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Friday, 19 September 2014

 Teaching Your Daughter Modesty

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:9-10





God gives us clear instructions for the biblical standard of dress. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."
In modern language, this verse could also read, "I want women to dress in an orderly, well-arranged, decent manner that expresses the self-controlled inner character within her which is lived out in her outward appearance."

What Does God Say?

Write out 1 Timothy 2:9-10 in your own words.
The manner of dress is an indication of what is in the heart. The Bible shows that the inner character of a woman is seen in the way she dresses. "Propriety" is modesty that shows a woman has self-control in reining in her passions and desires.
The Bible tells us that a woman is not to be merely dressed with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, for this is just the outward appearance. The heart of modesty is to be complemented by the good deeds that a woman of God performs. Her work is evidence of a godly spirit.

My Thoughts

Which of the following do you think are types of clothes that a modest woman would choose?
  • clothing that reflects an inner beauty
  • clothing that draws attention to private parts of the body
  • clothing that distracts from a woman's testimony
  • clothing that reveals the passions of a woman's heart
  • clothing that she would wear if Jesus were coming to visit
What should a parent do to help their teenage daughters follow biblical standards for a Christian? (See 1 Samuel 26:23Jeremiah 32:19.)
Spend time with your daughter, helping her to evaluate each piece of her clothing by God's standards; teach her to have a heart of submission to the ways of God; help her see the value of living a counter-cultural life that is pleasing to Christ; and lastly, teach her the reward of dressing modestly.

My Part

Are you tempted to give in and keep peace instead of setting the standard? Don't waver because of the culture and the pressure to conform. Keep a firm commitment to follow God's Word and His leading. Be a good example before your daughter.
Which of the following characteristics do you think indicate an immodest heart?
  • ignorance of God's Word
  • indifference to biblical standards
  • desire to draw attention to one's self
  • rebellion to authority
  • resistance to guidance for proper dressing
  • unconcerned about the effect on Christian guys
  • rationalizing that style is more important than character
Ask God today to give you a heart for walking in obedience with all your heart in every aspect of your life. Remember Proverbs 31:30: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

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Saturday, 13 September 2014

By loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days,............ Deuteronomy 30:20


Title: A Covenant With Your Eyes
Topic(s): Sex/Sexuality

Scripture: Matthew 5:28, Job 31:1, Proverbs 23:7


A few years ago a soft drink commercial showed a group of young ladies crowded around an upper window in an office building watching a handsome, shirtless construction worker take a break and enjoy a cool drink. Maybe you have felt eyes staring as you strolled down the street or made your way to a table in a restaurant. And, let's be honest, maybe you've done your share of staring too.

The common term for this is "ogling." The younger generation calls it "scoping out." But what does the Bible call it?

What Does God Say?

Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (NKJV).

What does Jesus call "ogling"?
Why do you think Jesus seems to take such an extreme stand? List at least two reasons.
In your opinion, is this primarily a "male-gender" sin? Why or why not?
The Old Testament character Job knew the danger of ogling. In Job 31:1, he declares, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?" (NKJV).

What does the word "covenant" mean? (If you're not sure, look it up in a dictionary.)
What age group would you guess Job might be a part of?
Is age a factor in this sin?

My Thoughts

If you're a female, share how ogling makes you feel. If you're a male, indicate how you think this makes a woman feel and then ask your wife or, if you're not married, another woman how accurately your thoughts reflect their feelings.

My Part

The eyes are an important key to a pure heart. What comes in through the eyes typically is lodged in our minds and becomes a part of our thought life. The writer of Proverbs says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV). Write a covenant that will guide you in the way that you look at someone of the opposite sex. List at least two specific steps that will keep you from the sin of ogling. Set a date to implement the covenant you created.


