Learning about YHVH‘s Appointed times was the turning point in my life, in which I saw a pattern that God had laid out. Seeing that Christ died on “Passover“, being buried at the beginning of the “Week of Unleavened Bread“, Resurrecting on “Firstfruits” and the Disciples receiving the Holy Spirit on “Pentecost” (which is another of God’s Feast days from Lev 23) started a curiosity in me, which has fueled my passion of study and research. The Icing on the cake was that there were more feast days which were yet to be realised, but of which we had all heard in some sermon or bible study. The Feast of “Trumpets” signified His 2nd Coming, The “Day of Atonement” signified judgement and “Tabernacles” signified His 1000 year reign. “I was blown away”. Putting all of this together with Scripture to back it up, I hope the below Graphical Study Board will help you see God’s Plan and His Word in new Light. Click on below image for enlarged view.
When God redeemed His people from bondage in Egypt, He brought them to Sinai to make a Covenant with them. This agreement between YHVH and the people of Israel, commonly known as the Mosaic Covenant, contained a host of requirements and laws which God wanted His people to follow.
The majority of Mainstream Christianity has vilified and shunned this Law of God viewing it as a kind of bondage; as if God broke the Children of Israel from Egyptian Bondage only to put them back in bondage through His Law. Proponents of this idea submit that the “Old” Mosaic Covenant has been done away. Yet, we have seen in an earlier study that the Ten Commands are the basis for the Mosaic Covenant, and one cannot exist without the other. Some even go to the extent to say that the “Ten Commandments” have also been replaced with “2 New Commandments”, when it is quite clear that the Golden Rule is merely a summary of God’s Law.
In recent years, most Christians have viewed God’s Law to have 2 main divisions, namely
1) The Moral Law (consisting of moral precepts such as “The Ten Commands”) and
2) The Ceremonial Law (consisting of all other forms of precepts)
It is important to point out that the above classification is not found in the Bible and is a man-made division of His Law. It is just how some, if not most, theologians view the Law. Such a classification is inherently flawed as any person can give their own opinion on how the Law should be divided or adhered to. For example, one person could say “X” is part of the Moral Law and is in force, while another can say that the same “X” is part of the Ceremonial Law and is done away. Anyway, our objective will be to seek out the Scriptural divisions of the law instead of man-made divisions.
What does the Bible say? The Biblical Divisions of God’s Law
I believe that if there is any classification or division that Law is subjected to, it must be Biblical. Fortunately, we do see that the Scriptures and God Himself classifies His Law under a few categories. Although there maybe some classifications in the Law, this does not mean some parts take precedence over others. The whole body of the Law comes together under one Covenant, and as long as the Covenant stands, the minutest details will remain intact.
Let us now delve into the categories of Law mentioned in the Scriptures and the true meaning of all the terms God has used to describe His Law. The Law can be compartmentalized into the following sections:
- Dabar – (H1697) – Word, Matter, Saying
- Mishmereth – (H4931) – Ordinance, Charge, Watch, Duty, Observance.
- Khuqqah – (H2708) – Enactment, Appointment, Statute
- Mitzvah – (H4687) – Commandments, Precept
- Mishpat – (H4941) – Verdict, Judgement
- Torah – (H8451) – Law, Instruction
The Hebrew word Dabar is generally used to refer to any “Matter” or “Word” which is said or done in the Hebrew Scriptures. This same word exclusively appears along side “Ten”, wherever the “Ten Commandments” are mentioned in our English Translations. In short, the 10 Commands would be better translated as “The Ten Words/Matters” as the Hebrew word used in these instances is not “Commandment”(Mitzvah) but “Matter/Word/Saying”(Dabar).
Exo 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words(Dabar) that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
Exo 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words(Dabar) of the covenant, the ten commandments(Dabar).
Deu 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments(Dabar); and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deu 10:2 And I will write on the tables the words(Dabar) that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
Deu 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments(Dabar), which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
These “10 Matters” take centre-stage over all other Ordinances, Commandments, Customs, Laws & Judgements, as they are a summary of God’s Law, and can be viewed as the “Constitution” under which the Children of Israel live.
The rest of the categories fall under the 10 matters which form the constitution of Israel and we see these categories mentioned in the words uttered by King David to his son Solomon, on his deathbed.
1Ki 2:3 And keep the charge(Mishmereth) of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes(Khuqqah), and his commandments(Mitzvah), and his judgments(Mishpat), and his testimonies, as it is written in the law(Torah) of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
The Hebrew word “Mishmereth” constitutes to the calling God has placed on His people. It is the office of “citizen”, “priest”, “judge” or “king” that each person duly fulfills. Accordingly, there are Mishmereth for Citizens, priests, judges and kings – each have their own Duties to fulfill as citizens of God’s Kingdom. Each is called to Observe these Mishmereth to the best of their abilities.
Lev 18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance(Mishmereth), that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God. (Regarding sexual misconduct among the Children of Israel)
Num 1:53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge(Mishmereth) of the tabernacle of testimony. (Regarding Levitical office)
Eze 40:45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge(Mishmereth) of the house. (Regarding Priestly office)
The Hebrew word Khuqqah refers to decrees made by God. These decrees span a host of categories from appointed days to manners of living and customs of worship.
Lev 17:7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute(Khuqqah) for ever unto them throughout their generations.
Lev 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute(Khuqqah) for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Lev 24:3 Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute(Khuqqah) for ever in your generations.
Num 27:11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute(Khuqqah) of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.
The Hebrew word Mitzvah is rightly translated as “command”. These are direct principles set in order by God and together with the judgements(Mishpat) comprise the biggest portion of the Law.
Lev 4:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments(Mitzvah) of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:
Lev 27:34 These are the commandments(Mitzvah), which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.
Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep thecommandments(Mitzvah) of the LORD your God which I command you.
The Hebrew word Mishpat stands for verdict, and is composed of Judgements, penalties and sentences regarding justice for all kinds of acts prohibited by the Law. Mishpat was carried out by judges and could not be dispensed by any individual without proper order.
Exo 21:1 Now these are the judgments(Mishpat) which thou shalt set before them.
Deu 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment(Mishpat).
Deu 17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment(Mishpat):
The Hebrew word Torah which is translated throughout our English Translations as “Law” generally refers to all instructions given by God. The word can be used for a single law or even the complete body of law depending on the context. Each matter under the other 5 sections (Dabar/Mishmereth/Khuqqah/Mitzvah/Mishpat) can be considered a “law”, while the entire sum can also be known as Torah.
