Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath

Scripture: Mark 2:27-28, Luke 4:17-19, 2 Corinthians 5:17
Date: 05/02/2015 
Lesson: 5
Satan has worked hard to destroy the Sabbath, turning it into a heavy burden, striping it of so much of what it was supposed to mean and be, and still uses leaders in the church to dismiss it as legalistic. What is it about the Sabbath that makes it such a target of Satan's hostility?
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Morning, friends, and welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. I'd like to welcome those joining us across the country and around the world - also, the members of the Granite Bay church that are our online members - a very special welcome to you. Also to our church members in our local Granite Bay congregation - glad to see you here for Sabbath school today. Well, we've been studying through the Gospel of Luke over the past few weeks and today we finds ourselves on lesson #5 and the lesson is entitled Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath - a very important study. We have an offer that goes along with our lesson today.

It is a brand-new sharing magazine dealing with the Sabbath called the rest of your life, and this is going to be our free offer for today. So those of you who are watching, if you'd like to order the rest of your life, everything you need to know about the Sabbath in our new magazine, the number to call is 866-788-3966. That number, again, is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for the offer that you'll see on your screen. Again, the magazine is called the rest of your life - everything you need to know about the Sabbath. Well, at this time, I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me here onstage, and they'll lead us as we begin this study hour with a few moments of wonderful music and praise.

Let's sing #385 - crowning jewel of creation. And don't forget to send in your requests and we'll sing those with you on a coming presentation. We'll sing the first and the last verses. Crowning jewel of creation, blest and hallowed, sanctified; time and changes all transcending, shared forever, glorified. Blessed Sabbath made for man, gift from the creator's hand.

Teach us Lord, in storm or sunshine how to truly rest in thee, may thy Sabbath peace enfold us and our shelter ever be. Blessed Sabbath made for man, gift from the creator's hand. I invite you to bow your heads as we begin with a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for the opportunity to gather together on this beautiful day - this Sabbath - and open up Your Word. And we ask for the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds as we look at this very important subject, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.

If those of you joining us, if you don't have a lesson quarterly, you can download today's lesson - lesson #5 - at the Amazing Facts website - just At this time I'd like to invite Pastor Doug to come forward and he will lead us in our study for today. Thank you, Pastor Doug. And thank you, Pastor Ross. Morning.

I want to welcome, again, those who are part of the extended class - I forgot I've got my own microphone here, I can step away from that - and invite you to our study today. We're continuing through my favorite Gospel. You know, if you ask people which of the four Gospels is their favorite, you know what people typically say? The Gospel of John. John is the Gospel of love. Have you heard that before? Did you know John is also the Gospel of law? There's almost nothing that is said - nobody says anything more about the Gospel and law than John.

John says, 'if you love me, keep my commandments.' 'If you say you love him and you keep not his commandments, you're a liar and the truth is not...' 'His commandments are not burdensome.' John, who also wrote Revelation, 'blessed are those that do his commandments.' 'Here are those who keep the commandments of God.' - It says that twice in Revelation. You'd be surprised. John was not only the commandment of love, he's the commandment of law. But I was telling you, Luke is my favorite of the Gospels and I don't know why - no, I think it's because he's unique in what he says. Like I said, in the Gospel of Luke you only find the prodigal son.

In the Gospel of Luke you only find there the story of zacchaeus and a number of other parables. Also, being a physician - because we believe he was - he comes to the Gospels with a little different perspective on some things. With that, we're going to be finding out what Luke says about Jesus and the Sabbath, in particular. So, if you've got your lessons, we have a memory verse - it's lesson #5 - lesson #5 and we're going to be - the title of it is, of course, Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath. The memory verse is Mark 2, verses 27 and 28 - Mark 2:27 and 28.

Say that with me? "'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore The Son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath.'" Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. Now, it's interesting that Luke, who is the only - we're fairly certain he is a gentile writer and, while he is the only gentile writer, he says approximately 50% of everything that is said about the Sabbath in the new testament. Now when I say Luke I mean Luke and the book of acts. You're going to find about 50% of the references of the Sabbath come from the pen of Luke.

And so, he says more about it than Matthew, Mark, and John, which is interesting because if he was a gentile you think he would have said, 'the Jewish Sabbath.' But he never says that. He always just states it as a matter of fact for all believers. And so, I think that's significant and we should make a note of that. First verse we're going to go to is in Luke 4:16 and it says, "so he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

" - Now, just a thought here, 'I thought that Jesus came from Bethlehem.' Well, He was born in Bethlehem, but then where did he go from Bethlehem? To Egypt. How long was he in Egypt? Oh, we figure, maybe two, three years old. King herod, the great is the reason that Joseph fled with mary to Egypt - remember, he killed the babies in Bethlehem - to protect the child. And there was some concern that Jesus' life was at risk, of course, so they fled and they went down there at the instruction of an angel. But then, when herod the great died, which historians tell us was pretty close to the years - what we would call the year 1 ad - there's no year zero.

