The Cosmic Controversy

The Cosmic Controversy

Scripture: Revelation 12:17, Ezekiel 28:1-2, Romans 8:31-39
Date: 04/07/2018  Lesson: 1
"The cosmic controversy, sometimes called “the great controversy,” is the biblical worldview. It forms the background in which the drama of our world, and even of the universe, unfolds."

Cosmic Conflict

Cosmic Conflict

Final Mystery by Doug Batchelor

Final Mystery by Doug Batchelor
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Hello, and welcome to yet another addition of the Sabbath School Study Hour. It's always good to be able to come together as we continue to study God's Word from week to week, and this is no exception this particular week. We are always happy to have everybody that is joining us both those who are online members, those who are joining us here in the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church right here together as we continue to study. Not the subject that we've been studying in previous weeks, because over the last quarter, we have been studying a very important subject called stewardship, but now we're switching to a new subject, and this particular subject is entitled preparation for the end time, preparation for the end time. The free offer is number 809 and you just simply have to dial 1-866-788-3966.

Again, that's 1-866-788-3966. And we'll be happy to be able send you a free copy. We are going to invite our singers back out as they continue to lead us in praise as they do every single program, and we look forward to that again today. His name is wonderful his name is wonderful his name is wonderful Jesus my Lord he is the mighty king master of everything his name is wonderful Jesus my Lord He's the great shepherd the rock of all ages almighty God is he bow down before him love and adore him his name is wonderful Jesus my Lord Because he lives I can face tomorrow because he lives all fear is gone because I know I know he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy he gives but greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because he lives because he lives I can face tomorrow because he lives all fear is gone because I know I know he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives Through it all through it all I've learned to trust in Jesus I've learned to trust in God through it all through it all I've learned to depend upon His Word Through it all through it all I've learned to trust in Jesus I've learned to trust in God through it all through it all I've learned to depend upon His Word Thank you so much for joining us, and at this time Pastor Shawn will have our opening prayer. Father in Heaven, we want to thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to continue to study.

As you give us your holy word, we thank you so much that you love us, that you care for us, that you have given us a book that contain some very important prophecies and also some counsel on how we can be ready for the end times and which you have told us would take place before Jesus comes. We pray God that your Holy Spirit will teach us. We pray a special blessing over our teacher dr. Derose today. I want to pray God that you will help all of us to be able to learn which you would teach us today, in Jesus' Name we pray, amen.

It's my privilege to be able to introduce our speaker today, and teacher dr. David derose. Thank you, doctor. Well, maybe you've heard the criticism. The criticism when we speak about end times.

Some people say I don't want to hear about end times. I don't want to hear about Daniel and Revelation. I just want to sit back and I want to hear about Jesus. Well, I'm thankful as we begin this new lesson. The focus is not merely on the end times, but it is all about Jesus.

Have you picked that up already? Have you begun to look through the lesson? And as I think about that criticism that many have levered, have leveled in churches. Jesus is really very interested in the end times. As we are setting the stage for today's lesson, turn in your Bibles to Matthew 24, one of Jesus' longest recorded sermons, I say one of, of course, there's a sermon on the mount as well. But in Matthew 24, Jesus is speaking. Jesus teaching about what? "The end times.

" I read there in Matthew 24, beginning with verse 3, it says, "now as he sat on the mount of olives, the disciples came to him privately saying 'tell us, when will this things be…'" he has just spoken of the destruction of the temple. "And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" The disciples couldn't image the temple being destroyed until the end of time, and so Jesus in mercy in Matthew 24 mingles descriptions of the end of time with the fall of Jerusalem. And it's interesting how it begins. Matthew 24:4, and Jesus answered and said to them "take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ, and will deceive many.

'" It's very interesting as we begin a focus on the end times. The end times were close to Jesus' heart. And in those in churches who've said, "we're not gonna study Daniel and Revelation." They have missed an important emphasis in the ministry of Jesus. And that emphasis is founded on something that he knew would be a challenge to each one of us and what that is? It's a challenge of not being deceived. And what would the deception be focused on? The identity of Jesus himself, right? Let no one deceive you, many will come in my name.

