When God Said Remember - Part 3

Scripture: Luke 23:54, Matthew 24:20, Isaiah 58:13
This is a continued broadcast on the topic of the Sabbath day and reasons given in Scripture for keeping and people's reasons for not keeping it. For instance, has the calendar changed to affect the weekly cycle?
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Continuing today with our sincere search in the Sabbath question, we'll examine more Bible reasons for keeping the Sabbath commanded by God in the Ten-Commandment Law. We found that the seventh day is Saturday on our modern calendars. In fact, calendars bear witness in every home as to the true Sabbath day. Yes, the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.

We've been looking into some real reasons why people should keep it and some of the reasons that folk give for not keeping it, on occasion. Here's a reason that some folk give for not keeping the seventh day Sabbath. How do we know that our seventh day is the same one Jesus kept anyway? Well, let's read something now from the book of Luke, chapter 23, beginning with verse 54. "And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." Now you read the preceding verses and you'll discover that this was the day Christ was crucified, the day we call Good Friday. Going back to Mark 15:42 which says specifically that the preparation is the day before the Sabbath, we read: "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation that is, the day before the Sabbath." So friends, we call that day Friday now, and that day was the preparation. I'm reading on now in verse 55, "And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared species and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment."

There you have the preparation day and then the Sabbath. And then in chapter 24, verse 1, "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the species which they had prepared, and certain others with them." So in three verses right together you have the description of three days. The first day was the one of His crucifixion, called the preparation day before the Sabbath. The next day is the Sabbath according to the Commandment, and then the next day, it says, was the first day of the week, the day He arose from the dead. Now if you'll turn back to Mark 16:1 and 2, you'll discover that the Scripture teaches that the first day of the week is the day that comes right after the Sabbath. Combining those three verses, we have the weekly cycle preserved. We know exactly the day that Christ kept. The preparation day we call Friday, then there is the Sabbath of the Commandment, the Fourth Commandment, and then immediately following that is the first day of the week. So the day that Christ kept was the day that comes just before the first day of the week. Now that's why God had this recorded here so there could never be a question about it.

Maybe you wonder if the calendar was changed. It really used to worry me, friends, until I looked that up. Down in the library you'll find an encyclopedia that will give all the information on the Sabbath question. I mean the calendar question in relation to the Sabbath. And the encyclopedias make it very clear that no change has been made in the calendar since Christ's day that affects the weekly cycle. Anyone who will bother to go look it up will find out immediately that there is nothing to the change-of-calendar argument at all. From the day of the Romans to our own time the calendar weekly cycle has been preserved perfectly. The Romans gave us our calendar in fact. August was named after Augustus Caesar. Julius Caesar had July named after him. They're the ones who gave us our calendar and you can easily trace it back to the Roman time. History as we think of it today comes to us from the Grecians who lived before the Romans. They gave us the great historian, Herodotus, who is called the father of history. Since this is true, it's easy to trace the calendar back to Rome as any brief study will reveal. Such a study shows that no change has taken place in our weekly cycle. There's no question about it. There's nothing changed in the weekly cycle from the days of Christ until now.

Many have said that they don't keep the Sabbath because Sabbath was changed at the cross to Sunday at the time of the resurrection of Jesus. They believe that when Jesus died, that did away with the Law so that the Sabbath came to an end also. I want to state, friends, that there's no Scripture at all to support that. In case you know of anybody who has such a Scripture, I would be happy to have it and will give one thousand dollars for such a Scripture because I know it just simply isn't in the Bible. In fact, we have something here in the Bible that teaches just the opposite. The Bible shows that Christ didn't change the Sabbath at His death or resurrection and He taught His disciples, in fact, that there could be no change of the Sabbath. Reading now Matthew 24:20. "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Christ was teaching here about things to come in the future. He told them that Jerusalem would be destroyed. There wouldn't be one stone left upon another and then he said, "Pray that you won't have to flee on the Sabbath day." Now Christ knew that Jerusalem would be destroyed in AD 70, forty years after he ascended. Why did He tell them to pray their flight would not be on the Sabbath? Friends, Christ intended for His followers to be keeping that Sabbath forty years after He had gone back to heaven, just as He intended for them to be keeping it down here in this present age.

A lot of people say, "Well, I keep Sunday in honor of the resurrection." I suppose that's one of the most common statements made. Certainly none of us would want to say anything that would detract from the beauty and glory of the resurrection. It was, indeed, a glorious event. We're grateful for it. It's a very wonderful thing to happen. But when it comes to something so important as a commandment of God, then we must have the Scripture for it. So, with all kindness and all firmness, I say, "Where is the Scripture that tells us we should keep the first day of the week in honor of the resurrection?" Friends, we honor God by obeying Him. That's what Jesus said. John 15:14, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." We honor Him by obeying Him; not inventing our own holy day, not substituting some man-made law or day in place of something that God instituted. It is obedience that counts. The Bible does give a memorial to the resurrection. You'll find it in Romans 6: 4-6. The Lord says specifically that baptism is a memorial of the resurrection. Baptism is commanded in honor of the resurrection and not Sunday keeping. Sunday keeping in honor of the resurrection is man's idea, not God's at all.

