3. Deepening Sabbath Rest

By John Thiel, Facing Last Day Perils Conference, Study 3, mp3

A temple made of time and its connection with the wonderful redemptive story. Jesus rested after His terrible suffering. I want to spend time in this precious deepening Sabbath rest that we are privileged to participate in. The whole experience of these last perilous times in which we live, the day of the Lord, is not a very good time.

We will be looking at the depths of these perils and as we look into these, we want to understand how we can rejoice in them. This is the most puzzling situation of the Scriptures. We are told to rejoice in tribulation. How can that be? We want to understand this. We want to understand the true Sabbath rest in the midst of tribulation. If we are going to be true Sabbath keepers, what will be our experience?

2 Timothy 3:12-13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Who will suffer persecution? Those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The steady decline to perdition as the clouds of the storm are now bursting upon God’s people which was warned of back in Sr White’s time. From that time it says wicked men will get worse and worse. God’s people are perplexed. However, while on the one hand there is this increasing perplexity, on the other hand we are told that God’s people are progressing, not declining.

Proverbs 4:14-17 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

That is what the progressive decline is.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Here we are confronted with a realisation that while the world is getting worse and worse and persecution will become more intensified, God’s people, the path that they are following, is onward and upward unto the perfect day. The 144,000 are being purged and purified as they are being sealed. They will become more and more pure in the same period of time where everything is getting worse and worse. This is what is forecast and happening and we want to make sure that we understand we’re part of that.

At a time of decline of true Christianity around us we, need a lift. We need something to encourage us as we see these storm clouds pouring upon God’s people. We want to see a vision of progress in the opposite direction than what we are seeing in the world around us. What is written for this time to counter the current that is downward to perdition? Here is the detail of these last perilous times where nothing comes to fruition. We have been working hard to make progress and the fruit isn’t there. Have you already met such an experience where you wanted to see some good results and they just don’t come? This is the plight of our time in these last days.

Habakkuk 3:1-2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Are we living in the days where the wrath of God, His indignation, is already proceeding? This was already happening in Sr White’s time and it is going to increase. In wrath, in this period of time, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Habakkuk  3:16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.  17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls:

This is the time of trouble.

Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

Here you are given a vision of the high mountains like in Nepal or in Switzerland or anywhere where you’ve got these goats. They jump around on the cliffs. It’s pretty dangerous and in this danger in which we live, we may have hind’s feet to dwell in the high places.

Isaiah 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

What was the heritage of Jacob? Did he go through some troublous times?

Jacob’s Trouble

Are we going through some troublous times? Yes. In this time when he was struggling, he was actually receiving the blessing of the Lord. The Lord came there to bless him and he thought it was an enemy until he suddenly realised who He was and then he was blessed in the time of Jacob’s trouble. This is the picture that is being drawn for us. As we read in Habakkuk, it was terrible, all the work that was put into producing the fig tree was not producing. There was persecution and there was difficulty and yet the strength of the Lord was what he was relying on and he would ride upon the high places. Who are going to ride upon the high places?

Isaiah  58:12 And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

In this time of the diminishing of God’s law and the diminishing of the Sabbath, the imparting of the mark of the beast, there is a people who are excelling and standing forth with the power of the Holy Spirit. When everything is falling down around them, the fig tree isn’t bringing its fruit, the olive isn’t bringing any of its fruit, but they are standing in the power of God riding on the high places.

Psalm 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.

When they have made void God’s law in its final conclusion, God’s people have to stand up and they say. Lord, it’s time for you to work, use us please; we want to excel to your honour and glory.

Psalms 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way.

In the sequence of the law being made void, God’s people love the commandments with greater intensity and they love it better than gold. Because there is persecution, you won’t have much gold, everything has gone haywire around you, money will be gone and you will enjoy yourself with the beauty of the commandments of God. You will rejoice in tribulation. I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way. This is the experience.

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people;

The thickening darkness, the storm, everything is falling down around us. Nothing is building up in terms of the affairs of the world and the professed Christians are falling for the traps of Satan. Here are a people that are to arise and shine in the gross darkness.

