Sabbath Keepers. (Two Types) A Sabbath keeper is one who worships on the 7th day of the week. We call this day Saturday. There are many “brands” of Sabbath-keepers such as the 7th Day Baptist, Church of God 7th Day, World Wide Church of God, 7th Day Adventist, Davidians, etc. etc. Their names are legion.(There is a directory of Sabbath-keeping groups called “Sabbath-Observing Groups,” published by The Bible Sabbath Association, Fairview, Oklahoma 73737. My copy published in 1974 has 258 pages showing many groups, probably over 300) A good majority of Sabbath-keepers have “grown up” in that environment, that is, their parents and their parents were Sabbath-keepers. They have known nothing else. Most consist of small groups. I’ve seen the dying type of spirit in some of the meetings, they aren’t growing, they are fighting among themselves, and they are splitting over different doctrines. Although the Sabbath-keepers have many “brands,” (like the 33,000 denominational groups) they can be broken down into two groups: (1). Some worship on the “DAY” part of the Sabbath, that is, they only worship twelve hours. (2). The majority of Sabbath keepers worship for twenty-four hours, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. These people take the Sabbath instructions from the Old Covenant that which was given to the Jews only, strip it of some of its penalties, and apply it to everyone, even the Gentiles who never had the Sabbath. Some go as far as making the Sabbath a “seal of God” to identify the “his children,” that is, Christians. In other words, some Old Testament Sabbath keepers tell us that if we(Christians) don’t keep the Sabbath then we will also take the “mark of the beast” because we are not “sealed” as God’s children. TWENTY-FOUR HOUR SABBATH KEEPER. The twenty-four hour Sabbath keeper uses some of the following scriptures to prove their position: Lev 23:32 It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Sabbath.” (Of course no one points out that this was a special Sabbath in Lev 23:32, the “day of atonement”.) The next scripture they point out shows that there is a preparation day to the Sabbath, that is, Friday. Luke 23:54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Neh 13:19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. TWELVE HOUR SABBATH-KEEPER. The twelve hour Sabbath keeper looks out his window about six o’clock Saturday morning and watches the “Sabbath DAY” begin. He uses the following scriptures for his position: Ex 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath DAY by keeping it holy. Ex 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, Ex 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. (NIV) 1. The 12 hour Sabbath keeper points out Exodus 20:8, “remember the Sabbath DAY” 2. In case his 24 hour Sabbath brother doesn’t understand what a “day” is, then he will explain to him from Genesis: THE “DAY” EXPLAINED: (by the 12 hour Sabbath keeper) Gen 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gen 1:4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day. 3. The ol’ 12 hour Sabbath keeper will show that darkness is called “night” and the light part is called “day.” (Genesis 1:5) a. light = day. b. darkness = night. c. The first day consisted of an evening and a morning, two light parts of a day. That is, an evening(light part) and a morning(light part). 4. Then, he will point to Jesus who will define the period of a day: John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. (KJV) Also, there is a parable of which a farmer goes out and hires laborers. On the first hour of the day, he hires a man. He hires men to work throughout the day. At the last hour, the eleventh hour, the end of the day, he hires a laborer. The others complain that the man hired on the 11th hour received the same wages as the one hired the first hour. Matt 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. (KJV) The main point of this parable is not how long a day is, but you can see that a day is twelve hours long according to the story. Some other scriptures that split the day and night: Job 2:13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. (KJV) Jonah 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Matt 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (KJV) John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (KJV) The 12 hour Sabbath-keeper points out John 20:19. Even though it was evening, it was still the “same day.” Therefore, they say, an evening to evening Sabbath couldn’t be correct. So, should we worship on the Sabbath day, twelve hours or twenty-four hours? Or, should we be observing the Sabbath at all? Or, do the ones worshipping on Sunday, the Lord’s day, the first day of the week, worship on the Sabbath too? The Greek phrase for the first day of the week, “mia ton Sabbaton” (mention eight times in the New Testament) means “first of the Sabbaths.” (Or, as we know it, the “First day of the week”) So, now we have another question, should we worship on the 7th of the Sabbaths, and if so, should we worship only 12 hours or should we worship the full 24 hours from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday... or should we wait one day more and worship on the “first of the Sabbaths?” The Law of Moses not only had the ten commandments, but a total of 613 commandments. Why don’t those who advocate keeping the seventh day also mention any of the other 600+ commandments? Christians are to follow “The Law of Christ” and not the “Law of Moses.” I like the way the NIV puts it, (Paul is speaking here) “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. (1Cor9:20ff) The