God Created...

God Created...

Scripture: Proverbs 14:31, Acts 17:28, Psalms 24:1
Date: 07/06/2019  Lesson: 1
'This world and all life on it, our own life and all we do with it, the lives of everyone around us and how we interact with others, life itself and how it is best lived—all these begin with God,' for in Him we live and move and have our being...

Evolution, Creation, and Logic - DVD or Digital Download

Evolution, Creation, and Logic - DVD or Digital Download
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Shawn Brummund: Hello, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." We are just so glad that you have decided to join us here on this particular program. And I trust, and know, and confident that you are going to be enriched and spiritually enlightened as we continue on with this particular topic that, in fact, we're not continuing on, but we're actually looking at it for the very first time because today we're starting a new quarterly. And this particular quarterly is entitled The Least Of These: Ministering To Those In Need. "The Least Of These: Ministering To Those In Need." And so, I look forward to being able to look at our first opening study on that as we look at our lesson study.

We are just so glad that everybody is watching that is watching online, across the nation, across the world, as those who are also watching on television. We're also happy to always have our local Seventh Day Adventist congregation here in the Granite Bay Church in the Greater Sacramento area. And so, welcome to everybody locally in the church family, as well as the many visitors that join us from week to week as well. And so, we want to give a special welcome to you as well.

Now, if you don't have this particular quarterly, and you'd like to get your hands on it or like to read it ahead of time, as many people do, and get the most you can or even review it after we have studied it in this particular program, then you can actually go to a website and find a free digital download copy of this particular lesson study and quarterly. And you just simply go to lesson.aftv.org. Again, that's lesson.aftv.org. Go ahead and take advantage of that.

The other thing that I want to encourage you to take advantage of is a free offer that we always have each and every program and today, this particular offer is a DVD. And so, this free offer is entitled, "Evolution: Creation And Logic." And this DVD is by Pastor Doug Batchelor, our senior pastor. And you just simply need to dial 1-866-788-3966 and ask for offered number 870. Again, that's 1-866-788-3966 and ask for offer 870. Now, if you want a free digital download copy of that, we also have that available for your phone and you just need to simply dial or text to the number 40544, and you want to text the code SH127. So, go ahead and take advantage of that free offer and you can go ahead and learn more about evolution, creation, and logic.

Now, before we open it with prayer and introduce our teacher here today, I want to invite our singers out as they are going to sing a song for us.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold.

♪ ♪ I'd rather be His than have riches untold.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land.

♪ ♪ I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hands,

♪ ♪ Than to be the king of a vast domain

♪ ♪ or beheld in sin's dread sway.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than anything

♪ ♪ this world affords today.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause.

♪ ♪ I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than world wide fame.

♪ ♪ I'd rather be true to His holy name,

♪ ♪ Than to be the king of a vast domain

♪ ♪ or beheld in sin's dread sway.

♪ ♪ I'd rather have Jesus than anything

♪ ♪ this world affords today.

♪♪ female: Thank you for singing with us.

Shawn: Thank you for that song. Today is a extra privilege for me to be able to stand up before you today because we are, have we have a new pastor that has been added to the pastoral staff here in the Granite Bay Church. And we are just so thrilled to be able to have him, not only in our pastoral staff, but also to be able to teach our Sabbath School lesson today. Now, he is our youth pastor. He originally comes from Brazil, but he has been pastoring for the last year or so in the state of Texas. And so, we are glad that the Lord has led in such a way that he has come to join us here in our church family. So, Pastor Luccas Rador is going to be our teacher but before he comes up, I want to invite everyone to join us as we ask the Lord to bless us in prayer.

