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Hidden Sabbath Truths

Stephen Bohr


Stephen Bohr

President/Speaker of Secrets Unsealed



  • December 2, 2006
    10:00 AM
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Hidden Sabbath truths: Stephen Bohr

Good morning,

Happy Sabbath to all of you. Wasn’t that beautiful? I praise the lord that he’s given us music. You know it’s a language that can express things that words can’t. and that’s why in the Bible most of the praise scenes that we find in scripture are connected with music, good music.

Before we get in to our study this morning, I would like to invite everyone to bow your heads with me and we’re going to ask the Lord’s guidance as we study together.

Father in heaven, we thank you for this beautiful sunshiny Sabbath day. We thank you Lord for the air, the fresh air that we breathe. We thank you for the privilege of being gathered here. Your people on your holy Sabbath. We thank you father for your word which is a sure guide in a world which is confused. And as we study about one of the great doctrines of scripture this morning and what it means to us personally we ask for the guidance of your spirit. Give us clarity of thought and give us tender hearts to receive the seed of truth. We thank you father for hearing and answering our prayer for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

I’ve been a seventh-day Adventist all my life. I guess you could say, a seventh-day Adventist from birth. My father was a pastor for forty one years before he decided to retire many years ago. All of my education, I’ve done in seventh-day Adventist schools. Primary, secondary, college and postgraduate. I’ve served as a minister for close to thirty five years and six of those years, I had the privilege of teaching theology in our university in the city of Medaying, Colombia. The reason why I mention all of this background is because all throughout the course of my life, not only since I started studying theology but since I actually started getting into the study of scripture. I’ve had two questions as I’ve read the book of Genesis chapter 1 and 2. And these two questions have basically perplexed me for many, many years. Until, March of this year.

Now March of this year I was traveling to Panama to organize a mission trip that our church was going to take in the month of August. And as I was traveling, I always take good reading material, I had Patriarchs and Prophets with me and of course I had my Bible. I was reading the chapter in Patriarchs and Prophets on creation and as I was reading this chapter on creation, I came to probably three lines that I had read many times before, but I had not really discerned what those lines were really saying. And that sent me on a research journey, and I want to share with you this morning the results of the studies that I’ve done since that month of March on these two perplexing issues concerning the Sabbath.

Now I want to tell you what those two issues are. Issue number one: when you read Gen 1 and the first few verses of chapter 2, you discover that the text tells us that every day of creation had an evening and a morning with the exception of the seventh day. It does not say that it was the evening and the morning of the seventh day. You know I frequently thought that maybe Moses just forgot to put that in there. But then thinking it over, I said, No, no, if God wanted it in there it would have been in there. There has to be a different reason than just that Moses forgot to put that there was an evening and a morning of the seventh day. But for years and years it perplexed, why doesn’t the Bible say that it was the evening and the morning of the seventh day.

The second question which perplexed me is the absence of any direct command in Genesis 2 for Adam and Eve to keep the Sabbath. Now I know that indirectly we can prove that the Sabbath was made originally for the human race. For example, Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. So that tells us that the Sabbath originally was made for man. We all know the Manna episode, where manna didn’t fall on the Sabbath and that took place before the ten commandments were given on Mount Sinai, so it shows that the Sabbath preexisted Mt. Sinai. We all know the text in Genesis 26:5 where we’re told that Abraham kept my commandments and my laws, so God had commandments and laws before he gave the law on Mt. Sinai. So I knew that there were indirect ways of showing that the Sabbath was originally made for man. Nevertheless, throughout the course of the years, I’ve thought how wonderful it would have been if God had just told Moses, Hey put in there, in Genesis chapter 2, Adam and Eve keep the Sabbath and all of your descendents are to keep the Sabbath from this point on. But really when we read Genesis chapter 2 we discover that every time we are told that God was the one who rested on the Seventh day. Never are we told that Adam and Eve rested on the seventh day. By the way the two points that I’m going to cover, these two perplexing questions which I believe through the grace of God, I’ve been able to find the answer for, are two of the main arguments that are used by the enemies of Adventism today against the holy Sabbath.

