Sabbath Worship: The Sign of the Everlasting Covenant.
MESSIAH MENTIONED THE SABBATH IN HIS COMMENTS CONCERNING THE END TIMES MT. 24:20.
WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THESE TWO WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS. TEST EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT, INCLUDING THIS ARTICLE, WITH THE WORD OF Yahuah -- HE DOES NOT CHANGE. "SABBATH" WILL BE UNDERSTOOD HERE AS THE ACTUAL 7TH DAY, NOT THE CATHOLIC SABBATH CALLED "SUN-DAY" (THE CHANGE ENFORCED BY CONSTANTINE, EDICT OF CONSTANTINE, 321 CE). THE PROTESTANTS INHERITED THE DAY-OF-THE-SUN "SABBATH" FROM THE CATHOLICS. THOSE WHO BELIEVE SUN-DAY IS THE SABBATH MIGHT NEED TO INVESTIGATE THE USE OF THE WORD "SABBATH" IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, IF THEY'VE BEEN LED TO THINK THE APOSTLES CHANGED THE DAY OF REST. ACTS WAS WRITTEN BY LUKE ABOUT 31 YEARS AFTER THE RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION. ALSO, YAHUSHUA (YAHSHUA) MADE THE ESCHATOLOGICAL STATEMENT, "PRAY THAT YOUR FLIGHT WILL NOT BE IN WINTER, OR ON THE SABBATH" MT. 24:20 -- THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO MENTION IT IF HE INTENDED TO CHANGE WHICH DAY IS THE SHABBAT, SO WE WOULD KNOW ABOUT IT NOW. TAKE NOTE: HE MENTIONED THE SABBATH IN THE CONTEXT OF DESCRIBING EVENTS IN THE END TIMES. ALSO, THE CHURCH OF ROME FREELY ADMITS THERE IS NO SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR THE CHANGE, BUT IT WAS THE CHURCH ITSELF THAT MADE THE SABBATH CHANGE (CONSTANTINE). CONSULT DANIEL 7:25 ALSO, BECAUSE IT PREDICTED THIS CHANGE OF LAW. IS SUNDAY THE SABBATH? THAT'LL BE EASY TO FIGURE OUT ONCE YOU MAKE A STUDY OF IT ON YOUR OWN. IF IT TURNS OUT NOT TO BE, CAN THE POPE OF ROME BE TRUSTED?
The languages of Earth affirm the universality of the 7-day week, and 108 of them have based their name for the 7th day on the original Hebrew word:
Ancient Syriac: shabatho, Babylonian: sabatu, Arabic: assabt, Etheopic: sanbat, Armenian: shapat, Polynesian: hari sabtu, Swahili: assabt, Latin: Sabbatum, Italian: Sabbato, Spanish: Sabado, Russian: Subbota, Polish: Sobota, Assyrian: Sabata, Tigre: Sanbat, Kurdish: Shamba, Georgian: Shabati, Morduin: Subbota, Portuguese: Sabbado, New Slovenian: Sobota, Prussian: Sabatico.
A seminar on DVD which includes information on the Asherah/tree tradition
and the tribes of Israel among the nations is available now.
The other DVD is a seminar on the Sabbath of Yahuah.
Click on either photo below to order.
Christian teachers and their flocks have been taught that "Sun-day" is the Sabbath day, knowing that it had not been for over 4000 years previous to Constantine's edict that changed it in 321 CE. One question that comes to mind immediately is this:
Where were the followers of Yahusha ha'Mashiach of Natsarith found for Shaul (Paul) to arrest them? In the book of Acts, written about 31 years after Yahusha ascended, we learn that the followers of Yahushua were assembled in SYNAGOGUES, and they were found there on the traditional day of rest called THE SABBATH. Shaul did not find them in "church" buildings, and in fact Luke (the writer) was still calling the day they were arrested "THE SABBATH". The change of the Sabbath day of rest came later, and it was done by a Pagan emperor who was a murderer, and unbaptized at the time he made the change. In this study we will look at what the inspired writings tell us, and how modern behavior is at variance with those writings, and why.
A WORD ABOUT THE TORAH & ISRAEL:
Israel of Yahuah is not replaced, but "former" Gentiles may engraft and become fellow members of the commonwealth of Israel. Not "spiritual" Israel, but the one and only Israel. It is vital to understand that there is no covenant of any kind with any people who are not Israel.
So, the non-Israelite has but one choice: to enter into the Covenant made with Israel, and obey the Torah of Yahuah.
