007 – Remember the Sabbath

Shekinah Glory

Summary

The Fourth Commandment, to keep the Sabbath holy, is still totally relevant for our generation and will become even more so as we approach the end of time. The Sabbath is one of Satan’s biggest deceptions. He has deceived most of Christendom to worship on the pagan day of the sun! Yet the Sabbath is God’s requirement for right worship. The Sabbath is God’s seal and a sign of His covenant with His people. It’s a day of rest He sanctified for us. He expects us to come to Him in that day with adoration. The Sabbath was instituted in the Garden of Eden, before there were any Jews – therefore it’s for all mankind. All Christians need to keep the Sabbath holy to avoid transgressing God’s law.

Introduction

In today’s show we are going to be discussing one of history’s greatest cover-up’s:  how it is that God’s hallowed day of worship was changed from Saturday to Sunday, so that the overwhelming majority of Christians go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday.  Some of you might be thinking “Huh?” and not having any idea what on earth I’m talking about.  Why would you spend the next hour listening to me talk about the Sabbath?  Isn’t that a totally obsolete and irrelevant concept?  Aren’t there more important things to talk about in the Bible?

Well dear friends, as we fast approach the end of time, the subject of “worship” will become THE core issue that the Christian community will be polarized on.   Worship is the underlying theme of the Book of Revelation:  WHOM we worship, WHY we worship, WHEN we worship, and HOW we worship are all incredibly important today and will become even more so as time progresses.    The Bible gives us God’s perspective on this incredibly strategic issue that we as the endtime generation really need to understand.

We’re going to break down this big topic into more manageable chunks.  In today’s program we will be shedding light on the following questions:

  • Do Christians today still need to keep the Sabbath?
  • If yes, why?  Isn’t that an Old Testament thing that’s obsolete?  And isn’t that only for the Jews?
  • What are the implications of failing to keep the Sabbath?  Will we be punished?
  • And finally, HOW does one keep the Sabbath?  Is there a prescribed way to worship God on that day?  Are there things to do and things not to do?

Then in our next program we’ll address the following questions:

  • Why do most Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath?  Was the day of worship changed, and if so, why and by whom?

You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover today.  You will finally get to the bottom of this Sabbath question! To most Christians today the Sabbath may appear to be a total non-issue.  But it will prove to be the most important prophetic issue of all, and the one that will separate the saved from the unsaved.  We are already starting to see many prophetic fulfillments related to the Sabbath as the One World Religion ramps up.

Later in today’s program we have a beautiful song for you, we’re honored to be able to bring you Neville Peter singing “Holy Time”, a song he wrote to honor God’s day of rest.    If you like this song you can purchase if from Neville Peter’s website at nevillepeter.com, the song is featured his album called “A Quiet Praise”.  I’ll be inserting a link to his website in today’s show notes which I’ll post to our website citybiblegroup.com.  You’ll find them under the Podcasts tab.  So let’s get ready to enter God’s Word today as we explore the Sabbath question.

Do Christians today still need to keep the Sabbath?

The answer is YES, Christians today still need to keep the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is one of God’s Ten Commandments, and we studied in our last program that God’s Law is eternal and immutable; it is forever and does not change (just like God Himself is eternal and does not change).   This is the short answer.  But there is a longer answer that will help us understand the strategic importance of the Sabbath within God’s Kingdom.

It mystifies me how so many people seem to have a veil over their eyes when it comes to the Sabbath.  It’s some kind mass social hypnosis.  Even some very sincere, totally committed men of God are deluded into believing that the Sabbath is an Old Testament statute and is only for the Jews.  They may quote a couple of scriptures about entering God’s rest and about how the disciples came together on a Sunday in the Book of Acts, and use this as biblical evidence that God’s day of worship was changed.

But the Biblical evidence of the eternal relevance of the Sabbath is too overriding and pervasive to be ignored.   These are the 7 reasons why we Christians still need to worship on the Sabbath:

No. 1:  Obedience to God’s Ten Commandment

No. 2:  The Sabbath is a date with God that deepens our relationship

No. 3:  We worship God the Creator on the Sabbath

No. 4:  The Sabbath is the Seal of God

No. 5:  The Sabbath is for all people, not only the Jews

No. 6:  The Sabbath is a permanent covenant between God and His people

No. 7:  We need a day of rest from our labor

Let’s delve into God’s Word and examine each one of these more closely.

Reason No. 1:  Obedience to God’s Law

 Let’s listen to God’s Fourth Commandment, which is found in the Book of Exodus chapter 20 verses 8 through 11:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Interesting that this is the only one of the Ten Commandments that starts with “Remember”.  God knew the end from the beginning, and He knew this commandment would be changed.  Therefore He made it very clear in His Word that we are to remember this commandment.

