(Go To Meeting)

Albert Jones—January 5, 2024

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This message has been brewing in my heart and my sense of a sermon that I heard back in July. I heard a sermon by Michael Heiss that had me in a pull-thread of deeper understanding in God's Word pertaining to His Sabbath and the seventh day.

In that message, it truly generated some thought on my part, some deep exploration in God's Word and in the Hebrew and in the Greek.

Now that we have all these wonderful Bible helps that have been provided by Hollister, we are able to dig a little deeper.

I'm no Michael Heiss by any means in terms of my understanding of the Hebrew, but I do want to share with you some of my deeper comprehension of the seventh day.

When we read about the birth of Christ, we understand that that is the greatest event in the history of mankind. One might think the creation of man; no, it is the birth of Christ. It is God coming down, divesting Himself of His existence as God and coming in the flesh, because we understand that He came for a purpose.

He came for a purpose to help us. Without His help our hope would be so futile.

Luke 1:17: "And he shall go before Him…" We are talking about the announcement of the one who was to herald Jesus' arrival: John the Baptist.

Verse 17: "And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children…"

I've often wondered why not the children to the father. But it's "…the fathers to the children… [keep that in mind] …and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous…" (v 17).

We read that in the Proverbs about the great wisdom there is in living a righteous life. Yes, there is a righteousness of the Law for sure. This is all culminating in part of God's Plan to make ready a people, a people prepared for the Lord.

Verse 26 is an event where the angels have announced to Elizabeth that she would give birth and now she's six months pregnant.

Verse 26: "And in the sixth month of her pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the lineage of David…" (vs 26-27).

As you read through these verses, you recall the promises of God. All the way back to the Garden of Eden you recall the promises of God that He gave in prophesying about this event all the way through Abraham, through Israel, through David.

Verse 27: "To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the lineage of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. And after coming to her, the angel said, 'Hail, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you…'" (vs 27-28).

Sounds like a small word, just a small statement. But what incredible strength and power is in this greeting. He says to her:

"'…blessed are you among women.'…. [that doesn't go far enough] …But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end'" (vs 28-33).

Again, this is a verse that has incredible girth and magnitude in its implications that we are going to try to understand even more tonight when we're done.

We understand it, but I want us to meditate on it. I want us to marinate on this incredible thing that God is doing in His Family.

Verse 33:29: "But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit…'" (vs 29-35).

This is a substance here, this is a power from God!

"…'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God'" (v 35).

Now, in this exchange at this point, Jesus Christ is being begotten, is reduced to a  pinprick of life and placed in the virgin Mary!

This angel is referencing the interaction, if you will, and the plan and the work that God the Father will be doing, because Jesus—the Lord God—is now impregnated in the virgin Mary.

Now that we know who's on stage. Christ is in the womb.

Let's switch for a moment and go over to Matthew and let's read another account of it here:

Matthew 1:18: "And the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: Now, His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph; but before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to expose her publicly, was planning to divorce her secretly. But as he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife, because that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins'" (vs 18-21). Who are His people whom He's saving from sin?

Let's go to John 3 and this is the significance of this rest that we're talking about. We understand Sabbath-keeping, but:

  • Do we understand the Seventh Day?
  • Do we understand this rest of God, this rest that He did on the Sabbath Day?

We keep the weekly Sabbath, the Seventh Day is a Sabbath, we keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days, for they are Sabbaths.
So is Sunday to the world, it's a day of ceasing for them. In many cases not perfectly, but nonetheless, they view it as such in the Protestant community. It is a sabbath, it's their sabbath, it's not God's Seventh-Day Sabbath, but it is a day of rest for them; they have called it so.

But in keeping God's weekly Sabbath, which is the keeping or 'sabbathizing' on the Sabbath, which is the seventh day! 'Sabbathizing' on a Holy Day, which we're instructed to do as well, as one thing. But:

  • What about this fulfilling of the seventh day?
  • What is this thing that God is referring to that He desires us to enter into with Him?

Let's take on a few more verses here to help us to understand that.

John 3:16: "For God… [we're talking about the Father here] …so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged… [Why?] …because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (vs 16-18).

Verse 19: "And this is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil. For everyone who practices evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his works may not be exposed; but the one who practices the Truth comes to the Light…" (vs 19-21).

