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Preparation Day

   Preparation day in God's word is the day just before the Sabbath day. There are things that should be done before the day of rest commences, because that special day is to take us away from our daily routines and duties. The Sabbath is the day we spend with God Jehovah and His Son, to worship Them and study God's word. God sanctified this day of rest when He rested after His six days of creation. We spend this time in a spiritual way by our devotion to God Jehovah, in putting aside all our worldly concerns and focus on Him and on the concerns of the people around us. We keep this special day by studying what Jesus has given us in words about His Father and our Father, in sharing this time with others that worship the same God and keep the same day holy as it has been given to us in Jehovah's Fourth Commandment. The preparation day is to prepare ourselves and our surroundings to be in our God's presence on the next day, the Sabbath of Jehovah, the seventh day of God's seven-day week.

   For the purpose of comparison, we are at this present time, in an era of preparation, in that we should be preparing ourselves for our time with God in the kingdom of God, not just for a day but for an eternity of time, "And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son." (I John 5:11). This preparation time or era started the day we were born and it continues until we enter into a time of rest, which Christ called a "sleep", "...And after this he said to them, Our friend Lazarus  has fallen asleep, but I am going that i may awaken him." (John 11:11), "But Jesus had spoken about his death, but they thought he spoke of the sleep of slumber." (John 11:13), this is the first death, before we are granted acceptance to enter into the kingdom of God. Our preparation at this present time is most important because it requires a cleansing process of our heart, in preparation to be in the presence of our One and only God and the all the Heavenly host. Our concern is to discard our sinful thoughts and our sinful actions, all our iniquity, including the sins that we have fooled ourselves to consider as permissible, the sins we have allowed ourselves to cherish and have ignored the reality of their eventual consequences. These sins that we hold onto will not be allowed in God's pure environment, which will be everywhere, once Satan, the false prophets and death are destroyed in the Lake of Fire; every place in the new heavens and the new earth will be God's environment, perfect, pure and sinless. Heaven, where God exists is without sin and without any contamination, that is why Satan and his following angels were cast out of Heaven, and that is why Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, because their sin could not share the same presence with God Almighty. If we are to be in the presence of our living God, Jehovah and His only-begotten Son Jesus, we need to be without sin, by preparing our heart. The Bible speaks of this in the term of repentance, "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven has drawn near." (Matthew 4:17) "Therefore, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance..." (Luke 3:8), as the Temple priest needed to cleanse himself before entering the holy place and the most holy place, because of God's presence, likewise we need to cleanse ourselves to be in the presence of God Almighty, our Father and Creator.

   This takes an effort on our part, first we need to know what needs to be cleansed within ourselves and the answers to this are throughout God's word. We then need to understand righteousness and why it is right, this is also throughout God's word. Once we grasp the nature of righteousness, we will come to understand the destructive nature of sin and will desire in keeping God's law and if its in our heart by comprehending His perfect law, we will without reservation attempt to do what is right because we wholeheartedly desire to do righteousness. Christ has called us to repentance, "But going learn what this is, I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance." (Matthew 9:13), and God Himself showed us the spirit of repentance in the Old Testament, "It may be that they will listen, and each man turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the evil which I plan to do to them because of the evil of their doings." (Jeremiah 26:3) also, "And the angel put forth his hand to destroy Jerusalem, and Jehovah repented as to the evil and said to the angel who was destroying among the people, Enough! Now stop your hand. And the angel of Jehovah was near the thrashing-floor of Aranunah the Jebustite."  (II Samuel 24:16). When God Almighty repented, He did not do as He planned, or He decided to change what He had already done, "And Jehovah said, I will wipe off man whom I've created from the face of the earth, from man to beast, to creeping things, and to the birds of the heavens; for I repent that I made them." (Genesis 6:7), and the flood showed us His repentance. God's repentance wasn't because of any sin on His part, but instead He repented for making His creations, because of our sins, because of His disappointment in us and apparently it wearied His soul, "You have forsaken Me, says Jehovah; you have gone backward; therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of repenting." (Jeremiah 15:6). His repentance was a doing or not doing something because a change of heart; that is our duty, to first change our heart, so we then will repent of doing every sin. We need an understanding of our sin, next, in response, we have sorrow for our past sins and then we cease from repeating these sins. Once we hate our sins we naturally do not desire this sin in our future. Repentance is not regretting a sin only, that is only the first part of our repentance, and this would virtually be pointless if there is no action toward correcting our doing of sin in the future. This is very similar to, "So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself." (James 2:17).

    We have had approximately six thousand years since creation, according to man's calculations and soon to be initiated, the thousand years of rest for the earth, and this coincides with a thousand years of our rest in New Jerusalem before the earth is made new and then we commence our unknown and unimaginable joys and activities that God Almighty has waited to share with us for an eternity with Him, His Son, the Heavenly host and the multitude of others that were also listed in the Book of Life.

   Salvation will absolutely be a sure occurrence, available to all who have spent this era of preparation wisely, learning and discarding our sins, once we know and understand why they are a transgression against God's character, and that God's kingdom will not tolerate sin. I'm sure you would not want anyone holding on to a sin in God's kingdom if you were also there, this would present an element of caution and tension, similar to what we deal with here, right now. This is our responsibility and our daily duty now, to cleanse ourselves from every undesirable act and thought. Translation into Gods kingdom doesn't change your heart, it make a cleansed heart permanent, "The one acting unjustly, let him still act unjustly; and the filthy, let him still be filthy; and the righteous, let him still do righteousness; and the holy, let him still be holy." (Revelation 22:11). The only way we can be sure that we are aware of our every transgression of God's instructions is by reading, in its entirety, the manual Christ gave us of His Father, and our Father's instructions, God's word, available in the various translated Bibles. Granted and for sure, this is not an easy task, but it is accomplishable by most everyone, with Christ power and help. The rewards are exceedingly beyond the effort, and I need to point out, this is one important reason God gave us a full twenty-four hour day of rest, from our worldly routine and duties, called a seventh day Sabbath. This is not a task of labor, but once you've started this cleansing task, you are often blessed with understanding and gems of truth will enter into your craving heart. The truth granted to us during this process is most nourishing to the soul that desires wisdom, which can only be found in God's word.