Only 9 Commandments? A Day Forgotten

“Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:19

In previous posts, we have seen that the law of God is immutable.  It cannot be changed, not even one jot or tittle. The law is like God himself.  He does not change and his word or law does not change.

“For I am the LordI do not change

Malachi 3:6

We also learned there was a School Master whose job was finished when Jesus died on the cross.  This was the laws contained in ordinances i.e., the ceremonial and sacrificial laws that pointed forward to Jesus in types and shadows.

In the series “Is Obedience only for the Legalistic?” it was demonstrated that obedience is not legalistic as long as you do not try to obtain salvation or favor from God through it.

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

This verse does not make void the law.  The same writer (Paul) asked the following question and then quickly answered it just to make sure no one came to the wrong conclusion regarding faith and the law:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

Romans 3:31

James asks the believers a similar question to make sure we don’t miss the point of faith either.  The point is, true faith will have works including obedience.

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? “

James 2:14

The answer is this:

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

James 2:18

No obedience and no good deeds = No evidence of faith.  This is an example of legalism.  Trying to save yourself on your own terms without trust in God or His word.

Faith in Jesus = Obedience and good deeds (Trusts and Obeys).  We obey because we are saved and born-again.  We do not obey in order to be saved.  This is impossible.

Obedience is part of the Christian experience.  James says it plainly:

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 1:22


Obedience to the law is a natural response from a transformed heart.   The born-again follower desires to live by the principal of the law which is summarized by the two tables of the law:  Love God and Love man.  The 10 Commandments fit under one of these two headings.  But obedience is more than the letter.  It begins in the heart but expresses itself in the letter.  Example:  Jesus taught us that adultery begins in the heart, but that does not mean that the act (the letter) is not sin because it is.  The act demonstrates how uncontrollable the un-redeemed heart can be.

In a look at the new covenant we found that the law is not changed or eliminated rather God writes it on the heart.  This is where obedience starts just as does sin.

 Without this “born-again” experience, obedience becomes burdensome and religiously legalistic because it attempts to do something it is not equipped by God to do.  Any good deeds from the human unredeemed heart is for self glory and is not a love response to God and His glory.


Despite the immutability of the law, there have been attempts to change it.  The most blatant and obvious are from the Roman Catholic church leadership.  They eliminated the 2nd commandment.  Split the last one into two commandments and then changed the interpretation of a very plain 4th commandment.  Most of the world has accepted these changes and gone about their business.

But followers of Jesus follow His word and those inspired by God who were writers of the Bible.


Below,  are the typical reasons given for modifying the 4th commandment are discussed.  Today, the 4th commandment is believed to read as follows:

Remember the 1st Day of the week and go to church because Jesus was resurrected on the 1st Day of the week and the Disciples kept the 1st day of the week.  Do not work on Sunday from the time you get up in the morning until after church or about 1:00 PM.

Here are God’s exact words:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Exodus 20: 8-11

The differences are obvious:


Man & Tradition

7th Day Holy (Saturday) 7th Day is not holy-Jesus and disciples changed the day of worship to the 1st day of the week. (Sunday)
Should not work for 24 hours Should not work until after church
Reason for commandment: God is Creator Reason for change: Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week
The Lord blessed the day  Jesus and Disciples example make it holy.

The reasons for the variance  are typically expressed as follows:

1.)  We worship on Sunday because this is the day Jesus arose.

2.)  We worship on Sunday because the disciples worshiped on Sunday after the resurrection.

3.) There is no evidence the disciples worshiped or honored the Sabbath after Jesus was resurrected.  The 4th commandment is not repeated in the New Testament.

4.) The disciples broke bread and took up an offering on the 1st Day of the week-This proves they were worshiping on the 1st day of the week.

5.)  The Sabbath is for the Jews only.

6.) If you honor the Sabbath, you are legalistic and are trying to save yourself.

7) The calendar was changed.  We don’t know which day is the 7th Day.


Let’s take these one by one and see if there is biblical evidence to support any of these statements;

1.) We worship on Sunday because this is the day Jesus arose.

Reread the 4th commandment and you will see that there is nothing in the commandment about which day to worship.  It does not say to Remember the 7th Day to worship……Worship can occur on any day.  It is not limited to only one day a week.

The commandment is to “keep it holy” or set apart from the other days.  You honor it by refraining from your normal activities of work. Of course worship is a good thing to do on the Sabbath.