Exo 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law(Torah), and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law(Torah) in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law(Torah) that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
Looking at the divisions in Scripture according to how God categorized His Law, we can see that you cannot remove parts of His law, while keeping others. They are not divided into “Ceremonial laws” and “Moral laws”, rather to “Duties”, “Appointments”, “Commandments” & “Judgements”.
While there is clearly no division called “Ceremonial” & “Moral” mentioned in His Word, some even go further, dividing the law to “Civil”, “Moral”, “Ceremonial”, “Dietary” & “Sacrificial”. While all of these categories are addressed by God in His Law, the Scriptures do not divide the body of the law this way. People whom suggest these divisions to His law, do so without any Biblical basis.
Loving our Heavenly Father is connected to the law with its many divisions;
Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge(Mishmereth), and his statutes(Khuqqah), and his judgments(Mishpat), and his commandments(Mitzvah), alway.
And whomever despises and does not obey the law with its many divisions is said to be breaking His Covenant;
Lev 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes(Khuqqah), or if your soul abhor my judgments(Mishpat), so that ye will not do all my commandments(Mitzvah), but that ye break my covenant:
The last of the Appointed Times given by our Heavenly Father, to His People is known as the Feast of Tabernacles. After the solemn remembrance of the “Day of Atonement” in which we repent for all our shortcomings, we step into the 8 Day feast of Tabernacles with much joy and rejoicing. This is considered the most joyous of the Appointed Times given to us in Lev 23. Let us study this Feast a bit more closer to understand and apply it to our life today as well as find out its Prophetic significance.
This study has been broken into 10 sections for your viewing ease. If you already know about any particular section, please feel free to skip through to the section that you are interested in.
1. Introduction to the Feasts/Appointed Times of God
God’s appointed times (also known as feasts) which are written in Lev 23 consist of 7 separate events which are “remembrances of God’s grace in time past” as well as “prophetic shadows of things to come”. Even though these feasts have been branded “Jewish feasts”, it is very clear that these were called “My feasts” and “LORD‘s feasts” by our Heavenly Father (Lev 23:2,4,37).
Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua(the real name of Jesus), His Disciples and even the highly misunderstood Apostle Paul, did not teach or abolish God’s Law. Just as God’s Commandments will stand till Heaven and Earth exists, The “Feasts” or “Appointed Times” of God (which are part of God’s Law), is, and will be in effect in the time to come. Out of the 7 events asked to be remembered, God has fulfilled 3 of these prophetic events in the time of the first coming of Messiah.
I highly recommend that you read the separate studies on Passover, First Fruits, Pentecost & Trumpets (if you have not studied this subject before) from which, Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost have been already fulfilled in its time and season at the time of the 1st appearance of Messiah Yeshua.
Let us review these Appointed times, their significance and their fulfillment –
1. The Sabbath – Every 7th Day (Lev 23:3) – Remembrance of God as Supreme Creator and the one who will provide us with rest in His Millennial Kingdom
2. Passover & the week of Unleavened bread – 14th of the 1st Month is Passover / 15th to 21st is the week of U.B. ; The 15th and the 21st are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:5-7) – The deliverance from Egypt through the Blood of a Lamb & the Deliverance from Sin/Death through the Blood of Yeshua who is named Lamb of God (Yeshua died on the day of Passover)
3. First Fruits – The day after the 7th day Sabbath, which is right after Passover (Lev 23:10,11) – The lifting up of the First fruit of all Crops to God & the ressurection of the First fruit of all who will rise again – Yeshua – who was the First to have risen from death (Yeshua rose on the day of First Fruits)
4. Feast of Weeks also known as Pentecost – The 50th day counted from First Fruits (Lev 23:15,16) – The day of Thanksgiving for God’s provision for the Harvest and remembrance of giving of the Commandments at Mt.Sinai, as well as The day of remembrance of the giving of the Holy Spirit & the start of the Heavenly harvest of souls collected unto God. – (The Holy Spirit fell on the Disciples on the day of Pentecost)
From the 3rd Month (when Pentecost is celebrated) until the 7th Month (when the last 3 feasts are celebrated) there is a period of silence, much like the time we are living in – awaiting His 2nd coming ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
5. Feast of Trumpets – 1st day of the 7th Month (Lev 23:24,25) – The day Yeshua will return as the Bridegroom & King to reclaim the Earth and establish His Kingdom for a thousand years
7. Feast of Tabernacles – 15th to 22nd day of the 7th Month ; 15th & 22 are Special Sabbaths (Lev 23:34-36)
2. The “Appointed time” / “Feast” of Tabernacles
Lev 23:33-36,38-43 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 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 the LORD your God.
(Also read Num 29:12 onwards)
As seen in the above passage of Scripture, “Tabernacles” was a Week of Rejoicing before God Almighty. As per the Commandment that proceeds from Him, the 1st day is supposed to be a “Sabbath” and a day of “Assembly”. The Feast ended with the 8th day, which was similarly ordered to be kept as a “Sabbath” and a day of “Assembly” again. As we have seen throughout, all of these have been shadows or prophetic announcements of the work of Messiah. As you are now familiar, Christ fulfilled the Passover, the First Fruits and the Pentecost Feasts. The “fall feasts” as they are known, which are trumpets, atonement and tabernacles will be fulfilled in Him, when He comes as the “Son of David” to rule and reign in His Kingdom alongside His Bride.
3. Tabernacle = Booth = Sukkah = Temporary dwelling
The word “Tabernacle” which was also the same as “Booth” (H5521 – סכּה – sûkkâh) meant “temporary dwelling”. The name “Succoth” derives from the above Hebrew word. This word is first seen in Gen 33:17, in which Jacob makes “Sukkah’s” for His Cattle/Possessions. The “Booths” were mostly made of branches of trees (Lev 23:40, Neh 8:15). We see Jonah building himself a “Booth” outside of Nineveh to see what will become of the city (Jon 4:5). This feast also signifies the temporary state of this life, and that we should await the 8th Day in which all will be renewed and made new in Messiah.
4. A mandatory appearance before God
The “Feast of Tabernacles” or “Feast of Ingathering” as it is known, was one of the 3 Appointments that God Specifically said all should appear before Him. The people were supposed to come from their cities, wherever they lived, to God’s Temple in Jerusalem – Deut 16:16, Exo 23:16, 34:22,23.
5. Remembering Tabernacles/Booths – in the Wilderness, today and when we finally reside with Him
The Feast of Tabernacles is a remembrance of the time in which the Children of Israel dwelt in “Booths” in the Wilderness. It was a remembrance of the journey with God towards the Promised Land, after they were redeemed from Slavery in Egypt. Even After the return from the Babylonian Exile, the people of Judah remembered this Feast (Neh 8:14-17), probably because they were exiled from the Land, but God was still with them, in their exile. Today, we as believers who are grafted into Israel (Rom 11:16-26), are still in exile, waiting for the day when we would be let into the Promised Land through Messiah. In this we understand that the present life we live, is a “temporary dwelling” that we must abandon shortly (2Pet 1:13,14, 2Cor 5:1).
