I pray for guidance in the pursuit of clarity in this topic. I am a grain of sand in a shore of many who have come before me with the intention of illuminating this subject- testing it with the Scriptures and professing what the Ruach- Spirit has taught our hearts to come to know fully. I won’t have brought out anything new, there won’t be any revelation here. Simply proof from an unchanging God through His unchanging word applied by His unchanging Spirit which may or may not make a difference in your mind and heart. The subject? Sabbath versus Sunday worship.
I often begin with a disclaimer of sorts but this time I have none. I don’t know how to apologize or give explanation as to why I dare to believe that what was good for a nation of Priests and Holy people is still the same standard for them in regard to the day (the very FIRST THING for that matter) God called Holy unto HIM. I don’t know how to justify or reason the explicit fact that no where in the entire scripture did it ever say that the Sabbath was changed or updated or done away with. Nor did my savior, nor did any of his disciples or apostles come to change, update or do away with the Sabbath in favor of any other day for its expressed purpose- a sign between Me (God) and you (my chosen people- ALL of them, not ‘just the Jewish ones’) forever that I AM Creator, and I do the choosing and dubbing of the Holy and profane in all senses.
I am not unwilling to change my stance or mind or heart, if presented the verification from the Scripture or a command from my savior or any shred of evidence that seemed to prove that the Sabbath was for the Jews and the so called “Lord’s Day” was for the Christians then I would try such data and evaluate it fully and whole heatedly. The big problem I see is that there seems to be a delusion of exemption from what is known as ‘replacement theology’ among some who are in fact preaching that very repulsive mindset. It may be in a much smaller dose than some sects but it is very much still replacement theology. Harsh? I don’t mean to be harsh but at the same time the idea of splitting up a family who Messiah died to connect, the concept of making a ‘duplex’ for a people meant to live in one house, the notion of cementing back up the wall of separation which Messiah demolished and worst off all dissecting and segregating His eternal Teachings (Torahs) in order to make them fit doctrine….is point of high alert to me personally.
Some of my Jewish brethren will explain that the Sabbath and all its commands (including the extensive volumes of prohibitions regarding it from the Oral Torah) are for Jewish people and complete converts only. Some of my Christian brethren will explain that there’s no reason for believers in Yeshua to keep the Sabbath because those commands were for the Jews. Now believers are to observe the “Lord’s Day” as the Christian ‘Sabbath’ even though from my experience it’s observance includes little more than a few hours of church service and fellowship and then it’s back to business as usual without any palpable sanctification or separation from any other days of the week (e.g. Sunday might be a convenient day to mow the lawn after church or do some shopping.) Or I have heard that every day is the Lord’s day and therefore we are not bound by any privilege and responsibility in the areas of sanctification of time, space or any other measure…but it is simply sufficient to acknowledge Him in one’s own way whenever one see’s fit.
So my prayer is that through this post we can look into the word and ask some questions that might help us evaluate our own reasoning in this matter. In whatever happens on this page I pray that His ways be magnified that His truth be illuminated, above all His greatness be exalted, and that each reader will be richly blessed.
Amos 3; 2 “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
(The Jewish people HAVE been called to account for their sins and for turning from HaShem, and continue to be when they stray. How could it be then that they will be called to account for their sins and yet not receive the inheritance promised to them?)
Jeremiah 31; 1 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
Jeremiah 31; 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My TORAH within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Exodus 4;22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. “
Hosea 11; 1 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
The texts above are meant to show that God considers believing Israel, the Jewish people, who will walk in His ways… to be His sons and daughters. Israel is His people. Israel is His son. Israel is also His bride. Those of us who are coming into this family in the way made by their brother, Messiah and King….are wild branches grated in. I understand what Christianity means when they say “the Church” is the bride. But I am not entirely sure that the church has been defined as what most now perceive it as being. A building, a place to observe a faith once or twice a week, some souls who have said a declaration of faith and signed somewhere…meanwhile completely devoted daily continually faithful and loving people bound up with the commandments of God are excluded because they have not yet seen the Messiah we know? Israel is the focal point. Israel is God’s heart. Israel is the bride.