Additional Scripture to read: 1 John 2:16, James 1:14-15, Proverbs 4:25

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fear Without Fear





You've probably seen guys and girls in T-shirts displaying the motto that screams, "NO FEAR!"
Well, that might be a cool attitude to show off if you are a football player or a member of the wrestling team, but it's a dangerous mindset to depend on when it comes to dealing with God. In fact, the Bible tells us, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7, ESV).
What does it mean to "fear" the Lord? Let's see what the Bible has to say about it.

What Does God Say?

The Old Testament prophet Samuel told the people of Israel, "Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you" (1 Samuel 12:24, ESV). Later, King Solomon said, "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death" (Proverbs 14:27, ESV).
If you are rejecting God or His Word, the fear of the Lord may involve a haunting dread of death, judgment for your sins and eternal punishment to follow. It is the fear of meeting a holy God after an ungodly lifetime. It is the fear that comes from what Proverbs 14:27 calls the "snares of death."
But if you have trusted Christ as your Savior, then the fear of the Lord means reverence for God and a healthy respect for His awesome Person. It's fear relieved by God's love for you and by your confident response of love for Him.
Take a careful look at what Moses told the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 10:12-1420-21:"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it....You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen" (ESV).
Do you see the requirements God gave to Israel--fear God, walk with Him, love Him, serve Him, obey Him, hold fast to Him? His requirements for Christians today are no different. You aren't bound by the Laws of Israel, but by the law of love--and 1 John 4:18 tells you, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (ESV).

My Thoughts

God promises great blessings and benefits when you fear Him. Here are a few verses that you may look up, then jot down the benefits you discover in the verses.
What benefits of fearing God that you saw in the above verses are most encouraging to you?

My Part

Think about the awesomeness of God. Do you see areas of your life where you should show more reverence and respect for Him? Consider what things you would like to change so that your life better reflects your love and fear of God (for example, your talk at school or in the workplace or your thought life).
If your fear of the Lord is a dread of seeing Him face-to-face someday, you can turn to Christ for forgiveness of your sins, accept His offer of the free gift of salvation and experience His perfect love, the love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
  
Please send your comments to info@masihivandana.org

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Highest Occupation

 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe

Read Psalm 100:1-5

The next time you sing the doxology in a worship service, remember that you are singing Scripture, a version of Psalm 100. This psalm is a digest of instructions on how to worship the Lord.

Who should worship the Lord? "Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!" (v. 1). God wants the whole world to worship and give thanks to Him. Why are we to go into all the world and preach the Gospel? So that all the world will one day be able to make a joyful shout to the Lord.

How should we worship the Lord? First, by serving. "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing" (v. 2). We are to serve the Lord with gladness because there's joy in our hearts and because the joy of the Lord gives strength.

Second, we worship Him by singing. "Come before His presence with singing." I fear that too often in our services, singing becomes routine. We hold the hymnal and sing the songs that we know so well, but our minds and hearts are a million miles away. Think about and rejoice in the words you sing.

We also worship the Lord by submitting to Him. "Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (v. 3). Submit to Him. Follow Him. Obey Him.

Finally, we worship the Lord by sacrificing. "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise" (v. 4). You don't need to sacrifice animals on an altar, but you can give your time, money and skills.

Why should we worship the Lord? "For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations" (v. 5).

* * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** 
The highest occupation of the Christian life is worshiping the Lord. 

Never allow your worship to become routine or artificial.

 Worship Him with a joyful and thankful heart by serving, singing, submitting and sacrificing.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Million Dollar Q   Movies--Right or Wrong?

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:5-9, Philippians 1:9-10, Philippians 4:8



Going to the movies can be a lot of fun but it's also a minefield, littered with "stuff" we're not sure we want our kids taking in. God also wants us to be wise with our time, our money and what we put into our minds. So, it makes sense to check reviews, pay attention to what others say and set your own family guidelines for what you will and will not see. Helping your children understand why you set standards is key; you're responsible before God for teaching them and helping them grow to maturity.

What Does God Say?

