The Role of Stewardship

The Role of Stewardship

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Colossians 1:16-18, Hebrews 4:14-16
Date: 03/10/2018  Lesson: 10
"This week we will look more at the roles that stewardship plays in Christian life. We will do so, though, through an interesting analogy: a chariot wheel."
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Hello, friends, we'd like to welcome all of you to Sabbath School Study Hour, coming to here from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. We'd like to welcome our online members and those who are joining us on the various television networks. Thank you for tuning in, to be a part of our study time today. Also to the members and the visitors right here at the Granite Bay church, it's always good to see you, Sabbath after Sabbath, gathering together to study God's Word. We've been studying through our lesson quarterly dealing with the subject of stewardship.

It's called "stewardship, motives of the heart". Today, we find ourselves on lesson number 10, entitled the role of stewardship. So that will be our theme for study this morning. For those who are joining us online, if you don't have a copy of today's lesson, the role of stewardship, you can download the lesson at the following website, just study.aftv.org, at study.aftv.org. You can download lesson number 10, and you can study along with us.

We have a free offer, a book entitled "hidden eyes and closed ears". That is the free offer for today. Just give us a call on our resource phone line. That number is 866-788-3966, and you can ask for offer number 726. If you are outside of North America, just go to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.

org, and you can download the book for free, and you can read it right there online. But before we get to our study time, as we normally do, we like to lift our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come join me this morning. We are so glad that it's that time where we get to sing together like we do every week. So we are singing one song today that ties in with our lesson.

It's in the stewardship section of the hymnal, and it's found on the 636, God, whose giving knows no ending. So pay attention as we sing 636. We'll do all three stanzas. I hope that is your prayer this week, serving you by loving all. At this time, Pastor Ross will have our opening part.

Let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you once again that we have this opportunity to gather together and open up Your Word and study this important theme, talking about how we can be better stewards of the things that you've given us. So father, we pray once again for the Holy Spirit to be praised and to guard our hearts and our minds as we open Your Word, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at the Granite Bay church, Pastor Doug. Welcome, everybody.

I'm glad to see each of you here at the Granite Bay church. And want to remind you those who are watching, we have a lot of friends who are watching online, and sometimes we see a few days after we've done Sabbath school, there are literally thousands of people that study with us online. Some of them are... Some of our digital disciples, our online members. And we know there's people scattered around the country, other parts of the world that have no local church that they can attend.

And if you want to know what it means to be one of our online members or digital disciples, then just go to our website which is granitebaysda.org, and we'll be happy to contact you and give you more information on that. We are in lesson number 10 in our quarterly talking about stewardship. That is a very broad and a comprehensive subject. And the lesson today, in particular, it's called the role of stewardship, and we have a memory verse. Memory verse is from 1 Thessalonians 4:7, hearing your lesson that's from the niv.

Now we're going to go ahead and look at this together, you ready? 1 Thessalonians 4:7, "for God did not called us to be impure, but to live a holy life." And so one of the aspects of stewardship is we are to manage and be stewards of our time in our lives for the purpose of holiness. Stewardship is, like I said it's comprehensive, it covers so many different things. Matter of fact, right here in the beginning of the lesson, I want to reiterate, if you have any questions, you who are watching online in particular, you have any questions about the lesson today, go ahead and send them via Facebook. You can send them through either the Amazing Facts Facebook, Granite Bay Facebook, my Facebook page. We have people in the back that are looking, they're scanning at your texts and your posts, and you can enter those in, and about two-thirds of the way through the lesson, I'm going to try and take some questions.

I think Pastor Ross said, if you had any Bible questions, I think he meant questions about the lesson, otherwise they could be all over the place. So anything on stewardship, we welcome. You know, le roy froom, great author, he wrote in his book, stewardship in its larger aspects. He said, "it is not a theory or a philosophy, but a working program. It is in verity the Christian law of living.

" Stewardship, it's a Christian law of living. "It's necessary to an adequate understanding of life, and essential to a true, vital religious experience. It's not simply a matter of mental assent, but it's an act of the will and a definite, decisive transition touching the whole perimeter of life." Stewardship affects where you park your car when you go shopping. You want to be a steward of your time, so you try not to park too far away from the entrance. Or if you want to be a steward of your car, you don't park right where they put the shopping carts because it could damage your car, and that's bad stewardship.

Stewardship is reaching over, and if you see the children have dropped a wrapper in the church of something that you pick it up and throw it in the garbage can. Stewardship is just realizing that this is our father's world, that your body belongs to him, that we're to use our time and our means to glorify God, that we have a mission and a message... Lesson talks more about that but stewardship really, it encompasses every aspect of your life, the management of the life, and influence, and means that God has given you. As I've said before, you're just here for a short time. The longer you live, the shorter you realize it is.

