The "Restoration of All Things"

The "Restoration of All Things"

Scripture: Genesis 1:27, James 4:4, Mark 2:1-12
Date: 07/02/2016  Lesson: 1
"Who are people in need of your help right now, help that you are especially equipped to give?"

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good morning, 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. Also to the members here of the Granite Bay church, Happy Sabbath. Good to see you here again this morning, and also the visitors who are joining us.

It's so nice to have you. We're starting a brand-new lesson quarterly entitled the role of the church and the community. Today we find ourselves on lesson #1 entitled the restoration of all things. Now, for those of you joining us who don't have a copy of today's lesson, you can go to the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org and you can download lesson #1 - the restoration of all things - and you can follow along with us as we study together. We also have a free offer that goes along with our lesson today, from stress to joy, and we'd be happy to provide this to anyone who calls and asks.

The number is 866-788-3966. Again, that phone number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #705 and we'll send this to you. Those watching outside of North America can go to the amazing facts website, just amazingfacts.org and you can download a copy of from stress to joy and you can read for free online. Well, at this time, we'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me here as we begin our time together with lifting our voices in praise. Thank you, Pastor Ross.

As you know, I love to sing and I am a hymn girl through all the years, and so, I love when we can get together and worship God in song with these hymns. This morning we're going to sing hymn #295 - chief of sinners - 'though I be, Jesus shed his blood for me.' We're going to sing all three verses, so pull out your hymnals at home and sing along with us - #295. Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed his blood for me; died that I might live on high, died that I might never die; as the branch is to the vine, I am his, and he is mine. O the height of Jesus' love! Higher than the heaven above, deeper than the deepest sea, lasting as eternity; love that found me; wondrous thought! Found me when I sought him not! Chief of sinners though I be, Christ is all in all to me; all my wants to him are known, all my sorrows are his own; safe with him from earthly strife, he sustains the hidden life. I am so grateful that we have a Savior that knows all of our strife.

He knows all of our wants, our needs, our tears, and he stands by us every single minute of every single day. And it doesn't matter how we feel, it's a knowing that he is there. Praise the Lord. Hymn #50 - abide with me - my favorite hymn in the whole hymnal. And this morning we have a very special treat because we have a harp playing with us and so we're going to sing the first and second verses and she's going to play one verse with the harp and we're going to join in on the fourth verse.

Abide with me - hymn #50. Abide with me; fast falls the even tide; the darkness deepens; Lord with me abide! When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, help of the helpless, o abide with me! Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day; earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; o thou, who changest not, abide with me! (Harp music) I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness: where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still if thou abide with me! I pray that that is your prayer today - that you're just constantly, constantly abiding in Christ until his coming. At this time, Pastor Ross will have prayer. I invite you to bow your heads as we begin with prayer. Dear Father, once again we are grateful for the opportunity to gather together to study Your Word, and Lord we ask that the Holy Spirit would come and guide our hearts and our minds.

As we look at the role of the church in the community - how we ought to be that city on a hill - that light shining forth in the darkness, sharing the good news of salvation and lifting up Jesus. I pray that you would guide us and help us to see what we can do in this great work of sharing good news with the world. Thank you for your promise to be with us. In Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Good morning, friends. Happy Sabbath. How is everybody? And we're getting ready, now, to dive into this new quarterly dealing with the role of the church in the community. And I've been going through the various chapters and, if you just go to the contents in this lesson, you'll see it's - a lot of it is drawn from a statement - it talks about Jesus - chapter - mingled with the people, desired their good, showed sympathy, ministered to their needs, won their confidence, bade them 'follow me.' And there's a statement right there that some of you recognize from the Spirit of prophecy that talks about Christ's method alone - the most effective method of evangelism. And so, that's all broken down in exploring the role of the church in the community.

