The Rest of Our Work

Lesson: 7
God set aside a day in every week to spend time with us and develop a relationship with Him. We do not keep the law to be saved, we keep the law because we are saved.
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We're so glad to see each of you here tonight. We want to welcome you to the Landmarks of Prophecy Bible study series. And we always want to welcome those who we remember are watching online, you're watching via satellite television and we're just glad that you could be part of this epic Bible study adventure. Now tonight we have a very important lesson that is dealing with a subject that is of great interest among Christians these days and it does have a very important bearing on the issues of prophecy. The title of the lesson is called 'The Rest of Our Work.' The rest of our work. Those things - two words - seem to be contradicting each other. Lesson #7 in our series.

Now, we're going to begin with a story in your Bible that's drawn from the book of Exodus. In Exodus we know that the children of Israel, for a long time - hundreds of years - were slaves there. And it tells us about the terrible hardship. They weren't just slaves, it says they were suffering - they were serving with cruel bondage and hard labor. Their lives were miserable. All it was was work, work, work.

And during that time, of course, Moses had been born. He was in the wilderness. He had fled from Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness taking care of his father-in-law's sheep, enjoying a quiet life. And the Lord appeared to him at the burning bush. And there at the burning bush God said, 'I want you to go and you are going to be the vehicle through which I am going to liberate My people and bring them back into the promised land, that they might enjoy the rest I have for them.' Notice that there is a total opposite between the hard work of the slavery in Egypt and the rest the New Testament calls 'The Promised Land.' Moses, who's like Christ, that leads us out of slavery into the Promised Land, he was told, 'First, before you go to Pharaoh, you need to go meet with the elders of Israel.' You can read about this in Exodus 4, verse 29. "And Moses and Aaron" - first Moses met up with his brother - "and Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel." And, during that time, they told them, 'The God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has met with us. He is going to work something miraculous to deliver the nation from slavery. But there's something you must do. You must prepare your hearts for that deliverance.

They had been in Egypt so long they were beginning to like the Egyptian gods. And they were working so much, they were neglecting the day of rest that God had given man all the way back from the Garden of Eden. And they noticed that, because when you read in Exodus 5:1 it says, "Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go.'" And the Pharaoh had already heard that Moses and Aaron were stirring up problems - that they had met with the elders of Israel - and the Pharoah responds - notice - he said to them - in Exodus 5:5 - "Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens." What do you think he's talking about? You know what that word 'rest' is there? 'Shabbat.' Pharaoh said, 'Ever since you came around you're causing them to take a day off.' And just to make things more difficult, the Pharaoh said, 'I'll fix that.' Exodus 5, verse , "thus saith Pharaoh, 'I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it.'" And it goes on, verse 18, "Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you." 'I will increase your burden.'

The people were thinking about freedom - now, if Moses represents Jesus, who does the Pharoah represent? The devil, right? Moses wants to lead them into the Promised land of rest. The Pharaoh said, 'Work, work, work until your lives are over.' And when they started thinking about worshiping God, the Pharaoh tried to eclipse and displace that idea from their mind, by increasing what? Their workload.

Well, every time Pharaoh tried to stop, God sent a plague and eventually ten plagues fell on Egypt. The final plague was the plague of the Passover - the death of the firstborn. And before they began their journey to the Promised Land, what did they have to do? Sacrifice a lamb. What is the first step in our journey to the Promised Land? A lamb. You notice, God did not come to the children of Israel and say, 'Here's the Ten Commandments.' First He came and he said, 'We need to get a Lamb.' The journey begins with a lamb. After the lamb, then they went to Mount Sinai and he said, 'if you love Me, here's My law.' But the Lamb and the blood of the Lamb and salvation comes first.

Don't ever forget this, friends: you do not keep the law to be saved, you keep the law because you are saved. And so first the Lamb came. Then, of course the plagues - and all the firstborn in Egypt died and Pharaoh said 'Get out' and the Lord parted the Red Sea. They miraculously crossed over the Red Sea and now, as they're going through the wilderness - and they had a few trying days between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai - their provisions ran low and they started to complain.

God said, 'Look, I'm going to work a miracle for you. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to rain down bread from Heaven for you.' What do they call that bread? Manna. 'And I'm going to do it six days a week. Go out early in the morning, you gather it up, and there will not be any on the seventh day.' Why? It was the Sabbath - ever since the Garden of Eden. And He said, 'Gather twice as much on Friday so you don't have to gather it and - you can read there - "Then Moses said, 'Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field.'"

Interesting miracle - for forty years - forty years there was manna that rained down six days a week but none on the seventh. Now some people say the Sabbath command appeared at Mount Sinai and it was given to the Jews only. You notice it's Exodus 16, where God tells them about the manna coming six days a week. They haven't gotten to Mount Sinai yet. The Sabbath goes all the way back to the beginning. How many days in the week? Seven. I knew you'd get that one right. How many days did it take God to create the world? Six. Six. He made everything in six days. Why do we have seven days? You mean He made another day and didn't make anything in it? He made a day for rest and for worship.

