The Sanctuary
By E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

26 – A Sabbath of Rest

Leviticus 23:27-32:

“The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.  Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the Lord.  Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God.  Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.  I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day.  You shall do no work at all.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.  It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves.  From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”

When God gave the Jews in the exodus the sanctuary and its services, He wasn’t giving them a ritual or a mumble-jumble service to keep them occupied while they were travelling.  That to Him was His master model plan of salvation.  He was telling them, in type, what He was going to accomplish for them and in them through His Son Jesus Christ.  We have been looking at this model plan of salvation.

We have been looking at the sanctuary as God’s master model plan of our redemption.  We saw that the sanctuary had two squares.  The courtyard had two squares.  The eastern square represented Christ’s earthly mission — His doing and dying and His resurrection.  The western square represented His heavenly ministry where our High Priest is.

We have looked at this and have been dealing with the Day of Atonement, which is the final phase of the plan of redemption.  It was a very solemn feast for the Jews.  It was solemn because it was to bring to an end the sin problem.  The purpose of the Day of Atonement was to reveal to the Jews — and, through them, to us — that God is going to bring sin to an end.  He is going to usher in everlasting righteousness.

Now because it was a very solemn time, and we are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement, we are living in a time when the end of the world is upon us.  There was a time when we were unique in this message.  No longer is that true.  Most radio and television ministries are preaching this.  The world realizes, even men and women who don’t believe in God, that the end is coming.  We have polluted the air.  We have polluted the sea.  We have polluted the land.  We have used scientific knowledge and technology to produce such monsters as the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and missiles that could wipe us out in a few moments.  What are God’s people to do during this final day, this solemn day?

Well, we looked in the last study at the first requirement.  There are two requirements.  God wants His people to realize the time in which they are living and there are two requirements:

  1. To afflict the soul or to “deny yourself,” as the NIV puts it.

  2. The second requirement we will cover in this study:  There must be a day of Sabbath rest.

Why was God so tough with the Jews?  Remember what the text says in Leviticus 23:29, that if they did not afflict their souls in that same day, they would be cut off from among the people:

Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.

That is, they would be eternally lost.  And in verse 30 it says:

I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day.

In other words, if you do not comply with those two requirements, there’s no hope for you.  Looking at it as a service, was God trying to teach the Jews salvation by works?  The answer is “No.”  If you analyze those two requirements, you will discover that these requirements are in perfect harmony with the formula of the gospel explained in the New Testament.  Now what is the formula of the gospel?  As we have already seen, everything essential for your salvation and mine, everything — I don’t mean partially, I mean one hundred percent — was prepared in the doing and dying of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The gospel is unconditional good news.  For that unconditional good news to become effective in your case, there are two requirements.  God doesn’t push this good news onto you unconditionally.  He saved us while we were helpless; He saved us while we were sinners; He saved us while we were ungodly, and He saved us when we were His enemies.

How does this become effective?  You are familiar with John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God did the loving.  He did the giving.  God so loved the world that He gave us His Son that whoever believes shall not perish.  God’s requirement from us is faith.  Now what is faith?  We have covered that also, but I would like to sum up faith in terms of two things.  There is a negative aspect of faith and there is a positive aspect of faith.  What is the negative aspect?  Two words:  “Not I.”  Faith says:  “Not I”; that’s negative.  The other half is positive:  “But Christ.”  This truth of “Not I, but Christ” is explained in the Old and New Testament in various forms.

If you read your New Testament, keep your eyes and ears open and notice, as you read, what the New Testament is saying.  Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:9-10:

For I am the least of the apostles...

Paul in his own thinking felt that, not only was he the least of the apostles, but, in the next phrase, he says:

...and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God....

“But,” there is a “But” there:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

Please notice that it’s by the grace of God that he is what he is.  And he did not squander that grace.

The next statement sounds like Paul is bragging.  Verse 10:

No, I worked harder than all of them...

