days that has been followed for thousands of years of recorded history. During all this time, which was the seventh day of the week?

      And there is an ancient people who kept the seventh day since the earliest times of Bible history. Which day do they keep?

    • So then, do Catholics go to church on the seventh day or the first day? I ask because the cathecism states that the Catholic church changed the day of worship from the seventh to the first day of the week. This is a problem because then they would need to go to church on Monday.

      Also, I would wonder if you were to find calendars from previous years, how far back would you have to go to find calendars in Chile that are the same as in the United States?

      And then there is this, the idea of a seven day week is still unchanged in Jewish history. And thus other parts of the world simply could refer to what day of the week is which by refering to a calendar from Israel rather than any other.

  16. I praise God for setting this day Sabbath aside for me to praise and worship Him. I’m a great believer of the Sabbath truth and thanks for sharing.


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