TYPICAL SABBATH SERVICE

This is another paper that has lain on the shelf for several years.

What would a typical Sabbath service be like in the true church of God?  If we are to follow God’s instructions, examples, prototypes, it won’t be like what we’ve been used to in the Worldwide Church of God or it’s splinter groups, or any of the mainstream churches as far as I’m aware of.  If we don’t follow God’s instructions, we are just playing church anyway.  God’s word is very clear about church operations.  In the past, this word has been perverted mightily.

1 Corinthians 10:11 sets the stage.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Examples” is Strong’s #5179-.  “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar, by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type”), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says- “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: “calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning.”

“World” is Strong’s #165: “prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world- spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):-age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end).”

So, if what is written to the people upon the ends of the age have come is in the Bible, we had better pay close attention to what is written.  If these things are prototypes, things to be imitated, by the end time church, we best be imitating them to the best of our ability.

I will be doing a separate paper on women keeping silent in the church.  I dwell quite a bit on it in the paper “End Time Work.” It is not like we have thought.  Women can and will be talking in church.  Notice 1 Corinthians 14,34-35 just to give you some food for thought.

1 Corinthians 14-34 Let your women keep silence in the churches- for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home., for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

The way it reads is that women should be quiet in church.  If she is to learn anything, let her ask her husband.  My question is, what if she doesn’t have a husband?  It is obvious by taking this at face value, without getting supporting verse, the women with no husband do not have to be quiet.

I’ll try to clear this up in a paper on the subject.  The only reason I mention this is that it is brought up in 1 Corinthians 14-26-31, 33, 40, the verses we will look at now.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Notice in verse 26 the phrase “when you come together.” This will most likely be a Sabbath or Holy Day assembly.  Looking at what could go on, many of these assemblies could be all day affairs, or much more lengthy than what we’re used to.  This will no doubt vary with the amount of God’s business that we have to deal with.

Continuing in verse 26, the phrase “every one” is Strong’s #1538 meaning each or every, any, both, each (one), every (man, one, woman)… Do you see any separation of gender here?  So any man or woman when we come together for a Sabbath assembly could have a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, an interpretation, etc.

Notice carefully what God is saying here.  Come to a Sabbath assembly with the right attitude, not a flippant, less than sincere attitude of actually appearing before Christ.  Notice the theme of this whole passage is found in verses 33, 40 and the last sentence of verse 26, the one we are looking at.

Our actions at Sabbath assemblies have to first and foremost honor the Father and Christ.  Nothing short of that is acceptable.  Twisting, perverting, or taking scriptures lightly is not acceptable.

Continuing in verse 26.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.

“Doctrine” is Strong’s #1322 meaning instruction (the act or the matter)- doctrine, hath been taught.  According to Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament, it means primarily “the art of teaching, instructing, tutoring…”

Are the hierarchists going to sit here and say that the men could talk about it, but the women couldn’t?  Remember the term “every one” meant men and women.  There is no separation in gender.  So, on a typical Sabbath assembly, could a woman teach a doctrine?  You bet.

“Tongue” is Strong’s #1100 meaning “a language (espec. one naturally unacquired) – tongue.”  So, a typical Sabbath assembly might possibly have both men and women present, whom the Holy Spirit has given them the ability to speak in a foreign language.

“Revelation” is Strong’s #602 meaning “a disclosure…” “Interpretation” is Strong’s #2058 meaning a “translation- interpretation.”

It is clear that men and women both can and will be involved in this and women can speak in a typical church assembly.  The hierarchy attitude of “men only” won’t get it in the end time church of God.

Continuing in 1 Corinthians 14:27.

1 Corinthians 14-27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

“Any man” is Strong’s #5100 and the primary meaning according to Strong’s is “some, or any person, or object…”  How clear can it get when we “come together” (Sabbath assembly) anyone could speak in tongues (a foreign language), but it has to be done by course, Strong’s #3313 meaning a “section or allotment, a division, or share…”

Paul put a number limit on it also.  Other members of the congregation need an opportunity to respond.  Also, any given Sabbath assembly has a limited amount of time.  No one member is to “hog” all the time.  There has to be an opportunity for dialogue.

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

Notice in verse 28, if there is no interpreter there is to be no languages spoken that the congregation can’t understand.  The theme here is no confusion and order, verses 33 and 40.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Go on to verse 29.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

Here again, Paul puts a limit on the number of speakers, two or three.  So, two or three prophets could speak at a typical Sabbath assembly.  “Judge” is Strong’s #1252 meaning “to separate thoroughly…”   Wouldn’t this demand congregational discussion?  What if one of these prophets was a false prophet?  The word “prophet” is Strong’s #4396 meaning a “foreteller, (“prophet”)…”

Acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

In Acts 21:9, “prophecy” is Strong’s #4395 meaning “to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration…”  So, here are four women who did prophesy.  Let’s be realistic.  Were they out in the woods prophesying to a tree?  No, why would God bless a woman with the gift of prophecy and not allow her to do it in front of her brethren, so every church member could benefit from it?  Satan sure has blinded and warped our way of thinking.

