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- Category: Meditations
- Created on 03 November 2014
- Last Updated on 03 November 2014
- Written by Ofelia Limpoco-Magat
LOVE OF SO VERY FEW
I threw a pebble into the river
and watched the ripples reach its shore.
The wave as small as a pebble
bigger and bigger it reached the shore.
I threw a sigh into the air
and sing the song of love, hope and faith.
The sigh as faint as breath
louder and louder it encompassed the earth.
I sowed a seed on a fertile ground
and let nature do its part.
The seed as small as a pea
bigger and bolder it became a tree.
A decade or two is but a short time.
The pebble is still on the river’s floor.
The sigh is just a song to remember,
The seed is now a fruitful tree.
So is the great love of so very few
Like a seed sown and nurtured to grow.
Small it seemed at the very start,
Watch and wait to taste the tree of life.
- Category: Scripture Studies
- Created on 30 October 2014
- Last Updated on 18 December 2014
- Written by Ivan Ezras
One verse that was interpreted to mean the “Last Great Day” is found in John 7:37 and it read:
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (NKJV all throughout)
Anyone can readily understand that this verse refers to the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths). We know that the topic discussed in this whole chapter 7 of the gospel of John is what transpired during the last feast of Tabernacles of Christ before his crucifixion. John 7:2 shows this to be the case.
There are only seven (7) days in the Feast of Tabernacles and not eight (8). That is a well-established fact. So the last day, the great day of the feast, is the seventh day. There is no contest to that. It is totally absurd to reason out that the Eighth Day is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles since God or His prophets never referred to it as part of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. Rather, they simply called it as the Eighth day.
“Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day, there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.” Nehemiah 8:18
“At that time Solomon kept the feast seven days and all Israel with him, a very great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a sacred assembly, for they observed the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.” 2 Chronicles 7:8-9
Christ’s words at this last day of the feast in John 7:37 directly relate to the meaning and purpose of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles.
When Jesus stood up, He said:
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38
Verse 39 of John 7 gave the explanation to these words of Christ as referring to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to those who believe on Him.
“But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:39
Jesus Christ deliberately timed and connected these statements and its meaning to the normal practice of the priests to draw water from the Pool of Siloam and pour this out at the temple during the seven days’ duration of the Feast of Tabernacles. (*Jews also called the last or seventh (7th) day of the feast as Hoshana Rabbah or the “Great Hoshana”. As Hoshana means “save now”, it pictures the last great act of saving through the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in the last days. - Editor)
The priest’s ritual and Christ’s words both point to the offering of salvation and giving of the Holy Spirit to the vast majority of humans (who never had a chance before), as pictured by the seven days feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles). This feast coincides with the great fall harvest of fruit bearing trees, vines and crops in Israel.
Another passage worth considering is the very last verse in Chapter 7 of the book of John. The Eternal inspired John to write this down after the events ended at the last day of the feast:
“…They went each to his own house.” John 7:53
This verse provide us with a clue that the people were staying in temporary accommodations in compliance to God’s command to dwell in temporary (makeshift) shelter for the seven days Feast of Booths, Otherwise, there would be no sense to include the verse in Scripture if it is a usual thing during that week for people to go back to their respective homes every day. Jesus, on the other hand, went to the Mount of Olives.
Early morning of the next day (John 8:2), they were all back at the temple. What happened on this day is accounted for in Chapter 8 and 9 of the gospel of John. Reading these two chapters will give us the information this day is a holy day. This is now the Eighth Day Sabbath.
“Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them.” John 8:2
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 21 October 2014
- Last Updated on 21 October 2014
- Written by Raul Hipe
Joyous Feast of Tabernacles, thank you church ensemble for opening prelude music as we begin our worship service…
Hymn 1: Behold The Day Will Come, p.120
Hymn 2: How Filled with Honor is the Place, p.25
Hymn 3: How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings, p.20
Introduction: God’s Upward Call—Our theme for this year’s feast says it all: “Pressing toward the upward call of God for a more exceeding eternal weight of glory.” Paraphrased from Paul words in his epistles to the Corinthians and in Philippians (2 Cor.4:9 and Phil3:14)
If there was any one phrase or word that will summarize or best describe why we are doing what we are doing here today, as pilgrims, dwelling in temporary shelters (booths), is apostle Paul’s words calling everyone for an “upward call”. It is not merely a coincidence that we are keeping the feast on a mountain (here in Baguio), because that was God’s original intent similar to the call he had with the children of Israel to go up yearly to Jerusalem to keep God’s feasts. The physical pattern will show us the spiritual significance.
When we think of God’s calling, it connotes many ideas. It can mean God calling us back to His plan and purpose; our mission, our goal, the destination of our travel. Hence, we are called to a journey and that journey starts where you begin to listen, heed God’s call, turn around and begin to follow the road that will lead you to your real purpose leading to life eternal in God’s kingdom. At the very least our physical travel yearly should remind us of this very thing that God called us to a life far beyond the physical and transitory benefits. We don’t pack up our things just because we want a good vacation, no, we move our things, and life because God called us to a more glorious purpose.
Since the beginning, when God put man in the garden, His original call and intent has been for man to multiply and share the blessedness of a fruitful life. But since that was supplanted by the Adversary, God’s call has been made for select individual and family that will respond and continue to heed the upward call. Our first set of Scriptures will show when God’s call began and what it means to individual, families and mankind as a whole.
Bible Reader 1: God’s call in the Garden, failure of Adam and Eve, Cain, Call of Noah’s family, Abraham family to be a great nation.—
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-20; 3:8-9
Genesis 4:8-12, 6: 9-14; 8:15
Bible Reader 2: Calling of Moses, Israel out of Egypt, Joshua and Caleb on the Promised Land
Joshua 1:1-9; 24:14-15
Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we sing praises through the following hymns:
Hymn 4: Who is On the Lord’s Side? P.164
Hymn 5: The Battle Belongs to the Lord, p.170
Please be seated brethren.
B. Prophets Call to Upward Vision
With the vision that God set for the patriarchs—an inheritance, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’—this set the stage for God’s people to seek that future homeland. However, this is not an easy trek for along the journey they will encounter roadblocks, snares, confusion, weariness, temptations, lost of vision, and many other discouraging conditions. It is God’s prophet’s call to remind everyone of this continuing vision and a warning that th-ey should be no let up in seeking the direction of righteousness and true holiness. It is the prophet’s mission to remind God’s people of their spiritual compass and to turn when the road they are trekking leads them on the wrong paths.
Our next set of Bible readers, will read to us prophet’s reminders for God’s people to always seek the vision of a future homeland –
Bible Reader 3—Visions of prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel
Ezekiel 28:25-26; 36:23-28
Bible Reader 4—Calls of the latter prophets—Hosea
Amos 5:4-5;14-15; 9:11-15
Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:
Hymn 6 : Isaiah The Prophet, p.151
Hymn 7 : O God Our Help in Ages Past, p.
FACILITATOR : Thank you brethren, please be seated.
C. Jesus Christ’s Kingdom’s Call and Mission--
The kingdom’s upward call of great prophets of old were made more meaningful and intense with the arrival of Jesus the Christ—the Messiah to come. John the Baptist, one of the latter prophets to see this real time happening immediately recognized the person and the message. He paved the way/road for Jesus Christ in fulfilling His role as Savior and deliverer, at the same time inaugurating the expansion o f the kingdom Call to include every nations and tribes on the whole earth—the invitation that everyone can become part of a great journey—a future Israel of God in His kingdom.
Our next Bible verses will show Jesus Christ call for everyone to seek God and live according to the principles of Kingdom.
