Digging Deeper into the Sabbath Rest

Polluting the New Testament Sabbath

Sunday, August 22, 2021, notes by Jim Conner

jimconnerf@aol.com

 What is the true New Testament meaning of polluting the Sabbath? It might not be what first comes to mind. To understand the concept, we need to describe the spiritual milieu and develop sabbath concepts more thoroughly. Keep in mind that the carnality of the mind will fight against spiritual truth, especially if it is different from your traditional thoughts.

KJV Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

The New Testament Sabbath and the Old Testament Sabbath are not the same. Old Testament Sabbath is the type or shadow of the fulfilment. No longer do we sacrifice bulls and goats. We believe in the eternal sacrifice on the cross. Likewise, we no longer are under the schoolmaster of the Old Testament sabbath with all its rules, regulations and strict requirements. Under the New Testament, we again operate in the faith of the cross. By the way, Old Testament and New Testament are both covenants requiring faith. In the wilderness, the Israelites did not survive to the promised land because, having heard the word, they did not mix it with faith.

This is the big key in understanding the New Testament sabbath. We do no harm by worshipping on a day different from Saturday, the seventh day. Entire denominations are convinced that you must keep the New Testament sabbath just exactly as in the Old Testament. Not true. That is parallel thinking to believing that salvation depends upon continual slaying of bulls and goats. No! there is a better way. That is the entire premise of the New Testament. No more daily sacrifices. Jesus is that type and shadow fulfilled. Likewise, Jesus said that believers should come to him for rest.

The rest Jesus referred to is God’s rest, the same rest which God entered into on the seventh day of creation. God began teaching mankind that they also could rest from the toils of the curse. It is indeed a blessing to have no more curse. Continuing in the curse after the prison door is open is like offering bulls and goats instead of believing in the finished work of the cross. Similarly, keeping the Old Testament sabbath rules is like remaining in prison. Jesus opened the prison door and invited all who believe to come to him and receive his rest. His rest is the new sabbath, the perfect replacing the shadow.

God rested from the creation works. Believers rest from the toils of the curse. In the beginning, there were no sabbath rules. Adam and Eve walked in the peace and rest of obedience and fellowship with God. There was no need for fig leaves. Neither was there need for animal skin clothing. All was perfect and no toiling was involved. It was a continual daily sabbath rest like God enjoyed and indeed participated with man in that same sabbath rest. Neither was there even a thought or hint of shame. Then came the fall of Adam with the succeeding curse wherein there was toiling. Man’s self-effort for provision was a result of disobedience and the curse. Today, in the New Testament, we have a better promise and a better covenant. Therefore, we understand that the rest Jesus spoke of was better than that of the Old Testament sabbath.

Now we have a choice, keep on toiling under the rules of the Old Testament school master or rest in the promise of the New Testament Christ.

Old Testament Sabbath rules and regulations with one day of rest out of seven.

New Testament Sabbath continual rest. When we enter the salvation of Jesus, it is eternal, zoe, life. When we enter rest, we have complete eternal rest.

Some believe that the eternal rest is only available after the rapture of the saints, when we are in the new glorified bodies. That is true for then, but it is also available now just as much as eternal life is available now through faith in Jesus. In truth, eternal rest is part of the package of salvation. RIP, rest in peace, is inscribed on many grave markers and other places of remembrance of those who have died on the earth. Unknowingly, we could have been  resting in peace from the moment we were born again.

Fear and toil are a result of the curse. Jesus came to destroy the curse. The Old Testament law was a schoolmaster for the children of God. The New Testament is the perfect fulfillment of the Old Testament laws. Once we have the new, the old is put away. When we became born again, we ceased from the labors of sin and the other effects of the curse. We are new creatures having peace with God and eternal life. It happens now when we believe. No longer do we do works of righteousness from self-effort. In Christ, we are creatures of good works. Our new nature produces good works. It is no longer a grueling, toiling life of self-effort. Now we rest in Christ and spontaneously perform good works. Keeping the laws of God are no longer that impossible task. It has become our nature to keep the laws of God. Love God, love your neighbor.

