*BEST OF DTB #43* The Catholic Defender: Mary, Mother of God

Posted by John Benko - December 29th, 2012

It was 29 December 2004, I received a Red Cross message informing me that my Mother was dying.

The Doctor and Hospice all were confirming Mom’s status with the Red Cross. I was informed that my Mother was coming in and out of consciousness and she had been calling for me.

I was serving in New Orleans working at the Military Enlistment Processing Center (MEPS) as the Medical Element NCOIC.

I arrived home from work and that is when I was notified by my wife of the situation. My family in Missouri alerted us before the Red Cross message arrived to my unit.

My Command was afraid to let me respond to my Mother’s wish because the next day was for the Recruiters, the opportunity to floor Applicants all day. I was able to work out support from my Element, but my Command would not budge.

I was able to fly to Missouri the following evening after the mission was completed. My Mother’s persistence kept her alive as long as she hoped I was on my way home.

I finally arrived at home in Southwestern Missouri at 23:00 the following night. I flew wearing my Class A uniform. Mom had never seen me in uniform through out my military career. I always went home in civilian clothes, but on this trip, in honor of my Mother, I was determined to wear my uniform.

A friend picked me up at the airport and they briefed me what was happening. Mom had been in a coma for nearly 5 days, she has not had anything to eat or drink so she was dehydrated. They had to put a diaper on her because she was not conscious. When I arrived there I could see her skin tone was pale, her eyes were sunken in, her joints were swollen from lack of circulation, her vital signs were practically non-existent and her breathing was raspy.

I sat down at the foot of the bed and simply observed what was happening. One of my Aunt’s was there with my Sister-In-Law and Brother who were trying to make Mom as comfortable as they could. After a few moments, everyone left the room leaving my Brother and me alone with Mother. Mom didn’t know who I was, she was in a coma state. As we both sat there with Mom, my Brother began to sing a Johnny Cash song to break the ice.

I kind of just listened and watched. There was no response from Mom not even a twitch. When he paused, I began singing a song that came to mind, “Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing….” At this point, Mom began to respond to what I was singing. I began singing every verse I could think of. Mom began to sing with a voice that seemed to come deep from within her chest and she became stronger the more I sang.

I was singing every song I could think of as Mom seemed to be coming out of this death trap. We ended up singing praises to God for 30-40 minutes after which, Mom was alert, could see me and I was able to explain my medals on my uniform to her.

This was the most amazing thing, everyone there was scratching their heads as I was very excited.

The following morning, Father Bill arrived (childhood Priest) to give Mom the Anointing of the Sick.

As soon as Father left, Mom was able to get up and use the rest room, she sat down at the table and was eating chicken, chili dogs, and pizza. Again, everyone was scratching their heads trying not to get too excited about this.

I was only quoting James 5:13-15, “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven”.

This healing would take place on New Years Eve, the day before the the Feast of “Mary, Mother of God” celebrated on 1 January, or New years Day. This beautiful feast day has a long history in the Catholic Church.

Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council renamed the Feast celebrated 1 January from “Feast of the Circumcision” to “Mary, Mother of God”:

In the revised arrangement of the Christmas season, we should all turn with one mind to the restored solemnity of the Mother of God. This feast was entered into the calendar in the liturgy of the city of Rome for the first day of January. The purpose of the celebration is to honor the role of Mary in the mystery of salvation and at the same time to sing the praises of the unique dignity thus coming to “the Holy Mother…through whom we have been given the gift of the Author of life.” This same solemnity also offers an excellent opportunity to renew the adoration rightfully to be shown to the newborn Prince of Peace, as we once again hear the good tidings of great joy and pray to God, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace, for the priceless gift of peace. Because of these considerations and the fact that the octave of Christmas coincides with a day of hope, New Year’s Day, we have assigned to it the observance of the World Day of Peace (Paul VI, Marialis Cultus, Feb. 2, 1974, no.5).

It is interesting that the original celebration, “Feast of the Circumcision”, had a long history on 1 January.

If you believe that Jesus was born on 25 December, Luke gives 1 January as the day of the Circumcision.

This is more evidence of the Churches belief of December 25th as the actual day of the Lord’s birth.

Origen of Alexander first documents about 230 A.D. of Mary as “Theotokos”, Mother of God.

In 431, the Catholic Church declared this as truth to counter the Nestorian heresy that questioned the nature of Jesus.

The Catholic Church proclaimed that Mary was Mother of the whole person of Jesus. Jesus was true God and true man as one person.

The Nestorians rejected Mary as Mother of God. In truth, the doctrine is all about Jesus, but Mary is being honored because she is in fact Jesus Mother.

Some people have tried to mislead others that Catholics worship Mary, that the Church deifies Mary with such titles. However, anyone who evaluates the reality of this teaching will find this is a great abuse of misrepresentation trying to spread hatred for the Church.

I encourage both Catholics and Protestants to really take a good look at what the Catholic Church is teaching and I believe that this solemn Feast will enrich your faith.


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*Best of DTB #169* Immaculate Conception debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - April 5th, 2012

These show notes correspond with this Blog Talk Radio program.