6. Ingathering of Harvest
All of God’s Feasts revolved around the Harvest of the Land. Generally, an yearly agricultural cycle consists of two main seasons. Subsequent to the flow of rain, in the “Spring” and in the “Fall”, the fields are harvested of its produce. God’s Feasts can be broken down into 2 main parts, as the “Spring Feasts” (Passover, Firstfruits & Pentecost) and “Fall Feasts” (Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles). Passover leading upto First fruits was the time of the ripening of the Harvest. And the First portion of the Harvest of that year was completed on Pentecost. Similarly, by the time of Tabernacles, the Second Harvest of the year was ready. This is the reason why this Feast was also known as the “Feast of Ingathering” (Exo 23:16, 34:22, Deut 16:13). When Christ appeared before, He became the “Firstfruit” and gathered an amount of people unto Himself as His first Harvest after “Pentecost”. The Second Harvest (The Greater Harvest) is what He talked about in His Ministry (Mat 13:30,39) and is further seen in Prophecy (Joe 3:13, Rev 14:15) which will come to pass with the fulfillment of “Tabernacles”.
7. Days of Rejoicing and Gladness
The seven days from the 15th to 21st of the Seventh Month are to be days of Rejoicing (Lev 23:40, Deut 16:14-16, 2Chr 7:8-10). There were so many things to rejoice about at the time of the Commandment and even today. The Israelites remembered how God fulfilled His promise in bringing them into the land given to Abraham. How God provided them on the way, and even after they entered, how God gave the rains on time, giving them plentiful harvests. They also remembered that they had stepped from death to life because there Sins were covered by the “Atonement Sacrifice” which was done 5 days prior to the “Feast of Tabernacles”. Today, similarly, we thank God for His provision and His mercy, as well as looking forward to the Day when we will “dwell” with Him for a Thousand Years (Rev 20:6, 21:3).
8. Learning God’s Word
The 7 day period of this feast has been a time which was exclusively separated for the study of His Word as well (Deut 31:10-13, Neh 8:18). It is a good time to refresh ourselves in His Word and audit our understanding and our doctrines to see whether it is Biblical & accurate.
9. 8th Day of the Feast – also known as the “Great Day”
Many sacrifices and ceremonies were done in the temple on the 8th day, Signifying a New Beginning or perfection (Lev 9:1, 14:10, 15:14, Lev 22:27, Eze 43:27). Circumcision was also to be done on the 8th Day of a Male Child (Lev 12:3). This is the day mentioned in Joh 7:37 in which Yeshua (Real name of Jesus) cried out “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink”. This signified the day which is mentioned in Rev 7:15-17. The 8th Day signifies a time when every thing will be renewed completely whether it be heaven or earth (Rev 21:1-6).
10. The Feast of Tabernacles in the Messianic Kingdom Prophecy
The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the feasts specifically mentioned in the prophecies about Yeshua’s Kingdom. It is clear that all who enter into the Messianic Kingdom will have to keep the Appointed time of Tabernacles (Zec 14:16-19). This is a clear indication that these feasts/appointed times/prophetic rehearsals are not done away after Yeshua’s 1st appearance on earth.
The last feast in the Calendar of Prophetic Appointments given by our Father, is the “Feast of Tabernacles”. As we have seen through the study above, it is evident that this Appointment will be fulfilled only at the end of the age, when God dwells/Tabernacles with us. Furthermore the 8th Day of the Feast signifies the renewal and perfection of all things, in which all of God’s Word would be fulfilled. Reading Zec 14:16-19, it is clear that everyone will have to be obedient to keep this feast in the Messianic Kingdom, which is yet to come. Why not start now, and get ready, by celebrating this Prophetic Rehearsal, before we are “ordered” to keep it, in His Kingdom?
In the 1st Part of this study, we laid the groundwork in understanding The Sabbath day which is also God’s 4th Eternal Commandment. We learned that the Sabbath had a direct connection with the 7th Day of Creation. That God made it for man, so that he may be refreshed, just as God was refreshed on the 7th Day. That it is an important day for Him, as He calls it “My Holy day” and “My Feast/Appointment”. And that the only thing you cannot do on the Sabbath, according to God’s Commandment, is your regular work/occupation done for monetary gain. (If you have not read the 1st Part, please start there, as you will have a clearer understanding of the definitions).
In the 2nd Part of the study, we answered one of the most famous questions that people ask regarding the Sabbath; whether the Sabbath is Saturday, Sunday or everyday. We found out that the Sabbath cannot be Sunday, any day we like, or everyday as some presume, and that it has not been done away with yet. The most interesting finding was that the Original Greek Manuscripts proved that the Sabbath recorded in the new testament was indeed Saturday by showing us that the original Greek word translated as Sabbath “G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on” is still the name used for Saturday in Greek even today! (If you have not read the 2nd Part, please click here).
Today, as promised, we will address some of the famous questions and thoughts people have regarding the Sabbath. The questions addressed in this post are given below.
- Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
- Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
- Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
- The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
- There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
- Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
- Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
- Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
- The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
- We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
- Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
- The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
- It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
- Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
- Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
- Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
- There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
- There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
- How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
- Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?
Q1) Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
Accusation no.1: Yeshua defended His disciples, who broke the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:1-8, Mar 2:23-28, Luk 6:1-5
In these verses we see the pharisees accusing Yeshua’s disciple of breaking the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn. Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say, that you cannot pluck or eat on the Sabbath. Then why and how can the Pharisees accuse the disciples of doing what is “not lawful”? (Please read – who were the pharisees). Because the pharisees had their own man made Law which is also called the “Oral Law” & “Tradition of the Elders”. (This Law has been written down today in a book form called the Talmud and is still adhered to by the Orthodox Jewish Community). Yeshua was not defending His Disciples, who the Pharisees accused of breaking the Sabbath. He was actually showing the Pharisees their error in adding to the Law of God (No one can add or diminish from God’s Law – Deut 4:2, 12:32), when there was no such Law regarding the Sabbath in the Scriptures. Yeshua’s defense was two pronged. 1) He related the story of David in 1Sam 21:3-6, thereby showing how feeding a man in hunger was not considered a sin, even when the priest gave them the bread in the temple specifically reserved for the priests themselves. 2) He showed how the Priests worked at the Temple on the Sabbath. The livelihood of the priest was their service at the temple. Even though they carried on with their day to day work, even on the Sabbath, which was working at the temple, it was not considered sin, as they were working for God.