Read Deuteronomy 6:5-9. List the times and places we are to instruct our children.
One goal in teaching is to help them develop discernment. Philippians 1:9-10 says, "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what it excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ."

God provides a good filter in Philippians 4:8 for what we take in to our hearts and minds, no matter how old we are or the entertainment we prefer: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

My Thoughts

What are some areas where your children need to learn discernment?
List the definitions of "true," "honorable," "just," "pure," "lovely," "commendable," "excellent" and "worthy of praise." Then draw up a chart with those definitions and have your children help you evaluate a video or film accordingly.

My Part

Consider these ideas to help you and your kids become discerning. However, it will take some of your time too. You might even have to sit through their movie. Remember, this can also apply to television, DVDs, music, books, magazines, etc.

Ask your children questions about what they saw. What did they like? What didn't they like? Why or why not? What did it say about good and evil, about God? What did it say about how we treat people or ourselves, about success or failure, about violence, sexuality, etc.?
Discuss it. Don't turn it into an argument, but talk about these issues. This allows you and your kids to sort through the messages and views in a film.


Look into God's Word. Always take your children back to what God says about these things.
If God was on the earth will HE see sit with you and see Movie. Did God save us to see Movie ? Will God be happy to see us there during HIS second coming comes to take us.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

 The Christ in Christian


Scripture: John 14:1-14

There's a phrase that gets used during the Christmas season, "Keep the 'Christ' in Christmas." It's a call to remember what the season is all about--the birth of Christ, our Savior.

Here's another phrase that's just as important: "Keep the 'Christ' in Christian."

Receive

On the final night before His Crucifixion, Jesus shared with His disciples many things. Among them is this memorable verse: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.'

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father'" (John 14:6-9, ESV).

Jesus is essential for our salvation. Who He is and what He has done for us provide the pathway to a relationship with God. He is the reason we are called Christians--followers of Christ.

There are people today who say, like Philip, "Show us God, and that's enough." But if we don't appreciate Jesus' person, and we don't appreciate Jesus' words and we don't appreciate the works of God done through Jesus, we can say we're Christians, but are we?

Let's keep the Christ in Christian. Let's not be content with having obtained salvation; let's live like Jesus lived. Let's take that message of love and forgiveness to a world that needs to hear it. And let's model those principles in our own lives. Let's be "Christ"ians.

Reflect

Read John 1:1-14 and think about the following questions:

1. How might Jesus respond to someone who says he can know God apart from Christ?

2. How has Jesus promised to help those who follow His example?

3. How do you keep the "Christ" in Christian? How do you take the message of love and forgiveness to those around you?

Respond

What does it mean to you to be a Christian? Is it just another label or does it define your life? Spend some time today and write out a "mission statement." What do you want your life to be about as a Christian? What are your goals as a Christian? Keep your statement in your Bible or somewhere you'll see it often.


Monday, 4 August 2014

    WATCH THIS VIDEO



  A PERSON FROM INDIA WALKED AS GOD WANTED HIM TO WALK.

 LIVED A TOTAL SURRENDER OF HIS LIFE FOR THE SAKE OF MOST HIGH.

SHALL WE TRY TO  LIVE ATLEAST REST OF OUR LIFE AS PER THE PLAN OF GOD OR STILL FOOL OURSELVES BY OUR OWN THOUGHTS AND PLANS.

WE ARE IN END TIMES;  A WAKE UP CALL OF EVERYONE.

WE ARE BUSY IN WHAT?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWKewbUauy4

    &

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUlAdE0cFKA
In-Law Problems

                     Scripture: 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:14-15, Ephesians 4:2-3


It's a tough situation when your "in-laws" become "out-laws"--but it happens. In all probability your in-laws mean well, but it can still be irritating. How can you deal with this type of situation and not alienate your in-laws, or worse yet, your spouse? The Bible has the answer.

What Does God Say?

"Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity" (1 Timothy 5:1-2, ESV).

