The Priority of the Promise

The Priority of the Promise

Scripture: Galatians 3:18, Galatians 3:15-20, Genesis 9:11-17
Date: 08/05/2017  Lesson: 6
"What does it mean to you to know that you can trust God’s promises? Or perhaps the question should be, how can you learn to trust God’s promises in the first place?"
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Hello friends, and welcome to Sabbath school study hour, coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church near Sacramento, California. I'd like to warmly welcome our online members and also those watching on the various television networks. Thank you for joining us for our special study time today. And, to the members and the visitors right here at the Granite Bay church, as always, a very warm welcome. It's nice to see you.

Thank you for coming to Sabbath school today to study the Scriptures. Now we've been studying through the book of Galatians and, those here, you know about the lesson quarterly and how you can study during the week in preparation for our time here every Sabbath morning. Today we're on lesson #6 and it's entitled the priority of the promise. It looks like a good study for today. For our online friends, if you don't have a copy of today's lesson, you just - you can download it by just going to the Amazing Facts website - amazingfacts.

org - you can download lesson #6 and study along with us. In addition to the study resources in the lesson quarterly, we do have a free offer for those watching in North America, we'll be sending this out to anybody who calls and asks. It's a study guide entitled is there anything left you can trust? If you'd like to receive this, just call us on our resource phone number - and that number is 866-788-3966 - and you can ask for offer #103, the study guide entitled is there anything left you can trust? And we'll be happy to send this to anybody in North America. If you're outside of north America and would like to read the study guide, just go to the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. Well, before we get to our study, we like to begin by lifting our voices in song.

I'd like to invite The Song leaders to come and join me. Thank you, Pastor Ross. (Light piano music) for those of you that are joining us at home, wherever you are, grab your hymnals. We love to sing with you every week before we study and get into God's Word. This week we're going to be singing about listening to God's voice when he calls us, doing what he asks, which is to go into all the world and to preach his Gospel, letting other people know we love him and what he's done for us.

Our first song that we're going to sing this morning is hymn #369 - bringing in the sheaves - we're going to sing the first - all three verses - first, second, and third. Just a few pages back to hymn #361 - hark to the shepherd's voice I hear - did you hear him calling you this week? If you did, I hope you answered. If not, he's going to give you another chance. Let's sing all three verses of hymn #361. At this time Pastor Ross will lead us in prayer.

(Soft piano music) let us bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, once again, thank you for the opportunity to gather together in your house and open up your word to study this very inspiring study, in the book of Galatians, about faith and your willingness to forgive and to cleanse and the power of your grace. So bless our time, once again, today. We ask that you be with pastor doug as he opens the Scriptures. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. Welcome friends. We'd like to thank you for joining us here at Granite Bay Sabbath school program and during our study hour. We are continuing in our study of Galatians and this has been just a very enriching study and it's challenged me as well. Our study today is on the priority of the promise - the priority of the promise - and we have a memory verse.

The memory verse is Galatians :18, and this comes to us from the english standard version. If you'd say it with me, Galatians 3:18. Are you ready? "For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise." Now this is the - the real theme in the section we're going to be talking about today, it's talking about the promises of God. And, to begin with, why don't we go to the book of Galatians and I'm just going to read our assignment. Our mission for today is that we want to study Galatians chapter 3, verses 15 through 20.

Next week it goes from 20 on, but right now we're going to read Galatians 3:15 through 20. I'll just read it through for you so, no matter how far we get with the different points, at least we'll be able to say, 'we made it through the assigned text.' Are you ready? "Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'and to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'and to your seed,' who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one." That's our assignment - that's our passage of verses - and we're going to be talking about the promises of God. Let's get into our study for today, where we're dealing with some of these very important issues regarding Galatians chapter 3, verses 15 through 20. If you look in chapter 3, verse , it says, 'brethren, now I speak in the manner of men:' - in other words, 'I'm going to talk in human terms' - 'though it's only a man's covenant,' - if two men make a covenant - 'yet if it is confirmed, you cannot annul it' - even contracts between men, he's saying, cannot be annulled.