#H1330 – bthuwlah -beth-oo-law’- feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to separate; a virgin (from her privacy); a bride; also (figuratively) a city or state.
Jeremiah 31; 4 “Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!
Isaiah 54; 5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. 6 “For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God. 7 “ For a brief moment I forsook you,but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer.
Why did that need to be proposed? Two words- replacement theology. While some in Christianity are quite open in the belief and preaching that the Church has inherited the promises made to Israel (they forfeited God’s blessing based upon their rejection of Christ), others do not hold to this thought but still believe that something new and updated came along with Yeshua and this is what he taught. Abolishing the sacrificial system, Sabbath, dietary laws, etc. (all of which are concepts of a distorted reading of the Gospels and apostolic scriptures out of context to the original languages, to the Tanakh – Old Testament- and to history, politics, geography, sociology, etc.) This too is replacement theology. Replacing teachings God called eternal with implications made by men from English translations.
God willing we will discuss what Yeshua’s perspective on the Sabbath was. But first let us go to one of the main passages used to attempt to verify the so called Lord’s day (Sunday observance for Christian believers) which comes from Acts. The first day of the week is Sunday. Therefore, some in Christianity claim that Paul was preaching on the ‘Lord’s day’ (a term used by Christianity to identify the Christian “sabbath” which celebrates the proposed day Jesus was resurrected- however some more research might identify the fact that Sunday worship is based in pagan practice and the desire of Catholicism and then early church fathers, who were often very anti-Semitic, to separate from biblical “Jewish” feast days and the appointed Saturday Sabbath of the Lord.)
Acts 20; 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
The problem is that the Greek word for first protos is not used here. Mia Ton Sabbaton
– one of the Sabbaths …. is the actual wording of the text. So it was on one of the Sabbaths that they were gathered and Paul was preaching.
Often I am met with a bible bingo collage of verses written by Paul regarding the abolition of the Law. Let’s take a little side trail here and discuss that term. First of all, Law in itself is not really an entirely negative word. We have laws of gravity, laws of physics, laws of the road, laws that keep society running in a somewhat orderly fashion. If it were possible to do away with them…what might happen? That being said, the translation of the word Law for scriptural use is not very accurate. One may belittle the significance of what the word actually means in order to diminish its truth and purpose OR one can start reading the scriptures with the following in mind. Scripture refers to mans law (either rules of communities or a man made tradition) , the law of sin and death (condemnation), and God’s eternal laws (ALL which He has given us to live by).
There is no coincidence that the Hebrew word for sin…
#2391 חֵטְא -Chet- (masc. N)- sin, fault, penalty of sin, calamity.
comes from the root :
#2398 חָטָא – Chata- (verb)- to sin, TO MISS THE MARK.
….is in direct opposition to the word for “Law”.
#8451 תּוֹרָה – Torah-(fem.N)- teaching, instruction.
comes from the root:
# 3384 יָרָה – Yarah-(verb) – to cast, send out the hand, to shoot (as with arrows- TO HIT THE MARK), to teach, to instruct.
The way to live in opposition to sin? Keep the Torah- teaching and instructions of God.
If one is to use Paul, (an apostle of Yeshua who we expect the Jewish people to see as Messiah) came to say that the Torah is done away with….why does he say these other things? ( The words of the Lord and these things spoken through His people do not contradict each other. If there seems to be contradiction it is most likely because we as men have perceived or read it wrong.) Is Paul contradicting himself in other places where he has been portrayed as negative toward the Torah? Or is there something we have missed OR made light of? Like these incredibly strong statements below.
Romans 3; 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Romans 7;12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Romans 7;14 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
Romans 7;22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
Berean Jews came to faith by verifying what Paul said against the Torah. Had he been teaching something contrary to the Torah would they have come to faith?
Acts 17; 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed….
Next we will look directly at some of the examples which might be used to disprove everything Paul just stated above (i.e. Proof texts claiming Paul was preaching Torah abolition for believers in Christ).
Galatians 4; 8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.
