The Snickers Solution | Pastor Mike Fortune | June 27, 2015


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by Pastor Mike Fortune
June 27, 2015

Intro Vid: Mr. Bean

  1. Don’t lose focus (Luke 6:1-2; Deuteronomy 23:24-25)
  2. Methods not message changes (Luke 6:3-4; Leviticus 24:5-9; 1 Samuel 21:1-6; 2 Chronicles 30:2-3; Matthew 5:17-18)
  3. Sabbath helps us focus on the family, environment, and Creator (Luke 6:5; Mark 2:27-28; Words Matter; Matthew 11:28; Quotes; Psalm 24:1; Matthew 12:20)

Luke 6:1-2

1 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples broke off heads of grain, rubbed off the husks in their hands, and ate the grain. 2 But some Pharisees said, "Why are you breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”


The law they were referring to is man’s laws not God’s. Jesus was sinless (1 Peter 1:19). So He wasn’t breaking God’s law that the pre-incarnate Christ Himself actually gave in the first place and asked us to remember. No, He was breaking the rabbi’s rules about keeping God’s laws. Which we’ll talk about some today and some more next time when we discuss how to keep the Sabbath holy in light of the miraculous healing intervention of Jesus in Luke 6:6-11 re:the man with the withered hand. So come back next week for part two of this mini-Sabbath series.


The SDABC p.586 says this incident probably took place on a Sabbath day in the late spring of AD 29 since it is grouped with events of that period of time. The KJV says they were walking through the corn fields but more accurately, literally in Greek, they were walking “beside the fields of grain.” Since barely was harvested before Passover and wheat after (according to The Interpreter’s Bible Commentary Vol VIII p.110-111), the grain they were rubbing the husks off in their hands and then chewing was probably wheat. Which was completely acceptable to do on any other day of the week. Deuteronomy 23 says…


Deuteronomy 23:24-25

24 "When you enter your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, but you must not carry any away in a basket. 25 And when you enter your neighbor's field of grain, you may pluck the heads of grain with your hand, but you must not harvest it with a sickle.


But this was the seventh-day of the week. The second Sabbath after Passover (cf. reckoning in Leviticus 23:15-16). And the Mishnah (an authoritative collection of oral tradition of Jewish law forming the first part of the Talmud) listed 39 primary, or major, types of labor prohibited on the Sabbath day (SDABC p.587). Things like sowing seeds, plowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, sifting, grinding, kneading, and baking were all banned. Other banned activities included writing, building, kindling, and transporting anything further than 2/3 of a mile.


It was also Sabbath breaking to look in a mirror fixed on the wall and to light a candle. Yet the same regulations permitted an egg laid on the Sabbath to be sold to a Gentile and a Gentile to be hired to to light a candle or kindle the fire. Here’s a gross one. It was counted unlawful to expectorate, or cough up and spit out phlegm, less that irrigate a blade of grass to grow. It was not permissible to carry a handkerchief on the Sabbath unless one end of it be sewed to one’s garment—in which case it was no longer technically a handkerchief but part of the garment (Ibid., p87)


The Pharisees were continually employing the letter of man-made laws to destroy the spirit of the law of God. They turned the Sabbath into a day of rules not relationships. And in doing so, they made the day a burden not a blessing to look forward to. Today, we’re tempted to do the same things. Anybody here ever wash their hair Friday night? Wade not swim? Count down the hours until its over? We’re going to talk about all this next week so come back for more about how to keep Sabbath holy and helpful to each generation.


But for now, please notice that when Jesus was accused of breaking the law the Pharisees aren’t talking about the 10 Commandments. They’re talking about the all the man-made rules they put in place to initially protect themselves from breaking the 10 Commandments especially the 4th. In doing so, they went too far and turned Sabbath into a barrier instead of a benefit. They misrepresented the character of God. They turned God into a selfish and arbitrary tyrant. Can you see why Jesus broke their rules? He was trying to correct their picture of God. So don’t lose focus. You’re not you when you’re hungry. Point number one.


But Jesus was also chiding them for not reading their Bibles widely. If they had, they could have seen graceful examples of relationships trumping rules. He said in Luke 6:3-4, “Haven't you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He went into the house of God and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests can eat. He also gave some to his companions.”