Now turn to the introduction of your lesson, we're not actually looking at this week's lesson just yet, because I thought the introduction was so apropos Christ and the end of days, so that's the very beginning of the lesson study. And it actually quotes Jesus' own words there in John 14. Of course, Jesus assured the disciples that although he was going away, he would come again. And so Jesus throughout his ministry spoke about the end times, but I really, I really enjoy what the lesson quarterly has for us. A very last paragraph of the introduction says this "this quarter, the main focus is on Jesus, but in the context of the last days and how to be prepared for them.

Yes, we need to look at historical dates at world events and in history itself, because the Bible talks about all these things in relation to the end, but even in this context the Bible talks about Jesus himself, who he is, what he has done for us, what he does in us, and what he will do when he does return?" Are you excited about that type of emphasis on the end times? I'm excited about it, because so many times I have seen people get so focused on the end, so focused on Bible prophecy that they lose sight of what Bible prophecy is all about. It's about preparing us to meet the one who loves us and who has saved us. And to me that is extremely good news. As we are looking at this theme just a little bit more, we want to look at a Scripture that is mentioned in that introduction, it really sets the stage for the first lesson, because just prior to that last paragraph that I just read from, it quotes from Colossians 2. And so I'm turning there, it's speaking about what we need to do to be prepared for the end of time.

So I'm going in my Bible to that great epistle that Paul wrote to the church of colossae, Colossians 2. You've got Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, they are all together, and of shorter focused letters from the apostle Paul, and in Colossians 2, it gives us this picture, Colossians 2:6. "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him, established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving." So as you have therefore received Jesus, so walk in him. That's the focus for the lesson, it's founded in the very biblical expressions we have looked at, and that is the background for opening up the pages of our lesson to lesson one, the cosmic controversy, the cosmic controversy. We have a Scripture reading there.

Some of you may have already committed it to memory, it's in Revelation 12:17, and some of you who want to have opportunity to express what you're reading, we're gonna read aloud together, you think we can do that? So if you have got it there in your quarterly it's in the new king James version, Revelation 12:17, "and the dragon was enraged with a woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It's interesting to me as we look at the end times and we look at that great end time book, the book of Revelation, it is really founded on this very principle and that is a Revelation of Jesus Christ himself. Turn your Bible to Revelation 1, just as we are looking at this context the Great Controversy, because it is a Great Controversy between Christ and satan. Revelation 1, as that great book opens up, those Christians who have shelved the book of Revelation are missing a beautiful Revelation of Jesus himself. That's how the book begins.

It says in Revelation 1:1, the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show his servants things which must shortly take place. And he sent and signified it by his angel to a servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it, for the time is near. There is a special blessing pronounced on end times study as it's revealed in the book of Revelation. And so as we go on this study together, as we look at Jesus as he is revealed in the book of Revelation and other places that speak of the end times, we will be getting I believe a special preparation and a special blessing in this time in earth's history.

So we are speaking of this cosmic controversy, we saw it there in the heart of the book of Revelation, Revelation 12. We now focus our attention on Sunday's lesson, the fall of a perfect being. Perhaps you weren't following the news on October 18th of 2016, and perhaps you were, and it's just been a while. But on October 18th of 2016 the world headlines carried this story "hitler's birthplace to be destroyed to prevent neo-nazi pilgrimages." And some of you are saying, what does that have to do with the fall of a perfect being. Why would they want to destroy hitler's birthplace in braunau, austria, why would they want to do that.

We've heard the headline, they were afraid that people would worship his birthplace. Now later stories said they weren't gonna destroy it at all, but re-appropriate the building, I don't know what's happened, some of you can check it out. But what does that have to do with where we're headed. Let me look at one other Scripture with you before we come to talking about the fall of a perfect being. I'm going in my Bible to Genesis 1.

