Little Children, Keep Yourselves From Idols!

idol

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“You shall have no other gods before Me!” Exodus 20:3

Though we would hope there is no danger of our bowing down to graven images—to gods that have eyes and see not, ears and hear not—none are exempt from the danger of being idolaters in spirit. There are gods many and lords many, in lands of Bibles and gospel privileges—as truly as in heathen countries!

Wealth, honor, sports and pleasure—are the idols of multitudes.
Gold is as truly worshiped—as Baal once was!
Self is as really the idol of many now—as Diana of the Ephesians was anciently.

Then, too, there are “household gods”—idols in family life. Affection in the various relationships we sustain, which is proper and lovely in a right degree—too often becomes idolatrous.

Christians, as well as others, have need to be warned against idolatry. The exhortation, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols!” was addressed to believers.

Remember, my soul, that whatever may lead your highest affection and supreme devotion away from God your Savior—would be to you an idol!

Help me, O Lord, to watch and pray against the sin of idolatry in all its forms. Show me more of Your glory and Your grace—and ever hold the highest place in my heart!

“The dearest idol I have known,
Whatever that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Your throne,
And worship only Thee!”

Grace Gems!

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Satan’s Masterpiece – The Roman Catholic Church

I would dearly love for every Catholic I know to watch this video, created by a former Catholic who came to know the false teachings and traditions of the RCC System, and the truth of God’s word. He heard the gospel of truth of salvation through Christ alone by faith alone, and was saved. The same I pray for every Catholic I know and love.

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Born Again

DNA

Amazing Fact: Tucked inside the microscopic nucleus of every cell in our bodies is a six-foot long strand of protein molecules, called DNA. The information contained within makes it possible for each parent to contribute one-and-a-half billion bits of genetic information to each of their offspring!

The DNA itself resembles a long, narrow, spiral ladder of pliable material. Before a cell is able to divide, the DNA must be “duplicated” so that each cell will have an original copy of the genetic code. As replication begins, an enzyme unwinds the spiral DNA ladder. Next, a protein molecule holds the two strands apart while another enzyme rapidly “transcribes” genetic code to RNA molecules. The code is then “proofread” and instantly corrected if an error is found. All of this happens in a matter of seconds! Finally, the RNA molecules exit the nucleus to begin communicating the genetic code to new cells.

As the RNA molecule takes critical information from the DNA and communicates it to the body, so Christ took the message of His Father’s love from the “nucleus” of heaven and communicated it to our planet. “For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me” (John 17:8). And now it is Christ’s desire that we do the work of the RNA! “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). While we cannot help what genetic heritage we have been given from our parents, we can accept God’s offer to be our Father and choose to be “born again.” Let us bring joy to the Father’s heart today, replicating the peace of heaven, by letting Christ transcribe the genetic code of heaven into our hearts!

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:25-26

from Amazing Facts

Image source: By Eukaryote_DNA.svg: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2

 

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Cold Wars, Trade Wars, and the Way of Peace

wars

It seems that the world is teetering on the brink of disaster, and it may be only the beginning.

Cold Wars

I am old enough to remember having Civil Defense drills in our neighborhood so that we’d know what to do if a nuclear war broke out. I still remember doing the drills and hearing the sirens in our community when they went off. Many of us though, “Was this it or was this just a drill?” Even in elementary school I became quite familiar with the underneath portion of my desk. Later, they moved us out to the hallway, I suppose thinking we’d have a better chance for survival. We might not have said it out loud, but many wondered if we’d live into adulthood. The tension was sometimes palpable. You could almost cut it with a knife or even touch it. It was that tangible. We’d seen on TV what the nuclear bombs could do, and we thought, “Would holding your head between your legs and covering your head with your hands really help us survive? Those were dangerous times…and as it turned out, far more dangerous than we actually knew. For example, the Cuban Missile Crisis had us all on our seats for a time. There was every reason to believe we’d be the first ones to blink…but time proved we were wrong, and the crisis passed…but now, is it back? Or, is it more of an economic cold war, and not just with Russia, but with China (and others, like Mexico)? It seems that we’re on another teeter totter, and who knows which way it’s headed?

Peace with God

Isaiah wrote, “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked” (Isaiah 44:22), but this is not just about pointing fingers because the Bible says that none are good, and to make sure there are no exceptions. To make sure of that, Paul says there is “not even one” (Rom 3:12). I can only point a finger at myself because I am also included in the “not even one,” but the difference is, a Christ-follower does not acquire their own righteousness, but the very righteousness of God found in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21). We are not good, but we are made good in God’s sight by Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, but this does not deter from the fact that this is not our Father’s world. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21), and “The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace” (Isaiah 59:8).

