Save the Sabbath!
Save your life to save the Sabbath, and you shall lose both; lose
your life to save the Sabbath, and you if God will, might save the
This made worth this study:
The more forceful in contrast, the brighter shines the Gospel-Truth
in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
In the resurrection of Christ, God, is God’s Witness, and His Glorified Christ, and His Holy Spirit. What happened in the Resurrection in the grave of Joseph of Arimathea in the Person of Christ in the body of his flesh laid in it in death, happened in the innermost Sanctuary and Most Holy of the Holiness and Glory of the full Fellowship of the Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit— happened at the Right Hand and on the Throne of the Presence and Majesty of God in heavenly realms.
Private Bag 43
‘The Lord is risen’
“The night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come. Christ was still a prisoner in His narrow tomb. ... and behold, there was a great earthquake ...”. p 90 §1.
“Christ was still a prisoner in His narrow tomb.” We have paid attention to Jesus’ supposed “rest in the tomb” already. Just strange kind of ‘rest’ this was, I thought to point out!
“The night of the first day of the week had worn ... away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come. ... and behold, there was a great earthquake ...”. Point in time: Resurrection-time … asserted without one word of Scripture for support!
“This chapter is based on Matthew 28:2-4, 11-15”, reads the sub-heading. I just thought, Why, is verse 1 omitted? Is it perhaps because Mrs White was unable to quote it verbatim? I’ll repeat this in bold: Is, or was it perhaps, because Mrs White or / and the publishers was / were unable to quote Matthew 28:1 verbatim?!
I am unable to answer on Mrs White’s or the publishers’ behalf. All I can say is, “The night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come”, is a very far cry from ….
Matthew, 28:1, “In the Sabbath, dawn towards the First Day of the week”! “The night of the first day of the week ... worn away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak ...”, is halfway through, the First Day of the week, morning! “In the Sabbath, dawn towards the First Day of the week”, is, literally as well as idiomatically, “In the Sabbath, afternoon towards the First Day of the week”!
The English word ‘dawn’, has acquired the ‘idiomatic’ meaning of early morning. Yet the application in Matthew 28:1-4 demands the word’s original by no means archaic meaning, both ‘literally’ and ‘idiomatically’, as the English Dictionary will explain (I have Collins here), the last part of the first of two periods before the second. See for yourself!
In my first delivery, I gave the precise rendering for the Greek. I am not here going into the linguistics. You may read ‘The Lord’s
Day in the Covenant of Grace’, 1 / 2, ‘Resurrection’. I can just say, I have been unchallenged now for more than three decades on my
published stand or ‘thesis’ on the literal Greek, “In Sabbath’s-day’s fullness, while-being-light-having-inclined, towards / before the First Day” (‘Opse de Sabbahtohn, tehi epifohskousehi, eis Mian Sabbaton’), means “mid-afternoon of the Sabbath”— absolutely literally by no means not idiomatically as well, as the etymology of the word amply proved.
You may tell me what audacity to think anyone will challenge such a silly ‘thesis’? If a man hasn’t got an answer against you, he answers in one or all three of the following ways: First, the most common way (– because of the most common ailment of human nature, fear –), he’ll answer you with courtesy— Hy sal jou heuning om die bek smeer tot jy siek is van die soet! Tell the man how intelligent he is, how noble his cause, what great job he has done, how high the standard – anything but give him the impression you are not interested, or not capable to answer him, or too fearful and comfortable to go against the status quo of your own clique or clan. Next, just as common, don’t give an answer, or try to give an answer; just ignore him, forget it— guaranteed the most effective way to get rid of the sot. Never attempt to give him a straight denial and tell him how stupid he is! That will be gas on his Weber! Last, but not least, pretend you’re interested, look serious, ask him to explain, use the time up, keep him on the line, make him think he is convincing you. Meantime behind your eye sockets, work out your monthly budget, think of your next trip overseas, whatever. Give the man a taste of the pleasure to have an audience. It will be your last hear of or from him. There’s another strategy, Let him sweat the small stuff. Rub it under his nose when he spells ‘stalward’, or mistypes ‘testomonies’, when he writes ‘Armenianism’, when he confuses Arius for Arminius, or Arminius for Pelagius, or when he says Seventh Day Adventists started in 1844, and so on. Another help— Confuse! Highjack his subject; divert his enthusiasm, create rabbit trails, divide his attention, and so on. But none as good as compliment, disregard and pretend; flatter, forget, and feign. Vlei, vergeet, vertoon. But you see, Detract! It works! Let’s get back to the subject!
“In Sabbath’s-day’s fullness, while-being-light-having-inclined, towards / before the First Day”, is what is written in Matthew 28:1, and that’s why Matthew 28:1 is omitted here, in fact scratched, from the relevant Texts for Mrs White’s chapter, ‘The Lord is Risen’, to make way for her false insertion of “night ... worn away ... darkest hour, just before daybreak”. Which text, which Gospel is that? I can’t say it comes from any! Why not? Doesn’t Mark say so? Doesn’t Luke say the same, and John? I reply, Neither! Are you blind? No, I’m not. Mark is the one who says “just before daybreak”. Luke
says, “darkest hour”. No one says, “night”, or, “night worn away”. John says “darkness”, not ‘night’, to be exact; but he says “early darkness”, which is dusk “before darkness”. So where did
Mrs White get her garbled, “night ... worn away ... darkest hour, just before daybreak”, from? Not from Scripture, but from juggling the concepts in the Synoptists like marbles of the colours of the rainbow, praying they might with much shaking arrange in the sequence of the rainbow.
But where, o where, is Matthew 28, verses 5 to 10? How is it possible these verses could be left out while dealing with, “The Lord is risen”? How was the Good News originally broken; who broke the news; when was it made known; and where? Because each of these vital questions, in so many words, is nowhere else answered in the New Testament, but in Matthew 28:5! In fact, yes, nowhere else! I mean now, as far as circumstantial evidence is concerned. Not those truths that it in factual fact of actual act was God who raised Christ. We cannot now be engaged by those ‘higher’ aspects of Truth. Like I said in our first discussion, here we are engaged with factual acts of actual facts – with the ‘literal’ things; the earthly things that accompanied the resurrection of Christ, like time, locality, people.
It is no wonder then – as we shall see – having kept these text out of sight so as to keep them out of mind, Mrs White completely got lost with regard to the actual facts of the factual acts with regard to the Crucifixion. (Just wait a bit, we’ll get there!) The reason? That she disregards verses 5 to 10 of Matthew 28, and consequently is unable to answer any of the questions of How the Good News was broken; Who broke the news; When it was made known; and Where it was made known. See you there!
In the meantime, one thing is for sure, Mrs White (or was it the editors) was careful in selecting her Scriptures (for her)! It proves – it does not just ‘indicate’ or ‘allude’ or whichever smart word for ‘prove’ – it proves she as well as the editors understood perfectly well, the real meaning of, ‘opse de Sabbahtohn, tehi epifohsk-ousehi, eis Mian Sabbaton’— with, or without academic background in the Greek language! They are inexcusable, and they prove themselves, inexcusable. They knew Matthew 28:1 is irreconcilable with what Mrs White wrote and believed! They knew, just like translators of newer ‘Translations’ know, Matthew 28:1 is irreconcilable with the idea Jesus rose on Sunday morning. But the ‘translators’, have the knife by the handle, and they could chop and change the text for us unfortunate mortals – or so they think, until this day.
