Sabbath: A Gift From Eden

Sabbath: A Gift From Eden

Scripture: Matthew 12:8
Date: 03/16/2013  Lesson: 11
"God is calling people to worhip Him as the Creator, and nowhere in the Bible do we find anything that points so fully to Him as the Creator as does the seventh-day Sabbath."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. You're joining us from around the world - whether you're listening on the radio or on our various television networks - we welcome you to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church for central study hour. Every week we come together here at central church and we open up God's Word, we study together and, of course, we always start our program with songs - favorite songs from around the world from our extended Sabbath school family. Every week you send in your requests and we're doing our best to sing through those and today is no exception. So if you're at home pull out your hymnals.

Those of you here join with us - 'what a friend we have in Jesus'. This is #499 in the adventist hymnal and this is a long request of people that love this song with us and I'm going to read a few of these names. We have jizelle in antigua and barbuda, sean, jacqui, ken, and felicia in australia, maisie and karl in France, kathrina in guam, dustin in honduras, lee in Indiana, darnell in indonesia, ryan in Iowa, we have magalie and micha in mauritius, rebecca, izaac jr, izaac sr, and darlinda in the netherlands, kevin in the netherland antilles, abotu in nigeria, bothwell in south africa, yared in tanzania, jessan in thailand, and marcos in Virginia. So many of you wrote in with this request. Thank you so much and we look forward to singing that with you right now.

We're going to do all three stanzas. #499 - 'What a friend we have in Jesus'. 'Do thy friends despise forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer. In his arms he'll take and shield thee. Thou wilt find a solace there.

' If you are being persecuted for being a Christian - for deciding to follow Jesus - to those that don't understand what that means, you can seem odd - like, 'why are you doing that? Why don't you go with me on Sabbath to...' Whatever? But Jesus understands and no matter what you are going through you always know that you can take it to him and he understands and he will give you that peace that only comes from following Jesus. Our next song is our new song as we're working our way through the hymnal - #43 - 'when morning gilds the skies'. I'm going to tell you - if you have a favorite song that you want to sing with us on an upcoming program, all you have to do is go to our website at 'saccentral.org', click on the 'contact us' link and the entire hymnal is right there and you can pick your favorite song and we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming program. So, #43 is from kenyon, felicia and nola in australia, lew and katie in florida, dave in Indiana, Joseph in Massachusetts, and george in Virginia. And we're going to sing - oh, I should turn to it, right? There are six stanzas and we're going to be singing the first, second, fifth, and sixth.

Father in Heaven, may your name always be praised - in the way we live our lives, the things that we say. May people know that we are Christians without us even having to say anything. Father, just fill us with your spirit - put your love in our hearts so that people won't see us but they will see you and they'll be attracted to what we have. May your name always be praised. We have so much to be thankful for.

You have blessed us in so many ways that we don't even deserve - but we thank you. And I pray that we will be ready for when you come in the clouds of glory. Be with us as we open up your word and we study together. Thank you so much for Pastor Doug and his ministry here at central and around the world and I pray that you will speak to our hearts as we open up your word right now. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento central, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Good morning. Thank you very much - debbie, our song leaders, our musicians. We appreciate that. And I want to welcome everybody to central church.

Welcome those who are regular members, those who might be visiting, likewise for those who are watching via the internet or satellite television right now. And we have the extended members of central church that are around the world and we welcome you as well. We are going to be continuing, in a moment, with our study on 'origins' and today's lesson, in particular, is talking about the Sabbath and it's 'Sabbath: a gift from eden'. And so that's lesson #11. Well, you know, maybe I ought to say a word for those who are watching.

You may have noticed that things behind me look a little different. And I bet you can guess what the subject will be here at central church for the next few weeks. We're doing a special series - can you tell what it's on? Ten Commandments we can - talking about tofu, actually. No, I'm just - yeah, we're having a special series, it's going to be a 12-part series on the Ten Commandments and so that set comes up and down fairly easy. Some weeks I won't be here and it'll disappear and things will go back to normal and then it will reappear.

And so this is going to be about a 12-part series and it's very appropriate, today, that we're talking about one of the ten commandments and we have this as our backdrop. We thought that if we're going to do it we'd do it in an epic way and so - I talked to our guys in the studio and said, 'yeah, we can have some little Ten Commandments behind me' - and they missed the word 'little'. They're bigger than I are. But - no, it'll look really good on camera. Anyway, so that's what that's doing here and we're going to have to probably work around that during our church service today as the different participants come up and down, but we think it'll make a good teaching series for people to use and to use in evangelism so we're very excited about it.

