The Sabbath and God’s Salvation

729 Views

We will discover many precious things if we take a moment and look around us. However, because they are always next to us, we often disregard and take them for granted. Likewise, we may neglect the precious truth of the Sabbath because we have grown accustomed to keeping it.

When God created all things in the beginning, He worked for six days, rested on the seventh day, and made it holy. God proclaimed the Ten Commandments 3,500 years ago and wrote on the stone tablets, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Since God inscribed this command with His own hand, there is no doubt that the Sabbath is essential for our salvation.

Even though the Sabbath is very important, many people nowadays do not keep it because they fail to understand the way God grants salvation. As Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near,” we are living in the prophetic age when God’s judgment and the Kingdom of Heaven are close at hand. Considering this, let us study about the importance of the Sabbath through the Bible.

We Can Enter Heaven When We Obey God’s Word

We should obey and preach everything—even the smallest thing—that God taught us. This is because every word of God is related to our salvation.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Pe 1:8–9

The Bible tells us that the goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Among various teachings regarding salvation, let us focus on the Sabbath.

And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? Heb 3:18

Here, “obedience” is in reference to the God’s word. Through the Bible, we can understand that those who do not obey God’s word cannot enter eternal rest—the Kingdom of Heaven.

Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Selah Ps 3:7–8

Salvation comes only from God. Since God is the authority and source of salvation, not obeying God’s word is the same as giving up the Kingdom of Heaven. For this reason, God made known His plan and administration for our salvation throughout the Bible.

Those who earnestly seek salvation with the hope for Heaven must follow God’s word. Therefore, we should not add to or subtract from the words of the Bible, which are able to make us wise for salvation (2 Ti 3:15; Rev 22:18–19).

God’s Sabbath Commandment

Let us first understand how the Sabbath commandment is related to our salvation in the will of God. In the time of Moses, 3,500 years ago, God proclaimed the Sabbath as the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Ex 20:8

God Himself wrote these words on the stone tablets. Reflecting on Hebrews 3, we can confirm that those who do not obey this commandment cannot enter God’s rest in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Since all of God’s words are given to us for our salvation, we must not forget the fact that the teaching about the Sabbath is absolutely essential for our salvation.

When God gathers His holy people—the rest of the woman’s offspring, the Sabbath will serve as a sign for those who are to be saved (Rev 12:17; 14:12; Eze 20:12). Through the spiritual DNA of the Sabbath, God will separate the legitimate children from those who have the mere appearance of Christians.

Rather than thinking of the Sabbath only as a command, we should understand the heart of Elohim—our Father and Mother—who gave us this command for our own good. Thus, as true children of God, we should obey the words of our Heavenly Parents. We should also keep in mind that God established the Sabbath at the time of Creation, even before the law was given.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Ge 2:1–3

The Bible testifies that the Sabbath is the seventh day, and the calendar shows that the seventh day is Saturday. For those who commemorate the power of the Creator and believe in Elohim, the Sabbath is a very meaningful day. National holidays in a country are meaningful for the citizens who belong to that country; however, people from other countries regard them as ordinary days. In the same way, the Sabbath is truly precious for the children of God, but the people who do not belong to God regard the Sabbath as meaningless. Therefore, through the Sabbath, we can clearly distinguish God’s people from those who are not.

“. . . Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Dt 5:9–15

The Sabbath is a command of God; He gave the Sabbath to bless and save all mankind. So Jesus Himself kept the holy law of the Sabbath to teach us its importance. In addition, the disciples and all who were taught by them observed the Sabbath as an essential part of their faith. We can confirm this history of the early Church in the Bible (Lk 4:16; Ac 16:13; 17:2; 18:4).

The Change of the Sabbath

We are blessed and made holy on the Sabbath day. Those who become holy by keeping the Sabbath naturally draw nearer to God and yearn for the Kingdom of Heaven. To hinder God’s children from receiving salvation, Satan placed Sunday (the worship day of the sun god) right beside the Sabbath. The truth of the Sabbath began to undergo gradual changes from the second century onward. It was officially abolished in A.D. 321 when the Roman emperor declared Sunday as a day of rest. So, the observance of Sunday—the first day of the week—was established and has continued until today. With all kinds of falsehood and lawlessness, Satan is hindering the truth, which God gave for the salvation of all mankind.

“ ‘The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.’ ” Da 7:24–25

Satan, the devil, who speaks against God, distorted the truth and changed God’s set times and laws. The truth of the Sabbath disappeared for over a thousand years, and the whole world is now filled with lawlessness.

However, Heavenly Father and Mother have restored the truth of the Sabbath and made us holy so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Although Satan severely slanders and attacks the true church that keeps the Sabbath, God’s work of salvation will never fail. Satan wants to make one more soul fall away, but God wants to save all people without losing anyone.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal 1:6–10

The apostles taught that we should please God rather than men and warned that those who preached a different gospel would be cursed. Only the teachings of Christ can lead us to salvation. Although Satan tries to tempt us with sweet-sounding words, we must never follow the one who changes God’s set times and laws.

