An Additional Letter Regarding the Sabbath

sabbath rest(The following is an additional letter written by and Amish man to his parents.    Editor)

I would like to try to write some more of our understanding of the Sabbath. One thing that comes to my mind is that some people have talked to us against keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, saying that Jesus or the apostles or the Holy Spirit has changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week and we are supposed to keep the first day as the Sabbath. But if we show them that the Bible does not say that, most of them have turned around and said, “we don’t know which day the seventh day is and we might be keeping the seventh day.” In this point they are confused in themselves by saying, “we have to keep the first day,” and then turning around and saying, “we might be keeping the seventh day.”

Yes, we were not there when God created everything, but we believe that He rested on Saturday. Much evidence shows that Saturday is the seventh day. Why shouldn’t we keep the day that we believe to be the seventh day?

Some people may say, “we don’t know which day the seventh day is,” but many of them probably don’t want to know or don’t care. Many Amish believe that Jesus was crucified on Friday, so why couldn’t they see in the Bible that the next day is the Sabbath? (See Luke 23:50-56.)

Although I believe many Sunday keepers have died that will be in heaven because they did the very best they knew; God has forgiven them.

I believe there is more light about the Sabbath in our days than it was several centuries ago, and I feel God’s commandments will still be plainer to everybody before the end of the world, when the government persecutes those described in Revelation 14:12 and 12:17.

We should not just follow the forefathers or a church or leaders, 1 Samuel 12:13-15. They are human and make mistakes, although they may have left us some good examples that we should follow. God’s holy Scriptures should be our guide. (Amos 2:4)

I am not saying that it’s wrong to be a church member (it would be nice to be one) but it will not help our salvation if we knowingly disobey our Heavenly Father.

I believe there may be many church members who are only following their church and not God, which sadly is a from of idolatry according to 1 Samuel 15:19-24. I hope nobody ever takes me as their infallible guide.

We should have pleasure in keeping God’s commandments and laws and not make them a burden to ourselves. It’s interesting in Exodus 16:22-30 how God provided a double amount of food on the sixth day and none on the seventh, and told them not to gather any on the seventh day.

I understand the Ten Commandments as God’s character or His ways; now to change one of the Ten Commandments, I think man would be attempting to change God’s ways and be God Himself. (Daniel 7:23-25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5, 6; 2 Thessalonians 2:4) Jeremiah chapter 44 is really something to study, especially verses 15-29, how they were shown that they are disobeying God because they have not walked in God’s law nor in His statutes nor in His testimonies. Verse 25 tells how they made vows and kept their vows to burn incense to the queen of heaven, yet it was sin to keep such a vow and disobey our Heavenly Father, and He punished them for it.

I believe this is showing that if we make a vow with a certain group of people, and if those people will not allow us to keep God’s laws and commandments, then we should break that vow with man and rather obey God. (Ezekiel 20:18-21) “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) It is sin to transgress the law of God.

I believe Romans 3:20 and 7:7 are saying that the law shows us what sin is. I understand that if we knowingly transgress only one law we are guilty of them all. (James 2:10, 11)“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

I don’t believe we will be saved by keeping God’s law, but by grace. (2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9) But being under grace does not mean that we can now break the law. (Romans 5:20, 21; 6:1, 2, 14-16; 3:31) I don’t believe we are accepting God’s grace if we knowingly continue breaking His commandments. If we truly love God with all our heart we will try to keep all His laws and commandments and do all His will, no matter what happens to our life. (John 14:15; 15:10; 16:1-3; 1 John 2:3-6; 5:2, 3; Luke 6:20-26; 2 John 6; 1 Corinthians 7:19; Romans 8:38, 39; Matthew 10:32-39)

Are we remembering the Sabbath day, and keeping it holy, if we work on the seventh day? (Exodus 20:8-11)

The seventh day is the only day recorded in the Bible as the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. “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 20:11) To my knowledge, we can rest on another day, but we cannot keep the Sabbath of the Lord on another day. Therefore if we work on the seventh day of the week we are breaking the fourth commandment. God did not say, “every seventh day” or “one day out of seven,” but He said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath.”

Exodus 31:13-18 is really something to think about, how keeping the Lord’s Sabbath is a sign between Him and His people, and shall be kept for a perpetual covenant; also read Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

People in Nehemiah’s days profaned the Sabbath day; which was not good. (Nehemiah 13:15-22; also Jeremiah 17:21-27; Ezekiel 20:10-25; 22:8, 26; 23:38) I believe God’s people will keep the weekly Sabbath after the destruction of this sinful world. Please read Isaiah 66:22, 23. I would be afraid to say Christ or the apostles have changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week, without having such Scripture.

Ezekiel 22:28 says, “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.” (Also read Ezekiel 13:7.) Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Also read Psalm 89:34—verse 35 in German)

Reading Matthew 12:1-12, and the references to it, I don’t see that Jesus changed any of His Father’s laws about the Sabbath. The Pharisees had made laws in addition to God’s laws, and Jesus was showing them what the Sabbath law really was. The disciples, and also David, and the priests, of course, broke the Pharisees’ laws, which were commandments of men, but to my understanding they did not [intentionally and continually] break God’s law. I don’t believe God ever intended for animals or people to go hungry or thirsty, or not be helped in sickness on the Sabbath day. “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” (Matthew 12:12)

I believe Jesus intended for His people to keep the Sabbath according to His and the apostles’ example to the end of the world. “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” (Matthew 24:20; also read Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31; 6:6; 13:10; Acts 13:14, 27, 42-44; 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.)

I believe God would say the same thing about Sunday keeping as He did in Jeremiah 32:35: “Which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination.” (Jeremiah 32:35)

Deuteronomy 6:8 and 11:18 talk about God’s commandments, laws, His Word, etc., being a sign upon your hand and as frontlets between your eyes. Could it be that we have the mark of the beast in our forehead or in our hand if we keep the commandments of the beast and disobey the commandments of God? Dear friends, please read the Bible for yourself and don’t just follow our ideas. We don’t want to lead anybody away from God. We are weak human beings and make mistakes. I believe we are living in the last days, which are very dangerous, and it’s very important to study the Scriptures prayerfully and search for the will of our Heavenly Father.

I believe we are doing the wrong thing if we just build on ourselves, or other people, or tradition. We should build on God’s holy Scriptures. I have tried to write everything out of love and meant everything good. We are weak and I may have written things that I should not have. Please feel free to let us know if you see things that we should not have written, and please show us from the Bible where we are doing wrong.

Let’s keep praying for each other. May our Heavenly Father bless you all and lead us all to know His true will. All the best wishes from son _______.    ?