- Category: Meditations
- Created on 04 October 2014
- Last Updated on 04 October 2014
- Written by Gina Constantino
Opening Welcome and Prayer
Opening Hymns :
2.11 – Brethren, We Have Met To Worship
202 – The Creator of Life
159 – O Day of Rest and Gladness
The ten days starting with the Feast of Trumpets and ending with the Day of Atonement are commonly known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. This is the time when we truly need serious introspection, an examination of what we did, repent and ask for forgiveness. The word “teshuvah” is often translated as repentance or more accurately, to turn back to God. It is turning away from evil, turning toward the good. It is possible that we can regret our actions- affecting the intellect, pride, regret that we were caught but not repent. The feeling of remorse that makes us feel disgusted, in pain and guilt over what we did, is the first step towards repentance. Repentance means acknowledging that we learn, understand, perceive that we are mistaken about violating the laws and will of God, that we are alienated from God. Our change of mind – if genuine – will lead to a change of heart. These are not just mere action but have to come deeply into the mind and soul. These should affect the whole life, redirecting a person’s destiny from destruction to being at one with God.
What is the difference between regret, remorse and repent? Readers will give us examples of people in the bible. Notice the situations:
Reader 1 – Examples of Regret
Gen. 25:29-34- Esau Sells His Birthright
Genesis 27:30-34- Esau’s regret for selling his birthright
I Sam 24:8-21-Saul’s Pursuit of David
I Sam 26:17-21-Saul pursuing David relentlessly
Reader 2 - Examples of Remorse One Leading to Death, and the other Leading to Repentance
Matt. 27:1-5-Judas hangs himself - Remorse
Matt 26:69-74 -Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly
Reader 3 - Examples of True Repentance
Job 42:1-6-Job’s Repentance and Restoration
2 Sam. 24:1-4, 10, 19, 25-David’s trust in numbers instead of God
Hebrews 12:16-17- Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Esau regretted having sold his birthright for a lentil soup. Not only did he lose his birthright but blessings as well. He cried bitterly for the loss but not repentant for taking light of his inheritance. After the death of Isaac, he even sought to kill his brother.
Saul regretted plotting against David. He asked for David’s forgiveness several times but still continued to pursue him.
Judas, felt the guilt of betraying Jesus Christ, but was not enough to ask for forgiveness and change his ways.
Peter felt the guilt and wept bitterly. He knew what pain it caused to betray the trust of His Savior. This led to his repentance.
David knew of his sins. He asked for forgiveness and went out of his way to seek and please God.
Hymns : 2.40 – Fools Have Said That There Is No God
100 – Wisdom Begins With The Fear of the Lord
What should we do in these days of introspection, leading to forgiveness of our sins?
1. Forsake the sin – sincere repentance is when one is being tempted over the same temptation experienced before and is resolutely resisted.
Reader 4 and 5 will read verses on forsaking sin
Reader 4 –
Reader 5 –
1 Pet 2:1-2, 11-12
In order for a person to be forgiven of sin, he must confess that sin to the Lord. He has to own up to what he has done and agree with God about it, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) However, confession alone does not bring victory over any particular sin; it only brings forgiveness. In order to find victory over sin, there must also be a forsaking of that sin. Remember that forsake means "to leave in a destitute condition without any further care; it is the opposite of holding fast.
Hymns : 182 – If We Love The Word of God
2.1 -- Trust and Obey
The second way to true repentance is :
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 28 September 2014
- Last Updated on 29 September 2014
- Written by Raul Hipe
The Feast of Trumpets is one of the most pivotal and enigmatic of God’s feast days. It is a pivotal feast because many of the future things we hope to see are anchored on our appreciation and understanding of this feast. Hence it is also full of enigma - most of the typologies and events it described, we are seeing it through a glass darkly (I Corinthians 13:12). Most of the future events it foretells are still subject to interpretations and speculations even among serious students of the Bible. Hebrew idioms best describe this feast as the day in which “no one knows the day and the hour.”
But what is more interesting about this feast is that God’s people are commanded to recall something on this feast. So it is a “recall” feast –we are commanded to look back and remember.
