Christian Churches of God

No. CB73





Fourth Commandment


(Edition 2.0 20050903-20070302)


The Fourth Commandment says: Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.






Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA






(Copyright ã 2005, 2007 Carrie Farris, ed. Wade Cox)



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Fourth Commandment



The goal of the lesson is teach the 4th Commandment and its relationship to the Sabbath Years and the Jubilee.



1.To show the children that God ordained the Sabbath.

2. To make sure the children understand that the Sabbath was made for us as a gift

     (Mark 2:27).

3. To show the children that the Sabbath commandment is linked with the Sabbatical Years and the Jubilee.


Relevant Scripture:

Exodus 20:8-11      


Reference Material:

The Sabbath Day (No. CB21)

The Ten Commandments (No. CB17)             


Memory Scripture:

Exodus 20:8: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.


Activity Options:


  1. Visual Jubilee Calendar.
  2. Make a bead Jubilee Calendar by stringing 6 beads of one colour followed by a 7th bead of blue for 7 times, making a total of 42 of one colour and 7 blue beads, with a large bead making the 50th. 




  1. Elastic beading cord
  2. 42 coloured beads per child
  3. 7 blue beads per child
  4. 1 large bead per child.




  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Go through the formal aspect of the Fourth Commandment, having older children read some of the Scriptures and encouraging as much participation as possible.
  3. Go over the visual Jubilee Calendar.
  4. Make bead Jubilee Calendars.
  5. Close with prayer


Formal aspect of Lesson:


(Children’s questions in bold)


Q1. Why do we keep the Sabbath Day?


A. The Sabbath is holy time. God wants us to keep His Sabbath Day always (Ex. 20:8-11).


Q2. What does the “Sabbath” mean?


A. It means a time to rest. It also means seventh. This could include the weekly seventh day as a Sabbath, but it also includes all the Holy Days, New Moons and the Sabbath Year.


Q3. What do we do on the Sabbath Day?


A. Rest from our work (Deut. 5:14), study God’s word, pray to Him and think about all the things He is doing for us. It is a day of rest from doing the ordinary things that we might do on the other six days.


Q4. Which Commandment does Sabbath-keeping fall under?


A. The Fourth.


Q5. When are we supposed to work?


A. We are to work for six days a week. We are not to be still or lazy. Whatever we find to do we should do with all of our might (Eccl. 9:10). We should learn to work hard and always do our best no matter what the job. We should also be willing to help people who need help. This can be for people we know or for people we don’t know. It is always good to be nice to others, but we should never talk to strangers or go with people we don’t know before asking our parents if it is all right (3Jn. 1:5-7).


Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.


3John 1:5-7 Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God's service. For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen.


Q6. What is the preparation day, and when is it?


A. The day before the Sabbath is the day we should prepare for the Sabbath (Ex. 16:5). We call this the preparation day.


Exodus 16:5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.


The sixth day of our week is Friday. On that day we should buy all our food and clean our houses and prepare our clothes. We should take care of all our chores and as much preparation of our food as possible (Ex. 16:23). This is especially so women and men can rest and learn about God on the Sabbath too and not have to spend that time cooking, cleaning and doing their regular work. Men also have to prepare for the Sabbath by completing their normal work prior to Sabbath and helping their wives and the children to be ready for Sabbath.


Exodus16:23 he said to them, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay by to be kept till the morning.'" (RSV)


Q7. Was the Sabbath changed to Sunday?


A. Some people say that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, or that we do not have to keep the Sabbath at all. However, God does not change (Mal. 3:6) and neither does His Sabbath Day.


Malachi 3:6 Descendants of Jacob, I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I never change. That's why you haven't been wiped out, 7even though you have ignored and disobeyed my laws ever since the time of your ancestors. But if you return to me, I will return to you. (CEV)


Jesus said that the Law would not pass away until all is accomplished (Mat. 5:17-18). So, until all the things in the Bible are done we must keep God’s Law, and keeping the Sabbath is one of God’s Laws.


Matthew 5:17-18 Don't suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. 18Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen. (CEV)


No man or church has any authority to change God’s Law. The Sabbath is a sign of God’s people (Ezek. 20:12).


Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.


So, those people who keep Sunday holy are not obeying God’s Law. Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath, and the Feasts, and Holy Days of God; so did the Apostles and the early Church and so should we. Do not believe people when they say, "the Sabbath was changed to Sunday". That is not what God says in the Bible.


Q8. When is the Sabbath?