It should be clear, what I have said, I say to all, not only to Mrs White; not only to the Seventh Day Adventists; but to Christianity in general, who refuse to accept or acknowledge the King James Version and Revised Standard Version are right, that Matthew 28:1 states that Christ rose from the grave, “In the Sabbath”, “On the Sabbath”, and “towards” the First Day – before it; not on the First Day.
I summarise, to see the sequence of events through the eyes of Mrs White: Chapter: “The Risen Lord”. When? No, not Matthew 28:1, “In fullness of the Sabbath, its mid-afternoon”, but, I, Mrs White, say, “The night of the first day of the week worn away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak.”
“The Risen Lord” --- Who would have known? No, not Matthew 28:5, “Explained to / answered the angel the women”, but I, Mrs White, say, “They (brave soldiers) see Jesus come forth from the grave! ... The Roman guard beheld Him! ... ” I, Mrs White, say, no angel explained; rule it out! I say, it wasn’t the women told – told by the angel. We have something (not old wives’ tales) to go on here – we have eyewitnesses! I, Mrs White, say, “They (brave soldiers) see Jesus come forth from the grave, and hear Him proclaim over the rent sepulchre, I am the resurrection and the life. ... (the soldiers) saw ... Christ came forth from the tomb glorified, and the Roman guard beheld Him. Their eyes were riveted upon the face of Him whom they had seen in the judgment hall ... In this glorified Being they beheld the prisoner ...” Page and line: 90/18, 26-27, 91/1, 21-24. Virtually one page, with several indicative, false, statements. On its last line, an indirect statement: “... they hurried on to the city, telling those whom they met the wonderful news.”
We have conflicting ‘testimonies’, doubtless! Matthew now gets his turn to tell his version of the event ... Matthew the reciter, Matthew the elocutionist, the teacher, the Apostle, Matthew the writer, proclaims and declares:
“Explained the angel to the women, “In the end of the Sabbath, mid afternoon tending towards the First Day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the grave. But, suddenly was there a great earthquake! For the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled the stone back from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment White as snow: For fear of him, the keepers trembled, and fell down as if dead.” And he told the women: Now don’t you, be frightened, because I know, you have been
looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because as He had told you he would, He is now risen! Come, have a good look at the place where the Lord lay.”
What have I done with the text?
(I did something with it; I did nothing to it.) I took the ‘explanation’ / ‘answer’, out of its literal, written position, and put it where it contextually – for nearer focus on the Resurrection –, applies. The angel ‘explained to / answered, the women’— what happened, how it happened, and where and when it happened. Matthew wrote his exordium or preamble to his Resurrection-anecdote, in between the angels’ ‘answer’ or ‘explanation’ of the Resurrection, and his injunction— “the angel told the women, Go tell!”— The Proclamation of the Resurrection-Gospel. Matthew put the angel’s ‘answer’ and ‘command’, together, and centrally, in between Victory and Mission; in between Fountain and stream; in between Announcement and Pronouncement. The word ‘answered’, refers to ‘first, above’— the Resurrection; the word ‘told’, refers to ‘further, down’— “Go tell ….”.
But both words, “explaining” and “told” – one expression, ‘apokritheis ... eipen’, ‘answering ... said’, reach from left, and, from right; it holds together, ‘the above’, and, ‘what follows’; unifies inseparable, verses 1-4, and, verses 5-8; relates, what happened on the day before, “On the Sabbath”, and, what happened on this day of, ‘answer and command’-‘apokritheis ... eipen’.
Matthew most effectively brought together the section before and the section after; masterly joined, Resurrection and Proclamation, by placing “And the angel explained to the women, and told them: …” right between the two. I attempted to focus in on Matthews’ focus. Does anybody think I violated the Scripture? Then please feel free to make your suggestions how to better combine and conceptualise the first four verses of Matthew and verses 5 to 10 together? Matthew, for perfect clarity, placed the angel’s answer or explanation to the women in the position we find it— This is how
we know, this is how Jesus’ resurrection happened— how, where, and when; this is our source. The ‘explanation’ is placed as prescript to both the Resurrection, and, the Command to Go! The Resurrection is God’s perfecting all His works— is God, having entered into His Rest. The Command is the angel’s, handing over the Message to the first missionaries.
Matthew places the whole of the occurrence of the Resurrection – including the identification of the day it happened on – literally, chronologically, and in principle and importance, before, the
Commission. Without Resurrection, no
Now this is what Matthew meant how you shall know unto the salvation of your souls— “Answered and explained the angel to the women …”. “God raised Christ from the dead …”. “No one can see God and live.” Mrs White has all the way been cheating, teaching strange doctrine— the doctrine and commandments of men.
(1) Who first came to know of Jesus’ resurrection, the soldiers or the women? Mrs White says the soldiers; Matthew says “The angel explained to the women and told them …”!
(2) When became it known first that Jesus rose from the dead? Mrs White says, when He rose – as Jesus came out of the tomb – the guard saw Him; Matthew takes for granted the plain fact nobody, knew of or saw Jesus’ resurrection. He does not say, but one should infer, the angel, next morning, told / answered / informed / explained to the women about what had happened on the day before, “In Sabbath’s fullness, mid-afternoon tending towards the First Day of the week” .
(3) How was the news first made known? Mrs White says the soldiers, by seeing and hearing themselves, were first to know; Matthew says, the women were “informed / told”, by the angel who “explained” the resurrection to them.
(4) Whom did Jesus first appear to? Mrs White wrote, He was first ‘seen’ - “looked upon / beheld” by the “brave soldiers” of the “Roman guard”; Mark wrote, 16:9, “He, the Risen, first to Mary Magdalene appeared.” See also John 20:11 further.
(5) Who, first proclaimed the knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection? Mrs White says, “((T)he Roman guard) … hurried on to the city,
telling those whom they met the wonderful news.”
saith unto her, Go to my
brethren and say unto them … Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples.” 20:17-18.
And Matthew records, “They (the women) departed quickly from the
sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did
run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, Jesus met them, saying, All
hail! And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Then said
Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go
tell my brethren … they,
were going / hastened”— and
obviously must actually have told the disciples. (Verses 7 and 16, they should
meet Jesus in
The women were the first ‘sentinels’ of the Resurrection; and, they were the first ‘sentinels’ of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ‘gospel’ that not in the first and in the last, in part and in whole, in essentials and essence, is the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead in the flesh of his glorified body, is a strange gospel, and its sentinels messengers of antichrist.
Mark well ... The Proclamation of the Gospel starts nowhere else than “… from the grave”. “They (the women) departed quickly from the sepulchre”. The Salvation in Jesus Christ begins, with and in his resurrection, proceeds “from the dead” (which is Life), and is proclaimed, beginning at, “from the grave”; not by infidels, but by believers. “They (the women) departed, quickly, from the sepulchre”. It starts and ends with and in, Life— with “quickly”. “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”— Jesus Christ, “Life Giving Spirit”.
(6) Believing by sight?
Another instance of Mrs White’s authority over the Bible— She says: “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men.” P 91 §5. (I won’t even mention the plural! White: “angels”; Matthew: “angel”.)
Matthew— more precisely, the angel, even more exactly, True Inspiration, tells us – three-fold witness! – “For fear of him (the angel), the keepers trembled, and fell down as a dead.”
