Paul and the Rebellion

Paul and the Rebellion

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:54, Romans 5:12-21, Ephesians 6:11-17
Date: 03/05/2016  Lesson: 10
"How can we bring healing and unity when people just don't agree on what we might believe are crucial points?"
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.

Hello friends, welcome again to Sabbath school study hour. A very warm welcome to our friends joining us - across the country and around the world - our extended Sabbath school class today, and also the members here at the Granite Bay church. A very warm welcome to all of you. Thank you for coming out and continuing with us as we study our lesson for this quarterly dealing with the subject of rebellion and redemption. Today we find ourselves on lesson #10 entitled Paul and the rebellion.

But before we get to our lesson I'd like to let our viewing audience know about a free offer that we have. It is a book written by Pastor Doug and it's dealing with how to survive and thrive in church. It's a little bit bigger than our normal free offers, but we'll be happy to make this available to anybody who calls and asks. The number to call is 866-788-3966 - again, the number is 866-788-3966 - and you can ask for offer #787 - how to survive and thrive in church. We'll be happy to send this to anybody in North America.

Well, before we get to the lesson, I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me here on stage and we're going to begin by lifting our voices in praise. Thank you, Pastor Ross. I invite you to pull out your hymnals for those of you that are singing along with us at home - hymn #524 - 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus - we're going to sing the first, the second, and the last verses. 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take him at His Word; just to rest upon his promise, just to know, "thus saith the Lord." Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him; how I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust him more! O how sweet to trust in Jesus, just to trust his cleansing blood; just in simple faith to plunge me 'neath the healing, cleansing flood. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him; how I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust him more! I'm so glad I learned to trust thee, precious Jesus Savior, friend; and I know that thou art with me, wilt be with me 'til the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him; how I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust him more! You know, my prayer is that you truly have a relationship with Jesus - that that is what you call him, 'Jesus, Jesus, precious friend.' We're going to continue singing with hymn #228. A hymn of glory let us sing; new hymns thro'out the world shall ring alleluia! Alleluia! Christ, by a road before untrod, ascends unto the throne of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Give us your joy on earth, o Lord, in heav'n to be our great reward. Alleluia! Alleluia! When throned with you forever, we shall praise your name eternally. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! O risen Christ, ascended Lord, all praise to you let earth accord: alleluia! Alleluia! You are, while endless ages run, with father and with spirit one.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! At this time I'll invite Pastor Ross to come up and we will have opening prayer. Just before we have our opening prayer for our lesson study, we like to highlight, from time to time, some various mission activities that church members are involved in or some of the things that Amazing Facts is doing and I am just delighted this morning to introduce the director for the afcoe india program and the associate director. We have zac williams and dr. Charles - both just got back from india not too long ago. They've been meeting with us in the office doing some meetings in preparation for the upcoming program.

So zac, tell us a little bit - how long has Amazing Facts been involved in the work there in india? Well, afcoe began in 2011 in the southern part of india in a place called ibrahimpatnam. It's a - almost everyone there speaks telugu and the purpose, at that time, was to reach out to many, many telugu pastors who had just begun working. And since then - I was not there in 2011, I came in 2013 - we began training different language groups. Alright, now understand, of course, india has more than one language - 18 actually. 18 Languages and they differ from place to place.

We were in the southern part of india in the andhra pradesh province. Dr. Charles, where are we right now? Where are we working? What area? What is the predominant language and religion where we're working right now? Well, we have moved from vijaywata, which is in andhra, to assam, rather now we'll be centering down in bengal and the language there is - are several, actually, but the major language being bengali and the next language being assamese, but generally everyone understands hindi. Where afcoe is located, not only are we going to be able to minister to people in india and, of course we have the various language groups, but I understand that we're sort of sandwiched between two other countries there and there's a possibility for us to work with some of the folks in these different countries. One of those countries that we could, quite possibly, be working with - actually, there's three - there's three, okay.

You've got nepal, bhuton, and bangledesh. We're right in the center of all of those. In addition to the training of students on site at the various locations that we have, the four-month training program, which is our extended program, what else do we do there in india as far as training? Well, one of the most primary aspects of the training would be to train fellow workers in the right kind of evangelism and to equip them with equipment and the Word of God, with which they can reach out to the different masses in that huge nation. And we will also be dealing with primary health messages, medical missionary work, and training people in the word, in doctrine, and in the ministry. Right now a big part of the work that we do is training both in personal and public evangelism but, as mentioned by dr.

