God's True Sabbath

Is It Saturday, Sunday, Or Christ???

In this paper, we will, by God's Grace, through His Word, endeavor to more fully understand What the Bible teaches about God's "True" Sabbath. To cover this subject thoroughly would take many pages. "A study of "The Sabbath" is a study of the entire "Plan of Redemption" itself because the "Sabbath" is a very important part of that "great plan".

But WHERE and HOW does it fit into God's pattern and purpose? By the Grace of God we will, by the Bible, answer this question and put the issue of "The Sabbath" in its right perspective. To do this we will have to trace the path of the Sabbath through the Scriptures. We want to know which day (if any) are we as Gentile Believers commanded to set aside as a Sabbath?

Let's approach this subject prayerfully asking the Lord to guide us with understanding, rightly dividing the Word of Truth as it pertains to "God's True Sabbath" for the Gentile Believer; And after all, God's Word must be our final authority on any subject.

".......Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." 2nd. Timothy 2:7

I would encourage the reader NOT to 'skim' over the text, just looking for 'apparent' errors, based on their pre-conceived - poured in concrete, notions of what they might 'think' about God's True Sabbath. I encourage you to take the time, with a right spirit and attitude, to consider every Scripture, remembering that from Genesis to Revelation, there is a "Progressive Revelation" of the different aspects of the Plan of Redemption. In this Plan we find a "Progressive Revelation" of God's "True Sabbath."

Over the years I have heard arguments from both the 'Saturday' and the 'Sunday' Sabbath keepers. Being raised in an Evangelical home and having supported a number of world renown Evangelists over the years - I know what they 'teach' about God's True Sabbath. Also, having been educated in a Seventh-Day Adventist Academy and possessing a number of Adventist Bible-study diplomas - I know their stand on God's True Sabbath. I have also heard Garner Ted and the late Herbert W. Armstrong very dogmatically expound on their Sabbath teachings. Which of these opinions is the right one? OR, are they all wrong? One thing for sure - the answer is in the Bible.

Therefore, let's trace the Sabbath from the "Seed" planted in Genesis to it's "Dormant (silent) stage" during the time of Abraham, into it's "Stem and Leaves" in Exodus, and then watch it "blossom into beauty" in the New Testament. May the Lord open your eyes and heart to 'receive' His True Sabbath. I ask for your patience as we walk through Bible history on this path of "The Sabbath of the Lord". May the Lord give us a heart that is "receptive" to the Word; and a "willingness" to conform to what the Bible teaches. "Prove all things and hold fast to that which is right." 1st. Thess. 5:21.

Remember what Paul said in Romans 14:23, "...whatsoever is not of Faith is sin." Whatever you do, must be done in Faith (positive assurance - heart-felt conviction) that it is right. "Without Faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6). And the only source of Faith is the Word of God. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word". (Romans 10:17).

First, we will consider (in brief) the different teachings on this very important subject. Please note that this material is NOT directed toward the Jews but to the Gentile Believers only. As we progress in our study you will see why I am not applying what I say to the Jews - natural seed of Abraham.

The "Sunday" Sabbath.......

Of course this Sabbath boasts the largest following in all of Christianity. This group sets aside Sunday, the first day of the week, as their 'Christian' Sabbath of "REST" and Worship. They teach that because Christ rose on the first day of the week, Sunday (Matt. 28), then this is the "New Day" of rest and worship, in honor of the Resurrection and the finished work of Redemption. They also point out that the first out-pouring of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4) was on Sunday. They refer to Sunday as "The Lord's Day". These claim that in the New Testament, Jesus made an end of the law which required the keeping of a Saturday-Sabbath. In essence, they are saying that of all the 10 commandments Jesus 'repealed' the fourth commandment. BUT does the Bible teach such a thing?

Of course they all (Saturday and Sunday keepers) use history to try and prove their individual positions. But even history must be view from a 'right perspective' or we'll come away with a 'slanted' understanding of the testimony of history. The Sunday keepers emphasize that early Church historians bore witness to the fact that the early Christians, in honor of the resurrection, gathered on Sunday. Saturday-Sabbath keepers insist that the early Christians assembled on Saturday only - WHO is right? Later in our study we will consider the witness of history, but, first and foremost, our absolute is the Word of God, and not history. We want to be persuaded by the Word.

The vast majority of professing Christians (Roman Catholic and Protestants in general) take Sunday as their Sabbath, saying, it is the Sabbath of God's "New Creation". But is Sunday really the Christian Sabbath? We need to ask ourselves "WHAT is God's "new Creation" and WHAT kind of a Sabbath fits into that new creation? Did God really intend for us to observe Sunday as the Sabbath? Without contradiction we will find the true answer in the Bible.

The "Saturday" Sabbath

This Sabbath is observed (in Christendom) mainly by the Seventh-Day Adventists and the H. W. Armstrong World Wide Church of God - though the latter, the World Wide Church Of God has changed it's emphasis on the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath. Since December 1994 there has been a "Spiritual Awakening" in that movement, causing them to renounce many of their false-teachings. Some of the churches associated with the World Wide Church of God now meet on Sundays while others still continue to observe a Saturday-Sabbath.

Yet those who strictly adhere to the Saturday-Sabbath base their teaching on Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 20:11, and the "Old Testament Covenant" established between God and the Children of Israel. They take the Sabbath instructions given to the Children of Israel and 'bring it over' into the New Testament Church and 'apply it' to the "Gentile" Believers.

Those who observe the Saturday Sabbath justify themselves by saying that Saturday is "The Sabbath of the Lord". Without a doubt, the Bible teaches that the Saturday Sabbath is a part of the "Progressive Revelation" of God's "True" Sabbath. BUT What "part" does it play? Is it the Seed, the Stem, the Leaves, or the blossom? The Bible holds the Answer.

Some in the Saturday-Sabbath group teach that 'observance of the fourth commandment' regarding the Seventh-Day Sabbath, is the "SEAL of God". Others refer to the fourth commandment as the "Test commandment". BUT, does the Bible teach that the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath is the "Test" and "Seal" of our loyalty to God? Again I repeat that the Bible holds the answer.

In this second group, most believe that observing Sunday Sabbath is, or leads to the "Mark of the Beast". Again, Does the Bible teach this? As we go along we will endeavor to shed 'more light' on these thoughts to enable us to see more clearly the "Truth or Error" of these statements.

Is Saturday really the Christian Sabbath? It is indeed the Sabbath given to the Jewish Nation, but did God ever intend for the Gentile Believer to observe a Saturday Sabbath? Or was it just 'a shadow' pointing to the real thing to come? Without a doubt the Scriptures will enlighten us.

