Preparation for Discipleship

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-48, Mark 3:13-18, Matthew 7:1-29
Date: 02/17/2008 
Lesson: 7
Discipleship can be tough work. Jesus prepared His disciples with principles we can follow today as we prepare for our own missions.
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We are so thrilled that you have joined us again. There are so many of you across the country and around the world that join us faithfully every week to study God's Word together - it is by no accident. If you just happen to be tuning in for the very first time, we know that you will be truly blessed and enjoy your study with us today. As you can see behind me, I have a lovely group of young adults.

This is 'echoes of mercy' and they are going to be singing for us today so you can just relax at home, relax right here and listen to praises to God. 'Echoes of mercy' is a Sacramento-based group of young adults that want to spread the news of salvation and the good news of Christ's coming, through their musical talents that God has given them. They've been singing together for six months and if you want to continue to support their ministry, you can find out more information on Facebook. And they have a Facebook page 'echoes of mercy'. They also have a desire that, as you listen to them, that you will hear echoes of the angels singing praises to God that is taking place right now as we speak and very soon we will be singing together with them and that is their prayer also, that we will all be singing praises to God together very soon in heaven - to our master and our Savior.

This morning they will be singing for us 'the majesty and glory of your name' and 'there is a higher throne'. When I gaze into the night skies and see the work of your fingers; the moon and stars suspended in space. O what is man that you are mindful of him? You have given man a crown of glory and honor and have made him a little lower than the angels. You have put him in charge of all creation: the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea. But what is man, o what is man, that you are mindful of him? O Lord, our God, the majesty and glory of your name transcends the earth and fills the heavens.

O Lord, our God, little children praise you perfectly, and so would we. And so would we. Alleluia, alleluia, the majesty and glory of your name. Alleluia, alleluia, the majesty and glory of your name. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

There is a higher throne than all this world has known, where faithful ones from ev'ry tongue will one day come. Before The Son we'll stand, made faultless through the lamb; believing hearts find promised grace salvation comes. Hear heaven's voices sing; their thund'rous anthem rings, through em'rald courts and sapphire skies their praises rise. All glory, wisdom, pow'r, strength, thanks, and honor are to God our king, who reigns on high forevermore. And there we'll find our home, our life before the throne; we'll honor him in perfect song where we belong.

He'll wipe each tear-stained eye, as thirst and hunger die. The lamb becomes our shepherd king; we'll reign with him. Hear heavens voices sing; their thund'rous anthem rings, through em'rald courts and sapphire skies their praises rise. All glory, wisdom, pow'r, strength, thanks, and honor are to God our king who reigns on high forevermore. All glory to God our king forevermore.

Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we humbly come before you this morning and we just thank you so much for your love and your mercy and your grace. We're so unworthy but yet, Lord you love us and you sent your son to die for us. And help us to just really take that into our heart and to have a clear understanding, as we study Your Word today, of how much you love us and how much you want to change us to be like you.

Please open our hearts through your Holy Spirit. Open our eyes that we see you more clearly, our ears that we hear you and Lord, just help us to love you more. Thank you that you're coming soon and help us to do our part. Please be with pastor mike today as he brings us Your Word. Lord, we just thank you for his ministry and please just help His Words to be Your Words.

We pray these things in your precious name, amen. Our study today will be brought to us by pastor mike thompson, who is the health and visitation pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you very much jolyne. I appreciate that. And 'echoes of mercy' - did you love - don't you love that singing? I want you to know, officially - publicly - I'm their number one fan.

I keep telling them that. Anyway, it's good to see you all here in Sabbath school. As you know, Pastor Doug has officially left as our senior pastor, but he's going to be coming back for a good number of weeks to still do central study hour. Now, he's somewhere else today, so I'm the fill-in, but I've been a fill-in for 15 years so I'm just doing what I usually do so - but he'll be back next week. So we have an offer this week.

It's actually a book by pastor doug and it's called 'the truth about mary magdalene: the woman at Jesus' feet' and it's offer #801. If you contact Amazing Facts, you can call 866-788-3966 or -study-more and ask for offer #801. If you live in the continental unites states of the good old United States of America they will send this to you absolutely free. Look at that, it's all free so if you've never gotten this book, now's the chance to do that. So that's it.

