1 The Shabbat From the very beginning of creation, YHVH appointed the Sabbath day. He established it, He sanctified it and He set it apart for a special use and purpose. It is Kodesh (set-apart, holy) to YHVH and a commemoration, or remembrance that is to be kept forever. It is much more than just a day, it is a picture and it is symbolic of something much greater! Elohim rested on the Sabbath day, from all of His work that He had completed and He set it apart from all the other days. He gave us the example. Genesis 2:1-3 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array. 2 And on the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made. The annual Appointed Times (Moedim) of YHVH are also Sabbaths; they are annual Sabbaths, or high Sabbaths. Each of those days is also Kodesh and special time. What YHVH ordains, sanctifies and sets apart, is in place forever. No one has the authority to change, or alter what YHVH has put into place! YHVH created the appointed times and seasons and put them into place for a very specific reason and purpose. When the appointed time and day of those observances are changed, the true meaning and intent is lost and the things that YHVH truly wants us to learn by their observance goes unrealized. If someone made an appointment with you and then did not show up, how would you feel? If you make an appointment with someone, can you just change the day and time and show up whenever you feel like it? Yet, that is exactly what people have done with Shabbat and what YHVH has fixed in place forever. We cannot change what He has put into place and we cannot decide for ourselves what day we will worship and meet with Him. We must conform to what He has told us and to what He has put into place for us. The Sabbath Day is a test commandment for the people of YHVH. The Shabbat has been in place since the very beginning and it is still in place today YHVH does not change! The Patriarchs and those who followed the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, kept YHVH s Sabbath. When YHVH gave the law to Israel in the wilderness, He made it clear that this day was to be observed and that it had been observed, when He told them to Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For something to be remembered, it already had to be in place, it was already in practice and it was already known.
2 Exodus 20: Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 Six days you labor, יהוה and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of your Elohim. You do not do any work you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days them, made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in יהוה and rested the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart. Elohim gave man six days out of seven for all of his labor, but he was to rest on the seventh day, the Shabbat. The very same Sabbath Day that Elohim rested on after all of His labor of creation! The Sabbath is a 24-hour cycle. It is an entire 24-hour period, a complete cycle, that makes up the Sabbath. It is NOT just the daylight portion of the 24-hour period. There are examples that we can look to. Leviticus 23:32 32 It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath. The observance of Yom Kippur, was to be from evening to evening. This establishes the way that YHVH reckons a day. Evening to evening, an entire 24- hour cycle, is a complete day. Notice that this day was to be observed on the tenth day of the month. Leviticus 23:27 27 On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings,.יהוה and shall bring an offering made by fire to This also establishes that the day begins at sundown. In verse 32 of Leviticus 23, it says that the observance is to begin at evening on the ninth. In verse 27 of Leviticus 23, scripture states that the observance is to be on the tenth day of the month. At the setting of the sun on the ninth, it was the beginning of the new day, the tenth, and the observance began. There are other examples we can look to as well. Exodus 12: In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 19 For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, that same being
3 shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisra ĕl, whether sojourner or native of the land. Here again, we are shown the example of an observance beginning at sundown, in the evening. In this instance it is Chag HaMatzot (The Days of Unleavened Bread). Notice the observance begins on an evening and ends on an evening. YHVH reckons days as beginning and ending in the evening, or at sundown. The entire 24-hour period, or cycle, is a complete day. When YHVH brought Israel out of Egypt, He had to teach them and educate them about the Shabbat. They had been in Egypt so long, that they had completely lost their identity and the sign (the Shabbat) which marked them as belonging to YHVH. YHVH used the manna He supplied, to help Israel to understand the importance of the Sabbath and also to test them to see whether they would obey His instruction. YHVH provided bread for them on every day of the week, except for the Sabbath. He instructed them to gather twice as much on the sixth day as they did on the other days and to prepare it ahead of time. Exodus 16:4-5 4 And יהוה said to Mosheh, See, I am raining bread from the heavens for you. And the people shall go out and gather a day s portion every day, in order to try them, whether they walk in My Torah or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. The sixth day was to be used as a preparation day, to provide ahead of time for the things that they would need on the Sabbath. YHVH wanted there to be no misunderstanding and He was teaching them that the Shabbat was not to be used as a normal day. They were not to perform their normal labor on the Sabbath, or use it in a wrong way. The Sabbath is Kodesh (set-apart, holy) time, because Elohim established it that way. Only Elohim can bless and sanctify a day as being Kodesh. YHVH intended the Sabbath to be a blessing to man, not an oppressive burden full of rules and regulations as some make it out to be! What would have happened if Israel had tried to keep Shabbat on a different day than the one appointed by YHVH? Everything would have been out of place! The cycle would have been interrupted and the double portion of manna would not have come at the right time. We cannot assign any day we please and then set that day aside to YHVH. Those who are created cannot tell the Creator what they will and will not do. If we want to honor Him and obey Him, then we have to observe the day that HE appointed and put into place forever!
