| Why is Sabbath so Special?|
Sabbath is not special because it is the seventh day or the day of rest. It is special because God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it. The key to understanding the Sabbath is to fully understand the blessing God bestowed on the seventh day. When we lose sight of God’s blessing, we fail to understand the true meaning of Sabbath and focus only on the Sabbath as Saturday or a day of rest from work.
We need to understand what Sabbath truly means in the context of the God’s blessing. Without embracing the grace of God’s blessing, Sabbath simply becomes a day of rest and worship. The true significance of the Sabbath is to receive God’s blessing, which has the power to heal, revitalize, and restore the body’s cells so that we may “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Our rest is only meaningful when we receive God’s blessing.
Therefore, the true value of the Sabbath is in God’s blessing. Satan tries to separate our faith from the Sabbath so that we only focus on taking a rest on the seventh day, and forget the true meaning of God’s blessing. Satan tries to pervert God’s blessing by deceiving us into believing that the blessing can be found in success, fame, fortune, or even sex, to distract us from the divine and practical significance of His blessing.
The significance of the Sabbath cannot be emphasized enough. It is a day blessed and sanctified by God. The blessing is the power of re-creation and healing ordained by God. For those who do not truly value their lives and their health, the Sabbath cannot be appreciated as being directly connected to life and vitality. The concepts of Sabbath, God’s creation, His blessing, and His health message are all inter-related. God redeems, heals, and revives sinners and His power makes them holy.
Meaning of Blessing in the Bible
Moses, who understood God’s messages, described the meaning of blessing as “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas and let birds multiply on the earth”(Genesis 1:22). It is interesting to note that in the five Books written by Moses, including Genesis, the blessing is defined as a gift from the Creator and the power of life that allows us to “be fruitful and multiply”. God’s blessing is given to all living creatures on this planet, including animals. His blessing is not found in the worldly successes valued by our society, such as material wealth or prestige. His blessing is expressed as vital energy necessary for cells to replicate and maintain good health. It is the Creator’s energy that keeps our cells working every moment of our lives.
Who did God bless first according to the Bible scripture? Surprisingly, Genesis 1:21-22 notes that God first blessed birds and marine creatures and stated, “Be fruitful and multiply”. Propagation of life is only possible through replication at a cellular level, and the energy for cell replication comes from God, the Creator. For cell replication to occur, growth hormones need to be produced, which is only possible through God’s blessing in the genes responsible for hormone production. God’s blessing is the ultimate source of all energy necessary for life, and it is an expression of His love for us. God’s love is the power of life, and re-creation through the Holy Spirit occurs every moment of our lives. As can be seen all around us, His blessing is not limited to humans but applies to all living creatures. Therefore, the Sabbath is not just a religious ritual for humans to rest and worship. The Sabbath’s significance is God’s blessing, which is His promise to maintain the vitality and propagation of all living creatures.
God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply” is essentially the same as His promise to give us His love, the power of life. Evidence of this love has even been observed in scientific experiments. One study showed that when a mouse gives birth to baby mice, the mother constantly licks the newborn mice. The licking by the mother is not just an inherent behavior, but is also a stimulating act of expressing love for her babies. However, this loving stimulation also activates genes in the baby mice to produce growth hormones. Similarly, an experiment conducted at an American hospital showed that babies born prematurely grow faster and healthier when caring nurses regularly caress and tenderly nurture the babies. These experiments show that the energy of love has the power to stimulate genes to produce growth hormones required for cells to grow and replicate, i.e. to “be fruitful and multiply”. Genes are responsible for cell growth and healing of damaged or diseased cells. For cells to grow, genes must first be stimulated to replicate, and this does not occur alone. Genes need external energy in order to replicate, and this energy is the power of love and creation expressed in the blessing from God. Genes are basically a collection of chemical substance called DNA, which cannot activate itself unless powered by an external energy. Love is clearly a force that can activate genes to trigger replication of cells. So, God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply” is an expression of His promise to make our cells grow and replicate so that we may be healthy and propagate. Genes responsible for cell growth and replication are embedded in our cells, as are genes responsible for healing damaged cells. Scriptures throughout the Bible attest to God’s blessing promoting replication of cells, biological growth, and propagation of the human race.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then Gold blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…” Genesis 1:27-28
“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Genesis. 9:1
“And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” (Sarah, Abraham’s wife who was infertile became fertile after receiving God’s blessing) Genesis 17:16
“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly.” Genesis 17:20
“In blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven.” Genesis 22:17
“I will bless you and multiply your descendants.” Genesis 26:24
Clearly, God’s blessing is directly linked to activation of genes resulting in cell replication, which is necessary for biological growth and population increase. God’s blessing encompasses all life on this planet as evidenced in Deuteronomy 7:13-14.