1 Corinthians 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

In verse 30, do we see indication that Christ and the Father themselves will be active in a typical Sabbath at certain times?  The bottom line is, each person can be involved in the Sabbath service.  We don’t have to sit there like robots like we have done in the past.

1 Corinthians 14-31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

Verse 31 substantiates this even further.  The word “all” is Strong’s #3956 meaning “all, any, every, the whole…” This is a typical Sabbath assembly.  Remember verse 26, it was when they come together?  It’s very clear if the Bible is to be our guide that everyone can participate.  Like it says in verse 31, all can learn, all can prophesy, all may be comforted.

I’ll be doing a paper on women keeping silent in the church as soon as I finish this paper.  That is an area in which the women of God have been abused greatly by the hierarchy system we came out of.  God doesn’t take that lightly.  There is a certain way God has laid things out in the church.  Where we fit in, the position, and we best as end time Christians make a diligent effort to apply ourselves in God’s church the way God intends and has written for us.

I want to digress for a few sentences here in this subject of women speaking in church.

Today is September 23, 2001, twelve days after the destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York City.  I see God’s hand all over this and there is a serious reason he let these evil servants of Satan do this horrible, horrific deed.

We are seeing a repentance in the US, I should say Israel.  Study the book of Judges and other places in the Bible.  In most all of the places that Israel repents, God uses some sort of calamity to grant Israel the repentance.  Make no mistake about it, it has to be granted, Acts 11:18.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

The way this happens is that God forces Satan to release his grip on the people.  After all, he is the god of this world.

Now, don’t be hasty and jump to a bunch of self-righteous conclusions about this.  Can these people out in the world, without the Holy Spirit repent like we can with the Holy Spirit?  Does God expect them to repent like we can?  No way, it is impossible without the Holy Spirit.

Can any of you show me that the repentance that we are seeing in the US today is any less sincere than it was in Judges?  If these people know nothing except Sunday observance, because of the deception God has allowed, Satan to put on this world, does he accept an attitude of these people turning to acknowledge him?  Regardless of how wrong they are in some of their understanding, you bet he accepts them.  If you think not, how do you explain Acts 17:30?

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at- but now commandeth all men every where to repent…

Look at 2 Kings 1: 1-6, 17

2 Kings 1: 1 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick- and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?

4 Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.  And Elijah departed.

5 And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back?

6 And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken.  And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, because he had no son.

This is what I call the Bible’s definition of a minimum, bottom-line repentance that God would accept.  If Ahazieh had only inquired of the real God, the God of Israel, he would have lived.

What does this say?  If he had only ACKNOWLEDGED that there was a real God of Israel, he would have lived.  What are we seeing today in modern Israel?  We are seeing this minimum acknowledgement of the true God.  Regardless of how flawed this nation’s understanding of the true God is, we are seeing this minimum acknowledgement of Him.

Why has God granted the US a measure of repentance?  There is a major reason and it will affect the end time church in a mighty way.  God will be restoring the true knowledge about the Sabbtah assemblies and women will be participating as they should.

George W. Bush is hand picked by God to do a job for the church.  We will see that clearly in hindsight.  That job is to rid the earth of these governments that will not let Christianity be taught.

To what degree this will be done is yet to be seen, but the minimum is to allow teachers from the true Church to teach the ones that God is calling by some means.  The early church could access places and people to teach but still met tremendous persecution.  If you want to refuse this concept, how do you explain the following verses?

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.  And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Either God’s word is true or it’s not.  It’s an absolute true fact that an end time Christian or groups of Christians could not go into a number of the Middle Eastern countries and teach true Christianity today, September 25th, 2001 because of the demented hold Satan has over these people. This is true of most of the earth’s nations.

A quote my wife heard on TV, just a few days after the September 11th, 2001, from one of these Taliban men was “a woman’s place is in her husband’s house or in the grave.” How sick, how perverted this religion is.  Less than three months ago I saw them execute a woman on TV.  They took her to an open area and made her get on her knees and then a man behind her put a rifle within inches of her head and fired it.  You could see the spray of flesh come from her forehead.  This is a male hierarchy in one, if not the worst forms.  Herein lies a situation that God has to correct if there are people to come from all nations, tribes, etc., Revelation 7:9.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Herein also lies a massive job for the women of the church.  The men will be assisting in this.  There is a saying that goes something like this, “What you ARE speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.”

