Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Morning Bible Study - Are You Handling God's Test?

Leonard V Johnson   About

Do you realize that everyone of us is being tested by Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ!? How are you handling God’s test?

The LORD God’s Way of life is based upon Their spiritual Law of love. It is love toward our LORD God – the Elohim; the family of God – which is the first four of the Ten Commandments, and love toward our fellowman – the last six of the Ten Commandments. And one of these is a TEST COMMANDMENT.

There are a few in this generation that will admit that the Ten Commandments should be obeyed. And they say, “Even the fourth commandment.” Yet, the majority of this world has been taught that the Sabbath was changed to either Sunday, or any day you like.

Let us properly understand the living truth of the Eternal God concerning His Sabbath day, and why it is so IMPORTANT that we pass this test commandment.
1) Which day of creation week did God [in Hebrew it’s Elohim] rest?
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them [meaning, certainly, the entire known universe], were finished. …” – finished in SIX DAYS! “2) And ON THE SEVENTH DAY God ended His work which He had done. 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” – Genesis 2:1-3.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10) 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 male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger [visitor] who is within your gates. 11) For IN SIX DAYS [a period of time from sunset to sunset. A day is not measured by the journey of the earth PLUS our journey ON the earth.] 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” – Exodus 20:8-11.

“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath [the SEVENTH DAY] was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath’ – Mark 2:27-28.

So, by resting He created, “made,” the Sabbath, whereas all else was created by working. And by resting on the SEVENTH DAY, God set for us an example for mankind to follow.
2) God is a family (cf. Genesis 1:26). Which member of the God family created that first Sabbath?
“He [God the Father] has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love [our Lord Jesus Christ]. 14) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16) For BY HIM all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” – Colossians 1:13-16.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath because He created it. As other Scriptures show us, Our Lord Jesus was the Lord GOD who revealed Himself to the children of Israel throughout the Old Testament. God the Father created all things THROUGH and BY HIM. So, again, by resting on the SEVENTH DAY of the creation week, our Lord GOD set apart a 24-hour period of time for special and holy use.
3) Since creation, has the number of the days of the week ever changed? Has the weekly calendar ever been changed? How can we be sure that the SEVENTH DAY – Saturday – is still the day the LORD God has sanctified for us?
In the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica 11th Edition, Vol. 4 concerning the week –

Week —The week is a period of seven days, having no reference whatever to the celestial motions,—a circumstance to which it owes its unalterable uniformity. Although it did not enter into the calendar of the Greeks, and was not introduced at Rome till after the reign of Theodosius, it has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries.” 1

Now, to give credence, one can research the online Britannica, which states –

“The seven-day week may owe its origin partly to the four (approximately) seven-day phases of the Moon and partly to the Babylonian belief in the sacredness of the number seven, which was probably related to the seven planets. Moreover, by the 1st century BCE the Jewish seven-day week seems to have been adopted throughout the Roman world, and this influenced Christendom.” 2

The very words “may,” “probably,” and “seems to have been” are not words of assurance. Our SEVENTH DAY has always been what we call today Saturday – even though there have been some adjustments to the modern calendar.

The Julian calendar was instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caesar himself, and was in place in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. In many languages, the very word Saturday continues to reflect the Hebrew word Shabat.

A change came to the Julian calendar when narcissist Caesar Augustus decided that he wanted to name a month after himself – August. However, the weekly cycle was not affected by this change. After Emperor Augustus’ change, there were no more changes until October 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII introduced upon the world his Gregorian calendar – which is still being used today. 3

Gregory XIII omitted ten days from his calendar by decreeing that the day after Thursday, Oct. 4th, 1582, would be Friday, October 15th, 1582. This change, however, did not affect the order of the days of the week.

“There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week.”—James Robertson, Director American Ephemeris, Navy Department, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C., March 12, 1932.

“It can be said with assurance that not a day has been lost since Creation, and all the calendar changes notwithstanding, there has been no break in the weekly cycle.”—Dr. Frank Jeffries, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Research Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.

