Keith Hunt - Sabbath Arguments Answered #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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Sabbath Arguments Answered #2

The Worldwide Church of God has abolished the Sabbath commandment - I answer their arguments



WORLDWIDE NEWS - JANUARY 10th  1995

 ".......Now  let's move on to the topic of the Sabbath.......is
the Sabbath  required   in   the   new   covenant?  Or,  as 
another   possibility,  is  it transformed, to be kept in a
different way? We know the Bible doesn't say the  Sabbath   was
changed to Sunday. 
But is  it possible that Jesus Christ changed  the way we ought
to observe the Sabbath?
So the question  is,  How does the Sabbath fit into the new
covenant?"
 

MY COMMENT:
 The   WCG   are   wise   enough   to know (like the Roman
Catholic church  is) there is no Bible authority that establishes
Sunday as the new covenant Sabbath,  they  are  not wanting to
make Sunday into Holy time.  But as we shall  see  later,  they 
now  teach  that the hours of the 7th day are not holy  in  and
by  themselves   either.  Like the teaching of the Jehovah's
Witnesses, there is no time under the new covenant that  is
special  holy time to God,  it is only holy as we determine to
dedicate it to God.
Notice,   Tkach  implants a question  in your mind as  he states,

"But  is  it possible   that   Jesus   Christ   changed  the  way

we ought to observe the Sabbath?" (emphasis  his).   Now   he  
has   you   wondering,   now he has you pondering  the  idea  
Christ   may   have changed things concerning the 4th
commandment.   Now   the   seed of  "maybe it is  so"  is  in
your mind,  he will proceed   to   build   upon  that  thought
and try to show Jesus DID  CHANGE  THE   WAY   TO  OBSERVE  THE 
SABBATH  in the new covenant.  Let's continue with more words
from Joseph Tkach.  

 "Jesus   did   not   argue   with   the   Pharisees   about
whether to keep the Sabbath - but he certainly argued about how
to keep it.  Compared to the Pharisees Jesus was a liberal.  The
Pharisees had rules against healing on the   Sabbath,  but Jesus
made a point of healing on the Sabbath....... Jesus often  
healed   on   the Sabbath.  There again,  a humanitarian need was
more important   than   Sabbath   rules.   In the past,
we've been too strict with this.   Sometimes   we   wouldn't  
even   allow nurses to work for an hour on Friday evening
......."


MY COMMENT: 
Tkach   brings   in   the   problems   Jesus   had with the way
the Pharisees taught   was the way to serve and keep God's  laws.

Now I ask  you:  Were the Pharisees God? Did they write the ten
commandments? Were they the perfect holy sinless one (some
perhaps thought they were)  or was  it Jesus? It was Christ   as 

the God of the old covenant (the WCG may no longer teach  Jesus
was   the   Old   Testament God) who gave the ten commandments
and explained how they should be observed.  
Take   Strong's   Concordance,  look up all  the verses  in the
Old Testament that  state  how   to   observe the Sabbath.  You
may be shocked to discover there  are   VERY   FEW!  
And   not   one   of   them   mentions   anything about
"healings"   on the Sabbath.  Get out your Bible Dictionary and
see what  is written   there   concerning   the   Pharisees,  
who they were and what their theology   was.   You   will  find
they were not  in unity,  they had different schools of theology
learning that could not agree on how to serve God and keep 
His laws.  You will  discover they had HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of
their rules   on  how   to   observe the Sabbath.  God on the
other hand,  gave a  FEW specifics   and   then  a FEW basic
principles on Sabbath keeping.  And yes, there are  a   few 
specific examples of wrong Sabbath observance.  That  is it!!
Tkach   says,   "Compared to the  Pharisees,  Jesus was a 
liberal."   Do  you see   what   he has psychologically done? He
has set you up as they say.  He put   in   your   mind   that  
Jesus   may  have  CHANGED the  way  to  observe the Sabbath in 
the   new   covenant, brought   in   the   Pharisees  and Jesus
disagreement   with   them over Sabbath keeping, then needles
your backside with "Jesus was LIBERAL." It is all  a cleaver set
up for the punch line he wants to hit you with, namely "In the
past we've been too strict with this."
 
Was Jesus LIBERAL?  

Let me talk  about  nurses, doctors, healing and such  like on
the Sabbath.   Tkach   wants to talk about  it,  so will  I. 
Tkach does admit that nurses, doctors,  are not,  quote: 
"healing like Jesus was..."   And that is for sure.   Again, 
look up all  the passages  in the four gospels where Jesus healed

 on   the Sabbath.  Now see if you can find where Jesus held
healing revivals,   healing   campaigns,   where   He  spent  
hours   and hours on the Sabbath   healing   one   person after
another.  See  if you can find where He said to His followers:
"Now is the Sabbath day, what better time to devote hours and
hours to healing people."   See if you can find where Jesus used
the Sabbath  hours to help people and then got PAID   FOR  IT!  
Jesus did not go out of His way to heal  people,  He did not go
looking   for them,  searching them out, on the Sabbath.  He
healed people on the Sabbath as the situation AROSE,  as  it
presented  itself, when  it crossed His path in the synagogue, on
the road as  He strolled through nature.  He frankly did not  
make   the Sabbath a  BIG TIME to do physical  healing on!  Are  
you   getting the picture?  Healing people on  the  Sabbath was
not a priority in His ministry.  Jesus  got  physically drained
of strength after healing many people  in a row,   and  it   is  
written   He   often   had   to   go and rest to recharge Himself
and be refreshed.   The Sabbath day  is a day of rest, refreshing
the physical  and especially the spiritual, not a day of hours of
physical  work  All  this  is  not to say the sick are not to be
taken care of.  Christians in Satan's world at the moment.  He
has not been removed yet,  Jesus has not yet returned to rule the
world and usher  in the restitution  of all  things, when
sickness, hospitals,  nurses,  doctors   will  not be needed as  
we know them today.  We  live  in a mainly carnal  world,  where
there are lots   of   unconverted   carnal   people   READY AND
WILLING AND ABLE to look after   the  things   that   need  
looking   after.   There   are   hundreds   of unconverted   men 

and  women   studying to be nurses and doctors,  ready to take  
the   place   of   those   who  die,   get killed,  retire,  or
resign ,  for whatever reason.  There are many nurses and doctors
who would LOVE to have someone   work   for   them on  SUNDAY,
while they work for someone who keeps the Sabbath. For  the  
most  part  IT  CAN  BE  WORKED  OUT! 