And this is kind of my experience back in July. I've always understood God's Sabbath. I've always understood that it should be kept Holy, but I did not understand when God rested and took stock in this incredible thing that He made us a part of and God seeing the end from the beginning, He rested!  He celebrated this perfection that is His creation, which He has brought us into.

Luke 1:67: "And Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and has worked redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; exactly as He spoke by the mouth of His Holy prophets…'" (vs 67-70).

The prophecies of all of this pointing forward to that day when Jesus Christ will return and we will be changed.  We're going to see that.

"…He spoke by the mouth of His Holy prophets since the world began; salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all those who hate us" (vs 70-71).

Brethren, it is: self, this world, Satan the devil, and yes, there will come a time when they come against God's Church.

Verse 71: "Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all those who hate us; to fulfill the promise of mercy made to our fathers, and to remember His Holy covenant, the oath that He swore to Abraham our father; to grant us that, being saved from the hand of our enemies, we might serve Him without fear, walking… " (vs 71-75).

  • this is our life
  • this is the way that we were called to
  • we were called to this walk with God

Verse 75: "Walking in Holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our lives. And you, little child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest; for you shall go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His ways" (vs 75-76).

We know the witness that Jesus Christ gave of John the Baptist.

Verse 77: "To give the knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the deep inner compassions of our God…" (vs 77-78).

This is a work of God from the foundation of the world, this is His Plan! Seeing God is calling us into it, that we might enter into this perfect, righteous plan of His,

"…in which the dayspring from on high has visited us, to shine upon those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death..." (vs 78-79).

This world was sent a Savior. Mankind was given hope, a chance, an opportunity to direct our feet,

"'…to direct our feet into the way of peace.' And the little child grew and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the wilderness until the day of his appearing to Israel" (vs 79-80).

God has bore the messenger and he had sent them all to be trained and prepared. So, now let's bring the Savior into the world.

Luke 2:1: "Now, it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. (This registration first occurred when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) Then all went to be registered, each to his own city" (vs 1-3).

Verse 4: "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the City of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and lineage of David to register himself along with Mary, who was betrothed to him as wife, and was great with child. And it came to pass that during the time they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her Son, the firstborn, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn" (vs 4-7).

Verse 8: "Now there were shepherds in the same country, who were dwelling in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night; and suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them…" (vs 1-9).

Now this is incredible from my point of view, because much of the heralding, much of the prophetic Gospel cry initially here is through angels celebrating. Just can't hold it in, if you will. A Savior has been born!

Verse 9: "And suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shined round about them; and they were seized with great fear. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I am announcing to you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for today, in the city of David, a Savior was born to you, Who is Christ the Lord'" (vs 9-11).

This is a message that when we look back and think about what this is inaugurating, this one thing when God created man, sin entered into the world through Adam. A promise was made and that promise here is being fulfilled. Let's establish something even more important and bring this into the record. So, the Savior is born. We are establishing Who He is, why He came, and so forth.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him" (vs 1-3).

When we read in Genesis, as we're doing in a moment, we understand that it was Him Who spoke the words and created all things.

"…and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 3-5).

Then it talks about John the Baptist; v 6: "There was a man sent by God, whose name was John."

So, he has come out of the wilderness; it is time to proclaim the Savior. It is time to announce that He is beginning His ministry, if you will.

Verse 7: "He [John the Baptist] came for a witness, that he might testify concerning the Light [Jesus Christ], so that through him [John] all might believe. He was not the Light, but came that he might testify concerning the Light. The True Light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world" (vs 7-9)

Verse 10: "He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him; but as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name; who were not begotten by bloodlines, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God" (vs 10-13).

We exist because God, the Father and Jesus Christ together made a plan and we are the centerpiece, if you will, of that plan.

In Gen. 1 we have an incredible thing occurring here in which this understanding of the seventh-day then take light.

Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (vs 1-2).

This condition resulted from a poor attempt on the part of Lucifer. That's another message. We won't take time to get into that now, but the earth had to be reformed in order to receive God's created beings life.

"…and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light.' And there was light" (vs 1-2).

Verse 4: "And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light day, and He called the darkness night. And the evening and the morning were day one" (vs 4-5).

So, God begins to re-model, if you will—an upgrade from the decayed condition—the earth  so that it could receive mankind.

Let's come down here to day six, all the things necessary were created. I won't take time to go through those, but I want to come to day six.

