Have We Ever Understood All God Has Given Us?
It is truly astonishing that we live in a day and an age where truth—historical, empirical, scientific or religious—is more accessible and provable than any time in human history. And yet so few care to prove, or live, the plain simple truth.
Why is it—what is it—about human nature that either doesn’t care, or resists, truth—when the truth really is so plainly visible to those who sincerely seek it?
Is it that most don’t want anyone, even God, telling them what to do, how to live?
An important factor, is as the Word of God tells us: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:6-8, Gal. 5:17).
Christ tells us: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you: For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8, Luke 11:9).
God also tells His people: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD” (Jer. 29:11-14).
How is it possible that there is so much confusion in this world? Of all goals and aspirations can anything be truly more important than the Truth, and living life according to the Truth? What difference does it make? Why should we even care?
The answer to those questions are found in understanding why our loving God gave to us a way of life, which includes a holy time of rest with a spiritual purpose designed to help us live and experience all joy and abundance that can never be taken from us! Peace – happiness – goodness – wholesomeness—for all eternity!
Much of that understanding begins with the beauty of the first gift God Gave us.
What Has God Given to Us, for Our Own Good, to Help Us Fulfill His Purpose?
It is astonishingly common for professed Christians today to assume that they determine the difference between right and wrong the difference between good and evil. It seems to never occur to so many, that Jesus Christ
Since we are wholly dependent upon learning the truth - on being taught - how does God teach us?
Thus we now have The Word of God—the Scriptures—which are able to make us wise unto Salvation (2 Tim. 3:15-17). So, we must be reading – studying, and being led by God’s Holy Spirit, in order to learn, to understand, what He is teaching us.
Understanding that God IS Love (has our best interests at heart), why does He give us the Sabbath?
It is not simply a designation. It is a state. It is a reality!
For something to be holy it must be set-apart by —and ultimately infused with— the very presence and power of Almighty God!
Can We Fulfill God’s Purpose, God’s Holy Will, While Not Keeping the Sabbath?
Why would we willingly, willfully, do something that separates us from God, and puts distance between us and Him? Why would we fight His holy will? Why would we willingly, purposely, tell God that we don’t agree with Him—and that we think our own way of doing things is better than—or superior to—His holy way of life and living (Isa. 59:2; 64:8, Rom. 9:20-21)?
Do we realize what an offense—what an affront—it is, against God, to even think that we know better, or that our way of doing things is somehow better, or sanctioned, in the site of God (Isa. 55:8; 64:8, Zech. 1:6, Rom. 9:20)?
Why would we think that we can “do things our own way,” when, in reality, we are completely dependent upon God for the means: from the understanding of His Truth, to the ability to change, and to live, according to His ways (Luke 18:27, Rom. 8:28; 9:4, Acts 3:18-19, Phil. 2:13). We should humbly recognize our lowly status, and not exert our own will against God’s.
The Adversary, Satan, Hates God’s Holy Sabbath Day and All God’s Commands
The tragic reality is that the world has been deceived. The beauty of God’s Truth and His Holiness has been counterfeited and subjected to subterfuge by the lying liar (John 8:44) who has disguised himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
Regarding the Sabbath day, the Fourth Commandment in particular, why is Satan so set against this command and so hateful as to persecute and malign those who remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy? Is it because those who remember the Sabbath day—who keep the fourth Commandment—also learn more about the holy law of God, and the plan and purpose He has ordained for humankind? They become better poised to unmask the lies, hypocrisy and deception of the deceiver?
Those who remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, have staked their claim as the friend of God, and the enemy of Satan.
Satan has attempted to pervert, to distort, to turn upside down and backwards, everything that is sacred—all that God has ordained as good for humankind. He has deceived the world into thinking that lust is love (when they are exact opposites), that to GET is good, but to GIVE is generally weak or stupid (and human nature goes along with this orientation)—and that life and living is all about self, and really not about God at all. The adversary’s deception is pervasive against all that is holy.
Human nature in society has allowed the lie of evolution to replace the truth of creation—the myth of self-determination to replace the reality of being wholly dependent upon God for our very breath. This myth, this lie, leads to the conclusion also that the week, the division of time, is a man-made invention—and therefore, they think, that every day is the same, and that no day is of any special significance.
Regarding the Sabbath, the adversary has invented as much of an opposite as he can possibly pawn off on humankind:
- Instead of the last day of the week – as a day to rest, recuperate and reflect on the spiritual purpose of this life, Satan tries to appear “more righteous” than God, saying it should be the first day of the week – the beginning of the week.
