Millions of people presume to worship the Heavenly Father on what they think is the Sabbath day, even while ignoring the part about resting from work.
Relatively few, however, have come to the truth of the true Sabbath day commanded in the Scriptures. They completely miss the significance and impact of what the true seventh-day Sabbath means for True Worship. Consider just this one fact: the word Sabbath appears 107 times in the Old Testament and a surprising 68 times in the New Testament. The “first day” of the week, however, is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, and “Sunday” does not appear at all. This is a revealing indication about which day was observed then and is still commanded as the proper Sabbath for today.
Consider just this one fact: the word Sabbath appears 107 times in the Old Testament and a surprising 68 times in the New Testament. The “first day” of the week, however, is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, and “Sunday” does not appear at all. This is a revealing indication about which day was observed then and is still commanded as the proper Sabbath for today.
No other biblical observance carries the weight and consequence as the seventh-day Sabbath. As we will see, the Sabbath identifies True Worshipers and separates them from nominal worship. Maybe you have a desire to observe and honor the same Sabbath day Almighty Yahweh set apart and commanded for His people, as well as the same day your Savior observed, yet you are unsure exactly how to go about it. What should you do on the Sabbath and what is forbidden? Our intent here is to provide the scriptural guidelines of weekly Sabbath keeping, including the annual Sabbaths, so that you will be blessed in properly reverencing the day that Yahweh gave exclusively to His people.
The Sabbath is a day of rest, worship, fellowship, rejoicing, and meditation. As special days go, the Sabbaths have more profound implications than any other observances. For Yahweh’s people there is no more important a day than the Sabbaths because it is the link that identifies them with the Father, Exodus 31:17. It’s a day we escape the worldly cares and meditate on Yahweh’s Word.
From the beginning, Yahweh created and set aside the weekly Sabbath as a unique day to honor Him. “And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3). Yahweh spent six days creating and restoring the heavens and the earth and then rested on the seventh day. When we rest on Yahweh’s Sabbath we are honoring Him by what He did Himself on the seventh day.
The Sign of True Worship
The weekly Sabbath, along with the annual Sabbaths (Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and Last Great Day), is a sign between Yahweh and His people, Ezekiel 20:12.
The Sabbaths are the distinguishing mark of Yahweh’s chosen anciently and today. Yahweh said: “Speak also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh that does sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people” (Exodus 31:13-14).
It is important to recognize that no other command holds such profound significance, while evoking serious consequences for defilement. In a similar way Yahweh’s Name is also unique. While the Sabbath is the sign of His people, Yahweh’s Name is the seal that will bind them in the Great Tribulation, Revelation 7:3, 14:1, 22:4. As with the Sabbath, there is no substitute for this seal. Yahweh has but one name, not many (Philippians 2:9).
A Day of Total Rest
The word Sabbath is from the Hebrew shabbath, which means, “to repose or to desist from exertion.” The Sabbath is, above all, a day of complete rest both from earning a living and from any activity that would cause physical exertion and draw us away from the purpose of this day. It is a day to be spent exclusively honoring Yahweh and His Son. Anything that detracts from this purpose should be avoided on the seventh day.
Our Father has given several specific regulations for His Sabbath. The Ten Commandments form a summary of Yahweh’s moral law, with the fourth one detailing specifically what Yahweh expects for the weekly Sabbath. He forbids His people from doing any work and to remember that it was He who blessed and sanctified this day for mankind by observing it Himself as our pattern for life. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your Elohim. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart” (Exodus 20:8-11).
The Fourth Commandment sets the weekly Sabbath aside for the entire family to observe, including those under our authority, as in the case of an employee. Nobody in our household or within our borders is exempt from keeping the Sabbath, including the very animals that we own so that no horse or ox of ours is made to work on this day. A universal prohibition of work underscores the strict sanctity of the Sabbath.
Come Together on His Sabbaths
Yahweh strongly encourages that we congregate or assemble as a body of believers on His weekly and annual Sabbaths. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:2-3). “Convocation” is miqra in the Hebrew and means a calling together of an assembly.
We find in the New Testament that worship took place on the worship Yahweh on the weekly and annual Sabbath, Isaiah 66:23; Zechariah 14:16. Can we say, then, that the Sabbaths have no relevance today?
