What You Get Is Not What You See

Scripture: Proverbs 14:12, Daniel 7:25, Mark 12:30-31
Date: 02/07/2015 
Lesson: 6
"Why is it important to understand the reality of human free will and free choice, even if God is ultimately in control?"
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Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome, once again, to Sabbath School Study Hour. I'd like to welcome those of you joining us across the country and around the world - those watching on the various television channels - also on the internet. Thank you for being a part of our study together. Also, a warm welcome to the members of the Granite Bay church that have come and joined us here at the Amazing Facts studio as we continue our study in the book of Proverbs. And friends, if you're joining us for the first time, we're studying through the lesson quarterly on the book of Proverbs and today we're on lesson #6.

If you don't have your own study, you can download today's lesson by going to the amazing facts website - just amazingfacts.org and download today's study, it's lesson #6, and follow along with us. We also have a free offer that we'd like to let you know about. It's a book, written by pastor doug, entitled determining the will of God and we'll send this to anyone for free. All you have to do is just call our resource line, the number is -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #778. Again, that number is -788-3966 and ask for the book determining the will of God - free offer #778.

Well, before we begin our study, let's just bow our heads and ask God's presence to be with us. Dear Father, we thank you for the opportunity to gather together to study the Bible and we invite your presence. We know the word is filled with wisdom - practical wisdom for everyday living - and so, bless our time together this evening for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you Pastor Doug.

Thank you Pastor Ross. And thank you, friends, for coming out tonight. It's a little foggy and cold here in Sacramento. We appreciate the dedication of our prayer meeting group to come out and let us, sort of, hijack our prayer meeting time for Sabbath school time until we get moved into our new building, which should just be well, three or four more weeks we're going to be doing this and then we'll be in the new facilities doing it Sabbath morning like we did for years and so that'll be great. As Pastor Ross mentioned, we are dealing with the book of Proverbs now, we're in lesson #6, which is what you get is not what you see.

And our homework, really, is this lesson is attached to Proverbs 14 and 15 and so we're going to try and cover as much of that - from Proverbs 14:1 to Proverbs 15:33 - I think we may even cover the first verse of Proverbs 16. Memory verse is 1 Corinthians :12 and if you'd like to say this with me, that'd be great. Oh no, no - sorry, let me say that again. The memory verse is Proverbs :12 - Proverbs 14:12 and this is from the new king James version. Are you ready? "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

" You know, doing evangelism, you actually use that verse a lot because some people will hear the biblical truth presented and they'll say, 'well, I know that's what the Bible says but, you know, I feel this seems right to me.' But it conflicts with the Word of God and how many people say, 'well, I'm not sure, you know, lots of churches, lots of religions and I don't know. I'm just going to have to follow my heart.' You ever heard that before? 'I'm going to have to do what seems right to me.' You've got to know what the truth is. It's pretty dangerous to gamble with eternity and say, 'I'm just going to kind of go with my feelings.' And things aren't always what they seem to be. That's why the title of this lesson is what you get is not what you see. You can't walk by sight, you need to walk by faith in God's Word.

There's a whole battle going on, between good and evil, behind the veil that we can't see. There's angels in this room we can't see. And we really need to live by faith in what is unseen and not be living by sight. Now there's actually a verse in Corinthians 13:12 where Paul alludes to that and he says, in that passage, "for now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

" And in the word there it says, 'now we see in a glass, dimly' - or in a mirror, dimly. You really need to know that in Bible times they didn't have glass like we do. Their very best glass was what you would call 'translucent' today. So when it even talks about the streets in the new Jerusalem being like transparent glass, they didn't have any transparent glass. They were really talking about translucent glass because - I'm trying to think if there's - any of you seen, like, hand-blown glass from just, you know, when they heat things up they didn't have a way to roll it and flatten it and make it perfectly clear like your windshield on your car, which may not be clear right now but, you know, when you get it from the dealer it is.

Or like the windows in your house - it was all a little warped and distorted. And our vision - our view of God today is a little distorted. We see through a glass darkly. Even as we're trying to understand what God's prepared, Paul said you can't even comprehend that. And so, our vision is distorted now and we really need to go by what the Word of God says and not by earthly vision.

Now, if you go to Proverbs chapter 14 - you know our lesson is to see if we can get through and 15. I'm going to read a couple of verses here. First of all, verse 1, "the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman pulls it down with her hands." Now, of course, that's a practical statement for anybody. What's the main figure - and I'm jumping ahead now - last chapter in Proverbs deals with what? Super woman. You ever read that? Where it talks about 'who can find a virtuous wife?' And then, any woman that reads that feels intimidated.

Because it talks about this woman who wakes up early and she goes to the Market and she's spinning clothes for her kids and all her kids and family are wearing the best and they all rise up and call her blessed and you're going, 'wow!' That's a pretty high ideal. What is the bride of Christ? Church. It's a symbol for the church, right? And so, you've got - Solomon alludes to that in some of the Spiritual metaphors, I think, through this, but the women often would take care of the things around the home and the men were often out in the fields. And I could show you a number of examples of that in the Bible, but I think that you probably agree with that. And so - but it's got also, I think, a spiritual analogy that the church of God should be built up.

