That is why I like to put the emphasis on the "Yah" because many people don't realize that-- one of many things that tradition has hidden from the masses.
We talked last week about the Ten Commandments, and we covered the first three commands out of the Ten Commandments. We are going to continue that talk here this week. And so, without any further ado: "The Ten Commandments. Are We Really Keeping Them?" This is Part 2 of our study on the Ten Commandments.
Hopefully, I was able to challenge everyone last week, including myself. I know I challenged myself. You know, it is my role as one who shares the Word to cover things that will challenge most people and encourage them to walk more uprightly.
As Scripture has said in Matthew 5, those who do and teach them shall be called great in the age to come, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. So it is my goal to be among the great in the Kingdom to come. I'm not claiming I'm there, not claiming I'll inherit that, but that is my goal.
So, I bring things that not only help those of you who are maybe still involved heavily in your churches and going to church every Sunday, and maybe you are watching the broadcast for the first time.
So, I am going to bring some things that will encourage you to look deeper into the Word and to see some things that tradition has taken away from the walk-- the Yahushua walk, the Messiah-like walk, and also, as we go through these Ten Commandments, challenge others who are already familiar with Sabbath keeping.
And one of these areas we are going to get into is honoring parents. We are going to see here that the expectation to honor our parents is something that doesn't end with the time that we "fly the coop," the time that we "leave and cleave." The expectation to honor our parents does not end there. In fact, it extends until their old age.
We are going to go over some Scripture that will illustrate that, as plain as day, as clear as crystal, that is very true.
So we talk about the Ten Commandments and how important they are. A lot of people in nominal mainstream traditional churches also talk about the Ten Commandments and how important they are.
There is an outcry against the removal of the Ten Commandments from public places (courtrooms and different places, even the Supreme Court). I have been to the Federal Court Building, and there along the doorway you will see engravings of different things. And some of the things you will see are the Ten Commandments.
So, you know, there it is in the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court Building, and yet, some judge in Alabama is in trouble because he has them in his courtroom. Anyway, we find these contradictions, but we find more and more that there is a backlash against this removal of the Ten Commandments.
There are more and more Christians, believers, who are putting the Ten Commandments out there on their lawns, and there are a number of people who want to uphold these Ten Commandments. At least among evangelical Christians it is considered to be a positive thing to believe in and want to follow the Ten Commandments.
If you don't believe you need to keep the Ten Commandments, then maybe today's study is not going to be as persuasive, and we can get into another topic as to whether they are valid today perhaps another time.
But if you do believe in keeping the Ten Commandments, then what is going on here, because most Christians who believe in keeping the Ten Commandments actually don't? I don't mean to be arrogant or prideful, but we are going to look at these.
Exodus 20:3 - "You shall have no other gods before Me.
We talked about that last week, putting man in the place of Elohim. We talked about the dangers of not putting Yahweh first in our life and life decisions and the things that we do, and whether or not we accept truth that is in the written Word that He leads us to. Yahweh has to be in the #1 place.
We also talked about the second Commandment and making carved images and bowing down to them.
Exodus 20:4 - "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness [of anything] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth;
Exodus 20:5 - you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YAHWEH your Elohim, [am] a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me,
Now that's not such a visible thing, but now-a-days man is his own Elohim. Man likes to mold Yahweh into what he wants Yahweh to be. So, there are some dangers there.
Then the bringing of the ghosts of paganism into our worship of Yahweh and trying to honor Him with those things. We discussed that at length.
Then the third Commandment-- not taking the name of Yahweh in vain.
Exodus 20:7 - "You shall not take the name of YAHWEH your Elohim in vain, for YAHWEH will not hold [him] guiltless who takes His name in vain.
We shared how the very commandment as written in most places-- in these public places, on the front lawns of people's yards, and in churches and church buildings-- how that commandment as written is actually a transgression of itself because they take the name of Yahweh out of that commandment, thereby bringing it to nothing.
They are making it vain, of no use, of no value, without efficacy, and so on. So, we went over that at length and how we really have no business trying to re-name Yahweh or messing with His Word, or tainting and messing with it and pulling things out and putting things in.
So now we see that tradition has placed man in the position of Elohim, and so, man thinks that he can redefine how we worship Yahweh our Elohim, that we can bring pagan things into our worship of Yahweh, that we can mold Him into what we want Him to be.
And man thinks that he is the one who can go into the Scriptures and pull the name of Yahweh out and put some generic title in it's place-- 7,000 times! Man thinks he has the rights to do this.
And so, since they have changed the way we worship Him and they have changed His name, is it any surprise they change His day also?
Exodus 20:8 - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 - Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Exodus 20:10 - but the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of YAHWEH your Elohim. [In it] you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who [is] within your gates.
So, there is something that we are called to remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember what? The Sabbath. Remember the Sabbath. What is the Sabbath in the Bible? What is the Sabbath?
You can look in the pages of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, all the way through Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, all the way to the end and never find one place that any day of the week is ever called the Sabbath except one-- and that is the seventh day of the week. That is the day that Yahweh blessed and He said to remember.
Then He goes on to say that we are not supposed to do any work, nor our son, nor our daughter, nor male servant, nor female servant, nor cattle or the stranger within our gates. Then He gives the reason:
Exodus 20:11 - For [in] six days YAHWEH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that [is] in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YAHWEH blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
So, this is calling back as a memorial to creation, and Yahweh wants us to remember this particular day-- to remember it. Not forget it, but remember it.
The one commandment that He tells us specifically to remember is the one commandment (of the Ten Commandments, the one that He tells us to remember), is ironically the one that most people today, even those who call themselves believers and followers of the Messiah, do ignore. The one He tells us to remember! And they redefine His day.
They redefine His name. They redefine how we worship. And now they redefine His day. Actually, there are very few people who have any problem with 9 out of the 10 Commandments and following them just exactly as they were written. But for some reason, when it comes to the commandment regarding the Sabbath, we come to a myriad of perspectives.
No one would suggest, "Well, if you don't like your parents, then go ahead and just find some new parents that you like better. Maybe they are not so strict. Then honor them and call them your parents." No one would say that is acceptable, I hope. It's laughable.
And so, if we think we should honor the parents Yahweh gave us, then why don't we think we should honor the Sabbath that Yahweh gave us? Why do we think we can honor a different day and then not be so strict?
The reason why is because, you know, when you start talking about the Sabbath, a lot of people associate the Sabbath with one of two things-- either Judaism or Seventh Day Adventism.
The Seventh Day Adventist, they have the Sabbath and I'm glad for that, but they also follow Ellen White as if she's a prophetess, which I don't agree with. They also ignore other things about the Scriptures that I don't agree with.
I appreciate their attention to the Sabbath, and we read this book from a Sabbath Keeper who was a Seventh Day Adventist. I appreciate their efforts to get the word out about that, but just like everything else, there is always more to learn.
We don't want to stop and sever the denomination and create, "Oh, we got the truth and everybody come to us," and close our minds to anything else our Heavenly Father might have in mind.
Anyway, everyone accepts the nine Commandments, actually. There was a lady here at the health food store years ago whom I asked if she believed in keeping the Ten Commandments. She said, "Yes," and then I said, "What about the fourth one, the Sabbath?" She says, "Oh, we keep Sunday," and I say, "But is that what the Ten Commandments say?"
