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108: Instructions and Questions on the Sabbath

What does God want us to do on His Sabbaths?

Isaiah 58:13

Those who make the seventh day Sabbath [Friday sunset to Saturday sunset] their delight and are zealous to keep it in its full sanctity; those who reject doing their own pleasure, like participating in sin by buying food and services in restaurants; those who do not cook or do any work or pay others to work [except for doing what God has commanded to be done on Sabbath, and acts of mercy to care for man and beast]; are honoring God their Father in heaven according to the commandments and shall reap a blessing for doing so.

Brethren, we pollute the Sabbath Day by even speaking of business! We are to speak of the scriptures and holy things and we are NOT to speak of worldliness and our own words; and yes, we are not to gossip about family things either. Save your own words for other times, and use God’s time to speak of him.

Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

What we speak about – especially on God’s Sabbaths – reveals to God what is in and on our minds; the Word of God or our own matters.

Luke 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

When we think about, and hear, and speak of the whole Word of God; we learn of the wondrous perfection of all God’s ways; and by following God the Father and Jesus  Christ and longing to be with them, learning of them both and keeping all the ways of God, doing all we can to please God and become like our Father and our espoused Husband on HIS Sabbath Day; they will bless us for learning and keeping the whole Word of God.

To go to a service and then do our own thing and speak our own words the remainder of the day; is to pollute the Sabbath and is SIN! It is dishonoring God our Father and it is STEALING God’s time, which is NOT our time, to do as we want with!

To do our own thing and to speak our own words on Sabbath; is to demonstrate to Christ and to God the Father that we are only attending for social purposes and to experience an emotional feeling of righteousness, of thinking of ourselves as pretty good godly people!

That is SELF- righteousness and NOT godly righteousness; for godly righteousness would be focusing on the whole word of God and not on our own pleasures on GOD’S DAY!

Isaiah 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

On the Sabbath day we are not to do our own pleasure. We are rather to seek out and make the things of God our pleasure; and we are not to speak our own words.

How many times can you remember going to a Sabbath service where you heard a sermon and then you or your friends talked about nothing except recipes and babies and business and weather, and didn’t even discuss the sermon?  You were speaking your own words and not discussing the scriptures as God commands us. You were polluting the Sabbath Day!

Now obviously it wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s a nice day, isn’t it? But to do that and to speak of other mundane things and completely neglect discussing the Word of God is sin!  It is using God’s time for our own purposes. 

Brethren, I am not saying that we must speak exclusively of scripture, I am saying that our focus should be on God, on God’s Day; and today we have gotten so far out of balance that we discuss our own affairs virtually exclusively and completely neglect discussing the Word of God on HIS Sabbath today.

A sermon should be given and then we should search the Scriptures, discuss the sermon, sharpen each other by discussing these things and trying to learn more and understand better. And we should be able to ask our minister to expound things a little more thoroughly on this point. or that point that we may not have fully grasped. And we should be able to go to our home or perhaps to the homes of our friends and continue to discuss God’s Word and the things of God.

If we are spending more time discussing our own things and doing our own pleasure, then we are spending on the things of God, it is not right.

Isaiah says in verse 13, We should not be finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words. We should be thinking of and speaking about the things of God. And the truth is that; what comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what’s going on in our minds. And if we are not talking about the things of God, chances are about 95 percent that we are not thinking about the things of God and our mind is not on holy things on God’s holy Sabbath Day.

Exodus 16:2 Then the people complained against God instead of seeking His deliverance, and instead they long for the bondage of Egypt. 

This is a lesson that Satan tries his best to discourage us to give up the fight against sin, but if we are faithful to live by every Word of God, God will deliver us. 

God tests Israel as to whether they were zealous fo rhis Sabbath or not.

Exodus 16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Then the Eternal rained Bread down from heaven; this being an obvious analogy of the spiritual  Bread of Life [Jesus Christ and the Word of God], given to men from God in the spiritual wilderness of this world.

16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove [test] them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

God does not prepare food for the people on the Sabbath, revealing that we should also follow the example of God and NOT prepare food on the Sabbath as per God’s example. We are to prepare our food on day BEFORE the Sabbath and Holy Days and not to cook on God’s Sabbaths and High Days.

16:5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

16:6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: 16:7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? 16:8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.

Christ then appears to all Israel in his glory [in a bright cloud].

16:9 And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. 16:10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.

Christ promises Israel quails in the evening and heavenly bread in the morning.

16:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. 16:13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

In the morning Israel found small grains:  What’s this? they asked and Moses told them that it was the food that God had supplied.

16:14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost [a grainy pebbly material]  on the ground. 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

Moses commanded the people to gather up this Bread according to the needs of each person every morning, with double on the sixth day to be used on the Sabbath as well as the sixth day.

16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

If the regular daily gathering was left overnight until the following morning it would rot and breed worms [maggots]. 

16:19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.

Yet some could not follow even these simple instructions for the preparation day and the  Sabbath Day, which were given to Set Apart God’s Sabbaths with proper preparations on the day before the Sabbaths.

16:20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms [maggots, flies], and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 16:21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted [evaporated on the open ground in the sun like the dew].

On the sixth day they were to prepare for the Sabbath by collecting one portion for the sixth day and one extra portion for the Sabbath day. 

This was to teach us that we are to follow the example of God and we are NOT to cook and prepare food on any Sabbath or High Day, and that we are NOT to pay others to do this for us!

16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

16:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.

16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

Yet some did not prepare and went out to gather food to cook on the Sabbath Day; as is done in the Ekklesia today.

16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

Then Jesus Christ was very angry with those people who refused to obey him regarding the Sabbath and Holy Days.  Later he sent Israel and then Judah into captivity mainly for breaking his Sabbaths.  How much more is he angry with us of spiritual Israel who are supposed to love and live by every Word of God? 