The Sabbath "IN CHRIST"

(First, we will just briefly explain this third teaching on God's "True" Sabbath and enlarge on it later.)

This third group does not accept either Saturday or Sunday as being God's True Sabbath or the Sabbath of the Lord for the Christian Church. They teach that the Old Testament Saturday Sabbath was but a "type" or "shadow" of the "Sabbath-Rest" which we find in Our Lord Jesus Christ. They teach that this is the Sabbath we must remember and keep holy by ceasing from our dead works of self-righteousness and sin daily.

Those that observe this Sabbath "in" Christ believe that in the experience of the New Birth (rending the heart in repentance), the Believer ceases from HIS OWN WORKS and enters into and partakes of God's Eternal Sabbath every day. We who have believed do "enter into" (and do "remain in" God's Sabbath) "rest". This group teaches that this is the "ultimate" in Sabbath keeping.

Truly, there is a generation, strict in it's observance of Saturday and Sunday Sabbaths, but know nothing of 'this' Sabbath Keeping.

The Bible says, "This is the "rest" (Sabbath) wherewith ye may cause the weary to "rest" (the keeping of HIS Sabbath); and this is the refreshing: YET THEY WOULD NOT HEAR." (Isa. 28:12). But, rather than 'rend their hearts' and enter into God's True Sabbath, Israel preferred to 'rend their garments' and observe a day. The Gentiles on the other hand prefer to observe a Sunday-Sabbath with a 'form of godliness, and denying the power thereof'.

This third group (not by a command but by love) does set aside Sunday as a day of Worship in honor of the Resurrection. The Old Saturday Sabbath speaks of "resting" after the Old Creation which is presently under God's judgment; But this New Sabbath (Not Sunday, but the Resurrection) in Christ speaks of "resting" in God's New Creation - A New Sabbath for a New Creation. It is written, "If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature (new creation); old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become NEW." (2nd. Cor. 5:17).

Is the "New Birth" and the "Rest" we find in Christ really God's True Sabbath? Is this the "blossom" for which the "seed" was planted in Genesis 2? Remember! Every Word of God is a "Seed" ordained to bring forth "His" fruit in "His" season (Psalms 1:3). Is this what the Lord was pointing to when He established the Old Testament Sabbath? Was it indeed just a shadow of what was to come? One thing is certain - a natural 24 hour Sabbath day will find no place in 'eternity', where time ceases.

We know that Abel's slain lamb (Gen. 4:4) was but a "Shadow" of the Lamb of God that was to come, even Our Lord Jesus Christ. Even so, the Scriptures teach that the Seventh day Sabbath was a "Shadow" of the ultimate Sabbath we would find in Christ. It is difficult indeed for the legalist, who knows little or nothing of Grace, to accept this. The same applies to those "Christians" who still insist on observing the Feasts of Israel such as the feast of Tabernacles, etc. In essence they're saying that the death of Jesus on the Cross was not sufficient to save. It's amazing how man wants to DO something for his Salvation - that which is offered freely by God.

It's a situation of "Truth versus Error". We want to know the Truth, because it is written, "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free". But the Truth becomes clouded by tradition and man-made religion. Over the issue of God's "True" Sabbath, all three groups mentioned above claim Scriptural correctness in what they teach. HOW then shall we know what is correct?

To determine what is Truth and what is error we need to depend on the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Some would say, "All we need to do is just read the Bible". That's true, but we need the Holy Spirit to guide us through the Bible, and give understanding of what we read. Jesus said, "When He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all Truth". (John 16:13). He also said that these things are "hidden from the eyes of the wise and prudent, and revealed to babes such as would learn." (Matt. 11:25). Again the Bible says: "The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God...neither can he know them because they are "spiritually discerned" (1st. Cor. 2:14). May The Spirit of Truth guide us as we continue our study.

Our understanding of the Sabbath must go beyond the letter of the Word which says, "...Work six days and rest on the Seventh...". If that's all the understanding we have, then our Sabbath is a 'stench' in God's nostrils. When speaking of keeping the commandments, Jesus said, "Your righteousness MUST EXCEED the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees". (Matthew 5:17-20); and remember, they kept the Saturday Sabbath above and beyond even what God required.

May the Spirit of Truth help us to "see the Sabbath", not just in the context of Genesis 2:2-3 and the Ten Commandments, but in the context of the entire Plan of Redemption.

WHAT Is Meant By "THE SABBATH"?

The word 'Sabbath' means "REST". As we go along remember that word "REST". It'll be important when we get into the New Testament Revelation of "The Sabbath". The different Hebrew words used when speaking of the Seventh Day Sabbath refer to...

1. to cease from (or finish) a particular work (Gen. 2:2-3);

2. to come to rest, settle down and "remain" (Exodus 20:11).

In the Old Testament, the seventh day was set aside as The Sabbath day - a day of rest (ceasing from physical labor). This "rest" ended with the dawning of the next day. "Six days shalt thou labor, but rest on the seventh day." The Bible doesn't say 'Saturday', it just says, "the seventh day."

The Sabbath
IN THE BEGINNING

The first reference to the Seventh day Sabbath appears in Genesis...

And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His works which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2-3).

God ended His work of creation in six days; then God rested on the Seventh day. One thing worth noticing here is that the "rest" mentioned is "God's rest", not man's. The Bible declares that this is God's Sabbath. God had worked for six days, and now He rested. What kind of a "Sabbath" was this which God blessed and Sanctified? What kind of "Rest" did God enter into?

This rest (Genesis 2:2-3) was not physical, because God is never tired. "He fainteth not, neither is weary" (Isaiah 40:28). What then, is the meaning of "His rest"? It is not physical but spiritual in nature. It signifies God's satisfaction with His creation. All who study the Scriptures carefully should understand the meaning of God's rest.

With regards to this subject, we should notice that God concluded the first six days of creation with the words, "And the evening and the morning were the first, second, etc...day", but, on this day - on God's Sabbath day there was neither "evening" nor "morning". This day is perfect, complete and glorious. It is an endless day.

After God had finished His work, He rested in the Eternal day which is always day and never night. For God, this Seventh day rest blended into Eternity from whence He came to make His creation. But here in Genesis 2:2-3, God is planting a spiritual "seed" which was destined, in the New Testament, to "blossom" into a "New Birth" with a Resurrection, Rapture, Millennium, and complete Eternal Sabbath "Rest" for all "His" children.