If it turns in on itself, you tear it down and it just sort of self destructs. Verse 2, "he who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises him." When people say, 'well, I love the Lord and I'm a God-fearing person.' How do you show that? By walking in the way of the Lord. Can you think of a character in the Bible that said he feared God and hated evil? First verse in the book. "There was a just man in the land of uz." Job. Job.

"Who feared the Lord and hated evil." How do you know that? By the way he walked. Then it goes on and tells you about how he prayed and his relationship with God. The rest of the book shows you about the righteousness of job. And so when a person says, 'I love the Lord and I fear the Lord.' They'll demonstrate it by their walk. And likewise, he that is perverse in his way despises him.

So if a person says, 'I love the Lord.' But they're perverse in their way, does the new testament say 'he that says 'I love the Lord' and keeps not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him? So it's the same principle. Paul is - or rather Solomon here is saying it's not just a profession, it's seen in the life. And then we get to verse 3 and this is really the title for Sunday, the assurance of the fool. It sounds like an oxymoron, right? And it says here, "a scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it." No, actually, I'm sorry, "in the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride." That's Proverbs 14:3 - "in the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them." What does it mean "in the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride?" You know, this is one of the places where another translation makes it a little clearer. If you look in the new english version, which isn't a bad version, it says, "by the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back.

" It's basically saying that when a person is opening their mouth and saying foolish or reckless things, especially when you lived in a monarchy, you can end up getting punished for treasonous, reckless things that you say and it's also true with children, that your lips can cause your flesh to sin. We talked about that, I think, in our last study. "But the lips of the wise will preserve them." Doesn't it also say in Proverbs "a soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up strife." Have you ever seen someone diffuse what could be a very angry situation by speaking angry words to maybe a person who had a short fuse? Where if you had spoken in a calm voice - and it can happen in a marriage, it doesn't have to be - I was driving down the street this week, stopped at a light, I saw a guy race up in the lane next to me, slammed on his brakes, jumped out of his car, and - at first I thought he's trying to fix something wrong with the back of his car - close his hood or something before the light changes, but he went - it was a case of road rage. He went to the car behind him and I couldn't hear everything he was saying, but he was shaking his fist and I thought he was going to light into the person in that car. And they were talking very calmly and he never did actually lay hands on the other car - as I pulled away, it looked like it was being resolved, but yeah, it could have gotten out of hand if there had been violent or hostile words.

And then it goes on to say - now someone look up for me - I don't know who's going to have our first Scriptures. Okay, that'd be Matthew 7:6, in just a moment here we'll get to that. Now I'm going to read Proverbs and let's do verses 6 through , "a scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands." Alright, let's pause right there with that verse. "A scoffer seeks wisdom" - wouldn't everybody who seeks wisdom find wisdom? "A scoffer seeks wisdom" - what's a scoffer? You know, Peter says, in the last days, 'scoffers will arise walking after their own lusts saying, 'where's the promise of his coming?'' They mock the second coming. Seeking wisdom - can you think of somebody in the Bible that sounded like they were seeking truth but it was sort of sarcastic? What did pilate say to Jesus during his trial? You can look in John - yeah - John 18:38, pilate said to him, "what is truth?" And then he walked away.

It looked like he was seeking wisdom, but it was really scoffing. He just shrugged and had a sarcastic - like no one can really know. Boy, can you imagine how pilate's going to feel in the judgment when he sees that he was standing before the very essence of truth - truth incarnate - and he said, 'what is truth?' And didn't wait for an answer. To be that close to the source of truth. I mean, wouldn't you all wish that you could consult an oracle somewhere and ask them what truth was? Pilate had Jesus - a captive audience, really - and said, 'what is truth?' And walked away.

Just said it sarcastically. Oh, it makes me shudder to think about it. Proverbs 14, verse 7, "go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. This wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit." Now, there are some other verses that - and these are not easy verses, but they are in the Bible and they come from the lips of Jesus. Go ahead, read for us Matthew 7, verse 6.

"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." Now this is not a happy verse and I don't hear too many pastors telling people how to apply this verse, but is it clear to everybody that Jesus is not talking about dogs and pigs? When he's talking about casting your pearls before swine, what is he talking about? It's a type of people. When he talks about giving what is holy to the dogs, dogs was a term that was not only used for dogs, in the Bible, dogs was a term that was used by God - who is outside the new Jerusalem? Dogs. I've had people read that before where it says, 'without' - speaking of the new Jerusalem - 'for without are dogs' and people said, 'does that mean all the dogs are going to be lost? I said, 'no, it has nothing to do with puppies and canines, it has to do - we just got a dog in the Batchelor house. Oh man, it's like an alien's invaded. Oh, it is.