Darkness Shall Cover the Earth

Isaiah 60:2 …but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

In the thickening darkness, what shines the brightest in the darkest night? The stars shine. What are we to be? We are to be those stars shining in the darkness. This is the appropriate time to uplift the Sabbath when it’s at its darkest.

Yesterday [August 10, 1851], which was Sabbath, we had a sweet, glorious time. The Lord met with us and the glory of God was shed upon us and we were made to rejoice and glorify God for his exceeding goodness unto us. I was taken off in vision. I saw that we sensed and realized but little of the importance of the Sabbath, to what we yet should realize and know of its importance and glory. I saw we knew not what it was yet to ride upon the high places of the earth and to be fed with the heritage of Jacob. But when the refreshing and latter rain shall come from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power we shall know what it is to be fed with the heritage of Jacob and ride upon the high places of the earth. {3SM260.2}

When is the time of the latter rain? It is at the very time of the thickening of the storm. It is during the thickening of the storm and the outpouring of the latter rain that we will see the Sabbath more beautifully.

Then shall we see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory. But we shall not see it in all its glory and importance until the covenant of peace is made with us at the voice of God, and the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem are thrown open and swing back on their glittering hinges and the glad and joyful voice of the lovely Jesus is heard richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear bidding us enter. [I saw] that we had a perfect right in the city for we had kept the commandments of God, and heaven, sweet heaven is our home, for we have kept the commandments of God.—Letter 3, 1851. {3SM260.3}

The intensifying blessing and joy of the Sabbath takes place as the intensifying corruption of the world takes place. This was said as they were heralding the end as the truths were established over those fifty years because this was written in 1851.

They didn’t see the Sabbath so beautifully but as it comes closer and closer to the outpouring of the latter rain and the terrible darkness, the Sabbath will become more precious to them. It will intensify until the voice of God. When is that? It is at the darkest time in the plague period, when temptation and discouragement and darkness want to enshroud God’s people. They will rise and shine in the Sabbath rest because of its increasing depth that they discover. Let us spend this time as we continue to contemplate and pray for the Holy Spirit to be shed upon us. What is the shedding of the Holy Spirit, what is the pouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain?

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.

Who is speaking here? This is none other but the Holy Spirit. He says my doctrine; the doctrine of the Holy Spirit will drop as a rain. This is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people.

The more closely we adhere to the simplicity of truth, the more surely do we comprehend its deep meaning. Then if the heart is under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, it can say, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). This means the word is interpreted by the Holy Spirit, not merely as perused by the student. {HP139.2}

What does it mean for the truth to be given in inspiration? It means the word is interpreted by the Holy Spirit not merely as perused by the student. To just peruse the study of the Bible studiously is not what the doctrine of the latter rain is about. While we must study to show ourselves approved, as we study we are to let the Holy Spirit be our interpreter. That is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

It is not the mere letter of the words which gives the light and the understanding, but the Word is in a special manner written upon the heart, applied by the Holy Spirit. To the mind and heart consecrated to God, an increased measure of understanding is given as the light is communicated to others. {HP139.3}

What is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? It is His doctrine. As we look at and examine the Word, His doctrine will be more than just understood as a doctrine, it will be inscribed upon the heart; it will be interpreted and brought to our appreciation by the Holy Spirit. This is what it is all about. As we do this, the latter rain, the teacher of righteousness according to righteousness as in Joel, He will pour out His Spirit in the early and the latter rain. The teacher of righteousness according to righteousness is the meaning in the marginal reading. As the teacher of righteousness according to righteousness is poured upon us as the interpretation of the doctrine is by the work of the Holy Spirit, then we shall see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory.

At the time of increasing chaos, turmoil, anguish and weeping, what increasing help do we need? When everything is just there to wear you out where everything is there to create conflict and war, we know exactly what this is talking about because we are in it. What do you need when things are really chaotic around you? Don’t you need rest? Oh how I need rest when it just goes on and on around me. At this time the Sabbath rest is offered us in greater dimensions in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We shall see a depth of the Sabbath that we have not seen before. The Sabbath had everything to do with the everlasting gospel.