For the New Testament Believer to understand Genesis 2:2-3 and the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:11), it must be viewed within the context of the entire Plan of Redemption. To take these Scriptures 'out of context' is to bring yourself into "bondage", declaring (by the emphasis you may place on a Seventh day Sabbath) that 'man was made for the Sabbath (rest) "instead" of the Sabbath (rest) for man'.

As we continue our study, we must remember that God in the Old Testament is revealing Himself in "Types" or "Shadows", pointing to the "real thing". The thing we need to enter into now is not the "shadow" but that which made the shadow. Please note again that the Word of God is a "Seed" planted. Out of that "Seed" will come forth the stem, the leaves, the bud and then the blossom . What stage of the Sabbath are you in?

Some want to keep the Revelation of the Sabbath as it was in "seed" form; Others want to keep the Sabbath as it was in the "stem, leaf or bud" form. But a few want to "enter into" (by a New Birth), the "Sabbath blossom", to 'experience' it's Eternal beauty and glorious "Rest".

The Bible goes on to say that God 'blessed' and 'sanctified' the Seventh day. He set it aside as a day of rest. But we must remember that all of Creation was "blessed" and "sanctified" because it came from the hand of God and was "set aside" for God's glory. All of creation, including the Seventh day Sabbath would serve "God's purpose", in "His" time and in "His" season.

When God put His Seal of approval on His "physical" creation, by blessing and sanctifying the Seventh Day, God's "Eternal" purpose went beyond "physical refreshment" for man's "physical" body. In our study of God's True Sabbath we must constantly look to God's Eternal or long-term "Purpose". We shall see that from the beginning, the keeping of a "physical" Seventh day Sabbath was never meant to be an end in itself.

It is Written...

To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Eccl. 3:1.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. Romans 8:28.

For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom. 9:11,13.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world..., Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself... Ephesians 1:4,5,9.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  Ephesians 3:11.

The Purpose of God is Eternal. In Eternity, before time began and before Heaven and earth and man were created, God had already conceived this purpose in His mind. The Bible tells us that God's works have been finished and completed, from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3). In His great Eternal Thoughts all things (from Genesis to Revelation) were rehearsed and finished. It needed only to be made manifest. In Genesis chapter 2 and 3 God "begins" to bring "His Thoughts" into manifestation - to reveal Himself, His Children, and His wonderful Plan.

God had a great purpose or plan in His mind when He placed "man" in the Garden of Eden; It was according to a Divine plan that "the woman" would be taken out of the man, instead of being included as an "original creation".

Even "the Serpent" would have a part to play in this plan. Like Pharaoh, the Serpent was raised up to serve God's purpose (Romans 9:17). To serve His purpose, God made the Serpent to be more cunning and more clever than all the beasts of the field. Then "Satan" himself was "permitted" into the Garden of Eden to fulfill his part in the plan.

Coming into the Garden of Eden, Satan used the Serpent to deceive the Woman, and in turn the woman, (did not deceive) but enticed the man; Lust had conceived and it brought forth Sin; and sin when it was finished brought forth Death. (James 1:15). Sin came into the world and defiled "all" of God's creation (including the Seventh day Sabbath). That which God looked on as being "good, very good, blessed and sanctified", was now polluted with sin and death, even murder. (Gen.3-4).

It's not that God 'ordained' this to happen, but He knew it would happen. It is written: "...I am God and there is none like me, Declaring the 'end' from the 'beginning', and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (Isaiah 46:9-10).

God "permitted" this desecration of His creation. But, now, in Love, He would manifest his attributes, and reveal Himself to man as Redeemer, Saviour, Healer, the Resurrection and the True Sabbath. It was "in God" to be all of these things, but if there was no one lost how could He manifest Himself as Redeemer and Saviour? If there were no sickness, how could He manifest Himself as the Healer? If there was no one laboring and burdened under the heavy load of sin, how could He manifest Himself as The Sabbath? If there was no death how could He manifest Himself as the Resurrection and Life?

Even "before" man fell in the Garden of Eden, God had already made provision for man's Redemption. In His great Eternal Thoughts, before the foundation of the world, the Lamb of God was slain (Rev.13:8), to atone for the sin of His Children and bring them "into" His Eternal Sabbath Rest.

In Genesis, the book of beginnings, we find the beginning of God's plan. And we see that, surely God had more in mind than man's physical refreshment when He "blessed" and "sanctified" the Seventh day. Like the Lamb "slain from the foundation of the world", it was to become a shadow pointing Man to Eternal Sabbath Rest in Christ.

The Sabbath
"FROM EDEN TO SINAI"
(Abrahamic Age)"

In this section we meet "Abraham" - the father of the Faithful. It's important that we get to know him, and the basis of His relationship with God, to determine whether or not the Seventh day Sabbath had anything to do with that relationship.

Both Jesus and Paul point us back to this man of Faith called Abraham, because the Basis of his relationship with God is also the Basis of our relationship with the Same God. Abraham's relationship with God was based solely on his "Faith". It is written that "Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness." (James 2:23) Whatever God told Abraham, he believed it. But there is no mention of God telling Abraham anything about a Seventh day Sabbath. His Faith was counted for righteousness.

I am not saying that Abraham didn't keep a Sabbath day. I am saying that God's covenant with Abraham was not based on the "keeping of a day", but on Abraham's "faith" - believing and acting on that which God had revealed to him in his day. "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Romans 4:23-25.

New Testament Believers, through "Faith" in Jesus Christ become the Spiritual Seed, sons and daughters of Abraham. As it was with Abraham, so is it with us, our relationship with God is based on an "Unconditional Faith Covenant". Our Faith is counted for righteousness. Abraham was asked to believe in a finished work (Genesis 17:4-5). The New Testament Believer is asked to believe in the Finished work of Calvary for our Salvation (John 19:30; Hebrews 12:2).

"For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to His seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Romans 4:13

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. ...That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:7,14

God is First and foremost, the God of Abraham. All through the New Testament, Abraham is exalted as the great example of faith for all believers to follow. I would encourage you to get your Bible and read what the New Testament has to say about Abraham and the spiritual seed of Abraham. Our Lord Jesus Christ was declared to be "the Son of David, the Son of Abraham". (Matt. 1:1).

The Sabbath
"
FROM EDEN TO SINAI"

Continued.....

During the long period from Eden to Sinai, no mention is made of the Seventh day Sabbath. Neither Abraham or any of the Patriarchs mentions it. They walked "by Faith", sanctifying 'every day' to follow after God. At no time does God give Abraham any instructions concerning a Seventh day Sabbath.

