The Hoax Of Good Friday
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Loyal Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:" Exodus 13:21
"And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." Genesis 1:3
"And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." Luke 23:54
Jesus answered, Are there twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." John 11:9
Tonight we're going to use our Bible for sort of a little Bible-study type sermon. So get your Bibles out, please, if you would. The first place we'll start is Genesis, Chapter 1. I want you to follow me, now, with your Bibles. I'll do the best I can to wait on you so you can keep up. I'm going to speak tonight on the subject of the hoax of Good Friday, and why our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. Now, there's a reason for the sermon other than the fact that I want to get something off my chest, though I usually do that, too. But there's a reason for the sermon. After I get through with the proving of the point, then I think you'll see the reason for the message.
Now, let me ask you a question. If you see it in the Bible, will you believe it? I told my class this morning that John Rice is always telling about a fellow running for office. He came to his campaign manager and said, "Guess what my opponent did?" He said, "What?" He said, "He called me a liar." He said, "That's too bad." "But," said the politician, "he did worse than that." He said, "What did he do?" He said, "He proved it to me." Now, I'm going to prove it on you tonight. I want you to follow very carefully, and I want you to see it. I want you to actually see it in the Bible and for your own self.
Now look, Protestants—and I don't like the word, but I use it because you know what I mean—Protestants have as much tradition as Catholics do, and the fact that your denomination traditionally believes something does not give you one bit of right to believe it. There ought not to be anything that you believe unless it's in the Bible. What does the Bible teach? Now, I know that all over the country on the Friday before Easter, people gave their Good Friday services, and they start at noon, and they run the Good Friday services through three o'clock in the afternoon, and people say our Lord was crucified so many years ago just at this time of the day, and so forth, and it makes a very pretty thing, except it's not true. It is not true. Our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. He gave up the Ghost at three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. He was laid in the grave somewhere about six o'clock on Wednesday evening. He was in the grave Wednesday evening, all day Thursday, Thursday evening, all day Friday, Friday evening, and all day Saturday, and He rose from the grave on Sunday. But now, bear in mind this. The day started with the evening. Now, listen carefully. No talking. Now listen carefully, for I want you to get it. You say, "Well, my church doesn't believe this." Well, I don't give a hang what your church or mine believes; I want to know what the Bible believes. And if you don't, you're not a good Christian. What does the Bible say?
In the Bible, it doesn't say the morning and the evening were the first day; it says the evening and the morning were the first day. For the Jewish day began with six o'clock in the evening, not as our day does with the morning. And the evening and the morning were the first day. So, our Lord was in the grave three days and three nights, and I'll go into that after awhile, but He was in three days. What days? Thursday, Friday, Saturday. What nights? Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, don't you see. He came out of the grave, I think, about evening time on early Saturday—early Sunday, pardon me. And He was found; the grave was empty on Sunday morning and so forth.
Now, I've given the premise, and I want to try to prove it on you if you'll let me. Let's look first at the matter of the three days and the three nights. In the Bible, a day is usually, almost always, the light part of a twenty-four hour period. When it says three days, that means three periods of the light part. Now there are other meanings of the word day in the Bible, such as periods of time, like the day of the Lord, the day of calamity, the day of vengeance, the day of visitation, and so forth. But, normally, when the Lord speaks about a day, He speaks about the light time in the twenty-four-hour cycle. Look at Genesis, Chapter 1 and we'll be using a lot of verses tonight. A little unusual type message, but I think when we get to the end, you'll know why. Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 3. "And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness, and God called the light day." Now, when the Lord says "the day," is He talking about a twenty-four-hour period? No. He called what day? –tell me, light day. And the darkness He called night. All right, when the Lord speaks about a day, He's talking about the light part of the twenty-four hours, and the darkness He called night; that's the dark part of the twenty-four hours. And the evening and the morning were the first day. All right, when our Lord says three days in the grave, does that mean parts of three days? No, it means three light periods. And He said, "three nights," it means three dark periods, you see. For the evening and the morning were the first complete day. The light time He called day; the darkness He called night.
Now turn, please, to the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, Verse 9. If you have a Scofield Bible, I'll be giving you page numbers along as I go—that is, if I beat you to it. The Gospel of John, Chapter 11, Verse 9. "Jesus answered, Are there not"—how many hours in the day?—"twelve hours in the day?" If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." So, how many hours in the day the Lord said? Twelve hours. We're assuming that the Lord is talking about twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. Now let's see. It is now—of course it's summertime, and it's a bit different, and it wont' be dark twelve hours tonight. But, it'll average out about twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. So, our Lord said, are there not twelve hours in the day?
