Sunday, August 30, 2009

Honoring the Day of HaShem Part One: The Sabbath Day

The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth Belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

The Fourth Commandment

Honoring the Day of HaShem
Part One: The Sabbath Day

By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) � 8.30.09

Origin of the Sabbath

Sabbath observance is commanded in the Ten Commandments. True enough. But that's not where it first appears. If it were one might assume it is a Jewish law applicable only to them.

Days matter to God! To find the origins of the Sabbath wemust make our way back into time to Genesis 1:1 where we read:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

On the first day of the week God (Elohiym) created the Light. This was the first Sun-day. And when did it begin? The text says: "And the evening and the morning were the first day."

The Hebrews use a lunar calendar and so the first day, Sunday, began at sunset as the Sabbath would have been ending (had there been one). Western calendars are based on the Roman Pagan Sun god and so when considering Shabbat (the Sabbath) we must think differently. The day begins as the sun set.

Genesis one continues until on the sixth day Elohiym created Adam and Eve, and then:

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

The clear statement of these texts (and confirmed later on) is that in six literal days the One God here called Elohiym did his work of creation and:

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

And so we know what day the Sabbath was and is. But consider this:

At this point Adam and Eve had been created. They were living in Paradise and had not yet fallen to temptation and rebellion. The Earth at this point was a blessed and holy place in complete harmony with Elohiym's Will in which no taint of sin could be found nor even imagined.

Why is this significant?

This is significant because it shows that the Sabbath is part of God's original plan for the earth and its inhabitants. At this point in the Bible we know nothing of sin and rebellion. There are no Mosaic laws, no people Israel, no need of atonement and salvation. Everything is exactly as Elohiym intends.

And the Sabbath is set apart as holy! In that utterly perfect state Shabbat was set aside and sanctified to God our Creator as the weekly day to honor Him!

Therefore, from the very beginning Shabbat was holy and set apart to God!

And yet we abandoned it!

It is true there are no more references to the Sabbath being observed for quite a while. Does this mean it wasn't? Of course not. A case cannot be from silence here. As we see soon, there are good reasons to believe it was being honored during these years even though conclusive proof can not be shown.

We know Cain and Able had issues and that various difficulties developed until finally Elohiym determined that the inhabitants of the earth had gone too far and would be destroyed. But one man found favor in God's eyes, the man Noah from whom came the Noahide Covenant.

As directed Noah built his ark, collected his passengers, the water canopy that had previously sheltered the earth like a green house fell ...

Genesis 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

And Elohiym soon after issued the Seven Noahide Laws which were to guide all of humanity.

And the biblical account continues until at last we find the Hebrews in wilderness:

Exodus 16:21 And they gathered it [the manna that fell to earth like rain to feed them] every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

Why is this important?

Two reasons: First this is a direct reference to Sabbath observance BEFORE the Fifth (Mosaic) Covenant was issued. The Sabbath there clearly is not part of the Mosaic Law! It existed and was honored prior to the giving of the Torah.

Secondly, because it confirms that people already knew what the Sabbath was and what was expected of them. This supports my view that although the Sabbath is not mentioned after Genesis 2:3 until here, there is no reason to assume it was not being honored the whole time. People often don't mention what to them seems obvious. Indeed:

Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And HaShem said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that HaShem hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Now we come to the Ten Commandments:

Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of HaShem thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore HaShem blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

There are a few points worth noting here!

Those Gentiles or "Ger" -- strangers -- who were aligned with people Israel are directly commanded in this text to observe Shabbat along with the Hebrews. This therefore is not only a command for the Jews but also for those who are associated with them.

Is this relevant for Gentile followers of Master Y'shua?


What is the relationship of the followers of Master Y'shua to Israel?

Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

See this? We Gentiles (Ger or Noahide Nazarenes) have been grafted onto the Tree of Israel by Master Y'shua! Therefore we are included in this command to honor the Sabbath and nothing has changed to alter this!

Note also from these verses: ... But the seventh day is the sabbath of HaShem thy God.

Whose Sabbath is it? Shabbat is not a human ceremonial day, it is the Day of HaShem Himself!

Also: "For in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore HaShem blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

HaShem sanctified the Sabbath as a memorial to His creative work. We have nothing to do with this! We are honored as the adopted children of the Sovereign Majesty (Rom 8:15) to stand aside in awe of His glory on this holiest of weekly days!

This brings us to a common scripture people offer to show that God has done away with the Sabbath:

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Is this relevant to the topic at hand? No!

The Sabbath is NOT an 'ordinance that is against us' so why would it be nailed to the cross? Doing so would have taken away from us, not added to our walk with God! Shabbat is the greatest honor ever bestowed on creation by its Creator!

Sabbath is the day we are allowed to stop what we are doing and quietly behold the Glory of God! Shabbat is the day when heads of industry, humble farmers, the wealthy, the poor... when everyone stands before HaShem in awe of His glory!

An ordainance that is against us? God forbid!

As Master Y'shua said:
    ...we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews -- John 4:22

Stand with Israel!

If you have further questions etc. feel free to write me,
    ~ Ben Ruach ha Kodesh
    ~ John of AllFaith

Here Ends Part One

In part two we will consider the Master's teachings on Shabbat

Part Two Coming Soon!

Of Noah All
The Noahide Nazarene Way Judaism Christianity
Thus Says the Prophets...

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