Mighty Men of God - Purity

Mighty Men of God - Purity

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18
Date: 10/01/2016 
Mighty Men of God - Purity
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[Music] Jean Ross: good afternoon, everyone, and welcome again to the special program "Mighty Men of God." I'd like to welcome those again here in Sacramento, California. Delighted that you are here, gentlemen. And before we get to our theme song, I'd like to remind those who are joining us online and also on the various television networks, we have a free offer. It's a book entitled "who do you think you are?" Written by Pastor Doug Batchelor. It's free.

All you'll have to do is just give us a call on the resource phone number. And that number is 800-891-7171. You want to ask for the free offer 603. Again, that number is 800-891-7171, and ask for offer number 603. And we'll be happy to send you the book.

For those outside of North America, you can go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org. And you can download a pdf of the book, and you can read it for free online. So again, it's just amazingfacts.org. Now, we have a theme song that we have been singing throughout this miniseries here, talking about Marching to Zion. And don mackintosh is going to lead us this afternoon.

I'd like to invite you to stand as we sing together "marching to Zion." Don mackintosh: all right, let's really hear you. This is our last time singing together. How many want to make it to Zion this time? We're Marching. Want to sing like we're almost there, Marching to Zion. Come, we that love the Lord.

[Music] ♪ come we that love the Lord, ♪ ♪ and let our joys be known. ♪ ♪ Join in The Song with sweet accord, ♪ ♪ join in The Song with sweet accord. ♪ ♪ And thus surround the throne, and thus surround the throne. ♪ ♪ We're Marching to Zion, ♪ ♪ beautiful, beautiful Zion. ♪ ♪ We're Marching upward to Zion, ♪ ♪ that beautiful city of God.

♪ ♪ Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God. ♪ ♪ But children of the heavenly king, ♪ ♪ but children of the heavenly king may speak ♪ ♪ their joys abroad, may speak their joys abroad. ♪ Let's hear you. ♪ We're Marching to Zion, ♪ ♪ beautiful, beautiful Zion. ♪ ♪ We're Marching upward to beautiful Zion, ♪ ♪ that beautiful city of God.

♪ The hill of Zion yields. ♪ The hill of Zion yields 1,000 sacred sweets. ♪ ♪ Before we reach the heavenly fields, ♪ ♪ before we reach the heavenly fields. ♪ ♪ Or walk the golden streets, or walk the golden streets. ♪ What are we doing? ♪ We're Marching to Zion, beautiful, ♪ ♪ beautiful Zion.

♪ ♪ We're Marching upward to Zion, that beautiful city. ♪ Don: all right, last verse, then let our songs abound. ♪ Then let our songs abound, ♪ ♪ and every tear be dry. ♪ ♪ We're Marching to emmanuel's ground, ♪ ♪ we're Marching through emmanuel's ground to fairer ♪ ♪ worlds on high, to fairer worlds on high. ♪ Let's hear it.

♪ We're Marching to Zion, ♪ ♪ beautiful, beautiful Zion. ♪ ♪ We're Marching upward to Zion, ♪ ♪ that beautiful city of God. ♪♪ Don: you may be seated. Jean: amen, thank you. All right, our presentation this afternoon is entitled "striving for purity.

" But before we get there, let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again we are grateful for the opportunity to gather together as men and open up Your Word. And looking at principles that you've given us so that we can be Godly men at home and at work, and in our communities. So father, we ask for your Holy Spirit once again to come and guide our hearts and our minds, and just impress upon us those important things that you want us to know so that we can reflect the character of Jesus to those around us. For we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.

Our speaker once again is Pastor Doug Batchelor. Doug Batchelor: thank you, Pastor Ross. Thank you, pastor don. It's good to hear a bunch of men singing "marching to Zion," amen? You all doing okay? A? Oh yeah, you are, you're with me, very good. Hey, you know, I want to take a moment and thank our media crew.

I came in here the other day and saw how they set this up for our series. I thought, "man, I wonder if the ladies would let us just keep this for church from now on." That's my kind of decorations. But we're going to be talking a little bit about the armor of God today. And we're going to be talking about being mighty men. And so, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Ephesians.

And we're talking a little bit about purity. Maintaining Christian purity will depend upon being armed with the armor of God. If you go to the book of Ephesians chapter 6 and verse --well, I'll just start with verse 10. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might." There you got it again, be, be strong. When God says be strong, you can be strong.

Because in the word "be" is the power for it to happen. When God's Word says be something, you can be what it says you can be. Be strong in the power of his might. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." So, why do we need this armor? Because there's a devil out there that wants to bring us down. Now, you know, when I first began to study the Bible, and teach and preach, I wanted to do a study on the armor of God.

I'd never done it before. I went through the Bible, and I said, "I'm going to do a study on armor so I'll know how to talk about the armor of God." And frankly, I was a little disappointed because, you know, I read about the armor of Goliath. That didn't help him very much. Then it talked about the armor of Saul, and David didn't like the armor of Saul. He took it off.