Turn back to Exodus, Chapter 13, Verse 21, page 86 in your Scofield Bible. Now, don't leave me yet, because we're getting down to the fussing part after awhile. I don't want you to miss the mean part. Exodus 13:21. "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night." So when the Lord says day, he does not mean the day and the night. He means the light part of the twenty-four hours. So, if that be true, then, if the Lord said that Jonah was in the belly of the whale, or the whale's belly—every time I read that scripture, I want to say bale's whelly, I don't know why. It just comes out that way. He was in the bale's whelly—but usually get mixed up and say it right. Anyway, he was in the belly of the whale, or the fish, three days and three nights. All right, how many hours in a day? All right, then let's take—Doctor, write down twelve here, would you? Twelve, all right. How many hours—how many days was he in the belly of the whale? Three. All right, three times twelve is how much? Thirty-six. All right. Now, if there are twelve hours in the day, how many hours in the night? Twelve. Wonderful. How brilliant you are. All right. And how many nights was he in the whale's belly? Three. All right, three times twelve is how much? Thirty-six. And thirty-six and thirty-six is how many hours? Seventy-two. All right. Now, in Matthew Chapter 12, it says, "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, even so must the Son of Man be"—what? "In the heart of the earth." How long? Three days and three nights. Three days, three times twelve, that's thirty-six. Three nights, three times twelve, that's thirty-six. Thirty-six and thirty-six is seventy-two. So how many hours, according to our Lord—now, our Lord said—how many hours in the day? Twelve? How many hours does that leave for the night? Twelve. All right, according to our Lord Himself, how many hours was Jesus in the heart of the earth? You tell me. Seventy-two hours. All right, now, would you please take your pen. Dr. Billings, if you would help us out.
Now, let's get the Lord crucified Friday afternoon at three o'clock. All right, how many hours would be left till midnight, then? Nine. All right, write nine hours down. All right, then from midnight Friday night to midnight Saturday night is how many hours? Twenty-four. So add twenty-four to that. He came out of the grave sometime during the night Saturday night, didn't He? As the day began to dawn for the first of the week—all right, let's just say, then, six more hours, then. All right. Now, how many hours do we have to have? Say it, seventy-two. All right, let's see how many you have. Thirty-nine. All right, then, was the Lord crucified on Friday or not? Well, He couldn't have been. He couldn't have been. For Jesus said there are twelve hours in a day, and He said three days. That leaves twelve hours in a night, and He said three nights. Yes, but in the Bible that means any part of a day is a whole day. No, in the Bible, it doesn't mean a whole day, and if it did, it also says three nights.
Look, let's suppose that He just meant any part of the day. When He said, "a day," it means any part of a day. Let's see what we can do here. Any part of the day. Then let's see. That would be three nights, we know. It's got to be at least a whole day and a whole night, don't you see? It can't be seventy-two hours. Now the first thing I want to establish is this—that our Lord could not have been crucified on Friday and give up the Ghost on Friday afternoon, and have been in the heart of the earth seventy-two hours.
Now, if it had been seventy-two hours, it would have had to have been between six o'clock on Friday night—that would be Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, you see. He would have to have come out of the grave—He couldn't come out of the grave on Sunday. And even not at all on Sunday, but the Bible says in Matthew 28:1 "As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre," and found the grave empty, you see. All right, it could not have been—Oh, you say, "My church doesn't agree." Then your church has got a hole in its head, because the Bible says seventy-two hours.
Now, I don't mean a hole in its head about everything. Maybe it's you that has the hole in your head, I'm not sure. Maybe it's both. Maybe that's where you got your hole in your head, from a preacher that has a hole in his head. I'm not sure. I suspect that's what happened. But, tradition—where did it come from? It came—look, when the Protestants withdrew from the Catholic church back in the Middle Ages, they became children of the Mother of Harlots. That's what it means over in Revelation, Chapter 17; it speaks about the Mother of Harlots and her children, and the children come out of a mother. Don't you see? When the Protestants came out, they came out of the mother. That means they favor the mother. Now, though they protested, the still looked like the mother. That's why Presbyterians sprinkle. They got it from their mother. Their mother sprinkled, and so they pulled out. That's why our Methodist friends sprinkle babies. Why? Because they got it from their mother. Their mother sprinkled babies, and they favor their mother. That's why Baptists—listen, that's why Baptists—the church down here across the street—and I use the word church very loosely—across the street—what's the name of that place?—All Saints, All Saints—this is All Saints Baptist Church, by the way—but the church over here—there are not two churches in this city that are as opposite as this one and the one across the street. And if we're not opposite, I'm going to work on getting opposite. You say, "Well, you're criticizing the Catholics." No, I'm not. I'm just declaring what we are.
