Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Darris McNeely] Do I control my phone or does my phone control me? It's a scary question. Have you ever asked yourself that question, or are you afraid to ask yourself that question? It seems like the online world is taking over our life. And you can break free of its grip. And the Bible holds the key.
Genesis is the book of beginnings. It's there that we find that God rested on a day that He calls the Sabbath. God rested from all of His works, creating a day. [Presenter's phone buzzes] Okay, thank you. The Sabbath is a commandment that carries with it a very important sign. Those who turn to God on the Sabbath and go to meet Him on the Holy Sabbath, experience a connection with God. [Presenter's phone buzzes] Okay I think you can see that I'm making a point here today, right? We all love our technology. But really, here's the question how much does it really dominate your life and my life? Let's be honest, it consumes a lot of our lives, doesn't it? Consumed a lot of my life. I have to do my work using technology, a smartphone, a pad, a computer. I'm always connected. And of course, today, we all know about Zoom technology that allows us to meet remote virtually from anywhere in the world. We have web conference meetings. Classes never get canceled anywhere or do they students? Because we've got Zoom. And of course, church services are like that as well. Now, like everybody else, I have a big screen television. Actually I have two of them in my home. And until recently I had cable television hooked up to both of those as well. But finally, after quite a bit of discussion with my wife and bringing her around to see my point of view and honey we can save this kind of money and we really don't need all of this. I cut the cable cord into our home. No more 80 channel packages of stations where I only watched three of those stations and paying for 77 of them that I never watch.
When I did that a few weeks ago, what happened? Well for me, I felt a certain liberation. Actually I bought back some time in my life. And so this forced me to step back and ask a very important question, do I control my technology or does my technology control me? It's a pretty hard question. Actually it's a very scary question to actually think about. Have you ever asked that question yourself? Or maybe you're afraid to ask yourself that question because you don't really want to grapple with that hard answer Well, it's an important question and really it's something that's very important to me as I came to conclude about this. And I think it's important for all of us.
Here's why, I'm a Christian. I believe in living by every word of this book. God's Holy Bible. And I believe that it's important that I have a vital daily connection to God through prayer, through reading the Bible and I find that when I do that on a regular basis that my life works better. So when I pick up my Bible and I begin reading it, I am reminded no matter where I am of how important really the time of my life is every single day. But I know as well, the habits that I've adopted and I guess adapted to throughout the years and the reality is those habits can rob the time of my life time.
Time, think about it. Time is important to God. Time is so important to God that He gives us a day of time to be with Him, to focus on Him. And His word is called the Sabbath Day. God tells us in His word in many places to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. The Sabbath as God tells us about it in the Bible was designed to take a 24 hour period of time, every seven days to rest, to stop what we're doing change our pace and to make a weekly connection with Him, with God.
In fact, God who knows the end from the beginning we're told in the Bible, anticipated what is happening today in our modern age with all of our great, sleek, innovative technology and the impact that it has upon life. Long ago God knew this would happen to us. In the book of Daniel, we all remember the book of Daniel 12th chapter book of Daniel, God characterized this period of time by the words he said, many are going to run to and fro. The time of the end knowledge shall increase. There's no one statement in the Bible that probably describes our modern world any better than that statement, knowledge shall increase with the internet with everything we have got all at our fingertips. And God knew that it would dominate our life. He put in place a solution. The only solution that matters and can actually help us take control of our life and maintain the power of personal choice which is a very human feature and it's something that we want to guard very carefully, the power of human choice. He put in place the Sabbath one day out of seven to rest. And not just a day that we would pick or a day that has been picked by false tradition and false teaching, but the seventh day. And when you look at the calendar that is Saturday.
Unfortunately we have given up so much of our choice and our individuality as we have been consumed with the modern technological glitz that is available to us today. Internet technology, social media, it's all very powerful and it is all pervasive which means it gets into every part of our life more than we actually realize and even if we do, we have to stop and think about just how invasive it really is. But it's, as we know become a vital and indispensable tool but also an invasive force that controls us in other ways that are not healthy.
