Book: God's Plan for Mankind

What does the word Babel mean? Anybody remember? This is going to be kind of an open Sabbath, so we can have questions and answers and different things. [It means] confusion. Do you think this world is in confusion today? Yes, it is. Remember President Bush announced the New World Order? Well, that hasn’t come together the way he thought, has it? Because the other day with the assignation of Rajiv Gandhi, he said, “What kind of world is this?” And it is confusion.

Now, Evelyn gave me this: It’s Prophecy in the News by J. R. Church and he does quite a bit keeping up on what the Jews are doing, but let us end a myth about Jews and Jewish religion today. There are as many, what we would call denominations, of Judaism as there are [of] Catholicism, and Protestantism. [That’s] just the way that it is.

Now here is a headline, Jews believe Messiah came at Passover [1991]. How is that? Okay, and that there are going to be two Messiah’s—one called Messiah Ben Joseph, and he is going to die for the sins of the people. Now, you see what kind of rebellion this is toward Christ? You see they won’t accept Christ, but now [they write] we are going to create our own Messiah and he is going to die for the sins of the people. Then there is the other one, and the first of the two Messiahs would come Passover 1991, we can’t confirm he actually appeared. And Messiah Ben Joseph is to die for the sins of the people, then guess who is going to come as king? Who is the greatest king that the Jews look to? David. Messiah Ben David is going to come and conquer Gog and Magog.

Then it [the article] shows all the pictures here, I’ll let you take a look at it here. Here are the Jews with their long beards and curly locks and everything, and you know that’s supposed to get them righteousness, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t get them righteousness.

Then it shows the Bar Kofka coin which was a rebellion against God [131-135 AD], and let’s see, there are a couple of other things in here. Meet the man who plans to rebuild the Jewish temple. So you’ve got all of this division here. Now he says, “Well, they don’t need to offer sacrifices, but they can just make a big synagogue out of it. Then some of the Jews believe that Elijah has arrived and that’s in the person of Rabbi Menachem Schnerson. It shows his picture with his long locks and his big beard and his black hat on there. Now I don’t want to ridicule him from that point of view because I do believe that the two witnesses are going to be Jews, and I think it is going to be the Governor of Judea and the priest at the temple that they rebuild, because that’s what Zechariah [3 and] 4 tells us.

Then he’s got advertisements of all the tapes and it goes through here showing some other things. So the thing I just want to bring out is that the Jews are as much denominationalized and confused about religion, and their own religion, and their own Bible as Protestants and Catholics are about theirs.

And then Belinda brought this in, which really is something we need to pay attention to, so I’m going to go through this article, because it’s very, very important for us to know. Europeans Primed for New Age and this is under the section of alternative religions which was found written by Don Lattin. He is the religious writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. And it’s written more from the point of view, as you will see when I read it, that we Californians were right in the first place, with our New Age religion and all of our freakisms here in San Francisco.

Now we know San Francisco is confused, don’t we? All you have to do is drive in San Francisco, I mean you know that. Here, let’s go to Revelation 17, and we have understood, and I have said for quite a while, which is nothing to my credit, you know—if I believe something is in the Bible and then I say this is going to happen because it’s in the Bible, now, it is nothing to my credit. You understand that. So I am not going to be like some ministers and stand up and say, “See, I am great. I told you this years ago. So therefore, you better believe me because I said this years ago.” No, that’s not the case. God had this in the Bible before any of us were here. So if I come along after the scene and understand it, and God’s Spirit leads us to understand it (that this is correct) and then I say, “Hey, according to the Bible, let’s look and see that this is going to happen in the future.” And lo, and behold, it does happen in the future—that’s because the Word of God is true and not that I as a person am anything special. Now with that caveat, Revelation 17, and you know what it is there, it is the great whore, verse 5, that is called: “… MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” As it should read.

Now, all religions, all modern day religions are resurrections of the [ancient] Babylonian worship system that has been in Babylon from time immemorial under different guises and different names and different whatever you want to call it.

Now then, Satan has never changed in his desire to corrupt the whole world, has he? No. But what he has to do, he has to make the old look new, so he has dressed up his lady with new clothing. But then some of them are really happy that it’s the old lady in new clothing, because they still believe in the old lady. See, so now they are able to believe anything they want to believe, and what is it that we have said? We have said that the Catholic Church will probably umbrella all of these under their hierarchy.

Let me read you this: “New religious movements are finding fertile ground in Europe where low church attendance and a changing world order has led to a search for spiritual alternatives. There are several indications that California is no longer the undisputed Mecca of the new and unusual.” Hooray, finally, good—the land of fruits and nuts and they tilted the whole U. S. and they all rolled out here to California. “When the Berlin Wall came down, the first encounter many East Germans had with the West was provided by the Church of Scientology.” How many know what the Church of Scientology is? Yes, L. Ron Hubbard and the book Dianetics, and you see it advertised all the time on television. That’s the book that first came out that is this: I’m OK, You’re OK—which sounds great, but it is: I accept myself with all my perversions that I have and I accept yourself with all the perversions that you have, so then, therefore, I’m OK, and you’re OK—which is the same philosophy that we are having today in acceptance of all of the evil abominations under the sun under the guise that you cannot discriminate, right? Right. [Continuing with article]: “And they posted staff members at the wall to hand out free German language copies of Dianetics.” Well now, after being under Communism for so long, this sounds great! You see, so the way that Satan sets something up to do. What he wants is maybe [to] destroy something old, but then what he brings in as the new is really something that is older than what he destroyed that was old, so he can still get you. So that’s what they are doing.

