The Wisdom of His Teachings

The Wisdom of His Teachings

Scripture: Mark 1:22, Matthew 5:1-48, Matthew 6:1-34
Date: 04/26/2008  Lesson: 4
Jesus' teachings were so revolutionary that they changed the course of humanity and continue to instruct us today.

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White
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Good morning and welcome to central Seventh-day Adventist Church for another "central study hour." We're so glad that you are tuning in and joining us from across the country and around the world this morning. And I know that because of The Song requests that have come in. We have a lot of requests, so we're going to sing those right away. And the first one, you will find on page 92 in your hymnals. Pull our your hymnals, those of you who are at home and sing along with us this morning.

The first request, "this is my father's world," on 92. It's from byron in Canada; charice in england; sally in china; mendu in inner mongolia, china; julia in barbados; andrea in Canada; robert in zambia; and wayne in North Carolina; and jim in Maryland. Number 92, we'll do all 3 verses... [Music] You know there is a lot of sin in this world. And there are ugly things, but it is still our father's world.

And there is beauty when we look at him and when he lives in our hearts. Those of you who aren't here, but are part of our extended family, we welcome you to send in song requests. And many of you have. Those of you who listen on the radio, go to our website; those of you who watch on television or on the internet, saccentral.org, and click on the music link, and send in your favorite hymn requests. And we will sing those for you on an upcoming Sabbath.

Our next song is 468, "a child of the King," 468. This is from mia flora in the Philippines; osepho in england; boaz in the Philippines; stacy and kyle in trinidad and tobago; haddie in the republic of korea; ben hur in el salvador; sanland and vanaato, raulie in California; jim and diane in florida; pricilla in Georgia; jamie in Montana; jolie in North Carolina; joanne in New York; jason and lisa in Oklahoma; sianna in Oklahoma; u.t. In Pennsylvania; annie in South Carolina; and grace who is years old in North Carolina, and this is requested by mercer straw. He wanted to request that song for you. , We'll do the 1st, 2nd, and 4th verse.

.. [Music] Okay, this last verse, some of you were smiling, but some of you are not. And I want you to sing this song like you believe it. Are you a child of the King this morning? Okay, then I want to hear a big difference on the last verse. Here we go, verse 4.

.. [Music] Father in Heaven this morning, we are children of the King, the King of the universe. And we cannot wait to see you face-to-face when you come and take us home to heaven. We look forward to that day when we can meet the angels and we can meet you and we can just spend eternity with you in heaven singing praises to you. We thank you so much for the beautiful Sabbath that you have created and that you have given to us as a memorial of your love for us.

We look forward to spending many more Sabbaths together with you. And we pray that you will be with us this morning as we open up Your Word and we study together, that you will send your spirit, and that you will give Pastor Doug the words to speak to us. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Morning.

Morning. Thank you to our musicians and song leaders. It is good to be a child of the King. Amen? And I want to welcome our class that is--it's a growing class, watching with us on television as we study the Sabbath school lesson. This is--right now we're in the quarterly dealing with the subject on "the wonder of Jesus.

" And for our friends who are watching, we know we have a lot of remote people there and you may not be connected with any particular church family, if you have a Seventh-day Adventist Church in your neighborhood, and you go and say, "you know, I've been studying with central church on tv," I'll bet they'll give you one of these if you just ask 'em, "the wonder of Jesus." And we have an offer that goes with our study today. It's called down from his glory. This is offer number 154. And we'll send you one of these for free just by asking. Call the number you see on your screen, or if you're listening on radio, it's 866-study-more, -study-more.

And say you're listening to Amazing Facts and you'd like the free offer called, "down from his glory," by Joe Crews. Also, I have another important announcement to make. A lot of people watch this study from week to week and maybe they miss it one time. Some watch it in preparation for even teaching the class themselves. Something exciting has happened since our last class: Amazing Facts has released a new website.

And it's called amazingfacts.tv. It's Amazing Facts' evangelistic programs 24 hours a day. Simply amazingfacts.tv. There you'll find a whole archive of the Sabbath school programs. And so--and not only that, you'll see the church service too for those who want to know what's happening at central church or the worship services there.

But if you've got a friend, and they say, "I missed the lesson," or, "I really liked that lesson weeks ago," you can go to amazingfacts.tv, and you'll see just a library of those lessons plus other evangelistic programming. So we hope you'll take advantage of that. I'm forgetting something. Oh yeah, I wanted to send some greetings. Some of our members here were stationed in the army in germany.

