|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 12. Church Sabbath
Sabbath comes from the Hebrew verb shabbath, meaning "to rest from labor," first mentioned in Genesis 2:2. This is critical, it means rest, not "assembly," and certainly not "church attendance." Christians love to quote the verse, "do not neglect to meet together" (Hebrews 10:24-26) to obligate their flock to "come to church" on Sunday. All well and good. Let the goats be drawn to their kyriakons in chains. For the sheep, nothing could be further from the truth. They can assemble at any time, anywhere, and even two or three gathered together constitute a valid ekklesia. This verse has nothing to do with the day of rest, nor would any apostle have written to suggest that the elect assemble with goats in a church. Yet all across the globe "going to church" on Sunday has become an obligatory ritual, a religion in its own right, even for the most disobedient, disbelieving and dead disciples of Christianity. God is not the least bit appeased by such traditions of men. Here is Gods message to churchdom and sabbath worshippers: "Bring no more vain offerings new moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies I cannot endure sin and solemn assembly your feasts my soul hates when you spread forth your hands I will hide my eyes from you even though you make prayers I will not listen cease to do evil, learn to do good " (Isaiah 1:13-17) "I despise your feasts and take no delight in your solemn assemblies take away from me the noise of your songs." (Amos 5:21-24) Are your ears tingling to hear this? Then let us look in detail at what the sabbath is, and what it is not.
The prophets and apostles make it clear that sabbath worship, and other festival worship, making the importance of the day replace the Lord, was a catastrophic mistake in the Old Testament and a constant error of the clergy in the time of Christ. "Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath," writes the apostle Paul. He knew how the churchmen had hounded Christ, and his disciples, for the freedom they had on the Sabbath day (Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-6), and that Jesus had told them they had the whole thing upside down. The elect were walking with the Lord of the sabbath, and the churchmen could only stand grinding their teeth, plotting to kill him. Those churchmen are still with us. They are utterly devout and equally dead, and cannot stand that any should be free from their religion. All they can think to say is, "Where were you last Sunday?" when someone manages to escape them. When I see them I sometimes imagine I can hear the chains clanking. I have met the most fanatical of elders and duly qualified ministers who will not even let anyone stay in their house if they did not strictly keep their sabbath. Even the other church goats found them tiresome, and their children were wrecked as far as any faith was concerned, other than churchmanship. I recall a Presbyterian minister once admonishing his dour flock of goats that "recreation was not reverence," explaining that those who had gone to the beach on Sunday were sinning because they were not in the pews listening to him. In fact those on the beach were much closer to God than sitting under his unscriptural teaching. I could not wait to escape that house of death and head for the fresh air myself.
The true Sabbath is the eternal and glorious Rest into which Christ entered (or more properly, returned) after he had successfully ransomed his sheep, sealed and confirmed them in His finished work forever. His sheep have also already entered that rest because they are "in Him," but the goats do not enter into it at all. (Hebrews 4:1-5) Every obligation of the Law of Moses is fulfilled in Christ on behalf of his sheep. However, this does not mean that the law is discarded. As a way to eternal life it is obsolete (and always has been with One exception) because all depends on Gods grace. All the elect past and present can only be redeemed by him. No man has ever perfectly kept the law, been sinless from birth to death, and satisfied Gods requirement except Jesus Christ. Even the churchmen and politicians were unable to convict Christ of a single sin. (John 8:46; 18:38; 1 Peter 2:22) But as a rule of love and obedience, the law remains in place. Yes, love. When Jesus defined the law of love to the ever-tricky churchmen he rolled the Ten commandments into just two. (Matthew 10:34-40) He said, "I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it," and Paul wrote that the law has by no means disappeared. (Matthew 5:17-20; Romans 13:9,10) Love is not the gooey mush peddled by the church and world, it is fulfilling the commandments of Christ, and a quiet joy that comes with this obedience. The Ten Commandments are entirely satisfied by Jesus, and yet are not abolished; the elect are not free to steal, murder, or commit adultery. The sheep will be inclined to keep the commands by "positive default." They cannot keep them perfectly, but their hearts have been made anew to lean in that direction. The same is so then, for command number four, keeping the sabbath. This is not a secondary law or even a cultural law rendered obsolete by Christ, like avoiding pork or shellfish. If erased it would be the odd one out in the Ten. It is not odd, but in its right place. If erased it would imply that we now justifiably work non-stop seven days a week (corporate employers heaven). Other nations have even tried to change these times completely, including the dismal failure of a ten-day week. Seven is the number. Why? Because God created the days, and man is in his image, even the reprobate shadows of men reflect him. We neither consider the week seven days of work nor seven days of rest. Otherwise we would be extremely rested or exhausted. We need time out. The question is how and when to do this.