This church—listen, you walk in that church on a Sunday, and walk in this church on a Sunday, and if there's anything there that reminds you of here, let me know and I'll change it. Why? We didn't come out of the Catholic church. We're not Protestant. We're New Testament Christians that can trace our heritage back to the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby we don't favor her. Now, you say, "Brother Hyles, how come Protestant churches have Good Friday?" Because when they left the mother, they didn't leave that part. They favor the mother. But all of the tradition comes from the mother. I don't have time to go into it, but I think that's enough to make you sufficiently angry, and I'll go onto the next thought. Now, let me ask you a question. If I cursed Jesus Christ, some of you will get madder at me tonight for what I just said about the All Saints Church than you will a fellow on the job tomorrow who will curse your God. You won't say a word about that.
You'll get up and walk out of a service like this, because sometimes people do, because I say a word about a church like this. I mean a church not built on the Bible, a church not built on truth. You know it yourself. You know as well as I know they don't encourage you to teach the Bible. They teach you the history of the church and the church tradition, but they do not teach you the Bible, and you know it's the truth. You say, "I don't like that." Then you figure out some way to lump it the best way you can. Here we have no menus or curb service—you just dish it out like the army did—just get a big old spoon and plop it down, and you just hold your tray real tight and hope it doesn't fall down.
But that's where you got it. That's where you got it. Now then, let me ask you a question. Not church tradition—the Bible. How many hours in a day? Twelve. How many days was Jesus in the grave? Three. How many hours, then, of daylight was he in the grave? Thirty-six. How many hours in the night, then? Twelve. How many night hours was He in the grave, then? Thirty-six. Thirty-six and thirty-six is how much? Seventy-two. Then would you agree that according to the Bible, our Lord was in the heart of the earth seventy-two hours?
I want to ask you a question. Do you believe the Bible? Now, whether you believe it or not is not the issue—is that what the Bible says? If so, would you raise your hand, please? Up high, I want to see how many hands are up, how many hands are down. Okay, you're off to a good start. The going gets rougher, so don't get mad yet. There's a lot left to get mad about. All right. Now, then. Then why the problem? It looks like to me that anybody can see that. All right, now, here's the problem. Turn to Luke 23:54. Now don't leave me. Luke 23:54, and I'll show you why there's a problem. That's on page 1111. Let's make it Luke 23:52-54. "This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down"—now, this is the day our Lord was crucified—"he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation and the Sabbath drew on." Which means, the Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion. You see, now that throw a monkey wrench in it. Now, what day is the Sabbath? Saturday. And if the Sabbath is the day after the crucifixion, then what day would it normally seem that our Lord was crucified? Friday. And that's where you have the problem.
All right, now if you would, turn please to the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15. The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15, Verse 42, page 1068. Mark 15:42, here it is: "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate and craved the body of Jesus." Now back to Verse 42. It was the day before the what? Sabbath. Now, that's where your problem arises. There is no way in the world you can get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon at three o'clock and Sunday morning.
On the other hand, it very plainly says in Mark 15 and Luke 23 that the crucifixion took place before the what? The Sabbath. All right, so then some people said, "Had to be on Friday." And that's where your Good Friday comes from. Now. Is there a contradiction? The answer is no, there is not a contradiction. There are two kinds of Sabbaths. There is the seventh day Sabbath and the High Day Sabbath. Two different kinds of Sabbaths. I want you to turn, please, to Leviticus 23. Now, this is where I want you to stay right with me very carefully. Leviticus, Chapter 23. Now, in Leviticus 23, we have seven Sabbaths listed apart from the weekly Sabbath. Seven Sabbaths listed. I want you to notice, now, Leviticus 23, page 157, look at Verse 23. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation." Now, how often did this Sabbath come around here? Every what month of the year? Say it. Seventh. What day of the month? First. So here is an annual Sabbath. Look down, if you would, please, to Verse 32. Leviticus 23:32. "And it shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even,"—that's from six to six—"shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Now, this is talking about the Sabbath of the Atonement. Look down, if you would please, to Leviticus Chapter 23, Verse 39. "Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month,"—that's the seventh month, the fifteenth day—"when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath."