Charles, having a medical component is so valuable, especially with the many villages - it gives an entryway for our workers to go in there and do some practical health ministry. Some of the things that people are being trained in the area of health evangelism - I know one of the areas is charcoal ministry, but what else do we do there? Hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and those different areas like that. Different types of wound care. Yes. Some of the things that the people come across and they're out there working in the villages.

What are some of the evangelistic outreach training opportunities and plans that we have for this year? Well, we're going to continue our afcoe on the roads. We have a very good connection with the northeast union. They're wanting us to go all over. They have, I think, five or six states there that they would like us to go and train their pastors - and not just go train them, but work with them with meetings and things like that. And then, we're also going to be, hopefully, purchasing some land.

We found some land and a hall to rent that we'll be able to start our new program in and, so yes, we'll be starting our own program there in west bengal - able to reach out to the hindi language and the surrounding area of the countries there. Now dr. Charles, the teaching, I know in the past, has been in multiple languages, but the feeling right now is, because of all of the languages in the area, what is going to be the predominant language that we're going to be teaching in? We'll be teaching in english, but we'll be translating it into other languages as the requirement needs. Okay, so primarily it'll be english and then we'll be translating into different languages. And - and our plan is to grab students from all over india that can understand english and then send them back out so we can reach out to all areas of india.

All right, so how many people in india right now? What's the population? 1.3 billion? 1.3 billion? Maybe I'm - a little more? I don't know. Could be. Okay. So one of the huge - one of those massive mission fields right there in asia is india. If any of those watching - if you'd like to learn more about the afcoe india program, we are going to be updating the website with some additional information so check back with the Amazing Facts website.

You can actually go to - the afcoe link - and, as mentioned, we'll be posting some additional information and a brand-new website about some of the things that are happening over there in india. Well, thank you so much for sharing - thank you. And we wish you all the best and may God give you folks strength and wisdom as you work in that vast mission field. Thank you. Thank you, zac.

Thank you. Thank you, dr. Charles. At this time I'd like to invite those of us here and those joining us to bow our heads as we ask the Lord's blessing on our study. Dear Father, once again we are so grateful to be able to gather together and open up Your Word.

We've been studying this very important subject about, really, rebellion and redemption and your great plan to restore men and women into the image that you originally intended for us, that being the image of God. So father, we ask your blessing upon our time today. Be with Pastor Doug, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug. I want to welcome you to our Sabbath School Study Hour and we're continuing with our study on rebellion and redemption.

Today we'll be doing lesson #10. We have a free offer - and I was just talking with Pastor Ross - this is sort of a premium offer - it's a book and it's called how to survive and thrive in church - by yours truly - and it talks about how do you survive if you're in a little church? A big church? A cold church? Just all the different people - some of the dynamics people struggle with in the various churches and how you can thrive and survive as a Christian. If you'd like a free copy of that, just go ahead and go to the phone number on your screen - 866-788-3966 - that's 866-study-more - ask for offer #787. We'll send you a copy, but you have to read it and then share it with somebody. Now we're in lesson #10 today dealing with Paul and the rebellion, talking about the Great Controversy - the rebellion between good and evil - and our memory verse is from Corinthians chapter 15, verse 54, and I'm going to read it here.

I've got it in the new king James version - 1 Corinthians 15:54 if you want to say it with me - "so when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'death is swallowed up in victory.'" You know, all through the writings of Paul, you can see contrasted the ideal of what God had - life - with the corruption and what happened because of the rebellion and sin. Paul understood what his mission was in that he was going to be battling between good and evil. In a moment here, I'm going to have somebody give an example of this and read 2 Corinthians 12:7 - okay, you'll have that hafdis? I'm going to read to you acts 26:15. This is where Paul got his call and he's relating his testimony. If your Bible is a red-letter edition, you'll notice this is one of the few places in the book of acts the words will be in red, because this is Jesus speaking to Paul - acts 26:15, "so I said, 'who are you, Lord?' And he said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.'" - That's a good pattern for anybody involved in ministry: share what you do know and he'll share with you more - "'I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the gentiles, to whom I now send you,'" - and this is what the mission is - "'to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God," did the apostle Paul recognize there was a diabolical power in the world? "From the power of satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'" That is a powerful verse. In some of my Bibles I've underlined that. What is the mission? What's our mission - as a church? As a Christian? 'Open their eyes, turn them from darkness to light, from the power of satan to God that they might receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life - an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith.' You're saved by faith from the devil - the whole thing is in this verse - did you catch that? Whole story is in here, about what the mission is. So Paul understood that there was this rebellion in heaven, that was playing out on earth, between good and evil. Now, in our first section in our lesson, it talks about adam and Jesus.