Then I read about the armor of ahab. Armor of ahab, he thought it was going to save him, and the arrow found a joint in his armor, and he died. Thought, "Lord, this isn't helping me." And then I realized it didn't say to put on the armor of Saul, or Goliath, or ahab. It said put on the armor of God. It's a whole different kind of kevlar that God wears, amen? This is a good armor, why? That we can stand against the wiles, the sneaky, sinister behavior of the devil, his traps.

"For we don't wrestle against flesh and blood." It's a different kind of armor 'cause it's a different kind of battle. And yet, the battles of our warfare are mighty. We don't wrestle against flesh and blood. If you could punch the devil, you'd want to knock him out, but you can't fight him that way. "We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts," these are armies, "of wickedness in heavenly places," spiritual places.

We are doing a very real battle with spiritual forces. You know, I believe this message is very important in proportion to the problems I've had getting ready to present this message. Yesterday--and you know, whenever I think I'm dealing with some important evangelistic event, I just brace myself for impact because if you're doing anything worthwhile in trying to reach others for Jesus, the devil is going to oppose you. I've had the same printer for 10 years. And it just died on me last night.

And so, I went and ran over, wanted to print out my notes. I had no notes. Had all this work done, no way to print it. So, I ran over to my mother-in-laws and borrowed her printer, lock, stock, and barrel. Took the printer over to my house.

And then I woke up this morning to make some very important final touches on my computer, I turned on the computer on the sermon, and my computer decided it wanted to do its updates. Windows 10. Twenty-five minutes later, I am sitting there, and it says do not turn it off, do not touch it, don't do anything. I'm going--I'm like--then it finally comes on, and I go to print, and again the printer doesn't work. This is a different printer.

It was one thing after another. And I was real nice to Karen this week because I thought, "don't have an argument with your wife before you got to talk to the men about loving their wives because that's just not going to feel right." So, I tried to be--and she was real nice to me too. I think she knew. You know, the ladies are probably watching. I got to be careful what I say.

But they've all got their ear to the door out there. But I just knew that the devil's threatened because we're going to be talking about how to recognize what he's up to, and how to resist it. And God wants us to be successful in those battles against the enemy. Put on the whole armor of God, not just some of it, because we're dealing with spiritual hosts in heavenly places. Says it again, "take up the whole armor, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day," the day of temptation, "having done all, to stand.

" Talked about this yesterday, stand therefore. Stand, stand, stand. "Having your waist girded with truth." Now, we're going to talk about the implements of armor. And you'll notice there are seven articles that are specifically mentioned here. I've got them underlined and circled in my Bible.

And it's very simple, you've got a belt, breastplate of righteousness, shoes, shield, helmet, sword, prayer. Those are the seven articles in this heavenly arsenal that we put on. Now, you realize we're talking in metaphors. We're talking in spiritual things. But they're very real if you use them in their spiritual application.

"Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth." This is the belt. And the soldiers had sometimes a leather girdle, leather belt that they used. And it talks about the sword being in a sheath. One time, joab deliberately let his sword fall out of the sheath so he could surprise somebody else and stab them. Talks about the sword being in his scabbard.

And when they would run, soldiers, they had a cloak, and it would hang down for when it was colder. They'd tuck it in because you can't be running with a dress on. And so, they'd tuck it in. And the belt held everything in place. And everything that you and I believe as Christians is all founded on truth.

This needs to be the foundation, the Word of God. "Thy word is truth. Sanctify them through thy truth." And so, if you don't want to be embarrassed, know why you believe what you believe, and be ready to give an answer to someone who asks you a reason for the hope that's in you with meekness and fear. This is the belt of truth. I remember one time, I was a pastor at aquatics camp.

You know, the summer camp connected with leoni meadows. And as pastor, I got to bring my kids for free, and it--I'll tell you, it was a pretty good gig because my job was to do a morning and evening devotion. And the rest of the day, I just had to do watersports with kids. It was pretty nice. But I remember we were taking some kids out, they had a ski boat, and some of the boys wanted to try to learn to water ski barefoot.

You've got to do that early in the morning, when the water is like glass. And because when you're skiing--my dad, you know, we learned to ski as kids. We had a boat in our backyard. And when you're skiing on two skis, you don't have to go that fast. When you're skiing on one ski, got less displacement, you got to go faster.

When you're skiing with just your feet, unless you got really big feet, you got to go really fast or it won't hold you up. But the problem is if you're going really fast and you fall, it feels like you're hitting concrete. You don't just fall in the water. You skip across the water like a stone. And I finally got the hang of it, but I fell a few times.

Boy, it hurts. And when you're learning to waterski barefoot, they even give you a special life vest that will protect your ribs. One of my boys broke his ribs learning--trying to learn to ski barefoot. So, this morning, we were going out. There's this one boy, he's a little bit chubby, he wanted to learn to waterski barefoot.

And we had this boom that goes out the side of the boat from the middle. And what you would do is you didn't learn on a rope. You learned on a boom on the side of the boat. And so, your boat's going along at 40 miles an hour. And you'd put one foot out, and the spray is there, and you try to get your weight on that one foot.

Once you think you got it right, then you slip your other leg over the side, and you get your other foot there. And you got to get your toes up. Because if you get one toe down, that's it. And this boy, he kind of worked his way out on the boom. And he looked back, wanted to know, "are you taking a picture of this?" And he dropped a toe.

