Book: God's Plan for Mankind

I want to start out by reading a couple of letters. These are quite illustrative of what I have been receiving lately as well as phone calls similar to this. This past week I talked to one minister in Texas and I am convinced, as we have said, that when you don’t really stay close to God and so forth, when the difficulties and troubles come, you have no reserve at all, and you really don’t know what to do. So I told him I would send a care package, and in the care package would be some information on grace. And he said to me, “Oh I gave a sermon on that one time…” and [he] gave the definition of the word. And I thought to myself, “You don’t have a clue.” So there will be six tapes there.

Then I got a call from a woman who said she wanted to know about the covenants, and I asked her, “Are you serious?” And she said, “Yes.” I said, “Do you really want to study?” She said, “Yes.” So I said, “Okay, we’ll send it to you.” There will be twelve tapes on that plus some other things. Because you see, many times people will go through and they will give a sermon topic, and they will answer part of a question, and assume that they have answered the whole question. So that’s why we do things a little differently, we stick with it until we are done with it, which helps us all understand.

So anyway he says, “I believe you know my son. He gave me a copy of your book Lord, What Should I Do? We were members of Worldwide for twenty-five years.” Now I wonder how many thousands are out there in addition to the ones who are beginning to understand, who have read the Bible on their own, and are keeping the Sabbath.

Let’s look at something very important here in Mark 13 and Matthew 24. I know when I first thought about this, and when I first let it penetrate into my mind to get some of the thinking of God, rather than the thinking of men about what they think God says; because some people have said, “Well you know, we’ve published the gospel around the world already. They have already had their witness.” But those people are long since gone and the magazine they claimed that did it, now has been reduced in circulation from 8 million, to a million and a half, and the world is still going on. But here is what it says right here, verse 10 Mark 13, it’s talking about the end times. “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” What do you have in your hands? You have the gospel. The gospel being published in all nations refers to the Word of God. [It] does not refer to someone preaching about the gospel. The gospel will be preached in all the world, Matthew 24 tells us.

Now let’s go to Hebrews 4, and let’s understand something concerning the Old Testament. We’re going to make this just a little bit different today. We’re going to answer some of the questions that some of the difficulties people are bringing up are related in some of the things that we cover here. Hebrews 4:4, now we’re going to come back to Hebrews 4 and look at it a little later because we are going to see that one of the major teachings of Jesus Christ did in fact, have to do with the Sabbath day and with your capacity to work and with your capacity to eat and drink, verse 2, Hebrews 4: “For truly, we have had the gospel preached to us, even as they also did…” Who is he talking about? The children of Israel. So they had the gospel preached unto them in the form that God gave that to them. “…but the preaching of the word did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in those who heard.” So they had the gospel preached to them as well. What is this telling us? This is telling us that the gospel includes both what is known as the Old Testament and the New Testament, does it not? Yes, indeed it surely, surely does.

Remember several weeks ago we covered the scripture—let’s go there for just a minute just to review—because I think a lot of times when someone comes along with dynamite and blows up your foundation, which is what has been happening, you need to go back and repeat some things. So let’s go back and repeat some of these things. Let’s go to Luke 24, and here’s why the gospel was also in the Old Testament and as we know a covenant is God’s arrangement or agreement with you. And in every covenant, there are always the laws of God that go right through all the covenants.

Now here Luke 24 is a very, very important section in the Scriptures. Let’s pick it up here in verse 25: “Then He said to them, ‘O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!’ ” Does Christ expect us to believe the prophets? Yes, absolutely. Is that part of the gospel? Well, it surely is. It told an awful lot about Jesus Christ didn’t it? And it’s telling an awful lot about what’s going to happen at the end of the world isn’t it? And is that not part of preaching the gospel to the whole world? Sure it is.

He says, verse 26: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning with Moses…” So you see, Moses is part of the living Word of God. Verse 27: “And beginning with Moses, and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” So that was quite a Bible study. How would you like to have been at that Bible study where Christ Himself was telling you?

Verse 28: “And as they approached the village where they were going, He appeared to be going on farther. But they constrained Him, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is declining.’ And He entered in as if to stay with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and after breaking it, He gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened…” and that’s what has to happen with Christ, your eyes must be opened. That’s why Judaism is so dead. As we covered several weeks ago, the fig tree was cursed from the roots up. You have to have your eyes opened and only Christ can open them. “… And they knew Him…” and then what did He do? He immediately “…disappeared from them” (Luke 24:25-31).

Now if you are born again, that’s what you should be able to do. So there are some people who say they are born again, and they make fun of those … what was the old test, the hatpin test? Stick yourself and see if you bleed. The better one is just walk through the wall. That will be far more convincing.

Verse 32: “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as He was speaking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scriptures to us?’ ” And they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and those with them assembled together, saying, “In truth the Lord has risen! And He has appeared to Simon.” Then they related the things that had happened to them on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

Verse 36: “Now as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ ”

Now this is part of the glory that the disciples, especially John, wrote about where he says, “…and we beheld His glory as the only begotten Son of God.” Now they saw Him transfigured on the mountain. They saw Him in His glorified form at that point, and now they see Him raised from the dead. Verse 37: “But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit. Then He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts?’ ” And we need to understand that also, today, in our day. Now they had to live through the time to see Christ killed and then resurrected from the dead. Now today people come along and try and put fear in your hearts and fear in your minds and try and manipulate things to their own use.

Now as Carl and I were talking yesterday. We talk quite often, and he’s got some good things coming, and we have the publication on Grace back there all ready to go. I’m going to start working on the Sabbath publication some time right after the Passover. I’ve got a couple of other things I need to do before then. But he said and so I wrote it down—it’s just like some of the things that Ed has said through the years. Ed said, which is true, “If you have a movement, which is where you are doing something in the name of Christ, but Christ is not there—If you have a movement, you must have a monument.” And we’ll add to that, a dead saint.

