Angelic Conflict part 154: Human history (Sabbath) – Heb 4:9; Exo 16:22-30; 23:12; 31:12-17; 1Pe 5:6-11; Mat 12:1-8.
Title: Angelic Conflict part 154: Human history (Sabbath) – Heb 4:9; Exo 16:22-30; 23:12; 31:12-17; 1Pe 5:6-11; Mat 12:1-8.
So much rest has been left behind for God’s people and so few have taken it that so much of it remains unused. If a believer loved his Father he would desire to take as much of it as he can for it glorifies his Father.
Heb 4:9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Some commentators interpret this verse to refer to heaven, and I have no doubt that it easily could, but heaven is not a choice for the believer, but an immovable destiny, as it was for many of the Jews who died in the desert. This is a daily rest for the life of the positive believer who believes God’s word, God’s character, and God’s promises.
“remains” – avpolei,pw[apoleipo] = to leave behind. God’s Sabbath rest remains for every believer today and every day.
"Sabbath rest" - sabbatismo,j[sabbatismos] = an uninterrupted sabbath rest for God's people who live in communion with God the Father, Son, and HS.
It is the context that gives this word the meaning of being uninterrupted since today we must hear His voice and not harden our hearts. This is not just a Saturday or Sunday observance for there are no rituals for the Church outside of the Lord's Supper.
As we have seen the Sabbath was a seventh day, the end of the week or Saturday in which no work was to be done, work as in plowing or doing business in buying or selling, or whatever would be considered normal work to man, woman, or child. The rest was to signify the fact that God was finished with His work and nothing was left for man to do but to enter into the rest that comes from faith in God’s finished work. [Sabbath and Sabbaths mentioned 171 times]
There is no end to the irritation in satan’s soul when he witnesses a child of God rest and have peace in the midst of the pressures he placed on them.
Exo 16:22 Now it came about on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses,
Exo 16:23 then he said to them, "This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning."
Exo 16:24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul, nor was there any worm in it.
Exo 16:25 And Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field.
Exo 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none."
Exo 16:27 And it came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.
Exo 16:28 Then the Lord said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?
Exo 16:29 "See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." [don’t look for it]
Exo 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exo 23:12 Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor in order that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.
Refreshment is a benefit of Sabbath rest.
Exo 31:12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 31:13 "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
The Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between God and Israel, throughout all her generations – a sign of sanctification.
Sanctification – God had set them apart from the world as His people and client nation. He set apart each who had believed the Adamic, Noahic, and Abrahamic covenants unto Himself through salvation.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel."
When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
The animal sacrifices that were performed since the fall became the identification of the innocent lamb to come who would be the Seed who would bless the nations of the earth. Those who believed this were sanctified positionally forever. Israel was set apart or sanctified unto God as a people and a nation.
The Sabbath rest was a memorial and manifestation of the faith of those who understood that the work was finished and that God would bless His people in grace, i.e. without their work.
To not enter it is to not memorialize the finished work of Christ in your heart. It reveals a lackadaisical, laissez faire attitude towards the cross, or at the most a lack of understanding of what occurred at the cross when Christ said, “It is finished.”
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1Pe 5:7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be of sober spirit [thinking and not emoting], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered for a little while [it will end], the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect [complete – used of mending nets], confirm [establish or stabilize], strengthen and establish you [make a stone foundation].
Perfect: complete as in mending a net.
Confirm: established or stabilized.
Establish: made of a stone foundation.
These doxologies [words of praise] that follow are not just filler. Christ has done this and brought a Sabbath rest to His people that He Himself experienced. Because of this victory over all enemies He was asked to sit at the right hand of the Father as King of kings and Lord of lords. And so, Peter’s doxology carries the perfect meaning of praise to the king.
1Pe 5:11 To Him be dominion [manifest power] forever and ever. Amen.
However, after the instructions for the Sabbath rest was given, over centuries of arrogant men who were priests and scholars (so-called) they would violate the Sabbath in another way, not by doing work, but by adding hundreds of silly rules that fed the arrogance of man. It became a sacrifice of man rather than a time of joy. They were supposed to rest not sacrifice of themselves. However, in the Law, interestingly, the temple sacrifices and the work of the Levitical priests continued as usual on the Sabbath. Wasn’t that work? God commanded this and so, no, it wasn’t work. Then what constitutes work in the case of Israel was the labor of man.
Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grainfields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.
Mat 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath."
To pick off a head of grain and eat, would that be considered work? The answer would be no. Work would be to harvest the field with the intension of benefiting in profit or storage. That is going to work. You were not to prune vines or harvest grapes, but if you were walking through a vineyard and decided to grab a handful and eat them, would that be considered work?
After the Jews returned from the captivity (around 500 BC) there eventually occurred a void in leadership as the Persians would not allow them to have a king. The void was filled by the Saducees (priests) and the Pharisees (the scholars). As they taught and interpreted the books of the OT they often added to the word of God. One of the major areas of addition was what one could or could not do on the Sabbath. Not all of them agreed and the two parties differed. What was taught was not recorded, at least that we know of, but handed down orally. However, after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD there was a push for recording these traditions and around 200 AD the work was begun by a rabbi. He started writing the Mishnah. The Gemara was begun around 500 AD and the two were eventually combined into the Talmud. The oldest complete Talmud in existence is from 1342.
[From a website: My Jewish Learning.]
Beyond Torah: What Can and Can't We Do?
In the Mishnah, the Rabbis enumerated 39 major categories (with hundreds of subcategories) of labor that were forbidden (avot melakhah) based on the types of work that were related to the construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, which ceased on the Sabbath.
Activities that cannot be performed on the Sabbath are basic tasks connected with preparing the showbread (sowing, plowing, reaping, binding, threshing, winnowing, selecting, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking), work related to making the coverings in the Tabernacle and the vestments used by the Kohanim (shearing sheep), bleaching, carding (changing tangled or compressed material into separate fibers), dyeing, spinning, stretching (material), making two loops (meshes), threading needles, weaving, separating, tying (a knot), untying (a knot), sewing, tearing, activities concerned with writing and the preparation of parchment from animal skin (trapping or hunting), slaughtering, flaying (skinning), treating skins (curing hides), scraping pelts, marking out (to make ready for cutting), cutting (to shape), writing, erasing, construction (building, demolishing), kindling a flame (lighting, extinguishing), carrying (from private to public domain, and vice versa), and putting the finishing touches to a piece of work already begun before the Sabbath.
Similarly, agreeing to buy something was prohibited, because most agreements are confirmed in "writing"; climbing a tree is forbidden, because it may lead to breaking twigs or tearing leaves, which could be construed as "reaping" (i.e., separating part of a growing plant from its source). Other activities that by extension are prohibited on the Sabbath include the following:
For an activity to be considered as work forbidden on the Sabbath, the violation must be intentional. Therefore moving a chair from one place to another is permissible, even though it may produce an impression on the ground. Similarly, walking on the grass is allowed, even though this may result in some of it being crushed underfoot and thus technically constitute the prohibited activity mentioned above or the forbidden cutting of blades of grass.
You Can't Even Touch Some Things
Any items that may not be used on the Sabbath may not even be handled on that day, lest one unintentionally perform one of the forbidden types of work. These objects are termed muktzeh, meaning to "set aside" or "store away." Among the many things considered muktzeh are money and checks; scissors, hammers, and saws; pencils and pens; battery-operated toys and flashlights; radios and CDs; telephones and computers; and religious objects such as shofar,t'fillin, and lulav. Even the Sabbath candlesticks are muktzeh and thus should not be touched on the Sabbath after the candles have been lit.
The Rules on Fire!
In addition to the general forbidding of all manner of work on the Sabbath, there is a special prohibition against making a fire (Exod. 35:3). The Rabbis considered this to include everything that pertains to the kindling of light, even if no actual work is involved. In modern times, there is a controversy regarding whether the switching on of electric lights and appliances is equivalent to making a fire.
This shows a complete lack of spiritual common sense. "God, look how hard I'm working to rest!"
Spiritual common sense: the ability to apply doctrine in a situation that is not specifically addressed in the word of God.