Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
"Hear Israel,Adonai is our God, Adonai is One"
Go to: Overview
Go to: Part One: How the Sabbath Day was Given
Go to: Part Three: How the Sabbath Day was Stolen
"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."
We know from the Scriptures that Rebbe Y'shua did not come to start a new religion and certainly not a Gentile one! The Jewish rebbe was quite clear on this:Matthew 15:24 But he [the Rebbe] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.As we seek to understand the teachings of Rebbe Y'shua regarding the Shabbat we must always bear this in mind. He is speaking and teaching from within a traditional Jewish paradigm primarily for and to first century CE Jews. For these people there was nothing more important and sacred than Shabbat! Had our Rebbe rejected Shabbat (an inconceivable notion) the Rabbinic condemnation would have loud and clear. Such a position would have been recorded in the New Testament as the reason for his rejection. Were that his position he would certainly have taken the time to explain to his talmidim why he was overturning their most sacred external observance. He did not. In some passages his teachings on proper Shabbat observance is questioned by the other rabbis, but never his support for its observance.
HaShem is the God of the whole world and Shabbat is the only biblically authorized day for His weekly worship. Although not everyone is included in the Mosaic Covenant we are all His children whether Jew or Gentile! Shabbat is for everyone (Genesis 2:3). We find several accounts of Gentiles observing Shabbat in the Bible.
We all have our proper relationships with HaShem. As Rav Paul explains, not everyone is a "hand" or a "foot" in the body. Rather, we are many members each with different tasks (I Corinthians 12:15). There are differences between individuals and there are differences between the people of the Mosaic Covenant (the Jews) and those of the Noahide Covenant (the Goyim). Both groups have their proper roles to play. This is one reason Jews have traditionally been anti-missionary. The Jews are supposed to serve as a holy priesthood for the Noahide nations. The Jews are to hold Torah aloft and lead the world towards HaShem. As we read:Exodus 19:5 Now if you [i.e. people Israel] will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine;This is the biblical arrangement: Noahides as the "laity" and Jews as the "priesthood" working together in harmony with the Will of HaShem for the good of the creation. But this is not how things have generally gone in the Olam HaZeh (the world as it is)!
19:6 and you will be a kingdom of cohanim [i.e. priests] for me, a nation set apart. 'These are the words you are to speak to the people of Isra'el."
Sometimes the Jews have overly isolated themselves from the world, building up walls of division and leaving the Goyim without the Light of Torah. Even today many Rabbis refuse to help seeking Gentiles, even Noahides, learn the Truth. This is a sad reality even if historic abuses makes it somewhat understandable. And of course many Jews are not where they should be spiritually to put it mildly. How can we serve others when we barely acknowledge HaShem's existence? Many Jews have answered this challenge by serving humanity in the sciences, in the entertainment industries and through other secular venues. Our main calling though is to set and maintain Torah as a light for the world. Concerning Holy Jerusalem and it people (the Jews) Rebbe Y'shua said:Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Sometimes the nations have made this relationship impossible through anti-Semitism, fear and prejudice. Gentiles destroyed the Holy City on the Hill in 70 CE and its Holy Temple. They barred the returned of the City's rightful inhabitants until HaShem them in 1967. And of course, just as with the Jews many Goyim care little for the things of the spirit and less still for those of the one true God.
Once the Kingdom is established there will be peace between all people and the proper relationship between Israel and the nations will be restored and flourish. During the Kingdom this division will continue. Every inch of Eretz Israel will be restored to people Israel and the Noahide nations, as free people, will voluntarily look to Jerusalem for guidance:Zechariah 8:20 "ADONAI-Tzva'ot [i.e. the LORD of Hosts] says, 'In the future, peoples and inhabitants of many cities will come;Noahides as the "laity" and Jews as the "priesthood" working together in harmony with the Will of HaShem for the good of the creation. When that day comes:
21 the inhabitants of one city will travel to another and say, "We must go to ask ADONAI's favor and consult ADONAI-Tzva'ot. I'll go too."
22 Yes, many peoples and powerful nations will come to consult ADONAI-Tzva'ot in Yerushalayim [i.e. Jerusalem] and to ask ADONAI's favor.'
