When you look at the cross, you see the heart of Jesus.
Quotes of the month:
Darkness if not an entity; it is only the absence of light.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus again said, “I am the Spirit of thought filled with radiant light.”
The Revelation of Peter, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures
The Passing Parade, Saturday, or Sunday
by Frank Paul
My father once mentioned the concept of the Passing Parade. He explained it as a commonly known fact or facts in today’s day and age, but eventually another generation will be coming along that has not heard of those commonly known facts and you must tell them to keep the knowledge and information alive; thus, the Passing Parade of the next generation.
With that preface in mind, I will revisit the Saturday or Sunday Sabbath question.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He has rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:2 – 3.
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11.
“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 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 and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:16 – 17.
Let us not forget the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.”
God actually starts out this commandment with the word “Remember,” as He knew we would tend to forget it and He wanted to emphasize “remember.”
For we Christians, this article could end here, and quite frankly, it should. It is God’s Commandment; we follow it, period. God rested on the seventh day of the week, not the first. Man changed it to the first day of the week, God or Jesus never changed it to the first day of the week.
Often the argument is that this Commandment is only for the Jews. Well, Jesus was Jewish, the Jews were the first Christians. The apostles were all Jewish. Jesus made it a point to go into the synagogues on the Sabbath Day to preach. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 – 28.
Paul in all his travels and teachings always made it a point to enter the synagogue on the Sabbath to preach to Jews and Gentiles. Throughout all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Sabbath is kept; and except for Luke, they were all Jews and certainly the first of the Christians, often referred to as Messianic Jews.
The Sabbath was made for man; to rest, to reflect on God’s creation, to be thankful, and to worship the creator. And to worship Him on the day that He set apart. Jesus Himself even gives credence to the Sabbath still being in effect when He says He is Lord also of the Sabbath.
If the Sabbath were only for the Jewish people, that would mean that Jesus is only for the Jewish people; and we know that is not the case. When Jesus spread His word to the Gentiles, the Sabbath was not abandoned nor changed, just as all His other commandments were not abandoned nor changed. No man has the authority to make a day holy; only God does.
Constantine on March 7, 321 A.D., in his fervent push to change the pagan ways of the Roman Empire to Christianity in the last few months of his life, decreed that Sunday is the new Sabbath, and that is the day you should rest and refrain from work. Quoting Pastor David Pack, author of ‘Saturday or Sunday, which is the Sabbath’, “Popes, cardinals, bishops, theologians, historians, professors, and the Vatican itself, have candidly admitted there is no Biblical basis whatsoever for Sunday observance,” and he literally wrote an entire book on this topic, which I read in my research to do this article. The very first thing God created after man in Genesis was the Sabbath. The Sabbath was never merely for the Jews or ancient Israel. The Sabbath was made for man. First for Adam and Eve in the Garden, and for all other men ever after. It would make no sense for God to make a day of rest on the first day of the week. Sabbath begins at sunset Friday and ends at sunset Saturday, the seventh day of the week, after the week’s work is done.
James 2:10 – 11, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,” which would include the Fourth Commandment. It has been Roman Catholicism that has pushed forth and preserved the change to Sunday, and all other denominations just followed suit because it was customary at the time and no one really wanted to rock the boat or delve that deeply into the subject. Everyone just figured as long as we are still resting and worshipping God on a given day, what is the difference. Well, the difference is that God and Jesus never changed the Fourth Commandment, man did; which again, should end all discussion about this topic.
Satan must really hate the Fourth Commandment, when all men (and I use “men” generically as the Bible does; it includes everyone), spend an entire day praying, worshiping God, and thinking about the beauties and wonders of creation, and he really wants to replace it with another day so that we all unwittingly are breaking one of God’s Commandments. Baal is the sun god and Sunday is Baal’s day, not God’s Day.
Matthew 5:17 – 19, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus faithfully honored and observed the Sabbath. He is our example in Sabbath-keeping. Luke 4:16, “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and stood up for to read.” Looking to the future, Jesus wanted His disciples to continue experiencing the joys of true Sabbath-keeping. Matthew 24:20 - 21, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the Winter, neither on the Sabbath Day, for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Jesus was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, an event that took place in 70 A.D., nearly 40 years after His resurrection, and of events to come at the end of the age. Jesus did not change the Sabbath Commandment, nor any of the other Commandments. The Commandments were not all done away with when Jesus was nailed to the cross, as many have argued. It is clear from Jesus’ teaching and example that we still need the Sabbath for rest, restoring the soul, and spending time with God.
Luke writes in Acts 16:13, “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made, and we sat down and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” This clearly is after Jesus was nailed to the cross.
Paul also refers to the Sabbath in Hebrews 4:4 – 9, “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. And in this place again, if they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again, He limitheth a certain day saying in David, today after so long a time, and it is said, today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” again, clearly after Jesus was nailed to the cross.
From Pastor Pack’s book ‘Saturday or Sunday’, “A search of the scriptural evidence reveals that the apostles made no attempt to change God’s Day of rest from the seventh day (Sabbath) to the first day of the week (Sunday). The New Testament mentions the first day of the week only eight times. In none of these instances is the first day of the week spoken of as a holy day. The change from Sabbath observance to Sunday observance took place after the New Testament was complete and all the apostles had died. History records that Christians eventually shifted from worshipping and resting on the seventh day, to the first day of the week.”
