Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feasts of YHVH: Sabbath pt 2


We’ve said that the Sabbath is the first gospel and a sign that it is YHVH who sanctifies us and he is our God. In that, we should realize that the Sabbath is also therefore prophecy. I mean the gospel isn’t just about what is happening, but what will happen? Right?

Isa 46:8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Now it may seem at first that God is saying “I tell you what the beginning is and what the end is,” but the next part of 10 makes it clear “from ancient times the things that are not yet done,…” In fact, Young’s Literal Translation renders it:

Isa 46:10 Declaring from the beginning the latter end, And from of old that which hath not been done, Saying, `My counsel doth stand, And all My delight I do.'

According to Isaiah, God has been telling us from the beginning what the end will be. What happened in the beginning?

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Yeshua created the world because the Father instructed him too (John 5:19) in fact Gen 2:2 says God ended his “deputyship” or “employment.”

Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

We see God is drawing a line between the creation week and Sabbath as a prophecy about Yeshua. Just a side note, but a rabbi has said that “all prophecies are about the days of Messiah.” So what does this Sabbath prophecy mean?
Psa 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
Notice this is a “A Prayer of Moses the man of God.” He talks about the unchangingness of YHVH “from everlasting to everlasting…” and calls men to repent, why? Because a thousand years is as yesterday. We flourish for a time and then are cut down.
2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

He’s calling to rememberence what was spoken of by the prophets. Psalm 90 is quoted by Peter.
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Notice the context in both the Psalm and Peter is the latter days, or rather specifically the coming judgment. Moses’ prayer is God’s call to repent because a millennia is like a day to God. Peter’s exhortation when dealing with scoffers is to tell Yeshua’s disciples that “…be not ignorant of this one thing…” one day and a thousand years are like the same thing. Now what does Peter say the scoffers are at fault in their thinking “..all things continue…” What are they willingly ignorant of that causes this? That by the Word the Heavens and Earth were and by the same word they are preserved.

They are ignorant of creation, saying that all things are as they were. Ironically, this is exactly the lie of so-called theistic evolution. If God has always used death and suffering to ‘evolve’ his creatures then since death and suffering continue, then truly all things continue as from the beginning. But if on the other hand, God created a complete and unsuffering world, and that world fell and God showed some of his necessary justice by purging the world with the flood, then things have NOT continued as they were…

But notice then they have to be ignorant of the way in which God created, both that it was by his spoken word rather than cosmic accident and the status into which he created it (unsuffering, undying). Thus, they do not evidence that the same God created in six days and rested on the seventh. They bear false witness against, the Creator.

[Note: Just out of coincidence, but the epistle of 1st Peter is largely to gentiles believers, firstly because Peter identified himself as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 15:7) and 1 Peter 1:1 tells us that this is a letter to the “strangers” in several cities including Galatia. 2 Peter is too the same, see v3:1. These would be people who had not been imbedded since young age about the Sabbath.]

We should be seeing than, that God made the Sabbath as a sign between us and him that we witness that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. We see also that ties this idea of one day as a thousand years to the coming judgment and the need to repent. Peter ties the same two concepts together, a thousand years is a day and judgment is coming, but he says the people who don’t believe Yeshua is returning are ignorant of what? The very thing the Sabbath is there to signify. So it seems, Peter would also sees a connection between a view of God’s patience and mercy tied to creation and therefore Sabbath.

So what do we see in our world? The world is coming up on the completion of six thousand years of history. The Hebrew calendar puts us at 5,770 since creation and most agree they’ve lost possibly 200 years. Biblical Christian theologians also say Adam probably was living around 4,000 BC which if this is 2,000 AD puts us again around 6,000 years. If you start counting at year 1, then when you’ve reached year 1,001 then you have completed one Millenia. So theoretically, year 6001 would be 6,000 years since creation. So if a thousand years is as a day…6000 years is 6 days.

Do you see why, Peter might connect creation; 1,000 years to a day; and the latter days? What is the Sabbath? A sign that YHVH is sanctifying us, why is it the sign? Because in Six days God created Heaven and Earth…then rested. If God is sanctifying his people, and that is the sign because of creation…how long do you think it would take him to sanctify us and then rest? Maybe 6,000 years?