The New Testament sabbath is not a seventh day or even a first day event of worship. The New Testament provided a continual rest. KJV Colossians 2:16, Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Why should no man judge you about keeping the sabbath? Because everyday is a day of rest, not from daily work but from the toiling of the curse. The early church started getting the idea because the Lord resurrected on the first day not the seventh day. The first day is a day of new beginnings. The first day and the eighth day are the same. In music, the relationship is called and octave. In that sense the whole octave is the relationship of the first day rest. It is not just one day, it is continual. Believers have the opportunity to believe God for everything and never again toil.

KJV Matthew 6:24, No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

No toiling ever again!

What is the toiling whereof we speak? It begins in the thought life. Be mindful of your thinking. Jesus taught us not to think on certain things. He taught us about our words and our thoughts. We take a thought by saying it. It is one thing to think a thought, but when you own the thought is when you began saying it. The job of the believer is not to earn a living. The believer is taught to seek righteousness. God will “add” everything you need for life. You cannot serve God and mammon which is riches. Many believers toil night and day because they have not been taught these scriptures. They are redeemed from the curse. God has already made provision for you. Your job is to obey God. Just as you feed and clothe your natural children, God does the same for his children. You expect certain things of your child. God also has expectations concerning you. He has called and gifted you. Discover what He has planned for you. KJV Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. KJV Jeremiah 1:4, Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

The same anointing that gave rest to the prophets of old and the leaders in battle who knew that God had already given them the victory, that same anointing is ours in the New Testament in a continual manner. The Day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of the promise. The Holy Spirit dwells within the believer and anoints, gifts and otherwise empowers one to live prosperously in peace and rest. Though we are expected to work diligently, we do so not to gain the possibility of victory but with the full knowledge that the victory is already ours.

Believers should never fear, but should walk in the full assurance that the victory is already assured. Greater… KJV 1 John 4:4, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

This is the victory… KJV 1 John 5:4,  4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Faith is the key to no more toiling! This is the eternal rest, God’s kind of sabbath.

Peace in the midst of the storm. Jesus sleeping on the boat was not bothered in the least when the storm was raging. He already had the word, “Go to the other side.” No devil inspired storm was able to stop that command.

The disciples in the boat were disturbed, but Jesus was not. Why? He lived in the sabbath rest of the eternal God. The disciples were learning though his example that there was an unknown power of rest.

THE POWER OF REST

When we learn that God’s timing is perfect, then we do not fret over inconveniences of traffic jams or airport delays.

Working in the insurance business for a time, I learned some valuable lessons of rest. When ministering to some people in Tampa, I remembered that I had an appointment several miles away. Lord, I said, what should I do? Remain here and finish meaning I would be late and miss a money making appointment, or leave immediately and leave the ministry assignment unfulfilled. The wisdom of peace came in hearing from God. He told me what to do and when. I finished my spiritual assignment and God fixed the other part with great blessings and monetary rewards. From that I had a great testimony the next day to insurance agents from the area in a training meeting. I gave testimony that God had helped me in this matter. This is the sabbath rest of the New Testament.

A woman I heard about years ago had a financial problem. She was a believer and knew what to do about it. When her meager check came in, she gave it all to the work of God. Then she knelt beside the kitchen table and said to the lord that she needed groceries to feed her family and coal to keep them warm for the winter. Her husband had left again, and she bore the weight of supply for the large number of children. The woman of faith heard noises on the front porch. Hurrying out, she found bags of groceries. Later in the day, noises again. But this time a big truck was in her  yard. A large dump truck had delivered a load of coal and left without any personal contact. In a matter of a few hours God had met her needs abundantly. The woman of faith had peace and rest. Her faith had operated in the new sabbath. Eternal rest here and now on the earth is not only possible. It is a part of the life of the born again believers. Never should believers today be fretting over the cares of life. When we have a word from the Lord that is all we really need. But it all requires this thing called faith, that is, we must trust and believe God and his word.

