Lord of the Sabbath

Scripture: Mark 2:27-28
Date: 02/18/2012 
Lesson: 7
"The seventh-day Sabbbath, in every way, points to Jesus, our Creator and our Redeemer." Sabbath School Lesson
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church right here in California - it's the capital city of California - Sacramento. We're so glad that you're tuning in and joining us from across the country and around the world. Whether you're listening on the radio, on our television network - various television networks - or on our website this morning at saccentral.org. Welcome to Sacramento central. Our first request that has come in is #620 - 'on Jordan's stormy banks'.

This is from ralph and birdie in the bahamas, anand, ruby and Joel in india, anna in Oklahoma, and rose, naomi, nathan, and natasha in vanuatu. We are going to sing the first, second, and fourth stanzas. #620. Are you bound for the promised land? I sure hope so. It sounds like we are here because that was a fervent amen.

If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming program, it is very simple. All you have to do is go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the 'contact us' link and you will see a page right there where you can send in your favorite hymn request and we'll do our best to sing that with you on an upcoming Sabbath. #618 - 'Stand up! Stand up! For Jesus'. This is from sue and graeme in australia, shirley in California, pascal and martine in France, bob and Paula in Idaho, dave in Indiana, magalie and micha in mauritius, and vern, sandie, jenny, and jamie in North Carolina. First - all three stanzas - #618 - 'Stand up! Stand up! For Jesus'.

Father in Heaven, we want to stand up! Stand up! For Jesus. We ask you to give us courage to do that. Sometimes it's easier than others and I just pray that no matter what our circumstance is that we will always do what's right and stand up for you because you laid down your life for us and the least we can do is stand up! Stand up! For Jesus. Thank you so much for loving us - for bringing us here to open up Your Word and study together and for the freedoms that we have in this country to do that. Thank you so much for pastor Doug Batchelor and his ministry here at central.

I know he touches many lives - not just here, but around the world and I pray that you will continue to be with him and protect him. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you debbie. Hello friends.

I'd like to wish everybody greetings and a Happy Sabbath. This is our Sabbath school study time. Today we're studying the Sabbath so it's appropriate I wish you a Happy Sabbath. And I want to welcome our friends that are watching on the various mediums - satellite television, some are watching on hope channel, 3abn, internet, and some other stations around the world and we're just glad that you've tuned in. I always want to give a welcome to our friends that are members of this church that are scattered - we have a lot of online members that don't have a church that they can go to and we've adopted them here at central church - and welcome to our friends there.

We have a free offer and the free offer is a book. And it's really a good book - talking about getting to heaven and it helps us to understand what this relationship is between the grace of God and what responsibility we have in embracing that grace. It's by our friend wellesley muir and if you'd like a free copy of this - if you don't already have it - all you have to do is call the number on your screen. That number is 866-788-3966 or that's an acronym for -study-more and ask for offer #0406 and we will send you 'higher still' - the name of the book is 'higher still - finding eternal security in Christ'. That's a gift from us to you to help you in your personal study.

Our lesson today is dealing with - it's lesson #7 in your quarterly - talking about glimpses of our God and it's lesson #7. And it's very appropriate - lesson #7 is talking about the seventh day of the week - the Sabbath. Now friends, I hope you pray for me as we progress because I see this as an opportunity to not only be educational but to be evangelistic because we know that the vast majority of people who watch these programs do it because they just enjoy the Bible study and they are not necessarily members of our church. Now, I'm a seventh day adventist - a seventh day adventist pastor - and we are broadcasting from a seventh day adventist congregation here in Sacramento - but I want people to hear this maybe with fresh ears and see it with fresh eyes, why the big deal about the Sabbath. So, we're going to talk about that.

We're going to give a little overview and try to cover the high points in the lesson, but this is, I think, very important. We have a memory verse and the memory verse is from the words of Jesus, Mark 2, verses 27 and - Mark 2 verses 27 and 28 and it comes from the new king James version here in the lesson. I'd like you to say that with me if you would. Are you ready? "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, The Son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath.

" You notice he does not say the Sabbath was made for jews. He does not say the Sabbath was made for people in the old testament. He does not say it is made for any one race. He says the Sabbath is made for mankind. That's the word - it's all men need what God made the Sabbath for.

Now, when do you first find the Sabbath appearing in the Bible? Matter of fact, I'm going to ask somebody to read Genesis chapter 2 - Genesis chapter 2 and that would probably be verses 2 and 3. And I'll take a volunteer. Okay, right over here. Andrew, Genesis 2, verses 2 and 3 - and, by they way, I just want to set the stage for this. How many days of creation have gone by? Six days.