Check out the web page here: www.fossilizedcustoms.com/nazarene_israel.htm
Worship, in the sense understood from the Scriptures (Yahuah's Words), has to be defined from the meaning of the word as it is used in the inspired Hebrew. Translations, and especially human traditions, can lead us into errors in certain cases. Our "worship" is really obedience, the doing of what Yahuah expects of us. If we neglect doing what He expects of us, but assume our intentions will serve the same results, then we didn't understand the Fall, the golden calf incident, nor why Qayin's (Cain's) offering was not pleasing to Yahuah. "If you do well, shall you not be accepted?" (Gen. 4:7). Qayin made up his own mind how he was going to worship Yahuah, and what would be the offering. How is Christianity any different? All the Sun-day assemblies, Christmas trees, and Easter baskets in the world will not be acceptable to Yahuah, unless He prescribed them as a form of worshipping Him. So, our simple task is to find out what Yahuah expects, then "do well" so that He will accept our worship of Him. Then, we can expect to hear the words, "Well done , good and faithful servant!" (Mt. 25:21). Doing "the Word" is obeying Him, not adding to it, or taking away from it, or adopting the Pagan cultural background as tradition has done.
There are two Hebrew words from which we derive the meaning of "worship". One is the Hebrew word SHACHAH (#7812), which literally means to bow down, or prostrate before another who is of higher status. The other Hebrew word needs to be examined for comparison, so an overview of the concept of worship can be put into proper context and perspective. The second Hebrew word is ABAD (#5647), and is often transliterated as OBED or OBAD, as we see this root used in the name of the prophet, OBADIAH (Obad Yahu, or Obad Yah). This prophet's name literally means servant of Yah. OBAD or ABAD means slave, servant, attendant, performer, observant one, subject (as to a king), server, etc.,. We get our English words "OBEY" and "OBEDIENT" from this Hebrew source. Again, we see that being submissive, compliant, or beneath another entity is the general meaning conveyed. One entity is beneath another in authority. One serves, and the other is served, or "obeyed". The English definition of the word "worship" is derived from two words; WORTH + SHIP (see any good dictionary). Primarily it pertains to the reverence, love, or allegiance accorded to a deity, idol, or religious object. The word is used as a noun (thing) primarily, but as a verb (action) it has several synonyms: idolize, revere, adore, venerate (regard with awe). One could say it is also similar to the word "respect", used as both a noun or a verb. If you respect the rules of the highway, you will obey them. If you "worship" the Creator of Heaven and Earth, you will obey Him. Why do we "worship" (respect, serve, obey) Yahuah? The ultimate reason should be because we LOVE Him. In the beginning it may involve FEAR (of Yahuah), which is the beginning of wisdom (and wise it truly is to FEAR Him). As we are perfected, we should grow to love Him, and when our love is perfected, it will displace the fear as a reason to obey Him. "If you love Me, keep My Commandments." (see also Ex. 20:6, Dt. 5:10, 7:9, Yn./Jn. 14:15, Luke 10:27). Love is the reason and objective for our "worship", and our obedience is evidence or proof that we love Him, and evidence that we are being saved. A worshipper of Yah will keep His Commandments, and do so out of love for Him; and He will write them on their hearts -- that's the "re-newed" Covenant (Jer 31:31-33, Ez. 36:26,27, Heb. 10:16). If His Commandments ever vanish from before Him, then Yisrael shall also cease from existence (Jer. 31:36). The "sign" of His eternal Covenant? The Sabbath! (Ex 31:13-17, Ez. 20:12-20). When we receive a love for the Truth (Torah), He has circumcised our hearts so we will love His Torah -- which is pictured outwardly by our immersion (baptism) in His Name. If you love Him enough to obey Him, He will write them on your heart (check out Acts 5:32 on this). You must engraft into Yisrael to partake of the Covenant promises. Investigate carefully Is. 56 to see if the Sabbath is involved at all in who is to be allowed to come into His presence. Notice also that the 12 gates into the "New Yerushaliyim" only involve the 12 tribes of Yisrael; each gate is named for a tribe -- Rev. 21:10-27. Rev. 22:14 tells us: "Blessed are those doing His Commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city." There's no gate for the Dalai Lama, Astrologers, Islam, or even one named for "Christianity". These who are taught to disobey (all or some of the Commandments) will be outside the gates, and called "dogs", enchanters with pharmakon (drugs), those who whore, murderers, idolators, and all who love and do falsehood. You know; those who practice "lawlessness" as opposed to "legalists". Surely, Noach was called a "legalist", because he was a preacher of righteousness. The end of the times of the Gentiles will involve fervent heat, and the elements will burn; the Earth will be consumed in the fire of Yahuah's burning anger -- don't be deceived. The majority of mankind will be ashes beneath our feet when we are clothed with immortality on the day of our redemption. An eye filled with "light" is a point of view, and an eye filled with darkness is another point of view. If your world-view involves seeking to obey Commandments, rather than hunting-down Scriptures to justify disobeying them, then we'll see each other when the smoke clears (a Michael Rood saying).
