“So listen to what the parable of the sower means. Whoever hears the message about the Kingdom, but doesn’t understand it, is like the seed sown along the path — the Evil One comes and seizes what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is like a person who hears the message and accepts it with joy at once, but has no root in himself. So he stays on for a while; but as soon as some trouble or persecution arises on account of the message, he immediately falls away. Now the seed sown among thorns stands for someone who hears the message, but it is choked by the worries of the world and the deceitful glamor of wealth, so that it produces nothing. However, what was sown on rich soil is the one who hears the message and understands it; such a person will surely bear fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
– Matthew 13:18-23 (CJB)
In terms of living for the Kingdom, I believe Yeshua's parable above applies both generally and specifically. It applies to every [called] person in regards to the overall message of the Gospel as well as specific commands and truths within God’s Word. One such truth is the instruction found in the fourth of the Ten Commandments.
The Fourth Commandment instructs God’s people to set apart the seventh day of the week as holy unto Him. The seventh day (Sabbath rest) is to be God’s “Date Night” with His people. It begins at sunset Friday evening and ends at sunset on the day we call “Saturday”. As with most all instructions from God, the Sabbath is FOR us and not against us. And just as with all commands of God, the rule was made for us and not us for the rule (Mark 2:27).
Rather than get into all of the theological technicalities and debates surrounding whether or not the Sabbath instruction still applies to God’s people today (e.g. Romans 14:5 & Colossians 2:16), I’ll just break down the meaning of the parable for now:
The 1st Wife
The first wife represents churches who believe Christ was resurrected on Sunday and therefore the first day of the week is now “The Lord’s Day”. This group sincerely believes that Sunday is the Sabbath of the New Covenant and effectively shifts the honor due to the seventh day onto the first. These churches see Sunday as the day we should rest and abstain from work. To this group, I would quote Isaiah 58:13 which declares the seventh-day Sabbath as God’s “holy day.” Contrary to popular Christian belief, it is only the true Sabbath which can rightfully being called "The Lord's Day" (Revelation 1:10) according to Scripture.
I understand from reading church history that much persuasion, politics, and persecution from the Evil One occurred which influenced the Christian shift from the seventh day Sabbath to the “venerable day of the sun” (Sunday). However, I believe it is time we wake up and smell the propaganda. Satan has learned that if he can get us as a people to not honor THE day, it won’t be long before we’re not honoring any day at all. And this is actually the case today. What was once taboo in America to take place on Sundays is now commonplace. Just ask the post office workers who deliver my Amazon packages on Sundays now. ~ Much Christian credit to all the saints in history who died and were tortured for their obedience to God’s Fourth Commandment! If only we today can learn to be so committed to the things of God without fear of being called things like "legalistic" by our own Christian kind.
The 2nd Wife
The second wife represents church members who appreciate and embrace the concept of the Sabbath but aren’t willing to live out the principle due to its incompatibility with their lifestyle. This actually described me for the latter 10 years of my Christian life. I had been keeping a Sabbath but this day was always up for negotiation based on my employers and so on. In truth, I wasn’t keeping a Sabbath at all. There was no day which was genuinely set aside for God, rest and [undistracted] worship.
The 3rd Wife
The third wife represents those who are entangled with the things of this age and view the Fourth Command of God as an archaic Old Testament law; something Yehovah gave to “those Jews”. These saints don’t rest at all and basically abuse the grace of God, to their own detriment. Why do I say this? – Because a Sabbath rest is beneficial both practically and spiritually. Our bodies are composed of dirt and dirt needs physical rest. It needs time to recoup and recover from use (Leviticus 25:4; 1 Corinthians 15:48). Spiritually, it is great to live in covenant with the Living God and it’s also a good practice telling the world, our flesh, and the devil that we can’t be bought or bribed. Obeying God and disobeying Satan communicates to powers and principalities exactly Who we belong to (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).
May Yehovah bless all who seek to honor Him by at least setting aside “a” day as holy. Nevertheless, for unity sake, it is my hope that all saints come to be in accord and return to simple obedience to the simple command of God.
Q: How many saints are there who aren’t in consistent fellowship with others due to conflicting schedules? If all saints drew a clear line in the sand with the world and their employers when it came to violating God’s holy day, then schedule compatibility issues would hardly exist among saints. Conflicts would be limited to those who are specifically called to “do good on the Sabbath” which interestingly, Yeshua defended as being perfectly lawful (Matthew 12:12). This group might include firefighters, doctors, nurses, etc.
The 4th and Final Wife
It is my prayer that in these "Last Days", we the people…of the united church of Yeshua…all be that fourth and final wife who faithfully follows her husband’s instructions and is accordingly blessed! After all, are we here to please ourselves or were we created for Him (Colossians 1:16)? I think it's time we collectively get with His program which is detailed in His event planner; not our own!
"As for your friend Thaed here, I can assure you that
he will not survive the transition."
~ This was the final question for the 2015-16 IP2RR season which included $100 and $300 cash prizes. Congratulations to the following readers for their total winnings for the season:
Shameka C. of Roanoke, VA - $300
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Hannah R. of Springfield, MO - $100 (Amazon Gift Card)
LORD allowing, IP2RR will resume regularly on September 7, 2016 and prizes for that [second] season will consist of Christian books, DVD's, music CD's, and more! Be sure to FOLLOW me on this blog, Facebook or Twitter for information and updates and BE READY FOR THE IP2RR CHALLENGE!
~ Meanwhile...may the LORD bless you and keep you!
"And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, "the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
- Revelation 21:3-4 (NKJV)
What remark does Rescuca perceive as a "sharp verbal jab" at his companion?
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