“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Hello friends! Today we are going to be discussing the Fourth Commandment. That’s the Sabbath day commandment.
Most human beings have the belief, as you know, that there is a greater power and that there is some Being out there with great authority and great intelligence. We can go to that Being for answers. It is a divine Being of superior intelligence to ours. That Being, we are sure, will give us meaning to life. We can ask that Being questions—the great questions of life. It is a source that we can appeal to for understanding.
We can go to that Being and ask, why am I alive, for instance? What is my purpose on earth? Why does all this creation exist in the first place? It is comforting, and that is why most of us choose to believe that there is a great intelligence out there. There is a God. There is somebody that we can appeal to for information that we cannot get through our physical senses. A source that we can appeal to for help is very comforting, for instance, when we can go to a God and pray for healing when we are sick. Or if we are having dire troubles and circumstances in our lives, we can ask for deliverance from these trials.
We also like to know that there is somebody we can go to for help or advice and guidance on how to live. We can ask how to know right from wrong, for instance, or what is pleasing to the great Being. We also have questions like, what is it, God, that could make me happy, more prosperous and healthy? We all want happiness for ourselves and our families, and we like to know that there is a Being that we can turn to for guidance for those things.
We can have faith that there is a great Being out there—a great power that we can appeal to for these questions to be answered, but we want to know for sure, don’t we? We want to know that our prayers just aren’t bouncing off the ceiling, and that we are actually going to get somewhere asking a great Being. It is common for most of us at some point in our lives to ask for a sign. We ask God for a sign that He is really out there. We ask for a sign that He really exists and a sign that He hears us. We ask for a sign that He is willing to help us and that He has the power to do so. We ask, give me a sign that You care and that You love me. That is common. I know I have asked for a sign like that from God. I want to know He exists. I want to know that my prayers can be answered, and perhaps you have asked similar questions as well.
Sometimes we even have the audacity to test God! Perhaps you have done this yourself. Maybe you have said, God, if I do this, will You do that for me? Or we have asked for the other way around. If you do this, God, then I will do that. That’s a test that we give God. We want a sign from Him, and we want to test Him.
The concept of a test is actually a good thing. We want to know for sure. It is a sign that we want to have a relationship with that Being, and I think that’s where we are really going when we want a sign and we want to be able to test God or have Him test us. We want to know if we can have a relationship. Can we get to know this Being? That concept is a good concept to test, but sometimes we get it backwards. We are not supposed to test God. That’s true in any relationship with a greater power or authority. It is the greater than tests the lesser. It is the Creator who tests the creation. It is the teacher who tests the student. It is the master who tests the apprentice. It’s not the other way around. Sometimes we get our relationship out of whack and on the wrong footing.
THE GREAT TEST
We need to respond to God’s test. This series is called “the great test to come upon the world at the end of the age,” because God indeed is going to test the entire human race. We are told that in Revelation chapter 3. I am reading in the New King James Version. In Revelation chapter 3, verse 10 we are told: “Because You have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
It’s a trial to come upon the whole world to test them. What is the test? We need to know. The King James calls it a temptation to try those who dwell upon the world. That word “temptation” or “trial” is peirazmos in the Greek (#3986, Strong’s Concordance, 1995), which means a putting to proof by experiment of good versus evil. God wants to put a test before us to see if we choose good over evil. It comes from the Greek word peirazo (#3985, Strong’s Concordance, 1995), which means to test. God gives a trial or test to see if we are willing to do things His way. It is the Master testing the apprentice—the Creator testing those He has created.
God is the one who renders this test, and He is the one who determines what the test is. The test is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You can turn to Hebrews 13:8 on your own, and it says exactly that. God is eternally the same. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The test that He has given His people in the Bible is the same test that He has for us today! It has not changed.
Ancient Israel was given a relationship test with God, and we are told that in Exodus chapter 20. That’s the Ten Commandment chapter. Exodus chapter 20, of course, lists the Ten Commandments. After God gave the Ten Commandments with great power, shaking the earth with lightning and thunder, this is what Moses had to do to calm the people who were terrified by the experience of hearing God’s powerful voice.
I am turning now to Exodus chapter 20, verse 20: “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.’”
God was giving them a test. He was giving the answers to the test which were the Ten Commandments. It was what to do and what not to do in order to be successful to have a good relationship with Him. Moses explained that the Ten Commandments were literally a test—a test for the people.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
In verse 8 of Exodus chapter 20 we come to the Fourth Commandment, which is the Sabbath day. I am reading Exodus 20, verse 8: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
God is not saying here that the earth is 6,000 years old, just as an aside. We have explained that in the past. The earth is much older than 6,000 years. God gave us the Ten Commandments at creation, and He changed the symbols of the sun, the moon, and the stars. He gave them special meaning. You can ask for our explanation on that. We have a couple booklets and CDs on that subject that will help you understand it.