Vincent J. Kelly in his book, ‘Forbidden Sunday and Feast Day Occupations,’ page 15, “A history of the problem shows that in some places, it was really only after some centuries that the Sabbath rest really was entirely abolished, and by that time the practice of observing a bodily rest on the Sunday had taken its place.”
I should stop. I could go on and on. I have researched this topic for over a month and a half, reading hundreds and hundreds of pages pro and con on this subject. In all fairness, another writer could argue just the opposite of what I have proposed if he or she did their research. I, however, propose we keep God’s Fourth Commandment as He wrote it, not man.
Just out of curiosity and as part of my research, since before this I was a Sunday observer, never even thinking twice about whether it was the correct day or not, I decided to try Saturday as my Sabbath Day: no court reporting work, no gardening or yard work, pretty much nothing at all except praying, contemplating God’s creation, reading, researching. And I must report, it truly felt different. A feeling of more connectedness with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and my inner feelings; it was palpable and difficult to explain, yet it was quite real and nothing even close to how I ever felt by doing the same things, or not any things, on Sunday.
So if you want some empirical evidence on this topic, try Saturday as your Sabbath, see if you experience a difference; that is the true test. Your soul will let you know. And for those of you who never take a day off, be it Saturday or Sunday, try your own experiment and take a day off and see/feel for yourselves if you do not have a sense of being closer to God; I believe that you will.
God deserves your time and attention. He rested, so can we.
The KJV Bible was used for the Scriptural quotes in this article
With the End in Mind
by Pastor James Merritt
See then that ye walk circumspectly; not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Military commanders will tell you that the modern battle is won or lost before the first round is fired. The strategy and tactics, the tools of warfare, have been honed over the years to a fine art. But the reality is that logistics – the process of planning and preparing for battle – is where the outcome of the battle is determined. General Norman Schwartzkopf, who commanded allied forces in the 1990s Gulf War, said looking back years later that his plan for victory was simply to get all of the tools, personnel, and supplies necessary to win each battle onto the battlefield as efficiently and effectively as possible. He would look at the size and capabilities of his enemy, and determine how many soldiers, tanks, missiles, artillery, airplanes, and any other necessary supplies he needed to win decisively. Then he would simply task his reports with getting those items to the battlefield. He fought the battle backwards - the beginning of the battle was the last step. The beginning was the job of getting all of the necessary items to the battlefield.
In our lives, we must keep the end in mind. Our end is simple – God wins, heaven is real. Some will go there, but many will not. Our mission is to make the most of every opportunity. How can we have a role in bringing people we know with us to heaven? God has given us His Word, the Gospel, as a powerful tool that impacts the lives of those who hear it. The battle has already been won. All we have to do is share our faith with others through our words, our deeds, our service, our love, and our lives. God will take care of the rest. We need not wonder about the future. God executed His battle plan 2,000 years ago on the cross. Today, in the battle for the hearts and souls of men and nations, He engages us as His army. We are fully equipped to fight for those we love and care about. As you live life today, keep the end in mind. Let it guide your life and actions as you make the most of each moment in the light of His ultimate victory, already won.
Apocryphal – of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true
Sepulcher – tomb, vault, crypt
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light: 2 Corinthians 11:14-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; Ephesians 6:10-11
The writing of the Bible was directed and inspired by God – 66 books, written by about 40 different men, over 1600 years
Jesus probably spoke Aramaic, which is a hybrid of Hebrew
The true church is private assembly, in Greek it is ekklesia, or gathering, later translated as church, the original apostles
The Old Testament was compiled around 400 B.C.
The New Testament books were written between 50 and 100 A.D.
Extant – still existing, surviving
Let’s not forget our prefrontal cortex
There are short and long term memory functions in the different lobes of the brain; however, the prefrontal cortex is one of the major ones. The need to memorize anything lessens as we get older, mainly because we think we know everything we need to know by now; however, without use, this function will fade away. So let’s not fall victim to a failing memory. Here is your homework for the next newsletter. Have these seven churches from the Book of Revelations memorized by next month. There will be a test…
Try to recite them before you look. Test your memory.
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
Here is next month’s homework, the 12 Tribes of Israel, oldest to youngest: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.
www.HeGetsUs.com is quite a new and interesting website that has been receiving a lot of attention over the last year. Truly a today’s approach on how to reach everyone with the message of Jesus. Well worth checking it out.
If anyone has any Biblical topics that you would like explored and discussed in our newsletter, email me and let me know.
Or if you have any contributions to our newsletter you would like published, send them my way. I am always looking for content to share with others.
The Greatest Words Ever Spoken by Steven K. Scott
An excellent compilation of everything that Jesus said about you, your life, and everything else. Truly a wonderful way to read Jesus’ words concerning just about any topic you can imagine. Terrific book, great read. I use it often during my quiet time.
O Lord, God Almighty, redeem my soul from its bondage, that I may be free to live henceforth, not for myself but for Thee. Help me to put away self, and to remember that this life is not given for my ease, my enjoyment. It is schooling time for the eternal home Thou hast prepared for those who love Thee. Keep my eye steadily fixed on that haven of rest and peace, that I may not faint nor be weary from the length of the way, but may strive to walk worthy of my high calling in all meekness and lowliness of heart. And after that I have suffered awhile, when I am strengthened, stablished, settled in Thy love, when I have done all the work Thou hast for me to do, O gracious God, be with me to guide me through the valley of the shadow of death, and, in Thine own good time, take me to dwell with Thee. Amen.
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