Why a seven day week.

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Prophecy, Shared Thoughts, Study!, Uncategorized
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It is truly sad that a day of rest can cause so much unrest amongst believers. I personally believe the lack of understanding what the Sabbath represents to the Church is the reason that it is often surrounded by so much confusion to the point of contention and mutual condemnation by both Sabbatarians and Sunday worshipers. Certainly with a God with whom all things are possible, creation could have been accomplished in one or two days or even drawn out to ten to twelve days.

So why the seven days? Is there some wisdom and knowledge in the answer to that question that is beneficial to believers? I think so; I also think a lot this debate between Sabbatarians and Sunday worshipers is of the flesh and many times out right pride. Having said that I know I too now stand on a slippery slope for electing to put forth the conclusions of my personal studies regarding my views why God created a seven day week, as well as offer a possible meaning and purpose of the seventh day Sabbath. However, my hope is not to make anyone change their day of worship, rather to share my own appreciation for God’s wisdom in all things. Faith is conviction functioning by love and love will always have posture of humility in its service if it is a righteous and godly love.

My first hope is to establish a point of agreement about the Sabbath, that it, like the ceremonies of the Old Testament, represents something specific. If we can all agree on that then we have a mutual point of understanding from which to move forward from. Building on that point, it may be noteworthy to recognize how most believers readily acknowledge that the ceremonies and sacrifices of the Old Testament were actually prophetic actions. Prophetic action is simply a term noting something done to signify a future event. Perhaps a simple New Testament example would be that of a certain prophet, named Agabus in Acts –

Ac 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

When it comes to the sacrifices of the Old Testament established by God, we do well to recognize how they were set forth to proclaim the coming crucifixion of Jesus . . . for He, as our Passover Lamb, was the true Lamb without blemish (sin) and first born. Therefore, the guidelines given by God concerning the Passover lamb was it was not to be eaten raw; but the whole of it was to be roasted with fire. This fire represented the judgment Jesus Christ would go through for us, as it was necessary for our Passover Lamb to pass through judgment for our sins. However, in regards to partaking of the lamb, the Jews were commanded not to let any of the lamb remain in the morning. What they could not consumed physically, they were commanded to burn completely with fire. This represents how we are to consume, or accept, all of Christ, and not just those parts we favor. Example being, we all want him as our Savior, but few as their Lord.

Furthermore, clear instructions were given that the Passover lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. These can represent the “persecutions” true followers will have to endure for their commitment to Christ in “sincerity and truth.” They were commanded to eat in haste with their loins girded, shoes on their feet and their staff in their hand, these all representing the need for us to diligently seek God while He may be found, being prepared and ready to go wherever He would send us.

One of my favorite dramatic ceremonies gloriously animating Christ’s crucifixion was the drink offering.  For its preparation there was the crushing of the grapes which represented the violence of the trail and scourging of Jesus. The lifting up of the cup represents the lifting up of Jesus on the cross and the emptying of the cup’s precious contents onto the ground being the emptying of Christ life and the spilling of His blood. What glorious prophetic action! Just as these ceremonies and sacrifices represented what was to be fulfilled in Jesus’ atonement for humanity. As all these ceremonies, oblations and rituals represented something specific; likewise the weekly Sabbath’s also represents and points to something as well.

But first, we need to establish the Sabbath as something apart from all the other Jewish “high days.” We know it says in Colossians 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Most immediately think these “Sabbath days” are the weekly Sabbath, but they are not. These were the “high day” Sabbaths similar to that mentioned in John 19:31 which were set apart from the weekly Sabbath and are separate from the weekly Sabbath.

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

For a better understanding consider these verses in Leviticus 23:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

In Leviticus it is recorded how God told Moses that there were to be “Feasts . . . holy convocations,” which as we noted, have prophetic purpose in relation to the death and sufferings of Christ. God also reminds Moses in verse three of the Forth Commandment, to remember the seventh day Sabbath as a holy convocation on which they were to rest and do no work. It was these feast days which Paul referred to as “sabbath days” when writing to the Colossians church. These “sabbath days” were the high holy days which, just like on the seventh day, there was no work was to be performed on (except Passover).