16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place,

Jesus Christ told the people that they are not to bake, or simmer [seethe]. They are not to do any kind of cooking on the Sabbath Day.

Exodus 16:23  And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

The preparation day is Friday up until sunset. And the Sabbath, the seventh day is Saturday. Sabbath runs from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. And on the Sabbath Day we are not to do any cooking.

We are not to do any work. We are not to do any traveling. We are simply to take the day off and relax. Spend it with God in prayer, in study, in reading, in thinking about Him, and in discussing the words of God with others, and in teaching our mates and our families, and spending the day totally focused on God, and of course also resting on that day, taking it easy.

One should have the attitude of saying, “This is my day off, I’m glad I don’t have to do this or that.” It is wrong to have the attitude that “Oh, I can’t do this and I shouldn’t do that” and taking a negative approach. Take a positive approach and say, “It’s my day off, it’s my break. I don’t have to go out and mow the lawn. I don’t have to get up early and go to work. I don’t have to bake bread today. I can take it easy and relax.”

Now, what about the lady who says, “Cooking relaxes me, I enjoy it.” Or the man who says “Working on my car relaxes me, or I enjoy it.”

We are to make the things of God our pleasure and we are not to seek out and do our own pleasures, even if we enjoy those things.

After all, why would they be our pleasures if we didn’t enjoy them? Of course we enjoy our own pleasures. But we are not to do our own pleasures on God’s Sabbath ,or on a High Holy Day. We are to dedicate that time to the things of God. On the Sabbath Day, we are not to work, we are not to cook, we are not to engage in travel; and we are not to pay others to serve us either!

What about the person who has to drive 30 or 40 miles to attend a service? The time to walk from the outskirts of the camp to the tabernacle in the wilderness was probably about one hour and one should not spend much more than one hour driving to services on a Sabbath.  Be sure to fill up your gas tank on Friday and prepare a little boxed lunch on Friday. Do your preparation on Friday.

If you have to drive a few miles, to associate with the brethren and hear a message, that’s fine. Only don’t decide you’re going to fly to Australia from Britain on a Sabbath or that you are going to take a bus trip across the continent on a Sabbath.

No, absolutely not. No extensive travel and no travel for personal reasons. Travel should be for Godly reasons, should be very, very limited in scope and duration; and should not involve any expense. If you have to buy an extra tank of gas on a Sabbath, the trip is too far. Don’t go. Make some kind of other arrangement. It can be done. Things can be worked out. You can work around these things and truly make God’s Sabbath a delight.

If you have to drive for four or five hours in each direction to attend the service, such a trip is not a Sabbath rest and is not appropriate. Perhaps it could be arranged to travel on Friday afternoon or Friday evening before sunset and to stay with some of the brethren in the town where the service is being held.

There are different things that can be arranged. Perhaps it would be better to stay at home and simply listen to a tape or a recording. Perhaps one can alternate and one can go one week and then people can come to your town the next week. There are lots of ideas that an inquiring and motivated mind can come up with. But we are not to travel, do any work  or  do our own pleasure on the Sabbath Day.

Nehemiah on buying on the Sabbath

In the time of Nehemiah, some of the Jewish people in Jerusalem had strayed far from God.

In Nehemiah 10:31 they were told by Nehemiah that if the people of the land brought ware [goods] or victuals [food] on the Sabbath Day to sell, we should not buy it of them on a Sabbath or on a Holy Day. And that we should leave the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

We should also  be willing to forgive debts especially on the seventh year, which is the Land Sabbath. But on the Sabbath Day, people shall not buy or sell. And the people agreed to that instruction from God in Nehemiah 10:31.

Then after returning from visiting the king, Nehemiah saw a great evil being done with the people working and buying on the Sabbath; this same wickedness is openly practiced in the major Groups calling themselves God’s people today. 

It was for this sin [among other sins] that Israel and Judah went into captivity, and it is for the sin of calling the Sabbath holy and then openly polluting it for their own pleasure, that today’s Church of God will go into the captivity and correction of the Great Tribulation in the very near future.

Nehemiah 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals [food and drink on the Sabbath].

13:16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 13:18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

Nehemiah then enforces the Sabbath. 

13:19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

13:20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

Then Nehemiah threatened the sellers.  We cannot threaten physical violence today, but we certainly can warn the brethren to avoid the sin of buying food and drink [or anything else] on the Sabbath, and remind them that Almighty God will reject them into great correction and violence if they will not sincerely repent.

13:21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

Nehemiah as a leader used force to keep the sellers out of the city on the Sabbath; Jesus Christ will use force to correct the wickedness of Sabbath pollution in the very near future.

13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day.

Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

Nehemiah writes that he is very zealous for the holy Sabbath Day of the Eternal Creator God. And he asked God to be merciful to him because of his zeal for the Sabbath in keeping out those who would buy and sell on the Sabbath Day.

Brethren we are not to buy on the Sabbath Day. We are not to pay others to serve us on the Sabbath Day. We are not to go in the stores and buy things. We are not to go into restaurants to buy goods and services or order catered meals. We are not to travel. We are not to cook. We are not to work. And we are not to be responsible for anyone else having to work on God’s Sabbath Day:  We are to enjoy a real day 0ff to spend in learning godliness and the way to eternal life.

The sixth day is the day of PREPARATION for the Sabbath.  On the sixth day we are to do all our cooking, cleaning and household labour in preparation for the Sabbath rest. 