We honor it because it signifies that God is the Creator.

It is true that Jesus arose on the first day of the week. But there is no evidence from Jesus that he commanded his disciples or anyone to re-write the 4th commandment.  As our opening verse states, we are not to think that Jesus can to change the law.  Not even the smallest letter of the law can be changed.  Anyone who teaches otherwise is not in God’s will.

Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

1 John 2:7


2.)  We worship on Sunday because the disciples worshiped on Sunday after the resurrection.

Let’s start with the first Sunday after the resurrection.  Were the disciples gathered together to worship because Jesus arose?  No! They were together (except for Thomas), but it was because they were afraid of what the Jews might do to them.  Also, they did not believe that Jesus had arose until the evening.  Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had arose until 8 days later:

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

John 20: 19

This was not a worship service.  It was a fear service.  Notice it was at night not an 11:00 AM worship service.

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 20: 26-28

After 8 days.  This would have been on what we call a Monday, the disciples were again inside.  But this time they were believers.  They told Thomas that they had seen the Lord!  John 20:24.  It was not until Thomas could see and touch the Lord himself that he would believe.  When he did, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”


3.) There is no evidence the disciples worshiped or honored the Sabbath after Jesus was resurrected.  The 4th commandment is not repeated in the New Testament.

“But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.”

Acts 13:14

Paul and his party went to the synagogue and was asked to speak.  In verse 16, Paul stood up and gave a quick sermon to both the “men of Israel” (Jews) and “those who fear God” (Gentile converts).  The sermon was about how God had led his people and how the prophets wrote about Jesus, but the Jews who read the prophets every Sabbath  crucified him (Verse 27, 28)

Many think that Paul only went to the synagogues on the Sabbath because this is where the Jews were and He could reach more of them.  But remember, Paul considered, at least, a part of his calling was to be a teacher to gentiles:

 “to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

2 Timothy 1:11

Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first (Jews); but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:46 

When the service was over (As described above in Acts 13), the Gentiles wanted to hear more (Verse 42). In fact, they begged to hear more.  It would have been very appropriate had the disciples been meeting on the 1st day of the week to simply ask them to meet with them the very next day.  A response from a Sunday observing Paul would have went like this, “We now meet on the 1st day of the week in honor of the resurrection of Jesus.  We are meeting tomorrow.  Come to our worship service and we will talk and worship more then.”

That never happened.  In fact,  Here is what happened:

“Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”

Acts 13: 43-44

Paul persuaded this “on-fire” group of non-Jewish (Gentile) audience to wait until the next Sabbath instead of the next day!  This was written a long time after the resurrection of Jesus (Between 30 to 40 years).  This was plenty of time for the disciples to set up a new day to honor in place of the Sabbath, but there is no indication at this point that a change had been instituted.  Paul was still honoring the 4th commandment.

In another place we see Paul seeking a quite spot to pray on the Sabbath.  He met with some of the women who were also meeting for prayer by the river.  This is more inline with the purpose of the Sabbath i.e., to rest and seek God through prayer.

“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.”

It was the habit of these women to meet at the river for prayer on the Sabbath.  There is no indication Paul promoted a new day of worship or honor.  In fact, he participated in the blessing of the Sabbath by seeking a quite spot to commune with God and pray with other believers.

Paul met Lydia who “worshiped God” and she received what Paul had to say about Jesus and was baptized.  Again, no indication that Paul said the new day of worship and prayer was the 1st Day of the week.

Acts 16:13

Paul ministered to both Jews and Greeks on the Sabbath in the Synagogues:

It is important to know that both Jews and Gentiles who worshiped God also attended the synagogue on the Sabbath.

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.”

Acts 18: 4

There is no indication from the 9 verses mentioned in Acts that Paul or any of the disciples either worshiped on Sunday or encouraged new Christians to do so.


4.) The disciples broke bread and took up an offering on the 1st Day of the week-This proves they were worshiping on the 1st day of the week

“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”

Acts 20:7

In this passage we find the only verse in Acts using the term “first day of the week.”   It appears to be a worship service where the Lord’s supper is being taken.

But, let’s look closely at the purpose of this meeting and why it occurred on the first day of the week.  Also, let’s examine the breaking of the bread.

Paul had a long journey to Miletus.  The first part of the trip was a walk to where the ship would depart.  He would leave, therefore, when the sun was up.  Paul spoke until midnight.

