[Exodus 20: 8 -10]
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.”
The apostle Paul was a Jew but he also had the citizenship of Roman Empire, the strongest nation of that time.
He had the right to travel around freely and the right to avoid legal punishment without proper court trials.
He once used the privilege of the Roman citizenship on his mission trips.
Even today, you will have many privileges if you are a citizen of a strong country.
But the fact is we have received a citizenship that cannot be compared with the citizenship of any country on earth. It is the citizenship of the heavenly kingdom.
apostle Paul had the Roman citizenship but he confessed in Philippians 3:20, “Our citizenship is in heaven.”
We have the privilege to live in the kingdom of heaven forever as the citizens of heaven. But how can we prove that we have the citizenship in heaven? We prove it with the ID cards on earth, and likewise, we have to have the ID card of the heavenly kingdom.
Of course, this ID card is not just given to any person. It is given to only those who have faith.
But we need to show the evidence that the faith we have is true, and this evidence is to keep the Sunday and give tithes. These two things are the most basic evidences to prove that we are the citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
Recently, I have heard many testimonies saying they have received many blessings after practicing the word they heard in the sermons about the tithes.
From today, I will talk to you about keeping the whole Sabbath in several sessions. I hope you will enjoy the privileges of being the citizens of heaven by keeping the Sunday holy as well as giving the whole tithes.
Even though you are not new-believers, I hope you will check once again whether you are keeping the Sunday holy.
Just by seeing how you keep the Sunday holy, you can check your faith to some extent.
Now, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will have complete and true faith so that you will receive the citizenship of New Jerusalem, among all the dwelling places in the kingdom of heaven.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Sabbath is the day of rest in the Lord.
In the New Testament times, Sabbath refers to the Sunday, which is otherwise called the Lord’s Day.
I will explain to you in detail why Sabbath has become the Lord’s Day in the New Testament at a later part of the sermon.
Now, why do we have to keep the Sabbath holy? It’s because the Creator God commanded us to do so. To understand why God commanded us to keep the Sabbath, let us delve into the origin of Sabbath.
As go ascend to the origin of the Sabbath, we get to the ‘beginning’, when God created the heavens and earth and everything in them.
Genesis 2:1-3 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
God created the heavens and earth for six days and rested on the seventh day. He blessed this seventh day and sanctified it.
And God gave this commandment about keepting the Sabbath after the sons of Israel came out of Egypt. It was the fourth commandment among the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 20:8-10 is about the Sabbath. It says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.”
Then, the following, verse 11 explains about the reason of commanding us to keep the Sabbath.
It says, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”
To keep the Sabbath has the meaning that we believe God is the Creator. Furthermore, it means we acknowledge the fact that God is the owner and master of the vast spiritual realm as well as the physical world.
Namely, to keep the Sabbath holy is the act of acknowledging the spiritual authority of God.
It is the same principle with that of giving the whole tithe, which is to acknowledge the sovereignty of God over every material thing.
I hope you will realize how great a meaning it carries to keep the Sabbath.
The people of Israel were set apart as holy people of God by keeping the Sabbath.
Exodus 31:13 says, “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
As long as they kept the Sabbath, God also protected the people of Israel.
He protected them from tests and trials and various kinds of disasters.
This spiritual principle is applied in the same way today. We can be protected and blessed only when we belong to God as His children by keeping the Sabbath.
Sometimes, some church members come to receive prayer after getting involved in some traffic accidents or with accidents in their business fields.
Most of these cases are the ones in which they violated the Sabbath or did not give the tithes.
Being protected and blessed is important, but the most important thing is the salvation of our spirit.
At the time of the Exodus, a certain person collected some fire wood on a Sabbath, and God did not forgive him. God told them to kill him.
It was to tell them that even Israelites had to fall into death because from the moment they did not keep the Sabbath they had nothing to do with God.
This spiritual justice is applied in the same way today.