Most of what you're going to find about this is in Romans chapter 5. If you'll turn in your Bible to the book of Romans, chapter 5 - and somebody's going to read for me in just a moment Corinthians 15:21 and 22, I think. Okay. Romans 5, verse 6, "for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly. For scarcely for" - now, when it says Jesus died for the unGodly, what kind of people in the world is Paul talking about that Jesus died for? UnGodly people - okay, how many of those are there out there? Oh, about 7 billion.

(Laughs) 7 billion today - so when it says he died for the unGodly, that's everybody, isn't it? Because all have sinned. "...Christ died for the unGodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die." Now, you've heard in history about people - they may get the medal of honor posthumously because they laid down their lives for their fellow soldiers. It's considered heroic, you know, if you throw yourself on a hand grenade to save your friends. Or there are a number of other scenarios where someone'll run out into the street to save a child and they'll toss a child out of the way but they're hit by the car.

They lay down their lives to save someone else. I heard about a story years ago, up in yosemite where - there's a falls there and I can't remember the name of it. It's a very powerful falls you can stay under the edge and look in and it goes off a very steep - vernal. Vernal? Vernal falls, yeah. And there was a bunch of people there and this teenager - -year-old slipped and fell in and he was washing towards the falls and there was almost no hope of trying to get him and get him out in time, but a stranger - it was a marine - dove in and swam over and grabbed him and tried to save him and they ended up both going over, but he risked his life to save someone he didn't even know.

He had just, maybe, been trained in courage. So you're dying for a good person - would you put your life on the line? Most would do it for their child - good or bad, right? Die for a stranger - but what about someone that's not a stranger - what about an enemy? So when you're picking who you're going to die for, who would be the least likely candidate? An enemy. You'd be kind of thinking, 'good riddance!' Right? And this is what Paul is saying here, that while we were enemies of God - "while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

" Now Paul uses this as a foundation to talk about how, really, all of us have two destinies. We've got the destiny of what we call the first adam and the destiny of the second adam, which is Jesus. And, go ahead, why don't you read that for us, alberto - in 1 Corinthians 15:21? "For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." So when it says, 'for by man' what man is he talking about? The first man. God originally designed us to live forever.

After adam and eve sinned, something, for lack of a better term, something changed in our dna. I don't know where it is physiologically or mentally, you know, the brain is still quite a mystery but, before sin, man naturally loved God. Before sin, our love actually went outward away from ourselves. We found joy - we found our desire in giving love. After sin, the compass was broken - our magnetic poles got turned around in our head and all of a sudden we became - love for our self became the priority.

We developed this selfish nature. And every child of adam since then - babies - we think how cute and lovable they are. They are lovable but they aren't very loving. A baby, initially, is probably the most selfish creature. Who do they think about most of the time? Self.

They have to be taught to think about others. They naturally think about - 'I'm tired and I'm going to let you know. I'm hungry and I'm going to let you know. I'm thirsty and I'm going to let you know. I'm wet - or some other problem.

I'm going to let you know. I'm bored. I want you to hold me and walk back and forth even though it is three in the morning. That's what I want. I don't care how tired you are.

' They don't think about anyone but themselves and they really need to be taught that and some never learn it. And so, you know, we are - some of us learn to hide it a little better, but we need to be taught to love because ever since sin, because of the sin of the first adam, we're now under this death penalty. We struggle with these selfish natures. Jesus came as a second adam and we can be born again as different creatures that are motivated by love because a new birth happens on the inside and it says that he takes away the stony heart and he gives us a heart of flesh. And so you can read here, for instance, in Romans chapter - let me see here - I'll go to Romans 5, verse 12, "therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin," - that's sort of what we just read in 1 Corinthians - " and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned - (for until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of adam, who is a type of him who was to come." And the only reason he mentions Moses here is because Moses, then, is going to be pointing forward to the prophet like him that would come. It's gone beyond Moses. Jump to verse 17 - and it says here, "for if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one (adam), much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense (adam) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one man's righteous act (that's Jesus) the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." So what is the sum of these things? How many of you believe that - how many of you believe that because of adam's sin, that you struggle with sin and temptation? Is it real - for you? I mean, something is - do we - it's in our natures - it's in our bodies - it's real. Paul is saying the second adam, Jesus, because of his victory, you can be born again and you can have the same victory Jesus had.