How many days in the week? So God made a variety of things on the first six days, what did he make on the seventh day? He didn't make a thing, he made a dimension. All right, let's read about that - another whole day for this essence. Go ahead. 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, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

" All right, now. How many people were in the world when God created this seventh day that he blessed? There were only two. What was their religion? Were they gentiles or jews? How many men were in the world? One. How many women? One. Was the man circumcised? No.

Anyone here related to adam? All right, this is the first man. Now, some people argue, 'well, God didn't really ask them to keep the Sabbath day holy until Exodus.' Wouldn't it seem strange that God makes man - Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man to be a blessing for man - just like it said 'it's not good that man should be alone so I'm going to make something for man.' So what did he make for man because it wasn't good for man to be alone? Woman. And that was marriage right back there in the Garden of Eden - these institutions of a sacred time and a sacred relationship go all the way back to the beginning. So the idea that God did not need - or expect man to keep this day holy until thousands of years later, when he called the jews out of Egypt - that's really a stretch. Right there he blessed it - he made it holy - it's right there in that verse.

Did he bless it and make it holy for himself or for the human family? And that means he expected they would keep it holy. Matter of fact, in the Sabbath command God says, 'remember the Sabbath' - now, why would he start out saying 'remember'? Because they'd forgotten. You don't ask someone to remember something that they've never forgotten. And he says to keep it holy. Why do you ask someone to keep something holy? Because he had already made it holy, he's asking us to recognize it that way.

So before you ever get to Exodus and Mount Sinai, and the ten commandments, the Sabbath was a blessed day that God called mankind to keep holy. And there's a number of things that man had desecrated. Had they started getting involved in bigamy and polygamy - before the Ten Commandments? But how many wives did God want adam to have? How many husbands did God want eve to have? One - I just want to be equal opportunity here for answering that. But had they corrupted that by the time of Mount Sinai? Had they corrupted virtually every commandment? Yeah. This is just one of them that had been forgotten.

So, why do we need the Sabbath? What is the Sabbath? Why is that important. All right, first of all, the word Sabbath - or shabbat - shabbath - it means to repose; to desist from exertion; to cease; to celebrate; to make rest; to keep shalom - or to keep peace. And it actually comes from the word 'peace father'. Sha - like in shalom - abba as in father. So, it is a very ancient - a very important foundational word in the human existence.

It's talking about resting in God. Now, this is so important, I hope I get enough time. I always pray that God will make the clock stand still for stuff like this. This is really, really important. All right.

You cannot be saved unless you love God. How many of you agree with that? All right, the Ten Commandments is summed up in what? First four commandments deal with our love for God. It's this love relationship. And then the last six commandments deal with the horizontal love relationship. How do you learn to love anybody? Is love an injection you get from the health center? No, how do you get love? Time - I heard someone say, right? Love comes from a relationship.

You'll hear about love at first sight - and I don't doubt that some people may look at each other and the Holy Spirit might help them recognize this is the person - but they don't really love who the person is until they spend time with them. They might love how they look and there might have been some supernatural Revelation that this is the one, but really, when people start loving one another - I'm talking above and beyond the love God tells us to have for all humanity. When you start to love an individual it's because you know who they are. In order for you to have a healthy love relationship it requires time. How many marriages have discovered that? If there's not quality time - not just time - there's quality time.

I'll bet you that there's a lot of families here and watching that have had a conversation similar to one at the Batchelor pad - that's my home - that sounds something like this: 'we need to spend more time together.' 'Well, I was home all yesterday afternoon.' 'Yes, but we weren't talking, you were busy doing your work. We need quality time together.' But especially in this day and age when all these electronic devices exist, and we've got our computers, and we've got our programs that are orchestrating all of our time. You know what, actually I do have an amazing fact here that talks about that. Why is quality time so important? We are the most stress-filled culture in the existence of the world. Do you know what the #1 prescribed medications are? They're stress related.

People can't sleep. People have upset stomachs. All these stress-related problems because they're not taking that time that God said we need for our health and for our relationships to just shabbat - to rest in the Lord. To cease and not worry. Mentally - you also need to know how to mentally stop working.

That's one of my problems is I'll say, 'okay, it's Sabbath now, I'm not going to do any more work.' But I'm walking around the house thinking about all the things I need to do. And so, I'm still working in my mind. And the Holy Spirit is saying, 'doug, you're still not keeping Sabbath' - you may not be doing it but didn't Jesus say that you can sometimes not do an act but you can kind of break the law in your mind. You can mentally murder a person and mentally commit adultery - and you can mentally break the Sabbath. So you've got to rest in your mind.