So our lesson today is dealing with the Ten Commandments - or is dealing with the Sabbath which is, of course, one of the Ten Commandments. We have a free offer and the offer is, 'why God said remember'. And you can have this for free. If you don't have it you'll enjoy it. If you do send for this read it and please share it with somebody.

It's offer #185 - 1-8-5 - ask for that when you call -study-more - that's -788-3966 and ask for 'why God said remember' by Joe Crews and we know that that'll be a blessing. We have a memory verse for our lesson today. It's Matthew 12:8 if you'd like to turn there with me. Matthew :8 - or you can read it right out of your quarterly and - excuse me - why don't we say this together? Are you ready? "For The Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath." When you talk about the Sabbath truth you are talking about Jesus. The Bible says that he is lord of the Sabbath day and that he is the creator - 'all things that were made were made by him'.

And we've learned that as we've been studying 'origins' and that means he made everything that was made on those first six days - but how many days in a week? Seven because he made one more day and that was his plan - that day that is better known as the Sabbath is made to be a blessing to man. It's a day that God blessed. When I travel and I preach about the truth of God's Word and the Bible and - invariably the Sabbath truth comes up then people often say, 'oh, the Sabbath, well that's works' and 'oh, you're putting people under the old law.' And it always kind of pains me to hear people think that way because the Sabbath is not designed by God to be a burden, it's designed to be a blessing. It's designed to be something that will be creative and to restore and it's good. The Bible says 'the law is just and holy and good.

' And so I'm always sad when people think of it that way - it's not about works, it's about rest. Jesus said, 'come unto me and I will give you rest.' And so the Sabbath is a blessing to talk about. You know what? Before I forget, there's a lot more on this subject than I'm going to have time to say today, but there is a very good, well-stocked, well-laid-out website that talks about the Sabbath. It talks about 'what is the Sabbath?' 'Does it matter what day it is?' 'How do you keep the Sabbath?' 'What's the history of the Sabbath?' How is the Sabbath going to be playing out in the future history and prophecy?' And you would really enjoy looking at this. Matter of fact, I think it's the most popular website on the Sabbath in the world.

It's called 'Sabbathtruth.com' - very simple - 'Sabbathtruth.com'. I think if you type in 'Sabbathtruth.org' you'll get there. You may want to - if you like it - click that you like it and go there. But in connection with our study today, a lot of good information there. Those of you who are teaching this lesson, you'll find a lot there at 'Sabbathtruth.

com' that will be a blessing in your preparation for your lesson. Alright, let's get into our lesson and - maybe right from the outset I should just identify where our microphones are. Elder ray has one over there. Okay, and foster has one on my left side. I'm going to give out a verse for someone to look up.

We actually passed out some slips. Genesis 2, verses 1 through 3 - who has that one? Right over here. Okay - in just a moment melissa, we'll have you read that. To start out, I want to go with a familiar passage - it's in the Ten Commandments - Exodus 20, verses 8 through 11. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Now, did God think up the Sabbath day right around the time the Israelites got to mount sinai? Or in the Sabbath commandment is it referring back to something that previously existed? Isn't it telling us - when I tell you 'please remember something' that means you've already heard about it and I'm asking you not to forget. The other thing is it's referring back to the creation.

In the book 'patriarchs and prophets' page 307 - there the author says, "the Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution, but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the creator's work." So, now as we go back to the second chapter in your Bible - which is Genesis 2 - and that's what melissa's going to read for us now - Genesis 2, verses 1 to 3 please. "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.

" Now this is right here on - this is why this is very relevant as we study 'origins'. Right here in the introduction of the Sabbath at the end of the first week - the week does not have six days, the week has seven days because God made one more day. And this is very sacred - when God says something three times, there's something sacred about it. It's like the angels there in Isaiah chapter 6 that are by the throne of God that say, 'holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.' Here it says, 'the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day.' I mean, it's enough when Jesus says, 'verily, verily.' He's saying, 'truly, truly - listen carefully.' But when God says something three times it's supposed to be established eternally and so when God says 'the seventh day' - and some people say, 'well, it doesn't matter, as long as you keep a Sabbath.' Churches these days are doing their best to accommodate the American busy schedule and so they're having services morning, evening, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and you can just pick what day you want to go to church - and I'm sure that is very convenient. But God does something very distinct with the Sabbath.

Notice it says that he blesses the day. He doesn't bless it for him, everything he made in this planet is made for man. That's why Jesus says, 'the Sabbath is made for man.' It was meant to be a blessed day for man and he sanctifies it. That means he sets it aside as holy. There's a couple of institutions God established as holy in the beginning and one is the Sabbath and one is marriage.