OPENING MONOLOGUE

The show notes for this debate can be found at tinyurl.com/7sqkvkm. This link will be posted in the chat room. If you have any questions, please email them to email@deepertruthblog.com.

In our first debate, my opponent made the charge that Mary is a goddess in the Catholic religion. In our second, he contended that Catholics “praise, worship and idolatrize Mary”. He has also stated this in several online debates and, even as I prepare this monologue, hours before our scheduled 4th debate, I am absolutely certain that I will hear this ludicrous assertion leveled yet again. Now, I am not saying this to get this debate off on the wrong foot, I’m saying it to get it off on the right foot. Let’s please dispense with the super-heated rhetoric and the endless supposition about gods and goddesses, pagans and hobgoblins and things that go bump in the night.

What the Catholic Church claims about Mary’s Immaculate conception is hardly extraordinary in the context of a God who placed eternity inside Her womb and who spoke the universe into existence. It also doesn’t elevate Mary any further than the way God chose to elevate Her as enunciated clearly in Scripture.

In these opening remarks, I will make the affirmative case for this doctrine. I will deal with objections during the question portion and in my closing remarks.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception begins with a proper understanding of Grace.

Many protestants contend that grace is nothing more than unmerited favor. This view directly contradicts scripture. Grace is something we receive. It is something that saves us and enables us to do good.


2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed

John 1:16-17 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”

Ephesians 3:2 if, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit,

Ephesians 3:8 To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,

Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Let us quickly summarize;

  1. With sufficient Grace, a person is capable of every good deed.
  2. Grace can only come from Christ, the Mosaic law could not provide it.
  3. All who are saved are saved by this grace.
  4. The church are the stewards of this Grace, both for our benefit and to preach.
  5. You cannot earn this grace, it can only be given as a free gift through faith.
  6. The purpose of this Grace is to enable us to do the good works that God has prepared for us to do.

It must be emphasized that Ephesians 2 does NOT state that Salvation is a free gift from God, as so many assert, it states that GRACE is a free gift from God.
This fact refutes the protestant notion of imputed salvation but that’s a debate for another day.

Let’s cut to the chase. By Grace you are saved, therefore, for a lack of grace you are lost. Those who do little good have little, those who do much have much. Those who don’t have any, commit unrepentant evil and are damned for it. Grace is necessary for Salvation and grace can be quantified.

Now that we have looked at this, let me outline what we hold to be true, with regard to how this grace applies to Mary.

1) Mary is saved by the same Savior you and I are.
2) Mary is saved by the same Grace you and I are.
3) By the reception of this Grace, Mary is no more made Divine than you and I are.
4) What differs is the timing and the degree of the Grace Mary received.
5) This special provision was provided by God for the purpose of Mary’s integral and crucial role in bringing us the Savior.
6) All of this can be deduced from Scripture.

When the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary (Luke 1:28), the first words he says to her are “Chaire, kecharitomene!” [Χαιρε, κεχαριτομενε!].

Let’s break it down. Chaire means Hail! It is a salutation of royalty.

In fact, it is used twice in the gospels with respect to Jesus

Matthew. 26:49, where Judas greets Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with “Hail, Rabbi!”

Matthew. 27:29, where Pilate’s soldiers mock Jesus with the greeting: “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Here, the Angel is clearly recognizing Mary as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Queen Mother, the Mother of the King. We’ll cover that in another debate.

Kecharitomene is actually a conjunction of three words- Ke, Charitoo and Mene.

Let us start with charitoo, and let us start with the King James Bible. charitoo is a variant of Charis. Including every variant of Charis, the KJV translates Grace 86% of the time. However, when the variant charitoo is used, the percentage rises to better than 96% with the only exception being- you guessed it- Luke 1:28 (link in the show notes). The oo variant at the end actually adds emphasis.

The prefix Ke actually states that something perfectly exists that was the result of a past action. An example would be “You are a college educated professor”

The suffix mene notes that the action was completed by another (in this case, God). Mary did not endue Herself with Grace, God did it.

Kecharitomene is literally “endured with perfected Grace” or, as every Bible prior to 1611 stated, and many after, “Full of grace”. This includes the Protestant bibles of Luther and Tyndale and proto-protestant Wycliffe. In fact, even the original KJV placed “endured with Grace” in the margin notes.

It is very clear that the KJV and other version have played polemic politics with the very text of sacred Scripture.

Χαιρε (which means both “Rejoice” and “Hail”) is the salutation, like the word “hello” in “Hello, Cathy!” The word that follows, κεχαριτομενε, is the direct address. In the previous example, the name “Cathy” is the direct address. A direct address is usually a name or title (or pronoun taking the place of a name or title) which represents the identity of the person being spoken to. Gabriel identifies Mary with a single term: not the name “Mary,” but the word κεχαριτομενε.

In other words, Gabriel is literally addressing Mary “Hail!, Full of Grace” as if “Full of grace” were here name. Kecharitomene is not merely grace but emphasized Grace, preexisting Grace, endowed grace and perfected Grace. In other words, Fullness of Grace and the complete absence of sin, even original sin.