Now, please hear me very carefully. We're going to study the subject of the Sabbath tonight and I'm going to show you how it is an important factor in prophecy. First remember, in the last days, the mark of the beast compels everybody to receive a mark in the right hand or the forehead and, whoever doesn't do what? Worship the image of the beast should be killed. Whoever doesn't worship.

Is worship going to be an issue in the last days? Yes. In the very first conflict between Cain and Abel, Cain claimed to worship God. Abel claimed to worship God. They both built altars. One worshiped God the way God said - that's Abel. Cain said, 'I'm going to do it my own way.' God said, 'I'm not accepting your sacrifice, but I am accepting the sacrifice of Abel.’ Cain got mad. He persecuted and killed his brother and it was all over worship from the beginning to the end. What did the devil want from Jesus? 'You fall down and worship me, I'll give it all to you.'

If we don't understand this subject and we don't think that's connected with last-day prophecy, friends, you're kidding yourself. It is all very integrated - from cover to cover - in the Bible. This is an important issue that I think we need to understand. Now, God is love, are we right? Can you have love without time? What happens to a relationship if people do not have quality time together? You ever have any friends, you start drifting apart over the years and you say, 'Oh, we don't have much in common. We just didn't spend any time together.' It happens in marriages. It happens in families. It happens with friends. In order for there to be love relationships, there must be quality time together. Not only is that true with each other on the horizontal, it is definitely true on the vertical.

If you want a relationship with God, you must learn to walk with God. Not only, you know, praying every now and then, we need quality time with God. Is there a difference between just being in the same room and having quality time? Did God make a different day for quality time with Him? It's all about love. God made another whole day of the week to nurture our relationships with Him. Now, if you were the devil and you wanted to destroy the love relationship between God's people and the Lord, wouldn't you attack the time? Get them so busy working they don't have time for God.

Well, that's my introduction and now we're going to go into the lesson and - and I want to be gentle as I share these things with you, because what I'm sharing with you, I remember the first time I heard it and it really shook me. I think it shook me because it was so compelling but I felt like I should have known these things.

Alright, let's go to question #1 in your study. Did God make the Sabbath rest only for Israelites or for Jews? Have you heard that before? 'He made the Sabbath for Jews.' Let's find out from the Bible, when does it first appear? Mark chapter 2, verse 27 and it says, "And He said unto them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Now who's speaking here? Jesus. The word Jesus uses here 'm-a-n' - that's not how you spell Jew. That word is 'mankind' - it's talking about anthropos - humanity. The Sabbath, Jesus said, was made for humanity. He doesn't say the Sabbath was made for Jews. He doesn't say it was made for Moses.

Doesn't everybody need time off? Doesn't everybody who worships God need quality time with God? Of course. And further evidence of this is found in Isaiah 56 - I gave you one from the New Testament, here's one from the Old. Isaiah 56, verse 6, "Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord," - notice, it's love - "to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant;" - the sons of the stranger - non-Jews. He says, "Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer."

Now, very important point before I go any farther, I want you to catch: people living in our age, are we saved based on the terms of the old covenant or the new covenant? How many believe new covenant? I believe new covenant. Anyone here believe old covenant? I believe it's the new covenant. Let me recite the new covenant to you. 'I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel after those days,' saith the Lord, 'I will write My law on their heart' - and so forth.

I will make a new covenant with who? Do you know, nowhere in the Bible - New or Old Testament - I should mention, you find the new covenant first in the Old Testament, Jeremiah 31:31, then it's repeated several times in the New Testament. Nowhere does God made the new covenant with Gentiles. Like this verse, the Gentiles were grafted into the stock of Israel. They, then become - the Bible says, 'If you are Christ's you're Abraham's seed and you're heirs according to the promise. And so, everybody - the Sabbath was for everybody.

Question #2: When did God establish the Sabbath? Was it Mount Sinai? Was it the book of Exodus? Or is it Genesis? If you read in Genesis chapter 2, verses 1 and 3 it says, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them... 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." He made this day and He did something unique with it, because He wanted to preserve a love relationship with us.

Now, let me tell you one more reason why I think this is important in prophecy. If you look in Daniel 6 - we talked about this the other night - the king made a law - the government - Darius made a law that everybody had to worship him for thirty days or go to the lion's den, right? Daniel had to make a decision: do I keep that first commandment that says 'Do not have other Gods' or do I die? It was a real test. I mean, not only was he going to lose his job, he was going to die, which meant he would lose his job too.

He decided to put his worship of God first, right? Daniel chapter 3 - we've got a study coming on this - King Nebuchadnezzar - Babylon - government - makes a law, everybody has to bow down and worship the image or they'll die. Three Hebrews - they knew the Ten Commandments - 'Do not bow down and worship graven images.' They had to make a decision. They worked for the king. They were going to lose their jobs and their lives. They said, 'We're going to stand up because God is first in our lives.' Jesus said, 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.' And they went to the fiery furnace, but they were delivered. Daniel went to the lion's den but he was delivered. You read in the book of Esther, Mordecai would not bow down and worship Haman. He made a law to have the whole nation killed. Not only did he say, 'I'm going to get even with you, Mordecai, I'm going to kill all your people if you don't worship me.' He would not compromise his convictions.

