Something smelly in the wilderness


In Hebrews chapter 3, Paul gives us a warning,


Take heed, brethren,

lest there be in any of you

an evil heart of unbelief,

in departing from the living God.


 then a pleading exhortation.


But exhort one another daily,

while it is called To day;

lest any of you be hardened

through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ,

if we hold the beginning of our confidence

stedfast unto the end;


We are called to hold fast our faithful repentance in Christ just as we did in the beginning.

If we fail to to this, we allow sin through disobedience to re-enter our lives and risk our hearts being darkened and hardened, bringing unbelief and eventually separation from the God.

This is not a break in fellowship as some believe but departure from the Living God.


Souls in Peril


While it is said,

Today if ye will hear his voice,

harden not your hearts,

as in the provocation.

For some, when they had heard,

did provoke:

howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

But with whom was he grieved forty years?


All but two of the adult Israelites delivered from Egypt perished in the wilderness (figuratively speaking, in sin). The two delivered, Joshua and Caleb, followed the exhortation and did not harden their hearts.

They also had the benefit of an enriched faith, moral uprightness, and godly character.

Either way you cut it, the example God gave us in Hebrews reveals very poor odds for those initially delivered from sin through faith in Christ.

The Israelites knew, saw, and lived with the truth and promises of God. They were fed living water, manna, and were provided for. All these were shadows of what Jesus does for us now.

Why was God grieved with them and why did so many perish?


was it not with them that had sinned,

whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

And to whom sware he

that they should not enter into his rest,

but to them that believed not?

So we see

that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 3:12-19


They Perished because they did not heed his voice and obey his word. Rather, they chose return to sin, fell into unbelief, and hardened their hearts.

Instead of entering into His rest, they entered into judgment.

This is our example today. Do not continue in sin, guard your heart, and believe God can change both your heart and your (sinful) nature.

Or, like the Israelites, you run the risk of having your body left rotting in the wilderness only to be fed on by the birds of destruction.


Jesus died so we could live. Here is His exhortation.


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.

~ Matthew 11:29


We get on our knees before the cross, repent of our sins, believe in Christ. We walk away from our sins and follow His lead preparing ourselves to be obedient to Him and to live, truly live.

Here is Jesus’ warning to His servants who fail to do this.


And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,

and prepared not himself,

neither did according to his will,

shall be beaten with many stripes.

~ Luke 12:47


Let His stripes purify your heart. 

For many will be beaten with many stripes because of hardened and darkened hearts and disobedient unbelief in the knowledge and faith in Christ.


The choice is yours.

The only question is,

What kind of servant are you?


Take His yoke

and learn from Him,

you will find rest for your soul.



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. 

~ Hebrews 4:1

The Sabbath

 


The First Mention of the Sabbath


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 he rested on the seventh day

from all 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 created and made.

~ Genesis 2:2-3


This is the first mention of the seventh day in the Bible. God explains that He blessed and sanctified it because He rested from all His works of creation.

There is no indication or hint that man is commanded to observe or rest on the Sabbath in this passage.  Nor is anything found in the rest of the book of Genesis that shows man violating or keeping the Sabbath.

In Genesis 2:3, the Hebrew word  שָׁבַת does not mean Sabbath day (a noun). This word describes God’s actions, what He did on that day. It means To cease, rest, desist, and is a verb.

The word to describe the Sabbath day was first used in Exodus 16:23.

This this was also the first time God showed displeasure at man not observing the Sabbath.

This is interesting because the Bible addresses every other commandment before the Exodus and in the New Testament. With this one, God is silent, both before the Exodus and in the New Testament.

Because of this, its uniqueness to Jewish law, and the argument of the changing of times and laws below gives strong support that the 4th commandment is connected to the ordinances of Old Testament as opposed to God’s moral laws.

The rest of the 9 commandments are addressed in Genesis, throughout the Old Testament and repeated multiple times in the New Testament.


The Sabbath as a Command


 The first instruction to keep the Sabbath happened in the wilderness of Sin, centuries after creation. This is also the first time God also showed displeasure with man not keeping the Sabbath.

Since the Sabbath was not formalized until Moses recited the 10 commandments at Mount Sinai, God gave the first violators a gentle, holy warning.

But God’s revelation is progressive: First we see Him resting as an example for us; Then He gives the command and a gentle warning when we disobey; Later, the Mosaic covenant to keep the Sabbath at Sinai brought the possibility of death.


The first instruction for man to keep the Sabbath is in this incident in Exodus 16:23-30:


And it came to pass,

that there went out some of the people on the seventh

day for to gather (manna), and they found none. 

And the Lord said unto Moses,

How long refuse ye

to keep my commandments and my laws?

See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath,

therefore he giveth you on the sixth day

the bread of two days;

abide ye every man in his place,

let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 

So the people rested on the seventh day. 


Here the Lord declares to the Israelites that He has given them the Sabbath. With this gift (of the Sabbath) is a promise to provide for their needs if they abide by resting in their abode.

It is a time to sanctify themselves and their possessions in honor of their Deliverer.

On on the sixth day of the week the Israelites were to gather and prepare enough manna for two days in preparation for the Sabbath.

They were not allowed to go gather manna or prepare it on the Sabbath. If someone were to keep the Sabbath today, this would be their guide: to stay home and rest from any work including preparing food.

Here is the formal ordinance to keep the Sabbath.


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

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

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them,

and rested on the seventh day.

Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day

and made it holy.

~ Exodus 20:8-11


The Israelites were commanded not to profane the Sabbath. To profane something means to take something set apart for holy purposes and use it for everyday purposes.

In this sense, to profane the Sabbath meant treating it like any other day. This included work and food preparation.

Over time, the Pharisees created 39 categories and subdivided those into more categories defining what “work” meant.  This is one of the many ways they created an outward appearance of holiness but denied the power therein.

It is recorded that Jesus went to the synagogue to read as His custom. It does not say according to the law.


And he came to Nazareth,

where he had been brought up:

and, as his custom was,

he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day,

and stood up for to read.

~ Luke 4:16


He is the Sabbath. He is holy like His Father in Heaven is holy. God is truly our rest. The law was a shadow of things to come. He also tells us how we should rest in our Sabbath. Because the Sabbath was made for us.


The Sabbath Today


The Sabbath of today is not the Sabbath instituted in the Wilderness of Sin or on Mount Sinai. Today, we use different measuring tools to determine the times.

The way the Israelites calculated the Sabbath has changed dramatically over last 2,000 years.