But remember what?
Let’s read the instructions from Leviticus 23:
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’” verses 23-25 (NKJV)
The Hebrew word used for the word “memorial” is zikrown. It refers to a “memento”, “a record”, ”a memorable thing”, “a memorial”- a reference to something that we need to be reminded of. The feast is variously interpreted as a “memorial blast”.
So think about it, in God’s prophetic plan, one thing we need to do in order to understand Him better is to “memorialize” something. Normally, we cannot memorialize a thing that still belongs to the future, right? We can only memorialize important and very defining historic events in the past.
But the feast of Trumpets shows us how- through God’s words, stories, and lessons.
One way to do that is to remember (or ‘recall’) one of the most compelling and passionate parables Jesus Christ gave his disciples that pertains to the near future. This is called the “Parable of the Five Wise Virgins and Five Foolish Virgins”, also called the “Parable of the Ten Virgins” which is found in the Matthew account. There’s no synoptic or parallel account to this parable so we better understand its intended meaning.
Here is the whole parable as told in Matthew 25: 1-13:
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Before we study its meaning, let’s understand that the context of the Parable of the Ten Virgins was a response to the disciples asking Jesus, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24: 3) And so Jesus gave them a panoramic view of events leading to his return. Among other things, He cautioned the disciples about specific happenings such as the rise of massive false religion (v.4-5), wars and rumors of wars (v.6), natural calamities (v.7), betrayals and departure from the truth (v.9-12), the great tribulation (v.21), and the gospel of the kingdom being heard worldwide (Matthew 24:4-22).
After these warnings, Jesus Christ immediately told them the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins. Looking at the context, Jesus seemingly wanted to tell the disciples that anyone can surpass all these frightening events to come and they should not worry too much (Matthew 24:6). However, there is one thing the parable introduced, without which one cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In order to unlock the intended meaning of the story, there are five (5) key elements we need to understand. To do this we need to apply the study principle, “let the Bible interpret the Bible”. The five key words are: 1) Who are the “Wise” in the parable? 2) Who are the “Foolish”? 3) What does the “Lamp” represent? 4) What does the “Light” stand for? and 5) What does the “Oil” mean in the parable?
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 13 September 2014
- Last Updated on 17 September 2014
- Written by Raul Hipe
Joyous Sabbath, brethren. Welcome to our Scripture readings and hymn singing for today’s Sabbath worship service. May we call on Mr. _______________________ to lead in the opening prayer.
Thank you, Mr._________________. Let us open our hymnals on:
Hymn 1: Hallelujah! Praise God p.26
Hymn 2: The Lord Eternal Reigns! p.9
Hymn 3: O Lord, The Refuge of Each Generation p.44
Introduction: Warning Watch
The coming feast of Trumpets prophetically reminds us of the many dangers we face just ahead before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, Jesus’ operative word of warning for all believers is to “Watch”. This warning to be on alert is for everyone to be mindful, watchful, always in a constant state of readiness/preparedness. In Luke21:36, Jesus Christ emphatically warned His disciples:
“Watch you therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36)
The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong" (1 Corinthians:16:13).
But what does it mean to "watch"? What are the things we need to constantly be warned about? Does it speak only of our need to be physically free from physical harm or danger of all external threats?
Now, all warnings are helpful to protect and preserve life and property. But more importantly, the Scripture are replete with constant warnings about spiritual dangers and this should be constantly emphasized to remind everyone of its eternal consequences. The apostle Paul, just before his departure, pleaded to everyone and said: “Therefore watch, and remember that… I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”(Acts 2:31)
In today’s Scripture readings, let us now look at some of these important warnings from God’s word–both from historical perspective and its prophetic significance –
Our first set of Bible readers will read verses that will show us God’s warnings since the beginning and how it affected mankind, nations and people by its consequences:
Bible Reader 1: God’s warning to Adam and Eve, Mankind prior to the Flood, and Mankind scattering at Babel —
Genesis 3: 1-19;
Bible Reader 2: Continuing God’s warning message to His people Israel, beginning with the time of Abraham, Moses, Children of Israel –
Exodus 3:1-10;5:1-3; 19:14-21;20:18-20
Facilitator: Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, let’s please stand as we offer our praises through the following hymns:
Hymn 4: Blow the Horn, Let Zion Hear! P.129
Hymn 5: Remember Us, O Eternal p.58
A.The Prophets as God’s Trumpets
Facilitator: Please be seated brethren.