For the sake of endeavoring to be thorough, please consider these following verses from Leviticus 23, or at least the bold sections –

4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.
13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.
18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.
23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.
29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32 It 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.
33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

At this part of the chapter, I feel it is profitable to inject for in the next two verses we will see a definite distinction made by God between these previous mentioned feasts days and the weekly Sabbath. Due to the length of verse 37 many people miss the distinction, however a careful reading of the first part of each verse will aid in it being seen most clearly. Note the first part of verses 37 and 38, “These are the feasts of the Lord . . . Besides”, or separate from the weekly “Sabbaths of the Lords.” Verse 39 introduces the establishing of 1st and 8th days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as “sabbaths,” or high days as seen above in John 19:31.

37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
38 Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Another biblical example that lends light to what the Sabbath represents is the “type and shadow” of the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt’s bondage and their entering into the promise land. Egypt and Pharaoh represents the world and Satan. As the Jews were in bondage in Egypt, so are we before we come to the Lord; we are in bondage to sin and therefore subject to the god of this world. For this reason God sent Moses unto Pharaoh to demand that God’s people go free. Moses in this case is an excellent type/figure of Jesus. Pharaoh was not willing to let God’s people go until the spirit of death slew the Egyptians firstborn. This represent how it was not until the Passover Lamb was slain that the wages of sin was pacified for those to whom the blood was applied and “death,” having been satisfied, was obligate to pass over God’s people.

Furthermore, the crossing of the Red Sea is likened to water baptism in I Corinthians 10:1 & 2. The following of the Cloud represents being led by the Spirit of God. The eating of manna and drinking water from the rock represents daily communion with and partaking of Christ. The crossing of the River Jordan which separated them from Canaan represents the passage through death into heaven, for as the Bible says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” Many have heard the song “Michael rowed the boat ashore,” but many young believers don’t recognize the song is about God sending His angel Michael to carry His saints across Jordan, the river of death, to God’s promised “rest” for His people.

In Hebrews 3:7-19, Christians are warned about hardening their hearts to God’s voice. It explains how the Jews believed the evil report of the ten spies and therefore refused to go and take the Promised Land.  As a result of their disobedience God said, “…your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known My ways. So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.”

Being reminded of God’s wrath against those who disobeyed, we then are told, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” In this we see New Testament scriptures confirming how the promised land of Canaan represented God’s “rest” and the focus of the Promise Land and “rest” continues in Hebrews chapter 4.

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

This is a clear New Testament warning that Christians too could “come short” of God’s “rest” if they do not “mix” faith with the hearing of God’s word. In verse 3 there is also an introduction of the “seventh day” on which God rested after the “works were finished from the foundations of the world.” The New International Version translates it this way, “And yet His work has been finished since the creation of the world . . . and on the seventh day God rested from all His work.”

It is clear through Hebrews the Promise Land is compared to that “rest,” and both are connected to God’s “rest” on the seventh day which was first put into effect after the work of creation was completed. This reinforces  an important part of the forth commandment, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work . . . for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (NIV Exodus 20:9,11).

Many fail to fully ingest the first part of the commandment,  to labor and do ALL our work. In light of the admonition in Hebrews it would appear that no one has a right to God’s promised rest if they are not willing to do the work God has purposed for them to do. Certainly, without question, our labor unto God is only acceptable if it is an obedient labor of faith. However, even Jesus confirms that responsibilities precedes rights –

Re 22:14 Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

In Genesis we see that God established the standard for us to follow in that He completed His work in six days and then rested the seventh. Therefore God has given mankind six days to complete all of his work that he might have right to enter into God’s rest. There is more to this than many believers readily see or churches even teach. Remember why the Jews perished in the wilderness and how their disobedience provoked God to wrath? Reconsider Hebrews 4:1, 2 again, how because the Jews refused to do the work of faith and conquer the Canaanites they could not enter into the Promised Land’s “rest.”

(NIV) Heb 4:5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

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.

However, since there are some yet to hear the Gospel, the time of preaching continues even today. As for those who heard it first, they forfeited its benefit because of their disobedience. This next verse is important because it clarifies that God established, or set, a specific day.

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.”

Verse 7 is a quote from Psalm 95, a hymn written by King David long after the conquest of the Promise Land by Joshua. It was a hymn for the Sabbath written as praise to God and an admonition to the people of God gathered on the Sabbath saying “Today.” As with all scripture this hymn written under holy unction to encourage God’s people to have faith in Him and to obey His voice. Psalm 95 is a witness that David knew that the geographical Promise Land was merely a prophetic paradigm of the ultimate “rest” God has promised His people. This is clear by the follow words in Hebrews –

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later [through David] about another day.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.

