How Can I Observe the Sabbath Without a Congregation?

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: Jul 9, 2015
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News Letter 5851-019
25th day of the 4th month 5851 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Month in the Sixth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence
The Year of the Tithe for the Widows, Orphans & Levites

July 11, 2015


Shabbat Shalom Family,



Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

This past week I have been overwhelmed by the support and prayers of over 130 people when I asked in general for their prayers. Many times I think or feel I am in this alone. I know many of you think you are alone in this walk many times as well. The truth is we are all walking this out together but in far away places.

I have said and written about the parable of Matthew 22 many times and yet I am seeing it happen in this ministry. I am telling people about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. Some are eager to learn more about them and study into them. Others dismiss them and continue to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the invitation from Yehovah to come to the wedding.

It is hard for me to witness this and I sure do not like it. Israel is not worthy to come to the wedding, and Israel has killed the prophets sent to her. And as we have been telling you, Yehovah is raising up an army like ISIS to come and destroy you.

Mat 22:7  But when the king heard, he was angry. And he sent out his armies and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they who were invited were not worthy.

We cannot get on any conferences in North America. The small fellowships we do get invited to are exciting and the people at them eager to learn, but to get on the larger conferences is not happening. This too saddens me.

This January I was asked by James Relf, the man who looks after my website, to send our books and DVDs to a friend of his in an African country. This man is a Bishop of that country and has been teaching those things found in Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016. This same bishop has fled his country to go to another one and there he shared the teachings of our book to another bishop of that country. This second Bishop said that we have been lied to all these years. The things I am saying in this one book is causing these men to take another look at their bible.

James’ friend wants us to come and teach for weeks and even months so they can learn all these things. He has even said that Government officials would come to the meetings.

All of this and much much more has been taking place behind the scenes, in addition to the News letter and the two radio shows, and in addition to the phone calls and emails, and in addition to the full time job I have in construction.

With all this on my mind I asked for prayers from our facebook friends. Here is my request which I am sharing with you.

I would like to ask for your prayers. There is work being done to have us come to Africa. Central Africa, which is on the verge of another Genocide. A conference is being talked about, with many church leaders and Government leaders as well from 5 or 6 countries. This is a huge undertaking and to be honest, I am very nervous about doing this. Could use your prayers for this on many fronts. If this is what Yehovah wants then each country will send Gov. Representatives and the civil war will not take place and the church bishops and pastors will come out in droves.

Matthew 22 being fulfilled in our times.

Please do keep this in your prayers for the next while. We are also working on our trip to the Philippines this Sukkot. We continue to need prayers here for safety and security. Tourists have been kidnapped by ISIS supporters in the Mindanou area.

Thank you for thinking of us. Yehovah bless you.

Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo are the countries involved. Kenya has already said they are interested in attending. Tanzania and Uganda are being asked to join us as well.

One friend I approached who has taught in Uganda wrote me to say:

After prayerful consideration of your request, I do not think that it would be advantageous for you to teach with the group I have been involved with the past four years.

And with that comment he has decided that these people will not have the chance to choose for themselves whether or not they will obey Yehovah and keep the Sabbatical year in 2016.

You do not do as he has done. Let everyone know and then let them decide for themselves.

I want to thank all those over 130 people who said they would be praying for me and these meetings and these countries. I am deeply humbled beyond words for this and for those praying for us to go to the Philippines. Here again we have people arranging for us to speak to Government officials as well.

I have sent the books Remembering the Sabbatical Year of 2016 and The 2300 Days of Hell to Prime Minister Harper and to Prime Minister Netanyahu with a short explanation of why I am sharing this with them.

I am also sending this same information to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

I ask that you pray about this as well. I do not know what will take place, if anything at all, but I feel the deep desire to let these leaders know about these things.

I also want to thank you all for your prayers. And I want to thank those of you who have helped support us with your finances. They have come when we needed to replace the mixer so we could host the radio shows with Mitch and Krista Houston, and Greg Cronkite. These three are also doing other radio shows and continue to teach as we do on sightedmoon, telling people to get back to the Torah and 4th commandment.

Your donations have enabled us to replace the very expensive computer James needs to keep our site up to date and bug-free. He is also working on moving the web site to Switzerland and to Israel. He was almost done when the computer crashed a few weeks ago, then he had to start all over again. He had some choice things to say that day.

