The Privilege Of Celebrating The Sabbaths
Getting the Point!
I think one of the most blessed things that our L-rd ever gave me was the understanding of how saved I am. There are not enough words in my vocabulary to ever explain the liberty and freedom which it has brought about in my life. I would like to pass on some thoughts on the subject of liberty and freedom in Messiah Yeshua. You may not agree with me and that is your privilege, however, I pray it will bring freedom to many who strive to please G-d our Father.
Psalm 119:45 tells us that David proclaimed "...I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts." To make that kind of a declaration, David at this point in his life knew the Love of his G-d. Yacov (James) in the New Covenant writes of "the perfect Law of liberty" (1:25), which Goodspeed renders, "the faultless Law that makes men free," but the version I like the best is Adah Guzman's rendering of this passage, "the perfect curseless Torah of liberty."
In all natural laws of "thou shalt not" and even in the "thou shalt" we find restraints, and some times restraints, are needed. However, what kind of Torah is this that makes one free, exempt from slavery, and captive to religious labor? The answer can be found in Romans 8:2.
"the Torah of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua that makes me free from the Torah of sin and death"
Romans 8:4, goes on to say:
"That the 'righteousness' of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh (natural), but after the Spirit."
It is a perfect curseless Torah of liberty, better translated as PRIVILEGE! The Torah that Messiah gave to the Believers is clearly a Torah of Privilege, one to freely partake of with no fear of condemnation, Romans 8:1. All the standards and laws of creeds and doctrine, sundry concepts of men, will bind, they will not fulfill nor do they bring freedom. The only freedom there is in any law is when it is kept, fulfilled, then you feel no restraint upon your actions because there is no fencing in by the law. So the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN MESSIAH YESHUA, working in us, fulfills all the 'righteousness' of the Torah, fully meeting its standard. It is in this complete fulfillment that we find our liberty! We need not apologize for being in the will of G-d, nor subject ourselves to the bondage of men, for in Messiah Yeshua we are gloriously free!
What your about to read below within the brackets was transcribed by RABBI SAMUEL INTRATOR, reprinted with permission of Connections Magazine. It is powerful and speaks volumes if you have ears to hear with, my comments will follow.
The Baal Shem Tov
[It is said of the holy Baal Shem Tov, when he was still seeking to discover the correct way to serve G-d, he was always in depression. He was fearful that maybe he did not perform G-d's commandments in the proper way. Perhaps he did not adhere to Sabbath in the required manner. Indeed, there are many restrictions in our religion. Who can ever adhere to all these legal requirements?
So, he once asked his rebbe, the prophet Achia, from Shiloh, to show him the place in the Garden of Eden of those people who adhered to the Sabbath best. The prophet led him to such a high place in heaven where even angels were not permitted. High above, he saw two golden thrones, shining brilliantly. The Baal Shem asked his rebbe, "Achia Hashiloni, for whom are these two thrones prepared?" He was told, for you, since you will be wise, and for someone you must find.
That Saturday night, after Havdallah, the Baal Shem ordered his servant Alexsi to prepare his horse and wagon at once. After they left Mezubush, (the Baal Shem's home town) Alexsi lost control of the horse and it seemed to ride endlessly, for days, across rivers and mountains. Finally, they arrived in a large foreign city where no Jews resided and the horse pulled over in front of a small house in the outskirts of the city. The Baal Shem was greeted by a German who bore no semblance of being Jewish. The Baal Shem asked him if he could stay with him for a few days. Why not, the German answered him. The Baal Shem soon noted that this fellow was a plain townsman with no Jewish values. He never prayed nor ate Kosher food but, the Baal Shem reasoned, if his horse stopped in front of this house, he must wait here and observe carefully. The Baal Shem spent Shabbos there as well. (Needless to say, the Baal Shem passed on fish, chulant or Kreayot HaTorah - reading the weekly portion from a Torah scroll; that Shabbos.) All he was able to eat were a few loaves of dry bread that he took along for the trip. During Shabbos, the German hosted a great feast for all his friends. They ate, drank, smoked and danced and really lived it up. What a Shabbos experience for the Baal Shem.
He entered in a deep depression, reasoning to himself this cowboy will be my partner in the world to come. Saturday night, as the Baal Shem was preparing to leave, he could not resist asking his mysterious German Shabbos host for an explanation of the purpose of that great joyous feast he hosted earlier in the day. He responded, "When I was a small child, I was taken away from my Jewish home and brought here. I know absolutely nothing about Judaism. I only remember that my father used to always teach me that we are commanded to rejoice on Shabbos. Large numbers of people came to our house every Shabbos. That is why I developed my own custom to make a great feast every Shabbos and invite my neighbors over and rejoice together with them."