Notice that they met at night

 “There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.”

Acts 20: 8

Since there were many lights in the upper room, we can deduct it was night time.  Was it Sunday (1st-Day) night or Saturday night (7th Day)?  It was the dark part of the First Day of the Week (Sunday), but it is what we would call Saturday night today.

Some versions of the Bible understand this and call it a Saturday night service so the reader will translate the time to how we understand the changing of the day:

On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.

Acts 20:7 (Good News Translation)

A young man sitting in the window fell asleep and fell out of the window and died!  But, Paul went down and brought him back to life fully healed.  They then went back upstairs and ate and talked until day break.

At day break, he began his travels by foot (verse 11).  If Sunday morning was the time the Christians set apart for worship, Paul must have skipped church.

Instead, Paul rested the entire Sabbath and then he talked with the disciples for a long time knowing it would be some time before they saw each other again.  He left when the sun came up on a Sunday morning for his trip.

Was the breaking of the bread the Lord’s supper?  There is no indication that it is.  The breaking of bread can simply mean eating together:

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Acts 2:46 

There are no directions from example or teaching that the Lord’s Supper was to be done only on the 1st Day of the Week. It can be taken any time as indicated by Paul’s statement:

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

1 Corinthians 11:26

In conclusion, this was not a Sunday morning worship service with the Lord’s supper.  It was simply the disciples getting together on what we call Saturday night (after the Sabbath had ended and they had rested) before Paul took his journey.


Often, people will use the following verse to attempt to show that the disciples took up an offering at a church service on the first day of the week, therefore they are worshiping and honoring the 1st day of the week. Let’s read it carefully.

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.   Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.”

1 Corinthians 16: 1-4

“This collection for the saints” was for those who were experiencing tough times in Jerusalem.  Paul’s “orders” were simple.  If you were a believer at that time and wanted to follow Paul’s instructions, you would do the following:

1.) Determine how God had prospered you and decided what you were going to give to the saints.

2.)  Once you have determined what you are going to give i.e., clothes, food, sheep, etc. you would “lay it aside” and “store it.”  Where were you to store it?  It was to be “by him” or at the home.

3.)  The reason to determine what, how much, and then set it aside was for the purpose of efficiency so that there would not be running around to gather the offerings that would create confusion when Paul came to take it back with him (or send it by someone else)….“that there be no gatherings when I come.”

So, this was not a passing around of the offering plate in a Sunday worship service.  In fact, there is no hint of a worship service at all in this verse.


5.)  The Sabbath is for the Jews only.

Abraham is the father of the Jews.  He was born many generations after creation.  It was at creation (long before there was ever a Jew) when God instituted the Sabbath.  Adam and Eve (non-Jews) were blessed to spend their first full day with God enjoying communion with Him and admiring the works of His hands.

This is a wonderful way to honor God’s 4th commandment.  Cease from the  usual activities and spend it with God at church and in communion with Him.  Also, admiring the works of his hands in nature with other people who worship the great Creator.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

Genesis 2: 1-3


Jesus created the Sabbath and proclaims himself to be Lord of the Sabbath.  He made it for man (not just the Jews)

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:3

“And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”

Mark 2:27

The Sabbath was designed to bless man and help him recover from the work of the previous 6 days.  The religious leaders of Jesus day had turned the Sabbath into a burden.  Jesus tells them that they are not servants to the man-made laws about the Sabbath.  It is a day He made to bless man.

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’”

Luke 6:5

This is the “Lord’s Day” a term often used for Sunday.  But if Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, which day is the Lord’s day?  The Sabbath!  How can it be read any other way?

This blessing of the Lord’s Day continues for a full day, not just a few hours at church.

“…from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:32

We know that the Sabbath begins at the going down of the sun from this verse, but also from the account of creation where we hear this term over and over as God goes about of his work of creation:

“”And the evening and the morning were the…” first day, second day, third day, etc. (See Genesis 1 : 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

The setting of the sun for the evening comes first.  Then the sun comes up and the day continues until the sun sets and then the daily cycle begins again.

The women who were going to prepare the body of Jesus for burial “rested according to the commandment” after observing his body late on the “Preparation Day” (Friday).   As the sun was going down, they rested (because the new day of the Sabbath was about to begin).  They intended to come back the next day (Sunday or 1st day) when they could see, which would be early on Sunday morning

It was Preparation Day (Friday), and the Sabbath (Saturday) was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Luke 23: 54-56

Jesus died “the ninth hour” or about 3:00 PM on Friday.  So he disciples had only a few hours to take his body down from the cross and prepare spices and perfumes before the Sabbath began at sunset.  They then rested “on the Sabbath n obedience to the commandment.”

