Thunder in the Holy Land

Who Moved The Mark?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Charles Byrd (Host), Levi Longoria, Andrea Endries, Stephen Fowler, Dolores Shudarek


Series Code: THL

Program Code: THL000013

00:11 "Jesus entered again into the Synagogue,
00:20 and there was a man there which had a withered hand,
00:26 and they watched Him whether He would heal him
00:28 on the Sabbath day that they might accuse him.
00:31 And He saith unto man which had the withered hand stand forth
00:36 and He saith unto them,
00:37 is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days or to do evil?
00:41 To save life or to kill? But they held their peace.
00:45 And when He had looked round about on them with anger
00:48 being grieved for the hardness of their hearts,
00:51 He saith unto the man, stretch forth thine hand,
00:55 and He stretched it out and his hand
00:57 was restored whole as the other.
01:00 And the Pharisees went forth,
01:01 and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him,
01:05 how they might destroy him."
01:09 One of the teachings of Jesus
01:11 that caused a huge amount of thunder in the holy land
01:14 was His claim to be Lord of the Sabbath.
01:17 This bold claim by Jesus put Him in direct opposition
01:21 to many of the traditions that had been built up
01:24 around the Sabbath by the religious leaders.
01:27 It wasn't that Jesus was in opposition
01:29 to customs and traditions per say.
01:32 After all, Jesus' custom was
01:34 to be in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
01:39 Traditions and customs can be a helpful tool in establishing
01:42 relationships and creating community and memories.
01:46 But on this particular Sabbath,
01:48 the misguided and oppressive doctrines of the Jewish leaders
01:52 collided with the simple teachings of Jesus.
01:56 In the mind and kingdom of Christ,
01:58 a veritable thunderstorm of anger erupted.
02:54 It may seem strange to learn that Jesus could get angry
02:58 in church but sacred history records
03:01 that that's exactly what happened.
03:03 On this particular Sabbath, what caused the angering Christ
03:07 was the hardness of their hearts.
03:10 This hardness was developed in part by years of traditions
03:14 that came to supersede and contradict
03:17 the plain teachings of Scripture.
03:19 The Sabbath had been designed by God
03:22 to be a blessing of time spent together in intimate fellowship.
03:27 Now the teachers who are ordained to speak
03:29 on behalf of God are making the Sabbath a stifling
03:33 and complex tradition instead of a simply delightful experience.
03:39 Jesus' attempt to disabuse the Jews
03:41 of their treasure traditions caused a great deal of thunder
03:45 in the holy land and if we care to notice,
03:48 Jesus' doctrine regarding the Sabbath is causing
03:51 some ominous clouds on our own national horizon.
03:56 Charles, the synagogue is a place of worship for the Jews.
03:59 Today, I'm in Capernaum,
04:01 the very synagogue that Jesus would have attended.
04:04 In Mark 13, we have a story about Jesus,
04:07 the Jews, and the Sabbath.
04:09 But first, we need to establish a baseline here.
04:12 The Sabbath is non-negotiable.
04:15 And that the teaching of Jesus made absolutely clear
04:18 that "The Sabbath was made for man."
04:21 And after all, it was given to perfect people
04:24 in a perfect world by the God of Creation.
04:27 In Exodus Chapter 20 that same Creator God
04:31 gave us His Ten Commandments.
04:33 At the physical heart and center of His Ten Commandments
04:37 is His reminder that He has set aside
04:40 a sacred time, the Sabbath.
04:42 So it should not surprise us that we find Jesus
04:45 in this synagogue on the Sabbath.
04:47 Exactly. Now when Jesus entered
04:49 the Synagogue on this particular Sabbath
04:52 and those in charge for watching Jesus,
04:55 looking for Him to do something by which they could accuse Him.
04:59 They came to church not to rest in the goodness
05:02 and power of God but to limit and restrict
05:05 His flow of mercy and grace.
05:07 In this story, we discover
05:09 the church leaders had changed the meaning
05:12 and definition of the word "work."