“And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.” Deuteronomy 7:13-14
In the above scriptures it is evident that the blessing carries the creative power to activate genes, replicate cells, and propagate all living organisms, including animals and plants.
Ellen G. White’s Concept of Blessing
Ellen G. White, who well understood the meaning of the blessing, interpreted God’s blessing as the power of healing. Sabbath is usually regarded as the memorial of creation, and we frequently disregard the true meaning of God’s blessing. White did not believe Sabbath just to be the memorial of creation, but rather the memorial of creative power. In other words, God’s blessing is the power of creation, as is the Word of God. His Word is the power of creation and it empowers us to heal and propagate.
The Word of God makes it possible for the world to exist. His Word provides us with the power to sustain life. God gives us His promise to help us follow his commands. When we receive His commands into our hearts and embrace them, we can experience His immense power of life, and transform our hearts and character into His likeness.
“Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power…...” (Education pp. 251)
“The Sabbath is a sign of creative and redeeming power; it points to God as the source of life and knowledge; it recalls man's primeval glory, and thus witnesses to God's purpose to re-create us in His own image.” (Education pp. 250)
“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.” (Education pp.126)
“As the perfection of His character is dwelt upon, the mind is renewed, and the soul is re-created in the image of God.” (Education pp.18)
“The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part--the brain, the heart, the nerves--it touches with healing.” (Ministry of Healing pp.115)
Dr. Lee, I left these Korean excerpts, as I don’t have access to these Ellen White books in English. If you do, you may add them.
“하나님의 복은 치유력이다.” (1MCP 59)
“넷째 계명(안식일)은 하나님의 창조의 능력의 표징이며...”(서신 119, 1904)
In summary, the Sabbath given to the world encompasses everything about God, the Creator, who made us holy. He stated, “I gave them My Sabbath, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” Ezekiel 20:12
Thus, Creative Power = Word = Blessing = Life = Healing Power = Re-creation = Transformation of Character = Sanctification.
God’s Character in the Sabbath
The fact that God blessed the Sabbath, the seventh day, has special meaning. Sabbath does not discriminate; it comes to all people. God’s blessing is an expression of absolute unconditional love for all of us. With God’s love we are given the freedom to choose, yet He takes on all liabilities unto Himself. God’s love is not provoked and He does not behave rudely (1Corinthians 13: 5). This means that God’s love will not force us into anything, even if He knows that our own choices will lead us to death. In His love, He will gently try to dissuade us from evil, but in the end He will reluctantly allow us to go with evil if we choose to do so. If God used force to save us from evil to satisfy His own interests, then His love would not be righteous and would be considered rude. God will cry over His righteousness as He has no other way but to knowingly allow sinners to make wrong choices that will lead them to death.
God gives unconditional love in his blessing, which is life. The blessing and its power to create and heal were bestowed onto the Sabbath, the seventh day. It is remarkable to note that the blessing, the absolute priceless power of God’s love, was bestowed onto something so universal as a day, which affects all life on this planet. This is evidence that God unconditionally loves every one of us, good or evil.
It is sad, however, that not everyone chooses to receive God’s blessing on the day of the Sabbath. God, who “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, and thinks no evil” (1Corinthians 13:5) dearly wants to give His blessing to all of us, but His righteousness does not allow His blessing to be forced into a heart that refuses. God’s righteousness shows His long-suffering character that would rather cry tears than behave rudely. The following scriptures reveal His righteousness, His agony over our sins, and His unconditional love for us.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Matthew 23:37
“Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: ‘O my son Absalom – my son, my son Absalom – if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33
“Cast away from you all the transgressions, which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 18:31
“Say to them: ‘as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 33:11
Why Should We Rest? - Rest Cycle and Biological Rhythms
All biological organisms function on certain biological rhythms. Human and animal cells carry out functions such as production of hormones and other essential substances required for cell growth. These functions occur in biological rhythms that are set in our genes by God. For example, cortisol production by the adrenal glands is regulated to peak in the morning and decrease in the afternoon. Another rhythm is the 28-day menstrual cycle in women. These important biological rhythms are programmed into our genes by God before we’re even born.