The Rest at Victory Bridge

We could have been resting in the lord that early morning, but when an accident delayed us that cold winter day we fretted. We got up early for a seven hour trip to visit relatives. In the freezing temperatures we took our small child wrapped up warmly and left before the dawn by an hour or two. We made good time, and all was well until the Victory Bridge thing happened.

Now, we could have rested in the sabbath of God’s timing but did not know to do that. So we stewed for the duration until the way was finally opened. We dutifully said a prayer for those in the accident and finally were on our way. We could have slept another hour! The car had to idle to keep the baby warm. We wasted gas just sitting. If we were late the dinner would be cold. But finally, we were going again and trying to hurry to make up some of the lost time. Down the road about an hour, another problem. Smog! Smoke and fog were so thick you could hardly see the road and a car in front of you. Then lights appeared, flashing wildly in the darkness of early dawn and smog! Crawling along the highway at a snail’s pace, I saw an officer. Putting my window down I asked what had happened. He said that about an hour ago many cars and semi’s began to pile up in an awful series of crashes. Some vehicles were ablaze, others just crumpled. As we eased our way through and around the mess, we finally saw the light of the morning and the opening of the highway. We began reflecting on the series of events.

If we had not been delayed for an hour at Victory Bridge, we most surely would have been in the pile-up. The timing was that perfect. From that day we began learning that God was watching out for us, and we could rest in that knowledge.

It does not matter the day or hour. The New Testament sabbath is continually giving us rest. If we do not know this truth, then we are stuck in the fray with the rest of the world, toiling and laboring on our own. But when we learn to rest in Him, then we will never have to fret over things again. No matter what! No matter how large or small the problem, we can rest in the New Testament sabbath, every day.

THE DIFFERENCE

Rest and peace go together. There is no rest to the wicked. KJV Isaiah 57:20, But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

 The world without Christ toils and struggles with life and its demands. The Christian who does not know God’s provision of eternal rest is doomed to struggle just like the world without Christ. Only the believers who have learned that the eternal rest is for them and for the here and now can have undisturbed peace. This is the peace that passes understanding. KJV Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

KJV Ephesians 1:18, The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

KJV Romans 10:15, And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

KJV Romans 15:13, Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

REST IS PERFECT PEACE

KJV Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

The mind is key in absorbing and realizing the power of the New Testament sabbath which is found easily in Jesus the Christ. What we think becomes what we meditate upon and what we say. What we say determines the outcome in our lives. We get thoughts from many sources. That is good. That is why we have teachers and preachers, to get good thoughts into our minds. But the problem with the method is that each individual must take responsibility for the thoughts once received into the mind. The parable of the sower explains this process. The hearer must determine what to do with each thought. Those who are wise will keep the good thoughts. This happens by meditation and then finally saying the thoughts. Once a person speaks a thought, the thought becomes his. He took the thought by saying. If, however, a person ignores the thought, then he loses the value of that thought. The key to peace is discerning good thoughts, keeping, meditating on them and then speaking them over in time.

Rest is in the tongue. Take the thoughts and say them. Rest is in the mind. Think on these things… KJV Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

New Testament Peace

My peace…

KJV John 14:27, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Let not…

We have a personal responsibility that plays a vital role in the peace and New Testament sabbath rest. Guard against being troubled. Refuse to let your spirit be afraid. Fear destroys the peace and rest. Submit to God and resist the devil who brings words of fear. In a certain personal situation, fear attacked me. Of course we can readily identify the spirit of fear. Often the problem is not recognizing fear but rather how to take authority over fear. So, I spoke to the spirit of fear with the authority of God’s word. Fear left immediately and I continued on my way fearless, in peace, resting in my thoughts, words and spirit.