We are NOT to COOK or PREPARE FOOD (Ex 16:23) on the Sabbath, or to travel (Ex 16:29).  We are not to do any work or even to bear burdens on penalty of death and destruction (Jer 17:21-27).  For the Sabbath is God’s time, not our time, it is HOLY TIME, it is NOT our own.  To do our own pleasures is to STEAL from God something that belongs to Him.

It is lawful to seek the things of God on the weekly and annual Sabbaths; To pray and study His Word, to meet together in holy convocation (Lev 23:3) with like minded believers. To do good (Luk 6:9), by healing or visiting the sick and elderly and to alleviate the suffering of man and beast.  It is lawful to cope with genuine emergencies, like fire, broken pipes or the ox in the ditch (Luk 14:5),  but beware of using the excuse “this is an emergency” to justify habitual Sabbath breaking.  If an ox falls into a ditch many times, one should perhaps repair one’s fence!  That is to say, most of these so called emergencies come through a simple LACK OF PROPER PREPARATION. 

It is also not wrong to find a beautiful or peaceful place to meditate Acts 16:13 and relax, enjoying God’s creation, but we must not meet in the buildings – high places – of false religions.

A convocation is ONLY holy if it is God centered!  If you go to a service to hear a sermon and then talk ONLY about work and business, the weather, clothes and babies you have PROFANED that convocation and God’s Sabbath. 

Out of one’s mouth come those things that are dearest to one’s heart (Mat 12:34).  If your heart and mind are not on the things of God, your mouth will reveal this.  We should be thinking deeply and discussing the things of God always, especially on the Sabbath. How do you ever expect to begin to UNDERSTAND the things of God, if you do not think and talk about them?

Behold, God will preserve those who think upon His name and make it their pleasure to do God’s will (Ezek 9:4-6, Mal 3:16-18).

It is NOT LAWFUL to buy goods and services in restaurants or other establishments.  To say that we may buy, because they are going to work anyway, makes a mockery of God’s way.  For that excuse justifies ALL SIN; because there is NO SIN that men are not going to do ANYWAY!  Shall we use the whore because she will do it anyway.  Why not have our enemy murdered, for the killer will kill anyway.  This is a juvenile and pathetic excuse to justify SIN. 

If we say that we are not paying restaurant employees directly, we must admit that we are paying the establishment that hired them.  So we are admitting that we are paying the establishment to induce people to sin! 

We have CONDEMNED OURSELVES with our own mouths!  If we would not work for them on the Sabbath in order to obey God and WE PAY THEM TO HIRE OTHERS ON THE SABBATH, WE ARE HYPOCRITES.  There is no other word for it.  If we pay others to do what we would not do ourselves, on moral grounds;  WE HAVE BECOME HYPOCRITES!

To say that because we have an emergency “ox in our ditch”, it somehow justifies painting our house on the Sabbath is ridiculous!  Yet some say the very same thing by saying that because they have to cross a toll bridge on the Sabbath to attend a service, it somehow justifies them buying goods and services in restaurants!  This excuse is also ridiculous!  THE ONE, DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE OTHER!

Some may think that proper Sabbath observance is some kind of burden that God’s people should not have to bear.  Yet these same people say to the poor man. You must tithe, have FAITH and God will work things out for you.

Where is Our Faith?  

If we make an HONEST EFFORT TO PLEASE GOD,  don’t you think that He WILL HELP us?  Most problems involving Sabbath pollution through buying and selling can be resolved simply and easily, with a little forethought, planning and effort. I have avoided this sin for forty years and it has been difficult at times but God has always provided a way.

If we lose a job, God will provide, and if he chooses to test us and does not provide; it is better to die serving the God who is able to raise us up; than to live serving wickedness and be cast into the fire of eternal death!

As for meals,  some bread and cheese and fruit, together with each other and our God, would make for an uplifting evening.  And probably a healthier one as well!  For far too long. the church has been more of a social club then an Ekklesia of GOD!  It’s time we became more GOD CENTERED and less concerned with social activities.  Yes social things are important but the central thing should be OUR GOD.  How we impress Him is far more important then how much we impress each other!

Did you think that God created the Sabbath for our hurt?  It was made for our benefit, the benefit of all mankind.  You should enjoy the Sabbath, but you should not infringe upon the potential enjoyment of this blessing by others.  Remember that the burden of Christ is light and His yoke is easy Mat 11:30,  it is Satan who comes along and tries to make the burden SEEM HEAVY by persecuting us.

When you can fully understand that Satan is the true source of all our heavy burdens, the true source of SIN, which causes our sufferings and that God’s way is really liberating us from that burden, you will have no problem in keeping ALL GOD’S COMMANDMENTS!  It is by the doing that we learn!  By the proper observance of the Sabbath, we may learn many things and we will show our God how very much we LOVE HIM and HIS WAYS!  On the other hand, by not keeping the Sabbath in the commanded manner, are we really keeping it at all, when we do not keep it in a manner acceptable to God?

What can we learn?  Why FAITH and TRUST in GOD, as well as all those things that we learn in our studies, meditations and talks.  Remember that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32) and that it is that Spirit which shall lead you into the truth (Joh 16:13). If you want to know the things of God, you must keep all the commandments of God, in all things, and be pleasing to HIM (1 Joh 3:22). 

Because of the complete lack of zeal for the commandments of God, including the Sabbath; God has withdrawn his Spirit from many today. It is those who claim to have the Holy Spirit the most; who have the least; because of their sins against the Word of God.

God’s day is a day of rest for all His creation, for all the creation of God. It is a time of rest and it is sanctified to be holy time so that all men could spend time with God. And if all men did observe the Sabbath Day, and did rest on that day, and did seek the Eternal with all their hearts, believe me, they would find the way to peace, which at present time they know not.

 

Excuses for polluting the Sabbath 

Some people try to argue that the New Testament allows cooking, food preparation and other work on the Sabbath; here are the few common arguments.  

