The Great Controversy

The Great Controversy

Scripture: Zechariah 3:2, Job 1:1-5, Romans 3:26
Date: 10/08/2016  Lesson: 2
"The great controversy theme forms a template that can help us better understand 'the total message' of the Bible, especially the plan of salvation."

Dare to Stand Alone by Bradley Booth

Dare to Stand Alone by Bradley Booth
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Good morning, friends. Welcome, again, to Sabbath school study hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. A very warm welcome to the members of the church, our regular members here for our Sabbath school study time, and also our extended Sabbath school class - those watching across the country and around the world - and, especially, a warm welcome to our online members who faithfully tune in every week and participate in our services here. We're glad you're joining us again. Well, we've started a brand-new lesson dealing with the book of job and today we find ourselves on lesson #2, which is entitled the Great Controversy.

But before we get to that, we'd like to remind you about a free offer that we have - a book entitled is it possible to live without sinning? If you'd like to receive this book, the number to call is -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #187. Again, the number to call is 866-788-3966 and ask for offer #187. We'll be happy to send you this book. If you're outside of North America, just simply go to the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org and you can read the book for free online. Again, that's amazingfacts.

org and the free offer is: is it possible to live without sinning? Well, before we get to our study this morning, I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me and we're going to start by lifting our voices in praise. Thank you, Pastor Ross. As always, we love to sing together before we get into the meat of the lesson. So today is no different. Welcome to those that are joining us.

Pull out your hymnals and we're going to sing a favorite across the world - amazing grace - how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Hymn #108 - we're going to sing the first, the second, the fourth and the fifth verses - hymn #108. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed! Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun.

You know, sometimes for fun I like to just think about what eternity feels like and I can't even imagine. And your mind just kind of gets lost in space thinking what that is going to be. What a blessed hope we have that we can spend forever with Jesus and it's all because of his grace that he poured out freely for us - that we do not deserve, but we are so grateful that he loves us that much. Hymn #109 - we're talking and singing about grace today - marvelous grace of our loving Lord. We're going to sing all three verses - hymn #109.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on calvary's mount outpoured - there where the blood of the lamb was spilt. Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin! Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss; grace that is greater - yes, grace untold - points to the refuge, the mighty cross. Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin! Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see his face, will you this moment his grace receive? Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin! Amen. At this time, Pastor Ross will lead us in prayer. Let us bow our heads for prayer.

Dear Father in Heaven, what a privilege it is for us to be able to gather together on this the Sabbath, to open up your word and study. And today, as we look at the story of job and catch a glimpse of the Great Controversy, the events taking place are unseen and, yet, around us. I do pray that we would have insight and understanding - that the Spirit would lead us, so bless our time together, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Here, let me give you this extra lesson - or - I got too many and I'll have to teach in stereo. Morning everyone. Morning. Happy Sabbath. Happy Sabbath.

I want to welcome, again, our class that is watching via the internet or, perhaps you're watching on satellite and we have an extended group of members that are around the world. There's people that, for some reason, there's no local church that they can attend and so they've become some of our online members. We want to welcome the online Granite Bay members. Maybe you're a viewer and you're in that category where there's no local church you can attend; you'd like to know 'how do I become connected to the Granite Bay church?' Just go to granitebaysda.org and we'll - contact us there and we'll give you some information on that. We don't want anyone to be out there by themselves.

We're in our lesson dealing with the subject of job and this is - this is one of the great, splendid, outstanding books in the Bible. Little preview: as we mentioned earlier, job is probably the first book that was written, probably written by Moses while he was in the wilderness even before he wrote Genesis. Some of the similar, ancient language that was used - and it talks about a man, we learned in our last lesson, who was living, roughly during the time of esau's descendents and where the edomites settled in the land of uz, was there in the land of edom. It was - they called him one of the greatest of the men of the east - and that's talking about east of Egypt - east of where the land of Israel was - and that's where edom was, sort of southeast - that's what they called that territory. It is possible that you find his name mentioned as a king of edom named jobab.

We don't know that, but there was a king - because when you read about job - maybe we should go there. We're going to be reading some of the first verses of job. Turn to the book of job, chapter 1 and maybe I'll read verses 1 through 4, "there was a man" - the whole book is about this incredible man - "in the land of uz," - no, not oz, different place - "whose name was job; and that man was blameless" - and the word 'job' we learned means 'someone afflicted' or 'persecuted' - "and that man was blameless" - I think king James says 'perfect' and that kind of makes us nervous. Of course, Jesus said, 'be ye perfect therefore as your Father in Heaven is perfect.' He also said, 'be ye therefore merciful as your Father in Heaven is merciful' - "and upright," - now let me stop before I go any further. Can you name some other people in the Bible that are identified as blameless? I can't hear, I'm sorry.

