The Spirit of The Law
(The Sabbath-Rest Principle III)
hen Yahshua came to earth, to set before us His perfect example, He made every “jot and tittle” plain. He revealed to us the peace and holiness that resulted from constant, unbroken communion with the Father, and He did always that which pleased Him. In keeping the holy law perfectly, both in letter and in spirit, He showed us their most practical applications, and forever, beyond question, proved false the charges of Lucifer that He was an unjust and legalistic Father.
Those who say our Father’s rules are restrictive and useless echo the words of the fallen angel who sought to exalt himself above the Throne. Christ showed us the true nature of the Father, ever seeking to heal and comfort, ever seeking to lead others to the road of eternal life. Of the Sabbath, Isaiah says, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13&14)
Satan has sought to pervert the very results that the Sabbath was designed to produce in man: holiness, meekness, humility, eternal awareness of our dependence on Yah for our life. Instead, he made it out to be a burden, a useless appendage to the law which was to be cut off at the first convenient opportunity. And indeed it was... (cut off, that is) but in these last days, “knowledge increases,” and we see the light as never before, even as the “latter rain” (Joel 2:23 and explained further in Joel 2:28&29) falls around us.
The spirit of the 4th commandment is that the seventh day is a day of REST. While the letter of the law points out that we rest from our labors on the day itself, the rest which it signifies is the peace that the spirit experiences when the individual accepts the sacrifice of Christ. No longer do we strive to “be good,” for we realize that it is not our works, but Yah’s grace, that saves us. We, our sinful selves, are crucified with Him upon the cross (Galatians 2:24), and now, our lives are lived by His grace, not unto sin – for we are now dead to those “former things” – but unto life everlasting. This blessed rest lasts us the entire week, and indeed, sustains us every day of our Christian lives.
And not only do we enter into this rest now, but it points ahead, to the 7th millennium of Creation’s history. From the world’s beginning 6000 years ago (before you protest this point too loudly, please do read the article Why “Creation?”), the physical plane has groaned from the effects of sin. It longs for the return of its Author, to set things right, and to enter into that blessed rest which is promised us in Revelation 20, when the final day of the Creation Week will be a day of rest, when the redeemed will judge, and the world will be finally, eternally restored.
“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. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3: 8&9) Do you desire a clearer example? Think about this, what was one of Yah’s first promises to Adam? He said, “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
Did Adam die the day he ate of the fruit, or did Yah delay his punishment? “Not as some men count slackness,” as Peter says. Adam lived for 930 years, almost a full “day” by the Lord’s reckoning, but yet, in that “day” period, he did die. Yah is not a liar, and as merciful as He is, He will by no means clear the guilty (Nahum 1:3). Yes, Adam will live forevermore in Creation renewed, but his body was yet made to suffer for the effects of his sin.
We, who are alive in Christ, have no further need for the vindication of this world, for we realize that if we “let God be true, and every man a liar,” (Romans 3:4) then we need not defend ourselves from the cares and persecutions of this world, which Yahshua himself declared would befall every believer. (John 15:18-25) He Himself will defend His church, and we who suffer persecution meanwhile know, and have assurance that all will be vindicated in that blessed 1000 year “Sabbath” of ages.
Woe, then, unto those who seek to save their own lives against persecution for righteousness! Yahshua said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Mat 10:39) The church that seeks to pursue its own aims and uphold its own doctrines by use of civil authority has violated this sacred contract, and has broken the spirit of the Sabbath rest. This was the very downfall of Yah’s first people.
It was not by Jewish hands that our Redeemer was crucified, but by the Romans. When the rabbinical leaders condemned Christ to death, they joined forces with Ceasar’s army to bring about the execution. “We have no king but Caesar,” declared the chief priests (John 19:15), and in so saying, declared themselves men of the world and not of Heaven.
How blind are those who make of their church a political organization, exercising political power alongside kings and world rulers... This is not the path that Christ outlined for His bride, but one of holiness, and separation from the world was to be her lot. This is not to say we willfully step into situations that will put us in opposition to the rest of the world, of course, but by the very fact we, who follow Yah, exist in a world led by fallen Lucifer, we are bound to run into opposition at every turn. Paul encourages us to “hold fast,” not to “compromise and seek favor from those in authority so our lives may be easy.”
The Scriptures have a word for a church that joins with worldly government, and it is given in the book of Revelation. The prophecies refer to the church of God as the “woman,” and the “bride.” Who, then, does this refer to? – “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, ‘Come hither; and I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’” (Rev 17:1&2) It goes on for a while about this, and is worth reading.
Yet see how John describes a union of the church with the “kings of the world.” He calls it fornication. The reason for this is because of the way Yah views His connection with humans. Marriage between a man and a woman was set up as an institution to represent His love for us. One has only to read the Song of Songs to understand that concept... If therefore, there is a “union” of the bride of Christ with another authority than God, this is reflected in an earthly sense by an unfaithful wife, who seeks the benefits of a “husband” figure outside the confines of the holy archetype. Fornication is a fitting and vivid description of how Yah views spiritual unfaithfulness.
Now, let us examine a slightly deeper concept concerning marriage. In Deuteronomy 24, Moses receives a very specific teaching concerning husbands and wives. “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it to her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4)
If iniquity is found in the body of Christ, an error in doctrine, for example, let it make haste to put it away! Though separated by the error, a reconciliation is more than possible... it is encouraged. Yet, if the church in its fallen state should join with another “husband,” in this case civil law, how can it ever be joined back with Yah? No matter what happens afterwards... should there be another divorce (the union be dissolved) or the husband die (the nation be destroyed), yet in terms of the first husband, that bride is forevermore defiled. The Jewish nation could never more be the people of Yah. Their individuals needed to leave that institution and accept Christ to be saved. Their successor, the apostolic church, in joining with the Roman system, took a second husband, and therefore “Protestants” needed to be drawn forth by reformers like Luther and others.
The protestant nation joined with the state also, however, in the 1800s when they were trying to get the “Blair Sunday Law” passed, which would make Sunday (a holdover from their previous servitude under the papacy) a legally instituted day of rest. Though this union was dissolved, the statute of Deuteronomy 24 still holds. The SDA church was drawn out of the protestant world.
Now, as you may have read in the article “A Fourth Angel,” they too have united with the state. One last “calling out” is needed, one that raises up a people that both “keep the commandments of Yah and have the testimony of Christ Yahshua.” (Rev 12:17) These are they that understand both the letter (keeping the commandments) and the spirit (the testimony of Christ) of the law, and thereby avoid the mark of the beast and receive the seal of God in their foreheads. (Rev 14:1) Blessed are they who respond to the invitation of the bride and the Spirit, as they say, “Come.” (Rev 22:17)
The spirit of the 4th commandment is “rest,” a wondrous foreshadowing of the eternal peace the world will know under its coming king, and to those willing to let the beauty of salvation unfold in their hearts and in their lives: the Father is calling, the Son is calling, the Spirit is calling. We, her bride, are calling. Not the “law, which is against us” do we represent, but the principles of life, which are reflections of the nature of Heaven, principles which are forever and eternally FOR us. May the grace of our Lord Yahshua be upon you, as you continue to read, and may your heart be ever tender towards His mercy.