  1. Jesus and his disciples ate grain on the Sabbath  
  2. David ate the Bread of Presence
  3. Peter’s mother in law served on the Sabbath

(1, 2)  Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn [grain, in 1611 English corn meant a kernel as of grain]; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of grain and to eat.

Notice: They gleaned a few heads of grain as one might take an apple to munch; they gleaned and did not pay for this, they did not cook it, and they did not take a basket to harvest, nor did they bear any burden in removing anything to their homes.

12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

There is NOTHING WRONG with EATING on the Sabbath, as long as the cooking and preparation is done before Sabbath. These men did NOT cook, pay for, or in any way do any amount of work beyond grabbing a handful of grain and eating it.

Actually Sabbath preparation is easy and takes little time. The term “preparation day”, does not mean that it takes the whole day to prepare; it means that all necessary preparation is to be done on that day. Simply having ones clothes ready, shining ones shoes, filling the gas tank and making sure there is enough food ready, is all that is really needed.

12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

Of course David and his men were fainting with hunger and fleeing for their lives for three days,  and this act of mercy towards David was a genuine emergency “Ox in the ditch” situation.

The Sabbath was made for man to rest and enjoy; and suffering, even of hunger is to be relieved, this is done through proper preparation, but one may grab a handful of grain or an apple off a tree to serve an immediate need, as one is walking along! 

Genuine emergency situations are an exception to the rule and such rare exceptions are not an excuse for habitually failing to properly prepare, or used to deliberately defy God’s Word by making a big dinner on God’s Sabbath.   

12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

It is certainly permissible to do the commanded Sabbath activities, to relieve suffering and to eat on the Sabbath; however we are to properly prepare for the Sabbath and Holy Days on the preparation day.  We are not to buy or sell; or to do any regular work, including food preparation and cooking on Sabbath or Holy Days. 

 

On Matthew 8 and serving

Some claim that because Christ healed Peter’s mother in law on a Sabbath and she rose up to serve him, it means that she cooked on the Sabbath.

Of course to “minister” could have been as simple as offering them some wine or a glass of water, or a bit of food that had already been prepared on the preparation day; therefore this idea that she cooked on the Sabbath is imaginary.

The scripture and its companion.

Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Mark 1:21 and they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. . . . .

Mark 1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 1:31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. . . .

Luke 4:38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 4:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

We can see in all three versions that Peter’s mother in law was healed of a fever in the privacy of their home with a few disciples present. This was  AFTER Jesus had finished teaching on the Sabbath; had walked to the house, had healed the lady, and she would have rested for a short space.  It is a gross assumption to say that she had served them by cooking on the Sabbath day before the sun had set! 

This is jumping to a false conclusion that “ministering” meant cooking, or a false conclusion that with the healing late in the day, the sun had not set on that Sabbath before she began serving them.

To say that someone “ministered” to Christ on the Sabbath, is an assumption; since the sun could have already set, and serving on the Sabbath would have nothing to do with cooking.

This is nothing more than a shallow attempt to justify polluting the Sabbath by claiming something that is just NOT there. Ministering is serving yes, yet she was most likely serving them AFTER the sun had set; and could easily have served their needs completely and entirely WITHOUT cooking, being faithful and therefore having properly prepared the previous day. For all we know, all they needed was a little water!

To pollute the Sabbath based on a personal assumption, is indicative of a desire to justify doing what one wants to do contrary to the scriptures; and it reveals that the person does NOT want to please God, but wants to seek their own pleasures on God’s time.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; the scriptures are filled with admonitions to keep the Sabbath Holy and condemnations for polluting it.

We are clearly told NOT to buy food and drink, or to work, or to do our own pleasures on God’s Sabbaths and Holy Days.

As physical Israel went into captivity for their lack of respect for the laws of God and for polluting the Sabbath and doing their own thing; we are also at the very point of going into captivity for the same reasons. We have the record of the past for our instruction, we are supposed to have God’s Spirit: WE ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW BETTER!

  1. Each day ends and a new day begins at sunset local time.  
  2. The Sabbath is the seventh day, Friday evening to Saturday evening; and being a day, begins and ends at sunset.
  3. Genuine emergencies or care for the sick and injured excepted; no ordinary work of any kind including buying food and drink or cooking is to be done on any weekly or annual Sabbath.
  4. God’s seventh day Sabbath is a Holy Convocation, meaning that on that day we are to meet with God.  Whenever possible we are to meet with like-minded persons who seek to live by every Word of God; we are not to meet with just anyone to have a social gathering. The emphasis is on meeting and focusing on Almighty God, to learn and internalize the Word of God; not on a social feel good experience.

Please do study the word Sabbath in the Holy Scriptures with a good concordance; to learn of the great anger of God against those who pollute his Sabbaths; and of the great blessings that come from faithfully and zealously keeping God’s Holy Sabbath Day!

Comments

 

  1. You say:  “I am learning all the time and I hope that others will follow the example of being willing to cast away past error to embrace new proven truth.”

    ***

    “New Truth” … there is no such thing. A thing is either true or not, your recognition of it can be “New” but the truth is the truth is the truth. To state something is a “new truth” is to acknowledge it was previously an untruth or a lie. One could say it was a previously unknown truth… but I don’t think one can claim a “new” truth. Ecclesiastes states it pretty plainly “nothing is new under the sun…”

    This is a matter of semantics, my point is that we do not know all truth therefore; what we learn is new truth to us. Yes, truth itself is not new but much truth will be: NEW TO US. Our knowledge and understanding is imperfect [else why was a great increase in knowledge promised for today? Daniel 12], therefore we must abandon our errors and increase in the knowledge and understanding of the truth until we come into the fullness of Godliness. The truth that we are learning, which was not previously known to us: is therefore NEW TRUTH TO US. James

  2. The timing of LCG’s move to YouTube is ironic with the recent organized boycott of advertisers that is now causing demonetization, and even deletion of “truther” channels. Does this suggest that LCG’s commentary on current events is so timid, so tame, as to be deemed acceptable by the world’s corporations?