"He that has My mitzvot, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: and he who loves Me, shall be loved by My Abba, and I will love him, and will reveal Myself to him," Yochanan 14:21. (mitzvot: Commandments)
Romans 6:16-18: "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin (missing the mark), yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness." Sin misses the mark, and the teachings of Yahuah are that mark. No one should believe they have been "set free" to disobey Torah, or "free to commit sin".
We can safely state that obedience is what "worship" is. True worship would be based on Yahuah's Word, His Torah (instructions), and be devoid of any "human traditions" puffing-up or adding to that Word. False worship would involve some form of "obedience" that was not intended, and so it would be misdirected obedience coming from another entity, intending to trick the performer of the action. Human traditions tend to be our greatest affliction, making us "obey" the wrong entity -- thereby becoming "servants" of the human traditions rather than servants of Yahuah. This would be sown by a deceiver, or one masquerading. As we know, some of these traditions can be designs, patterns, or adaptations from PAGAN worship (which would be prohibited by Deut. 12:28-32). But, even if we "design" an original, new "method" for how we serve Yahuah, this is also outside the Torah. Thus, we are "serving" the one whom we "obey"; and it may not be Yahuah, the Creator of heaven and Earth. It doesn't occur to most people, but their intentions don't have anything to do with whether or not they are really obeying the True Creator, Yahuah. What matters is what He said, not what they think they ought to be doing. For this reason we must examine ourselves carefully, whether we are "in the belief" (faith, emunah), practicing and performing that form of teaching which is given us by the indwelling Spirit of Messiah Yahushua (see 2 Cor. 13:5). To obey, observe, or guard a specific Torah instruction properly (form of teaching), we have to have Yahusha Messiah in us, otherwise we are not His. He told us that apart from Him, we could do nothing. If we obey His Spirit within us, and another judges us for this obedience, the other person is judging another's servant. We obey the Law-Giver, not each other's whims or ideas about things. We must not disapprove of one another, but embrace and accept one another in love -- avoiding the tendency to find differences to debate over.
The Sabbath Day is the eternal sign between YHUH and Israel, the people of YHUH .
Since this topic is about Sabbath worship, let's closely examine the 4th Commandment, that "form of teaching to which you were entrusted":
"Remember the Sabbath Day, to set it apart. Six days you labor, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahuah your Elohim. You do not do any 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 Yahuah made the heavens and Earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahuah blessed the Sabbath Day and set it apart." Exodus (Shemoth) 20:9-11; see also Ex 31:13-17, Ex. 35:2, Ezek. 20:12-20, Hebrews 4:9.
If we read that text a few dozen times very slowly, we get several basic ideas from it. It contrasts work with rest. It makes us understand that living things around us are included in this teaching, so going to a restaurant and allowing others to serve us is definitely NOT what is implied for us to do. If we had to reduce the entire Commandment down to one word, what would it be? Worship? No, a better word would be REST. Obedience to this Commandment identifies us with the Creator and how He rested during the first week from CREATING. Each Shabbat, or 7th day of the week (week in Hebrew is SHABUA), is a place in time, set aside for rest; it memorializes the first week, when Yahuah made the Heavens and the Earth. Shabbat is not about a resurrection; it is a commemoration of CREATION, and by observing it as a day of rest, it connects us to Yahuah and identifies Who we serve and obey (worship). It's the 4th of the Ten Commandments. Let's now try to learn what the word Sabbath means in Hebrew:
SHABBATH (#7676): TO REST, DESIST, CEASE.
It looks like a stop-sign for working, at the very least. Can we read any more, or less, into the word? The text of Ex. 20 provides us with everything we need to know for observing this Commandment. Ex. 16:28-30 reinforces it even more:
"And Yahuah said to Mosheh, 'How long shall you refuse to guard My Commands and My Torot? See, because Yahuah has given you the Sabbath, therefore He is giving you bread for two days on the sixth day. Let each one stay in his place, do not let anyone go out of his place on the seventh day.' So the people rested on the seventh day."