I want to move on into the lesson. We're dealing with discipleship and we're on lesson #7 and it's 'Jesus and the social outcasts'. And as I was sitting down there a few moments ago and listening to - as the number one fan of 'echoes of mercy' listening to that beautiful song. I turned to this passage here - I was just checking something up. And I want to read it because it is exactly in line with our lesson today.

It's about Jesus, the great fisher of men and women. The one who is our example in discipling and - this is a prophecy in Isaiah 42. It was written 700 years before Jesus came, but it epitomizes him and what he came to do. I want to read it - looking at seven verses, but I'm going to read them all. Messianic prophecy, which was fulfilled in Christ and which is still being fulfilled through his ministry toward us and everybody else.

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth;" - this is God speaking - "I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the gentiles." - And in the lesson this week we've got at least two examples of how Jesus went to the gentiles - he wasn't supposed to have any business with gentiles but he went to them - the woman at the well, for one. He went to them because, whether they knew it or not, they still belonged to him. But look at verse 2: it says, "he shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street." - Especially verse 3 - "a bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench:" - you know, Jesus had the heart of a lion. He was brave, he was courageous - as we'll see as we go through the lesson. He could face demoniacs - everybody else fled, but he stood his ground.

He wasn't afraid, he was courageous. Gentlemen, if you ever want a mentor - what it is to be a real man - to be brave - you've got Jesus. So he was strong, but at the same time he was so infinitely gentle. And this was described here, it says in verse 3, "a bruised reed shall he not break" - there were many bruised reeds that found their way into Jesus' presence and there were a lot of imposters who claimed to be Christ and the pharisees, sadducees, the priests - they chose to be - or thought they were the true representatives of God and when bruised reeds were brought to them, they'd just stomp all over them and tell them, 'you deserve to be like this because you're a sinner.' Jesus wasn't like that. Every bruised reed that came to him, he never got it and snapped it.

He spoke words of encouragement and kindness and compassion and mercy. And they were bruised for different reasons, you know? They'd been beaten around - physically bruised - had a bad upbringing. A lot of times they were bruised because the devil had slapped them around and led them into sin and they thought they were useless and no good and defiled and they came to Jesus as bruised reeds and never once did he do that. He always made them feel welcome. He loved them and they understood - even if they didn't understand exactly who he was and where he came from - here's somebody who's different.

Here's somebody who I believe really loves me - really cares for me. And they sure got that right because that was what Jesus was like. And he still is. "And the smoking flax" - you know, somebody comes along and the flame is just about gone. All they'd have to do is 'pfft' - and the pharisees would do that, but Jesus would gently fan that little light - bring back light and warmth into their life.

That's what your best friend is all about. That's what he is to you. And if you've never let him do that, you should. Make a big difference in your life. And so it goes on here - so I'm going to move on here and - but verse 6 - God calling - giving this prediction about his son.

It says, "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the gentiles." Not just to the family - the jews - but to the gentiles - the samaritans - the people in different places that the jews had nothing with. Jesus was different. He made them. They belonged to him and he wanted them to know that. And finally, verse 7, "to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

" That's what Jesus is all about. Can you say 'amen'? Absolutely. And so, this morning, I wanted to open with that. And our lesson is actually in #7 - 'Jesus and the outcasts'. And the memory text is from John :28-30.

It's about the woman at the well. It says, "the woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 'come,'" - I love the way that woman said that - you've heard people say to you 'come here, please'? But for this woman to say to these people, "'come. Come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did:'" - 'come see somebody who is absolutely different. Told me everything that I'd ever done.' And, by the way, this woman, when she was talking about that - if time permits we'll get onto the actual account further on in the lesson - I think it's Wednesday's - Jesus told her stuff that really wasn't nice to be brought out. But, nonetheless, this woman realized that here was somebody who was different.

He was a prophet. He was the Messiah. And for all he brought out - all the dirty laundry out of the hamper - she realized that in spite of that, that he knew her life. He knew her heart. She knew that she was a bruised reed that he didn't broke - didn't break - but through his grace, put her back together again.

