8-The Sabbath, a signExodus 31 12And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 14Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. 18And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
The above scriptures have a vitally important introduction. Verse twelve says that the words following were spoken directly by God himself, to Moses. What we are reading in verses thirteen through seventeen are not the words of a man inspired by God, but words spoken by God himself. The Ten Commandments which were given to Moses by God, were written with God’s own finger. The fourth commandment being a vital part of the ten. It points out who God is, and why He has authority to give these commands. Twice, God said to Moses, that those who would not observe the day, should be put to death. This is how important the keeping of this commandment was to God. It was, and it is vital to humanity, that they be reminded at least once a week, who God is, and who they are in relation to Him. To forget this means certain death, for there is nothing apart from God. Those who choose to be apart from God, are choosing nonexistence. In our fallen nature especially, we need this constant reminder.
God said that the seventh day Sabbath is a sign that He is the one who sanctifies the sinner. The seventh day is a holy day to all those who would be sanctified by God. It is a perpetual covenant between God and the people which He sanctifies, that is makes holy. The day is holy, and those who observe it by faith in the word of God signify that they wish also to be made holy. This is accomplished through faith alone, in the word of God. If we wish to be like God, we must believe that He is, who He is. He is the creator and sustainer of all life. The observance of the seventh day Sabbath is a proclamation of the same. Faith in God must embrace, and begin with this most basic fact.Hebrews 11 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear……………………………….........................
6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
It is impossible to please God without faith. Our faith begins with the “understanding that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
” Chapter eleven of Hebrews goes on to testify of the accomplishments of those who had faith in God. All of these great men and women of faith believed that God was the creator and sustainer of all life. A faith which is promulgated, and perpetuated by the observance of the seventh day Sabbath. When we demonstrate our faith by observing the fourth commandment, we express our faith in Christ, for He is the creator. Ephesians 3 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
God created all things by Jesus Christ. He did so with a purpose of making known the manifold wisdom of God. This was, and is, “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
” Part of this purpose was that Christ might dwell in our hearts by faith, and that we might come to understand, and know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. The ultimate goal being, that we might be filled with the fullness of God.
Christ created the world (John 1: 1-3&14)
. He sustains the world (Col. 1: 16&17)
. He became one of us, to redeem the world after the fall (Heb. 2: 14-18)
. He succeeded in redeeming the world (Col. 1:14)
. He now ever lives to intercede for those who have chosen to be His (Heb. 7:22-28)
. He will come again and receive His own (John 14:1-3)
. Christ is all in all. When He has finished His work, He will subject Himself to the Father, that God may be all in all. This is the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. That is to bring all creation back into harmony and willing submission to God. This He accomplished by revealing the true character and love of God (John 14: 9&10)
, which had been maligned by the accusations of Satan and his angels, and supported by fallen humanity.1 Corinthians 15 20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Man rebelled against God, resulting in death. Christ became a man, and lived a life of perfect obedience to God. He then died the death that we deserve, and was raised from the dead as the first fruits of all those who believe in Him. Condemnation and death came to all of us through Adam, though we had nothing to do with his actions. So also, life and justification have come to all through the Lord Jesus Christ, though we had nothing to do with His actions. Now the choice is ours. Do we choose life through Christ unto righteousness, or do we choose death through Adam unto rebellion. It is all about authority. Who is in authority? Who can be trusted with authority? God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is both in authority, and has proven that He can be trusted with authority.
The issue remains only within us then. Will we submit to the trustworthy authority of God, or will we continue in rebellion and the exaltation of self? Christ is the for-runner, He has shown us the way. Will we follow Him? How many have heard the question, what would Christ do. There are bumper stickers, and hats, and shirts with that question on them. I ask you concerning the observance of the seventh day Sabbath, what would Christ do? There is only one answer to this question, for He did it. He faithfully observed all of the commandments of God when here on earth as one of us, including the fourth commandment. Again, it is simply a question of authority. Whose authority do you claim to obey? Whose authority do you really obey?John 8 27They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 30As he spake these words, many believed on him.
John 5 19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.[/u][/b]
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
. No man can come to the Father but by him. It is through the Son, that we are to approach the Father. If we wish to be the sons and daughters of God, then we must follow the example of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Christ did not seek the accomplishment of His own will, but rather the accomplishment of the will of His Father. How about you? Do you seek to accomplish your own will, or do you seek to accomplish the will of your Father in heaven? Those who seek to do the will of their Father in heaven, will be called forth from the grave by the Son, to live forever with God in heaven. Or do you not understand that you have been made the literal sons and daughters of God by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ? If only you will accept this gift, and act accordingly. That is to say, as if you really believe that you are the sons and daughters of God. Our minds are not even capable of comprehending the depth of what has been done for us. To be made the literal flesh and blood sons and daughters of the living God.Philippians 2 1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Let this mind be in you, that is the mind of Christ, not the mind of Satan. Christ did not strive to be equal with God though He was God. He humbled himself, and became obedient to God the Father, even to the point of death. Christ exalted the Father by submitting to His authority in all things. Satan on the other hand, chose to follow his own leading, even to the point of murdering the Son of God. This is where all self-exaltation leads. God alone is worthy of our praise and worship. Anyone who desires to have that which belongs only to God, wishes to be in God’s place. This of course is impossible, for the created being cannot take the place of the creator. For the creator is also the sustainer, which thing the created being is not capable of.
Ironically enough, this is exactly what God allowed in the crucifixion of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. He allowed created beings in rebellion against Him, to kill Him, in and through His Son Jesus Christ. This He did that all creation might understand where all sin really leads. It is a question of authority. What is sin, but the breaking of the commandments of God? Whose commands will you follow? The Ten Commandments came directly from the mouth of God, and were written directly by the finger of God. Will you acknowledge His authority or not? This is the question that will divide this world in two.