    Bold YT channels like this one that are exposing truth and attacking the satanic establishment while calling for people to turn to God have been demonetized and are even being persecuted:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRp0dZX1DP4

    The Big News corporations including Youtube are controlled by about twenty families through interlocking boards of directors and extended families.

    To answer your question; When has any Armstrong organization ever preached the gospel since about 1969 when HWA watered down WCG doctrine [including the Sabbath and the Feast of ULB etc] and diluted the WCG outreach to an insipid lukewarm business model to get loans from the Bank of America?

    ALL of the major COG groups are very very far from God and are close to spiritual death themselves, they reject the truth themselves and they do not teach the truth to others either, as Jesus said Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

    Very soon “it will be night and no man will be able to work”. Only God’s two backed by the power of God will be able to do anything at all; yet even when it is day these men reject knowledge Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children [followers]. James

  3. James,
    Thanks for the “new truth” in the US Mideast article.
    President Trump said he didn’t destroy the runways because they could easily be repaired.

    Or perhaps an extra landing area can always be useful for our own planes.

    This is a reference to this new article. https://worldwatch.is/us-mideast-war-preparations-and-a-kurdish-state/ James

  4. Thans.THANKS.

  5. Thank you James for sharing some information about your background and how the The Shining Light started. This helps me understand your position better.

    I have a couple of questions.

    As a general rule, if a member of a fellowship disagrees with that fellowship on a point of doctrine, should he discuss his disagreement with brethren other than the minister? Does that not create disunity?

    This is why I discussed the issue with the elder first and why I withdrew, so that I could freely act according to the scriptures without creating a conflict. Unity with God is far more important than unity with men who are defying God.

    And in your case in 1985, could you not have simply declined invitations to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath without discussing your doctrinal disagreement on that issue? Could you not have simply said, “No thank you”, or “I prefer to eat at home” and simply refused to discuss it further? And if anyone asked, “Why don’t you eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?” simply say, “I prefer not to discuss it”?

    I had already been asked by others as to why I would not buy or cook on Sabbaths, so it was obvious that this would be coming up. No I could not refuse to discuss it since I have a biblical command to answer questions honestly and further this sin which will result in being rejected by Christ and has to be addressed; as Jude tells us we are to earnestly contend for the truth, not fearfully cower before sin. God also tells us through Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Which is the mission of every converted person Mat 28:19-20.

    I would disagree with your following in light of the many other scriptures exhorting us to set a Godly example and to steadfastly teach the truth; is that not the supposed reason for existence and work of all these COG groups? Indeed there is no hope of a resurrection if we remain in sin which Sabbath pollution is. As for the calendar ask yourself: If it is wrong to postpone the Sabbath to Sunday, why is it acceptable to postpone annual Sabbaths? This is double minded and inconsistent. Either postpone BOTH, or stop the anti-scriptural postponements completely!

    This is not in violation of the Bible admonition to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies in us, for that principle applies only to a particular question – the hope that lies in us (the hope of the resurrection and the Kingdom of God), not to every detail of doctrine and the law.

    Also, since you do not advise members to leave their fellowships, how do you advise members who will not eat in restaurants on the Sabbath to answer invitations? Should they handle it as you did, and leave the fellowship? Should they openly discuss their views about restaurants on the Sabbath with other members, in which case they are likely to have to leave the fellowship? Or should they stay in the fellowship and decline to answer questions about why they won’t eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?

    COGWA kicks out those who will not pollute the Sabbath, LCG is patient but in some areas pressure to conform is heavy, UCG is more considerate. Many are turning to God at this time, some are remaining in their assemblies and setting an example and others are standing independently, this must be a personal decision at this time.

    As world and COG events work out [watch for the new UCG position on “grace” coming in the next year or two and remember Jude], many are turning to godliness.

    When God’s two are set up they will call on all the brethren to follow them to the place that God has prepared. Then the faithful will leave and the spiritually lukewarm who only pay lip-service to God and follow men instead [Laodiceans] will remain to be corrected.

    Please see “The Biblical Sabbath and Calendar” book http://godourlight.info/category/101-biblical-festivals/101-sabbath-and-calendar/ to understand my position on the Sovereignty of God and the Sabbath. James

  6. The organizations have misused “sowing discord” to be synonymous with discussing scripture and coming to a different conclusion from that of the organization. Actually, sowing discord is better associated with separating brethren with gossip, lies, and nettling. The corporate churches are excellent at sowing discord among the brethren with their factions and splits that have involved malicious gossip and lies

  7. To “Ekklesia is enough”, I think this is not a misuse of the term, “sowing discord”.

    You refer to “discussing scripture and coming to a different conclusion from that of the organization”.

    Yes, that is EXACTLY what is included as part of sowing discord and creating division. When brethren who are members of a Church of God fellowship led by an ordained ministry get together and discuss scripture and come to a conclusion contrary to that of the organization they are members of, they are creating division. If an individual disagrees with the organization’s position on doctrine and scripture, he should take it to the ministry privately and in confidence. If he cannot resolve it there, if it is a small matter, he should keep quiet about it and not discuss it with the brethren. If it is a major issue that he cannot keep silent about, he should leave the organization.

    God does not give members license to contradict the ministry in their conversations with each other in the same fellowship. God has given the ordained ministry the responsibility and authority to determine official teaching, and contradicting them undermines the authority God gave them for that purpose. It is rebellion against God, unless the matter is so serious that it is necessary to leave the organization.