And I want to welcome our extended members of the granite bay church and our Sabbath school class. Greetings. We know we've got friends from around the world that watch and we're going to get into lesson #1 today, dealing with the restoration of all things. And we have a memory verse - the memory verse comes from Genesis :27 - Genesis 1:27 - and it's right there in your quarterly, you can quote it right out of there. Are you ready to say it with me? "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

" And that's Genesis 1:27. Now, when we say, right here in the very introduction in the lesson, it's called the restoration of all things. What's implied in the word 'restoration'? Do you restore something in good shape? Do you buy a brand-new mercedes so you can restore it? Or do you buy something that has some defects that needs restoration? The very fact that things need restoration means what? Something has dilapidated, something has eroded, something has fallen, something has broken and it needs to be restored. And so, just the fact that we're talking about restoring things, it means that something has drifted from God's original plan. Now, if you look with me in Luke chapter 4, verse 18, people think sometimes that preaching is the means of restoration - that we're just to go and we're all to preach - and that's how the Gospel is spread.

But the Bible says there's much more to that - much more to spreading the Gospel than just preaching. In just a moment I'm going to read - someone's got Matthew 9:35 - you'll have that katrina? Okay, we'll get ready for you in a minute. I'm going to read Luke 4:18 - first sermon Jesus preaches in his home church. He stands up there in nazareth, in the synagogue, and he opens to Isaiah 61 and he quotes from Isaiah 61. Here's what it says, "'the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me'" - that's - this is very important because Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism, goes in the wilderness - he succeeds against the various temptations of the devil.

And he comes back now and he goes to his home church and he preaches his first sermon and he's telling them the Lord has Messiahed me - the Lord has Christed me - Christos - that means 'I am the anointed'. He's basically announcing, 'I am the anointed'. For what? "'Because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor;'" - so how do you preach the Gospel to the poor? - "'He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.'" So there's preaching involved and there's teaching involved, but it talks about healing - healing hearts, proclaiming liberty, setting captives free, opening the eyes of the blind - physically and spiritually. Go ahead, read Matthew 9:35. This is a great verse that summarizes the ministry of Jesus.

"Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Now this is a great verse. We've often thought this is a - kind of a good slogan for Amazing Facts. Go everywhere preaching the Gospel - you're teaching, you're preaching - in other words, there's training, there's public proclamation. He goes where? To the synagogues. It's done in the context of a church.

That's why we have a church-based ministry. He not only has a city ministry, he's got a country ministry. He went to the cities, he went to the villages and he's preaching about the Kingdom. This was the message - the Kingdom of God. Physical healing - healing of sickness - and every disease among the people.

And I think in some Gospels it uses this and then it says, also, casting out devils. And so, the ministry of restoring people to God - the ministry of restoration is not just to go out and preach. It's actually something that every member can be involved in because, while all of us may not have the gifts of teaching and preaching, all of us have gifts of some kind of ministry. Everybody is called to use their gifts in some aspect of restoration of all things. Alright, now, under the first section in our lesson - this is lesson #1 in the new quarterly - the image of God - most of the lesson is going to be spent directly or indirectly talking about that.

When you first hear me say the word 'image' in a church/Bible context, does that conjure up good pictures or bad pictures? What does the Bible say about images? Don't make them. Don't bow down to them and worship them. And, even in that second commandment - I was driving with nathan yesterday and we went by a local church and they had a monument of the Ten Commandments and I pointed it out to him. I said, 'now that particular monument to the ten commandments, you'll notice the second commandment is totally missing.' They don't have the commandment that says, 'don't make images - the likeness of anything in the heaven above or the earth beneath.' So that's one extreme. Some people have deleted that commandment.

Others say that the commandment not to make an image means you should not have a photograph in your wallet. Now, 'fess up, how many of you have a photograph in your purse or wallet? You would be accused, by some, of idolatry. Does the commandment say, 'don't make the likeness of anything in the heaven above or the earth beneath or the water under the earth'? If you make a facsimile of anything that exists, that would be idolatry. The commandment doesn't say that. The commandment says do not make these things and - part of the commandment is and bow down to them.