Read all of Galatians and understand who they were, what they were coming out of. This section of text is referring to people who were entrenched in pagan practices which included the observance of pagan days, months and seasons ( this does not refer to the Sabbath and appointed times/ Feasts of the Lord). Paul would never be referring to the Torah or the foundation of our faith as worthless and elemental. This statement is in reference to the pagan practices in which the Galatians were formerly engaged.
Romans 14 ; 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
Read all of Romans 13-15 and specifically chapter 14. This section of text is in reference to fasting. The manner in which, reason for, day on which certain sects were fasting. This is not about the Sabbath as a day or a Sabbath observance as worship of the Lord being acceptable on any day as long as he ‘observes it as for the Lord’. This text is about fasting.
Colossians 2; 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
Do a study on who the Gnostics were. This was a group who believed in the highness of God (the spiritual) and opposed the idea that He could ever have come in the flesh. They believed that the flesh and men are corrupt and therefore any delight taken for the flesh was ungodly. The idea of Sabbath worship, and the Feasts was contrary to their beliefs. Nearly every feast of the Lord including the Sabbath (which is in fact first to all the rest) included some form of merrymaking, wine, feasting as in eating and rejoicing. These are all things which were done in celebration of these Holy days. The Gnostics persecuted the still observant believing Jewish Colossians BECAUSE THEY WERE KEEPING GODS FEASTS AND SABBATH. Paul is not submitting that one should not eat clean, keep the Sabbath or New Moon (an observance upon which all the others hang- one has to know WHEN the Sabbaths are taking place on the calendar).
The English translator wanted to insert the italicized word mere (IF your English bible is at the very least considerately printed, they will have italicized the words which have been added, so practice reading void of those words.) The purpose of this was to punctuate a doctrine which teaches the minimization and exclusion of our connection as believers to anything “old testament” or “Jewish”. The word mere is not there and neither is the inflection. The statement “Shadow of things to come” is not meant negatively at all. In fact it promotes FOREshadow, for every single element of the Torah commandments and content, the Feasts of the Lord (which are not a “Jewish thing” He called them HIS HOLY DAYS) and the Sabbath teach us something about what we can expect in times to come.
Verse 18 seems clear that the things God commanded for his people to observe were a prize unto them, and the terms “self- abasement” and “worship of angels” seem to directly point to the Gnostic doctrine. Paul was not submitting that the Colossians refrain from keeping the feasts or Sabbath but to the direct contrary- do not be discouraged FROM keeping the Sabbath and feasting and delighting in it.
Who is the Torah for? Who is the Sabbath for ?
From both ends of the spectrum (Judaism- Christianity) it has been taught that the Torah (as bestowed ‘in hand’, physically, perhaps ‘officially’, ) at Sinai was given strictly to and for the Jewish people. If one was to convert to Judaism completely they would also be responsible to all the Torah commandments that were applicable to them (for there are many laws which apply in specifics, i.e. Laws for observance in the Land of Israel, Laws for women or men only, Laws for Priests, Laws specifically related to Temple worship, etc.) Then there are Noahides (those who have renounced Christianity or other ‘pagan’ religions but not converted to Judaism) who keep the “seven laws of Noah” – laws for which it is taught ALL nations and peoples should abide by, being that all flesh are descendants of one of the three sons of Noah. These seven are traditionally enumerated as follows:
- Do not deny God.
- Do not blaspheme God.
- Do not murder.
- Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
- Do not steal.
- Do not eat of a live animal.
- Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.
In reality it seems clearly defined in scripture that there was a degree of understanding and application of “the ways of God” which were observed before Sinai, these ‘ways‘ were and are in fact one in the same with the Torah commandments. This author is of the opinion that the Torah (eternal teachings and instructions of the Lord) were existent from Creation, certainly as pertaining to the life of man….from the garden.
Yochanan 1; 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Some quick examples of application of Torah commandments prior to the ‘Sinai Revelation’: Cain and Abel were aware of a sacrificial system and the method for making an offering. They knew the pre-requisites for approach for offering (the acceptable value and quality of the offering and the state of the heart in which to come). When entering the ark Noach didn’t need God to explain which animals and foul were clean/un-clean and when exiting the ark Noach knew which animals were clean and therefore good for offering. Abraham knew that when he met the king of Salem- Melchizedek, “Priest of the Most High” he was to offer 10% as a tithe. Abraham instructed Eliezer in finding a wife for Issac “not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. Lot was preparing matzot (unleavened bread) at the season of Pesach (Passover). Go instead to my homeland”. Judah’s sons Er and Onan did not perform the obligation of Levarite marriage, (which included the obligation to marry their brother’s widow Tamar and to try and give her a child so that his ‘name’ could live on) they payed with their lives for the transgression. Joseph knew that to succumb to Potiphar’s wife’s sexual advances would be a sin “against God.”
Who is the Torah for?
1 John 2; 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
#1869- דָּרַךְ – darak- (verb)- to tread (with the feet)- to enter, to cause to go, to walk [to tread, as a wine press].
#1870- דֶּרֶךְ – derek– (masc.N)- a going, a journey, a way or path, a way of living or acting, mode of action.
#1980 – הָלַךְ- halak– (verb)- to go, to walk, to follow in manner of life, to flow, to be poured out, to go forward, [to flow- used of wine].
Tehillim (Psalms) 86; Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
(We’ll eventually investigate more on HOW Yeshua walked so that when we claim the desire to walk like him we can know what that really meant, through what we can discover from the scriptures. )
Who is the Sabbath for ?
Isaiah 56; 1 Thus says the Lord, “Preserve justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. 2 “How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” 3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,“The Lord will surely separate me from His people.” Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” 4 For thus says the Lord, “To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, 5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. 6 “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast My covenant; 7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
The Isaiah 56 passage has a millennial context. The name Yeshua means Salvation. It seems that much like the whole of scripture, especially texts in which we receive the method of walking in God’s covenantal path for His people…in the Millennium the Sabbath is not just a side note it is prominent and important. In discussing the answer to the question (purposefully repeated) ” who is the Sabbath for ?” we can look at this text and see that is is not going to be just for the Jewish people. God is openly and passionately inviting “foreigners” who will observe and love His Sabbath huge rewards for their delight in this Sanctity He holds dear. He offers them a permanent Name in His House. To avoid a gigantic digression into Rapture and conjecture as to “where the bride will be during the millennial reign of Messiah” conversation let’s establish first….I personally believe there is a resurrection and a rapture:
I Thessalonians 4; 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
It seems clear from scripture that those alive prior to and at his return will (and looking at what Christians in foreign lands are currently undergoing ) have to endure an amount of suffering and trial. The so called rapture for believers pre-tribulation doesn’t make sense to me personally.
Isaiah 66;23 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will endure. 23 “And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the Lord.
Nehemiah 9; 6 “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before You.
Revelation 5; 12 – 14 “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen ” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
I pray you will have deduced in part where I am going with this. IF the Sabbath is valid and important in the end times and Millennial reign to all mankind and to those worshiping in Heaven….how much more so today here on earth while we are yet alive and capable of making the expression of choice – to safeguard and honor the Holy Sabbaths of the Lord, because He sanctified it and made it a sign for all His people.
I continue to hear it said, the Sabbath is for the Jews the so called Lord’s day is for Christians. So what are Messianic Jews to do? What about Noahides? Let us go back and forget the concept of everything that was beforehand as having been updated, revamped and changed. In reality can one truly say from one side of the mouth : “Yeshua Messiah, the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13;8) or ” [I] The Lord, do not change…” (Mal.3;6) and from the other side of the mouth declare some things apply, some have been revised, some are applicable but not all relevant. I suggest asking the question again when reading, who does the BIBLE SAY the Sabbath was for originally and when or where precisely IN THE BIBLE does it say that Yeshua “revised” that notation ?
What was the very first thing GOD made Holy?
Bereshit (Genesis) 2; 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
# 7676- (m/f noun) Shabbat- שַׁבָּת- Sabbath.
root- #7673 (verb) Shabbat- שַׁבָּת- to sit down, to sit still, to cease, to desist, to leave off, to have an end, to cause work to cease, to restrain, to interrupt.