The great Baptist Greek scholar A.T. Robertson exhibits a Protestant perspective, but is objective and fair-minded, in commenting on this verse as follows:

“Highly favoured” (kecharitomene). Perfect passive participle of charitoo and means endowed with grace (charis), enriched with grace as in Ephesians. 1:6, . . . The Vulgate gratiae plena “is right, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast received’; wrong, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast to bestow’” (Plummer).

(Word Pictures in the New Testament, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1930, six volumes, Vol. II, 13) Source

Greek scholar Marvin R. Vincent noted that even Wycliffe and Tyndale (no enthusiastic supporters of the Catholic Church) both rendered kecharitomene in Luke 1:28 as “full of grace” and that the literal meaning was “endued with grace” (Word Studies in the New Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946, four volumes, from 1887 edition: New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons; Vol. I, 259).

Even the Protestant amplified Bible states that the literal translation is “endued with grace”

In terms of making a linguistic refutation of the Catholic interpretation of Luke 1:28, it cannot be done. Now let’s address the practical case.

Whether or not you accept that Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant or the New Eve or the New holy of holies, there is one thing you cannot deny- between Eden and the Resurrection, to come in direct contact with God, for anyone but God’s high Priest, meant death. This was true for Uzzah, this was true for an unworthy Priest. In fact, a Priest entering the Holy of holies was secured with a rope so that his dead body, if need be, could be pulled out.

My protestant friends argue that Jesus could have been protected from the contagion of original sin, by God, even if Mary wasn’t sinless. I will gladly concede the point. God could have done this in some way, if He chose.

What cannot be argued, however is that Mary, if a sinful woman, could not share direct contact with the almighty Himself inside her. God cannot share the same space with sin. Direct access to God only occurs after the Resurrection when the veil in the Temple is torn in two.

However, perhaps the biggest reason why Mary’s immaculate conception was necessary was because of the necessity of her fiat.

Consider this.

The first woman, Eve had some pretty simple instructions. You can go anywhere you want, eat anything you want….but see this tree, right here? don’t touch it.

Eve, as you know, blew it.

Mary, on the other hand, had a very difficult assignment. Mary was to become pregnant in a time when the accusation of adultery meant stoning. Her only argument in defense? “I am carrying God”. That would go over well.

Yet, Mary simply said “behold the hand maiden of the Lord. be it done to me according to your word”

Mary said yes. She cooperated with God’s plan. Let me repeat that. Mary CO- Operated. There is that word “Co”. “Co” means “with”, not “equal to”, as some suggest.

God is the Operator, Mary is the Cooperator.God is the redeemer, Mary is the Co-redemtrix. God is the Mediator, Mary is the Co-mediatrix. These titles do not make Mary an Operator or a Redeemer or a Mediator. It simply states a simple and unarguable fact. Without Mary’s “Yes”, The redeemer doesn’t come. Without Mary’s “Yes”, there is no mediator between God and man.

Eve said “no” and sin entered the world. Mary said “yes” and salvation entered the world.

Now, the so-called “Bible alone” Christians will say that if Mary had said no, God would just find another way. That is a philosophical argument, not a Biblical one. There is no evidence God had a plan B and He didn’t need one. Jesus knew plan A was going to work because He poured enough Grace into His own Mother to ensure it.

Lastly, the Bible alone Christians will claim we invented this doctrine in 1854. Hogwash! The historical record is clear that the Christian church believed and guarded this doctrine from day one.
(Quotes in the show notes)



QUOTES





Justin Martyr

[Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course that was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied, “Be it done unto me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) (Dialogue with Trypho 100 [A.D. 155]).

Irenaeus

Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, “Behold, 0 Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.” Eve . . . who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband — for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children . . . having become disobedient [sin], was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient [no sin], was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

Origen

This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

Hippolytus

He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).

Ephraim the Syrian

You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

Ambrose of Milan

Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin (Commentary on Psalm 118:22-30 [A.D. 387]).

Gregory Nazianzen

He was conceived by the virgin, who had been first purified by the Spirit in soul and body; for, as it was fitting that childbearing should receive its share of honor, so it was necessary that virginity should receive even greater honor (Sermon 38 [d. A.D. 390]).

Augustine

We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honor to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin (Nature and Grace 36:42 [A.D. 415]).

Theodotus of Ancrya

A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns (Homily 6:11[ante A.D. 446]).

Proclus of Constantinople

As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain (Homily 1[ante A.D. 446]).

Jacob of Sarug

[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary[ante A.D. 521].

Romanos the Melodist

Then the tribes of Israel heard that Anna had conceived the immaculate one. So everyone took part in the rejoicing. Joachim gave a banquet, and great was the merriment in the garden. He invited the priests and Levites to prayer; then he called Mary into the center of the crowd, that she might be magnified (On the Birth of Mary 1 [d. ca A.D. 560]).



Closing remarks

Once again, The show notes for this debate can be found at tinyurl.com/7sqkvkm. This link will be posted in the chat room. If you have any questions, please email them to email@deepertruthblog.com.