The devil, if he can't reach you by torturing you, he'll torture your loved ones. He'll go after your people, your family. At the last moment, when Haman was going to destroy all the people of God, the tables were turned - he was destroyed and they were delivered. Just before Jesus comes, the beast power is going to compel the whole world to worship unbiblically and we need to know what the Bible does say on this subject because it's going to be - everyone's tested on how we worship God. We need to know - there's a big movement to return to the faith of the Bible on these issues.

Alright, question #3 - Some very practical things - what day of the week is the Sabbath? The biblical Sabbath. Before I give you the answer I want to make something very clear. I believe there are loving, spirit-filled Christian people in all kinds of different denominations. Is that clear? I could start naming religious leaders that you see on TV - I've met many of them - that are friends. I respect them. They respect me and we, respectfully, maybe disagree on some things, but I don't question that. I know there are going to be millions of people in heaven that maybe went to church on the wrong day, but the truth is still the truth.

There are going to be people in Heaven that had too many wives. Are you all aware of that? Is David going to be in Heaven? He had, like, ten wives. How many did Solomon have? Once you go past ten it doesn't matter, but he had hundreds, right? Will he be in Heaven? Does that mean that I can go take an extra wife? No. Benjamin Franklin - someone said to him one time, 'You can't show me a Scripture that says a man can't have more than one wife.' Benjamin franklin said, 'Yes I can. The Bible says, 'No man can have two masters.' So, anyway, back to our subject.

So I just - I want to make it clear, what I'm sharing with you now is not because I don't think that there are people that, in other churches, that may have this information wrong that aren't Christians. I do believe they are Christians. But I still think we should be accurate about the Bible because this may become a test in the last days. Here's what the Bible says in Genesis 2, verses 2 and 3, "And on" - oh, I didn't read it yet - "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. And God blessed the seventh day..." - This is Genesis 2. This is about as far back as you can go in the beginning of your Bible.

So does God say that he made the Sabbath for Jews? How many people were in the world when God did this? Two. What were their names? Adam and Eve. You know, the Bible says the Sabbath was made for man. What else did God make for man in the Garden of Eden? Woman. It says, 'It's not good that a man should be alone.' Now here's a question: do we still need women? Do we also still need that day of rest? They're equally important. Alright, now you notice something else here, it doesn't say, 'And on a seventh day' - it says 'on the seventh day.' Is there a difference between saying 'a' and 'the?' If I were to just call out to the audience now and say, ‘Could you please bring me the pen?' You'd look at each other and say, 'I wonder who has the pen?' - Right? The special pen. But if I say 'Bring me a pen.' Half of you might jump out of your seats and give me a pen because it doesn't matter what pen, it's any pen. So God doesn't say 'Remember a seventh day,' He says 'Remember the seventh day.' It's a definite article. It's very specific. It's also interesting that in that verse there in Genesis, first time a number is mentioned three times. First book of the Bible - seventh, seventh, seventh. You go to the last book of the Bible, you'll find a conflicting number. You know what that number is? Six, six, six. It's very interesting.

Question #4: How has God demonstrated the importance of His holy Sabbath? Exodus chapter 20, verse 8, made it one of the Ten Commandments. It says, "Remember" - why do you think God begins that commandment with the word 'Remember?' He knew we might forget. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." The Bible tells us. Now, you notice that God didn't say, 'I want you to make it holy' or 'Pick a day and make it holy.' God says, 'I have picked the day and I made it holy and I sanctified it and I blessed it. I want you to enjoy those blessings that I put into that day.’ Does He say, 'Everybody just kind of pick your day or does He say there is a day where we worship corporately? It says in Leviticus 23, 'The Sabbath is a holy convocation.' You know what the word 'convocation' means? A convening. They were to come together and worship God - He had blessed the time for them. So that's important.

Now, I know there are a lot of people out there who will say, 'Pastor Doug, you're focusing on one little thing and this is not a big issue and it doesn't matter.' Or 'The law was nailed to the cross' and how many of you have heard some of these arguments before? When I first read these things I said, 'How can this be right? How can everybody be wrong? How could the majority be wrong about this? And then I remembered that it was the majority, when Jesus came the first time, that did not accept him. Moses said, 'Follow not a multitude to do evil.' I said, 'Well, I'm going to go ask some pastors.' I was a baby Christian, so when I first learned these things I went to church Sunday like everybody else. And I should have known better because my mother's Jewish. And I thought, 'Well, I haven't read the whole Bible.