It sounds to me like the first day is the Sabbath sometimes, and the eighth day is the Sabbath sometimes. Now, listen carefully, and I'll teach you something. In Chapter 23 of Leviticus, there are seven Sabbaths listed. There is the Passover Sabbath on the first month, fourteenth day. There is the Unleavened Bread Sabbath on the first month, fifteenth day. There is the First Fruits Sabbath on the first month, and the seventeenth day. There is a Pentecost Sabbath fifty days later. There is a Sabbath of the Trumpets in the seventh month, the Sabbath of Atonement in the seventh month, and also the Sabbath of the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, here are seven different Sabbaths mentioned in Leviticus 23, and not a one of them have to do with the seventh day of the week. Now then. I ask you a question. How many type Sabbaths are there? One is the what Sabbath? Weekly Sabbath, the weekly. Say it again. The weekly. You're saying it weakly. I mean, say weekly. The weekly Sabbath.
All right, now there was another Sabbath—these were called High Sabbaths, or special Sabbaths. There are many of them. We found seven here in Leviticus, Chapter 23. Right? Okay, now we have to figure out if that's the case; we have to figure out which kind of Sabbath it is after the crucifixion. Now, is it not true that the Lord was crucified before the Sabbath, right? Now follow me. The Lord was crucified the day before the Sabbath, right? How many Sabbaths, how many kinds of Sabbaths? Two: the weekly Sabbath and the High Sabbath.
Turn please to John 19, Verse 31, and let's see if you can find out what kind of Sabbath it was the day after the crucifixion. John 19, Verse 31. Look at it. Everybody in the house, get a Bible. If you don't have one, look on with your neighbor. I want you to see. Somebody's going to go out and say, "I just don't agree with old Hyles." No, you don't. It's the Bible you don't agree with. And it's the fact that you love your church more than you love God's Word. You love your denominational heritage more than you love the Word of God. Let's look and see.
John 19:31 "The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day,"—now read the parenthesis with me, please, out loud—ready? "for that Sabbath day was an high day." Let me ask you a question. Was our Lord crucified, then, the day before the weekly Sabbath, or the day before a High Sabbath? A High Sabbath. Does it have to be on Friday? No, it didn't. It was not—now, you want to know what Sabbath it was? I'm glad you're asking, because I'm going to tell you what Sabbath it was. Look at John 19, Verse 14. What Sabbath was it? It could have been the Trumpet. It could have been the Passover. It could have been the Tabernacles. It could have been the Atonement. Here it is. John 19:14. "And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King." All right, now what Sabbath was it, then? The Passover Sabbath. All right, which means our Lord was crucified the day before the Passover Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath. Now that takes care of the problem, doesn't it? People say, "Well, no, the Lord said the next day was the Sabbath day." But it plainly says in John 19:31, "It was a High Sabbath." And it says in John 19:14 what Sabbath it was—it was the Passover Sabbath. So our Lord was crucified on Wednesday, and on Thursday was the Passover Sabbath. All right, now let's go further. Look—and by the way, don't leave me here.
Look in Matthew 28, Verse 1. And that's on page 1043. "In the end of the Sabbath,"—is that the weekly Sabbath? Yes. "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week"—now hold it. What Sabbath is that? A weekly Sabbath. All right, now. Did we find out a while ago what Sabbath it was after He was crucified? Was it a High Sabbath or a weekly Sabbath? And the Sabbath before He was resurrected—was it a High Sabbath or a weekly Sabbath. Weekly Sabbath. So it was not the same Sabbath, was it? The Sabbath after His crucifixion was a High Sabbath. The Sabbath before His resurrection was a weekly Sabbath because it says the next day was the first day of the week. So He could not have been crucified on a Friday, because there are two Sabbath days that have got to get in here before He was resurrected. Follow me? You have to have a High Sabbath and a weekly Sabbath unless—unless, it could have fallen on the same day, and that's a possibility. But you can't get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
The Passover Sabbath followed the death of Christ, right? All right, that means that the first night and the first day was Passover Sabbath. Now, on the fourteenth of the first month was Passover Sabbath, but on the fifteenth of the first month was the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Always was, the Jews began to eat the Passover, and that first date was a Sabbath. Our Lord—the first night, or full day, night and day, He was in the grave was the Passover Sabbath. That's on Thursday. The second was a Feast of Unleavened Bread Sabbath. That's on Friday. And the third was what Sabbath? Say it. Weekly Sabbath, which means that all three days and three nights our Lord was in the grave, was Sabbath time. That's why Mary Magdalene came to the grave. It says, "As the first day began to dawn after the Sabbaths,"—more than one Sabbath. After the Sabbaths. What Sabbaths? Passover, following the Passover was Unleavened Bread, and following Unleavened Bread was the weekly Sabbath.