Mrs White elaborates on the majesty and awe of the angel, “clothed with the panoply of God”, “the mightiest of the Lord’s hosts”. But her praises are hollow, because the guard “look upon the face” of this angel whose “countenance was like lightning”, unperturbed! They don’t “fall down like dead”, as Matthew
“At the resurrection they saw the brightness of the angels illuminate the night”, p 91 §3, yet the brightness of them all together, could not knock out the guard! Yes, the soldiers remain conscious and after, remembered every detail God hid for all men else, even for his Elect. The guard look the angel in the face; they “see him removing the stone as he would a pebble”. The guard in fact watch the greatest work the exceeding greatness of the power of God has worked in his eternal existing, the act of God’s final rest, God’s rest in the resurrection of Christ from the dead …. Yet they live? are not even become unconscious?! They stagger not, nor lurch or reel— but live and tell!? God must have made the angels, it seems, a little lower than man?
To me there is something sinister about Mrs White.
The guard even at seeing Christ rise from the dead, ‘fainted’ not.
“The Roman guard beheld Him. Their eyes were riveted upon the face of Him whom they had seen in the judgment hall ... In this glorified Being they beheld the prisoner ... This was He who had been laid in Joseph’s new tomb ...”. p 91 §3, 4. The guard stayed fully conscious, comprehending everything they were seeing. They saw the Resurrection wherein Christ “vanquished satan and the powers of darkness … (and) swallowed up death in victory” (par. 3b)
Only and at the very last, “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour, the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men”— opening line of paragraph 5, p 91, 6 lines from the bottom, at the end of these two pages (90-91) We have found all these false statements on just two pages— where, Mrs White, describes ... Jesus’ resurrection! Meanwhile, Matthew, in these words – first, before anything else –, wrote, “When suddenly the angel of the Lord descended ... and came ... and for fear of him —this servant-angel— the keepers / soldiers / guard ... became as dead”— a rational sequence, at once with, the angel’s descent.
But the guard —according to Mrs White— for a while, while Jesus rose, and for a while, after He had risen, stood up, first, against
the descending angel with the appearance like lightning and with thunder of a great earthquake, and next, against the rising and to them appearing Jesus as he leaves the grave. “Christ came forth from the tomb glorified, and the Roman guard beheld Him. Their eyes were riveted upon the face of Him ... In this glorified Being they beheld the prisoner whom they has seen in the judgment hall
....”— page 91, paragraph four. Fifth paragraph, page 91, “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men. When the heavenly train was hidden from their view, they (the guard) arose to their feet ... and made their way to the gate of the garden ...”.
Now that excludes and makes impossible that the guard for one moment could have been unconscious! Here is made clear Mrs White for appearance of respect for the Scriptures only, artificially, as hypocritical precaution to save face, inserted Matthew’s statement of the guard who like dead men fell down. She could better have left it out or denied it altogether, and her credibility would have suffered less! She premeditated and dishonestly camouflages the guard’s ‘fainting’, by connecting it in context, not
like Matthew does at first with the appearance of the angel before he had opened the grave and before the Resurrection had occurred, but after Jesus’ resurrection and while after He had come out of the grave, in order to instead of the Father, make the angel the caller from the dead of Jesus! Premeditated— it is the only possibility!
Mrs White implies the guard at no stage was truly unconscious, and never and far from “were like dead men”, belying her insertion of Matthew’s phrase— The guard kept ‘looking’ on, conscious eye-witnesses, of every Mystery of the Resurrection! So “The soldiers told all, just as they had seen it ... they bore testimony to the resurrection of Christ ... the truth. With painful utterance they said, It was the Son of God who was crucified; we have heard an angel proclaim Him as the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory.” I, with painful utterance, must declare, Which every word of Mrs E.G. White’s is surmising; which every word of hers, is feigning; which every word, is treachery — which every word is, “a lying report”!
“The guard saw”, or, the women were told?
The Gospel ‘from’ the grave on, ‘goes’, is ‘taken’, ‘into all the world’, not by the Roman guard, but by the disciples – the women, without them having seen the resurrection. Because “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Ro10:17. “Whom, having not seen, ye love, in Whom – though now you see Him not yet in Him believing – ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1Pt1:17.
I have re-written this ‘study’, I cannot recall how many times. At the very first attempt, I made this observation, ‘To me there is something sinister about Mrs White. Each time I rewrote my study, different things I have not before noticed, forced itself to my attention — things I never thought possible Mrs White or anyone on this earth able to imagine. Every time of review and doing over, I was more reluctant to accept the truth of my new findings. All seemed so unreal— so sinister! But with the many unavoidable conclusions come together in the larger picture of Mrs White’s teaching on the Resurrection-event, everything in the smaller, became clearer; very clear and focussed— to my utter disbelief. What I have found, is what you hear today. It is amazing; it is alarming and frightening. But what you are going to read, is Mrs E.G. White’s ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Testimony’, precisely uncovered for what it really is: blasphemy!
Faith cometh by hearing
Mrs White has the guard remaining conscious and fully aware throughout Jesus’ resurrection, in order to become the witnesses and ‘sentinels’ of his resurrection— as were Christ’s resurrection not the throne of the immediate presence and act of the Almighty Father (in whose Presence no mortal can come, and live, because this Mortal is putting on Immortality!).
“Mrs White, the servant of the Lord”— as she is called by the Seventh Day Adventists – only at this point in time and against Matthew the publican and servant of the state – declares, “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men”.
It is Mrs White’s conceptualisation. The SDA dogma of an ‘investigative judgment’ demands, that Jesus – while He was on earth – could not be Priest or be raised by the Father. Here we
see the worm of corruption that “pervert(s) the Gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:7. It is the teaching, the Father at no point when Christ was raised, was present with Him; that Christ rose without the Father being ‘there’; that He rose not at hearing the Voice and Word of His Father from Himself! But this sophistry is “another Gospel that is not another Gospel”, but an abomination which blasphemes against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Power of God, the Height of whose Glory is the Triumph of His Christ who was “raised in the Glory of the Father”.
In verse 1 of Galatians 1, we read: “God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead”. This is the distinctive mark of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. This if you believe you are a Christian, and if you do not believe, you are a cult of the devil. The Father was with Christ and in Christ, before Him and behind Him and beside Him, under Him and over Him, “When He”, God— the Father, “raised Christ”, God—the Son, “from the dead”, Ephesians 1:20.
This is how the Gospel began:
“When He raised Him from the dead.” Gl1:1.
“Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Romans 6:4.
“The God of peace that from the dead brought again our Lord Jesus Christ.” Hb13:20.
This is Who raised Christ:
“God the Father Who raised Him from the dead”;
“Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father”;
“The God of peace that from the dead brought again our Lord Jesus Christ”. “Peace from God the Father”, Ro1:7, 1Cor1:3, 2Cor1:2, Gl1:3, Ef1:2, Phil1:2.
This is when the Gospel began:
“When He raised Him from the dead”;
“Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
“The God of peace that from the dead brought again our Lord Jesus Christ”.
This is where the Gospel began:
“When He raised Him from the dead”;
“Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father”;
“the God of peace that from the dead brought again our Lord Jesus Christ”.
This is whence the Gospel began:
“When He raised Him from the dead”;
“Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father”;
“the God of peace that from the dead brought again our Lord Jesus Christ”.
This is hence the Gospel was sent:
“Jesus saith unto her, Go to my brethren and say unto them …
Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples.” Jn20:17-18.
“They (the women) departed quickly from the sepulchre and
did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, Jesus met them
Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren …
they, were going / hastened”
“They (the women) departed quickly, from the sepulchre”.
Who raised Christ from the dead?
Almost audibly answers the devout Seventh Day Adventist, ‘We read her (Mrs White’s) Testimony in the Spirit of Prophecy, ‘The Desire of Ages’, chapter, “The Lord is Risen”, based on Matthew 28:2-4, 11-15,
“The soldiers see him (the angel) removing the stone ... and hear, him, cry, Son of God, come forth; thy Father calls Thee. They see Jesus come forth ….” “... based on Matthew 28:2-4, 11-15”! Based on the Word of God; based on what the soldiers had seen; based on ‘Inspiration’, based on ‘the Spirit of Prophecy’, the angel, called Jesus. Jesus was called by the angel to go to the Father ... after having been “taken up into heaven”, Acts 1:11, not when He rose from the dead!