Perhaps, you’ve heard about Dale Retslaf. He published his newsletter, I guess you could call it, that comes out every so often called Proclamation. And two of his main arguments against the Sabbath, He used to be a Bible teacher at Monterey Bay Academy in the central California Conference and he’s left the church and now he’s lone mission in life seems to be destroying he seventh-day Adventist church particularly the theology of the SDA church. in his book against the Sabbath these are two of the main arguments that he brings out. The Sabbath had no evening and morning which means that the rest of God is open for us to enter any day of the week. And secondly, you can’t prove from Genesis that God commanded man to keep the Sabbath, you only have that command when you get to Exodus chapter 20.

Now as we examine the story of creation in Genesis chapter 1, particularly the first six days of creation, we discover that these days are God focused. God is the subject of the story of creation. We find expressions such as these more than thirty times just in chapter 1: God created, God said, God saw, God called, God made, God set them, God blessed. All of these in chapter 1. In other words, the center of focus in the first six days of creation is God. God is the one who worked the six days of creation, he did everything. Now let’s read Genesis 1:31, the conclusion of the first six days of creation, there we find the same emphasis that the first six days are all about God because God did all of the work. It says there in Genesis 1:31, “And God saw every thing that he had made,” who made it? God. “and, indeed, [it was] very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” So you notice when the sixth day ends everything that exists was made by God, God is the subject of the first six days of creation. But God is no less the subject of the seventh day. Notice Genesis 2:2, 3, and I want you to notice the number of times that God is emphasized as the subject, I’m reading from the New King James. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. Then God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he rested from all his work which God created and made.” Somehow I think God wants us to know that he was the one who did it.

Do you notice the number of times that the pronoun is used here and that the word God is used in two verses. Ten times in these two verses. We’re told that it was God who worked six days, he did it all and on the seventh day , it says here that it was God who rested. Now we need to understand what the word for rested is here. There are different words for rested in the Hebrew. The word that is used here is the Hebrew word Shabat. Where we get Sabbath from. Now Shabat in Hebrew does not mean the quality of rest that takes place, Shabat simply means to cease. You can look up the word Shabat in the old testament, you’re going to find that the word Shabat is not talking about the manner of rest, how one rests, what one does while he rests. The word Shabat simply means to cease, to stop, to suspend. So what these verses are emphasizing is that God at the end of the sixth day Shabat. At the end of the sixty day, he ceased his work of creating. It’s not saying anything about the manner of his rest, how he rested on the seventh day. It’s simply saying that when the seventh day began God ceased.

Allow me to read a statement by a scholar, this individual is well known Vine’s expository dictionary of Biblical words. He says this about the word Shabat. “The writer of Genesis 2:3 is not stressing rest from work, but rather God’s ceasing from his creative work since it was complete.” So in other words, the word Shabat the word rested does not mean the quality of God’s rest on the seventh day, it simply is describing the fact that God stopped or God ceased or he quit creating if you please. So the word Shabat means to cease. And yet we still wonder how did he rest on the seventh day. We know he ceased, okay but how did he rest on the seventh day? We want to know what did he do on the seventh day? What was the quality of his rest on the seventh day?

Well, one thing I can tell you for sure and that is that God did not rest because he was tired. Notice Isaiah 40:28, whatever God’s quality of rest was on the seventh day after he shabat, after he ceased it had nothing to do with resting from being tired. It says there in Isaiah 40:28 and it’s speaking about creation, we’re not taking it out of context. “Hast you not known? hast you not heard, the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints, nor is weary?” Does God get weary? Was he tired at the end when he ceased? Absolutely not, it says that he doesn’t faint, or he doesn’t get weary. So whatever God’s rest was on the seventh day, it wasn’t rest from being tired. After all how tired do you get by saying Let there be light? Let there be the firmament. Let there be dry land and trees and flowers, let the sun and moon and stars occupy their places, let the air be filled with birds, the skies and the waters be filled with fish. And the land be filled with living creatures. How much effort does that take? Actually, God wasn’t tired. So we ask the question how did God rest on the seventh day after he shabat, after he ceased?

Does the Bible have anything to say about this, It does. But allow me to read you first a statement from the spirit of prophecy and then we’ll go to scripture. Patriarchs and Prophets page 47. Ellen White says this about God’s rest. “God looked with satisfaction upon the work of his hands. All was perfect, worthy of it’s divine author. And he rested not as one weary, but as well pleased.” As what? Well pleased. With the fruits of his wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of his glory.

Notice, he looked with satisfaction upon his work, and Ellen White says that he was well pleased with the fruits of his wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of his glory. That was the quality of God’s rest on the seventh day. By the way, we use the word Shabat in a similar way today. For example, the prosecution presents a case in court what do they say when they’re finished? They say prosecution rests, does that mean that they’re going to go to bed? No, it means that they have ceased presenting their case. That’s what the word shabat means. But here we’re talking about the quality of God rest. See God on the Sabbath looked with satisfaction, he was well pleased with his work. Now the question is: does the Bible corroborate the manner of God’s rest as it is described by the spirit of prophecy. The answer is absolutely yes.

Go with me to the book of Job chapter 38. This is a very interesting passage where job is reminiscing about creation. Job 38:1, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understandin. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;” what’s being described in these verses? Creation, but now notice what happened at creation, notice verse 7, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” what happened at creation? What happened when God created, we’re told here that the morning stars sang. And the sons of God shouted for Joy. Were they enjoying what God had made? Of course they were, why would they be singing and shouting if they weren’t enjoying what God had made. In other words Ellen White was write when she says that all heaven kept the Sabbath. That first Sabbath because they were enjoying the works of God’s hands.

By the way, the stars of heaven represent what? The angels. And the sons of God, I won’t get into this, I’ll just mention this. The sons of God really represent the representatives of the worlds that never sinned. You can find that in the last three pages of Desire of Ages where Ellen White speaks about the ascension of Christ. So you have the two categories of heavenly beings. You have the angelic host and the inhabitants of the worlds that are singing and shouting for joy because God has created this world.

I’m going to come back to this idea about shouting for joy in a few moments. Now go with me to Exodus 31:17 for another clue on the manner of God’s rest, the quality of God’s rest. Notice, Exodus 31:17, it says here speaking about the Sabbath, “It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested [ the word there rested, is shabat, but he did more than shabat}, and was refreshed.” By the way that’s the Hebrew word Nafash, the word Nafash means life. Nafash according to those who are experts in Hebrew mean s to take a breath or to sigh. So did God only cease? No, he ceased and then he Nafashed, he was refreshed by what he was watching. Like an artist who paints a picture, has worked at it, puts the finishing touches on it and steps back and sighs. That’s Nafash. So all of the angelic host are singing and the inhabitants of the worlds are singing and God is nafash. God is taking a deep breath looking at the beautiful masterpiece that he has created.

Now there’s another text that I want us to notice. Exodus 20:11, a very interesting verse, it’s the conclusion of the fourth commandment, but there’s an interesting nuance here. It’s says there, “For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day:” I bet you can’t guess what word is the Hebrew word rested there? It’s not shabat. I’ll give you a clue, is this speaking about the same creation of Genesis 2? So why doesn’t he use shabat, why does he use another Hebrew word, Nuack. “For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and nuacked the seventh day:” by the way the word nuack is not describing ceasing it’s describing quality of rest. I’m going to read you a text in a moment on what it means to nuack. “therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” The emphasis in genesis is that God ceased the emphasis here is that God nuacked. It’s speaking about the quality of God’s rest.

Now what does Nuack mean in the old testament? Basically, it’s speaking about the quality of rest that one experiences with joy and with gladness. Let’s go to the book of Esther and I’ll give you an example of Nuack. Esther 9:17,18 the word nuack is used there. It says here speaking about the deliverance of Israel from being destroyed by Haman and by King Ahasuarus “On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the month they rested” it’s the word Nuack, same word as in the fourth commandment. And how did they rest, with long faces, fasting? Did you know the Jews were forbidden to fast on the Sabbath because the day was not a day of fasting it was a day of feasting. And so it says, “and they rested,” and how did they rest, “they made it a day of feasting and gladness.” What is Nuack? It means to have feasting and gladness. Let me ask you did God feast and have gladness at the end of creation week. It continues saying in verse 18, “But the Jews that [were] at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth [day] as well as on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth [day] of the month they rested [they nuacked], and made it a day of feasting and gladness.” Is that talking about quality of rest? It’s talking about quality of rest. The Sabbath is a day of joy. The angels sang, the inhabitants of the worlds sang. God sighed, he nafashed if you please. He nuacked, a day of feasting and gladness because he’d enjoyed the works of his hands. Wow. So Ellen White was right in her comment that God looked with satisfaction upon the works of his hands. God enjoys beauty.

Now we come to another very important point. We’re going to deal with several issues and then we’re going to put them all together. When was the Sabbath blessed and sanctified? You know all of my life until March of this year, I had assumed that God blessed and made the Sabbath holy as the day was beginning. Now as God worked six days, as the seventh day was starting, God says now this day is going to be blessed and it’s going to be holy. I was wrong. God did not bless and sanctify the Sabbath until the day was over. To me this was revolutionary. The only place that I’ve found this idea is in the writings of Ellen White other than in the Bible. And it will explain the reason why God didn’t tell Adam and Eve to keep that first Sabbath.

Now let’s notice first of all the evidence from the spirit of Prophecy then we’ll look in the Bible. Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, Spirit of Prophecy and Bible. Never Spirit of Prophecy alone, not because we don’t believe in what the spirit of prophecy says but because you can’t use the spirit of prophecy out there with people who are not Adventist. And I’ve found that the best way to present Ellen White is not give the arguments that she was a true prophet but do this enough times. Are you understanding what I’m saying. Go back and forth, back and forth. How did she know this? How did she know this? And this afternoon we’ll do it in the Daniel 11 presentation. Look she shed so much light on this. Finally it kind of dawns of people, well, it’s happened so many times, this lady must have had more than human wisdom. Now notice patriarchs and Prophets page 47. This is the statement that I was reading as I was traveling to Panama. “After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it or set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Did you catch that point. Again, “after resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it or set it apart as a day of rest for man.” And she doesn’t only say it once, she says it time and again. Allow me to read you a few other statements. Desire of Ages page 281, she says, “because he had rested upon the Sabbath, God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Set it apart to a holy use.” When did God set the Sabbath apart for a holy use? When the day ended. And then she says this, “because he had rested upon the Sabbath, God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, set it apart to a holy use, he gave it to Adam as a day of rest.” When did he give it to Adam as a day of rest? When the Sabbath was ended. You’re not with me are you? In other words, Adam and Eve were commanded to keep the second Sabbath not the first. We’ll come back to that.

My Life Today page 259, Ellen White is speaking about the Lord’s day in revelation 1:10, “ the lord’s day mentioned by John was the Sabbath, the day in which Jehovah rested after the great work of creation and which he blessed and sanctified because he had rested upon.” Why did he bless and sanctify it? Because he had rested upon it. Do you know what made every minute of the Sabbath Holy? That fact that God rested in that minute. Every moment, every second, every hour that passed God was present in every minute and finally when the last minute of the Sabbath transpired and God had rested the whole day was now holy. Because it’s the presence of God in the Sabbath that makes it holy.

Testimonies vol 4, page 247, Ellen White says, “God blessed and sanctified the seventh day because he had rested upon it from all his wondrous works of creation.” Four quotations from Ellen White saying that God rested and after he rested the whole day then he blessed and he made it holy. Now does the Bible corroborate what Ellen White has to say?

Go with me back to Genesis 2:3, I don’t know how I missed this so many years and believe me I struggled with this for years and years. Genesis 2:3, “Then God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he rested from all his work which God created and made.” Is that clear? Why did God bless and sanctify the Sabbath because in it he had rested. Was Ellen White right? She’s the only author that I’ve ever read in the Adventist church who says this. And we’ve had many good writers on the Sabbath, but I haven’t found this insight; only in the spirit of prophecy and of course in scripture.

Notice exodus 20:11 the same idea coming through, it says here “For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: therefore [what does therefore mean?] “he rested, therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” When did he bless the day and hallow it? After he rested. Notice the Sabbath wasn’t holy until the Sabbath was over. That first Sabbath.

Now let’s move to another point. Why didn’t that Sabbath have an evening and a morning? Well, let me ask you who is the center of focus in the creation story? God. Isn’t it true that this first week is God’s week? Is this God’s week, before it’s man’s week? Who worked six days? God did. Who rested on the seventh day? God. What did God rest from? From His work. Let me ask you is God still resting from his work? Yes, he is. You say he is? Yes. I’m going to read you from scripture then we’ll go to the spirit of prophecy. Hebrews 4:3, and I’m going to read it from the New international Version because it’s clearer, the syntax is clearer. Hebrews 4:3, “And yet, his work has been finished since the creation of the world.” Has God created anymore since creation week? Not according to Hebrews 4:3, his works were finished from the creation of the world.

Now allow me to read a couple statements from the spirit of prophecy. Patriarchs and Prophets page 115, Ellen White has this to say, “As regards this world, God’s work of creation is completed.” Is God still resting? Yes, so for God the seventh day hasn’t ended. You’re not with me are you? Remember God is the focus, I’m not talking about us, in a moment we’re going to get to us. But creation week is all about God isn’t it? God worked, God rested. With regards to God, is God still resting? So with regards to God the seventh day has had no evening and morning because God has created no more. You’re with me now right? Now notice, Ellen White continues saying, “As regards this world, God’s work of creation is completed.” And then she gives the biblical corroboration, she says, “for the works were finished from the foundation of the world. But his energy is still exerted in upholding the objects of his creation.” His work of creation is finished, but not his work of upholding what he created.

General conference bulletin, February 18, 1897; Ellen White has this to say, “Although the Lord has ceased his work in creating…” so is God still resting? Then the seventh day hasn’t ended for God. For God, not for us. Central focus of that first week is God. It’s God week. He worked six days, he rested the seventh, the center of focus is God. Let’s not get into us, we’ll go to the second week in a moment. We’re going to notice that there is an evening and a morning for us. But now we’re talking about God, God is the center of focus. She says, “Although the Lord has ceased His work in creating He is constantly employed in upholding and using as his servants the things which he has made.”

Some people say, well, what about John 5:17 where Jesus says the father is working even until now and I work. Well if you look at the constant, it’s not talking about creation at all. Jesus has just restored the legs of a paralytic. He’s restoring. This is not a new creation, what is he doing? He’s simply restoring the legs of this man. He’s upholding his creation if you please. So it’s not talking about a new creation, it’s talking about a work of upholding, of preserving, of conserving if you please.

Now just let me interject something, this is a separate sermon but I want to interject this idea so you’ll study it a little bit more. When is God going to cease his resting? Do you know when he’s going to cease his resting? At the end of the Millennium. When he remakes this world again in six days. Were you aware that when God make the new heavens and the new earth, he’s going to do it in six days just like at the beginning. Now where do you get that from? Well, Isaiah 66 tells us that God’s going to make a new heavens and a new earth and we’re going to go from Sabbath to Sabbath to commemorate that. In order to keep the Sabbath, you must have the previous six. Did that register? We’re going to keep the Sabbath in honor of the creation of the new heavens and new earth. In other words, God is still going to be resting until once again he creates a new heavens and a new earth and then of course we’re going to keep the Sabbath. That’s just an interjection.

Now does that mean that there’s no evening and morning for us? Of course not. You see after God made the week, then he gave it to Adam and Eve. So the second week is theirs. We know for example that the sun rises and sets on the seventh day doesn’t it? We also know that God said from even till even shall you keep your Sabbaths. So the Sabbath does have an even, or else God would say from even till even you shall keep the Sabbath. We also know that the seventh day has a numeral adjective, it’s the seventh day just like sixth day, fifth day, fourth day. If the other days have twenty four hours, the seventh day must also have twenty four hours. The fourth commandment says that the Sabbath was a twenty four hour day because it says work six and rest the seventh. So from the perspective of the week, once God gives the week to man, now the seventh day has an evening and a morning, not for God but for whom? For us. So God made this first week, he worked six, he rested on the seventh and then he gave the week to Adam and Eve.

Allow me to read you a statement from Patriarchs and Prophets page 111, Ellen White says this, “ like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God himself measured off the first week.” Can you imagine God taking the tape measure, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. His Week. And then he gives it to man and it becomes man’s week. She says, “God himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” By the way what Ellen White says is agreed to by Henry Morris, one of the foremost creationist in the world today in his book Biblical Creationism page 62, he says, “the Lord himself had worked six days then rested on the seventh, setting thereby a permanent pattern for the benefit of mankind.” And Ellen White says because he had rested upon the Sabbath, God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Set it apart to a holy use. And then she says, he gave it to Adam as a day of rest. So when did God give Adam and Eve the Sabbath as a day of rest? When the day ended.

Let’s take a closer look at it. The fourth commandment says six days you shall labor and do all your work and rest the seventh. Adam and Eve could not have kept that commandment on that first Sabbath because they had not worked six. Are you with me or not with me? You’re awful quiet out there. The commandment says work six and rest the seventh, but Adam and Eve did not work six. Furthermore, how could they keep the Sabbath holy if the Sabbath wasn’t holy until it ended? You’re with me. Give me some feedback. When did God make the Sabbath holy? When it ended. So God couldn’t tell Adam and Eve as the Sabbath began, now you keep the Sabbath. Adam would have said, what do you mean keep the Sabbath, it’s not holy yet. God hadn’t separated it. It was God who rested on that first Sabbath. Furthermore, God could not have asked Adam and Eve to keep the Sabbath without exemplified how to keep it. And that brings me to my next point.

When did God create Adam and Eve. Let’s talk about the involvement of Adam and Eve in this first Sabbath because some people are thinking, Pastor Bohr is saying that Adam and Eve didn’t keep this first Sabbath. Technically they didn’t, but they watched God do it. What day of the week were Adam and Eve created? The sixth day. So were they there when God rested on the seventh day? Did they watch him? they most certainly did watch him. You know what God did on the Sabbath? He gave Adam and Eve the scenic tour. Listen to this statement from Patriarchs and Prophets page 47, “after resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Now notice this, “following the example of the creator…” could man have followed God’s example if God had not first of all given the example? There’s another evidence that Adam and Eve were not asked to keep that first Sabbath. They were shown how to do it. You know it kind of like, you remember these legos before video games were the in thing. You had legos were you built one little piece on top of another little piece. I remember when I first bought a set of those for my kids, you know there kind of confusing, so I sat down in the living room and I took several pieces and I put them together. And then I said to my kids, now you say me do it, now you do it. That’s what God did. God did not command Adam and Eve to keep the Sabbath. He showed them how to keep it. He exemplified Sabbath observance. She continues saying, “following the example of the creator man was to rest upon this sacred day.” Why? “that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth…” did God look upon the heavens and the earth? Yes. “that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation.” Is that what God did? Yes. “and that as he should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his maker.”

It’s difficult to keep the Sabbath in Loma Linda. Or in any city because we’re surrounded by the works of man. The buildings of man, the cars of man, the polluted air of man. That’s why Ellen White says God will make nature where you can be in communion with God. Where you can see God’s greatness, not man’s greatness. It’s difficult to keep the Sabbath where man is at the center. I mean, you could probably close your eyes or you could read books. That’s good, but it’s so much more difficult. Ellen White also says this in Patriarchs and Prophets page 48, “God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man even in paradise.” If it was necessary in paradise to remember God, how much today? Have mercy. He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven that he might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon his power and goodness.” He needed a sabbath more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the creator.

Now we can understand the real reason why it is impossible for Sunday to be the day of rest. You know what I say to people when they say, Oh I keep Sabbath on Sunday. I tell them, you’re attempting an impossibility. They say why is that. I said because my Bible says that the Sabbath is the Sabbath of the Lord and do you know why it’s the Sabbath of the lord because he was the first one who kept it. So how can you keep a day that he didn’t keep. The reason why God’s calls it my holy day, the reason why it’s called the Sabbath of the lord is because it’s the Sabbath that he kept first. And you can’t keep it on Sunday because that’s not the day that God kept it. You can declare that Sunday is holy, you can go to church on Sunday, you can say that Sundays the day of rest. You can say it tell you’re blue in the face, but it will never make Sunday holy because God made the Sabbath holy by his resting and in order for us to enter his rest it must be on the day in which he rested.

Some Christians say it was the Sabbath of the Jews. For that to be true the jews would have had to be the ones that rested first. It’s not the Sabbath of the Jews. It’s the Sabbath of the Lord your God. A beautiful memorial God has given us to remember his greatness, his goodness, his love, his generosity. What a marvelous God we serve that has given us not a monument but he’s given us time. In a world where everybody talks about quality time, quality time. God has given us quality time, twenty four whole hours. The reason why the Christian world can’t accept the Sabbath is because they think the Sabbath of the Pharisees is the Sabbath of the Lord. The Sabbath of the Pharisees was a false Sabbath and I don’t know what you’ve ever thought about this. But the greatest conflicts Jesus had with the religious leaders was over the Sabbath. And Jesus attacked these leaders because they kept the right day in the wrong way. At the end time the controversy is going to be over the Sabbath but it’s not going to be over the way that Sabbath is kept, it’s going to be over the day when the Sabbath is. The controversy once again will be the Sabbath. At the end it will be a counterfeit day, in the days of Jesus it was a counterfeit way. But it will be the same issue in the end time as it was back then.