- Not a day of God ordained rest, but an opposing orientation that starting the week is better than what God commands.
- This is based on what Satan (and man) had already originated—regarding the Sun God, the false Baal worship, that infected God’s people Israel in ancient times. Continually, Satan has chosen this false way to replace the true way.
- He wants to make the Sabbath a “play day” and the beginning of the Sabbath (Friday night) a time for partying or drunken debauchery and degradation. Once again; the exact opposite of what God has ordained for our own good.
- Rather than something to be loved, appreciated and looked forward to—Satan has created a world order that despises the Truth and the true way of life. Satan has reinforced a worldview that refuses to acknowledge God’s Holy Time, and chooses instead to embrace a humanistic view—that our time is our own, and no one else’s business what we do with it, or how we live. Yet, the real truth is that we are God’s—by creation, and by redemption—and we are not our own.
The truth is that we are not our own; and neither is “our” time our own. God gives us our very lives and grants us every day and every hour (Luke 12:20-21, 1 Cor. 6:20, ). A telling consideration to differentiate between those who respect God verses those of the orientation of the devil, is that the adversary absolutely hates and detests God’s holy time, and uses his counterfeits to deceive human beings to even persecute those who love and respect God’s holy time. In whatever manner and to whatever degree the adversary can cause people to hate, defy and defile God’s holy truth —especially God’s holy time— he will do so.
Why? Not only because Satan hates God and His way—but because God’s holy time is a very real exposé and testimony of God’s holy truth and His creative power and purpose. Because the Sabbath is a sacred beautiful part of God’s creation. It is a precious gift He has given to us. It is acknowledgement of God, as the very Creator. It foretells us of His world to come and of the true rest that God has in store for all of humankind. It tells that God’s holy intent is that our lives be not strife-filled or burdened. It tells us His holy purpose is fellowship and oneness with Him, and that this life is to serve that holy purpose!
It is the adversary, and those with him, that absolutely hate and detest the blessings, benefits and the beauty of the Sabbath.
Perfect Plan and Purpose — A Unified Law and Way of Life
God is a God of perfection. He is a God of purpose and planning. He is the Author and Architect of all that is.
When He created life on the earth, He did so with a divine purpose:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecc. 3:1).
“I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?” (Isa. 45:5-10)
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isa. 45:18).
He has equally established His Word—His Law; and He has done so with purpose and perfection:
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times: (Psalm 12:6).
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-11).
“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. . . . The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments” (Psalm 111:7-8, 10).
“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160).
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11).
And so, what does all of this mean with respect to God’s Law?
James tells us that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). He is telling us that the Law (and the Word) of God (Deut. 12:32) stands as a unified whole, that we cannot add-to, nor take away from—without utterly failing, and therefore completely missing the mark of purpose that God has called us to.
Therefore, those who excise the Sabbath from the “moral law” and from the commandments that they have concluded they “should” keep, have committed an egregious error—have done violence to the whole Law—and to the fidelity of God’s Word.
The Scriptures, the Words of God, do not contradict (John 10:35). The Law, the Commandments, stand unified together.
An amazing reality is that God had the Sabbath in mind from the very beginning (Gen. 2:3). This is the very first mention in Scripture of God consecrating (setting-apart) and hallowing (making holy) anything. Creating the Sabbath, sanctifying it with a holy purpose (to worship God in Spirit and in Truth), was among the first order of business once humankind was created.
What Then, Are the Benefits to Remembering the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy?
The first, and perhaps most notable, benefit is that it helps us to know our Creator, and to place us on the path of Salvation:
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people (Isa. 56:2-7).
*Note that eunuchs are included in this passage. i.e. men who have no family, no offspring, no inheritors to carry on their name or their family inheritance. Yet God promises them a name “in His house and within His walls a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”
This text is very direct in its point. We would do well to think about it for a moment. An everlasting name in this context can only refer to eternal life! God is stating that those who join themselves to Him, who love Him and serve Him, and take hold of His covenant (which, the Sabbath itself also is a covenant: Ex. 31:16), He will “bring into His holy mountain.”
This is referring to the Kingdom of God (Isa. 2:2-4) and is a promise for those who obey God, and take hold of His covenant. He is not saying that they “earn” salvation by obedience—but He is showing that obedience, including remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy, is an essential part of keeping, laying-hold and fulfilling, His holy covenant with humankind.
(It is also important to note that, above, in reference the the eunuchs, God says “Sabbaths,” and “choose the things that please me” and “take hold of my covenant.” This means the whole package. Sabbaths—plural—means Annual Sabbaths, the Holydays, and ultimately the whole Covenant, with the understanding of Salvation and God’s whole plan of Redemption.)