Carl said yesterday, “It’s one thing to be moved by God to do His Will…” isn’t that something? That is true. And that’s what God wants. God wants someone to love, because He is capable of loving the whole world perfectly, correct? Yes. God wants someone who will have a relationship with Him, with His Spirit, to love Him. So, “it’s one thing to be moved by God to do His Will…” And that’s why there are a lot of independent Sabbath keepers out there; they are being moved to do the Will of God. And how many people are out there doing that? And God is going to bring them. God is going to call them. I don’t think we can get things up and running fast enough to meet the demand as it comes, just like with the Beliefs booklet, we have already done seven hundred of them and I only have a hundred left at home, all the rest are gone. And I have orders for more. Then he says, “It’s one thing to be moved by God to do His Will; it is another thing to presume that you can force God to be moved to do your will.” Now that’s really quite a profound thing. “It’s one thing to be moved to do the Will of God; it’s quite another thing for you to presume that you can move or force God to do your will.” Now this is why this is so important here, when we come to Luke 24 about understanding the Will of God.

So, “…He showed them His hands and His feet” verse 40. “But while they were still disbelieving and wondering for joy, He said to them, Do you have anything here to eat? Then they Him part of a broiled fish, and a piece of honeycomb. And He took these and ate in their presence.” Verse 44: “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” That’s how you understand the Bible, by Christ sending His Spirit to be with you to open your mind. Can God do that anywhere, anytime with anyone? Yes, He can. And I think God is going to demonstrate it. I think God is going to purposefully do that so that if any minister, any minister at all, or any person be so presumptuous to think that they have a corner on the market with God to force Him to do their will, God is going to do just the opposite. You can be guaranteed that.

Now let’s go to Matthew 6 and let’s see something concerning the Will of God, concerning what is in the law of Moses, and what is in the law of Moses that is most objected to—obviously the Sabbath, that is the most objected to. And it’s even to the point now where people are being taught “Well, it’s okay to work on the Sabbath if your family is starving. It’s okay to go out and do good humanistic works on the Sabbath, such as build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Because, after all, God doesn’t want you to starve and God wants you to provide for your family because if you don’t provide for your family, you’re worse than an infidel.” Hear those scriptures, and yes, yes, yes, and if you’re sleepy and not studying the Bible and if you don’t know what the Word of God is, then you’re going to be in really bad shape. But you see the truth is, the Ten Commandments are a part of the gospel, are they not? If the gospel is also contained in the Old Testament, are not then the Ten Commandments part of the gospel?

Hold your place here in Matthew 6 and let’s go back and let’s just read this section. Let’s go to Deuteronomy 5 since we go to Exodus 20 all the time, let’s go to Deuteronomy 5 where the Ten Commandments are listed there and let’s just read the ones concerning the Sabbath. And then we’ll ask some questions concerning the Sabbath so that we will know. Now I’m covering some of this, and I know it’s very basic, and I kind of feel like the apostle Paul when he wrote the Book of Hebrews. He said, “Can’t we just go beyond the principles of Christ unto perfection?” [Paraphrased.] Well, I would have to say, no, because we’ve got to go back and pick up the basics every once-in-a-while. Too many people are not ready to go on to perfection. I’ll try and start that next week, but we need to cover this so we know exactly what we are saying.

Let’s pick it up here in verse 12, this is Chapter 5 of the Book of Deuteronomy, and Deuteronomy means, The Second Giving of the Law. And in the Book of Deuteronomy, as we will see next week, there are many things concerning the gospel of Christ and the gospel as to how we should keep it in the New Testament—many, many things. Notice verse 12: “Keep the Sabbath…” Now in Exodus 20, it says “Remember the Sabbath…” Here he says, “Keep the Sabbath…” Now that’s pretty direct isn’t it? Question: Does God want us to keep the Sabbath? Yes! Yes! It says, “Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work:” Unless you’re unemployed, unless your family is starving—no. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God…” Now if you love God and fear God and keep His Commandments, are you going to keep it? Is it not part of the gospel of Christ? Yes, it is. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall not do any work…” Unless it’s time-and-a-half, or perhaps, double-time—no, it doesn’t say that does it.

So, if any man comes along and says to you, “Well now, the Sabbath for us today is Christ in us, and the rest of Christ, being in us, is our Sabbath.” Do you know what that explanation is? Any guesses? That is mental insanity! That’s not true. Christ in you motivates you to keep the Sabbath correctly, not the opposite to give up on it. “…you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger within your gates; so that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt…” Now when we come to the days of Unleavened Bread which we will be coming to here very quickly, it will be upon us faster than we know, what does Egypt picture? Egypt is a type of sin. The Pharaoh is a type of Satan. They’re the ones who have you working seven days a week because you are slaves to the system. So he is saying remember you were a slave in the land of Egypt.

Now today if Christ were here to open our minds to tell us what it would be, it would not surprise me one bit if He said, “You are a slave to this world system. Therefore, you keep the Sabbath and on the Sabbath day, you remember what it was like to live without the Sabbath.” It is quite instructive you see. “…And the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand…” Question: Who calls any individual? God does, doesn’t He? Does it take a mighty hand—sometimes something even greater than a mighty hand? What is the strongest thing in the world to change? The human mind. So when God’s Spirit comes to call you and bring you out of the world, that’s greater than a mighty hand, because He is not just changing your position from one place to another, He is changing your mind from being hostile to God to opening your mind to love God. That’s a tremendous difference. So He “… brought you out from there with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” He commanded you.

Now let’s go back to Matthew 6 and see that Matthew 6 is built upon the Sabbath Commandment, since we understand that the Sabbath is part of the gospel, and we will see that confirmed when we come back to Hebrews 4. And this is very basic for us to go through, because you know brethren, there are people now who have kept the Sabbath for years and are wondering, “Should we keep the Sabbath?”

What happens when someone comes along and teaches you to sin? Does anyone know what that is called in the Bible? It is the doctrine of Balaam, yes. Because Balaam was hired by Balak to come and curse the children of Israel. You can read that in Numbers 22, 23 and 24. And he went up on a mountain and he saw all the children of Israel and all he could do was bless. So Balak gave him all this money and he was coming out of his gourd. He said, “Now look, I gave you this money, and I hired you to curse them.” And he said, “And you went up here on the top of the mountain and you blessed them. Now go on up there and curse them.” So he goes on up again, and he blesses them. And Balak is really getting out of shape, see, he’s really getting mad. He said, “Didn’t I hire you to curse them!” He [Balaam] said, “Well, I can only do what the LORD will allow.” Then he [Balak] said, “Now go on up there again and curse them.” So he went up and blessed them with the longest best blessing that you could read. And so Balak was really angry so Jude tells us that what Balaam did was teach Balak to cast a stumbling block in front of the children of Israel to entice them to sin so that God would have to correct them. Now that’s happening within any church, Sunday keepers are doing that in relationship to Sabbath, are they not? Yes, they are. Sabbath keepers who are now ready to shift over to Sunday keeping, are they not doing the same thing by saying it’s okay to work on the Sabbath, when God says you shall not do any work? It’s one thing if there is an “ox in the ditch,” it’s another thing if a car is broken down, but you don’t go to the junkyard every Sabbath and resurrect all the cars. You see, in other words, you don’t throw them into the ditch, and that’s what they are doing.