And they like to say--you know, so often we have friends who are requesting songs from around the world. We have someone here who would like to say, "hello" to the service men and service women who are based there in germany. Some are watching in danner chapel. And the renjifo's send their regards. And we're happy from our family here to send regards to the family there.

Did I remember everything? Probably not, but we want to get into our lesson. So we're in lesson number 4 in "the wonder of Jesus." And today we're going to be talking about "the wisdom of his teachings." Now you all realize of course there's no way in the world in our short time that I can plumb the depths of the wisdom of Jesus' teaching in the next minutes or so, but we've got a big assignment. You're gonna have to help me. I'll be lucky if I get through just some of the beatitudes. And so our lesson today is gonna be based on Matthew 5-7, the sermon on the mount, Matthew 20:25-28, John 4:22-24, and John 8:1-11.

There's just so much there. So I'd like to start with talking a little bit about the beatitudes. Go ahead and open up your Bibles, if you'd open your Bibles please to the book of Matthew, Matthew 5. And we're gonna look at some of the teachings there. Now we have a memory verse, almost forgot that.

Memory verse is from Mark 1:22. And if you find that, it's in your study guide, Mark 1:22. Please say that with me. You ready? "The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the teachers of the law," or as "the scribes," as it says there in Matthew. What was unique about the way Jesus taught? What was so wonderful? He taught them as one having--? Authority.

That means he taught them with a certain definiteness about his teaching. What was different was in-- and you know, as a contrast his teaching with the scribes, or the teachers of the law, they would often teach by saying, "well, one interpretation of this passage from Moses is this, but rabbi so-and-so says it could mean this. And rabbi so-and-so says it could mean that." And they were just very vague and nebulous and there was nothing definitive about the style with which they taught. Jesus when he taught, he said, "this is it." And you know what? He taught with a certainty and an authority in His Word. I think there was an authority about his presence that they sensed, that they said, "wow, this is the truth.

" And you know, I think preachers ought to preach with more authority. If you know you're preaching the Bible, that's your authority. And you can preach with a confidence and a certainty. Now you know, sometimes there are some Scriptures that are still very mysterious. There's some prophecies and things that, you know, we don't claim to understand it all.

But when you're teaching and preaching the truth, if you're gonna have the audacity to stand up and do that, then do it with authority. Because otherwise, you know, you leave the sheep kind of befuddled. Someone said one time, "if there is a mist in the pulpit, there is a fog in the pew." And if the preachers are up here kind of misty about what they think, then you're gonna be foggy out there. And so we need--pardon me--but you know, it's true. You've been to congregations before where the pastors not real clear and what do you expect the flock to be? And so there ought to be a definitive.

And preachers ought to study. And evangelists ought to study. And they ought to preach with conviction and with authority about what they believe. And it doesn't mean that, you know, they know all things. But when you get up to teach, know where you stand.

Amen? Have your roots down. Preach with a certainty. Jesus taught with that authority. And, you know, at the end of the sermon on the mount is when it makes that statement. So when he first begins the sermon on the mount and he's talking about the beatitudes, it just absolutely shocked them when they heard these things.

Now we're getting ready to-- matter of fact, why don't we read this together? Go in your Bibles with me to Matthew 5. And I'm just gonna read through the beatitudes for starters. There's a lot here in Matthew 5:7. We may not get much farther than that. But I just want to read through them.

I've got some other verses for you. "Blessed are--" and this is Matthew 5:3, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called The Sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." And then he goes on. He expands a little on that last one, but that's technically what's thought of as the beatitudes or the blessings.

Now if I start one of them without your looking at the Bible, if I start one of 'em, for instance, "blessed--" don't look at your Bible, "blessed are the pure in heart, for?" "They shall see God." "They shall see God." Okay. Most of you, I think can finish them. But some of you, if you didn't look at your Bible, do you get the order mixed up? Yeah, alright. Let me tell you a story. This hobo is hungry.

He's walking down the railroad tracks 'cause he missed the train, walking for miles. And as he nears the station, he comes upon another hobo camp. They called 'em "hobo jungles." And he sees a bunch of hobos are gathered around the fire there. And they got something on the pot. It's hobo stew, but he's not sure what's in it.

So he comes meekly up to the camp. And he holds out the tin can that all the hobos kept with 'em. That was their, you know, their receptacle, their pot, and their pan, and everything. And he's got a tin can, and he holds it up. And they look at each other and say, "okay, we'll give him a little bit.

