THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH a sermon series

 

Here is a re-post of a sermon collection I found a number of years ago. PLEASE NOTE the links posted NO LONGER WORK so good luck trying to find this series online. I have taken the time to use ‘bold’ to highlight each of the Thirteen sermons. At the end of his series I have a update I wanted to share with you all…

“THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH: 1 – 13 Sermon Series”

By ~ DANIEL PARKS

http://grace-for-today.com/689-713.htm

Yesterday (4-16-2009) I found this thirteen part sermon series from 1996-1997. I agree with Mr. Parks summery and am including it to my blog. I take no credit for his work I am simply showcasing his writing here.

“#1 Our English word sabbath derives from the Greek sabbaton, which in turn derives from the Hebrew sabbat. A sabbath is “a cessation from activity; rest.” Our question therefore is “What is the Christian’s rest? In what does he cease from work?””

“The Christian sabbath is not the “sabbath of creation” mentioned in Genesis 2:1-3: “… And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done….” This is the first mention of a sabbath in the Bible. It was a day of rest. This sabbath is not the Christian sabbath because: 1) It was observed by God alone at the completion of His work of creation (1:1-2:1). Furthermore, this sabbath of God was not merely a day of rest, but a perpetual rest, as His work of creation was once-for-all completed (2:1). Man, who had been created on the sixth day (1:26-31), could not rest from work on this day because he had done no work. 2) The Bible contains no commandment from God to man to observe a weekly sabbath/rest for thousands of years after creation, until about 1500 BC. And there is no Biblical record that such a weekly sabbath was ever observed by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, or any of their contemporaries.”

“The Christian sabbath is not the “sabbath of manna-gathering” mentioned in Exodus 16:23-30. This was the first commandment from God to man to observe a weekly sabbath. It was given to the newly-constituted nation Israel during their wanderings from Egypt to the Promised Land. God promised them a daily portion of manna, or bread from heaven, for the first six days of every week, but none for the seventh. The seventh day was to be a day of rest. Therefore, God commanded Israel to gather a double portion of manna on the sixth day to suffice for the seventh. This “sabbath of manna-gathering” is not the Christian sabbath because both it and the manna were given only to the nation Israel, not to Gentile nations.”

“The Christian sabbath is not the “sabbath of the Ten Commandments” mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy….” (vv.8-11). The Ten Commandments were the code of law which set forth Israel’s responsibility to God under the covenant He made with them at Mount Sinai (19:3-8; 34:28b). The “sabbath of the Ten Commandments” is not the Christian sabbath because: 1) It and the Ten Commandments and the Sinaitic Covenant were given only to Israel, that nation whom “God … brought … out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (20:1f). 2) The Sinaitic Covenant is no longer in effect because it has been abrogated and superseded by the New Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 26:26-28; Hebrews 8; 10:11-18). Since the Old Covenant is no longer in effect, the sabbath it required is also no longer in effect. Consequently, those who enter into this New Covenant with God through belief in Jesus Christ are told to ignore those who judge them for not observing sabbaths (Colossians 2:16f). Furthermore, God approves the believer who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5).”

“The Christian sabbath is that of the New Covenant. It is not one day of the week. It is rather that spiritual rest which is found in Jesus Christ, the Mediator and Surety of this “better covenant” (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6). He has fulfilled all the work God required for the salvation of His people (John 19:30), and therefore rested from all His saving work. Everyone who trusts in Him for salvation enters into His rest, and forevermore ceases working to obtain God’s blessings (Matthew 11:28f). “There remains therefore a rest [or sabbath-keeping] for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall … [in] unbelief” (Hebrews 4:9-11).”

“Have you entered into the sabbath of Jesus Christ?”

“#2 The sabbath-day commandment is the fourth of the Ten Commandments (or Decalogue, literally “Ten Words”): “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work ….” (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15).”

“What should be the Christian’s attitude toward this sabbath-day commandment?”

“1. Recognize that the commandment to observe the sabbath-day rest was given only to the nation Israel. The preface to the Ten Commandments expressly states they were given as a code of law only to Israel, that nation whom “the LORD your God … brought … out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:1f; Deuteronomy 5:6 and v.15). It is true that the other nine commandments are binding upon every man in every age (see for example Romans 2:14f). But Israel alone – to the exclusion of every other nation or entity – was ever commanded to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

“2. Recognize that the covenant containing the sabbath-day commandment is no longer in effect. This covenant was made between God and Israel through the mediation of Moses at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:1-8; Deuteronomy 5:1-6). It is therefore called the Sinaitic and/or Mosaic Covenant. It has been superseded by the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) which was ratified at and by the shedding of the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28). In His death on Mount Calvary He was the “Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). This “better covenant” is the “new covenant” which has made the “first [i.e. the Old Covenant] obsolete” (Hebrews 8:13). When this Old Covenant was made obsolete, so was the commandment peculiar to it regarding the sabbath-day.”

