News Letter 5851-020
1st day of the 5th month 5851 years after the creation of Adam
The 5th 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 18, 2015
Shabbat Shalom Family,
“I am Speaking in Myerstown, PA on Labor Day Weekend”
There are so many things in scripture that we need to really study out carefully. It is helpful when we know someone who has done this on a particular topic and we can benefit by learning from them. Joseph Dumond is one such person on several topics, but in this season many of us want to have a better understanding of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. We are privileged to have him with us Labor Day weekend to teach us what he has learned. Please join us. We appreciate your registrations as early as possible to help us in our planning. Feel free to contact me with any questions or information that we have not covered. Blessings!
Please feel free to copy and paste this poster to your social media page or email it to your fellowships and other groups. Thank you for helping us to share this message.
“This Weeks Mail”
Brethren, I sometimes forget what some of you are going through in trying to obey Yehovah. It is not that I too am not struggling with things. Last week I shared with you an article about how to keep the Sabbath alone. I have done it for so long, I no longer think about it. But for some of you it is new and hard. So last week’s News Letter was a blessing to some of you and that made me realize some things I had taken for granted.
I have not been the best example of a father who has taught his family the Torah. I have, in fact, failed miserably. But that does not mean some of you can’t be great successes at teaching your family and getting them ready for the coming 7th Millennium, which is just 29 years away from this year. Yes, 2045 is the next Jubilee year and it is the first year of the 7th Millennium. Your children and your grandchildren will be potential Kings and Priests in Yehovah’s Kingdom at this time under King David. How awesome that will be. How awesome it is right now for you to prepare those Kings and Priest, your children.
Here are some of the emails I received this week.
I am overwhelmed with the true messages you send. Last week’s study regarding the ‘god of holes’ was exactly what I needed to know. I am amazed and grateful!
I am again moved by your email this week. I am alone. I have no one to share this knowledge with and no support for a life in obedience to Yah’wah. And I have been among the most disobedient. I am old and poor but your truths enrich me beyond what I deserve. Thank you.
You are in my prayers daily. I pray that all of your needs be met through Yashua ha Meshiach and that He empower you and make the way clear for you to reach out to any and all who will listen.
I pray also that I may be able to support you financially. As it is at the moment, I am not able to even give you the $10/month which I previously promised to give. But I have faith that my financial situation will change and when it does I will dedicate what God gives me to your work.
I have learned to ‘remember the Sabbath day’ but I don’t know how ‘to keep it holy’. My heart aches for community and fellowship. Your emails are my only contact with the ‘called out’ and I am often brought to tears by them. I understand your feeling of being alone. I am alone with you. Thank you for your tenacity and dedication.
We also have this one from a mother who seems to have it figured out and because of this email we have this week’s subject.
Wonderful newsletter, thank you. When I came out of the Church I was dumbfounded but loved YHUH so so very much and sought to find what was decreed. I began my journey in Leviticus 23. My husband is agnostic but fully supports me so long as I don’t impose on him. My son is 17 and in the Sabboth we have a day shared together to come to YHUH and his son Yeshua. “How does one keep the Sabboth?” A day away from the world, its worries, its busy-ness. Stopping was the hardest part, just stopping from doing anything or thinking about stuff. It was a real eye opener to me. My son gets it, he’s trying, but without my observations and rules of obedience to me as his mother I know the games would be how he’d spend it. I have but one more year before he graduates High School and begins college. I have a sense of pressure to make this a habit for him, something he will miss intuitively when he leaves home and to take it up for himself. He’s a great son, loving and self sacrificing, but “normal” in rebellion to establish his own identity. Pray for us that this indelible mark will remain with him and as his mother that I am guided in wisdom and patience in offering him up to YHUH, my first born son, as he asserts his own personage. Roots and then wings. May he fly into YHUH’s loving arms. That’s my prayer for my son. The prayer of a mother in today’s times.
Thank you so much. Of course you may use my letter, perhaps it can help another in some way to come to the Sabbath and the treasures in Leviticus 23. Teenagers are tough, when he started to rebel on the Sabbath issue, “I have things to do, but my friends are online, etc…” I told him I was saddled with doctrines although doing my best to read and understand unencumbered but he being young yet growing to adulthood is better equipped to read the Word fresh and “as a child”. For the two of us to come to Truth together as Yeshua said, “where two or more are gathered there so am I”. A time committed to YHUH, mother and son together reading and discussing matters of great importance. That seemed to help him, he’s not feeling dictated to, but is an active integral part of the Sabbath with mom. It’s “our time” together and it came to being in YHUH’s time.
