to observe the 7th day Sabbath of God, or the 1st day 'Lord's Day' of the churches
Prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.' The Catholic church says, No. By my divine power, I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church.
---Thomas Enright, CSSR, President, Redemptorist College
(Roman Catholic) Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 18. 1884
In keeping this day sacrosanct, we demonstrate an appreciation for life, and all that sustains it. Unlike those who prefer to shrug off Yahweh (He's too moralistic and judgmental), and His creation (really, just some sort of inexplicable cosmic accident), and 'life' - even 'life' (really, just an inconsequential picayune chemical materialization that 'probability and statistics' would suggest must be quite common in a cosmos so vast). Big deal they say, there are more important things to concern ourselves with, besides the obvious. Things like, what are the political opinions of celebrities.
The term 'Lord's Day', on the other hand, is misconstrued from the one and only place in the Bible where the term is found. You can find it if you turn to the Book of Revelation 1:10, where the apostle John writes: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet..."
We say "misconstrued" because it's unlikely that the apostle John, an observant Jewish Christian elder, who continued keeping the Sabbath into his old age, would have been referring to Sunday. When he spoke of "the Lord's Day" there is little doubt he would have been referencing the traditional Jewish Sabbath, and there is plenty of evidence to support this assertion.
John was the oldest surviving, and the last remaining of the original twelve apostles. He is believed to have lived until the year 100 or 102 CE. By then, John was very old, Jerusalem was in ruins, the Temple was gone, and a long time had passed since John had contributed to the body of inspired writings he left behind. All of his writings are understood to have been written prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, because he doesn't mention the sacking of Jerusalem or the destruction of the Temple in any of his writings. If he was aware of these events, he would surely have given voice to the significance. After his release from the Roman penal island of Patmos, in his old age, he was living in Ephesus, in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). He was taken care of by the Christian community there, as a special old man. Special because this old man had personally known and walked with Yeshua.
Meanwhile, a young Greek named Polycarp, had been born in Smyrna in 69 CE which is only a short distance from Ephesus. Young Polycarp grew to become a disciple of John and is said to have eventually been ordained by John as the bishop of Smyrna. This was the period of time when ecclesiastical oversight was being handed off to the next generation.
Polycarp, along with Clement of Rome, and Ignatius of Antioch, are considered the three most important of the second generation, post-apostolic church fathers. Polycarp's sole surviving written work is an epistle (a letter) he wrote to the Philippians, in which he warns against a number of disorders in the congregation and against apostasy, encouraging the Christians of Philippi to persevere in good works.
It seems internal disputes within the congregation were coming to the fore, particularly around the issues of Sabbath, the date of Easter, and the celebration of the eucharist. At this time the trinitarian controversy was merely a marginal concept that had not yet developed into a full-blown ecumenical threat to Christian unity.
Young Irenaeus is said to have heard the accounts of Polycarp's discussions with John and Phillip and with others who had actually known Yeshua. Irenaeus was an even younger Greek convert, also from Smyrna, who reported that Polycarp was converted to Christianity by the apostle and other disciples, and was consecrated a bishop, and communicated with many who had walked with Yeshua. He reported that Polycarp had the original faith and observed the apostolic traditions including the seventh day Sabbath of Jewish tradition, and the Biblical Holy Days, even though it is understood that Polycarp was a Gentile Greek convert. To the apostle John, the 'Lord's Day' was always a reference to the Sabbath day of God, and this was the tradition he was purposefully trying to pass on. (see also - Early doctrinal drift from the Christian Way).
There is only a tiny minority of Christians that take any notice of the Sabbath day of God, because the vast majority have been taught that it's an obsolete belief, but the fact is, the seventh day means a great deal to our Creator, so you may want to listen up.
These are the days of voices in the thunder, of seals being broken, days of inspection, and accountability. But let not your heart be troubled, ye of little faith, it's not yet too late. One may wonder, though, how can the sheep, driven spiritually so far and wide, ever be called back, as the hired shepherds have proven to be good for nothing. We're wondering.
