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  4th 
       
Lesson 15 The Day that God blessed and hallowed

" Keep my Sabbaths holy,
that they may be a sign between us.
Then you will know that I am the LORD your GOD"
(Ezekiel 20:20).



 The Holy Day, The Sabbath

 
 Have you ever heard that iron was buried under the ground and it became gold one hundred years later?

  If someone polishes copper and oils it, can it be changed into silver?

  Such a thing can never happen.

  But if a wrong fact lasts for a long time, we will believe it as a truth. We can often find many examples of those kinds of things in history.

  People reconsider the uncertain historical fact, which is the "re-illumination of history."

  Like this, there are many distorted facts of Bible. They are firmed to be right, passing through the Religious Dark Ages of the middle ages. Among them we are going to examine only one important point.


  The origin of the Sabbath

  
God created the heaven, the earth and all other things in six days.

  After God created the world, He rested on the seventh day. He rested, not because He was tired but because He wanted to bless and hallow the Sabbath day and for people to worship Him.

  The first Sabbath was the day after the creation.

 

  The fact is written in the Bible, Genesis 2.  "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done"(Genesis 2:1-3).

 

  Also it is written in the Ten Commandments, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all our work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor our animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy"(Exodus 20:8-11).

 

  Therefore the Sabbath is a memorial day of the creation, which was established at the beginning of history.

  God has us distinguish the Sabbath day from other days, and makes it the day of worship. So we should remember the Sabbath and rest on this day.

 

  God must have known in advance that people would forget the Sabbath day because God told us to

 

  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy"(Exodus 20:8).

  Why did God give us the Sabbath?

  
God let people work earnestly for six days and rest on the seventh day.  It was not only to be relieved from fatigue.

  Today people feel fatigue after work, but at that time since sin didn't enter the world yet, people didn't get tired even after they worked.

  The more important reason why God gave the Sabbath to Adam and Eve was to make people rely upon Him. Adam and Eve were perfect, but they had to depend on God.

  God wants them to set aside their daily businesses and associate with God one day a week and meditate on the love, power and wisdom of God. So they can be faithful and thankful. So God said that Sabbath is the day when people have a close relationship with God.

  God said to the Prophet, Ezekiel, “Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God"(Ezekiel 20:20).

 

  Sabbath is the day that God distinguishes people as holy and makes them children of God.

  By keeping the Sabbath holy, we can become sons and daughters of God and God becomes a Father to us.

  On account of this deep meaning, the Sabbath became a blessed day to people from the beginning of the world.

  The Sabbath is the day when we get out of our daily work, associate with Him, worship God and study the Bible. Let's keep the Sabbath so that our hearts can be renewed and be satisfied with the grace of God.


  The Sabbath of the Old Testament

  
Those who served God sincerely considered the Sabbath holy.

  But Israel, the chosen people, had forgotten it so they had been treated cruelly as slaves in Egypt.

  God saved Israel from Egypt to teach the next generation the Commandments of God. And God let them keep it again in the wilderness at Mt. Sinai.

  God rained manna down to the Israel from heaven and He showed three miracles every week.

1. Manna rained down for six days, but didn’t on the seventh day.
2.
Any saved manna bred worms and became foul for six days.
3. When they gathered manna on the sixth day and stored it until the seventh day, the Sabbath, but it did not become foul and there were no worms in it.

 

  But some of the people disobeyed the word of God and went out to gather manna on the seventh day.

  What happened? Let's read the Bible.

  The Bible says obviously, "Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none"(Exodus 16:27).

  At that time God ordered Israel, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?”(Exodus 16:28).

 

  "The Sabbath is the day that God tests the loyalty of Israel."

  Israel listened to the warning of God about the Sabbath for many years. God warned Israel through the prophet, Jeremiah, just before they were ruined by Babylon.

  "But if you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it....... then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses"(Jeremiah 17:24-27).

  
Israelites could learn or perish whether they kept the Sabbath holy or not.

  Jerusalem had fallen to Babylon and the people were captured there because they neglected the warning. After they were held captive for 70 years, they returned to Jerusalem.  But then there were people who didn't still keep the Sabbath.
  Therefore Nehemiah said,
"In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. .. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them "What is this wicked thing you are doing?- desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn't you forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath"(Nehemiah 13:15, 17, 18).

  The Sabbath in that era was to teach the alien "God's set time", and let them know the creator God is the true God. But even Israelites didn't keep the day holy, so they could not but encounter sufferings.

  How much blessings they would get, if the Israelites would keep the Sabbath of God holy!

  The Sabbath in the New Testament

  
In the ages of the New Testament, keeping the Sabbath was formalized. SoIn the time of the New Testament, keeping the Sabbath was formalized. So Jesus became a model with firm words about the Sabbath.

  Jesus "went to the synagogue, as His custom was, on the Sabbath day"(Luke 4:16). In order to see that the Sabbath Day is the day to worship God we must observe carefully.

  And He said this, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. "Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath"(Matthew 24:20).

  The disciples of Jesus kept the Sabbath Day as well.

 "Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment"(Luke 23:56).

  The disciples kept the Sabbath Day even after Jesus died.  Jesus didn't change the Sabbath Day.

  "Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath Days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures"(Acts 17:2).

  Then, what day is the Sabbath today that the people of God in the Old Testament, Jesus, the disciples of Jesus and missionaries in the New Testament kept?

 

  The Sabbath Day in the Bible is the seventh day, Saturday, today.

  
The Sabbath Day in the Bible is the seventh day, Saturday, today. What is the reason why people have kept Sunday instead of the Sabbath Day? People had kept Saturday as the Sabbath Day without any problems during first century after Jesus ascended to Heaven.

  Rome hated and persecuted the Jews who kept the Sabbath Day for the Jews rebelled against Rome at the beginning of the second century.
 Therefore some christians had meetings on Sunday not to be misunderstood as Jews.


  
Therefore some Christians had meetings on Sunday not to be mislabeled as Jews. At that time Mithra, the religion that worships the sun as god, prospered in Rome. People who believed in Mithra considered Sunday, the day of the sun, as a Memorial Day, and Saturday as an unlucky day. So the Christians had a lot of difficulty keeping the true Sabbath Day.

  Then the great Constantine, an emperor of Rome, proclaimed Sunday as a legal holiday on the seventh of March 321 A.D. So Christians who had kept the Sabbath Day suffered. Because the government and the church that compromised with the government ordered strongly that all people must rest on Sunday, the people followed them unconditionally.

  Therefore, at last, Sunday, the sun-worshipping day, took the place of the Sabbath Day of Christianity and it has continued until now.

  The Bible predicted this fact in advance. "Try to change the set times and the laws"(Daniel 7:25).

  The Roman Catholic Church says itself that it changed the Sabbath that God established in the beginning from the seventh day, Saturday to Sunday, the first day of a week.
Q : What day is the Sabbath Day?
A : Saturday is the Sabbath Day.
Q : Why do we keep Sunday instead of Saturday?
A : It is because the Roman Catholic church changed the Sabbath Day from Saturday to Sunday at the Laodicea conference.

  We studied about the Sabbath Day in this chapter.

  Which one should we choose the Sabbath Day, Saturday or Sunday?

  Should we follow the law that men made or God established?

 

  Paul said, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey, whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which lead to righteousness?" (Rome 6:16).

 

  We must choose one, whether to follow the Law of God or surrender to Satan, and perish.

  Please be sons and daughters of God who keep the true Sabbath with wise judgment and choices.

 
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