Last Sabbath I was able to talk to a newly wed couple who have just started to keep the Sabbath one month ago. I am so blessed to be able to meet new people as they begin this walk.
Here is another e-mail from someone who has just celebrated their first year in this walk.
This month is my one year anniversary for keeping Sabbath, what a blessing. As Joseph Dumond writes in his news letter about keeping the Sabbath by yourself I see a reflection in my own life. I was “called” to a personal relationship with my Creator last year this month, He opened doors for me to learn and grow on my own. I didn’t even know a Sabbath Keeper let alone know of a congregation. I didn’t care because once I was shown” the truth” there was no turning back and my love and convictions for being obedient was not going to be hindered. I studied and kept the Sabbath and Holy Days to the best of my knowledge and one day 6 months later I was watching a You Tube video which instantly switched on its own to Joseph Dumond’s teaching on the Sabbatical Years and as I watched and followed along in my bible I knew Yehovah God was teaching me something else. I watched all His videos several times and got his books. I messaged him and thanked him for his teachings and he asked my journey, he was amazed and though he is from Canada, he asked me where I lived and helped connect me to my beloved Johnstown group. If you have the desire to be faithful Yehovah will provide ALL your needs and don’t worry, you will find the right people to Love, nurture, and teach you what Yehovah wants you to learn. I AM SO BLESSED AND MADLY IN LOVE WITH YEHOVAH my ELOHIM. I lost my husband and home but Yehovah has blessed me with more as I will soon be moving closer to my group. Thanks Joseph Dumond for being a stepping stone for teaching me and not worshiping alone.
This following note is from someone who attended our meeting in Sarnia and listened to Eric teach.
JOSEPH, I am writing to thank you for your perseverance and commitment to proclaiming, teaching and researching the TRUTH that has been for too long obscured by tradition. You and Eric remind me of a combination of a Neurosurgeon and a geneticist because you both study the underlying framework, historically, linguistically, etymologically and in other ways and you both share your studies and discoveries so that we may be able to apply the TRUTH in our lives and share it with others.(Now it is clearly evident why prayers are not answered, why certain things occur(red) ).
The time frame is certainly short and this past weekend your book Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016, which I have just finished reading has generated a wave of emotions; regret, joy, thankfulness, and others.
Looking forward to learning and following the Moedim correctly from here on.
“ISIS Wages war on Rome”
ISIS has waged war on Rome. We have spoken of this a number of times and it is also written in our book The 2300 Days of Hell. If you have not yet gotten your copy and read it then do so ASAP. There are so many things taking place at this time.
This week ISIS bombed the Italian Embassy in Egypt achieving two goals at the same time- attacking Italy and Egypt.
The bombing of a foreign consulate represented a painful milestone for the government of Egypt in its struggle to contain an expanding insurgency that has mounted a series of recent spectacular attacks. Over the past few weeks, militants have assassinated Egypt’s top prosecutor, carried out a large-scale assault on troops stationed in the Sinai Peninsula and tried to attack Egypt’s best-known tourist attractions.
This is all shown to you in The Prophecies of Abraham. We will soon have this article for you to read up on in the weeks to come.
ISIS has declared it will attack Rome and this embassy is an attack against Italy.
Soon ISIS will nuke Rome and with that attack Europe will invade the Middle East like a whirlwind and defeat them, invading Egypt and Libya and the Holy Land but not Jordan, then the war against the USA and UK will begin.
So keep watching the news for these events to take place.
“A Surprise Blood Moon That No One Expected”
After Gay Marriage Decision: Surprise Blood Moon Displays in Sky Only Over America
July 2, 2015 3:19 am / Photo Courtesy of @mrsroark55
On June 30, 2015 a surprise blood moon appeared in the sky that was only seen in the United States.
According to the National Weather Service, large wildfires in Canada have been burning. Due to extremely high winds, smoke from these fires have traveled into the United States.
According to NBC-Chattanooga, “the smoke should remain in the higher atmosphere and not affect air quality, it gives the moon and sun a rosy glow.
