Trumpets, Blood, Cloud, and Fire

Trumpets, Blood, Cloud, and Fire

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:7, Numbers 9:1-23, Numbers 10:1-36
Date: 10/24/2009  Lesson: 4
A year after the Exodus, the Israelites begin to move as a highly organized company of people under the direct guidance of God.

Patriarchs and Prophets Audio CD Set by Ellen White

Patriarchs and Prophets Audio CD Set by Ellen White
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Good morning and very Happy Sabbath. And it's my privilege to welcome you once again to "central--" Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church for another "central study hour." We welcome you this morning wherever you are watching or listening, on the radio, various television networks, or live on our website at saccentral.org. Welcome. And we're so glad that you are going to sing with us this morning, 'cause we are ready right here in the sanctuary. And I know that you are too because we hear from so many of you.

And you say this is your church family. This is where you study along with us every week. And you sing from home. And so we're excited about that. So that's why we sing your favorite requests.

And the first one that we're going to do this morning is, "my Lord and i." It's 456 in your hymnals. So those of you at home, pull those out and sing along. This is from cam and ann in australia, elpidio in brazil, joe and marilyn in California, carl, sebert, cindy and mae in Canada, lancelot and alsonia in england, sheldon, kiron, dwayne, ian and gail in jamaica, anna in Maine, wayne in Minnesota, ecy in Philippines, ann in trinidad and tobago, hery, mona and yang in vietnam--this is, I think, is one of our first requests from vietnam-- smokey in Virginia and maambo richard in zambia, , 1st, 2nd and 4th verse. [Music] Thank you for that request this morning. And I know that there's many more of you who have favorite songs.

And you are waiting for us to sing those. And we will do that. And if you have a song that you want to send in and you haven't done that, go to our website at saccentral.org. Click on the "contact us" link. And you can send in your favorite hymn request.

And we look forward to hearing from you and singing your song with you. Our next song, "a child of the King," this is a good song. This is 468 in your hymnals, . This is from curt, prince and evans in Alaska, and also everard, hazel, zay, Christopher and Christine also in Alaska, blain in antigua and barbuda, judy who is a shut-in and lives in Arizona--and this is her Sabbath school and so we're very excited that you're joining with us this morning, judy-- kara and Israel in australia, mathew in California, noel, elpha, sherace, paige and kaylia in england, william, beverly, daphnie, cleveland and josianne in florida, deonne in grenada, viictoria in india, janet in ireland, leighton and jelena in jamaica, nedson in malawi, Samuel in Massachusetts, eireen in marishous, wayne in Minnesota, vickie in Oregon, curt and lucellal in saint lucia, chelsea in saint vincent and the grenadines, nowembabazi in south africa, kurt--let's see--and kerrel in trinidad and tobago and kerecia, ruby in the united arab emirates, and jheanelle in Washington. Wow, you guys, I had my workout this morning.

And I'm so bad at people's names. , "A child of the King," st, 2nd and 4th verse. [Music] Father in Heaven, this morning we truly are your children. We thank you so much for being our loving, Heavenly Father and for promising that you are building mansions for us in heaven. And I pray that we will be there so that we can inhabit those homes that you have prepared for us and that we can spend eternity with you, and that we can see you face-to-face.

We thank you so much for creating the Sabbath for us that we have to enjoy. And I pray that you'll be with each one here as we study together. And of course, our extended Sabbath school family that is joining us, I pray that you'll be with each one. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor white.

He is our administrative pastor here at central church. Thank you debbie and musicians. We always love the music, don't we? Amen. Kind of gets you going in the morning. It'd be interesting to be able to view each one of us as we all roll out of bed.

We clean up pretty good, don't we, by the time we get to church? God is good. We have a wonderful lesson today, some very interesting aspects to our lesson today. And it's number 4, "trumpets, blood, cloud and fire." And let's turn there and we'll read our memory text. It's found in 1 Corinthians 5:7, if you'll read along with me. That's as recorded there in the lesson.