And she says, "No." And I say, "So, you don't believe in keeping the Ten Commandments then, right?" And she says, "Well, hmm..." And then like a few months later she was keeping Sabbath.
Sometimes people just don't realize it. If you really believe in keeping the Ten Commandments, then keep the Sabbath. That's the one that Yahweh gave.
Even another person I've talked to in town would acknowledge, "Yea, the seventh day is Sabbath. Saturday is the Sabbath, but we are going to keep Sunday, anyway."
I talked to a pastor one time, whom I had given some information on the Sabbath, and I talked with him on the telephone. I said, "Do you believe in keeping the Ten Commandments?" "Yes." "Do you believe that you should keep the Sabbath?" "Yes, but we keep Sunday."
I said, "I understand that, but you understand the Bible calls the seventh day of the week the Sabbath?" "Yes." I said, "But you keep a different day." He says, "Yes." I said, "So basically, you're telling me that you don't really think you need to follow the Bible on that?" He says, "I guess you could say so. I guess you could say that."
At that point, there was nothing else to say except, "All right. Well, I guess you don't think you need to follow the Bible on that. Then that is your choice. For me and my house I want to do that."
But it is not surprising that it is inconvenient. If you keep a full day of rest, it has a major impact on your schedule and how you live your life, to stop what you are doing and take 1/7th of your time to devote yourself to resting and focusing upon spiritual things on the day that nobody else in your congregation does or your friends do.
And your boss at work might want you to come in on that day. It is too burdensome for some people in their minds.
And so, that's the reason why in many cases, out of all Ten Commandments, very few people have different views on what it means to commit adultery or murder or idolatry or stealing, but when it comes to the Sabbath, all of a sudden views diversify. Everything gets different.
For instance, they say it's for Jews. "Only for Jews He gave the Sabbath to." But what I read in Scripture is that the Sabbath was there from the very beginning, long before there was ever a Jewish man.
Genesis 2:2 - And on the seventh day Elohim ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Genesis 2:3 - Then Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which Elohim had created and made.
So, this is a day that was sanctified at Creation. Now, when our Heavenly Father chooses to make something holy, we have to be very careful about saying, "Oh, that's not holy anymore," especially when we have no scriptures in the Bible to back up this claim.
Now, we see here it was made to be a holy day. And when our Heavenly Father makes something holy, with that comes an automatic responsibility on the part of man not to profane what He makes holy.
His name is holy. We are not supposed to profane His name. And so, His Sabbath is also holy. We are not supposed to profane His Sabbath. The only thing we can find in Scripture that would indicate a man profaning His Sabbath would be to work on that day.
Now, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they were Sabbath keepers because they were also created in the image of Elohim, just as all of us were. And since we are in His image, then we will do the things like He has done.
Six days Yahweh worked, did all His labor. The Seventh day-- the Sabbath. Why? As a pattern for us. We are created in His image. We are given a seven-day week, which has its origins at Creation. Six days we shall work. On the seventh day we shall rest.
We are created in His image, therefore we will do what He did. Our Savior, who is the brightness and the expressed image of His person, kept the Sabbath day. Some people say, "Well, you know, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... I don't know. It doesn't really say in the bible they kept the Sabbath."
But where does it say Abraham never committed murder or Abraham never stole from somebody or Abraham never committed idolatry, or never committed a whole host of sins that we understand, of course, Abraham wouldn't do? Why do we make a distinction? Why? Because our hearts are already biased toward doing what our culture says.
We don't find that in Scripture. We see Noah was told to refrain from eating blood. He knew the difference between clean and unclean animals when he had them load onto the ark. Abraham tithed. He offered sacrifices. Why do we assume he was not Sabbath observant? It's because of our Western Gentile mind that has yielded to tradition.
So, the truth is the Sabbath day plainly existed since the seventh day of Creation, and Abraham would have known that. In fact, there were commandments and statutes and laws, which Abraham actually did follow. He was in obedience to those things.
Genesis 26:4 - "And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
Genesis 26:5 - "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."
So, it was because of Abraham's obedience here to commandments, statutes and laws that his descendants were given the land that we call Israel today. So, where were those statutes, commandments and laws? Where were they written?
Simple answer is they were already well known. They already knew about tithing. They already knew about sacrifices. Where is it written down about that?
You have to remember, though, in ancient times men lived to be much older than they do today. I mean, Adam's son, Seth, he lived until the time close to the time of Noah-- within, I think, 13 years, according to most timelines. And then, Noah, he was 500 years old. He begets Shem. And Shem would have actually outlived Abraham.
Did you know that? That Shem, Noah's son, outlived Abraham? If you lay out the timeline and get everybody's ages and how long they lived and when they were born and when they died, Shem, Noah's son, outlived Abraham. In fact, he lived well into Jacob's time. I think Jacob was somewhere around 50 years old.
And so, for this reason, it was not difficult for the commandments and statutes and laws that were spoken of by Yahweh to Abraham, it was not difficult for the ways of Yahweh, the ways of righteousness, the ways that Yahweh created us to live, to be communicated from one generation to the next. I mean, you're talking about just a few generations.
Anyone could have consulted Shem, Noah's son, and Seth, Adam's son, for eons, for hundreds of years. And so, for that reason, we read this in Nehemiah. It wasn't until the children of Israel's lives were shortened and four generations went by and they had lost these commands, these statutes and these laws that Abraham was following.
Nehemiah 9:13 - "You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, And gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments.
Nehemiah 9:14 - You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant.
In other words, the Sabbath was already there, He just made it known to them, see? The Sabbath had existed. It was there. It was there for them to observe, but He had to make it known to them because they had lost it.
They didn't know about it through years of slavery. He told them to remember this day called the Sabbath and to keep it holy. It is the only day in Scripture that was ever made holy, and there was no indication of this day's holiness being canceled to even today.
In fact, the holiness of the Sabbath is written in stone by the finger of the One who kept it Himself. So, the Sabbath, which was instituted and set apart during Creation Week, wasn't just made for the Jewish people.
After all, does it really make sense the Heavenly Father rested the seventh day of Creation only for a Jewish man living 2,500 years later, and then, 1,500 years or so, "Yeah, keep the Sabbath day holy," and after that cancel the whole thing?
Or does it make more sense to you that Yahweh made the Sabbath important? He kept it Himself. He didn't need to rest. He wasn't tired. He doesn't wear out.
He did it as an example at Creation so that we would have one day a week where we come together to worship Him, to honor Him, to remember Him, to praise Him, to think about Him, to be a memorial to Him being our Creator.
That makes more sense to me, for all mankind, until Messiah returns back, and there the Sabbath comes back again. There it is, still there. Actually, it didn't come back, but it will come back for a lot of people. It's still there, even in the age to come.
We read in Isaiah 66:20, to the end there: "One Sabbath to another and one new moon to another. All flesh will come and worship Yahweh." So, it is consistent. He is not hiding it for a time and giving it up and then taking it away and then bringing it back again, flip-flopping back and forth as to whether He wants us to keep it.
What is He, a chameleon? No. He wants us to all keep it. It is our Western Gentile mindset that would suggest otherwise. So, the Sabbath was made... didn't our Savior say something about the Sabbath was made for Jew's, right? No. He said the Sabbath was made for man.