We have now replaced these, thanks to your donations.

Our airfare to Philippines has been paid for by one donor. Our books we are sending to the Philippines have not been paid for. The ones for Africa we still need to pay for as well. These meetings in Africa and the Philippines cost money for hotels and halls, and our hosts can little afford it. We hope to be able to contribute towards these as well.

Both James and Mitch would like to come and help me in the Philippines, but I do not want to split their families at Sukkot so I am saying no for now. For Africa, which could be in December, I would take them both to help me teach these truths. Again, this is going to cost money.

If was not for your $10 and $20 donations that some of you give weekly, we would not be able to do these things that need to be done when things break or to maintain the web site and email list which cost money each month. Nor could we plan to go to these other nations to share this message.

So I do thank you, each of you, for your prayers, your donations, your love letters of encouragement, and your support.

With each passing day we get closer to all these prophecies being fulfilled, and the horrors that will be seen by many of you. So thank you for helping us in sharing this message.

I am also getting emails from some of you who are taking on your public officials who are now voting in support of Gay Marriage. I thank each one of you who stands up and voices your objections to the things our nations are doing against the Torah. I thank each of you for standing up and sharing the Sabbatical and Jubilee message.

It is a miracle to see so many now working hard to keep it, planning and sharing ideas and trying to figure it all out.

May Yehovah bless each of you with more than you take in, in all that you. Thank you again.


To My Porn-Watching Dad, From Your Daughter


This daughter’s letter to her porn-watching dad is heartbreaking, but every dad should read it.

Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman. First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us.

Like I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

*This has been posted anonymously due to the nature of the topic.*


How Can I Observe the Sabbath Without a Congregation?

I hear this question a lot.  In fact, I used to ask this question a lot.  You may feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to observe the Sabbath.  You may find that your heart and perspective toward the scriptures, the Israelites of old and the land of Israel today is different than those you currently worship with at church on Sunday.

But now what?  You don’t know anyone else who is pursuing these things; there’s no gathering on the Sabbath that you can be part of.  How can you keep the Sabbath on your own?  What should you be doing?  What about the command of assembling with others on the Sabbath?

Don’t Disregard the Inclination

The first thing to do is hold on to that inclination.  Don’t discard what you’re hearing because you don’t have a congregation, don’t know how to do it or don’t have anyone else to do it with.  You can do this with just you and Yeshua.  In fact, this could be some of the sweetest times you have with him, just being alone together, following only your heart and his voice for how to worship him on the Sabbath.

If God is leading you to keep the Sabbath on your own, then He’s got a good reason.  While it was awhile before I could fully observe the Sabbath every week, I studied Messianic perspectives on my own for two years before God raised up a congregation in my area.  I prayed and prayed for God to lead me to others pursuing the same interests, but in hindsight I can see why I needed to be on my own for a time.

It was so that I could hear directly from God and know that it was his leading.  I could not point to a teacher or leader or even a friend that had influenced me to pursue this path.  I knew beyond a doubt that this was God’s leading alone.  It forced me to seek him only for my questions and understanding.  I needed this time with just God to plant my feet firmly for when opposition came, and to also be able to recognize who to “congregate with” when the time came.

If God is leading you to keep the Sabbath, you can do this.  He will provide guidance and a way for you to do what he’s asking.

Biblical Guidance for Keeping the Sabbath

There are commands for how to observe the Sabbath, but there are also many things man has created to honor this special day.  I’ll distinguish between those here.  I encourage you to keep as many of the Bible’s commands as you can, but then be free to find your own “tradition”, things meaningful to you that you can weave into your day.

The most concise instructions are in Leviticus 23:3:

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly.  You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.”

These instructions are repeated, specified and illustrated over and over throughout the Old Testament and include:

  • Set apart the seventh day of each week as a holy day – Exodus 20:8-11, 31:13-16, 35:2, 5:14,Genesis 2:3
  • Rest from your work and producing/production – Exodus 16:23-29, 5:14-15
  • Refrain from pursuing your own interests – Isaiah 58:13-14
  • Assemble with other believers – Leviticus 23:3
  • Give an offering – Numbers 28:9-10, Nehemiah 10:32-33
  • Refrain from buying and selling / conducting commerce – Jeremiah 17:19-27, Amos 8:5,Nehemiah 13:15-22

While other instructions for keeping the Sabbath can be inferred from scripture, these are the most straightforward and foundational components.

