7th-day Sabbath (rest)

(Lev 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.

(Gen 2:2-3) 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.

The purpose of this commandment is to distinguish God as the creator of all things.  God holds us accountable not to forget this essential truth, that He is our Creator God.  He specifically wants us to “Remember” this event in the past:

(Exo 31:17) It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

The Sabbath is a day of rest and restoration, and the Creator God is also the Deliverer God who can create us anew and restore us:

(Deu 5:12-15) ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 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. 15 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.

The Sabbath is a sign that Christ has the power to deliver us from sin and make us holy.  Jesus Christ who died to save us, created all things including the Sabbath, and is the Lord of the Sabbath:

(Joh 1:1-3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

(Luk 6:5) And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Jesus clarified that doing good, even if some incorrectly classify it as “work” is in no way breaking the Sabbath:

(Mat 12:10-12) And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it 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, and 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.”

God will bring joy and gladness. The Sabbath should not be a mournful day.

(Isa 56:6) “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—

(Isa 56:7)  Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

BIBLICAL ERA

The Seventh-day Sabbath is closely tied to the seven-day creation account in Genesis 1 and 2.  The focus is entirely upon the miraculous acts of God in creating this world.

Genesis 4: The story of Cain and Abel.

Abel brought an animal sacrifice to the Lord because that is what the Lord asked of him and it properly represented the death of Christ. Cain decided to substitute “something good” appropriate to his profession, he brought the best of what he had but it was rejected by God because God asked for sacrifice with significance, not just bringing anything which we think has value to God.

The fourth commandment is the only commandment that does not have widespread social acceptance in Christian churches today. The purpose of this Commandment is to recognize God as the creator, His principal attribute.

Genesis 2:2-3 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. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God wrote with His own finger that is described as a tongue of fire. He specifically wants us to “Remember” an event in the past:

Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.

God created everything:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Which member of the Godhead is responsible for creation? John identifies Jesus as the creator; therefore the Sabbath is the day of Jesus or the Lord’s Day:

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Earth was in a disorderly state and empty (without form) and (void) empty of life
In the first 3 days God creates order needed to support life: light atmosphere land
In the next 3 days God creates life: sky with stars, oceans, birds, animals

Side note: Anesthesia never accepted till modern times but used in Genesis 2.

Adam never had evidence or first hand experience knowing that God created anything.

In Genesis: God rested, blessed, and sanctified the seventh day:

Genesis 2:2-3 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. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

In Exodus: God did three things on the Sabbath: rested, blessed, and hallowed (made it holy)

Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.

Adam and Eve did nothing of their own works for creation, they could only rest and enjoy it with their creator. They had nothing to rest from.

Six days we will work but on the seventh day we will stop and remember our relationship with God. It is a restoration of quality time in the rat race of life for us to spend time with God

Meaning of bless – infuse with life or strengthen. God doesn’t need to be blessed, we need the blessing. God did not need to rest or take a vacation.

Jesus stopped during the creation process twice. The first time on the sixth day:

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

He again stopped on the 7th day:

Genesis 2:2 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.

The best way to understand this is using the analogy of an artist. The artist will continue to add details to a picture day after day. Every day it would look good. More details would be added each day. When there are no more details to add, the artist is done with the painting but not finished.

Then the artist signs His picture: God’s signature is the Sabbath. Adam and Eve were not tired. The everlasting God is never weary so the rest being described is a different type of restoration. Sleep restores our physical body. Rest on the Sabbath restores our relationship with God.

Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
. His understanding is unsearchable.

God and Adam and Eve rested together. Contemplated creation. Every seventh day Adam and Eve would spend rest with God.

Mark 2:27-28 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

God’s principle: Jesus does all the work and we receive the world of creation.
Jesus does all the work for our redemption and sanctification and we receive eternal life

If marriage applies between a man and woman because God ordained it at creation, then the Sabbath as ordained for a non-jew known as Adam should still apply as time God wants to spend with us.

Sabbath begins in the evening at sunset to sunset the next day:

(After Sabbath)
Mark 1:32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed

Genesis 1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Exodus 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

Leviticus 23:32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

Ezekiel 46:1-3 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. 2 The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.

Why does a week have 7 days? All other measurements have astronomical explanations. a day= rotation, month= moon cycle, year= cycle around the sun. The Sabbath alone has no astronomical reason.

The story of Nadab and Abihu teaches us that God is particular. When we present a common day as holy day do we not do the same thing? Would the common fire look and act and burn identical to the holy fire. This sin is taking something common and presenting it as holy. What does God think of taking a common day and treating it like a holy day?

Leviticus 10:1-2 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

If we are not under law but grace. Can we institutionalize adultery or any other violation of the 10 Commandments in the church?

