Easter in the Bible

In Search of the Scriptural Easter

In Search of the Scriptural Easter

With the Christmas extrava­ganza now a distant memory, churches are busily gearing up for their next big obser­vance—the celebration of the Savior’s death and resurrection.

As with Christmas, Easter is an­other major celebration featuring an odd blend of religious, mythical, and profane themes: chalices and chocolate, crosses and croissants; bonnets and bunnies, hymns and hams; Son worship and sun worship.

The unstudied may think it pe­culiar that Yahweh would require His people today to eat unleavened bread for a week following the Pass­over. Yet they find nothing weird about observing the Savior’s resur­rection by searching church lawns for painted eggs … allegedly laid by rabbits!

It is time to conduct our own search­ for the scriptural Easter to see whether there even is one.

One Verse in a Version – Proof of Scriptural Easter?

A peculiar fact jumps out immedi­ately. In a careful examination of the entire Bible we discover that the word “Easter” exists in only one verse: Acts 12:4. In the King James Version it reads, “…intend­ing after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

But now notice how nearly all other versions trans­late this very same passage:

“ … intending to bring him before the people after Passover,” The New King James Bible.

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people,” New American Standard

“ … Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Pass­over,” New International Version

“ … with the intention of produc­ing him to the people after Passover,” James Moffat

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people,” Revised Standard

“ …intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover,” New Revised Standard Version

“ … Herod’s intention was to deliver Peter to the Jews for execution after the Passover,” Living Bible

“ …intending to bring him out to the people after Passover,” Modern Language Bible

“ … meaning to produce him in public after Passover,” New English Bible

“ … intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people,” The Webster Bible

“ … purposing after the Passover to bring him forth to the people,” The Amplified New Testament

“ .. .intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover,” The New Berkeley Version in Modern En­glish

“ .. .intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people,” Douay­-Rheims (Catholic).

In this last version, “pasch” is simply the near Greek word for the Hebrew Pass­over, Pascha. “Passover” is found 28 times in the King James New Testa­ment, Easter only once. Clearly a translation anomaly exists with the KJV. The idea of a “Scriptual Easter” is simply not true.

As the King James Newberry Refer­ence Bible shows in a side column note on Acts 12:4, the word “Easter” in the King James should have been “Passover” (Newberry includes the Greek letters for “Pascha”).

Amazing, isn’t it? Easter is the second biggest religious celebration of the Bible-professing world, yet, its only scriptural evidence is one erroneously translated word!

Apostles Not Easter Dye Hards

But that’s not all. You don’t have to hunt long to discover that no one in the Scriptures ever observed Easter. Rather, even in the New Testament the Apostolic Assembly continued with the Bibli­cal Holy Days commanded in Exo­dus 12 and Leviticus 23. Our Savior died at Passover as the ultimate Passover sacrifice, a fact the Apostle Paul clearly explains in lCorinthians 5:7.

The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica confirms this simple and astounding fact, “There is no indication of the obser­vances of the Easter festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers … The first Chris­tians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed” (“Easter,” vol. 8. p. 828).

The commanded Old Testament Feast days were the ONLY annual observances that the early New Testament Assembly recognized. This fact should speak volumes to every Bible-believer today about the importance of honoring those same observances commanded to Israel.

Writing in Bible Review, Delbert Achuff, Jr., a retired Episcopal minister, noted what would happen if Yahshua were to return to earth to observe modern worship: “He would probably be amazed at what the worshipers accredited to Him. The accretions from having passed through several cultures would puzzle this peasant Jew who said He came ‘to fulfil the Law, not to destroy it’ (Matt. 5:17).St. Paul too is understood in a whole new light when seen as a Jew who is a member of the new sect, defending his new understandings of Torah and relationship with [Yah­weh]. Later he calls it the New Cov­enant, but the word (b’rith in the He­brew) is meaningless if one does not know the Old Covenant.”

Theologians cite Acts 2 as the start of the New Testament Assem­bly. But they neglect the reason that the Apostles and disciples were gath­ered that day. It was in observance of the command in Leviticus 23 to keep the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)—one of the seven annual holy days!

Nowhere can we find a Biblical injunction to observe the Savior’s res­urrection as a special holiday. The command was and always will be to keep the memorial of His death at Passover. This being the case, where did “Easter” originate?

Thank the Babylonians

Yahshua told His disciples that the poor we would always have with us. The same thing can be said of hea­then worship, at least until Yahweh’s righteous Kingdom is established on earth.

The link between Easter and pa­ganism is so obvious no one could miss it. For starters, take the name. “Easter” even sounds like its name­sake—Eastre, the Saxon deity of dawn, spring, and fertility. One au­thority notes, “Easter is a word of Saxon origin and imparts a goddess of the Saxons, or rather, of the East, Estera, in honor of whom sacrifices being annually offered about the Pass­over time of the year (spring), the name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the resurrection, which happened at the time of the Passover,” Cyclope­dia of Biblical, Theological, and Eccle­siastical Literature, “Easter,” p. 12.

In his Dictionary of Word Origins” Joseph Shipley writes, “Easter. This is from Anglo Saxon Eostre, a pagan goddess whose festival came at the spring equinox. The festival was called Eastron(plural of Eastre). The Christian festival of the resurrection of [Messiah] has in most European languages taken the name of the Jew­ish Passover (Fr. Paques, It. Pasqua, from Latin pascha … ); but in English the pagan word has remained for the Christian festival,” p. 131.

Before she.was Eastre, the idol was called Ishtar (pronounced by the Assyrians and Babylonians as we do Easter).

John in Revelation tells us that Babylon is the mother of all false worship, and Revelation 14:8 says that Babylon caused all nations to partake in her spiritual unfaithfulness. Our society didn’t escape Babylon’s influence regarding the Easter observance, ei­ther.

Ishtar (a.k.a. Semiramis) was the wife of Nimrod, the priest-king and founder of Babylon. She was the first “deified woman” (Alexander Hislop, ­The Two Babylons, p. 304). The Greeks worshiped her as Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus, goddess of love.

Queen of Heaven

Jeremiah condemns worship of this heathen queen mother in a rite that includes a practice remarkably simi­lar to Easter:

“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead [their] dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other mighty ones, that they may provoke me to anger” (Jer. 7:18).

“Cakes” is the Hebrew kavvan, meaning a sacrificial cake, which was “used in worship of Ishtar,” The New Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 467.

Scriptural EasterThese “cakes” survive as today’s hot cross buns—an Easter tradition on which are marked crosses, the symbol for woman. In hieroglyphics the cross is a symbol for life. This ancient queen of heaven was the mother of life, the heathen believed.

Also prominent in the Easter cel­ebration is the egg. The 1994 winter Olympics opened with a ceremony featuring a huge egg, ancient pagan symbol of life. Mithras, the sun god, supposedly hatched from a cosmic egg.

Pagan mythology says a mystic egg of the Babylonians fell from heaven into the River Euphrates. Once fish had pushed it ashore it hatched and out came Astarte—Eas­ter (Venus). Hence, the egg became a symbol of Astarte or Easter (The Two Babylons, p. 109).

The egg soon figured into Chris­tian Easter worship. According to Hislop, “A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious votaries thus to pray at Easter—‘Bless, O L-rd, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome suste­nance into thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our L-rd J-sus Chr-st,’” p. 110.

Peter Cotton-tale

Imagine honoring Abraham Lincoln with Bingo parties. Or celebrating the first moon walk with a fishing derby. It makes as litte sense to observe the resurrection of the Savior with choco­late rabbits that lay colored eggs. Tradition has melded two entirely dif­ferent observances, intermixed them to produce the strangest of crossbreeds—not unlike remember­ing the Savior’s birth with Santa Claus, reindeer, and evergreen trees.

To understand why the rabbits, we need to go back again to a more ancient festival that in the apostate church merged with Passover to be­come the Easter hybrid.

“Although Easter is a Christian festival, it embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the rise of Christianity,” says Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia. This source goes on to describe Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertil­ity, to whom was dedicated “Eastre monath,” corresponding to April. “Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with the festival survive in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring” (“Easter,” Ibid, p. 2940).

In its effort to join heathen with Bible believer, the early church ac­commodated many pagan obser­vances, finding common dates on which to merge. Easter and Passover is one example. Try as they could, however, they could not detach the pagan dates from the pagan rites and rituals.

Scriptural Caution

The Easter sunrise service is com­mon today. But how many who par­ticipate realize the ancient worship they are really keeping alive—adora­tion of the sun-god? Ezekiel gives this sobering account of what Yahweh thinks of this cus­tom employed in worship of Him:

“Then said he unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man?  turn yet again, and you shall see  greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five  and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped  the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man?  Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled  the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezek. 8:15-18).

Passover is the only legitimate and commanded observance in honor of our Savior’s death. He kept it with His disciples just before He was impaled, and He said He would observe it again in the coming Kingdom. What better certification for an observance can we get? No Scriptural mandate exists for an annual observance of His resurrection. Let alone the idea of a Scriptual Easter.

Yahweh will one day teach man­kind that He is the only true Mighty One. All will learn—through pain of plague, if necessary—that pagan abominations will not be tolerated. And man will one day discover what True Worship is all about and what blessings can be his if he will simply be obedient not to traditions of the world—but to the Word.

by Alan Mansager

If you enjoyed Scriptural Easter and want more info on Easter please check out our free booklet: Easter: The Fertility of it all

The Sabbath Glory to Yahweh

When is the Sabbath Day?

Acording to the sacred Scriptures, nearly six thou-sand years ago life as we know it began on planet Earth. Genesis chapter one records the six days of creation beginning with light and ending with man (Adam). As miraculous an event as all this was, Yahweh the great Creator created one last thing to memorialize His spectacular work. He rested on the seventh day and created the weekly Sabbath.

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day Elohim had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (vv.1-3).

To commemorate His physical creation Almighty Yahweh has given humankind a special spiritual gift, His Sabbath. He blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Hebrew—qadash). The weekly Sabbath has been set aside from the six days of labor. It is a sacred and sanctified day that was given for rest and worship. The Sabbath day makes the vastness of Yahweh’s great creation complete. It is a holy gift from our Heavenly Father to His people.

In this article we will consider the weekly Sabbath and its special significance to those who worship Yahweh in Spirit and in Truth. We will learn why it is necessary to keep it. And, we will learn the proper way to keep it holy. We will consider the history of the seventh-day Sabbath and how it has always been and will always be kept on the seventh scriptural day (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown).

Obedience to Yahweh’s Law

An important concept that we will first consider is that down through the ages True Worshipers obeyed the Law of Yahweh. From Abraham in the Book of Genesis to the saints in the Book of Revelation, commandment-keeping was their hallmark. “Because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws” (Gen. 26:5). “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey Yahweh’s commandments and remain faithful to Yahshua” (Rev. 14:12).

Yahweh’s Law is eternal. “All your words are true; all your righ-teous laws are eternal” (Psalm 119:160). The weekly Sabbath is an important part of that eternal law. It is the Fourth Commandment in the Ten Commandments.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your Elohim. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex. 20:8-11).

By properly observing the seventh-day Sabbath we pay homage to Yahweh as the Creator of all things. We openly express our opposition to the theory of evolution and glorify our great Creator.

Observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is an opportunity to show our love for our Creator, Almighty Yahweh. “This is how we know that we love the children of Yahweh: by loving Yahweh and carrying out his commands. This is love for Yahweh: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,” 1John 5:2-3. What better way to show our love for Yahweh than by keeping the Sabbath day holy?

Take note of the fact that the seventh-day Sabbath is an integral part of Yahweh’s eternal Law. It is incumbent upon all those who truly love their Heavenly Father to observe the Sabbath along with all the other commandments.

With the exception of the sacrificial laws, the Law of Yahweh is still in effect in New Testament (Covenant) times (Matthew 5:17-20and 19:17). This also, and especially, includes the seventh-day Sabbath. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of Yahweh; for anyone who enters Yahweh’s rest also rests from his own work, just as Yahweh did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Heb. 4:9-11).

Yahweh’s Law was given for our good. One of the reasons He has given us the weekly Sabbath is for our physical well being. After six days of labor man needs to recover his physical and spiritual strength. How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us the seventh-day Sabbath for our spiritual and physical welfare. “Then he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Master even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

Yahshua Kept the Sabbath

We know that our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, was perfect in every way. He never sinned (transgressed the Law—1John 3:4). In addition, He correctly observed the Sabbath leaving us an example to follow.

The irony in this is that the religious establishment of His day (the Scribes and Pharisees) continually accused Yahshua and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath. Nothing could be further from the truth. He showed by word and deed that the Sabbath was made for the good of man and that the Pharisees had turned it into a burden.

“At that time Yahshua went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath. He answered, Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of Yahweh and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Master of the Sabbath” (Matt. 12:1-8).

This passage clearly shows the opposition that Yahshua faced throughout His ministry. Falsely accused by the Pharisees, He properly showed that He and His disciples had not desecrated the Sabbath. Yahshua and His disciples were not in violation of Yahweh’s Law. On the contrary, their actions showed that they were keeping it.

“If you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to his standing grain” (Deut. 23:25) Yahshua’s disciples were hungry. Through the mercy of the Word of Yahweh made flesh and the Master of the Sabbath they received food to eat. That is true mercy from above.

Being rebuffed by Yahshua did not stop the Pharisees from once again accusing Him of breaking the Sabbath. The story continues, “Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Yahshua, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matt.12:9-12).

Truly Yahshua set the perfect example for keeping the Sabbath. From Sabbath to Sabbath He accomplished good by teaching the people the Word of Yahweh and by healing those who were sick. For Yahshua, the Sabbath was without question holy time when good was done and Almighty Yahweh was exalted.

It was Yahshua’s custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath and teach. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). Could there be a better reason to keep the seventh-day Sabbath than that our Savior and Redeemer Yahshua the Messiah observed it? If we accept Him as the Messiah, then we must obey His commandments (John 14:15, 21, 23) and understand that He was following His Father’s commandments (John 14:10, 31).

Furthermore, in Matthew chapter 24 when Yahshua prophesied concerning the time of the end, He specifically cautioned about the Sabbath. “Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath” (Mat. 24:20). Yahshua mentioned the Sabbath because He knew that end-time True Worshipers would be keeping it holy. If it wasn’t important to sanctify the Sabbath, He never would have expressed His concern in this prophecy about fleeing in the time of the end.

Everlasting Covenant Sign

In his Epistle to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul made the point that what really counts is that we are part of spiritual Israel. As such we are partakers in the rule of Yahweh’s everlasting covenant. “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of Yahweh” (Gal. 6:15-16).

The seventh-day Sabbath is part of the rule that falls under Israel’s everlasting covenant with Almighty Yahweh. ConsiderExodus 31:12-17 in this regard. “Then Yahweh said to Moses, Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am Yahweh, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

The seventh-day Sabbath is an eternal sign between Yahweh and His people. The punishment of death is pronounced on those who desecrate the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36). It is to be kept holy. It is a day of rest in which no work is to be done.

In the prophecy of Isaiah we learn there are blessings to be had for all people who properly keep Yahweh’s Sabbath. “Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil” (Isa. 56:2). This verse begins a passage which reveals also that the Sabbath was given not just for physical Israelites or Jews, but also given to all people everywhere.

Yahweh goes on to emphasize this point as He states in Isaiah 56:3-8, “Let no foreigner who has bound himself to Yahweh say Yahweh will surely exclude me from his people. And let not any eunuch complain, I am only a dry tree. For this is what Yahweh says: To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant — to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to Yahweh to serve him, to love the name of Yahweh, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant — these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy 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 nations. The Sovereign Yahweh declares — he who gathers the exiles of Israel: I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”

The Sabbath was given for all people everywhere not just physical Jews or Israelites. Spiritually speaking, all people everywhere are part of the exiles who return to Yahweh. Observance of the Sabbath is an important step in the process by which we enter into a covenant with Almighty Yahweh.

Yahweh further states in Isaiah 58:13-14, “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and Yahweh’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in Yahweh, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

We can clearly see that the seventh-day Sabbath is to be kept holy by ceasing from our labor and to even going so far as to not do as we please. The Sabbath day is meant to be a delight to those who observe it. It is sanctified as Yahweh’s day of worship. “Yahweh said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of Yahweh, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to Yahweh” (Lev. 23:1-3).

These Scriptures plainly state Yahweh’s purpose for the seventh-day Sabbath. It is a special day of worship in which all people everywhere have been commanded to gather together to worship Yahweh. In Leviticus chapter 23 it is listed first among Yahweh’s sacred feast days. It is the one day of the week on which we set aside doing our own pleasure and concentrate on Yahweh and spiritual things. The Sabbath is a special everlasting sign between Yahweh and His people.

A believer must prepare for the Sabbath to observe it properly. As already noted in part 1 of this series, we cease from our labors on the Sabbath and observe it as holy time. That means preparing ahead of time. The sixth day of the week (Friday) is looked upon as a day of preparation for the Sabbath.

Almighty Yahweh taught Israel to prepare for the Sabbath when He gave them manna from heaven while they were in the wilderness. “Then Yahweh said to Moses, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days” (Ex. 16:4-5).

We also are being tested to see if we will be prepared to keep the Sabbath. Preparing our food for the Sabbath is but one way that we make ready for that holy day. Yahweh even commanded Israel to cook their food on the sixth day of the week to emphasize how to keep the Sabbath holy.

“Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much — two omers for each person — and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, ‘This is what Yahweh commanded: “Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.”’ So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. ‘Eat it today,’ Moses said, ‘because today is a Sabbath to Yahweh. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.’ Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that Yahweh has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out. So the people rested on the seventh day.’” (Exodus 16:21-30)

Yahweh used a miracle to teach Israel to prepare for the Sabbath. Sadly, some didn’t believe and weren’t prepared. They went out on the Sabbath to gather manna. As Yahweh taught physical Israel then, so He teaches spiritual Israel today. We must prepare if we are to keep the Sabbath holy.

Closing Our Gates to the World

Along with restricting work, the sanctity of the Sabbath was also maintained by restricting business transactions on that day. Laboring, buying and selling were all prohibited. Nehemiah took drastic measures to reinstitute the sanctity of the Sabbath. He zealously believed in sanctifying the Sabbath to keep it holy. He used his authority righteously as a true spiritual leader of the people.

“In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, ‘What is this wicked thing you are doing-desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our Elohim brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.’ When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, ‘Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you.’ From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my Elohim, and show mercy to me according to your great love” (Neh. 13:15-22).

What a truly valiant act it was on the part of Nehemiah to bring the people of Jerusalem into subjection on Yahweh’s Sabbath day. Do we have the same zeal and fervor to sanctify Yahweh’s Sabbath each week in our homes? Do we enter the Sabbath by closing the gates to the outside world? Are we prepared each week to enter Yahweh’s holy Sabbath rest? By closing the gates to this world we open the gates to Yahweh’s Heavenly Kingdom. The Sabbath is a foretaste of that Kingdom to come!

“This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened. The prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening. On the Sabbaths and New Moons the people of the land are to worship in the presence of Yahweh at the entrance to that gateway” (Eze.46:1-3).

How glorious it is to observe the Sabbath now in anticipation of the time when the Prince of Peace will return and all mankind will observe the Sabbath together in the Kingdom of Yahweh, in the very presence of Almighty Yahweh.