And that woman's life was changed. So we're going to move on here to Sunday, 'bottom dwellers'. Now how would you like to be called a bottom dweller? You know what that means? The bottom dweller - usually we refer to that as fish, you know, stuff that feeds on the bottom where the sewer comes out into the ocean - you get the crabs and the lobster and all this - bottom feeders. Pretty graphic title to give to people but, you know, in God's eyes we're bottom feeders sometimes. But, nonetheless, here in Sunday's section 'bottom feeders' - in Matthew 21:31 - Jesus was in the temple and he was preaching and teaching and the pharisees came to him and they were saying, 'what are you doing here? On whose authority are you doing this? We don't know you from adam.

' You know, 'where's your degree? Where's your diploma? Were you ever ordained?' And so Jesus had an answer to these hard-hearted men who cared little for the bruised reeds and little flittering flaxes that are about to be snuffed out. Jesus had a word for them. "Jesus saith unto them, 'verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots'" - the bottom feeders, right? - Jesus said, "'verily I say unto you, that the (bottom feeders) go into the Kingdom of God before you.'" Do you suppose they liked that? No, they didn't see themselves as bottom feeders, they saw themselves in the higher echelons. But Jesus brought those men down lower than the bottom feeders because he looks at the worth of the soul and he doesn't see somebody who may be truly a bottom feeder - he sees it but he doesn't dwell upon that. He sees them how they will be when transformed by his grace.

And, you know, it was that view that Jesus constantly had of bottom feeders that gave him hope and courage that he was going to pour himself out in the most dreadful way at the end of his ministry. And yet, even if there was one bottom feeder in the Kingdom of heaven and that's all he got, it would all be worthwhile. Some Savior, Michael, some Savior. And if you've - and so it's satan's purpose to take the human race, one by one, and make us all into bottom feeders. God created the race pure, noble, upright, beautiful, lovely - and it's the devil's purpose to just rip out every vestige of the pure image of God that God established in the demeanor and the form and the life of adam and eve when they first came forth from his hand.

And so he delights to do this and take every human being that he can and cast them onto the - into the garbage - into the landfill of corrupted and squandered human life. And, you know, if you've never seen, firsthand, what the devil can do to people, you just go down to the jail one day. The county jail is just ten minutes from here. I go visit people there sometimes. And you're standing waiting there in line and you look around and you can almost weep.

You very often see mothers with their little kids - cute little kids, you know - just the cutest little kids. I saw a cute little baby the other day and I'm looking and there's mom. And you know where daddy is, he's locked up inside. That's what satan does to people. I was down there the other - I don't want to get too sidetracked here, but I was down at the courthouse - this was, I don't know, six weeks ago - I was waiting outside - the courthouse there's a - sorry, the jail - there's a small courthouse downstairs.

There are about four departments - that's apart from the main superior courthouse - but I was waiting to go into the - one of the smaller courtrooms down there - I went for it to open - there was somebody I had an interest in. And I saw this lady come out. She was with her attorney - public defender - you could tell she couldn't afford a lawyer - and I took one look at this lady and - she wasn't old - she was about middle age, but you could see what drugs had done to her. And the public defender was looking at her, you know, to him it's a job - business as usual - he's telling her stuff. I was just looking at this poor woman and teeth were - she'd probably been on meth - teeth were gone - and I watched her and she went and stood over in the corner a moment and I looked at this pitiful woman and she just stood there crying.

And I thought, you know, 'what does Jesus think? What does Jesus think?' I mean, he sees this every day. And I wanted to help this woman so bad, you know? So lo and behold, I always carry a few kleenex in my pocket. They're a bit crumpled up, but they're warm and they're clean, you know? I keep them for such times as this. I went over to this little lady and I said, 'excuse me ma'am.' I said, 'I'm a pastor from down the road.' I said, 'I'm sorry, you're obviously hurt.' I said, 'I'm sorry about that.' And I said, 'look, it's kind of beaten up and - but it's warm and it's clean.' So I gave it to her and she started dabbing her face - her name was angela - and she told me a little bit about what was going on and I said, 'would you like me to have a little prayer with you, angela?' And she said, 'yes, please.' So I held angela's hands and we had a little prayer and - never saw her again after that but, you know, people like that - they come and they go all the time. We pass them on the street - we pass them in the supermarket if they can afford to go in.