How are you to treat older men?
Which of the following would best reflect this type of attitude?
By word or action, indicate he should mind his own business.
Avoid any contact with this person.
Express appreciation for his concern and assure him you will consider his advice.
Become angry and refuse to talk.
How are you to treat older women?
How would you want your mother to be treated by someone else?

My Thoughts

Think back to an encounter you've had with your in-laws. Write out a response below that would be consistent with the instructions you find in 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

My Part

Always remember that your in-laws are not your enemies. Ask God to give you a true love for your spouse's parents and remove any bitterness that you might have toward them. If you have offended them in word or action, seek their forgiveness.


Additional Scripture to read: Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:14-15, Ephesians 4:2-3

Friday, 25 July 2014


     A Covenant With Your Eyes

                                          Scripture: Matthew 5:28, Job 31:1, Proverbs 23:7


A few years ago a soft drink commercial showed a group of young ladies crowded around an upper window in an office building watching a handsome, shirtless construction worker take a break and enjoy a cool drink. Maybe you have felt eyes staring as you strolled down the street or made your way to a table in a restaurant. And, let's be honest, maybe you've done your share of staring too.

The common term for this is "ogling." The younger generation calls it "scoping out." But what does the Bible call it?

What Does God Say?

Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (NKJV).

What does Jesus call "ogling"?
Why do you think Jesus seems to take such an extreme stand? List at least two reasons.
In your opinion, is this primarily a "male-gender" sin? Why or why not?
The Old Testament character Job knew the danger of ogling. In Job 31:1, he declares, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?" (NKJV).

What does the word "covenant" mean? (If you're not sure, look it up in a dictionary.)
What age group would you guess Job might be a part of?
Is age a factor in this sin?

My Thoughts

If you're a female, share how ogling makes you feel. If you're a male, indicate how you think this makes a woman feel and then ask your wife or, if you're not married, another woman how accurately your thoughts reflect their feelings.

My Part

The eyes are an important key to a pure heart. What comes in through the eyes typically is lodged in our minds and becomes a part of our thought life. The writer of Proverbs says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV). Write a covenant that will guide you in the way that you look at someone of the opposite sex. List at least two specific steps that will keep you from the sin of ogling. Set a date to implement the covenant you created.

Additional Scripture to read: 1 John 2:16, James 1:14-15, Proverbs 4:25


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

                                     A True Story

            Flying Scot Refuses To Run On Sunday

Most of us only think about Eric Liddell as ‘the man who wouldn’t run on Sunday’, about whom about the Oscar winning movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ was made. He was known as the ‘Flying Scotsman’

and was the first of his country to win Gold during the 1924 Paris Olympics. Committed Christian Eric Liddell refused to race on Sunday and was forced to withdraw from the 100 metres, his best event. Instead, Liddell raced in the 400 metres and little was expected of him. As Liddell went to the starting blocks for the race, an American slipped a piece of paper in his hand with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30, "Those who honour me I will honour." Liddell ran with that piece of paper in his hand and not only won the race but broke the existing world record with a time of 47.6 seconds.

Liddell achieved a greater prize than Olympic Gold later on in his life. After the Olympics, Liddell returned to China to work as a missionary. His family, originally from Scotland, worked in China during the time of the Boxer Rebellion. Liddell worked as a teacher at a school for Chinese boys at which he taught chemistry and organized sports. He married in 1934 and in 1936 China prepared for war as Communist and Nationalist tensions increased. Liddell was asked by the London Missionary Society to give up his work in Tientsin, and work as a village evangelist in Siao Chang. This was a dangerous area. Liddell could not take his wife and two daughters with him and he was forced to leave them behind when he went to work there. He was able to visit on occasion, but it was a long journey. Visits were not frequent.

EVANGELIST

The villages Liddell worked in suffered many hardships as a result of the warring between Communists and Nationalists. On one day, the Communists would pillage and destroy a village and then leave. Later, on another day, the Nationalists would come and do the same thing. His job in the area was evangelism and to encourage the Christians already there. The work was dangerous. Travelling in the countryside with Communist and Nationalist forces equally hostile to missionary work put Liddell in harm’s way on a regular basis.