"Now to Abraham and his seed, were the promises made." - Notice it does not say 'seeds'? Paul is emphasizing 'it's not - lots - a plural, like 'lots' of men or 'lots' of seeds - as to many - and he says, 'and to your seed' - he's referring back to Genesis where God makes his promise to Abraham - "who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ," - let me just see if I could back up a little bit and give you the idea of what he's talking about. The big argument here in Galatians is 'o foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? How do you think you can be saved by these laws?' Now, when he talks about the laws, he's talking about two things: the law, in a big general sense that encompasses all law, because we're not saved by any law. But, more specifically, in Galatians, he's talking about the ceremonial laws contained in ordinances, and circumcision. Circumcision is the big debate issue that you find mentioned in Galatians.

Paul is making a point that God made a promise to Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the Ten Commandments were given. So, was anyone saved between Abraham and Mount Sinai? Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people. You've got Isaac, Jacob, the patriarchs, many of their descendants. There was a lot of God's people that would be saved then.

They hadn't heard God speak the Ten Commandments yet, but they're still going to be saved. Now, did the Ten Commandments exist before Mount Sinai? Yes. How do you know that? It's easy to say, 'of course' - I mean, your natural common sense would tell you, 'of course it was wrong to kill before the Ten Commandments were announced on Mount Sinai, you know, in 14 - whatever it was - - about 1446 b.c. So, was it wrong to commit adultery? Was it wrong to steal before they were announced? How do you know that? Love God; love man. Well those - that came later, though.

Yeah, I know, but - so I heard someone say 'Joseph'. Did God say to Joseph - or did Joseph say, 'how can I do this thing and sin against God?' He was being tempted to commit adultery. Did Joseph know adultery was a sin? Yes. How far back do we know that murder was a sin? Cain and abel. Yeah, God said, 'sin lies at your door'.

Murder was a sin back for cain. And, of course, you could probably find cases where stealing and other things were sin. Before the Ten Commandments were given they knew that. But the ceremonial law is in a little different vein in that circumcision wasn't given to anybody. Was Abraham saved when God called him out of ur of the chaldees? God said, 'follow me.

' Was he - did he go by faith? Yeah. Yeah. Did he have a relationship with God? Was he circumcised when he was first called? So, Paul is trying to make the point using a lot of logical sequence that salvation is not based upon law. The salvation that God offers - adam - did adam have a means of salvation? Now, we'll get to this later. What was the sign of adam's being forgiven? Was it because adam sacrificed a lamb? Or was it the promise of God? Was anyone saved by the blood of lambs and goats? No.

Or was that all a symbol pointing to something? Okay. So this is where Paul is going. So, when God makes a promise, does he keep his promise? Someone's going to read a couple of verses for me. Let me see, who's got Numbers 23:19? Just a moment, we'll get you next, John. I want to read Isaiah 46;11, "indeed, I have spoken.

I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it. I will also do it.' God is speaking - 'when I make a promise I keep my promise.' In the same vein, go ahead, please, read Numbers 23:19. Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?" Here Moses is asking a rhetorical question: 'is God going to make a promise and not keep it?' Can God be trusted? Karen and I went out car shopping.

She had a birthday about a week ago. In the process of car shopping we bought a car. We had to do a credit - you're sitting there with the car guy and he has to do a credit check on you. And, actually, did a credit check on both of us and I was a little bit concerned that Karen had a better credit score than me and here we've been married all these years. I don't know how that happened.

I have a suspicion how it happened. (Laughter) so we asked the guy - we have good credit, but - we asked the guy, 'what's the highest credit score you can have?' And he said, 'it's 850' - I think he told us 900, but I looked it up, it's 850. And the lowest credit score you could possibly have is 300. So our next question was, 'in all the time of your processing applications for buying cars, did you ever meet anybody with an 850 score? He said, 'no, but I've heard of them.' I said, 'have you ever met anybody with the lowest score?' How'd you like to have the lowest credit score? He said, 'no, I had one guy that was very close and he - you have to work at it to get your credit score that low. You have to break every promise.

You have to violate every payment. You've got to take out cards and never pay on them.' He said, 'you've just got to do it all wrong.' And so, if God had a credit score, what would it be? Does he keep - can he be trusted? Does he make a promise - does he make a covenant - does he pay what he owes? Amen. He does. And so God can be trusted. And this is what it's saying.