Here’s what causes the effect:
As light from the moon or sun enters the atmosphere it gets scattered by particles like water, aerosols, and in this case smoke. Green, blue, and purple colors are sent in all directions but colors with longer wavelengths like red, orange and yellow continue through the atmosphere and remain visible to the human eye.”
This ironically occurred right after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage nationally.
The timing of this blood moon that displayed right after the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine God’s definition of marriage is almost prophetic.
In our e-book we show you how Yehovah has sent blood and dark moons before each and every major biblical event from the time of Adam’s death down to WW I and WW II.
You can order the e-book at sightedmoon.com
Having now posted this article, I was then led to another one from Bro. Aike in the Philippines. Make special note of all that is going on. The USA Supreme Court declares that Gay Marriage is legal across the USA. Then a blood moon appears that was not expected to be seen, but was there due to the curse of Lev 26 being fulfilled in Canada and the USA with wildfires and drought. Now you are about to read how the same star of Bethlehem was seen this past week and will be again next year. On top of this, all of this is during the time leading up to the 9th of Av.
“Gay Marriage and the Star of Bethlehem”
There will be signs in sun and moon and stars. (Luke 21: 25)
We are living in times when the Bible is being fulfilled before our eyes. Let us begin with the sign. Look up in the west-northwest sky right after sundown tonight. Venus and Jupiter will be in conjunction in the near vicinity of Leo the Lion and Cancer. To scientists this is “ho-hum” stuff. Nothing too exciting; just another 3 degree of separation conjunction. This is the second of three conjunctions of these planets in a 2 year period. Two thousand years ago there was a similar series of three conjunctions of these planets. I wrote about that earlier grouping in CHRISTMAS AND THE END TIMES. During one of those conjunctions, Venus and Jupiter actually “touched” visually. There was zero degrees of separation. Many consider the combination of astronomical signs during 3 BC to be the “Star of Bethlehem.” Read about that amazing group of signs in the link.
This week’s sign isn’t as spectacular. Most Christians are ignoring it just like the scientists. Let’s look at the sign in detail, however. During the “Star of Bethlehem” sign in 3 BC, the planets visually touched signifying “He is here! The King is born.” During tonight’s sign the planets almost touch signifying “He’s almost here! The King is coming.” At at least that’s what it says to me.
Next let’s look at the position of the conjunction.
Notice that the conjunction is right below Leo the Lion and the star Regulus. If you read the link above about CHRISTMAS AND THE END TIMES, you probably remember that Jupiter (the King planet) and Regulus (the King Star) had multiple conjunctions in Leo (the Messiah’s constellation) back in 3BC. Look at the picture, this isn’t a random, everyday conjunction, it is in Leo. This picture screams “King, King Messiah” (astronomically at least.) Right alongside Leo is Cancer the Crab. In the Jewish Mazzaroth (the Zodiac constellations that tell God’s story of Redemption in perfect order) Cancer is the constellation of the Tribulation (70th Week of Daniel.) Yes, it is coming as well.
Not only is the Star of Bethlehem mentioned in the Gospels, it is mentioned in the Old Testament as well.
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob,A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, and tear down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be a possession, Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession. While Israel performs valiantly. One from Jacob shall have dominion, and will destroy the remnant from the city.
This passage is about the end times! It is always quoted in regard to Jesus’s birth (and rightly so) but look! Jesus is taking the iron scepter and crushing the Islamic nations Moab and Edom. This is end times stuff.
So where exactly is “come forth from Jacob”?
Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. (Gen. 49: 9-10)
Look, there is the Lion (Leo) and the scepter from the previous prophecy. Now look at the location “between the feet” of the Lion. Look at the star map again. This week’s “Star of Bethlehem” conjunction is between the feet of Leo! The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a title for Christ taken from this passage.
Now let’s examine the timing. June seems a boring month, what Christian significance could it possibly have? We follow the Gregorian calendar. God’s calendar is different; it’s the Hebrew calendar. Hebrew dates are important. This month is the month of Tammuz. Last Friday, June 26th, the day the Supreme Court decided the Same Sex Marriage case, was the Hebrew day the 9th of Tammuz. This is the historic date that King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem when the Babylonians invaded. In a parallel way, the Supreme Court breached the walls of morality with this historic decision.