23 ADONAI-Tzva'ot says, 'When that time comes, ten men will take hold - speaking all the languages of the nations - will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, "We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"Isaiah 56:6 "And the foreigners who join themselves to ADONAI to serve him, to love the Name of ADONAI, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant,To all who "love the Name of ADONAI and to all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it." In that day, in the Kingdom period when haMoshiach is ruling as Melekh or King of Israel, a key sign of who has the blessings of HaShem will be the keeping of Shabbat and the honoring of the Sacred Name. If that will be important then it is important now.
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
Shabbat is given to and required of all people however the details on how to properly observe it are not included in the Seven Noahide Laws (there Shabbat is a given and not listed). Even the Written Torah does not reveal everything about proper observance. So Noahides must study the Jewish texts (the Tanakh or "Old Testament", the B'rit Hadashah or New Testament, consult the Oral Torah, and so on), preferably under Rabbinic guidance. They are to approach knowledgable Jews requesting understanding and then properly worship HaShem as Noahides. This is the proper practice for the Goyim. They need not convert to Judaism. They have a divine Covenant.
For the Jews its different.
Throughout the Tanakh the focus is on the People Israel (the Jews) and their service to HaShem as a nation of priests. They are commanded to keep themselves apart from the world and its evil ways. Balance is critical however and despite this mandatory self-separation from the world, Jews are also commanded to, have and will continue to bless the whole world (Genesis 12:3). This is Israel's divine mandate and through them the Noahides also find HaShem and His blessings "without seeking Him."John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.Throughout the Tanakh we read of Gentiles who attach themselves to the Hebrew people and to HaShem. These people are accepted as Noahides. Some of them convert to Judaism and some of them do not. Likewise in the New Testament those Noahides who embrace the Way Movement (the Derech HaShem) taught by Rebbe Y'shua are given the opportunity to be "grafted into the Tree of Israel" (Romans 11) and "adopted" into the family (Romans 8:15) through formal conversion. This was always the case but through the B'rit Hadashah or New Covenant it is a focus whereas before it was not (Acts 17:30).
While Genesis 2:3 states the universal holiness and applicability of Shabbat, the Jews are strictly required to observe it. What of the Gentiles who sojourned with the Jews during the Exodus? Did they observe Shabbat?
Yes! And such fortunate Gentiles are even included in the Fourth Commandment itself:Exodus 20:8 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 stranger that is within thy gates
These strangers or "ger" are the Gentiles who live with the Hebrews. During the Exodus they were specifically required to observe and remember Shabbat just like the Jews. From this we can see that when a non-Jew seeks a relationship with HaShem he/she is also required to honor Shabbat. This includes Nicene Christians and others.
Note what the Rebbe tells his Jewish talmidim to teach the Goyim converts: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded youMatthew 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,
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."
"Make people from all nations into talmidim" means converting them into Jews so they will be included in the New Covenant. When they are converted they are to embrace HaShem as taught by Rebbe Y'shua and confirmed by the indwelling Ruach (Spirit Presence) of HaShem. They are to "obey everything that I have commanded you" as Jews. When Noahides enter the Covenant they become Jews and Jews are commanded to observe Shabbat. Meshiykhiyyim (Messianic Jews) are to observe Shabbat as Rebbe Y'shua teaches in his reforms.
Why?Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear; on the contrary, you received the spirit that makes us sons and by which we cry out, "Abba!" (that is, "Dear Father!").
16 That spirit itself [Greek autos "itself" not himself] bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God;
17 and if we are children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah - provided we are suffering with him in order also to be glorified with him.
Awesome! Through the New Covenant established through Rebbe Y'shua the Noahides are invited to be adopted into the House of Judah! Those who accept this gift and are grafted into the tree of Israel join the "natural branches" [the born Jews] in crying our Abba!
So few Nicene Christian Noahides understand this vital point! Cohen Gadol Y'shua does NOT call the Gentiles to another religion! He calls them Judaism, the biblical religion and tells his talmidim to "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded." THIS includes Shabbat.
In part one of this study I demonstrated that Shabbat was sanctified and set apart from all other divine appointments long before the days of Father Noah, Avraham or Moshe. This is confirmed at Genesis 2:3.
The Sabbath is intended for all people and for all time. Those who remain Noahide remain under this commandment as well as the Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach.
For those who convert to Judaism under the New Covenant there is neither Jew nor Gentile among the talmidim. Once one converts one is under the Covenant as all Jews. NO division is to be recognized. As Jews we are to observe and remember Shabbat. Consider the following:Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.
Shabbat, the Sabbath or seventh day, stands unique among the days of the week. Shabbat was specifically set apart as holy (kodesh in the Hebrew) by God Himself.Mark 2:27: ..."Shabbat was made for mankind, not mankind for Shabbat."
Shabbat remains in effect and should be observed for the benefit of humanity, according to Rebbe Y'shua's reforms. We will discuss in part three.Acts 17:1 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, Sha'ul [Paul] and Sila [Silas] came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue.
2 According to his usual practice, Sha'ul went in; and on three Shabbats he gave them drashes [lessons] from the Tanakh,
3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and that "this Yeshua whom I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah."
Rav Paul (like the other talmidim) continued observing Shabbat after embracing the New Covenant. Shabbat is still in effect.Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
This has never been revoked from the Bible.Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Adonai 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:
20:11 For in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Adonai blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.Exodus 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to Adonai: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Under the B'rit Hadashah reforms of Rebbe Y'shua (nor under current non-Messianic Rabbinic rulings) there is not a death penalty associated with Shabbat observance, however the importance placed on Shabbat by HaShem is clear.
Meshiykhiyyim (authentically Messianic Jews) are numbered among the "children of Israel" through adoption.Exodus 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to Adonai: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.Leviticus 16:31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever.
The command to observe and remember Shabbat is applicable 'forever," "throughout your generations" etc.Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Adonai in all your dwellings.Leviticus 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
Shabbat was the standard used for biblical reckoning. It is the most the holy and important of all daysLeviticus 24:8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before Adonai continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.Deuteronomy 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as Adonai thy God hath commanded thee.Deuteronomy 5:14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Adonai thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
Deu_5:15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Adonai thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore Adonai thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.I Chronicles 9:32 And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath...Nehemiah 9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:Nehemiah 10:15 During this time I saw in Y'hudah some people who were treading winepresses on Shabbat, also bringing in heaps of grain and loading donkeys with it, likewise wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads; and they were bringing them into Yerushalayim on the day of Shabbat. On the day when they were planning to sell the food, I warned them not to.
16 There were also living there people from Tzor who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on Shabbat to the people in Y'hudah and even in Yerushalayim.
17 I disputed with the nobles of Y'hudah, demanding of them, "What is this terrible thing you are doing, profaning the day of Shabbat?
18 Didn't your ancestors do this, and didn't our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you are bringing still more fury against Isra'el by profaning Shabbat!"
19 So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat.
20 The merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Yerushalayim once or twice,
21 until I warned them, "Why are you spending the night by the wall? Do it again, and I'll use force against you!" From then on they stopped coming on Shabbat.
22 Then I ordered the L'vi'im to purify themselves and come and guard the gates, in order to keep the day of Shabbat holy. My God, remember this too for me, and have mercy on me in keeping with the greatness of your grace!Isaiah 56:1 Here is what ADONAI says: "Observe justice, do what is right, for my salvation is close to coming, my righteousness to being revealed."
Happy is the person who does this, anyone who grasps it firmly, who keeps Shabbat and does not profane it, and keeps himself from doing any evil.
3 A foreigner joining ADONAI should not say, "ADONAI will separate me from his people"; likewise the eunuch should not say, "I am only a dried-up tree."
4 For here is what ADONAI says: "As for the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant:
5 in my house, within my walls, I will give them power and a name greater than sons and daughters; I will give him an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
6 "And the foreigners who join themselves to ADONAI to serve him, to love the name of ADONAI, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant,
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
Note that Adonai's House will be called a place for prayer for all who honor His Shabbat!Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Adonai.
Rosh Chodesh (New Moon Day) is spent in Torah study. Shabbat is spent in Torah celebration with family and friends.Jeremiah 17:21 Here is what ADONAI says: "If you value your lives, don't carry anything on Shabbat or bring it in through the gates of Yerushalayim;
22 don't carry anything out of your houses on Shabbat; and don't do any work. Instead, make Shabbat a holy day. I ordered your ancestors to do this,
23 but they neither listened nor paid attention; rather, they stiffened their necks, so that they wouldn't have to hear or receive instruction.
24 However, if you will pay careful heed to me," says ADONAI "and carry nothing through the gates of this city on Shabbat, but instead make Shabbat a day which is holy and not for doing work;
If they were "stiff-necked" for profaning Shabbat as ordered by HaShem surely those who do not observe now are as well!Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
These things are forbidden on Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat.Matthew 12:11 And he [Rebbe Y'shua] said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
Mat_12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Rebbe Y'shua reformed the Shabbat rules, making them what HaShem had originally intended.
The over-emphasis and legalism seen in the Tanakh and Oral Traditions were ordered because of the hard heartedness of the people. We are supposed to love and serve HaShem by intention, not by rote mindless obediance to rules. Even today some Rabbis seek loop-holes in their own Shabbat laws! For instance using a "Shabbat clock" to turn on and off clocks, lights, heating, refrigerators and so on to get around their blanket prohibitions against using electricity on Shabbat.
Rebbe Y'shua's reforms call us to spiritual maturity. The purpose of Shabbat was to have us focus on Him in love, not to make our food spoil, our children to freeze and on.
Rebbe Y'shua and his talmidim continued to observe Shabbat, but as HaShem originally intended.Matthew 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day
This is part of a longer prophecy to talmidim living in the End of Days. Clearly our Rebbe considered that they would still be observing Shabbat in the End Times.Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Visiting the dead is forbidden on Shabbat and so the women waited until it was over to visit the tomb of Rebbe Y'shua. Obviously they were still observing Shabbat.Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?Rebbe did not say 'Shabbat is no longer in effect for my talmidim,' he said 'you misunderstand its correct application.'
2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:Mark 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.Mark 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue...Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath...Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read...Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.Luke 13:10 Yeshua was teaching in one of the synagogues on Shabbat.
11 A woman came up who had a spirit which had crippled her for eighteen years; she was bent double and unable to stand erect at all.
12 On seeing her, Yeshua called her and said to her, "Lady, you have been set free from your weakness!"
13 He put his hands on her, and at once she stood upright and began to glorify God.
14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant that Yeshua had healed on Shabbat, spoke up and said to the congregation, "There are six days in the week for working; so come during those days to be healed, not on Shabbat!"
15 However, the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Each one of you on Shabbat -- don't you unloose your ox or your donkey from the stall and lead him off to drink?
16 This woman is a daughter of Avraham, and the Adversary kept her tied up for eighteen years! Shouldn't she be freed from this bondage on Shabbat?"
17 By these words, Yeshua put to shame the people who opposed him; but the rest of the crowd were happy about all the wonderful things that were taking place through him.Acts 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.After his execution the talmidim continued attending Shabbat services.Acts 13:43 When the synagogue meeting broke up, many of the born Jews and devout proselytes -- [note that those who received the words of Rebbe Y'shua and his talmidim were "proselytes" or converts. In other words, they formally converted to Judaism to enter his movement when that was still possible] -- followed Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba, who spoke with them and urged them to keep holding fast to the love and kindness of God.
44 The next Shabbat, nearly the whole city gathered together to hear the message about the Lord;
45 but when the Jews who had not believed saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and spoke up against what Sha'ul was saying and insulted him.
46 However, Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba answered boldly: "It was necessary that God's word be spoken first to you. But since you are rejecting it and are judging yourselves unworthy of eternal life - why, we're turning to the Goyim!Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.This should suffice to make the point:
"The Israelite people shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time: it shall be a sign for all time between Me and the people of Israel" (Exodus 31:16-17).
Here Ends Part Two
In part three we will consider How the Sabbath Day was Stolen Continue to Part Three
For more detail 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.
Go to: The Noahide Nazarene Way
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