If this is true, what should we be looking towards? 1,000 year rest and then a new week. Do we see that?

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

I’m not going to get into what the Seventy weeks or Daniel’s timeline means right now; I wouldn’t even claim to fully understand it, but what I’d point out is what happens at the completeion of those seventy weeks? Finish transgression; end of sins; reconcile for inquity; bring in everlasting righteousness; seal up vision and prophecy; anoint the most Holy.

Ask yourself what is rest and what is labor?

Isa 51:4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Isa 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
13 And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

The context is again the end of days and God is talking about his righteousness being near; his judgment. Salvation comes by the judgment of evil. The redeemed return with singing and gladness and joy…sorrow and mourning flee. What does he say? “Why are you afraid of man which passes as grass…(remember Moses’ prayer?)…and forget that YHVH is who? The one that stretched for the Heavens and laid the foundations of the Earth.” It says he comforts or “makes to breathe deeply.”

“Where is the fury of the oppressor?”

If you read the Psalms even cursory, you will see that it is sin, iniquity and the world’s way of doing things that are the burden in this life. Doing righteousness is a delight, and strength of bone.

Psa 32:1-2, 40:8, 40:12, 119:76-77,84, 85, 165-167

There are many more, but I mention these to say that true rest must be as Daniel prophecied an end of sin and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness. So looking at our 6 days: 1 Sabbath correllation, do we see this period of rest coming?


Feasts of YHVH: Sabbath pt 1


Moving on, we now have a basic context in which to understand these feasts. They are appointments to encounter God, appointments that he determined from the beginning of time. Where should we begin with these feasts?
Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.

I read verse 5 to make a point. In verse 2, YHVH tells us that the subject are his feasts; what is the first thing he mentions? Sabbath or Shabbat. Then he goes on to say “These are the feasts which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” At which point he talks about Passover which is the ‘first’ appointed yearly day.

See the pattern? God says “I want to talk to you about the feasts…keep the Sabbath…pause…these are the feasts…” In other words the first feast we learn about is the Sabbath and yet at the same time God separates it from all the other feast days. It is as if God himself is saying “before we talk about the feasts, pay attention to my Sabbath.”

Consider this, in a Gregorian year there are 52 weeks, (in the biblical year there’s somewhere between 51 and 55 depending on if it’s a ‘short year’). In that 51-55 week there is only one Passover, one Unleavened Bread, One Ha’Bikkurim, even one day of Atonement…but there are 51-55 Sabbaths. In fact more often than not, there will be a Sabbath between those so-called ‘high holydays’ like Passover. For example, Passover is followed immediately by the first day of Unleavened Breads, but there must be a Sabbath between then and HaBikkurim (the wave of the sheaf of first fruits). A Sabbath must fall between the first and last day of Unleavened Bread. Also during the eight days of Tabernacles.

For these reasons, the Rabbis actually hold (not that they are always right), but they hold that Sabbath actually is more important than these other holy days including Yom Kippur/day of Atonement. If for example, one of these days falls on a Sabbath (which they often do), the synagogue leader would do whatever ceremonies are associated in their congregation with Sabbath before they would do those associated with another holy day).

If this seems like it would be an interruption, perhaps that’s because the word Shabbat means “intermission.” What is this intermission about? Why does it exist? In verse 3, we are told do work six days, the seventh is rest and a holy encounter; don’t work it belongs to YHVH in “all your dwellings.” Dwellings here is very broad and basically means anywhere you sit down. I say that to point to that God seems to be saying he will encounter you where you are. He summons to meet with you where ever you are. Just a repeat that the encounter is with God, not with other saints.

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Earlier than Leviticus, God enumerates his ten commandments or “Ten Words.” There’s several different ways to look at the ten commandments: Do they flow from most important to ‘less’ critical? Do they flow from between us and God to us and each other? Are they parallels: ie killing the image of God is the same as setting up a graven image of God; or adultery on a human level is the same as taking the name of YHVH in vain?