And when you look back over your life, you'll realize, "did I spend my life the way God wanted me to?" That's what stewardship is. It's about spending, not just money, spending life. And so we want to... And we'll give an account to God, won't we? You've got stewardship of Your Words. We give an account to God for every word we speak.

Bible says, "you need to budget Your Words." Did you know that? Solomon said, "let Your Words be few." And a fool's voice is known by the multitude of words. So I set myself up for failure when I stand here to teach because you expect me to just keep on rambling for the next 50 minutes. So we're stewards of everything that we do. And so we want to be faithful stewards. All right, well, one of the first things we're going to explore here in our first heading is Christ as the center.

Keeping Christ as the center really gives you perspective on what the stewardship mean. And someone, in a moment, is going to read for me in John 13:3, I got a few verses before we get there. And we're using in our lesson the analogy of like a chariot wheel. It doesn't have to be a chariot wheel, you can call it a wagon wheel. But the whole idea is that you've got the rim, you've got all the spokes that go towards the center, and then you got the hub and the axle right there in the middle.

You'll see there's a lot of different spokes, they all kind of go to a common end. One of them is understanding the centrality of Christ in everything in our religion in the Bible. John 5:39, Jesus said, "you search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. These are they that testify of me." So when you're reading the Bible, the Bible is all about Jesus. And, you know, being a steward helps, it helps to realize that in our lives it's all about Christ, it's all about the Scriptures and the messages, all about Jesus.

"These are they that testify of me." In other verse on the similar theme. Luke 24:27, "and beginning at Moses..." This is on the road to emmaus, he made this statement. "Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself." So everything in the Bible is about Jesus. And part of our stewardship is as we share Christ with others, what is to stay the hub of that doctrine. You might have all these different doctrines, they're like spokes, but they all point to the center, and what is the center? Christ.

It's Christ. Jesus has to stay the center of your life. You know, if you keep Christ at the center of your life, chances are you're going to be a responsible steward of your time, and your energy, and your means. Now go ahead, please read for us, John 13:3. John 13:3, "Jesus, knowing that The Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and was going to God.

" Yeah, and then, of course, he goes on and talks about the foot washing service, but I want to emphasize the part that says, "all things were given into his hands. He came from God, he's going to God." Every word in the Bible is about him in one way or the other. That Christ really needs to stay the hub and the center of our lives. Look at Hebrews 10:7, "then I said, 'behold, I come, in the volume of the book, it is written of me to do your will, o God.'" And so it's safe to say when you talk about the Bible, and you've heard me say this many times. You don't say, well, Exodus is about Moses, and Genesis is about Abraham, and Judges is about Samson, who we're talking about today.

Genesis is about Jesus, and Exodus is about Jesus, and Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Leviticus, I got that out of order, and Joshua, and Judges, and 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, it's all about Jesus, "in the volume of the book, it is written of me." Karen and i, sometimes we'll watch Christian programming. And we are watching something last night in particular, and they said, the pastor said, "we're going to be looking at one of the Psalms." And he said, "I know some of you don't have an old testament. All you have is your new testaments, but you can just listen. And I thought, "how sad that a pastor would even tolerate a church only having a third of their Bible." Because Jesus doesn't begin in the new testament, Jesus is all the way through the Bible. Amen? Amen.

And so keeping that at the center is I think a very important chord. All right, you can read also, here's another great one, I think we all know. John 1:1-3, talking about the prominence, and the priority, and the preeminence of Jesus. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him, and without him, nothing was made that was made." So he made everything. All things are made by him. He is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, and so it's just very clear that the Bible is all about Jesus. In Matthew 28, I like this one. He says in verse 18, "and Jesus came and he spoke, saying, 'all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.

'" So Christ is really everything. Let me give you one more verse on that before we move on. Colossians 1:16, you know, these words moved me, and the power is in the word. And sometimes I find myself in the Sabbath school study, I go, oh! Oh! Oh! Here's a good one. Here's another one, here's another one, but I got to be careful as a pastor, not just laying one Scripture on top of another because sometimes your eyes begin to glaze over when I do that.

But these words move me 'cause that's where the power is. It's in the word, the proof is in the Scripture, and so I said, "oh! I can't leave that one out. Oh! And that's another good one." Colossians 1:16-18, still talking about Christ being everything. This one sums it up. "For by him, all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they're thrones, or dominions, or principalities.