If we do not keep the Sunday, we have nothing to do with God, and we will have to fall into death.
I am not talking about the newcomers to the church and new believers who have weak faith.
I am talking about those cases in which they have faith and know the truth but do not keep the Sunday, or the cases in which they say they keep it but actually they are not keeping it properly.
But if we understand the true intention of God in commanding us to keep the Sabbath, we won’t feel forced to keep it in fear.
It’s because God commanded us to keep the Sabbath to give us true rest with His love for His children.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this love of God was shown clearly after Jesus came to this earth.
After the resurrection of the Lord, the day of Sabbath was changed. Until then, the Sabbath was Saturday, but since the resurrection of the Lord, it has become the Sunday. We also call the Sabbath Lord’s Day now.
What is the reason? When I explain to you the reason, I hope you will understand the true meaning in God’s giving us the Sabbath.
The Jews who keep the Law of the Old Testament still keep Saturday as the Sabbath. Of course, there is a group of some Protestants who keep Saturday as the Sabbath.
Some people argue about which one is right. I hope you will pay attention to this explanation and have no confusion about it.
To give you conclusion first, the reason why we keep the Sunday as the Sabbath is because our Lord resurrected on Sunday.
Mark 16:9 says, “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.”
Because the Sabbath of the Old Testament is Saturday, the day after the Sabbath is Sunday.
Jesus was crucified on Friday, and He resurrected in the early morning of Sunday, on the third day of the crucifixion.
Let me briefly explain why Saturday was designated as the Sabbath in the Old Testament.
God created the heavens and earth for six days and rested on the seventh day. So, people in the Old Testament kept the Saturday as the Sabbath, which is the 7th day of the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
They rested from the sunset of Friday and the sunset of Saturday.
But is there anyone who wonders why Sunday is the first day of the week?
Please have a look at the calendar.
Most calendars that we use today have the Sunday as a holiday and the first day of the week.
Of course, calendar is a product of civilization which has been developed for a long period of time.
But the certain thing is that even the calendar is made within the providence of God.
God is the beginning and end of human civilization, and He exercises the control over human history.
The calendar also has the evidence in it. They had seven days in a week when they made the calendars, and this is based on the 7-day creation of God.
Also, they divide the human history into two major parts, BC and AD, at the time of the birth of Jesus.
Then, let us find the biblical basis of why we keep the Sunday as the Sabbath after the resurrection of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, what did God create on the first day of His creation?
It was the light.
Genesis 1:3 says, “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
As I explained in the Genesis lectures, this light was spiritual light.
It symbolizes the power and authority of God the Father.
God’s word saying, “Let there be light” was the proclamation to all things in the universe of the sovereignty of God who is light itself in spirit. At the same time, it as the proclamation of the sovereignty of Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 1:9 says, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”
This true light is Jesus Christ, the God Himself in origin, the Word that came down to this earth in human flesh.
And Matthew 12:8 says “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Our Lord, the true light is the lord of the Sabbath.
Just as there was light on the first day of the creation, Sunday otherwise called the Lord’s Day, and which is the first day of the week, is the day on which the Lord who is the true light shone His light to the whole world.
It was the day on which Jesus broke the authority of death and resurrected to open the way of salvation for all mankind.
He became the true light of life for those souls who were living in darkenss, death, and pain. From this day, we have gained the hope of resurrection and have come to enjoy true rest.
From this time we keep the Sunday as the Sabbath, namely as the Lord’s Day. Only after the resurrection of the Lord did we come to keep the true Sabbath.
Therefore, Genesis 1:3 saying “Let there be light” and Matthew 12:8, “the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath” are a match. They spiritually explain the reason why we keep the Lord’s Day as the Sabbath.
Brothers and sisters, God’s providence is certainly fulfilled.
God has already mentioned in the Old Testament that the Sunday will become the Sabbath.
Leviticus 23:10-12 says, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.  ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.  ‘Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD.”