But Jesus knows who they are and he loves them and he wants us to reach out to these people that we so often refer to as, maybe, outcasts or bottom feeders. They may not know him but he knows them. They belong to him and he cares for his own. And tonight - today - here we are. You know, praise God we're Christians.

He's cleaned us up and we can sit in church this morning and be thankful and glad. Look what God has done for us. But always ask him to give you a heart for others that don't have the light - the experience that you have at present. Jesus never censured human weakness. There's a statement like that in 'Desire of Ages' - couldn't find the page but it's true.

Jesus never censured human weak - these broken reeds that would come or these smoking little flaxes. He never censured human weakness, that's why people felt they could approach him. Now it doesn't mean he ever condoned or excused sin, but as one who, himself, bore infirmities in our flesh, he pitied people and he knew he would never win them by criticizing them because they were weak, fallen human beings. But he sought to draw them by his love and encourage them. And realized he could forgive them, which he did, and change their very lives.

So let's be glad for Jesus, what do you say? We see this, actually, in Luke :6 - sorry, Luke 15 - let's go to Luke 15. When a bottom feeder is found or somebody who's been a Christian and wandered away from the fold and the church family might say, 'well, serves him right, you know. We gave him so many warnings.' You may stay in bed at night, but Jesus doesn't. He's a shepherd, he's out in the dark and he's looking for them. When he finds them he rejoices.

Luke 15, verse 6 - it says, "and when he hath" - verse 5 - "and when he hath fount it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing." - Got his lost sheep - verse 6 - "and when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, 'rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." And then in Luke 15, verse 10 - another story - the lost coin - "likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." And, of course, in this same story, of course, in Luke chapter 15 - you've got the prodigal son that kind of caps it all off. I won't go there because I'll talk about it for too long. It's just pregnant with meaning. But the prodigal son or the prodigal daughter - it's just so wonderful.

So - well, prodigal son or prodigal - they left home, right? They came from a high position. They finished up as bottom feeders - bottom dwellers - just living on the husks - eating the fruits of what they have sown. And there is this Jewish boy feeding pigs. How much of a bottom feeder could you be as a jew? He's feeding pigs and he's there and suddenly he comes to himself and he realizes, 'you know, it wasn't that bad in my dad's house. I think I'll go home.

But you know what? He'll probably make me beg at the door.' And so he gets this - this speech prepared and what did Jesus say in the parable? He says, 'and when he was yet a long way off, his father saw him' - why? Because he stood on the doorstep looking for his boy. And he was a long way off and - 'pfft' - no begging, no groveling - 'son, welcome home. Come here.' He puts his robe around him and takes him in the house. He said, 'I'll be your servant, dad.' 'You'll be no such thing. You're my son.

You belong to me.' Praise God. For where sin abounds God's grace does much more abound. There's a statement in the writings of Ellen white and I've got 'hp' and I cannot, for the life of me, remember what that abbreviation is. If anybody can help me out with this. I think it's hp.

Oh thank you very much - that's right. Thank you. 'Heavenly - heavenly - see, I don't know everything. 'Heavenly places' page 181 - thank you. Of course, 'heavenly places' - this is what it says, speaking about Jesus, "those who" - and I'm going to put it in the context of bottom feeders or bottom dwellers.

It says "those who come to him" - you know, the bruised reed and the smoking flax - just covered in filth - he forgives them. But you know what it does in return? And this is one of the important things about Jesus - how he sets, as an example of discipleship and helping people. You know what he did in return? He sought to inspire them with hope. "He sought to inspire with hope the most rough and unpromising and what he would do he would then express confidence in them and give them responsibilities and say, 'here, you're not a bottom feeder, you're part of my team. Here's something I want you to do.

' You know what that did? That was tremendous psychology apart from it being a demonstration of grace. It says this: "and men longed to become worthy of his confidence." Isn't that a way to win people to Jesus? You do that with your kids, right? When they deserve a scolding - well, you should never scold your kids - I'm old school, I think if they need a spanking you should spank them. But not for everything. I think there's a place for it. But if you do it, you just hug them to death as soon as you're done - and even before you do it.

