Ministry Comments

Sabbath Service

To hear the entire Sabbath service from Saturday 05/11/2013 click on the link below:

Sabbath 05/11/2013

This service (broadcast from Ceres/Modesto) runs approx. 75 minutes and downloads to a file approx. 45MB in size.

Jeromy Plagenza gave the sermonette: “Dwell with Understanding” (This sermonette begins at approx. 8:01 into the audio file)

Fresno Elder Mr.David O’Malley delivered the main message: “The Office of Mother” (This sermon begins at approx. 24:06 into the audio file)

No Nation Can Exist Without a Basic Body of Law

No nation can exist without a basic body of law that its citizens swear to uphold. In Exodus 20 we see that Jesus Christ, as the God of the Old Testament and head of the nation of Israel, delivered his foundational law to those he governed. In like manner, every great empire that has lasted more than one generation has had core beliefs that governed their society. These fundamentals of a nation are the adhesive strength that binds the people to their nation. When the basic law and core beliefs are eroded and replaced by dictates of individuals, the adhesion of the citizens to their nation’s foundation are eventually destroyed.

The account of much of the Old Testament about Israel is the history of a nation that had the greatest foundational body of law ever possessed by a people. Yet the nation could not resist the power of errant leadership that substituted their foreign values for the perfect law of God. Christ, the founder, the One who gave Israel its perfect law, knew that law alone was not sufficient to control the hearts of the Israelites. The Old Testament stories give ample proof of that. He knew a people had to have a heart inclined to keep his law, not only in the letter, but also in the spirit. It was not enough to just possess the understanding of the technical do’s and don’ts of the law.

Contrary to what many theologians have concluded from Ancient Israel’s failures, God’s laws are not strangling regulations from which we need deliverance. Instead they are timeless, perfect principles that teach how society and individuals should conduct themselves. They are meant, not only to create order, but are intended for a higher purpose—that of nurturing the wholesome spirit of the nation: they bring health, peace and proper relationships to those who adhere to them. Happiness is the intended benefit. For example, Christ taught a person should not only refrain from committing adultery, but a true follower of the law is not to lust after one of the opposite sex. This example explains that the central purpose of this law is to protect the basic building block of a nation, the family. It is not just an arbitrary moral standard. The consequences for breaking the law were built in to prevent the nation from going into a moral slide that would negate the benefits derived from keeping the law.

Thus the vital key to keeping the spirit of God’s law is to understand the purpose behind the law. In Matthew 12:9-14 Christ’s confrontation with the Pharisees reflects the lack of their understanding of the spirit of the law and is an example of Christ’s perfect teaching of the intent of the law for all who would read and understand:

Matthew 12:9-14
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. KJV

The release of that man from the burden of physical disability was a perfect example of the core value of the Sabbath. The Sabbath blessing is to release humans from the daily burdens of this world. Thus we, in this modern age, should strive to spiritually keep the Sabbath so that we have rest from the demoralizing challenges of living in this increasingly decadent world. Israel, on the other hand, could never accomplish keeping the Sabbath spiritually because their hearts were fixed on controlling human behavior rather than lifting up the spirit of the nation. In addition they failed to safeguard the keeping of the Sabbath from those who through lust and greed sought to tear it down.

This contrast between regulatory burdens and failure to properly value the Sabbath are the two opposite ditches that mankind’s nature tends to fluctuate between. That is why there is such a great need for what occurred on the second Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 (Please take time to review this chapter). Ancient Israel’s failures demonstrated the need for something more if mankind was ever to truly appreciate the necessity and benefits of keeping God’s laws. It takes the exercise of another spirit, God’s holy spirit, working in the mind and heart of a person to discern this.

The Feast of Pentecost is a memorial of two great events: The giving of the Ten Commandments to all mankind, not just the nation of Israel, and the pouring out of the holy spirit of God on his Church (Exodus 20 and Acts 2). Without both there could be no lasting Kingdom of God.

Sabbath Service

To hear the entire Sabbath service from Saturday 05/04/2013 click on the link below:

Sabbath 05/04/2013

This service (broadcast from Ceres/Modesto) runs approx. 100 minutes and downloads to a file approx. 57MB in size.

Pastor Mr. Steven LeBlanc gave a News & Prophecy Update (This Update begins at approx. 8:14 into the audio file)

Local Elder Mr.Wayne Carlson delivered the main message: “What About Lot?” (This sermon begins at approx. 39:56 into the audio file)