Ready to go? "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." Before we go on, there is a special offer I want to share with you today. It's called, "feast days and Sabbath." It's free offer 179, "feast days and Sabbath." You just go to www.amazingfacts.org, or 1-866-788-3966. And we want to welcome everybody who is here in Sacramento this morning, and all of you who are joining us by radio, television, computer, wherever, we're glad you are joining us today. I want to share that one little paragraph in the quarterly to kind a--just as an introduction to what we're going to be talking about this morning.

It says--the second paragraph-- "the Lord's supper is the Christian passover, the new testament parallel to Israel's deliverance from Egypt. This week we'll look at Israel's first anniversary of that deliverance. We'll look also at the Lord's guiding presence among the camp of the Israelites, as well as the silver trumpets that were blown at certain times, and a few other accounts that revealed the situation of God's ancient people in their unique circumstances. So that really gives a capsule of what we're going to be looking at this morning. And as you think about what it was just telling us, when Jesus ate the passover with the disciples, he instituted the Lord's supper.

And I'm sure the disciples did not understand completely all that was going on there because not only the Lord's supper was to replace the passover, but in essence what was taking place was the whole ceremonial system was just about to come to an end. And in its place the Lord's supper, which is an amazing thing. Now I've handed out a few texts this morning to individuals. I want to share, first of all, a couple texts with you. And the first one is found in Exodus 26:31-33, Exodus 26:31-33, where it says this--these were part of the instructions in making the sanctuary in the old testament-- "you shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen.

It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. You shall hang it upon the four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be gold, upon four sockets of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the testimony in there, behind the veil.

The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the most holy place." And so as the sanctuary came to its completion, this veil was hung between the holy place and that most sacred holy place, the holy of holies. And something very amazing and fantastic happened in the new testament when Jesus gave his life on the cross. And that other verse is found in Matthew 27:50-51. It says, "and Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.

" Wow. I mean this was a gigantic moment in the history of time. This was an amazing event that was taking place because we were seeing a shift in something huge. And you know how people are. People do not like change very readily, do we? We don't adapt to change just very quickly and easily sometimes.

To have the curtain torn was no small thing, especially from the top to the bottom knowing that it was the hand of God that was doing this, bringing an end to this elaborate system. And I don't know if you've read lately about the ceremonial system in the sanctuary and all of its services. It was very elaborate. And it was what had come to define the Jewish nation. This was who they were.

They were all this sanctuary and all these services and all these sacrifices. That was what their lives evolved around. Now they had lost a great deal of the true importance and meaning of what was taking place. But it still was what they did. And one can only imagine-- think about this change that was coming to God's people.

One can only imagine some of the conversations in some of those homes during that time. "What do you mean we're not going to sacrifice animals anymore? What? This is what we've been doing for thousands of years. You mean--what do--" and you can think about some of the priests-- "what do these upstart people that call themselves Christians mean when they say, 'everybody is a priest?' I'm a priest. We're not going to have sacrificial services? You gotta be kidding me. This is how I make my living.

What do you mean?" You can only begin to imagine what a tremendous change was facing God's people. These were momentous times. Now you might tend to feel a bit sorry for them, except they should have been studying the prophecies to realize this was coming. They should have realized that Jesus was the lamb of God. And these lambs did not have to be sacrificed anymore.

All of them pointed towards the coming Messiah. And now he had come; the fulfillment was right in front of their eyes. And they should not have been surprised. And they should not have experienced a hard time for this change that was taking place. Now when you take a look back at this whole scenario, to me it makes our communion service all that much more sacred in importance.

To realize that whole elaborate system was being replaced by our communion service, imagine how we should embrace it. Imagine how we should look forward to our next communion service. These--this is an important thing. I just really can't get over what a profound effect this had on the people. Nowhere in the Bible do you find the Jewish people trying to reestablish the sacrificial, sacrificing of animals.

Now of course they really wanted to cling to the ceremonial laws. And this became one of the most problematic issues for the disciples as they went out and preached the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Because many of the Jewish leaders of course wanted to cling to the ceremonial laws. But nowhere do you find them in the Bible at least sacrificing animals anymore. And I don't know of any people anywhere--maybe there are some places, some Jewish people that are sacrificing animals today.

