Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

In order to have a proper understanding of a particular doctrine, it is many times necessary to look at most if not all of the Scriptures that apply to the subject.  Yahweh’s Word does not contradict itself.  Therefore, the answer to the question, “When does the Sabbatical begin and end?” should be clear to us if we allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves.

The story of Joseph in Egypt and his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis 41 alludes to the Sabbatical cycle of seven.  However, the first mention of the Sabbatical commandment is found in Exodus 23:10.  “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove”  (All Scriptures are from the NKJV).

Regarding the observance of the Sabbatical cycle and specifically the Sabbatical year, verse 10 shows that the first commanded action to be taken is to sow the land.  The second commanded action was to gather in the land’s produce.  The only information we are given about the Sabbatical cycle is that it begins with sowing and ends with gathering in the produce.

The climate of the Holy Land is such that there are only two seasons, wet and dry.  The wet season begins in the Fall and ends in the Spring.  The dry season begins in the Spring and lasts until the Fall.  The expression “former and latter rains” refers to the first rain in the Fall which must take place before the barley, wheat and other crops could be planted, and the latter rain refers to the last rain in the Spring.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in Yahweh your Elohim; For He has given you the former rain faithfully,

And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).

Because there are only two seasons, the Holy Land’s agricultural seasons are different from what we are used to in the U.S.  For instance, in the Spring following the wheat harvest there are no crops planted.  This is because it is the dry season; there is not enough moisture to sustain any kind of crop.  For the most part, the only things that are grown are garden vegetables and herbs.  These are watered by hand.

During the dry season a farmer would spend most of his time with his flocks and herds and harvesting any early fruit crops.  He would patiently wait until the Fall of the year for the major harvesting of the olives and grapes.  That process would begin after Feast of Tabernacles and would last until sometime before the rainy season began.  The grapes were either dried to preserve them or they were sent to the winepress and turned into grape juice and wine. The olives were either preserved in salt water or they were sent to the olive press and turned into olive oil.

Prophetically speaking, the gathering of the clusters of grapes (i.e. people at the end of the age) and then casting them into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh, takes place at the end of the age of man after the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

Figuratively, the following passages show that the Sabbatical ends in the Fall, and that that is the time when Yahshua returns and the time when Yahweh’s final judgment takes place. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Sovereign and His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!’”  (Revelation 11:15)

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.  Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’  So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh.  And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:14-20)

These events will not take place in the Spring, but rather in the Fall.  Therefore, the cycles of seven and the Sabbatical year would begin and end in the Fall and not the Spring.

This is contrary to the Sacred year, which begins in the spring.  “Now Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you”  (Exodus 12:1-2).

If the Sabbatical year coincided with the Sacred year, the Israelites would not have sown seed in the Fall.  Why would they sow seed that would bring forth crops that could not be harvested? By beginning the Sabbatical in Abib you would have to add the six months prior because you could not sow crops.  There would be no point in sowing in the Fall, and then because the crops in the fields were obviously not volunteer (that which grows up of itself) you could not harvest any of the crops.

There would be no point in sowing in the Fall if you begin the Sabbatical in the Spring.  Beginning the Sabbatical with Abib would add six months extra to the Sabbatical year.  The Sabbatical must begin with not sowing and then not gathering produce (crops planted).  The only way that this is possible is if the Sabbatical begins in the Fall and not the Spring.

The aspect of first sowing and then gathering is the basis for the Sabbatical cycles.  This is clearly seen in Leviticus 25:2-5.  “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to Yahweh.  Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;  but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.’”

The Sabbatical year, like the weekly Sabbath, is the culmination of cycles of seven.  In the case of the weekly Sabbath, we are dealing with days that begin at sundown.  Preparations to keep the Sabbath begin on Sunday and end on Friday.  Preparations to keep the Sabbatical begin the first year of the cycle, and end in the sixth year.  That cycle begins with sowing, and ends with gathering or reaping the harvest.


The Second Coming of Yahshua.

One of the most important reasons for beginning the Sabbatical in the Fall and not in the Spring is because the Sabbatical years (and  Jubilee years) foreshadow Yahshua’s Second Coming. Each of Yahweh’s Feast days has special prophetic significance, and the Feast of Trumpets is no exception; in fact it is the next feast day to have its prophetic fulfillment. Consider Colossians 2:16-17.  “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah.”

Yahshua applied the fulfillment of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years to Himself as the one who will proclaim a release for the captive, liberty to the oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of Yahweh is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’”  (Luke 4:16-21).

We know that Yahweh’s Holy Days individually represent fulfillment of important aspects of the plan of salvation.

For instance, Passover depicts deliverance from sin and a blood covering from the Lamb of Yahweh, Yahshua the Messiah.  The Feast of Weeks represents the Matan Torah and the gift of the Holy Spirit along with obedience to Yahweh’s Covenant.

Yom Teruah represents the sounding of the last trumpet and the second coming of our Savior.  The Day of Atonement points toward the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation 19.  Feast of Tabernacles is a type of Yahweh’s Kingdom on this earth.  And the Last Great Day points toward the time when Yahweh’s throne is established  on the earth.

To say that the Sabbatical year begins in the Spring (Abib) does not support the teaching of Yahshua’s second coming.  The scriptures are very clear on the fact that Yahshua has fulfilled the first half of a Sabbatical cycle.  And it is shown that He was cut off in the middle of that cycle of seven.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week. He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:26-27).

The events depicted here will take place near the end of the final Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles, at the close of the age.  Yahshua will not return in the middle of a Sabbatical because He has already completed half of a Sabbatical cycle.  Instead, He will return at the end when the Last Trumpet sounds.  That being said, the Sabbatical cycle must begin in the fall and not in the Spring.

Consider the following passages which relate to the return of Yahshua.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”  (Matthew 24:29-31).

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of Yahweh and of His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of Yahweh.  And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Yahweh.  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND RULER OF RULERS”  (Revelation 19:11-16).


Sabbatical Year and Gezer Calendar

One of the oldest known Hebrew documents is the Gezer Calendar (see image below).  It was written in the time of David or Solomon (1,000 BCE), some 400 years before the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity (586 BCE).  This ancient document describes the agricultural year for the land of Israel, and it begins that annual cycle in the Fall and not the Spring.

Leviticus 25 explains that the Sabbatical year begins by NOT sowing your field or pruning your vineyard.  Consider Leviticus 25:3-12,

“Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.  And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food.  ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.  That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.  For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.’”

How could the Israelites have been influenced by the Babylonian calendar, as some claim, when that calendar didn’t even exist when this document was in use?

The Gezer Calendar proves that the Sabbatical begins in the Fall.

Leviticus 25 makes it very clear that the Sabbatical follows the seven year cycle which begins and ends in the Fall of each year.  It always mentions sowing your field first and then pruning your vineyard.  Sowing in the Land of Israel always takes place in the Fall after the Feast of Tabernacles. The pruning of the vineyard takes place at the end of the Sabbatical just prior to the sowing of grain in the Fall.


Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 1

The Mysterious and Intriguing Sabbaticals and Jubilees, Land Rest and Personal Freedom Part 1

One teaching of the Scriptures has been ignored and neglected today more than any other. Can you guess what it is? You’re probably thinking: It’s Yahweh’s Feast days. It’s the seventh-day Sabbath. It’s got to be the sacred Name.

Believe it or not, there is still a biblical truth that is more overlooked than those. The biblical teaching that has been more abandoned by churchianity than all of these is the sabbaticals. The Sabbatical and Jubilee years are the most disregarded of all Yahweh’s special, appointed times even by Sabbath keepers.

And yet, both biblical history and prophecy hang profoundly on these principal times that Yahweh gave us.

The law of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years is one of the more mysterious and intriguing in Scripture. It is like discovering a key that opens up a door to an exciting treasure room.

Most who observe the Bible’s weekly Sabbath are aware that Yahweh gave His Sabbath observances as a special sign to His people. Annual Sabbaths and extra-annual Sabbaths are very important to our Heavenly Father. Key events occurred at those times as well, likely even the coming return of Yahshua.

The Hebrew root for Sabbath (shabath)—Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance No. 7673—means “cessation” or rest. Yahweh’s Sabbaths are a periodic rest, which allow us to draw closer to Him, Ezekiel 20:12. “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh that sanctify them.”

Sabbaths Are the Sign
Observing His Sabbaths is the obligation of the True Worshiper, a commitment shared with other observers who are sealed in His sacred Name Yahweh by the Holy Spirit. Each weekly Sabbath reminds us that Yahweh set aside the seventh day that we might recall His great creative power as well as the redemption we have through His Son Yahshua.

Fifty-two times a year we take a day away from our weekly activities to join the Body of Messiah to revive and strengthen our faith. It is also when we grow the most spiritually as we commune with Yahweh.

Not only is the seventh day of the week holy and special to our Heavenly Father, but He also gave special Sabbaths every seven years, Leviticus 23. Important events of history and prophecy are tied up in these specially sanctioned years. Yet, the Israelites abandoned the keeping of the sabbatical years and in the process missed out on critical aspects of Yahweh’s prophetic plan.

Deuteronomy 5:15 is the restating of the Fourth Commandment and it gives us additional insights into the broader concept of “Sabbath.” “And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim brought you out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh your Elohim commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”

Why does He bring in the issue of slavery in conjunction with the Sabbath? Because there is a connection to another Sabbath, the 50th year Jubilee, a year of release of slavery and servitude.

Captivity for Disobedience
After wandering in the wilderness 40 years, Israel finally crossed over the Jordan and somewhat conquered the land Yahweh had promised. They had not been thorough in driving out the enemy, however, leaving pockets of heathen culture that proved to be Israel’s downfall when Yahweh allowed them to be conquered by foreign powers, Deuteronomy 7.

The northern ten tribes, often referred to as Ephraim because they were the dominant tribe, were taken captive to the area of present-day northern Iraq by the Assyrians and subsequently moved north and west over the Caucasus Mountains (hence the name “Caucasian”). This occurred in the seventh century BCE.

The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were allowed to remain in the land and had the advantage of seeing from a distance the wrath of Yahweh on their 10-tribed Ephraim brethren who were taken captive. Judah was also guilty of ignoring Yahweh’s laws despite the warnings of Elohim’s messengers:

“And Yahweh Elohim of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of Elohim, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2Chron. 36:15-16).

Shrugging off the plight of the northern ten tribes, Judah and Benjamin behaved even worse, according to Jeremiah 3:8. About a hundred years later the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with many of the priests, were taken captive to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. Only a few farmers and poor folk were left in the land of Israel. This was all because of their refusal to obey Yahweh by rejecting His laws, particularly the land Sabbaths.

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years” (2Chron. 36:20-21).

‘Holy Land’ Takes a Rest
So long as Israel was captive in Babylon, the Promised Land lay idle and desolate to fulfill the neglected 70 Sabbatical cycles, accumulating 490 years. Yahweh’s laws demanded that the land lie idle for a year every seven years. “For thus says Yahweh, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jer. 29:10).

In addition, every seventh Sabbatical year was followed by the Jubilee year. The word “Jubilee” is derived in the Bible from the Hebrew yob-ale, which means “ram, ram’s horn; jubilee year.” The ram’s horn announced the beginning of the Jubilee year. Whenever a trumpet was used to signal an event, in this case the shofar trumpet, it announced something very significant was about to happen.

Yahshua said He will return with the great sound of a trumpet, Matthew 24:31. Is the trumpet sound announcing the Sabbatical-Jubilee and the return of Yahshua just coincidence?

Notice Leviticus 25:9, “Then shall you cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”

Keeping the Sabbatical years of land rest bestowed the designation “Holy Land” to Judea. Israel learned that the Sabbatical-Jubilee was holy both to the land and to Yahweh.

The question for us is, does Yahweh still expect His laws, statutes, and judgments to be observed in our day and age? Does He change His expectations according to the culture or the age, or does the Bible say that He is Yahweh who changes not? Malachi 3:6 confirms that we worship a changeless Mighty One. Obedience has not been reduced, let alone abandoned.

Sabbaticals Are Part of the Covenant
The earliest Bible reference concerning the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle is found in Exodus 21:2-6, dealing with the release of the slave. Exodus 23:10-12 relates to the land’s rest. Thus, the Sabbatical-Jubilee was part of the Covenant established with Moses in Exodus 24:1-8.

Following the seventh Sabbatical year (or every 49 years) the sounding of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement of the fiftieth year heralded the beginning of the Jubilee.

Atonement itself falls on the tenth day of the month and is a very solemn time, the holiest day of the year. The harvest is in, and early rains soften the earth to allow plowing and seeding for the next crop. But in the Sabbatical year the land is at rest. Both the 49th and 50th years were times of rest for the land.

Most every Israelite would observe at least one Jubilee year in a normal lifespan of 70 years. If a person observed his first Jubilee in his teen years, then he might enjoy another before his normal lifespan ended. It was a special occasion anticipated by the entire, rejoicing nation.

As we will see, the Jubilee has prophetic implications in Yahweh’s dealings with mankind. We are given insight into the grand finale of Yahweh’s redemption of the earth as He establishes the Kingdom under the Messiah.

The Link to Yahshua’s Return
The Sabbatical cycle in certain instances influenced Israel’s daily living. The right of an heiress to marry was restricted so that the law of the Jubilee could be preserved, Numbers 36:4-7. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard so that it would remain an inheritance for his family, 1Kings 21:14.

The Jubilee will be kept in the Millennium as shown by Ezekiel 46:17, where the king is reminded that any property given to a servant reverts to the original owner (the king) at the time of the Jubilee.

Yahshua as our King will take control once again of this earth as its original owner. Yahshua’s return on a Jubilee would be consistent with the purposes of the Jubilee and Millennium.
Other references to the Jubilee are found in Nehemiah 5:1-19; Isaiah 5:7-10; 37:30, and 61:1-2.