So, Romans - let's look at a few other verses here - talking about the promises of God. Romans 4:13 and 14, "for the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law," - this is Paul saying the same thing he says in Galatians - it's not through the law - "but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect," - it is not from the law, but it's through faith. Similar to that, you read in Hebrews 6:17, "thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us." God has made a promise and our salvation is based on his promise; it's not based on our works. It's based on trusting in his promise.

So, let's just talk about it for a minute. Why is it impossible for anyone to be saved by the law? What is the penalty for breaking the law? Death. Death, right? We all agree? Yes. How many have sinned? All. And broken the law? All.

Everybody still agree that's all included here? So, if you are - have to keep the law perfectly to be saved, and if everybody has broken the law, then we are all condemned. So, if anyone makes it to heaven, it's not because of your law keeping - true. Because you've already failed at that. It's got to be dependant on grace. Now here's where it gets a little dicey.

Some people say, 'well, we do accept the salvation of Jesus - that he died in our place and that's to forgive our past sins, but now we must keep the law to keep our salvation.' What do you think of that? So do we get to break our law now? We never are saved by keeping the law, but if our hearts have been renewed, we will keep the law because we are saved. Amen. The salvation story is a great analogy to explain this. The children of Israel - did Moses come to them in Egypt and say, 'look, God sent me to tell you he's going to do all these signs and wonders to set you free if you'll keep these ten laws. Let me tell you what they are.

You keep these Ten Commandments and God will then save you out of Egypt. Was there salvation from slavery based upon obedience, or was it based upon the lamb? It was through faith in the blood of the passover lamb they began their journey. But after they were saved out of the slavery, God brings them to Mount Sinai and he says, 'I am the Lord who saved you. If you love me, here's my law. First commandment: I am the Lord who brought you out of the house of Egypt - out of the house of bondage - out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage' - he's saying, 'I've saved you' - implied there is, 'if you love me, keep my commandments'.

So they were not saved by obeying the Ten Commandments, but if they continued to break the law after he saved them, did they make it to the promised land? No, because it was evidence that they didn't really trust him. How many times did they say, 'oh, I wish we could go back to Egypt' - 'it was better back in Egypt'? They lost faith that God could finish what he started. They did not believe the promises of God. See what's happening? When they murmured and they complained, they were showing disbelief in the promises of God. So that's why that's so crucial for all of that.

Alright, faith in the law is our next section - faith in the law. Someone's going to read for me, in a moment, Galatians 3:21. That'll be you, pastor Luke? Alright, I'm going to read Romans 2:13, "(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;...)" Now that's a very interesting verse for Paul, because people usually try to get Paul to say the opposite. They like to say that you are justified only by faith and here you've got Paul saying, 'not the hearers of the law but the doers of the law will be justified' because the - are we judged by our faith or our works? Faith. Every man was judged according to his.

..works. Jesus said, 'you will know them by their' - fruits. 'Fruits' - they're works - because you can look at a person's works and tell if they have faith. Isn't that what James said? He said, 'you can show me your faith by Your Words, but I'll show you my faith by my works. And so, true faith will be seen in a different life.

Isn't that right? Come on, friends, we hear so many people say 'it's just faith. It's just faith. It's just faith.' - They forget that the Bible teaches real faith is going to be evident in a changed behavior. Amen. Why does Paul say, 'let every man examine himself whether he be in the faith'? How do you examine yourself? Look at what you're doing and that'll tell you if you're in the faith.

Does that make sense? It does. What I'm saying is actually not popular, but it's - this is old-fashioned biblical theology. This is reformation theology, that if you really are saved by faith, it will be seen. Martin luther said that too. Alright, Romans 3:31, "do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

" Alright, go ahead. Read, for us, please Galatians 3:21. Galatians 3:21, "is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not!" That's the same term that he used earlier where he says, 'God forbid! Certainly not!' So even in Galatians he says that same thing that you hear him saying in Romans. He's saying, 'don't think for a moment that, because of faith, that somehow the law is deleted.' Now, by the law is the knowledge of sin. So now that Jesus has died for our sins, do we still need the law? Yes.

Do people still need to be aware of the mirror that shows them sin - that sends them to Jesus? Yeah, but we're talking about two laws: one is a ceremonial law and one is the Ten Commandments. Romans 7:7, "what shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not!" - There you've got that phrase again. It's the third 'certainly not' we've read. - "On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'you shall not covet.

