WHAT IT MEANS TO HONOUR THE SABBATH
This composition is written with a two-fold purpose:
1.) To assist new believers in the Scriptural importance and references regarding the honouring of the seventh day Sabbath and what pleases Yahweh.
2.) To serve as a conviction and reminder to those who profess to keep the Sabbath, yet have knowingly or unknowingly compromised what Scripture dictates regarding the keeping of the Sabbath.
The Seventh day is without question, what we now call “Saturday”. It was named by the Romans in honour of “Saturnus”, one of their many false gods borrowed from the Greeks (Cronus), who learned them from the Babylonians, etc. As believers we should avoid speaking this name in obedience to Exodus 23:13. (also Josh 23:7 and Ps 16:4) Calling the day He blessed and set apart after a false god does not honour Him!
In over 100 languages of the world, the seventh day, Saturday is still called the Sabbath. In Italy it is called: Sabbato, in Spain: Sabado, in Portugal: Sabbado, in Russia: Subbota, in Poland: Sobota etc… All of these names mean “Sabbath” or “rest day” in their various languages. In Hebrew, the language of our Messiah (and the heavenly messengers) it is called Shabbath.
It is a verifiable historical fact that the Roman Catholic Church is the institution responsible for the change from the seventh day to the first day, Sun-day (originally named: “Dies Solis” in honour of the sun god – Sol).
This world’s traditions are of no importance to us as followers of Yahweh, so let’s examine His Word to find the Truth (“Thy Word is Truth” Jn 17:17).
In the Beginning: Genesis 2:1-3
“1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array. 2 And on the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.”
Note: In the beginning there were no “Jews” or “Gentiles”, so those who claim the Sabbath to be a “Jewish” thing are misinformed.
The Fourth Commandment:
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahweh 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. 11 “For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.”
Remember that this is one of THE Ten Commandments written in stone by the finger of Elohim (Ex 31:18).
The Commandment Repeated: Exodus 31:12-17
“12 And Yahweh spoke to Mosheh, saying, 13 “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, Yahweh, am setting you apart. 14 ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people. 15 ‘Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to Yahweh. Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death. 16 ‘And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”
The Warning: Ezekiel 20:10-20
10 “…so I took them out of the land of Mitsrayim, and I brought them into the wilderness. 11 “And I gave them My laws and showed them My right-rulings, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ 12 “And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am Yahweh who sets them apart. 13 “But the house of Yisra’ĕl rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My laws, and they rejected My right-rulings, which, if a man does, he shall live by them. And they greatlyprofaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 “But I acted for My Name’s sake, not to profane it before the gentiles, before whose eyes I had brought them out. 15 “And I Myself also lifted My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, not to bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, the splendour of all lands, 16because they rejected My right-rulings and did not walk in My laws, and they profaned My Sabbaths. For their heart went after their idols. 17 “And My eye pardoned them, from destroying them. And I did not make an end of them in the wilderness. 18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the laws of your fathers, nor observe their rulings, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 ‘I am Yahweh your Elohim. Walk in My laws, and guard My right-rulings, and do them. 20 ‘And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.’”
These Scriptures make it very clear how serious Yahweh treats the violation of His Sabbath (and laws). It should serve as a reminder to us all.
The Blessing to the Gentiles:
“6 Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to Yahweh, to serve Him, and to love the Name of Yahweh, to be His servants, all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant – 7 them I shall bring to My set-apart mountain, and let them rejoice in My house of prayer…”
The Sabbath is for those who wish to be “grafted into” Yisra’ĕl.
The Sabbath as a Sign:
“16 And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever…”
Some get confused over who Yisra’ĕl actually is, but as we see in Isaiah in the verse preceding; Yisra’ĕl is those who hold fast to His Covenant. See also: Hos 2:23, Rom 10:12, Gal 3:28.
Notice the Sabbath is a sign forever.
“I shall not profane My covenant, Neither would I change what has gone out from My lips.” (Psalm 89:34)
“12 And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am Yahwehwho sets them apart.”
“20 ‘And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.’”
The Sabbath being a “sign” is indicative that others should be able to recognise this observance in an obedient believer. This is what it means to be “set apart”. We are different from all the rest of the world who follow after vain traditions.
Now let’s examine the specific commands pertaining to the keeping of the Sabbath (“And You made known to them Your set-apart Sabbath, and You commanded them commands and laws and Torot , by the hand of Mosheh Your servant.”) Nehemiah 9:14
“8 Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahweh 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.”
This is most serious aspect of honouring the Sabbath in that it is repeated so many times and is one of the commandments that carries the death penalty for infraction.
“14 ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people. 15‘Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to Yahweh. Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death.”
“3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to Yahweh in all your dwellings.”
“2 Work is done for six days, but on the seventh day it shall be set-apart to you, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh. Anyone doing work on it is put to death.”
“32 And while the children of Yisra’ĕl were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Mosheh and to Aharon, and to all the congregation. 34 And they put him in under guard, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 And Yahweh said to Mosheh, “The man shall certainly be put to death, all the congregation stoning him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, as Yahweh commanded Mosheh, and he died.”
These verses make it clear that there is no such thing as a “minor infringement” and even light work is prohibited. Another implication is that the offender was intending to make a fire with the wood; also prohibited in the Torah.
23And he said to them, “This is what Yahweh has said, ‘Tomorrow is a rest, a Sabbath set-apart to Yahweh. That which you bake, bake; and that which you cook, cook. And lay up for yourselves all that is left over, to keep it until morning.’ ”
Cooking is just another form of work and usually involves a fire to cook.
“16 …and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you.”
This verse pertains to the festival of unleavened bread, but defines some light food preparation is permissible.
Light No Fire:
3 “Do not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”
There is some debate about what “kindling a fire” entails. Some even hold that igniting a spark in a combustion engine (fire up an engine) is a violation of this law, but the question is moot in light of the fact that travel is forbidden on Sabbath.
It is also common sense that just because we have electric ovens and microwaves today does not mean we can contravene the no cooking law.
29 “See, because Yahweh 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.”
The Yisra’ĕlites dwelt in tents in their tribal groups up to a kilometre square (their place) and it is evident that the Yehudim were still keeping this law at Yahushua’s time based on the verse below:
“12 Then they went back to Yerushalayim from the Mount of Olives, which is near Yerushalayim, a Sabbath day’s journey.”
Some use Matt 12-13 as an excuse to go to fellowship or wherever because Yahushua is recorded to have walked through the grain fields (12:1) to a house congregation (12:9) them to the sea (13:1) then back to the house (13:36). Most people fail to realise that the villages at this time were not much bigger than a kilometre across and fields nowhere near as big as today.
Yahushua even warned about travel in the end days:
“20 …And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.”
This obviously implies that there is a restriction on travel.
Turn from Self-Pleasing:
13 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of Yahweh ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Yaʽaqob your father. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken!”
This is by far the most defining Scripture regarding the Sabbath. If any task or entertainment we undertake on the Sabbath is purely self-pleasing then Yahweh will not delight in us.
Sabbath in “Heaven”:
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make stand before Me,” declares Yahweh, “so your seed and your name shall stand. 23 “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares Yahweh. 24 “And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire not be quenched. And they shall be repulsive to all flesh!”
Scripture informs us that the Sabbaths and Festivals (Moedim) are “shadows of things to come” (Col 2:17), so it only stands to reason that the Sabbath will be honoured in the new heavens and new earth.
New Covenant Sabbath:
Yahushua and the people of Yisra’ĕl all observed the Sabbath:
“16 And He came to Natsareth, where He had been brought up. And according to His practice, He went into the congregation on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
“56 And having returned, they prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the command.”
Sha’ul and the apostles kept the Sabbath:
“42 And when the Yehudim went out of the congregation, the gentiles begged to have these words spoken to them the next Sabbath. 43 And when the meeting of the congregation had broken up, many of the Yehudim and of the worshipping converts followed Sha’ul and Barnabah, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the favour of Elohim. 44 And on the next Sabbath almost all the city came together to hear the Word of Elohim.”
“2 And according to his practice, Sha’ul went in unto them, and for three Sabbaths was reasoning with them from the Scriptures…”
“4 And he was reasoning in the congregation every Sabbath, and won over both Yehudim and Greeks.”
Because of mistranslation, the following verse has caused much confusion to some:
“16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – 17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.”
This verse states that the Body of Messiah are the only ones to judge in these matters but is confusing in Bible translations with the added word of “is” – “but the body is of Christ.” (KJV). This changes the whole meaning of the Scripture and the last sentence becomes an irrelevant statement.
9 …so there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.
This verse in Bibles has been poorly (or deliberately) mistranslated. It reads: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”(KJV). This word “rest” is “Sabbatismos” in Greek and literally means Sabbath-keeping.
The conclusion of the matter is: Jeremiah 17:5 Thus said Yahweh, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from Yahweh.”
Note: If you have not read the study “AN EXAMINATION INTO WHEN THE SABBATH BEGINS”then please click link to DAY START below”