Accusation no.2: Yeshua healed on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:10-13, Mar 3:1-5, Luk 6:6-10, 13:10-17, 14:1-6, John Chap 9
In these verses, the pharisees accused Yeshua of breaking the Sabbath as He healed people from their infirmities. (Please read – who were the pharisees) Healing was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. But Yeshua clearly stated in Mat 12:12, that it is Lawful to do good on the Sabbath, according to God’s Word, as the only prohibition was regular work/occupation for monetary gain.
Accusation no.3: Yeshua asked a person to carry a bed, which was considered working on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Joh 5:5-12
In this verse, Yeshua asked the man to take his bed and walk. Carrying anything, including a bed was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. (Please read – who were the pharisees). The Pharisees who had added to God’s Law, were making false accusations in all these instances against Yeshua, who had not broken God’s Sabbath. Yeshua had only broken the Sabbath according to the Pharisaic Laws.
Conclusion: In all the above instances, the accusations that the Pharisees brought against Yeshua were false accusations that had no bearing in Scripture according to God’s Law. Believing that Yeshua broke the Sabbath because of the accusations brought forward by the Pharisees, is quite a misguided theory. They accused Yeshua of casting out demons by the power of Satan as well(Mat 9:34, Mar 3:22, Luk 11:15). Just because someone accuses another, it does not make that accusation true. The key is to know who the pharisees were, and what their teaching was.
Also, consider these thoughts. If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), how could He be a blameless, sinless person(1Pet 2:22, 2Cor 5:21, Joh 8:46, 1Joh 3:5) as breaking the Commandments is Sin(1Joh 3:4). If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), why did the Chief priests and elders have to find “False” witnesses? (Mat 26:59, Mar 14:56) Couldn’t they have just stoned Him to death?
Q2) Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
It is true that Yeshua never spoke out the 4th Commandment specifically. Mat 19:17,18, Mar 10:19, Luke 18:20 shows a certain man coming to Yeshua asking “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” to which Yeshua answers “Keep the Commandments”(Mat 19:17) and goes on to elaborate “Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother”. He never mentions the Sabbath Commandment, in fact, He does not mention any of the first 5 Commandments. Does this mean, we can have other Gods alongside God Almighty? Does this mean we can make idols and worship them? Does this mean we can take His name in vain? And does this mean we can break the Sabbath? I believe Yeshua expected anyone who believes in God to obey all of God’s Commandments. The ones He spoke out, were specifically expressed, maybe because they were the Commandments that were not clearly adhered to at that time.
Q3) Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
First of all, I must say, that the Book of Hebrews is a letter written to Hebrew people by an unknown author who is trying to make a single point. This point being “How Yeshua is our new High Priest and Mediator in Heaven between man and God”. Even though we read specific Chapters and Verses off this Epistle, it was written as a letter(without chapters or verses separated), and like all letters, we cannot pick and choose pieces from here and there. We must read the whole letter from beginning to end, to understand the real meaning of it. (Please go here, for a comprehensive study on Hebrews)
In Hebrews Chapter 1, We learn that Yeshua is now better than the angels. Chapter 2 is about how Yeshua was initially made lower than the angels and how He prevailed over sin and death. Chapter 3 calls Yeshua our New High Priest and asks the reader to hold on to God till the end, and quotes Psalms 95:7-11 to show how Israel did not obey God in the wilderness, and in return did not enter into His rest. The author then explains that the people who God was angry with and could not enter into His rest were the ones who provoked Him, sinned against Him and did not believe in Him.
Chapter 4 – the Chapter in focus – a simple commentary
4:1 Author continues the same point made in Chapter 3, saying we should fear God and not come short, and thereby not enter into His rest
4:2 Showcases the difference between us (the reader) and them (the people in the wilderness) and how they fell short because they did not have faith when it was the same Word preached to them and us
4:3,4 We who believe, enter in to this rest. Then the author quotes Psalms 95:11 showing that there is a pending rest for us, even though God finished His work on the 7th day.
4:5 Author quotes Psalms 95:11 again highlighting the word “Enter”
4:6 We must enter into God’s rest, unlike the people in the wilderness who did not enter because of their unbelief
4:7 Author refers back to Psalms 95:11, where David says “Today” and that the time when David wrote this Psalm was a long time after the wilderness journey
4:8 Even though Joshua took the people into the Promised Land (which was their “Rest”), the author suggests that God is talking about another “Rest” through David. (Special note: KJV has Jesus in place of Joshua. This is a mistake which has been rectified in most other versions of the Bible, and is one of the key pieces of evidence to suggest that Jesus had the same name as Joshua which was mistaken by the KJV interpreters)
4:9 author says that there is a Rest for God’s people. (The word translated as “Rest” in this verse is G4520 – σαββατισμός – sabbatismos – sab-bat-is-mos’ – From a derivative of G4521; a “sabbatism”, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): – rest,
and is different from the word “Rest” used in all of the other verses. (G2663 – κατάπαυσις – katapausis – kat-ap’-ow-sis – From G2664; reposing down, that is, (by Hebraism) abode: – rest.)
4:10 whoever has entered into God’s rest has ended their work as God ended His own work. The author is talking about the Rest of death, and being gathered to Abraham and our forefathers to await for the New Kingdom of God, ruled by Yeshua our King.
4:11 Author says that we must labour to enter into that rest, without falling into unbelief
4:12 For the Word of God shows us the right way without falling to unbelief
4:13 And God sees into our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him
4:14,15 Yeshua is our High Priest who is in Heaven, who knows our weaknesses, who was tempted like us but did not fall into sin
4:16 So, let us come to throne of Grace, to obtain mercy, in the time of need.
Looking at the above commentary, we can see clearly that the author is not saying that the Sabbath is done away, or that Yeshua is our Sabbath in any way. The Rest, talked about in Hebrews 4 is the Rest we will have in Yeshua, at the end of our journey, when we enter into His Kingdom. We must keep ourselves Holy(without Sin) everyday, but the Sabbath remains a day specially consecrated by God.
Q4) The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
This question contain 2 parts.
1) The belief that the 1st century church met on the 1st Day of the Week, which is Sunday, discarding the Sabbath.
Acts 20:7 & 1Cor 16:2, shows us how the assembly was gathered on the 1st Day of the Week. Does this mean that they did not keep the Sabbath? Hardly. Acts 2:46, shows us how people assembled together daily. And Paul himself regularly went to the Synagogue on Sabbath(Acts 17:2). The fact is, that the 1st Century Church attended synagogue on Sabbath and met the rest of the days in the temple and each others’ houses.
2) Isn’t Sunday the Lord’s Day?
