How Should the Sabbath be Kept?
Fred R. Coulter
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This tape is Holy Sabbath number eight. Now we have covered an awful lot concerning Sabbath-keeping. We’ve also seen on number six how that the children of Israel were sent into captivity because of Baal worship, and Ashtoreth worship, which then is Sunday-keeping and Easter. In other words, God sent them into captivity for breaking His Sabbath and His holy days because they were keeping Sunday. They were worshiping Baal, they were worshiping Ashtoreth, and many, many other gods. Now let’s look at how the Sabbath should be kept in the New Testament, and then we will finish up by going to a place in the book of Hebrews where there is an absolute, dogmatic command in the New Testament that we are to keep the Sabbath.
So let’s first of all began and see how Jesus kept the Sabbath. Let’s come to Mark 3. And we will see that Jesus, as His custom was, always kept the Sabbath. Now let’s understand something very, very important concerning the preaching of Jesus Christ. The Law and the Prophets were until John. That meant that the Law and the Prophets were the highest authority. There was no other higher authority. But when John came the kingdom of God was preached. And with the kingdom of God being preached, as we saw, not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the Law whatsoever. When Jesus came preaching - since we’re going to the book of Mark, let’s go to Mark 1, and let’s see what Jesus did. And let’s understand this, that if Sunday-keeping were going to be for the Church of God - or as some people call it the “Christian” church - then Jesus would have made it absolutely clear beyond any shadow of doubt that He was in fact changing the day from Sabbath to Sunday. And we will see there is no such command from Jesus that way.
Let’s begin here in Mark 1:14. “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” And we know the kingdom of God is the rule of God, the whole millennial kingdom of God with Christ as King, and all the resurrected saints serving as priests and kings under Him. And we know from the prophecies in Isaiah 66 that the whole world is going to keep the Sabbath. We know from Zachariah 14 that they are going to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. So when He is preaching the kingdom of God, no one understands that He is not loosing the Sabbath, or destroying the Sabbath, or getting rid of the Sabbath. He is in fact enforcing the Sabbath. And as we will see, bringing a higher standard to Sabbath-keeping, just like He brought a higher standard to every one of the commandments of God.
Now verse 15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled,...” That means, “Now is the time of the preaching of the kingdom of God. And according to the Scriptures, then Jesus was the one Who was to bring it after John, who was the forerunner and the messenger to precede the Lord. “...And the kingdom of God is at hand:...” Now the kingdom of God being “at hand” meant that Jesus was the King, Jesus was the representative, He was there right at hand. So the kingdom of God is at hand. “...Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” And everywhere we go through the New Testament, the very beginning thing is that people have to repent. And they have to repent of their sins. They have to come to Christ and understand that it was His sacrifice, His death, His beating, His scourging and mocking, and the spear thrust through His side where He gasped out His last on the cross, and He was that sacrifice. And when you repent to God you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and Master, and one to Whom you love, and one to Whom you give obedience. And please understand this, no one is going to enter into the kingdom of God, as we have seen, who is a lawless person; or that is, against the laws of God. No one is going to enter into the kingdom of God if they don’t keep His commandments. So you need to understand that.
You also need to realize that as we go through these Scriptures, if you have an NIV Bible, you need to get rid of it. Because an NIV Bible is corrupt. And there are 65,000 words removed from the King James Version that have been taken out in the NIV version. So you have to understand that. You have to have the right Scripture; you have to have the right word; you have to have the right Lord, the right Jesus, the right understanding. And please understand this, all the insipid preaching that you hear in the Protestant churches, and the Catholic churches, and whatever other denominations that do not uphold Jesus Christ as Lord and Master, and that you have to obey Him, you have to serve Him, you have to yield to Him, you have to have your life buried in the covenant death of baptism - all that do not teach that are not from God. They may profess, but they have another gospel. They have another Jesus. They are not preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and they are not preaching repentance from sin. What they are doing is preaching, “Oh, God wants you to have all good things.”
Listen - remember the lesson of Israel in the wilderness because of their sins. Remember the lesson of Israel in the Promised Land because of their sins. God gave them good things, but because of sin they were taken away. And know for sure that all the good things that people expect today and enjoy today, unless they repent and turn to God, and quit their sinning and quit their Sabbath-breaking, and quit the sin of Sunday-keeping, God’s wrath is going to come and He is going to send this nation off into captivity, just like He has in the past. So know and understand that that is for sure. So when Jesus came preaching, “Repent and believe the gospel,” that is the start.
Now let’s see His example. Let’s just turn the page and come over here to Mark 3, and let’s begin in verse 1. Now this is right after He said that He was Lord of the Sabbath. So stop and consider this again: which day is Jesus Lord of, by His own admission - Sabbath, or Sunday? It is Sabbath. The Lord’s day is Sabbath. It is absolutely wrong to call Sunday the Lord’s Day. Now let’s begin here in Mark 3:1. “And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse Him. And He saith unto the man with which had the withered hand, Stand forth.” That is, come up and stand right here in the middle up front with everyone. “And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days,...” Now here we have it plural. That is, the weekly Sabbath, the annual sabbaths that God has. “...Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace” (Mark 3:1-4).
So this tells us how Jesus kept the Sabbath. He taught on the Sabbath, He taught them God’s Word; He taught them about the kingdom of God; He taught them about God’s grace and mercy and power; He healed on the Sabbath. And look what He did here. “And when He had looked around about on them with anger,...” So there is righteous indignation. There is a time when God has anger because of sin, and because of the hard-heartedness of these people. And Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, was angry. What a horrible and terrible attitude, to deny a man healing on the Sabbath. Now think about that. How self-righteous can you be?