What we're dealing with today with the technology that is available to us in all of its forms is the most powerful medium in world history. The most powerful, think about that. Why do I say that and how can I say that? I can say it because in the book of Ephesians, the apostle so Paul writes a very important passage of scripture. He defines something he calls the prince of the power of the air. He calls it, quote “the prince of the power of the air the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience.” End of quote.
All of us are subject to this pervasive power. The power of the prince of the air. Make no mistake we're in the middle of a spiritual war. A struggle that involves spiritual evil of the highest order. In chapter six of Ephesians, he goes on to describe that. He says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness he describes it, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. But what can you do? What should you do? I said that God anticipated today's events long in advance. He set down spiritual teaching and discipline. That is the key to fighting back. Your fight, my fight is to make the choice to turn it off, to be in control, to take back our freedom, our choice, and to save our life.
It's what Paul also calls in that same book of Ephesians, redeeming the time. Here's the key that he gives us, the gift of a Sabbath rest. The seventh day rest. A 24 hour retreat, a sanctuary, a fortress against the hostile forces that are working to control our life. In Hebrews chapter four something is said about the Sabbath there. The writer says that there is a theme of rest from Israel coming into the Promised Land being a type of the coming kingdom of God. Given that there is an encouragement to keep our lives prioritized. And it focuses in on the Sabbath as a reminder of God's coming kingdom. It says in verse nine of Hebrews four, “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest, he also rested from his works as God did from his.” So when we look at the technology that we have, it's always important to turn it off, keep it off at times and especially at a time when we're trying to connect with God and to listen to what He has to say to us.
I'm going to show you how to keep God's Sabbath a little bit about that, how to keep it holy and why we should. But I first want to make our audience aware of our free study aid that we are offering in this program which is "Sunset to Sunset God's Sabbath Rest." It's a comprehensive study guide. It takes you through a very exhaustive study of what the Bible says about God's Sabbath of the fourth commandment. When you, you look at a few of the chapter topics that are in this study guide, we see that it talks about Jesus Christ and the Sabbath Day. And you'd be surprised what Jesus taught about the Sabbath. Do you have a question about which day is the Sabbath? This booklet will help you understand. You're going to want to read this booklet, study it and understand the value of keeping God's Sabbath Day. Get your free copy mailed to you or you to begin reading right now, you can go to beyondtoday.tv or call the number that is on your screen. Do it, get this booklet begin reading it. It's going to make a difference in how you understand what we're talking about.
Now, let me tell you something a little bit personal about the Sabbath Day. I have kept the Sabbath since I was 12 years of age. When I first began to learn about it, my mother taught it to me. I love the Sabbath Day. And I've taught it for more than four decades as a minister of Jesus Christ. I teach it every year to students at our Ambassador Bible College. I've taught it to you. Will teach it some more as we go through that. In my years in the ministry, I've even lived through major attacks on the Sabbath teaching from people who would seek to undermine what the Bible says. I really can't imagine my life without taking God at his word and turning myself toward Him on His holy time. And in a sense, going out to meet Him.
Through the years I've learned how to keep the Sabbath and I'm still learning about it. Learning how to appreciate the Sabbath even all, after all these decades especially when I have to recognize and even to sometimes just kind of relearn certain things with all the technology that we have. Let me share a few things about what I have learned regarding the Sabbath. Through the years of my ministry, people would always ask me and we would have discussions about how do I keep the Sabbath Day? One of the things that I just learned to help people to do is just read the Bible. To take the, their Bible open it up at the very beginning and to begin to read what the Bible says about everything. But one of the things that I always told people is, as you will read and God's spirit will lead you to understand his word and his teaching. And God can help a person by reading a Bible with his spirit, come to an understanding about this vital truth from His word.
You know, when you study the history of the Sabbath and people keeping the Sabbath, people reading the Bible come to understand what is in this book. An interesting story I found several years ago shows that when people began to read the Bible in their own language, when it was made available to them they began to read it from Genesis forward, they began to read almost immediately about the Sabbath Day and they learned about it and they began to, many keep the Sabbath day. I've told people, if you go through the Sabbath teaching in the Bible, you will come to the same conclusion that Saturday is the Sabbath Day of God that a Christian should keep and worship God because that's when God created it. And when the Sabbath law is kept, it's written in your heart. It's like the writing of something on your heart with permanent ink, it can't be erased, it becomes embedded.