The Sabbath was meant to be a time to bless man, but we have ignored it and went our own way ignoring the commandment rather than “remembering” the Sabbath.

I have honored the Sabbath and received of God’s promised blessing on this day for almost 38 years.  My wife and children look forward to this time as a blessed opportunity to focus less on the world and more on community worship, reading of the Bible, and listening to music that soothes the soul.  Try it sometime.

When the sun sets on Friday, turn off the TVs and turn on some soft music.  Take time to rest the mind, body, and soul.  You will find you have time to read the Bible and talk with your family without the interference of TV and other devices.  Spend time out doors admiring the creation of God.  It will change you.  You relationship with God will grow! At first you might find it difficult and feel like you are wasting time, but as you make it a routine of worship, you will find you and your family drawing closer to your Creator and it will revive you physically and emotionally.  You will feel better.  Remember, it was made for you!

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 58: 13-14


6.) If you honor the Sabbath, you are legalistic and are trying to save yourself.

As I mentioned above, I hope the series “Is Obedience Only for the Legalistic?” demonstrated that honoring the Sabbath is legalistic only if you make it so.  However, the Sabbath was made to be a blessing, not a listing of things to do or not-to-do.  The Scribes and The Pharisees turned it into such and made it a burden rather than a blessing.  A person is not saved by honoring the Sabbath.  It is done out a born-again heart of love for their Creator.

The Sabbath is like an appointed time or “date” with the Lord each week.  An unconverted heart will make this time unbearable and legalistic.  Of course, unbelievers will completely ignore it. But if a person who loves the Lord, they will find it to be “a delight.”


7) The calendar was changed.  We don’t know which day is the 7th Day.

The “lost day” argument is usually the the last attempt to destroy the 4th commandment.

True, the calendar has been changed, but the 7 day cycle has never been changed.  The 1st day has always preceded the 2nd day and the 2nd day has always preceded the 3rd day, etc.

When the Julian calendar was changed to the Gregorian calender the number of the month was changed, but not the  order or name of the week.

Wednesday, September the 2nd  was followed by Thursday, September the 14th, then came Friday, September the 15th and so on.

This was done to get the calendar in sync with the the rotation timing of the earth around the sun.  But the Sabbath has always been the 7th day.

In many languages  the Sabbath is identified as such rather than its Pagan counter-part named after Saturn’s day i.e.,Saturday.  Here are just a few:

Arabic: Sabet

Armenian: Shabat

Bosnian: Subota

Bulgarian: Sabota

Italian: Sabato

Latin: Sabbatum

Spanish: Sabado


Just as God promises a blessing for faith tithing, he promises a blessing for honoring the day he blessed after the creation of the world.  He has given you life and desires to give you good gifts even as a father would want to do so.

If you are going to church on Sunday, there is nothing wrong with that.  A person can worship and go to church any time they desire.  Worship is not limited to a particular day.

But, if you want to experience the blessing God has placed on His day….The Lord’s day….try honoring his commandment which is not just a commandment from God, but an invitation to be blessed. This makes this commandment so different than the others.

When the Lord makes a new heaven and a new earth, Sabbath will continue to be honored:

“…as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

Isaiah 66:22-23

If you want to learn more about how to honor the Sabbath, click here.


Will The Real God Please Stand-Up? Conclusion-Eternity

One day, the true God will stand up for His People:

And at that time shall Michael (Jesus) stand up…. and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:1

And …every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:11


We have been discussing the differences between the two largest religions.  We have let the word of their holy books speak for themselves.  When compared, the truth becomes clear.  The comparison has been stark. One man named Muhammad  wrote the Quran over a 23 year period and The Bible written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by 39 men written over a period of 1,500 years.

We now turn to the last topic in this series.  The place of eternal life called, heaven, paradise, or “the Garden” (an Islamic designation for the place of pleasure for the ones who occupy it)

It does not take long when studying the Quran and the description of paradise to see the diminished role of a woman, even in paradise, as an object to satisfy the carnal desires of men. It seems to be all about sex for the believer of Allah. Following are just a few examples:

At-Tirmizi, vol. 2, states on page 138:

The Prophet Muhammad said “Every man who enters paradise shall be given 72 (seventy-two) houris (gazelle-eyed woman); no matter at what age he had died, when he is admitted into paradise, he will become a thirty-year-old, and shall not age any further. A man in paradise shall be given virility equal to that of one hundred men”.