The Japanese invaded China and in 1940 Liddell told his wife to take their children to Canada where she could live with her parents. He stayed behind in Tientsin to continue his work. Liddell was sent by the Japanese to an Internment Camp where 1800 other internees were confined. He was not dissuaded by his circumstances. He worked tirelessly in the camp, doing just about anything that needed to be done, whether it was bible study, teaching children who were trying to keep up their studies, or organizing sports. In a prisoner exchange bargain, his freedom was arranged by Winston Churchill, but he gave it up and let a pregnant woman leave instead.

I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE


In 1944, Liddell was not well. The doctors did not have the resources to diagnose the real nature of the problem. On February 21, 1945, he began coughing uncontrollably, and as friends came to his aid, he lay back and uttered the words “It is surrender”. An autopsy later revealed that Liddell had a large tumour on the left side of his brain. He died never having seen his third child, Maureen Liddell. This man was truly committed to the cause of Christ. He had the opportunity to leave China but he chose to stay.He poured his life into the work of reaching the lost in China. He worked for a prize far greater than gold, even Olympic gold.

what is your decision this sunday? where you will want to go? what is important in your life?

                 Masihi Vandana (BackToTheBible)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Unchanging Flesh Nature 
By Theodore Epp

2 Samuel 11:6-15

David's scheme was to bring Uriah home on a military furlough, hoping that he would be considered the father of Bathsheba's child. Uriah was much more righteous than David in this. He would not permit himself to relax until the war was over.

David then resorted to extreme measures. To the sin of adultery he added the sin of murder. He wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. It contained instructions that Uriah must meet death in battle.

Uriah--honest, upright and fully dedicated to his nation and to his king--was given a letter with his own death warrant in it to be handed to Joab, the leader of Israel's army.

If David could not cover up his sin by his plots, then he would seal Uriah's lips so that he could not accuse David of being the father of Bathsheba's child.

Some of us think that when a person such as David falls into such terrible sin, the reason must be that he was not a true believer. We must never forget that the evil nature inherited from Adam, or the flesh, in the believer is no different than in the unbeliever.

Until we see this, we will never understand the sovereign grace of God and God's sovereignty in the methods He uses in our lives.


"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9).

Monday, 21 July 2014

When All Seems Lost
                                               by Dr. Warren Wiersbe
Read Psalm 79:1-13

There are days when we look around and it seems as though the Enemy has won. That's the way Asaph felt when he wrote Psalm 79.
He looked around and saw defilement. "Oh God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps" (v. 1). Asaph refers to the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem. We, too, can look around today and see defilement in people's minds and hearts.
Then Asaph saw death. "The dead bodies of Your servants they have given as food for the birds of the heavens.... Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem" (vv. 2,3). Our world is basically a cemetery. The wages of sin is death. We see it wherever we look.
Asaph also saw derision. "We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those who are around us" (v. 4). People today don't magnify the Lord; they laugh at Him. They laugh at the Church, at God's people. We are a derided people because so often it looks as though we are losing and they have won the battle.
Finally, Asaph saw the enemy devouring. "For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place" (v. 7). Yes, the devouring, de
stroying hand of Satan was at work. But Asaph says, "Help us, O God of our salvation." Why? "For the glory of Your name; and deliver us" (v. 9). How? "And provide atonement for our sins, for Your name's sake!" Asaph isn't concerned so much about his own comfort as he is about God's glory. So he prays, "Help us."
God helps by purging us from our sins. In addition, verses 11 and 12 tell us that He will come and save us. How wonderful that day will be when Jesus Christ comes to deliver us! Meanwhile, in the world we see defilement, death, derision, destruction and devouring. Now is the time to cry and say, "O God, for the glory of Your name, help us do Your will."