#7677- (Masc. N) Shabbaton- שַׁבָּתוֹן- the great Sabbath.
*Keep in mind Sabbaths include Feast days and the Shemittah/Yovel for the freedom of slaves and a rest of the Land itself- Sabbath for rest/remembrance/witness/testimony.
Relish the definitions above! From the words themselves one can see the purpose of the Sabbath. A ceasing of the six days of labor and regular work done on them. Leaving off from a project that held importance to make the drawing near to the Creator a more valuable pursuit. A separation between one thing and another, an end to the week…the entry into a sacred space fashioned through the element of time itself. Yes, an interruption to what WE were accomplishing for OURselves. Yes, sometimes it takes restraint to say….I am going to stop now and allow my King to minister my heart although I may have other “things” I could be doing. When we ask our children to sit down and sit still what purpose does it serve? We desire them to cease what was distracting them and focus on what we are about to say. So too for our Father on His Holy Sabbath.
Who was the Sabbath for?
Shemot (Exodus) 16; 29 See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Shemot (Exodus)20; 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Who is the Sabbath for?
Mark 2; 27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
The declaration that he is Lord of the Sabbath gives value to this sacred time. Being lord of something means authority over its administration. This is indeed what Yeshua lived out. He clarified by his methods of worship and activity on the Holy Sabbath, what the heart of the Sabbath was meant to be and what burdens were not meant to be borne upon it. Yeshua sitting as Lord of the Sabbath and the fact that it was made for man to enjoy and partake of rather than be dominated and burdened by fences and restrictions on (factors which detracted from its observance) make it all the more worthwhile. Yeshua opposed the obstruction of its observance….he did not oppose the Sabbath he himself imposed (rather, gifted!) for mankind. If he had, there would be contradiction.
Ya’acov 1; 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Psalm 24; 1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face— Jacob. Selah. 7 Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! 8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.
The verse from Mark is quoted at me regarding the Sabbath. Did he say the sabbath is made “for the Jews”?
Yehudi- Judah- Son of Ya’acov (Jacob). “Jew’s” weren’t known as Jews until later.
Yeshua is Lord of this day because He himself sanctified it. How?
Mark 3; 3 He said to the man with the withered hand,“Get up and come forward!” 4 And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
Yochanan 5 ;16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Matthew 12; 5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 9 Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. 11 And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
- My study of the Hebrew words for work helped me to understand the difference between the daily grind work and work “for the sake of heaven”.
#4397 – (Masc. N)- Malak- מַלְאָךְ – one sent, messenger, representative, angel.
This word Malak is translated most often as angel, dependent upon the context it can also mean sent one- representative….if we are meant to be living in the image of the Creator
(to strive to know and emulate His attributes) than we should look deep into the actions He performed, the words He has left us with and the Heart of His commandments.
#4399- (fem. n)-Malacha- מְלָאכָה -work prescribed, work of an artisan, affairs, property, wealth, business.
Malacha is the type of “work” that is prohibited on the Sabbath- biblically. This work has everything to do with personal prosperity and gain.
#5647-(v)- avad- עָבַד- to serve, to worship [to work,labor]
Avad is the root which gets to the heart for another type of “work” which continued during the Sabbath in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and has everything to do with service and worship of the Lord. This service did not stop on the Sabbath.
#5656- (Fem.N)- Avodah- עֲבֹדָה – sacred service; [business, labor, agriculture, instruments, implements]
You can see the term avodah entails a sacred service and although in certain cases it can mean ‘business’ labor, in context to the Sabbath it has to do with the worship of HaShem.
Yeshua was “breaking” the Sabbath according to the commandments of men. The heart of service unto the Lord was never required to come to a halt. That doesn’t mean we are permitted to do whatever we please as long as it is “good” in our judgment or we believe we can contain it in our “this is for the Lord’s service” box. There are still clear boundaries and reasons behind each one- we will discuss shortly.
Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD’S contribution for the work (מְלָאכָה Malacha) of the tent of meeting and for all its service (עֲבֹדָה Avodah) and for the holy garments. Shemot 35;21
-There is a difference between work to accomplish our own benefit and service unto God. The work to construct the Mishkan was put on hold for the Sabbath observance. Once built the priestly service would continue even on the Sabbath. God stopped Creating on the Sabbath and asked His covenant people to do the same. Cease and in addition allow HIM to minster-serve us a dose of refreshment and reset.
Isaiah 58;13-14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your ways, from seeking your pleasure and speaking your word, Then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
– What heritage are we promised?
That’s right, I believe all those who grasp the covenant of the Lord (all covenants are layered upon one another – one does not replace or undo another) are a part of this promise: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Yeshua the Messiah. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3;28-29
He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Bereshit 28; 12-17
Tehillim 147; 11 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. 11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait (יָחַל Yachal) for His lovingkindness.
# 3176- (v) Yachal- יָחַל- to remain, to wait for, to expect, hope.
Bereshit 8;12 Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.
– Yachal is found only once in the Torah. Noach waits in cycles of seven, the entire bible and creation is based upon cycles of seven, while every single day should be a day to praise God there IS undeniable significance to the 7th.
Matthew 24;20 “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
Why would it matter to Yeshua to express this warning in connection to something that had been “done away” with by him?
TORAH has no redemptive or salvific value. It is the fruit of obedient children who are grateful for their salvation.
Shemot (Exodus) 19; 5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
John 10; 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
So how were God’s people to become that Holy people? One way was through their obedience. The sweet aroma which rises to the Lord on High via our offerings is not the smell of flesh and meat. It is the smoke rising from the divine service which is the testimony of our obedience to Him. Did He explain the why’s and reasons behind the thousands of verses in regard to the sacrificial system? No. That “smell” of obedience- despite what we can not completely comprehend is what is pleasing to Him. (My kids are doing what I asked of them.)
# 6950- Kahal- (verb) – קָהַל – to call together, to be gathered together, to assemble.
#5707- Ed- (verb)- עֵד- a testimony, – what testifies , – a prince.
# 5712- Edah- (Fem. N)- עֵדָה- an appointed meeting, the congregation of Israelite’s, a domestic meeting, a family, a swarm (of bees).
Then Moses assembled all the congregation (קָהַל Kahal) of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded to do: “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. “You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.”- Shemot 35; 1-3
Matthew 5; 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Sabbath a Testimony to the Existence of the Creator.
#225 (v) owt- אוֹת – to consent; to agree.
#226- (fem.n)-Owt- אוֹת- a military ensign, a sign of something past, a sign of something future.
Shemot (Exodus) 31
13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
14 ‘Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
16 ‘So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’
17 “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
God has chosen and sanctified the people to keep the Sabbath Holy. God is the Master and Creator. Evidence of the holiness of the Nation, and the uniqueness of the Master and Creator Whose existence they testify to every time they keep the Sabbath.
My intention would never be to appear as though I an judging anyone else. I am nothing and less than dust. I have struggled for years in the workforce attempting to arrange my schedule in order that I could observe the Sabbath cessation. In food service and vending Saturday is “THE” day for nearly 90 percent of profitable jobs and events. I still occasionally struggle with coordinating things so that I am not going to actually be working during the Sabbath hours but I admit that even in that “dance” there is still an element of guilt in that I am not completely devoted in mind and thought to my King, I’m still in part (being honest) thinking about what I need to do as soon as the Sabbath is over. Those rare occasions illuminate for me how set apart Sabbath has become in my life and although I fail it has become so central to my household that (much like the original days of the week on the Hebrew calendar, ex. Sunday was the “first day of the Sabbath”, Monday was the “second day of the Sabbath”, Wednesday was the “third day of the Sabbath”, and so on.) every other day is only in reference to the Sabbath. All the activity of the week is arranged in connection to the Sabbath- how many days till, what must be done today in preparation for it, what cannot be done anymore in respect to it.