There is only a tiny pocket-size minority of Christians who observe the seventh day Sabbath of God. We of the ecumenical examiner count ourselves among them, though we are non-denominationalists of the simplest sort. By far, though, the vast majority of Christians have long ago accepted the teaching to observe this thing called "the Lord's Day," the first day, Sunday. It's virtually impossible to challenge their deeply established traditions, given that they are so poorly taught, we can only pray for the gentle intervention of the Holy Spirit to break the spell.
They sometimes even refer to their Sunday tradition as the "Sunday Sabbath." We're so sorry to bear the bad news, friends, but there is no such thing as a 'Sunday Sabbath'. Not in any Biblical or Judeo-Christian religious context. In fact, just putting those words together is rather blasphemous. The term 'Sabbath' is actually very clearly defined in scripture, and it applies to a particular day of the week, the seventh day, which God consecrates as holy. It isn't arbitrary, there is a reason for the choice of that day, and God makes the reason abundantly clear.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD (Yahweh) your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD (Yahweh) made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD (Yahweh) blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." -- Exodus 20:8-11 (all parenthesis added to correct for an abominable translation NKJV).
So how exactly did this false teaching of a Sunday 'Lord's Day' work its way so decisively, so thoroughly, so top to bottom into the Christian religion? To discover the origins of this misguided desecration of the Way, we must trace our steps back through the generations of our ancestry's experimental, poorly-wired prototypes of springs, and gears, and slow, clunky processors. Way back. Back to the early years of the fourth century AD. Back to the days of Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome, Pontifex Maximus of traditional Roman polytheism. By the time of Constantine, the terrible years of Roman persecution were finally fading away under his more tolerant rule. These were the years when the devil was changing to a different angle of attack, giving up on the 'frontal assault' persecutions against the Lord's congregation in favor of a more insidious 'divide and conquer' approach.
It was around this time that we see the Western Latin church began a period of progressive change, removing itself quite decisively away from its Jewish foundational roots. The church had just been granted official imperial tolerance in 313 AD with the Edict of Milan. A great many new issues were being brought to the fore, concerning Christianity's budding new relationship with the power structure of Rome, while reevaluating their relationship with the always unpopular culture of Judaism.
The progressive rule of thumb was, out with the old, in with the new. In this case, that meant welcoming into the Lord's congregation cultural elements that included erudite Greek philosophy, as well as some essential nuts and bolts borrowed from the long-standing traditions of Roman paganism. These were seen as essential in gaining new proselytes, and even necessary in pursuing the so-called 'Christian Mandate.' Never minding the Lord's warning, "For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."
The Synod of Elvira, took place approximately 305-306 AD, just prior to the Edict of Milan. The location was a town in the Roman province of Hispania, now Granada in southern Spain. More than eighty canons (church laws) were produced, although scholars believe many of these were added at a later time. Among the canons were a few intended to establish a clear separation between the Christian and Jewish communities. Christians were prohibited from marrying either pagans or Jews. Jews could not bless the crops of Christian farmers, and Christians and Jews were forbidden to share meals. These canons carried the full weight of church law, and were just the beginning of the anti-Semitic progressivism growing within the Latin church. In other words, a house learning to hate its foundation.
The great Council of Nicaea met in 325 AD. It was at this time that so much of the 'new' stuff was introduced as corrupting influences to the congregations of the Messiah. The trinitarian doctrine was the primary focus of the council, along with the Nicene Creed, alienating a large segment of the Christian community (see - Creeds). The trinitarian doctrine was an important step in the disassociation of the church from it's Jewish roots, as it amounted to a renunciation of traditional Abrahamic and Mosaic monotheism. They believed, and still believe it to be a more progressive, a more insightful interpretation of divine 'three in one' monotheism. Church separation from it's Jewish roots, however, remained an ongoing order of business at Nicaea. So much so, that by the end of the Church's long running campaign to ditch Judaism, one might be excused, if they were no longer quite sure if Jesus had ever been Jewish or not.
