The Letters of Faith
Letter 24: The Matter of The Sabbath
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples”
(Isaiyeh 8:16 ENB).
I sincerely pray that this letter finds you well, and that you are continuing onward and upward in your search for Elohim’s truth. I also pray that your walk in Yehoshua, and your ministry on His behalf – in whatever it is that you are accomplishing on His behalf through the faithful use of your gifts – is receiving His anointing on a moment-by-moment basis, and that your joy is being made complete, day-by-day, as you labor for His glory, honor and praise. We, in Him, are well! Thank you for your most coveted prayers on our behalf.
At the outset of this letter, beloved, I want you to know that what I am writing in this message is unlike anything I have ever written before. In each of my previous letters, the teachings were emphatic and wholly supported by Scripture; the concordance, as always, was provided to uphold every conclusion. What I am presenting here today, however, is a question for your consideration. Actually, I am presenting a series of questions, which I truly believe deserve our individual attention and contemplation.
So, right from the start, I want you to know that what I am setting before you here in Letter #24, is wholly intended to provoke thought and consideration. Although I am going to provide an amazing amount of Scripture to support my thinking and reasoning, as fuel to this debate, this remains a speculative offering. I can only pray that The Holy Spirit inspires all who read this letter to act according to His will, to the praise, honor and glory of our Beloved Yehoshua.
Furthermore, the purpose of this missive is to give pause, so that we might truly consider the answer we must give to the countless letters I have received over the years, in which so many souls want to know why our Gifts appear to be puny and ineffective, in comparison to how those same gifts were displayed and used within the first century Ekklesia. In spite of the fact that Yehoshua said, “Amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Depart from here to there,’ and it shall depart, and nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20 ENB), the countless letters I have received, contest that the factual evidence of the faith being witnessed and displayed throughout the world today, appear to conflict with His declaration; the gifts appear to be small or ineffective today!
At the same time, I have also received countless questions revolving around The Matter of the Sabbath, and whether the Law regarding the Sabbath (in any way, shape or form) is applicable to us today.
As I have prayed over these issues, and as I have sought to learn whatever Scripture might hold for us regarding these things, I have been left wondering if the two matters might not somehow be related. Could there be a connection between how we treat the Sabbath, and how The Holy Spirit is able to work in and through our lives? The following presentation, therefore, is the result of that study…
Finally, this letter draws no line in the sand – by me. What I am left with to offer you here though, are some very basic questions, which I believe can only be answered one by one, on a very personal level, as The Holy Spirit works and moves in our hearts.
So then, to begin:
Every writing set forth within The Letters of Faith either declares or supports the fact that the gifts of The Spirit are alive within each and every soul that has accepted Yehoshua as Messiah and Master. Furthermore, throughout these writings I have also taught (and proven by Scripture) that as we approach the time of the return of Yehoshua, and the revealing of the children of Elohim, that further revelation and prophetic truth will unfold. This unfolding will happen joyously for those who faithfully seek Him, but the unfolding will happen drastically, radically and in a very condemning way for those who do not! In the fullness of the times in which we live, therefore, I am convinced that our Father is speaking clearly to us today with new and revealing messages. (I also believe that The Exalted Name Bible™ is one proof of that revelationary process). As always though, it is our responsibility to validate the truthfulness and validity of each and every message dealing with Elohim and His Word, and so it must be with regard to this writing as well.
If this is a prophetic message worthy of note, then let the faithful Disciples discern the worthiness of the questions being posed, and respond in their hearts with a resounding, “YES”. If, on the other hand, this message is unworthy of note, then let the faithful Disciples also discern that unworthiness by responding with a resounding, “NO”, to the questions being presented. Personally, I must confess that I am still deliberating The Matter of the Sabbath in my own heart; I am still asking the questions of myself!
At the core of this Matter of the Sabbath, then, is the simple question: Does the Sabbath have any significant meaning to the Born-Again children of faith – today? Does the Sabbath, as proclaimed, commanded and practiced throughout the Old Covenant, and as proclaimed, commanded and practiced by our Master during His walk among us, have any significant meaning to the Born-Again children of Faith through Grace – today?
Furthermore, could there be a relationship between how we treat the Sabbath, and how The Holy Spirit is able to work within us, as we strive to utilize our gifts for the glory of Elohim?
And, if the answer to these questions is in any way, “Yes”, then how is the Sabbath significant, and how does the manner in which we treat the Sabbath impact our walk of faith and the utilization of our gifts?
Adjunct to these questions has also been the question, “If the Old Covenant Sabbath does have a role in our lives today, on which day of the week does the Sabbath truly take place; Friday / Saturday, as described and practiced during the Old Covenant era, or on Sunday, as is practiced and promoted by most of the world, today?” And, is the difference between the two time periods significant to us today?
If we consider the Sabbath in the strictest sense, and consider the fullness of the Old Covenant Law regarding precisely what “Observing the Sabbath” really means, I think we would all agree that aside from a very few strict “Jewish” observers, nobody within the ‘church’ is really “observing” the Sabbath today.
Might it be possible though, that we have reached a point in time when the Ekklesia is to give consideration to the notion that assembling with a group of like-minded faithful believers, on whatever “Sabbath” you currently recognize, is not the same as ‘Laboring in the Harvest’ for the glory of our King? And, regardless of which Sabbath you recognize today, or how you uphold that Sabbath, might now be the time to acknowledge that the things being done on the Sabbath by the ‘church’ may very well defy the commandment that many believe they are honoring?
As I have studied this Matter of the Sabbath, and as I now present my findings to you, it appears to me that the very Word of Elohim seems to be speaking in a manner which implies that the traditions of the ‘church’ have held the Ekklesia in bondage for centuries, but that now is the time for His Disciples to move past worldly traditions, because there is work to be done!
Turning to Scripture, therefore, of the Sabbath, Elohim originally commanded that we “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of YEHOWAH your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you nor your son nor your daughter, your man-servant or your maid-servant, nor your beasts, nor your foreigner who stays with you. For in six days YEHOWAH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore YEHOWAH blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it” (Exodus 20:8-11 ENB).
From this passage we can clearly see there is a significant difference between what is being practiced today as a Sabbath celebration, and what is described in Elohim’s Word. If nothing else, The Holy Spirit has stirred my heart to at least acknowledge this difference…
As I wrestled further over this issue of the Sabbath though, The Holy Spirit had me digging into His Word – implanted in my heart – in order to unearth the things that He wanted me to see. While many of you have suggested that I read some publication or another, or visit some web site or another, in order to discover what others have written, I must confess that I have not read the suggested articles. This is not said in a prideful manner, but is stated for your edification, because it must be known that the presentation I am making here is one which I have found solely through the study of Elohim’s Word – under His guidance and direction. No outside source has played a significant role in influencing what I am being moved to share with you today. And while this has been true of nearly everything written in The Letters, I believe it is important to fully note this fact here, because The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully within the Ekklesia today, and I did not want to quench His moving in my heart by toiling in any other fields…
As in all things spiritual though, every Disciple of Yehoshua must recognize the fact that the world and its religions have distorted Elohim’s truth. Prayerfully, this letter, and the concordance provided, will show that the Sabbath has been terribly distorted for centuries, and that our comprehension of this matter is most likely distorted as well. Furthermore, I think that The Holy Spirit is trying to show that the Sabbath is amazingly significant to us today, in ways that are beyond our imaginings, and that Elohim’s Word is speaking reams to those who are willing to listen. I implore you, therefore, to uphold Elohim’s law of validation as you study this matter, because the outcome of your study may prove to be amazingly significant to your life and walk of faith…
That being said, I will also say that the fullness of the Sabbath is far different than you might guess, and that this presentation is going to startle even the most ardent Disciples. It startles me!
I have no doubt that as you progress through the opening portions of this letter, you will convince yourself that my heart has turned “LEGALISTIC”, and that I am leaning toward a Lawful Sabbath Day observance, as described and defined in Exodus 20.
The opening discussions presented herein will naturally point in that direction, because many of the passages used to defend or promote current Sabbath day practices by Babylon, have been misused, abused and misrepresented by that ‘church’. The legal arguments that I am presenting, however, are done solely for clarification and edification, and appear appropriate and essential to our complete understanding. We must clear away the cobwebs before any earnest discussion on the Sabbath can take place.
Furthermore, I truly do believe that any conversation on the Sabbath must begin with the Law, because that is where the Sabbath is first explained. Of necessity then, this letter begins there as well. What you must know, however, is that the Law of Love is at the forefront of my heart, mind and soul, and that the bottom line of this matter may not be what you initially perceive it to be. Prayerfully, you will see this unfold as we progress past the legal arguments.
It is equally important for me to tell you here, that the bottom line of this issue may very well prove to be much more demanding than you might originally suspect. Abiding in the fullness of the Law of Love is not an easy task, and I am deeply concerned that too many have forgotten that fact! Nevertheless, “In much wisdom is much grief, and increasing knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18 ENB), and while the fullness of The Matter of the Sabbath may result in tremendous spiritual peace and joy, it may (also) very well result in increased sorrow (temporally).
I thought you should know this before you continue!
