We left last week with the statement that worshipping on Saturday is fine unless someone insists that is the only right way. Paul ran into this issue with the Romans and addressed it in chapter 14:
"Why are you judging another man's (Man's) servant?...One man considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them needs to be convinced within their own mind. Whoever one day as special does so unto the Lord...and whoever doesn't does so unto the Lord. 14:4-8
Paul also told the Colossians in 2:16-17: "Therefore let know one judge you in food and drink or holy days, or the new moon or sabbaths, for these are shadows of what is to come..."
Food and drink are a type of the time we will have with the Lord, a great marriage celebration feast. The new moon is a reference to the rapture of the church that Paul taught in I Corinthians 15 and in his letters to the Thessalonians. The Feast of Trumpets which was given by God and includes the catching away of believers in Messiah, is the only festival that starts at the new moon phase. The new moon is when there is no moon, said to be hidden from view and is the opposite of the full moon. Believers in Judaism use the moon as their type, while the sun is a type of the Lord - so the resurrection blast happens at the new moon, showing believers will be hidden in Christ at a future fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.
Sabbath days are a shadow of the earth at rest, we ourselves at rest in Him, never again to face the struggles found in this earth-body and world ravaged by the devil.
Jesus our Sabbath - Jesus our rest
In Hebrews 4 the author addresses the issue of the Jewish day of rest, the sabbath. He sets the tone saying in v3: "We who have believed have entered into rest."
This is the same point Paul made in II Corinthians 5:17-19, that we have been recreated in our spirit man because God the Father reconciled the world to Jesus, charging their sins to Him. Therefore we as new creations in Christ, are a rest and peace with the Father God - we've been reconciled.
The author of Hebrews says 'we who have believed have entered into rest', meaning being in Christ is rest. The Father is at peace with us.
Hebrews 4:7 continues talking about this rest time in Christ. His point is the weekly sabbath is a type of rest in Christ. Every week when Israel took their day off to rest as a family, it was a divine appointment and picture of a time when the family of God would rest in God as a family. These 'holy gatherings' were seen as rehearsals before the True would come.
So the author of Hebrews continues in v7: "God (Father) set this certain day and called it 'Today', saying as He spoke through David later: 'Today if you hear His voice don't harden your hearts.'"
That line is a partial quote of Psalm 95:7-8 which every Jewish person reading it would have known, but it is often missed by us. The full quote of those 2 verses says this: "He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the flock in His care. Today if you hear His voice don't harden your heart as in the days in the wilderness at Meribah (quarreling) or as at Massah (testing) in the wilderness."
This is why Hebrews 4:8-9 continues: "If Joshua had given them rest God would not have spoken about a later day of sabbath (rest) to come. Therefore there is a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. For anyone who enters into His rest must also cease (rest) from their own works, as God did."
"Anyone who enters into His rest must cease from their own works."
This is why Jesus said in Mark 2:27 and 28: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
Jesus here made the case that HE is the Sabbath-rest long predicted with each day off every Jewish person took through the centuries. HE is the Sabbath-rest who was made for man because that Sabbath day off was made for man - and so was He. With each bull and goat and sheep and bird offered as a blood sacrifice it spoke to a time where a final sacrifice would be made to bring a rest between God and human kind once and for all. Jesus is that rest. Jesus brought that Sabbath-rest.
But to enter into His rest, you have to cease from your own works. You have to accept the grace. And once accepted, you can't go back to working formulas to find peace with God the Father. Once you have Jesus, as Paul stated in Romans 8:32, you have all things.
This is why Paul in his letters to the Corinthians and Colossians and as we see in Hebrews, the teaching that Jesus is our Sabbath-rest, which makes every effort on our part to make peace with the Father obsolete. Jesus is all we need. Once we have Him, it is proof we have ceased from our own works (efforts) to get to God.
Faith feels like peace
Back in the day when I was first learning about faith and grace, I would face a problem and then try to stir up faith, try to work up faith. I would speak or declare 'words of faith' thinking that is what faith was. I would be scared or worried about a bill to be paid for which I had no money, and speak out positive things about provision - and I thought that was being 'in faith'.
But a curious thing happened. I noticed when I just stopped all my efforts and worked through my fear and turned it over to the Father, a peace came into my spirit that my mind picked up on. And then the answer came. There was a direct correlation between ceasing from my own works, receiving peace, and then receiving the answer. In the same way the reverse was true. When I worked hard to speak and declare while I was worried and doing it truth be told, out of fear the need wouldn't be met, then it never happened, or took lots of work on my part to make it happen.
Faith feels like peace, is a lesson I learned through the school of hard knocks, trial and error. And yet it was written here in Hebrews 4 all along: He that is entered into His peace has ceased from his own works."
This is why Hebrews 4:11 says: "Let us make every effort therefore to enter into that rest (peace) lest we end up in unbelief."
Faith feels like peace - work to enter into the rest of peace by ceasing from your own efforts of worry, fear, or religious formula designed to 'do something' to help your situation and/or move God. Just let it go. Let Jesus be your rest. Work to get into His rest.
And we'll pick it up there next week, until then, blessings,
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