.." I'm going to pause there for a moment. Principalities or powers, where else do you find that word principalities and powers? "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers." What is it talking about in Ephesians 6? Who are we wrestling against? The devil, fallen angels. Who made them? Oh, they weren't devils, but it says, "he made all things including principalities and powers, all things were created through him and for him." And have you ever wondered what you're made for? You're made for God. "And he is before all things." We're never hidden from his eyes. "And in him, all things consist.

" Oh, wasn't for God, we'd just sort of vaporize and disassemble. "And he is the head of the body of the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may have the preeminence." And so that's a pretty powerful Scripture that says that, "the foundation for your stewardship in life is understanding that God is all in all. The foundation for faithful stewardship is understanding that he owns everything, that he made everything, that everything belongs to him, that everything will answer to him, but he has all authority." And so when God says something meager, like "remember to be faithful with your tithe." And we say, "well, let me think about that." What? He's God. He says he will supply all of our needs, do we really believe, and you just when you understand the prominence of God, it helps make that I think, it puts it in perspective. All right, now you probably would not normally suspect that in a lesson dealing with stewardship, we'd say, "now let's talk about the sanctuary.

" But you even learn about the stewardship principle through the sanctuary doctrine. That's our next section here. Here's a quote from the book evangelism, "the correct understanding of the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith." Now what happened there in the sanctuary actually teaches us about God, teaches us about the plan of salvation, and in connection with that, it teaches us about stewardship. The whole sanctuary dealt with bringing something to God. You would walk through that door with an offering, isn't that right? And what happened is.

.. The sanctuary talks about separation, it's got a border, there's one door, we're on the outside, God's on the inside. We're trying to get to where God is. The sanctuary represents a journey. And let's just say for instance that here you've got.

... Just use your imagination, okay? Here you've got the courtyard of the sanctuary, at the other end, the farthest you could go from the door is the holy of holies. God's there, you're on the outside, you're here. There's one way to begin the journey, you walk through the door. Who is the door? Jesus is the door.

And when you get to the door, and you're coming with what when you first enter? Enter his gates with thanksgiving, an offering of thanksgiving, and you bring him offering. You don't come before the Lord without an offering. Now the Bible says, "you don't come before a king without an offering." But we're really coming to make atonement to prepare us to go into his presence because our sins have separated. The blood must be applied before we can go into his presence. So first thing you do as you come in, first thing that there is an altar.

It's there to receive an offering, a sacrifice for your sins. Offering is made, then after the offering, there's a laver. And the laver's for cleansing. Now isn't that interesting, why doesn't it have the water first? You think, "well, first, you get clean, then you make your offering." Is that how it works? Have you heard a parent say to their child, "will you get cleaned up, so you can take a bath?" Doesn't that sound backwards? You take a bath so you can get cleaned up. So the real hard cleansing that prepares us for everything else is the sacrifice of Jesus, it's the lamb.

The altar, first thing is the lamb. Before the children of Israel went through the red sea, what happened in Egypt? Passover lamb, right? The lamb came before baptism, the cross comes before baptism, and so then came to the water, there is the washing, then they went into the holy place. This is now... They've entered a new dimension here. First of all you're justified in the courtyard.

You're sanctified in the holy place. You are glorified in the holy of holies. But the whole journey, it begins with an offering. And you bring your lamb, you come, and you're cleansed, you go into the holy place, and there's three things in there, you got the lamb, you got the bread, you got the altar of incense. Those are the three disciplines of the Christian life.

Bread, it's Word of God. The light is sharing your faith. Let your light so shine. And the incense is prayer. The three disciplines that help you grow as a Christian are there.

You read your Bible, you pray, and you share your faith. If you're not doing any one of those three things, you're probably stunted spiritually. You need to be... On our way to church this morning, Karen and I saw a graph. There's another Christian program on, it said, "an increasing.

.." No. "A decreasing number to barna study graph. A decreasing number of American Christians are reading their Bible." And some say, "oh, yeah, I read my Bible." Then the question was, "well, do you read it besides church?" It's like 17% read their Bible outside of church in the week. So it's just surprising. You need, if you're going to be sanctified there in the holy place, you need to read your Bible, you need to have a regular prayer life, and you need to be proactively sharing your faith using your different gifts in some way.

Not all are evangelists or pastors, you can give out literature, you can do something, but we should be sharing our faith. And then when sanctification is complete, then you move into the presence of God. Now when you look at the sanctuary, how much of that is about Jesus? All the spokes go back to the same hub. Is that right? Who is the door? Jesus. Jesus.

Who is the high priest? Jesus. Jesus. Who is the lamb? You all know your cue. You're just supposed to say when I ask, you say Jesus, right? Who is the bread? Jesus. Jesus.

