The Rest, or SOME SABBATH SENSE

There is a rest for the people of God and there are conditions attached to this rest. We call this a spiritual rest, still this rest depends on our being obedient.

The children of Israel failed to enter into a gospel rest, yet they religiously observed the Sabbath every seventh day.

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 7. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15. While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

There were some Israelites who obeyed God.

17. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 4:1. 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.

It is possible for us to miss out on the rest of God. How? Through disobedience.

2. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4. 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. 5. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7. Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

If we cease from trying to do it our way; trying to earn salvation through dead works, then we too can enter this rest.

Note, there is labor involved in this rest.

We must be obedient to his commandments and yes, we have works of righteousness to do.

 

12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

We can come to Christ and receive help. However, we are to hold fast, we are to obey him. We have a rest day to observe and in doing so we are more able to hold fast our profession.

There are many good reasons for the continuation and observance of the Sabbath and I would like to explore some of them here. I will show some of the obvious reasons, some implied reasons and some sensible, yet more obscure reasons for the Sabbath.

I will also show some of the benefits that I believe can be rightly attributed to that observance, though the connection is very seldom made.

1. God instituted the seventh day rest and sanctified it in the beginning. Gen. 2: 2 & 3.

2. The Bible in relating the account of the flood tells of how Noah waited for periods of seven days each, several times. Gen. 8: 10 - 12.

3. Jacob took Leah unto himself for a week before he took Rachel. Gen. 29: 27 & 28.

4. When the Passover was instituted in Exodus 12, they were instructed to observe it for seven days.

These seven day periods, or weeks, are proof that the seven day week was observed, before the Sabbath command was given.

5. In Exodus 16, God provides the Israelites with bread every day and used it as a test to see if they would obey his law; for they were told not to gather manna on the seventh day. He told them that it was to be the rest of the Holy Sabbath.

So the people rested on the Sabbath day. They ate this manna for forty years and gathered enough on the sixth day to last over the seventh.

Moses, here, refers to the Sabbath as being in existence before the Ten Commandments, were given to him.

The above scriptures show there was a sabbath during the time of Abraham.

So, it was in effect before the law and is therefore of grace.

6. Ancient history verifies the observance of weeks made up of seven to ten days of which the seventh day was sometimes reserved for religious observance by the jews - but not always by them or by other nations.

The domesticated animals were also to be given this period of rest. Exod. 20: 10 & 11.

God rested and was refreshed on the seventh day of creation. Exod. 31: 13 - 17. and it is a sign between him and the children of Israel forever.

Are we, spiritual Israel?

Have we protected this sign or have we violated it?

7. In giving instructions about the Sabbath observance God instituted it as a day for receiving knowledge about him.

The Sabbath makes it possible for the knowledge of him to be passed from generation to generation.

God incorporated it into the law so this day would be preserved for worship and learning.

The law was to be taught consistently to following generations and the law of the Sabbath made this possible.

The law was also to be taught daily to the children, by their parents.

We know that very few, if any of the common people had the law in written form. We also know by experience that people need to be reminded and taught by the more learned students or the qualified teachers.

This is so the knowledge of the word will be presented in its proper contextual form.

Every one is not a God called teacher.

8. Jesus and the Apostles taught on the Sabbath day. This was a continuation and a proof of one of the basic reasons for its institution.

Note, relative to the observance of the Sabbath, the apostles gave no commandment to do otherwise. They were accused of doing away with the law and denied it. Do we also accuse them of that same thing?

The intent of the law was to set aside one out of every seven days for a holy day of rest and meditation. The observance of the first day of the week is in keeping with the spirit and intent of that law.

The keeping of one day a week (Sunday), as a day of rest is now almost a universal custom.

9. People can be taught on any day of the week. But as a matter of governmental necessity and efficiency, all people need to agree on one certain day.

God did this for us by giving us the Sabbath commandment.

Luke 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV)

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (KJV)

John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? (KJV)

Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

This man wanted to know which ones he was to keep.