The Baal Shem then realized that here is a man with a true Jewish heart. What a high soul! The Baal Shem wanted to return this great soul to its Jewish root and explain to this man how Jews really keep Shabbos. But, he simply could not express himself. It was as if his power of speech was denied to him from heaven. The Baal Shem understood that G-d is more satisfied with the way this man currently keeps Shabbos then if he were to change his approach and abide by all the laws of Shabbos. His current Shabbos is kept with his heart and with perfect joy which would most definitely be lacking if he were to keep a traditional Shabbos. This, my dear friends, is the great message of Hasidus, we all need great wisdom to know what methods to employ in our service of G-d. Such knowledge, we can receive from our pious leaders. If the irreligious people were to understand this, they would not be irreligious.
After this experience, the Baal Shem asked his master, Achiya Hashioni, to show him the place of those who desecrate the Shabbos. He led him through barren desert unto the deep darkness, into the lowest pit in hell where he saw two greatly burned black coal thrones. For whom are these frightening thrones waiting for, the Baal Shem asked? His master answered, for you, G-d forbid, if you will not be wise and for a friend of yours. The Baal Shem traveled to meet his companion from hell. This journey was a short one as the horse and wagon this time led him into a densely populated Jewish quarter where you could smell the Shabbos food in its streets. The horse came to halt in front of a house where the sound of Torah study rang loud. The house was that of the town's rabbi, a man who strictly adhered to every minute detail in his observance to G-d. The rabbi hardly noticed his quest as he was so engrossed in Torah study. Nonetheless, the Baal Shem remained there for Shabbos. A bitter darkness enveloped the Shabbos atmosphere in the rabbi's house. This strict rabbi was afraid to touch anything with his hand in the event he might desecrate the Shabbos and violate the restriction of Muktza or to take an unnecessary step with his foot which might result in his killing an ant on Shabbos. He simply sat around all day and wondered which restriction he may have violated.
What a poor and low Shabbos. The Baal Shem wanted to inform him that the Torah was not given to angels and that Shabbos is a time to enjoy the heavenly bliss. He was, however, unable to express his thoughts. One is reminded of the Talmudic teaching:
"Just as one is commanded to instruct someone if you are certain he will heed your words, so too, one is commanded not to instruct someone if you are certain that he will not heed your words."]
Do you get the point?
The Sabbath is a matter of Heart!
Many of you will, and I'm sorry to say, many of you will not. We must follow G-d with all of ourheart, and not with rules made by man. As most of you know I do believe that the 7th day Sabbath and the 8th day Sabbath together are for Believers in Messiah Yeshua. I do not take one over the other, they are a set for the Believer, a match pair in His Word. The 8th day being the picture of the higher Sabbath for the Believer, because we are given all spiritual blessings in the Messiah who was risen on that day.
"Blessed be the G-d and Father of our L-rd Yeshua Messiah, who has blessed us with all Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly places in Messiah"
The 7th day Sabbath is made for man, earthly people, and was a sign for Israel and all who would be grafted into her (Romans 11:24), if they wanted it! It is never forced on anyone by G-d if there not Jewish. He does however say, you can please Him if you delight in it, and who of you that believes in Him, would not want to please Him?
Isaiah 56:1 "Thus saith YHVH, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My Salvation is near to come, and My Righteousness to be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man that does this, and the son of man that lays hold of it; that keeps from dishonoring the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing anything evil.
3 Neither let the son of the stranger (one who is not born Jewish), who grafted himself to YHVH speak, saying, YHVH has utterly separated me (put a division) from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
4 For thus saith YHVH unto the eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, (plural - the Festival's of the L-RD'S - Lev 23 are all Sabbaths) and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My Covenant;
5 Even unto them will I give in My Temple and within My Walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting Name, that shall not be cut off!
6 Also the sons of the stranger (one who is not born Jewish), that attach themselves to YHVH, to follow Him (like Caleb and Ruth), and to love the Name of YHVH, to be His servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath and does not dishonor it, and takes hold of My Covenant;
7 Even them will I bring to My Holy Mountain, and make them joyful in My House of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon My Altar; for My Temple shall be called a House of prayer for all people!
8 The L-rd G-D which gathers the outcasts of Israel saying, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him.
9 All you beast of the field, have you come to consume all the living in the honey of the comb?
10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs (Hebrew idiom for "gentiles"), they love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming of sexual things.
11 Yes, they are covetous, vehement, harsh fierce dogs (gentiles) which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." AGI
What can I say, the Word of G-d says it all!
When you put the 7th day Sabbath, which was made for man, and the 8th day Sabbath (which was given to the Believer to rejoice in) together, you have the greater number15. This stand for "Yah," the first part of the Holy Name of the L-RD, "YHVH."