Nothing's the same. Yeah, I wake up in the morning and I think - yeah, that's a different subject - okay. Anyway, but you know, dogs are nice enough. They're cute for a while, but he's not talking about dogs. He's talking about what is holy that you don't give to the dogs and the pigs.

Your life? Your time? If people are going to mock God and gobble up your time and scoff what you believe is precious, you know, I know that sometimes you'll endure it for awhile to witness to somebody, but sometimes the devil will send people - I believe this - I believe the devil has his representatives and he will send people into your life to turn you away from what's really important. And I think we should love everybody. I used to wonder, 'how did Jesus deal with people that would try to monopolize his time but weren't really interested in changing, they just wanted someone to listen to them talk to themselves or someone to complain to. Someone once came to Jesus and they said, 'Lord, tell my brother to give me the inheritance.' And Christ said, 'man, who made me a judge and ruler over you? I'm not the court executor over your will.' And he wouldn't get sucked into it. But there are people who will try and draw you out and take what you say and use it against you.

Did people follow Jesus around and try and trap him in his words? So, Solomon is talking about that, "go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge." You know who you should be friends with? The Bible says, 'he that is friends of a wise man will be wise.' So, you know, choose your friends - I'm not talking about witnessing to people now, we want to be witnesses to everybody, but you don't want to have the wrong kind of influences. By the way, there's another proverb - I'm jumping ahead, but it goes with this last one - if you look in Proverbs 26, verse , "answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." And so you can get sucked into a meaningless argument with foolish people. That's why it says, "go from the presence of a fool." Don't get sucked into arguing about foolish things that are not productive and - don't do them any good - doesn't do you any good. Somebody said once, 'if you get into a fight with a pig, you'll both get dirty but the pig will enjoy it.' You ever heard that before? So I think that's sort of a rough rendering of what Jesus is saying there - and Solomon. Proverbs 14, verses 15 through 18 - oh, by the way, of course, we've got verse - well, I'm going to read verse 10, "the heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.

" There's something Solomon is saying that you only can really understand. Of course, God knows all things. That's another illustration of our lesson title that everything's not what you see. Some certain hearts have gone through great trial and you have no idea. I went to get a haircut today.

I know you find that hard to believe. A lady has been cutting our hair and our kids' hair since the boys were very young and she was starting to ask some questions and she asked - she knew about stephen and nathan - she said, 'well how many children do you have?' And I said, 'well, five now. We had six and, you know, we lost one.' And she just stopped and she stared and she thought, 'you know, I've' - it's like there was this unspoken communication - 'I've known you all this time. It's been these very short encounters, obviously, with me it's a very short encounter for a haircut, but she was not aware that we'd been through a very painful experience. And a lot of people have - most people have some kind of sorrow in their heart that they only know.

He's talking about "a stranger does not share in its joy." Sometimes there's sadness and there's joy that other people can't realize - that you really only know yourself. "The house of the wicked will be overthrown," - what happens if satan tries to cast out satan? It says his house will not stand - "but the tent of the upright will flourish." Now what's the difference between a house and a tent? Which is built, usually, more firmly? The house. The house. Any of you ready to trade in your house for a tent? One week camping out's enough, right? A weekend. But you notice what it says here, "the house of the wicked is not as stable as the tent of the upright.

" You know, there were some people in Jerusalem, they lived in the hills of Judea around the time of Jeremiah, when Nebuchadnezzar was getting ready to conquer Jerusalem, and it was The Sons of jehonadab, and they lived in tents. But because they were faithful to God, Jeremiah made a promise to them from the Lord - they promised never to drink wine, to always obey their father, and they lived in tents. Jeremiah said, 'you are going to survive the siege better than the people that live in houses in the city.' And it doesn't tell the follow up, but I'm assuming the word of the Lord came true there. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man" - verse 12 - "but the end thereof are the ways of death." Then he goes on and says, "even in laughter the heart may sorrow," - yeah, have you ever known of famous comedians that are very sad people? I think the world was stunned when they got news that robin williams, who was just, you know, a brilliant clown, took his own life because he was going through just so much, evidently, internal melancholy - depression - sorrow. And so some people - have you ever been to - I don't like going to parties, I'm sorry.

Well, you know, sometimes we go to these functions and you need to be there for whatever reason and it's just a whole lot of small talk. And people are laughing and it just, you know - but it may not be genuine joy. I like when people talk about real things that have eternal consequences. Just the idle chatter and the light conversation, I'm never very good at that. "Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief.

" Mirth is like a party - celebration - and nabal woke up from his wine and found out that he nearly died because of what happened with David. Noah woke up from his wine and found out what had happened with his son. Lot woke up from his wine - you know what I'm saying? It's talking about that kind of mirth there. The end of it can be grief. Jumping down here to Proverbs , verse 15.

"The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps." Now does Jesus tell us that we ought to be prudent in what we believe? Here's a verse for you, Matthew chapter 10, verse 16 - Christ said to his followers - this is for all of us, "behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves." - Doesn't that sound like a suicide mission? - "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." How many animals are mentioned in that one passage there? You've got the wolves and the sheep, the serpents and the doves. Obviously all total diametric opposites. What does Jesus mean by that? He goes on to say, "but beware of men," - is he talking about sheep and wolves and doves and serpents, or people? Some people have those characteristics and he's speaking, of course, in metaphors here. Christians ought to be meek.

We ought to be humble. We should not be gullible. Is there a difference? I've know some very dear, Christian people that made some very bad financial and other decisions because they just trusted people at their word without asking for - who was it? Ronald reagan that used to say, 'trust but verify.' Without asking for some verification of this investment or this agreement or, yeah, I just need a place to live for a few days and - or whatever it might be - and then just totally get taken advantage of. Christians need to know how to be loving, be Christ-like, and also not be gullible. And that's what Solomon is saying here and that's what Jesus is saying.

Be loving, be kind, be meek, but we also need to be - why wise as serpents? What Christian wants to be compared to a serpent in any way? He's not saying be a serpent. Who's the serpent? It's the devil. Is the devil smart? Yep. He is. And what kind of animal did the devil use as his medium? The serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts that the Lord God had made.

And there's nothing wrong with wanting to be at least aware of what the tactics of the devil are so he doesn't pull one over on you. That's what Jesus is telling us. Be wise to his plans. Proverbs 14:16, "a wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident." Sometimes a person is making a bad choice or going down the wrong path and they realize it. If you're wise, cut your losses and turn around.

That's wisdom. But a fool says, 'oh, this is what I'm doing. Can't be wrong. I'm just going to press on.' Solomon says, 'well, you may press on to your own destruction here. "A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident.

A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated." Now some examples of this in the Bible: there was a king - now if you want the reference, I'll give it to you. You may not have time to look it up. 1 Kings 20, verse 18. Some of you may remember the story where the King of syria, ben hadad, he was attacking the king of Israel. At that time, it actually happened to be ahab.

Believe it or not, ahab won a couple of battles against syria, partly because Elijah was in the kingdom praying for them, and the King of syria had just these vast massive armies surrounding samaria. Samaria is the capital of Israel - northern kingdom and - but the king, while he had the city besieged - yeah, it's a long - waiting for someone to surrender took years sometimes and so, during the time when he had the city besieged, he's out under all his tents in his pavilion and he starts drinking and he drinks himself drunk. And finally, God had told ahab, 'I want you to go out and attack. You can't survive a long siege in samaria.' And God said, 'ahab, take the princes of the kingdom and go attack.' Even he said, 'you know, we're just a handful compared to this army.' He said, 'I'll be with you.' And it really took faith on ahab's part to send the soldiers out and he said, 'who leads them?' God said to ahab, 'you lead them.' So ahab leads out this just small contingent of crusaders against this massive syrian army, but the King of syria got drunk and he gave this really dumb order to his soldiers that they had to obey - he's the general. Here's what the order was: they said, 'there's some soldiers coming out of samaria.

' 'Oh, they're actually coming out to fight?' He says, 'I tell you what, if they come out for peace, take them alive and if they come out for war take them alive.' Have you ever tried to take someone alive who's coming to kill you? And the princes of Israel just totally slaughtered and actually won this battle because the bad orders a king made in his pride and his foolishness. That wasn't just the enemies that had Kings like that. King Saul could be impulsive and proud and issue some of these very reckless orders. Remember, we're reading - we're giving some examples of Proverbs 14 - "a quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated." The example I'm giving you is found in 1 Samuel 14. I'm going to read this to you - Samuel 14 - Israel is going against the philistines.

God said, 'you're going to win the battle.' And now Saul has been king for just a little while, he's had some victories, and he's starting to feel pretty self-confident. "And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, 'cursed is the man'" - he says to his own soldiers - "'cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.'" - The philistines - well, but telling soldiers they can't eat in a battle - they can't even take any of the spoil, is a really dumb order. So, obedient to the King - "none of the people tasted food. Now all the people of the land came to a forest; and there was honey on the ground. And when the people had come into the woods," - by the way, when it says it's a land flowing with milk and honey, it really was.

They've got honey dripping out of the hives onto the ground. There was a puddle of it under a tree - and it says, "when the people had come into the woods there was the honey, dripping; but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath." But jonathan, he hadn't heard his father charge the people, he stretched out the end of his pole, dipped it in the honey, put some in his mouth - his countenance was brightened - "then one of the people said, 'oh, your father strictly charged the people with an oath saying, 'cursed is the man who eats food this day.'' And the people were faint. But jonathan said, 'my father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened'" - his blood sugar jumped up - "'because I've eaten a little of this honey. How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found!'" - There would have been a much greater victory or slaughter among the philistines.

