Ten Commandments(4) – The 4th Commandment(1)

[Exodus 20: 8- 11]
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, [10] but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. [11] “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the fourth session on the Ten Commandments, and I will tell you about the fourth commandment. Today’s passage Exodus 20:8 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

The two most basic things that we have to keep in our Christian life after we accept Jesus Christ can be ‘Keeping the Sabbath day and giving proper tithes’.

Giving proper tithes and offerings is an act of faith recognizing the sovereignty of God over all material things while keeping the Sabbath day is an act of faith recognizing the spiritual sovereignty of God.

If you keep these two things and recognize God’s authority in both material and spiritual things, then you are basically protected for the whole week, and you won’t face any disaster or trials.

Because you showed your evidence that you are a child of God by keeping the Sabbath and giving proper tithes, God can protect you saying, “This child belongs to Me.”

Therefore, we should be able to understand how important it is in our life to keep commandment telling us to keep the Sabbath.

Of course, most of you in this service already know the importance of keeping the Sabbath day and actually do keep it well. But even though you think you are keeping the Sabbath well, I hope you will imprint the meaning of Sabbath in your heart once again and have more complete rest in the Lord.

Also, if you have not been keeping the Sabbath day properly, I hope you will keep it from now, so that you will be protected and blessed by God.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, ‘Sabbath Day’ is a day to have a rest in the Lord comfortably.

The origin of Sabbath day is seen in Genesis 2:1-3. God the Creator created heaven and earth and all things and men, and He rested on the 7th day.

Genesis 2:1-3 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. [2] By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. [3] Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

Likewise, God created everything for 6 days and rested on the 7th day, and that is why God blessed this day and made it holy and let us rest on this day, too.

But to keep the Sabbath does not only mean not working.

We should not put our heart in the worldly things for that day and give all our heart wholly to God, and thus acknowledge the sovereignty of God the Creator.

So Ezekiel 20:11-12 says, “I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. [12] “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.” namely, to keep the Sabbath day is the evidence that we are God’s people who fear Him.

As explained above, this is the reason why those children of God who keep the Sabbath are protected from accidents and disasters.

Because to keep the Sabbath that is commanded by God is the evidence that they are God’s people, even though the enemy devil and Satan may want to bring accusations, God can protect them.

But sometimes, you are not protected even though you think you kept the Sabbath. It is a case when you attended the service and seemingly kept the Sabbath on the outside, but in God’s sight you didn’t keep it.

For example, some people come and sit in the church, but they fall asleep and have idle thoughts, and thus do not offer worship service acceptable to God.

Of course, if you have some idle thoughts having weak faith although you try to concentrate on the service, or if you fall asleep for a moment because of tiredness of you body, God has mercy on you knowing the measure of each one’s faith.

But if you supposedly have faith but habitually fall asleep or have idle thoughts, it is only being rude before God and building a barrier against Him, so it’s not easy for you to be protected.

Also, if you truly keep the Sabbath with faith, you keep other commandments of God as well

So, if you are supposed to be at the 3rd level of faith but commit the works of flesh that only 1st level faith can commit, even though you attend service very well, it is not to keep the Sabbath with all your heart but only with your outward deed.

So, God has to turn His face away, and He cannot keep you from Satan’s accusations.

Except these special cases, if you basically keep the Sabbath and give proper tithes, you will be protected by God for the whole week.

Most of our members are witnesses who have experienced these blessings in their lives.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Sabbath in the Old Testament times was actually Saturday. Even today, Jews keep the Saturday as the Sabbath.

But we who believe in Jesus Christ and are saved keep Sunday as Sabbath, and we call this day the Lord’s Day.

Why did Sabbath change into Sunday from Saturday? It’s because Sunday is the day we can truly have rest in Jesus Christ.

What does it mean by having true rest in because of Jesus Christ?

Since Adam, the mankind became sinners and they didn’t have true rest. They became servants of the enemy devil and Satan, the ruler of sins. They had to live difficult lives and their spirit was burdened with the burden of sin.

So, God sent His one and only Son Jesus to redeem us from our sins and He let us have eternal rest.

Jesus died on the cross taking the sins of all mankind, but on the third day, He broke the authority of death and resurrected. Now, those who believe in this fact are forgiven of their sins and are united with the resurrected Lord to participate in the hope of resurrection.

They came to have freedom from sins and true rest in heart, and also the hope to enjoy eternal rest in heavenly kingdom.

And Sunday is the day on which God gave us hope, true rest and joy to the mankind who used to be sinners.

It’s because Jesus died on the cross on Friday and He resurrected on the third day, namely one day after the Sabbath, in the early morning of Sunday.

Because Sunday is the day when our Lord fulfilled His providence of salvation and gave us true and eternal rest, we keep Sunday as Sabbath for we are saved through Jesus Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the reason why God made His Sabbath holy and let men keep it is to let us remember spiritual things even while we are going through a difficult life being cultivated in this world.

God let us remember God who is the Master of heavens and earth, and all things in them and all men, and hope for eternal rest, not just looking at meaningless things in this perishing world.