A fitting translation of verse 9 would be “there remains a keeping of the Sabbath-rest for the people of God,” and is so, then the Holy Spirit through Hebrews was warning the converted Jews to remain faithful to do the work of God. Even while under heavy persecution and He reminds them they can be more than over comers if they mixed faith to God’s word through obedience.

10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore; make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

Sadly, many believers have misinterpreted these scriptures as to saying we are to cease from the work of the flesh and in order enter into God’s rest. While such a statement has truth in it, that we need to cease laboring in the strength of our own flesh, such interpretation necessitates a neglecting of the entire text from 3:7-9. Hebrews chapter 4 is not an exhortation to cease from fleshly work, but rather an admonishment to complete the work God has given us to do through faith by the enabling of His Spirit. Listen also to the words of Peter –

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The whole counsel of the Gospel in I peter and in Hebrews chapter 4 has been to mix faith with God’s word and obey it. That’s why Hebrews says in 4:7, “make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” The King James translation states it this way, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest . . .”

This message of faith working is found in Paul’s words to Timothy, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing,” (KJV 2 Timothy 4:6-8). Those who will love Christ appearing are those who faithfully loved Him and endeavored to keep His sayings.

John 14:23 . . . If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.

Now as we have noted how the Fourth Commandment directs us to work six days, and Hebrews chapter 4 also tells us we are to labor to enter into that rest; certainly that “rest” will not be fully realized until Christ returns. However, Peter warns us regarding Christ’s coming that, “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” He said the scoffers are only scoffing because they are “willing ignorant” because they have not sought out the intended message of the scriptures.

“By the word of God” Peter said we understand “the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: [as revealed in scriptures concerning Noah] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word [Scriptures] are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” This is why the Apostle Peter encouraged the people to give heed to the scriptures for they are “a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed.”

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.

Peter, while addressing the return of Christ, encourages the reader  to be mindful of what was written by the prophets concerning the Lord’s return and then later in verse 3:8 he says, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Some people presume Peter is just rationalizing an apparent delay of Christ’s return. They interpret Peter as saying, “Time with God is different then time is with us. A day, a thousand years, doesn’t matter to God. He is eternal.” But Peter wasn’t trying to rationalize anything; He was trying to shed light in regards to Jesus’ return. He wanted to people remember that when interpreting OT prophesies given in regards to Christ and His return, that a “day” represented a thousand years . . . and there is such a prophecy is found in Hosea.

Long before the Jewish leaders ultimately rejected Jesus and He told them their judgment was coming, the Prophet Hosea prophesied to Israel, ” For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early,” (Hosea 5:14,15).

In the next chapter of Hosea, we see Israel reasoning about their returning to the Lord. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3).

This is the passage Peter was considering when he said, “be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” as he knew the Lord was not going to return for “two days”, meaning two thousand years. Also, we can see prophetically where the Jews will acknowledge their offence in the later part of Revelations 11:13, “…and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” These events take place at the conclusion of the three and one half years ministry of the two prophets in Jerusalem just prior to the Lord’s return. At which time the Millennium reign of Christ begins with His church. Those who were faithful to Him in this life will be resurrected to a life eternal with a position of ruling and reigning with Christ to the time when the meek will inherit the earth. The millennium is the “third day” of Hosea 6:2.

When considering the biblical accounting of time, Christ came and died around four thousand years after creation. I know there have been many time frames generated, but only one can make prophetic sense according to scriptures. If we were to apply Peter’s interpretation of a day being a thousand years, and let’s call each of these thousand years a millennial day (for lack of a better term), then Jesus came during the forth millennial day unto his people, but His people did not receive Him. Therefore they brought God’s judgment upon themselves and this is what we see in Hosea chapter 5.

After two more millennial days Christ returns to establish His kingdom on earth with His people. Jesus told the Pharisees who tried to find fault with the disciples and Him for pick corn on the Sabbath that it was a day made for man, and not man for it. Likewise, the seventh millennial day is for the Church to receive honor with the Lord as those who worked out their salvation during the other six millennial days. Thus we can see how a millennial week has been predetermined by God for humanity to work out there salvation and the final purging of sin from God’s creation.