There are two main things to keep in mind and heart when asking “can, or should, I do this on the Sabbath?” 1) Can I prepare for this in advance in order to have the complete cessation and rest asked of me during the Sabbath? 2) Can this wait until after the Sabbath so that I can focus on connecting with my King alone? My humble advice in light of some of the questions I have been posed personally…On the Sabbath : If someone is sick and needs to go to the doctor, take them. If someone is suffering and needs hot soup or medicine that wasn’t purchased in advance, go get it for them. If a friend calls you for help with something that is vital, go help them. If the family wants to go out in the mountains and be in God’s creation, go with them. If the baby makes a big mess which can’t be saved till later, clean it up. But, if you feel as though perhaps this is a convenient time to do the traveling, cooking, shopping, yard work,or homework that you didn’t make time or prepare for during the six days we are commanded to perform all these things….try asking the above questions.
Foremost, if any element of Sabbath preparation or Sabbath observance is an honest burden to us and a stress….forgive my boldness, WE are missing something. Sometimes it takes years of trial and error to figure out how Sabbath preparation (cleaning, cooking, taking care of business and school, wrapping up projects, etc.) fits your life and household. Each one of us is different, each one of our homes runs differently. Therefore it seems clear that the way each of us observe the Sabbath in our homes (aside from the Scriptural clarity from some Sabbath commands) will look differently.
For so long I left out the joy of the early hours alone with my King cleaning and cooking, I left out the constant mind of prayer and asking for Him to establish my handiwork in honor of the Sabbath. It became a stress because I was doing it without the Spirit of delight. Delight? While scrubbing a toilet or folding the fiftieth t-shirt? Amen. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he makes me lie down in green pastures, He anoint-est my head with oil, my cup overflows….” THIS became my meditation when stress arose and I remembered what I was WORKING toward. At the appointed time, during the sixth day of labor, I was striving to make a nicer, cleaner, warmer, more conductive environment for the Holy Sabbath. I truly was anointed by the good Shepherd who had given me all these blessed responsibilities in the first place! And people to enjoy them with! That changed me. Now from the start to the finish, even if it gets challenging, preparation for and observance of the Sabbath is blessed and wonderful. And I pray that you will be inspired to enjoy this gift which God Himself continues to enjoy with us….each and every Shabbat.
(Two more things came to my heart). We all need to survive. Be it in monetary means or keeping peace in our homes. If you have to work on Shabbat and there is no possible way around it, try and read the weekly parasha in advance and be meditating on it- put it in your ‘system’. Pray during your breaks. Take the opportunity to share the well message of the Kingdom with someone you come into contact with. Find little ways to sanctify the time. If your spouse, parents or children do not approve of you openly observing the Sabbath in the ways you have (or will) find suitable for your life, sanctify it in what ways you can. If possible prepare for any needs that might arise so you wont have to make meals or go out. Make a little place for yourself and HaShem to enter into prayer and welcome in the Sabbath. EVEN if that is only possible for a moment….to close your eyes, breathe and acknowledge the holiness of this day. Allow Him to connect to you and refresh you despite anything else that might be going on. I testify to the amazing power of ones desire and intention to abide in the commandments of the King. If that desire and intention is there and you ask Him, in time, He will make a way for you to reach for His word according to His will.
Avinu Malkeinu, my Father my King. What can I ask? I am unworthy. I pray that this space and the time herein may be a blessing to someone. May it bless You, glorify You and be a testimony to Your greatness and unchanging nature. I know there is so much more that could be said, so much more I do not fathom….teach me. Show me how to embrace change when it is in accord with Your will ….when You are willing it. Let no man’s words or ways ever mean more to me than what Your word says. Let not my rhythms, religion, comforts or customs ever get between my heart…my life as a testimony and that what is pleasing to You. Forgive me where I have failed and fallen short.
Baruch attah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha Owlam,
blessed are You Lord our God King of the Universe
You alone have planted among us life eternal, blessed are You Lord our God Gracious Giver of the Torah.
B’shem Yeshua HaMashiac, amein.
If I can help you in any way possible please consider me at your service, I will do whatever I can.
Here are some resources that may help: