SABBATH

 

CHRISTMAS SABBATH

“I go to the manger of Bethlehem and gaze on the infant Savior.  My faith staggers, and I exclaim, ‘Is this the Son of God?’ Retiring, I track that infant’s steps along its future path.  I mark the wisdom He displayed and I behold the wonders He worked.  I mark the revelations He disclosed, the doctrines He explained, the precepts He taught, the magnanimity He displayed.  I follow Him to Gethsemane, to the judgment-hall, and then to Calvary, and I witness the closing scene of wonder.  I return to Bethlehem and, with the evidences my hesitating faith has thus collected, I exclaim, with the awestruck and believing centurion, ‘Truly this was [is] the Son of God!'” (ref#135, Dec 25th).

Merry SABBATH Christmas

Merry SABBATH Christmas.

The Psalter Hymnal, (Pittsburg, PA: The United Presbyterian Board of Publication and Bible School Work, (c)1927)

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SABBATH

CONCLUSIONS

“Man imitates the pattern of God’s work and rest in the sabbath cycle of days (Ex. 20:8-11) and years (Leviticus 25). The sabbath points forward to the rest that Christ achieved with his resurrection and ascension (Heb. 10:12-13), and which will be fully manifested in the consummation (Rev. 22:4-5)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2635, “History of Salvation in the Old Testament: Preparing the Way for Christ” [Gen. 2:3]).

“So instead of wasting time on that endless quest for life, you have been invited to enter God’s rest for the rest of your life. Rest in your identity as his child. Rest in his eternal love. Rest in his powerful grace. Rest in his constant presence and faithful provision. Rest in his patience and forgiveness. Rest” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec. 8th).

“…the Sabbath is a way of remembering and expressing the truth that God is our creator and deliverer and sanctifier….our work neither creates, nor saves, nor sanctifies….All things are from him and through him and to him. Lest we ever forget this and begin to take our strength and thought and work too seriously, we should keep one day in seven to cease from our labors and focus on God as the source of all blessing” John Piper (ref#169).

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land…” (Isa 58:13-14 NIV).

“Is it going too far to say, that if our nation repented of its sin in this matter and returned to the old path of Sabbath observance, we would again become the leading nation of the world? In the light of this promise of Isaiah, I believe that great blessing would follow, blessing far beyond our expectations. But though the nation does not return, let us as individuals, and as a church, put this promise to the test and we shall find the Lord faithful” C.E. Hunter (ref#171).

SABBATH

SABBATH BREAKING: WARNINGS FROM NEHEMIAH

The prophet, Nehemiah, was instructed by the LORD to warn the people. “He reasons the case with them… and shows them that Sabbath breaking was one of the sins for which God had brought judgments upon them, and that if they did not take warning, but returned to the same sins again, they had reason to expect further judgments…” Mathew Henry (ref#18, [Neh 13:15-22]).

“At the heart of Sabbath-breaking is idolatry, having other gods before the true God (Exodus 20:3). The basic…spiritual manifestation is…subtle and dangerous. It is putting anything above God: money, a job, a house, or even a spouse! If anything becomes more important than God, idolatry is committed. Thus, if in the weekly observance of the Sabbath we do anything that becomes more important to us than our relationship with God, we have broken the Sabbath and committed idolatry….We must make a very real distinction between the Sabbath and the other days. The Sabbath was ‘made for man,’ as Christ points out (Mark 2:27), but that does not mean mankind has the authority to use it for his own purposes—rather, God made it on man’s behalf, for his benefit. The seventh day still belongs to God, and He shares it with those whom He has called and sanctified. We have a key responsibility in esteeming the Sabbath in our conduct, in our conversations, in our attitudes, and even in our thoughts. By entering into this covenant with God, we have been entrusted with the knowledge and significance of this day, but we have also been warned, as stewards of God’s truth, to be very careful with it” David C. Grabbe (ref#201).