But stop and think about that. If I was of Jewish descent and had been raised a Jewish person all my life, and I had been taught and I believed with all my heart that the Messiah had not yet come, do you know what I would do? I would be the most ardent supporter of: "we need to get back to the ceremonial system that points forward to the coming of the Messiah. We need to get back to sacrificing animals again because the Messiah has not yet come." I would be out there preaching and teaching that with all of my might. But at last you don't find that. You'd have a hard time, I suppose, in our world today.

And I don't want to make fun of animal rights people because they're doing a good job, but they'd have a hard time--you'd have a hard time establishing that, wouldn't you, in our country at least. And you think about it, back about in the times of Christ, sometimes when they had a sacrifice there, he would actually send fire down from heaven and consume that animal, right? It'd be pretty hard to blame somebody back in those days. Well, let's go to Sunday's lesson. And we handed out Numbers 9, chapter 9:1-5. Somebody has that, I believe.

Who has that one? Over and behind you. Numbers 9:1-5. Alright, it says, "and the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 'let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. In the 14th day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, ye shall keep it.' And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover. And they kept the passover on the 14th day of the first month at even in the wilderness of sinai: according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

" Thank you very much. And somebody has Exodus 12:6-7. "And ye shall keep it up until the 14th day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." Okay, thank you very much. So what we have here in Numbers that we just read is the first year anniversary of what took place back in Exodus 12: God leading his people out of Egypt and the actual passover event.

This was, as I said, the biggest thing that ever happened to the Jewish nation probably up until then. And the book, "Desire of Ages," says, "the ordinance of the Lord's supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ. It is the means by which his great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds. The special feast day, the passover, was being instituted just one year after the actual event? So, do you think that was still fresh in their minds one year later? Oh man, you know it had to be fresh in their minds. What about Christians? How do we keep things fresh in our minds? Some of you became a Christian years ago.

And you gave your life to Jesus years ago. How do you keep that sacrifice of Christ fresh for you? It's simply by continuing to study and yield ourselves to God in prayer and things like this, isn't it? Jesus died 2,000 years ago. We need to keep it fresh as if it just happened, because we need to realize that that's the most important thing for us. Now I learned something recently. I wish I could take credit for this myself, but I will give credit where credit is due.

In the "ministry" magazine that ministers of many denominations receive, it's put out by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we get this every month, there was a wonderful article just recently by a man by the name of l.s. Baker jr. And it was entitled, "covered with blood." And he starts his article by asking the question, "have you ever wondered why God asked the children of Israel to paint blood on the lintel and two door posts of the door to their houses prior to the tenth plague?" And he says, "most people will say, "sure, I know because it was to serve as the sign for the angel of death to pass over their houses. But why the doorposts?" Well, let's remember the situation. He goes on to explain it very wonderfully.

The children of Israel were in bondage to Egypt. And when they got there, they were living in tents. And of course they did a tremendous amount of the work. They were slaves. And God raised up Moses, connected him with aaron.

And they were to go back. And they were going to be leading his people out of Egypt and giving them freedom. But of course pharaoh rejected the idea. And after nine plagues he still had one more lesson to learn. And we'll get to that.

When the children of Israel came to Egypt, they as I said lived in tents. And they did this work. The Egyptians were strong in the afterlife, as you certainly well know, thinking about the pyramids and all that. The rich and the poor built their homes from mud bricks. So the children of Israel would help build these houses, and big ones for the rich ones.

But they were built out of mud and brick, the same material, except they existed for the mud-brick homes, and that was the door posts and the lintels. They were made of stone. And there's very important reason for that. That was that the names of the people were important to the Egyptians. They believed that there were five parts to a person.

And if any one of these five parts ceased to exist, that person would cease to exist forever. So and one of those five parts was their name. So they felt that their name was very important. The less wealthy people of Egypt would etch their names in the doorpost and lintels that were made of stone. Therefore, if a house ever got swept away, their names would still be etched in stone.

