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LESSON 1: THE PRINCIPLE OF REST

TORCHBEARERS MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
BIBLE STUDY OUTLINE
BY APOSTLE JOSEPH MINTAH

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CENTRAL TEXT: HEBREWS 4:1-10


INTRODUCTION
Now we have gotten to another place which spells out a fundamental difference between the old testament and the new testament and for that matter, religion and relationship. It is the principle called REST. Religion produces weariness but Christianity is a personal relationship between us and the Lord Jesus Christ which results into rest.
MAIN LESSON
A)    THE SEVENTH ‘DAY’
The Bible makes it clear that God worked for six days and He rested on the seventh day. God then sanctified the seventh day and made it holy (Gen 2:1-3). Note: Sanctify here does not denote the presence of sin. It simply means He set it apart.
1)      By sanctifying the seventh day, God had instituted the principle of the seventh dimension producing rest. So, seventh day can also be seventh dimension, the fullness of time, perfection, full age or maturity, the end of a thing.
2)      What it means is that when things get to the place of finishing, fullness or maturity, the inevitable results are rest. So, the test is to labour and wait till you get to the fullness of time and enter into rest so that you move effortlessly.
B)    TYPES OF SABBATHS
3)      When God set apart the seventh day, He didn’t make it into law for all those who walked with Him till the time of the Israelites. This is because the covenant He made with the Israelites were the shadows of things to come (Col 2:16-17). There are 3 main types of Sabbath or rest. We have the Sabbath day principle, the Reality of the Sabbath and the Eternal Sabbath for God’s people. In this lesson, we shall examine the first one.
4)      The Sabbath Day Principle:  In line with what He did in the beginning (Gen 2:1-3), God instituted the law of Sabbath for the Israelites. This was to instill into them the principle of rest and to cast a shadow for the coming reality who was Christ. The Law of Sabbath itself was sub divided into various forms.
a)      The Sabbath day: This was the seventh day of the week. There were many instructions concerning it (Ex 20:8-11).  Some of the instructions were that (i) they shouldn’t do any manner of work(ii) they shouldn’t even cook (num 15:32-36), they were even restricted in the length of distance they could travel (Acts 1:12).
b)     The Sabbath year: This was referring to every seventh year. The land on which they farmed should be left to lie fallow for one whole year (Exodus 23:10-12).
c)      The Jubilee Year (7 Sabbath years): The Jubilee year is seven Sabbath years which is 49 years. The year after the 49th year which is the 50th year is Jubilee. There were many rules which applied to the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:1-22).
               In the New Testament, the principle of the Sabbath is still in force but the practice of a particular day as Sabbath is not endorsed.
Note these:
a.      Jesus rose on the first day not the seventh day (Mt 28:1).
b.      Jesus appeared to the disciples on the first day of the week after His resurrection (John 20:19).
c.       The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost (The feast of Weeks) which was a day after the 7th Sabbath which would be the first day of the week (Lev 23:15-16, Acts 2:1).
d.      The early disciples met on the first day of the week for service (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1). Therefore, the Law of the Sabbath day was fulfilled in Christ. Christ was a fulfillment of the strict observance of the Sabbath with all its regulations which was only a shadow of that which was to come, which is The Lord Jesus. Therefore, in the New Testament, you can worship God on any day; Saturday, Sunday, Monday etc. Read Roman 14:5-7, Colossians 2:16-17
Memory verse
Matthew 11:28: Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

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