But you let them know that, 'yes, you've fallen, but you're forgiven and now I express confidence in you that you can do it right.' And what does that do to a child? They want to show to their parents that 'yeah, I can do it.' And that's just how Jesus dealt with people when it comes to this issue of discipleship. And, again, let me say it's always satan's purpose to lead fallen human beings deeper and deeper into sin until, ultimately, it seems that they reach the point where there can be no u-turn even if they want one. So he gets them to this point and they think. 'I can't even turn around now, it's so bad.' So they're trapped, it seems, and then he takes things from bad to worse because what - actually now, we're on Monday's section. This is the - this is the woman taken in adultery - we're in Monday's section - in the very act.

So this is the context here. So if you've got this woman - you know the story - so what the devil does - he leads them deeper and deeper into sin until it seems there's no way out. They would look for a u-turn - they'd long for a u-turn, but it seems they can't do it. And to make things worse, the devil comes along and what does he do? He exposes them publicly - before everybody else - before society - before their own family - exposing their evils, bringing them under condemnation, humiliating them, and crushing them and driving them to despair. Some of you may have been there.

I'm sure some of you heard of things like that. Now, I'm not saying that if you're a serial murderer and it's discovered, that it should be kept under wraps. You know, things need to be, you know, taken care of. But, you know, even then there may be somebody who lost a child at the hands of a murderer so I want to speak sensitively here. I'm sure it's hard to forgive.

But, you know, who will forgive is Jesus. When it all comes out and you're just - and all the media's on you and everybody's talking about you and you're sitting in a cell. There's people like that right now. There's one person who is beside them, wanting them so much to turn to him because, in spite of what they've done, he can forgive them and help to heal them. And this woman here, the woman at the well - and such was the strategy when she was discovered that it was satan's strategy not just to expose her and make her feel rotten and just drive her to despair, but he hoped - satan hoped that he could bring about two stonings instead of one.

You know what I'm talking about here. I want to - actually, let's go read John chapter 8, verses 1 through 11 - John 8, 1 through 11. You got this woman taken here and it was not a good situation. John 8, 1 through 11, "Jesus went unto the mount of olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

" - Verse 3 - "and the scribes and pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, master," - oh, they thought they had him now. They thought they had the woman and they thought they had Jesus - "they say unto him, 'master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?' This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him." - What would happen there is, you know, the position here - they thought they had Jesus - if he said, 'yeah, stone the woman' then they'd go tell the Romans, you see? Because the jews were not allowed, under roman jurisdiction, to pass the death sentence or to execute the death sentence. That was the prerogative of rome. That's why, when the people wanted to crucify Christ, they had to get permission from pilate.

So if Jesus said, 'yeah, stone her. That's what the law of Moses - let her have it. I'll be the first one to throw the rock!' They would have gone straight to the Romans, 'you know this guy over here? You know he's usurping the authority of caesar or pilate?' So they thought, 'we've got him now.' And at the same time, if Jesus said, 'no, don't stone her.' They'd go to the rest of the jews, 'did you see this man? He just defied the law. This woman should be stoned and he said we shouldn't. He's throwing out the law, the prophets, everything.

' So they thought they had him nailed, right? Let's carry on here. A lot happened. Halfway through verse 6, "but Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he had heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground." Now, I like the way it's described in 'Desire of Ages' - with two strokes of brilliance, if you like. With two strokes of brilliance, Jesus silences the pharisees, zips them up, sends them off.

That was a stroke of justice and it was just - I'll get back to it in just a moment - explain it - and also with a stroke of mercy, this woman is pardoned and set free. Just like that - pfft - pfft. How did he do that? The stroke of justice - it says he was writing on the ground here and these men are saying, 'what sayest thou? This woman should be stoned.' So he gets down on the ground. You know what he starts to write. You know what he starts to write.

He's writing out their sins and he knew their names. Suppose one of them here is called Jacob - never met him before but he just looks - 'see, I know your name. There's Jacob.' So Jacob's looking. Jacob sees his name on the - he's just writing out Jacob's stuff. 'Well Jacob, you got anything else you want to say?' Jacob sees that and says, 'well, you know, I think I'd better go home.

