Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Sabbath, Part 3

I was just rereading what I wrote last time and realized it might be a little unclear. So I revised a little. Hope it helps.

Romans 14:5 says, "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." We are not to judge each other on this matter. But I wondered, what would make someone choose either Saturday or Sunday as the "proper" day?

Regarding Saturday vs. Sunday, I've seen that the various views of churches fall into these categories:
  • The Sabbath was kept on Saturdays throughout the Old and New Testaments, and it must be kept on Saturdays now. That is the Biblical day, despite the efforts of the Church to change it to Sundays.
  • The Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday by apostles in the early church. It is clear that God approved this change (perhaps even meant it to change), and therefore we must keep Sabbath on Sunday, and not Saturday.
  • The Sabbath does not need to be a particular day of the week. To work 6 days and rest on the 7th means that we must have one day a week for a Sabbath. It could be any day, even Thursdays, just as long as you keep a Sabbath every seventh day.
  • The Biblical Sabbath has always been on Saturdays, but Jesus fulfilled the law for us. The Sabbath is one of the ceremonial laws (like the Feast days) and it was not re-commanded (is that a word?) by Jesus, and so we are no longer obligated to it. We choose Sundays to gather together in worship as a continual memorial to the Resurrection.
Can you think of any other category for viewing the Sabbath? If you know of one I've missed, please share.

My children are studying for a Bible quiz, and one of their questions is,
"Why do Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath?"
Their answer is,
"Because Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath, we worship on the day of His resurrection."

You can see then, the teaching of the denomination I attend falls into the fourth category. But the more I study the Sabbath, the more I can understand each of the viewpoints. But I thank God that He is a righteous judge who looks at our hearts. We are not to judge each other on this matter.

The funny thing I've noticed about my life, is that although Sunday is my special day for worship with my church family, I am so involved in different ministries at my church, that it is definitely NOT a day of rest. It turns out that Saturday is the day I can really find rest from my busy week. So in a sense, I've got both--Saturday AND Sunday. Interesting how it worked out that way...

7 comments:

  1. well if what you say is true, and we don't have to keep the sabbath then why did jesus's apostles keep the sabbath day? I refer you to Acts 17:2 KJV "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." I mean if Jesus really meant to change it on sunday then don't you think Jesus would have done it?? I mean he is God isn't he??? I refer you of course to Luke 4:16 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read." If Jesus (God) wanted to change the sabbath from saturday to sunday, then shouldn't it make sense for Jesus himself to just start going to church on Sunday??? and if so, then we should find that in the bible shouldn't we? I don't mean to antagonize anyone on here I mean the only knowledge of God that I have is from the bible, I read it sometimes and I get my understanding from the bible. And I remember it says in Genesis that God created the earth and heaven but God only made holy one day of the week, and it says apart of the 10 commandments just to keep one day of the week holy. And to say that you get both days of the weekend to pick and choose as holy then that's rather hypocritical and disrespectful to the apostles that obeyed God's commands, I mean again not to offend anyone but it just seems that way to me that's all. But please write back when you get a chance because I've just been wanting to ask someone this because I understand I really don't know what the truth of God is based on my own assumptions, I really don't know!! please write me back when you can, thank you much..

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  2. Thanks for writing. I appreciate your being here. If I'm misunderstanding what you're asking, please write back. :)

    Why was it Jesus' custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath? -- Jesus was born under the law to redeem those under the law (Gal. 4:4-5). He was Jewish. The Jews gathered on Saturday.

    If God wanted us to worship on Sunday, then why didn't Jesus go to the synagogue on Sundays? -- The Jewish custom was to meet on Saturdays, so who would be there on Sundays? But Jesus is shown doing ministry on other days besides Sabbaths. Also, if it were SO important for us to keep the Sabbath, why did He never command us to "Keep the Sabbath"? He had many opportunities when He preached and told us the way God wanted us to live, and when people asked Him what the greatest commandments were and how to be saved. He mentioned things like love one another, do not murder, to not commit adultery, worship God only... but not once did He say keep the Sabbath.