WHAT did the people do on the seventh day? The text says they RESTED, and obviously each one stayed in his place. Is there anything we can add or take away from resting? You betcha, and most have. If we think we can pick which "7th day" for ourselves, we need to investigate the re-training which the 12 tribes of Israel had to undergo in the wilderness for 40 years -- Yahuah used manna to show them which day was "His Shabbath". Remember, it's not ours, or Israel's, it's HIS Shabbath He is talking about. We are simply identified with Him as His servants when we rest as He rested. We also clearly learn from Yahuah WHERE we are to do all this resting:
"Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a qodesh miqra (translated as "set-apart gathering"). You do no work, it is a Sabbath to Yahuah in all your dwellings." Lev. 23:3. Where? ". . . in all your dwellings." (That would primarily be where you and your family eat and sleep, not where you work). Now we've solved the "what" and "where":
Where: in all your dwellings.
It's normally not done at a school, or a public building of any kind, unless you've just experienced a hurricane. The human understanding of "set-apart gathering" has been emphasized here by translators, and people have come to believe they must "gather" because the Hebrew word "MIQRA" has been understood to mean this. Translations have produced this "set-apart gathering" idea. Investigating the root of the word MIQRA, we find it is QARA, which means to proclaim, not "gather". This is why we have to get at the ROOT of most everything, because we can be tricked otherwise. The phrase, "a Sabbath of rest, a qodesh miqra" seems to strongly emphasize to us what is to be proclaimed, and that would be the resting we'll have to be doing. To some of us, what is to be proclaimed is a Sabbath of resting -- rather than a Sabbath of gathering. Gathering would be a good thing, but it's not a "sin" if we don't gather every week. We are to "bow down" each Sabbath Day, which means to obey the Law-Giver, Yahuah, the One we are identified with by this 4th Command (see Hebrews 4). The 4th Commandment tells us everything we need to know. It doesn't say "You are to rest from work in order to be able to assemble for worship services". That is a conclusion people have been programmed to jump to. Yahuah's Covenant is clearly for any "foreigner" who joins themselves to Israel -- see Isaiah / (Yesha Yahu) 56. There is no covenant in Scripture with any people but Israel, and Israel is 12 tribes, not only “Jews” (Yahudim). Israel is Yahuah’s wife (or bride). Those observant of Shabbat / Sabbath will be brought to His set-apart mountain, and be among His people (see Is. 56, and 66). Actually, the Sabbath is the "test", to see whether, or not, we will obey His Commandments! (see Exodus 16:4). Reading Acts, you will see “Sabbath” often—and this is not “Sun-day”. The act of resting on Shabbat is the “sign” of the eternal Covenant, and it commemorates CREATION, and shows Yahuah you are His and acknowledge Him as Creator (Sabbath, sign of everlasting Covenant: Ex. 31:13-17, Ez. 20:12-20). And oh yes, it's for everyone to acknowledge Yahuah as Creator in the same way:
“Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast; who KEEPS THE SHABBATH without defiling it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. LET NO FOREIGNER who has bound himself to Yahuah say, ‘Yahuah will surely exclude me from His people’. And let not any eunuch complain, ‘I am only a dry tree’. For this is what Yahuah says: “To the eunuchs who keep My Shabbaths, who choose what pleases Me and hold fast to my Covenant ~ to them I will give within My Temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And FOREIGNERS who bind themselves to Yahuah to serve Him, to love the Name of Yahuah and to worship Him, ALL WHO KEEP THE SHABBATH without defiling it and who hold fast to My Covenant, these I will bring to My qodesh mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer . . . . For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’” Yesha Yahu 56:2-7.
Compare these words with Ephesians 2:8-13, all of chapter 3, and Acts 15. Notice there is a SECRET (mystery) of Elohim mentioned at Revelation 10:7.
DESERTED ISLAND EXAMPLE
If you were alone on a deserted island, you could work six days and rest on the seventh day of the week, and have no sin against you. Over the years, let's say several hundred people had moved there, and most of them had learned about this Commandment, and accepted it. During the Sabbath Day, let's say a few new-comers came to you to learn more about the Commandments. You meet with a dozen or so students of Torah for a couple of hours, and everyone is edified. Not any harm is done by studying and meeting together, and after a few hours everyone goes back to their hammock and continues to rest for the balance of the day. Now let's say that over the years thousands of people have moved to this island, and by this time a few "leaders" have caused some division among the believers on the "fine points" of how to correctly observe this or some other Commandment. They teach that EVERYONE must gather as believers in one place to hear their sermon. Oops, now we're starting to see the source of the problem. Human understanding and tradition has everything to do with our problem -- even without the wiles of the devil, we get things twisted and try to control each other (Nicolaitans = lording over/conquering the laity/ the people). Condemnation (judging) and character assassination begin, a few people get burned at the stake, and then a war breaks out on our peaceful little island. Proclaiming the seventh day as a day of rest from work is what most of us understand when we read the 4th Commandment. There's an old Hebrew saying; if an Israelite were stranded alone on a desert island, he would build two synagogues, so he would always have one that he would not attend. It goes on to say that if there were 2 Israelites alone on a desert island, they would build three synagogues; one for each, and a third neither would attend.