05:15 And words have to have meaning,
05:17 without a common and shared definition,
05:20 without an agreed-upon meaning
05:23 there can be no communication. Okay.
05:25 And it's clear from Exodus 20:9 that God has given us six days
05:32 to labor and work and but the seventh day is the Sabbath,
05:36 the Lord thy God, in it thou shall not do any work.
05:40 But in Luke 13:14, one synagogue ruler got
05:43 so upset with Jesus healing in the church
05:45 on the Sabbath day that he cried out,
05:48 "There are six days in which men ought to work,
05:50 in them therefore come and be healed
05:52 and not on the Sabbath day."
05:54 The Bible doesn't tell us we can't heal on the Sabbath.
05:57 So it clearly a tradition of the Jews
06:00 changed the meaning of the word "work."
06:03 I'm not sure how a miracle of God can be construed to be work.
06:07 Well, that's just it, you can't,
06:10 unless you take God off His throne
06:11 and make yourself or your wisdom
06:14 or your traditions the ruler and God of your life.
06:18 Perhaps, Jesus was trying to make
06:20 that point when He asked them,
06:22 "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or to do evil?
06:26 To save life, or to kill?"
06:28 But they wouldn't answer him.
06:30 It says, "But they held their peace."
06:32 In a way they stonewalled Him.
06:35 No one would want to admit that you can do evil
06:37 but not good on a Sabbath day.
06:39 And people still do that today.
06:41 They can't give an honest biblical answer as to why
06:44 they worship on Sunday or some other day of the week.
06:47 And probably the most fascinating detail
06:49 of this story is that while they don't want Jesus
06:52 healing on the Sabbath because that's "work,"
06:55 they can hold an assassination meeting with the hit squad
06:58 and somehow that's acceptable.
07:00 And to me, this illustrates
07:02 perhaps the number one reason
07:04 why young people leave the church today.
07:06 It's hypocrisy.
07:08 And we may be young
07:09 but we are not completely devoid of thought.
07:12 If Jesus is who He claims to be,
07:15 His question deserves to be answered.
07:19 And based on biblical history,
07:21 I guess that Jesus' Sabbath question
07:22 will only be rightly answered by honest people.
07:27 Jesus told that the Sabbath is made for men.
07:29 Jesus also claimed that He was Lord of the Sabbath.
07:32 Those who are honest in heart will consider these claims.
07:35 And they also need to consider two more important insights.
07:39 The Sabbath is not just about time together
07:41 with another being, it's about time
07:43 with someone called God, Father, and Creator.
07:46 The Sabbath then by default is about worship.
07:50 Revelation 15:4 tells us that, "In regard to all beings,
07:54 only God is Holy and as a result all nations
07:57 shall come and worship before Him."
08:00 And what reason is put forth,
08:01 what reason is given as to why we should worship Him?
08:04 Once again we turn to the Book of Revelation
08:06 which is the testimony of Jesus Himself.
08:09 In this apocalyptic book, John sees an angel flying
08:12 in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel
08:15 to preach to all those who dwell on earth.
08:17 As the cry goes out, people everywhere on planet earth,
08:20 whether Asian or Middle Eastern, European or American,
08:23 are called to worship him.
08:25 Him, who?
08:26 "Him that made heaven, and earth,
08:28 and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
08:31 We are invited to worship the creator.
08:34 Indeed, the only being worthy of our worship
08:36 is the one who created this earth and put us on it.
08:38 And the sign of His creatorship is the Sabbath. Check it out.
08:42 Exodus 20:8 tells us to
08:44 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
08:47 And the reason or rationale is given in verse 11.
08:50 "For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth,
08:53 and the sea, and all that in them is,
08:55 and rested on the seventh day, wherefore the Lord
08:58 blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."
09:00 John clearly states that Jesus is the creator.
09:03 "All things were made by him." He says in John 1:3.
09:06 "And without Him was not any thing made that was made."