He was angry, “...Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Now notice what happened here. The religious leaders - and it’s always the religious leaders. And please understand that God’s way is not a religion. It is a way of life. And just like today, religious leaders are the ones who have caused all the confusion concerning the Bible, to change the Bible, to change the Word of God, to twist and turn the words to suit their own ends. And so just as these Pharisees “...went forth, and straightway took counsel [consulted] with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him” (vs. 5-6). And that’s what people want to do with Sabbath-keepers today. The exact same attitude. So we see in looking at this, number one, Jesus kept the Sabbath. Number two, He taught on the Sabbath. Number three, He did good and He healed on the Sabbath. Those are the things that He did. And He set us an example that we should do as He did also.
Now let’s come over here to [Mark] 6, and let’s begin in verse 1. Let’s see why the Sabbath day was given. The Sabbath day was given as a teaching day, to teach the Word of God, to teach the truth of the Bible, to listen to the voice of God. Because in the Bible you have recorded all the words of God. And as we’re going to see a little bit later, the Sabbath psalm is, “Today, if you will hear His voice.” So I am asking you today, as you listen to this tape, will you hear His voice? Let’s see what happens when people don’t hear His voice.
Mark 6:1, “And He went out from thence, and came into His own country; and His disciples follow Him. And when the sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him” (Mark 6:1-3). Just stop and note: Jesus had brothers and sisters. Mary had other children after Jesus was born. It is a lie that Mary was a perpetual virgin. It is a lie that she was assumed bodily into heaven. You just need to understand that. And these religionists just need to be told it. They are lying and twisting the Word of God and adding their own traditions and their own ideas to God’s way.
“But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And He could do there no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief” (vs. 4-6). Right there on the Sabbath day, with them right there in front of Him.
Here, let’s go back to Luke 4, and let’s see something else concerning the Sabbath. And let’s see how - here, Luke 4:16 - and we’ve already covered this before, but let’s just look at it again and let’s understand something. Jesus kept the Sabbath as a custom. Meaning that He did it all of His life. Let’s read this verse. “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Now let’s understand something. Did Jesus ever sin? No. Did Jesus always do the things that pleased the Father? Yes. Is keeping the Sabbath on a weekly basis as a custom a thing that Jesus did and that we should follow? Yes. Peter said we are to walk in His footsteps, Who did no sin. So therefore, keeping the Sabbath is righteousness. And we are also going to see a little bit later on, keeping the Sabbath is also holiness.
Now come on down here to verse 31. “…And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.” So every Sabbath Jesus was teaching. That is profound. And the teaching, then, was the Word of God. And notice again here, verse 32, “And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power.” Not like the scribes, as it says there in Matthew 7. With power, with authority, as we will see.
Now since we’re in the book of Luke, let’s come to Luke 6 and let’s begin in verse 1. Again, let’s see what Jesus was doing on the Sabbath. Let’s see how important that it was. And please understand that Jesus nowhere changed the Sabbath. In the Bible, in the New Testament, nowhere is there any authority to change it and keep Sunday. Now you will learn all of that on the series that I’m doing with this, “Refuting Sunday-Keeping.” And I’m going to go through twenty-five reasons that Protestants have, and Catholics have, trying to justify Sunday-keeping from the Bible. And we will see every one of their reasons is a lying and twisting of the Scriptures and a perversion of the truth of God and is not true.
Now Luke 6:1, “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that He went through the corn fields; and His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?” (Luke 6:1-2). Because you see, the Jews were just picking at everything that they were doing. It’s not wrong to eat on the Sabbath. It’s not wrong to travel on the Sabbath. Jesus was walking on the Sabbath. His disciples were walking on the Sabbath. And as we will see later on when we get to the book of Acts, that even Paul traveled on the Sabbath, a great distance. See, because to preach the Word of God, to fellowship with Christ through the Holy Spirit of God, to fellowship with the brethren is more important than just sitting in a house and doing nothing. See, Sabbath-keeping is a positive thing, as we will see. Sabbath-keeping takes action. Sabbath-keeping takes your input into it, and God’s input with His Holy Spirit. It’s not a passive thing. Some people, they’re so afraid to break the Sabbath that some of them just stay in bed all day long. They haven’t kept the Sabbath, they haven’t done a thing. They have avoided doing anything positive. Maybe they didn’t break it by doing something, but they broke it by doing nothing.
Now let’s read on here. “And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which is not lawful to eat but for the priest alone?” Now I have even read some papers why people have said that it was a lawful thing for him to do. No. Jesus said it was unlawful, and for those that were with him too. “And He said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (vs. 3-5). So Jesus by His example is showing how to keep it and how to have the things loosed of the Sabbath, which make it a burden, and make it something...and if you’ve ever read the Code of Jewish Law, which has hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of picayunish laws concerning the Sabbath, then you will understand why Jesus did what He did.
So we derive from this: one, it’s ok to travel on the Sabbath; two, it’s just fine to eat on the Sabbath, even if you aren’t in your home, because you are traveling; three, the teaching on the Sabbath is the most important thing; and four, as we will see a little later on, the fellowshipping together with the brethren. That takes precedence over everything else concerning the Sabbath, because it is a positive day which is to be kept.
Now verse 6, “And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue and taught [this is the parallel account of what we read in Mark 3]: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him [that means scrutinized Him], whether He would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking around about upon them all, He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness, and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus” (vs. 6-11).
And so you see, even by Sabbath-keepers there was resistance by those Sabbath-keepers about keeping the Sabbath the way that Jesus kept it. They wanted to keep the Sabbath where you could do nothing, go nowhere, only have just a set little formula of verses that you read every Sabbath, and you have your perfunctory schedule - as a matter of fact, just like the Catholics. The Jews laid out every scripture to be read every Sabbath, and they could not deviate from it. No. God wants inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God wants truth and righteousness on the Sabbath. God wants the liberty from sin, as we will see. Because when you are keeping the Sabbath you are obeying and you are not sinning. And that’s important for you to understand and realize that everything that you do concerning keeping the Sabbath.