" And so they fill his cup. And he takes a swig. And he makes this statement afterward. He is so thankful. He says, "mmm, pour more.

Me hungry. Mercy, pure, peas, and persnips." Now what does he say? "Pour, more, me, hungry, mercy, pure, peas, and persnips." Can you remember that? That's the beatitudes. "Blessed are the poor." "Blessed are those who mourn." "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst." "Blessed are the merciful." "Blessed are the pure in heart." "Blessed are the peacemakers." "Blessed are the persecuted." Got it? Think of the hobo, holding out his tin can. "Pour more, me hungry, mercy, pure, peas, and persnips." See all you gotta do is remember that one sentence and you can remember the beatitudes, right? Okay, well, if you forget everything else today, maybe you'll remember the hobo and how to remember the order of the beatitudes. We're gonna go through these and look at some of the beatitudes.

And before we get there, I remember one time hearing about this great preacher, chapman. Someone asked him, "how are you doing?" He said, "I'm burdened." "Burdened?" He said, "I'm burdened with all the blessings that God has given me. I can't thank him for all of them." God blesses us so much. Somebody read for me, I've given out some verses. Who has psalm 68:19? "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation! Selah.

" the Lord who "loadeth us," who burdens us, "with benefits." Try to think of everything you've got to be thankful for and you can't. It's like David said, "his thoughts towards me are more than the hairs of my head." I mean you just can't number them. God is blessing you in so many ways. He's protecting you from moment-by-moment, from spiritual asSault. He's providing for every cell in your body and sending your little white blood cells on their rampage to take out any disease that might be trying to invade you.

And he's giving you air to breathe and just, there's so many ways God blesses us from the time we open our eyes, indeed even while we sleep, he loads us, he burdens us with benefits. And the beatitudes are also just what they say, be-attitudes. They're attitudes of being. And you think about all the blessings here. For instance, what's the first one? "Pour more--" remember? "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

" Now we've got a verse that goes along with that. I said Revelation 3:17. Do you have a microphone there, birdie? What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Is God telling us that we ought to all renounce ownership of anything and live in poverty? What does that mean? "You say, 'I am rich, I've acquired wealth and do not need a thing,' but you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked." Alright, thank you. In Revelation 3, when Jesus talks about the church of laodicea: the riches, and the poverty, is he talking about literal riches and poverty or a spiritual riches and poverty. Here it says that, "the poor in spirit are blessed.

" It's not a blessing; there's no virtue in being destitute. Well, you know, matter of fact, in Luke he does say it differently. I need to be faithful about this. Luke simply says, "blessed are the poor." Now it explains in Matthew what kind of poor it's talking about. It is true of the classes of people between the poor and the rich, which class was it that typically found it the easiest to believe and follow Jesus? Was it the wealthier classes or the poorer classes? Why? Talking about literal wealth and poverty now.

Why was it the poor people found it easier to follow and believe Jesus? Moses said--yeah, they depended on him. They relied on him. Moses said when they entered the promised land, "beware when you enter this land where you're gonna be able to dig iron and gold out of the hills, and you're drinking from wells you did not dig, and you're eating from nice, well-established trees that are abundant in fruit, and you didn't plant them, and you're living in houses that you did not build, and you're surrounded with prosperity and blessings, and you get to be a little fat and sassy, beware that in your wealth you do not forget the Lord who gave you all these things." Rich people that don't sense the pinch of need start trusting in their riches. And Paul uses that word. He says, "be careful about trusting in riches.

So rich people have a tendency to do that. Poor people, they feel the keenness of their need. They're more inclined to trust in Jesus. But that's not really the poverty he's talking about in the beatitudes. He's talking about those who know, as it says in Revelation, that they are poor and wretched and miserable, spiritually.

We're bankrupt. We're sinful. We got this battle of the carnal nature constantly raging against the Spirit inside. And without God's help, we're helpless. We sense this poverty of spirit.

The ones who realize how weak they are, he can do all things through them. Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. They're the ones who are depending on the Lord to give them those riches that are mentioned there in Revelation. Psalm 109:22, king David puts it this way, "I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me." Now was king David poor? The wealth he had amassed before Solomon took over to build the temple was the biggest bank account in Israel's history. David just had fabulous wealth from all the nations he had subdued.