The Sabbatical year, we learn from Leviticus 25:4, occurs every seventh year— a Sabbath of rest both of the land and to Yahweh. The fields are not to be sown nor the vines pruned. No crops are to be planted; the vineyards must not be harvested. The produce of the land and vineyard could be eaten, but not stored or preserved. All debts among Israelites were canceled.

After seven of these Sabbatical years (or 49 years), the next year, the fiftieth, is the Jubilee. The following points differentiate the Sabbath year from the Jubilee, which occur back-to-back every 49 and 50 years. The Jubilee year is an intensification of the Sabbatical year.

• Land and vineyards rest, no planting or harvesting
• All voluntary foods can be eaten, but not stored
• Servants receive freedom and debts are canceled

• Land and vineyards rest
• Land reverts to the original owner (as in Yahshua’s return to reclaim earth)
• All Israelite slaves freed. Debts forgiven

The fiftieth year is eagerly anticipated as a time of joy and merriment. Landowners had to give up the lands they had once cultivated, which reverted to the original owner(s). This kept the lands under original ownership.

Idyllic simplicity returned to soften the distinction of rank.

Debts were forgiven, and those having lost their property through accident or poor management were rejuvenated as opportunities brought by the restoration awaited them.
Slaves were redeemed and freed. The Sabbatical-Jubilee years might be called the great “leveler” of Israelite society. Through them everyone was equal before Yahweh as neither the rich nor the poor cultivated his field.

But What About Today?
Living under industrialization and a far more complicated financial system, the laws of Yahweh became lightly esteemed by modern society. Today’s fiscal demands of industry, manufacturing, commerce, and banking are not appeased by fallowed farmland.

Canceling of a borrower’s debts is unheard of. How can the entrepreneur grow and expand if he is required to return legally purchased property every fiftieth year?

These are but a few questions asked today. The farmer has more freedom to apply Yahweh’s laws to his life than most who work for a regular wage. However, the increasingly heavy burdens laid upon him by lenders, plus the pressures inherent in today’s economies, challenge the farmer’s very survival and are detrimental to his obedience to the laws of Yahweh.

The Jubilee is known as the year of liberty. Leviticus 25:12 explains that it is a holy year to Israel. It was because of the Jubilees that the Promised Land came to be known as the Holy Land. However, there is some question whether Israel faithfully kept both the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

Atonement and the Sabbatical
On the tenth day of the seventh month Israel celebrated the Day of Atonement. The Jubilee was a year-long sabbatical that came after 49 years. The Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 25:9-10. The count toward the next sabbatical also begins on the Jubilee. Just as the weekly seventh day ends at sunset and the first day begins immediately that same sunset, the first Sabbatical ends when the Jubilee’s fiftieth year starts on Atonement, in the seventh month, Deuteronomy 31:10.

The very land was holy to Yahweh and was referred to as the Holy Land. During that year the Book of Deuteronomy was read to the people. The Sabbatical year marked the canceling of all indebtedness. This emphasized the righteousness that was required by Yahweh. On this day the sins of the nation were confessed, which is the first requisite to establish righteousness.

Confession is an opening of the heart, which leads to forgiveness and restoration to Yahweh. Through fasting and keeping the Day of Atonement, Yahweh’s people are reminded of His righteousness and His forgiveness as they accept His grand plan for the forgiveness of sin.

Israel’s sins were brought before them every time they gave a sin offering. But the Day of Atonement was a special day that impressed upon the mind and heart of every Israelite that this day was devoted to a deep introspection of his life.

The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year when the High Priest was permitted to enter the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies, which was the nearest approach to Yahweh possible through the blood offering. The Day of Atonement pictured the forgiveness of Israel’s sins and the nation’s getting right with Yahweh. Known as Yom Kippur, it was the “day of covering” of their sins, pointing to the true Lamb of Yahweh’s coming to take away the sins of the world, and not just cover them.

Slaves and Land Released
Following the seventh Sabbatical year came the year of the Jubilee, which occurred every fiftieth year (or after the succession of seven Sabbatical years). It has been called the outer circle of the great Sabbatical system, which comprises the Sabbatical year, the Sabbatical month and the Sabbath day.

Just as in the Sabbatical year, the Jubilee also was a time of keeping the land uncultivated. The distinctive mark of the Jubilee year was the liberation of all slaves of Hebrew blood. The blowing of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement also released every bondman.

The Jubilee year was different from the Sabbatical in that the land was restored to the original owners. All land that had been assigned to a family was again returned to that family. This required that the tribal and family registers be carefully kept so that the rights of the people should be protected. It is partly from such records that we know that Yahshua descended from the tribe of Judah.

Jewish writers contend that the Jubilee was observed up to the time of the fall of Judah in the year 586 BCE. References are found in Isaiah 5:7-10; 61:1-2; Ezekiel 7:12-13 and 46:16-18.

Yahshua and Year of Our Release
A number of Bible scholars point out that Israel was delivered from both the Babylonian and Egyptian captivity at the time of the Jubilee. The pattern for us as believers in the Messiah is that He is the one who sets us free.

The bondage of Israel was cruel, enforced servitude. Yahshua frees us from the bondage and shackles of sin. “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,” John 8:36. This key purpose of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees dovetails with Yahshua’s purpose of coming to earth, even up to the timing of His return.

How ancient Israel must have thrilled to the sound of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement announcing their actual release from slavery. Of how much greater joy will it be when the trumpet announces Yahshua’s return to this earth. All tears will be dried, and the brokenhearted comforted. The meek and the poor in spirit will be exalted and the thirsty and hungry filled.

The first trumpet is blown on the first day of the seventh month, which is the new moon day. Then follows the blowing of the second trumpet on the Day of Atonement, heralding Yahweh’s release, redemption, and deliverance.

Hebrews 4:1-11 summarizes the Sabbaths Yahweh has given us to remember His great plan of redemption of mankind. We are told that there remains a Sabbath of rest for the people of Yahweh (Heb. 4:9 — “rest” is the Greek sabbatismos, meaning a Sabbath keeping).

There is the weekly Sabbath which is set aside for the people of Yahweh. Also there is the Sabbatical rest for the land around Jerusalem. Finally, the rest and redemption for the elect people of Yahweh who will reign with Yahshua when He returns to set up the Messianic Kingdom:

“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

But not all will attain that rest because of unfaithfulness. The faithful will have rest from their enemies, no drought, sickness, sin or hindrances to happiness.

Counting the Jubilee
A long-standing debate is how to compute the Jubilee year — in segments of 49 or 50 years. The Jubilee year is the year following the seventh Sabbatical year. It is the 50th year, but not the year coming after 50 years. It is the year following 49 years.

From the beginning of one Jubilee year to the beginning of the next Jubilee is 49 years. The 7 times 7 years of Sabbatical cycles may not be broken any more than can the 7 times 7 weeks in computing Pentecost. Furthermore, the 50th year is also year one in the count toward the next Sabbatical year 7 years later.

To prove that the Jubilee immediately follows the Sabbatical year, note the prophecy of Isaiah:

“And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall eat this year such as grows of itself: and the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof” (Isa. 37:30).

