Shabbat is a day of rest. Because I am under Yeshua as my King, I know full well that I can never keep the Shabbat perfectly. Even if I were to rest all day, my mind would jump into self-sufficient reasoning every five minutes. But, the gift of resting has often been lost in the church. Many people, who profess to be Christians, are busy organising lots of religious activity, in with the name of Christ, but without Him being involved at all.
To rest in Him is to show that we trust Him. To take regular time off, to stop as if all were completed, is to say, "I trust You LORD to complete what I can't, to break down the blockages and generally be the LORD of my life." I have found that the times I consciously set aside to hide away with Him, whether that is a day, a week, a few months or just an hour or two, He shows me how little of what really counts, in His Kingdom, ultimately comes from me. To truly rest alone with Him also gives Him permission to cut away pride, manipulation and the foolish religious positioning for which many in the church clamour, all while using His Name.
There is intense beauty in studying the Jewish Shabbat. The Jewish Shabbat table has bread, salt, wine and candles. It is from this white (bridal) covered table, that the first communions grew. Did you know that there is a Jewish Shabbat song, called Lecha Dodi, which includes these lyrics?
"Come, my beloved, to greet the bride.
Shabbat Presence, we welcome you."
To whom is that referring? Who is called our Bridegroom in the Sciptures? The Messiah. And Who says He comes to give us rest, in this life, as regular temporary rest and in the life to come, as permanent eternal rest? Jesus/Yeshua our King says this. So, my Jewish brothers and sisters are singing to welcome in the perfect picture of the Messiah's rest.
There are many studies online of Messiah hidden in the Shabbat. So, rather than repeat any one of these excellent pieces, the rest of this study on Shabbat is taken from End Time Pilgrim. It is an extract from a study by Gavin Finley MD, written in 2003. Please note; if you use any of these notes for your church or study group, please would you credit the original author's hard work accordingly, thank you. I chose this particular study, because Gavin Finley boldly raises, and challenges, many aspects of the Hellenistic and Greek mindsets, which have overlaid the original Jewish origins of the Christian faith and the church's understanding of the sabbath. I hope you enjoy this beautiful study and are inspired to rest higher in the LORD Jesus/Yeshua.
"Our God, unlike all the other Gods, is Someone who can be known by those who diligently seek Him. The Holy One of Israel is not one to leave us groping around in spiritual darkness, sidelined in existential Buddhist style mystic Christian contemplations of navels and other religious objects. Nor will He leave lost Gomer cut of from the Holy Scriptures in a religious fog of Augustinian allegorizations and Hellenistic humanistic Greek rationalizations of the Alexandrian school of interpretation of Holy Scripture. This neglect of the proper grammatical historical Berean method of interpretation led Lost Israel off into the Dark Ages and into those medieval forests haunted by witches, hobgoblins, and fairies.
The Light of Israel is shining among the heathen. And the God of Israel, as always, is up front with those who truly seek Him. And He is easy to deal with. His yoke is easy and His burden light. His words are "yea, yes", and "Amen, "so be it!" So the Feasts of Israel are waypoints on a spiritual map. These are special days when Old Covenant and New Covenant issues come to a head. They are also a road map and a chart for Pilgrims on their way home. The Feasts of the Lord are waypoints in God's cosmic agenda for the redemption, the Holy Spirit equipping, and the eventual perfection and glorification of all His covenant people at the climax of the age. His Called are to become a single redeemed reunited undivided restored Elect.
So this matter of the Sabbath is not an onerous legalistic finger waving matter at all. It is a day in which we fellowship and celebrate with YHVH-God. The Sabbath was instituted by God as a time of joy, a time to pause from our work, recharge our batteries, and strengthen our faith in Him. God likes to camp out with His people. And what did YHVH-God, the sinless unleavened Bread of Heaven, say about the Sabbath when He came down into this leavened cosmos among us as Jesus the Messiah/Yeshua HaMashiach? He said,
"The Sabbath is for man. And not man for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)
Dear saints, the Sabbath is a gift from God. He personally set it up for us. And He did it for our good! THE
This matter of certain holy days being referred to in scripture as a Sabbath is most important. Christians for the most part, even Biblical Christians are unaware of the importance of these special "high" days and that a Sabbath, a day sanctified and set aside for rest and for devotion to God, can be any day of the week. During the passion year the first day of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath, happened to come on a Friday. Christians are still kept under an ecclesiastical fog about this. They think a Sabbath must always be the weekly Sabbath, a Saturday. But the fourth commandment also applies to these holy consecrated feast day Sabbaths as well.
"Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." (Exodus/Shemot 20.8)
Christians today are only just beginning to get a handle on this matter of the weekly Sabbath and the "high day" Sabbaths, the holy days. Many are beginning to see the vital importance of this as a blood covenant matter. Unfortunately they have been led to believe the standard medieval Christian teaching that the seventh day Sabbath is just a Jewish Saturday worship tradition and merely a matter of "the Law of Moses" which should no longer concern us as Christians. In this they are not being given the Biblical truth. The fourth commandment still stands. It was a statute given for as long as there are people on this earth. These Old Covenant matters are still important, even though the Church departed from them after the Neo-Platonist allegorizations of holy Scripture by Origen in the third century, the Church going to bed with the Roman Caesar Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and the anti-Throne of David (anti-Semitic) Replacement theology spawned by Augustine.
