Sabbath Day Points to the
Lord of the Sabbath
By Nick Bibile
We are living in the days where the Church does not pay any value for the Old Testament.. We shall do well to remember that the Old Testament is just as much inspired as the New, and God is the author of both of them. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the bud; the New Testament is the Gospel in full flower. The Old Testament saints saw many things through a glass darkly: but they looked to the same Christ by faith and were led by the same Spirit as ourselves. Old Testament is not just a story but have great value for us today.
The word Sabbath in Hebrew is Shabbat, it is used in the Old Testament 71 times. In the 10 Commandments the fourth commandment is treated more extensively than the other commandments. Last week we clearly saw from scripture that the fourth commandment had it's outward ceremonial laws, but was abolished on the cross, but the reality of the Sabbath the moral law of the Sabbath still continues and it is sad to say the majority of the churches today have violated this commandment.
The word Sabbath means to rest. We need to go to the book of Genesis to see the significance of the Sabbath Day..
2 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.
3 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. (Genesis 2:2-3)
First we see on verse two God rested on
the seventh Day from all his work. It does not mean that God was very tired and
he had to take a physical rest. We know that God is spirit so he does not need a
physical rest. It does not say that God rested from all his
work, but he rested from the activities of the six days work. Isaiah 40:28
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is
no searching of his understanding." This was a rest of the labors
of the six days. Also it does not say on the seventh day God did not do
any work, if God stopped work on the seventh day the entire universe would have
crashed, as he governs the universe. God's activities on the seventh day was
different than the previous six days. We see on verse three that God
blessed the seventh day and sanctified. When God created all kinds of
animals, fish, creatures and the birds he blessed them. ( Genesis 1:22)
Then again when God created man and woman he blessed them. (Genesis 1:28) Now we
see the day that God rested the Sabbath Day he blessed. The word blessing
is that the presence of the Lord and his grace will be there. We see this
clearly in the following scriptures.
Numbers 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.
Genesis 2:2-3 is the key for our
correct understanding of the Sabbath Day. The blessing is transmitted from
the greater to the lesser. It was always the father who blessed their children,
and God to his creatures as we saw in Genesis 1:22 and 1:28. and in here
the Sabbath Day was blessed. That God blessed it for someone who is lesser than
him. He did not bless the Sabbath Day for the Angels nor for the animals
but for another lesser creature and that is man.
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
The Sabbath was made for man. So when God blessed the Sabbath day and the blessing is for man.
For us to understand the reason for the blessing we need to study the balance portion of the scripture in Genesis 2:3. Not only God blessed the seventh day he sanctified it. The Hebrew word for sanctified is qodesh means holy and sacred it is unique from the others. The word holy is means to separate and it is above others. The following scripture gives a good understanding.
Leviticus 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.
If you remember in the tabernacle was the holy of holies the most holy place where God meets the high priest only once a year, only the high priest can go there and not anyone else as it was separated from the common people. Now let us put the picture together, the seventh day was made for man, but it was distinctly different than other days as it was set apart holy. He separated the seventh day from the other days, he set it apart. In Genesis 2:2-3, the seventh Day was set apart for the future. If you can remember God sanctified Jeremiah before he was born.
Jer 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
In an ultimate way the seventh day was reserved for the cross, for redemption of man, and through the redemption man will be blessed. It was reserved for the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath.
Lu 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
When it says in Genesis 2:2-3 that God rested it means God took delight on that future day that was reserved for the Lord Jesus Christ who will come to redeem his people, God looked at the cross and he took pleasure and was joyful. Now we can be joyful when the Sabbath day comes and say, " This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 118:24) This day is different than the other days a day to rejoice in the Lord for us it is looking back what happened on the cross but for the Old Testament saints it was looking forward to the cross.
Man was made in the image of God, capable
of worshipping the Holy God in spirit and truth. But with sin that image was
broken and man flee from God, and unless God regenerates man he cannot
worship God. Man is lost from God and he is at the hand of the enemy and
he is under the bondage of the enemy and he needs to be delivered. Remember how
the Lord delivered the Israelites from the bondage of the enemy when they were
helpless. They were so joyful that they sang to the Lord and they said,
" Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation." (Ex 15:13)
But how soon they forgot the Lord who delivered them, as they arrived to the wilderness of temptation they were murmuring against the Lord. But Moses and Aaron had to remind the people of the redemption.
Ex 16:1 And they took their
journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto
the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of
the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Ex 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Ex 16:6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:
In the same way we are working for six days and the Sabbath Day is reserved for us to look back to the cross and remind the people of that great deliverance.
We see in the Sabbath the redemption of his elect. The Israelites were redeemed by God from the enemy and God wanted them to remember that day and to give reverance for him on the day that was set apart. And this is a sign only between him and his people as he made a covenant with his elect. The greatest redemption was when the Lord Jesus came and delivered us from Satan's bondage and he made a sign of his delivery on the cross with his blood, and the day was changed to the first day of the week the Lord's Day. The ultimate purpose of the Sabbath day has to do with redemption of man.
De 5:15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Why did God mentioned in the Ten Commandments, remember the Sabbath Day? Remember is something that you knew of. The Sabbath is mentioned soon after the redemption of the Israelites from their enemies.