We are talking about the Fourth Commandment here today. God gave us and ordained the seventh day as the Sabbath. He said you shall do no work on that day. As another aside, only God can make something holy. It takes a great, all-powerful Being to say, this is hallowed. This is holy. He said the Sabbath day is hallowed, which means it is holy. We must observe it as a holy day. No human being can make anything holy. Only God can do that.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE A SIGN
Within this test of keeping the Ten Commandments, and in particular the Fourth Commandment that we are talking about, is the fundamental answer to the question about a sign from God. God said, you want a sign? I will give it to you. It is the Ten Commandments.
I am going to Deuteronomy chapter 6 now. Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 1: “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess…”
This chapter is following the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy in which the Ten Commandments are also laid forth. God says these are the Commandments I am giving you before you enter the promised land.
Continuing in Deuteronomy 6, verse 2: “…that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
In other words, continually before you should be the Ten Commandments. It is something to be discussed with your family every day, at least some aspect of it. Notice verses 7-9 of Deuteronomy 6: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Some people literally put a plaque of the Ten Commandments on their house. They are observing what God says here in Deuteronomy.
God says it is the way we live. What is in our heart and what we do with our hand are influenced and directed and guided by the sign of the Ten Commandments. We literally pass the test when we keep God’s Ten Commandments. It is a sign between Him and us that there is a relationship between us. Exodus chapter 31 goes on to say something similar.
Exodus chapter 31, verse 12: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on that Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”’”
It was a very serious offense back then to flagrantly disobey God’s Sabbath.
A PERPETUAL COVENANT
Continuing in Exodus 31, verse 16: “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”
These two tablets were written in stone to show that they are permanent. The words “perpetual covenant” means the same thing. Perpetually it is a sign between God and His people. He was not talking just about ancient Israel because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His test remains the same.
The word “perpetual” here in the Hebrew is olam (#5769, Strong’s Concordance, 1995), which means to the vanishing point. It means time as far as your mind can think forward or backward, past or future; eternity; always. God says the Ten Commandments are forever. They can never be changed or done away with.
Christ made Christianity have the same test that ancient Israel had. I am turning to Matthew now. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now that we know it is a perpetual covenant, a perpetual sign, a test, and a sign between God and His people, we want to know does God really want us to keep this law—these Ten Commandments—or was it just for ancient Israel.
CHRIST TAUGHT THE COMMANDMENTS
Let’s look what Jesus Christ said. I am going to Matthew chapter 5 now. It is the first book of the New Testament. Jesus Christ says this in Matthew chapter 5, verse 17: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus Christ is talking to you and me as well. All people who believe in Him should want to keep His Ten Commandments. He said, I did not come to do away with them or destroy them. We must keep them and not diminish them. We must teach others to keep them as well.
Now let’s go to the gospel of John where we will see Christ directly tell us that we have to keep those commandments, and He tells us why in John chapter 14, verse 15. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Those of us who have determined that there is an all-powerful God with whom we want a relationship, of course, will want to show Him that we love Him. He in return will do more for us.
Verse 16 of John 14: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
He is speaking of His Holy Spirit. He says if you show your love for Me by wanting to keep My Ten Commandments, I will come and dwell with you. It is the Spirit of truth. I will teach you the truth about My law, about what will make you happy, and about what will bring physical blessings and joy into your life. Then you can be a blessing to people around you as well. It all begins with passing the test—the willingness to keep His commandments.
The apostles understood this very clearly. I am going to the epistle of I John. Turn to I John chapter 2, verse 1: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
Jesus Christ’s shed blood is for the entire world. It was true when Christ was saying the world did not understand the truth back then when He was alive. But He said eventually His truth would be for the entire world at the end of the age. The test of the Ten Commandments, the knowledge to keep them, and what would constitute sin would become common knowledge for all those who would want to have a relationship with the Great God.
Then He goes on to say this in verse 3 of I John 2: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
We really need to make an effort to understand the Ten Commandments and to keep them. This shows that we know Jesus Christ and God the Father. It opens the access to the Holy Spirit to give us truth and understanding. It opens the way to have a relationship with God because we would then be passing the Master’s test—the great test that is now coming upon the whole world.
SIN IS BREAKING THE COMMANDMENTS
In I John chapter 3 in verse 4 John goes on to say: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
The only way we know what sin is, is by understanding what the Ten Commandments are. Breaking God’s law constitutes sin, which is why we need the blood of Christ. It is not good enough to just want the blood of Christ. We have to know what we do that is wrong and that is sinful that makes it so we need the blood of Christ. By understanding that, we can try to correct those faults within us that show Jesus Christ and God the Father that we love Them and that we want a relationship with Them.
Drop down to verse 22 of I John chapter 3: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
We want our prayers answered. Remember those questions asking for a sign: are You really there, do You really care about me, do You love me, do You have the power to help me? If we want answered prayer, we have to be making an effort to keep the Ten Commandments. Then God will know that we want to love Him and we want a relationship. He will in turn answer those prayers. That’s how important it is for us to keep the Ten Commandments. We all want to know that the great all-powerful Being, God the Father and Jesus Christ, are there to help us. They exist, and They have the power to do so. We want a relationship with Them. When we show that we love Them by keeping the Ten Commandments, we in turn get our prayers answered.