You already know you - you can sin like adam or better. Because of adam's fall, you can fall. Paul is saying, because of Jesus' success, you can succeed. Amen. Just as real as it is - and you know how real it is - that because of the sin of adam we struggle with this in our nature - selfishness.

Because of the victory of Christ, when we come to him he gives us a new heart - new desires - we can have victory and have different lives. And so he's contrasting the two adams. We are adopted into the family of Christ at baptism and it represents a new birth - a new life - you become a new creature. You're created after the image of Jesus. And so that's what he's saying.

It's interesting when you look at adam. In many ways he's sort of is a type of Christ or even, almost, an anti-type, in that adam fell in a garden - Jesus overcame in a wilderness. They were both tested regarding appetite. They were also tested regarding knowledge and power and kingdom. You see, adam had dominion but he lost it through sin.

Jesus gained the dominion - took it from the devil - through victory. Adam went to sleep on the sixth day of the week. God opened up his side and out came a bride. That's not how most people get married. Jesus went to sleep on the sixth day of the week, God opened his side - or a roman spear opened his side - and in the blood and water the church was born.

And so, there's a lot of analogies between the first adam and the second adam that both rabbis and theologians have looked at over the years. And so, you can see the rebellion between these two poles - the two opposite pillars there. Alright, so Paul - I'm just going to tell you where I'm going really quick. Paul talks about the rebellion between good an evil. He uses a number of metaphors.

He talks about man when he talked about adam. He talks about a building. He talks about a body. He talks about the armor and then he talks about just the - the ultimate enemy. And so let's talk about the great rebellion as it goes through a building.

If you look in 1 Corinthians 3 - now Paul - when you read the first book of Corinthians, just to give you a little background, the church in corinth was not the most sophisticated Christian church in the roman empire. The church in corinth - corinth is a sea port. And what happened is a lot of slaves had converted to Christianity from many different parts of the roman empire and they didn't have all of the same sophistication and training that some of the Greeks and the Romans had - or even Hebrews - and Paul had to tell them, often, that they were misbehaving. Some of the behavior and the things you hear him saying to the corinthian church, you wonder if it was pervasive everywhere, but it wasn't quite as bad everywhere. Paul had to say, 'no, you cannot sleep with your step-mother.

' And just ignore that in the Christian church. You cannot stand up during the service and everybody start preaching and praying in their own native language. They were from many different countries. That's why Paul says so much about tongues. They had a big dispute about what language they were going to preach in, you know, because they all spoke different languages.

There were slaves from all over the roman empire and he said, 'look,' - there must have been a lot of them because he said, 'if you're going to translate a message and you have something to say in your native tongue, make sure there's a translator and don't do two or three - don't do more than two or three and do it in order. Take turns.' So - we just had zac and dr. Charles talking about india and I've been in india before, where you've got something and you say it in english and then someone else will translate it in tamil or telugu or hindi or bengali - or one of the other 15 different languages. In one service you might have two or three different translations. Well, they were having those problems.

Now, among the things they were arguing about there in corinth, is someone was saying, 'my baptism's better than your baptism because I was baptized by Paul.' And someone else says, 'oh, Paul, he's half blind and he's small. I was baptized by apollos - he's big and eloquent.' And they started bragging about whose baptism was more valid than the others. And Paul said, 'you're carnal. You're - what's wrong with you?' And so this is what he's addressing when he talks about this - 1 Corinthians 3:4, "for when one says, 'I am of Paul,' and another, 'I am of apollos,' are you not carnal?" He's saying, 'and you're acting like proud children.' "Who then is Paul, and who is apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building." Alright, there's two metaphors there: he's not only talking about you're God's building - we'll talk about that - he says, 'you're God's field.' Now where did Paul get the idea that the word is like seed and we're farming? Did Jesus talk about the sower going forth to sow and planting? And so - as evangelists, Paul and apollos were going around sowing the Word of God and sometimes Paul would go into one place and he would preach and he'd get a lot of interest - maybe he'd baptize a few. Then apollos would come and the interests that were not finished off by Paul, apollos got them. You know, I - frequently we get mail at the Amazing Facts office and people will say, you know, 'Pastor Doug, I saw this tv program back in 1995 and it really got my attention. It was talking about the Bible and Revelation.