Was the Sabbath Changed?

Most today assume that the seventh-day Sabbath was changed to Sunday. They have been given various arguments in support of the change from Sabbath to Sunday. But what do the sacred Scriptures say? Let’s look at these arguments and compare them to the Bible.

The most prominent argument is that Yahshua was resurrected on Sunday morning. Consider Matthew 28:1-2. “Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first (day) of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of Yahweh descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it” (ASV).

The scriptural (Jewish) day begins and ends at sundown. Late on the Sabbath would mean near – within one hour or less of – sundown. The context shows that the earthquake (which occurred when the tomb opened) occurred before sundown. Therefore the resurrection of Yahshua took place on the weekly Sabbath just before sundown. He was not resurrected early Sunday morning as you may have been led to believe.

This agrees with the one true sign of Yahshua’s Messiahship as given in Matthew chapter 12. “He answered, A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:39-40).

The fact that Yahshua was placed in the tomb just before sundown on Wednesday, before the High Day Sabbath, and was resurrected literally three days and three nights later means that Yahshua was resurrected just before sundown on the weekly Sabbath.

The confusion over Sunday comes because churchianity believes that the Messiah died on a Friday. They apply the scriptures that relate to the first High Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the weekly Sabbath (Compare Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54 andJohn 19:14, 31, 42 to Lev. 23:4-8 and Num. 28:16-18). The result is that they believe Yahshua was resurrected on Sunday morning.

However, the year Yahshua died Passover occurred on a Wednesday. Counting three days and three nights from His entombment Wednesday just before sundown takes you to the weekly Sabbath just prior to sundown. This being the case there is absolutely no justification for moving the Sabbath to Sunday.

Paul Met on the Seventh Day

Another argument made for changing the Sabbath to Sunday is based on Acts 20:6-7. Let’s examine those two verses. “But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”

The assumption is that Paul was worshiping on Sunday. A close ex-amination of the text reveals just the opposite. In actuality the mention of the first day of the week in conjunction with the Feast of Unleavened Bread shows that Paul was meeting with the brethren on the first weekly Sabbath of the seven-Sabbath count to the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).

The Companion Bible shows this. It contains the following note on Acts 20:7, “First = first day of the Sabbaths, i.e. the first day for reckoning the seven Sabbaths to Pentecost.” A close look at the scripture reveals the truth about the Sabbath. It should also be noted that he and the brethren were keeping Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread and not Easter, as “Passover” is erroneously translated in the KJV.

All through the Book of Acts we find Paul and the other Apostles observing the seventh-day Sabbath. It was Paul’s practice to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath. “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” Acts 17:2.

He engaged Jews and Greeks alike on the seventh-day Sabbath. “Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks,” Acts 18:4. Contrary to what is taught in mainstream Christianity, the Apostle Paul supported the keeping of Yahweh’s Law (Rom. 7:7-25). He taught that circumcision of the flesh was unnecessary for salvation (Gal. 6:15-16), and that the Law serves as our tutor so that we can be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24).

He understood and taught that the sacrificial law had been set aside through the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah—the Lamb of Yahweh. As stated in Hebrews 10:8-10, “First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Yahshua Messiah once for all.”

Why the Change to Sunday?

constantine-the-great (1)The adoption of Sunday for the Christian Sabbath has nothing to do with the Bible and everything to do with Constantine the Great. Constantine was emperor of the Roman Empire from 306 to 337 CE. He was a sun worshiper who near the end of his life (literally on his death bed) converted to Christianity. In 321 CE, while still a sun worshiper, Constantine established Sunday as a “venerable day,” distinct from the Jewish (seventh day) Sabbath.

Some scholars believe that this act was at least partially based on his hatred of the Jews. His edict did not affect the “Jewish True Believers,” as they continued to worship on the seventh-day Sabbath.

His edict started a chain of events within the Roman Catholic Church which culminated in 364 CE at the Council of Laodicea with a denouncement of anyone keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. This and other denunciations led to the persecution of True Believers who still observed the seventh-day Sabbath. From that point on Sunday as the Sabbath became a matter of church policy even though the change had nothing to do with the Scriptures.

The Seventh Day in the Kingdom

Almighty Yahweh has blessed His people by giving them the seventh-day Sabbath. Observance of this day provides True Worshipers an opportunity to show their love and respect for Yahweh as their Creator and Sustainer of life.

Yahshua the Messiah has set the example for us to keep the Sabbath holy and thereby re-ceive special spiritual and physical blessings from our Heavenly Father. As Master of the Sabbath He strictly observed it and did good deeds on the Sabbath. He showed us that the Sabbath was made for man so that we can rest from our labor and worship Yahweh.

Yahweh’s seventh-day Sabbath of rest is an everlasting sign of the covenant between Him and His people. Those belonging to spiritual Israel, who have entered into Yahweh’s everlasting covenant, observe that day. They have learned the lesson of preparing properly for the Sabbath. They sanctify the Sabbath and keep it holy by guarding their gates.

The Scriptures teach us that from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, True Worshipers have always observed Yahweh’s seventh-day Sabbath and that Yahweh has never changed His Sabbath to another day. It is truly a sad commentary that churchianity uses scripturally unfounded reasons to observe Sunday when the truth is that a pagan sun worshiper was the one who was responsible for the change.

No man has the authority to change what Yahweh ordained at creation. We must answer those who say otherwise with the words of the Apostle Peter in Acts 5:29, “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey Yahweh rather than men!’”

This article just skims the surface of biblical information proving that Yahweh’s seventh-day Sabbath is to be observed now, as it was in times past and as it will be in the future when our Savior returns and establishes the Kingdom of Yahweh on this earth.

Let us conclude by looking through the eyes of Isaiah the prophet, into the not too distant future and see the Sabbath being observed by all mankind. “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me, declares Yahweh, so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me, says Yahweh” (Isaiah 66:22-23).

May Yahweh richly reward the obedient now, who keep the com-mandments of Yahweh and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah. Click here for more Sabbath info!

by Elder Bob Wirl

feasts sabbaths, holy days, shabbat, moed,

Sabbath and Holy Days

Many who keep the seventh-day Sabbath have a problem with observing the annual Feasts of Leviticus 23. The world’s largest Sabbath-observing church has no trouble recognizing the necessity for keeping the weekly Sabbath, but it chooses to ignore the other Biblical Sabbaths – Yahweh’s annual holy days. This is not only illogical but also unscriptural.

When Yahweh reintroduced His observances to mankind in Leviticus 23, He began by saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts,” verse 2. In this chapter He details all seven annual Feast days, calling them “His,” not “Jewish.” But notice what comes first, at the start of this discourse: “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.” Then in verse 4 He continues the mandate by detailing the annual Feasts.

In this 23rd chapter the weekly Sabbath day as well as the annual Sabbaths are given to us in a single package. All are integrated under the phrase “feasts of Yahweh.” They are all listed as Yahweh’s unified command in this chapter and others and are all to be kept by the True Worshiper. To wrench the weekly Sabbath loose from the other Sabbaths and say that it is the only observance necessary today is to violate plain, Scriptural command. Revelation 22:19 warns not to take away the words from the Book and that is essentially what has been done by those who teach obedience only to the weekly Sabbath and not the annual Sabbaths.

Some may reason that because animal sacrifices are not required on the Holy Days, having been abolished, that the Holy Days themselves have been eliminated. But sacrifices were required on the weekly Sabbath as well. By that same logic the weekly Sabbath is no longer binding, either (see Num. 28:9-11). We know that this thinking is in error for another reason. We see the weekly Sabbath and the annual Feasts being observed in the New Testament by both Yahshua and the Apostles, even after His death (seeMark 6:2; Luke 23:56Acts 13:14; 16:13; 24:11; 1Cor. 5:7-9).

To confirm the importance of the Sabbaths for today, the Scriptures teach that both the weekly and annual Sabbaths will be enforced in the coming millennial Kingdom – see Isaiah 66:23-24; Hosea 12:9; Zechariah 14:16-18; Ezekiel 44:23-24; 45:21, 25; and 46:3, 9.

The four annual Sabbaths of the seventh month have not yet been fulfilled prophetically. These are known in order of appearance as: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day. Each gives us insights into what to expect in the time immediately ahead of us. The Apostle wrote in Colossians 2:16-17: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.”  This passage tells us that these days foreshadow what is coming. A shadow often arrives before the object casting it does, and that is the significance of this metaphor. Only the Body of Messiah has the right to judge a person’s observance of Yahweh’s Feasts because the Body should be observing them correctly.

To what prophetic event does each Feast specifically refer?

The return of Yahshua to earth is announced by a trumpet blast, 1Thessalonians 4:16. The Feast of Trumpets is a day of blowing  trumpets, which were traditionally used to call people together, Numbers 10. We read that Yahshua will gather His elect from the four winds of the earth at His return, Matthew 24:31. The Day of Atonement corresponds to the establishment of Yahshua as our High Priest come to earth from the heavenly Holy of Holies where He has been the past 2,000 years.  This day reminds us of the great price Yahshua paid for our sins by His death.

Tabernacles points to the millennial rule of Yahshua on earth following His return.  It is a Feast of seven days spent learning what that Kingdom will be like. At this annual Sabbath we come out of the world and taste a new world where Yahweh’s righteous standards will be in full force and all people being compliant. The temporary shelters we live in at Tabernacles teach us that we are only temporarily in this present world, which is not our true home.

The Last Great Day is a separate Feast where Yahshua finishes His work and turns all authority and power on earth over to His Father. It is a picture of post-millennial earth and a time when Yahweh will bring His own throne to the planet in the New Jerusalem,1Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 21.

The Feasts and weekly Sabbath stand or fall together. To take one without the other is to leave out half the Truth of Yahweh’s Word.

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Sabbath keeping

Sabbath Keeping- Answering the Arguments

How often have you wished you could explain a questionable Scripture or teaching but simply lacked the understanding? When someone blind-sides you with a particular point and you cannot think of a Scriptural response, what do you do? In this series called Defending the Truth, we will give you the popular polemics, along with a Biblical explanation that refutes what is commonly used against the Truth. We pray that as you study these topics you will never again be caught off guard as you grow in the knowledge and understanding of Yahweh’s Word.

Arguments About the Sabbath and Sunday
If you ever engage in discussions with Sunday keepers about the Sabbath, you will almost certainly be called on to answer six specific passages in the New Testament. Three of these are typically used in support of Sunday as the Sabbath. The other three are cited in an effort to show that there is no need to keep the Sabbath holy.

Let us look at the first three passages used in an effort to show that Sunday is the day of rest.


  • Acts 20:7: “And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

Wrong interpretation—The common idea is that Paul was holding a Sunday worship service.

Proper explanation—Note that the word “day” is italicized in the King James Version, meaning it was added by translators. The phrase should properly read, “And upon the first of the…” The word “week” in the Greek is Sabbaton, or Sabbath, Strong’s Greek Dictionary. In Word Studies in the New Testament, M.R. Vincent notes, “The noun Sabbath is often used after numerals in the signification of a week” (Acts 20:7 note). The Greek text behind this phrase, therefore, literally reads “And upon the first of the Sabbaths.”

First for what? The verse refers to the first weekly Sabbath in the seven-Sabbath (seven-week) count to Pentecost. Paul was moved to give a message on this day. This occurred following a regular meal that the disciples had enjoyed on a weekly Sabbath, not Sunday.


  • 1Corinthians 16:2: “And upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Elohim has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Wrong interpretation—Paul is telling the Corinthians to pass the collection plate at church on Sunday.

Proper explanation—In reality, this passage is speaking of coming to the aid of Judean brethren who were suffering from personal distress, perhaps because of famine (see Acts 11:27-30). Notice the preceding verse, where Paul’s subject is established. He calls it a “collection for the saints,” not for “church,” and he has already given orders to the Assemblies in Galatia to help out the brethren in their plight.

He tells the Corinthians to store the gatherings (Greek logia) beginning with the first of the week (again, “day” is italicized and was added by translators). Paul wanted them to prepare the gifts beforehand “that there be no gatherings when I come.”

In verse 3 he says he will send approved men to take the goods to Jerusalem. If this were just a monetary offering, it would take no more than one man to deliver it to Jerusalem. These, however, were laborious gatherings of foodstuffs and other essentials that were to be collected and made ready on the first of the week so that Paul could dispatch it all when he arrived.


  • Revelation 1:10: “I was in the spirit on the L-rd’s day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet…”

Wrong interpretation—The term “L-rd’s day” refers to Sunday (and Sunday worship).

Proper explanation—The phrases “L-rd’s day” and “day of the L-rd” refer specifically to the day of Yahshua’s return at the final trumpet sound announcing His Second Coming. Nowhere in the Bible is there any reference to Sunday in connection with these phrases. The only passage in the Bible where the specific term “L-rd’s day” is found is here in Revelation 1:10, where it defines the day of Yahshua’s return at the trumpet sound and the awesome events that surround it.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance lists a total of 20 passages containing the words “day of the L-rd.” In each of them we find reference to the dreadful, end-time day of the Savior’s return to destroy the wicked on this earth. In none of them is any mention made to Sunday or its worship. An example is Zephaniah 1:14-15, 17: “The great day of the Yahweh (L-rd) is near, it is near, and hastes greatly, even the voice of the day of the L-rd: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness…And I will bring distress upon men…”

Amos 5:18 warns those who desire and look forward to the day of Yahweh (the L-rd), saying that it is a day of darkness and not light. Paul writes in 1Thessalonians 5:2 that the day of Yahweh will come as a thief in the night. Joel 2:31 calls it “the great and terrible day of Yahweh.” Each instance speaks of the Second Coming of Yahshua. It is the exact opposite of a day of quiet, enjoyable, Sabbath rest!

Now we will deal with three passages most often cited to say that a Sabbath day is no longer necessary today.


  • Romans 14:5: “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Wrong interpretation—Whether to keep any day as a Sabbath is up to each individual.

Proper explanation—A good example of taking a passage out of context is this verse. Paul is not speaking about the Sabbath at all but about fasting. The other subject of the chapter is vegetarianism (see verses 2-3). He writes, “For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs.” Then in verse 3 Paul admonishes that eating or not eating is up to the individual. The Bible in Basic English translates verse 3 this way: “Let not him who takes food have a low opinion of him who does not: and let not him who does not take food be a judge of him who does; for he has [Elohim’s] approval.”

The issue of keeping a Sabbath of rest does not even enter into this passage. What is being discussed in verse 5 is the practice of some who choose one day over another to fast. The next verse (6) shows that some people placed one day over another in their devotion to fasting. (“He that eats, eats to Yahweh, for He gives Yahweh thanks.”) The problem was, some in the Assembly at Rome were being judged for doing so. Paul entreats us not to judge one another regarding eating or not eating, v. 13.

The summation of the chapter is in verses 20-21: “For meat destroy not the work of [Elohim]. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eats with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak.” Nothing in this entire chapter speaks of observing a Sabbath day.


  • Galatians 4:9-11: “But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”

Wrong interpretation—Yahweh has freed us from such observances as the Sabbath and Feasts, which are so much bondage.

Proper explanation—Paul is addressing a people here who had been converted to the knowledge of Yahweh. Who were these Galatians? Their name derives from “Gaul,” being a Celtic people from the area of ancient France and Belgium. These superstitious pagans had settled this region of Asia Minor and Paul was apparently the first to bring the truth of the Evangel to them. Now that they have been converted, they know Yahweh and He knows them, Paul writes.

But Paul is concerned that some of them are going back (“turn again”) to their old, superstitious worship, which he calls “weak and beggarly elements,” verse 3. These Galatians were being indoctrinated by Judaizers and no doubt were confused. The Judaizers had come among them teaching physical circumcision and other rituals of the law, which Paul had said are not necessary for salvation. (Paul addresses those holding the Judaizers’ doctrine in Acts 4:21.) As a result of their bewilderment, some were returning to their heathen worship of the mother deity Agdistis and perhaps sacrificing humans again, as well as observing their own days, months, times, and years in place of Yahweh’s commanded observances. Notice that Paul’s comment in verse 10 refers back to verse 8: “Howbeit when you knew not Elohim, you did service unto them which by nature are no mighty ones.”

Clearly, these people were returning to their old, idolatrous worship before they knew the true Yahweh. In no way is Paul bringing the Sabbath and Feasts of Yahweh into play, which are nowhere referred to as “days, months, times and years” in the Scriptures. Paul is concerned that he may have wasted his time converting these people if they go back to their former worship, verse 11. One translation renders the phrase, “turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto you desire again to be in bondage” as “back to the weak and helpless elemental false gods, whose slaves you want to be once more” (The New Testament: A New Translation).

Paul is not teaching the Galatians to reject the Sabbath, because he himself observed this commanded day of worship (Acts 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4). He also observed the annual Feasts (Acts 18:21; 20:6, 16).


  • Colossians 2:14, 16: “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 stake…Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah.”

Wrong interpretation—The laws, including the Sabbath, were nailed to the tree and the decision to keep any day holy is up to you; no one should judge you for doing so.

Proper explanation—Verse 14: When Yahshua was nailed to the tree, He brought an end to the Old Covenant system of animal sacrifices and ritual. Along with that were added laws the Jews imposed to make the law even more strict. We see this in verses 21-22: “Touch not; taste not; handle not; which are all to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men.” These were not Yahweh’s laws but man’s. We see this in the phrase “handwriting of ordinances.” Ordinances is the Greek dogma, meaning man-made rules and decrees. These were handwritten additions to the law meant to cause a further separation between Jew and Gentile. Four other passages use dogma and in each they refer to a man-made law or decree (see Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; Acts 17:7,Eph. 2:15).

The question is, were Yahweh’s laws “against us”? On the contrary! Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says His laws are for our good!Psalm 19:7 tells us that the law is perfect and even converts the soul. Yahshua tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments, John 14:15. Paul confirms that the law is holy and just and good, Romans 7:12.

Verse 16: When Paul converted the people to the way of Yahweh, he taught them Yahweh’s laws, including the Feasts and Sabbath, which he kept as well. As happens today, people who had no understanding were criticizing the Colossian brethren for keeping these days commanded in the Scriptures. So Paul admonishes them to let “no man” judge them. As the Greek indicates, the term “no man” means any outsider. Paul tells them not to let anyone outside the faith criticize them for what they do. And that includes what they ate, which was in compliance with the clean food laws of Leviticus 11.

Notice the italicized word is—”but the body is of Messiah.” Italicizing means the translators added the word is to try to make the passage clearer. But they made it worse. Without the word is, the passage suddenly becomes clear. Paul was saying, don’t let outsiders judge you about your obedience, but only the Body of Messiah should be allowed to discern these things.

Enter Mystery Worship

In addition to the New Testament, we also find evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath throughout the history of the “early church.” According to Dr. Augustus Neander in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church: “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday” (1843, p. 186).

Dr. Neander, who’s birth name was David Mendel, was a protestant minister and professor. In his book he validates that the change to Sunday was not inspired by the apostles, but was established on the law of man. As we saw earlier, there is no law in the New Testament promoting Sunday worship. All examples expressly establish the seventh-day as the only inspired Sabbath.

In his book History of Romanism, John Dowling confirms that paganism entered the early church. He writes, “There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruptions of Christianity, which are embodied in the Roman system, took their rise; yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery” (13th Edition, p. 65).