‘John 20:17 and Hebrews 8:4’, say the same devout Seventh Day Adventist, ‘tell us why Mrs White declares it was the angel who ‘called’ Jesus to “come forth”, that is, to ‘come out’ of the grave. ‘Come out’, your Father is not here; He is not in there with you, He calls you through me, his messenger, ‘angel’. Mrs White is a word-artist; her canvas does not show the Father, not because “Thou shalt make no image” of Him, but because He is far away, ‘in heaven’, ‘in the sanctuary in heaven’ – that’s why He sent me, his angel, to ‘call’ you!
Who raised Lazarus from the dead? How, with which Words and with which Voice? — “(Jesus) cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And he that was dead came forth.” Jn11:43/44.
Do I argue from something’s absence? If you think so, hear this, Mrs White,
“He (Christ) slept in the tomb, and on the morning of the resurrection, He said, I am not yet ascended to, My Father.” p 67 §3.
The Father wasn’t present when Jesus was raised from the dead, is her whole point. Jesus made no atonement on earth, He was not Priest of God on earth, He first had to ‘go to heaven’ (From where the Father sent the angel to go and ‘call’ Christ from the grave.) where the Father waited for Him ‘in the first ‘room’ of the ‘sanctuary in heaven’, and there, where and when He would be with the Father, there will He ‘make atonement’ for the sins of the whole world. Mrs White will not have, the Father, raising Christ from the dead! More than enough is it to know – to have discovered in fact – the basis of all Mrs White’s draconic dogma, consists in the alleged absence of the Father in the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. Not I, but Mrs White, argues from absence, from her concocted absence of the Father in the resurrection of Christ. According to Mrs White the implication is the Father also did not descend to Christ. If the Father was not there, then whose voice cried the word, ‘Come forth!’? With justification, who, does Mrs White say, raised Christ from the dead? In this place, by logical implication as well as by written word?
Of Jonah who is a type of Christ: “The shipmaster came to him, and said to him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God might think upon us, that we perish not.” (1:6)
The Call of the Caller from the dead, is Call obeyed, is Call answered, is Call returned— returned by Him who has the Power over death and grave.
“I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into thine holy temple. I will offer unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.” (2:7,9) Christ “by the glory of the Father” was raised from the dead.
The obedience, the answer, the return, the Call of the Called from the dead is by the Power of Him who calls from the dead and grave. “According that God was able to raise Him up, even from the dead; from whence also He received Him in (Truth).” Hb11:19. (Of Christ even more than of Isaac.) “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again: This commandment, have I received from my Father.” John 10:17-18.
Jesus obeyed the Father’s Call when He laid down his life. “I came to do thy Will, o God!” Jesus obeyed the Father’s Call when He took up his life again. No man took from Christ his life— not man or angel; no man called Christ from the grave— not man or angel. The Cry of Life, the Voice of the Father was it, which it had to be, that called Jesus Christ both to lay down his life and to take up his life again.
The Call, the Cry, the Voice, is the Father’s, or Christ died not for sin, nor rose from the grave for righteousness.
This is antichrist that says Christ came not into death in the flesh, but feigned; this is antichrist that says Christ came not from death in the flesh, but came in the minds of man. This is antichrist that denies the Power of God the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit to call the Son of God from the grave of the dead.
If it had been one or two, even three, literal, factual mistakes or doubtful instances, Mrs White still might have been regarded honest, ordinary and well meaning. Just one instance of wrong or doubtful ‘testimony’ though, seeing her Church and she insist she is ‘Inspiration’, ‘the Spirit of prophecy’, ‘the Lord’s servant’, etc., should prove her a false prophet. But, with every page bristling with mistakes and falseties ... one should ask oneself, what is it I’m wasting my time on? But there are honest people out there, who are deceived. (1) And more, there is a Truth of the Word, mutilated. (2) I have a duty, may only one other than myself in this big world read .... (3) There is the Sabbath of the LORD your God, the Lord’s Day, at the mercy of the Seventh Day Adventists (4).
A man who is not sure of himself, resorts to aggression. In physical combat the losing man more and more relies on defence, because his body— by the reality of his humanness, forces him. In ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’ warfare, the loser more and more relies on attack, by the surrealism of his arrogance and temerity. With her every next statement Mrs White becomes more aggressive and more assertive.
On which day, did God raise Christ up?
If not on any one day of God’s creating, the resurrection of His Christ happened, to no day in or of the times and seasons of God’s creating or appointment, give it meaning! But in that the resurrection of Jesus Christ indeed happened on the one day of God’s creating, appointment and Promise, therefore, to it— to that day, the event of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, gave meaning! Not the event of Jesus’ stay in the tomb gives meaning – not what Seventh Day Adventists and Mrs White call, Jesus’ “rest at last” – but the event of his resurrection — what Protestant Christians understand is Jesus’ ‘last’ and ultimate ‘rest’ – what they, view as the finishing of all the ‘works’, of God!
Now, ‘concerning the which day’ did ‘God, thus, speak’? ‘In sundry times in time past’, like, as well as and exceedingly better ‘in these last days’? By his Son Whom He hath appointed’? “Hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom He hath made also the worlds? “Who, being the Brightness of His Glory, and the express Image of His Person, Who, upholding all things by the word of His Power, when He by Himself had purged our sins, sat down at the Right Hand of the Majesty on High … as He hath obtained a more excellent Name”, the Name of Christ and Lord by virtue of Triumph, Feat and Victory over death and grave in Resurrection from the dead? ‘Concerning which day’ did ‘God, thus, speak’ of “His Own Rest”? Of which day did God speak, “For God thus concerning the Seventh Day spake: And God the Seventh Day from all His works, rested!”? Which ‘Seventh Day’ did God thus speak of? Of the day, God thus concerning “all His work which God created and made”, “spoke and it was” – no other than the ‘creation-Sabbath’— the Sabbath Day of the Fourth Commandment— the Seventh Day concerning the which God, in, through, and by Jesus Christ, in, through, and by, the raising of Him from the dead in deed and act of the finishing of his work ... His work of redemption, “rested”!
It is not for us to find out that day; it is for God who knew his own times and days before, and who had made them known after, through and in and by Jesus Christ, through and in and by resurrection from the dead! So no one doesn’t know. The whole world knows and long since knew, and acknowledged, yet won’t accept for the purpose and end of worship of the Lord of the Lord’s Day, least, the Seventh Day Adventists and Mrs White. First to reject are they; and first to replace with own innovation, are they. And with what more horrible substitute than theirs, Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’?
In between 28:1 and 28:11
living in that day, alive, received an inkling of knowledge of the actual facts
of the event of Jesus’ resurrection
from the dead and grave. Matthew had
just given the full explanation from
the mouth of the angel to the women
in 28:1-4; what would he have needed the guard for as witness to the Resurrection? ‘Angel
to the women’, is the key to understanding the Resurrection as well as
The guard – from the nature and force of the appearance of the angel like lightning –, were unable even to have discerned the angel. One struck unconscious by lightning does not remember as much as having been struck. He until or after he has come by will not know or remember anything within, of, or from, that moment, or anything after it ... until he wakes up again. Only from consciousness on, will he know and remember. To divide between moment of consciousness and moment of unconsciousness is impossible.
