Walking in the Light: Keeping His Commandments

Scripture: 1 John 2:1-11, John 13:1-38
Date: 07/25/2009 
Lesson: 4
John defines what it is to know and love Jesus: keeping His commandments.
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you are joining us this morning from across the country and around the world and that you are tuning in. And you are part of our Sabbath school family. You're gonna study with us this morning, and you're gonna-- first you're gonna sing. And we're looking forward to singing a couple of your favorite songs.

Just want to welcome those of you who are listening on the radio this morning. Don't want to forget about you either. So pull out your hymnals. It's time to sing. The first song is "love at home.

" This is number 652 in your hymnals, "love at home." This is a request from jeannette in barbados, sangeetha, nomsa, rosy, Johnny and neseku in england, bill and anna in new zealand, getrude in South Carolina, elizabeth in California, guerlynn in New York and eaton and Joel in North Carolina. Let's sing their favorite song this morning, "love at home." We will do all 3 verses, 652. [Music] Wasn't that beautiful? I love the harmony on that song. And it goes perfectly with Pastor Doug's sermon he'll be bringing us this morning about a happy marriage. You know, if you have a happy home seems like a lot of other things go better.

Amen, yes. Our next song is "a shelter in the time of storm." This is a favorite, 528, "a shelter in the time of storm." And it's from Josephine and edward in australia, cyndia, carmetta and sanita in barbados, Joel in California, sherace and Karen in england, jared and Paula in Idaho, anikki, camoy and owen in jamaica, leonie in Maryland, beulah in netherlands, lloyd and charlotte in North Carolina, Francesca in panama, emily in Pennsylvania, cindy in puerto rico, chauve in south africa, evalina in tonga, sharon in trinidad and tobago, Christa, britt, juanita and annette in Virginia, and joanne, kelly-anne, kevin, leo, makendy, maria, martin and stefan and steve in New York. This is a favorite, so we want to hear each and every one of you singing loudly from home. We're gonna do first, second and fourth verse. , "A shelter in the time of storm.

" [Music] Father in Heaven, we thank you and we praise you this morning that you are our shelter in a time of storm. No matter what we're going through, if we come to you, you will put your loving arms around us. And you will take us through. We thank you so much for your love and for promising to never leave us or forsake us. And father, we thank you this morning that we can be called your children.

We praise you for giving us this Sabbath day that we have to come and worship you. And I pray that you will be with each one that is here this morning and those who are joining us, that you will be with us as we open up Your Word and study together. And we thank you so much for this opportunity that we have right now in Jesus' Name. Amen. At this name our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Hi, friends, Happy Sabbath. God willing this will be my last Sabbath where I'm gonna have to do the pre-ben-franklin-bifocal thing where you kind of go like that. I've ordered some new glasses. And so I hope you'll bear with me as I look over and under. We're continuing our lesson in just a moment.

We're in lesson number four dealing with the three epistles of John; John 1, 2 and 3. And boy, there's a lot of just rich theology in those chapters, in those letters of the Bible. We have a free offer we like to always mention. And the offer today is number 729 "love without an if," "love without an if." If you'd like a free copy of that, just call the number, you'll see it on your screen if you're watching tv. That's 866-788-3966, easy acronym is 866-study-more.

Matter of fact, if you type that in you'll probably type one extra letter but it won't make a difference; you'll still get the number, 1-866-study-more. And we'll send that to you just for asking. Want to always greet our friends. We've got folks just all over the world that are part of the central family. It's such an encouragement to be able to do this.

Now because of television and the internet, folks who are isolated, they get a satellite dish. Just yesterday I was out in the hills. And way out in the remote boonies, we're off the grid totally, but we've got a little satellite dish that provides internet. It's not high speed, but high enough speed where you can actually watch the television. I can see 3abn or hope channel, see 'em streaming.

And so these folks do their church service. It's interesting some of the places they are, out in the middle of the desert of australia. Some are in africa. And others are, you know, up in Canada in these remote places. And they say, "you are our church.

" And some of you may be watching. You've been studying with us for some time. If you'd like to know more about how you can connect with a church family, if you don't have a local church to go to, just go to saccentral.org. And we'll do our best. We've got a pastor here, retired pastor, Luke fesentine.

He dedicates his time communicating, pastor harold white, with some of these online members. And so we want to minister to them as well. I was gonna tell you something else, but maybe it'll come to me as we proceed. Let's go to the lesson now, lesson number 4, "walking in the light, keeping his commandments." Now, last week in lesson number 3 it talked about "walking in the light, turning away from sin." This week it's "walking in the light, keeping his commandments." And we have a memory verse, which is 1 John 2:3. And it's in your lesson out of the new king James version.