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isa. 58:13-14).
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 (Isa. 66:23).
As it was done in the past, it will again be done in the future—but this time it shall be fulfilled throughout the whole world!
The great benefit will be that the Sabbath will be a hub of worship that all of humankind will share in—as they truly come to know their God, and the very purpose for their lives—finally understanding why they have been created, and how to fulfill life!
The Sabbath Identifies God’s People—And, it is Also How He Sanctifies US
Christians know that they must be led by the Holy Spirit and ”if any have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). Let us remember that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17-18; 15:26; 16:13, Eph. 1:13; 5:9, 1 Pet. 1:22, 1 John 4:6).
The fact that we are to love one another fervently is not lost on the fact that our primary times for fellowship and spiritual interaction with one another is on the Sabbath days. God’s people are recognized and identified by the seventh-day Sabbath:
Speak 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. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you . . . (Ex. 31:13-17). The whole context of verses 13-17 reveal that failure to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, is of such serious consequence that the end result is death. Consider Rom. 8:6 in this context.
What we see is that the Sabbath was not only an identifying sign, but also as a perpetual covenant for all generations. The main reason the Jewish people have not been lost from sight is due to their fidelity in observing the seventh-day Sabbath.
The only day given as a day of worship in both the Old and New Testaments is the seventh-day Sabbath. Whether Israelite or Gentile, Christians are commanded to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. This is readily revealed by what took place in the New Testament church, and as is recorded throughout the book of Acts (Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4).
One of the main reasons the ten tribes of Israel were driven from their land and lost from sight in history was because of Sabbath-breaking. And likewise for the Nation of Judah, as Nehemiah tells us (Neh. 13:17-18). The Bible also tells us:
Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. . . . I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. . . . I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries (Ezek. 20:10-12, 19-21, 23).
Sabbath-breaking was one of the national sins of ancient Israel, just like it is in our land today. Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His law does not change. As a nation and as a people refusing to take seriously the Bible command to keep the Sabbath, our nation today is destined to incur similar serious consequences.
As mentioned at the beginning of this brief article, the Truth IS available. And there have been more Bibles produced since Gutenberg than any other book. The United States possesses more than four Bibles for every man, woman and child. Yet, “remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy” is one of the most underutilized ways to truly learn and apply the Word of God!
There is no dearth for the Word of God—but it does seem there is a dearth for the hearing of the Word of God (Amos 8:11).
What is God’s perspective for those who remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy?
Just the opposite of the above is true for those who truly remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Yes, there are many commandments that all stand together. And we need to be living according to God’s way of life—completely—to be wholly pleasing and acceptable in His sight.
Yet, if we are blessed to be among those that truly keep the fourth commandment; we will have fellowship with brethren of like mind—and we will be strengthening our fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
In Malachi 3, the prophet clearly enunciates the day of the lord with “who can endure the day of his coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (Mal. 3:2). Yet this passage goes on to describe those who fear the Lord, and who speak often to one another (Mal. 3:16). Though there is opportunity for communication apart from the Sabbath day; Sabbath keeping Christians know that the Sabbath is a special time for worship and fellowship.
God goes on to say, through Malachi: “they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Mal. 3:17-18).
What are the differences “between him that serves God, and him that serves Him not”?
Is something so simple, yet profound, as remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy, part of that formula and evaluation?
Of History, and the Future: What Will Your Response Be to God’s Holy Gift?
If your dearest Friend gave you a precious gift, and asked you to remember and protect that blessed gift, would you?
Catholic scholars do not hesitate to tell us that it was “church authority” and not the Bible that established Sunday as a day of worship. Sunday, as we know, is the first day of the week, not the seventh. Cardinal Gibbons, in 1893, stated that the Church changed the day of worship from Saturday, the seventh-day of the week, to Sunday, the first-day of the week.
When he was asked if Christ had changed the day of worship to Sunday, the Cardinal replied “no.” The Catholic view was clearly stated by T. Enright, a Catholic priest, who said that the Protestants have no right to observe Sunday since it was the Catholic Church alone who changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday. He added that everyone knows Sunday is the first-day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh-day, the day that was consecrated as a day of rest. He stated that Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Bible, and when Protestants observe Sunday they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church.
Even leading Protestant clergyman do not hesitate to admit that Sunday, as a day of worship, is not authorized by the Bible. Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a Baptist, said there was a Biblical command to keep the Sabbath, not Sunday; and that the day of worship was transferred from the seventh-day of the week to the first. When he was asked where there was a record that showed this transfer, he said it was not in the New Testament. Dr. R.W. Dale, a British theologian and Congregationalist, said that while the Sabbath was founded on a specific, divine command, we can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday. D. L. Moody, a Baptist, as well as other notable Theologians, have been Sabbath keeping Christians.
