June 8, 2013

A conversation with a Preacher about the Sabbath

I drove past a church today, and the message on the marquee caught my attention because it mentioned the Sabbath. So, I decided to pull into the driveway to read the message on their sign. This is what it said,

"No Christian can keep the faith and not keep the Sabbath." - M. Lunn

This message intrigued me, because directly under the marquee was their listing of Sunday morning service times. As I was about to drive away, a man walked out of the church building and approached my car, so I rolled down the window to ask him about his sign. I was curious why a Sunday keeping church seemed to be advocating the Sabbath, so I asked him about it.

I said, "I am curious about your sign that seems to encourage keeping the Sabbath, yet you are a Sunday keeping church. Can you explain this to me?"

He replied, "We keep the Christian Sabbath, which is Sunday."

I was puzzled, so I asked, "Can you show me where in Scripture the Sabbath was changed to Sunday?"

He sidestepped this question by claiming "God obviously approves, because it has been this way for 2,000 years."

I was obviously not satisfied with this answer, so I reasserted my question about Scriptural evidence of the change, but again he was unable to provide a single verse to support his claim that Sunday is the "Christian Sabbath".

We talked about the book of Acts, and I explained that on multiple occasions the book of Acts records believers attending Synagogue on the Sabbath with both Jews and Greeks, and that when Paul went to Corinth he "reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks" for a year and a half. I also mentioned that the one time that Paul taught on the "first day of the week", that it was Saturday night leading up to midnight.

He explained that both the resurrection and Pentecost took place on Sunday, and argued that was evidence of the believers meeting on Sunday. To which I explained that the resurrection was on the Biblical Feast day of "FirstFruits" and that Pentecost is also a Biblical Feast day, and the fact that they were gathering on commanded Feast days doe not negate the command to observe the Sabbath.

At this point he accused me of being a Seventh Day Adventist, and started pointing out flaws in the SDA doctrine. So, I quickly assured him that I am not a Seventh Day Adventist, but I do keep the Biblical Sabbath.

I explained to him that I was raised in a Sunday keeping church, attended a mainstream christian college, studied mainstream Christian Theology, and was a preacher for nearly 15 years in a Sunday keeping Church. Then explained that a few years ago I began studying the first century church, and found out that the first century believers continued to keep the Sabbath, Passover, and the other Biblical Feasts.

At this point, he insisted on giving me a book, and he ran back inside the church and brought out a book titled, "Why I am a Nazarene and not a Mormon, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Christian Scientist, Seventh-Day Adventist" by C. William Fisher

He then proceeded to read this quote from the book,

"On the Lord's day every one of us Christians keep the Sabbath meditating on the law, and rejoicing in the works of God." - Irenaeus in A.D. 167

He then continued by saying that the "real truth" is that neither Constantine nor the Pope ever changed the Sabbath to Sunday, because Sunday has been the Christian Sabbath ever since the first Easter Sunday when Jesus resurrected.

At this point, I explained to him that "Easter" is actually the name of a pagan goddess, and was instituted by Constantine to replace Passover at the council of Nicaea in 325AD, and that Messiah actually resurrected on the Biblical Feast day known as "FirstFruits". I then explained that the Spring feasts were prophetic rehearsals of his first coming, that he died on Passover, resurrected on FirstFruits, and the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, and that the Fall Feasts are prophetic of his return. I explained that the Feast of Trumpets announces his return, and that the Day of Atonement is the day of judgment, and that Tabernacles is about Him making his dwelling with us once again on Earth.

I also asked him why Zechariah 14 says that the whole world will be required to go to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles after Messiah returns, but right now Christians don't keep the Feast.

He had a puzzled look on his face, and did not seem to be familiar with that Scripture. He then asked me if I believed in the "Pre-Trib Rapture", to which I responded "no, because it was invented less than 200 years ago, and has no Biblical basis."