Daniel. Daniel. Where does it say he's blameless? I believe he was - I believe he would qualify, but it says 'he was greatly beloved of heaven.' Do you remember zachariah and elizabeth? 'They walked in all the commandments of the Lord blameless.' And there's a couple of other characters - not too many - it says of hezekiah, 'he walked in all the commandments of the Lord, blameless as his father David' - but then later hezekiah, he had a bout with pride, if you remember. But does that mean they were perfect or sinless? No, because how many have sinned? All. All except who? Jesus.

Right, so let's make sure there's that one exception. It says, 'who did no sin' - Jesus is the one who did no sin. So when it talks about job being a perfect or upright or blameless man, it means he was consistently a Godly person. And how is that categorized? He feared God and hated or eschewed or shunned evil. He had reverence for God and he hated evil.

And then it goes on and tells us a little more about him, but we're not going to get into that just yet in our lesson. So when you first read this, our first section - oh, you know what I forgot? You guys have to help me - our memory verse. Alright, we've got a memory verse - Zechariah 3:2 - and here it's from the, I believe it's the King James version in the lesson - are you ready? Zechariah 3:2 - say that with me, "and the Lord said unto satan, the Lord rebuke thee, o satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" You've heard the expression 'a brand plucked from the burning'? So the whole lesson here is really dealing with the great controversy between good and evil and this is - the story of job really does show these two great, titanic forces - one of good and one of evil - in this contest that is going on. You know, not too many people, I think, understand the theme of the great battle - the Great Controversy between good and evil - like Seventh-day Adventists. You know, Amazing Facts, a couple of years ago, we put out a dvd called cosmic conflict.

Well, it just so happens that's the name of one of our sections here in a minute and I was at a religious broadcasters convention, where all these different religious broadcasters come together and we buy stations and we talk about upholding freedom to broadcast and it's a neat convention. And this entourage - susan was there and she was walking - she was taking care of the booth - and this entourage of a couple of priests and about five nuns was walking up the aisle and they came by the Amazing Facts booth and they all began to talk to each other in french and we didn't know what they were saying. And then they came over and they said, 'oh, we love Amazing Facts.' They said, 'we really like your cosmic conflict dvd that talks about the battle between good and evil. We watch it all the time. We share it with others.

' I got to the booth and susan was all excited. She said, 'see that group of priests and nuns over there? They said that just love our cosmic conflict dvd' - because there's really nothing in there that they disagree with. It all talks about the origin of evil and satan's desire for pride and they just - so I went and I got a picture with them. I don't know if any of you ever saw that. I had a picture of them holding the cosmic conflict dvd and I'm standing there with about eight priests and nuns.

They were from a diocese that - near the canadian border, I think - that spoke french and english. Anyway, but this is a subject that most Christians say, 'alright, God is good. There's evil in the world. Why?' And the book of job is dealing with what is going on behind the veil. What's causing this battle? Why is - if God is good and God is love and God is powerful, why do innocent people suffer? And why does it mean once you accept Jesus, your suffering doesn't stop? Why, when you're trying to be Godly and fear God and hate evil, all these things might happen? And the book of job really gives us some answers of what's happening behind the scenes.

Alright, it tells us that this man was one of the greatest men of all the east. You go to verse 3, "also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them." So he had seven sons, three daughters - have you noticed something about the Numbers that we've just read? You ever observe, in the Bible, certain Numbers appear more frequently than others? Would you agree that there are certain Numbers that appear to be symbolic Numbers, or Numbers that at least have a symbolic meaning to them? What would some of those Numbers be? Seven. Seven appears - yeah, six-six-six is one of them - seven appears - that's like God's number. You go to Revelation and count how many sevens are in Revelation.

You've got, you know, seven thunders, a lamb with seven eyes, you've got seven churches, seven trumpets, seven - yeah, someone said seven sins - that's seven seals - oh, that's what it was. (Laughter) the seven deadly sins - another number - I heard someone say ten. Forty. Twelve. Forty - twelve is the number for the church, forty is the number for a generation - what are - ten? But what about five? Do you remember in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus he said, 'I have five brothers.