Spending time is really important now with God. "Due, in large part, to laptop computers, mobile phones, pagers, the concept of leaving work at home in the office has almost become obsolete. -Hour work days and 40-hour work weeks are no longer the norm. The emerging economy runs -hours a day, 7 days a week." Commented distinguished political economist and u.s. Secretary of labor - this is a few years old - "the average working American adult works the equivalent of nearly two weeks more than he, or especially she, did" - women are working even more than men now - "two decades ago.

Americans now work longer than the notoriously industrious japanese. Celebrating Sabbath or a day of rest as a way of life for Americans will reestablish those boundaries." That's so largely been forgotten. We need this for our life and for our survival. So, the Sabbath is first of all quality time with God. It's one thing to say, 'I was in the same house with you, honey.

' But if you're not communicating, if you're not spending time together where you're really kind of networking and meshing in your thinking, it's not quality time. People say, 'oh, I worship God seven days a week.' You know, that's always to me - that to me is a very suspicious answer. Someone says, 'I don't need to keep the Sabbath because I don't worship God one day a week, I worship God seven days a week.' Well, when you do that you really aren't worshiping him at all, because real worship, real holy time means that you cease from doing your thing and you simply adore and worship and dedicate time as wholly for God and you refrain from the normal - or the other ordinary things that might be going on. It's a time for physical rest. Do we need physical rest? Absolutely.

It's a sign of our redemption. The Bible tells us in Ezekiel 20, verse 12 "moreover I gave them my Sabbath that it might be a sign between me and them that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them." I am the God who makes them holy. The Sabbath is a sign of that. Do we still need to be sanctified? Then do we still need the Sabbath? Yes we do. It tells us it's a sign of creation.

First of all, it was a memorial of creation - Exodus 31:16 and , "therefore the children of Israel will keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant - someone is saying, 'well, Pastor Doug, it says right there 'the children of Israel' - this is not for people in our day and age. It's not for protestant or new testament Christians, it's for the children of Israel.' Wrong. You know, the new covenant in the Bible is only for the children of Israel? What new testament Christian will say, 'I don't go by the new covenant, I go by the old covenant or no covenant'? Matter of fact, new testament means new covenant - same thing. I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. So the whole idea of the new covenant is everybody saved as a Christian is grafted into Israel, according to the apostle Paul.

So these covenants that God made, these things that God blessed, they're still intact. "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe it throughout their generations a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made..." Now, when God made the heaven and the earth did he just make that for jews or for everybody? So, every Sabbath day we are remembering that God is a creator. Are there problems in the Christian world with people believing that God created things by His Word? Do you find that the theory of evolution is making more and more inroads into even Christians? I remember when evolution was first presented on television and in the classroom, it was always called a theory - they called it a theory. They don't call it a theory, they state it as fact now.

And Christians are being bombarded with this - if every Christian around the world every Sabbath remembered the creative power of God, that by his fiat he could bring things into existence, we would not have so much problem in the church with evolutionary teaching. It's largely because the Sabbath truth - a memorial of his creation - every week, having a memorial of his creation - has been forgotten. So that's another reason we need it. It's a universal institution. Jesus said it was made for man and - now I'm getting out of my lessons, I'm going to save that point because it's also in the lesson.

All right, we're looking at the Sabbath in Genesis. We read Genesis chapter 2, verses 1 through 3. Someone read for me Chronicles - Chronicles 17:27 - and we're going to be talking about when God sanctified the Sabbath day and when he set it apart and he blessed it. Oh, by the way, when you read in Genesis chapter 2, verses 1 through 3, it's the first time in the Bible you hear a number mentioned three times. It says, 'the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day.

' You notice God doesn't say, 'a seventh day.' Is there a difference between the seventh day and a seventh day? If I say to you, 'can you give me the pen?' Well, you'd all be looking around here wondering 'who has 'the' pen? There is a particular pen doug is thinking of.' But if I say, 'can you bring me 'a' pen?' You'd all reach in your pockets and throw me or hand me a pen, right? Because it's indiscriminate, it's any pen will do. But if I say, 'the pen', there's a special one out there. When God says, 'the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord' it is a definite article that means there's a specific date. God doesn't say, 'keep 'a' seventh day.' You know, a lot of pastors teach it that way. That doesn't - 'yeah, Sabbath's important, amen.

Ten Commandments important - as long as you keep a Sabbath day - yours might be Wednesday and yours might be Thursday.' Of course, what happens to the church then? All right, let's go ahead and read 1 Chronicles 17:27. Are you ready? "Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant that it may continue before you forever, for you have blessed it, o Lord, and it shall be blessed forever." When the Lord blesses something, how long is it blessed? It's - and if he blessed this day - and people are always wondering, 'well, but he changed it.' Why would he change it? Did the Sabbath come before or after sin? There's a lot of things in the sacrificial system that have been done away with and nailed to the cross. After sin they started sacrificing lambs, because of sin. After sin you have the covenant of the circumcision. After sin you've got all kinds of temples and ceremonial things that came along.

