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
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
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
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
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
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
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)."
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
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
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
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
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.
"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
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."
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
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
Paul used righteous judgment with the high priest Ananias in
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
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
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
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
The verse that Tkach is referring to is found in 1 Timothy
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
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.