Now as time went on, the children of Israel, being in bondage, they started to build their own homes. And they built them out of mud and bricks, just like the Egyptians homes. And they also had stone door posts and lintels. And they began to do the same thing that the Egyptians did. And we understand this because they've unearthed some of these homes, or at least the stone part of it, that part that would endure.

And they find some of these names, the Israelite names, on the door posts and the lintels of the door posts of the home. So the point is when God required Israelites to paint the blood that they collected from the passover lamb on the door posts and lintels, he was asking them to cover their name with the blood of the lamb. It wasn't enough for them to have their names on the door posts like the Egyptians thought, that that would carry them into the afterlife. No, that was not enough. Their names needed to be covered by the blood of the lamb.

Isn't that a beautiful thought that they have unearthed from-- you know, studying things that they find in the earth. I just thought that was a profound and wonderful thing. Without the blood of the lamb, we will not survive in the Kingdom to come. That's why the communion service, again, is so meaningful and precious to us. The emblem of the wine representing the shed blood of Jesus Christ is so precious.

Without the remission of sin, there is no eternal life. And without blood, the Bible says, there is no remission of sin. Right? So how important. I can hardly wait for our next communion service. Because I've asked myself, as I went over this lesson thinking about it, "you know, has the communion service--?" I don't think it has, but probably some ways just kind of a routine thing.

It must not be. It must be so important and so precious to us. We must not overlook something else here. There is a special group of people out there in the wilderness that were probably the most excited of all the people to be able to celebrate the first year anniversary of the passover. And your mind's probably racing ahead of me and saying, "oh, of course, the firstborn that still survived that.

They probably were the most--" yeah, and I would agree with that. But there is another group that would have been just as excited and happy to celebrate this first year anniversary. And strange enough as it may sound, it was a group of Egyptians. Listen to this quotation from "Patriarchs and Prophets," -225, "there were quite a large number of the Egyptians who were lead to acknowledge by manifestation of the science and wonders shown in Egypt, that the God of the Hebrews was the only true God. They entreated to be permitted to come to the houses of the Israelites with their families, upon that fearful night, when the angel of God should slay the firstborn of the Egyptians.

They were convinced that their Gods, whom they had worshipped, were without knowledge and had no power to save or destroy. And they pledged themselves to henceforth choose the God of Israel as their God. They decided the leave Egypt and go with the children of Israel to worship their God. The Israelites welcomed the believing Egyptians to their homes." Isn't that beautiful? And you see God at work in this, don't you? God is always in the work of saving people, even the Egyptian people, who were so probably--some of them had been so cruel to God's people. But they saw the manifestations of God's power in those miracles compared to the powers of those magicians and people that had been called forth by the pharaoh, and touched their hearts.

And they responded. So a year later you can believe they were rejoicing to celebrate this wonderful event. Now going back to something i--something we mentioned a bit earlier. I can't get beyond this amazing change from what was about 4,000 years to what was going to take place in one day's event, this rapid change. Ceremonial laws and rituals were elaborate and meticulous.

Although the communion service may be meticulous, and should be, it's not really what you would call elaborate. In fact, some of the most wonderful communion serves are the ones that are the most simple. Most of the religious world, at this time, did not embrace this change overnight. And many of course never did. I believe that one factor above all other factors would have been paramount in helping people to accept these changes; and that would have been the subject of prophesies.

If only God's people would have been studying the prophecies of God's Word, they would have understood what was about to take place. This is why something quite profound Jesus shared with two men on the road to emmaus. If somebody has Luke 24, who has that? Chapter 24:25--right back here. Luke 24:25-27, "then he said unto them, o fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Okay, did you get that? He expounded on the Scriptures, the prophecies, all the things concerning himself. If Jesus wasn't the one the Scriptures had foretold of, then no big deal.

But if he was, that made all the difference in the world. It's why it was the focal point of Peter's great sermon in the book of acts 2 on the day of pentecost. He expounded on the Scriptures about Jesus because he was the one. If he was the one the Scriptures pointed to, then they would be prepared for magnificent changes, monumental changes. And why does that become important to us? Because one day soon there are going to be some big changes in this world for Seventh-day Adventist Christians.

