Sabbath Day Worship

Sabbath/Sunday Worship Part 1B Series

Religion and the Sabbath/Sunday Worship Part 1B: Jews and Gentiles

There is no difference if either Christian Jews or Christian Gentiles would have kept the celebration of the Sabbath ( Saturday). Still, the Pharisees seeing one sect disrespects the celebration of the Sabbath becomes a problem. They accused everyone they saw working except themselves. Jesus had a good argument about Sabbath rest when he said: “if they(Pharisees) will have to wait to rescue a child fell in the pit on Sabbath day for the next day?” “and the sheep that was separated from the flock, will they have to wait till the next day to find it? The 12 Apostles were the first group that worked in the ministry of Jesus and were called the Disciples of Jesus. The twelve disciples were all Jews and were not identified as Christians until later, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, almost a century.

About one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15) were present, including the original 11 Disciples and the new replacement for Judas Iscariot. Twelve Disciples (followers) became Apostles (messengers). They started to be called Apostles when Jesus commanded them to go, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”— Matthew 28:19-20.

The 120 disciples include Jesus’ mother, Mary, another female, his brothers, the seventy disciples Jesus sent in missionary work to heal diseases and illnesses and proclaim, “The kingdom of God has come near to you,” and “warn them of the coming judgment.” When the 70 returned to Jesus they described with joy that they were able to cast out demons aside from the instruction to heal diseases. This was different from the instructions Jesus gave to the original apostles whom he directly chose. When these apostles were chosen,  they responded without hesitation. Thus,  they deserve to be called the “chosen ones.” On the other hand, Paul proclaimed himself as the apostle of the Gentiles. This is still a burden in my mind and remains an unresolved issue. For centuries until today, the argument about his apostleship has been raised, especially now that studies of the modern or New Testament scholars who are spending time and expertise on research and evaluation revealed that not all of Paul’s epistle is authentically his.

To be an Apostle has a process to follow, and as of today, there are still leaders of the church claiming the title of an apostle who could be deceitful. After the Twelve Apostles, whom Jesus instructed to go throughout the world, the title ends them in perpetuity. So,  whoever wants to be addressed with the title of an Apostle should have a change of heart because it is unbiblical. All Christians are ministers of the word of God, and ministers, as everyone should know, means “Servants.”

The first group Jesus called to join him in the ministry to preach the “kingdom” were called Christians, first mentioned in the Book of Acts. Christos comes from the Greek word χριστός, meaning “anointed one,” while Messiah has the same meaning as Christos, as Moshiach in Hebrew word and Latin “Christus,” meaning Christ. All have the same meaning of being the “anointed one.” With all these transliterations, we can avoid being confused that Christ is God or have the same meaning; God in Latin means Deus, in Greek is called theós (θεός), and in Hebrew, God is the Elohim or ha-Elohim. Yehoshua has been shortened to Yeshua, which was recorded in the Old Testament but did not refer to Jesus, the Son of God, the Christ. If the transliteration of Yehoshua did not happen during the ancient time of Israel, maybe the Bible that we have now will bear the name Yehoshua.

Even when the publication of the new version of the Bible was made, they tried to bring the original name of Jesus back into circulation in support that there is no record in the New Testament that Jesus changed his name. Even though the Bible is in English, the change of his name should not happen. It stains the infallibility of the Bible. Yehoshua’s name must be respected and kept that way in any form and language, e.q. from Jesus to Hesus, Yesu, Isus, Jezus, Jesus, Jisu, and many others more to mention. If they had kept the name Yehoshua, we would have gotten used to pronouncing it right by this time.

There may come a  time when Yehoshua’s name may become obsolete, but it should not happen that way. So many call the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus but does it make the ear of heaven to hear it? Does God allow it to happen? Does Jesus permit the change of his name? I don’t think so. It is a shameful act for those who are profiting from it.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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