“I am Hashem your God; walk in My statutes and keep Mine ordinances and do them; and hallow My Shabbatot and they shall be a sign between Me and you that ye may know that I am Hashem your God.” Ezekiel 20:19-20 (The Israel Bible™)
More and more Christians are seeking their Hebrew roots and, as a result are changing their Sabbath from Sunday to Saturday. This one practice immediately sets them apart, pushing them into a no-man’s land in between Christianity and Judaism. But they find the rewards far outweigh the difficulties.
Laura Densmore, production manager at Hebrew Nation radio, explained her journey away from a Sunday sabbath towards a practice resembling the Jewish. She changed her sabbath from Sunday to Saturday, but changed her practice as well. She described herself as a Hebrew roots believer to Breaking Israel News.
“We have crossed over and returned to the Hebrew roots of our faith,” Densmore explained, “And often, the very first step in that journey is to begin by keeping the Shabbat.”
“Keeping the Shabbat began with a change in identity. I came OUT of the religious church system, where we did Sunday church for years and years. I knew that if I was going to be serious in my walk in following the God of Israel, that I needed to keep His commands as a sign of my love for Him.”
For Densmore, the benefits were obvious.
“It is a ‘little taste of heaven’,” Densmore said. “It’s a foreshadow of what it will be like when end of 6,000 years ends and day one of the final 1,000 years begins, when Moshiach (Messiah) will come and rule and reign for 1000 years.”
Kellen Davison, founder of Reconciliation with Israel and co-founder of the Commonwealth of Yisrael project, explained that changing his Sabbath from Sunday to Saturday was the culmination of a three-year process. He began by observing the Jewish holidays, and transitioned into keeping Shabbat.
“I battled with doing so for a few years. I thought it would be an unbearable inconvenience in my life. After I began, I realized it gave me the richness of obeying the 10 commandments in their entirety, and has had an enormously positive impact on my family,” he told Breaking Israel News.
“For me, observing the Shabbat was about Isaiah, that once the new heaven and new earth are made that all flesh will come and worship the God of Israel on the Shabbat.”
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith Hashem. Isaiah 66:23
Pete Rambo is Operations Director of the B’ney Yosef movement and an ordained, seminary-trained, Reformed Presbyterian minister. Rambo blogs about his Shabbat experience, which he says is a family journey. HIs family changed their observance to Saturday after his 16-year-old son researched the subject at length, leading to what he calls a “Hebraic perspective of Scripture”.
“Nine times Hashem (God) clearly articulates that the seventh day is the Shabbat,” Rambo explained to Breaking Israel News. “At no point, ever, does He even hint at a change. This is true even in the Apostolic writings (New Testament). Simply put, the day of the Sabbath never changed.”
Sunday church attendance is a communal event, and changing the day of his observance has cost Rambo dearly.
“Changing from Sunday worship to Shabbat cost me my job, many family relationships, many friends, but I would make the change all over again!” Rambo stated emphatically.
Daniel Chase, an American doctor whose spiritual journey has led him to New Zealand, noticed an enormous difference when his sabbath observance became closer to the Jewish Shabbat.
“Prior to making teshuva (the Hebrew term for repentance), I would regularly shop, dine out, and do housework on Sunday, the Protestant Sabbath. Now, we rest, pray, read scripture, listen to teachings and fellowship with other believers from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. We welcome the Sabbath with a prayer, blessings over wine and challah and then partake in the best meal of the week. We do not buy, sell, or work to earn money. As an emergency doctor, I sometimes have to work.”
David Nekrutman, the Executive Director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), commented on this phenomenon, noting that the Sabbath on Saturday as the Jews observe it is not foreign to the Church.
“I see it as Christians wanting to get back to a biblical principle that has been lost in secular culture,” Nekrutman said. “I understand the desire to go back to what the early Church once did. Shabbat is rooted in the Christian faith as a way to sanctify God.”
He noted that Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-Day Baptists, and certain other Christian sects made this transition as part of their theology. Nekrutman was very supportive of the trend.
“Any move to make the Sabbath more than time-slotting God to an hour or the duration of a church service is most welcome,” he told Breaking Israel News. “It is my hope that the Church will see that the weekdays lead up to the Sabbath as opposed to the Sabbath just being a rest from weekday activities.”
“Shabbat is fundamentally, an affirmation of God the creator and redeemer as well as a sanctification of time. Shabbat was, from the very beginning, intended to be everlasting. God calls it holy and He calls it a covenant.”