The male lamb one year old without defect given on the day after the Sabbath refers to the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, the first sheaf refers to the first fruit of resurrection, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:20 says, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”
Brothers and sisters, we have come to enjoy true rest since the resurrection Jesus. Since the first man Adam and Eve committed sin, the mankind lost true rest.
As God said, “On the day you eat of the fruit you will surely die,” the spirit of Adam died.
And all his descendants had to suffer from diseases, poverty, hatred, and quarrels during their whole life and fall into eternal death, which is hell.
The Lord gave this mankind the hope of resurrection and eternal life by breaking the authority of death and resurrecting.
Namely, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, then our dead spirit is revived. This is spiritual resurrection.
Now, we are set apart as God’s children and have come to rest.
But the rest on earth is not perfect. That is why God has prepared the true and eternal resting place, the kingdom of heaven.
We will enjoy eternal and perfect rest through another resurrection apart from this spiritual resurrection. It is the physical resurrection.
Once our Lord comes back in the air, we will have the eternal and imperishable body and meet Him in the air. This is physical resurrection.
After we go through the spiritual resurrection and physical resurrection, we will enjoy the eternal rest.
Because we have this hope of resurrection, the believers can have true rest of their spirit.
Likewise, Sunday is the day on which the Lord of the Sabbath Jesus Christ has given us true rest by His resurrection.
That is why we call it the Lord’s Day.
The disciples of the Lord understood this meaning very clearly.
That is why they kept the Sunday the Lord’s Day as the Sabbath. Acts 20:7, first part says, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread,”
Here, to break bread spiritually means to share the flesh of the Lord.
Namely, it refers to taking the word of God through the Sunday worship service.
Also 1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.”
We can see that they also gave offerings on the first day of the week, namely on the Lord’s Day.
From the next session, I will explain about the methods of keeping the Sabbath in detail.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, many people in the world toil very much throughout their lives to enjoy happy and comfortable life.
They work harder and harder to earn more money and to be reconigzed more. Also, they take worldly entertainments or rest to gain pleasure.
But it is impossible to enjoy true rest in this world which belongs to the enemy devil, Satan.
True rest can be found only in the Lord.
God commands us to keep the Sabbath to protect us in His arms and to let us have rest.
I hope you will realize this true meaning and keep the Lord’s Day holy.
I hope you will also be protected all the time in this world full of accidents and diseases, by acknowledging the sovereignty of the Lord, who is the Lord of lords.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will eat the spiritual bread on every Sabbath and gain eternal life, and finally enjoy true rest in the eternal resting place the kingdom of heaven.
[Supplement for proper tithe]
Brothers and sisters, let me supplement a couple of things on how to give proper tithes.
First is the case of collecting some money for special events in parishes or mission groups. When the church members have some special occasions like funerals or wedding, it’s difficult for the groups to spend on such occasions only from the membership fees. So they collect some money for this specific purpose.
This kind of money is income for the parish or the mission group that they can spend at their discretion. The purpose of the money is already speicified.
Also, it is the work of God to help the church members when they have special occasions.
Therefore, you don’t have to give tithe from this kind of money.
Second is when groups like some performance teams are treated to a meal. When they are treated to a meal, they don’t have to give the tithe for the meal itself. But when they receive cash for having a meal together, they have to consider it their income and give the tithe.
Somebody asked maybe each member of the group could give their own tithe, according to how much they ate.
But since the group had the cash income, it is right to consider it their income and tithe it.
Third, it is the case in which different groups have received donation for buying such equipments as stationeries or musical instruments. In this kind of a case, even though they have received cash, they don’t have to tithe it.
This is money to buy the equipments to use for the work of God. It’s not something the group members can spend for themselves.
But you have to keep one thing in mind. Even though the equipment is given to the group, it still belongs to God and it is holy.
No member in the group should use it at his/her own discretion or for personal use. I hope you will give the tithe considering all these cases as well.