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#1.5 THE SABBATH DAY IS PART OF THE NEW COVENANT

This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and the Hebrew Unicode font "David" which comes with later versions of Windows.

Greek Word Study on 4521 σάββατον sabbaton Sabbath.
Hebrew Word Study on 7676 שַׁבָּת shabbat Sabbath.
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#1.51 THE NEW COVENANT SCRIPTURES

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says Yahweh, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

HEBREWS 8:8-13
8 For finding fault with them, he says, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I did not regard them, says the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
13 In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and grows old is ready to vanish away.

HEBREWS 10:16-17
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

#1.52 THE NEW COVENANT IS MADE WITH ISRAEL AND JUDAH

There are some important points that we need to make from these scriptures, and the first is, that this New Covenant is clearly made "with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:" (Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:8). There is no separate New Covenant with the Gentiles, just as there was no separate Old Covenant with the Gentiles. In order to become a partaker of the promises of God in the Old Testament, Gentiles had to come under the Old Covenant with Israel and keep the commandments (Exodus 12:48; 20:10; Leviticus 20:2; 22:18). Also now, in order to be a partaker of the New Covenant we have to become spiritual Jews, which we do by being circumcised in the heart:

(Romans 2:28-29) "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

Spiritual circumcision removes "the flesh" and allows God to write his word, "with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in the fleshy tablets of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3). Thus Paul wrote concerning the Jews, "the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things," (Romans 15:27), which is also confirmed elsewhere (Romans 9:4-8). This therefore included the law, for "the law is spiritual" (Romans 7:14).
Again Paul described all Christians as branches of an olive tree (Romans 11:16-25), where Jews were described as natural branches (v24), some of which were broken off through unbelief (v20), showing that the olive tree is symbolically Jewish. When he talked about the Gentiles (v13), he likened them to branches which were, "cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree:" (v24). Gentiles have to become partakers of the same "Jewish" root in order to survive, and the attachment to the olive tree for both natural and wild branches is by faith (Romans 11:20). Similarly, Jesus also described himself as the "true vine" (John 15:1), in which both Jews and Gentiles would have to abide in order to bear fruit (John 15:4). Those who do not abide in that vine would be cast forth and burned in the fire (John 15:6). Paul also went to great lengths to make the point that "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:" (Romans 10:13), but that we are all part of the same body (Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 3:9-11). Finally on this same point, there are no Gentile gates to the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10-13), so if we do not become spiritual Jews, how then will we be able to enter?

#1.53 PARTAKERS OF THE NEW COVENANT HAVE GODS LAWS IN THEIR HEART

The next point to note is that all partakers of this New Covenant have God's law(s) written in their heart (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16). Which laws are these then? Well, as the New Covenant is with Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:8), it would have to, at least, include the ten commandments which were given to them through Moses. This would have to include the Sabbath day, and can be proven by an incident where Israel broke the Sabbath commandment in the wilderness, by going out to gather manna on the seventh day. God's response to Moses was, "How long do you refuse to keep my commandments, and my laws?" (Exodus 16:28). God regards the Sabbath commandment as one of his laws, so this would be one of the laws which have to be written in the heart of the believer in order to become a partaker of the New Covenant, wouldn't it? Notice also that God says, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;" (Jeremiah 31:33), and here the word "law" is singular, applying to the whole of the ten commandment, at least. The word used in the Hebrew is תּוֹרָה (Htr. tôrâh) (Strong's 8451/2) and is translated "law" 219 times. It is used in such phrases as, the "Law of Moses" (15x), the "law of God" (4x), the "law of Yahweh" (18x), and is the word used to show that a righteous man has God's law in his heart (Psalm 37:30-31; Isaiah 51:7). Look at this definition:

(James Strong 8452) תּוֹרָה , tôrâh, to-raw"; from 3384; a precept or statute, esp. the Decalogue or Pentateuch:- law (219x).