The 17th of Tammuz (our July 4th this year) is one of the darkest days of Jewish history. Five historic events occurred on this day:
- The worship of the golden calf
- The stopping of Temple sacrifices
- The breaching of the walls of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans
- The burning of a Torah scroll prior to Bar Kokhba’s revolt by Roman military leader Apostomus; and
- An idol was erected in the Temple
Look at these events: idols in the Temple, worship of the Golden Calf, and the burning of the Torah (Bible). Our culture is worshiping their idols and attempting to minimalize scripture.
“The Three Weeks” begins after the 17th of Tammuz and concludes with the Ninth of Av, the date that the Temple was burned both in 586 BC and 70 AD. This is a time of Jewish national mourning. July 25th is the Ninth of Av this year. Will anything of significance happen? We don’t know.
Right in the middle of this time period is this conjunction that mirrors the Star of Bethlehem right between the feet of the Lion. Is God speaking to us? Is it time to get ready for the return of our King?
“What Happened on the Ninth of Av in History?”
The 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it’s clearly a day set aside by G?d for suffering.
Picture this: The year is 1377 BCE. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they’d rather go back to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. God is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and consequently that generation of Israelites never enters the Holy Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert for another 40 years.
The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av (586 BCE). Five centuries later (in 70 CE), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first.
When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, would fulfill their messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 CE as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Of course — the 9th of Av!
One year after their conquest of Betar, the Romans plowed over the Temple Mount, our nation’s holiest site.
The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 CE on, you guessed it, Tisha b’Av.
In 1492, the Golden Age of Spain came to a close when Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that the Jews be banished from the land. The edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country. The Hebrew date on which no Jew was allowed any longer to remain in the land where he had enjoyed welcome and prosperity? Oh, by now you know it – the 9th of Av.
Ready for just one more? World War II and the Holocaust, historians conclude, was actually the long drawn-out conclusion of World War I that began in 1914. And yes, amazingly enough, Germany declared war on Russia, effectively catapulting the First World War into motion, on the 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av.
What do you make of all this? Jews see this as another confirmation of the deeply held conviction that history isn’t haphazard; events – even terrible ones – are part of a Divine plan and have spiritual meaning. The message of time is that everything has a rational purpose, even though we don’t understand it.
But there is more to this.
The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.
Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshiping the Golden Calf.
During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 70 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)
The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple.
This year of 2015, the 17th of Tammuz was the 4th of July. On June 26 the Supreme Court of the US awarded equal rights to same sex marraige across the USA.
On July 5th coalition forces bombed ISIS headquarters.
On July 6th Greece voted to not pay the debt they owed Europe.
This year the 9th of Av is next Sabbath according to the Jewish calendar or Sunday according to the sightedmoon. With all that has gone on this past month, as we have just noted, the Supreme Court decision on Gay Rights to Marriage, The Conjunction of the Messiah Star, and the Blood Moon that was not expected to be seen, the bombing by ISIS and the Greek debt bomb, this 9th of Av is one to pay attention to.
We have now shared with you some history for this special date. We have also shared with you some current events like the Supreme Court decision to approve Gay Marriage and then the moon turned to blood. This should cause you to stop and think.
Now as I prepare this News Letter the weekend before it is to go out, the following news story comes across the my desk.
A deal has been reached between the world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program after a series of major American concessions, Ehud Yaari, the Middle East affairs commentator for Israel’s Channel 2 television, said Friday night. “It is done. It is done,” he said, and will be signed “early next week.”
Early next week puts it very near the 9th of Av. Again more to consider.
“Teaching the Sabbaths to Your Children”
Teach Your Children God’s Ways
Posted on Jan 04, 1996 / by Bill Jacobs
Jesus Christ recognized that children must be included in the spiritual life of His followers. Are we teaching them to love God’s ways and especially His Sabbath?
If you are one of God’s people, you are a vessel God is using to preserve truth. God preserves His truth and love for His ways in the hearts of people. He preserves His truth across time, from generation to generation.
This principle is so important that God commanded the nation of Israel: “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine … You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up … that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21). He knew that, if the nation was to survive and thrive, His spiritual truths must be preserved and passed down from parents to children.
Jesus Christ perpetuated this principle, instructing His disciples not to ignore the children in their midst. “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me,” He said (Mark 9:37). He, too, recognized that children must be included in the spiritual life of His followers.
