Entering Into His Rest The Sabbath as a Sign of Covenant Relationship with the Almighty *What Is the Meaning of “Sabbath”? *What Does it Mean that the Sabbath is Holy? *How Do We Keep the Sabbath Holy? *What is the Purpose of the Sabbath? *What Does it Mean that the Sabbath is a Sign? *Did Yeshua Work on the Sabbath? *Is Keeping Sabbath a “Salvation Issue”? What Is the Meaning of “Sabbath”? Genesis 2:1-3 The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them. By the seventh day Elohim finished the work that he had been doing, and he ceased on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation. The Hebrew word here translated ceased is tbv, (pronounced shabbat). The Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew lexicon translates this word as cease, desist, rest. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament also renders our word as cease, desist, rest. And the Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament says this word means to cease, stop, rest, celebrate. What Does it Mean that the Sabbath is Holy? The Separations of Creation (Heb bdl – divide,separate,distinguish) *Day 1- Light from Darkness *Day 2 – Waters Above from Waters Below Day 3 – Land from Water *Day 4 – Day from Night (Day 6? – Woman from Man) Day 7 – Sabbath Day from the other Six 25 "'You must therefore make a distinction (Hebrew badal) between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground-those which I have set apart (Hebrew qadash) as unclean for you. 26 You are to be holy to me because I, Yehovah, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Leviticus 20) Genesis 2:1-3 The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them. By the seventh day Elohim finished the work that he had been doing, and he ceased on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart (Heb qadash) because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation. Holy (qadash) The BDB suggests the meaning of this root word is separation, withdrawal. HALOT defines it as holy, commanding respect, awesome, singled out, consecrated for. The TWOT renders our word be hallowed, holy, sanctified; to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate. Emerging from these abstract terms is the concept of separating or setting apart of something. Thus, separate or set apart is its true and basic meaning and is usually the best way to translate it. We are commanded to Keep the Sabbath Holy (to set it apart). How Do We Keep the Sabbath Holy? Remember the Sabbath (shabbat) day to set it apart. For six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yehovah your Elohim; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or your resident foreigner who is in your gates. For in six days Yehovah made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested (Hebrew nawach) on the seventh day; therefore Yehovah blessed the Sabbath (shabbat) day and set it apart. (Ex 20:8-11) Remember to separate the Sabbath day Remember is a word which calls one to action Yehovah “remembered” his covenant – he acted to fulfill his covenant We are to “remember” the Sabbath day to act in a way in which the Sabbath is separated Guard the day of the Sabbath to set it apart just as Yehovah your Elohim has commanded you. You are to serve and do all your work in six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yehovah your Elohim. On that day you must not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your ox, your donkey, any other animal, or the foreigner who lives with you, so that your male and female slaves, like yourself, may have rest (nuwach). (Deut 5:12-14) Why Should We Keep the Sabbath Holy? Remember that you were a slave in the land of Mitzrayim and that Yehovah your Elohim brought you out of there by strength and power; therefore, Yehovah your Elohim has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut 5:15) What is the Purpose of the Sabbath? (All your questions about what we can and can’t do on Sabbath should be easier to answer if we understand the purpose of the Sabbath) 1 – A Day to Rest Rest from what? (work – melacha) Melacha is what you do to earn a living, the work of your hands, what you create or form or produce with your hands. Business, occupational work, handiwork, craftsmanship. Melecha The Work of Elohim in creation If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house will be brought before the judges, to see whether he has laid his hand on his neighbor's goods (melacha) (Shemot 22:8) What About Cooking? Then Yehovah said to Mosheh, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out and gather a certain amount each day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my instruction or not. And on the sixth day they will prepare what they bring in, and it will be twice as much as they gather each day" (Shemot 16:4,5). This is what Yehovah has said: 'Tomorrow is a time of cessation (shabbaton), a set-apart Sabbath to Yehovah. Whatever you want to bake, bake today; and whatever you want to boil, boil today; and whatever is left put aside for yourselves to be kept until morning.'" So they put it aside until the morning, just as Mosheh had commanded, and it did not stink, nor was there any worm in it. (Shemot 16:22-24) 2 - It is a Day unto Yehovah For six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yehovah your Elohim (Exodus 20:10) Not for your own pleasure! Isaiah 58:12-14 The Sabbath was made for man… Mark 2:27 Is it a day to sleep and lounge? 3 – A Day to Worship Yehovah Psalm 95 – a Sabbath Psalm O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker (vs.6, KJV) Chavah – to prostrate oneself, bow down. Prostration was quite common as an act of submission before a superior. Kara’ - bow down, kneel, sink down to one's knees, kneel down Barak – to kneel, bless, salute, greet 4 – A Day For Holy Assembly Speak to the sons of Yisrael and tell them, 'These are Yehovah's appointed times which you must proclaim as set-apart assemblies--my appointed times: (moedim). Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, a set-apart assembly (miqra qodesh). You must not do any work; it is a Sabbath to Yehovah in all the places where you live. These are Yehovah's appointed times, set-apart assemblies, which you must proclaim at their appointed time.