Whenever there’s an impending calamity or disaster to befall a nation out of their national or collective sins or rebellion, personal and moral wickedness, God commissioned a special group of select men of God called “prophets” in the Bible. Prophets serve as God’s mouthpiece of delivering God’s warning messages. This is very true to God’s people of Israel and other surrounding nations. The prophets served as God trumpets, so the people will have time to consider their doings, repent and change their ways or they will reap the consequences of their actions. The following set of readers will show us from Scripture, God’s warning messages thru His chosen prophets—the trumpets of God.
Bible Reader 3—Prophets as God’s trumpets: Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
Samuel 7:2-5; 8:4-9
Isaiah 58:1-3; 59:1-3
Jeremiah 1:9-10; 4:5-6; 10:1-5
Bible Reader 4—God’s warning messages thru the latter prophets—Joel, Amos, Jonah, Malachi
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Thank you Bible Readers. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:
Hymn 6: Abide With Us p.54
Hymn 7: God is My Rock, My Salvation p.55
Facilitator: Thank you brethren, please be seated.
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 05 September 2014
- Last Updated on 05 September 2014
- Written by Administrator
The Church of God Sharing Village is very pleased to announce that the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day Feast for 2014 (October 9-15 & 16) will be held at Oring-ao Hall, Teachers Camp, Baguio City.
The name Baguio invokes, for many brethren and long time feast-keepers, a highland retreat which is ideal for a pilgrimage feast. It’s literally a city on a mountain with many scenic and historic landmarks dubbed as the “summer capital” for its temperate and cool climate, foggy hills, and picturesque views with pines, beautiful flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables!
Teachers Camp is traditionally one of the memorable feast sites among brethren in the Church of God communities for many years now. Facilities include furnished 3 to 4 rooms cottages/guesthouses (these can be shared among families/brethren) with hot showers and in-house cooking; Assembly/service hall is walking distance from these “temporary dwellings”. Security is 24 hours with courteous camp attendants.
So make plans now to meet friends and brethren, come and rejoice before the LORD’s feasts!
Program and activities for this year’s feasts include:
High Day Sabbaths Services (AM and PM)
Interactive Bible Studies
Back to Basic Bible Studies
Scripture with Songs Services
Family Day and Tour
“And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name--you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you…
“You shall celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. ‘Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.’” Deuteronomy 16:11,12-15
- Category: Scripture Studies
- Created on 01 September 2014
- Last Updated on 01 September 2014
- Written by Ivan Ezras
To many people, the Sabbath is just a day of rest based on one’s preference. To some, it is a time of religious study at home, or a classroom type of meeting where one gathers with friends and acquaintances, sits down, listens to the speaker and takes notes. To a few however, it is a day of struggle between do’s and don’ts. And, there are others who view the Sabbath as a burden resembling a 24-hour preventive suspension that hinders one from pursuing other “worthwhile activities”.
Is the Sabbath just any day we choose to rest? Do we equate Sabbath assemblies to classes we have in school? Have we looked at it as a burden? Has keeping the Sabbath become a routine, dull and mechanical?
Just what is the Sabbath? Does resting and not working on a particular day relate in any way to salvation? What difference does it make whether a person keeps the Sabbath or not? How does God look at the Sabbath? Why did He create it in the first place and make its observance a law?
If Sabbath keeping is important to God, then we need to know why and not to go through life without having the answers to the many questions about it.