Is marriage still in effect? The Bible declared that it was good and the things that God declared as good - you know, the Bible said, 'it's not good that man should be alone.' And so God made woman for man. Do we still need women? Do we still need the Sabbath? And so, these eternal things that God established as permanent institutions you find there - the Sabbath still exists - it 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'. Now, don't forget that. Because - and you know, quite frankly, I'll just - I'll be very honest and lay it on the table for you here, when I first became a Christian and I was reading the Bible and decided that the Bible was true - having a Jewish background, I knew something about the Sabbath but never thought about it very much.

But as I was reading the Bible I was wondering 'why - why do Christians go to church on Sunday when, clearly, the first day is Sunday and the seventh day is Saturday? I mean, Christians celebrate the first day because they say it's the day of the resurrection. Jesus rose early in the morning on the first day of the week - and they're right - but where is that declared to be the new Sabbath? There's no - you know, I've asked in large audiences, I've said, 'please show me a commandment in the Bible to keep the first day holy.' And there's just silence - there isn't any. That should tell you something. And so, as I was - would - when I first became a Christian I went to church on Sunday because that was where all my friends went, but I kept asking that question and I - sometimes the pastors would become irritated and I didn't mean to be, you know, obnoxious, I was just saying, 'you know, there must be a biblical reason because it seems to me God is emphasizing a particular day. It's not that God said, 'remember a seventh day' or 'you pick a cycle of seven and whatever seven for you.

' He says, 'the seventh day.' Now, some pastors will say, 'well, as long as it's a seventh day' but they don't teach that in their church. They'll say it to me, but they don't teach that in the church because you will never catch a pastor standing up and telling his congregation 'we're going to keep the doors open every day. You pick which seventh day you want to come.' They say, 'you be here Sunday morning.' That's their prime day of worship, right? They expect everyone to convene on that day. But the Bible doesn't say 'the first day' and it doesn't say 'a seventh day', it says, 'the seventh day.' The word, even in Hebrew, is a definite article - the - the seventh day is the blessed day - and the fact that God says 'I am blessing a particular day' then that means there's no time in history when man can say, 'well I'm choosing to change that a little bit and just ask God 'can you adjust what you've blessed and bless what I choose?' No - we're supposed to cooperate with what he chooses. And so, this is not one of the ten suggestions, these are commandments.

And so, this is the law of God - I mean, how more emphatic and powerful and awesome is it than when God himself speaks to a nation and says, 'this is my law'? And how much more emphatic can God be than when he writes it. And when God says 'remember the seventh day' is it important? Oh, I think so. And so, some people say, 'oh, you know, you Sabbath keeping Christians' - by the way, seventh day adventists are not the only Sabbath keeping Christians, you know, there are other ones out there - and they'll say, 'oh you Sabbath keeping Christians, you make such a big deal out of one commandment.' But the way I read my Bible, in the last days we need to be willing to lay our lives on the line for God's law because the beast is going to have laws and we will need to choose whether to worship the beast and his laws or to worship God and keep his commandments. And so this is a big issue. Anyway, so it goes all the way back to creation week - we found that here - and another verse that you can find that illustrates that - Hebrews chapter 4 - now we're in the new testament - verse 3, "for we who have believed do enter that rest, as he has said: 'so I swore in my wrath, 'they shall not enter my rest,'' although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

" So notice this: he's talking about entering a rest and then talks about the foundation of the world. So when was the Sabbath established? In Exodus 20 or in Genesis 2? It's Genesis 2. Some people think that it began in Exodus 20. By the way, another reason we know the Sabbath did not begin in Exodus 20 because you look back in Exodus 16 and when God is raining manna down from heaven - he does this before they get to Mount Sinai - when God is raining manna down from heaven he says, 'six days a week I'm going to rain it. You go and collect it and get twice as much on Friday - or the sixth day - because there won't be any on the seventh day.

' And people went out on the seventh day - not believing God - looking for it and he said, 'how long will you refuse to keep my laws and my commandments?' They haven't gotten to mount sinai yet. God speaks the ten commandments and he gives them to them there in Exodus 20. They've not heard him articulate the Sabbath there, they've not seen it written in stone and yet he's telling them that the Sabbath is his law, in Exodus , before you ever get to Mount Sinai. They knew - further - let me give you further evidence. When Moses first comes to the children of Israel before he ever goes to pharaoh - Moses and aaron meet up in the wilderness then they go together - they meet with the elders of Israel - they said, 'God has sent a message.

He's going to deliver you from your slavery.' And when they met with them there was a lot that went on in that meeting. Among the things they evidently said is, 'you need to return to the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You are now beginning to mingle with worshiping the Gods of the Egyptians. You need to be true to the God jehovah. The great I am is going to deliver you and you need to start keeping his Sabbath and worshiping him again.

