Is the Sabbath a Specific Day, or Is It the Rest We Have Daily in Jesus?
Steve, is the Sabbath a specific day of the week, or is it the rest we have in Jesus each day?
Good question. The High Holy Day of Christianity is the Passover, which is the Sabbath of sabbaths. And Christ became our Passover, or our Sabbath of sabbaths, meaning our ultimate rest. As it’s written:
1 Cor 5:7 — Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
Therefore, we now take our spiritual rest (sabbath) in Christ, and no other. And because we do, the death angel has to pass over us, spiritually speaking. As it’s further written, in Christ’s own words:
Matthew 11:28 — Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29-30 — Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
So yes, Christ is our daily rest, or sabbath. We stop our work and set time aside to worship and honor Him every day, not just one day of the week.
What’s more, while we take our rest in Christ each day, there’s nevertheless a Sabbath period coming, which we all look forward to, i.e., the Millennial Sabbath, or Millennial Rest. As it’s written:
Hebrews 4:9-11 — There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
So, there’s a Sabbath period coming during which we rest from all of our works for ourselves, and instead perform the duties of priests to the Lord (see Ezekiel 44:15-23 to understand our priestly duties at that time).
But when does this remaining Sabbath take place? Well, since Christ is our Sabbath, it takes place at His Second Advent. It’s called “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). And this “day” lasts for 1,000 years. As it’s written:
2 Pet 3:8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Keep in mind that, numerically speaking, the Sabbath day is the seventh day, which comes directly after six days of labor. As it’s written:
Deuteronomy 5:12-14 — 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 male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.
Because one day to the Lord is as a thousand years, the seven thousandth year would represent the Millennial Sabbath.
So the “six days” mentioned in the verses above represent the six thousand years from the time of Adam to today (4,000 years from Adam to Christ; 2,000 years from Christ to now), during which we’ve essentially built this physical world for ourselves, i.e., laboring to build buildings, bridges, roads, houses, dams, cities, towns, countries, etc.
The “seventh day” (or seven thousandth year) mentioned in the verse above will be the Millennial Sabbath during which we take our rest in the Lord (from our own labors) and work on His behalf to help teach and discipline His wayward children so they might overcome Satan’s deception when he’s released from the pit at the end of that final 1,000 years. (Again, see Ezekiel 44:15-23 for the duties of the elect during the millennium).
We’ve pretty much already burned through those first 6,000 years’ worth of work. And we’re now butting up against the seven thousandth year.
On that soon-coming “seventh day” (seven thousandth year) the Lord will arrive, and the Lord’s servants will cease all physical work for themselves and move into the spiritual realm to work for the Lord in His great plan to teach and save His wayward children.
As it’s written:
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
So, during the entire Millennial Sabbath – the entire 1,000 years of rest from the labors of the flesh — Satan is bound in the pit so he cannot negatively influence our priestly work on behalf of the Lord and His children.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
God’s servants live and reign with Christ for one thousand years. That’s the Millennial Sabbath, during which we teach God’s wayward children the discipline and knowledge they need to overcome Satan when he’s released from the pit at the end of the Sabbath period (i.e., at the end of the seven thousandth year).
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
There’s your Millennial Sabbath. We walk away from our own fleshly work at Christ’s arrival (i.e., the Lord’s day), and do nothing but the Lord’s priestly work for that entire day (1,000 years). In other words, we aid, as priests, in God’s great plan to save His children.
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
In short, when the Millennial Sabbath is over (i.e., when the thousand years of teaching is completed), Satan will be released from the pit, and the multitudes of God’s wayward children will be given their final test in his release. And many, many of God’s wayward children will be saved, at that time (Revelation 7:9-17).
This is the deeper meaning of the original command to “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.”
That command looks forward to the soon-coming Millennial Sabbath, which is the final step in God’s great plan to save His wayward children from the mortality brought on by their sinfulness under Satan’s deception.
As such, this great and soon-coming Sabbath is to be “remembered” (i.e., memorialized) and “kept holy” (preserved for its appointed time).
The Lord releases Satan at the very end of this great Sabbath, to see whether or not, after 1,000 years of perfect teaching from the Lord of the Sabbath Himself, and from His servant priests the elect, God’s wayward children will still fall for the devil’s wiles, or will overcome his deception and regain their immortality.
So while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting aside a specific day each week to worship and honor the Lord (or to teach, if you’re a teacher of His Word), the true Sabbath we’re to keep is our daily rest in the Lord, and our looking forward to the Millennial Sabbath to come, in which all of our earthly labors will be over, and all things will come to fruition.
For further insight, you might consider also reading: What It REALLY Means to Keep God’s Word
Regards in Christ,
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