Verse 24: "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind—livestock, creeping things, and beasts of the earth—each after its kind.' And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and every creeping thing upon the earth after their kind. And God saw that it was good" (vs 24-25).

Verse 26: "And God said, 'Let Us…'"—the One Who became the Father and the One Who became the Son, the two—'Elohim'—Beings!

"…'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female" (vs 26-27).

This image, not just in hands and feet and nose, eyes and ears. We stand in the image of God; made in His image as fleshly human beings.

But remember, God sees perfection from the beginning. His purpose in creating man was not for us to live as fleshly beings forever. This image of God is exemplified in Matt. 5:48.

  • here's the perfection that God is creating
  • here's the perfection that God saw in the creation of human beings

He tells us that we are to be perfect:

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That perfection can only be achieved through His Son!

I make that statement, but I want you to see the entirety of everything that God is bringing to bear to achieve that perfection in his sons and his daughters. That salvation came through His Son when He was born flesh, when He became that perfect sacrifice so that our sins could be forgiven. We truly do have hope!

Genesis 1:27: "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.' And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree upon which is the fruit of a tree bearing seed—to you they shall be for food. And to every animal of the earth and to every fowl of heaven and to all the living creatures that crawl upon the earth, every green plant is given for food.' And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was exceedingly good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day" (vs 27-31).

The combination of God's creation event, the reshaping of the earth to be receptive to the placement of his created beings upon it.

Genesis 2:1: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

God's grand design, God's manifestation of His great plan for us is complete and now  it's being fully executed.

Verse 2: "And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work, which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it…" (vs 2-3).

He rested from all His work, which God had He 'sabbathized' on the seventh day. The seventh day is the day of focus and that completeness, that finality, that is finished product that He is able to see the end result of.

Verse 3: "And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He rested from all His work, which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and of the earth when they were created; in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (vs 3-4)—when they were created!.

Verse 5: "The shrub of the field was not yet growing upon the earth, and the herb of the field had not yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground, but there went up from the earth a mist and watered all the face of the ground. Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (vs 5-7). That's who we are, the created beings of God for His very own purpose!

Psa. 8—Let's expand out a little bit now and read an expression from David.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries…" (vs 1-2).

God wants all mankind to understand Who He is, that there is nothing that He can't do. There is nothing impossible for God and He will fulfill His purpose for us; it will be fulfilled. This is the cornerstone of the faith that we have in God and His Word, that God is doing incredible work in us and He has invested incredible resources toward us and He will fulfill it:

"…to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" (vs 2-4). We are understanding that even greater now!

Verse 5: "For You have made him a little lower than God and have crowned him with glory and honor."

God sees it from the beginning. We have to stay in the program; God is going to see us through.

Verse 6: "You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the birds of heaven, the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!" (vs 6-9).

 Paul, bring this into focus for us, as well. This relationship that we have with God is one that we need to truly embrace and:

  • not take for granted
  • not take lightly
  • not take rebelliously
  • not take stubbornly


Hebrews 2:1: "For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away." Is it possible? We know that is possible IF you:

  • neglect this incredible calling
  • allow yourself to slough off
  • to not give attention to diligently
  • not taking care of the things that God has given you

Verse 2: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, how shall we escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation…" (vs 2-3). This salvation is given to us as a gift!

  • Are we caring for it?
  • Are we taking stock in it?
  • Are we valuing it?

Brethren, every seven days—this day, this time that we are in—is for us to reflect on this marvelous thing that God is doing in our life,

  • that we would be brought into His rest
  • that we would become His rest, the complete perfection of His work.

"…which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him; God also bearing witness with them by both signs and wonders, and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come, of which we are speaking" (vs 3-5).

Verse 6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels; You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands; You did put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him" (vs 6-8).

Verse 9: "But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone."

This is the salvation that came through our Savior Jesus Christ, the perfect God becoming flesh, living a perfect life, dying unjustly for the unrighteous, becoming sin for us. He is alive! He is alive to fulfill the latter part of that great Plan of God.  He is fulfilling it today.

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (vs 10-11).

And that's how Christ sees us. We are one with Him and the Father"

Verse saying, 12: "Saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.'"

We are speechless at times when we comprehend the mind of God and His love toward us!

Verse 13: "And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.'"

Christ will see us through; He's never going to lead nor forsake us. We have strength and hope in Him. This walk that we walk is not alone; God is with us! I don't care when you look at yourself in the mirror and you see this weakened flesh that you are. But if your trust in your faith is in God, know that He will fulfill His promise! You will be glorified!