“3. Recognize that the New Covenant which is applicable to Christians contains no commandment to observe a sabbath-day. God therefore today approves the person who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5). Indeed, Paul the apostle soundly rebukes those Christians who, having been freed from the law of Moses, would revert to observing its sabbath-day commandment: “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days [e.g. sabbath-days] and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11).”

“4. “Therefore let no one judge you … regarding … sabbaths” (Colossians 2:16). Why? Because they were but “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (v.17). That is, the sabbath-day rests were given to Israel as types, or prophetic pictures, of that rest which would eventually be found in Jesus Christ alone. They were therefore mere “shadows” of the rest which God has reserved for His people; but Jesus Christ is the “substance” of that rest. They as “shadows” provided mere temporal and physical rest; but Jesus Christ as the “substance” provides eternal and spiritual rest. The “shadows” have become obsolete and passed away; but the “substance” which has superseded them forever remains.”

“God therefore today commands men to forsake the observance of Jewish sabbaths and to find rest in Jesus Christ alone. Christ Himself invites us to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you [i.e. “Become My disciple”] and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28f). (See also Hebrews 4:9-11.)”

“Have you found the everlasting spiritual sabbath by believing in Jesus Christ?”

“#3 A sabbath is a “cessation from activity; rest.” The seventh-day sabbath was the weekly day of rest which God required of Israel when He entered into covenant with them at Mount Sinai. This requirement was expressed in the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-12): “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do work ….”

“What was the purpose of the seventh-day sabbath?”

“1. The seventh-day sabbath was the sign of the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai.”

“What is a “covenant sign? A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties. The covenants between God and man involve God’s promise to bless man. To each covenant was joined a sign, or visible token serving as a reminder of the covenant.”

“For example, the rainbow is the sign of the covenant God made with Noah (Genesis 9:8-17): “… Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth…. I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth….” Every rainbow is a sign, or reminder, that God is honoring His covenant. (Circumcision was the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham [Genesis 17:1-14].)”

“What was the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai? It was His promise to make Israel His special people if they would obey His law (Exodus 19:1-8). That law was expressed in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17; 34:28), given to Israel through the mediation of Moses.”

“What was the sign of the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai? God appointed the seventh-day sabbath for its sign (Exodus 31:12-18): “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you…. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel ….” (cp. Ezekiel 20:12,20).”

“The commandment to observe the seventh-day sabbath is the one commandment which is peculiar to the Ten Commandments God gave to Israel. The requirements expressed in the other nine commandments are applicable to all men of every age (see e.g. Romans 2:14f). However, only the nation Israel was ever commanded to observe the seventh-day sabbath, because this day was the sign of the covenant God made with them alone.”

“Is that covenant and its sign yet in effect? No. This answer is expounded in the Epistle to the Hebrews, especially 8:7-13. The covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai is called the “first covenant” (8:7). It has been replaced by a “new covenant” (8:8,13) which was prophesied by God in Old Testament times (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and which is “a better covenant … established on better promises” (8:6). Since this new covenant will never be replaced, it is known also as the “everlasting covenant” (13:20). The Mediator of this new and better covenant is Jesus Christ (8:6), not Moses. By His death, Jesus Christ has shed “the blood of the everlasting covenant” (13:20) and once-for-all obtained forgiveness for the sins of His people — something that was never done under the old covenant (10:11-18). In so doing, He has inaugurated the new covenant, causing it to supersede the old covenant. The old covenant has therefore been rendered “obsolete” and caused to “vanish away” (8:13) The same has consequently happened to the seventh-day sabbath, its sign.”

“What is the sign of this new covenant? The sign of the new covenant is the blood of Jesus Christ, which is symbolized in the wine of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:27f; 1 Corinthians 11:25f). Therefore, Christians today are not to observe Jewish sabbaths, the sign of a covenant no longer in effect. Instead, they drink the cup of the new covenant as a reminder of the blood of Christ which has redeemed them and made them His own special people. Do you?”

“#4 A sabbath is a “cessation from activity; rest.” The seventh-day sabbath was the weekly day of rest which God required of Israel when He entered into covenant with them at Mount Sinai. This requirement was expressed in the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-12): “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do work ….”

“What was the purpose of the seventh-day sabbath? In the preceding message (#144) we observed that it was the sign of the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai. We now observe:”

“2. The seventh-day sabbath was a shadow, or type, of that rest which would eventually be found in Jesus Christ. We learn this from the admonition of Paul the apostle to Christians to “let no one judge you … regarding … sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16f). The seventh-day sabbath was but a passing shadow cast by the coming Christ. Therefore, the rest found in it was but a shadow of the rest which would be found by trusting in Him. Before the arrival of Christ, God required His people honor the shadow cast by Christ. But upon the arrival of Christ, God requires His people to forsake honoring the shadow and to honor instead the Christ who cast it. They who would judge Christians for not honoring the sabbaths are thereby giving more honor to the sabbaths than to Christ. Christians are therefore exhorted to ignore such Christ-dishonoring legalists. (More on this in subsequent messages.)”