Now let’s come to the account in Matthew 12, the parallel account of Luke 6. Then we’re going to see that Jesus adds another lesson concerning the Sabbath. Now let’s pick it up here beginning in verse 1. “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day” (Matt. 12:1-2). And sure enough, that was a correct statement. Because God says, “Ye shall not harvest on the Sabbath day. In earing time and harvest time, in seedtime, ye shall keep the Sabbath.”
“But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?” Now here’s another thing to remember. “Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?” (vs. 3-5). So here they were criticizing the disciples, but at the temple the priests were what? They were offering the sacrifices. And it was a lot of heavy work to do. So, they were pouring the blood at the base of the altar. They were offering the incense. And all of that was on the Sabbath. And Jesus said they profaned the Sabbath but were blameless. Showing that what ever work is necessary to serve and worship God, God will honor and respect that as long as it is in obedience to Him.
Now let’s learn something else here. “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.” In other words, since He is the one Who created the Sabbath and gave it, and gave the commandment to keep it, since He is the one Who is our Lord and Master and High Priest in heaven right now, He is the one Who shows us what to do on the Sabbath day. And He has greater authority than the temple, and the work that the priests did at the temple. He has greater authority than all of the Code of Jewish Laws concerning the Sabbath. He has greater authority because He is the Lawgiver, and He is setting the New Testament law concerning the Sabbath, if you rightly understand what He is saying here.
Now let’s continue on. “But if ye had known what this meaneth,…” Now let’s see if you know what this means. “…I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would have not have condemned the guiltless.” They were not guilty of what they were doing. “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (vs. 6-8). Now let’s understand something. This is very profound. God wants mercy and not sacrifice. Therefore, the Sabbath is to serve man in worshiping God. It is to serve man in learning of God. Is to serve man in doing good, doing good toward God, because you love Him and keep His commandments; doing good to the brethren because they assemble with you; and doing good to those who are sick and in need, and for those who need help to provide for them. All of that is the new definition of the Sabbath that Jesus is giving. That’s why these accounts are here for us. And we need to understand it. He is Lord of the Sabbath day, and He is showing how that under the New Covenant, the Sabbath is to be kept.
Now let’s come to Luke 13. And let’s see something that’s really important for us to understand here. Let’s come over here to verse 10. Again, we find Jesus teaching, teaching, teaching. That’s the whole purpose of Sabbath day. That’s the whole purpose of Sabbath services. Those who are elders and teachers are to take the Word of God, rightly divide it and teach the brethren, in season, out of season. Teach them the Word of God. Teach them how they are to live their lives. Teach them how they are to worship God. Teach them how they are to love God. Teach them how to serve one another. Teach them how to be merciful and kind and gracious. Teach them how to stand for truth. Teach them how to understand, how to avoid false doctrine, how to recognize it. Teach them how to understand who a true teacher of God is. That’s what needs to be done on the Sabbath day. And for those Sunday-keepers who say that Christians who keep the Sabbath are using the Sabbath to justify themselves, is absolutely a blatant lie. No. Christ is the only one Who justifies us - His life, His death, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and the mercy and grace of God; because by grace we have been saved, and no other way.
So if anyone is thinking, “Well, you’re trying to justify yourself by Sabbath-keeping.” No. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” One of the commandments that He gave was the Sabbath. Do you love Christ? Do you keep His commandments? How can you love Christ if you keep Sunday? Because you are breaking the fourth commandment by not keeping the Sabbath. And you are sinning by keeping Sunday. So therefore you are not keeping His words, and you don’t love Him. Because love in the New Testament requires action. Love is not a fuzzy feeling in the heart. Love is not an emotional, gushy, do-gooder kind of thing. Love is powerful, by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God, to love God with all your heart and mind and soul in being, and to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love the brethren as Christ loved them. That all comes from the grace of God, the Spirit of God, the love of God, and is to be also done on the Sabbath. And that’s why we keep the Sabbath, because we love God, and we need God’s grace, and we need God’s mercy. That’s why Jesus told the Pharisees, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” which was a Sabbath lesson. And He said, “Go learn what this means.”
Now Luke 13:10, “And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath [day]. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together [just scrunched all over], and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And He laid His hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-13). What a tremendous thing. Now this also shows that on the Sabbath you are loosed from the bonds of Satan. You are loosed from his control in your life. If you are out there in the world shopping, if you are out there doing the things that Satan has perverted the Sabbath, and made it a business day, a sales day, and activity day, a sports day, a day of pleasure, a day of doing your own thing, a day of going watching sports, or participating in sports, then you are desecrating the Sabbath. You are serving Satan the devil because those are his activities. Here is an example of being loosed physically from an infirmity on the Sabbath. But also when you keep the Sabbath you are loosed from all of the bonds of iniquity which binds you to the world in breaking the Sabbath.
Now notice the attitude of the ruler of the synagogue in verse 14. “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Now you see what spirit and attitude that he was in? See, He didn’t want Jesus in his synagogue healing. So Jesus went there and healed so He could teach everyone a lesson, and even that hard-hearted ruler of the synagogue. “Then the Lord then answered him, and said Thou hypocrite,...” (vs. 14-15). Now you need to understand something. Jesus didn’t mince any words with people. Jesus did not come to please people. Jesus did not placate the rabbis, or the priests, or the scribes. He came to preach truth. He came to do good. He came to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, which involves Sabbath-keeping. He said, “You hypocrite!” In another place He calls them a generation of vipers. Too many of the ministers of Satan are snake-eyed and fork-tongued, who twist and pervert the Scriptures of God, take away the power and authority, and love and mercy, and graciousness of Christ, and His preaching and teaching to help people.
Jesus said, “...Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” And I’ll tell you what, if you will begin keeping the Sabbath day as Jesus gave the example and instructed, you likewise will be loosed from the bond of Satan. But that’s going to take some repenting. We’ll see here in just a minute. That’s going to take some action upon your part. You can’t continue just the way you are. God is calling you to change. God is calling you to repent. God is calling you to love Him and serve Him and do His will and not your will. Now let’s finish this section here. “And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him” (vs. 15-17).
