What is the Sabbath and what is the real significance, the intrinsic meaning, of the Sabbath? In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to “take one day off”, the Sabbath day, when they would just worship God and spend time with God to “do His business”. But what about us, in the New Testament? What is the principle of the Sabbath? The real meaning of keeping the Sabbath is that we cease from our doing, stop our work, get ourselves FIRED and we enjoy what the Lord has done for us by drinking of Him – the consummated Spirit – as the waters! In the entire Bible we see that God wants to come into us, fill us, replace us, and live in us! As believers in Christ, we need to take Christ as our replacement every day. I particularly enjoyed three illustrations given in the Bible regarding us being replaced by Christ:
- Christ is the Universal Replacement – in Mark 9:7-8, on the mount of transfiguration, where the disciples saw Jesus being in glory with Moses and Elijah, and Peter said, Lord – let’s build three tents, one for each one of you… – God acknowledged from the heavens, This is My Son, the Beloved – Hear HIM! God wants only Christ and He wants His Beloved to replace everything and everyone else! We don’t want to hear anyone or anything else – we want to hear Him! After the voice from heaven spoke, the disciples didn’t see anyone else there but Jesus Only! This is what the Lord desires to recover today – Jesus Only as our all-inclusive universal replacement! Christ replaces Moses, Elijah, the prophets, the law, our soul, our mind, everything and everyone – and in the whole universe there will be Jesus Only to the praise of God! Lord, we want to give You all the ground in our living and our being!
- The principle of grafting, seen in Rom. 11:17, 24 – we were branches of the uncultivated olive tree, the wild olive tree, but on the cross we were cut off from this wild olive tree(we were cut off from Adam), and we were grafted into Christ – the cultivated rich olive tree! Now we are living in Him and He is living in us! We live in Him, by Him, with Him, and because of Him, and He lives in us, by us, and through us! We have one life and one living with this wonderful Person! We are still a branch – we are not “exchanged to a better branch” – no, we are grafted in Christ and His life sap, His life juice, is swallowing up all the shortages in our being! In this way, we’re being transformed with the very element of Christ being imparted and dispensed into us! Christ is now living in us, by us, through us, and even as us!
- The principle of the petrified wood – as seen in nature, in the old times when there were great volcanic eruptions, the trees were swept down the hills, stripped of their leaves/branches/bark, etc – and were buried under the volcanic ash, in the volcanic mud. This is just like in the church life today – here we’re stripped of our “bark, leaves, and branches”, and we’re “buried under the volcanic ash”. As the tree trunks were there under the volcanic ash, water somehow managed to seep in through the ash and bring in the minerals – as time went by, the wooden element was being replaced with the new minerals brought in by water. The result was something that looked exactly like the wood, but was STONE – the tree trunks were ston-ified, petrified! The water slowly permeated the wood spaces until the tree was slowly replaced by the minerals! It looks very much like the wood, but it is completely replaced by stone! This is called “the petrification of the wood” and it is a good example of our being “Christified“! As we stay in the church life, the divine Spirit is “seeping in” through our exercise of our spirit – and we’re being slowly replaced by Christ as the living water with the rich divine “minerals”…
This principle of being replaced we can also see with the apostle Paul – in Gal. 2:20 he says,
I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
So on the one hand, Paul was crucified – and he didn’t live anymore; but on the other hand he still lived – not an “exchanged life”, but a life in which he was replaced with the Christ who lives in him! We have Christ now, living in us – He’s our Person, He’s our life, and He’s our living! The old “I” was crucified with Christ and has no divinity in it; the new “I” which now lives is the I with Christ as its life and person! The old “I” was crucified and resurrected, and God was added to it; now we’re “the new I”, a man + God, a God-man! Amen, on the one hand we’re terminated, and on the other the regenerated one still lives! It is Christ who lives, but He lives in us! This is the real Sabbath – no longer I but Christ living in me! We just need to cease from our doing, deny ourselves – we need to exercise our spirit to deny ourselves and live by Christ as our life! This is to be replaced by Christ! The most simple and practical way to deny ourselves simply to PRAY! When we pray, we are realising that we are nothing and we can do nothing! This means that we deny ourselves, we live by Christ as our life so that we may be replaced by Christ as our life! And the most simple way to pray is to call on the name of the Lord – O Lord Jesus! Whenever we call on the name of the Lord, we pray and we deny ourselves – we are being replaced with Christ! This is the real rest, the real satisfaction, and the real meaning of Sabbath today! [enjyoment from message 9 of the Crystallization-study of Isaiah(2)]
Lord, replace us today! Keep us calling on Your name, Lord, until we arrive into the kingdom! Keep us calling until we become the manifestation of Your kingdom! Lord, thank You for the Sabbath in its intrinsic significance! Thank You for this grafted life and this organic union! O Lord, without You we can do and we are nothing! May it be No Longer I But Christ today! Live in us, Lord, as we deny ourselves to take You as our life!