From the book
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (published 1944)
by Taylor G. Bunch
All italics and black words, large words are mine - Keith Hunt
THE DAY OF WORSHIP
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy 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: 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 20 : 8-11. (See also Deuteronomy 5:12-15.)
The fourth commandment closes the first section of the decalogue, which sets forth man's obligations to his Creator. The four commands of the first table of the law are arranged in their logical order. The first proclaims the true object of worship and warns against false gods. The second sets forth the true mode of worship and prohibits false forms of religion. The third gives the proper approach for worship and warns against profanity, irreverence, and hypocrisy. The fourth designates the special lime for worship by consecrating the seventh day of each week as the memorial of creation and of deliverance from the bondage of sin.
After proclaiming Himself as the creator and urging His claim upon His creatures, God provides for specified periods of worship, in order to maintain the proper relationship between man and his Maker. At regular times man must turn from all his secular pursuits to spiritual things. He must be made to realize that all of his time and activities are planned and ordered of God and that his physical and spiritual life depend upon each other and must therefore both be properly nourished. The divine command to worship the Creator implies the absolute necessity for the setting apart of a special time to worship Him.
The Sabbath commandment is the climax of the first table of the decalogue and therefore of all relationships between the human and the divine. The Sabbath is the meeting place of God and man. As the weekly appointment for communion and worship, the Sabbath brings heaven and earth together. It has been appropriately called the Christian's Ascension Day, because on that day he is translated from the temporal into the spiritual realm; he ascends into the atmosphere of heaven. The Sabbath brings heaven to earth and is a reminder of the Paradise home that was lost through sin. It is also a pledge of the Paradise to be restored through Christ.
The Sabbath is the most ancient of all religious institutions. It had its origin in Paradise before the fall and will continue through all eternity in the redeemed state. "As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66: 22, 23.
[THE SABBATHS OF GOD WILL REMAIN UNTIL THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH. WHEN ALL HUMANS THAT WILL BE, ARE IN THE FAMILY OF GOD, THEN NO SABBATH DAYS WILL BE NEEDED - Keith Hunt]
The fourth is the first positive command of the decalogue and the only one in the first table. The fifth commandment is the only other positive requirement, and that has to do with the home. It is a significant fact that the Sabbath and the home are safeguarded in the very bosom of the law. They are the first two of all divine institutions, having both originated in Paradise before the fall of man. They constitute the foundations of religion and society, and they will both continue in the Paradise restored.
D. L. Moody said:
"I believe that the Sabbath question today is a vital one for the whole country. It is the burning question of the present time. If you give up the Sabbath the church goes; if you give up the church the home goes; and if the home goes the nation goes. That is the direction in which we are traveling."—Weighed and Wanting, p. 47.
A TWOFOLD COMMAND
The fourth commandment does not deal with the Sabbath alone. It embraces the entire week and includes the six working days as well as the Sabbath of rest. This is because labor and rest are closely related.
The Sabbath gets a part of its significance from the six days of activity. A person does not need to rest till after he has labored. The Sabbath should therefore always follow the days of labor rather than precede them. The seventh day rather than the first is the logical time for rest. Observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath is a reversal of the divine order.
The command to work precedes the command to rest, because those who do not labor are unprepared to rest and worship. On the other hand those who refuse to stop for periods of rest are never able to render the best service in labor. The person who properly observes the first table of the decalogue must be a worker as well as a worshiper. Careful investigation has proved that man can accomplish more work in a given period when he rests one day in every seven.
The command to rest at stated intervals included the earth itself. The Lord said to Moses: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. ... In the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath unto the Lord." Leviticus 25: 2-4. This also is now known to be necessary to the best interest of the soil. All the commands of God are based on both reason and necessity.
The need to labor is just as fundamental, universal, and imperative as the need to rest. The command, "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work," or "all your business" (Moffatt), is just as binding as the command to keep holy the Sabbath day. The need to labor was not the result of the fall, although the curse increased its necessity. Labor was a part of the original plan, and before man sinned he was put to work taking care of the Garden of Eden. "The Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15.
The Creator filled the earth with everything needed to sustain physical life, but man must labor to produce and gather it. Labor is not a curse. It is one of the greatest blessings of life. It is really a sin to be willingly idle, and indolent people can never get the full enjoyment out of the Sabbath.
The command to labor is often repeated in the New Testament: "We beseech you, brethren, that ye ... do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing." 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12. "When we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10. This is the same principle laid down in the fourth commandment of the law that proclaims "the whole duty of man." We must work during the six working days, or the Sabbath loses much of its significance.
A THREEFOLD NATURE
Man was created with a threefold nature, and the physical, mental, and spiritual must be kept properly balanced and nourished if man is to meet the ideal of the Creator. The fourth commandment sets forth the proper balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual. Talmage declared, "Our bodies are seven-day clocks and need to be wound up, and if they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No man can continually break the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health."