Now let’s come over here to verse 1. Let’s see what Jesus said concerning repentance. And let’s apply this, because it comes just before this lesson taught on the Sabbath day by the healing and losing of the woman of her infirmities. Now He begins to teach how, then, you are loosed from your sins. It begins with repentance. Then the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and then burial in watery baptism, the watery grave, in a covenant pledge to God; that you are buried with Him in baptism; you are crucified with Him; that you can rise out of that watery grave and walk in newness of life.
Luke 13:1, “There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-3). Now you apply that spiritually. You apply it to the lessons that we are learning concerning the Sabbath day. And unless you repent of your Sabbath-breaking, and unless you start obeying God, unless you come to God and understand that you are a sinner by nature, that from within every evil is there within you, and only Christ can help you, then you are going to likewise perish with all the other Sabbath-breakers. And think about losing eternal life. And if you lose eternal life, you have perished forever.
Now He said it again. “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” And isn’t that the way we try and justify things that happen to people? We say, “Well, maybe it was God’s judgment. Maybe they deserved it.” Here Jesus is talking about some things that happened - one a slaughter, two, an accident. And He is telling you, don’t go around and judge them and say they deserved it because they were breaking God’s law. No way. Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (vs. 4-5). And this repentance comes down to a very important thing.
Since we’re right here in the gospel of Luke, chapter 13, let’s go over to chapter 14 and let’s see what Jesus said. Let’s begin right here in verse 1, and we will see another incident on the Sabbath day. And we will see here, “And it came to pass, as He went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched Him.” Now here is a whole group of Pharisees. Jesus came in, He got the invitation, so He went in. “And, behold, there was a certain man before Him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees [all of those who were the experts in the Law] saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 14:1-3). And I imagine He looked around at each one of them in the eye just to see what their reaction was. And of course you need to understand, Jesus also knew their thoughts too.
“And they held their peace. And He took him, and healed him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day? And they could not answer Him again to these things” (vs. 4-6). Now let’s come here to verse 24. “For I say unto you, That none of these men...” There was the parable of the supper. I want to get…let’s come down here to verse 25. None of them. If you don’t do what God says, you are not going to be there with the supper. You’re not going to be in the kingdom of God. Then He begins to explain how, in verse 25, you can be in the kingdom of God. “And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them,…”
Now can you imagine what some of these Protestant ministers would do? Or could you imagine what the Pope would do when he went to Poland and there were 400,000 out there to see him? He waved his hand like this and they all fell down on their knees. And they all worshipped the Pope. God says don’t worship any man. Worship God only. And they were so happy to have all of those numbers. Now if there were great multitudes following a Protestant minister, and He saw all those multitudes, what would He say? “Oh, I’m so happy and thankful that you are here. Why don’t you all come in and you just confess Jesus, and you just give your heart to the Lord, and you come and join our fellowship group, and that will be just fine. We meet here at Sunday at eleven in the morning.”
Now let’s see what Jesus said. “...And He turned, and said unto them, If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother,...” That means to love God more. But that love toward God is so intense, that maybe your father or mother will take it as hatred because you won’t do what they do. Maybe your mother and father would say to you, “Hey, I was born a Catholic, always a Catholic, I’m going to die a Catholic.” But you come and say, “I am repenting of all this Catholicism, and all of these pagan laws, and all of these pagan things that the Catholics are doing, and Sunday-keeping, and Eucharist, and beads, and Mary worship, and idol worship, and all of these hideous sins.” And they will say, “You hate us. You don’t love us.” That’s what it means. You love God more in spite of what your father and mother.
Now let’s continue here. “...And wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (vs. 25-26). And the Greek there is ou dunatai, the strongest sense of impossibility of being a disciple of Christ. So that means you forsake your ways, your thoughts, your interpretations, your stretching of the Scriptures to suit your own religious self if you are a religious person. Or your justification of your sins and living in sin, if you have never even gone to church. You have to forsake your way, your thoughts, and everything.
Notice, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross,...” So true Christianity is not easy. True Christianity, because you are going against the world, you’re going to have trials and difficulties. You are going to have your own individual problems to overcome. And that is bearing your cross. “...And come after Me,...” Christ is not going to come after you. You come after Christ. You seek God. You are the one who has to have the initiative. “...Cannot be My disciple” (vs. 27). So it’s quite a bit different than what the world thinks. So this whole thing of Sabbath-keeping is so profound. Now look what Jesus has done to redefine Sabbath-keeping for the New Covenant, so that we can come together in fellowship; we can love God; we can serve each other and do what is right. And John wrote in 1 John 1:3, that our fellowship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Now let’s come to Hebrews that 3. Let’s begin right in verse 1. And let’s understand something very profound concerning Jesus, concerning Moses; and then we will go right through chapter 3 and on into chapter 4, so that we’re going to come to the verse which gives us a dogmatic, absolute command to keep the seventh day Sabbath, and as we will see, the holy days. Now I’m going to read to you from my translation so I don’t have to say, “The Greek means this; the Greek means that.” I have already translated it so that it will say what it should say.
“For this cause [that means everything in chapter one and two], holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of the faith we profess - Jesus Christ, Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God. Now on the one hand, Moses was faithful and all His house, as a ministering servant, for a testimony of those things which were going to be spoken afterwards [by Christ]. On the other hand, Christ was faithful as a Son over His own house;...” His faithfulness included Sabbath-keeping, did it not? Yes, indeed. We just saw it, didn’t we? If He didn’t keep the Sabbath, He could not have been faithful, correct? Yes. So He is faithful over His house, “...Whose house we are, if we truly hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice,...’” (Heb 3:1-7 AT). Now this is quoted from Psalm 95. Now Psalm 95…
Psalm 95, as we saw, was David’s psalm for the Sabbath. And we will see that that has a direct bearing to what Paul wrote in chapter 4 concerning the Sabbath and concerning David. So I want to ask you a question concerning the Sabbath, whether you are listening to this on the Sabbath day or another day, I want to ask you the question: Today, will you hear His voice?