Good and Evil

What people used to call good many years ago is now laughed to scorn, and what was once called bad many years ago is now esteemed to be good, and so as it was prophesied that evil would become good, and good would become evil in the eyes of the world. That doesn’t mean good becomes evil or evil becomes good, but things that we used to esteem as good are now looked down upon or even laughed at, however Isaiah pronounces a judgment (“woe”) upon those who call evil good and call good evil. Isaiah wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). Relativism has gripped society and pragmatism rules the world. Now it is, “What works best for the most must be true, even if it hurts the few,” but as we know, what is often popular is not always right, just as what is right is not often popular.

Hitler_man of the year

No Peace

You cannot have the peace of God until you are first at peace with God, and you can only be at peace with God if you make peace with God through Jesus Christ. For anyone who rejects Jesus Christ, there is no peace…at least between you and God, and if there is no peace established between you and God, it is because you have not repented and trusted in Christ. Jesus went back to the Father after His resurrection, but He left the disciples with something that would help them. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27), and when the One Who rebuked the storms tells you, you don’t have to be afraid, you can believe it! The peace of God comes from God and not us, and this peace surpasses all human understanding (Phil 4:7). It’s hard to have peace when there is the threat of another potential cold war, and even worse, a growing threat of a trade war. These things only create more tension and apprehension for us, so it’s hard to have peace when many are walking on thin ice, at least financially. The more cracks you see, the more uncertain it looks, but this is not the view of most Christians. Their trust is in God and not in things. Contentment doesn’t rest on things but on a Person. If circumstances are allowed to regulate our peace, then we’ll never be at peace, and unlike the peace Jesus gives, that peace will not remain.

Conclusion

There is only one solution and it’s not human-centered. It will take a righteous King to rule over the earth before there is justice and equity and mercy. No more will there begging bread in the streets and God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). There will be little problem in having peace if there is no starvation, no sickness, no crying, no pain, no suffering, and no more death. At that time, peace will be like a river that flows out of the New Jerusalem and will sweep over the entire world. The Lord Jesus Christ will have made “all things new” as He promised in His Word (Rev 21:5). Only then will the world know peace and it is only because of the Prince of Peace.

Article by Jack Wellman

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2018/04/04/cold-wars-trade-wars-and-the-way-of-peace/#e2djgZzsd8B8zdF7.99

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Brought to you by a Saved Roman Catholic

No one can speak to the truth of the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church like a Roman Catholic who has seen the truth of God’s Holy scripture.

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Happy Resurrection Sunday – He is Risen!

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

Matthew 28:1-10 “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying,All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them,Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”

Why did an angel roll away the stone?

“The angel came, rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.

But being delivered for our offences, He was raised again for our justification. He died to pay our debt, and rose again to gain our acquittal. The stone of our sins was rolled to the door of the grave of our Lord Jesus (and we find the rolling of a great stone to signify the contracting of guilt – 1 Samuel 14:33), but to demonstrate that divine justice was satisfied, an angel was commissioned to roll back the stone. The angel did not raise Him from the dead, any more than those that took away the stone from Lazarus’s grave raised him, but by this he intimated the consent of Heaven to Christ’s release, and the joy of Heaven in it. The angel’s sitting upon the stone, after he had rolled it away, is very observable and shows a secure triumph over all the obstructions of Christ’s resurrection. There he sat, defying all the powers of hell to roll the stone to the grave again. The angel sat as a guard to the grave, having frightened away the enemies’ guard; he sat, expecting the women, and ready to give them an account of Jesus’s resurrection.”

Adapted from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

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The Crucifixion Psalm

They nailed Him to a Cross

The fulfillment of prophecy in Psalms foretelling the crucifixion of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament, is nothing short of amazing. This Psalm was written 1000 years before the birth of Jesus, and shows how David was indeed a Prophet of God!

Old Testament: Psalm 22:1 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

New Testament: Mark 15:34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

Psalm 22:7-8 “All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’”

Matthew 27:39-43 “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

Psalm 22:16 “For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierce My hands and My feet;”

John 19:17-18 “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

John 19:28 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst.’”

