CHAPTER 17: Sabbath-keeping in the True Jesus Church
final chapter, members of the True Jesus Church from around the world share
what the Sabbath means to them and how they observe it. Despite the differences
in environments, personal circumstances and lifestyles, we find a striking
commonality, which includes a deep sense of thankfulness to God and the desire
to honour Him through rest and sanctification.
the Sabbath is a joyful day. I study at a very competitive business school and
sometimes I fear that my ambitions could lead me to abandon the grace of God,
or even to sin. Therefore, I’m very thankful for the Sabbath. It’s a day for
reflection and for enjoying the grace of God. It’s also a day for studying His
word and having fellowship with other brethren. I can stop thinking about my
studies and escape from the pressures of school. It’s a complete day of rest
for me, a time to enjoy and appreciate what God has given.
are no churches or prayer houses in the Netherlands, I usually travel to the
Rhineland Prayer House for services. It’s located near the border between
Germany and the Netherlands. Normally, if I don’t have anything to do on Friday
evening, I go to a sister’s house for Bible study. On Saturday morning, we go
to the Prayer House (which is a member’s house) for the Sabbath service.
service, we share news and prayer requests, and we pray together. Then, we have
a hymnal session where we sing our favourite hymns.
It’s a peaceful day and so much fun! The congregation isn’t big, but we’re very
close. Most of the members are foreign students and workers from Taiwan. We’re
all grateful to be able to observe the Sabbath together in Germany.
Melita Purnomo, student,
Sabbath is the teaching of the Bible and God’s promise of blessings. It’s also
the day on which I can lay aside all my worries and burdens.
At Zhongli Church, we start the Sabbath with a morning prayer,
followed by formal services in the morning and afternoon. We have a meal
together in between the two services. There are religious education classes for
the youngsters in the morning and afternoon, and classes for teenagers after
the two main services. College youths have their classes after dinner in the
evening. Generally, the Sabbath is full of services and holy work.
Hsu, sales coordinator, Taiwan
1977, we didn’t really know how important the Sabbath was. There were no
Sabbath services back then, but we did gather at a member’s house as the
children had a day off school. When we did start holding services at the
takeaway shop (the old prayer house), we had one Sabbath service, followed by
lunch. In 1985, when we bought the current church building, we still only had
one service on the Sabbath. However, shortly after, we had two services—one in
the morning and one in the afternoon.
on a typical Sabbath day, we’ll rest at home in the morning and go to church
around 10.30 am. The first service starts at 11.30 am. The Sabbath is very
good. We keep it because it’s what Christians should do—it’s part of our duty.
If we’re not in Elgin or near a church, we keep the Sabbath in our hearts.
understand the reason for the Sabbath in the past, but now, we look highly upon
it. We put aside our work and concentrate on the day, just as the Bible
Shek and Mary Tang, retired couple, Scotland, UK
Sabbath is an institution for me. I was introduced to it from a very young age
and have been keeping it ever since. I start the Sabbath by going home from
university on Friday and attending evening Bible study. Basically, on Saturday,
I wake up, leave home for church, stay until evening, come home and go to
sleep. I try to keep the Sabbath holy and to rest by being at church.”
Ko, student, Germany.
Saturday is the Sabbath, I try not to make any appointments. If I have to (and
this is rare), I make sure they’re after church so that I don’t need to rush.
When I was working, I refused to work on Saturdays. Now I’m looking for a job
that doesn’t require me to work on this day. In order to keep the Sabbath, I go
to church every week and attend all the services and fellowships. I also help
wherever I can and do what I’m assigned to do—cooking, cleaning and watching the
Sau Ying Ho, housewife, France
employee of the church and work on weekdays. Sometimes, on the Sabbath, there
are still many things to do, but I know I need to rest and hand over my work to
the Lord Almighty and not rely on my own ability. To me, the Sabbath means
God’s love and blessing. It’s a time for us to return to Him and to witness His
beauty and glory by worshipping in His temple, listening to His truth and
loving one another. I really treasure this day and am very thankful for having
this wonderful command from our God in heaven.
I like to
draw close to God by singing hymns. It helps me to keep the Sabbath day holy
and to be joyful no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I know that He’ll take
care of everything and I can relax and enjoy His true rest.
Friday night, after service, a sister who had been absent from church for a
while due to illness invited me to join her for a walk the next day. In the
morning, as we walked in the park, I was filled with the joy of the Sabbath and
began singing a hymn. At the sister’s request, I sang it louder so she could
hear the words: ‘Lord, on Thee our souls depend; In compassion now descend;
Fill our hearts with Thy rich grace, Tune our lips to sing Thy praise, Tune our
lips to sing Thy praise.’
I went to church and continued the remainder of the joyful Sabbath there. The
events of that day made me think of Jesus’ words: ‘What man is there among you
who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold
of it and lift it out?’ (Mt 12:11).
Pai, secretary, USA
I live in
Japan where there are not many [True Jesus] churches. The nearest one to where
I live is Yokohama Prayer House, one and a half to two hours’ drive away. I
don’t have the luxury of being able to attend services on any other days of the
week, so I especially treasure the Sabbath. On this day, I look forward to
going to church, listening to God’s words and being with other brethren.
night, I often stay up late to prepare for any church work I need to do the
next day. On Saturday morning, our family leaves for church around 8.30
am. The morning prayer session is at 10.30 am and is
followed by a morning service, lunch, hymnal, afternoon service, youth service,
sisters fellowship and youth choir. We leave church at 4 pm. On our journey
home, we usually discuss the day’s sermons or the things that happened in
Saito, housewife and part-time English teacher, Japan
Sabbath is a day that reminds me of the fundamental questions of life:
I am: The establishment of the Sabbath at creation by God reminds me that
I’m His child, and that He’s so loving that, even
though He doesn’t need to “rest”, He considered our frailties and created a day
of rest for us.