At this point, the preacher threw his hands in the air and took three steps backward away from my vehicle, and proclaimed loudly, "then we have nothing in common".  It seemed as if he did not even want to be near me if I didn't agree about the "Pre-Trib Rapture".  I thought this was very interesting, because we disagreed about many other things, but the Rapture was the one that really bothered him.

I tried to explain that the Rapture theory was invented in the late 1800's, and did not exist in Christian Theology prior to that point. To which he claimed that the Scriptures do not warn Christians to prepare for the Tribulation. I explained that he needed to read Matthew 24 again, and notice that Messiah was warning his disciples about the Tribulation that will come, and I also explained that the Tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the Elect, but it was obvious that he was no longer interested in the conversation.

I thanked him for the conversation, and he told me to keep the book and read the section about Seventh-Day Adventists so that I can see why he believes that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. I thanked him for the book, and drove home.


21 comments:

  1. They always have an answer as to why they refuse to obey ... I am sure it makes perfect sense to them. For me, I will keep the YHWH's Sabbath.

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  2. Cognitive Dissonance. It is, unfortunately, very widespread in Christianity.

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  3. Tracye Leigh DavisJune 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I was raised by a Baptist minister (my dad) and always observed Sunday as the Sabbath. My beliefs have changed this past year upon my diving into HIS Word ~ learning and discerning ~ "rightly dividing HIS Word"...Ahmane. This last "Christmas" was the first I didn't "celebrate"...my family thinks I've "lost my mind" but...it only matters what Adonai thinks. Pagan holidays...GONE! Sunday "Sabbath"...GONE! I have such a peace now. I so look forward to sundown on Friday's! Shabbat Shalom!

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  4. Chantel Duvall-CooperJune 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    My father in law is a Baptist and I have become Messianic over the last 5 years. Did I mention "we live together"? LOL...

    Needless to say we have had many LOUD midrash sessions. In the past he gave me all the same tried and true reasons. Over time and intense study, I have been able to shoot down his objections. He will tell me now, he can not argue with my logic or the scripture.
    YET
    When I ask him why he continues to attend on SUNDAY, he tells me "that is when the church meets"...
    Some LOVE their traditions more....
    ~SMH~

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  5. Fascinating exchange!

    I'd like to read/hear more like this.

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  6. I enjoy your teachings and agree totally with you. I do believe in keeping the Sabbath, I rest and spend time with my messiah and with my family. I attend church on Sunday because I have no place else to go. The closest messianic group is 2 hours away. I don't want to forsake the assembling...

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  7. it is of great concern to me for those who insist on the sun-day tradition----personally--it leaves me free to begin my sabbath on fri eve with prayers and a wonderful meal----it leaves me free to dress nice and continue my free day to honor our Lord in ways they do not know yet. (I consider this a double-portion day) ending with hafdala services. then i allow first -fruits offerings to Him with sunday worship..(also w/ friends and family) .I am not here to judge but to honor what He gives me...FREEDOM and only a way to be an example to others. rrm

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  8. i am coming to the conclusion that those who refer call themselves christians are worshiping and praying to the greek jesus instead of the hebrew Yeshua, and they happily accept the traditions and lies of men rather than than obeying the words of torah, all you can do is continue to share the truth of torah and pray that YHWH would bless the people the wisdom and knowledge of torah and Yeshua.

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  9. People following their denominational bias rather than the word of God.

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  10. Wow! That is fantastic! I am frankly impressed he listen to you as long as he did. Ignorance is bliss for some folks. Kuddos to you for stepping up!