  • hold on to His Truth
  • hold on to His way
  • hold on to His promises

Verse 14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil."

Here is our Creator God. Here is our God Who came in the flesh and died as sin for us to defeat the one who :

  • had us in chains
  • had us in captivity
  • held over us this power of death

Christ has freed us from that!

Verse 15: "And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (vs 15-17).

Here He is in the office for the remaining part of that great plan to bring sons and daughters into a perfect relationship with God and to be born into the Family of God:

  • High priest
  • propitiation for sin
  • advocates
  • pours down from heaven power, strength, and hope
  • pours down from heaven grace upon grace upon grace toward His brothers and sisters

Our Father greatly desiring to be with us, They are perfecting in us Their very own selves to be born sons and daughters in Their Kingdom.

Verse 18: "For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted." Our faithful High Priest:

  • understands what it is to be flesh
  • understands that you need sometimes a hand up
  • understands that sometimes you need to experience the consequences of sin so that you have a greater desire to overcome

Chastisement, tribulation, trials, all these things are part of this journey to the Kingdom of God and we praise God for this incredible plan that He is fulfilling in His Church. So, we will continue to do that.

Hebrews 3:1: "Because of this, Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…"

That's each and every one of us, those who have God's Spirit, those who are being called, IF you have an understanding of this Truth and know this way, THEN you need to listen to God! Repentance is a part of that and coming to God so that you can receive baptism and the laying on of hands.

Verse 2: "Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God" (vs 2-4).

Verse 5: "Now on the one hand, Moses was faithful in all his house, as a ministering servant, for a testimony of those things which were going to be spoken afterwards. But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (vs 5-6).

Verse 7: "For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, "They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways." So, I swore in My wrath, "If they shall enter into My rest—"'" (vs 7-11).

Verse 12: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing…":

  • turning from
  • doubting
  • giving up
  • looking to something else
  • looking back
  • looking to the left or to the right

No! No apostatizing!

  • from the One Who created us
  • from the One Who died for us
  • from the Father who orchestrated this thing with Him from the very beginning

They have laid before us the way and They want us to walk in it!

No "…apostatizing from the living God" (v 12)—let's not even entertain that as a notion!

Here's what we need to be doing in God's Church; v 13: "Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

Don't let it in, don't let it come near you. Yes, we will be celebrating Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread before you know it. But as I have said in the past, we don't celebrate these Holy Days as a one-time event. The days of Unleavened Bread go with us every single day of every year. We take these Truths with us so that we put out the deceitfulness of sin!

Verse 14: "For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end."

Remember that relationship is between you, the Father, and your Savior Jesus Christ. To get to the Father, you must go through Christ, but the Father is drawing you to Him.

Verse 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? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, except to those who had disobeyed?" (vs 15-18).

So we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief. This relationship that we are in as begotten sons and daughters of God is one that needs to be steadfast in our mind. Straight on focused on Jesus Christ and God the Father and Their plan for us, their love for us, standing in that grace in Their very presence and receiving from Them blessings.

All of this is focused on through a belief system, a process by which the Holy Spirit has led you to this point of understanding. Knowing God and what God is, what God is doing in your life and faith in that.

Rom. 4:16—this is a description by Paul in terms of this relationship that Abraham had with God. He talks about works of law and faith.

Romans 4:16: "For this reason it is of faith, in order that it might be by grace, to the end that the promise might be certain to all the seed—not to the one who is of the law only, but also to the one who is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."

This walk of faith that we have before God is center to what we believe.

Psa. 95—the psalmist expresses what we feel and should be thinking on and meditating on.

Psalm 95:1: "O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms, for the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are also His. The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land" (vs 1-5). We read that in Genesis, the first five days!

Verse 6: "O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker, for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would but hearken to His voice" (vs 6-7).

This is not a plea in God's Church or should not just be a plea to come out of the world. This is a plea of steadfastness, holding firm to the faith that you have!

  • think on this wonderful thing God has done
  • think on this wonderful thing God is doing
  • think on the standing that you have before God today "…IF you would but hearken to His voice

Verse 8: "Harden not your heart as in the rebellion, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness when your fathers tempted Me, tried Me, even though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, 'It is a people who go astray in their hearts…'" (vs 8-10).