“This year” refers to the Sabbatical year. The “second year” refers to the Jubilee year, and the “third year” one can sow grain and reap and plant vineyards. The day after Atonement, which ends the Sabbatical-Jubilee year, farmers can again plow the ground for planting wheat and barley that fall.

Our Savior’s Return
If the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle was important to Israel, then it is all the more important to us looking for the return of the Messiah. A central key is in Yahshua’s quoting of Isaiah 61:1-2:

“The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim is upon me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh” (Luke 4:18).

Yahshua stopped in the middle of verse 2, where Bible scholars contend He was now calling people out of the world to become His followers. The “acceptable year” is understood to refer to the beginning of the Sabbatical year. He came to preach the Good News to the meek and humble, those whose hearts were open and teachable.

With those of kindred mind He would build His Assembly. He would now choose those who would become the nucleus of His body of believers, the “ekklesia,” the assembly. He told Peter this group of “called-out ones,” would never die out, but would always exist on this earth, Matthew 16:18.

Just as the Savior was cut off in the middle of the week and died on a Wednesday, so He left unsaid the rest of Isaiah 61:2 which tells of the vengeance yet to come. Note the latter part of this verse: “And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn.”

He comes with anger and vengeance for the wicked, but comfort and help to those who revere Yahweh’s Name and are submissive to Him. This ties in with Revelation’s prophecy:

“And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your Name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18). See also Luke 20:16; 2Thes. 1:8; 2:8; Heb. 10:27.

The Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle pictures the grand finale of the believer’s earthly sojourn. It represents the fulfillment of the promise made to the redeemed which will be done when He returns in the day of vengeance.

Although we are not sure exactly when His return will be, it will likely be on a Feast day within a Sabbatical or Jubilee year. That is the most appropriate time, the appointed time. Daniel 11 says the end shall be at the appointed time, that is, a moed or Feast. None of the Feasts of the seventh scriptural month have been fulfilled as far as we know.

Can We Pinpoint the Jubilees?
Studies to determine the secular dates of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years rest heavily on the Savior’s beginning ministry, which appears to be 27-28 CE.

The Jews were so determined to keep all of Yahweh’s law after their return from the Babylonian captivity that allegedly they believed that there was no reason to keep the Jubilee years, as they would not have reason to sell themselves into slavery or be redeemed. Therefore, records of these years are sparse.

An interesting discovery is that the Gregorian calendar years on which the Sabbatical cycle falls are evenly divisible by 7. The year 2023 is evenly divisible by seven, meaning that this fall begins the Sabbatical which runs through 2023 of next year.

What About This Year?
No planting or harvesting of crops is to be done after Atonement, 2022, until the fall Atonement of 2023.

Certainly a study of this neglected cycle will bring many obscure Bible truths to our attention and make the Bible become clearer as we draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son who make it all possible.

Key to Puzzling Passages
The Sabbatical years solve a puzzling statement Yahshua made in John 4. While traveling with His disciples to Galilee, He struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman. He said in v. 35: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Clearly this was a Sabbatical year when Yahshua began His ministry, 28 CE. It was also in May-June when grain harvests occur. But the Sabbatical didn’t end for four more months when harvesting could begin again.

This explains the four additional months of waiting for the harvest that Yahshua talked about.

Proof of Sabbaticals
Ben Zion Wacholder of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, a scholar on the Sabbaticals, wrote several books on the subject of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees: The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period (1973), The Timing of Messianic Movements and the Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles (1975), and The Calendar of Sabbath Years during the Second Temple Era: A Response (1983).

Wacholder’s proposed set of Sabbatical years are offset by one year later than Benedict Zuckerman’s set of years, which is the other popular timing. Wacholder had access to legal documents from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt that were not available to Zuckermann.

Only within the last 50 years has it become possible through archaeological discoveries, etc., to determine with an almost certainly what the exact Sabbatical years’ sequence was and is.

Two brilliant historical studies by Prof. Wacholder have solved the riddle of when the Sabbatical years occurred in ancient times, and when they are observed today.

The following historical events reveal the Sabbatical year sequence, with the year 2022-2023 being one of them:

• The recital of Deuteronomy 7:15 by Agrippa I in a post-Sabbatical year, making the Sabbatical year 41/42.
• A note of indebtedness from Wadi Murabba’at in 2nd year of Nero, 55/56 CE, indicating 55/56 as a Sabbatical year.
• Rental contracts of Simon bar Kosiba indicating 132/133 as a Sabbatical year.
• Three fourth- and fifth-century tombstones near Sodom indicating 433/434 and 440/441 CE were Sabbatical years.
(When farmers are keeping Sabbaticals by letting their fields rest, they are free to do building projects. And so…)
• CE 41–CE 42: King Agrippa I started building the expansive third wall around the northern parts of Jerusalem.
• CE 62–CE 63: Agrippa II started to rebuild Caesarea Philippi.
And then there are key historical events that hinge on Sabbath years:
• CE 69–CE 70: Destruction of Jerusalem in the latter part (motsae, “going-out”) of the Sabbatical year 69/70.
• CE 132–CE 133: Bar Kokhba revolt of the Jews against the Romans.

In part 2 we will further show the proper timing of the Sabbaticals both anciently and today.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry building and office

Holts Summit Sabbath Fellowship

Holts Summit Sabbath Fellowship

Holts Summit Sabbath FellowshipJoin our Holts Summit Sabbath Fellowship in mid-Missouri, near Jefferson City and Columbia. For those not familiar with Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry, we are an assembly with strong family values and with an uncompromising stand on the Bible. We believe in harmonizing the Old and New testaments and teach the true Name of the Heavenly Father, Yahweh. We also proclaim the Son, who was originally named Yahshua, a name that means “Yahweh is salvation.” The Savior’s mission is reflected in His Name–to bring the message of salvation to earth. We look to our Savior for salvation, realizing that only through Him do we find redemption and forgiveness of sins. We also observe the seven annual Feast days, along with the seventh-day Sabbath. If you earnestly desire the truth of the Word and not man’s traditions, we welcome you.

About Us and Our Location

Our Holts Summit Sabbath Fellowship is located outside of  the city limits in a beautiful rural setting. The ministry sits on 5 acres of wooded property off of a blacktop county road 1.5 miles from Highway 54.  We have our own campground for tenting and RVs. We currently have 6 full RV hookups and multiple tenting sites with power. If you are interested in camping please call the ministry (see below). Our 16,000 square foot complex houses our ministry offices, TV studio, sanctuary, fellowship hall, classrooms, playrooms, bathrooms, library, conference room and more. For dining we can seat 106 inside our fellowship hall and 80+ outside on our verandas and courtyard.

What Is a Typical Sabbath Like?

Our Sabbath day consists of a Bible study starting at 11:30am (children’s class starts at this time as well), services at 1:30 pm and a communal meal following the service approx. 3:30pm (don’t forget to bring something kosher). After the meal brethren fellowship for several hours. Many brethren remain here until around the end of Sabbath. The environment is very friendly and laid back. We have been blessed with a large number of children. If you will be bringing children with you, the family friendly environment will sure to be a delight.