There were the annual Sabbaths, they came after sin. But the seventh day Sabbath, when God first gave it, how perfect was the world? Was it part of his perfect plan? Is marriage part of his perfect plan? That preceded sin also. And so, this is something that there was no flaw in it. He didn't need to change it. So, and, you know, I always have to say this because sometimes I get into friendly debates with Christians of other faiths and pastors about 'does it matter?' And, for me, I think one of the strongest arguments is I say, 'okay, you go to church on the first day of the week.

' 'Yes' they say, 'it's the Lord's day. It's the new testament Sabbath.' I say, 'okay, where do you find that command to keep the first day? Produce one command in the Bible, just one, to keep the first day.' And then, typically, they start to dance around a little bit and rationalize and say things like, 'well, we've got a long tradition, this is what The Fathers did. It says here that they gathered on the first day of the week to break bread.' Yes, and it says they gathered daily to break bread. 'Well, it says that they collected an offering.' Well, they didn't collect it in church, he said, 'lay by them in store.' That's 1 Corinthians chapter 16. 'Well, Jesus rose on the first day of the week.

' That's the most common one you'll hear. I'll say, 'absolutely. He kept the Sabbath in his death. He rose the first day of the week on Sunday to continue his work for us as high priest. Nowhere does he ever say that it's a new Sabbath.

' 'Oh, but the jews gathered together and he met with them in the upper room to inaugurate the new Sabbath.' It doesn't say that, it says, 'they gathered together for fear of the jews' not because it was a new holy day. And so, no matter how hard they try, there is no command to keep any other day. There is no command. There is only a command to remember this day. There is no place where it says, 'I have blessed the first day.

' - Or the third day, or any other day. And so, you know, this is why I was constrained. If I wanted to be a Bible Christian and, ultimately, a Bible teacher, I wanted to keep the Bible truth. And, there's a lot of things Christians can disagree on and still walk away, shake hands, love each other, be Christians, and not make an issue of. But if there is anything we should make an issue of, it should be the part of the law that God spoke with his mouth and wrote with his finger.

The Ten Commandments - I mean, if not the Ten Commandments, then you tell me what other things we disagree on that we make an issue of. I mean, Jesus died for our sin. Sin is transgression of the law, and so for us to say it doesn't matter that we break one of his laws, in particular the one law that says 'remember' - that always strikes me as odd that I could go to virtually any Sunday-keeping church in the Sacramento area. And I've got pastors in town, friends from other churches, and I could preach or teach there on any other commandment - almost any other commandment - and if I got up and talked about not committing adultery, some people might be nervous but they'd say, 'amen, it's in the Bible.' You know? And I could talk about not taking God's name in vain - it's actually what I'm preaching later today. I could talk about - name a commandment - having other Gods, or idolatry, or perjury and stealing, or covetousness.

I could talk about all those things and they'd all smile and say, 'amen.' And they'd shake my hand at the door and they'd say, 'wonderful message. We needed to hear it.' But then you talk about remember to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath and people kind of cringe and get angry because you can talk about a lot of things, but don't talk about my time, because my life is made of time. If you start telling me that some of my time belongs to God, that really starts getting pretty close to home.' Do you see why that's a struggle for people? And if I accept the Sabbath truth and if I go to church on the first day of the week and you're now proving to me from the Bible that the seventh day is the Sabbath, what's that going to mean to my family, my faith, my relationships? It's a tremendous struggle for people. But don't ask those questions. Ask this question, 'is it true?' The truth will set you free.

Is it the Bible truth? Is it the truth of Jesus? And if it's the truth of Jesus then he wants us to follow it, amen? And if we know it's the truth and if we see it's one of the Ten Commandments, and God speaks with his voice and echoes thunderous tones to a nation with his own voice, writes it in stone with his own finger, makes - does everything he can do as a God to show that this has supreme importance - for us to say, 'that doesn't matter' - that, I think, is a very dangerous, perhaps fatal approach to the ten commandments, because that's called sin. It's one thing for us to sin in ignorance and God forgives and there will be people in heaven that didn't know some of the commandments and he saved them by his grace, but when we know what God says with his voice and writes with his finger and we say, 'but everyone else is doing it differently, I'm going to follow the crowd.' That's exactly what Jesus said not to do. He said, 'you have a fine way of setting aside the commandments of God to observe your traditions.' It doesn't matter how popular the tradition is, we are to go by the commandments of God. Okay, well I'm getting on my hobby horse. It's the truth friends! I mean, if this isn't important, what is? It's all about worship.