“‘Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion in the wilderness,...’” (Heb. 3:8, AT). Now what was the first rebellion? Right after God gave the Ten Commandments on the Day of Pentecost; which included, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”, what did they do? As soon as Moses didn’t come down from the mountain as quickly as they thought, they said, “Well this man Moses, we don’t know what happened to him.” So they went to Aaron. And Aaron caved in to the political pressure and the majority vote of the people when they said, “Make as gods, Aaron.” So Aaron did. And he made the golden calf. And the golden calf was sun worship. Because in between the horns of the golden calf was the sun disk, showing that they were worshiping the sun. And on what day do you suppose they had a feast unto their gods which they had made? Sunday. That was rebellion in the wilderness. What happened to them? Those who instigated it were consumed. The earth opened and swallowed them up. Now those things are written for our admonition that we don’t do the same thing, that we don’t tempt God.
And here, right while Moses was getting all of the Law, they did that. Then when it came time for them to go into the Promised Land, ten of the spies came back and said, “Oooh, We can’t go in. The people are tall, and the cities are walled up.” And Joshua and Caleb said, “No. Don’t listen to them. God will deliver us.” And the people said, “God, why did You bring us out here to kill us and our children?” And they complained, and weeped, and wailed, and moaned, and groaned, rebelled against God all night. So God gave His judgment against the hardness of their heart and said, “Because you accuse Me of killing your children, you will die in this wilderness. And your children, which you said that I would kill, I will bring into the Promised Land.” And then they had the remorse of the world: “Oh, we sinned! Oh, we sinned! We’ll do as the Lord said.” And Moses said, “Don’t go up. God has already made His judgment. Don’t go fight. God is not with you.” They went up anyway and they got slaughtered. You see, you don’t tempt God. You don’t come to God with your rebellion and your hard-heartedness, and expect God to accept it or you. You come to God on God’s terms, with a repentant heart and determination to hear His voice.
“‘Harden not your hearts, as in the rebellion in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years’” (vs. 8-9, AT). Now what were they worshiping? What were those renegades doing, those who didn’t serve God, what were they doing? Here, you go back to Amos 5, let’s read it. Amos 5:26. This may come as a shock and surprise to you, because most people think that the children of Israel were obediently keeping the Sabbath in the wilderness. Such was not the case. They rejected the Sabbath in the wilderness, and God rejected them, turned them over to their own devices. Only those who were following the commands of God and following Moses, they were the only ones who were keeping the Sabbath and doing what was right.
But notice here, let’s pick it up in verse 21. God says, “I hate, I despise your feast days,...”, which He does - of Christmas, and Easter, and New Year’s, and all the feast days which the Roman Catholic Church has, and the Anglican Church, and the Protestant Churches. “Though ye offer Me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols” (Amos 5:21-23). And isn’t that something, all of the silly singing that goes on in some of these churches. Some of them that’s all they do. They have songs of praise worship for forty minutes, five minutes of scripture reading, ten minutes more of praise singing; they have another ten minute sermon, and it’s over with. And it’s a feely-good, carnal thing, designed for the lust of the eyes, the lust of the ears, the lust of the mind, to serve the flesh. God says He doesn’t hear that.
He says, “But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Have ye offered unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? [The answer, no.] But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch [Sunday-keeping] and Chiun your images, the star of your god,...” And isn’t it interesting that the religions of this world always come back to sun worship and star worship? Did you know that the Pope is the representative of sun worship in the West, and the Dali Lama is the representative of sun worship in the East? If you’ve never heard that, you’ve got a long way to go. It’s time for you to wake up. It’s time for you to come out of your sleep. It’s time for you to stop ignoring the truth. It’s time for you to pull the shades off your eyes, and pull the corks out of your ears, and get eye salve that you can see, and get a spiritual hearing aid so you can hear. “...The star of your god, which ye made to yourselves” (vs. 24-26). That’s why they were killed in the wilderness. Right in the presence of God they did all these things.
Now let’s come back to Hebrews 3. Let’s pick it up here in verse 10 (AT). Now maybe you can understand why God was wroth with them. Now if you have children, what if in your very house your own children came in and had sex orgies, drug parties, disrespected your house, tore it apart, and did it right in front of you? Would you not be angry? Yes. Well that’s what they did to God. So sometimes when these things take place you need to have a little personal application so that you can understand what it is. God is a God of love. But if you go against Him and sin, you are going to pay the penalty because the wages of sin is death, and misery in between until there is death.
Now Hebrews 3:10 (AT), “‘Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, “They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My wrath, “If they shall enter into My rest-”‘” The Greek here is katapausin, meaning into the Promised Land. They were to have rest from their journeys, rest from their enemies. Verse 12, here is the lesson. Paul says, “Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief,...” (vs. 10-12, AT). If you don’t believe the Sabbath, you have an evil heart of unbelief and you don’t believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ. You are using the Scriptures, you are abusing the Scriptures, you are using them to your own end, and God’s judgment will be on you, just like it was upon the children of Israel.
“...An evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (vs. 12-13, AT). Sin is the transgression of the law. And it is deceitful. Have you been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin in your life, and yet think you are justified, and yet think that you are a good Christian? You better stop and think again. You better examine yourself according to the Word of God.
“For we are companions of Christ, if...” You might circle that little word, “if” – conditional, “...if we truly hold steadfastly until the end to the confidence we had at the beginning.” And what were they doing at the beginning? Sabbath-keeping, holy day keeping. That’s going back to beginning when the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost, a holy day of God. “As it is said, ‘Today,...’” Now I want you to take this and read it to yourself. And I want you to apply it to yourself and ask the question in your deepest part of your heart and mind before God, “…‘Today, if you will hear His voice [Will you hear His voice?] [Do not] harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For some who heard it did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He indignant for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except those who disobeyed?” (vs. 14-18, AT).