Who is the light of the world? Jesus. Jesus. And in whose name do we pray? Jesus. Jesus. His incense is what makes our prayers acceptable.

I'm sure I've left things out. Jesus said, his body is the temple. So destroy this temple, I will raise it up, and he spoke of his body. So he's not just the door, he's the whole thing. And so all of it is teaching us about Christ in some way.

And now this message, we are stewards of that message. And so we want to be faithful in sharing that with the world. And now in just a moment, someone's going to look up for me, Galatians 6:14. You'll have that, brian? Okay, hang on. I want to read 1 John 2:1, "my little children, these things I've written to you that you may not sin.

And if any one sins, we have an advocate with The Father, Christ the righteous." Now this is important, I won't rush past it. Is it the desire of the apostle here, and we are presuming the desire of God that we may not sin? When Jesus healed the woman that was caught in adultery, he said, "neither do I condemn, you go and try to sin a little less." Is that what he said? No. No. And then there was a man who Jesus healed, and he said, "go and sin no more less, the worst thing come upon you." God's goal for us always is to run as far from sin as we can, and yet I hear more and more pastors say, "just try not to sin too much." Really, that's the message I'm hearing. "We got God's grace, don't take sin too seriously.

" And I understand where they're coming from. There are so many people that are so guilty because of their failures that they just gave up on God, and saw this great emphasis on the grace part of the message, but it seems like the pendulum has swung too far the other way now, and folks are not being told about holiness and believing that God gives you the power to turn from sin. And so here he said, "my little children, I write these things that you do not sin, but praise the Lord if we do sin, if anyone sins, we have an advocate with The Father." So part of the sanctuary message is when we do fall, we can bring our lamb, Jesus, to the door of that. Now how do we do that? Is the church now the sanctuary? Or do we come boldly before God's sanctuary now through Christ, through faith in the heavenly temple. We pray, and we see that he ever lives to make intersession for us.

He's our high priest. He spreads out his hands that are scarred, and he pleads his own blood. And so this is part of the Gospel. The sanctuary message is a very important part of the Gospel today in helping people understand that he is before The Father interceding. Amen? Okay, you're quiet group.

Revelation 14:7, matter of fact, we've got this later in the... I'll say here too. Revelation 14:7, "saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come," part of the sanctuary message is that we're living in a time, an awesome time of judgment that begins at the house of God, "and worship him who made the heaven, and the earth, the sea, and the springs of water are returning to the worship of God as our creator." Go ahead and read for us, Galatians 6:14. Now this is under the heading of Christ centered doctrinal beliefs. Okay, brian? "But God forbid that I should boast accepting the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

" What was the center of Paul's boasting? And he's using that word sort of a... In a little bit of an analogist way, said, "the only thing that I have to boast about is the Christ and the cross." That is central. Jesus said, John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to The Father, except through me." He is the door, he is all in all as we've discovered. And he says, "I am the truth." So sad that pilate there, pontius pilate, he was standing in the presence of truth incarnate, and he said, "what is truth?" And then he turned and walked away, he did not even wait for an answer. How sad to be that close to the embodiment of truth, and not listen to what he had to say.

But to be cynical about it, "huh, what is truth? Who knows what truth is?" TRuth was right there in front of him. The greatest concentration of truth in the universe was in front of him, and he turned and walked away. How many other people still do that? How many people stay in a hotel room with a Bible right there by their bedstead? Thanks to gideons, and they've never opened it up. So close to truth. Now, when we talk about the different doctrines in the Bible, and that you would present in an evangelistic meeting.

How was Jesus supposed fit into that? For example, when we preach the doctrine, well, you know, we're Seventh-day Adventists, so we talk about the Sabbath. People think about baptists, they think about baptism by immersion, and then people think about pentecostals, they will typically think about speaking in tongues, and there's a lot more doctrine to seventh-day adventism than just the Sabbath, but it's their sort of card of finding our name, but should the Sabbath ever be preached outside of the context of Jesus? Or should...? How is Jesus connected with a Sabbath doctrine? It talks about him as our creator. It talks about the rest that we have in Christ. Now once we've got the Spiritual rest, do we still need physical rest once a week? And once we understand that we're to worship him seven days a week, do we no longer need weekly worship? Corporate worship together? No, of course, that's still there too. When we talk about the doctrine of death, how does Jesus fit in with that? Well, it's true, in death he rested.

Is he also our resurrection? Yeah. Christ says that he is the resurrection and the life. What about the law? If you're going to talk about the doctrine of the law of God, people think, "well, don't talk to me about the law, talk to me about Jesus." You ever heard that, something like that? They think that talking about the law is not talking about Jesus. Jesus is the rock. He is the law that is written in our hearts.