Just I'll tell you in case I haven't told you before, it's probably been years. I typically preach from the new king James version. When I do evangelistic meetings, I use the King James version. And part of the reason for that, it's just one of the best traditional versions to preach from for the beauty of english and everything else. And most people have memorized the King James.

You know, if you ask people to quote, typically they've memorized the King James. So I like using that for evangelism. For teaching and preaching I usually use the new king James. So let's say that together, John 2:3. You ready? "Now by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

" How do we know that we know the Lord? It says, "if we keep his commandments." That sounds sort of like a legalistic Gospel, but really it's not. It's talking about love. The Bible says that, "if you love him you keep his commandments." So one way you know that if you love him, you're keeping his commandments. Can you be saved without knowing God? Not according to Jesus. Someone look up for me John 17:3.

I think maybe we actually handed that out on a piece of paper looks like a fortune cookie. "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." Alright, definition for eternal life: what did Jesus tell us it is? These are the words of Christ. What did he say is the definition? "That they might know you and Jesus Christ." What will the Lord say to the lost? "I don't know you." So it's so important for us to know the Lord. By the way, I want to read the verse that we're studying today, John 2:3-5. "Now by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

He that says, 'I know him,' and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly," or verily, "the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in him." If you want to be saved, you must be in Christ. If you want to be saved, you must know Christ. How do you demonstrate that you're in him and that you know him? You keep his commandments.

Those that say, "oh, I know the Lord. I love the Lord, but I'm not gonna be burdened with these laws. You folks, adventists, legalistic." You know I always thought it was interesting, before I was a Seventh-day Adventist, I worshipped with other Christians and other denominations, a lot of good, lovely, saved people in these churches. They just don't know. God's winking at their ignorance, 'cause they don't know.

I don't want to condemn them. But I always thought it was interesting; I know 'em. I know what they believe. I worship with 'em. I could go to most of those churches and talk about, "you shouldn't commit adultery.

" They'd say, "amen." And you'd say, "you know we really shouldn't kill or steal." And they'd look at me like, "of course. That's obvious." But when you present the Sabbath truth, they say, "oh, we're not under the law. That's legalism." And yet, Jesus said in His Word here through John, "this is how you know that you know him. You keep his commandments." Why is the Sabbath commandment unique, and why is it uniquely hated by the devil? In the message later today we're gonna talk about marriage. Every love relationship flourishes, it grows, it thrives in the context of time.

That's the catalyst for love. It's time. You and I live in time. We develop our love relationships in time. I transported some fish this week from one pond to another pond.

But they were about an hour and a half apart. Now I tried it once before, and when all the fish got there, they were dead. And someone said, "doug, you probably can't put 20 fish in a 5-gallon bucket, drive them for an hour and a half and expect them to be alive." And I thought that, you know, they get enough air in the water just by shaking 'em up. But you know, they just needed a little more individual air to survive. I'm a slow learner.

So this time I got a probably a 40-gallon olive barrel. You know what those look like? It's got a screw-on lid and a seal. I went to the sportsman shop-- by the way I'm a vegetarian, but fish keep the mosquitoes down, so it's nice to put the fish in the pond. And so got a little aerator for the aquarium, battery-powered aerator, bungeed that to the top, filled it with water, found out there's a chemical that help the fish relax. Put 10 fish in the 40-gallon barrel, got a gallon of water, froze it so it was a great big gallon of ice, 'cause it'd get too hot they'd die.

I mean first time I did it, it was almost like sushi by the time I got there. I mean I don't know what I was thinking. But this time they got a cadillac ride. Matter of fact, in the last weeks they did it twice. They all survived.

They needed enough air. They needed the right environment for them to live. Love dies if you starve it. It needs the right amount of air. That's time.

And so the devil hates the Sabbath truth because the Sabbath is quality time with God to grow the love relationship, so he attacks it. You go to these Christians, professed Christians, in many churches and you talk about the Sabbath truth, and they go, "that's legalism. We're not under the law. You're putting a burden on me. We're saved by grace.

" They say, "I love the Lord." I say, "really? Jesus said, 'if you love me, keep my commandments.'" And they say, "well, what difference does one make?" I dare a wife to say that to her husband when it comes to the seventh commandment. She says, "I'm keeping the other %, what's a little adultery. What difference--" if there's love, do you say that? No. And so that's what we're really doing to God is we're saying, "I love you, God, but you know one day in seven, come on. I mean, let's not go overboard.

" It's not enough that he says, "six days: do your own pleasure; seventh day: holy." And so a lot of people say, "I love, love, love, love, love, love" in these other churches, and--but you talk about the law and they say, "oh no, no, no." God says they're liars. That's what the Lord says. "They're liars if they say they me and they don't keep my commandments." Because Jesus died for our lawlessness. Isn't that right? How can we continue doing what killed him and say we love him? That's like someone standing over somebody and stabbing 'em with a knife and saying, "I love you. I love you.

I love you." It just doesn't make any sense. We're crucifying him afresh and saying we love him. "If you love me, keep my commandments." It's a very simple principle. And then he goes on and it emphasizes that this is how you know that you know him. Now what does it mean biblically to know somebody? You go back to the beginning, sometimes I believe it was dr.

Leslie harding said, "if you want to best understand the use of a word in the Bible, look at the first use of that word and that sort of defines every other time the word is used. Use that to help understand the other times." It says, "adam knew his wife." They had a baby. So what does that mean? It is the most intimate, one-flesh relationship. And by the way, the church is the bride of Christ. And so when it says we know him, it means we're joined.

We're at one with him. There's an intimacy there in the relationship. And then of course the word, "know," the way we use it, it's like Paul said, "I know in whom I have believed and persuaded that he is able." John also says, "by this we might know that we have eternal life." Can we know that we have eternal life? Now this is a delicate area. When you say to somebody, "are you saved?" Well, if you're talking to a calvinistic baptist, not a free will baptist, but a calvinistic baptist, and they say, "are you know that you're saved?" They interpret that to mean, "I came to the altar at some point in my life. I received Jesus.

And now once you're saved, you can't be lost. So yes, I'm saved. No matter what you do you can't be lost." So when someone says, "are you saved?" You need to say, "well, what do you mean by that?" Now you never want to hesitate. Depending on who's asking me I might say yes. Someone might be saying, "are you a Christian?" That's what they mean when they say, "are you saved?" "Are you a Christian?" And you can say, "yes.

" That doesn't mean that you're saying, "I believe once saved, always saved," that you can never be lost. But can you--I'm gonna take it a step further. As a Christian, an arminian Christian like the methodist, we believe that you can lose your salvation, but you can still have assurance of salvation. And I always fall back on the best analogy is in any love relationship, if you've got a marriage where there's faith and trust, can you have a confidence about your relationship? I am--and...i don't want to belabor this, but I am absolutely confident about my relationship with Karen. I never worry when I'm out of town about her.

And I trust she never worries about me, because there's faith. And there's love. And there's trust. There's an assurance there. Does that mean that i, or she, have lost our freedom to be unfaithful? No.

Do we worry about it? No. There's a confidence about the relationship. You can have that confidence about your relationship with the Lord because of your love for him and his love for you. And again, if you're walking with the Lord, and you're obeying God, does that give you even more reason to be confident? Not that you're confident because you're keeping his commandments, you're confident because you're keeping his commandments means you love him. You see what I'm saying? So your confidence is not based on the obedience; your obedience demonstrates the love.

And this is what it means when you know somebody, when you know you love 'em. Matthew 13:11, this is also in your lesson. Jesus answered and said to them, "because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven. But to them it has not been given." Another reason we can have this knowledge is because God has revealed things. Have you ever had one of these ah-ha experiences where various doctrines suddenly, you go, "oh! Now I get it.

I know that's the truth." It's really exciting when we get the mail at Amazing Facts and how frequently somebody will write us and say something to this effect: "I've been going to church and reading my Bible all my life, but when I heard these things, a light went off. I suddenly realized this is the truth, and I've never looked back. This is what I've been looking for. Something was missing. This is the truth.

" This recognition of knowledge, say, "I know that's right." The Holy Spirit bears witness with the evidence in the word and your own sense of reasoning that this is true. Now, how many of you are converts to Christianity-- you were not always Christians, but--you weren't always raised Christians, but now you are? Let me see your hand. Okay. Let me ask another question. How many of you in your life have changed denominations? Okay, another group, little different group.

How do you know that you know the truth now? I mean once you thought you knew the truth. How do you know you know now? Once you were part of another church and now you're part of a different church. How do you know that you're in the right church now? Well, what about all these Christians out there that read the Bible, that maybe--look at all the different denominations. How many of them claim to read the Bible? First of all, I believe the answer is the Bible. You know what the problem is: not rightly dividing the word of truth.

The way that people approach the Bible or the idea that it's sort of-- "the Bible is, you know, holy legends. Don't take it all seriously. It's sort of a reference book. It's not the final word." But if you take the Bible as the final word, the unerring Word of God, then you believe this is it. You can have a knowledge that this is truth.

And the other way is by comparing many verses. I was flying yesterday. You've heard me say this before too, but I can't think of a better illustration. Most airplanes now are outfitted with gps, a lot of cars are outfitted with gps. When you first turn on your car, or you're taking off in an airplane, it won't give you an accurate reading because it'll say, "acquiring satellites.

" If it's got one satellite, it can't really tell you where you are. It's gotta get two satellites and it can maybe tell a little bit about one line that you're on. When it gets three satellites it can triangulate a point, but it can't tell you your elevation. But when you, you know--i don't know how many satellites there are now, probably 30 satellites in the sky that help you find your position. They're launching more and more all the time.

And I know that my garmin gps, it says I've got , 9 satellites. If you've got 9 satellites that are all coordinating your position, you can get a pretty accurate fix of not only where you are horizontally and vertically, your altitude too. It can pinpoint where you are within 6 feet. The more satellites, the more accurate. You can know--all the sudden you get caught in a cloud.

You can't see out the window. You need to be able to land at a runway. There's obstructions. You don't want to be off course and run into a radio tower or a tree, 'cause your elevation's wrong. But you can land by instrument with confidence if your gps is picking up that many satellites.

And a lot of planes have got more than one gps. How can you know where you are on the continuum of truth. Here a little, there a little, comparing two or three witnesses on every point of truth. Get--the more Scripture you've got, the more confident you are. Isn't that right? That you know.

And that's one thing I love about the Seventh-day Adventist message. It's not based on one verse here or there, but it's the preponderance of evidence. There's just--you name a doctrine: "state of the dead," "punishment of the wicked," "Sabbath, law and grace." Name a doctrine and probably from memory I can go through a litany, 'cause I did evangelism; it's easy for me. You have to do this all the time. I can go through a whole litany of verses on that one doctrine that gives you confidence this--you can arrive at a conclusion that you know is truth.

So if you believe the Bible is true and you compare Scripture with Scripture--in the last days are the churches gonna pull together? Sure they are. Two groups. You're gonna have one group: Babylon and her daughters, Mark of the beast, right? They're gonna pull together. All the world's gonna worship a certain way. You're not--buy or sell, ultimately be killed.

There'll be a unifying. And there'll be a unifying of another group. God says, Jesus said, "there's many sheep I have that are not of this fold, but they're gonna hear my voice." Through His Word they hear his voice. There gonna be a coming together of many Christians from many backgrounds into one united truth, the same truth that he gave the apostles. And it's gonna be based on the multitude of evidence.

They're gonna know. We're gonna have to lay our lives down for what we believe. So we want to know what we believe is true, right? If someone says, "you ready to die for your faith?" "Well, I'm not too sure. I've been kind of questioning my faith." If you're not reading your Bible, you might start having that problem. Now, then you've got the other problem about when someone says, "I know.

" And there's an arrogance there. We need to know with humility. Corinthians 8:1, talking about knowledge that puffs up, "now concerning things offered to idols: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." If a person goes and beats someone else over the head with all their knowledge, but they don't have love, will they get someone won to Jesus? I know somebody one time that--small town, they were a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. They'd see people from other churches walking across the street and they'd yell across the street, "brother so and so, hope you know you're going to church the wrong day!" I don't know that this fella ever won anybody to the Lord.

He had knowledge, but he just didn't have love. And he was kind of puffed up. "We're right. You're wrong. You better get straightened out.

" I mean you don't win anybody like that. So yeah, they got knowledge, but that knowledge needs to be presented in grace. Isn't that how Jesus did it? With love. Okay Romans 3:20. Romans 3:20, "therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

" So the law is there. Does the law save us, or does the law reveal that we need saving? See the law, James tells us, is like a mirror you look into. You see you need cleansing, but the mirror has no power to cleanse. Christ is the one who then cleanses us. Alright, what will Jesus declare to those in the last days? Are there some who think they know but they don't? Matthew 7:22-23, "many will come to me in that day, saying 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?'" And what will the Lord say to them? "I profess unto you, that I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity!" The word "iniquity" there means, "you who work lawlessness.