Question: Do you think you’re going to be in the kingdom of God if you disobey? Do you think you’re going to be in the kingdom of God if you harden your heart and don’t repent, and don’t start obeying God and keeping His commandments from your heart? I tell you, no. Christ tells you, no. So we see that they were unable to enter in because of unbelief. They didn’t have faith. And it takes faith to keep the Sabbath. It doesn’t take any faith to keep Sunday. It takes faith to keep the holy days. It doesn’t take any faith to keep Christmas, and Easter, and New Year’s, and Halloween, and all of the satanic days of this world. That’s just doing what’s natural. That’s following along with the world. There’s no faith involved in that. And if you think that you’re a Christian and doing God’s will by doing that you have hardened your heart in the deceitfulness of sin. And know God’s judgment is going to come on you, just like it did with the children of Israel.
Now let’s see how the apostle Paul bore that out. Let’s come here to chapter 4, beginning in verse 1. “Therefore [that means consequently, because of this], we should fear [that we live in sin] lest perhaps, a promise being open to enter into His rest,...” because the promise is open. And this rest is katapausin, which means to enter into His final rest in the kingdom of God. We are going to see there are three applications of the word “rest”: one, resting from labor; two, resting from your sins; and three, entering into the rest, that is, into the kingdom of God. Now entering into the Promised Land by the children of Israel was a fore type of entering into the kingdom of God. But now it’s the eternal kingdom of God. And now the stakes are eternal. It’s not just some physical thing.
“…To enter into His rest, any of you might seem to come short. For truly, we have had the gospel preached to us,…” by Christ, by the apostles, by the ministers of God, through the Word of God, “…even as they also did;…” Now the gospel to them was not the eternal kingdom of God, but the good news of entering into the Promised Land, the physical kingdom. “…But the preaching of the word did not profit them, because it was not mixed with faith in them who heard.” They didn’t believe God that they were going to go into the Promised Land. When He brought them right up to the edge to go in and conquer the land, they said, “No, we can’t do this God!” Verse 3, “For we who have believed [are believing], we ourselves are entering into the rest; as He has said,…” (Heb. 4:1-3, AT).
Now we’re going to see in just a little bit, to “enter into that rest” means: one, you rest on the seventh day Sabbath and the holy days; two, you will enter into the kingdom of God; three, you enter into the rest of having your sins forgiven. And when you enter into the rest of Christ, he does not give you permission to sin. He gives you permission not to sin because you are resting in the sacrifice of Christ, and you are resting on the Sabbath day. We’ll see that. “…As He has said, ‘So I swore in My wrath, “If they shall enter into My rest -”’…” Now it’s the same thing today. It’s conditional. Will you enter into the rest of God? You have to answer that question. “…Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (vs. 3, AT), and this goes right back to where we began this series on the Sabbath – how God created it; and we will look at that again in just a minute.
“For He spoke in a certain place about the seventh day in this manner:…” What are we talking about? What day is the seventh day? It’s the Sabbath. “For He spoke in a certain place about the seventh day in this manner: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’;…” (vs. 4). Now we’re going to look at that. I have with me here a Septuagint Bible, which is the Old Testament in Greek, and the wording in the Greek in the Old Testament and New Testament are almost identical. So I’m going to read it to you here. Genesis 2:2 (Sept.), “And God finished on the sixth day…” which is a correct translation. “…His works which He had made. And He ceased…” the verb form of katapausin – stopped. Katapausin means to cease, to stop, to rest. “…He ceased on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because in it He ceased [or rested] from all His works which God began to do.”
Now let’s understand something here that’s very important: the Sabbath day has been blessed and sanctified. And you cannot have sanctification in Christ unless you keep the holy Sabbath day, which gives you sanctification for the proper worship of God. No other day was sanctified from creation until now. Not a single other day than the weekly Sabbath and the annual sabbaths have been sanctified. And in it you need to understand that God gave the Sabbath as a gift. The one Who created it was Christ, Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament. And He is the one Who gave it to mankind. Now this is important for us to understand and realize when we’re going through chapter 4 here.
Now let’s come back to Hebrews 4, and let’s continue in verse 5 (AT). “And again concerning this: ‘If they shall enter into My rest - ’ Consequently, since it remains for some to enter into it,…” Some to be called and enter into the rest, having their sins forgiven; some called to enter in to the rest of keeping the Sabbath, and enter into the rest of the kingdom of God. “…And those who had previously heard the gospel did not enter in because of disobedience,…” (vs. 5-6). And that was disobedience to the Sabbath day.
Now verse 7. We come to a special time in history again. Because all during the judges, as we saw, the people, the children of Israel left God, left His commandments, went after Baal and Ashtoreth. They did the same thing under Saul, though Saul started out as the first king and was a good king at first while he was little in his own eyes. But then he sinned and rebelled against God. Then we come to David. Now we have a new epic. David was a man after God’s heart. So God again set aside the time. And David wrote the 95th Psalm, which is all of this concerning “today.” So let’s read it.
Verse 7, “Again He marks out a certain day,…” Not the first day. Not the sixth day. Not the fifth day – but the seventh day. “…‘Today,’ saying in David after so long a time (exactly as it has been quoted above), ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.’” Now you have to ask yourself that question today. What did they harden their hearts to, toward? The Sabbath. Now verse 8. Now we’ll cover this in depth a little later when we do a series in the book of Hebrews. “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken long afterwards of another day” (vs. 7-8, AT). In other words, if inheriting the kingdom of God of the physical nation coming into Canaan, the Promised Land, if that was the completion of God’s plan, it would have ended everything with Joshua dividing up the land for the people. But it didn’t, you see.
