a minister of
the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ, how locked in are you to your job as a
minister? Would you dare to go against the teachings of your denomination
or local church board if the Holy Spirit, either through directly showing
you scriptures that prove that teaching to be in error or through someone
such as myself point it out either in person or by telephone or a letter
such as this?
you have the spiritual strength to stand up for what you learn from the
Bible to be real truth even if it gets you branded as unorthodox or a cult
or a heretic? Are you strong enough in the Lord to make the right
decision even if it costs you most of your congregation, at least temporarily.
and decisions are not always easy to make. Especially right choices. In
the Bible, the heroes of faith had tough decisions to make and chose to
his closing charge to Israel and Joshua, Moses declares, "I call heaven
and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life
and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou
and thy seed may live:
thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice,
and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length
of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto
thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy
30:19-20) the question is asked who will you choose.
the New Testament, the writer to the Hebrews tells of what was Moses' most
important decision: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years,
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to
suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of
sin for a season; Esteeming
|the reproach of Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the
recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath
of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." (Hebrews
11:24-27), Here, Moses chose to do right and serve God rather than
enjoy the riches of Egypt.
the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD,
to serve other gods;
the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the
land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs
in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among
all the people through whom we passed:
the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which=
dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our
God." (Joshua 24:15-17).
which Lord or God do you, my minister friend, teach? Many pastors today
have already discovered that the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation
that "God is ONE and His Name One, but their churches are at least nominally
Trinity teaching three persons in a unity godhead.
The history of the trinity doctrine
starts with unbelief and doubts from a man named Tertullian who questioned
who God is and of what "substance" He is. A half-century
a man named Athanatius, who grew up as a pagan in Alexandria, Egypt*,
formulated and is openly known
as the "father of the trinity". You, dear pastor, need to choose you this
day whether you will follow the whole teachings of the Bible from
cover to cover or a few out-of-context scriptures quoted by the trinitarians
which, when understood in the setting of the whole Bible, really
do not teach the trinity, either.
area which you, dear pastor and other minister must choose to follow God's
teachings or man's even more serious is the matter of the position of the
love and grace of God and mankind's belief in the overall scriptural teaching
that shows the original Apostles' plan of salvation which is consistently
repeated throughout the New Testament. In John 3, we have that beautiful
and wonderful passage so frequently quoted contrary to its context. "For
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His son into the
world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is
come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because
their deeds were evil." (John 3:16-19). A vast majority of
supposedly Christian churches teach that this is the Plan of Salvation
and that the instant you believe, you are wondrously and gloriously saved
and can never again be lost. This makes counting converts easy and
<= span font=3DNew Century Schoolbook span style=3Dpl span size=3D12pt>Although
Holy Spirit conviction of sin, brought to being by believing an inspired
sermon or scripture, is the real reason people put up their hands and go
forward to an altar for salvation, the vast majority of counselors and
altar workers tell them that all they have to do is believe and they
are saved and can never be lost.
The Biblical command to the first
ever believers, who asked, "...what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and
to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord
our God shall call." (Acts 2:37-39)
The truth is that God's exceeding
great love, grace and mercy toward mankind is why, as the writer to the
Hebrews explains, He robed Himself in human flesh, was tempted in all points
like as we are, yet without sin, became the sacrificial Lamb of God to
take away the sins of the world, died and was buried to pay the price for
our sins, was raised incorruptible in a glorified person, the ONLY person
of God, since from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible says God is a Spirit,
is Holy and knows of no other god or spirit of god.
Will you, dear minister friend,
make the godly decision that you will stand for truth whether your denomination
kicks you out or even the leaders of your local church, or will you continue
to defend the scripturally indefensible positions held by most churches?
Messiah, the Son of God, and his
death and burial could not therefore have paid for your sins and mine!
So since He, Himself, declared that the ONLY SIGN that would be given to
that wicked and adulterous generation was the three days and three
nights in the grave, then if He was not telling the truth, if He was not
the Messiah, then He was not the sacrificial Lamb of God, the disciples
stole His body as the guards were bribed to say so here really was no resurrection
and we are none of us saved. So is it important? It is absolutely VITAL
that He really did fulfill that prophecy!
Now when you consider how people
in the Middle East, particularly the orthodox Jewish or Israelite
people, reckon their days, it becomes instantly apparent that there is
no way to get three days and three nights into the time frame from noon
Friday to before dawn Sunday. From noon Friday until noon on Saturday
is only one 24-hour day no matter how you try to count it as two days.