The Bible describes the Assembly as a united Body in Messiah. Describing the importance of this Body the Apostle Paul said that all parts were needed and essential to the benefit of all. By missing even the most insignificant member the body is unable to function to its full potential. For this reason, it is crucial that all the body of Messiah congregate during Yahweh’s weekly and annual Sabbaths. The author of Hebrews reiterates this indispensable need for assembling during Yahweh’s Sabbaths. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
The final days will see increasing tribulation and we will need to rely more and more on true believers.
Cancel Cooking and Commerce
Besides Yahweh’s command to rest and worship on the Sabbath, there are several other statutes that regulate this day. One activity prohibited on the Sabbath is cooking or preparing food. “Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning” (Exodus 16:23).
The process of preparing the manna was quite involved in the Old Testament. “And the manna was as coriander seed and the color thereof as the color of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil” (Numbers 11:7-8).
To avoid the work-intensive process of preparing the manna, Yahweh commanded that the Israelites prepare twice the amount of manna on the sixth day. By doing so they were free to worship Yahweh on the seventh. Even though we don’t prepare manna and also enjoy modern, work-saving conveniences, we continue to observe this statute by preparing all cooked meals prior to the Sabbath. Foods can be reheated if necessary, but cooking or baking must be avoided. The prohibition on food preparation is somewhat more relaxed for the annual Sabbaths during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Exodus 12:16.
A second prohibition is to abstain from buying and selling on the weekly and annual Sabbaths.
“When the peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from on the Sabbath or on any holy day…” (Nehemiah 10:31; see also 13:15-21).
Benjamin were released from Babylonian captivity by the Persians the Israelites continued life as if they were yet in Babylon. Under Nehemiah the Israelites were instructed not to buy or sell on the Sabbath. Nehemiah, through Yahweh’s inspiration, understood that the Sabbath was not a day of commerce but of worship and fellowship. This same concept applies to our day. The Sabbath for Yahweh’s people today continues to be a day of worship, fellowship, and escape from the world. A person cannot observe the Sabbath and still participate in the world and its activities because the world has no regard for this day and will continue to pollute it.
Fire Conditions Hazardous
A third Sabbath prohibition in Yahweh’s law is the kindling of fire: “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh: whosoever does work therein shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day” (Exodus 35:2-3).
The precise interpretation of this passage is debated among biblical scholars. The word “kindle” is derived from the Hebrew ba’ar, a primitive root, meaning, “to kindle, i.e. consume…” (Strong’s). The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this word as, “to burn, to consume, to kindle, to be kindled.” Does this command refer only to the kindling or the starting of a fire or does it also include refueling the fire once lit and does it refer to all fires or those only for specific purposes?
The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament states , “After the restoration of the covenant, Moses announced to the people the divine commands with reference to the holy place of the tabernacle which was to be built. He repeated first of all (vv. 1-3) the law of the Sabbath according to Ex. 31:13-17, and strengthened it by the announcement, that on the Sabbath no fire was to be kindled in their dwelling, because this rule was to be observed even in connection with the work to be done for the tabernacle,” note on Exodus 35:1-29.
Based on the fact that this command immediately precedes the building of the Tabernacle, some maintain that this prohibition refers only to fire for work on the tabernacle; however, based on the Hebrew and the limited context, this interpretation is uncertain.
The JPS Torah Commentary conveys the rabbinic interpretation, “The injunction is practically a verbatim repetition on 31:15, with an addition. The manner in which the prohibition against kindling fire on the Sabbath is worded led the rabbis of the Talmud to understand that fire may not be kindled on the Sabbath itself; however, fire lit before the Sabbath and not refueled on the Sabbath is permitted. The Jewish sectarians known as Karaites rejected the interpretation and spent a day in darkness….”
When offering an explanation for this command, it’s important to remember the spirit or intent of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day to abstain from work and physical exertion. For this reason, it’s likely that this command would include not only the actual kindling or starting of the fire, but the preparation for the fire. Once the fire is lit and assuming proper provisions were made by ensuring sufficient supply of fuel, keeping the fire lit by refueling would likely be permissible. This and the previous requisites are inspired by Yahweh and serve to protect the purity and separateness of the Sabbath. Besides abstaining from work, the Sabbath is also a day of sober and unadulterated thought. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Yahweh, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words” (Isaiah 58:13).