Now we are going to see that Matthew 6 is inexorably tied to the Sabbath; it has to be. Verse 24: “No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other…” it always happens, does it not? Have you ever worked for a partnership where the bosses were equal, and then they got into a feud? Try that some time, it’ll…give you fits. “…or he will hold to the one and despise the other.” Now is that not happening with those who are rejecting and despising the Laws of God, the Commandments of God? Yes. Yes, indeed! “…You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Now hold your place right here and let’s go to Mark 2. Let’s look at this thing concerning master. [master in Matt. 6:24] It could also be translated lord because it comes from the Greek word kurios. Now let’s look at that in relationship to the Sabbath, and you’re going to hear a passel of sermons that are coming out that are going to cover a lot of these same things. Now let’s come to verse 23: “Now it came to pass that He went through the grain fields…” as it should read—not corn as we understand corn, but that wouldn’t be too bad. If you were back in Iowa walking through a corn field and the corn was ripe and you just reach up and snap off an ear and peeled it back… have you ever eaten that fresh, sweet corn right off the cob, raw? Oh man, it’s good. “…and as His disciples made their way through the fields, they were picking and eating the grain. Then the Pharisees said to Him…” Now this is their own law, because it says that you shall not reap the corners, you shall leave it for the poor, and if anyone is passing through your field, he can pluck a little and eat, but he is not to stop there and encamp and harvest. But the Pharisees said if you pluck a head of corn on the Sabbath, you’re working, you’re laboring, you’re harvesting. That’s not a law of God. So they said, verse 24: “… Why are they doing that which is not lawful on the Sabbaths?” There was no law against it, except their own tradition. So that’s why they are saying this.

So Jesus answered with another one for them to figure out which was greater and harder to figure out. Mark 2:25: “And He said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was hungry and in need of food, he, and those with him? How in the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered into the house of God and he ate the showbread…’ ” Now the showbread, if you recall from the slides or the book on the Tabernacle, there was a loaf of bread which was especially baked and was in a special container and there was one loaf for each one of the twelve tribes of Israel and these were before the LORD constantly. They had to change them every week. The priest could eat it.

Now let’s ask the question concerning David, because here is the correct answer. Who was David? Not yet, he was not yet king at that point, he was the king-designate. What was David also in addition to being the king-designate and later to be king? Was he not also a prophet of God? Yes, he was. Did he not prophecy concerning Christ in the Psalms, concerning many things in the Psalms? Yes, he did. So you see the correct answer is that, even though it was unlawful for anyone else to eat it, the truth is, to give it to David and David to give it to his men, because they had need was not against the laws of God whatsoever. Let’s go on. “…And he ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?’ ” So He gave them something to try to figure out. If they are so smart and condemn people for plucking a head of grain, then go figure this one out. If you want to figure out between what is lawful and what is not lawful, because the most important thing is that you worship and serve God in spirit and truth.

So He said, verse 27: “And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man…’ ” and as we have seen in the past, for the purpose of fellowshipping with God—not just for the purpose of fellowshipping with each other. That is necessary and that is true, but if we just fellowship with ourselves and God is not there, well then there is no reason for us to come together then is there? It was made for man for that specific purpose. “… and not man for the Sabbath...’ ” In other words, man is not going to go tell God who made and created the Sabbath, “God, I don’t want to keep your Sabbath. It gets in the way. Now I can’t earn a living.” Well, what do you think Satan wants to get the whole world bound up into—[being] so busy, just like in Egypt that you have to work seven days to meet the bare meager things of even living. So man is not going to come along and tell God, force God … (That’s why this is so significant: “It is another thing to presume that you can force, or make God to be moved to do your will.”) No it’s not for a man.

Verse 28: “Therefore, the Son of man (Jesus Christ) is Lord…” Now the word for Lord is master, kurios. “You cannot serve two masters” Matthew 6:24. And He is saying the same thing here. The Sabbath was made for man by God, and not man for the Sabbath. Because there is one Lord of the Sabbath which is Jesus Christ. And you can’t serve two Sabbaths to do the activities of men. “Therefore, the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” This, brethren, tells us that the Christian Sabbath is the same day that God gave to ancient Israel, the seventh day of the week, and Christ is Lord of it (Mark 2:23-28)!

Now let’s go back to Matthew 6 and let’s read what He says, and this ties directly in with the Sabbath. Now Dwight Blevins from Grand Junction called me and he’d been studying this and so he is the one who planted the seed for today’s sermon. He said, “When you read Matthew 6, is this not tied directly into the Sabbath and working?” Let’s read it. Verse 25. After He says, “…You cannot serve God and mammon” That’s very interesting isn’t it? You can’t keep the Sabbath while you are working on it to earn a living. And mammon is living, riches, to get money. Verse 25: “Because of this I say to you…” Go work on the Sabbath, it’s okay because I know you’ve got to live. I know you have to survive. Now that’s perfectly all right with me. No. He doesn’t say that. He says, “…do not be anxious about your life as to what you shall eat and what you shall drink;” the very basic necessities, correct? “…Nor about your body as to what you shall wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Is it not? Yes. Yes, indeed.