“3. The seventh-day sabbath was a reminder that mankind needs rest from his labors.”

“God directed Israel to devote no more than six days of each week to the pursuit of an occupation (v.9): “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” God considers work to be very honorable. He employed the first man and woman in tending to His creation (Genesis 2:15,18), thereby teaching us that every man and woman should be occupied in honorable employment. He furthermore intends we all be occupied for as long as we are physically capable. He who seeks “early retirement” in order to “sit around and do nothing” is called by God “You fool” (Luke 12:16-20). And God requires us to refuse food to able-bodied persons who will not work (2 Thessalonians 3:10; cp. Ephesians 4:28).”

“God also directed Israel to reserve a weekly day of rest from their occupations (v.10): “but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” He who never rests from his labors, to enjoy their fruits and to be refreshed for further labors, is a slave to his occupation. And he who never permits his employees, whether of persons or animals, a day of rest is a slave-master (see Deuteronomy 5:13-15)”

“God Himself has set the example (v.11): “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (cp. Genesis 2:1-3). God rested not because He was tired, but in order to enjoy the fruits of His labors and to set an example for us.”

“The fact that Christians today are not required to observe the seventh-day sabbath (see e.g. Colossians 2:16f; Romans 14:5f) does not negate the need for days of physical rest.”

“Even more important than physical rest for one’s body is spiritual rest for one’s soul. This spiritual rest is the cessation of works of self-righteousness in order to obtain the favor and salvation of God. It is found through trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He Himself invites us to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you [i.e. “Become My disciple”] and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28f). Have you found rest for your soul in Jesus Christ?”

#5 A Sabbatarian is one who insists that one day of each week is to be reserved for religious observance as prescribed in the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11): “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work ….”

“There are two kinds of Sabbatarians. Strict or Literal Sabbatarians obey the strict letter of the fourth commandment with regard to the appointed Sabbath day. They therefore hallow Saturday, the seventh day of the week, as their weekly Sabbath. The most prominent Strict or Literal Sabbatarians today are Jews who yet refuse to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Judaizing disciples of Ellen G. White (1827-1915), Seventh-Day Adventists.”

“Semi-Sabbatarians endeavor to obey the spirit, not the letter, of the same fourth commandment. They transfer Sabbath observance to the first day of the week, Sunday. Semi-Sabbatarians are found in various Christian denominations.”

“Sabbatarians are guilty of many violations of God’s Word.”

“1) Sabbatarians err in teaching in this gospel age that the fourth commandment must be observed — either in spirit and/or letter. That commandment was a part of the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19f; 34:28), and that covenant has been abrogated and superseded by the new covenant instituted by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:6-13). This New Covenant has no Sabbath-day commandment.”

“2) Sabbatarians therefore err in requiring a weekly Sabbath in this gospel age. God requires His people to “Therefore let no one judge you … regarding … sabbaths” (Colossians 2:16f). And God approves the Christian who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5).”

“3) Sabbatarians willfully violate the very law they profess to uphold. God requires those who would be under the law He gave at Mount Sinai to obey every commandment of it in both spirit and letter (Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10; James 2:10). That law was not presented as a buffet at which one may take that which suits his theological palate while disregarding all the rest.”

“But Sabbatarians refuse to obey commandments God gave in that law regarding the Sabbath day. i) They refuse to obey God’s commandment to stone to death violators of the Sabbath (Exodus 35:1f; Numbers 15:35). And if they should do so, they would violate the civil authority God has ordained for this gospel age (Romans 13:1-4). ii) They refuse to obey God’s commandment to offer Sabbath day sacrifices (Numbers 28:9f). And if they should do so, they would slander the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. He has “offered one sacrifice for sins forever”; “there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:11-18).”

“Sabbatarians have truly placed themselves in a predicament: If they obey the law of Moses, they violate the gospel of Christ.”

“Semi-Sabbatarians compound their error by transferring the weekly Sabbath from the seventh day of the week, Saturday, to the first day, Sunday. But Scriptures neither warrant this transfer, nor equate nor identify Sunday as a Christian Sabbath, nor speak of a Christian who observed it as such.”

“Our appeal to Strict Sabbatarians is based upon the exhortation from God in Hebrews 3:7-4:11. Realize the futility of finding rest for your souls in Sabbath days, and find that rest in Jesus Christ by trusting in Him as your Lord and Savior.”

“Our appeal to Semi-Sabbatarians is based upon the exhortation from God in Galatians 4:9f. You err when “You observe days” — including Sabbaths. “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?””

Have you found your one and only Sabbath in Jesus Christ?

“#6 Strict or Literal Sabbatarians obey the strict letter of the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-12): “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy….” They therefore hallow Saturday, the seventh day of the week, as their weekly Sabbath. The most prominent Strict Sabbatarians today, apart from Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah, are disciples of Ellen G. White (1827-1915), Seventh-Day Adventists.”