Of all the rhythms, the rest cycle is the most important one. There are basically two kinds of rest cycles. One is the 24-hour cycle, which regulates our cell activities to slow down and rest at sunset and become active with sunrise. It has been observed that nurses working night shift have a significantly higher rate of breast cancer compared to nurses working day shift, as working during the day follows the natural biological rhythm. When the natural rest cycle is disrupted, our cells are vulnerable to injury and are harder to repair, resulting in normal cells becoming cancerous. Our immune system follows a similar rest cycle. T-cells, the most critical type of white blood cell, are most active at nighttime around 1 a.m. when our bodies are fully rested. Our cell growth and replication activities are also thought to be most active at nighttime around 2 a.m.
The other kind of rest cycle is the seven-day rhythm, which regulates us to work for six days and rest on the seventh. A research study showed that animals subjected to mental and physical stress over six days sustained damage to their genes, but when allowed to rest on the seventh day, they fully recovered. When these animals were continuously subjected to stress for twelve days, they became ill with a number of symptoms including reduced appetite, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and even memory loss. These scientific experiments testify to the need for regular rest on a seven-day cycle in order to maintain good health.
Rest and Healing
God’s blessing is the only power that can heal damaged genes and re-build healthy cells. No one but God can give us this blessing. Disease results from genes being altered and mutated to become dysfunctional or inactive. Genes get damaged when they are subjected to mental and physical stresses, which cause release of free radicals (oxygen atoms). These free radicals play an important role in gene mutation. Recovery from disease is only possible when damaged genes are repaired and resume their normal functions. Scientists have recently discovered that repair of genes is possible when cells are removed from a hostile environment and allowed to rest. This is the scientific truth indicated in the Bible scriptures. Cells can only maintain normal replication when all their genes are fully repaired. Replication of cells leads to normal growth and ultimately, propagation of a healthy population. This is the principle that allows disease to be healed through the power of God’s blessing.
Periodic rest is essential for repair of genes and normal cell growth, which will ultimately heal any disease. An analogy would be that if we had a problem with our car, we would have to stop driving it in order to repair the broken parts. The Almighty God knew all the potential weaknesses in humans before He even created us. That is why God gave us the fourth commandment, His promise to repair our damaged genes and re-create new cells when we engage in meaningful rest on the seventh day.
This day, the Sabbath, has been designated and blessed by God and cannot be arbitrarily replaced with another day of the week for convenience. To do so is to sin, by rejecting God’s gift and His promise to heal, re-create, and make us holy. Such behavior, even if unintentional, is a direct challenge to the power of the Creator. We cannot re-assign the day of rest to another day. We must rest on the seventh day as it was specifically chosen and blessed by the Creator.
Rest Program in Genes
We have now learned the need for a resting cycle to maintain our health. If God created our genes knowing our weaknesses, He would have made specific genes responsible for regulating our cells to rest. Scientists have indeed discovered genes that do just that. The most well known is a gene called P53 that has been mapped to chromosome 17. This gene, called a tumor suppressor gene, is responsible for the production of a protein that suppresses tumor formation. Another main function of the tumor suppressor gene is to allow cells to rest on a rhythmic cycle. The P53 gene can be thought of as the “rest gene”, and its product the “rest protein”, because it causes cells to rest. Periodic rest is important to prevent cells from dividing in an unregulated manner. When P53 genes mutate and no longer produce the “rest protein”, cells become cancerous and begin dividing uncontrollably to form tumors. God programmed specific functions into the sequence of nucleotide bases of the P53 genes DNA, so that cells can go through resting periods.
P53 genes not only regulate cells to undergo a rest cycle, they also stimulate other genes to produce special proteins that repair mutated genes. When cells contain genes that are damaged beyond repair, P53 genes regulate those cells to undergo “programmed cell death”, or apoptosis.