Sometimes when people come up to the Sabbath question, they say, "Well, I keep every day holy." I think we ought to just state plainly, friends, that it's impossible to do that. It's impossible for anybody to keep everyday holy; in fact, it's impossible to keep anything holy unless it was made holy by God Himself. Suppose a man was wearing a black suit and he says, I'm going to keep this black suit nice and white. Could he do that? Why, of course not. You can't keep a black suit white because it wasn't white to begin with. Neither can a person keep a day holy that was never made holy to begin with. The difference between the Sabbath and any other day is the difference in the Bible and any other book. One is man-made; the other is God-made. Which will you take?

The difference between the Sabbath and any other day is the difference in a piece of cloth and the flag. Here's a white handkerchief and here's a flag; both of them are cloth. It would be possible for me to have a handkerchief made from the same kind of material, but there's a great deal of difference in the two pieces of cloth. One of them has been set aside and stamped as something special. Thirteen alternative stripes of red and white, fifty stars on a field of blue, sets this piece of cloth apart from all other pieces of cloth. It means something. And it's the same thing with the Sabbath. The Lord made one of His ordinary pieces of cloth or days, and He lifted it high above the others and He stamped upon it something sacred. It became His Sabbath. He said, "I've set this apart. It's a holy day. Keep it holy; lift it up; it's My banner; always hold it high."

The Lord is not pleased with people who trample upon sacred things. If I took the flag down from its stand and threw it on the ground and began to trample on it, you wouldn't permit it, would you? If you would, you're not worthy of the name "American." You would rightly say, "What's the matter with you? That flag represents America!" Well, that's the way it is with God's Sabbath, friends. A sacred heart of His law, the commandment, He set apart and lifted up. He wants us to keep our feet off holy things. That's what the Bible says in Isaiah 58:13. "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day;" (in our language, we would say, get your foot off the Sabbath, we don't use the expression, turn away thy foot). If somebody puts his foot on something, we say, "Get your foot off!" but the Lord said, "If you want to be blessed, get your foot off My Sabbath, a holy sacred thing." That's the first thing to do. Then, He says, I can bless you. Read on down through verse 14 and see how God promises a blessing to those who stop trampling upon sacred things, and especially upon His Sabbath.

Suppose an alien came over and wanted to be naturalized to this country, the day he went in to take his final naturalization test, the American flag was hanging nearby and he put it on the floor and stood on it. Don't you imagine the officer in charge would angrily exclaim, "Well, the first thing you'll have to learn is to get off the American flag! What's the matter with you?" Well, friends, that's what God is saying here. Take your feet off holy things if you want to be blessed. That's a very serious crime against heaven.

Did you know that the Lord foresaw the apostasy of our day? Read it in Ezekiel 22:26. He knew these things were coming. He said here, "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Friends, this may come as a real shock to you, but I pray God that you'll not shrug it off lightly and say, "Well, that's the way he believes; I'll believe as I wish." I pray God that you'll get on your knees and give this thing deeper study. As you do, you'll become convinced that somewhere back there in the streams of time the whole world made a wrong turn. The whole world has gone astray on a direct plain commandment of God. Many are following along today innocently, not asking questions, just supposing that Sunday keeping is right. Of course, God understands that. But, friends, you ask your pastor, ask religious leaders that you know, look it up in the encyclopedias, study the Scriptures, see if it's true. Demand Scripture for evidence.

I want to say again that this is too solemn a thing to treat lightly. Suppose somebody today stood up in your city and said, "I have the light. It's all right to steal." Would you take that lightly? No, indeed, you'd say, "Where does your light come from? You show me. That involves a commandment of God." We ought to feel the same way about the Sabbath. God has given a commandment. If somebody says differently from that commandment, you say, "I'm from Missouri. Show me." It could cost us our eternal salvation if we're wrong.

Did you know the Lord promises to keep the Sabbath with all the redeemed people in the Kingdom of Heaven? We read it in Isaiah 66:22 and 23. "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord." There it is. God's plan, way back in the beginning, was exactly the same; it never changed. When the time came for Him to write the ten commandment law, He put His Sabbath right into the middle of it because His plan was not changed. The years passed by. Jesus was born. But God's plan regarding the Sabbath had not changed because Jesus kept the Sabbath; the disciples followed next and they keep the Sabbath and taught Sabbath-keeping. Once more, the centuries passed by, on past our day and right on into the kingdom of God and, according to the Scriptures, Sabbath keeping will still be a part of God's great plan, because the redeemed will keep it there.

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