Polluting the New Testament Sabbath

The laws take on a deeper look when we enter the new covenant. Follow the teachings of Jesus when he addresses the law. Statements like “You have heard it said of old” and “But I say unto you” are clues to the new standards of law keeping. You see, people seem to misunderstand what the Lord meant when he said that he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill the law. Some seem to think Jesus fulfilled the law, so we don’t have to. That would be incorrect. The proper way of interpreting would be that Jesus fulfilled the law so that we also can fulfill the law perfectly.

KJV Matthew 19:17, And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Jesus, in this scripture, refers to the Old Testament commandments, the law of Moses. But notice the following references to the New Testament standards, the commandments of Jesus which make greater demands upon believers. The Old Testament standards referred to outward behaviors. But now, the New Testament standards also include the inward man. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Live in the love, act in love, and show your love by obeying him, by keeping his commandments.

KJV John 14:1, If ye love me, keep my commandments.

KJV John 15:10, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

KJV 1 John 2:3, And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

KJV 1 John 3:22, And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

God the Father gave the commands which Jesus gave us.  23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

KJV 1 John 5:2,  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

KJV Revelation 12:17, And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

KJV Revelation 14:12,  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

KJV Matthew 5:21, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Study these quotes. Note that Jesus indeed did not destroy the law. What Jesus did was “put the law on steroids.” Now, in the New Testament, the laws of God are even more stringent. So, you might say , “What is going on here?”

New Testament Power

New Testament power is the power of Love. Every believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit of Love. Always faithful, always perfect.

We must never overlook the power of the new birth. The new birth is the key to power in the New Testament. In the Old Testament men could not be born again because the cross was in the future. The crucified Christ went to the nether land and preached to those in captivity. Those believers were released to heaven.

 KJV John 3:3, Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

KJV 1 Peter 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

KJV 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

KJV Galatians 6:15, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

So we can begin to ferret out the things that will pollute the New Testament sabbath.

  1. Do not be angry with your brother without a cause.
  2. Do not even look on a woman to lust after her.
  3. Do not swear at all. Just let your yes be yes and your no be no. More than this is born out of evil.
  4. Do not resist evil but turn the other cheek.
  5. Love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you.
  6. Be perfect as God is perfect.

So, things that pollute the New Testament sabbath are:

  1. Being angry with your brother without a cause.
  2. Looking lustfully at a woman.
  3. Swearing; adding “emphasis” words to your yes or no.
  4. Rendering vengeance, an eye for an eye.
  5. Hating your enemies; failure to pray for those who mistreat you.
  6. Imperfection as it relates to eternal rest.
  7. The unbridled tongue
  8. These all are hinderances to peace and rest; they pollute the New Testament sabbath.
  9. The requirements of the new covenant are indeed much higher and more stringent.
  10. However, these are easily overcome by faith in the promises of God.
  11. I will never leave you nor forsake you,…
  12. All acts born out of fear are pollutions of the New Testament sabbath.
  13. Unbelief, little faith and a lack of faith are evidence of New Testament sabbath pollution.

If this doesn’t cross you, then your are already in that place of peace and rest. If , however, it makes you want to excuse, argue and disagree, then maybe the carnal mind is not totally renewed. That would explain your lack of rest in your spirit. Carnality is enmity with God. Even believers need to be aware and continually renewing their minds in the word of God. Renewing of the mind with the word of God is the antidote for pollution of the New Testament sabbath.

Are we required to keep the law? Yes and no. Actually we are to keep the commandments of Jesus which are the “law on steroids.” The ability to keep the commandments of Jesus are easy when we are born again and renewing our minds with the word of God. It is our new nature to act just like God. God easily keeps all his own commandments perfectly. So should we. We have the same power and the same Holy Spirit abiding in us as Jesus had. The works of Jesus are not second nature to us , they are first nature to the born again new creatures in Christ Jesus. We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. KJV Ephesians 2:1, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

KJV James 1:26, If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

KJV James 2:17, Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 KJV James 2:1, If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

KJV James 3:2, For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Loving our God and our neighbor fulfill the law. With such behaviors, believers keep the New Testament sabbath without pollution. Amen!

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