Sabbath Message by Wade Cox


To be read in all the Churches of God

Sabbath Message,

I wish to deal this Sabbath with the subject of the Sabbath and the worship of God and the respect of each other. Do you not understand that we will judge angels? The world, including its so called synagogue of Satan which purports to act for God, will be made to prostrate themselves before us, yet sometimes we esteem each other lightly and judge one another in self righteousness. Often this is a result of our exposure to such behaviour among those who claimed to be of us but were not of the temple of God.

Paul had cause to write to the Colossians along these lines. In chapter 2 he commenced by asking that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love having all the riches of assured understanding and all the knowledge of God's Mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Note that the Churches of God are to be knit together in love and, through love, have all the riches of the assured understanding and all knowledge of God's Mystery. Without the love of one another we cannot profit from any understanding that we might have and we are as nothing. I ask, as did Paul, that none delude you with beguiling speech. In each area we are with you in spirit and we rejoice to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Jesus Christ. Yet there are those among us who do not delight in good order and who do not work to help those in need, but work to pull down rather than uplift. Some come to us with railing accusation when they themselves are weeping sores. Some fail through lack of understanding, and others fail through assuming that all those who were once baptised are of the faith when their words convict them otherwise.

As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, abounding in thanksgiving". See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him you were circumcised with a circumcision made without of hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you who were dead to trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having cancelled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands, this he set aside nailing it to the [stake]. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them triumphing in him.

Therefore let no man pass judgment on you in question of food and drink or with regards to a Festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ" (Col. 2:6-17 RSV).

This passing of judgment is an important factor among the elect. No charge is to be established except it is established in the mouth of two witnesses. Once a matter is heard and dealt with, and repented of, then it is finished. It is placed as far as the east is from the west in the mind of God and so had it better be with you. Christ gave us these words.

Our Father Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us.
But deliver us from evil" (Mat. 6:6-13)
The Receptus reads on: For thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and ever Amen.

There are a number of aspects involved in this matter.
1. You are to be knit together in love as the family of God who raised you from the dead in your sins through baptism as he raised Christ from the dead through faith.
2. In keeping the Festivals, New Moons and Sabbaths you are not to pass judgment on one another in the execution of the work of God under His Will.
3. You are to forgive one another and then God will forgive you.
4. God gives us what we need as we need it and ask through faith.

Christ then stated the main object of this prayer, which is the basis of all prayer as an outline, namely the forgiveness of sin (see the paper Teach us to Pray (No. 111) at

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses (Mat. 6:14-15).

This matter of holding sin, real or imagined, against another baptised member is an affront to God, and while you do that and do not repent of this sin, which is what it is, God will hold your sins, which are all too real, against you.

Do you believe that God nailed the debt of our sins to the stake with Christ or do you not believe that in faith? If you do believe that He nailed our sins to the stake in Christ, why then do you make railing accusations against your brothers? Do you not realise that sin lies at your door?

This point was again reinforced by Christ with the parable of the forgiven servant who wished to sell his own debtors for more trivial debts. Christ said: "So also will my heavenly Father do to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart" (Mat. 18:23-25). This is the Kingdom of God and some of us do not fully understand it.

There are those among us who are not keeping the Sabbath Holy. The worst of these are those who are not meeting with one another in faith when they could be doing so. We have brethren so isolated they cannot meet and who pray daily to be added to so that they may congregate, and there are others who can meet and do not because of imagined offence through self-righteousness. David committed adultery and murdered his general to pervert the course of justice and could say in the Spirit in prayer to God, "Against you only have I sinned." There are those among us who have beams in our own eyes and concentrate on removing specks from the eyes of others.

It is written:

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son or your daughter, your manservant or your maidservant, or your cattle or the sojourner that is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is within them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Ex. 20:8-11 RSV)

There are a number of problems associated with these texts. This command is a command to the individual. The Law covers more than the Ten Commandments, and the Sabbath command embraces all the law regarding the Holy Days, and Festivals, and new Moons, and Sabbaths. It is itself part of the First Great Commandment; "Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your mind and with all you strength." It commences, with the Fifth Commandment, the basis of the Second Great Commandment: "Thou shalt love your neighbour as yourself." Note in this command, God is establishing the extension of the Sabbath to all nations and workers, both male and female, and to all animals. They are everyone to receive a Sabbath rest. So, do I sin when I travel to do the work of God? When I give an instruction as an officer of Jesus Christ and apostle of the Church of God to a minister to go to do the work of God in whatever capacity, or in place of another who should have been there, or in emergencies, an order to travel which means travel on the Sabbath, do I sin or do they?

