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Resting in Christ – Hit the Mark — 37 Comments

  1. Curtis of the liberal amount of considerations in your article, several points came to mind. Questions that have been asked. One. How important are the other commandments than the Sabbath? For everyone, not just those that disagree over which day we keep. Two. We agree for the most part that participating in a structured church worship service, is what the Sabbath is supposed to be. The culture that you mention is a classic example. How about changes from what is "normal"? Does that create ill will among the members rather than find it difficult to be blessed as expected? Is that keeping the Sabbath Holy? I can identify.

    Amen!(7)
    • Paul, you raise some interesting questions. You suggested that participating in structured church worship service is what the Sabbath is supposed to be. I don't see it quite that way. I agree that it should be a part, but not the sole purpose. What do you think?

      Amen!(3)
  2. Hello, thank you Curtis. For the longest time I have been attending church from morning to evening thinking that is what it meant to keep the Sabbath. Time to diversify and learn more and more about God through the observance on nature. Blessings.

    Amen!(13)
  3. The Sabbath is much more than coming aside from the working week and resting and admiring and wondering at God\'s immense creation - His creative and sustaining power - as important as that is! It is also God\'s appointed memorial for us to recognize His re-generating power in Christ. Exodus 31: 13 and Ezekiel 20: 12 and Hebrews 4: 1-10 Romans 3: 21-28 That is the second and a most wonderful reason to keep the Sabbath. We should not forget that if we keep the Sabbath holy! We need to learn that quickly for the end is near!

    Amen!(5)
  4. Thanks Cults.

    Can you guys help me the meaning of Paul in Colossians 2:16?

    Amen!(0)
    • The Sabbath in Colossians 2

      More Adventists keep the seventh-day Sabbath than does any other group on earth, including Jews. So when people are taking a hard look at the Sabbath, it’s important that we provide clear biblical teaching.

      One passage that has always been important to Adventists is Colossians 2:16, 17: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

      Some see this passage as a challenge to the perpetuity of the seventh-day Sabbath, grouping it with Jewish feasts and new moons—and terming them all as “shadows.”

      Is the weekly Sabbath in play here? And if so, has it been relegated to “shadow” status?

      The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary says: “The type of sabbath under consideration is shown by the phrase ‘which are a shadow of things to come’ (Col. 2:17, KJV). The weekly Sabbath is a memorial of an event at the beginning of earth’s history. . . . Hence, the ‘sabbath days’ Paul declares to be shadows pointing to Christ cannot refer to the weekly Sabbath designated by the fourth commandment, but must indicate the ceremonial rest days that reach their realization in Christ and His kingdom” (vol. 7, pp. 205, 206). The difficulty with this explanation is that it’s circular; it rules out the Sabbath based on our own understanding of the Sabbath. That isn’t good enough. If the New Testament declares the Sabbath to be a shadow, we must be open to that.

      Adventist theologian Ron du Preez, in his book Judging the Sabbath, makes a much stronger case that “sabbath days” in this passage are, in fact, ceremonial days. Citing the chiastic structure used by Hebrew writers, Du Preez points to Hosea 2:11, which he says partitions the annual Jewish festivals into two categories: “feast days” and “sabbaths” (KJV).

      If, for the sake of argument, the weekly Sabbath was in view here, does that mean it’s been fulfilled along with the feasts and new moons? Not necessarily. Whenever we find the sequence of feasts, new moons, and sabbaths in the Old Testament, it’s almost always within one particular context: sacrifices. Ezekiel 45:17, for example, says: “It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths—at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.” This passage, and others like it, use the same key terms as Colossians 2: meat, drink, feasts, new moons, sabbaths. The context is sacrifices.

      So what could Paul mean by “shadow” in Colossians 2:17? Most scholars argue that the shadows are the feasts, new moons, and sabbaths. But a new moon can’t be a “shadow,” because a new moon had no religious significance in itself. A new moon’s only significance was its association with sacrifices. Instead, the shadow must have something to do with what all these particular days had in common: the sacrifices offered on them.