The expression “all” in the context refers to the other apostles.  “I am the least of the apostles but actually I worked more than them all.”  He sounds like he is bragging.  “None of them ever touched me in work.  I was number one.”  Please notice how he corrects himself in case we misunderstand him:

...Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

There you have “Not I, but the grace of God.”  That is the formula of the gospel.  “Not I, but the grace of God which was in me.”  The grace of God can never work in you if you don’t say, “Not I.”  The “Not I” is the prerequisite for Christ living in you.  And this is in terms of justification which has to do with our standing before God as well as sanctification.  Every phase of Christian living is “Not I, but Christ.”  In 2 Corinthians 5, the “Not I, but Christ” is expressed in another form.  It is the same truth.  2 Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone [I am gone], the new is here!

And the new is Jesus Christ.

So there you have, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old is gone and the new has come.  The old is what your old self was.  In Romans 6:3-4 you have that in baptism:

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

“I am crucified with Christ, I am buried in Christ, but I am resurrected in newness of life.”

Turn to Philippians 3.  The reason this needs to be brought out is because the Jews completely lost the meaning of circumcision.  When God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham, it was for a specific reason.  God came to Abraham when he was 75 and said to him:  “I am going to give you a promised son, and in that son the whole world will be blessed.”  Genesis 12:1-3:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Well, God seemed to be slow in keeping His promise.  Eight years went by and no son came.  Abraham became discouraged and God said to him, “Why are you discouraged?”  And Abraham said, “Because you haven’t kept your promise.”  So God took him out and gave him a star study and said, “That’s how many children you will have.”  Genesis 15:5:

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.”  Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abraham believed and was counted righteous.  Ten years later Sarah came to Abraham and said, “You know, God cannot keep His promise, He needs your help.  Why don’t you go to Hagar and produce a son and help God?  It is embarrassing for it is 10 years now.”  Abraham thought that was an excellent idea and he did obey his wife and produced a son.

But God said, “No, that’s not the promised son.”  God waited another 14 or 15 years.  He waited until it was scientifically, humanly, naturally impossible for Abraham to produce a son through Sarah.  Then God said, “Abraham, I want to enter into a covenant but first I want to ask you a question.  Do you believe that I can give you a son even though your doctors say it is impossible?”  He said, “Yes.”  [See Genesis 17.]

God had said, “I want to enter into a covenant.”  The covenant was circumcision and circumcision was removing the flesh that Christ may take over.  That’s all it was.  And this is how Paul applies circumcision not only to the Jews but to the Gentile Christians.  Philippians 3:3:

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — ...

There you have “Not I, but Christ.”  And then he adds in Philippians 3:4-6:

... though I myself have reasons for such confidence.  If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

“If any of you in Philippi think that you have obtained to some good works that you can attain to righteousness or salvation, I want to give you my pedigree.  You fellows are no power to me.  My pedigree is perfect.  I have the pure blood of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  I am no mixture.  I’m of the tribe of Benjamin.  Regarding the law, I’m a Pharisee.  None of you have touched me in terms of zeal [that’s what the word “Pharisee” means].  Regarding the law, I’m blameless.  So as far as obtaining by human nature to the heights of righteousness, I have reached it.”

But then he says in Philippians 3:7:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

He did not say, “I did my best and then Christ added.”  We need to read Ellen G. White in the correct context.  My part is saying, “Not I” and I must confess the “Not I” is the hardest part in Christianity.  That’s why so many reject the gospel.  The Jews rejected the gospel because they did not want to say, “Not I.”  They were too proud of their self-righteousness.  Paul says in Philippians 3:8-9:

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

These two requirements of the Day of Atonement are in perfect harmony with the formula of the gospel.  The afflicting of the soul is simply saying, “Not I.”  God wants a people in these last days to reach a point where they put self aside in every phase of life, whether it is the health message or the dress reform.  God is not asking us for performance.  He is asking us to make ourselves available to Him.  For us to be available to Him we have to say “Not I.”

