Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
"Hear Israel,Adonai is our God, Adonai is One"
Go to: Part One: How the Sabbath Day was Given
Go to: Part Two: Rebbe Y'shua Observed and Continued Sabbath Observance
Go to: Part Three: How the Sabbath Day was Stolen
In my study The Fourth Commandment: Honoring the Day of HaShem I offer a brief overview of the origins of the Sabbath and its continuation under Rebbe Y'shua (i.e. Torah teacher Jesus). In part three I discuss how Shabbat (i.e. the Sabbath) was stolen from the talmidim (i.e. the disciples of Rebbe Y'shua). While brevity is generally preferred, it sometimes takes space to discuss a topic properly. I have sought a balance.
Topic of part one: How the Sabbath Day was Given:GOD declared the Sabbath Day sacred before the cataclysmic events that happened in the Garden of Eden, before Noah received the Seven Laws, before Avraham entered into the Eternal Covenant, before Moses received the 613 Laws and before the Jewish people affirmed their willing obediance to the Torah throughout our generations: Shabbat existed and was sacred from dawn of time and ever will be.Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."Sanctified" (Qadash: kaw-dash in Hebrew) means to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, to be separate from all others. The Sabbath is Qadash for all creation because everything that exists was created by HaShem. On Shabbat we are to acknowledge this and give thanks to our Creator.
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.
GOD reiterated the importance and sacredness of Shabbat by declaring its observance to be the Fourth of the Ten Commandments. He repeated its sanctification numerous times both in the Hebrew Tanakh ("Old Testament") and the B'rit Hadashah or New Testament. The only question is whether we will choose to obey or disregard the command.
Topic of part two: Rebbe Y'shua Observed and Continued Sabbath Observance:
Rebbe Y'shua clarified the proper method and purpose of Sabbath observance. He did not specifically say "its still in effect" because as a Jew that was obvious. Shabbat is an eternal command (Exodus 31:13 etc.). He did not repeal it. He clarified its proper observanceMark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbathRebbe Y'shua and his talmidim (disciples) continued to observe the Sabbath and AFTER his resurrection he instructed:
Matthew 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.Matthew 28:19 Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh,Nowhere does the New Testament revoke Sabbath observance nor replace it with Sunday worship.
20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age."
Topic of part three: How the Sabbath Day was Stolen:
Following the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 CE the Jews were forced to flee for their lives from the Romans. This includes the Jewish followers of Rebbe Y'shua. This severely disrupted their access to qualified teachers and religious accountability.
From very early on some of the Followers of Derech HaShem Meshiykhiyyim (the Messianic Way of God) began merging with the Pagans of the Diaspora through intermarriage and doctrinal compromise:Galatians 2:11 Furthermore, when Kefa [Rav Peter] came to Antioch, I [Rav Paul] opposed him publicly, because he was clearly in the wrong.And Rav John warns:
12 For prior to the arrival of certain people from [the community/beit din headed by] Ya'akov [James], he had been eating with the Gentile believers; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he was afraid of the faction who favored circumcising Gentile believers [i.e. allowing the Gentiles/Goyim to convert to Judaism through the Meshiykhiyyim without going through the standard Jewish religious courts]
13 And the other Jewish believers became hypocrites along with him, so that even Bar-Nabba [Barnabas] was led astray by their hypocrisy.
14 But when I saw that they were not walking a straight path, keeping in line with the truth of the Good News, I said to Kefa, right in front of everyone, "If you, who are a Jew, live like a Goy and not like a Jew, why are you forcing the Goyim to live like Jews?Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans [i.e. merging different religions with Judaism], which I also hate...
2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Other Way followers abandoned or distorted the Way through Gnosticism, the Mystery cults and other non-Way belief systems:I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
II John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who do not acknowledge that Y'shua the Anointed has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
To escape the harsh Roman persecutions many Messianic Jews (born and convert) separated themselves from the Jewish foundations of Rebbe Y'shua's Way Movement. They claimed to be Jews but many no longer were:Revelation 3:9 Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren't - on the contrary, they are lying - see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you.
10 Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test.
This widespread betrayal of the Jewish teachings of Rebbe Y'shua and his talmidim was described by Navi Yochanan (Prophet John) as the the doctrine of the Nicolaitans:Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.Influential Way heretics (mainly Pagan converts but some Jews as well) sought to appease Rome by merging the Way Jewish Movement with Roman Paganism and turning against Judaism and the Jewish people. Once the New Religion came to power as the official religion of Rome it outlawed "Judaizing" or holding to the Jewish foundation established by Master Y'shua's teachings. For instance concerning Sabbath observance Tertullian (200 AD) wrote:
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradistinction to those who call this day their Sabbath.
Understanding that historically the power of the Roman Empire always arose through its then declining religious cults, in 312 CE the Roman warlord Constantine feigned a vision of Y'shua and declared the formal creation of a new Universal Roman Religion named "Catholicism" -- i.e. "[Roman] Universalism").
To consolidate the power of the new religion's bishops all other forms of religion were declared heretical and illegal by the Roman See (the Sancta Sedes). As its power increased so did its brutality and the Church of Rome eventually murdered untold millions of devout people, Jews (including authentic Messianics), Pagans and Heathens in a reign of terror known as the Holy Inquisitions, the Burning Times, the Dark Ages and so on.
Shabbat was one of the victims of these dark times.
Shabbat observance was officially declared a heresy by the Nicene Christian Church in 364 CE. As the Catechism of Catholic Doctrine says on page 50 (3rd edition):Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. The Nicene Christian religion had neither the divine authority nor the biblical justification to transfer the solemnity of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. GOD sanctified Shabbat as the day for His creation to come before Him in rest and thanksgiving.
For more information on Shabbat read the complete study using these links:
Go to: Part One: How the Sabbath Day was Given.
Go to: Part Two: Rebbe Y'shua Observed and Continued Sabbath Observance
Go to: Part Three: How the Sabbath was Stolen.
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