“They insist that we should observe the Sabbath as Jesus Christ did, because He is our example par excellence. They are correct, but not in the manner they suppose.”

“Jesus Christ is indeed our Example par excellence. Paul the apostle could therefore admonish us to “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).”

“However, we are not to follow the example of Jesus Christ with regard to the Sabbath of the law. That law was the “law of Moses” (Luke 2:22). It was summarized in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), and expanded in “The Judgments” (Exodus 21ff; et.al.). It included both moral and ceremonial commandments. The moral commandments are those which God has ever required of every man (e.g. commandments 1-3 & 5-10 of the Ten Commandments; cp. Matthew 22:37-40 & Mark 12:30f). The ceremonial commandments were those observances and rituals which God required only of Israel in the covenant He made with them at Mount Sinai.”

“When the Son of God assumed humanity, having been “born of a woman,” He was also “born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). He therefore faithfully obeyed not only all its moral commandments, but also all its ceremonial commandments.”

“For example: 1) He was circumcised and presented in the temple (Luke 2:21-24) in obedience to Leviticus 12:2-6. 2) He paid the temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27) in obedience to Exodus 30:13 and 38:26. 3) He commanded healed lepers to report to their priests (Luke 17:11-14) in obedience to Leviticus 14:2ff. 4) He observed the feasts and holy days of the Old Covenant (e.g. Matthew 26:18) in obedience to Leviticus 23:4-14. And 5) He observed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.”

“But it would be contrary to the gospel for men today to follow the example of Jesus Christ in observing these ceremonies of the law. Circumcision and temple taxes and reporting to priests and holy days and sabbaths belonged to a covenant and law no longer in effect, not to the gospel (see e.g. Romans 2:25-29; Philippians 3:1-9). God requires His people today to “Therefore let no one judge you … regarding … sabbaths ….” (Colossians 2:16f). God’s people today are therefore not required to follow the example of Jesus Christ with regard to the Sabbath of the law.”

“Rather, we are to follow the example of Jesus Christ with regard to the Sabbath of the gospel. As God entered into an everlasting Sabbath upon completing the work of creation (Genesis 2:1-3), Jesus Christ has entered into an everlasting Sabbath upon completing the work of salvation. After shouting just before He died, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), He entered into His everlasting rest at the right hand of God.”

“And we are exhorted to follow the example of Jesus Christ in entering into this gospel Sabbath. “There remains therefore a rest [Greek sabbatismos, a “sabbath-keeping”] for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11). This Sabbath is not that of the law, in which the Hebrews ceased from physical works. Rather, it is the Sabbath of salvation, into which we enter by faith in Jesus Christ, and in which we cease from works of self-righteousness, reposing forevermore in only the finished work of salvation wrought by Jesus Christ.”

“Have you entered into this gospel Sabbath?”

“#7 The only mention of the Lord’s Day in the New Testament is by John the apostle in Revelation 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” John did not specify which day of the week is the Lord’s Day. Its identity was evidently well-known to his readers.”

“Strict Sabbatarians (e.g. Seventh-Day Adventists), who believe the Old Covenant commandment hallowing Saturday as the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-12) is yet in effect, insist Saturday is the Lord’s Day. They also teach that faithful Christians taught the same until Constantine, emperor of Rome, sanctioned Sunday as a holy day early in the fifth century. They are wrong.”

“In the preceding message we observed:”

“1. The Lord’s Day is Sunday, the first day of the week. This was confirmed without dissent in the writings of contemporaries of the apostles and other early church fathers, including Barnabas (thought by many to be a companion of Paul the apostle), Ignatius (died 98 or 117), Justin Martyr (circa 100-165), and Chrysostom (345[?]-407). These authorities prove Strict Sabbatarians are wrong when they say the early church observed Saturday as the Lord’s Day until Constantine, emperor of Rome, sanctioned Sunday as a holy day early in the fifth century.”

“2. The Lord’s Day is the day established by God for commemorating His resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ. It fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 118:22-24 (cp. Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:10f; 1 Peter 2:7f): “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.””

“We now continue.”

“3. The Lord’s Day is the day on which Christian churches assemble for worship. We do so according to the example of the apostles cited in the New Testament. “Now on the first day of the week [Sunday], … the disciples came together” (Acts 20:7).”

“We assemble on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the first day of the week, in order to observe those acts peculiar to Christian worship. We “break bread” in the observance of the Lord’s Supper and listen to the preaching of God’s Word (Acts 20:7), and express our joy for what God has done for us through Jesus Christ (Psalm 118:24), and collect our offerings for the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians 16:2), and so forth.”

“We assemble on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the first day of the week, in the same attitude of John the apostle when he said “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). To be “in the Spirit” is to worship under the influence of the Holy Spirit, being filled and led and taught by Him, and enabled by Him to worship and adore Jesus Christ. And to be “in the Spirit” is to worship in a state of elevated spiritual devotion and religious enjoyment.”