Mark 2:27 - And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Everyone wants to say, "Oh, man was not made for the Sabbath. Oh, yeah, pull that ox out of the ditch. In fact, open up an "ox-pulling-out-of-the-ditch" business on the Sabbath and charge money for it." No.
The point was: Yes, man was not made for the Sabbath. Don't turn it into something it's not, but the Sabbath was made for man. That's you. Are you a man? Are you part of mankind? Then the Sabbath was made for you. Our Savior said it Himself.
So, we recognize we are not made for the Sabbath. We don't worship the Sabbath. But the Sabbath was made for us as a blessing. Let's embrace that blessing!
Even when Yahweh commanded Israel to keep the Sabbath, Israel was not the only people that came with them out of the land. We talked about this recently.
Exodus 12:37 - Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.
Exodus 12:38 - A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds -- a great deal of livestock.
A mixed multitude. So, they were not alone. There were Gentiles that went up with them, also... and "flocks and herds-- a great deal of livestock."
So, there were other people of other lineages who went up, and they were part of the group that heard Yahweh's voice from Sinai commanding that the Sabbath be observed.
Isaiah 56, verse 2, Yahweh said:
Isaiah 56:2 - Blessed [is] the man [who] does this, And the son of man [who] lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil."
Isaiah 56:3 - Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to YAHWEH Speak, saying, "YAHWEH has utterly separated me from His people"; Nor let the eunuch say, "Here I am, a dry tree."
Isaiah 56:4 - For thus says YAHWEH: "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,
Isaiah 56:5 - Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 56:6 - "Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to YAHWEH, to serve Him, And to love the name of YAHWEH, to be His servants -- Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant --
Everyone! I don't care if you are a Jew or Gentile. He is talking to people back then. You thought, "The Law was only for Jews." Well, that's not true.
Isaiah 56:7 - Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [Will be] accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Yahushua quoted that part-- "You made it a den of thieves. It is supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations. You turned it into a den of thieves," as they were doing money changing and all this other stuff in the temple.
So, "EVERYONE who keeps from defiling the Sabbath"-- Yahweh wanted everyone to keep His Sabbath, no matter who their daddy was. Anyone who wanted to do what? Anyone who wanted to join themselves to Yahweh-- the sons of the foreigner who want to join themselves to Yahweh.
Do you want to join yourself to Yahweh? You're living in ancient Israel. Do you want to join yourself to Yahweh? Start keeping the Sabbath. Start keeping the covenant that was given, and you will be blessed. And that's a promise. He says, "I will accept you. I will even make you joyful. I will bring you joy. You will delight yourself in Me."
You know, there is joy promised to those who keep His Sabbath day. We will get more into that in a minute.
Our Heavenly Father created us in His image. He wants us to do His will. He invented the seven-day week. He worked six days and rested the seventh. So, if we are created in His image-- I don't care who your daddy is, if your daddy is a Jew or if your daddy is not a Jew-- the Sabbath was made for man. So, the Sabbath was made for you.
Now today, many Christians-- "Oh, I keep the Sabbath. Yes, sir. I keep the Sabbath." But then they go and rest on the first day of the week. Well, that's the "Christian Sabbath." That's their mind. "The Messiah rose the first day of the week. That's the Christian Sabbath."
Well, when did this happen because there is no Scripture anywhere that would indicate such a change? There is a tremendous amount of confusion on this because even the ones who keep Sunday, they only talk about actually Sunday sunrise until midnight Sunday. They don't even think about, "Oh, wait a minute. When do days begin?"
Biblically, days don't begin in the morning, or at midnight, or any such thing. It begins and ends at evening. Evening and morning was the first day. Evening and morning was the second day. It started with evening.
And so, we need to understand that when the Sabbath begins in the evening, that's when the first day of the week begins, also. The first day of the week also begins in the evening.
And this has some interesting applications because when it comes to some of the statements in Scripture about the disciples coming together on the first day of the week, instead of thinking the first day of the week being "Sunday morning," think of the first day of the week being what you call "Saturday night."
And this is the biblical way of looking at it. The first day of the week begins in the evening, just after Sabbath ends. And so, when we look at Scriptures like this:
Acts 20:7 - Now on the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
So, let's take off our Western Gentile glasses for a minute and consider the Hebraic, the biblical, perspective. It's not out of the question-- this meeting actually occurred on what we call "Saturday night," rather than "Sunday morning."
And actually, it makes more sense because Paul began speaking after the fellowship meal and was ready to go the next morning. Otherwise, he would have been speaking all day on what's called "Sunday" and all the way until midnight that night. I mean, only one meal is mentioned here, right?
So, this phrase-- "coming together to break bread"-- is a reference to a regular meal.
And I can say that as we have kept Sabbath and have attended congregations and fellowships on the Sabbath, a lot of times it is easier to wait until after sundown, especially in the winter time, and then get together and have a meal because you can do whatever cooking you need to do, or dishes, or whatever.
If you are visiting someone's home, it is easy to get together for a meal after Sabbath. And, I think, that was the disciples intent. They gathered after the Sabbath, a post-fellowship. Some people call it Havdalah. Whatever you want to call it. I don't know if that tradition was there back then.
Some think this means, "Oh, Sunday morning. Come together and have the Eucharist." But it could have been just after Shabbat. They come together and have a meal together. Then Paul speaks his message to them until midnight, after their meal, and then he goes the next morning, which is called "Sunday morning."
Now this phrase "breaking bread"-- they "came together to break bread"-- can I show you in the Scriptures that this does not necessarily mean what is called "the Eucharist" or "the Last Supper" or "the Master's Supper"? We see here in Acts 2, verse 46:
Acts 2:46 - So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Acts 2:47 - praising Elohim and having favor with all the people. And YAHWEH added to the church daily those who were being saved.
And so, here, all the time. Every day. Come together. Break bread. "Coming together to break bread" is just an idiomatic reference to having dinner together.
We see in Acts 27:35, Paul is "breaking bread" with unbelievers.
Acts 27:33 - And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored [them] all to take food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing.
This is on the ship which is about ready to get shipwrecked.
Acts 27:34 - "Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you."
Acts 27:35 - And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to Elohim in the presence of them all; and when he had broken [it] he began to eat.
What did he do, give them a "Eucharist"? They weren't even believers. They were people on the ship. No, they were just breaking bread. They didn't have sliced bread back then. They just would rip it with their hands and break it apart and hand it out that way.
Acts 27:36 - Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.
And so, getting back to this Acts 20, verse 7. "On the first day of the week" they "came together to break bread." They had a meal. The disciples are keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day. They were looking at a post-Sabbath fellowship meal.
By waiting until just after Sabbath to have dinner together, they could cook and do other things that would be associated with meal preparations. In fact, it was common in that era to wait until after sundown on a daily basis to have your meal.
And so, they would prepare their Sabbath meal on the day of preparation, called Friday, and then that night they would have a meal. So, it was not uncommon in those days.
Now, another reference that people use to say, "Well, we keep Sunday now," is in 1 Corinthians, chapter 16:
1Corinthians 16:1 - Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
1Corinthians 16:2 - On the first [day] of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
So, looking at this passage from a Hebraic perspective, rather than a Western Gentile perspective, we see this event is potentially occurring on what is called a "Saturday night," rather than a "Sunday morning."