Let us begin this discussion on the Sabbath then, with the truth that the Sabbath is, and always has been, from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset. The fact that Yehoshua was raised on the first day of the week (Sunday) never changed the verity that the Sabbath, the last day of the week, is a Friday / Saturday event. As a matter of fact, His resurrection on Sunday, the first day of the week, supports the Friday / Saturday Sabbath one-hundred percent. (More on this in a moment). Significant to this matter at this point though, is that from very early on (throughout the New Covenant) we see the Disciples assembling on the first day of the week – to “worship” and break bread in remembrance of Yehoshua, but,
Setting aside time on Sunday to assemble and
worship with like-minded believers,
is not the same as “Observing the Sabbath”.
The two are not interchangeable, and we stand in
error if we believe that they are!
There is much more that needs to be said on this issue, beloved, but I must reserve those comments for later. What is important for every Disciple to begin grasping right now though, is that the Sabbath, and what is referred to today as, “The Lord’s Day”, are not the same! The whole of Scripture will uphold this conclusion, and I will simply allow the passages used throughout this study (and the remainder of Scripture) to convey that fact.
Now – please do not conclude from these statements that I am teaching any sort of Sabbath Day observance. That is not what was just said! The above statements merely teach that the Sabbath is a Friday / Saturday event, and that attending a worship service on Sunday is not the same as observing a Sabbath. The two are not interchangeable… With that said, we are then left with the primary question about the Sabbath, which is, “As Disciples of Yehoshua, are we (and if so, how are we) to observe the Sabbath TODAY?” The answers require considerable time and thought.
For a very long time, the ‘church’ has empirically stated that the Old Covenant Sabbath has no hold on a ‘christian’, and cite the fact that this is so because nowhere in the New Covenant can we find the command to observe the Sabbath. Interestingly enough though, what The Holy Spirit is now showing me, is that in the 60 times where the word Sabbath is used in the New Covenant, nowhere can it be found where we are commanded to NOT observe that day! Granted, this is a subtle twist, but isn’t that what spiritual warfare is all about?
The Sabbath, as part of the original moral law set forth by Elohim in the Ten Commandments, remains as much a part of those ten commands as “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”. While Scripture clearly points us to the fulfillment of the Law of Love as the completion of the Law, we have somehow lost our comprehension for the fullness of the Law of Love, and how that Law relates to the Sabbath and the other nine commands. How, you ask? Well, in the simple fact that we cannot intentionally, belligerently and repeatedly violate the other Nine Commandments, and still believe that we are upholding the Law of Love! Elohim’s Word proves this fact to be true.
Consider these thoughts: Can we premeditatedly kill, and still believe we are maintaining and upholding the Law of Love? How about stealing, is that permissible? Well, then, what about adultery? Surely, coveting is acceptable, isn’t it? Don’t you see, beloved? While the Law of Love may be the fulfillment of the Law, the other Commands remain part and parcel to maintaining that Law of Love. The Law of Love and the other Nine Commandments are inseparable, and if this is the case, how should we handle the matter of the Sabbath?
Clearly, I think we have been deceived into believing that the link between The Sabbath and The Law of Love no longer exists! And, there are even stronger links, as you will see.
My prayer is that our Father in heaven will grant us eyes to see, ears to hear and the courage to respond according to His will, because what I am moved to write today differs from every ‘religious’ practice employed by Babylon. In fact, the fullness of what I am writing may very well be the defining call to arms that the Disciples of Yehoshua ha Mashiach have been waiting for. Be that as it may, the desire of my heart is simply that Yehoshua will be glorified, and that the Ekklesia will truly be His joy!
And immediately following those statements I will repeat what I said just a few moments ago, that “Personally, I must confess that I am still deliberating the matter in my own heart; I am still asking the questions of myself!” That being said let us move onward:
The Sabbath is a matter of faith, to be sure, just as adhering to the other nine commandments is a matter of faith. And as you already know, a Disciples’ walk of faith is not for the weak at heart! In Mark 7:6-13, Yehoshua rebuked the spiritual leaders of His day, because they were “laying aside the commandment of Elohim” (ENB), and that in so doing, they had “made the word of Elohim of no effect” (ENB). May our Master forgive us if we ever knowingly lay aside or invalidate His Word!
Elsewhere, in Luke 6:5, Yehoshua is heard saying, “The Son of Man is also Master of the Sabbath” (ENB). As His servants, would it not be wise of us to know how His Mastership of the Sabbath applies to us? Or even IF it applies to us? After all, if we are His servants, and He is our Master, and at the same time He has proclaimed Himself to be Master of the Sabbath, then His Mastership over us, and the Sabbath, must be reconciled. Mustn’t it?
Yehoshua repeatedly reconciled the Ten Commandments unto Himself by the manner in which He discussed the Commandments. He NEVER set any of them aside; He never invalidated them. What He did though, was to expand upon the fullness of our understanding for each of the commandments, so that His express desires would be known. And the Epistles all stand in support of His instructions! In true fashion, therefore, His Word clearly tells us everything we need to know about His Sabbath. I believe today, that the revelation of this Matter of the Sabbath has been withheld for His end time harvesters.
Babylon has hidden the breadth and width of Scripture for centuries. Among those hidden truths are matters like: The Fullness of Elohim’s Names, the Truth of the Gifts, and the correct and complete manner in which we are to Assemble. It should not surprise any Disciple; therefore, that Babylon has also hidden the breadth and width of Scripture regarding the Sabbath. The meaning of Elohim’s Word has been distorted to fit their purposes, and in true fashion, this distortion has gone unchallenged – until now! Clinging to a few flimsy passages that have been misconstrued to speak against a Sabbath Day observance of any sort, or embracing even fewer passages that distort which day of the week the Sabbath is to be observed, Babylon has openly declared that the lack of instruction provided for the Sabbath is an indicator that the Friday / Saturday Sabbath has no place in the New Covenant era. While it is true that we cannot find an open discussion on the Sabbath in any of Yehoshua’s conversations, we must not erroneously conclude from this lack of open discussion that the Sabbath is irrelevant today. Scripture has much to say about the Sabbath, and we must open our eyes and ears to Elohim’s Word, because, at this moment in time, those who choose to follow the fullness of His Commandments today, Are His End Time Harvesters! This too we know from His Word.
This is a very bold statement, beloved, but if you will stick with me for a while, I believe the fullness of Scripture will support this assertion; will support the boldness of my heart…
The reason the Sabbath was never openly discussed with Yehoshua, was because in His day, when He walked among us, there was no lack of understanding about the need for, or requirements of, observing the Sabbath! The Sabbath simply never came up in conversation, because the Sabbath Day observance was a given and known fact. It was fully understood! I realize that this is another slight twist in things, but spiritual deceit does not normally come in huge variances. Subtlety is an art form, and deceitful subtlety was first displayed to us by Satan in the Garden of Eden. He has not changed his ways.
Yehoshua fully explained His desires for us, with relationship to His Sabbath, but we have been deceived. Satan can only distort what he has already seen and knows, and we must recognize the fact that Elohim’s revelations are exceptionally subtle at times as well, and that reverent subtlety is quite amazing! An example of reverent subtlety is found in the fact that there is a truth about Yehoshua’s resurrection that has escaped our notice for centuries, and as promised earlier, let’s return to that topic now. The simple fact of the matter is:
Yehoshua was raised on the first day of the week, Sunday, because according to His Law, He could not have been resurrected on Saturday – the Sabbath! Elohim Himself would have been found in violation of His Sabbath, if Yehoshua were to have been resurrected on Saturday, the Sabbath… THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT!
Add to this the very simple fact that not one of His Disciples would have noticed that He was resurrected on the Sabbath (unless He Personally visited them) because every one of His Disciples was off observing the Sabbath. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John20).
Nobody went to the grave on the Sabbath…
And Elohim knew it would be so!
How simple – and vital – is that?
Yehoshua had just ended a week of labor that is unrivaled in human history:
A final teaching with His Disciples, in which He humbled Himself more than anything imaginable.
A period of prayer so intense that His pores oozed blood.
A phony trial.
A horrendous period of extreme torture.
An even more horrifying crucifixion.
Three days in the ground – one of which was spent descended into the very pits of hell to proclaim His Victory! Which, in case it has escaped your notice, was another ‘work day’!
And on Saturday?
Beloved, Elohim (Father, Son and The Holy Spirit) rested on that Saturday. It was the Sabbath… To do anything else would have violated everything that we know about Him! Elohim cannot change, beloved, and from the very first week of creation (Genesis 2) we know that He rested on the Sabbath!
Unless He was harvesting, or teaching about His Harvest, He rested…
And what happened after That Sabbath Day’s Rest? Once resurrected, His labor began all over again!
As I contemplated every angle and argument that might be presented in defense of what is believed and practiced today, I was drawn back to the original Ten Commandments over and over again. And, in each visit, Yehoshua’s Words from Matthew 5 echoed loudly in my heart. In part He said, “Do not think that I come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets; I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the Law, until all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18 ENB).
And then, as if to place an exclamation mark deeply in my heart over this matter, The Holy Spirit reminded me of three significant facts regarding the Ten Commandments that might touch your heart as well, because the simplicity of these thoughts was nearly overwhelming to me:
First, He had me consider the order in which the Ten Commandments are issued…
Now this may appear to be a simple thing, but if you have never considered the fullness of this matter, perhaps it is time you do, because when Elohim offers any presentation to us, His order of things is always significant. In regard to the Sabbath, we must recognize that observing the Sabbath is the Fourth Commandment issued. It follows and abides with those commands that deal with our relationship to Elohim, and precedes those commands that deal with our relationship to other humans. I believe this is tremendously significant.