      Is there support for the idea that “shadow” refers to sacrifices? Yes. The two other New Testament references to shadows are found in Hebrews. “There are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven” (Heb. 8:4, 5). And, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. . . . Therefore, when Christ came into the world he said, ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me’” (Heb. 10:1-5).

      At a time when sacrifices were still being offered in Jerusalem (even by early Christians), Paul taught that the age of sacrifices was over. They were shadows of something better to come: the body of Christ, for which the weekly Sabbath remains an enduring symbol of our salvation—rest in Him.

      Amen!(10)
      • I have "fielded" the question many times: "What about Colossians 2:15-17?"

        There are so many great points in these verses to back up Sabbath keeping as the passages are pregnant with evidence...

        So why do so many still struggle with the verses then?

        Here's why... Time. I have come to find out that with God's Word, time spent on a paticular passage or passages can mean all of the difference between knowing God's truth, and merely echoing something you've been told...

        If you really, REALLY want to know more about these 3 verses, you will need to spend time with them...pray over them, and to simply cross reference them against the verses that they were born from...

        Keep this simple suggestion in mind:

        when people use Col 2 to defend their position of not being "judged" for not keeping holy God's seventh day, why shouldn't sabbath keepers be doing the same? I say, why should I be judged for keeping it? To many times, people use Bible verses that they may abandon the truths therein, and the bible becomes it's own lock...(locking out truth from the hearing party)

        The question in this verse is not "how can I ignore the Sabbath and not be judged by others who do keep it, but rather...as a Sabbath keeper, how can I keep from being judged by those that dont?"

        The Bible is not a quick guide for sinners to use to continue in sin but rather a slow guide for those who (through reading it and meditating on it) find that , less and less, they don't.

        No matter what the question, as a Bible believer, you must always understand, your faith needs no defending, it is it's own defence. The Bible may seem to have hard to conquer questions in it, but in reality, those questions are for the individual to seek, not for you to defend... God's truth is steadfast, the passages meant to trip you up are not a stumbling block at all, but when turned back on the accusers, is a path back to the light.

        Amen!(5)
        • By the way, I forgot to add, Colossians 2 has nothing to do with a Seventh day rest. It points to every single yearly ritualIit mentions and asks those of the Jewish (and other ritual based beliefs) not to allow the non-believers to judge them on their continuous observince of high sabbath "DAYS" and the food and drinks that came packaged within such rituals.

          Amen!(2)
  5. I feel the same way. I'm 50 years old join the church 7months ago. Things have been going well. I'm still struggling in some areas in my life, but I no for sure I'm in the right place at the right time of my life. So I thank God he new the time for me.and now is the time.God Bless you ☺☺☺ ☺ ☺ ☺

    Amen!(13)
    • Rochelle, I'm so glad to hear about your recent experience. God is always working in our behalf, even when we least expect it. We all have struggles but the closer we stay to Him, the more we study His word and spend time in prayer, the more we will love and trust Him, even when things around us are not going as we would like. Stay strong!

      Amen!(4)
  6. Thank you Brother Curtis for the reminder that there is so much more than just keeping the Sabbath.I never really thought of it that way so thanks again and God bless you,your family and your Ministry.

    Amen!(4)
    • Betty, thanks for the kind words. God always has more for us. We just have to be open and willing. I'm glad this article helped. Blessings on you and yours.

      Amen!(3)
  7. Once again we have met with the theme of which other denominations fails to aware. When we talk about sabbath to be kept Holy many people they refuse it as a special day to praise our almighty God, as He told us to rest from our own burdens.
    It is so due to what other religion teachings they have planted in their hearts. Maybe somebody can ask him/herself about those teachings they got from the time when the disciples of Jesus Christ gathered in the room for fearing to be attacked by the Romans leaders thats why they gather on the first day of the week.

    Amen!(0)
  8. Thank you for such an awesome posting. I really did need that, you hit the mark on everything I have experienced since I became a seventh day adventist. I will continue to study your view points to help me reach my mark in Christ Jesus.

