NO small amount of discussion has arisen in the religious world over the alleged discovery of certain unknown, or lost, sayings of Christ, one of which relates to the Sabbath and has been designated as the “Sabbath logion.” “Except ye keep the Sabbath,” it declares, “ye shall not see the Father.”
Whether one of Christ’s sayings or not, it is true, and it may well be read with an emphasis on the word “keep.” Not everything is Sabbath-keeping which claims to be such. God has not left it to the caprice or short-sighted wisdom of man to determine what is a proper observance of the Sabbath. In the fourth commandment he has said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”; and a further commentary upon this point is given in Isaiah 58:13, 14.
God made the Sabbath for a purpose: and that purpose must be fulfilled. Only that is true Sabbath-keeping which fulfills that purpose. What that purpose is we are told in the words of God to his chosen people: “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” Exodus 31:13, 17. See also Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
The Sabbath is a “sign” between God and his chosen people. His chosen people are the children of faith, the seed of Abraham, or children of Israel. See Galatians 3:7, 29; Genesis 32:28. But of what is it a sign? We find an answer in the words, “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.”
The Creator is the true God; and in the keeping of his Sabbath we find a sign that we are worshipers of the true God. It makes all the difference in the world to the worshiper whether he is worshiping the true God, or some other. And in the Sabbath he is to find an evidence that he is truly a worshiper of Jehovah. But this he cannot do unless he keeps it holy, as God has specified. Otherwise he will see nothing of God in the Sabbath, and it will be to him but as any other day of the week.