The principal objections to the doctrine of the immaculate conception are, in my view, unfounded and they were certainly unfounded in the minds of those who gave us the Bible and before.

In fact, it is often said, “Show me evidence of someone praying to Mary in the Bible”. I can do better than that. I can show proof of a prayer to Mary as Theotokos (Mother of God) that predates the Bible by about 150 years! (picture in the show notes)

On to the objections;

  1. Mary needed a Savior. Of course she did. In fact, the coolest thing about the Immaculate conception is that the savior saved the mother before the mother brought forth the savior who created the Mother. Wow! I have a headache!
  2. It makes Mary a goddess. Nonsense. Evil Knieval couldn’t make that leap. God prepared Mary for a specific job. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Bringing God to us through a purified human vessel only shows God’s greatness all the more. Mary spoke true of herself saying that her soul magnifies the Lord. (Luke 1:46)
  3. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Greek Word Pantes means “all mankind”.In context it is referring to all types of people, not every person. Otherwise, it would include babies- born and pre-born and Jesus Himself- an indefensible position.
  4. If Mary was conceived immaculately, her mother would have had to have been, and her mother and so on. Seriously? The one who held back the Red Sea and protected three Jewish boys from the furnace, the one who brought down Jericho’s walls and protected Jonah in a whale, and stayed the Lions from devouring Daniel, could not keep Satan’s grubby hands off His own Mother? come now.
  5. Didn’t the Catholic church invent this doctrine in 1854. No. The councils of the church do not invent doctrine, they defend doctrines against challenge. It is quite interesting that it took that long for anyone to seriously challenge this doctrine.
  6. Romans 3:10 says there is none righteous, no not one. Not one? I’ll give you two- Zechariah and Elizabeth, who Luke call Righteous and blameless before God. Paul says “It is written- there are none righteous”. He is quoting Psalm 14, talking about the fool who says in his heart there is no God.

Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me.


Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


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*Best of DTB #164* The Sabbath Day debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - March 30th, 2012

These notes are in conjunction with this BlogTalkRadio show.


OPENING STATEMENT




The show notes for this program can be found at http://tinyurl.com/86qysfm. To ask a follow up question, send it to email@deepertruthblog.com
You ever wonder why we celebrate January 1st as the start of our calendar? The reason is that Jesus was born on December 25th and, under the law, a boy was circumcised on the Eighth day. Notice that the Eighth day mentioned here does not have to be a particular day. It is not named in Scripture as being, a particular day. Nevertheless, the Eighth day circumcision was the entrance into the Jewish community and that is why time is measured from January 1st.

The Eighth day signified new life just as surely as the 7th day signified God’s rest. In terms of the week, the Eighth day was the first day, a new beginning. It foreshadowed Sunday. To be specific, Resurrection Sunday, or what we call Easter.

That is why the early Apostles understood that Circumcision was no longer required. What it foreshadowed had been fulfilled.

The same is true of the Sabbath.

God said;

8Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day.
9Six days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works.
10But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates.

11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things
that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the
seventh day, and sanctified it.
(Exodus Chapter 20)

7th day Sabbatarians will insist that the Sabbath always explicitly refers Biblically to Saturday. It does not. In Exodus 12:16, the Israelites are commanded to take a Sabbath (or day of rest) on the Seventh day. The Seventh day of the week? No. The Seventh day of the Passover. Well, the passover doesn’t always start on Sunday. In fact, it rarely does. It always starts on 14 Nisan. In 2012, the passover begins on Saturday, making the Seventh day, Friday.

The day of the week of the last day of creation is not named in Scripture. It is simply called The Seventh Day. What is pronounced is that you may work six days and then must rest the seventh. For this to be explicitly Biblically prescribed as a particular weekday day, we would have to know on which day God created the world and start the calendar then.

The word Sabbath is literally translated from Yom Shabbat meaning day of rest. The same Hebrew term is used in Exodus 12, concerning the Seventh day of the Passover and in Exodus 20, concerning the seventh day of the week.

Does this mean that Jews were not required to observe the Saturday Sabbath? By no means.

To understand is to get the relationship between how God’s Covenant law is enforced through the Mosaic law. It was God who demands a 1 day rest out of 7 but it was the Israelites who created the Calendar to implement it.

The Mosaic law was just as binding on a Jew as the moral law but that is not the case today. We are not under the Mosaic law today. The Mosaic law demanded specific Festivals (that is, Yearly commemorations), New Moon (that is, monthly) celebrations and Sabbath (or weekly) commemorations.

All of these, along with circumcision, and prohibitions against certain food and drink were elements of the Mosaic law and shadows of what is to come later. This is clearly shown in Scripture.


Colossians 2
8Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to
the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according
to Christ:
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally;
10And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power:
11In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand, in despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the circumcision of Christ:
12Buried with him in baptism, in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him up from the dead.

13And you, when you were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your
flesh; he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences:
14Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross:
15And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.
16Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths,
17Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.