The Sabbath is not a physical-material creation. No amount of scientific research, mathematical formula or calculations can even attempt to determine or reach a conclusion that a particular day is the Sabbath. It may be the reason why the great majority chooses any day they want to rest. Some even make everyday a Sabbath.
The separation of the seventh day and the holy days as Sabbaths was primarily done and determined only by the word and revelation of God and none else. God’s word is spirit and it is life. The Eternal’s word is truth.
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
John 17:17 “Your (God’s) word is truth.”
Only God’s word is the sole basis of truth. If it’s truth one seeks, the person truly doesn’t have a choice even though he is free to do so.
Yet it is the individual’s responsibility whether to trust God’s word and come under His wings. Either one takes the word of God or not at all.
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
There are church/religious organizations which include the proclamations/revelations of their spiritual leaders or even fundamental beliefs they formulated as established truths. But do these destroy or contradict the living laws of God?
Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Jesus Christ said: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18
No tangible proof exists to show that the Sabbath of God is different from the other days except for the men and women who rest and keep the day holy and who attest to this fact by the miracles they saw and experienced in their lives. No physical evidence was created to show that a particular day is a Sabbath, let alone God’s testimony which was written and preserved in Scripture.
Several given signs identify the real disciples of the true God and the Christ. One is love for one another.
John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Second, the Holy Spirit in an individual separates God’s people from the world.
Romans 8:10 “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God..”
The Sabbath is also a sign between God and His people.
Exodus 31:16 “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 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.’”
The Sabbaths reveal the identity of the invisible, ever living Sustainer or life, exalt the One being worshipped and point to Him as the true God, and not the idols or any lesser gods; at the same time, mark out and separate His physical flesh and blood heritage from the rest of humanity.
Sunday worship on the other hand, distinguishes the rest of Christendom. Sunday as the Christian Sabbath was the invention of the Roman Catholic Church based on its claim to have the authority to designate the day of worship. This authority stems from their belief that the Christian Sabbath was the offspring of the “union” of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic church His spouse (The Catholic Mirror, series of articles September 1893).
The keeping of the Sabbaths is an act of faith in God’s word/testimony and a witness to the truth that such days exist, created and ordained by the all powerful God who is Spirit.
John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The only way to truly worship a spirit God is via the spiritual avenue He established and those are His laws which include His Sabbaths. God’s physical creation is governed by time, and it is through the element of time that God set in motion His revealed Sabbaths.
Time is the essence of life. Our life equals the amount of time we hold at our disposal. All humans, rich and poor, young and old alike, has equal time to use or to give out everyday. It is not one’s choice to surrender any day he/she wants to God. God requires His Sabbath days in their appointed times be surrendered to Him to carry out His purpose for them.
Freely giving one’s time to God on the Sabbath honors and sets Him apart as our Creator. We acknowledge His claim that we are a product of His creative handiwork, and that He owns us.
Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.”
The holy days reveal the Lord God (YHVH) also as our Redeemer who is presently working to restore His people to fellowship with Him.
John 5:17 “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
1 John 1:3 “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
God’s holy Sabbath days show exactly what God plans to do in a particular time, to redeem and to work out the salvation of His people. God always shows His people the things He is going to do and what will come to pass.
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Revelation 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John..”
Revelation 22:6 “Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.”
Genesis 17:19 “Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.”
As landmarks in time, guiding God’s people through God’s timetable of world events, the Sabbaths foretell God’s hand in the affairs of mankind, establishing the fact that He is the Master Organizer of the whole creation. God is always in control. God challenges the idols and those who set themselves up:
Isaiah 41:22-23 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen;
Let them show the former things, what they were,
That we may consider them,
And know the latter end of them;
Or declare to us things to come.
Show the things that are to come hereafter,
That we may know that you are gods;
Yes, do good or do evil,
That we may be dismayed and see it together.”
The Sabbaths of God stand as signs and signals between Him and His people.
Ezekiel 20:19-20 “I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’