'" You know why Paul picked that one commandment? Which commandment is that? Thou shall not covet - of course, that's not the whole thing - 'thou shall not covet thy neighbor's house, his wife, donkey,' so forth. Why does he pick that commandment? Some people don't realize that sin is not just an action, it's an attitude. Covetousness is not doing anything wrong, it is thinking wrong and it shows that it is wrong thinking that leads to wrong doing. And when Paul looked at that law, he said, 'I've got the wrong attitude in my heart.' So, by the law is the knowledge of sin. So we still need the law.

Romans 7:12, "therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." Let me read you a quote - this is in your lesson - selected messages page 334, "this faith works by love and purifies the soul. It works in the life of the follower of Christ true obedience to God's commandments." - A faith that will work true obedience to God's commandments - "for love to God and love to man will be the result of a vital connection with Christ. If we have a real faith, vital connection with Christ it will play itself out in love for God and love for our fellow man, which fulfils the Ten Commandments. Romans 8:3 and 4, "for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: he condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Notice that: "the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us." Well, I thought that Jesus fulfilled the law so that we don't have to. Have you heard that before? Matthew 5:17, Jesus said, "do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.

I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." And then Paul says the righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us because we no longer walk after the flesh, but now after the Spirit, by faith. We receive the gift of the Spirit. Again, Jesus said, "for assuredly" - I'm still back in Matthew 5, verse 18, "for assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." - That means filled full - "whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven." All of God's law is still established, and Jesus said even what you might think are the least, those who do and teach them, God calls great in the Kingdom. Here's a quote from adam clarke. This is a great commentator I really respect - he's one of the Bible scholars - a methodist from the age of enlightenment.

He could read seven languages. Just a great - I read his commentary - I'm always impressed by his insights. Adam clarke said, "though Christ is said to have fulfilled the law for us, yet it is nowhere intimated in the Scripture that he has so fulfilled these ten laws" - what do you think he's talking about? Ten Commandments - "as to exempt us from the necessity and the privilege of being no idolaters, swearers, Sabbath breakers, disobedient, cruel children, murderers, adulterers, thieves, and corrupt witnesses." - He said because Christ fulfilled the law, it does not free us from obedience - "all these commandments, it is true, he punctually fulfilled himself, and all these he writes on the heart of every soul redeemed by his blood." That's very well put. The law was the new covenant. 'I will write my law on their hearts.

' Amen? Amen. Someone once said, 'Jesus did not come to free us to sin, but from sin.' Talking about the promises of God, I read one time Abraham lincoln was riding in a buggy with one of his colonels, during the civil war, and the colonel offered him a cigar and he declined. And then they rode a little further and the colonel offered him a drink from his bottle of whiskey, and lincoln declined. And he said, 'you're showing' - you know, the colonel said, 'you show great restraint.' He said, 'no, it's something I settled a long time ago. And lincoln said, 'when my mother was dying' - you know his mother died when he was very young, and she was a very religious woman - 'she said, 'promise me - promise me you will never drink or use tobacco.

' And he told the colonel - he said, 'that is a promise I made to my mother I have never broken.' And the colonel, he responded, 'you know, I wish I had made a promise like that' - (laughter) - 'it would have saved me a lot of trouble.' But he took that promise seriously and when we accept the promises of God, he promises to give us his spirit and live differently too. Alright, so we learned a little bit about faith and the law. Now I want to talk about the law of liberty. You find a phrase in James 1:25 - and in a moment someone's going to be reading psalm 1:19, okay? In James 1:25 it says, "but he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." What law is James talking about when he talks about the law of liberty? I mean, you think the ten commandments - that's a law of bondage, right? No? Keep reading. Look at James chapter 2, verse - let the Bible interpret itself - "for he who said, 'do not commit adultery,' also said, 'do not murder.

'" - Now, he's just named two laws from what collection of laws? Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments. "For he who said, 'do not commit adultery,' also said, 'do not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." So we're not judged by faith, we're judged by the law. The law shows if we have faith.

But he calls the law a law of liberty. Why does he call it a law of liberty? Go ahead, read for us, psalm 119:44. "So shall I keep your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts." We are free because we obey God's precepts. There's laws right now, in town, that say burglary is against the law.

