The Letters of Faith
Letter 24: This 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, through the faithful use of your gifts, is receiving His anointing on a moment-by-moment basis.
We, in Him, are well! Thank you for your most coveted prayers on our behalf.
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – So, To Begin:
At the outset, beloved, I want you to know that this writing is unusual for me. I am moved to discuss matters that have long been placed on the back shelf of Christianity, but that need a good dusting-off, because we may have shelved the very tool we need to set ourselves apart from this world. What I am presenting here, therefore, is a series of very serious questions for your prayer and consideration.
The unusual nature of this letter, therefore, comes in the very form and format of the writing, because I am being led to not only ask questions, but to weave the pattern of those questions in and around three individual topics:
The first topic is The Law of the Ten Commandments, as given in Exodus 20.
The second topic is The Law of Love, as issued by Yehoshua in Matthew 5, where He says, “Love your enemies and bless those who curse you (ENB)”. The command is repeated in Mark 12.
The third topic, specifically, is The Fourth Commandment of Exodus 20; dealing with The Sabbath.
And, our discussion ultimately focuses on how those Commandments interact today with we children of Faith thru Grace…
Over the years, I have received countless letters in which I have been asked:
Why do our Spiritual Gifts appear to be puny and ineffective, compared to those same gifts used by the first century Ekklesia?
In spite of Yehoshua saying, “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)”, Why do our 21st Century Gifts not measure-up to that standard?
Although He says, “Nothing will be impossible to you”, Why does everything seem impossible – even though I KNOW He can do whatever I ask?
As I have prayed over these matters, 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 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 today?
This letter, therefore, is the result of my studies and attempts to reply to those questions.
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – The Core of the Issue:
At the core of This Matter of the Sabbath, then, are a few basic questions:
“Does the Sabbath have any significant meaning to the Born-Again children of faith today?”
“Does the Sabbath, as commanded and practiced throughout the Old Covenant, and throughout the life of our Master, during His walk among us, have any meaning to we Born-again children of Faith?”
Furthermore, “Could there be a relationship between how we treat the Sabbath today, and how The Holy Spirit is possibly able to, or unable to, work within us?”
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?
Similar to these questions I have also heard:
If the Old Covenant Sabbath has a role in our lives today, on which day of the week does the Sabbath take place? Friday / Saturday, as set forth during the Old Covenant, or Sunday, as is practiced by most of the ‘church’, today?”
And, does the difference between those days matter?
Well, let’s take the last question first, because it is the easiest to answer:
The Sabbath, in the strictest sense, is celebrated from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset.
It was the 1st century Ekklesia that began assembling on Sundays, to celebrate our Risen Redeemer.
But, assembling with a group of like-minded believers on Sunday, is not the same as honoring the Sabbath. The two are not interchangeable, and we err if we think they are!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – The Command:
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 the significant difference between what is being practiced today as a “Sabbath”, and what is described in Elohim’s Word. If nothing else, The Holy Spirit has stirred my heart to at least acknowledge that difference…
I have no doubt, though, that as you progress through the opening of this letter, you will convince yourself that my heart has turned “LEGALISTIC”, and that I am leaning toward a Lawful Sabbath Observance, as described and defined in Exodus 20.
And yet, of necessity, any sincere conversation on the Sabbath must begin with the Law of Commandments, because that is where the Sabbath is introduced and explained.
It is equally important for me to tell you, though, that the bottom line of this issue may also prove to be much more demanding than you might originally suspect. How?
Abiding in the fullness of the Yehoshua’s Command, from His Sermon on The Mount, for instance (Matthew 5:43-48), is not easy:
In Matt. 5:43-48 Yehoshua commands us to, “Love your enemies and bless those who curse you (ENB)”.
In Mark 12:31, He commanded, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
We shall refer to these commands from here-on-out, therefore, as, “The Law of Love“, because that is exactly what Yehoshua has given us in Matthew 5, Mark 12 and elsewhere!
I needed to share this before we continue…
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Some Very Basic Facts / Truths:
The first basic fact that all must acknowledge, is that Yehoshua was raised on the first day of the week (Sunday), and His resurrection 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 then, 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!
