Shabbat (Sabbath) is a reminder of Paniym Elohim, the Presence of God always before us. A reminder of His Rest, and that He will always be before us - not only always with us, but He has also gone before us and knows what will happen. He knows the decisions we will make before we do, because He sees the big picture - He’s already been there - He has already been present - therefore knows what we need at any given time.
It is the Sabbath, but being human, it is possible to completely forget that this is a day to celebrate Yeshua (Jesus) simply for Who He is. He is not only our Creator, our Savior, our Messiah - He is our Sabbath. He is our Rest - He is Israel’s Rest - their Shalom, their peace. He is the One Who gave us the Sabbath.
The Hebrew word for Sabbath is Shabbat and actually means rest. But so does Shalom (as well as peace). Yeshua is our Peace and our Rest - our Shalom and our Shabbat. When you have Shalom, you have Shabbat - when you have peace, prosperity, good health, i.e. all good things, you have rest. Our peace and our rest is in Messiah Yeshua.
A Day of Rest
God sanctified the seventh day and made it holy. It is the only day that He gave a name, and the only day He made holy: the seventh day. So how do we know that Saturday is the seventh day, and not Sunday?
Even though the Jews have changed many things, they have not changed the day of the Sabbath. The leaders of the early Catholic church changed the Sabbath to Sunday, which you can see in their canons (Council of Nicaea 325AD, Council of Laodicea in 365AD, Canon 29 & 37; Council of Toledo X in 656AD; Council of Nicaea II in 787AD, Canon 8). ( www.newadvent.org )
Shabbat begins Saturday morning at 12:01am, and is all day Saturday. Many believe that Shabbat begins at sundown or evening, but Exodus 16:23-24 clearly shows that the Shabbat day did not begin until morning (sometimes referred to as dawn or the break of day - see the end of this page).
Our bodies were designed to need a day of rest every seven days, so we don’t burn out. God created us, so He knows best.
The Sabbath and its Symbolism
On the Sabbath day there was one thing done differently in the Temple than on the other days: the Bread of Presence, or Showbread, was changed. Fresh cakes of the Bread were baked and the priests would change the Bread so that it was always present before Yahweh. This was done very carefully so that the table was never without the cakes of Bread. The old Bread was then given to the priests to eat on the Sabbath day.
There were twelve of these cakes of (unleavened) Bread, which were to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and at the same time represented the Presence of Yahweh - the Bread being a symbol of God’s Presence and God as the people’s Bread and their Life (i.e.Yeshua/Jesus). Changing the Bread each week also symbolizes refreshing our spirits before God once a week.
The golden table the Bread of Presence was placed upon, was in the Holy Place, across from the Menorah. The Menorah represents the Presence of God’s sevenfold Spirit and that He is Israel’s Lightgiver and their Light. Between the Menorah and the table of the Bread of Presence was the ever-burning incense on the golden altar. This showed that Life and Light are joined together, and come to Israel in fellowship with God and in prayer.
God dwelt in the Holy of Holies, and He was worshiped in the Holy Place where the symbols of His Presence were. This Presence meant the special manifestation of God - and is also a symbol of the Messiah. God manifested these symbols in the life of Yeshua, the actual Presence of God in the flesh, when the time was right.
The Meaning of the word Sabbath
Shabbat has some very interesting characteristics. This very unique day must be clarified because many have corrupted this once-a-week occurrence, and it is no longer clear how to celebrate it. In reality, this day that we rest on and celebrate each week is a rehearsal for assembly with God - a miqra.
So what is it a rehearsal of? In order to understand the answer to this question, we must understand the word itself. So lets first take a look at the letters for Shabbat: Shin-bet-tav. The root word is Shoov (Shin-bet) and literally means to destroy the house - leave nothing behind. To return, come back, go back, do again, to repent or turn away are all meanings of this word Shoov. You leave nothing behind when you repent and return to God.
And Tav means a covenant (or a sign or a cross). So Shabbat literally means repent and return to the Covenant (of God).