Because, if the disciples were actually Sabbath observant (and I know they were), it would have made sense you would wait until after Sabbath to handle monies and other items to put into treasuries, rather than everyone focusing on financial matters on the Sabbath.
So, they stick together well until after sundown, and then they've got their finances and stuff to deal with-- a post-Sabbath activities.
Neither of these two verses that are commonly quoted to support a change from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week actually prove anything at all. Rather, they really seem to indicate the normal practices of a Sabbath observant man in the first century.
In fact, everywhere we see this word "Sabbath" (in the book of Acts, other places in the New Testament), if the Sabbath had changed, then we would see the word "Sabbath" referring to the first day of the week in the book of Acts, but no.
Whenever you see the word "Sabbath," it always refers to the seventh day of the week, not the first day of the week. And that's very telling because when all is said and done-- I mean, we ought to be able to trust in the words of the Ten Commandments, anyway.
But if you want to go by the New Testament, the New Testament Sabbath is on the seventh day of the week. Plain and simple.
Exodus 20:8 - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
When it says, "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy," what day is it talking about? What is the New Testament Sabbath? What is the New Testament Sabbath? Everywhere you look in the New Testament, the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath. So, when it says, "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy," what day is it? It's very simple.
But the reason people say, "Well, it's been changed because the Messiah was risen on the first day of the week, so that's the day we want to observe." To me, that's a very interesting concept because we know that the Messiah actually rested in the grave on the Sabbath, and then on the first day of the week He went to go work.
"I go and prepare a place for you." So, off He went. On what day? On the first day of the week. And what do believers and followers of the Savior do? They work on the day He rested, and then they rest on the day He rose to work. Then they say, "We do it because He rose on that day." So, the analogy doesn't even make any sense.
Why would we say, "It seems reasonable to us, so we're going to rest on the day that He rose from the dead"? It's just an attempt to justify tradition.
If you look in the Scriptures, we have a multiplicity of examples of the Messiah Himself keeping the Sabbath even when He was on the earth, to which people say, "Well, He had to. He was a Jewish man living in the first century." Even if He were a Gentile man, He would have had to keep the Sabbath if He wanted to be obedient to our Heavenly Father.
It doesn't matter if you're Jew or Gentile. He wanted everyone to keep His Sabbath. We see that in Isaiah 56.
We don't honor Him by doing the exact opposite of what He did. We are told to walk as He walked. We are told to live as He did. He is the example that we are looking to follow:
1John 2:6 - He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
And then later Paul says:
1Corinthians 11:1 - Imitate me, just as I also [imitate] Messiah.
Well, what did he do? Did Paul keep the Sabbath? Absolutely he did! We see that in a number of cases. And so, how did Paul and how did the Messiah walk when it came to this commandment regarding the Sabbath? We know He rested the Sabbath. He didn't do it the way the Scribes and Pharisees did the Sabbath.
The Scribes and Pharisees had taken the Sabbath day to an extreme that was never intended by our Heavenly Father Himself. They turned it into a burden that no man could bear and added hundreds of extra biblical regulations and rules, some of which were contrary to Scripture. But our Savior never rebuked them for keeping the Sabbath day.
He rebuked them for the WAY in which they kept the Sabbath day-- the rulings of men that He took exception to. Anytime we stray and we add to and take away from the Word, we are going to get rebuked by our Savior.
I mean, if He were to come here today and He were to look at the average believer going to church every Sunday and say, "Why aren't you doing what I did? Why aren't you living the way I lived? Why aren't you imitating Paul as Paul imitated Me?"... "Oh, because You rose on the first day of the week?"
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing! What does that got to do with the Messiah and His example? What did He do? And so, that's the point.
And I realize some believe it doesn't matter which day you keep. "Oh pfft, you keep one day out of seven. That's the main thing. We're not legalists now. We don't keep focused on what day you keep. You keep "a" day out of seven and it will be okay."
Well, let me ask you this question. I like this parable. I use it a lot. Suppose there is a sheep farmer. He has seven sheep grazing in his pasture, and the sheep farmer spoke to his son.
He said, "Son, I want you to take your cutters and go up on the hill. Shear the wool off the seventh sheep, the one that we call Missy, and bring her wool back to me. I've set her apart for a specific purpose. We're going to take her wool, and we're going to make a garment out of it."
And so, the son goes up... takes his cutters... goes up on the hill... looks at the seventh sheep... and rather than shearing the wool off of Missy, which is the seventh sheep, he looks at the first sheep and decides to shear its wool instead. And so, the son shears the wool off the first sheep and brings the wool back to his father.
Now my question is: Did that son do his father's will? Of course, he did not. And that is a tough question for a lot of people today. Did he do his father's will? And I've heard stumbling and bumbling over that question. The obvious answer is: He did not do his father's will.
I've heard people say, "It doesn't matter which wool it was." But the father said he set apart that specific sheep for a specific purpose and to bring the wool from that sheep. And everybody knows that if that son went up there and did something different than what his father told him to do, he did not do his father's will.
And so, in Scriptures we read from everyday, they make it very plain and clear-- it's even written in stone with our Heavenly Father's own finger-- He asked us to remember the seventh day, to keep that specific day holy, to rest on that day. Now, we decide we are going to keep another day holy instead? Are WE doing our Father's will?
Now some are under the impression in this age of grace, "Well, you know, the Sabbath is optional,"-- almost never the view of those who lead the process of reformation. Almost everyone in early American history kept the "Sunday Sabbath."
In many areas of the United States there are still laws in the books, called "blue laws," which forbid commerce any manner of work on Sunday, and that's why lots of businesses are still closed on that day.
In fact, my grandfather, who is now 98 years old coming up, I think, once told me a story about growing up in his parents home. His mother had to care for an ailing relative who lived among them, and this relative was bedridden and sometimes would have soiled clothes that needed to be washed.
Because of this, his mother was the subject of some local gossip and even got a visit from her pastor because there were clothes drying out on the clothesline on Sunday.
So, it wasn't really until fairly recent times a new viewpoint concerning the Sabbath starts to emerge-- a viewpoint in today's churches now that the Sabbath has been completely abolished (whether it be Saturday, Sunday, or any day), and now "the Messiah is our Sabbath." "We rest in Him now," that we have received grace.
Do you know, though, that grace was a concept that was also in the Old Testament? It is not a New Testament idea only.
Genesis 6:8 - But Noah found grace in the eyes of YAHWEH.
Lot was a recipient of grace when he was spared from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The children of Israel were all a recipient of grace. Exodus 33:16 says Yahweh chose to bring them into the Promised Land in spite of their disobedience.
And so, we have in this New Testament now a revelation of why the Heavenly Father was able to give grace-- to Noah, to Lot, to the children of Israel. It is because the Messiah came and did His work in bearing our sins, the sins of the whole world. He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, covering the sins of every man who ever lived.
Every man has received His grace who sought it-- who repented, who turned away from sin and sought His grace were recipients of it.
And so, it's not like we live in this new era where all of a sudden everything was always law and never having any mercy from Father Yahweh and He never gave grace to anybody until the Messiah came and turned Him into "Grandpa." That's not true.