The Sabbath command
Since God is vitally concerned about our children, we must be concerned for our children’s spiritual welfare. We must learn to pass God’s truth on to them.
How do we do that? To illustrate how we can teach our children God’s truth, let’s look at one of God’s Ten Commandments, the fourth. Specifically, let’s see how we can teach our children to love and keep God’s Sabbath as He intended.
Why single out the Sabbath as our example in this article? God commanded that we observe His Sabbaths-the weekly and annual Sabbaths-as a family. God commanded that all family members, as well as household servants and visitors, were to refrain from normal work on that day (Exodus 20:10).
The Sabbath is also a test commandment, demonstrating our level of commitment to obeying God regardless of any consequences.
The Sabbath also lays the groundwork for our relationship with God and the religion of the heart. It reminds us weekly that He is our Creator and that His Kingdom will come as promised. It is a day set aside to learn more about Him and His ways. It is time in which we cease from our work to allow Him to work in us, writing His laws and ways in our hearts.
But, before we can teach our children God’s ways, we first build a right relationship with them, one in which God’s truth will grow and flourish in the hearts of our children. Our teaching and example just demonstrate to them a way of life they will want to emulate, rather than a burden imposed on them.
Why differing views
How do our young people view the Sabbath? Some teenagers resent it, feeling that because of it they are missing out on something. “It’s so boring,” they may say. They’d rather be out with friends than with their families.
Not knowing how to handle this attitude, parents sometimes have two opposite, and equally wrong, reactions. Some think: Maybe if I’m more lenient, they won’t dislike it so much. This approach causes children to devalue the Sabbath and disrespect their parents as they do whatever they please on that day.
Other parents think: Maybe if I make them do it, they’ll learn to like it. This causes children to resent both the day and their parents. The tug of war continues, and everyone grows frustrated, discouraged and confused.
Do teens respect the Sabbath? Some don’t, but a great many do. In my job as a national coordinator for programs for youth, teens often asked me questions about the Sabbath. During a visit I made to a church, a huge, strapping teenager, who looked like he was born to play football, approached me. “My name’s John,” he said, looking down at me. “Here’s my question: Is it really wrong to play football on the Sabbath?”
I looked him in the eye and said, “Yes, John, it really is.” He broke out in a big smile and said, “Right! I was just testin’ ya!”
And he was. He wanted affirmation that his sacrifice was worth it. It was a test for him, just as it sometimes is for the rest of us. He understood the Sabbath and followed it.
Why some are bored
Why are other kids simply bored with it? Let’s consider another teenager and why her outlook is different. Tina is 16, an only child. She’s bright, but unmotivated in school. She doesn’t mix well with other students or with anyone else. She’s not active at church, and she hates sports, dances and other social events. She’s disrespectful to her mother. Tina would sum up her life-school, church, family, friends, activities-in one word: boring.
What’s wrong with this picture? Tina was born when her parents were well into middle age. Her father was special to her, but he is now seriously ill, and she misses him. At 16, she needs him more than ever, but he isn’t there.
Tina ‘s mother spends a lot of time taking care of Tina’s father and therefore can’t provide much comfort for Tina.
Who is at fault here? No one. But there is a hole in Tina’s life. She feels left out, abandoned, ignored. She feels like she’s not a part of anything. To deal with her plight, Tina has chosen to distance herself from her feelings of abandonment by being bored. She has closed her heart to her family, school, church and friends. When we have no involvement in anything, we are bored.
Teens who feel bored with the Sabbath are teens who don’t identify with their church, who don’t feel a part of it, who feel the church doesn’t offer what they need. They can’t see that there is anything there for them. “This is boring,” they say.
It’s boring because they are not included and therefore not involved. They probably have the same vague uneasiness about their families because their parents are too busy to talk to them much. They feel excluded, disconnected, from family decisions.
When parents who have not won the hearts of their children try to impose rules, they meet resistance. There is a simple equation for summarizing this phenomenon: Rules without relationship = rebellion. Rules without a relationship are boring because they are seen as meaningless.
When we are interested in a subject, it is not boring. From a teen’s standpoint, when our church and our parents are not interested in us, there is no connection, no personal involvement. When there is not enough personal involvement, there is no personal interest in the things that are important to the parent. The Sabbath is boring to teens because they have no personal involvement; it belongs to other people, not to them.