Would you say "yes" to that? Big changes. And if you don't know about what kind of changes to look for and expect, you might be caught very off guard. If you are not studying the prophecies and knowing what's going to transpire in this world, we will be as caught off guard as the children of Israel were when Jesus came. In other words, we wouldn't be ready to embrace the drastic changes. When Peter preached his sermon there and expounded on how Christ was the one that fulfilled the prophecies, the Bible says that they were cut to the heart in verse 37.

And they asked, "what must we do to be saved?" So it's because of their emphasis and understanding and focus upon Christ fulfilling the great prophecies of the word in the old testament. Now as I said, we are a people that embrace changes. It's a hard thing for people to embrace changes quickly and easily. I was reminded of this when railroads were first introduced to the United States. Some folks feared that they'd be the downfall of the nation.

And here's a little excerpt from a letter dated January 3, 1829. It's addressed to president jackson from the New York governor, martin van buren. And this is what he says. "As you may know, mr. President, 'railroad' carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of miles per hour by 'engines' which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to the crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children.

The almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed." Miles per hour. Oh, isn't that interesting? Most even of the religious leaders of Christ's day were as ignorant about the changes that were coming as the people in 1800 were about the speed, the potential speed of vehicles. Now you can excuse the people of the 1800s because there was nothing to compare it with. There was nothing to understand speed of vehicles. But you can't excuse the people back in Christ's day for not knowing.

Okay, well let's move on. It says in our lesson that Jewish people were to see in that service, not only their deliverance from Egypt, but also their deliverance from sin. For all practical purposes, the meeting had mostly evolved only in their deliverance from Egypt. This was especially important to them at the time of Christ because they now found themselves in bondage again to rome, right? And they were looking for a Savior, but again they were still looking for a physical Savior from bondage. And they weren't looking for the Spiritual Savior.

If only they would realize that if you get the Spiritual Savior, you're going to get along with that some release from physical bondage also. You know we get a lot of prayer requests in our church here. And we appreciate every one of them. Some of you sign cards, turn them in here. We get lots of prayer requests over the internet.

And we take serious all these prayer requests. We have staff meetings. We spread 'em out. We pray for them. We read 'em.

And we pray for all the requests. And you might expect me to say that a lot of these prayer requests--prayer requests, or the majority of these prayer requests, might be for some kind of physical blessings. But I'm here to tell you that's not true. We get so many requests for spiritual growth, that God will help them to grow up into Christ. And praying for someone that they love to come to Jesus.

So many of them. Now there are some physical ones too, "pray that I get a new job." And so on and so forth. And there's nothing wrong with that. Jesus says, "give us this day our daily bread," right? So there's nothing wrong with praying for physical things. It's only when that becomes the only thing that you pray for, kind of like the children of Israel, "send us the Messiah so we can have these physical blessings and release from bondage.

" All about their physical situation and losing sight of the Spirituality of it all. That's so important. But you know, there are--there are a lot of answers to prayers too that come our way. And we love to read those. We don't always have to wait for the sweet by and by to experience a sweet here and now.

And many times we do that, don't we? God blesses us so profoundly. We must move on to Monday's lesson, "the guiding presence." This is an interesting concept of the lesson. "God's presence was Marked in a most remarkable way, a cloud by day and a fire by night." How reassuring would that have been? Any time of day you would have known of God's presence. You could have seen it. There it is.

There's God's presence, the cloud or the fire. As I read, I thought to-- you know, the quarterly pointed out about we have radios, television, telephone, internet, and everything like this for communication. And we have all that. We've sent people to the moon and so forth, but none of those things help us to connect to God as much as the word and prayer does. Yes, God is using radio and all these things, the internet.

But it's connecting us behind it all is the Word of God, right? So I can't go around hanging my head and say, "boy, I wish I would have been living back then. You had this cloud by day and this fire by night. God's presence always. What do we have today? I talk to God and I don't hear any voices. I don't see anything.