What Should I Do?

To ensure that all is done decently and in order (1Cor. 14:40) please respect our beliefs and present any opposing beliefs only to a minister. Only modest dress honorable to Yahweh is acceptable. This means at least a dress shirt for men and either dresses or loose-fitting slacks for women. All women will be expected to wear a head covering during worship services and Bible studies, 1Corinthians 11.Ministry, please abide by our guidelines. If you have a day in mind you would like to visit,  give us a call at 573-896-1000 and let us know you are coming and any special arrangements you or your family may need. If you are seeking baptism on your visit we will need to schedule a counseling session with Elder Alan Mansager or Pastor Randy Folliard.

For More Information

To learn more, please contact the Ministry toll free at 844-899-6438 or view our Plan a Visit page. Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry is located at 11608 County Road 4031, Holts Summit, MO.

Holts Summit, Missouri, is near the following cities:

Jefferson City, MO
Columbia, MO
New Bloomfield, MO
Ashland, MO
Boonville, MO
Fulton, MO
California, MO
Tipton, MO
Eldon, MO
Osage Beach, MO
Lake Ozark, MO
Camdenton, MO
Westphalia, MO
Linn, MO
Huntsdale, MO
Chamois, MO
Kingdom City, MO
Mexico, MO
New Florence, MO
Tascumbia, MO
Meta, MO
Vienna, MO
Belle, MO
Hallsville, MO
Montgomery City, MO
High Hill, MO
Springfield, MO

See our other Sabbath locations.

Modern Church traditions

When Worship Went Wrong

Modern Worship

At Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry we spend a great deal of time and energy debunking error, both from the pulpit, on television, and in this magazine and literature. We aren’t alone by any means. This effort has been ongoing by others for 1500 years. Still, most of the world remains steeped in fourth century heresies and 15th century Reformation deviations from the Scriptures. A huge challenge for us is that most of churchianity doesn’t know any better. They blindly trust in clerics and in traditional dogmas. And they don’t bother to test what they are told against Scripture. Once the resistance from unbelieving relatives and friends is overcome, tradition is the next barrier for the new truth seeker. The vast majority are not even looking for truth. They blindly accept the beliefs they grew up with, thinking there is no need to go further. In their minds their inherited belief system has to be right because “Mom and Dad believed it, and that’s good enough for me.”

We read inProverbs 14:12: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Do you not agree that testing the veracity of your faith against Yahweh’s Word is serious business? Incredibly, the vast majority leave the most crucial part of life – their personal salvation – up to someone else. If I planned to climb a 10,000-foot mountain peak and someone gave me an old rope to use, I would be crazy not to check that rope for integrity first before I trusted it with my life.   Yahweh won’t accept willful indif-ference to the Truth that’s right there in plain sight. He demands that we examine our beliefs and then make necessary changes. “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good,” 1Thessalonians 5:21. Any minister who refuses to take questions from the congregation about doctrinal teachings is playing with their salvation. He is guilty of malfeasance for violating a clear, biblical directive. Today we will zero in on the most widespread and popular of traditional errors. We at YRM test all of our teachings against Scripture, as well as anyone else’s teachings. In fact, we welcome inquiries about what we believe and teach. A prime purpose for publishing the Restoration Study Bible was to answer the many questions people have about certain passages. How else will anyone discover what they may have missed unless they critically test what they believe against Scripture? How else can we come to the Truth unless we separate out error through diligent inquiry? Because of a refusal to put their teachings to the test, a tangled mishmash of error runs deep in today’s church culture.Conflict with the Word is why so many are turned  off by traditional belief systems.

A Failed Reformation

Many of today’s popular deviations from Scripture began in the Reformation, driven by a desire to get as far away from the Roman Church as possible, just as the Roman Church itself turned away from the Hebraic roots of the New Testament and developed their own teachings.   We can cite their inventing of Easter to replace Passover and Sunday to replace the Sabbath and a myriad of other serious deviations. Where the Bible commands that we honor Yahweh by His real Name, the church manufactured a name and turned titles into names that are still used today. The reformers didn’t do any better by taking off on their own tangents and not dealing with gross errors. Beginning in the 1300s the Reformers themselves threw one baby after another out with the bathwater. until there wasn’t much left of the Apostolic faith. They thought they were cleaning up the church when all they did was whitewash it and overlay more aberrations that proved just as far off from Scripture.

Instead of following the Word as it is written, the 14th century reformers created their own doctrines by twisting the Word and eliminating fundamental teachings of Yahshua that bind the Scriptures into a harmonious unit, as Yahweh designed it. The first big leap into their apostasy was to eliminate the Old Testament as the foundation of truth.

This is news to many today. Because they never looked into the Scriptures and compared church teachings diacritically with the Word, they just assume everything is okay. They believe that their faith flowed seamlessly from the apostles into their church pulpit.

Apostasy was prophesied. Age-old sacrilege was not lost on the apostles in the New Testament era. They saw what was happening, and what was coming.

The brother of James wrote in Jude 4: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, wicked men, turning the grace of our Elohim into lasciviousness, and denying the only Sovereign Yahweh, and our Master Yahshua Messiah.”

They denied Yahshua by ignoring what He taught about obeying the Father. And then there was GRACE. They turned grace into an excuse for lawless living. Quite reminiscent of what we hear today! “Grace over obedience, grace covers all. Just rely on His grace,” no obedience necessary. This is the main problem with modern worship.

They reasoned that the more sin you commit the more grace you get in a corruption of the true purpose of grace and forgiveness.

To show how corrupt things can get, one of Martin Luther’s key objections to the Roman Church was its selling of indulgences to get souls released from purgatory, as if the church had such powers. But the belief degenerated further into the practice of paying the church to absolve you of your sin even BEFORE you committed the sin!

Luther railed against the church’s arrogation of Yahweh’s authority. The world’s way of thinking is to compromise your beliefs, find a work-around. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, just make your own rules and authority. The mindset of the church for centuries has been to change for expediency, back away from truth for the sake of numbers.

No one, including the biggest church in the world, has the right to fiddle with Yahweh’s ordinances and usurp His authority.

Peter prophesied, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of,” 2Peter 2:1-2.

At one time or another, every believer has been criticized for following the Scriptures as commanded. Yahweh will turn such criticism on its head. Those who will not follow the Word are in for some big surprises.

The Protestant reformers missed the mark by failing to follow all the Bible’s teachings.

Often when people leave a group because of a serious doctrinal disagreement they also start believing teachings other than those for which they left.

Luther fit this dynamic. He made a left turn after his original grievances with the Roman church and he struck at the heart of the biblical teaching of obedience itself. He reinterpreted the Bible’s teaching on justification and called it “the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.” He said the church stands or falls on it. Luther maintained that justification by grace alone through faith alone in Yahshua’s righteousness alone is the gospel, the core on which all other Christian doctrines stand. Luther added the word “alone” to the Bible’s teaching on grace and justification.