What proof do we have that making any kind of an image is not necessarily breaking that commandment? Did God command the children of Israel to make images of angels in the sanctuary? Did Solomon, under the inspiration of the Spirit, have calves - bronze calves - that were under the laver holding it up? And did they make images of pomegranates and bells that they put on the high priest? And did they engrave and embroider images of angels in the veil that separated? And so the commandment was not saying you're not to have any kind of artistic replica or duplication or carve a flower or anything like that, it was saying don't make any of these things and bow down to them. Now, you do need to be very careful because what may not be idolatry for you, could tempt another person. And - I told you I sometimes had mixed feelings about the pictures in the front of the church because I've watched people walk into churches before and they saw a picture and they were from another faith and they went up and they knelt down to it and they crossed themselves and they started praying, and I thought, 'don't pray to the mosaic.' Now, it's not idolatry to have a picture of Revelation. We use, sometimes, pictures in our churches, but some people pray to them. And so, if it's going to make my brother stumble, you want to avoid it, right? So when we say 'image' often our minds go to the images that you don't make and you don't pray to, but the Bible says man was made in the image of God.

Now, when we talk about the image of God, how many people have seen God and know what that image looks like? Is it talking about a photograph of God? Can you have a single- dimensional image and a three-dimensional image? When man was made in the image of God, it's not talking just about likeness. There are a number of ways. Alright, let's go to Genesis 1:26. Someone's going to read Genesis 9:6 for me in a moment. Who will have - you'll have that? Alright, Genesis 1:26, "then God said, 'let us make man in our image, according to our likeness;'" - now, first of all, God said, 'let us' - what does that imply? Plural.

'Make man in our image'. I think the word here is 'elohim' and it's talking about - of the plural form of God - "'according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" Alright, so one of the ways that man is made in the image of God is not just because we probably bear some physical resemblance to God. It's telling us that man was made in the likeness of God in that man was given dominion. As God has dominion over the universe, man was to have dominion over this new world that was made. Is that correct? Yeah? Okay.

I just want to make sure. There are some today that think that it is very arrogant for man to think that we have dominion over the planet and that we should somehow be better than the animals and that it should be just as important to save a whale or a grasshopper mouse as to save a person. I don't believe that. That's this, kind of, evolution perspective - humanism - I believe that the crowning act of God's creation is man and that Jesus did not die for mice, he died to redeem humans - that people are infinitely more valuable. Jesus said, 'are you not worth more than many sheep?' 'Are you not worth more than many sparrows?' People are the pinnacle of the creation on earth, and this is what the Bible teaches - very different from what the world is putting out there.

So 'God created man in his own image. In the image created him male and female, created he them.' Alright, go ahead, read for us Genesis 9:6. "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man." Now, you know, we've just jumped here to Genesis 9 but, again, it talks about the image of God. So here you say - you can see that God is placing a greater value on man because, in the verses just preceding this in chapter 9, he's talking about the animals and that animals could be killed and animals could be eaten. Of course, that's among the clean animals.

But, he says 'you shed the blood of man' - man is not an animal - it was different. There was something sacred about man. Alright, I'm going to read 1 Corinthians 11, verse 7, "for" - and this is a difficult verse, but I just went through the Bible and took the places where it talks about the image of God - "for a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man." Now, does that mean that a woman is not in the image of God? It's not a trick question, no. Both men and women are made in the image of God. You know, one of the things about - that's really neat - when I used to duplicate audiotapes, every audiotape that I would duplicate away from the master original tape, there was inferior quality.

You would lose quality. With the digital reproduction, you can maintain the same quality - it's really great because we've sent some dvds to china and they copy and pirate and copy and copy and copy - and they maintain their quality because it's a digital reproduction. And so, even though one is made out of the other, you still have the same level of quality. And it is true that woman was taken from man, but it doesn't mean that the image of God was lost at that point. Does that make sense? And so, I think that's what Paul is saying here.

It's just talking about a sequence of how these things were done. Psalms 8, verse 4 - you were worried about that last one and what I was going to say, weren't you? Psalms 8, verse 4, "what is man that you are mindful of him, and The Son of man that you visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels," - and slightly above the gorillas - is that what it says? No, I'll talk about that in a minute - "for you have made him a little lower than the angels and you've crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion" - here it is again - "over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen-even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas." Now, does that mean, because all these creatures are put under the dominion of man, should people - should Christians care about animals? Yeah, the Bible says, 'the righteous man reguards the life of his beast.' Is there one of the Ten Commandments that tells us about that? Yeah, have you noticed in the Sabbath commandment it not only says your son and your daughter shall rest, it says your beasts of burden shall rest. And so, not that they're of equal value, but God is just showing there that he cares about the animals as well and he made laws to protect them. What happened to balaam when he didn't care about his animal? The angel appeared and said 'if it wasn't for the donkey - I would have spared the donkey and killed you.