You think  I do not know? Listen   my   friends,   I've   been  
around,   I've had first hand experience working in hospitals,
meeting people in the "health field"  - talking to them,  
counselling them on spiritual  matters.  I've seen and been a
part of Sabbath   keeping groups (that   I   will   tell  you
about in detail  shortly) where   MANY were  in the nursing  home
care,  hospital,  nurses aid,  working world.   And   THEY   KEPT
THE SABBATH BY NOT WORKING (unless  it was an ox in the ditch
emergency,  and  I'll  talk about that later) AND KEPT THEIR
JOBS!  So   do   not   tell   me  it  cannot  be  done. 
There are thousands of dedicated people on this earth that PROVE
OTHERWISE,  and  have the faith to back  it up.   Maybe   too  
many   of   us   have   forgotten   what   FAITH   is, 
maybe we intellectually know what faith  is BUT WE DO NOT
PRACTICE IT.

Let's   get   to   the   heart   and core of this.  The SEVENTH
DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH   has   practiced (against   the   writings 

of   their prophetess  E.  G. White,   I  will   add)   allowing 

and teaching that nurses and doctors and health care workers
(nursing homes etc.) can work at their regular jobs  on the  
Sabbath   AND   get   paid   for it.  I was once in a home of a
friend of mine for THREE Sabbaths  in a row.  They were SDA
members.  My friend's wife was a nurse.  She worked her regular
shift (10 to 12 hours in that part of Canada)   for   those  
three   Sabbaths.   She tried going to church on one of those  
Sabbaths  and was constantly falling asleep,  the other two
Sabbaths  she   just   stayed home and slept.  This was a common 
practice  I  found out, there   were   many Sabbaths during
the year when she worked her shift.  For the   three   Sabbaths 
I was there this lady got nothing out of the Sabbath that it was
created for.  I found out she had never enquired about
working it out so she could get the Sabbath hours off,  because
the SDA church generally taught  it was okay for such people to
work on the Sabbath. 

Years  later, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi had written his book called
FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY and was deeply involved with meditating on
the various Sabbath   questions and problems that arise  in this 
space age.  He was from birth  a   Seventh   Day   Adventist 
and now one of their top ministers and professors.  He was  in
Canada at the town which  I was  living  in,  that also happened 
to  be  the  headquarters   for the SDA church of Canada.  He was
there  to  present lectures  on the Sabbath to Sunday  issue.  My
wife and  I attended  that particular Sabbath afternoon lecture. 
In the evening there was to be an open question and answer
period.  We again attended.
The large SDA church was nearly full,  a few thousand members and
others like my wife and  I were  there to hear Dr.  Sam (as  he 
likes to be called) answer various  questions from the audience.
 A   question given him was  this:  How should SDA   Doctors and
Nurses  keep the Sabbath within the context of their working
profession?
I   looked at  my   wife,  she  looked  at  me.  I  said to her: 
This will  be interesting to hear his answer.
His   reply   to   that question was (and I  remember it well):  
Doctors and Nurses   should   keep the Sabbath  by not working on
that day.  If they must be on call,  it should only be for
emergencies,  and they should receive no pay for hours worked on
the Sabbath.
Let   me   tell   you  I felt like standing and saying AMEN TO
THAT DR. SAM! What he said was contrary to the teaching and
practice of his own church. He was courageous to take that stand.

I do not think very many in  his SDA church  have  taken much
notice of his words.
Now   let   me tell  you about Church of God Sabbath  keepers
that will  put many   to  shame  when   it comes  to exercising
living faith.  I  have worked with and among them,  so I  know
from the horses mouth.  There are dozens of groups from the
Islands of Jamaica, Barbados,  Bahamas   and other parts  of the
West  Indies and Caribbean,  that are directly with or associated
with,  the   Church   of   God (7th   Day).   They   are   a
warm,  happy, singing,  lot  of Christians.   They often do not
have all  the theological  expertise of some of us   from   the
"technically scholastic white Churches of God"  but what they  
lack   in technical  knowledge they make up in a desire to 
"grow"  and serve   the Lord with all  their heart.  Many of
them,  like the SDA members, find   work   in   the   health
field,  as nurses; nurses aids,  nursing homes, home   care  
nursing,   hospitals   etc.   They   arrange   with their place
of employment   to   be   off   during   the   Sabbath   hours to
attend church and worship  God  on  His  Holy  Day!   They  love
the Sabbath,  they rejoice  in  it, it is the high point of the
week to them;  and so it should be.  They are a people that  have
proved you can work  in the medical  health profession and still 
keep the Sabbath holy.  That is what having the faith OF Jesus 
in us is all  about
Yes there may be the times when as a nurse or doctor you will  be
called in on an emergency that no one else can fill,  and that on
the Sabbath.