All of which may be true, consider how that might be applied? Well, if in order of importance; then God is saying remembering the Sabbath is more important than honoring your father and mother. If it has to do with God, how so? The answer to both could be found later. Fast forward:

Exo 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

The last thing God tells Moses to tell his people before sending Moses down with the original Tablets is “keep the Sabbath.” And why? Because it is a sign (oth again) between YHVH and Israel for ever. In fact he said it earlier in verse 13, “it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.”
Eze 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
Eze 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Of all the days in scripture, this is the only one that is called a sign; not Passover, or Yom Kippur, but the Sabbath is. In this case Sign (oth) seems to be best understood as evidence. In all cases it would be the same, a signal is evidence that something has happened or will happen. I say evidence here because it a sign that we can know A) YHVH sanctifies and B) YHVH is our God.
So is that more important than honoring Father’s and Mothers? Yes, because if YHVH is not sanctifying then what hope do we have of honoring Father and Mother? And if YHVH is not our God, then what does it matter if we honor? Not only that, it also fulfills the parallel interpretation: Remembering the Sabbath is equivalent to not being a false witness. How?
This Sign tells us that YHVH sanctifies us, it is a sign that he sanctifies. But why is it a sign? Because…
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
God in six days made Heaven and Earth and rested, and was refreshed. What does that mean? Before Israel was even around, God followed the pattern of this sign in that he worked for six days on an enormous work and then rested; so by our working six days and resting on the Seventh day we are testifying agreement that he did create in six days and rest on the Seventh. That is the simple, or short answer. We do to be like him and we testify truly that he did in fact make the Heavens and Earth in six days.
We evidence by remembering the Shabbat that YHVH is our God and he sanctifies us. It’s like his thumb print or signature. Alisa and I discussed this the other day. The phrase “YHVH doth sanctify you…” What is the alternative to YHVH sanctifying us? Someone else sanctifying us.
The Sabbath is therefore the gospel. Notice it is not a sign that we are sanctifying ourselves, nor that any other god is sanctifying us. The Sabbath then is an acknowledgment that we need to be cleaned; we need to be helped; and by remembering it we are witnessing that it is YHVH doing the work in us.
Hold on to this idea of a sign, the idea that this is the thumbprint that our sanctification is God’s work in us. That is what the Sabbath is a sign of, but why does He associate this with creation?
Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
This is a very special passage. Two things, the first, if you search through your bible you will find there is only one non-living thing that YHVH blesses. He blessed herbs, animals, man, groups of men, but He never blesses dirt, rocks, air, water…He blesses men in their work of the Earth, he blesses them in things but never blesses things.

There is one exception, the Sabbath. “God blessed the seventh day…” Just a question, but is the this the one exception or is the Sabbath in God’s mind alive?

Second thing; God pronounced many things good in the first six days of creation. But there is only one thing that God ‘sanctified.’ Again, the Sabbath; in fact there are many people sanctified by God, and YHVH sanctified by holy men, as well as men sanctifying holy things…but the Sabbath appears to be the only day that YHVH sanctified himself.


Feasts of YHVH: Introduction

[Note: I am still working on Job, but I find sometimes God changes what I'm working on. Still want to finish Job but for the moment a local Methodist church has been asking me to do some presentations on the feasts of YHVH (the LORD) sometimes erroneously called the feasts of the Jews. So since I'm studying those, perhaps it would be of a benefit to some of you while you wait for more on Job.]

Introduction: Mo'ed

The Feasts of YHVH are a number of days and groups of days that YHVH delineated through Moses. You could say the definitive list is in Leviticus 23.
Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Here YHVH says “the feasts which ye shall proclaim to be holy…these are my feasts.” The idea is quara (to call) is like to point out, but it’s like to accost and identify or to encounter. It’s like the day is coming along and we are taught to grab it by the shirt and say “This is a holy encounter!” I say that because the word convocation is “miqra” from the same word in noun form. What he’s saying is to latch on to these encounters. Why? Because these are YHVH’s feasts. In fact notice the construction “the feast which ye shall proclaim…are my feasts.”