The angel then appeared to Joseph and said, 'now you can go back.' He came back when they thought about going to Bethlehem because they had family there - that's why they did the census there. He found out that herod's son, or herod archeleus, was reigning down there and he said, 'no, I don't - he's probably like his father.' He went back up to Galilee where he had been originally. And so, from the time that Jesus was three years old until he began his ministry, he lived at nazareth, which was actually not right on the sea of Galilee, nazareth was more in one of the mountain regions that was west of Galilee. But he had a custom and it says, "so he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up." - After he began his ministry, he went back to his home town - "and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Now what is a custom? Is a custom something you do once or twice? Or is it a pattern? What is a Christian? Is a Christian a follower of Christians? Or is a Christian a follower of Christ? And so, what was the custom of our leader? He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he not only attended church on the Sabbath day - you know, if you ever are worried about if you're a Sabbath-keeping Christian 'will I get in trouble?' All you've got to do is say, 'well, Lord, that's what you did and I'm just following your example. The custom of Jesus was to enter into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he read the Bible and he gathered together with others.

Now, the word 'synagogue' - and we sometimes are fooled by that - 'synagogue' - we think, you know, it's a Jewish word. 'Synagogue' is really a word that is talking about a gathering. It means 'a religious assemblage of persons; a meeting; a congregation; a convening; a coming together, usually for a religious purpose.' The church was called a synagogue. You get in Revelation it talks about 'the synagogue of satan' - people think that means it's Jewish. No, it just means the church.

So the word 'synagogue' - don't be fooled by that. Today, when we say 'synagogue' in our culture, you're thinking exclusively Jewish, aren't you? You never say 'a Jewish church' in our culture, you say, 'I went to a Jewish synagogue.' And you don't say, 'I went to a gentile synagogue.' You say a Jewish synagogue - gentile church. It wasn't like that back then. The word was interchangeable. Where did Paul go when he first was persecuting Christians? It says, 'he went to the synagogues to arrest the Christians.

' Isn't that interesting that Paul would go looking for Christians in synagogues. Well, that's because, of course, the early Christians all met with the jews. There was no other place to go and - but it just meant 'the gathering place' and all the communities had one. So he went into the synagogue and he stood up to read the Scriptures. It was his custom to do this on a regular basis.

Using the teaching of Luke, I want you to notice something. Go to Luke 21, verse 37, "and in the daytime he was teaching in the temple, but at night" - now this is when he's in Jerusalem - "but at night he went out and stayed on the mountain called olivet." Now, with that in mind, go to Luke 22:39, "coming out, he went to the mount of olives, as he was accustomed" - and so it tells you it's something that he not did once or twice, but Luke is saying that it was his pattern to do that. He'd teach in the temple, he'd go out to, you know, a more rural setting - the mount of olives was not as developed back then as it is today, it was more of a farming area and he would actually stay there - he would sleep there. But he'd go out and he'd pray. And then you can read also in Luke 5, verse 16, "so he himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

" So, when Jesus did something - when Luke uses the word 'custom,' it says here it's something he did often. That was all that I just read - to make that point. Jesus, when he went to nazareth and he went to the synagogue and it says it was his custom, this is saying it was his practice. It wasn't his practice on an occasional Sabbath, it was his practice every Sabbath and there's a lot of Scriptures that bear this out. You'll find a lot of the controversy about Jesus and his teachings occurred during the Sabbath because he would get up and he would teach.

Now, that first Sabbath, when he got up and he spoke - matter of fact, turn in Luke chapter 4, we read that verse - verse 16 - I'd like you to go there with me, please - Luke 4:16 - it says, "so he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up." - By the way, you remember it says he went home - after he was twelve years old he went back with his parents to nazareth and he was subject to them and he waxed strong in spirit. That's where he was growing up. He waxed strong in stature and in spirit. And it says that - "where he'd been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

And he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place" - you know, there was no chapter and verse back then, so when you found the place, it might take him a moment - "he found the place where it was written: 'the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.' Then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant" - someone actually guarded the Scriptures - they were sacred. Have you ever been to a Jewish synagogue and someone carries out the torah and it's - it's just - they keep them under lock and key because some of the old ones are hand written and it's just very valuable - "and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, 'today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

' So all bore witness to him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, 'is this not Joseph's son?' " - Where did he get this learning? Gracious words - notice - Jesus is announcing the inauguration of his ministry. He does it in his hometown and he does it on the Sabbath. Something else is very important about this passage. Notice what Jesus' mode of preaching was - he read a passage of Scripture and then he expounded on it.

A lot of times you hear preachers get up and they'll take a newspaper clipping and they'll share a funny story and then they just kind of wax eloquent and pontificate on those things. Jesus was a Bible preacher. First thing was he read a passage and then he sat down and he talked to people and he expounded on what the passage of Scripture says. He was a Bible preacher. But he used the Sabbath to, basically, inaugurate and announce the beginning of his ministry.