' Then he writes out the next guy's name. He's looking. 'Oh, you know what? Um...I've got to go.' So finally - finally - finally they're gone. Why? Because in justice Jesus wrote down their sins and they realized - this is why he said, 'whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone.' They were gone. And then the woman, she's still cowering down here, and has heard Jesus say, 'whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

' Now she's been taught that the pharisees and the scribes and the sadducees - they're holy men - they don't have sin. So for sure now they're going to throw these rocks at her and she's waiting there. What does it say? Let's get back to where we were. Where were we? And - verse 9 - "and they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest," - so he got the dirty old men first, right? By the way, any young men listening, let me tell you this: the reason why dirty old men become dirty old men is because they begin as dirty young men. Never forget that.

Age won't change you, Jesus will. So remember, he started with the old men. "Beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto to her," - I'd loved to have heard his voice. You know, that voice of one who won't break a bruised reed or snuff out a little wisp of smoking flax - he said, "'woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?' She said, 'no man, Lord.

' And Jesus said unto her" - oh to have heard that voice - what this voice would have been - must have been to this woman - he said, "neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.'" Did he excuse her sin? Not for a second. Did she deserve to be stoned? Absolutely. But there before her was the lawgiver - of all people - determined to uphold his law. But it wasn't just the letter of the law, that law came from a heart that is really a heart of love. And while there's justice on one hand, there's mercy on the other for those who desire it.

And so he looks at this woman and he says, 'neither do I condemn thee: go, just don't do it again.' And off she goes. You'll find some of that in Pastor Doug's book, I'm sure. You know, Jesus did that type - in John it says if everything was written about Jesus, it said, there won't be enough books in the world, right? There wouldn't. I mean, you'd have a library - who knows what. So what we see when we read this thing is it's just the tip of the iceberg.

So many, many, many accounts where Jesus had episodes like this where he showed he never palliated sin but he forgave. And especially those who society cast off as worthless. What a wonderful Savior - truly. Now, I want to move down here a little bit here. I got a bit ahead of myself.

Jesus - yeah, you know, I better move on. No, this is what I want to talk about. In the judgment - all our characters are going to come up in the judgment so if you're concerned about what your character's like, because it's going to come up there, and if you're worried about it, then you'd better put it right, okay? Go to Jesus. Say, 'Lord, I'm this. I'm that.

I'm the other. Lord, I have to confess, I've been a bottom dweller.' And he'll say, 'it's alright, I already knew about it, but it's good for you to recognize yourself, just where you're at.' You can't tell him anything, but it's good for us to open our hearts because if we don't think and search our hearts, we won't know what we're supposed to confess and put it right. And he won't come in and take it out of our hearts that which we don't want him to take. So you need to come to Jesus just as you are. But the wonderful thing is - mike, could you give me 'Great Controversy', please? Thank you Michael.

As satan sought to get this woman condemned, the one - the woman who was taken in adultery - and also tried to get Jesus stoned at the same time - in the judgment, satan is going to seek to secure our condemnation. And in the book 'great controversy 4:84 - it's two paragraphs - I hope you don't mind but I'm going to read them because they're really, really good and it's based on - in the book Zechariah chapter 6 - you know, I never remember if it's 3 or 6 - forgive me, Zechariah chapter 3. It shows you Joshua, the high priest, standing before God and the devil's there to accuse him. He's covered in filth because he's representing the people and his robes are covered with the filth of the people's sins. As high priest he carries them.

And satan - you can read it in Zechariah 3 - and he trying to - satan's there trying to secure the condemnation of Joshua and also the people. But Ellen white applies this here in 'Great Controversy' p. 484, "While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of his grace" - many of whom have been bottom feeders - "satan accuses them before God as transgressors. The great deceiver has sought to lead them into skepticism, to cause them to lose confidence in God, to separate themselves from his love and to break his law. Now he points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness of Christ, which has dishonored their redeemer.

To all the sins that he has tempted them to commit and, because of these, he claims them as his subjects." - You know, the devil is a liar. You know that? But we'll have to give him credit. He does exaggerate some things, but there's a lot of things he knows about that he can tell God, which are absolutely true, right? So sometimes he does speak the truth to secure our condemnation. So here he is. And it says in the next sentence, "Jesus does not excuse their sins" - he didn't excuse the sin of the woman caught in adultery - he never does - "but shows their penitence and faith.