You live in a community, if you didn't know this, burglary is against the law. Burglars are put in jail. They have lost their liberty because they break the law. That law that breaks - breaking that law takes away their liberty, but that same law gives you liberty. I woke up this morning to open the doors to let some cooler air in before the heat wave.

I found out we had left the front door open all night. I wasn't too worried. I don't think, in our neighborhood, people are going up and down the street checking your doorknobs all hours of the night, because there's a law that puts most of those people in jail - we're hoping - right? Aren't you glad for that law? Oh yeah. That law gives you liberty but it locks them up. So the law breaker is enslaved because of his sin.

'They're holden by the cords of the sin.' The law keeper - the law is a means of liberty for them. Let me give you another example. Go to John 8:34 - Jesus is speaking here - Jesus answered and said to them, 'most assuredly I say to you, 'whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if The Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

" Why did Jesus come? It says he came to set the captives free. If you look, for instance, in Luke 4:18, Christ stood up and preached his first sermon in nazareth. Here's what he said - he quotes from Isaiah 61 - and he quotes - he says, "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me" - that's what the word 'Christ' means - to be anointed - Jesus is the Messiah - the anointed - "...because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives" - captives of what? Sin sin - "and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;" - oppressed by who? By the devil. And so Jesus came to set us free. And there's a freedom that comes through obedience.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he not only commanded that he come forth, he commanded that he be loosed. Do you remember that? He said, 'come forth and come hither' and he came out of the grave but he was all bound and he said to those standing around, 'loose him.' So Jesus saves us - he resurrects us and he frees us. He doesn't want us to be bound by the cords of our sin. Amen. This was also a beautiful quote that's in your lesson, from signs of the times, July , - if you take notes - 1902, "as a result of adam's disobedience, every human being is a transgressor of the law sold under sin.

Unless he repents and is converted, he is under the bondage to the law, serving satan, falling into deceptions of the enemy and bearing witness against the precepts of jehovah, but by perfect obedience to the requirements of the law, man is justified. Only through faith in Christ is such obedience possible." It's - being an obedient Christian is a miracle. It is impossible, as I've often said, 'it's just as impossible as it is for Peter to walk on water - or for you to walk on water - but through faith and keeping your eyes on Christ, with God all things are possible.' Amen. And, you know, whenever someone talks about being obedient, nobody here, I'm assuming, would claim perfect obedience, including the speaker today. And someone will, then, point to that and they'll say, 'well that's proof that it's not possible.

But I think all of us should be striving for what God says is impossible. That's what a miracle is. Do not be satisfied saying you have excuses for sin. Nobody needs any help with that. We all know how to do that.

Look at Christ, who is perfect, and he is our standard. Is that right? Yes. And so, always strive to be like Christ, who was perfect. Do we agree? Yes. Who did know sin.

And so that's - that's what our standard is. It's a perfect Savior. Alright, let me see, what did I leave out? Alright, let's jump on, now, to the purpose of the law. Galatians 3:19 and verse 20, "what purpose then does the law serve?" - Now I'm going to read this verse twice because there's a couple different things I'm going to pull out of it - "what purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come" - you know, what are legislators in our country? They make laws. At what point do we have enough laws? Do we ever get to the point where we don't need legislators anymore? How many laws will it take before we think we have enough? Do you know why they keep making more and more laws? Do you know there's a law - I forget what state it is - it might be Minnesota - that you cannot put a skunk in your boss' desk drawer.

(Laughter) how do you think that law developed? Somebody did it. I've heard some very interesting laws and city ordinances around the country and you think, 'where in the world did that law come from?' Somebody did something - there are some towns where you can't use fireworks. Why? People were reckless and it started a fire. There are some places you can't use a trampoline. Why? Someone bounced off a trampoline and got hurt.

And the more laws they make it's because - whenever there's a law it's because somebody broke a law - or there was some - somebody sued somebody else and they - they wanted it to be protected. Why do we all have to go through metal detectors on airplanes? We didn't do that - when I started flying - we flew for twenty years, I never had - well, longer than that - thirty years I flew - never had to get searched before I went on an airplane. /11, Right? And, you know, eventually - someone once said, 'the more laws that' - no, I take that back - I'll say it differently - 'the more lawless a people become, the more laws they require. That's right. And the reason that you're seeing more and more laws always being enacted is because of lawlessness.