Firstly, the elect need not hesitate to do right and good on a rest day, or any day, in the manner demonstrated by their Master and for which the churchmen yearned to kill Him. (Matthew 12:1-14, Luke 13:10-17) We may help any we may see in need, especially in things that cannot be postponed. It is especially good to have a day separate from ordinary toil, to eat and fellowship with other disciples to the uplifting and enjoyment of all. And if one can find a fellowship on that day, especially where the numbers are great enough for members to recognize and choose leaders (extremely rare today) then all well and good. Avoid the clergy like leprosy. This cannot be stressed enough. Priests and churchmen will particularly hound the elect on their sabbath as they did the Master and apostles, incensed at their freedom. They will forever bid men come and put on chains in church. That is what they think their sabbath is for. The sabbath is the creature, not the Creator. Churchmen make it their idol and god, and will bet their souls on attending on their sacred day. Not so the elect. One thing is sure, we must not be caught "going to church" on their sabbath, unless there is the unusual opportunity of hearing a prophet in the den of vipers, preaching so that the goats squirm in their pews, even that some may reach repentance, discovering themselves to be sheep.
The elect have great freedom in the day of rest, yet without discarding it and working all the time. Any day may be used to concentrate on the things that matter, but the day of rest is a perfect time to meditate on God; not the church, but on God. He created instantly, and then labored with intense and unimaginable energy, beyond our feeble comprehension, bringing forth staggering abundance for six days, resting on the seventh to survey and contemplate. On this basis, and this alone in scripture, we are told to work six and rest on one. (Exodus 20:9-11; 31:17) Some people are fortunate to work five and rest two. Some work four and rest three. Some are wealthy enough not to work at all. But even the poorest sheep, in the spiritual realm, are already in the real Sabbath because they are "in Christ," who accomplished all and entered into that special Rest. (Hebrews 4:1-9) All the sheep will also be granted to enter into that Rest when He returns. (2 Thessalonians 2:7) But He will inflict vengeance on those who do not obey the Word, "They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might," when he comes on that Day for his elect. (2 Thessalonians 2:8,9) The religious goats are promised, most awfully, that they will never rest but "bend their backs forever." (Romans 11:9,10; Hebrews 3:18,19) Perhaps every day in hell is a church sun-day, evangelists scouring the streets with do-it-yourself salvation booklets, clergy wandering around hopelessly looking for the long-redeemed elect to convict for non-attendance, pew-sitters listening to those frustrating sermons, singing repetitive ditties and dirges, watching homosexuals get married, eating their sacraments to the full, or whatever else it is they will be mired in forever and ever. God has warned many times in scripture that He will hand people over to their desires on earth, to drink their chosen cup to the dregs; perhaps they likewise receive a similar version in perdition without end.
Now which day is this day of rest? Seventh Day Adventists, a sect that rightly rejects the satanic origins of Romanism and yet which is still tightly bound in salvation by works, are correct that the earthly sabbath is Saturday, the sabbath of Israel. The Christian Sabbath was "originally observed on Saturday, later on Sunday." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Easter, Std.Ver.1999) The two days and two nights which the church worships from their fishy Good Friday to their sacred pagan Sun-day (based on Sol and his first of the week sunrise ceremony) are obviously wrong. There were three days and three nights according to our Lord himself. (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19) This means that Jesus was either raised on the equivalent of the Monday (if he were executed on Friday) or crucified on the equivalent of Thursday (if raised on the first day, Sunday), or even crucified on Wednesday (if he was raised on the Jewish seventh day of rest, Saturday). After three days and three nights he accomplished all. Being Passover there would have been two sabbaths or special rest days in that week, the Hebrew pesah, Greek word pascha (Passover), and the normal sabbath, which explains the supposed "discrepancies" (regarding the sabbath references in scripture) that the church uses to concoct its two-day sham. The fish-on-Friday to Sun-day sunrise comes entirely from pagan festivals, as we shall see later. This is just one more mark of the Church Antichrist, "changing the times and seasons." (Dan 7:25) But this does not mean that the day of rest in Christ is now Saturday or Sunday. For a start our calendars have been changed many times by the church. If we were to take the sabbath of Israel at the time of Jesus and multiply it times seven to the present it would not likely fall on a Saturday today. So what? It is of no account whatsoever. "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord, and he who does not observe the day to the Lord does not observe it." (Romans 14:5,6) The apostle called this observance of days a neo-pagan desire, "returning to the weak and beggarly elements of bondage." (Romans 4:8-10) Read again the prophets and apostles; do not get fixated on the new moons or sabbaths, like the Catholics, Protestants and Pentecostals (classic Roman Protestants with feet in both camps) and countless other sects of Christianity and their reprobate pagan cousins.