That is the hard part, afflicting the soul, because you and I by nature are egocentric.  We want some credit in the Christian walk and for our ticket to heaven.  There is no credit.  There is no boasting in justification by faith or in sanctification by faith.  There are some who say that only justification is by faith alone.  That sanctification is “I plus Christ.”  You won’t find that in Scripture.  From beginning to end it is “Not I, but Christ.”

Now it is true that “Not I” is the hard part.  It is painful.  That’s why, in the Old Testament, it is called “afflicting the soul.”  Nobody likes to afflict the soul.  Nobody likes to deny self.  But there is no way that God can fulfil the second half if the first half is not complied with.  The second half follows naturally.  If it is “Not I,” it has to be Christ.

There is need for warning.  Half a truth is always dangerous.  There are some Christians who have reached the point of “Not I,” but they stop there.  They say, “I can do nothing.”  Therefore, they become what we call “passive Christians.”  That is only half a truth, and half a truth is dangerous.  It’s a lie, in fact.  The full truth is, “Not I, but Christ.”  When Christ takes over, there is no passive living.  Christ doesn’t know anything about being passive.  He is active.  He is a God of action.  When you allow Christ to take over and He does take over in you life, you will not be sitting down doing nothing.

Now I want to deal with the second half of the formula.  In the Old Testament, the second half was entering into God’s rest.  It was called “The Sabbath Rest.”  It is important that we realize the significance of the Sabbath of the gospel.  We must never make the mistake of the Jews.  They upheld the Sabbath without Christ.  When you have the Sabbath without Christ, you might as well be a pagan.  It has no value at all.

In our own history, for example, sad to say, we upheld the law of God without Christ.  And we became dry as the Hills of Gilboa.  God had to raise two young men 100 years ago and put Christ in the law.  We need today to put Christ in the Sabbath.  It isn’t the day that saves you.  It is the Lord of that day that saves you.  If you uphold the Sabbath without the Lord of that day, then it becomes a form without any power.

The Sabbath of the Old Testament was vitally linked to our salvation.  That’s why every feast day — there were seven of them in the Old Testament — was always designated as a Sabbath because the Sabbath means you are totally resting not in yourself but in Christ.  Here we will deal with two of the main aspects of the Sabbath truth.  First turn to the word from Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The Jews had perverted the truth of the Sanctuary.  They had perverted the sacrificial system.  They had perverted the gospel of the Old Testament.  They had turned the rituals from a shadow pointing to the truth into the means of salvation.  So they were trying to work their way to heaven.  And they were heavy laden.  They had no peace.  They had no security.  And Jesus said, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”

That same rest is explained also in Hebrews 4:2-3:

For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.  Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”  And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.

We who believe the gospel have entered into God’s rest.

The significance of the Sabbath to God is:

  1. The Sabbath doesn’t belong to man, it belongs to God.  If you take a good translation, you will not find a single text in the whole of the Bible which ever teaches that the Sabbath belongs to man.  It was made for man but never belonged to man.  The Sabbath belongs to God.  That’s the clear teaching of the Bible, Old and New Testament.  For example in Exodus 20:10:

    ...But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.

    Or if you read Exodus 31:13, God says to Israel:  “My Sabbath you shall keep.”

    “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths.  This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.’”

    If you read Isaiah 58:13, the Sabbath is called “My Holy Day”:

    If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,....

    God is talking here and He calls the Sabbath “My Holy Day” or “the Holy of the Lord.”  When Jesus Christ was accused four or five times by the Jews of breaking the Sabbath, He reminded the Jews that the Sabbath belonged to Him.  “I am the Lord of the Sabbath.  What right do you have of accusing me of breaking My own day?”  Then it is clear that the Sabbath belongs to God.

  2. This is an important one.  It may come as a shock to some that in the Bible the Sabbath is God’s seventh day, not man’s.  Please don’t ever use the calendar to prove the Sabbath is the seventh day.  Our calendar is man-made.  It is not inspired.  Man changes and there are reform calendars that are changing already.  When the Bible speaks of the “seventh day,” it is not man’s seventh day; it is God’s seventh day.  For man, it is his first day.  By that I don’t mean Sunday.

