Ira Hobbs - Sabbath Rest - Parma, Idaho - 2005

I Timothy 3:16, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” I Corinthians 2:7–10, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, .... as it is written, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things God hath prepared for them that love Him, but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit;' for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” God's ways are a mystery because they are so much higher than the thoughts of man. Humans have always wanted to make themselves on the same level as God. In Genesis 3:5, the devil said to Eve, “You will be like gods!”

 

From day one to day five of creation, God made earth a suitable habitation for man, and on the sixth day God made man a suitable habitation for God. The seventh day implies the eternal purpose of God in those for whom He works and manifests himself. Genesis 2:1–3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended 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 had created and made.”

 

That day was exceedingly important because of its significance in showing the eternal purpose of God to give eternal rest to man. From the beginning of time God blessed His seventh day - not the seventh day of the week – to keep man remembering what He had planned, that He would gather those who believed and there would be perpetual rest in Him. He made possible that earth-bound creatures could become heaven-bound, mortal put on immortality. God never planned in the beginning that man would observe a 24-hour sabbath ...that came 2,500 years afterward when the law was given. It came because of the mixed multitude (that followed His people out of Egypt). Jesus fulfilled the law of Moses. Remember that the law of Moses was a school master to bring us to Christ, to remind them in the keeping of the sabbath day and also in the sacrifices of what He had planned in Christ. Some did believe, some saw and understood by believing in Jesus and in the purpose of God. Leviticus 23:3, remember that the law of Moses was a school master to bring us to Christ, to remind them in the sabbath keeping, and also in the sacrifices, of what He had planned in Christ. There were 2,500 years from creation until the law was given.

 

There were many days that were a "Sabbath” - a day of rest, cessation - but they were not necessarily on the 7th day of the week. Seven is suggestive of the perfection of God's provision in Christ Jesus. In Leviticus 23:24, in the 7th day on the first day of the month there was to be a sabbath, the tenth day was also a sabbath – the day of atonement – suggesting completely the sacrifice of Jesus; in verse 38, the fifteenth day was also a sabbath. All these days had a significance in carrying out His 7th day. In the Passover, there was an overlapping sabbath – the first day of the feast of unleavened bread. These sabbaths were to keep them thinking of Jesus who would come and give them rest

 

The land was  also to keep a sabbath, each 7th year. The sabbath means resting from your own works and your own pleasure: there is something better for you in Christ Jesus, a “year of release” - the release of finding your sins blotted out in the blood of the Lamb. Also, all Israel was to be gathered together to hear all of the words of the law – to be reminded of all that God had planned for them from the very beginning. After the 7th period of 7 years – 49 years, the 50th year was the year of jubilee - the fullness of all this liberty and returning every man to his own house. That signifies the returning of our Lord! After the person appears, you forget all about the shadow.

 

We look forward to the year of jubilee. Right now we are in the rest of His 7th day, but in the jubilee, He will give us the fullness of what He planned to give us...eternal rest.

 

Isaiah 58, what the sabbath means and what fasting means go hand in hand, because both mean ceasing from our own thoughts and our own appetites; praying, reaching out to God, denying ourselves and receiving the help we need. Very important. It is a part of our relationship with God, in ceasing from our own interests to please Him. Verses 3-7, then freeing people from bondage, not hiding ourselves from our own flesh (those who are closest to us)...give them liberty. When Jesus set people free, the Pharisees said He was breaking the sabbath. Jesus said that man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath for man, and that the Son of man is the Lord of the sabbath.  They looked at the sabbath as something that just held back the flesh, and as something miserable. For 490 years, they didn't keep the sabbath year, and it brought them into captivity.

 

They didn't understand the meaning of the sabbath in Christ Jesus. Jesus was the fullness of the sabbath! It was to be a benefit to man. Jesus spent day after day after day in setting people free; pardoning them, taking off the yoke, liberating their souls, bringing rest to their souls and He was fulfilling the purpose of that 7thday.

 

Isaiah 58:13, “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, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.” If you keep your foot....control your ways on My holy day - God's seventh day, the 7thday of God's creation.

 

Malachi gives a good description of when people lose their vision. “It is a weariness!” They didn't consider it a delight. Their sacrifices were all a burden to them. Murmuring and complaining marked the course of humanity. Such comes through unbelief and hardness of heart. But if you call it a delight then you will find the greatest of joy; your life will have meaning, usefulness, the deepest joy in the Lord.

 

Psalms 118:24, this is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Verse 22, the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. The foundation in Christ Jesus – the law that most do not understand. We will rejoice and be glad – subjection to the will of God – I believe, I love, I cherish! Devote our thoughts and our affections in that for which Jesus lived and died.

 

Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it ... the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it...and God did rest the seventh day from all His works” and again, “if they shall enter into My rest.” Let us fear lest we don't enter. The word didn't profit them, not being mixed with faith. They didn't understand it because it is hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes. Let us fear lest we would miss the purpose of life, the purpose of God. Many fell because they didn't have faith in Jesus Christ. They were going back to the law and its figurativeness, and missed the purpose of it all. Let us go on to what God has planned in Christ Jesus. Canaan was not the fullness of it all – it was figurative. They never saw the eternal prospects of a relationship with God; being liberated from this body of flesh into the glorious liberty! It is not just a dream, let us labor to enter in, that the joy of the Lord would be fulfilled and His hope realized of bringing many sons into glory.

 

Matthew 11:28, “Come unto M\me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” ... give you understanding, give you liberation from all your weaknesses, strengthen you for all the burdens of life, and you will find my rest is good, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

 

Revelations 14:12-13, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, 'Write, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea,' saith the Spirit, 'That they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.'” This is what God planned from the beginning: they shall rest from their labors, and their works shall follow them...what they have labored for...those who had learned to trust in Jesus, to put away their own interests.


Colossians 2:16-17, “Let no man judge you...in respect of an holy day, or...of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come.” The shadow has passed away and the fullness is come in Christ, and our hope is in him, if we cease from ourselves, and God's will is our delight.

 

This is the most important thing of our existence, then we will prosper and be at peace, and we will be with Him in His glory!

 


Hymn 317, "Sweet is the Rest"