And so, making rash, wrathful, impulsive decisions, Solomon says, it usually doesn't end well. That's why Solomon says, 'in the multitude of counsel there's safety.' When a king just starts to spurt out orders without talking to other people, you're going to make bad decisions. And then you have, in Proverbs :18 - now someone's going to look up for me 1 Thessalonians :21 - you'll be ready for that? Proverbs 14:18, "the simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge." What's the most important thing you can inherit - according to Solomon? What did Solomon pray for? Wisdom. If you get wisdom - now, you might think, 'if I'm going to pray about an inheritance, I'm going to pray about like a bill gates inheritance, right? But really, if you pray for wisdom, God knows, the other stuff can come if you seek first God's kingdom. Seek first God's kingdom and all the other things'll be added.

And that's what Solomon did. This is what he's saying here in this verse. "The prudent are crowned with knowledge." Alright, now under Monday, the fear of the wise, and this is - let's go to Proverbs - let's see here, Proverbs 14, verse 18 - it's part verses 6 and 18 - "but knowledge is easy to him who understands, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge." 'The wise are cautious,' we read in Proverbs 14:15. 'The wise are calm,' we read in Proverbs 14:29. 'The wise are compassionate and sensitive.

Here it's talking about the fear of the wise as contrasted with the fools that we were looking at. Read for us, please, 1 Thessalonians 5:21. "Test all things; hold fast what is good." Yeah, that makes us also think about where John says, 'try the spirits to prove what source they are.' And God wants us to use wisdom - judgement - to use the gift of evaluation. You can read in Mark chapter 12, verses 29 through 31, "'the first of all the commandments is: 'hear, o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There are no other commandments greater than these." And so, in understanding the fear of the wise - loving the Lord with all your heart, loving your neighbor as yourself is really the foundation of that biblical - that biblical wisdom and the fear of the wise. And, you know, I quoted a verse before, but I didn't give you the reference: 1 John 4:1 - and that's where it says, "beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the Spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." In the last days, what does Jesus say, in Matthew 24 - the first thing he says regarding - about the last days? "Take heed that no man deceive you." Not only does he say it in Matthew 24 at the beginning, in the middle he says, "for there shall arise many false Christs and false prophets. And then he says, 'and the deception'll be so effective in the last days, if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived.' So how are we going to know the true from the false? We need to know how to test the spirits - try the Spirits - evaluate things. You ever have anyone write you a letter and tell you they're a prophet? Or send you a note and tell you they're a prophet? I can't tell you how often we get letters here at amazing facts - from, probably, some very dear and sincere people.

And I've got a number of charismatic friends and they believe that, you know, a number of members in every congregation, people have the gift of prophecy and so they'll say, 'the Lord gave me a prophecy for you, Pastor Doug.' I usually thank them and, you know, could be. I'm always afraid when someone says, 'I've got a message from the Lord for you.' You don't want to dismiss it and say, 'oh, you know, there's a lot of kooks out there, because what if the Lord does have a message? So how do you know? Well, at first I listen to the message and I say, 'does this match up with the Scripture?' And there's our gift where it talks about, you know, how do you know the will of God? You just apply some of the principles in deciding the will of God and that can usually help you sort out if it's from the Lord. Alright, now Tuesday - someone's going to read for me 2 Chronicles 16:9 - okay, you'll have that in just a moment - and it's the eyes of the Lord. This is one of my favorite sections in our study this week - the eyes of the Lord - and I'm going to read Proverbs 15, verse 3. Now we've jumped into Proverbs - haven't covered every verse in Proverbs 14, but we got quite a bit.

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." I told Karen tonight, I said, 'I want to put up some signs in our neighborhood.' - We've got like a neighborhood community watch - and I don't know what your neighborhood's like but it seems like we've had a few break-ins - there's been some burglaries and some car vandalism and things, but I've noticed that we had problems on our property up in the hills. People were sneaking on and trying to grow pot and we just struggled with it for years. I remember Karen and I driving all over the land nailing up signs telling people don't steal firewood and other things. Then we put up signs everywhere that said 'no pot growing.' You think you'd know that, you know, but just nothing seemed to work and it's a real concern because they don't care much anymore, but a few years ago, if you were growing on your land, they'd take your property away. And so you had to really - it was something we worried about - so finally you know what settled it? They came out with these wildlife cameras.

You know what I'm talking about? Motion-activated wildlife cameras - we bought a few of those and put them up around the land. But you know what I did is - what did as much good as wildlife cameras is - we got some neat pictures of bears and skunks and rabbits and foxes and all kinds of things - is we put up signs and the signs say 'property protected by video cameras' - or wildlife cameras. Everyone up there knows what that means. Well there's trees everywhere and you can hide these things and no one knows 'where are they?' And the thing is, if they're - if anyone's walking around on the land and they're motion activated - we haven't had any problems anymore and so I told Karen, 'we need to put those up in our neighborhood. This neighborhood - because some of the neighbors do actually have video surveillance - video security.

So we need to just put a sign up and that'll fix it. Can you go anywhere today where there's not a video camera? How many of you have them on your phones? It just - it seems like everywhere you turn. Now if, in our culture today - I got on Google earth - I don't know if I should say this. Now I have to. No, I can say it, it's alright.

