Month 2:21, Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5939:050 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 19 May 2014
Late Chag haMatzah 2014 VII
The Double Sabbath Explained
Continued from Part 3 (Late Pesach Season 2014)
As we conclude this Late Passover Season with the seventh and final day of the second Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread), especially for those assembling on what is for them is a special High Sabbath, I thought I would devote today's lesson to answer an important query. This was the question I received from one of the sisters:
Is There a Flaw in the Creation Calendar?
"I honour the lunar Sabbath but I am confused about "on the 7th day is a qodesh (holy, set-apart) convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work" for [the] Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now the Sabbath is [on] the 8th, 15th, 22th and 28th [days of each month] but I don't see how the last day, the "holy convocation" would fall on the 22nd. It seems like it would fall on the 21th, making us have two Sabbaths back to back ... but that doesn't seem right either. Would you help me out on this? I figured that maybe you have already studied this part out?"
The idea of two sabbaths falling back-to-back -- the only example in the moedim (appointments), incidentally -- often confuses those coming out of a rabbinically-influenced messianic background. The Talmudic Jews, because they have combined the biblical calendar with the Roman one, have been forced to invent various rules to make them 'harmonise'. To do this they have had to invent a whole series of 'extra Sabbaths' at festival time, a problem which disappears in the Luni-Solar Creation Calendar because all these 'extra' Sabbaths disappear with the one exception of the last day of Chag haMatzah. It is understandably assumed that because the Feast Sabbaths don't all fall on the 'natural' or regular weekly Sabbath that there must be a flaw in the Creation Calendar.
Looking for Divine Patterns
To answer the question why two sabbaths fall back-to-back on the last day of Chag haMatzah (Month 2:21, Week 3:6) and the weekly Sabbath which is tomorrow (Month 2:22, Week 3:7) we need to ask ourselves the question: Why isn't the seventh and last day of Sukkot (Tabernacles) (Month 7:21, Week 3:6) a sabbath like the seventh day of Chag haMatzah (Month 2:21, Week 3:6)? And why has Yahweh ordained an extra day after Sukkot, Shemini Atseret (Last Great Day) (Month 7:22, Week 3:7) that does fall on a regular weekly sabbath? What is the divine tavnith (pattern) here? Notice that both feasts - Chag haMatzah and Sukkot - fall on exactly the same lunar days and weeks of the first, second and seventh biblical months, respectively:
||Month Day #21,
|Month Day #22, |
(Aviv, Month #1)
|ChM Day 7,
|Late Chag haMatzah
|ChM Day 7,
|Sukkot Day 7,
Regular Working Day
|Shemini Atseret +|
Comparing Chag haMatzah with Sukkot
What distinguishes the two Chag haMatzah's and Sukkot (Tabernacles) is that the former two end on the 7th day with an extra non-regular Sabbath whereas there is no Sabbath when the latter ends -- rather, an extra 8th day and 8th Festival, Shemini Atseret, is commanded which falls on the regular Sabbath. And why no day of rest on the last day of Sukkot?
The Final Matzah Sabbath is a Spiritual Punctuation Mark
There is an extra sabbath at the end of each Chag haMatzah because the end of Chag haMatzah is not the end of an Age as Sukkot (Tabernacles), or the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, is. This 'extra sabbath' is a bit like a punctuation mark, and in particular a semi-colon, that links the last day of the Feast back to the First in a loop to remind us that this is an endless cycle until we die, since the removal of sin from ourselves is a life-long operation for as long as we are in the fallen body of flesh.
The Eight Days of the Sukkot Season Compared
The seven days of Sukkot (Tabernacles) are the nuptials of the Bridegroom and Bride which begin with a Sabbath Rest (the dedication of the Full Marriage to Yahweh to indicate that it belongs to Him) but do not end with one because the end of the nuptials marks a complete transformation of the world at Shemini Atseret which marks the beginning of the Millennium (Lev.23:39). In a sense the Bridegroom and Bride are at rest for a thousand years, the seven-day Sukkot 'honeymoon' becoming a thousand years of bliss until the final testing.