The ministry work on the Sabbath and more cattle were slaughtered on the Sabbath than during the week and they were blameless. We are also to obey our leaders. Does that fact excuse slackness and poor observance of the Sabbath by lack of preparation, forcing travel on the Sabbath? No that is a sin and must be repented of but it is a sin between the officers and God. I sometimes err in dealing with email among brethren that has some business aspect in it. That is my error and between me and God but I don't do it often and it is inadvertent. Some would say I sinned by turning the computer on yet that is the major medium of our mission.

What does the text in Colossians 2:16 mean? Let no man pass judgment on you in question of food and drink or with regard to a Festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
Does that mean that we can eat unclean food? No, it means that we are not to be judged by anyone regarding the fact that such clean meat may have been dedicated to some idol or another when it was killed. The beef in an abattoir may have been dedicated to an idol in the old days when Paul wrote and it still may have been dedicated to an animist deity, or to a Hindu God, either before or at slaughter by some religious zealot. Who knows and who cares? Do they who worship idols have power over God and the saints? (See also the paper Colossians 2:16-17 (No 205) at

The next section concerning the Sabbaths is perhaps more relevant today to the Church. Does this text mean that we can stay at home on the Sabbath, New Moon or Festival and no one can judge us? Yes, but not every Sabbath, New Moon or Festival. We know in our own hearts the reason. If we need the rest and time on our own then that is between us and God. If we stay at home repeatedly because of some offence we have taken with our brother, then we sin and need to repent. Why do you think we have to wash each other's feet at Passover? It is to show forgiveness, as Christ forgave us on behalf of God so that we could be clean as we were raised from the baptism of the dead in faith for the receipt of the Holy Spirit? Do you not understand that if you have something against a brother you must go to him, and then forgive if he repents and asks forgiveness, and you must do it as many times as necessary? Do you not know that if you do not forgive you are not forgiven and are as hypocrites before God and the Holy Spirit will eventually withdraw from you in grief?

Is the Sabbath command confined and not extended to the Festivals and Holy Days? By no means! The Law is an extension of two commands and all the Law and the Prophets are commentary on the Two Great Commands. Did not Christ say: "It is written in your law, I said ye are Gods" when he referred to the Psalms? Would you make Christ a liar by confining the Law of God? Are you as the rabbis who are already condemned and sentenced to the Second Resurrection in sin without repentance? Was it not said of these Pharisees that they do not enter the Kingdom of God themselves and prevent others from doing so?

So can you go to a restaurant on a Sabbath or the First Holy Days of the Feast or a New Moon? The answer depends on where you are and what you are doing. If you have to travel and are in a hotel and have to eat then you must eat rather than be forced to fast on these days. Prepare as much as you can. When you travel for weeks on end it is difficult. The brethren have an obligation to ensure that their ministry is fed on the Sabbaths at their homes and their ministers are not placed in these emergency situations or forced to fast. But the example is clear. We are not to employ anyone to work on the Sabbaths of the Lord where we could do the work ourselves. You are to prepare for the Sabbaths. Look at the paper The Juma'ah: Preparing for the Sabbath (No. 285) at If we are to bake and seethe our food before the Sabbath and can only roast and such treatment, how much more do we come into condemnation if we allow others to work for us in food, let alone in construction or labour on houses?

Would any of us in the faith think we could go to a shop on the Day of Atonement? By no means would we think so. Could we go to a doctor on the Day of Atonement? The answer to that question is that it depends. If we were seriously injured and we had to present at an emergency ward situation then we would have no choice. We certainly would not arrange a consultation on such a day without incurring sin and coming under condemnation for which we would have to repent. Can any of us work on the Sabbaths? In the Millennial system we will still heal on the Sabbath. Hospitals will still exist and people will be rostered for duty to look after and feed the sick. The only difference is that it will be done according to God's laws, and hospitals will be fewer but they will nevertheless be still required. Sometimes, however rarely, a prescription has to be obtained for an urgent medicine to heal on the Sabbath. Who are we to judge another man's servant? Would we have judged Christ for healing on the Sabbath? The Pharisees did judge Christ from their misunderstanding of the same laws of God.