Calvin: Organizer, Consolidator

Along comes John Calvin, a latecomer to the Reformation. He took Reformation teachings to a new level. His doctrines permeate most Protestant denominations today. Calvin systemized the doctrines of Protestantism and organized its ecclesiastical discipline. He consolidated the scattered forces of the Reformation.

 Whenever someone claims to be saved by faith alone, believes it is impossible for a believer to be eternally lost, and believes in salvationary predestination, he is reflecting Calvinist teachings.

Ironically, Calvin and other reformers based their teachings on the supposed principle that the Scriptures are the sole source of truth. The problem is, they didn’t teach the Scriptures. They totally missed the mark. That led to more controversies, which in turn led to more than 33,000 distinct groups and denominations in the world, according to the World Christian Encyclopedia.

Calvin differed with Luther over the nature of communion. And Calvin could not tolerate Spanish theologian Michael Servetus’ teaching against the Trinity, so Calvin testified against him at a Catholic inquisition and Servetus was then burned at the stake in 1553.

The central idea of Calvinism is the sovereignty of Yahweh. Calvin did not discover the sovereignty of Yahweh. He isolated it as an idea. He exalted the sovereignty of Yahweh to override all other truths of Scripture.

Now, we have no problem with Yahweh’s sovereignty. But Calvin twisted the idea to say that if Yahweh is absolutely sovereign, then it follows that salvation depends entirely on Him and not on man. Exit teachings of obedience. Exit the law. Enter total, supreme grace.

Calvinism Creates More Error

Calvin said Yahshua died only for the ones Yahweh had unconditionally chosen to save. This flies in the very face of the most quoted passage in all the Bible, John 3:16. Yahshua said that anyone can accept the truth and conform their lives to it.

We are saved only at the resurrection. Before that we are subject at any time to falling away. Yahshua clearly tells us in Matthew 10:22: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Paul corroborates that in Hebrews 3:14: “For we are made partakers of Messiah, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”

Calvin taught that we are saved now, and once we are converted there is no way we can change our destiny. I discussed this with a Calvinist once and I quoted Hebrews 6:6, saying we surely can fall away once we have been converted. He had no answer, except that maybe those who fall away never were really converted, an argument that contradicts the very definition of being converted.

Calvin said that because Yahweh is supreme and salvation comes only through Him, and because man can do nothing but evil, then when He saves us we need do nothing to remain saved. Two points here:

First, the whole biblical teaching of obedience is turned on its head if we believe Calvin. In Matthew 7:21, Yahshua said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

Hebrews 5:9 reads: “And being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”

Paul wrote to the Romans in 2:13: “For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

And we find in 1John 2:5-6, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Eternal Security Not Secure

Calvin also taught the doctrine of once saved, always saved, or eternal security. That means that you cannot fall from grace once you have been called by Yahweh, because that would be resisting the power of Yahweh.

This teaching does not take into account that calling does not mean choos-ing. Yahshua said many are called, but few are chosen. Yahweh doesn’t want robots or He would have created automatons instead of humans with free will.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 9:27: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Another major teaching of Calvinism is irresistible grace. It is also called ef-ficacious grace or invincible grace.

Calvinists believe that those who have been unconditionally elected to eternal life cannot resist Yahweh’s grace and His determination to save them. Just as those elected to damnation can do nothing about it, those who are elected to salvation can do nothing to resist it.

Again, their timing is way off. Yahweh chooses us at the resurrection. Until then we are merely called. Elect means chosen. Calvinists say those being called are already chosen.

Titus 2:11 says that the grace of Elohim that brings salvation has appeared to all people (Titus 2:11) and yet millions have rejected it. Each person is accountable for his own life, according to John 12:47-48. Those who reject the teachings of Yahshua are held accountable.

Personal accountability is the central teaching of the Scripture. If we have no accountability, if we are simply on salvational auto pilot and there is nothing we can do one way or the other to be ultimately saved or lost, then the whole plan of salvation of honing a people for Yahweh’s service is irrelevant.

The message of conforming to the image of Yahshua and the will of Yahweh is rendered meaningless by many major doc-trines today as well. Yahshua’s teachings tell us to obey the Father and not the will of man just as He did.

Salvation Based on Obedience, Not Talk

Nowhere in Yahweh’s Word can we find that salvation is instantly guaranteed in a believer’s life based on a mere confession or pronouncement. The Apostle Paul talked about having a “hope” of salvation in 1Thessalonians 5:8-9. He explained in 2Corinthians 2:15 that being saved is a process that is not completed until the end.

In 1Corinthians 3:15 he describes sal-vation and being saved as a state no one automatically possesses and is not instantly achieved upon conversion. He wasn’t even sure of his own future but he simply had the “hope” that he might attain the resurrection.

He said in Philippians 3:11-12: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after…”

If this apostle who was taught by the mouth of the resurrected Savior Himself (Gal. 1:11-12) and who wrote much of the New Testament was not certain of his own salvation, how can anyone today say they are already saved? Yet you hear well-meaning evangelists ask, “Are you saved?” and then tell you just to pronounce a few words to accept the Savior and you are permanently home free.

Those who think they have salvation may then live any kind of life they please and still be assured an eternal reward.

Repentance from Sin

You don’t hear much about repentance these days, yet the act of repentance is essential to being a converted child of Almighty Yahweh in the process of becoming saved. Many have missed this key part of conversion in the New Testament. Without understanding repentance and changing of your life, you cannot know what it means to be saved.

Before we can repent of sin we need to comprehend what sin is.

Everyone knows what crime is. A crime is like a sin. Webster defines a crime as an act that violates a law. The same is true for sin. In the clearest and most precise definition in the Bible, 1John 3:4 says that sin is a violation of Biblical law: Here is the Bible’s fundamental definition of sin:  “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” That’s crystal clear.

If sin is breaking of law, then NOT breaking of law means obedience to the law. We can break a law in ignorance because we did not know about it. That doesn’t mean that sin is not imputed to us simply because we were unaware of it. We are still a violator.

We can speed down a highway not knowing what the speed limit is and still be charged with a traffic violation. Ignorance is no excuse.

Everyone has broken Biblical law and therefore all humans are sinners whether they know it or not. The law includes the Ten Commandments. Lying, stealing, killing – these are all acts of sin by Biblical definition. The Bible also gives other laws that Yahweh commands to be observed, and violation of any one of them is also sin by the simple definition of sin. Sin leads to eternal death.

If we are guilty as charged of a lifetime of unrepented, intentional, premeditated sin, our hope of salvation will be dashed.

The Scriptures tell us that unless we confess our sins, seek forgiveness, and turn completely around to live a different life, we are spiritually lost. There is no hope beyond this earthly life unless we change and conform to the Scriptures in how we live.

James 4:4 tells us that the ways of the world make one the enemy of the Heavenly Father Yahweh, and those ways lead to death. On the other hand, Proverbs 12:28 reveals, “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”

And that is where repentance is pivotal. Repentance moves us away from sin and toward righteousness.

Almighty Yahweh will not allow an unrepentant sinner to sit on a throne in His coming Kingdom. The Messiah Yahshua instructed His followers in Matthew 18:3, “Except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Conversion requires change and it begins with repentance.