I got on Google earth and, you know, you've seen Google earth, it's this satellite pictures of property that zoom in and every year their resolution gets sharper and it gets better and better and, you know, periodically I can't go places, but I do take these imaginary trips with Google earth all over the world. I've been all over the world just zooming in on islands - Karen'll walk in sometimes and I'm out in the middle of the pacific and I'm saying, 'you know, I don't think anyone knows about this island here.' Looking for a place to go and - but I've zoomed in to some towns and you can look right into people's yards and they took a bunch of pictures one year in the fall and I was shocked how many people I knew that they were Christian homes and they, evidently, have medicinal marijuana growing in their backyards. You think about these eyes up in the sky. Do these satellites see more than God? The eyes of the Lord are everywhere. He sees everything and that's - go ahead, give us our next verse, Proverbs chapter - I'm sorry it's rather 2 Chronicles 16:9.

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him." This is one of my favorite verses and I'd like it better if the second half of the verse didn't really talk about battles. But 'the eyes of the Lord run' - some versions even translate that 'the eyes of the Lord scan to and fro through the whole earth.' Now God sees everything at once, but what is God looking for? To show himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him. God is looking for people through whom he can demonstrate his power because they trust in him. And when it says 'the eyes of the Lord are scanning,' you know what that means? He is searching for somebody that is searching for him. Amen.

That's why the Bible says that if we draw near to the Lord, he'll draw near to us. We read a verse a minute ago about people scoffing - they seek the truth but they're scoffers and that's like people who they're not really hungering for the truth. The Bible says, 'if you search with all of your heart' you'll find me. And Jesus, we read this, 'love the Lord with all of your heart' and God is wanting to show his power through and to people - you know, it just makes me sad. You think about God just - it's like he says to the devil in the book of job, 'have you considered my servant job?' It's like God said, 'I found one.

I found one here on earth that trusts me.' And it's like he wants to find others. That's why Jesus said, 'whoever confesses me before this evil and adulterous generation - I'm looking for somebody. I will confess their name before my Father in Heaven because he's looking for somebody out there that really trusts in me that believes in me even when no one is looking. The eyes of the Lord - is there anything that is hidden from him? No. The eyes of the Lord are in every place watching on the evil and the good.

He not only sees the good, he sees the evil. God sees all things - all things, the Bible tells us. Matter of fact, I'm jumping ahead - that's Hebrews 4:13, "and there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." That's both an encouraging and also a frightening verse - that he sees everything and hears every word. You know, in doing Amazing Facts I've been amazed at the eyes of certain creatures. Chameleons are fun to look at because their eyes - you've probably seen the chameleon - they barely move, you know, they crawl across a branch with their two little things and - but they've got these eyes that are in independent turrets that it's not like they look - and one's going this way and one's going this way and it's just, you know, like on the opposite sides of their head and they've got incredible focus.

When their eyes lock in - they've got this stereoscopic vision and then their tongue goes out like lightning and gets a dragonfly or bug or something, they almost never miss. But they're - it always looks so funny that their eyes are always scanning. You can't even tell they're alive except you see this green stick with eyes on it moving around. And then penguins - have you ever considered penguins have the most versatile eyes in the world? Now eagles have got better vision, but a penguin's eye has to go from the brightest light in the world - when you're at the south pole when it's summer down there and there's snow everywhere and you've got - I mean, we would get snow blindness. It's as bright as - their eyes can constrict to a pinhole - so they see - you know, your iris constricts? But then they dive in the water and they go from vision that sees clearly above water in the air - you know what happens to your eyes when they go in the water, you need a mask or you need goggles because you can't see.

Then their eye adjusts for underwater seeing and they can dive down over a thousand feet in pitch-black darkness and see squid down there. The pupil just goes 'bwaa!' Like it's on lsd - it's great big - what a radical difference - penguin eyes - it's probably not the best illustration for the eyes of the Lord but he made penguins. Here's another verse, job 28, verse 24, "for he" - the Lord - "looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens." There's nothing that is hidden from the eyes of the Lord. Psalm 33:18, "behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his mercy." Now when it says, 'the eye of the Lord is on them' what do you think it means? Isn't the eye of the Lord on everybody? Jonah thought he could run from God. Did the eyes of the Lord see Jonah? Was Jonah dim to God there in the belly of the fish or was it just as bright to him as though it was illuminated? God sees everything perfectly.

He can - so when it says 'the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous' that's really talking more about that he is giving them his attention to their prayers and their needs. We think about when someone doesn't see something they're being neglected. So when it says 'the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,' it means he's watching out for them to protect them, to provide for them. "The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his mercy." Zechariah 4, verse 10, "for who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan" - that's actually the word 'scan' there - "the eyes of the Lord which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.