[WEEELLLL…… THAT’S PUSHING IT SOME. SOME HAVE KEPT THEIR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH WELL INTO THEIR 80s and/OR 90s, WHO DID NOT OBSERVE A SABBATH DAY - Keith Hunt]
It has often been demonstrated that six days of labor and one day of rest is the proper balance from a physical and mental viewpoint, and it is therefore dangerous to run counter to the divine plan. This phase of the subject is beautifully set forth by G. Campbell Morgan:
"Thus the Sabbath had its ethical meaning. From the quiet calm of the Sabbath day man returned to the necessary and swift movements of the six. As he did so, the integrity and justice of the things with which he had communed in the hours of rest, touched and influenced him in all the hours of work. He delved deeply, and measured justly, and weighed righteously for six days, because on the seventh he became conscious of the balances of the sanctuary and the righteousness of God. Thus the two commandments are one, so interrelated that they can never be separated. To fail in obedience to the one is to make it impossible to obey the other. Obedience to each creates the power to obey the other. Work makes worship and worship fits for work .... Not only the law of God, tender and beneficent, but the law of human society, too often stern and cruel, says to man, Thou shalt work! The fact that there are any who escape obedience to the command is the saddest fact of sociology. If the necessity for work were still understood in all its divine bearings, no human being …. would be allowed to eat a meal until that meal had been purchased by the contribution of a quota of toil to the commonwealth of work."—The Ten Commandments, pp. 47-49.
Fortunately almost the entire human race is compelled to obey this first part of the fourth commandment, not willingly, but of necessity. It is a question of life and death, or at least it was before the dole system was introduced……
The word "Sabbath" means "rest," not only physical, but spiritual. In its primitive pre-Semitic name "sabbath" meant "soul rest." The fourth is the only command of the decalogue that begins with the word "remember." This indicates first of all that the Sabbath had been previously instituted and was known to man. It was not a new institution. In the commandment itself is the evidence that it had been instituted at creation, and the example of the Creator at the close of creation week is given as the reason why man should observe it. There can be no other possible reason for the Lord's spending six days in the work of creation except as an example for man to imitate. He could have created all things in one day, or even in one hour, and He did not need any rest Himself, for "the everlasting God . . . fainteth not, neither is weary." Isaiah 40:28.
Since "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2: 27), the Sabbath must have been made and given to men when man was made, and the blessing and hallowing of the day must have been for man's benefit. It set the day apart for a holy use and made its observance a special blessing and privilege.
The existence of the week between creation and Sinai indicates the existence and observance of the Sabbath, for the Sabbath and the week are inseparable. Cain and Abel brought their sacrifices to the gate of Paradise "in the end of days," which doubtless refers to the only period into which the days were measured, the days of the week. (See Genesis 4:3, 4.)
"The repeated mention of seven days seems an intimation of the observance of Sabbath in the ark; after the ordinances of which, the dove was sent out."— Scott's Bible.
The sixteenth chapter of Exodus shows clearly that the Sabbath was observed before the giving of the law.
THE UNIVERSAL SABBATH
Since the reason for the Sabbath is based on the law of man's very nature, and its observance enforced by God's example at creation and command at Sinai, it cannot be a racial or dispensational institution. As a universal institution observed as the memorial of creation in all Bible times ….. the Sabbath is a part of God's eternal purpose. That the advent of Christ and the gospel dispensation did not altar the Sabbath is evident from the fact that it was strictly observed by Christ and His apostles and the early Christians for several centuries before a change was gradually effected. We are also told that "there remaineth therefore a rest ["keeping of a Sabbath," margin] to the people of God," and that only can remain which had previously existed. The same scripture says that "he that is entered into His rest" must cease "from his own works." (Hebrews 4: 4-10.)
Modern Christians are asked to follow the example of the Creator at creation and thus live in harmony with the fourth commandment.
The need of worship is just as universal as the need of labor and rest, and since true religion cannot exist without the Sabbath, the fourth commandment cannot be local, temporal, or ceremonial. It is a perpetual and universal institution.
D. L. Moody said:
"I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place .... It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was—in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age. The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?"—Weighed and Wanting, pp. 46, 47.
If the Sabbath had been intended as a temporary institution for the Jews alone, it would not have been placed in the very bosom of the moral law that is acknowledged by practically all denominations to be eternal and unchangeable. It cannot be extracted from the heart of the decalogue, where Jehovah wrote it with His own finger in imperishable granite.
"You cannot interfere with the fabric of the moral law by removing one of its integral parts, without endangering the fabric of the whole. You cannot disobey one commandment of the moral law and remain moral."—John Burr, Studies on the Ten Commandments, p. 71.