Next came the Synod of Laodicea, a city located in Asia Minor. The dates of this synod, also called a council by some, vary widely, and are difficult to nail down, ranging from 343 to 383 AD, including a number of dates in between. However, the keynote upshot of the synod has been preserved, and is simple enough (see - councils and synods), following on from Elvira in separating the Jewish and Christian communities, the crucial canon produced at Laodicea stated;
"Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
Wow. Anathema. It basically means 'cursed', or in more down-to-earth terms, excommunicated. Why did the members of this council consider Saturday worship, or Saturday rest, a sin worthy of such punishment? Why was resting on the Sabbath put on the same level as heretics and enemies of the church? For that matter, why would the church establish an edict that is in direct contradiction with the Ten Commandments? Calling the Sabbath rest Judaizing is one thing. After all, if you think about it, Christians should all be Judaizers, at least to some extent, given that our faith is built upon the foundation of Judaism. Well, it's supposed to be. However, changing the Sabbath rest to Sunday goes completely off the rails. Why would all of Christianity follow on this wayward path for all these generations without so much as a, "Hey, wait a minute. . ."
Shame on y'all.
Did the Roman Catholic clergymen of these synods and councils come up with these anti-Torah, anti-Jewish articles of faith all by themselves? That the house should curse its own foundation? Was it simply because these are logical, reasonable, inspired conclusions that should by all means, be made into church law? Or was there an influence that directed this course of thought? A suggestion perhaps, put in their heads somewhere along the way, that led them onto this wayward path. Of course, there was. After grasping the misguided suggestion, their collective arrogance and intellectual audacity was sufficient to carry them along to their altogether flubbed conclusions. To find the source of the suggestion we must go even further back through the generations. All the way back to the days of a man named Saul of Tarsus.
Shabbat - Sabbath
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. - Genesis 2:1-3
SUNDAY --- straight from the horses mouth
We can only speculate as to why the church would see fit to eradicate the fourth commandment. Off hand, it stinks of the long running effort to separate God from His people. A stench that emanates from Satan's own kitchen. The church had already scrubbed the first commandment (see - purging God's Name from scripture), eradicated the second commandment (they do love their icons and images), and pay little attention to the third (how can one take God's name in vain if one doesn't know God has a name?). To nullify the fourth was hardly a big stretch of ecclesiastical slash-and-burn revisionism.
It's just another step in the effort to drive a wedge between the church and its Jewish foundation by discarding the parts of the Ten Commandments that don't suit their theologies. All of this, of course, is in fact, a powerful element of the false teaching of replacement theology. Christendom better listen up. They're doing the Devil's work for him, while patting themselves on the back for their clear, insightful, and absolutely brilliant ecclesiastical insights. Of course, we've heard all the 'apologetics' and blather on the subject, but even so, in the end we still find ourselves left to speculation. Of course, we understand, Satan's metaphorical fingerprints are all over this revision of God's stated will, which is reason enough to resist it. Yet even a little Biblical knowledge should be enough to recognize the danger of the errors they're playing with in such a cavalier way.
'Judaizer' is predominantly a pejorative Christian term derived from the Greek verb ioudaïzō. This term came to be widely used when Christians would want to accuse other Christians of some sort of real or imagined impropriety related to the Torah teachings. However, the term is found only in one single place in the Greek New Testament, where the so-called apostle Paul, who never met the Messiah, publicly admonished the apostle Peter for compelling gentile believers to "Judaize." This was during a confrontation he had with Peter known as the 'Incident at Antioch', and you can find where Paul brags about it in the Book of Galatians - 2:14.
Still, Paul was not the first to realize the concept of 'Judaizing' - defined as compelling gentile converts to live according to Jewish customs. The idea was first brought to the fore according to the Book of Acts, by a group of Jewish Christians who came to town complaining that gentile converts needed to be circumcised before they could be accepted into the Christian community. This group of kvetching Jewish Christians managed to cause sufficient disruption, that it brought about the very first Council in Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts, chapter 15.
Nonetheless, while Paul didn't invent the concept, given that the 'term' is found nowhere else in scripture, he should be given credit for coining this derogatory word. It's similar to what we might hear today if one where to make reference to the Torah, somebody else is bound to jump up and shout, "Legalism! Legalism!" Legalism, incidentally, is another pejorative term, not found in scripture at all, and usually used incorrectly, often in pastoral sermons.
