Just Another Day?
Just Another Day?
Hebrews 3:7-19, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My (seventh day Sabbath) rest.’””
Hebrews 3:7-11 is a quote from Psalms 95:7-11. The word for rest in Psalms 95:11 is not Shabbat, but shortly you will see that in the context of Hebrews 3 and 4, Yahweh is specifically speaking of His seventh day Sabbath rest. The Hebrew word used in Psalms 95:11 is speaking of a resting place, quietness, rest, consolation as in matrimony, abode. Are we not, as the bride of Messiah, commanded to abide in Him? Is He not our Peace and Rest? Yeshua sets abiding in Him as a condition of discipleship in John 15:4-8, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” Yahweh delivered His children out of bondage in Egypt so they could enter His rest as His disciples, His bride. Early Israel just proved to be an unfaithful wife, similar to Yeshua’s Church today.
“12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living Mighty One; 13but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we have become partakers of Messiah if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15while it is said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His (seventh day Sabbath) rest, but to those who did not obey? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 4, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His (seventh day Sabbath) rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3For we who have believed do enter that (seventh day Sabbath) rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My (seventh day Sabbath) rest,’”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And the Mighty Ones rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5and again in this place: “They shall not enter My (seventh day Sabbath) rest.”
6Since therefore it remains that some must enter it (Yahweh’s seventh day Sabbath rest), and those to whom it was first preached did not enter (Yahweh’s seventh day Sabbath rest) because of disobedience, 7again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8For if Joshua had given them (a seventh day Sabbath) rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remains therefore a (seventh day Sabbath) rest (Strong’s # 4520, sabbatismo) for the people of Yahweh. 10For he who has entered His (seventh day Sabbath) rest has himself also ceased from his works as Yahweh did from His.”
Notice first off that we are looking at Yahweh’s Sabbath rest day, not a rest day created by Jews, Israelis, Catholics, or Protestants. Second of all, notice that in verses 4 and 9, Yahweh is specifically talking about the seventh day of the week, Shabbat, known to Israel as Saturday. The seventh day Sabbath rest is the context of Hebrews 3 and 4. This seventh day is the first Feast of Yahweh listed in Leviticus 23:2-3, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. 3‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.” The seventh day Sabbath rest is the shadow for the 7th Millennium Sabbath rest of Yeshua’s reign on earth, and of course foreshadows our eternal rest in Yahweh’s Kingdom. We know Yeshua is our Peace, Yeshua is our Rest. He is the fulfillment of our seventh day Sabbath rest. By observing one day a week, we are to learn to abide in Yeshua’s rest, to abide in Him. Shabbat is to teach us intimacy with our Creator. Shabbat is a vital element of our discipleship in Messiah. Creation is not about us. Working six days making money is not about us. Supporting the work of the Kingdom with out tithes and offerings is not about us. Shabbat is not about us, though it was created for us. All of creation and our work in it is for Yeshua’s glory, for His Name’s sake. It’s all about Him, not us.
Notice also that Hebrews 3 and 4 were written AFTER Yeshua’s earthly ministry, AFTER the Day of Pentecost in 30 CE, probably during Paul’s and Apollos’ ministries in the first century CE. Yeshua observed Sabbath, as was His custom, all the apostles observed Shabbat, as was their custom, Paul observed Shabbat, as was His custom. Shabbat is a day of rest from secular work, but is a great day of ministry. Read the New Testament, much ministry is accomplished on Shabbat. It is a day for deliverance, salvation, service. We are to lay down our lives daily as a living sacrifice, but especially on Shabbat, we should serve our fellow man, following the example of our High Priest.
“11Let us therefore be diligent to enter that (seventh day Sabbath) rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12For the word of Yahweh is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
14Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua the Son of Yahweh, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Have you ever noticed Hebrews 4:12 in context before? The Word of Yahweh, Yeshua, is living and powerful, sharp, able to discern the thoughts and intents of our hearts. In the context of the seventh day Sabbath rest, what does this mean? What do you think about observing the seventh day Sabbath rest? What is your intent? Are you going to obey Yahweh and enter His seventh day Sabbath rest, or are you going to disobey, as in the day of rebellion? Look at verse 16, we are to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace in our time of need. Why? What is our need? What is it that we need Yahweh’s mercy and grace for? Could it be that we need His mercy and grace JUST TO OBSERVE SABBATH REST? In context, that seems to be the message of the author of Hebrews. Are you a workaholic? Many people today would affirm that they are. In these days of depression, inflation, and financial crisis, do you find it difficult to take a day off from making money? I encourage you to obey Yahweh rather than men. Let us observe the first feast Yahweh created on the seventh day of creation. As a shadow of our eternal rest to come, Yeshua continues to make Sabbath rest a living reality for us today, everyday. Hebrews 4:1, 6, & 9 prophesy that there is a future Sabbath rest waiting for us and some must enter it. It is Yahweh’s will that you begin to experience that Sabbath rest today.
Romans 14:5-10, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes the day, observes it to the Master; and he who does not observe the day, to the Master he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Master, for he gives Yahweh thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Master he does not eat, and gives Yahweh thanks. 7For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Master; and if we die, we die to the Master. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Master’s. 9For to this end Messiah died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master of both the dead and the living. 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah.” You must make up your own mind regarding which day to rest in Yahweh. You are accountable for your own actions and heart attitude.
I encourage you to attend your local Messianic congregation this coming Saturday. Not to be religious, not as an opportunity for debating which day to rest, not to be legalistic by putting yourself under some old law. The seventh day Sabbath rest was created for man about 2,500 years before the Law of Moses arrived. The seventh day Sabbath rest is lawful, not legalistic. It’s a matter of obedience to Yeshua, for His name’s sake, for His glory, not yours. The Catholic Church created the first day rest. Her daughter churches continue to follow this heresy. Why not be obedient for the sake of unity in the true faith? Revelation 18:4-8, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5For her sins have reached to heaven, and Yahweh has remembered her iniquities. 6Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is Sovereign Yahweh who judges her.”
Are you bound to the harlot unfaithful church? Be released and join the faithful remnant Sabbath-keeping church. No congregation is perfect. No Sabbath-observing Messianic congregation is perfect. Many are trying to be Jewish, which Paul made clear was foolishness. But if the Master of the Kingdom sets an appointment to meet with you on Saturday, why would you show up a day late, or a day early? Judgment Day is fast approaching, it’s past time to try our best to obey our King, which includes all His appointed Feast days. Sabbath rest day is an eternal appointment, unless Yahweh Himself decides to change the appointment sometime in the future. Until then, let us celebrate the Feast.
Bless you this Sabbath,
Gene Benjamin II
July 12, 2011 CE