The Sabbath is about worship. What do you think the final battle is going to be about? Worship the beast. Get the seal of God, worship God. The first battle between cain and abel - they disagreed on worship. So we've got to know what does the Bible say about how, when, and why we worship God.

I think it's very important. First few commandments talk about the name of the one we worship, that we're not to worship him with idols, we're not to worship others, and when we worship him. It's all about worship. We exist to bring glory to God. It's so important.

All right. Sabbath in Exodus - we're not quite done yet. Exodus 5:5. I gave that to somebody, let's see who has that. Hold your hand up if you've got the slip of Exodus 5 - did I read that right? Yeah, Exodus 5:5.

Okay, we'll get to you in just a moment. Before we read that, I'm going to read in Exodus 16. We're going to talk about when they were going through the wilderness there in Exodus before they get to Mount Sinai. And this is Exodus 16:22. "And it was so, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one.

And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. Then he said to them," - this is when they gathered the manna - 'this is what the Lord has said, 'tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you're going to bake today, and" - I lost my spot - "bake today and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains to be kept until the morning." I guess with the manna they could boil it - make dumplings - manna dumplings - or they could bake it and make manna - they could probably fry it and make manna fry bread. "So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. Then Moses said, 'eat today, for today is a Sabbath of the Lord.

Today you will not find it in the field. Six days you'll gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.' Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather" - you know, they had lived through the great depression and they were afraid, 'if we don't get it every chance we got, it won't be there again.' They didn't trust the Lord. They went out on the Sabbath to gather manna but they didn't find it - even though God had told them - notice "and the Lord said to Moses, 'how long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?" Now, wait a second, this is Exodus 16. God does not speak his law until Exodus 20. You don't get the Ten Commandments until at least Exodus 20.

But what does he call the Sabbath before they ever get to Mount Sinai? My commandments and my laws. So, did the jews already know about the Sabbath commandment before you get to Exodus? Right? "See" - God says - "for the Lord has given you the Sabbath, therefore he gives you on the six day enough bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place and let no man go out of his place on the seventh day so that the people rested on the seventh day." And I'm going to get to that last verse in just a second. But I want you to read for me Exodus 5:5. You ready? Exodus 5:5.

"Look, there are many people here in Egypt and you are stopping them from doing their work." All right. And you know, this is another example of the Sabbath in Exodus, it says here, you make them rest. You're making them cease or your version said, and they're stopping from the work that they're doing. They were resting because Moses had now met with them and said, 'God's going to deliver you and you need to honor this God.' And, of course, the Sabbath was re-instituted and pharaoh was infuriated. Now, you know, in the last part of Exodus 16 that we just read - where he talks about not going out into the field and gathering manna on the sixth day of the week - when they tried to keep the manna over any other day, the next day they found it was moldy, it stunk, and it was full of maggots or worms - but somehow it stayed fresh when they kept over Friday's gathering.

And he said, "let every man remain in his place and let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." I - I've just got to say this for the record because you may run into this again, friends - a small misunderstanding but I heard a Sabbath-keeping pastor stand up one day and say, 'you're not really even supposed to come to church on the Sabbath. The Bible says everyone's supposed to stay in his place and not go out of his place.' And I thought to myself, 'oh boy, these people don't need to be hearing that.' And all of a sudden this one sister came back from that camp meeting and she stopped going to church and I said, 'where have you been?' And she said, 'well, I heard pastor so and so say at the camp meeting that we're all supposed to stay in our place and not go out of our place - that we can stay home and keep the Sabbath. And I'm just resting in the Lord here at home.' I said, 'no, that's not what that meant. He said you're not to go out of your place looking for manna'. Don't go out shopping for the manna out in the field.

You're supposed to stay within the camp. But there's another verse that explains that - I gave this to someone else - Leviticus 23, verse 3. Who has that? We've got to do that one quickly. So, because it's - I don't have anywhere else to go until you do this. This is for those who think you're just supposed to hang out by yourself on the Sabbath day or 'I'm just going to hike off into the woods and be at one with God and look at the trees and flowers.

' That's good to take a walk, but there's something else that's part of the Sabbath command that we forget. Go ahead, read for us Leviticus 23:3. It says, "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." Notice the connection - you can draw a circle around the word all your dwellings - in all your dwellings - it's like what we found there in Exodus 16. And then it says, 'a holy convocation in your dwellings.' Your dwellings means your cities, your camp. But they were to convene.

The word convocation - any of you ever gone to a convocation? What does it mean? It means the same thing in Hebrew. It means a bunch of people get together. It means a holy assembly - a gathering. That's what the word synagogue means. People all come together.