Repentance always deals with a changing of kingdoms that you are in. Shabbat means to come out of the kingdom of the world (devil) and come into the kingdom of God once a week. By doing this, we can never forget God. It is actually a weekly miqra. A once-a-week rehearsal meeting with God, to keep us on track: to keep us in His Way.
Let’s take a look at the word Covenant next. The Hebrew word for Covenant is berit: bet-resh-yod-tav. The ancient meaning of the letters is in the hand of the Man of the Covenant. When one is in the hand of the Man of the Covenant, he is in Covenant with Him.
Shabbat is a rehearsal of when we will live with God’s Presence on the Restored Earth in the very near future. It is a rehearsal for our final Day of Rest when we will rest in Yeshua. When Yeshua returns (during Tabernacles), Shabbat will still be very important to Him, for He sanctified it and made it holy. And our Day of Rest will not be only one thousand years, it will be for all eternity. Yeshua never mentioned a one-thousand-year period - He always spoke of eternity (Matthew 25:46 & John 3:15).
God tells us in Exodus 31:13 that Shabbat is a sign between us and Himself, so that we will know He is Yahweh, our God and Creator. So this day is a sign for us to remember who God is.
Shabbat also comes from the root word shevah (shin-bet-ayin-hey). It means to cease, desist, or rest - a day of rest. This word literally means what comes from the understanding of to return and repent - which is rest.
This word is also the root of the word for seven which is sheva (sheba). This word sheva means sacred full one or to make complete or to be full or satisfied or have enough of. God’s work of creation was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it. And He did it all in seven days (actually six, because He rested on the seventh day as our example).
Note: Sheva also means to seven oneself or rather, to swear as if by repeating a declaration seven times - to swear an oath.
God’s Divine Timing
As with the year really beginning in the Spring, we should also consider when the day actually begins. We have been trusting in what the Jews have told us, based on Talmudic teachings. But a lot of their conclusions are based on confusing rationalizations within Rabbinic debates.
Darkness covered the earth in Bereshit verse 3. There is darkness all around all the planets, but Earth is the only planet God said to it, “Light be!” He called the Light “good,” then He separated the Light from the darkness in verse 4. Nothing more was said about the darkness. In verse 5 God called the Light “Day,” and the darkness He called “Night.” God just called the darkness Night, so why would He begin to use the word for evening at the end of this same verse? A Rabbinic debate (before the 19th century) determined the Jewish day to begin at sundown because of the end of verse 5. But the Hebrew word erev (evening) is a modern word, and was never in the Scriptures. The day never began at night (Exodus 16:23-34).
Light is an idiom for Salvation, so Yeshua is the Light. The Jews do not know Yeshua, because they are without His Light - their day begins at night because they are full of darkness - there is no Light in their lives.
But believers, who know Yeshua and have His Light in them, know the difference. They know that the day begins with the morning because the day comes alive, everything in nature wakes up and it is a bright new shiny day in the morning (Exodus 12:10, 16:23-24, 18:13).
Sabbath is a day for study, worship and rest unto Yahweh God, our Yeshua. And so, based on the meaning of the word Shabbat, we believe that nothing of the other kingdom (the devil’s world) should enter into a day spent in God’s kingdom. Anything that is of the world, such as anything the rest of the world engages in (anything that involves technology, playing or watching sports, playing worldly games, watching worldly movies or TV shows) we should rest from. But let the Spirit of God be your guide. Watching a Christian or a Messianic DVD (or video) would probably be acceptable.
This is a day with Yeshua, our God and our Lord - Yahweh in the flesh. You will receive the greatest benefit if you spend it listening to Him, studying His Torah, letting Him lead you in your studies of His Word, and of course in His rest. You may find that you end up falling asleep during your studies, or your worship times, or just sitting and listening to Him in receive mode. But just let it happen - its all a part of the Spirit guiding you into His Rest.
If this day is spent with family, you might study together to learn the things of God, including the children. It should not be a day of don’ts, but a day simply spent with Yahweh (Yeshua). It is a day off from work and we should look forward to this day each week (I believe work includes housework or yard work - because once you do one thing, most likely you will get carried away and continue until before you know it your day of rest is gone).