“4. The Lord’s Day is not a Christian Sabbath. Semi-Sabbatarians agree with Strict Sabbatarians regarding the present-day obligation to obey the Old Covenant commandment hallowing a weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-12). But Semi-Sabbatarians differ in teaching that the weekly Sabbath has been moved from Saturday to Sunday, thereby establishing Sunday as the Christian Sabbath.”

“They have no scintilla of Scriptural evidence. Nowhere does the Bible intimate such a changing of days, nor that Sunday is a Sabbath, nor that the apostles observed it as such.”

“Indeed, the New Testament emphatically teaches otherwise. Sabbath days belonged to Old Covenant times. That covenant has been abrogated and superseded by the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13). Consequently, the Sabbaths of the Old Covenant are to be ignored in these New Covenant times (Colossians 2:16f). And God approves the Christian who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5).”

“Rather, the Christian Sabbath is that rest which is found by faith in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:7-4:11). It is not a rest from physical labors for one day. It is rather a perpetual rest from spiritual labors (Matthew 11:28f). Have you entered into it?”

“#8 The only mention of the Lord’s Day in the New Testament is by John the apostle in Revelation 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” John did not specify which day of the week is the Lord’s Day. Its identity was evidently well-known to his readers.”

“Strict Sabbatarians (e.g. Seventh-Day Adventists), who believe the Old Covenant commandment hallowing Saturday as the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-12) is yet in effect, insist Saturday is the Lord’s Day. They also teach that faithful Christians taught the same until Constantine, emperor of Rome, sanctioned Sunday as a holy day early in the fifth century. They are wrong.”

“In the preceding message we observed:”

“1. The Lord’s Day is Sunday, the first day of the week. This was confirmed without dissent in the writings of contemporaries of the apostles and other early church fathers, including Barnabas (thought by many to be a companion of Paul the apostle), Ignatius (died 98 or 117), Justin Martyr (circa 100-165), and Chrysostom (345[?]-407). These authorities prove Strict Sabbatarians are wrong when they say the early church observed Saturday as the Lord’s Day until Constantine, emperor of Rome, sanctioned Sunday as a holy day early in the fifth century.”

“2. The Lord’s Day is the day established by God for commemorating His resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ. It fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 118:22-24 (cp. Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:10f; 1 Peter 2:7f): “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

“We now continue.”

“3. The Lord’s Day is the day on which Christian churches assemble for worship. We do so according to the example of the apostles cited in the New Testament. “Now on the first day of the week [Sunday], … the disciples came together” (Acts 20:7).”

“We assemble on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the first day of the week, in order to observe those acts peculiar to Christian worship. We “break bread” in the observance of the Lord’s Supper and listen to the preaching of God’s Word (Acts 20:7), and express our joy for what God has done for us through Jesus Christ (Psalm 118:24), and collect our offerings for the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians 16:2), and so forth.”

“We assemble on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the first day of the week, in the same attitude of John the apostle when he said “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). To be “in the Spirit” is to worship under the influence of the Holy Spirit, being filled and led and taught by Him, and enabled by Him to worship and adore Jesus Christ. And to be “in the Spirit” is to worship in a state of elevated spiritual devotion and religious enjoyment.”

“4. The Lord’s Day is not a Christian Sabbath. Semi-Sabbatarians agree with Strict Sabbatarians regarding the present-day obligation to obey the Old Covenant commandment hallowing a weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-12). But Semi-Sabbatarians differ in teaching that the weekly Sabbath has been moved from Saturday to Sunday, thereby establishing Sunday as the Christian Sabbath.”

“They have no scintilla of Scriptural evidence. Nowhere does the Bible intimate such a changing of days, nor that Sunday is a Sabbath, nor that the apostles observed it as such.”

“Indeed, the New Testament emphatically teaches otherwise. Sabbath days belonged to Old Covenant times. That covenant has been abrogated and superseded by the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13). Consequently, the Sabbaths of the Old Covenant are to be ignored in these New Covenant times (Colossians 2:16f). And God approves the Christian who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5).”

“Rather, the Christian Sabbath is that rest which is found by faith in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:7-4:11). It is not a rest from physical labors for one day. It is rather a perpetual rest from spiritual labors (Matthew 11:28f). Have you entered into it?”

“#9 Strict Sabbatarians believe the Old Covenant commandment hallowing Saturday as the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-12) is yet in effect. The most prominent Strict Sabbatarians today are Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah, and Seventh-Day Adventists.”

“The latter insist Christians today must observe the custom of Paul the apostle stated in Acts 17:2 regarding worshipping on the weekly Sabbath, Saturday.”

“They are correct, but not in the manner they suppose.”

“Paul did indeed customarily attend Sabbath worship services. According to The Acts of the Apostles, he did so in Perga (13:14ff), Iconium (14:1ff), Thessalonica (17:1ff), Berea (17:10ff), Athens (17:16f), Corinth (18:1,4ff), and Ephesus (19:1,8ff).”