There is even more amazing truth about the True Church and the Sabbath throughout the history of the past two millennia.
Every century of history records those Christians who have faithfully kept the fourth commandment. The “Church Fathers” supported the unity of the law, including the Sabbath. They also note that Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and direct disciple of the Apostle John, was martyred—burned at the stake (though there are histories that state that God miraculously protected him from this fate, and that he had to be martyred [murdered] after God protected him from the fire). His crime? Faithfully keeping the Sabbath, and the Passover (on the 14th), rather than the sun-god and Ishtar counterfeits emanating from Rome.
Throughout the centuries, even the persecuting church records the remarkable prevalence of Sabbath keeping Christians.
Of this so-called heresy they note “From Bulgaria to the Ebro, from northern France to the Tiber, everywhere we meet them. Whole countries are infested, like Hungary and southern France; they abound in many other countries. In the rest of France we find them in Armoria, Paris, Orleans, Rheims, Gascogne, etc.; in Germany, in Goslar, Cologne, Treves, Metz, Strassbourg; In Italy, at Verona, Bolgna, Florence, Milan Placentia, Viterbo, Faenza, Treviso, Bergamo, Mantua, Ferrara, etc., yea, even in the papal dominions; in the Netherlands at Arras, Cambray, etc. Edicts are necessary against them in Catalonia & Aragonia, and even in England they put forth their efforts” (Gessch, der Ketzer, I, 13,14).
Actually, in England, the Christian Churches predating Catholic intrusion, kept the Sabbath, and the Passover, for centuries. Lewis, Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Vol. 1, Pg. 29, states: “There is much evidence that the Sabbath prevailed in Wales universally until A.D.1115, when the first Roman bishop was seated at St. David’s. The old Welsh Sabbath-keeping churches did not even then altogether bow the knee to Rome, but fled to their hiding places.”
Countless of these “sects” throughout the middle-ages are also recorded as keeping the “Law of Moses”—in that they kept the annual Sabbaths and did not partake of unclean foods. They were often accused of enforcing circumcision as well as of embracing Arianism; yet, as is noted by astute historians; their bitter enemies, biased by deep-rooted prejudice, are oft our only source of information. (That they did circumcise their male children, and did not accept the trinity, or Pope, was anathema.)
Careful historians have noted their faithfulness to the Word of God, including the fourth commandment and the Holy Days, expounding their doctrine from both the Old and New Testaments; yet not being
Their own testimony, as well honest analysis by objective historians, show that they based their beliefs on both the “Old and New Testaments” and that they had their own carefully transcribed copies of the scriptures in their own languages.
The real “offense,” to Rome, was that they stated that the Scriptures, the Word of God, was their source of authority; and that they did not acknowledge the “authority” of the Pope or the Priests of the Catholic Church. This, is what ultimately led to imperial edicts against them, and even against those who allowed them into their houses—as high treason (Jones, 2,18).
Yet, there is testimony, even among their enemies, as to the true nature of these humble faithful Christians through history. History’s notes from the eighth through the sixteenth century repeatedly say that their children could expound the truth of the Gospel better than the clergy of the visible Church (and this by recorded testimony of the monks and Bishops themselves)!
The Amazing Avowals, Recorded in the Deep Recesses of History
These true Christians, who flourished in the Alps during the dark and middle ages, are credited with giving rise to Sabbath keeping Churches in England and America; though they came to us through horrific persecution and bloodshed (A History of the True Church, Dugger and Dodd). Hallowing the seventh-day Sabbath is a visible ensign of their path through history.
he historian Mosheim says “they had the utmost aversion to the dominion and discipline of the church of Rome” and they believed that “the observance of the law of Moses in everything except the offering of sacrifices is obligatory upon Christians; …they abstained from those meats, the use of which is prohibited under the Mosaic economy, and celebrate the Sabbath.” They also opposed “the doctrine of three persons in the divine nature” (Eccl. Hist., cent, 12, part 2, chap. 5, sec. 14, p. 127).
It is surprising that these histories are not better known among Christians, and especially those who recognize the Sabbath— and the value that it portends for our Faith. God desires His people to teach their children His Truth (Deut: 4:10, 6:7, 11:19).
Christ said “… I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:8). Bible dictionaries refer to “gates” as metaphorically “the access or entrance into any state.” “Hades” simply means “the grave, death.” It will never die.