" Well, you got a Bible, you got the word. Jesus is the word. You got all the evidence in the world of God's presence, don't you? In His Word, that's right. Okay, somebody turn and Numbers 9:15-16. Who has that one? "And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.

So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night." Okay, thank you very much. Were the children of Israel always happy to see where the cloud was leading them? No. Did they murmur? Yes. Should they have? No. And doesn't that smack us as tremendously applicable to our lives? Are there people that are not happy where the Word of God leads them today? Sometimes you find that.

Should they be unhappy? No. So, you know, humanity hasn't changed much through the years, has it? Now there's an interesting old testament phenomena or situation that goes along with the cloud and the fire. And that was the breastplate that the priest wore. Imagine if we had that today. And imagine how busy the person would be if he had one of these breastplates, because on this plate were two special stones, the urim and the thummim.

And special requests would come before the priest. Questions would be asked. And if the answer was positive, one stone would light up. If the answer was negative, there would be a cloud, cloud like over that stone. So if you were a priest wearing that kind of a breastplate today, can you imagine how busy you might be? People coming to you with all kinds of questions.

But I don't have-- I couldn't--you know, you can't find anything too much biblically about this. But I suspect there were specific type of questions that were only allowed. You wouldn't go to the priest and say, "can you tell me which horse to bet on?" I don't think that would work, do you? Or here's another one I don't think would work, "am I going to be saved?" Wow, well that's a religious question, a very deep spiritual question, "am I going to be saved?" What if the light lit up and said, "yes?" Well, that almost gives you license to do anything. It's like a "once saved always saved" philosophy, theology. But what if a cloud hovered over the "no," the stone that says "no?" Well, he might as well throw it up in your hands and say, "well, hey, I'm not gonna be saved.

I might as well go out and enjoy as much enjoyment as I can in this world today. So there's--there were kind of questions I don't believe you could ask the priest in regards to seeking solutions. Can't go to a priest with a breastplate. We don't have a cloud by day leading us or a fire by night. Where can we go? Always thinking about it.

Where can we go but to the Lord, right? And how do you do that? Through His Word, through prayer. We do it through the study of nature and many things. Now let me see. Would you say we're better off in respects to knowing God's presence today or were they? Let me ask this question. Maybe the cameras want to get a show of hands, I don't know.

But if you had a very serious spiritual problem, a very serious spiritual problem, would you give up your Bible to have a urim and thummim breastplate to use? And I'll tell you why I wouldn't. Because the urim and thummim just is for the immediate situation, where the Word of God is all--all inclusive. It gives us the big picture. It not only tells us how to live for the here and now, but it gives us the big picture. And I want the big picture, don't you? Yeah, we need the big picture what's going to happen this world.

I wouldn't trade my Bible for anything. In talking about the guiding presence, as we are here on Monday, there's one thing we need to touch on before we move on. Exodus 4:24-26, somebody has that. Exodus 4:24-26, "and it came to pass on the way at the encampment, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at Moses' feet, and said, 'surely you are a husband of blood to me.

' So he let him go: then she said, 'you are a husband of blood, because of the circumcision." Okay, thank you. Moses had circumcised his oldest son, but he hadn't gotten around to it--circumcising his younger son. Evidently zipporah did not like this custom, this thing. And she kind of probably put up a fuss and helped Moses to procrastinate. But listen to a couple sentences in "Patriarchs and Prophets," .

It says, "on the way from midian, Moses received a startling and terrible warning of the Lord's displeasure. An angel appeared to him in a threatening manner as if he would immediately destroy him. No explanation was given, but Moses remembered that he had disregarded one of God's requirements, yielding to the persuasion of his wife, he had neglected to perform the rite of circumcision upon their youngest son." So God spoke to them and zipporah feared for her husband's life and even kind of begrudgingly, it sounded like, she took a stone knife in her hand and circumcised the youngest boy. What point this is bringing out is if there is something that God has laid upon your heart that you know you have procrastinated on doing, a requirement that God has taught you, and you have put it off and you have not done it, you can lose the guiding presence of God. Moses would not have continued to have been guided by God's special presence if he hadn't taken care of that requirement.

