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This is something God commands!
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and
do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
In it you shall do no work...
...The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it (Exodus 20:8-11, NKJV).
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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In our Sunday dominated society, the art of Sabbath-keeping has been lost. Most Christians who go to church on Sunday assume that such a custom fulfils the fourth commandment. But it doesn’t!
God requires you to keep His Sabbath HOLY. That’s what He says. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a COMMAND!
Do you know what HOLY means? In the context of the Sabbath it means that it is set apart for a special use, a divine purpose, and is to be observed in a special way, not merely a human way. It is sacrosanct.
When Christians treat Sunday as the Sabbath, they usually do so by attending church, and then doing whatever they choose on the rest of the day. Some do their gardening or catch up with other chores. Or they may go out and have some fun, recreation and entertainment.
The motive of these activities is self – doing what THEY want. It’s not doing what GOD wants. Treating the Sabbath as a holy day means that you do what God wants on that day.
So what does HE say about it? Isaiah wrote what God said:
If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day [notice that God says it’s His day; it’s not ours to do with as we please], and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honourable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Is 58:13,14.)
Notice that last statement. It is emphatic. God is emphasising that HE is speaking, giving instruction that people normally don’t abide by.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord (Is 55:8).
When God reminded Israel about the Sabbath, He consistently called the Sabbath day HIS — not Israel’s, but His! (Ex 31:13.)
He instituted it at the beginning, when He made man (Gen 2:2,3). It is made for our benefit (Mrk 2:27). It is to point us to God. Notice:
Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you (Ex 31:13).
A sign points you in a certain direction. It is a sign between God and man. Thus it is intended to point man to God, to direct you to Him. When you keep it as He intends, regarding it as holy, special, sacred, you are brought closer to Him. He draws you to Him.
God sanctifies us. He does that through His truth. Jesus prayed:
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth (Jn 17:17).
The Sabbath time is regarded as holy by God, so:
You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death... (Ex 31:14a).
That expresses the rigour with which God wants you to regard this day before Him. And He explains what profanes this holy time:
... for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people (Ex 31:14b).
Besides working on it, doing your regular business, the Sabbath can also be profaned by seeking your own pleasure or just doing what YOU want to do, as we saw from Isaiah 58 earlier.
So, how do we honour God on this day? “What can I do,” you may ask, “to best observe this holy time?”
People ask questions like this:
Question: “I feel we need to find a place to worship, and where we can be supported spiritually. We are to fellowship with others (Heb 10:25). I know that Sunday is not the correct day, however I can’t find a Sabbath-keeping church around here, so I am looking at attending a Sunday church just for fellowship. What would you suggest?”
Answer: Regarding fellowship, you won't find a church that meets your needs. They just don't exist. The Sabbatarians are cults, and most of them deny the gifts of the Spirit. The Sunday-keeping churches are not interested in moving on. Fellowships are the answer.
Our fellowship is first and foremost to be with Jesus (1 Jn 1:3). Isolated believers can still have meaningful fellowship without other believers, because Jesus is with you when you submit to His Spirit.
So you have a fellowship already where you are. Please read Meetings With Jesus and also Dismantling Churches.
What you are best to do is to structure each Sabbath. It's a day to be kept to God, not for being lazy and taking it easy. We all have to learn how to properly keep it. We are not to do our own thing.
Structure it by organising your time wisely. It's holy time. Plan to go through a piece of literature on the day, like Listening To God. Then Meetings With Jesus, next Sabbath, etc. If someone else is with you, share the reading, discussing and commenting as you are each moved. Look up most of the references as you go through. Have, say, an hour doing that (or longer if you want), then some time for prayer, say 10 minutes or so, then a break. In the afternoon, do more.
At some stage, put on some praise music if you have some and sing praise to God. We do that at the end, after prayer. You'll soon realise that Jesus is fellowshipping with you when you get into it, and you'll realise you don't need a church with all its drawbacks of human domination, false teachings, and time-wasting.
Use each Sabbath as a disciplined learning opportunity. There is a lot of literature to get through. Remember, this is the Last Restoration (many don't realise this yet, that MM literature is divinely given). God wants you to be ready so you can share these new truths to your friends and to people God will bring across your path in due course when you are ready to witness for Him. (You can’t witness fully if you don’t yet know what truths God has restored in this end time. So, the first thing to do is to be educated. Please read Witnessing For Christ and Guidelines For Evangelists.)