    Dear Author You are exalting organizational unity above unity with God: and you are exalting men to be followed above following God and the Word of God. If you really believe that ordination means that a man must be followed blindly, why are you not still associated with Joe Tkach who was ordained and anointed the legitimate leader?

    We are to be united with God, not with men contrary to God. Many brethren have been seduced into thinking that loyalty to men is loyalty to God and it is not. The “Members’ not only have a license, they have a God given duty to disagree with the ministry when they depart from the Word of God see Isaiah 58 and Ezekiel 33.

    Why are there hundreds of Armstrong COG schisms? It is not the fault of brethren speaking out, it is because the elders and brethren have forgotten that true unity lies in full unity with God and the Word of God and speaking out to ensure that such unity is maintained.

    Today many various elders have each gone their own ways and most are very far from unity with God. It is these elders who have caused division from Almighty God and brought division between brother and brother, not those seeking godliness!

    All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to say and do nothing!!!

    Who is more just in the eyes of God? The many elders who teach their own ways dividing the people from God and from each other? or the brethren who seek to be in full unity with God and the Word of God?

    It is far better to walk alone with God, than to follow a crowd in the wrong direction. Replacing unity with God by making an idol out of unity with men is the sin of IDOLATRY and spiritual ADULTERY against the husband of our baptismal commitment.

    I have been corrected often and have learned very much from others, for which I am very grateful. Most of today’s elders want to be surrounded by yes men which is a recipe for disaster. Read what Solomon says about flatterers. The problem is not with members speaking up; the problem is with the PRIDE of those elders who will not listen, take seriously and open mindedly investigate all things with moral and intellectual honesty.

    In many counsellors there is safety, but when those counsellors and brethren are flatterers who dare not speak their minds, a cancer of pride forms in the leaders bringing a fall from which they cannot escape. Most of today’s elders will not even look at anything new; they simply say “that is not what we teach” and discard it without even a glance at it.

    Dear Author the true cause of today’s divisions is the pride of the elders and the idolatry of following men above the Word of God, which is man worship. If we were all fully united with God we would all be growing into the same doctrine of the truth of the Word of God.

    I leave you with a scripture where God highly commends brethren who speak with one another about the things of God and the evils in the brotherhood:

    Ezekiel 9:4 And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads [minds] of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof [Jerusalem and the temple being a type of the Ekklesia].

    Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord [people truly united with God] spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

    Go back and read the context of these two verses which makes it plain that the brethren are being commended and will be saved for their speaking out about the evils in today’s Ekklesia.
    James

  8. It’s a shame that those in the splinters and factions do not see that they take the exact same position /attitude as that of the Roman Catholic Church in placing men equal to or above God. The more I see and hear of them the more I see them as some of the “harlot daughters”.

    James, well done reply to Author.

  9. Author recently wrote this paragraph on his bloq; would he have written the same over thirty years ago added brackets:

    This is also an example of government from the top down, as the Bible teaches. Mr. Westin [read Joe Tkach Snr] has not been voted into office by the decisions of men. He has been appointed by one above him in authority, Dr. Meredith [read HWA], and Dr. Meredith [read HWA] himself has been appointed by Jesus Christ as shown by his fruits. I have no doubt that Jesus Christ, as head of the whole Church of God, has guided Dr. Meredith [read HWA] to name Mr. Westin [Joe Tkach Snr] as his successor and that Dr. Meredith [read HWA] has responded to the leadership of Jesus Christ in naming Mr. Westin [read Joe Tkach Snr] as successor.

    He sounded very much like an LCG man. James

  10. James, you said I exalt organizational unity above unity with God. No, I believe unity with God is more important than unity in an organization. I never said that a man should be followed blindly.

    When you say members have a God given duty to disagree with the ministry when they depart from the word of God, that word “disagree” can be taken a couple of different ways. I agree with you if you mean to not believe the ministry if they go contrary to the Bible. I can disagree on all kinds of minor or medium issues, but quietly, or else speaking to the ministry directly. But if you mean speaking against the ministry in front of the brethren, then I disagree.

    So if I found in the Bible that it is wrong to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath, I could take it to my minister or write to headquarters. I could “cry aloud” in that way. If that did no good, I could simply decline invitations to eat in restaurants WITHOUT discussing it with the brethren. Or, I could leave the organization.

    If it is all right to criticize the ministry in discussions with the brethren, why did you leave Worldwide? Did you not leave so you would be free to openly discuss the Sabbath/restaurant issue with anyone? But if it is ok to discuss this with the brethren, you could have stayed in Worldwide and plainly told brethren it was wrong to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath. You would likely be kicked out, but what’s the difference? You could have reached a number of brethren in Worldwide before you were kicked out.

    You are doing a quick change. The other day and in private you have suggested that my speaking out now is wrong; now you change that to say that I handled the problem correctly and you are suggesting that others do the same so as not to criticize while remaining part of an organization.

    But God does require respect for an organization when it does not conflict with loyalty to Him. You yourself showed respect to an organization when you left Worldwide so you could speak openly about the Sabbath restaurant issue.

    Malachi 3:16 is a long way in context from Ezekiel 9:4. Malachi 3:16 is talking about Christian fellowship – there is nothing here to indicate that the discussions are about criticizing those God has placed in office within the Church.

    First you are incorrectly defining the word church; there is no such thing as a corporate church in the Bible. The word mistranslated church properly means the brotherhood or assembly [Ekklesia] of all those who have God’s Spirit and are faithfully living by every Word of God. LCG etc are NOT God’s church!