The Laws That We Can Live by and the Laws That We Cannot Live by

To abolish the Sabbath, Satan changed the set times and laws of God and is now spreading a different gospel. However, the Bible testifies to God’s firm will about the Sabbath.

“Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.” Eze 20:10–12

The Sabbath serves as a sign for us to recognize God as the One who makes us holy. The Sabbath is also a law by which we can live. On the Sabbath, God pours out spiritual blessings from Heaven upon His children and cleanses them from all the impurities of this world. Through this law, we are blessed and made holy, and God opens the way of life and leads us to eternal peace and rest.

Then, what is the consequence for those who do not keep the Sabbath?

“Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” Eze 22:26

Who are the ones that violate God’s law? They are those who worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath. Nowadays, many people fail to distinguish between the holy and the common. As a result, they end up profaning God rather than glorying Him. Bound by the chains of lawlessness, they cannot come to receive the blessings of the Sabbath. As a result, they are unable to understand about God the Father, God the Mother, the Kingdom of Heaven, the way of salvation, or eternal life.

Knowing this, Satan craftily changed the set times and the laws. He falsely insisted that the Sabbath in the Old Testament—Saturday—was changed to Sunday in the New Testament. Satan rationalized Sunday observance based on the fact that both Jesus’ resurrection and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost) occurred on Sunday. However, the Day of Resurrection and the Pentecost are annual feasts, and the Sabbath is a weekly feast; each feast has a distinctive meaning and blessing. Thus, they must be observed independently from one another. No matter how convincing Satan’s excuses might sound, if any part of the law is distorted, it is not a truth of God.

Let us see what is waiting for the people who profane God by disregarding the Sabbath.

“ ‘Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God. But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws—although the man who obeys them will live by them—and they desecrated my Sabbaths. . . . because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their fathers’ idols. I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by[.]’ ” Eze 20:20–25

As for the people who desecrate the Sabbath and turn away from it, God gives them over to laws they cannot live by. This is the reason that numerous people, like the sand on the seashore, are worshiping on Sunday while claiming to believe in God.

In the book of Ezekiel, let us see another prophecy about those who do not keep the Sabbath.

He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east. He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? . . . Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.” Eze 8:16–18

What is the meaning of this prophecy where people inside the temple of God are bowing down to the sun? This can be seen in many churches throughout the world that practice the doctrine of sun-god worship while claiming to be Christians. For example, Sunday worship and Christmas are celebrations that originated from the veneration of the sun god. In reality, however, the correct day to worship God the Creator is the Sabbath.

Since God appointed the Sabbath to make His people holy and to give them blessings from Heaven, we should never neglect the Sabbath. Therefore, with longing for the spiritual blessings that Father and Mother have promised us, let us keep the Sabbath holy so that we can receive blessings to our heart’s content.

Give Thanks to God, Realizing the Blessings of the Sabbath

Did you know that we travel at 100,000 ㎞/h (60,000 mph) every day? Cars usually drive on the highway at 100 ㎞/h (60 mph), and the average speed of an airplane is 800-1,000 ㎞/h (500-600 mph). Remarkably, everyone on earth revolves around the sun at the speed of 100,000 ㎞/h (60,000 mph). Though we experience the miracle of traveling at such a tremendous speed every day, we do not regard it as a miracle because we cannot feel it directly.

God performs this miracle every day even though we are unaware of it. In the same way, God pours out His blessings every Sabbath day; God bestows boundless blessings on us though we are not fully aware of it.

Let us think about the manna which God rained down upon the Israelites in the desert. At first it tasted like wafers made with honey, but as they ate it for forty years, it became miserable food to them. We must not regard the Sabbath in this way. We should not take for granted the grace of God who makes us holy through the Sabbath. Instead, let us always give thanks to Him for granting us spiritual blessings and eternal rest in Heaven.

As mentioned above, we are traveling at 100,000 ㎞/h (60,000 mph) today, too. Do we feel this tremendous speed? The amazing blessing of the Sabbath is just like this; though we do not sense the blessing directly, it is still being poured out upon us abundantly. Or, do we feel like we are in a very slow-moving car traveling even less than 1 ㎞/h? When we sense the reality of our blessings, we will be filled with excitement and eager anticipation to receive these immense blessings every week. Then we will be blessed even more abundantly in accordance with our faith.

The Sabbath is a blessed and joyful day for God the Father, God the Mother, and Their children. It is also a holy day when the members of the heavenly family gather together. The providence of Heavenly Father and Mother is being fulfilled through the Sabbath, even at this moment. They cleanse us from our sins and iniquities every Sabbath day so we can be born again and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

We should give thanks to Heavenly Father and Mother for granting us the precious Sabbath. Cherishing in our hearts the happiness and joy of living in the blessings of the Sabbath, let us always obey the will of God, so we can all be saved and go to Heaven. There are still many people around us who do not yet know the importance of the Sabbath or the will of God. I earnestly ask you to invite them to keep the Sabbath, which Elohim God inscribed on the stone tablets, and lead them to eternal rest in the Kingdom of Heaven.