The Hebrews in the wilderness were given their opportunity but they did not enter into rest because the gospel was preached to them but they didn’t accept it.

Hebrews 4:1-4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

Can you see how the apostle here binds together the beautiful rest that comes to us through the gospel of Jesus Christ and he connects it with the Sabbath? To enter into the rest of the beautiful work of the Holy Spirit applying Jesus to us, we will in the turmoil and chaos and madness of our time, enter into rest.

Hebrews 4:9-10 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

The Holy Spirit said He the Lord is a rock? As I am applying the beautiful message of the gospel to you, you will be able to rest in the midst of chaos. That is the reason I wanted this picture in front of us. Can you see the dove beautifully at rest? There is danger all around. That is the picture depicting the rest that God wants us to have in the midst of chaos. The more severe the storm, the deeper is the rest, the gospel rest. The gospel and the Sabbath are bound together. Here is the offer that God is making:

Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and you would not

We won’t read the last bit will we? Will we accept that or won’t we? In the terrible turmoil we want to go and do something and the Lord says, no, you rest. In that time the prudent will be silent. You say, just a moment we are supposed to be doing missionary work. Of course we are, it is a missionary work of a different order in this time. It’s a missionary work that most energetic missionaries can’t quite understand. It’s a time of reflecting perfectly the peace that passeth understanding in our life. While the rest of the world is in total chaos, they are restless, they have got post-traumatic stress syndrome, they can see a people that are perfectly at rest. They say, what have you got? You’ve got something that I want. This is the kind of work that is much more difficult than going out trying to tell the people the facts. How can you be calm and peaceful when everything is intensifying around you and be a true witness of God? That can only come from the Holy Spirit. It cannot be generated by our own selves.

There are many people in that day that will come and say to the Lord, but have we not done this in your name and have we not done that in your name? He will say I know you not. Many people think that will be when Jesus comes, but that is not true. This is the time when they will finally say, the summer is passed and the harvest is ended and we are not saved. But Lord, haven’t we done all this? He says no, I don’t know you. That is the time where this applies. It is essential that at such a time we understand the true Sabbath rest. In the outpouring of the latter rain and in the giving of the loud cry, there is a people who are so perfectly at rest that they will stand in the courts giving the loud cry. Thousands will hear that have never heard before. They will see you on television, they will see you beamed across the planet, and they will see others in other places as Gideon’s army. There were only three hundred men devastating the multitudes. This is the kind of work when the Lord steps in and we rest in Him. This is where we need to be.

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and you would not.”

I hope that is not us.

God offered His Son and He provided rest for the sin-sick intensity of the human race. He was in anguish Himself. We often quote these words because through Waggoner and Jones we have been made aware of these Scriptures.

Psalm 69:20-21 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Here was Jesus on the cross purchasing our salvation. He is crying out, He is in anguish of soul.

Psalm 69:1-3 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

He was in total anguish of soul with sin-sick humanity upon Him.

Psalm 22:1-2 My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Psalm 22:16-18 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Thus was the turmoil as it is for every sinner passed upon Jesus and Jesus shows us the path as we head along to Jacob’s trouble. Was Jesus in the period of Jacob’s trouble here? He was crying to God like Jacob was crying to God. Here He was fighting in our experience until He came to rest. As He was hanging there and He was struggling, He cried out, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. He has achieved the rest that the sinner must find. Here is the gospel. Jesus had given up His ghost in the turmoil in which He lived because we are living in that. He now says, Father, in this turmoil I commend myself into Your hands, and He gave up the ghost and died.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

At last Jesus was at rest. The long day of shame and torture was ended. As the last rays of the setting sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph’s tomb. His work completed, His hands folded in peace, He rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath day. {BLJ 162.2}

In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When “the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Genesis 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). (BLJ 162.3}

Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future….With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For “his work is perfect” (Deuteronomy 32:4); and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). When there shall be a “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as “from one sabbath to another” (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb. {BLJ 162.4}

When we understand the turmoil and chaos that we have to go through and we see the turmoil and chaos that Jesus went through, it’s a perfect parallel. He was persecuted like God’s people in the last days are persecuted. As we go through this together with Jesus we will break through and enter into Sabbath rest. This is what Jesus revealed here at the cross when He rested after His work of redemption. All of heaven was rejoicing while the people on earth were crying. Can you understand what this is saying to us? We will appreciate the Sabbath more deeply as we go deeper and deeper into the last days. This is true Sabbath rest, creation and recreation in Jesus. There remaineth therefore a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God, as we were reading in Hebrews.