The Decalogue refers to the Ten Commandments, and the Pentateuch refers to the first 5 books of the bible written by Moses. Therefore, in many places the word "torah" obviously refers to, or includes the ten commandments, even as it does in the promise of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33).
One big difference between Old and New Covenant is that under the old one God's laws were engraved in "tablets of stone", but under the New Covenant they will be written "on the fleshy tablets of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16). We can show that this is so, because the Holy of Holies is a type of the believer's heart:

(Hebrews 9:3-4) "And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, in which was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;"

There were five things in the Holy of Holies, the first of which was the golden pot with manna. The gold of the pot is a type of faith that has been tried and tested (Job 23:10;  1 Peter 1:7; Revelation 3:18). Gold was one of the gifts that the wise men gave to Jesus when he came to earth the first time in human form (Matthew 2:11), but when he comes a second time, he will be looking for the spiritual gold of faith (Luke 18:8). The faith that we have is also Christ, because our faith is often referred to as "the faith of Christ", or "the faith of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 2:16 twice; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 3:11-12; Philippians 3:9). Those bibles which translate these scriptures as "faith in Christ" have hidden this truth, because they are all genitive case in the Greek. Jesus is not only "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), but it is his spirit in us which gives us our faith.
The second was the manna which appeared in the wilderness:

(Exodus 16:15) "And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which Yahweh has given you to eat."

This manna was also a type of Christ;

(John 6:31-35) "Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Then Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.
Then said they to him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he who comes to me shall never hunger; and he who believes in me shall never thirst."

Therefore, having Jesus in our heart, who is the word of God (John 1:1; 1:14), fulfils this Old Testament type of manna in the ark.

#1.54 AARON'S ROD THAT BUDDED

The third one was Aaron's rod that budded. It was the result of a test, which God performed to demonstrate which tribe he had chosen to do the work of the priesthood in the wilderness. Twelve rods, each one having the name of the leader of each tribe on it, were placed before the ark of Yahweh in the tabernacle (Numbers 17:1-7). The one that God chose budded and blossomed overnight, and produced almonds (Numbers 17:8). The rod is a type of Jesus Christ:

(1) He is the rod of God's strength sent forth from Zion (Psalm 110:1-2).

(2) He is the rod that comes from the stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-2).

(3) The rod was a symbol of authority and power to work miracles (Exodus 4:2-3; 4:17; 7:9-12; 7:17 etc.), which is all in the hands of Jesus (Matthew 28:18; John 11:47; 21:25).

(4) Aaron's rod was chosen by God above all the others (Numbers 17:5), just as Christ was chosen by the Father (Matthew 12:18; Hebrews 5:4-5; 1 Peter 2:4).

(5) The rod produced fruit (Numbers 17:8), which is a type of Christ "the first-fruits" (1 Corinthians 15:20-23), and the one who produces fruit through us, when he abides in us (John 15:4-5).
This dead piece of wood that suddenly came to life is a type of a resurrected Christ, and is meant to be in the heart of every believer:

(Romans 8:9) "Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his."
(2 Corinthians 13:5) "Do you not know your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates?"
(Galatians 4:6) "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
(Colossians 1:27) "Christ in you, the hope of glory:"

Therefore, having Christ in our hearts fulfils this Old Testament type of Aaron's rod that budded in the ark.

#1.55 THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

The ark was also called "the ark of the covenant" (Numbers 10:33; 14:44; Deuteronomy 10:8; 31:9; 31:25; Joshua 3:3 etc.), and the fourth thing that it contained was the tablets of stone containing the ten commandments, which were called, "the tablets of the covenant" (Deuteronomy 9:9; 9:11; 9:15; Hebrews 9:4). These tablets clearly contain the Sabbath commandment, and are the laws which God has said he will write in our hearts as part of the New Covenant (See #1.5). These commandments cannot be changed:

(Ecclesiastes 3:14) "I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before him."
(Psalm 89:34) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."
(Romans 11:29) "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

God gave the Sabbath day to his chosen people for their physical and spiritual benefit, and he will not take back that gift. This all proves that the Sabbath commandment will be in the hearts of God's chosen people who are partakers of the New Covenant. There are other scriptures to support this:

(Psalm 37:30-31) "The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment.
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."