The early Jewish calendar contained no Pagan influences. Our calendar today is dependent heavily upon them.

We know who changes times and laws, Satan.


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:

~ Daniel 7:25a


We also know that many antichrists have already come, are presently here, and are continuing to work.


Little children, it is the last time:

and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come,

even now are there many antichrists;

whereby we know that it is the last time.

~ 1 John 2:18


It is safe to assume that all who meet the definition of antichrist deny or change the truth of Jesus’ work.

By varying degrees, the Seventh Day Adventist church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Mormon church fit some of these criteria. The first: denying that Jesus is the Christ. The Catholic Church fits them most completely.

Each one of these religions and many others (dresses as angels of light) deny the power of the blood of Jesus in some fashion.

Ellen G. White prophesied that Satan would take on our final sins.

It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. The Great Controversy, p. 422.


Roman Catholic priests believe they have the power to forgive sins (denying Jesus, the mediator between man and God).

All bishops and priests of the Catholic Church can forgive sin. (A Catechism for Adults, p. 85).


Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are carnal brothers.

The current LDS Sunday School manual for children ages 8-11:

  • In the pre-mortal life we were spirit children and lived with our heavenly parents (Hebrews 12:9).
  • Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of Heavenly Father (D&C 93:21) and is the older brother of our spirits.
  • Lucifer, who became Satan, was also a spirit child of Heavenly Father.

The power to forgive sins, to transfer sins upon Satan, praying to Mary or a different Jesus as their mediator instead of the biblical Christ are all doctrines of demons and the spirit of the Antichrist.

Specifically relating to Daniel 7:25, the Roman Church has changed times and ordinances: Christmas was officially changed to coincide with the pagan holy day Saturnalia.

Easter was changed from its Jewish origins of Passover and the feast of first fruits to be celebrated on the pagan holy day named after Eostre.

As to the wearing out of the saints, we see over 1,300 years of persecution, destruction of entire cities, killing, torture, and burning of over 50 million people. by the Catholic church. We don’t know how many were saints.

We do know the penalty was death if someone had a bible in their own language. That is why John Huss died in 1415, Wycliff, and many other saints.

It is also safe to say that the calendar we follow today is reflective of the changes instituted by those who tolerate the spirit of antichrist.


A church/world dominating power has already changed times and laws reflective of Daniel 7:25 once. This will most likely occur again in the future with distressing results during the Great Tribulation.


I found a website that describes the discontinuity of the Sabbath with our current calendar system. I does a much better job than I could. Here is the site if you want to view it. Otherwise, it is copied below.

(beginning of source)


It’s not on the Gregorian Calendar


According to the Bible, neither Saturday nor Sunday is the Sabbath! The original calendar described in the Torah and used by Moses was based upon the phases of the Moon, not a continuous weekly cycle. This Lunar Calendar was used for all the feast days, including the weekly Sabbath.

Since the Biblical calendar is based on the moon, it does not correspond to the days of the modern Gregorian Calendar. For example, the Sabbath is not always on Saturday but could be on Wednesday one month, and Thursday the next.

This can have serious economic impacts, as people desiring to follow the Sabbath today according to the Biblical Lunar calendar will find themselves having to ask for days off during the standard Monday-to-Friday work week. This would be not just once or twice a year, but every week. Obviously, such a schedule will not be looked upon favorably by most employers and fellow employees.

The format of the Biblical Month.

The Biblical month starts with New Moon Day. It looks like this:

(NM = New Moon, W = Work day, S = Sabbath)

Note: Moon phases are approximate, and are shown for the Northern Hemisphere; If you’re south of the Equator, they are reversed.On this calendar, the Sabbaths are always in the same place: The 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the month. Of course they are 7 days apart, but the count starts every Lunar month.

Notice:

  • The first day of the month is New Moon Day.
  • Then the seven day week begins, and the 8th day of the month is the Sabbath
  • The 15th day (the next Sabbath) is the full moon.
  • The 22nd is another Sabbath.
  • The last Sabbath of the month is on the 29th.
  • The next month begins with the next new moon, and the count of days begins again.

The knowledge of the calendar has resurfaced after being ignored for over 1500 years. Careful reading of the Scriptures, together with detailed study of history reveal that the the calendar used over 2000 years ago is not the same as today. The historical research reveals that Rome was responsible for enforcing the change.


 

All Roads Lead to (and from) Rome


Since many people regard Rome to be the prophetic “Beast” of the Book of Revelation, and since the Sabbath is an issue both of worship and economics (regulating days of work and rest), this calendar change is a candidate for the ominous warning:

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
–Revelation 13:16-17


Coming Soon: A New World Calendar


Furthermore, there is a proposed change which will render even traditional Saturday observance incompatible with the business calendar. A new world calendar is proposed for the end of 2012. http://www.theworldcalendar.org This calendar is the obvious choice to promote a world economy by fixing many nuisances caused by the present calendar. Some features of the new calendar are:

  • It will stabilize business and school schedules, because all years will be the same.
  • Holidays will always be on the same day.
  • Each year will begin on a Sunday, and end on a Saturday.
  • Each quarter will contain exactly 91 days, instead of 89-92 as the present calendar.
  • Printed schedules and calendars will not expire after one year like they do today.

Of course, 365.25 days is not evenly divisible by 7. But 364 is. So the world calendar will have a business year of 364 days, and the extra day, at the end of the year, will be a world holiday. It will not have a name other than “World Day”. That is, it will not be a Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday; it will just be a special “World Day”.

The only problem is that the seven day cycle would be broken. At the end of the first year, the day called “Sunday”, for example, is really “Monday”, according to the seven-day cycle. It gets off by one day per year, except on leap years, which gets off by two days. Therefore, neither a Lunar Calendar Sabbath or a continuous seven-day Saturday Sabbath will conveniently fit into the new calendar.


The Biblical Evidence


In the Bible, the only times a Sabbath is identified with a numerical date, it is only on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th. Likewise, when one of those dates is mentioned, it is always a Sabbath.

The Feasts are the Key to the Hebrew Calendar

The Biblical book of Leviticus, written by Moses, describes all of the Jewish feasts in Chapter 23. Most people are familiar with Passover, and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). They are also aware that these feasts do not fall on the same day each year, since they are based upon the moon. However, few people notice that the weekly Sabbath is listed among the other Feasts:

“[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. [3] Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. [4] These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. [5] In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover. [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. [7] In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. [8] But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. … [continues with the other feasts up to verse 44]”
–Leviticus 23:1-8

There is no indication that a different calendar is used for the Sabbath as compared to the other feast days which are all grouped together in Leviticus 23. Notice that there is no provision in the scriptures for a situation when a feast day would “clash” with a weekly Sabbath, as happens today.