And since the scripture is clear that He had already arisen from the grave
before dawn of Sunday morning, then if His crucifixion took place
on Friday and He was buried at about sunset Friday, then from Sunset Friday
to sunset Saturday was only one day and according to Matthew 28:1-4, it
says that just before dawn, a gleaming presence of an angel of the Lord
suddenly appeared to the keepers (Roman or Jewish Temple guards). The account
goes on to relate how the guards came to the chief priests and were assured
that if they accepted a large bribe to not tell what really happened, the
priests would defend them against Roman punishmet for sleeping on guard
duty. (See Matthew 28:11-15.) 11 "Now when they were going,
behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief
priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled
with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples
came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the
governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money,
and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among
the Jews until this day. "
The reason for indicating an uncertainty
about whose guards were at the tomb, we need to read Matthew 27:63-66 where
we see that Pilate, the Roman governor says in verse 65, that the priests
"have a watch" and tells them to go their way and set their watch. Based
on what is known of Roman law, it would not seem likely that Roman soldiers
would be placed under the direction or command of leaders of an enslaved
nation nor that nation's religion. Yet we see the priests "So they
went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone and setting a watch."
We often hear about the dire consequences
if a Roman soldier slept while on guard duty, and yet most preachers and
teachers seem to think the Jewish priests had enough power to prevent Roman
law from punishing Romans for breaking Roman law. This has to be a stretch
of the imagination. The guards of the watch must have been Jewish Temple
Guards detached to this special assignment. There obviously had to be temple
guards, since there was a great deal
|of gold and other wealth
in the temple which needed to be protected. The religious sacredness of
the place was already offset by the fact that this was not the original
Temple built by King Solomon hundreds of years earlier, but Herod's Temple,
built much more recently by a man whose religious inclinations were, at
best, suspect. Therefore, after centuries of backslidden and often idolatrous
attitudes and beliefs, the people were not considered to be as awed by
the holiness of the place as they would have been in Solomon's time.
understand the importance of when Jesus was crucified and when He arose
from the grave, we need to take serious note of His word to the Pharisees:
Matthew 12:38 Then
certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we
would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said
unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and
there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days
and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three
days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall
rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they
repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is
42 The queen of the south
shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:
for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of
Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here." and in Chapter 16,
still in Matthew, apparently on a second occasion, Jesus declares:
<= span font=3DNew Century Schoolbook
span style=3Dpl span size=3D12pt>"1
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that
he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto
them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky
3 And in the morning, It
will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites,
ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of
on Page 3)
4 A wicked and adulterous
generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto
it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed."
The event, or one of them is reported also in Luke 11:29-32 where we read=
: "29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he
began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall
no sig= n be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30 For as Jonas was a sign
unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.=
31 The queen of the south
shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn
them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom
of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineve shall
rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for
they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas
Even if there were no other scriptures
to affirm the need for three days and nights to be fulfilled between Jesus
burial and resurrection, these are more than enough to establish the fact
that either Jesus knew and correctly prophesied how long He would be in
the grave as a sign to the unbelievers as well as the believers or else
He didn't know or He lied. If He was the real and genuine Son of
God as well as Son of man, then He had to know and what He said must take
precedence over all the teachings of men.
Jesus established that the length
of time He would be in the grave would establish the authenticity of who
He was. He also made it clear that He was greater than the revered King
Solomon or the Queen of Sheba or the prophet Jonah. This, of course rankled
the Jewish religious leaders who realized full well who He was declaring
Himself to be. But they wanted none of Him. Like far too many religious
leaders of today, they had their own little good thing going and He, if
He really was the Messiah, would upset their proverbial apple carts, just
as He had uposet the tables of the money changers in the temple.
So for so-called Christians to teach
that Jesus was only in the grave a day and a half, when calculated
by the time measurement standard in that era, is to say that Jesus was
wrong. It says that we know better than He did.
This teaching is not original with
me. I first learned of it from a former Assemblies of God missionary to
Palestine who served more than twenty (20) years on the field. Sister Serena
Hodges was my New Testament Survey teacher at Bible College. She
pointed out the
|impossibility of getting
three days and nights from after noon or more accurately just before sunset
Good Friday to pre-dawn Sunday.
She was also quite positive as to
the day of the week the Passover fell on the year Jesus was crucified.