The Biblical concept of legalism, in fact, only shows itself marginally through rigid interpretations of the law which go beyond 'intent'. This was a serious rabbinical failing which Yeshua exposed and criticized. While Yeshua clearly affirmed the law (the Torah) in his own teachings, he condemned over-indulgence to the strict letter of the law as insisted upon by the rabbis and the Pharisees. We are shown this in the gospel accounts where we read that, while Messiah was known to attend synagogue regularly, on the Sabbath, he was also known to offend purity laws, and likewise known to violate overly strict interpretations of the Sabbath law (Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 12:9-14, Luke 13:10-17). He offended by rejecting the laws of men, while remaining in obedient compliance with the Laws of God.
COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS OF TORAH AND GOSPEL
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel (this is the New Covenant Yeshua spoke of) and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." - Jeremiah 31:31-34
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;" - Matthew 5:17-19
"And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess." - Deuteronomy 4:12-14
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." - Matthew 26:26-28
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. - Genesis 2:1-3
salvation to the assurances of a god, other than the Creator who inspired these Scriptures.
If you are as poorly taught as most Christians, then you are probably unaware of the significance of the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread or it's relation to the Passover. You may suppose that Sunday worship is justified because Easter's 'spring-time renewal' reflected in the resurrection had greater significance than the redemptive power of Messiah's blessed sacrifice. You are probably unaware that Yeshua’s testimony reinforces the validity of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. You
Given that all Christendom has been so marvelously indoctrinated and beguiled by the exquisitely orchestrated pageantry of institutionalized religious rubbish, and completely confused by Pauline teaching, you might actually suppose that the 'church' has been granted some sort of divine authority to establish doctrine outside the teachings of Yeshua HaMashiach, the Gospel, and the Torah. Well -- that's what they want you to believe, and lugubriously the Sabbath is only the tip of the iceberg. However, we'll keep our focus on the Sabbath for now, and look at how the matter of covenants figures into the study.
“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:4-14
COVENANTS OLD AND NEW
Preachers and teachers across the Christian world, one after the other, with very few exceptions assert that the Abrahamic covenant was merely an "unconditional" promise. Certainly untrue. Sometimes they use the term "unilateral" instead, which at least is accurate in the sense that any covenantal agreement which includes The Father Yahweh Almighty as one of the parties will always be unilateral. Nobody is going to negotiate with God. Yahweh will set the terms and conditions, and puny little humans will accept or reject the terms and conditions as they see fit. Done.
In the case of the blessed Abrahamic covenant there were in fact a great deal of emphasis put on conditional stipulations. Details such as, leave your home, go to a land I will show you, fear not, walk before me, be blameless, circumcise as a sign which separates you and your household from all other peoples, and then ultimately, offer your son as a sacrifice. Abraham was never given options that he could choose to accept or reject. This covenant rested on many unilaterally imposed conditions, all meant to test Abraham's obedience. You know it's a conditional covenant when a ninety-nine-year-old man is required to consent to circumcision or sacrifice his son.
These same preachers and teachers will also assert that the 'New Covenant' was instituted by Yeshua at the Last Supper, or that it was instituted at the crucifixion, or it was instituted when the Holy Spirit came upon those in the upper room at Pentecost. Whichever way, they teach that when the New Covenant was instituted, it superseded all previous covenants, including the Abrahamic covenant, but especially the Mosaic covenant which they hate, because Paul hated it. Well - except for the part about tithing, they like that.
The point is, covenants with God stand forever, they can't be made obsolete, a new one does not abolish an older one, but instead new covenants build upon older covenants, expanding, compounding, shaping and framing a gradually developing relationship between the Creator and the creation. As the Abrahamic covenant was essentially absorbed foundationally into the Mosaic covenant, so the Davidic covenant was woven too into the fabric of the former. So too, the 'New Covenant' established by the Messiah's sacrificial blood, did not in any way supersede or abolish any of the previous covenants. The new covenant only added another layer of revelation to previous, existing covenants, whereby the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic covenants are rendered more clearly, as essential elements of the broader covenant of grace.
In this respect, we must not think that the Israelites who lived under the Mosaic covenant owed their salvation to works as asserted by Paul, and not to grace. Bear in mind, they were brought out of Egyptian slavery before the Mosaic law had ever been declared to them. Release from bondage came first. This was a bringing forward of the Abrahamic covenant, as well as an act of grace. A miraculous act of salvation that these Hebrew slaves had not earned by 'works' as defined in the rubbish of Pauline doctrine. Rubbish further elaborated upon in the second chapter of Colossians, 13-17. While some parts were prophetically fulfilled in Yeshua, there was no part of the law that was done away with. The law of Moses was not "nailed to the cross". What Paul reviles as the law of Moses is in fact the law of God Almighty and stands to time indefinite.
There are only seven other days of the year God has designated for observance as Sabbath days, or days of rest. These are the irregular, annual High Sabbaths or Great Sabbaths, associated with the Holy Days of God as described in Leviticus chapter 23. Two of these are springtime Sabbath Days, one is summertime (Shavuot), and the last four all occur in the fall.
1. The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (commencing with Passover)
2. The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
3. The day of Pentecost (Shavuot), which coincides with the Feast of Weeks.
4. The Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah - Rosh Hashanah).
5. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
6. The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).
7. The last Great Day (last day of Sukkot - see John 7:37)
note: Hanukkah is not included here. (see - Hanukkah, blessings and prayers)
The irregular Great Sabbath days can occur on any day of the week, as they key off the phases of the moon. They may sometimes even fall on a Sunday, but don't you dare call it a 'Sunday Sabbath,' as that would be a rather cheap trick of sacrilege. When these High Sabbaths occur, there will be two Sabbaths celebrated in that week, including the regular seventh day. Yes, it is a fact that there were two Sabbaths in the week that Yeshua was crucified. Repeat for emphasis; there were TWO Sabbaths in the week Yeshua was crucified.
While it is true, scripture clearly shows the women went to the tomb on the first day of the week, a Sunday morning, and found the tomb open (see - Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, and Matthew 28:1). It is nonetheless debatable as to whether or not this means that Yeshua was crucified on a Friday afternoon (so-called 'Good Friday'), the preparation day prior to a regular seventh day Sabbath which would have begun at sundown, or instead on a Thursday afternoon, the preparation day prior to the High Sabbath of the first day of Passover (Unleavened Bread). The argument for a Thursday crucifixion is actually quite strong, but we don't want to get distracted.
The point is, scripture does not sanctify a Sunday replacement for the Saturday Sabbath, even though Sunday was the day of the resurrection. That fact is no part of a 'New Covenant.' The seventh day, Saturday Sabbath remains, intact and undisturbed through all the events of Last Supper, bread and wine, establishment of the New Covenant, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection, being scripturally sanctified in the fourth of the Ten Commandments which remains unchanged to time indefinite;
It is said by many, that the New Covenant of Yeshua, was of such superior ascendancy, that it superseded all the older covenants of God, rendering them fossilized relics of an ancient time. This is the specious argument of grace over works. This is especially true of the wide-ranging "dos" and "don'ts" of the Mosaic covenant, which was hated by the apostle Paul according to his diatribe in Galatians.
However, understand, that this erroneous argument against the Mosaic Covenant, would also bury the older Adamic Covenant, the Noahic Covenant, the Abrahamic covenant as well as the Davidic covenant, rendering them all null and void. Worse, it is claimed almost universally throughout Christendom that with the crucifixion of Yeshua, all previous covenants were invalidated, and the Jewish people were cast off by God for the unforgivable sin of murdering the Messiah. Not true. Consider - If the Davidic Covenant was invalidated by the New Covenant of Yeshua, then Yeshua would have no standing as Messiah.
This spurious argument (supersessionism or replacement theology) teaches that the Jewish people were cut off by God at the time of the crucifixion, and the Messiah's New Covenant of grace replaced all previous covenants. To this end, everything Jewish, in terms of promises and prophecies were hijacked by this new theological invention of some Christians, who began calling themselves "spiritual Jews." This is a concept that also carries the raunchy, vile stink of the Devil's kitchen where the brew has been boiling over. Grace and works are two sides of the same coin, and there is no such thing as a 'spiritual Jew' in the sense of replacement theology. Repeating for emphasis, there is no such thing as a 'spiritual Jew' in the context of replacement theology.
The 'superior ascendancy' of the Messiah's 'New Covenant' is a false teaching of the church, based also on the false teachings of the so-called apostle Paul. For one thing, Yeshua never takes credit for creating a new covenant. The new covenant was a covenant from God and was prophesied long before the Messiah's blood was sacrificially spilled (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The Adamic Covenant included the curses for the sin committed by the man and the woman, and after these were pronounced, God states the first prophecy of Scripture in Genesis 3:15 which is an enunciation of his purpose to bring about mankind's deliverance from the curses. God promises that one born of a woman would be wounded in the process of destroying Satan. The “seed” of the woman who would crush the Serpent’s head is none other than Jesus Christ.
The Messiah's suffering through the ordeal of the crucifixion was an unavoidable fulfillment of prophecy and was a sacrifice absolutely necessary for the remission of sins. A gift to all humanity. By this act, some cosmic judicial code of the Creator was resolved. After all, we must remember there are other realms of creation that must also be satisfied with the Creator's adjudication of challenges to His Supreme Authority. But returning to the Abrahamic covenant, it reads in part:
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. - 1 John 5:1-3
"Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants-- Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant-- Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." Isaiah 56:6,7
The seventh day Sabbath was never abolished by the Messiah or the apostles and is still completely relevant today for the Christian community. So, you may wonder, what exactly does it mean to 'rest' on the Sabbath, given that the churches won't teach you. It's probably something you are entirely unaccustomed to, and don't exactly understand what is expected of you. So, we offer a brief check list to help the Sabbath novice get started:
1. Remember the Sabbath day. When making your plans, be sure to incorporate the Sabbath into your busy schedule. It may be a little disruptive sometimes, especially at first, but your plans for the week should all revolve around this most significant day.
2. Rest. Don't do common or servile work. From Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. Whatever it is you do to live, thrive, and survive, during this period of time, you should give it a rest. Whatever it is you do to be used, bruised, and confused, give it a rest. Make scheduling arrangements with your employer if you must. Some employers will accommodate scheduling changes right readily. Seek new employment if you must. Also, nobody should be doing work for you, or on your behalf, which rules out things like eating out at restaurants, or having anyone performing services for you such as yard maintenance, car washing, etc.
3. You may gather and fellowship with others on the Sabbath. We are instructed in the Torah to have our congregational gatherings on the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3), which is why we read that Yeshua and the apostles had the custom of attending synagogue with others on this day. For Christians this would also apply, if you can find any Saturday congregational meetings. Also, it is entirely appropriate to have friends or family over to share a meal on this day.
4. You may not buy or sell. We are prohibited from buying and selling on the Sabbath day (Nehemiah 10:31), so make sure you do your grocery shopping and take care of chores, errands, shopping, etc. during the other six days of the week. The Friday before the beginning of the Sabbath is called the 'preparation day' and is used for all the last- minute shopping and errands that one may need to finish up before sundown.
Why do the Jews count the days from sundown to sundown? This peculiar Jewish method of counting the days is drawn from the Book of Genesis, where it reads; "And it was evening and it was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:5). A new day, therefore, always begins with the evening, and light always follows darkness over the course of a day.
You might seek out certain congregations which observe the seventh day Sabbath. There are various Messianic Jewish congregations (Jewish Christian groups) that you may choose to associate with. Of course, there are the Seventh Day Adventists, a very large Christian organization with local congregations all over the place. Certainly, there is always the risk you may find other doctrinal objections with any congregation, but there's no harm in the exploratory adventure. Perhaps you may find a place where you are comfortable, and enjoy good spiritual council, guidance, and friendly association.
Additionally, some families enjoy a family game night or movie night on Friday evenings, or maybe go for walks in the park on Saturday afternoons. The Sabbath is meant to be a God-focused and family-focused time, so whatever you do, make sure it revolves around the things that are important for this day - spending time with God and family. Yahweh did not intend for the Sabbath to be a burden, but rather a time of enjoyable contentment. The Bible says that blessings come when we honor the Sabbath and call it a delight (Isaiah 58:13). Yeshua said the Sabbath was made for our benefit (Mark 2:27). So, enjoy it and give thanks to God for giving us a day of relaxation. Some people live their lives as such red-hot go-getters, that its literally unhealthy. These should be grateful that God has 'forced' them to take a day off, for the sake of their physical, mental, and spiritual health.