Go warn them lest they come to this place of torment.' How many books of the torah? The pentateuch - pentagon - five sides - five books in the torah. Five you'll often find - and the other ones are three. Have you noticed how many times three appears? If you've got a computer program with the Bible software, it's really easy to search these things right now. You're going to find that the Numbers seven, five, ten, twelve, forty, three - appear many times more, statistically, than they should appear if the Bible is just a random collection of Numbers. But if Numbers have a meaning, then it makes you think about something.

How many of these unusual Numbers here are connected with job? Seven sons, three daughters, five thousand camels, five thousand donkeys - am I getting the donkeys and camels mixed up here? Let's see here - that's right. Yeah, seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys - very - so it's a lot of biblical Numbers. Now, does that mean, because these Numbers are all unique, that the story is an allegory? How many sons did Jacob have? Twelve. Twelve. Is that a biblical number? Did he really live? Yeah, so these people really lived.

These experiences really happened. But it's interesting that the Numbers that are recorded often mean that there's a deeper meaning - it depicts that there's a deeper meaning here. Okay, and it says - it goes on to say - "and his sons would go out and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day," - now, we don't know if that's a cycle, meaning they're yearly birthday or if they just had a rotation and they said, 'look, once a month you come and you eat with us' and they'd invite their sisters to drink with them - "so it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that job would send and sanctify them," - he'd call his family together and he'd offer sacrifice "and he would rise early...and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For job said, 'it may be that my sons'" - and, ostensibly, his daughters - "'had sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus job did regularly." So he's a righteous man. He's concerned for his holiness and the holiness of his family and he wants to be a witness in his community.

And he's an unusually Godly man. And it tells us that he loves God and he fears God. Now what does fearing God mean? We're going to have somebody read, in a moment, Proverbs :27. Albert, you have that? Get you ready. You know, not only does it say job feared God there in the first chapter - you look in job 23:15 it says, "therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of him.

" Now Godly fear is not bad. It doesn't mean you live in terror, but there is something healthy about being afraid to offend a holy God. 'It's a fearful thing,' the Bible says, 'to fall into the hands of a holy God.' Meaning 'in judgment'. Alright, go ahead, read for us, please, Proverbs 14:27. "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.

" Can fear sometimes be redemptive? If a child is playing on a sidewalk by a busy street, would you want them to have a healthy fear of motorized vehicles that go whizzing by? Yeah, that can keep them alive. That's a good thing - it's not a bad thing. I don't walk around scared of snakes, but I have a healthy respect for venomous snakes - I'm not going to reach out and grab them on a warm day. So, you know, certain kinds of fear are actually very helpful. Karen and I lost a couple of dogs.

We had four dogs - we're down to two - and they - it happened when - what we call rattlesnake season - we do know the one dog did get bit by a snake, the other one just disappeared, but when our caretaker saw the dog, he was provoking a snake that he had trapped against the garage door and so, we wish they had been more afraid, you know what I'm saying? It's - it's a good thing to be afraid of sin - of the serpent in that sense. Now, when the Lord's with you, it doesn't mean you live in fear. You can read in Ecclesiastes 12, verse 13, "let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." - How many of you know the three angels' messages - Revelation ? What is the first angel's message? Fear God. "Fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come." And it means to, for one thing, reverence God - to be in awe of God. You can love God and still be afraid.

And it's kind of like the love that a young child might have for their father, where you're awed by their strength, you don't want to disobey them, but at the same time, you love them and you can climb up in their lap. And so, job realized God is an awesome God and he hated evil. And you can read there where he not only interceded for his sons - read in Matthew 6:13 - it tells you right here, earlier in the book of job, it uses the word 'evil'. It talks about God - you know where we get the word God? It's a derivative, in english anyway, of the word 'good'. And, you know, when you used to tell a person, 'good day', you were really saying 'God day'.

Have a day in God. And so, when the book of job is telling us about God and evil, it's really talking about good and evil. Doesn't Jesus say, 'only God is good'? Someone came to Jesus and said, 'good master.' He said, 'none is good but one and that is God.' And so, right in the beginning of job you see there's a contrast between good and evil and he's interceding for his sons, lest they sin in their hearts. And so, he was afraid of the evil that might happen. Isaiah 33:15, "he who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed," - someone who hates evil - "and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure.

" Talks about a person who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes - it's like you're offering him a bribe and he says, 'no! Don't even think about it.' And he closes his eyes from seeing evil. This is describing a person that loves God, but they eschew - or they despise - evil. Psalms 119:37, "turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in your way." Would we all agree that, especially in our day and age, with the multiple screens that are available - you know, we're surrounded by screens. If you've got a smart phone you've got a screen. It'll usually give you audio and visual information.