Alright, you can look in - we're going to talk a little bit about what he did in capernaum. Go to Mark chapter 1, verse 21. "Then they went into capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath" - if you want to have an interesting study sometime, take your Bible - how many of you have Bible computer programs or you've got the Bible on the - just about everybody now, right? Type in the word 'immediately' or 'straightway' - you'll be surprised how often Mark says that. Mark is the fastest Gospel. It just is always saying, 'immediately,' 'straightway,' and - or different similar terms - he "went into capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.

" You know, they have discovered the ancient city of capernaum and they've actually found a synagogue in capernaum and when you go to Israel and you travel around - you know, one of these days, Amazing Facts is thinking of taking a group to Israel. That would be very interesting. I've been there a couple of times and when you go to Israel, you go to one town and there'll be four churches that will say, 'this is where Jesus was born.' They all have a different place. And they'll all say, 'this was the sermon on the mount - this is the mount where Jesus did the sermon.' And all the churches have built on different mountains and say, 'no, this was the mountain.' 'No, this was the mountain. We have the spot.

' 'You can stand where Jesus stood.' 'No, it's not there. It's here.' They all argue among themselves for these tourist locations. But when you go to capernaum, it was a small town, they did discover one ancient synagogue there. That was probably the synagogue because they didn't have that many of them. It was a small fishing village and so you can look at - at least the foundation stones - of the place where Jesus probably actually stood and taught and it's very interesting - kind of moving.

And he "went into capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." So are you seeing the pattern? There was a practice of Jesus to enter into the synagogue and teach and preach on the Sabbath. Go to Luke 6, verse 6 - talking about a similar occasion - "now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that he entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered" - it says his right hand was withered - "so the scribes and the pharisees watched him closely, whether he would heal (Jesus) on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, 'arise and stand here.

'" - He had him get up and stand forward. And this is the first time Jesus does this. He's going to heal someone, but before he heals him he makes it an object lesson - "then Jesus said to them, 'I will ask you one thing: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?' And when he had looked around at them all," - they said nothing. Other places it says he looked around at them with anger - the same story - because he was so frustrated that they didn't understand that answer to a simple question: is the Sabbath a day for doing good? Was it wrong to heal on the Sabbath? I mean, can God not perform a miracle on the Sabbath? That was very frustrating to the Lord - they didn't appreciate that truth. "And when he had looked around at them all, he said to the man, 'stretch out your hand.

' And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus." What kind of spirit is it that would make you angry at a man who had just given another man the use of his hand back and made him whole? Wouldn't you think that's cause for rejoicing? But they were angry. They were so bound up in what their beliefs were and that he was countermanding their opinions that they wanted to destroy him just to preserve their opinions. Obviously, that's not the right spirit. They discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

'How dare him perform a miracle?' I mean, who do they think did the miracle? Wasn't it from God? How dare God do this and break his Sabbath? You know, Jesus said, 'my father works and I work also.' You know, a number of miracles and a lot of controversy that occurred regarding the Sabbath day - but never once was it because the Sabbath day was not to be kept. The controversies and the contention that Jesus had with the religious leaders regarding miracles on the Sabbath day, never had to do with whether or not the Sabbath day should be kept. It always revolved around how it should be kept. So when people say we don't need to keep the Sabbath anymore - 'because, you know, Jesus healed on the Sabbath' or 'Jesus picked grain on the Sabbath' and the different things that happened - never did Jesus say we don't need to keep the Sabbath anymore. That would have been so easy for him to say.

But it was always about how to keep the Sabbath. With a lot of the law of God it wasn't so much whether or not to keep it, but how to keep it. Did Jesus have a dispute with the commandment 'honor your father and mother' with the religious leaders? He did, actually. Yeah, he - but it didn't have anything to do with whether or not they should keep it, it was how to keep it. Now, for instance, they had a law where you could will your property to the church - to the temple - and you didn't have to take care of your parents in their old age.

It was called corban. Jesus said, 'you declare corban over your property so you can live off your property while your mother and father get old and they can't take care of themselves and you neglect the commandment that says 'honor your father and mother' so you can keep a tradition.' So there was a number of the laws - did they misapply the laws about divorce? They said, 'oh, but the religious leaders said that we can get a divorce.' He said, 'because of the hardness of your hearts, but that's not God's will.' So Jesus came to magnify - when you magnify something, what do you do? You make it clear. You make it honorable. He came to magnify the law and make it honorable. You know, if our government - now you drive in California, at least here where this is being recorded - are you allowed to make a right turn on a red light? You are.

That's not true everywhere, but you can. Suppose that the law changed and all of a sudden it became illegal to make a right turn on a red light. And the state voted this new law in but they didn't tell you or they didn't advertise it and you get pulled over and you protest to the policeman and say, 'this isn't very fair.' And the policeman would say, 'well, they made a new law.' And you said, 'but you didn't announce it, you didn't advertise it, you didn't tell us.' Do you know, if they were going to enact a new law that says you can turn left on a red light but you can't turn right, two things have to happen. You have to nullify the old law and vote in the new law. You cannot vote in a new law that contradicts an old law until you also have a separate law that nullifies the old law.