09:10 So if Jesus is in fact Emmanuel,
09:12 God with us and if He is indeed the creator
09:16 and if He personally set aside the Sabbath to be a sign
09:18 between His children and Himself that He is the Creator God
09:22 and also assign that He is the one
09:24 who recreates us or makes us holy,
09:27 if He is the Lord of this weakly time that we call Sabbath,
09:30 how is it that most of the world does not keep
09:32 the Sabbath as a holy day?
09:34 I think Jesus Himself gave us the answer
09:37 in one of His parables that people had made a choice
09:40 and sent God this message.
09:43 "We do not want this man to rule over us."
09:48 Ever since man chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden,
09:52 we have made our own gods.
09:54 We've made a god out of our own reason.
09:57 Our own thought processes have become the premier standard
10:01 by which we guide our lives instead of a simple
10:04 "Thus saith the Lord."
10:06 And that's the reason there are so many forms of worship today.
10:11 We create our own religions, our own churches, our own God's.
10:16 Without any biblical directive Christians are keeping
10:19 Sunday as a holy day, Muslims are keeping Friday,
10:23 and Hindus go to temple on Tuesday.
10:26 But what does Jesus, the God of creation, say,
10:30 "The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day."
10:34 And according to Exodus 20:10,
10:37 the Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week.
10:41 He was not only Lord of the Sabbath,
10:43 but while Jesus was here on earth as a man,
10:46 He personally kept the Sabbath as a holy day
10:49 for church attendance and fellowship.
10:52 Dr. Luke, the only gentile writer
10:54 in the New Testament reports,
10:56 "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up
10:59 and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue
11:03 on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read."
11:07 Keeping the Sabbath was part of the weekly cycle in Jesus' life.
11:11 Not as some supposed because He was a Jew,
11:14 but because He was Lord of the Sabbath.
11:18 He led by example and rested just like
11:20 He did in Genesis, following creation.
11:24 And His disciples followed that example.
11:27 In the New Testament alone, we have 84 examples
11:30 of Christ's followers keeping the seventh day of the week
11:34 as a holy time, dedicated to the worship of
11:37 and a relationship with the God of creation.
11:41 The Apostle Paul explicitly declares,
11:44 "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
11:49 This word, rest, in the Greek
11:51 is sabbatismos or a keeping Sabbath.
11:56 The New Revised Version well translates this verse,
12:00 "So then a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God."
12:06 I've heard some folks say that the New Testament
12:08 never makes Sabbath observance an issue.
12:11 Well, Paul, who personally kept the Sabbath, made it an issue.
12:16 And what does that mean for the New Testament Christian?
12:20 Paul goes on to explain, "For those who enter
12:23 God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from His."
12:29 At the heart of most religions, Christian or otherwise,
12:33 there is a desire to be said and to be transported
12:37 into God's kingdom, a better place.
12:40 Humans seek to accomplish that goal through pilgrimages,
12:44 penances, or gifts to some church or clergy.
12:47 But the Sabbath is not a ritual that earns us merit.
12:52 It is a sign that we are resting in his power to save
12:57 and recreate just like Adam and Eve
13:00 rested in God's power to create.
13:04 The reason God's true followers still observe the Sabbath today
13:07 is they believe in a living God who still has power
13:11 to create in them a holy life.
13:15 You see, the Sabbath is a sign for both
13:17 Old and New Testament believers that we serve a living,
13:22 all powerful, life changing God who can and does,
13:26 actually and in fact change lives.
13:29 God tells us through the prophet Ezekiel,
13:32 "Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths,
13:35 to be a sign between me and them that they might know
13:38 that I am the Lord that sanctify them."
13:42 The drunkards become sober, the liars become honest,
13:46 the angry become peaceful.
13:48 We rest in that power and the Sabbath is God's signet,
13:53 His sign of that life changing relationship.
13:57 But since almost all Christians keep Sunday as Sabbath,
14:01 you think Jesus must have changed it somewhere
14:03 in the Bible before He went back to Heaven.
14:06 Yes, with the widespread acceptance
14:08 of Sunday as the day of worship,
14:11 it would seem that there must be some reference,
14:13 some biblical support for its observance.
