Believers today are only just beginning to see the importance of this matter of the Sabbath. It is a day of rest, reflection, and recreation in fellowship with Elohim ( יהוה). It has truly been called the ‘Sabbath rest’. Unfortunately by their tradition Christians have been taught that the commandment has no relevance for Christendom except to take the admonition to “keep the Sabbath” and re-route it into a Sunday in which they rest from their labours and attend church. They have been led to believe that the seventh day Sabbath and the other holiday Sabbaths were given by יהוה through Moses at Sinai and therefore they (the Sabbaths) belong to “Israel” and not “The Church”. So as Christians see it the Sabbath rest is not their concern. They go to Church on the first day of the week, a Sunday. And they are happy to accept what they are told about this switch. They are told that Sunday is the “Christian Sabbath”.
Is Sunday really the “Sabbath” for believers?
Or is this phrase, “Sunday Sabbath” a self-conflicted oxymoron?
Is it possible that we have been mislead by dark angelic principalities and powers of Rome?
In 325 A.D. the bishops/elders, of the Church were invited to “go up” to meet the Caesar of Rome at Nicaea. The Council of Nicaea was a turning point for the Church. It brought Christendom under pagan Rome. The Holy Scriptures were side-lined and the leading of the Holy Spirit took a back seat to Nicolaitan hierarchical religion. This took us into the Dark Ages for 1,000 years. The conquest of the masses was achieved by an enforced mandatory ritual. The Communion, a simple fellowship meal between יהוה and His people, was removed from the picture. It was replaced by a magic show at the front of the Church. In the Mass a priest held up a sun shaped waver which by his incantations was magically transformed into the body of Messiah. Then he fed it to the masses. This ritual offered the only hope for salvation and grace and thereby made the priest-craft of Rome extremely powerful and wealthy. The poor spiritually deprived masses watching this whole performance from the back had to buy into this to be “saved”. They had no other option. They were ignorant, and intentionally kept ignorant by the Nicolaitan, laity conquering religious elites. They remained ignorant because they no longer had access to the Bible. The Word of יהוה was locked up in the Latin, the “holy” language…Only the experts could understand.
This terrible infiltration of the Church by the princes of this world continues to this day, and not just in the medieval Church of Rome. So, why are unholy religious spirits still hood-winking people today? Well people are not yet seeking יהוה. Most households have several Bibles but Christian believers are still not studying the Holy Scriptures for themselves and carrying on their own devotion to יהוה. So in this matter of the Sabbath we read the ten commandments, say we believe them, and then turn around and delete the 4th commandment. Our churchmen tell us it is OK. So for us, (being like sheep), it is OK. If a churchman says 10 minus 1 = 10 we believe it. Everyone else believes it. And since we have not heard anything authoritative spoken to the contrary we believe it too. Ten commandments and delete one commandment. That leaves ten commandments that we believe. But what if someone in the pew stood up and said,
“Excuse me pastor, but doesn’t 10 minus 1 = 9?
Isn’t it 9 just commandments that we believe should be followed?”
Well it would be unthinkable for a Bible believing Christian to publicly question this, right?
But we do deny the relevance of the Sabbath. We all but cut it out of our Bible.
Then we deny that we cut any of the ten commandments out at all.
But is the Sabbath just a matter of “keeping the Law”? Did not יהוה say that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath? What does that mean? Is there not also a hidden blessing here that יהוה ordained that we enjoy? Could the keeping of the Sabbath be a joy and a privilege? And might it also be a matter of walking with our Elohim by His divine enabling Grace?
When we come to know Messiah we begin to obey many precepts . Why do we do this? Is it because we are keeping the law because we must? Do we become more godly in our behavior because we have decided that we we really ought to be good people? Or might the indwelling Messiah inside us have something to do with it? Do we keep Elohim’s (יהוה) precepts, His law because we must, or because we love יהוה Himself and delight to please Him? These are interesting questions are they not?
And so why do Christian believers keep the Sabbath as a day of rest and consecration to יהוה? Do they keep the Sabbath because they feel they must “obey the law”? Or is it something that born-again Christians enlightened to the Sabbath might do by Elohim’s divine enabling empowering Grace? If keeping the Sabbath is a matter of Grace as well as obedience in love then why are we not seeing it?