The whole of Scripture will uphold this fact, and I will simply allow the passages used throughout this study to convey that truth.
And, I Believe That This Too Is A Spiritual Battleground.
For nearly Two Centuries, 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 has shown 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 mostly 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 the other Nine Commands.
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 Ten Commandments as a whole. 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!
Scripture Itself proves this fact to be true.
Consider these thoughts:
Can we premeditatedly and repeatedly 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?
Do you see, beloved? While the Law of Love may be the fulfillment of the Old Covenant Law, the other Commands remain part and parcel to maintaining that Law of Love.
The Law of Love, therefore, and the other Nine Commandments are inseparable, and if so, then how should we handle This Matter of The Sabbath?
Clearly, it appears that we teeter, perhaps dangerously, if we blatantly and blindly accept that the link between The Sabbath and The Law of Love no longer exists!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Everything IS a Matter of Faith, Including
Unquestionably, the Sabbath is a matter of faith!
After all, whether you observe The Sabbath, as defined in the Old Covenant or not, it really is a matter of faith. But consider this:
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, therefore, 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 proclaims Himself to be “Master of the Sabbath”, then shouldn’t His Mastership over us and the Sabbath, be reconciled?
By the manner in which He discussed the Commandments, Yehoshua repeatedly reconciled all Ten Commandments unto Himself.
He NEVER set any one 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 must clearly tell us everything we need to know about His Sabbath. Is it possible that the revelation of This Matter of The Sabbath has been reserved for His end time harvesters; Reserved For US?
This is a very provocative question, my friend, but if you stick with me, I believe the fullness of Scripture will answer the question for us…
Perhaps the reason the Sabbath was never openly discussed with Yehoshua, by the way, 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 never occurred in conversation, because the Sabbath Day observance was a given and known fact. It was fully understood!
I realize this is another slight twist, but spiritual deceit does not occur in huge variances. Subtlety is an art form, and deceitful subtlety was first displayed by Satan in the Garden of Eden. He has not changed his ways.
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Reverent Subtlety and a Revelation:
Satan can only distort what he has already seen and knows. That said, we must recognize that even though Elohim’s reverent revelations are exceptionally and amazingly subtle at times, Satan has had thousands of years to work through each subtlety within Elohim’s Word! And he uses that advantage at every turn.
An example of reverent subtlety, though, is found in the fact that there is a truth about Yehoshua’s resurrection that seems to have escaped our notice (or conversation) for centuries, and as promised earlier, let’s return to that now:
The simple fact is, Yehoshua was raised on Sunday, the first day of the week. Correct?
Well then: Strictly in accordance with The Law, Yehoshua could not have been resurrected on Saturday – the Sabbath! WHY?
Because, had He been raised on the Sabbath, Elohim Himself would have violated His Sabbath Law! THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT!
Add to this the very simple fact that not one of His Disciples would have known that He was resurrected on the Sabbath (unless He Personally visited them), because every one of His Disciples were off observing the Sabbath. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John20).
Nobody visited the grave on the Sabbath…
And HE knew it would be so!
How Simple – Vital – and Significant IS THAT?
Consider These Points:
Yehoshua had just ended a historically unrivaled week of labor:
He provided final teaching to His Disciples, in which He humbled Himself more than imaginable.
He experienced a period of prayer so intense that His pores oozed blood.
He experienced a betrayal.
He endured a very phony and rigorous trial.
He suffered a horrendous period of extreme torture and scourging.
He suffered an even more horrifying and excruciating crucifixion.
He DIED on the cross.
He withstood three days in the ground – one of which was spent descended into the very pits of hell – to proclaim His Victory!
Beloved, Elohim (Father, Son and The Holy Spirit) rested on that Sabbath… To do otherwise would have violated everything that we know about Him!
Elohim cannot change, and from the very first week of creation (Genesis 2) we know that He rested on the Sabbath! The only “labor” He ever did on a Sabbath, was the Teaching, Healing and Harvesting of souls.
And herein lies a very substantial Truth that we will revisit momentarily!
Unless He was Teaching about The Kingdom, or Healing (with His message), or Harvesting Souls, He prayed and rested…
And what happened after that “post-crucifixion” Sabbath Day’s Rest? Once resurrected, His labor began all over again!