So in order for the Sabbath to have changed from Saturday to Sunday, two things needed to happen. One is you needed to find a new commandment that says 'you will now keep the first day as the Sabbath.' Do you find that anywhere in the Bible? The second thing would happen is you would need to find a commandment - this is one of the Ten Commandments - as goes the law, so goes the Sabbath, because the Sabbath is in the very heart of it. It's the only commandment that begins with the word 'remember.' It's obviously very important to the Lord. I was reading a book - any of you heard of m.l. Andreasen - adventist author? M.

l. Andreasen - the pastor who baptized me gave me some books and I pulled out some old books this week and was reading a book by m.l. Andreasen - it's great. It's called the law of God and the faith of Jesus and I opened it up and I opened it up and found that it was a signed copy. I didn't realize that.

But he has an excEllent section there at the end of that book on the Sabbath day. And you get done reading that and you think, 'how come religious leaders cannot see this? The law, in the Bible, for keeping the first day of the week is non-existent. There is no commandment that nullifies the fourth commandment. Matter of fact, you read in Hebrews, it says 'there remains, therefore, the keeping of a Sabbath for the people of God.' And he says, 'he spake in a certain place on the seventh day.' It never says he spake about the first day being a Sabbath. It is totally a tradition and speculation that, because Jesus rose on the first day, that it suddenly became the new Sabbath.

Now Jesus does give us something to remember his resurrection - what is it? It's baptism. Baptism is a type of death, burial, and resurrection - not a new Sabbath day. And if the Bible says that on the sixth day God finished his work and he rested the seventh day - so there's a reason that he chose the seventh day, where does it command that God did something else? When Jesus finished his work of saving us from our sins. What day of the week was that? Friday, the sixth day. When did he rest from saving us? The Sabbath.

So not only does God endorse the seventh day because he rested from his work in the old testament, Jesus, in the new testament - in the Gospel - endorses the seventh day because he rests from his work of saving us from sin. And he said, 'it is finished.' And he goes to sleep and he rises to continue his work as our high priest on Sunday. It's not inaugurated as a new day of rest. And so I just am always amazed and, you know, that's one reason I became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, is just the Bible evidence, to me, was what you would say in the basketball vernacular, a slam-dunk. It was just so clear that I could never understand - alright, let's go to the next section under Monday - Sabbath: its meaning and its message.

Luke 4:17 - actually, I already read this one to you. So I want to go to - what is the meaning for the Sabbath? Well, part of the meaning of the Sabbath is it's called 'a holy convocation.' Now some people are confused. There's a law in the old testament which says, during the Sabbath day, you're not to go out of your dwellings. And people say - I actually heard this ostensibly Sabbath-keeping pastor tell people at camp meeting, 'Sabbath day you're not to go out of your dwellings - it's a day to just stay at home at rest.' Can you believe that? He said, 'you don't have to go to church. It actually says you should not go out of your dwellings.

' Well, when God says that in the old testament, it's in the context of somebody going out looking for firewood and they were not to go out looking for firewood. But in the old testament it says the Sabbath was - let me read it to you - Leviticus 23:3, "six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." - Not the Sabbath of the jews, the Sabbath of who? Of the Lord. "A holy convocation." - What is a convocation? A gathering; an assembly. So, some people say, 'you know, Pastor Doug, I'm sorry I didn't make it to church this week.

It was a rough week. I needed to stay home and rest.' And I'm not saying that there's never an occasion where you are so utterly physically and mentally exhausted that you just can't get out of bed you need a rest. It doesn't mean - there's times for that, I understand that. Notice how I emphasize you better be utterly physically, mentally exhausted where it's actually a medical emergency - you better stay home and rest. Because part of Sabbath keeping is not just not doing work, the Bible says it is a holy convocation - not just a convocation, but a holy convocation.

How important is that? When God says it's a holy convocation, that means we need to be there. That's an assembly. We convene. We come together. Does the Lord want us going to church on the Sabbath day? He does, obviously.

And so, when it talks about the meaning of the Sabbath, one of the things is why do we convene? It's something where we get together for corporate worship. It's a time to come together as one body and to praise and to worship. Do we gather strength when we worship together? Does the new testament tell us about the importance of meeting together as a body? And, you know, someone might be the eye, someone else is the arm, someone else is the foot, someone else is the mouth - we're all different parts of the body. Well, the body is all scattered through the week in different parts and different places. We need to come together - it's nice to come together at prayer meeting and other times, but especially if there's one day you should not neglect, the gathering together of the saints.

You know how it says in Hebrews chapter 10 'do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together and all the more as you see the day approaching.' How many of you see the day of the Lord approaching? All the more as you see the day approaching you should not neglect the coming together of the saints. And the Sabbath was, for one thing, its meaning 'a holy convocation.' The Sabbath was a time to study the word. Jesus, as his custom was, entered into the synagogue on the Sabbath and read the Scriptures. He opened the Scriptures. It's a time to study the word.