That should be enough, I mean if I had a pen and said this is YHVH’s pen, how much would you give to hold it or even be near it? The days to proclaim as holy encounter’s are YHVH’s days. The word feasts here is Mo’ed (singular) Mo’edim (plural). I can’t remember all of these words in one sitting, and I’m not expecting anyone else too, but I think it’s good to get a sense of the word. So forget the word, just remember the idea.

Mo’ed means an appointment but not like one you make with your doctor. It comes from to fix upon, it’s like a summons to trial. God isn’t saying put this on your calendar right next to Boxer Day (in Canada). It’s this is the day! Seize it! Why? What is this talk of encounter?

I used to think this was a command to meet with people. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to not forsake the assembling together of saints, but that isn’t what this is talking about. The first feast God talks about here is the Sabbath, but what did people do on the Sabbath?

Exo 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

It seems at the most basic, if there was a command it was not “to go”, but to stay. Now, here the context has to do with gathering manna; so he forbids going to gather, but the only thing we are told to do on that day is to proclaim ‘holy convocation’ and to rest. The commands associated with Sabbath all have to do with abiding, or being within your gates. There is no command to go.

Granted again it does say a convocation, but if God wanted a large corporate meeting with the people, wouldn’t he have said where? And if he had, wouldn’t he have said how many? Suppose one is traveling, how many people do you need to be with on the Sabbath to obey? How long, what are the elements of it? It seems God is less concerned with the manner of the convocation, except that it does not interfere with rest.

Luk 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

This passage is actually the most detailed we have on what a first century Sabbath service may have looked like and actually most of it as described is still followed today, the reading of the Haftorah (the prophets etc), etc. But notice that it says Yeshua’s “custom” was to go to the Synagogue. If this was meant to be a command as it often said "according to the commandment", Yeshua would have known and obeyed. But apparently, Yeshua while keeping Shabbat understood the convocation to mean something different.

Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

Yeshua and his disciples are apparently on their way to the synagogue and Yeshua allows them to rub ears of wheat for food and sees this as being in keeping with Shabbat.

Mat 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

Mat 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
It is lawful to do well he says, so then apparently if your ox falls into a pit and you miss synagogue to help it out of the pit or to heal, then God holds that to be doing well and lawful. So then we see that this ‘convocation’ does not interfere with rest, healing, or need.
Who then is this meeting with primarily? Who is the encounter with? While it is important to meet with the saints, the feasts are not for meeting with man, but with God. In fact, in the KJV, you will often find the phrase “tabernacle of the congregation…” as a place for offering to and seeking YHVH but the word rendered congregation 147 times is actually Mo’ed again. It is not the tent of congregating, it is the tent of appointment or meeting.
While God often summoned the congregation in the wilderness, and kings sometimes summoned the people to the temple, the purpose was never to meet with people but with God, meeting with people happens when you're already meeting with God. YHVH thought these Mo’edim were pretty important, so important that he cleared our schedules for them long before Moses day.

Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

From the fourth day of this Earth, YHVH had these days in mind. The lights in the Heaven; sun, moon, stars are to divide day from night, and to be for signs (‘oth’ meaning a signal or beacon probably descending from the word ‘ooth’ meaning appearing or ‘to come’). And for seasons: Mo’edim. So on day four, before there is a man to see them God scatters glowing shards across the universe for the express purpose of being signals and appointments, or as we now call them ‘feasts.’
That is something we forget about God. Nothing occurs to God. Man didn’t sin and God sat bolt upright on his throne going “oh, boy, he’s in a real pickle! How am I going to fix this!?!” He knew his plan of redemption before there was a man to fall. Likewise, he didn’t “come up” with the feasts in the time of Moses, these were already “fixed” before creation was ‘finished.’
When we realize this, and as we’ll see later, this is evidence of the eternality of God’s plan. What occurs in every instant happens with the knowledge and determination of God to bring about his plan of redemption and abundance. God does not have ‘afterthoughts.’