" Matthew 26:72, this is a long chapter, the end of Matthew. Who has that? "And again he denied with an oath, 'I do not know the man!'" So here's Peter. Did Peter know him? Did Peter know the truth? But when under the gun, under pressure, when he was being scrutinized by others, he denied knowing him. Did he have enough love? Not at that point. He had more love for himself back then 'til he was genuinely converted.

Alright, well we need to move along here. Now it's talking about keeping the commandments. John 14:15-16. You all know this by heart. "If you love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray The Father, and he will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever." We often don't read the second part. "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray for The Father," and he'll send you the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit's a power. Can God give that power to those that don't obey him? It says in acts 4, "the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those that obey him.

" Okay, read for us 1 John 5:3. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." How many of you have either thought yourself, or you've heard other people articulate the sentiment that, "boy, you know, I can either live for the world and have fun out there in the world, or I can keep his commandments. I gotta bear the cross of obeying him." Which is harder: obedience or sin? "The way of the transgressor is hard." "There is no rest for the wicked." Who has joy? Who has peace? "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing will offend him." The idea that obeying him and keeping his commandments is the hard life, no it's not. It's really the easier life, because you can either float downstream with the lost, do not resist temptation and sin, or you can swim against the tide and cross the river.

Now what I didn't tell you is there's piranhas in the river. So which is easier, to go with the flow in the river and be eaten to death by piranhas or to resist the current and swim across the river? Going with the flow and being eaten by the piranhas. Those who are going with the flow, they're making no effort. They have no peace. Their conscience is destroying them.

They're not happy. They don't have direction. Those who are resisting, yeah there's a struggle involved, but by your kicking and swimming, you're staying away from the piranhas. It's a lot more peaceful to obey. Ask the alcoholic who spent years giving into the temptation, the desire to drink and then finally became clean and sober.

Which life is easier? The sober life is easier. Clean and sober is easier. But do you have to resist the temptation to drink again? Yes. But it's a lot easier, I'll tell ya. I--I've woken up in jail, friends, and not remembered how I got there.

And it's not the easy life, giving into temptation. It's that way whatever the temptation is. It might be food. Which is easier, just giving into the temptation and looking in the mirror and being ashamed? Or struggling, going to the gym, resisting all those goodies and at least having more self-respect and feeling good about yourself? Which is easier? And I'm using just some simple things. I mean apply this to your life, whatever it is.

He says his commandments are not burdensome. When a parent tells a child to obey something, is it 'cause that parent is trying to rob that child of happiness or protect them for real happiness? Everything that God asks us to do is good. The question is do you trust him? His commandments are not a burden. Alright, Genesis 29:20, oh this--i like this verse. I added this to my notes last night and--Genesis 29:20.

Jacob was, you know, he left home. He ran away. He didn't really run away. He kind of left, something of a vagabond, had nothing in his hand but a staff and probably a skin of water, crossed the desert. Then he meets the most beautiful girl in the world he wants to marry, but back then you could not get married without money.

You needed a dowry for The Father, father-in-law. And today, we ought to go back to the old system. What do you think? And he said, "well look, I'll tell you what, laban, I'll work for you 7 years for your daughter, 7 years I'll work for you for rachel." And the Bible says, "so Jacob served--" and this was not easy work, "Jacob served seven years for rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her." Circle that in your Bible if you understand that principle. If you love, obedience, it's a pleasure. If you love, then it's a lot easier, I'll tell ya.

Love is the fulfilling of the law. That's what Paul meant. Some people think that means, "love is the fulfilling of the law. Just say you love the Lord, you don't have to keep the law anymore." That's backwards. That's not at all what it's talking about.

What it means is when you love, it's easy to keep it. It's easy to fulfill it. The idea that when you love you don't have to obey, that's from the devil. That's not true. Some people think love eliminates the law.

No, love makes it a pleasure to keep the law. It was easy for him to do all that work, 'cause of the love he had for rachel. Listen to how Moses put it. Deuteronomy 30:16. I'll give you a second to-- I can hear your pages rustling.

I want to give you a second to find that. Deuteronomy--and keep in mind these are the final words of Moses. The whole chapter of Deuteronomy is Moses' final sermon, the whole book rather, of Deuteronomy. And here he is at the end of that book, just getting ready to climb a mountain and die and here's one of the last things he says to the people. "In that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and keep his commandments, his statutes, and his judgments, that you might live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land where you go.