To cook on this day is debatable and should be guided by the Spirit, because you are preparing meals for this day. Eating is something God knows one must do. He instructed the Hebrews not to reap on this day because that was considered their work - they were farmers. But He never says anything about cooking the meals of the day - just don’t make it an all day thing. Cooking your Shabbat meal on Saturday is allowed (according to the false Talmudic teachings, cooking is not allowed on Shabbat), but try to keep it to a minimum to free up your Day of Rest. Just ask Yahweh what is best for you.
It is debatable whether or not you should engage in hobbies, such as something creative. While they could possibly take away from one’s thoughts about God, creating something together is time spent with the family. While some may argue that God rested from His creating of the world, we must remember that creating was His work. Ask Yeshua what you should do or not do, if you’re not comfortable with something.
The Jews have a service at the end of Saturday, to prepare for another week back into the world. There is nothing in Scripture stating this is what we should do. But I doubt this Saturday evening service would do any harm or take away from God’s Way, as long as you know it is not a Commandment. But remember, Shabbat is not over until the end of Saturday at midnight, so the service should be conducted very late night instead of at sundown.
To begin your Shabbat celebration, make your Shabbat meal special (but prepare it the evening before if you can), including something special to drink, usually a special wine (or grape juice mix), maybe some special bread such as Challah (another Jewish tradition), and a special side dish. And even a special dessert that you only have on Shabbat, would keep this day special and separate.
Just before you sit down to your Shabbat meal, light the candles of a regular seven-branch Menorah. Begin with the candle on the right, and light all of the seven candles. A Menorah represents Yeshua, and it was in the Temple. It is the only light mentioned in Scripture. Psalm 92 is a prayer just for the Sabbath. You can also use the prayer below:
Barchi Nafshi et Yahweh Yeshua, my joyful light,
Pure brightness, ha olam Abba!
As I (we) sit down to our Shabbat meal with You and light the Menorah,
I (we) give thanks and praise to You, the Father, Who is the Son and
the Sevenfold Spirit of God, and Infinity!
O Son, O God, O giver of Life,
Worthy are You at all times to be praised with my (our) joyful voice(s)!
May You be glorified through all creation!
Baruch ata Yeshua Eloheinu Meleckh haOlam!
Who is the Frstfruits from the dead!
Ha lechem hachaiyim!
Todah Abba for this Shabbat, for this Shabbat meal,
for our time together this Shabbat
& for what You want to teach me this Shabbat!
A Menu for Shabbat
Lamb Steaks, Beef or Chicken
Green Vegetable or Salad
Roasted Potatoes or Special side dish
Challah Bread or Special Bread
Grape Juice or Wine
Bread Machine Challah Bread
2/3 c. water
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. sugar Yield: 1 Braid
1 tsp. salt
3 1/4 c. Bread Flour
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
Wash: 1 egg, plus 1 T. water
Topping: 1-2 T. poppy seeds
Place ingredients in bread pan in order listed. Use DOUGH setting, and press start. When setting is complete, remove dough from bread pan. Place on a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide into thirds, making 3 14-inch long ropes with tapered ends. Pinch ropes together at one end, braid together, then pinch together at other end to secure braid (tuck the ends under after pinching together). Transfer to greased baking sheet and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Combine Wash ingredients and brush onto braid. Sprinkle with Poppy seeds. Bake in preheated 350º oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
***An interesting Jewish tradition that popped up around the second century AD concerning this bread: The Rabbis take this from Numbers 15:18-21: where our Bibles show cake; or loaf in the Tanach in verse 20, the Hebrew word is challah. Since the Temple no longer stands, this olive-sized piece of dough is burned before making the bread. And that is how this bread came to be a part of Shabbat. This is an added tradition, not really a part of Shabbat. But as long as you know it is not a Commandment of God, go ahead and bake and eat it. Can’t tell you about the offering - that will have to be up to the Spirit of God.
Updated August 28, 2018
August 28, 2018 - This page will be updated soon!
(See complete Detail below Chart)
is celebrated every Saturday,
the Seventh Day
Morning 12:00am to Night 12:00pm.