The mistake my good friend George makes is the same mistake the the Pharisees made and the same mistake made by contemporary Judaism. They focus too much on carrying the Sabbath much further than God ever intended, without ever grasping it’s meaning or intent.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). The Pharisees, on the other hand, tried to condemn a man for carrying a mat on the Sabbath after He was cured (John 5:8-11)

Jesus was constantly upbraiding the Pharisees for their ultra-legalistic interpretation of the Sabbath at the expense of mercy and the very communion with God the Sabbath was meant to illustrate in Christ’s death. The Pharisees focused on the letter of the law- “dont touch the grain”, “don’t carry your mat” and missed wholly the Spirit of the Law- set time aside for God, put Him first.


Here are some facts and that are not disputable;

  1. The Saturday Sabbath comes from Jewish Holy tradition-the chair of Moses-, not from direct Scripture. This, of course, makes it no less binding and truthful but only upon those under the Old Covenant.
  2. Jeremiah 31 foretells a New Covenant and, Jesus fulfills it in Matthew 26:28.
  3. The Chair of Moses was emphasized by Jesus (Matthew 23:1-3) but it was taken from them and given to another earthly authority. (Matthew 21:42-43)
  4. In the Book of Acts, we see that Church acting with that authority and speaking for the Holy Spirit in abolishing circumcision. (Acts 15:28)

That that authoritative church worshiped on Sunday is a matter quite beyond dispute.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16: 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

Further, that the Christian Church, from the very start, up to today, has always observed a Sunday worship cannot be denied (quotes in the show notes). The case that we are still obliged to a Saturday sabbath is wholly without Biblical or historical support.

Keep focused on that.

My opponent will doubtless play the worn-out pagan card alleging that we extrapolated Sunday worship from everything from roman gods to unicorns. He will have no evidence, of course but it will be fun to watch. Detractors of catholicism have lots of boogey men they like to conjure up whenever they are caught in a pickle but it won’t sway our listeners from the plain facts.

God did indeed rest on the 7th day….in the tomb. Death was not the final answer so the shadow was fulfilled.

John wrote his Book of Revelation from the Island of Patmos. He started by saying this;


9 I John, your brother and your partner in tribulation, and in the kingdom, and patience in Christ Jesus, was in the island, which is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, (Revelation 1)

Saint Ignatius was a disciple of John and had this to say circa 100 AD;


“If, then, those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbath, but living according to the Lord’s day”

The case that the early church worshiped on Sunday is airtight.



Quotes: Source: catholic.com


The Didache
“But every Lord’s day . . . gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned” (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).
The Letter of Barnabas
“We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead” (Letter of Barnabas 15:6–8 [A.D. 74]).
Ignatius of Antioch
“[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death” (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).
Justin Martyr
“[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined [on] you—namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us—I speak of fleshly circumcision and Sabbaths and feasts? . . . God enjoined you to keep the Sabbath, and imposed on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers . . .” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21 [A.D. 155]).
“But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead” (First Apology 67 [A.D. 155]).
Tertullian
“[L]et him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day . . . teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered ‘friends of God.’ For if circumcision purges a man, since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did he not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? . . . Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering him sacrifices, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, was by him [God] commended [Gen. 4:1–7, Heb. 11:4]. . . . Noah also, uncircumcised—yes, and unobservant of the Sabbath—God freed from the deluge. For Enoch too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, he translated from this world, who did not first taste death in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God” (An Answer to the Jews 2 [A.D. 203]).
The Didascalia
“The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the holy scriptures, and the oblation [sacrifice of the Mass], because on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday] our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven” (Didascalia 2 [A.D. 225]).
Origen
“Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection” (Commentary on John 2:28 [A.D. 229]).
Victorinus
“The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord’s day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body abolished” (The Creation of the World [A.D. 300]).
Eusebius of Caesarea
“They [the early saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things” (Church History 1:4:8 [A.D. 312]).
“[T]he day of his [Christ’s] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord’s day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality” (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186 [A.D. 319]).
Athanasius
“The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation” (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).
Cyril of Jerusalem
“Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean” (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).
Council of Laodicea
“Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord’s day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians” (Canon 29 [A.D. 360]).
John Chrysostom
“[W]hen he [God] said, ‘You shall not kill’ . . . he did not add, ‘because murder is a wicked thing.’ The reason was that conscience had taught this beforehand, and he speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when he speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of conscience, he not only prohibits, but adds the reason. When, for instance, he gave commandment concerning the Sabbath— ‘On the seventh day you shall do no work’—he subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? ‘Because on the seventh day God rested from all his works which he had begun to make’ [Ex. 20:10-11]. . . . For what purpose then, I ask, did he add a reason respecting the Sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one, and for this reason it was abolished afterward. But those which are necessary and uphold our life are the following: ‘You shall not kill. . . . You shall not commit adultery. . . . You shall not steal.’ On this account he adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition” (Homilies on the Statutes 12:9 [A.D. 387]).
“You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul’s words, that the observance of the law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?” (Homilies on Galatians 2:17 [A.D. 395]).
“The rite of circumcision was venerable in the Jews’ account, forasmuch as the law itself gave way thereto, and the Sabbath was less esteemed than circumcision. For that circumcision might be performed, the Sabbath was broken; but that the Sabbath might be kept, circumcision was never broken; and mark, I pray, the dispensation of God. This is found to be even more solemn than the Sabbath, as not being omitted at certain times. When then it is done away, much more is the Sabbath” (Homilies on Philippians 10 [A.D. 402]).
The Apostolic Constitutions
“And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent him to us, and condescended to let him suffer, and raised him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day . . . in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food” (Apostolic Constitutions 2:7:60 [A.D. 400]).
Augustine
“Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these ten commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian. . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the law which was written on those two tables that the apostle [Paul] describes as ‘the letter that kills’ [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished” (The Spirit and the Letter 24 [A.D. 412]).
Pope Gregory I
“It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these [men] but preachers of Antichrist, who when he comes will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord’s day to be kept free from all work. For because he [the Antichrist] pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord’s day to be held in reverence; and because he compels the people to Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed. For this which is said by the prophet, ‘You shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day’ [Jer. 17:24] could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: ‘If you be circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing’ [Gal. 5:2]” (Letters 13:1 [A.D. 597]).