He expounded what the meaning of the Scriptures were. Why is that important? Psalm 119, verse 11, "Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you." How many of you know that we have a problem with sin? Jesus came to save us from our - if he doesn't save us from our sins we're in hot water - or worse! It's very important that we're saved from our sin. The word is where the power comes from. There is something sanctifying that happens when we convene and study the word together in our natures, it saves us - it fortifies us - against sin. "Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

" Furthermore, a reason we keep the Sabbath, it's part of God's law - part of its meaning. Jesus said it's easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. It's unfailing. By the way, that was Luke. You know the reason I read that to you in Luke chapter 16, verse 17? When in Matthew he says it's easier for heaven and earth to pass away; not one jot or one tittle will fail from the law till all be fulfilled, Luke doesn't even say 'till all be fulfilled' because some people misapply 'till all be fulfilled' and they think that means - fulfilled means 'done away with.

'Matter of fact, look at that with me. You've got your Bibles? Go to Matthew chapter 5 - I want to read this to you. Matthew chapter 5 and we'll start at verse 19 - let's start at verse 17, "do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." - Now some people think fulfill means 'I came to do away with it.' Think about how silly that would sound: Jesus would be saying then, 'don't think I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to do away with.

That wouldn't make sense. And then read on, "for assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." Now what does 'fulfilled' mean? If you want to understand the meaning of a word in the Bible, where do you go to understand it? The Bible. Find out, in other places, how the word is used and that's the best way to get the context. Jesus comes to John the baptist to be baptized. John says, 'Lord, it's not right that I baptize you.

You're The Son of God, you should baptize me.' And Jesus said, 'suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.' Now what did John the baptist mean? To do away with all righteousness? Or what did Jesus mean there? Do away with all righteousness? No, obviously not. It means to fill something full. The word 'fulfill' means just what it sounds like it means, it means to fill something full. And he said, 'don't think that I've come to destroy the law. And then he goes on to say - verse 19 - "whoever therefore" - I'm in Matthew 5:19 - "whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven.

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven." Now they were so fastidious about keeping the law - the scribes and pharisees, Jesus said, 'your righteousness must exceed theirs.' They never suggested doing away with the law. Well, they not only needed a better quantity of righteousness, he's really talking about they needed a better quality of righteousness. Theirs was external. Jesus said it needs to be internal righteousness. Anyway, but the idea that Jesus came to abolish the ten commandments, now nobody ever argues that Jesus came to abolish the law that says, 'you don't murder.

' Or that Jesus came to abolish the law that says 'honor your father and mother; don't kill; don't have other Gods' - you know why? Rich young ruler comes to Jesus - the rich young ruler - he comes to Jesus and he says, 'good master, what good thing shall I do that I might have eternal life? And Jesus said, 'read the commandments.' He said, 'which ones?' Jesus said, 'thou shalt not kill; thou shall not steal; honor your father and mother' - and he quotes the commandments that deal with man's relationship with his fellow man. And he said, 'all of these I've kept from my youth up.' So a lawyer comes to Jesus and he said, 'what should I do to enter into life?' Jesus said, 'how readest the law?' - What does the law say? So when someone comes to Jesus and they say, 'what must I do to be saved?' - That's the rich young ruler - and a lawyer comes to Jesus and says, 'what do I do to have everlasting life?' In both cases you know what Christ pointed them to? The law. You mean God wants us to - are we saved by keeping the law? No, but your keeping the law will be an evidence that you are saved. Now, why do I say that? Because the Bible says that. Your faith without works is dead.

You're not saved by your works, but are you judged by your works? 'Behold he comes to reward every man according to his faith?' - It doesn't say that. You're rewarded according to your works because your works will indicate if your faith is genuine. We're saved by faith, but if the faith is real, there will be a difference. Otherwise, who is the Lord talking about when he says, 'Lord, Lord?' - All these people that say, 'Lord, Lord,' and he says, 'I don't know you. Depart from me ye who work iniquity.

So those who really know the Lord, there's going to be a difference in their life. They will be like Jesus. Isn't that what a Christian is? And what about Jesus? Did he keep his father's commandments? Jesus said, 'I have kept my father's commandments and I abide in his love. So that is definitely part of what it means - what the teaching of Jesus was. Alright, let's move on here.

Part of the Sabbath - the meaning of the Sabbath - is rest. God wants us to experience rest. Jesus said, 'come unto me all you who are - who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.' He wants us to have physical rest, but he wants us more than that, to have spiritual rest. You know, if a person has everything perfectly. If you have a day where you eat - the food is prepared exactly the way you like it.

Some people say, 'you know, I can't ever get a good meal.' - They get the meal just like they like it - and you get the best seat on the bus and you get the job promotion and you're driving a comfortable car and you feel no physical malady - if you've got every earthly desire satisfied but you don't have peace in your heart, you're unhappy. The reason I say that is I know that there are people - some in hollywood - who are famous, who are healthy, who are rich - and all the amenities - and they killed themselves because they were so unhappy. And they were even good looking too. And they killed themselves because they were so empty and it was so meaningless. And then there are people who don't have any of those things but they're happy because they have peace in their hearts.