    Second you are assuming that corporately ordained elders are placed in position by God, which is obviously not true in the vast majority of cases, since there is no such thing as a corporate church of God and the simple fact is that the vast majority of elders from old RCG – WCG days to today have NOT been faithful to God.

    Third you are making your own assumption about Malachi; that it is the brethren decrying outsiders, when it is about the faithful decrying all wickedness whether inside or outside the assemblies.
    All evil is to be condemned regardless of where is reigns.

    The “crying out loud” in Isaiah and the warning the wicked in Ezekiel is done primarily THOUGH the ministry of the true Church. NONSENSE! the crying aloud was done by the prophets [NOT the ministry] who were sent to correct the “church” when it went astray. That is, the ministry is to cry aloud and warn the world and disobedient members of the Church to repent – and that is what many of them do. The members are to back up the ministry in this work with their tithes, offerings, and prayers.

    Yes the Ekklesia is to warn the world to repent of sin, and when the elders fail to fulfill their responsibilities and fall astray, God sends others to correct them. Would you condemn Apollos a layman for standing up to preach? Who ordained John Baptist? How do you know that some person layman or other is not called by God to take a stand and correct the evils in the organizations? The answer is to wait and see, while personally living by every Word of God no matter what any man or organization says.

    And if it does have some application to members crying aloud to warn their own ministers, then it should be done in private, directly to the ministers, not member-to-member against the ministers.

    Again I agree, however once a thorough counselling has been done the brethren have the right to practice godliness and should not follow leaders into sin. I point out that this is not your original issue at all, the original issue was me speaking out from outside the organizations, NOT brethren speaking out from inside any organization. I personally set the example of leaving the corporate entities before beginning to cry out.

    There may be unusual cases where a member may speak out to other members contrary to the ministry, but those have to be about foundational issues, such as the Bible being inspired by God, the deity and resurrection of Christ, and the like. The Sabbath/restaurant issue is absolutely not a foundational issue.

    Sabbath keeping is one of the first commandments given by God; it is an absolutely foundational and Salvational issue as to when and how to properly keep God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths. I sent you a personal copy, at the very least Read the Book before you comment. Do you not remember that it was unthinkable to buy in restaurants in the RCG WCG before 1068 when HWA began to water down doctrine?

    There are many issues and doctrines that sincere, converted Christians may disagree about, even after studying the same scriptures. James, you must know that is true if you yourself have learned new things and may have had to change your position on some things. There are details of doctrine that members of the Church may disagree about. Church of God members agree we should keep the Sabbath. Whether or not to eat in a restaurant is a detail.

    That is appalling and illogical; You are not keeping the Sabbath if you do not do what God has commanded us to do for the Sabbath, and if you do not stop doing what God has forbidden.

    God’s commandments for the Sabbaths are clear and must be obeyed to keep the Sabbaths. Failure to obey God’s Word on the Sabbaths means that we are NOT keeping the Sabbaths, even though we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we are. NONE of the larger COG groups keep God’s Sabbaths! They make a pretense of doing so, but they tread all over the Sabbaths which they themselves admit is God’s Holy Time.

    The waitress that serves us is NOT our servant – she is the servant of the manager of the restaurant. And if she were not working in the restaurant, she would NOT be keeping the Sabbath if she stayed home and watched reruns of Gilligan’s Island. Our eating in a restaurant does not enable her to break the Sabbath.

    Nonsense! We are paying the owner to be our servant and to pay the cooks and servers on our behalf; this is pure self-serving double talk!!! We are also partaking of others men’s sins. We are also setting a terrible and highly hypocritical example and we are lovers of personal pleasures more than lovers of God.

    Certainly there are scriptures that you think indicate it is wrong. Others may read those sames scriptures and conclude otherwise. Do you say they are unfaithful to God because they have an understanding different from yours?

    YES! This is not my own opinion the commandments are clear READ the BOOK! Would you argue that we should commit adultery! Neither is it correct to pollute God’s Holy Sabbaths, and it for this very reason that God’s Holy Spirit has been quenched and understanding has departed from the major COG Groups.

    Now, if every member decided for themselves what to teach others on these details of doctrine, based on what they see and understand in the Bible, there would be chaos in the Church. But God has ordained the ministry to have authority over what is taught as doctrine in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16). We are all to speak the same thing, which is only possible with an ordained ministry to determine what that is (1 Corinthians 1:10). God has given the ministry binding and loosening authority (Matthew 16:18-19), and that includes authority over doctrine that is taught in the Church.

    This is more nonsense! You are confusing a physical ministry or corporate entity with God! A godly ministry would be faithful to the Word of God and when a ministry departs from the Word of God it is no longer godly. There is absolutely No authority in any religious organization or ordained eldership; all authority lies in the Word of God and we have authority ONLY as long as w are faithful to the Word of God. Once anyone departs from any part of the Word of God – like the sanctity of the Sabbath – they have forfeited all moral authority.

    Do you not know the law? Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

    3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

    This isn’t a matter of organization vs. the Word of God. It is the Word of God that establishes organization. If you disrespect the organization that the Word of God teaches, you disrespect the Word of God and the God who gave that word.

    Where do you get this stuff? If God sets a man up and that man goes astray from God; you say that we are to continue to follow the man! What utter idolatry against our Mighty God!

    C,L compared some in the ministry with the Catholic Church in placing men equal to or above God. I agree this is a problem in some fellowships, and it may be best to leave such a group. It is not necessarily a problem with all ministers.

    But the Catholic position (I know because I was Catholic before I learned the truth) is that the Catholic Church has the right to interpret the Bible and that members are to believe what the Catholic Church says is true and what they say the Bible means.

    That is NOT what I am saying.

    That IS what LCG teaches! and your Catholic background explains your susceptibility to exalting organizations.