And the Old Testament times, which was a shadow, had passed, and Jesus Christ, the original entity of the word, came to us and gave us true rest.

In Matthew 12:8 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

What does ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ mean?

It means Jesus is originally one with God who made the Sabbath and rules that day, and He is the Lord who gives true rest to all souls.

Therefore, it is obvious to have Sunday as Sabbath for it is the day when the Lord of Sabbath resurrected and gave us true rest.

John 1:17 says, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

Matthew 5:17 says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”

After our Lord fulfilled the Law with love, we keep Sunday as Sabbath, and it means we are enjoying the blessing of having a Sabbath completely.

The disciples of the Lord knew this spiritual meaning. They called the day of the resurrection of the Lord, the Lord’s Day, and kept it as true Sabbath.

Revelation 1:10 says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,” John was referring to Sunday as Lord’s day, the day of the Lord’s resurrection.

Also, first part of Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread,” Here, ‘bread’ means the word of God.

It tells us that on Sunday the disciples gathered, listened to the sermon of the apostle Paul, sharing grace, and having rest of their soul.

1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” We can find that they even gave offerings on the Lord’s Day.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who do not understand the true meaning of the Sabbath still put more emphasis on the Old Testament and keep Saturday as the Sabbath.

But even in the Old Testament, it foreshadows that Sunday would be kept as Sabbath day.

Leviticus 23:10-12 says, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. [11] ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. [12] ‘Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord.”

Namely, when they went into the land of Canaan and had rest, the day to offer the sacrifice with first fruits was the next day of the Sabbath. The first fruit here symbolizes our Lord, who is the first fruit of resurrection.

Also, ‘a male lamb one year old without defect’ symbolizes Jesus Christ, who is spiritually the Lamb of God.

Therefore, this verse shows that our Lord, who was given as an atoning sacrifice would come out as the first fruit of resurrection and give all people who believe in Him resurrection and rest.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, what is it to keep the Sabbath holy?

Today’s passage Exodus 20:9-10 says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, [10] but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.”

God is telling them, on that day, not only they themselves, but also their servants, animals, or even any guests in their houses must not work.

He even said they must not even make fire.

That’s why Jews considered cooking, carrying heavy things, and traveling a long distance as a work that violates the Sabbath.

Of course, they could not have any business transaction.

But true rest meant by God is not only to stop working for a day.

For example, when the worldly people do not go to work on Sunday but go on a picnic or rest at home enjoying some entertainments, we don’t say they are resting in spiritual sense.

It is only physical rest. Physical rest cannot give us true life.

So, Isaiah 58:13-14 says, “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, [14] Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

As said, having spiritual rest is to keep the day as a holy day of God and have joy in God.

To do this, we have to come to church, not having to do anything worldly, worship God in spirit and truth, and have fellowship with believers. From Monday to Saturday, we can work diligently and be faithful in all God’s house, but the Lord’s Day must be offered to God wholly.

Then, we will have true joy and peace given by God and our spiritual faith will grow.

Through the message, we come to understand the heart and will of God and while we praise God in one voice, we will be filled by the Holy Spirit.

In fact, some of those who are doing voluntary works on Sundays do more work than when they work in the world during weekdays.

Especially, Sunday school teachers and voluntary work groups do a lot of work from early morning till evening.

After working so much for the kingdom of God, they stay late and attend Daniel prayer meeting. So, in physical sense, they cannot rest.

But no matter how tired their body may be, through worshipping in spirit and in truth and through those voluntary services, their spirit enjoys true peace and rest given by God.

Then, in your Christian life, sometimes, you may not be able to discern between different ways of keeping the Sabbath.

For example, “Should soldiers or policeman work on Sundays?”

Or, “If an unbelieving relative or a very new-believer is getting married on Sunday, what should I do?”

Also, “If there is no meal prepared for choir members or voluntary workers in the church, is it OK to go outside and buy things to eat?” These are some frequently asked questions.

I will tell you about those details in the next session.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Adam, the forefather of mankind, committed the sin of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he had to receive the penalty of sin, which was death, and his spirit died.

The descendants of Adam, whose spirit died, also went to the way of death. But Jesus took the cross to save us from death, and He broke the authority of death and resurrected.

So, those who accept the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit as a gift will have their dead spirit revived. This is spiritual resurrection.

When our Lord comes back in the air, those who are asleep in graves will resurrect, and those who will be living will change and have imperishable, resurrected body and be caught up in the air. This is physical resurrection.

After both spiritual and physical resurrection take place, we will be given eternal life in heavenly kingdom.

We will share such emotional and moving love with our dear Lord, and will enjoy only joy and happiness without any tears, sorrow, or pains.

This is the true rest that God is giving to us.

It’s the great blessing promised for those who keep the Sabbath holy on this earth and live in God’s word.

I hope you will come before God and worship Him every week, your hope of resurrection given by God will increase, and you will be filled with thanks and joy.

By doing so, on the last day, when our Lord comes back again, may all of you enter into the eternal rest promised by God, I pray in the name of the Lord!

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