Keep My Sabbaths
Down through the ages, it seems that men have never understood the meaning and purpose of God’s Sabbaths, which He calls His feasts, Deuternomy 23:2. Some say that God’s Sabbath is on the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Others say it is on the first day of the week, a Sunday. Others believe that the sabbath begins at sundown or it may begin at sunrise.
The answer lies in the Bible itself. the Apostle Paul tells us that the oracles of God were given to the Jews, Romans 3:1.
Romans 3:3, “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”
The Apostle Paul is saying that even if those who had the ordeals of God were nonbelievers, would that make the Word of God, the Bible, not true?
Romans3:4, (first part of verse) God forbid: yea, let God be true and every man a liar: meaning that we will all be judged by what is written in the Word of God, the Bible.
Understanding the First Sabbath
Genesis 2:3, And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God had created and made.
God’s Spirit worked day by day to provide a suitable condition for the males and females created on the sixth day, Genesis 1:26. What did these males and females do on the seventh day? Of course they had to rest with God on His Sabbath. God could rest from His labor because now He had gained a man on the earth as His representative.
2nd Corinthians 5:20, (first part of verse) Now then we are ambassadores for Christ:
Note: an ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat and representative appointed by one country or government to represent it to another government. Although God is Spirit and dwells in heaven His heart desire is to have man as His representative in the earth.
What did these males and females created on the sixth day do on the seventh day? They feasted with God. they ate and drank whatever God provided for them. The Bibles terminology for this account is “grace” not law, Romans 6:15. The males and females didn’t have to keep any laws in order to rest with God. This first Sabbath Day is a pattern of all of God’s feasts days which are His Sabbaths.
Leviticus 23:1, And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, 2 “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts” verse 5, “In the fourteenth day of the first month is the Lord’s passover.”
Since we are bringing in the passover let us understand what our part is if we are believers in the Word of God.
Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
By Himself He purged our sins. So we didn’t have any part in Christ becoming our passover, 1st Corinthians 5:7. Also, we didn’t need to keep any laws to enjoy Christ as our Passover and called a feast, in Levicitus 23:2. Websters Dictionary says of the word feast:
A celebration or festival; 2, A rich and elaborate meal, banquet; 3, anything that gives pleasure because of its rich abundance or richness, special treat.
Mark 2:27, And He said unto them, “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.”
How is the Sabbath Made for Man?
When God tells us to keep His Sabbaths, it should mean to us that He has worked and prepared something special for us which will bring us a blessing to help our growth or understanding. The word Sabbath means to rest or to stop working. God, our Father, is always working for us and builds us up through the spirit that was placed in our flesh body. When He calls for His sabbath it means that He has prepared something for our pleasure and enjoyment to further our knowledge and understanding. We feast with Him or sabbath with Him in this manner.
Matthew 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”
God answers our prayers and knows our needs, especially those of the household of God, Ephesians 2:19. We have a Heavenly Father Who knows our needs even before we ask Him, Romans 8:15.
Some Jews as well as many others think that man is made for the sabbath therefore it is a law which is to be obeyed. That is not what Jesus said in Mark 2:27 to the religious community.
We saw in Genesis 2:2, God did the work and mankind was the beneficiary of God’s work and man came in and rested as God rested. We saw in Levicitus 23:5, the Lords Passover and we are also the beneficiary of God’s work. We also didn’t have to do anything to be partakers of Christ as our passover. Moses instituted a passover at the time of the Exodus but the reality of Christ being our passover, 1st Corinthians 5:7 didn’t occur until the cross. He, Christ, took on the role of the redemption of all mankind by Himself. This was His hearts desire, His love of mankind, not some law.
At that time the seventh day sabbath had ended, for we read, “When the Sabbath had ended,” Matthew 28:1, and in Mark 16:1 we read “When the Sabbath was past.” This word past, is defined in vocabulary .com as: past events happened; if it happened an ice age ago, a century ago, or even a minute age, its in the past.