It is true that we are not saved by the keeping of the letter of the Law? No man can do that. The holy perfection יהוה requires under the Law throws us towards the Grace of יהוה . And then as Messiah comes inside us and leads us in the gentle bonds of love we obey because we delight to do so. Such is the Way of lovers of יהוה. So the Old Covenant with the nation, unable to stand on its own, is picked up by the New Covenant, the refurbished Covenant, and the Law of יהוה is written in the hearts of flesh and not just on tablets of stone at Sinai or the Courthouse. As a matter of righteousness and salvation before יהוה, the Old Covenant יהוה made back at Sinai with the nation of Israel has been brought to the vital personal level. And in the fullness of time the national covenant will be restored and completed by the New Covenant.
Yes, there is a national covenant with the nation of Israel that began at Sinai. But יהוה has always dealt with people personally when people come to Him personally. This personal covenant יהוה makes with individuals is the New Covenant. The prophet Jeremiah laid this out very well:
Jeremiah 31:31-33 (The Scriptures 1998)
31 “See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah¹,
¹See Hebews 8:8-12, Hebrews 10:16-17.
32 not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה.
33 “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
But does this mean that the Old Covenant, the covenant יהוה made with the nation of Israel, along with all the precepts of Israel, is “done away with? Has the New Covenant supplanted and replaced the Old Covenant and made it “go away”?
Far from it! The Old Covenant has not been displaced by the New Covenant. No, not at all. Rather, the Old Covenant Elohim made with the nation of Israel sees His Law lifted up and established in the hearts of individuals. These are the people who will ultimately make up His nation, His Congregation, even His Elect and Chosen people. Neither the New Covenant or the Old Covenant was strictly a matter of race or DNA. The national covering and citizenship of Israel could and was given to people of other races as was the personal covering of the New Covenant. At Pentecost we saw an epic overflow of the Grace of יהוה beyond Israel to the heathen gentiles, bringing them into the same covenant Israel was offered. Salvation does not come by Abraham’s race or his blood-line but rather by the blood covering of Israel’s Suffering Servant, the Lamb of יהוה. Let us make no mistake about this. The redemption of the Congregation of יהוה, that is, His Grace, came as a fulfilment of the demands of the Law. And so Emmanuel, “יהוה with us”, brings His redemption to us personally and also nationally in the Commonwealth of Israel. He does this by His Grace. But also as a matter of the fulfilment of His Law. This redeeming blood of the New Covenant comes to us from יהוה. Our redemption was purchased by the Grace of יהוה and brought into being through the faith that Abraham demonstrated as he turned away from the city of idols and walked with יהוה. The great salvation the Abraham got a glimpse of when יהוה provided a substitute sacrifice comes by the atoning blood of Israel’s Sacrifice Lamb. This was the work of Yashuah Hamashiach/Yahshua the Messiah. And it was finished at the cross of Calvary.
The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this New Covenant being established personally with individuals. He spoke of the Law 0f יהוה being written on tablets of flesh in the hearts of men. The New Covenant comes in with the indwelling Messiah. The personal salvation of the Elect of יהוה saves the lost, establishes the citizenry of Israel, and restores the full sovereignty of all of its 12 tribes. Messiah does the work here, not us, and “unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). Ultimately this New Covenant will come to the aid of the Old Covenant to restore the broken state of the House of David in Judah. The New Covenant will also restore the lost 10 tribes and all their companions thus guaranteeing all Israel’s ultimate and full national salvation. Both houses of Israel would eventually come to restoration in the New Covenant .
But that is not all! The Light of Israel also shines out beyond the land of Israel and beyond the racial DNA of Israel to embrace those יהוה is calling to Himself among the heathen gentiles out at the ends of the earth. Thus we see the fulfilment of the declared purpose of יהוה in Isaiah:
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 49:6
6 and He says, “Shall it be a small matter for You to be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Yaʽaqoḇ, and to bring back the preserved ones of Yisra’ĕl? And I shall give You as a light to the gentiles, to be My deliverance to the ends of the earth!”