Because they are now using the mixed calendar, the Rabbis have developed “Rules of Postponement” to avoid a clash. For example, they don’t want the Day of Atonement to be adjacent to a Sabbath. However, if a Lunar Sabbath is used, then the Day of Atonement is always five days from the Sabbath, and there is never a problem.

Even though the Bible has many details about the feasts, it is silent on “postponements”. Why? Because Moses and the Prophets didn’t use a mixed calendar, and so they didn’t need them.

It can be seen that, by calculating the seventh day Sabbath in the same way as the feast days (from the beginning of the lunar month), there are no “clashes”, nor is there a need to add an extra day. The very fact that these Rabbinical “Rules of Postponement” exist is the “smoking gun” that indicates that the Rabbis are not using the Scriptural Calendar for the seventh day Sabbath!

The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day feast, as stated six times in Leviticus 23:34-42. The feast begins on the 15th day of the month which is a Sabbath, lasts for seven days, and then the eighth day, the 22nd of the month is a Sabbath. Here’s just two of the verses from Leviticus 23:

“[34] The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. …. [39] Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.”
–Leviticus 23:34-39

When most Jews celebrate this Feast today, two problems occur:

  • The Saturday “Sabbath” will fall at some random day between the 15th and 22nd of the Lunar month. This will give two Sabbaths in the seven day feast.

 

  • In order to fulfill Lev. 23:39, they have to make the feast eight days long (instead of seven), and make the eighth day a Sabbath. (It actually already is the lunar Sabbath, but they don’t know it.)

This is because they are using two incompatible calendars!


Two Versions in the Ten Commandments


Exodus chapter 20 lists the “Ten Commandments”. But when Moses repeats the commandments in Deuteronomy chapter 5, there is something unusual.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. … For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
–Exodus 20:8,11

“[12] Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. [13] Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: [14] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work,…[15] And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”
–Deuteronomy 5:12-15

So the Fourth commandment in Deuteronomy does not mention Creation at all as a reason for the Sabbath. Instead, it talks about the exodus from Egypt. When did the Almighty bring them out from Egypt with a mighty hand? 

“And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.”
–Numbers 33:3

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.”
–Deuteronomy 16:1

It is well known that they left Egypt on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, at night. People today teach that the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread is different from the seventh day Sabbath. But here they seem to be related, or even the same. They are linked by the Fourth Commandment as recorded in two different renderings.

  • The Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20 clearly references the seventh day Sabbath based on Creation.
  • The Fourth Commandment in Deuteronomy 5 clearly references the seventh day Sabbath based on the deliverance from Egypt, which occurred on the evening of the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread.

The Israelites left Egypt on the day after Passover (the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread) and it was the “fifteenth day of the first month”. (Passover is the fourteenth of the first month of the year.) When does the first month begin? It is the first new moon in the Spring. (All of the months in the Hebrew calendar start at the new moon.)


The Battle of Jericho


In the famous Battle of Jericho, the Israelites marched around Jericho for seven days, in offensive battle readiness, and attacked the city on the seventh day. Which of those seven days was the Sabbath? None of them! They started on the New Moon day, had a seven day march, and then rested on the eighth day of the month, which was the Sabbath. The “Book of Jasher”, which is not in the Bible but is historically useful, even says the march started on the New Moon.


The Manna and the Quail


Exactly one lunar month after they left Egypt, the people congregated together on the fifteenth day of the month, and they took that opportunity to complain to Moses about the lack of food. The story is in Exodus 16.

It specifically said that the quails would come “at even”, and that the bread would come the next “morning”. The simplest explanation for this is that the day, the fifteenth of the month, was the Sabbath, and that the people were to wait until after sunset before gathering food.

The quail was given in the evening after the Sabbath had past. The manna was given on the mornings of all the workdays, and twice as much on the Preparation day (the day before the Sabbath).

  • 1st month – Unleavened bread Sabbath was the 15th.
  • 2nd month – Sabbath when they complained was the 15th.
  • 3rd month – When was the Sabbath?

On the third month the whole congregation assembled before the Almighty. When did this assembly occur? On the 15th day of the third month! They left Egypt on the 15th day of the first month, and they came to Sinai on the 15th day of the third month.

“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.”
–Exodus 19:1


Jesus kept the Lunar Sabbath


Yeshua healed a blind man on the Sabbath, the 22nd day of the seventh month. John 7:2 says that it was the Feast of Tabernacles, and John 7:37 says that on the last great day of the seven day feast, Yeshua announced that he was the source of living water. Then in John 7:53 we read that everyone went home (for the night) and the next verse, John 8:1, says that Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives.

The next verse says that in the morning they all went to the temple. The actual healing and the reaction of the Pharisees is the subject of John chapter 9. Some people try to use this scripture to say that the Sabbath was on the 23rd. But this argument requires that the Feast of Tabernacles be eight days long, not seven days, as specified in Leviticus.


The Historical Evidence


The Julian Calendar

The modern calendar began in 46/45 BC, when Julius Caesar, in consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, developed the Julian Calendar of 365.25 days. The big innovation was to separate the week from the lunar cycle and to make it a continuous cycle. It used an eight-day market week, with the days simply named “A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H”. Certain types of events were allowed on certain days, called fasti.

By the time of the First Century AD, the seven-day week named after “gods” and “goddesses” of the solar-system was being used in Rome, and was starting to replace the eight-day week.

But the 7-day solar system week was:

1. Saturn’s day (obvious in English)
2. Sun’s day  (obvious in English)
3. Moon’s day (obvious in English)
4. Mars’ day   (Spanish: Martes, French: Mardi)
5. Mercury’s day   (Spanish: Miércoles, French: Mercredi)
6. Jupiter’s day   (Spanish: Jueves, French: Jeudi)
7. Venus’ day   (Spanish: Viernes, French: Vendredi)

So Saturn’s day was the first day of the week. However, the Jews and Christians were not using that calendar until the time of Constantine. While it is generally known that Constantine enforced a “Sunday Law”, in AD 321, a big assumption is that he just replaced one day with the day next to it. Was there more to it? Yes, he changed the entire calendar.


Constantine’s Hybrid Calendar


In AD 321, Constantine created a big compromise. He blended the Hebrew idea of a seven day week with the Julian concept of a continuous weekly cycle, and added the veneration of the “Sun God” from Mithrasim to create the Roman calendar used today. He enforced his calendar upon the entire Roman Empire with military power.