In Levicius 23:2, God instructs Moses to speak to the children of Israel. Leviticus 23:3 tells us, Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest. Who worked? God worked for six days and then He rested. This is the memorial of recognizing God and His physical creation. The seventh day sabbath was in the past, before Satan and sin entered the world as noted above.
Continuing in Leviticus 23:4 ” These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”
Verse 5 and 6 of Leviticus 23 speaks of the passover and the days of unleavened bread. Verse 9 gives us instructions, when ye come into the land. This land is the promised land Father Abraham was journeying too. We need to keep in mind that Genesis 3:17 tells us that because Adam had hearkened unto the voice of his wife, the land became a curse. It was at this time that the seventh day sabbath became a memorial of the physical creation and didn’t function properly. How do we know? The Apostle Paul tells us that the whole creation groaneth and travailed in pain together until now. Isaiah 45:18 says that the earth was crated to be inhabited not in turmoil. Also we read of the old man, ( the progeny of Adam) being transformed into a new man with a new heaven and a new earth.
The old covenant and the old wine had to give way to Christ Who became the reality of all the Old Testament types and shadows that led us to Christ.
Leviticus 23:15 refers us to a sabbath. This sabbath is not the seventh day sabbath but a high sabbath, a picture of the death, burial, ascension, resurrection and acceptance of Christ by His Father. This is the instructions for us to count for ourselves seven sabbaths. This is the promise of the Father mentioned in Luke 24:49. And Acts 1:4 is further instructions by Jesus Christ to wait in Jerusalem for its fulfillment. Just as there were seven days to renew the physical creation, God the Father has prepared seven periods of time to execute His spiritual creation within His believers.
The word count is a marker or way mark to measure our progress. These seven sabbaths are times in which we increase the growth of Jesus Christ. He starts out as a lowly lamb of God but will not stay that way. Just as a child grows to physical maturity, Our Heavenly Father will see to it that Christ grows to spiritual maturity also in those who are led by His Spirit, Romans 8:14. He will become the Seven Horns, (all power and authority), seven eyes, (nothing escapes His seeing ability), seven Spirits of God, the intensified and fulness of the Godhead, found in the book of Revelation, 5:6.
No physical person will be able to measure our spiritual growth but we and our Father. We are to count for ourselves seven periods of 50 days after the wave sheaf offering after we enter the new land. Jesus Christ has become our new land, Leviticus 23:9, and has removed the curse after Eve was deceived, 2nd Corinthians 11:3.
John 5:17, But Jesus answered them, “My Father worked hitherto and I work.”
God made it very difficult for the children of Israel to keep the sabbath in the wilderness because of the many rules and regulations. God had to show the people that He never intended for any laws to be keep therefore the weekly sabbath was very strict. The people thought that they had to do something to earn their salvation, He knew that men had to learn their lesson the hard way so we read:
Hebrews 3:11, “So I sware in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.”
The Apostle Paul, as knowledgeable as he was, had to learn the hard way to understand the difference between law, and God’s grace by his trying to obey laws and enter the Kingdom of God because of his works. God had to strike him down and turn his life around for he to be useful to God. It was the same with Nicodmus. He was told that he had to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God. Both men were of the House of Judah. These men were called Jews on occasion and had the oracles of God. The had to learn the hard way to get themselves out of the way and let our Heavenly Father do what He does best, provide what is necessary for His children.
We are vessels to be filled with God’s Righteousness:
2nd Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthy vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.
The treasure spoken here is the Holy Spirit and the earthy vessels is our flesh bodies which is a temporary dwelling for God’s treasure. The book of Hebrews tells us that there is a sabbath for us and it will only be achieved the same way as we read in Genesis 2:2. With our Father doing all the work and providing for His children and we will both rest, this will be like a banquet, or a festival and an unforgetable expierance. Is it a long way off? No it could be “Today”, if you will hear His voice,Hebrews 3:15.