It is true that as as matter of our personal righteousness and personal salvation before God, the Old Covenant is not the end of the journey of the saints. The national covenant is not all that God has for His people. The Old Covenant is lifted up, brought to completion, and perfected in and through the personal work of the Holy Spirit inside individuals. This is the New Covenant.
But God's righteous rule, His Law, and the national covenant, the Old Covenant, has not been superseded and "done away with" as we have been told. Antinomian churchmen are misguided when they make such assertions. The Old Covenant that YHVH-God made with the nation of Israel is not killed by the New Covenant, the covenant He makes with individuals in the Congregation of Israel, (the Church). No, not at all. The Old Covenant with the nation of Israel is being lifted up and restored by the New Covenant. This is the covenant God personally establishes with individuals, with the people of His Congregation. And so God's righteous rule and Law will be, and is being, lifted up by God's Grace through faith in Jesus the Messiah/Yeshua HaMashiach, Israel's promised Sacrifice Lamb.
Jeremiah/Yirmiyahu spoke of this inner work of the Law performed by Ruach Kadosh, the Holy Spirit, inside human hearts. He also spoke of YHVH-God's personal salvation coming to both houses of Israel here in Jeremiah/Yirmiyahu 31:31-33.
So this matter of the Sabbath is not the burden it has been made out to be. Nor is this just so much "religion". It is a serendipity. And the joy of this discovery is only experienced by those who enter in. Because since the Garden, the times of righteous Abel, and the days of Enoch YHVH-God does indeed walk with men. And He does bring His personal salvation and His peace. The indwelling Messiah of Israel brings His Millennial Sabbath rest to those who call upon Him. He is receiving such individuals right here on earth every day. And every Sabbath day and High Holy Day is still precious times of fellowship between the God of Israel and His covenant people.
But alas, the fourth commandment has been forgotten by the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And they do not recognize, revere, and enter into the Sabbaths attached to the Spring Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Summer Feast of Pentecost, and the yet to unfold Fall Feasts of Israel. So most Christians today are missing out on these rich and inspiring spiritual venues. For those who draw near these special High Holy days are always attended by wonderful blessings from God. The prophet Jeremiah/Yirmiyahu lamented.
“My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill;
They have forgotten their resting place.
But the days will come when the Lion of Judah will roar.
And the sons of God
'will come trembling from the West'.
With continual weeping they shall come,
And seek the LORD their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion,
With their faces toward it."
Those languishing under the pagan gargoyles perched atop the cathedrals will hear the call. Like the prodigal son they will awaken to their derelict state, and begin to wonder why they continue to eat the pods thrown out for the pigs. And like the Shulamite in the Song of Songs who waited and longed for her beloved their hearts will be stirred into a great awakening ,when they hear a gentle knock at the door. In those coming days of awe the Melo-HaGoyim, even a "fullness of nations" will respond to the call. Pushed by Apocalyptic history they will get up and leave their structured comfort zone. They will go out in search of the One they love, the One they have been missing all this time.
And they will find Him!
Because in all their wilderness wanderings He has been the pro-active One. All along He has been calling out to them and wooing them. And He is the One that in their heart of hearts they have really loved all the time.
Many will find Him, even in a time of weeping and in the midst of a concurrent Great Apostasy and a great End-Time Revival. In that day many of the ones who have been afar off will come to know the indwelling Messiah. In their initial contact most will see Him as their High Priest. But later they will come to know Him not only in His religious High Priestly role but also in His Kingdom political role. Because He will be returning to this earth not as the Suffering Servant but as the Conquering King, the King of Shalom, the Prince of Peace.
Our Messiah came the first time in His High Priestly role as the Suffering Servant. It is in this role that some of the rabbis refer to Messiah as "Mashiach ben Joseph". But when He comes again it will be clear to all who He is. He is Mashiach ben David, the returning Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, the Lion of the Royal Jewish Tribe of Judah.
All of God's covenant people from both houses of Israel will come to know their Messiah as both Priest and King in the dual anointing of Melchizedek. Our Jewish brethren will come to experience His Sabbath beyond the precincts of the dominant Levitical priesthood. Under the Higher Priesthood of Melchizedek far more of them will come to worship YHVH-God at a higher more personal level than they have ever known. There in that communion, the Unleavened Bread of Heaven, striped, pierced, and hidden will be found again. And in the New Wine that Melchizedek shared with Abraham they will see the atoning blood of Israel's promised Sacrifice Lamb, their true Messiah.
The lost House of Israel in the West and beyond, will repent of their past sins, lawlessness, the jealousy, and bloodshed they have committed against their brothers and sister in the royal House of Judah. They will remember the Old Covenant their God made with a nation of 12 tribes, and the promise that the Elect and Chosen People were to be a "royal priesthood and a holy nation". They will discover their ultimate Pilgrim citizenship is in the Commonwealth of Israel. They will remember the Sabbaths of the Lord, not as a legalistic burden but as a joy to be embraced by Grace through faith. The High Holy Days will be remembered and studied and talked about. They will rediscover the ancient paths not under external compulsion but in the devotion the saints have always enjoyed as they walked with the God they love.
In those trying and yet awesome days up ahead they will find their Messiah has been walking by their side. When they pause to rest and He breaks the Bread of Life before them they will recognize Him. The Prince of Peace will open their understanding and bring them into His shalom. And in His serendipity He will lead them into His Sabbath rest.
Come my beloved, to greet the bride,
Sabbath Presence, we welcome You!
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