OUR PURPOSE TODAY IS TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE SABBATH IS A SHADOW OF. YES, A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME -- BUT WHAT THINGS?
1) First let's look briefly at the history of the Sabbath. Study the past to know the future.
Ex.20:8 - remember the sabbath day - this alone indicates previous knowledge of the sabbath -- but from where?
A) Gen.2:2-3 - God created man on the sixth day and rested on the seventh. It would be safe to say that God, in dealing with the family of Adam and the progressive families of Genesis, revealed to them that fact that he rested on the seventh day setting it apart from all the other days.
B) Ex.16:23 - Israel is instructed about the sabbath day.
Ex.20:8 - to keep it holy - Isa.58:13-14 (If time allows read page 15 + 16 in book)
2) Now let's take a look at how Israel progressed in the keeping of the Sabbath.
Eze.20:11- 27 - Because of their sins God pronounced them unclean.
Now look at I Cor.3:16-17 - You are holy only because the Spirit of God dwells in you. That Spirit in you is a Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. (II Tim.1:7)
I Cor. 6:19-20 - bought at a price - Acts 20:28 - shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Also II Peter.2:1 - ...even denying the Lord who bought them...
What is the church of God? Matt.16:18 - "...I will build My church and the gates of Hell (hades - the grave) shall not prevail against it." If the church was just a building why mention anything about the grave - Hades? If the church was merely a physical organization, then why do things tend to change when a physial leader dies?
The church is a group, a body of individual believers who God calls out of this world to be His chosen people Just as He chose Israel to be His nation among all the peoples of the earth. Look at I Peter 2:9-10
What happened to Israel as God's nation? Deut.9:23-24 Ps. 95:8-10. Later, after David, Israel split up, dividing into north and south. Both of those Kingdoms, went into captivity because they continually served other gods (idolitry) and broke the sabbath.
They were as a nation, holy before God (Deut.7:6-9) we as individuals are holy before God because His Spirit - the same Spirit that is found in Gen.1:2 - the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water - dwells in us by the laying on of hands (Rom.8:14-17).
II Cor 6:16 - 18 Verse 17-18 shows what God wanted Israel to do. But as we saw they rejected God and His ways. So now God is instructing His people, the church, to do the same thing. Come out from among the world and be seperate - do not touch what is unclean - speaking of sin! Did you notice what God said back in Eze.20:24-26 - because they profaned the sabbath, and had eyes fixed on idols God in verse 25 gave them up to there own way of doing things and in verse 26 pronounces them unclean.
What are we not to touch in II Cor.6:17 - that which is unclean, and what is unclean - the profaning of the sabbath and idolitry. What by contrast would be clean? Keeping the sabbath Holy and worshipping only the true God.
Go back to Eze.20 and notice verses 12 and 20 - the Sabbath is a sign between God and the nation of Israel that God is the one who sets them apart from the other nations. We as the temple of God are given the same command in II Cor.6:17 - Come out from among them and be seperate - be set apart - be santified. What sign is given to seperate God's chosen ones from the world? the seventh day Sabbath!
Remember, we have seen the scriptures that show us we are holy before God because His Spirit dwells in us. Just think how much eaiser it is to keep the Sabbath Holy because of the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit! Let's see that in II Cor.7:1.
3) Finally let's look at what the Sabbath points to and we have already hinted at it in Gen 2:2.
Let's notice and understand today just what is being spoken of in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 in relation to the Sabbath day and the term shadow of things to come.
Heb.3:7-11 - taken from Ps. 95 which we quoted part of eariler. v.18 - Deut.12:8-11a
Heb.4:1 - 5 - Paul is taking this concept of rest promised to Israel and associating it to when God rested on the seventh day in Gen.2:2 and to us. specifically v.3 - we are in a process of entering that promised rest.
Heb.4:6 - 7 - He is making the case that there still remains a granting of "My rest" as it is refered to in Ps 95:11.
What is the time frame for entering God's rest - Today (Heb.3:13) - when is that? Today. What will tomorrow be? When tomorrow arrives it will again be Today - that is why entering His rest is a process involving every Today that you have. Every day you have set before you life and death, blessings and cursings -- choose life, choose blessings through being obediant to God.
Heb.4:8 - Josh.22:4 - God says he granted them rest, yet David would come along LATER and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Heb3:7) write that they did not enter His rest --- meaning the complete fullness of His Rest!
Heb.4:9 - Here the word rest is unlike any other used in the New Testament - the word for rest here is sabbatismos - meaning a sabbath rest. Every seventh day you and I as God's people have the oppotunity to experience just a slice of the coming rest.
Now notice carefully verse 10-11
Heb.4:10-11 - Every seventh day we cease from our normal activities to rest, but not only that, we look forward to the time when we will no longer be at work - laboring in this physical body or temple as we have seen today.
The entering of Israel into the promise land and the rest they had temporarily is a TYPE of the rest that all humanity will enter ultimately in the Kingdom of God. Deut.11:13-28 shows that they would have received blessings of rest and safety and abundance if they would obey. They did not obey and as a result they did not have rest.
The promised land itself serves as a TYPE of God's Kingdom (Heb.11:16)
In closing let's look at a description of that city spoken of that we just read about - the New Jereusalem in Rev 21:22.
Rev21:22 - Rev. 22:5 - Could you feel the rest? Did it jump off the page for you? This brethren is what God has prepared for you and I and all who have ever lived that go God's way.
This rest with God and Christ is the THING that Col.2:16-17 says the Sabbath is a shadow of!