The Pharisees had all kinds of ceremonial laws they held were as important as the Ten Commandments. Jesus was not supposed to heal on the Sabbath according to them yet, they were known for cheating on their wives. Jesus in answering this man referred to the Ten Commandments. Many people try to use this as proof that the Sabbath was not part of Christ's Law of love. However, he is, in essence, pointing to all Ten in this reference and pointing away from the nonsense of the Pharisees. He refers to the moral part of the law and does not invoke any ceremonial law.

Matt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (KJV)

We are to obey as he obeyed. What were the Commandments of His Father?

1 Cor 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. (NIV)

What are God's Commands? Which God? Are there more then one God?

I Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Jesus is speaking here and he says he is the Alpha and Omega, etc. He is God, in other words.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Here Jesus refers to God and says blessed are they who keep his commandments. The Ten Commandments are part of the Moral Law of God. This includes the Sabbath or the observance of one rest day out of every seven days.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

This verse affirms that it is Jesus who is talking. There is a oneness in God. The Laws of Moses relative to Moral Law are the Law of God and his Christ.

When we say that any one of the Ten Commandments are not part of the Commandments of Christ we are saying that God changes and so does moral law. Christ was God and the Law of God is forever settled in heaven. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever.

The above statements and scriptures refer to both the clear stated thoughts and some of the implications that the Bible relates to us on this doctrine.

Now let us use logic and add to the above by observing common nature . Note, some of these points are often overlooked.

Because of disobedience, to the Sabbath Commandment, there are adverse things happening to us. But before I get into this I want to point out that the observance of the Sabbath day is never to be a threat to the welfare of society.

The essential needs of life are not to be neglected on the Sabbath.

When obeying the Sabbath laws, we are not to be abstaining from doing anything that is essential.

Ambulance drivers, policemen, Doctors on duty, nurses, preachers, people who are employed to keep utilities in operation and the like are doing jobs that are essential. If they did not do their jobs lives would be lost. Because of this, they are excused from being assembled on the Sabbath.

However these workers are to have their Sabbath on another day and they should be relieved from always being on a prolonged or continual weekend work schedule.

The priests were free to prepare the sabbath sacrifices and do other menial tasks around the temple. They were busy doing what had to be done on that day.

Animals are to be fed and watered, the sick are to be nursed, the invalid is to be helped and those that need transportation are to be taken care of.

All of these things are in keeping with the proper observance of the sabbath.

The New Testament tells us that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is.

Local churches are losing their ability to preach the convicting powerful word of God in its purity, for if they do they tend to lose their congregation.

One of the reasons for this is because there is not enough time in the services for the reading and thorough, exhaustive teaching of the Bible.

The Bible teaches that the teaching of the Word of God is to be a number one priority.

 

Paul told Timothy- First Tim. 4: 13.

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

 

II Timothy 2: 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 4:1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4. And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

(There are many other scriptures on this subject).

Now to obey these admonitions efficiently the people must be assembled and taught; so the Sabbath needs to be observed.

 

To reduce stress.

It is becoming more and more obvious that we are having problems due to stress.

For example, we have pollution of the air, because of the continual day in day out operation of vehicles and other industries. We could reduce pollution significantly if we shut down the major portion of these polluters for just one day each week. This would allow the natural cleansing processes of the environment to do some catching up every week. This would give us fifty two days of reduced pollutant output per year.

There are millions of unnecessary miles put on vehicles.

There is also the stress on our bodies which is augmented by both the air pollution and the lack of periodical restful quiet times.

Some think that Alzheimer disease might be stress related. It is known that stress weakens our bodies and makes us more susceptible to sickness.

Our ability to be so mobile has produced a habitual frenetic and subjectively motivated, demanding addiction to unnecessary travel.

Our communities and churches are weakened because we have the ability to travel to the other side of town to church. We are often taking part in functions that keep us involved and separated, from our neighbors, fellow church brethren, and even our immediate family members. Submitting to the Sabbath would mean the enhancement of the around the home, the local community and the local church relationships.

