Sabbath Rest from Work

March 2018

Exodus 20:8-11

(The fourth commandment)

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


Father, I humbly pray for those who read this article, that they would be willing to put aside, if only for a moment, all that they have ever been taught or heard about The Sabbath. As they open their hearts and minds to You, grant them YOUR REVELATION through Your Holy Spirit, the truth about The Sabbath. Thank You Lord, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Existing Teachings & Thoughts about The Sabbath

For many years I have been taught and told to keep the Sabbath holy. The Sabbath is a controversial topic among many Christians. These are some of the teachings and thoughts that I have come across from several Christian denominations.

Seventh Day Adventist Church & Jewish-based beliefs (Saturday Sabbath keepers):

      • The Sabbath spans from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.

      • In the Bible, there is no record of the Sabbath ever having been changed from Saturday to Sunday.

      • Therefore, Sunday is the wrong day for keeping the Sabbath since it is the first day of the week (not the seventh day).

      • Thus, Sunday Sabbath keepers keep only 9 out of 10 commandments as the fourth one is not kept correctly, if at all.

Most other Churches - Pentecostals, Methodists, Sunday Baptists, etc.:

      • We are no longer under the Law (the 10 commandments), so we are not obliged to keep the fourth commandment (to keep the Sabbath holy). Being under the new covenant, it is the two LOVE commandments that should be followed instead.

      • If we do have a day of rest, Sunday is just as valid as Saturday - in fact, we can choose any day of the week we want.

Revelations from God

One day recently, I pressed hard on God to reveal to me the truth about the Sabbath. What is the Sabbath all about? What day should we be keeping it on? And why is it important to keep it? Which of the above views (of the various denominations), if any, are correct? And which are wrong (as they notably contradict one another)?

The answers came as my husband and I were doing our daily couple devotional. The answers blew us away! Never did we ever expect such revelations from God about the Sabbath. It was a WOW moment for both of us in which we responded in literal screams of joy, along with immense praise and thanksgiving. God showed us that all that we have ever been taught about the Sabbath is way off the mark!

There are three revelations that came, and they hang beautifully together, as follows:

REVELATION No. 1: The TEN commandments

    • Many people divide the 10 commandments into two categories, as follows: The first 4 (or even 5 according to Judaism) are for respecting "God", the rest are for respecting "others".

    • However, God says differently: The first 3 are for Him, the fourth is for YOU, and the rest is for others. So, there are three categories of people, not two.

    • The fourth one (keeping the Sabbath holy) is for respecting YOUR BODY by giving it a chance to rest for one day every week. it is the only commandment (among the 10) that is specifically for your body (you).

REVELATION No. 2: The TWO Love commandments

For those who say that the 10 commandments are done away with and are now under the new covenant, the 2 love commandments:

Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.

So yes, there are TWO love commandments, but there are THREE categories of people, namely: God, your neighbours (others), and YOU. This is shown in the part of the commandment that says, "love your neighbour as yourself". So, you are required to love yourself, too. Part of you loving yourself is to give your body a day of rest every week.

REVELATION No. 3: The Correct Sabbath Day

So, which day is the correct Sabbath day? Saturday? Sunday? Any day?

God says:

Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work... (Exodus 20:9-10).

Your body has been created / designed to labour for 6 days, and to take a rest on the 7th day. It is NOT to be subjected to work for 7 days and rest for 1 day, or work for 8 days and rest for 1 day, or work for 90 days and rest for 1 day, or even work for 5 days and rest for 2 days.

The RATIO has to be always SIX LABOUR to ONE REST. In other words, the labour:rest ratio is 6:1. Anything other than this is not good for the body, you would be disrespecting it and sending it either to:

    • suffering (such as stress, physical illness, etc.) if the above ratio is too high,

    • or laziness (for those who rest more than they labour) if the above ratio is too low.

Therefore, the correct Sabbath day is -- the 7th day AFTER you have laboured for 6 consecutive days. This is a divine balance for the body to work in its optimum. So, you can't just pick any day you want for your Sabbath day, you need to keep the SIX LABOUR to ONE REST ratio.

Some examples (in regard to working weeks & months of the year):

    • If you clean your house on Sundays, and work in the office from Monday to Friday, then Saturday is your Sabbath day (as this is the 7th day after 6 consecutive working days).

    • If you do office work from Monday to Friday, and clean your house on Saturdays, then Sunday is your Sabbath day (as this is the 7th day after 6 consecutive working days).

    • If your work shift requires you to work from Tuesday to Sunday, then Monday is your Sabbath day.

    • And so on...

This is why Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath was made so that Man can have a day of rest which is good for him and his body.

If we judge others about not keeping the Sabbath or keeping it on the wrong day, then we turn the equation the wrong way round "man was made for the Sabbath", rendering our own Sabbath-keeping legalistic as well as sinful.


    • Let us therefore respect our body by resting it on the 7th day after 6 consecutive days of labour (no more, no less, as this is the divine balance that God has ordained). By doing so we will not sin against our body, and we would be keeping the correct Sabbath day.

    • But just as importantly, let us not judge one another as to when we keep our Sabbath day. By judging, we would break the "love one another" commandment and sin against each other (Romans 14).

    • Anytime we sin against our body (ourselves) and against one another (others), we naturally sin against God since He made our body (wonderfully and fearfully - Psalm 139) and has called us to love one another.


    • Let us repent if we have, in any way and at any time, disrespected our body by depriving it of its weekly rest.

    • Let us repent if we have, in any way and at any time, judged others for not keeping the Sabbath, or for keeping it on the wrong day.

    • Let us repent for sinning against God in these two ways.

    • Let us ask Him to give us the strength and discipline to respect our body and to love one another.

Thank you Lord for such life- and love-promoting revelations! Praise and glory be to You, the Author of life, You know what's good for our bodies and for our relationships with others and with You.

© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.