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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Putting the Sabbath to Rest

Putting the Sabbath to Rest
by Rory

To-day we have a wonderful  sabbath rest to enjoy!

If you are truly interested in a deeper revelation of the New Testament sabbath, you may find one near the end of this post that will surprise many. 

The sabbath
, as was circumcision and other commands, were first given as part of the body of the law from the Old Covenant.  
God first gave 10 commands to Israel, then more law was added because God's people sinned after leaving Egypt.  

1. If you choose to observe or go back under law, note
Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add unto the word which I command you,
neither shall you diminish any from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. 

(the same "add not" and "diminish none" applies to the NEW Covenant which is polluted by adding unscriptural traditions and doctrines. *see Revelation 22:18-19) 

The Old Covenant law said to "DO ALL" many, many times, and this was repeated by Paul in Gal. 4:21
"Tell me, you that desire to be under the lawdo ye not hear the law?"
and he went on:
Gal 5:3-4    Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  
Ye are severed from Christ, you (who) would be *justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.  
*justify: to render innocent, justify, be righteous.
And again in James 2:10    For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one pointhe is guilty of all.

So where was sabbath commanded?
-In the Old Covenant law, of course.
 -Just like the new moons, feasts of Israel, dietary laws, and a multitude of other commands that confused Christians are often entangled with. (Gen 17:13/ Lev 12:3)

"The law" included every sabbath law and command:   
Deuteronomy 8:1 All the commandments .. I command thee ... shall ye observe to do...
Leviticus 19:37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them
now please, give close attention to sabbath law:
Exodus 31:14 You shall keep the sabbath, it is holy to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death... Remember, the law said "do ALL"

Keep "Do ALL" in mind when you read what the disagreeing readers say.
It is very clear. "DO ALL..." means you can't go in and "diminish ought" from the parts your religion tells you that you cannot do or are not capable of doing. (such as keeping the sabbath upon penalty of death or keeping the feasts of the Lord IN Jerusalem 3 times a year, as God commanded.)

 >>>>> a reader who disagreed wrote:
"First I see you lumping together all of the Sabbaths, but it is only the seventh day Sabbath that was included in the 10 commandments <<<<<
But I respond that God is the One that "lumped" ALL of His commands, statutes, and ordinances into the body of the whole law.
He said over and over and over : "Do ALL" to them who were under the law. 
(there are at least 75 " do all's" and Deut. 8:1 above is only one of many examples)

The sabbath was one of the laws, whether you choose it as the 4th commandment, or "do all.." requirements of the sabbath law observances.

It was not just about one day a week. The weekly sabbath in Israel had these sabbaths too.
The weekly sabbath,
-Plus the TWO mid week sabbaths, (one was on Passover).
-Plus there was a year long sabbath every 7th year. 
-Plus on "EVERY Sabbath" there is to be a burnt offering:
"On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering" (Num. 28:9,10).
This OT command for Sabbath keepers is clearly forbidden under the New Covenant in light of the book of Hebrews. Early non-Jewish Christians did not keep the Sabbath command like Israel (Ex. 20:8-11 cf. Num. 28:9,10). 

We all know it is impossible to sacrifice a lamb on every sabbath, what a offense that would be, to Jesus' sacrifice.
Those who insist they are keeping the sabbath, and insist that others keep it the way they do have a huge problem. By this one verse we can see according to the letter, they have already broken the sabbath law.

>>>>> a reader who disagreed said
"We can all have different ways to keep the Sabbath, but who cares, as long as we are keeping the Sabbath and honoring God." <<<<<

My answer: But there are no "different ways to keep the sabbath".
God cares and He was VERY specific on how to keep the sabbaths. (there was more than just the one on the 7th day of the week). 
Keeping a partial sabbath your own way is dishonoring God who told them how to keep the sabbath.

If you "keep sabbath" any other way than the way God gave it (including the death penalty), you are guilty of breaking God's Law that you put yourself under. 

Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.

Notice the plural, which includes the sabbath year:
Leviticus 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD 

Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the **works of the law are under the cursefor it is writtenCursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them... 

