Friday, November 11, 2011

Rest on the Sabbath, knowing that you will enter His rest soon and forever!

Hello all you wonderful Brothers and Sisters out there. Are the weeks getting longer, or is it just me? LOL, By the time Friday comes, I'm just pooped! If course, I'm thrilled to have been working in a job I love, so no complaints there. Weekends are an opportunity to rest and reflect on the week. I like to think back and go over the times where I may have stumbled and use the weekend for bible reading on the subject I stumbled on. I like to look back and praise the Holy Spirit for when I see where He helped me overcome something. I pray, study and think on Him and His word. Sundays are days for worship and fellowship, praising Him. In short, weekends are not only respite from the busy week but a clearing of space and time to reflect on the relationship I have with Him.

The bible does not speak much of the concept of rest, except that when it does speak of rest, it is always in the future. There are few people resting in the bible, lol. Even in Genesis 49:15 where Jacob said "When he saw that a resting place was good, And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor" it means that they saw that the place was permanent and restful so they worked hard to prepare it for the day in the future when they could rest.

Hebrews 4 discusses rest. In that verse, the LORD is called the Rest. Heaven is the place of rest. (Also Psalms 5:11 and Heb 3:11).

Of course, the most important mention of rest was in Genesis 2:3 where God Himself rested on the 7th day. "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

I like to be busy for the Lord and to use every minute I can to do His will and further His kingdom. But at times we have to stop. Continual work for the sake of work is not good. Though God was not tired, He stopped and rested on the 7th day to show US we need it. In addition, He didn't just stop and rest, He blessed the day, AND He made it holy.

God made the sabbath a day of rest so rest must be important. He blessed the day, which means we should honor the sabbath and Him who established it in ancient days. He made it holy, putting His holy hands around the day as a hedge to set it apart as a day to honor Him, specifically.

Many other more worthy and academic people have preached on the importance of sabbath rest, so I'll just say that as busy as I am and I like to be, setting aside a time when I can simply meditate on Him, praise Him, sing to Him, and rejoice in Him is a blessing indeed.

On this earth, we are called to work, to fight, to persevere, to wrestle, to run. There is no rest for us, the weary. At least, NOT YET. Picture the sabbath rests of those few precious hours as a drop of water on the tongue of Lazarus in hell, soothing for but a moment, but when we enter the Rest, and lay down our burdens in heaven, the full flowing water will slake our thirst forever and we may then rest. Imagine how refreshing it will be!

The permanent rest will be as a flowing fountain of peace, thoroughly drenching every cell of ours and relaxing us to a degree none can even imagine. No more fighting! No more persevering! No more wrestling! No more running! Our rest will be Jesus Himself!

Hold on but a bit longer. Enjoy your Sabbath day knowing it is a drop of a foretaste of what is to come. And it will come, and SOON!

11 comments:

  1. I'm confused. In the first paragraph you say to rest and worship on Sunday, then later you say to rest on the 7th day, Saturday, called the Sabbath.

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  2. Yes I did say that. God rested on the 7th day and commanded us to keep the Sabbath Holy, as stated int he scriptures. At some point this was decided to to refer to Saturday, although the Bible doesn't explicitly say so. In the early Church Sunday morning was picked to worship because that’s the day the Lord rose from the grave.

    Don't obsess on which day, but pick your sabbath day and keep it holy. That's the point. Jack Kelley said this of your confusion: "The endless debate about Saturday vs. Sunday Sabbath completely misses the point. It’s not about the day we worship. It’s about whether we’ve rested from our own work and entered into our life-long Sabbath rest."

    Clear now?

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  3. You are really confusing the people. Do not teach anything from the Scriptures unless you have a thorough study of the topic. God speaks of one Sabbath only which is the seventh day namely Saturday. He did not say for us to choose any, as long as we keep it holy. No that is deception.

    It is you who is missing the point of why Sabbath was given in the first place and unless you know that, you would not know why Sabbath is so important to God. If we love God, we will the day on which he himself rested from his work of creation.