And he immediately--all you heard was--you know, and you saw this spray of water. And he went pa pa pa pa pa, and he disappeared underneath the water. And we thought, "boy, I hope he's okay. That was a rough fall." And we went over to pick him up, and we circled around. And he had this terrible dazed expression.

And we said, "you okay?" Said, "yeah." We said, "you want to try it again?" "No." We said, "you want to get in the boat?" "No." "Do you want to try it again?" "No." "Do you want to get in the boat?" "No." "What's up?" He said, "I can't find my bathing suit." He had--you know, there's this little string that they put on the inside of your suit that you're supposed to cinch that down a little bit. If you're going to be diving in a public pool, make sure and tighten that. You can have embarrassing moments if you don't take care of your belt. And a lot of people have had embarrassing moments when someone said, "why do you believe what you believe?" And we are not acquainted with the truth, we can't give an answer. You need to have that belt of truth.

And then there's a breastplate of righteousness. That breastplate represents the righteousness of Christ. You know, all in a battle--you know, I got this right here. You got the breastplate would be--now, the biblical armor was not as elaborate as this english armor. Be kind of neat.

We got--you know, we got that mannequin out there. We ought to put this out there too as a greeter, put bulletins in his hands. But it was to protect the vital organs that were in the front. And there was no protection on the back because you're not supposed to run. The Bible says resist the devil, and he will flee from you, right? And so, you want to protect your heart.

You want to protect the things that are attracting you, and realize that your affections and your attention is not being gobbled up by things that are not going to help you grow spiritually. That you've accepted the righteousness of Jesus that gives you peace and purpose. This breastplate of righteousness protecting these important spots. And then you have your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Very important for soldiers that you have good footing.

If you don't have good footing, it's hard to fight. You've maybe seen before boxing matches where a fighter goes down, and it's an undeliberate fall. Some sweat gets on the arena, and one of the boxers slips. And no one even hit him because his footing wasn't good. You need to have good shoes.

When I went to school in New York city, I went to this one school where we were in gym, and one of the kids was making fun of my brother. Now, my brother's older than me, but my brother had a serious disease called cystic fibrosis. And he was--because of that, his height was a little stunted, and he had flaming red hair and freckles, and people were making fun of him. And this one kid, I still remember his name was verne. I can tell you that because I'm sure he's not watching, and he won't even remember this.

But he was making fun of my brother, and we got into a fight. And we started boxing. But I was wearing these dress shoes like I'm wearing now, and this was a gym floor. And I was sliding all over the place, and I couldn't fight. And so, I realized--and we were just--it doesn't look at all like it does in the movies.

You know, it's very undignified. And finally, while I'm doing this, I'm kicking off my shoes. But that was a mistake because now I had my socks on this wax floor. And it was like trying to fight while you're on ice skates. So then I pulled my socks off.

I'm doing this while I'm fighting. I'm trying to take off my shoes and my socks. Finally, I got my big flat feet on the ground, and they stuck. And then I was able to get traction and win the fight. And it all had to do with footing.

You know, in our battle with the devil, you need to have good footing. And in order for you to take a stand, you put on those Gospel shoes. Has Jesus washed your feet? You know, the Bible says, "how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those that bring the Gospel." And then this is very important for our purposes today. You take the shield of faith. The whole idea of the shield was that it prevents a sword, or an arrow, or a spear from making contact.

A shield has an area of insulation between you and the attack. Yeah, we got a shield up there too. And it's like a buffer. You don't ever want the arrows to get to you. You notice what the shield is for? "With which you are able to quench all," how many? Not 50%.

With the shield of faith, we're able to quench all of the fiery darts of the wicked one. Devil doesn't just sent arrows. He sends flaming arrows. Sometimes, they're flaming with passion. And you got to hold up that shield of faith to prevent them from making contact.

Because once they make contact, then you got problems. That's what brought down ahab was an arrow. And so, when you know that there's a temptation, hold up the shield of faith, and keep it away. And then it says take the helmet of salvation. There you got a helmet.

That was pretty thorough. That looks like the ones they used for jousting there. But frankly, I don't know, how'd you like to go into battle wearing something like that? You probably couldn't see anything. I can scarcely bear to play racquetball with my goggles on. I don't know how you'd be able to fight with something like that, but I guess that's what they wore back then.

But in the Bible, the helmets, pretty much it protected the face a little bit and top from a sword or something, or a club. But this is the holy of holies. If your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, you know, a soldier can lose an arm and still live. You can lose a leg and still live. You lose your head, there's not much hope.

You got to protect your noggin. And above your neck, you've got seven holes: two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth. Most of our trouble comes through the one mouth. Can you imagine if God gave us two mouths, how much trouble we'd get in? And this is the avenues to the soul. So, wearing that helmet of salvation means you're protecting what's coming in and what's going out.

Because what you watch, what you hear, what you see, it's going to affect who you are. So, putting on--you know, I often think of the helmet of salvation a little more like what an astronaut would wear, that it basically is its own atmosphere that you're breathing. That's controlling what you're thinking. And a lot of guys get into trouble because they're listening to the wrong thing, they're looking at, they're watching the wrong thing. And--or eating the wrong thing.