“gardens and vineyards; and girls with swelling breasts of the same age as themselves, and a brimming cup;” S. 78:32-34 Palmer

Could we not say that the prophet Muhammad’s description of paradise appeals to men only  who will be given “virility equal to that of one hundred men.”  They are given women of the same age with “swelling breasts.”

Women in the Quran are described as  of less value than males and only objects of the males’ sexual desires.  This is demonstrated likewise in the Islamic culture to this day.

Virgins await those who enter paradise. 2:25

“Pure companions, and contentment from Allah”
Virgins await those who enter paradise. 3:15

But the single-minded slaves of Allah will enjoy a Garden filled with lovely-eyed virgins. 37:40-48

But, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Bible described the abode of the saved much differently.


As mentioned in previous studies, the Quran was written by one man (Muhammad).  He appeals to the sex drive of fighting age men and promises unending sex as the reason to defend the faith. The Bible on the other hand offers to man and women a more fulfilling and happy life.

The Scripture says:

“No eye has seen,
    no ear has heard,
        and no mind has imagined
            the things that God has prepared
                for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

While it is true we cannot begin to understand what heaven will be like, we are given enough descriptions from God’s word to know that it is for both male and female who are equal in the sight of God:

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

While the Quran is an appeal to the carnal nature of the male ,  the Bible tells us that we will be changed when Christ returns. When are we changed?  At death? or at the resurrection?

 Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory

1 Corinthians 15:51

This mystery is made clear that when Jesus returns (last trumpet) and the dead in Christ have been raised, then we are changed from perishable to imperishable; from mortal to immortal THEN AND ONLY THEN can we say death has been eliminated through the victory Jesus provided us through his own resurrection as the “first fruits” of resurrection

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:20

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

1 Corinthians 15:23

Being with the Lord begins when Jesus returns, this is the hope of the Christian who dies in Christ:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18

The Bible specifically tells us to “comfort one another with these words.”  The words are that Jesus will come again and raise us from the dead and change us!  The comfort does not come from thinking our loved ones are already in heaven and looking down on a sinful world.

The beauty of the truth is that all of us will meet the Lord at the same time.  What a reunion day that will be!

This reward of eternal life is with Jesus when He comes back.

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelations 22:12

But, the Bible reveals something many people look over when they talk about heaven.  It is the new heaven and the new earth.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about the abode of the saved beyond the second coming and throughout eternity.


How is do you visualize this place called heaven?  How would you describe it in your own words?  Is it a place of clouds and the redeemed floating on a cloud playing a harp?  Is it old uncle George smoking his favorite cigars and fishing with Peter?  Is it doing all those things you enjoyed while on earth? Are you a wispy spirit with not body? What does heaven look like? What is going on there?

We can find from scripture a mountain of information on this topic.  It is all tangible. Things we can see, touch, and feel!


Jesus made a promise to His followers:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

John 14:1-3

Heaven is where God dwells:

“Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.”

1 Kings 8:30

Jesus said this is where Jesus was going to prepare a place for us:

You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, “I am going to the Father,”

John 14:28

Look closely at these verses in John 14. Jesus promised to “prepare a place” for us, but also notice that we won’t be there until Jesus returns.  Also, notice that Jesus is there already doing a work of “preparing a place.”

Is Jesus building a mansion for us? Is His work the work as a carpenter?

Hebrews tell us something that helps us visualize heaven and the city God occupies now.

For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:10

This passage tells us that Abraham was looking forward, by faith, to a time when he would not be living in tents, but rather a city with foundations built by God Himself as the architect and builder. We can know that this city and its  mansions have already been built, because Jesus spoke in present tense. “In my Father’s house, there ARE many mansions”

The work of  preparing a place for us appears to be described in Hebrews:

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through (ascended to) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession…Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4: 14, 16

So Jesus role is not an architect, but as a priest.  We need no other priest upon earth, because we have Jesus as our High Priest now in heaven.

His work of preparing a place is a spiritual preparation of our hearts and minds to inhabit such a wonderful place.  Every day, we have the honor of approaching the throne of grace to find mercy when we need it and call up God’s grace (power) to keep us from giving up and turning back into the wilderness of sin.

