What matters is the reason God set the observation known as the Sabbath or Shabbat; the DAY of rest from labor. It is to bring the Jews and Christians into the Faith of His Kingdom. So often we want God to come down into our church building but rarely or never to ascend us into His Throne Room as stated; “Come boldly into His (God’s) Throne Room of Grace” - Heb. 4:16. God’s reason for the Sabbath DAY is clearly to rest and keep the Body of Christ, Holy onto Him. To stop laboring by our own flesh and to rely on Him by the Spirit as stated; “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (relying on oneself)” - Heb. 4:11.
To live for the Sabbath or have the Sabbath to live is the question! God gave everything Adam would need. He prepared utopia before Adam was created thereby allowing him to be at rest and not have the fear of labor. A preemptive preparation to support his Faith for his ministry into the outside world of desolation. But then the fall happened by him putting his paradise; his rest in the hands of satan who kills, steals and destroys. Jesus may have restored the access to that rest but He did not reestablish Eden. Why? Because God’s plan for the fallen man who is now restored is to have authority and dominion over satan who corrupted the law’s original intent with pride. By this; we of the Body are now; “lord (heir) over the Sabbath (the rest)”; affirming the restored authority for its purpose. And because God’s end is about justice; we are called to be His adjudicators.
Another consideration in not making one particular day of observation and honoring God’s handiwork is really to acknowledge who God is which is to place Him above such human novelty when it comes to His Kingdom and Throne. God doesn't want our conformity to a set of rules but our conviction of who He is and what He is to us. Which is a living source of goodness and Righteousness. Not just another mundane deity demanding worship and idolization. No! God wants to be unique and special to His followers; His family. To be seen and be captivated as stated; “For You, Lord (God), is high (supernatural) above all the Earth (creation); You are exalted far (beyond reach) above all (false) gods” - Ps. 97:9. Remember; with our God it is about relationship not submissiveness as stated; “To do Righteousness and justice is more acceptable (pleasing) to the Lord (God) than sacrifice” - Prov. 21:3.
That to be in His family is not the occasional visit as you would with your relatives on Thanksgiving Day but a daily correspondence of conversations, admirations and concerns about each other's desires as stated; “Come, let us (God and you) reason” - Is. 1:8. This is played out Biblically with Abraham as God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. A foreshadow of the Sabbath and for that matter the Tabernacle. Where God literally communes directly face to face with man. He made the Sabbath DAY; the time that God is present with man which has more meaning spiritually as well has more benefit for the flesh; as the perfect time for the Sabbath; as derived from the Biblical interpretation of the number seven meaning perfection of time, effort and design. By this, the perfect time is not a day we set aside in compliance but as an embodiment which for the Christian ought to be everyday of all time; resulting in a more and stable interpretation of observing the Sabbath as we observe, honor and receive God, His Kingdom and His ways in all days of each week; for the time given to us before final judgment! For there will not be a day but a continuous celebration of Sabbath in the New Jerusalem or for that matter Heaven because sin and unrighteousness has been put away thereby abating the given laws and commandments as foreshadowed by John; a continuous proclamation exclamation as stated; “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the Glory and the Honor and the Power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being” - Rev. 4:7-11. That is the worship, honor, and reverence of and to God during Sabbath for the eternity of time. Time for God that is relative to our time as stated; "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" - 2 Pet. 3:8.
May 12, 2020.
THE LORD'S DAY.
It is mind-boggling when often, Christians debate, argue and condemn other Christians on what is the actual Sabbath Day when God did not state an actual day as stated; "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 blessed and sanctified the Day)” - Gen. 2:2-3. Who made Sunday or Monday the first day of the week? Traditionally by the Jews, the Sabbath has been observed weekly starting at sunset, on the Friday and ending the Saturday at sunset. Yet; God's requirement for the seventh day is just a day and not a weekly event and the title Sabbath meaning rest is first recorded prior to the Ten Commandments. Then there are the High Sabbaths that celebrate the seven annual (yearly) festivals on different dates year after year. Is there a difference to these weekly to yearly; and the Day of Sabbath? It is also more troubling that some Christian denominations make this a key to one’s Salvation as if by their own work they will be awarded a place in Heaven. When will the Body of Christ cease from being the law and be Christ; not only to the world but to each other!