In full, however, this is what YEHOWAH wrote for us on the mountaintop that day:
1. “I am YEHOWAH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other elohim before Me.
2. You shall not make any graven image, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, YEHOWAH your Elohim, am a jealous El, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3. You shall not take the name of YEHOWAH your Elohim in vain, for YEHOWAH will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of YEHOWAH your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you nor your son nor your daughter, your man-servant or your maid-servant, nor your beasts, nor your foreigner who stays with you. For in six days YEHOWAH made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore YEHOWAH blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.
5. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land that YEHOWAH your Elohim gives you.
6. You shall not commit murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:2-17 ENB).
First comes our relationship with Elohim, including honoring His Sabbath, then comes our relationship with our fellow humans…
As I pondered these things, I could not help but acknowledge the fact that no true Disciple of Yehoshua would ever knowingly or voluntarily disregard any of the first three commands, nor would we deliberately violate any of the last six commands (without tremendous anxiety and remorse). And if this is true for nine of the commandments, then why are we so willingly, flippantly and readily abandoning the fulfillment of the fourth commandment? What is it about this particular commandment that has us stymied – if not for the fact that some sort of spiritual deception might be at play?
The second thing He had me notice was the amount of ‘space’ that He dedicated to His fourth commandment. Look at the ten again, beloved!
In the English Language, Three Hundred and Eight (308) words are used in presenting the Ten Commandments to us. (It’s not significantly different in Hebrew – as far as this reference is concerned).
The first three commands are issued in One Hundred and Thirty Five (135) words. (Again, in English). That averages out to Forty Five (45) words per commandment.
The fourth commandment, of which we are speaking, took Ninety Five (95) words to issue and explain.
The final six commandments (everything that we have been given regarding our relationship to our fellow man) is summed up in Seventy Eight (78) words. That is a mere average of only Eighteen (18) words per commandment.
(I recognize that we are looking at the English translation of the original Hebrew text, but – don’t be deceived in this either, because the English translation is a direct reflection of the Hebrew, and His original writing on those stone tablets occupied proportional space).
In considering this observation then, we must see that nearly one third of the total space used on the two tablets is dedicated to the observance of the Sabbath. Nearly one third of everything said, in the issuance of His Commandments to us, deals with only one tenth of those commandments.
The matter, therefore, must carry significant weight with Him, don’t you think?
The third issue The Holy Spirit had me consider is the fact that when Yehoshua returns, all things are going to be restored. Now, detailing the fullness of what that restoration means would take an entire book, but one thing that is certain is the fact that the Ark of the Covenant, which has been lost to the world for centuries, will be revealed, as will all other significant artifacts. He knows where the Ark, and these other items are today, beloved, and He will bring these coveted artifacts out of hiding – and place them in His Temple in Jerusalem. All things will be restored!
When He opens the Ark of the Covenant upon His return, He is going to reveal its contents to us once again, and in that revelation He is going to present three things for our consideration. In case you have forgotten, those three things are: Aaron’s budded rod, a jar of manna, and two tablets of stone upon which He personally etched the Ten Commandments! As He unveils these things for us, and as He restores all things, including a strict observance of the Sabbath (throughout His one thousand year reign), I believe we are going to hear Him say, “Amen I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Law, until all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18 ENB).. .
Truly, beloved, I believe we have been deceived!
But, how do we reconcile this deception with everything we have been ‘taught’ to understand about the Word of Elohim – in relation to the Sabbath? How do we categorize, classify and summarize the fullness of faith through grace, and our release from the Law through our Beloved Messiah (as we currently understand it), while even considering recognizing the Sabbath? The only way I know to work through the maze confronting us, is to examine Scripture, because as we know only too well, the Truth is found only in His Word. Prayerfully, the following examination will set us free to know the Sabbath as YEHOSHUA desires us to know it today, because, clearly, our comprehension of this matter is sorely lacking, and He desires our eyes to be opened.
We begin, therefore, with the legal aspect:
If you have read my “About the Author Page”, you already know that the Master used the Book of Galatians to open my eyes to the truth about the Levitical Law in the New Covenant age. In that Book we are told:
“No human is justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Yehoshua ha Mashiach, even we have believed in YEHOSHUA ha Mashiach, so that we might be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by the works of the law; since by the works of the law shall no man be justified” (Galatians 2:16 ENB).
The Greek word used here for justified is DIKAIOO, and it means, “To be just or innocent; to be free; to be righteous”. DIKAIOO is the same word that James uses throughout his writing, and it is forcefully applied in that Epistle to those who would follow Yehoshua. James boldly declares that, “You see then how through works a person is justified, and not by faith alone. In the same way also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she received the messengers, and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without The Spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:24-26 ENB).
There appears to be a contradiction between what Paul is saying in Galatians, and what James is saying here, doesn’t there? There is not, as you will see. Before we expand on this though, let us continue on in Galatians, because we are also told:
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is the person who does not confirm the words of this law to do them’” (Galatians 3:10 ENB).
“But Scripture has sealed all in sin, so that the promise by faith in Yehoshua ha Mashiach might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were protected under the law, being sealed unto the faith that was later to be revealed. Therefore, the law was our tutor unto Messiah, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all children of Elohim through faith in Messiah Yehoshua” (Galatians 3:22-26 ENB).
“Now I say, as long as the heirs are children, they differ not from a slave, although they are owners of everything, but they are under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. So also we. While we were children, were enslaved under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, El sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as children” (Galatians 4:1-5 ENB).
“But now that you have come to know Elohim, or rather to be known by Elohim, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and beggardly elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years” (Galatians 4:9-10 ENB).
“You have been severed from Messiah, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4 ENB).
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Galatians 5:14 ENB).
“But if you are led by The Holy Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18 ENB).
Paul’s argument throughout Galatians is clearly directed against the “Judaizers” who were seeking to bring the newly born-again disciples “Under the Levitical Law”; circumcision being the first order of business, and the remainder of the Law following.
In Galatians 4:10, for instance, Paul was moved to condemn the observance of “days, and months, and seasons, and years”. His argument, however, directly matches the Septuagint translation of the ordinances outlined in Numbers 28 and 29, and in so doing, Paul (moved by The Holy Spirit) clearly drew an arrow to the sacrificial portion of the Levitical Law. In Galatians 4:10 in particular, Paul is speaking to that aspect of the Levitical Law that requires sacrifices on the various Sabbaths of days, and months, and seasons, and years. And, he is rightly condemning all of these practices now – in Yehoshua!
The seventh day Sabbath, however, of which we are speaking today, predates the Levitical Law, and never required any sacrifice (See Genesis 2).
Justification through the Levitical Law was attained not only by practicing every facet of the Law for daily living, it also involved compliance with the sacrificial portion of that Law, when the daily living portion missed the mark (sin). Paul, in Galatians and elsewhere, is clearly delineating the remarkable difference between any righteousness gained through those elemental and worldly “works of the Levitical / sacrificial Law” that provided justification, and the righteousness wholly imparted by our Father to those who believe upon the Sacrifice of His Son, Yehoshua, through faith…
Anybody seeking to be justified through any form of sacrifice, in accord with the Levitical Law, instead of through faith alone in the shed Blood of Yehoshua ha Mashiach will be severed from Messiah. That is precisely what The Holy Spirit is telling us in these passages!
Also within these passages though, and also according to The Holy Spirit, as outlined in the Book of James, and elsewhere, we are told that:
“FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD”.
And the reality of those two facts comes to roost in the truth that setting aside time on Sunday to assemble and worship with like-minded believers, is not the same as “Observing the Sabbath”. And we stand in error if we believe that they are the same.
Sacrificial works of the Levitical Law, and works of faith,
are entirely different, and we have been deceived
by not comprehending and acknowledging that difference.
Many Babylonian scholars have taught that the legal observance of the Sabbath terminated at the cross. They uphold their claim by citing Colossians 2:3-17. If we really examine Colossians 2 closely, however, I believe we will discover that Elohim is really telling us something else. In context, the passage says:
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, were made alive together with Him, being forgiven of all your sins, having blotted out the hand-written decrees against us, which opposed us; having taken it out of the way, by nailing it to the cross. And having put off the principalities and authorities, He made a show of them publicly, having triumphed over them through it. Let no one therefore judge you regarding food, or drink, or in respect to a holiday, or a new moon, or the Sabbath; things that are a shadow of things to come; but the body is Messiah’s” (Colossians 2:13-17 ENB).
Throughout the New Covenant, Yehoshua and His Disciples were criticized for the work they performed on the Sabbath. In response to these criticism’s, however, Yehoshua always declared Himself, “Master even of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:27-28 & Luke 6:5). Later on, in Peter’s visions (Acts 10:9-16) and in the instruction he personally received for the Ekklesia from The Holy Spirit, in regard to those visions, we are clearly shown and told that as the Disciples of Yehoshua toil in His Harvest, we are free to eat and drink whatever is placed before us. And, we are free to labor on the Sabbath – aside from any and all of the ceremonial or dietary restrictions imposed by the Levitical Law!
In light of the fullness of Scripture, Colossians 2 reaffirms the fact that as His harvesters, we have already received release from the Levitical Law. And, this release allows us to labor freely in the Master’s harvest on the Sabbath, wholly unfettered by any restrictions whatever. But, beloved, if Yehoshua is truly Master of the Sabbath, and our Master has repeatedly declared the Sabbath “Holy”, set aside for Himself, then how should we esteem or demean that day today?