Psalm 22:18 “They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Matthew 27:35 “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots:”

Psalm 22:22 “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”

Hebrews 2:12 “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

Bible_WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED copy

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Secrets of the Sanctuary

Exodus 25:8-9 “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.”

sanctuary.jpg

by Steven Winn, David Boatwright & Doug Batchelor 

Experts have proven that one of the most successful methods of memorization is through picture association. The Lord uses this teaching technique because He knows that humans are extremely visual creatures. This is one of the main reasons Jesus taught with parables. Picture stories help people understand and remember the many abstract principles of salvation by associating them with visual images.

God first illustrated the plan of salvation immediately after Adam and Eve sinned by having them sacrifice a lamb. This process impressed upon the first couple the heinous results of sin and foreshadowed the ultimate death of the “Lamb of God” for their sins.

By the time the children of Israel had spent 400 years in Egypt serving as slaves to a pagan nation, the Lord saw that His people needed a complete re-educating as to the “big picture” of the plan of redemption-including their role and God’s role in cleansing them from their sins and restoring them to His image.

This is why, when the children of Israel finally limped out of Egypt with scars on their backs and visions of the Promised Land dancing in their minds, God didn’t immediately lead them north toward the Promised Land, but south toward Mt. Sinai. He was about to deliver to this infant nation one of the most powerful and enduring object lessons ever recorded. And He would do it almost entirely with symbols.

The Lord told Moses, “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). Keep in mind that this earthly tabernacle was never intended to be an edifice to shelter God from the elements. Jehovah is not a homeless God. When Solomon was building the first temple in Jerusalem, he said: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” (1 Kings 8:27).

This, then, is the key to the puzzle of the sanctuary. The structure and ceremonies were to serve as symbols to illustrate the sequence and process of salvation.

As we consider the sanctuary and its symbols, the best example would be from the first sanctuary – the one that Moses had the people construct in the wilderness. This portable tent was often called the “tabernacle.” Moses did not simply dream up what he thought this structure should look like. In the same way God spelled out the precise dimensions for Noah’s Ark, God gave Moses exact plans for everything in the sanctuary, even to the minutest detail of the accessories.

God’s plan wasn’t arbitrary either. He already had a real dwelling place in heaven where the plan of salvation was first conceived. The earthly sanctuary was to be a miniature model, or shadow, of the heavenly. God told Moses, “According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle [in heaven], and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it” (Exodus 25:9). Unlike any other building ever constructed, the sanctuary would be a three-dimensional, life-sized lesson book. Every component, from the largest curtain to the tiniest piece of furniture, had a symbolic meaning that helped the children of Israel see, experience, and comprehend the plan of salvation and the role of the heavenly sanctuary in a very practical way.

A Journey to God
Let’s begin a brief tour through this unusual structure and learn a few basic lessons before examining the deeper meanings of the sanctuary system.

The sanctuary consisted of three principal areas: the courtyard, the holy place, and the most holy place. These three locations represent the three primary steps in the process of salvation known as justification, sanctification, and glorification, and they correspond with three phases of Christ’s ministry: the substitutionary sacrifice, the priestly mediation, and the final judgment.

The holy of holies, the tabernacle’s most sacred spot, represents the presence of God. The walls around the courtyard and the holy place vividly illustrate man’s separation from God. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). All of the sanctuary services represent a sinner’s journey back to God. In the first three chapters of the Bible, sin enters the world and man is evicted from the garden of Eden. In the last three chapters, sin is eradicated and man is restored to the garden and communion with God.

Please keep in mind as we venture onto this holy ground that we are gathering only a few gems of truth. Volumes could be written on the sanctuary and its symbols without exhausting the subject.

The Door
The first thing we notice as we approach the sanctuary is that there is only one door. Not even a fire exit! Remember Jesus’ words: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).

All that are saved are redeemed by Jesus alone. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The only way to God is through Christ, the only door.

The Courtyard
The entire edifice of the sanctuary was surrounded by a courtyard made of linen curtains set up in a very specific orientation. It was twice as long as it was wide (150 feet long and 75 feet wide), and was to be set up with the one opening facing east. That arrangement ensured that the worshipers and priests who stood at the door had their backs to the rising sun instead of facing it like the pagan sun-worshiping religions of the day. God’s people worship the Creator instead of the creation.

