The Lord’s commandments make it clear who we follow. The Sabbath is seen as a building block to all the commandments. The Sabbath is how we know what God we follow. The seven day week is a “constant” all over the world and every calendar operates on that premise. The communists tries to change the seven day week into a ten day week, but it didn’t work. The word “week” in Hebrew is “shavuah” meaning a “seven.” God, through Moses, through the Jewish people, authenticated what was already understood in creation and mankind.
Replacement Theology Christianity (which covers most denominations) has decreed that it doesn’t apply. It’s ironic that they advocate the great principles of God and that he is the creator, and yet they themselves disregard “the sign” that he is the creator, the Sabbath (Exo 31.12-17). We are not taking issue with Replacement Theology Christianity or Sunday keepers, but if we don’t come to terms with the Sabbath we don’t have the building block to observe anything else God has. We must know what a “Shabbat” (Hebrew for Sabbath) is so that we can understand the Scriptures.
We complain all week that we need “rest” and then when the Sabbath comes, we don’t rest, or have that sense of “completion.” People will say, “I’m under grace” and then turn another day into their “sabbath” and one that God never intended. Islam has Friday, Judaism and Torah-based believers have Saturday, and Christians have Sunday. Now, if anyone took a look at all three, and then looked at the Scriptures, which day is in line with what God said?
Remember the definition of “blasphemy?” It is calling something “holy” (has a kedusha) when it isn’t, and calling something “unholy” (without a kedusha) when it is. The first thing the Lord called holy (has a kedusha) was the Sabbath (Gen 2.1-3). Christianity says it isn’t, and that is blasphemy. These festivals are blueprints for the Redemption. Whose voice are we going to listen to, the rabbis and pastors or to God? Because we don’t understand the writings of Moses (Torah), we don’t understand the words of Yeshua (John 5.39-47).
In a church, you can attend for fifty years and not be required to do anything. Not so with the Lord and his Torah (instruction). We need to listen to what the Lord “speaks” (Emor). You can look at Christians and not see much of a difference with what the world does. They keep the same festivals the world does, they eat the same foods the world does, and they do not observe the Sabbath and the world doesn’t either. One fast food restaurant closes on Sunday and the Christians think this is great and virtuos, but how does the Lord see it? They are wide open on the day he said to cease from your labors. But when you follow the Lord as instructed in the Torah (Torah means instruction, not law), people know exactly what God we serve and whose commandments we follow and what voice we are listening to. We don’t have to say a word.
These festivals in Lev 23 teach prophecy and eschatology. Pesach (Passover) teaches his burial, Hag Ha Matzah (Unleavened Bread) teaches his burial. Hag Ha Bikkurim (First Fruits) teaches his resurrection. Shavuot (Pentecost) teaches the coming of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) upon the Kahal (the promised eschatological congregation of the Messiah). Counting the Omer teaches about the journey to Sinai. Yom Teruah (day of the awakening blast of the shofar, also called Rosh Ha Shannah, or head of the year) teaches the coming of Yeshua in the Natzal (plucking up, the “rapture” or the gathering). Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) teaches about the coming of Yeshua to the earth and Jerusalem and the defeat of the False Messiah. Sukkot (Booths) teaches about the Messianic Kingdom.
For more detail on these festivals, go to “All Teachings” on the menu of this website and scroll down to all the teachings listed there on the festivals, the seven thousand year plan of God and any eschatological teaching you may find there. You will find much more information on how these festivals apply to prophecy and eschatology, and in more detail.
Lev 25.1 to 26.2 is the Torah portion called “Behar” which means “in the mountain (Sinai).” Moses is on the mountain and something is agreed to up there. This is the shortest Torah portion and the Lord is telling Moses “this is how it is.” It is short because Moses has no input and God wasn’t interested in his opinion. Right off we see a system of “sevens” (sabbaths) continued from Lev 23. We have the Sabbatical year and the Yovel after forty-nine sabbatical years. During the Sabbath year (seventh), the land was to lie fallow and no cultivation. This tells us that the land was not an absolute possession of man.
This is going to be hard to believe but the sabbatical year (Lev 25.1-7) and the Yovel (Fiftieth year, called “jubilee” in most Bibles-Lev 25.8-55) is related to God as creator, and it related to our role as mankind to that creator. So, let’s look at these verses a little closer.
The Sabbath originated in creation (Gen 2.4) and so does man, marriage, life, animals, plants, matter, the land, energy, the universe and so on. If those apply today, then so does the Sabbath. When God “rested” it carries the idea in English that he was tired, but that is incorrect. It carries the idea of “completion.” God wasn’t tired, he was “done.” That concept is very important and must be kept in mind when observing the Sabbath. We should have the sense of “completion.” We know the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2.27) and it is man and the land that needs rest.
Whoever is the owner of the land can put restrictions on it. If you lease your house to someone, you can put whatever restrictions you want on the tenants (no pets, no smoking, etc). God gave Adam restrictions in Gan Eden and he told them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (a food law by the way). This showed Adam that he was not the owner of the garden. But Adam did eat from that tree, and he was evicted from the garden for violating the restrictions of the property.
With that as a background, we will pick up here in Part 22 with Lev 25.