Lastly; consider who set the work week? Certainly not God who proclaims as stated; “He will supply all your needs (by Faith and not by fear)” - Phil. 4:19. Now; to be clear we are partakers so therefore we do our part in ‘tilling the soil’ as it were, to receive the benefits of sowing for the reaping. But by today’s work standards; many do not have the luxury of not working on either the Saturday or the Sunday or during the hours of traditional Sabbath days of observation. These individuals could include essential and emergence workers who often have shift hours that change week to week. Are they then unrighteous or do they get a special dispensation from God? Not really as stated; “God is not a respecter of anyone” - Rm. 2:11. God judges everyone according to their circumstances, decisions and heart. This is why He is justified in all His judgments and sentencing. And why the retribution of the law is under God’s Grace and as stated; “For by Grace are you saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves; (for) it is the gift of God; not of (our) works (labor), lest any man should boast; (and) we are His workmanship (God’s labor), created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained (your purpose) that we should walk in them” - Eph. 2:8. So in reality and in Spiritual observation of which the Sabbath is; any day or time of the week that is dedicated to God is the Sabbath DAY!
Regardless of a Saturday or Sunday; the Sabbath is about resting and honoring God’s work, Throne, and Kingdom. The Christian does not need a set time to do this but by the mind of an heir that of Christ, he governs by the Kingdom’s attributes he has been given. So by religion, he observes the Sabbath traditionally on a Sunday or a Saturday but as life gets in the way; he is able to equally do the same on any other day of the week. Because Kingdom business is not linear but as the Spirit dictates. The Sabbath was not just set up for God but by His decree; we observe it for the Blessing to be poured out for our benefit. For as stated; “God inhabits our Praises'' - Ps. 22:3. And if He is present so is His desire to have us in peace and prosperity as He did in the Garden which is not just for a day but for every day that as stated; “we seek His Kingdom and all will be added on to us” - Matt. 6:33. After all; as John stated; “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” - Rev. 1:10; or rather in the Lord’s Time.
Flush it Out. - We rest in the Lord everyday.
It is the highest form of honoring and keeping you Sanctified for God, who is the Sabbath. That in God; there is rest from labor (fear) as stated; “And Abraham called the name of that place (his son’s sacrificial altar) Jehovah-jireh (The Lord will provide)” - Gen. 22:14. But here is the key to that provision when Abraham replied to Isaac about the lamb as stated; “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” - Gen. 22:7-8. Abraham by trust of God stayed in Faith, not in fear; receiving rest by God’s provision of the sacrificial lamb; a foreshadow of Jesus and that by His name in Faith; all fear must diminish so that the substance of Faith will be manifest as stated; “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” - Heb. 11:1. The question then is; do you want substance for a day or for the entire week? Do you tend your farm one or seven days?
How did we ever get here is beyond reasonable judgment and Godly Wisdom much less basic logic. The Sabbath is for all of God’s people and in saying this it is not a contradiction to say God does not care about the actual day that it is observed; but that it is kept Holy and in Worship of Him. Now before many shout heresy as the Pharisees would, let us consider how and why there is a Sabbath. There are two main reasons for the statement that is in alignment with God’s plan of redemption and its purpose. The basis for this is the Sabbath is only for the chosen and the saved who are those who have at least accepted God, His Son and His Kingdom. The other reason is more fundamental to the Spiritual journey, its acumen and benefit. God does not need the Sabbath! Whoa! I can hear the knives being sharpened and blood boiling from this confrontational statement. Well; simply put; it is we who need the Sabbath! God is self contained as stated; “I Am that I Am!” - Ex. 3:14. The Sabbath was ordained for the man to keep God's presence. Another foundational statement is Abram had no Sabbath Day as we know it today but as stated; “Therefore it is of Faith that it might be according to Grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law (the chosen Jews), but also to those who are of the Faith (the adopted gentiles) of Abraham, who is the father of us all (and) in the presence of Him whom he believed (who is) God, who gives (back) Life to the dead and calls (resurrected) those things which do not exist as though they did (as in the Garden)” - Rm. 4:16-17.