The Altar of Burnt Offering
Immediately upon entering the door of the courtyard sat the brazen altar of burnt offerings. The altar was actually made of acacia wood and overlaid with brass. Some have likened the wood portion to human works and the brass to Christ’s work. Without the brass, the wooden frame would have been consumed by the fire during the burning of the offerings, just as we will be consumed by the lake of fire if we do not believe that Jesus’ grace must eclipse our good works.

The Laver
Between the altar of burnt offerings and the tabernacle itself stood the laver. It was also made of brass and was filled with water for the cleansing of the priests.

The picture of sinners’ justification became clear in the courtyard. Before God gave the Israelites His Law on tables of stone, He saved them from slavery in Egypt by virtue of their faith in the Passover Lamb (symbolized by the altar) and baptized them in the sea (represented by the laver). God takes us just as we are and forgives our sins. When we accept Christ, confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness, our heavenly record of sin is covered by Jesus’ blood.

The Holy Place
The actual tabernacle stood in the west half of the courtyard. It was divided into two compartments or rooms. While the width of the two rooms was the same, the length of the first room, the holy place, was twice as long as that of the most holy place. The walls of the central structure were made of acacia boards overlaid with gold and connected with silver hardware (Exodus 26).

All who entered the holy place to minister saw themselves reflected in the golden walls on every side, reminding them that the eyes of the Lord see all. “And he made a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above that” (Exodus 36:19). The priests could look up and see that they served under a red skin. Likewise, Christians are a nation of priests that serve Jesus under His blood.

The holy place had three articles of furniture. We will review them one by one.

The Golden Lampstand
Just inside the holy place on the left (south) side, stood the golden menorah that had seven candlestick branches (see Exodus 25:31-40). They were not wax candles as we know them, but lamps fueled by pure olive oil. The priests trimmed the wicks daily, and refilled the bowls with oil so that the menorah would constantly be a source of light for the holy place. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

He also said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). The olive oil in the lamps symbolized the Holy Spirit that illuminates the church. The lamp is a symbol of the Word, as well (Psalm 119:105).

The Table of Showbread
Opposite the lamp was the table of showbread on the north side. It was constructed of acacia wood and covered with gold (Exodus 25:23-30). On it were kept 12 loaves of unleavened bread (Leviticus 24:5-9). These loaves were symbolic of Jesus, who is the bread of life (John 6:35). They number 12 signified the 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus who were to feed God’s people with the bread of life-which is also a symbol of the Bible (Matthew 4:4).

The Altar of Incense
The altar of incense was located directly across from the door standing against the ornate veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place. Like several other items in the sanctuary, it was also made of acacia wood and covered with gold (Exodus 30:1-3). It was much smaller than the altar in the courtyard and contained a brass pot that held hot coals from the brazen altar of burnt offerings. It was here that the priest burned a very special blend of incense which filled the sanctuary with a sweet-smelling cloud, representing the prayers of intercession and confession of the believers sweetened by the Holy Spirit (Exodus 30:8).

The Holy Place represents the process of sanctification. This corresponds to the wilderness wanderings of Israel. The pillar of fire was their menorah, and the manna was their showbread. The pillar of cloud was their cloud of incense.

Sanctification is the process in the Christian’s life of learning to obey. It is made up of a series of justifications. Each time we sin we ask for forgiveness, and we are justified again. However, God offers more than forgiveness when we confess. In 1 John 1:9, He promises us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is that “cleansing from unrighteousness” that constitutes sanctification. The key ingredients in our sanctification are a devotional life in the Word, prayer, and witnessing. The sanctuary’s bread, incense, and lamp represent these elements.

The Most Holy Place
The length of the most holy place equaled its width so that it formed a square. It was also as high as it was wide and long, making it a perfect cube-just like the New Jerusalem will be (see Revelation 21:16). The apartment contained only one piece of furniture.

The Veil 
This veil, or curtain, separating the holy and the most holy places of the sanctuary has great significance, because it was this veil that tore at the very moment Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:51Mark 15:38Luke 23:45). His death symbolized the end of the need for the exclusive Levitical priesthood to mediate between man and God.

The veil represents the body of Jesus (Hebrews 10:1920). It was only by passing through this veil that access was possible to the most holy place (Hebrews 4:16). The tearing of the veil symbolized the death of the Lamb of God, which now permits the believer in His atonement immediate access to the most holy place through the new High Priest-Jesus Christ-the one and only Mediator between man and God.