And yet he says, "I'm poor." So what kind of poverty is he talking about? Luke 4:18, Jesus said, "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor." Just the poor, or the ones who know that they're poor? Are the rich excluded from salvation? Or Jesus is talking about the poor in spirit? "Because you say I'm rich and have need of nothing," you don't know you're poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked." Alright, next we're gonna go on here to the next beatitude. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Luke puts it this way, "woe to you who laugh now for you will mourn and weep." Those who think that, you know, life is a party now, doesn't it say in Ecclesiastes--whenever I do a funeral, I quote from this. Is it chapter 5? "Better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting, for the living will take it to heart; that is the end of all men." "By sorrow is the heart made better." And it just helps us recognize that this life is terminal. I mean if you, heaven forbid, get one of the doctor reports that says you've got this incurable disease, it really is a shocker. People live in a state of shock and denial.

And I've always thought to myself, isn't everybody terminal? These bodies aren't going to heaven, aren't they? Aren't all of these bodies terminal? And so in that sense, you know, there's this mourning in the background that we all recognize because of sin. And the world is--the whole creation groans and travails. And those who realize--how does the book of Genesis begin? In a garden, right? Perfect, everything, good, good, very good. What are the last five words in Genesis? "In a coffin in Egypt." This world's like a cemetery. Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee and saved that demoniac living in the tombs.

And that represents what he did for every human. We're all sort of in this raging lunatics in a cemetery. And so there's this mourning for sin that you see in the world. But he's pronouncing a blessing on those who mourn. They'll be comforted.

Who is it? Peter marshall said, "Lord, when we're wrong, make us willing to change. And when we're right, make us easy to live with." People have a tendency to be proud. Ezekiel 9:4. Oh, there's so much I want to say about this; I've gotta try and pace myself. Ezekiel 9:4.

This is a very important verse because it talks about a parallel for the last days in Revelation. Those who get the seal of God need to read Ezekiel 9. How many of you realize it's important to have the seal of God in the last days? Who gets the seal? "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a Mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it." Would it be safe to say those who are sighing and crying are mourning? Yeah. Those are getting the seal of God. Jesus said, "blessed are those who mourn.

The ones who are sorry for sin, that they're grieved by sin. They're not indifferent about it. They don't just, you know, sort of blow it off and say, "oh sin, oh well, you know, everybody does it. Don't take yourself too seriously." They really want victory over sin. They're grieved by sin.

They're grieved about sin in the church. They sigh and they cry. They get the seal of God and Jesus said, "blessed are those who mourn. They will get the ultimate comfort in the Kingdom of heaven where there is no more mourning." Right? The ultimate comfort is when God wipes away all tears from their eyes. So if you must be at the tomb of a loved one, remember Jesus wept there.

He weeps with you. But ultimately he will comfort everybody who is mourning in this life. Let me see here. I'm still doing the beatitudes. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

" Now what direction do we go when Jesus comes? We are caught what direction? Up to meet the Lord in the air. So how can we inherit the earth if he takes us from the earth? Yeah, we go back to heaven, but we don't stay there. At the end of the 1,000 years, the new Jerusalem comes down. The saints come down with him. And ultimately God makes a new heaven and a new earth and "the meek inherit the earth.

" Now it's not the earth the way we see it now, but it's been restored. Who--what does meek mean? Some people think because meek rhymes with weak, meek people are weak people. It's not what it means. To be biblically meek, you are strong. Was Jesus a strong person? Physically, spiritually, hercules.

Was he a meek person? Moses was a strong person. He single-handedly chased off all those shepherds that were harassing the daughters of jethro, right? He was a strong man. Was he the meekest man in all the world? Yeah. So don't think meekness is weakness. Let me think here.

I've got a verse that I'd like someone to help me read. It's in--oh where am I here? Micah 6:8, does somebody have that? "He has shown thee, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." Thank you. Now this actually talks about a couple of 'em. Talking about loving mercy and walking humbly. So it's not only addressing humility and meekness; it's addressing the merciful in this one passage there from Micah.

W.a. Tozer said, "the meek man knows well the world will never see him as God sees him. He has stopped caring whether or not the world sees him as God sees him." You know what a meek person is? And you know you need to choose to be meek. It doesn't come naturally. I think you need to pray that God'll give you that mind of Christ, that meekness, because naturally the opposite of meekness is what? Pride.