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    1. Hi JAWS<

      You're absolutely right, no one should teach unless they have made a thorough study of the scripture, prayed and have been given a ministry by the Holy Spirit to do so.

      If I have confused you, here is another essay which may be less confusing.

      I do state categorically that I see nowhere that the Church is to rest on Saturday. Here is more information for you by people I feel that have made a thorough study of the scripture, prayed and have been given a ministry by the Holy Spirit to do teach. I pray you enjoy their explanation and find it acceptable: [excerpted]

      "What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?"

      Answer--
      The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel: “The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested” (Exodus 31:16–17).

      In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 12–14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

      An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points: 1) Whenever Christ appears in His resurrected form and the day is mentioned, it is always the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, 9, 10; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 13, 15; John 20:19, 26). 2) The only time the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation it is for evangelistic purposes to the Jews and the setting is usually in a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–18). Paul wrote, “to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost. 3) Once Paul states “from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned. And 4) instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3 above, found in Colossians 2:16).

      Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural. The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ “canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).

      This idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament: (Romans 14:5–6a), (Galatians 4:9–10).

      Historically Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.

      The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14). Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with Christ as our resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen Christ—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Saturday-Sunday.html

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  4. I am very sorry, Elizabeth, but you are not correct that man can choose the day of the sabbath. God makes it clear what day the sabbath is on and it is a commandment. As for the church not being Israel. I am sorry to have to correct you again, but scripture says that Israel is the root and we as gentiles are grafted in by faith and thus become Israel. Thinking differently than this leads to false replacement theology. God says He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thus, if he says "keep my commandments", he kinda means forever and this is not exclusive to Israel. The old testament is not replaced by the new testament with God's commandments thrown out. The purpose of the law was to show that one cannot keep it and be saved by it and that one required a savior. The new testament fulfilled the bringing of that savior. However, "thou shalt not kill" etc., is still as valid to God today as it was when it was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The "written code" you speak of was the additional man-made laws of Israel are not the valid law to keep, only God's actual commandments. Changing His day to any day you want, willy-nilly, is actually sacriledge. Will you choose to make a graven image and bow down to it and worship it as a god? That is a commandment. Will you kill another? That is a commandment. Christians think they can keep only the commandments that fall in line with their beliefs or what they have been told is okay. "I will keep this one," or "that was for the old times." I think God would point to his Word and show different. No, you are not saved by works and keeping His law, but if you do believe in Romans 9:10, you will keep his law because you love him...all 10 of them with a new one to "love your brother" given to us by Jesus. God himself rested on the 7th day, don't you think He gave it to us as a gift? Check out the laws of 7 in the bible, i.e., letting your ground rest on the 7th year...There is a lot to be discovered about 7 and rest.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      You said, "I think God would point to his Word and show different." OK, do it. Point to His word. I did.

      The question we are discussing is, "Are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today?" I believe I showed you explicitly using scripture what the standard is now for sabbath day worship.

      I'll answer with more pointing to His word. The link below is to an essay from John MacArthur answering the above question, also using scripture. It begins:

      "We believe the Old Testament regulations governing Sabbath observances are ceremonial, not moral, aspects of the law. As such, they are no longer in force, but have passed away along with the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, and all other aspects of Moses' law that prefigured Christ. Here are the reasons we hold this view.

      1. In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul explicitly refers to the Sabbath as a shadow of Christ, which is no longer binding since the substance (Christ) has come. It is quite clear in those verses that the weekly Sabbath is in view. The phrase "a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day" refers to the annual, monthly, and weekly holy days of the Jewish calendar (cf. 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 31:3; Ezekiel 45:17; Hosea 2:11). If Paul were referring to special ceremonial dates of rest in that passage, why would he have used the word "Sabbath?" He had already mentioned the ceremonial dates when he spoke of festivals and new moons.