The fourth commandment is ignored by the vast majority of professed Christians. They will not submit to the authority of God concerning this vital part of the Ten Commandments. They forsake the commandment of God, in favor of upholding the traditions of man. They believe that because they profess the name of Jesus, they do not have to obey God. They do not understand that professing the name of Jesus means submitting to the authority of God the Father in all things. They do not understand that workers of iniquity will not be in heaven, even if they claimed to profess the name of Jesus Christ.Matthew 7 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
What is a worker of iniquity? Have we not all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God? Is it only those who have become totally perfected in Christ that will be saved? If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1)
. If we confess our sins, He is faithful, and just to forgive us of our sins (1 John 1:9)
. We have all sinned, and are all sinners. We can all however be forgiven of our sins, and herein lies the problem. To be forgiven of sin, one must confess their sins. The one who will not acknowledge sin as sin, will not confess it as such, and cannot be forgiven. Observe the following.1 John 1 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. All those who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, have confessed that they have sinned. This is why we accept Him, to be forgiven for our sins, and saved from their consequences. It is clear from the scriptures however, that many will make this general acknowledgement, while rejecting the truth regarding certain particulars of sin. To reject the truth, is sin. It leaves the one who does so, without hope of forgiveness or victory over deception and its result, which is sin. Let’s take a look at what the scriptures say regarding this matter.2 Thessalonians 2 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those who perish will do so because they “ received not the love of the truth
”. They choose to believe a lie. Therefore they cannot be forgiven, since they will never confess that sin, which they will not acknowledge as sin. Nor can they even begin recovery, since they will not admit their true condition. A drunk cannot recover from being a drunk until he or she admits that they are a drunk. Likewise with the thief, murderer, adulterer, and so on, and so on. So also, the one who will never acknowledge the validity of the fourth commandment, will never change their course of action in regards to it. Nor will they seek forgiveness for that which they do not believe to be sin. Thus, by choosing to believe a lie, they have cut themselves off from the saving arm of their God. Lest we forget, Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Rejecting the truth of God’s word, is verily rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ.
The above scriptures are not only referring to a condition, but also a time. It is in the last days that strong delusion will be sent upon the world, because it has already chosen to believe a lie. This is exactly what we are addressing in this book. The last message for this world, in its last days. Quite fittingly, it is the man of sin who opposes and exalts himself above God, that brings about this deception with all the lying wonders of Satan himself. This is the man who will establish sin in this world through deception. This man is also spoken of in the book of Daniel.Daniel 7 23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28Hitherto is the end of the matter.
This beast speaks great words against the most high, it wears out the saints of the most high, and it thinks to change times, and laws. These things we know to be fulfilled by the Church of Rome, as we have already established. The changing of times and laws is exactly what we are discussing. The fourth commandment, is the only commandment dealing specifically with time. The Church of Rome has claimed authority to change the time of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. This is a lie. Those who accept this lie as the truth, have chosen to believe a lie. If they will not admit their true condition, they cannot be saved. These things transpire immediately before the Lord returns. This we will discuss in more detail, in following chapters.
As previously mentioned, it is a message from God that will divide the world in two before he returns. It is not the Devil’s deceptions that will bring about the end, but rather, a message from God regarding the truths of His word. These things will all take place because God’s word has said it will be so, not because Satan has power to make anything happen of his own accord. The Devil does not want this world to come to the point of decision, for he knows that when it does, it is the end for him. This is why the responsibility for giving this message to the world, so that Christ may return, lies squarely upon those who claim Christ as their Lord.
The observance of the seventh day Sabbath is therefore a sign in these last days especially, that one is a true worshiper of the true God. It is a sign that those who observe it believe that God is the creator of this world in and through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Exo. 20:8-11, & John 1:1-3 & 14)
. That He sustains this world and all life in it, in and through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 1: 16&17)
. That He has saved this world in rebellion in and through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is salvation in no other (John 3:16, & Acts 4:12)
. That salvation comes to the believer by entering into God’s rest in and through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Which very thing the Sabbath itself is a sign of (Matt. 11:28&29, & Heb. 4)
. That He has provided continual intercession for all of humanity in and through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:14-16, & Heb. 7:22-28)
. That He will sanctify, yes make holy, those who have faith in Him in and through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Which thing also the Sabbath is a sign of (Exo. 31:12-18, John 17:17-19, Acts 26:15-18, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Heb. 10:7-17)
. That all of the above was and is according to the eternal purpose of God in and through His Son Jesus Christ. That is in the creation, preservation, and redemption of this world (Eph. 3:9-12)
The Sabbath is a sign that those who observe it believe that Jesus Christ is all in all. That He created the world. He sustains the world. He has redeemed the world. He ever liveth to make intercession for the world. He sanctifies His own in the world through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, whom he sends (John 14:26, 15:26&27)
. He came to this world as one of us, and is our example for living. He is the living word of God. As he himself has said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
” (Matt. 4:4)
Those who observe the seventh day Sabbath, do so strictly by faith in the word of God. There is nothing about the seventh day that separates it from any of the rest, save the word of God pertaining to it. Nothing out of the ordinary happens on this day to anyone accept the believer. The believer accepts by faith, that the day is blessed and holy, and therefore acts accordingly. The result is first the exaltation of God, by the obedience of those who submit to His rightful and trustworthy authority. The second, is the establishment of that authority in the life of the believer, and the essential reminder to the believer of their proper place in relation to our infinite God. Thus the day is a reminder that God is all in all to those whom He has created. A day to set aside all else, and rest in the word of our creator, sustainer, and redeemer. The observance of the seventh day Sabbath is a perfect example of faith in God’s word, in action. We will close this chapter with the message of the first angel.Revelation 14 6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.