Under   those   circumstances help the sick,  do it joyfully as
to the Lord, and   ask   for no physical  payment.  And when you
do this,  do not  be filled with   pride   thinking   you
have done some great thing,  for I  have seen TV programs   that 

showed   groups  of nurses and doctors giving their talents and  
time to serve others for days at a time,  and not getting one
dime  in return.   Some of them may have  been "Christian"  but 
I  bet not all of them were.  Even the natural  carnal  heart
contains some good in some people.

Let's here more from Tkach:

 "The old covenant told people not to collect food on the
Sabbath, under threat of stoning, but Jesus defended the right of
his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath.
Let's read it in Mark 2:23-26: 'One Sabbath Jesus was going
through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they
began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him,
Look, why are they doing what is Unlawful on the Sabbath?
He answered, Have you never read what David did when he and his
companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the
high priest, he entered the house God and ate the consecrated
bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave
some to his companions.'
Jesus did not deny that the disciples were working on the
Sabbath. Instead, he pointed out that David himself had broken
one of God's holiness laws, and it had been OK for him to do it.
Taking cart of hunger is more important than keeping such strict
taboos. The letter of the law was broken, but that was OK because
a more important principle of the law was being kept. There was
an important human need.
David had an emergency, but the disciples don't seem to have had
any such emergency. They were just a little hungry, that's all.
The point was that they didn't need to make a fetish out of
avoiding activity on the Sabbath.
Mark continues: 'Then [Jesus] said to [the Pharisees]: Sabbath
was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is
Lord even of the Sabbath'  (verses 27-28)."

MY COMMENT:
Tkach   tries   to link a law of the Sabbath (which  I will  show
you lasted for  only   40 years)  given to ancient Israel  with
grain picking  as Jesus disciples   walked   through   the
fields on a Sabbath.  First,  let's look at that old  covenant
law.
Turn   to   Exodus  16 and read the whole chapter.  There it is 
- God  sent "manna" - whatever  it was,  some type of substance
that took the place of grain  to  make flour and bread.  Remember
they were in the wilderness and that's   where   they   would
remain for 40 years until  Joshua led them into the   promised  
land.   They   were   not   to   go out and gather manna on the
Sabbath  day.  God would not  give them manna on the Sabbath, 
but what they gathered on the sixth day would last over until 
the first day.  It was a miracle  from   the Lord,  each week for
40 years.  What a lesson on Sabbath keeping.
The   word   does   not   tell  us the fine details, what amount
of time was required   to  go   out   and   gather   this  
manna,   what  amount of work  it entailed,   how   much time
and trouble it took to come back and do with  it what they did
with  it.  It does  not matter if it was just minutes  or  if  it
was hours,  it does  not matter from this point.  God  is God, 
and He can set whatever laws  he wants us to obey as He wishes,
we do not tell  Him what to do or what not to do,  and when to do
it.  He tells us!  It is  He  that has the   right  to give any
specific law at any time for as long  as He wants.  God   in  
His   wisdom   and  love gave Israel  a command,  a specific
command regarding   this   collecting   of manna.  It 
is not for us to argue about  it one way or another.  God told
the people of Israel  not to go out on the Sabbath  to collect
manna,   there would be none to collect,  none would  be given 
on   the Sabbath.  He wanted them to get the picture of the
holiness of the Sabbath and exactly which day of the week  it
was.
This   law   was for a DEFINITE purpose and it was ONLY TO LAST
40 YEARS! When they   entered   Canaan,  the manna stopped coming
and that law, that law of the Sabbath ENDED!
When Jesus came in the flesh to this earth,  that law of the
Sabbath had not been in force  for   about  1,400 years!  It was 
a specific law for a specific purpose for a specific length of
time.  God has the right to do such things!

The   disciples   picking   a   few  handful  of  grains, 
rubbing them between their  hands  and  eating the flour,  as
they walked  through the fields on the Sabbath  HAD NOTHING
WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THAT OLD COVENANT LAW Tkach mentions.   It 

is  like,  putting it kindly,  comparing APPLES with ORANGES, and

putting  it bluntly, Tkach's theology is kindergarten
poogadi-doo.  It is theologically unsound to try to acquaint a
law of the Sabbath that had ended   1400  years  earlier  with
what the disciples were doing  1400  years  later.
Did   the  Pharisees point Jesus back to that law of not
collecting manna on the Sabbath?
NO THEY DID NOT!  They had more sense than that,  they knew that 
law  had not existed for  1400 years.  The Pharisees said: 
"Look, why are  they  doing what is unlawful  on the Sabbath?"  
WHOSE law said  it was unlawful  for them to pick a few grains
and eat them when walking through the fields on the Sabbath? Was
it God's law that said that?  If it was you can   be   assured  
they would have been  quick to have quoted book,  chapter and  
verse.   To   have   been able to have PROVED from the word of
God that Jesus  had broken a law of God,  and so have sinned,
would have been their delight.   BUT   THEY   COULD NEVER FIND
WHERE JESUS EVER BROKE A LAW OF GOD AND  SINNED. The  laws  they
accused Jesus of breaking were the laws the  SCRIBES   AND 
PHARISEES HAD  MADE  UP for their followers to obey in the way
they  prescribed  was  the  righteousness of God.  They had about
600 laws regarding   Sabbath   observance,  some  of which would
blow your mind.  The book   of   Acts  talks about "a  Sabbath
days journey." 
See if you can find such a law of the Sabbath given  by God  in
the old  covenant.  You wont find it   -   it  is not there,  no
such law was ever given by God.  That law was a Pharisee law, 
invented by men.
There   is   no    debate   here   between   the   Pharisees and
Jesus on some specific law of God or a certain verse of scripture
about Sabbath keeping that could be interpreted different ways. 
The Pharisees knew there was no law or scripture  in the old 
covenant prohibiting the picking and eating of  a few grains from
the fields on the Sabbath.  It was THEIR MAN MADE LAW they 
accused Jesus of breaking,  that  is why Christ answered
them the way He did.
He showed them that David did a lot more than pick a few grain.
I   must   take   Tkach's   points one by one.  He says,  "Jesus
did not deny that the  disciples   were   working   on  the 
Sabbath."   BUT JUST A MINUTE!  Jesus  did   not  admit   they  
were   working   on   the Sabbath!  Jesus  never admitted   that 