4 In the book of Leviticus, in chapter 23, YHVH gave to Moses a list of the Appointed Times (observances, feasts) that are YHVH s and that all of Israel was to observe. Notice the very first observance that YHVH lists and calls an Appointed Time, is the Sabbath! Leviticus 23:1-3 1 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Yisra ĕl, and say to them, The appointed times of,יהוה which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a setapart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings. The weekly Sabbath is an Appointed Time! Why would YHVH list the Sabbath as the first commanded observance? By including the Sabbath, listing it first and specifically naming it as an Appointed Time, YHVH shows us that it is just as important for us to keep all of the Appointed Times listed after the Sabbath, as the Sabbath day itself! If you observe the Shabbat, then you should be careful to observe all of the days listed after the Shabbat as well. YHVH took Sabbath breaking very seriously and it was a very serious offense with very serious consequences. Exodus 31: And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, setapart to.יהוה Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death. The punishment for Sabbath breaking was death. The physical things that Abba put into place, always point to a spiritual fulfillment. When YHVH told Israel to observe the Sabbath, He meant it! Once YHVH made it known to Israel that the Shabbat was to be observed, they had no excuse. To willfully ignore the Shabbat was to disobey and rebel against the Word of YHVH. Why was YHVH so intent on them not performing any work on the Shabbat? Our works alone cannot EVER earn us anything! We cannot enter the Kingdom of Elohim on our own! The spiritual picture is clear; to do our own work (works) on Shabbat (the Appointed Time to rest) leads to death! There is a time when we have to rest from our labor and allow Abba to do the work that only He can do! If not, then we will die a spiritual death as well.
5 It was very important that Israel observe the Sabbath day, because it was also a sign that they belonged to YHVH. He had chosen them. He had blessed them. He had set them apart and sanctified them as His people and a chosen nation to serve Him it is a covenant. The Shabbat is an outward and visible mark, it sets His people apart. Exodus 31: And the children of Yisra ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 Between Me and the children of Yisra ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. YHVH told the children of Israel to observe the Sabbath, throughout their generations, as a perpetual, or eternal and ongoing covenant. The Shabbat is a sign and a mark of YHVH s people, they belong to Him. What YHVH tells us to observe, we are bound to observe. There is not one instance in scripture that replaces the seventh day Shabbat with another day of observance. The Sabbath day was established forever and is unchanging. No other day is acceptable to YHVH, other than that day that He blessed, He sanctified, and He set in place perpetually. Isaiah 58: If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath a delight, the set-apart day of יהוה esteemed, and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in.יהוה And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken! It is extremely important that we observe the weekly Appointed Time of YHVH, the Sabbath, along with the rest of the annual Moedim, or Appointed Times. The Shabbat also has prophetic implications, it points to a time that will come to pass in the future. Hebrews 4: So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim. 10 For the one, having entered into His rest, has himself also rested from his works, as Elohim rested from His own. 11 Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
6 Many people want a list of things that they can and cannot do on Shabbat, but there is no list. The one clear requirement is we are not to do our normal work. If we start checking to see if something is on a list, then we are not obeying out of love and out of a desire to please and obey YHVH. The Shabbat is supposed to be a blessing to man, not a curse. We are to be refreshed and restored. The weekly Shabbat is a reminder and a picture of things to come. It is a time to study, to teach and to learn. It is a time to gather in fellowship and to edify and encourage one another. It is a time for family and friends. It is a time to do good and to remember the blessings that YHVH has bestowed on us and the gift of eternal life made possible by the sacrifice of Yeshua. Do not turn the Shabbat, something so wonderful and beautiful and incredible, into a day full of burdensome rules and drudgery. It is a weekly day of celebration and set-apart time to spend with YHVH. We should be focused on Him. The Shabbat is a day that is special to Him and that He asks us to make special too. No other day can fulfill the same purpose and have the same meaning. Yeshua did not put the Shabbat away man did that. Yeshua said very plainly and emphatically, that He did not come to remove Torah, or the requirements. Why would He do that? The very things that He loved and upheld and taught us to observe in a spiritual and internal way, to make them a way of life! Matthew 5: Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. 