According to Dowling, the paganization of the church went far beyond the Sabbath. It touched almost every facet of the church and in so doing polluted what Yahshua and His apostles established in the New Testament. This included not only the Sabbath, but many of the popular holidays that are observed today, including Christmas and Easter. True to suspicions, we find a connection between Sunday and Christmas. Both were connected with sun worship.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the word Sunday literally means, “day of the sun.” (1966, p. 1826). Sunday was chosen because of its connection to sun worship. In like manner, Christmas was chosen because of its connection to a Roman cult known as Mithraism. This cult worshiped the sun deity Mithra, whose birth was on December 25. Once the church realized that they could not overcome this popular pagan cult, they decided to adopt December 25 as a Christian day of worship.

Constantine Commands Sunday

Issuing the first civil edict making Sunday the day of worship for His Roman empire was Constantine I or Saint Constantine, also known as Constantine the Great. He was emperor from 306 CE to 337 CE and according to history was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However, prior to his conversion it is well documented that this man was a sun worshiper and only converted upon his death bed. This is the same king who required Sunday observance by civil command!

In his famous edict of 321 CE, Constantine declared, “On the Venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”

Think about this — a sun worshipper changed the day that our Father in heaven established in favor of a day that was being honored and observed to the sun. This edict undeniably verifies the paganism of Sunday worship. There is, again, not a single verse in the New Testament confirming that the day of worship changed from the seventh to the first-day of the week. This change was only through the pen of man, not through the inspiration of Almighty Yahweh, the one with whom we should be concerned.

At the Council of Laodicea in 364 CE, 43 years after Constantine’s original edict, we find a second attempt to remove the Sabbath. In this decree the counsel of bishops declared, “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall by shut out from Christ.”

Not only did the bishops state here that Sunday was to be observed in lieu of the seventh-day Sabbath, but we find that they also forbade Christians from Judaizing the Sabbath. This provides irrefutable evidence that for 300 years after the death of Yahshua there were still “Christians” observing the Biblical Sabbath. It also shows the desire of the church to move away from its Jewish or Hebraic heritage.

In addition to absorbing pagan converts, antisemiticism was a key reason the Church abandoned many of the beliefs taught by the Messiah and His apostles, including a rejection of the Passover and the acceptance of Easter, a day that originally honored Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) g-ddess of light and spring.

It is essential to note that Sunday observance was not left to man’s freedom, but was, again, enforced by strict command of the government. In essence, it was forced obedience to man’s dogma, i.e., man-made doctrine. Through this decree and others that would come afterward Sunday became the counterfeit Sabbath. However, even with these efforts to criminalize those who would honor the true Sabbath, there are records showing that Sabbath observance was never completely removed.

For example, W.T. Skene writes in his book Adamnan Llife of St. Columbs about the Scottish church in the sixth century, “In this latter instance they seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours” (1874, p.96).

As believers we must realize that our assurance is rooted in the Hebraic faith, the same faith given to Abraham. To deviate from this is to forsake the faith of the Messiah and the forefathers of the Old Testament. In expounding upon His own coming, Yahshua made the following statement in Luke 24:4, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

Shocking Catholic Church Statements

“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address, reported in the Elizabeth, NJ ‘News’ on March 18, 1903.

“Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950.

“Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of G-d… The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.’’ Catholic Record, September 1, 1923.

“Of course these two old quotations are exactly correct. The Catholic Church designated Sunday as the day for corporate worship and gets full credit – or blame – for the change.” This Rock, The Magazine of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization, p.8, June 1997

‘The [Roman Catholic] Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.’’ The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4.

“… you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 88th edition, page 89. Originally published in 1876, republished and Copyright 1980 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., pages 72-73.

“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. “The Day of the Lord” (dies Dominica) was chosen, not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power. The day of resurrection, the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, came on the first day of the week. So this would be the new Sabbath. People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” Sentinel, Pastor’s page, Saint Catherine Catholic Church, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995

Shocking Lutheran Church Statements

Martin Luther, the prominent reformation leader and the instigator of the protestant movement, rejected the Catholic claim that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. He goes as far as to say the Catholic Church’s power is so great they dispensed of the Sabbath day. It truly is paradoxical why Martin Luther continued to follow the mother Church in this grievous error, after making this intriguing comment:

“They [the Catholics] allege the Sabbath changed into Sunday, the Lord’s day, contrary to the Decalogue (10 commandments), as it appears, neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, say they, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments.” -Augsburg Confession of Faith, Art. 28, par. 9.

“The Christians in the ancient church very soon distinguished the first day of the week, Sunday; however, not as a Sabbath, but as an assembly day of the church, to study the Word of G-d together, and to celebrate the ordinances one with another: without a shadow of doubt, this took place as early as the first part of the second century.”-Bishop GRIMELUND, “History of the Sabbath,” page 60

“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance.”- AUGUSTUS NEANDER, “History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Vol. 1, page 186.

“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christian of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.” The Sunday Problem, a study book by the Lutheran Church (1923) p.36

“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect” John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp.15, 16

Shocking Baptist Church Statements

“There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found: Not in the New Testament – absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the ‘Baptist Manual’.

“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ discussion with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false [Jewish traditional] glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during the forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He had said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach the subject.

Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-god, then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.” Dr. E. T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister’s Convention, in ‘New York Examiner,’ November 16, 1893

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.” -WILLIAM OWEN CARVER, “The Lord’s Day in Our Day,” page 49.

“There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day.” Harold Lindsell (editor), Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976

Shocking Church of Christ Statements

“But we do not find any direct command from G-d, or instruction from the risen Christ, or admonition from the early apostles, that the first day is to be substituted for the seventh day Sabbath.” “Let us be clear on this point. Though to the Christian ‘that day, the first day of the week’ is the most memorable of all days … there is no command or warrant in the New Testament for observing it as a holy day.” “The Roman Church selected the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection of Christ. …” Bible Standard, May, 1916, Auckland, New Zealand.

“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath. There never was any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”-“First-Day Observance,” pages 17, 19.

“It has reversed the fourth commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of G-d’s Word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday.” DR. N. SUMMERBELL, “History of the Christian Church,” Third Edition, page 4I5.

“… If the fourth command is binding upon us Gentiles by all means keep it. But let those who demand a strict observance of the Sabbath remember that the seventh day is the ONLY sabbath day commanded, and G-d never repealed that command. If you would keep the Sabbath, keep it; but Sunday is not the Sabbath. The argument of the ‘Seventh-day Adventists’ is on one point unassailable. It is the Seventh day not the first day that the command refers to.” G. Alridge, Editor, The Bible Standard, April, 1916.

Shocking Southern Baptist Church Statements

“The first four commandments set forth man’s obligations directly toward G-d…. But when we keep the first four commandments, we are likely to keep the other six. . . . The fourth commandment sets forth G-d’s claim on man’s time and thought…. The six days of labour and the rest on the Sabbath are to be maintained as a witness to G-d’s toil and rest in the creation. . . . No one of the ten words is of merely racial significance…. The Sabbath was established originally (long before Moses) in no special connection with the Hebrews, but as an institution for all mankind, in commemoration of G-d’s rest after the six days of creation. It was designed for all the descendants of Adam.”-Adult Quarterly, Southern Baptist Convention series, Aug. 15, 1937.

“The sacred name of the Seventh day is Sabbath. This fact is too clear to require argument [Exodus 20:10 quoted]… on this point the plain teaching of the Word has been admitted in all ages… Not once did the disciples apply the Sabbath law to the first day of the week, — that folly was left for a later age, nor did they pretend that the first day supplanted the seventh.” Joseph Hudson Taylor, ‘The Sabbatic Question’, p. 14-17, 41.

Shocking Protestant Episcopal Church Statement

“The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day… but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” ‘Explanation of Catechism’

Shocking Presbyterian Church Statements

“A further argument for the perpetuity of the Sabbath we have in Matthew 24:20, Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day. But the final destruction of Jerusalem was after the Christian dispensation was fully set up (AD 70). Yet it is plainly implied in these words of the Lord that even then Christians were bound to strict observation of the Sabbath.” Works of Jonathon Edwards, (Presby.) Vol. 4, p. 621.

“The Christian Sabbath (Sunday) is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath.” Dwight’s Theology, Vol. 14, p. 401.

“G-d instituted the Sabbath at the creation of man, setting apart the seventh day for the purpose, and imposed its observance as a universal and perpetual moral obligation upon the race.” ­American Presbyterian Board of Publication, Tract No. 175.

“The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath did not cease till it was abolished after the [Roman] empire became Christian,” ­American Presbyterian Board of Publication, Tract No. 118.

“The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue-the Ten Commandments. This alone for ever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution … Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand…The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”- T.C. BLAKE, D.D., “Theology Condensed,” pages 474, 475.

“There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments.

“Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, whereas the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all…. The truth is, so soon as we appeal to the litera scripta [literal writing] of the Bible, the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument.” The Christian at Work, April 19, 1883, and Jan. 1884

So the question remains for you, are you going to follow the Roman Catholic Church, who believes their power supersedes the word of Yahweh, or are you going to follow the word of Yahweh? Truth over tradition is the better choice.

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Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

How to Honor the Sabbath Day – French

Comment honorer le jour du Sabbat ?

Des millions de gens pensent rendre un culte au Père Céleste au jour qu’ils pensent être le jour du Sabbat, et cela tout en ignorant la partie concernant l’arrêt de tout travail. Néanmoins, relativement peu sont ceux qui comprennent la vérité à propos du réel jour de Sabbat ordonné dans les Écritures. Ils ne perçoivent absolument pas l’importance et l’impact de ce que le véritable jour de Sabbat, le septième jour, nous dit au sujet du véritable culte.

Considérez ce simple fait : le mot Shabbath apparaît 107 fois dans l’Ancien Testament et, étonnement, 68 fois dans le Nouveau Testament. Le « premier jour » de la semaine, au contraire, n’est mentionné que huit fois dans le Nouveau Testament, ce qui est une indication assez révélatrice identifiant le bon jour de Sabbat qui était observé à cette époque, et qui est toujours d’application de nos jours.

Aucune autre observance n’a le poids et les implications que le jour de Sabbat, le septième jour, a. Comme nous allons le voir, le Sabbat identifie les vrais adorateurs et les sépare des autres cultes.

Peut-être avez-vous le désir d’observer et d’honorer le même jour de Sabbat que Yahweh a sanctifié et ordonné pour Son peuple, mais vous n’êtes pas certains de la manière dont il faut agir.« Que dois-je faire le jour du Sabbat et qu’est-ce qui est interdit ? », vous demandez-vous. Dans cette publication, notre intention est de vous donner des points et des précisions à propos de l’observance du Sabbat et ce afin que vous soyez bénis par un bon respect du jour que Yahweh a donné exclusivement à Son peuple.

Le Sabbat est un jour de repos, un jour de culte, un jour de fraternisation, un jour de réjouissance, et un jour de réflexion. Parmi les jours spéciaux, le Sabbat est celui qui possède les plus profondes implications. Pour le peuple de Yahweh, il n’existe aucun autre jour aussi important que le Sabbat car il est le lien qui les identifie avec le Père. C’est un jour où une personne peut s’échapper des soucis du monde et méditer la Parole de Yahweh.

Dès le commencement, Yahweh créa et mit de côté le Sabbat comme un jour unique pour l’honorer : « [Elohim] acheva au septième jour son œuvre, qu’il avait faite: et il se reposa au septième jour de toute son œuvre, qu’il avait faite. [Elohim] bénit le septième jour, et il le sanctifia, parce qu’en ce jour il se reposa de toute son œuvre qu’il avait créée en la faisant. »(Genèse 2:2-3). Yahweh a utilisé six jours pour créer et mettre les cieux et la terre en état, après quoi Il se reposa au septième jour. Lorsque nous nous reposons le jour du Sabbat de Yahweh nous L’honorons en faisant ce que Lui-même a fait au septième jour.

Le signe du vrai culte

Le Sabbat hebdomadaire, tout comme les Sabbats annuels (fête des Pains sans levain, fête des Semaines, fête des Trompettes, jour des Expiations, fête des Tabernacles, et Dernier grand jour), est un signe entre Yahweh et Son peuple (Ézéchiel 20:12).

Les Sabbats sont la marque distinctive des élus de Yahweh, anciens et actuels. Voici l’instruction venant de Yahweh pour le Sabbat : « Parle aux enfants d’Israël, et dis-leur: Vous ne manquerez pas d’observer mes sabbats, car ce sera entre moi et vous, et parmi vos descendants, un signe auquel on connaîtra que je suis [Yahweh] qui vous sanctifie. Vous observerez le sabbat, car il sera pour vous une chose sainte. Celui qui le profanera, sera puni de mort; celui qui fera quelque ouvrage ce jour-là, sera retranché du milieu de son peuple » (Exode 31:13-14).

Il est important de saisir qu’aucun autre commandement n’a une importance aussi profonde, tout en évoquant de sérieuses conséquences pour sa profanation. De manière similaire, le Nom de Yahweh est également unique. Là où le Sabbat est le signe de Son peuple, le Nom de Yahweh est le sceau qui les scellera lors de la grande tribulation (Apocalypse 7:3 ; 14:1 ; 22:4). Tout comme pour le Sabbat, il n’existe aucun substitut pour ce sceau. Yahweh n’a qu’un seul nom, et non plusieurs (voir Philippiens 2:9).

Shabbath : un jour de repos complet

Le mot Sabbat vient de l’hébreu shabbath, qui signifie « se reposer, cesser ses activités ». Le Sabbat est, par-dessus tout, un repos complet tant de nos occupations professionnelles que de toutes activités qui pourraient causer une fatigue physique et nous éloigner du but de ce jour. Il s’agit d’un jour à utiliser exclusivement pour honorer Yahweh et Son Fils. De ce fait, toutes choses qui nous distrairaient de cet objectif doivent être évitées le septième jour.

Yahweh a donné plusieurs règles précises pour Son Sabbat. Les Dix Commandements forment un résumé de la loi morale de Yahweh, avec le quatrième détaillant spécifiquement les attentes de Yahweh lors du Sabbat. Il interdit à Son peuple de travailler, et rappelle que c’est Lui qui bénit et sanctifia ce jour pour l’humanité. « Souviens-toi du jour du repos, pour le sanctifier. Tu travailleras six jours, et tu feras tout ton ouvrage. Mais le septième jour est le jour du repos de [Yahweh, ton Elohim] tu ne feras aucun ouvrage, ni toi, ni ton fils, ni ta fille, ni ton serviteur, ni ta servante, ni ton bétail, ni l’étranger qui est dans tes portes. Car en six jours [Yahweh] a fait les cieux, la terre et la mer, et tout ce qui y est contenu, et il s’est reposé le septième jour: c’est pourquoi [Yahweh] a béni le jour du repos et l’a sanctifié » (Exode 20:8-11).

Le Quatrième Commandement met le Sabbat à part afin que toute la famille puisse l’observer, y compris ceux qui sont sous notre autorité, comme dans le cas d’un employé. Personne dans notre maison ou à l’intérieur de nos limites n’est exempté de l’observance du Sabbat, et cela inclut tous les animaux que nous possédons de sorte que ni un cheval ni un bœuf nous appartenant n’ait à travailler en ce jour. Une interdiction totale de travailler souligne la stricte sainteté du Sabbat.

Rendre un culte ensemble le septième jour

Yahweh nous encourage fortement à nous regrouper ou nous assembler comme un corps de croyants lors de Ses Sabbats hebdomadaires et annuels. « Parle aux enfants d’Israël, et tu leur diras: Les fêtes de [Yahweh], que vous publierez, seront de saintes convocations. Voici quelles sont mes fêtes. On travaillera six jours; mais le septième jour est le sabbat, le jour du repos: il y aura une sainte convocation. Vous ne ferez aucun ouvrage: c’est le sabbat de [Yahweh], dans toutes vos demeures » (Lévitique 23 :2-3).

Nous lisons dans le Nouveau Testament que le culte était rendu le Sabbat dans la synagogue. Yahshua Lui-même se rendait à la synagogue le jour du Sabbat (Luc 4:16), de même que Paul (Actes 17:1-2 ; 18:4).Dans le Royaume, tous les peuples rendront un culte à Yahweh lors du Sabbat (Esaïe 66:23). Pouvons-nous, dès lors, dire que le Sabbat n’a aucune importance de nos jours ?

La Bible décrit l’assemblée comme un corps uni dans le Messie. De ce corps, l’apôtre Paul disait que toutes les parties étaient nécessaires et essentielles pour le bénéfice de chacun. Qu’il manque même un seul des plus petits membres, et le corps est incapable de fonctionner avec tout son potentiel. Pour cette raison, il est crucial que tout le corps du Messie se regroupe durant les Sabbats hebdomadaires et annuels de Yahweh.

L’auteur du livre aux Hébreux réitère ce besoin indispensable de s’assembler lors des Sabbats hebdomadaires et annuels de Yahweh. « N’abandonnons pas notre assemblée, comme c’est la coutume de quelques-uns ; mais exhortons-nous réciproquement, et cela d’autant plus que vous voyez s’approcher le jour » (Hébreux 10:25).

Les derniers jours verront une détresse croissante et nous allons devoir de plus en plus nous reposer sur les croyants. (Téléchargez la brochure : « Comptez-vous sur un enlèvement à venir ? »)

Cuisiner, faire du commerce et allumer des feux

Hormis l’ordre de Yahweh de se reposer et d’adorer le jour du Sabbat, il y a plusieurs autres statuts qui régulent ce jour. Une activité interdite le sabbat est de cuisiner ou de préparer de la nourriture. « … C’est ce que [Yahweh] a ordonné. Demain est le jour du repos, le sabbat consacré à [Yahweh] ; faites cuire ce que vous avez à faire cuire, faites bouillir ce que vous avez à faire bouillir, et mettez en réserve jusqu’au matin tout ce qui restera » (Exode 16:23).

Dans l’Ancien Testament, la préparation de la manne demandait pas mal d’efforts. « La manne ressemblait à de la graine de coriandre, et avait l’apparence du bdellium. Le peuple se dispersait pour la ramasser; il la broyait avec des meules, ou la pilait dans un mortier; il la cuisait au pot, et en faisait des gâteaux. Elle avait le goût d’un gâteau à l’huile » (Nombres 11:7-8).

Afin d’éviter le processus intensif de préparation de la manne, Yahweh ordonna aux Israélites de préparer une quantité double de manne le sixième jour. En faisant ainsi, ils étaient libres de rendre un culte à Yahweh au septième jour. Bien que nous ne préparions plus de manne et que nous jouissons également d’équipements modernes qui nous évitent de tels efforts, nous continuons à observer ce statut en préparant tous les plats cuisinés la veille du Sabbat. La nourriture peut être réchauffée si nécessaire, mais cuisiner ou cuire doit être évité. L’interdiction concernant la préparation de la nourriture est quelque peu plus souple pour les Sabbats annuels qui se déroulent au début et à la fin des Fêtes (Exode 12:16).

Une deuxième interdiction est celle qui concerne le fait de s’abstenir d’acheter et vendre lors des Sabbats hebdomadaires et annuels. « … ne rien acheter, le jour du sabbat et les jours de fête, des peuples du pays qui apporteraient à vendre, le jour du sabbat, des marchandises ou denrées quelconques; et de faire relâche la septième année, en n’exigeant le paiement d’aucune dette » (Néhémie 10:31 ; voir aussi 13:15-21).