And it brings about problems with the enemy. And then it says, "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." And we talked about that during our question time. And Jesus met every temptation, he said, "it is written, it is written, it is written." And so, if you have the Word of God--if you're reading the Bible all the time, Jesus made a promise. In that hour of trial, God will bring those words of Scripture to you to help you remember so you can fight temptation. You know, there's a promise that the Holy Spirit is going to help us know.

But you first got to read the Bible for him to bring it to you. If somebody is studying personal self-defense, you can't be taking lessons the day you're mugged. I'm not, you know, saying that's what's going to save us. I'm just saying as an illustration if you want to learn some kind of self-defense, you learn it and you're skilled in it so that if, heaven forbid, you ever had to use it, you're ready then. You don't wait until you're tempted and then start looking through your Bible.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, and he quoted to the devil, he quoted things that he had read many times before earlier. And so, if we're always fortifying ourselves with the Bible now, we're ready for the times of temptation. And then finally, he says, "and praying always with all prayer." How often do we pray? It says, "pray without ceasing." Jesus spoke this parable unto men, that men should pray always and not lose heart. Prayer is like the breath of the soul. If the Bible is your food, then prayer is your air, and the Spirit is your water.

These are the essentials that we need. So, we need to be--if you breathe all the time, you need to be praying all the time. And it says, "when you do all these things, it's so you can stand against the devil in the evil day." Now, we're going to go back and we're going to look at a story in the Bible. That was sort of just a preparation for something. If you have your Bibles, 2 Samuel 11.

You might have guessed where I was going. Samuel 11, it's a story about David. "And it happened in the spring of the year, at the time when Kings go out to battle." Where are Kings supposed to be going? To battle. "That David sent joab," David sent the general, "and his servants," the other soldiers, "with him, and all Israel," the whole army. And they destroyed the people ammon.

The ammonites, they were at war with ammon, which was directly on their border. And they had already started--actually, the ammonites provoked the battle. They started it. "And besieged rabbah." That was the capital of ammon. But here's where it all gets very interesting.

"But David reMained in Jerusalem." Now, that was so out of character for David because, in every other battle, David was not only with his soldiers, David was one of the first to leap over the wall. You know, one reason alexander the great's soldiers were so victorious is he rode into battle with them. He was not only a great general, he was a pretty good soldier. And they said one time, alexander was the first over the wall in attacking the city, and he was wounded. They had to carry him from the battle because he was so aggressive.

But he inspired his men with courage. And David always--he led them into battle. He went into that valley with Goliath alone. He was a brave soldier, and now here they are in this battle with their enemy across the border, and all the Kings are going to war, but not David. David lays off his armor, and he stays at home.

Men are often criticized by being too task-oriented, but you know, you ever heard the expression "idleness is the devil's workshop"? It's good for men to have a work. It's good for men to stay busy doing something good. Because if you can't think of anything good to keep you busy, I can promise you the devil's going to think of something bad to preoccupy your time. So, we've got to keep ourselves preoccupied. You overcome evil with good.

Do you got a problem with cigarettes? Throw them away and buy toothpicks. Get something else, you know what I'm saying? And just you overcome evil with good because it's going to be a replacement. And David doesn't go to battle. If he had gone to battle, he would have been safer on the battlefield with his soldiers than he was in Jerusalem, looking out the window with nothing to do. You know what happened.

"Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and he walked on the roof of the King's house." Now, it was typical in Bible times, especially the time of year when they go to war was not the middle of winter. It was usually more temperate, and it would be hot during the day, and a little cooler in the evening. And they'd go up to their roof. And Moses even had a law that says when you build a house, make sure that you have a railing around your roof because if you don't have a railing and your neighbor falls off your roof, then you're responsible. And because they'd go up.

Peter went up on the roof to pray. And so, David goes up there in the cool of the day. And from his roof--you know, he's in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is on a hill. He can look down and see the other houses in the area.

He may have been looking down into a window or a courtyard. But from the roof, "he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold." All right, let me ask you, did David sin? He hadn't sinned with bathsheba yet. If you see--now, the fact that she was bathing, we all agree that she probably wasn't fully clothed. But he saw that. Seeing that in of itself was not a sin.

Because you see something that may be sexually enticing, or you notice somebody that may appear attractive--and in our day in age, yeah, let's just lay it on the table here. Jesus said that if a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, he is committing adultery in his heart. Looking and noticing that a woman may be improperly clad, or has an attractive appearance, and having that sexual spark flash in your mind is a temptation. But a temptation is not a sin until you act upon it in your thoughts or in your actions. Noticing the opposite sex as someone is beautiful or someone is sexually provocative is not a sin when you notice.

It's when then you begin to think about it, and pursue it, and imagine, that's when it turns into a sin. It's like martin luther said you cannot prevent the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair. And especially living today in our culture, will we all agree that we are surrounded by sexual images? How many of you men will admit that? If you don't stand with me, they're going to think I'm the only pervert in the room. Just so you need to just--let's acknowledge that we are in a culture right now, girls are not encouraged to dress modestly. They are encouraged to be what? Sexy, right? And so, it's just right out there.