While the vast majority of Christian churches ignore the Sabbath to their own peril, the rabbis on the other hand, have devoted a great deal of ink, amassing an immense proliferation of augmentation and detail to a handful of otherwise simple rules of rest. Really, how hard is it to just 'rest'. Read a good book. Enjoy a 'family day' with the kids.
They've developed a body of many, many, more regulatory Sabbath day prohibitions, instructions, definitions, down to the parsing of words, and punctuation, and have been working overtime to create what Yeshua would refer to as a doctrinal "burden." The Sabbath wasn't meant to be a burden, it was meant to be a blessed day of rest, relaxation, and reflection at the end of every work week. A day to express appreciation to our Creator, recognizing how even God took delight in a day of rest following six days of creating the universe and everything in it. As a Christian, learn to keep it simple, and try not to overthink every little facet of an otherwise beautiful gem.
We pray that you found this study instructive and beneficial.
HOW SHOULD GENTILE CHRISTIANS OF THE NATIONS OBSERVE THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH
Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you." - Judges 2:1
The Hebrew word for 'covenant' is berit or berith. This word is different from any other type of promise. A promise or even a contract can be broken if one party breaks his word or violates the terms of the agreement, invalidating the contract. However, a berit, or divine promise (a covenant of God) cannot be broken or invalidated. Even though the people of Israel sinned, He may punish, but Yahweh will not break His covenant with them. As noted above, He will NEVER break His covenant with them.
There are none of us without sin, but Yahweh has always showered his merciful grace upon his people. He has always shown His grace and mercy towards his chosen people of Israel, children of Abraham, and always will. One only needs to see the reborn state of Israel today, to see that the fulfillment of prophecy is working through her. By this we can understand that Israel is still being used by God for His purposes. All the world can see that she has undergone severe disciplinary trials and afflictions, but never been abandoned. The inflow of Jews to this tiny nation-state continues, and has even been increasing in these dramatic, prophetic times. Pauline rubbish, forget about it. Hello Torah, Hello Sabbath, Hello Gentiles.
may incorrectly believe the myth that the disciples themselves replaced the Sabbath with Sunday.
know your faith - grow your faith
These are the days of voices in the thunder, booming from the realm beyond our hearing. While you may suppose that Sunday, the first day substitute, is a matter of no great importance, because after all, God knows your faithful heart. He knows you're a good person, with only the best of intentions, and He knows how hard it is for a puny human to sail against the wind. He surely understands that it can be either or other, one day as good as another, what difference could it possibly make. Or you may suppose that there is justification in the 'Lord's Day' by reasoning that since almost all Christian denominations observe it, it couldn't possibly be contrary to God's perfect will. But if you suppose these things, then you surely are trusting your very
The Sabbath stands out as having been established from the dawn of creation (see Genesis 2:1-3). It was established long before the time of Moses and the Ten Commandments. Yahweh established the Sabbath for all mankind, setting this day apart from all other days, only including it into the law for the Hebrews, a people he was setting apart from all other peoples, because they were a chosen, special possession. Thus, it was included in the teachings of the Torah and the Mosaic covenant. Otherwise, it might have been lost forever, given that the Jewish people have been the keepers, preserving the holy Scriptures for the benefit of all. This, however, did not alter the fact that the Sabbath was for all mankind, which is seen in the fact that it states the blessings aren't strictly for the Hebrews, but also for any foreigners, sojourners, and even beasts of burden, and according to Isaiah, the blessings of God even extend, to all the nations, if they do not defile His Sabbath.
We are instructed to follow in the steps of Yeshua, who always observed the Sabbath, not to follow in the footsteps of the so-called apostle Paul or other false teachers of Christendom who teach otherwise. If God Almighty sanctified the seventh day Sabbath, by what authority do the leaders of Christendom declare His sanctification invalid, and no longer binding? Yet the Christian leaders have allowed themselves to be led down the wrong path by Paul, whom they call the 'greatest of the apostles'. They call him a genius, but we wouldn't go that far. Yeshua clearly indicates the Torah and the prophets will not be destroyed or made obsolete, not until every word, down to the punctuation marks -- "ALL" has been fulfilled, and that can't happen until Messiah returns in glory.