When a people stand and say, there’s no need to keep the Sabbath, here is the reality that comes across not as a doctrinal debate, it comes across as a people who represent true Sabbath rest. Here is the Sabbath rest that Jesus claimed in prophecy:

Psalm 40:1-4 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Can you see where this applies? In a world of people turning aside to lies and the mark of the beast being imposed, God’s people shall stand in the same experience as did Jesus. What is written about them in Revelation?

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

This is the true Sabbath rest; perfect trust in the Father. Into your hands I commend my spirit; I will not let you go unless you bless me. They will be conquerors; that is why they were called Israel. The Bible binds the picture together for us. It is so closely entwined with the agony of sin that I can lay down as I open my heart to the beauty of Jesus. The gospel rest, the binding of the Sabbath is a beautiful token of love between God and us.

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Exodus 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant.  17 It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

The Lord is making us holy and the Lord finished His work in creation and rested and was refreshed. It’s a binding picture.

The increasing storm and the chaos all around with persecution for keeping the Sabbath versus the mark of the beast. An ever-increasing sense of danger and problems and storm around us; we hide in the rock, Jesus Christ. We have an increasing sense of the haven of rest. The worse it gets out there the more you creep into the Rock, the more you feel secure there. Have you ever been in that situation?

I never forget the day I was in a storm and I was with my family. We were living in a caravan at the time. We were parked underneath a huge tree and it was storming.A branch could have broken off any time and come crushing down on us. As I was lying there (as a child I have always been scared stiff of storms) that childhood fear wanted to come upon me. As I was praying, Lord I thank you, it was roaring up through the tree. The more fear wanted to grab me; the more the arms of the Lord encompassed the caravan. The caravan was still while it was roaring. It was an experience I will never forget; this restfulness in the midst of the storm. That is the picture. The more intense, the deeper is the rest. There is an ever-increasing sense of the haven of rest – a people who will stand for the Sabbath when the Sabbath is the source of their problem with the world. It is a strange contradiction isn’t it? Yet it is a day of rest for us. We need to learn this lesson to rejoice in tribulation.

When will the Sabbath become the greatest benefit to them even above that in the time of the latter rain?

But we shall not see it in all its glory and importance until the covenant of peace is made with us at the voice of God.”

When is that? It is when the storm is at its fiercest.

Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

What did Jesus cry at the cross? It is finished, and then Jesus entered into the Sabbath rest. Here it is done and we will see the Sabbath in its greater glory at the most intense time.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

He rested. Here is the voice of God; It is done. Here we see another connection. Not only it is finished at creation and the Sabbath came in, not only it is finished at redemption when Jesus rested in the grave, but now at the very end the Sabbath comes in once more when God says, It is done. That voice is followed with the voice of God for God’s people.

It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. {GC 636.2}

When it’s the most intense the children of God can see; it is the most intense now and God is going to speak.

Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: “It is done.” Revelation 16:17. {GC 636.2}

That voice shakes the heavens and there is a great earthquake. The 144,000 who had passed away rise. Why do they rise?

The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. {GC 640.2}

What did we read in Selected Messages? That is when they will see the Sabbath as they have never seen it before.

Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory. {GC 640.2}

There the Sabbath will be seen in its fullest glory because it is a tremendous connection with the reality of God shielding them and protecting them from this mad chaos that has so intensified. What did we hear in that song? In a temple made of time. The Sabbath is a temple made of time; at creation, at the cross, and at the end of the plagues. That is the Sabbath and we will enter into Sabbath rest for the rest of eternity.

Oh pilgrims rejoice; the glory of the Sabbath is dawning upon us. Let us keep it with deeper reverence every time we meet it again.


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 14/03/2014, in Facing Last Day Perils (Conference). Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.