And the more provocative they can be, the more wonderful they think it is, the more they'll be admired. And you'll hear one woman encourage another one, say, "oh, that is so sexy." Well, they may think that's wonderful, but now think about this for a moment. I know there's ladies watching. I want you to hear this. If it's a sin for a man to look and begin to lust in his heart, not just look, look and lust in his heart because a woman is dressed in a provocative way, how much more serious is it for one woman to go through the day dressing like that, and making 50 men fall? If it's a sin to think those thoughts, would you want to be in the judgment, knowing that you deliberately dressed in a way to make as many fall as possible? That's serious business.

Now, this works both ways. Men also need to try and be modest in our behavior and our appearance. And but, I hope there's some ladies out there watching that just would realize, you know, it is a struggle. You ought to read this book Joe Crews wrote called "creeping compromise." And he talks about an exchange he had one day with a young man, where he was talking about modesty. And he was saying, "you know, when you go to the beach and there's public swimming, and you see those girls that are wearing those itsy bitsy, teeny weeny bathing suits," he says, "you're going to be putting yourself in a situation where you're going to be tempted to think lustful thoughts.

" And when the girls heard that at the sermon, they came up to him later, and they told brother joe, they said, "oh, you know, who would think that? You know, what are we supposed to do? I mean, just going to beach and looking." And they gave him a hard time. They were standing with a young man, and they said to him, "that's never a problem for you, is it?" And he hung his head, he said, "yeah." And then a bunch of other men chimed and said, "yeah, of course it's a problem." You go to a public place like that, and a lot of young ladies that are dressed or barely dressed, and if a man says, "oh, I don't notice that--" now, take it from me because my life was an experiment in this in that I ran around naked. I lived naked up in the hills. And I would meet other people that were naked. That's just what the hippies did back then.

And we all tried to pretend that we didn't notice that others around us were naked. And it was all a big sham. And there were girls running around naked. I wasn't part of a nudist colony, but just that's what they did up in the hills back then. And I'll tell you, friends, been there, done that.

It is ridiculous to think that clothing is only for protecting our bodies from the elements. It's for modesty. As soon as adam and eve realized that their garments of light had evaporated, they went looking for cover, and they were married. So, obviously there's a component of modesty people ought to think about, but that's gone out the window in our culture. So, let's just face it.

We are living in a world that doesn't care about that anymore. How do you deal with that, trying to be a mighty man of God in a culture that is so soaked with sex saturation? All right, let's get something out of the way. Sex. There was an adventist evangelist that is pretty famous. I won't mention his name.

And he went in this large auditorium full of people, and everybody was talking. He wanted to start the program, and he couldn't get anyone's attention. And so, he got to the microphone, he said, "sex, sex, sex." And it got absolutely quiet. And he said, "now that I have your attention." And then he went on into his sermon. I'm not recommending that.

I'm just--just made me think of that. But sex is not bad. Matter of fact, I would venture to speculate there is nobody in this room or watching who exists now were it not for sex. I said that a long way round, but basically we're all here because of sex. Isn't that right? And so, before you think it's such a terrible thing, you wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for sex.

So, sex is God's idea. God wired us for it. Those desires, those thoughts. Within their sphere are holy. The Bible says the marriage bed is undefiled.

Notice marriage. That's the context for it. In our culture, they treat sex like it's shaking hands, but that's not the way God designed it, amen? A? But since we know that it's out there and it's around us, and God's called us to be holy, he's calling us to purity, it's a big struggle. Look at some of the heroes in the Bible that got into trouble. Now, I don't know, do you want me to read the whole story? I don't know if I have time.

David saw bathsheba, and she was beautiful. Now, she must have really been--she wasn't just pretty, she was smart too. Because you know who her grandfather was? It's got the genealogy of bathsheba. Her grandfather was the smartest counselor of David. His name ahithophel.

Which is one reason that ahithophel turned on David, because of what David had done with his granddaughter, and he joined absalom in the rebellion. And he was smart. And her son, second son, was Solomon, and he was smart. So, there were some good genes there. So, she was very attractive, probably very bright.

And he saw her. And when he saw her, that first look was not a sin, but he kept looking. And the longer he looked, he thought, "man." And he had some beautiful wives. The Bible says abigail was beautiful. David was a good looking king, the Bible says.

Probably had some trophy wives. And she must have really been beautiful. He's already got ten wives at this point, but he wasn't happy. Needed one more. Problem was she was somebody else's wife.

But he had spent so much time looking and imagining that, pretty soon, he got carried away. And it went from a look to an inquiry. You know, once you start to get into the forbidden realm of thinking what you shouldn't think, sin starts as a thought. And when you nurture that thought, and you kind of roll it around in your mouth a little bit, and then eventually you go to the next step, and you start taking tangible action. And you inquire, and you plan.

Says, "whose wife is she? Who's that woman?" "Well, that's bathsheba." Now, if they'd stopped there, who knows what would have happened, but then they said, "the wife of someone you know, one of your mighty men, uriah, who's a friend, who put his life on the line for you, David." And he sent for her. And you know, you can't read too much into the story. I don't believe that he raped her. David was a smooth operator, and he's impressive, and he was good looking. And he could play the harp and sing, and brought her up and said, "oh, it must be awful with uriah.