“When accused of Sabbath-breaking at Bethesda [in John 5:16-17], Jesus defended Himself by affirming His Sonship to God, and declaring that He worked in harmony with the Father. Now that the disciples are attacked, He cites to His accusers examples from the Old Testament, acts performed on the Sabbath by those who were in the service of God” (The Desire of Ages, p.284.3). But before we hear from 1 Samuel, let’s get the background in Leviticus. Which is where the twelve loaves of shewbread was placed in the holy place of the sanctuary every Sabbath.


Leviticus 24:5-9

5 "You must bake twelve loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. 6 Place the bread before the LORD on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two rows, with six loaves in each row. 7 Put some pure frankincense near each row to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the LORD. 8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the LORD. The bread is to be received from the people of Israel as a requirement of the eternal covenant. 9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD.”


Popquiz: Who gets to eat the shewbread? Anybody on the turnpike? No. The priests are to eat the shewbread. And where were they supposed to eat the shewbread? Cruising down the highway? No. They had to eat it right there in the sacred sanctuary. But methods change the message doesn’t. The Father is always at work. And so are his people. And David, even though he even lies straight to the priest’s face in the sanctuary, is part of God’s people. God is at work in each of us. Promising to finish what he started when Jesus returns (cf. Philippians 1:6).


1 Samuel 21:1-6

1 David went to the town of Nob to see Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he saw him. "Why are you alone?" he asked. "Why is no one with you?" 2 "The king has sent me on a private matter," David said (LIE). "He told me not to tell anyone why I am here (LIE). I have told my men where to meet me later. 3 Now, what is there to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or anything else you have." 4 "We don't have any regular bread," the priest replied. "But there is the holy bread, which you can have if your young men have not slept with any women recently." [For more riveting reading about how sexual intercourse affected ceremonial cleanliness, see Leviticus 15:16-18]


5 "Don't worry," David replied. "I never allow my men to be with women when they are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!" 6 Since there was no other food available, the priest gave him the holy bread—the Bread of the Presence that was placed before the LORD in the Tabernacle. It had just been replaced that day with fresh bread."


Uh oh. Now, David’s not the only one making mistakes. Now, the priest is too. The SDABC p.588 elaborates, “None but the priests might eat the consecrated shewbread according to Leviticus 24:9. But the sacred laws and things pertaining to the sanctuary had been ordained for the good of man, and if ever these should conflict with his best interests, with that which was needful for him, they must be subordinated” (SDABC p.588).


A lot of arguing and voting and demonizing of each other in our church could be avoided if we would simply remember point number two: methods change message does not. Even holy sanctuary issues must be subordinated for the good of mankind if others are needful of it. For over 100 years, the NAD has been saying the ordination of women pastors is a needful thing in this part of the mission field. But still some with “kingly power” go on TV every week and say the opposite. Don’t lose focus. Methods can and should change. The message does not. How do we know this is true? There’s another powerful example found in 2 Chronicles 30.


King Hezekiah sent everyone an invite to celebrate the Passover because for a variety of reasons they hadn’t been doing so. Exodus 12 says Passover should take place on the 14th day of the first month. But that year the work of cleansing and sanctifying the temple was not completed until the 16th day of the first month. So God in His Old Testament grace had a contingency plan, that if the Pharisees had been reading their Bibles widely, they would’ve known about.


Numbers 9:10-11 says, “10 "Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people now or in future generations are ceremonially unclean at Passover time because of touching a dead body, or if they are on a journey and cannot be present at the ceremony, they may still celebrate the LORD's Passover. 11 They must offer the Passover sacrifice one month later, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the second month. They must eat the Passover lamb at that time with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast.”


So with that in mind, listen to how King Hezekiah allows methods not the message to change.


2 Chronicles 30:2-3

2 The king, his officials, and all the community of Jerusalem decided to celebrate Passover a month later than usual. 3 They were unable to celebrate it at the prescribed time because not enough priests could be purified by then, and the people had not yet assembled at Jerusalem.


Don’t lose focus. You’re not you when you’re hungry! Methods not the message change. How I wish every delegate in San Antonio understood this. Oh how I wish every Christian understood this too. Because far too many suggest that Jesus broke the Sabbath. And that because He supposedly did, we can too. Respectfully, I disagree.


Matthew 5:17-18

17 "Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.


The NLT does a fantastic job of literally translating the words and intent of this passage. But don't miss point number three: The Sabbath helps us focus on the family, environment, and our Creator.


Luke 6:5

5 And Jesus added, "The Son of Man [Gr: anthropos] is Lord, even over the Sabbath.”


The word Luke uses in this verse for “man” is anthropos. Which is the same word Mark uses in his similar passage found in Mark 2:27-28.


Mark 2:27-28 (Family)

27 Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people [Gr: anthropos], and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man [Gr: anthropos] is Lord, even over the Sabbath!"


Words Matter. Mark and Luke could have used words inside and outside the Bible for Jews and Gentiles if they wanted to specifically say the Sabbath was for Jews or Gentiles. I Googled them for you from BibleHub and they should be on the screen. The first is Laos. In Jesus’ day, Laos was often associated with the Jews.


You’ve heard of ethnicity before right? We get that word from the Greek word Ethne also found inside and outside of Scripture in Jesus’ day. It meant race or people or nations usually heathen nations so the Gentiles were considered part of this group. But in Mark and Luke the writers don’t use either one of these well known words. They go for a third option: anthropos. Anybody guess what that means?


It’s where we get the study of anthropology today. The generic term for mankind, the human race, all people including men and women. Boys and girls. Red and yellow black and white. All are precious in his sight. Even the pagans and corrupt tax collectors. Even the foreigners and eunuchs and white supremacists. Here's the summary:


Laos = a people, characteristically of God's chosen people, first the Jews, then the Christians (

Ethne = a race, people, nation; the nations, heathen world, Gentiles (

Anthropos = man, also the generic term for "mankind"; the human race; people, including women and men (


Don’t lose focus! Methods change. But the message stays the same. And the message from the very beginning to the very end is that on the sixth day, “The heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. 4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens (Genesis 2:1-4).”


The literal seventh day has always pointed to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Aside from the following context being all about Sabbath miracles, Matthew 11:28 adds, “28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest [Gr: anapausis].


According to Elizabeth Talbot, there are 137 occurrences of this root word, anapausis, in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. And they are pretty evening spread out with 24 in the Pentateuch, nineteen in the historical books, forty-four in the poetic books, and fifty in the prophetic books. The main use of term relates to a sabbatical rest to the Lord on the seventh-day, the holy convocations of the seventh-month, or on the seventh-year. This rest was promised to Israel through David and Solomon (see 2 Samuel 7:11; 1 Chronicles 22:9) and through the future Davidic Ruler (Jesus) that was to come (see Ezekiel 34:15,23-24).


Who cares? What's the point? The point is, as she says in her book entitled Matthew: Prophecy Fulfilled pp.49-50…


Elizabeth Talbot

The Jewish people knew Sabbath as anapausis. When Jesus offers all who are weary and burdened 'rest for your souls,' He is actually saying that those who heed His invitation now, enter the full meaning of the Sabbath rest, because they rest in Him. - Matthew: Prophecy Fulfilled pp.49-50


So rightly understood, the literal seventh-day points us to the Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6). When Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest, what He’s literally saying is, “I will give you Sabbath” to help you focus on the family. Environment. And Creator. You don’t need Snickers. You need the seventh-day Sabbath! And while God’s message hasn’t changed. Surprisingly to some, neither has the papacy’s.


Scott Christianson in the June 26, 2015 article in the Adventist Review ( reminds us that on May 24, 2015 Pope Francis released his second encyclical, “Laudato Si” (“Praise Be”). Previous encyclicals of popes including the current one addressed only Catholics. But this most recent proclamation is specifically addressed to “every person living on this planet” (par. 3). You can read it online in its entirety if you wish (


“In it,” Christiansen writes, “the pope and his advisors call for massive changes in almost every area of human activity. The encyclical asserts that the way our global, complex society goes about our industrial, financial, and resource allocation activities is reflective of selfishness and greed. Pressing his case, the pope says that this selfishness and greed, and the resulting massive (and growing) gap between rich and poor around the world, inflict tremendous and disproportionate suffering on the poor—which is immoral. The pope further asserts that this same greed and selfishness drive industrial production and societal consumption practices that in turn are causing profound and accelerating global environmental decline. As a result the poor of the world, who are most at risk, suffer more sickness, dramatically increased food prices, decreased access to water, and hardships of every kind” (Ibid).


But “having framed his premise, Pope Francis lays out his vision of a radically changed world where we no longer consume obscene amounts of resources, where there is social justice and material equity, where there is dramatically decreased pollution, and where thoughtful policy and a God-centered morality drive all these changes. None can miss the passion of his fervor for the spiritual solution he proposes” (Ibid).


Here’s just a few quotes from that very long very recent encyclical.


Pope Francis May 24, 2015

3. Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet. 237. The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, “so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12). Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centred on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.


Pope Francis May 24, 2015

237. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath [which isn’t true since Sabbath originates during Creation 2,300 years before a Jew existed], is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “man’s eternal rest in God.” 


Methods may change. But not the message. Not the 2nd commandment forbidding the worship of graven images. Not the fourth about remembering the Sabbath for in six days the Creator made everything.


On June 22, 2015, Pope Francis on behalf of the papacy apologized and asked forgiveness from the Waldensian Evangelical Church. They’re the descendants of Christians in Northern Italy where were ruthlessly persecuted and killed by the papacy hundreds of years ago. You can read more about that in Chapter 4 of The Great Controversy. And to their credit, representatives of the 30k Waldensian adherents today accepted the pope’s apology. But you know what I’m still waiting for? The apology for removing the second commandment. The apology for leading the world to forget the fourth. The apology for headship theology that Adventists stole from the Presbyterians who stole it from the Catholics. That's the root of the women's ordination issue.


And I believe God could have him do that because God can do anything He wants. And like John Wycliffe in his day, I believe we should pray for the pope. Because the papacy has changed the message and the methods. And every person on the planet is buying it because of their focus on the family and environment. Listen to this next quote from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who is in charge of something called The World Meeting of Families coming to Philadelphia in September 2015.


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput November 17, 2014

As I’ve said many times before, I believe that the presence of the Holy Father will bring all of us – Catholic and non-Catholic alike – together in tremendously powerful, unifying and healing ways. We look forward to Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia next September and we will welcome him joyfully with open arms and prayerful hearts (


Nothing has changed. God’s message remains the same. And so does the papacy’s. Their invitation says focus on the family on Sundays. Their invitation says love the planet by resting on Sunday. Their solution is for every person on the planet to take Eucharist on Sunday. Here’s one last quote from the pope encyclical:


Paragraph 236. The Eucharist, particularly, is “a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation” (par. 236). Participating in the Eucharist on Sunday “has special importance” (par. 237). And the celebration of Sunday itself can save us from “that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else” (Ibid).


Respectfully, I must disagree. As Jesus said in Luke 6 and Mark 2 and Matthew 12, only the seventh-day Sabbath is the anapausis of Jesus. 


Jon Weece in his book Jesus Prom says it this way: “In the heart of downtown Manhattan, right in the middle of the busiest city in the world—amid the maze of skyscrapers and the honking taxis and the people hurrying here and there—are 843 acres we know as Central Park. Forty million people a year spread out picnic blankets, throw Frisbees with their dogs, and enjoy leisurely jogs in the shade of tree-lined trails. But the biggest activity in Central Park each day is non activity. Most people come to Central Park to sit down. There are more than nine thousand benches in Central Park” (Jon Weece, Jesus Prom, p.71-72).

  1. Don’t lose focus (Luke 6:1-2; Deuteronomy 23:24-25)
  2. Methods not message changes (Luke 6:3-4; Leviticus 24:5-9; 1 Samuel 21:1-6; 2 Chronicles 30:2-3; Matthew 5:17-18)
  3. Sabbath helps us focus on the family, environment, and Creator (Luke 6:5; Mark 2:27-28; Words Matter; Matthew 11:28; Quotes; Psalm 24:1; Matthew 12:20)

How? Because Psalm 24:1 reminds us that the environment is God’s.


Psalm 24:1 (Environment)

1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.


But not just the environment, also all the families of humanity are His too. “All its people belong to Him.” And how does our Creator treat environment and creatures? With tender compassion and love.


Matthew 12:20 (Creator)

He who will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.


None of this Sabbath stuff is supposed to be a burden or a barrier. We make it those things. We should apologize for that when we have. Which we’ll talk about next week. Rightly understood, Sabbath is a blessing and a benefit. Something God gave all humanity in the beginning (cf. Gen.2:1-4) and something He’s giving every nation, tribe, language, and people in the end (cf. Rev.14:6). The question is: for the sake of the family, environment, and Creator, will we accept His gift?