It's a big book. Somewhere in there it says that God changed it. I just haven't found it yet. So I went to the pastors and I said, 'Why do we go to church on Sunday if Saturday is the Sabbath?' And one of them said, 'Well, that's because Jesus rose on the first day of the week and that made it the new Sabbath.' I said, 'Alright, where's the verse that says that?' 'Well, there's not really a specific verse, but we have a long-standing tradition.' 'Hmm.' - I said, 'I'd like more than that.' I went to another pastor and I said, 'Why are we going to church on Sunday? And we're not even keeping Sunday very holy.' Let's face it. A lot of people, they put in an hour and a half at church, then they go to the movies, they go to the mall, they go mow their lawn, right? Even among people that don't keep the seventh day, not very many people are keeping it holy.

And I remember one pastor said, 'Pastor Doug, we don't need to keep it. It's part of the law and it's all nailed to the cross.' I said, 'Do we keep the Ten Commandments or not?' I was doing a meeting like this one time and a pastor came - he interrupted me. He said, 'Pastor Doug, you're putting these people under bondage by teaching the law.' And I said, 'Do you believe we're supposed to keep the Ten Commandments?' He said, 'No!' Well, some of his members were there and they looked at him like - because, you know, obviously, you know, you don't kill, don't lie, don't steal and so - he had no problem with the others. And then he said, 'Well, yes!' Well but then it's part of a complete package. It's right in the middle.

And then he said, 'Nine of them!' And I said, 'So brother, you're saying that the one commandment that God begins with the word 'Remember' is the only one we're supposed to forget?' I said, 'That didn't make sense.' I even met one country pastor, he was very creative. He said, 'Back in the days of Joshua, he prayed and the sun stood still. Saturday turned into Sunday.' I said, 'Well that's good, but the problem was they still kept it on the seventh day for the next thousand years so that doesn't make any sense.' But, I mean, that's what convinced me, is I asked ten pastors, I got twelve different answers. They were all different. I said, 'Something's wrong here.' We don't have a good biblical reason. God did something special on this day. It says - three, in particular, things - it says God rested that day, God blessed that day, God sanctified the seventh day. He's God, you know, I think that He gets to make the rules. And anything that He tells us to do, is it for our bad or for our good? It's for blessing.

He doesn't want it to be a burden. Matthew 5:19 - these are the words of Jesus. You're a Christian, this is what Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven." So the Lord not only wants us to hear it, He wants us to do it and He wants us to teach it. And He says, 'That's - those are the people who are blessed.'

Question #5: Of what two precious things does God say the Sabbath is a sign? This is where it starts becoming, I think, really to the heart of the issue. Exodus 31, verse 17, "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth." Now God made - that means God created. Are people in the world today having problems with the concept that God created? You know, there's a couple of options: one is that everything evolved and life is an accident, or there's an intelligent Creator who could speak the world into existence. If people were keeping the Sabbath the way God had designed, we wouldn't be having all the problems with folks thinking that they just evolved from lower forms of life. And I suspect there would be less suicide because a lot of young people commit suicide because they just think there's no purpose to life - that they just evolved from primitive creatures and that they're an accident of biology. Every Sabbath day we're remembering that there's a divine purpose. He's our creator.

And then another sign, Exodus - I'm sorry - Ezekiel 20, verse 12. In Ezekiel 20, verse 12 He says, "I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign" - notice that word 'sign' - "a sign between Me and them, that they night know that I am the Lord that sanctify them." You know what the word 'sanctify' means? To make something holy. Are only Jews supposed to be made holy by the power of Christ or is everybody supposed to be made holy? Is it only Jews that are supposed to remember that God can recreate our hearts - He's the creator? We want Him to make us holy. We want Him to create within us a new heart. Every Sabbath, we remember, He can create and He can sanctify, because that's part of what the day was all about from the very beginning.

Question #6 - A Christian is a follower of Jesus - which day did Jesus keep holy? Alright, you read here in Luke chapter 4, verse 16 - this is in the New Testament - "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was," - what's a custom? Something you do once or something that's a pattern? It was customary. It's something He always did -"as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and He read the Scriptures. It was a custom of His life - a habit - a practice. Not only was it the practice of Jesus, and He's our example, it was a practice of the apostles as well.

Question #7: What was Paul's custom regarding the Sabbath day? Paul, one of the great - about half the New Testament you're holding was written by Paul. What was his pattern? Acts 17, verse 2, "And Paul, as his custom was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scripture." You can jump to Acts 18, verse 4 and it says, "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Jews and Gentiles - some people say, 'Well, Paul went there because oh, you know, he was just trying to reach the Jews.' But it says even when the Jews didn't come, he'd go and he'd speak to the Gentiles. In fact, before Paul was Paul he had another name. You know what it was? Saul. Before he was converted he went by the name of Saul and he was out gathering and persecuting, arresting and killing Christians, right? You know where the Bible says he went to look for them? It says 'He went to the synagogues to find the Christians.' Why? Because they were meeting the same days that the Jews were meeting. The early Christian church all were keeping the Sabbath. The Bible is very clear about that. Something changed in history and I welcome your questions on this.