' What day did they worship him? Seventh day of the week. They knew about that. Now, you know how I know that? What's the first thing that the pharaoh says to Moses when Moses says, 'let my people go.' Pharaoh says, 'I know what's been going on. The taskmaster tells me you are causing the people to shabbat' - that's exactly what it says in Hebrew - 'you are causing the people to rest. I'm going to increase your burden so you can't keep the Sabbath anymore and you're going to have to make bricks without straw.

You've got to go gather your own, rather.' And so they end up getting stubble. But there was an issue about them resting on the Sabbath right there with the pharaoh and that's why he increased their workload - to prevent them from resting. By the way, if Moses represents Jesus in the Exodus story, who would the pharaoh represent? The devil. Does the devil want us to rest? Does he want us to worship God on his day of rest? Or does he want us to get so busy with work? Alright, so notice also in Hebrews chapter 4, verse 9, "there remains therefore a rest" - and the word there 'rest' in Greek is sabbatismos - "there remains therefore a Sabbath for the people of God." So Paul - if Paul's the writer of Hebrews - Paul says the foundation of the world is established, talks about rest, says there remains a rest for the people of God, and we know that even new testament Christians should still keep the Sabbath because Jesus did. And whenever God gives an outstanding law - he writes it, he speaks it, a nation keeps it - and as you transition from the old testament to the new testament, if God was going to abolish it or change the day, there would be a great deal of conversation on that because it would have been a point of dispute.

Look at all of the controversy between the jews and the gentile Christians on the subject of circumcision - because God made a change when it came to circumcision - between the old and the new testament - there were just all these eruptions over that subject. But you don't see those eruptions over the Sabbath day. Why? Because it was still the same. There was no question. There was no contest.

Does that make sense? And so, God said, 'remember'. Why is it that some Christian pastors are saying the only one of the Ten Commandments that should be forgotten is the only one that begins with the word 'remember'? Something else I think's fishy. I've spoken in a number of different churches, different denominations - lovely Christian people in many different churches - I don't question that - I expect to see a lot of people in heaven who were not members of my denomination, but the truth is the truth. Some people don't know and God winks at their ignorance because he loves people. Sin is when we know to do good and don't do it.

That's more serious. But I know I've been in some of these churches - they've got the Ten Commandments on the wall in the church like we do here. We've got them more than just on the wall, we've got - yeah - we've got the pillars of hercules right there. But - so - but I - have you ever been in churches like that where you see the Ten Commandments? Sometimes there in the Sunday school classes on the wall? And I've had people from those churches come to evangelistic meetings and then they tell their pastor what they're learning and the pastor says, 'we don't have to keep the Ten Commandments.' And that usually - they don't say that until they hear the Sabbath truth. They say, 'we're not under the law anymore, we're under the new covenant now - we're under those two commandments that say, 'love the Lord and love your neighbor.

' And this is going to be in my message later today too so you're going to hear this in stereo. And then they'll go back to the pastor and say, 'you mean we're not supposed to keep the ten commandments?' And they say, 'well, nine of them.' Really, that's what they say. The pastors will say, 'oh, just keep nine of them.' They'll say all of the commandments are repeated in the new testament except the Sabbath.' That is an urban myth. That is just plain wrong. It is misinformation.

It is not true. People have heard that repeated so many times they think it's true. There is one of the ten commandments you do not find repeated in the new testament - it's not the Sabbath. I just read you the Sabbath being repeated in the new testament in Hebrews 4. The one that's not repeated is 'thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain.

' Show me where that is in the new testament. So, are we allowed to break that now? I've never heard a Sunday pastor say that. So that's a bad argument. But the Sabbath is frequently repeated in the new testament. And so - but I've heard them say that.

And people go, 'oh, I don't know' - because people don't know their Bibles. They figure, 'the pastor must know. I thought I heard it somewhere but maybe not.' And they just - they hear something and they don't question it. You know, I heard someone explain it this way: if you've got one finger that's causing you problems, the answer is to cut off all ten and sew the other nine back on again. Well that's kind of what they've done with the law.