Dianetics—What does Dianetics mean anyway? [Continuing with article]:“In the Swiss town of Dodesville violent demonstrations broke out when a spiritualist group predicted the end of the world and nothing happened.” So what’s new? Look when the end of the world is going to come, all you need to do is read Revelation 16, it is not going to be some little flash in the pan; it’s going to shake the whole world. (The word Dianetics is not in the little 40,000-words handbook dictionary that you can carry in your purse. We just found that out.) [Continuing with article]: “Holistic healing centers are springing up across Poland. There are about fifty New Age magazines in England, many of them targeting Neo-Pagans.” There are people who say, “I want to be Pagan.” Can you believe that?

The comment was made that there is a new bumper sticker out that says… Born Again Pagan. Now what is a born again Pagan? Let’s think about this for a minute. What is a born again Pagan? It’s a new philosophy. Somebody’s tapped into the spirit world. Someone’s rediscovered the old teaching, right—and tapped into the spiritual power of Satan. Did they have a spiritual experience? Yes! Sure they did. The comment was made that Dianetics is trying to get a lot of the…I don’t think trying to, I think they already have a lot of the actors and actresses and musicians and, you know, all that sort of thing and then they control them by fear, and that’s the way Satan always does. He says, “Try a little, you’ll like it.” Then after you’re hooked he says, “How dare you.”

All right let’s read on in this article because this is really very revealing. “Neo-Pagans— In Italy the motherland of Roman Catholic Church and it is abuzz with the revival of Renaissance magic and occultism with some two hundred esoteric groups operating.” Now what does the word Esoteric mean? Esoteric means that it is held within a small secret group. What is Exoteric? [It is] something that everybody shares in and knows.

Now the reason the Catholics are going to take hold of this officially as a church, is because the exoteric, the outer knowledge that they give to the world appears to be biblical. The esoteric, the inner knowledge that the hierarchy knows is Satanism. That’s how all of these now then can communicate.

Now what Satan is going to do, he is going to go, “Voila!” and everybody is going to believe the same thing—what a great and marvelous thing, and the Pope will have miracles, and all the New Agers will fall, bang, right in line.

So these esoteric groups have inner secret rituals that they perform, many of them being what—black magic, yes, they are all black magic one way or the other. I talked to a man the other day—he says he works with this woman who is very religious, but she says she is a witch and worships the earth. I said, “That’s true.” Human sacrifices— that’s correct.

“ ‘Europe…’ ” quoting now, “ ‘…has become the growth market for the new religious movement,’ said Gordon Melton, Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara. Gurus who settled in America and built a movement here are now expanding into Europe at the same time,’ Melton added, ‘many of Europe’s burgeoning occult sects and Neo-Pagan movements are not exotic American transplants, but native to Europe. Many came to believe that the new religions of Europe resulted from a migration eastward across the Atlantic to California,’ said Melton, who has spent the past few years examining the development of new religions in Europe. He argued that the modern occult revival was not created by Americans, but by such spiritual leaders as the Austrian Franz Messmer 1733–1815, Emanuel Swedenborg of Sweden 1688–1772, Louie Claudeseine Martin of France 1743–1803, and Britain’s Allister Crowley 1875–1947.

“Melton, who brought about sixty scholars from around the world last week to the Solvang Holiday Inn Resort near Santa Barbara…” (which is one of the nicer places of the world, you see) “…For the Fifth Annual International Conference on New Religions said, ‘Europe has at least three times as many new religious groups per capita as the United States. The Maharishi Mahash Yoga, the Indian guru who founded the Transcendental Meditation…’ ” Whose guru was he—the Beatles, yes, correct—where did they get the inspiration for their music then?

And remember the series I did what, about four years ago, three years ago, I don’t expect you to remember it, but the one we did on the Catholic Church in transition? Remember the book written by Malachi Martin, where he was lamenting the fact that the New Age religion was taking over Catholicism, still is and will continue to do so—how he pointed out that at the turn of the century that they had this international religious symposium and they brought in this Indian guru and they found so many things of Hindu religion that were so much like so-called Christianity, that they couldn’t believe it, and that’s when all of this really started taking hold in America. You see? Well, Satan is going to bring it all back.

“And an infamous Indian guru, the late Begawan…” I like that name “Begawan Sheri Rashi Rashni”. Who is he? He is the one who had the sex cult up there in Oregon, and they finally ran him out of town, remember that? His followers were so gracious that he had thirty Rolls Royces. He died at the wonderful old age of 51 from spiritual and sexual exhaustion. That’s what that religion is.

Continuing now, “ ‘There can be no doubt that in Europe in 1991, there is taking place a comprehensive religious change,’ ” and he says that ‘the religious world view in Europe is subtly shifting from Christianity to a westernized version of Buddhism and Hinduism. Most Europeans are not formally converting to new religious faiths,’ he stressed, ‘But their New World view is shifting away from one grounded in Christian teaching (i.e. the Bible) to that of these religions.’ At a three-day conference some European scholars in attendance described the view as New Age and see it as an outgrowth of the hippie culture of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and the human potential movement of the sixties with the Eslon Institution at Big Sur as the mother church.’ ” Okay, I won’t read the rest of it, but it goes on saying here “We’re about five to ten years behind the U.S. in the reviving of these things.”