Therefore, God entered into an 'unconditional' covenant with Abraham, promising to make his "seed" as the stars (spiritual seed) of heaven (Genesis 15:5). And God gave Abraham "a sign" of that covenant - NOT the Seventh day Sabbath but "circumcision" (Genesis 17:9-10).

The "Sign" of circumcision was to Abraham "a Seal" of the righteousness of the Faith which he had. (Romans 4:11). The "SIGN" became the "SEAL". Of course, this "natural" circumcision was a "shadow" of the "spiritual" circumcision which the New Testament Believer would receive.

By Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we become the 'Spiritual' seed of Abraham, We also receive "a sign" as did Abraham. That sign is "circumcision" - not in the flesh, but in the heart, in the spirit. (Romans 2:28-29). This "sign" also becomes to us "a SEAL" of the righteousness of our Faith which we have in God. It is a circumcision in the spirit, BY the Spirit. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom ye are "Sealed" unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

Therefore the keeping of a Seventh day Sabbath (Saturday or Sunday) is not the "Seal of God". Nor is it the "test" of our loyalty to God.

After considering these few Scriptures, we are persuaded (by the Word of God) that only a false prophet would lead you to believe that the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath is the "Seal of God" or the "Test" of the New Testament Believers loyalty to God. Spiritual Circumcision, by the Holy Ghost is the "Sign", the "SEAL", and the "TEST" of the Believers genuine relationship with God. "Have you received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2). Do you have the "Sign" and the "Seal" that the world and the things of the world have been "circumcised" away from you? Not by a Seventh day Sabbath, BUT by the indwelling Presence of Christ.

"And ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power; In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ"Colossians 2:10-11.

Have you been "Sanctified" unto the Lord, a peculiar people? Sanctified through the hearing and receiving of the Word (John 17:17) ; And Made peculiar, not by the keeping of a certain day or a particular doctrine, but by your "separation" from the world (cosmos) unto the Lord (1st. John 2:15-16).

If indeed you are sanctified from the world and the things of the world you will ACT different (Philippians 1:27); you RE-ACT different (1st Cor. 13:1-7); you TALK different (1st. Peter 4:11, James 1:19); your DRESS-code is different (Deut. 22:5, 1st. Tim.2:9, 1st. Peter 3:3-4); your ATTITUDES, MOTIVES and OBJECTIVES in life are different (James 4:15, 1st. Cor. 13:5,. These things become "the Sign" of the righteousness of our Faith. It is not I that lives, but Christ that liveth in me (Gal.2:20).

Remember, if you still love and desire the world and the things of the world - it's sensual lust, it's beauty and it's ambitions - then you have yet to "enter into" God's True Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9).

But alas, the vast majority of those who observe the Saturday and Sunday Sabbath are walking after the world and the things of the world. "With their lips they draw near to God, but their hearts are far from Him." (Matt. 15:8). It can be said also of them as was said of Israel... "

"Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken theLORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting." Isaiah 1:4,13.

The righteousness they profess in the keeping of their Sabbath has become unrighteousness (Romans 2:25). These possess a "form of godliness" but deny the power of spiritual circumcision and the True Seal of God. (2nd. Tim. 3:5). But such was not the case with Abraham, for Abraham had found "his Sabbath rest" in God and God found "HIS Sabbath rest" in Abraham.

"Thus saith the Lord: the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made. ...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Word." Isaiah 66:1-2.

Jesus said:

"I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you..... At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. ...if a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our ABODE with him." John 14:18,20,23.

Paul said:

"Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1st. Cor. 3:16.

Now, God finds "His Sabbath Rest" in the Spiritual seed of Abraham.

Abraham found God to be his "satisfying portion" - even his Sabbath "rest". Every day was "Blessed" and "Sanctified" unto the Lord. He was instant 'in season' and 'out of season' with his worship and sacrifices. It wasn't restricted to one particular day, week or month. When God blessed him, Abraham built an altar immediately and worshiped, testifying of his spiritual "Sabbath rest" in God.

As Christians, our testimony and worship is 'in season' and 'out of season', [regardless of the day, week, month or year], assembling together and exhorting one another, not just once a week or one day a week, but MUCH MORE as we see the evil day upon us now (Hebrews 10:25).

God promised Abraham that he would inherit the land. Abraham asked "HOW" and by what means he would inherit it?" The Lord didn't point him to the Seventh day Sabbath. God pointed him to a sacrifice. (Genesis 15:7-18). So in this hour God doesn't point us to a Seventh day or First day Sabbath but He points us to our sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ. By Him and through Him we "enter into" and "remain in" God's true Sabbath rest.

One more thought before we leave this section - If the Lord fully intended for the "spiritual seed" of Abraham to observe a physical Seventh day Sabbath, He would have mentioned it somewhere in His Covenant with Abraham.

If the "keeping" of a Seventh day Sabbath was as " imperative", and as "all important" for the "Gentiles", as some would have us to believe, then God would have surely recorded it in the history of Abraham. Especially In light of the fact that God was showing in Abraham an example of faith for all generations to follow.

The Sabbath
"
FROM SINAI TO JESUS CHRIST"

From Eden no mention is made of the Seventh day Sabbath till after the Israelite exodus from Egypt. During their wilderness journey, at Mount Sinai, the Seventh day Sabbath was revealed to Israel and included in the Ten commandments. (Exodus 16:23; 20:8-11; Nehemiah 9:13-14;).

In the Wilderness God found most of the Israelites to be a people "in whom is no Faith" (Deut 32:20). They didn't believe in the promises of God as Abraham had believed. We will show by the Word that the Jews, by "the law" kept a seventh day Sabbath, but they were not able to "enter into" and "remain in" the True "Sabbath Rest" of God. Even after they entered the promised land, they still didn't find God's True Sabbath "Rest". Joshua couldn't give it to them. He could only point them to the "shadow" that God had given to Moses in the form of the fourth commandment.

Therefore God used the Law (including the fourth commandment) as a School-Master (tutors and governors) to bring the Children of Isreal to Christ - the Royal seed of Abraham. Abraham didn't need a School-Master, he believed God.

The School-Master, brought with it instructions concerning The Sabbath "REST" of God - the fourth commandment, pointing to the True Sabbath "rest" we would find in Jesus Christ. Abraham could see this. Jesus Said, "Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad". (John 8:56).

During the time of the wilderness journey, God established the Seventh day Sabbath as a "sign" between "Himself and Israel" (Ex.31:12-14) . It was to be (for Israel) a perpetual reminder of their separation unto the Lord.

"Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant.
It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed
"Exodus 31:16-17

Remember! The "Sign" which God gave Abraham was not a Seventh day Sabbath, but the "Sign" of Circumcision. WHY? It was circumcision which spoke of the righteousness of the Faith which had circumcised (cut off - separated) Abraham from all other peoples. Allow me to repeat: Our spiritual circumcision, by the Holy Ghost is the "sign" of our separation, from the world and the things of the world, unto the Lord.

Here is the command which God gave Israel as a "Sign" of the covenant between them....

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work.....
For [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.
"
Ex. 20:8-11.

According to the commandment, man was to work six days and "rest" on the Seventh day. BUT God's ultimate goal was to get man to cease, not from physical labor for one day, but to cease from our DEAD WORKS of self-righteousness and sin every day. The law could never bring us to that place. The law condemned us for doing wrong but it had no power to change our sinful nature or inward desires.

The Law commanded: Thou shalt not commit adultery! But it gave us no power over the temptation. The Law commanded: Remember the Seventh day to keep it holy! But it could not help us keep it holy. We were helpless. Our holiness and our righteousness (by the letter of the law) is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, God is calling us (in Christ), to a higher calling than a natural Seventh day Sabbath.

Only our Kinsmen Redeemer, Jesus Christ, could help us fulfill (not the letter) but the "spirit" and righteousness of the Law. In the shedding of His blood, the "life" of that blood (the Holy Spirit) comes back to the believer, changing his desires, causing him to cease from his/her dead works of self-righteousness and sin and enter into God's Eternal Sabbath "rest". (Acts 2:38-39; Eph. 2:1; 2nd. Cor. 5:17).

The Seventh day Sabbath was/is exclusively Israel's heritage, given under the law to the people of the law. It is first and foremost, given to the Jews, for the Jews (the children of Israel).

Therefore, from Sinai to Christ, God required "physical" circumcision and the keeping of a "natural" Seventh day Sabbath. During this period, God is dealing with the "natural" seed of Abraham, and not his "spiritual" seed. He had yet to deal with the "Gentiles" separately from the Jews. Gentiles converting to Judaism, were under obligation to observe physical circumcision and the keeping of the Seventh day Sabbath. But under Christianity there is no such obligation.

After the Mount Sinai experience the Lord endeavored to keep the Sabbath uppermost in the minds of the Jews because 'one day' God's True Sabbath would be made flesh and dwell among them and into 'this' Sabbath they would be called. God had promised a "New Covenant" built on better promises in Christ (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6-10) . This "New Covenant" would surpass the "old covenant" in that our righteousness would exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.

GOD'S TRUE SABBATH
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Indeed, God's True Sabbath was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, and the Jews rejected It (John 1:14). He came onto His own and they knew Him not. He was both "The Lord of the Sabbath" and "The Sabbath of the Lord". He was and is God's "Everlasting Sign" to His children; Not a Seventh day Sabbath BUT a Sabbath Rest in the Lord of the Sabbath, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have already found in our study that, in the New Testament , the emphasis is placed, NOT on "physical" circumcision BUT on "Spiritual" circumcision. We will also find that, in the New Testament, the emphasis is placed on the keeping of a "Spiritual" Sabbath rest in Christ, and NOT a physical Seventh day Sabbath.

The Bible says...

"At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight...

...Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you "rest". Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find "rest" unto your souls".
"
Matt. 11:26-26, 28-29.

Here, Jesus invites the Jews and all man kind to come and find their Sabbath "rest" in Him. But the Jews refused to accept or enter into God's True Sabbath in Christ. They refused to let go of the law concerning "natural" circumcision and the "natural" Seventh day Sabbath. Therefore, God turned from the Jews and began dealing with the Gentiles under the "New Covenant" in Christ, fulfilling the "times of the Gentiles". They would accept His New Spiritual circumcision and His New Spiritual Sabbath In Christ.

The Sabbath, as we know it from the New Testament, is not the keeping of a certain day. In fact no where in the New Testament, are we commanded to keep a Saturday or Sunday Sabbath. This is especially puzzling in light of the emphasis which Saturday Sabbath believers place on the observance of that day.

Our Lord Jesus Christ declared Himself to be "The Lord of the Sabbath". Not one time did He place emphasis on the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath. On the contrary, instead of pointing them to the Seventh day Sabbath, He pointed to Himself saying, "...come unto me and I will give you "rest.""

In His teachings Jesus was endeavoring to move them away from the emphasis they were placing on the Seventh day Sabbath and their claim to being Abraham's seed because of "physical" circumcision. Jesus would take circumcision and the Sabbath out of the "physical" realm and place it in a "spiritual" realm. He would ask us to remember and keep holy that Sabbath (rest) which is in honor of God's "New" Creation, by a New Birth. The Old Creation is under God's judgment and will pass away; BUT this New Creation is Eternal. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation." (Galatians 6;15).

The New Testament places "no emphasis" on the keeping of a Seventh day Sabbath, but it places tremendous emphasis on the "faith of Abraham", encouraging us to follow his example.

Take note that the teaching of the New Testament does not point the Gentile Believer to a Mount Sinai covenant but rather to the Faith covenant of Abraham. The Bible says that the covenant given from Mount Sinai gendereth to 'bondage', like one born of the bondwoman, born in sin. But we are the children of the freewoman as was Isaac, born according to the 'unconditional Grace covenant', born after the Spirit. I encourage you to read Galatians 4:22-31.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER.....
What is the "Seal" of God"?
What is the "Test" Commandment?
What is the "Greatest" Commandment?

Then the Scribes asked our Lord Jesus, "What is the great commandment in the law?" This is Jesus' answer: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This [is] the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40).

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus said, "THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THEN THESE." (Mark 12:31).

There is nothing said here about the fourth commandment being the 'greatest' commandment or the 'test' commandment. In the New Testament there is not even the hint of such an idea.

But, those who believe in a Saturday Sabbath will say, "Jesus kept the fourth commandment, seventh day, Saturday Sabbath." Of course! Jesus was born under the dispensation of the law and preached to a people who were also under that same dispensation. He would bridge the gap between Law and Grace. The Old Covenant would be ushered out by one who would perfectly meet all of it's requirements for the sons of God. In so doing He would usher in God's New Creation, with a spiritual Sabbath rest in Himself.

Jesus "did not destroy" the Law BUT He "Fulfilled" the Law, that we through His imputed righteousness, would attain to a higher righteousness than that of the Pharisees. "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:4). In the experience of the New Birth we become like our High Priest... "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment but after the power of an endless life." (Eternal Sabbath Rest" (Heb.7:15-16).