Now then, that’s why He spoke of it so long after that. After Joshua to David, He said again, “Today, if you will hear His voice…” That is, concerning the Sabbath, “…harden not your hearts…’’ Now verse 9 (AT), “Therefore, there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.” Now this is a direct command for Sabbath-keeping in the New Testament. Therefore, because of God’s plan of the kingdom of God as we started out in the beginning of the gospel of Christ, He preached “Repent, and believe the gospel, the kingdom of God is at hand.” And if you’re going to enter into that rest of the kingdom of God, then there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.
Now we’ll look at the details of the word “Sabbath-keeping” in just a minute. Let’s ask the question, who are the people of God? Let’s come to 1 Peter 2. And this is when Peter wrote to the Gentiles who were in Paul’s area. So it probably was right after Paul was martyred. So we find here in 1 Peter – let’s just look at the first chapter for just a minute, and then we will go to the second chapter – and answer the question, who are the people of God? Do the “people of God” just mean the Jews? No. Because the Jews today, though they are physically the people of God, just as the Israelites are physically the people of God, they are not the people of God spiritually. The Jews, spiritually, have been rejected. The Israelites, spiritually, have been rejected. So they are not the people of God. They are the same as Gentiles in the world.
Now here, 1 Peter 1:1, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers…” Now that means to those who are Gentiles. “…Scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,…” All the former area of the apostle Paul. Now notice what he says here. Let’s come down to verse 9 of chapter 2. “But ye [the ones he’s writing to] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,…” Not yet installed, because that will happen when Christ returns. “…An holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: which in time past [because you are Gentiles] were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10). The people of God include the Gentiles. This is commanding Sabbath-keeping for all people of God, whether Jew, or Gentile, or Hebrew, or Israelite, or Scythian, or bond, or Roman, whatever it is. There is a command: “Consequently, therefore, there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9, paraphrased).
Now let’s come back and let’s analyze this a little more closely in verse 9. Now let’s look at the word that has been translated “Sabbath-keeping.” The Greek there is sabbatismos. Now sabbatismos is a, what we call in English today a gerund, which then has been a verb which has become a noun – “Sabbath-keeping.” And that is in the nominative case here, in this case, being the subject. Sabbath-keeping remains. Now then, “remains” is stronger than “remember.” When you go back to Exodus 20, which we will in just a minute, it says, “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.” Now sabbatismos in the verb form is sabbatisee. That is the infinitive. In the regular verb form it is sabbatiso. In the Septuagint version of the Bible we have direct use of the word sabbatiso in the form of the verb to show that it means Sabbath-keeping. So when it’s talking about Sabbath-keeping here, sabbatismos in Hebrews 4:9, it’s not talking about a rest. It’s talking about a Sabbath rest, Sabbath-keeping. Now we’ll see that. Let’s look at it.
Let’s come here to Leviticus 23:32. And that’s very important, because Leviticus 23:32 is defining for us how and when a sabbath should be kept in referring directly to the Day of Atonement. Let me read it here, the English translation from the Septuagint: “It shall be a holy sabbath to you [that is, the Day of Atonement], and you shall humble yourselves: from the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you keep your sabbaths.” Now in the Greek it’s plural. So this is a verb, then, this is a sentence including all of the Sabbaths. That’s why sabbatismos, meaning Sabbath-keeping, includes the annual holy days. Now what do you suppose the verb is here, that is used in the Septuagint? The verb here is sabbatisite, which is the verb form for the plural “you,” “you all.” “You all shall keep (or celebrate) your Sabbath.” And it’s translated “keep” in the Septuagint; “celebrate” in the King James.
Now that’s very powerful for you to understand. There is absolutely no getting around the dogmatic statement of Hebrews 4:9, “Therefore, there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.” That is as strong, if not stronger than the fourth commandment in Exodus 20. Let’s see another thing concerning this. Let’s go to Exodus 20. Let’s read it here in the Septuagint. And we are going to find that the word katapausen referring to “resting” for keeping the Sabbath is used. Now let’s come here, Exodus 20, and let’s pick it up here in verse 8. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Why? Because God made it holy, and God gave you the Sabbath. Do you understand that the Sabbath is a gift from God? Do you realize that? One of the best and greatest gifts that He has given mankind, that he can know Who God is, that he can fellowship with God, that he can rest from his labors and his works, that he can rest from his sins, that he can fellowship with God? That’s why He says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
“Six days shall you labor, and do all your work; but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On it you shall do no work: you, or your son, or your daughter, or your servant, or your maidservant, your ox, your ass, or your cattle, nor the stranger that sojourns with you. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that in them is, and rested…” (vs. 9-11, Septuagint). Katapause – the verb form of the noun katapausen, rest. So He rested. So if you want to enter into His rest of Sabbath-keeping, you will katapause yourself. So you see how powerful that is. This is not just some little theological thing that theologians and scholars go to and purr their way through their lies to say that this excuses you from keeping the Sabbath. You know, you need to learn something very important. The Scriptures are such that carnal-minded people who hate God, who lie, who cheat with the Word of God, who want to justify their traditions and their religions, they go to the very scripture which condemns them for what they are doing. And where they claim that Hebrews 4 says, “Why, it’s ok. You don’t have to keep the Sabbath,” that is the very scripture which says, “Therefore, there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God” in a dogmatic statement. You need to understand that. “…And rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it…” (vs. 11), and no other weekly day. He hallowed the annual Sabbaths. Now that’s another whole topic. But we’re talking about the weekly Sabbath here.