Watch, it is in every TV program you will see, either robotism or reincarnation and, by the way, Mormonism is just another version of reincar-nationism. You will see things mentioned on TV programs such as Karma. Have you ever heard that mentioned? Karma or fate. What is Karma? Karma is another word for reincarnation and that the gods have control over you, and the great god of the Indians who is it, Krishna? Is that it? A substitute name for Christ. Krishna, Jesus Christ—isn’t that something? He says, “It doesn’t matter what god you worship because any of the gods that you are worshipping, you are really worshipping me.” Now if you want to know the results of that kind of religion, just look at India.

Now, that all gets down to one of the reasons why I have been translating 1 John. I won’t get into it today, but because at that time there was a tremendous movement against the truth, which we have today. There is a tremendous movement against the truth in the Bible. So what did John say was the thing that was one of the ways that we know that we are doing the truth? By keeping His Commandments. Let’s go to 1 John 3 for just a minute. There are two important things that we are to remember concerning our behavior. What are the two important things that we are to do, summarized in a summary? Okay, actually there are three important things that we need to do, and we find those right here in 1 John 3:1. It says, “Behold!…” I couldn’t find a more adequate word than behold because in the Greek really means See, pay attention, look. That is what behold means. You can’t translate it that way. I mean, you would soon have so many words you would never get through the verse. So I just used behold, but then I was stuck on “what manner of love” manner, kind, and I really researched the word out and I translated it “Behold, what glorious love” and that’s what it means. It’s a very highly exuberant expression of this, you see, “…the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!” That is a glorious love. We understand that. The children—the word there for sons is Teknon which means children and should not be translated sons, so that all you women know that God is not slighting you in a masculine put-down of the female gender, okay? God made women; God made men. Enough said on that. “…For this very reason, the world does not know us…” or is not knowing us, or does not comprehend us “…because it did not know Him.”

Now let’s go to 1 John 5. So the first thing is: the love of God to us and our love back to God—Number 1 absolutely, importantly Number 1. Numbers 2 and 3 we find right here, 1 John 5:2: “By this…” now that expression is used throughout here and I was really laboring over this because it is an expression in the Greek and it’s pronounced en touto which means by this and then what is understood by that expression must be supplied in English. It’s not supplied in the Greek but the thought is there in the Greek. But in the English, it is not there, so they translated it herein, hereby, therein which in this case I said, I think I had it, “In this or by this…” I think I translated it “…one standard, one method, one way…” I think it is, I did it here, “by this standard we know that we love the children of God…” Now why does John stress this? It’s in relation to the Commandments. Exactly correct, but it goes one step further. Why does he stress this? Let’s look at the question the other way around, because they were having trouble in the New Testament church then. What happens when there is strife in the church? There is division, and what is the first thing the division does? [It] allows Satan to come in, that’s correct. What is another thing that it does on a more personal level? Destroys love. Now hold your place right here.

Let’s go back to John 13:34 and John reiterates this Commandment time and time and time and time again. Verse 34: “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another…” Now this is in a command sense. This is a command! Okay, and it means be loving. (Comment was made he heard a Presbyterian minister say that there are now eleven commandments because the word commandment is there.) Well, you could probably go through on different things and actually have more than ten, you see, but you have to also keep in mind Matthew 22:37-40 which is: “the first commandment is love God with all your heart and mind and soul and being. The second one is to love your neighbor as yourself, and on these two hang all the law and prophets.” [Paraphrased.] You see, all the law and the prophets, everything hangs on those two, but here is a new commandment especially given for brethren. Why is this important? Because we have all been beaten up enough by the world, God wants us to quit beating up on each other in the church, okay? It’s that basic and it’s that simple—to love each other.

So he says, “A new command I give to you, that you love one another;” and He gives the standard “…as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all know…” who all, the whole world? Well, if the world doesn’t know us, how is it going to know? The all know means: all of those in the church. This is a reverifying thing with God’s Spirit to us. That’s why it’s so difficult when you have a church that gradually becomes so unloving that every little problem or big problem that a person may have, now makes you cannon fodder and a target. That’s not what God wants it to be. You see that’s why it’s very, very important. So what He is stressing here in 1 John 5 is this, He says, “By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you love one another” (John 13:35). And it is something that you have to keep working at—something you have to really be diligent at.

Now I know from experience, and you ought to know for experience, those of you who are married, that marital love has its ups and downs. And it has its high points and it has its low points, and there are times when there are more lower points than there are higher points! And that’s just the way that it is. So it doesn’t mean that, necessarily, that you’ve got to be on this super plane of high love all of the time—it doesn’t mean that, because love sticks in there even in the low times and even in the down times and even in the bad times, sure. Even in marital love, even Paul said the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands. Love is not some magical thing that happens like it is portrayed in the world and now everything is happy from there on. For example: No woman knows the pain of childbirth until she has a child, correct? So there are certain things that you never know until you experience them. Lots of times the down points we get even in the church and in married life, both, are so that we appreciate what is right when we come around to doing what is right in loving each other, and then we treasure that. But the first thing that Satan is going to do in a church is, he is going to get in there and start casting doubt, and start cutting down love.

So back to 1 John 5:2, so he is giving us our bearings—where we need to go, what we need to do, how we need to head, because one of the first things that happens after you start this kind of thing with brethren is that you start taking away from keeping the Commandments of God. Isn’t that true? [It] always happens—that’s a tactic. 1 John 5:2: “By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.” The two go hand-in-hand, you cannot say you love God and [yet] break His Commandments. You cannot say you keep the Commandments if you don’t love God. They go hand-in -hand, it’s just like water. Okay, now I’ve got [a bottle] here, I was thirsty—I don’t know where they came up with that name, but it’s an interesting name; it says Cobb Mountain. (Oh thank you, we have an expert on-hand who says this is actually a geographical place near Napa called Cobb Mountain. So it comes from the spring at Cobb Mountain. Thank you. Now we know, the mystery is removed.) I have in my hands here, some water. What does water do? [It] quenches thirst, waters, causes things to grow, like God’s spirit, cleans you, you bathe in it. What else? It’s so vital to life that you could say it’s life itself, especially if you’re an Arab and you live in the desert. You can have all that oil, but you can’t drink it. You’ve got to have the water, right? And what is the Mohammedan’s view of heaven—an oasis where there is lots of water. What is coming out of the throne of God, literally, in Revelation 22, but the pure rivers of living water, yes. But what makes up water? Hydrogen and oxygen, true? Separate hydrogen and separate oxygen are the most inflammable things in the world, right?

I saw a report, as I mentioned the other day, on blimps and Zeppelins. Remember the German Von Hindenburg Zeppelin, the last one that flew over here? Because the Nazi government took over the finalizing and building of the Von Hindenburg, and it was owned by the Nazi party at that time, there was an embargo on selling helium to Germany because of the government. Now helium is different than hydrogen, it’s non- flammable, it can burn, but it’s not dangerous. So they decided that since they couldn’t get the helium from the U. S. which was the only place in the world to get it at that time, that they would put the hydrogen gas into the Von Hindenburg. Well, I don’t have to tell you the rest. When they got here it was just after an electrical storm and guess what, boom, it caught fire and it was a miracle that 65 people survived. Today that’s nothing in the way of a tragedy, but at that time they thought it was one of the greatest tragedies in the world.

The point is: when you have the right proportion of hydrogen and oxygen, you have something which will put out fires, but if you have them separately and not together in the right combination, you can blow things apart. So that’s a very good analogy as to what will happen if you try loving brethren without keeping the Commandments or try keeping the Commandments and don’t love the brethren and don’t love God. You’ve got the wrong mix and it’s going to blow up! And we have all experienced little and big booms haven’t we, because of that very factor.

So He’s stressing here something that is absolutely and vitally important. He says, in 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” They are not grievous, not burdensome. So that is an absolutely basic, fundamental thing.

Now, we have had some people who have said that… let’s look at it this way: Which Commandments do people not like most of all? Let’s go to Romans 8, and let’s see something about the carnal mind and we all know this. (Oh, there was an article in the paper this morning, quite a long one about deception, how that it’s inherent in all human beings and all human beings must be deceptive to survive.) Now does that sound a little biblical? “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” That’s the best of our hearts. Here is why. Romans 8:7: “Because the carnal mind…” that is the mind devoid of the Spirit of God “… is enmity against God…” that’s the same word for enemy, e-n-m-i-t-y. All you have to do is just substitute the i-t and put an e in there and you have enemy, and it’s the same in the Greek. “…For it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be.” So when you have religious people in the world, I don’t care what religion that they are of, but let’s look at some of those who claim they are Christians. What two Commandments do they always disagree with…actually there are three, but basically two and the third one is subject to the second one. Now they may be nice people. They may be kind people. They may be what the society would say would be model citizens, but what is it that they always do not agree to? Sabbath—and what is the other one? Idols—[Commandments] Two and Four.

Now what is the third one then, subject to the second one, the Sabbath? The Holy Days. Now there are some people who say, “God, I believe I ought to keep the Sabbath, but not the holy days.” And I listened to this tape, I think I mentioned it last week, from this Protestant minister who said that, “Since Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, and since Pentecost is on Sunday, therefore, I keep Sunday. Case over and done, case closed.” Now does he have an open mind? No. He said also, “And I don’t want to hear any more of this Sabbath bit. Because you are not to go out and just lay around and be lazy and stay in your bed all day Saturday.” So guess what he knows, he knows something doesn’t he? He knows which day is the seventh day, doesn’t he? Yes, he does.

Now let’s go to Genesis 2, because this becomes very important and I have never heard this explained this way, okay? Who was the Sabbath made for? You all said it was made for man. Where do you find that scripture? Yes, Mark 2:27 that is correct and 28. Now this minister quoted here, Genesis the second chapter and I have never heard it this way. Let me read it to you, because he forgot his New Testament, he forgot what Jesus said about the Sabbath that He was Lord of the Sabbath. Genesis 2:1: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Therefore the Sabbath was made for God. Now of all of the years I’ve been in the church and all of the Sabbath arguments I’ve heard, you know, not to make fun of anyone who has false teeth because you need them, but if I had false teeth they would have fallen right out of my head. That’s how shocking it was to me. Can you believe that it was only made for God?

Now, then we go to Exodus 20, we don’t have to go there, we ought to have all of that memorized, right? Why are we to remember the Sabbath? To keep it Holy. Why? That’s right: He set it apart right here, and why? Because God is Holy. Let’s go to Exodus 20. Remember what we went through here recently, Exodus 16, that God gave them the Sabbath day so therefore it is said, which we will read in a minute, that it was given to them for a sign. And the Catholics later on, as you find in this book by Samuele Bacchiocchi concerning the enmity between Christians and Jews when Sunday worship was coming [into the early Church]. And I want you to understand that when John was writing the Epistle of 1 John, what was starting to come into vogue? Sunday worship was starting to come into vogue!