Genesis 1, some of you are very familiar with the creation account. In Genesis 1, God creates the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hour days, by the way the best scholarship of the old testament says, there is absolutely no other way to read Genesis 1 in that way. Anyone who says it is long eras of time that the Bible's referring to is doing an injustice to the text. Genesis 1, speaks six literal days, first three days, large sculpt creation, the last three days, specific creative acts that fill those first three realms that God has spoken of his creating in the first three days. So let's jump to day four, day four of creation, it is quite interesting.

Verse 14, Genesis 1:14, "then God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and it was so. Then God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also." What have we just read about in Genesis 1, the creation of what? Yes, I hear some saying the sun and the moon. How many of you have heard the word sun? How many of you heard the word moon? They're not there. Did we just read about the creation of the sun and moon? We did.

Why are the sun and moon not mentioned? Many Bible scholars tell us it's likely that God didn't mention sun and moon because these were objects of worship in antiquity. He was not trying to give the origins of something God didn't want people to place their worship on, interesting isn't it? Now we come to the fall of a perfect being, perhaps some of you have wondered the same question. You perhaps wondered why God does not spell out more clearly the origins of satan. Ever wondered that? Turn your Bibles to Ezekiel 28, we're gonna then go to Isaiah 14. Both Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 speak of satan in somewhat cloaked terms.

"Just like the creation of the sun and moon, potential objects of worship, just like hitler's birthplace, a potential object of worship, those in authority often want to blur over the origins of things that they don't want the populous to put their trust in, to put their confidence in. So God doesn't speak of the sun and moon specifically when he creates them, because he doesn't want us to worship them, he's not idolizing the sun and moon. God didn't want us to worship satan either, even though some do. And so in Ezekiel 28, we have this blurring look at with me, it's a prophecy, it begins with a prophecy, it says, Ezekiel 28:1, "the word of the Lord came to me again saying, 'son of man, say to the prince of tyre or tyrus, thus says, the Lord God.'" And as the passage begins, it seems it is speaking about a literal king of that era. And indeed there was a literal king of that era, the King of tyre, who was apparently being worshiped.

"He was a man," it says, "and not a God, but he was demanding worship." He said, I sit on God's throne that's the paraphrase of the first few verses. But it's interesting in verse 11, as the transition is now made to a description of satan. It is clear that God is not speaking of a human king. I'm in verse 11 of Ezekiel 28. It says, "moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, son of man, take up a lamentation for the King of tyre, and say to him, 'thus says the Lord, you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

You were in eden, the garden of God, every precious stone was your covering.'" And it lists those stones. And then it says in verse 14, "you were the anointed cherub who covers, I established you. You were on the holy mountain of God, you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." We're clearly reading about the origins of satan, aren't we? But it is couched in the terms of an earthly ruler, and I would suggest you that perhaps God is doing it to blur over the history of satan. So that he would not be seen as an object of worship that the Bible gave credence to somehow us paying devotion to this fallen angel.

So lucifer is this fallen angel, he is created perfect, where did he go wrong? Well, Isaiah 14 spells it out even more clearly, and it's interesting as I'm turning there to the book of Isaiah. That in Isaiah as he has given a vision of the origins of satan, God does the very same thing. In Isaiah 14, it is a prophecy of the King of Babylon, you can find that in Isaiah 14:4, take up this proverb against the King of Babylon. But as we read through the passage, it's clear that God is blurring two things. By the way, its interesting isn't it, how often God does this in prophecy.

We read from Matthew 24, what was Jesus doing there? He was blurring two things. He was blurring the fall of Jerusalem with the end of the world. And so as we study, you know, it just reminds me that as we open the Bible, it's not just as a formality that Pastor Shawn had prayer with us before we began. Because even the Bible authors themselves, Peter recognized that his contemporaries could twist or wrest the sayings of Paul to their own destruction. You remember Peter writing that.

So someone can take the Bible and they can twist it, and so we need the Holy Spirit to guide our minds. And so we pray for God's guidance. And I believe he has been leading us as we've been opening our minds to his Scriptures. And so here we are now in Isaiah 14, again some blurring of satan's origin, I believe there is a deliberate reason for that. And so in verse 12 of Isaiah 14.

Now we go from the King of Babylon clearly to someone who is not an earthy ruler, verse 12, "how are you fallen from heaven, o lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations, for you've said in your heart I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north." I, i, i, you get it there, right? Satan's focus had turned from the loving creator to what? To himself. Are we still in that danger today? Are we still in danger? There is no question. Satan is a perfect being, the fall of satan is spelled out in these parabolic prophecies, in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, the perfect being, who became focused on his own brightness, became focused on the gifts rather than the giver. We have someone who's gonna read a Scripture in just a moment from us from Colossians 1, and the reason we are going back to Colossians is because it has such a great foundation for what we are studying this week and as we begin this lesson in general. Because one of the questions often comes up, do you have to lose something to fully appreciate it.

You see, people have debated throughout the centuries, did there have to be a satan. Could we really appreciate freedom unless we knew what it was like to have been lost? And I think what the lesson shares with us is actually quite apropos, it's a statement from the book Great Controversy, I'm reading from Sunday's lesson. It says there from Great Controversy, page 492, "it is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. Sin is an intruder for whose presence no reason can be given, it is mysterious, unaccountable, to excuse it is to defend it, could excuse for it to be found or cause been shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin." So there is no excuse for sin, God didn't need to have sin occur for us to appreciate freedom in Christ. Now some of you are kind of scratching your heads, you're saying, "I'm not so sure.

" Let me give you an illustration, some years ago, actually many years ago now, I was involved in a serious accident. My pelvis was shattered, and some of you know the anatomy, you realize you have a lot of vital muscles that attach to those bones in the lower part of your body. So after my injury, I was unable to walk. I couldn't even lay in bed, if I'm laying on my back, I couldn't lift my leg up, okay, I was in a wheelchair. Now how many of you think, after I went through the rehab and, you know, went into the crutches and did the physical therapy, and now can walk or back then, 25, 30 years ago now, learn to walk again.

How many of you think I appreciated walking more. Well, you could say, well, sure, you know, you had it, but, you know, as I think back on it, it wasn't that I didn't appreciate walking before that. And right now, when I'm out walking, I don't think how bad it was not to be able to walk. Now whether you like the analogy or not, you really don't have to lose something to appreciate what you have. I know, we tend to be an ungrateful people, right? And it is true that often we don't appreciate what God's given us until we miss it or see someone else who is missing it.

But still we didn't need sin in the universe to realize how good God was, okay. Well, we are looking at Colossians 1, because there is sin in the universe, and we're gonna see how it came in, in just a minute, but we have someone who is reading Colossians 1:21-24 for us. Would you please read for us there, sister? "And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your minds by the wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through the death, to present you holy unblameable and unreproveable in his sight. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church." Now, this is a very interesting passage in Colossians 1. A number of things are mentioned there about the Gospel and salvation in Christ, but as that passage is closing, we noticed that he speaks of filling up the afflictions of Christ, that somehow in this world of sin that challenges that we go through God can used to be a blessing in the light of this sinful world. We're gonna explore that in just a little bit more, as we turn to Monday's lesson. Because Monday speaks about how sin came from the heart of a perfect being, satan, is perfect as lucifer, of course, once he is called satan the adversary, he is no longer a perfect being, but he has rebelled and now how sin comes to this planet. Now as we look at this familiar story, I want to point out some things that are not necessarily all that familiar, at least not dwelt on.

I'm looking at Genesis 1. We've been reading about the account of God's creation in six literal days. And in Genesis 1:31 it says, then God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was what? Very good. Don't give me a knee jerk answer. But was every thing that God made very good.

You are pausing to think and you are, you know, cautiously saying, yes, I mean, we just read, everything was very good. Okay, we are going to Genesis 3, remember your answer, remember your answer. Because in Genesis 3, we're going to come to encounter that took place at a place that was described in Genesis 2. Maybe we should look at Genesis 2 and just refresh our memory. Genesis 2:8 and onward is describing the creation of the Garden of Eden, and it says in verse 9, "out of the ground, the Lord made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, the Tree of Life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

" Some modern translations translate the sense better. And they read, in the middle of the garden was the Tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. How many of you are starting to see where we're headed? Was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil very good? Was it very good? Well, some of you are, you know, being a little bit more tentative, was it very good? Well, it was very good, because God said everything he created was very good. And where did he put that tree of the knowledge of good and evil? In the very middle of the garden, right where the Tree of Life was, in close proximity at least to the Tree of Life, was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So you have these two trees and one tree they had to eat from.