Question #8: Did the apostles also meet with the Gentiles on the Sabbath day? It's talked about Jesus, talked about Paul, now the rest of the apostles - you can read in Acts 13, verse 42, "and when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought...that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath." Matter of fact, it tells us in Acts chapter 16, verse 13, it says Paul went out of the city - out of the church - on the Sabbath day and he was visiting with women that were meeting there for prayer. And so, all through the New Testament - let me just illustrate why I think this is important. Most of us live in North America, I'm assuming, and the speed limit is posted 55 - 70 miles - what's the fastest you can go in New Mexico? 70 Or 75? 75? Sounds good.

Alright, what if I should tell you, right now, that there's been a change in the law. That there's now a new speed limit and we're all allowed to drive 95 miles an hour? How many of you would believe that that's true? Not only that - not only is there a new speed limit and you can drive 95 miles an hour, but while you were sleeping last night - you know, we just had an election - you may not be aware - that they voted that we're going to change the side of the road that we drive on. We're going to start doing like Australia and England. We're just going to totally switch. Anyone here believe me? That would be absurd, right? Because prominent laws like that - that impact so many people - that are so integral to the society, if it's going to be changed, it must be very thoroughly vetted and advertised.

Do you agree? How important do you think one of the Ten Commandments was to the Jewish nation? When the Christians accepted Jesus - Gentile and Jew - they argued over circumcision. They argued over the feast days and a number of things. You don't find any argument over the subject of whether or not we're going to keep the Sabbath. Every time Jesus had a dispute over the Sabbath, it wasn't whether or not to keep it, it was how to keep it. He said, 'The Sabbath is for doing good, not doing evil.' He healed somebody, right? He never said, 'Don't keep the Sabbath anymore.' Jesus, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue. The Bible is so clear. Think about it. When God gave the law how clearly did He advertise it? He gathers the whole nation, from this divine megaphone on top of Mount Sinai He, with His own voice, announces the Ten Commandments to the people. He then says, 'Everyone got that?' 'We got it, all the Lord has said we will do.'

He says, 'Now I'm going to write it down.' And writes it. Moses gets mad, he breaks those. God says, 'Moses, I cut out the first stones, you cut out the next stones, but I'm writing it back down again.' Moses brings up some more stones. God writes it down again. Why? Heaven and Earth will pass away. My Word will not pass away. He wrote it in stone. If God was going to change one of the Ten Commandments, don't you think that would have been a really hot topic in the New Testament? Oh, it would have been an incredible debate and discussion. It would have been very clear. All of the apostles would have addressed it. But they don't because it was an understood truth. It's like our founding fathers said, 'Certain things are self-evident.' And for all of the early Christians it was self-evident that they kept the Sabbath day. Why would God change it? What was wrong with the seventh day? Do Gentile Christians not need worship and rest? But the Christian church, at large, has forgotten about this truth. More and more are discovering it now because it is so clearly, from Genesis to Revelation, in the Bible.

Question #9: Did Jesus intend for his people to keep the Sabbath after He died for their sins? Listen to the prophecy now, that Jesus gives in Matthew 24, speaking of the second coming - He said - and the time of trouble at the end. He said, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter" - He's not talking about catching a plane out of Denver. He says, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter," - He's talking about fleeing for your lives because it says, 'Those that be in Judea flee into the mountains.' In the last days, when there's this great tribulation, God's people will again have to flee. He said, "But pray ye your flight is not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Why would Jesus say that except Jesus expected His people would still know about the Sabbath in the last days. Even though they may have forgotten for awhile, before He comes back, there's going to be a revival of biblical truth.

Here, let me say something else. I need both hands - this is important. When I put that down, it's important. There is going to be a shaking in the world - it's happening now. There's going to be a shaking in the world. When Jesus comes, everybody's going to be marked one way or the other. You know, the Bible says, in Revelation - we always talk about the mark of the beast, but people forget that God says also, in Revelation 7, My servants are sealed in their forehead with My Father's name.' Everybody gets either the mark of the beast or the seal of God. You can read about that also in Ezekiel 9 - it's a prophecy. That means, right now, you've got good people on both sides of the fence and folks are, you know, there's a lot of confusion, kind of Babylonian confusion out there in the religious world right now.

When Jesus came the first time - listen very carefully - when Jesus came the first time He said, 'All men will know you are My disciples by your love for one another.' The devil heard that. He said, 'Oh, if people will know they're Christians by the way they love each other and their unity, I will divide them.' There is no religion in the world that has more fragments and denominations than Christianity. Do you think when Jesus comes back, if everybody's either going to have the mark of the beast and the seal of God, something's going to happen? There is going to be a shaking in the world that is going to compel people to say, 'Lord, I need a revival. I'm going to totally give myself to You. I'm going to follow the word no matter what the world does.' And the other group is going to follow what's convenient and the beast. Everybody's going to get shaken off into one of these two groups.

And what's going to do it is the preaching of the Word of God is going to get people's attention. What caused Pentecost? Peter was preaching and there was a great revival and it sometimes caused a little persecution too. Before Jesus comes back, He said, 'All men will know you are My disciples by your love for one another.'

I believe there's going to be a great revival and God's people are going to come back together on the Bible before Jesus comes back. This truth that I'm sharing with you, I'm not the only one. It's going all over the world and I am meeting Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist - Christians from all different faiths that are talking to their people.