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 replaced Passover with Easter. On the surface, that may not seem to be much of a change. But it’s not just a matter of replacing one day with another. It’s a completely different system of calendation, since Passover is not computed using a Julian calendar.

Because of these changes which were being enforced by persecutions across the Roman Empire, the Jewish Sanhedrin met for the last time around AD 350, and modified the calendar to the form used by most Jews today, in which the Sabbath is on Saturday, but the other Feast Days use a form of Lunar calendar.


The modern Gregorian Calendar


Later in history, Pope Gregory modified Constantine’s calendar slightly in 1582. (This was to fix a problem caused by the fact that the year is not exactly 365.25 days long, but 11 minutes shorter.) Like Constantine, the motivating factor was the date of Easter. So the calendation system used today is Roman (Pagan and Papal), and the question of when the Sabbath occurs is very important to anyone who desires to follow the Bible.


(end of source)


What Does the New Testament Say?


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. 

For unto us was the gospel preached,

as well as unto them:

but the word preached did not profit them,

not being mixed with faith in them that heard it

For we which have believed do enter into rest,

as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath,

if they shall enter into my rest:

although the works were finished

from the foundation of the world. 

For he spake in a certain place

of the seventh day on this wise,

And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 

And in this place again,

If they shall enter into my rest. 

Seeing therefore it remaineth

that some must enter therein,

and they to whom it was first preached

entered not in because of unbelief: 

again, he limiteth a certain day,

saying in David, To day,

after so long a time; as it is said,

To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 

For if Jesus had given them rest,

then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 

For he that is entered into his rest,

he also hath ceased from his own works,

as God did . from his.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,

lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 4:4-11


This passage speaks of entering into the same rest that God did, the true Sabbath. It was a Sabbath free from sin, free from works, and free from unbelief; in holy communion with the Almighty.

Unbelief is described as disobedience in the bible and is categorized as a sin.

How do we enter? With fear, believing the gospel, not hardening our hearts, and hearing His voice. Jesus is our rest. He is our Sabbath and in that rest, we are not appointed to wrath. We are obedient.


Again, focusing on the Sabbath day:


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: 

which are a shadow of things to come;

but the body is of Christ.

~ Colossians 2: 16-17


And again, the freedom to be persuaded by obedience of faithful study of the scripture and submission to the Holy Spirit rather than serving other man’s doctrines.


Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?

to his own master he standeth or falleth.

Yea, he shall be holden up:

for God is able to make him stand. 

One man esteemeth one day above another:

another esteemeth every day alike.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 

He that regardeth the day,

regardeth it unto the Lord;

and he that regardeth not the day,

to the Lord he doth not regard it.

He that eateth, eateth to the Lord,

for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not,

to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

~ Romans 14:4-6


These passages speak for themselves and describe the principles of a Sabbath rest in the new covenant.

In this context resting is contrasted to observing a day. When we enter His rest, we more closely reflect what God did in Genesis: resting from our labors. This is what we are called to do.


These scriptures also show the liberty believers have. Perhaps this will be discussed in detail in a later post, but the main idea is clear.

Jesus did not split hairs regarding the Sabbath and we should share the same mind. This post was written to clarify my question about keeping the Sabbath.

With the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., the Jews were dispersed throughout the known world. With this diaspora came the dominance of the Catholic Church and the changing of times and laws.

I am convinced that keeping of the (O.T.) Sabbath during the time of the Gentiles in not relevant nor it is even possible unless we abandon the Gregorian calendar and utilize the primitive Israelite calendar extracted from scripture.

This is neither practical nor called for by the apostles or Jesus. Though a deeper understand of the subject is always edifying.

Trying to follow the Sabbath would go against the principles given by the Apostle Paul’s example.


For though I be free from all men,

yet have I made myself servant unto all,

that I might gain the more. 

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew,

that I might gain the Jews;

to them that are under the law,

as under the law,

that I might gain them that are under the law;

to them that are without law,

as without law,

(being not without law to God,

but under the law to Christ,)

that I might gain them that are without law. 

To the weak became I as weak,

that I might gain the weak:

I am made all things to all men,

that I might by all means save some. 

And this I do for the gospel’s sake,

that I might be partaker thereof with you.

~ 1 Corinthians 9:19-23


I do believe there will come a time during the millennium that keeping the Sabbath may become a reality.

I love Jesus and want to be completely obedient to Him and have had this question in the back of my mind for years.

In my heart, the question has been satisfactorily answered.


Here is what the New Testament says we should do when it comes to gathering together in worship and fellowship.


And upon the first day of the week,

when the disciples came together to break bread,

Paul preached unto them,

ready to depart on the morrow;

and continued his speech until midnight.

~ Acts 20:7


Upon the first day of the week

let every one of you lay by him in store,

as God hath prospered him,

that there be no gatherings when I come.

~ 1 Corinthians 16:2


and let us consider one another

to provoke unto love and to good works: 

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,

as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another:

and so much the more,

as ye see the day approaching.

~Hebrews 10:24-26


It doesn’t matter to me what day of the week we meet for church. It can be on the Gregorian pagan calendar or on the primitive Israelite biblical schedule.

Our worship consists of much more than going to church or honoring a certain day.

Our worship who we serve when we wake up, when we lie down, as we cross the paths of others, and share our lives with those we love; the stranger, the enemy, our brethren, and family.


The earth is the Lord’s,

and the fulness thereof;

the world, and they that dwell therein.

~ Psalm 24:1


And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart,

and the heart of thy seed,

to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

that thou mayest live.

~ Deuteronomy 30:6



 The (sabbath) shadow has passed the true image of Christ our sabbath has come and we are to abide in His blessings forever more: if we love Him and keep His commandments.


There is more biblical Support that the Sabbath was fixed on a luni-solar calendar and not the fixed solar/Gregorian calendar most associate the Sabbath with today.

The following is taken from a site that holds many beliefs akin to Seventh Day Adventism. Like the SDAs, some of their beliefs are contradictory to the doctrine found in Colossians 2 and they do not realize the doctrine of purity through sanctification.

Nonetheless, their strength in distinguishing Old Testament scripture from the traditions of men is substantial.


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:

~ Colossians 2:16


[from WLC]

New Moon Day Separate from the 6 Work Days and the Seventh-Day Sabbath:

New Moon day is not counted as one of the 6 working days neither is it the seventh-day Sabbath; the new moon day starts the month as day 1 making the weekly Sabbaths to fall on 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the lunar month. (See Ezekiel 46:1, Amos 8:5, 2Kings 4:23, and Isaiah 66:23.)