My youth was influenced by “blue laws”—no shopping, no eating out on Sundays. Our family’s church attendance was so regular that I remember with glee the one Sunday there was a miscommunication with the churchmen and the boiler was not stoked so church had to be called off. Dad never farmed on Sunday even if it was a perfect day to combine the wheat. All these Sunday-only events set the day apart making it perfect for remembering GOD.

“Blue laws, also known as Sunday laws, are designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest. Most blue laws have been repealed in the United States, although many states still ban the sale of alcoholic beverages or cars on Sundays” Wikipedia (ref#202).

Is there a modern-day prophet who will cry against the repealing of the blue laws?  “This breach of the Sabbath was that which let in upon them al the waters of God’s wrath” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Jer 17:21]). Is there still time to save our nation, or will we succumb to GOD’s wrath as the Old Testament Jews?

SABBATH

SABBATH BREAKING: WARNINGS FROM JEREMIAH

“When we devote ourselves to [God] service and worship, meditating on His excellency, magnifying and praising His mercy, and invoking His holy name, we then hallow this day and give unto God that which is God’s” Ezekiel Hopkins (ref#184).

The prophet Jeremiah was instructed by the LORD to warn the people (Jer 17:19-27).

“Thus says the Lord, “Pay attention for your own good, [and for the sake of your future] do not carry any load on the Sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem” (Jer 17:21 AMP).

“…the ruin of the Jews attributed to the breach of the Sabbath; as this led to a neglect of sacrifice, the ordinances of religion, and all public worship, so it necessarily brought with it all immorality. This breach of the Sabbath was that which let in upon them all the water of God’s wrath” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Jer 17:21]).

“Apparently the Sabbath day was kept negligently. The country people were in the habit of coming to Jerusalem on the Sabbath to attend the temple service, but mingled traffic with their devotions, bringing the produce of their fields and gardens with them for disposal. The people of Jerusalem for their part took (Jer 17:22) their wares to the gates, and carried on a brisk traffic there with the villagers. Both parties seem to have abstained from manual labor, but did not consider that buying and selling were prohibited by the fourth commandment” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Jer 17:19-27]).

Do we today carry on business on the Sabbath? Do we advocate our wares on Facebook on Sunday? Or do we even advertise in church? For years I have made sure I had a few business cards in my notebook in case someone might ask me about my blog.

O FATHER, forgive us; the desecration of Your holy day starts so unintentionally. Forgive our nation’s sin for which we are partakers ever so innocently. We will most surely suffer Your wrath if You do not help us!

SABBATH

REST IN GOD – KEEPING THE SABBATH HOLY

A good summary of the biblical principles of keeping the Sabbath holy is posted on the sabbathtruth.com web site (see the post below). I’d recommend this site for further study.

“…While this list of Bible principles on keeping the Sabbath holy is not comprehensive, it should help you as you search the Bible to learn how to be like Jesus and “do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22

  • The Sabbath is a day to cease our creating, working with the creation, and appreciate what God has done in the world and is doing in us. Genesis 2
  • The Sabbath is a time to lay our burdens down and rest. We should not do any servile work on the Sabbath. This includes our entire family, even our servants and beasts of burden and strangers who live among us. Jeremiah 17; Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5
  • The Sabbath is an holy convocation. We should meet and worship with others. Leviticus 23
  • We should be reverent and show God that we love, honor, and respect His authority. Psalm 89:7, Habakkuk 2:20
  • The Sabbath should be a day of delight and rejoicing, a day which we forsake our thoughts and words for God’s thoughts and words. Isaiah 56, 58
  • The Sabbath is a time of healing. Matthew 12, Mark 1, 3, Luke 13, 14
  • We are not to buy or sell on the Sabbath. Nehemiah 13
  • The Sabbath is a time to do good and visit and comfort the sick. We should do spiritual work on the Sabbath, serving others. John 5
  • The Sabbath is a time of prayer. Acts 16:13
  • The Sabbath is a time to reason with others about spiritual principles, and for ministers to teach the word of God. Acts 17:2, 18:4, 11
  • Elaborate food preparation is to be done on the day before the Sabbath so that there is no baking or heavy cooking on the Sabbath. Exodus 16
  • The Sabbath is a time for Singing. Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16, Psalms 92 is called the ‘Sabbath Psalm’” (ref#173).