Now, Exodus 20, God gave them the Sabbath. Before we get to Exodus 20, let me finish the thought here. In the book Anti-Semitism or Anti- Judaism and the Origin of Sunday those who were the initiators of Sunday-keeping which later became the Catholic Church said that God cursed the Jews with the Sabbath to set them aside for punishment. Isn’t that something? Now God doesn’t say anything about that here in Exodus 20. He says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” And of course they just had the lesson of getting it with the manna. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD…” yes, it is His, but He doesn’t say that I made it for myself to rest on, did He? No, He didn’t.

However, this becomes very, very important, because I know for sure that it’s not going to be too long before there are going to be people we know that were keeping the Sabbath who are going to be keeping Sunday. You can be almost guaranteed of it.

Now let me finish where we got interrupted when I ran to the end [of the tape], sorry about that. Exodus 20:10: “…In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your livestock, nor the stranger within your gates;” verse 11, for this reason: “For in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.” For whom? For all of mankind, that’s correct. Did He bless it just for Himself? Did He sanctify it for just Himself? Wherever God is and whatever God does it is Holy, correct? Moses went up on the mountain, and God said, “Take off your shoes because you are standing on holy ground.” So God didn’t make it [the Sabbath] for Himself.

Now let’s go to Mark 2:27. I know that this is very basic, but it’s something that is the very key as to why there were the problems going on in the early New Testament Church. And I still like the answer that was given when asked by a Protestant when it became obvious that this particular person was keeping the Sabbath and all of the rest on this tour to the Holy Land were keeping Sunday. They came up to this man and he was a minister that I knew and they said, “By the way, what day do you keep?” And his answer was, “The same day Jesus did. What day do you keep?” Now you cannot argue with that can you? Remember that if someone ever corners you and asks you, “What day do you keep?” You just tell them, “Well, I keep the same day that Jesus kept. What day do you keep?”

Now, here is why, verse 27 of Mark 2, again, this we should memorize. “ And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man…” and that means on account of the creation of man. That’s what it means. “…and not man for the Sabbath;’ ” and what does that phrase mean? That phrase means that man has no jurisdiction over the Sabbath. That’s what it means. “Therefore, the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Now what is this telling us? Very simple—Jesus is LORD of the Sabbath, so therefore which day is the LORD’S Day if Jesus Christ is your LORD, which day is the LORD’S day—the Sabbath. Right? It’s got to be. It can’t be anything else.

Now Jesus said in John 14, which we covered recently so I won’t belabor the point, that “… if you love Me, keep My commandments—namely, My commandments.” Did Jesus say this? Yes, He did. Now if, and let’s take this a little bit further, if the Sabbath was made for a curse to put on the Jews, then why didn’t Jesus when He brought the New Covenant, reveal that and relieve us from that curse? He didn’t because that is not a true statement, you see? It is not a curse.

Now, let’s look at a couple of other things here concerning this. There are several other places we can go to. Let’s go to Ezekiel. Ezekiel 20 is a very instructive verse, set of verses. Let’s ask the question: When has obedience to God ever been a curse? Nowhere. Now obedience to God may cost you your life, in some cases it’s going to be martyrdom, but is that a curse, or is that a witness? It is a witness. What does the curse come from? Not keeping it—Deuteronomy 28. You read Deuteronomy 28, what does it say? It says, “If you will, indeed, listen to my voice and hearken to my commandments, and do all of that which I say, ...blessed shall you be in the city, in the country, in the fruit of your womb, in your basket, in your store, and fighting your enemies and all those things: But if you will not listen and will not keep my commandments, cursed shall you be [paraphrased].” So the curse comes not from obedience but from disobedience, correct.

Here in Ezekiel 20, it talks about what God did for the children of Israel. Verse 1. Let’s get the scene before we go through some of the verses. “And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that some of the elders of Israel came to ask of the LORD, and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Have you come to inquire of Me?’ ” ’ ” (Ezekiel 20:1-3). Now remember that they were in captivity. They were in this place of captivity. Why were they in captivity? Disobedience, that’s correct. So now they are wanting to come to God and say to God, “Now God, why am I in this captivity?” So God answered and said, “ ‘…Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will not be inquired of by you.’ ” In other words, what are you going to do to come and question God? “Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers. And say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD; “In the day that I chose Israel, and lifted up My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt; when I lifted up My hand to them, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God;’ ” ’ ” (Ezekiel 20:4-6).

I want to ask you a question: If God would have promised to give the blessing that He promised to give to Abraham, if it would have been through someone other than Abraham and someone else’s descendants; (Okay, this is a hypothetical question) which laws do you think that God would have given to them? The same ones! Yes! Why? Because they came from God, right? What does it

say of God in the person of Jesus Christ in Hebrews

  1. :8. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” So therefore, He would have given them exactly the same laws. And what did He tell them through Jeremiah the Prophet? He said, “You go tell those sinning children of Israel that had I gone to some other nation, they would have kept my laws until now. But unfortunately I’m stuck with these rebellious children.” [Paraphrased.] Because God promised, once you promise, you can’t get away from it, right? Yes. He says, “But Israel has changed from Me being their God, to serving all of these idols.” So God really indicted His people didn’t He? Isn’t that something? Look at the Indians in India, I mean we could stand up here and say, “Boy look at all these Hindus. What a mess their religion is, which is true.” But God is saying, “Had I gone to those people, they wouldn’t have done to Me what you have done to Me.” So He made it known.

Ezekiel 20:6: “In the day that I lifted up My hand to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, then I said to them, ‘Let each man throw away the abominations of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” So right when God was getting the Ten Commandments, guess what they did. You know what they did, they made the golden calf, worshipped it, had a great sex orgy there, the whole thing—I mean just like one of our rock concerts that we have today. All right, no different, same thing going on (Ezekiel 20:6-7).