“But Paul attended Sabbath worship services in order to preach the gospel to unbelievers. This fact is either conveniently overlooked or willfully disregarded by those who read Acts 17:2 apart from its context. We read in this context, Acts 17:1-3, that Paul “came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.'”

“Note well that on the Sabbath Paul was found in a “synagogue of the Jews,” not a church of Jesus Christ. Churches of Christ met not on the Jewish Sabbath, but “on the first day of the week,” Sunday, the Lord’s Day (Acts 20:7). (For proofs that Sunday, not Saturday, is the Lord’s Day see messages #148-149.)”

“Note also that on the Sabbath Paul was preaching “Jesus … is the Christ” to those who did not believe so, not to Christians who did.”

“Note furthermore the response of those who heard Paul preaching the gospel on the Sabbath. Unlike the Christians who rejoiced in Paul’s gospel in their Lord’s Day services, those to whom he preached on the Sabbath with but few exceptions despised his Christ and his gospel. In Perga “they opposed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 13:45). In Iconium “the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren [i.e. believers]” (Acts 14:2). In Thessalonica “the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason [a believer]” (Acts 17:5). When many Bereans believed Paul’s gospel and his Christ, “the Jews from Thessalonica … came there also and stirred up the crowds” (Acts 17:13). In Corinth “they opposed him and blasphemed” (Acts 18:6). In Ephesus “some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way [i.e. of Jesus Christ (John 14:6)]” (Acts 19:9). On one occasion those to whom Paul the apostle preached on the Sabbath despised the gospel of Christ which he preached so much that they stoned him and left him for dead (Acts 14:19f).”

“But Paul did not observe the Sabbath as the law of Moses required (see Galatians 4:9f; Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16f). (This point will be expanded in subsequent messages, D.V.)”

“Christians today should of course follow the custom of Paul regarding the Sabbath. If a congregation of Sabbath-keepers permits a disciple of Jesus Christ to address them, he should with all faithfulness “reason with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.'” This is the message Sabbath-keepers need to hear, and the only message gospel preachers should give to them.”

“He should also hope to find among them Bereans (Acts 17:11): “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.””

“But sadly, most Sabbath-keepers today will despise the gospel of Jesus Christ as much as did Sabbath-keepers in Paul’s day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“#10 Paul the apostle has a special warning to Christians who are observing the Sabbaths of the Old Covenant (Galatians 4:9-11): “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.” Consider:”

“Sabbath-keeping is bondage. Paul here addresses those who “observe days and months and seasons and years.” A most prominent aspect of these events was Sabbath-keeping. The “days” were the weekly Sabbaths, the seventh day of every week, Saturday, which God in Old Covenant times required Israel to hallow (Exodus 20:8-11). The “months” were the first days or “New Moons” of the months of Israel’s lunar calendar. The observance of these days was closely related to the Sabbaths (Numbers 28:9-15; Isaiah 1:13; 66:23). The “seasons” were the three annual festivals every Israelite male was required to attend in Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17): Unleavened Bread (Passover), Harvest (Pentecost), and Ingathering (Tabernacles). These involved convocational Sabbaths (Leviticus 23:7f,21,35f). The “years” were the Sabbath-years: every seventh year and Jubilee, the fiftieth year (Exodus 25:1-22).”

“Paul declares that all who obligate themselves to observe these Sabbaths of the Old Covenant are “in bondage” to “weak and beggarly elements.” Sabbath-keeping is “weak and beggarly” because it is incapable of saving anyone or giving rest to the soul. Sabbath-keeping is “bondage” because those who are most ardent in it will become more enslaved by it, eventually believing that man was made for the Sabbath and refusing to find liberation in the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ (Mark 2:23-28). Such persons are accused of plotting the destruction of Jesus Christ and His gospel (e.g. Mark 3:1-6).”

“Jesus Christ has liberated believers from this bondage. This freedom is experienced “after you have known God, or rather are known by God.” Paul testifies to believers that Jesus Christ has redeemed them from the bondage of the Law of Moses and its Sabbaths, resulting in these slaves to the Law being transformed into sons of God and heirs with Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:3-7). Believers call this “our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 2:4).”

“Every believer in Jesus Christ is therefore approved by God if he “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5). And he is required by God to “let no one judge you … regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths” (Colossians 2:16). He is not under the bondage which characterized Old Covenant Sabbath-keeping: being forbidden on Sabbaths to perform any work, or to enjoy any recreation, or to cook a meal, or to take a trip, and so forth.”

“The believer who obligates himself to Sabbath-keeping has denied his liberty and reverted to bondage. Paul therefore asks such persons “how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage. You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

“These professors of faith in Jesus Christ were being led astray by “false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage)” (Galatians 2:4). Such false brethren are found today among Sabbatarians (e.g. Seventh-Day Adventists) who instruct believers, “It is good that you have trusted in Jesus Christ. But faith in Christ is not enough for pleasing God. You must also observe Sabbath-keeping.” Paul refers to such persons as those “to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Galatians 2:5). Peter rebuked such persons with “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10).”