apostle Paul tells us several things here. First, he tells us that the Law (Law of Moses) is what the Jews kept. Secondly, Paul says that he isn’t under the Law. (of Moses) Thirdly, Paul tells us that the Gentiles never had the law. Search the scriptures and you will never find a Gentile keeping the Law of Moses unless you go back to the Old Covenant and find proselytes. The 4[sup]th[/sup] commandment in the Law of Moses requires the Jew to keep the Sabbath. But the Mosaic Law was “changed.” Under the New Covenant, the “Priesthood” was changed. The Law of Moses required the priest to be selected from the bloodline of Aaron. The priesthood was Aaronic. The Hebrew writer tells us because a New Priest took over, the Law had to be changed. “ For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” So, Christ changed the “priesthood.” No longer is it the Aaronic priesthood and no longer do we have the high priest nor the Levites to teach us the Law, but we have an Eternal High Priest, The Son of God, Jesus the Christ. No longer does the Jew go to Jerusalem three times a year for the festivals nor worship. Covenants. Jesus’ sacrificial death served as the oath, or pledge, which God made to us to seal this new covenant. He is determined to give us eternal life and fellowship with Him, in spite of our unworthiness. As the Book of Hebrews declares, “The word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever” <Heb. 7:28>. This is still God’s promise to any person who turns to Him in repentance and faith. Old Covenant. A. Made between God and a nation of people called Israel. Deut 5:1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. 5:2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 5:3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. (KJV) 1. Who did God make a Covenant with? With Gentile nations? 2. God made a covenant with ONLY Moses and those with him. 3. Not only did God NOT make this covenant with the Gentile nations(any nation other than Israel) AND He did not even make this covenant with the Fathers of the Jews, -- so says Moses(Deut 5:3) 4. Who where their “fathers?” (See Deut. 1:8) Deut 1:8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. (KJV) B. Covenant made with Israel: 1. See Exodus 19 and following. 2. Exodus 24:1-8: Ex 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Ex 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Ex 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (KJV) Ex 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said,Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. (KJV) 1. Covenant made with Israel. 2. Israel responded and said, “...all that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient...” 3. It does not say, all the world will follow these rules, nor does it say that anyone from any Gentile nation said to God, “all you say, we will do and be obedient!” It is an agreement between God and Israel. Not only is it an agreement between God and Israel, but it was not made with their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Notice the explicitness of whom the covenant is made with: Ex 31:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Ex 31:13 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. (KJV) Ex 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. (KJV) 5. Note again, it is the “children of Israel” that are addressed to obey God’s Covenant. 6. The Sabbaths (not just the 7th day Sabbath) were a sign between God and every Gentile believer? No, no, a thousand times no, it was sign between God and Israel throughout their generations. 7. We(Gentiles) were never expected to observe any of the Sabbath feast days or the seventh-day Sabbath. We were never delivered from Egypt, we were never taken through the desert for forty years. 8. The Old Covenant was given to a special people, Israel. It It was not given to any other nation on earth. It made them different. It made them stand out from any other nation on earth. Hear the Lord, Yahweh, the God of Israel: Deut 4:8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? (NIV) 1. God Himself tells us that only this nation, Israel, had some laws that no other nation had. 2. These laws were to be obeyed in “THE LAND.” (Canaan). Deut 4:13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. Deut 4:14 And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow IN THE LAND that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. (NIV) The Book of Deuteronomy is like a recap of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt under the leadership of God through Moses to the skirts of the promise land. In this book, God tells why He gave certain laws to be obeyed. For example: 1. Concerning slaves: Deut 15:12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. Deut 15:13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty- handed. Deut 15:14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. Deut 15:15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. a. According to verse 15, God gave them this law because it was a reminder of Israel’s own slavery in Egypt. 