' But - so God does - he cares about - he loves - God is love. He loves all of his creatures. But man was given dominion and I think when God put man in the Garden of Eden, what was his job? To be a steward - to care for the creation. Should humans - should people care for creation? Yeah, I do believe that. In Revelation it says God will destroy those that destroy the earth.

So we're talking about the restoration of all things. Not only does humanity need restoring, the planet needs restoring. Okay, go ahead now, we're going to go to our next section and we're going to talk about the fall and its aftermath. Oh, you know, one thing I just - I told you I was going to talk about this - how many of the different creatures were made in the image of God? How was the creation of man different from the creation of the cattle and the birds and the fish? Was there a difference? When - yeah, when he created the cattle and the birds and the fish, he spoke and they were. What does he do when he makes man? He gets involved.

He touches, he uses his hands, he takes his lips - he breathes into man the breath of life. And when he makes woman - again, God gets involved like a surgeon. It's a very personal touch that's involved. He's taking something of himself and inspiring it into man and woman. You know where we get the word 'inspire'? It means to breathe into.

God breathed into man the breath of life. And he, likewise, with woman - he took the woman - he took the rib from the man and made the woman. What is the world's view about how man came into being? Not all the world, but much of the world believes in evolution, isn't that right? And so their idea of how we came into being is that man is really at just a level where we have somehow become more sophisticated, at least by our view - apes don't think so - more sophisticated than monkeys and primates or marsupials. Do you know how different a human is than a gorilla? I mean, to me it is maddening - because I used to believe this - it is maddening to me that when people say, 'well, look - look at the similarities between men and chimpanzees and gorillas. They've got the ten fingers and the ten toes and they can walk upright if they want to and, yeah, they drag their knuckles but, you know, just given a few million years and that became us.

' This begs many questions. One question is, why did some of them stay gorillas and others went on and became - why didn't they all go on and become humans? If it was so unfortunate to be a gorilla, and if we're inclined to evolve towards better, why did they stop evolving right there? Or chimpanzees? Why did humans evolve - if we're supposed to be more sophisticated, why are we so feeble as babies? Some of you saw that tragic video clip of a child that fell into a gorilla cage - in the news? How many of you know what I'm talking about? And the poor gorilla - I mean, I care about the baby too, don't misunderstand - the baby's alive, gorilla's dead. I just was thinking it wasn't his fault. This human baby falls in and I think he cared about it. He went over - he was curious as much as anything and then all the people looking in and shouting - he got scared and, to be protective, he did what you would do with any gorilla baby, he grabbed it by the foot and ran.

A gorilla baby survives that okay, but not a human baby, because we're a lot more feeble in our - in our infancy. And the difference between the two species is so incredible. How helpless is a human baby after four years? An impala - it's born on the savannah, it gets up, and it runs in an hour. Try that with a baby - a human baby. But we are created with more brain storage capacity than we ever use in our lifetime.

Why would evolution want you to evolve so much more brain capacity than you could ever use? Maybe we were intended to live longer. Why does a tortoise live longer than a human? You ever think some of these things? If we heal when we're young and we get better, after millions of years, why don't we live longer? Why doesn't the healing process last longer? If you had the body and the enzymes and all of the cell strength that you had when you were 20 years old, you'd live a long time. You just, you know, keep getting better. But there's some vital force that goes out. Death has come to all the creatures.

And so, no, we didn't evolve from apes. Just the idea - we are made in the image of God. Let me just - let me show you something before we go any farther here. Go with me, in your Bibles, to Mark chapter 5. You've got two images that are at war.

We're going to talk about this later in the lesson here. "They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the gadarenes." - This is verse 1 - Mark 5:1 - "and when he had come out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit," - what does 'unclean spirit' mean? Demonic - it's coming from who? The devil - or at least fallen angels, right? - "Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him.

