Hey family! Recently Anne and I had a short Facebook messenger convo talking about cults and requiring Sabbath observance where I tried to tease out the Biblical answer. We have run into this topic again and again with the door to door cult members from various organizations and I think this may be an angle that will help a few others as well at the very least in thinking through these things yourself.
Enjoy! (Pretty much an exact transcript, though I tried to clean up my Facebook misspellings… 🙂 )
Read isa.56, notice how many times mentioned gentiles keeping Sabbath. I think if you debate with that cult, they will show you this
Then what do you do
Hmm yeah. So, need to look at the history of the Sabbath and what is the Sabbath.
God talks about the Sabbath in Genesis 2 first
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and wall the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
So this is the first Sabbath.. now the controversial point here is what does God mean by the 7th day
In Hebrews the author explains it like this:
Hebrews 4 1 ‘” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” And again, in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
It talks about this 7th day as the period God is currently in, that in the 7th day He began to rest and that that rest has to do with really the time after the creation into the time we should enter in with Him but without Christ we can’t enter into His rest
observing the sabbath originates in entering into a kind of restful life in God and this is central to what we are called to
So the complexity comes from the word in Genesis means “period of time” not necessarily day. Then it becomes complex because God instructed Israel to keep the Sabbath on a specific day as a people and gave commands for how they should represent this Sabbath rest
but the Israel commandment represents the ultimate picture God is calling people into..
That is why Jesus can say things like “my Father is working until now and is always working” in John 5:17
Jesus said that when the Pharisees accused him of not keeping the Sabbath, but He points out they don’t understand the Sabbath or what God is trying to call people to with it
I think the best way to handle the cults is to point out how Jesus broke the traditional Sabbath picture maybe ask them to explain those verses out
This is so complicated. Please write a blog then give to me to read, lol
the main thing those cults can’t answer something like John 5 why does Jesus seem so callous about it if observing the Sabbath in the sense of the Jewish Law is what God ultimately means?
In a lot of these cult sabbath systems Jesus would be cast out
and He usually is.. since those cults have a habit of saying the Messiah has already come back in the form of a different person who is more clear
Yeah so the word Sabbath even comes from the Genesis 2 passage. We know that the Law in general is a one time kind of expression of God’s moral character. The Sabbath commandment is the same, but we should ask what is that principle in God’s moral character that is so important? Even in the case of murder, adultery all those commandments it is good to keep them but even more important we live according to the principle behind them. Christ calls us to the kind of life that understands those principles and when we do we see even the law doesn’t go far enough and God’s heart calls us to be a specific sort of good person deep down (Matt 5)
Right. That makes sense now.
You should post in the form of conversation bubbles.