SHOULD I BE KEEPING THE SABBATH?
September 1, 2022 12:04 PM
My Hiding Place
For the audio version of this Word, please follow the link provided, youtube.com/watch?v=fOHSi-6et7A. Thank you.
Dear brothers and sisters,
it’s been over 2 years, since Father has called me out of the church system and into His close fellowship. During this time of intense training, He has taught me numerous things. One of these is to honour His Sabbaths and His Holy Feasts. The Holy Spirit has led me to read up on each of them to learn what they represent, when they occur and He has led me to celebrate them. One of our family’s favourite is the Feast of Tabernacles when our children get to build tents to sleep under.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you research these things through His Holy Word. And, if I may make a recommendation, Lev.23 is definitely an awesome starting point since it gives a nice overview of all the feasts.
In this Word I’m going to focus specifically on the Sabbath.
Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
In the above verses we are clearly instructed to keep the Sabbath day holy to honour the fact that on that day Father rested from making the earth and in like manner, we should take this time to physically rest from our labours. We are allowed to do our work on all other days, but not on the Sabbath or we would be in direct contravention with this command and we would be dishonouring Father, plainly rebelling against His law. This is the 4th commandment God gave to Moses on the mountain and which He engraved on the stone tablets. Engraved – meaning it cannot and should not be altered.
In the Old Testament, the people of God were told to keep all Father’s commands. With regards to the Sabbath, we read that, failure to honour it would result in the severe punishment by stoning.
Exod. 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
Num.15:32-36 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.
Now, the opposite is true for those who obey Father’s 4th commandment and honour His day of rest.
Isa.58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Nehemiah made a point to emphasize that one of the reasons that had contributed to Israel’s captivity was the overlooking of the Sabbath. He did his best to re-instate it by shutting down the gates of the city to stop people from leaving the city and do commerce.
Neh.13:17-18 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
Now, many believe that with the coming of the Messiah and the implementation of the New Testament and the New Covenant, that it is no longer necessary for people today to observe the Sabbath.
In this regard, Father made me notice that this celebration and honouring is His 4th commandment out of a list of 10 given to Moses. Do we still have to uphold the other 9? If so, why do away with the 4th? In other words, if we still have to ensure we do not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, then we MUST also respect the Sabbath.
Matt.5:17 [Jesus said] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Pharisees, high priests and teachers of the law had formulated so many man-made rules pertaining to the Sabbath, making this celebration utterly legalistic and confusing for anyone who was trying to uphold it. They made themselves lords over these rules and in so doing, they would point fingers and put others down if they didn’t follow their nonsense in its entirety.
The Pharisees would follow Jesus around to try to find every possible excuse to condemn Him. In one of these occasions, they asked Jesus why His disciples had picked some heads of grain on the Sabbath. But Jesus responded that the priests were allowed to do sacrifices on such days and in doing so, were not infracting Father’s laws as per Num.28:9-10 which states, ‘And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: 10 This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.’
Jesus claimed that He was greater than the temple and therefore Lord of the Sabbath.
Matt.12:6-8 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
The Pharisees were much more focused on executing their own Sabbath man-made rules than God’s. But Jesus’ ministry was very much reflective on serving others, showing mercy and doing good. Hence why He performed all sorts of miracles any day including on the Sabbath. When questioned, He would try reasoning with them by giving them practical examples, but they were too blind and proud to see or admit Jesus’ teachings.
In other words, if you are resting on the Sabbath day and suddenly a neighbour comes knocking on your door asking you for help, you would be acting like a Pharisee if, for the sake of not doing any work, you would not attend to your neighbour’s needs.
Matt. 12:11-12 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
This brings me to Colossians 2:16-23. For the sake of not making this Word that much longer, I will omit attaching the passage here. But I do invite you to read it on your own.
People nowadays have given up on celebrating and honouring the Sabbath. What I understand as the reasoning behind it, is that they perceive it as a law than no longer applies since Christ has done away with the Old Covenant. This commandment often gets compared to circumcision in the flesh. However, annulling circumcision versus the Sabbath are two completely different matters. Do not get confused and generalize.
You must understand that the rules the high priests, Pharisees and teachers of the Law had made up were not rules imparted by our Heavenly Father, but rather by men. This is what Jesus was against and needed to be done away with, not the actual celebration of the Sabbath. Remember how they would judge others based on whether a cup had been cleaned on the outside but not flinch if it wasn’t cleaned on the inside? That showed exactly where their hearts were at. Their hearts were deceived, wanting to look good before men by portraying a fake impression of godliness. They were masters at pointing at others’ flaws overlooking the logs in their own eyes.
The truth of the matter is that Father is not interested in us upholding a 20-page list of what we should or should not be doing on His day of rest. He has simply asked us to refrain from work, make a meal in advance, avoid buying and selling and to do good on such days. This must be our focus with the emphasis on doing good for God’s glory.
Col.2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Please avoid petty arguments and making up your own rules on the subject. They will serve for no reason other than to cause divisions in the body of Christ. Instead, practice kindness with one another.
I’ll take this one step further and ask: so are we tied up to doing good only or mostly on the Sabbaths? Absolutely not! This rule applies to every day and even more so on the Sabbath.
Now, having said all this, some may have questions regarding when is the Sabbath or when does a Sabbath begin. So far I have been led to do so beginning on the evening of the Friday to the evening of the Saturday as per Lev.23:32 which mentions that, ‘FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.’
I heard that some feel that they should be observing this statute on Sundays instead. Please seek Father on this matter. As far as I understand, the Sunday ‘rest’ was implemented by Emperor Constantine, the same individual who amalgamated all sorts of Babylonian traditions and labelled them as Christmas. Be careful!
Heb.4:9-11 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
If you are a child of God, embrace the manifestation of this beautiful gift Father has given us. That is, to believe by faith that we can find rest in His arms trusting Him wholeheartedly to lead us into His ways everlasting.
The physical rest promoted in the Old Testament pertaining to the 7th day was a representation of the spiritual rest we have received in Jesus when we confessed Him as our Lord. His death on the cross was sufficient to redeem us from our sins such that we no longer have to work (or in other words perform deeds, offer sacrifices) in order to be saved. The Lord often shows us things in the physical that are easier for us to comprehend to illustrate a spiritual truth. However, there is no indication in Scripture that the Sabbath celebration has been abolished. As a matter-of-fact, let’s see what the prophet Isaiah had to say on this regard.
Isa.66:22-23 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
One day, when the Lord will make the new heavens and the new earth, we will still be observing the Sabbath. Therefore, practice now, not only by taking a physical rest, but also by doing good. And above all, nurture your relationship with Father, Yeshua our Messiah and His Holy Spirit.
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