For those of you who haven’t listened to our previous program entitled Law and Grace, I highly recommend that you take the time later on to listen to it.  In that program we explained that the Ten Commandments did not “get nailed to the cross” in the same way that the Law of Moses did.  We provided all the scriptural evidence that the Ten Commandments are still binding.  We mentioned that in the Book of Revelation, referring to things yet to come, we read:

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”  (Revelation 11:19)  The Ark of His Testament is the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments.  It hasn’t been left behind as something pertaining to Old Testament days, but is every bit as relevant today as when it was given to Moses over 3000 years ago.

God equates love with obedience.  1st John 5:3 tells us “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”.  Jesus said “If you love me, keep My Commandments” (John 14:15).    And furthermore in Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus expounds at great length upon the law, lest anyone be deceived into thinking that it was no longer applicable:

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

In Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read:  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”   Let me give you one more scripture on this, from Psalms 103:17-18.  “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.”  Clearly this last allusion is to the Sabbath, the only commandment that has the word “remember”.

To conclude on the first reason for obeying the Sabbath which is obedience to God, let us say that in the endtime which we are fast approaching, God will use this commandment as an obedience test and will bring punishment on those who violate it.  We’ll come back to this point later.

Reason No. 2:  The Sabbath is a date with God

In our last program Angel was asking if we could worship God on any other day of the week.  Let me highlight two instructions that God gives in that commandment:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

The first point that comes out clearly is the cycle of seven days.  We remember that God worked 6 days and rested on the seventh day.  So it’s not any day that we can substitute for this day, it has to be the seventh day which God is asking us to keep holy.  The second point is the fact that God blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.  No other day of the week has that special blessing and holy character that God gave to the Sabbath.

What am I saying here?  I’m saying that God is making Himself and His grace available on that day as on no other day.  In the same way that God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, He makes Himself available on the Sabbath to His children.  He has made the Sabbath to be a delight, and will reward us for doing His pleasure on that day instead of doing our pleasure.

Human relationships are defined by time.  Your relationships wax or wane depending on how much time you’re investing into that given relationship.  You grow closer to the people you spend time with, and grow apart from the people you see infrequently.   God wants us to be in relationship with Him, a deep relationship, because His love for us is very deep.  He set aside the Sabbath day so that we can have fellowship with Him on that day.  No other day can be substituted for the Sabbath because this is the only segment of time He has blessed and made holy.

Think of it this way.  Let’s say your boss offers you a date to do some socializing, for example he invites you to play golf on Saturday.  You don’t show up on Saturday, instead you turn up on Sunday.  You blew it, didn’t you?  How do you think your boss feels about that?   Similar example with your wife’s birthday.  What happens if you celebrate her birthday and bring her a gift the day after?  Do you think she would be pleased with that?  It’s exactly the same with God.  This is a day that has been set aside and made holy to celebrate the fact that He is our Maker and to deepen our relationship with Him.  Do not miss the time of your visitation!  Most Christians do.  But from now on, tell yourself that you will no longer be one of them, that you will remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.

This is what God has promised to those who keep the Sabbath (Isaiah 58:13-14):

“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Reason No. 3The Sabbath honors the Creator

You may recall from our earlier reading of the Fourth Commandment that it was established in commemoration of the act of creation:  “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

We read in Revelation 14:6-7 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  This is the first of the Three Angels’ Messages from the Book of Revelation.  The first angel invites us to worship God the Creator, He that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of water.  So we see that at the end of time, when God’s judgment shall be brought upon the earth and its inhabitants, we shall be reminded once again to worship the Creator.

Reason No. 4:  The Sabbath is the Seal of God

God is Elohim, the Creator, the King and Supreme Ruler of the Universe.  The Fourth Commandment bears His Seal.  We going to take a few minutes now to understand the importance of this, especially as it relates to the endtime and the choices our generation will be forced to make.  In Ezekiel 20:12 we learn that the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people:  “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.”  According to Romans 4:11 a sign and a seal are the same thing because Paul wrote:  “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith.”

Kings and presidents affix their seal to any important document they issue during their tenure.   If we take President Obama as an example, his seal would contain his name, his title or office, and his territory.  Therefore his seal would read Barak Obama (his name) President (his office or title) of the United States (his territory).