Father in Heaven, this morning, we are thankful to be able to come together and to be able to worship You. We thank You so much for Your Word. We thank You for the gospel. We thank You for Your Son Jesus. We thank You for giving us this day, an extra special day that You made extra special, as Your Genesis record tells us, from the very beginning of human history. On that day when You first rested, and You blessed it, and You sanctified this special Sabbath day. Lord God, we want to pray that You will bless this lesson, and that You will guide us with Your Holy Spirit. Want to pray that You will anoint Pastor Luccas in a very special way with Your Spirit. Be with his heart, his mouth as he speaks to us these great truths that You have given to us from Your Word. In Jesus's name, we pray these things, God, amen. Pastor Luccas, thank you.

Luccas Rador: Thank you, Pastor Shawn. It's a privilege to be here and to be able to partake of this moment with you all. I'm very excited about this new lesson. I hope that you are too. This is a very appropriate lesson. When we talk about the ministry of service, the ministry of healing, the ministry of ministering to people around us, there's a lot to be said and there's a lot to be done. Actually, that's one of the dangers of this topic is that we tend to speak more than we do.

Now, that being said, and before we get into the lesson of this week, I'd like to say something about this, this topic. We live today in a world of activism, you realize that, right? We live today in a world of activism. There are charities everywhere. There are nonprofit groups everywhere. There are a lot of people that do a lot of good, and it becomes very easy, if you allow it, it becomes very easy to get carried away just in the, in this activist part of the whole, of the whole ordeal. We hear about it a lot. I remember back in Brazil, we had many ministries of outreach programs and, you know, missionary outreach moments with different kinds of people in different places. And I remember that many of the youth at my church, they would get so carried away with the activist part, that they would often forget why they were doing it, why they were ministering to other people.

If you remember the story of the rich young man, this appears in three of the gospels, in the gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. You'll find that story of the rich young ruler, and he approaches Jesus and he asks Jesus, "Lord," you remember his question. "Lord, what must I do to be saved?" Now, that's a very interesting question to ask Jesus because this man, he was Jewish, he was very prominent in his, you know, circle of influence, and for him to come to Jesus and say, "Lord, what must I do to be saved?" What does that tell us? That he didn't feel saved. He felt out of the scope of salvation. And so, Jesus, He comes to him and says, "Well, you know the law. You know the law. Do what's right." And then Jesus goes on to list many of the latter part of the Ten Commandments, the last six commandments. Don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat, and Jesus tells him all these things. And then what is his answer to Jesus? "Master, all these and more I have done."

Do you see that when you--when we talk about these, these commandments, truly what we're talking about is doing good one to another. It's a type of missionary outreach when we don't kill, when we promote fidelity and marriage and all these things, they have to do with the relational aspect of us with our neighbor. That's what the Bible calls them, our neighbor. So here, this young man, he has a crisis in his life because, well, he doesn't feel saved, even though he's doing all these things. So, it's quite dangerous when we are activists, but for the wrong reason. And that is what this whole lesson is about.

The whole lesson this quarter is how we should live in relation to God, how we should live in relation to our neighbor, and how we should live in relation to ourselves. That's the law summed up, do you remember that? When they asked Jesus, what is the most important law? He quotes, He summarizes the Ten Commandments and says, "Love the Lord your God above everything else, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself." So, there's God, there's the neighbor, and there's yourself. The whole lesson this quarter, and we'll be looking at this. It'll be talking about this general idea. When we read, when we read Acts chapter 17, verse 28, it tells us that, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring."

You see, God is a relational being. God is a relational being, there's no doubt of this. God, He is a God of relationships. When you see God in the Bible, you see Him as a God of relationships. From eternity past, God was relating within the Godhead to Himself. Truly the question, a question that I used to ask myself when I was a child was, well, what did God do before He created the first thing? Ever ask yourself that? What did God do before He created the first thing? Because think about it, God is the only eternal being in the universe, so there must have been a point where God created the first creation or creature. What did He do before that? Now, we're not going to answer that question here. I'm not even going to try. I don't think I'd get anywhere. That's a question best left for heaven. But the fact is that God, in eternity past, He was perfect, has always been perfect, and He lived in a perfect relationship with Himself. But at one point, God decides to share this relationship and to create, start creating. And God started creating. He started making things.