The actual day is now eclipsed by Christ, but men are still confined in a seven-day week, and are made in the image of the one true living God (especially the elect redeemed to that image) who worked six and rested on the seventh. So rest from ordinary toil and distractions, but do not be snared, like the dead churchmen of all religions, into pointless calculations of whether cooking or washing your face constitutes work. They would account for every second of their unholy energy on their day. Use the free time of that day (or days if you have them) to contemplate the Word, Christ and Scripture, the Power and the Glory. Rest in him. Learn of him. Fellowship, if able and so favored, with the elect in him. And, I will say this even a third time, such rest has nothing to do with entering a house which is not of his making. Rest days are not for unpleasant disputing with goats, nor for attending their steeple houses. God did not set time aside for his children to sit suffering in a bench in a pagan kyriakon with nonsense spouting from some church-ordained clergyman in a raised pulpit. Goats may try to justify their temple sabbath by pointing to Christ visiting the synagogues. That does not hold water. Jesus was sent primarily to the Jews (crumbs did fall from his table to individual non-Jews, but the widespread command of repentance to the Gentiles did not come until after Pentecost) and he did enter synagogues on the sabbath to address an audience where they met (it seems John the Baptist did not, the church came out after him) but for the most part the synagogues rejected Christ, especially when he confronted them with election. At first those classic churchgoers, "marveled at the gracious words" and then, as he cut to the quick with the words that the clergy avoid, and told them twice over that one may be chosen and many bypassed, "They rose up and thrust him out that they might throw him down over a cliff." (Luke 4:22-30)
The post-Pentecost apostles and disciples were directed to take their message to the whole world, from the Jews and their synagogues to the pagans and their "high places," even the Parthenon in Athens, but they were not directed to erect such temples, nor ever to return to the abolished "house made with hands." The synagogues were their enemy, as Jesus predicted. Their lingering in the Jerusalem Temple was also futile. With the final sacrifice of Christ the temple and all its mini-copies (synagogues), priests, sacrifices and everything else were rendered obsolete for all time. Even the early disciples did not grasp this at first, but they could not ignore it, receiving the letter to the Hebrews, recalling Christs words of impending destruction, and finally seeing the Temple smashed to its foundations. Paul often visited the synagogues and returned on occasion to the Temple. If he were alive when the Romans leveled Jerusalem it must still have been a shock to one so steeped in those traditions, even if he knew it was coming. But it was gone, and the Lord was finished with such earthly shadows. Let us state it again, because the goats will forever try to mislead the sheep in this critical matter, the house of the Lord is His ekklesia, not a physical structure. (Acts 7:48; Ephesians 2:19,20; Hebrews 9:11,24) The elect must not long for that kind of temple like the Israelites in exile, or the deluded Christian goats today. Yearn instead for His return and the revelation of the entire ekklesia, the children and true household of God in a new heaven and earth. (Romans 8:19-21)
Freed from the Temple and synagogue the rest day has a much higher meaning, and that is the one the sheep must hold precious and celebrate. Theirs is the God who brought forth all creation in six days and rested on the seventh, who destroyed all but a few by flood, and will return to destroy all but the elect by fire. Yes, He will consume all else in flame, every religion, every devout churchman, every cathedral carbuncle, every hocus-pocus priest, every cult blemish, every shrine and synod stain, every eyesore on the planet, and make all things new and sparkling pure for his children in the eternal Rest. Choose whatever day you will, but not on account of world religion. Jews and Adventists have the seventh day (of the modern calendar) and it does not help them at all. Christians have the first day of the week and it does not help them at all. Muslims have the sixth day and it does not help them at all. (This is the most terrible Judeo-Christian offshoot, founded by a brutal caravan raider, Muhammad, the self-proclaimed prophet, descendant of the forefather of the Arab nation, Ishmael, boasting of this lineage and most worthy of his awful genetic trait to this day: a wild ass of a man, always fighting against everyone else. Genesis 16:11,12) Jews and Muslims will even count the hours of their sabbath, rabbis and imams arguing over every jot and tittle of what might be construed as labor and what is permissible on their day. Away with the superstition of new moon or sabbath timing as if it were sacred in itself. That is exactly what the church does, making an official or unofficial sacrament out of its sabbath, revering the creature instead of the Creator.