  • let us not allow our hearts to deceive us
  • let us not allow sin to come in and deceive us

Let us pray before God and ask Him to give us a steadfast heart, a steadfast spirit in Him because He says:

"…'and they have not known My ways'" (v 10).

God is showing us His ways. The Light is there; Jesus Christ is that Light.

Verse 11: "'To whom I swore in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest.'"

We are very special in God's eyes as His created beings. Mankind was made for a special purpose.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and the avenger." (vs 1-2).

Verse 4: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? For You have made him a little lower than God and have crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the birds of heaven, the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!" (vs 4-9).

In Isa. 54 the prophet Isaiah spoke in regards to this relationship. We understand that Christ is the way to true rest, that Christ is the way to become the perfection of Holiness in Him, that He may present us to God. This can be done no other way other than through Christ.

Isaiah 54:9: "'For this is as the waters of Noah to Me; for as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn from being angry with you and from rebuking you; for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall the covenant of My peace be removed,' says the LORD who has mercy on you" (vs 9-10).

Verse 11: "'O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones among colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. And I will make your high towers of ruby, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your borders of pleasant stones. And all your children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear; and far from terror, for it shall not come near you. Behold, they may gather together against you, but not by Me; whoever shall gather against you, he shall fall for your sake. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the coals in the fire, and who brings out a weapon for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against you shall prevail; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,' says the LORD" (vs 11-17).

Once again, recognizing God's work in our life, let's go to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 16:1: "The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for yourself, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.' For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them, and concerning their fathers who begot them in this land: 'They shall die grievous deaths of diseases; they shall not be mourned, nor shall they be buried. But they shall be as dung on the face of the earth. And they shall be destroyed by the sword and by famine; and their bodies shall be food for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.' For thus says the LORD, 'Do not enter into the house of mourning; do not go to weep nor moan over them. For I have taken away My peace from this people,' says the LORD, 'even loving kindness and mercies'" (vs 1-5).

We don't want a spirit of unbelief to pull us into despair again, to pull us into a place where God can't reach us, into a place where His face is not shining upon us. This is an example of such a thing. But God tells us in:

Verse 14: "'Therefore, behold, the days come,' says the LORD, 'that it shall no more be said, "As the LORD lives, Who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt"; But, "As the LORD lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands where He had driven them." And I will bring them again into their lands that I gave to their fathers'" (vs 14-15).

Verse 16: "'Behold, I will send for many fishermen,' says the LORD, 'and they will fish them. And afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. But first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin because they have defiled My land, they have filled My inheritance with the dead bodies of their abominable things'" (vs 16-18).

Verse 19: "O LORD, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth, and shall say, 'Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and there is no profit in them.'"

Yes, there is an awakening and an enlightenment that is coming!

Verse 20: "Shall a man make gods to himself when they are not gods? 'Therefore, behold, I will make them know; this time I will cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD'" (vs 20-21).

Once again, today we know this Truth, today we need to hang on to it. The things that we have and that we have been given are from God.

  • God's Plan is being worked out
  • we are His perfect accomplishment
  • we will be His perfect accomplishment

His great desire for us is for Them to dwell with us and to be a part of our lives!

Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened, and I will give you rest."

So, this rest that we are seeking is not just a peace from our enemies, not just quiet time, broad places. This rest that we seek is the perfection of this body to be born into the Family of God.

Verse 30: "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

We read in Genesis about God's creation week, and we come to this Sabbath Day. God has finished and perfected His work and He is refreshed by it.

As we come into the Sabbath, yes, we cease from working, we 'sabbathize,' but we fulfill the Sabbath:

  • in our faith
  • in our celebration
  • in our worship
  • in our prayer for this incredible blessing that God has called us into

How do we fulfill the Sabbath?

  • we think on it
  • we remember His promises
  • we see this incredible work that He is doing in our lives

As I keep the seventh day, as I fulfill the seventh day by sabbathizing, by resting, ceasing from work, and coming into this time to celebrate this incredible thing that God is doing in my life, my time with God on the Sabbath Day has greater depth, greater meaning.

As I said, I heard that sermon in July of last year and it stuck with me.

Psalm 145:17: "The LORD is righteous in all His ways and loving in all His works. The LORD is near unto all who call upon Him, unto all who call upon Him in Truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them" (vs 17-19).

Brethren, God is doing all of that in our life every single day.