Ex 16:23 And he said unto them, This
is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto
the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe;
and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the
Ex 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Ex 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
Three miracles happened in honor of the Sabbath day. First, the manna it fell daily and was good only for that day. Secondly, on the sixth day it was doubled and thirdly none fell on the Sabbath day but the ones that fell on the previous day did not get spoiled. See verse 27-28.
Ex 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
Here we see even on those days there were some people who in the camp who wanted to violate the law of God, and it is happened in history and it is happening today.
In Genesis 2:2-3 we see God's work on
creation and the seventh day which is blessed for man, the holy day is reserved
for the Lord of the Sabbath who will come and redeem his people who were lost,
there will be a new creation of man, the old man will die and there will be a
new creation in Christ Jesus. In the beginning we see how God created Adam and
Eve. It was a marvelous creation, very unique.
Great was the work of creation of man and it was the power of God that the first man was made holy. Man was distinct from other creatures. He was made holy in the image of God. But when man sinned he became utterly unholy. The work of creation was great but the work of redemption was greater. When God created man holy there was no opposition but in the work of redemption there was opposition as God delivered us from the bondage of the enemy and we who were utterly depraved and unholy he made us holy and righteous.
Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
It cost more to redeem us than to create us. In creation the Lord just spoke the word. In redemption the Lord Jesus have to shed his blood. In creation it was the work of God with his fingers (Psalm 8:3) but in redemption it was the work of his arm. In creation we had life in Adam but in redemption we have life in Christ Jesus. Oh what a day that God already set apart in Genesis 2:2-3 for that great redemption through Jesus Christ.
Now if we read the fourth commandment, it
Ex 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.
The word remember is something God had commanded before. God made a covenant with the nation of Israel, and it was made only with the Israelites and not with the other nations. God delivered the Israelites out of the bondage of slavery from Pharoah's hand. The Sabbath was a sign of that covenant as we see in the following scripture.
Ex 31:13 Speak thou also unto the
children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign
between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the
LORD that doth sanctify you.
14 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.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
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.
God was very serious on the Sabbath Day, as it is a holy day you don't mess around, if you do there is death. Again we see here the Sabbath day is separated from the other days, as it is a unique day, a day that is separated unto the Lord. A day of worship. It was a day of rest from labor and to be employed in the service of the Lord.
Ex 20:11 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.
But it is sad that the people have gone astray with the true Sabbath teachings as the dispensational churches have taken the Sabbath Day as a ceremonial law and they have abolished it, we saw this in clearly in last week on part one. And as a result people are breaking the fourth commandment on the Lord's day and the Pastor's have to be accountable for not teaching the whole council of the word. A day that is to kept holy, not half a day not one hour, but the whole day! People come only for two hours to the church and they are gone home, to watch their TV, shopping, taking care of other things. This is an abomination toward the Lord, he gave you six days, and cant you give him one day? Let us turn to Isaiah chapter 58:13
Isa 58:13 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.
This passage shows the true observance of Sabbath, it is to abstain from the world and to concentrate on the Lord. It is the renouncing our will and the flesh and giving our whole soul and heart to the Lord. Being dead to the world and meditating on heavenly things. The true Sabbath continues as the Lord of the Sabbath is alive, he died and the ceremonial aspect was nailed to the cross, but he rose again on the third day and the moral aspect still continues. But how many are profiting this day for themselves. You go to church just for few hours and then you are gone, you are engaged in house work, in your children's work, in your work business, in pleasure for your flesh, in amusements but not in the word, in prayer in meditation. You are delighting of going to the church then delighting on Sunday for the worldly affairs. There are many who have broken the sacred day of the Lord. This is what Matthew Henry says on Isaiah 58:13
"The sabbath is a sign between God and his
professing people; his appointing it is a sign of his favour to them; and their
observing it is a sign of their obedience to him. We must turn from travelling
on that day; from doing our pleasure on that holy day, without the control and
restraint of conscience;
or from indulging in the pleasures of sense. On sabbath days we must not follow our callings, or our pleasures. In all we say and do, we must put a difference between this day and other
days. Even in Old Testament times the sabbath was called the Lord's day, and is fitly called so still; and for a further reason, it is the Lord Christ's day, #Re 1:10|. If we thus remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, we shall have the comfort and profit of it, and have reason to say, It is good to
draw near to God."
Let me close with the following
Isa 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
There are six days given for us to do our duties in this world, and during that time it is not easy to concentrate on the Lord, but one day is given for us to totally concentrate on the Lord. We cannot serve God properly unless they put to death all that is of their own nature and dedicate themselves fully to him so as to be separate from the world. Also the day of rest is to bring the people together so that they could hear the Word, call upon the name of God, and offer our praises, meditations, prayers and to encourage one another.
The Lord's Day is a day to rejoice of our new creation. The Lord of the Sabbath lives, he is risen from the dead and so the with the Lord of the Sabbath the substance of the Sabbath continues. Every Sunday is a day to rejoice in the Lord, singing songs of worship like how the Israelites sang on their redemption from the Egyptians. It is a day to worship him. The Arminian churches celebrate the risen Lord only once a year on Easter. They go early moring for the sunrise service for two hours, and it is done. The pagans celebrate their gods only once a year, like the Buddhist they celebrate the birth of Buddha just once a year, but we as Christians the LORD OF THE SABBATH LIVES! the early church and the reformers celebrated every Sunday.
To be continued….