Turn please to Colossians, Chapter 2, and I'll explain something to you there. Colossians, Chapter 2, Verse 14, page 1264. Colossians 2:14. "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." Now, whatever ordinances we're going to talk about were against us, right? And Christ blotted them out. "Which was contrary to us,"—whatever he's going to talk, now, these are ordinances that were contrary to us. "And took it out of the way." Whatever ordinances these are, they're out of the way now. "And nailing it to His cross,"—whatever ordinances He's going to talk about were nailed to the cross—"and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Now, what are they? "Let no man therefore judge you in meat." Okay, is it okay to eat meat on Friday? Yes. Is it okay to eat pork? Yes, it's not unscriptural. Is it okay to eat meat during Lenten season? Yes. Is it okay to eat meat on Good Friday? Yes, you can eat a pork chop at the Good Friday service and God wouldn't mind. You could take a ham sandwich and eat it at the altar on Good Friday, and God wouldn't mind.
You don't like that, do you? Well, then you just figure out some way to get by it till about 9:30; then you can go home. You say, "I don't believe in eating meat on Friday." You say that, but God says it's okay. It was nailed to the cross. Christ made a show of it openly; He triumphed over it; He put it out of the way. He swallowed it. No good. Why? It was nailed to the cross. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, every Old Testament ritual was nailed to the cross, every Old Testament ordinance was nailed to the cross. Let's go further. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." Not just Sabbath day; Sabbath days, because there are many Sabbath days. Follow me very carefully now.
Let me have three men—Brother Hand, Brother Billings, and Brother Streeter—sort of stand right here beside me. All right, now, I'm going to let Brother Hand here represent the Passover Sabbath. I'm going to let Dr. Billings here represent the Unleavened Bread Sabbath. I'm going to let Brother Streeter here represent the Weekly Sabbath. All right, now I am the Lord, and I am going to get over here. It is now Wednesday. All right, now, the Lord goes in the grave and He is there during the what? Passover Sabbath. He is there during what else? Feast of Unleavened Bread Sabbath. He is there during what else? The weekly Sabbath. Then it begins to dawn toward the first day of the week and Mary Magdalene, after the weekly Sabbath, went to the open sepulchre. Our Lord was there during all three.
Why was our Lord in the grave during all three Sabbaths? Follow me carefully. The Passover Sabbath has to do with salvation, the shedding of blood. We said this morning, the blood on the doorposts and the lintels; our Lord nailed that to the cross. No longer a need for a lamb to die. No longer a need to slay a lamb. Why? Nobody's sin is forgiven by a lamb being slain. No need for it. Why? The Lamb of God has already been slain. So our Lord nailed the Passover Sabbath. That's why we don't have Passover season. Why? Because the Passover represents salvation, and you don't need the lamb freshly slain all the time for salvation. Slain once and for all, our Lord nailed the Passover Sabbath to the cross. Salvation has always been by grace through the faith, but no longer a need for other sacrifices. All those nailed to the cross. Our Lord took care of all that.
The Unleavened Bread Sabbath. What was that? That's the feasting. You're already saved now; now you feast. Feast on what? You feast on the Word of God. So now, what do we feast on now? The Bible. Why? Unleavened Bread Sabbath nailed to the cross. Don't worry about that. No more Unleavened Bread Sabbath. Why? Here is our feasting. You see? So He died—He was in the grave on the first Sabbath, the Passover Sabbath, to say Christ alone can save. No blood of the lamb or a goat anymore. The blood of Jesus Christ. He was in the grave also on the Unleavened Bread Sabbath to say here is what you feast on now. But He was also in the grave on the weekly Sabbath because now then we don't serve on the Sabbath. We serve in the energy and power of the Holy Spirit every day of the week. So our Lord wanted to say, "I'm in the grave three days and three nights." Why? Passover Sabbath, salvation is of the Lord. Only one lamb now. Trust the Savior. Unleavened Bread Sabbath. Why? Because we feast now on the Word of God, not a Passover lamb. The weekly Sabbath. Why? Because our service now is in the energy of the Holy Spirit.
So, the Passover is nailed to the cross. The Unleavened Bread is nailed to the cross, and the weekly Sabbath is nailed to the cross, and now then we are saved by grace through faith in the cross of Christ. We feast upon the blessed Word of God, and serve in the energy of the Holy Spirit. All the Sabbaths are nailed to the cross. So, He was in the grave Thursday (Passover Sabbath), Friday (Unleavened Bread Sabbath), Saturday (weekly Sabbath). Now, let me go back and go through these once again just a bit.