Consider the words of the seven passages of scripture above, as they all relate to the study at hand. Consider too, that these are the days of voices in the thunder. Days of revelation booming down from the majestic glory with breaking news for the people of this abominable age. Listen up, sleepy heads, while you still have time.
It was only the so-called apostle Paul, along with the anonymous author of Hebrews, who suggested that the Ten Commandments, along with the rest of the Mosaic Law, were "nailed to the cross" with Messiah, thus giving license to Christian leaders to abolish the Sabbath (Colossians 2:14-17), and thus ignore the sacred teachings of the Torah (calling into question the 'inspired' words of these writers).
They came up with this idea, spelled out in Galatians and elsewhere, that if one were to observe one little aspect of the law, then one would be obligated to obey every detail of the law, or be condemned to damnation, pointing out that obeying every detail of the Law was impossible, and therefore the Law was in fact an institution of God designed to condemn everyone to death. He calls the Law 'justification by works and declares all the law invalidated by the sacrifice of Yeshua and the New Covenant of grace. Never minding that he's wrong, it therefore follows, that every bit of the law must be jettisoned and swept away like the leavened bread before Passover, or else you are denying the sacrifice of Yeshua, who offers salvation through grace alone, and the teachings of the Torah have been made invalid, and obsolete. The apostle James understood the wrongness of this idea, and wrote a refutation in his epistle:
"I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?" - John 5: 43,44
With these words to the Jewish leaders, Yeshua was taking them to task for failing to recognize the Messiah, the anointed of God. Miraculous healings of the blind, and the lame were testimony that Yeshua was the Messiah, yet they refused to see that he was being glorified by God Almighty.
"But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?" - James 2:18-22
We honor and glorify God and His majestic creative achievement, by consecrating the Sabbath and keeping it holy, resting on that day. It is a blessing Yahweh took for Himself, but also extended to all mankind. A blessing not intended exclusively for the Hebrews, but that all should come to know, and show appreciation to their Creator, according to our own pint-sized human calendars. In fact, the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) is generally extrapolated from the rest of the Mosaic Law and held up as a 'moral law code' intended for all mankind, including Gentile Christians. Jesus (Yeshua) was a Jew in case you weren't sure. He was an observant Jew His entire life, observing the Sabbath. On one occasion, when He was being accused by the Pharisees, He even stated:
"Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." Matthew 12: 6-8 (NKJV)
Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.”
Is there any such thing as a 'Sunday Sabbath'?
If we're not under Mosaic Law, does it matter?
The fact that the apostles placed the divinely inspired words of the prophets on the same level as the words of the apostles, from the Gospels and other Christian writings, is a clear indication that both speak with exactly the same authority by which they were endowed by God's Holy Spirit. This fact completely torpedoes the false teachings of replacement theology which has become the traditional Christian belief taught in so many of the churches of Christendom. Most Christian churches have wrapped themselves in the false doctrine of supersessionism or replacement theology, sometimes referred to as fulfillment theology. This is the belief not merely that Judaism has been supplanted by Christianity, but that the covenant between God and Israel as His chosen people has been entirely abrogated.
There is no truth to this 'tradition' of the Christian churches. The Christian people must stand together with the Jewish people, as we all receive of the same grace. There is no distinction between the 'Old Testament' prophets and the 'New Testament' apostles, given that they all speak for God with the same authority and favor of His Holy Spirit.
"Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." - 2 Peter 3:1-4
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone," - Ephesians 2:19,20
Incidentally, just a side note, we are already in the early beginnings of the 'last days' spoken of by Peter, and the 'scoffers' he mentions are inside the church, not outside. We know this much about the last days because of the prophetic 'signs' we were given through the Lord Yeshua. The so-called church has become as the church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter three, neither hot nor cold, and in need of repentance. Then the words of Peter are reinforced by the words of Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians:
It is reiterated over and over again, not only through the Fourth Commandment, but all through the Hebrew Scriptures God restates just how important the keeping of His Sabbath Day is. Turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to this at you own everlasting peril.