LEST WE FORGET
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," indicates the danger of forgetfulness as far as the Sabbath is concerned. Human memory is treacherous and undependable. Every day we are reminded of our proneness to forget. It is always easier to forget a duty than a prohibition. The command to do what is right is more difficult to remember than the command not to do what is wrong. The very temptation to do evil acts as a reminder of the prohibition, so that we are not permitted to forget.
It seems especially easy to forget the Sabbath and its divine purpose in the plan of redemption. Because of its great importance in the sustaining of spiritual life, the enemy of all righteousness has made every effort to cause men to forget its significance and sacredness. The tendency has always been to bring the Sabbath down to the level of the common or profane days of the week. Said the prophet concerning God's ancient people to whom the law was first given: "Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 22: 26.
Because the Sabbath has been divinely blessed and sanctified, it is different from any other day of the week. Only God can make anything or anybody holy, and only a day sanctified by the Lord can be kept sacredly, and then only by a holy people.
DAY OF WORSHIP
We must not forget that the Sabbath is first of all a day of worship. The need for worship is just as universal as the need for rest. Those who forget to rest soon forget to worship, and the reverse is also true. Christ is our example in all things including Sabbathkeeping. A part of His Sabbathkeeping was attendance at public worship. In Luke 4:16 we are told that it was His "custom" to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. This was also the fixed custom of Paul and the other apostles. (See Acts 16:13; 17:2; 18: 4,11.)
True Sabbathkeeping includes "an holy convocation," or assembly or calling together, during its sacred hours, and this must not be neglected. (Leviticus 23 : 3; Hebrews 10: 25, 26.) The shewbread, or the "bread of the presence," was placed fresh on the table every Sabbath morning. A new and fresh supply of the bread of life is spread on the spiritual banquet table at the Sabbath morning service, and those who neglect to partake of this feast do so at the peril of their souls, for spiritual food is necessary if spiritual health and strength are to be maintained. To this spiritual festival all are graciously invited, but many "with one consent" begin "to make excuse," and what flimsy excuses most of them are! What a reformation would be wrought if modern Christians were as punctual and enthusiastic about meeting their appointment with God as in attending a social gathering or meeting a business appointment.
The Sabbath was never intended as a day for sleep and inactivity. Sabbath resting is not loafing. It is not a day for indolence on the one hand, or for selfish pleasure and indulgence on the other. It is a holy day rather than a holiday. The six days are for secular work; the seventh is to be devoted to worship and spiritual service. Religious activity is to characterize the seventh day. It should never be a day of gloom, but one of sacred joy. It is to be called "a delight." It should be a time of spiritual refreshing when the river of life, as it were, overflows its banks and brings to our thirsty souls the blessings of life and growth and fruitfulness.
Jesus declared that "it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days," and He demonstrated what He meant by works of charity and necessity. Someone has said that "good deeds have no Sabbath." Ministry to the sick and the relief of suffering, as well as all other forms of missionary work of the unselfish and non-remunerative variety, are a part of good Sabbathkeep-ng. Whenever possible a part of the day should be spent amid the scenes of nature, because the Sabbath is the memorial of creation. Contemplation of God's creative works is proper and profitable Sabbath observance, provided we have first attended a convocation of God's people in His house of worship. Moody declared that "the number of church services attended ought to be measured by the person's ability to enjoy them and get good from them, without being wearied." This is good counsel. It is possible to have too many services on the Sabbath, so that the day becomes a burden rather than a delight.
Many things that are perfectly proper on other days must not be permitted to pollute the Sabbath. The divine counsel and promise is: "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, honorable; and shalt honor 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.
The foot is the symbol of travel just as the hand is the symbol of labor. The Sabbath is trampled underfoot when we travel for business or mere pleasure on that day. The Jews were forbidden to travel farther than the synagogue or temple on the Sabbath. Travel to divine services or on charitable or missionary ventures is proper on the Sabbath. But neither our feet nor cars should be permitted to go our "own ways" or to find our "own pleasure" on God's holy day. Nor should we speak our "own words" by planning work for the coming week or discussing business or personal affairs. All secular matters should be forgotten on the Sabbath.
In commenting on this Scripture, Bishop Andrews said:
"To keep the Sabbath in an idle manner is the Sabbath of the oxen and asses; to pass it in a jovial manner is the Sabbath of the golden calf, when the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play; to keep it in a surfeiting and wantonness is the Sabbath of Satan, the devil's holiday."
Secular reading and radio programs should all be eliminated on the sacred hours of the Sabbath. The edges of the Sabbath should be sacredly guarded from being trespassed upon, for one minute of the day divinely blessed and sanctified is just as sacred as another. There should be just as much of a distinction between the Sabbath and the other days of the week as there is between a Christian and a worldling.