Exodus 12:

Passover was on the 14th of the first month. The first day of the feast of unleavened bread was on the 15th which was a Sabbath (See Leviticus 23: 4-16). This makes the Sabbaths for the first month (Abib) to have fallen on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and the 29th. (Exodus 12.)


Exodus 16:

Manna fell for the six week days, but did not fall on the Sabbath which fell on the 22nd, making the other Sabbaths for that month fall on the 8th, 15th and 29th. (Exodus 16.)


Exodus 19

Israel left Egypt the night of Abib 15. Three months later, on the very same day, the 15th, they rested before the mount. (See Deuteronomy 16:1; Numbers 33:3; Exodus 19:1-2.),

thus making the Sabbaths for the third month (as recorded in Exodus 19:1) fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

The weekly Sabbaths for the first month (Exodus 12) and the second month (Exodus 16) fell on the same dates also; this is not possible on today’s Gregorian Roman calendar which people use to identify their worship days.


Annual Feasts and High Sabbaths:

Every year, the feast of unleavened bread begins on the 15th, a Sabbath. The first day of feast of Tabernacles also falls on the 15th which is called a “holy convocation” and is followed, eight days later by another “holy convocation” on the 22nd, every single year. Two Sabbaths always falling on the 15th cannot occur on a solar calendar. (See Numbers 29:12-39; Leviticus 23:5, 6, 34, 35, 39).


Entering Canaan:

The manna never fell on the seventh-day Sabbath. After entering Canaan, Israel kept Passover. The manna ceased on the 16th of Abib, the day after the Sabbath: Exodus 16; Joshua 5:10-12. This places the Sabbath for this month on 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.


Dedication of Priesthood:

Aaron and his sons were sanctified for seven days beginning on New Moon Day (See Exodus 40: 2, 17). On the eighth day (which was also the 8th of the month), there was an assembly of the congregation. During the preceding seven days, they were not to leave the tabernacle. (See Leviticus 8:1- 13; 33-35; 9:1-5). From Exodus 40: 17 we learn that it was the first month (Abib) of the second year after their departure from Egypt, in which Passover was to be kept; this is a double confirmation that the Sabbaths for this month fell on 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.


Solomon:

Solomon kept the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days. On the 8th day (22nd of the month) they made a solemn assembly. Solomon sent the people away on the 23rd, being careful not to send them away on the 22nd, the Sabbath. (See 2 Chronicles 7:8-10). This places the Sabbath for the seventh month on 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.


Esther 9:

The 15th of the 12th month was a rest day, making the 8th, 22nd and 29th rest days as well. (Esther 9.)


Hezekiah’s Reform:

The people began to sanctify on New Moon day of the first month and on the 8th of the month they went to the temple. On the 16th of the month, they “made an end” which was the first day of the work week. (2 Chronicles 29:17.)


Crucifixion:

Passover was always on the 14th of Abib. (Leviticus 23:5.)

Christ’s crucifixion occurred on Passover, on the sixth day of the week. Passover always occurred on the sixth day of the week, followed by the seventh-day Sabbath on the 15th. (See Mark 15:42; John 19:31; Lev. 23:6, 7, 11 and 15; John 19:42.)


Resurrection:

Christ was resurrected early in the morning on the first day of the week. (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1 and 2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1.)

Christ was resurrected on the 16th of Abib, the first day of the week, corresponding to the wave sheaf offering, or first fruits. (Leviticus 23:11.)

Paul called Christ the “first fruits of them that sleep” and stated that He was buried and rose the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4 and 20-23.)

On the walk to Emmaus, the two disciples told Christ that it was the third day since the crucifixion. (Luke 24:17-21.)

The crucifixion week establishes the weekly seventh-day Sabbath on Abib 15, thus making the 8th, 22nd and 29th days Sabbaths as well.


Healing of the Blind Man:

The last day of the Feast of Tabernacles always falls on the 21st day of the seventh month: (See Leviticus 23:34, 36, 39-41; Numbers 29:12; Deuteronomy 16:13-15; Nehemiah 8:13-18; Ezekiel 45:21-25.)

Christ attended the Feast of Tabernacles. (John7:10.)

On the last day of the Feast, the 21st of the seventh month, Christ stood and spoke. (John 7:37.)

Christ spent that night on the Mount of Olives. (John 8:1.)

The next morning, the 22nd of the seventh month, Christ returned to the temple. (John 8:2.)

At the temple, Christ healed a blind man. (John 9:6.)

The healing of the blind man caused great anger for it was the seventh-day Sabbath. (John 9:14.)

This places the weekly seventh-day Sabbaths on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the month yet again.


Paul’s Journey:

The first day of the work week always fell on the 2nd of the month, the day after New Moon. In Luke’s account of their journey, Paul’s company sailed from Philippi after the feast of unleavened bread ended on the 21st of Abib, sailed for five days and arrived at Troas where they stayed seven days. (See Acts 20:5-7.)

The seventh day of their stay at Troas was the second day of the month which Paul refers to as the first day of the week. This again places the Sabbaths on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the month. (For more on Paul’s journey and how it corroborates the luni-solar calendar, click here.)”


Please come to your own conclusion by searching the scriptures. Let no man judge you for the day you worship the Lord or  your sincere and honest revelation (or lack thereof) found in scripture.

For me, the Ressurrection and every day after is a celebration, a wondrous unimaginable rest. When you find yourself completely enveloped by Him, the snares of this world lose their grip, and the rest we have so long been searching for is near.

The prophetic scripture below depicts the rejection of Jesus and the marvelous day I speak of. This occurred when He became the chief corner stone in the early morning on the first day of the week.

He is alive in hearts today: the hope of glory, an eternal rest found only by faith in our final salvation, Jesus.


The stone which the builders refused

is become the head stone of the corner.

This is the Lord’s doing;

it is marvellous in our eyes.

This is the day which the Lord hath made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

~ Psalm 118:22-24


Enter into His rest.

All those who are weary and heavy laden

for His burden is light

and His yoke is easy.

 

 

If you love me . . . part 4



If ye love me,

keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


Keeping the Royal Law


The Royal Law of Christ moves man. Like rivers flowing from Eden, our souls are nourished and washed by the One who shed His blood; giving us waters from which we will never thirst again.


The word “keep” is critical to understanding our responsibility in the Royal Law. To ‘keep’ means to protect, to maintain, to watch over, and to preserve by keeping intact.