The quality of these relationships would be deepened and improved by restricting our mobility on one day out of the week.

The families, communities and churches would become stronger due to the greater amount of time we would spend together.

Jesus said, the Sabbath was made for man. Are we now some different kind of an animal since we have been born from above?

The family is under attack by many devious forces.

Fifty percent of all christian marriages end up divorced. God created marriage and one of his first commands was for us to reproduce.

The world says that we should have very few children, if any. That in most cases we need divorce, so we can be happy. That our careers are to be put before a family. Who are we believing?

Forty three percent of Christian teenagers admit to having sex before they graduate from High School.

The disintegration of the home, the lack of a close family, is causing these children to look for love through a sexual encounter. Or they are being drawn to someone other then their parents because no one spends time with them. There is too often no meaningful relationships between family members. The traditional family has lost its roots, and its heritage.

Homosexuals who prey on children, say openly that they succeed because they provide a loving relationship for children that they do not find at home.

The youth gangs also give children a sense of belonging; a comradery that they should have found at home.

The following scriptures reveal the proper perspective we should have relative to children.

When we accept their message and live accordingly we are eating at the masters crib. We are also forsaking our own empty life style and are entering into a spiritual sabbath rest.

Ps alms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.

Ps alms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalms 128:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

Deuteronmy 7:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: 13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.

Matthew 18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.)

Mark 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Luke 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

 

The home is to have a goal, a purpose, a personality, a heritage to pass on. It is a place where everyone is to feel wanted, challenged, needed, disciplined and built up.

The Sabbath is both the theme and the high day of the week.

If we will be careful to observe a Sabbath we will find that our distant family members will be drawn closer to each other. This happens because of the conscientious time limits placed on travel.

Now when things do not go right around us, we do not stand up and persevere in our convictions or cry out to God. Instead, we just move to another church.

With a sensible Sabbath, extra time would have to be set aside whenever we planned to be with those relatives who live at any great distance. This would mean fewer visits, but the quality of those visits would be enhanced. There would have to be better planning and this would mean more complete and involved correspondence before the visit. The visit would not be as distracted by things that are not essential to the stay. This would mean, there would be a lot more time spent in actual visiting.

This would also make for better church attendance on the Sabbath. There would be far less competition from ball games or other subjective activities. We would learn to enjoy each other as individuals, know each others dreams and needs and rub off some of the humps and bumps of our contrary peculiarities. We all have some.

We are to know those that labor among us in the Lord and this is not all that easy when we have not even become acquainted with our neighbors, on a first name basis.

We now walk into relationships in just a few minutes and walk away from them in a few months. We do not really know each other; for there has been no quality time involved.

Preachers are elected to pastor churches where they are not known. In some cases they end up leaving their family there, after they leave with the piano player. They may have been recommended highly by someone who had only known them superficially. This came about because there was no quality time involved in their acquaintance.

The term quality time as I use it here does not involve time spent around a T.V. watching a ball game or time spent involved in games of leisure, such as cards or table tennis. Games and entertainment are good places to hide your convictions or lack of them. This is because in these situations the subjective pleasures involved protects you from having to be yourself.

The ability to handle a game in good taste, win or lose, does not prepare us to engage in meaningful relationships in the real world?

Games are fantasies, they are the concoctions of a mind which is bent on pleasing the flesh through some tantalizing fun time exploit.

Games involve some sort of competition, which accomplishes nothing other then to build up pride or produce tantalizing, worthless time consuming entertainment.

Objective conversations are rare during games.

Games and sports are a pastime and they are the ultimate devices to use for burning time, while producing no worthwhile lasting results.

There are many other Christ like activities that are good in producing substantial results.

What did Christ and the Apostles involve themselves with while they were resting?

We would do well to mimic their ways and challenge ourselves into making the Sabbath a delight.

Our nation is taken with sports, much like the addicted gambler is taken with games of chance.