P53 genes are evidence of God’s loving promise to us. By His grace, we have an inherent capacity to repair and heal our own cells through functions programmed into our DNA by God. Scientists have been able to read the program that was written in the form of base sequences of DNA. Through God’s promise, we see that He tells us “I will make your cells rest and repair themselves so that you may be saved from all diseases”. God’s blessing is the catalyst that induces P53 genes to produce the “rest protein”, which then activates three other genes to produce proteins that repair damaged genes. It is God’s wisdom that has made this process possible, for God had known our needs and our weaknesses even before we were created. Scientists have discovered that cancer cells have P53 genes that are damaged to the point of not functioning properly, or in some cases, P53 genes do not exist at all. Without the tumor suppressing function of P53 genes, “rest proteins” are not produced and cells no longer go through a rest cycle but continue to divide uncontrollably, forming tumors. The DNA programs in tumor suppressor genes clearly reflect God’s loving promise to us. It’s as if they are saying “I will prevent you from getting cancer” or “I will heal your cancer”. Our role is to trust entirely in the promise that is written in our DNA. God will then implement the promise through His blessing on the Sabbath, the day of rest. Indeed, proper rest is essential for maintaining our health.
The various processes of gene repair, cell replication, and rest cycles, occur in perfect coordination amongst different genes at an unconscious, molecular level. The immensely complex mechanisms of genes are beyond our comprehension. God’s wisdom and His infinite power are the only way that these phenomena are possible.
We can only deal with our lives on a conscious level using our perception and cognition. The many unconscious processes that take place in our body are beyond our voluntary control. Studies have shown that only about 5% of our brain activity correlates with conscious processes, while the remaining 95% occurs at an unconscious level. Gene activities, which are essential for the maintenance of life, happen unconsciously in our bodies because of God’s vital energy in our cells. When we are overcome by emotions like anxiety, anger, hatred, or fear, we are more likely to be influenced by Satan and turn away from the loving God who is constantly at work for us in our unconsciousness. Under such conditions, we cannot take part in the meaningful rest that is necessary for God’s effort to heal our wounded cells.
Rest is not simply taking a break from work. Rest requires total trust in God and giving ourselves up to His power, so He may work on us in our (95%) unconscious level while we enjoy resting in the (5%) conscious level. This is the true meaning of rest for us sinners. Repair and re-building of our cells, and thus maintenance of life, can only be possible through meaningful rest. “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:10
Sabbath and Health Message
The essence of God’s health message originates from the blessing of the Sabbath. The focus of God’s health message is not on nutritional requirement. Nor is it on exercise, water, air, sunlight, temperance, rest, or trust in God. The health message should focus on God’s healing and regenerative power that He has given to us through His blessing. The Sabbath is the day of blessing and healing, and it is directly linked to His health message.
God wants us to understand the meaning of Sabbath by experiencing His healing power on the seventh day. God’s people should disseminate the message of the Sabbath throughout the world so that its meaning along with His loving character can be understood by all, as God intended.
Only those who experience God’s health message through the blessing of the Sabbath will truly be the remnants of God’s people. Those people who observe Sabbath as nothing more than a day of rest from work, or live by His health message without understanding the significance of His blessing, are not able to experience the healing power of God. In the end, these people will cry out “My Lord, I have been working as prophet in Your name, and expel evil spirits….”.
We must experience the regenerative and healing power of the blessing of Sabbath. We must experience the power of life, the power of Jesus Christ. True healing cannot exist without His blessing. The health message was given to us so that we may experience His great power and appreciate the significance of His blessing on the Sabbath. In these turbulent times, it is even more important to understand the Sabbath and God’s blessing. The healing benefit of the health message can only be gained through God’s blessing, which comes from the Word of God, His love for us. Many of us deal with health issues by conventional medicine, dieting, or other methods, without seeing God’s blessing and His love for us. As a result, we lose sight of Jesus Christ who is the source of true healing.
NEWSTART and God’s Blessing
Disease results from mutation of genes, rendering them unable to perform their functions. Healing, and ultimately curing of disease is only possible when mutated genes are fully restored to normal. The power to heal damaged genes is in the blessing that God bestowed on the Sabbath. For His blessing to work effectively, i.e. to repair damaged genes, we must provide a clean, nurturing, healthy environment for our cells. Healthy nutrition is one component to provide for the required environment. The other necessary conditions are exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest, and trust in God, which make the acronym NEWSTART. When NEWSTART is properly integrated into our lifestyle, it provides the optimal environment for God’s blessing to repair damaged genes by correcting defective base sequences of our DNA.
The ultimate objective of NEWSTART is to experience the Creator’s healing power through His blessing. NEWSTART provides the optimal conditions for our cells, allowing the Creator’s healing power to repair and restore damaged genes, and consequently heal diseases. The power of complete healing is in God’s blessing, which is bestowed on the Sabbath.