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TODAY IS THE DAY

On The Seventh Day God Rested From All His Works

On the seventh day God rested from all His works. (Hebrews 4:4 NIV)

One of the greatest stories that characteristically represents the eternal gospel is the story of the two criminals who were crucified along with the Lord Jesus, who made a most powerful statement: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Let us read the following passages:

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him … In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. (Matthew 27:38–41 NIV)

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39–43 NIV)

Three persons were crucified that day, and they had one thing in common—they were crucified because they were all under the Law. The cause of their death was because of the Old Covenant, which is the ministry of death and condemnation.

The teachers of the law were also there. Jesus called them snakes and a brood of vipers. They represent the serpent, whose sole purpose is to deceive mankind to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (to have them get inside the Old Covenant and remain in it). The Law is their weapon of death.

The first person who was crucified voluntarily had himself be under the Law and gladly took the penalty required by the Law to save those who are under the Law. This is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The second person was under the Law and remained under it. He did not believe in the Lord Jesus and had rejected God’s act of grace. He represents those whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because they have rejected God as their Creator and Savior. So God rejected them, and they will be judged of eternal death.

The third and last person was under the Law but did not remain under it. He believed in the Lord Jesus and had acknowledged God not only as his Creator but also as his Savior. He is now under the New and Everlasting Covenant and represents the church—those whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. So God granted them eternal life; they will be with Him and will reign with Him forevermore. To them the Lord gave this grand promise: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

What did the Lord Jesus mean when He mentioned the word today?

Let us read the following passage:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:8–16 NIV)

Scripture declares that the days are evil inside of time. Not a single day was considered holy because everyone inside of time was under the Old Covenant, thus under condemnation. Everyone was darkness, evil, unholy, or unrighteous; all were under God’s wrath and would soon face the judgment of eternal death. But God made a promise of hope. He would send His one and only begotten Son to be the Savior of the world.

To fulfill this promise, God has chosen and set apart one day that is to be holy (for all the days are evil). He called this day today.

Let us read the following passages:

God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:6–11 NIV)

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1–2 NLT)

Today is God’s chosen day that will link the eternity past and the eternity future. This is the only day inside of time set apart for God’s chosen people.

In this day the New Covenant people must reside and walk. In this day there is life, there is love, there is light, there is righteousness, there is joy, and there is peace. And this is where God meets His dearly loved people. This is the only day that is connected to eternity, and this is where God’s people are filled with the Holy Spirit. The blessings of the Lord are ever present in this day.

While being crucified, the Lord Jesus proclaimed this day special. He proclaimed it to one of the criminals: “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” That criminal represents the church—those who were formerly under the Old Covenant but are now under the New and Everlasting Covenant and whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They were released from the Law so that they could serve in the new way of the Spirit—all because of the grace and sacrificial love of the Lord Jesus.

This is the very fulfillment of the promise of God, as described by the following passages:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2 NIV)

Notice that Scripture describes the world as the land of deep darkness or the land of the shadow of death. And the Lord Jesus came to the world (inside of time) to be the great Light for the people who were living in darkness and to be the true Life for those living in the land of the shadow of death.

All who are not one with God will become the opposite, because God is one. God is light, and all who are not one with Him will be in darkness. God is life, and all who are not one with Him will be in death. God is good, and all who are not one with Him will become evil. This is what we were before the Lord Jesus came into the world.

Knowing that fact, God made a way for man to become one with Him once more and forevermore, as mentioned by this passage.

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:21–23 NIV)

“God with us” is the greatest news ever proclaimed to mankind. This is the gospel (the good news). It means that today we have God with us. We are now light, not darkness; we now have life, not death; we are now righteous, not evil. Immanuel is most worthy of praise.

Today is also proclaimed by Scripture as “a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His.” The Old Covenant is about works, while the New Covenant is about rest. The former is about gaining God’s favor and blessings by human effort (observing the Law), while the latter is about gaining God’s favor and blessings by entering that rest (that is, by believing in the Lord Jesus who is the Lord of the Sabbath).

Today is the day of salvation and of God’s favor because this is the only day (inside of time) that is under the New Covenant; all the other days are considered evil because they are all under the Old Covenant. Those who did not remain in the Old Covenant and now belong to the New Covenant have entered today. They entered God’s rest, so they rested from their own works just as God did from His.

The New Covenant is also an Everlasting Covenant—which means that today is also everlasting (the only day that is a part of eternity). This is where Immanuel is (God with us). God’s people were supposed to remain inside of today until the end of time.


Download PDF: TODAY-IS-THE-DAY.pdf


We can refer to the following books if we want to know more about the seventh day.

BACK TO WHERE WE CAME FROM—Our Foretold Journey
LAODICEA—Why the World Is Not Yet Ready for the Second Coming

View B. Lising’s books on Amazon at: amazon.com/author/blising

Watch book trailer here: https://youtu.be/oFQ1V7exKw8

 

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