If anyone wants to gather to learn in an assembly, let it be so. We must assemble at times, especially the 3 times in a year as commanded at Lev. 23 and Deut. 16. We are free to assemble everyday if the opportunity presents itself, and where 2 or more are gathered in Yahusha's Name, He is there as well. We can assemble on a Sabbath Day, or any other day. But, there is only one day each week selected for resting; Yahuah didn't tell us to pick our own day for resting. When we assemble, it is to learn (1 Cor. 14:26). After several months or years of this learning, they should become equipped well enough to teach others, make disciples, and immerse them into the Name above all names, Yahusha ha Mashiach of Natsarith. On the Sabbath, let's not pass around any buckets to take up a collection, since we ought to avoid carrying money or gemstones around to make transactions with on this day. Even the poor and beggars need to take this day off. We can "lay up" beside ourselves a tithe for the poor, fatherless, widow, and needy in our midst on any of the six "work" days; we need not profane the Sabbath to conduct business, even our "spiritual" business. (Won't this go over great with the nicolaitans!) Yahushua ha Mashiach told us He was the Master of the Sabbath. Constantine cannot change or bend what Yahuah has made straight, and established for all eternity -- His Shabbath. Can Yahuah's laws (Torah) be altered? Here's one place that tells us:
Jer 31:31-37: "'The time is coming,' declares Yahuah, 'when I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Yahudah. It will not be like the Covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Mitsrayim, because they broke my Covenant, though I was a husband to them,' declares Yahuah. 'This is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,' declares Yahuah. 'I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahuah,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares Yahuah. 'For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.'
This is what Yahuah says,
He Who appoints the sun to shine by day, Who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--Yahuah Almighty is his name: 'Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,' declares Yahuah, 'will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.'
This is what Yahuah says:
'Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,' declares Yahuah."
A Diversion tactic: ACTS 20 "They" want you to notice one thing; the phrase "first day of the week", then hope you go numb to following the rest of the chapter. It actually says "the one of the Sabbaths" (Acts 20:7 in the Greek). Acts 20:7-38 begins by describing a "gathering" of believers (Natsarim) in a home, an upper room, where they listened to Paul (Shaul) until midnight, since Paul was departing the following morning. This was at Troas, where they had arrived after "the days of unleavened bread" (7 days following Passover). Notice "there were many lamps in the upper room". At the start of this gathering in the lamp-filled upper room, Sabbath had just ended, and a few of the Natsarim had come together in this home, and had a bite together (breaking bread). It was after sunset, the resting was over. It was officially the "first day of the week" when Sabbath ended at sunset. There was nothing going on here like a "Mass", or a "communion service". In fact, no one was "worshipping". The believers simply wanted to hear Paul (Shaul) before he left town. Next, they sailed on to Miletos, and called the ELDERS of Ephesos there, to hear an important matter. This whole section needs to be carefully studied, because WHAT SHAUL TAUGHT them is over-looked because of the distraction to make you think about how it was "the first day of the week", stated earlier in the chapter. Get past that, study this chapter closely, and READ THE WARNING Shaul gave to the elders he had called for. It will shake you to your roots, and probably wake-up many of you from a life-long slumber. You should be able to see the "diversion tactic" that has been used to block many people from seeing what Shaul wanted to warn us of. Another diversion tactic is used at 2 Pet. 3:14-18. They try to make you think about Shaul's letters being "Scriptures", to distract you from what is being said -- it's another warning to us. Our main job is to overcome the errors, so we can be effective in our service and reach the LOST with the Truth, the Word, the Torah of the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Our message to them is "Repent, for the reign of Yahuah draws near." Repentance means return to the Torah (Ten Words, the Covenant) -- but it has been turned into a misunderstanding, where "grace" and "being under law" are considered to be in conflict with each other. To partake of the New Covenant (quoted above, Jer. 31), we must receive a love for the Torah, allowing Yahushua to circumcise our hearts with a love for it.