So do we stand in judgment on those who are sick, or who heal the sick, or who look after the sick, or who are themselves sick? I have heard it said by ministers of God that people are sick because they are sinning. This view is false doctrine that came from the churches of God who erred. Indeed, some who are sick have sinned but that is not the doctrine. Did Paul sin because God did not take the thorn from his side? Do I sin because God has left me with wounds? God has healed many of us through me, and some from near death, but has left me, as he did Paul and other elders of the faith. Whose faith is tested by that fact: yours, or mine, or both? Sickness is endemic to this planet as is death, which came through the sin of Adam.

Do we all have to attend the feasts? The answer is no. The Law requires the adult males to be in attendance. If the sick or animals are at home requiring attention, the females provide the attention while the males attend the feasts and then teach their families. Females may attend and should attend if they have unconverted spouses, which is even harder for them. Does that mean a female can opt out of a feast and travel instead? If it is the Passover then she is cut off from her people. If she fails to keep Atonement then the same fate awaits until repentance and the next Passover. No, it does not mean that anyone can opt out of the feasts. There is no choice between the feasts of God and family festivities. Read the paper Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (No. 16) at Remember that the unconverted will always try to dig a pit for the brethren to stop them keeping the feasts of God. Our job is not to be sidetracked.

Remember also that the conduct of a church on the Sabbaths mirrors its spiritual condition. If the minister is slack, the congregation will take slackness as its norm and become discouraged and grumble. If the minister's wife is slack or unconverted that makes things more difficult for him. Some men are called and their wives are not called to the faith, or do not understand all that is required of them. They may be obedient but not to God in the faith, or they may be misguided. How do we all help to keep the church working and healthy? The answer is to love another as you do yourself. Are the people self-righteous? This is a sin of hate. This sin will destroy any organisation. Self-righteousness and Respect of Persons (see the paper Respect of Persons (No. 221) at were the biggest single diseases in the churches of God, and ones that destroyed them of recent decades. The real aim is not to give offence. Do what you can. Perform that which is asked of us and within our competence. If you lead, then be an example. If your husband leads, honour him and by your honour show your faith in God. If a person withdraws from us, then find the cause of the offence and redress it. If the person will not be reconciled and fails to discern the body of Christ at the Passover, then leave them alone as they are no longer of us.

God is measuring and restructuring the Temple in these last days and only a few are chosen to do the work now. The adversary has been given to weaken and scatter the sheep. This has happened and will continue to happen. Our job is to support one another. By this support we are judged. How well we keep the faith and through love keep the Church of God together in our nation and our region will determine our position in the Kingdom of God. How well we do the work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God in the last days will mitigate our judgment.

Look at the Beatitudes for guidance (Mat. 5:3-12). Blessed are the poor in spirit; those who mourn; the meek; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; the peace makers; and those persecuted for righteousness for they are blessed when evil is uttered against them on Christ's account. Their reward is great in heaven. Review the paper The Beatitudes (No. 40) at
Brethren love one another. Put your differences at rest and be reconciled one to another. Prepare for the Passover and be diligent. If you are slack and have given offence, stir yourselves to action. If you are judgmental, repent and apologise and take the beams out of your own eyes and stop looking at the specks in your brother's eyes. If you have lost sheep through problems, go after them and be reconciled where possible. Admit fault and where possible overcome. I am the most miserable of sinners. In spite of this fact, God chose to use me to do this job and gave me understanding of the mysteries of God beyond others more righteous than I, and others who thought they were much more so. No one of us has been chosen because of our strength and purity. We are chosen because we were all weak and base and sinners. We are chosen to confound the mighty so that the entire creation of God is justified in His sight through us in Jesus Christ.

Stir yourselves to action in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Love one another and be reconciled to one another. Imagine you are at the judgment and you wish the mercy and love of God. Imagine that the way you love those in the Church determines the way God will love you, and will determine the way He forgives you of your sins and will place you in the kingdom. If you can imagine that, then you may also then realise that you are in fact right there now. Judgment begins at the house of God and your judgment is right now. As we are now dealing with each other and forgiving each other, or not forgiving as the case may be, is how we are all being judged by God, in Jesus Christ, right now. Not only that fact, but also we are commanded to love all men, even our enemies and how we deal with them also counts to our salvation and position and usage in the Kingdom of God.

When you de-leaven for the Passover and Unleavened Bread this year, remember it is your responsibility to remove the old leaven of malice and wickedness and replace it with the new leaven of sincerity and truth. De-leaven your hearts and not just your houses and do both with diligence. Go to your brothers and be reconciled first and then go to the house of God. Because if we cannot love our brothers who we have seen how can we love God whom we have not seen? Love one another as God and Christ loves us.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General


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