After the final millennium, the scriptures are fairly silent about what further plans God has for His bride. Nothing is said about what will be after the final purging of Satan, sinners, and sin itself from God creation; nothing other than from then on we shall forever be with the Lord and He will be all in all. Amen.

Therefore, the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, both sanctified and hallowed by God from the very first Sabbath, is an continual prophetic symbolism of the time when God will honor all those who by taking full advantage of His mercies and grace, labored for His name sake and worked out their salvation with fear and trembling. Again, as Jesus said, “The Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath.” This is the time when God honors those who labored to honor Him. But . . . since the Millennium has yet to come, “there remains a keeping of the Sabbath-rest for the people of God.”

Peace.

Comments
  1. Kurt Bresler says:

    Hey William, I always thought that Christ himself became our sabbath because we rest in him. We cease from our own works when we find we cannot by works enter into the kingdom so the way we find passage is by accepting the Grace of God in Christ thus we rest in Christ awaiting our eventual glory with him. When we cease from our works it doesn’t mean that we stop doing things what it means is that now we can work in Christ having that rest in our souls that we do not have to purchase our salvation by our own work. Thus we rest in Christ as our Sabboth because we are in him and will forever be in him, we rest because we are in a place where we are assured of our salvation by our obedience to follow the shepherd who doesn’t lose any of his sheep and who knows how to get them in and out of the gate. So even though your message is about a larger idea of the Millenial Sabboth which I believe is the eventual climax for all and is in alignment with Scripture. For all Christians, Christ is our present and forever Sabboth. That is why Christ said that the Sabboth was made for man not man for the sabboth. Christ was made for man in the sense that he was made sin so that we might be made righteous We cannot work to be made righteous we can only cease from our work and rest in the sabboth which is Christ, Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden is light, Working for our Salvation is not possible, however being obedient to Christ is demanded, we can rest in Christ because he has given freely to us something we could never afford by all the work we could do in multiple lifetimes. However losing our Salvation is possible by disobedience and doing Spite to the Spirit of Grace.

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    • William E. Males says:

      Hello Kurt, Perhaps it is best I address some of your points separately.

      First, you comment, “I always thought that Christ Himself became our Sabbath because we rest in Him.”

      This is a very popular teaching made on faulty assumptions and not upon line upon line, precept upon precept, scriptural teaching.

      First, look at Jesus own words –

      Mt 11:29 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.
      30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

      Are these words calling us to labor . . . or to cease from labor when He tells us to take His yoke upon us? Compared to laboring under the burden of sin, the commandments of God are not grievous and truly the burden of honest labor is light. Those who toil with Christ toil in righteousness, and for certain they do indeed find it rest unto their souls.

      But when do the scriptures say we shall fully realize this “rest?” –

      2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.

      But as I shared in the article, the admonition in Hebrews is undeniably clear on two counts. First, the possibility of falling short of reaching our final goal of rest, and secondly, let us labor with Christ towards that end.

      Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
      11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

      Next, regarding you comment, “We cease from our own works when we find we cannot by works enter into the kingdom, so the way we find passage is by accepting the Grace of God in Christ thus we rest in Christ, awaiting our eventual glory with Him. When we cease from our works it doesn’t mean that we stop doing things, what it means is that now we can work in Christ having that rest in our souls that we do not have to purchase our salvation by our own work.”

      While I can find areas of agreement with you in the latter part regarding the insufficiency of “works” in exchange for salvation, however the first part of ceasing from our own works for rest is not scriptural.

      What we do see clearly is how the “works of the law” are insufficient and how they have ceased to be required by God because they were only prophetic actions established to proclaim the coming passion of Christ. To continue in the works of the law and to sacrifice a lamb after Christ’s death would literally be a prophetic crucifying Christ afresh and putting Him to an open shame. That is why New Testament scriptures teach us about “the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” These dead works mentioned are not transgressions of the moral law; rather they are the ceremonial parts of the law, the types and shadow which proclaimed Christ up until His coming. Now our confidence is faith in God’s provision of the Lamb.

      Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
      6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open sham
      e.

      Many people want to apply Ephesians 2:9 “works” to any and everything a believer can, might or could do. However such definition is wrong, both according to the witness of other scriptures and the witness of the context of scriptures it is presented.

      Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

      These are not just any kind of “works,” these are those specific works spelled out in the ceremonial law that the Jews were used to having a confidence in, which is clearly seen in the following verses –

      Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
      12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

      Paul goes on to clarify what kind of “works” were done away with because they were now as Hebrew says, dead works. –

      Eph 2:14 For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
      15 Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain [the Jew and Gentile] one new man [the Christian], so making peace;
      16 And that He might reconcile both [the Jew and Gentile]unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

      Jesus is said to have “slain the enmity” that was in “the law of commandments contained in ordinances” that created a “middle wall of partition between” Jews and Gentiles. Because it was weak in that it was the offering of the flesh of animals, bulls and goats which could not remove sin. Nowhere does Ephesians 2:8,9 remove works of faith however rather it affirms the necessity of it that we partake of this grace, the atoning blood of Christ THROUGH faith. Faith is the vehicle whereby grace is given to they who obediently acknowledge the will of God . . . as did Abraham.

      This is the witness of other scriptures as well –

      Ga 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the WORKS OF THE LAW, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the WORKS OF THE LAW: for by the WORKS OF THE LAW shall no flesh be justified.
      19 For I through the law am dead to THE LAW, that I might live unto God.
      21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by THE LAW, then Christ is dead in vain.

      Ga 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be CIRCUMCISED, Christ shall profit you nothing.
      3 For I testify again to every man that is CIRCUMCISED, that he is a debtor to do THE WHOLE LAW.
      However, though as Paul taught to his “brethren . . . them that know the law” in Romans 7, the law is now dead and they are free from it and are now to be married to Christ, to serve Him.

      Consider also Jesus’ parables concerning the talents and the pounds in Mt 25:14-29 and Lu 19:12-27. Reflect as well on the laborer’s in the vineyard in Mt 20:11-15 and the two sons who were told to go work in the field, Mt 21:28-31.

      There is no way away from the truth of the scriptures, faith “works” and works are “doing” something, and doing is considered to be necessary “fruit” in the life of a believer by the mouth of Jesus.

      John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
      2 Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
      3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

      They were not clean because Jesus said to them “Be ye clean,” rather they were clean because they were faithful to obey what He told them. Listen to His prayer about such to the Father –

      John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.

      Look back at what Jesus says about us “abiding in the vine” and bearing fruit –

      John 15:7 If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
      8 Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.
      9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.
      10 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.

      First, are we really hearing what Jesus is saying in verse 10? A simple restructure may give proper impact of Jesus words that are qualifying His promise –

      If ye keep My commandments . . . even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, [then] ye shall abide in My love; even as I have aboded in His love.

      The same Greek word translated “abide” is the same word translated “continue” in verse 9. Notice also the word “if” in verses 7 and 10 establishing a qualifier, or condition. We see the same in Johns first epistle –

      1Jo 1:6 IF we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
      7 But IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
      [THEN] we [God and us] have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      This is the witness of scripture –

      1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

      Ro 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
      21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
      22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
      23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      The gift of God is that we no long have to be yoked to our sin and laboring under is relentless burden of guilt and shame as slaves to sin. Now we can be free to take the yoke of Christ upon us and learn of Him and labor with Him in good works.

      Consider also the following witness of scripture –

      Mt 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
      38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
      39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
      40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

      1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

      1Ti 5:9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
      10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

      1Ti 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
      25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

      Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

      Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

      Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

      Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
      10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

      Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
      26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
      27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

      Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
      15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
      16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
      17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
      18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
      19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
      20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

      1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

      Re 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

      Re 22:14 Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

      Lastly, I would wish to address your statement, “For all Christians, Christ is our present and forever Sabboth. That is why Christ said that the Sabboth was made for man not man for the sabboth. Christ was made for man in the sense that he was made sin so that we might be made righteous.”

      Nowhere does scripture say Christ is our rest, rather that He will give us rest. Nor can it ever be proper to say Christ was “made” for us in any sense, rather scriptures are clear we were made for Him and His purposes.

      Regarding Christ being made sin, that is one of the most offensive conclusions that has been deduced by men seeking truth from scriptures. I will first submit the words for your consideration of Adam Clarke, “Had our translators attended to their own method of translating the word in other places where it means the same as here, they would not have given this false view of a passage which has been made the foundation of a most blasphemous doctrine; viz. that our sins were imputed to Christ, and that he was a proper object of the indignation of Divine justice, because he was blackened with imputed sin; and some have proceeded so far in this blasphemous career as to say, that Christ may be considered as the greatest of sinners, because all the sins of mankind, or of the elect, as they say, were imputed to him, and reckoned as his own.”