Why did Abraham not need the Sabbath Day as we acknowledge it traditionally; even though being of Adam lineage, he was also a fallen man? It is because as stated; “And he (exceptionally) believed in the Lord, and He (God) accounted (sanctified) it to him for Righteousness” - Gen. 15:6. And the same before for another fallen man as stated; “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (into Heaven)” - Gen. 5:24. How can God who is a just and fair, seemly be biased to different people who seek His Kingdom? These men and others did not have the Ten Commandments but by their own humility and submission to the Spirit of God walked in His Blessings and Favors. They not only inadvertently sought the Kingdom but also practiced obedience to God and lived the Sabbath before it became a law.
When Moses led the Jews into the wilderness they complained and God took the opportunity to show them that they should be at rest by providing weekly food for six days so that as stated; "Tomorrow (the seventh day) is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto God" - Ex. 16:23. This is before the Commandments, and where have we heard this before where God provides for six days but the on seventh He forbids laboring. The Sabbath law as others were established for the remembrance, celebration and observance for God’s purpose for the Passover (into Salvation) from darkness (Egypt) into the light (The Promised Land); and for God's Kingdom framework to be governed by. The same criteria for Creation and the Garden of Eden where only by God’s Hand, the void of darkness is removed and light is established - Gen. 1:1-4. And by the perfection of the Garden of Eden, man would observe a continuous Sabbath onto God, His Throne and Kingdom, eventually planting more Gardens around the world. If this was actually done there would be no need for the law, commandments, and blood sacrifices because only Righteousness would be the order of the days, weeks, months, and years; of time. It is because of unrighteousness, the law was established; but by Righteousness; Grace became availed and given authority over the law. Just like a judge who commutes the sentence of the offender.
To keep Holy the Sabbath is the third commandment which points to God’s divinity, omnipotence and immutability. The first three commandments are mainly Spiritual in nature while the last seven are more carnally related. Here is the Revelation! If one does not observe Righteously the first three then the last seven cannot be truly obeyed for they set the foundation for the others. Jesus expounded on this as stated; “That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” - Matt. 5:28; which He condensed into the two greatest commandments, where the second represents the last seven commandments and comes under the first three commandments. The Sabbath DAY is therefore more than the basic compliance for food and drink as in the last seven commandments; and is meant to enhance your time with God as with the first three commandments. It also enables God’s Grace to cover you when the carnal seven commandments are broken. The Sabbath DAY is symbiotic with God who is the law, commandments and Grace all wrapped in one just as the Holy Trinity. It became a law because of disobedience, disrespect and debasement of the Godly heritage including that of His image and Spirit. This would be no different if a child became rebellious to the parents guidance because of bad associations which then forces the parents to lay down very strict rules to get the child to repent; turn back to the parents' ways. Do you want your child to commune with you a single day or as many days of the weeks if not hours.
Consider the perspective that the name of each day of the week is not Biblical but historical. And it was not until time was observed based on the heavens movements that the week, month and year was established. The chosen people established a calendar based on the moon’s cycle while the gentiles on the sun. That’s how we have (Sun)day and (Mon)day or originally the Moon day; while all other days are given names derived from the name of the planets. There is no divinity or Spirituality ordained for any particular day other than from man’s carnal wisdom, knowledge and understanding of time as it applied to living. The most obvious being Christmas Day for which Jesus never instructed us to observe or to celebrate. The beginning of a week is nothing short of a random or logical selection based on commerce and religion and as stated; “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” - Gen. 1:14. God created the heavenly bodies; and then man for the control of life; synthesized the chronology of time. God is not bound by the gears of time and our life but as stated; “That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been, and God requires an account of what is past” - Ecc. 3:15. In other words; God transcends the past, present and future, and for that matter what is mundane; the opposite of the Sabbath DAY which is meant to be alive, energized and meaningful. We don't expect God to be available to us for a day but for all days. Then ought we not to avail to Him always?
To put this in perspective; Jesus never commanded us to keep any day but to remember often the act of His sacrifice as stated; “He (Jesus) gave thanks (and breaking bread and sharing wine) uttered; do this in memory (celebration) of Me” - Lk. 22:19. A picture and actual practice of the Sabbath DAY whereby God who is present in the man Jesus is sitting with His followers providing provisions physically and Spiritually; and not only recalling what has been done by God (by giving thanks) but also celebrating God’s resulting Glory from His long-suffering in the climax of the crucifixion; not only for man’s sake but God’s also as stated; “The Lord is well pleased for His Righteousness sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable” - Is. 42:21. God wants His law or rather Himself be honored among men who have failed to do so. So by His own Word, He accomplishes this in Jesus who did not change or abandon the law but perfected its original intention and practice with the breaking of His body; giving of His Blood; for the repentance, redemption and restoration of the fallen man (heir) back into the Covenant of God’s Kingdom.