Adhering to the Royal Law’s underlying principles has profound affect on our relationship with God. This is seen individually before and after the fall, collectively at the time of the flood, in the wilderness outside Canaan, and after entering the promised land.

We have yet to see its culminating effect when the seventh seal is opened and there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour, Revelation 8. According to Jesus, we will be judged by every word and deed we do.


For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,

who left his house,

and gave authority to his servants,

and to every man his work,

and commanded the porter to watch.

~ Mark 13:34

————-

For the Son of man shall come

in the glory of his Father with his angels;

and then he shall reward every man

according to his works.

~ Matthew 16:27

————-

every man’s work shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire;

and the fire shall try every man’s work

of what sort it is.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:13

————-

If a man therefore purge himself from these,

he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified,

and meet for the master’s use,

and prepared unto every good work.

~ 2 Timothy 2:21

————-

And, behold, I come quickly;

and my reward is with me,

to give every man according as his work shall be.

~ Revelation 22:12


At the second coming, we will see the effects of obedience and disobedience to the Royal Law.

Our reward or punishment is based upon its sincere application or our disobedience according to the light we have.


Many in the past and even today suffer (allow)a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.’ If we fall into this category, we must strive to overcome, here as an example.

We are exhorted to fully know how to keep the doctrine of Christ in all manner of life, purpose, faith, suffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions (2 Timothy 3:10).

Though the passage above reveals the full gamut of an untamed sinful heart; There are many more subtle forms of the same type disobedience occurring today in the church.

They all stem from disobedience to the principles we are called to ‘keep,’ so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


An Example From America


It is this very same reason that America has lost the ability to adhere to its core values and laws. We the people now tolerate,  ignore and in some cases, approve of laws that are in contradiction to the constitution.

Sooner or later, the foundation on which we stand will become so weak that the whole stream of viability will be lost.

However simple or complicated a rule is: be it constitutional law, biblical covenants, or a game of Checkers, if the original intention is lost, the application is misconstrued, meaningless, and we walk in ignorance and apathy to the truth.


The principles of the Royal Law are found in the Garden, given in Old Testament commandments, and are explained in detail in the new. Every word and thought in the Bible permeates the Royal Law.

We won’t study the Garden principles here. They are better viewed in the context of perfection before and after the fall but here is the commandment.


Then the Lord God took the man

and put him into the garden of Eden

to cultivate it and keep it.

~ Genesis 2:15


The Royal Law in the O.T.


Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5


Love


Love is the preeminent element, the glue that holds the Royal Law together. The meaning is identical in the New Testament.

וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥wə·’ā·haḇ·tā This commandment to love occurs 4 times in the Bible. There are many other variations such as Deuteronomy 10:19 (וַאֲהַבְתֶּ֖ם – wa-’ă-haḇ-tem) below, but we are focusing on those found in the Royal Law.

The first two times God uses the word ‘to love’ describes how we are to love our neighbor.

The other two instances teach how we should love God. When Jesus gave the Royal Law, he told the Jews what they should have known all along if they had “kept” the commandments of God.

Below are the four instances of the Old Testament Hebrew word love found in the Royal Law plus a variation.


Thou shalt not avenge,

nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people,

but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:

I am the Lord.

~ Leviticus 19:18


Because God deals honestly and faithfully with us, we are to show the same honesty and faithfulness to our neighbor. This verse is connected to the previous verse showing how we are to have the same characteristics found in longsuffering when we are wronged by our neighbor.

We are to forgive those who transgress against us. We are to put off all malice, to put on brotherly love, forgiveness, and kindness; remembering when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Any anger or hatred toward others should not be kept in our heart. We are to take no notice of it, nor keep a record of it. This is one of the things we are commanded “not to keep” as noted in 1 Corinthians 13:5.


But the stranger that dwelleth with you

shall be unto you as one born among you,

and thou shalt love him as thyself;

for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt:

I am the Lord your God.

~ Leviticus 19:34


Strangers or those not considered Israelites were to be given the same consideration in love. This applies to us today. We are to love non-Christians as our self; even those who despitefully use, persecute, or kill us.

We were once strangers kept in bondage of sin and at enmity toward God. ‘Keeping’ or cherishing how God loved us even in our darkness before salvation is the responsibility of every devout Christian.


And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

~ Deuteronomy 6:5


This commandment requires an inward change that can only come by faith through the giving of God’s grace. The transformation of our heart, mind, and soul are demonstrated by Godly obedience in secret and in public.

The heart refers to the inner man, the seat of our understanding. This includes knowledge of our sinful nature and that we can be transformed through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and the washing of the word.

Our soul refers to us as a living being: encompassing all desire, passion, appetite, and emotions. It is the living sustenance that God gave when He breathed life into Adam. This is our earthly self (not necessarily sinful self) connecting us deeply to the creation.

Our soul is contrasted from our spirit which will be discussed later. The main point to be understood is this: the spirit is what connects us to God and the soul is what connects us to the creation.

Our might refers to the abundance of ability, that drive we have within that allows us to achieve great things. It reveals qualities such as diligence, power, and force.


Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God,

and keep his charge, and his statutes,

and his judgments, and his commandments,

always.

~ Deuteronomy 11:1


Within this commandment, the definition of love blossoms. It does so by faithful and diligent (always) ‘keeping’ loving obedience to God and His ways.

God created in us powerful internal compasses so we can grow in love and knowledge of Him after we have been made alive in Christ. These internal tools are then sustained and strengthened as we walk in humble obedience to Him.

Keep here means acting on all four elements of this commandment – charge, statutes, judgments, and commandments.

Charge refers to being a guard, a watchman, someone who works to preserves and protect God’s instruction, word, or law.

Statues refers to applicable ordinances prescribed, or enacted in the Bible. They can apply to nature: The sun, moon, and stars; as for signs, appointed times, etc. Also, harvest times, seasons falls under this realm.

They can be applied to man. Pretty much all biblical posts on this blog but are focused on this application and deeper understanding their meaning.

Judgments belong to God and are according to His revelation toward us. We are told to keep His judgments and walk in the steps of Jesus and the Apostles as described in the New Testament. We are to be judges of righteousness. 

Jesus said that we are to, judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. This can only be under the standard of the Royal Law in humility and complete submission to God’s guidance.

As Christians we are to have these attributes in our heart, voice them openly in love, and make decisions based upon our measure of understanding. In doing so, we keep, learn, and preserve God’s righteous judgment.

We are commanded to be flavorful salt, pure and holy light.