2. Month of Abib chosen to celebrate Passover. Deut 16:1 Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night. (NIV) a. It was in the month of Abib(our April) that God brought Israel out of Egypt. (1) God tells Israel to celebrate in Abib, the month they were brought out, (2) Then He tells them how to eat the Passover because “...you left Egypt in haste...” (3) And, then He tells them when to celebrate the Passover, and why, “...in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.” Deut 16:3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste-- so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. (NIV) Deut 16:6 except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. (This is WHY Leviticus 23:32 speaks of the Passover event and says the Sabbath, a “high day Sabbath” is to be when the “sun goes down.” That is, from sunset to sunset. Lev 23:32: 32It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath”. (4) Notice that God wants these people (Israel) to remember their deliverance from Egypt, therefore He gave them certain events to observe. 3. Laws concerning justice and pledges. Deut 24:17 Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. (NIV) Deut 24:18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. a. Again, these laws were a reminder of slavery in Egypt. Deut 24:19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (NIV) Deut 24:20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. (NIV) Deut 24:21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. (NIV) Deut 24:22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this. (NIV) b. Still, some more reminders of slavery in Egypt. Deut 5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. (NIV) Deut 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, Deut 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Deut 5:15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (NIV) c. And again, the Sabbath is another reminder of Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. This law is no different than the other “remembrances of slavery in Egypt.” Deut 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. d. Here is a promise for the Israelite that guarantees a long life in “THE LAND.” (Later, in the New Covenant, this idea is changed from “the Land” to the earth.) What is the Old Covenant? A. From Scripture, the Old Covenant is defined: Ex 34:27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. (KJV) Ex 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (KJV) 1. God speaks to Moses and tells him to write, 2. WHAT DOES HE WRITE?? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! “...and he wrote upon the tables...” What did he write on? “The tables” What does he write? “...the words of the covenant...” What Words? “...the ten commandments.” What can you conclude from this?? The covenant that was written on the tables of stone is the ten commandments. 3. Moses wrote upon the tables the “words of the covenant” and then God spells it out what these words are “...the ten commandments.” 4. Even if God did not add the words “the ten commandments” to this verse, you would still know without a shadow of doubt that it was a covenant he was writing and it was written on tables. 5. There will always be some “die-hards” who will not even believe this clear passage of scripture, therefore, God gives more proof of what the Old Covenant was: Deut 4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. Deut 4:13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. Deut 4:14 And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. (NIV) 1. Again, the covenant, the ten commandments are written on two tables of stone. 2. Also, these laws were written to be obeyed “in the LAND.” There is no Jew on earth that can not tell you where “THE LAND” is located, Canaan! This covenant was designed not for the U.S., Canada, Mexico or any other Gentile nation, only for “the Land”, Canaan. 1 King 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the and of Egypt. (KJV) 1 King 8:21 And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. (KJV) 1. 1 Kings 8:9 tells us that there was nothing in the ark except the “two tables of stone” which Moses put there at Mt. Horeb. 2. 1 Kings 8:21 tells us that there was nothing in the ark except for the “covenant.” 3. Therefore, the two tables of stone and the covenant are one and the same. The Hebrew writer sheds more light on the Old Covenant: Heb 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. (KJV) Heb 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. (KJV) Heb 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; (KJV) Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: (KJV) (Read Hebrews 9:1-8) 1. The Hebrew writer tells us that the first covenant also had laws governing worship and its sanctuary, a sanctuary on this earth. 2. He also tells us that as long as the first covenant was in force, that is, as long as that tabernacle was still standing and the priest, levites etc. were still observing the old laws such as the burnt offerings, meal offering, sin offerings, Sabbaths, etc. etc. then the way into the true holiest is not ready yet. 3. Jeremiah speaks and clears the way for a New Covenant. Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (KJV) Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (KJV) Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (KJV) 4. The Hebrew writer quotes the Jeremiah 31 in Hebrews 8:8-11. Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (KJV) Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (KJV) Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (KJV) Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (KJV) 5. Now look at this next verse: Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. KJV -The Hebrew writer says the very fact that he uses the term “new covenant” means that the first is old and is ready to vanish away, that is, to fade away! Only for those who want to hold on to the old covenant, it has not vanished, or faded away, but their hearts are blinded and they are in bondage. Brother Paul speaks to those who wish to place themselves under this bondage: 2 Cor 3:11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (NIV) 2 Cor 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 2 Cor 3:13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. (NIV) 2 Cor 3:14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 2 Cor 3:15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (NIV) 1. The Old Covenant was great and glorious, but we now have a New Covenant, which is greater. 