Have you ever thought that Sabbath-keeping is not repeated in the later part of the Scriptures?
I know there are some who think this is true, so I wanted to share some things that I have discovered in my studies.
1. Both our Messiah and Paul had a practice or habit of keeping Sabbath
2. We are to imitate our Messiah, and Paul said to imitate him as he imitates Messiah
3. Hebrews 4:9 says in the Greek,
“There remains therefore a Sabbath keeping to the people of God”
This is the same word for Sabbath keeping sabbatismos, that is used in the septuagint…sabbatizo
But even if it were not repeated, why do we think that if a command is not repeated in the gospels or epistles that it is irrelevant? The command against beastiality is not repeated… but obviously that is not ok now. =)
Also, He says in Matthew 5:18
“…Till heaven and earth pass away, the smallest letter or even ornament of a letter, of the Law will by no means pass away from the Law till all is done.”
and Luke 16:17
“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tiny ornament of a letter in the Law to fail.”
The Sabbath, the 4th of the main 10 commandments, is most certainly more than one tiny ornament of a Hebrew letter of the Law.
The Sabbath is not only the 4th commandment, but also an eternal covenant for the people of YHVH, who by the time of Moses had become known as Israel and also included all those who joined themselves with Israel. (we also know that His Law, or instructions, were given orally to Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Abraham. etc. and none of them were Israelites except by promise, just like we are.)
Those who came out of Egypt were a mixed multitude of Israelites and Egyptians (Exodus 12:38) and the Law was given to all of them (Exodus 12:49) and they all made the covenant with YHVH to keep His Laws. (Exodus 24:3) “and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which YHVH said will we do” Then they all went through the covenant ceremony together, both Israel and the foreigners who were agreeing to the covenant with them.
Hebrews 8:8…He says,
“Behold , the days come”, says YHVH, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…”
The new covenant is only with Israel and Judah, so the only way we can be a part of the new covenant is to join ourselves to Israel and Judah, to be grafted in to the Olive Tree (Israel) and to be transitioned into the citizenship of Israel.
Ephesians 2:11- 13
Therefore remember that once you were a nation which is called uncircumcised in the flesh by those who are circumcised in the flesh using someone’s hands, that you were at that time apart from Messiah, shut out of citizenship with Israel and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without having God in this world. But now, through Yeshua the Messiah, you who once were far away (from Messiah, from citizenship in Israel, from the covenants of promise, from hope and from God) are transitioning (to Messiah, to citizenship in Israel, to the covenants of promise, to hope and to God) by the blood of Messiah.
Romans 11:17- 25
If however, some of the branches were broken off, you, a wild olive tree being grafted in among them and becoming a fellow partaker of the root of the richness of the olive tree; do not be arrogant toward the branches. If on the other hand you are arrogant toward them: you do not support the root, but the root supports you. (we become part of Israel, Israel does not become part of us) You will then say the branches were broken out so I could be grafted in. Rightly, by their unfaithfulness they were broken out, you however are made to stand by faithfulness. Don’t think haughtily, be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches (for their unfaithfulness), neither should He spare you at all (if you are unfaithful). Behold therefore the kind goodness and harsh severity of God: On those who have fallen, severity; but to you, the kind goodness of God IF you continue in His goodness, otherwise you also will be cut off. And also, if they do not continue to be unfaithful, will be grafted in, indeed God is able to graft them back in! For if you were cut out of the wild olive tree which is naturally wild and were unnaturally grafted into the cultivated olive tree, how much more these, who are naturally branches, will be grafted into their own olive tree? Indeed, I don’t want you to be uninformed of this mystery, or have your own understanding: the hardness has happened to Israel in part until the completion of the nations come in;
It is a spiritual meaning, but also literal, just like the mixed multitude in Exodus, just like Ruth was grafted in and began keeping the Law and and just like in Isaiah 56:6 where it says,
“…the sons of the foreigner (those who are not Israel), that join themselves to YHVH, to serve Him, and to love the name of YHVH, 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…”
This is why the Greeks asked Paul to speak to them on the next Sabbath and Paul did not correct them, nor did Luke explain years later when he wrote the book of Acts that Paul was wrong (Acts 13:42,44). This is why Polycarp, a Greek, and one of the disciples of John in the first and second century, knew to keep the Passover and the people in that area (Eastern Europe) were known to keep the Sabbath as well for years after the last disciples were gone. Were these just ignorant people that didn’t understand because they didn’t have seminaries to teach them? Some teach this is the case, but I think those taught by the disciples of our Messiah had it right and today WE have it wrong.
The new covenant does not do away with the first covenant, it changes the terms of the covenant: in the new (or renewed) covenant, the law will be written on the minds and hearts of His people (Hebrews 8:8-12 which is quoting from Jeremiah 31:31-34 ) So as citizens of Israel and the seed of Abraham under the new terms of the covenant it will be in our mind and in our heart to keep all the Law and we are also given His Spirit to enable us to keep it =)
“A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put MY Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statues and you shall keep My judgments and do them.”
This is also what Paul says in Romans 8:2-10
“The Law of the Spirit of Life through Yeshua the Messiah, has freed us from the Law’s penalty of sin and death. For what the Law could not do (free us from the penalty), in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for missing the mark, condemned those who transgress the Law in the flesh, so that the acts of living according to His Law can be accomplished in us when we walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Those who live in the flesh think on and then produce in their actions the things of the flesh, but those who live in the Spirit the things of the Spirit. The ways of the flesh (disobeying the Law) lead to death, but the ways of the Spirit lead to life and peace. Because the way of the flesh is enmity to God, since it does not obey the Law – in fact it cannot obey the Law. Therefore, those who live in the flesh (do not obey the Law) can NOT please God. You, however, are not living in the flesh (disobeying the Law), but are living in the Spirit ~ if indeed YHVH’s Spirit lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, he is not of Him.”