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The Health Food Ministry

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    Closing Our Restaurants on the Sabbath

    The question has been asked: “Should our restaurants be opened on the Sabbath?” My answer is: No, no! The observance of the Sabbath is our witness to God, the mark, or sign, between Him and us that we are His people. Never is this mark to be obliterated.HFM 21.1

    Were the workers in our restaurants to provide meals on the Sabbath the same as they do through the week for the mass of people who would come, where would be their day of rest? What opportunity would they have to recruit their physical and spiritual strength?HFM 21.2

    Not long since, special light was given me on this subject. I was shown that efforts would be made to break down our standard of Sabbath observance, that men would plead for the opening of our restaurants on the Sabbath; but that this must never be done.HFM 21.3

    A scene passed before me. I was in our restaurant in San Francisco. It was Friday. Several of the workers were busily engaged in putting up packages of such foods as could be easily carried by the people to their homes, and a number were waiting to receive these packages. I asked the meaning of this, and the workers told me that some among their patrons were troubled because, on account of the closing of the restaurant, they could not on the Sabbath obtain food of the same kind as that which they used during the week. Realizing the value of the wholesome foods obtained at the restaurant, they protested against being denied them on the seventh day and pleaded with those in charge of the restaurant to keep it open every day in the week, pointing out what they would suffer if this were not done. “What you see today,” said the workers, “is our answer to this demand for the health foods upon the Sabbath. These people take on Friday food that lasts over the Sabbath, and in this way we avoid condemnation for refusing to open the restaurant on the Sabbath.”HFM 21.4

    The line of demarcation between our people and the world must ever be kept unmistakably plain. Our platform is the law of God, in which we are enjoined to observe the Sabbath day; for, as is distinctly stated in the thirty-first chapter of Exodus, the observance of the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people. “Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep,” He declares; “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. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you.... It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.”HFM 22.1

    We are to heed a “Thus saith the Lord,” even though by our obedience we cause great inconvenience to those who have no respect for the Sabbath. On one hand we have man's supposed necessities; on the other, God's commands. Which have the greatest weight with us?HFM 22.2

    In our sanitariums the family of patients, with the physicians, nurses, and helpers, must be fed upon the Sabbath, as any other family, with as little labor as possible. But our restaurants should not be opened on the Sabbath. Let the workers be assured that they will have this day for the worship of God. The closed doors on the Sabbath stamp the restaurant as a memorial for God, a memorial which declares that the seventh day is the Sabbath and that on it no unnecessary work is to be done.HFM 22.3

    I have been instructed that one of the principal reasons why hygienic restaurants and treatment rooms should be established in the centers of large cities is that by this means the attention of leading men will be called to the third angel's message. Noticing that these restaurants are conducted in a way altogether different from the way in which ordinary restaurants are conducted, men of intelligence will begin to inquire into the reasons for the difference in business methods, and will investigate the principles that lead us to serve superior food. Thus they will be led to a knowledge of the message for this time.HFM 22.4

    When thinking men find that our restaurants are closed on the Sabbath, they will make inquiries in regard to the principles that lead us to close our doors on Saturday. In answering their questions, we shall have opportunity to acquaint them with the reasons for our faith. We can give them copies of our periodicals and tracts, so that they may be able to understand the difference between “him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.”HFM 23.1

    Not all our people are as particular as they should be in regard to Sabbath observance. May God help them to reform. It becomes the head of every family to plant his feet firmly on the platform of obedience.HFM 23.2

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