Our New Birth experience, in Christ, is the earnest (down-payment) of the promise of an Eternal Sabbath Rest, expecting to enter into the fullness of His Rest at the end of the ages. Speaking of God's Eternal Purpose in Christ, the Bible says, "..That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation; In whom also "AFTER" ye believed, ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of Promise, Who is the "earnest" of our inheritance..." (Ephesians1:9, 12-14). Notice again the True "Seal" of God.

Notice! The Scribes and Pharisees charged Jesus with "breaking" the Sabbath. He [Jesus] did not observe the Saturday Sabbath as the Scribes and Pharisees did, nor did Jesus observe it as God commanded in the Old Testament. It is written in the Old Testament that on the Sabbath day, no manner of work was to be done. Death was the penalty for disobedience (Exodus 20:10; 31:14-15). Indeed, One man was put to death (according to God's instructions) because he picked up sticks on the Sabbath day. (Numbers 15:32-35).

Again in the Old Testament, the Lord would let no Manna fall on the Sabbath day, to prevent the Children of Israel from gathering it up on that day. Yet Jesus permits His disciples to pick corn on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:1-2) . Surely the disciples (like the Hebrews in the wilderness) could have easily made 'preparation' before the Sabbath for something to eat. But Now, the Lord of the Sabbath had come and they were under His teaching and influence.

The Scriptures remind us that on another occasion, on the Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man and commanded him to 'take up his bed' and go home (John 5:5-10). This was completely contrary to the Old Testament commands of God. But Jesus was ushering in a "New" and "Better" Covenant established upon "Better" Promises. "But now hath He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a "Better Covenant", which was established upon "Better" Promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

The time had come to turn a corner and move from one dispensation to another. As always, it is hard to get the people to turn a corner. But the disciples were willing to turn this corner. Under Jesus ministry, their attitude toward the Seventh day Sabbath was changing.

Jesus was lifting the Sabbath out of the natural realm and placing it into the spiritual realm. Blinded to the Truth of what God was doing the Pharisees were offended. The keeping of the Seventh day Sabbath was a deed which made the Pharisees feel holy.

It's the same today - people feel a sense of holiness in keeping holy days such as Saturday, Sunday or so-called 'holy' seasons such as Christmas, Easter, etc.. But it's far from the holiness which God wants us to "enter into" . The keeping of days, weeks, months, or years will never produce His Holiness in us; Nor is the keeping of 'holy' days a "Sign" or "Seal" that we have attained to His Holiness.

God's own Holiness and Righteousness is imputed to us, not through the keeping of 'holy' days, but only by Faith, through a "New Birth" in Christ. Then 'every day' is lived Holy unto the Lord, believing and trusting God, living and walking in the Spirit. God is a Spirit. He moves in the realm of the Spirit; And they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

We have already shown that the "sign" of circumcision" which God gave Abraham, becomes "spiritual" circumcision for the Christian. Now we're seeing that the "Sign" of the Sabbath" which God gave to the Israelites in the Wilderness now becomes a "Spiritual" Sabbath for the Christian. Coming into Christ by a New, spiritual Birth, we enter into that Sabbath where there is neither "morning", nor "evening".

In His 'Sermon on the Mount', which included teaching on the importance of the Law, Jesus does not at any time mention anything about the fourth commandment. In their writings, the Saturday Sabbath keepers constantly extol the fourth commandment above all others. In their drawings the fourth commandment leaps from the page, declaring it to be greater than all others. It's just not Scriptural!

The rich young ruler asked Jesus, "what must I do to inherit Eternal Life?" Jesus answered, "Keep the commandments!" The rich young ruler replied, "Which commandments?" In answer to this question Jesus quoted six commandments, omitting any reference to the fourth. (Matthew 19:16-19). Again let me point out that "if" the fourth commandment was indeed the "test" commandment and the "seal" of God, Jesus would surely have mentioned it to the Rich Young Ruler and in His Sermon on the Mount.

Note also that of the six commandments Jesus mentioned, He quoted "five" directly from Exodus 20. The "sixth" is not mentioned in the "Ten Commandment Covenant" spoken on Mount Sinai. The "sixth" commandment on His list was "Thou Shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". In Matthew 22:36-40 (referenced above) Jesus referred to this as the "second" GREAT commandment. The first is to "Love the Lord our God with our entire beings".

In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul makes reference to the Ten Commandments, but, like Jesus, the Apostle Paul does not mention the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath day. He mentions five commandments and then seals his statement with these words... "and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Romans 13:9b) . Let's think again - IF the fourth commandment was so all inclusive why is it that neither Jesus, nor Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles mentions it. In fact, after mentioning the five "personal character" commandments, Paul said: "if there be any other commandment.....".

I say again, no where in the New Testament do we find pictures of the fourth commandment leaping from it's pages, declaring itself to be the "test" or "seal" of the Christians loyalty to our wonderful Almighty God. Such a teaching is a false representation of God's Word. Any man, woman or church group which leads individuals to think that they have to keep a "seventh-day Sabbath" is mis-representing our Lord Jesus and His Truth; and need to "Anoint their eyes with the eye salve of the Holy Spirit". I pray the Lord to give them eyes to see and ears to hear Truth.

CONCLUSION:
Old Testament Sabbath
Versus
The New Testament Sabbath

To conclude our discussion and further establish what we're saying about God's True Sabbath - The Sabbath of The Lord, let's turn in Our Bibles to Hebrews 4:1-11. This portion of Scripture is very important to our discussion.

The subject of this passage of Scripture is "rest". What does Sabbath mean? "Rest!" Here Paul speaks of the Old Testament Seventh day Sabbath "rest" versus the New Testament Sabbath Rest in Christ. Paul is here showing that the True Sabbath Rest which God intended for Israel was not a Seventh Day rest OR rest in Canaan, the Promised Land. These things were but "shadows" of His True Sabbath rest which He would give them in Christ.

In the New Testament the sun rises to high noon (in Christ) and the shadow(s) disappear. Now we see, not the Shadow, but the real Sabbath which was reflecting the Shadow. NOW, to abide in the Shadow is to have your light become darkness (Matt. 6:23b).

Let's seriously consider what Paul is saying here. In Verse 3 Paul says, "For we who have believed do enter into rest... " We enter into the keeping of God's True Sabbath (not by watching the calendar, or observing the sun), but by Faith accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord, Saviour and Sabbath Rest.

Notice verses 4 - 6, "For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works". (Here Paul begins to make a comparison between God's Seventh day "rest" in Genesis 2, with God's Sabbath "rest" in our Lord Jesus Christ.) "And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:"

The Hebrews in the wilderness entered not into the Promised Land because of unbelief. The Jews to whom the Gospel of Sabbath Rest was first preached , entered not, into this Sabbath because of unbelief. Rather than enter into, and keep God's true Sabbath In Christ, they preferred to keep the Seventh day Sabbath and remain in the "Shadow".