Now, you know, there's a principle in physics that says that you don't--we don't create anything. Humans don't create anything, we transform. Ever heard that? We don't create, we transform. And truly that's, you know, that's reality. We take a piece of wood, what can we make with it? A table, a chair? Did we create it? No, we just transformed the wood. Now, when it comes to God, that is totally different. We're talking about something on a completely different level. When we talk about God's creative power, we talk about something called creation ex nihilo, and it's a Latin phrase that means spontaneous creation. God can create spontaneously. God speaks, and things come into being, things come into existence. God has this kind of power. So, what does God create?

What did God create in the beginning? When we read the text in Genesis, we see that God, He created in certain categories. And here's the amazing fact for this morning, if you ever get into an argument or conversation with someone that believes in the theory of evolution, and the religion of evolution, because that's truly what it is, of evolution, ask them what kind of evolutionist they are because evolution can be summed up into six different areas. Six different areas, you have cosmic evolution, you have stellar and planetary evolution, you have chemical evolution, organic evolution, macroevolution, and microevolution. And so usually, when they describe evolution, they get into it, they're talking about these six broad areas of evolution.

The thing is, is that most evolutionists don't know, they don't know that this is the reality in regard to evolution and what's even more interesting is that when you go into a certain area of evolution. So let's say chemical evolution, the specialist in that area, he will never claim that the greatest argument for evolution is in his area. He'll say, "Well, you know, the greatest argument for evolution is in stellar evolution, or then cosmic evolution." And well, that's what happens all around.

Now, when you get into creation, God also creates in some categories, and very similar categories. We know that God created the cosmos, the universe. God created everything that exists in the universe, the forces of nature, gravity, thermodynamics. God created the universe. We see also that God created the stellar and the planetary systems. He created galaxies, and nebulas, and planets, and moons, and stars, and asteroids, and meteorites. God created everything that exists. When we read the description of Genesis, we see that God, He wasn't creating for the first time. This world was not the first thing that God created. Our system was not the first thing that God created. There were already angels. There was already a place called Heaven. When you read the Book of Job, it says that the princes from the other worlds, they came together. And so, there are at least other worlds.

So, we see that this world was not God's first world, He had already been creating. We see that there's a whole chemical, and elementary process in creation also. Where did all the chemicals and all the elements come from? So, hydrogen, nitrogen, iron, gold, silver, where did these things come from? God created them. He created the building blocks of the universe. Organic creation, when He creates the animals, vegetation, the trees, the sky, the atmosphere, and He starts creating the life, and mammals, and birds, you know, creatures of the air and creatures of the seas. This is called organic or biologic creation, God creates all life, and it's a beautiful thing. And what's more, God created relationships.

When God comes down and says, "Let us make them in our image," what is He saying? Among other things He's saying, Let us give them this relational aspect, this relational existence. And so, God gives us two different kinds of relationships, a vertical relationship, one with Himself, and a horizontal relationship, relationship with one another, with each other. And that's what God does. And what's more, God says when He looks back at this, He says that it's all good. We find this in Genesis chapter 1, verse 31 where it says, "Then God saw every thing that He had made, and indeed it was," what? "Very good." I can imagine, you know, when you, when you make something. I remember when I was a child, I went to summer camp one time, and they had us make a little wooden horse. It was called Camp Frenda, this was in Canada, Toronto. And at this summer camp, they had us make a wooden horse. And I'll tell you that my wooden horse, it wasn't the best, it wasn't the baddest, but it was pretty good for a nine-year-old kid. And I would look back at that horse and think, "Yeah, this is pretty good." And then I saw my teacher's horse and his, you know, outdid mine and I was pretty disappointed in my own skills. But I remember looking back at that and saying, you know, this is, this is good.