" In Revelation there's a lamb that's on - as it's been slain it's on a throne - how many eyes does it have? Seven. Have you ever seen a lamb with seven eyes? That's kind of strange, isn't it? Who is the lamb? Jesus. Why does he have seven eyes? You know, most of the information and knowledge that comes into your head comes through your optic nerves? I was telling Karen today, I saw something a little distressing, that I was driving back to the house, stopped at a traffic light waiting for the turn and I saw a blind man beginning to cross the street but he had missed the crosswalk and he's - you could tell he was blind, he had no glasses on and his eyes were sunk in and he had the white cane with a red tip on it and some bags in his hand and he's tapping his way across the street but he's tapping right off into - he just was forging ahead boldly - tapping off into cars that were running, waiting to turn and he got between them and about the - I'm thinking 'now what do I do?' I thought, 'well, I don't want to honk and scare him.' And he got between my car and, you know, obviously we stopped even though the light was green, and he got in front of a car - a truck - and the truck honked at him. I thought, 'well, that's not going to help him.' But he made it safely across, you'll be glad to know, but most of your information comes through your eyes and when it says the eyes of the Lord see everything and Jesus has got seven eyes, there's nothing that he doesn't know, is what it's telling us there. Boy, and if you think Google earth sees a lot on their satellite sites, have you heard about what the military can see with their satellites? You can make out - just with Google earth, you can make out particular cars, makes, and models.

I can - you know, I've heard stories that the - on a clear day, military satellites can read license plates. I don't know how they do that because they're on the side, but - something that small anyway. I believe it. God sees more. Amen.

Jesus said in Matthew 6, verse 22, "the light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness?" What does Jesus mean when he says, 'if your eye is single?' Focused. If a person's vision is out of focus and they can't see or if it's dull like Isaac and you're living in darkness - God wants us to have clarity.

Alright, Wednesday the joy of the Lord. Someone's going to read Proverbs :15. Who's going to be next? You'll have that brian in just a moment. Let me read Ecclesiastes 1:18. I know we're studying Proverbs but this fits along with the joy of the Lord.

I want you to think now - Ecclesiastes 1:18. Who wrote Ecclesiastes? Solomon. Solomon. The lesson here is on the joy of the Lord - this Wednesday - "for in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Wow, wait a second. I thought that the more you know, the more joy you'll have.

You ever heard the expression 'ignorance is bliss?' Uh huh. Have you ever wished you didn't know something or you hadn't heard or hadn't seen something? One reason children can enjoy life as much as they can is they don't always know the struggles mom and dad are going through. They don't always know the problems in the world, the dangers - you've even seen kids playing on war-torn streets laughing. I have anyway, because they just, maybe, are not able to comprehend it. So why does Solomon say that there and it says in Ecclesiastes 7:12, "for wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excEllency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

" Wisdom gives life to him that has it. Why does he say that when knowledge increases, sorrow increases? Well, sometimes it means you have more to worry about because you have too much. Go ahead, read for us Proverbs :15. And this is really where we want to take the discussion, but I just want you to think about both sides. "All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

" Some people actually have to go to a party of feast to have that temporary joy, but if a person has peace within, they've got a party all the time. You know anybody like that? They're just one of these sanguine people and they just take their party with them from place to place because they're just happy and they've got a good attitude. Mrs. Batchelor is like that. She's just - if you get her around people it's always a party - you just - right away.

Proverbs 15:17, "better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred." If you're living in a poor family where you just don't have much to eat, you've just got a few herbs - you've got a few veggies you've pulled - eating a potato and an onion for dinner, but you've got love and happiness, you're better off than if you're in a mansion where there's strife and distrust and anger. Solomon would know about that. Proverbs 15:23, "a man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" Now I don't remember the verse, but I know that Solomon says, 'a word fitly spoken is like an apple of gold in a setting of silver.' Or in pictures of silver - a couple of translations. The right word can really cheer a person up and a man has joy by the answer of his mouth. Sometimes you can just say the right thing and just really make a person's day and encourage them.

A compliment - a word of encouragement. Is joy something a Christian should be ashamed of or is joy something God wants us to have. Yeah. How can you advertise for people to be Christians if you're morose all the time and negative? It doesn't want to win anybody - don't you want to be around people that have joy? And, you know, one of the reasons that I became a Christian is I met a married couple that were always happy. Every time I saw them they were praising God, they were smiling.

The pastor that baptized me, he and his wife, they really knew the joy of the Lord. And even though I know they had heartache and trial, they just - they had this real joy and I said, 'you know, they don't drink, they don't use drugs and they're happy all the time. What do they have and what are they taking?' My father could never understand my grandparents because my grandparents never drank, but whenever he went over to their house, my grandmother played the piano, my grandfather sang, and they just - you know, just gregarious and vivacious and he said, 'how do you guys have so much fun with no booze?' That's what my father used to say. So Christians should be happy. I think billy Sunday said, 'if you have no joy in your religion, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere.