Men, let’s be realistic.  Can we (because of what we are: men) go in there and teach women who have been treated worse than dirt for years, even centuries and expect to get anywhere?  Can a man who, generally speaking, has a harder set of emotions than women, teach these women?  Could these women who have been abused by demon possessed men all their lives even start to be reached by a foreign man?  I doubt it.  Because we are men, I think this job of teaching and relating, getting through the fear of these women will be mostly up to the women of the end time Church.  There may be a place and time for a man to teach and help these women, but initially, I can see no other way but women doing it.  The women will be able to go one on one with these women.

So, getting back to what might be a typical Sabbath assembly.  The above discussion leads us right into another example of how a typical Sabbath assembly could be spent.  Go to Acts 11 -4 and Acts 14-27.

Acts 1 1:4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,

Notice in verse 4, the phrase “rehearsed from the beginning.”  It is Strong’s #756 meaning “to commence (in the order of time) (rehearse from the) begin (-ning).”  Peter exposed the consecutive events of what happens in this episode of his church experience.

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

In verse 27, Paul and Barnabus gathered the church together. My best bet is that this was probably a Sabbath assembly.  “Rehearsed” here is Strong’s #312 meaning “to announce (in detail)- declare, rehearse, report, show, speak, tell.”

This rehearsing of these events could no doubt eat up all the time available for a given Sabbath assembly or even two, so in this case, the explaining of these events by Paul and Peter could have used up a lot of time of these Sabbath assemblies.  The dialogue that followed may have stretched into more Sabbath assemblies.  We have no way of really knowing.

The local churches in the end time will be sending their local hand-picked representatives to different parts of the world.  The local congregation will finance these trips.  Read my paper, “End Time Work, Church Operations.” Let’s say a delegation of women with men assisting them just returned from the Middle East.  Won’t the congregation need to know what was accomplished by their evangelistic campaign?

Won’t each women who had a part in it need to get up at the local Sabbath assembly and explain what went on, what kind of miracles God did, etc.? Something like this could take up several assemblies, as the participants went over what they did and the congregation asked questions.  After all, the congregation has to know how their tithe money has been spent.  Read the papers on tithing.  How did their pound gain ten pounds?

There is no escaping that the congregation has lots of input.  Look at Christ’s personal example, Luke 4:16-20.

Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias- And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,- he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Notice that the dialogue started after he sat down, verses 21 and 22.  In bearing him witness, they most certainly had to talk.  This dialogue a few verse later leads them to trying to kill Christ.  Should any of us dare to do it any other way than Christ did or has written down for us?

Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears

22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.  And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

There is a time and a place for a lot of different input in Sabbath assemblies, from discussions about tithe money in the congregation to a lot of input from one person and congregational discussions after the speaker is finished.

This open dialogue, the ability to discuss among the congregation the things that are taught, the things that happen, the rumors etc., has a super important twist to it that God ordained.  Notice how deacons are chosen, Acts 6:1-6.

Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude.- and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

They are chosen by the congregation.  Notice also the method used, Acts 14:23.

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

“Ordained” is Strong’s #5500 meaning “to stretch, to be a hand reacher or voter (by raising the hand)…”  So, you have full congregational participation here.

Read also 1 Timothy 3.-2 and 2 Timothy 2:25.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach’,

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves- if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

The congregation will know by experience who is apt to teach from the previous experience of the open Sabbath assemblies.  People will then bring up a point about a Bible topic and then the congregation will discuss it.  This is a checks and balance thing that God has built into the system.  Also, this openness in Sabbath assemblies will help keep unqualified people out of an office.

For instance, if a man is mistreating his wife and family and wants to be a deacon, there’s a good chance that someone in the congregation might know or have suspicions about what is going on and bring it up for discussion.  What a drastic difference God’s true way is from the hierarchy system of the late Worldwide Church of God.  In WCG, everything was rammed down the throat of the congregation and if we didn’t like it and expressed that opinion, you were promptly kicked out of the group.

There will be many applications of what we do on a typical Sabbath assembly in the end time, that the early church didn’t do because of our society, air travel, TV, high tech everything, computers, etc.  The basic outline is in place in God’s word.  It is up to us to follow it.  It is imperative that we do.  As for me, I won’t fellowship with any group that doesn’t follow these guidelines.  Anything short of what God has outlined will lead us back into the slavery of the hierarchy system.

God has built in the protections we need if we will only heed his word.  We will certainly learn and become more skilled in conducting Sabbath assemblies as we go on.  At first, we will be going or traveling in baby steps.  Just as the Taliban in Afghanistan hates the very concept of freedom and freedom is what they are trying to destroy in the free nations of the world today, Satan surely hates the freedom of God’s true Sabbath assemblies because he can’t impose his despicable hierarchy, slavery system on us when we go by God’s rules.

God’s rules and obedience to them leads us to spiritual freedom from Satan.

Published September, 2001

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org