Then we come down here to verse 10: “And I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them My statutes and showed them My ordinances, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. And also I gave them My Sabbaths…” plural, sign there are the holy days involved. Now you see there are some people who are good enough to accept Jesus, to accept the Sabbath, but not accept the holy days. So you see you are confronted with a problem in that particular case. Now they try and doctrinally somehow show that these are tied in with the sacrifices, but they had sacrifices on every day, so the argument of sacrifices being on the holy days [and] whether they ought to keep the holy days or not or the Sabbath or not is really having no bearing whatsoever to do on the Sabbath or the holy days—none whatsoever.

So He gave the “…Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.” Okay, in the next verse it says, “But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My ordinances, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. And they greatly polluted My Sabbaths.” So then He poured out His fury (Ezekiel 20:10-13).

Now if God is merciful, which He is, anybody doubt that God is merciful? And if God gave the Sabbath for a curse, which some people believe that He did, don’t you think that God being merciful would remove that curse and tell them about another day? Wouldn’t that make sense? For those of you who believe in logic, is that not logical? Yes, it is. So they despised God’s way. Then He even said to their children after He took care of them in the wilderness, you know, and you saw all of them dying. Then He said to them again, verse 20: “And keep My Sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.” So they rebelled.

Now then, we come to Chapter 22 and we find that the priests are in on this, the prophets are in on this. You know the problem is not with ordinary people as much as it is with the leaders.

A person comes to a minister, maybe a Protestant minister, and says, “Boy, you know Pastor, I’ve been reading my Bible and you know, I think that we ought to keep the seventh day. And I really see there in Jeremiah 10 that it’s also telling us not to have Christmas trees. And in Ezekiel 7 that we are not to have hot cross buns and all this Easter stuff, and furthermore, I went to the library and looked it up in the encyclopedia and those things are Pagan. Now what do you think?” [The minister might answer] “Well now, Jesus has delivered us from those things. We don’t have to keep them and besides we have Christianized Christmas and we have Christianized Easter so now it’s all okay.” So the person, not wanting to offend the minister, the minister after all is what? He is the expert, right? So they take his word. But notice what God says here in Ezekiel 22:25. It’s like this one minister who said, “Well about Saturday, we’re not to sleep all day Saturday.” Okay, well, we’re not. If any of you are sleeping here, wake up. I hope you’re not, no you’re not. It’s not too hot. There are times when you feel like you need to.

“There is a conspiracy…” and that’s a nasty word today. Anyone who talks about a conspiracy, you’re mentally off because you’re imagining something. Listen, who is the greatest conspirator in history? Satan the Devil. Is he conspiring, is he working? Yes. Who does he want to get? If he gets one minister then he gets how many hundreds or thousands of people? “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured souls…” Now that’s especially vivid in my mind because I just saw one of these wild, wild, documentaries, you know, and it showed the lions, and boy, I tell you those lions—they can jump on top of a zebra or a wildebeest and one big gash right on the back of the neck, you know, and that’s it. And then they devour them—the whole pride of lions comes in and you talk about table manners, boy, you talk about conversation around the table. They are fighting, tearing and the poor little kids [cubs] have got to get in there and try and get something. Well just picture that with these ministers. That’s what they are spiritually doing to people! And they come and say, “Oh Mr. Minister I read my Bible and it looks like we ought to keep the seventh day.” “Which day is the seventh day?” Conspiracy. “… They have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they made many widows in her midst. Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have put no difference between the holy and the profane…” Who made the difference between holy and profane? God did, He is the one. That’s why the Sabbath is Holy, because God made it Holy. That’s why the days that we keep are called Holy Days because they are days that God made Holy.

So they violated, “…have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean…” And just on the way up I was listening to the news and guess what they were saying, cholera has spread because of unclean cooks serving unclean food, namely shrimp and clams and those unclean things that should not be eaten which God said, “Don’t eat them.” Not because He wants to take some tidbits away from you that you may like, but because there are certain things in these animals that may make you sick, may make you prone to disease, so later you are going to have problems. “...and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” So that becomes important. Now I know this is really basic, but I haven’t gotten to the point that I want to get to yet.

If you find yourself in this terrible and horrible condition that you are trying to find God, now there are a lot of people out there trying to find God, right? Some people say, “Well, if God would show me a sign, I would believe Him.” Isn’t that what they said to Jesus, and isn’t that what people say today? “If I could see God, I would believe Him.” There is a man who was a minister of God. Before he was a minister he was a quadriplegic. (This is an experience within the Church of God now.) And he was paralyzed from the neck down. When he came to the knowledge of the truth and felt he had faith that God would heal him, he called for the elders of the church and was anointed. Within ten days he was walking. It was such an unusual thing that even the Veterans Administration, when he went to say, “My conscience is overloading me, I cannot bear it. God has healed me. I am walking. Please take me off of disability…” they said, “We don’t believe it; we are not going to take you off disability.” He said, “Okay, my conscience is clean, I can receive my check every month and it’s clean. I tried.” And he tried two or three times to do that. And he was a pretty powerful minister. He was always in pain even though he had this and he would get around and he would still limp and things like that, and he was a very friendly and gregarious, outgoing man and could really speak in power, and sing and lead songs—a tremendous, fantastic person! He would tell you about how God healed him. Furthermore, he married the nurse that was taking care of him. Now then, because of men within the church, and because of difficulties that he had, now he doesn’t believe in keeping the Sabbath, when God led him to it, or necessarily the holy days.