It is really a command to be observed not simply obeyed. Now; some by religious thinking say God needed to rest from His work of creation justifying this illogical thinking by the world’s average six days work week with one day rest from labor. To think God needs to rest is nothing short of unrighteous thinking as stated; “He (God) who protects you does not sleep” - Ps. 121:3. The Sabbath is to rest in God’s plans for you and to live accordingly as stated; “For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed from Faith to Faith (to the) just (who) shall live by Faith” - Rm. 1:17. In other words; God is obliged to show His integrity for His promises when we observe Righteously His commandments and Kingdom ways. But only when we are at rest in spirit, mind and body. The Bible records Jesus at rest while the boat was being tossed about by the storm (while the disciples labored in vain) - Matt. 8:24. Yet; it records Him not at rest when in Gethsemane He asked the Father to remove the cup He had to drink as opposed to His apostles who fell asleep.
What follows should give an inclination of why resting in God is critical to living as Christians. Jesus was not in spiritual rest but for a moment and the apostles were at physical rest for a long period. Jesus eventually enters into the Godly rest as stated; “Not My will but Yours” - Lk. 22:42. Another way to say this is; “not by my efforts but by your provision”. This is the ultimate state of rest God desires for us. That is Faith in His works. What follows when Jesus is interrupted by the Pharisees and Judas’ (the world’s) betrayal (to God) is the significant pro-action by Jesus by the Power of Grace; so much so He performs a miracle on the injured man before being arrested. But for those who slept not spending the time with God as by Jesus’ example; were in a panic and took up the sword, despite their physical rest they remained in labor by the spirit of fear and not at rest by Faith. The importance of time with God, His Son, and the Spirit is more than a single day could satisfy including to reinforce and build up one’s spirit, mind and body; especially when being constantly bombarded daily by the world’s darkness. Some say that’s really about daily prayer which by the way is not for complaining to God. The Sabbath; which is communion with thanksgiving and praise, includes communication (prayer) with God, and ought to be a constant practice and not just when we need Him to solve our mistakes and usually involves many of the Body but can just be by yourself. Abraham did this which resulted in as stated; “Abraham was very rich” - Gen. 13:2; or rather abundantly provided for by God.
The Creation as we know it was done in six days and on the seventh day God rested. To rest is just like a carpenter who works hard on his project with enthusiasm, detail, and after completion looks at it with admiration and satisfaction. This is what God did because by rest (not laboring in the body, mind or spirit); He completed His work with the Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding that nothing more would be required, or needed to be altered or rebuilt. This is Shalom! Meaning harmony, completeness, and prosperity. God literally was patting Himself on the back for a job well done and just like the carpenter; He wants to keep it from corruption, destruction and misuse. That's why we are commanded to keep it Holy in reverence, and not only God but His handiwork of creation. To observe with respect the creator's hand, purpose and beauty of His creations not just life but His governance and commerce. To keep it as He intended it to be which with God is often for a particular purpose so that He can do what He wants to justify for us to have Faith in Him as stated; “to walk by Faith and not by sight” - 2 Cor. 5:7.
Whether you set a time in the morning or at night or during the day to be with God in relationship; that is a Sabbath observation for His goodness, Righteousness, provisions, protection and providence. That we acknowledge that we are at rest depending on Him, and spent time in Holiness and Sanctification with Him in the quality of Faith and not in quantity of effort by labor. A distinction Jesus makes with the two sisters as stated; “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled (not at rest) about many things (concerning the flesh). But one thing is needed (I; Jesus, the Word), and Mary has chosen that good part (for the rest of the body, mind and spirit), which will not be taken away from her (which is her Salvation)” - Lk. 10:38-42.