' And it was pastor finley doing a net program - and it said, 'you know, I thought about it but then finally it came together and I got baptized in 1999.' Or vice versa - they'll say, 'you know, I heard that net 99 program or I heard your program, but a few things still just weren't clear. the Lord was working in my heart and then finally, you know, I went to a voice of prophecy thing with shawn boonstra.' You know what I'm saying? And sometimes I'll e-mail dwight nelson or shawn some of these testimonies because I say, 'look, I watered, you planted.' Or something like that. But it's God that gives the increase. Often in a person's conversion it's no one person. It's no one thing.

It's usually a series of things that God is doing in someone's life over a period of time. And so he said, 'you shouldn't be arguing about this. It's God's building.' Now why is he calling it a building? Go ahead, read for us, I think it's John chapter 2, verses 19 to 21. "Jesus answered and said to them, 'destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Then the jews said, 'it has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the temple of his body." So the idea of the church being the body of Christ, Paul is building on something that Jesus said there. Am I right? And you can look, for instance, in Matthew chapter 7.

You've got - he can talk about a good building and a not-so-good building. Paul said, 'some are building on hay. Some are building on stone.' And that also comes from Jesus - Matthew 7 - we all know this - 'whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I'll liken him to a wise man who builds his house on a rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.' You know, I remember hearing an evangelist say that - when an evangelist goes through town and he preaches and does a meeting, he said one of the most important things that you make clear at the beginning is the prayer life. What this particular pastor said really struck me because I thought, 'boy, I don't think I've done that the way I should.' He said because if people in the infancy of their Christian experience do not get prayer right, they may never get it right. He said one of the first things you've got to do is teach them that it's all about your relationship with the Lord and praying.

Ongoing prayer, it's not you, it's trusting in the Lord and you have to learn to naturally and often turn to God in prayer. And that's called a foundational teaching and if you don't get that foundation right, then you're building on the hay or wood or something else and the rest of the building is at risk. And so there are certain pillars of your faith that you need to have well-laid and you can build on them and it'll stand. But a relationship with the Lord through prayer would be one of those pillars, for example. More examples in the Bible of how we are building: Ephesians 2 - it's interesting, we just talked about this last week.

Ephesians 2:19, "now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple to the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." So, you know, this is interesting: when Paul says - or in Ephesians - that we are being built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, who was the cornerstone for the prophets? See, the new testament wasn't written yet, so it's not only the writings of the new testament, when he says prophets, what prophets is he talking about? Old testament. Old testament. And what was the cornerstone for the old testament prophets? Jesus. I mean, even way back then. That's what Paul's saying.

He said the cornerstone for the whole Bible - the apostles and the prophets is Jesus. And you and I are not just building on the new testament, we're building on the prophets in the old testament, that it all fits and frames together that way. I have mentioned this before, but I am always saddened when I visit a church of a different denomination and they sometimes provide Bibles but they only have new testaments. They say, 'well, that's the old covenant.' And they totally dismiss and throw out the old testament. Or you'll hear a pastor say something that's, you know, almost like that, from up front, just like, 'oh yeah, we don't - we don't study the old testament.

That was the old covenant. We're in the new covenant now.' And they spend all their time - they're missing the whole cornerstone because the new testament will not fit together unless you know about the old. And when the storm comes, there's a lot of things that aren't going to make sense - the building's going to come down. The whole body goes together - the whole Bible is one cohesive whole, right? Amen. Alright, so moving on, talking about the church as a body.

And you can find this, of course, in 1 Corinthians :14-26 and, matter of fact, why don't we go ahead - we'll read to start with 1 Corinthians 12 - go to verse 12. "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether jews or Greeks, whether slaves of free - and have all been made to drink into one spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many." Paul is saying that there's all different gifts. Matter of fact, let's go there real quick and I want to read some other things in that verse - 1 Corinthians 12 - I had it in my notes here but I need to turn to it in the actual Bible - and I want to go to verse 15, "if the foot should say, 'because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, 'because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as he pleased.

And if they were all one member, where would the body be?" Now if, you know, you just see a foot, you don't call that a person. It's everything together that makes it a person. Sometimes we think that there are people in the church - you look around and you think, 'well, what are they doing here? How can they contribute? My gifts are so much superior to their gifts.' And every part of God's body is needed. Now everybody needs to use their respective gifts. Some are hands - they don't ever speak, but they do.