picking   a  few   grains   and   eating   them   on   the  
Sabbath  constituted WORK!   Do you see what Tkach  is doing? He 
is putting  ideas  in your mind from a position he has already
taken  in his mind,  and  is trying to   tell   you   that  
because   Jesus did not come out "flatly" denying His disciples  
were   working   on   the Sabbath,  that that meant He agreed
they were working on the Sabbath and  so breaking the law of God.

The fact that Jesus   did not deny such a thing was not that He
was admitting they were breaking  a  Sabbath law,  but He had  no
need to deny  such a thing  BECAUSE  IT   WAS   NOT   TRUE   IN  
THE  FIRST  PLACE!  There was no such law of God to break, 
therefore NO LAW was being broken except the law of the
Pharisees, and it was they who said  it should not be done.  God
never said  it,  the self righteous, whitened graves full  of
dead men's bones, the Pharisees, they  said  it.

Tkach writes:  "David himself had broken ONE OF GOD'S HOLINESS
LAWS,  and it had been OK for him to do it."
Was the law of consecrated bread one of the TEN commandments? No
it was not!
Can   you   find   it   mentioned  in the outline of the old
covenant  in Exodus 20 to 24? 
No,  it is not there!  Yes  it was a law,  but a law of the
sacrificial   tabernacle   rituals.   It  was   a   law  in 
connection with the priesthood,  and rituals of physical 
ordinances.  When it came to those laws as  opposed to LOVE, 
MERCY,  JUDGMENT, which was to come first - sacrifice or mercy?  
Let God Himself answer that question.
Ps.51:16-19,   "For thou desirest not sacrifice... .thou
delightest not  in burnt  offering.  The sacrifices of God are a
broken  spirit:  a broken and contrite heart, 0 God, thou wilt   


not despise......Then shalt thou  be  pleased   with   the  
sacrifices   of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole
burnt offering:  then shalt they offer bullocks upon thine
altar."
Hosea   6:6 ,  "For  I  DESIRE MERCY,  and NOT SACRIFICE;  and
the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings."

First   God   desires   MERCY,   HUMILITY,  LOVE,  JUDGMENT,  and
KNOWLEDGE of Him,  and after that,  SECONDLY - burnt offerings
and physical  rituals.
There are some laws of God, laws He gave to ancient Israel that
ARE LESS THAN LOVE, MERCY, AND JUDGMENT! Remember what Jesus said
in Matthew 23:23. Some laws of God (like the one under
consideration) TAKE SECOND PLACE to love, and mercy.
What David did in exercising judgment concerning the hunger of
his men, in eating the Tabernacle bread, was GREATER in love and
mercy than a physical law of the ritualistic Tabernacle. 

Understand   please.   It   was   from God that the tabernacle
rituals came into  being,  but not at first  (see Jeremiah
7:22,23),  it was after He had told   them   to   obey   His  
voice and they rebelled,  that the priesthood, tabernacle and
physical  rituals and  sacrifices were instituted.  Yes, there
were   many   laws  regulating that physical  system,  but they
were SECONDARY to mercy, love, judgment, and knowledge of God. 
Jesus was pointing out to the self righteous  Pharisees that
David did break a law of God concerning physical  rituals
and was blameless.  Why?  Because his act was of MERCY and LOVE  
which   God Himself said was ABOVE RITUAL LAWS.  The Pharisees
SHOULD HAVE  KNOWN  THAT   for   the  old   covenant plainly said
so.  David broke a  ritual   law,   that   was true  indeed Jesus
admitted,  and was blameless, " my disciples   have   BROKEN   NO
LAW  AT  ALL  BUT  YOUR  MAN  MADE  LAW,  so how much more are
they  guiltless in God's eye?"   This is what Jesus was telling
them by the example of David and the temple bread.
There are times when LOVE, MERCY, and correct JUDGMENT are
greater than any physical law.

There   is   a   lot   of   difference   between  what David did
and what the disciples did on the Sabbath,  and someone going 
into his bake shop on the Sabbath,   spending   hours  
baking bread and cakes to sell  so the car will not   be  
re-possessed.   There is a vast difference between what David did
in  a   merciful   situation,  than a farmer getting out his
harvest machines and spending hours working on the Sabbath
because the weather man says it  is  going   to   rain   on  
Sunday.   There is a difference between the  "home heating"  
specialist   helping to get the furnace going for the little old
lady   next   door   who will  die from the bitter cold of the
Alaska winter( and   no   one else is available to help) on the
Sabbath,  than the same guy working for his boss on the Sabbath
because his  boss tells him he must or he'll  be fired.
 The   whole   idea behind Tkach's teaching  is not  "the
emergency",  "ox in the   ditch"  Sabbath   work,  although  he
uses such language to deceive and confuse  his  readers.   It  
is   DEEPER   than   that   by   far.  If you think otherwise, 
you  are where he wants you to be, duped.  His overall  goal  is
to so loose the keeping of the Sabbath that we should never
question how any  Church member observes  it,  never make  it a
point of sin (the breaking of  it,   for  that is now left for
the individual  to decide how to keep),  never   make  it a
condition for baptism (never ask  if they are, or will,  keep the
Sabbath as outlined by the 4th commandment).