Now He says, “Observe the birds of heaven: they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor do they gather into granaries; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?” What is He really saying here? He is saying that, if you don’t trust God to provide for you, obviously in the Sabbath keeping situation here, then you are counting yourself less than the birds. You are counting yourself in a situation that you are really actually saying, “God cannot provide for me.” Which then is what? That’s accusing God, is it not? Yes, it is. “…But who among you, by taking careful thought, is able to add one cubit to his stature? And why are you anxious about clothing?” He says, “Now I know you need to be clothed, don’t worry about it.” [Paraphrased.] Continuing with verse 28: “…Observe the lilies of the field, how they grow: they do not labor, nor do they spin; but I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.” God is going to clothe you, if He is going to take care of the plants, if He is going to provide for the birds, if He is going to provide for His whole creation, which He does, and His whole creation is an expression of His love to all of mankind. Verse 30: “Now if God so arrays the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much rather clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Now that’s why we have said that the Sabbath is a test Commandment. Is it not? Yes. Well, the truth is, every Commandment is a test Commandment. Is it not? “…Will you keep My Commandments or no?” Yes, every one is. So you have to have faith. Verse 31: “Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘With what shall we be clothed?’ ” [But some will say] Boy you know, this Sabbath Commandment is pretty tough. And you know my bank account’s really getting low. And my wife over here is nagging at me, and my children are hungry and they have holes in their shoes, and they’re just about ready to go barefoot. Therefore God, I’m going to break the Sabbath and go work because I don’t have one bit of faith in you for you to provide.” That’s what they’re saying, are they not? What should they do? They should go to God, and if they are having a difficult time on the Sabbath day, pray and draw closer to God. Ask for His Spirit in love and do the things that please God. He’ll gladly provide for you.

I just talked to a man recently, whose wife was just beating him over the head, so to speak. “Well, you turned down all these jobs because of the Sabbath. And this last one was really a good one. And now the church says you can work on the Sabbath, and yet you refused.” So he held to keeping the Sabbath and God blessed him with a better job than any of those that he turned down. God was able to provide. Can He not do that? Yes.

Now verse 32: “For the nations seek after all these things.” And they work seven days a week don’t they? And they don’t keep the Sabbath do they? So this is intrinsically bound up in the Sabbath Command isn’t it? “…And your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.” God knows. If you know, God knows, and if God knows, He’ll take care of it—maybe not in the way you think or in the means or the manner in which you suspect, maybe it will not be as much because there are other lessons to learn. Maybe it will be more than you expect because God is blessing you above and beyond. And that’s all in God’s hands, and that’s all in God’s relationship with you. “… But as for you, seek first the kingdom of God…” That’s what it needs to be. God will take care of it. Now can you truly seek the Kingdom of God if you’re not keeping the Sabbath, when the Sabbath pictures the whole situation concerning the Kingdom of God? No. “…and His righteousness…” Now let’s just plug in here, the imputed righteousness of God. That’s what you are to seek. Would God break His own Sabbath? Did God break His own Sabbath? No! Now if you go back and read Exodus 16 and the giving of the manna, what did God do? He gave manna for six days and five of those days, he said, “Now look you just go out and you get a certain much for everyone. Now don’t keep it over to the next day because it’s going to breed worms and stink. But on the sixth day, you go out and you gather twice as much, and then you prepare for the Sabbath and you can keep it over and it won’t breed worms and stink.” Now consider the fact that this happened for forty years, every single week. That’s quite a thing isn’t it? Now some of them thought, “Boy, I’m going to go out and get some manna on this Sabbath day!” So they went out to look and God said, “Now look, how long refuse you to keep my commandments?” [Paraphrased.] And that was long before the giving of the Ten Commandments.

Continuing with verse Matt. 6:33: “But as for you, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” Just exactly what you need. Now some people are going to be blessed more than others. Does that mean they are more righteous? No. No. No. No, it does not. It just means that God has blessed them more than others. So therefore, if someone has more than you, you don’t get mad at God and say, “Well, You didn’t give it to me, You gave it to him.” No, that’s not it. Here is what we are to do, verse 34: “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow;” that means do not be anxious, do not be worried. If you have faith in God and trust in God, He will provide. “…For tomorrow shall take care of the things of itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil of that day.” Now isn’t it true, every day has got it’s own problems, right? Yes! So handle those, day by day. The question is: How do we differentiate what I said by one person receiving more of a blessing than another, as compared with what it says in the Old Testament that if you do these things, you will be blessed? I didn’t say the lack of blessing, I just said that God may give someone more, bless them with more rather than you, I’m not saying that He isn’t going to bless you or provide for you (Matthew 6:24-34).

Now let’s just turn the page back, Matthew 6, and let’s see how this all ties in together. Matthew 6:9: “Therefore you are to pray after this manner…” which is how you develop faith, “…Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven:” And that’s what we need. We need the Will of God. And that will answer the question, how is God going to bless us? Maybe God is going to bless us with a trial because He has a greater purpose in mind. And sometimes we don’t know while we are going through those trials that He has a greater purpose in mind, but nevertheless, that’s how God works. Notice the next verse, verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread;” So that ties in with the rest of Matthew 6 where He says, “Give no thought about what you will eat, what you will drink…” so forth, for God will take care of you (Matthew 6:9-11).

Now in relationship to that let me finish this letter here, “We were members of the WCG for about twenty-five years. Then things started to change. First off, they had first, second, third tithe, tithe of the tithe, excess second tithe, building fund, and special funds, work two or three jobs if you had to, etc., to keep it up, and tithe on the gross. They live like kings in mansions and pools and two or three homes, get planes— something is rotten in California. I had to get out. Now changes again! Work on the Sabbath! Work on the Holy Days! Holy Days are not commandments. Eating unclean meats is okay, etc. Anyway, your book, Lord, What Should I Do is refreshing. Please send me four copies.” So I will.

Here is another letter from a man, and this is pretty typical as to what we are able to do to help the people, and so he says, “Although belatedly it is with much thanks and appreciation that I send this for the package and the box of tapes forwarded. I honestly can’t put into words what all this means to me. So you may never know how much you have done regarding where I am at in my pilgrimage” obviously with God. “I have listened to all but a couple of tapes so far and will have them digested very soon. Yes, I most certainly will look forward to the other package you mentioned and I will be eagerly looking forward to it. When I first wrote you, I knew God was still there somewhere, but I never thought I would feel like the Prodigal Son…”

“But I never thought I would feel like the Prodigal Son coming home to a loving father as I experienced when going through your tapes and books.” That’s what it needs to be. That’s why I just did the video To Return to God. It’s going to help out a lot of people. [The man wrote]: “I was very inspired with your resignation tape. If my memory serves me right, I recall that (he gives the name of the minister) being sent to that area at that time to troubleshoot after a lot of questions were raised regarding various church matters. Needless to say, it would take me many pages to relate my thanks and experience since coming into contact, but time limits me. Either you are a servant of God, or the best con-artist I have come across. I can’t remember when so much care was shown to me by the ministry. The only care package I received from other groups that left WCG was a co-worker letter and small bundles of tithe envelopes. I believe very strongly in God’s laws on tithing and like many others, I don’t need to be reminded like that. Thanks for treating me like a child of God and not another one of the dumb sheep. Best wishes to you in your service Mr. Coulter, and I am praying for you and with you in the meantime.”