Selfishness. Claiming and clamoring for your rights. I don't know how you feel, but when I'm driving and I feel like somebody is--you know what really irks me? You're coming up to a turn, there's one turning lane, everybody's supposed to be in that lane at this point, 'cause they got a solid line, but there's always that person that doesn't want to get in line. They want to race until they get right up to the turn, pass by everybody, and then they nose their way in and just kind of a rude jumping into line. And you know what I want to do? I want to get right on the bumper of the car in front of me and not give them any room.

"You're not getting in front of me. You should have been merged way back there a quarter mile back." Any one else, you ever feel that way, you know? Now, now. And the Holy Spirit will say, "doug, do unto others." And I tap on my breaks and I open it up. And I let them, you know. They don't have a right, but meekness is surrendering your rights.

And someone smites you on one cheek; you don't have to offer them the other. But meekness does what is really revolutionary. The teachings of Jesus, that's what made them so wonderful. It's so out of the norm from what we would normally think, but it's the right thing to do. Because if everybody's always fighting for their place in line, what kind of world do you have? But if everybody is tapping on their breaks and saying, "you go first," isn't that a lot nicer? Doesn't it always just make you believe a little more in humanity when you--i was at a restaurant with some friends, oh, 2 days ago.

And it's a restaurant where a line often forms. You've gotta wait for your food or wait--and table. And some people came to the door. I got to the door first. People all getting out of the cars, kind of rushing at o'clock to get there and get into lines so you don't have to wait for your table.

And I saw several people were arriving at the door at the same time. And when that happens, I've found, you know, don't be like everybody else and kind of rush for your place in line so you will be first. I did something that folks don't expect you to do. I stopped. I held the door for others, so they could go first and get in line first.

And then we got in line behind 'em. And this lady was so shook up by that. She turned back to me and the buddy I was having lunch with, and she said, "you should really be here. You got to the door before us." They said this is not the way it's supposed to be. And I said, "no, no, no.

That's what I wanted to do. You go first." And they didn't know how to act, because people just aren't used to that. Everybody, it's like you're seizing and claiming what's yours. Christians ought to just sort of shock everybody with kindness from time to time. And just random acts of meekness, letting other people go first, letting other people have their way.

Don't claim your rights. Don't honk back when someone honks at you and the light is still red. So just take it. And what Jesus said is so unique in this teaching, "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness." Somebody turn to psalm 42:1-2. I don't remember if I gave that out or not.

"As the deer pants for the water brook, so pants my soul for you, o God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" Jesus says in John 7:37, "if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink." And again, "man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word." So it's a different kind of hunger. It's a different kind of thirst. It's a hunger and a thirst in the soul.

Now if you've been converted, you know what I'm talking about. Because there was a day when you felt the famine. And you were just starving in your soul. You felt unsatisfied. You felt empty.

And then Jesus filled you and you felt, "oh, this is what I've been looking for." It's like the two disciples on the road to emmaus, when they heard Jesus open the word, they said, "did not our hearts burn within us as he walked with us and opened the Scriptures on the way?" And so it fills something. It nourishes something on the inside when you're thirsty. Have you ever been really thirsty? You think about Jesus hanging on the cross. He became thirsty that we might be satisfied. He was in the wilderness days; he did not eat.

He hungered that we might be satisfied. That kind of thirst, that kind of hunger, is what we feel in our souls. He satisfies for us. "Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness." They shall be saved-- "they'll be satisfied." And then he goes on, "blessed are the merciful, they will obtain mercy." We talked about those who love mercy in Micah 6:8. What is it that we want from God? You remember the parable of the publican and the pharisee.

And the publican he prays--the pharisee rather prays proudly, "I thank thee, Lord, I'm not as other men." But the publican will not so much as lift up his eyes, but he says, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." What is the greatest plea that we can offer to God to receive forgiveness? Is it our good works? Is it our righteousness? Or do we plead our desperate need for mercy? That's our greatest--what makes your prayer the most eloquent is your desperate desire for his mercy and genuine repentance. And he satisfies that. Matthew 23:23, "woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and you've neglected the weightier matters of the law." You remember what Micah said? "What does the Lord require of thee? What are the priorities?" Do justly. Love mercy. Jesus talks about the weightier matters of the law.

It's not that the others don't weigh anything. Some things are weightier. What are those weightier things? Justice and mercy and truth. What is the fast that God has chosen? That our soul might be drawn out to the hungry, that we see our own flesh and blood naked, that we cover them, that we relieve the oppressed, showing mercy on others. That's the fast that God is looking for.