But you can't just have Marthas in the church, you also need marys that are praying - they're sitting at the feet of Jesus. And you've got people who are in the prayer ministry and you've also got to have people that are the visionaries of the church and they're the eyes and the people that are the mouths and - we all know who they are in the church. And then you have some people are the noses and every other part. There's people with - all different gifts make up the body of Christ. Now is Jesus in the world today or did he ascend to heaven? He ascended to heaven.

That's a trick question. Jesus is still in the world today. He said, 'as The Father sent me, so send I you.' So does Jesus still have hands in the world today that heal? Does he still have a mouth that speaks? Does he still have feet that go? And so Jesus said, 'I'm sending you.' We are the eyes and the ears and the mouth and the feet and the hands of Jesus in the world today. His church is his body. We're to show who Jesus is to the world.

Is that right? Yeah. So we are the body of Christ. And if you look in 2 Corinthians 2, verse 10 and 11, "now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." Paul is, here again, talking about how the devil wants to bring in division in the body because I think we all know that when you start carving up a body it's not nearly as efficient. When parts of the body are separated, they don't operate as well and if a digit is separated from your hand or your toes or something, it doesn't live by itself for very long.

Does the devil try to create division? Did the devil try to create division in the old testament church? You realize there was a church in the old testament? Church just means a gathering of the people. Can you think of some examples in the wilderness where the devil tried to bring division? Did miriam and aaron start having a problem with Moses because he had married an Ethiopian wife? And it caused a division. Did some of the tribes resent Moses because they thought he was taking too much upon himself and they had a showdown that caused division? Did the levites take up their swords and execute those who worshiped the golden calf? You look at the wilderness experience and see - was there a division between caleb, Joshua, and the other ten spies? All through history - now go to the new testament. Did the disciples argue among themselves which was the greatest? Were they striving for the best seats on the right and left of Jesus in his kingdom? And you can just look all through the history of the church you're going to find - did Paul have a problem with Peter because he said Peter was being a hypocrite? Have you read that story in Galatians? Yeah. Has the devil changed? Does he still try and cause division among God's people so that he can slow our progress or neutralize our progress of representing Jesus? Paul said we are not ignorant of his devices.

These are the devil's devices. Colossians 1:24, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the church," - so is there any question about if Jesus has a body in the world today? What does Paul call the body? The church. The body which is the church. So when Jesus said, 'destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' What was he talking about? His body and his body is - the church. It's a symbol for the church.

He raised up the church. And we talked about that - the Lord still has a temple. Alright, let's talk about the armor of God for a moment and you can go to Ephesians 6, verse 10 and someone is going to read for me, in just a moment, psalm 91:4 - I'll get you all queued up. This is that great passage that talks about the armor of God. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Paul makes it about as clear as anybody that there's a battle going on between good and evil. How many of you sense that battle every day? Are you tempted to be selfish every day? I am - I'll admit it. Every day do you find yourself having to resist the carnal, regular inclinations, the old man and prefer the Spirit as opposed to the flesh? Every day there's this battle. Can we see the enemy? If you could see the devil, would you want to punch him? Wouldn't it be easier if you could fight him like that? But we can't.

What kind of enemy are we fighting? Spirit. Spiritual forces in heavenly places. It's very real. You know, I've often thought - can you imagine? I saw a documentary earlier this week on henry ford and what would ford think if you sat him down today in the most modern, sophisticated ford automobile? Say, just pretend for a moment you could briefly resurrect him and say, 'we want to show you - here's a ford.' You know, you could shine his name on the hood and say, 'let me show you what this car does. It auto-senses other traffic around it.

It has intermittent windshield wipers' - they didn't have that - 'radio? The radio has got surround sound, it's got a dvd player, it's got wi-fi. You can take your foot off the gas and it has automatic cruise control.' Henry ford didn't have that. He was an engineer. He would just have a meltdown if you could show him what a ford looked like today. Wouldn't he? He would never have dreamed, in his day, those things were possible.

Maybe some of them. If you brought Peter the apostle into our church today and he saw the screen and he saw a smart phone and saw you talking to somebody on the other side of the world on your phone - when I was in hungary, Karen - we're thinking of moving to a house closer to the church and so she was looking at houses with somebody and I called her on skype and here I am in hungary. She says, 'here, doug, let me show you the house. She turns the camera and she's walking. Peter would think that's witchcraft, wouldn't he? Yes.