The Jews were blinded to the "New day" that God was bringing forth. Even to this present age, there is a veil over the eyes of the Jews, blinding them to the True Sabbath in Christ. But one day that veil will be taken away when God finishes with the Gentiles, and returns to the Jews again (2nd. Cor. 3:14-16).

Let's go back to Hebrews 4 again. The Bible says... "Again, he limited a certain day..." (A new "Today". Not yesterday - Saturday, or tomorrow - Sunday), but... "saying in David, TODAY, after so long a time, as it is said, TODAY if you will hear his Voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of ANOTHER DAY?"

Because, neither the Law nor Joshua could bring them into God's True Sabbath "rest", God spoke of "another day", not a Seventh day or a First day, but the DAY OF SALVATION. "Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in "A" DAY OF SALVATION have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give 'thee' for a covenant of the people", (not a seventh day, but Christ) "to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;" Isaiah 49:8.
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the DAY OF SALVATION have I succoured thee: behold, NOW [IS] the accepted time; behold, NOW [IS] the DAY OF SALVATION." 2nd.Cor. 6:2.

I say again, Because the Jews refused this "New Day", "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." (verse 9). The Jews and many Gentiles still Keep the Saturday Sabbath, BUT they know not "the Sabbath of the Lord". There yet remains for them the keeping of God's true Sabbath. "They" cease from physical labor one day a week, but continue in their works of unbelief, walking contrary to the righteousness of the Word.

The Bible says...

"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, "as" God [did] from his." Hebrews 4:10.

Remember, this portion of Scripture is speaking of entering into God's Sabbath Rest. Go back and read verses 4 and 5 again. Don't forget that the "Rest" which God entered into (Genesis 2) was not physical rest from labor. It was Eternal, Spiritual "Rest".

Notice again, in Genesis 2 there is neither "evening" nor "morning" to this "rest". This "rest" they could not enter into by the law of a fourth commandment; nor could they enter into it by entering into the natural Promised Land of Canaan. This "True Sabbath Rest" is found only, by Faith, in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice verse 10 again... "For he that is "entered into" his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his." "This "entering in" is not only "entering in", but "remaining in", the rest. It is an Eternal rest of which the seventh day is but a type. In Scripture the number seven represents 'completion'; but Jesus rose on the first day of the week, giving us Eternal Life and Eternal Sabbath rest.

Thus we see why God could not give us any one certain day of the week as a Sabbath (rest). We've 'entered into' and do 'remain in' our rest. This, Israel could not do having only a shadow of the true substance which we enjoy.

Did you notice that the Believer who enters into God's Sabbath Rest, ceases from "his Own works" as God did from His? God ceased from His own works and entered into Eternal Sabbath rest. The New Testament Believer ceases from "his own" dead works of self-righteousness and sin, and enters into God's Eternal Sabbath "rest" in Christ (Matthew 11:28-29). The New Testament Believer ceases from trying to establish "his own" righteousness and submits himself to the righteousness and "Sabbath rest" of God. (Note: Romans 10:3 - 13).

God Himself swore that the "unbelieving and disobedient" would not be able to enter into "His Rest" (Hebrews 3:11; 4:3-12). Many will try to enter "His Sabbath Rest" by keeping a day, as do the Jews and some Gentiles today, but they still fall short of The Sabbath of the Lord (Matthew 7:13-14). There yet remains for them the keeping of God's True Sabbath (Heb. 4:6,9).

The Bible says in Isaiah 28:8-12...

"For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

For precept must be upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little; For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.

To whom He said, THIS IS THE REST wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing : yet they would not hear.
"

Have you experienced the "rest" and "refreshing" found in God's True Sabbath? If you will allow Him, the Lord Jesus will, through Acts 2:37-39 guide you into His Sabbath Rest. Act on the instructions given to those first believers and you too shall receive the "Gift of God's Sabbath Rest".

Here in Isaiah (quoted above), 700 years before it came to pass, God prophesied of His coming "New Sabbath"; Not "a" day (evening and morning), but an experience in Christ, through the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

On the Day of Pentecost (the first day of the week - Sunday), 700 years after the prophecy, God manifested His True Sabbath. Thus when they were filled with the Holy Ghost they ceased from their worldly works, their worldly doings, their evil ways, and ceased trying to establish their own righteousness. The Holy Spirit took control of their lives. They entered into "rest".

There is your "rest". That is your Sabbath. It is you ceasing, and God, through the Holy Spirit, doing. It is God in you willing and doing of His good pleasure. Blessed indeed is the man and woman who can "remember this Sabbath and keep it holy" every day.

Truly, As a New Creature in Christ Jesus, it is not I who keeps the Sabbath, but the Sabbath keeps me. It isn't keeping Sunday or keeping Saturday, it's entering into and remaining in Christ everyday. Worship on Sunday serves only as a "a memorial" of the resurrection and of the Sabbath Rest we have found in Christ.

Therefore, those who observe a Saturday Sabbath, are actually "in their works" denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "This is indeed a hard saying. Who can receive it?" (John 6:53-60). The Scribes and Pharisees considered many of the sayings of Jesus to be very hard. He stood firmly against them, calling them liars, hypocrites and sons of the Devil. It was indeed hard and strong words, but Jesus spoke the Truth.

In the story of Ruth in the Old Testament we find a type of our Sabbath Rest in Christ. There were three phases to Ruth's "acceptance" into the Land of Israel: 1. Ruth deciding to go with Naomi, accepting Naomi's people and God as her own; 2. Ruth resting "after" she had cast herself at the feet of Naomi's "kinsman redeemer", Boaz; then, 3. Ruth was rewarded. We also must make a decision to accept Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, cast ourselves at His feet and "rest" in His promise of Redemption; and then He rewards His children.

Looking back into history, present day Saturday Sabbath keepers feel that some early church preachers took a very strong stand against those who observed a Saturday Sabbath. One can't deny that 'some' (not all) of these brethren were perhaps 'over-zealous', but that doesn't change the actual facts presented by the early church historians. Therefore, I ask for your grace and patience to continue with me to the end of this study.

Before we consider the "Witness Of History", allow me to present another Scripture which will help shed more Light on what we're discussing. Our discussion is not 'new' - it's as old as the "Christian" Church. Paul had to settle a dispute in the Church in Rome regarding the "Old Testament" dietary laws and the keeping of certain days. Regarding the keeping of certain days he said:

"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5

Paul is showing that our relationship with God isn't based on the configuration of the sun and the moon and the earth - It's based on a "living, personal" experience with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of the Law.