Observing the Sabbath Without a Congregation

Once you take away the work, pursuing your own interests, shopping, errands, projects and business, and add in gathering with other believers and bringing an offering – what God’s trying to say is, “Save one day just for me, where you can focus your attention on our being together.”  The verse I feel sums up the spirit of the Sabbath is Isaiah 58:13-14:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

He desires to be with you without all the distractions.  He desires for you to find the joy and strength in him that can only be found when you begin setting aside the Sabbath for him.


Bringing an offering is easily done in your home.  Look at all the examples we have in the Bible of various offerings:

  1. Praise and prayer (Psalm 141:2)
  2. Justice and righteousness (Amos 5:24)
  3. Justice and charity (Proverbs 21:3)
  4. Fasting (2 Kings 18:5-7)
  5. Thanksgiving (Psalm 116:17)
  6. A broken spirit (Psalm 51:17)
  7. A contrite (repentant) heart (Psalm 51:17)
  8. Money or something with monetary value (Matt. 2:11)
  9. Mercy and acknowledgement of God (Hosea 6:6)
  10. Spend additional quiet time in His presence (Psalm 48:9)
  11. Rededicate your life in service to Him (Rom. 12:1; Matt. 6:24-27)
  12. Praises (Heb. 13:15)
  13. Doing good and sharing (Heb. 13:16)


Assembling with other believers can now be done virtually in your home. While it doesn’t meet the full intent of joining with other believers, many online meetings can provide virtual experiences that build our faith, broaden our perspective and increase our sense of community.  Some I recommend are:

  • International House of Prayer Live Stream – Live worship, prayer and teaching, 24/7 (not Messianic)
  • Lion & Lamb Erev Sabbath Service – A Messianic service including worship and teaching, recorded each week live, then available on demand until the following Sabbath.
  • Passion for Truth Message – Messianic minister, Jim Staley, is streamed live on Saturday afternoons, then archived for viewing on demand.
  • Hebraic Roots Network Programming – A constant stream of Messianic teaching from reputable teachers, check the program guide to plan your time.

With the various distractions and tangents available on the Internet, I would caution you to limit your time and to stay on the sites you planned to visit.  While there are a myriad of Godly and useful ministries, this is your day to focus on only what God has for you.

If there’s a Bible study available in your community on Saturdays, that may be a good option for you. I don’t recommend abandoning your Christian gatherings altogether. Assembling with other believers is a key part of growing in our walk with Yeshua. In my case, I found others in my Sunday church congregation who were studying Messianic perspectives, and eventually a small group of us began meeting on the Sabbath. That group has now grown into the congregation I was praying for.

Once you put aside your own projects and pursuits, there are so many ways to be with God and enjoy his special day:  Study, worship, reading his word, praying – and don’t forget actually resting, doing nothing is okay on this day.  I find that it’s sometimes easier to do if I get out of the house, physically away from the distractions.  Walking, driving to a beautiful scene, sitting in a peaceful or joyful place can be wonderful ways to be with God.  Here are some resources I recommend to enhance Messianic study and Bible reading.

Additional Ways to Celebrate

While not commanded in the Bible, many traditional customs for observing the Sabbath can also enhance your experience.


Setting Apart the Sabbath
As we said earlier, setting apart the Sabbath from the rest of your week is commanded in several places in scripture.  However, there are no specific instructions for doing so.  It is customary to mark the beginning and end of the Sabbath with a bit of ceremony that encapsulates the spirit of the Sabbath.  These rich traditions have been passed down through the centuries and, in some cases, slightly modified for Messianic believers.

Based on Genesis 1 and other scriptures, the Sabbath begins and ends at sunset.  Here is a guide to the time of sunset in your local time zone.

Friday night at sundown is referred to as Erev Sabbath (Sabbath Evening).  This is a time traditionally spent in the home with family or friends.  The shofar is blown to mark the beginning of the Sabbath.  A meal is shared, bread and wine/juice are offered and blessings are recited over the Sabbath, the food and each other.  (A link to traditional blessings is included below.)