When the Sabbath's written on your heart it's a concept of what one rabbi says is a temple in time. There are a number of scriptures that talk about the Sabbath. It all begins in Genesis chapter two where it says that as God created the heavens and the earth and everything that was in them and when it was finally completed it says that on the seventh day, God finished his work of creation and He rested from His work. God blessed the seventh day it says declared it holy because it was the day when He rested from all of His work of creation. He ended of His work, He rested, so should we. God blessed that day and He sanctified it.
In the book of Exodus there's a read statement of the Sabbath teaching to Israel after they had been 400 years in slavery and not able to keep the Sabbath and God in a sense, reteaches them about it. And He tells them to go out and gather in a day before the Sabbath of food bake and boil what they would want because tomorrow is the rest of the Sabbath day. It's in Exodus chapter 16. One of the most interesting passages is in Isaiah chapter 58 where the prophet Isaiah talks about the Sabbath and keeping it holy beginning in verse 13, there's two verses there that say this, keep the Sabbath Day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with the light as the Lord's holy day. Honor the Sabbath and everything you do on that day. And don't follow your own desires or talk ideally you read verses like that and it really begins to sink in. You begin to think, even down to what we say and how we talk and some of our conversation. Yeah, that's exactly what it means. And it concludes then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor God says and satisfy you with the inheritance that I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
God says I have spoken it. A temple in time. So I've shown you here that there's a keeping of the Sabbath for us in today's world. That's what the scripture shows. I next want to show you the consequences of not keeping this fourth commandment of God. There was a larger penalty for not keeping the Sabbath and it has consequences for America and for our world today.
Once again, I want to mention that the free study aid that we're offering in the program "Sunset to Sunset, God's Sabbath Rest". You know you might be someone who thinks the Sabbath is only something for the Jews but did you know that God created this day and the church that Jesus Christ founded kept the Saturday Sabbath, the seventh day? It's all covered and explained in this guide. People have many reasons for not keeping the Sabbath and rationalizing why it should not be kept. You want to be sure about the truth on this topic and you can find the answers in this study aid that we're offering today. So go online, start reading it there go to beyondtoday.tv or call the number on your screen to get your free copy mailed to you. It's free of charge. Do it now.
Now I want to turn to something just a little bit more serious about the subject. It's one thing for us to be concerned about our technology and to understand the teaching about the Sabbath, but what it does it all comes down to understand and matter? Let me start with a story. In September 2020 tens of thousands of sincere people, people of faith gathered on the National Mall in Washington DC to answer a call to prayers, it was called The Return. They were being urged to return to God. I was there with several others of us here on Beyond Today to observe that event. People came seeking answers to the problems facing America. They were sincere. You can see the Washington Monument in the background there. Tens of thousands of people. They heard calls of repentance to change. They heard about the problems that are facing America right now. What they did not hear though and I listened very carefully. They did not hear a call to take their foot off God's Holy Sabbath Day and stop violating the day and begin to worship God on his Sabbath and on his festivals. That didn't happen.
Through the prophet Ezekiel, we have very detailed account of what God says about the impact of that. And it helps us to understand what has happening in America today and the power and the influence that the Sabbath has and the cause for the problems of ancient Israel going into captivity but the very problems that we are facing today as we look at our world and especially in America and what people were looking for when it came to the return. In chapter 20 of the book of Ezekiel God tells the Israelites that their captivity came from violating His Sabbaths and their idolatry. The elders and the leaders of the people came to the prophet Ezekiel wanting to know what it was all about their Babylonian captivity. Why was their nation destroyed? And God through the prophet rehearsed the story of their deliverance from Egypt and their slavery. And God said through the prophet Ezekiel that they rebelled against me and would not obey me. They did not cast away their abominations which are before their eyes. They did not forsake the gods of Egypt, the idols of Egypt. And God said through Ezekiel I will pour out my fury on them and fulfill my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. And I will give them my Sabbaths to be assigned between them and me that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them yet.
