sabbath

The prophet Isaiah is known for writing one of the larger books of prophecy in the Old Testament.  There is an enormous amount of knowledge to be gained by studying these writings, knowledge that may take a lifetime to retain in all its depth.  Isaiah spoke to the ancient Israelites, he spoke of the coming of Christ (Isaiah 53) describing many details of the Savior- Yeshua hundreds of years prior to his birth, and he spoke of the many things to come in the future up to and including the new heaven and the new earth.  Isaiah’s divine inspiration can be seen in the stark detail he gave in regards to the life and death of Christ.  Something that is interesting, is Isaiah’s testimony concerning the Sabbath day.  The true Sabbath Day according to the commandment of Yahweh is no longer observed by the majority of Christians today.  Rather a day called “Sunday” is honored as instituted by Rome many centuries ago.  What did Isaiah say concerning the Sabbath Day?  Does the testimony of Isaiah apply to us today?  Let’s take a look at his testimony:

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord 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 mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant ~ Isaiah 56:1-6

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You can see here a very interesting passage concerning Sabbath Day observance from Isaiah.  He calls those that “keep” the Sabbath from polluting it “Blessed.”  This passage indicates that Sabbath observance is a part of “taking hold of the covenant.”  Many of today’s theologians would claim that this is referring to the Old Covenant.  They would argue that this has nothing to do with today, as in their general belief the law is no longer binding.  Is this really true?  A close examination of scripture reveals that this generally accepted belief is in fact erred (See “Why Follow The Commandments” page).  In this verse where the “eunuchs that keep the Sabbaths” are mentioned, we are told that they will receive an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.  When does one receive an everlasting name?  Has anyone yet received an everlasting name?  The answer is yes, only one and his name is Yeshua.  We don’t receive an everlasting “new” name until the day of the Lord (the day of victory Rev. 2), when both the dead and living are changed to meet Yeshua in the air.  Isaiah is speaking of a time in the end when the overcomers will receive a new name, and in this reference He tells us that keeping the Sabbath is a part of taking hold of the covenant, and this is a part of choosing the “things that please Yahweh.”  Isaiah doesn’t speak of the Sabbath as something that is getting ready to pass away, rather as something that is consistent throughout time.  When studying the New Covenant, we see that the law was never destroyed, rather it becomes written into the heart and we obey it from the heart.  Could it be, that denominational Christianity is missing this very key doctrinal fact?  The true biblical Sabbath has been lost or severely obscured over many centuries with only a remnant holding its observation.  Will this always be the case?  Let’s continue considering the words of Isaiah 58 as the story will unfold.  Here we can see a description of a fallen and foolish people:

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” ~ Isaiah 58:1-6 

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You can see the frustration of the Father with His people.  He indicates they don’t even recognize their own sin, so he has to sound a trumpet to announce it to them.  This people seem to “seek Him daily” as if this was a nation that did righteousness and “forsook not” the ordinance of their God, yet he reveals that they had wicked hearts and were only interested in their own labours, strife, debate, putting heavy burdens upon each other and oppressing each other.  What a hopeless situation this seems to be.  This people can’t even see where they have gone wrong, yet Isaiah then reveals how to correct and restore this nation: 

“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” ~ Isaiah 58:7-14

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Isaiah reveals that the beginning of restoring Yahweh’s nation, is to feed the hungry, take the poor into your home and care for them, cloth the naked, satisfy the afflicted soul etc. (all of the things that Yeshua taught us during his earthly ministry).  He tells us that we must “remove the yoke” we’ve placed upon each other- in other words the heavy traditional burdens placed upon the brethren that have nothing to do with the commands of Yahweh.  He advises “STOP SPEAKING VANITY.”  These men were speaking their own words as if they were speaking on behalf of Yahweh, and this was vanity.  Today many ministers, pastors, and church leaders are engaged in lofty sermons that sound amazing, and very sweet to the ear, yet they are speaking their own words as if they are speaking on behalf of Yahweh.  This serves to their own vanity and ego, which becomes puffed up by the praise of countless congregational members, and the high seats in their assemblies.  I can speak to this fact, as I was a minister in a church at one time and was exposed to this dangerous situation.  What a fool I was to become puffed up by the praise and elevation of others, and what fools many of today’s ministers are that speak their own words as if they speak on behalf of Yahweh.  If you are going to speak, share the biblical Word of truth for what it says and no more.  If you are going to testify, share the gospel of truth for what it says and not a sentence more.  Flee these man-made practices rooted in pride and vanity.  He then gives a startling prophecy for today- he tells us how we can be called “repairers of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”  These paths have been lost, but are coming back into remembrance today by a remnant.  The key is to honor the Sabbath day, to stop doing our own pleasure, and to stop “speaking our own words” on His holy day calling the Sabbath a delight once again. Love, mercy, and Sabbath observance are all keys to restoring the paths of Yahweh.  This is a message that is so relevant for us today.  In 2013, the Sabbath still lies in ruins receiving little to no recognition as the holy day of Yahweh throughout denominational Christianity.  Many attend sermons on the day “Sunday,” yet even this day isn’t regarded as a true Sabbath.  According to Isaiah, and many other testimonies of the prophets, Yeshua, and the Apostles, the Sabbath Day remains a holy feast to Yahweh forever.  Earlier in the book of Isaiah, we are also shown that observing the Sabbaths, new moons and feasts alone will not please the Father either.  If we live a life of disobedience and sin, yet then try to come before Yahweh on His Sabbath to honor His day, this is an abomination to him:

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.” ~ Isaiah 1:4-14

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You can see the anger that Yahwah can be provoked to if we try to “outwardly” honor His ordinances while “inwardly” we are wicked and disobedient.  He desires a pure people with pure obedient hearts and pure intentions.  We still today have to make sure we don’t make this same mistake of showing an outward piety while our hearts are wicked, full of disobedience, lacking love and mercy, and in shambles.  What revealing testimony this is to show us how we must honor the Creator most importantly from the heart, and then secondly by outwardly obeying His ordinances.  In yet more testimony- Isaiah also reveals, that new moons and Sabbaths aren’t going anywhere any time soon, rather they will even be in effect in the new heaven and the new earth where “all flesh” will come before Him to worship Him:

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” ~ Isaiah 66:22-23

The Apostle Paul reveals there remains a Sabbath Day for the people of Yahweh today:

“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” ~ Hebrews 4:1-9

(Paul speaking to a Gentile church in a Gentile city) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Christ.” ~ Colossians 2:16-17

Please know, the Sabbath Day was changed by Rome centuries ago.  Sunday is not the Sabbath Day of the bible.  Details on this can be found on the “God’s Calendar” and “God’s Fourth Commandment and Times- Changed” pages of this site.  Yeshua through Isaiah was faithful to teach us by word of prophecy the importance of love, mercy, and obedience to His ordinances.  He teaches us obedience to the Sabbath in the past, present and future.  We pray that all men can enter into this seventh day Sabbath rest to begin the restoration of the paths to dwell in- the great Kingdom of Yahweh that is available through the grace of Yeshua today.

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