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  11. MDS our family did this very same thing for at least 6 months before finally leaving the Baptist church. It was during "christmas" that we just could not take it any longer. While there was no tree in the church there was wreath over the alter and a tree in the childrens church where they were teaching the children that the tree lights represented Jesus. At first we started skipping Wed. evening services to continue our studies and focused on how Elohim feels about all these pagan practices and we continued on Sunday mornings and sent the children to church on Wed nights. We started skipping some Sunday evenings and by the time we were done with out study we could no longer attend. We set up a meeting with the Pastor to explain why we were leaving. He was ready for us and had a ten page document explaining that the Law of God was abolished and fulfilled by Jesus and we were all wrong. He even brought in a missionary to the Jewish people to help us understand where we were wrong. The missionary told us that if we were not following the oral law then we were doing it all wrong any way and that we should stop because we had lost our faith. Sorry so long. Needless to say we did not go backwards but moved forward. We pray for a congregation in our area but we have found others who also worship at home services on Shabbos and have fellowship with them. Look for others in your area that you can fellowship with on Shabbos. I am telling you to leave your church we hung on for a long time. The wreath and the tree thing really got me. I would go to the front of the church to pray for my family that is lost and that huge wreath was hanging above, and at that point I did not even know what it represented, but I had this feeling about it. Prays for all my brothers and sisters that are having a difficult time finding like minded believers to worship with on Shabbos.

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  12. When the Nation left Egypt they were made free of slavery when they went through the red sea.


    1. They were given the Sabbath as a ring on their fingers to prove they were married to [Yah]shua.
    2. They were given the married contract which was the 10 instructions/words.


    The Greek Jes_s tells us to remove the ring and throw away the contract.

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  13. I am in the same boat-our difficulty is not only finding like-minded believers, but families that come together. Adults can make the changes easier-it seems-than the children can when they have to leave their friends and there are no children in the gatherings. Hard for me to draw a hard line in this...

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  14. get over it - it's a wreath

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  15. I too just left a Sunday keeping church because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I searched the internet for Sabbath keeping churches in my area and found The Church of God (Jerusalem Acres or New Testament Judaism). We also keep the Feasts. My family had the same objections, but are adjusting.

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  16. Dear Lex,

    If you run into this Irenaeus quote as a Sunday defense again, you may enjoy pointing out that according to the "Lord of the Sabbath" pericopae (Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5), the only weekday referenced as special to the Lord is the Seventh. So, if Irenaeus was very well versed in his Gospels, he ought to have been using "Lord's day" to mean the Seventh Day. If (as is likely) he was referencing some other day, then as he is clearly against Scripture, what is his testimony worth?

    Just a thought.

    Brotherly love in Yeshua,

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  17. Very good point. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. An 10 page document was a ease thing!
    My whole family is involved with Missions. My dad and mom are missionaries and my sister is in Bible School, preparing to be a missionary too. I was going there, but I had the opportunity to go to Israel before going to study at the Bible School. There I found people who lived according to Torah and it stroke me. I started to study and decided to live according to Torah too.
    Then my sister wrote me a 16 page document saying that the Law was over, but we have the Law of Christ which is composed of the "Moral Laws".
    After I came back form Israel, I still went to Bible School, then I was sent back for have "vetero-testamentary practices".
    I came back to my city and my Baptist Church. This last Sunday I was excluded from the church!
    I didn't need to leave anything... They did it for me!
    But, as I can't find anyone who is like-minded believer here, I still going to the same church that excluded me. I don't agree with everything that they say, but I don't think it is a good thing to forsake the assembly too. And, as I'm single and the only one in family to think in this way, I can say that here I'm complete alone in my walk with Yeshua thought Torah's ways. And I still have big troubles with my parents about it...

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  19. It is a very sad feeling leaving all this... A believing Jew told me to be strong and comforted me with the story of his difficulty leaving his community that he had known all his life.... This is our patience...

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  20. the thing to have in mind is that every false doctrine is base on THEREFORE, ON A SUPPOSITION

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  21. The "forsaking the assembling" is about the feast days, not Sabbath and I would be more concerned with not "yoking together with unbelievers, (belief is an action word - obeying His commandments) for what fellowship can light have with the darkness"?
    I say this not in judgment, just pointing out the scriptures concerning that.

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