So that’s what happens when we send out a care package. We get many, many such letters back. And we can help that way, brethren, an awful lot. When you wrap your whole life up in serving God and then someone comes along and steals it from you, and then after they steal it they begin throwing it away, it’s no wonder that there are a lot of people in just such terrible, terrible, terrible shape out there.

Now let’s go back and read some commands concerning the Sabbath. Because we do need to have this basic sermon concerning the Sabbath, in the light of the things that are going on, and I just want you to understand, we related here Exodus 16 already, but let’s go back there for just a minute because this is important. Exodus 16:25, after the whole incident concerning the giving of the manna, “And Moses said, ‘Eat it today; for today is a Sabbath to the LORD. Today you shall not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.’ ” There will be no manna there. Now what is this also telling us? What was manna? [It is] food, correct. Who provided it? God did. That ties right in with Matthew 6, is that not correct? Yes. Is not God able to provide? Yes! Does He want you to work on the Sabbath? No! No, as we saw, he said no work, not any work. And don’t be throwing everything into the ditch so you have an excuse to work. There won’t be any out there.

Question: If God was not going to send the manna, and there wasn’t going to be anything out there for them, do you think that God will bless anyone for Sabbath breaking when they know better? Do you think that God is going to bless them with their work? Now what’s going to happen to these poor people who say, “Well, I believe what so-and-so said about it being okay to work on the Sabbath. I’ll go ahead and work on the Sabbath.” Now what happens if they lose their job? Now they are going to be in worse shape, because with the devising of men, you are not going to force God to do your will. God is not going to bless that effort. God is not going to prosper you in what you do when it is sin. We have all tried it haven’t we? Haven’t we all kidded ourselves and said, “Well, God understands, this sin won’t hurt a little bit. After all I’m trying to do good.” That’s what everyone wants to do—do good in their sinning. No. No! I’ve done that. Did I prosper in it? Nope. Did I do well in it? Nope. Was I happy in it? Nope. Was God pleased in it? No. Did God in His mercy and graciousness and love, lead me to repentance? Yes. Which means then, He doesn’t want me to do it, right? Right. So it is the same way with any of us and in anything we do.

Now verse 27: “And it came to pass that some of the people went out on the seventh day in order to gather…” Now these are hardworking people, right? [They are] diligent, yes, “workaholics,” in this case, “mannaholics.” They want to go out and get more manna. “… and they did not find any. And the LORD said unto Moses…” Now this is really quite something, what He said here. He didn’t say, “Now I understand. You know these people have been bound up in Egypt for so long, and I know that they worked every day. Now you know I understand that they had to go and look just to satisfy their own curiosity.” No! He said, verse 28: “...‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?’ ” Now I want you to make special note of that and always remember Exodus 16:28. That’s a very important verse. Why? Because when people get into these arguments concerning Old Testament/New Testament Laws and Commandments and the giving of [them] and so forth; please understand that the Laws and Commandments of God were in effect before they ever got to Mt. Sinai, before God ever spoke them. That’s what it is saying right here. “...‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments, and My laws? See, because the LORD has given you the Sabbath…” It is a gift! The Sabbath is a creation and a gift from God so that you can fellowship with God, so that you can love God, so that God can love you, so that God can instruct you out of His Word. God is the one who has a corner on the Sabbath. God is the one who has a corner on the truth, not us. “…The LORD has given you the Sabbath, therefore He gives you the bread of two days on the sixth day…” So here is another gift, a miraculous gift, “...‘the bread of two days...Let each one stay in his place. Do not let any one go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:27-30).

Now let’s come to Exodus 20:8, we’re just going to read some very important things here, very fundamental for us to understand. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” No other day can be holy, except the Holy Days. Sunday is not holy. God never made it holy. Verse 9: “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 not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter; your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your livestock, nor the stranger within your gates; For in six days…” It goes back to creation. What is the authority of the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments? It’s a creation, God made it. When you keep the Sabbath, you know that, “… in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it (Exodus 20:8-11).

Now all the way through—let’s come to Chapter 23, and let’s see what He says here. The Sabbath is perhaps one of the most often mentioned commands in the whole Bible. Verse: 12: “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your handmaid, and the stranger, may be rejuvenated. And be watchful in all that I have said to you. And make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth” (Exodus 23:12-13).

Let’s come to Chapter 31—this is just in the Book of Exodus. I mean we could go through Deuteronomy and Numbers and Leviticus and all of that. Now what I want you to do with Exodus 31 which becomes a very important thing concerning the Sabbath, which is this: Let’s understand something—remember what we did a couple of weeks ago, going through and showing in Numbers 11 concerning that the church was an extension of Israel, and that those Gentiles who are called, are grafted into the olive tree of Israel? Now with that in mind, let’s begin reading in verse 12: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, “Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths…” It’s very important “…for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies you’ ” ” (Exodus 31:12 -13).

Let’s ask some questions here. What is the whole purpose of the New Testament for each one of those who are called saints? Why are you called saints? Because you have the Holy Spirit of God and you are sanctified. God is the one who is sanctifying us. God is the one who sanctified the Sabbath, did He not? He blessed it and He sanctified it. Okay? [It’s the] same way with us—that’s why we are to keep the Sabbath. Now remember the “children of Israel throughout your generations…” If we are part of Israel, now spiritual Israel, are there still generations of Israel? Yes, indeed. Can we not have spiritual meaning out of these verses as well because it’s part of the gospel? Absolutely.