Lorsque les deux tribus de Juda et Benjamin furent relâchées de la captivité babylonienne par les Perses, les Israélites continuèrent à vivre comme s’ils étaient à Babylone. Sous Néhémie, les Israélites furent instruits de ne pas acheter ou vendre le jour du Sabbat. Néhémie, sous l’inspiration de Yahweh, comprit que le Sabbat n’était pas un jour de commerce mais un jour de culte et de fraternisation. Ce même principe s’applique à notre époque. Le Sabbat, pour le peuple actuel de Yahweh, continue d’être un jour d’adoration, de fraternisation, et d’éloignement du monde. Une personne ne peut observer le Sabbat tout en participant aux activités de ce monde car le monde n’a aucun respect pour ce jour et continuera à le souiller.

Une troisième interdiction liée au Sabbat dans la Torah de Yahweh est l’allumage d’un feu. « On travaillera six jours; mais le septième jour sera pour vous une chose sainte; c’est le sabbat, le jour du repos, consacré à [Yahweh]. Celui qui fera quelque ouvrage ce jour-là, sera puni de mort. Vous n’allumerez point de feu, dans aucune de vos demeures, le jour du sabbat » (Exode 35:2-3).

L’interprétation précise de ce passage est débattue par les érudits bibliques. Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry comprend ce passage comme se référant à l’allumage d’un feu pour des raisons de travail. « The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary » (Le Commentaire de l’Interprète en un volume) note à propos d’Exode 35:3 : « Uniquement ici, quoi qu’implicite dans 16:23, est l’interdiction du feu le jour du Sabbat. Il a été suggéré que ceci pourrait être un vestige de la religion des Kenites, forgerons du désert, à qui il était sans aucun doute interdit de fondre ou travailler le métal le jour du Sabbat. » Cette interprétation correspond au contexte du 35e chapitre et la fonte du métal pour la construction du tabernacle.

Toutes ces prescriptions sont inspirées par Yahweh et servent à protéger la pureté et la sainteté du Sabbat. En plus de s’abstenir du travail, le Sabbat est également un jour de pensées sans souillures et sobres. « Si tu retiens ton pied pendant le sabbat, pour ne pas faire ta volonté en mon saint jour, si tu fais du sabbat tes délices, pour sanctifier [Yahweh] en le glorifiant, et si tu l’honores en ne suivant point tes voies, en ne te livrant pas à tes penchants et à de vains discours » (Ésaïe 58:13).

Le Sabbat est un temps pendant lequel on se focalise sur Yahweh et non un temps pour discuter les choses habituelles. Il s’agit d’un jour mis à part pour étudier et apprendre la Parole de Yahweh. Si Yahweh ordonne qu’une personne se retienne de faire du commerce, de se livrer aux plaisirs et de travailler le jour du Sabbat, il s’en suit que toutes conversations impliquant ces choses devraient être évitées. Nos actions, nos pensées, et nos conversations durant le Sabbat devraient, d’une manière certaine, refléter Yahweh et L’honorer.

Exemples du Nouveau Testament

De nombreux passages du Nouveau Testament montrent Yahshua et Ses apôtres honorant le Sabbat de Yahweh, le septième jour. La croyance commune selon laquelle Yahshua a annulé le Sabbat du septième jour afin de faire place au jour du Seigneur est une croyance qui n’existe pas dans le Nouveau Testament.

Dans ce qui est considéré comme l’une des plus grandes prophéties des temps de la fin, Yahshua mentionne de ne pas profaner le Sabbat en se référant à la grande tribulation :  « … Priez pour que votre fuite n’arrive pas en hiver, ni un jour de sabbat » (Matthieu 24:19-20). Cette parole de Yahshua confirme qu’Il n’avait aucune intention d’annuler le Sabbat durant ou après son ministère terrestre.

Une autre évidence pour le Sabbat du septième jour peut être trouvée dans le texte préservant le premier conseil de l’assemblée primitive du Nouveau Testament : « Car, depuis bien des générations, Moïse a dans chaque ville des gens qui le prêchent, puisqu’on le lit tous les jours de sabbat dans les synagogues » (Actes 15:21). Ceci a eu lieu plus de dix ans après la mort de Yahshua sur le bois, pourtant les apôtres se faisaient les défenseurs du Sabbat du septième jour et l’observaient tout comme la Loi de Moïse (appelé Loi de Moïse car c’était celui par qui Yahweh avait transmis la loi à Israël, ainsi qu’à nous.)

Beaucoup considèrent l’apôtre Paul comme étant le champion de la chrétienté. La perception générale est que Paul a invalidé les lois et les commandements de l’Ancien Testament, y compris les Sabbats. Néanmoins, il y a plusieurs récits du Nouveau Testament apportant l’évidence qu’il observait non seulement les saints jours prescris par la Torah, mais aussi le Sabbat, le septième jour.

  • « Le jour du sabbat, nous nous rendîmes, hors de la porte, vers une rivière, où nous pensions que se trouvait un lieu de prière. Nous nous assîmes, et nous parlâmes aux femmes qui étaient réunies. » (Actes 16:13)
  • « Paul y entra, selon sa coutume. Pendant trois sabbats, il discuta avec eux, d’après les Écritures. » (Actes 17:2)
  • « Paul discourait dans la synagogue chaque sabbat, et il persuadait des Juifs et des Grecs. » (Actes 18:4)

Pareillement, dans l’épître aux Hébreux l’auteur confirme que le Sabbat du septième jour continue d’exister pour le peuple de Yahweh : « Il y a donc un repos de sabbat réservé au peuple de Dieu » (Hébreux 4:9). Ce passage est on ne peut plus clair et évident.

Il est évident aussi, par ces passages, que le Sabbat du septième jour est toujours commandé pour les assemblées de Yahweh du Nouveau Testament.

Exemples du Royaume millénaire

Il ne fait aucun doute que le Sabbat était ordonné et observé dans l’Ancien Testament. Il peut être également prouvé sans grande difficulté que Yahshua et Ses apôtres, y compris l’apôtre Paul dans le Nouveau Testament, observèrent le Sabbat du septième jour. Afin d’appuyer encore plus l’ordonnance du Sabbat, il peut être montré que le Sabbat sera observé par Yahshua et les saints durant le Millenium. Deux passages concernant le Millenium rendent cela très clair :

  • « À chaque nouvelle lune et à chaque sabbat, toute chair viendra se prosterner devant moi, dit l’Éternel. » (Ésaïe 66:23)
  • « Le peuple du pays se prosternera devant l’Éternel à l’entrée de cette porte, aux jours de sabbat et aux nouvelles lunes. » (Ézéchiel 46:3)

Suivez le propre exemple de Yahweh

Le commandement concernant le Sabbat est l’un des plus importants dans la Parole de Yahweh. Comme Il l’établit à la Création en Se reposant Lui-même ce jour là (Genèse 2:2), Yahweh a établit ce jour comme un signe entre Lui et Son peuple. Ce jour est tellement important que Yahweh Lui-même l’observa ! Il l’appelle un signe, et lorsque nous l’observons correctement nous reflétons Yahweh dans nos vies et recevons Ses bénédictions pour notre obéissance.

the sabbath day; the sabbath rest; is sabbath sunday; is sabbath saturday; should we rest on sunday

How to Honor the Sabbath Day

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Millions of people presume to worship the Heavenly Father on what they think is the Sabbath day, even while ignoring the part about resting from work.

Relatively few, however, have come to the truth of the true Sabbath day commanded in the Scriptures.  They completely miss the significance and impact of what the true seventh-day Sabbath means for True Worship.  Consider just this one fact: the word Sabbath appears 107 times in the Old Testament and a surprising 68 times in the New Testament. The “first day” of the week, however, is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, and “Sunday” does not appear at all. This is a revealing indication about which day was observed then and is still commanded as the proper Sabbath for today.

Consider just this one fact: the word Sabbath appears 107 times in the Old Testament and a surprising 68 times in the New Testament. The “first day” of the week, however, is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, and “Sunday” does not appear at all. This is a revealing indication about which day was observed then and is still commanded as the proper Sabbath for today.

No other biblical observance carries the weight and consequence as the seventh-day Sabbath. As we will see, the Sabbath identifies True Worshipers and separates them from nominal worship.  Maybe you have a desire to observe and honor the same Sabbath day Almighty Yahweh set apart and commanded for His people, as well as the same day your Savior observed, yet you are unsure exactly how to go about it. What should you do on the Sabbath and what is forbidden? Our intent here is to provide the scriptural guidelines of weekly Sabbath keeping, including the annual Sabbaths, so that you will be blessed in properly reverencing the day that Yahweh gave exclusively to His people.

The Sabbath is a day of rest, worship, fellowship, rejoicing, and meditation. As special days go, the Sabbaths have more profound implications than any other observances. For Yahweh’s people there is no more important a day than the Sabbaths because it is the link that identifies them with the Father, Exodus 31:17. It’s a day we escape the worldly cares and meditate on Yahweh’s Word.

From the beginning, Yahweh created and set aside the weekly Sabbath as a unique day to honor Him. “And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3). Yahweh spent six days creating and restoring the heavens and the earth and then rested on the seventh day. When we rest on Yahweh’s Sabbath we are honoring Him by what He did Himself on the seventh day.

The Sign of True Worship

The weekly Sabbath, along with the annual Sabbaths (Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day), is a sign between Yahweh and His people, Ezekiel 20:12.

The Sabbaths are the distinguishing mark of Yahweh’s chosen anciently and today. Yahweh said: “Speak also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh that does sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people” (Exodus 31:13-14).

It is important to recognize that no other command holds such profound significance, while evoking serious consequences for defilement.  In a similar way Yahweh’s Name is also unique. While the Sabbath is the sign of His people, Yahweh’s Name is the seal that will bind them in the Great Tribulation, Revelation 7:3, 14:1, 22:4. As with the Sabbath, there is no substitute for this seal. Yahweh has but one name, not many (Philippians 2:9).

A Day of Total Rest

The word Sabbath is from the Hebrew shabbath, which means, “to repose or to desist from exertion.” The Sabbath is, above all, a day of complete rest both from earning a living and from any activity that would cause physical exertion and draw us away from the purpose of this day. It is a day to be spent exclusively honoring Yahweh and His Son. Anything that detracts from this purpose should be avoided on the seventh day.

Our Father has given several specific regulations for His Sabbath. The Ten Commandments form a summary of Yahweh’s moral law, with the fourth one detailing specifically what Yahweh expects for the weekly Sabbath. He forbids His people from doing any work and to remember that it was He who blessed and sanctified this day for mankind by observing it Himself as our pattern for life. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your Elohim. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart” (Exodus 20:8-11).

The Fourth Commandment sets the weekly Sabbath aside for the entire family to observe, including those under our authority, as in the case of an employee. Nobody in our household or within our borders is exempt from keeping the Sabbath, including the very animals that we own so that no horse or ox of ours is made to work on this day. A universal prohibition of work underscores the strict sanctity of the Sabbath.

Come Together on His Sabbaths

Yahweh strongly encourages that we congregate or assemble as a body of believers on His weekly and annual Sabbaths. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:2-3). “Convocation” is miqra in the Hebrew and means a calling together of an assembly.

We find in the New Testament that worship took place on the worship Yahweh on the weekly and annual Sabbath, Isaiah 66:23; Zechariah 14:16. Can we say, then, that the Sabbaths have no relevance today?

The Bible describes the Assembly as a united Body in Messiah. Describing the importance of this Body the Apostle Paul said that all parts were needed and essential to the benefit of all. By missing even the most insignificant member the body is unable to function to its full potential. For this reason, it is crucial that all the body of Messiah congregate during Yahweh’s weekly and annual Sabbaths.  The author of Hebrews reiterates this indispensable need for assembling during Yahweh’s Sabbaths. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

The final days will see increasing tribulation and we will need to rely more and more on true believers.

Cancel Cooking and Commerce

Besides Yahweh’s command to rest and worship on the Sabbath, there are several other statutes that regulate this day. One activity prohibited on the Sabbath is cooking or preparing food. “Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning” (Exodus 16:23).

The process of preparing the manna was quite involved in the Old Testament. “And the manna was as coriander seed and the color thereof as the color of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil” (Numbers 11:7-8).

To avoid the work-intensive process of preparing the manna, Yahweh commanded that the Israelites prepare twice the amount of manna on the sixth day. By doing so they were free to worship Yahweh on the seventh. Even though we don’t prepare manna and also enjoy modern, work-saving conveniences, we continue to observe this statute by preparing all cooked meals prior to the Sabbath. Foods can be reheated if necessary, but cooking or baking must be avoided. The prohibition on food preparation is somewhat more relaxed for the annual Sabbaths during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Exodus 12:16.

A second prohibition is to abstain from buying and selling on the weekly and annual Sabbaths.

“When the peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from on the Sabbath or on any holy day…” (Nehemiah 10:31; see also 13:15-21).

Benjamin were released from Babylonian captivity by the Persians the Israelites continued life as if they were yet in Babylon. Under Nehemiah the Israelites were instructed not to buy or sell on the Sabbath. Nehemiah, through Yahweh’s inspiration, understood that the Sabbath was not a day of commerce but of worship and fellowship. This same concept applies to our day. The Sabbath for Yahweh’s people today continues to be a day of worship, fellowship, and escape from the world. A person cannot observe the Sabbath and still participate in the world and its activities because the world has no regard for this day and will continue to pollute it.

Fire Conditions Hazardous

A third Sabbath prohibition in Yahweh’s law is the kindling of fire: “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh: whosoever does work therein shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day” (Exodus 35:2-3).

The precise interpretation of this passage is debated among biblical scholars. The word “kindle” is derived from the Hebrew ba’ar, a primitive root, meaning, “to kindle, i.e. consume…”   (Strong’s).  The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this word as, “to burn, to consume, to kindle, to be kindled.” Does this command refer only to the kindling or the starting of a fire or does it also include refueling the fire once lit and does it refer to all fires or those only for specific purposes?

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament states , “After the restoration of the covenant, Moses announced to the people the divine commands with reference to the holy place of the tabernacle which was to be built. He repeated first of all (vv. 1-3) the law of the Sabbath according to Ex. 31:13-17, and strengthened it by the announcement, that on the Sabbath no fire was to be kindled in their dwelling, because this rule was to be observed even in connection with the work to be done for the tabernacle,” note on Exodus 35:1-29.

Based on the fact that this command immediately precedes the building of the Tabernacle, some maintain that this prohibition refers only to fire for work on the tabernacle; however, based on the Hebrew and the limited context, this interpretation is uncertain.

The JPS Torah Commentary conveys the rabbinic interpretation, “The injunction is practically a verbatim repetition on 31:15, with an addition. The manner in which the prohibition against kindling fire on the Sabbath is worded led the rabbis of the Talmud to understand that fire may not be kindled on the Sabbath itself; however, fire lit before the Sabbath and not refueled on the Sabbath is permitted. The Jewish sectarians known as Karaites rejected the interpretation and spent a day in darkness….”

When offering an explanation for this command, it’s important to remember the spirit or intent of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day to abstain from work and physical exertion. For this reason, it’s likely that this command would include not only the actual kindling or starting of the fire, but the preparation for the fire. Once the fire is lit and assuming proper provisions were made by ensuring sufficient supply of fuel, keeping the fire lit by refueling would likely be permissible.  This and the previous requisites are inspired by Yahweh and serve to protect the purity and separateness of the Sabbath. Besides abstaining from work, the Sabbath is also a day of sober and unadulterated thought. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Yahweh, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words” (Isaiah 58:13).

The Sabbath is a time to be spent focused on Yahweh and not a time to discuss the commonplace. This is a time to study and learn Yahweh’s Word. If Yahweh commands that a person refrain from commerce, pleasures, and work on the Sabbath, it follows that conversations involving these things should also be avoided. Our actions, thoughts, and discussions on the Sabbath should in some fashion reflect Yahweh and honor Him.

In addition to the weekly Sabbath, the annual Sabbaths provide for some unique requirements. In this next section we will explore each of the annual Sabbaths and provide the special conditions of each. For questions on the scriptural calendar, check out our free booklet: The Biblical Calendar


Even though the Passover is not a Sabbath, it’s a memorial that we’re to observe. It’s perhaps the most solemn of all days, as it represents the death of Yahshua the Messiah, our Savior. The Passover has several special observances, including the actual timing of the day.      This day is observed on the 14th day of Abib, the first biblical month, at evening. “…The timing of the word ‘evening’ has been a matter of debate for millennia. It is derived from the Hebrew phrase ben ha arbayim, which literally means, ‘between the two evenings.’ While rabbinical Judaism and Pharisaic and Talmudic tradition define ben ha arbayim as ‘between noon and sunset,’       this came about through a period of expansion over the centuries. The Sadducees, the Karaites, and the Samaritans define this phrase as between sunset and complete darkness. See Numbers 9:3-5, 11 and Leviticus 23:5. Based on scriptural evidence and modern scholarship, the latter interpretation is favored. According to The Interpreter’s Bible, the latter definition is the older of the two views: ‘The usage of the time referring to that after sunset and before darkness is the older practice’ (p. 919). This was also the same time as the evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-39),” Restoration Study Bible, note on Exodus 12:6 (for more information on ordering the Restoration Study Bible, visit http:// restorationstudybible.com).

Those who partook of the Passover in the Old Testament had to be physically circumcised, Exodus 12:44. Today, we fulfill this requirement by baptism into Yahshua’s Name. Paul in Colossians 2:1112 explains, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Yahweh, who hath raised him from the dead.” When we are immersed into Yahshua’s Name we are spiritually circumcised.

The Passover emblems of which Yahshua and His Apostles partook are also important to understand. Yahshua instructed His disciples in Matthew 26:26-28: “And as they were eating, Yahshua took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

The bread that Yahshua broke with His disciples, representing His body, was unleavened. This was in accordance with Old Testament law. “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it,” Exodus 12:8. Our Father specifically commands that we eat only unleavened bread with the Passover. Leavened bread, i.e., bread made with yeast, is forbidden with the Passover memorial.

The drink mentioned likely refers to grape juice. As we note in the Restoration Study Bible, “…The word ‘fruit’ comes from the Greek gennema and means ‘the fruit of the earth,’ referring to the pure blood of the grape (Deut. 32:14). According to the Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, ‘there is no proof that it was fermented and intoxicating, for it is called “wine” while in the cluster (Isa. 65:8).’ Numerous verses speak of the winepress even though only grapes were put in it. In addition, the Old Testament prohibits all leavening from the Passover memorial (Ex. 12:18; Deut. 16:3), and wine has been fermented by yeast,” note on Luke 22:18.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the15th day of Abib. It is seven days in duration with two holy convocations, a sacred meeting or fellowship, occurring on the first and seventh day, Leviticus 23:6-8. During this time Scripture commands that we remove all leavening from our homes. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel,” Exodus 12:15.

The word “leaven” here is derived from the Hebrew se’or and refers to a “…yeast-cake (as swelling by fermentation)” (Strong’s). Similarly, the phrase “leavened bread” comes from the Hebrew chamets, meaning, “ferment, (figuratively) extortion” (Strong’s). Since these words imply not only leavened bread, but fermentation through leavening or yeast, we’re to remove all forms of leavening from our homes.