The Ark of the Covenant
Inside the most holy place, or “holy of holies,” was one piece of furniture-the ark of the covenant. This sacred box, also constructed of acacia wood and covered with gold, contained the tables of stone upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. Later it also contained Aaron’s rod that had budded and a small pot of manna.

The lid of the ark was called the “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17), and above it was the shining glory of the Lord, or Shekinah (which literally means “the dwelling”), radiating between two covering cherubs, or angels, on either end of the ark. This was a symbol of the throne of God and the presence of the Almighty in heaven. The walls of the most holy place were engraved with many angels, representing the clouds of living angels that surround the person of God in heaven (1 Kings 6:29).

How It All Works
The sanctuary shows how God deals with sin. Sin cannot be ignored. Its wages are death (Romans 6:23). The law can’t be changed to make sinners not guilty. Sin’s wages must be paid, either by the sinner in receiving eternal death, or by Christ on the cross. Let’s follow a sin as it is confessed, and then processed through the sanctuary.

The Courtyard Ministry
When a sinner became convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit and wanted to confess it, he came to the door of the courtyard with a spotless animal (usually a lamb) to sacrifice. He laid his hands on the head of the innocent victim and confessed his sin. This symbolically transferred his sin and its penalty to the lamb. Then with his own hand he had to slay the animal and shed its blood. This was to impress upon the repentant sinner that his sins would ultimately require the death of the spotless Lamb of God.

This was the part of the sinner in the sanctuary service. The priests, who represented the mediation of Christ between the guilty sinner and his God, did the rest.

After confessing his sin and slaying the lamb, the sinner went away forgiven, his sin covered by the shed blood of the victim. Of course the lamb’s blood didn’t cover the sin, but it represented the blood of Christ, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

After some of the blood was caught by the priest, the rest was poured out on the ground at the base of the altar and the animal was burnt on the altar. The altar symbolizes the cross where Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world. His blood was spilt on the ground at the foot of the cross when the centurion pierced His side (John 19:34).

The blood of the lamb, symbolically bearing the guilt of the sinner, was then taken by the priest and transferred to the holy place of the sanctuary. However, the priest never went into the sanctuary without first cleansing himself at the laver. This washing is symbolic of baptism and is listed as one of the symbols for salvation. (Acts 2:38) The Israelites had to cross the Red Sea before they were free from the bondage of Egypt. “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2).

So in the courtyard we pass through the fire and water. Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

In the holy place the smoke of the incense rising from the altar represented the intersession of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name, making our prayers of confession acceptable to the Father (Romans 8:2627). Each day the blood, bearing the guilt, was sprinkled before the veil, thus transferring the guilt from the sinner to the tabernacle. There the guilt of the repentant sinners accumulated throughout the year until the Day of Atonement.

The Most Holy Place Ministry
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest took two perfect kid goats, and lots were cast over them to determine which one would be the Lord’s goat and which would be the scapegoat (called Azazel in Hebrew). After confessing his own sins and those of his family, the high priest placed his hands on the Lord’s goat and confessed the sins of the entire congregation which had accumulated in the holy place during the year. Then the Lord’s goat was slain, and the blood was taken by the high priest into the most holy place and offered before the mercy seat of the ark where the presence of God dwelt.

The ark of the covenant contains some of the most beautiful and significant symbolism of God’s entire plan of salvation. Inside the ark, between the golden bowl of manna, symbolizing God’s providence, and Aaron’s rod that budded, symbolizing God’s authority and discipline, were the two tables of stone on which God’s finger inscribed the law that has been violated by all men (Romans 3:23). The breaking of that law is sin (1John 3:4) and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Between the law which condemns us to death and the all-consuming presence of God is the mercy seat, or the lid of the ark. This arrangement illustrates that only Jesus’ mercy saves us from being consumed by the fiery presence and justice of God. But Jesus’ mercy isn’t cheap. He bought it with His own blood. He paid the wages of sin so He could offer mercy to all who will accept it.

Next, representing Christ as Mediator, the high priest transferred the sins that had polluted the sanctuary to the live goat, Azazel, which was then led away from the camp of Israelites. This symbolically removed the sins of the people and readied the sanctuary for another year of ministry. Thus, all things were right between God and His people once again.

A Broad View of Salvation
The plan of salvation is the theme of the entire Bible. The salvation of the children of Israel from Egypt follows this plan exactly. Egypt corresponded to the courtyard where justification transpired. God sacrificed all the firstborn of Egypt, representing those who will pay for their own sins. But the Israelites were allowed to substitute the blood of the Passover Lamb for their firstborn child, representing those who accept Jesus’ payment. After the sacrifice came the cleansing. All of the children of Israel were “baptized” in the Red Sea (1 Corinthians 10:12) symbolized by the laver.