    Let’s look at man as God created him.  I have already explained to you that God created man in Adam.  At the end of the sixth day, God created Adam and Eve, our foreparents.  So the first whole day that Adam and Eve spent on this earth was the Sabbath.  So it wasn’t Adam’s seventh day; it was God’s seventh day and man’s first day.

    This has a very important significance for, when we apply the Sabbath to God and when we apply the Sabbath to us, we have opposite applications.  By that I mean that God worked six days and rested on the seventh day.  He rested on the seventh day not because He was tired, but because His work was perfect and it was finished.

    Man did not begin by working.  Man began by resting on God’s seventh day.  So Adam did not begin by working like God did.  Adam approached the Sabbath in the very opposite way to which God did.  Man began by resting in God’s work and then in the six days he enjoyed by resting in God’s work.  In other words, God spent six days creating this beautiful earth of ours (not as it is today because sin has ruined it, but as Adam knew it).

    Read in Genesis 2:8, where we are told that God is the One who planted the Garden of Eden:

    Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

    He did not say to Adam, “I have given you some plants and some animals, now you plant the garden.”  God said, “I’ll plant it for you.”  God did the work.  Adam received it by entering into God’s rest and then he enjoyed everything.

    Someone says he named animals.  Well, I don’t think naming animals is work.  You know that one of the greatest joys that parents have and sometimes it brings a squabble is, “What shall we name our child?”  The wife says, “I want this name” and the husband says, “I want that name.”  Naming animals was not a work for Adam.  He looked at an elephant and said, “What shall I call this long-nosed creature?  I’ll call it an elephant.”  I don’t know what the names were because we have lost most of the names that Adam gave them but the fact is, Adam did nothing in terms of producing this creation.  He did not give one iota of help to God.  He simply received and then he enjoyed.

    Then we apply this to redemption for after the fall the Sabbath had a redemptive significance.  After the fall, the Sabbath had the same significance that it had for Adam before the fall.  We first enter into God’s rest and receive the righteousness of Christ.  Then for the six days we enjoy it, so that people can see what we have received.  So the Sabbath is a sign.

    Adam made no contribution, not one, towards the creation.  When God created Adam at the end of the six days, Adam opened his eyes and saw a finished creation.  All that Adam did was to enter into God’s rest.  As long as he entered into God’s rest, God would supply all his needs.

    But one day, Adam turned his back to God.  When he did that, he turned his back to the Sabbath truth, because the Sabbath truth applied seven days a week.  We don’t rest in Christ on the seventh day and do our own thing on the other six days.  We simply enjoy what we receive.  In other words, you can break the Sabbath truth on a Tuesday or a Thursday or a Friday.  The day is only a sign or covenanted agreement.

    How did Adam break the Sabbath?  I don’t know on which day he sinned but I do know one thing and that is that when he sinned he turned his back to God.  I know it because, when God came to Adam, He said (Genesis 3:19):

    By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

    When man turned his back from God-dependence to self-dependence, there’s only one direction:  he goes down hill.  The end result is death, because God is the source of life.

God did not leave us in that mess.  Jesus, Who is the Creator of this world, the Father and the Holy Spirit were in harmony, all agreed that Jesus would redeem this world back.  Jesus came to this world and redeemed us.  He came to work out our salvation.  He finish that salvation on Friday, the sixth day, at the end of the sixth day, just like creation, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  The New Testament clearly teaches that Jesus is the Creator of this world.  He is the spokesman.  John 1:3, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16, and Galatians 3:14 all mention it.

John 1:3:

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Ephesians 3:9:

...and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Colossians 1:16:

For in him all things were created:  things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Galatians 3:14:

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

All these texts are saying that Christ was the Creator.  Now Christ becomes the Redeemer and on the cross He says, “It is finished.”

According to the sanctuary, there are two phases of Christ’s redemptive activity.  There is the earthly mission, which ended with the cross.  After Christ died, He rested in His tomb from all His work.  Then He rose up to begin the second phase of His ministry, which is the heavenly ministry.  And when He finishes that, He will enter into rest and He will give us the eternal rest that He promised us.  Isaiah 66 says that from one Sabbath to another all flesh will come and worship Him (Isaiah 66:23):

“From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.