Exodus 31:14: “You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you. Everyone that defiles it shall surely be put to death…” maybe not that day, maybe not for many years, but what is the ultimate outcome—“The wages of sin is death.” When you teach people to sin, the wages of sin is death. “…Shall surely be put to death, for whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” Now I tell you what’s going to happen, those who begin breaking the Sabbath by working on it because now the leader says it’s okay to do it and after all, you know, “He said I could, Lord.” Did he not? If he says I could, Lord, I’m going to. Therefore, I’m justified.”

Let’s go back to Genesis 3 for just a minute. That’s the same old thing of human nature going way back, Genesis 3, when they got caught in their sins. Notice whose fault it was. Hold your place here in Exodus 31, we’ll be back there. Notice what happened. God came and He was calling them, “Where are you?” They were hiding. And let’s pick it up here in verse 10: “And he [Adam] said, ‘I heard You walking in the garden, and I was afraid, because I am naked, and so I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ ” Now you can put any commandment in there, right? You can put anything in there. “Have you done that which I said you should not do?” Have you—be it the Sabbath, be it idols, be it taking God’s name in vain, be it any of the Commandments of God, be it anything in the New Testament; you put it there.

Verse 12: “And the man said…” Yep, I sure did. God I’m terribly sorry. No, what did he do? He said, “…‘The woman whom You gave to be with me…’ ” Now what is he really saying? God you’re the one. You are at fault, not me, but the woman you gave me. Now he wanted her, desired her, presented to him he said, “Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman.” So you see, you’re not going to have a cop-out by blaming the church leader. Even if the church leader comes and says do this or that or the other thing. If it is against the Law of God or the Commandments of God, you’re not to do it!

Let’s go on here verse 13. So, “…the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said…” Well look; it really wasn’t my fault. It was this serpent that snuck in here, see? “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So God took care of them all. He said, “Look, you’re not going to escape the judgment or the penalty for what you have done.” [Paraphrased].

So likewise today, those who go out and work because a church leader has said it’s okay to work—let’s understand something concerning things like childbirth, or an accident, or something like that. There are things that need to be done, and you know, babies come because babies come, and it is called child labor; it is painful and it is in travail. So God certainly expects that to be taken care of. And I am sure that if you are coming to Sabbath services and you are in an accident, that you are going to be very happy a Highway Patrolman is there to help you, or an ambulance is there to help you. Now in this world there are those things that go on. However, how many of you have had an accident coming to Sabbath services? No hands raised. How many here (well, you might remember and you might not) had your children born on the Sabbath day? If a person is a nurse and, say, works in a hospital, there are certain things that need to be done, but I was talking to a nurse last night who called and she said, “Well, there are always plenty of people who want to come and work on Saturday, so I just swap shifts with them.” So you see where your desire is to please God and serve Him, there is going to be a way. God will provide a way.

I have often had people ask me this: “Well, how do you keep the Sabbath at the North Pole?” And my answer is: “When I get a letter from someone at the North Pole, I’ll answer it.” In the meantime, that question cannot be answered because no one is there to keep the Sabbath. What do you do when you live in a high northern latitude and you have a whole lot of dark? Then you calculate it by what you see. And that’s how you calculate the Sabbath, and it will generally work out to be approximately 24 hours long. What about when the sun never sets in the summer? Well, when it dips to its lowest point, in the middle of the lowest point, that’s the ending of the day so you go from there (Genesis 3:10-13).

Now let’s come back to Exodus 31:15: “Six days may work be done; but on the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as…” look at this next word, “…a perpetual covenant.” This is in addition to the covenant that was given at Sinai. This is a special Sabbath keeping covenant. Why did He make it a special Sabbath keeping covenant for a perpetual covenant? I would have to say, brethren, for the New Testament church, why else? Knowing that we would not have a temple, knowing that we would not have a priesthood, but still keep it, right? Verse 17: “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:15-17).

Now you can go through many other places. Let’s go clear over to Ezekiel 20. Why did the children of Israel go into captivity? [It was] because they broke the Commandments of God and broke the Sabbath. Ezekiel, Chapter 20—this is quite a lesson. How important is it, and when we read this, let’s understand that God says in the Book of Ezekiel three times, “I don’t delight in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his ways.” [Paraphrased.] Now, Ezekiel 20:1: “And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, of the tenth day of the month, that some of the elders of Israel came to ask of the LORD, and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘…Speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will not be inquired of by you.’ ” In other words, just like I started out: “It is one thing to be moved by God to do His Will; it’s another thing to presume that you can force or make God to do your will.” That’s what He just said here. “Are you going to come and question me?” That’s what God said. “…‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will not be inquired of by you.’ ” Verse 4: “Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers…” So now we have a history lesson.

Hold your place right here and go to 1 Corinthians 10. Paul gave a history lesson there didn’t he? What was the history lesson? Let’s pick it up here in 1 Corinthians 10:5: “But with many of them God was not pleased, for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness.” Now we are going to read about that again in Exodus 20 here in just a minute. [But] Verse 6: “Now these things became examples for us, so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” Now what did we just read about in Exodus 16 on lusting, going out to break the Sabbath, correct? Yes. Verse 7: “Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.’ Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day. Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents.” Do we not tempt Christ when we reject the Sabbath? Yes, we do. “Neither should we complain [murmur]…” and is that not what’s happening, complaining murmuring, criticizing against God, see? That’s what He is saying in Ezekiel 20. “Are you going to come and inquire of Me?” Are you going to come and complain to Me? Go read the whole Book of Jeremiah, how merciful God was where He said over, and over, and over again “You find some people who will do what is right, and I will turn back this captivity. I’ll change it, I don’t want them to die.” [Paraphrased.] [ I Cor. 10] Verse 11: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming.” Are we living in the last days? Yes! More so than Paul? Yes! “Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.” They are not falling now, they are pushing. Yeah, they are running [Away from God] (1 Corinthians 10:5-12).