He's been gone for months, I understand. You're probably pretty lonely." And who knows what happened? But you know, he wined her and dined her, and they had evidently a cooperative illicit relationship. And then she wrote to David later and said, "I'm with child." You know, the things that you might think nobody's going to know about, the Bible says those things done in secret will be shouted from the housetops. Nobody ever really gets away with anything. And you know, I want to pause here and just remind you that you've got people like David, a man after God's own heart, he wrote, I don't know, 20% of the Bible.

A lot of the Bible is about him. He fell because of women, or inappropriate--his son Solomon, wise man, good man, Godly man, but he just--you know, once you have two or three wives, you just don't know how to stop. And it became an addiction. And Solomon had a harem. And he had, like, what was it, 300 wives and 700 concubines, or 700 concubines, 300 wives.

I don't know, what's the difference after you get to 200 or 300? I mean, how do you even deal with that? He would, you know, say, "well, this would be a good alliance with that country, and so I'll take one of those. And ah, this, I want to have an alliance with that country. I'll take one." And he started multiplying wives. He had a harem. And the strongest man, what was his name? Filled--a perfect, healthy specimen, filled with the Spirit.

Had supernatural strength. Could conquer the world. But he couldn't conquer his passions, ended up binding him, and blinding him, and grinding him. Because of his sin with first the philistine girl he should have never gotten involved with. She got killed.

She and her family were burned because that went bad. Then he gets involved with delilah. Another time, he gets involved with a prostitute among the philistines. And God was so patient with him. And what Samson is doing is wrong, but God still gave him the Spirit when he needed to fight.

And just because God continues to bless you, and you got health, and there's some success doesn't mean what you might be thinking or doing when it comes to purity is okay. God is loving and God is patient. Now, before I say what I'm going to say, I want to say something. One of the biggest challenges for men in general in the world today, not just North America, is pornography. And it's not just men in secular society, and they'll often scoff and joke about it, but even in the church.

Now, the facts are hard to collect, but I read one survey that was done among a group of promise keepers, churchgoing men. And they took an anonymous, secure survey. Fifty percent of the Christian men that were surveyed said that they had struggled with pornography in the previous week. Other surveys I've seen, 45% in the last 30 days, meaning if any of these statistics can be trusted, that in a group like this, there's a lot of men that struggle, in a society that is sex-soaked, with purity, purity in our thoughts, purity in action, purity in what we look at. How do we deal with that? How can you be victorious? If you put on the armor of God, you can be successful against all of the fiery darts of the enemy's.

You can live holy lives. I'll tell you what helps me. Just the idea that God is always watching to me is unnerving, but that actually is a blessing. When I was a kid, my dad used to say, "I better not catch you smoking." And you know, I did start smoking, but I found I could always resist the temptation around my father. When he was there, I just didn't even think about it.

And if you know that your Heavenly Father is with you and he's watching you, you can deal with it. But look at what it did to Samson. He just ended up, he could fight thousands of philistines, and he could kill them with the jawbone of a donkey, but he was with delilah, and she started playing music and rubbing her fingers through his hair, and say, "tell me, what is the secret of your strength?" You know, he keeps saying--oh, making these things up. And then she'd send the philistines to arrest him. You'd think he'd catch on eventually that she was not trustworthy.

But he was addicted. And pretty soon, he despaired of life, and he gave his story away. Solomon was addicted. C.s. Lewis puts it this way when he talks about pornography.

It's hard on marriages, you know why? What woman can ever compete, no matter how beautiful or perfect your wife might be, how can a woman compete with an imaginary harem? And c.s. Lewis wrote this before the internet was--sex was a click away, mental sex. And said, "what woman can compete with this imaginary harem that always views you as a God, and satisfies all your needs, and can be everything that you imagine them to be?" Of course, it's all imaginary. But today, with the internet, it's all special effects, and airbrush, and makeup, and lights. And it creates these illusions.

And people get sucked in. Solomon, wisest man, he was addicted. His wives eventually drew his heart away so that it got so bad, this man who once built the temple of God, his wives were putting idols in the temple that had been built for jehovah. God's called us to be pure. You know, the Bible says without holiness, none of us will see God.

Blessed are the pure in heart. They will see God. God wants us to have purity. And you're thinking, "Pastor Doug, it's such a struggle in this world. How do you do that?" We talked earlier today about walking.

You know how you walk? One step at a time. As I was getting ready for this morning's sermon, I went into the pastor's study. And it's one of the studies--you know, John, that other room? I hadn't been in there a long time. There's a big clock, you know, on the floor in there, a big--and I thought, "what's making that big, old clock move?" Big, old clock, but I looked and I said, "is that thing on?" And I looked--the clock must be this tall. And I saw the hand, and because the clock is so big, you can actually see the minute hand moving.

Not the second hand, you can see the minute hand moving. And I thought, "could it be?" And I looked, and it is one aa battery making that whole clock move, one second at a time. How do you live a holy life? You ever sing that song, "living with Jesus, a new life divine. Looking to Jesus," it says, "moment by moment, I'm kept in his love." It's a battle, but the Bible says that with the armor of God, you can have the victory. Yeah, Solomon fell, wisest man.