“Have you trusted Christ and forsaken Sabbath-keeping?”

“#11 Paul the apostle has admonished Christians in Colossians 2:16f to “let no one judge you … regarding … sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

“Here is a necessary exhortation: “let no one judge you regarding sabbaths.” Such judgments are made by Sabbatarians, those who believe the Old Covenant Sabbaths are yet binding on Christians today. They are often heard saying, “God commanded in the fourth of the Ten Commandments, as recorded in Exodus 20:8-11, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy….’ Why do you violate the commandment of God by not keeping Sabbaths?”

“To them we reply, “The same God who inspired Moses in Old Testament times to command Israel to ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy ….’ later inspired Paul to command Christians in these New Testament times to ‘let no one judge you regarding sabbaths.'” The Pauline commandment was given after the Mosaic commandment, and therefore clearly has precedence over it. Consequently, those who today would require Christians to observe Sabbaths, or who would judge them for not doing so, are clearly violating the New Testament commandment of God. God approves the Christian who “esteems every day alike” (Romans 14:5) and commands him to “let no one judge you regarding sabbaths.”

“Here is a glorious explanation: “sabbaths are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” The substance or body of Christ belongs to these New Testament times, the days of the gospel. These New Testament times began when He was incarnate in human flesh, when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) as “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16; cp. 1 John 1:1f). The body of Christ is here presented as having cast a shadow into the previous Old Testament times, the days of the law. His shadow included the Old Testament Sabbaths, which are here called “a shadow of things to come.”

“Note the contrast between Sabbaths and Christ. They are but shadows, but He is the substance (or body) who cast them. A shadow is but an imperfect representation of the one who casts it. Accordingly, the rests which were enjoyed in Sabbaths were but imperfect types of the rest which is enjoyed in Christ.”

“1) Sabbath rests were physical rests, for the body; Christ’s rest is spiritual rest, for the soul. He accordingly invites us to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…. you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28f).”

“2) Sabbath rests were observed for only one day of the week (after which the observer had to go back to work) and had to be constantly repeated; Christ’s rest is observed once for all. We are therefore taught that “he who has entered [Christ’s] rest has himself also ceased [forever] from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10).”

“3) Sabbath rests were observed by many who died in unbelief — even by many of the worst enemies of Christ (see Mark 3:1-6); Christ’s rest is enjoyed only by those who believe in Him (Hebrews 4:3): “For we who have believed do enter that rest.” God says to the former, “So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 4:3). But He says to the latter, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).”

“The shadow cast by a coming loved one may be considered very dear. But when that loved one has himself arrived, his shadow is forsaken and his body is embraced. In like manner, the Sabbaths in Old Testament times were to be considered “a delight” (Isaiah 58:13). But when the One who cast those shadows has Himself arrived, His shadow is forsaken and His body is embraced, for He is far more delightful. Believers today have accordingly forsaken Sabbath-keeping and commenced Christ-keeping.”

“Have your forsaken Sabbath-keeping and found that far greater rest in Jesus Christ. If you have, “Therefore let no one judge you regarding sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

“#12 The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews declared “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His [i.e. God’s] rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (4:9f).”

“This epistle was written in the Greek language. The Greek word translated “rest” in verse 9 is sabbatismos, “keeping of sabbath.” (This is the only appearance of this Greek word in Scriptures.) This Sabbath is identified as God’s Sabbath, “His rest,” in verse 10. And we are exhorted in both verses 9-11 to enter it.”

“We will in this message answer “What is this Sabbath?” We will in the subsequent message ask, “Have you entered into it?”

“This Sabbath is God’s personal Sabbath (v.10): it is “His rest.” It is not a Sabbath which God required only of mankind, such the weekly Sabbath required of Israel in former days in the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). The writer of this epistle identifies it thusly because God Himself has elsewhere in Scriptures called it “My rest” (vv.3,5, quoting Psalm 95:11).”

“God has observed such a Sabbath after performing each of His two great works: creation and redemption. Therefore, the writer of this epistle expounds the fact that …”

“1.) God has entered into the Sabbath of creation (4:4): “… ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works'” (quoting Genesis 2:2). This Sabbath was observed by God on the seventh day of the first week, during which He completed the work of creating the universe.”

“2.) God has entered into the Sabbath of redemption (4:14): “… we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God ….” This Sabbath was observed by God the Son after completing the work of redemption through His own death, having cried as He died “It is finished!” (John 19:30).”

“This Sabbath is God’s everlasting Sabbath (4:10): God has “ceased from His works.” Again this Sabbath is contrasted to that of the Ten Commandments, which was for one day only, after which Israel was to return to work until the next weekly Sabbath. When God entered into His Sabbath, He did so once-for-all, having “ceased from His works.” Therefore, God, having completed the works of creation and redemption, will never return to them.”