In closing this “Legal” discussion on This Matter of The Sabbath, I originally contemplated quoting the entire Ten Commandments, also pointing out the very length (in written form) of the 4th Commandment.
I personally find it fascinating how much detail and emphasis HE made in the issuance of that 4th Commandment, when compared to the other nine commandments.
Setting that aside, though, it is more important for us to note that throughout His teachings, we are told that a sin against any portion of the Law, is a violation of the entire Law. Aside from the Unforgivable sin, no distinction is ever made between the importance of any one Command over another.
With these things said, let us now turn to the New Covenant, and discuss the matter of Grace, and our Scriptural release from The Law!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Now Consider our Release from The Law:
With these things said, let us now turn to the New Covenant, and discuss the matter of Grace, and our Scriptural release from The Law!
If you have read my “About the Author” page, you 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 Galatians 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 here for justified is DIKAIOO, and it means, “To be just or innocent; to be free; to be righteous”.
DIKAIOO is the same word used by James throughout his writing, and it is forcefully applied in his 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)”.
Before we expand on this, 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 their first order of business, and the remainder of the Levitical 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 a line 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!
Justification through the Levitical Law was attained not only by practicing every facet of that Law for daily living, it also involved compliance with the sacrificial portion of that Law – when the daily living portion missed the mark (sin).
In Galatians and elsewhere, Paul is clearly delineating the remarkable difference between any righteousness gained through the 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, 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 that 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”. We stand in error if we believe they are the same.
Sacrificial works of the Levitical Law, and works of faith,
are entirely different, and we have been deceived if we do not comprehend and acknowledge that difference.
Now, take a Look at COLOSSIANS:
In examining Colossians 2 closely, however, we will discover that Elohim is telling us something quite different. 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 any work 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, in Peter’s visions (Acts 10:9-16), and in the instruction he personally received for the Ekklesia, from The Holy Spirit, regarding those visions, we are vividly shown, and verbally informed, that as we (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 the fullness of Scripture, Colossians 2 reaffirms that as His children and Disciples; 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 restriction whatever.
But, beloved, if Yehoshua is “Master of the Sabbath”, and our Master has repeatedly declared the Sabbath “Holy”, and set aside for Himself, then how must we regard that day today?
Finally, Let’s Look at the Book of ROMANS:
Before delving into that answer, though, we must consider the fact that any discussion on the Old Covenant Law, must certainly cross paths with Romans 13:8-10, because here we read:
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for those who love their neighbor have 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” of the law (Greek, PLEROO), 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?
In analyzing 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.
Now here in Romans 13, Paul is discussing the proper attitude and conduct expected of a Disciple, regarding their relationship with humanity (being Yehoshua’s representatives) Romans, chapters 12 – 15.
Look at the Romans 13:8-10 passage again, though, beloved, 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. Think not?
Watch now, then, 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 Romans 13 discussion 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 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 Him.
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 the teachings of Babylon to influence our right thinking any longer, though, and we must fully come out from under Babylon’s rulings, surrendering ourselves completely to the will and desire of our Beloved Messiah, Master 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!”
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – What Happens When We Fail The Law of Love?
I am left wondering, though, and this from the depth of my heart, “What happens when we fail to fulfill the Law of Love?”
Seriously, if Babylon continues to contend with the fullness of Yehoshua’s Words in Matthew 22, and decide to follow their belief that the whole law, and not just the human relations portion of that law, is fulfilled in keeping the Law of Love, what happens when WE fail to fulfill the Law of Love?
Additionally, does 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 we are delivered, can we? CAN WE?
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 connection 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!
It simply cannot be so!
Free from the Law? Are we free from the Law the way Babylon wants to interpret Romans 13? Be cautious how you respond, beloved!
A Personal Experience:
I received a remarkable letter from a previously unknown 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. In his encouragement to me though, our brother displayed an openness, kindness and lovingness that I have rarely encountered (including that which I display toward others)!
Through his letter though, Yehoshua opened my eyes to the fulfillment of His Law of Love, and in that revelation I was left wondering, “What happens when we fail to fulfill the Law of Love in our lives?”
We 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?
Seriously, when have WE ever really stopped and given this thought?
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 your Father in heaven is perfect?”
Do any of us fully comprehend that IF Yehoshua tells us to, “Be perfect, As our Father in heaven is perfect,” that –
IT MUST BE POSSIBLE FOR US TO DO SO (TO BE SO) IN THIS LIFETIME?
Or Else He Would not “Command it”, as He does here…….
Glory, Glory, Glory!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – This is a Huge Road Bump:
Well, I think we have just hit a huge road bump for anyone electing to stand solely on a humanistic approach to the Law of Love. The Master’s own Words derail any notion that we can set aside and invalidate any portion of the Ten Commandments.
“Perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect?” Really?
I cannot escape judgment at this point, beloved, because I am as judged and guilty of “Missing The Mark” on this issue as most everyone else!
From what we know and see within the general population of this world today, and especially within America, (in direct relationship to maintaining and keeping the Law of Love), I hear one word, resounding over and over again:
“OOPS! OOPS! OOPS!”
Who are we kidding? 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 miserably, nearly all of the time. May Elohim forgive me!
The Law of Loving my neighbor as myself is nearly impossible for me. It is HARD to fully walk “In The Holy Spirit!”, let alone be “Perfect”!!!
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 remaining for us is our original tutor, the Ten Commandments?
Aren’t the Ten Commandments the only constant Law of Morality and Integrity throughout thousands of years of human history, which led us to the knowledge of sin; and which then led us to the very Foot of Yehoshua’s Cross?
If true, then at the very least, when all else fails, we must, at a minimum, strive to uphold the standard of His original Ten Commandments…
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?
How About a Different Perspective?
Please allow me to present this in another way:
Without the enmity caused entirely by the Law, how is it possible for us to fail in fulfilling the Law of Love?
If the Ten Commandments are dead and buried at the Cross with Yehoshua, and if the Law is no longer applicable to we who follow Him, 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 groups?
Listen to what The Holy Spirit has to say about this:
“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)”.
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Turning to the Book of Hebrews:
As I considered these questions, and as I pondered all of the passages already quoted, 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, which has been ever present in my heart and mind.
This passage has been fundamental to me, as I have tried to walk the walk of a Disciple, and it constantly reverberates in my heart, because it warns against continuing in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth.
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, the Levitical Law, is “Obsolete”.
Hebrews 9 declares, with absolute authority, that the portion of the Old Covenant, which 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!
“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 those answers, to you!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Viewing From Yet Another Angle:
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).”
My 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 this position and belief against judgmentalism.
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).”
Earlier The Holy Spirit said,
“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 any other – 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 each and every one of us, and He wants, “Each person (to be) fully persuaded in their own mind” about what they approve or disprove (Romans 14:5).
Furthermore, He said, “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?
Yes, amen, Amen and AMEN!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – But Can We Stop Here?
The problem 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! Including myself…
Furthermore, in our quest to draw ever nearer unto Yehoshua, each child of faith has spent countless hours studying the Word in search of “His understanding, His knowledge and His eternal wisdom”, so that we could apply these things in our personal walk for His glory. And, in so gaining – that we can ultimately draw closer to Him.
Is this not true of yourself, 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 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?
Finally, how often have you asked the very questions about The Gifts, with which we opened this discussion?
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 more; to be more – to 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 servant!”
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! I know that I strive to do more!
Surely, try as I might, in my estimation, my life does not warrant this acknowledgement from HIM. 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!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – And, Therefore, We Press On!
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, or at Hebrews, 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 already approved, for Yehoshua’s Disciples, here and now!
Through our many conversations I know you feel the same.
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 yet receiving.
If this were not true, I would not be receiving the massive amount of questions on this topic.
My requests were ‘things’, which given, would have truly glorified the Name of Yehoshua. Even in retrospect, I do not perceive those “BIG” requests as self-serving!
And yet, why is it that those requests went unanswered? Or were flatly denied?
Elohim cannot lie, can He? No, Elohim cannot lie!
Since Elohim cannot lie, there must be a 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:
Not in accord with our Father’s will.
Not in our Father’s timing.
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.
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 fully keeping His commandments? Are we fully filling His requirements?
