Was It Fulfilled By Messiah?
A common teaching among Christianity today is that "Jesus is our Sabbath rest." From this premise it is concluded that a literal keeping of the seventh day Sabbath is not necessary. This study is written to help you understand the truth about a believer's rest so that you may walk in it and be blessed by it.
Let me begin by clearly stating that true Sabbath observance is not a work that is done in the flesh in order to be justified or saved. It is a work done through the leading of the Ruwakh haQodesh/Holy Spirit because a person has already been justified or saved. Sabbath keeping, as well as obedience to all of Ab Yahuweh's Renewed Covenant Commandments, is a fruit of our salvation or justification. Obedience to the Torah/Instructions in Righteousness are a good works that we have been created to walk in (Eph.2:10). Sabbath keepers firmly believe all Torah/Instructions in Righteousness are written on our hearts as part of the Renewed Covenant spoken of by Jeremiah (31:33).
Having said that, let's begin by addressing Hebrews chapter 4 and the "true rest of the soul." The original account from which Hebrews 4:1-11 is taken is found in Numbers 14:22-24, 28-30, and Deuteronomy 1:30-40. In both passages it was the "land" (of Canaan) that was being withheld because of unbelief. The children of Yisrael were on their wilderness journey to the "promised land," which was a type of the "rest" to come. Joshua brought them into that land or the typical "rest" (Josh 1:13-15; 21:44; 22:4), yet the haElohim again spoke through David concerning this greater rest. In Psalm 95:11, David uses the phrase "my rest" instead of "the land" as in the original promise. Why? Because "the land" was only a type of the future rest to come when true believers enter into the true promised land, the "heavenly country" that the patriarchs of old saw from afar (Heb 11:13-16).
We are currently on our wilderness journey as well. We are heading for the heavenly country promised us. Just as the Yisraelites continued keeping the Sabbath rest throughout their wilderness journey, so, too, must we continue to keep the Sabbath rest. In fact, the Yisraelites continued to keep the Sabbath even after entering the typical promised land of Canaan. We, too, will continue in the Sabbath rest as prophesied by Isaiah (66:22,23) even after the new heaven and new earth come.
If the common Christian view of Heb 4:10 is correct, that the Sabbath is abolished because we have entered the true rest, then, to be consistent, it must also be true that all work is abolished since we have ceased from our own works. In other words, if the physical rest is done away with, then the physical labor should also be done away with. However, since believers continue to do physical labors like farming, construction work, etc., they should also continue to rest from such labor as it is written. Additionally, the Sabbath rest is commanded for the sake of animals as well. Is it now permissible for farmers to work their animals seven days a week? Do animals somehow enter into the true rest as well?
Hebrews 4:11 talks about laboring to enter into that rest. It is not something we automatically receive upon accepting Yahushua as our Savior except by faith. That rest will become a reality upon our resurrection unto eternal life. That is why we see the saints/believers of Revelation 14:12,13 laboring right up until death. It is only after death that the ultimate rest can literally begin. Note, also, that those saints/believers "keep the Instructions in Righteousness/Light of Yahuweh" (KJV), among which is the Sabbath.
We certainly can find rest for our souls in haMessiYah Yahushua (Matthew 11:28,29), but he does not give our bodies rest, nor does he give animals rest. That kind of rest is only available through the Sabbath rest. Jeremiah 6:16 reads, "Thus saith Yahuweh, 'Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.' But they said, 'We will not walk therein.' " The "old paths" and the "good way" that provides a "rest for the soul" includes the keeping of Yahuweh's Sabbaths. Notice the similar wording found in Isaiah 58:12,13. The rest we have in Yahushua is only a foretaste of the rest to come at his second coming when we will be dwelling in the presence of the Ab/Father and the Ben/Son in the glorious "heavenly country".
Deuteronomy 5:15 reads, "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Kemet, and that Yahuweh thy haElohim brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore Yahuweh thy haElohim commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day." It is then said that this verse shows, "the very type and shadow of our deliverance from sin and bondage into the glorious rest of haMessiYah our Sabbath by faith." This is true. However, notice the keeping of the Sabbath rest followed the Yisraelite redemption from slavery and bondage. How much more should we keep the Sabbath with joy overflowing after our greater redemption from sin and death? Why? Because every time we keep the Sabbath qodesh/holy; we remember and proclaim who it is that provided this great deliverance for us (Deut 5:15); we remember and proclaim who it is that sanctifies us (Ex 31:13); we remember and proclaim who it is that created us and all things (Ex 20:11); and we delight in both the Sabbath and Yahuweh Himself, and honor Yahuweh by doing His will and good pleasure (Is 58:13,14). The Sabbath is truly qodesh/holy, sanctified, blessed, delightful, and honorable.
Most people who reject the Sabbath and Torah saying they are fulfilled in haMessiYah and therefore abolished will readily admit that they are not free to steal, dishonor parents, commit adultery, covet, etc. They will endeavor to keep from transgressing 6 Commandments of the Ten that was given throught Moshe. Most Sabbath opponents will not: commit beastiality; get tattooed; have relations with close relatives; use unjust weights and measures; charge what they consider usury; etc. So when they say they are "free from Torah", or "not under Torah", etc., they are really trying to justify their supposed freedom from Sabbath-keeping in a most inconsistent manner.The reality is, we must obey our Heavenly Father's Tanakh if they are among the Torah written on our hearts as part of the Renewed Covenant (Heb 8:8-10).
"Zaquaine" Mufasa Abda Kalil TsidekiYahu