In the making of the Tzitzit, the 7 and 8 together, these two numbers also stand for the first two windings in the Tzitzit, as pictured above. Now when you add the third winding of 11, you have the total number 26 which equals the Gematria of "YHVH," the full Name of our L-RD. What a perfect picture of the earthly and the spiritual, the higher, becoming one in "Yah," one in His hand.
(For a much fuller understanding, see my book on this subject: "The Mystery Of The Tzitzit On the Hebrew Prayer Shawl" - A Provocative Study on the Value of the Tzitzit. A copy can be attained from our ministry, details at end of this article).
The number 15 also stands for the "Fifteen Psalms of Ascent" (120 to 134), and what does G-d promise us in Isaiah 58:13-14, but to "go up and ride upon the high places," lets read it:
"If you turn not away from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My Holy Day; and call the Sabbath a 'Delight,' the Holy of YHVH, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing your own thing, nor finding your own pleasures, nor speaking your own words: Then shalt you delight yourself in YHVH; and I will cause you the doer to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the inheritance of Jacob (Israel) your father: for the mouth of YHVH has spoken it." AGI
When YHVH says, "for the mouth of YHVH has spoken," its like saying "it is written, it WILL be done, period the END!"
The way I see it, Believers in Yeshua Messiah have twice as much (a double portion), so why not partake of the Sabbath's when you know it will bless G-d? G-d is telling us to ascend, rise higher, He wants us to mount up like the eagle, He wants us to be builders of the old wasted places that religion has fractured: to raise up the foundations of many generations; and if we do, He will call us repairers of the breach. And what you may ask is the breach? I believe one breach (for there are many), is the lie that the Church does not have to partake of the 7th day Sabbath, that only the 8th day is hers. The 8th day is good, but only a picture of what is to come in the 8th thousandth year. We still need to go through the 7th thousandth year reign of Messiah here on the earth before we can reach the beginning of the "8th Day" of the future day. In Isaiah 66:22-23, we read this wonderful truth:
"For as the new Heavens and the new Earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith YHVH, so shall your seed and your Name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new month (moon) to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith YHVH." -- AGI
Now some will say, this has to do with Israel only and not the saints because the saints are in glory, however, even the saints will have flesh at this time. New bodies yes, but they will be bodies like unto Messiah's. We will rule with Him during this time on the earth as His Bride, or as some teach, the One New Man in Messiah.
"And Yeshua said unto them, Why are you troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see I have. And when Yeshua had spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet." -- AGI
So as I see it in the Word of G-d, we will have bodies of flesh, and yes, they will be bodies full of theGlory of Heaven. We will celebrate the Feasts of our L-rd (Zechariah 14:16-19), which are the Sabbaths of our YHVH, and it will be a forever thing which we will do. So why not get a head start on them now?
Do it all for the Love of G-d alone! Delight in the Sabbath, and in doing so, He will bless you for it. For that is His DELIGHT!
Liberty, how overwhelming is the word, full of meaning unexplored.
Beyond stale phrases we have heard, into Messiahs Love we yearn.
When first we met, I knew it not, today He gives me without stops.
Rich and full His Love abounds, with privilege sweet, endued, empowered!
Rev. Barbara Di Gilio
I would like to send my thanks to Mike Short, for sending me this article on Baal Shem Tov. Mike is the Congregational Leader of "Beth El Messianic Fellowship" in Phx, Az. A place were love abounds... For more reading on the Baal Shem Tov see a book entitled: "In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov".
I would also like to send many thanks to Ray & Doris Prinzing of Boise, Idaho for there wonderful devotional book "Daily Overcoming." Our L-rd has used His wonderful Word, and "Daily Overcoming" to help me understand what true liberty in G-d truly is, for this I am grateful to both. The Prinzing's book has been out of print for some years now, but by Divine intervention our L-rd place a copy in my hands, and what a blessing it has been, I'll forever be blessed because of it.
If you have any questions please call or write us. To find out prices on Mayim Hayim's Ministries Books and Tapes sets, please Email us at the address below, and we will be glad to help you.
Mayim Hayim Ministries ©
"The Rabbis say, according to Torah, Israel's King is to be a man of righteousness and humility, one who will lead the Nation in the pursuit of wisdom, the fear of G-d, and G-dliness. He is to be humble and shun arrogance, be merciful and consider even of the lowliest, speak softly and be a servant of the people. He must endure the grievances and be there shepherd."
For Your Information, He has come - His Name is Yeshua, He is the Messiah, and He is coming back as the "King of Israel" to rule and reign in Jerusalem very soon. So keep your lamps filled with oil, and listen for His shout!!!