All the guard remembered is what they consciously were able to register, which was,
(1) “Morning after Friday” (Sabbath morning)— Stated:
that they were stationed and that the grave was sealed. 28:61f.
(2) Next, “Sabbath’s afternoon”— Stated:
“Then suddenly ….” No having seen of the angel even, its appearance having been “like lightning”. 28:1b.
(3) Next, ‘Sunset, twilight before or after?, by inference—
The guard recovered now, register: An opened tomb, an emptied tomb, a missing body. Think: ‘The Jews!’ [28:11]
(4) Next, Morning (by inference Sunday after sunrise)— Stated:
“The watch came and announced ….” 28:11.
The guard could not know of any detail in between 28:1b, and 28:11. They couldn’t make head or tail of the bigger picture after, either. They were dumb-stricken, because they were blind-stricken, and, deaf-stricken; were stricken in fact, unconscious – Mt28:1b. Therefore to in the case of the guard make an argument
from silence, is to make an argument from a given reality. The fact Matthew in these lines records no detail of actual events inside or outside the tomb, explains the very fact the guard reported no detail in verse 11. Even more important, the guard had no obligation to the priests. Matthew because the guard owed the
priests no explanation, recorded no detail other than he did.
(Just mentioning facts, the White-way— The guard had left from the grave “when the heavenly train was hidden from their view”. p 91 §5. The guard were the first observers of the resurrection; up to this point in time “when the heavenly train was hidden from the (guard’s) view”. One cannot make out from Mrs White’s writing if the Saviour was part of the train, and it’s impossible to understand whether she meant the train was hidden as the result of the guard’s fainting, or was hidden through having ascended back to heaven again. But these are of no importance, actually, except, If the Saviour then had gone up to the Father, what then about Mrs White’s arguments He hadn’t gone up until ‘ascension day’?
“When the heavenly train was hidden from the (guard’s) view”, the women haven’t been near the grave. So the guard had left after which, the women must have arrived, and saw the resurrection and were spoken to by the angel ... second time. We shall encounter this discrepancy again in my third delivery.)
‘The soldiers were horrified ... the testimony they feared ...’
Who let the dogs out? Watch who runs for holes under fences!
Mrs White, “(The soldiers) made their way to Pilate, but their report (of the Resurrection, acc. to her) had been carried to the Jewish authorities, and the chief priests and the rulers sent for them (the Roman guard) to be brought first into their presence.” p 92 §1.
Who initiated the ‘meeting’? Matthew, “Some of the watch came into the city, and shewed to the chief priests”, Annas and Caiaphas.
Rather than a visit they were called to, this is a ‘visit’ from the guard, ominous and austere— a visiting as it were from the messengers from the grave ... ‘hell’! and nowhere to hide, or, escape.
“Some of the watch came into the city, and shewed to / imposed upon the chief priests everything (they knew) that happened (at, or rather to, the grave). And when they (the chief priests) had called the elders to the meeting too, and they (priests and elders), had consulted with one another (not with the guard), they paid the soldiers much money.” Matthew 28:11-12.
Messengers from the grave, bringing, death
“Here the priests overreached themselves. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept? If they were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been the first to condemn them (the guard)? Or if the sentinels had slept at the tomb, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate? The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post. This was an offence punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Had they not kept their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?
In order to silence the testimony they feared, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity to the Jews for money. They came in before the priests burdened with a most startling message of truth; they went out with the burden of money, and on their tongues, a lying report which had been framed for them by the priests.” p 92 §3, 4.
Mrs White and Seventh Day Adventists sell their integrity for a dogma that from the first has brought upon them nothing but shame, but which they to this day cherish with blinding passion.
The guard were fools. But they were not stupid fools; they were foolish fools. And yes, the “lying report” was not from the guard to the priests and elders. The soldiers never told the priests they were “sleeping at their post”. They were never asked to answer ‘Yes’, or, ‘No’, on such a question. The priests, never asked the soldiers to say they were “sleeping at their post”. That to suggest, is Mrs White’s own ‘lying report’.
Matthew witnesses the soldiers did not sleep; therefore, they never told anything of the kind. They had nothing of the kind to confess. They didn’t tell, they didn’t confess; not because it would be suicidal, but because they did not sleep. That they accepted bribe was for greed. The guard realised there would come nothing of the priests threats in any case. History proved them right; nothing ever came of the Jews’ incriminations; into the bargain they lost their money.
That the guard must (please) say that they slept, was the suggestion the priests made to the guard, that is further corrupted by Mrs White to, that they (1), must admit (To tell a lie is not the same thing as to admit a truth.) ... (2), that they on duty slept! The Jews did not bluntly put it to the guard like that.
The Jews were masters of the art of subterfuge and whether or not the guard understood, makes no difference. We know what we know what Matthew knew the guard knew, and that’s all, and because from Matthew and not from White, is enough.
The idea that the guard
slept, came from the priests— not,
to put the blame on the guard for the missing body of Jesus, or to put the
blame on the disciples, but as a poor consolation for themselves. The idea Jesus was risen, killed
them! Their proposal was their last feeble denial of the Man of Nazareth, that
He was not the Son of God, come in the flesh, and now, come again from the
dead in the flesh; come in glorified body of the Man of
That’s why Matthew virtually interweaves the two anecdotes, the story of the Risen Jesus appearing to the women, and the Sadducees’ last resistance against Life after death, swept away.
But even the priests were unable to think that the guard slept on duty; it would not have helped in any case! The priests had no axe to grind with the guard? Nor with the disciples, for that matter. Their anguish was incurable ... ‘After death’ was their death’s dread, whatever the guard or disciples did!
“All the things that were done”, which, as far as the soldiers knew, was, nothing! If the soldiers were afraid – which I cannot see anywhere – they still should have thought, Our mutual loyalty to Caesar; we may have to report to the governor. If we lie, our witness will soon contradict. So stick to the bare facts, fellows! Which bare facts and true report in Matthew 28:11b-15, contain purely result, results which in this case, are clearly implied but nothing more than implied. This the guard were sure of, they knew, their mutual loyalty. They were Roman soldiers; they had their honour; they had their duty; they were under oath with their protector the Caesar and Roman law; they had nothing to fear in all the world as long as they stuck to and lived by the rule of the ruler!
What makes the Jews think the governor will believe their – of all people their, story, they slept?
Matthew would not leave out to mention, ‘on duty / at post’, had the Jews used the words because his report is precise! And the Jews would not leave out to mention, ‘on duty / at post’, had the guard been guilty of it – what an opportunity wasted! Too big a White lie! A little white lie maybe, the temerity of perhaps, will do the trick, “Please say — if, you know, you are asked about the gone body — if you are asked, say, the disciples stole the body away, after, while we took a nap, will you?” The priests (discerning sneering, thinking, Don’t let us overplay our hand now!), Here’s a small money for you – O, it’s not that large, it’s nothing between friends, you know!
The very fact the priests proposed a purely circumstantial, ‘possible’, solution – however fickle – implies the guard reported no more than just circumstantial, observable, possible, ‘reality’-facts— because factual and actual. The implications of which could be but one of two non-circumstantial, non-observable, and supposed-only thoughts, reasoned-out possibilities, both actually ‘impossibilities’: Either Jesus rose from the dead, or, the body was stolen. And if the body had not been stolen, there could only be one possible impossibility left, that Jesus rose again! Which would become, and which in fact became, apparent to the Jews’ eternal shame. But at this stage they did not yet know! For Jesus not only rose from the dead and from the grave again, but He also appeared to many after— proving the story “until this day commonly among the Jews reported” a ‘lying report’.