All the time our Lord was in the grave was Sabbath time. All the time. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Why? Now, in the first place, to take away the ritual from salvation—if you want to see something very interesting, and to show you our day, here it is. Turn to John 18:28, page 1141. Look at it very carefully. John 18:28. "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas." Now, who is this leading Jesus? Soldiers, wicked people. They are about to crucify Jesus. Now, are these people good people or bad people? These guys wear black hats—every one of them. "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment, and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall." Now, here's a crowd taking Jesus—they didn't go into the judgment hall—why? "Let they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover."
Choir, let's do something. Brother Streeter, come here. I want you to be Jesus, and I am going to be Pilate. Choir, I want you to be the mob that took Him to Pilate's Hall. You see, you look like a motley mob. I want you to be the mob that took Him to Pilate's hall. All right? I hear you've got Him right into Pilate's hall. Cry, "Crucify Him." Louder. Now then, "Come on to Pilate's hall." They said, "No, we can't come into Pilate's hall." "What do you want me to do with Jesus?" "Crucify Him." "What?" "Crucify Him." "Come on in to Pilate's hall." They said, "No, we can't come into Pilate's hall." Look at Verse 28 and you'll find out why. Why? "That they might eat the Passover." This motley crowd up here took our Lord to Pilate's hall, led Him from Caiaphas; "Crucify Him," they cried. "Crucify Him," they cried. And yet the same crowd observes the Passover, and that crowd still observes Good Friday.
I drove last Good Friday right down the street to the wicked, vile, dirty, rotten, stinking, lewd tavern, right down here across on Sohl Street, diagonally across from the church here, right down on the corner of Sohl Street. That rotten hell-hole that ought to be outlawed, and if we had a decent country it would be. I've seen young girls, sixteen and seventeen years old, stumble out of that place on Saturday night as I drive home late. They were so drunk they couldn't find their way across the street. I've seen gray-haired old grandmothers stumbling across the street and fall in the gutter, and I've seen them vomit in the gutter, or ladies with white hair stumbling out of that place. I've seen wicked, vulgar, vile people by the thousands come out of that hell-hole down at the corner across the street, yet last Good Friday, if I didn't drive by there at three o'clock in the afternoon and see a sign out in front, "Closed—Gone to Good Friday services." Three hundred and sixty-four days a year, they cry, "Crucify Him, crucify Him, crucify Him," and close up on Good Friday and go to church, and that's exactly what that rotten crowd did two thousand years ago. "Crucify Him."
Now, what is our Lord doing, being in the grave on the Passover Sabbath? He is telling us once and for all you're not saved by going to a Good Friday service. You're not saved by going to a Mass. You're not saved by taking a Holy Eucharist. You're not saved by drinking some juice. You're not saved by confessing your sins to a priest. You're not saved by good works; you're not saved by communion; you're not saved by baptism; you're not saved by confirmation. It was all nailed to the cross. You're saved by the Christ of the Cross. That's what our Lord was saying.
That's not all—by the way, let me say this again. Tonight if you're trusting anything less than what Jesus Christ did on that cross as your hope for Heaven, you will split Hell wide open unless you get born again. "It's not of works that I have done; simply to His cross I cling." It's not by works of righteousness but by His mercy had He saved us with the washing of regeneration. Why? He was in the grave on the Passover. He nailed it to His cross. No need for a lamb, apart from the Lamb of God.
There's also a second Passover, a second Sabbath. He was there for feasting. Now bear in mind this: He nailed Lenten season to the cross. As long as I'm pastor of this church, as long as I stand behind this pulpit, there will never be a Lenten season. I have written one Lenten article for the Hammond Times, and in that Lenten article the subject was, "There are no special seasons." If it's worth serving God forty days a year, it's worth serving God three hundred sixty-five days a year. If you are going to give up beer during Lenten, wonderful; then make it three hundred sixty-five days and you'll have some sense. What am I saying? I am saying that the Lord said, "I'll be in the grave on the Unleavened Feast too," to let people know that nailed to the cross is what you feast on now. The same crowd that observed most rigidly your Lenten season—your Fat Tuesday, your Ash Wednesday, and Thursday—what is Thursday? That same crowd that still feasts on something besides the Bible—they don't tell you to read the Bible. In fact, you don't even take a Bible to church. You take a prayer book. Why? The same crowd that has the Passover not nailed to the cross has Unleavened Bread not nailed to the cross, and the same crowd that doesn't preach Christ is sufficient for salvation also says the Bible is not sufficient for feasting. Same crowd! Same crowd!