" You read the same story in Luke and it says he didn't wear any clothes. Living among the tombs, surrounded by pigs - you know the story, right? And then he runs to Jesus. Now, here you've got two total diametric opposites: you have Jesus, who was full of the image of God - there on the shore - the disciples ran off to the boat when this man came; and then you have this man who's living in a cave where they put dead people - he's a cave man - and he's running around naked and he's acting berserk - he's acting like an animal, would you agree? Dragging around chains - like he had to have a leash on him but he broke the leash - and they both live in the same decade. Does that mean that Jesus evolved from the demoniac? Are you with me - where I'm going with this? You've got two completely different spirits. Do we, sometimes, around the world, find evidence of primitive man? Does that mean that they lived millions of years before modern man? You know, not far from where the pyramids are, there's evidence of people that used very primitive tools.

Los angeles - modern city - at the same time people were using elevators and electronic devices in los angeles, I was living in a cave a hundred miles away. You can have very sophisticated civilized people and you can have people from whom the image of God is withdrawn that live in a very base, unsophisticated, primitive way - very primal lives - living at the same time. So just because you find evidence of some people that appeared to live very primitive, doesn't mean that it happened millions of years earlier. Now, one of the reasons I read this story is because the purpose of the plan of salvation is to restore - that's our lesson today, the restoration - the image of God in man. Here on the beach that day, by the sea of Galilee, you've got the demoniac, who reflects whose image? What's the plan of God for humanity? To restore the image of Christ - his original plan.

Adam reflected the image of Christ. The demoniac reflected the image of satan. There you've got it - two of them face to face - the two opposites. God's plan for you is to be like Jesus. The devil's plan for you is to be like the demoniac.

The devil wants to erase any vestige of the image of God from man. Alright, so back to our lesson here. The fall and its aftermath - and someone, in a moment's, going to read Genesis 3:16. Alright, let me read - oh, before I get - well, yeah, let me read - Genesis 3:8 - "and they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord" - this is after that infamous episode with the devil and the forbidden fruit - they "hid themselves from the presence of God among the trees of the garden." They heard the voice of the Lord and they ran. What's one of the signs that the Holy Spirit's working in your life? You're drawn to the Word of God.

People run from the Word of God - the voice of the Lord - or they run to the Word of God. It's like moody said, 'either sin'll keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin.' And when God begins to investigate and say - first of all, God says, 'where are you?' Is it because adam and eve - he had misplaced them? Did God know where they were? Can you hide and camouflage yourself so well God can't find you? When Jonah was at the bottom of the mountains did God know where Jonah was? So you can't run from God. That's what it says in, I think it's psalm 139 - 'wither shall I flee from thy presence?' You can't flee from the presence of God. Why were - why were they running? Remember what adam said? 'See, we're naked and we were afraid.' Did God - what happened? When they sinned, all of a sudden, they became bright enough to realize they had no clothes on? What happened that they suddenly became ashamed? How many of you believe that they were clothed with robes of light before sin and, after sin, the light went out? Where do you get that biblically? Now, it says that in the Spirit of prophecy. Can you find Bible support? Yeah, I think you can.

When Moses talked to the Lord on the mountain, what happened to Moses' face when he came down off the mountain? It says it shone. Did it shine just so you see he had a happy glow, like someone in love? Or was it shining so bright that the people couldn't look at him and they said, 'you've got to veil your face because it's hurting our eyes.' That's pretty bright. When Jesus was on the mountain with Moses and Elijah, in the mount - now I'm in the new testament. What happened to Christ's garments? It suddenly didn't look like any artificial clothing, it was shining as bright as the sun, like no soap on earth could get it. Adam and eve, in their innocence and purity, they wore the robes of righteousness that God gives his intelligent creatures.

They had these lights - these robes of glory and light. And so, you didn't see their nakedness and there was - they were covered. I'm sure you could look at their faces, but God kind of gave them a natural covering - covered with, kind of, a shekinah glory robe. But when they sinned, they began to feel a cool breeze and they looked at each other and they said, 'oh - something's gone.' Then they saw their nakedness and they ran. So what does sin do? Sin brought an interruption in the relationship between God and man.