Making a  "fetish out of avoiding activity on the Sabbath"  is
one thing, but   keeping   the Sabbath as Tkach and the WCG now
teach you can and may with God's blessing,  is ANOTHER  kettle 
of  fish as the saying goes.

Indeed,  the Sabbath was made for man,  not man for the Sabbath. 
Jesus was and is Lord of the Sabbath.  Allowing His disciples to
eat a few grains of wheat as  hey walked through the fields on
the Sabbath was breaking  no law of  God,  and was making the
Sabbath a physical  delight.  The Sabbath was made for the
delight of man.


TKACH WRITES:

"The Lord of the Sabbath has come, and the reality has replaced
the shadow(Colossians 2:17). The New Testament Sabbath, the
Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God (Hebrews 4) is
the new life in Christ, the life of faith in him, the life of the
Spirit. Our weekly Sabbath observance, then, should reflect and
celebrate that fact, but it should not be an old covenant
observance.
The way we usually observed the Sabbath in the past has been to
apply old covenant rules to the new covenant Sabbath, and thereby
bind unnecessary burdens....... 
But it is not correct to say that God demands that a breadwinner
lose his job over the Sabbath. He should work toward devoting the
Sabbath to God, but for the Church to demand that a person under
all circumstances not work on the Sabbath is to miss the
point of it; and to apply old covenant rules to what is now a
part of the new covenant.
The attitude we need is this: I wouldn't necessarily do what that
person did, but I'm not going to condemn him for it. Christ is
his Judge; and I am not. I do what I do to glorify God, and I
hope my brother is doing whatever he's doing to glorify God, too.
Each person should be fully convinced in his own mind, in his own
conscience, Romans 14 tells us.......     
Scripture says that those who don't provide for their own
families are worse than unbelievers, and common sense says that,
too. If the choice is between working on the Sabbath and
providing food for the family, it is not a sin to work on the
Sabbath. It's not the ideal that we should strive for, but again,
we should not apply old covenant rules to the new covenant
Sabbath. They aren't doing it for selfish benefit, but to avoid
hunger and putting their families out on the street."

MY COMMENT:
Now   the leader of the WCG  sees Col .2:17 and Heb.4 as  "doing
away with" the letter of the 4th commandment as found  in Exodus 
20 and Deut.5.   Well  Mr. Tkach,   Professor  Samuele  
Bacchiocchi  and about 8 million SDA church members,  together
with about another 500 thousand Sabbath keepers around the world,

WOULD STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH YOU, yours truly included.
I   see   nowhere  in the New Testament where Jesus  or any of
the apostles or writers of the new covenant,  said anything about
the letter of the law of   the   Sabbath   as found  in EX. 20
being obsolete and void and done away with   under   the age of 
grace and  new covenant.  On the contrary James was inspired  to 
write:   "For   whosoever   shall   keep the whole law,  and yet
offend  in ONE  point,  he  is guilty of all.  FOR HE THAT SAID, 
Do not commit adultery,   said also,  Do not kill.  Now if thou
commit no adultery, yet  if thou  kill,  thou art become a
transgressor of the law.  So speak ye,  and so do,  as they that
shall  be JUDGED  by the law of LIBERTY"  (James  2:10-12).
Who  was  James talking about when he said  "for HE that said" ? 

It was the   God of the old covenant!   Where was James quoting
from in saying  "Do not   commit adultery", "Do not kill."?  Why
from the  10 commandment law of Exodus   20   -   from   the old 
covenant  10 commandments.  James  sure did not teach   that  
the   letter   of the law was nailed to the cross or made void
under the new covenant. Then   again,   maybe   Tkach  will  do
as Martin Luther of the Protestant revolt fame did,  call  the
letter of James  "an epistle of straw."

It   is   okay   now   to   be   a  "bread winner"  in the WCG
and work at your secular  job.  There  it  is from the horses
mouth.  Your circumstance may  be that it demands working on the
Sabbath to keep or find a job,  so go to it Tkach says.  Look,
your Bible says the heart  in deceitful  above all  things and
desperately wicked  (Jer.17:9).  Let's face it, we live in a
world that is  mainly  geared   to   Sunday   keeping,   way  
more demand for working on Saturday  than   Sunday.   Most  in 
North America are back to working  45,  50 and  more hours a
week,  that's  statistical  fact.  You  have a better chance at  
getting   and  holding   a   job   if   you will  work  Friday
nights and/or  Saturdays.   Most of us have probably been  in
situations as bread winners where  we  could   have   accepted  
jobs  with Saturday work and solved our problems much easier and
sometimes very quickly.  If God left  it up to our human  heart
to decide how to observe the Sabbath hours  in regards to
our secular   bread   winning   work,  I  guarantee most of us
would be working  on the Sabbath,  we  would come up with some
excuse for why we had to,  such as:   "Well   I'm  the   bread  
winner,  so I must",  or,  "This job (which demands Saturday
work)  is the only one I can find in my trade," or, " I  can
better provide for my family (and God says  I must provide
doesn't He?)  if I accept  this   Saturday   working  job,"  or, 
"I only have to work two Saturday mornings a month  to get this
great paying job,  I'll  be able to help my family more and have
more to give to the church."
The reasonings would be endless!
Oh,  the  human heart would think of something you can bet.  My
wife and  I have often  said to each other over the years when 
in some very busy secular  profession:   Thank the Lord He has
given us the 4th commandment, what He wrote in it,  for we would
otherwise be working on Saturday.
And  that  is really the truth of  it friends,  without the
letter of the Sabbath command as contained  in  Exodus 20, the
human heart would find an excuse,  a  situation,  a circumstance,

a   pretty  constant  ox   in  the  ditch  reason to bread win on
the Sabbath hours.
Once again (and there will be more times to come)  Tkach hits the

