Thanks so much for your note to us here at TruthBook. You don’t mention whether you are a reader/student of the book, but I hope you are; your question is an interesting one, and one that The Urantia Book addresses for the most part.
Although not specifically a “rest” day, the seventh day was originally designated as a day of worship by Adam and Eve after their first six days on Urantia.
74:3.9 When the sixth day of their sojourn on earth was over, Adam and Eve rested for the first time in their new home in “the east of Eden.” The first six days of the Urantia adventure had been very busy, and they looked forward with great pleasure to an entire day of freedom from all activities.
But circumstances dictated otherwise. The experience of the day just past in which Adam had so intelligently and so exhaustively discussed the animal life of Urantia, together with his masterly inaugural address and his charming manner, had so won the hearts and overcome the intellects of the Garden dwellers that they were not only wholeheartedly disposed to accept the newly arrived Son and Daughter of Jerusem as rulers, but the majority were about ready to fall down and worship them as gods.
74:4.4 It was near the dawn of their seventh day on earth that Adam and Eve heard the startling news of the proposal of these well-meaning but misguided mortals; and then, even while the passenger birds were swiftly winging to bring them to the temple, the midwayers, being able to do such things, transported Adam and Eve to the Father’s temple. It was early on the morning of this seventh day and from the mount of their so recent reception that Adam held forth in explanation of the orders of divine sonship and made clear to these earth minds that only the Father and those whom he designates may be worshiped. Adam made it plain that he would accept any honor and receive all respect, but worship never!
It was a momentous day, and just before noon, about the time of the arrival of the seraphic messenger bearing the Jerusem acknowledgment of the installation of the world’s rulers, Adam and Eve, moving apart from the throng, pointed to the Father’s temple and said: “Go you now to the material emblem of the Father’s invisible presence and bow down in worship of him who made us all and who keeps us living. And let this act be the sincere pledge that you never will again be tempted to worship anyone but God.” They all did as Adam directed. The Material Son and Daughter stood alone on the mount with bowed heads while the people prostrated themselves about the temple.
And this was the origin of the Sabbath-day tradition. Always in Eden the seventh day was devoted to the noontide assembly at the temple; long it was the custom to devote this day to self-culture. The forenoon was devoted to physical improvement, the noontime to spiritual worship, the afternoon to mind culture, while the evening was spent in social rejoicing. This was never the law in Eden, but it was the custom as long as the Adamic administration held sway on earth.
So we see that it was Adam and Eve who inaugurated this day to be set aside for the specific purpose of worshipping God. Of course, there’s no mention of the days of the week with names like we know today…it was just the “seventh day.”
All of our calendars show Sunday to be the first day of the week so that would certainly make Saturday the seventh day, as you observe. Somewhere around the 4th century, the conflict between Christianity and Judaism were reflected in the Christians’ adoption of Sunday (The “Lord’s Day”) as the day that they wanted to set aside for worship rather than Saturday. I was not able to find any information in The Urantia Book about it, but you can find plenty of information about it on the web if you care to Google it. Here’s one interesting page at Wikipedia that looks helpful. It’s also interesting in this Wiki page to read how “rest” became part of the tradition as well as worship.
In The Urantia Book, Sabbath is associated with Saturday; And Jesus and the apostles all observed Sabbath on a Saturday, as Jewish law dictated. But as a side note, Jesus established Wednesday as a specific day of rest and relaxation for himself and his apostles during their time of public ministry. It wasn’t necessarily a worship day, but it was a day for rest:
138:6.1 The next week was devoted to a program of intense training. Each day the six new apostles were put in the hands of their respective nominators for a thoroughgoing review of all they had learned and experienced in preparation for the work of the kingdom. The older apostles carefully reviewed, for the benefit of the younger six, Jesus’ teachings up to that hour. Evenings they all assembled in Zebedee’s garden to receive Jesus’ instruction.
It was at this time that Jesus established the mid-week holiday for rest and recreation. And they pursued this plan of relaxation for one day each week throughout the remainder of his material life. As a general rule, they never prosecuted their regular activities on Wednesday. On this weekly holiday Jesus would usually take himself away from them, saying: “My children, go for a day of play. Rest yourselves from the arduous labors of the kingdom and enjoy the refreshment that comes from reverting to your former vocations or from discovering new sorts of recreational activity.” While Jesus, at this period of his earth life, did not actually require this day of rest, he conformed to this plan because he knew it was best for his human associates. Jesus was the teacher—the Master; his associates were his pupils—disciples.
And just to give us some perspective on this, here’s Jesus talking about the Sabbath upon the occasion of the authorities’ attempt to trap him about “rubbing the grain” on this supposedly sacred day:
147:6.4 “And have you not read in our law that it is lawful to do many needful things on the Sabbath day? And shall I not, before the day is finished, see you eat that which you have brought along for the needs of this day? My good men, you do well to be zealous for the Sabbath, but you would do better to guard the health and well-being of your fellows. I declare that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. And if you are here present with us to watch my words, then will I openly proclaim that the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Thanks again for your question and for taking the time to write to us; we appreciate it, and hope that this reply has been helpful and that your question is answered. Please feel free to write back anytime!
Date published: 2016-03-08 10:56:20
Author: Truthbook Staff