It made them run and it made them hide. Somebody read for me Genesis 3:16. To the woman he said: 'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.'" Alright, so here you see some of the curses that began to come as the result of disobedience. I actually left out a couple verses. You can look in verse 12, first the man says "the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

" God says to adam, 'what have you done?' And so what happens right after sin? Blame, deflection, diversion - it's 'you made the woman, you know? I didn't complain. You said it's not good for me to be alone. You did it, so it's your fault and it's her fault.' There's a deflection - kind of - he's you know, desperate, because the penalty for sin is death. And then he talks to the woman and he said, 'what is this you have done?' And the woman said, 'the serpent. Who made that serpent anyway? Who put him there in the tree? Who made the tree? The serpent did it.

He deceived me and I ate.' And then he says to the woman - and now these curses come - a curse comes to the woman; a curse comes to the man - "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;" - now that word 'conception' there, it's actually talking about the time of conception and it could be interpreted to be connected with what is sometimes a typical morning sickness after a child is conceived, because then it goes on and says, "in pain you shall bring forth children;" which makes you wonder, what would it have been like for eve to give birth before the curse? Can you imagine? Just, you know, 'adam, wake up. You'll never believe what happened last night.' Just - 'look, a baby!' Probably wasn't that obscure, but it evidently wasn't painful, don't you agree? Bringing forth children? It might have even been pleasant. I mean, it's hard for us to imagine, but it wasn't painful because everything God made was good. And, you know, evidently, you can see some of the animals in the animal kingdom and they give birth and it just - it happens, sort of that way. And then there's the curse, of course, that's put on man and he says, 'the ground is cursed.

..thorns and thistles...the sweat of your brow...you'll bring forth' - and so, things have deteriorated because of sin. "Because you've heeded" - God says in Genesis 3:17 - "the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'you shall not eat of it': cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field." - Vegetables were added to the diet - "in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return." And that's often read at funerals. Alright, next section: enmity and atonement. And so, as you're reading on here in Genesis, we want to jump back to a prophecy that was given - this is the first prophecy in the Bible - in Genesis 3:14 and 15, "so the Lord God said to the serpent: 'because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

" Now man returns to the dust, but it says that the serpent is going to eat the dust. What did the snake do? Did the snake do anything wrong, or was the snake just the pawn and a medium of the devil? So why does God curse the serpent? Well, first of all, because the serpent becomes an illustration of the medium of the devil. All - was it just the serpent that was cursed - or how many creatures suffered? All of them. All of the creatures. Now, what does that tell us about sin? The sin of adam and eve, how did it affect the rest of the world? The whole creation groans and travails.

Is that fair for the animals? You know what that tells us about sin? Do good people ever suffer because of decisions that bad people make? A parent may drink during pregnancy and the child is born with a defect. Is it the child's fault? Do innocents suffer because of decisions that others make? Now, right away, we're learning something about community - is that what one person does can affect others. How many of you remember the story of achan? When achan sinned, did it just hurt achan or did it hurt the whole army? Everybody suffered as a result. And when adam and eve sinned, it not only hurt adam and eve, it hurt the creation, including the serpent. And then he says, in verse 15 - I said verse 15 but I didn't put it in here.

Here, let me look it up. This is the first prophecy that you find here in Genesis chapter :15 - I know it, I just want to get it right. And you'll find allusions to this that go on even in the book of Revelation. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Now, notice he's talking to the woman and suddenly it starts talking about the man - 'he will bruise your head and you will bruise his heel.' What is this enmity? Enmity means opposition, animosity, there's a resistance between two forces, there's a war that is going on. And so there's this war that goes on through the ages between the seed of the woman - the woman and the seed of the woman - and the serpent.

Now, do you see that playing out through the Bible? If you go to Revelation, for instance, and you look in Revelation chapter 12 talks about this serpent. Matter of fact, turn there real quick because I want to read a little more of that. Revelation 12 talks about the enmity between the woman and the serpent. "Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being" - who is that woman? Church.

Good church or bad church? Good church. She's clothed with the light of God. God made the sun, moon and stars - natural light - "then, being with child, she cries out in labor and pains to give birth." - She's wanting to give birth to this promised child - "and another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her child.