In biblical times kings did exactly the same thing:  they put their seal on any important document they issued.  Furthermore, kings’ documents (sometimes written on stone) would be written on both sides, because the seal would cover part of the contents on that side of the parchment or the stone.  We know from the Book of Exodus that the tables of the law were written on both sides:  “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.  And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.”  (Exodus 32:15-16)

Kings would typically place their seal right in the middle of a document.  The Fourth Commandment sits in the middle of the Ten, and embedded in it is God’s seal:  “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord (his name) thy God (his title): in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is (his territory).”  (Remember we’d said in another program that El Hashem (the name, the tetragrammaton) was too sacred to be pronounced, so instead of referring to God as Yahweh they referred to Him as Adonai or Lord.)

Here’s some additional confirmation from the Bible, that God’s Law is His Seal or His Sign:

Exodus 31:17  “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

Isaiah 8:16 says:  “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.”  So we’re clearly told that there’s a link between the seal and the law.

Exodus 13:9 tells us “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in thy mouth.”

And further in Deuteronomy 6:1-8:  “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”

So it is clear from all of these scriptures that God’s seal on our foreheads and our hands is His Holy Law, the Ten Commandments.   You may be wondering why we’re spending so much time on this point.  It’s because you and I, the endtime generation that will see Jesus Christ return to this earth, will have to choose between the seal of God and the mark of the beast.

Revelation 7:2-3 tells us “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

Please take note of this:  we are in the sealing process right now.  Those who keep God’s law will be sealed on the forehead with His sign, and therefore will be protected from taking the mark of the beast.  Right now, even as we speak, there are four angels holding back the winds of strife until all of God’s people can be sealed, so that they can be protected from the endtime disasters and catastrophes that are about to be unleashed upon this earth.   This is explained in Revelation 7:1-3.

When we worship on Saturday, the seventh day of the week, there is no confusion or ambiguity possible as to whom we belong to, because that is the day that was hallowed in commemoration of creation to worship the Creator.  There is no possible counterfeit for God the Creator.

Reason No. 5:  The Sabbath is for all people, not only the Jews

The account of creation is found in the Book of Genesis Chapter 2.  “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”  So we see that God instituted the Sabbath at creation, before there were any Jews.

The Jewish nation was established through Abraham and ultimately Jacob and his twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of Israel.  Adam and Eve observed the Sabbath in the Garden of Eden and had fellowship with God on that day.  You and I are descended from Adam and Eve – therefore you and I need to keep the Sabbath.  Furthermore, Jesus said in Mark 2:27:  “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”.  He did not say “The Sabbath was made for the Jews”.

But I know that many people are so confused on this point.  Who are the TRUE Israel and the true people of God?  Aren’t the Jews the only ones who should keep the Sabbath?  As always, let’s go to the Bible to understand who God’s people are today, under the New Covenant:

Romans 2:28-29:”For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

Galatians 3:28-29:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Colossians 3:11 says:  “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”

So the true Israelites are you and me, anyone who follows Jesus with all their heart and soul.  When the Bible talks about Israel, it is talking about ‘spiritual’ Israel, anyone who is in Christ Jesus. God no longer counts literal Israel as His chosen nation.   The Jewish people rejected their Messiah twice.  First, when they crucified Jesus.  Jesus Himself said to them, speaking of the temple:   “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”  (Matthew 23:38)   Three and a half years after Jesus died at Calvary, when Stephen gave the Jewish leaders his famous speech to which they closed their ears and then stoned him, the Jews rejected Jesus a second time.

Because the Jewish people rejected God’s grace they lost their place as God’s chosen nation, and it is then that Saul has his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus and is given the mission to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

In several places in the New Testament the apostles refer to the Christian church as Israel (meaning spiritual Israel) and God’s chosen nation:

1 Peter 2:9-10:  “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, 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 were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”  I love this scripture!

Peter is referring to those who were in darkness but have been called into God’s marvelous light, who were once NOT a people, but are now the people of God.  These are clearly Gentiles, not Jews.  But listen to this: this is the exact anointing that God gave to the Jews in the Old Testament as recorded in Deuteronomy 14:2:  “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”

Christians under the New Covenant have the anointing of Israel from the Old Covenant.  The Jews no longer have the exclusivity of being God’s chosen people, but we are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, we are God’s people who wear His Seal on our foreheads.

Reason No. 6:  Sabbath is a permanent covenant between God and His people

The Ten Commandments were in effect before Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the two tables of stone from the Lord.  In Exodus 16:26-27 where God is speaking of the manna in the desert that He provided for the children of Israel He already refers to the Sabbath, and this was spoken by the Lord well before He gave Moses the tables of the Law.   “Six days ye shall gather it (the manna); but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?’”

Here we can clearly see that the 4th Commandment was in effect BEFORE Sinai, which is narrated later in Exodus 20.   And God even asks Moses, “Why do you refuse to keep My Commandments?”  It’s clear that the Bible Ten Commandments were already in effect before Mount Sinai.   In our last program we already demonstrated that God’s Law was in effect as far back as Abraham and indeed from the very Garden of Eden as we have shown.

God is very clear about the permanence or validity of the Sabbath.  Exodus 31:16-17 says:   “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

There are a number of examples in the Bible of how once a king has issued a law or decree that law or decree cannot be changed.  We’re reminded of Esther – even though the king was her husband she could not of her own initiative request audience with him, but could be put to death for so doing.  The book of Daniel tells the story of how the evil counselors of King Darius talked him into issuing a decree preventing people from petitioning any god other than himself, because that was the only way they could get at Daniel.

Let’s read in Daniel 6:  “Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.  All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.  Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.”   Daniel however continued to worship the God of Israel and to get down on his knees and he prayed 3 times a day in front of his open window where all the people could see him.  ‘Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.’ …

So it is clear in this passage the strong emphasis on the fact that seal of the King confirms that his command cannot be changed by anyone, including himself.  Once the law has been established and the decree issued, it is permanent and needs to be enforced, no exceptions.

The same is true of God’s Law.  He has sealed His Law, and in particular His Seal is contained in the Fourth Commandment.  No one is allowed to change God’s Law.  Yet we know from prophecy that there is a power on earth that thought to change God’s Law.  We read in Daniel 7:25:  “And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws…”.   In our next program we’ll be discussing who this power is who thought to change times and laws.

To conclude on this point, we need to accept from God’s Word that the Sabbath is a permanent covenant that continued after Jesus’ death and will in fact continue into eternity.  Let’s read in Hebrews 10:16:  “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.”  In the new covenant, God would write His law in our minds.   Through Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit, He would write them on our hearts and minds and help us keep them.  The Ten Commandments didn’t change; they just went from being written on stone tablets to being written on our hearts.

If you’re still not convinced, listen to this:  the Sabbath will continue after this earth passes away and God creates the new earth and the new heaven.  In Isaiah 66, the Lord is talking about the New Jerusalem.  Listen to verses 22 and 23:  “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”  All the biblical evidence points to an unbroken cycle of Sabbath observance from the seventh day of creation throughout eternity in the City of God after the end of time.

Reason No. 7:  We need a day of rest from our labor

In like manner as God rested from His labor of creation, man needs to rest from his works.  God created us, He has the “user manual” and knows that the “manufacturer’s warranty” requires a weekly day of rest for His creatures.   Our modern world is so stressful and our weeks so overloaded that our minds and bodies need this rest to remain healthy and productive.

On the Sabbath day we rest from our physical and intellectual labor, and as we come to our Creator to worship Him we are refreshed and re-invigorated.  His Holy Spirit nourishes our souls as we come into His glorious presence that dwells in the Sanctuary, the Shekinah.

But we are not to simply stay home resting in our beds, although this type of physical rest is part of the rest of the Sabbath.  We are to congregate in a place of worship, in fellowship with other believers, so as to come into the fullness of joy that is only available in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11).

Bible prophets made numerous references to visions of the presence of God, particularly in the context of the Tabernacle or Temple.  When the Shekinah was present they had visions of thrones and robes filling the Sanctuary.  Isaiah wrote “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple.” (Isaiah 6:1).  Jeremiah said “Do not dishonor the throne of your glory” (Jeremiah 14:21) and referred to “Thy throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thy place of our sanctuary” (Jeremiah 17:12). The prophet Ezekiel said “the glory of the God of Israel was there [in the Sanctuary], according to the vision that I saw in the plain.”  So it is easier for God’s Shekinah glory to be manifested in a “dwelling place” such as a sanctuary or tabernacle when a body of believers comes together to worship.

Be sure to come worship on the Sabbath with like-minded believers so that you do not miss the time of your visitation!

What are the consequences of disobeying the Fourth Commandment?

The first consequence is that we displease God when we worship any other day than the day He prescribed.  Take for example the story of Cain and Abel.  Although this is not explicitly stated in the Book of Genesis, because of the fact that God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins and the fact that they did not die immediately, (although God had said “If you eat of this tree you shall surely die”) we can deduce that God immediately instituted animal sacrifice to make reparation for their sin (“For without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” – Hebrews 9:22). 