I can imagine God looking back at all this creation, the plants, the stars, and then specially in our system, our world, the trees, the vegetation, the birds, the animals, and He looked back and He said, "Wow, this is good." But, and here's the catch, God left something out. God didn't complete all the creation at this point. He left something out intentionally, and He let Adam find out what it was, also intentionally. And I want to focus on this because I need us to understand, we need to understand this morning, that God is a relational God, and He created relationships, and He gave us the ability to relate to one another. He made us like that. No one was meant to live out isolated, that's why God created man and woman. That's why He created the first pair, the first couple.

I would like to explain one thing before we get to that point, that God, in all of this, God, He doesn't make things halfway. God isn't a God of half measures. The Bible shows us that. God isn't a God of half measures in creation. And what's good for us, a hope that we have, a great joy that we have is that not only is God a God, not a God of half measures, He finishes what He starts. Now, in our life sometimes it seems as though we were halfway there. Have you ever had that feeling? "I'm halfway there. I'm not there yet." And this is something fairly common for all of us because truly, we aren't there yet. We're not at the gates of the eternal Canaan yet. We're not at the pearly gates yet. We're halfway there. But my Bible also tells me that the good work that He started, He is going to what? Complete, He's going to finish that good work, so praise God for this. The Bible calls us to praise God in many texts.

I'd like to just read one of these for you. It appears in Psalm chapter 148, and I'm going to read from verse 8 through 12. Look at what it says. "Praise the Lord from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all the cedars; Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and maidens; Old men and children." Praise God, Praise the Lord.

So, the Bible will give us many of these texts that tell us how great God is, how wonderful God is, how complete is His creation, how perfect is everything that He does. And I don't know about you, but I feel overjoyed when I read something like this because it tells me that my God is a powerful God. My God is a complete God. My God is a God that still cares. He hasn't walked away. He hasn't abandoned us. What the world once was, it will be again, that's the promise. This perfect creation that He created, that He made for us, He's going to do that, He's going to recreate it. Isn't that a blessed assurance?

But as I said before, something was missing, something was missing. God wanted Adam to know that something was missing. Adam, you see, wouldn't be whole without a companion. He couldn't be whole without companion. And I can tell you today that I, as a person, I would not be whole without my companion. I didn't know this when I was single. All right, when I was single, I thought I wanted to be a lone wolf forever. Any anyone here like that? Oh, I see a few hands. They want to be a lone wolf. But I'll tell you something, what a blessed thing marriage is. It's a--isn't that true? I heard one amen. I'd like to hear more, amen. It's a great thing. Marriage is, you guys are kind of shaky. Marriage is a great thing. It's amazing. It's good for us. And God wanted Adam to know that something was missing. You see, and I want you to accompany me on the text. It says Genesis, Genesis 2:18 it says, "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'"

Now, when God says this, is Adam hearing God saying this? No, Adam isn't. And we realize this because in the next two verses, you see that Adam had no idea. Okay, God says, I imagine God's, you know, the Father's speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit there and they're saying, "You know what? Let's play a prank on Adam. Let's have a little joke with Adam. You see, it's a good thing for him to have a companion. Let's make a companion for him." God could have done that outright, but that's not the process which we go through here. This is what happens, verse 19, and 20, "Out of the ground," right after saying this, "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them."

Now, this is something interesting right in and of itself, right? Can you imagine God coming to you and saying, "You're going to give sounds that mean something to these creatures, and that's what they're going to be identified as." Now, we know it's a different language. It was an English, obviously. But can you imagine that? This thing with two ears, you know, big long ears, I'm going to call it a rabbit. Why? I'd like to when I get to heaven, God willing, I'd like to I like to study up on this. I'd like to ask Adam, "What was going through your mind when you gave, you know, names to these creatures?" And there's some creatures, some weird creatures with some very weird names, you know? So, I want to get to heaven and I want to ask Adam about this.