Repentance Is a Transformation

In Luke 13 we read that there were some murdered Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. In verse 3 our Savior said, “Except you repent, you shall likewise perish.”

Repentance is fundamental. Our sins have separated us from our Father in Heaven. Those sins must be forgiven as the first step to salvation.

One Greek word translated repent in the New Testament is metanoeo. It is a verb that includes a realization that one is a sinner. But it goes beyond just realization. It means to change one’s very perception or view of sin and to understand that sin is death. Sin that is practiced in one’s life ultimately ends in spiritual death.

A related word for repent in the New Testament is the Greek noun metanoia. This word signifies a real change in one’s entire attitude toward sin itself, which affects the whole life. It means a change in how we live. It amounts to a complete turnaround, not just to be sorry for sin but to make a 180-degree reverse course in how we live. It means a renouncement of sin and its destructive ways and to practice it no more.

Too often, however, is the more common and erroneous understanding of repentance, signified by the Greek metamelomai. It simply means that I regret what I did because I got caught. It is the kind of regret children often have when their parents punish them for doing something wrong.

In the Bible, it is also the kind of regret that Judas Iscariot felt for betraying the Savior Yahshua. But this is a false regret that lacks the power and force to effect permanent change in one’s life. It is shallow and  easily reversed. As soon as the punishment stops, the person is back to his sin again.

Genuine, scriptural repentance is the person who admits his sin, seeks forgiveness, and then makes a complete turnaround – permanently stopping what he or she had been doing, never to repeat it. True repentance leads to true conversion. Nothing less will do.

Just to say I’m sorry is not enough. Just apologizing for your sin but failing to turn from sinful behavior is not repentance. If I steal your car, then tell you I am sorry but I still keep the car, I have not repented.  A change must take place in the heart. I must make everything right again by a complete heart transformation

In the New Testament, which in most doctrinal respects is simply a mirror of the Old Testament, we read from Acts 17:30: “And the times of this ignorance Elohim winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent.”

Ezekiel 18:21 gives us the proper perspective on repentance. The prophet writes: “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?  says Yahweh Elohim: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

For all its efforts, the Reformation only scratched the surface in church cleanup.It missed the real mark. The reformers, in reaction to what they rightfully saw as a plethora of man-made dos and don’ts in a man-made religion, made a radical turn that derailed truth even further.

By: Alan Mansager


Watch: “What Happened to Worship?” from Discover the Truth TV below.

sabbatical jubilee bible land sabbath

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Keys to the Savior’s Return

This year, 2008-2009, is a Sabbatical year, according to best scholarship. It is a year when the land is to rest and no planting or tilling is to take place. That includes home gardens as well as farm fields. Read on for an understanding of this most misunderstood and neglected of Scriptural precepts.

The number 7 is the most important number in the Bible. Most scholars say it is Yahweh’s number because so many of His key activities and designs center on it. One of the most important occurrences of seven is in the Sabbath or seventh day, as well as other observances.

Did you know that the sabbatical, that popular leave of absence that college professors and teachers often take every seven years, is a concept taken straight from the Scriptures?

How many today realize that a “land” Sabbatical is a scripturally commanded rest every seven years, during which planting and tilling of the fields is to stop and the soil is to lie fallow for a year? Modern science even validates the Bible by confirming that the land should periodically rest and re-nourish itself naturally for a year.

If you have ever felt “jubilant” or witnessed a crowd filled with jubilation, then you might be surprised to learn that there is another Scriptural precedent at work here, too. These terms and their meanings come right from the Biblical word “Jubilee,” a year that came every 50 years.

At the Jubilee slaves were freed and debts forgiven. The Jubilee is also a year of land rest, but it went beyond that to include the release of land ownership as well. The Jubilee was a more intensified Sabbatical year.

Certain months of the year have special observances that have Sabbaths within them as well.

Most know that the weekly Sabbath is a time to cease from work. But what is the purpose of these other Sabbaths — the Sabbatical every 7 years, and the 50th-year Sabbath, known as the Jubilee?

The word “Jubilee” is derived in the Bible from the Hebrew jobel or more properly, yobel, which means “ram’s horn.” The ram’s horn announced the beginning of the Jubilee year. Whenever a trumpet was used to signal an event, in this case the shofar trumpet, it was an alert meaning something very significant was about to happen. Leviticus 25:9 says, “Then shall you cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”

The law of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years is one of the more mysterious and intriguing in Scripture. It is like discovering a key that opens up a door to an exciting treasure room.

Sabbaticals a Key to Prophecy

Important events of history and prophecy are tied up in these specially sanctioned years. Yet, the Israelites abandoned the keeping of the sabbatical years and in the process missed out on a critical aspect of Yahweh’s prophetic plan.

Deuteronomy 5:15, in the restating of the Fourth Commandment, gives us some additional insights into the broader concept of “Sabbath.”  “And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim brought you out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh your Elohim com-manded you to keep the sabbath day.”

Why does He bring in the issue of slavery in conjunction with the Sabbath? Because there is a connection to the 50th year Jubilee, which is also a Sabbath year. Slaves were to be set free on this 50th year Sabbath.

Persons sold as slaves in order to repay debts had to recover their freedom. An Israelite could not suffer slavery because he was redeemed by Yahweh from Egyptian slavery. He could only lend his services without being treated as a slave, but more like a laborer or tenant, while retaining his dignity as a human. It is much the same way an employee works at the discretion of his employer.

True slaves were only the gentiles who were acquired and sold in the pagan world. These remained the perpetual property of the family, and were treated as slaves in the social sense of the word (Lev. 25:44-46).

Israel was taken into captivity specifically for not keeping the land Sabbath. Not keeping the Sabbaths — weekly and annual — leads to slavery of another kind. Slavery to the world.

The Day of Yahshua’s Return

The trumpet call announcing the Jubilee year directly parallels the trumpet that will announce the return of Yahshua to this earth, which prophecy and Yahshua Himself indicated will occur on a Sabbatical or Jubilee year. Had Israel not lost track of the Jubilee, we could perhaps know with greater certainty the year of Yahshua’s return.

The circumstances of Yahshua’s return are revealed in Luke 4:18, where Yahshua was found in the synagogue reading Isaiah 61:2:

“The Spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.” 

To “proclaim” means “after the manner of a herald, with formality, gravity and authority.” The terminology coincides with the trumpet sound pro-claiming the all-important Jubilee at Atonement. Here is what some scholars say about the phrase “accept-able year”:

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: “Acceptable year an allusion to the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:10), a year of universal release for person and property.”

Wesley’s Notes: “The acceptable year — plainly alluding to the year of Jubilee, when all, both debtors and servants, were set free.”

Here we see Yahshua rightly dividing the word. In quoting Isaiah 61 He stopped in the middle of verse 2, which demonstrates that He Himself, as the fulfillment of this prophecy, was now calling people out of the world to become His followers. He did not read the rest of the verse, which refers to the future when He returns on the day of judgment.  The “acceptable year” is Yahweh’s amnesty year as one translation calls it.