If your peace - if your rest - is contingent on getting your food fixed perfectly or having that pair of shoes that you wanted to buy or having the home you wanted to buy or the car you wanted to buy - if your happiness is contingent on a perfect - weather - a day of perfect weather, circumstances will rob you of your happiness because things will go wrong. Your happiness will constantly be fickle based upon circumstances. But if your happiness is based upon your relationship with the Lord, the devil can never take it away, right? It's not subject to circumstances. There - Jesus said it's like water that starts on the inside. It's not water on - a well on the outside, he told the woman 'it's an artesian well within you that springs up.

' It's self-supplying. This is the rest that the Sabbath represents - Jesus is offering us. In - something else the Sabbath is a sign of: it says, 'speak to the children of Israel. Surely my Sabbaths you will keep for it is a sign' - by the way, that's Exodus 31:13 and 14 - I should give you the verse - Exodus 31:13 and 14 - "speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'surely my Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you." - Now, I want to stop here. Some will say, 'well, see? He gave it to the jews.

It's a sign for the jews.' I've heard people read it back to me. The Sabbath was a sign for the jews. But he said it was a sign for sanctification. Do only jews need to be sanctified? Or do gentiles need to be sanctified too? The Sabbath is a sign of sanctifi - why is it a sign of sanctification? What did God to on the Sabbath day? He rested. He set it aside.

He sanctified it. He made it holy. If God can make a day holy, can he make us holy? You know, the Sabbath is also a sign of God's ability to recreate us. You know, when you pray 'create within me a new heart.' You know how difficult it is to create a new heart? Any of you have certain organs you'd like to have recreated in your body? Can the doctors do it? Sometimes they can fix your teeth, but they're not exactly the same, are they? And God says he'll create not only a new heart, but a better heart. That's a miracle.

The Sabbath, when he created everything in the beginning - the Sabbath's a memorial of that. Alright, let me read another one. Ezekiel 20, verse 12, "moreover I also gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them." Now that word 'sign' is very interesting because when you get to Revelation, we find out that the people who follow God, they've got the seal of God - the sign - and the people who follow the beast have got a Mark or a sign, or a seal of the beast. So you've got two opposing seals. The Sabbath, which is - God built intrinsically into every week - is a perpetual sign that he is the creator and that he can recreate us.

Alright, let's move along here. And it says here in Romans 6, verses 6 and 7, "know this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin." So the - Romans tells us the Sabbath is also a sign of the Lord wanting to sanctify us and free us from sin. It's a sign of deliverance from that slavery. Corinthians 5:17, "therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;" - that's the sanctification - "old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

" And, again, Hebrews 4:1 through 9 - matter of fact, if you have your Bibles, go to Hebrews. I want to read this whole thing to you because this is a - and we'll end this study with this part - Hebrews 4 and I want to start with verse 1. People sometimes can confuse this passage - Hebrews 4:1, "therefore, since a promise remains of entering his rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it." - We want to have that rest - "for indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them;" - people in the new testament time as well as people in the old testament time - but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as he has said: 'so I swore in my wrath, 'they shall not enter my rest,''" - that's a quote from psalm 95:11 - children of Israel, they did not enter his rest because of unbelief. You remember in the borders of the promised land when they sent out the spies and they didn't believe that he could bring them into the promised land? He said, 'this generation will not enter my rest because of their unbelief.

- "Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day" - how many days of creation? The works were finished from the foundation, but how many days in a week? So all the work of God was done in six days but there are seven days in the week because he made a whole new day - a whole distinct, special day - "for he has spoken in a certain place" - and everybody knows what that place is - "of the seventh day in this way: 'and God rested on the seventh day from all his works';" - that's Genesis 2:2 - "and again in this place: 'they shall not enter my rest.'" - I read that to you - psalm 95:11 - "since therefore it remains that some must enter it," - enter the rest - "and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience," - whenever the children of Israel disobeyed, they were carried away. It talks about when the flood came and took them all away. They were carried away because of unbelief. When they were good, they got to stay in the land and they rested.

When they were bad, the assyrians carried them out of the promised land, out of the rest. The Babylonians carried them out of the rest. The Romans carried them and dispersed them out of their rest. The promised land represented to them, finally no more wanderings - forty years of wandering. When they lived in Babylon, they knew it was temporary.

They were looking for the chance to come back to the land and rest. And they didn't enter in because of unbelief. They kept trusting in other Gods. So he says here, "again he designates a certain day," - oh wait, I want to back up - verse 6 - "since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again he designates a certain day, saying in David," - when he says 'in David' he means in Psalms - "'today,' after such a long time, as it has been said:" - and this is Psalms 95:7 - "'today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.'" - As they did in the wilderness - "for if Joshua had given them rest, then he would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

" - Now, you know that word there in verse 9 - Hebrews 4:9 - 'there remains a rest' - you know what that word 'rest' is? Sabbatismos - it's the same word for 'Sabbath' that you find other places in the Greek. There remains a Sabbath for the people of God. That would have been a really good place for Hebrews to say, 'but now it's on the first day of the week. But he doesn't, he mentions it in the context of the seventh day of the week. Nothing in the new testament tells us that the day of rest has been changed.

