Shabbat Shalom?

Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of Christians don’t keep the Sabbath, even though it is one of the Ten Commandments? Does it really matter to God which day His people honor above all the others?

And what about the festivals that God commanded Israel to keep, such as Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths? Are they no longer important to Him, or were they somehow fulfilled or nullified by the New Covenant?

There is a growing movement in Christianity to restore Sabbath keeping and the festivals, seeking to get back to the Hebrew roots of the New Covenant faith. Surely there must be some lasting significance to the rich heritage of the faith of Abraham. After all, are not the disciples of the Son of God supposed to be Abraham’s offspring by faith?

We are a people who follow Yahshua,1 the Messiah, in the most radical (i.e., back-to-the-roots) way we know how. We live together in communities called clans, and the clans in a particular geographic region function together as a tribe. There are twelve tribes of our people, and together we aspire to be the spiritual Israel that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has always wanted.

We keep the Sabbath together in all of our dwelling places, on the seventh day of the week, from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. And every day, morning and evening, we gather in all of our households to worship our Creator, and to hear from Him by His Spirit speaking through each other and teaching us from the Scriptures.

One of the things we are coming to understand from His word is the deep significance of the Sabbaths and the Festivals that He commanded Israel to keep. It is from this understanding, in the context of our life together as a tribal people, that we write this paper, from our hearts to yours, hoping to find others who desire to “share in the nourishing root of the olive tree.” (Romans 11:17)

  • 1. Yahshua is the original Hebrew name of the one called Jesus in most English Bibles.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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