    Amen!(5)
    • Tannji, we're all life-long learners in the school of Christ. Thank you for your encouraging words and I'm delighted to know you were blessed by this posting.
      Always Aim High!

      Amen!(3)
  9. Curtis if you find an empty spot, in the decades of Sabbath Keeping, that you refer to as missing the mark. I am sure you have, and the follow up is expected. So have we all. I appreciate all words of encouragement you have given those in our group that is needed. Thank you. May God be with us.

    Amen!(1)
  10. In order to keep the Sabbath holy, it is not necessary that we enclose ourselves in walls, shut away from the beautiful scenes of nature and from the free, invigorating air of heaven. We should in no case allow burdens and business transactions to divert our minds upon the Sabbath of the Lord, which He has sanctified. We should not allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character even. But the mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated. The object for which it was instituted is not attained. The Sabbath was made for man, to be a blessing to him by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble to talk of Him, to interchange thoughts and ideas in regard to the truths contained in His word, and to devote a portion of time to appropriate prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest.

    During a portion of the day, all should have an opportunity to be out of doors. How can children receive a more correct knowledge of God, and their minds be better impressed, than in spending a portion of their time out of doors, not in play, but in company with their parents? Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature, let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in His created works, and they will be attracted and interested. They will not be in danger of associating the character of God with everything that is stern and severe; but as they view the beautiful things which He has created for the happiness of man, they will be led to regard Him as a tender, loving Father. They will see that His prohibitions and injunctions are not made merely to show His power and authority, but that He has the happiness of His children in view. As the character of God puts on the aspect of love, benevolence, beauty, and attraction, they are drawn to love Him. You can direct their minds to the lovely birds making the air musical with their happy songs, to the spires of grass, and the gloriously tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air. All these proclaim the love and skill of the heavenly Artist, and show forth the glory of God. Ellen White, Testimonies Volume 2, page 583

    Amen!(9)
  11. Thanks Curtis. I look forward to your remarks every week. My father, who was an exceptional man,perceptive,intelligent and what a beautiful Christian used to take us for walks every Sabbath after we ate lunch even though we lived in the country and were serenaded by birds all day long and the majestic trees adorned the landscape every where we turned. I thank God for him every day. Continue giving us these beautiful insights.

    Amen!(6)
    • Pearl, you certainly had a blessed upbringing. Thanks for sharing that testimony. It affirms the blessings God wants to share with us through nature. Thanks!

      Amen!(0)
  12. Today, we are home with a mild illness, but contagious and our 'church family' is mainly elderly. We watched Sabbath School on an Adventist channel, had some rest for our sick bodies, but went outdoors for a while to see see our hyacinths and narcissus blooms, tulip plants and buds. We admired the forsythia, checked on the Swiss chard, nothing up there yet....why?

    Because the miracle of rebirth reminds us just as those bulbs and seeds were planted in the dark earth, some weeks ago, some months ago, and now their beautiful white, pink, yellow and purple blooms are opening up, the seeds planted in our dark hearts will also, in God's good time, bring forth something beautiful as well. And the seeds that have not yet come forth? All in God's timing, not mine.

    It amazes me how those bulbs could be in the frozen ground all winter and not be killed. That tells me that no matter how cold the people around me might be, they can be awakened to new life in Jesus too...The beauty of those blooms is just amazing. The beauty of a life hidden and grown in Jesus is too.

    The sweetness of the maple sap, boiled down and strained to remove the extra stuff reminds me that Jesus is letting me have fires of affliction that the extra stuff in me will be boiled away and His sweetness in me revealed...

    Yes, God gives us daily lessons of His love for us in nature, and for some of us, Sabbath may be the only time of the week to contemplate them. I - gratefully - live in the country, can see them daily, but even then, how often I go about my life without contemplating them? Thank the Lord for Sabbath...I come to the garden alone... God Bless!

