The Triple Connection

 

We asked our Father Love what new congregations needed to understand first and foremost as a basis of their lives as believers. He responded: forgiveness, identity in Jesus, and the Sabbath.

Those of us who have kept the Sabbath have realized the connection between these three teachings and practices. Allow me to explain.

God calls the Sabbath an identifying sign, a sign of who He is and who we are in Him. It’s a sign “that you may know that I am [the Eternal, the “I am”] who sanctifies you” (Ex. 31:13).

A threefold connection exists in these three main teachings a new believer needs to understand and that few believers have ever accepted. Obviously, Jesus understood this connection. Luke 4:16 says that He kept the Sabbath “as was His custom…” He promptly opened the part of the scroll that established his identity as the Son of God, anointed to preach the gospel of the Kingdom.

The Sabbath in the understanding of the Hebrew letters in the word has the following meaning: return to the covenant or cross. For Jesus it meant to return to His covenant with His Father so He would do and say what He saw His Father say and do. His intimacy with the Father was based in the weekly reminder of His identity in the Sabbath, His oneness with the “I am.” He knew He had been set apart by His Father. Being one with the “I am,” He knew that He was the “I am.”

His identification with the “I am” costs him His life and His reputation. His brothers and sisters thought he was crazy and said so. Imagine the challenge.

I don’t have to imagine it. I was attacked with a life-threatening illness in 1986. God saved me in His mercy from sure death, my former wife being told to prepare for burying me in three hours. God didn’t let me die, but because of my unforgiveness to a ministerial boss, there was a delay. This boss had challenged my identity, which I didn’t understand as a son of my Father Love and a brother of Jesus. That situation obliged my Father to allow problems to bring me back to Him.

I went through twelve years of severe mental illness, wanting to kill myself several times. To this day, twenty years after all who really know me also know I was healed, my immediate family doesn’t think I am healed. Even my family in my native U.S. thinks I am still mentally ill.

As Jesus lives in me, I must call on my Father’s gift of forgiveness to forgive my family, my birth family and the family of my first marriage. Jesus did. He forgave his siblings who cursed him with mental illness. He went through everything we could possibly go through.

The key to the forgiveness Jesus displayed every day of His life was identity. He knew who He was. And that identity was refreshed and solidified every Sabbath day as He was reminded of who His Father was and who He was in Him.

He didn’t allow Himself to be overwhelmed by the opinion of his family and the religious establishment, who called him demon-possessed.

Our Father has taught us to lay down our problems every Friday just before the Sabbath so we could enter into the joy of the Sabbath and have our identity refreshed every week. If we don’t follow that command, we can easily be overwhelmed by our weekly challenges.

God gives also the new moons to lay down our long-term burdens so we don’t have to carry them throughout our lives. We have a “Christian” world that has forgotten the covenant and the cross it represents.

Today, we can emphasize the meaning of the word Shabbat that means, “return to the cross.” Jesus laid down His life for us to give us a new day every day, even if we murdered someone the day before. God always gives us a new day, and a true believer will always forgive us and give us a new day. God forgets our sin. Although a believer may not forget the offense, he or she will not bring it up and considers it as a past that doesn’t exist.

That’s how God want us to consider ourselves, forgiven as if we had never sinned. And that’s where the problem is. Often we can’t forgive ourselves, so God can’t therefore forgive us. He delivers us to the demonic tormentors to drive us back to Him.

You can see why God told us the first teaching that is most important is forgiveness, especially forgiveness of ourselves so we can walk in our identity.

We can finally accept the identity we have in Jesus. Our Father said to Him before He did any mighty works, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

When we accept our Father’s grace to forgive ourselves and others, we can then return to the cross, realizing that Jesus’ blood makes us exactly like Jesus. We can know that our Father sees us like He sees Jesus—exactly. As He is, so are we (1 John 4:17).

John understood. Maybe that’s why he lived so long. He called himself “the disciple Jesus loved.” That’s who each of us believers are, if we will only recognize our identity. It’s easier for Sabbath keepers to understand this truth, but many Sabbath keepers haven’t accepted what their Father offers them—the grace to forgive others and themselves. This is why God told us forgiveness is the first thing.

A Sabbath keeper should understand His identity in Jesus as a beloved son of Father Love, and he should have understood his need to forgive himself and give himself a new day every day. David was a man after God’s own heart. He gave himself a new day after committing adultery and murdering the husband of the woman he slept with.

He didn’t live a live feeling sorry for himself and his fate. Jesus redeemed the situation, allowing him to marry that woman. Jesus had to allow the death of his young son because He hadn’t come to shed His blood to break curses, even from God.

Today we can return to the cross on the Sabbath day, allowing ourselves to see ourselves as totally forgiven with our sins forgotten and erased by our Father because of Jesus’ blood. God has given us everything in the Sabbath day, identity and forgiveness, if only we will take advantage of it. Shabbat shalom!

 

 

 

 

 

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