This can be an easy way to include others in your Sabbath observance, even if they don’t typically observe it.  A simple meal made in a slow cooker or bought before sundown is a good way to avoid overworking that night.  While Exodus 12:16 allows for the preparation of food on the Sabbath, some people prepare food for the entire Sabbath ahead of time, so they can minimize their time in the kitchen.

Likewise, just before sundown on Saturday, there is a short ceremony called Havdalah (meaning to differentiate or separate).  It consists of overflowing wine/juice and the scent of spices representing the overflowing joy and sweetness of the Sabbath.


During the Sabbath
Jewish tradition provides many beautiful practices for the Sabbath day as well.  Again, reciting of Biblical prayers and blessings are typical.  The Torah (or the whole Bible for Messianic believers) is celebrated with thanksgiving.  Prayers and blessings over Jerusalem are offered.


Prayers & Blessings

  • Restoration Ministries has prepared a reference guide (siddur) containing the traditional prayers and blessings from a Messianic perspective. Erev Sabbath starts on Page 11, Sabbath starts on Page 40, and Havdalah is on pages 88-89.
  • Covenant Designs offers a beautiful set of Sabbath candlesticks, a covering for the Sabbath bread, and a book specifically for celebrating the Sabbath in the home, including blessings and traditional recipes for the Sabbath.


Weekly Bible Portions
Most of Judaism and most Messianic congregations throughout the world follow a Bible reading schedule.  While not one of God’s commandments, this unifying practice can be a powerful way for God to speak to his collective people each week.

Based on the Hebrew language of the original Torah scrolls, the rabbis from ancient times (likely the 6th century BCE) codified the most obvious breaks in the texts from Genesis through Deuteronomy.  These are called Parshiot (portions or the singular “parsha”) and flow differently than the chapter and verse notations we see now, which were not in the original texts.  There are 54 parshiot from Genesis through Deuteronomy.  These are paired with scripture from the prophetic and historical books of the Bible thematically related to each week’s Torah portion, and called the Haftarah.  Messianic believers have also added related scripture from the Apostolic writings (New Testament) for each Torah portion.  There are one-year and three-year reading schedules that include portions from all three sections of the Bible to be read each week.

  • Lion & Lamb Ministries’ schedule of readings provides all three portions (Torah, Haftarah and Apostolic) for an annual cycle.
  • Restoration of the Torah provides insightful, Messianic commentary on each of the 54 portions.
  • Here at we have the 3 1/2 year Torah portions that we are doing in alignment with the Sabbatical Cycles.

Getting Started

  • Set a date to begin, then clear your schedule for as many Friday nights and Saturdays as you can (or as much time as you can during the 24-hour period).
  • Tell your family and/or friends you’re taking a day off and invite them to join you in doing so for whatever portion of it they can.
  • Make a plan for your 24 hours. Decide what you’ll do with your time beforehand. If you have no plan, it’s easy to get pulled into other peoples’ plans or let other projects creep in.
  • Turn off your phone and check it only once or twice for the most urgent issues. (Treat this like a date day with the Lord.)
  • Anticipate what might come up to pull you away from your time with Yeshua, and do whatever you can to pre-empt it beforehand.
  • Plan your offering and be deliberate about the giving of it (as you would to give someone a gift).

Be aware that the enemy does not want you observing the Sabbath.  Once you commit to doing it, don’t be surprised to find opposition, unexpected emergencies, doubt or discouraging thoughts and emotions.  Avoid conflict; modify your plan to fit any physical ailments or limitations that arise, submit to God any last minute obstacles that threaten to keep you from observing it. Don’t let the enemy steal the gift of the Sabbath God is trying to give you.  Resolve to follow only God’s leading.  He will empower you to do his will.  Persist in doing what you can and expanding it over time.

As you begin your day, don’t let the rules or do’s and don’ts discourage or dominate you.  I can attest that as you are diligent in spending this day with Yeshua, you will be motivated to do whatever it takes to simplify that day and protect that time.  The do’s and don’ts will become a distant memory, irrelevant to you and Yeshua’s special day.  This will be the highlight of your week, your favorite day, the day you can’t wait to reach and hate to end.  You will enter into new joy, rest, intimacy and perspective for the rest of your week and, indeed, your life.

And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.”

Isaiah 56:6-7

May the peace and joy of the Lord be yours as you begin keeping his Sabbath.


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