If we want to pass on our values to our children, we must first open their hearts to receive them. There is also a simple equation that shows this principle: Rules with relationship = respect. Rules with a relationship are important because the child knows the parent cares, and the things that are important to the parent will be seen as important by the child.
Even though peer pressure and innumerable other distractions adversely affect children, their parents have a greater impact on their values than any other influence, and this is especially true when it comes to religious values. God, in spite of societal influences, has put parents in the most powerful position to influence their children’s lifelong beliefs. He places parents in this position so that they, unlike anyone else, can open the hearts of their children to receive their values.
If you want God to write the Sabbath on the hearts of your children, you must work on your relationship with your children and open their hearts.
Dealing with boredom
Is the Sabbath supposed to be boring?
In some families, the main Sabbath activity is sleeping. Children’s motive in sleeping through the day is right: They want to keep the Sabbath. They just sleep to escape boredom.
But what does the Sabbath represent? It symbolizes the millennial rest, the Kingdom of God. Is that boring? Of course not.
The Sabbath is not supposed to be boring either. If we make it boring and tedious for our children, what message are we sending them?
The problem lies in misunderstandings about the Sabbath. We sometimes don’t know how to keep it properly. To correctly and positively picture the Kingdom of God, and eliminate Sabbath boredom, we must teach our children the real intent of the Sabbath. Everyone knows that God rested on the Sabbath, and so should we. But God also works on the Sabbath, and so should we.
But Sabbath work must be of a particular kind.
In John 5:2-17 we read the account of Jesus Christ’s healing on the Sabbath of a man who had been crippled 38 years, an act that elicited criticism from the Jews.
“But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working’” (verse 17).
God rested from His creative work on the Sabbath, to show us that we should rest from our work as well. But God continues one kind of work seven days a week: Night and day, without ceasing, God is working to bring all of us into His Kingdom. He works to help people grow spiritually on the Sabbath. He works constantly to build a close, personal relationship with His people.
Jesus healed more people on the Sabbath than on any other day. He traveled on the Sabbath; He taught and preached on the Sabbath.
Was Jesus sinning? No. These activities on the part of our Savior were part of God’s work of helping people enter into the Kingdom of God and were perfectly acceptable to God.
Sowing seeds for the Kingdom
Whatever we do on the Sabbath should involve sowing seeds for the Kingdom. Consider the many people Jesus healed. As far as we know, most of the people He healed did not become converted. So why did He bother healing them? Did he just like to amaze people with His miracles?
I don’t think so. Jesus paid a lot of attention to beggars, the blind, crippled people, children: the people others ignored.
Why? He knew that someone unaccustomed to acts of kindness who is shown a little of it will remember it forever.
Is it not possible that Jesus was setting these people up for a future relationship with Him in the Kingdom? He can walk up to these people and say, “Remember Me?” and the rapport will be instantaneous. I think He was sowing seeds for the Kingdom.
Can we do the same thing? I asked a group of fifth-graders to tell me ways they could sow seeds for the Kingdom. Here are their responses:
- Be friends with the kids everybody else picks on at school.
- Study the Bible to learn the answers to hard questions.
- Visit friends and relatives when they get sick.
- Visit the elderly.
Do you want your children to learn how to be kind, to be outgoing, to project a giving, serving attitude? Do you want them to be considerate of those less fortunate, to take them out on the Sabbath and, as a family, sow some seeds for the Kingdom?
Of course you do. And, as you teach them, talk about why you are doing what you’re doing. Involve your children in the thinking as well as the activity.
Why it’s important
Why is it so important to set the proper example for our children?
Because God requires it of us, as described in Matthew 25:31-40: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Do you want your children to build a relationship with God? Do you want God to know your children?
Of course you do. Then teach them to do good for those less fortunate. Teach your children to be partners with God in sowing seeds for the Kingdom, on the Sabbath, as Christ did. Do it with them, and you’ll strengthen your relationships with God and your children at the same time.
Get them involved
Get your children involved in helping in the Church of God. Teens and youngsters can do most things the older members can do. Of course they don’t know how at first, but that’s what the rest of us are there for: to show them how to do it.
