Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (The Doctrine of Sabbath)
Chapter 17: Sabbath-Keeping in the True Jesus Church
TOC | Previous | Next

CHAPTER 17: Sabbath-keeping in the True Jesus Church

In this 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.

For me, 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.

As there 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.

After the 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, Netherlands

The 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.

            Serena Hsu, sales coordinator, Taiwan

Before 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.

Nowadays, 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.

We didn’t 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 teaches.

            Jackie Shek and Mary Tang, retired couple, Scotland, UK

The 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.”

            Nathanael Ko, student, Germany.


Since 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 children.

            Sau Ying Ho, housewife, France

I’m an 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.

One 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.’

Afterwards, 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).

            Sarah 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.

On Friday 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 church.  

            Jenny Saito, housewife and part-time English teacher, Japan

The Sabbath is a day that reminds me of the fundamental questions of life:

           Who 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. 

           What 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.

           What 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. 

While I 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.

I’m 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 my mind!

            Sharon Chang, civil servant, Singapore

To me, 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 happened yet.

I also 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.

            Daniel Vun, engineer, Australia

The 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.

When I 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.

Sabbath 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.

I realize 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.

            Elaine Shek Hoo, teacher, Hong Kong.

The 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 rest spiritually.

On the 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.

            Tin Jun Zhou, businessman, Moscow

I first 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 refreshing.

Nowadays, 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, Malaysia

When I 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.

It’s only 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.

Nowadays, 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, Indonesia

Thank 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.

I 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!

            Titus Adede, farmer and church worker, Kenya


© January 2012 True Jesus Church.


PDF Download