The factory of confusion
The whole ‘issue of the guard’, reverts to who originally catapulted the crucifixion, but eventually attempted to undo it: the Jews! But the inference is supposable only on the fact that nobody yet knew of the resurrection. The Jews wanted it be known to all he was dead, but the empty tomb – all that the guard actually knew –, indicated He must have been raised from the dead ... Unless of course – thought the Jews, not the guard –, unless of course the guard could witness falsely, and “Say, while we slept, his disciples came and stole the dead away.”
The Jews’ ‘lying report’ was meant to rule out the possibility both undeniable and improvable, that Jesus was alive. So, not the guard or the Jews actually knew, that Jesus then was risen!
That is why Matthew recorded, “Now when they (the women) were going ... (to) go tell (his) brethren (that He really appeared to them), ... some of the guard came into the city and shewed unto the chief priests.” “Now when (or ‘as’) they were going …”. The women went, and the guard came, simultaneously; the guard without knowledge of the risen Christ, the women with the knowledge!
But Mrs White, directly contradicting Matthew, enunciates, the guard both witnessed and reported the resurrection. To her also, belongs the ‘lying report’ the guard, to save their own skin because they knew, had to tell “If asked”, that they, the only witnesses, must please lie, and instead of the truth which they knew, must tell the lie they did not know, and “Say, his disciples, while we were sleeping, came and stole the body away.” The guard, because they “saw” Jesus rise, must now stop the spreading of the truth and deny their knowing. For having accepted the Jew’s bribe, they must tell yet another lie of having slept while the disciples came and stole the body away! And to this second ‘lying report’, Mrs White added her postscript, that the guard admitted they slept “at their post”. That’s what Mrs White teaches.
Matthew teaches only the truth of the middle ‘lying report’ here referred, “If asked, say, his disciples, while we were sleeping, came and stole him away.” It’s still a ‘lying report’, but it is not Matthew’s or the guard’s – it belongs to the Jews.
But the guard could not be blackmailed if they knew not of the resurrection. Now, the tables are turned, and the Jews, are the incriminated; the guard now can blackmail the priests! Guard: You must have stolen the body! Priests: No, we did not. But let us come to an agreement here; let’s compromise. We give you large money, and you say if asked his disciples came by night while we slept and stole him away. Both parties thus agreed to incriminate the innocent disciples rather than accept most obvious probability, that He rose from the dead. And they all lived happily ever after. “So they took the money, and did as they were requested: and this explanation of the whole matter has been commonly rumoured among the Jews until this day. No believer or non-Jew ever has fallen for it. It bluffed the Jews and the Jews only.
Some general observations
Jesus was no wanted criminal of the Roman authorities! His ‘case’ was of no interest to anybody but his foes and followers. So if blame had to be put on anyone, it would exclude the guard; it would have to be decided between foe or friend. Where were His friends? The one suspect at the trial denied Him thrice in a matter of hours. The Man stood alone. O yes, there were his mother and the fisherman, John. But both left long before the real calamities started; they not even knew He died that day still, and couldn’t have known He was removed or buried, at all. So they’re ruled out. What could they have done for Him anyway since the poor wandering Prophet was against expectations buried in a rich man’s tomb like a lord? They wouldn’t have been able to do better – why removed the body? There was that other fellow with the noble features, but he, we believe hanged himself. What the heck the rigmarole for – let the dead dogs bury their own dead, what do we care? There is no case no court or governor would not throw out there and then. Only the Jews; they had that obsession about their king of ridicule; they only are loath enough to try incriminate others for having stolen the body. Their own story betrays them for being the culprits. And what could the Governor gain tolerated he their whining all over? Truly a dead body and its fate couldn’t be a concern for Roman authority. Roman law however had been satisfied— it was unable and unwilling to have anything further to do with a victim punished and already done away with. From here on, actually from before here, let the dead Jews bury their own dead. (It was actually a Prophecy, this, the dead Jews must bury their own dead; a Prophetic Word, fulfilled now.)
Pilate washed his hands – he distanced himself from the whole affair of Jesus’ crucifixion. He from then on, couldn’t care less!
Nevertheless, the Jews after sunset that day once more vexed him for the bodies to be removed. And yet again the third time when the Jews unnecessarily (they got what they wanted, did they not?) in their fanaticism (in the early morning hours of their own Sabbath), showed him no respect, but woke him from sleep to have their, resented grave guarded and sealed. Pilate, obviously irritated, for last got the Jews off his back, “You have your guard! Go
seal the grave your way!” Have it anyway your way, just don’t bother me again, I don’t care about your petty issues!
Who, on earth, would believe or mind noise from the Jews a fourth time — The guard slept? On duty? Ha! Arrest the pests!
The guard then, of their unconscious unconsciousness recovered— their unconscious unconsciousness they never so much as became aware of, or that they unofficially had gone off duty for for a while — recovered, Observe: One, Open grave; Two, Empty grave – no body; Three, Sunset already?! ... Think: One, Opened grave, Plus, two, Emptied grave – no body, Plus, three, Sunset ... = ?
Caucus! Deliberate, ponder, remember, think, calculate ... ... Anyone’s idea?— Nobody? Nothing? ... except— except, yes, them Jews! But wait! Twelve o clock our watch will end; we mustn’t show ourselves before then, or it’ll complicate things further!
So, sunrise: Went they, to go get those grave-robber priests, who else? Enter they the city, “Bursting in finding the (two) high priests (together)”, ‘We came to tell you, the grave is open and the body gone! You hear? You understand— you!?’ The guard threaten the Jews, with, and for, reason; enough reason to have told the priests, You are going to the cells, now!
The guard, “came into the city and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that
Emphasis by having words said last, have them understood, first. “All the things …” must go before. Not their unconscious experience, but, “all the things that happened” — observable things, the guard’s driving force, spell danger for the Jews! “All the things having happened, the guard coming … announced (to) the high
priests …” The guard “shewed / announced” (‘apehngeilan’)— The guard “forced in on / imposed upon / impunged”, the priests. The guard ‘coming, ‘telling the priests’, ‘come’ nor ‘tell’ to cringe, but to avenge.
Now who are the confident, who the fearless, who the over-towering? — and Who, the timid, who, at wit’s end, who, the terrified, the desperately conniving? The guard?, No! the priests! Were the guard terrified at the prospect of having to answer for sleeping on duty? What!? From “all the things that had happened”, from Matthew’s Text? No! the ones who come up with that idea clearly are they who get panicky— who would “pay large money”! The guard bribed the Jews? No! the Jews bribed the guard! Who had guilty conscience? The Jews were the ones eaten by fear. Jesus was the unjustly condemned victim of Jewish hypochondria!
Did the guard sleep, off duty or on duty?
Neither is ever mentioned a question or fact, except in apologetics. Both ‘possibilities’ purely are supposed ... in apologetics! But what is supposed yes, but nevertheless supposed, is sure, are the actual facts, (1) That the guard were the aggressive and fearless, the intimidating and demanding; and (2) that the priests and elders were the timid and intimidated, the fearful and threatened.
That the guard must tell, “If asked”, that they slept, was not the groping of the guard for the only tree branch overhanging the flooding river that swept them with. That the guard must tell, “If asked”, that they slept, is the only lifeline without anchorage the Jews cast across the turbulent stream to drown themselves with. Because now it no longer is a question of ‘What if ...’ with regard to the guard; but of, ‘While it is so that ...’, with regard to the priests and rulers.
