In the first part of this series ,we looked at the observance of the Sabbath on
the seventh day versus the first day. We determined that YHVH commanded us to observe the seventh day as a day of rest. Man changed it to prove superior authority.
In this article, we will look at the reasons for keeping the seventh day Sabbath. What would be the physical and spiritual significance in observing this commandment? We shall also look at the Sabbath as the sign of YHVH and its importance and relation to the seal spoken of in Revelation contrary to the mark of the beast.
Five reasons to observe the seventh day Sabbath
Obedience,YHVH commanded it
8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of YHVH your Elohim; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore YHVH blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
We are to be obedient to our heavenly Father out of love for Him. He said it, we are to do it!
· Fear, not doing it will lead to death
14 ‘Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is set apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to YHVH; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
32 Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation; 34 and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 Then YHVH said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as YHVH had commanded Moses.
Not keeping the Sabbath is a sin punishable with death. Death is being separated from your source of life. Y’shua took the curse of the law, which is death, upon Himself; we do not physically die when we transgress this commandment, but it will cause spiritual death to those who willfully choose to disobey out of rebellion.
To be spiritually dead is to believe the lies of the world, to follow the precepts and traditions of men. Being spiritually dead is being blind and deaf and without understanding.
Step out of this death and experience life. Experience for yourself the blessing of keeping the Sabbath. You will see your understanding of the Scriptures grow with every Sabbath you celebrate.
· It is a sign that we are sanctified by YHVH
When you observe the Sabbath, you are a living testimony to this sanctification process by YHVH.
12 “Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am YHVH who sanctifies them.
YHVH changes people’s hearts to want to obey Him, in obeying Him; we are being made into new creatures, set apart to Him. On the Sabbath, you get the opportunity to get to know Him, who sanctifies you. Thus, you are on the Sabbath taught and changed more and more into His likeness. That is the process of sanctification. (For more information on this process you can also read “Are you willing to be transformed?”)
The word sanctify means “to be set apart”
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vol. 1: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (114). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.
This sanctification takes place through His Spirit
2 Thessalonians 2:13
13 But we should always give thanks to Elohim for you, brethren beloved by YHVH, because Elohim has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
· It is a test to see whether we would obey
4 Then YHVH said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.
26 “Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.” 27 It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then YHVH said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?
· It is a sign of the covenant between YHVH and His people
The fourth commandment is the commandment that is, of the ten, the least likely to be obeyed. Most people keep the other commandments; it is considered moral not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to kill, etc. But not keeping the Sabbath seems to be of no consequence to most people, and maybe that is the reason why this commandment specifically is the one that is the sign of the covenant.
13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YHVH who sanctifies you.
16 ‘So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17“It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days YHVH made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
12 “Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am YHVH who sanctifies them.
20 ‘Sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am YHVH your Elohim.’
The seal of this covenant was the blood of the peace offering.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that YHVH has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” 8 So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which YHVH has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
The Sabbath is YHVH’s signature, a sign of His authority. His name, title and dominion (His territory) are contained in this commandment. According to ancient near eastern tradition, the position of this commandment within the ten is also an indication of this.
His name is YHVH, He is our Elohim the Creator and His dominion is the heavens and earth. This is His signature. It is the sign of His authority. Keeping this and the other commandments is indicative of our covenant relationship with YHVH.
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of YHVH your Elohim; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore YHVH blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
What exactly does the word sign mean?
˒ot (אוֹת, 226), “sign; mark.” Cognates of this word appear in Aramaic and Arabic. It occurs 78 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods of the language.
This word represents something by which a person or group is characteristically marked.
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vol. 1: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (229). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.
This same word is used to describe the sign of the rainbow, the sign of the circumcision and the signs performed against the Egyptians. The same word is used to describe our keeping of the commandments in Deuteronomy.
1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which YHVH your Elohim has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear YHVH your Elohim, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4“Hear, O Israel! YHVH is our Elohim, YHVH is one! 5“You shall love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
See also Exodus 13:9,16 and Deuteronomy 11:18
On a side note: the Hebrew word for “hear” is Sh’ma – this word means to hear AND obey.
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vol. 1: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (107). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.
Think about the application of this: Moses is telling all Israel here to hear and obey out of love for YHVH. That is what we are to do too!
To continue, the wording in Deut 6:8 is quite intriguing. What does it mean “to bind the words as a sign on your hand, and frontals on your forehead“? Here is a good explanation:
If this part of the brain is saturated with YHVH’s truth, then your behavior will be influenced by it. Everything you do starts with a thought, if your mind is transformed by YHVH’s truth, your good works will follow. It will be a sign for all to see.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of Elohim is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
To renew your mind is to allow the truth of the Scripture to change your behavior. It will affect what you THINK and what you DO.