But we know now that there's radio waves and, you know, wireless technology and we sort of understand there's a science behind all that. Someday, when we get to the other side and we see the fourth dimension where angels live - good and bad - the Spiritual world, we'll go, 'oh, yeah, it's very real.' But because we can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. There's a very real power that we battle against every day, that's in heavenly places. Now this idea about putting on armor, where did Paul get that analogy - that metaphor? Go ahead, read for us psalm 91, verse 4. "He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge; his truth shall be your shield and buckler.

" Now you have a shield - a buckler was like a smaller shield - and it's saying that his truth would be your shield. You can find a number of examples in the Bible where God talks about him being our armor. Now, notice that he doesn't just say 'put on the armor,' he says, 'put on the whole armor' several times. Why does he say 'the whole armor'? If you missed a piece of armor, you could be in trouble. I can think of a couple of stories in the Bible where someone neglected an article of armor and it was their undoing.

How did David kill Goliath? Throwing stones. Where'd the stone get him? Forehead. Doesn't the Bible say he had a helmet on? He did. But you know what? When he saw David coming, he saw he was just a boy out there in the valley on a hot day - the helmet's got hot - he pushed the helmet back and David saw his opening and, well, we know the rest of the story. King ahab went into battle trusting in his armor, but he had a crack in his armor - there was a chink - there was a joint - and an arrow found that joint that wasn't closed up and he got struck and he ultimately bled to death.

And so it says, 'put on the whole armor' because some don't put it all on. And then he illustrates what the different armor elements are and if you turn in your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 6 he talks about the breastplate. What's the breastplate? Breastplate of what? Righteousness. Of righteousness. What would that be analogous to today? You know, the breastplate only covered the front, meaning you're not supposed to be retreating from your enemy.

You need to be facing - the breastplate covered all of the vital organs like your heart, that you want to protect. And then he talks about the helmet is what? Salvation. The helmet of salvation. Put on the whole armor. Stand there for having girded your waist with truth.

They had a belt and everything was hung on the belt and you would run and you'd tuck your garments into your belt. Your sword hung on your belt. You ever see these soldiers that go out in the field now and they've got their canteen and their ammo and everything's on a belt. It just kind of holds everything together. We're held together with the belt of truth.

And he said, "having put on the breastplate of righteousness" that's protecting all the vital organs that - you know, you might get a cut on your arm and your leg, but you get cut on your heart and you're probably not going to make it. "Having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace;" - how important is good footing in a battle? And so we're - we need to make sure that the Gospel is our mission. In Isaiah 52 it said, 'how beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of those that bring the Gospel.' So we're on missions of sharing the Gospel. What would the disciples do if you went to a town and they didn't hear? He said shake the - dust off. Shake the dust off your feet if they won't listen.

So talking about the mission work - "above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one." So the devil is constantly sending flaming arrows of temptation. You don't even want them to get near you and so you need to deflect those arrows by the shield of faith. Now how do you do that practically? How important is faith in the Christian experience in overcoming temptation? Believing you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you - faith is crucial - faith is the victory, as they say. And praying always "and take the helmet of salvation," - the helmet - you know, you've got above your neck there are seven entrances. You've got two ears, two nostrils, two eyes, and one mouth - and probably because that's all we can handle.

Can you imagine having two mouths? And - but these are the avenues to the soul. Having that helmet of salvation actually is protecting what comes into your senses. You know, an astronaut has a helmet. What happens if he takes it off in space? His environment of life is in that helmet and your most vital organ here is your brain. Protecting what you allow to come into your mind is going to have the biggest influence on who you end up becoming.