Satan is at work in the world, but one day God will be glorified, and He will deliver His people from this world. God promises to be with you and to be your Salvation. Rest on that promise.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Dangers of Pornography

                          The Dangers of Pornography

                             Scripture: Psalm 101:1-8, Philippians 2:13
Some people in our society believe that pornography is just a form of entertainment and doesn't hurt anything or anyone. After all, you're just looking at some pictures, right? But pornography is anything but harmless. Studies have shown that pornography tends to dehumanize people and give the user an unrealistic view of sex. But pornography can also become addictive and sometimes lead to violence. Does this sound like something that would make God happy?
What Does God Say?
Psalm 101:3 says, "I will set before my eyes no vile thing." The author of this Psalm resolved he would not look at, or put himself in the position where he would see vile and perverse things. We need such resolve. Today, without excusing ourselves or rationalizing, our culture complicates and undermines such resolve. As Christians, we believe that God will help us deal with anything in our lives that could destroy us.
Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." In this Scripture, we find the first step in dealing with pornography is to acknowledge that it displeases God, and we are to live to please Him.
My Thoughts
Take a few minutes to honestly answer these questions:
Do you think pornography is harmless?
Do you think there is ever a time when pornography would be pleasing to God?
Is pornography an activity that you would OK for your parents, your pastor, your child's daycare provider?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being harmless and 10 being devastating, rate your estimation of the potential harm of pornography.
On the same scale, rate your estimation of how God sees pornography.
Take a few minutes to read Psalm 101:1-8. How many times does the psalmist say "I will"?
The psalmist recognized that only he, no one else, was responsible for his choices in life.

What do verses 2-3 say about porn?
How do verses 2-3 apply to you?
What do verses 5-8 tell you about the company you keep?

My Part
Read the following categories and think about the areas where God has challenged you to make some changes.
What you see (movies, the Internet, theatres, TV, cable TV, MTV)
What you buy (posters, videos, DVDs, CDs)
Who you hang with (friends, family, gang, co-workers, acquaintances)
What you read (magazines, paperbacks, books, catalogs)
Your choices (a blameless heart, godly friends, praising God, a pure life)

Masihi Vandana a Division of    Back to the Bible

Monday, 12 May 2014

Sabbath

Q: What does God's Word say about the Christian keeping the Sabbath?

A: An article by our founder, Theodore H. Epp, investigates this volatile issue in the Church today:

The Sabbath or the Lord's Day-Which?

Some religious groups teach that it is necessary to keep the Sabbath in order to be saved. They insist that we are still under the Law. Yet, for reasons not divulged, they assume the right to remove some of the restrictions laid down in the Bible with regard to keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest. So while they contend that the keeping of the day is incumbent on the Christian, they change the nature of it by their own authority. This all adds to the confusion surrounding this annoying problem, for which the only satisfactory solution is found in the Bible.
The first reference to the Sabbath is found in Genesis 2:3: "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." The root meaning of the words "Sabbath" and "rest," as referred to in Genesis 2:3, is "to cease." After having spent six days in His creative work, God ceased from His labors. The words "evening" and "morning," however, are missing in the description of this Sabbath day. This would indicate that the first Sabbath was a continuous rest, or a continuous ceasing from labor, until the time when man fell into sin. Then God once again began His labors in creating new creatures in Christ Jesus.
It cannot be overemphasized, however, that this was God's rest. No obligation on man's part to keep the Sabbath is even implied in this passage.

2500 Years of Silence

After this first mention of the Sabbath, there is silence for 2500 years; not a word is given concerning it. God instituted the covenant of the Law 430 years after He had made the covenant of grace with Abraham.
The first mention of the Sabbath since the time when God ceased from His labors on the seventh day is found in Exodus 16:23: "Then he said to them, 'This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.''"
Reference is also made to this in Nehemiah: "You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant" (9:13-14).
In Exodus 20:8-11 the Sabbath law is made a part of the Ten Commandments: "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 manservant, nor your maidservant, 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."