..and she brought forth a male child" - who's the child? Jesus. This male child "was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and his throne." So this male child is Jesus. The woman represents the church - the bride of Christ. The dragon is the devil.

In the same chapter it says, 'that old serpent the devil' and you can read verse 9. "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and satan." So here you see the devil wants to destroy the seed of the woman. Can you think of other times in the Bible that the devil made an effort to destroy the seed of the woman? In Exodus - it begins with genocide against baby boys. They - the devil knew that a Savior was coming. He thought it might be the Messiah so he had all the baby boys thrown to the crocodiles and Moses came along.

God saved the seed of the woman. In the story of athaliah, she tries to wipe out the royal seed - the seed of David - the devil heard God say, 'David, through your seed the Messiah will come.' And so athaliah kills all the grandchildren - tries to wipe out the seed of David, but one survives. What was his name? Joash - sometimes confused with josiah because you've got two child Kings. But joash - and so another example. And then herod, when he hears that this child is born, he sends his soldiers in to Bethlehem to destroy the seed of the woman - the seed of mary, in this case.

See, our catholic friends think Revelation 12 is talking about the woman is mary. You'll often see pictures of mary and she's got twelve stars above her head, she's standing on the moon - you'll see a lot of those pictures in catholic art, but that woman is not mary because it says this woman flees into the wilderness - I'm back in Revelation chapter 12, verse 6. She flees into the wilderness after the man-child is caught up. Now the devil vents his fury on the woman because he can't reach the man-child anymore. So this is talking about Genesis 3:15.

All through the Bible you've got the church at war with the serpent, waiting to bring forth the man-child - the Christ - the Messiah to the world. And there's this battle between the two that goes on. And you see that all the way back there in Genesis. Alright, someone was going to read for us - we're talking about enmity and atonement - Jude, verse 6 - you've got that? Maybe - they're not ready yet so you hang on. I'm going to read 2 Peter 2:4 and you all tell me if this sounds familiar.

2 Peter 2:4, "for if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;" - so it tells us that the fate of the devil and his angels is already secure. Satan knows he has a short time. Tell me, does that verse sound at all like Jude 6? Go ahead, read that for us. "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;" so the battle, is it just between Christ? This fall, is it just between Christ and people, or was there a fall in heaven? Does the restoration just need to happen on earth or do things in heaven need to be restored? This terrible rebellion of lucifer has infected and affected all of creation. And Jesus, often, when he was teaching - you can look in Matthew 8:29 - the demon suddenly cried out, 'what have we to do with ye Jesus, Son of God? Have you come to torment us before the time?' Do they know there's a time coming when their number is up? They're reserved in everlasting chains of darkness.

The devil knows he has a short time. They have been restricted to this planet from the time of Christ. Alright, restoration and Jesus. Now, this is one of the most important sections. Someone's going to read for me 1 Corinthians 15:49 - just a moment.

Alright, Galatians 4:19, "my little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you," - what is the purpose - what is the restoration that we're looking for? What is a Christian? Christ being born in us; us becoming new creatures. Look at Romans 8:29, "for whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son," - don't get hung up on the predestined part, just know that he wants us to be conformed to the image of his son - "that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Ephesians 4:24, "and that you put on the new man" - that's something active that you're involved in - "put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Philippians 2:5, "let this mind be in you" - you must choose to allow - "let this mind be in you" - putting on Christ - putting on the armor - letting him be in you - "which was also in Christ Jesus," - he wants the mind of Christ in us. We may not look like - very few of us do - the typical artists' renditions of Jesus we see, with the hazel hair and the beard and - the hazel eyes and chestnut hair. Now when it says the image of Christ, don't think about that. Think about the character of Christ because we don't even know exactly what Jesus looked like, but we know how Jesus acted.

You can look at His Word. Go ahead, read for us, please, 1 Corinthians 15:49. "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man." Paul is saying in the same way we bear the image of adam - remember, God said to adam, 'dust you are and to dust you're going to return'? - Just as real as we have the image of the first adam, we can bear the image of the second adam, Jesus. How was Jesus born? A miracle conception. How are we born again? A miracle.