He said, "he that hears these words of mine is building on the rock." And the law was written on a rock. And the God... The new covenant is what? The law of God written on our heart through love for Christ. And so he is everything. The health message.

People think, "well, you know, we'll talk about the clean and the unclean foods, and just don't eat this, and you can go ahead and eat that, don't eat too much of this." Should that be done outside of Christ? Isn't he the great physician, first of all? And Christ is our healer, and he fasted 40 days, and we probably could live without pork. You know what I mean? So you just look at Christ, and look at his life in self-denial. And you think, you know, it should always be done in the context of Jesus. Now, I've got more in my lesson here, but I see some questions on the screen. Some people wrote questions, it looks like a few of them are on the subject of stewardship.

So we're going to answer some of those, right? Here's a questions that came in on Facebook, it looks like it came in. "Is sending my tithe to a non-Christian humanitarian organization equivalent to tithing?" Well, I would say no. What do you say? No, because it tells us that the tithe was set aside for the proclamation of the Gospel. And while I might care about, you know, dogs and cats, I would never send tithe money to the aspca or an animal shelter, and think that I was using that to proclaim the Gospel. You'd really have to sort of torture your logic to do that.

And so no, tithe is different, but there are number of good humanitarian organizations out there, and I think Christians should sometimes think about supporting those things. I don't think Christians should be known as the people that only give to the church, they don't give to any worthy project. We got a project here in town where they help people get off the streets, loaves and fishes. And there's a couple of them that help people struggling with drinking, try and get off of it. And that's a great, those are some great ministries.

They do it in the Christian context, but that's not we use tithe for. So there are some good humanitarian charities out there, and there's some charity out there, they just go around and people that are dying from waterborne disease, they're drilling wells for them in these poor countries. That's a great thing, providing clean water. That's kind of Christian, isn't it? But I don't want to use tithe for that. See, that's what's different.

Our next question. "Isn't second tithe the same as stewardship or is it different?" Well, both, first and second tithe are connected with stewardship. The second tithe was different. The second tithe is typically something that's mentioned that was done connected with the feasts. They might take another tenth with them.

They could use that along the way to subsidize their travel to the feast, they could give it to the poor, they could help buy provisions, or by sacrifices that they might bring to the temple, and this was a second tithe. It was something separate from the first tithe which is right off the top that went towards the storehouse and the priesthood. We have some others that have come in. "Wasn't the tithe done away with like the feast days?" No. Keep in mind that one of the ways you can draw a distinction between the feast days and tithe is, ask yourself did it exist before the Exodus, do you find it in Genesis.

There were a number of annual Sabbaths that came in the book of Exodus connected with the... They're written on paper, and they were connected with the temple and its services, these were nailed to the cross, but the weekly Sabbath, it goes all the way back to Genesis. Matter of fact, goes back to before sin, doesn't it? Do you find an example of the principle of tithe in Genesis? Yeah, it goes all the way back. And so and then does Jesus repeat it? When he says in Matthew 23:23, "you pay tithe of your mint, and your anise, and your cumin, and you have omitted the weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and faith. These you ought to have done," notice the last part of this verse, "and not leave the other undone.

" He says, "you're meticulous in your tithe, and that's good." He says, "but don't neglect the most important things, justice, mercy, faith. These you ought to have done. Don't let the other be undone." Christ could have said, "don't worry about tithe anymore," but he didn't. And Paul said, "those who preached the Gospel live off the Gospel." That's what tithe is all about. The levites, their fulltime job was to go through the communities, preach the Gospel, they lived off the tithe.

Paul repeats that same principle for new testament Christians. Most evangelical pastors still believe in tithe. There are some that think it's part of the old law. But, yeah, I think most do believe it. Okay, I see another question.

"The only way I can afford to pay tithe is by working on Saturday." Sorry. "What's more important, paying tithe or not working on Saturday?" I would disagree with your premise for your question that the only way that you're going to be able to afford to pay tithe is by working on Saturday. How do you know that? If you are paying your tithe first and not last, God will supply your needs if you're faithful. Doesn't mean you won't be tested, but if you take up God on his challenge. He says, "prove me now.

" I've never seen God fail. If you think that you proved God and he failed the test, let me know. But God says, "prove me," he is inviting us to test him, "and be faithful in this, and see if I don't open for you the windows of heaven." How many of you... All right, studio, get ready for an audience shot. Find some really happy-looking people before you do.