By looking for a church to support you, you are actually looking to man rather than to God. A church can't support you spiritually, but Jesus can. What you need to develop is the awareness (by faith) of His presence in your meetings, and a reliance upon Him, so you learn to listen to Him and receive from the Spirit.
We are told to seek His face. That's a discipline. So, don't treat Sabbaths as days off (although they are days off work), lazing around and doing very little. Treat them as different – days to be kept TO God, knowing that as you keep them to Him, He is there with you. What you do on those days can please Him. And it involves being diligent in study of God’s Word, search for truth, praise, worship and prayer. Through all those, you will draw closer to Him and your fellowship will deepen in the Spirit. He will speak to you in your meetings as you put your faith in Him to be there.
Remember, He says, where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He promises to be there in your midst (Matt 18:20). We were amazed at this when we first began to meet at home after relying upon a church for 22 years! HE comes through as you learn to trust in Him.
Being Guided By The Spirit
I first learned about keeping the Sabbath when I was 16, and have obeyed the command for the past 44 years without interruption. It is a huge aid to seeking God, and many spiritual blessings flow from Him in its proper observance. For about half of that time, we kept it in the realm of the intellect. Only after we came out of the church environment did we learn the greater value of fellowship in the Spirit. After we learned of the baptism in the Spirit, we benefited from the blessings that come on that day through the gifts of the Spirit.
What amazed me was how, once we began to believe on a new level, and accept His spiritual gifts, such things became ‘natural’.
I remember how our three children all received the gift of tongues so easily, and then how, equally easily, I received the interpretation as they prayed in tongues. It astonished me. It came so naturally. It was like buttering bread.
As we learned to raise our level of faith, and believe in the LIVING Jesus who is there for all true believers, not merely in Jesus conceptually, fellowship became meaningful and special.
You’ll notice the word ‘learning’ frequently in the above. That’s because we are all on a learning curve, and the Sabbath is God’s chief day to teach you. It’s a day for learning.
So many believers who attend regular churches are not learning, or not learning very much. God’s main means of teaching you is through experience, and if you don’t experience HIM in your fellowship, you are missing the main ingredient you need.
Having Jesus In Your Fellowship
What would you give to have a personal visit from Jesus?
I bet you think that would be the ultimate experience! Rightly so. For there is no one greater than God. And Jesus was and IS God (Jn 1; Col 1:15-18).
But, you know, when you learn to observe His holy time in the way that He wants you to, He is present in your midst as you meet together with other believers for spiritual fellowship.
The last promise He gave us in Matthew’s gospel was that He would be with us always (Matt 28:20). And there is no more fitting occasion for His presence amongst believers than on the days that He made holy convocations in the OT (Lev 23). All those days listed in Leviticus 23 were established by God as holy. And they are still holy today. He doesn’t change (Heb 13:8). They were not merely intended for Israel. You are now part of the Israel of God, so those days are for you to keep and enjoy His presence more. If you are a Gentile, you are grafted into the stock of Israel (Rom 11:16-24), and have come to the same olive tree with the same customs. They are part of the original faith. That’s why Jesus died on Passover, and His Spirit was given later on Pentecost.
When the first disciples thought Jesus had gone, He turned up. He hadn’t gone. He was just invisible. He manifested Himself to them on several occasions so they (and we) can have faith in His omnipresence.
As you keep His holy time holy, Jesus turns up. This is what He promises those who fellowship according to His recommendations.
The promise is in Matthew 18:20. Where TWO or THREE meet... You don’t have to go to a church building. You don’t have to be a part of a church organisation. JESUS is the Body, and we are to become one in Spirit with Him, as a wife and husband are spiritually one flesh – a union.
When believers in Jesus meet on the Sabbath, in fellowship, for the purposes of worshipping God, drawing close to Him, learning from His Word, and to hear from His Spirit, Jesus shows up. You'll find out in due course, when you learn to observe the Sabbath more purposefully.