God wants us to have a tenderness and empathy. You know, something I worry about in my own heart is we see so much bad news in the world, you hear about thousands dying from famine and war. And there's oppression. And there's suffering and just serious poverty. And you see it in the news.

And you see the pictures. And I don't know about you, but sometimes you'll see these commercials where they're raising funds for children that are starving in some foreign land. And you see these just heart-wrenching pictures of kids. And they're dirty. And their bones are sticking out.

And they're dying of hunger. And you know I want to change the channel, because it hurts to look at it. And something that happens is what I worry about. Through exposure, through overexposure to the suffering of the world that the news provides for us--let's face it; good news doesn't typically sell. What gets people's attention on the news? The bad things.

And sometimes things aren't even as bad as they really are, but the news--it's like Paul harvey said, "two bikes colliding: the news makes it look like a train wreck." They accentuate the badness of the news, 'cause for some reason we're attracted to that. And you see so much of it, it can make your heart callous so that you lose the natural sensitivity that God wants us to feel for our fellow man. So there's that danger that--it's like sometimes if a person is--doctors are probably exposed to this dynamic, policemen. You see a lot of suffering and you can actually get where in order to deal with it, you develop a little bit of callous on your empathy muscles. So you just almost can't allow yourself to feel or it's such a burden.

But God doesn't want us to stop caring and feeling. He wants us to have that sympathy, that empathy for our fellow man. "Blessed are the merciful, they will obtain mercy." You know I've seen it. It's true. The Bible says, "if you consider the poor and their need, when you cry out for help, God will remember you.

And so if you care--God is gonna give us opportunity to care for our fellow man. And if we show that we do care, there will be a day when we're in need and we'll receive the same kind of care from God. Keep going here through the beatitudes. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." When Jesus saw nathaniel, he said, "behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile," one who is pure. And again, what did zaccheus want? What did zaccheus want? Why did he climb a tree? He wanted to see Jesus.

Is Jesus God? Do you know what the name zaccheus means? Pure. Isn't that interesting? His name means pure. He climbed a tree, which is a type of the cross. We're crucified with Christ. And did he see Jesus? Not only that street, but he went to his house.

Christ said, "I must abide with you." "The pure in heart will see God." How important is it for us to be pure in heart? Hebrews 12:14, did I give that to somebody? Over here, jessica's got that. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Whoo. What do we need to have to see God? "Without holiness," how many men will see him? "No man." So, when people say, "it's only grace that we need; we don't need sanctification. We just need justification." Is that what the Bible teaches? Or does the Bible say that without holiness, no man will see God? And there is a holiness we receive through Christ as a gift, but it must become ours. He's asking us to be pure in our hearts and in our minds and our thinking.

How can you do that? Only through the Holy Spirit can we be holy. And it is possible for us to be renewed, to be new creatures, to think new thoughts. "Whatsoever things are pure, think on these things." "The pure in heart will see God." Isn't that clear? John 3:3, "and everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." There's a purifying process that happens in our souls. We've got a little jacuzzi in our backyard, one of those you kind of buy at costco and had it for many years now. When I first got a jacuzzi, I had no idea that you didn't have to change the water every two or three times you used it.

I thought you used it two or three times, like a bath, you better drain it and refill it again. And I had a friend who takes care of a pool. He said, "doug, you don't ever have to change the water." What you've gotta do is you add these chemicals and it will take the water that's there and it sterilizes and purifies it. And they've got the combination of things you can put in there. And after it runs through the filter it is perfectly clean and pure.

At first I didn't believe it. I thought, "man, how can you have all those people splashing around in there, flaky things coming off their skin and it stay clean?" I just couldn't understand that. And he finally convinced me. He showed me how to mix the chemicals and put it in there and run the filter. And you lift off the lid and it's sparkling clean again.

Well, you know, the Lord does that in our hearts, but it requires regular treatment. You can't do it once a year. On a regular basis, you add those things. We need regular purifying. The word has a purifying influence on our lives.

And that's why you gotta, "give us this day our daily bread." It's constant, isn't it? I'm running out of time. I haven't even gotten through the beatitudes. "Blessed are the peacemakers. They will be called The Sons of God." Ultimately we need to make peace with the Lord. Corinthians 5:18, that whole passage there through verse 20 talks about this ministry of reconciliation.