The Witness Of History.......

Bible history is witness of the fact that the early Christians were not bound to 'one' day for worship. They went from house to house daily, hearing the Word preached, rejoicing, testifying and praising God (Acts 2:46).

It is true also that early church historians testify of the fact that the early Christians, after the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, after the church had been set in order, gathered on the first day of the week, Sunday. The difference between the Christian Jew and the Orthodox Jew was their day of worship. The Christian Jew gathered for worship on Sunday and the Orthodox Jew gathered on Saturday. One "acknowledged" the resurrection and the other "denied" the resurrection.

Did The Roman Catholic Church CHANGE The Christian Day Of Worship From Saturday To Sunday?

Both the Saturday Sabbath keepers and the Roman Catholic church would like us to believe that, BUT it's not so! The Saturday Sabbath keepers are obligated to believe this idea in order to backup their claim that the keeping of Sunday is the "Mark of the Beast". The "Mark of the Beast" is "unbelief" in the "whole" Word of God.

The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH And SUNDAY

The Catholic church, attempting to control all areas of religion, began to rule by "LAW" through the leadership of man, instead of by "GRACE" through the leadership of the Holy Ghost. Therefore (like the fourth commandment for Saturday), they established by a 'church law' Sunday as a Sabbath day, a holy day.

The early Christians were "already" gathering on Sunday - not by decree, but by the Holy Spirit. On Sunday the first day of the week, they gathered to offer their "wave offering" of worship unto the Lord. To them it was a day to remember the wonders of God's New Creation. The Roman Catholic church made it a day of ritual and ceremony. This was just part of the greater move by the Catholic church to "organize" Christianity and gain a monopoly on the Christian Faith.

Ques: Is there a Scripture telling us and authorizing us to keep Sunday just like the Jews kept Saturday?

Ans: No, sir, there is not a Scripture in the New Testament, for us to keep either Saturday or Sunday. But the reason we keep Sunday, is that it is a memorial of the resurrection. Remember also that in the Old Testament, the "wave offering" was offered on Sunday, the first day of the week. Christ our "wave offering" was offered in Resurrection Power on Sunday.

Every religion, including Christianity has it's special days. But in his Epistle to the Colossians Paul warns the Christian not to be deceived into observing the Jewish laws pertaining to meat, drink, holy days, new moons, or Sabbath days (annual, monthly or weekly).

As we have already pointed out, in Christianity some people keep a Saturday Sabbath. Others make Sunday an idol, a worship day. But, according to Scripture the Christian is under no "obligation" to keep one day "special" above another. For the Christian who is walking in the Spirit, and living in the Spirit, every day is "Holy Unto the Lord".

Before bringing this study to a conclusion I would like to briefly mention two other thoughts which may be lingering in the minds of the people.....

The SABBATH And The LORD'S DAY

Revelation 1:10 states that, "John was in the spirit on the Lord's day". First of all some call the Lord's Day, the Sabbath Day, which to them is Saturday. Then there are others who call the Lord's Day, Sunday, the first day of the week. But how could it be either of these days, or even the two put together, for John was "in the Spirit" receiving those visions for a period of two years?

It was "by inspiration" that John came to be "in the Lord's Day, "He was "caught up" in the Spirit and transported into the Lord's Day, which is yet to come. Being caught into that Day of the Lord, John looked 'back' over the things that 'were' and the things that 'would be' in the earth (Rev. 1:19). Paul, in 1st. Thess. 5:2 and 2nd Thess. 2:2 also speaks of the "Day of the Lord".

Therefore, the Lord's Day, Rev. 1:10, or "the Day of the Lord" isn't Sunday or Saturday, but rather it is the Day of God's manifested Judgment on the world. Being caught into that Day and seeing the Judgments of God, John declared, "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20).

The SABBATH And The MILLENNIUM

Of course the Millennium refers to the reign of a thousand years of peace. After thousands of years of sin, war and turmoil there is to come a Sabbath of peace. Those who observe the Saturday Sabbath feel strongly that the Millennium is solid proof that the Christian should still be observing Saturday as the Sabbath. But as it was in Jesus' day so is it today, the people are in error, not knowing the Scriptures or the Power of God.

We must again remember that in the "plan of Redemption" God deals separately with the Jew (Israelites - Abraham's natural seed) and Gentile. In dealing with the Jew, God has allotted a "space of time" (Daniel 9); But in dealing with the Gentiles He just speaks of "the times of the Gentiles".

Therefore in considering the Sabbath versus the Millennium, we must remember that the Saturday Sabbath was given to the People of Israel as a "sign" or "token" of the covenant between "them" and Jehovah. It was given to a people who were "all" in one place at one time, so they could all keep a certain day. But in due time, the Lord scattered Israel over all the face of the earth. BUT not without a hope. The Lord promised Israel a "restoration" with power and glory.

In this age God has gathered the People of Israel back into one place again. Now He will fulfill His promise and restore the nation of Israel to a position of power and glory in a Thousand Year Sabbath, reign of peace. In this Millennium, Israel will be the nation. Our Lord Jesus Christ will reign as "Son of David", in the throne (position) of David. Of course His Gentile Bride will be with Him. According to the promise of Rev. 3:21, the Gentile Bride of Christ will sit with Him in His Throne (position of authority). In the Millennium, the Bride lives and moves in the Eternal Sabbath Rest of her Bridegroom. When the Millennium has passed she remains in His Sabbath Rest.

Conclusion.......

For all of His New Creatures who have "entered into" and "remain in" His True Sabbath, God has promised a "New" Heaven and a "New" Earth.

"Then, said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."Heb.10:9.

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For we which have believed do enter into rest...

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief
".
Heb. 4:1,3,11.

May we by Faith, every day, enter more fully into "this" Sabbath of the Lord, till Faith becomes sight and we come to complete Rest in God's Eternal Sabbath with our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God bless you with His Sabbath Rest!

For FREE Copy of the Booklet "God's True Sabbath" Contact us:

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[Bible Believer's Logo]
Bible Believers Association, Inc
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Paradise, Newfoundland
Canada A1L 3K8

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info@williambranhamhomepage.org

Presenting the Ministry and Message of Malachi 4:5-6. The promised prophet of Malachi 4, with the Pillar of Fire vindication (Exodus 13:21), has sounded forth his Message in this Age. The Son of Man has been Revealed (Luke 17:30). The Seventh Angel has finished the Mystery of God (Revelation 10:7).

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