The answer is in Genesis, or what is called “Bereshith” in the original Hebrew; that we are to rest from all our work as Yahuah did on the seventh day of every week. It’s given again as a directive in the book of Exodus, the 4th of the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath is spoken of 9 times in the book of Acts. It is called “a sign” (oth) between Yahuah and Israel, the only sign of the “everlasting Covenant” (Ex. 31:13-17, Ez. 20:12-20, directly referred to at Heb. 4). If the Covenant is everlasting, its sign is also: the weekly Sabbath. Our Messiah, Rabbi Yahusha, made the heavens and the Earth, and called them as witnesses to this Covenant, and as long as they endure, the Ten Commandments will stand, not just 9 of them. Not one letter can be altered. The Sabbath He kept is not the one Christianity recognizes, simply because Christianity is a religion ABOUT Him, and is not the same religion He teaches and adheres to Himself. Constantine changed the day of rest to his “SUN-day”. Setting aside the Commandments of Yahuah in order to adhere to human traditions is very dangerous, as is worship in a way that is humanly invented. You must think outside of the box to get past some strong deceptions.
When we engraft into Israel (Rom. 11), we cannot continue to think and act as Gentile Pagans, and claim our “Gentile” origins are a reason to believe a Commandment doesn’t apply to us. Lies are everywhere waiting to deceive us, established by the enemy of our beings. Sun-day is not the Sabbath, nor will it ever be. It is not the Sabbath which Yahusha recognized (or recognizes), and He is the Master of the Sabbath. No work, or buying and selling, or even traveling excessively is permitted (Acts 1:12), and I love it. When we are invited to go out into the world and profane this day, we have to choose who we will serve (obey). No man is go out of his vicinity on the Sabbath (Ex. 16:29,30). When a brother is caught in some trespass, we, the spiritual ones, must warn and correct them, so that is what I am attempting to do here. Please study this topic thoroughly, leaving out the human excuses and eisegesis; but remember I have warned you in advance — I had to.
When the day begins (or ends) is a subject of some debate among today's researchers of Yahuah's Word. Some understand the beginning of the day as being sunrise, since they believe Yahuah began His creating with "Let there be light". Those who embrace the “Dayspring” doctrine, described in an article by Craig Peters, follow the understanding that the "day" described during creation week began at sunrise, and ended the following sunrise. To them, Sabbath begins at sunrise, and lasts until the following sunrise. Following this pattern, the Sabbath begins at sunrise and ends the following sunrise, the first day of the week. The word "YOM" (#3117, Hebrew for day) literally means day, and Yahuah called the light "YOM". In contrast, He called the darkness LAYIL #3915, what we understand as "night". It's easy to see how we could become confused by this situation. I understand that a Sabbath is observed from “evening to evening” (Lev. 23:32), and "In the beginning" of Yahuah’s creating it was dark (there was evening and there was morning . . .), I accept as brothers and sisters those whose consciences speak to them otherwise. YOM and LAYIL make up a period of 24 hours, however the word YOM takes on a broader meaning for both day and night when this whole 24 hour period is described; and to some it is from morning to morning, and others it is evening to evening. The word YOM also means "period". Searching for examples in Scripture is the best way to decide which is more correct. "There was EVENING and there was MORNING, the first day". That sequence seems to be saying that night came first. Another example is given in the scroll of NehemYah. When the gates of Yerushalyim were being “darkened” or shadowed before the coming Sabbath, Nehemiah ordered them to be shut to keep out the sellers on the Sabbath (Neh. 13:19). Would he close them 12 hours before dawn, or was sunset when he thought Sabbath began? The Babylonians were sun worshippers, and began their 12-hour day at sunrise, and this made the Yahudim all the more freaky to them. The Egyptians borrowed the Babylonian system, using sunrise to begin their day also. As when a moon is new and is dark, so the 24-hour cycle of our turning Earth begins at darkness; but though there are divisions among a few of us about this, it must never become a divisive issue to judge one another over. At John 19:31 we see that the Yahudim were in a hurry to get the bodies from the stakes because that day was a "preparation day" for the High Sabbath of Matsah. Some interpret that night can be ignored, because of the reference, "night is coming when no one can work". This would seem to be saying we are commanded that no one work after dark; but some believe it only means that night is ignored regarding the command to rest. The fast of Ramadan is observed only during the daylight hours. Eating is permitted after dark. The body of Yahusha was taken down and put into the new tomb as the High Sabbath approached - apparently arriving at sunset. I'm sure that whichever interpretation a person takes on this issue, it is not rebellion, only simple misinterpretation. So, we press on toward the perfecting of the saints, and love those who serve Yahuah. We were not put here to discover them, but teach people who don’t yet know Him — and so we serve Him in this way. We need to spend more time using Scripture to prove what we believe, but some borrow from outside sources and have trouble reconciling between Scripture and the everyday world. Just look at the differences we have about which day is the Sabbath, when it starts, ends, or even what the Name of the Creator is. It can't be "Jesus" and "Yahushua" at the same time -- one of them is a lie, and the other is the Truth.
