One can only imagine what the two Members of the Godhead (God and the Word Who became Jesus Christ) were feeling when they decided to make man. And not simply to make him, but to make him in Their own (physical) image and their own (spiritual) likeness. Like the angels before him, man had to be given free moral agency–the right to choose the path he would take during his life’s “walk.” Having created Adam (Heb–“man”) and Eve (the mother of all) in their physical image and having given them the right of moral choice, the Godhead’s (re)creation of the physical universe was complete. Now it was time for the Word (Jesus Christ) to “rest” by refreshing Himself. With that in mind, He created the first Sabbath–a 24 hour period which He made for man’s benefit in which he was to leave the physical world behind and draw near to His Maker. During this short interlude, man was to focus all of his spiritual energy on the One in Whose image and likeness he was created. During this special day man would rid his mind (heart) of worldly things. He would not consider the physical necessities of survival and self-service and concentrate on becoming more like the One Who designed and animated him–Jesus the Christ (anointed One). Four thousand years later the Word would come to earth as a man in order to show man how to become totally like Himself. To make this possible He would equip him with His Holy Spirit–the same power with which He created the entire universe.
Outside of the creation of man, the Sabbath was the Word’s most important creation. For in it man would set aside all other considerations and totally sanctify himself unto His Maker in order to become one with Him in every way. This day was so special that God called it “My holy day” (Isa. 5813), thereby not only setting it aside as His one special day each week, but actually claiming it above all other days as His own. “My” meant that there would be no other day like it. And in that He does not change, His holy day would not change–neither the day He had chosen nor what was to be done and not done on that day. But alas, Satan would later convince a man –Pope Sylvester I– to change not only the day of rest from the 7th to the 1st day of the week, but also what could be done on his new sabbath. Man, he decreed, could do whatever he wanted to do on the day God had chosen.
A man, the world would soon realize, had replaced God. He had even gave himself the title of “vicar,” meaning “in the place of.” Man had taken God’s place as Lord of the earth. As had been prophesied about him in Daniel 7:25, this man, as head of a religious body, would “change times and laws” (Dan. 7:25). God’s self-proclaimed replacement did indeed change not only His Sabbath, but the time of the year’s beginning and ending and the time of the beginning and ending of each day. The church he headed eventually eradication God’s holy days and replaced them with heathen holidays. By changing the Sabbath day, man changed God’s Law by eradicating the 4th commandment and replacing it with one of his own. This was done in order to appease the numerous sun worshipers who had “converted” to Catholicism at the point of a Roman sword. Sun worshipers paid homage to their god on his day–sun day (“the venerable day of the sun”)–when they gathered to honor him. Adding insult to injury, the church called her new god “Jesus.” Their religious descendants continue the tradition today. The Sunday sabbath and everything involved in it is one of the foundational doctrines upon which “the church” rests today. Read Simon of Samaria: The Legacy. Key word–Legacy.
God (Jesus–the Word) gave Adam and Eve three Laws to obey in order to live forever in paradise: they were to care for the garden He had created for them; they were to cease their labors on the day He had created for that purpose; and they must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other trees were available to them, including the Tree of Life which they were to partake of, receive the Holy Spirit and live in holiness forever in Eden. Henceforth the word “God” will refer to the Word/Jesus Christ unless noted otherwise. When referring to the other God the term “Father” will be used.
After our first parents rejected the way (“walk”) of life God had given them, they were driven from the Garden and tree of life was closed off from them (Gen. 3). Over time the population of the world grew exponentially and man, following Adam and Eve’s pattern, turned to evil. Every thought of their minds was on evil continually as Satan directed the life (walk) of mankind throughout the earth. For this reason God drowned every human being on earth except Noah–and his family.
Over time man built cities and nations, formed governments and created laws with which to govern himself. Over the following years man proved that he was incapable of conducting himself in a holy fashion on his own. Wishing for men with whom He could fellowship, God chose a man named Abram (henceforth “Abraham”) with whom He made a covenant that contained the promises of 1) national greatness and 2) spiritual salvation for his (Abraham’s) descendants (Gen. 12:1-3). In keeping with God’s two-part covenant with faithful Abraham, national, world-affecting greatness would later come to fore in the creation of two powerful and successful nations that would spring forth from the descendants of Joseph, a descendant of Abraham. One nation–a “commonwealth of nations”–would evolve from Joseph’s son Ephraim and would be known as the British Empire–the greatest empire known to man. Later, history’s most powerful single nation would be settled by the descendants of Ephraim’s older brother Manasseh and would be known as the United States of America (Gen. 35:11; 48:14). God’s promise to Abraham of spiritual greatness and mass salvation would come in the form of a tiny nation that would produce the Savior of the world. That tiny nation, known as Israel, would one day hold controlling power in many of the world’s nations. As Micah 5:8 notes: America would become “a lion among nations.” Truly, as God promised Abraham, “… kings will come forth from you” (Gen. 17:6) as Israelites spread throughout the world, their superior mental and physical powers propelling them to national leadership wherever they were. The irony is that they would not know they were Israelites and would believe themselves to be Gentiles. Read Who and Where is Israel Today? Key word–Today. Those three God-established nations would eventually come to hold sway over the entire world through both military power and commercial production. As God had promised Abraham in His covenant with him, Abraham’s descendants would be THE ultimate force for good around the world. However, the covenant contained a caveat. If his descendants failed to obey God their destruction would be equally as dramatic and equally as total.
As the end of the age rapidly approaches, those three nations, specifically created by God to be His “light to the Gentiles,” are in rapid decline and will soon be annihilated and their survivors taken into slavery. Why? For the same reason their ancestors were destroyed and their survivors taken into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity–rebellion against God by refusing to obey His Law. Because Israelites are scattered throughout the world, the slaughter will involve the entire world. Only the return of Jesus Christ will prevent Satan-controlled man from destroying himself completely. Only those who have lived their converted lives in a state of holiness will be taken to a place of safety, known as “her (God’s true church) place” as the people of the world destroy it and themselves during the coming Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (Rev. 12:14). As the Apostle warns those who call themselves by God’s name in 1 Peter 4:17,18, only the righteous among them will be saved, and they just barely. As Jesus warned again in Matthew 10:22, only those who endure (in holiness) until the end will be saved. As Paul states in Romans 5:21 and 6:22, SALVATION IS THE END RESULT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS. RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS IS THE END RESULT OF OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD (1 JN. 3:4). Anyone who tells you differently is a liar and a child of Satan. L.J.