"no judging" platform.
It is true we can not condemn,  as  I  have previously said,  
for we can not see the heart of man as God sees  it,  and  it is
only the Lord who can  finally condemn anyone to eternal death. 
But  is there never a time that we (as Christians knowing what
God  says  IS sin)  can not judge our brother or sister in
SERIOUS matter of sin? Is there never a time that God's
ministers can not judge a child of the Lord in the matter of
serious sins? Are we all just to close our eyes, look the other
way, say nothing when our fellow Christian falls into grievous
sins? 
What says the Lord, what says the Word of the Lord, are we given
any instructions on such matters?  YES, indeed we are!  It is
written, Jesus answered Peter on one occasion, "You have RIGHTLY
judged" (Luke 7:43).
Jesus also said: "Judge not according to the appearance, but
judge RIGHTEOUS judgment" (John 7:24).
Does this sound like we are NEVER to JUDGE?  Christ knew that His
disciples would, from time to time, have to use judgment. He
emphasized they better have the true facts and use correct
righteous judgment, when those situations arose.

Jesus'   instructions on LARGE  sin matters between brethren,  is
recorded in Matthew 18:15-20. The context shows this  is not
petty disgruntlings like  getting   hurt   feelings because a
brother or sister did not hold the church door open for you when
you had your arms full.  This is VERY  SERIOUS  SINS   Jesus  is
here talking about,  because if the brother/sister does  not
repent  the church can put them out of their fellowship!   We are
not to go around   snooping   for   dirt   in   our  brother's
eye,  all  acting  like  secret  agents  on   the   look   out  
for  sin  in others  lives.  Sadly this became the situation  in 
the WCG in the last years of the life of Herbert Armstrong, and  
people  were  "cast  out"   of   the  church for just about any
reason in order to keep everyone "loyal" to the human master. 
This was CULTISM!  All    cults   will   practice   this   type  
of   judgment   -   an  UN-righteous, UN-scriptural  judgment.  
The New Testament plainly does teach a doctrine of "Church
Discipline" where judgment is to be used and correction given. 
But the truth of the matter on this doctrine is NOT the way
"cults" teach and use it.
The   WCG at one time swung the pendulum on this  far  out  to 
the right  and became a cult,  now to brake that  image they have

put  the pendulum  far to the  left and now  teach   a   doctrine

 of  "no judgment."   Neither is the correct   Biblical 
teaching.  God's way  is the plumb line (or pendulum) in the
middle - straight center  -  Amos 7-9.

Peter   judged   righteous   judgment   in   the case of Ananias
and Sapphira (Acts 5).
Again, Peter used righteous judgment with Simon the sorcerer  in
Acts 8.
Paul  used righteous judgment with the high priest Ananias in
Acts 23.
Again, when Paul handed two men over to Satan for correction  in 
1 Timothy 1:18-20, he used righteous judgment.  And when  Paul 
used judgment on the man guilty of INCEST in the Corinthian
church,  it was righteous judgment (1 Cor. 5).
There are more examples  in the new covenant but my point is
already proved.

So what about Jesus saying, "Judge not that you be not judged"?

It   should   be   clear   now   that   Jesus   was   saying we
should not judge UNrighteous   judgment,  so we would not be
unrighteously judged.  Jesus went on to  say:   
"For    with    what    judgment    ye   judge,   ye   shall   be
judged.... "(Mat.7:2).   It is a  serious matter to judge,  it
better be done with GREAT CARE!  You had better make sure
you have the true facts and that  serious sin/s are being
committed,  the clear commandments of the Lord are being  broken,

 that could,  if not repented of,  effect the  individual  and
possibly  the whole church.  We can not condemn,  but God gives
us the right to JUDGE  in the appropriate situation.
Turn to Galatians chapter 6,  verses  1-3.  Paul  is instructing
brethren to help each other when one of them is overtaken  in a 
serious fault or sin. The  one doing the restoring  is to
have humility and not be self righteous and conceited.  
Obviously   righteous   judgment  must   be employed  in this
setting,  and clearly it must be the context of clear sin and the
breaking of the commandments of God.
The apostle James wrote about this also:  "Brethren,  if any of
you do  ERR  FROM  THE   TRUTH,   and   one   convert   him;  
Let   him   know,  that he which converteth a  sinner   from  
the   error   of  his  way shall  save a soul  from death,  and 
shall  hide a multitude of sins"  (James  5:19,20).
There   it   is again,  the same as what Paul  said only in
different words.
The  context  is  SIN!  And a brother/sister falling from the
truth  into sin. The   new  covenant   defines   sin   as   the  
breaking   of   the law - the ten commandment  law (as  
amplified   by   the  whole  Bible) of God,  in-which the Sabbath
command is the 4th point of that law.
To   convert   someone   who   has   fall en   away   from  
truth  into  sin  NEEDS JUDGMENTAL  DISCERNING  of the proper
kind,  the righteous kind.

Tkach tries to use Romans 14 to give Biblical proof for his
statement.
Obviously,  from the rest of the new covenant,  the  "judging" we
have been talking  about  can not be what Paul  had  in mind
here.  Otherwise the Bible would  contradict itself.   People in
Rome were CONDEMNING each other,  and that over  NONE ESSENTIAL
MATTERS as far as salvation was concerned.  Paul does  not 
mention  the commandments of God, or the law of God.  He does not
mention  even  the statutes or precepts of God.  The entire 14th
chapter of Romans   is   dealing   with  some  of   the
Christian  FREEDOM  areas of  life that  are  not  sin and  is
left for us to decide which and when we will  practice them.
The   word   "Sabbath"   does   not   appear   in   this chapter.