Y’shua quoted this verse when He was asked what the greatest commandment was. He summarized the ten commandments when He quoted this. The first four commandments are about loving YHVH, and the next six are about loving your neighbor as yourself.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
The mark of the beast
When you keep the commandments, you figuratively bind a sign on your forehead and on your hand. Take note, you are doing this out of your own free will. You make the choice and because of this choice you will receive YHVH’s mark or seal – His Name – upon your forehead.
What other sign or mark do we find in Scripture that is described as being on your forehead or on your hand?
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
The mark of the beast on the other hand will be forced upon people, it is written “he causes all” and also “receives” which denotes a passive action.
Those who refuse this mark will be persecuted, but will at the end reign with the Messiah for a thousand years.
4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Y’shua and because of the word of Elohim, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years.
So if keeping the commandments is a mark of YHVH on your forehead and on your hand, then not keeping the commandments is the mark of the beast.
Y’shua the את
I cannot help but think about Y’shua when studying this word “sign.” Allow me to explain.
The Hebrew letter combination ” את” appears in the Hebrew Scriptures more than 7,000 times. The “aleph tav” is a Hebrew grammatical sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English, but generally preceding the accusative. A direct object is a noun or pronoun that received the action of the verb or shows the result of the action. It indicates the “what” or “whom” after the action verb. the aleph taw are also the first and the last letters of the Hebrew aleph bet.
In the book of Revelation Y’shua calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega (in Hebrew the aleph and the taw), the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
The Hebrew word for “sign ” is ” אוֹת“, aleph vav taw. Very similar…
The aleph taw – Y’shua – is in the sign we have on our forehead and hand. We have seen that “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. ” means to live according to YHVH’s commandments. Thus, keeping the commandments is keeping the Torah. Y’shua is the living Torah. If we keep Torah, we are thereby transformed into Y’shua’s likeness. His likeness is as a sign upon us, His mark. This mark is the aleph taw.
What is the relation between the sign of the Sabbath and the seal spoken of in Revelation?
The rainbow was the sign of the covenant made with mankind after the flood. Circumcision was the sign of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants. The Sabbath is the sign of the covenant made at Sinai. This is an everlasting covenant, just like the other two; it is still in effect.
To honor this covenant is to keep the commandments of YHVH. The sign that you are honoring YHVH’s covenant is the Sabbath. This sign is between you and YHVH.
By keeping His commandments, we testify that we are His. If we are His, we have His mark upon us, His Name. We also have His Spirit in us and we are sealed by His Spirit.
Allow me to explain this further.
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
YHVH knows who are His, they are those keeping His covenant.
2 Timothy 2:19
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of Elohim stands, having this seal, “YHVH knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of YHVH is to abstain from wickedness.”
In the book of Ezekiel we see a reference to this mark.
4YHVH said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 5 But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 6 “Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.
Who are these people receiving His mark? Who are these who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in their midst. These are the ones who remained faithful to YHVH, to His covenant.
They will be marked on their foreheads and will be delivered from judgment.
This word used here for “mark” is different from the word used for “sign”, though related.
The Hebrew word for “mark” is a taw
· mark, stamp, sign, i.e.,
· a non-verbal signal to communicate a relationship to another (Eze 9:4, 6+), note: according to some sources, the shape of this mark may be similar to an “X.”; 2. LN 33.35–33.68 signing, i.e.,
· the act. of making a distinguishing mark on a document as a signature (Job 31:35+)
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Look at the rich meaning of this word, it says so much: a “mark stamp or sign,” “a signal to communicate a relationship to another.” To be lovingly obedient to our Father is a sign or a mark of our relationship with Him. It also distinguishes us!
What is this seal spoken of in Revelation?
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (393–394). New York: United Bible Societies.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living Elohim; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our Elohim on their foreheads.”
4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of Elohim on their foreheads.
1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
12 ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My Elohim, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My Elohim, and the name of the city of My Elohim, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My Elohim, and My new name.
This seal is given by YHVH, just like the mark mentioned in Ezekiel. This is the main difference between the sign of the Sabbath and the seal spoken of in Revelation. The sign of the Sabbath is the sign between us and YHVH that we are in covenant with Him. It is our choice, we bind it upon our hand and forehead. The seal spoken of in Revelation is given by YHVH, because of our covenantal faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 1:21–22
21 Now He who establishes us with you in Messiah and anointed us is Elohim, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
The Sabbath is a gift from our Father and a blessed day. When we fear YHVH and keep His commandments especially His Sabbath, we are sanctified by Him. We are given a weekly opportunity to get to know our Creator.
The Sabbath is a sign between us, and YHVH that we are His chosen people; we are in covenant with Him. By choosing to be obedient to all His commandments, out of love for Him, we are
- Firstly transformed into Y’shua’s likeness. To be transformed into Y’shua’s likeness means that our character becomes more like His.
- Secondly, we will be given His seal and His Spirit. This seal that we are given is the name of the Father and His Son.
Having His Spirit will lead us to His true way. Having His seal will ensure that we will be delivered from judgment.
12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of Elohim and their faith in Y’shua.
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