The answer that is mulling about in my heart and mind may very well surprise you!
Before we delve into answers, we must also consider the fact that any discussion dealing with the Old Covenant Law, must certainly cross paths with Romans 13:8-10, because it is here that we read:
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for those who love their neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:8-10 ENB).
From these words, we must earnestly strive to comprehend precisely what the fulfilling, (Greek, PLEROO), of the law really means, because in context, PLEROO, means to make replete, complete, accomplish or satisfy. But just what law, or better yet, what portion of the law, is Paul being moved to discuss here?
As we analyze the whole of the Epistle to the Romans, we see that in Romans 1 – 8, Paul had already discussed righteousness, or right living, as a key to man’s relationship with Elohim. In Romans 9 – 11, he had already imparted an understanding for the connection between Israel and the Gentiles in Elohim’s plan. Here, in Romans 13, Paul is now discussing the proper attitude and conduct expected of a Disciple in regard to their relationship with humanity (as representatives of Yehoshua) Romans, chapters 12 – 15.
Look at the Romans 13:8-10 passage again, though, and SEE that Paul is speaking wholly to the fact that, “Love works no wrong to a neighbor”. In Romans 13, Paul is teaching about fulfilling that portion of the law that deals with humanity – Fulfilling Commandments Five through Ten.
Watch now, beloved, as a truth unfolds, because as we faithfully, diligently and appropriately apply Paul’s words in Romans to the whole of Scripture, we must note that this discussion in Romans 13 speaks of those commandments dealing with our relationship to humanity, and in no way, is this teaching meant to supersede or surpass Yehoshua’s own teachings on this same issue:
Lest we forget, “When the Pharisees heard that Yehoshua had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. Then one of them, a lawyer, testing Him, asked Him, ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And Yehoshua said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord (YEHOWAH) your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbors as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang the whole law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:34-40 ENB).
Yehoshua spoke of the whole law, in its entirety, and although not mentioned specifically, He did not exclude the Sabbath from that list of things that express our love for Yehoshua. Paul, however, in Romans, speaks of the fulfillment of that portion of the law that dictates how we deal with our fellow man. To believe anything else is to set aside and invalidate Scripture. We cannot permit Babylon to influence our right thinking any longer, beloved, and we must fully come out from under Babylon’s teachings, and surrender ourselves completely to the will and desire of our Beloved Master, Messiah and King!
Paraphrased, Yehoshua said; Love Elohim with all your heart, soul and mind; and in so doing, do not disregard His wishes (which surely would never violate commands one through four). And, love your neighbor as yourself (which simply will not permit a violation of commands five through ten). Do these, and the whole law is satisfied!
I am left wondering, though, and this from the depth of my heart, what happens when we fail in fulfilling the Law of Love? Seriously, even if Babylon wants to contend with the fullness of Yehoshua’s Words in Matthew 22, and even if they choose to stick with their belief that the whole law, and not just the human relations portion of the law, is fulfilled in keeping the law of love, what happens when we fail to fulfill that Law of Love?
Additionally, doesn’t fulfilling the Law of Love also have to do with the Love we display toward our Elohim in heaven? After all, we certainly cannot go about violating the first three commandments, and still believe that we are delivered, can we? CAN WE?
Can we have any other Elohim before Him in our lives, and still believe we are delivered? Many think so today, but is that thinking valid?
Can we supplant Him in our hearts through idolatry and / or idol worshiping, and still think that we can cling to His cross for salvation? What say you?
Can we repeatedly take His Name in vain, and still believe that He will hear us when we do call out to Him? What do you think? Even if Babylon chooses to disregard Matthew 22, all rationality and common sense dictate that we cannot live a life in violation of any of these commandments, and still believe that we are upholding the Law of Love. CAN WE?
Can we kill, and still believe that we are maintaining and upholding the Law of Love?
How about stealing, is that permissible? Well, then how about adultery? Surely, coveting is acceptable, isn’t it?
Do you see?
While the Law of Love is the fulfilling of every command dealing with humanity, the first three commands cannot be set aside as we attempt to comply with commandments five through ten. They are inseparable, and we cannot be deceived into thinking that the link no longer exists. And if the link still exists between commandments one through three, and commandments five through ten, then please do not be deceived into thinking that commandment number four is somehow excluded, because it is not!
Free from the Law? Are we free from the Law the way Babylon wants to interpret Romans 13? Be cautious how you respond, beloved!
I received a most remarkable letter from a brother in Yehoshua some time ago, and the love of Elohim was so evident in that letter, that I was moved to tears of joy. (I had never heard from this brother before). In his encouragement to me though, our brother displayed an openness, kindness and loveliness that I have rarely encountered (including that which I display toward others)! Through this letter though, Yehoshua momentarily opened my eyes to the fulfillment of His Law of Love, and in that revelation I am left wondering what happens when we fail to fulfill His Law of Love in our lives?
We all know that loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is not an easy task, but, beloved of Elohim, how often have we really viewed the fullness of the Law of Love – in light of the fullness of Yehoshua’s Command? From His Sermon on the Mount, He said,
“You have heard it said, ‘THOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND HATE YOUR ENEMY.’ But I say unto you, love your enemies and bless them who curse you; do well by them that hate you, and pray for them who slander and persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on evil and good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you embrace only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).
Perfect? As our Father in heaven is perfect?
Well, I believe we have just hit a huge bump in the road for anyone who elects to stand solely on a humanistic approach to the Law of Love. I believe that the Master’s own Words derail any notion that we can set aside and invalidate any one of the supporting and connecting Ten Commandments. Perfect? As our Father in heaven is perfect? Really?
I realize that what I am going to say will be perceived as judgmental, but from what we know and see within the ‘church’, and from the general population of this world today, (in direct relationship to maintaining and keeping the Law of Love), I hear one word, “OOPS, OOPS, OOPS”, resounding over and over again! And that “Word” is delivered with as much piety – and sarcasm – as The Holy Spirit will allow me to generate within myself.
Who are we kidding here?
To be sure, in all honesty, we are kidding only ourselves!
In my attempt to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect, I fail constantly. I fail MISERABLY! (May Elohim forgive me). The Law of Loving my neighbor as myself is HARD! Wouldn’t you agree? So again we must ask, “What happens when we fail to uphold and abide by the Law of Love?”
Is it not true, in light of all that we now see in His Word, that aside from the Law of Love (and yet wholly connected to that Law of Love), the only constant thing remaining for us (aside from Yehoshua Himself) is our original tutor, the Ten Commandments, which led us to the knowledge of sin, which led us to The Foot of Yehoshua’s Cross? If that is true, then at the very least, when all else fails, we must at the very least strive to uphold the standard of His Ten Commandments, to HIS Praise, Honor and Glory… Mustn’t we?
At the very least, is not that what the Word is saying? If all the Commandments are fulfilled in one Command, then what happens when we fail to fulfill that one Command? What happens when we fail to fulfill the Law of Love? We are left at the very least with that standard which originally revealed our sin to us, and which led us to Messiah’s cross. And this is why Yehoshua said that not one jot or tittle would pass away from the Law, until all is fulfilled!
Or, let me present this in another way: Without the enmity caused solely by the Law, just how is it possible for us to fail in fulfilling the Law of Love? If the Ten Commandments are dead and buried with Yehoshua, and if the Law is no longer applicable, as those within Babylon teach, then precisely how can we fail to fulfill the Law of Love? If Elohim makes His sun to rise and set on evil and good; on the righteous and the unjust, precisely what standard is there that separates these two classes? Listen to what Elohim has to say about this from the New Covenant:
“For when the Gentiles, who do not have the Law,
do naturally the things of the Law,
these, not having the Law, become a Law unto themselves;
for they show the work of the Law written in their hearts,
their conscience bearing witness, and their
thoughts either accusing or else defending them,
on the day when Elohim will judge the secrets of men
through Yehoshua ha Mashiach” (Romans 2:14-16 ENB).
If it is true that when those who do not have the Law, do naturally the things of the Law, and those actions become a Law unto themselves, then what happens when we, who have been tutored by Elohim’s Law, and through that tutor have been brought to the knowledge of the Messiah, totally abandon and forsake that Law? How do we reconcile that abandonment with the remainder of Elohim’s Word?
Are these merely rhetorical questions? I’m not so sure! Certainly, if nothing else, these thoughts are worthy of deep introspection; and possibly even repentance. What do you think?
As I considered these questions, and as I considered all of the passages already quoted, and yet to come (in context and in the fullness of all that I know to be true of faith through grace), I could not help but be drawn to another passage that has been ever present and foremost in my heart and mind. This passage has been fundamental to me, as I have tried to walk the walk of a disciple. This passage reverberates in my heart, because it warns against continuing in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth. And, beloved, it is here, discussed fully in the Book of Hebrews, that I believe a major deception can be uncovered:
Hebrews 1 speaks of Yehoshua’s superiority over every created thing: Over mankind; over the Prophets; over the Angels; over the entirety of the cosmos. His absolute superiority over every created thing is clarified in Hebrews, chapter 1.
Hebrews 2 tells us, therefore, that we must pay attention to HIM!
Hebrews 3 – 5 informs us that Yehoshua is our High Priest, and outlines for us His role on our behalf. We also learn about our role as children who believe in Him.