Amen. There was a time when the ten commandments were not written on stone because they were written in hearts. That's right. They were passed on from fathers to children and mothers to children orally, but when people began to break them, God codified it - and it's usually a sign of lawlessness. So, to what purpose does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions.

Isn't that what we just learned? Yes. That's why you've got a law - no skunks in your boss' drawer - "till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one." Alright, the first part of this, I want to emphasize, is where do you see angels at Mount Sinai ten commandment experience? Are you aware about that? Isn't that what Paul just said? It says it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Someone's going to read for me, in a minute, acts 7:53 - you'll have that? I'll tell you when. I'm going to read psalm 68:17, "the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; the Lord is among them as in sinai, the holy place.

" There you've got angels - Mount Sinai. Deuteronomy 33, verse 2, "and he said: 'the Lord came from sinai, and dawned on them from seir; he shone forth from mount paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand came a fiery law for them.'" So when the Lord descended on Mount Sinai and his glory was surrounded by dark clouds, was he alone? Does God ever travel without his entourage? No. God, in his glory - is Jesus coming with his angels? Oh yeah. Do you think, when he descended on Mount Sinai and delivered the law, he had angels with him? Yeah. The Bible says he did.

If you read - this is the sermon of stephen, before he died - acts 7:38, "this is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us," - and then you go ahead, please, and read acts :53. "Who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it." So even angels were involved in the giving of the law of God. But going back, again, and reading what the Lord says here in Galatians 3:19, 20, "what purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions," - so what's the purpose? The law is there to serve as the mirror to show us - "till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." So what law is he talking about? Do we still need the Ten Commandments? Yes. It says, 'till the seed should come' - what is the seed? Jesus. The Messiah.

What law ended when the Messiah died on the cross? Ceremonial. Were there laws regarding sacrifices? So we don't need to worry about the sacrifices. Did circumcision end with that? Because the new covenant is all about being written on the heart - it talks about 'circumcise your heart' - and that's the new covenant meaning having a tender heart motivated by love - and so, do we still need the ten commandments as a mirror? Yes. Okay. So there's a distinction that's made there.

And, by the way, if you look in - woah, I'm getting ahead of myself. I won't read that yet. Let me read Galatians 3 - still talking about the purpose of the law - Galatians 3:24, "therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." Paul is using a word there because he talks about us being heirs of a promise. An heir is someone who's going to inherit the promise.

You usually inherit that from your parents, but a tutor, this is basically saying - you know, it might be using the word, like a nanny - an overseer - someone who helps raise the children or watch the children while you are at work and they might be teaching the children. It's someone who is instructing them. But when someone is mature, they don't need that person anymore. It's got a limited function - and that's the way it was with these ceremonial laws. It was a limited function, they showed us Christ - they helped us recognize Christ - but when the seed is come we no longer need the tutor - we no longer need these things.

Duration of the law - Galatians :19, "what purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made;" - what's the first prophecy in the Bible? Genesis - 3:15. 3:15 And it says - "I will put enmity" - God says, "I will put enmity between the and the woman; between thy seed and her seed." So right there in the beginning is a promise about the seed of the woman. And that woman, is it eve? Or is it talking about the church? The church. What's happening in Revelation chapter 12? A woman is travailing to bring forth and she brings forth the promised seed - a man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron and the dragon wants to destroy that child, right? That child is who? It's Christ. You've heard me say this, probably ad nauseam, but there are seven miracle births in the Bible.

They are all baby boys. They are all types of Christ - Samson, Isaac, Joseph, Jacob and esau - Jacob, in particular - Samuel, John the baptist, the shunamite woman's son, and - yeah, that's all of them - that's seven. They were all types of Christ. I won't take the tie to go through and show you, but I think you understand that. That was - there are types of Christ who was the seed of the woman.

And so, this is who the promise was made to. And so, if you read in Romans :4, "for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Well, that's a statement that could be misunderstood. Christ is the end of the Ten Commandments. Does God make a distinction between the Ten Commandments and the other laws? Yes. Christ is an end to the laws about sanitation.

You no longer have to be sanitary. How many of you would want to be in a church that believed that? There were sanitation laws. Do those laws still make sense? Christ was the end of civil law. The Bible has some civil law - laws about being a good neighbor, laws about stealing, laws about murder, so once you - once Christ came there was no longer civil law - is that what he's talking about? No. Do we still need civil law? Christ was the end of the law - what law is the only law left that he was talking about? The sacrificial system, circumcision, the ceremonial laws and feast days that all pointed to Jesus.