Yet God says Israel rebelled. They didn't obey it. They despised His judgments and His teachings. And God says they greatly defiled my Sabbaths and committed idolatry. And He poured out there, His fury upon them and judged that. He didn't leave any room for misunderstanding that He repeated it a second time in chapter 20 of Ezekiel. It's a very important pivotal chapter. He said that they were not careful to observe my judgments, His teachings.
We have to be careful today. God expects the same of us. He said that they profaned my Sabbaths. And God says I raised my hand in an oath to scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them through the countries and that's why they were in Babylon. They did not observe His Sabbaths. They chose their own gods. Israel actually in their worst moments had gone to even offering their infant children to the fires of the pagan God Molech and child sacrifice, idolatry. And God took them captive as a result of that. America, Canada, Australia and others have been as guilty as ancient Israel will reap the same punishment. Why? Because of rejecting the blessings that God has given to the people who have the promises given to Abraham. God holds these nations to a very high standard.
I take you back to The Return. Tens of thousands of people who came looking for answers to understand what's wrong with our world today, what's wrong in America. They didn't hear this message from Ezekiel chapter 20. It was a return that did not happen. But you're hearing this message. What will you do? If you identify with this group who went to a day of prayer in Washington, DC if you want to understand why we have a nation and a world in turmoil, now you must understand something that's not being spoken even by sincere people. God says I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between them and to me that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. These people did not hear the message of Ezekiel chapter 20 on this day. As I said, it was a return that did not happen. Ezekiel:20 there's a very powerful statement that God always looks on the Sabbath and not just the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day but all of His Sabbaths, His holy days as well which we talk about regularly here on Beyond Today.
There's an entire prophetic theology here in this message to Israel, to America, to Israel for all time. A message that is important for it today. So if you claim to worship Jesus Christ, you cannot ignore the Sabbath command. God holds us accountable. The Lord of the Sabbath will hold this nation and others accountable. So what does it mean for us now, for you to our nation, down toward the very personal level of our lives? It means what I've been talking about here to get control of our life, to remove the distractions that rob us of that vital connection with God.
I have a little saying that I found, it pops up from time to time on my phone. I try to use technology to help even stay close to God but it says every time I get the feeling like I need to be close to God, some little technicality gets in the way. How true that is, isn't it? Look, the Sabbath is very important. The booklet that we're offering on this program, "Sunset to Sunset God's Sabbath Rest" helps to understand exactly what this day is. God's seventh day Saturday, the true Sabbath of God. There's an entire chapter in here on what the book of Hebrews is actually telling us about a remaining Sabbath rest. This guide makes a great study tool along with your Bible to take you through the scriptures. When you're finished, you will know and you will have then a choice. So to reading this go online to beyongtoday.tv, get your own free or a hard copy of it free of charge. You're going to want it as a study guide call the number on your screen.
The Sabbath Day, a gift from God to make a connection with Him. Not technology or some other activity that's meant to either cause us to violate the Sabbath Day and not make that vital connection with God. And we look at our lives and where we are today. And I think more than ever, we need to connect with God through a Sabbath rest.
[Narrator] Call now to get the free Booklet offered on today's program. "Sunset to Sunset God's Sabbath Rest" Our lives today move at a frantic pace. Do you sometimes feel out of touch with your spouse your children, your friends, even your creator? God knows you need a break. He created a special weekly appointment for your benefit. He even made it one of the 10 commandments but how do we keep it? This free study aid "Sunset to Sunset God's Sabbath Rest" shows you how. God tied the Seventh Day Sabbath into creation itself as a part of his eternal law. Jesus kept the Sabbath. So did the apostle Paul and other early Christians but in a shocking twist later church leaders moved worship from Saturday to Sunday for political gain. Learn the incredible story of the Sabbath. Order now. Call total free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen.
When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one year subscription to our Beyond Today magazine. The Beyond Today magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year you'll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family and godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call today to receive your free booklet "Sunset to Sunset God's Sabbath Rest" and your free one-year subscription to Beyond Today magazine. 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.