Closing remarks

The show notes for this program can be found at http://tinyurl.com/86qysfm. To ask a follow up question, send it to email@deepertruthblog.com.
At the end of the day, 7th day sabbatarians are right about one point. It does come down to an issue of authority. The infant church either did have the authority to declare the Sabbath Day fulfilled and initiate the Lord’s Day in it’s place, or they didn’t. It is my position, the catholic position and, frankly, the position of the overwhelming majority of Sunday worship Christians, that they did.

This cannot help but be a touchstone onto the larger issue of Sola Scriptura, which we deal with in a future debate. Obviously, we cannot address it now.

Let me at least say this though. I believe George is a decent person. I really do. He was a police officer and people just don’t generally go into that type of field unless they have courage and integrity. Does George want to love and serve Jesus Christ? I have no doubt. However, he needs to study a lot more from grounded sources.

Hosea Chapter 4 says;

My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.

I’m trying to make a point here without drifting to far afield from the direct subject and risk getting busted down by the moderator but it is next to impossible to understand doctrines like the Sabbath unless you have a fundamental understanding of Covenant Theology. The Old Testament exists for a reason. We learn God’s Covenant plan through the Old Testament and we fulfill it in the New Testament.

One of the Old Testament’s lesson is the authority to bind and loose. Here are two examples;

Matthew 23: 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,
2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.
3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works. do ye not; for they say, and do not.

Matthew 19:

3 Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, 4 saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
4 He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
7 They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?”
8 He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

It takes work to understand this. God gave the Old Testament Church the authority to makes many decisions on His behalf. Clearly, He gave the New testament church this same authority.

In Matthew 16 and 18, Jesus says the Church is the final authority to rule on matters of sin and to bind and loose. In Luke 10:16, He gave that church the power to speak for Him, saying “He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects me. He who rejects me rejects Him who sent me”. The church has spoken. Sunday is our day of worship.

Thank You.


George’s opening statement

Opening Statement: The Sabbath Day, March 30, 2012
by George Lujack

The Sabbath commandment is one of the most misunderstood commandments of Scripture. Before getting into what day the weekly Sabbath should be observed on, I’d like to first define how the Sabbath should be observed.

1. It is a day of rest from weekly labor. No work should be done on this day. That said, it is not a sin to do essential services such as medical care, and emergency response work, nor is it wrong to come to the aid of a stranger. Christ taught that it is not wrong to do good deeds on the Sabbath.

2. It is a day to not buy and sell or trade in whatever manner in the marketplace, for entertainment or for whatever purpose. Purchases for food and essentials should be made in advance, before the Sabbath – in preparation for the Sabbath, so that they are available when the Sabbath arrives.

3. It is a day of reverence to God. It is a day to honor God and not do our own pleasure (Isaiah 58:13).

Beginning Friday at sundown through Saturday at sundown is the seventh day Sabbath, according to how God counted days during the creation week. The purpose of the Sabbath is for a time set aside for physical rest and spiritual refreshment, a time to ponder and give thanks for the wonder of God’s creation.

God did not give man the option to observe the Sabbath as a mater of his own choosing. Church fellowship and attendance is by no means not the solitary way of keeping the Sabbath, but revering and choosing Sunday over Saturday as a special day to honor God is not in accordance with keeping the Sabbath.

A person cannot observe the Sabbath every day of the week, as some say they do, in denying God’s seventh-day Sabbath. That would mean that they never purchase or sell anything nor do any work and revere God ceaselessly. This would not be practical and God does not want us to observe the Sabbath in such a manner as we choose.

Jesus and the disciples were often accused of breaking the Sabbath. In Luke chapter 6, the Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of plucking grains and eating them on the Sabbath, considering this “work.” It is not unlawful to eat on the Sabbath. The disciples were hungry and were eating as they passed through a grain field. The law also states that it is unlawful to muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain (Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18). What the Pharisees were doing was treating Jesus’ disciples worse that field oxen.