We will worship Him because now He has restored to us the full rest that He has promised us.  So the Sabbath points to a redemptive significance.

Some years ago, a group of seven scholars got together and wrote a book.  They don’t say it and, in fact, they try to deny it, but I believe the book was written to counteract Bacchiocchi’s book for proving that the Roman Catholic Church introduced Sunday observance.  Anyway, this book was not by one scholar but by about seven.  I am not sure I can recommend it to you because it has a lot of original language words in there — the Greek and the Hebrew — but it is an excellent book because there they confess new facts.

I would like to bring you some of those facts.  The name of the book is, From Sabbath to the Lord’s Day.  I think Carlson is the editor.  They admit:

  1. That the Sabbath has redemptive significance.  Thank God they are doing that!

  2. They admit that the Sabbath cannot be applied to any other day but our Saturday.

They deny anyone who teaches, “One day in seven.”  They say it is not Biblical.  These are scholars who don’t keep the Sabbath.  They admit that the early Christian Church, the Gentiles, kept the Sabbath.  They have an excellent argument for it.

They said that if they did not keep the Sabbath, the Judaizers would have made a stink about it.  The Judaizers insisted that the Gentile believers should be circumcised.  Why did they not insist that they should keep the Sabbath?  There is only one reason, the scholars say, because they kept it.  As one scholar put it, “There is not a single ripple in the New Testament where the Judaizers ever complained that the Gentiles did not keep the Sabbath.”  So they admit that the early Christian Church kept the Sabbath.  These are all wonderful statements that are pointing to the truth.

The fact is that you can keep the right day for the wrong reason, and you can keep the wrong day for the right reason.  It is clear from the Bible that those who by faith have accepted Jesus Christ have entered into His rest.  If I were to ask you a question, “Who is right in God’s eyes:  the man who keeps the wrong day for the right reason or the person who keeps the right day for the wrong reason?”  Who is right and who is wrong?  Well, both are right and both are wrong.  The man who keeps the right day for the wrong reason is right on the right day but is keeping it for the wrong reason.  Will that man be saved?  The Jews kept the Sabbath for the right day for the wrong reason.  Will they be saved?  No.

I was in England, coming home on a Friday night from an M.V. program and a lady put her head out of the window.  It was a high window so all I could see was from the neck up.  She said to me, “Excuse me, sir, could you do me a favor?”  I said, “What can I do for you?”  “Could you come and switch my light on?”  I thought, this is a strange request.  I envisioned that she was a cripple, so I said, “Yes, I’ll be happy to switch your light on.”  So I went to the door and she opened it.  She was a normal person.  I said to myself, “What is she up to?”

She saw the surprise in my face and said, “I know this is a strange request.  I am an orthodox Jew and, according to our religion, it is a sin to kindle a fire and switching the light is kindling the fire.”  Of course, she didn’t know who I was and I said to her, “By the way, sister, the law also says that the stranger within your gates should not work.”  She was shocked that I even knew the forth commandment and she was embarrassed.  She said, “Yes, I know, but you are a Gentile.”  In other words, you are lost in any case, so it doesn’t matter if you work on the Sabbath.  I said, “Do you have your Bible with you?”  She said, “Yes.”  Of course, the Bible, to the Jew is only the Old Testament.

She had a Hebrew Bible so I said to her, “Can you turn for me to 1 Samuel 16:7?”  She read it and there it said:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I said, “Do you know what God is saying here?  I want to apply this to our experience here.  I will be more than happy to switch your light on, but I want you to understand that, according to this text, I am not turning the light on but you are turning the light on.  I’m only a tool that you are using, but it is your will that I am doing, not mine.  Therefore, if turning the light on the Sabbath is a sin, then you are sinning when I turn the light on, since it is your desire that I am doing it.  As far as God is concerned you have turned the light on.”