And I want to ask this question, how many of you can say you've proved God on the tithe issue, and he has come through for you? Raise your hands. Okay, there you got the testimony of our Sabbath school class. So try it, the jury is in that God is faithful. Do we have another question? Yup. It said, "you mentioned that those on social security didn't have to pay tithe.

" No, I didn't say that. I said that if when you, you know, if you're giving out of your check, social security, every week or every, you know, two weeks when you get your paycheck, and you're paying tithe on your gross. In theory, you have paid tithe on some of your social security income. But I would never even worry about that, I just pay on your gross when you first get it in. And it said, "isn't not giving our tithe, not trusting God to give to us? Yeah, I think we should just.

.. You can never outgive God. Be faithful with your tithe. All right, if you get some more questions in, just pop them up on the screen, I've got more lesson, I'm going to go back to right now. And we're talking about Christ-centered doctrinal beliefs.

Ephesians 1:19, and it says, "and what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and seated him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers…" we talked about the principalities and powers, "and might, and dominion, and that every name is named, not only in this age, but in the age to come, and he put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is the body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." Look at the great experlatives that Paul is using to talk about Christ is above everything and everything is under his feet, and he's all in all and overall. Here we see The Son exalting The Father, and The Father exalting The Son. And if you look in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul, he says, "for I am determined not to know any thing among you, except Jesus Christ and him crucified." So it's pretty clear that the emphasis of the new testament writers was the centrality of Jesus in every doctrine. Whatever it is you're going to teach on Amazing Facts, teachers, evangelists, we always tell them, "make sure you keep the Christ in the middle of it." And one of the classes I teach for afcoe is that Christ in all the Bible. It's one of my favorite things.

Whatever doctrine you're teaching, whatever story you're teaching, look for the Gospel in that story because I think you find it everywhere. All right, the three angels' message, our mission, here's where you talk about the wheel, but this is where the wheel meets the road, so to speak. How does the stewardship effect what we say? In the book, nine testimonies to the church, page 19, "in a special sense, the Seventh-day Adventist have been set aside in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God.

They've been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work that is of so greater importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention." How many of you have been coming to our midweek Bible study? This will put you on the spot. Some of you. Hasn't it been good? We've been doing the three angels' message, and I think last week, I talked about Babylon, and how to come out.

And we posted that on Facebook, and it's got like 80,000 hits on it. So people out there are interested in that, so out there, we got 80,000 people, but in the room, we got 30, we had 50 out of 500 members. Guilt. If you didn't pick up on that, we're here, Tuesday, 7 o'clock, here for study, we're going through the three angels' message, and we're doing it thoroughly too. I think we spent weeks just on verse 6, so and there's new things all the time.

What are those messages? Let me read them to you real quick, and this is Revelation 14:6-12, she said this should be a priority. This is what happens just before Jesus comes, it tells in verse 14, "I looked down on cloud one like The Son of man." And so actually it's little later than that. That's Jesus coming, so the messages that go to world for Christ comes, "I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people." That's a global message. "Saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him…" that's a message of reverence for God, we need to practice reverence. "Give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come.

Let people know that we're living in a time of judgment prior to the second coming." You know people think that's a difficult doctrine. It's really a very simple doctrine. How many of you know that when Jesus comes, he's dispensing rewards when he comes, is that clear? Behold he comes, my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be, okay. So does it makes sense to you, some investigation takes places before he comes. That's called the pre-advent judgment.

It's an investigation that happens before he comes, we're living in that time right now. And it says, "judgments come worship him who made..." We're to worship the creator. It's a revival and worship. "The heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the springs of waters." He is the creator, you wouldn't have an evolution as to people were understanding the three angels' message. "And another angel followed, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she's made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

" Got Revelation 18 says, " Babylon is fallen, is fallen, come out of her, my people, or you'll receive of her plagues and partaker of her sins." And so it's an important message. People need to know what is Babylon, and how do people get out. And then there, you've got the third angel. "Follows with a loud voice saying, 'if anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his Mark in his forehead, or in his hand, he himself will drink the wine of the wrath of God that is poured out with full strength into the cup of his indignation.'" The most fearful warning in the entire Bible, I challenge you to find a more fearful warning than the one that says, "they will drink the wine of the wrath of God poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation and tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever, and they have no rest, day nor night, who worship the beast and his image." And yet you're going to hear people say, "ah, don't talk about the Mark and the beast?" Have you heard that? Don't we have a message of warning? The Bible says, "if you know the enemy is coming, and you do not warn them, they're going to be destroyed, but their blood, I'll require at your hands." And so we have a message of warning in that third angel to avoid the most fearful proclamation in the entire Bible. People say, "oh, the old testament is judgment and plagues, new testament is love.