It's like a mini tv screen. And you probably, many of you, have a television in your home. We're recording this for broadcast - television in and of itself is not an evil thing anymore than a book is evil. You can have a book that communicates good; you can have a book that communicates evil. A television uses visual and audio to communicate.

You can use print to - you can read off a television - so it could be good or it could be evil. But let's face it, there's a lot of books out there that shouldn't be read and there's a lot of television programs that shouldn't be seen. A lot of you have computer screens and, I think I told you, I was surprised - it wasn't too long ago I was at a gas station. It was late at night and - by myself - all of a sudden I started pumping gas and I was hearing voices and I looked and there was a screen on the - on the gas pump. It was playing a commercial and then it would play the news - a little bit of news and then another commercial because they had to do it real quick - they timed it for how long it would take you to pump gas.

They've got screens everywhere now, you watch, you're going to go to a public restroom soon - you close the door and there'll be a monitor. You Mark my words. Anywhere that they've got your attention, they're going to try and give you a message - advertising. So we're surrounded by all these screens. As a Christian, since a lot of it is foolishness, we need to pray and make a covenant with our eyes and close our eyes to seeing evil.

And you've got to consciously be protecting what you think and what you see, because the Bible says the pure in heart will see God. Job longed for that purity of heart. He hated evil. Alright, let's move right along. Cosmic conflict - we're in the second page now - you read verses 6 through 12 of job - and I'll do that with you - job chapter 1, verses 6 through 12, "now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came among them.

And the Lord said to satan, 'from where do you come?' So satan answered the Lord and said, 'from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.'" - Alright, right away, let's stop. Where does this meeting take place? Not on earth. Is that right? In order for job - it's clearly understood - in order for job to say to the Lord 'I have come from earth' - satan. I'm sorry. Thank you very much - in order for satan to say, 'I've come from earth', he can't be on earth, right? And the Lord has gathered, somewhere in the cosmos - we don't know that it was specifically heaven - it says The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord - it could have been - this could have been a meeting before satan was completely cast out of heaven, because you find those words in Revelation 12 and then Jesus said, 'I saw satan cast out' and - but it could have been - God can meet wherever he wants.

Who knows where this convention was? He said, 'where'd you come from?' 'I have come from going to and fro on the earth and walking back and forth.' Why does the devil say 'to and fro/back and forth'? He is actually bragging to the Lord that 'the earth is mine. I freely roam it. It's my territory. I go to and fro and back and forth because the dominion you gave to adam, adam gave to me when he decided to serve me instead of you.' And so the devil claims this world is his. Does Jesus also recognize that? Doesn't Jesus call the devil the prince of this world? And so satan has hijacked the world.

Jesus came to redeem it - to buy it back. And so he's basically saying, 'I've come from my planet.' And the Lord said to satan, 'you think' - I'm paraphrasing here - he says, 'you think it's your planet, but not everybody there serves you. Have you considered my servant job? He's not your servant, he's my servant. "That there's none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" - Repeating the earlier words. Now, probably for me, one of the most important things in the book of job is what I just read.

This may not be for you, but it is for me. That God in heaven would bear testimony of somebody on earth - that God would confess the name of someone on earth and brag to other unfallen beings about someone on earth, is really remarkable. Wouldn't you want to be that person that God would tell angels about? That God would speak your name in heaven? Just think about that. That you are living so close to God that God is announcing your name. Think about God saying anything, but that he would say your name and he would refer to you as his servant.

I think, if you don't get anything out of this quarter's study, if you can be inspired by the idea that 'I am living in the sight of a holy God and I want to please him. I don't want to do anything that would shame him. I want to give God every reason to be able to mention my name in heaven.' You know, the Bible talks about that and Jesus said - and I may be jumping ahead of himself - myself - Luke 12, verse 8, he said, "also I say to you, whoever confesses me before men, him The Son of man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God." I think in another version of the Gospel it says, actually, he'll confess his name - our name before The Father. And it just - that, to me, is an inspiring thought.

Alright, someone's going to read for me Romans chapter 8:14. We're going to talk about 'who are these sons of God?' We'll get you set up. I'm going to read job 38:7 - a lot of discussion about The Sons of God. You find 'sons of God' mentioned there in Genesis chapter 6. If you read job 38:7, "when the morning stars sang together, and all The Sons of God shouted for joy" - who are these 'sons of God' that shout for joy in heaven? When the world was created? Probably angels.