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HOW THE SABBATH SHOULD BE KEPT BY BISHOP J. B. RYLE

“Ryle was a 19th-century Anglican pastor. He was born in 1816. When he died in 1900, he was relatively unknown outside the Anglican Church in Britain. But since Ryle’s death, his books have slowly grown in popularity. Writing a tribute to Ryle in 2002, J.I. Packer noted that Ryle’s books had sold more than 12 million copies and had been translated into at least a dozen languages; the numbers continue to climb….1 “A hundred years later,” wrote his biographer, “we can see that there were few more influential evangelicals in the Victorian era than Bishop Ryle.”2 Ryle was a contemporary of Charles H. Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, George Mueller, and Hudson Taylor. When Ryle was 15, Charles Darwin graduated from Cambridge. His was the age of Dickens, the American Civil War, and a British Empire on which the sun never set” William P. Farley (ref#203).

“I propose,…to show the manner in which the Sabbath ought to be kept….My desire is simply to state what appears to be in the mind of God as revealed in Holy Scripture…One plain rule about the Sabbath is that it must be kept as a day of rest. All work of every kind ought to cease as far as possible, both of body and mind….Whatever, in short, is necessary to preserve and maintain life, whether of ourselves, or of the creatures, or to do good to the souls of men, may be done on the Sabbath Day without sin” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“The other great rule about the Sabbath is, that it must be kept holy. It is not to be a carnal, sensual rest, like that of the worshippers of the golden calf, who ‘sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play’ (Exodus 32:6). It is to be emphatically a holy rest. It is to be a rest in which, as far as possible, the affairs of the soul may be attended to” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I see no harm in a quiet walk on a Sunday, provided always that it does not take the place of going to public worship, and is really quiet, and like that of Isaac (Gen 24:63). I read of our Lord and His disciples walking through the cornfields on the Sabbath Day. All I say is, beware that you do not turn liberty into license—beware that you do not injure the souls of others in seeking relaxation for yourself—and beware that you never forget you have a soul as well as a body” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I do not tell anyone that he ought to pray all day, or read his Bible all day, or go to church all day, or meditate all day, without…cessation, on a Sunday. All I say is, that the Sunday rest should be a holy rest. God ought to be kept in view; God’s Word ought to be studied; God’s House ought to be attended; the soul’s business ought to be specially considered; and I say that everything which prevents the day being kept holy in this way, ought as far as possible to be avoided” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I want every Christian to be a happy man: I wish him to have ‘joy and peace in believing,’ and to ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ I want everyone to regard Sunday as the brightest, cheerfulest day of all the seven…” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

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RESTING ON THE LORD’S DAY IN HOPES OF THE GREAT REST TO COME

“I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob” (Isa 58:13-14). In that way is the Sabbath to be sanctified — withdrawing the mind from temporal things, abstaining from all secular work and fleshly gratification, not allowing ourselves that liberty of speech as on other days, but setting our affections on things above, performing holy duties, and rejoicing in what that day celebrates (Psalm 118:22-24). Then shall we be lifted above this world, anticipate Heaven, and be favored with blessed foretastes thereof. The saint should be most in his element when he is wholly at leisure to joy in the Lord” Arthur W. Pink (ref#216).

“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9). In our glorification, we will finally and fully rest from our sin and the weariness of laboring in a creation that is suffering the effects of the Lord’s curse. Resting on the Lord’s Day is an anticipation of that glorious reality and a means by which we can live in the present that life we will enjoy fully in the future” (ref#215).