" Starts out "love the Lord your God, walk in his ways, keep his commandments." First you gotta love. Do you know even in the Ten Commandments it says this. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I was doing evangelism for years before I realized that loving God is in the Ten Commandments. And it says in that commandment where it talks about visiting the iniquity of The Father, "idolatry upon The Sons unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, but showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." Right there in the Ten Commandments is the key. "Love me and keep my commandments.

" Love, then keep. First you gotta love the Lord. You don't obey God's commandments in order to love him. If you love him, you keep his commandments. So now that's all the first day of our lesson.

Better move on here. "What would Jesus do?" Someone read for me 1 John 2:6. "He who says he abides in him ought himself also to walk just as he walked." Alright we're being called to walk just as Jesus walked? How did Jesus walk? It was a perfect walk. He says, "I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love." We are to follow him the way he followed The Father. We're to walk like him.

That's what it means. When it says that "Noah walked with God," what does that mean? He was constantly aware of God's presence. I mean did Noah hear God's voice? It's how he God directions. Either that or he faxed them. He got directions specifically to build the ark.

He spoke to him. This is how Enoch walked with God. Genesis 5:21, "and Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begot methuselah. And Enoch walked with God," after he begat methuselah, "three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.

" And it says, "Enoch was not, for God took him." Now, I always thought it was interesting; it says he lived years. He had a son. After he begat methuselah, it says he "walked with God." Why did having a son help Enoch walk with God? Did Enoch know about the plan of salvation, that God would come to earth, he would send his son? He did. And when he thought about how much God must love us, that he's gonna send his son, it did something in his heart where he really fell in love with the Lord. When he saw how much he loved his son, and that God would sacrifice his son.

Enoch was a preacher of righteousness. Enoch prophesied about the second coming. I mean Enoch understood theology. Something changed when he became a parent and he saw how much God loves us. And so he walked with God.

How often do we walk with God, once a week when we go to church we walk with the Lord? Are we Seventh-day Adventists or seven-day adventists? Yeah, I did an amazing fact a few years ago, pretty interesting about a guy named David kunst. In 1970, he got the idea to walk around the world. The moon landing the summer before had inspired him with adventure. So this 30-year-old, dave, and his brother John, decided to walk around the world. Accompanied by a pack mule named will-he-make-it and traveling as a volunteer ambassador for unicef, David and John left waseca, Minnesota on June 20th.

They walked to New York. They walked with this mule behind them going down the roads carrying the cart with all their possessions in it. They walked to New York and then flew to portugal. I guess they flew their cart and their donkey too. They had this aluminum cart they had built.

And they walked all the way from portugal to iran. Now have you looked at a map? I know it looks small. It's only that big on a map, but you land in portugal, start walking to iran. It is just phenomenal. You leave waseca, Minnesota and walk to New York.

Ha! I don't like walking to the store from my house, it seems too far to me. Tragically about 2 years into their epic journey, bandits attacked them in afghanistan and David was wounded. His brother John was killed. After recuperating 4 months in a hospital back home, David now with his brother Peter, in honor of their brother that had died, decided to continue the walk. They went to the very spot where they had been robbed and resumed walking.

One year later they crossed india. Then of course you reach ocean. They took off to australia. By this time Peter needed to return home and so David continued on his own. He's now on his third mule called "will-he-make-it.

" So they had will-he-make-it i, will-he-make-it ii and will-he-make-it iii crossing australia. You look--australia's desert for about 4,000 miles. Will-he-make-it iii died. And he's got this cart with all his possessions. Fortunately a school teacher had struck up a relationship in some small town said, "look I'll help you pull the wagon with my car.

" Nobody can give him a ride now, 'cause he's gotta walk. So she puts the thing probably in first gear and just idles as he walks across the rest of australia. Her name was jenny Samuel. She volunteered to tow the mule's wagon with her car. As you might expect, she and dave fell in love, probably when he wasn't walking, or maybe when it was walking.

That's kind of how we fall in love with the Lord. And when the walk was ended, they got married. He actually flew to Hawaii and had to walk across to Hawaii, flew to California, walked from California back to Minnesota. And he's the only man according to guinness' world records walked 15,000 miles. It required 4 1/2 years, pairs of shoes, 3 mules.

Of course he entered the book of world records and in 1996 they asked him to help carry the olympic torch. That would take a lot of sole to walk all that way, huh? Pardon the pun. Nobody got that. It takes a lot of soul to walk with Jesus too. Walking with the Lord, that's what it means.

It says, "he that abides in himself ought to walk the way that he walked." Psalm 85:13, "righteousness shall go before him, and he will set us in the way of his steps." Can we walk in the path of Christ without help? No, he sets us in the way of his steps. I've probably told you this story before when years ago coming back from seeing my dad in florida, I just had the three kids in the first litter, rachel, Micah and Daniel. And they were young. They were, I don't know, , 10 and 12. And we drove from the airport in san francisco up to the place in covelo.

It had snowed, deep snow, -wheel-drive truck, same truck I was driving yesterday and this was 20 years ago. Got stuck, got high-centered out in the middle of the wilderness and we had 2 miles to the house through the snow. We're wearing clothes from florida. We hadn't been very smart about what to wear coming home. I said, "kids, we got plenty of gas.

Let's stay in the truck. It'll idle. Tomorrow morning we'll go to the neighbor's and get some help." And they said, "oh dad, we can walk home." They'd been cooped up in the truck. They'd slept part way back from the airport. They were wide awake.

They wanted to walk home. So I said, "alright, this probably isn't very smart," but we were warm in the truck, so we figured we could make a dash for it. Two miles through the snow, two feet of snow. So we took off hiking. Nobody from where we were stuck to our house.

And first they took out, they were just having fun. They were rolling in the snow and throwing snow. And it was a moonlit night. And we're hiking through the snow. And pretty soon the snow started--they got hot.

Their pants got warm. Snow started melting; pants got wet and they got cold. And then it got where instead of them romping around and throwing things, they got in behind me and were filing behind me. And I know someone's gonna tell me, "doug, do you realize how dumb this was?" And I already know, so don't tell me. And then we got into these drifts.

And now we're half way. And we want to go home, but we're exhausted. We're cold. It just hit us. It's the middle of the night.

We'd been in florida and so it's real late now. And the kids got real quiet. And they were shivering. And then they'd sit down and say, "I gotta rest." 'Cause you have to lift up your leg this high every step. And it started getting deeper as we went through these fir trees, all the snow had come down off the fir trees and piled up.

And it got where I was so exhausted. I mean I was totally exhausted that I could barely take another step. But the kids were putting their feet where I put my feet. And the only way they could make any forward progress is I had to plow away before them. It got so bad, I'm not kidding you, that I would fall forward.

I'd make a path that was 5 feet, inches. I'd get back up and I'd walk in it. I'd fall forward; I'd make a path. And it was interesting the change that came over the kids where earlier they were fighting and irritable. Now Daniel who was the youngest.

He's like 7, 8 years old, he's going, "I can't go any farther." And his brother and sister were encouraging him, 'cause they realize this is dangerous. They're cold. Then we started calling the dog hoping that the dogs, we had two dogs, would hear us and come and they would break the trail for us. Well, snow insulates. You can't--you know, snow in the trees, sound doesn't travel.

We're yelling for the dogs and they didn't come. Finally we got close enough to the house, they heard us. I mean it was just a trip we'll never forget. And the dogs heard us, and they broke the path. And we got in the house and built a fire, plugged in the hair dryer and aimed the hair dryer, 'cause the house was cold, aimed the hair dryer on their shoes, tennis shoes they're wearing.

So that they were just big balls of ice, so that we could thaw out their laces and get their shoes off. It was really dumb, I know. But the only way we made it was they had to put their feet where I put my feet or they wouldn't have made it. And so Jesus, you can make it, 'cause he's already broken the path for you. But you've gotta put your feet where he put his feet.

Amen? Paul said, "be ye followers of me," 1 Corinthians 11:1, "be ye followers of me, as I follow Christ." I don't want anyone following me, except as I follow Christ. New commandment. What is he talking about? John 2:7-8, "brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment that you've heard from the beginning. The old commandment is the word you've heard from the beginning. Again," now it sounds like he's contradicting himself, "a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true," in which, "in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines.

" Now what is the old commandment you've heard from the beginning? Well, for one thing it's saying that the Gospel had not changed from the time the apostles gave it until 40 years later when John writes his letter. He says, "it's always been the same." Matter of fact, the Gospel has not changed from adam. The Gospel has always been the same Gospel. The Gospel that you and I preach is the Gospel that was given to adam. The commandments today are the commandments back then.