They're not people. It's talking about when God laid the foundation of the world and all The Sons of God - so these are, maybe, the leaders of unfallen worlds. Now go ahead and read Romans 8:14. "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God." Now The Sons of God is a term that is used two or three different ways in the Bible, and so, it's caused some confusion. It's important that we understand this, because when you read, in Genesis chapter 6, it said that when the men began to multiply on the earth, that 'The Sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair, and took them wives of all whom they chose.

' And then it later says that they had children that were giants - nephilim - and you're going, 'what is this?' And some of you, you may even have a Bible translation that if you look there in Genesis chapter 6 it'll say, 'and when these fallen angels saw the daughters of men, that they were fair' - that's not at all what it's talking about. So understanding The Sons of God is important. In Genesis 6 - oh, let me give you one more verse - in 1 John chapter 3, "behold what manner of love The Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called sons of God!" That, of course, means sons and daughters - children of God. 'Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be - the children - it says 'sons of God' they're the children of God. So right away we know that when you accept Christ, you become children of God.

You are sons and daughters of God, okay? But there's another group. When it says, in Luke, and it goes - 3 - chapter 3 - and it goes through the genealogy of Jesus and it talks about enos who was The Son of lamech - or who was The Son of seth, who was The Son of adam, who was The Son of God. Now, how was adam different from other people? Well, probably several ways, but one principle way adam is different is you were all born. Anyone here not born? You're all born - it might have been in a test tube, but you're still born, whereas adam was created. We are born babies; adam was created full grown.

Adam was called The Son of God. We are sons of adam and eve - it's a little different. And some, knowing that, they say, 'possibly that means then that when it talks about these sons of God, these are, like adam, other leaders of other worlds - unfallen worlds - because this is the only fallen world. And then there are a few times where it talks about sons of God and it's talking just about holy ones - the other children of God - it means angels. But most of the time, when it says sons of God, it's talking about redeemed people.

So, what does it mean in Genesis 6 - The Sons of God saw the daughters of men and took wives? Up until Genesis 6, after cain sinned and he left - he took his wife - one of his sisters - and he left and he started a whole race, built a city, named it after his son, they grew and multiplied, you know, a thousand years went by - more than that - before the flood - 1500 years went by - and there were, you know, thousands of people. You do the math and, if you're healthy, and God tells you to be fruitful and multiply, and your reproductive apparatus is all in its prime efficiency and you live hundreds of years, how many children could you have? I just read - I was visiting with a friend who is amish that accepted the Seventh-day Adventist teaching. We'll put out a testimony about it. And he's now - he and his wife are doing ministry among the amish people. And, you know, the amish are one of the fastest-growing populations in North America.

They have gone from 1984, where there were about 80,000 of them, to right now, there's about 300,000. That's quite a growth. Well, you know, they believe in very big families - matter of fact, this one, he's still a young man, he's got seven kids already, like job - seven sons - job had ten, see? So they had big families. One of the reasons islam is growing so quickly is not through public evangelism, it's through biological growth. They have very big families.

And, I don't want to belabor this point, but do you know why Israel is constantly building settlements and inviting overseas jews to move to Israel? Because they're trying to keep enough Jewish voters to offset the incredible growth of the muslim families in Israel that are proliferating. Now, you may have never heard it put to you that way, but think about it. They're trying to keep the Numbers up to compete. Yeah. Now, where'd I get that? Back to the - so, you had all the children of God - these were the descendents of seth - remember cain killed abel so abel died.

Adam and eve had another Godly son they treated like their firstborn because cain left - that was seth. Seth served the Lord, his descendents served the Lord, adam and eve had other sons and daughters - they were all faithful. They grew and they trusted God and they sacrificed to God and they reMained separate from cain, who had sort of rejected God - and his descendants - they were called the children of men. I think it's enos and it means 'mortal' - they're dying - they're lost. When The Sons of God, that had the inheritance of God, said 'the daughters of cain are really pretty' - the daughters of men - they began to intermarry - that was unequally yoked - you'll notice the next thing it says in Genesis was 'evil began to multiply and the thoughts of men's hearts were only evil and violence filled the land' they lost their holy distinction.

And you might say, 'well, why were the children giants? That's just called genetic vitality. Whenever you have people mixing their genes, you'll often have more vitality and health there. Anyway, so these sons of God, though, in job are more likely the leaders of unfallen worlds that have come together. Look, for instance, in Revelation 4:4, "and round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." These may be some of those sons of God. Alright, so we've seen a little bit of this conflict in heaven.