“This Sabbath is God’s shared Sabbath (4:10f): “For he who has entered His [i.e. God’s] rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall … [through] disobedience.” This text teaches us two truths:”

“1.) God has already entered into this Sabbath. This Sabbath is especially that of God the Son in redemption, as the present text is an introduction to His work as the great High Priest in the redemption of His people (4:14-10:25). This divine High Priest has accomplished what no mortal High Priest before Him had ever done. It was impossible for their many repeated sacrifices to pay the price of redemption for God’s people, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (10:1-4). The purpose of those mortal High Priests was to serve as types and figures of the divine High Priest who was to succeed them (9:1-10). He with one offering, His own blood, has “obtained eternal redemption” (9:11f; cp. 10:14,18). Having completed His work of redemption, He has “passed through the heavens” (4:14) and “sat down [the position of resting] at the right hand of God” (10:12). The Son of God has entered into His Sabbath!”

“2.) God exhorts us to join Him in this Sabbath. He has made it possible for us to enter into His Sabbath/rest with Him, and to thereby enjoy the cessation of all our works intended to result in our salvation. We may find rest from our works by trusting and resting only in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work.”

“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall … [through] disobedience” (4:11).”

#13 The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews declared “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His [i.e. God’s] rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (4:9f).

This epistle was written in the Greek language. The Greek word translated “rest” in verse 9 is sabbatismos, “keeping of sabbath.” (This is the only appearance of this Greek word in Scriptures.) This Sabbath is identified as God’s Sabbath, “His rest,” in verse 10. We are exhorted in both verses 9 and 11 to enter it.

We answered in the preceding message the question “What is this Sabbath?” It is the Sabbath of redemption observed by God the Son after completing His work as the great High Priest of His people. Having shouted in victory as He died “It is finished!” (John 19:30), and having “obtained eternal redemption” for them (Hebrews 9:11f), He “passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14) and “sat down [the position of resting] at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). God now exhorts us to join Christ in His rest.

We will answer in this message “How may we enter into this Sabbath?”

You will not enter this Sabbath through observing Sabbath-days. The recipients of this epistle were devout Hebrews, and therefore ardent Sabbath-day keepers. They enjoyed the rests which God had provided them in their weekly Sabbaths, but they were nevertheless told of a better Sabbath, God’s Sabbath, into which they should endeavor to enter. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (4:9). “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, lest us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (4:1). “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest” (4:11).

And let us not forget that the most ardent enemies of Jesus Christ were also the most ardent Sabbath-day keepers (e.g. Mark 2:23-3:6). Surely no such unrepentant person has entered God’s Sabbath.

You will enter this Sabbath only through obeying God by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. “For we who have believed do enter that rest” (4:3).

The writer of this epistle illustrates this truth by describing the unbelieving Israelites during their forty years of wandering from Egypt to the promised land (3:7-19). They heard the gospel of God, but they hardened their hearts against Him and refused to believe Him (vv.7-9). He therefore expressed His vehement anger against them: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest'” (vv.10f). The writer adds, “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not believe? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (vv.18f).

The writer then concludes, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, … and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience …. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” (4:1-3,6,11).

What is it to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ? 1) Acknowledge that He has fulfilled His ministry as the great High Priest of God’s people. 2) Acknowledge that He has therefore completed His work for their redemption and consequently entered into an everlasting Sabbath. 3) Obey His exhortation to join Him in His Sabbath by ceasing all works of self-righteousness designed to merit salvation, and rest in His redeeming merits alone.

Have you through faith in Jesus Christ entered God’s Sabbath? Are you resting your soul in Christ alone?

UPDATE:

The links I have provided no longer work. In order to be sure of this sermon series I did some hunting online and eventually found Mr. Parks.

Here is his email response to me in regards to if he wrote the sermons I have posted.

“Dear Friend,”

“     I am blessed that someone was blessed enough by something I preached to save it for future reference.”

“     The first time I preached that series was during my ministry on Tortola, British Virgin Islands 1990-93.  Adventists were very prevalent there, as they are on many Caribbean Islands.  I preached via a fifteen minute radio program every Wednesday morning 6:45-7:00am, just prior to the broadcast of the BBC News, and on the only AM radio station in the British Virgin Islands.  An Adventist minister telephoned me with the dare to preach what the Bible said about the Sabbath.  I felt led to accept his dare, and that series resulted.  He soon telephoned again to request I cancel the series, because, as he put it, it was confusing the Lord’s people.  In the midst of the series the Adventists conducted their annual crusade, which they reported was the least successful they had ever conducted on that island, and blamed me.”

“     Therefore, I am especially blessed by your kind remarks regarding the series.”

“     Blessings to you.”

“Your servant for Jesus’ sake,”

“Daniel E. Parks”

“FreeGraceRadio.com”

It is my hope that SDA followers leave Ellen G White and CLING to Jesus our Salvation!

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