Never once in the Bible is the Sabbath described as the day of the Jews.

Dedicating time and money to God are the hardest things to do and most often broken. If our treasure is with God, this is easy, if not, it is hard.

The Pharisees made their cultural Sabbath a yoke of bondage, filled with regulations.

God’s Sabbath was established as a day to spend with God.
Jesus broke the Pharisees’ Sabbath, the Pharisees law of bondage.
If you say that Jesus broke God’s Sabbath then the Pharisees were right in their accusations and Jesus was wrong.

23 times in scripture “The Lord’s Day in Court is the Sabbath. Never once was the first day given as a day of rest. “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day”

It was the custom of Jesus to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath

Luke 4:16 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.

Satan does not want us to remember the creator so Good Friday is remembered and honored and Palm Sunday is remembered and honored but the Sabbath is lost

The 7th day and the first-day: God’s people throughout the Bible and Jesus himself respected the seventh day.

The principle is that the genuine always precedes the counterfeit. Which day preceded the other one?

Other references: The children of Israel gathered twice as much manna on the six-day, tomorrow is a Sabbath rest of the Lord:

Exodus 16:22-23 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’”

Other references to the phrase “Sabbath of the Lord”

Exodus 16:25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.

When God is referring to Sabbath breakers, He said “how long will you refuse to obey my commandments and my laws?” – note that this occurred before Mount Sinai

Exodus 16:27-28 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?

Many references to doing no work on the seventh day:

Exodus 16:29 See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

Work shall be done for six days, 7th day holy to the Lord, put to death those who don’t keep the Sabbath. Note that this is the same penalty as committing adultery:

Exodus 31:15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

The Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel forever:

Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

Who are the Jews? Who is Israel? Paul states that all national distinctions based on genetics are irrelevant:

Galatians 3:26-28 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Being a Jew is an internal choice of serving God, not a matter of genetics:

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

The 10 Commandments that included the Sabbath commandment were written with a finger of God. Prophets wrote all of the other writings in the Bible.

Exodus 31:18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Moses in his final writings directed God’s people to remember that He intervened to deliver his people from bondage. Sabbath therefore also has a redemption purpose, and any of us who accept it will be redeemed from the slavery of sin. Redemption is not a genetically Jewish-only act, why should God’s laws and God’s Sabbath be any different:

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 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. 15 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.

The Sabbath in the Old Testament was designed to be kept by the nations other than Israel. “Nations” word means Gentiles. Goyhim. When the Sabbath is followed, then His temple is the house of prayer for all peoples, not just the Israelites.

Isaiah 56:4-8 For thus says the LORD:
“ To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
5 Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.
6 “ Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“ Yet I will gather to him
. Others besides those who are gathered to him.”

Principles of Sabbath observance: If you turn your foot away on My holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, then God will bless you. His instructions are for us to avoid ever making Sabbath a burden or from doing secular work:

Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

If the Jews had kept the Sabbath they would not have gone into bondage. Jerusalem would never have been destroyed. Sign between God and his people:

Jeremiah 17:24-27 “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the LORD, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever. 26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD.
27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.”’”

Nehemiah says that the act of doing business on the Sabbath /merchandising is why the children of Israel were defeated and went into bondage. Nehemiah closed the gates at the beginning of the Sabbath, as it grew dark.

Nehemiah 13:15-19 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions. 16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.

In the New Testament, Jesus also kept His Sabbath in His way, not according to the laws of the Pharisees. His habit and custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath:

Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

Luke 4:16 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.

Jesus taught that all of the other rules and regulations falsely added to the Sabbath were not recognized by God and expressly made the Sabbath into a burden which it was not supposed to be according to Isaiah. The Pharisees established the rules of not eating from the field and not healing on the Sabbath. Christ’s response was that “The son of man is Lord of the Sabbath” meaning that if anyone can properly interpret how to keep the Sabbath holy, Jesus had the authority. The Sabbath is made is a blessing and not as an enslaving burden:

Mark 2:23-28 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Christians think that the Sabbath of the Pharisees is the Sabbath of the Lord when as shown in Isaiah 58 the proper Sabbath must be a delight:

Isaiah 58:5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the LORD?

Isaiah 58:13-14 “ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Jesus also healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath. According to the Pharisees’ law it is okay to kill on the Sabbath or go to war but it is not lawful to heal and Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy with this very question. Jesus healed and relieved the burden of suffering on the Sabbath, the Pharisees went out violating the Sabbath by plotting to kill Jesus.