    We must believe the Bible first. The ministry does NOT have authority over what we believe – they do not have dominion over our faith (2 Corinthians 1:24). But they do have authority over what the Church teaches. And if they make a mistake, we can privately try to point it out. But if they still cannot see it, then wait for Christ to make it clear to them in His time. Or, we may be wrong and Christ can make it clear to us. But when disputes cannot be resolved, God makes it clear that the ministry has the authority and we should not create division by speaking against them. That is what the Bible teaches.

    You are partly right, when an apostate ministry does not and will not teach the Word of God according to the scriptures we should leave that organization rather than remain in sin. This is of course a personal decision. The question must be asked; should we support and follow people who teach falsehoods? Can light coexist with darkness? Would the God who is TRUTH remain with falsehood? Does God’s Spirit dwell with the darkness of falsehood and knowing sin?

    “No to idol worship”, yes, I believe Christ appointed Joe Tkach to be pastor general of Worldwide after the death of Mr. Armstrong because the majority of the Church had become Laodicean and it was Christ’s time to let the Church be scattered to test us and show us our faults. Christ guided Mr. Armstrong’s decision in this, not for the reason Mr. Armstrong thought, but for a different reason than Mr. Armstrong imagined.

    This is a self serving cop out. Tkach was still the leader and by leaving him you put the lie to any arguments that we should not leave an apostate organization. In fact it is beyond doubt that LCG and COGWA etc are solidly Laodicean today, because they are organizationally zealous but they are NOT zealous for the Word of God, God’s Sabbaths being a prime example.

    Read the Book; if you have lost the copy I sent you download another for free here: http://godourlight.info/

    Thank you for these messages which have allowed me to explain these things once again and I sincerely hope that there are no hard feelings and that you will read the book with an intellectually and morally open and honest mind. James

  11. Author. When Aaron made the golden calf was that OK because he was an appointed leader? Moses certainly didn’t agree with him. The problem is in your thinking and reasoning. The “leaders” have convinced you that they shouldn’t be questioned. This is a dangerous belief.

  12. Author said: “C.L. compared some in the ministry with the Catholic Church in placing men equal to or above God.”

    my comment: I did not say or imply ‘some’. It is the practice of all the COG groups I have experience with.

    Author said: “But the Catholic position (I know because I was Catholic before I learned the truth) is that the Catholic Church has the right to interpret the Bible and that members are to believe what the Catholic Church says is true and what they say the Bible means.”

    my comment: I can rewrite your sentence to show the same of the COG’s. Watch this.

    But the UCG, COGWA, RCG, PCG, LCG position (I know cause I’ve been exposed to them) is that the UCG, COGWA, RCG, PCG, LCG has the right to interpret the Bible and that members are to believe what the UCG, COGWA, RCG, PCG, LCG says is true and what they say the Bible means.

    They have more similarities of practice to the Catholic Church than differences. They love to ‘lord it over’. Like I said, harlot daughters.

    I believe too many misinterpret 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Starts with, “Rebuke not an elder..”. It is referring to treating our elders (those older than us) as we would our father or mother. And treating those younger than ourselves as brothers and sisters. It has nothing to do with an “easy out” or “don’t confront” those who have given themselves titles and positions of “authority” in a church/organization.

    The COG’s / splinters are just as the Roman Catholic Church in practices. Lording it over and the fact that the underlings (sheep being fleeced) have no ability or authority or God given right / responsibility to correct or remove a “leader” that is error ridden.

    When a family cannot sit down and reason together and grow together it grows apart. Division happens, divorce happens…oh but let’s keep making the same errors over and over again. I HATE that these divisions happen, that people cannot work together because some have to ‘be the bossy’, a position like a tyrannical parent that provokes their “child/ren” to wrath. It’s not good. Isn’t it time to stop it. Ya’ll know the definition of insanity right?

    All Paul says in Timothy is that we are not to rebuke an elder [any older person, in fact anyone] without a just cause, but Paul continues to say that with two or three witnesses the sinner must be rebuked [as the law requires]. As for the Catholic primacy of Peter this was adopted by Herbert Armstrong who thundered this in many sermons, and Charles Bryce told me directly “I a a minister of Jesus Christ, I can do anything I want and God must back me up” He is not alone in this LIE which is still the position of LCG and others today. James

  13. James, I am making good progress in reading your book. It is going slow because I take notes as I read, but I expect to be finished soon.

    But at this point I want to ask a question. Based on your knowledge now about the Sabbath-restaurant issue, including everything you have learned since you left Worldwide until today, if you knew then what you know now, would you have handled it differently?

    Specifically, if you knew then everything you know now, would you have left Worldwide on your own, or would you have stayed in Worldwide and used the opportunity to warn as many brethren as you could to stop eating in restaurants on the Sabbath, until they kicked you out?

    I would have done things exactly the same. I consulted at length with the ministry and then stopped attending. It would have been dishonest to agree not to discuss the matter and then to have done so. If they had not forbidden me to discuss the subject I would probably have stayed longer and done so.

    I had been studying this with my wife for about two years [staying during that time] already and no elder could dispute the matter from the scriptures, something which I would have accepted and my wife I think also. This was not done suddenly or without extensive study, patient consideration and much prayer and consultations with the ministry.

    I was very careful not to act precipitously. Looking back I now see that things were working out so that I could now warn others on a much greater scale than simple having discussions with two or three persons before being kicked out for being dishonest. While I certainly did not know that things would develop as they have, God certainly did.

    Then I would have reached two or three before being booted, now because I acted with principle tens of thousands are being reached with the truth in all the COG Groups, not because of me, but because the recent events in the COG have opened the way and God has brought the brethren to visit from across nearly all of the COG Groups.
    James

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