They have no problem with the Ten Commandments except the Sabbath so they get rid of all of them and they try to reattach the other nine - because I know - I know - I could go to 90% of the churches here in Sacramento on Sunday morning - if they would invite me - and I could preach a good sermon on 'honor your father and mother' on 'don't take the name of the Lord in vain' on 'thou shalt not covet' on 'don't steal, don't commit adultery' - it'd make people squirm but they'd allow it, right? There are some churches that would have problems with my sermon on idolatry, but most protestant churches would be okay. So - but when you preach the Sabbath truth, what would happen? 'Oh - uh - uh - stop, stop, stop!' So they don't have a problem with the law until you present the Sabbath truth, right? So that ought to tell you something there that there's something fishy. Alright, notice there's a difference now. 'The rich meaning of the Sabbath' - in your lesson. Someone look up for me Exodus :13 and who has that? Hold your hand up.

Right over here. And then someone else look up for me Exodus 20, verses 11 and - no, I'm sorry - Ezekiel 20, verses 11 and 12. That would be you. Okay, you get the next microphone. We have - maybe we'll get this microphone over here foster - so we'll have them both ready, okay? Now while we're doing that - you know, the Ten Commandments appear completely in two passages.

One is Exodus 20 and what's the other? Deuteronomy 5. That's where we're going to go right now. Deuteronomy 5, verses 12 to 15. "Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.

In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember" - notice this is different than the way you find it in Exodus 20 - "and remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day." Now this text is a little bit different than what you find and it's not because God's changed his law. This text says nothing about the six days of creation - in Deuteronomy - did you notice that? Or about the Sabbath being God's rest. Its emphasis is on salvation and deliverance and letting your slave rest. It emphasizes, 'don't forget you were a slave.

' Now why did God say it differently 40 years later before Moses dies? When they first came out of Egypt, they were a nation of recently escaped slaves. So when it said in the commandment, 'you or your manservant, or your female servant need to rest.' They said, 'yeah, no problem with that. We know - we remember what it's like.' How was Israel different 40 years later? What happened to that first generation? They'd all died off. Now after 40 years in the wilderness there is a whole new young generation that did not - were not born and did not grow up slaves. There were a few of them that were older like, you know, caleb and Joshua and some of the others who had been 20 years and under.

Now they've also fought some battles and won. They're now a people - a nation of soldiers, not a nation of slaves. They had conquered some other nations and taken slaves. And Moses' emphasis is, 'don't forget that you were slaves.' You see what he's saying? And so this is not an exact quote of what's on the table. Deuteronomy is Moses' final sermon and so he's just extemporaneously talking to the people about the law and he said, 'please remember that you were slaves and be good to your slaves and don't forget how it is.

They need to rest also. And so that's why you see a difference. They didn't need to be reminded that God created everything in six days, they knew that. That was a self-evident truth to them. He was creating food for them every day - or at least six days a week.

Food was just suddenly appearing. Alright, who has Exodus 31:13? Alright, go ahead andrew, I think you're going to read that. Exodus 31:13 - it says, "speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'surely my Sabbaths you shall keep. For it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the lord who sanctifies you." So the Sabbath is a sign of God being creator but the Sabbath is a sign of God being something else. If God can make a day holy, can he make people holy? By the way, there's a connection.

Can people be made holy in a day? What do you live in? No, you don't live in your house, you don't live in your clothes, you don't live in your car - though it may seem that - or at your job - you live in time. If you have no time you don't live. Did you know that? When you're out of time what happens to your life? And so, we live in a dimension called 'time'. So when God blesses time, that's the most important thing. When a couple start taking an interest in each other, they usually start spending time together.

Love relationships grow in time and they are revived in time. When that - what do they call it? - Quality time - is neglected - and there's different kinds of time you can spend with a person, right? There's something called 'quality time' and - just this week Karen and I are often in the same house together but you can be in the same house doing different things in different rooms and you don't really communicate. But today we needed to drop a truck off and so we spent some time sitting together and so then you get to just talk and you have a little more quality time or when we're in the house and we're going about our business in the house and I'm in the office or she's in the kitchen or doing whatever, that's not necessarily quality time. But when we go around the block and we hold hands, that's quality time because we're usually talking and listening. You worship God seven days a week, but he has set aside quality time when you rest from your regular busy stuff and you listen to him and he listens to you and you pray.

Quality time is very important and it has a sanctifying influence on you. We are sanctified in that blessed time with God. Now Ezekiel, I think, repeats that. You're going to read, mike, for us that next passage. Ezekiel 20, verses 11 and 12, "and I gave them my statutes and showed them my judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.

' Moreover, I also gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them." You know, Ezekiel emphasizes some important points here. He says, 'if a man does, he shall live.' People think, 'well, if you live in them you're doing them' but he said 'if you do it you will live.' There's a life that comes from keeping that. It's invigorating. It's sanctifying. The Sabbath is a memorial that God is the creator and that he can recreate us.