"The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable." That's just like what we read, the pure in heart and the peacemakers. And of course, it's telling us that we are to make peace with God. In Isaiah 27:5, "or let him take hold of my strength, that he might make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." Oh, and then finally, "blessed are those who are persecuted, for righteousness' sake." This was a shocking truth I think for the disciples. Who would be happy about persecution? Someone read acts 5:41. "So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

" Were counted worthy. Some of you think, "oh, I've never been persecuted because I'm so good." You ever considered maybe you've not been persecuted 'cause you're not good enough? "I'm so worthy and that's why I don't suffer persecution." No, maybe you're not suffering persecution because you're not worthy. Is it a privilege to suffer like Christ, to share in his sufferings, to be persecuted for his sake? Think about that. God is so great that if you're persecuted for being Christ-like that is the greatest badge of honor that anyone could give you, to be persecuted for being like Jesus. And yet, naturally we think, "I think I'll pass on persecution.

" All who live Godly will suffer persecution. If the church has no persecution, what does that indictment? No Godly living. If we're living Godly, we will be persecuted, 'cause you'll be a threat to the devil. There's so much more I could say about these things. And then he adds to that, of course, in Matthew 5, "blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely--" make sure it's falsely-- "for my sake.

Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you." That is the cause for the great rejoicing. You know there's something in here that I really wanted--before we leave the beatitudes. And I'm gonna touch on some of these others. When you read the beatitudes, you realize you're looking at the very character of Jesus. Follow me.

Was Jesus poor in spirit? Corinthians 8:9, "for your sakes he became poor." Did Jesus mourn because of sin? Did he? Isaiah 53:3, "he's despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." His mourning for sin was so intense, he sweat blood. Was Jesus meek? Again Isaiah 53:7, "he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." He was meek. He said, "I am meek and lowly in spirit," right? Did Jesus hunger and thirst? He hungered in the wilderness. He thirsted on the cross.

Was Jesus merciful? "the Lord," James 5:11, "the Lord is very compassionate and full of mercy." He's merciful. John 8:11, "neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." Was Jesus pure? Psalm 119:140, "Your Word is very pure." Christ is the word incarnate. John 18:38, pilate said, "I find no fault in him." Was Jesus pure? Was he a peacemaker? He's called the prince of peace. He's the ultimate peacemaker. He came to our world for us to make peace with The Father.

He is our peace, which has broken down every wall. Was he persecuted? Christ of course was persecuted for righteousness' sake. And so the beatitudes are all wrapped up, they are packaged in Jesus. So whenever you embrace any aspect of the beatitudes, it's part of Christ's very nature. Do you see that? He's asking us in the beatitudes to be like him.

Do you catch that? It's all about Jesus. Alright, now we were talking about the wonder of his teachings, we just got through section number one. What did he teach about God? Well, that's still the beatitudes. I'm sorry. What did he teach about forgiveness? Matthew 6:12-14, he says, "forgive us our debts," in the Lord's prayer, "as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever." Now, the only commentary Jesus makes on the Lord's prayer is in connection with forgiveness. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you." But if you forgive men not their trespasses, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you your trespasses." Now this is very important. Is the Lord saying here, "tell you what, you want forgiveness? Make you a deal. You go and forgive everybody that has ought against you and then I'll forgive you.

" Is that what the Lord is saying? How do we know how it works? In the parable of Matthew 18, he says it this way. This unmerciful debtor did not forgive after he was forgiven. Then he lost his forgiveness. the King forgives this unmerciful debtor freely. No strings attached.

But when the unmerciful debtor in Matthew 18, you know the parable I'm talking about. He goes out. He takes a fellow servant that owes him $40 by the throat, puts him in prison for that small amount. Then the King says, "look, I forgave you because you asked me. Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you?" And he was sent from the King's presence and delivered to the tormentors 'til he should pay his debt.

And Christ closes the parable saying, "so shall my Heavenly Father do unto you." He quotes almost the same thing you find in Matthew 6 here. "If you from your hearts," he adds that, "does not every man forgive his brother their trespasses?" So God forgives you first just because you ask. If you do not pass on that forgiveness, you cannot keep it. It's not that God says, "you go forgive everyone and then we'll talk." No, he forgives us first. "Just as I am, without one plea.

" We don't come to the Lord and say, "okay God, I've forgiven everybody. Now can you forgive me?" That's not how it works. He forgives us first. This is true. Am I right? And when he forgives us first, he's hoping we love him because he first loved us.

Right? That it will then create within us a desire to reciprocate to everybody around us by allowing that forgiveness of God to ricochet off our own hearts and go back to those who have wronged us. That's the only way really we can forgive others is when we first embrace his forgiveness. And that's a challenge sometimes, 'cause we've all been hurt. Mark 2:5, did I give that to somebody? Mark--right here. Got a microphone.