It's the, really, the same truth. But there is a new commandment. Someone read for me John 13:34-35. We gave that to somebody. John 13:34-35, it states, "a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Is the idea of loving each other the new commandment? Was it only when Jesus came? Old testament, you can hate each other; new testament, you gotta love each other. There's a new commandment. Is that right? Doesn't sound right, does it? So when Jesus said, "a new commandment I give unto you," there's a couple ways you can understand that. One is he said, "look, this may be a new concept for you, but I want you to love each other." It wasn't a new commandment. Moses said, "love your enemies.

" Moses said, "love your neighbors," although he back then--it's actually Jesus that said, "love your enemies." So loving your neighbor, that starts all the way at the beginning. But you know what else is new about this? He says, "love one another," here's the new part, "as I have loved you." They had never before seen love until God became a man and showed them how to love perfectly. Is that safe to say? Until Christ came, no one had ever seen perfect love. He loved without sin, love without selfishness. So here's the new commandment, "love each other as I love you.

" Does the Bible tell us that we're supposed to love each other that way? John 15:17, "these things I command you that you love one another." A matter of fact, as you read through the Gospels, which Gospel talks the most about love? It's the writings of John. He talks not only about obedience--isn't that interesting? John has so much to say about obeying the commands and he has so much to say about love. Are they different or are they the same? They're really same truth. John 2:9-11, this is part of the passage we've been given to study. "He that says he's in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now.

He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there's none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and knows not where he's going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." Someone pointed out to me one time that Jesus told us to love our enemies, and Jesus told us to love our neighbors. Because it's often true that you're nigh brother, that's your neighbor, nigh brother is often your enemy. Think of it. How often in the Bible was the problem for God's people friendly fire? Was it the Romans that really crucified Jesus? Well, they executed him, but it was his own people that turned--his own disciple betrayed him.

His own people handed him over. Who was the problem for Joseph? Brothers, his nigh brothers sold him. Who was the problem for king David? Philistines really weren't much of a problem for him. It was his own king Saul that he ran from. And then he ran from his own son.

And you just go through the Bible, and you'll find that so much of the problem for God's people was the internal conflict. Do you think when John wrote his letters to the churches things were any different? Or is it possible the churches back then that it was problems loving each other? Husband and wife having problems loving each other. Church members, brothers, sisters, families having problems loving each other. And so what is the burden of John's heart. "You say you're Christians; we're trying to advertise and witness for the world.

Love each other." They're not in here yet, they probably won't watch me teaching Sabbath school, so I can tell ya that when nathan and stephen are outside playing with the neighbors--i know you're shocked to hear that sometimes those brothers squabble. And I try and tell 'em. I say, "look guys, your neighbors know that you're Christians. If you're fighting with each other and you can't love your own brother, what kind of witness are you gonna be to the pagan neighbor kids?" I said, "you know, they hear you guys yelling up and down the street at each other, brothers, Christians." I said, "you gotta show love for each other." Don't you tell 'em I said this. They'll never know, 'cause they won't ever watch me on Sabbath school teaching.

You think they sit at home watch me teaching the Sabbath school lesson? But doesn't that make sense? Isn't that what God is saying? If it grieves me for my boys out in the front yard to be at each other's throats, 'cause what will the neighbor kids think? They don't even love each other, how can they witness to the neighbors? How do you think our Heavenly Father feels when he looks down and he sees Christians in the church, we say, "we've got the truth! Yeah, we want to strangle one another, but we got the truth." And he says, "look, if you say you're walking in the light and you don't love each other, how can you say you're my disciples?" It's all summed up with love. "Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, if I have not love, I'm nothing." "Love suffers long," "love does not envy; love vaunts not itself, it's not," proud or "puffed up." "Love does not behave itself unseemly." It's dignified. It's not crude. "Love does not seek its own, it's not easily provoked." Love is patient. "It thinks no evil.

It rejoices not in iniquity, but it rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." And that's what God's looking for in you and me. Is this love? This is the real burden in John's heart: love, keeping the commandments, walking in the light. They're all part of the same three cords of that same rope of truth.

Well, our time is about up for today's lesson. I always want to remind our friends, if you missed it at the beginning, we have a free offer. It's offer number 729, "love without an if." It sounds like an unconditional love, "love without an if," by jim hornberger. And if you would like a free copy of that, just call 866-788-3966. We'll be happy to send that to you.

And so for our friends, God bless you. Don't forget to check out saccentral.org if you'd like to know more about the resources. And we'll study together again next week. Hello, friends. I'm supposing that you know that Amazing Facts is 100% viewer supported.

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