    Amen!(6)
    • Christie, I hope you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing your observations and lessons you have gleaned from the nature around you. Those are the types of stories all of our children need to experience first-hand. These types of personal sermons last a lifetime. Thanks!

      Amen!(1)
  13. I think nothing helps you understand the Sabbath more than having your regular practice changed. For some 20 years I took part in the church Sabbath services doing a significant task until a new minister deemed that I was too old and "past it". Suddenly I was no longer a participant in worship and was relegated to the role of "seat-warmer"! And it hurt. It took me a long time to come to terms with the change, and to develop new strategies for Sabbath-keeping. I still go to church but for me the couple of hours I spend in formal church is only one of the many things that make up my Sabbath experience.

    It is easy to become disgruntled by experiences such as mine, but a willing and open mind will find that God has rich blessings if you are prepared to listen. One of the things that I have found is that I am more willing to share the Sabbath experience with unchurched folk. Sometimes we guard the Sabbath from others as though we are commissioned to protect it rather than share it.

    Amen!(6)
    • Maurice, thanks for sharing your personal story. You turned what could have been a bad situation into something possible. That's a great example for all of us, especially as we age. We often can't imagine life outside of what we usually do but your example reminds us that life continues to evolve and there's always more for us to do, even when others think we're "past it." Thanks!

      Amen!(1)
    • I've been there, Maurice. I know how you felt. I had even been told when I was younger 'your time will come' and when I got older 'your time is past'. So truly, I do know.

      Now, though is the time to start a small group. You can begin it with a handful of people - no more, and add from your community. Mentor them, teach them, bring them to Jesus. As Jesus did with the 12.

      It will grow your church or maybe even become a church plant. You will no longer be a 'pew warmer' but will once again be active for Jesus in the same way he ministered, one to one. 🙂 God bless!

      Amen!(2)
  14. Thanks Curtis for an enlightening article. In addition to spending time in nature, the Sabbath experience can be enriched by reaching out to those who are ignorant about the joy of the Sabbath rest. Reaching out to non-adventists provides an opportunity to relieve the pain of suffering humanity, the work Jesus himself often performed on the Sabbath.

    Last Sabbath afternoon, our small group went into the community, where the church is fairly new, to distribute free literature. The church members came back with various testimonies that include; praying for a berieved family, meeting people who grew up as Adventists and some who were just delighted to know that there was an Adventist group mweting in the vicinity. We also took some time praying with a gentleman who ia apparently scheduled to undergo a serious operation today. We saw the hand of God working through our little effort and we were greatly encouraged by the end of the Sabbath. We ended the Sabbath under a tree in a not so clean street corner- definitely not the ideal nature centred Sabbath experience- with our hearts overflowing with joy. These are exoeriences that refresh our Sabbath experience and leave us looking forward to the next one

    Amen!(2)
    • Khutsang, you are absolutely right. We need to make that more a part of our Sabbath experience. Really, it should be more a part of our weekly experience and not just on Sabbath. Your example of a working small group is just what they should be - action groups. Thanks for sharing and continued blessings on you and your church family endeavors.

      Amen!(0)
  15. I thoroughly agree with you Bro. Curtis and I thank you for sharing these honest truths about how we can and have been so far away from the true worship of God\'s Sabbath. I recall my very first Sabbath Days at Berean how I would be so excited about being off from work and going to church to worship with my Brothers and Sisters in Christ; but deep down I knew and definitely now know that, as you sum it up, that God\'s Sabbath is more than just that. The main thing is acknowledging his Creative Power and us being a witness of that power outside of church fellowship to others. May we all be better worshippers and witnesses for Christ. Thank you

    Amen!(3)
    • Keisha, it's just a reminder that we can never live as though we have nothing more to learn and experience. Your excitement of worshiping with your church family is/ was a good thing...just not the only thing we are to look forward to. Thanks for you comment and BTW, what Berean are you referring to?