And so, part of the Sabbath that makes it different from what you might do in your family worship - and I hope we all have family worship every day in our homes - what makes the Sabbath different is we come together as a people for corporate worship as a holy assembly. the Lord said, 'if my people gather together in my name, I'm in their presence.' Does the Lord support gathering? In Hebrews chapter 10 it says, 'do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together' - and they could assemble many different days, but at least on the Sabbath because it's a holy convocation. It's a sacred assembly. This time right here where we gather to study and in a few moments to worship - it's a holy assembly. So those who say, well, going to church is sort of optional - oh no friends - I think if you're sick or if you're incapacitated or you're old - there are always circumstances.

Sometimes you're isolated as missionaries - you can't go. God understands that and you just worship in your family. But if you're able to gather together corporately and you neglect that and you're healthy enough to make it, that's a neglect of observing the Sabbath. Because we are called to be a witness to the people around us. When they see us gathering every Sabbath and they see the little bit of congestion on our parking lot, praise the Lord - they'll wonder, 'what's going on there?' 'They're getting together to worship.

' 'Worship, that's Saturday.' 'Yep. They worship on the seventh day Sabbath.' It's a witness to people when we come together and worship him on that time. And then, of course, we've got the commandment itself. And we'd me amiss if we did not - remiss - if we did not read that. Exodus 20, verse 8 "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" - it already is holy, keep it that way - "six days thou shalt labor and do all thy work" - part of the Sabbath command is not just resting the seventh day, part of it is, 'don't be lazy the other six days.

' So people say, 'I keep the Sabbath every day.' They're not being holy, they're being lazy. You've got to be working. "Six days thou shalt work" - right? - "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the jews" - it's not what it says - it's the Sabbath of the Lord and if he's your Lord, he's our Lord, he was the Lord of Abraham, he was the Lord of the gentiles - "in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant or your female servant, nor your cattle, nor the stranger who is within your gates." - It tells why - "for in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and all that in them is, and he rested the Sabbath day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." - He rested the seventh day - "therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Now, you'll notice - and it shares in the lesson here, if you did your lesson - how grammatically perfect and poetically organized the Sabbath commandment is. By the way, the Sabbath commandment is in the middle of the Ten Commandments.

It is the longest of the Ten Commandments. It is the only commandment that begins with the word remember and yet, there are some churches that say it's the only one they think we should forget. Have you heard that? How many of you have heard someone say, 'we're not under the law now, we're under grace?' And I always like to pin them down and say, 'explain what that means. 'Not under the law.' Does that mean we do or we don't keep the Ten Commandments?' They say, 'well, we're not under the letter of the law, now we're under the Spirit.' And I say, 'well, what does that mean? You talk to children and you tell them, 'here's the ten commandments' and they say, 'do I keep them or not?' They'll say, 'nine of them.' Have you heard that before? And they'll say, 'only the ones that are repeated in the new testament and the Sabbath is not repeated in the new testament.' That is categorically not true. Some people don't read their Bibles and so a pastor can say that and folks will go, 'oh, I didn't know that.

Well, that's a good reason.' Well, it's not true. The Sabbath is repeated in the new testament several times but there is one commandment not repeated in the new testament - that's the one that says, 'thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.' Right? Where is that in the new testament? I say it's not in there. But doesn't it say, 'hallowed be they name' in the Lord's prayer? The principle is there. And I've never heard anyone make a case for taking God's name in vain because it doesn't appear word for word in the new testament. Wouldn't that be absurd? And so, what they're really saying is that they have a problem with one commandment.

This whole idea of not being under the law that you've heard is all generated by discomfort with one commandment that says, 'remember to keep the seventh day Sabbath.' And so, this whole theology has been built around that. They wouldn't even say 'you're not under the law' if it wasn't for the Sabbath commandment. Because what problem do they have with idolatry or worshiping other Gods or honoring your mother and father. They have no problem with the other commandments. It's that one commandment.

Case in point - an example. I was in a small town, did an evangelistic meeting like this, a number of people came - non-Christians, some Christians of other churches, one pastor came. He heard this presentation. He had the Ten Commandments in the Sunday school of his church on the wall. After this presentation he took them off the wall.

It's the truth. Because he said, 'I didn't realize that it was going to confuse people because if you've got the ten up there that would include the Sabbath and we don't have to keep that commandment so we really aren't under the ten commandment law, now it's spiritual laws that we follow.' He took the Ten Commandments off the wall after he heard the Sabbath truth. That's exactly how it works. People are very convicted by it. So, you'll see the formation of it here.

In this command, first you have an introduction. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Verse 8. Then you have a command: "six days you should labor and do all your work." Then you have motivation. "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God." Then another command: "in it you shall not do any work, you or your sons" - so forth - motivation: "for in six days the Lord made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and he rested." - He's giving us an example to follow his example. A Christian is a follower of Christ - wait, let me just say this - when you keep the Sabbath you're really following Jesus.