The guard did not go to the priests ‘for help’. (That’s an illusion.) The priests did not send for the guard to sort things out with them (That’s a White lie); The priests expected no visit from the guard. That was their darkest dream come real.
What brought the guard to the home of the high priest? The guard’s imposing upon the priests was pure aggression of frustrated duty – the law’s avenging with absolutely no ulterior motive, but, perhaps, blackmailing.
The suggestion that the guard slept— the proposal that the guard should tell that they slept— were the Jews’. The Jews in their desperation. They knew as well as the soldiers did, that the soldiers did not sleep, on duty or while ‘at their post’. But, “If
asked”— say the priests, to save face, “If asked”— the very motive that made the Jews ask Pilate to have the body they, had had crucified, removed again, “If asked, please say you slept”? That is the request, the last straw clutched at, the lying, dying arrogance of the shamefaced. The guard realised the Jews’ embarrassment, and capitalised on their predicament.
The priests nevertheless never suggested, ‘Say, we slept on duty’; that would be stupidity far exceeding even the foolishness of the priests and elders. To ‘Say, we slept on duty’ would be condemningly self-implicating for the guard. Insinuated the priests such a thing, the guard might have killed them there and then!
:::: What was the guard’s lie then, for they did lie? Their lie was their agreeing to and accepting the bribe, their agreeing and accepting to lie with the Jews— to shift the Jews’ illusion of implication off from them, onto the disciples. :::: The guard went in to the Jewish priests, arrogant but innocent; they came out from them, corrupted liars. They went in with confidence; they must have left in fear. They scored a few bucks from the deal though, at a price which Mrs White well describes, “they sold their integrity to the Jews for money”. An unblemished integrity had theirs been until now. God saw; “He will laugh at the trial of (his) Innocent!” Ps9:23. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall have them in derision.” Ps2:4.
Were only the guard a bunch of fools who fell for the priests’ shrewdness? No, the priests were a bunch of fools who fell for the ruthless cunning of the guard! Non the less, money blinded the
reason of the guard and corrupted their morals. Money blinds the reason of all men. The priests had no morals left to corrupt— they “gave large money”.
Did the guard agree to confess something ‘punishable with death’ but they were not guilty of? The guard were fools, as their accepting the bribe, proved. But they were not that ignorant, as to plead their own execution. Not even the priests and elders, contended the
soldiers slept ‘at their post’— would the guard? The guard not before the priests or governor, or before any of ‘the people’, admitted they slept ‘at their post’! Not then or until today. That’s the Jews’ ultimatum to the guard that Mrs White conjured up. The guard having slept at their post— on duty, is not suggested or hinted at in Matthew 28:11b-15. It’s a chimera of apologetic’s.
“Here the priests overreached themselves. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept?” ... “If they were asleep, how could they know?” ... of the resurrection?
Matthew says the soldiers told everything that happened— everything that happened before the disciples – allegedly – would “come at night”. The guard told only the truth— that they were conscious of; the wisest truth that made the high priests panic like deserted puppies. But who ever said the guard knew? The one who asks the question says they knew— Mrs White. So she must already have assumed they knew, before she asked.
On the other hand, one of the guard has to tell (This now is my own story),
‘The person who the first wrote the story down, one Matthew, a publican of no small means, who didn’t need to lie for money, a follower of this ‘Christ’ – the story goes he drew the sword that severed the ear of a servant who found himself among the mob that arrested the crucified. Quite dauntless pikeman was he— who is not likely to tell lies but feared nothing but the Truth. He is it I hear, who broadcasts— as he asserts he heard from certain women (that’s all I don’t like about him or his story ...) – from certain women, who again, were told by an angel, imagine! Anyhow, he is the one who stands behind the rumour it was us the guard, all one hundred of us …. No wait, he actually reckons, “Some of the watch, came into the city, and reported to the chief priests all the things that happened”. Now I was one of them, you know. And what does this Matthew say the guard knew? He reckons, we couldn’t know nothing! Which of course is also true. We have in fact found the tomb opened, and the body, gone, because we hadn’t seen or could remember nothing. Of lightning, I only have heard; this Matthew tells it struck us down, which also he can be right about. There’s nobody with another story! The Jews though – they who hate us Romans so, they hated this deceased twice as much – they have their own story; thought we would fall for it, savages! But we didn’t know about anything that happened really, because somewhere in between, we were like prostrated dead – tells this man Matthew. He also has to say an angel, told the women all, as I’ve said, next morning. I cannot say he tells the truth, but I can’t say anything against what he circulates for fact either.’
Nothing else, nothing
more. The guard knew nothing; mentioned nothing, and so Matthew mentions not a thing— not so much as suggests, a thing! The
guard knew nothing; so says Matthew,
despite ‘Inspiration’ better informs us. Mrs White has it that the guard knew everything because they had seen everything and had heard everything that happened with
Jesus while He rose from the dead and while He went out of the grave. Lucky
SDAs, Mrs White paid attention to so
much detail! Unfortunately we cannot find her facts in any Gospel. (“The trouble
with us, Seventh Day Adventists”, a pioneer Adventist in
“If the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been the first to condemn them”?
‘Proven’, guilty? By what evidence? Evidence the priests had? Evidence the guard had? Evidence the disciples had? ‘Evidence’, no one has ever produced?
‘Guilty’? ‘Guilty’ of ‘stealing Christ’s body’? Which had never been proven was stolen? For the ‘stealing’ of which, nobody has filed complaint ever? ‘Guilty’ by what system of Law, ‘Roman Law’?
Nevertheless, had this farcical funk be taken seriously, “If the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been the first to condemn them”? What fool would deny? Which Jew— which high priest of the Jews would not take hold of the ‘evidence’ to prove their case Jesus never rose from the dead? Stupidest question ever asked, “If the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been the first to condemn them?”!
Matthew says, actually, “This saying is commonly reported – among the Jews – until this day” (15), and no one has ever been taken to task, no Jew, no Roman, no man, for that! The guard told the truth to the priests, it’s as simple as that; they lied not. I don’t think they ever after found it necessary to lie to anybody about having slept— after duty or on duty! It’s the Jews who stood ashamed. It’s among the Jews the story had become popular; not among the Romans or the Greeks.
“Or if the sentinels had slept at the tomb, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate?”
Sure they would! But the evidence or witness of the priests – if they had any –, would be no better than ‘circumstantial’— they weren’t ‘there’, when, it happened; they did not see, as, it happened; so what could their ‘lying report’ have helped? The fact the priests never accused the guard to Pilate, proves the issue neither was that the guard slept, on duty, ‘at their post’, or off, after, duty. It proves, ‘sleep’, at no stage whatsoever, had been a factor in the issue. It is impossible to be so naïve to reckon the priests – any promises of them regardless – would not have accused the guard to Pilate, had they slept! Whether the guard slept or not is never an issue; the priests were the ones who for their worries and obviously false promises, never slept. So what’s the point arguing? Only the Jews were implicated, and showed themselves the troubled in conscience about something incomparably greater than cheating a guard.
“The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post.”
Of course! But who talks of sleeping, “at their post”? Mrs White; not Matthew. Would they bring upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post? Who would? Did they create the possibility? They have yes; but not by having slept or having slept at their post, or by ever having told anybody. But by having accepted bribe. Were they horrified at the thought? They accepted the money without hesitation; so they weren’t as far as sight could tell. The guard not in the least cared, frankly. The Jews – the priests and elders – were the ones horrified; not at the thought of bringing a charge upon themselves or, upon the guard, but at the thought Jesus had risen from the dead. They in fact assured the guard, ‘Don’t you worry, if ...”— which exactly shows the guard, were not the ones afraid, but the pretending Jews! A fearing man is scared by a mouse. Mrs White simply breaths up ghosts to run for; for them you must run away backwards! The Jews’ real fear, Mrs White never perceived. Matthew kept perspective, and with it, his cool; his story is not of anyone afraid, except the Jews, and he pictures a well satisfied group of Roman soldiers who behind the priests’ back, jeered, ‘Gotcha!’