DO NOT CHANGE THE SABBATH DAY
The great faiths of the world would do well to stop fooling around with God’s Ten Commandments. I know that may sound like a strange statement, but did you know that the Ten Commandments in many people’s Bibles have been altered? That’s true!
Man has made some changes to God’s word that he should never have done. There was a perpetual covenant and a perpetual sign with the Ten Commandments, so it just can’t be altered. Yet in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea a Roman Emperor by the name of Constantine decided that his failing empire needed some help. He wanted religious help. He joined with a portion of Christianity that was in his interest. There was arguing about theology within his empire. He said, I can solve your theological arguments and my problem at the same time by switching the Sabbath day to Sunday.
Within his empire most of the people observed Sunday as a worship to the sun god. He saw this little group of Christianity growing and growing, and he noticed there was an argument about the Sabbath day because pagans had come into Christianity. He said, we can solve both of these issues and help each other out by putting the force of the empire behind my decree to make Sunday the new Sabbath. That is exactly what he did back in 325 A.D.
He went so far as to persecute people who kept the “Jewish Sabbath.” That’s their perpetual law! That’s the Fourth Commandment. Now on some Bibles on earth and in some religions, the seventh day is no longer the Sabbath. It’s the first day of the week.
Long about 600 A.D. or there about, another great faith grew upon the earth. They decided to move the Sabbath day to Friday.
I do believe most of these people did not understand what they were doing. They had influence from the lawless one, as we have talked about in our inset sermon within this series. You may want to review that. It was about the son of perdition—the son of lawlessness. The sermon was called Identifying the Son of Perdition, dated January 30, 2016. He has inspired mankind to get away from God’s law. One of the primary things he did was to confuse which day on earth is the hallowed day. Some keep Sunday. Some keep Friday. But the truth of the matter is, to obey God’s Ten Commandments, we must be keeping Saturday. From Friday sundown to Saturday sundown is the time of the week that God has hallowed and no other.
The great faiths of the earth would resolve a lot of the problems that we see. A lot of the terrorist activity, the wars, and the ethnic cleansings are over religion, and one of the primary things they fight over is the Sabbath day. Isn’t that sad! We could solve a lot of the world’s conflicts just by getting back to the Ten Commandments. That would help pass the test. That would make this earth a much more beautiful, peaceful, and happy place. If we could all just agree to keep the Ten Commandments starting with the Sabbath day, it would be a good place to start.
AN INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE
The end-of-the-age test is will we keep the Ten Commandments, or not? Will we observe the true Sabbath day that God hallowed, or not? We have discussed this in the Scriptures, and we know that there will be an innumerable multitude greater than any multitude that has ever come to an agreement on anything at the end of the age! It is called the innumerable multitude from all nations, kindred, tongues, and spirits who will have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. We are told that in Revelation chapter 7. That’s a beautiful time when the earth will begin to have peace by keeping God’s Ten Commandments.
We are told more about teaching this to the world and the benefits of it in Isaiah chapter 58. I am going to start reading in verse 9: “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
That’s how beautiful it can be once we start to fix the old ways—the old Ten Commandments that have gone out of style! Bring them back! Keep them! We will heal the world’s problems.
He goes on to say this in verse 13 of Isaiah 58: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Yes, the world needs what we can have through the Ten Commandments. We can have a relationship with that Great Being, God the Father and Jesus Christ. We can have a relationship with Them in which we know They exist. They will answer our prayers and bless this earth with the peace and the security we all would really love to see happen. God says it will. When the great test comes upon the earth, the vast majority of people will pass this test. You can be an early advocate of passing this test. You can become a repairer of the breach and a healer of the things that afflict this world. You can get out the knowledge of God—the truth of God and His Ten Commandments. You can share them through your own life experiences with those around you. It will be a marvelous testament in your life, and it will show God that you love Him and that you are willing to make a difference on this earth by taking a stand.
A FREE BUMPER STICKER
At this point I am going to offer something that we are going to be making available very soon. It is a decal bumper sticker that you can use. You can show people that you do love God’s law and His Ten Commandments. We are willing to send that to you absolutely free. It is our gift to you to show that you have listened to this series and that you care about the Ten Commandments. It shows you are willing to be a light in your own community. We would love to send this beautiful sticker to you. Let us know how to get it to you, and we will happily send you one. We would like to see these bumper stickers spread everywhere. As the innumerable multitude forms up and people decide they want to pass this test, wouldn’t it be lovely to see friends and neighbors in your community and around the country show that they love God. They will be people who will be willing to keep His Ten Commandments, and they will want to pass the great test.
Until next time, take care, friends.