Curiosity Aroused

Why did God not mention the Sabbath during those 2500 years? The answer is evident when the purpose for which the Sabbath was given is realized. Exodus 31:13-17 must be carefully considered: "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 the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 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.'"
Ezekial 20:12 says, "Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them." The Sabbath was especially instituted as a sign of separation for Israel. Any person of Israel not keeping the Sabbath was to be cut off from his people.
Since it was instituted as a special sign for Israel, it could be enforced only as long as Israel was in the land of Palestine as a nation and was on proper terms with God. According to the foreknowledge of God, the Israelites were to be scattered soon after the crucifixion of Christ, and the Book of Galatians teaches that the Law was given by Moses until Christ died: "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator" (3:19). Even though Israel is back in the land now, she has not recognized her God; consequently, the sign-the Sabbath-is not yet enforced.

Christ and the Sabbath

Did Christ keep the Sabbath? Certainly He did. Some Scripture passages will show why Jesus kept the Sabbath on earth.
In the first place, John 1:11 says that "He came to His own"-that is, the Jews. He came for His own-the Jews. He was made under the Law and was part of the nation of Israel. The Law was not yet set aside.Galatians 4:4 tells that He came to His own: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law."
Jesus, being a Jew and living in the time when the Law was still in force, had to keep the Law, too, including the law of the Sabbath. He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it: "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" (Matt. 5:17-18). As far as any human being is concerned, Christ is the only One who ever kept the Law perfectly. This proves His sinlessness.
The four Gospels, which record the history of Christ's life on earth, mention the Sabbath at least 50 times. It was observed by all Jews because until the crucifixion, the disciples, as well as Christ, were still under the Law. Not until He cried, "It is finished" (John 19:30) was the Law completely fulfilled. But notice-and this is very important-Christ is not spoken of once as keeping the Sabbath after the crucifixion. Instead, He left us the example of the Lord's Day.

Paul and the Sabbath

What about Paul? He observed the Sabbath with the Jews until he turned completely to reaching the Gentiles. In Acts 18:4-6 Paul cleared himself of his responsibility toward his people, the Jews, and turned to the Gentiles: "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'"
Before chapter 18 the Sabbath is mentioned eight times in the Book of the Acts. The reason for this is that Paul visited the Jew first and, of course, that was most easily done on the Sabbath, for the Jews kept the Sabbath. But when he met with the church, he always did this on the first day of the week. After Acts 18 the Sabbath is not mentioned once in the Scriptures, with the exception of Colossians 2:16: "Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths." Here it is merely mentioned, showing that it has been abolished in view of the Dispensation of Grace.
It is also noted that the other apostles observed the Sabbath together with the Jews, but they did this only when they went to the places where the Jews were. After Acts 18 we do not find another mention of the Sabbath in all of Scripture, with the one exception mentioned above. Although the apostles met with the Jews on the Sabbath day to be as Paul said, "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:22), when they met with Christians, or the church, they met on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10).
From the above statements it can be clearly seen that the apostles, including Paul, understood very well the place and purpose of the Sabbath. It was a sign for the Jews, beginning with Moses and ending with the crucifixion of Christ. It is interesting to note that once the Jews are regathered and recognize God as their King, the Sabbath will be observed again (Ezek. 36:16-38). Isaiah 56:2-3 also speaks of this time: "Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD speak, saying, 'The LORD has utterly separated me from His people'; nor let the eunuch say, 'Here I am, a dry tree.'"
Since the members of His Body, the Church, are considered by Him to be neither Jew nor Gentile, the Sabbath is not for their observance. They are new creatures in Christ Jesus: "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace." (Eph. 2:14-15).
As we have seen, the Sabbath in God's plan concerns only Israel. Note these truths: (1) the Sabbath law was given in Exodus 16-2500 years after creation; (2) it was given as a sign to Israel (Ex. 31:12-18); (3) since Israel is scattered, the Sabbath is not now observed; the Law was finished, according to Galatians 3:19, in Christ; (4) when the Jews are reestablished as God's earthly nation, the Sabbath will again be observed. Could there be a simpler explanation than this?