It was not an option. They had to eat from the Tree of Life. They could choose any other tree, except one to eat from, the one they had to eat from, that was the Tree of Life, and one they could not eat from, that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Do you see the problem right in the midst of the garden? And I've had many privileges in my life time and one of those privileges has been teaching in college classrooms. I've taught in secular settings as well as in Christian settings.

And there is at least one common denominator in every classroom I've ever been in. As a teacher, if I walked into the classroom and I said to the students, I said, "listen, I've got some news for you, you know, that test that we've got scheduled on Thursday, I've decided to cancel it." What do you think the reaction of the students would be about a cancelled test? It is always rejoicing, okay. Every student, that every classroom I've been and no, I've never had a student come to me and say, "dr. Derose, couldn't we just have some more tests?" Has not happened. Now, maybe it's possible someone has thought that after they, you know, that maybe there's only three tests in the class and they failed the first two, maybe they wished they had five tests so they could pull their grade up, but no one ever asked me for extra tests.

Genesis 3, we're at a tree of testing. Now before we go there, are tests good or bad in school? Every one wants to avoid them, are they good or bad? Or they unnecessary evil? You know, just so that teacher can objectively asses your performance. What do you think? I would like to suggest you, now you would say, well, this is truly, you got to be a teacher, only a teacher would say this. But I think tests are actually good. Because tests force you, they force you to realize you are accountable and they force you to focus on what is vital, to set your priorities in the right place.

You know, historically Seventh-day Adventists recognize this. I was reading this week from a little book called the Spirit of prophecy, maybe you've heard about those older volumes. They preceded, what we call the conflict of the ages series today, for those of you that are Seventh-day Adventists, you've read books like when I brought up front Patriarchs and Prophets. Well, before there was Patriarchs and Prophets, there was this series called the Spirit of prophecy. And in the first volume of spirit of prophecy, the author wrote, "in the midst of the garden," I am reading from page 27, if any of you were curious, volume 1 of spirit of prophecy, page 27.

"In the midst of the garden, near the Tree of Life, stood the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree was especially designed of God to be the pledge of their obedience, faith, and love to him." Isn't that beautiful? Do you see what happened or what was supposed to happen at least, or what happened for apparently some period of time? As adam and eve came to the Tree of Life to eat from that tree, which they had to eat from, they passed that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and as they perhaps glanced at it and saw the fruit that looked beautiful there. What did they have to say to themselves? God has asked us to say "no," I am going to trust my loving creator, who has given me everything that he is trustworthy. He has given me no reason to doubt his goodness. He's provided everything that I need.

It is very interesting, isn't it? That in the very perfect garden, God had a call for obedience to His Word. I find it fascinating that in this lesson, we're gonna come back to Monday, hopefully. We won't get too far afield, but as we come to Thursday's lesson, it connects these thoughts. And it wants to make the connection with the name of Seventh-day Adventists, for connecting the law and the Gospel and I mean, that's a perfectly appropriate thing to do. But I think in the context of the Great Controversy, just what we've been looking at, we can't escape this connection between the law and the Gospel, between God's gracious provision and a call to obedience.

In the very beginning, God asked adam and eve to show their love, how? By trusting him. It's always been founded on trust and that's what love is all about, isn't it? It's about trusting, loving relationships. Well, we have another passage and we're gonna come back to Genesis 3, someone is gonna read that account for us. Genesis 3:1-4, as we pick up this familiar story of what happened in eden, Genesis 3:1-4. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, 'we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God had said 'you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' And the serpent said unto the woman 'you shall not surely die.'" Jesus called satan, The Father of lies. Have you already picked up on his first lie on this planet? What did he say? "You shall not surely die." How many believe satan's lie today? Now, some of you are saying we all die. Are you aware that most Christians believe satan's lie? Have you thought about this? Most Christians, as you read through Genesis 3, you realize what probably all of us knew before we walked in today that eve made that fateful choice. She distrusted God, she broke that loving, trusting relationship. She ate from the tree and she gave to adam and he ate.