Commandments are simply God’s commandments. We have two. In order to fulfill them, we are to delight our self in the Lord; and he shall give us the desires of our heart.

When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else will be added unto us.


And he that taketh not his cross,

and followeth after me,

is not worthy of me.

~ Matthew 10:38


This last one was added because it is representative of the variations of the word love commanded to us. We are to love all people as God loves us.


Love ye therefore the stranger:

for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

~ Deuteronomy 10:19


 The Royal Law in the N.T.


The question was raised in the N.T. what was the greatest commandment. The post here describes the context of the dialogue.

The gospels repeats it three times. The apostles further explain is meaning related to everyday life. By this we know it is for our instruction to keep all the days of our life.


Jesus said unto him,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy mind.

~ Matthew 22:37

————-

and thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy mind,

and with all thy strength:

this is the first commandment.

~ Mark 12:30

————-

And he answering said,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy strength,

and with all thy mind;

and thy neighbour as thyself.

~ Luke 10:27

————-

Therefore all things whatsoever

ye would that men should do to you,

do ye even so to them:

for this is the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 7:12


The Royal Law sums up how we are to love the Lord thy God, to keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments.


Now the end of the commandment is love

out of a pure heart,

and of a good conscience,

and of faith unfeigned:

~ 1 Timothy 1:5

 


Walk by faith not by sight.

If you love me . . . the Greek and Hebrew (part 2)

If you love me, keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


Understanding the Greek


Below is a table of the words in the original Greek. This post will be reviewing the meaning of the original words.


Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε.

1437 [e] Ean Ἐὰν If Conj
25 [e] agapate ἀγαπᾶτέ you love V-PSA-2P
1473 [e] me με, me, PPro-A1S
3588 [e] tas τὰς Art-AFP
1785 [e] entolas ἐντολὰς commandments N-AFP
3588 [e] tas τὰς Art-AFP
1699 [e] emas ἐμὰς my PPro-AF1P
5083 [e] tērēsete τηρήσετε. you will keep. V-FIA-2P

What did Jesus mean when He said it is possible to love Him and keep His commandments. He was not talking about the old covenant.

They were impossible to keep and it were soon to be abolished at His death on the cross. He would usher in the inauguration the fulfillment of the law according the new and better covenant:


For he is our peace, who hath made both one,

and hath broken down the middle wall

of partition between us; 

having abolished in his flesh

the enmity, even the law of commandments

contained in ordinances;

for to make in himself of twain one new man,

so making peace; and that he might reconcile

both unto God in one body by the cross,

having slain the enmity thereby:

~ Ephesians 2:14-16


It would be known as the Law of Christ.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault,

ye which are spiritual,

restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

considering thyself,

lest thou also be tempted. 

Bear ye one another’s burdens,

and so fulfil the law of Christ

For if a man think himself to be something,

when he is nothing,

he deceiveth himself.

~ Galatians 6:1-3


Right now, Jesus wants us to be firmly planted in the rich soil of His word, built up into a strong branch ready to bear good fruit.


. . . rooted and grounded in love,

to be able to comprehend with all saints

what is the breadth, and length,

and depth, and height; 

and to know the love of Christ,

which passeth knowledge,

that ye might be . . .

To this end I might add, if we are rooted, grounded, and comprehending His love, we will be . . . 

. . . filled with all the fulness of God.’

~ Ephesians 3:17-19


We are to be filled with the fullness of God when we truly love Him. How many of us can honestly say we comprehend the depth, breath, height, and length of the love of Christ?

We first need to know the instructions we are to follow so we can be obedient to Him. Then, we can fully comprehend the love of Christ and fullness of God.


Sentence Structural Analysis


God’s word is so deep and so intimate. Lets us look at the basic grammatical structure of the verse, If ye love me, keep my commandments.


In the midst of this verse, Jesus was telling His Apostles that He had to go away and die for our sins. He was trying to comfort their hearts.

Jesus was giving them a promise. He said that if we loved and obeyed Him then, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth”

If  – (Ἐὰν)  is a conjunction and a conditional particle. It connects two clauses. Here it connects (If ye love me) and (keep my commandments). The importance of this dynamic is explained below.

Ye love – ἀγαπᾶτε (agapate) is plural for you love. Here Jesus is speaking to all His Apostles and everyone who claims to be a disciple that loves the Lord.

The love we are to seek, fully develop, and gracefully retain is ‘agape’.  Early Christians associated feasts with the Lord’s sacrifice at the Last Supper and called them Love (agape) feasts.

Agape love speaks of strong, immovable moral character as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. It is the kind of love that causes one lay down his life for the brethren.


Love is patient, love is kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing (evil),

but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.


These are some of the characteristics of the love of God toward us. This is also the character of love we are to have toward everyone.

Through the Holy Ghost and living word, we are to be transformed in our mind and heart having these characteristics in there fullest extent humanly possible.

There is no hint of sin in this type of love. Perfected love casts out all fear. Fear comes from sin. Therefore, perfect love casts out all sin in our life.

This is the type of love described by Jesus and what we should seek if we are to be his own.


 The Apodosis and Protasis


As mentioned above, the sentence structure is conditional and composed of two parts. The first part is called the protasis and is a conditional clause.

The second part is called apodosis, the resultant clause. There are expected responses and consequences to occur when obedience or disobedience, the conditional clause of loving Jesus is wrought (worked in us).


If the condition of obedience is met and we love Jesus there will be realities resulting from this experience bothe here on Earth and in heavenly realms.

If the condition (of loving Jesus) is not met, we are not keeping His commandments. We do not have the love of God, we are children of disobedience, and the truth is not in us.

The Apostle whom Jesus loved provides a clearer picture.


1 John 3 directly addresses the positive response of obedience, the negative response of disobedience, and the consequences of both actions.


And hereby we do know that we know him,

if we keep his commandments.

He that saith, I know him,

and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar,

and the truth is not in him.

But whoso keepeth his word,

in him verily is the love of God perfected:

hereby know we that we are in him.

He that saith he abideth in him

ought himself also so to walk,

even as he walked.

Brethren, Again,

a new commandment I write unto you,

which thing is true in him and in you:

because the darkness is past,

and the true light now shineth.

He that saith he is in the light,

and hateth his brother,

is in darkness even until now.

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light,

and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

But he that hateth his brother is in darkness,

and walketh in darkness,

and knoweth not whither he goeth,

because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

~ 1 John 3:3-6, 8-11.