Now if the disciples had been in the field gathering grain for a weekly harvest, the Pharisees would have been correct in accusing them of breaking the Sabbath, as this would constitute labor. A man was once put to death under the law for gathering sticks on the Sabbath day (Numbers 16:32).

Observant Sabbath keeping Jews, I would say, err in some ways in which they keep the Sabbath. Following in their own traditions of man, many modern day Sabbath observing Jews do such things as not using electricity on the Sabbath, taking their phones off the receivers – so they cannot receive calls, and placing tape on the light switch on inside of their refrigerator – so that when they open their refrigerator door, the interior light will not go on. Yet they leave their refrigerators plugged in so that the food contained inside will not spoil.

This is going too far in Sabbath observation, because Jesus said that the Sabbath was made to serve man, not man to serve the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). The sun keeps shining on the Sabbath. The earth does not stop spinning on the Sabbath. Observant Jew’s non-use of electricity, telephone, internet, and motor vehicle transport on the Sabbath are doctrine of men observances of the Sabbath, not commands of God in honoring the Sabbath. What would be considered harder “work” or labor, a Jewish family walking 2-miles to a synagogue and returning on foot on the Sabbath, or that same Jewish family traveling by automobile to their synagogue and returning by their car? I would say that if the family traveled with their car, they would be resting more than if they traveled by foot, therefore “resting” according to the Sabbath.

The seventh day Sabbath was instituted by God after creation.

GENESIS 2:1-3:
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them. were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God included the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments with guidelines of how to observe the day that He sanctified…

EXODUS 20:6-11:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

EXODUS 31:12-18:
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”
And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

The seventh day Sabbath is a perpetual covenant and everlasting sign according to Exodus 31:16-17 officially written with the finger of God according to Exodus 31:18!

History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system, Catholicism supported by Rome, repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week in its place.

The Catholic Church altered the actual Sabbath commandment issued from God – written with God’s own finger and recorded in Exodus 20:6, which states, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Catholicism reworded God’s commandment to state, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” Then they renamed the Sabbath day to Sunday!

By their own admission, the Catholic Church, without any indication from Scripture, changed the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

The Catholic Church claims a few reasons why they intended to change the Saturday Sabbath to Sunday….

1. They believe Christ rose on Sunday, and this somehow gives them license to change the perpetual Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

2. They believe that the change was part of their “divine mission,” an act of their ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.

The Catholic Church does not acknowledge other more sinister reasons reasons why they intended to change the Saturday Sabbath to …

1. Sunday worship is the traditional pagan day of worship.

2. The Catholic Church wanted to differentiate themselves from the Jews; refusing to worship on the same day the Jews did.

God ordained baptism to honor the resurrection, not the Sunday Sabbath according to Romans 6:3-5.

The Catholic Church in statements through the centuries, freely admit that they are responsible, without any direction from Scripture, for intending to change God’s Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.

Catholic spokespersons, in their own words:

“The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.

“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” – James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.

“The Catholic Church took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday…And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder (a pagan god) became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Christ.” – Catholic World, March, 1894.”

“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the church ever did happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Catholic Church’s sense of its own power. – Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, May 21, 1995.

“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” – Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.

“The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says, No! By my divine power I abolished the Sabbath day, and command you to keep the first day of the week. And lo, the entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church!” – Father Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, MO as taken from the History of the Sabbath, p.802.

Well, this is one Christian who will not bow, nor obey the commands of the Catholic Church, but will obey the perpetual command of God, to remember the seventh day as the Sabbath day.


Closing Statement by George Lujack


March 30, 2012

In closing, I would just like to state the obvious about the attempt to change God’s perpetual commands, including but not limited to the weekly Sabbath day.

DANIEL 7:25:
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.

The office holder known as the Catholic Pope (all of them) has fulfilled this prophecy. All Catholic popes have either INTENDED to change God’s laws or have upheld the intended changes of Catholic popes that came before them.

Notice how Scripture says, “He … shall INTEND to change times and law.”

The Catholic pope CANNOT change God’s times and laws, though that is his intention. God’s times and laws REMAIN as God originally commanded them.

Therefore the seventh day Saturday Sabbath remains, no matter how many churches and people wish to observe Sunday instead.

MALACHI 3:6:
For I am the Lord, I do not change…

HEBREWS 13:8:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

PSALM 111:7-8:
The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever and are done in truth and uprightness.

ISAIAH 24:5:
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

The seventh day Saturday Sabbath is a perpetual unchangeable command, written with the finger of God (Exodus 31:12-18).

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*BEST OF DTB #79* "….. There will be an answer….Let it be"

Posted by John Benko - April 17th, 2011


In the Bible, and history, there are many instances where God speaks through the unlikeliest of people. I believe I experienced one of those myself.

In those moments, the person writing does not even understand the magnitude of what they are writing, for they are not writing, but God is writing through them.

When King David wrote those haunting and
prophetic words in the 22nd Psalm, did he even comprehend who it was whose voice he was echoing through time and space?