Also, it says, "create in me" - psalm 51:10 - you remember David's prayer of repentance? "Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." And so the Sabbath is something that also reminds us that he is the redeemer. He is the creator. He can recreate us. Alright, with that thought we're going to jump down to 'Jesus and the Sabbath' in our lesson and somebody has Luke 4:16. Who has that verse? Luke - right back here.

Okay elizabeth, just a moment. We're talking about Jesus. Now a Christian is a follower of Christ. Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Every now and then I'll see a bumper sticker and it says, 'remember to keep the seventh day holy. Jesus did.

' And someone says, 'well, yes, it's true. You can't argue that Jesus kept the Sabbath holy, but that's because he was a jew and he was under the old law and he just did it to be a good example under the old law, but now we're under the new law and when he rose from the dead he met on the first day of the week with the disciples.' Yes - and he met other days of the week too. He met several times a week - and it's true that the resurrection was the first day of the week - don't question that - and the last supper was on Thursday. How important is that? When he inaugurates the new covenant? And he dies on Friday - is that important? Jesus did important things many days of the week, but it did not make them a new Sabbath. There was nothing wrong with the Sabbath.

Matter of fact, even in Christ's death - he went to sleep on the cross on the Sabbath. He rested through the Sabbath. When the Sabbath was over he rose to continue his work as our high priest in ever interceding, right? And so, he even kept the Sabbath on the cross, in the tomb, in his death. So Jesus didn't do anything by his ministry to undermine the importance of that holy day that he set aside back at creation. Okay.

So Mark 2, verse 27 - no, I'm going to read Mark first - Mark :27, "and he said to them, 'the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore The Son of man is also lord of the Sabbath." Jesus could have said, 'the Sabbath was made for Israel.' Couldn't he have said that? He could have said that but he didn't. He used the word 'anthropos' - man - anthropology - the study of man. He said, 'the Sabbath was made for man.' This was a word used for man. He didn't say 'jews'.

He could have said 'gentiles'. He said 'man' - meaning like the human race. Like everybody related to adam is a man. And he said the Sabbath, given to adam and eve in the beginning, is made for mankind. Jesus meant what he said.

It's not made differently for jews than it is for gentiles. Aren't all gentiles supposed to be spiritual jews? Would Jesus want jews who accepted him to worship on a different day? No, he wants us all - there's one holy day that God's blessed - you don't find any other day that God says he's blessed and sanctified in the Bible. Even if you go to Revelation chapter 1 it says that 'I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.' What day is John talking about? It's the Sabbath day. He was - they were, you know, prisoners on patmos and they made the prisoners work in the mines that they had on that island and John, no doubt, refused to work on those days and he was resting and on that day God spoke to him. He was in vision.

Someone says, 'well, the Lord's day is Sunday.' Where does it say the Lord's day is Sunday in the Bible? In the commandment it says 'the Sabbath of the Lord your God.' And if you read in Isaiah chapter 58 it says, 'remembering the Sabbath 'my holy day''. All through the Bible God says the Sabbath is his day - the seventh day. He never calls Sunday 'the Lord's day'. That's a man-made label that people gave to Sunday because Jesus rose on that day. But it's not in the Bible.

I know that might be angering some people but friends, it's true. It's biblical. I don't want to be obnoxious or unkind but - okay, you're going to read for us Luke 4:16. It says, "so he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

" Thank you. Now what is a custom? Is a custom something you do one time? If I say, 'such and such is customary' what does that mean? It means this is the practice. It's the tradition. It's ongoing. And so the practice of Jesus was he went to church on the Sabbath day.

And you might say, 'it doesn't say 'church', it says 'synagogue'.' But you know, the words 'church' and 'synagogue' are really the same word. You can read in Revelation where it talks about the synagogue of satan - that can be translated 'the church of satan'. The word 'synagogue' means 'the gathering' - it just means a gathering place. The jews had the temple for their special sacred feasts - their annual feasts - where they came together there in Jerusalem, but every other week that would gather in their local places of worship with were called 'the synagogues'. Matter of fact, not only did the jews have them scattered throughout Israel, they had them scattered through the roman empire and you can read about that in the book of acts.

That's - Paul preached in the synagogue from Sabbath to Sabbath and he was doing that up through asia minor. And so, that was just their gathering places and they would meet - and, by the way, not only did Jesus remember the seventh day, but the apostles did and, you know, it's probably a good point for me to just stop and just state the obvious here. We know that the Sabbath can be found in Genesis 2 on the seventh day, right? Okay, no one questions that. Adam and eve - they were not jews - it was established as a holy day. No doubt kept all the way down through the time of Noah.