It might do us all well to spend a Sabbath day and pray and meditate, "are there any known requirements that God is asking of me that I have put off?" Well, let's move on to Numbers 10:8-10, somebody have that? "And The Sons of aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever through your generations. And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppress you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the Lord your God-- God, you shall be saved from all your enemies. Also the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offering, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for memorial before your God. I am the Lord your God." Alright, thank you very much, elizabeth. What the lesson brings out and of course is besides giving direction and warning, these horns also gave tangible evidence, even beyond the cloud and the fire of God's presence.

Trumpets can have a commanding presence, can't they? There's just something that demands your presence when you hear a trumpet played. God goes from this commanding sound of a trumpet to the still, small voice to get man's attentions. And there's a whole range between the two. And some people respond better to the still, small voice. Some people respond better to the trumpet.

And some at times in our lives, we probably fluctuate to each one of those more either way ourselves. And it takes special skill to play a trumpet. I'm not a musician. I've tried to blow on a trumpet before. And I found out it takes skill to actually be able to blow on them enough to make a descent sound.

After that you have to blow on them in a certain way to keep learning to know how to make nice sounds out of them. So it takes special skill. And that's staggering to a non-musical person like myself. And you put that fact with the fact of how skilled these individuals must have been to take one piece of metal and make these trumpets. So skill was used to make.

Skill was used to play. And I think that gives us an amazing lesson for us today. The Christian life today likewise calls for skill. Would you agree with that. I heard a program on Sunday morning a couple times on national public radio.

And I just heard parts of it a couple times. It's very funny. It's these two guys that they have call-in questions about how to fix your car. They're two brothers. Maybe some of you have heard it.

They are hilarious. One guy has such an infectious laugh, you can't help from laughing. And they call in about every kind of problem that people are having with their cars. And they kind of joke around for awhile. They probably have people there helping 'em look up things, but they are very smart when it comes to vehicles and what might go wrong and how to fix them.

And I thought how skilled these men are. Now I want to take that application one step forward, because many of you have heard a radio station program which our Pastor Doug Batchelor has every week, live question--answers to Bible questions. And I've had the privilege of going with Pastor Doug Batchelor to where he had this program and the radio station. Maybe three times or so. And it's very interesting.

It's a wonderful thing to watch. And get in there and he says--the first time--he said, "now, a question comes in, if you have any ideas, jot 'em down on paper, you know, glad to have any ideas." But let me tell you, pastor Batchelor does not need any ideas from pastor white. He's answering those questions before I can get a pencil in my hand. Would that we would all be so skilled in the Word of God, right? It's gonna take being skilled in the Word of God. In fact, listen to this sentence: "Great Controversy," "none but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.

" Should we be skilled Christians? Skilled in the word. That's where we need to be. There was no such thing as a nominal Christian. That's the greatest oxymoron in the world "a nominal Christian," no such thing. Well, we must move on to lesson--Wednesday, "be to us eyes.

" We have an example here on Wednesday of Moses. Such a man of God as he was, turning to the arm of flesh, rather than the hand of God for guidance. Interesting little side note. I think I have time to do this. In the first part of that lesson, it talks about how after Sarah's death, Abraham remarried.

Keturah was his wife's name and bore him a number of sons. And I think this is an interesting little side note, fact, because of what we find in Genesis 17. "Then God said to Abraham, 'as for Sarah your wife, you shall not call her sarai, but you shall call--Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her. Then I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations.

King's of people shall be from her." Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, "shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old and shall Sarah who is 90 years old bear a child?" And we find out in Genesis 23 that Sarah lived to be 127 years of age, which is 37 years after Isaac was born. And after all that Abraham gets married again, so he's over years. And he is still bringing forth children. His wife brought forth children. So it wasn't a problem with Abraham as far as having children, so much as it was with Sarah of course, 100 years old almost and having children for a woman is quite a thing, isn't it? So Numbers 10, somebody has Numbers 10:29-32.