Alright, I want to go to Sabbath healings at capernaum - Sabbath healings at capernaum - Matthew 4:13, "and leaving nazareth, he came and dwelt in capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of zebulun and naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which as spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:" - and he's quoting, now, Isaiah 9:1 and 2 - "'the land of zebulun and the land of naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles: the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." - Because a lot of Jesus' ministry was in the region around Galilee - that's where he called the fishermen. And so while he was there, he had this experience. Luke 4:31, "then he went down to capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths." - Now when Luke says earlier, it was a custom, here you've got the plural for Sabbaths - it wasn't just one, but every Sabbath he was in the synagogue teaching - in the various towns around Galilee - "and they were astonished at his teaching, for His Word was with authority." - You know where else it says that? After the sermon on the mount, when Jesus got done teaching, it said they were astonished at his teaching 'for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.' You know, the scribes would say, 'well, this verse could mean this and this verse could mean that and rabbi ben yan so and so, he said it means this and then this other rabbi, he said it means that and' - nobody said anything 'this is what it means' with authority. An evangelist will never make it if they teach without authority. You've got to say, 'this is what the word says.

' Because people are making, you know, life-changing decisions. They've got to know 'this is what God is telling us to do.' And Jesus taught as one that has authority. I think that it's important as Christians we need to know what we believe and be able to share with certainty. "Now...there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon." - By the way, this is also in the book of Luke chapter 1 - "and he cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'let us alone! What have we to do with you, Jesus of nazareth?'" - By the way, does the devil go to church? Here was the - Jesus was in church - you've got the right preacher and he's preaching on the right day and there's someone demon-possessed in that church. So just because the devil shows up at church doesn't mean it's not the right church - "'what have we to do with you Jesus of nazareth?'" - Now obviously he said, 'what have we' - there's more than one devil in this guy - "'to do with you Jesus of nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the holy one of God!' But Jesus rebuked him, saying, 'be quiet, and come out of him!' And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

" - You know why Luke says that as a physician? The man went through a violent convulsion. You see this happening several times when Jesus healed a person with various problems, especially when devils came out, they were convulsed, and a person that's going through thrashing and convulsions, they could be injured in the process. And so, I guess, there he was bouncing off the walls and off the pews and whatever they had there in the synagogue, and he was thrashed by the devil. There was a battle with the devil coming out, which brings me to another point. Even though Jesus is involved in casting out a devil, when you are struggling to be free from any bad habit or sin, don't expect it may happen without a struggle.

When the children of Israel were coming out of Egypt, did the pharaoh let go easy or was there a struggle? The whole time there was a tremendous battle. 'I won't let them go!' 'I will let them go!' 'I won't let them go!' Plagues are falling and there's fire and lightning and you just see this struggle. Whenever a person's striving to be broken free from the devil, there's a battle. But you know what it says - he cast the devil out, but it says, "when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him." - He survived it. He was okay - "then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, 'what a word this is! For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.

'" - Now, by the way, does that still work? Can Jesus still cast out the devil? Now most people don't have legions of devils that make them misbehave in public, but we all struggle with temptation and all of us are harassed by the devil and all of us struggle with habits, but can the Lord still cast those things out? He can. So he healed on the Sabbath. You know what happens? There's a connection in the synagogue - he's teaching the word and while he's in the synagogue teaching the word, this person reacts negatively and a devil is cast out. Sometimes it's also in the context of preaching the word that the devil reacts. How did Jesus fight the devil in the wilderness when he was tempted? With the word - it's the power of the word.

the Lord of the Sabbath. Alright, Luke 6, verse 1, "now it happened on the second Sabbath" - that - you see a pattern with Jesus here? He just - his whole ministry - so much of his teaching was done in the synagogues or the temple on the Sabbath - "now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that he went through the grainfields. And his disciples (and he) plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands. And some of the pharisees said to them, 'why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?' Now, just so you know what they were doing, you know, this was legal according to the mosaic law. You were not supposed to completely harvest every corner of your field, you're supposed to leave some of the edges and the corners standing for the poor and the widows that were among them.

And they were - that's what Ruth did. If you ever read the book of Ruth, she - Ruth was harvesting the gleanings of the barley harvest and she came home with lots of grain because boaz said, 'oh, let some of it fall for her and give her extra.' They would take the dried grain, you could rub it in your hands - I don't know if you've ever done this before - then you - you blow it. The chaff blows away and you've got the raw kernel of grain or whatever - barley - or whatever it was. You toss it in your mouth and you crunch it. It's kind of rough but it - it's good for you.

It's grain. And so they were doing - they were just hungry - and as they walked along - and you know what the religious leaders - they called this harvesting. They said, 'you are harvesting on the Sabbath.' And Jesus said, 'come on.' It's like you're going through a field picking an apple on the Sabbath day from a tree and eating it and so they were making a big deal out of this because it broke one of their man-made laws. Jesus was not breaking the Sabbath. Did they accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath? You know, I've heard people say, 'Jesus - you know we don't have to keep the Sabbath, Jesus broke the Sabbath.