When we assemble, it is for "edification" (1 Cor. 14:26), to prepare us to do the work among those in darkness. And, wherever 2 or more are gathered together in His Name, He is there, Mt. 18:20. There is no "minyan" required (a minyan is a minimum, or quorum of 10 or more -- an invented number by human tradition, the Talmud). Today is the first day of the week (as I write this), and I feel refreshed because I rested yesterday. If I had not, but answered phones and stood up teaching for hours, I'd be worn-out and useless. (Some reading this may feel I'm worn-out and useless in spite of the rest I had yesterday). I've talked to many pastors and "rabbis", and they all tell me that Sabbath is their hardest day. They work more and toil harder on the 7th day than any other week day by far. This is not possible for me to handle -- my flesh is far too weak. Without Yahusha, we can do nothing to reach the hearts of those who need His Life, His Spirit. It's simply our custom to publish His Name and His Torah for six days each week, and we have to rest every Sabbath Day. Today, the first day of the week, we are looking forward to some visitors arriving from northern Indiana for an hour or two. Although we are sometimes accused of "forsaking the meeting together of one another", we can only smile in wonder at how misunderstood many parts of Yahusha's Body can be. If our ministry were anything like most are, we would have a local neighborhood gathering every Shabbat to help new converts learn Torah. As it is, we don't live in a neighborhood, and we teach new converts the other six days of the week full-time. Our "work" days start at 8 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. Children are to learn Torah from their parents, and Shabbat has been that opportunity for our family. We hope that if you meet with other believers on Shabbat, that you would take even more time during this day of rest to teach your children Torah as well. The early Natsarim met in private homes, but not exclusively there; the synagogues were packed with Gentile converts (Acts has several examples of this). If we had a next-door neighbor, we would certainly invite them to study with us every Shabbat - but as most of you know, you are hungry for Father's Word everyday. Studying with His Spirit there with you is the serious way to be fed. Keep looking into His Word; you will find what you are seeking there. The conflicts among believers arise mostly over differences between what Scripture says when compared with human traditions. When a person "rebels" against human traditions, but not against Scripture, they are only able to overcome through the guidance of the Spirit of Yahushua. The persecution in often intense, but we must endure it and obey Yahuah rather than men (traditions). Now, consider something that is mistaken as a form of mild "persecution" that is really done in a loving way, and sends a truthful message that challenges traditional teachings, testing them against practices found in Scripture:
non-observant believers*** As strange as it may be, ha shatan (the adversary) is a non-observant believer. This being certainly "believes", however there is NO WAY we will see any obedience practiced. "Observing" Torah (keeping the Commandments) is not much of a high priority with non-observant believers, but that's why we're here to help them change, and show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life -- the "living Torah" we are are to follow is Yahusha, Who composed/authored the Commandments, and now writes them on our hearts, as the New Covenant He promised us. (see Jer. 31, Heb. 8).
In an Email debate with a member of the "Church of Christ", there was a strong "replacement theology" thing going on. Here's how I replied to one of the basic comments concerning the Sabbath:
Dear (name withheld),
I respect your comments very much. One of them might be worth looking at more closely here:
"Nothing suggests that the Sabbath day was a commandment for disciples of Jesus to keep."
Hebrews 4:4 does "suggest" that the Sabbath Day is a Commandment for the students of Yahushua,
"For somewhere He has said thus about the SEVENTH DAY, 'And Elohim rested on the SEVENTH DAY from all His works'".
Further it tells us:
"So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim" (v. 9)
Yahusha also gave us a direct warning concerning "annulling" even the least of His Commandments, and that those who teach men so will be "the least" in His Kingdom/government to come.
Isaiah 56:6 tells us "all who guard the Sabbath" will be brought to Yahuah's mountain, even "Eunuchs and foreigners" -- all who love the Name of Yahuah, and guard the Sabbath. This is clearly telling us to observe the seventh day as a day of rest; v.2 says,
"Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it, GUARDING THE SABBATH LEST HE PROFANE IT . . ."
The Sabbath is the Eternal sign between Israel and His people (Ex. 31:13-17, EZ. 20:12-20), so to get rid of the Sabbath, replacement theology has to get rid of Israel. Gentiles must engraft into Israel to partake of the Covenant; they have not replaced Israel.
The 12 gates into the New Yerushaliyim bear the names of each tribe of Israel -- no "dog" (disobedient Covenant-breaker) may enter.
Replacement theology tells us that Gentiles have replaced Israel, and this is false doctrine, and here's why: If Israel ever ceases to be a nation before Yahuah, then the heavens and the Earth will be able to be measured, and the foundations of the Earth below searched out.
