A Message to all Seventh Day and Sunday Sabbath Keepers
The Old Testament is a direct account of history with God leading the Nation of Israel out of Egypt. We can reference both positive as well as negative occurrences throughout God’s dealing with the Nation.
Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
When Moses gave the people all the words spoken by God on Mount Sinai, the people’s reaction seems to be positive.
Exodus 19:8, and all the people answered together, and said, “All that the Lord hath spoken, we will do.”
The people had a heart for God, they were willing to be obedient to whatever God said, and they were all in agreement. However, when we reference the Apostle Paul’s statement in Hebrews the third chapter, he says that God was not pleased with them.
Hebrews 3:7, “Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit saith, “Today, if you hear His voice, 8, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9, when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. 10, Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, “They do always err in their heart; and they have not known My ways. 11. So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest).”
God says that He was very displeased with them. But why? To understand why they never enter into God’s rest and why that generation never made it to the promised land, we need to go back and trace whatever evidence Scripture shows us. In this case, the evidence leads us back to the beginning, the Garden of Eden.
Back to the Beginning
When we read of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we need to understand that Adam sinned by disobedience and Eve was deceived by the Serpent. When this happened, the Tree of Life was closed to them as well as to the rest of mankind born into this world. They had rejected God and took allegiance with Satan, the God of this world, 2nd Corinthians 4:4. Since then, everyone born into this world has within them, the nature of Satan, we can call the Serpentine nature. That is the fundamental reason why we all have a death sentence placed upon us, Roman’s 5:12. Satan’s nature which is a mixture of good as well as evil, is not a pure nature which was available to them if they had taken of the Tree of Life. This Tree of Life we read of, will be closed to mankind from the third chapter of Genesis until we read of it in the Book of Revelation, chapter 22:2. Closed that is, with the exception of those to whom God calls directly, like Abraham, Genesis 12:1, or those who have a genuine love for Him. Why? Because our life and this creation is owned and paid for by God Himself.
To remedy the serpentine nature, gained within all men in the Garden, Moses speaks of a prophet who would be raised up:
Deuteronomy 18:15, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto Me, unto Him shall ye harken:”
The prophet raised up was Jesus, Who fulfilled the promised Seed of Genesis 3:15, was born of a virgin as we read in Isaiah 7:14, and would bring salvation to all people, Zechariah 9:9. These Scriptures point directly to Jesus Christ.
During the time of the Exodus, at the foot of Mount Sinai, the people had a heart for God when they said, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do.” They were trying their best to keep God’s instruction, by honoring the Sabbath Day and other commands. But according to the Apostle Paul, they still fell short of God’s approval. Why? Because of the serpentine nature within them. The same nature that Adam and his wife Eve inherited from the Serpent in the Garden. Was that nature removed because they were keeping God’s Seventh Day or Sunday Sabbath? No! the nature of the self and all the fleshy works the Apostle Paul lists in Galatians 5:19-21 were still within them. The carnal mind and fleshy nature within all men as well as women cannot be removed by our trying to be commandment keepers. These lusts of the flesh are the reason God shows us why the people during the wandering were not satisfying to Him. Their serpentine nature followed right along with them, producing dead works.
Sabbaths Days Today
Even today, many among the 7th day Sabbath or Sunday Sabbath worshipers, although they have a love for God, and have many mighty works, and are zealous to advance God’s Kingdom to others, may fall short also. How? By being commandment keepers. By trying to keep God’s law with our own strength, and not realizing that we all have a nature within us that is not in harmony with our heavenly Father.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
In Luke’s gospel, there is an incident where the disciples of Jesus, James and John, were displeased because of the Samaritans treatment of Jesus.
Luke 9:54, And when His disciples, James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” 55, But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.”
Their spirit, which wanted to destroy the Samaritans, was of the serpentine nature which was within them. It was this nature of the spirit within them that the Holy Spirit will work to eliminate, if allowed, not the keeping of any law. This nature has caused a curse on men from the time of the incident in the Garden of Eden. Men like to make rules and laws and want to pursue a lasting peace but because of their lack of knowledge will never be able. Now Jesus, as the promised Seed will disclose how there will be a remedy for the people.
John 4:23, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeked such to worship Him. 24, God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
The human body is composed with three parts, spirit, soul, and body, 1st Thessalonians 5:23. We can see the human body as the outward form of men and women. The soul, hidden within the body, houses the intellect gained from the world, or of Christ. Our spirit is the communicator between those who are of God, or those who are of the world. Which spirit leads us, the Holy Spirit of God, or the spirit of the world? James and John were disciples of Jesus, and yet, they needed to be rebuked by Jesus.
When Jesus told His disciples that He would suffer many things, as well as death, Peter rebuked Him:
Matthew 16:22, then Peter took him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.” 23, And He turned and said unto Peter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence to Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
Is there any of the commandment keeping that would have caused a different attitude of James and John, as well as Peter? No, of course not. Their words that Jesus had to rebuke, came not from law breaking, but came through the serpentine nature within them. Removing the serpentine nature, inherited from Adam’s sin in the Garden, is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 16:24, then said Jesus unto His disciples, “If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25, For whosoever will save his life will lose it: and whosoever will loose his life for My sake will find it.”
Jesus here is teaching His disciples that the natural things within them, all the negative fleshy deeds we find in Galatians 5:19, which are hostile to God, need to be repented of, brought to our mind, and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to turn these thoughts and teachings to ashes, with His fiery law, Deuteronomy 33:2.
On Mount Sinai, God spoke His testimony for the people to know and understand the nature of the God Who led the people out of Egypt. He never wanted or intended the people to obey laws in which He knew they could never keep. Exodus 31:17-18 tells us that it was God who rested and was refreshed along with the people. The blessed people reaped the benifits of whatever work God was doing for them. What God had given to Moses was the two tables of His spoken words, testifying of Himself as to the nature and character of the one who freed the people from the Egyptians.
Galatians 4:22, “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23, But He that was born of the bondwoman, was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman, was by promise. 24, Which things are an allegory; for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar (Hagar). 25, For this Agar (Hagar) is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answered to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage to her children. 26, But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Scriptures are telling us that if think we need to try and keep God’s law, we will fall short just as the bondwoman did and bring forth an Ishmael. But, on the other hand, if we are allowing God’s Holy Spirit to do its work in removing the serpentine nature within us, we are like Sarah, a free woman, in heavenly Jerusalem, rejoicing because we are, as Isaac was, are the children of promise,” verse 28. We read that there is a rest for God’s people, Hebrews 4:9-10. This rest will only be accomplished through the Spirit of the Lord.
2nd Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.”
Jesus Christ will see to it that we keep the law, and the spirit of the law, not with our own strength, but allowing the Spirit of Christ to remove anything and everything within us that is an offense to Him. Eventually, we will see the reality that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath.