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If Jesus Is Our Rest, Do We Still Need a Weekly Sabbath? — 19 Comments

  1. Great article you are correct that keeping the sabbath is the right thing to do . Don’t get me wrong I love keeping the sabbath it’s God’s gift to us to rest from daily work and worries about earning our salvation; but here The Sabbath rest in question in Hebrews 4 is a person not a day it’s “Jesus” who says I am the way the truth and the life and I am the door : no one comes to the father but through me. “Today” is the day of salvation signifies that The day we receive Christ and confess that he is our Lord raised from the dead we can rest confidently on his finished work for our salvation. Every sabbath I’m reminded of that.
    The warning about disobedience is a warning about rejecting Jesus.
    Many people keep the Sabbath but have no assurance of their salvation because they don’t rest truly in Christ.

  2. So true, Paul even told the saints of Corinth:

    1Co 6:11 MKJV  And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    Praise the LORD, every Sabbath reminds us that He not only imputes but also imparts His righteousness to us.

    This is the essence (DNA) of the Everlasting Covenant:
    Knowledge: reveals His true Character to us
    Justification: forgives our rebellion
    Reconcilation: makes peace with us
    Sanctification: makes us holy

  3. Abraham was a Gentile man of God and the God of the Universe declared Abraham righteous because he believed God way before Abraham knew the 10 Commandments including the fourth one of the Seventh Day Sabbath rest as they were given to Moses on Mount Sianai thousands of years later. And yes, while we still need the rest of the Fourth Commandment, this rest is nothing without the rest of the Salvation of Jesus in our lives and hearts.

    • I have discovered some fascinating information. Noah was a direct descendant of Adam through Seth and Abraham was a direct descendant of Noah through Shem. But even more interesting is that because many of them lived for about 900 yrs it is possible that the story of Creation and the 7th day that the LORD blessed could have passed directly from Seth to Noah's father Lamach and from Noah's son Shem to Abraham's father Terah. Gen 5:1-32, 11:10-26.
      Moses was a direct descendant of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob and Levi
      We have been told that the law of God is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of His divine love and wisdom. Patriarchs and Prophets pg 52.3
      I believe that the LORD had been revealing His Character to the descendants of Adam long before He inspired Moses to record the events we read in Genesis, which included this:
      Gen 26:2-5
      2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, .... I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.
      I believe that Abraham set up altars wherever he went to worship the LORD on His special day that He had blessed and sanctified.

      • So, Shirley Debeer, why would the Apostle Paul go on to say in Hebrews 4:4, "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."? In a certain place? Somewhere else (I am now doing what Paul did here) Paul himself says about the 10 Commandments and mentions several but leaves out the fourth and one or two others. And how can it be that in 400 years of Egyptian captivity the Israelites could have remembered all of those 10 commandments so that God did not have to give them to Moses on two tablets of stone etc. and etc.? And what are you trying to claim here about Abraham keeping the 10 commandments etc.? Did not Abraham brake those when he took his maid to try to help God fulfill the promise to him that he would have a son? And what about when Abraham told his wife to tell the Heathen King that she was his sister etc. and etc. did not Abraham here break the commandment that says to not "Bare false witness...?" I believe that Paul in Hebrews is trying to say that the rest of the Salvation of Jesus for us is way better than the rest of the Fourth Commandment. I was a SDA for seven years and did not experience the true rest of Jesus until I learned principles of the "Divine science of the Prayer of Faith" that EGW mentions in page 257 of the book Education. The rest of Jesus is way better than the Fourth Commandment Sabbath rest. And these two rests are not in anyway the same at all for even Paul goes on to say in Hebrews that not even Joshua gave God's people "rest," (and they had the fourth commandment then on two tablets of stone) and Paul here mentions Jesus' rest as being "another day."

        • The judgment seat Paul mentioned in 2Cor 5:10 is not a future event but a living experience with Christ moment by moment. It makes us an ambassador, and empowers our witness. It is the experience of the Sabbath rest and our mission.
          Sabbath in Jesus is not a day, judgment is not an event. The day Sabbath takes on a bigger experience when the daily judgment in Christ is real. My conviction all week long is ambassador, on the 7th day it is simply worship and rest.

  4. Well said, William. As Ellen White asked, if God's law is written on our hearts, will it not show in our lives? And of course the Sabbath is a part of that law that is written, first on stone, then on our hearts.

    The weekly Sabbath is wholly commemorative, although its potential symbolic significance does include our rest in Christ. However, Hebrews 4 is not about the Sabbath, and that is consistent with your article.

    • OK, R.G.White, why then would EGW say that "We will often (fail) in our efforts to copy the Divine Pattern."? And also that Sanctification is the work of a lifetime? and also that "The closer we come to Jesus, the more faulty we will appear in our eyes because we now see clearly our own imperfections in contrast to His Perfect Character. Yes, God's law is written in our hearts because of His Son Jesus in our lives. But it will take a lifetime and "often failing to copy that Divine Pattern," on the way to God's eternal Kingdom. And yes, it will show in our lives even that way because the unsaved do not even show it in their lives this way at all.

  5. Very well written and said William thank you. And as far as what the Pastor was saying, about Jesus as our rest, is He not also our example? So if Jesus kept the Sabbath and rested in His Father on the Sabbath before the cross, then according to Hebrews 9: 14-17, how could the covenant or testament be changed afterwards, when it’s death that seals a Will or covenant and nothing can be changed?
    Heb 9:
    14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
    16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
    17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

    Therefore there remains a true day of rest, which was created from the foundation of the world, which is the seventh day.
    And since God tells us that the first six days are for work and labor, then they are the ones of salvation of works, and are not resting in full obedience. But I must say, as Paul says in Acts 17: 30 God over looks ignorance.

  6. When mankind was created at the end of the sixth day, they entered directly into God’s presence on the Sabbath day having had no material part in the work of creation. They spent the day with God “resting” in the Garden of Delights in his presence. The tragedy is that some time after, mankind chose to believe the lies of the Devil about God’s character, becoming slaves to the Devil (a cruel, demanding task master).

    After God tore Israel his first born son from the hands of Pharaoh (a cruel, demanding task master) he brought them to the land he had promised and asked them to enter into his presence that they might enjoy rest (Sabbath) in his land of delights, a land flowing with milk and honey. The writer to the Hebrews makes the point that they refused to enter his rest because they did not believe God and the revelation of his character, and as a result, their dead bodies littered the wilderness.

    With this foundation, the writer will bring us to a decision, “today.” After his death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ (our high priest) entered directly into the presence of God in his most holy place and sat down at God’s right hand waiting (“resting” in God’s presence) for his enemies to be made his “footstool.” The questions are: Are we willing to follow him into the presence of the Father and find rest? Are we willing to come boldly before our Father’s throne of grace to find help in our time of trouble? Or will our dead bodies litter the wilderness, which is this world, outside of his promised rest because we refuse to believe God’s revelation of his love in Jesus Christ and enter into his presence? Will we follow the Lamb wherever he leads?

    • It’s funny you mention Pharaoh, it was just yesterday that I saw a connection between Pharaoh and the Pharisees, who both had the people of Israel in bondage of works only in different ways and they could not truly enter in to the rest God had for them, because of their unbelief. And the more miracles Jesus preformed before them the more their hearts were hardened. Here is the statement that speaks of the Pharisees but yet the first line was true for Pharaoh and the plages as well against the false gods they worshiped.

      “Every miracle that Christ performed was a sign of His divinity. He was doing the very work that had been foretold of the Messiah; but to the Pharisees these works of mercy were a positive offense. The Jewish leaders looked with heartless indifference on human suffering. In many cases their selfishness and oppression had caused the affliction that Christ relieved. Thus His miracles were to them a reproach. – {DA 406.4}
      That which led the Jews to reject the Saviour’s work was the highest evidence of His divine character. The greatest significance of His miracles is seen in the fact that they were for the blessing of humanity. The highest evidence that He came from God is that His life revealed the character of God. He did the works and spoke the words of God. Such a life is the greatest of all miracles. – {DA 406.5}

  7. William’s blog and the comments posted to it have been thought provoking. Here are some of mine.

    The Sabbath commandment is like a strict babysitter of little boys who ensures that they make it safely to school and back home everyday. As with the babysitter, the commandment keeps us from getting into trouble until Christ comes into our hearts and gives us true rest. This is so that we can be justified by believing (trusting) in his faithfulness. (Galatians 3:24.)

    It is clear to me that Jesus calls us to a much higher way to life than that to which we are accustomed to walk. (Matthew 5:21, 27, 33, 38, 43.) When the religious (of whom I am one) persecuted Jesus for delivering a bed-ridden paralytic from Satan’s thrall on the Sabbath, he said this to them (I paraphrase):

    You do not have His [God’s] Rest abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He has sent. You “keep” the Sabbath, for in it you think you have eternal life. Yet the Sabbath is witnessing of Me, but you will not come to Me that you might have life. (John 5:38-40.)

    There is a difference between finding rest (sabbath) for my soul in God’s loving presence and “keeping” the Sabbath commandment. Without trusting in the faithfulness of Jesus and acting accordingly, all my “keeping” is nothing but sin. (Romans 14:23b.)

  8. Thanks, William for your exposition. God's word concerning the weekly Sabbath rest is indelible. I'll continue to keep/celebrate the weekly Sabbath because I've got a strong conviction concerning its loving purpose, sacredness and blessedness.

    I pray for God's conviction for those who struggle with the truth of the weekly Sabbath celebration/observance.

    We cannot assume to accept Jesus in our lives when the basic tenets of the scriptures are trifled with. Isaiah 56:1,2 is very clear concerning this.

    God bless us all.

  9. Jehovah's Commandments are a transcript of His Character. He promised to inscribe every one of them in our hearts. If we love Him they are written there.

    The evil one hates Jehovah's Commandments; especially the fourth one and would do anything to get humans to despise it. He is a subtle wily foe.
    What is it about the fourth that there is such an attack and disrespect from the forces of darkness?

    In times like these we are to "keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus". Rev. 14:12

    I thank God for this blog.


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