When we first met on the Sabbath in our home fellowship, instead of being in the former 'church' (which was not a church but a cult), it amazed me how much we were led by the Spirit in what scriptures to read, in what comments were made, in what just dropped into our minds from 'nowhere', etc.. Jesus was there, although we couldn't see Him. He was leading us, teaching us, giving us encouragement. And you'll find the same thing, too, because He is no respecter of persons.
I mentioned before that there is no church out there that can meet your needs. That is because all churches – and this may shock many – are man-dominated to some extent. They do not properly worship God. Either they deny the Spirit, as the Sabbatarian cults do, or they deny aspects of obedience of the faith once delivered, and are not bothered about it. If you were to present the Sunday churches with aspects of truth that you know, such as the Sabbath and festivals, etc., they would politely decline. And if you challenged them more forcefully, as I have done, you would get thrown out just the same way – bodily, by 'thugs'.
What you need is to receive more of the Spirit, and you won't do that in a church, because churches pander to numbers not individual needs. They accommodate the physical at the expense of the spiritual. They are intent on building a physical 'body' – which to them means a larger congregation. Why? So they can influence more people, and increase their funds.
This denial of the Spirit is serious. It allows demons in.
I think you know that people carry demons, yeah? Christians, I mean. I heard this forcefully demonstrated (no pun intended) on an audio tape many years ago from the Hegewisch Baptist church in the USA. I can't remember the pastor's name. At the end of his message, he invoked the names of demons, one by one, and as he did so, those demons manifested through the voices of the people all gathered there. What a cacophony!! You wouldn't have believed it unless you heard it. That demonstrated how many demons attend Christian meetings.
Jesus wants to deliver His people from demons. But most Christians don't want to obey God fully. They prefer to warm the seats of churches, find an easy road to salvation (such a road doesn't exist), and do what THEY want to do, not what Jesus wants. So, they bring their favourite demons along to church with them. And when they are there, they infect other people with those demons. You'd be amazed at what subtle and powerful influences are exerted in churches!, if you knew! It's one reason that people tend not to leave the church they have joined. They get comfortable there. Demons make them comfortable. And that kills the Spirit. The Spirit is shut outside, gradually, imperceptibly.
Churches become spiritual prisons. Evil spirits hold people captive to the watered down, compromised doctrines that the church promotes for the sake of ‘unity’. It’s not true unity; it’s conformity. And when you conform to what the church organisation promotes, and which contradicts pure Bible truth, you are fellowshipping with demons – evil spirits.
Paul adjured the Corinthians NOT to have fellowship with demons (1 Cor 10:20). Any compromise, any knowing disobedience, will welcome them. So, Paul called the believers to a holier lifestyle and worship.
Later, in Revelation 18:4, the Spirit became more insistent, calling true believers OUT of religious Babylon, to worship Jesus in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23). It is a command:
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him MUST worship in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24).
That is what Jesus is calling you to.
If you read Meetings With Jesus, I think you'll get more out of it, and also from The Sabbath: Answers To Some Questions.
Do you want to be baptised in the Spirit, to speak in tongues, or prophesy? Then you should also get hungry for more of the things of God, and start by studying the publications An Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts, and HOLY FIRE!
Be DILIGENT in your spiritual pursuit and He will open new doors to you, and give you more help in every situation.
You will find demons going, too. All Christians have demons trying to cling to them, and they affect us all in various ways, to the extent we allow them to. But God is urging you on towards maturity and perfection in Christ (Eph 4:12). Malcolm B Heap
Expounding Some Aspects of The Last Restoration:
The Ten Virgins (10V), Apostasy In God’s Church! (Apo), God’s Church – Whose Authority? (GC)
Prophets and Prophesying (PP), The Controversy Concerning Law & Grace (LG)
An Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts (ISG), Sunday Versus Sabbath: The Final World Crisis (SS)
Dreams and Visions From God (DV), Meetings With Jesus (MWJ), The Woman Question (W)
The Sabbath: Answers To Some Questions (SA), The Missing Dimension In Christian Living (Mis),
Revelations From God About The Judgement Of Britain (Jud), MORE THAN A PROPHET (MTP)
Casting Out Demons (Dem), Are You Driving Out Your Demons? (Dms)
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