This means that "the law", which includes the Sabbath commandment, will be in the heart of every righteous man, and it must have been in the heart of Jesus:

(Hebrews 10:5-7) "Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body you have prepared me:
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God."

The fact that this scripture refers to Jesus can be easily discerned by looking at the context (vv9-12), and we can get more information if we look at the Old Testament from where it is quoted:

(Psalm 40:6-8) "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; you have opened my ears: burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart."

So here we see Jesus saying, "your law is within my heart", just as it is in every righteous man (Psalm 37:30-31; Isaiah 51:7). Therefore the Sabbath commandment must also be in his heart as it is part of that law. Having the law in his heart enabled Jesus to keep the law, and having the Sabbath commandment in his heart caused him to keep that perfectly (See #1.22). Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18), which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1:24), and as he has not changed (Hebrews 13:8;  1 Peter 1:25), the law of God is still in the heart of the head of the church. Jesus is in the heart of every true believer (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:6), and as the law of God is in the heart of Jesus, then it should be in the heart of every believer. This means that the Sabbath commandment is in the heart of the head of the church, and should be in the heart of every believer. Jesus is now the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6; 12:24), and if God's law was in his heart, then it should also be in ours (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16).

#1.56 PARTAKERS OF THE NEW COVENANT WILL ALL KNOW GOD

Another point to be made from the scriptures is that partakers of the New Covenant will all know God (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11). This is also a condition to be a partaker of eternal life (John 17:3), and when a man asked Jesus, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16), part of Jesus' reply was, "if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17). We know that he was referring to the ten commandments, because he went on to quote some of them (Matthew 19:18-19). Knowing God is also a condition to be one of Jesus sheep (John 10:14), so what does it mean to know Jesus, or God?

(1 John 2:3-4) "And by this we do 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."

This totally agrees with what Jesus said (Matthew 19:17), so if then all partakers of the New Covenant know God, they must be keeping his commandments. Again we need to remind ourselves that when Israel broke the Sabbath commandment in the wilderness, by going out to gather manna on the seventh day, God's response to Moses was, "How long do you refuse to keep my commandments, and my laws?" (Exodus 16:28). God regards the Sabbath observance as one of his commandments, and he does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). Note also that those who do not keep his commandments do not have the truth in them (1 John 2:4), which means:

(1) God's commandments are not fully in them because, "all your commandments are truth." (Psalm 119:151). This would mean we lack some righteousness, because "all your commandments are righteousness." (Psalm 119:172). If God scrapped the Sabbath commandment he would be scrapping truth and righteousness.

(2) God's law is not fully in them: "your law is the truth." (Psalm 119:142). God desires truth in our "inward parts" (Psalm 51:6), which is where he promised to put his law when we become partakers of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33). This would mean that they are not yet a partaker of the New Covenant, because God has promised to write his laws when we are (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16). It would also mean that we are not yet fully righteous, because a righteous man has God's law in his heart (Psalm 37:30-31; Isaiah 51:7).

(3) God's word is not fully in them: "your word is truth." (John 17:17).

(4) Jesus is not fully in them because Jesus said, "I am ... the truth," (John 14:6).

The conclusion to be drawn from this is that the New Covenant has not altered the Sabbath commandment, but it has altered the way we interpret and observe it. Now we are meant to fulfill the righteousness of the law through the spirit (Romans 8:4), and not the letter of the law through the flesh (See Intro 3). If we wish to partake of this covenant, then we need to fulfil the Sabbath commandment the same way that Jesus taught (See #3).

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