So if someone asks you the question: Give me a sign O God and how can I find you? God has already given the sign and He has already given the thing that you can do. You don’t have to be a cripple to find God or to see the sign. What is that sign—the Sabbath, Yes! And why is it such a fantastic sign, because in spite of all of the calendar manipulations by men, the seventh day on the calendar on your wall today, unless it’s been changed by some modernists as it has in some areas of the country and Europe, what day is the seventh day of the week—Saturday, The Sabbath. You can verify that by asking any Jew who still keeps the Sabbath. You can verify that by asking any Protestant which day is the first day of the week—It’s the day after the Sabbath, right? [There is] No doubt. So there is the miracle and there is the sign.

Now, what if you really want to get right with God? Let’s go to Isaiah 56:1: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Keep justice and do righteousness;’ ” I talked to a man the other day and he says, “Boy, the first place to begin to solve all the political problems is to pass a law, if you could, if you think that would be possible, to outlaw all politicians from being attorneys as professionals” (Laughter). Sounds like a good thing, but you see it won’t work. That’s why God has to destroy the system because you can’t repair it. God can repair an individual life, but He is not going to repair the system, He is going to destroy it. So there is no justice, there is no judgment. Now notice continuing, “… for My salvation is near to come…” When is God’s salvation coming—when Christ returns, exactly right. Are we close to that? We can also say when Christ came the first time too, right? Yes. “…and My righteousness to be revealed.” And this is a prophecy then for the end time. Anyone at the end time who wants to get right with God, who wants to draw close to God, who wants to serve God, here is what God says, “Blessed…” not cursed “…is the man…” because man there is in the general sense of a human being “…who does this…” Now that’s a pretty specific thing isn’t it, huh? “…who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it;” that takes a hold of this thing as something to do. “… who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it; and keeps his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:1- 2).

Now then the question comes up: What if he is not an Israelite or a Jew? Because the argument is always made, “Well, the Sabbath is for the Jews, but Sunday is for the stranger or the Gentile” and that is a name that the Jews have coined which is really a misnomer and it should be the nations. Let’s go on, verse 3: “And do not let the son of the stranger…” gentile, someone other than an Israelite, “…who has joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying ‘The LORD has utterly separated me from His people.’ And do not let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ ” That is: “God, why can’t I have any kids?” Verse 4: “For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths…” Now we have the holy days involved here too, don’t we, huh? “…who keep them..” Now I don’t know what more you can do except look at that, “who is keeping…”

Mr. Minister, which day should we keep? I heard one minister say when it was brought up to him that we shouldn’t keep Christmas. He said, “Look, I’ll put on the beard, and the Santa Claus suit if it’s going to bring more people into this church.” I mean think about that for a minute. Got all the priorities totally backward. The Bible says what if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul? The wicked, though they walk hand-in-hand, are all going to fall. God says, “that you keep My Sabbaths, … and choose things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant” which is a prophecy of what—the New Covenant, Yes! Isn’t that something? (Isaiah 56:3-4).

Now, let’s go to 1 John 3. Hold your place here in Isaiah because we’ll be back in that vicinity again. You know sometimes we get so bogged down in technical things and sometimes we get so bogged down in detailed, interesting doctrine in teaching which we can learn, because we’ve been in the church a long time and we need to learn those things, but you know it’s absolutely amazing and fantastic how you can go back to a basic thing like the Sabbath which is so vitally, vitally, important and ask the question: Is that important for me to return to God? Yes. Especially in light of the situation that, you know, the sermon I gave concerning the Sardis Church and Laodicean Church and things like that, you see, because there are a lot of people out there that just feel justified, because they’re hurt by a man, to give up on God. No one is justified to give up on God because they are hurt by a man. Listen, human beings are going to hurt you over and over and over and over again, why, because they are human beings—don’t be surprised. Even the best intentions sometimes hurt people. Why, because they are misunderstood. And if you’re wanting to be hurt, you’re going to be hurt. If you are looking to be hurt, it’s going to come, but don’t let it take you away from God.

Now 1 John 3:22, I want you to notice the similarity between this verse and what we just read in Isaiah 56. Verse 22: “And whatever we may ask we receive from Him, because…” here is the cause “…we keep His commandments, and practice…” and that means practice “…those things that are pleasing in His sight.” Now hold your place here and go back to Isaiah 56 and look at that verse again. Isaiah 56:4: “…For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant” not too much different is it? Why was Jesus always faithful? Yes, He said, “I always do those things that please God.” Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Yes, He kept the Sabbath. Did that please God? Yes, that pleased God.

Back here in Isaiah 56—that’s amazing isn’t it? Now let’s continue on verse 4, we just read it, now verse 5: “Even to them will I give within My house…” which is the house of God—the church. “…and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters…” Now what did we just read concerning one of the churches of God? Behold I will give you a new name which no man knows, but he who receives it, right? So there it is right there, New Testament doctrine. “… I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, who join themselves to the LORD to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, everyone who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and takes hold of My covenant; even them I will bring…” where, what was the sermon topic for Pentecost? Come to the mountain, right? “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer…” then it says some burnt offerings and so forth, that’s when they had them, but now we have the offerings—what are the offerings that we have? They are offerings of praise, the offerings of thanksgiving, the offerings of glory to God through our prayers, through our life because we worship Him in spirit and in truth (Isaiah 56:4-7).