' Job :21, "he will yet fill your mouth with laughing and your lips with rejoicing." Laughter is not a sin. Now the Bible says we should avoid foolish jesting and, you know, there's a type of humor that's just totally inappropriate, but I think God - you just look at the creatures he made and there's stuff. We're looking at this puppy and as much as a challenge he is at times, sometimes he just gets this - he just gets full of energy and he'll grab a shoe and - he was taking everyone's shoes so we gave him his own shoe that didn't fit anybody anymore. He runs around the house and we just start laughing. He runs into the wall and he just - attacking this shoe - and so, you know, I think God inspired us this way.

You know they found out - they've done a number of animal studies and animals laugh. You know, it's easier to sense if - dolphins, they laugh. Chimpanzees - they'll see something happen to another chimpanzee and they let out this squeal and they laugh. They'll even roll around. And so, you know, God, I think, made his creatures with humor.

Now people struggle with this so I want to be clear, the Bible says Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Have you ever considered that one reason that Jesus was a man of sorrows is because of where Solomon said 'in much wisdom is much grief?' Jesus knew about the battle between good and evil. Jesus knew what his future was. Jesus knew that most of the people he preached to would not accept him. Can you imagine having that kind of burden once he realized his mission for life? He had a lot of wisdom that just probably sobered him up a lot.

But he was still a person of joy. Children were attracted to him. And so, I don't want you to always picture a Jesus that is sad, even though it does say he was a man of sorrows. He was acquainted with it but he had joy in his life. Last section is talking about the sovereignty of God for Thursday - last one we're going to cover.

Proverbs - if you look, for instance, in Proverbs 16:1 - and someone's going to read for me Proverbs 20:24. Who has that? You've got to pass the microphone, okay? Proverbs chapter 16:1, "the preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." You know, really, God controls everything. That doesn't mean we don't have a choice, but God still is sovereign, meaning he can work anything out no matter how bent we are in doing things our own way, God can either bless or confound whatever we might plan. And when it says the answer is from the Lord, you can't even give an answer without God allowing it. What happened when balaam tried to curse who God had blessed? Well, he wasn't struck dumb, actually, he opened his mouth and a blessing came out even though he wanted to curse.

The donkey, I think Pastor John lomacang's got a sermon called 'dumb and dumber' talking about balaam and his donkey. He starts to argue with his donkey. But the donkey, he was able to speak - but he couldn't even control what he said. And so God is ultimately sovereign. And this is the verse I especially want you to remember.

Go ahead read Proverbs 20, verse 24. "A man's steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?" Now God does give us a choice and what separates the saved from the lost is not that God has not willed all men to be saved, because the Bible says God is not willing that any should perish, but God knows how to work purposes out and he can work in the hearts of people and he can lead people. So if we choose to cooperate with the sovereignty and the providence of God, then wonderful things happen for eternity. So with that, I see by the clock we've run out of time, but I want to remind you that we do have a free offer and it's called determining the will of God. We'll send this to anybody that asks for it.

You can read it for free online at the amazingfacts.org website. If you do call and ask for the free offer, it's 866-788-3966. Ask for offer #778 and thank you very much friends. Next week we'll be studying lesson #7. God bless you until we gather together to study again.

I grew up in a church-going family. I mean, we were at every meeting. I sang in four of the choirs there. I directed three. Very involved, very active.

It almost seemed like busy work sometimes, you know? I went to Sunday school. I knew about God. I knew about Jesus but I didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My senior year in high school I got the news that my father had been murdered. I played it off well.

No one really saw that I was struggling with it. It just really felt like there was a hole that needed to be filled and I tried to fill it with drugs, with alcohol, with partying. After college I just stopped going to church altogether. One day, on a Sunday, because I didn't feel like going to church with my mom, I thought, 'you know, I should get a little bit of word.' She had the satellite system hooked up and I'm flipping through channels and then the logo pops across - Amazing Facts presents. I've listened to a lot of different ministers, but here was - this was the first time that he's actually saying something where I had to grab my Bible and actually pick it up and I've never heard this before.

Let me look through and find this. I went through all the storacles. I went through all the study guides and I just couldn't get enough. And then the Sabbath came up and he's going through the appeal and I'm just going, 'Lord, I hear you. I have to go to church.

' So I show up - it was funny, I didn't feel like I was going to be judged - anything judgmental - anything. And I walked in the door and I just felt at home. But there's still a problem. I'm still partying. I was still going out to the bars.

At this time, I was selling cocaine to pay my rent. Sixteen days later I find myself in a life or death situation. I had just came back from a liquor store and I grabbed a bottle of vodka and there I am, high off cocaine, with my Bible in hand, trying to do a Bible study and I heard an audible voice 'just look at yourself.' And I did and I was like 'what am I doing?' And I got on my knees. I said, 'Lord, if you do not take this away from me now, I'm going to kill myself.' I was going to continue this lifestyle and I was going to end up overdosing - having a heart attack - whatever it was. 'You have to take this away.

All of it.' And that day he lifted all of it away from me. It was all gone. When God does something in your life, he does it complete. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word. Go deeper. Visit 'Biblehistory.com'.

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