The elect must simply reserve time out to rest in Him as they would not normally do on a workday. By all means cook your stew the day before if you prefer and desire more freedom on the day of rest, a perfect time for a help-yourself banquet of leftovers. Or prepare on the day if it is pleasing, a perfect time for a barbecue in companionship. This should be an occasion to relish and savor both physical and spiritual food in fellowship, anything but a set church chore. You are not expected to go into suspended animation. Do not bind your soul with the guilt or suspicion of what is work and what is not. Away with the fiendish rulebooks of religion and church. When the scripture says this day is "not for your own ways or pleasures" it does not mean a dour obligation but a time reserved to "delight in the Lord." (Isaiah 58:13,14) This is a day to particularly make the Lord your "portion and cup." (Psalm 16:5; 73:25,26; 119:57) Fill the hours with Him in preference. As best as you can, without selfishness, do not be consumed with ordinary tasks but lay them aside and choose what Jesus called the "good part," letting your ears soak up the Word. (Luke 10:40-42) Are there some trustworthy mouths with words deserving a listening ear? Then hear them, or invite them. I would go a long way to hear a Charles Spurgeon, even if the setting was regrettably a house made with hands, better still a George Whitefield in a town hall or open field.
Only do not put yourself under a false professor in a church. Even the flawed realm of sky and earth declare Gods handiwork far better than those rotten pulpits. (Psalm 19) Go for a walk and observe what He has made despite the scars of the Fall. Look at it carefully; drink it in. John the Baptist did that in the bleak desert (so much for his church attendance) and returned with something worth hearing. (Luke 1:80) Do not give me the excuse that he was an extraordinary prophet. I know that, he is my favorite in that lineage, but the Spirit in him is the same as the One in you, if you are of God. Do you have a message? Then do not withhold; share it. Are you alone? Then spend the day with Him; consider a passage of the Word and take a time in prayer. It is not as though we forget God on other days (another mark of churchdom), far from it, but keep a time of relaxation and contemplation that is different from weekly toil. Certainly, put aside more if able. Every day will be so in the eternal Rest. This is like all aspects of Christs salvation of his sheep, secured and sealed, past, present and future, because the Creator is not constrained by his creature, time. Written in the Lambs Book of Life from all eternity, we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved.
While the church is performing its pantomime and Eucharist you can be worshipping, walking together or fellowshipping around a table with good food and fine wine. Yes! Good food is one of the great gifts, so integral with the fellowship of the chosen, and never to be abolished! There is a table waiting right now with a specific reservation at every seat and the name of each elect person written on it. Make no mistake, the seating arrangement is precisely in order as decreed by the Father (Matthew 20:23) and every place will be occupied. There will be no empty chairs (for those whom the church vainly taught that God had a wonderful plan but unfortunately they turned Him down in their imagined sovereignty) and the food will be out of this world. We cannot conceive what will be on the Grooms table when we enter the Feast of feasts, the gateway and celebratory beginning of His rest; or how many courses, or how many toasts and speeches, or how superior the wine to the vintage He created with a finger-snap in his first miracle at Cana. (John 2:1-11) But Ill tell you this; it will not be the common dregs the guests at that wedding said the cheap hosts usually saved for the end of a party (when no one would notice) or the dross juice and pathetic, insipid imitations which the church concocts to taste like fermented grapes. Hear this; the King has promised he will drink real wine again with his own and I tell you now that the elect will gasp in wonder at the tasting of it. (Matthew 26:29)