No Thousand Years at the End of Chag haMatzah
But the end of Chag haMatzah (Unleavened Bread) does not have the same meaning, its seven days representing the continuing yearly cycle of working through sin and getting it out of our lives which is not followed by a thousand years of rest. Therefore in His undeserved loving-kindness, Yahweh-Elohim gives us an extra day of rest both to compensate for the relentless struggle against sin (until it is overcome) and as a witness that, in spite of the continuing struggle, there is an inner rest alongside it (Lev.23:6-8):
Inner and Outer Rest and What Must Be Done
"For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of Elohim (God). For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as Elohim (God) did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience" (Heb.4:8-11, NKJV).
The seven days of Chag haMatzah are marked with a regular Sabbath to begin it and an extra Sabbath to end it as an encouragement that those who are dligent in actively pursuing that rest by obeedience to the mitzvot (commandments) may do so until that Final Rest comes at the final Shemini Atseret which starts the Millennial Rest - not from regular labour, of course, but from the struggles of the flesh and the demonic realm. Twice a year at the two Chag haMatzah's we are reminded that the inner rest or Shabbat is available to those who are obedient, which obedience includes the regular outer sabbath rests and assemblings on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of each biblical month and the extra one at Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread)!
Those who refuse to obey the New Covenant Torah (Law) are, in effect and in addition, treating the seventh day of Chag haMatzah as though there was nothing beyond it - no Betrothal Covenant at Shavu'ot (Weeks) and no Second Coming after Tribulation at Yom Teruah (Trumpets, Shouting) because they are expecting to be whisked away in a mythical 'rapture'. Why would they want to be whisked away? Aside from fear, the refusal to be accountable to the mitzvot (commandments) which are a stumbling block to them, a reason they can never be a part of the Bride of Messiah but are as the Five Foolish Virgins who will not properly prepare - they want 100% grace but not justice...at least not for themselves.
The Double Sabbath as Test
The Double Sabbath really, then, becomes a test too, because it's unexpeced, just as the four festivals that lie beyond Chag haMatzah are a 'mystery' to those who are lawless. There's a barrier there in the form of an extra sabbath which they don't want to observe (and I speak of inner spiritual realities here) because they'd rather be 'working'. And that's the problem: those who refuse to enter into the Covenant of Shavu'ot (Weeks) will we working out their salvation (Phil.2:12) indefinitely because the Bridegoom will never collect them and shut them out of the Wedding. It is only because of Yahweh's Grace at the Cosmic Jubilee that they even have the lesser reward of the Second Resurrection for those who believe but are disobedient.
Grace and Justice
The interplay between grace and justice becomes even more pronounced, at least as far as rewards are concerned. This is a huge area of blindness in the bulk of believers, whether it be holiness evangelicals who symbolically refuse to go beyond Chag haMatzah (some don't even go that far but remain fixed at Yom haBikkurim) or those messianics who think they can spiritually skip the spring festivals altogether, having no concept of redeeming grace, and who are deteremined to go straight to Shavu'ot to try and earn their salvation by works like their counterparts in Judaism. None, of course, actually believes they are making these errors, which is the ugly 'beauty' of the satanic system that would have them pick and choose what we want to obey in terms of Yah's mitzvot (commandments) because they refuse to believe in graded salvation.
Like one of those many untranslated and therefore invisible alef-taw's in the Tanakh (Old Testament), the significance of the extra Sabbath will go unnoticed by most. But that was always as it was intended to be, so that those who never intended to follow Yah'shua (Jesus) all the way might be prevented from partaking of the rewards and blessings of those who do. I hope this has been a blessed reflection for those who partook of Pesach the first time and a blessed communion time for those who missed the first month and partook in the second...all thanks to Yah's grace. Amen.