Let’s go back to Ezekiel 20 again. So let’s have a little history lesson here in Ezekiel 20, quite instructive. Verse 5: “And say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD; “In the day that I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt…” Now has God made Himself known to you? Did God send His Spirit today to make Himself known? Yes. What is the whole thing that we are to know? We are to know God—we are to know Christ, we are to know the Father. Is that not correct? “He that says I know Him and keeps not His Commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” Didn’t we study that in 1 John? Yes, indeed. And the one who is keeping the Commandments and walking the way that Jesus did, …in him is the love of God being perfected. Correct? Yes! So just as God chose them, he chose us. Continuing in verse 5: “…When I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;” Verse 6: “In the day that I lifted up My hand to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:” Verse 7: “Then I said to them, ‘Let each man throw away the abominations of his eyes…” whatever it may be, an idol, fornication, adultery, stealing, idolatry, taking God’s name in vain, breaking the Sabbath, whatever it may be. “…And defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt…”

And what are we doing today? Back in Memphis Tennessee they’ve got a whole pyramid back there—did you know that—where they take people through and they run them through the demonic initiations into the ancient rites of Egyptian religion—right here in the United States.

He says, continuing in verse 7: “Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Verse 8: “But they rebelled against Me and would not hearken to Me, They did not each man throw away the abominations of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. And I said, ‘I will pour out My fury against them to fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’ ” Verse 9: “But I worked for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the heathen among whom they were…” In other words, He said even while they were in the land of Egypt they were so involved in idolatry that He was even going to destroy them right in the land of Egypt before He ever called them out. So what did they do when they got to Mt. Sinai and Moses was up on the mountain for forty days? They said, “Aaron, make us calves.”

So He didn’t do it. Continuing verse 9: “…for I made Myself known to them in their eyes, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. And I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them My statutes and showed them My ordinances, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.” The righteousness number one of the letter of the law. Correct? Yes. “And also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies them.”

Verse 13: “But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My ordinances…” Can you imagine what it must have been like? No wonder Moses complained all the time, “Oh Lord you got me saddled down with all these people.” You know, when they were good they were the people of God; when they were bad, they were Moses’ people all the way through there. Continuing with verse 13: “…And they greatly polluted My Sabbaths. And I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to destroy them.’ But I worked for My name’s sake, (I held back, no I didn’t do it) so that it should not be profaned before the heathen in whose sight I brought them out.” Even Moses said, “Now God consider what the other nations are going to say if you kill them—that you brought them out here to destroy them. Now think about that LORD.” [Paraphrased.] And He did. Verse 15: “And also I lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, and swore that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them—flowing with milk and honey, the glory of the lands—because they despised My judgments and walked not in My statutes, and they polluted My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.”

Now what is the idol today? Mammon, money, dollars, bucks, power, prestige, notoriety, clothes, car—we have so many things out there that could be abominations— it’s unreal. Continuing in verse 17: “Nevertheless My eye spared them— from destroying them; nor did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said to their children…” now He is referring to the Book of Deuteronomy— the children, the second giving of the Law. “…I said to their children…” before they went into the land “…Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the LORD your God. Walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them.” What did Jesus say? “If you love me, keep my commandments.” “If you love me keep my words.” [It is the] same thing, exactly the same thing. Verse 20: “And keep My Sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. But the children rebelled against Me…” And all you have to do is read the Book of Joshua, and the Book of Judges, and as soon as Joshua and the elders died, what did they do? [They went] Right back to Sunday keeping, right back to Christmas keeping, right back to those things, and mark my words: When they quit keeping the Sabbath, that’s exactly what’s going to happen again. It will happen.

So they “...rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes, nor keep My ordinances to do them—the ordinances which, if a man do, he shall even live in them. And they polluted My Sabbaths, and I said, I would pour out My fury on them, to fulfill My anger against them... Nevertheless I withdrew My hand…” So God just finally threw His hands up and said, “All right, if you want it I’m going to let you have your own ways, and when you get so filled with your own ways and your own idolatry, and your own pollution, and your own wretchedness, and your own rottenness, then you come crying to me, then I’ll hear.” [Paraphrased.]

So verse 24 He said, “Because they had not done My ordinances, but had despised My statutes and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I also gave them over to their own statutes that were not good…” their own ways, their own laws, their own civil governments, correct? Yes. Their own religion. He just said, “I’ll just give you over to it. If you want it, have it, you got it—the whole thing.” “…that were not good, and their own ordinances by which they could not live. And I defiled them in their own gifts…” worse thing that could happen to anyone, brethren, is just be left to wallow in your own sin. Isn’t it? Yes. “…In that they caused all that open the womb to pass through the fire…” In other words, they just went into the whole same situation that the Mayans down in ancient Mexico went through. The reason God destroyed those civilizations is because they were doing the same thing, going through the fire, cannibalism, offering to the gods, so evil and awful that one of their special sacrifices was to cut open the sacrificial human victim and take out the heart while it was still beating and drink the blood of it. Now you see some of these things and all the archeologists say, “I wonder why these civilizations no longer exist?” Read the Bible, okay? “…That I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.” So sometimes God just does that—just turns you over to your own devices until you learn the lesson. Some things you can learn quite quickly (Ezekiel 20:5-26).

Let’s go to the Book of Hebrews now. Let’s finish off there in Hebrews 4. I’m going to have to say that this is the last sermon I’m going to give any answer to things going on in the Church of God. We have too much to do, we have so much to cover and we’re going to do a series on the Love of God in the Bible that is really the whole heart and core as to why the church is going through everything it is. When you really understand it, the love of God is the greatest thing, the greatest fulfillment and attainment in your life, and it does take your life. That’s why as you go through life and life is empty and you get older and there is no satisfaction—that’s why the whole experience of Solomon is there. He had all these physical things and all the power, and all the money and wealth and every convenience you could ever want and he said, “I am just a bag of wind. I am just an empty, hollow, frustrated old man.” Why? Because he never learned the love of God. The love of God is the greatest thing. We can’t be playing third grade sandbox any more, going back to these things. If someone is not convinced they ought to keep the Sabbath after being in the Church of God twenty-five years, well then I cannot be too much help to you. You should go help yourself. Isn’t that what Jesus said, “You go learn what these things mean.”

Now let’s come back here to Hebrews 4 and this will help us understand. Remember where we just read in Ezekiel, Chapter 20 where He destroyed those in the wilderness because they didn’t believe. Then He said to the children, “Now look, you’re going to go into the Promised Land, now here is what God says…” [Paraphrased.]

Now let’s come back to, well, let’s go back to Hebrews 3:15: “As it is being said, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.’ For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He indignant for forty years?” Now notice He didn’t say angered, but grieved. “…Was it not with those who had sinned…” Can you have the very presence of God in the cloud by day and the fire by night, every day and every night, and have the manna come six days every week, and the Sabbath every week, and still have the gall to keep your own idols? Wow! That’s something, isn’t it? Yes! “…Whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness?”