Would the LORD God set apart a certain day, put His blessing on it – Genesis 2:1-3 – make it HOLY TIME, command that it be KEPT HOLY FOREVER, and then let that holy time become so lost we cannot tell when to keep it? No.
4) For whom did our Lord Jesus Christ say the holy Sabbath was created?
Again – Mark 2:27-28 – “ …’The Sabbath [the SEVENTH DAY] was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath’

The Sabbath was created, or rather “made,” FOR MAN! Every seventh day since creation is to be kept holy and remembered. The Sabbath was to benefit all who would live – if they keep it. So, to be clear, He did not say that the Sabbath was made for the Jew. ‘The Sabbath was made for MAN.’ For all mankind throughout the world. And it was made for a blessing. It was made for you, to help you, to help you live a more enriched and happier life – a more godly life. What I have come to understand through God’s living Spirit and truth is that one of the greatest of blessings that has been bestowed upon mankind is the Lord’s Sabbath. It signifies that God is our Creator and that we are His begotten children. An article “’It is a sign’” is a very informative read. How did the Lord God intend for the Sabbath to benefit mankind?

“’Six days you shall do your work, and on THE SEVENTH DAY you shall rest, that your ox and your [ass] may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger [visitor] may be refreshed’” – Exodus 23:12.

The very word Shabat in Hebrew means “rest.” Physical rest as well as mental relaxation after a full six day week. The LORD God knew that mankind would need periodic rest from work. Turn with me in your Bible to the Book of Isaiah chapter 58. The High and Lofty One, whose name is Holy inspired the prophet Isaiah to write –

“’ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, NOT DOING YOUR OWN WAYS, NOR FINDING YOUR OWN PLEASURE, NOR SPEAKING YOUR OWN WORDS, 14) Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken’” – Isaiah 58:13-14.

What does the LORD God mean here “not doing your own ways,” “finding our own pleasure,” and “speaking our own words”!? Truly, this means that we should be busy doing good for others, getting ever closer to God in prayer and Bible study. Being happy because we are able to rest, to worship God with peace, and having special time with Him. The answer to it all is, WE KEEP THE DAY WHEN THE DAY COMES TO US.
5) Was the observance of the holy Sabbath day to be a special sign of identification between the LORD God and His begotten children? Notice –
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13) ‘Speak also to the children of Israel [recall, his name was Jacob (Genesis 32:28)], 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’” – Exodus 31:12-13.

Did the LORD our God also make Sabbath observance a separate covenant (agreement) with His people?

“’ Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’” – Exodus 31:16.

The LORD God wanted His people to always remember that God is CREATOR and SUSTAINER and RULER over ALL THINGS! And so They singled out the keeping and the observance of the holy Sabbath as a sign by which the children of Israel would always be reminded of this IMPORTANCE! The LORD God made the Sabbath a separate covenant to the children of Israel, besides the overall covenant with them (commonly called the “Mosaic Covenant,” or the “Old Covenant”). This special and separate covenant is a perpetual covenant – a sign that would identify God’s people throughout all generations.
6) Is a true Christian an individual who has become a spiritual Israelite – one of “Abraham’s seed” through Christ Jesus!? Notice here especially verse 29 ─
“For you are all sons [children] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile], there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. 29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” – Galatians 3:26-29.

Notice this – which is gravely misunderstood in this world – chapter 2 of the Book of Ephesians – the Apostle Paul speaking to our converted brethren there in the Church at Ephesus and by extension now to us –

Verse 1 – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2) in which you once walked [walked in trespasses and sins] according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, …” – in other words, we were right there in this world and was walking and trespassing and sinning along with Satan the devil – with principalities, with powers, with rulers of the darkness of this age (Cf. Ephesians 6:12). “ … the spirit who now works in the [children] of disobedience.”

Verse 3 – “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as others.” – we were just like the greater majority of this world which is oblivious to the LORD our God – the great Most High God and Creator! Or, like my wife along with a growing number of our peoples who claim, “I believe in a God, but not in religion” – known as Deism.