We who are God’s work and have been given His handiwork are required to honor it, and He; who created it all. This is Sabbath! Jesus put this in perspective when His disciples broke the day for food. Jesus by proxy endorsed the breaking of the blind practice of the law on the Sabbath day not because He was their Rabbi but as stated; “He is Lord of the Sabbath” - Matt. 12:8. And because of its intended purpose to be observed as an heir and not as a slave. An heir is concerned about his kingdom and those of it. Hence the examples of attending to the (various) life that required attention. Jesus who broke several Sabbath Days stated; “Is it lawful on the Sabbath Days to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?” - Lk. 6:9. That we must act responsibly and maturely so as not to lose our life by obeying blindly in ignorance but to save it from the darkness by observing and retrieving it back into the light. A life that ironically could be required for the preparation of bread and meat used in the celebration of the Sabbath. Some say this is coincidental. Yet; God uses a good metaphor and juxtaposition to get His point across often.
It's like having a smooth productive running cornucopia farm where your children tend to it by your auspices for six days and on the seventh there is celebration of the family where the children revel and acknowledge their father’s guiding hand while enjoying the harvest. The same as the Parable of the Prodigal son. The restored son received an equal partaking of the father’s wealth without having to earn back his place and reward. Consider that the Prodigal son had a place of rest, then by his own labor he suffered; then by his Righteous repentance there is restoration and once again have rest under his father’s roof and abundance (Lk. 15:11). And with Job, who slipped into self righteousness and labor; spiritually ended up outside God’s hedge of protection and suffered under satan’s devices physically. Then once he corrected this misalignment came back under God’s promises and came to rest with both Spiritual and physical Blessings. This same Job who was considered a most upright man; and who would never have broken the Sabbath law as practiced by traditional Jews (Job 1-42).
The practicing Jew by tradition observes this day as a part of the law. The Christian is not under the law but is under Grace by Christ Jesus being Sanctified for the Righteousness of the law. Christ who is the model for us thereby being our foundation to be the light bearer; the Righteousness of God’s Glory; and who ought to be observed for all things including the Sabbath. The entire world is under Grace including the Jews as God withholds His hand of judgment. For no one can enter into the Sabbath without the Grace of God! For to enter into the Sabbath is to enter into God’s Throne room. Into the DAY of rest! Into the New Jerusalem where rest is not subjected to Earthly and carnal conditions as stated; "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof" - Rev. 21:23. Now; there is a big difference in obeying as opposed to observing the law and commandments. Where compliance of the former in obeying is to blindly do without question which is the mind of a slave or a child; while the latter in observing is to consider by discernment the significance of the law and commandments which is the mind of a mature heir expecting an inheritance. That is the mind of Christ! This is why Jesus as stated; “came to fulfill the law” - Matt. 5:17. God sent the only one He could trust to not only do it His way but set the example for all of us who for the most part stumble into our own wrong thinking and actions.
The law was established long after the fall of man and in time for when the Jews were being prepared to enter the Promised Land. It was put in place to lay the criteria and foundation for the promise of a better way of living; hence the Promised Land is far more than food and drink as stated; “God’s has a higher (ascended) way of doing things” - Is. 55:8-9. We can say the laws were laid down as when a father sets rules for a child or that of a slave before they begin their training to represent the father’s interest just like a boss would with his employees. We are no longer employees but are just as Jesus the man who was the forerunner for the sons and daughters of God, and we ought to be the mature heir who understands and appreciates the law not out of fear but out of respect, and apply them without compromising their edict and purpose to advance the Kingdom’s precepts. Here lies the crux of the matter. If you think like a child or a slave you are in fear of, or intimidated by the Father. But as a son or daughter; as an heir you express your love for the Father; your God and King by reverence, obedience and imitation. The Sabbath is for the King’s ascended Sons and Daughters to revel, boast and proclaim His good and Righteous works, His Throne and personage as stated; “In God we boast all the (DAY) long, and praise His Name forever” - Ps. 44:8.
This Grace culminated in Jesus who having endured and conquered sin and darkness re-established the original Covenant that Adam surrendered. Where God is the provider while man is His agent of change. This is the original Sabbath; the original rest God gave Adam where by the three points of observance would be practiced. First to be at rest from one’s labor (fear), keep it Holy by Sanctification and thirdly cherish God’s Hand (Glory) in the seven days of Creation. The seventh day being Spiritual onto God while the six days onto man.
ChristnMe @ 2013