' You'll find enemies of the Sabbath that will say, 'we don't have to keep the Sabbath, Jesus broke the Sabbath.' Did Jesus ever break the biblical Sabbath? Did Jesus break the man-made traditions? Yes. Did they accuse Jesus of being a winebibber and a glutton and a samaritan and a - demon possessed? Yes. He was accused of many things that were not true and one of the false accusations was that he was a Sabbath breaker. Jesus did not break the Sabbath, he broke their traditions. Now, in dealing with them on this issue, they said - Jesus answered them and said - I'm still in Luke 6 - "'have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he went into the house of God,'" - by the way, this was a lunar Sabbath, when David did it - "'how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?'" - Now only the priests could typically eat this bread.

They used to take out the bread after a few days and they'd put in fresh bread. And David came, he was on the King's business, he had no bread - he was hungry - and so the priests gave their bread to David and Jesus said David was doing the work of the Lord and they felt that this was important. Now, I'm going to read you a quote. This might be the last thing I read. If I run out of time, you might want to make a note of this - it's Desire of Ages page 285 - because when you're in a church there's some things that need to be done in a church, even on a Sabbath day, to minister to people.

When we're recording services, I am so thankful to our volunteers and people that are manning the cameras. There are people who do microphones, there are deacons that are doing wonderful work. Sometimes we have the same area that's used for Sabbath school that later is going to be used for a fellowship dinner and the chairs need to be moved and the tables set up. You know what I'm saying? There are practical things that need to be done and you want to be as careful as you can to guard the Sabbath - get everything done that can be done in advance so you don't have to do any unnecessary work. Are we all in agreement? But sometimes there's things that have to be done that you can't really do on another day.

The priests were busier on the Sabbath than any other day of the week. They would offer sacrifice. They kept the altar fire burning. Someone had to carry wood. They had cleansing - someone had to carry water.

There was stuff that was going on. Ellen white makes this comment and, again, that was desire of ages p. 285, Speaking about Sabbath work principles. "Again, the priests in the temple performed greater labor on the Sabbath than on other days. The same labor in secular business would be sinful, but the work of the priests was in the service of God.

They were performing those rights that pointed to the redeeming power of Christ. Their labor was in harmony with the object of the Sabbath, but now Christ himself had come" - she's talking about this story where he was accused of Sabbath breaking - "the disciples, in doing the work of Christ, were engaged in the service that was necessary for the accomplishment of its work it was right to do on the Sabbath day. Christ would teach his disciples and his enemies that the service of God is, first of all, the object of God's work in the world is the redemption of man. Therefore, that which is necessary to be done on the Sabbath in the accomplishment of this work is in accord with the Sabbath law." That's a very important principle. And you will run into all kinds of - I don't travel on the Sabbath - I mean, you know, I don't fly.

I schedule my flights - I get there before the Sabbath, I leave after the Sabbath. Sometimes thing happen. Flights are delayed, planes are canceled and I've been caught and I think the Lord winks at those things - you can't help it. I've been in cities before where people have walked 30 blocks in the rain to go to church when they could have taken the subway, but they felt that taking the subway - and you can pre-buy tokens if you want - someone was required to work to do that. I think that's extreme.

There are people I've met - do you know if you go to Israel they've got what they call 'shabbat elevators.' You know why they've got shabbat elevators? There are elevators that you can get in on the Sabbath day that will automatically stop on every floor in a hotel, lest you have to push a button. How many of you know what I'm telling you is true? I'm not kidding. Or, what orthodox jews will do in some cases, they will get on an elevator and they'll wait for a gentile to press their button so they don't have to invest the labor of going like that, which is really absurd when you think about it. So there are two extremes that I worry about as a pastor - and we're always evaluating this. And we should be thinking about 'what do I - how do I best please the Lord?' You've got to be practical and say - I've seen churches that get so busy doing things on the Sabbath day, it stops being sacred.

All kinds of setting up and taking down of things and it just - it just stops feeling like the Sabbath and you've got to guard against that and do everything in advance that you can. And then you've got the other extreme, where people are so afraid they might do something that could look like work, that the service of God is encumbered and people can't be reached because - you're doing evangelistic meetings, you usually have a Friday night meeting, a Saturday night meeting - there's sometimes take down/set up just to do that sort of thing. Sometimes you have to rent a public hall and I just think it's important for us to know that Jesus said these things that need to be done when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel - get everything out of the way you can get out of the way, but that last statement, "therefore that which is necessary to be done on the Sabbath in the accomplishment of this work is in accord with the Sabbath law." Alright, so - you with me? Okay, just wanted to make sure. I want to remind our friends we have a free offer if you did not hear earlier. It is the brand-new Amazing Facts magazine on the Sabbath, which was our study.

This is, I think, the best sharing magazine that we have ever produced. Someone told us this week it's the best they've ever seen. And if you'd like a copy, call that number and the number is -788-3966 - that's 866-study-more and ask for the offer number on your screen. Thank you. God bless you.

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