She said, “You are making it very hard for me.”  I said, “No, sister, I’m not making it hard.  I want to be honest.  It’s impossible.  ‘By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’  And you know, by the way, a very famous Jew discovered that.  His name was Paul.  The way he discovered it is that he gave up Saul and changed his name to Paul.  Not I, but Christ.”

She said, “I’m a Jew and I will die one.”  I said, “You don’t have to become a Gentile but you do have to accept your Messiah.  If you are resting in your works, you will never make it.  Your only hope is to enter into God’s rest.  You have to afflict your soul and you have to enter into God’s rest and that rest is Jesus Christ.”  She didn’t want to accept it.  I said, “That’s your problem.”  I switched the light on and I left.

If you are keeping the right day for the wrong reason, you are wasting your time.  You need to change.  You do not need to change the day, it is the right one; you need to change the reason.  If you’re keeping the wrong day for the right reason you need to change the day, because there is only one day that points to our rest in Jesus Christ.

When the end of the world comes, when we approach the climax of this world’s history, there will not be people sitting on the fence.  There will be no confusion.  The issue will be clearly presented.  There will be only two camps.  Those who are resting in Christ and those who are rejecting Christ.  There’s only two camps:  those who have faith and those who have unbelief.

Put these two statements in another way.  Those who have faith will say, “Not I, but Christ.”  Those who have unbelief will say, “Not Christ, but I,” the very opposite.  This camp will be crucified with Christ because that is what God’s verdict was to the flesh.  You see, when Jesus went to the cross, He was declaring publicly that this was God’s verdict on sinful human nature.  That’s where it belongs — on the cross.  In exchange, God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place, His life to be our life.  So those who accept Christ will say, “I am crucified with Christ.  I’m still living, yet it is not I, but Christ.”  Those who reject Christ will say, “Crucify Christ.”  So you can only do two things with Christ — be crucified with Him or crucify Him.

This is the issue in the Day of Atonement.  This is the issue that will come in the last days.  To which camp will you belong?  That’s the issue.  If you accept Christ, then there are only two things that are required of you — deny yourself, whether it be in terms of sin or of righteousness.  There is no room for self-righteousness in the gospel.  It’s all of Christ and none of self.

It is my prayer that, as we reach the end of the this world’s history and we move toward the end, that you will have no longer a mixture of “I plus Christ.”  That’s a heresy!  It is “Not I, but Christ.”  That doesn’t mean sitting down and doing nothing.  Please remember that “Not I” is painful.  It is effort.  To say “Not I” means that you deprive your ego and that’s a hard thing.

So when somebody pats you on the back and says, “What a wonderful Christian you are,” you have to say in your mind — don’t tell the person because he won’t understand — “Get thee behind me, Satan.”  The flesh [our sinful nature] is always trying to pop its ugly head up and the most disguised form of the flesh is when it pops its head up in the form of religion.  Daily you need to keep the flesh on the cross.  Afflict yourself and daily allow Christ to take over.  Paul says (Galatians 2:20):

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We are living at a crucial time of the world’s history.  God is not asking you to give up the bad things in the diet so that you may live seven years longer.  The issue is not living longer.  You may have to die as a martyr tomorrow, I don’t know.  What God is asking is for us to give up all allegiance to self so that Christ may take over.  It is my prayer that you and I will hide in Christ Who will be our Rock, that you will be willing to afflict your soul and to hide in Christ.

In the next study, I will deal with the final study of the sanctuary series on how God will be vindicated when He will put His people to the test.  So you see, as we approach the end and God has a people who are afflicting their souls and are entering into His rest, He will say to the universe, He will say to the world, “Here are my people who have the testimony of Jesus and the faith of Jesus, who are keeping the law, not mechanically but who have loved their neighbors more than themselves, who loved God more than self, who are willing to say ‘good-bye’ to anything that is disloyal to God.”

When that test comes, God will be vindicated.  I want to explain what the issue is in that final trouble.  It is my prayer that you will do both — afflict the soul and enter into God’s Sabbath rest, not only in act outwardly but in the heart.

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