And now, Yahweh is sort of lenient. He has sort of calmed down. He's not so emotional as He used to be in the Old Testament-- you know, "fire and brimstone." That's the attitude people take, and that is not true. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He's the same.
It's just that we have the blessing of knowing WHY and HOW we are able to receive grace, whereas until the Messiah actually came and died for our sins, few men understood the mechanics of that. So, in light of this understanding, what bearing does grace have on the Sabbath day?
Does our head knowledge of why we are able to receive grace somehow change one of the Ten Commandments that were written in stone by our Creator's own finger?
If we look at it from a Hebraic perspective, the perspective of the entire counsel of His whole Word, then instead of just looking at the New Testament only and throwing out the rest, the whole notion begins to lose weight. I mean, what about these New Testament verses? Everyone says, "Well, I rest in the Messiah now."
Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Break the Sabbath all you who labor. Come and rest in Me. You can break the Sabbath all you want. Just rest in Me." Is that what He said? No! He said:
!John 13 10
Matthew 11:29 - "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Learn from Him. Do what He did. You are going to find rest for your souls by keeping the Sabbath, by cleaving to the Messiah, by doing what He did.
Matthew 11:30 - "For My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light."
So, it is true. He does give us rest. But is it a physical rest He is speaking of here? When we receive the Messiah, does He come and change our body structures so we no longer tire when we work for six days straight? No!
So, what kind of rest is He talking about here? Well, He's talking about spiritually rest. Don't go to these Pharisees who are going to lay upon you burdens too heavy to bear. Come to the Messiah. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. Learn from Him. Learn from His example.
Now, here is an example you can follow. You can't follow the Pharisees and the Scribes who turned the law into a burden. But you can follow the Messiah who took the Torah, the Law, and interpreted it properly and doesn't turn it into some harsh thing that was never intended by Yahweh.
And so, the rest spoken of here was the Messiah. Yes, the Messiah. But it doesn't mean that because you believe in the Messiah now you disobey what the Messiah commanded or you can disregard His example and not learn from His example. No! We learn from His example.
And so, this statement had nothing to do with abolishing the Sabbath or replacing the Sabbath with the Messiah's rest. It had to do with Messiah being our spiritual leader and our teacher, rather than prideful men who would have us follow their own oppressive ways rather than the ways laid out in the Scriptures.
See, men are often judgmental and harsh in their leadership because of pride. But our Savior is lowly and meek of heart, patient, long suffering, gentle in His leadership of our soul. And it is better to be under His headship and Him being our Shepard than any man.
And so, the Messiah offers that kind of rest, that kind of leadership to those who desire to be relieved from the affliction of men.
He says nothing here about doing away with the Sabbath. He says nothing about we can break the Sabbath and find rest. No. You find rest when you keep the Sabbath. I've never met a human being, Christian or non-Christian, who can burn the candles at both ends and not suffer for it.
Our Creator knew our bodies needed rest, and it is often for this reason people are sick, don't have enough strength or immune system to fight off disease. Our bodies were created to work, yes, but also to rest.
Now imagine, though, if everybody kept the Sabbath. Our bodies would get the rest that it needs to function properly. Workaholic men would have to come home and spend quality time with their families. And we would also benefit from the spiritual blessings.
Exodus 20:9 - Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Exodus 20:10 - but the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of YAHWEH your Elohim. [In it] you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who [is] within your gates.
Exodus 20:11 - For [in] six days YAHWEH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that [is] in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YAHWEH blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
And so, we don't hire people on a Sabbath to do work for us. Restaurants... go to businesses, and you've got the cashier there. You're basically hiring through purchases of goods, and so on. We don't do commerce on Shabbat, on the Sabbath. It says in Scripture:
Isaiah 58:13 - "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, [From] doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy [day] of YAHWEH honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking [your own] words,
Isaiah 58:14 - Then you shall delight yourself in YAHWEH; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of YAHWEH has spoken."
See, then you will find joy in Yahweh. You will be joyful in His house of prayer.
What is the heritage of Jacob? What is that? Eternal life in the Promised Land. That's a pretty good heritage. I'll take that one, won't you? Would you like to be fed with the heritage of Jacob? Yes! We are all grafted into the olive tree of Israel, and so, Jacob is in that olive tree. He is our father.
And so, what promises we have here if we are willing to call the Sabbath a delight and call His day honorable and honor Him, not doing our own things, not even speaking our own words, but speaking the words of Yahweh to one another!
You see, the seventh day is only a burden if you are so caught up in the world and it's pursuits that it's burdensome to rest and draw near to Him. Imagine that! Imagine that. And if it is a burden to you, then that is a sign that your heart is not in the right place, because a day of rest shouldn't be a burden.
And drawing near to Yahweh and wanting to hear His words should not be a burden. I can tell you, there is nothing burdensome about it because we've been keeping Shabbat since 1990. I cannot think of one time in my life that I ever felt burdened by the Sabbath because it is the time of rest and renewal and refreshing.
It is like a shining light at the end of the week saying, "Here I am!"
Why is it that so many Christians will get "saved," and these new converts come in and they are expected to keep strong by hearing one sermon a week, maybe another one on Wednesday?
But what if instead of that, instead of just two hours on what is called a "Sunday morning" and maybe an hour on a "Wednesday night," so to speak, what if we said there's a Sabbath day where you can spend an entire 24 hour period, withdraw yourself from the world, its influences, and concentrate on that one day?
And we all keep it together, worshipping, praying, fellowshipping, studying the Word, enjoying Creation, taking walks, spending time with your family, doing things together. Oh, what a burden? No! What a blessing! In fact, that would keep so many people so much stronger. So much stronger.
And I can tell you for myself, I don't think this old boy would have made it and the faith that I have grown to love and have grown to be a part of. There were weeks I got very weak. (That's why they call it week, right?) The workweek makes you weak, doesn't it, spiritually sometimes? People of the world drag you down.
But there's that Sabbath every week. And I don't know if I would have ever made it. As I have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept me. An old adage-- and it is very true.
And so, if we are willing to honor Him and not do our own thing on that day, what's going to happen? Because we are focused on Him, because we are attentive to the ways of Yahweh, it says right here (Isaiah 58:14), "you shall delight yourself in Yahweh." That's a promise. You will delight yourself in Him.
Speaking of honor, let's look at the fifth Commandment.
Exodus 20:12 - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which YAHWEH your Elohim is giving you.
Oh, boy! What a mess our culture is in with this one!
Here is Deuteronomy's version:
Deuteronomy 5:16 - `Honor your father and your mother, as YAHWEH your Elohim has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which YAHWEH your Elohim is giving you.
Now, that looks like a command to the Jews. It's in the land, you know. Do you not honor your mother anymore since you are not in the land? Of course not. They do the same thing for the Sabbath.
Well, this particular version (the one in Deuteronomy) is the one that's actually quoted in Ephesians. Okay, they say it's in the New Testament. The Sabbath is also in the New Testament (Colossians 2), where it is expected to be kept, but I'm not going to get into that any further. I'm done with the Sabbath. Let's move on with the fifth Commandment.
Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in Yahweh, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:2 - "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
Ephesians 6:3 - "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
There it is again-- "that it may be well with you." Do you want it to be well with you? Then honor your parents. Especially children, obey your parents, for this is right.