But what's interesting is that Adam, he saw pattern. Look at what happens. "So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." Hmm, so Adam, he starts seeing a pattern. "Well, these bunnies here, there are two of them. These dogs here, there are two of them. These cats here, there are two of them. Where's, where's my pair? Where's my companion?" And he couldn’t find her anywhere. He saw some creatures that kind of were similar in a very strange way to humans, you know, but you go up to a gorilla, has fingers, and hands, and opposable thumbs, he can walk upright a little bit, you know, and all that, gets up on its haunches and all that. But it's nothing like a woman, nothing like us.

Adam could not find his companion. He couldn't find his significant other. And he comes to God and says, "Lord, I think you made a mistake. Something's wrong here, all right, because every other animal has a companion, but I don't." And I can imagine God snapping His fingers and saying, "Adam, you got it, you got it." You notice the trick question, or the trick that I play--I that I pulled on you. And then God creates Eve, and then creation is complete. And then creation is complete. God is a God of relationships. When He creates us in His image, as I already said, that's what He's doing. That's one of the aspects of being created in God's image. We are imitating His capacity to hold and to have relationships, and that is assurance for us today. Also, the fact that God is a God of relationships means a few things. It means, first of all, that He can, and He wants to relate to us. Not only that, He wants us to relate with the world around us. He wants us to relate with people that we don't know. He wants us to show people who He is. He wants us to reflect His character, to reflect our relationship with Him. Now, for us to do that, what do we need? To have a relationship with Him. So, here we find that as we go on it says--the Bible tells us in Genesis 2:19, "Out of the ground--" We've already read this a little bit, but I want to focus on this again. "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was their name."

Do you see that God here is intentionally sharing authority with Adam? God is allowing Adam to take control. God is allowing Adam to have a purpose. We go forward and it says in Genesis 2:15 it says, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it." What was Adam's purpose in life? Here, to tend and to keep the garden, to tend and to keep God's creation. Not only that, God gave them a purpose. In verse 28, chapter 1, verse 28 we read, "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over every living thing that moves on the earth."

God gave Adam and Eve an origin, where they came from. They were created by Him. God gave them a purpose to fill the earth and to multiply it. And He gave them a destiny, what would be their, or their end game? Well, to subdue the world, to have dominion over the world. That was what God created them for. Now, a very interesting fact that arises here, and something that influences our world today is that even though God gave Adam and Eve permission to subdue the world, He gave them permission to, well, have dominion over it and have authority over it. Does that give Adam and Eve permission to exploit the world as they want it? No. And yet, what happens today in our world? You know that our forests are being killed off. The animals, more and more, are being raised just for slaughter. And I know many Christians, bear with me, I know many Christians that are on board with this kind of thing. And you know what their reasoning is? They say that, "Well, the Bible already said that it would be like this, and this means that Jesus is coming soon. So let them, just let them kill it all." Is that how we should live as Christians? Can't be.

You know, the Bible tells us that God the Lord, there will come the day when He will destroy those who destroy the world. Now, if God says that there will come a day when He will destroy those who destroy the world, what's the opposite of that? That the Lord will bless and protect those who preserve the world. So, we are called to be, what? Stewards, correct? Now, I have a question for you, and I want you at home to ask yourself this question. What does it mean to be a steward? We talked about this. We have lessons, quarterlies about this. There are sermons that are preached about this. It's a word that's tossed to and fro, a steward, a steward. But you know what I've come to notice? I've been in the Adventist Church, I've been an Adventist since a child, and I've heard this word uncountable times. I've heard my father preach about it. But every time that I've--well, when I was younger and I would consider this word, in my mind, it was more of a financial thing. Has that happened to you too?

