Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

Sabbath / Shabbat

According to Revelation 12:17 and 14:12, the end-time saints or holy ones will keep God’s commandments and hold to faith in Yeshua. Many in the Torah movement think that because they keep the seventh-day Sabbath/Shabbat, remember the appointed times of Leviticus 23, and eat a kosher-style of diet—that the Lord will give them special protection in the Last Days.

If the people are ready to sense the leading of the Holy Spirit—when told about the opportunity to annually celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread—some spiritual eyes are opened to a fuller understanding of the whole counsel of God, found in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. The testimonies from many in the Messianic community, about how the Lord used a Passover seder meal to open their eyes, are telling. Many Messianic teachers, congregations, and fellowships utilize Passover seder commemorations, as times to reach out to family, friends, and acquaintances. Jewish people, who remember observing Passover growing up, and who may have distanced themselves from God—often get to see a dynamic to the Passover, which a traditional remembrance in the Synagogue would obviously not have shown them. Evangelical Christians, who are either curious or confused about the unique Messianic lifestyle that their relative or friend has embraced, get to see a more fuller understanding of Jesus as the Lamb slain.

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through the study questions for Ch 4 in the Messianic Beginnings workbook:

1. On what day did God rest from His work? What is the Hebrew word for this?

2. Why did God command the Israelites to keep the Sabbath?

3. What is the “sign” between God and His people? What is the significance of this sign?

4. How were the Israelites to observe the Sabbath?

5. In what context is Shabbat one of the Lord’s appointed times? Explain.

6. How is the Sabbath to be a delight?

7. What is the context of sojourners within Israel keeping the Sabbath?

8. Explain what happened when the Southern Kingdom exiles returned from Babylon in regard to the Sabbath. Why do you think the Rabbis added extra-Biblical regulations to observing Shabbat? Do you think their reasoning was justified? Why or why not?

9. Do you believe that Yeshua kept the Sabbath? Why or why not?

10. What are some blessings that those who keep the Sabbath can obtain?

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.

1. If the entire world is to keep Shabbat in the Millennium, why are so many opposed to keeping it now?

2. If only the Father knows the time of the Son’s return, does this not prove that Yeshua is not God?

3. How should today’s Messianic people approach the issue of circumcision?

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.

1. According to Genesis 6:4, did fallen angels have sexual relations with human females?

2. Did Yeshua break the Sabbath?

3. What am I supposed to do with all of the voices who prophesied Trump would win Election 2020?

The discussion of the Apostle Paul in Romans 14, has been traditionally viewed from the perspective that he considers matters of the seventh-day Sabbath and kosher dietary laws, to be one entirely of opinion for Messiah followers. If a person keeps Shabbat or eats kosher, that is fine—but if a person does not keep Shabbat or does not eat kosher, that is fine as well.

Some controversial circumstances arose among the Roman Believers, involving sacred days and eating. But are these sacred days and eating, actually the appointed times and dietary laws? Or, might something else be in view? Is it possible to have a pro-Torah vantage point when approaching Romans 14?

Judah Himango and John McKee both agree that God’s Torah is essential instruction to be known, studied, and implemented by all of His people—yet there are challenges and problems which have to be navigated when one identifies the extremes of legalism and lawlessness.

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