If we're lacking blessing in our lives, brethren, if we're having health problems, it may be due to improper reverence toward those who are in an office that Yahweh says we ought to honor.
If it's not going very well for us, we're having trouble in our life, it might be, I'm not saying it is, it might be a lack of reverence toward those whom Yahweh has said to honor.
We shared earlier a few weeks ago about Passover. People were dying in the Corinthian Assembly and were sick and weak because they were not giving proper reverence to the body of the Messiah.
And here, if we want it to be well with us, if we want blessing, then we need to provide the proper honor and respect toward those whom Yahweh has commanded us to honor.
Now, I really believe this is a major area of trouble in our generation. The generation we live in today, brothers, is so, so, so irreverent, and some of us have lost the concept of what it means to honor our parents. And I would say I probably have, in some areas. I just think, I don't know what it means to respect and honor.
There isn't a check in our spirit sometimes when we do things that bring dishonor to our parents. Our conscience has been seared and desensitized because of the culture we live in and it's attitudes.
I quit watching TV about 14-15 years ago, and back then the comedy shows, sitcoms, they would often highlight some smart-mouthed little kid who was arrogant and disrespectful toward his parents, and it was supposed to be funny. I have heard it said, "America is going to hell, and they're laughing all the way."
It's true. They laugh all the way and don't regard the things that Yahweh calls us to regard. They don't keep their bodies sanctified and possess their bodies in honor, the things that Yahweh has created. More on that next week.
You know, Hollywood has become the primary preacher and teacher in many households today. Hours upon hours of Hollywood and the issue they're programming through the prince and the power of the air, right? I do say programming because that is exactly what it is. It is programming.
And there you will receive doctrines of demons through the channels, channeling on your TV set, and become trained and programmed and desensitized by the moral filth of the world as you sit spellbound for hours in front of a TV set.
Do you know the wand, the magic wand that magicians use, do you know what it is made out of? Holly wood. No joke. It is made of holly wood.
This is one of the many areas we have been taught to be irreverent, disrespectful, toward the aged. Hollywood, instead of being honorable toward those who are older and respectful toward those who have lived longer than we have and have more life experience and have more wisdom than we do, instead they glorify youth. Yahweh says:
Leviticus 19:32 - `You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your Elohim: I [am] YAHWEH.
Rise before the gray headed? That means when a gray headed man walks into a room, you stand up. I don't always remember to do this. Get up and give him your seat. Honor his presence. Fear your Elohim.
You know what? If we, as parents, would do this ourselves, we might find it a lot easier for our children to honor us and to honor the presence of an adult.
In fact, a young person (even here in the New Testament), is not even supposed to rebuke an older man.
1Timothy 5:1 - Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort [him] as a father, younger men as brothers,
1Timothy 5:2 - older women as mothers, younger as sisters, with all purity.
So, we are supposed to treat other elders in the congregations and in this world as if they were parents, and show them the proper respect, as a father, as a mother. Show them the proper respect. He's talking to Timothy here, a young man.
And so, Yahweh takes it very seriously. It says here:
Leviticus 20:9 - `For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood [shall be] upon him.
All you have to do is utter a curse toward your parents in ancient Israel and you were a recipient of the death penalty. Yahweh doesn't waste time, does He? Scripture says:
Proverbs 20:20 - Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.
Deep darkness. Whoa!
Proverbs 30:17 - The eye [that] mocks [his] father, And scorns obedience to [his] mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
Why does it say that? Ravens will peck it out. You know that birds of prey, if they want to find out whether or not the animal (or whatever it is they are about to feast on) is dead or alive, they will peck at its eye.
And if they peck at its eye and the thing doesn't move or flinch or do anything, then they know that it is dead. Then they can eat it.
So, he is saying, basically, that you will be a dead man. You won't live long upon the land which Yahweh your Elohim gives you. It also says in Ezekiel 22, verse 6:
Ezekiel 22:6 - "Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you.
Ezekiel 22:7 - "In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow.
Do you know what the word "honor" means in Hebrew? It means "to make heavy." See? It means "to carry weight." An older man walks into a room; everyone shuts up and gives weight. Everyone rises, gives him proper respect. That is the attitude Yahweh wanted us to do if we were living in that time.
I don't think anything has changed. I don't think Yahweh has changed. How about you? Do you think He's changed? I don't think so.
You don't even make light of your parents. Don't even make light of them. Give them the honor (that's the weight) which they are due.
Listen, brothers. I am right along with you. I need to do this better. I need to do this better.
Leviticus 19:3 - `Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I [am] YAHWEH your Elohim.
That is your memory verse, children. It ties in with today's study. Keep the Sabbaths and honor your parents. Give them the proper reverence due.
You know, in Scripture if you were to hit somebody-- it was an "eye for eye" and "tooth for tooth." You read that in the Torah and the Scriptures. But if you hit your mother or father:
Exodus 21:15 - "And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Am I getting your attention here at all? I hope so! DEATH PENALTY! Now, you might read that and go, "Whoa! Yahweh sure was harsh back in those days. Good thing we're under grace."
Wait a minute. When Yahushua wrote to one of the congregations, He said, "If she doesn't repent, I will kill her children with death." We read in first Corinthians 11 that many are dying because they are not giving Messiah's body proper reverence. Do you think He's really changed? Yahweh might have mercy on you. He's had mercy on all of us.
But we need to understand that when we see His punishments for certain things, that He takes it very seriously when He gives the death penalty. He takes it very seriously. Here is another example. He did not put up with children who were stubborn and rebellious.
Deuteronomy 21:18 - "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and [who], when they have chastened him, will not heed them,
Deuteronomy 21:19 - "then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.
Deuteronomy 21:20 - "And they shall say to the elders of his city, `This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.'
Deuteronomy 21:21 - "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.
See, Yahweh didn't want bands of rebellious teens corrupting the society in Israel. They were taken care of pronto. All it would take is for this to happen once a generation, and I assure you, teenage rebellion would not be a problem.
Some of you might laugh at this and say, "That's the old law, you know. Ha, ha, ha. Why don't you go live in Iran or something, EliYah? They probably have that kind of thing. Not here in America."
Don't laugh at something Yahweh commanded. He was serious when He gave this command and we mock it. It is irreverent toward Him. See, we've lost what it means to be reverent. Yahweh understood the seriousness of teenage rebellion in the youth.
How many lives would actually be saved when one rebellious teen loses his life for a generation. Others are going to look at that and say, "Like what happened to so-and-so?" and fear.
There wouldn't be nearly as many murderers-- you know, teenagers running around, doing drugs and shooting eachother and killing eachother and killing people at convenience stores and all these things you hear about. There wouldn't be these problems in society.
Now, I'm not saying that we need to do this in our society today because unless our society also adopts all of the principles in Torah to go along with it, including righteous judgment, something is going to get abused and mishandled.
But what I'm trying to convey here is the seriousness to which Yahweh speaks on this topic. He considered cursing our parents, hitting our parents, or even rebellion against our parents to be a crime worthy of death.
He commanded us to respect and to revere them. And so, when it comes to respect and honor, we need to pay attention. We need to pay attention, and we need to reprogram ourselves. We have to do some deprogramming first, see?