He's the end for all of that because he is the seed that came. Hebrews 10:4 - look at this - it says, "for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." You know, that verse 'what can wash away my sin?' Nothing but the blood of Jesus, amen? "Therefore, when he came into the world, he said: 'sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. Then I said, 'behold, I have come-in the volume of the book it is written of me-to do your will, o God.'" So twice there he says, 'sacrifice and offerings you did not desire', 'sacrifice and offerings you have no pleasure in' - all of the sacrifice and offerings, from the time of the institution of the sacrificial system way back in the days of adam when he and eve sinned and God clothed them with robes of skin, from that day, until Christ said, 'it is finished' and the veil and the curtain was torn, when the seed came the purpose for all those things met its fulfillment. God does not desire that.

What does is mean - if we were to go back in time now - I was trying to teach something about the passover, in a little church where I was pastoring and we had a communion service. And so, before the communion service I was young and a little bit dramatic, and so I - just happened to be lambing season - so I talked to a friend in town and said, 'can I borrow a lamb?' It was a cute little lamb, just adorable. A little white lamb. So we brought it into the church and I brought it up front and I was talking to them about the passover and I said, and I got to the point in my discourse where I said, 'and at this point then you tied the lamb' - and I tied the little lamb's feet and I put it on its back - and they become very compliant when you do that. For some reason, something about their anatomy, you put a lamb on their back - you ever heard the expression 'as a sheep before her shearers is dumb'? They'll bleat and cry, but you put them on their back, they can't.

And I flipped it up where its feet were kind of in the air and it just puts its neck back and it gets real quiet, and then I pulled out a knife, and I held up the knife and some of our members were really worried and they thought, 'how far is he going to take this?' How'd you like to do that every time you wanted forgiveness? It's kind of barbaric, huh? And that whole idea of sacrificing even a lamb should have broken the hearts of God's people, much less the lamb of God, God's son. No, I didn't hurt the lamb, but I did take the knife and go like this - and pretend and scared everybody. I won't do that again. (Laughter) so, he doesn't want the sacrifice and offerings. The superiority of the promise is our last section.

Hebrews 1, verses 1 and 2, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to The Fathers by the prophets," - and even by angels - "has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;" - everything was made by Jesus, and so, in the old testament, you know, he's giving these things through mediators. That's what Paul is saying here in Galatians. So these things were given by angels and mediators, but not now a mediator - directly God himself. So it's a superior sacrifice that's being made, given by a superior individual. Are some promises of God conditional? Yes.

Any examples? Jerusalem. Promises he made for Jerusalem to last forever, they were conditional. When he said to Solomon, he said, 'if you walk in my ways I will bless you and keep - your sons will not fail to sit upon the throne.' Well, they failed that and The Sons of David were dethroned, eventually. Jonah, yeah, their repentance. But when God promised that Christ his son would come, was that a conditional promise? The promise he gave to Abraham was an unconditional promise.

There was no conditions connected with the promise he gave to Abraham. And so, God is going to keep his promise. Joshua 23:14, "behold," - Joshua said - this is the end of his book - "...i am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.

Joshua, at the end of his life, what does he want to emphasize? You can trust the promises of God. But look at how many more promises came true after the time of Joshua. I mean, God even promised, through Moses, not only the ways he would bless them - you read in Deuteronomy 28, you know, it's a chapter that's very troubling. It's also very encouraging. It's called the chapter of blessings and cursings.

And you read the blessings - and I really like that part, but I'd like to stop there if I could. It says, 'blessed you'll be when you go out, blessed you'll be when you come in, blessed your children will be, blessed your barn will be, your basket, your livestock - everything blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed, - and then he says, 'but, if you disobey and forsake my commandments, cursed you'll be when you go out, cursed you'll be when you come in.' Matter of fact, when you read it, the curses are a lot longer than the blessings, because God was trying to discourage them - not discourage - yeah, he was trying to discourage them from disobeying. He was trying to steer them away from disobedience and motivate them for the blessing. And - but not one word failed. God has got a perfect credit score.

