The Sabbath – A Commanded Blessing

Greetings Beloveds,

God set apart the Sabbath as a day of holiness, separating the Sabbath from the other days of the week.

Exodus 35:1-2a:

“Then Moses assembled all the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael and said to them, “These are the words which Adonai has commanded you to do. Work is to be done for six days, but the seventh day is a holy day for you, a Shabbat of complete rest to Adonai.”

Exodus 20:10a-11: (The 4th Commandment)

“But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

The purpose of the Sabbath is to commune with God and to experience His goodness. The Sabbath is God’s appointment with mankind. God always keeps His appointments.

Genesis 2:3:

“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.”

As believers, we are free to worship God all day – every day. However, we should never mistake any other day as being the day the Lord God Himself HALLOWED and SET APART – The Sabbath – The seventh day. The Sabbath begins Friday at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. God measures days from the evening to evening.

Genesis 1:31:

“So God saw everything that He made, and behold it was very good. So there was evening and there was morning-the sixth day.”

Our approach to the Sabbath is based on our convictions and obedience. While the Bible is full of promises, let’s look at a few that are especially focused on the Sabbath.

A Gift of Rest— In the beginning, God gave humanity the gift of sacred rest to spend in fellowship with Him (Genesis 2:1–3).

Freedom from Work — Since sin brought exhausting toil, the Sabbath is a weekly rest from work for everyone (Exodus 20:8–11).

A Blessing of Joy — Those who keep the Sabbath are promised joy and fulfillment in partaking in the Sabbath (Isaiah 58:13-14).

A Special Blessing for Gentiles — God commanded the children of Israel to keep the Sabbath. However, in (Isaiah 56:2–9) God promises a special blessing for Gentiles who choose to keep the Sabbath.

Isaiah 6:6-8:

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai, to minister to Him, and to love the Name of Adonai, and to be His servants— all who keep from profaning Shabbat, and hold fast to My covenant— these I will bring to My holy mountain, and let them rejoice in My House of Prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar. For My House will be called a House of Prayer for all nations.” Adonai Elohim, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “I will gather still others to him, to those already gathered.”

Security — God has given us the Sabbath as a sign of our covenant with Him. (Ezekiel 20:20).

Renewal in Yeshua— Yeshua came as God in the flesh to show us how to live a life that is continually renewed and refreshed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mark Chapter 2)

Hope of Eternity — God’s promise of everlasting Sabbath rest in the world to come. (Isaiah 66:22-23).

The Sabbath Question

So, how did the Christian day of worship change from Saturday {the seventh day of the week} to Sunday {the first day of the week}?

The early church kept the Sabbath. However, in AD 321, Constantine sought to distinguish Christianity from all Jewish traditions, so he instituted Sunday worship. Constantine called Sunday, the Lord’s Day, because that is the day believed to be the day of Yeshua’s resurrection (John 20:1). Thus, Sunday remains the primary day that Christians gather to worship.

Constantine may have erased the Jewish roots of the gospel. Yet, I present to you that what God starts He always finishes. The roots of our gospel are authentically divine and authentically Hebrew. God is the author and the finisher of our faith.

God starts with His covenant with Israel in the book of Genesis and will climax with His covenant with Israel in the book of Revelations. God starts with His covenant with Abraham (a Hebrew) and seals His covenant with Yeshua the Messiah (who was also Hebrew).

Today, many Gentiles are embracing the Hebrew roots of the gospel of Messiah Yeshua. Principle Jewish sages, taught that Gentiles who embrace Judaism were Jewish descendants (souls) returning to their roots.

In 740 BC the Assyrians conquered Israel, the people were scattered throughout the world. In 586 BC the Babylonians conquered Judah and the people were scattered once more. In 70 AD, Rome attacked and occupied Jerusalem and the people were scattered again. God, declares in Isaiah 65:8, that He would re-gather the dispersed of Israel. There is much conversation as to whether Gentiles are a part of the re-gathering.

Yeshua Is Lord Over The Sabbath

It was the Sabbath that led me to Messianic Judaism. I had a strong conviction that I needed to keep the Sabbath. I can’t really explain it. I just woke up one day, and I knew that keeping the Sabbath was something the Lord wanted me to do.

As a Believer, I have learned to be tolerant of other’s convictions concerning the Sabbath. We all come to an understanding of things in our own time.

Colossians 2:16:

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come, but the reality however is found in Messiah Yeshua.”

There are many Christians that attend worship services on Sunday, yet embrace the Sabbath (Saturday) as a day of rest.

Just as the biblical feasts are dress rehearsals of things to come, the Sabbath day is a shadow of things to come. The Sabbath is a picture of how we will commune with God throughout all eternity. Yeshua is the embodiment of the Sabbath. Yeshua is our Sabbath rest (Matthew 12:8).

Yeshua Is The Fulfillment Of The Law

During Yeshua’s earthly ministry, throughout the gospels, Yeshua performed His greatest miracles on the Sabbath day to prove to the Pharisees that He was Lord over the Sabbath. We should be mindful to avoid unnecessary work on the Sabbath. However, Yeshua made it clear to the Pharisees that some work on the Sabbath was necessary, for the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27).

Christians who keep the Sabbath are often ridiculed by other Christians, as putting ourselves under the law. As believers we are not void of our responsibility to keep God’s commandments out of love. Yeshua said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Mathew 5:17:20:

Yeshua said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Beyond The Veil?

As worshipers we speak of going behind the veil into the Holy of Holies in the intimacy of our worship. In the Tabernacle what do we find beyond the Veil? Well, in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant, and in the Ark of the Covenant were the tablets containing the Ten Commandments.

1 Kings 8:9:

“There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.”

There remains a great debate among Believers as to whether keeping the 4th commandment is necessary. I believe that God intended for us to strive to adhere to all Ten Commandments as a moral guide to living a sanctified life.

In closing, regardless of when we choose to congregate (all day, every day, 24 hours a day) God is with us. God accepts our worship every day. However, the Sabbath will always be the day God HALLOWED – The Seventh Day!

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