What are these leavening forms or as they are often called, leavening agents? These are substances used in doughs and batters that cause them to rise. In the presence of moisture, heat, acidity, or other triggers the leavening agent reacts to produce gas (often carbon dioxide) that becomes trapped as bubbles within the dough. When a dough or batter is baked, it “sets” and the holes left by the gas bubbles remain. This is what gives breads, cakes, and other baked goods their soft, sponge-like textures. Common leavening agents include: baker’s yeast, active dried yeast, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate), sourdough, ammonium carbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, potassium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate and dipotassium carbonate.

Since the first and last days are holy convocations, we’re also to abstain from work and commerce. While meal preparation is to be kept to a minimum, this Feast does allow for limited meal preparation: “And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you,” Exodus 12:16. This allowance might have been the result of Israel’s rushed departure from among the Egyptians. As they did not have time to allow the dough to rise, they did not have adequate time to prepare meals for the multitude.

Feast of Weeks

The next Feast, the Feast of Weeks or as it’s often called, Pentecost, is a single day that is 50 days from when the priest would wave (i.e., side to side) the omer offering. It was the first fruits of the barley harvest presented to Yahweh on the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Similar to its predecessor, this Feast is a holy convocation: “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations,” Leviticus 23:21. The word “servile” comes from the Hebrew abodah and means, “…work of any kind,” (Strong’s). As such, all work, including meal preparation, is to be avoided. Commerce is also restricted, Nehemiah 10:31.

Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets is akin to the Feast of Weeks, as it too is a holy convocation: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blow- ing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:24-25.  The word “Sabbath” here is from the Hebrew shabbathown. Strong’s defines this term as, “…a sabbatism or special holiday.” This word is different from the weekly Sabbath, which is from the Hebrew shabbath. While both words share the same root (i.e., shabath, meaning, “to repose or desist from exertion”), shabbathown seems to be slightly less restrictive. Gesenius calls it a great Sabbath.

Afflict the Heart on Atonement

The next Feast is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. It falls on the tenth day of the seventh month. It contains two special requirements: “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath,” Leviticus 23:32.

The first restriction is that this day is a strict Sabbath. The word Sabbath here is the same word used for the weekly Sabbath, illustrating the strict prohibition against work. This is the only annual Sabbath where shabbath is used to describe the day.

In addition to resting, we must also afflict our souls. Afflict refers to fasting, abstaining from food and drink from sunset to sunset, beginning on the tenth day and seventh month. According to The JPS Torah Commentary, “In biblical literature the idiom ‘innah nefesh always connotes fasting, as Ibn Ezra observed and as we may deduce from the context of Isaiah 58:3,10 and Psalms 35:13.” As well as to the above references, the Bible provides additional evidence that a true fast is one without food and drink.

  • “So the people  of Nineveh believed Elohim, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water,” Jonah 3:5-7.
  • “Then Ezra rose up from before  the house of  Elohim, and  went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away,” Ezra 10:6.
  • “And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?” Luke 5:33.
  • “And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink,” Acts 9:8-9.

In the New Testament, Atonement is simply called “the fast.” Acts 27:9 states, “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them.” The word “fast” comes from the Greek nesteia and means, “…abstinence (from lack of food, and voluntary as a religious exercise); specifically, the fast of the Day of Atonement” (Strong’s).

Feast of Tabernacles

Akin to the Feast of Unleavened

Bread, this next Feast is also seven days in duration. It begins on the fifteen day of the seventh month and contains a holy convocation on the first day. Even though there’s only one holy convocation, Scripture commands that we attend and worship each day.

“Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto Yahweh thy Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose: because Yahweh thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice,” Deuteronomy 16:13-16.

Not only are we to worship for all seven days, but we’re to worship with our entire family. Some claim that this Feast is for only the baptized men. This is not true. All believers are commanded to come out to worship Yahweh for all seven days where he places His Name, Deuteronomy 14:23.

In contrast to the other Feasts, during this time we are commanded to stay in booths. “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim,” Leviticus 23:42-43. This word “booths” comes from the Hebrew cukkah and according to Strong’s refers to a “hut or lair.” The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this term as, “a thicket, a covert, a booth.” In essence, the word “booth” refers to a temporary dwelling. Based on these definitions, we believe that a tent, cabin or any other temporary building is adequate. As such, we observe the Feast away from our homes, normally in a wilderness setting, as a memorial of Israel’s travels in the wilderness.

The Last Great Day

The Last Great Day or the eighth day immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles, just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread follows the Passover. Scripture confirms that this day is a holy convocation: “…on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein,” Leviticus 23:36.

As explained earlier, a holy convocation is both a day that we are to congregate for worship and fellowship and to also abstain from labor. Since this follows the seven days of Tabernacles, most view this in connection with its predecessor. What makes this day special is that it brings an end to Yahweh’s annual Sabbaths.  This prophetically likely foreshadows the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15, as explained in our booklet, Sabbath Keeping- Answering the Arguments.

New Testament Examples

Numerous New Testament passages illustrate that Yahshua and His Apostles honored Yahweh’s seventh-day and annual Sabbaths. The common belief that Yahshua annulled the seventh-day Sabbath to make room for the L-rds Day is missing from the New Testament.  In what is considered to be one of the greatest end-time prophecies, Yahshua made a reference to not profaning the Sabbath, referring to the Great Tribulation. “…But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day” (Matt. 24:19-20). This statement by Yahshua confirms that He had no intentions to annul the Sabbath during or after his earthly ministry.

Further evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath can be found at the first recorded council of the early New Testament assembly. “For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day” (Acts 15:21, KJV). This was more than ten years after Yahshua’s death on the stake, and yet the Apostles were advocating and observing the seventh-day Sabbath as well as the Law of Moses (called Moses’ law because he was the one through whom Yahweh transmitted the law to Israel, and also to us.)  Many consider the Apostle Paul to be the founder and champion of churchianity. The general perception is that Paul invalidated Old Testament laws and commandments, including the Sabbaths. However, several New Testament accounts provide evidence that he observed not only the Torah-prescribed holy days, but also the seventh-day Sabbath.

  • “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 16:13).
  • “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and  three Sabbath days [three consecutive Sabbaths] reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (Acts 17:2).
  • “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4).

Also, in the Book of Hebrews the author confirms that the seventh day Sabbath continues to exist for Yahweh’s people. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of Elohim” (Heb. 4:9). This passage could not be more clear or obvious. It is plain from these passages that the seventh-day Sabbath is still commanded for Yahweh’s New Testament assemblies.

In addition to the weekly Sabbath, we find numerous instances where the annual Sabbaths were being observed in the New Testament:

  • “And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. And those were the days of unleavened bread” (Acts 12:3).
  • “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened  bread ,  and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days” (Acts 20:6).
  • “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor. 5:6).
  • “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).
  • “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would  not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16).
  • “For I will  not see you now by  the  way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if Yahweh permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1Cor. 16:7-8).
  • “After these    things  Yahshua walked in Galilee: for he would  not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:1-2, 37).

Observance Continues in the Millennial Kingdom

Without a doubt the Sabbath was commanded and observed in the Old Testament. It can also be proved with little difficulty that Yahshua and His Apostles, including the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, observed the seventh-day Sabbath. To further substantiate the Sabbath command it can be shown that the weekly and annual Sabbaths will be observed by Yahshua and the saints in the Millennium.

  • “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, says Yahweh” (Isa. 66:23).
  • “Likewise the people  of  the land shall worship at the door of  this gate before Yahweh in the Sabbaths and in the new moons” (Ezek. 46:3).
  • “In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten…In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil” (Ezek. 45:21, 25).
  • “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16-18).

This last Scripture confirms that along with the weekly Sabbath that the annual Feasts will be mandatory for all nations, including Egypt. Those who willfully reject the Sabbath shall receive the plague of no rain. In the Kingdom, life will return to an agricultural society (Micah 4:3-4), which will make rain an essential part of everyday life. Those who reject Yahweh’s weekly and annual Sabbaths will pay a steep price for their open rebellion.

Follow Yahweh’s Own Lead

The Sabbath command is one of the most significant in Yahweh’s Word. Since He established it at creation by resting Himself this day (Gen. 2:2), Yahweh has ordained this day as a sign between Him and His people. The day is so important that Yahweh Himself observed it! He calls it a sign, and when we observe it correctly we reflect Yahweh in our lives and receive His blessings for obedience.

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lunar sabbath; lunar sabbath vs seventh day sabbath; moon sabbath

The Lunar Sabbath Illusion

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Biblical months are based on the moon, and they begin at the first appearance of the visible crescent new moon. Our word month even derives from the word moon, moon(th). But a surprising doctrine is taking hold among a few contending that the weekly Sabbath is also set by the new moon each month. It teaches that the weekly Sabbath day floats all over the week.

Once you recover from your utter disbelief at first hearing such a teaching, you entertain the possibility of trying to fit this lunar sabbath notion into Scripture. You quickly realize that no matter how you try to coax it, twist it or force it, establishing the weekly Sabbath by this method is impossible. It does violence both to historical fact and to Yahweh’s clear commands

Here is how the scheme works:

MP900444188[1]The new moon is considered like a sabbath — a day of no work. Every month begins with a new moon. The first work day is the second day of the count followed by 5 more work days. That gets you through the 7th day of the month (new moon  day plus 6 work days). The 8th day of the month is also the first weekly Sabbath of the month. Six more days of work gets you to the 15th as the next weekly Sabbath. Six more days of work and you come to the 3rd weekly Sabbath on the 22nd. Six more work days gets you to the 29th of the month, which is the last weekly Sabbath in the month. Then comes the next new moon, which is a not a work day but is a sabbath, but not a weekly Sabbath. Thus the weekly Sabbaths will always land on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of month. Some months will end with the weekly Sabbath on the 29th followed by the new moon  Sabbath the next day. More often, months will have an extra day or two between the last Sabbath and the next new moon day. Therefore you often have two or three Sabbaths or “non-work days” in a row before the new month begins.

As we will show, the new moon is not a day of rest or a sabbath. In addition, the word week derives from a Hebrew word meaning “sevened” (sheb-u-wah).  It is connected to a sequence of sevens, not to the new moon and not to more than seven. It begins with day one and ends with the seventh day, not the eighth day. Neither is “Sabbath” in any way linked etymologically to the word moon.

Falling on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th day of each lunar month initiated by the new moon means the Sabbath would also fall about the time of the new moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter. Most lunar sabbatarians do not consider the new moon day to be a day of the week, but rather a day of “no regular work.” The first day of the actual week for them comes on the second day of the lunar month, making the eighth day the first weekly Sabbath and not the seventh as Yahweh commands.

But dissension exists in the lunarian ranks because some lunar sabbatarians believe that the weekly Sabbath falls on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days of the month.

Such details aside, the general thrust of this theory is that just by looking at the moon you are supposed to be able to tell when the weekly Sabbath occurs, always falling on specific lunar phases. That is the main point for this doctrine–to produce a heavenly marker to determine when the Sabbath occurs, instead of associating the Sabbath with Yahweh’s own example of rest as we are commanded, Exodus 20:11, 31:17. We will show the fallacy of the heavenly marker notion momentarily.

The scheme also means that the Sabbath floats around and can land on any day of the week each month. If the new moon falls on a Tuesday, the Sabbath will be on succeeding Tuesdays of that month. Then it will flip to another day of the week the next month when the Sabbath is “re-set” by the appearance of the new moon.

Consider the logistical nightmare for a moment. If you as a lunar sabbath follower have a regular job or are responsibly self-employed, you are continually taking off work to observe the Sabbath on different days of the week depending on the moon. Does Yahweh require playing musical chairs with the Sabbath and make earning a living nearly untenable for the vast majority of believers? Hardly. He is an Elohim of order and consistency, not confusion (1Corinthians 14:40, Malachi 3:6).

Many more difficulties than this, however, are presented by the lunar sabbath doctrine. As noted, when the end of the month comes it will typically have an extra day or two left over before the next new moon arrives. That’s because the month is 29.5 days from new moon to new moon and not four sevens (28 days).  These extra days don’t fit in anywhere. The Scriptures nowhere recognize them or address them. So what do you do with these leftover days?

Many lunar sabbatarians just ignore them. Others keep them as Sabbaths, meaning they observe an additional sabbath or two or three in a row. Try explaining that to your employer, or to Yahweh for that matter. The Fourth Commandment says to work six days and rest the seventh, which is the Sabbath, not Sabbaths. Scripture nowhere allows for or addresses multiple consecutive Sabbaths. No day can be added in and none can be ignored. All days must fit into the Fourth Commandment command of work for 6, rest the 7th.

Nothing in Yahweh’s Word says the moon has anything to do with the weekly Sabbath. Regardless, there are Herculean efforts to force the lunar sabbath teaching into the Scriptures. Some lunar proponents also say that the seventh-day Saturday Sabbath is pagan, and that even the universal weekly cycle is pagan in origin. They have a problem with the Sabbath falling on Saturn’s day (Saturday) but apparently have no issue at all when it falls on Sun’s Day, Moon’s Day, Tiw’s day, Woden’s Day, Thor’s Day or Frei’s Day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—all honoring heathen deities). Which came first, Saturn’s-day or the seventh day? Man’s spin is irrelevant.

As with every teaching, to be true it must stand up to the scrutiny of the unadulterated Word of Yahweh. If not, it’s bogus. In that case we abandon the teaching.

MC900433135[1]Genesis 1:14: A Generic Proof Text

Genesis 1:14 is often cited to support a smorgasbord of calendar teachings, including a sunrise Sabbath doctrine and a solar-based, calculated calendar. Not to be left out, the lunar sabbatarians also seize on this Scripture as the preeminent proof for their doctrine. Because the passage is so general in its wording it can be applied to any number of anomalous teachings—a one-size-fits-all scripture.

Here is Genesis 1:14: “And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and Elohim saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

Most lunar sabbatarians will make the following assumptions from this verse:

  • only the “lights in the heavens” determine the Sabbath, and
  • to determine the monthly cycle of Sabbaths requires the use of both heavenly lights—the sun and the moon.

In truth, what the passage does specifically tell us is that the sun is to mark the day and the moon is to rule the night and that Yahweh set the sun and moon in their orbits on the fourth day of creation. That is the end of the specifics. Asked how this passage directly links the moon with the Sabbath, the lunar sabbatarian begins a game of dodge ball. He must do that because nothing in this pericope links the moon and its phases directly to the weekly Sabbath. Incidentally, what role the stars play the lunar sabbatarian does not explain, giving only a selective interpretation to the passage.

Attempts at a Sabbath in the Sky

Lunar Sabbath proponents believe that the moon must be used to identify the Sabbath because the seventh-day Sabbath rhythm is not otherwise evident in nature. That is not entirely true. Science is finding a continuous, rhythmic, seven-day behavioral cycle built into both the plant and animal kingdoms. Even humans need a regular rest every seven days to maintain good physical and mental health.

Not even seasoned astronomers can simply look at just the moon’s phases and distinguish one day from another with 100 percent accuracy every time. Quarter phases can be confusing in their closeness. Because of such close resemblances in the moon’s appearance the average person would need technical training to determine the Sabbath. He would also need a lot of clear skies during each of those critical phases in order to get the Sabbath right.

When it comes to the Full Moon it gets really uncertain, with three or four consecutive moons every month all appearing full. Which one do you choose as the Sabbath moon? Note this from scientists: “Although Full Moon occurs each month at a specific date and time, the Moon’s disk may appear to be full for several nights in a row if it is clear. This is because the percentage of the Moon’s disk that appears illuminated changes very slowly around the time of Full Moon. The Moon may appear 100% illuminated only on the night closest to the time of exact Full Moon, but on the night before and night after will appear 97-99% illuminated; most people would not notice the difference. Even two days from Full Moon the Moon’s disk is 93-97% illuminated” (quotation from U.S. Naval Observatory).

But that’s not all. Every 2.7 years there are two full moons in a month, the second of which is known as the Blue Moon. So how would the average believer know when that will happen, not to mention decide which full moon is the correct one?

Now be honest: does Yahweh establish His weekly Sabbath amid all this uncertainty and confusion? He is not the author of confusion, 1Corinthins 14:33. Are His people supposed to be aware of and distinguish among all the anomalies and similarities in lunar appearances when they keep the day of rest? Do we need college degrees in astronomy to observe the right Sabbath holy? Does that sound like the design of a wise Creator who gives plain and simple laws for us to keep? What about David out tending his flocks in the field, did he know all of this? Or did he just need to know how to count to seven for the proper time to observe the Sabbath? Frankly, the lunar Sabbath scheme appears like the shenanigans of mythical Greek deities trying to frustrate their human subjects just for the fun of it.

The creation account in Genesis 2 plainly teaches that the weekly Sabbath cycle was not based on the heavenly luminaries but simply on the seven days in the original creation week put in perpetual motion by Yahweh:

“And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made” (Gen. 2:2-3).  The reason the Sabbath is the Sabbath is not because of an association with the new moon and other lunar phases, but because Yahweh Himself blessed it and set it apart on the final day of creation week. No wonder He commands us to “remember” the Sabbath to keep it holy. We remember the original Sabbath He created by keeping it exactly as it has been passed down through the millennia. Man-made calendars may tweak the months, but the Sabbath continues in its cycle unchanged and unfazed by any calendar.

The Sabbath and its sequence in the week is the result of a direct action of Yahweh—originating entirely from His own personal rest on the seventh day. Because of His own activities the weekly Sabbath is directly tied to worship of Him following His own example. It is His day made for man. No wonder He says the Sabbath is the one sign identifying His people. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: [now notice the special link:] for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed,” Exodus 31:17.

Notice further that the “week” is not mentioned in Genesis 1:14. The reference is simply to “seasons” [moedim], “days,” and “years.” Clearly, Yahweh established the weekly cycle differently, basing it upon His own example of rest and not on what is seen or reasoned by man. Otherwise He would have included the word “weeks” in the list of things to be determined by the greater and lesser lights of Genesis 1:14. Yet He did not—not in Genesis or anywhere else.

“But seasons means appointed times and the Sabbath is an appointed time,” will be the argument. That is correct. But where does this passage or any other specifically link the new moon to the weekly Sabbath? Nowhere but in the imagination of the lunar sabbatarian.

Is the New Moon Day a Sabbath of Rest?

Some say the new moon was a day of rest because David was to meet with the king at his table on the new moon, 1Samuel 2:5. They also say that sacrifices were offered on the new moon, Ezekiel 46:6, just as they were commanded on the Sabbath.

When does a meal with a king constitute a weekly Sabbath? Wouldn’t a Sabbath be indicated by a meeting with a priest at the temple? Neither do sacrifices in themselves prove a Sabbath, because there were sacrifices commanded every day, Numbers 29:6 and Hebrews 7:27.

Was the new moon celebrated with rest in the same way as the Sabbath, as one branch of lunar sabbatarianism claims? If so, why does Yahweh command work on new moon days, and why do we find labor being done on new moon days?

Exodus 40:1, 2 and 17 reads: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shall you set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation… And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.” (Read all of Exodus 40 to learn just how much work was done on the new moon day.)