Hebrews 6 speaks of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward Elohim. Hebrews 6 also reveals the truth that salvation CAN be lost (Hebrews 6:4-8).
Hebrews 7 compares Yehoshua’s Priesthood with that of Melchizedek, and declares His priesthood to be eternal. (The Sacrificial aspect of the Levitical Law is dead in Messiah Yehoshua)…
Hebrews 8 initiates a discussion on the “New Covenant”, based upon the sacrifice of Yehoshua, and again declares that the first sacrificial covenant is “Obsolete”.
Hebrews 9 declares with absolute authority that the Old Covenant that has been abolished by Yehoshua the Messiah, is the Levitical Law of sacrifices and of, “Days, and months, and seasons, and years”.
Hebrews 10 teaches that the cleansing received by the Old Covenant sacrificial system was a weak substitute for the Sacrifice offered by Messiah, and that the cleansing we receive today through Him is perfect and eternal. Then, The Holy Spirit speaks of the new life that we have in Messiah, and, beloved of Yehoshua, it is here that I believe we have ignored the Word of Elohim, because He says,
“Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Yehoshua, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of Elohim, let us draw near with a truthful heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.
For if we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrible looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries.
Anyone who has cast off the Law of Moses dies without mercy upon the testimony of two or three witnesses.
How much severer punishment do you suppose they will deserve who have trampled under foot the Son of Elohim, and have counted as unclean the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and have despised The Holy Spirit of grace?
For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense.” And again, “YEHOWAH will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim” (Hebrews 10:19-31 ENB).
Hebrews 11 speaks of abiding Faith!
Hebrews 12 encourages us to live in the discipline of Yehoshua; following His example; empowered by His Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 13 closes the writing with an outline of daily living in Yehoshua, and a blessing…
In the light of these Words, I again ask, “If it is true that when those who do not have the Law, do naturally the things of the Law, and those actions become a Law unto themselves, then what happens when we, who have been tutored by Elohim’s Law (in bringing us to the knowledge of the Messiah) totally abandon and forsake that Law? How do we reconcile that abandonment with the remainder of Elohim’s Word?”
At this juncture, I think this becomes much more than a rhetorical series of questions. As you contemplate these things, therefore, consider this: If in our liberality we cause another to sin, how are we fulfilling The Law of Love? If our acts and deeds cause a lost soul to remain lost, instead of witnessing the life and love of Discipleship unto Yehoshua to that lost soul, how are we fulfilling The Law of Love?
I must leave that determination, and that answer, to you!
Perhaps the most striking passage being used today, to deflate our thinking about an Old Covenant style Sabbath Day observance, is found in the verses of Romans 14:4-13, where we are instructed to not pass judgment on the servant of another; instructed to never pass judgment on those who observe a day (or against those who do not observe a day). And it is here that a firm Scriptural argument against a Sabbath Day observance might be found. In full, Elohim’s Word says,
“Who are you that you judge the servant of another? To their own master they stand or fall; and they will stand, for the Master is able to make them stand. One person esteems one day above another; another regards every day alike. Let each person be fully persuaded in their own mind. Those who observe a day, observe it for the Master, and those who eat, do so for the Master; for they give thanks unto Elohim; and those who eat not, for the Master they do not eat, and give thanks unto Elohim. For not one of us lives for themselves, and not one dies for themselves; for if we live, we live for the Master, or if we die, we die for the Master; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Master’s. For to this end Messiah died, and rose, and lives again, that He might be Master both of the dead and of the living. But why do you judge your brethren? Or again, why do you regard your brethren with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Elohim. For it is written, ‘Unto Me every knee will bow, and every tongue will swear.’ So then every one of us will give an account of themselves unto Elohim. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but judge this instead; that nobody put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brethren’s way” (Romans 14:4-13 ENB).
Our position on judgmentalism is well documented (and, prayerfully, applied), and Romans 14:4-13 is quoted and referenced frequently throughout The Letters, in support of that position and belief. For this discussion, however, we must focus on verses 5 and 6, because that is where any substantial argument against the Sabbath might be made. Here, the Word says, “One person esteems one day above another; another regards every day alike. Let each person be fully persuaded in their own mind. Those who observe a day, observe it for the Master,” (Romans 14:5-6 ENB).
“For as many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law; and as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law written in their hearts; their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts either accusing or else defending them, on the day when Elohim will judge the secrets of mankind, through Yehoshua ha Mashiach” (Romans 2:12-16 ENB).
Undoubtedly, this is where we must re-insert the whole of Romans 14 again, just as a reminder that we are not to judge another in any way, shape or form. But the fullness of this matter, for each individual, lies in the fact that Elohim knows the hearts and minds of all, and He wants, “Each person (to be) fully persuaded in their own mind” about what they approve or disprove (Romans 14:5).
“Do you have faith? Have it unto yourself before Elohim. Happy are they who do not condemn themselves in what they approve. But those who doubt are condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:22-23 ENB).
And, with that said, we can pretty well stop our conversation here…
As long as we remain convinced that the Sabbath does not matter, and as long as we can faithfully remain happy in our self approval, of whatever it is that we approve, then the Sabbath really does not matter, and we are free to do whatever we please! Amen? Amen! Do you agree?
The problem I have with stopping here, however, is the fact that every Disciple of Yehoshua that I have ever spoken with, or exchanged letters with, has always expressed an earnest heartfelt desire to walk closer with the Master. Every one!
Furthermore, in their quest to draw ever nearer unto Yehoshua, each child of faith has spent countless hours studying the Word in search of “His understanding, knowledge and wisdom”, so that they could apply these things in their personal walk for His glory, and, therefore, so that they can ultimately draw closer to Him.
Is this not true of you, beloved? Have you not sought for Him, even to the dismay of the world around you? Have you not also found tremendous joy in being the delight of your Master and Messiah? How many times have you coursed through the whole of Scripture, seeking for clues, hints, encouragement and truth? How often have you prayed for understanding, knowledge and wisdom? How frequently have you asked for permission to draw nearer unto Him?
Those who are currently trapped within Babylon refuse to grow or expand in their walk of faith with Yehoshua, but we are not trapped within Babylon are we? We are not of the mindset to permit others to tell us what we are supposed to believe, because the calling we have received from our Father drives us to comprehend more; to seek for more; to be more – for the praise, honor and glory of His Most Holy Name! We are compelled to drive onward and upward, because we know that our hearts will not find peace until we hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful slave”! And, from the fullness of my heart, I do not know one Disciple who is convinced that their life warrants such an accolade from HIM!
Surely, try as I might, in my estimation, my life does not warrant such an acknowledgement. But, thankfully and mercifully, He does not permit us to judge ourselves. Praise be unto Yehoshua, for His purchase of our souls; for great is the price that has been paid!
So, in spite of our shortcomings, and in spite of our sin, we continue to study, and we continue to apply. We continue praying for, and seeking for, His truth (as if for gold). And the reason I cannot stop this conversation at Romans 14, is because in my continuing search for Elohim’s Truth, I am confronted with other portions of His Word that tell me all is not entirely right… His Word does not allow me to have complete peace in what has been approved above, for the simple reason that we are not experiencing the fullness of everything that Elohim has promised or approved for Yehoshua’s Disciples. Your letters and questions regarding these matters uphold these truths, and it is in these unfulfilled promises, or obvious lacking, that our hearts are crying out for more. Through our many conversations I know you feel the same.
So, just what does His Word say that causes doubt in my heart, mind and soul? Well, let’s start with a really big one:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, those who believe in Me, the works that I do shall they do also; and greater works than these shall they do; because I go to the Father. And whatsoever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love me, keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Intercessor, who will abide with you forever; The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him. But you know Him; for He dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned: I will come to you. After a little while the world will see Me no more; but you see Me. Because I live, you will live also. On that day you will know that I am in the Father; and you in Me, and I in you. Those who have My commandments and keep them, those are they who love Me; and those who love Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to them” (John 14:12-21 ENB).
The whole of John 14, 15, 16 and 17 is directed to Yehoshua’s Disciples. Therefore, this passage is a promise to be claimed by ALL of His obedient Disciples! As Disciples in training, therefore, when we consider these words, we are naturally left wondering about the fact that there are a great many ‘things’ that we are seeking from our Father in heaven, in the Name of the Son, that we are not receiving. If this were not true, I would not be receiving a massive amount of questions on this topic.
I too have made requests of our Father, beloved, which have not received a favorable reply. And, like you, my requests were not merely whimsical matters. These were ‘things’, which given, would have truly glorified the Name of Yehoshua. Why is it then, that our requests have gone unanswered? Elohim cannot lie, can He? No, Elohim cannot lie!
Since Elohim cannot lie, there must be another reason why (our) prayerful requests are not being fulfilled… Many will respond to this by saying that the reason our requests were not fulfilled, was because they were:
1. Not in accord with our Father’s will.
2. Not in our Father’s timing.
3. Because they were personally motivated and self-gratifying.
I think it is significant to note, however, that Yehoshua said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do.” There are no restrictions on the type of things we can seek, nor are there limitations to His capacity to give. The only preset condition that is given in this passage, is that the requester: “Keep My commandments”. Truly, a Disciple is one who loves His Master, and as we just read, “Those who have My commandments and keep them, those are they who love Me.” So, as Disciples in training, are we keeping all of His commandments? If we are – “Ask, and it shall be given”. Otherwise, don’t expect a positive answer to all of your requests.