‘ (Leviticus 23:2-4) Now the One who created the heavens and the earth and all the living inhabitants thereof was establishing a permanent memorial of his creative acts by establishing the seventh day as that time when all mankind is to stop all his activity to honor and acknowledge the Creator of all. What Does it Mean that the Sabbath is a Sign? What Does Sabbath-Keeping Signify? Can You be in Good Standing with the Creator While Ignoring the Sabbath? Tell the sons of Yisrael, 'Surely you shall keep my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yehovah who separates you. So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is set-apart for you. Everyone who defiles it must surely be put to death; indeed, anyone who does any work on it, then that life will be cut off from among his people. Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, set-apart to Yehovah; anyone who does work on the seventh day must surely be put to death. (Exodus 31:13-15) And the sons of Yisrael must keep the Sabbath to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the sons of Yisrael forever; for in six days Yehovah made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed (Exodus 31:16-17) Sign – Hebrew tAa (owt) HALOT: sign, distinguishing mark TWOT: sign, mark, token, ensign, standard, miracle, miraculous sign, proof, warning. How Does the Sabbath Function as a Sign? Only those who are truly committed to Yehovah will set apart the Sabbath. All others will make excuses why they believe the seventh day Sabbath is invalid It is a sign “between you and me” – a private sign which others do not understand. When you set apart the Sabbath, He sets you apart as belonging to Him The committed, submitted ones will keep it. Penalty for not keeping Sabbath holy Surely die and Cut off from his people. “Everyone who defiles it must surely be put to death; indeed, anyone who does any work on it, then that life will be cut off from among his people.” When does this occur? Sabbath Sign – a Test commandment Exodus 16:4-5 4 Then Yehovah said to Mosheh, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instruction (Torah). 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days." The Torah is a Mark Love the Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts... Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads (Deuteronomy 6:5,6,8). Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads... Observe all these commands I am giving you to follow--to love the Yehovah your Elohim, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him" (Deuteronomy 11:18,22). Keeping Feast of Unleavened This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of Yehovah is to be on your lips. For Yehovah brought you out of Mitzrayim with his mighty hand. (Exodus 13:9) Did Yeshua Work on the Sabbath? 4th Gospel 5 - The Healing of the Invalid 16 So, because Yeshua was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Yehudim persecuted him. 17 Yeshua said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Yehudim tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking (?!) the Sabbath, but he was even calling Elohim his own Father, making himself equal with Elohim. What work occurs every day in the temple, including the Sabbath day? Answer: a work of forgiveness, release, redemption and restoration of humans Yeshua, like his Father, was working every day, including the Sabbath, to heal and restore people. The Healing of the Woman on the Sabbath But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Yeshua had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, "There are six days on which work should be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day." Then Yeshua answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, and lead it to water? Then shouldn't this woman, a daughter of Avraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?" (Luke 13:14-16). Is Keeping Sabbath a “Salvation Issue”? Entering Into His Rest Hebrews 3:7-4:11 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion (provocation), during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" My Rest Hebrew yti(x'Wnm. (menuchati) This phrase, “my rest”, occurs 3 times Psalm 95 Psalm 132:14 This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it Isaiah 66:1 This is what Yehovah says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? They Shall Never Enter My Rest yti(x'Wnm.-la, !Waªboy>÷~ai Literally, “If they will enter my rest” LXX: eiv eivseleu,sontai eivj th.n kata,pausi,n mou Is this Hebrew metaphor for “they shall never”? Or is this an oath literally stating the condition 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living Elohim. (see Ps 78:17ff) 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Messiah if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Mosheh led out of Mitzrayim? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did Elohim swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Hebrews 4 1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Ez 18:20… can you lose your salvation?) 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as Elohim has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day Elohim rested from all his work." 5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore Elohim again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.“ 8 For if Yehoshua had given them rest, Elohim would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of Elohim; 10 for anyone who enters Elohim's rest also rests from his own work, just as Elohim did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. *See also 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 12 For the word of Elohim is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from Elohim's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. The Bible never promises that entering into Elohim’s Promised Rest is easy Yeshua: 13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7) So, is keeping Sabbath a “Salvation Issue”? Our ancestors were saved and baptized but in their rebellion forfeited entering in. Many are called but few are chosen. Do you love him with all your heart, soul and strength? (the supreme commandment) Those who want to enter the kingdom rest are called to enter his Sabbath rest.