Verse 4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5) even when we were dead in trespasses [in sins], made us alive together with Christ …” – He, in other words, raised us up from death – the death penalty. “ … (by grace you have been saved), …”

You cannot gain salvation by keeping God’s holy Law for even a hundred lifetimes – perfectly. Because we have already broken His Law when we find out just where we stand in this life. His Law defines just what sin is. When we finally understand that Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed in the upper heavenly realms and that They have a Law! And the very fact that we have already broken this great Law – already being guilty of death! Is was only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ – and this sacrifice came through the grace of Almighty God! HE GAVE THAT TO US! Because we were in a situation we couldn’t get out of. But does this drop God’s Law!? The Ten Commandments!?

Verse 11 – “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncircumcision [they were called unclean] by what is called the Circumcision [in other words, by the Jewish converts] made in the flesh by hands – 12) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens [strangers] from the commonwealth of Israel …” – the Apostle Paul is writing here to God’s Church within a Gentile city within a Gentile nation. Paul was dealing with church groups that were being influenced by people who were trying to make them more JEWISH than CHRISTIAN. “ … and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13) But NOW in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Verse 14 – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one [speaking of both Jews and Gentiles], and has broken down the middle wall of separation, …” – recall that the Jews were allowed to access the temple, however the Gentiles were only allowed a certain section!?

Verse 15 – “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 two, thus making peace.”

Now, there are so many ministers which will claim, ‘There it is! God abolished the Law of commandments!’ The question being – what law!? Friends, it is important that you answer the rest of this! God’s living word says that His knowledge within His word – the Holy Bible – is “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” – Isaiah 28:10 NKJV. One cannot just take one passage and use that only as a proof. You must go to all the places within His living word which He provides on any given subject.

The Apostle Paul would indeed take big issue with this! He would say in Galatians 3 – “What purpose then does the law serve? …” Speaking of the Mosaic law, the law of Moses!? He goes on to say, “… It was added because of transgressions, TILL THE SEED SHOULD COME to whom the promise was made; …”

The LORD God had added this sacrificial system there at Mount Sinai which had to do with the sacrifice of bullocks, goats, lambs and turtle doves. Along with the sacrificial lamb at Passover – these were all a symbol of redemption until the ‘SEED SHOULD COME’ – the one and only true sacrifice! God added this sacrificial system as temporary atonement for His people until - cf. Hebrews 9:10.

The Apostle Paul also wrote in Hebrews 10 – “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” “then He [our Lord Jesus Christ] said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second [the NEW COVENANT]. By that will we have been sacrificed through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL.”

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law [the “Old Covenant”], but through the righteousness of faith” – Romans 4:13.

That promise was made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. And that promise was also made to all of us!

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” – Ephesians 2:19.

Be sure to read TODAY our article “’Under Law’ or ‘Under Grace’?”
7) Did the LORD God command the children of Israel to meet together for worship on the weekly Sabbath? Notice –
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Speak to the children of Israel [and in the New Covenant, the living Church of God], and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy CONVOCATIONS, these are My feasts 3) Six days shall work be done, but the SEVENTH DAY is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. ...’” – Leviticus 23:1-2, 3.

The word “convocations” in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is defined as –

con-vo-ca-tion \,kän-və-‘kā-shən\ n [ME, fr. MF. fr. L convocation-,convocatio, fr. convocare] (14c) 1 a: an assembly of persons convoked. 4

So, what are New Covenant Christians admonished regarding this convocation – this assembling of themselves!? Let us look into your Bible and find the answers.

Take for an example myself. I currently live about 775 miles (one way) from the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky. And, there has not yet been a local congregation established - and if you are local and would like to assemble together for the holy Sabbath, please conact me at  There is no place for me to attend services unless I was to attend some other church. It has seemed to many that in this situation, since there are groups with similar doctrines, that it’s perfectly alright to attend one of those churches. It is not, however.

Now, it is NOT COMMANDED as a true Christian, to attend a regular church service every Sabbath.

Now, there is only one passage in all of the New Testament which gives any direct instruction to “assembling together with others.”

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some [I inject here - the Hebrew Christians at that time were being pressured to return to Judaism with all its rules, rituals, and man-made traditions], but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching” – Hebrews 10:24-25.