**Let's see what "works of the law" means according the scriptures
Sabbath keepers, feast observers, tithers, dietary law keepers, please note "works": to work; toil (as a self effort); by implication an act: - deed, doing, labor, work.

Torah observant Christians, Hebrew Roots folks, Messianics, and a lot of Pentecostals and SDA folks need to re-read Galatians 3:10 and look at that word  ..."cursed", -it includes sickness, accident, loss, debt, loss of children, broken marriages. 

The problem "sabbath keepers" have is they pick out the sabbath from Exodus, but fail to realize God had specific instructions for how He wanted it kept. If they did not keep it the way God said, they were guilty of breaking the sabbath.

Jesus knew the law and taught others to keep it because they were yet under the Old Covenant prior to the death of the testator, Jesus Christ. see Hebrews 8.

2.   Where do you find the 10 Commandments? 
They are given in Exodus 20, and again in Deut 5.
Dt.5: 31 ... and I will speak to you all the commandments, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. (BTW, we do not live in that land.)

If we observe sabbath law, we need keep the rest of the sabbath laws like this:

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD:
 whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death...

(please read the article about the sabbath laws and the parts they never told you about or excused for not doing) 

3.    Let's be honest. You want to keep this law or that one, a feast here, a sabbath there. A dietary law or two, a tithe.  There are plenty of others that some think we need to follow, and much confusion.
Even most feast-keepers and law-observant Christians can't agree how to follow OT laws pertaining to them.

Psalms 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth...
We must learn from the New Testament in order to get the "sum" total regarding the truth, or else we are guilty of "diminishing" from the WHOLE Word of God. 
Exodus 34:21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day shall you rest 

This promise was also mentioned by Isaiah, a prophecy of a future "rest" :
Isa 28:11 .. by men of strange lips and with another tongue will he speak to this people  12 to whom he said, This is the restgive rest to him that is weary; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

When did this begin to be fulfilled?
It began on Pentecost in Acts 2 and continued as God gave the Holy Spirit to them that believed. (Mark 16:18, Luke 24;47-49: Acts 1:8, etc.):
Acts 3:19 Repent and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Thus the prophesied "refreshing" came with the baptism of the Holy Spirit as Isaiah prophesied, tongues included.

4.  If we walk in the fullness of the Spirit, we are not in bondage to the works of the law as it is writtenGal. 5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Romans 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

  Was the sabbath ever given as an ordinance to the church through the apostles? Can you find any instruction to a church or saint in the church epistles for that? (When I looked, I could not find any)
Have you read Acts 15 carefully?
The Jewish elders did NOT tell the gentile churches to observe the sabbath!
-if it was to be observed that was the time and the place to decree sabbath keeping because they were asking about the laws.( repeated in Acts 21.) 

5.  What do you think the Jewish apostle Paul referring to in these next verses written to Christians: 

Galatians 4:10  You observe days, and months, and times, and years. ??
Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore condemn you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: ???

Why was no one to judge or condemn the Colossians in regard to sabbath observances?
Simply because they were never commanded to observe the sabbath! 

The plural use of "days".
Paul was intimately familiar with ALL sabbath days, including the Passover feast midweek high-sabbaths, and the sabbath years.
But he did not "cherry pick" sabbath law to make a convenient observance for Christians.

Why did he chastise the Galatians?
 "you observe days... months.. years...times.."
-it was because they had become "leavened" to observe the sabbath, circumcision
 and other laws according to what was given in the old Covenant!

Consistent with this is that in all the book of Acts through Revelation, there is not one reminder to keep the sabbath, circumcision, sacrifices, tithes, or feasts.... 

6.  We are in the NEW Covenant
That should be obvious, the old covenant has been
"changed", "dis-annulled",  "blotted out", and "nailed to the cross".
Hebrews 7:12
the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change also of the law.
Ephesians 2:15 
having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances
col. 2:14
having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;
And so Galatians 5:18  if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law

The NEW Covenant has the fulfillment and the light of Jesus Christ. "for the law came by Moses but grace and truth by Christ Jesus"
In Hebrews, speaking to those who had known the Law, the writer speaks of the "rest" God had given.