Who created the world in six days? The new testament says, 'all things that were made were made' by who? Made by Jesus. So, who is the creator? God created all things through Christ, the Bible tells us. So when Christ created the world and Christ rested and a Christian is a follower of Christ - that's why he said, 'son of man is Lord of the Sabbath' - he is the one who said, 'I am blessing the seventh day - and if we're following his example, it says, 'the Lord rested.' So do we rest and follow Jesus? The seventh day Sabbath is not a Jewish thing, it's a very Christian thing. It's following Christ and his example. And then you've got 'd' - you've got "therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day" - this is the conclusion - "and he hallowed it.

" So you have it all through the Bible. Yeah, Christ was our example of keeping it. Now we're going to look at the Sabbath in the book of Numbers. You've got Numbers 15, verse 32 and it says, "now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day." Why was he gathering sticks? He was going to build a fire. What was wrong with his gathering sticks? Exodus 35, verses 2 and 3.

I didn't give that to anyone - I'll take a volunteer. Who wants to read that for me? You've just got to hold your hand up if you're willing - we've got a hand right here. Let's get a microphone. I want you to read Exodus 35, verses 2 and 3 - and I'm going to finish reading Numbers. "They found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day and those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and aaron and all the congregation and they put him under guard" - they arrested him and put him in their little jail, which must have been a tent, I guess.

They put him under guard because it hadn't been explained what should be done. If you've got a law, what happens to that law if there's no penalty for breaking that law? You've got to have a penalty for breaking the law. "Then the Lord said to Moses, when they brought it before him, 'the man must surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.' So as the Lord commanded Moses all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones and he died." Now, before you run out the door and say, 'Pastor Doug is advocating the death penalty for anyone who violates the Sabbath here at Sacramento central' - I'm not. Neither am I telling you, if you know someone who's committed adultery to stone them.

That was also a Bible command. Matter of fact, there was a Bible command that if you blaspheme the name of God you would be stoned. There would be a whole lot of people stoned in our culture today if we were under a theocracy, but we're under a democracy right now so we're not following those same penalties. But it just helps you understand how important it is to the Lord. Why was this a problem that he was gathering sticks? Read for me Exodus 35, verses 2 and 3, please.

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord; whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day." You shall kindle no fire. Now here's a verse that has been greatly abused. I have heard preachers say, 'you can't keep these old testament laws. The Sabbath is done away with because it says you can't kindle a fire and, well, every time you turn on your stove you're kindling a fire.

And every time you turn the ignition in your automobile, that internal combustion engine and those spark plugs fire and explode that gas in your cylinders, driving the pistons down, you are kindling thousands and thousands of fires on the way to church, you're breaking the Sabbath when you drive your car.' Now, there are certain hyper-orthodox Sabbath keepers that believe that. That's not what Moses is talking about. Back in Bible times - the whole principle was work. What did they have to do to build a fire back then? Notice it's not saying you shall not have a fire, because when it gets cold, if you don't have a fire - he's not saying freeze to death every week. Kindling is the act of starting.

I'll just give you a practical example of how this works. We've got a little insert - a fireplace - in the Batchelor home and we don't have to use that to heat the house, but we like to have a fire on Sabbath sometimes to warm the house, but the rule in our home is we get it all ready - we get some real wood and we put one of those phony logs under there to get them started. We get the paper and we get it all ready. Just before the sun goes down I say, 'nathan, light - kindle the fire.' Before sundown we kindle it and use kindling to kindle it. And it's burning when the Sabbath starts and it's nice.

Now, you've got to stoke it every now and then, but that's different from kindling a fire, you see? So they weren't to be out there with their bow and rubbing their sticks together and trying to develop fire - that's a very work-intensive thing. They would already have it going. This man was out gathering sticks - are we supposed to collect our firewood on Sabbath or should it already be collected? And so, it had nothing to do with him being cold on Sabbath, that's an abuse of the Scripture. This man, in a very high-handed, rebellious way said, 'I don't care what the law says, I'm building my fire. I didn't get it ready before and I'm going to do it now.

' And the Lord wanted to make an example that that was very serious. So that word kindle there is ba'ar. It means to set; to kindle; or to waste. I want to read something for you, and I don't think I gave this out in my verses. Deuteronomy 4:15, "take careful heed to yourself" - he's talking about when they heard the ten commandments and I'm going to read through verse 19 - Deuteronomy 4, verses 15 through 19.