“This was an offence punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Had they not kept their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?” ...
Well answered, Mrs White! The whole and only ‘issue’, rests on supposition, If …. Had they not …. And obviously the attitude of the
guard was, if heaven falls we’ll wear blue helmets. “So they took the money ….” ‘Serves them right, those Jews!’
The guard were the only ones who knew about the open and empty tomb. Let’s keep to Matthew’s facts— They knew the guard slept not; would not give the idea a thought! They at some stage recovered but wouldn’t know how or when; they found opened and emptied grave. The centurion at the cross already realised this Man was no ordinary. “All these things that happened” ... maybe He had a point! The guard suspected Jesus was risen, I have no doubt. And they with glee grasped the opportunity to play their game of terror on the Jews. The guard broke in on the home and found, “priests”. Both high priests, this hour of day in the one’s house? Who’s the scared here? The guard? The soldiers now ordered the priests to go find the elders and bring them to meeting. The guard told the priests; not vice versa. Now you quickly sort out your nonsense, Jews; we’re waiting for you. The actual ‘council taken’, was between
the Jews – between the priests and the elders, and they – the Jews, in fear born from guilty conscience, “gave large money unto the soldiers”. (A guilty conscience brought about by two things, first the fact they had an innocent man crucified. But not so much that, but, being priests, they knew the Scriptures – they knew all the Scriptures by heart! The Scriptures scared them to death. The Scriptures they knew so well, foretells this Man Jesus whom they have crucified – in fulfilment of the very Scriptures. Who’s afraid here? The guard? If the guard feared, they, may have tried to bribe the Jews! They more probably would have been on the run though, by now, and would not have been here still.
The Roman guard “came, and showed the high priests”. They came to them; they went after them. The guard had no concern the body was gone, but the Jews were horrified at the thought of a risen Jesus! Hear, you terrified louts! ‘Please, men of the governor’s guard, we beg you, don’t let this become known under our people! We beseech you, take this money, only keep things quiet! Tell if you’re asked, his disciples came by night and stole him while we slept? Please?’ Who is pleading, here? The guard?
“If this comes to the governor’s ears, we, will persuade him
and make sure nothing happens to you.” That is the typical and unmistakable language of the guilty. I say it again, you can put
your money on it, the victim of his own conscience will make his creditor feel and even believe he is his debtor. It’s a law of human
nature, tested and controlled by many a person of experience. The guard did not fall for it. Matthew with his ‘guard episode’, proved the priests’ guilt. He does not try to prove the Resurrection; Matthew already believed when he wrote his gospel.
Of course it’s not only Mrs White who chased after traditional rabbit-trails; all Christianity did, like myself with regard to this guard-story for many years.
“In order to silence the testimony they feared, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard ….”
‘They’, the priests, feared, says Mrs White! The Jews – not the guard – were the ones frightened by the implication of an opened and emptied tomb, the implication of the resurrection of Jesus. These two high priests were Sadducees who did not believe the resurrection. They nevertheless believed the Scriptures enough to be scared by it. They feared their own people, and they feared
Jesus, but most, they feared His Resurrection! The guard feared none.
“... saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did” ...
is the contortion of Mrs White’s. The guard did not go to Pilate (as Mrs White, not Matthew, claims), because they feared him. The governor was the one the guard had no reason to fear; he was ‘on their side’, as good as they were ‘on his side’. The guard went straight for those who feared them, the governor’s deputy ... the priests!
Slept the guard, it wouldn’t mean a thing that they should have feared! The very fact Matthew not in any way contain the idea of the guard having slept “at their post”, ‘on duty’, shows who the real fearing party was; not the guard, but the priests who conceived the idea! But just as much as Matthew not in any way contain the idea of the guard having slept “at their post”, ‘on duty’, just as much – or as little – does Matthew contain the idea or does Matthew hint at the idea that it was the guard, who feared! Yes, in fact! Where does Matthew say, or how does he intimate the guard, feared, because they slept, because they slept on duty? He does nothing of the kind.
Slept the guard, slept they after their watch, fearless. Feared the guard, feared they for nothing! So, it’s useless information for ‘resurrection-apologetics’. But slept the priests, feared they, and slept they never, but stayed up through the night until the guard found them next morning in great distress. That, is significant
information for ‘resurrection-apologetics’. That is what Matthew informs us about and gives us insight into. It has clear meaning for ‘resurrection apologetics’. It means, Jesus as He foretold, rose from the dead!
However then, why would Pilate have been angered by the fact the body was gone? Not the words or the idea can be said are that of Matthew. The Jews feared God (in a negative way). They pretended they were not afraid of Pilate. ‘Pilate’s my buddy, I’ll sort things out for you my mates.’ Have I heard that in my life before? The betraying sham of the insecure pretentious. A fellow once was unable to honour his purchase of my house. When I claimed it back, he adamantly tried to persuade me I could buy ‘his house’ again, for such and such a bargain! This man Matthew, he knew human nature! Anyway …. Pilate wouldn’t have cared less. He officially “gave the body”, to Joseph, and Joseph could do with it whatever he liked, and had all the right to change graves even if he so wished. Pilate could not have cared less! It was the Jews, from the beginning, who were so afraid they did not know what to do, John 19:31.
Why centuries of clumsy apologetics the guard had to stand in for the Jews’ predicament?
“They stole Him”
Here is something else ever and anon overseen. The Jews did not say, Tell, the disciples came by night and stole ‘the body’; they said, “and stole Him”! The Jews believed, they were absolutely sure, Jesus lived, and just as much as they were convinced, feared they. Now one understands their fear! But the guard during the whole of the affair of the meeting, or before, or after, never, showed fear. Tradition mesmerises, obfuscates, blinds, causes mental-block. Tradition is strong!
So it’s not only Mrs White and the Seventh Day Adventists who in actual fact do not have a clue what they’re talking; it has been all of us. Some ‘saints’ of two millennia ago, started the rumour, and we have all forgotten to go read the Scriptures; we all ignored the fact, God has His Word.
A Christian Faith
The Gospel, is not the belief of ‘an open tomb’ or of ‘an empty tomb’. Unbelievers believe ‘an open tomb’ ... ‘an empty tomb’. First they desired Him crucified; now they want Him vanished. For an open or opened tomb, an empty or emptied tomb, a stolen or a missing body, is not what Christian Faith believes in or is about, but what Roman soldiers and Jewish high priests believed in. The message of an open and empty tomb is feared and loathed as coming from hell; in its demure the ungodly unite against the Gospel of Christ and the Christ of the Gospel. Antichrist makes an idol of the empty tomb of the same grandeur as its images of a crucified and dead Christ. The latter they hang on their necks; the former on the altar of their hearts. There is no power in the crucifix as there is but emptiness in the open tomb.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed vis a vis the message of an open and emptied tomb. The Gospel is the Faith of the Risen Christ, of Jesus whom God the Father raised from the dead. The Gospel is the Light of the Power of God that overcame darkness and death, and is believed in unto eternal life. We see Jesus, the Glorified and living Christ, no empty tomb before our eye of faith.
May God keep us on the narrow road, narrow though it be, and steep; but straight and upwards, unto that day we shall see Him face to face, and shall rejoice.
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