2. Those in bondage need to let go of the Old Covenant, turn to Christ for freedom! 3. Christ came: a. He died for all men’s sins. b. He ministers to all for all time. c. He will never die as in the old levitical priesthood, He is a priest “FOREVER!” d. He came, He changed the methods and laws of the levitical priesthood as predicted: Psalms 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Psalms 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Psalms 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (KJV) Psalms 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 4. Psalm 110 prophesied of Christ, and the Hebrew writer quotes Psalm 110 in Hebrews 1:13. Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? (KJV) 5. The Hebrew writer builds an argument based on Psalms 110:4 why the law changed. Let’s look at the Hebrew writers argument: Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (KJV) Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (KJV) Heb 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. Heb 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (KJV) Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV) Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 1. The Levitical priesthood wasn’t perfect. 2. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, Moses never mentioned anything about the priesthood coming from the tribe of Judah. 3. Jesus was after the order of the Melchisedec priesthood, not Levitical priesthood, since the priesthood changed, then it is also necessary to change the law. 4. Jesus did not die on the cross to change the law, His death was a sacrificial one to save the world from their sins, but, since Jesus was from another priesthood, the law had to change according to Hebrews 7:12. 5. Why does Jesus Christ have a better priesthood than the Levitical priesthood? Heb 7:15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, (NIV) Heb 7:16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. Heb 7:17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (NIV) Heb 7:18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless Heb 7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (NIV) Heb 7:20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, (NIV) Heb 7:21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: `You are a priest forever.’” Heb 7:22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. (NIV) Heb 7:23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; (NIV) Heb 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Heb 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need-- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Heb 7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. (NIV) Heb 7:28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. (NIV) 1. The Lord, Yahweh, has sworn with an oath, that Jesus would be a priest forever. a. This fact that God has sworn with an oath makes this covenant one with a better guarantee. b. Under the Levitical priesthood, none were sworn with an oath, therefore, like other men, they died. c. Because of death, there were many priests under the Levitical priesthood. d. Jesus Christ, our high priest, lives forever! e. Jesus Christ, because He lives forever, and is our priest can save those who come to Him to the uttermost. How? He lives forever to intercede for them. 2. Jesus Christ is sinless. a. He sat down at the right hand of God. (1) A high priest under the levitical priesthood, never sat down. He always had work to do. (2) The levitical priest was either offering sacrifices to cover his own sins or the sins of the people. (3) Therefore, he always stood, indicating the sin question was never completed. (4) He even had to offer the same sacrifices year after year for the same sins, for himself and the people. b. Jesus sat down, indicating the sin question was answered. (1) Jesus sat down showing His job was complete. (2) Once for all time, He provided the supreme sacrifice. The Hebrew writer warns the “household of God” to beware of a certain problem in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. The Old Covenant Sabbath-keeper comes along and takes one verse “out of context” and makes one believe that the verse is teaching to keep the Sabbath. First, the verse “out of context”(part of the picture): Heb 4:9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;(NIV) Here in Hebrews 4:9 the Sabbath keeper has a field day with those who are weak in the scriptures. They use this as a proof text to support keeping of the Sabbath. Again, let’s examine the “whole picture.” (The “sum” of thy Word is truth. Ps. 119:160) Heb 3:7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 3:8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 3:9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 3:10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, `Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 3:11 So I declared on oath in my anger, `They shall never enter my rest.’” 1. What generation was God angry with? The ones Moses led out of Egypt. 2. After testing the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, God was fed up with their unbelief and sinfulness. 