Now since we’re here in the book of Exodus, let’s turn quickly back to Exodus 16, and we’re going to see that the verb form of sabbatiso is used right here in Exodus 16, beginning in verse 29. “See, for the Lord has given you this day as the Sabbath,…” The seventh day. It is a gift of God. He gave it to you. “…Therefore He has given you on the sixth day the bread of two days;…”, which was also a gift from God. Now you come to the New Testament, Christ also kept the Sabbath; He was also a gift of God, was He not? And He was the bread from heaven, correct? Yes. So you see the parallel there. That’s quite a thing. “…Let none of you go forth out of his place on the seventh day. And the people kept the Sabbath on the seventh day” (Ex. 16:29-30, Septuagint). The Greek there is e sabbatisen, which then is the past tense of sabbatiso. So when it says sabbatismos back there in Hebrews 4:9, it is talking about Sabbath-keeping and celebrating the Sabbath. And yes, there are some other scriptural references; when we come to Leviticus 26 it talks about the land receiving its sabbatisite – resting.
Now let’s come on back here to Hebrews 4, and let’s understand what it’s talking about with the rest of this. Now when you understand that the quotes given from the Old Testament in the book of Hebrews come from the Septuagint version of the Bible, then you will understand the profound significance of Sabbath-keeping. So then, “there remains Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.” Now let’s continue. Verse 10 (AT), “For the one who has entered into His rest,…” Now there are two “entering ins” here. One, you enter into the rest from sin. Jesus said, “All you that labor and are heavy burdened, come to Me, and learn of Me, and follow Me, and I will give you rest.” Let’s turn there. Let’s go to Matthew 11. Let’s read that. That’s very important to understand. Because Christ is not giving you rest from Sabbath-keeping, He is giving you rest from your sins.
Now let’s pick it up right here, Matthew 11:28. “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” There’s a double meaning to that. You come to Christ on the Sabbath, on His rest day, and He will give you rest. You come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and He will give you rest from your sins. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me;…” How did Christ keep the Sabbath? We went through and saw that, didn’t we? He gave the way for the New Covenant on how to keep it. Did you learn of Christ? “…For I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto [for] your souls.” Now rest from sin and rest from your labor – katapausin in both cases. “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). And you know, 1 John 5:3 says that if we love God we will keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
You need to understand, the true Sabbath of God is kept according to the New Covenant, and is not a burden, but a joy, a blessing, a part of the grace of God, a part of the love and fellowship of God that you need. You see, if you have gone to Sunday-keeping, or you’re out there in some religion of the world, you need to stop. You need to take account. You need to look into the Word of God. You need to understand what God is saying. You need to understand what these scriptures are telling you. And if you have been a Sabbath-keeper and you are thinking about going back to Sunday-keeping, you better stop. You better look. You better listen. You better hear. You better not harden your heart.
Now notice, let’s come back here to Hebrews 4:10 (AT) again. “For the one who has entered into His rest [katapausin – and that is resting on the Sabbath], he also has ceased from his works [after six days], just as God did from His own works.” Now if you’re going to cease from your works, as God ceased from His works…now that means, if you’re a Sunday-keeper, you’re going to quit keeping Sunday. Because that is your work. Do you understand that? That’s not a work of God. Now notice verse 11 (AT): “We should be diligent therefore…” Not haphazard; not sloppily; not consider the Sabbath a sports day, or anything like that; or to neglect on the Sabbath or to lounge around on the Sabbath. It’s a day of worship, it’s a day of study, it’s a day of fellowship, it’s day of getting close to God. So therefore, during the six days you need to be diligent to enter into that rest. Because what will happen if you don’t? “…Lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” And that disobedience means you are breaking the Sabbath, and you are not keeping it. Do you understand that? Do you grasp the significance of what this is telling us in Hebrews 4?
Now if you don’t, then he gives a very powerful lesson. “Today, while it is today, will you hear His voice, and harden not your hearts as in the wilderness?” Will you, today? If not then, read verse 12 (AT): “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Do you think that you are going to get into the kingdom of God by rejecting the Sabbath and keeping Sunday, by rejecting the holy days of God and keeping the satanic days of this world? You have another thought coming. Because the Word of God is sharp, it is living, and it’s going to cut asunder. And God’s judgment will be upon you. Think of it! Do you want the judgment of God upon you, like He did with the children of Israel? And God’s judgment is coming upon this nation for all of the things that they are doing, and all of the Sabbath-breaking, and all of the Sunday-keeping, and all of the hypocritical religion that people have today in this land. And it is coming, lo, it’s coming. Just like it did on the children of Israel.
“And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account” (vs. 13, AT). And are you ready to give account to God? Is Christ covering your life with His sacrifice? Are you loving Him and keeping His commandments? Are you loving God the Father with all your heart and mind and soul and being? And that the account will be given that the righteousness of Christ will be imputed to you because you love God, you love His commandments, you love His Sabbath, you love His holy days, and you do the things that are pleasing to Him?
“Having therefore a great High Priest [you can overcome any obstacle], Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith [and Sabbath-keeping]. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations, yet He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (vs. 14-16, AT).
And that’s what you need to do now concerning the Sabbath. Come to the very throne of God; come to the truth of God; come with a repentant heart; keep the Sabbath; keep the commandments of God; turn to Christ with all you heart and mind and soul and being; and honor the Sabbath, and serve God the way that He has shown.
Holy Sabbath #8
|1) Mark 1:14-15||12) Hebrews 3:10-18|
|2) Mark 3:1-6||13) Hebrews 4:1-9|
|3) Mark 6:1-6||14) 1 Peter 1:1|
|4) Luke 4:16, 31-32||15) 1 Peter 2:9-10|
|5) Luke 6:1-11||16) Leviticus 23:32|
|6) Matthew 12:1-8||17) Exodus 20:8-11|
|7) Luke 13:10-17, 1-5||18) Exodus 16:29-30|
|8) Luke 14:1-6, 25-27||
19) Hebrews 4:10
|9) Hebrews 3:1-9||20) Matthew 11:28-30|
|10) Psalm 95||21) 1 John 5:3|
|11) Amos 5:21-26||22) Hebrews 4:10-16|