Therefore when Cain who was a farmer offered up the fruit of the land as an offering to God, God was displeased, because a different form of offering was required to atone for their sins, and animals had to be sacrificed because there needed to be shedding of blood.   Abel who was a shepherd offered up lambs to the Lord, and God was pleased with Abel’s offering.  Worshipping the wrong way – and a variation of that is worshipping on the wrong day – opens the door to sin, as this bible story illustrates in that Cain ended up killing his brother Abel.

Disobeying the Fourth Commandment sets us up as transgressors of the law.   “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend on one point, he is guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)

1 John 2:3-4 tells us “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  In Revelation 22:14 the Apostle John writes

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”   So clearly those who do not keep the Lord’s commandments will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Because the Sabbath is so important to the Lord, He gives punishment to those who break it.  “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” (Exodus 31:14)  When God allowed Jerusalem to be sieged and then destroyed by the Babylonians, it was because the children of Israel were violating the Laws of God and the Holy Sabbath of the Lord.  We read so in the Books of Daniel and Jeremiah, the two prophets who represented the Lord before the children of Israel during those days.

Israel had forsaken the law and ignored God’s covenant (Isaiah 24:1-6). They had ignored the Sabbath day and the Sabbatic year where the land rested after six years of planting and harvesting (Jeremiah 34:12-22). The seventy years of Babylonian captivity were, in effect, God claiming the Sabbath, which Israel had violated, in order to give the land rest.   Listen to the prophet Daniel, in Daniel 9:4-5 and 10-11:

4 “And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;  5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:”

10 “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

Now of course God will not punish those who did not know to keep the Sabbath.  But once we do know about the Sabbath, we are considered guilty if we fail to honor it.  James 4:17:  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  And also “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”  (Hebrews 10:26-27)

In the endtime, the Sabbath will be the divisive factor separating Christians into two groups, those who bear the Seal of God and those who bear the mark of the beast.  The Sabbath will also be the decisive factor as to whether people will receive God’s mercy or His wrath.  The last seven plagues of Revelation 15, the Seven Vials, will be poured out upon those who have taken the mark of the beast.  The mark of the beast is the utmost punishment that men can receive for dishonoring the Sabbath.  God’s wrath will fall upon those who were given the choice of worshipping on the right day and yet chose to do otherwise.   This also marks the point of no return.  Once the first of the seven plagues is poured out on men there is no more mercy, no more opportunity to repent, for the Heavenly Sanctuary will be closed and Jesus will no longer be in the Holy of Holies interceding for mankind.  For the endtime generation that we are, not keeping the Sabbath will bring very grave and irrevocable consequences.

Common objections to the observance of the Sabbath

A common question asked is, “If the Sabbath Day is still binding under the New Testament, why is there no clear command to keep it in the New Testament books?” I would ask a different question: “If God changed the Sabbath, why don’t you read about this change in the New Testament books?”  If one of the Ten Commandments had been altered or abrogated in the New Testament, there would have been a lot of teaching on this issue, so they would be clear on that. Especially a change that would have been as high impact as the day of worship. But the silence is actually a confirmation that it was not changed.

There are a few New Testament scriptures related to rest that are used by those who believe that God changed the day of worship to Sunday, in particular Hebrews 4.  I believe that their interpretation of those scriptures is inaccurate and the context is not well understood.   There is not one shred of real evidence in the New Testament that God changed the day of worship to Sunday.  God still expects us to observe His day of rest and worship.   It is a permanent covenant.

Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:17-18, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  And should there still be any doubt left in anyone’s mind, these words of Jesus are recorded in Mark 2:28:  “Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”  If Jesus had any plans to revoke the institution of the Sabbath, it is clear to me that He would not have affirmed His Lordship over it.

Let’s take heed of the warning in Ephesians 5:6-7, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”   We already discussed the serious and irreversible consequences of not observing the Sabbath.

The conclusion of the whole matter

From the very beginning of time, God instituted the Sabbath as His holy day of worship, He hallowed it and sanctified it.  This was part of His original plan.  Satan rose up against that, and has deceived the Christian world into worshipping on the wrong day.   In a remarkable phenomenon of mass hypnosis, hundreds of millions of Christians go to church on Sunday.

Worship, by definition, is an act recognizing the one who is worshipped as Lord.  If He is Lord, His Will should prevail.  If we dictate the means of worshipping, it is our will that prevails.   Worshipping God my way or on the day I want is almost pointless.   Jesus said in Mark 7:7 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”  To worship God and to have our worship be pleasing to Him, unlike Cain, we must do so according to His will, like Abel did.   God’s Word speaks clearly to us:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Instead we should show our love for Jesus by doing what He Himself asked us to do in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.  In John 15:10 also Jesus says ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.’

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”  (Deuteronomy 7:9) Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

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