And here I add - assembling with other brethren of like mind IS IMPORTANT! We are the Body of Christ! All body parts must be connected to the body to survive. It is true that Apostle Paul was speaking to the Hebrew converts, reminding them of the importance of community and fellowshiping. According to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - "'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I AM there in the midst of them'" - Matthew 18:20. A gathering, an assembly, a congregation needs only two or three participants. And remember, even if you are studying and worshiping alone on the LORD God's holy Sabbath, God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is with you! Sadly, this world's Churchianity has been misinterpreting God's living word. This world's religious leaders act as though they own God's word. In their carnal minds the Bible was written strickly for them, and they give it to us. This world's Christianity is full of hand-plucked verses claiming that God says this, and that God says that - all men's opinions and traditions. But when we find ourseves free from their control and their corrupting influence, and rely ONLY ON OUR LORD GOD, we come to see that His living word is a glorious and wonderful Message from the LORD God to all mankind!

This world has its churches. This world has its religions, with its false doctrines, false teachings, false prophets, and ministers – and is replete with its man-made traditions. Once – while I was in a doctors waiting room waiting for a friends minor surgery and recovery – I was told by a so-called Christian that one of the primary beliefs of Protestant churchianity is that it is commanded for your salvation to ATTEND CHURCH! And without thinking – they come to believe that this is the teaching of the Bible.

God Almighty and Jesus Christ – when They inspired these words to be written – knew that some would be living where there is no local congregation to attend. Notice, however, the admonishment is – “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” Friends, if there is no local congregation to assemble, how can you be forsaking to assemble!?

Again, from the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word “admonish” is defined as –

ad-mon-ish \ad-‘mä-nish\ vt [ME admonesten, fr. MF admonester, fr. (assumed) VL admonestare, alter. of L admonēre to warn, fr. ad. - + monēre to warn – more at MIND] (14c) 1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to b: to express warning or disapproval to esp. in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner 2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to syn see REPROVE. 5

The Greek word for ‘forsaking’ is enkataleipō, meaning “to not abandon.” To not forsake. It implies – not running away from, or refusing to assemble.

If you live close enough to one of GOD’S churches to attend His Sabbath service – and refuse to attend, run away from it, abandon going, or even neglecting to do so – then you are breaking God’s holy command here (Leviticus 23:2-3). However, if you live too far away to attend, then you certainly are not refusing, abandoning, or even deserting attendance – it is out of your power. The LORD God’s Sabbath is indeed a “holy convocation.” But, within the realm of your ability. If you happen to live too far away, are confined to bed because of illness and are unable to attend with regularity – what are you to do!?

“So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” – Acts 16:5.

“But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches” – 1 Corinthians 7:17.

Now, nothing is said if they had large or ornate buildings. Some merely met in houses of members. (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2). However, your Bible teaches against brethren assembling together in small groups without a minister to help lead them.

“So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” – Acts 14:23.

Here, Paul and Barnabas ordained elders in every church. There were no churches without ordained leaders.

Be sure to watch TODAY “Are We To Listen To Others?”

1) Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition volume 4: 988.
2) Proskouriakoff, Tatiana , Ronan, Colin Alistair , Lin, Chao , Schmidt, John D. , Wiesenberg, E.J. , Ziadeh, Nicola Abdo , Buitenen, J.A.B. van and Bickerman, E.J.. "calendar". Encyclopedia Britannica, 7 Jul. 2022, Accessed 25 October 2022.
3) "The Change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar," (© 1997-2009).
4) Webster M. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, convocation, 1996, pp 254.
5) Ibid. admonish, pp. 16.

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - Genesis 2:1-3; 31:12-13; 32:28; Exodus 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:16; Leviticus 23:1-2, 3; Isaiah 28:10; 58:13-14.
New Testament - Matthew 18:20; Mark 2:27-28; Acts 14:23; 16:5; Romans 4:13; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 16:19; Galatians 3:19, 26-29; Ephesians 2:1-2, 3, 4, 5, 11-12, 13, 14, 15, 19; 6:12; Colossians 1:13-16; 4:15; Philemon 2; Hebrews 9:10; 10:4, 9-10, 24-25.

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