Some say, the reason behind meeting on Sunday, is that He rose from the dead on that day. (By saying this, they further establish that Saturday is Sabbath, as Yeshua rose after the Sabbath). The Lord’s Day is mentioned only once in the New Testament, in Rev 1:10, and Yeshua or His apostles never commanded us to keep that day special, while the Sabbath Commandment is seen throughout the Scriptures spoken out of the Mouth of God, written down with the Finger of God, and is part of the Commandments that are forever to which even Yeshua agreed(Mat 5:18, Luk 16:17). What most fail to see is that, “The Lord’s Day” also means the great day of judgement, which is also called “The day of the Lord” throughout scripture. (Isa 13:6, Joe 3:14, Oba 1:15, Zep 1:14, Zec 14:1, Mal 4:5, Act 2:20, 1Cor 5:5, 1Thes 5:2, 2Pet 3:10). In Rev 1:10, John could be saying that he is witnessing the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, as he is seeing what is about to happen at the end of time.
Q5) There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
The book of Revelations contain a lot of information about the End Times. And true to the point made, there is no mention of the Sabbath in this book. But, is this definite proof that The Sabbath is no more? Let’s look at some facts.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The Commandments mentioned in the book of Revelations are the 10 Commandments given by God. The Sabbath Commandment is also part of these 10. Additionally, In the future, after the Final Judgment, the Sabbath will still be in effect (Isa. 66:22-23). If the Book of Revelations mention God’s Commandments in a positive, if not indispensable way, how can anyone say that the Sabbath is no more using the Book of Revelations?
Q6) Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Col 2:16 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 is of Christ.
Some say, that this verse proves that Paul wanted no man to keep the Sabbath. People interpret this verse as: Let no man judge you “because you do not adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
But the converse can also be true. It could be interpreted as: Let no man judge you “because you do adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Some of the Jews were known to dislike Gentiles who tried to obey God’s ways).
In Col 2:20-22, Paul goes on to explain that, we are not subject to laws, commandments and doctrines of men. We must ask ourselves only one question. Are the Food Laws or Sabbaths mentioned in the Word of God; laws, commandments and doctrines of men? The whole context on what not to do, is around laws & traditions of men (Col 2:8). Paul could be telling the new believers in Colossi, who were previously gentiles, who were trying to adhere to God’s Law, to not let anyone judge you and tell you how to keep God’s Law, other than how it is written in the Scriptures alone.
Additionally, another point to note is that Paul says that the Sabbath, Holydays, etc are “Shadows of things to come”. The reason God gave the Sabbath & holy days were as shadows of things to come. (Passover – Yeshua’s death / Pentecost – Giving of Holy Spirit / Trumpets – Yeshua’s Second Coming, etc) But, as Paul says, the completion of all things are in Yeshua.
If one says, Col 2:16,17 is proof that Paul told the Colossians not to be judged for not keeping the Sabbath. One could also say that Paul was telling the Colossians not to be judged for keeping the Sabbath as well.
Q7) Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
In John 5:17, Yeshua replies to the Jews who were trying to persecute Him for healing a man on the Sabbath saying that He works just as Father God does. What did He mean by “The Father works”? Yeshua did no miracle through His own power, but God worked through Him (Joh 14:10). He did the work of Father God(Joh 10:37). So, whatever miracles that Yeshua did was, actually the Father working through Him. And as we studied in the 1st part of this study, we know that the only work prohibited on the Sabbath was, what was done to make a living/ occupation done for monetary gain. Yeshua merely showed the pharisees and all who followed their teaching (which was contrary to God’s Word) that doing Good things was allowed and Lawful on Sabbath (Luk 6:9, Mat 12:12, Mar 3:4)
Q8) Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua never replaced the 10 Commandments with 2 New Commandments. The 2 commandments mentioned in the New Testament were directly quoted from the Old Testament(Deut 6:5, 10:12(Love God) & Lev 19:18, 34(Love neighbor). These 2 Commandments were known by others before Yeshua spoke them out (Luke 10:25-28). The 2 Commandments were summaries of the 10 Commandments. (Please refer this post for further study on this subject)
Q9) The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
Some quote Rom 7:6, saying we are no more under the Old written Law(which included The Sabbath Commandment), but we serve Him through the Holy Spirit. The mistake these people make is not clearly understanding what Paul means by this remark. Let us review some of the things Paul says about the Law, in the letter to the Romans.
- Paul does not make the Law void. He establishes it (Rom 3:31)
- Paul says that the Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7)
- Paul says the Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12)
- Paul says the Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14)
- Paul delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22)
- Paul serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25)
Paul himself says that the Law(which contains the Sabbath Commandment) is Spiritual and that he serves, delights and establishes it. But then what does he mean by “delivered from the Law”?
Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace.
In short, Sin is Breaking the Law/Lawlessness.(1John 3:4).
The Law can do only 3 things ;
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).
The new Covenant mentioned in Heb 8:8-11 which is quoted from Jer 31:31-34 says that God will put His Law inside our minds and write it on our Hearts. This is essentially the New Covenant. What Paul means in Romans 7:6 is that we are dead to the Law which said that we are cursed and deserve death for our sins, through Yeshua our Savior and His Righteousness. And that we serve God in Spirit rather than in written letter. (The written Commandments were rigid, while Yeshua taught how to connect Heart & Mind to the Commandments. Eg: The written Commandments said “Thou shall not commit adultery” while Yeshua said, “Even if you think an adulterous thought, you are committing adultery”) Paul cannot mean that the Law & God’s Commandments are done away with, as he would be going against his own words listed up above. What he is saying is, that we no longer serve in the rigidness of the written Law, but the Spirit of the Law, which talks directly to our Hearts & Minds. In conclusion, this verse does not prove that the Sabbath with the other Laws of God have been abolished in any way.
Q10) We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Some quote Rom 6:14 saying, we are not under the Law but under Grace, so we do not need to keep The Sabbath which is part of the Law. Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace and what Paul meant by this verse.
Q11) Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
One of the favorite scriptures used to debunk the Sabbath is Yeshua being the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat 12:8, Mar 2:28, Luk 6:5). Some even say, that Yeshua showed that the Sabbath was not important by saying “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” in Mar 2:27.
The Sabbath was indeed made for man as God specifically said that it is given to man, so he would be refreshed(Exo 23:12), just like God rested on the seventh day and was refreshed (Exo 31:17).
Through Yeshua’s proclamation of being the Lord of the Sabbath in Mar 2:28, what did He mean? Remember, that this was the reply He gave to the Pharisees who accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, as discussed in Q1 in this post. Yeshua did not excuse the breaking of the Sabbath. He merely showed what it meant to break the Sabbath. (Please read question 1 in this post for a better understanding on this issue). And Yeshua, rightfully, is the Lord of the Sabbath. But this does not make the commandment void in any way.