The "rest" on the sabbath day and all the sabbaths were figures for something that would come later through a
 "better covenant":
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things...
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Let's look at a few SABBATH things here:
Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God.
"sabbath" is "sabbatismos": i.e. a keeping sabbath. It is an on-going, continual sabbath

Here is how it changed.
Have you ever noticed the word "to-day" in the passage about the sabbath in Hebrews???
Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another day by dayso long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

THINK: How is "day by day" called "today"?  

Hebrews 3:15 while it is saidTo-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 
Hebrews 4:7 he again defines a certain dayTo-day, saying in David, so long a time afterward, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.
  Have you gotten the revelation for "to-day"?

Did Jesus promise a rest for only on the 7th day? 
-or is there a "rest" remaining to the people of God for 
 if you hear His voice..."
The "rest" is for "today", i.e., for the sons of God to enter into our NT promises by faith, as by believing they have received. (Mark 11:23-24)

Since the works are finished, we should believe and rest from our own works to save, heal, and deliver ourselves. The promises are past-tense yet they are for us today.
Because of this, we need to know what God said, especially in the New Testament.

Heb.4:3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest, (i.e. a spiritual Sabbath rest). There remains therefore a sabbath rest, (literally "a keeping of rest") for the people of God. 
This constant "keeping of rest" every day ("to-day") through the past tense promises is our New Testament spiritual Sabbath.
10) For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his. 
Our faith in each of these promises brings us into more of the rest

For example, if we believe that "by his stripes you were healed," then we will not keep seeking a healing but will rest accepting that it was accomplished at the cross. This is real faith and pleases the Father when we trust HIM to meet our need.
Through believing the promises (salvation, healing, deliverance, provision) we enter into the on-going "sabbath" rest from our own works.

Those who continue to earn favor for what God has freely given believe in salvation by works. Heb.4:10 For he that is entered into his rest has rested from his works ….
Heb.3:19 And we see that they were not able to enter in (and receive the promises) because of unbelief.

To-day the promise of rest is when we believe and become partakers of Christ (His health, holiness, and blessing), "if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end".
-i.e. resting in faith He will do for us what He said in His word!

THIS is "the rest" that the sabbath foreshadowed, as we cease from our own efforts and works and we "rest" in God's salvation to save, heal, deliver, and provide for us.

Is it a certain day we enter in to His rest for these promises? 
Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day 
if ye shall hear his voice
"To-day"? We have stumbled into the secret place of rest, because e
very day is "to-day"! 

He no longer limits a certain day (the 7th), but now in the New Covenant gives us the foreshadowed type from the old sabbath to our  EVERY DAY  rest.

That  is what "to-day" is. 

 Scripture Notes:
* the curse: as given in detail by God and described in Deuteronomy 28.
** "to-day" as given in Hebrews as relating to the rest:
Strongs 2250 def:
-the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset
-Any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression "three days and three nights" does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.
-used of time in general

***past tense promises
we who believe "rest" in: 
"By His stripes ye WERE healed
Colossians 3:1 If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God
1st Peter 1:18 knowing that ye were redeemed
Mat 5:31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest

Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he saith cometh to pass; he shall have it.
24 Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for,believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

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  1. "Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. This means you are no longer required to keep the ordinances, statutes, commands, feasts, circumcision, sabbaths, and judgments of the law, which are IMPOSSIBLE to keep anyway, because Christ fulfilled them for us."

    Christ did fulfill (bring into effect) the law in us.
    All these reasoned arguments, and yet have you missed the very work of Christ in us?

  2. Absolutely not, IN CHRIST we have kept the righteousness of the law as we "are COMPLETE IN HIM"..
    And the DAILY sabbath "rest" is through faith in the promises of our Covenant, the New Testament.
    The more complete our faith the greater rest we have and we won't need to be anxious for anything.
    The law was the shadow, Christ the substance.

  3. excuse me, but I must interject.. brother marshall,, you state, that brother Rory uses reasoned arguments,, when what I observe is the word being pointed to,, THE SUM OF HIS WORD IS TRUTH,, NOT THE OPINIONS OR THE TRADITIONS OF MAN..let us all be as the bereans who searched the scriptures to see if what was being taught was in fact truth.. and thereby rightly divide the WORD OF TRUTH.