The Sabbath is a time to be spent focused on Yahweh and not a time to discuss the commonplace. This is a time to study and learn Yahweh’s Word. If Yahweh commands that a person refrain from commerce, pleasures, and work on the Sabbath, it follows that conversations involving these things should also be avoided. Our actions, thoughts, and discussions on the Sabbath should in some fashion reflect Yahweh and honor Him.
In addition to the weekly Sabbath, the annual Sabbaths provide for some unique requirements. In this next section we will explore each of the annual Sabbaths and provide the special conditions of each. For questions on the scriptural calendar, check out our free booklet: The Biblical Calendar
Even though the Passover is not a Sabbath, it’s a memorial that we’re to observe. It’s perhaps the most solemn of all days, as it represents the death of Yahshua the Messiah, our Savior. The Passover has several special observances, including the actual timing of the day. This day is observed on the 14th day of Abib, the first biblical month, at evening. “…The timing of the word ‘evening’ has been a matter of debate for millennia. It is derived from the Hebrew phrase ben ha arbayim, which literally means, ‘between the two evenings.’ While rabbinical Judaism and Pharisaic and Talmudic tradition define ben ha arbayim as ‘between noon and sunset,’ this came about through a period of expansion over the centuries. The Sadducees, the Karaites, and the Samaritans define this phrase as between sunset and complete darkness. See Numbers 9:3-5, 11 and Leviticus 23:5. Based on scriptural evidence and modern scholarship, the latter interpretation is favored. According to The Interpreter’s Bible, the latter definition is the older of the two views: ‘The usage of the time referring to that after sunset and before darkness is the older practice’ (p. 919). This was also the same time as the evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-39),” Restoration Study Bible, note on Exodus 12:6 (for more information on ordering the Restoration Study Bible, visit http:// restorationstudybible.com).
Those who partook of the Passover in the Old Testament had to be physically circumcised, Exodus 12:44. Today, we fulfill this requirement by baptism into Yahshua’s Name. Paul in Colossians 2:1112 explains, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Yahweh, who hath raised him from the dead.” When we are immersed into Yahshua’s Name we are spiritually circumcised.
The Passover emblems of which Yahshua and His Apostles partook are also important to understand. Yahshua instructed His disciples in Matthew 26:26-28: “And as they were eating, Yahshua took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The bread that Yahshua broke with His disciples, representing His body, was unleavened. This was in accordance with Old Testament law. “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it,” Exodus 12:8. Our Father specifically commands that we eat only unleavened bread with the Passover. Leavened bread, i.e., bread made with yeast, is forbidden with the Passover memorial.
The drink mentioned likely refers to grape juice. As we note in the Restoration Study Bible, “…The word ‘fruit’ comes from the Greek gennema and means ‘the fruit of the earth,’ referring to the pure blood of the grape (Deut. 32:14). According to the Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, ‘there is no proof that it was fermented and intoxicating, for it is called “wine” while in the cluster (Isa. 65:8).’ Numerous verses speak of the winepress even though only grapes were put in it. In addition, the Old Testament prohibits all leavening from the Passover memorial (Ex. 12:18; Deut. 16:3), and wine has been fermented by yeast,” note on Luke 22:18.
Feast of Unleavened Bread
The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the15th day of Abib. It is seven days in duration with two holy convocations, a sacred meeting or fellowship, occurring on the first and seventh day, Leviticus 23:6-8. During this time Scripture commands that we remove all leavening from our homes. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel,” Exodus 12:15.
The word “leaven” here is derived from the Hebrew se’or and refers to a “…yeast-cake (as swelling by fermentation)” (Strong’s). Similarly, the phrase “leavened bread” comes from the Hebrew chamets, meaning, “ferment, (figuratively) extortion” (Strong’s). Since these words imply not only leavened bread, but fermentation through leavening or yeast, we’re to remove all forms of leavening from our homes.