14:16 And since the word Sunday is not in the Bible
14:18 and to investigate God's word, we must look up
14:22 all the verses containing the words, first day.
14:25 Of the 80 texts containing first and day
14:29 only nine referred the first day of the week.
14:32 One appears in the Old Testament and eight in the New.
14:35 So let's examine them.
14:37 The first verse is Genesis 1:5 and it talks about
14:41 the first day of creation and what was created on it.
14:45 The next six are in the Gospels and they surround
14:47 the crucifixion and five of them talk
14:50 about the women returning early Sunday morning
14:52 after resting on the Sabbath according to the commandment
14:55 to finish their work of embalming Jesus.
14:58 Then one text, John 20:19, talks about Jesus'
15:02 first meeting with His disciples on Sunday evening.
15:05 Now, I'm sure that was indeed an awesome
15:07 and worshipful experience and certainly this would've been
15:11 the ideal time for Jesus to tell His disciples to observe Sunday.
15:16 But there's absolutely no record of Him
15:18 even insinuating that change.
15:21 And that leaves us just two more texts
15:23 regarding the first day of the week.
15:25 Acts 20 actually talks about Paul preaching
15:28 on the first day of the week and at first glance
15:30 we may think we found our first
15:33 biblical reference to Sunday observance.
15:36 But a critical look at this passage
15:37 reveals nothing of this sort.
15:39 You see, in the Bible
15:40 each day doesn't start at midnight, but at sunset.
15:44 And this was just a Saturday evening supper
15:46 and then at a preaching service that happened to last all night.
15:50 Getting along with it to the near demise
15:53 of one of his listeners, Paul preached until
15:55 early Sunday morning when he resumed his journey.
15:59 If Sunday was a true Sabbath, a day of rest,
16:03 he certainly wouldn't have spent Sunday traveling.
16:06 Our last first day verse is in 1 Corinthians 16:2
16:10 which tells us, "Upon the first day of the week
16:13 let every one of you lay by him in store,
16:17 as God hath prospered him,
16:19 that there be no gatherings when I come."
16:22 And the first thing to notice in this passage
16:24 is that nothing is said about church
16:27 or passing the offering plate.
16:29 There are two key phrases in this verse
16:32 that make its meaning clear.
16:33 They are, number 1, "let every one lay by him"
16:38 and 2, "in store."
16:41 Funds were to be laid aside at home each week for those
16:44 suffering persecution and famine in Jerusalem.
16:47 This weekly store would be saved up till Paul would come
16:49 and forward those funds to the Christians in Jerusalem.
16:53 This practice would result in a larger offering
16:56 as it was part of their weekly planning
16:58 and they wouldn't have to make any special gathering
17:00 or call for contributions or offerings
17:04 since it would already be set aside.
17:06 We've now looked at every Sunday or first day text.
17:10 And not one puts the sacred seal of God's blessing
17:12 on that day as a sanctified or hallowed time.
17:17 Our Sunday keeping friends, have never been able to produce one
17:20 verse of scripture that supports Sunday's sacredness.
17:24 It's simply not there.
17:26 Some one may be asking just now,
17:29 if Jesus kept the Sabbath holy
17:31 and the apostles also kept the Sabbath sacred
17:33 and the early church fathers kept the Sabbath,
17:36 how is it then that Christendom,
17:38 the people who take the name of Christ by and large
17:41 now keep Sunday as the predominant holy day?
17:45 Well, the change didn't happen overnight.
17:47 For approximately 300 years after Christ's resurrection,
17:52 the seventh day Sabbath was the only day
17:54 that the organized Christians set aside as sacred.
17:57 But the Jews were a detested people
18:00 among the world government of Rome.
18:02 Because the Christian believers held many things in common
18:05 with the Jews such as diet and the Sabbath,
18:08 they often shared in their persecution.