[CERTAINLY NATURE DVDs AND BIBLE MOVIES CAN BE WATCHED ON THE SABBATH. THERE ARE MANY INTERESTING THINGS FOR CHILDREN TO DO, TO MAKE THE SABBATH A DELIGHT YET DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER SIX DAYS. THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS HAVE ALL KINDS OF THINGS THEY HAVE PRODUCED FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS AND ADULTS, FOR SABBATH USE - Keith Hunt]
A NEW CREATION
The Sabbath is a memorial of the new as well as the old creation.
It is a sign of creative power whenever and wherever manifested. Redemption or re-creation requires the same power as the original creation, and the Sabbath is the memorial of both. Redemption is the restoration of the original creation and all that it contained, which included the Sabbath. In Isaiah 56:1-7 a blessing is pronounced on all who lay "hold on" and keep "the Sabbath from polluting it" and keep "from doing any evil." The promised blessing includes "the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths" and "the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord" and "all people." The Sabbath is therefore the sign of victory over sin, or of redemption from sin.
In Ezekiel 20:12 the Sabbath is declared to be the sign of sanctification, or holiness. Sanctified people will observe the sanctified day. The Sabbath is the sign and memorial of the new birth, [CONVERSION - Keith Hunt] the evidence of the work of the Creator in remaking or restoring that which was lost through sin. It is the outward evidence that the image or character of God has been or is being restored in the soul. At the close of creation week the Lord proclaimed His work finished and then rested on the seventh day. At the close of His work of redemption the Lord cried out, "It is finished," and again rested on the Sabbath.
[YES JESUS RESTED IN THE TOMB FOR THE FULL 24 HOURS OF THE SABBATH. HE WAS NOT RESURRECTED ON THE SABBATH DAY AS MANY SABBATH KEEPING PEOPLE HAVE TAUGHT. JESUS WAS RESURRECTED SATURDAY EVENING SHORTLY AFTER SUNSET, WHEN THE SADDUCEES TAUGHT THE WAVE-SHEAF WAS TO BE CUT FOR PRESENTING IN THE TEMPLE RITUALS SUNDAY MORNING. JESUS WAS THE WAVE-SHEAF, OR FIRST OF THE FIRST-FRUITS, AS PAUL SAID IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15. JESUS WAS PLACED IN THE TOMB WEDNESDAY AFTER “EVENING” AND SO RAISED 72 HOURS LATER—— SATURDAY EVENING. ALL OF THIS I PROVE IN OTHER STUDIES OF MINE UNDER THIS SECTION OF THE WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
The Sabbath is therefore an appropriate memorial of both creations. It is the Sabbath of twice-born men and women, of those who have experienced both creations. To others it can have no special significance. It is the Lord's day, the Christian Sabbath, the day on which sin-pardoned men and women enter into God's Eden rest by ceasing from their "own works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:10. "There remaineth therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God." Verse 9, R. V.
THERE IS NOT ONE WORD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ABOUT OBSERVING SUNDAY AS THE WEEKLY SABBATH, OR DAY OF REST. THERE IS NOT ONE WORD ABOUT OBSERVING SOMEHOW THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. THERE IS NOT ONE WORD ABOUT GOD EVER MAKING SUNDAY A HOLY DAY OF THE WEEK.
THIS SUNDAY OBSERVANCE ALL CAME ABOUT AS FALSE TEACHERS STARTED TO ENTER THE CHURCH OF GOD, EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST CENTURY CAME TO A CLOSE, AS MANY PASSAGES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AFFIRM. CHURCH HISTORY AND THE WRITINGS OF SOME OF THE SO-CALLED “FATHER” OF THE CHURCH, SHOWS THAT INTO THE SECOND CENTURY SUNDAY AND EASTER OBSERVANCE BEGAN TO TAKE SHAPE AT ROME, AS OPPOSED TO THE 7TH DAY SABBATH AND THE PASSOVER MEMORIAL OF CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE 14TH OF THE FIRST MONTH OF THE HEBREW CALENDAR. THE CHRISTIANS OF ROME AND THEIR LEADERS DID NOT WANT TO OBSERVE ANYTHING THAT COULD IDENTIFY THEM WITH THE JEWS. GRADUALLY THROUGH THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. THE GAP BETWEEN ROME AND THE CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR (WHERE PAUL AND JOHN HAD HAD LARGE INFLUENCE) WIDENED. THE RISE OF BAB YLON MYSTERY RELIGION WAS FAST ON ITS WAY, TO EVENTUALLY MERGE AS THE OFFICIAL CHRISTIAN RELIGION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, UNDER EMPEROR CONSTANTINE, IN THE EARLY 300s A.D.