Noah kept it as a holy day beyond the flood to the time of babel where Abraham and his family still kept that holy day all the way down to the time when Jacob and his family were carried to Egypt. It was reiterated there when they got the bread from heaven, spoken from Mount Sinai, then again they remembered the Sabbath day when it was given in the Ten Commandments. We know that it was the Sabbath day all through the old testament - the prophets re-emphasized it - the Kings talked about it. Then you get to the time of Jesus - Jesus kept it. We know the apostles recognized it.

So all the way from Genesis to Revelation they're keeping the Sabbath day. It says in Isaiah chapter 66 that even in heaven - 'from one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before the lord.' So they kept it way back then, they kept it through the Bible - old testament, new testament - we're going to keep it in heaven. Does it make sense that God's people would be keeping it now? I mean, wouldn't that be kind of a contiguous way to understand this truth? Do we still need rest? Some will say, 'oh, but pastor doug, we just - it's just the spirit of the law now. You're teaching the letter of the law. We're to keep the Spirit of the law.

Jesus said, 'come unto me and I'll give you rest. Our rest is in Christ. Jesus is our Sabbath. We don't need to keep the seventh day Sabbath anymore because we just rest in Jesus. I've heard that.

Have you heard that one? I've heard everything. You know what? The arguments that I hear from other Christian leaders - and, by the way, there are a lot of non-seventh day adventists Christian leaders - I know some of them - that believe the Sabbath and they struggle with how do they present it to their people? I've met some, I know one family - they've got a radio program around the country. They go to church on Sunday, they keep the Sabbath on Saturday at home - they have a Bible study. But they know. They've approached me.

And there's others out there that I think are going to someday take a stand. But I've heard different leaders - the arguments - conflict with each other. I'll talk to one pastor and I'll say, 'why do we go to church on Sunday?' And they'll say, 'because Jesus rose on Sunday.' That's the most common answer I get. I say, 'oh, that's good. So where's the commandment to keep the first day holy?' 'Well, we don't have a commandment but we've got a tradition.

' And they have to look about 300 years after Jesus to find the formation of that tradition. When - they were keeping both days, for a while, in the roman empire, during the time of constantine. They were keeping the seventh day Sabbath and, to try to evangelize the pagans, they said, 'let's remember the Sunday also' because that was their day of worship and - and you know what happened is later on in rome they started telling everybody 'the seventh day Sabbath' - the church leaders - was a day of fasting. It was the Sabbath. The Sunday of the pagans was a day of feasting.

Now if you're a Christian and you've got two days to pick from, which one are you going to want to remember? The day of feasting or the day of fasting? Which one would be more fun? Gradually they said, 'you know, the Jewish Sabbath - the old one of fasting - let's not do that anymore. We're too busy to keep two days a week. Let's keep the day of feasting.' And gradually it transitioned over to Sunday. And there's a number of other factors that happened historically. You'll find it at that website, 'Sabbathtruth.

com' - there's a lot of history there. But - so that's one answer - that Jesus rose the first day of the week. Then I'd talk to another pastor and he would say, 'we're not under the law anymore. We don't have to keep any day. You keep whatever day you want.

' And I say, 'well do you tell your people that Sunday morning 'come whenever you want'?' No. Then I've met pastors that say, 'the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday in the old testament when Joshua prayed and the sun stood still.' Really - and I thought, 'well that was about the most creative argument I ever heard.' But my problem with that is why do they still keep it on the seventh day - Saturday - all through the time of Jesus if it changed back in the days of Joshua? And he said, 'well, he was setting a pattern he would later enact.' And - I've just heard - and then people say, 'well I worship God seven days a week. We're not - there's no Sabbath anymore, our Sabbath is in Christ. We rest in Christ. We worship God seven days a week.

' I say, 'well, part of the Sabbath is resting from your physical labor. Are you doing that seven days a week? That's not holy, that's called 'lazy'.' So you just hear all these different - and I've seen pastors get at each other because they disagree on why they don't keep the Sabbath because they don't have the same arguments. So - and then I've heard some pastors who are very gracious - there's actually one of a large church here in town that I won't name - and he says, 'yes, no question. Seventh day is the Sabbath and I tell my people that if they feel impressed to keep the seventh day then keep it. And we have services on Saturday to accommodate them.

And if they believe it should be Sunday, keep it Sunday. Just keep whatever day the Lord impresses you by his spirit to keep. Let the Spirit lead you.' But they'll say, 'oh yeah, clearly in the Bible the seventh day is the Sabbath - what we call Saturday now.' And so it's just interesting - but, you know, when there's that much confusion it tells you there's something wrong with those interpretations. The answer is - it didn't change. God says, 'I am the Lord.