“…the new-born heart lives habitually above. Its whole employ flows in a holy course. But when the Sabbath comes, God is not only mixed in every thought, but God and His work alone are present. The Scripture is the only Book. Things heavenly are the only converse. God’s service is the one concern” William Law (ref#214).

“The Sabbath…provides leisure to gain grace” William Law (ref#214). Sabbath, in the end, isn’t something to be observed but something to be celebrated” R.C. Sproul, Jr. (ref#213).

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THE SERIOUSNESS OF KEEPING THE SABBATH

“If you value your lives, don’t do any work on the Sabbath….” (Jer 17:21 CEV).

Take heed to yourselves; the Hebrew is, Take heed to your souls, intimating to us that the sanctification of the Sabbath is a great thing, where in the welfare of our souls is concerned” Matthew Poole (ref#112, p550, [Jer 17:21]).

“This message has life-or death consequences. The Sabbath is a day of ceasing from work, thus a time for physical and spiritual renewal and a gift to mankind” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1406-1407, [Jer 17:21]).

“Earth, spoiled of Sabbaths is a rapid road to hell” Henry Law (ref#214).

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A SIGN OF THE COVENANT

“Blessed is the man who refuses to work during my Sabbath days of rest, but honors them; and blessed is the man who checks himself from doing wrong” (Isa 56:2 TLB).

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the Sabbath And holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isa 56:6-7 NASB).

“Keeping the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant” The NIV Study Bible (ref#96, p1099, [Isa 56:4,6]). “Covenant union with God defines the true people of God and their true worship” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1343, [Isa 56:6]).

These Scriptures in Isaiah 56 convey to us our part of GOD’s covenant with us—“the duties which men owe to God…” Matthew Poole (ref#112, p454, [Isa 56:1-8]). We must prepare ourselves if we are to be included in the covenant and benefit by it. We are to avoid evil (v 2), keep justice and do righteousness (v 1).

“The Sabbath is a covenant sign that represents a lifestyle of devotion to the Lord, for it requires the practical recognition of every week around him” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1342, [Isa 56:2]).

We are not only instructed to keep the Sabbath, but be “resolute and constant in so doing; that not only begins well, but perseveres in it”  Matthew Poole (ref#112, p455, [Isa 56:2]). The Sabbath keeping “is an eminent part and the bond of all the rest” to GOD’s covenant (ref#112, p454, [Isa 56:1-8]).

If we desire the blessings of GOD we need to make the Sabbath rest part of our every week. “Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God’” (Ezek 20:20 NASB).

SABBATH

THE SABBATH OF REST – SINCE TIME BEGAN: UNTIL TIME ENDS

“…the Sabbath entered Eden by man’s side. In its origin, it stands the firstborn of all ordinances. It is a portion of primary law. Its date precedes the date of sin. Away with the vain thought, that it is a short-lived flower of ritual field”  Henry Law (ref#214).

It arose not as a ceremony among ceremonies. Sinai was not its birth-place. The wilderness was not its cradle. Therefore Calvary is not its tomb. “It is no passing rite. It is the transcript of Jehovah’s mind. It shines a jewel in the high crown of moral law” Henry Law (ref#214).

It is God’s first command. The Patriarchs kept it. Sinai preached it. The holy tables gave it central place. The holy Ark encased it. The Jewish church revered it. Prophets enforced it. Jesus upheld it. The Apostles sanctioned it. The Christian church throughout all time has prized it. The prophetic finger still points to it as a last-day blessing. Is. 66:23. Eternity waits to be an eternity of Sabbath” Henry Law (ref#214).

“Jesus comes Himself. The mighty God instructs in human form….’The Sabbath was made for man.’ Mark 2:27. This is a mighty word. It looks backward, and forward. It seems to say, It always has been, for man always had need. It always shall be, for man will always need. Thus Jesus decks the Sabbath with undying freshness….It must march on, until time is lost in one Sabbatic rest” Henry Law (ref#214).