Remembering the Sabbath Day (Part Two)
Part one of remembering the Sabbath day stated that Christ became our Sabbath. This is His day, created for man. It is the Lords rest, because He created it enabling man to rest also. They, God and man, would rest together. God will not rest and will continue working until he brings his children into His rest.
John 17:4, But Jesus answered them, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
The above statement was to the religious leaders who complained of Jesus working on their Sabbath.
The word Sabbath means rest. God’s love for His children is illustrated in Genesis 1 and 2. After creating Man, He wanted man to rest with Him before He expected them to do any work. God worked first in His creation and then rested. For us, His purpose is to have men rest first before working, especially for him.
This is the same procedure parents have with their children. Children are born, then they are fed while they are maturing and learning skills. They are first created in their parents image outwardly, then they are formed inwardly with character and education. This is before they are ever expected to leave home and work in the world to earn a living. This is the natural life for men while they are in the flesh. God who is Spirit, and has given us this pattern, is making a like transition within us, by raising us up to a higher standard, and to be partakers of His Divine life. God doesn’t force us into His Spirit life, only leads us when we are willing.
To understand God’s Spirit life, we need to understand the word life as God defines it. In the book of Genesis, we first have the life of grass and herb yielding seed, Genesis 1:11. Next is mentioned the waters which brought forth its living creatures, verse 20. Verse 24 tells us that the earth brought forth living creatures after it’s kind, cattle, and beasts of the earth as well. Next, God made man, male and female outwardly, in His image, verse 27. These are all graduations of life in a higher and progressive sense. These levels of life are good as far as God is concerned, but he doesn’t stop with the outward life of man. He has one more life to bring forth and that is His Spirit life. How could men and women be children of God unless He fills them with His Spirit life? This is the final and very purpose of God, to create man in His image outwardly, and to form man inwardly with his Divine nature. The final process is a complete man looking like God outwardly, and thinking like God inwardly, because we would have the mind of Christ, Philippians 2:5.
The Promised Seed
After Adam and Eve choose their independence of God in the Garden of Eden, God spoke to Satan:
Genesis 3:15, ” And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise His heel.
This is the promised seed. This seed is of the Godhead. It is a spiritual seed intended to germinate a new beginning. Just as God’s creation of life is on several levels, this spiritual seed is also. We see this in the unconditional covenant given to Abram, Genesis 15:18. God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Abram just as He did with Adam. Eventually, a physical son and a type of promised seed was born to Abraham named Isaac. God doesn’t need the help of men to work out His purpose. He only needs men cooperating with His leading.
“Whatever God Says We Will Do”
When God delivered the people from Egypt, He brought them to His Mountain, Mount Horeb, Exodus 3:1;17:6. The journey was a positive experience for the people until God heard them say that whatever God said, we will do.
Exodus 19:8, and all the people answered together, and said, ” All that the Lord said, we will do:
With this statement, the people exposed themselves because of their not knowing the serpentine nature within them. They did not know the God who had rescued them or did they know themselves. This is the time the atmosphere on Mount Horeb changed from Mount Horeb to Mount Sinai. (See our article “The twofold Significance of Mount Horeb, The Mountain of God.”) The sky grew dark and God’s voice sounded like thunder and scared the people. God didn’t require any effort on the part of the people to leave Egypt. Crossing the Red Sea, defeating Pharaoh, changing the waters at Elam from bitter to sweet, the raining of the heavenly food manna from heaven, or drinking from the cleft rock were all done by His leading and provision. Now they thought they could be doers.
Whenever God calls or touches a person, they feel that they must do something for God. They never realize or have the trust that God leads as a Father or as a Husband, whichever the case may be. He is our El Shaddi, God Almighty, or Yahweh, Lord, and Jehovah. God has many names and can deliver us from any situation. Our relationship with God is a matter of growing faith. We can have this growing faith because the earnest of the spirit within us, 2nd Corinthians 5:5, and grows as we grow and increases our faith. God’s people, the nation of Israel, didn’t have this growing faith because the promised seed was not available to them. This promised Seed in Genesis became available after Jesus, was born, then glorified by undergoing death, burial, resurrection, and ascension as a perfect sacrifice acceptable to God for us. We were all created from the dust of the ground. All seeds need to be planted, watered, and need light and time to grow to maturity. We are no different. We start out as children and progress until maturity. This promised Seed after Jesus’s resurrection was planted within His disciples, John 20:22, and needed to be watered by the word, fed with nutrients from the word, given light as Christ is light, receive comfort from that light, until maturity formed within them to give life and birth to a new age, the church age,1st Corinthians 15:9. This was the age and the persecution of the early church. Many followers in the Book of Acts, had a heart for God but were at a crossroad, who were they to follow, Moses who represented the law, or Christ a minister of the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38,and grace Ephesians 3:7?
Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law but under grace.
The Apostle Paul during his Judean experience, practiced the seventh day Sabbath rest as a Pharisee until God struck him down, Acts 9:5. Only after being struck down, did he know that he didn’t understand God’s Sabbath rest. That the old creation was progressing into a new and higher creation by the germinating organic seed, as prophesied in the scriptures.
Hebrews 4:2, ” For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
The Apostle Paul experienced both sides of the Sabbath which he talks about. First, his believing in the teaching of the Jews seventh day Sabbath as a Pharisee, and after being struck down, hearing the gospel of Christ, and using the word TODAY, Hebrews 4:7, which is in the present tense. TODAY, the day of God’s calling, TODAY, if you hear His voice. Those of the Exodus needed Moses to stand between them and the voice speaking to them.
Exodus 20:19, And they said unto Moses, “speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
It isn’t much different today. Many still need someone to stand between themselves and God. We shouldn’t be too harsh with the people’s attitude because we are all under the same burden of the serpentine nature within us, because we are the decedents of Adam.
1st Corinthians 15:45, And so it is written, “the first man Adam was made a life living soul; the last Adam became a quickening Spirit”.
The first man Adam had free will and made a wrong choice. There was no way that he could make the progressive step from the realm of man into a higher position as a son of God through his own effort. Even if it were possible to be completely obedient in every way. The best he could ever hope for is the be a better or perfect man. The life of God can only come from and through the Godhead. All life forms are temporary and eventually die. The life God wanted him to have, by taking from the Tree of Life in the Garden, is His life, which is progressively higher than human life. Trying to keep laws will never give man eternal life, we all need to be filled with the life of Christ.
Both Jesus And The Apostle Paul Went Into The Synagogue As Their Custom And To Teach
Jesus, during his ministry, was often accused of breaking the Sabbath by the religious leaders. Jesus was exposing the fallacy of religion. The Apostle Paul, after his conversion, had the same problem. The Book of Acts tells of his persecutions, stoning, and being left for dead.
The synagogue at that time was the place where the people would hear the teachings of God. Jesus and Paul didn’t go into the synagogue because of God’s law but because of teaching a new and living way,Hebrews 10:20, a new testament,1st Corinthians 11:25, a new creation, Galatians 6:15, and a new man,Ephesians 4:24.
With all this newness, Jesus and the Apostle Paul were teaching the Jews as well as the Gentiles, to come out of our old man, (Adam) Romans 6:6, and put on our new man,(Christ) Ephesians 4:24.
Some have asked, what about God’s law, because we are under grace, does that mean that the law is no more? Not at all. Part three will explain how to fulfill God’s law while under God’s grace.