Mark 2, talking about what Jesus taught about forgiveness. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'son, your sins are forgiven you.'" Now, the sins were forgiven. And they accepted that by faith. How did they respond that day? This is Mark 2. That man is let down through the roof.

When Jesus says to the paralytic--he's not healed yet--first thing he says is, "your sins are forgiven." What does that tell us about the priority of the Lord? Is it first physical healing or spiritual healing? First thing he says was the most important need, "your sins are forgiven." Suppose that you had to choose either physical healing or spiritual healing the day before your funeral. Which is gonna be the most important? Spiritual healing, right? Any physical healing, it'll help you to glorify God and serve your fellow man better. You'll feel better. But ultimately, any physical healing is temporary at best. What it really amounts to is a lengthening of your tranquility.

the Spiritual healing is the first thing. And so Christ established that as a priority. He forgave his sins. Now what did the religious leaders that were gathered there when Jesus said, "son, your sins are forgiven," what did they say? They murmured within themselves and said, "who is this man that speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sin but God alone?" Were they right? Can only God forgive sin? That's true. Only the lawgiver can forgive our lawbreaking.

But the fact that Jesus forgave his sins tells us Jesus is God. And he said, "but that you might know The Son of man has power on earth to forgive sin." He said unto the sick of the palsy, "arise, take up your bed and walk to your house." And he got up. So the Spiritual--I'm sorry-- the physical miracles that Jesus performed, he often did it to help reinforce. He could heal them on the inside spiritually. So he performed these miracles to punctuate that.

Jesus wants us to forgive. When the woman was caught in adultery, and this is also in our lesson, was she guilty? So does the Lord forgive us because we are worthy? What was she worthy of according to the law? The religious leaders came in and they said, "this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. And Moses and the law says that such should be stoned. What saith thou?" And Jesus stooped down on the ground acting as though he did not hear 'em and he wrote in the dust of the temple floor. And they persisted with their question.

He finally rose up, and he said, "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." Now was Jesus negating the truth that adultery is a sin? No. They just were in no position to be the Judges of that sin. He said, "he that is without sin first cast a stone." Then he says, "woman," as one by one they left. They all dropped their stones and went out. And pretty soon the woman was standing alone in his midst.

And he said, "woman, where are those, thine accusers? Has no man condemned you?" And she says, "no man, Lord." And he said what? "Neither do I condemn you." "Oh, that means adultery's no longer a sin; Jesus said, 'I don't condemn you.'" Is that what it says? I bet people actually read it that way. "I mean, don't forget, Pastor Doug, he forgave king David. And he forgave that woman caught in adultery. It's not such a big deal." No, he said it was a sin, 'cause his next words were, "go and sin no more." "I'm gonna have mercy on you. The penalty's death.

I'm gonna take your death penalty. Penalty hasn't changed; I'm taking it. So, if you appreciate that, you go and sin no more." In other words, cut it out. You notice he doesn't say to her, "I want you to sin a little less." Is that what he said? He didn't say, "I want you to get the sin patch. Taper off.

" He said, "sin no more." God can never say anything other than that because if God says, "sin a little less," he becomes an accomplice, doesn't he? I mean he's perfect. God can only say, "sin no more." He came to save us from our sins. Well, I'm running out of time here. Then the last section is what Jesus taught about humility. What were the disciples arguing about just before the cross? Which of them was the greatest.

And he said, "I've come among you as one that serves." In our life we think that success is measured by the highest position. In God's economy, success is measured by the most that you serve. We think, "I'm important 'cause look at all the people that serve me." But with the Lord, you're important based on how many do you serve? This is what was so wonderful about Jesus' teaching. He turned it all upside down from what the world normally thinks. He said, "whoever would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all.

" And he who wants to be the greatest, he's gonna end up being the least in the Kingdom of heaven. It's topsy-turvy as they say. Jesus' teachings were revolutionary. Well friends, we did run out of time. I want to remind those who are watching, thank you for tuning in.

Don't forget, if you want to be able to watch these programs, if you missed all or part of these Sabbath school presentations, the new website you can go to: amazingfacts.tv. Just, amazingfacts.tv. And we have today's free offer, "down from his glory," talking about the sacrifice of Jesus coming to our world, offer number 154. It's free; just ask for it. The number is 866-study-more.

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