  • He is hearing our cry
  • He is fulfilling His purpose in our life
  • He is saving us every day

We are being saved every day through our relationship with God!

Verse 20: "The LORD watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless His Holy name forever and ever" (vs 20-21).

2-John 4: "I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found among your children those who are walking in Truth, exactly as we received commandment from the Father. "

God wants us to know that we know the Truth and this way that we're living is His Way and we're walking in His Truth.

Verse 5: "And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I am writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have observed from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, that you might walk in it, because many deceivers have entered into the world; those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh…." (vs 5-7).

Our God divested Himself of His existence as God and was born in the flesh.

"…This is the spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist" (v 7).

The Scripture is clear!

Verse 8: "Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished, but that we may receive a full reward. Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (vs 8-9).

You have that; hold on to that! This is who we are. This is our faith and our allegiance and where our dedication is as God's Family.

  • don't grow tired
  • don't grow weary
  • don't give up
  • stay strong in the Lord
  • keep your eyes on Christ
  • trust God's Word
  • trust the Father's love for you

Hebrews 12:12: "Therefore, lift up the hands that are hanging down, and revive the weakened knees; and make straight paths for your feet..." (vs 12-13).

As I said, don't let anything distract you from this incredible calling that God has given you.

"…lest that which is lame be turned aside; but let it rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; looking diligently, lest anyone fall from the grace of God" (vs 13-15).

That grace is this personal relationship that you have with God that gives you access to all these things that makes salvation possible.

"…lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and through this many be defiled" (v 15).

Let nothing defile your Holy Temple, brethren, so that your faith in God continues unabated.

Verse 16: "Lest there be any fornicator or godless person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright; because you also know that afterwards, when he wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; and he found no room for repentance, although he sought it earnestly with tears. For you have not come to the mount that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; and to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: 'And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow'; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I am greatly afraid and trembling')" (vs 16-21).

And that should give us some notion of the power that our God possesses and the majesty and the might that He will bring to bear to make sure that we make it His Kingdom. But He is also a God of infinite love, compassion, concern for His people.

Verse 22: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering; and to the Church of the Firstborn, registered in the Book of Life in heaven…" (vs 22-23). Each and every one of us are in that book! We want God to keep us in that book!

"…and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (v 23).

Yes, we are the just, for we stand just and justified before God through the righteousness of Christ.

Verse 24: "And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel. Beware… [again as a warning to us]: …that you do not refuse to hear Him Who is speaking! For if they did not escape judgment, who refused to hear the One Who was on the earth Divinely instructing them, how much more severely will we be judged, if we ourselves… [again, here is that action that prevents us from entering into that rest]: …apostatize from Him…" (vs 24-25).

  • not from a corporate organization
  • not from some affiliation, association culturally or socially

"…apostatize from Him Who speaks from heaven; Whose voice then shook the earth, but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet, once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven also'" (vs 25-26).

Verse 27: "Now the words 'once more' signify the removing of the things being shaken…"

This physical world that we see will come to naught, will come to nothing, as of things that were made, anything. There is no physical thing in the existence of this physical realm that has any comparison to eternal life with God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God.

Verse 28: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, through which we may serve God in a pleasing manner with reverence and awe; for our God is indeed a consuming fire" (vs 28-29).

So when we enter into this seventh day, as we think on this incredible perfection that God is creating within us, and:

  • we rest
  • we meditate
  • we 'sabbathize'
  • we meditate
  • we worship
  • we pray
  • we fellowship

We do all those things within this wonderful blessing of a Sabbath period!

Let's remember that the perfected rest that God the Father celebrated on the seventh day, culminates in the Kingdom of God and the Family of God of which we are the centerpiece!

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 1:17, 26-35
  • Matthew 1:18-21
  • John 3:16-21
  • Luke 1:67-80
  • Luke 2:1-11
  • John 1:1-13
  • Genesis 1:1-5, 24-27
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Genesis 1:27-31
  • Genesis 2:1-7
  • Psalm 8:1-9
  • Hebrews 2:1-18
  • Hebrews 3:1-19
  • Romans 4:16
  • Psalm 95:1-11
  • Psalm 8:1-9
  • Isaiah 54:9-17
  • Jeremiah 16:1-5, 14-21
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Psalm 145:17-21
  • 2-John 4-9
  • Hebrews 12:12-29

Transcribed: 2/1/24

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