The days here mentioned  are connected with fasting - when one
determines to fast or not eat,  is for us to determine as 
individuals -  it  is our freedom.  If we want to eat animal
flesh we can,  if we want to eat only herbs and vegetables and no
flesh meat, we can -  it is our freedom in Christ.  There are
many things we can choose or not choose,  neither the doing or
the not doing,  is  sin. Many in Rome were condemning each other
for things they did or did not do, and  Paul  had to tell 
them BOTH WAYS were acceptable to God - neither the doing or the
not doing of which was SIN!
He also instructed them to be sensitive to the practices and
wishes of other Christians in  the   matter   of   "freedom in
Christ."   If you doing something  you had the freedom to do
(because it was not sin as God defines sin) would cause your
fellow brother/sister to be offended, then Paul taught you should
refrain from doing it.
This is what Romans 14 is all  about, and has nothing to do with
the Church or individual  Christians  judging the matter of sin
and the breaking of the commandments of God.
Finally in this section, Joseph Tkach pits one scripture against
another to "do away"  with one while establishing the other as
pre-eminent. This contort of the mind on scripture is a favorite
of Satan's.  He tried to use it on Jesus during His 40 days of
fasting.
The verse that Tkach  is referring to is found  in 1  Timothy
5:8.
As  I  have  said before the psychological  mind play used by
this leader of the WCG is very profound.  He has repeated many
times (they say repeat a lie often enough  and people will 
believe  it)  to his readers that the letter of the  law of  the 
Sabbath  is  not  binding under the new covenant.  After
conditioning you over and over again to believe this or at
least entertain it  as  a  possible  truth,  he now throws you  1

Tim. 5:8.  Ah,  he would say, this  is  NEW  covenant teaching
from the lips of Paul.
Do you see what he has done?   Because,  in his mind,  the letter
of the 4th  commandment   as   found   in   Exodus   20,   does 
not  apply  under  the  new  covenant,  then   this   verse by
Paul  has GREATER strength and predominance and  application, 
for it  is found  in the new covenant text.  He ignores the
context of this verse and does not ask any questions like:  Did 
Paul  give this verse to prove to Timothy that the letter of the
law of the Sabbath was now void,  or to argue the fact that
working on the Sabbath was fine if it  meant it enabled you to
provide for your own?  Tkach ponders none of this nor does  he
ask you to meditate on this verse with those questions  in mind. 
He has  hoped that his hammering away at the letter of the law of
the Sabbath has done its job and convinced you that what he has
said  is  indeed  so.   That   done,  he can then easily hit you
with this verse in the book  of Timothy.  He hopes you will  see
that the GREATER LAW is to provide for your own EVEN TO THE
EXTENT of working on the Sabbath.
Let   me   ask   you   this:  Is this basic truth and law of God
that Paul  is reiterating in  1 Timothy 5:8,  found  in the TEN 
commandments of Exodus  20?  It   is   a   truism  of
God, yes  indeed.  It is a principle - a precept - that God 
wants us to follow.  BUT, are we to follow that precept AT THE
EXPENSE of one of the VERY FOUNDATIONAL COMMANDMENTS of God as
recorded in the 4th commandment of THE ten?   Shall  we
BREAK other commandments of the Lord  to fulfil  this  one?   
Some   could   argue   that God's   word   says nothing
specifically about the use of so called "illegal  drugs" such as
cocaine.  Is it okay for me to traffic in drugs because I have
little eduction,  am out of work, because no jobs are available 
in my area, and  God  says  I  am to provide for my own?    
Can the mother of say, four little children, LIE for her boss in
order to keep her job,  because she must provide for her own, 
and there is no "dad" around to take over?   A man works as
a waiter.  One day his boss tells him there is going to be an all

woman' s club meeting once a month  in the evening.   They   want
to have the waiters sexually dressed  or  I  should say
UNdressed, as part of their entertainment.  This Christian man 
in our scenario has been chosen as one of many,  to give these
sex crazed ladies what  they want. He  is good looking and well 
built.  His boss says this  is now part of his job,  if he wants
to keep his job he must comply.  Our man is the bread winner,  he
makes a good salary plus tips.  He knows God  says he  must 
provide  for his own.  His wife cannot work for she has a health
disability.  He will get even better tips the night these ladies
come to be waited on by sexy stripped men.
Under all  these circumstances,  is it okay for him to do as his
boss demands?  Is  it blessed from the Lord for him to so act?  
Does the divine precept   "if   any   provide   not  for  his 
own.. .he  has  denied  the  faith..." allow him to break the
commandment against adultery and immorality,  so he can keep his
job and be a provider?
Tkach   would   probably   answer   "no  he cannot do this."  
His reasoning would go  like this:   The new covenant REPEATS the
law of adultery and sexual immorality so we  must keep it, but  
the   letter   of   the  4th  commandment   is   not   repeated 
in  the new covenant,  so we can  ignore  it  if  the  situation 
warrants  it.   Do you see how the mind can twist and turn to fit

"the   situation   ethics"   of   the   Sabbath   command.  The
Catholic and Protestant leaders have been doing  it for
centuries.  It's not too hard for Tkach to take up their band
wagon and roll  with  it.  It's the same old arguments and human
reasonings that have been around for a long long time to dethrone
the Sabbath command  into spiritual  "mush,"   "sentimental" 
mind thought, and the least of the commandments.
The   context  of  1 Timothy  5 and  verse  8 has NOTHING to do
with HOW TO KEEP THE SABBATH!   Paul  is not giving instructions
on  "Sabbath  questions."
He   is   not   answering Timothy's  question about which  is the
greater law - keeping  the   letter   of   the 4th commandment or
holding on to your job to provide for your own.  
Look at  it friends!   See if you can find anything about the
Sabbath law in those verses of 1 Tim. 5.   The plain truth  is
that Paul is talking about and giving instructions REGARDING
"widows that are widows indeed"  (verse 3).Widows in the church
that had no relative to help support them physically,  they were
to be honored (helped)  because they were true widows in every
sense of  the word. 
Such, the church was to help with their physical needs if they
needed help. The church was always to help its genuine poor, many
verses show that truth.