Verse 18: “And to whom did He sware that they would not enter into His rest…” And boy, going into the Promised Land, that’s a tremendous rest—you compare that with wondering in the Sinai (Hebrews 3:15-18). I remember one time we went down to Palm Springs. Boy was it hot, and I thought, “Man, how would you like to walk in that desert in all that heat?” Yet they did and still didn’t believe God. So you see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. The spies came back and said, “Oh look, they’re giants. Oh we can’t go in.” Joshua and Caleb said, “Oh yes, God will take care of it for us.”

Now Chapter 4, verse 1: “Therefore, we should fear, lest perhaps, a promise being open to enter into His rest…” and that is the ultimate reward of God in the Millennium. Now we are not talking about the Promised Land, we are talking about the Kingdom of God. That’s the rest we are talking about. “…Any of you might seem to come short. For truly, we have had the gospel preached to us, even as they also did; but the preaching of the word did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in those who heard. For we who have believed, we ourselves are entering into the rest, as He has said, ‘So I swore in My wrath, “If they shall enter into My rest—” ’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spoke in a certain place about the seventh day in this manner…” so this is showing that the Sabbath is a continuous type of the rest of God. The rest of God is not Christ in you, so therefore, you perpetually keep the Sabbath everyday. And as one man said, “When do you work then?” See, it doesn’t happen that way. “…And God rested on the seventh day from all His works; And again concerning this: ‘If they shall enter into My rest—’ ” which we just read about in Ezekiel 20.

Verse 6: “Consequently, since it remains for some to enter into it, and those who had previously heard the gospel did not enter in because of disobedience, again He marks out a certain day, ‘Today, saying in David…’ ” And what was that day? That’s pictured by the Sabbath Psalm which says, “…Today…” that’s what he quoted over here, “…if you will hear His voice…” “…after so long a time; ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts’ ” (Hebrews 4:1-7).

Now is this not the same thing as it is with every covenant of God? Hear His voice, obey His words, thus says the Lord, thus says Jesus, thus say the prophets, “…if you will hear His words, harden not your hearts.” Verse 8: “For if Joshua had given them rest…” Now this should read Joshua and most Bibles have an explanation of it there and some of the newer translations have Joshua because they understood that it was Joshua that led them into the Promised Land. And the sense of it is this way: “For if Joshua had given them rest…” in other words, and that was the fulfillment and the completion of God’s plan “…He (God) would not have spoken long afterwards of another day.” And that other day is the coming of the Kingdom of God, that other day is the millennial rest of God!

Verse 9 [of the Faithful Version], very important: [Unfortunately the King James is not clear] “There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.” Now this is an entirely different word. All the way through, the word for rest in the Greek is katapausis which means rest, recline, repose from your labor and hard work.

This one, verse 9, is an entirely different word for rest and it in the Greek is sabbatismos, which means a keeping of the Sabbath. New Testament command. “Therefore, there remains for the people of God…” Who are the people of God? [They are] the ones that have the Spirit of God. Correct? “…A keeping of the Sabbath…” Why? Because God’s plan is not complete and the Sabbath pictures the completion of that plan, doesn’t it? “There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping for the people of God. For the one who has entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his works, just as God did from His own works.”

Now then comes a statement showing that after we have the Sabbath keeping what are we to do spiritually? Verse 11: “We should be diligent therefore to enter into that rest…” the ultimate reward of God to us “…lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” And what is it when you tell people you can work on the Sabbath? It is unbelief, is it not? Sure it is—plain and simple (Hebrews 4:8-11).

Now let’s go to Isaiah 66 for just a minute, because when Christ returns, and every Sunday keeper knows this if they have read their Bible, and a lot of Sunday keepers read their Bibles. That’s why some Sunday keepers are still either closet Sabbath keepers or they keep the Sabbath. When Christ returns He is going to obviously do away with the Sabbath because it’s an inconvenience to everyone, right? Of course not! Isaiah 66:23: “ ‘And it shall come to pass, that from one month to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD” Every Sabbath.

Now since we are in Isaiah and we have just a little bit of time left here, let’s go to Isaiah 56:1, is this not part of what Christ opened the mind and understanding to the disciples? Yes it is. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Keep justice and do righteousness; for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.” This is just before the return of Christ. Verse 2: “Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it; and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” That means all the Commandments doesn’t it? Sure it does. “And do not let the son of the stranger…” the Gentile now “…who has joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, ‘The LORD has utterly separated me from His people.’ And do not let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.” Now a eunuch is, you know, that’s the most shameful thing to happen to a man, right? “For thus says the LORD, ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant” Did we not just go through the things that please God? Yes. And this covenant “…takes hold of My covenant…” this can be concerning the New Covenant, but did we not read of a special covenant concerning the Sabbaths of God which include the seventh day and Holy Days in Exodus 31? Yes, we did.

Verse 5: “Even unto them will I give within My house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” You go back and read the promise to the seven churches, “…And I will give him a new name…” Correct? Yes. Verse 6: “Also the sons of the stranger, who join themselves to the LORD to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, everyone who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and takes hold of My covenant;” Isn’t that amazing? Yes it is (Isaiah 56:1-6).

Sermon Scriptures:

  1. ) Mark 13:10
  2. ) Matthew 24
  3. ) Hebrews 4:2
  4. ) Luke 24:25-41, 43-45
  5. ) Matthew 6
  6. ) Deuteronomy 5:12-15
  7. ) Matthew 6:24
  8. ) Mark 2:23-28
  9. ) Matthew 6:24-34
  10. ) Matthew 6:9-11
  11. ) Exodus 16:25-29
  12. ) Exodus 20:8-11
  13. ) Exodus 23:12-13
  14. ) Exodus 31:12-14
  15. ) Genesis 3:10-13
  16. ) Exodus 31:15-17
  17. ) Ezekiel 20:1-4
  18. ) I Corinthians 10:5-12
  19. ) Ezekiel 20:5-26
  20. ) Hebrews 3:15-19
  21. ) Hebrews 4:1-11
  22. ) Isaiah 66:23
  23. ) Isaiah 56:1-6