The Positive Response of Love

in I John 3


The first thing of note is the realization that to love Christ is to know Him. To know Him is to live and dwell in God’s pure and holy truth in all aspects of our lives.

There is no double-mindedness in the Christian soul that loves Jesus completely in obedient love because he keeps His word and the love of God is perfected in him.

He loves God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loves his neighbor as himself. There is nothing contrary in his love toward God or others. Hypocrisy is not a part of a heart made pure in Godly love.


If we know Jesus and have been perfected in His love. As obedient children, He has come into our heart to abide in us and we know and love Him. We are to walk as He walked.

The whole of our conduct: Our thoughts, dispositions, and behaviors are in His love. We willingly desire to give good will toward other and are ready to help those in need.

Our heart no longer has to be changed every time to do something good because we have to overcome that darkness of our sinful nature. We are predisposed to love and be kind to others.

We will not intentionally do anything that causes others to stumble.  At least not out ill will from our hearts. That has been put in check; All we do or want is done in love, even our mistakes, misfortunes, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations.

Neither do we take offense when others seek ill will toward us. We abide in the light as Jesus was in the light. We perceive the devils’ snares and are more aware of his wiles, avoiding stumbling blocks put in our way.

God gives us more light and strengthens our new life when we love Him and keep His commandments.


we all, with open face

(through loving/knowing Him in agape)

beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,

are changed into the same image

from glory to glory,

even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:18


Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law through agape love. He did not take away from the law or its moral constituents.


For verily I say unto you,

Till heaven and earth pass,

one jot or one tittle

shall in no wise pass from the law,

till all be fulfilled.

~ Matthew 5:18

————-

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:

therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

~ Romans 13:10

————-

that the righteousness of the law

might be fulfilled in us,

who walk not after the flesh,

but after the Spirit.

~ Romans 8:4

————-

For all the law is fulfilled in one word,

even in this;

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

~ Galatians 5:14


This is the love that we are to have. It is the sum total of all human virtues in a life submitted to love and obedience in Christ.


The Negative Response of Love

in I John 3


The person that believes, thinks, or tells others that he knows or loves Jesus but does not keep His commandments is called a liar. A liar is worse than a lie because lying has become part of his nature, a part of his way of life.

It is in this sinful nature that he dwells within us silently, persistently. It is a numbing comfort almost unnoticed as we grow accustomed to it. It is darkness that does not lead to light.

It gives us more darkness, strengthening its ways unto increasing disobedience as we continue to disregard His commandments leading unto death and separation.

The Liar does not have the truth in him. He does not love his brother with agape love, and this predisposition toward darkness blinds him further, enticing and keeping him deeper in sin.


What does it Mean to ‘Keep’


שָׁמַר – shaw-mar,  In the Hebrew keep means to be very careful as a gate keeper would prevent or allow entrance, or a watchman who would watch at all hours keenly observing for any and all threats that may bring harm.

We cannot preserve God’s word if we do not have the love He calls us to have. Those who would corrupt it or take away from its purity do so because of this.

Shaw-mar also means to persevere to wait, secure, and perform that which is commanded. It is persevering in God’s truth and holding to that truth in love and obedience to God’s command.

When we keep Jesus’ commandments we are enlightening those around us and spreading the truth and holiness of God’s ways. We are ambassadors within the church building each other up.

This also has the effect of reproof: convicting, teaching men the true meaning of sin, righteousness, judgment. (John 16:8)


τηρήσετε (tērēsete) is unique in scripture as it is only used once. It is action meaning, you will keep  indicating current and future actions. We have already seen the meaning of keep in Hebrew.

Its meaning is consistent in the Greek as noted by its root tēros.

tēréō (from tēros, “a guard”) in the Greek – means to properly, maintain (preserve); (figuratively) spiritually guard (watch), keep intact.

We are the custodians of God’s word but can only be true to this command when we have His agape love to help us in this solemn and honorable duty.

Remember there are serious warnings for those who are disobedient to the word of God and keep not His commandments or know of His love.


If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book: 

and if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part

out of the book of life

~ Revelation 22:18b-19a


The last word we are going to look at here is commandments.

ἐντολὰς entolas is plural for ἐντολή entolé: meaning that Jesus was referring to His injunctions, orders, commands, ordinances, or laws.

Entolas intensifies télos highlighting the intention of Jesus. We are to keep all His commandments until they reach the end of their intended goals, consummating His will for our lives.

Jesus has very specific objectives for each of us. These objectives begin with the building up of love with the expected end-result of complete obedience to His ways.

The nature of the condition to love Jesus means that keeping His commandments is a requirement or end-product of our love. This is not an option, it is a necessity that results from God’s love shed abroad in our hearts.


The commandments go deeper than Jesus’ words. They are heavenly, from the root of Almighty God, the Father. Jesus is showing us the obedience we should have by His complete obedience to the Father.


For I have not spoken of myself;

but the Father which sent me,

he gave me a commandment,

what I should say, and what I should speak.  

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting:

whatsoever I speak therefore,

even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

~ John 12:49-50


Here is an example pulled from the obedient words of Jesus of a person who kept all the commandments of his father. This is one of the most important stories in the Bible to me, The Prodigal Son.

Every time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes and warms my heart powerfully. This is what God’s word should do to us when we are His obedient children.

His word tuggs at our heart, pulling us closer and closer as He draws close unto us. Don’t resist this calling. It is holy, precious, and without end as noted by the abrupt closing of the story given by Jesus


And he answering said to his father, Lo,

these many years do I serve thee,

neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment:

and yet thou never gavest me a kid,

that I might make merry with my friends:

but as soon as this thy son was come,

which hath devoured thy living with harlots,

thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 

And he said unto him,

Son, thou art ever with me,

and all that I have is thine.

 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad:

for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again;

and was lost, and is found.

~ Luke 15:29-32


We are to be obedient and love Jesus so we can help Him find that which is lost. This is one of the beautiful fruits of obedience to God’s commandments, live everlasting.

The Apostle John reinforces the need for us to walk in obedience to the dictates of God’s love, even after all of His commandments.


And this is love,

that we walk after his commandments.

This is the commandment,

That, as ye have heard from the beginning,

ye should walk in it.

2 John 2:6


We can only walk in the commandments of Jesus if we are walking in His love. There is no hypocrisy, no sin, no selfishness, for love is the antithesis (opposite) of sin.

If I were to rephrase John 14:15, it might read something like this,


If anyone loves me as I have loved you,

they will walk in my ways,

according to my will;

persevering, honoring, and protecting

all of my commandments.