The Greek word we interpret as, commandment or commandments, by the way, is ENTOLE, and ENTOLE is neither singular nor plural; the word speaks collectively of the Precepts of Elohim. The promise made by Yehoshua above, therefore, is simply that if we ‘keep’ His precepts, we need but ask, in His name, and our Father in heaven will fulfill our every request.
Why is it then, that even though we yearn from every pore of our bodies to please Him, and to follow Him, that we are not abiding in the fullness of the POWER that He displayed during His ministry, or abiding in the power that He promised would be ours, “In His name”? Why is it that so many of our sincere, heartfelt, faithful prayers remain either unanswered, or are flatly denied? Could it be that we are missing something significant in our walk with Him, and that until we determine to set our lives truly aright in His sight that we will continue to stagger? Listen to what else Yehoshua said,
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Endure in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy might be made full” (John 15:7-11 ENB).
How “full” is your joy today, beloved? How much fruit are you bearing today, in relationship to the fruit He bore during His ministry? How much satisfaction are you receiving from your studies? Or, are you even studying? How effective are your prayers? Or, are you even praying as faithfully as you once did? If your answers are not as favorable as you know they should be, or if your answers are not as favorable as you want them to be, then maybe something is missing in your life. Maybe something is not right!
Please permit me to add to this conversation by offering a few more quotes from Yehoshua, because in the fullness of His Words we will find peace:
In Matthew 18:19, He said,
“Again I say unto you, that if two of you agree on earth pertaining to anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven” (ENB).
And from John 16:23-24, where He said,
“Amen, amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Up to now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full” (ENB).
Oh, how we yearn for the fulfillment of these words! Why though, are we falling short? Why are we failing to achieve the entire promise of John 14-17 in our lives? Why are we falling short regarding these other passages as well? Could it be that we have not kept the commandments of our Master, and that until we do, we simply will not see the fulfillment of these remarkable Words? Could this explain the near two-thousand year dry spell that the ‘church’, in Babylon, has experienced?
And, could there be a link between maintaining the fullness of His Commandments, and the use of His proper Name? I have a very strong suspicion that there is! Surely, time will tell…
Nevertheless, four chapters from one Book of Scripture convict me of so many things. Four chapters, in my Master’s own words, cause me to pause in my understanding and force me to reevaluate my comprehension of what the ‘world’ – and the Babylon church – have promoted for centuries.
After all, we strive to adhere to nine of His ten commandments, surely our Sunday adherence to our perception of a Sabbath must be sufficient. Don’t you think?
From the depth of my heart, mind and soul, I think that the only response available to us today is, “NO, THEY ARE NOT!”
Inasmuch as we are speaking of His precepts, please allow me to present a few other passages that cause me to pause in my understanding, because they too are forcing me to reevaluate my comprehension of what Babylon teaches today about the Sabbath. Perhaps you have noticed these passages as well, but have never fully investigated the matter before. We’ll start slowly here, but we’ll pick up a full head of steam rapidly as we progress in His Word. I will strive not to belabor the point by offering a myriad of verses, but the latter passages I am presenting rival in significance the Words of Yehoshua uttered in John 14 – 17 above, and they truly highlight the questions which those chapters force us to ask:
“Teach me good discretion and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments” (Psalm 119:66 ENB).
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall not be priests unto Me. Seeing that you have forgotten the law of your Elohim, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6 ENB).
“My child, if you will receive my words, and esteem My commandments within you, if you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; if you cry for knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of YEHOWAH, and find the knowledge of Elohim” (Proverbs 2:1-5 ENB).
“My child, do not forget my Law; but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you” (Proverbs 3:1-2 ENB).
“He taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live'” (Proverbs 4:4 ENB).
“My child,, keep my words and lay up my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live; and my Law as the apple of your eye'” (Proverbs 7:1-2 ENB).
The whole of Jeremiah 17 speaks toward Elohim’s Sabbath, and is worthy of considerable note.
Ezekiel 20 speaks forcibly of the Sabbath, and even delineates the differences between the Levitical Law and the the observing of the Sabbath.
YEHOWAH said, “I gave them My statutes and showed them My ordinances, by which, if a person does them, they will live. Furthermore, I gave them my Sabbath to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am YEHOWAH who sanctifies them” (Ezekiel 20:11-12 ENB). And this interpretation is truer than any other I have seen.
The Hebrew word used for “Sabbath” here, SHABBATH is singular, not plural (as most translations present it). And, the word OWTH, which most translations render as ‘sign’, in reality speaks of a monument; a flag; a token, as in hard evidence, or as in a mark. (Not some sort of nebulous ‘sign’ as many now understand that word, but a real mark of evidence). Additionally, in the correct interpretation of this passage, we see a direct link drawn between the proper maintenance of the Sabbath, and the End Time Harvesters, because maintaining the Sabbath will be a Mark – a discernible sign, between Yehoshua and His Disciples. And if this is so, then this truly is a significant matter!
In a warning and command issued Prophetically by Yehoshua, He personally said that the End Time Disciples were to, “Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall” (Matthew 24:20-21 ENB).
If the Sabbath were to have no meaning for His New Covenant era Disciples, why did Yehoshua say these things? And please, let us not debate the fullness of the snatching (rapture) again, because of this passage and these questions. The Ekklesia goes when The Holy Spirit is removed; and not one moment before!
Nevertheless, we know that in the full context of this passage, these words are intended for the End Time Disciples, because He said these things in response to the disciples’ request that He, “Tell us when these things shall be; and every miracle of Your coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3 ENB)
This command, therefore, issued by our Master, that we pray that our “flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath,” is significant for us today – but as of this date, we really do not understand how!
“Thus says YEHOWAH, ‘Keep judgment, and do righteousness and justice; for My deliverance is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed are they that do this, and the children of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps their hand from doing any evil. Let not the children of strangers, who have joined themselves to YEHOWAH, speak, saying, ‘YEHOWAH has utterly separated me from His people.’ Neither let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ For thus says YEHOWAH unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; ‘Even unto them will I give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. Also the children of the strangers, who join themselves to YEHOWAH, to serve Him, and to love the name of YEHOWAH, to be His servants; everyone that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted upon My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all people. Master YEHOWAH, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him'”” (Isaiyeh 56:1-8 ENB).
Isn’t it true, beloved, that all who are not born of the house of Israel, meaning every Gentile, is a child of a stranger who has joined themselves unto Yehoshua? Aren’t these Words, therefore, meant to have some significance for us today? Is not the whole of Scripture inspired, and meant to have some significance for us today?
I do not know how many years ago I did this, but in my personal copy of the Bible, I have drawn a line around Isaiyeh 56:9-12, and the encircled passage is headed with my handwritten note, “FALSE CHURCH!” Until The Holy Spirit moved me to study the fullness of the Sabbath, however, I never fully comprehended the difference between the blessings promised by YEHOWAH in Isaiyeh 56:1-8, and the dire warning issued to the false church in Isaiyeh 56:9-12. Truly, the chapters of John 14-17 find roost in the differences!
Listen to what else Isaiyeh was inspired to write about the Sabbath: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of YEHOWAH, honorable; and will honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you will delight yourself in YEHOWAH; and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of YEHOWAH has spoken” (Isaiyeh 58:13-14 ENB).
Throughout the whole of Scripture we are repeatedly told that if we honor His commandments, of which the Sabbath is prominently written in stone, He will – in return – honor us. We are repeatedly promised that if we abide faithfully according to His express desires; if we honor Him fully, including the keeping of His Sabbath, then we will, “Ride on the high places of the earth”.
Answer this, beloved, are you riding on the high places of the earth? And, if not, why not?
What are we doing wrong, or what are we doing improperly today, that is stopping us from enjoying the fullness of the promises He has made unto His Disciples? What is it that has us at odds with Elohim’s Word? If we are not experiencing the fulfillment of His promises in our lives, then we must ask ourselves one very simple question, “WHY NOT?”
Earlier I said,
“Setting aside time on Sunday to assemble
and worship with like-minded believers,
is not the same as ‘Observing the Sabbath’.
The two are not interchangeable,
and we stand in error if we believe that they are!”
At that time, I also stated that much more needed to be said on this issue, but that I had to reserve those comments for later. Well, ‘later’ has arrived:
Yehoshua frequently taught and healed on the Sabbath, drawing considerable condemnation from the Pharisees and teachers of His day. His Disciples were criticized for plucking grain from the standing wheat, as they walked through the fields on a Sabbath, because in so doing the ‘religious’ leaders perceived that they plucked in violation of the commandments of Elohim. In His rebuke of their criticism, however, Yehoshua made it clear that laboring in His harvest on His Sabbath (which is what He and His Disciples were doing back then) is a desirable thing to do, and that whatever is needed to successfully complete the task of reaching out to the lost souls of this world, on the Sabbath, is not only acceptable to Him, it is pleasing to Him!
In other instances, we see Yehoshua sending His Disciples into His harvest, two-by-two, spiritually empowering them to do whatever is needed to promote the Good News. Afterward, we see them gathering and assembling together again with Him to celebrate their victories over the realm of evil. Although the Sabbath is never mentioned in conjunction with any particular instance, I am left with the very strong sense that we must gain something from these matters, and recognize that our labor in His harvest must be in accord with His walk and manner. After all, we can only do as we see our Master doing! Is that not what we have been told?