And it is so significant what Genesis says about what happens. Look with me at Genesis 3 as the chapter is closing. Genesis 3:22, "then the Lord God said, 'behold the man,'" speaking of the mankind, "has become like one of us, adam and eve both to know good and evil. And now lest he put out his hand and take also of the Tree of Life and eat, and live forever. Therefore, the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.

So he drove out the man and he placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden and a flaming sword which turned everyway to guard the way to the Tree of Life." Contextually why were adam and eve banished from the garden? That's right, so they could not eat from the Tree of Life and so that sin would not be immortalized in the universe. And what do most Christians believe today? That's right, they believe in the lie of satan. That no matter whether we sin or whether we trust Jesus, we're all gonna live forever, and there will be sin throughout the ages of eternity in a place called hell. My friends, this is not a biblical teaching and you have to go no further than the third chapter of Genesis to realize that this flies in the face of scriptural Revelation. But Genesis 3 also gives us that great promise of the Savior, and so it is as we continue to study, not only does sin take place on this planet, but there was sin and war in heaven as well.

It's kind of a flashback in Tuesday's lesson, but that war in heaven then continues on earth and not just with adam and eve but it continues. And so Tuesday's lesson points us to this sobering reality. Now, as we read about the war in heaven in places like Revelation 12, you might as well turn there with me. We find another amazing insight into the wonderful character of Jesus. There in Revelation 12, again another insight that is often lost by the hasty Bible student.

In Revelation 12:7, we read about a war that broke out in heaven, preceding what took place on this earth. Michael and his angels fighting with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, and it speaks of how they were cast out of heaven. And then how the Great Controversy moves to this planet beginning in Genesis 3. But what is the description there for the leader of the angelic host? What is the name there by which he is referred to in verse 7 of Revelation 12? His name is referred to as Michael, the great leader is Michael. Now, think about this for a moment.

Michael, your lesson rightly points out that Michael's name is actually often translated as a question, meaning who is like God. Mi-cha-el, who is like God. Did Michael answered the question as to who is like God? We have a Scripture reading as you're thinking about that. Someone's gonna read us from Philippians 2. We have one of our readers here up front, Philippians 2:5.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Amazing, isn't it? the King of the universe humbling himself to come as a man and die, but when did Jesus' humility begin? Yes, some of you were saying, in the beginning. How is he revealed in Revelation 12? He is revealed as an angel, an angel. Is it possible that even the angels didn't realize that in their midst was their creator? Is that possible? Is it possible that just as Jesus walked on this earth as a man, he came down to reveal God, taking the form of a man. Is it possible that just as most of the world did not recognize him and his divinity, that the same was true in heaven? Jesus, I believe was stepping down from the beginning, revealing God to created beings, and so he is revealed as Michael. And as you study this story of the Great Controversy, I think you can make a strong case, that perhaps even satan himself didn't realize how exalted Jesus was.

How Michael, who seemed on the surface, maybe to be just the leader of the angels was his very creator. Well, I'm thankful that although we spoke in broad strokes about history in this lesson, in Wednesday's lesson they remind us of a great truth. We talked about in Colossians, how today in the world of sin, infirmity can help us connect with the heart of God. God's heart is pained by the sin on this planet. And in Wednesday's lesson, we're reminded of those words in Matthew 28:20.

"I am with you always, to the very end of the age." As we study about the end times, there are things that may be scary on the surface, there may be things that want to say, well, maybe we should just go back and read the Gospels. But Jesus wanted us to know about the end times. He took time and took pains not only to give that sermon in Matthew 24 but to reveal to John on the isle of patmos, the book of Revelation. The message to us today is if you're discouraged, if you're feeling cut off like John was, what we need is a Revelation of Jesus, right? Are you looking forward to this journey together? Well, if you want to learn more, we do have a wonderful resource, it's cosmic conflict. It's a dramatized and kind of documentary form of the cosmic conflict.