Samson fell. And when he fell, they plucked out his eyes. He might have even been relieved. I heard about a man that struggled so much with pornography that he began to claw his own eyes, and he was hospitalized. He just was so addicted to it.

They took out Samson's eyes, and they bound him in the prison house, and they tied him to a mill and made him grind. And that's why I said sin will blind you, sin will bind you, and sin will grind you. But the good news is that Samson turned back to God, and he was filled with the Spirit one last time. And he laid down his life to defeat the enemies of God's people. God could have done so much more through him and for him.

You've got to just do it one minute at a time. Slowly, his hair began to grow. Man after God's own heart, David fell in that area. Now, you might get--you might despair, thinking, "how are we going to do it if these men fell?" How much can you do through the Lord? All things are possible with God. First of all, who do we follow? Jesus.

Did Jesus give us an example of living a holy and a pure life? Does the Bible say Christ was tempted in all points as we are? How many points? Do you think that Jesus, 30-year-old man, young and healthy, do you think he doesn't know what that physical reality feels like? Of course he does. And by the power of The Father and by the power of the Spirit, Christ was able to live a pure and a holy life. And it is possible. You know, there's no limit to what God can do with this generation if men would really believe in a message of holiness and purity, that you can live that way. And I know that especially for young men, and you're not married yet, and you think, "oh man, I think I'm going to die.

" You know, God gives you desires. And God gives us the desire for food. And it is good that you have a desire for food, and we are glad that food tastes good, right? But you know, if you don't control that desire for food and choose to eat at the right times and eat the right thing, even though that which God has designed to be good, you can have problems with your health. So, in the same way, God designed sex. He designed it to be good.

Now, there's a difference between food and sex. If you don't eat for very long, you will die. Believe it or not, even though you may not believe it at times, you will not die if you don't have sex. A? You will survive. There are men who think, "I just--" and you know, I've counseled a lot of young men.

They say, "Pastor Doug, I just can't handle it. I mean, how can you--it's all around you all the time. How can you not think about it?" You know, you get good at whatever you practice. And it takes refocusing your attention. And when David looked out his window and he saw bathsheba, he should have gone, "oh.

Oops, wasn't supposed to see that." It wouldn't have been a sin to notice it. But as soon as he noticed it, he should have said, "that probably is not planned." And turned--or it's not appropriate, and turned his attention somewhere else. You know what? If you're a Christian living in our age today, you have to make that decision several times a day because you're going to see things, and you're going to hear things, and you say, "that's not appropriate conversation. That story you're telling me, I'm not going to laugh at that joke, I don't want to go there." You know, it seems like so many people that talk about comedy, it always gets in the gutter. And the images driving down the road, they got images of some girl in a bikini advertising some sunscreen or something like that.

And whenever you drive by, I consciously, I know where it is--well, I think the season's gone. They probably changed it now. I consciously make my mind up to look somewhere else. And if you practice that, if you train your mind and say, "Lord, I want to be spirit filled. I want to be pure of heart.

And when I see those things, when the devil is throwing those darts, I'm going to put up the shield of faith and say, "I'm not even going to get near it." So, and if you're struggling with controlling your computer, you want to have accountability. Karen has the password to my computer. She can get on my computer anytime she wants. Karen has never seen me use my computer inappropriately. And I don't clean my history out.

Anyone can look at the history, where I've been on my computer. Same thing with my computers at the office. If you have accountability, and if you live a transparent life, it makes it a lot easier if you know that someone's watching. If you know God is always watching, it helps. If there are angels that are watching.

And so, just all through the day, when the devil is throwing temptations at you, you're choosing consciously to live a holy and a pure life. You know, this is what real strength is all about. "No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength." Where great strength--with God is the inner strength that comes from the Holy Spirit. Christ was a meek man, but he was a strong man. The Bible says Moses was one of the meekest men in all the world, but you know, Moses took on seven other men in one fight, and he won.

So, he was a strong man, but he was a meek man. You can be a man of purity, you can be a macho man and be a pure man. You can be holy, and you can be cool. There's this idea out there that, you know, if you're going to be holy and if you're going to be pure, if you're not telling dirty jokes, that somehow you're not a real man. Oh no, God wants to restore the image of Christ in each one of us.

And you know, while we're talking about this, one of the things I want to be careful of is that we don't go away thinking that every man is doomed to be a failure. I am thankful that there are stories in the Bible of men who were successful that were pure in this area. You know, the book of job, job tells us, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; why should I look upon a maid?" Now, job was married. And when he says--look, it doesn't mean that you notice one. When he says look, he means look like David looked at bathsheba.

And I'll let you read on your own what he says after that 'cause it's pretty graphic. But he said, "I made a covenant with my eyes." And you know who's a real hero in all of this is if you go to the book of Genesis, you've got Joseph. Joseph was just trying to serve God, and he was pure in heart. And finally, he gets this job. He needed a good job, he gets a job working for a guy named potiphar.

It's--you know, it could have been out farming, but he gets a job working in a house. He's sort of a butler. He gets air conditioning and a bunch of perks, and it's not that bad of a job. And, but his master often had to go away on business. And potiphar was a general, and he probably had a beautiful trophy wife.