The world's programmed us one way. We have to deprogram that way. It may take years. It may take time to reprogram us another way.
What areas are we falling short today? Here is a major, major, major area:
Matthew 15:1 - Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahushua, saying,
Matthew 15:2 - "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
"Oh, you're dishonoring our elders. Our elders gave these traditions and you're dishonoring them."
Matthew 15:3 - He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of Elohim because of your tradition?
He was pointing out how their traditions transgress the commands. Therefore, you do not follow those traditions. He goes on to say:
Matthew 15:4 - "For Elohim commanded, saying, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Matthew 15:5 - "But you say, `Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me [is] a gift [to Elohim]" --
Matthew 15:6 - `then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of Elohim of no effect by your tradition.
What is He talking about here? What is He talking about? Well, back then, they didn't have social security programs, you know, and the children are expected to take care of the older generation when they are no longer able to work because of weakness of bones and diseases, or whatever. Just overall they don't have the strength of youth.
They are expected to take care of their parents, and what they were doing was, they were taking their possessions and saying, "Well, that is devoted. That's korban. That's devoted to Elohim."
And then they would be relieved of this need to honor their parents because their possession that might have been given to their parents was instead, "Oh, give it to Yahweh. Wasn't that an honorable thing? Oh, give it to Yahweh."
But their real heart motivation was that they wouldn't have to be without and repay their parents. That was the heart motivation, and that was what Messiah was concerned about.
Listen, this is what I was talking about. When your parents get older, this is the way you honor them. If they are in need, you provide for them.
They provided for you when you were naked and couldn't do anything for yourself. And so, when they get older and they are incapacitated or can't take care of themselves, you have a duty to honor them by providing for them. That is what Messiah is talking about here.
That is how a person honors their parents as they get older (one way, not the whole way), by taking care of them. It is part of your duty as a human being on this earth to do that.
Matthew 15:7 - "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
Matthew 15:8 - `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.
Matthew 15:9 - And in vain they worship Me, Teaching [as] doctrines the commandments of men.'"
And so, they weren't really honoring their elders. They were just putting on a show. And He exposed them for what they were.
Now, Yahushua considers it to be such a dishonor to parents when children don't provide for them as they age because Yahweh has ordained that they return the favor. In fact, we see here, it is the duty of not only the children to honor their immediate parents, but also grandchildren to honor their grandparents.
1Timothy 5:3 - Honor widows who are really widows.
1Timothy 5:4 - But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before Elohim.
Do you get that? So, whether you have a grandpa or a grandma, or a mother or a father, you have a certain amount of responsibility biblically to repay them. You've got to pay them back. That's how it works.
They took care of you. They took care of your parents who took care of you, and therefore you take care of them when they are not able to be taken care of. Otherwise, what are you going to do, tell other people to take care of them?
"Oh, that's my parents. They provided for me. They clothed me. They worked hard for me so that I could live on this earth." And you expect other people to pay for them? You expect other people to take care of them?
And so, the importance of honoring and providing for mother and father here is extended to the grandchildren if a need does arise. And if we keep reading, we are going to see a very, very strong condemnation given to those who don't do this.
1Timothy 5:5 - Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in Elohim and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
1Timothy 5:6 - But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
1Timothy 5:7 - And these things command, that they may be blameless.
1Timothy 5:8 - But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
If anyone does not provide for his own what? His own parents and grandparents. That is the context.
I didn't say it. Yahweh said it. I'm just the delivery boy here.
And so, very, very interesting comments here. Expectations on our part. So, if a person refuses to provide for their parents, especially their own household, yes, they deny the faith. Yes, they are worse than an unbeliever. And many believe, "Yea, it's talking about a man providing for his wife and family."
The context-- parents and grandparents (so today, the older generation). Do we see that? What we see is the older generation become a major drain on society because of children who won't take care of their parents.
The older generation is set aside, disregarded, abused, shoved away in nursing homes so no one has to look at them. No one has to talk to them. No one has to think about them. Out of sight. Out of mind. Ah, but Yahweh does see. Yahweh does see. And He is mindful.
Now, there are cases where it is physically impossible for a person to provide the medical care and so on of a parent. I'm not here to condemn anybody, but often times really it's for the convenience of the children. It's for the convenience of the younger generation.
But your parents didn't put you in an institution when you were children, locked away from society and the vibrancy of life. Why do you suppose it's okay for children to do this to their parents?
There they are. There the older generation sits. And this bothers me. They are in a nursing home bored out of their minds with nothing to do but sit and be programmed by a television set.
I really believe this is Satan's ploy; this is his plan. There are many widows and many older people sitting in nursing homes who are bitter at life, bitter at Yahweh, bitter at their own children, because they don't come and visit. And they need salvation. They need a Savior. They need to know Yahweh and His truth and His Messiah.
And so, here they are in the last throws of their life, and there they are locked away in a nursing home where they are unlikely to ever find salvation, especially sitting in front of a TV all day long. That's wrong. That's just wrong. Shame on us! Shame on us! And it ought not be.
Now, if you can't provide the medical care, do everything you can to spend time with that parent, to enjoy that person's fellowship. You might learn things about them you never knew. You might learn things that you need to learn.
In fact, we ought to be honoring them and providing for them, not just physically, not just with money, but with fellowship, with time, with love-- not shipping them off to isolation chambers where some paid help comes in.
They ought to be partakers in the joys of the life Yahweh has given us. They are the ones that gave us our life, right? I mean, through Yahweh. And if they can't take care of themselves, what would be wrong with hiring a nurse to come in and maybe take care of them at our house?
Maybe it would be hard for you to bear because maybe they're rude. Maybe they're unappreciative and maybe whatever. Maybe they are not saved.
You know, I think a lot of parents save up money for their children to go to college, and maybe if our parents are not financially well off, we should be saving for the day when we might be required to care for them. I mean, didn't they spend a tremendous amount of time and money caring for us? In most cases, yes.
I know, brothers, we've lost it. We've lost the reverence. We've lost it. And I know I need to do more to honor my parents. I mean, I call them every week. I can easily call my dad one of my best friends. Yea, I mean that, Dad. I really do. I know he wants that. I want that.
My father is a great man. Very wise. A lot of common sense. So is my mother. She has given me a lot of love. Unconditional. Very patient. They have helped me to be the person I am today, and I want to honor them with that.
As of 2002, they became Sabbath-observant, Feast-keeping believers in Yahweh, and they call upon His name thanks to Yahweh's grace.
But I know there are some of you who maybe don't have that blessing, and some of you may have parents who have been very hurtful, very abusive. Maybe you are bitter at them. And some of you maybe refuse to talk to your parents.
Some of you blame your parents for a lot of things in your life, and you feel like giving the green light to dishonor them. It doesn't.
We are in this generation spoken of in Proverbs 30:
Proverbs 30:11 - [There is] a generation [that] curses its father, And does not bless its mother.
Proverbs 30:12 - [There is] a generation [that is] pure in its own eyes, [Yet] is not washed from its filthiness.
Proverbs 30:13 - [There is] a generation -- oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.
Proverbs 30:14 - [There is] a generation whose teeth [are like] swords, And whose fangs [are like] knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from [among] men.
