THE THREEFOLD MEANING OF THE SABBATH

This article is from a chapter in the book ‘King of The Ark’ available for download (free) here. All rights belongs to the author.

The Creator

God spoke the world into existence over a period of six days, and on the sixth day, He created man in His own image. On the seventh day He sancti-
fied the Sabbath, “And on the seventh day God ended 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 that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3).
6913763_lThe Sabbath testified to what God Himself had said every day during the week of creation, “that it was good” and “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31). The Sabbath was not only a memorial of creation but also the Creator, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:3). The fourth commandment explicitly reveals one of the reasons why man must sanctify His

Sabbath, because “the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God” (Exodus 20:10). Here God states ownership of the Sabbath day, and He wants man to sanctify it as a memorial of Him as Creator and rightful Father of man and Earth. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day,and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11). When speaking of a future deceiver God warns that one of his greatest crimes will be to try and alter God’s appointed times, “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times
and laws.” (Daniel 7:25). By touching the very memorial of Him as Father and Creator, this deceiver is challenging God Himself.

When God created the animals, the lights in the heavens, and all nature it says He spoke it, and it happened while He spoke it, but on the sixth day God changed His method when He created man. He didn’t speak man into existence. Instead He took the soil of the earth and thereby “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7). Then He planted a garden for them to live in (Genesis 2:8).
5856055_lThe sanctification of the Sabbath created a connecting bond between God and man, a weekly memorial of their special relationship, the Creator and the created in loving harmony. The Sabbath reveals the harmony between God and His creation, where the created are bonded with the Creator in a special way.
When sin entered and man rebelled the plan of salvation was formed, but the Sabbath was still the sign between man and the God of creation. When the Israelites received the law in written form at Mount Sinai, the Sabbath commandment was the only one of two commandments that didn’t start with “Thou shalt not…” Instead God placed a special reminder at the beginning of this very law, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”. It was never to be taken away as a law. As sure as God created the world and

man, the holiness of the seventh day could never be changed. It wasn’t a new law given to Israel, it was a law that had been there since creation and would be part of the weekly cycle until “heaven and earth pass”. Sabbath was there before sin and before Sinai. Sacrificial laws were given because sin entered the world. And therefore the
sabbath was not a sacrificial law.

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The work of the Redeemer

Sadly man was no longer in the image of their Creator. What God had said was “good” was no longer “good”, and
that which was the sign between the Father and the human family was no longer a seal between two “good” parties. God’s creation was now corrupted, but the Sabbath still remained a witness of the true Creator and testified that His original creation was good. When Israel had sinned and the ten commandments were again read aloud to the people, an additional reason for keeping the Sabbath was given, “Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee… And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God
commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:15). So although the Sabbath was initially

given as a memorial of creation and the relationship between God and man, now God wanted His people to add further meaning to this commandment – a memorial of when He delivered them from slavery. Egypt and the Pharaoh symbolized the bondage of sin and the devil. God’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage symbolised deliverance from sin. Just before the children of Israel were about to be freed from Egypt they had to celebrate their first pass over as a people. They were instructed to kill a lamb and sprinkle it’s blood upon their door posts. This served as a sign to God’s angel that the lamb’s blood had taken their place and thus their lives were spared. The next day
they were to leave Egypt. The passover lamb symbolised how Christ would die in man’s place in order to save us from our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7). When Christ saved
man and died on the cross, He rested in the tomb on the seventh day. Just as God rested after creating the world, Christ rested after redeeming it. It is clear that now the Sabbath no longer simply honoured the connection between the Creator and His creation, but also the connection between the Redeemer and His redeemed.
First God formed man, creating him in His image and breathing life into his nostrils. When redeeming His children He offered His own blood. God’s love for mankind was visible from when He formed man with His own hand and gave life with His own breath until He shed His own blood for them. So Sabbath was before sin, but also after sin was conquered. In both cases sabbath is tied to God’s paradise: a sin free place. Before paradise was lost and after it’s restored. Creation and redemption.

The work of the Spirit

6309462_mThe Sabbath was originally the seal of something that had been created perfect. Here is the third meaning of the Sabbath, a seal of something created in God’s image. When the Israelites had killed the passover lamb they were not to remain in Egypt. They were given the opportunity to leave that which symbolised the kingdom of sin and slavery, to serve God instead. Remember, the quote from Deuteronomy says God commanded them to keep the Sabbath because He “brought thee out thence”. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36). So the Sabbath was a seal of separation and restoration from sin. The Sabbath is a day of liberation and freedom, just like we have independence days remembering a country’s victory over their enemies or conquerors. God said the Sabbath should be a delight, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high