Paul discussed this principle in Titus 2:3-4: Instruct “the older women likewise, that they be … teachers of good things: that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands …”
We must get young people involved and help them realize they have a part in the church too. Young girls should help out in the kitchen with snacks and refreshments. Boys can help with setup and cleanup. Put them to work and patiently teach them how to serve. That’s how they become a part of God’s Church. That’s how they learn that they are loved, valuable and appreciated.
Will there be bugs in the system? You bet. But it’s far more important that young people get involved than it is for everything to run smoothly and on time.
This inclusive involvement is the way every society passes on its ways and values to its next generation. It works, and it had better work, for the sake of our next generation.
Under the old covenant, God clearly spelled out rules for how the Sabbath was to be kept. When Christ came, He magnified the law (Isaiah 42:21). He showed us the spiritual intent: that hatred, for example, is like murder and lust is as bad as adultery.
Jesus also magnified the Sabbath. In Mark 2:23-28 the Pharisees criticized the disciples because they picked some grain as they walked through fields on the Sabbath. Jesus Christ pointed the Pharisees away from their rigid way of observing the Sabbath and pointed them to the original meaning of the day. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” He told them.
Jesus taught the Sabbath’s intended purpose: that the day is a blessing God gave us to help us draw close to Him. Jesus emphasized what the day is for, rather than listing all the things we can’t do. This is how we must teach our children.
I received a letter from a teenage girl. “Please help me with my confusion about the Sabbath,” she pleaded. “Is it okay to go out with my school friends on Friday night? Is it okay to play school sports on the Sabbath? Everyone I know says it’s no big deal. My friends wonder what’s wrong with me. I want to get along with my friends and have fun, but I also want to please God and live like His Son. I don’t know what to do.”
I did not send her a long list of things she could and could not do. I quoted Isaiah 58:13-14: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Let kids make decisions
If we take time out from the busyness of our lives, ceasing from our own works to let God work on us, we will draw close to God. That is what the Sabbath is for, and we should teach our children how to use it properly. As they grow older, we can let them make decisions, just as God allows us to do. For instance, we can let them make the decision of what to do for several hours. Should they play video games, call a friend who is sick, do homework, help Mom get dinner ready-or just lie back and be bored?
Ask your kids which of these activities best fits the purpose of the Sabbath. In this process they learn to participate in Sabbath decision-making. When they make the right choices, they feel good, and the right decisions are reinforced. When they choose unwisely, they also learn.
Through this process, our children learn to become partners with God in Sabbath-keeping. They gradually learn the purpose and intent of the day, and the Sabbath becomes a part of them.
God’s Fourth Commandment is being written in their hearts: not as a list of rules, but in its spiritual intent. As they grow older, the Sabbath will be a part of their lives. They will find themselves Sabbath-keepers.
When children are only a few years old, we need to tell them everything to do. But, if we continue that approach, detailing every move and behavior for them well into their teenage years, the best we can hope for is little people who understand the Sabbath only as a list of rules and regulations. They will not understand the purpose of the day in their hearts.
But, if we build that relationship with them, opening our hearts to them, then their hearts will be open to us. Our desires and beliefs will hold great weight in their minds. They won’t want to disappoint us, and they won’t want to disappoint God.
Live our religion
We must live our religion at home. I once met a young man who told me about his mother. She had 18 children, and her husband did not like her religion. The family lived 150 miles from the nearest location for Sabbath services.
After the young man’s mother attended church for several years, she contracted rheumatoid arthritis, which invaded most of her joints and spine, disfiguring her hands and feet. She was rendered bedfast, suffering excruciatingly.
However, every Sabbath at 4 in the morning her alarm clock would go off. She would rise slowly and, with great effort, ready herself and her children for Sabbath services.
She would ride with aching joints for three hours to services, sit on a metal chair for two hours, fellowship for an hour and ride three hours home. When she got home, she went to bed, where she stayed until 4 o’clock the morning of the next Sabbath.
After seven years of keeping the Sabbath in this manner, she died. Her son told me he found it almost unthinkable to miss services for any reason. He knew his mother’s heart; she loved and honored God and wished more than anything else to obey Him.
If we want our children to love and respect God, the most important thing we can do is love and respect God. If we want our children to love and keep the Sabbath, then we must love and keep the Sabbath. We must live our religion at home, and we must remember that each of our children is a vessel dedicated to God for the preservation of His truth.