      Jesus became our SIN-offering, He never was made “sin.” This is evident upon careful examination of scriptures, both OT and NT.

      II Cor. 5:21 For He hath made Him to be sin [hamartia], for us, who knew no sin [hamartia]; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

      The proper order of this verse in the original is such –

      For He made Him who knew no sin [hamartia], [who was innocent,] a sin-offering [hamartia] for us.

      The Greek word [hamartia] occurs here twice. In the original Greek the first place [hamartia] is used it means “sin,” or transgression and guilt. Thus of Christ it is said, “He knew no sin,” and was innocent. This clearly means Jesus did not know sin by personal experience.

      In the second place in the original Greek [hamartia] is used it is to signify a sin-offering, or sacrifice for sin. This same greek word, [hamartia], is the same word the used to translate the Hebrew words or as well as . Both these Hebrew words signify both sin and sin-offering in a great variety of places in the Pentateuch.

      The translators of the Septuagint translated these Hebrew words to [hamartia] in ninety-four places in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, where a “sin-offering” is meant; and where our own modern versions translates the word not “sin,” but an “offering for sin,” or “sin offering.”

      However, like Adam Clarke stated, had the King James translators attended to their own method of translating the word as it was so in other places and translated it so here, they would not have given this false view of a passage of Jesus becoming “sin” personified.

      Some examples of where this Greek word translated merely as “sin” in II Cor 5:21 was use in the Septuagint and correctly translated “sin-offering” are listed below.

      Ex 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering [hamartia].

      Ex 29:36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering [hamartia] for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

      Le 4:3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering [hamartia].

      Le 4:8 And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering [hamartia]; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

      Le 4:20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering [hamartia], so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.
      21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering
      [hamartia] for the congregation.

      Le 4:24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering [hamartia].
      25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering [hamartia] with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.

      Le 4:29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering [hamartia], and slay the sin offering [hamartia] in the place of the burnt offering.

      Le 4:32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering [hamartia], he shall bring it a female without blemish.
      33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering
      [hamartia], and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.
      34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering
      [hamartia] with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:

      Le 5:6 And he shall bring his trespass offering [hamartia] unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering [hamartia]; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
      7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering
      [hamartia], and the other for a burnt offering.
      8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering
      [hamartia] first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder.

      To interpret [hamartia] to mean “sin” makes way for a most blasphemous doctrine, that our sins themselves were imputed into Christ instead of Christ bearing them away. This teaching then further proclaims that Jesus was then forsaken by God and required to become the object of God’s indignation and wrath, because Jesus was blackened with imputed sin. This verse was even once paraphrased, “God accounted Christ the greatest of sinners, that we might be supremely righteous.”

      One must take care not to confuse “sin” with the punishment due sin. Jesus Christ suffered in our place. He died for us and bore our sins, meaning the punishment due us because of them. Jesus Christ did this in His own body upon the cross, not in hell. God laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, meaning, the punishment due to them.

      Isaiah 53:4 Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
      5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
      6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
      7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.
      8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.
      9 And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
      10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see H is seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

      Therefore, God made Jesus to be a SIN-offering for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He made His soul an offering for our sins.

      One must ask, if our sins were indeed imputed into Christ, why then must we still be washed in His blood? Because His blood is our propitiation, our sin offering.

      2Co 5:21 For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (KJV)

      2Co 5:21 For He has made Him, who knew no sin, a sin-offering for us; that we might become the justified of God, by Him. (Oracle Translation)

      While some may wish to imply Jesus is our Sabbath and therefore it was done away with, they do so without the sure foundation of scriptures, rather only by misinterpreting them. There are only two verses I can readily recall where Jesus and our rest are spoken of together. One is of course where we are called to labor under His yoke with Him and He will give us rest for our souls that have been burdened by guilt and shame of sin.

      The other is Paul’s exhortation to believers to persevere knowing God will give us rest when He comes and rewards those who obeyed not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
      7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
      8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

      There were no comas in the Greek, and sadly they can seriously alter our perception if we allow them to.

      7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.
      7 And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.

      Peace.

      William

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