You hear the word stewardship, and immediately what comes to your mind? Tithes and offerings, right? At least in my mind growing up in a church, that's what it would come to, tithes and offerings and being faithful and, you know, that. To some people, being a steward is kinda, it's almost a professional thing, has to do with professionalism. "I am a good steward. I'm a good professional of God.' But here's the problem, stewardship goes so much beyond that and in my mind, stewardship, it truly has to do with sanctification. It's a calling. It's a calling to be a part. It's a calling to take care. It's a calling to responsibility. So, stewardship and sanctification, they walk hand in hand. If I am a good steward, I will be walking the path of sanctification. If I am walking the path of sanctification, I will then be a good steward.

Now, here's the thing, many people think that being a good steward has to do with them. "I am going to be a good steward." And I would disagree a little bit with that. You know why? It's based--and I'll have this disagreement based on one verse in the Bible, Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10. Look at what it says, Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10 says, "For we are His workmanship," you all know this verse, "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." So, if sanctification and stewardship are so closely tied together, and sanctification is a process, it's a walk.

Many confuse justification with sanctification. Justification has to do with what God has already done for you, or for what God does for you, while sanctification is what God does in you. And that's the main difference. Stewardship is along the same lines because you realize that God, in a relational aspect, loves you, and He wants to have a relationship with you. What is your answer? What should be our response to that? "Well, I want I want to be good at it. I want to have a good relationship with Him." It's the same thing as within a marriage. When you love your spouse, and you love the person you're with, what do you want to do? You want to work on your relationship, you want to make it happen, you want to treat the other person well, and with respect. You want her or him to understand that, well, you love them, and that's how it is with God. That's what being a steward is. That's what our calling to take care of this world should and must be.

Now, the real problem with all of this is that sin entered the world. God made, God created something perfect, something beautiful. He extended His personality, His relational qualities, to us humans. He made a complete thing. He made us stewards of this world, to take care of it. But there was a problem. Something happened. Humanity suffered a crisis. One of God's greatest gifts to humanity was freewill, correct? Truly the question is, when did God actually implement freewill in the universe? And honestly, I believe it was one of the first things that He created or He conceded, He gave, because it has to do with His character. God is not a dictator. So, He conceded freewill.

Now, there's a danger in confusing freewill with the capacity to choose right and wrong. And let me explain myself. Can you decide what is right and wrong? No, we cannot. If I could decide what was right and wrong, if I could choose this is right and this is wrong, I would be God. Only God can say that murder is wrong. He is the basis for morality. Does that make sense? God is the basis for morality. He decides. He is the judge. He is the arbiter. He is the one who says, "This is something good, this is something bad." He decides the quality, the moral quality, of things. What do we have then? What is freewill? I can choose one from the other. I can choose to do good, and I can choose to do wrong, but I cannot come and say killing is right. I do not have that power, that authority, do you understand? So, when God gives freewill, and I've seen many people who struggle with this. Well, then if I'm getting punished for choosing, what kind of freewill is this? That's not part of the game. That's not what God gave us. God did not give us, as humans, the authority to say this is right and this is wrong. And well, it'd be so. No, He gave us the authority to choose one from the other. I can decide, I can choose not to do something because it's wrong, but it is wrong independently of what I believe, or it is right independently of what I believe. And God gave humans freewill. He gave them a choice to make. He let us choose, even though He knew that in the end, He would suffer the most.

You see, God Jesus, He's the Lamb slain since when? The foundation of the world. In what sense is He the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world? He knew. He was committed. He knew that from the beginning, from the moment He created, or He gave, He conceded freewill, from that moment on, He knew that one day He would suffer because of it. And many question, "Well, then why did God do it? Why did God create this world? Why did God create Lucifer?" Because God is consistent with Himself. A God of freedom cannot manipulate the future. God knew that Lucifer would do what he did, but if He didn't create Lucifer, He would be contradicting Himself. He would be manipulating the outcome of the universe. So, God, in His infinite wisdom, He creates Lucifer, He creates this world, even knowing what would happen, even knowing that He would pay the final price. And what you find in this whole aspect of the fall, what I find very interesting is that, you see, it works as a ladder. There was a process in the fall.