I’m supposed to end. I might aggravate Loma Linda church. can I go another two or three minutes, you give me permission. Okay good. Because I have another sermon, I just want to share this. I’m throwing out some ideas because I want you to research them. Let me say something about the Sabbath in redemption. We talked about only the Sabbath in creation. The Sabbath in redemption.

You remember the manna episode in Exodus 16? What did God want to teach in the manna episode? We always say that he wanted to teach us to observe the Sabbath. And I agree with that. But there’s something far deeper than this. You say well, what is it? Could God have taught Israel the observance of the Sabbath through the manna episode by just simply not raining manna on the Sabbath? Sure. But what happened when the israelites picked up manna say on Wednesday and saved it for Thursday? Two characteristics, it bred worms and it stank. How many of you have an old loaf of bread three or four days old and you went to the cupboard and it’s full of worms and it stinks? It doesn’t does it. It gets moldy. Yet the manna was bread from heaven and from one day to the next if it wasn’t on the Sabbath, it bred worms and stank. What is it that breeds worms and stinks? What is it? A corpse right. Now in exodus 16 we have a marvelous hidden messianic truth. You see in John chapter 6, Jesus says I am the living manna that came from heaven, and then he specifies it even more. He says, and the manna is my flesh which I will give for the world. So the manna represents the flesh of Jesus. Jesus died which day of the week? On Friday, what would have happened with a normal body on Sabbath of a person who had died on Friday? It would begin to decompose. Why didn’t the body of Jesus decompose on the Sabbath. Because he was like the manna, see his body did not breed worms or stink because he was the living manna.

Are you understanding my point? As the manna was picked up on Friday and it was perfectly fresh on Sabbath, jesus died on Friday and his body was perfectly fresh on Sabbath. By the way, this shows that Jesus was going to die on Friday and he was going to rest in the tomb on Sabbath and the apostle Peter picked this up on the day of Pentecost when he quoted Psalms 16:10 and he says, that god would not allow the Messiah to remain in the grave nor would he allow his holy one to see corruption. Because Jesus was the living manna. In fact, in that psalm it says my life will also rest in hope. Notice the idea of rest in hope. And so as Jesus at the beginning did his works in six days rested the seventh day, so in redemption Jesus said on the cross, it is finished. At the end of the sixth day and he rested from his works of redemption on the seventh day Sabbath in the tomb. And like the manna his body saw no corruption because he was the living manna that came down from heaven. So we not only have a creation reason to keep the Sabbath, we have a redemption reason to keep the Sabbath. And the Sabbath is a prophecy because it points to the future when Jesus will make a new heavens and a new earth. And we’ll be going from Sabbath to Sabbath to celebrate the creator, the redeemer, and the restorer of that which was lost.

So I hope that as we study the Sabbath that it will become more meaningful to us. Isn’t that true that many times the Sabbath just becomes a routine. We get up on Sabbath morning, we have breakfast, we get dressed, we get here late for Sabbath school. We go up for them all, we sing without even thinking about what we’re singing. We have our prayers, we pick up the offering, the service ends, we go home we have lunch, practice some lay activities in the afternoon. And then we’re dying for the sun to go down so we can get about our Saturday night activities. How many of us even think what the Sabbath means? How many of us even focus on the creation reason for the Sabbath, the redemption reason for the Sabbath. Oh it’s a great anticipation of the day when Jesus is going to make a new heavens and a new earth. No more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain. And we’ll be in the kingdom, and we’ll be able to keep it for ever in honor of our glorious wonderful creator. How many of us ever focus on that? See we have to focus on the reason for the things that we do. It’s not enough to do it. We need to understand why we do it. And then it becomes meaningful to our own personal life.

Let us pray, Father in heaven, we thank you for your holy word. We thank you father for the Sabbath of our glorious, blessed. That you would take twenty four whole hours to spend with us and sinners at that. Father I ask that you would help us to appreciate the Sabbath, and every Sabbath from now on to focus on the meaning of the Sabbath. Help us to understand that’s it all about you, our wonderful creator, our wonderful redeemer. And he who will soon restore us. Thank you for having been with us, and thank you for having spoken to our hearts and we praise your name. in Jesus name, amen.


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