In claiming for them forgiveness, he lifts his wounded hands before The Father and the holy angels saying, 'I know them by name'." If there's any bottom feeder out there looking at that camera - whichever camera - you may have done your worst. You may feel under terrible condemnation. The devil may be coming and telling you the truth about yourself but, you know what? Jesus knows you. He knows you by name - but Jesus knows them by name. "I have graven them on the palms of my hands.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, o God, that wilt not despise and to the accuser of his people he declares, 'the Lord rebuke thee, o satan, even a Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?'" - So the devil - Jesus turned around to the accuser and said, 'I know about these things but they - see, they're penitent - they've repented - they brought before me not sacrifices consisting of money or good works, but the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite spirit. That is what Jesus looks for. Praise God you don't have to perform penance. You don't need any indulgences.

The only sacrifice you need to bring is a broken and a contrite heart. He will not despise that. And if you want to feel contrite and you can't because you're so hard. You know what? If you ask him, he'll give you the ability to repent. His grace is such that he can give you a heart that is truly, sincerely broken.

And so he points and he says, 'okay, I hear your accusations, but they've repented. I have a right to forgive them and atone for their sins because those sins they've repented for, I have bore them upon myself upon the cross. So, in other words satan, zip up.' And this is what we read: "Christ will clothe his faithful ones with his own righteousness that he may present them to his father a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Their names stand enrolled in the book of life and concerning them it is written, 'they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy." Praise the Lord. I'll give it back to you, mike, for awhile, thank you.

I appreciate your help. Okay, let's go on to Tuesday, 'the lowest of the low' - okay, we've had - what have we had? 'Bottom dwellers' and now the 'lowest of the low'. We've had the - okay - we're going lower, lower, lower down on the - on the totem pole here - down to the bottom. Okay, we're looking at this man who - terrible - the demoniac - in Matthew 8 - you get the same story in Matthew 8 it's two men - in Mark it's one man. It makes no difference.

It's just two different Bible writers - one remembers there's two - one it's one - the main thing is the story - the circumstances in which this demoniac was and how Jesus confronted the evil that had possessed him - or them - and how he dealt with it. So I want to read - let's go to Mark chapter 5 - Mark chapter 5 and verses 1 through 5. Now, the context here, Jesus has just come over the sea and he's just got through the storm, right? The terrible storm and he says, 'peace be still' and the wind went away, the waves went away, and the moon came out and - but here, it's - they get over to the other side, verse 1 - Mark chapter 5, "and they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

" Now, you can be sure as Jesus gets out with the disciples - what do the disciples do? They get out of there. They run away. This man must have been a terrible sight - just totally possessed by evil. He stood there with the power that he possessed as a human being that received that faith and that trust from his heavenly father that made him realize he didn't have to be afraid of anything. So he stood his ground and he raises his hand to this man and this demoniac stops right there.

And, of course, as you read the story, you find out that this man is possessed not with one demon, but with a legion. And in a roman legion there were three to five thousand men. So this man here is possessed by a minimum of three thousand demons. Jesus can see - he's probably seen them all. He stands there.

They don't come any further and he rebukes them and they come out. And I wish I could tell you the rest of the story but our time's gone. In 3 - 2 - 1 - action! (Dramatic music) this documentary covers a span from the first coming of Jesus and what was going on in the church up until just before the second coming of Jesus. It shows the great apostasy that crept into the church and then, ultimately, the great revival through the great reformation. This is a life and death battle.

It's not just something that is happening in hallucinations of a prophet. Those things are played out in real history. (Dramatic music) this scene that we're about to shoot is 'the massacre of the innocents'. It is a Bethlehem location and, as you can see behind me, we have the faux walls that are up. We're going to have some green screen that gives the extension or the illusion that Bethlehem goes on for a good distance, so it's a bigger city than what you see behind me.

This historic event is called 'the massacre of the innocents' and that's what we're shooting tonight and so we're hoping that we're able to pull it off in a way that brings to life the event but also does it in a tasteful way because that event, obviously, was - it was pretty gruesome and we're hoping to keep that out of the shot but, at the same time, give the illusion that we're here in Bethlehem and we are at this horrific event. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed.

Visit ''. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Watch Amazing Facts television by visiting ''. At '' you can view Amazing Facts programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Why wait a week? Visit '' - it's that easy.

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