      Amen!(0)
  16. Thanks Curtis for an enlightening article. In addition to spending time in nature, the Sabbath experience can be enriched by reaching out to those who are ignorant about the joy of the Sabbath rest. Reaching out to non-adventists provides an opportunity to relieve the pain of suffering humanity, the work Jesus himself often performed on the Sabbath.

    Last Sabbath afternoon, our small group went into the community, where the church is fairly new, to distribute free literature. The church members came back with various testimonies that include; praying for a berieved family, meeting people who grew up as Adventists and some who were just delighted to know that there was an Adventist group mweting in the vicinity. We also took some time praying with a gentleman who ia apparently scheduled to undergo a serious operation today. We saw the hand of God working through our little effort and we were greatly encouraged by the end of the Sabbath. We ended the Sabbath under a tree in a not so clean street corner- definitely not the ideal nature centred Sabbath experience- with our hearts overflowing with joy. These are exoeriences that refresh our Sabbath observance and leave us looking forward to the next one

    Amen!(0)
  17. Alleluia. If indeed the Sabbath is a Memorial of God's creation it is impossible to honor that memorial spending the whole Sabbath in church services and programs, unless some of those programs deal with Nature or the creative power of God and his Sacred gift to us.

    Amen!(0)
  18. Could we be missing the mark as a seventh-day-congregating community because we have become too focused on the observance itself rather than the ACTUALITY of what the observance only SYMBOLIZES?
    I remember times when I was absent from church and actually felt guilty (some of it self-generated, some resulting from well-intended brethren's calls). Now, I'm not at all anti-congregating as that would be anti-Scripture (Heb 10:25; Acts 16:13). However, I'm wondering out loud as to whether we might have missed the sabbath's value by missing its meaning.

    Scripture teaches that like the great symbols of circumcision (Deut 10:16; Col 2:11) and baptism (Mt 3:11,13-15; Col 2:12), sabbaths...all of them...are fulfilled in Christ (Ex 31:13; Col 2:17). I realize this is a provocative statement, but considered within the wider teachings of Scripture, this is actually very good news. Consider what Scripture says within the context of Hebrews 3 and 4. In his (I accept Paul as the book's author) lead-up to chapter 4, he warns of the dangers of the fallen human mind (Heb 3:12) and how it brings us into opposition of our Creator (Heb 3:10,13,18). He begins chapter 4 with an unmistakable reference to the seventh-day sabbath (Heb 4:4) as he is quoting Gen 2:2. He goes on to associate that first seventh-day "rest" with a later ACTUALITY (Heb 4:7-9).

    When Jesus extended the invitation found in Mt 11:28-29, it was in fulfillment of prophecy (Heb 3:5-6). God calls all humans (Mk 2:27; Rom 3:9) to "rest" in the Lordship of His Son (Mk 2:28). He calls us to the ACTUALITY of cessation of our "works" (Heb 4:10; Gal 5:19-21) and entrance into His Sabbath rest (2 Tim 1:9; Gal 5:22-24). The thoughts and desires that naturally emanate from our fallen minds, left without the Good Shepherd's guardianship (Mt 9:36), will exhaust us to the point of death (Eph 4:17-24). Hence the promise of Sabbath rest moves from "shadow" to ACTUAL, for "the people of God" (Heb 4:9).

    So, yes, it will do us good to go out and contemplate nature's Provider. Consider how a single tree...without moving...perhaps for generations, continuously extracts gallons of water and other nutrients from the same soil, sends it up it's hardened trunk to sustain leaves, flowers, fruits and us...then move on to consider how an entire forest does it! Let us enter into our Creator's "rest", then rise refreshed to praise Him in endless cycles, from liberated minds made glad with gratitude! (Ps 96:1-3)

    Amen!(2)
  19. The lord provides us with everything but we have no time to take stock of what is available for us to live life for the full

    Amen!(0)
    • Seth your observation is quite right. For many of us, it is a sad commentary, what life to the full means for the young people especially. Our society is saturated with the latest electronic communication technology that occupies probably sinful amounts of time and money in an effort to get the latest model.

      Amen!(0)

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