Doesn't make faith. You know how Jesus was born? Mary said, after she heard the word of the angel, 'be it unto your servant as you have said.' Be it unto me. And when God says you can be a new creature, you, like mary say, 'Lord, let me experience that new birth. And by faith something happens in the heart and we become transformed so that we're not the old creatures, we are becoming new creatures. Let me read this statement from Patriarchs and Prophets p.

595, "In the beginning God created man in his own likeness. He endowed him with noble qualities. His mind was well-balanced and all the powers of his being were harmonious. But the fall and its effects have perverted these gifts. Sin has marred and well nigh obliterated the image of God in man.

It was to restore this that the plan of salvation was devised and a life of probation was granted to man - you and I just have one life - to bring him back to perfection, in which he was first created and was the great object of life. The object that underlies every other - the object that underlies every other is to restore in us the image of Christ. A Christian is a follower of Jesus. Our highest goal is to be like Jesus. Find out what Jesus is like.

Get to know him. Isn't that what it says? You've got to know him. How can you be like him if you don't know him? But take your time getting to know Christ and then putting on Christ. Say, 'Lord, I want to be like you in this and I want to be like you in that. And I want to think your thoughts.

' And when we have the wrong thoughts, we pray and we reject that and we invite his spirit in. And it's an ongoing - it's an ongoing battle. And then we've got another section we don't really have time to get into here, restoring the role of the church. Fortunately, some of the future lessons are going to be dealing with that and we'll probably have to pause right here, now. I want to remind those who have been watching, we do have a free offer.

It's called from stress to joy. Maybe you've got a lot of stress in your life - you'd like to have some joy. You can send for this, we'll send it to you free. Just call the number - 866-788-3966. That's 866-study-more, if you want the acronym.

Ask for offer #705 - read it and then please share it with a friend. God bless you until we study His Word together again next week. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit Sabbathtruth.com. 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 the amazing Bible time line at 'Biblehistory.com'. On Christmas eve 1971, 17-year-old juliane koepcke boarded lansa flight #508 with her mother in lima, peru. They intended to join her father for Christmas at his research station in the amazon rain forest. After crossing the andes at about 21,000 feet, their aircraft was enveloped by large, dark thunderclouds and it encountered severe turbulence.

Lightning was flashing everywhere and the plane was shaken violently, which naturally terrified the passengers. Then, a bolt of lightning struck the plane's engine and tore off a wing. As the doomed airliner hurtled towards the earth, the cabin came apart and the next thing she knew, juliane found herself strapped alone to a row of seats falling and spinning silently from over 10,000 feet above the rain forest. She plummeted through the jungle canopy and slammed on the forest floor. When she awoke the next day, juliane was amazed to realize she had survived the two-mile fall with just a broken collarbone and a bad gash in her arm.

After failing to find any other survivors, juliane relied on what her father had taught her: that walking downstream will always lead to civilization. So, with a bag of candy that had fallen from the plane and one sandal, she started walking. For ten days juliane hobbled, swam, or floated downstream. Her wounds became infected and she was plagued by maggots while having to dodge crocodiles, piranhas, and relentless insects. Eventually she came to a shack where she slept and she was soon discovered by peruvian loggers.

Eventually juliane was united with her amazed father. It's hard to imagine a 17-year-old girl surviving such a fall and then hiking alone out of the world's largest rainforest. You know, the Bible talks about some who survived an even greater fall than juliane. In fact, according to the Scriptures, when adam and eve fell in the Garden of Eden, it brought the whole human race down. But Jesus came to redeem the world from sin.

Perhaps you're thinking to yourself, 'well, that's okay for the world, but I've fallen too far. Well, if the Lord can save juliane, God can save you. You've not gone farther than Moses, who was guilty of murder, or David, who was guilty of adultery, or Peter, who denied Jesus - and all of them were saved and restored from their fall. Or maybe you're thinking, 'I've fallen too many times.' Be of good courage. It says in Proverbs chapter 24, verse 16, "for a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" - and Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene.

So don't get discouraged, friend, if you've fallen, get back up again. The same way that he could save juliane - lead her from that lost condition in the rainforest and restore her to her father, Jesus can lead you from your lost condition and restore you to your Heavenly Father. For life-changing Christian resources visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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