Mark 3:1-6 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

After working up to the sixth day for the redemption of man, Jesus rested on the Sabbath

Mark 15:42-43 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Blessed are those who die in the Lord. They shall rest in the Lord. (Death is rest, Jesus rested on Sabbath and then resurrected on Sunday. He observed the Sabbath by resting on the day and Satan twists this act in the mind of Christians today to say that by resting on the Sabbath He established Sunday and did away with the Sabbath)

Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

Prophecy of manna back in Exodus 16: manna collected and stored every other day developed worms and stank. These are signs of corruption normally associated with decomposing bodies. Manna did not decompose when stored from the sixth day to the seventh day.

Manna represents flesh of Jesus:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

John 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

The body of Jesus did not see corruption:

Acts 2:25-27 For David says concerning Him:
‘ I foresaw the LORD always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
. Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 16:9-10 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
. Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Jesus also stated that the Sabbath would be kept in the future by his followers. If Jesus had intended to change the day of worship to Sunday, why prophesy about a future event and mention the Sabbath?

Matthew 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Paul kept the Sabbath in Antioch with both Jews and Gentiles:

Acts 13:42-44 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

Paul also observed the Sabbath by a Riverside:

Acts 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

Paul also observed the Sabbath in the city of Thessalonica:

Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures

Paul also observed the Sabbath in the city of Corinth…all Roman / gentile cities:

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Jerusalem Council in the year 49, arguing about circumcision applying. If the Sabbath had been done away with at this point there would’ve been a major debate. Any change of the Sabbath to Sunday was not an issue because no one at this point thought up the idea.

Described in Revelation 16, major plagues at the end of time will completely devastate the earth. Creation is completely reversed and the world is without form and void and needs to be re-created. Jeremiah has a vision of the same thing:

Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth and it was without form and void and the heavens had no light (pre-creation state, atmosphere clouded)

God will create a new heavens and a new earth.

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

In this new earth everyone will go before God on two different regular occasions, every new month and every Sabbath:

Isaiah 66:22-23 “ For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD,
“ So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
. All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

Every month we will enter the presence of God to eat from the tree of life that produces a new fruit every month. Every week we will enter the presence of God to keep the Sabbath with Him:

Revelation 22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

In this new earth we will keep the Sabbath for three reasons:

1. Jesus created us (Memorial of creation)
2. Jesus redeemed us (Memorial of Jesus coming to this earth to die for us)
3. God restored and re-created us (Memorial of the second creation)

Adam and Eve saw Jesus/God create absolutely nothing. They had to take his word by faith

God first gave a positive command followed by a prohibition. God chose the exact tree and specified it. Nothing in the story stated that the tree looked any different than any of the other trees. The tree was located in the very center of the garden:

Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 3:2-3 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

The purpose of the tree was to show recognition that God was the creator and to show reverence to Him. Satan’s temptation is that you will be a God, and that you do would not need God:

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Deception is very close to the truth, and always follows after the truth.

We have no more evidence that God created the world then Adam and Eve had:

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Sabbath: mirrors the test of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.

Note that there is a positive command “six days or for your own personal use” followed by a prohibition exit, God chose the exact day, counting the syllables the Sabbath is located at the exact middle of a law of God.

In ancient covenants written on tablets, the indentation into wet clay of the seal of the King was put right in the absolute center of the tablet. This seal would obliterate some of the words of the tablet so the writing would be written on back side identically. Front side shows authenticity, back side gives all of the missing details.

The seal contain three elements (Exodus 20:11)
1. the name of the King – the Lord / Jehovah
2. the title of the office of the King – Creator
3. the territory the King administered – the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them

These elements are not found in the other commandments

Exodus 20:11 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.

God identifies his covenant:

Deuteronomy 4:13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

Written on both sides:

Exodus 32:15-16 And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets.

The purpose of the Sabbath as described in the Exodus 20 commandment is to remember that God is the creator and we are mere creatures created by Him. This is also expressed elsewhere in Scripture:

Ezekiel 20:20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’

The devil did not want to be a creature, he wanted to be God. The Sabbath points to God as the exclusive creator of all. This was his motivating thought and what he tries to spread to us:

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

God is a jealous God, God specified multiple times the seventh day:

Genesis 2:2-3 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. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Exodus 20:5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me

Idolatry is the action of worshiping something that is ordinary or trite. God made the first day of the week as a normal workday. God made the sun to serve its purpose. Worshiping either on an ordinary day or worshiping the sun is substituting something profane for something God has reserved as holy.

The issue in the last days will be the conflict between the authority of God and the authority of men when men demand worship different than God:

Revelation 13:15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

What is written on the forehead?

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The first angel brings attention to the phrase from the fourth Commandment:

Revelation 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

(Return to the Sabbaths of Leviticus 23)

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