"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
EXAMINING OUR FAITH, part 9 quotes
1) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
2) How does God and Jesus Christ want to be worshiped by their followers?
"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." Genesis 2:2-3.
The Hebrew word for “rested” used in the text is “shabath”, and it translates and means “to desist from exertion, to cease, to celebrate, to cause to fail, to keep, suffer to be lacking, to leave, to put away, to rest, to rid, to be still, to take away” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, word #7673).
Therefore upon this 7th day God ceased and desisted, rid Himself, put or took away, caused to fail and suffered to be lacking all of His powers of creation, leaving them all idle, so that He could keep this one day being still and at rest, and could focus His undivided attention upon all that He had previously created, and could then truly celebrate in His work. God was not just lying around doing nothing upon this Sabbath rest day, but was spending this day dwelling upon and with His creation.
3) God also blessed this Sabbath day. The Hebrew word for “blessed” used here is “barak”, and it translates and means “to kneel, to bless God as an act of adoration, to bless man as a benefit, to praise, to salute, to be still, to thank”; but it also means “to curse, to blaspheme” (Strong’s, word #1288).
This word “blessed” reveals that the Sabbath was made to be a day in which mankind would follow God’s example in being still and resting from all their work of the previous 6 days – just as God did from His work. Mankind were not to lie around doing nothing on this blessed rest day, but they were to spend the day in adoration and worship of God by kneeling, praising, saluting, thanking and blessing Him for all His wondrous works. This Sabbath day of rest and worship of God was actually designed to be a great benefit and blessing to mankind, because they were to focus their attention upon God and thus away from selfishly centering upon themselves.
But if someone chose not to spend this Sabbath day in resting and worshiping God, then instead of the day being a great benefit and blessing to them, it would turn into a curse to them because they would be blaspheming God by their disobedience and rebellion, instead of praising and blessing Him by their unselfish obedience and loyalty.
God also sanctified the Sabbath day. The Hebrew word for “sanctified” used in this text is “qadash”, and it translates and means “to be or make or pronounce clean, to observe clean – whether ceremonially or morally, to appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, be and keep holy, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify ones self wholly”; but it also means “to defile” (Strong’s word #6942).
This word “sanctified” reveals that God consecrated, dedicated, appointed, pronounced and proclaimed this Sabbath day to be clean and holy, and He also bid all of mankind to do the same by hallowing and keeping this 7th day holy each week. But this word also reveals that mankind were to observe this Sabbath day by themselves being clean, whether ceremonially - meaning that our body is washed clean from impurities, or morally - meaning that our life is washed clean from impurities. This meant that each person had to prepare themselves, by completely purifying and sanctifying their body (washing themselves, their Sabbath clothes, etc), as well as their lives (making sure any sins were confessed, repented, forsaken and washed away, and they were converted to God) before the 7th day of each week came around so that they would be physically and morally holy and thus would able to keep the Sabbath day holy. This reveals that in order to keep the Sabbath day holy the people must themselves first be holy, and the day before the Sabbath, or the 6th day, was the time to get fully prepared for the coming Sabbath.
But if someone chose not to completely purify and sanctify their body and spirit, thus being unprepared, unclean and unholy when the Sabbath day of rest and worship of God came, then instead of keeping this Sabbath day holy, they would defile the Sabbath!
4) As Adam and Eve were created clean and holy in both person and life on the 6th day (Genesis 2: and 3:), they were prepared to spend their very first full day of life on the Sabbath in praising, worshiping and thanking God for their existence, as well as for His great benefits and blessings in allowing them to enjoy the beauty of all of His creation. This truth reveals that the Sabbath day of rest and worship of God was given to mankind in their unfallen purity, and thus before sin had come into the world and before there was a need for a Saviour and a Plan of Salvation to save mankind. And Adam and Eve spent the Sabbath day in company with their Creator and He with them!
5) After Adam and Eve sinned, they were now cut off from God (Isaiah 59:1) and therefore needed a Saviour, as well as a Mediator before God, because they were now fallen and sinful. Since sin had now come into God’s creation, and God could no longer meet with His people in Person on the Sabbath day, was there a change made in how God and Christ wanted Their people to worship Them? No.
When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and fed them manna in the desert, they were told to gather each morning enough manna for that one day only, and any unused portion of manna became wormy and stank by the next day (see Exodus 16:16-21). But on the sixth day of the week, they were told to do something different.
“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it (work for your daily bread); but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none....therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place (rest and be still), let no man go out of his place on the seventh day (to work). So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:22-26, 29-30.
After God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and before they arrived at Mount Sinai, God told them that they were to keep the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath rest day to God and were not to do any work, and the 6th day was a day in which they were to prepare themselves for the arrival of the Sabbath. This plainly reveals that the very same 7th day Sabbath of creation, as well as the 6th day being a preparation day in getting ready for the Sabbath, was still to be followed some 2500 years after creation! Thus the need of a Saviour and a Plan of Salvation to save fallen mankind from sin and death did not require God or Christ to change the Sabbath day of worship from the 7th day to any other day of the week. The 7th day Sabbath of creation continued to occur every 7th day of the week for all those 2500 years, even though sin, the flood, as well as Egyptian bondage had occurred!
6) “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather (manna in working for their daily bread), and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” Exodus 16:27-28.
Apart from their disobedience, this passage reveals that the 7th day Sabbath of rest was not the only commandment of God, but that it was only one of the commandments of God’s law. This reveals that God’s law, which included the Sabbath commandment, were already in existence before the children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai!
Abraham himself had knowledge of these commandments of God’s law, and he obeyed them!
“And I (God) will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:4-5.
God’s commandments and laws, including the Sabbath commandment, were already in existence before the children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, because Abraham - some 500 years before the exodus, had kept these commandments of God’s law. For over 2000 years before the first Israelite walked the earth, the Sabbath law of God was already in existence! This proves that the 7th day Sabbath of God was not given and limited to the Jewish nation alone, but was to be kept by all followers of God who truly love Him, regardless of race, nationality, color or gender, because it was first established at creation by their Creator Himself!
7) After the children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, and were prepared, God proclaimed with His own majestic voice in the hearing of all Israel His 10 commandments (see Exodus chapters 19 & 20). The Sabbath was given as the fourth of these 10 commandments.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.
God began this fourth commandment with the “remember”. This again reveals that the Sabbath commandment was already in existence. But because many of the Israelites had previously forgotten it, God was refreshing their memory to never again forget His Sabbath law.
Also God revealed that the Sabbath He was instructing His people to keep holy was the very same 7th day of the week upon which He had first rested at creation! Thus shows the continuity of the 7th day Sabbath throughout some 2500 years of history up to that time.
Afterwards, God then called Moses to come up to the top of Mount Sinai where God then wrote with His own finger these same commandments on 2 tables of stone (Exodus 24:12-13, 31:18). Now instead of only being able to verbally pass on to their children the knowledge of God’s law by relying upon their memory of hearing what God, they now had His law written down on durable stone, and could refer back to this written law whenever there was any question - especially regarding the Sabbath.