Art Braidic & Dennis Fischer
© 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 Art Braidic & Dennis Fischer
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This is the last edition of A Sabbath Test written and
published with the full consent of the original authors. Subsequent
versions offered by others have been significantly compromised and do not reflect
the original content espoused by both Art Braidic and Dennis Fischer.
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Every week thousands of true believers assemble on God’s Sabbath and honor the King of the Universe. This day pictures a time when a world bent on its own destruction will be rescued from itself, and the misery it has created will be replaced with unimaginable peace and prosperity.
But is it possible that many of God’s children have lost sight of the great purpose pictured by the Sabbath? Has this day simply become a time for comfort and convenience? Has it become a day to enjoy personal pleasures disguised as spiritual activities?
Just how serious are you when it comes to this profound commandment? Do you respect God’s word regarding His Sabbath? Or, do you see the Sabbath as YOUR day?
The words you are about to read address one of the most important issues facing the churches of God today. It is an issue that has been at the center of controversy among leaders and members alike with no apparent resolution. Sadly, some have tried to dismiss it as insignificant or unimportant. Others have called it a minor point, a twig—not worthy of risking the possible division it might bring upon the church. But there are some who recognize this issue as a matter of great importance—one that must be seriously addressed by God’s people. They see it as a line in the sand drawn by none other than God Himself.
The subject of buying and selling on the Sabbath is addressed with considerable force in the scriptures, yet for the most part it has been ignored by some of the premier leaders in God’s Church today. Why? What does the Bible say about purchasing goods and services on the Sabbath and holy days? What about going to restaurants? Does this activity go contrary to God’s clear instructions as set forth in His word? Or can such a practice actually enhance this day?
A Test Commandment
Today, many in the Churches of God consider the Sabbath a “test commandment.” It is a day that can challenge the very faith of those who profess a loyalty to the God of the Bible. For some, that test has been at the center of some very difficult moments. Many have lost jobs over it. Others have lost family relationships and the respect of friends. Today, almost every Sabbath-keeper has a story regarding a Sabbath trial.
Tragically, the Sabbath is, for all practical purposes, ignored by the entire world, including the vast majority of professing Christians. Some have even applied tremendous personal pressure on those few who take seriously God’s instructions concerning this day.
Down through the ages, most true believers have suffered great persecution for honoring the fourth commandment. Many have been publicly ridiculed and scorned. Others have been ostracized from society. Some have suffered excruciating torture and even death for refusing to compromise their commitment to keeping holy the day God set apart. These heroes demonstrated tremendous faith, believing that no price was too high to pay for the privilege of honoring God’s Sabbath!
But what about His people today? Do they view the Sabbath with the same profound reverence as the great champions of faith down through the ages? Do God’s people in our modern world truly honor the Sabbath and sincerely strive to “keep it holy”?
Most would probably answer “yes” to these questions. After all, every Sabbath, God’s people attend services, listen to sermons, fellowship with brethren, and even serve in their local congregations. Furthermore, many of them dedicate more time to prayer and Bible study on this day than any other. Thus they are convinced that their Sabbath-keeping honors the Great God of heaven. But is this really true? The words that follow proclaim that there is more to honoring the fourth commandment than many may have realized. Furthermore, these words reveal that some of God’s people, including His leaders, have carelessly drifted into a wrong practice—one that seriously undermines the proper observance of this day. This practice can take many forms. However, its most prominent is dining out at a restaurant on God’s Sabbath.
Sharing a Sabbath meal at a restaurant has become very popular in God’s Church today. Most people don’t give it a second thought. They simply take it for granted. After all, it is so simple and convenient. For many it can even be a festive activity where people enjoy the companionship of family and friends.
Tragically, this practice can actually threaten the very faith God’s people cherish so deeply. Furthermore, it can also make a profound statement regarding how seriously we view the Great God of heaven. These words may sound severe, but what you are about to read will bear them out.
This book is written in two parts. Part I presents seven Biblical keys proving that God’s people are commanded to refrain from buying and selling in any form (even purchasing food) on His Sabbath. Part II examines seven popular arguments advanced by those who find this practice appropriate and provides a compelling rebuttal to each argument.
As you proceed through each part, it is important to understand that the authors are not trying to judge God’s people. This booklet is not an attempt to condemn the wonderful community of believers who are called according to His purpose. Instead, it is written with the profound hope that these believers will carefully examine their approach to a day God Himself calls “HOLY.” It is intended to challenge you to consider your attitude as well as your behavior concerning the fourth commandment. It asks one very important question concerning your obedience.