" This is new testament, tormented, fire and brimstone, present law. We got to warn people, amen. This is a message that goes to the world. How that they need to avoid the beast and his image, so don't ever fall for that mushy nonsense you hear pastors say, "we don't need to talk about the Mark and the beast." Jesus said to do it, so we're going to do it. Amen? And you know what? Those pastors don't get baptisms.

When you preach the three angels' message, it converts. When you do that in an evangelistic program, there is power, people understand the relevance of it, and it reaches people. Amen. "Here is the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

" Part of stewardship is keeping, and that would include keeping the commandments of God. All right, I'm going to jump down because I see the clock, and part of stewardship, and this is where our memory verse came from, deals with holiness. We've been given lives, we've been given minds, and with our lives and with the things we think, God has called us to be pure in heart. He's called us the holiness. We will give an account to what we do, that's stewardship, with what we have, and one of the things he's given you is a mind.

We need to pray the Lord will brainwash us. Wash our brains. Anyone in for that? You know what I mean. And that we can be sanctified, and that we can be made pure in heart. Hebrews 9:14, "how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit, who offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" He cleanses you in here, in your conscience too.

Someone's going to read for me in a moment. 1 Thessalonians 4, you got that, mangie? All right, you're next. Luke 1:35, "and the angel answered and said to mary, 'the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the highest will overshadow you. Therefore, that holy one who will be born is called The Son of God." Jesus is that holy one, and he needs to be born in us. All right, go ahead please.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 and 8, "for God did not call us to uncleanliness, but in holiness. Therefore he who reject this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us his Holy Spirit." Hard to imagine that someone would reject the teaching of holiness. Paul is not talking about people in the world who reject it, they have no concept. He's talking about people in the church that would reject the teaching of holiness. Do we have that in the church today? Absolutely.

And people, you talk about holiness, they call it legalism, as though obedience is legalism. God has called us the holiness. Holiness means you're set aside. You strive for purity of mind, purity of life, purity of heart, and you are to be stewards of that life to lead everyone keep his vessel in holiness, the Bible says. Hebrews 12:14, "pursue peace with all people, and," catch this, "holiness, without which no one will see God.

" Now the Lord imputes holiness to us through sanctification and justification. He imparts holiness to us through sanctification as we follow him. And there will be battles. You are going to wrestle, you're going to strive, you're going to run, there's struggles of self-denial. If people aren't told this, they're being fooled.

If you want to be a Bible Christian, there are struggles, and there are great rewards. But, you know, on your way to the promised land, there are battles to fight. But the reward of holiness and the peace of mind that passes understanding. 1 Peter 1:15, "but as he who has called you is holy, so also be holy in all your conduct because it is written. Be holy, for I am holy.

" And none of us is going to say, "oh, yeah, I think I'm holy enough." We all feel like we fall short, but what is our goal? To be like Christ, and he was that holy one that was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 35:8, the Bible says, "a highway will be there, a road, and it will be called the highway of holiness. And the unclean will not pass over it." This is the way. Jesus is the way. Philippians 4:19, "and my God will supply all your need according to the riches in glory by Jesus Christ.

" So when we're talking about stewardship, and God supplying all of our need, so often we think, "ah, my bank account, God will supply all of my need." But when we're talking about holiness, and that we say, "God will supply all my need," what are you thinking? Aren't you thinking of the grace that you need, the power of the Spirit to resist temptation, to keep your eyes in the right place, to keep your head in the right place, to keep your ears in right place? That's what it means. God will supply all your need. This is, he supplies all your need that you need to be what he wants you to be. Let me read one more thing, and then I'm done. "The sanctification of the soul by the working of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ nature in humanity.

Gospel religion is Christ in the life, a living act of principle. It is the grace of Christ revealed in the character and wrought out in good works. The principles of the Gospel cannot be disconnected from any department of practical life. Every line of Christian experience and labor is the representation of the life of Christ." We are to represent Jesus in the world by our lives. We are stewards of our influence among other things.

Amen? I want to remind our friends that are watching or some are just listening that we do have a free offer and it's called hidden eyes and closed ears, talks about being open to the Holy Spirit, 726 is the offer you'll ask for when you call 800... I'm sorry, 866-788-3966, that's 866-study-more. We'll send it to you for free, please send for this. It'll bless you, read it, share it with a friend, and God bless you till we study His Word together again next week. Among the people living in the tropics, for thousands of years the coconut has been a virtual Tree of Life.