      2. The Sabbath was the sign to Israel of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20:12; Nehemiah 9:14). Since we are now under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8), we are no longer required to observe the sign of the Mosaic Covenant. "

      Those are just two of the 12 scriptural points answering the question of whether OT sabbath laws are binding on Christians today. I encourage you to read them to see more fully what the most commonly interpreted answer to the Sabbath day question is...

      http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA135/are-the-sabbath-laws-binding-on-christians-today

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    2. From Jesus mouth, Matthew 5:18,19 read it yourself.

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    3. hi justhuman,

      Yes Jesus did say that. Matthew 5:17-18
      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

      And then in John 19:30 He said "It is finished!"

      If, as you interpret, do you keep the Sabbath? Walking only .598 miles? Keeping clean and unclean foods separate? Tithing 23 1/2 % for the temple?

      Jesus fulfilled the moral, judicial, and ceremonial Law. As GotQuestions explains, "It is frequently argued that if Jesus did not “abolish” the law, then it must still be binding. Accordingly, such components as the Sabbath-day requirement must be operative still, along with perhaps numerous other elements of the Mosaic Law. This assumption is grounded in a misunderstanding of the words and intent of this passage. Christ did not suggest here that the binding nature of the law of Moses would remain forever in effect. Such a view would contradict everything we learn from the balance of the New Testament (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15)."
      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/abolish-fulfill-law.html#ixzz2xwkAhFPk

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  5. why twisting the word of God?..if you really people of God you should know His commands to follow,..that the ten commandments is a manual given to man. If you just abolish the commandments ,,,is it we can coveth,kill?do images and praise as God etc? bec if we abolish sabbath we should abolish all and we can act evillness and no more rules?...i just wonder?..

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    1. Hi Celina,

      The Sabbath was for the Jews. Born again Christians don't keep the sabbath like they did. That is not required of us. It doesn't mean the Ten Commandments are destroyed if we born again Christians don't keep the Sabbath. Here is more information

      "The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14). Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with Christ as our resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen Christ—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Saturday-Sunday.html#ixzz2zH227Nha

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    2. Hello Elizabeth. I came a crossed your post on the 21 day fast and Jentezen Frankin today which led me to this topic of the Sabbath. Your answers seem scripturally sound. Although a couple of years ago I would have sounded like most of your repliers. On this topic of the Sabbath I have experienced a lot of confusion even to the point of a three year spiritual depression with no church. I kept the seventh day Sabbath for years and although I love God and used that day to study. it started to feel more like something I had to do. I am not saying if I did not keep it I would be condemned to hell, but it felt like something I had to do to perhaps make me feel like I am spending time with God. Elizabeth the reason I say this is that is that I felt I did not spend enough time in the word and felt I had to DO more on that day. How much was enough? (Works} I decided to study scripture and find real Godly scholars to help in my journey. I researched their answers and to compound the my problem even more I received different answers from all. All agree we have to keep the ten commandments, but when asked about the fourth the answers differed. We are no longer under the law,the Sabbath was chanced to first day. Christ rose on sunday. This is more confusing in that they should be the nine commandments then? I gave it much thought and I felt as head of my family I needed to find a good church that taught the gospel. I searched for approximately a year. Most of the churches were more like motivational seminars, grab a cup of coffee and a donut and enjoy the show. Back to the Sabbath. Elizabeth, I know this is not popular, however I came to a conclusion (right or wrong.The way I interpret scripture is the ten commandments should be left in the old covenant with the rest of the laws and the commandments that Christ gave to hang all on in Mark 12:30-31. There are no commandments greater than these. When I want to live like Christ according to His teachings which of the ten commandments am I breaking? When I am in Christ they are written on my heart. Even though the small Baptist church we attend believe in Sunday Sabbath, like most other unless of course there is a sports game. As for my family we do not keep a Sabbath day. We believe in praying without ceasing, which to us means always be mindful of Christ and be in His word not out of guilt but out of love for our savior. Again I do not know if my prayers led me to this or not, but I do know the Lord has blessed me and my family to draw nearer to Christ. Thank You Jesus.

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