Q12) The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
First of all read these definitions : 1. Jew & Gentile 2. Israel 3. Church
The Sabbath was not made for the Jews. It was made for man and given as a Commandment to Israel – God’s people. Jews are only one tribe of people, from the children of Israel. Gentiles are people who do not know God. Israel is God’s chosen people forever. The word “Church” means “assembly”, and it relates to the people who believe in God. If you believe in God you are part of the Church & Israel. You are no more a Gentile, when you come into the Covenant with God. If you believe in God, you have no choice but to obey His Commandments. We should obey Him because we Love Him, not because we have to obey Him. (Please read the links given above for more information on this subject).
Q13) It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
Paul in the letter to the Romans said he does not make the Law void, he establishes it (Rom 3:31). The Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7). The Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12). The Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14). He delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22). He serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25).
The same Paul seem to be suddenly saying that we have the freedom to do as we will. Is Paul saying, that if we want to, we can eat anything and If we want to, we can keep or not keep the Sabbath if we are fully convinced in our own mind? Which means each of us can do things how we see fit instead of doing what God has commanded us. Or could it be that he is talking about a completely different subject, which is Fasting? The whole chapter is talking about eating or not, and what day is better than another. The argument could have been on what day was better to fast on. The fact is, the Sabbath is not mentioned here at all. Please read the whole Chapter for a better understanding on this verse.
Q14) Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
In Gal 5:4, Paul tells the people in Galatia that “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” What does it mean to be justified by the Law?
Law, as we know is God’s Commandments.
Breaking the Law is Sin(1Joh 3:4).
And the Law can do only 3 things
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).
Can we attain righteousness by keeping the Law? Can we be justified in front of God by keeping the Law? Can we attain righteousness with our own strength? This is what Paul addresses in Gal 5:4. If anyone seeks to be justified by the Law(attain righteousness through their own power by keeping God’s Commandments), that person has lost God’s favor/grace, as he or she is putting faith in him/herself rather than in Yeshua, who was the atoning sacrifice for us. If Righteousness could have been attained by each of us through keeping the Law, Christs death is in vain (Gal 2:21). Yeshua died for all of our Sin. Because of His death, Sin has no more dominion over us. When Yeshua died for our sin, we moved from being under God’s Commandments and the penalty of breaking it, which is death, to being under His favor/Grace (Rom 6:14). But, just because we have God’s Favour, and because we are no more under the penalty, can we Sin(Break God’s Law)? No we cannot. (Rom 6:15). Please read this post for more information on this subject.
You fall from Grace if you try to attain righteousness by your own power, by putting faith in yourself. You do not though, fall from Grace by obeying God and His Commandments (which contains the Sabbath commandment) because you Love Him. Can you fall out of someones favor because you obey that person? Just by obeying God and His Commandments(which contain the Sabbath Commandment as well) you cannot fall from His Grace.
Q15) Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
Reading Gal 4:8, we understand that the people in Galatia did not know God at one time, and was serving things that are not God. Paul then goes on to ask in verse 9, why they are turning back to weak and beggarly elements, after they have come to know God. So the days, months, times and years mentioned in Gal 4:10 cannot be God’s Sabbaths and appointments. Paul just asked them why they are turning back to weak and poor principles/beggarly elements. Are God’s Sabbath and His Commandments the weak and poor principles Paul is asking the Galatia assembly about? Is this the bondage he is talking about? Or is it that the Galatians were turning back to their former observances done before?
We know that the Galatians did not know God at one time, and they wouldn’t have kept the Sabbath, when they did not know God’s Commandments. Ask yourself this question. If it was the Sabbath, Paul was talking about, How can the Galatians be turning back to observing the Sabbath which they did not observe in the first place? These observances must be days and months that come from different pagan cultures.
Q16) Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
The Seven Day Week has never been effected with the numerous changes done to the Calendar systems in history. Meaning there has never been 2 consecutive mondays, tuesdays, etc. The 7 day week has continued on as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on and so forth, without any change. Which means the 7th day in Yeshua’s time is still the 7th day, today! (Please refer any Encyclopedia to recheck this theory) The 7 day cycle has never been broken to date!
Q17) There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
As we saw in the 2nd Part of this study, the word translated as “Sabbath” in our English translations come from (G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on) in the Original Greek Manuscripts. The word “Sabbato” is still in use in Greece, as Greeks call Saturday “Sabbato”. (Please check this for yourself in any Greek – English Dictionary) Let me put this in another way. In Greece, the day which is called “Saturday” is still called “Sabbato” – the same word which is in the Original Greek New Testament Manuscripts which is translated as “Sabbath” in English. SABBATH = SABBATO = SATURDAY. There is no doubt about it.
Q18) There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
We can worship God on all 7 days of the week. You are not breaking the Sabbath by going to a Sunday Service. The only thing which was banned on the Sabbath was your regular work. Even if you go to worship meeting on Sundays, remember that the Sabbath is the day which was separated and commanded to be remembered by God. It was a sign between Him and His people(Exo 31:13,17)
This is not some kind of ritual. You don’t need to light candles and say special prayers, as none of it is Commanded in the Scriptures. Refrain from buying, selling, working or making others work for money. Set the day apart for studying and worshiping the God of Creation and the Sabbath. Do anything and everything, if it means helping others in need. The Sabbath spans from Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown as per the Biblical day (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Luk 23:34)
Q19) How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
The only thing I can say to you is, in the Bible itself there are many stories where the people who obeyed God was the Minority. Just because the majority does not obey God, it does not make the wrong, right. God could choose to use anyone to help people and release them from their infirmities (Even the pharisees had the power to cast out demons – Luk 11:19). Each of us is given a measure of knowledge by God. What matters is, what we do with that measure. “to whom much is given, much will be required”.
I used to believe that the Sabbath was no more as well, at one time. But when God opened my eyes to the Truth, I chose to obey. We cannot pick and choose what we like out of the Scriptures. We need to look at it as a whole and come to our own conclusions through the helper Yeshua left us, God’s own Holy Spirit. Pray for your friends, Pastors & Teachers, that they may also see the truth and start obeying God without question.
Q20) Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?
Some say, Are you seriously saying we need to keep a Commandment which even has a Law attached to it, which says you cannot even light a fire on the Sabbath? If God has commanded, we have to obey. But we need to understand what He meant by this first. What did He mean by not lighting a fire? Did He mean that everyone has to go hungry that day, because you cannot cook a meal? Did He mean that you have to sleep in the cold and freeze to death because you cannot light a fire? We have to understand God’s Words and His Laws before we make any assumptions.