The devil is challenging God about job and God is saying, 'job is - he's not your servant.' Now you read about conflict on earth. So there - we know there's a conflict in heaven - it started in heaven - Revelation 12 says a war began in heaven, but we see we have conflict on earth. Go to Genesis chapter 3 and we're going to be reading verses through 5. In a moment somebody is going to be reading 1 Peter 5:8. Genesis 3, "now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

And he said to the woman," - now wait a second; did God make serpents talking? How was it this serpent can talk? The same way balaam's donkey talked. God can inspire an animal to talk and so can the devil. It says the serpent - the devil decided to use a beautiful, hypnotic medium. Now, any of you scared of snakes? Any men out there scared of snakes? You won't admit (laughter) I mean, I'll pick up a snake, I'm not afraid of snakes. Karen, I don't think is scared of snakes.

She'll - we had a pet snake we caught - our kids caught a little rosy boa - they're harmless - in the backyard - little, pink - looks like a big glorified worm - and they played with it for a few days and nathan found out when they ate they had other issues and so he made a diaper for the snake - he put a band-aid on it. (Laughter) so we took a picture of this little snake crawling around with a band-aid - a little pamper - snake pamper - anyway, but back in the Garden of Eden, nobody was afraid of snakes. Eve wasn't afraid of anything. And they were beautiful creatures and they moved in a very hypnotic way and so the devil chose this medium. And he began - first question in the Bible was the devil questioning the Word of God.

Don't forget that. All the trouble that we have in the world springs from doubting the Word of God. 'Hath God said?' 'Did God really say, 'you shall not eat from all the trees of the garden?' "And the woman said to the serpent, 'no, that's not what he said. We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' Then the serpent said to the woman, 'you'll not surely die. God's just telling you this.

God's just lying to you.' "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God," - you know how many religions teach that? That, you know, if you just meditate enough and you'll be at one and you stay with this religion, after a few reincarnations or resurrections, you then become God. This whole thing about man becoming God springs from paganism. 'You will not die. Your eyes will be opened you'll be like God knowing good and evil.' Now, did God want adam and eve to know good and evil? Did God want us to experience evil? No. And you notice how the devil tempts? He mixes good and evil in his temptation.

Alright, go ahead, read for us - the Bible tells us there's an enemy roaming out there we need to be aware of. Read for us, please, 1 Peter 5:8. 1 Peter 5:8, "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 'Up and down, to and fro' is what the devil said to God. 'I'm walking up and down to and fro in the earth.' It's kind of like a pacing lion roaming his territory, looking for his next victim. He's also called 'the accuser'.

Go to Zechariah 3 - and this was in our memory verse - Zechariah :1, 2, "then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord," - how do you say Jesus' Name in Hebrew? Joshua. Yashua - Joshua - same word. "He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right hand to oppose [to accuse] him." Now, do you see a Great Controversy here? Someone named Joshua and someone named the devil opposing him? And is Jesus our high priest? The whole plan of salvation is in this verse. "And the Lord said to satan, 'the Lord rebuke you, satan!'" - What did Jesus say - remember when Michael comes to resurrect Moses and the devil comes to oppose him and says, 'you can't have Moses, he sinned.' And Michael says, 'the Lord rebuke you.' And he didn't listen. Moses was resurrected, we know, because he appears to Jesus in Mark chapter 9.

"the Lord rebuke you, satan! the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" It's a very interesting verse because you've got Joshua - and that means Jesus - you've got Jerusalem - you've got the new Jerusalem. It's talking about this brand plucked from the fire. It's set for burning but it's saved - rescued from the fire. Now here he is - it says, "now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments," - and the devil's pointing to the dirty garments. He's the accuser of the brethren.

You read about that in Revelation 12:9. Now you go to the new testament - last book - "so that great dragon" - who's the dragon? - Keep reading - you don't have to guess - "was cast out; that old serpent" - when it says 'old serpent', it's pointing us back to Genesis - "called the devil and satan." Now, if you're wondering who the dragon is and who the serpent is, does it make it clear in this verse? Because it ties them altogether in one verse. The dragon, the serpent, devil, satan - beelzebub, apollyon - he's got a lot of names, but it makes it real clear, he's the evil one - "who deceives the whole world" - most of the world's fooled. Some think the devil exists but he's good. The devil loves it when people laugh and think it's just all a joke and, you know, we eat devil's food cake and it's just - people talk about this guy in red leotards and they just think it's a spoof.