Personally, at this instant, and for the first time, I have been allowed to see a metaphor in use here – in the picture of the Disciples walking through the fields of standing grain on the Sabbath, plucking the harvest as they go. And, I am being reminded of Paul making tents during the week, and entering the harvest field of his era on the Sabbath, as he labored in his personal harvest for the glory of Yehoshua. And as I ponder these things, I am being impressed by the notion that we must all make note of the fullness of these matters, because they have meaning for us today. And this is so, because, in case you have forgotten, The Great Harvest looms before us today; The Great Harvest has arrived!
And now, today (three days after I wrote the above paragraph) as I edit what has been written thus far, The Holy Spirit has touched me yet again at this juncture with another picture. This time, however, the picture is of the end time Disciples walking through the fields of standing grain on Yehoshua’s Sabbath, plucking the harvest in earnest, and then gathering (as the true Ekklesia) on Sunday to celebrate our victories over the realm of evil… And, beloved of Yehoshua, this is where Babylon has been confused for centuries. And this is where I really believe that we have missed the mark!
It does not matter which ‘camp’ one might be attached to today, whether a Sabbatarian or one who upholds a Sunday Sabbath, because both camps are failing – miserably. Every denomination is failing in truly reaching out and impacting the lost of this world for the glory, honor and praise of our Beloved Yehoshua! Let not pride tell us otherwise…
Repeatedly through Paul’s missionary journeys we are shown how he entered the synagogues on the Sabbath and proclaimed the Gospel message. Or, when the Jews rejected his message, he went to the ‘public squares’ or public gathering places (THE MALLS) on the Sabbath, and proclaimed the Gospel message to the Gentiles. And this, we are told, was done on every Sabbath (Acts 18:4 – also see Acts 13:14-44; 16:13).
Furthermore, it must be noted, it is only after these things had taken place, that we are provided with the picture of the early Ekklesia assembling on the first day of the week to praise and worship our Master and Messiah…
It is the fullness of this truth we are missing today!
The reason that we are not seeing or experiencing the full use of the power and gifts within any ‘church’, as established in His Word, and as described in my earlier letters, may very well be because the ‘church’ is not subjecting itself to the authority or Mastership of Yehoshua. And it is, in all possibility, because we are not following all of His commands, that we are incapable displaying the full power of Elohim in our walk of faith.
Truly, it appears as if we are almost guilty of trampling underfoot the Son of Elohim – but, we did not know! In our lack of knowledge we have been convinced that what we were doing was acceptable (and all who have passed before us, who abided to the fullness of what they knew, are well in their faith – abiding today in the fullness of Yehoshua’s protection in the heavenlies). But today, beloved, we are entering into His Great Harvest, and because of this fact, we must now fully know the fullness of The Matter of the Sabbath.
And, we must comprehend the fact that the Sabbath truly is Our Father’s Gift to us! His revelation continues to unfold for His obedient Disciples, and we must be willing to hear what He is saying today!
So what I believe we are seeing throughout the New Covenant, is that from the outset, the faithful leaders of the Ekklesia entered into the harvest field on the Sabbath (every Sabbath) and proclaimed the Gospel message to the lost children of Elohim. Then, they assembled together on the first day of the week, Sunday, to glorify, praise, honor and worship our Father in heaven; and to fellowship in the partaking of the Body and Blood of our Beloved Yehoshua. And, those Sunday assemblies also brought together all the new-born children who were touched by the grace of Elohim on the Sabbath! Baptisms, healings, cleansings, and the teaching of the truth, all spewed forth following a day of labor in His Harvest!
What I perceive to be true about this matter though, is that if we attempt to participate in one aspect of this spiritual truth, without participating in the other, the results are what we have seen in Babylon for centuries: Death and Dry Bones! We are not of Babylon though, beloved, and if we faithfully submit unto Him, because we are Yehoshua’s Ekklesia, I know that the honor will befall us to faithfully enter into His Harvest once again – Today!
I have often wondered what The Holy Spirit meant when He inspired the Words, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of Elohim” (Hebrews 4:9 ENB). If the Sabbath were to have no meaning for the New Covenant era Disciple (and in context, the passage is wholly referring to the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment) what need would there be for us to have a rest at some time in the future? If we were not supposed to be doing something else with our Sabbath’s today, what need would there be for a future time of rest? I think I finally understand…
Listen once again to what Elohim has said to US about the Sabbath: “‘If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of YEHOWAH, honorable; and will honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you will delight yourself in YEHOWAH; and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you the heritage of Jacob your father.’ For the mouth of YEHOWAH has spoken” (Isaiyeh 58:13-14 ENB).
What do you suppose is meant by the sentiment, “Not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words”?
If we examine Yehoshua’s ministry closely, we see Him laboring in ministry on the Sabbath – constantly, diligently and consistently, and the same is true for the first century Disciples. Paul, for instance, always proclaimed the gospel message to any and all who would hear – on the Sabbath. Could it be that not speaking our own words on the Sabbath – speaks directly toward the issue of proclaiming His Word on the Sabbath? Could it be that abstaining from seeking our own pleasure on the Sabbath – is inseparable from the fact that He wants us to seek only His pleasure on the Sabbath? And, could it really be true, that if we will only do the things He desires of us on the Sabbath, that we will actually, “Ride on the high places of the earth”?
In John 14 – 17, Yehoshua has given us a picture of the full potential and promise of His glory in our lives – if only we will obey His commands. I believe that Isaiyeh 58, and the other passages quoted throughout this letter, confirm that fact… Yehoshua is Master of the Sabbath, and as such, He has declared the Sabbath holy. Yehoshua, along with the Apostles, Disciples, Evangelists and the remainder of His first century Ekklesia, ministered powerfully on the Sabbath. Yehoshua clearly taught that every commandment is summed up in the commandments that we:
Love Elohim above all else.
Uphold His Law of Love in our relationships with our fellow humans.
I am being led to believe that until we connect these commandments to our labor in His Harvest; out from under the hostile gaze of the ‘religious’ leaders and skeptics of this age, that we remain a lamp hidden under the peck-measure! Could it really be the time for the children of Elohim to enter into the labor of His Great Harvest – toiling on His Sabbath – by going wherever the lost children of Elohim might be found?
As I read every bit of Scripture available to us on this topic, I am being led to believe that the time has either arrived, or is just around the corner, for the Ekklesia to rise up on His holy day, and proclaim His glory to a dying world! And, I am becoming convinced that in some way, this writing is a preparatory statement and declaration of that fact. I wholeheartedly believe that The Great Harvest is upon us. I have never wavered in that belief – throughout the entire thirty years of our ministry. And along with that belief is the contention that the time to prepare our hearts for the fullness of His labor has finally arrived!
And, if the answer to these questions really is “Yes”, then what are we to do today? Just how are we to “honor His Sabbath” today?
We have already learned that all are not gifted in the same way. It would be wrong, therefore, to imagine that every Disciple will be gifted to speak out in the public meeting places. If we review His gifts though, we find example after example of brothers and sisters laboring together in the use of their gifts. One speaks; others pray; others witnesses one-on-one with souls stirred by the first speaker, and all the while, others are further enhancing the words being spoken through the laying on of hands for healing. The gifts of The Holy Spirit are meant to abound for the glory of Elohim through the Body of Yehoshua, and it is in the fullness of these things that I believe we are finally being called to unite in labor today.
Please revisit our teachings on the gifts, beloved, because the time has arrived for the fullness of the unity and application of those gifts. The time of glory is truly drawing near, and we must pray faithfully and steadfastly about these matters, seeking guidance from our Beloved Master, Messiah and King. (Letters Five, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen and Sixteen, should prove invaluable to every Disciple, because they all teach the full and proper use of the Gifts of The Holy Spirit)…
And, in case you think that the uniting process has not already begun, I urge you to consider the number of brothers and sisters who have already come out from Babylon; who are meeting around the world today in homes and store-fronts. Yehoshua started the calling out process years ago, beloved, and for years the brethren have been assembling in small groups; praying, studying, praising, worshiping and preparing!
In light of these matters, therefore, I am praying that each and every individual, and each and every assembly of faithful brethren, will fervently seek for guidance and direction from The Holy Spirit, regarding the proper use of their gifting, as well as in regard to their proper observation of His holy Sabbath. If what I suspect is true regarding this matter of the Sabbath, and we faithfully apply ourselves to following His guidance, I believe that we will witness an amazing outpouring of His power through us, and that in His outpouring; we will witness a harvest unlike anything ever seen in the past.
I wish I could count the times I have heard, “I have come out from Babylon, but now what? Where should I go, and what should I do?” I have also heard statements like, “I am assembling with a small home based group, but we do not seem to have focus or purpose. What do you suggest?” Could it possibly be that this matter of the Sabbath reveals the answer to those questions? With all my heart, I believe it may very well. Yes, I believe that the time has either arrived, or is drawing very near, for the Ekklesia to “take it to the mall” together.
And, in the fullness of all these things, we may want to finally recognize that The Sabbath, in The New Covenant era of the Last Days, may – for us – be entirely meant for Harvest… Sunday’s purpose (just as in Paul’s day) may be for assembling together after laboring in the harvest. Sunday may be meant as a time to rejoice together in praise, as the Ekklesia gathers to seal the Sabbath Day Harvest in-gathering! The years of ‘home’ assembly may now be finding its fruit, and its true purpose, in Yehoshua’s Sabbath Day Harvest time. And, in all of this, our hearts should be leaping for joy!