In Exo 35:2,3, God speaks through Moses saying, Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
What is the context of Exo 35:3? Why does He say not to light a fire? Because God did not want anyone to do “regular monetary work” on that day. Remember that fire was essential for “work” at that time. If someone uses this verse to say “If you keep the Sabbath, you shouldn’t even cook using fire”, I would show them Exo 12:16 which talks about the High/Special Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, and how God specifically says that people can prepare their meals on these special Sabbath days.
Some point to the punishment in Exo 35:2, and say, “Are we to put people who break the Sabbath to death? Surely, this is not a commandment for today”.
When this Commandment was given to the people, God himself reigned as King over them. He directly solved matters regarding everything through Moses. On the other hand, today, we are in exile. We are scattered around the world waiting for God to come back and establish His kingdom. He alone can punish a person who breaks His Commandments. When He said “shall be surely put to death”, that was a curse of the Law. The punishment for breaking God’s Commandments is Death. This is what Yeshua took upon Himself, so that we could have Grace when we fall short. It is not an open invitation for us to freely break God’s Commandments, just because we have Grace. That is making the blood of Yeshua into a worthless thing.
The Sabbath is quite a complex subject, with people teaching that it has been abolished for many hundreds of years. We must put our faith in God’s Word, rather than any man’s preaching or teaching and audit ourselves. Test every teaching and every verse we know, that goes against God’s Word. I sincerely hope this study has helped you clear out some of the questions you had. Even though it is a very long post, there was no way of shortening it more, as without hard facts shown through Scripture, we can make our own doctrines very easily. It has already led our world to have many denominations with various teachings which have no foundations in the Word of God. As with all of my other studies, I ask you to check everything which is written in this post and to make your conclusions using only the Word of God. May God Almighty bless you for your obedience in keeping His Commandments which include The 7th Day Sabbath!
One, if not, the most important day for any person who is a believer of Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus), would be the day He rose from the dead. The whole Christian Faith hangs on this single fact. The fact that His body did not decay, and that He was victorious over Death, bringing Life after Death, to all of us.
Our findings on the day of His Death known and commemorated as “Good Friday” led us to see that, He actually could not have died on a Friday, and how the Gospels provided us with the necessary information to conclude that He, in fact died on a Passover eve(which was not a Friday at all), becoming our spotless and unblemished Passover Lamb.
In the same way, we need to check the Bible for necessary clues on our Messiah’s Resurrection and also find out answers for some of the questions such as: What is the Origin of Easter? Did Yeshua rise on Sunday? Does it matter what we call His Resurrection day? In addition, we will also study the Scriptures to find out how Father God had given the Feast/Appointed Days to His people, to signify the coming Messiah.
Origin of the Name Easter
Most writers assert that “Easter came from the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre. based on the writings of a scholarly monk known as St. Bede (672 or 673–735). Other researchers suggest that the word Easter comes from Eostur, an old Norse word for spring. Another asserts that it comes from an old Germanic and Anglo-Saxon word for “east.” Some early scholars delved even further back into the history of the word Easter. For example, nineteenth-century folklorists discovered striking similarities between the Germanic root words for “dawn” and the name of the goddess Eostre. They noted, too, that the names for the ancient Roman, Greek, and Indian dawn goddesses, Aurora, Eos, and Ushas, evolved from the same root word. Encyclopedia of Easter Carnival & Lent by Tanya Gulevich, Easter – Origin of the word, Pg92,
Others claim that Easter is connected to a Pagan Goddess named “Astarte“, “Ashtaroth“, “Semiramis” and “Ishtar” in different cultures, according to “Alexander Hislop – The Two Babylons“, “Athenagoras – Legatio” and “Lucian – De Dea Syria“. Ashtaroth, called the goddess of the Zidonians, is specifically mentioned in Judges 2:13, 10:6, 1Sam 7:3,4, 12:10, 1Kin 11:5,33, 23:13. Traditions taught to children like “Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies” have no foundations in scripture, and may even have connections to Pagan deities of Fertility.
The word Easter in the Bible
The word “Easter” is only seen in the English KJV Bible in Acts 12:4. It is substituted for the Greek word “pascha” (Strong’s Greek Conc. – G3957 – πάσχα – pascha – pas’-khah – Meaning the Passover -the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it). This means that the word “Easter” was a later addition to the English Translation of the Bible, which did not exist in the Original Greek Manuscripts. Acts 12:4 should read “… intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people”, not as “… intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people”. With this verse out of the way, there is no mention of “Easter” anywhere in the Bible.
I do not claim to know for sure that “Easter” originates from a name of a Pagan god. But we must agree on the fact that calling our “Messiah’s Resurrection”, “Easter” was a tradition later adapted to Christianity. If it does originate from Pagan goddess worship, we are in danger of using something that was used to worship other gods, to worship Our Creator – God Almighty. In Deut 12:30,31 God specifically instructed His People not to worship Him, in the ways other people worship their Gods.
Some could say, Is God so petty? Will God really care? Doesn’t the commemoration of the day matter more than what it is called? Each of us will have to make that Decision for ourselves. I would be safe than sorry, and stand clear of anything that can be Pagan, when it comes to worshiping God Almighty.
Did Yeshua Rise on Sunday?
As we discussed earlier on the post, “Good Friday or Passover”, we learnt that Yeshua in fact, died on “Passover” which was not a “Friday”. (I highly recommend that you read this post before moving onto “Easter”, as some of the things discussed here will have strong connections to facts studied on that post). Given below is a short summary for whoever thinks of skipping that Article.
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A few Biblical Facts
1) A Biblical day consists of 12 Hours of Day and 12 Hours of Night (John 11:9)
2) The Biblical day is from one Sundown to the next Sundown (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Judge 14:12,18, Luk 23:54, Joh 19:31)
3) We know that Yeshua for a fact died on the Evening of the Passover. (John 18:28, 19:14)
4) Yeshua died around the 9th Hour of the Passover day (3pm in Modern day time)
(Mat 27:46-50, Mar 15:33-37, Luk 23:44-46)
5) Yeshua said that He will be in the Tomb for 3 days & 3 nights (Mat 12:40, 17:23, 20:19, 26:61, 27:40,63,64, Mar 8:31, 9:31, 10:34, 14:58, 15:29, Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:7,21,46, Joh 2:19)
A very brief look at the Feast/Appointment of Passover which God gave Israel
1) God told Israel to Kill the Passover Lamb on the Evening of the 14th day of the 1st Month (Ex 12:2,6, Lev 23:5, Num 9:3)
2) God told Israel to eat the Lamb with Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs
(Ex 12:8, 13:3, Num 9:11)
3) God told Israel to eat bread that is Unleavened for 7 days after the Passover
(Ex 12:15, 13:7, Deut 16:3)
4) God told Israel that the 1st day and 7th day of this week of Unleavened Bread were days where you rest from regular work (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:6,7,8, Num 28:18,25) Special Sabbath*
Yeshua died before the High/Special Sabbath(John 19:31). His body was in the Tomb for 3 Days and 3 Nights(Mat 12:40). He rose after the Fixed Saturday Sabbath(Mt 28:1-6, Mar 16:2-4, Luke 24:1-3, Joh 20:1,2).