Matter of fact, right up the street from our office in California, a large church with several thousand people, they learned the truth on this - they're meeting two days a week now. And you probably know some other Evangelical churches that are now having Saturday and Sunday meetings because they're learning these things. We need to get back to what the Bible says, friends. And it's not just going to church. We need to learn about keeping a day holy - what it means to rest.

I've got more to say. Let's keep going. I want to get through the lesson because people will watch these programs later. You can read in - also in Revelation in chapter 14, it talks about these messages that go to the world. It says, "'Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of Heaven," - these are called the three angels' messages that go before Jesus comes - "flying in the midst of Heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come;'" - notice - "'and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.'"

You know where you find that phrase right there from Revelation 14? It's extracted from the commandment about the Sabbath. 'For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth and the sea.' And it's saying here, 'Worship Him.' These angels are giving messages that are to go to the world to bring God's people back together before Jesus returns. Next thing that happens in Revelation 14, 'And I beheld in the clouds, one coming like the Son of man.' Jesus comes. This day is that prophecy being fulfilled in your ears. These messages are going. People are returning back to the word.

Question #10: Does the Bible teach that God's end-time people would also keep His seventh-day Sabbath holy? Let's see what it says here in Revelation - another prophecy Scripture. "And the dragon" - we've talked about this before. Who's the dragon? "And the dragon was wroth" - we're using King James, that's old English. That means infuriated - "with the woman," - which woman is the dragon wroth with?" Church. Good church or bad church? The fact that the devil's mad at her means she's the good church, right? "And went to make war with the remnant of her seed," - that do what? - "Which keep the commandments of God and they have the testimony of Jesus."

Now, does that mean keep some of the commandments? Everybody - you'll hear my testimony tomorrow morning - I've been in jail several times and everybody I ever met in jail keeps some of the commandments some of the time. Is that what God's looking for? I mean, at least when we sleep. The Bible says, 'Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments has broken them all.' That's James. And so you can't stand before the judge and say, 'You know, I pay my taxes on time and I don't speed - I realize I murdered somebody but it's only - I'm giving you 90% obedience, judge.' He's not going to care about that. Revelation 14 - another verse, similar - "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God."

Now that's contrasted with those who worship the beast and his image - same chapter - people like Daniel. Revelation 22 - last chapter in your Bible - "Blessed" - is that good or bad - blessed? - "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter in through the gates into the city." You're going to tell me this isn't important to Jesus? It is. The church has largely forgotten the one commandment that He said, 'Remember.' The devil wants us to forget our time with God so we become so preoccupied. Jesus said, before He comes back, 'Beware, beware lest your hearts be overcharged with the cares of this life.' Next thing you know, you're on social security, your life is over, and you didn't serve God. Now is the time to seek first His kingdom.

Question #11: Will all of the saved keep the Sabbath in Heaven? Isaiah 66, verses 22 and 23, "For as the new heavens and the new earth," - speaking of Heaven now, the new one. By the way, the reason it says 'new heaven' there, it means a new atmosphere around the earth - "and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that...from one Sabbath to another, shall all Jews come to worship" - is that what it said? "All flesh shall come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." All flesh - all people.

Now just think about this, friends, that means that - in the Garden of Eden God created for Adam and Eve, right? You still with me? Sabbath is made for man. We know God's people that he called out of Egypt, they kept it. We know that Jesus and the apostles kept it. We know we're going to keep it in Heaven. Why would it suddenly not be important in the last generation before the Lord comes? And I invite - I know some of you, your wheels are spinning and you've got some questions. I invite you - maybe I'll even pre-emptively give you a question. 'Pastor Doug, doesn't it say in Colossians chapter 2, 'Let no man judge you concerning meat or drink, or new moons, or Sabbath days, which are shadows?'' Look at that, my Bible just turned to it. Colossians chapter 2 - you read in verse 13, "And you being dead in your trespasses, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he's made alive." - Notice, Paul uses the word 'circumcision' there so it tells you what the topic is - "he is made alive together with him, having forgiven all your trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting".

Ten Commandments, were they written, like the law of Moses, on paper by hand or by the finger of God in stone? There were the ceremonial laws, written by Moses, "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us" - when Moses wrote the ceremonial law, he put it in the outside of the ark in a pocket and he said, 'This will be a witness against you.' It didn't say that about the Ten Commandments. "The handwriting of ordinance that was against us, taking it out of the way, nailing it to the cross." And then I'll jump down. He says, in verse 16, "So let no one judge you in food or drink or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are shadows of things to come." People say, 'See, don't let anyone judge you regarding the Sabbath.' They're not reading it honestly. There's two different kinds of Sabbath in the Bible. There was the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and there were the annual feast day Sabbaths. One came weekly, the others were written on paper - Ten Commandments was written on stone. One was part of worship for everybody, the others originated after the Exodus and they ended at the cross. They were shadows to help us recognize Jesus. And so, people will point to that and they'll say, 'See, we don't have to - don't let anyone judge you about the Sabbath. You don't have to keep a Sabbath.'