The people use it for food, for clothing, for water, for tools, for soap, it does just about everything. The coconut has also saved a lot of lives. During world war ii, pilots that were shot down or sailors that were stranded on pacific islands, they lived for many months on nothing other than the coconut trees that were on their islands. Yes, sir, the coconut is a Tree of Life. One of the amazing things about coconut is they're designed so they're actually able to float across oceans.

Coconuts can go thousands of miles after many months be washed up on some deserted sandy beach, then they take root, sprout, come to life and they'll develop a whole new ecosystem, holding islands in place through a hurricane. When the ancient polynesian travelers crossing oceans saw an island with coconut trees, they knew there was hope. It's amazing how in virtually no time at all, those living on pacific islands know how to make baskets and all kinds of tools from the leaves of the coconut tree. The coconuts even serve different purposes at different times in their development. The younger green coconut, they're full of water, that'll keep you alive.

You can even make utensils from the coconut. My spoon is part of the green shell and here this is a coconut jelly, makes good for breakfast. The more mature coconuts, that's where you get the meat, but you want to make sure that they're not bad, the way you test this is you can hear the water inside. You bring that mike over here. Can you hear it? That's a good one.

How about we take a bite? Now that makes meal that will really fill you up and it cleanse your teeth at the same time. Throughout the Bible, Jesus uses a number of metaphors to remind us that everything we need to survive comes from him. He says that he's the living water. Jesus tells us he is the bread of life. His robe covers us with righteousness.

He is our good shepherd that protects us. Jesus is the living vine through which we get our life and our nourishment. You might say Jesus is like the coconut tree, a Tree of Life. You know, the first few verses in the Bible tell that God provided a Tree of Life for man so he could live forever, but because of sin man was separated from that tree and from the garden. But through trusting in Jesus and trusting in his sacrifice on the cross, we once again will have access to the Tree of Life and have eternal life with him in the Kingdom.

But this is all made possible because we trust in Jesus, who is the real Tree of Life. Jesus said, "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you." But when we accept Christ as our sacrifice and we allow him to cleanse us and fill us with his spirit, we become new creatures, and we can be with him and sharing the gift of everlasting life with others. Matter of fact, we could do that right now by tossing a coconut out and praying that it lands on a deserted beach. Amazing Facts, changed lives. My greatest wish is that my children will see me the way I see my own father.

He's a very devoted man. And that kind of framed my childhood going forward from there where I was always involved in church work, and I had a very rich experience with the Lord at a young age, all the way up through college. Then after I got married, I got in a company called comcast. And I spent the past roughly eight and a half years, nine years at comcast. And I was actually watching television with my son.

And a comcast commercial came on the air. And he said, "oh, daddy, that's comcast, that's where you work, daddy." And most fathers would be proud of something like that, but it really struck me that, you know, my son is getting older and he does not see me as a servant of the Lord. He sees me as a servant of my company. And I knew that I would have to make some changes, because I wanted him to know me as a man of God. I never thought I would be a preacher or anything like that.

But I knew that there was room in the work for me and for my talents. And I wanted my son to see me operating in the work. That's when I knew that my time there was coming to an end. I was sitting in my office one day and I was kneeling in prayer, I said, God, now show me what you want me to do because, you know, it seems like a big move here and… everyone is thinking, I'm crazy. And I don't know exactly how, you know, things are gonna go if they don't go well.

You know, the crazy thought when you, you're thinking about God and I lifted my head up in prayer and they were just like a flock of... Oh, maybe 300 birds that were just flying and they were swooping down over the water and they would fly back up and then, they would chase each other around and, you know, I was just looking at the pattern of the giant flock, and the promise of the Lord came to me where he says that, you know, he takes care of the sparrows, and you don't see them worrying about how they are going to be taken care of from day to day. You know, they don't, you know, wring their hands wondering, you know, will there be any worms to eat tomorrow? And that promise really stood out to me and he said, "how much more do I love you? You know, I'm not gonna send you on a mission to do my work and leave you high and dry, because you claim to be my child, you claim to be my son." And everyone knows that, that assurance allows me to know that, whatever happens here, whatever happens after here. We're sons of God and there are certain things that we shouldn't worry about. From the day we arrived at afcoe, it's been obvious that God has blessed the Amazing Facts ministry, the afcoe program, and I will be using my afcoe experience, no matter where I go to reach people because the personal touch of face-to-face evangelism, speaking and sharing the Word of God out of your own mouth, there's no replacement for that.

And Amazing Facts has been very instrumental in helping me find the area of the work of God and show me how large and how broad it is. It's been a tremendous blessing to be in a place where we are around people seeking to do God's will and listening for his voice in their life, and that's very, very important today. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

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