A. The seventh-day is the Sabbath. It is called Saturday in the civil calendar. The Sabbath is always on the seventh day of the week.


Q9. When does the Sabbath start?


A. The Sabbath starts when the sun goes completely down on Friday night or when it gets dark. This is when there is no light left in the sky. The Sabbath ends when it gets dark on Saturday evening. In the Bible this is how we know when a day starts and ends (by the going down of the sun). It is not based on the clock or from midnight to midnight.


The Sabbath also cannot be moved to any other day.


Q10. Name some of the things we should not do on the Sabbath and why?



1) We should not go out to eat at a restaurant on the Sabbath. We should not buy anything or sell anything on the Sabbath (Neh. 10:31).


Nehemiah 10:31 and if the peoples of the land bring in wares or any grain on the Sabbath Day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day; and we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.


2) We should not work on our house or in our yard on the Sabbath.


Jeremiah 17:22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath Day holy, as I commanded your fathers. (RSV)


The Sabbath is special to God. It is the day He rested after creating everything (Gen. 2:2-3).

Genesis 2:2-3  And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. (RSV)


3) Parents and other adults shouldn’t go to work on the Sabbath.    


Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. 


4) Children don’t go to school either. This is covered under not doing our regular work on the Sabbath. If we go to school on a Sabbath Day or on a Holy Day we are making our teachers work for us.


5) A few other things we should consider not doing include not watching or playing competition sports.


Q11. Why should we not want to do this?


A. Going to watch sports would mean that others are working for our enjoyment; the same is true for watching them on TV. Playing organized competition sports also leads to others working including umpires, coaches, food-stand people and officials, not including the players. This doesn’t mean a child or group of friends can’t play ball in their back yard just for fun.


6) Going to the movies is also something we shouldn’t do because we have to make others work for us in the same as going out to eat on the Sabbath.


7) Another thing we might think about not doing is spending the day watching television on the Sabbath. This doesn’t mean we can’t watch some special things on the Sabbath; it just means we shouldn’t watch whatever we want all day long instead of doing the things that bring glory to God on the Sabbath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.


As much as possible we should keep away from people, places and things that would distract us from keeping the Sabbath. We learn to know these things as we grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Law. When we are young, we do as our parents direct us.


Jesus’ disciples picked corn on the Sabbath and people got angry with them because they thought Jesus was breaking the Sabbath. But Jesus showed us that he was Lord of the Sabbath; not that we do not have to keep the Sabbath, but rather that it should be kept the way he did it (Mat. 12:1-12). He taught us that it is all right to pick enough food to eat on the Sabbath, but not to harvest everything and make hard work of it.


Q12. Are we allowed to take care of emergencies on the Sabbath?


A. In Luke 14:1-5 it shows that it is important to take care of emergencies on the Sabbath. We can go to the hospital if we get hurt, or if we are sick, or to have a baby. We can help the needy. We should always plan ahead if it is possible, but sometimes accidents happen and people get sick, and we have to deal with these situations. God understands that and allows us to tend to these things. This is called "the ox-in-the-ditch" situation. It is something we did not plan, but nevertheless must be dealt with, even on the Sabbath.


Q13. Are we supposed to be happy or sad on the Sabbath?


A. The Sabbath is a day to be happy, not a day to be sad. We should rejoice in the Sabbath and bring joy to the House of God (Isa. 58:13-14). The Sabbath is a gift that God made for us! We were not made for the Sabbath.


Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:


Q14. What are some of the things we can do on the Sabbath?


A. There are things we can do on the Sabbath to make it a happy time. It usually means spending the day with our family and often with other people who keep God’s Sabbath holy. Most parents organize special treats and activities for their children to do on the Sabbath. It is all right for children to play on the Sabbath but that would not include noisy rough play. Some families go to the park or other outside places so they can enjoy God’s natural creations. Learning about the One True God and His Laws can be fun too. These are usually things that we don’t do on the other six days, as it is a special time.


Keeping the Sabbath holy also includes meeting together with like-minded people so that we can fellowship and grow in the knowledge of God’s ways. This was taught by Jesus’ Apostle Paul (Heb. 10:23-25).


We should always prepare for the Sabbath. Young people will rely on their parents to do this for them. We should help each other and show that we love each other as Jesus Christ loves us. We must continue to learn about God’s Law as we grow in understanding.