Special Restrictions of the Sabbath Law

There are certain facets of the Sabbath law that must be considered. First, a man was not allowed to leave his home. "See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day" (Ex. 16:29).
Second, a man was not even allowed to work or to build a fire: "Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, 'These are the words which the LORD has commanded you to do: Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day" (35:1-3).
"Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, 'The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.' So, as the LORD commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died" (Num. 15:32-36).
Since God gave the commandment of the Sabbath to Israel in the land of Palestine, which has a warm climate, it was very practical. The law which prohibited building a fire on the Sabbath would not be practical for people living in certain climates, because they could not very easily go without heat in the winter.
But far more crucial is the fact that those who attempt to keep God's Sabbath, which was meant for Israel, immediately place themselves under the curse of the Law. Galatians 3:10 makes this clear: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.'"
James 2:10 states, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." If a person fails to keep all of the Law, he is under that curse. Anyone in this category would do well to admit his sinfulness and to come under God's grace, for that is his only hope.
The keeping of the Law is an impossibility to man in the flesh; no one can be justified before God through it. "Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law" (Gal. 3:21). Only God's grace can save us (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is not the reward for a holy life but the gift of God to a sinner deserving judgment.
The Law was given to show the exceeding sinfulness of sin (Rom. 3:20; 7:13). To confess that salvation by Law is unattainable by man humbles him but exalts the holiness of the Law. On the other hand, to claim salvation by Law-keeping exalts man but lowers the righteousness of the Law.
God has provided only one way of salvation: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

The So-Called Christian Sabbath

This naturally brings up another question: Which day, then, is the Sabbath? Saturday, of course. There is no such thing as a "Christian Sabbath." No one has a right to call the Lord's Day the Christian Sabbath. Too many fellow believers are unconsciously and ignorantly referring to it in this way, and for this reason there is much confusion.
What day, then, should Christians set aside? There is no commandment given to Christians in this area. Every day of the week belongs to God. The idea of worshiping God one day in seven, whether it be the first or the seventh, and then living for self the rest of the week is a grievous evil existing today. People often think that they can go to church one day of the week, pray and sing a few hymns piously, and then live for the Devil the rest of the time. Every day is the Lord's, and Christians owe Him their worship and devotion as much on Monday as on Saturday or Sunday.

The Christian's Day of Worship

Is there a day which believers should set aside to worship the Lord? There is one day-the first day of the week. That is the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, and it is also the day He chose to meet with His disciples after His resurrection. This was not a Sabbath day, or a rest day, it was a day of ceaseless activity. The Lord Jesus was very busy on the resurrection day. The false conception of so many is that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, and since the Sabbath is a day of rest, the Sabbath laws are applied to Sunday. This has resulted in untold harm.
The average Christian, instead of making the Lord's Day one of service, has made it one of rest and feasting. That is not the purpose of the Lord's Day. That is merely a perversion of the Jewish Sabbath day. Christians need to wake up and to grasp the meaning of this resurrection day. Souls need to be rescued from darkness, and only the gospel of Jesus Christ can accomplish this. "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
One might say, "But I don't dare mention that in my church; it would only stir up a lot of trouble." That is true. It is hard to stand against traditions, but I challenge each believer to yield himself to the Lord in this matter.
Thus, by the example of Christ Himself and later by the apostles, we see that the first day of the week, known as the Lord's Day, was especially set apart as a day of service for God.
Some seem to think that it is worse for one to sin on Sunday than on any other day of the week. I believe that this is wrong. The Bible teaches that it is displeasing to God for one to yield to the Devil on any day of the week. Christians must live so that their consciences will be void of offense before God every day. In addition, they can make Sunday a day of special worship and service