This permanency also applies to His Commandments, so Israel and His Torah (Commandments) are forever linked:
Jer. 31:36-37 (+ context),
36"'Only if these decrees vanish from my sight', declares Yahuah, 'will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.'
37 "This is what Yahuah says:'Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,' declares Yahuah". Truly He is merciful!
Many of our (Israel) instructions are being annulled by the shepherds we were warned against by both the prophets who spoke in the Name of Yahuah, and Yahusha our Mashiach. There's only ONE body, and that body is Israel, Yahuah's bride/wife which He married, and the Covenant (10 Commandments) is the wedding brit. We (Israel) are to go into all the "nations" and teach them ALL HE HAS COMMANDED US TO OBEY. Even the elect may be deceived if they are not very careful which voice they pay attention to. But, in the end, it is a safer bet to keep obeying Yahuah rather than men. He doesn't change, and would not destroy anyone for obeying the Sabbath, surely. If all 10 Commandments have been taken away as you stated, there is no criteria to determine what is a sin against Yahuah. Rev. tells us at 12:17 and 14:12 that the "saints" obey the Commandments of Yahuah, and hold to the testimony of Yahusha. How have the Commandments then been eliminated? A better question is, who seeks to see us disobey? (Suddenly, a voice screams from the back of the room, "Perhaps SATAN?!!" ).
The New Covenant is allowing Yahusha's Spirit to "circumcize" our hearts with a love for these teachings.He has written them on our hearts and in our minds now, so we walk in them and He is our Elohim because we obey Him.
Or, maybe I'm a heretic -- the Catholics would certainly have burned me just a few hundred years ago. Your replies were read, and I'm very familiar with the vital texts that you cited; some of them have been interpreted in such a way that they are in conflict with other texts, and it takes deep study to resolve the conflicts. 20 years ago, I was ready to use the same texts to prove what I believed.
Paul wrote many words that can be confusing, as Peter warned us of (2 Peter 3:15-17). Before we let brother Paul remove part or all of the Commandments for us, what about brother Luke's letter called Acts, written about 31 years after the ascension, where he tells Theophilus these words:
"Then they went back to Yerushalayim from the Mount of Olives, which is near Yerushalayim, a Sabbath's day's journey." Acts 1:12
"And much time having pased, and the sailing now being dangerous, because the FAST was already over; . . . . " Acts 27:9
(That "FAST" would be the high Sabbath on the 10th day of the seventh moon, known as Yom Kippur).
"And according to his practice, Sha'ul went into them, and for THREE SABBATHS was reasoning with them from the Scriptures." Acts 17:2 (Those "Scriptures" would have been that "Old Testament" - as they call it. Marcion made every attempt to sever the "Old" from the "New" writings).
In 7 other places, "THE Sabbath" is mentioned specifically in this letter we call Acts. Shaul also is on record in this regard in Acts stating:
"But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. “ Acts 24:14 (Sha'ul believed and lived by the Torah, referred to here as "the Law").
Notice Sha'ul referred to "the Law of Yahuah" -- that "OLD" Covenant that replacement theology has retired to the ash bin. Not only that, but he made it even clearer for us when he said:
“While he answered for himself, "Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the Temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all." Acts 25:8 The following shows that Sha'ul even continued to observe the High Sabbaths:
"but took leave of them, saying, ‘I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, Yahuah willing.’ And he sailed from Ephesus.” Acts 18:21
“I thank Yahuah --through Yahusha the Messiah our Master! So then, with the mind I myself serve the Law of Yahuah, but with the flesh the Law of sin.” Romans 7:25 (The "Law of Yahuah" would be the "Torah of Yahuah").
synagogue of Satan: synagogue is a Greek word, meaning "house of study". Satan (Hebrew shatan) means "adversary" and is the accuser of Israel; this is a real, fallen messenger opposed to Yahuah, and is ruling the entire Earth in all religious, political, and mercantile areas. Putting it together, the synagogue of Satan would be any "house of study" which teaches lawlessness or revised commandments. If we can prove that there is a difference between what is written in Yahuah's Word (His Commandments) and what is practiced within a group that claims to worship Yahuah, then we have identified a synagogue of Satan. "Jews" is the word seen in translation at Rev. 2:9, from the Hebrew word "Yahudim", and means "worshippers of Yah". Claiming to worship Yah, but not teaching and practicing His Commandments, shows us who is of this synagogue of Satan.
If Satan has a "synagogue" where the Torah of Yahuah is taught, then no harm could come to anyone that attended studies there.
New book: Walk in the Light,
Strawberry Islands Messianic Publishing / Institute for Scripture Research, USA
A FEW COMMENTS ON THE WORD "CHRISTIAN" What were they REALLY called?
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