Okay, Let’s Look Back at The Greek Again:
The Greek word we interpret as, commandment or commandments, 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. in every area of our lives, 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 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 in John 16:23-24, 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 Ekklesia, trapped within the in Babylon institutions, has experienced?
Whatever your reply, 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 Babylonian 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 also be sufficient. Don’t you think?
From the depth of my heart, mind and soul, I think that the only truthful response available to US today is, “NO, THEY ARE NOT SUFFICIENT!”
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – More Evidence Needed?
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 I have thought about the Sabbath.
Perhaps you have noticed these passages as well, but have never been moved to fully investigate the matter. I will strive not to belabor the point by offering a myriad of verses, but the latter passages below, 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 observance 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 monument 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 here or “Sabbath”, SHABBATH, is singular, not plural (as most translations present it).
And, the the Hebrew word that most translations render as “Sign”, is OWTH, which is correctly translated here, because in reality, “OWTH” speaks of a monument; a flag; a token, as in hard evidence – or as in a mark.
This is Not some sort of nebulous ‘sign’ as many now understand that word.
This Is A Very Real Mark of Hard 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 about the Sabbath?
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 then 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, even as of this date, do we really understand how to personally apply His Word?
So How Does The Word Apply To Us?
“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 significance for us today?
Is not the whole of Scripture inspired, and meant to have 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.
And truly, the chapters of John 14-17 find roost in the difference!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – And What Does Isaiyeh Add?
Listen to what 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?”
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Drawing a Line in The Sand?
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!”
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) is a desirable thing to do.
Laboring in The Harvest is very commendable, and 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 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 His 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. This IS US!
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 on Sunday, (as did the true 1st Century Ekklesia), 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 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 observes a Sunday, “Lord’s Day”, because both camps are failing – miserably!
Every denomination is failing in effectively 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 (Sunday) to praise and worship our Messiah and Master… And,
It is the fullness of this truth that we are missing today!
The reason that we are not seeing or experiencing the full use of the Power and Gifts within any Ekklesia, as established in His Word, and as described in my earlier letters, is because the Ekklesia is not subjecting itself to the Authority or Mastership of Yehoshua.
And in all probability, it is 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 This Matter of the Sabbath!
And we must comprehend the fact that the Sabbath is Our Father’s Gift and Seal!
His revelation continues to unfold for His obedient Disciples, my friend, and we must be willing to hear everything He is saying TO US – TODAY!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – New Covenant Fully Exposed:
What we are seeing throughout the New Covenant, beloved, 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.
Furthermore, 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 reality, without participating in the others, the results are what we have seen thru the institutions for centuries: Death and Dry Bones!
We are not of those institutions, 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!
Listen again to what Elohim has said to US about His 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, “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. The same is true for the first century Disciples.
Paul, for instance, always proclaimed the gospel message on the Sabbath, to any and all who would hear.
Could it be that not speaking our own words on the Sabbath, speaks directly toward the issue of actively proclaiming His Word on the Sabbath?
Could it be that abstaining from seeking our own pleasure on the Sabbath, is inseparable from seeking 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. And, uphold His Law of Love in our relationships with our fellow humans.
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – We Must Individually Connect These Commandments:
I am led to believe that until we Individually and Personally 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!
Is it really time, for the children of Elohim, to enter into the labor of His Great Harvest, toiling on His Sabbath?
Is it Fully time for the Disciples of Yehoshua ha Mashiach, to go wherever the lost children of Elohim might be found, and to anoint His lost children with the Full Gospel Message of our Risen Messiah?
Has the time arrived for the children of YEHOWAH to “Come Out of Babylon”, and to walk in The Light of His Blessing and Redemption?
And, is it finally time for the entire Ekklesia to do everything necessary to support those visibly laboring in The Great Harvest?
As I read every bit of Scripture available on this topic, I can’t help but 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 the fullness of His Truth, to His glory, to a dying world!
And, I am also convinced that in some way, this writing is a preparatory statement and declaration of that fact.
I am not out proclaiming the Gospel message on this Sabbath day yet, because as of yet, I have not been released to that ministry.
Nevertheless, I am learning HOW to honor the Sabbath in the 21st. century, where so many things are “automatic”; like appliances and Air Conditioning and Heaters, and such.