I change not.' The Sabbath is a covenant that he blessed and the Bible says, 'what God blessed is blessed forever.' So 'Jesus and the Sabbath' - I got stuck, sorry. Someone read for me Leviticus :3 - who has that? Hold your hand up so he can get you a microphone. Yeah, just keep your hand up until they get you a microphone. That also helps the camera find you so our friends at home can see you reading that. And I'm going to read for you Luke 4:31.

We read in Luke 4:16 his custom was to go to church and to read. They even knew when the Sabbath ended and began because they waited until sundown before they brought the - I'm sorry, Luke :40 - "when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them." He did these miracles and he healed after the sun went down. Matter of fact, Luke 4:31 it says, "he went down to capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths." Jesus did a lot of healing and he did teaching during the week by the lake or by the river - sometimes on a meadow. They sat down - but where was he on the Sabbath? He went into the synagogues and he read the Scriptures there. Alright, read for us Leviticus 23:3.

"Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." You'd be surprised how many Sabbath-keeping Christians I run into and they don't make it to church very often. They say, 'well, I had a rough week so I kept Sabbath at home.' Or, believe it or not, I have people say, 'well, I kept Sabbath with God in nature this week.' And I'm not condemning you for doing that, but that should be the rare exception. Sometimes when they tell me that - that's code - when they say 'I kept Sabbath with God in nature' if they finished the sentence it would be 'out snow skiing on the slopes' or 'at the beach' and, you know, keeping the Sabbath in nature - its amazing what - how people call it 'with God in nature' - the different definitions for that. But what does the Bible say about the Sabbath? It is a holy convocation.

Do you know what convocation means? Look that up - it means 'an assembly - a group of people gathered in answer to a summons' - this is a holy summons - 'to convene.' You ever been summoned to jury duty? It means you're supposed to go somewhere. There's going to be a group of people that are going to be picked for jury duty. And when God says, 'remember the Sabbath day, it's a day for worshiping.' Part of that day is to convene with others to corporately worship him. And so, when we say, 'yes, it's the Sabbath and I'm home and I'm resting.' That's not the whole thing. So part of keeping the Sabbath is it is a solemn convocation where we collectively come together to worship him.

We need to come together - convene - amen? That's how you learn how to love. Alright, Matthew chapter 12, verse 9, "now when he had departed from there, he went into their synagogue. And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked him saying, 'is is lawful to heal on the Sabbath?' - That they might accuse him. Then he said to them, 'what man is there among you who has one sheep,'" - now he doesn't have flocks, he's got one sheep - "'if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

' Then he said to the man, 'stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other." Is it good, on the Sabbath day, maybe to visit a nursing home and to sing to people and encourage them? If somebody is sick and they need healing, if you can relieve their suffering and pain on the Sabbath day, shouldn't you help them? But does that mean you should open a clinic and do optional procedures all day Saturday? No, there's some things that can wait and they ought to wait for other things, but when there's people who are suffering you ought to take care of them - you shouldn't be asking the dentist if he can open up for you to whiten your teeth on the Sabbath day. But if you've got a bad toothache, I know good dentists that have said, 'you come on down on the Sabbath day' - people were in pain - you ever have a toothache? You know what I'm talking about? You're just throbbing pain - he says, 'well, Jesus would want me to relieve your suffering today.' And then they won't even send you a bill. So if you save your toothaches for the Sabbath day - no, I'm just - because it's supposed to be non-remunative on that day, right? You know what I don't understand is when people - and can I be very honest with you? That ox in the ditch scenario is sometimes abused. There are churches that say, 'we want to serve people in our community so on Sabbath we're going to have people bring their cars to our church and we're going to change their oil because the ox is in the ditch. These old widows, they need help.

' And so, on Sabbath they kind of have an auto clinic. That's not the way Jesus meant that. If you really love the Lord, do it on Sunday. People say, 'oh, but I'm going to beach Sunday. I'm going skiing so I'll do it on Saturday.

' No, that's holy time. And sometimes we abuse that - 'oh, we're taking the youth out. We're going to wash windows on Sabbath - community service. No, that's not appropriate. Raking people's leaves and all that on a Sabbath day - that's not a very good example.

You wouldn't see Jesus doing that. So let's make sure that we don't take the exceptions that Jesus gives us and stretch them out of size and abuse those things. Well, time's up. I hope that you - I tried to give you some of the Sabbath work principles. And don't forget - we do have a free offer - 'why God said remember'.

I hope you'll send for that and all you have to do is ask for offer #185 and call the number -788-3966. God bless you friends, you have a good week and we'll study together again next week. Journey back through time to the center of the universe. Discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan the arch villain. The birth of evil.

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