Our folks have heard me tell the story—I'll tell it to you visitors. This fellow named Pat got converted. He was an Irishman. He got converted. One day the Father came by and found him reading his Bible. The Father says, "What are you doing, Pat?" He said, "I'm reading the Bible. I got saved." And the Father said, "Well, that's good. But," he said, "you shouldn't read the Bible." He said, "I am supposed to teach it to you. You don't read it. I read it and tell you what it says." But Pat said, "Father, I found over here in the Epistle of Peter that the Bible is the milk of the Word. I am to desire the sincere milk of the Word." And the Father sad, "Well, Pat, that's right. But it's sort of like a milk man—I bring the milk to you." And Pat said, "Yes, I've been drinking the milk that didn't have much cream, that skim stuff." He said, "I decided to get my own cow, Father." And you can get your own cow, too. You see, now follow me—our Lord said, "I'll be in the grave on Passover at Sabbath." Why? To nail it to the cross. Christ alone can saved. I'll be in the grave on Unleavened Feast Sabbath." Why? The Bible is sufficient. All the others are nailed to the cross. And our Lord said, "I'll be in the grave on the weekly Sabbath." Why? Why? Because our Lord wanted us to know that the weekly Sabbath was also nailed to the cross. Salvation, feasting, and service have all been changed. Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, feasting on the Word of God, and serving in the energy of the Holy Spirit. Jesus substituted for all three. For all three. You see, there is a definite coalition between people that don't think the Holy Spirit's enough. Now, follow me. The same crowd that says Christ is not enough to save, you need extra help, says the Bible is not enough to feast on, you need extra help, also says the Holy Spirit is not enough to lead you into the Pope. Same crowd. Why? Because that crowd doesn't think Christ nailed any of the Sabbaths to the cross. And do you know what? Did you know, dear friends, some of you, if you decided to go ahead and get converted and believe the Bible and sell your church tradition, right now you would feel so lonely. Oh, my, to get out from under the canopy of all that spooky stuff. I tell you what; I'd feel so lonely and I'd feel like I would drop dead. But you won't drop dead.
There's a fellow that came to my office one week to deliver a telegraph. He said, "Telegram. Are you Rev. Jack Hyles." I said, "I'm Brother Hyles." He said, "Telegram for you." And he gave it to me, I signed for it, and he started to walk out. And I said, "Hold it." I said, "Wait a minute. Where do you go to church?" He said, "I go to a certain Catholic church." And by the way, I've been preaching against the Catholic church doctrine—not the people, I love the people—the doctrine for twenty-five years, and I haven't dropped dead once yet. Or I don't think I have. Heresy is heresy; I don't care where it's found. So I said, "Why don't you come visit our church next Sunday?" And he said, "Oh, the Holy Father wouldn't let me." And before I knew it—I had never said this before, and it really was a little crude—I said, "Hogwash on the Holy Father." He said, "What?" I said, "Hogwash on the Holy Father." Boy, his face turned pale, and almost mechanically he walked out of there.
Next Sunday morning in the church in the old auditorium over here, invitation time came, and a fellow walked down the aisle to get saved. It was that same fellow, and I said, "Hey, you're the telegraph boy." He said, "Yes, that's right. I want to get saved." He went to the altar and got saved. You know what? When he got up, I said, "Say, why did you come?" And he said, "When you hollered, 'Hogwash on the Holy Father,' I fully expected you to drop dead." And he said, "I figured if you could say that and not drop dead, I could come to a Baptist church and not drop dead." You see.
Now, I don't mean to be unkind. (I can be unkind without meaning to). If Dr. Robert Billings stepped up and said, "Folks, I'm going to have a booth out here—come and confess your sin to me Saturday afternoon," I'd say, "Sit down; you're a hoax." It's not the fact that the fellow's a Catholic. I'd do the same thing to Baptists that tried to become what God is. The truth of the matter is, I preach more against these Baptist bishops than I do these Catholic bishops. This super-denominationalism where the headquarters takes over the churches and tried to run the churches. We had some problems here at this church several years ago when I first came. We pulled out of the American Baptist Convention because it was liberal. And the state man, I mean the big boy in the state, and his sidekick. Number one and number two. I mean the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They came the night we had our big blowout. I mean the night. And we agreed that night—you folks remember that night. No matter how hard you try to forget, you can't forget it. We had our big blowout. We stayed until 11:15, and you've heard me tell this story.
When I saw that big wig from Indianapolis walk up here, I went over to him and I said, "Now you listen to me and you hear me well. It's none of your business what goes on at this church, and you're here to cause trouble—I know it and you know it." And I said, "If you so much as stand up and speak in our business meeting we're going to take you—four men, one with each leg and one with each arm, and pick up, and go one, and two, and three, and we're throwing you on your bottom on Sibley Street. Now," I said, "if you don't believe me, you stand up and talk at our business meeting." And I said, "To be honest with you, I hope you do it."
He came, he sat in the corner over there in the auditorium, this Baptist bishop, sitting back in the corner of the auditorium. We stayed there until 11:15. He not only didn't stand to say anything, when we stood to sing he kept seated. He didn't even stand for the closing prayer. Cause he knew he'd end up on Sibley Street. I'm not just against the Catholic bishops; I'm against the Baptist bishops. I'm against anything that takes salvation away from Jesus. And I'm against anything that takes feasting away from just the Bible. And I'm against anything that takes service for God from anything other than the Holy Spirit.
Jesus died on the cross and was in the grave three days and three nights, three Sabbaths, so that He might nail to the cross all the Sabbaths. Salvation Sabbath, the feasting Sabbath, and the service Sabbath. All those were nailed to the cross, because He was in the grave during all that time—all of those Sabbaths. Now, tonight it's as simple as this. If you're not saved, you'll have to get saved by trusting the Christ of the cross, and no other sacrifice! No mass, no Passover, no church membership, no ordinance, no ritual, just Christ. If you're saved and you grow in grace, you're going to have to grow in grace, not because you go to church every Sunday morning at eight or nine o'clock, not because somebody takes some ashes and makes a cross on the top of your forehead. If you grow in grace, you're going to grow in grace because you take this Book and feast upon it. And, if God blesses you in His service, He won't do it because you are commissioned by the headquarters; He'll do it because you're commissioned and blessed and led with the Holy Spirit of God. Now, I get a lot of criticism on preaching like I preached tonight. A lot of it. I plan to get some more of it because I aim to tell you the truth.
Martin Luther used to say, "Once I thought the Pope was the Vicar of God, and now I believe he is the Vicar of Hell." And I say, "Amen, Martin Luther, amen." When I saw the Pope back yonder last July over in Rome—June or July, whenever we were there, I think it was June—we went into the Vatican City, and I saw them carrying that Pope like they used to carry the Rajah of India. I saw them carrying him on their shoulders, and I saw that fellow dressed up in royal robes, and people bowing and doing this for the Pope, I said to myself, "He is standing in the place where only one ought to be, and that's the Lord Jesus Christ." Nobody's going to carry me into the service here. They may carry me out, but they won't carry me in. Why? Because that's His job. Nobody's going to kiss my toe. I've often said, "I'd like to kiss the Pope's toe." Nobody else has ever kissed it unless they changed toes. Just the thought of it makes me laugh. So you say, "You don't like the Pope." I'm not for anybody having them bow down and worship him. Christ alone deserves that kind of adoration.
When Peter went to the house of Cornelius, they came to Peter and they bowed down to worship him, and Peter said, "Stand up, I myself also am a man." That's the first Pope talking. The first Pope also said one day, he came to Jesus and said, "My mother-in-law is sick." Now, I'm not very smart, but I know this. I know nobody ever had a mother-in-law that didn't have a wife. Just sit still and take it, now. Open your mouth wide. Just take it. You're interested in church tradition, not the Word of God. You're interested in what somebody taught you out of a prayer book, not what somebody showed you in the Bible. When Paul and Barnabas came to the certain place—where was it? Was it, one of the towns, Derby, or Lystra or Iconium, or Antioch or Pisidia? They came to bow down and worship him. They thought Paul and Barnabas were gods, called them Jupiter and Mercury, bowed down and worshipped them, and Paul and Barnabas said, "Stand up. We're not gods."
Anytime anybody says that he ought to be worshipped, or folks bow down before him, he is in the place of Christ, and I'm going to warn folks about it. Anytime anybody says you have got to be saved by anything other than the finished work of Calvary, he's in the wrong place and I'm going to talk to him about it. Anytime anybody says you grow in grace and feast upon anything apart from the Word of God, he's putting something in front of the Word of God, or the Holy Spirit. Nothing should be in front of Christ when it comes to salvation, the Word of God when it comes to our law and order and our feasting, and the Holy Spirit when it comes to our service for God. Now tonight, if you're trusting anything apart from Christ—if you've not been born again, you better get yourself on your face before God—not a man, but God; not a priest, but God!
Let us pray.
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