This daily progress in character building is the process of sanctification. But what is the end result of sanctification? Eventually we come to the place where we would rather die than dishonor our Saviour by sinning. That is when the new covenant is fulfilled in us. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, 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” (Jeremiah 31:33). When God’s law is our delight and pleasure and sin has no more power over us, then the process of sanctification is complete.

Atonement
For ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement, the children of Israel were to clean their camp, houses, bodies, and guilt by confessing every known fault. After the high priest went through the ritual of cleansing the sanctuary, God had a clean sanctuary and a clean people.

Now, as the real atonement is taking place in heaven, God’s people must be purified again. In order to finish the cleansing of the sanctuary and bring His people to heaven, Christ cannot have any more sins confessed. The wicked will go on sinning, but they will bear their own sins and pay sin’s wages in the judgment.

The righteous, on the other hand, will have gained the victory over sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. This takes place when they all have the new covenant experience, which takes the law from the stone tables and makes it an integral part of their hearts. At that time, Christ can finish cleansing His heavenly sanctuary and come for His bride because His earthly sanctuary-his people-have also been cleansed. He will have a clean sanctuary in heaven and a clean sanctuary on earth. Doesn’t Jesus say that we are His temple (Ephesians 2:19-211 Corinthians 3:16)?

Jesus Is the Sanctuary
This study could go on for hundreds of pages, but ultimately the central theme of the whole sanctuary system is Jesus. Jesus is the door, the spotless lamb, and our high priest. He is the light of the world and the bread of life. He is the living water in the laver and the rock upon which is written the law of God in the ark. His love is the gold shimmering throughout the holy place. It is His blood that makes it possible for us to approach the Father. Indeed, Jesus is the essence of the temple, for He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. … But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:1921).

Have you made Christ your sanctuary? The Scriptures promise: “Behold, A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:12).

“We might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Hebrews 6:1819).

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/inside-report/magazine/id/10734/t/secrets-of-the-sanctuarySecrets of the Sanctuary

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People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

backshore sunrise in fog awesome

(J.C. Ryle, Thoughts For Young Men)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed!” John 3:19-20

Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it.

They understand it only too well! They understand that it condemns their own behavior. They understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment! They try to believe it is false and useless–because they don’t like to believe it is true.

An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this holy book.

Men question the truth of Christianity–because they hate the practice of it!

“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

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Why Sunday?

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Many Catholics, Protestants and professed Christians of other denominations and non-denominations, at least in some minimal way, keep Sunday, the first day of the week, as their day of rest and/or worship. The Fourth Commandment, however, clearly instructs us to keep the seventh day as our day of rest – the day specifically created as the day of rest at the end of creation week – the day which God blessed and hallowed. Since the Bible clearly tells us that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (the day we call Saturday), why do so many choose to ignore God’s commandment, and keep Sunday or some other day of the week of their choosing? Some say they keep every day of the week as the Sabbath, but of course that is not obedient, holy or righteous, it is lazy, and not at all what God commanded – He told us to work six days and rest on the Sabbath.

There are many Christians who try to argue that Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday, or directed the Apostles to do so after He ascended. Of course, there is no evidence of this anywhere in the Bible, which the ones who did change it (or attempted to change it, since no one but God could actually change His law) pompously boast, as you will see below.

In the New Testament, the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath; it is mentioned 58 times. The first day of the week is mentioned eight times. It is simply called the first day of the week, and it is always differentiated from the Sabbath. This in itself is evidence for the continued validity of the seventh-day Sabbath.

The gospel writers record Jesus and the apostles going to the synagogue on Sabbath as their “custom” (Luke 4:16 ). Jesus said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). The women who went to anoint His body after his death “rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56). Nearly all of the incidents reported of the apostles’ preaching occurred on the seventh-day Sabbath. Of all the accusations the Jews made against the apostles, never once did they accuse the apostles of breaking the Sabbath.

Some teach that after Christ’s death and resurrection, the Old Testament law was done away with and a new covenant took its place. But Jesus Himself said, “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” (Matthew 5:1718). The law of Moses, which foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice, was indeed made irrelevant, but Paul maintains that the Law of God is to be kept, though we now be under grace. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31).