I am ministering on this Sabbath, though, thru praise and prayer.
And in a way, I am ministering thru the writing and publication of this letter.
I am laboring for the Harvest that stands before us today, in a very lowly supportive ministry, striving to reach a very confused and evil world with The Gospel Message of Yehoshua ha Mashiach; our Scourged, Crucified, Buried and Risen Messiah!
We have already learned that all are not gifted in the same way.
We know 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 witness 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; for prayer; for singing in praise and worship; for contributing acts of kindness and mercy. All to the glory of our Father in Heaven.
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, I believe we are being called to unite in labor today. The mission of the Ekklesia has never changed!
Today, however, a sense of urgency is more present than ever before, because HE is coming again – SOON!
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 rapidly 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, will 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.
The Holy Spirit started the calling out process more than thirty years ago, beloved, and for all those years, many of the brethren have been assembling in small groups – praying, studying, praising, worshiping, preparing – and waiting faithfully!
In light of these matters, therefore, I am praying that each and every child of faith, and each and every assembly of faithful brethren, will fervently seek guidance and direction from The Holy Spirit. Prayer is truly required at this time!
And in those prayers, please request His guidance regarding the proper use of your personal gifting, and the proper use of the collective gifting of your assembly. This is no time to shrink back!
And please pray as well in regard to This Matter of The Sabbath, because the proper observation of His Holy Sabbath – in the utilization of your personal and collective gifting, is the very purpose for this writing.
If what I suspect is true regarding This Matter of The Sabbath, and we faithfully apply ourselves to following His guidance, I believe we will witness an amazing outpouring of His power within and through us, and that in His outpouring, we will witness a harvest unlike anything ever seen in the past.
The world population today exceeds 7 Billion souls, beloved. How many do you suppose belong to Him? How Great do you suppose His Harvest to be?
“As the Sand of the Sea!”
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Coming Out of Babylon:
I cannot 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?
And, in the fullness of all these things, may we finally determine that The Sabbath, in The New Covenant era of today, (for us) – is entirely meant for His Great Harvest…
And may the purpose for our Sunday assemblies be (just as in Paul’s day) intended as a time to rejoice together in praise, worship and thanksgiving, 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.
And, in all of this, our hearts should be leaping for joy!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – And We Now Have our Answer:
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.
If this is so, it does not matter anymore if you have been encamped with the Sabbatarians or with the Sunday Worshipers, because what we now know clearly is that both camps have feebly entrenched themselves in doctrines of gas and hot air!
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).
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 only to those trained by them for such things.
Tell me this is not so!
Convince yourself that this is not so – and still find Yehoshua rejoicing in your heart!
The world’s population is self-destructing right before our eyes, but Babylon is too apostate; too conceited; too self-centered, and too 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 filled and 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!
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – Honoring The Sabbath Today:
All of our thoughts and notions are captured in one simple passage from Scripture, because therein 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)”.
The Sabbath is not meant for watching television, or listening to or watching programs intended for our entertainment. For us, Scripture is pointing toward a Sabbath meant for Harvest! Once we apply and abide in that, 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!”
He has proven these things to us repeatedly throughout the past, and He will substantiate the fullness of these matters again today, as we enter into His Harvest!
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).
Letter 24: This Matter of The Sabbath – The Law of Love Applied:
Today, I have learned that the Law of Love finds peace in the fullness of This Matter of The Sabbath.
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.
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 servant!”
May every mall and public meeting place – around the world – be filled on every Sabbath with faithful Disciples of Yehoshua, proclaiming the Gospel Message of Salvation through Yehoshua ha Mashiach.
And may those with the Support Gifts, minister diligently beside, and behind, those proclaiming the message…
And, may our Sunday assemblies, 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 This Matter of The Sabbath that I have been led to write, and these are the thoughts that I personally am convicted of today.
While I have truly been striving to please my Master on the Sabbath, I am doing so as I implement these matters, and as I minister through our online outreach ministry thru The Exalted Name Bible.com, thru The Letters of Faith.com, and thru my social media pages on Gab, Facebook and MeWe.
As I contemplate the fullness of His Word, I truly 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 our Heavenly Father, thru Yehoshua ha Mashiach, 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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