It's available free of charge. Free offer number 809, you see the phone number there, 866-study-more, 866-788-3966. We'll look forward to studying again next week as we continue our study, preparation for the end time. Don't miss the next exciting lesson. Have you ever heard a mouse howl like a wolf? Well, what would you expect would happen when a creature changes its destiny from the hapless prey to mighty predator? From the outside they look very much like just an oversized field mouse, cute brown fur, white on the underbelly, nice little beady eyes, but that's where the similarity stop.

Grasshopper mice are very unusual making them the objects of great interest for animal researchers. These furry little creatures are found in the harsh deserts of North America. They're very territorial in nature. And they will monopolize and fend off 25 acres. They don't build their own homes but sort of confiscate the burrows and the homes of other creatures.

They're not called grasshopper mice 'cause they hop around. But it's because they eat a lot of grasshoppers. In fact, scientists have discovered grasshopper mice are the only mice that are purely carnivorous. They hunt much like cats or weasels, stalking their prey in a predatory fashion, and when they pounce, they are ferocious. Sometimes even taking on snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes.

When a grasshopper mouse gets into a fierce battle with a snake, or a scorpion, or centipede, they may be bit or stung several times. But what is amazing to researchers is they've noticed when they are bitten, they somehow shake it off because they convert the toxin and the venom to pain killer. I think you can understand why this information would be of special interest to scientists that are trying to discover new ways for people to deal with chronic pain. One of the most intriguing characteristics of these little creatures is when they're defending their territory or celebrating a victory over some adversary, they'll threw back their head and let out this earthshaking howl. It's a mousy howl.

Check it out. The grasshopper mouse is not the only member of creation that can survive encounters with venomous predators. In Luke 10:19 it says, "behold, I will give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will by any means hurt you." We don't have to be the biggest and the strongest to defeat our enemy and led out that victory roar. When God called David to be king, no human would have guessed that he had it in him.

He was young and insignificant, from the outside he looked like there was no greatness in him. But when God looked at his heart, he saw courage, humility, compassion, and love. David wasn't perfect and he made mistakes but through God's power he was able to conquer giants. Friend, God does not intend that you live out the rest of your life cowering and trembling like a little field mouse. If God can take the grasshopper mouse and give him courage so that he fights snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes.

If God can put in the heart of David the courage to fight giants like Goliath, then he can give you that same courage. The Scripture say, "God has not given you the Spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind." And you can have that peace in your heart when you invite the prince of peace in your heart. Why don't you do that right now? Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions.

For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal.amazingfacts.org. On Christmas eve, 1971, 17 year old juliane koepcke boarded lansa flight 508 with her mother in lima, peru. They intended to join her father for Christmas at his research station in the amazon rainforest. After crossing the andes at about 21,000 feet, their aircraft was enveloped by large, dark thunderclouds, and it encountered severe turbulence. Lightning was flashing everywhere and the plane was shaken violently which naturally terrified the passengers.

Then a bolt of lightning struck the planes engine and tore off a wing. As the doomed airliner hurdled towards the earth, the cabin came apart and the next thing she knew, juliane found herself strapped alone to a row of seats falling and spinning silently from over 10,000 feet above the rainforest. She plummeted through the jungle canopy and slammed into forest floor. When she awoke the next day, juliane was amazed to realize she had survived the 2 mile fall with just a broken collar bone and a bad gash on her arm. After failing to find any other survivors, juliane relied on what her father had taught her that walking downstream will always lead to civilization.

So with the bag of candy that had fallen from the plane and one sandal, she started walking. For 10 days, juliane hobbled, swam or floated downstream. The wounds became infected and she was plaguing by maggots, while having to dodge crocodiles, piranhas and relentless insects. Eventually, she came to a shack, where she slept and she was soon discovered by peruvian loggers. Eventually, juliane was united with her amazed father.