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Why art thou so far from helping me,
from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day,
but thou dost not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
3 Yet thou art holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted,
and thou didst deliver them.
5 To thee they cried, and were saved;
in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men,
and despised by the people.
7* All who see me mock at me,
they make mouths at me,
they wag their heads;
8 “He committed his cause to the LORD;
let him deliver him, let him rescue him,
for he delights in him!”
9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb;
thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts.
10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth,
and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.
11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near and there is none to help.
12 Many bulls encompass me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax,
it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
thou dost lay me in the dust of death.


Mark 15:34
And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God,
my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Why did Jesus cry out these words? Why did He feel abandoned by the Father?

This is one of those most wonderful paradoxes of our precious Christian faith. At that moment you feel the most abandoned, the most lost, the most alone, the most despaired of hope and consolation, it is then that you are the closest to Jesus.

Those Christians who suffered the most, most closely imitated and united with, His sufferings and filled up the covenant- that which is lacking in His afflictions.


Colossians 1
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

To rejoice in our sufferings, for someone else’s sake, sounds like foolishness. However, it is only foolish to the fools. Jesus suffered for our sake and it is the greatest privilege possible to join him at Calvary, even if only in a small way. In the midst of our deepest despair, our most unbearable loneliness, our most piercing and penetrating pain, our most violent storm, hangs the despairing, abandoned and suffering Jesus, united in all our agony.

Many Christian pastors, despite their best intentions, cannot answer this one question;

Why do Christians suffer?

The answer? Because that is where you find Jesus. There is but one way to Jesus and that is the Via Delarossa…. the way of the cross.

In accepting the sufferings that come our way, we draw closer to God by emptying our souls to Him, gaining empathy for the lost, forsaken and downtrodden and gaining a greater appreciation for what He did for us.

If anyone thinks that he can get to heaven by avoiding the way of the cross, he must think again.


Mark 8:34-38
And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

We must follow Jesus on the way of the cross and, in following Him, we will meet His Mother, as He did. Who knew His sufferings more than her? What an ocean of suffering overtook her seeing Her Divine Son tortured, murdered, mocked, abandoned….

When it comes to Our Lady, protestants miss the forest for the trees. Jesus didn’t merely suffer for us, He suffers with us and we with Him. Never was this sublime mystery more present than with His Blessed Mother who Simeon foretold would suffer the sword of agony in Her own soul (Luke 2:33-35).

Mary was the perfect example of Christ-like faith and her suffering had to have been unbearable but, unlike 11 of the 12 apostles, She never abandoned her Son. No one knew Christ’s sufferings better than His Mother because She joined Him in His passion as we are called to do as well.

Jesus gave us Her Mother in John 19:26 and that we belong to Her is the surest sign that we belong to Him.

In one the darkest days of my life, in 2007, leveled by catastrophes, bereft of hope, I cried out to God “Why!? Why!? Why!?”. Why did my family have to be victimized by these horrible events? My family had suffered events that destroyed my life, eviscerated my hope, left me with no reason to live.

In other words…..

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

The simple, stunning, but unmistakable answer came from the radio…..

“There will be an answer….Let it be”

That song was almost 40 years old. What are the odds it would be on at that time?

Do I believe Paul McCartney is a prophet? I do not. Do I believe that song was inspired by God? I do. And I do believe that my Blessed Mother, through that song, was speaking to me….. yes…..words of wisdom.

“My child” I could almost hear her say. “I know you are in agony, I know you don’t understand” Her calming voice to my soul, “but” She continues “There will be an answer….. Let it Be

I began sobbing, right there behind the wheel, right there on Route 287 eastbound. Just like a baby.

Shortly after that, I listened again to the song I’d known pretty much all my life in a whole new way…

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me,

speaking words of wisdom; “Let it Be”

And in my hour of darkness, She is standing right in front of me,

speaking words of wisdom; “Let it Be”

Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be

Whisper words of wisdom, “Let it be”

And when the broken hearted people, living in the world, agree,

There will be an answer, Let it Be.

For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see

There will be an answer, Let it Be

Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be

Yea, There will be an answer, “Let it be”

Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be

Whisper words of wisdom, “Let it be”

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me,

Shine on until tomorrow, Let it Be

I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me.

speaking words of wisdom; “Let it Be”

Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be

Yea, There will be an answer, “Let it be”

Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be, Let it Be

Whisper words of wisdom, “Let it be”

There is not doubt in my mind that this song was inspired by God even though I don’t think even Paul McCartney, the writer ever realized it. Our Lady does come to us in times of trouble and She is standing right in front of us in that hour of darkness. Finally, She does tell us that we may have to endure a season of suffering (1 Peter 4:12-19) that we do not understand. yet, if we do, we must not despair of God’s love or feel forsaken. True, we may not understand why God allows even horrific sufferings in the lives of some. However, in the midst of your agony, hold fast to that promise, it will be what makes you whole again.

There will be an answer. Let it Be.

In August of 2009, I was blessed to be at this concert. I cried when he did this song.


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