Sabbatical, Jubilee Defined

The Jubilee is couched in a command detailing the Sabbatical year in Leviticus 25: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto Yahweh. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in the fruits thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath unto Yahweh: you shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard.

“That which grows of itself of your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your undressed vine you shall not gather: it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for you, and for your servant and for your maid, and for your hired servant and for your stranger, who sojourn with you. And for your cattle, and for the beasts that are in your land, shall all the increase thereof be for food.

“And you shall number seven sabbaths of years unto you, seven times seven years; and there shall be unto you the days of seven sabbaths of years, even forty and nine years. Then shall you send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the day of atonement shall you send abroad the trumpet throughout all your land.

“And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family. A Jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines. For it is a Jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In this year of Jubilee you shall return every man unto his possession…

“Wherefore you shall do my statutes, and keep mine ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. And if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years. And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old store. And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is mine: for you are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession you shall grant a redemption for the land.”

From this law we see that the Sabbatical year prescribes that:

·  Land and vineyards are to rest

·  Voluntary crops can be eaten

·  Debts are to be canceled

The stipulations for the Jubilee years are these:

·  Land must rest

·  Land goes back to original owner

·  Israelite slaves are freed

In quoting Isaiah 61 Yahshua said, “This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” He meant that He Himself would be its fulfillment when He returned on a Jubilee year. It was undoubtedly a Jubilee year when He said this. His ministry proper began on this Jubilee year, probably 28-29 CE.

Typically a person will experience at least one Jubilee year in his lifetime. As prophetically important as the Jubilee year is, it would be surprising and uncharacteristic for Yahshua, our liberating Savior who alone fulfills the Jubilee prophecy, not to have experienced a Jubilee himself while on earth. And this one would have been it.

The Jubilee is all about freedom —for the land, for the slave, and for the debtor. Yahshua’s ultimate liberating act dying on the tree was in releasing us from the death penalty if we repent and follow Him. His triumph began with the start of His ministry and ended with His impalement.

Just as He was cut off in the middle of the week and died on a Wednesday, so Yahshua left unread the rest of Isaiah 61:2, which tells of the vengeance that would follow His return at the end of the age. Note the latter part of this verse: “…And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn” (Isa. 61:1-2).

Jubilee Soon Neglected        

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years,” 2Chronicles 36:20-21.

Daniel 9 begins with a reference to the 70 years of Judah’s Babylonian captivity. The Jews were sentenced to a captivity of 70 years because they had not kept 70 sabbatical years.

After the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh were exiled, tradition says, the Jubilee was no longer in effect, being specifically for “ . . . all the inhabitants thereof,” Leviticus 25:10 (see Encyclopaedia Judaica, article “Sabbatical Year and Jubilee,” pp. 579-580). Jews began to believe that the Law of Jubilee did not apply to them because they did not fully occupy the land ofIsrael. In addition, rabbis relaxed the Sabbatical year because of “eco-nomic hardship.”

The last time we see an attempt to apply the principles of the Jubilee is after the return from the Exile in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 5:1-11).

When Does the Jubilee Occur?

Is the Jubilee the 49th or 50th year? Isaiah 37:30 holds the key:

“And this shall be the sign unto you: you shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.”

Here are two Sabbath years in a row. Sabbatical years by definition are spaced seven years apart. This can only refer to a Sabbatical year followed immediately by a Jubilee year, just as 49 is followed by 50. Counting to the Jubilee year is just like the count to Pentecost. You count 49 days (7 weeks) followed by the 50th day.

The Power of Seven

The weekly Sabbath every seven days, the Sabbatical year every seven years, and Jubilees coming after every 7×7 years as well as the 1,000-year reign of Yahshua following 6,000 years of man’s rule are each a part of Yahweh’s great Sabbath system. Yahweh marks weeks, holy days, years and millennia in increments of seven. The word ‘week’ in Hebrew is the same as the number 7, shabua. It literally means “sevened.”

Weeks are determined in cycles of seven days, just as Yahweh’s Word established them, and the month (“moonth”) is based on the moon phase beginning with the new moon. Shabua has a dual meaning, also signifying oaths.                  

What is Yahweh telling us by this word with dual meanings? Simply this: there is a powerful relationship between the number seven, representing Sabbaths, and an oath. Is it any wonder then that the Sabbath is THE sign between Yahweh and His people? “Speak thou 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,” Exodus 31:13.

Sabbath Lessons Taught

With many important meanings and lessons, His Sabbaths are also great equalizers. On the 7th day, for example, both the powerful and the powerless become irrelevant, as even the ox is liberated and given the same day of rest.

To counter any predatory greed, on the Sabbatical year debts are forgiven. And to counter over-farming, the land rests on the seventh year. After 7×7 years all debts are forgiven and lands are returned to the original owners. That insures that property rights remain in a family and the land specially given by Yahweh to the various tribes remained with them.

The Jubilee marks a return to origins, when everyone in Israel had his own property and hence his freedom and equality as well as dignity. It was a safety against tenureship and poverty. It allowed for economic equilibrium, whereby everyone enjoyed at least the minimal economic independence and liberty.

The Sabbatic plan teaches us that land belongs to Yahweh. No one could appropriate land as personal or hereditary property in perpetuity. For this reason, the buying and selling of land was only a temporary transfer and never to be permanent. Even the price of a tract of land was estimated on the basis of counting the years from the Jubilee. The land was more highly valued if it had had more years of production behind it.

The gift of the land was made on the basis of equal distribution to the needy families on the part of Joshua (Josh. 13-21). All were treated fairly. This is the answer to the promises made to the Patriarchs through an oath made by Yahweh (Gen 12-50).

Sabbaticals Prepare Us

In ancient times Yahweh sent prophets to warn the people of their backsliding, but their pleading fell on deaf ears.  There were brief revivals, such as with King Josiah, but after his death the people continued their obstinacy.  Ancient Israel was punished for neglecting the Sabbaths and Holy Days of Yahweh. 

There is good evidence that Yahshua’s ministry began on a Sabbatical/Jubilee, in the year 28-29 CE. If we count forward from that time, we find that 2008-09 is the next Sabbatical year where we don’t plant or harvest. That means starting this Atonement, October 11, the land Sabbatical begins.

It just so happens that Sabbatical years in our Gregorian wall calendars are divisible by 7.

In 1973 Ben Zion Wacholder published a table of sabbatical years called, “The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period,” published at Hebrew Union College. His Sabbatical dates coincide with what we have found.

The second great principle, deriving from the first, is:  “You are strangers and sojourners with me.” You are only passing through as pilgrims, heading toward an infinitely greater life. This life is schooling for the life to come, so don’t get wrapped up in the material things around you and live for them. I want you to know that you are strangers and sojourners with me.”

By getting in line with the Sabbath design and learning to follow the Biblical calendar, we learn how Yahweh’s government will run when Yahshua’s rule goes forth out of Zion to all the earth.

 by Alan Mansager

Watch “The Amazing Sevens” On Discover the Truth TV below:

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://

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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