“The Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). Here Jesus staked His claim and forbade anyone to meddle with the Sabbath. Yet He knew there would be those who would claim the power to change God’s Law. Through Daniel he warned of just such a man. Describing a “little horn power” (Daniel 7:8), Daniel says, “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws” (Daniel 7:25). Paul made a similar prediction: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God, or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:347).

Paul warned that this blasphemy was already at work, and that it would come not from an outside influence, but from within the church (2 Thessalonians 2:7Acts 20:28-30). Sure enough, not long after Paul’s day, apostasy appeared in the church.

How It Happened…

About 100 years before Christianity, Egyptian Mithraists introduced the festival of Sunday, dedicated to worshiping the sun, into the Roman Empire. Later, as Christianity grew, church leaders wished to increase the numbers of the church. In order to make the gospel more attractive to non-Christians, pagan customs were incorporated into the church’s ceremonies. The custom of Sunday worship was welcomed by Christians who  desired to differentiate themselves from the Jews, whom they hated because of the Jews’ rejection of the Savior. The first day of the week began to be recognized as both a religious and civil holiday. By the end of the second century, Christians considered it sinful to work on Sunday.

The Roman emperor Constantine, a former sun-worshiper, professed conversion to Christianity, though his subsequent actions suggest the “conversion” was more of a political move than a genuine heart change. Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.

“On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrate and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however, persons engaged in agricultural work may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain growing or for vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.” —Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, vol. III, chap. 75.

Note that Constantine’s law did not even mention Sabbath but referred to the mandated rest day as a “the venerable day of the sun.” And how kind he was to allow people to observe it as it was convenient. Contrast this with God’s command to observe the Sabbath “even during the plowing season and harvest” (Exodus 34:21)! Perhaps the church leaders noticed this laxity as well, for just four years later, in A.D. 325, Pope Sylvester officially named Sunday “the Lord’s Day,” and in A.D. 338, Eusebius, the court bishop of Constantine, wrote, “All things whatsoever that it was the duty to do on the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) we (Constantine, Eusebius, and other bishops) have transferred to the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week) as more appropriately belonging to it.”

Instead of the humble lives of persecution and self-sacrifice led by the apostles, church leaders now exalted themselves to the place of God. “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world” (1 John 4:3).

Statements on the Sabbath by the Roman Catholic Church, who credits herself with the change

“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ ‘News’ on March 18, 1903.

“Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the Pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950.

“Of course these two old quotations are exactly correct. The Catholic Church designated Sunday as the day for corporate worship and gets full credit – or blame – for the change.” This Rock, The Magazine of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization, p.8, June 1997

Q. Have you any other proofs that they (Protestants) are not guided by the Scripture?

A. Yes; so many, that we cannot admit more than a mere specimen into this small work. They reject much that is clearly contained in Scripture, and profess more that is nowhere discoverable in that Divine Book.

Q. Give some examples of both?

A. They should, if the Scripture were their only rule, wash the feet of one another, according to the command of Christ, in the 13th chap. of St. John; —they should keep, not the Sunday, but the Saturday, according to the commandment, “Remember thou keep holy the SABBATH-day;” for this commandment has not, in Scripture, been changed or abrogated;…

Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 101 Imprimatuer

Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; —she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 174

Q. In what manner can we show a Protestant, that he speaks unreasonably against fasts and abstinences?

A. Ask him why he keeps Sunday, and not Saturday, as his day of rest, since he is unwilling either to fast or to abstain. If he reply, that the Scripture orders him to keep the Sunday, but says nothing as to fasting and abstinence, tell him the Scripture speaks of Saturday or the Sabbath, but gives no command anywhere regarding Sunday or the first day of the week. If, then he neglects Saturday as a day of rest and holiness, and substitutes Sunday in its place, and this merely because such was the usage of the ancient Church, should he not, if he wishes to act consistently, observe fasting and abstinence, because the ancient Church so ordained?

Rev. Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism; New York in 1857, page 181

Question: Which is the Sabbath day?

Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

Rev. Peter Geiermann C.SS.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50

Q. Must not a sensible Protestant doubt seriously, when he finds that even the Bible is not followed as a rule by his co-religionists?