What Jesus has told us, is that He did build His Church; and there will be no death for His church. There will be no entrance into the grave, or the state of death, for His church. In other words—HIS CHURCH will always be ALIVE, even unto His return.
History has recorded countless chapters of persecution against the true Remnants of God’s Church throughout the ages— starting with the brethren in the first century (Acts 8:1), throughout the intervening centuries and unto the time of the end of this world as we know it (Rev. 12:17). Religious leaders are chief human agents via Satan their god (John 8:44, Rev. 12:13). Even in the 1600s, a loving mother was burned at the stake for simply teaching her children the ten commandments in English.
History records, on every page, the horrible persecution of those who obey God and endeavor to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23). Satan and his human agents are the evil forces behind this wholesale hatred and murder (John 8:44, Rev. 12:10). It is because obedience to God is so precious that it is so hated by the adversary (Luke 11:50, Rev. 12:17; 14:12).
Nations were destroyed for not keeping the Sabbath (Jer. 17, Ezek. 20, Neh. 13) and Christians martyred for keeping the Sabbath. How can it be, that a day is so important to almighty God for His people—and is so hated by the adversary, Satan the devil?
A Blessing for You and I — For All Christians — And For All of God’s Creation
The weekly Sabbath is from Friday night at sundown until Saturday night at sundown. This is the day for observing the only time period ever commanded in the Bible as a day of worship. But perhaps even more important—our dearest Friend and Savior blessed and sanctified the Seventh Day as a day of rest—a holy Sabbath—and He rested on that day as an example to show what you, and I, and all of humankind, should do (Gen. 2:2-3). Earlier on, in this overview on the Sabbath, it was said that: “Those who remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, have staked their claim as the friend of God, and the enemy of Satan.”
Yet, do we realize that not only do we stake our claim as being friends of the living God; but He stakes His claim as our friend!
By remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy we show a unique honor and respect for our loving God and His holy way. And, in turn, He specially blesses His faithful children with peace, understanding, joy and life — all through His holy presence!
It is no wonder that those who “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” are so hated by the adversary, Satan the devil.
God has told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15; 15:10, 1 John 5:2-3). And He set a perfect example for us (Gen. 2:2-3, Phil. 2:5; 3:20, 1 Thes. 2:14, 2 Thes. 2:15-17, Heb. 13:8, 1 John 1:2, 7). Do we truly love Him and the way of life that He has given to us? Will we truly remember Him, and honor and protect our holy and sacred time with Him?
God states “…I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD” (Jer. 29:11-14).
God has shown us that rest, reflection and appreciation for that which has been accomplished, as well as reflection about purpose and the future, is an acceptable and godly behavior. As our Creator He has set that perfect example for us.
His creation is all good, which He continually confirmed and affirmed throughout creation week (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25).
But, at the end of creation week, when He acknowledged “everything He had made,” He notes it was all very good (Gen. 1:31). As we know, God Himself did not need to rest—but it is as if He took the time to reflect regarding all that He had done, and about the future that His created plan and purpose for humankind would portend — and how it would all be accomplished.
The Sabbaths are an integral part of the Way of Life—providing a holy pattern of rest (physical and spiritual rejuvenation)—a planned time designed to help all of us to be enabled to live that truly abundant life and to be enabled to fulfill the very purpose for which we have been created—and then ultimately to help us to inherit that joy and peace and true abundance for all eternity!
The Sabbaths are also the means whereby Humankind, and all we have been entrusted with, is refreshed and restored. (Ex. 23:10-12; 34:21-23, Lev. 16:31; 23:3, 24, 27-32, 39; 25:4, 26:34-35, Deut. 5:12-15, Neh. 9:13-14, Matt. 24:20, Mark 2:27-28)
Do we realize, that a loving God created us, and has given to us, a way of life —the way of living— so that our lives would be abundant, joyful, meaningful and purposeful? So we would experience happiness and health, joy and abundance, that can never be taken from us! The Sabbaths He has given to us are visible testimony that He is the One that sanctifies us (Ex. 31:24)!
The Sabbath, as we know it in this world, will continue as long as the heaven and earth remain (Matt. 5:18; 24:35), and yet all that the Sabbath portends, the inherent meaning, purpose and beauty as conveyed by the Sabbath—will remain forever.
Our Savior has given us a precious gift of holy sacred time with Him; and He has asked us to remember and keep that time holy.
The choice we have, as called children of God, is whether we will reject or neglect this precious Gift of holy communion and fellowship with our Lord and Savior; or whether we will choose to Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).