Part IV, "God's Sabbath,"

The Coming Age of Miracles, by Pastor Bill Britton


Turning to Mark chapter 3, we find the story of a withered hand being healed on the sabbath day. It is truly amazing to me how many things Jesus did on the Jewish sabbath day, which was a type of God's day of rest, the 7th day of creation. Surely the Lord must be pointing out to us what lies ahead in that 7th day, the 1,000 year day of the Lord.

First of all, notice that they watched Him carefully to see if He would heal on the sabbath, "that they might accuse Him". Believe me, there is going to be warfare during the millennium. When Joshua took the children of Israel across Jordan into the promised land, they found that their place of "rest" was indeed a place of great warfare. In fact, they had more warfare in Canaan than any of the children of Abraham had ever known before. True, they had conflict with the Egyptians, but they had been slaves, and only God's sovereign power was able to deliver them. They had not done any fighting, and had no authority. But here in the land of "rest," the promised land, they came into hand to hand combat with the enemy. And they developed into a mighty army, disciplined, powerful, and with authority. And so it shall be with the body of Christ when they enter their "rest," their promised land!

In verse 4 Christ challenges the Jews as to which was lawful to do on the sabbath...good or evil. "To one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17 New American Standard Bible). Therefore, Jesus was saying, "If I have the power to heal this man on the sabbath, and I don't do it, I would be sinning. So should I sin on the sabbath day just to please your laws and rules, or should I do good?" But they kept silent, they had no answer for such divine logic.

He then looked "around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart." Can you imagine the Lord Jesus being angry? Yes, He was angry with the evil spirits in them that would allow this man's crippled hand to remain withered throughout the entire 7th day, just to conform to their doctrines. You see, they had no real compassion for the needs of others, only a desire to be right in their dogmas and creeds, and to protect the religious machine they had invented.

Hear me good, dear friends, for I declare to you that if you think the Lord has been upset and angry with the vicious religious systems in this "6th day," the age of grace, then wait until the sabbath begins. In that day of the Lord, His anger will break forth upon the hardness of men's hearts, and they will have no answer. The Charismatics have played "footsy" with denomninational systems, and some have even felt that the Charismatic leaders have been trying to lead the whole movement right back under the covering of Rome and the Pope. I'm not so sure of that, but I do know that many of the national leaders of the Charismatic movement have curried the favor of the denominations, and have encouraged people to "get the Holy Ghost anointing, and stay in the system and under the ecclesiastical hierarchy. [In this regard, the centennary memorial celebration of the Azuza Street revival and Holy Spirit outbreak in Los Angeles in 1906 was extremely well orchestrated by its planners (all well-intentioned, of course) and to me seemed a bust, caused by men being in firm control, not the Holy Spirit--Ed.] I know that I have a reputation for being hard against denominationalism, but if you think I'm hard, you should discover what God thinks about it. He hates it with a passiion. He is very angry with it. Now I didn't say that God hates the people or leaders in the denominations. It is the system He hates. He is angry with the spirit behind it that builds walls between God's people, so that they cannot love and fellowship [with] one another and be one church.

Our city is the headquarters for the largest pentecostal denomination, and there are thousands of fine Spirit-filled people in the fifty or more pentecostal churches here. But there is a fundamentalist organization even larger, and they openly attack all Spirit-filled "tongue talking" people as being demon possessed. They openly state in the pulpits, in print, and on the radio that speaking in tongues is a work of Satan, and therefore all pentecostal people are possessed of the devil. In their so called "Christian schools" they teach the children the same thing, in the guise of educational principle. And children from pentecostal families are told by their school teachers that their Spirit-filled parents are demon-possessed if they speak in tongues. They are building their fears and false prejudices right into the little children. And these are "born-again" fundamentalists who do this. They do it because of the religious system they are in. Do you think God hates such as this? He hates it with a passion, and His anger will rise even more in the 7th day. He will destroy such sectarian bigotry, and cause a real love to flow among all God's people. Glory to God! How can I, as a preacher of the Gospel, tell people to receive the Holy Ghost, and then continue to support such a system as this? God forbid! The Bible says plainly: "Come out of her, my people." So "she" (the harlot) is something that many of God's people are in today, and He is calling them out. Hear ye the word of the Lord!


The main thrust of this story (Mark 3:1-5) is about a man with a withered hand. Throughout the Bible, the hand is symbolic of ministry. With the illustration of the five fingers, we speak of the "5-fold ministry" of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Elijah's servant saw a cloud "like a man's hand" bringing rain. So anointed ministry is one of the means God uses in bringing revival.

In this story, the man's hand was withered, weak, useless. He had a hand all right, but it had never been able to perform its function in the manner God designed it to do. The hand was in the church, as it should be, but it had no poswer. There has been a ministry in the church throughout this "6th day," but it has been withered and powerless compared to what God intended for it to be. But on the sabbath, Christ entered into the synagogue, and in the face of much opposition, He healed the withered hand. Notice how He did it. He simply said to the man: "Stretch out your hand." And in the sttretching out of it, it was made whole. In the man's obedience, he was healed, immediately and completely. So shall it be in the day of the Lord. That ministry that had been powerless and crippled, in the church but unable to meet the needs therein, shall hear the Word of the Lord. There shall be obedience, and there shall be healing. And there shall be a ministry in that 7th day with power and authority, able to meet the needs of others. It shall come about because of the many-membered son company who stand forth and speak the word of the Lord.

To those who are preaching that the "5-fold ministries" of Ephesians 4:11 are already done away with and no longer for the church, I would point you to a withered hand that shall come alive on God's Sabath, the day of the Lord. Yes, I know there will be those who have gone into the fulness of sonship, conformed into the image of the Son of God. They will have entered the ministry of the Melchisedec priesthood. But it is through their ministry in that hour that the "withered hand" of the previous age shall receive strength and begin ministering in power "to the House." Ezekiel 44:10-14 tells of that priesthood who did not minister in the power of God, but who helped bring God's people into Babylonian bondage. God says that He will restore them to a ministry so that they can minister to the needs of the people, and be keepers of the charge of the house. But God makes it plain that there is a place in the Holy of Holies that they can never enter. That is reserved for another ministry (verses 15-19...Sons of Zadok) who was faithful to God's Word in the time of captivity. Yes, the withered hand will be healed on the sabbath. I do not expect to be in that ministry of the hand at that time. I want to be in Him who does the healing, and sets that ministry free to minister in power.


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