If every new moon day is a Sabbath or a day of no work, why does Yahweh command Zerubbabel to gather wood and build the temple upon the first day of the month? (Haggai 1:1, 2, 8, 12).

If every new moon day is a Sabbath, why do we not find any command to rest upon it (with the exception of the Feast of Trumpets, which falls on the new moon of the 7th month)?  Shouldn’t we find it listed as a Sabbath among the appointed times of Leviticus 23? What explanation can be given to the fact that nowhere in Scripture is the command to cease from labor upon the new moon day, or upon the extra days that fall out each month?

Shabbat and Shabbatown: Different Kinds of Sabbath

Another contention by lunar sabbath proponents is that because the seven annual feast day Sabbaths are determined by counting from the new moon, so also should the weekly Sabbath be set by the moon because an annual Sabbath is no different from a weekly Sabbath.

Not so.  The word used for the weekly Sabbath (in Hebrew) is “shabbat” (7676) while the word behind the feast day Sabbath is “shabbatown” (7677). High-day Sabbaths are different from the weekly Sabbath. From Exodus 12:16 we learn that on the high day Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, for instance, some work to prepare food is allowed “so that all may eat.” No such leeway is given for the weekly Sabbath.

The weekly Sabbath is a memorial to Yahweh’s creative act and His subsequent rest. He did not create high day Sabbaths by resting on them. To say the weekly Sabbath changes every month according to the cycles of the moon is to make the memorial to the creative rest of Yahweh into a memorial to the moon.

More Problems Using Genesis 1:14 

A key problem with the lunar sabbath doctrine is that events surrounding the creation of the moon in Genesis 1:14-16 did not take place until the 4th day. The week was more than half over by the time the moon was placed into orbit, so how can the moon establish the start of the week?

Never did Yahweh ever say He reset the week after four creation days by utilizing the now-orbiting new moon. That is a critical piece of information we must have if we are to base Sabbath observance on the moon’s cycle as shown by Yahweh.

Attempting to be free of this difficulty, some lunar sabbatarians speculate that the moon was created in an advanced phase and that the Sabbath would be made to synchronize with it later on; others speculate that perhaps the moon was already in its orbit the first day of creation but was just hidden behind heavy mist. Or that Yahweh’s creation week and our week are different. To which we ask: where is the chapter and verse supporting these hypotheses? Genuine doctrine does not rest on supposes or maybes. There is not a shred of evidence in Scripture to support such assumptions.

Genesis 1 and 2 are crystal clear that Yahweh created the heavens and the earth in six days and then He rested on the seventh. Lunar sabbatarians ignore Yahweh’s rest on the seventh day and go solely with a Sabbath-setting lunar phase.

Mysterious Math

Failed Test ca. 2001

The count to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost also reveals the error in the lunar sabbath teaching.  Not only must there always be exactly seven days every week in every month of Yahweh’s calendar (by Fourth Commandment authority), but the count to Pentecost must also be seven complete weeks of seven days each, all adding up to exactly 49 days.

Yahweh commanded, “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete,” Leviticus 23:15. Pentecost means 50th.  It takes exactly 50 days to arrive at Pentecost—seven Sabbaths of precisely seven days each or 7 x 7 + 1 = 50. Partial weeks or extra days don’t compute.

Numbers 28:26 says the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost comes “after your weeks be out.” “Weeks” is the Hebrew shabua and literally means “sevened” not “lunared.” After your seven sevens are over and complete, then you observe the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. The Bible, An American Translation by Goodspeed says, “…counting fifty days to the day following the seventh Sabbath, and then you shall present to Yahweh a grain-offering from the new crop.” The New English Bible says, “The day after the seventh Sabbath will make 50 days…”

You can’t have 7 Sabbaths totaling 51 or 52 days. Because you are spanning two months it is impossible to accomplish this as commanded when a new moon interferes with one of those weeks by adding extra days. You cannot get 7 Sabbaths to equal 49 days under the lunar sabbath scheme. This fact alone proves the lunar scheme bogus. One lunar sabbatarian claims that Pentecost is counted for seven weeks and then 50 days are added on top of that, making a combined 99 days. He has apparently never looked at the Hebrew behind the command.

We read in Leviticus 23:15-16: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering unto Yahweh.” In the phrase “unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath,” the word “unto” is the Hebrew ad and means against or until. Therefore the count goes all the way up to, until, the seventh Sabbath. And the numbered count totals 50 days, not an additional 50 days.

Consider how the manna was regularly provided each week. When Israel was in the wilderness Exodus plainly teaches that the manna fell for six days, with a double portion falling on the sixth day because none would fall on the seventh-day Sabbath. This went on continuously for 40 years, Exodus 16:35.

Nothing is said about a big interruption of this weekly manna cycle every fourth week by a couple of additional days at the end of the month when the new moon  resets the week.

Nothing is said that Israel starved for a few days at the end of each month because of additional Sabbath days or “non-work” days added to the month. For those who count those extra days as non-days, did it mean that a quarter of the time Israel got not 6 but 7, 8 or 9 days of manna gathering? If so, where in the Word is it found?

To mention such a critically important lunar interruption in the 7-day week could not possibly have slipped Yahweh’s mind. It is inconceivable that He would not have warned Israel to prepare for it!  After all, He warned them to be sure to gather extra on the sixth day to make up for none on the weekly Sabbath. So why did He not tell them also to gather extra manna the sixth day to eat on the seventh, eighth and possibly ninth day at month’s end? Obviously no lunar-added days ever existed.

This monthly lunar disruption is found nowhere in the Word because the Sabbath cycle that began in Genesis continued unabated. No additional, interpolated days ever interfered with it.

MP900341714[1]New Testament Dynamites the Lunar Theory

When it comes to the proper biblical calendar, we need go back no further in time than when our Savior walked this earth. Some proponents claim that the lunar sabbath was established in Genesis but was replaced by today’s continuous Sabbath cycle soon after the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity.  Thus, lunar sabbatarians would have us believe that the remnant who returned to the land of Israel were keeping a false sabbath.

This would have been front-page news! Yet, not one word in Scripture about it.

The Sabbath set in motion by Yahweh continued to be in effect down to the first century, when Yahshua came in the flesh. We know that He came as one “under the law,” and that He never sinned (i.e., transgressed the law, 1Pet.2:22).We find Yahshua keeping the same Sabbath day holy as did His fellow Jews around Him (Matt 12:1-12; Mark 2:23-28;Mark 1:21; 3:1-4; 6:2; etc.). Yahshua never rebuked the Pharisees for keeping the wrong weekly sequence.

These Events in Yahshua’s Life Disprove Lunar Sabbaths

In John 7:37 it is recorded that on the “last great day” of the Feast of Tabernacles (a high Sabbath that always falls on the 22nd day of the month) Yahshua cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink!” In chronological sequence, John 8:1-2 says, “Yahshua went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.” So now it’s the 23rd day of the month.

Chapter 9 is a continuation of the events of that same day when he heals a man of blindness. We are told that this was the weekly Sabbath, the 23rd of the month, verse 14. But lunar sabbatarians say the lunar sabbath falls on either the 21st or 22nd. Either scheme violates this provable 23rd day Sabbath. (See John 7:37-38; 8:1-2, and John 9:1-3, 14, 16.)

Another math meltdown for the lunar sabbath scheme comes with Passover, which falls on the 14th of the month of Abib. Yahshua was laid in the tomb at the end of Passover day the 14th, just before sunset when the 15thstarted. He rose three days later (Matt. 12:40), making it the end of the 17th of Abib. He came out of the tomb just before sunset the weekly Sabbath because the two Marys found the tomb already empty at “the end of the Sabbath,” Matthew 28:1. Lunar sabbatarians say that the Sabbath must fall either on the 14th or 15th, but here on the most important week in all of human history the weekly Sabbath falls on the 17th.

Having no other response, some lunar advocates take issue with Matthew 12:40, saying Yahshua’s words about being in the “heart of the earth” for three days and three nights does not mean in the tomb. Yahshua, however, directly compared it to Jonah’s being three days in the fish’s belly.  And Jonah describes his experience this way: “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto Yahweh, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell [sheol, grave] cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For you had cast me into the deep, in the midst [heart] of the seas; and the floods compassed me about:  all thy billows and thy waves passed over me,”Jonah 2:2-3. “Midst” means to be enclosed (Hebrew labab).  Jonah was encompassed about by water. Obviously Yahshua was enclosed by the tomb in the earth for three days just as Jonah was enclosed in the belly of the beast for three days.

Yahshua clinches it when He Himself “began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again,” Mark 8:31. See also John 2:19 and 21. Paul confirms it as well in 1Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that the Messiah died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Even the chief priests and Pharisees testify to Yahshua’s statement that after three days He would rise again, Matthew 27:63.

Furthermore, those who contend that the 14th of each month is a Sabbath of rest and no commerce must explain why this 14th day of the month of Abib is called in the New Testament a “preparation day” (which is Passover day, the day of preparation for the high Sabbath and not a Sabbath itself). This 14th day is a day of work and commerce, not a day of rest. See Mark 15:42-46;Luke 23:53-54; John 13:29.

Those who believe a switch to the universal Sabbath cycle came after the time of the Messiah and who believe the Jews (including Yahshua) were still keeping lunar sabbaths must explain why both Scripture and subsequent history show the contrary.

Pagan Participation

Throughout history men have instituted their own calendars for determining time. The Assyrians and Babylonians set up a weekly cycle based upon the moon—somewhat like the lunar sabbatarians of today.

The Babylonian calendar was lunisolar with years consisting of 12 months. Counting from the new moon of every month, the Babylonians celebrated every seventh day as a “holy-day,” also called an “evil day.” On every seventh day offerings were made to a different deity. Merodach and Ishtar on the 7th, Nergal and Ninlil on the 14th, Shamash and Sin on the 21st, and Enki and Mah on the 28th. Tablets from the sixth-century BC reigns of Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses give validity to these dates. The Babylonian calendar had a lunation of 29 or 30 days, containing three seven-day weeks, and a final week of nine or ten days which ended the continuous seven-day cycle. The remarkable similarities with the Babylonian calendar give us great insight into the origin of this doctrine and its error.

Being idolaters, the Babylonians perverted the true Sabbath Yahweh instituted at creation. Such perversion has continued throughout biblical history. Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah and founder of Babylon, is one of the earliest examples. His perversions can still be seen today. In Genesis 10:10 we read the account of Nimrod: “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Strong’s Concordance says that “Babel” or “Babylon” means confusion through a mixing. Ancient Babylon mixed truth with error, which is strongly condemned in the Word of Yahweh.

Lunar sabbatarians would have us believe that the pagans corrupted only the nature of Sabbath worship, not the actual weekly cycles supposedly based upon the moon. Ancient Babylonians worshiped the moon (“Asherah”) as part of their shabbatum veneration. This fact strongly suggests that they also perverted the weekly cycle to complement their devotion to the moon.

Again we ask, is there any place in Scripture saying that the weekly cycle is established by the sun or moon? If lunar sabbaths are truly based in Scripture, why would we have to search all over its pages with a magnifying glass to find even a hint of them? When something so simple as the continuous weekly cycle is made so complicated, then something is instinctively wrong. When a doctrine lacks scriptural evidence and must be explained with suppositions, human explanations and a host of forced or twisted Scripture, then it is always suspect.

Ha Satan is working with all power and lying wonders to deceive even the very elect (Matthew 24:24). His greatest desire is to cause those who are under “the sign of the covenant”— the Sabbath—to become confused about that “sign” and turn away from the covenant. If he cannot get them to keep Sunday in place of the true seventh-day Sabbath, then He will be satisfied just to have them turn to “floating sabbaths” as taught by lunar sabbatarians. Either way the true Sabbath is violated and the Adversary is pleased.

Scripture warns us of Babylon’s influence “And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth,” Revelation 17.

The Start of the Modern Lunar Sabbath Doctrine

It has been suggested that a convicted felon, who wrote a book in 1998 popularizing the lunar Sabbath, was the catalyst for the spread of this doctrine. He was described by Nashville police as helping a juvenile “racist” in a synagogue shooting. The court documents also reveal he attended a meeting of white supremacists known for their antisemitism. Any exposure to this doctrine reveals a radical departure from the traditional way the Jews count the Sabbath as established by Yahweh at creation.

 Various Verses Vindicated

Here are common passages used by lunar sabbatarians equating the new moon day with the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:2-4: Yahweh’s command for the seven annual Feasts is prefaced in verse 2 by the statement that these are the Feasts of Yahweh and holy convocations. Then He notes the weekly Sabbath in verse 3, placing the Sabbath equal in significance to the Feasts. Yet it is not one of the annual Feasts because verse 4 restates that these (meaning what is to follow) are the Feasts of Yahweh. Not being an annual Feast, the Sabbath is not set by the monthly new moon as are the annual Feasts.

Ps. 81:3: “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” The reference in Psalm 81:3 is to the Feast of Trumpets on the first of the seventh month, the only festival that falls on a new moon; the verse calls it a solemn feast day because it is Trumpets, not because it is a new moon. Other versions split the verse and speak of two different observances: the new moon and a separate feast day:
The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament
“Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast.”

New Living Translation
“Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!”

The New Jerusalem Bible
“Blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full moon, for our feast day!”

Psalm 104:19: “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.”

“Seasons” is moedim, meaning fixed times, festivals. In His commands for the Feasts, Yahweh clearly gives the day of the month when they occur, such as Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and the exact count to the Feast of Weeks. All are based on the start of the month and its new moon. But He never describes the weekly Sabbath as being so many days from the beginning of the month or new moon. The Sabbath link to the new moon is nonexistent.

Amos 8:5: “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?”  Is this passage saying the new moon is a Sabbath with no commerce allowed? As shown, work on the new moon was prescribed by Yahweh and therefore the new moon cannot be a non-labor Sabbath. Amos 8:5 is likely speaking of the Feast of Trumpets, a Feast that is also a new moon day. On a Feast high day no work or commerce is to be performed.

Another possibility centers on the Hebrew. Because the Hebrew word translated “new moon” here (chodesh) can also mean “month,” some scholars (going back 2,000 years) have interpreted Amos as referring to a harvest month: Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of the month of harvest, when the poor found what to eat in the fields; when they gleaned there they got a sufficiency of bread, and so had no need to buy corn [Lev. 23:22]; and hence these rich misers, who hoarded up the grain, are represented as wishing the harvest month were over that they might sell their grain to the poor, having had no demand for it during that month.  (John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible, Amos 8:5 note) “Month” is how the Douay-Rheims version translates “new moon.”

Regarding sacrifices, if every new moon day is a Sabbath then we should find the command to make the Sabbath offering on new moon days as well. Yet, no such command is given (Numbers 28:1-15).

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The Sabbath Revealed

What day of the week did the Messiah and His apostles worship on in the New Testament? According to most ministers, it was Sunday, the first day of the week. What if we told you that this is not what we find in the New Testament; that they actually worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath and that Sunday was only the result of man’s tradition?

In this study we will consider six facets about the Sabbath: (1) its origin; (2) the sign of the Sabbath; (3) its meaning; (4) why this day is still valid; (5) examples of this day in the New Testament; and (6) examples of the Sabbath being observed in the Coming Kingdom.

Where do we find the first mention of the Sabbath? The command goes all the way back to the beginning of Creation. In Genesis 2:1 we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.”

We see that Yahweh, our Father in heaven, rested on the seventh day following the six days of creation. We also see that He blessed and sanctified this day. As believers in the Word, we are to follow this example and do as He did. He rested for a reason, which was to give us a pattern to follow.

Now what does it mean when it says He “blessed” and “sanctified” the seventh day?

The word “blessed” comes from the Hebrew word barak. This is a primitive root in the Hebrew language and literally means, “to kneel; by implication to bless Elohim” (as an act of adoration). The word sanctified comes from the Hebrew qadash, which again is a primitive root meaning, “to pronounce as clean.”

We find first that the Sabbath is the seventh day, which corresponds to our Saturday. Second, our Father in Heaven set the example by resting, blessing, and sanctifying this day.

This day is filled with importance. Yahweh told Moses in Exodus 31:13: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Yahweh that doth sanctify you.”

What did He mean by “sign”? It comes from the Hebrew word owth and refers to a signal as in a flag, beacon, monument, or evidence. So through this word we find that the Sabbath provides a sign or evidence of His people.

This passage also says that Yahweh sanctifies us. Sanctify is to set something apart as holy. We must understand that no other command is called a sign in the Word. It is unique to the Sabbath.

How do we observe the Sabbath? To begin with, the Sabbath is a day of rest. We find this in the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh thy Elohim: 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” (Ex. 20:8-11).

We learn that the Sabbath is a day of solemn rest and is mandated to all within our household. This restriction is embedded in the meaning of the word Sabbath. The primitive root is shabath, meaning, “to repose” or “to cease from exertion or labor.” On this day our labor or work is to be suspended and we are to allow ourselves to rest. This was and is the main purpose for the Sabbath.

Our great Creator and Designer understood the need for the human body to rest one day out of seven. Science is now finding a seven-day cycle within nature and the need for the human body to rest, confirming what our Father in Heaven established some 6,000 years ago. Everything in Yahweh’s Word has meaning and purpose. Yahweh gave this special time for our own benefit. Therefore Yahshua said the Sabbath was made for man, Mark 2:27.

Problematic Passages Explained

Let’s look at a few of the reasons some believe that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer necessary in the New Testament. The most common case made against this time is the belief that Yahshua’s resurrection supposedly changed the day of worship. Many theologians believe that our Savior rose early Sunday morning.

What if I told you that Yahshua did not rise Sunday morning but late on the Sabbath?

According to Matthew 12:40, Yahshua said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the fish’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Tradition says that He was buried Friday evening and resurrected Sunday morning. In this time span there is only one day and two nights. Have you ever wondered why? Clearly this is not when He was in the tomb!

If you study the evangels you’ll find that He was placed in the tomb Wednesday before sunset and then resurrected late on the Sabbath, as we find in 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.”

Notice the resurrection occurred at the end of the Sabbath. In ancient times the Sabbath was from sunset Friday through sunset Saturday, which continues to this day in the true biblical calendar. It says that the women came to the tomb as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. At first glance it certainly sounds like Sunday morning. However, we find an eye-opening truth in the Greek of the passage.

The phrase “as it began to dawn” is from Greek epiphosko and can be rendered, “to draw on.” It occurs only twice in the New Testament. The other instance of this Greek word is found in Luke 23:54: “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.” The phrase “drew on” here is from the Greek epiphosko.

Based on this we find that the first day of the week was drawing on, but had not yet come. The women came to the tomb late on the Sabbath or near Saturday sunset.

Where’s the Authorized Change?

For a moment let’s just assume that the Messiah rose early Sunday morning. Is there any passage commanding us to change the Sabbath to the day of our Savior’s resurrection? To the surprise of many, there’s not one verse in the New Testament providing such a command. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature verifies with this startling statement, “….it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day.”

As we’ll see, not only is there no command, but we also have many examples of the Apostle Paul and others still worshiping on the seventh-day Sabbath.

