The Spiritual Sabbath and the New Covenant


As we find ourselves living in the last few moments of earth’s history, the Christian must begin to ask himself some serious questions. Am I ready to meet my God and Savior? Has He really done in me all He wants to do?  What does Revelation mean when it refers to those that dwell on the earth not having their names written in the book of life?

Daniel chapter 7 reveals that just at the end of time, a power, or doctrine with power, will think to change God’s times and laws. Daniel 7:25 states “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” This power we see in Revelation 17:8 will cause an individual to remain on the earth spiritually instead of being in the heavens. This power is opposed to the Lamb and His work.

 Perhaps a good place to start is to examine what is meant by changing God’s laws. Although the original law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai in the form of 10 commandments written on stone, they were only reflections of God’s unchangeable holy character. The basic misrepresentation of what this law is meant to be has misled many a Christian. Is it a physical set of guidelines that man can follow to please God or is it something much more?

In Jeremiah 31:33 we read “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people”. A word study here reveals what text is talking about. The phase “inward part” is Strong’s #7130 and is properly interpreted as the seat of thoughts and emotion. God’s intent is not to have a people who struggle to keep His commandments but to establish His law (character) in the seat of our conscious thoughts and EMOTIONS.

 This requires much more than a setting of the principles of His law in our minds to understand them. It is to affect our very emotions. It means a different mind than the carnal mind we are born with. This mind is the one we see in Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” The word “mind” is the Greek word “phroneo” which has many uses but includes thinking and feeling.

This concept was different from the old concept of the law that was kept by the Jews. The Jews kept the law outwardly for salvation but had no change of heart. They were described in Matthew 23:27 as “whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” There was no changing of the inward man under the old covenant. Thus Paul wrote in Galatians 2:19-20 “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:. . “

 So God’s people are to have a new covenant with God in these last days. They are to think, feel, and have the same emotions as Christ. How is this possible? We must do it the same way Christ did. There is no mystery about His success. John 5:19 reads, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, we saw His Father’s Spirit descend upon Him. Throughout His ministry, Christ repeatedly stated that it was His Father’s power in Him that made His works possible.

 John 14:10-11 reads, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” This verse very aptly describes the abiding experience that Christ and His Father had with each other. His Father was in Him and they abode together. If this is how Christ had the “mind” that we are supposed to have, then this experience can be for us!  John 14:18-23 reveals this precious truth and promise. It reads “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” It can’t be any plainer than that. The same abiding power that gave Christ not only His victorious life, but also His sanctified mind, is God’s plan for His remnant people. They will have an abiding relationship with the Father and Son that will sanctify not only the intellect but also the seat of their emotions as well. This is exactly what we learned in our study of God’s creation.

It will not be our power but God’s. What a precious promise. This is the promise of Philippians which reads “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Does God extend this invitation to everyone? Yes! 1Timothy 2:2-5 tells us “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” How much Godliness? All or complete!

Christ through His victory on Calvary won the right to mediate between God and man. In essence, He paid the price for our sins so that the Father could be reunited with us.  With the presence of His Son in our minds, the Father and His  Son work together to restore us completely (through the recreation process) to what we would have been had we never fallen. This is the new covenant (promise) that God has in mind for each of us. Invite  God into your heart, confessing your sins and acknowledging your need of His strength and transforming power, and by faith enter into the new covenant with Him. He will then recreate you into His image. This is the ultimate expression of God’s law.

 Now that we understand that God’s law is to lead us into a perfected abiding experience with Him, we know what law the last great apostate power will seek to change. Any doctrine that teaches man that sin cannot be overcome before Christ literally comes the 2nd time is a doctrine that seeks to change God’s law. Any doctrine that teaches that man must overcome by any other means than allowing Christ’s abiding and transforming presence to sanctify the mind is also from this apostate power.

 Christianity today is filled will all sorts of doctrines that try to teach men that perfection is not possible this side of heaven. The Bible teaches that God seeks to abide in His children. Yet can Christ truly abide continuously in a carnal mind? It defies reason. These doctrines are from men described in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 which reads “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

This text would not make sense if read literally. How can anyone who literally does the things listed above by Timothy appear to have a form of Godliness? They couldn’t. It makes perfect sense however when viewed spiritually. These are the whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. There are very few types of people that the Bible indicates we should not work with but these are among them. The God we serve is well able to purify us unless we buy into a doctrine that denies the power of His abiding presence.

The second part of the text we read in Daniel also said that this apostate power would think to change God’s times. God’s times were established at creation. He created our world in six days and rested on the seventh. Although we know that this was a literal event, the spiritual truth is more pertinent for us today. Although I won’t go into it in depth in this study, we have already seen that the creation week is a spiritual representation of God’s recreative work to be done in His final remnant people. It begins with God giving us light or truth and ends with God’s recreative work in us being finished and God resting.

 We, as His final remnant people, are to enter into this Sabbath truth. We have already seen that God is going to change our minds, thoughts, and emotions. This is the last of God’s recreative work when on the sixth day God said let us make man in our (God’s) image, after our likeness. When that work is finished, God will rest and we will enter into the abiding Sabbath rest with Him. Keeping the seventh day of the week (Saturday) as a holy Sabbath is a literal representation of this spiritual truth.

 When doctrines are taught that deny God’s ability to complete that work in us and enter into that Sabbath rest, it is from that same apostate power. That power teaches a doctrine of receiving light (having a form of godliness) on the first day of the creation week, but never going on and God actually creating us in His image (but denying the power thereof.) It is no wonder that God’s true Sabbath has all but been replaced by Sunday keeping (1st day worship). It is a literal outgrowth of this anti-spiritual doctrine.

 What is also fearful is that throughout the Christian community you will find many who go beyond the first day and begin to allow God to recreate them. Then they get hung up on a certain aspect of God’s recreative work and prevent Him from going any further. This is sad because whether we get hung up on day one or day six, the work is incomplete and avails us nothing unless we enter the Sabbath rest on the seventh day of creation.

 In conclusion, God seeks to bring all of us back into reconciliation with Himself. Jesus is our mediator and spiritual link between the Father and each of us. Together they (Father and Son) seek to recreate us into the image of unfallen man through a constant abiding relationship with them. It is their power that transforms us and not ours. Satan and his apostate power seek to keep us from understanding the spiritual nature of the Scriptures, God’s law, and His plan for us. Therefore, the spiritual Sabbath (resting from our labors due to a sanctified mind) will be the final test for God’s people. It will be in the heavens (spiritual) and the literal Sabbath day test (Sunday law) will only be an outworking of this spiritual truth.

This study has only touched on this amazing truth. Sin and the question of entering into the true Sabbath rest is coming to a focal point in our time and, yes, even now is coming to a head. It is now that God is preparing a final remnant people who will testify this truth by their lives and stand in the gap described in Isaiah 58:12-14. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 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, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” May God richly bless each of us as we learn to abide completely in Him and enter into the new covenant Sabbath rest at the end of His recreative work in us.

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