I’m doing here: The command to keep the Sabbath holy reminds me not to
consume the twenty-four hours of each of the seven days for myself. It’s also a
welcome prod, reminding me to check whether I’ve kept myself holy throughout
the week and whether I’ve done enough to honour Him.
I should aspire towards: For five days of the week, I’m immersed in a
society that urges one to go faster, higher and further for things in the
world. The Sabbath is a reminder that, one day, all things will cease to matter,
and I should really focus on the things that matter.
was growing up, I thought that one could pick and choose which Sabbath service
to attend, but now, I realize that God has given us a Sabbath day, not a
Sabbath hour. Also, when I first started working, I had to work a
five-and-a-half day week, including Saturday mornings. However, this was
eventually changed to five days. This has indeed been God’s grace.
mindful that there are still others who have to work at weekends. Therefore, I
try to attend all the services in my home church—on Friday evening, Saturday
morning and Saturday afternoon. On those occasions when I’m tempted to skip a
session to “do my own thing”, the verses in Isaiah 58:13–14 reverberate through
Chang, civil servant, Singapore
the Sabbath is a day of rest. I can stop work and rest from my physical labours. It’s also a time to receive spiritual edification
through sermons, Bible study and praying together in church. The Sabbath
is important to me because I can devote myself to God and keep holy. On this
day, I spend time to worship my Creator and Saviour,
sing praises and give glory to Him for all His blessings and grace. It’s also
an opportunity to participate in divine work, as serving in the church is an
important part of my devotion to the Lord.
I try to
keep the Sabbath holy by not working on this day, if at all possible. Since I’m
a support engineer, I’m on call at weekends. Fortunately, I now work in a
department where the frequency of callouts is very low. There’s still a small
chance I may be called out, but thanks to the grace of God, this hasn’t
try to keep the Sabbath holy by avoiding social or work functions on this day.
Usually, my friends and work colleagues understand; they know I’m a Christian
and that I always attend church.
Vun, engineer, Australia
Sabbath has a significant and important place in my heart. I look forward to it
every week, not least because I don’t have to wake up early for work. I truly
see it as a blessed day of rest—a day that God has specially designated for us.
first moved to Hong Kong, my husband and I used to live in the western
district, so it was easy to go to Fortress Hill for the Sabbath service at 11
am. In the afternoon, we’d go back to Tsuan Wan for
services. However, since moving to Tai Po, we’re too far away to go to Fortress
Hill for services in the morning, so we try our best to enjoy this part of the
day at home, and to prepare our hearts, either by listening to online sermons,
reading the Bible or preparing RE lessons for that day.
services at Tai Po begin at 1.30 pm. Afterwards, we
have RE lessons and a youth fellowship, which ends at 5 pm. I cherish the time
at church. If I’m unable to attend a session due to school commitments, I
always feel as if I’m missing something.
the importance of, and cherish, Sabbath services, which is why I try to make
the most of them and to enjoy fellowship with the brethren.
Shek Hoo, teacher, Hong
Sabbath is an important day for me. I look forward to it after six days of work
and am grateful to gather with the brethren to worship God. It means I can draw
near to Him and rest in Him. I’m usually busy working for the sake of my daily
needs and without this day, it would be difficult for me to sit down and
Sabbath, I go to church to listen to the word of God in quietness. At home,
I talk with my family about faith matters. We often reflect over the
events of the past week—what we’ve done and said—to see if we’ve done what God
has required of us and to consider how we can improve. By doing these things,
we try to live out our faith in Jesus.
Jun Zhou, businessman, Moscow
realized the significance of the Sabbath when I went to the UK to further my
studies. The peace and fellowship in church was both physically and spiritually
I’m busy working in the city in Malaysia. Observing the Sabbath reminds me
constantly of the immense grace of God. Our family keeps the Sabbath by
attending church services, which remind us of God’s daily providential care and
help us to refocus on godly things. Apart from services, we also have
fellowship meals with the church members. Finally, I find that
teaching children’s RE classes is spiritually refreshing.
Thiam Huat Low, bank manager,
was young, keeping the Sabbath seemed merely like a command we should follow.
However, as I grew up, I learnt that it’s a special day that God has blessed
and sanctified, and on which we should turn away from our worldly activities.
It’s always very joyful because we put aside our hectic schedules and
have spiritual communion with other brethren.
in these past few years that I’ve been keeping the full Sabbath day—from Friday
evening to Saturday evening—after learning from the church brothers and sisters
while I was studying overseas. It was quite hard at first because I’d got used
to keeping only a Sabbath hour and spending the rest of the time on my own
pleasures and activities.
I attend most of the church services and activities at Sunter
Church. The attendance is around 150 members, and everyone knows each other, so
it’s like keeping the Sabbath with your own family. The church has services on
Friday evenings at 7 pm and Saturdays at 10 am. The morning Sabbath service is
followed by a Bible study, lunch, afternoon service and, finally, a youth
service which finishes at 6.30 pm.
Winly Jurnawan, graduate,
God, the Sabbath is a day to rest from my own works; to show my fear of God; to
focus wholly on Him and on godliness; a day to do His works; to experience and
maintain unity between the sons of God; to rejoice in, and deeply recognize,
Jesus the Almighty God.
prioritize and plan my work for the week every Saturday evening. I examine my
spirituality, intercede for the members and commit the Sabbath services into
the hands of God. I also examine my relationship with the brethren, visit weak
members and conduct door-to-door evangelism, if time permits. May all glory be
unto Jesus’ Name!”
Adede, farmer and church worker, Kenya
© January 2012 True Jesus Church.