And so Paul emphasizes this - the importance. And then you look in 2 Corinthians 11:14 - we've got to be guarded against - I want to finish what I started in Ephesians 6:11 - "put on the whole armor that you can stand against the wiles of the devil." What is 'wiles'? Wiley e. Coyote. When someone is wiley, what does that mean? Sneaky. Sneaky - and trying to always trap or trick somebody - 'to guard against the wiles of the devil' - you look in 2 Corinthians 11, verse 14 - this is very important - "and no wonder! For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness," - and Paul is saying the devil is going to come - Paul prayed very specifically and said, 'I know after my departure, grievous wolves will come in among you, arising from among you. From your own selves, to draw away disciples.' So where was Paul's biggest concern for the church, the pagans on the outside or corruption on the inside? Deception - and he said, 'the devil will have ministers that will be on the inside that you will think, 'oh, well they're ministers, they're safe.' And he says, the devil can be transformed as an angel of light. When satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, did satan suddenly appear and he had his red leotards and black bat wings and his goatee and his horns and hooves and - is that how he looked? And then he said, 'oh, if you're The Son of God, turn these stones into bread.' No? What do you think he looked like? Angel of light. 'I've been sent from The Father to relieve your suffering, but there's one little test, you need to prove your faith now and turn these stones into bread.' And so, does the devil still appear as a minister of righteousness? Yes. Yeah, for the purpose of deceiving.

So Paul understood this Great Controversy. Now our last section: the last enemy - Hebrews chapter 2, verse , "inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." What is - what can Jesus do to the devil? Jesus didn't come to bring death, Jesus came to bring life. Satan wants to bring death. They are opposites. Jesus is love, satan is selfishness.

Jesus is humility, satan is pride. Listening to the devil will bring death - if you're carnally minded - leads to death - spiritually minded leads to life. You've got two masters in this rebellion between good and evil. Thessalonians 2:18, "therefore we wanted to come to you - even i, Paul, time and again - but satan hindered us." Now, you know, I don't have enough time to draw out this point, but let me just do my best. I meet people sometimes - Christians - that say, 'God always works out his will.

God's will is always done because God is all powerful.' That is not true. A lot of things that happen are not God's will. Why would you pray, in the Lord's prayer, 'thy will be done' if his will is always done? His will isn't always done. You can find a number of times - Paul, right here, he says 'satan prevented us from doing it.' The devil - God didn't want the children of Israel to wander 40 years. God did not want ananias and sapphira to lie and drop dead.

There's a lot of things that go wrong, that's why we ought to be praying that God's will is done because the devil is always trying to interrupt and to cancel out or to stop God's will. John 8:43, Jesus is speaking, "why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and The Father of it.

" Alright, so we found out that the devil is a murderer and he is a liar and he is the author of death. And so you've got these two battles - God is life and light and good and the devil is evil and selfishness and death. Oh, one more thought here before we wrap this up. Paul makes a couple of statements that are very interesting. Corinthians 5:4, "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

" Have you ever read that and wondered 'what in the world does that mean?' Why would you deliver somebody - who would ever want to deliver someone to satan? Well, we don't wrap them up and send them ups to the devil. What he's saying is, if a person is determined to follow the devil, sometimes all you can do is pray and let them go and ask that, because of the hard time that they're going to have in the devil's service, they'll turn around. Timothy 1:19 and 20, "having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, and of whom are hymenaeus and alexander, whom I delivered to satan that they may learn not to blaspheme." Paul is basically saying, 'alright, Lord, they've turned from you. I'm praying that as the devil beats them up' - you've got to just hand them over - 'as the devil beats them up they're going to come to their senses like the prodigal son.' That's what he's talking about. So did Paul understand that there was a devil and a battle between the devil - and did Paul believe that you could have victory? What did he say at the end of his life? 'I've fought a good fight.

I've kept the faith. I've finished my course. There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded he is able' - Paul died believing in that victory and we look forward to seeing him in the Kingdom. We're out of time.

I just want to remind you that we have a free book. It is a - it's a premium book we're going to send to anyone (in North America) that asks called how do you survive and thrive in church? And just call the number on your screen. Ask for offer #787. We'll be happy to share that with you. Please read it and share it with a friend.

God bless you, friends, we'll look forward to studying his word together again next week. Hello friends, I have a big announcement. I want to tell you about an exciting evangelistic opportunity that will be coming to your church this spring. Beginning March 21 Amazing Facts, in partnership with 3abn and the carolina conference, will be presenting a fresh new -part tv series called the last day of prophecy. This unique prophecy program will present the Sabbath truth and the three angels' messages in a winsome way that your friends and family will really appreciate.

It's the ideal occasion to invite your community and introduce them to the beauty of the Sabbath. This is also the perfect time in history for a net evangelistic program like this. It's not too late. Plan now to get your church or home group involved in this soul-winning program. For more information, go to and, of course, please remember to pray for the success of this program. The last day of prophecy March 21, 7:00 pm eastern time. For life-changing Christian resources, visit or call 1-800-538-7275.



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top