While many modern English and American theologians argue over the exact
day and date, the Bible specified repeatedly beginning with Exodus 12:18
God tells Moses, "In the first
month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened
bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days
shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that
which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation
of Israel whether he be a stranger , or born in the land." Preceeding verses
establish that the Passover was to be like a seven day Sabbath in which
no work was to be done. The faithful Orthodox Jews know exactly the
day and year of the crucifixion.<= /font>
Many times later in Exodus as well
as Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, specifics of the Passover are repeated.
Always it is the fourteenth day of the First month which is elsewhere identified
as Adar. To be accurate by date, then, we should celebrate the crucifixion
on the day before the Jewish Passover which, because of a slightly different
method of calculating dates between the Jewish and our own Gregorian calendars,
does not always fall on the same day of the modern month. Crucifixion day
is rightfully always the thirteenth day of the Jewish month Adar. And since
the days always begin at sunset and we know that Joseph of Arimethea came
to Pilate "at even(ing)" and begged permission to take down His body from
the cross and place it in his own tomb. Thus, we know by scripture that
Jesus was buried at about sunset of the day before the official date of
Passover, the fourteenth (14th) and therefore the thirteenth (13th). Since
we know that the passover that year fell on our Thursday, the Crucifixion
had to have been on Wednesday. Sunset wednesday to sunset Thursday equals
one day. Sunset Thursday to sunset friday is the second day and sunset
Friday to sunset Saturday is three days. Before dawn of Sunday, Jesus had
arisen. In fact there are those who believe that the dawn spoken of in
one of the Gospels actually meant before the sunset Saturday issued in
the new day of the week or the dawning of the new day name. However, I
believe this is nearly as much a stretch as those who overlook the fact
that the whole week of Passover was actually considered to be a High or
Holy Sabbath. Contrary to the Catholic Church's teachings on the subject,
it was the week that BEGAN with Passover that was considered the Holy Week
of Passover. Of course we can view it from the standpoint of the momentuous
events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ from His Triumphal Entry into
on Page 4)
Jerusalem until His Resurrection
as our new Christian "Holy Week" but then where does the "Lenten" season
come into it? The Jews and earlier Israelites abstained from anything with
"leaven" in it during the week following the passover, not preceeding it.
The whole point, or points I am
making or attemptine go make here is that we need to look at what the Bible
really does say and teach rather than what tradition or dear old Pastor
Jones or the learned Dr. Stephens says or said about it. True, we do need
the definitions of words and the understanding of Bible days customs and
sometimes we must rely on such men, but if a clear and definite scripture=
directly contradicts the supposed fact taught by our more recent "expert,"
we need to go back to the Bible. If we truly study God's word, nearly every
one of these points will be explained somewhere. "My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also
(Hosea 4:6). We need to be like the Bereans in
Acts 17:10,11 and study whether these things be so, and to obey the Apostle
Paul's exhortation to Timothy to Study to show thyself approved unto God,
a workman needing not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Yes, it is important when Jesus
died and when He arose again because to put any length of time on that
period is to say He is not true to His word which is blasphemy.
The Friday teaching began with a=
religious leader who said if it was the day before the Sabbath, obviously=
, it had to be Friday, either forgetting the three days and nights
prophecies or intentionally pointing people into unbelief. =
|But as we have already
establis= hed, the entire week of the Jewish Passover , BEGINNING with
the Day of Passov= er was considered to be the highest of all High Sabbaths.
While the Gospel of John is the only one that specifies this fact, "(for
that sabbath day was an high day,)..." (John 19:31), the fact is
pretty well established in the other gospels though not stated so clearly.
I would urge each of you who re=
ads this Message to pray about what I have said here, then decide for yoursel=
f, "Will I go along with the crowd and be a part of the Good Friday heresy,
or will I stand up for Jesus' word that three days and nights would be
the only sign given to a wicked and adulterous generation?"--S.M.S.
p; [293 B. C., Died May 2, 372 A. D.] studied first the Babylonish religion
at the famed University in Alexandria, then the Egyptian religion and the=
the Greek and Roman religions
b= efore starting to go to the Christian church in Alexandria. There,
becaus= e he tried to argue for a trinity based on the Babylonish but incorporating=
the names from Christianity, he was ousted. But then, he began politickin=
g the new converts who really did not know Christian truths and eventually
his followers gained numerical
superiority in the church and
t= hey brought Athanatius back into a position of leadership from which
he launc= hed "The Doctrine of the Trinity". One College Humanities textbook
I studied in 1976, claimed that the debate at the Council of Nicea in 325
AD was settled by a fistfight between Athanatius and Arius and because
Athanatiu= s won, his Trinity doctrine was adopted.