Psalm 89:34, God says, "my covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips." I remember reading years ago about there was this old indian chief in the early 1800s and he always wore a red ribbon around his neck with a leather pouch - large leather pouch - and someone said, 'what is it?' - They figured it was some kind of charms or some kind of, you know, medicine bag - it wasn't uncommon to see that. They said, 'what have you got there, chief, on your pouch?' He said, 'your great chief gave this to me.' Now the chief, this indian, had been living in poverty for years. He kind of lived on the outskirts of one of the towns and they said, 'what do you mean 'your great chief'? 'Your great chief, Washington, gave this to me.' 'Well, what is it?' He said, 'it's a letter.' And they said, 'can we see it?' And he pulled it out of his pouch and showed it to them. Evidently, this chief had helped george Washington during the revolutionary war and Washington had written a personal promise for a pension to be paid to him for the rest of his life, but he had never turned it in. He didn't know what a pension was.

All he had to do was present that to the pay master at the army and he would have been paid a regular pension for the rest of his life. Instead, he lived in poverty because - here he's carrying the promise around his neck and going hungry and he had it from the highest authority. Are we much different? Do we have a sure promise from God at our fingertips? Amen. And we sometimes forget to take advantage of that. Well, Jesus said, 'heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

' And we read in Peter, 'God has given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these - through these - we might become partakers of the divine nature.' Through the promises of God we can have peace, we can have faith, and we can be transformed. But we need to believe them. We are made righteous through faith. Amen? Amen. Well, I'm looking forward to our next week's study dealing, again, in Galatians.

And I want to remind those who are watching, we do have a free offer. This is a first in the study guides - by the way, you may notice it's new - this is a brand-new updated study guide. It's called is there anything left you can trust? - It's free. All you have to do is call -788-3966 and we'll send that to you - it's actually -study-more - ask for offer #103 when you do. We only ask that you look it over and then share it with a friend.

Well, friends, God bless you. We are out of time for today's study, and we'll look forward to studying His Word with you again next week. What can be more irresistible than a kitten? These guys might look cute now, but some of their ancestors have grown into man eaters. (Big cats roaring) we're here in a lion park in south africa, now, where we can view these creatures in relative safety. But there's a reason they're known as the King of beasts.

So what is it that people find so enchanting and frightening about lions? Is it their speed? Their claws? Their sharp teeth? Or all of the above? It might also be some of the stories about man-eating lions, like in 1898 right here in africa, they were building a bridge over the sabo river in kenya and two brother lions terrorized the construction process, eating 135 workers. Did you know lions are mentioned in the Bible over 100 times and you can find them all the way from Genesis to Revelation. It's usually in reference to their ferocity and how dangerous they are. Of course, Samson killed a lion with his bare hands. David killed a lion.

There are man-eating lions in the Bible. The way that they punished criminals was by throwing them in the lions den - and early Christians were even fed to lions. But, amazingly, as the Bible mentions, not all lions are to be feared. There have been a few friendly lions in history. For example, in the 1950s a couple, george and margaret westbeau, who lived up at a ranch near seattle, Washington, adopted an abandoned lion cub.

They named it little tyke because they felt sorry for it. But they discovered, as they tried to feed her, she refused to eat any meat at all. They were concerned, thinking there was no hope for this little lioness to survive - and everybody told them the same, because we know, in the wild, lions survive on almost an entirely meat diet. Then someone showed the westbeaus that verse in the Bible that talks about, in heaven, the animals are vegetarians and the lion will eat straw like the ox. That encouraged them and so they began to feed little tyke a purely vegetarian diet.

Not only did she survive, she thrived, growing into a lion that was over 352 pounds and over ten feet long. In fact, zoologists that examined little tyke, when she was full grown, said they had never seen such a perfect specimen of a lioness in their life - a pure vegetarian. You know, when we hear incredible stories about that of little tyke, it reminds us that God's original plan was to make a world of total peace. It describes it here in the Bible in Isaiah chapter 11, verse 6, "the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lied down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Nothing is going to hurt and destroy in the new heavens and the new earth that God is going to create. Wouldn't you like to live in a kingdom where there's perfect peace - where there's no more death or killing or pain? God says that he wants you in that kingdom.

The lamb of God made it possible for you to have an encounter with the lion of the tribe of judah. Wouldn't you like to meet him today? For life-changing Christian resources visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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