"Now Moses said to hobab The Son of reuel the midianite, Moses' father-in-law, 'we are setting out for the place of which the Lord said: I will give it to you. Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.' And he said unto him, 'I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives.' So Moses said, 'please do not leave, insomuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. And it shall be, if you go with us, indeed it shall be, that whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same we will do to you.'" Okay, thank you very much. I guess Moses in some respects is just as human as the rest of us and looked to the arm of flesh for help when God had already promised the help that he needed. And it's a lesson for us.

We seek help. And sometimes we seek help from our fellow man. And that's okay. I think we need to be very careful of that; on some issues we need to take especially just to the Lord. The lesson pointed out how Jesus had--he loves everybody of course, but he even had some special close friends as he walked this earth, some close friends that he enjoyed their fellowship, mary, Martha and Lazarus, and for example.

But he did not seek. He craved human fellowship, but he didn't seek human solutions, did he? He sought heavenly solutions. Would spend all night in prayer even, many times. And then it brings out how Jesus was met on the mountain top by Moses and Elijah. These were men who had experienced life on earth.

They were here to give their support to Jesus. I believe they came as heavenly ambassadors, not just because they had been earthlings at one time. They came and as you understand the discussion that took place there. It was not just a good old chat between friends, because you know, Jesus had been the one in heaven to welcome them to heaven. This discussion they had was a serious business, the talking about the demise of Jesus that was just before him, this cross.

And so this was a very monumental communication that was taking place. Did they have something on the line? The Bible says, "the wages of sin is death." And only--the gift of God is eternal life--only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So what would have happened to Elijah and Moses had Jesus not gone through with the sacrifice? I'll leave that question for you to consider. But I believe they had an immense interest, as all the universe had an intense interest on what was about to transpire here on earth. Moving on to Thursday's "heading home?" Question Mark, it says, there's a question Mark, "heading home?" Why the question Mark? Because it wasn't supposed to be very far from Egypt to the promised land.

But it took 'em a long time to get there, didn't it? Heading home, are we heading home? Do we have a question Mark behind that for us today? We're supposed to be heading home. It seems like all the signs foretell it's about time for Jesus to come, take his people home. But as you think through it, are we heading home? Is there a question Mark behind that question for us today? It points out in the lesson of course, this trip was not easy. Just because they had been freed, it's not an easy trip. Just because we have been freed from our past life of sin, does not make the rest of our life easy.

And some people get the mistaken idea, "now that I give my heart to Jesus, everything's gonna be hunky-dory, no problems, no problems whatsoever. A couple weeks ago we had a fellowship meal and a special little service for several of our newest members, people who had been baptized recently. And we had some wonderful discussion afterwards. And I moderated some questions that we had thought about. What were some of the biggest challenges that they had, was one of them.

And every table, this one thing, this one issue surfaced from every table. And that was some of the problems that these people were experiencing from family and friends. In other words, persecution, some of them were experiencing persecution. I've known a people who were baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church whose family totally disowned them. Took them out of the will and all kinds of things.

It is not an easy road from here to canaan. Now it's easier than the ways of the transgressor, because the Bible says the ways of a transgressor, that's hard. But our road is hard too, but the promise we have is that God will be with us, even in trouble, right? Not to save us from all trouble, but a very present help in the time of trouble. I'm here to remind you that we have a free offer, number 179, "feast days and Sabbaths." Go to www.amazingfacts.org, or 1-866-788-3966. I believe that God is looking for enough of his people to become optimistic about the future that we can storm the promised land with the message he's given us.

It's a message of hope. It's a message of courage. It's one of love. It's one of perseverance. It's one of all that was necessary to have been done has been done when Jesus spilt his blood.

And so we have the communion service in honor of that great event. And I hope that you will prayerfully look forward to your next opportunity to partake in the communion service. It's a lot of history and a lot of meaning in that wonderful service that God has given to us. Thank you everyone for--all of you who have joined us in this sanctuary and friends, thank you for joining us wherever you are. I really appreciate many of your emails.

You send us encouraging e-mails. You send us e-mails that enlighten us and tell us how we can do better, do things better. We appreciate each and every one of you. God bless. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org

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