Luke 5:5-14 tells a story about Jesus showing others that if they followed him then he could change their lives for the better. Also, with his help, they could help others do the same thing. In this story, Jesus also heals a man who had a really bad disease. Jesus made this man whole by healing him and he makes us whole by helping us become closer to his Father and our God.


The Church of God is small and we must meet together when we can. It is always good to be with other people who do what we do, and believe what we believe. There have been many attempts over time to stop worship on the seventh day. This will happen again. We should not be afraid. If we obey God’s Law He will look after us.


Q15. How often do we have a Sabbath?


A. Once a week – The Weekly Sabbath.

Once a month- The New Moons.

Annually- The Holy Days / Feasts.


Q16. Are New Moons and the High Days of the Feasts treated the same as the weekly Sabbath?


A. Yes, they are all holy time.


Q17. Is there another Sabbath found in the Bible?


A. The Sabbath Year is a year of rest, just like the Sabbath Day is.


Leviticus 25:2-7   After you enter the land that I am giving you, it must be allowed to rest one year out of every seven. 3You may raise grain and grapes for six years, 4but the seventh year you must let your fields and vineyards rest in honor of me, your LORD. 5This is to be a time of complete rest for your fields and vineyards, so don't harvest anything they produce. 6 -7However, you and your slaves and your hired workers, as well as any domestic or wild animals, may eat whatever grows on its own. (CEV)


So every seventh year we are to give our land rest. This means we are not to plant anything as a crop for money. We can still have a small family garden, but we are not to rely on our crops for money in this year.


In the Sabbath Year, we are also not required to tithe like we usually do but we are still supposed to give freewill offerings. This year is also a year in which we forgive debt, which means that if someone owes us money we never ask for it back after this year but instead we let them know that they no longer owe us that money.


Deuteronomy 15:1-3 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD's release has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it; but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release.


During the Sabbath Year we are also commanded to read God’s Law at the Feast of Tabernacles.

Deuteronomy 31:10-13 And Moses commanded them, "At the end of every seven years, at the set time of the year of release, at the feast of booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess."


Q18. There is a special Sabbath Year that only comes around every 50 years. What is it called?


A. It is called the Jubilee Year.


Leviticus 25:8-17 "And you shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall send abroad the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you; in it you shall neither sow, nor reap what grows of itself, nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat what it yields out of the field. "In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property. And if you sell to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. According to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years for crops he shall sell to you. If the years are many you shall increase the price, and if the years are few you shall diminish the price, for it is the number of the crops that he is selling to you. You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.


So, in the Jubilee Year we rest the land, and we also give land back to the owners if we have taken it due to debt or if the family had to sell it because they where poor. We also forgive all debt. In this year also, slaves were released in those countries where slavery was permitted. These days we do not have slaves but at times in history that was the custom. If people could not pay their debts they sold themselves or their family into slavery. When the Jubilee Year or ‘year of release’ came they would be released from being a slave.


Q19. During the Sabbath Year or the Jubilee Year should we wonder or worry about where our food or money will come from since we can’t plant large crops?


A. No.

Leviticus 25:18-22  If you obey my laws and teachings, you will live safely in the land and enjoy its abundant crops. 20Don't ever worry about what you will eat during the seventh year when you are forbidden to plant or harvest. 21I will see to it that you harvest enough in the sixth year to last for three years. 22In the eighth year you will live on what you harvested in the sixth year, but in the ninth year you will eat what you plant and harvest in the eighth year.


If we have parents who keep the Sabbath Day and the other Sabbaths of God holy and teach us about the One True God and His Laws, then we are blessed. Remember, we are sanctified, that is, made holy, by your parents before we are old enough to be baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ, which is the Church of God. Every one of us has a responsibility to God to keep His Sabbath Day holy.




Each child will make a Jubilee bead calendar. This calendar is almost the same as the ‘Count to Pentecost’ calendar, which counts the seven perfect Sabbaths and the 50 days to Pentecost. The only difference is now we are counting by years instead of days as we did on the Pentecost bead count. Now we are counting the years to the Jubilee Year. On the Count to Pentecost calendar a white bead stood for the day of Pentecost and on Jubilee bead count a large bead of a different colour symbolizes the Jubilee Year.


This is an example of what the finished calendar will look like.




Additional questions for the older students:  


What year are we in currently, according on God’s Calendar? 


How many more times will the Law be read before the start of the new Jubilee?


What will start at the new Jubilee?


What Jubilee Year will the new Jubilee be?


Close with prayer.