And it says he deceives the whole world. His angels were cast out with him. "Then I heard a voice saying, 'now salvation and strength and the Kingdom of our God and power of his Christ has come for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night has been cast out. So you get a picture here from job and Revelation - accused them before our God. Here you've got, in Zechariah, the devil, ostensibly not on earth, is accusing Joshua the high priest.

Here, you have, in Revelation, the devil is called 'the accuser of our brethren' once or twice or day and night? And then in the book of job - 'oh,' - the devil says - 'he doesn't serve you for nothing. You've put a hedge about him.' We'll talk about that next week. And so, he's constantly accusing us. There is a battle going on and so, you know, whenever I'm - I wish I'd always think about - I can't honestly say I do, but sometimes when I'm tempted to sin, I know there's angels watching and God is watching - I'm thinking, do I want to give the evil angels an opportunity to be happy and point to God and say, 'oh, doug says he's your servant. What a hypocrite! This is how all your servants are.

' Or do I want God to say, 'have you considered my servant?'? You ever thought about it that way? Are you ever off camera? I was working this week with our creative productions director, wayne and his phone beeped in the middle - we were doing something - his phone beeped he said, 'I'm sorry, I've just got a package.' Well, he lives in florida, he was out doing some taping. I said, 'you just got a package?' He said, 'yeah,' he says, 'I've got a camera at my front door. Every time anybody comes to my front door, this alarm goes off and it tells me and I can look and see.' He said, 'it's just the mailman.' And he's watching what's happening at all of his doors while he's at the other end of the country. Now you - some of you probably know about that software. I'd heard about it before but I'd never seen it in operation.

It's pretty cool. Of course, we set up some wildlife cameras up in the hills in covelo because we were having problems with marijuana growers planting pot on our property. So we put these wild - you know what a wildlife camera is? It's a motion-activated camera. And, you know, you can do it to take pictures of wildlife, but - and we put signs up that said, 'property monitored by hidden cameras'. And that's really all we needed.

We have not had any problems since then. Just the idea that there are hidden cameras out there, the pot growers never came back because they don't know where they are. You put it in the knothole of a tree and it's watching even when you walk down a trail. You'll say, 'ah, I know who it is that's trying to grow.' Then we plugged in the chip from one of these cameras into the laptop to watch and see what was going on and it was all these cows walking by - cows, cows, cows, cows, cows - and I thought, 'what, no bear, a deer, some yeti - bigfoot - something going by, but just cows.' So I lost interest in the wildlife cameras at that point. You've got to be careful where you put them.

But God sees everything, doesn't he? You're never off camera. You ever heard about people who were in prominent places and they forgot to turn off their microphone? Yes. And they said something they didn't want everybody to hear? Sometimes on national television? I think I'm very sensitive to that. You'll see me - when I say, 'amen' you'll see me reach back here. It's a habit.

Turn it off. Well, with God, the microphone's always on. This is a principle that we find in the book of job many times. So we read about the conflict on earth. Matthew 4 - Jesus was led up into the wilderness tempted by the devil.

Who does the devil especially hate? It's Jesus. So the book of job is a microcosm of this great controversy that we find going on in the world. How did it all begin? Alright, I'm going to read - there are two principle old testament passages that tell about the fall of lucifer. How many of you know what they are? You should know this by heart as a Christian. Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 - you double 14, what do you get? - That's one way to help you remember.

So here it talks about these two prophecies against two Kings and the devil's behind the King. The prophets begin talking about these Kings - one the King of Babylon, the other - king of tyre and he goes and he sees the power behind the King. Who was behind king herod when he killed the babies in Bethlehem? Who do you think was behind that? It says the dragon tried to devour the man-child as soon as he was born - Revelation. It was the devil working through that roman - that corrupt roman king. And so, in these prophets it says the same thing.

Isaiah 14:12, "how you are fallen from heaven, o lucifer, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations. You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of mount zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the most high.'" It says 'to the sides of the north' - that's always talking about the highest place. Who is this talking about, the King of Babylon or talking about lucifer? It's the devil wanted this position. The devil wanted to be God.

Now, you and I probably are thinking, 'how crazy does a creature need to be to think that they can overthrow the creator? You know, but you've got to keep in mind he was the highest of the created beings. We don't know how long he existed. We don't know when, on the continuum of God's creation - was lucifer #1 off the assembly line? And he'd been around a long time and he had so much power and so much wisdom and he was so God-like - other than the fact that he was created. Angels are like Gods to us. Supernatural beings - this is the chief of the angels and he just became so full of himself because he was beautiful.