But because her husband was gone, and Joseph it says was a handsome young man, he was in his prime, 17 years old when he was sold. At this point, he's like 22 or something, still not married. He's got all the youthful lust. You know, Paul says to Timothy, "flee youthful lusts." He's got all those hormones, and drives, and desires. And it says, "it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "lie with me.

" Now, you know what? You don't need a theologian to explain what that verse means. I like the Bible. You can just read that. Everybody knows what that verse says. Now, what's he going to do? Does he compromise his convictions and lose his faith? If he insults his master's wife and scorns her, she might get mad.

He could get a raise, and a bonus, and better working hours if he gives her what she wants. He could say, "she's the master; I'm the slave. I'm your love slave, whatever you want." He could have rationalized 1,000 ways, but he knew what the Ten Commandments said. And he said no. He refused.

"He said to his master's wife." Look, he tried to reason with her so he wouldn't insult her. "Look, my master--you're my master's wife. And my master does not know what is with me in the house. He trusts me, and he's committed everything to my hand. How can I betray that trust? There is no one greater in this house than i, and he hasn't kept anything back from me.

He trusts me with his treasure in his safe and everything, but you, because you're his wife, how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Joseph lived in an attitude of an awareness that God was watching. He didn't say, "how can I do this to my master?" He said, "how can I do to it to my master, and sin against God?" So it was that she spoke to Joseph day by day. You might be thinking, "oh, Pastor Doug, you know, three strikes, you're out. I'll try and resist temptation once or twice, but how do you do it?" Joseph, day after day. We don't know what that means.

Was it a month? Did this go on a year? But it was something where this temptation went on day after day. "So she spoke to Joseph. He did not give in," not once. A? Now, there's a man. He did not give in.

"Nor did he agree to be with her. He did not heed her to lie with her, to be with her." He said, "look, this is a temptation, I'm going to avoid her. She's in the house, I'm in the field. She's in the field, I'm in the house. I'm staying away.

I'm going to watch where she goes." And she kept looking around for him. She was prowling. "It happened one time that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the other men were in the house," because she sent them out probably. "She caught him by his garment, said, 'lie with me.'" Now, it's getting up close and personal. "But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.

" He ran from temptation. He would not consent to be with her. He didn't even want the appearance of evil. Now, I don't really have time to bear out for you the whole story of Joseph, but I think you know that he went through some trials because of his faithfulness. But God turned things around for Joseph.

And Joseph went from being a servant in a prison to the palace in one day. And I really want to get to heaven and see the dvd. I want to see the look on the face of potiphar's wife when Joseph rides the golden chariot up the street of Egypt, and they're all proclaiming that he is now a ruler in Egypt. He had a chance to get even. She who ruled him and tempted him, now he ruled.

You resist temptation, it will flee from you. The devil came to Jesus. He was tempted physically. He was tempted with his pride. He was tempted in every way you can be tempted.

But Christ put on the armor of God, and he was a mighty man because of that. And you can be successful. Even though many have failed, it doesn't mean there is ever an excuse. The Bible promises in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 there is no temptation, "no temptation that comes to you but such as is common to man." We all struggle in the same areas. "But God will with every temptation make a way of escape.

" It might mean you need to shake yourself free from potiphar's wife and run for your life, but there will be a way of escape if you want it. And if you pray and you decide you want to be holy, and you want to be pure, and that's the only way you'll see God, God will bless you. He'll fill you with his spirit, and he will do for you what he did for Joseph. He will give you a life of holy influence. The name of Joseph goes down in history through the ceaseless ages as somebody that was true to God.

He is a type of Christ. And Jesus is the one we want to follow. Christ has set an example of holiness and purity for us. Do you want that experience? You at home, do you want that experience? We'd like to encourage you to make a covenant, a commitment right now. Now, when you came in here, you got a card, a decision card.

You can download this from the mighty men website. We'd encourage you just to say, "Lord, I want to be pure of heart. I want to be a man of courage. I want to be a man of integrity." You can fill out this card, and then just keep it where you look at it every now and then. And whenever you see it, say, "Lord, help me to be one of your mighty men.

" And if you ask God, I believe that he'll help you. Do you believe that, friends? Amen. We want to thank you for joining us for this special series, "Mighty Men of God." And we hope you'll share it with your other friends. And find a man that you can encourage in the Lord, and be faithful. Read the word, pray, and walk the walk.

God bless you. Doug: you know, friends, one of the fastest growing forms of crime out there right now is identity theft. That's where these unscrupulous people will capture a person's social security number, their driver's license number, personal information. And with that, they're able to take over their bank account, loot all of their assets, and sometimes just take over their lives. Well, you know, the devil is a master of identity theft.

And this is so important to understand because Jesus said it's crucial that we have faith to be saved. Without faith, you can't please God. The just will live by faith. And the devil has been stealing the identity of God's people for 6,000 years. Well, that's why I wrote this recent book called "who do you think you are?" We think it's so important for people to understand who they are in Christ, how to have saving faith and peace, knowing that you belong to God.

If you'd like a free copy, we'll send it to you. All you have to do is contact the number on your screen, and then promise when you read it, you'll share it with someone else. [Music]

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