That's a very poor exegesis of the Bible, when they use it that way. But someone's going to bring that to you. Someone else is going to point out Romans 14, where it says 'One man regards one day above another, another man regards every day alike, let every man be persuaded in his own mind.' The word Sabbath never even appears in the chapter. Paul is talking about these annual feasts that they were told they had to keep. Paul said, 'Look, if you want to keep the day, keep it to the Lord.' People come to me and they say, 'Are Christians required to observe Christmas?' I say, 'You're not, no. There's no command.' I say, 'If you're going to remember it, keep Jesus in it. Do it unto the Lord. If you're not, then you're not.' But no, there's no command 'Thou shalt remember Christmas.' You all know it's probably not when Jesus was born, but that's as good a time as any to remember His birthday. Ask me a question about that. So you're going to hear these arguments, but I pray that you'll hear it out, ask any question you want, we'll be willing to answer them.

Alright, back to our study. So, question #12: Can we be certain that the present seventh day of the week (Saturday) is the same Sabbath day that Jesus kept holy? How do we know? Maybe, you know, times change and calendars change. Well, does everyone know what day of the week Jesus rose? Sunday - easter Sunday - no question. Look in the Bible, it tells you. Luke 23, verse 54 on through Luke 24, verse 1, "And that day" - Friday afternoon when Christ was crucified - "was the preparation (Friday), and the Sabbath drew on..." - Clear enough. They wanted to take the bodies down before the Sabbath, you remember? "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." - You notice Luke wrote this. Luke was a Gentile. Luke doesn't say, 'According to the Jewish law.' Luke talks about the Sabbath as though it was just a self-evident truth. They rested.

Think about this, friends. Jesus walked with the disciples three and a half years. They heard and saw everything that could possibly happen about whether the Sabbath that was true. When He died and they could not finish embalming His body before the sun went down, they didn't want to disappoint the Lord and they said, 'Jesus wouldn't want us to do this, it's the Sabbath.' They stopped embalming His body. They said, 'We will come back Sunday morning.' You're going to tell me the disciples didn't think it was important? They would not even finish that labor of love? Then you keep reading, "Now, on the first day of the week they came to the sepulcher" - and, praise God, He awoke. Did it ever occur to you that Jesus even kept the Sabbath in His death? Friday afternoon, before the sun went down He stretched out His arms, He died for our sins, He said, 'It is finished. He finished His work of saving man. He rested in the tomb through the Sabbath. When it was over He awoke - continues His work as our High Priest now in Heaven. He even kept it in His death.

Now, how do we know what day that was? Well, you can add it up. It's pretty clear. Preparation days, or getting ready for the Sabbath, is called Friday. Some people, during Easter, they call it good Friday, right? Day after Friday is what? Saturday - that's the Sabbath day. Next day? Sunday, first day of the week. Go to a dictionary. Look up Sabbath day. See what it says. It'll say, 'Saturday, seventh day of the week.' Or if you look up Saturday, rather, it'll say 'seventh day of the week.' Most normal calendars - printers sometimes change calendars for work weeks, but most normal calendars will have Sunday is the first day, Saturday is the seventh day. It's always been that way. In fact, I know we have a Spanish group here and in - the way you say Saturday in Spanish? Sabado. I was in Russia a few years ago, with Karen - twenty years ago, now. And the way you say it there is subota.

In 105 languages of the world, the word for Saturday is 'the Sabbath day.' Even in countries where they don't recognize the Sabbath, the word calls it 'the Sabbath.' Now, someone might say, 'Well, but the calendar's changed, Pastor Doug. And, you know, we don't know anymore what day it is. So as long as it's a seventh day, it doesn't matter.' No, friends, I'm sorry, the Sabbath has not changed. The seventh day has not changed. You can look - someone actually wrote the U.S. Naval observatory and they asked the question, 'Have any changes of the calendar affected the weekly cycle?' And the response was that they've had an occasion to study the changes of the calendar and they have never had the slightest evidence that any change in the calendar affected the continuity of the weekly cycle. It fools people.

Matter of fact, in your lesson, in the back of the lesson you'll see there's a little exhibit - it's got a very simple picture of a calendar because it'll show you when the Julian calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar. And you'll notice that they went from Thursday the fourth of October, 1582 - they needed to make this to adjust for discrepancies. Now we have leap year to compensate.

They didn't have that back then. For every few years, the whole farming cycle got off. So they said, 'We need to go to the Gregorian calendar, which is what we use now, they made an adjustment. Thursday October - - the 4th, was followed by Friday - Thursday was followed by Friday, except the 4th jumped to the 15th. Calendar changed, the weekly cycle is not affected.

We get fooled because we see the week and the calendar on the same page, we think changing the calendar changes the week. They never touch each other. They're two completely different cycles of time. So - and you know what I think another great evidence would be? You might convince me that there was a Jewish family, somewhere, that got stranded on a deserted island and lost track of time and they didn't know what day of the week was the seventh day. If they were orthodox, they would never forget that. But you're going to have a hard time convincing me that the whole nation lost track. Ever, from the time of Adam to the present, it's been very clear. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven - it's a weekly cycle. Seventh day is blessed.