18:11 For this reason, Christians sought
18:13 to distance themselves from the ill-favored Jews
18:16 and they felt that by christening some pagan practices
18:19 and making less prominent their Christian beliefs,
18:22 they could not only attain distinction from the Jews,
18:25 but perhaps win some of the pagans to the church.
18:28 Both of these goals were accomplished to some degree,
18:32 but not without a high cost,
18:34 the loss of the sacred truths of Christ and His apostles.
18:39 By the year 250 AD, many of the professed Christians
18:42 had become worldly and thought of increasing
18:45 their earthly possessions
18:46 more than cultivating their Christian virtues.
18:50 Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage,
18:52 wrote of these times in these words,
18:54 "Forgetful of what believers had either done before in the times
18:58 of the apostles or always ought to do, they,
19:01 with the insatiable ardor of covetousness,
19:04 devoted themselves to the increase of their property."
19:09 For those in this younger universal or Catholic Church,
19:13 the solomn, sacred Sabbath was followed by Sunday
19:16 which was the day of fun and festivities.
19:19 And because God, the Sabbath,
19:21 and the Jews were looked on through
19:22 a distorted and embittered light,
19:25 people gravitated more towards Sunday observance.
19:28 In the year 336, Canon 29 was formulated
19:32 by some of the church leaders.
19:34 And at the Council of Laodicea in 363,
19:37 it became the official universal church mandate.
19:41 Canon 29 was the primary canon
19:43 approved at the Council of Laodicea.
19:46 It prohibits resting on Sabbath,
19:48 Saturday and compels Christians to sanctify
19:51 what they call the Lord's Day or Sunday.
19:54 Canon 29, "Christians must not Judaize
19:58 by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day,
20:02 rather honoring the Lord's day and if they can,
20:05 resting then as Christians.
20:08 But if any shall be found to be judaizers,
20:11 let them be anathema from Christ."
20:14 So now you know the reason that Sunday became sacred
20:17 to Christendom because the organized church made it so.
20:21 It says so right in their own catechism.
20:24 Indeed it does.
20:25 I was raised in a Catholic home,
20:28 I grew up wanting to be a nun and I became a nun for 28 years.
20:32 Here is the Catholic catechism
20:35 and this is what it says starting on page 49.
20:39 Question, "What is the Third Commandment?"
20:42 Answer, "The Third Commandment is,
20:44 remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day."
20:49 Actually, the Sabbath commandment in the Bible
20:53 is the fourth Commandment, but that's another story.
20:57 Continuing to read. Question, "Which is the Sabbath day?"
21:03 Answer, "Saturday is the Sabbath day."
21:07 And they are correct on this point,
21:10 but if you're honest with yourself and honest with God,
21:14 this should make you ask an important question,
21:17 a question that is so obvious
21:19 they simply made it the next question in the catechism.
21:24 Question, "Then why do
21:26 we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?"
21:29 And here is the truth of how the Sabbath was changed
21:33 from Saturday to Sunday, right from the catholic catechism.
21:38 Question, "By what authority
21:40 did the church substitute Sunday for Saturday?"
21:44 I'd also like to know the answer to this question.
21:48 How can a church run by mere men change the very law of God,
21:53 the law written on stone with the finger of God himself?
21:57 Well, here's their answer in their own words.
22:03 Answer, "The church substituted
22:05 Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude
22:08 of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her."
22:14 This is a flowery way of saying because we decided to,
22:18 but nowhere in the Bible
22:20 did God give the church such divine power.
22:25 And right here is where the teachings of Jesus
22:27 are causing thunder on our own horizon.
22:29 It is on this very point that the Sabbath
22:31 becomes extremely relevant for our lives today.
22:34 The most powerful church in the world,
22:36 the only one that has its own country,
22:38 postal system, police, and currency,
22:41 the only church that shares-- don't miss this,
22:44 ambassadors with the United States,
22:46 that church has a question for all Protestants.
22:49 John L. Stoddard who was a sincere Protestant Seminarian
22:52 who later became a devout Catholic,
22:54 in his book "Rebuilding a Lost Faith" page 80,
22:57 he challenges all those who claimed
22:58 to be Protestant with these words,
23:01 "The Bible which the Protestants claim to obey exclusively
23:03 gives no authorization for the substitution
23:06 of the first day of the week for the seventh.