places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13-14).
God once formed man with His hands out of the dust, and He compared this to when He said to Jeremiah, “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot
I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:2-6).
God’s plan was not to just deliver the means of salvation, but to actually ‘reform’ man into His image, so He can see that it is “good” again.
For God to do this to Israel, He had to take them out of Egypt. When they were separated from the nation symbolising sin, God started to teach them His laws and how to live in harmony with the Creator, but many did not want to be formed like clay in the potter’s hand. In the old covenant system they had the law outwardly but did not necessarily follow it in their hearts. It is the same for us if we have knowledge of God’s law and fail to keep it. The new covenant is to not just claim to know about the law, or
have it in writing or displayed in your church, but to live and breathe it. Christ was the word made flesh, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). When the law is truly in someone’s heart we can see they resemble Jesus and His life. Many have misunderstood God’s law, but to understand the goal of the law, and how it was to mould man into a ‘better’ person can only be understood by
beholding the perfect, loving, caring life of Christ. Hating Christ is hating God’s law, loving Christ is loving God’s law. Calling God’s law unjust is calling Christ unjust and calling God’s law righteous is calling Christ righteous. John said, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk,

even as he walked.” (1 John 2:4-6). Israel had the physical law in their possession (the tables of stone), but didn’t keep it, not even in the time of Jesus. Jesus said they put God’s commandments aside to keep their own man made commandments. Today many Christians live in their own ‘personalised’ old covenant system.
They attend church ceremonies and outwardly profess God’s truth, salvation and law. They know it but they do not live it. Their faith is shown in words and professed with their mouths but not with their actions and their hearts. Only when truth is made a part of the heart are we living in the new covenant. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3), and, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6).
So the third meaning behind the Sabbath is how it seals a sanctified person. A person who has allowed God to not just save them from the death penalty, but to ‘re-form’ them back into His image. In Ezekiel we read about this third reason to keep the Sabbath, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me

and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Ezekiel 20:12). Sanctify is the Hebrew word ‘qadash’, meaning something holy, clean or dedicated.
The Sabbath becomes a sign between God and man, but here it is only to those who are being sanctified, those who allow God to purify them. In the book of Daniel we read how God will cleanse a people before Christ returns, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10). The Sabbath will be a sign between those who are purified and God, a sign that they are His very own children.
In the very last days before the judgements and plagues fall upon mankind, a seal is placed on those who have allowed God to reform them, “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:2-3). In Revelation chapter 14 we see this same group of people mentioned again, this time as a pure people who are undefiled (see Revelation 14:4).
Note that this is a verse not referring to those who have an understanding of the truth, listen to it, or who profess it with their mouths, but those who actually live it, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” A scene depicted in the book of Zechariah describes the devil accusing Joshua, “Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.” (Zecharaiah 3:3-5).
Jesus Himself described a similar scene, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another

to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22: 2-14). In this parable some who are called to the wedding seem to think it unnecessary to wear the appropriate attire, thinking they can attend in their own clothes. Christ was trying to show us He wants to dress us in His righteousness and forgive all our sins, but His work for the restoration of man isn’t over until He is allowed to reform
man’s heart back into harmony with that which is “good”.
Those who keep and honour God’s Sabbath are doing it in remembrance of both God’s creation and redemption. But the Sabbath as a seal is a gift from God only to those who have been remoulded by Him, purified and are walking in harmony with His law. In the first of three messages given to the Earth before Christ’s return, God
reminds man to keep the Sabbath in relation to it’s first meaning, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:7). You cannot honour God as Creator without sanctifying His
Sabbath.

Our Redemption

The seal given just before the four winds of Earth are let go is the Sabbath seal of redemption and sanctification. It shows we have accepted Christ’s death in our stead and that we have allowed Him to sanctify and cleanse us. When the last plagues come over the Earth everyone sealed with this seal will be protected by God’s angels. It’s not a seal we can give to ourselves; that we can draw on our own foreheads. It’s not a seal we get automatically by attending a church, synagogue or mosque on the Sabbath. It’s a seal that is God’s “stamp” of approval so to speak, showing us we belong to God. Only those who have been first investigated by God and have accepted His sanctification will receive it. When any religious or world leaders, be it the pope or anyone, tries to rob from God the symbol of Him as Creator and King of the Earth, we know

we cannot trust them. If they will influence or force us to be clothed in a righteousness they have fabricated, a redemption based on their ideas of right and wrong, then we know we cannot follow them in order to stand when Christ comes. God created the Earth by Christ (see John chapter 1) but He did so as a tribute to God, and the Sabbath
uplifts His name. Christ’s work of redemption is uplifted in the second meaning behind the Sabbath. Then, finally God’s Spirit working in us, being the main tool to recreate our hearts in the work of sanctifying us, reveals the third meaning of the Sabbath. The ‘rest’ which is symbolised in the Sabbath is found in all three. God’s creation, Christ’s redemption and the Spirit’s work in us, all represent the rest man so desperately needs in order to fully enjoy life and to bring harmony between the Creator and man. The Father, the Son and the Spirit were all present at the creation, redemption and restoration of man, and they are all a witness of the samething. Sabbath means rest and when
sin is done away with man will finally have true rest.

 Frequent questions:

?: When do I keep sabbath?
!: The biblical sabbath is from sunset Friday till sunset Saturday.
?: How do I keep the day holy?
!:  Read about the sabbath law in Exodus 20:8-11

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