I sincerely believe the revelation before us sheds light upon why we have not witnessed the fullness of Yehoshua’s Holy Spirit – or power – in our lives, or in our assemblies, to the extent that His Word proclaims. But our vision may now be much improved. And if this is so, it really doesn’t matter anymore if you have been encamped with the Sabbatarians or with the Sunday Worshipers, because what we now know clearly shows that both camps have feebly entrenched themselves in doctrines of sand! Gathering together with like-minded believers, on whichever “Sabbath” you might uphold, does absolutely NOTHING to glorify our Master, Messiah and King, and we know this because He says, “I hate, I reject your feast days! Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21 ENB).
The influence of Babylon within society has had us all seeking personal entertainment instead of the glory of Elohim in heaven. Through every association with the false practitioners of religion, the ‘church’ has learned to seek self gratification instead of seeking our Father’s righteousness. And, we have all been afraid to get our hands dirty, desiring instead that the Nicolaitans tell us that we need not get our hands dirty; that we are not gifted to get our hands dirty; that the responsibility for reaching out to the lost belongs to those trained by them for such things. “So, just keep your money flowing, and all will be well.”
Tell me this is not so! Convince yourself that this is not so – and still find Yehoshua rejoicing in your heart!
You cannot deny these things, beloved, because it is so! And it has been so. And because it is so, all will not be well until Yehoshua returns. All is not well today! The world’s population is self-destructing right before our eyes, but Babylon is too apostate, conceited, self-centered, and self-absorbed, to care. Society is also terrified, and who in this world is better qualified to comfort and console the frightened and wayward sheep, than the faithful, Holy Spirit GIFTED children of Elohim? Therefore, once again, the voice cries out, “Come out of her My beloved”. Come out from Babylon, all you children of Elohim. The day has arrived; the harvest is upon us. Pick up your tools of labor and enter into the harvest of Yehoshua!
As I prayed this evening, a recurring thought came to mind, that many will want to know exactly how we are to honor the Sabbath today – with regard to the conveniences of this world. For instance, my furnace clicks on automatically, as do my refrigerator and freezer whenever the temperature exceeds or falls below desired levels. Are we to turn these conveniences off? How about our vehicles; are we allowed to drive? Are we allowed to cook meals? The list of questions is endless, to be sure.
I believe the answer to all of these thoughts and notions are captured in one simple passage from Scripture, because Yehoshua said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I delight in mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:12-13 ENB).
I am being led to believe that if we would seriously apply all that we now know about Yehoshua’s Sabbath, and if we would faithfully practice what I now believe He is calling us to do, I believe we can confidently say that none of these other things matter; that they do not matter one iota! The Sabbath is not meant for watching television, or listening to or watching programs intended for our entertainment. For us, it appears that the Sabbath is meant for Harvest! Once we apply that, once we abide in that, I believe we will have tremendous peace in knowing that Yehoshua does not care about furnaces, freezers or refrigerators. Preparing a meal for a hungry servant – who has labored in the ‘fields’ all day, is an acceptable act. Remember, beloved, all things are acceptable – as long as they are done in faith.
Who cares about furnaces? People are dying! Who cares if we drive to the malls on the Sabbath? Let us do so in haste, as we seek to minister to the sick and dying! Let us not squabble over petty issues, but let us instead comprehend the fullness of the fact that Yehoshua, “Prefers mercy, and not sacrifice!”
Today is Saturday… I am sitting at my computer, writing and editing this letter on the Sabbath. And I am rejoicing in the knowledge that the fullness of Elohim’s Word is being labored over on His Sabbath. This work will glorify Him. My labor is for His harvest. It takes electricity to power my computer though, and yet I firmly believe that as long as we toil faithfully in His Harvest, the rest will take care of itself! His Holy Spirit will lovingly guide each of us as we strive to order our lives ‘aright’ in His sight. To His praise, honor and glory, and to the overflowing of our joy, He will reveal His will – week by week – as we strive to faithfully labor in His harvest!
He has proven these things to us repeatedly throughout the past, and I believe He will substantiate the fullness of these matters now, as we enter into His Harvest today! And, whenever I think that this Matter of the Sabbath is off base, I am reminded of the passage from Matthew 5:18, where Yehoshua said, “Amen I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the Law, until all is fulfilled” (ENB).
And, when that thought comes to me, I am also forced to consider His message in Matthew 5:19-20, because for centuries we have been taught a passing away of His Law, but He said, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19-20 ENB).
I am being led to believe that the Law of Love finds peace in the fullness of The Matter of The Sabbath, because observed in the light of our Father’s will, as revealed herein and throughout His Word, our love for Elohim and our love for humanity will all be reconciled unto Yehoshua – as we labor in the Harvest of His glory. And the fullness of the Sabbath being Our Father’s Gift, will be summed up in the blessing and anointing that every faithful Disciple will KNOW in their lives, as His Holy Spirit whispers in our ears, “Well done thou good and faithful slave!”
May every mall and every public meeting place around the world be filled on every Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) with faithful Disciples of Yehoshua, who are proclaiming the Gospel Message of Salvation through Yehoshua ha Mashiach, and who are ministering beside those proclaiming the message… And, may our Sunday assemblies, once we do begin to assemble again as His True Ekklesia, fully reflect the unity and love, in praise, honor and glory unto Him that we all desire to see. Truly His Holy Spirit will lead the way!
The practitioners of Babylon have no place in this ministry or calling, beloved, but they will try. In their failure though, they will then resort to deriding the faithful children who will labor in the true harvest. This is prophesied from long ago, but is worthy of a closing reminder.
Romans 7:14 tells us that, “The Law is spiritual”. Romans 8:5-9 then goes on to tell us that, “Those who are according to the flesh understand the things of the flesh, but those who are according to The Spirit, the things of The Spirit. For the carnal mind is dead, but the mind set on The Spirit is life and peace, because the carnal mind is enmity toward Elohim; for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, for indeed, neither is it able, and those who are in the flesh cannot please Elohim. But you are not in the flesh, but in The Spirit, if The Spirit of Elohim dwells in you” (ENB).
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you must die; but if you through The Spirit kill the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by The Spirit of Elohim, these are children of Elohim” (Romans 8:12-14 ENB).
These are the thoughts regarding The Matter of the Sabbath that I have been led to write, and these are the thoughts that I personally am wrestling with today. While I have truly been striving to please my Master on the Sabbath, I am doing so in the quietness of my heart as I ponder these matters, and as I minister through our online outreach ministry. (Whether thru The Exalted Name Bible.com, or thru The Letters of Faith.com). As I contemplate the fullness of His Word, I truly do believe that we need to say, “May those who have ears, hear The Holy Spirit, and may the Ekklesia arise from our wilderness experience, awaken from our slumber, emerge from our period of learning, and apply what we have been taught by The Holy Spirit of Elohim, to the praise, honor and glory of Yehoshua our Master, Messiah and King. The Harvest is Ripe, beloved, and the time of labor is at hand!”
May the Master of the harvest send His laborer’s into His harvest, and may we all ride on the heights of the earth.
I anxiously await your reply, and remain faithfully and humbly your servant in Yehoshua our Messiah,
Letter 24 Topical Concordance:
Old Testament: Genesis 2, especially 2:1-3; Exodus 16:22-30, 20:2-17, 32:15-19, 35:1-3; Leviticus 23:3, 26:1-33; Joshua 6:2-4; Nehemiyeh 13 (all); Psalms 119:66; Proverbs 2:1-5, 3:1, 4:4, 7:1-2; Isaiyeh 56 (all), 58:13-14; Jeremiyeh 17 (all); Ezekiel 20 (all), 46:3; Hosea 4:6.
New Testament: Matthew 5:17-20, 5:43-48, 12:8-12, 18:19, 22:36-40, 24:3, 24:20-21, 28; Mark 1:21, 2:27-28, 6:2, 7:6-13, 16; Luke 4:31, 6:5-6, 13:10, 13:115-16, 14:3-6, 24; John 7:22-24, 9:14-16, 14 – 17 (all) especially, 14:12-15, 14:21, 15:7-11, 16:23-24, 20; Acts 6:13-15, 7:53, 10:9-16, 13:14-44; 15 (all);16:13, 17:2-3, 18:4, 20:7; Romans 1:17, 2:12-16, 6 (all), 7:6, 8:5-8, 8:12-13, 13:8-10, 13:19, 14:4-13, 14:14-16, 14:22-23; Galatians 2:16-21, 3:10, 3:20-26, 4:1-5, 4:8-11, 4:21-31, 5:1-4, 5:8, 5:14-18, 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:12-22; Colossians 2:8-23, 3:17 & 24; Hebrews (all) especially, 4:9, 10:19-31; James 2:8-13, 2:24-26.
DIVINE NAME NOTATIONS – FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND INSIGHT:
Yehoshuwah (Joshua). The name means, YEH is salvation.
Nehemiyeh (Nehemiah). The name means, YEH comforts.
Isaiyeh (Isaiah). The name means, Salvation of YEH.
Jeremiyeh (Jeremiah). The name means, YEH loosens.
Ezekiel. The name means, EL strengthens.
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All Scripture quotations are taken from The Exalted Name Bible™
Copyright © 2010-2019
Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD. Used with permission.