Widows   that   had   children  or  nephews  in  the  church, 
that was another story.  That situation  Paul  was  inspired to
give different  instructions on.  It was the God given duty for
children and nephews to help and take care of the physical  needs
of their blood line widows. 
The context is and  Paul is answering the question:  WHO SHOULD
TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS OF THE WIDOWS IN THE CHURCH?
Paul's clear instructions (inspired by the Holy Spirit) was: "If
any man or woman that believeth have widows, LET THEM RELIEVE
THEM,  and let not the church be charged; that it may RELIEVE
THEM THAT ARE WIDOWS INDEED" (verse 16). 

Paul, a man of God who upheld,  served, obeyed the commandments
of God.  Paul, a  man of  God who wrote that the laws of God were
HOLY,  that they were  SPIRITUAL, that they defined WHAT SIN WAS!

This man of God that the Jews could  find  NOTHING to accuse him
of (Acts 25; 26), was then a Sabbath keeper in the letter and in
the spirit.     
This man of God  who said: "Follow  me as  I follow Christ" would
as they say  "turn over in his grave" if he knew people like
Tkach were using his instructions about supporting church  widows
to teach that breaking the Sabbath  in the letter was fine and
dandy, that his instruction for support of widows came ABOVE and
was GREATER than the words of the 4th commandment as written  in
Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
Again,   let   me  repeat (Tkach likes to keep repeating his
pronouncements): this section  of 1 Timothy 5 has nothing
directly to do with  "how to keep the   Sabbath."   It would have
been the furthest thing from Paul 's mind for him to have thought
that anyone would construe that he was teaching letter of the law
Sabbath breaking when uttering these words about physically
helping widows in the church.
 
Notice the words of Tkach:  "If the choice is between working on
the Sabbath, and providing food for the family, it is not a sin
to work on the sabbath."

He gives you no Scripture to back up his lofty decree and rule.
Nothing here with a "thus says the Lord." Just a statement of
Paul's taken out of context, put together with previously
stated reasonings, founded on the sands of false doctrine (the
letter of the 4th commandment is "done away" under the NT) and a
deeper truth has been revealed to him that to prevent your "own"
from going hungry, it is okay to work at your job on the Sabbath.
Where is FAITH in all of this?  If you can do your own thing
anytime you think it necessary, then faith is not needed, yet the
Scripture says we live by faith, we trust God to help us obey His
commandments, just as Daniel and his three friends did, even in
the face of death for such obedience. Where is the CHURCH in all
this and its caring, loving, helping, people when in physical
need? Where is the NATION in all this, and our unemployment
benefits and welfare system (most Western nations have such help
available)? Where is the Churches POOR FUND in all this (the NT
says the church is to help the poor and needy)?
Where are all the FOOD BANKS and other charities that serve the
needy, in all this?
There should not be, need not be, one single person, one single
child, in the Church of God that should go hungry or homeless
BECAUSE OF SABBATH KEEPING!!
If they are doing what the Father says to do, if they are doing
their part in finding suitable employment, if they are not being
lazy and trying to bum a free ride off society and/or the
Church, if they are serving the Lord and keeping His
commandments, the CHURCH ALONE, never mind Governments, should
never see a single member go hungry or be living on the
streets. Such language from Tkach is mind freezing and
incomprehensible in the light of the true Church of God passages
concerning works (i.e. James 1:22-27; 2:14-17; 1 John 3:14-24).

There are many other NT verses to add to the above, that teach
the Church is to look after its own in a physical way, those that
have need of such help. Possibly because the WCG is forgetting
all this, possibly because they do not have a "poor fund,"
possibly because they are in financial decline, they cannot or
will not function as the true Church of God should. So it
is easy for them to loosen the letter of the Sabbath command and
let people work on God's Holy Day, faith not having to be
exercised.  This will mean less responsibility for members to
help those in physical need because of Sabbath keeping, and more
money coming into the WCG bank account to pay Tkach and all his
"dumb sheep" ministers, who lack faith to walk away and tell him
to "get lost: and stop making the WCG into another CULT.
That is the truth of it friends. The WCG is already another cult!

This is why I say that:  A cult blindly follows its head leader.
It has become a cult partly because it has a head leader, a
single person that pulls all the strings, presses all the
buttons, dictates to the people what they will believe and
practice and follow. If you think these new teaching of the WCG
have come about because all the ministers in that organization
got together at some ministerial conference, and collectively,
prayerfully, studies the Word, and saw the light, you are
DREAMING yourself into never-never-land. 
It is Tkach and a few of his inner circle chimps who have devised
these new freedom (they claim it is freedom, but it is really old
sin coming as light) laws to impose on the membership. It is they
who wheel the power, they dictate what shall be, and it would
seem many do act as their dumb sheep by following their every
"baa, baa" into the sheep fold of cultism.

 TO BE CONTINUED

First written in 1995. 

All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, publushed,
e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr.Hunt trust
nothing will be changed without his consent.


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