18 For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. He taught in the synagogues on Shabbat and was always very visible on Shabbat doing other good works. He was setting an example for us to follow. He even left us with a warning about a time in the future. Matthew 24: So when you see the abomination that lays waste, spoken of by Dani ĕl the prophet, set up in the set-apart place he who reads, let him understand 16 then let those who are in Yehuḏah flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the house-top not come down to take whatever out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his garments. 19 And woe to those who are pregnant
7 and to those who are nursing children in those days! 20 And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. If the day we are to observe is not important, then why did Yeshua specifically mention the Shabbat? This event He mentions here takes place in the future, during the tribulation. Why even mention the Shabbat at all, if it were no longer important? Yeshua did NOT come to change, or do away with Torah He came to remove the penalty for our transgression of Torah! Sha ul continued to observe and to teach on Shabbat. He went to the synagogues and taught those who were there. Acts 18:1-4 1 And after this Sha ul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Yehuḏite named Aqulas, born in Pontos, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had commanded all the Yehuḏim to leave Rome and he came to them. 3 And because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and was working, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he was reasoning in the congregation every Sabbath, and won over both Yehuḏim and Greeks. How was he able to win the people over? Did he teach them to disregard Torah and the things that they had been observing all of their lives? Do you think they would have accepted that so easily? Why did he continue to go back every Shabbat to reason with them? It does not say that he met with them on two different days, but only on the Shabbat! That was their customary day to meet. The truth is that the Shabbat was established forever by YHVH and it is still in effect today. Forever means forever and no one has the authority to change what YHVH established and put into place from the beginning. Abba does not change! Malachi 3:6-7 6 For I am,יהוה I shall not change, and you, O sons of Ya aqoḇ, shall not come to an end. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My laws and did not guard them. Turn back to Me, and I shall turn back to you, said יהוה of hosts. But you said, In what shall we turn back? When the earth is restored and all things are put into place the way YHVH wants them, people will be required to observe the Appointed Times that Abba put into place.
8 Isaiah 66: For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make stand before Me, declares,יהוה so your seed and your name shall stand. 23 And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath.יהוה to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, declares There is no denying what His Word says, when will the new heavens and the new earth be established? At the end of the age this is for the future and everyone will be required to observe the Shabbat. The Shabbat is in place and in effect forever! It is a blessing and a joy, and a beautiful gift from a Father that loves His children. We can receive the same satisfaction, blessings and pleasure from observing Shabbat, that Elohim did when He rested from all of His work that He had made. Isaiah 56:1-8 1 Thus said,יהוה Guard right-ruling, and do righteousness, for near is My deliverance to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it, guarding the Sabbath lest he profane it, and guarding his hand from doing any evil. 3 And let not the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to יהוה speak, saying, יהוה has certainly separated me from His people, nor let the eunuch say, Look I am a dry tree. 4 For thus said,יהוה To the eunuchs who guard My Sabbaths, and have chosen what pleases Me, and hold fast to My covenant: 5 to them I shall give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters I give them an everlasting name that is not cut off. 6 Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to יהוה, to serve Him, and to love the Name of יהוה, to be His servants, all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant 7 them I shall bring to My set-apart mountain, and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their slaughterings are accepted on My altar, for My house is called a house of prayer for all the peoples. 8 The Master,יהוה who gathers the outcasts of Yisra ĕl, declares, I gather still others to him besides those who are gathered to him. Copyright 2011 Jeff L Mills