    Why did Paul and the other apostles keep the Sabbath? -- They were Jews too, and they knew when and where to preach to their fellow Jews, at the synagogue on the Sabbath. But they started meeting on Sundays as well. When the questions came about what the new Gentile believers should do, the Holy Spirit did not burden them with Sabbath-keeping. (Acts 15:28-29)

    Can you choose which day is holy when God told us in the 10 commandments that the seventh day is the Sabbath? -- Rom. 14:5-6 says that one person may consider one day more sacred than the rest, and another person consider all days alike. Each should be convinced in their mind and honor the Lord by their convictions. And then verse 13, "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister."

    By the way, did you know that there is no indication of Sabbath-keeping being required before Moses?

    I think you might like the book, "The Feasts of Israel" by Kevin J. Conner.

    There is also a summary of Sabbath issues at:
    http://exadventist.com/Home/Sabbath/tabid/53/Default.aspx
    It's more blunt in its delivery than the book I mentioned, but it can help answer you too.
    I hope you will write again.

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  3. Genny, Sorry to comment this way but i just LOVE you. What a W.O.N.Derful reply. Who are you a blessed soul or just a scholar? Please forgive me but I m just too excited to read your writings.

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  4. Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you like my writing.
    I praise God and I am humbled that He loves us so, even such a one as me (and you!).
    It's interesting--I came to know Jesus nearly 20 years ago and I've been reading my Bible ever since. But about 9 years ago I started learning how to study the Bible in depth. I believe now that God was preparing me for what was to come. When me sister fell into the cult about 3 years ago, although I was not prepared for dealing with a cult, I was ready to study their claims against the Bible and see that they proved false. The great thing is that Bible study resources are available to anyone who is willing to learn how to use them. God doesn't reserve His Bible only for priests or theology graduates--it's for everyone!
    Thanks again, Ammu.

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  5. Hi! I'd just like to preface my comment by saying I'm NOT a member of WMSCOG, lol.

    There's one thing you said that stuck out to me as a little off. You're reasoning that "Jesus didn't command us to keep the Sabbath, therefore we don't have to" is a stretch to say. Jesus addressed the social issues of the day and preached spiritual reformation. He spoke out on things that were wrong or didn't properly reflect the truth. The day of the Sabbath was a non-issue being that Jesus lived in a Jewish community; everyone kept the Sabbath on the day it was intended. What was a concern about the Sabbath for Jesus though was the manner in which it was kept by the Jewish religious leaders. They made it a day of burdens rather than rest. As he says in Mark 2:27:

    "The Sabbath was made for the people, not people for the Sabbath" (TNIV).

    Except for this, everything else is good. :D

    I really appreciate the work you put into this website. You saved me a lot of work, lol. Sorry to hear about your sister though; will be praying for her. I ran into this group for the first time here in S. Korea a couple weeks ago and had a Bible study with them. I have no idea where their theology comes from....I was completely flabbergasted to say the least. I gave up half-way and just silently nodded my way through what they were saying after realizing I wasn't getting through to them. Anyway, thank you so much for your ministry! God bless!

    ---George M.

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    1. Hi George,
      Thanks for the input and encouraging words. I thank God that you were able to think clearly enough in your encounter to stay strong in the truth.

      The Sabbath issue has support from both sides, and you do have a point. I don't want to hear my child say something like, "Well you didn't tell me not to draw on the sofa, so it must be ok."

      I think in this case, though, there are a couple things we could think about...
      I'm guessing it was common for people to keep the commands about not murdering and about worshiping only God, yet Jesus still explicitly told them to worship God and not to murder. It can make you wonder why a command to keep the Sabbath was not explicitly given, if it was so important.
      Jesus commands, comments, and actions show He was much more concerned with people's inner attitudes than outer actions, and that He was more concerned with moral law than ceremonial law.

      I don't mind disagreeing about Saturday Sabbath-keeping, but I hope that Romans 14 will guide any disagreements so that we can remain respectful and avoid judging each other harshly.

      Thanks again.
      Blessings,
      genny

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  6. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for all your hard work. God is truly blessing many through you. My mom is a recent covert of the WMSCOG. I asked her why they celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday all ray rather than the traditional Sabbath beginning Friday at sundown and ending Saturday at sundown. She didn't know but sait "they must have a good reason for it. I'll ask." She is very forgetful and I honestly doubt I will get an answer from her soon. Do you have any knowledge to share on this aspect off their Sabbath worship?

    Thank you!

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