Question #13: Does God allow anyone to change His holy day? Does man say, 'I'm going to make a day holy?' Can - do we have the power to do that? Proverbs 30, verses 5 and 6, "Every Word of God is pure...add thou not unto His Words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." What is one of the characteristics of the beast power that you find in Daniel chapter 7, verse 25? He will "think to change times and laws." Do you remember reading that?

Speaking of the beast power - it's very clear in that chapter. Can you name one of the Ten Commandments that is not only a law but a time? There's only one. It is the longest of the Ten Commandments. It is in the middle of the law. It's the only commandment that begins with the word 'Remember.' Hebrews chapter 4, verse 9, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." Do you know what that word is? This is New Testament. That word 'rest' is "there remains therefore a Sabbath" - 'sabbatismos' - "for the people of God." Even in the New Testament.

Question #14: When does the Sabbath begin and end? The Bible tells us from - in Leviticus 23, verse 32, from "Even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." So when the sun went down. I know the Romans - in the middle of the night, the clocks - they didn't have that back then. Sundown is when the Sabbath began. Most of you knew that. Here's another verse - New Testament example - Mark 1:32, "And at even, when the sun did set." Then they brought all these people to Jesus for healing.

Question #15: What day is the Lord's day of Revelation 1, verse 10? People say, 'Well, that's the Sabbath but we remember the Lord's day.' Well, what is the Lord's day? You can read in Exodus 20, it says, "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." You can also read in Isaiah 58, verse 13, "If you turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day." God says the Sabbath is His holy day. And then again, Mark chapter 2 - we've read this already - "Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." When John wrote the vision of Revelation, it says, he said, 'I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.' A lot of pastors have just kind of taken liberty and said, 'That was on Sunday. He was worshiping God on Sunday.' Nothing in the text or in history says it was Sunday. The Bible says what day is the Lord's day. If anything, you know, they worked them in the mines on the Isle of Patmos where he was a prisoner. They gave him that day off. And God gave him the vision that day.

Question #16: What blessing is promised by the Sabbath commandment? God wants you to have blessing. Now this is why I think it's so crucial, friends, Jesus says, in Matthew 11, this great invitation, verse 28, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The whole Sabbath points to Jesus. It's all about coming to Him for rest. Heaven is that promised land of rest. Exodus chapter 33, verse 14, God said, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." In the presence of God there is peace and rest.

Maybe you've been missing that peace and rest, friends. Hebrews, chapter 4 and verse 5, it says, "If they shall enter into My rest." From cover to cover in the Bible, we can see that the devil is trying to do all he can to keep us so preoccupied with work and worry and stress and cares that we don't know what it means to really rest in Jesus. And right in the middle of His law, God said, 'I want to preserve a time for us to develop a relationship. After He makes the world in six days, God says, 'I'm not done. I'm making one more day for quality time with you because I love you. I want to walk with you and talk with you. I want to have a relationship with you.' What should we love more, the creation or the Creator? He wants to have a relationship with you but we get too busy with the horizontal - the worries - and we forget about our time with God.

What profit is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul? If you don't have God, you don't have anything. If you've got God, you've got everything. If you've got Jesus you've got the whole world, friends. And Christ said what? He said, 'if you love Me, keep My commandments. You know, I want to pray with you before we close. I would like to invite John to come out. He's going to sing a familiar song for us and we're just going to pray that God will bless. Of course, now I don't see John, but here he comes. This is called the reverse rapture.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

when sorrows like sea billows roll,

whatever my lot thou has taught me to say

that it is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,

it is well, it is well, with my soul.

Amen. How is it with your soul, friends? Is your life filled with stress, worry? Do you long for that peace in your heart that passes understanding? Do you get just tired? You're looking for just a relief and rest? That only comes from Jesus. He says, 'Come unto Me and I will give you rest. Take up My yoke. Serving Jesus, He says, 'My burden is easy, My load is light.' He wants you to cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. And He brought you to this meeting tonight or you're watching right now because He wants you to have that blessing - that peace - that rest.

And the Sabbath is all part of that. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is speaking to you tonight and you'd like to say, 'Lord, I could use that peace. I could use that rest.' If you'd like to make that decision tonight and give your hearts to Him and just say, 'Lord, give me that peace and that rest.' Why don't you stand with me as we close this meeting with prayer.

Father in Heaven, Lord, we're so thankful for the truth in Your Word. That You can recreate us. Every Sabbath we remember that You created the world - the universe - and You could give us new hearts. That You can also make us holy, as You did that day. Help us to embrace that peace and the rest and the promises that the Sabbath all represents. I pray that we will turn our backs on the pharaoh and follow Jesus to the Promised Land. Be with each person that's here and those that are watching. And I pray that we can experience new life. Give us a transformation in our hearts, Lord. Whatever the struggles are people struggle with, give them peace now. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

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