After the conclusion of the creative work in Genesis 1, the seventh day or period is recorded in Genesis 2:2-3. “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. 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.” It is this seventh day that is the period of REST that was BLESSED. What made this day different than all the others is that it was a period of REST, and has nothing to do with going to church or being religious. The Hebrew word translated “rested” is derived from the same word translated “sabbath” in Exodus 20:8. There is no difference in the original language of the Old Testament, but the King James translators took this one Hebrew word and translated it “rest” and “sabbath”.

In the Bible there are many different periods spoken of as Sabbaths. It was to be one day of each week. “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD (YAHWAH): whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath (rest) day, he shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 31:15) The Sabbath was also to be certain other days during a month. “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath (rest).” (Leviticus 23:24) The ninth day, the fifteenth day, the eighth day, and the tenth day were all to be “sabbaths” in the “seventh month”. (Leviticus 23:32, 39; 16:29-31) There is still more, the Sabbath was even to be one whole year every 7 years. “But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD (YAHWAH).” (Leviticus 25:4) After seven of these Sabbath years was to be an additional Sabbath year in the fiftieth year and it was called the year of “jubilee” (Leviticus 25:8-13). This is only a few examples that the Sabbath, REST, was not just the seventh day of a week, but that its designation included many other days, weeks, and years. It must also be understood that the ancient Hebrew calendar was very different from that being used today, and nowhere in the Bible does it say that the seventh day is on what we now call Saturday. As Jesus, YAHWASUA, said, people “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”

When the laws of the REST, Sabbath, were given to our forefathers, the children of Israel, they were to enter a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of abundance and a land that would have freedom and rest. Yes, the “promised land” was theirs to enjoy, but only as long as they obeyed YAHWAH God because a departure from His laws would bring oppression, poverty and never-ending toil.   (go to top)

(continued - The Seventh Step)

They would become a conquered people, and their land would become a cursed land of continual labor and stress completely devoid of all REST. In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul speaks about this refusal of Israel to obey their God YAHWAH and how it holds true for us today. “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known My ways. So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.” (Hebrews 3:8-11) Read the remainder of this 3rd chapter and you will see why Paul says “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:1-3) He sums it all up in Hebrews 4:9-11. “There remaineth therefore a REST to the people of God (Israel). For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

The laws of the Sabbaths were given to our fathers, Israel, for their blessing “which are a shadow of things to come” (Colossians 2:17). Here is the only hope! Jesus, YAHWASUA, said in Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST unto your souls.” Now read Matthew 12:8; Luke 6:5, 9 and John 5:16. Pay attention to Mark 2:27-28 “And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” The Sabbath REST that was made for man can only be realized by taking Christ’s “yoke upon you” and LEARNING of Him, and this is no small matter. It is time to enter into the Sabbath, the REST of YAHWASUA, and, through allegiance to YAHWAH God’s law, we will have abundance, we will have freedom from this “body of death”, and we will enjoy all the covenant promises. Knowing that there are Sabbaths and that they are RESTS for us is THE SEVENTH STEP.

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