The Spiritual Sabbath
As we find
ourselves living in the last few moments of earth’s history, the Christian must begin to ask himself some
serious questions. Am I ready to meet my God and Savior? Has He really done in me all He wants to do? What
does Revelation mean when it refers to those that dwell on the earth not having their names written in the book
Daniel chapter 7
reveals that just at the end of time, a power, or doctrine with power, will think to change God’s times and
laws. Daniel 7:25 states "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of
the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times
and the dividing of time." This power we see in Revelation 17:8 will cause an individual to remain on the earth
spiritually instead of being in the heavens. This power is opposed to the Lamb and His work.
Perhaps a good place to start is to examine
what is meant by changing God’s laws. Although the original law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai in the form of
10 commandments written on stone, they were only reflections of God's unchangeable holy character. The basic
misrepresentation of what this law is meant to be has misled many a Christian. Is it a physical set of
guidelines that man can follow to please God or is it something much more?
In Jeremiah 31:33
we read "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the
LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they
shall be my people". A word study here reveals what text is talking about. The phase “inward part” is Strong’s
#7130 and is properly interpreted as the seat of thoughts and emotion. God's intent is not to have a people who
struggle to keep His commandments but to establish His law (character) in the seat of our conscious thoughts and
This requires much more than a setting of the
principles of His law in our minds to understand them. It is to affect our very emotions. It means a different
mind than the carnal mind we are born with. This mind is the one we see in Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in
you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" The word “mind” is the Greek word “phroneo” which has many uses but
includes thinking and feeling.
This concept was
different from the old concept of the law that was kept by the Jews. The Jews kept the law outwardly for
salvation but had no change of heart. They were described in Matthew 23:27 as "whited sepulchres, which
indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." There was
no changing of the inward man under the old covenant. Thus Paul wrote in Galatians 2:19-20 "For I through the
law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:. . "
So God’s people are to have a new covenant
with God in these last days. They are to think, feel, and have the same emotions as Christ. How is this
possible? We must do it the same way Christ did. There is no mystery about His success. John 5:19 reads,
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself,
but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." When
Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, we saw His Father’s Spirit descend upon Him. Throughout His ministry,
Christ repeatedly stated that it was His Father’s power in Him that made His works possible.
John 14:10-11 reads, "Believest thou not
that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the
Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or
else believe me for the very works' sake." This verse very aptly describes the abiding experience that
Christ and His Father had with each other. His Father was in Him and they abode together. If this is how Christ
had the "mind" that we are supposed to have, then this experience can be for us! John 14:18-23
reveals this precious truth and promise. It reads "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a
little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye
shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come
unto him, and make our abode with him." It can’t be any plainer than that. The same abiding power that gave
Christ not only His victorious life, but also His sanctified mind, is God’s plan for His remnant people. They
will have an abiding relationship with the Father and Son that will sanctify not only the intellect but also the
seat of their emotions as well. This is exactly what we learned in our study of God’s creation.
It will not be
our power but God's. What a precious promise. This is the promise of Philippians which reads "I can do
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Does God extend this invitation to everyone? Yes!
1Timothy 2:2-5 tells us "…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this
is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
How much Godliness? All or complete!
Christ through His victory on Calvary won the right to mediate between God and
man. In essence, He paid the
price for our sins so that the Father could be reunited with us. With the presence of His Son in
our minds, the Father and His
Son work together to restore us completely (through the recreation process) to
what we would have been had we never fallen. This is the new covenant (promise) that God has in mind for each
of us. Invite God into your heart, confessing your sins and acknowledging your need
of His strength and transforming power, and by faith enter into the new covenant with Him. He will then
recreate you into His image. This is the ultimate expression of God’s law.
Now that we understand that God’s law is to
lead us into a perfected abiding experience with Him, we know what law the last great apostate power will seek
to change. Any doctrine that teaches man that sin cannot be overcome before Christ literally comes the 2nd time
is a doctrine that seeks to change God’s law. Any doctrine that teaches that man must overcome by any other
means than allowing Christ’s abiding and transforming presence to sanctify the mind is also from this apostate
Christianity today is filled will all sorts
of doctrines that try to teach men that perfection is not possible this side of heaven. The Bible teaches that
God seeks to abide in His children. Yet can Christ truly abide continuously in a carnal mind? It defies reason.
These doctrines are from men described in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 which reads "For men shall be lovers of their own
selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors,
heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof: from such turn away."
This text would
not make sense if read literally. How can anyone who literally does the things listed above by Timothy appear to
have a form of Godliness? They couldn’t. It makes perfect sense however when viewed spiritually. These are the
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all
uncleanness. There are very few types of people that the Bible indicates we should not work with but these are
among them. The God we serve is well able to purify us unless we buy into a doctrine that denies the power of
His abiding presence.
The second part
of the text we read in Daniel also said that this apostate power would think to change God’s times. God’s times
were established at creation. He created our world in six days and rested on the seventh. Although we know that
this was a literal event, the spiritual truth is more pertinent for us today. Although I won’t go into it in
depth in this study, we have already seen that the creation week is a spiritual representation of God’s
recreative work to be done in His final remnant people. It begins with God giving us light or truth and ends
with God’s recreative work in us being finished and God resting.
We, as His final remnant people, are to enter
into this Sabbath truth. We have already seen that God is going to change our minds, thoughts, and emotions.
This is the last of God’s recreative work when on the sixth day God said let us make man in our (God’s) image,
after our likeness. When that work is finished, God will rest and we will enter into the abiding Sabbath rest
with Him. Keeping the seventh day of the week (Saturday) as a holy Sabbath is a literal representation of this
When doctrines are taught that deny God’s
ability to complete that work in us and enter into that Sabbath rest, it is from that same apostate power. That
power teaches a doctrine of receiving light (having a form of godliness) on the first day of the creation week,
but never going on and God actually creating us in His image (but denying the power thereof.) It is no wonder
that God’s true Sabbath has all but been replaced by Sunday keeping (1st day worship). It is a literal outgrowth
of this anti-spiritual doctrine.
What is also fearful is that throughout the
Christian community you will find many who go beyond the first day and begin to allow God to recreate them. Then
they get hung up on a certain aspect of God’s recreative work and prevent Him from going any further. This is
sad because whether we get hung up on day one or day six, the work is incomplete and avails us nothing unless we
enter the Sabbath rest on the seventh day of creation.
In conclusion, God seeks to bring all of us
back into reconciliation with Himself. Jesus is our mediator and spiritual link between the Father and each of
us. Together they (Father and Son) seek to recreate us into the image of unfallen man through a constant abiding
relationship with them. It is their power that transforms us and not ours. Satan and his apostate power seek to
keep us from understanding the spiritual nature of the Scriptures, God's law, and His plan for us. Therefore,
the spiritual Sabbath (resting from our labors due to a sanctified mind) will be the final test for God’s
people. It will be in the heavens (spiritual) and the literal Sabbath day test (Sunday law) will only be an
outworking of this spiritual truth.
This study has
only touched on this amazing truth. Sin and the question of entering into the true Sabbath rest is coming to a
focal point in our time and, yes, even now is coming to a head. It is now that God is preparing a final remnant
people who will testify this truth by their lives and stand in the gap described in Isaiah 58:12-14. "And
they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many
generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou
turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the
holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure,
nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon
the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD
hath spoken it." May God richly bless each of us as we learn to abide completely in Him and enter into the
new covenant Sabbath rest at the end of His recreative work in us.