Now, let’s come over to Isaiah 58:1 and God is now talking to the children of Israel. Now He’s got something to say to them. He just talked to all the Gentiles, right, in Isaiah 56. Now let’s go on to Isaiah 58. Now He is talking to the children of Jacob, verse 1: “Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” What were they? Let’s go clear back to the first chapter. Hold your place here, because we’ll be there. Now here is a famous Scripture that a lot of people turn to, to say that we should not keep the Sabbath. Now notice Isaiah 1:14: “Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates…” that’s right after He said in verse 13, “Bring no more vain sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me—new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies; I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly!”

Question, very basic simple question: Whose sabbaths, whose new moons, whose feast days—God’s or theirs—theirs, right? So when the Protestants say, “My sabbath is Sunday, what is he saying? His sabbath—what does God say about their sabbath? He says, “My soul hates…” I will remember this as long as I live. I had the unusual duty of being the minister in Salt Lake City which was the heart of Mormon land, and so I was driving, and this was when I first moved there, and I was driving down this road and here is the sign “Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy—See you in church on Sunday.” I almost wrecked the car (Laughter). This is the Sabbath that God hates, but that’s how people…they take the name that God has and [they] put it on their days. That’s what he hates. This has nothing to do with God’s Sabbaths.

Now let’s ask one more question, because people are very mentally astute today: Can a person keep the seventh-day of the week as we know it, the true Sabbath, and still be not a Sabbath to God, but a Sabbath to themselves even though it’s on God’s day? Yes, they can. How can they do that? Keep it their own way, add so many man-made traditions on it like the Jews do today, that the Sabbath is an absolute total burden. You know like they do in Israel if a car goes down the street, they stone it. Now which is more work, the person driving the car down the street, or the stoning of the car? Can you imagine that? Stoning a car, that’s something.

Now let’s go back here before we get to Isaiah 58, let’s go to John 4, because here is what it has to be in worshipping God—the day is important, but what is secondary importance on that day, actually the primary importance, primary importance, but you’ve got to have the right day in order for this to work. John 4:20 the woman of Samaria said, “ ‘Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth…’ ” Now that’s what makes the seventh-day the spiritual day to keep, when you worship the Father in spirit and in truth. “ ‘…for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must…’ ” and the word there in the Greek is ordained, obligatory, mandatory “ ‘… worship in spirit and in truth’ ” (John 4:20-24).

Now let’s go back to Isaiah 58 and I hope we have enough time to finish it, I think we do. So He says, verse 1: “Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” What do you need to do then? You need to repent and what—worship God in spirit and in truth. Because if you are keeping the Sabbath but you’re not keeping it by loving the brethren and loving God, then you are not keeping it in spirit and in truth and worshiping God. Now we all have to grow with this more. I can’t say that any of us are perfect in it. Verse 2: “Yet they seek Me daily, and seem eager to know My ways…” and boy, nothing could be truer of Americans than this. Verse 2 is so true of Americans. “In God we trust.” “We are a Christian nation.” “Oh, we want to know God’s Word and all this sort of thing.” “…as a nation that did righteousness, and one that did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they seem eager to draw near to God. They say, ‘Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul and You take no knowledge?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you pursue your business and exploit all your workers.” There was just in the newspaper today about fasting for political things and it showed this Chavez, this labor union farmer union guy, fasting and they were, you know, depicting that and showing … the whole thing. Verse 4: “Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness…” and then he goes on saying well, you’re not going to have your voice heard on high and all this sort of thing (Isaiah 58:1-4).

Now let’s come down here to verse 13, we are running out of time so I need to get here to finish it. Here is one of the conditions if you are going to return to God. “If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath…” that is walking on it polluting, trampling it, doing your own thing. “…from doing your own desires on My holy day” God’s holy day. “…call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD,” and of course this applies to the holy days—the same thing can apply. “…honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor pursuing your own desires, nor speaking your own words, then…” now notice all those conditions “… then you shall delight yourself in the LORD…” And that way then no man is going to stand in the way and make you bitter or turn you from God. “…and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it” (Isaiah 58:13-14).

So that’s why it is so very, very, important, so it comes all right back to the very basic thing that the apostle John said, he said that if we love God and keep His Commandments, this is how we know that we know God. And so brethren I know that none of you are disbelieving in keeping the Sabbath because you’re all here, but it’s very important for us to know and understand what God thinks about it and what we need to do so that we can also do better than we have been doing and how that it is important and right. Okay, so the next time you hear anyone say, like I did, “Well, I keep Sunday because…” then you will know that they have chosen their own sabbath which God says, “I hate.” But if you want to delight in God, keep His way, keep His Sabbath, keep His Words.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References

  1. 1.) Revelation 17:5
  2. 2.) I John 3:1
  3. 3.) I John 5:2
  4. 4.) John 13:34
  5. 5.) Matthew 22:37-40
  6. 6.) I John 5:2-3
  7. 7.) Romans 8:7
  8. 8.) Genesis 2:2-3
  9. 9.) Exodus 20:8-9
  10. 10.) Exodus 20:10-11
  11. 11.) Mark 2:27-28
  12. 12.) John 14
  13. 13.) Ezekiel 20:6-7, 10-13, 20
  14. 14.) Ezekiel 22:25
  15. 15.) Isaiah 56:1-4
  16. 16.) I John 3:22
  17. 17.) Isaiah 56:4-7
  18. 18.) Isaiah 58:1
  19. 19.) Isaiah 1:14
  20. 20.) John 4:20-24
  21. 21.) Isaiah 58: 1-4, 13-14