23:09 On what authority have they done so?
23:11 Plainly on the authority of that same Catholic Church
23:13 which they abandoned, and whose traditions they condemn."
23:17 John Stoddard is actually correct.
23:19 There's not one verse of Scripture
23:20 that supports Sunday as a holy day, not one.
23:23 Then there's this quote from the Catholic Mirror,
23:26 "Reason and common sense demands the acceptance
23:28 of one or the other of these alternatives,
23:30 either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday,
23:33 or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday."
23:36 Give the Catholic Church credit here.
23:38 At least they're honest.
23:39 The Catholic Church says,
23:41 "We go by tradition and the Bible."
23:43 Sunday's sacredness is their tradition
23:45 and has been since the Council of Laodicea.
23:48 The Protestants on the other hand
23:49 left the Catholic Church with this cry on their lips,
23:52 "Sola scriptura," or "The Bible and the Bible alone."
23:57 But even Catholics can see that there's nothing
23:59 in the Bible which calls for Sunday's sacredness.
24:01 "Sunday is a Catholic institution"
24:03 they tell us "and its claim to observance
24:05 can be defended only on Catholic principles.
24:08 From beginning to end of Scripture
24:10 there is not a single passage that warrants
24:12 the transfer of weekly public worship
24:14 from the last day of the week to the first."
24:17 Chancellor H.F. Thomas writing on behalf of the office
24:19 of Cardinal Gibbons wrote "Of course the Catholic Church
24:22 claims that the change of Sabbath to Sunday was her act,
24:25 and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power."
24:28 Prophetic adherence warns us that this same power,
24:31 the Catholic Church, well in the near future
24:33 once again used the political power of the state to demand
24:36 that we keep Sunday sacred and holy
24:39 just as she did during the dark ages
24:41 when she was responsible for the destruction
24:42 of between 40 to 80 million Christians whose only crime
24:46 was a desire to read God's word and let God be God.
24:50 When the Papacy's mark of Ecclesiastes authority,
24:53 Sunday sacredness, stands in direct opposition
24:55 to God and His sign that He is the creator of all things
24:59 and the re-creator of our sin-sick souls.
25:02 And what is the established name sign of God?
25:06 The Sabbath.
25:07 So it comes down to this, either God is God
25:10 and Lord of all or He's not God and not Lord at all.
25:15 Jesus clearly taught,
25:17 "The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath."
25:21 By their own admission, the papacy has sought
25:23 to remove God's mark of Lordship and creation from the decalog;
25:27 replacing it with their own mark, Sunday sacredness.
25:32 But in the spirit of tolerance
25:34 and religious freedom some might ask,
25:36 is Saturday versus Sunday really that important?
25:40 The assured answer is, absolutely!
25:43 And here is why,
25:45 If God is the creator then He has the right to rule.
25:49 The right to ask of us anything even if it doesn't make sense
25:54 and making one day holy really doesn't make sense.
25:57 And truly the only reason we give for obedience
26:01 to the Sabbath commandment is He's God and He asked me to.
26:06 To say no to the Fourth Commandment
26:08 is the same as saying, "You are not God, I am."
26:13 And there is another simple reason God chose to make
26:17 the Sabbath a testing truth for His true followers.
26:21 It's easy. Yes, once again, God really makes salvation simple.
26:27 If God said you have to have wealth
26:29 or you have to be educated to be saved
26:32 then 50 to 75% of the world would be lost.
26:36 So the God of creation used something
26:39 that everyone is equal in, time.
26:43 No matter you're wealth, education, sex, or ethnicity
26:46 everyone is completely equal in time.
26:51 God want's to spend time, eternity with you.
26:54 So is it unreasonable for our Creator, Savior,
26:58 and Friend to ask you to set aside
27:01 one seventh of your time to spend with Him now?


Revised 2014-12-17