And that takes us to Ezekiel 28:12 - Isaiah 14:12 - Ezekiel 28:12 - we can remember those. "Son of man, take up a lamentation for the King of tyre, and say to him, 'thus says the Lord God: 'you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in eden, the garden''" - it's not - the King of tyre was not in eden so who is he talking about? The devil. "You were in eden, the garden of God;" - was the devil in the garden of God? Did he tempt eve there? - "Every precious stone was your covering:" - covered with glittering jewels and light - and it lists them all there - "from the day you were created you were the anointed cherub" - the Bible talks about the highest cherubs were there by the throne of God. You - in the ark of the covenant there are two cherubs.

They're called the covering cherubs. Isaiah 6 - you've got these two angels that say 'holy, holy, holy' by the throne of God. Lucifer held that position at the right hand of God. It says 'you were perfect on the day you were created and I placed you so on the holy mountain in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in all your ways till unrighteousness was found in you.

In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you out' - was satan cast out? - 'As a profane thing from the mountain of God; I destroy you - I will destroy you, o covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.' It says he'll be brought to the pit - and satan is going to be cast into the bottomless pit. So, the whole Great Controversy can be seen in the story of the book of job. And all of this is a spectacle. Someone look up for me Hebrews 4:13. You'll have that hafdis? Alright, I'm going to read to you - and this goes along with that theme that all things can be seen.

1 Timothy 3:6 - Paul's talking about when you pick a bishop or an elder, he says, 'don't let them be a novice' - a beginner - 'lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.' How did the devil get into trouble? Pride. Someone said, 'you're never more like the devil than when you're proud.' Often, when people are self-conscious, it's another form of pride, because they're thinking about themselves - they're consumed with thinking about themselves. Alright, go ahead, read for us Hebrews 4:13. "And there is no creature hidden from his sight but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." How much is open to the Lord? All. The Bible says 'the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth.

' All things are naked - God not only sees what we do, he looks into the heart and he can see why we're doing what we do. So can a person look like they're praying and fasting and giving for good motives and God can look at the heart and say, 'you're all doing it' - or - 'you're doing it all to be seen of men.' And Jesus said he's more interested in the attitude than the action. Why are we doing it? Is it for love? Corinthians 4:9 - Paul says, "for I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last as men condemned to death, we have been made a spectacle to the world to both angels and men." All - he said - are looking. Even angels are watching. And you can read in Revelation 3, verse 5, "he who overcomes will be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot his name out of the book of life" - but it says, "I will confess his name" - this is the verse I was talking about before - he says, "I'll confess his name before my father and before his angels.

Wouldn't you like to have Jesus do what God did for job and confess your name before the angels of God? And then you can read - I read that verse to you - 1 - 2 Chronicles 16:9, "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth." And the last segment here talks about answers at the cross. It tells us now - John 12:31 - Jesus said, "now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out." And I'm glad we can kind of finish this lesson on a good note. Satan has claimed this world as his dominion, but did something happen at the cross? Amen. Satan's coming down with great wrath because he knows his time is short. He knows his doom is sealed.

He is on death row. He is trying to rip and tear and cause as much havoc as he can - take as many with him as he can - but he knows his days are numbered. And, at the cross, Jesus through his successful, victorious, pure life, he defeated the works of the devil. He made a way of escape for each one of us. And you can read in Revelation 12, verse 10, "then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'now salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

'' It says, 'I will cast you out.' He was cast out of heaven. 'I will cast you down.' And the final verse I'll read to you is Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14, "inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself [Christ] likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." What do you have when you take the word 'd' off devil? Or the letter 'd'? Evil. The devil is consummate evil. Who? Jesus destroyed the power of the devil and the power of the devil is death. The penalty for sin is death.

Jesus destroyed that power. He is offering us what? Life. Eternal life - the opposite of that. So the whole plan of salvation - the whole Great Controversy can clearly be seen in the book of job. I want to remind our friends that are watching, we do have a free offer.

You may have missed this at the beginning - I want to mention to you again - it's a great book. The title scares people, but you've got to read it. It's really good. I remember I put my plane on autopilot once when I was flying a long ways and I read this while I was flying. I was on - they were watching me on radar, don't worry.

Is it possible to live without sinning? By Joe Crews and we'll send it to you for free. Ask for offer #187 and just call 866-788-3966 - that's -study-more and we'll send that to you. Thank you so much for studying God's Word with us this week and we'll look forward, God willing, to doing the same again with you next Sabbath. God bless you.

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