What are these leavening forms or as they are often called, leavening agents? These are substances used in doughs and batters that cause them to rise. In the presence of moisture, heat, acidity, or other triggers the leavening agent reacts to produce gas (often carbon dioxide) that becomes trapped as bubbles within the dough. When a dough or batter is baked, it “sets” and the holes left by the gas bubbles remain. This is what gives breads, cakes, and other baked goods their soft, sponge-like textures. Common leavening agents include: baker’s yeast, active dried yeast, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate), sourdough, ammonium carbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, potassium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate and dipotassium carbonate.
Since the first and last days are holy convocations, we’re also to abstain from work and commerce. While meal preparation is to be kept to a minimum, this Feast does allow for limited meal preparation: “And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you,” Exodus 12:16. This allowance might have been the result of Israel’s rushed departure from among the Egyptians. As they did not have time to allow the dough to rise, they did not have adequate time to prepare meals for the multitude.
Feast of Weeks
The next Feast, the Feast of Weeks or as it’s often called, Pentecost, is a single day that is 50 days from when the priest would wave (i.e., side to side) the omer offering. It was the first fruits of the barley harvest presented to Yahweh on the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Similar to its predecessor, this Feast is a holy convocation: “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations,” Leviticus 23:21. The word “servile” comes from the Hebrew abodah and means, “…work of any kind,” (Strong’s). As such, all work, including meal preparation, is to be avoided. Commerce is also restricted, Nehemiah 10:31.
Feast of Trumpets
The Feast of Trumpets is akin to the Feast of Weeks, as it too is a holy convocation: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blow- ing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh,” Leviticus 23:24-25. The word “Sabbath” here is from the Hebrew shabbathown. Strong’s defines this term as, “…a sabbatism or special holiday.” This word is different from the weekly Sabbath, which is from the Hebrew shabbath. While both words share the same root (i.e., shabath, meaning, “to repose or desist from exertion”), shabbathown seems to be slightly less restrictive. Gesenius calls it a great Sabbath.
Afflict the Heart on Atonement
The next Feast is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. It falls on the tenth day of the seventh month. It contains two special requirements: “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath,” Leviticus 23:32.
The first restriction is that this day is a strict Sabbath. The word Sabbath here is the same word used for the weekly Sabbath, illustrating the strict prohibition against work. This is the only annual Sabbath where shabbath is used to describe the day.
In addition to resting, we must also afflict our souls. Afflict refers to fasting, abstaining from food and drink from sunset to sunset, beginning on the tenth day and seventh month. According to The JPS Torah Commentary, “In biblical literature the idiom ‘innah nefesh always connotes fasting, as Ibn Ezra observed and as we may deduce from the context of Isaiah 58:3,10 and Psalms 35:13.” As well as to the above references, the Bible provides additional evidence that a true fast is one without food and drink.
“So the people of Nineveh believed Elohim, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water,” Jonah 3:5-7.
“Then Ezra rose up from before the house of Elohim, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away,” Ezra 10:6.
“And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?” Luke 5:33.
“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink,” Acts 9:8-9.
In the New Testament, Atonement is simply called “the fast.” Acts 27:9 states, “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them.” The word “fast” comes from the Greek nesteia and means, “…abstinence (from lack of food, and voluntary as a religious exercise); specifically, the fast of the Day of Atonement” (Strong’s).
Feast of Tabernacles
Akin to the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, this next Feast is also seven days in duration. It begins on the fifteen day of the seventh month and contains a holy convocation on the first day. Even though there’s only one holy convocation, Scripture commands that we attend and worship each day.
“Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto Yahweh thy Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose: because Yahweh thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice,” Deuteronomy 16:13-16.
Not only are we to worship for all seven days, but we’re to worship with our entire family. Some claim that this Feast is for only the baptized men. This is not true. All believers are commanded to come out to worship Yahweh for all seven days where he places His Name, Deuteronomy 14:23.
In contrast to the other Feasts, during this time we are commanded to stay in booths. “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim,” Leviticus 23:42-43. This word “booths” comes from the Hebrew cukkah and according to Strong’s refers to a “hut or lair.” The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this term as, “a thicket, a covert, a booth.” In essence, the word “booth” refers to a temporary dwelling. Based on these definitions, we believe that a tent, cabin or any other temporary building is adequate. As such, we observe the Feast away from our homes, normally in a wilderness setting, as a memorial of Israel’s travels in the wilderness.
