The Sabbath 

Part 1

Matthew 15:8-9:

"These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments men."
Matthew 15:6:
".......Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition."

It has come to a point in the series to explain the purpose of my articles. A shadow of things to come; comes from the scripture: 

Colossians 2:16-17:

"Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival, or a new moon, or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."

There are two things I am trying to accomplish with my articles. The first is to preach the gospel; the good-news of the coming Kingdom of God. The second is to show how the things on this earth are a representation or shadow, as Paul puts it, of the things which are in heaven. I mentioned in my last article that there are more commandments then just the big ten. It will be these others that I will concentrate on. I will be referring to the Old Testament quite a bit. It is here we will find these commandments, and it is because people disregard them, that the plan for mankind cannot be understood. Man has taken these laws and pushed them aside for their own traditions. 

The purpose of this article is not to tell you what to do, or how you should live your life, that is between you and the Creator, but to understand what is in store for mankind, we must understand these Laws.

Every culture and faith has their own traditions and holidays. For the average Christian the big two are Easter and Christmas. Easter is to celebrate the death and resurrection of Yahoshua, while Christmas celebrates His birth. Yet no where in the Bible does it say to celebrate these events on the days, or they way, in which they are kept. Easter is mentioned only once in the Bible. You can find it in Acts 12:4:
".....Intending after 
Easter to bring Him forth to the people."

The problem is that it can only be found, as far as I know, in the King James translation. If you look up the word Easter in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible it states:
paskah, the Passover {the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it} Easter, 

So we see the word that should be used in this passage is Passover. This is what was being celebrated, not Easter. Christmas is never mentioned in the Bible, yet these are the two biggest holidays in the Christian faith. I am not going to get into how these days came to be. What I will concentrate on are the Holidays, or as the God calls them His Feasts, that are mentioned in the Bible, and their purpose. Again you may do as you please; I simply want to show how these days explain the plan of the Creator.

When the Israelites left Egypt and went into the wilderness the Creator through Moses gave them Laws to follow. The first were the Ten Commandments, but this was not all. He also gave laws concerning almost every facet of human behavior. These can mostly be found in the book of Leviticus.

Leviticus 22:32-33, says:
"You shall not profane My holy name, but 
I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord."

The word hallows means, to consecrate, to be Holy. The words sanctify means to be set apart. Here The Creator is telling the people of Israel who He is and who they are. They were to be a special people, His people, and he was to be their God for He was the one who took them out of bondage.

Before I go on I must explain the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. The Old is physical. The Laws, the sacrifices, the punishments are all physical things. The New Testament is a spiritual book. The things which took place in the old are fulfilled in the new and coming years.

This why Yahoshua said in Matthew 5:17:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. 
I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."

The term “The Law and the Prophets” is simply another name for the Old Testament. He is saying that He is the spiritual fulfillment of the physical laws. So without any further ado let us begin. 

In Leviticus 23 you will find the Feasts of the Lord.

Leviticus 23:1-2:
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 
The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.' "

Following this is a list of The Feasts. The Creator says that they should proclaim them as holy convocations. Something becomes holy because of the presence of God. He places Himself, His spirit, there. Convocation means something called out, a public meeting or an assembly. Therefore a Holy Convocation is a meeting in which God attends. The feasts are these things; meetings in which the Creator is present. It would seem that they are pretty important.

You can find them in Leviticus 23:3:
The Sabbath, The Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of First fruits, The Feast of Weeks, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles.
It is interesting that the very first Feast mentioned is called the Sabbath. 

It says in verse 3:
"Six days shall work be done, but 
the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings."

Some may realize that this Feast is mentioned elsewhere.

Turn to Exodus 20:8:-9:
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, in it you shall do no work...."

For those who don't realize; I am quoting the fourth commandment. This commandment is the very same day as the first Feast mentioned in Leviticus. According to Strong's the word Sabbath means an intermission. It is a break, a break from work. The Creator says we should take a break from work and hold a meeting in which He shall be present; a Holy Convocation. For it to be mentioned in two places, seems to me, that it must be important. It shall be with this day that we begin to understand the Plan of the Creators for mankind.

Turn back to Exodus 20. I already quoted verses 8-10. It is the Sabbath. The Creator says we should not work on this day, but rest, yet this is not all it says. 

So let us continue with verse Exodus 20:11:
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them and rested the seventh day and hallowed it."

It is also mentioned later in the text.

Turn to Exodus 31:15-17:
"Work shall be done for six days, but 
the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."

Here we see a little more detail concerning this day. Again we see He tells us we should rest on this day. It was so important to Him that to disobey this commandment could result in death. Next He says we are to keep it throughout our generation as a perpetual covenant. This means it was to be kept continually; week after week. There was to be no missing. The next part is very interesting because He then says it is a sign between Him and the children of Israel.

A sign is a type of mark. It tells people what something is, and through this, you can find out who owns it. If I had a business, the sign I place upon it would tell you what type of business's it is, and that I owned it. Take the sign away and eventually the knowledge of what the business is would be lost. Pretty soon no-one would know what it was or who owned it.

By celebrating the Sabbath the Israelites would know that the one who gave them this day was their God. Who was their God? He was the one who in six days created the heavens and the earth. By following this commandment Israel would know that the one, who took them out of slavery, was the same Being who created all things. This was to be a sign to them and others in the world.
Those who the world calls the Jewish people today keep the Sabbath. That is why the world believes they are the Israelites. It is a sign.

Mark 2:28:
the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."

By telling the people He was Lord of the Sabbath, Yahoshua was letting them know that He was the Creator. He was the one who was prophesied about. He was God. Due to their disobedience the tribes of Israel were scattered about. Many were put into slavery. Eventually some were aloud to return home. It is the descendants of these people who we find during the time of yahoshua in the New Testament. The story of their return can be found in the book of Nehemiah. 

When they came back to their land the first thing Nehemiah did was to start keeping the Sabbath. Those who did not return eventually lost their identity. Neither they nor the world knew who they were. Why, because they had lost the knowledge of the Sabbath. They had lost the sign.

The Sabbath is more than just a day. It is an identifying mark, a sign, and a feast. The very first feast the Israelites were commanded to keep. It is a reminder of who they are, and who their God is, The Creator.

Luke 4:16:
And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up and read. "

Yahoshua celebrated the Sabbath; as all the Israelites during His time did. That is how important this day was to Him.

I shall end this part here. There is much more on this subject to come in my next article, but for now, please take care.