The education system is compromising the black youths for their athletic ability, while many church people practically swoon with pleasure over their athletic prowess. The church leaders are not saying anything about the nakedness of our girl athletes. Or the outright pressure sales of life threatening substances or the projecting of the frivolous life styles, which are aimed at the young, by the sponsors of these events.

There is already warfare in the ghettoes by youths who are looking for that easy way to get pleasure.

By forcefully robbing, raping and murdering, they receive the same fantasy, or rush of feeling (of being somebody), that the star athletes get out on the field when they win a big game.

The Sabbath is not a fantasy dependent past time, it is a time of regeneration, of both the flesh and spirit.

Churches are more and more becoming involved with subjective based results and many are closing down their own services, periodically, so they can be where the action is. The continuity and strength of the local churches are under attack by their own leaders and members.

They abandon their own assembly, as they flock out to see people perform at other locations; yet they do not know these performers, except by reputation. Many more people are going to be hurt as time passes because they do not know who their leaders are.

More of those leaders that teach people to rely on technique and do themselves rely on methods, will by their actions show their true heart.

But only after they have put in years of dividing small congregations into smaller and smaller units, as they knowingly or unwittingly build the bigger churches.

This happens with the cooperation of the pastors of the smaller churches, for they too get a short fix when they go where the action is.

The Sabbath would tend to control this erosion by limiting the exposure of the local churches to the unknown opportunity takers. The visiting minister would often be in the home of local people during his stay. This would because motels would not be that convenient in many places. They would be eating with the pastor or the members. People would go back to having others stay with them on Sunday.

The meals would be simple and prepared ahead of time, giving more time for fellowship.

The body of Christ would become strong, as people made the Lord the central theme of their Sunday conversations; rather then relying on the boob tube.

The main reason that the Sabbath would strengthen the local church would be because of the greater in depth study of the Word of God. This would result because of the efficiency produced by having the greater percentage of Christians together at one place and at one time. The word would cause the people to have better discernment as to what the will of God is. Objective in depth conversations would be a spontaneous result of in depth Bible study. The wisdom of God does not promote fantasies. People would be more apt to assume responsibility for the direction of their families their Church and their communities.

Stress is killing people all around us and the Sabbath is a healing balm for stress.

Our consciences are eating us up with condemnation and depression because of fear. We use mind science techniques to mask our inner turmoil.

We just need to obey God, for to obey him is right and just and obedience brings deliverance.

We need the Sabbath.

Too many Christians and their leaders are making judgment calls on the commandments of God based on how they feel about obeying them. Or on interpretations of the scripture that are done by taking them out of context.

The observance of the Sabbath is not always that convenient and it requires that we make preparations ahead of time. Because of this and due to error in our doctrine we consider this observance to be legalistic.

Jesus was against the worship of the Sabbath. but he did worship on the Sabbath.

He also enjoined us to obey the law, which includes the observance of the Sabbath. Matthew chapters 5, 6 & 7. He wanted us to do this because of the benefits we receive and because we must be obedient to our savior.

I have written more about the scriptural basis for the Sabbath observance and obedience to moral law in the article called - The Reality Of Righteousness. In that article I try to show how that we have allowed erroneous and unwise interpretations of the writings of Paul to create confusion.

God told the people in the Old Testament that they had hewn out broken cisterns to put their water in. That they were like dumb oxen that did not recognize their masters crib. So it is with us today. God has given us directions that will bless us if we will just observe them. Instead we have went about our own ways and so have through disobedience failed to eat at his manger and have went without good water.

We cannot enter into his Sabbath rest as long as we keep doing it our way. His Sabbath rest only comes through obedience. Hebrews 3 & 4.

As it has been said down through time," as the Sabbath goes so goes the nation.

Can we hear?

To - It's a lie!  A lie is a lie, Is A LIE!  ("New" Dealing with the power of Words.)

to - Sabbath Jesus' way

Demonizing Sunday - why?

To a List of Links to Articles on Bible Translations and more on the Sabbath Issue.

You do not attend Church!! ??

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