Heaven a literal place that is not “wispy” and cloud-like that we have seen in pictures by well meaning artists.  It is a city!

'No! No more harps! I can't take it anymore.'

The book that reveals (Revelation) describes the city and its foundations.  John was allowed to see the city.  He described this city  as follows:

1.) It was bright with the Glory of God and appeared like a precious jewel:

It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

Revelation 21: 11

2.) It had high walls with 12 gates and names on the gates on each side:

 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 21: 12-14

3.) The City is huge!

And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.  Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

Revelation 21: 15-17 (NKJV)

A furlong is 5.268359 yards.  12,000 furlongs = 1,500 miles.  The city is 1,500 miles on each side.  It covers 2, 250,000 square miles or (3,621,024 Kilometers)!

There is no city on earth that comes close to the size of this city! Something this large is considered a country!

This is the dwelling place of God Himself:

4.) It is colorful

The 216 foot thick wall is made of all kinds of precious stones and metals.  The city itself is gold!

The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones

Revelations 21: 18-19

5.)  By faith, Abraham looked forward to this city whose architect and builder is God Himself!

for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:10

6.)  The city has a name! It is called, New Jerusalem

Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:2

7.) This city that God built and where He, Jesus, and the angels dwell will come to this earth one day!

 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21: 2, 10


We have seen in previous studies that after Jesus comes to redeem the people who are alive when he comes and those who have died in Him, He will take us to where he is.  He is now in that big city.  So we will be moved from this sinful world to the pure city into the presence of God.  But, we do not stay there forever as strange as that may sound, we come back to the earth!

This city is coming back to this earth! Zachariah describes this day to us:

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west,Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

Zachariah 14:4

But when does this happen?

From Revelation 20, we get a clear picture of this earth void of people being the abode of Satan for 1,000 years before he is loosed out of his prison of circumstance

All the redeemed have been taken to heaven (the city called New Jerusalem).  All the lost are in their graves.  Some killed at the brightness of his coming  and the others from centuries past remained dead.

 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them,,,they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20: 4

There awaits the lost for their own resurrection.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5-6

The two resurrections are separated by 1,000 years.  At the end of that period, the New Jerusalem returns to the earth that Jesus promised to His followers:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

Before the meek inherit the earth, God must put a final end to rebellion and sin.  When the masses of the sinful history are resurrected, Satan convinces the multitude to attack the Holy City. Because, like in the garden of Eden, the tree of life is inside.  If they can get to it, they will live forever.  But they are stopped and death and the grave are cast into the lake of fire.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are…

 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20: 9-10, 15

Then God begins to make a new heaven and a new earth:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Revelation 21: 1-3

What will this new earth be like?

Death and all the mental and physical ailments will be gone!

 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Who will we see?

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 8:11

But equally important we will see the ones we loved and we will recognize each other.

 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Who will we be like?   We will be like Jesus!

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1 John 3:2

In Jesus resurrected glorified immortal body, he was real, but had abilities to suddenly appear or travel at the speed of thought.

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have

Luke 24:39

In this glorified body, he also had an appetite:

He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.

Luke 24: 41-43

What will be do in heaven?

Remember, we can not know everything, but God has revealed two important aspects of our lives today that will give us great joy to do.  It is work and worship:

They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

Isiah 65: 21-23

This new earth free from poisons and dangers will become our source of practical happiness.  We will work with our hands and enjoy it!  We will build vineyards and a beautiful home to our liking.

Then each week and each month, we will gather back in the city for a Sabbath worship service that will exceed any service we have ever attended, because God Himself will be there!

“For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord,
“So shall your descendants and your name remain.
 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 66: 22-23

The Sabbath is important because the redeemed will watch as God creates a new heaven and a new earth.  This verse indicated that, perhaps, the Lord gives us a eye-witness account of the creation week and (again) He will rest from His work of creation and redemption.  We will all worship and admire the works of His hands.

Our name and our decedents will remain.  Our remembrance of this old earth and our journey through rebellion and sin will forever keep us from choosing sin a second time.

Our differences created by divisions of nationality and race will be healed as we come to the city to worship and eat from the tree of life that perpetuates eternal life

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 21: 1-2

This earth will become the dwelling place of God and the redeemed. The true God has stood up for His people:

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.”

Great Controversy, page 678