Here He clearly states His intent to establish the wider Commonwealth of Israel. Oh yes, the “new creatures” in יהוה find that they have been issued passports into a New Citizenship. The prophesied Light to the Gentiles performs this wondrous work. Both personal “born-again” salvation and national restoration in Israel will become the portion for all the many myriads that Abraham saw. Indeed the Seed of Abraham will spawn a huge company of people, as numerous as the stars of heaven.
This restoration will bring world peace. But this world peace will only come under Messiah. It will will not come from the human efforts of an ecumenical, or politically active Church. Nor will this restoration and peace come from a political or military work by dominionist crusading men pretending to act honorably on behalf of Messiah whilst swinging the sword and mace, missile and gun. יהוה Himself will do this job. He Himself will complete the Restoration of Israel. And He will do it His way. And so “all Israel will be saved”. ( See Romans 11)
A PERSONAL INVITATION TO FELLOWSHIP FROM THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.
A SERENDIPITY AND A DELIGHT FOR THOSE WHO RESPOND AND ENTER IN.
So, as we have seen, the Sabbath, just like any other ordinance, precept, or admonition from יהוה, will be restored under the new Covenant. This is a serendipity, a happy unexpected event bringing great joy to those who are privileged to discover it. The returning Messiah is in Himself the Shiloh, the One through whom the Peace comes and the One to whom the Peace of Jerusalem belongs.
Bereshith (Genesis 49:10)
10 And to Him will the gathering (and the obedience) of the people be.
Six thousand years have passed since creation.
The coming one thousand years will see Messiah establish His Kingdom.
And He will bring the people of this harried sin-sick planet His Millennial.
There and then the people and the creation will begin to enjoy the 7th Millennium of יהוה.
At that time they will enter into Messiah’s Millennial Sabbath Rest.
So our obedience to יהוה in this matter of the Sabbath is not onerous or grievous. Our obedience and our following Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, comes in the gentle bonds of love. Since the days of righteous Abel and Enoch good men and women and children have obeyed and walked with יהוה . They do this not out of compulsion but because they love the One they walk with. But unfortunately many Christians and Messianic believers in western Christendom still see the Sabbath only in the context of “Torah Observance” and the fulfilling and obeying the letter of the Law. They do not know the Elohim they are striving to obey. They do not love Him to the degree that they want to walk with Him daily. Many of those who call themselves Christians still need to repent of their selfism and obsession with their own esteem. Are we not esteemed in our יהוה? Does He not save us and rejoice over us with exceeding joy?
Christians at the present time don’t seem to want to hear about the Sabbath. They are still caught up in that old blood feud over Law vs. Grace. That big spat came 2900 years ago at the Breach of Jeroboam. That epic family feud between the people of the Law, the Jewish House of Judah, and the people of Elohim’s Grace, the Church still remains to this day. It has yet to be faced up to by both parties. It has yet to be resolved. But it will. This and many other wonders and mysteries will be unveiled during the future 70th Week, the final 7 years of this age.
So when nominal Christians today hear mention of “the Sabbath” they then hear a little religious gremlin whisper in their ear.
“Someone is telling you that you must keep the Sabbath to be saved!
The typical Christian response to this is quite predictable and understandable.
They say, “Me keep the Sabbath? No way!
I am no longer “under the Law! I am saved by Grace!”
Of course they are being led astray and into a babel of confusion about the Sabbath. The Sabbath was never intended to be a means of salvation. We can never please יהוה by our good works. Indeed the Sabbath was not established for the benefit of יהוה but for ours. The Sabbath Rest was instituted by יהוה for man. It was meant to be an opportunity and a pathway to joy in יהוה and a time of rest and regrouping for all His people in a corporate way as well as a personal way. The Sabbath was also set to be a sign between יהוה and His covenant people that they belonged to Him.
Yashua Himself spoke this word of grace concerning the Sabbath.
He said :
Marqos (Mark) 2:27
27 The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
It is entirely possible for יהוה to walk with men in precious fellowship.