One passage often used as an attempt to prove that the apostles worshiped on Sunday is Acts 20:7. It says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

It is not hard to see how some can read this passage and believe that it refers to Sunday worship. But again, as we saw inMatthew 28:1, we must look beneath the surface to uncover the truth. So let’s do that now. The word “week” here is from the GreekSabbaton and refers to the weekly Sabbath or the time between two Sabbaths. Also, the word “day” here was added by the translators, meaning that it’s absent in the Greek text.

With this in mind, this passage literally reads, “and upon the first of the weeks.” The other fact about this passage is that it falls chronologically between the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, as found in verses 6 and 20.

For this reason some scholars believe that this passage refers to the first week of the count to Pentecost, including E. W. Bullinger in his Companion Bible. He states: “…the first day for reckoning the seven Sabbaths to Pentecost. It depended upon the harvest (Deut. 16:9), and was always from the morrow after the weekly sabbath when the wave sheaf was presented (Lev. 23:15).”

Pentecost was determined by counting seven complete weeks or Sabbaths from the firstfruits of the barley harvest during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Based on this evidence, this passage likely refers to the count to Pentecost and not to the first day of the week.

A Day Regarded

Another passage that is frequently used to support Sunday worship is Romans 14:5. Paul says there, “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Is Paul saying that we have the authority to choose any day for worship and that it doesn’t matter which? This is how many interpret this passage. With Yahweh’s Word it’s always important that we consider the context of the passage. In this case if we simply continue reading we’ll find that this passage has nothing to do with a day of worship.

Verse 6 reads, “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto Yahweh; and he that regardeth not the day, to Yahweh he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to Yahweh, for he giveth Elohim thanks; and he that eateth not, to Yahweh he eateth not, and giveth Elohim thanks.”

The context shows that this passage is referring to fasting. What is fasting? It’s going without food and drink to show one’s devotion and sacrifice to the one worshiped.

As with the previous passage, this one has absolutely no connection with Sunday worship. Paul was simply making the statement that fasting was a personal conviction and should not be restricted to a specific day. In other words, it doesn’t matter which day a person may fast. It is a personal conviction. Nothing is said about a day of worship.

Another passage that’s often misunder-stood as referring to Sunday worship is 1Corinthians 16:2. It reads, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Paul tells the Corinthian assembly here to collect something on the first day of the week. Many think he means tithes and offerings for the Sunday offering plate at church. Let’s again look beyond the surface and decipher the true meaning of this passage.

The word “day” here again was added and is not in the Greek text. This passage actually reads, “upon the first of the week,” a non-specific time. For this reason this passage may not refer to Sunday at all, but to the second or even third day of the week. So if this passage is not referring to Sunday worship, to what then is it referring?

At the time this epistle was written there was a great famine in the land of Judea, as we find in Acts 11:27-30: “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”

In 1Corinthians 16 Paul was organizing a relief effort in response to the famine. He was gathering food items for his fellow believers in the land of Judea. So once more this passage has no correlation with the first day of the week as a day of worship; instead the Apostle Paul was gathering supplies in advance for those suffering in Judea.

Matthew Henry notes in his commentary, “He begins with directing them about a charitable collection on a particular occasion, the distresses and poverty of [believers] in Judea, which at this time were extraordinary, partly through the general calamities of that nation and partly through the particular sufferings to which they were exposed.” Matthew Henry is also addressing the famine.

‘Day of Yahweh’ Is Not Sunday

Consider another passage that many use to support Sunday worship. In Revelation 1:10 we find, “I was in the Spirit on Yahweh’s day….” You may know this as the “L-rd’s Day.”

What day is it? Is it referring to a day of worship? Actually this passage has been twisted from its original intent! It is describing the day of our Savior’s Second Coming, when He will pass judgment upon mankind. How do we know this? It can be verified from several Old Testament prophecies. Here are just a few:

● “Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! to what end is it for you? the day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18).

● “The great day of Yahweh is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of Yahweh: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Yahweh: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung” (Zephaniah 1:14-17).

● “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come” (Joel 2:30-31).

From these passages we see that the day of Yahweh will not be a time to be desired; it will be a day full of darkness, desolation, wrath, trouble, and distress. It is, again, a prophecy of Yahshua’s return, when He will come to reap the wicked. So as we find, this day doesn’t describe a time of worship, but of anguish.

New Testament Sabbath Proof

Let’s now move on to the evidence we find in the New Testament for the seventh-day Sabbath.

Possibly, the biggest surprise to many Bible believers is the fact that the Apostle Paul faithfully observed the seventh-day Sabbath. One of the first accounts is in Acts 17:2: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

This is an important passage. Here Paul habitually worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath. The word “manner” is the Greek ethos and refers to a habit or custom that is either a personal conviction or by command.

In this case we know it was both – Paul observed the Sabbath from both a personal conviction and from the fact that it was required in Yahweh’s Law.

This passage took place some 20 years after Yahshua’s death and ascension. Now you would have thought that after 20 years Paul would have received the memo about a change in worship, yet Paul continued to worship on the Sabbath as he always did.

We find here also that he reasoned in the synagogue for three Sabbath days. This phrase refers to three consecutive Sabbaths. There should be no question as to on which day the Apostle Paul worshiped.

But just in case doubts remain, we find another example in Acts 18:4. It reads, “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”

Not only was it Paul’s custom, but we find that he literally observed every Sabbath. What did he do on the Sabbath? Besides worshiping his Father in heaven, we see that he persuaded both Jews and Greeks. The word “Greeks” is from the Greek word hellenand refers to “a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew.”

This confirms that Paul was persuading both Jews and Greeks on the Sabbath. Why were Greeks worshiping in the synagogue on the Sabbath? According to many theologians, the Sabbath is only for the Jews. They were all still worshiping on the Sabbath because the day of worship never changed.

Enter Mystery Worship

In addition to the New Testament, we also find evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath throughout the history of the “early church.” According to Dr. Augustus Neander in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church: “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine com-mand in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday” (1843, p. 186).

Dr. Neander, who’s birth name was David Mendel, was a protestant minister and professor. In his book he validates that the change to Sunday was not inspired by the apostles, but was established on the law of man. As we saw earlier, there is no law in the New Testament promoting Sunday worship. All examples expressly establish the seventh-day as the only inspired Sabbath.

In his book History of Romanism, John Dowling confirms that paganism entered the early church. He writes, “There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruptions of Christianity, which are embodied in the Roman system, took their rise; yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery” (13th Edition, p. 65).

According to Dowling, the paganization of the church went far beyond the Sabbath. It touched almost every facet of the church and in so doing polluted what Yahshua and His apostles established in the New Testament. This included not only the Sabbath, but many of the popular holidays that are observed today, including Christmas and Easter. True to suspicions, we find an association between Sunday and Christmas. Both were connected with sun worship.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the word Sunday literally means, “day of the sun.” (1966, p. 1826). Sunday was the ancient day of sun worship. In like manner, Christmas was chosen because of its connection to a Roman cult known as Mithraism. This cult worshiped the sun deity Mithra, whose birth was on December 25. Once the church realized that they could not overcome the popularity of this pagan cult, they decided to adopt December 25 as a Christian day of worship.

Constantine Commands Sunday

Issuing the first civil edict making Sunday the day of worship for his Roman Empire was Constantine I, also known as Constantine the Great. He was emperor from 306 CE to 337 CE and according to history was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However, prior to his conversion it is well documented that this man was a sun worshiper and only converted upon his death bed. This is the same king who required Sunday observance by civil command!

constantine-the-greatIn his famous edict of 321 CE, Constantine declared, “On the Venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”

Think about this — a sun worshiper changed the day that our Father in heaven established in favor of a day that was being honored and observed to the sun. This edict undeniably verifies the paganism of Sunday worship. There is not a single verse in the New Testament confirming that the day of worship changed from the seventh to the first-day of the week. This change was only through the pen of man, not through the inspiration of Almighty Yahweh, the only One with whom we should be concerned.

At the Council of Laodicea in 325 CE, sixteen years after Constantine’s original edict, we find a second attempt to remove the Sabbath. In this decree the counsel of bishops declared, “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.”

Not only did the bishops state here that Sunday was to be observed in lieu of the seventh-day Sabbath, but we find that they also forbade Christians from Judaizing the Sabbath. This provides irrefutable evidence that for 300 years after the death of Yahshua there were still “Christians” observing the biblical Sabbath. It also shows the desire of the church to move away from its Jewish or Hebraic heritage.

In addition to absorbing pagan converts, antisemitism was a key reason the Church abandoned many of the beliefs taught by the Messiah and His apostles, including a rejection of the Passover and the acceptance of Easter, a day that originally honored Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) g-ddess of light and spring.

It is essential to note that Sunday observance was not left to man’s freedom, but was, again, enforced by strict command of the government. In essence, it was forced obedience to man’s dogma, i.e., man-made doctrine. Through this decree and others that would come afterward Sunday became the counterfeit Sabbath.

However, even with these efforts to criminalize those who would honor the true Sabbath, there are records showing that Sabbath observance was never completely removed.

For example, W.T. Skene writes in his book Adamnan Llife of St. Columbs about the Scottish church in the sixth century, “In this latter instance they seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours” (1874, p.96).

As believers we must realize that our assurance is rooted in the Hebraic faith, the same faith given to Abraham. To deviate from this is to forsake the faith of the Messiah and the forefathers of the Old Testament. In expounding upon His own coming, Yahshua made the following statement in Luke 24:4: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” Nowhere in those Old Testament writings is there anything about Yahshua’s life or resurrection changing the Sabbath.

Sabbath in the Millennium

In addition to the scriptural and historical evidence, do we find evidence for the Sabbath in the coming Kingdom? In Isaiah 66:23 we read, “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 Yahweh.”

In Yahweh’s very Kingdom everyone will worship Him from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another. At that time Yahshua will rule this earth for a thousand years. So in the coming Kingdom we find that all people everywhere will be required to observe Yahweh’s Sabbath.

We also see proof for the Sabbath in the coming millennial Kingdom in Ezekiel 46:1, 3: “Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened…Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before Yahweh in the sabbaths and in the new moons.”

In the coming millennial Kingdom Yahshua and His saints will govern this world for 1000 years. The gates will be opened two special times – on the Sabbath and new moons. While the new moon is not a day of rest, it shares one requirement with the Sabbath: both are days of convocation and worship.

Knowing this, does it make sense to have the Sabbath observed in the Old Testament, kept by the Savior and His apostles in the New Testament and will be observed on into the Kingdom ‒ but is not necessary for those of us now in the New Testament? Such a question illustrates the inconsistency of stating that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer required today.

With this being the case, should we not follow the Fourth Commandment today? Remember that it’s the only command called a sign of Yahweh’s people within the Word. No other command shares this same blessing. May you honor your Father in heaven through your faithful observance of His Sabbath.

Watch “Sabbath or Sunday” on Discover the Truth TV below.

feast holy days bible

Compelling Reasons to Keep the Feasts Today

The typical reason many study the seven annual Feasts of the Bible is to wonder at the curiosities of days gone by. For most the intent is not to inquire into keeping the Feasts. Rather, it’s more about what quaint tidbits that can be picked up about “Jewish” worship.

Almost universally ignored is that the Feasts were strictly observed in BOTH testaments. The Feasts were kept by our Savior throughout His lifetime and followed by a faithful observance of all His apostles after His death, including Paul. These days will also be enforced on the pain of plague in the coming Kingdom. These facts alone should convince even the staunch skeptic that there is great importance in these days.

Most think we are in a kind of donut hole today where there is nothing to do or follow, just believe.

If you really want to be blessed by your Creator Yahweh, just do what His Son did. Follow everything He taught and practiced. If you do, you will find that He also kept the seven annual observances with His family as a child and afterward as an adult.

Feasts’ Amazing Milestones

Most all the major events in the life and ministry of Yahshua revolved around Yahweh’s annual observances. That is one of the most profound and well-concealed revelations of the ages.

In fact, Yahshua was very likely born on one of them (Tabernacles), died on another (Passover – while not a Feast, this is one of Yahweh’s annual observances) and was resurrected three days later during yet another Feast (Unleavened Bread). The Holy Spirit was sent on still another Feast (Pentecost) and Yahshua may return at the Feast called Trumpets. These profound truths should shake every Bible believer to the core of his beliefs. With so much significance for us today, how can anyone ignore the Feasts ofLeviticus 23?

These are the only yearly holy days decreed in Scripture. No other annual observances are commanded in your Bible. In fact, Yahweh directs us not to observe other days. “Hear ye the word which Yahweh speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good,” Jeremiah 10:1-5.

According to the “it’s only for Israel” group, nothing in the Old Testament is for us today.

Therefore we must be consistent. If the biblical Feast days are only for the ancient house of Israel, then this command would only apply to them as well. We today should be conscience-free to learn and practice all the ways of the heathen. We can worship Dagon and Moloch and Vishnu, and Buddha. Now we can bring trees into the house, adore them and place gift offerings beneath them.

If the Old Testament is only for Israel, then this warning and all others against false worship also apply only to Israel.

Of course, that is not the case. The Bible is a consistent unit, teaching the same salvation message anciently as it does today.

By the way, the term holiday is a contraction of the Old English haligdæg or “holy day/Sabbath.” Holiday means a holy Sabbath.

Why don’t today’s mainstream “holidays” live up to their name by being observed as holy, Sabbath days? Maybe they should be called something else, like “pointless practices” or “superficial superstitions.” Either would be far more fitting.

Even though the world has concocted its own annual observances, only the yearly Feast days of Scripture are holy, and only the COMMANDED celebrations encompass Sabbaths and impart deep, spiritual blessings on the faithful who observe them.

Is it any wonder that man’s observances typically end in a big letdown?

When you follow the ways of Scripture there are always benefits from obedience. Yahweh guarantees it.

If that weren’t enough, just a brief analysis of these special celebrations will deliver up a bounty of insights on a number of key, biblical teachings.

Feasts Full of Fundamentals

First, Yahweh’s holidays reveal the important work of the priesthood, while pointing to the ongoing work of the Messiah Yahshua, today’s High Priest.

Second, they show us proper worship through the scores of lessons they teach.

Third, opening the way to physical life for the people in the Old Testament, today they point to everlasting life for those in the New through their New Covenant lessons.

The Feast days not only encapsulate the plan of salvation, but by keeping them as part of an obedient life, the seeker of Truth will also find the path to everlasting life.

It is no secret that the Father in heaven demands obedience while punishing disobedience. It is a fact in BOTH testaments. He says in Malachi 3:6, “I change not.” What He demanded of Israel He demands of the True Worshiper now. The statutes of old remain active statutes today.

Yahshua plainly and clearly said He did not come to destroy them in Matthew 5:17. Rather, He said He came to establish them. He came to reveal their GREATER importance. He came to reveal their great spiritual side as well.

Understanding the significance of the Feast days in the whole plan of Scripture, it is nothing short of incredible that the Bible’s only yearly holidays have been glossed over for centuries, or simply brushed off as “just for Jews.”

But if they were just Jewish holidays, why was Israel commanded to keep them? The fact is the Jews or Judah made up only one of the 12 tribes of Israel. A common mistake is to interchange the terms “Jews” and “Israel” as if they were the same thing. All Jews were Israelites, but not all Israelites were Jews. In fact, only a fraction of Israelites were Jews.

The Jews were just a part of the greater family of patriarch Jacob, whose name became Israel when he wrestled with that angel. The angel finally decided that the man wasn’t going to give up so he blessed him. That is why his name means, “Contender with Elohim.”

Almighty Yahweh says about His Feast days in Leviticus 23:1-2: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Why didn’t He call them, “feasts of the Jews”? Because they belong to Him and were not “owned” by the Jews nor were they exclusive with them.

Keep them, He said, because they are sanctified gatherings. Being that they are His should be reason enough for those who desire a close relationship with the Father in heaven to include these days as a central part of their worship.

Anyone serious about their eternal future needs to look into the clear necessity to keep the Bible’s seven annual observances called Yahweh’s Feasts. We cannot blaze our own trail to the Kingdom. Yahweh Himself set down the only road to salvation and we His worshipers need to be faithful in following it, not widen the narrow way and add alternative routes as we see fit.

The word feast is related to festival. The root of festival means to celebrate a religious holy day.

These seven annual observances of the Bible are packed with significance and are crucial for today’s worship in a number of ways.

Each of the Feasts marks a milestone in biblical teaching. Beyond that, they are historical and prophetic markers, as key events occurred on them and will happen again as we near the close of the age.

If you know the meaning of each Feast and the significance of its teachings, then you have the true key to the timetable of the Savior’s return and the close of this age.

Yahweh’s Feasts reveal the special blueprint plan for His people and ultimately, and this is quintessential, they impact salvation itself. Can you name any other observances that reveal so much Truth as Yahweh’s annual moedim?

Yahshua the Messiah is clearly seen in every one of the annual holy days. If all of this is not enough to fire your interest and desire for His Feasts, Yahweh Himself comes right out and commands the truth seeker to observe His Feast days.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:2, 4.

If you want blessings, keep the days Yahweh commands. Nothing on earth is more important than to receive the rewards that come with obedience to your Father in heaven.

Some may still say these observances are for ancient Israel and not for them. If so, then the entire Bible is meant for someone else, seeing these Feasts are in both testaments for Israel and gentile alike. They were observed by the apostles long after Yahshua died. He never abolished them or His Father’s laws.

Others may say they just don’t have the time or means to keep them, but they have no trouble finding the time and means to keep superficial worldly holidays every year, not to mention the man-made observances that lack any blessings like the Feast days.

Agriculture Themes Are Key

To lay some groundwork in the basic understanding of these days, we must start with fundamentals.

Our word month and the word moon derive from the same source word. That’s why “month” sounds like “moon.” At one time the moon was used to establish the start of every month. Now it floats all over our modern wall calendars. But Yahweh’s biblical calendar still begins the months with the moon. Namely, the visible new moon crescent, which marks the first day of the biblical month.

In addition to the moon, the Bible’s calendar is also agriculturally based. The creation of man was in the garden called Eden. The word Eden, actually pronounced “Aden” in Hebrew, means, “delight, luxury, pleasure.” It was literally a paradise until sin entered the picture. Prophecy in Micah 4:3-4 indicates that those in the millennial Kingdom will return to an agricultural lifestyle as the intended environment for man.

“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts hath spoken it.”

The agriculture theme is prominent and central in the Bible. Firstfruits of the harvest translate to firstfruits of the spiritual harvest of souls. This speaks to the first resurrection, where those relatively few who are faithful and obedient now will rise to meet the returning Savior. The Bible’s sacred calendar is based on the growing patterns and harvest cycles with the greening of the barley crop to establish the first month called Abib.

The feast days continue with this motif with harvesting of souls.

With all of the importance in the Bible’s annual observances, it is mindboggling that these scripturally mandated, yearly holidays have been totally ignored by New Testament believers for millennia, and replaced by observances that are far more secular than religious. Which will you choose: secular or religious? Blessings or no blessings; obedience to the Father in heaven or disobedience?

Trivial Pursuits

In the grand picture, this world is nothing but a striving after wind and for that which will tarnish and perish.

If there is any one word that best summarizes our physical existence, it’s “temporary.” You can be consumed all your life in a quest for status, and advancement, but at retirement it all comes into focus. You may enjoy it for a brief few years, and then comes the Alzheimers or the stroke or the heart attack. And you give it all up for a life of convalescent living and looking at what comes next…

I’d far rather have Yahweh smiling back at me for a life lived in obedience than staring at a reward of pitch blackness of eternal death when my day comes.