"For you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at mount horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of any male, female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps" - any bug on the ground or snake - "or the likeness of any fish in the water beneath the earth. And you take heed lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the start and all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the people under the whole heaven as a heritage." Very simply, he's saying here, 'we do not worship the creation. The Sabbath reminds us to worship the creator.' Are there religions that make statues of people and animals and they worship these idols? Or they worship the sun and the moon and the stars? That's why Moses said, 'when he gave you the Ten Commandments, you didn't even see his form because God knew you couldn't handle it and he doesn't want you to try to carve a likeness of him and bow down to it.' We do not worship the creation, we worship the creator. The Sabbath reminds us we do not worship creation, we worship creator. I believe we should take care of the creation.

I believe we ought to care about nature. I think we should be good stewards of the environment, but some people worship the creation. You know what I'm saying? You need to worship the creator. And a Christian is a follower of Christ. Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? You can read in Mark 1:32, "at evening when the sun had set, they brought all who were sick to him, and those who were demon-possessed and he healed them.

" So when does the Sabbath begin? At evening when the sun was set. And the people that waited until after sundown before they brought their sick to Jesus - Jesus never chastised them for doing that. He would have had great opportunity to say, 'you don't need to keep the Sabbath.' He did heal people on the Sabbath, but nowhere in his teaching did he give any example other than that it was still holy. All right, we're going to look at Mark 6:2. "And when the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue.

And many hearing him were astound - astonished, saying, 'where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to him, that such mighty works are performed by his hands?" All right. Did Jesus go to church on the Sabbath day? He did. And was that just once or was that his pattern? Okay, now I'd like you to read - are we ready for that? I want you to read Luke 4:16. Go ahead. Ready? "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." All through the life and teachings of Jesus you see that every Sabbath day he went to church. He went to the temple. He sat and he listened. He stood and he talked. There's nothing in the example of Jesus that said that he broke the Sabbath.

He was accused of breaking the Sabbath by the jews - some people point to that - they say, 'yeah, Jesus broke the Sabbath.' Well, if it's one of the ten commandments and he says, 'I have kept my father's commandments' how could that be true? Did Jesus sin? No. He kept the commandments. He was accused of breaking it because he broke their tradition about how to keep it. Jesus said, 'look, if you're going to loose your ox or your donkey on the Sabbath and lead it to water, if you're going to get a sheep out of a ditch on the Sabbath day, then certainly if someone's been bound by the devil, like that woman for 18 years, nothing wrong or inconsistent with Sabbath keeping for her to be healed on that day.' It's a day of being practical. And then, finally, in Isaiah, chapter 66, they not only kept the Sabbath on earth, it says they're going to keep the Sabbath in heaven.

'From one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come and worship before him.' That means from month to month and from week to week, but still keeping the Sabbath. Sabbath was part of God's original perfect plan. This is very important. Does the devil want people to break God's commandments? Did the devil once get a government to command everyone in Babylon to bow down and worship an image? Because that requires breaking the commandment about idolatry. The devil wants to command everybody to worship an image.

Is that going to happen in the last days? It requires the breaking of one of God's commandments. Then in Daniel, chapter 6, the persian king made a law that they were to all worship a different God - darius instead of jehovah. Daniel had to decide, 'do I keep the second commandment, do I keep the third commandment, the first commandment? Do I keep the commandments of God? He decided to put God first. Why would it surprise us that in the last days, that the government is going to urge keeping a law that forces us to choose between obeying the commandments of God and the government commandment. Babylon and persia both said worship, but it was wrong worship.

The last days the commandment will say worship, but it will be counterfeit worship. If we don't understand the truth about what true worship is, that the devil's been trying to hide for the ages - all through history the devil has tried to obscure and hide God's law - whether it's idolatry or whether it's marriage or honoring parents - he's always trying to undermine the law of God. That's part of his conspiracy. That's one conspiracy I think we can all believe in. The devil has a conspiracy to get us to sin and the ten commandments tell us this is the will of God.

Breaking the law is called sin. The Sabbath is one of those laws - and it's a blessing. He didn't curse the day, he blessed it. He wants us to have that blessing and we're missing it if we don't recognize it. And so, friends, I appeal to you.

Study these things. By the way, I will put my notes - and I didn't get through them all - I'll put my notes at the sac central website, which is simply saccentral.org, and I'll post them there for any of you that want my additional thoughts and there's a website that you should really take a look at. Very easy - Sabbathtruth.com. Sabbathtruth.com. A lot more information there on this subject, the history of it, lessons, and what am I leaving out? A lot of good things - sermons, radio programs - just go to Sabbathtruth.

com and you'll find a lot there. We're out of time. I want to reiterate we do have a free offer - it's called 'higher still' by our friend wellesley muir and talking about finding eternal security in Christ. We'll give that to those that ask. Call the number on your screen and go and ask for offer #0406.

God bless you friends, we are out of time. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed.

Visit Sabbathtruth.com.

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