3. Because of all this, God said to them, “...they shall NEVER enter my rest.” 4. The next verse gives the “household of God”, that is, the Christians a warning. Verse 14 tells what will happen to those who give up Christ and fall away from Him. We can share “in Him” if we will hold on to Him until the end. Otherwise, we will be no different than those God was angry with for forty years in the desert. They were an example. Heb 3:12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 3:15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 3:16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 3:17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 3:18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 4:2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 1. Let’s look at the account and see why they did not combine it with faith. Let’s see why God was upset and swore that they would not enter into His rest. Num 13:1 The LORD said to Moses, 13:2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 13:3 So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 13:17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 13:18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. (NIV) 13:19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 13:20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 13:21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. (NIV) 13:22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 13:23 When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 13:24 That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 13:25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 13:26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 13:27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 13:28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” (NIV) 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 13:32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 13:33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (NIV) 14:1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. (NIV) 14:2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! (NIV) 14:3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 14:4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (NIV) 14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. (NIV) 14:6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 14:7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 14:8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 14:9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 14:10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites. 14:11 The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? 14:22 not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-- (NIV) 14:23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. (NIV) 14:24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 14:30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 14:31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 14:32 But you-- your bodies will fall in this desert. 1. This is why God swore with an oath that they would not enter into His rest. 2. They would not enter into the “place of rest”, Canaan. 3. They would die in the desert. Now, let’s continue with the book of Hebrews and see more about the “rest.” Heb 4:3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, `They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4:4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 4:5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 4:6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 4:9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 4:10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. Þ Moses could not give the children of Israel REST, Þ David could not give the children of Israel REST, Þ Joshua, when he took Israel into the promised land, (even though they kept the Sabbath in the Land) could not give them REST, (You can see this in Hebrews 3 and 4.) Þ Þ but Jesus, gives ALL WHO COME TO HIM REST, A SABBATH! Jesus invites Jews and all mankind to come to Him to find their Sabbath “rest” in Him! Matthew 11:28-29 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. God’s own Holiness and Righteousness is imputed to those who come to Jesus through faith. It will not be the keeping of days, weeks, months, or years that produces holiness. 1. The promised land was a “type” of rest, but not the “real” rest in Christ. 2. Joshua could not have given them the “rest” God is speaking of because Joshua was only taking the people into a “type.” a. If Joshua would have led them into the “place” of rest, then God would not of spoke of another DAY, but b. Even though the people of God were in the land of Canaan, and to show them that they haven’t entered into the place of rest, God spoke of another day. God said, “...there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” c. David, while in the Land, knew that God spoke of another rest for the people of God. David knew he had not entered that rest. Psalms 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. (KJV) 3. The antitype is the heavenly blessedness. 4. When a person obeys the terms of the New Covenant, he enters into a rest with God. 5. When a person obeys the gospel, He enters into the rest with Christ and is under the “Law of Christ,” not the Law of Moses. We are to bear our brothers burdens and “fulfill the Law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2). Christians are under the “Law of Christ.” Your servant in Messiah, Christ the Lord, Charles Jemeyson [email protected] San Antonio, Texas "God made the first man from dust, He made the second man from sin"