Written by Natalee Henry
Have you ever wondered why some believers worship on Sunday while others worship on Saturday, yet both claim they were right?
I have been a Christian believer for over twenty years; I grew up going to church on Sundays so it was never a question as to which day I would go to church. It wasn't until I was much older and I began to read and study the Bible for myself that I realized that some of the practices of my Christian faith are not Biblical but traditions that have been passed down for centuries. I began asking questions and conducting research while praying and asking God to reveal His truth to me.
I recall four years ago I had a conversation with one of my cousins who worship on the Sabbath (Sabbath) about Christmas and a few other traditions that we as Christians observe or celebrate. As always, my response to him was, we as believers have an "if it is not broken don't fix it mentality." We know that a lot of things we are taught are not based on the word of God but we continue to live a lie because we are comfortable not making waves.
My point of view at the time was if it doesn't affect my salvation one way or the other, then I don't worry about it. Little did I know that this conversation would spark something in me to dig deeper into my Christian heritage and learn about why we do things the way we do them.
Fast forward to today, I have been on a journey to rediscover what the word of God teaches us about His “Appointed Times” such as The Feast Days and Sabbath, their importance, and why we need to observe them.
I believe if we are interested in seeking the truth we should learn and know why we do what we do. We should also walk as Jesus walked as the word declares in 1John 2:1-6 (NKJV). Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
If we truly believe that God sent His son to die so that whosoever believes in Him should have eternal life (John 3:16), then we the believer should obey Him (John 3:36). For us to understand the "why" in our belief system we have to take a look at its foundation. We have to go back to where it all started.
Holy Unto Him
Genesis 2:1-3 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible).
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.
The Shabbat (Sabbath) is the first day God declared holy and proclaimed it belongs to Him.
Exodus 20:8-11 CJB
“Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.
Does this mean that we can only worship God on Shabbat?
Understanding biblical Shabbat is more than just a day of worship. Biblically the Shabbat is observed from Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. Why is this important? From the time of creation, the time mark for a day is evening to morning. When we observe the Shabbat, it is to honor God through our obedience to His word.
It is my desire to share with you what I have learned in regards to the importance of observing the Shabbat and pray that you will seek the Father for His wisdom and guidance after you have read what I have shared with you. Many will read this article and believe that I have fallen off the rocker and bumped my head. Some will believe that I am now a Seventh Day Adventist. Before you dismiss everything I have just said and what I am about to say, I want you to understand that the word of God is not bound by denomination or traditions. If you desire to know the truth of God’s word and seek Him diligently He will answer you. My prayer is for you to seek Him to know the truth.
Where it all began – Life in the Garden
David declared in Psalm 35:15 “my times are in your hands.”
As we read the account of the creation in Genesis chapter one, we will understand God’s Calendar and His appointed times.
Genesis 1:14-19 Reads, Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
In Hebrew the word Moed (Strong's H4150) is translated as season in Genesis 1:14, and is the first mention of the word in scripture. Moed means an appointed time. God created the lights in the heavens to establish His appointed time. God not only blessed the seventh day and called it holy, He told Moses in Leviticus 23:2-3, that the Shabbat is His designated (appointed) time.
God created the sun, moon, and stars to be a sign for seasons, days, and years before He put man on the earth. They are to rule over the earth. When God created man on the sixth day, the governing body of the seasons, days, and years was already in rule. In other words, His moedim (plural for moed) has already been established. In Genesis 1:28 God pronounced a blessing over man saying; “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, the bird of the sky, and every living thing that moves on the earth.” Note keenly that God gave man rule over the creatures of the sky and earth, but never over the governing body that ruled the times and seasons; hence man has no authority over God’s appointed time.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
The Early Church and the Shabbat
The early church continued to observe the Shabbat, and other appointed times by God after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven.
Acts 20:6-7 (NKJV) states: But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. 7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
Now if we carefully study and understand the scriptures and the definition of “day” we will see that from the beginning of creation a day begins in the evening. Genesis 1:1-2 the records show that after each day it states, “the evening and the morning.” So biblically, a day begins in the evening, not the morning as mentioned before. Therefore, we must read the Scriptures in context. In context, the beginning of Shabbat is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. So then the beginning of a new week is from Saturday after sundown and not Sunday morning as we are taught from the Gregorian calendar. In reading Scriptures we are to view the times, years, days, and seasons from the Jewish calendar because that is the context in which it was written.
Now let’s take a look at Acts 20:7 again. “Now on the first day of the week (after sundown on Saturday) when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day (Sunday after Sundown), spoke to them until midnight.” Before I fully understood the biblical concept of time, I always thought Paul must have been a long-winded speaker for him to speak all day and night. Paul basically spoke for five to eight hours depending on the time he began speaking after Shabbat ended.
What does this have to do with me as a believer?
As believers in Jesus (Yeshua), Christianity has taught us that keeping or observing the Shabbat is no longer required because it is an old covenant law. BUT is that what the Scriptures teach us? In Exodus 20:1-9 God gave Moses the ten commands that were to govern the life of the children of Israel. In verse 10, God said to Moses, the Seventh-day is Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work. Here again, God said the Shabbat belongs to Him, He is the ruler of the Shabbat. As the life of the people progressed God continues to teach the people how to honor Him. In Leviticus 23: 1-3 (CJB) Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘The designated times of Adonai which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times. Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for ADONAI, even in your homes.”
If you recall in Genesis chapter 1:14 the fourth day of creation when God created the sun, moon, and stars He said they were for signs, seasons, days, and years. The Shabbat day is governed by God. The Shabbat day governs the signs, seasons, days, and years upon the earth, it is a reset for the order of things to be established once more. The significance of the Shabbat is not tied to the old covenant or the Jewish people as we are taught.
The reason Yeshua (Jesus) could heal and do miracles on the Shabbat was because He is Lord, ruler, and governor of the Shabbat. Hence His declaration “the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” Mark 2:28 & Matthew 12:8. Colossians 1:17
Yeshua declares, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21
With this said, it leads to the questions; when did the church or Christianity decided the first day of the week began on Sunday and the Shabbat should no longer be observed?
I leave you with these final words from the Apostle Paul; "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:14-15 (NKJV)
If you are interested in learning more about the appointed times of the Lord and the foundation of your Christian faith, please send your message via email to email@example.com
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.