Whatever rewards our life earns us, it will be for an eternity. What we do here in obedience is setting the permanent mold for what we will do or not do in the coming kingdom.

They Are YAHWEH’S Feasts

Someone once asked a minister the following:

“Some Christians are keeping the Holy Days; Feast of Atonement, Unleavened Bread, Trumpets, Tabernacles, and are claiming real blessings from [Yahweh] as a result. Should we be keeping [Yahweh’s]Holy Days as a way of drawing closer to Him and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth?”

The minister wrote back:

“Thank you for your question. There are indeed some who are advocating that Christians return to their Jewish roots and start keeping the feast days. They teach that by doing this you will be blessed by [Yahweh]. However, it is important to base what we believe upon the teachings of Scripture and not on personal testimony or experiences.

“Is it scriptural that Christians are to keep the Jewish festivals of the Old Testament in order to worship Him in spirit and in truth, obtain His blessings, and have the Spirit move in our lives? Let’s let the scriptures answer for themselves.

Leviticus 23:2 reads, ‘Say to the Israelites, the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, even My set feasts, are these…’

Leviticus 23:37 tells us, ‘These are the set feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh], which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering made by fire to [Yahweh], a burnt offering and a cereal offering, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its own day.

Leviticus 23 records seven feasts or appointed seasons of [Yahweh] in which the Israelites would gather to meet with [Yahweh]. Notice that they were to be for the Israelites to keep. There isn’t any mention of the Gentiles being required to observe these feasts.”

First, he ignores the clear statement that these are Yahweh’s Feasts, not Israel’s or Jewish Feasts.

Yahweh told Israel that His laws are an ordinance forever. So is this what you have: Israel, commanded to keep the Feasts even today, running on a parallel track with gentiles who don’t have that requirement? Is Yahweh the same yesterday, today and forever? According to Malachi 3:6 He is. He does not have a double standard for different people.

Note how the minister continues: “These were the seven feasts that [Yahweh] gave the Israelites, His chosen people, to keep in the Law of Moses. These feasts were not optional. They were part of the Law [Yahweh] gave the nation of Israel. Blessings only came by keeping the entire law (Deut. 15:4-5). If you broke any part of it, you broke it all (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10).”

He is absolutely correct. Consider this, there are lots of ways you can fall off a roof. Your ladder can slip as you reach the top; you can trip and roll off; you can lose your balance and go down headlong. No matter how it happens, you are going down.

Breaking any law of Yahweh is still breaking law and carries the penalty of punishment. Any disobedience still violates Yahweh’s command. It all falls under the category of sin.

Few would ever even think of murdering or stealing, but by not following Yahweh’s commands regarding His Sabbath and Feasts, His law is still violated, regardless.

Paul wrote in Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.” The last part of this verse is rendered by the New Testament in Modern English as: “indeed it is the straightedge of the Law that shows how crooked we are.”

To correct that situation we need to straighten out, and that can only mean to align with Yahweh’s law. First, acknowledge the consequence of your sin, stop sinning, and become law-obedient.

But What of My Relatives?

We ran across a letter someone had written in an effort to excuse herself from Feast keeping. Her reasoning is all too common with those who can’t break themselves free of entrapment by unenlightened relatives.

“It would be lovely for me to be able to keep the proper biblical Feasts, however I live with a family who always celebrate the “church” events such as Easter, Christmas, etc., and it would be very hurtful to them if I suddenly dropped out of family celebrations. So I try to commemorate the biblical feasts, whilst at the same time joining in with the other stuff. It isn’t easy, but it would be very hurtful to not celebrate with my lovely family.”

The pressures that a believer’s relatives can exert are among the most powerful and seductive deterrents to the Truth that most truth seekers will ever face. We see it all the time: the husband who defers to the wishes of an unbelieving wife even though He knows he must follow his Savior when it comes to Sabbath and Feast keeping.

This is just what Yahshua meant when He said He didn’t come to make everything peaceful. To defer to spouse or relatives when it comes to obedience to the Word is to turn one’s back on Yahshua and accept error over Truth. He said in Matthew 10:35-37: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Who are you willing to offend most? Family or Yahshua? Is your salvation worth the risk? Once you understand the truth you are then accountable to walk in it. The unenlightened are not at the same level of understanding, where Yahweh demands we make hard choices. At the same time you teach by what you do.

The broad superhighway that leads to destruction is the way of the Adversary. This is his world. Why stay lodged therein when Yahweh opens the way of truth to you? Is it our goal to make the ignorant comfortable in error, or is it to show them the way of Truth and salvation out of genuine love for them?

Many will only dabble in the truth for fear of what their spouse or family will say if they went wholeheartedly into Truth. The reaction of others should not be our concern.

Yahweh is calling YOU right now. He is the one separating you out. Being afraid of what relatives may say is only frustrating what Yahweh is trying to do with you. Let Him work with the rest of your family in His own time. Your time is now, so don’t let anyone hijack it.

Yahweh hates a lukewarm attitude that tries to please everyone by condoning sin. This walk of Truth is not for the weak of heart or passive of will. Take a bold stand and see how your own resolve will influence others to be obedient to the Word in all things as well.

Watch the “Prophetic Feasts Part 1” below:

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

The Spirit of Pentecost

Not even movie script writers could come up with a more awesome concept. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost entails Yahweh’s plan to “harvest” a specially chosen people from this earth ostensibly to sit in future rulership of the planet under Yahshua the Messiah.

The objective of the saints is to fulfill the grand plan by being part of that harvest. Their command and desire is to be “holy to Yahweh,” the same message emblazoned across the miter of the high priest. A kingdom position of serving Yahweh as a kingdom of priests is what the righteous are promised.

Pentecost and what was done on this moed is the avenue accessing Yahweh’s salvation. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits, anticipating a time when the saints as firstfruits are gathered from the earth into the Kingdom.

In Exodus 34:22 we read of the Feast of Firstfruits. “And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.” If you seek greater understanding of the Kingdom the answer is found in the Feasts of Levicitus 23. It’s all there. The coming rulership of Yahshua is also revealed in Yahweh’s seven annual Feast Days.

Elect on the Cutting Edge

The key to understanding the Kingdom is the selection of the elect who will receive favored positions. They are known as firstfruits. A firstfruit is a first comer and the first taken. On the cutting edge of truth, he blazes the trail directly behind Yahshua and navigates the way for an entourage who follow later. But it is a challenging way of briars, obstacles, sharp turns, potential dangers and temptations and is not for the weak or faint of heart. Unlike the popular message, it’s not a free ride.

Who naturally seeks the difficult way? Isaiah wrote that most individuals prefer the downhill, comfort ride requiring little to no exertion or commitment: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” Isaiah 30:10.

No better example exists of Yahweh’s Truth in operation than the personal sacrifice of Yahshua, who was our example through His obedience to Yahweh. He was the first of the firstfruits harvest, symbolized by the barley wave sheaf’s initial offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Apostle Paul writes of this in 1Corinthians 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits [wavesheaf]; afterward they that are Messiah’s at His Coming.”

Fifty days later at Pentecost the second firstfruits offering is presented, represented by the first of the wheat harvest. This harvest symbolizes the saints who are specially chosen now for an extraordinary position in His priesthood. Finally, the general harvest occurs in the autumn, at the Feast of Tabernacles—also called Feast of Ingathering.

Pentecost is the only festival of Yahweh for which no specific date is given in the Scriptures. It must be counted out seven weeks from the day the wave sheaf was offered during Unleavened Bread. (See accompanying article, “A Feast that Counts.”)

In Force in New Covenant

Here is a key fact most of churchianity fails to grasp because of traditional blinders: Yahweh presents His plan of salvation through the Feasts in both testaments.

In the Old we see the Feasts as central to the covenant of Israel that established His chosen ones. We see the Feasts again in the New Testament as foundational to the New Covenant for those grafted into Israel.

Obedience to Yahweh’s commands is central to each. Paul in Acts 24:14 wrote, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Law and prophets is another way of saying the Old Testament.

Most worshipers have been told that the Feast days are just dead, Old Testament ritual, which were abolished along with the animal sacrifices performed on them. They are never told that the Feasts are central to New Testament worship as well, with Yahshua’s one-time substitute sacrifice (on Passover, not Easter) in force now.

References to Yahweh’s annual observances are all over the New Testament. They were diligently celebrated by Yahshua and His followers before and after His resurrection. They answer the big questions of salvation. And they are key to prophecy.

New Testament ‘Spirit’ Feast

Other than the Passover, the observance given the most details in the New Testament is Pentecost in Acts 2. Here we find the New Testament assembly gathering as they always did in obedience to keeping a Feast. Clearly this and all Feasts are still in force. Yahshua told His disciples that once He was gone they were to tarry at Pentecost to wait for the giving of the Spirit.

Pentecost in the New Testament book of Acts 2 was 10 days after Yahshua’s ascension to heaven and 50 days following His resurrection. Had the followers gone home from Jerusalem or had they not come for the Feast of Firstfruits or Shavuot, they would have missed the opportunity to receive the Spirit.

The same lesson is for us. If we are not assembled with the brethren on Yahweh’s Feasts we will miss out on key blessings—even the blessings of the Kingdom when Yahshua returns.

All indications are that Yahshua will return at a Feast, a “time appointed” or moed, as Daniel 8:19 indicates. When the woman (Assembly) is carried on eagle’s wings into the wilderness, it is for her protection.

The first time such an occurrence happened ancient Israel was taken into the wilderness to keep a Feast to Yahweh, even as Moses had implored Pharaoh for permission to do. Yahweh protected Israel from Pharaoh’s pursuing army. Israel had the flame by night (Spirit) and cloud of protection by day. Because so much of what happened of old will happen again, all evidence points to a similar scenario of protection for those gathered at a Feast in the last days.

Compare Exodus 19:4 with Revelation 12:6.

Exodus 19:4: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

Revelation 12:14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Fire, cloud, and bird wings are symbolic of spirit.

In the Revelation account we learn that spiritual Israel is: taken to the wilderness (just as Israel was); to a place prepared of Yahweh (we are to keep a Feast where Yahweh places His Name; just as Israel did—not in our own backyard); and the Assembly there is fed of Yahweh for a period of time, three-and-a-half years.

Similarly, we feed on Yahweh’s Word at His Feasts just as Israel fed on manna. Some believe that manna will be provided again at this time to Yahweh’s obedient.

Let’s suppose you are gathered with the brethren at a Feast, either Trumpets or Unleavened Bread or Pentecost—the three mainmoedim that have been cited as possible times of Yahshua’s return. There you will find protection while others who are disobedient are left to suffer wrath unleashed on the earth.

Yahweh works in parallels, in analogies, in type and antitype, in duality—especially in prophecy’s ancient and modern fulfillment.

The Bible is so complex a collection of books that most everything significant in it has a parallel or connection to something else or to another place or time. If we didn’t “see through a glass darkly” we would be able to discern the many prophetic parallels far better and more accurately.

Yahshua’s Pentecost Teachings

In chapter 1 of Acts, Luke picks up where His Book of Luke leaves off—discussing the life of Yahshua the Messiah and His last activity on earth, known as the transfiguration. Following is that account:

“For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Master, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:6, 7, 8.

In verse 5 Yahshua showed that there would be an advancement between John’s baptism and New Testament immersion, and the giving of the Holy Spirit which would begin with Pentecost,.

They were looking for Yahshua to establish the Kingdom with Israel. They knew that Israel is the firstfruits, with others to be added through obedience and faith in Yahshua. Notice in verse 7 He doesn’t say, you have it all wrong, the Kingdom will be set up with the newly established New Testament church.

“Power” is Greek dunamis — from dunamis we get our word dynamite. This Power was for effective witnessing of Yahshua throughout all the earth.

At Sinai, when the Israelites heard the thunder and saw the lightning, and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.

In Hebrew “thunder and lightning” literally is “voices and flashing” or “torches.” But when the Greek Septuagint was completed in the 3rd century B.C.E., “voices” was translated “thunders,” while “torches” was translated “lightnings.” So in Acts 2, when we see the tongues like fire on the heads of the people and the instant translating of the Apostles’ words going on through the Spirit, we see a parallel to Sinai and Yahweh’s communicating to those gathered.

The events in Acts 2 Pentecost were not just some isolated miracles without purpose. When you pull it all together, you come to an exciting conclusion, and it’s the very same conclusion that Peter arrived at in Acts 2:15: “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.”

What did Joel prophesy?

Among other things, he said that Yahweh was going to do something very special at one special mountain: Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.”

Connecting Mt. Zion to Mt. Sinai we come full circle. Isaiah2:2-3 holds the answer: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.”

Yahweh interacted with Israel both at Mt. Sinai and in Mt. Zion (Jerusalem).

In John 1:7 we see where John came to bear witness, meaning a bearing witness, the Greek word is marturia. An active witness, not just a showcase.

Too often the idea is that I must get baptized and receive the Holy Spirit for the sake of my salvation, while a whole other aspect of the personal giving of the Holy Spirit is overlooked. The Holy Spirit is given for a reason—to accomplish a purpose, just as we are saved for a purpose not just to do nothing but proclaim, “I’m saved.”

Yahweh doesn’t function that way. Yahweh is a Mighty One of work, of activity and creativity and power and function. He expects nothing less of His people. To get out there and get a job done of teaching the truth to the world.

When you save earnings in a bank you save it from being lost or wasted. The same goes for Yahweh’s people. Salvation is to keep our talents and gifts from being wasted. To employ us in His service. Both now and in the Kingdom.

The power of the Holy Spirit is not for pizzazz — something impressive to watch, something to dazzle the eyes and excite the imagination or to draw attention to oneself in charismatic displays. The Spirit is imparted to accomplish a work, it’s the dynamic power of Yahweh (dunamis is used in Acts 1:8, meaning strength, ability, power).

Greatest Power in the Universe

When you look at the whole plan of Yahweh’s Feast days you see something dynamic operating on a very personal level:

In the Passover we find Yahweh separating a people out from the Egypt of sin. This follows with the eating of unleavened bread, rooting out the falsity from our lives and hearts and arming us with truth. Then comes the Feast of Weeks, where we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to tell others the truth of Yahweh.

Now Yahshua prepares the disciples, telling them not to go anywhere, but to be at Jerusalem where they must wait for the promise of Yahweh. That promise was the power of dunamis—active force—to be used to actively bring a forceful witness to the world through powerful communication and miracles.

We are a witness of the greatest power in the universe. The danger is in allowing this gift to be a show of our own greatness! That’s what the heretic Simon wanted.

“For as yet he [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahshua. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of Elohim may be purchased with money,” Act 8:16.

Access Through Obedience

How does one receive this Spirit power? Acts 5:32 explains that it is given to those who obey Yahweh.

∙ Some say you get the Holy Spirit when someone hits you on the forehead and knocks you backward. But what about Acts 5:32?

∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. I would refer them to Acts 5:32.

∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you are saved. They need to read Acts 5:32.

Here is what one denomination teaches in getting the Spirit:

“Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as possible. At the same time he should tell G-d in his heart, ‘I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.’ I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak out whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising G-d with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.”

Nowhere is this procedure supported anywhere in the Word. Here is what we find in 1John 3:24: “And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.”

True baptism for the obedient is in Yahshua’s Name. That is how the Spirit is given. The Holy Spirit force is manifest by the many number of gifts it bestows, detailed in 1Corinthians 12, like wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, and even just stamina for living the truth.

At immersion each individual is given one or more of the Holy Spirit gifts. In Acts 2 Peter and the rest had been waiting in an upper room as Yahshua had told them to do. They were of one mind as the Spirit descended like flames on their heads. As the dunamis was imparted they were able to speak different languages (heteros, different kinds of tongues or languages). This power translated into the ability to communicate to the 15 different languages and dialects represented in the gathered crowd.

That Feast in the New Testament was unique and never have those phenomena been duplicated since.

Many Worshiping Own Way

One person wrote us, “You aren’t going to tell me what name I can pray in.” No, but Yahweh, whom you’re assuming to pray to, definitely is. You have no more authority to decide what you will call Him than Israel had to make their own image of Him through their idols. There is no difference. Whether you make your own image of Him or call Him by whatever name you please, it’s the same thing, idolatry.

Yahweh says in Deut. 29 that if you don’t honor me with my Name, but serve me under common names of idolatry, then I will blot your own name out of the book of life.

When we seek the Holy Spirit we do it Yahweh’s way, on His terms, not our own. True Worship is about obeying Him, not church traditions or private notions.

Does Yahweh allow us to decide which Feast days we choose to keep and which to ignore? How about just keep the weekly Sabbath and ignore the annual ones, as one large denomination does?

If we accept one commanded observance then Scripturally we must accept them all, 2Timothy 3:16. All of Yahweh’s Holy Days are presented as an entire package to us to observe, with the admonition that they are all sanctified by Yahweh (and are not just Feasts of Jews). “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:4.

To argue that these annual Feast days are Jewish or “Mosaic Law” and therefore are done away is to be uninformed on multiple levels.

Many statements in Scripture tell us that these are Yahweh’s observances, not Mosaic ones.

John taught old truths in the New Testament, writing, 1John 2:7: “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.” The only Word they had from the beginning was the Old Testament. Verse 24 continues, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”

Yahshua kept every one of the annual observances, from Passover through Tabernacles. He is our example. He said He had kept His Father’s commandments and we are to follow Him, John 15:10. He did so perfectly, without fail, otherwise He would have sinned,1Peter 2:21-22.

The Spirit and the Law

A command for the Feast of Weeks is found in Deuteronomy 16:9-11: “Seven weeks shall you number unto you: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn. And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto Yahweh your Elohim with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give unto the Yahweh your Elohim, according as Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you: And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Yahweh your Elohim has chosen to place His name there.”

This Feast is marked by offerings and rejoicing. It was probably at the time of the Feast of Firstfruits that Israel received the law at Sinai, which can be determined by paralleling the timing of their journey in the wilderness with the timing of the Feast.

The Biblical Feasts are a type of the spiritual trek we make as we come out of the world and follow the ways of Yahweh. Seeking Truth is also is a wilderness adventure at times as we travel a path not well-traveled.

The significance of the Feast of Firstfruits centers on teaching of the Truth with the Spirit given to keep it. In Acts 2, after the 120 received the power of the Holy Spirit, they began to teach the truth boldly and powerfully. Peter gave such a stirring message that 3,000 people sought and received baptism in the Name of Yahshua.

Peter and John spoke with uncommon power and boldness, Acts 4:13. Miracles began happening, and these disciples had powers and maturity they never had before in their ministry.

The Feast of Firstfruits shows us that Yahweh’s laws exist more than in the physical sphere. Now the spiritual intent of obedience must be emphasized. The real purpose for obedience becomes clear and a righteous attitude is made manifest.

Hebrews 8:10 says that Yahweh’s laws would be put into our minds and written on our hearts. Some may say that this means we obey only spiritually and not actually participating in Sabbath or Feast observance.

However, in Biblical terms, writing something on a heart means to obey even more closely. Read Ezekiel 11:19-20: 19: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim.”

We “take to heart” Yahweh’s laws when those laws are in our hearts.

May this key observance in Yahweh’s scriptural calendar become one of the seven you keep annually.