Shabbat, the taste of he world to come
The seventh day of the week, commonly known as Saturday, is the Sabbath day of HaShem, the God of Israel. It was ordained of Him as a day of rest for all mankind, and the obligation to observe it arises from HaShem’s own example – His act of blessing the seventh day And His explicit command to keep it holy. The Hebrew word Shabbat – Sabbath, implies rest, peace, tranquility and refreshment. And who will doubt but that in this turbulent and confused world every person on earth is in need of rest and refreshment. Consequently, those who faithfully remember the Sabbath of the Most High and draw apart from the world each week to worship Him on His Holy Day, will receive the spiritual blessings promised in His Holy Word – blessings that will find full scope in the ages to come.
According to the Torah (Bible), the seventh day – Saturday, not the first day – Sunday, was blessed, sanctified and set apart for sacred use by HaShem at the time of the creation of the world, and on that memorable occasion it was first observed by HaShem Himself. (Bereshit [Genesis] 2:2-3) All mankind is required to keep holy the seventh day of the week. The Forth of the Aseret HaDibrot [Ten Commandments], the Law of the Sabbath, is scheduled to outlast this universe and every person on earth is obliged to observe it. Therefore, as long as heaven and earth remain, the seventh day of the week shall continue to be the Sabbath day, the Day of the HaShem. Disobedience of HaShem’s law, of which the Sabbath commandment is a part, is sin. These unequivocal facts cannot be rejected without serious consequences. (Shemot [Exodus] 20:8-11, Mattityahu [Matthew] 5:17-19, Yochanan Alef / [I John 3:4]) Sabbath desecration is strongly condemned by HaShem’s true prophets, and their inspired messages have been recorded in the Scriptures for the benefit of all future generations and nations under heaven. Dare we ignore their warnings? (Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 20:19-24, Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 22:8, 26, 31, Yermiyahu Jeremiah 17:27)
In recognition of the Sabbath commandment, Yeshua kept holy the seventh day of the week (Saturday) and the Scriptures testify that it was His custom to do so. ([Luke] 4:16) It was also the custom of the Shaliach [Emissary / Apostle] Shaul [Paul] and his companions to observe the seventh day Sabbath, the day commonly known as Saturday. The Talmidim [disciples] were still observing the true Sabbath day after the resurrection. (Ma’asei Hashlichim [Acts] 17:2, Ma’asei Hashlichim [Acts] 18:4) In addition to the above, new converts, both Jews and non-Jews alike, regularly attended the synagogue for worship on the Saturday Sabbath, and the fact that interested non-Jews in Antioch requested further instruction of Paul "on the next Sabbath" is irrefutable evidence that no separate Sunday meetings were being held there by those early believers in Yeshua. The Non-Jews were willing to wait a full week, till the next Saturday for a meeting. Why? Because they knew that Shaul and his followers did not meet for worship on a Sunday, and would be available for discussion again on the next Sabbath. The next Sabbath (Saturday) almost the whole city arrived for the meeting. (Ma’asei Hashlichim [Acts] 13:42-44)
Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, Yeshua HaMashiach advised his followers to pray that their flight from the city "be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." This passage is also strong proof that Yeshua HaMashiach had absolutely no intention whatsoever of doing away or teaching away with the Sabbath commandment.
On the contrary it shows His high regard for the Sabbath day in that He advised His followers to even go to the extent of praying about it, that it will be possible for them to keep the Sabbath day. (Mattityahu [Matthew] 24:20)
The Seventh day Sabbath is also the divine Sign, which HaShem places in the minds of His people. It is His Signature, which He inscribes on the believer’s mind to commemorate His work of creation, sanctification and salvation through Yeshua HaMashiach. The Sabbath is, in fact, the eternal memorial token of the perpetual covenant between The Al-mighty and His bride, Israel. What’s more, it will continue to be so even in the New Heavens and the New Earth. (Shemot [Exodus] 20:12, 20 and Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 66:22-23)
The Sabbath rest is a token or sample of Divine Rest, which the Most High is eagerly looking forward to. Many believers are going to be excluded from this rest because of their deliberate and persistent disobedience of the Sabbath commandment. (Tehillim [Psalm] 95:10-11, Ivrim [Hebrews] 4:9-11) We are therefore advised to "Remember the Seventh day to keep it holy." If we do this, we will feast on the heritage of Ya’acov [Jacob] and be made welcome in the Holy Mountain of God. (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 56:2-7, Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 58:13-14)
In some strange way the Most High values His Sabbath days as a unique, spiritual treasure of inestimable worth, more than any human mind can appreciate. Try to understand His pleadings in these amazing words: "And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover, also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I Am HaShem that sanctifies them." Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 20:11-12
Note how the Sabbath is given a special place of honor, far above the other statutes and judgements, important as they are. HaShem’s Sabbath is an eternal token of sanctification; the sacred sign that sets the obedient believer apart from all the other people of the earth. It is His SIGN, His Signature on the true believer’s mind.
In addition to the weekly Sabbaths, HaShem gave seven Annual Sabbaths [The festivals]. Every one of them is a memorial of a great event in the Plan of Salvation. Do not miss out on any of them.
The Biblical Shabbat, The true Sabbath starts at sun down on Friday and ends on Saturday at sun down. If you believe truly in the Bible, and have believed in HaShem’s holy Mashiach, then you are to follow His sample! Keep His day of Rest , Shabbat.
The midrash tells us that Shabbat is a taste of the world-to-come. What does this mean? It means that Shabbat is a model or sample of what the world will be like in the messianic age, when the world has been redeemed. The midrash explains that when God gave Israel the Torah, God promised that if the people would keep God’s commandments, they would be rewarded with the world-to-come. The Israelites hadn’t the slightest idea what God was promising, so God gave them Shabbat as a taste of the world-to-come (Otiyot d’Rabbi Akiba).
Perhaps the most unique feature of Shabbat is that it teaches us how to make time holy. We are accustomed to considering places and object sacred, but Shabbat is holy time. It the modern secular world, where "time is money" and no one every has enough time, Shabbat comes to deliver a message we all need to hear: We are the masters of our time and our lives; we are not slaves. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, "The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments." (The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Our Time, p. 6). While others build cathedrals of bricks in space, Jews build cathedrals in time, by sanctifying holy moments such as Shabbat. Shabbat permits us, indeed bids us, to separate ourselves from the ephemeral physical world (at least somewhat) one day each week so that we can taste eternity, the Messianic era each week!
Tags: creation of the world, day of rest, desecration, exodus, ezekiel, full scope, future generations, heaven and earth, hebrew word, holy day, holy word, mankind, memorable occasion, refreshment, sabbath commandment, sabbath day, Shabbat, spiritual blessings, tranquility, true prophets
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