MESSIANIC JEWS, SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST, AND PROTESTANTS

First, I want to open with we never all agree on everything. But!, what I want everyone to consider is, does your belief come from a lifetime of being guided through Scripture, a head knowledge of Scripture, or a TRUE and unadulterated relationship with the Living God?

I was raised protestant. We were in church faithfully each sunday morning, evening, and wednesday. I ran from the church for a variety of reasons and came back in about 2008. After about a year, I devoted my life to studying Scripture and passing the whole of the context on to others. Understanding that the Bible was given to the Jews, written by the Jews, in a Jewish culture, around Jewish traditions, my wife and I started attending a Messianic Jewish Synagogue: we wanted to learn more to understand more of Scripture.

My Bible studies had become, and are, an addiction. If I can’t get at least two hours a day with the Bible and God, I’m getting pretty irritable; yet I prefer an average of about four hours a day. As I studied, I saw things in Scripture that were pulled from context and twisted about all kinds of subjects; including Sabbath. STOP!!! if the subject of Sabbath all of a sudden caused a defensive and legalistic thought, I’d suggest that you find out what “legalism” (word not used in the Bible) and “works” means according to a Biblical context and you need to ask why your so defensive about a day in which God Himself set up. Yet, this study is not about whether Sabbath is saturday, sunday, or any other day. This goes much deeper.

My wife an I have attended all types of denominations from Baptist, to non-denominational, Assemblies of God, to Pentecostal Holiness, to Messianic Jewish Synagogues; and yes, even Seventh Day Adventist on occasion. In looking at Sabbath, this is what I’ve found in all these areas. We’ll group them according to the title - Messianic Jews, Seventh Day Adventist, then the rest of protestantism.

MESSIANIC JEW
When attending the Synagogue, I was surprised to see a group of people that believed in the Laws of God so deeply yet so easily broke those Laws. When looking at Sabbath on a legal point, they failed miserably. After Synagogue service, they would go out to eat, go shopping, and the likes. Legally, this is forbidden in Scripture.

PROTESTANT
Being raised in all types of protestant churches, I was not use to the context of Sabbath. We worshiped on Sunday but for the most part, we did what ever we wanted the rest of the day. It is believed, and fervently preached, by the protestants, that Sabbath can be any day of the week. Yet, it’s not really practiced. Sabbath is not discounted by the protestants, it’s only fought about if someone mentions the day God set it up. There are a couple of Scriptures, pulled from context, to defend their not keeping the Sabbath on the Lords Day and to keep any day - yet they keep NO day as Sabbath.

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
Then there was the Seventh Day Adventist. Really nice people, as well as the other denominations, but as soon as I came through the door (seems like) they were throwing out their signature doctrines of death, anti-christ, Ten Commandments, and yes Sabbath. While I was not happy with the lack of proper following of the Jews, and the lack of following all together by the protestants, the manner in which the SDA’s approached the subjects, and approached me, seemed almost... legalistic. This bothered me - but I couldn’t quite get a handle on why it bothered me.

As I’ve grown in my studies and in my relationship with God, I’ve been able to put a nail on the problem and affects all three categories we are looking at - religious rituals vs. God relationship.

The last six commands of the Ten Commandments are summed up in “love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9) and the first four sum up “love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul”. This means Christ was not giving a “new” command but rather reconfirming the old commands (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18). The prior makes sense. If we love our neighbor we will not want to kill them, steal from them, commit adultery on them, and the likes. The latter also makes sense; and within those four is one about a day.

Will God send someone to hell for not observing a day? No, absolutely not; I don’t believe that. But, is it just a day? What is it about this command of a day?

In my relationship with my wife, I desire to spend time with her. It’s not a must or a command. It was not included in our vows, in our marriage bi-laws, or anything like that. The fact is, I love her and I WANT to spend time with her. For those who fight against Sabbath, and most of which don’t keep any day as Sabbath, how can we claim a love for God if we have no desire to spend even a day alone, in rest and study of God; and work in the ministry of God? For those who run this process like a legal ritual in which one will not make it to Heaven unless we keep this day, shall we present ourselves like the legalistic pharisees?

This is actually simple, it’s a relationship. The Ten Commandments are not laws in the manner in which the modern church presents them. The Ten Commandments merely show us where our love is. If we fail to have a DESIRE to keep any one, or more, of these commands, we need to examine ourselves. God will not send anyone to hell for not keeping a day. Yet, we can not make it to Heaven unless we have an insatiable desire for God here now. If you had a million dollar check on your possession, and you had to carry that check all day long before going to the bank, you would walk different, talk different, look different, and treat others differently. God is worth so much more than a million dollar check and in our desire of God, we should be treating Him as if He is worth more. I would not want to trade Him for a TV show, a movie, a video game, or even a day to do what I want to do. I would want to spend it with the one that I desire the most.

Don’t fall for a prayer of salvation and ask Jesus in your heart. Remember, not one single person in the Bible was saved in this manner. Don’t fall for John 3:16 pulled from context without taking into consideration the rest of the chapter and the rest of the Gospel. This is not about a believing (noun) but a believing (verb) in which there is an action - and that action is a relationship with God through Christ.

Let us not make this into a legalistic point, and let’s not ignore it all together. Instead, let’s fall in love with the Creator in a new way. Not new in His desire but new to the manner we see taught and practiced today; a way that becomes evident to those around us.

Food for thought and thought for Biblical study.
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