A. Surely, when he sees them baptize infants, abrogate the Jewish Sabbath, and observe Sunday for which [pg. 7] there is no Scriptural authority; when he finds them neglect to wash one another’s feet, which is expressly commanded, and eat blood and things strangled, which are expressly prohibited in Scripture. He must doubt, if he think at all. …

Q. Should not the Protestant doubt when he finds that he himself holds tradition as a guide?

A. Yes, if he would but reflect that he has nothing but Catholic Tradition for keeping the Sunday holy; …

Controversial Catechism by Stephen Keenan, New Edition, revised by Rev. George Cormack, published in London by Burns & Oates, Limited – New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benzinger Brothers, 1896, pages 6, 7.

“The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day. The Council of Trent (Sess. VI, can. xix) condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Commandments of God, Volume IV, © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Online Edition © 1999 by Kevin Knight, Nihil Obstat – Remy Lafort, Censor Imprimatur – +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 153.

”The [Roman Catholic] Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4.

“All of us believe many things in regard to religion that we do not find in the Bible. For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible.” The Catholic Virginian, “To Tell You The Truth,” Vol. 22, No. 49 (Oct. 3, 1947).

“… you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 88th edition, page 89. Originally published in 1876, republished and Copyright 1980 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., pages 72-73.

“Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of God… The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record, September 1, 1923. The Faith of Millions

“But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away – like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”

“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. “The Day of the Lord” (dies Dominica) was chosen, not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power. The day of resurrection, the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, came on the first day of the week. So this would be the new Sabbath. People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” Sentinel, Pastor’s page, Saint Catherine Catholic Church, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995

“If Protestants would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter dated February 10, 1920.

“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, ‘Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today’, p. 213.

“What Important Question Does the Papacy Ask Protestants? Protestants have repeatedly asked the papacy, “How could you dare to change God’s law?” But the question posed to Protestants by the Catholic church is even more penetrating. Here it is officially: “You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! but by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the ten commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.”

*Library of Christian Doctrine: Why Don’t You Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day? (London: Burns and Oates, Ltd.), pp. 3, 4.

“There is but one church on the face of the earth which has the power, or claims power, to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before God, binding under penalty of hell-fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday. What right has any other church to keep this day? You answer by virtue of the third commandment (the papacy did away with the 2nd regarding the worship of graven images, and called the 4th the 3rd), which says ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any schoolboy knows that Sunday is the first day of the week. I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week.” – T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture delivered in 1893.

”Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” C. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath, November 11, 1895.

“Tradition, not Scripture, is the rock on which the church of Jesus Christ is built.” Adrien Nampon, Catholic Doctrine as Defined by the Council of Trent, p. 157

“The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine law”. The pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts a vicegerent of God upon earth” Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. Papa, II, Vol. VI, p. 29.

“The leader of the Catholic church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who ‘takes the place’ of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3, 1994.

The Augsburg Confession: “They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord’s day, contrary to the decalogue, as it appears; neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, they say, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the ten commandments.”

God warned that a blasphemous power would “seek to change times and laws,” and the Catholic Church openly admits doing it, even boasts about it. In a sermon at the Council of Trent in 1562, the Archbishop of Reggia, Caspar del Fossa, claimed that the Catholic Church’s whole authority is based upon the fact that they changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Does this not fulfill the prophecies of Daniel and Paul?

Let us ask the question again: Was the Sabbath changed from the seventh day of the week to the first? The Bible is clear: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy” (Genesis 2:3).  “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). If God intended for another day to become the Sabbath, He must have removed the blessing from the seventh day and placed it on the day which was to replace it. But when God bestows a blessing, it is forever. “…You, O Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever” (1 Chronicles 17:27). “I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it” (Numbers 23:20). Your birthday, a memorial of your birth, can’t be changed, though you may celebrate it on a different day. Neither can the Sabbath, a memorial of creation (Exodus 20:11), be changed, though some may celebrate it on a different day.

God instructed Moses to construct the earthly sanctuary, all its furniture, and the ark according to “the pattern” he was shown. (Exodus 25:940) The ark was called the “ark of the covenant” (Numbers 10:33Deuteronomy 10:8Hebrews 9:4), and the “ark of the testimony” (Exodus 25:22), because in it Moses placed the tablets of stone on which God wrote His Law. (Exodus 25:1631:18). John, in Revelation 11:19, describes the scene before him when “the temple of God was opened in Heaven.” John saw the ark of the covenant in the heavenly sanctuary. David wrote, “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). It is safe to assume that God’s Law remains, contained within the ark of the covenant in the heavenly sanctuary.

When God says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:10), that ends all controversy. We cannot change God’s Word for our own convenience. “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

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