Since Passover can fall on different days of the week each year, “in that Particular year in which Yeshua died”, for all the Scriptures to not have any inconsistencies, Passover would have fallen on a Wednesday. (Passover does not fall on Wednesday each year. I am in no way saying that we should start commemorating Yeshua’s death on Wednesday instead of Friday. My thought is that we should commemorate Passover which does not fall on Friday each year, which is a commemoration given by God in Lev 23).
Wednesday – 14th of 1st Month – Passover (Yeshua dies and is buried before Sundown/start of Sabbath)
Thursday – 15th of 1st Month – 1st day of Unleavened Bread – High/Special Sabbath
Friday – 16th of 1st Month – 2nd day of Unleavened Bread
Saturday – 17th of 1st Month – 3rd day of Unleavened Bread – Fixed /Regular Sabbath
Sunday – 18th of 1st Month – By the time the women came, Yeshua had risen
Wednesday Sundown to Thursday Sundown – 1st Day (1Day + 1Night)
Thursday Sundown to Friday Sundown – 2nd Day (1Day + 1Night)
Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown – 3rd Day (1Day + 1Night)
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So, did Yeshua Rise on Sunday?
Definitely. As we studied on the subject of Passover, we see that Yeshua dies on a Passover eve (Passover can fall on any day of the week). He is put into the tomb in the evening as the Sabbath was about to start (This is a High Sabbath and not the Fixed Saturday Sabbath). He is in the tomb for 3days & 3nights (As He proclaimed in Mat 12:40). He is Risen by the time the women go to the Tomb after the Sabbath (This is the Fixed Saturday Sabbath).
So what falls at the end of the Fixed Saturday Sabbath? Sunday, of course. By Saturday Sundown, the 3Days & 3Nights were complete. And Yeshua would have risen at the end of the Sabbath. (According to the Biblical Day, Sunday or the 1st Day of the week starts at Sundown on Saturday).
So whether we choose to call Yeshua’s Resurrection as “Easter Sunday” or “Resurrection Sunday”, it was definitely Sunday, the 1st Day of the Week. But wait, there’s more! We actually have a better name for this Commemoration, which throughout the ages has been forgotten and called a Jewish Feast/Commemoration. To dig for this truth, we must again delve into the “Feasts” proclaimed in Lev 23 by God, as “My Feasts”.
Resurrection Day and the FirstFruits of God
In Lev 23:10&11, God tells “His People – Israel”, that they need to offer up the First Fruits of the Harvest to Him the Day after the Sabbath on the Week of Passover, each year. The people had to bring the Firstfruits to the Priest, who would lift up the offering to God. Some would think of this Appointment/Feast Day that God Instituted, as some sort of “Archaic” Law or Tradition. What most fail to see is, what God was trying to teach His People through these appointments. Each of these days had some meaning in them. (Previously, we saw that Yeshua died on Passover and was buried on the First Day of Unleavened Bread) It was the same in the case of the Feast of Firstfruits. The Feast day of Firstfruits fell on the Sunday after Passover. And what important event happened on the Sunday after Passover? Yeshua’s Ressurection!
Let’s take a quick look at these Feasts that were instituted in Lev 23, again. (We will do a separate study on the Feasts of God in the near future, where I will cover all of the feasts mentioned in Lev 23, including Passover.)
1) Passover -14th day of the 1st Month – (Ex 12:2,6, Lev 23:5, Num 9:3)
2) Week of Unleavened Bread – 15th day to 21st day of the 1st Month – The 15th was a Special Sabbath (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:6,7,8, Num 28:18,25)
3) The Day after the Fixed Sabbath after Passover – The Sunday after Passover (Lev 23:10,11)
The Fulfillment of God’s Feasts through Yeshua’s Death & Resurrection
In Lev 23, God ordered Israel to commemorate specific things on specific dates of the year. What would be the chance of Yeshua dying, being buried and risen on these same specific dates? I do not think this is an accident. But some could say, that I am still forcefully trying to fit the pieces. Let us look at the connections again.
He died on Passover eve, as the Passover Lamb was killed, signifying that He was our Passover Lamb, and because of Him, death would not enter into our homes/lives (We saw enough proof for this on the article “Good Friday or Passover”)
He was buried on the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, when all Leaven was asked to be put out of the houses signifying He had started the work of Removing Leaven/Sin (1Cor 5:7,8) from our homes/lives. (The day He was buried, He started the work of defeating death and removing Sin from our life)
He Rose from the dead on Sunday after Passover, The Day of Firstfruits, signifying that He is the Firstfruits of all who is risen from the dead(1Cor 15:20-23, Acts 26:23, Col 1:18, Rev 1:5).
(The word Translated as FirstFruits in Lev 23:10 can be used as “first” and “first fruits”
H7225 – ראשׁית – rê’shı̂yth – ray-sheeth’ – the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit): – beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing.)
Remember also, how Yeshua compared the people to the Harvest. (Mat 9:37,38, Luk 10:2, Joh 4:35, Rev 14:15) So it is not an alien thing to consider Him as the FirstFruits of that Harvest. In other words, the First to Rise, from all who would taste death and rise unto Life Everlasting.
Easter or FirstFruits
Unlike “Good Friday” and “Passover” which are completely different dates commemorating His Death, “Easter” and “Firsfruits” are the same day commemorating His Resurrection. The important thing to note through all this is, that Yeshua worked according to His Father’s Calendar and His Father’s Appointed Feast dates.
So now that we know, that Yeshua’s Resurrection also was in perfect synchrony with God’s Feasts/Appointed Times, what should we do? Should we call it “Easter” and stick to all it’s traditions? Or should we call it “First Fruits” and commemorate His death as the fulfillment of another of God’s Appointments? Passover was a Fulfillment. Unleavened Bread was a fulfillment. Now First Fruits. The evidence is mounting up that God knew what He was doing and what He was saying through all these commandments to His People. Or do you still think that it is pure coincidence and that God gave these Appointments for no reason?
I have laid the evidence in front of you. It is upto you, to make the decision whether it is of value or not. Just like the fact is, that Jesus’ true name is Yeshua, The day of His death coincided with only 1 Biblical Feast/Appointment which was mentioned long before His Death. and that is not Easter, but “FirstFruits”!