It's hard to imagine a 17 year old girl surviving such a fall and then hiking alone out of the world's largest rainforest. You know, the Bible talks about some who survived an even greater fall than juliane. In fact, according to the Scriptures, when adam and eve fell in the Garden of Eden, it brought the whole human race down. But Jesus came to redeem the world from sin. Perhaps you're thinking to yourself, well, that's okay for the world, but I've fallen too far.

Well, if the Lord can save juliane, God can save you. You've not gone farther than Moses, who was guilty of murder, or David, who was guilty of adultery, or Peter who denied Jesus, and all of them were saved and restored from their fall. Or maybe you're thinking, I've fallen too many times. Be of good courage, it says in Proverbs 24:16, "a righteous man falls seven times and rises again." And Jesus cast seven devils out of mary magdalene. So don't get discouraged, friend, if you've fallen, get back up again.

The same way that he could save juliane, lead her from that lost condition in the rainforest and restore her to her father, Jesus can lead you from your lost condition and restore you to your Heavenly Father. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at aftv.org. At aftv.org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations, as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit aftv.

org. Amazing Facts, changed lives. When I was 15, I bought my first bag of marijuana out of curiosity, and from the age of 15 on to 23 was a constant experimentation with different substances. By the time I was 23, there was not a drug I had not tried. I had worn myself out searching for happiness.

And one day I came home, tired as usual and I started drinking. And as usual after I started drinking, I started looking for a higher buzz. Someone came by with some xanax. Someone also came by with something else that I liked and that was cocaine. But this time not thinking I took the whole thing.

So I went to bed about 5 in the afternoon. My roommate went off to work that night, when he came back from work the next day though, he noticed something was wrong because I was still in bed in the same position. He tried to wake me up and he couldn't wake me up. One of my parents found me, they found me curled up in the fetal position in my hospital room, unconscious still. And I stayed unconscious in this coma like state for the next week.

I stayed the next month in the hospital slowly getting better to where I could sit up in bed and I've learned to walk again. But my parents found this one facility out in the hills of tennessee. I had to admit that I liked the place, but they were Christian, and even worse than that I said, "yes," when they asked me if I wanted to go to church that week. Before the pastor said benediction, I was so excited because I was planning my escape. And so after everybody was all in bed that night, I made sure that they were snoring, they were asleep, I went in to the kitchen and stole the few bananas, got my backpack ready.

I figured I can get sober on my own. My favorite song was, I did it my way. Of course, my definition of sober was a nice supply of marijuana each day and alcohol on the weekends. And, of course, if I had a bad hangover, I might need some of those relaxing pills to take. But other than that, that would be it.

So here I am stranded on the street in the big city of houston. My bag of clothes is gone, my cell phone was gone, my wallet, my bus ticket's gone. I don't have anything but the shirt on my back. It's at that point that this man comes up to me, this mysterious man, he's actually very short and appears to be homeless. And he led me to some food and even a place to stay that night.

Looking back, it is my firm conclusion that was an angel. So my dad was able to come down to houston and pick me up and take me back up to the health retreat at wildwood in tennessee. They had a satellite, on this channel there was a man named Doug Batchelor. I liked what I heard, I liked the way he explained the Bible, it was so simple, and he also had an experience similar to mine. And I talked to lou about him and they happen to have a whole set of cassette tapes.

I would wake up at 4 in the morning sometimes, and I would get up and I would watch two of those videos before breakfast. I would sit this close to the tv watching what Doug Batchelor was saying, just eating up every word of it. I was so tired of hearing lies and even believing my own lies that it was so wonderful to find something that was solid and that I could rely on. And so when I got home from rehab, in my local church, eric flickinger from Amazing Facts was holding an evangelistic series. They solidified my conviction and it was then I made the absolute decision to follow Jesus.

I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for Amazing Facts. I praise God for Amazing Facts because they're so Bible based. They send out evangelists who are willing to teach the truth to people. I am thankful that they are preaching right now all over the world, changing lives, just as they changed mine. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before.

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