They want the inheritance, but they don't want to give. There is a tendency, brothers, to blame mother and father for every problem you ever had in your whole life. And with that comes this attitude of, "Oh, they were so bad to me when I was growing up."
I wonder, how many of us think back and say, "You know, I wasn't really treating my parents very well in those days, either. Maybe I wasn't very sweet. I wasn't very respectful of them. I wasn't very submissive. I wasn't honoring them like Yahweh told me to. I was stubborn and rebellious.
"Maybe that was part of what fed the abuse that I got. Maybe I was a stumbling block to them, just as they were a stumbling block to me. And we all needed a Savior. And here I sit and condemn them."
And that is what I'm talking about. We are a generation that is pure in its own eyes and doesn't even think about the ways they are dishonoring their parents. It doesn't even think about the ways they have done wrong to their parents. And so, we are not washed from our filthiness. We refuse to repent and Yahweh's a witness.
There is no recognition of our own guilt. And many times children grow up and find themselves repeating many of the same things, some of the wrong behaviors they saw in their parents, because Yahweh's in heaven saying, "Oh, your parents were so evil, huh? Well, you know what? I gave you those parents. See how well you do, son.
"Let's see how well you do, daughter. When you have your own children, your own children will start acting like you did." And our judgments come up as a memorial before Yahweh our Elohim, and he allows us to be tested in the same manner in which our parents were tested.
And maybe that happened to their generation, too... and their parents... and their parents... and who knows when. Sometimes there are things our parents did that were even right and biblical, but because of our bitter judgments against them, we don't see it in the bible.
We associate the biblical things they did with being evil simply because our parents did them, and we are bitter at them.
I cringe when I hear of people blasting their parents on the internet, on Facebook, in the news media, in social settings-- "Oh, my parents did this wrong. My dad abused me. My mom abused me. They did this. They did that." You know what? There is no good reason to dishonor our parents that way. None. No good reason for it.
Why bring it up? To gain sympathy? To gloat in self-pity? What's the point? You don't have to bring it up. You know, self-pity is just pride. There is a pride that stems from trying to gloat in our accomplishments. There is also a pride that is, "Oh, look what I've had to endure. Look what I've had to live through."
You know, boasting and bragging sounds self sufficient. Well, self-pity is boasting in your own self-sacrificing. "Oh, look what I have to go through. Oh, look at me."
It's not really out of a desire to be seen as a helpless victim and in need of a Savior, but as a hero who endures so much evil from so many people. And I sit in rooms, even among brothers and sisters, and sometimes I see self-pity competitions going on. "Well, MY dad did this," and "MY dad did that," and "Oh yea, when I grew up, MY dad..."
Yahweh forbid! You know, the first murder was inspired in part by self-pity. Cain wallowed in his own pity, feeling that he didn't deserve to be rejected by Yahweh. So, he got envious and jealous of his brother and murdered him. It all started with him pitying himself, rather than repenting.
And so, if our peace and our happiness is based on everything going right in our life, guess what? Our life would be miserable. Maybe if we chose to crawl out of our self-pity party and seek to honor those who aren't deserving of honor, we might actually become a living example of the Messiah to those people, to those parents.
Maybe our parents haven't found salvation and won't repent of their own wrongs until we have demonstrated Messiah to them by willingly bearing their wrongs that they have done against us. Maybe part of the reason for their rejection of our faith is due to a lack of reverence toward them.
Maybe some of you listening today, if you haven't been honoring your parents, you might actually reach your parents with this faith if you took the time to honor them and reverence them. And when they get this honor and reverence they know they don't deserve-- down deep they know they don't deserve-- that's when conviction hits.
That's when conviction hits. And sometimes, yes, parents do things that are despicable. I understand that, but it's the office you're honoring, brothers. It's the office. A police officer comes by, pulls you over. He might have just beaten his wife the night before. Doesn't matter. He's the officer. He's in the office. Show him proper respect.
Same is true of our parents. They did something wrong. It is the office you've got to respect. They are the ones Yahweh used to bring life to you. You honor them and you respect them. They might not have been perfect, but guess what? Neither are you.
In most cases, they fed you. They held you. They took care of you. They provided for you. And you owe your very life to them at a bare minimum. Respect the fact Yahweh is the one who chose them to be your parents, and you don't get to choose who your parents are. Yahweh made that decision for you.
And since He is the one who decided it, to disrespect your parents is to disrespect the one who gave you those parents.
It's like someone giving you something and then you complaining about it. Be thankful for what you have, which is life on this earth and an opportunity to receive eternal life through the Messiah Yahushua because, after all, if we hadn't had the parents Yahweh gave us, ask yourself, would you really be choosing Yahweh today?
Would you be choosing a Savior today? Do you ever think about that, if you were mistreated by your parents as a child and you grew up in different homes? Say you grew up in a home that molded your mind in such a way that you would never have known Elohim. Maybe you would be an atheist to the day of your death headed for the lake of fire.
What would have been your choice? An inflicted childhood and receiving eternal life and joy and blessing, or the pleasures of this age and a comfy childhood that spoiled you to the point to where you never cared about spiritual things, and you entered into the gates of hell with weeping and gnashing of teeth? What would be your choice?
That's the way I look at it. No parent is perfect. No child goes through childhood completely unscathed with some of the mistakes of the parents. The bottom line is: Yahweh is the one who has put us in that position. Give Him praise and glory! And honor the ones He has put in that position, because do you know what?
If it had been anybody else, you might not have been a believer in the Messiah. And so, be thankful.
Luke 16:19 - "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
Luke 16:20 - "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
Luke 16:21 - "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luke 16:22 - "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
Luke 16:23 - "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luke 16:24 - "Then he cried and said, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'
Luke 16:25 - "But Abraham said, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
What would you take? What would you take? We see a principle here. If you've endured evil things, we don't want to make things worse on ourselves. Because the day is coming when we will be comforted. Don't make things worse on yourselves by disrespecting and slandering those who did you wrong.
The best thing to do is look back and say, "Yep, I endured some evil things, but I have Yahushua in my life. Maybe I wouldn't have chosen eternal life. One day I will be comforted." It all goes back to the need, brothers, to be humble-- to accept, and even find, the good in the things that we've been through.
We can murmur and grumble for the rest of our life about who, what, where, when did to us (it could just eat us up like cancer, maybe even die of cancer from it), or we could look at things from a heavenly perspective and just say what Yahweh says:
Exodus 20:12 - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which YAHWEH your Elohim is giving you.
That's the fifth commandment, and there are no exceptions given in the Bible. Otherwise, children could pick and choose depending on how righteous their parents were. I mean, where would you draw the line anyway?
So brothers, are we really keeping the Ten Commandments? A lot of the other commands in Scripture flow from the Top Ten of how to love Him and how to love one another. He is a jealous Elohim. He is jealous for His name. He is jealous for His day.
And we should not dishonor Him by disregarding the holiness of the Sabbath or disregarding the need to give proper honor toward the parents He has placed in our life.
May Yahweh strengthen us to do His will and set our minds and our affections and our cares and our concerns upon the heavenly things, the spiritual things, that we might truly live as Yahushua lived and ultimately be where He is. The Ten Commandments have much more to teach us.
May Yahweh bless you, my beloved brothers and sisters, and may Yahweh truly have mercy upon us all!