The Last Great Day
The Last Great Day or the eighth day immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles, just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread follows the Passover. Scripture confirms that this day is a holy convocation: “…on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein,” Leviticus 23:36.
As explained earlier, a holy convocation is both a day that we are to congregate for worship and fellowship and to also abstain from labor. Since this follows the seven days of Tabernacles, most view this in connection with its predecessor. What makes this day special is that it brings an end to Yahweh’s annual Sabbaths. This prophetically likely foreshadows the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15, as explained in our booklet, Sabbath Keeping- Answering the Arguments.
New Testament Examples
Numerous New Testament passages illustrate that Yahshua and His Apostles honored Yahweh’s seventh-day and annual Sabbaths. The common belief that Yahshua annulled the seventh-day Sabbath to make room for the L-rds Day is missing from the New Testament. In what is considered to be one of the greatest end-time prophecies, Yahshua made a reference to not profaning the Sabbath, referring to the Great Tribulation. “…But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day” (Matt. 24:19-20). This statement by Yahshua confirms that He had no intentions to annul the Sabbath during or after his earthly ministry.
Further evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath can be found at the first recorded council of the early New Testament assembly. “For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day” (Acts 15:21, KJV). This was more than ten years after Yahshua’s death on the stake, and yet the Apostles were advocating and observing the seventh-day Sabbath as well as the Law of Moses (called Moses’ law because he was the one through whom Yahweh transmitted the law to Israel, and also to us.) Many consider the Apostle Paul to be the founder and champion of churchianity. The general perception is that Paul invalidated Old Testament laws and commandments, including the Sabbaths. However, several New Testament accounts provide evidence that he observed not only the Torah-prescribed holy days, but also the seventh-day Sabbath.
“And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither” (Acts 16:13).
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days [three consecutive Sabbaths] reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (Acts 17:2).
“And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4).
Also, in the Book of Hebrews the author confirms that the seventh day Sabbath continues to exist for Yahweh’s people. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of Elohim” (Heb. 4:9). This passage could not be more clear or obvious. It is plain from these passages that the seventh-day Sabbath is still commanded for Yahweh’s New Testament assemblies.
In addition to the weekly Sabbath, we find numerous instances where the annual Sabbaths were being observed in the New Testament:
“And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. And those were the days of unleavened bread” (Acts 12:3).
“And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread , and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days” (Acts 20:6).
“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor. 5:6).
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).
“For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16).
“For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if Yahweh permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1Cor. 16:7-8).
“After these things Yahshua walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:1-2, 37).
Observance Continues in the Millennial Kingdom
Without a doubt the Sabbath was commanded and observed in the Old Testament. It can also be proved with little difficulty that Yahshua and His Apostles, including the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, observed the seventh-day Sabbath. To further substantiate the Sabbath command it can be shown that the weekly and annual Sabbaths will be observed by Yahshua and the saints in the Millennium.
“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahweh” (Isa. 66:23).
“Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before Yahweh in the Sabbaths and in the new moons” (Ezek. 46:3).
“In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten…In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil” (Ezek. 45:21, 25).
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith Yahweh will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16-18).
This last Scripture confirms that along with the weekly Sabbath that the annual Feasts will be mandatory for all nations, including Egypt. Those who willfully reject the Sabbath shall receive the plague of no rain. In the Kingdom, life will return to an agricultural society (Micah 4:3-4), which will make rain an essential part of everyday life. Those who reject Yahweh’s weekly and annual Sabbaths will pay a steep price for their open rebellion.
Follow Yahweh’s Own Lead
The Sabbath command is one of the most significant in Yahweh’s Word. Since He established it at creation by resting Himself this day (Gen. 2:2), Yahweh has ordained this day as a sign between Him and His people. The day is so important that Yahweh Himself observed it! He calls it a sign, and when we observe it correctly we reflect Yahweh in our lives and receive His blessings for obedience.