Eve, she separates herself from Adam. She then starts wandering about the garden, and I believe this could have happened either way. I'm not saying that, that women have weaker mindset or anything. That's not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that what happened is that Eve, she separated yourself from Adam. She starts wandering around the garden, she comes upon a beautiful tree. And this serpent, this beautiful creature, starts talking to her and starts questioning, you know, precisely what? Her relationship with God, her vertical relationship. That's what He questions. He says, and this is, you know, this is very interesting. It's an interesting conversation. He comes to Eve and he says, "Eve, did God really say that you couldn't eat of this tree?" And she says, "Yep, hundred percent. Said if I eat it, I'm dead." And he says, "No, I can't believe God said that. I think you misinterpreted it. I think you took it out of context." Have you heard that one? "I think you took it out of context, you misinterpreted it. God would never say something like that. And if He did, you know what? God isn't, I don't think so because, you know what? You won't die. What does that even mean?"

Imagine the concept of death in a universe where death had never happened. "What does that even mean, to die? Nah, you're not going to die. You know what's going to happen? God knows that when you eat of this fruit, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like unto Him." And then the Bible tells us that Eve then saw that the fruit was beautiful, and it was pleasant, and it was, you know, she wanted to eat it for knowledge and so, she took over the fruit and she ate it. What was the first temptation? To covet more than God had given to them. That was truly the first temptation, to covet more than God had truly given to them. The results of this is the fall, the fall of mankind. When we read God coming and wandering in the garden, and asking them what's happened, why is the world broken? God knew, didn't He? Of course, God knew. Parents are like that sometimes.

I remember when I was younger, I spilled a cup of grape juice on my mom's white sofa. And you'll hear me use this story in another context, but I didn't know what to do. I scrubbed it, you know, and it just made it worse. I scrubbed that stain, it just made it worse. I turned over the cushion, dreading the day when my mom would clean that sofa and that day finally came. And you know what I heard? "Luccas, come here right now." And then I got--I knew, I already knew. As soon as she said it in that tone, I knew what had happened. I said, "All right, today's the day." "Luccas, come here right now. What have you done?" How I hated that question. Don't you think she knew what I did? Of course she did, she just wanted to rub it in? No, what she wanted to do was make me think. She wanted me to understand, to think a little bit of what, you know, the consequences of my actions.

That's what God is doing here. "Adam, Eve, where are you? What have you done? Who told you these things? Who told you that you were naked? Who told you? Who told you?" You can almost hear the sadness dripping from God's words. "Who told you these things? Have you taken from the fruit I told you not to eat from?" Now, Adam and Eve they could have felt many things at this moment, couldn't they? They probably did. They could have felt angry. Adam could have felt angry at Eve, Eve could have felt angry at Adam. They could have felt afraid. They could have felt fearful. They could have felt a series of things, but what is the first feeling that humankind feels before--right, I'm sorry, right after the fall? What's the first feeling? Shame, they felt ashamed and that tells us a lot.

You see, sin, more than anything else, it's a dirty thing. It's a horrible thing, and it makes us want to hide. It makes us feel unclean. Sin broke, sin broke many things, but one of the worst things that sin truly did that first day is that sin broke our relationships, it destroyed them. Sin broke our relationships with God, broke our relationship with each other. It broke our relationships with nature. It broke our relationships with ourselves. When you just study Genesis 3:16 through 19 and you see the curses that were given upon the world due to sin, look at what it says. Genesis 3:16 through 19 tells us, "To the woman He said: 'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.' Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."

You know what this means? Life got hard for everyone. Life got hard, got difficult. Death, disease, pain, tears, hunger, famine, thirst, all these things, the world broke. The world busted at this moment. Life became hard. Sin affected every kind of relationship we can think about. Sin affected our relationship with God. You see, Adam and Eve, they walked and talked with God. Have you ever wanted to walk and talk with God? I have, multiple times. I don't know about you, but I've sat down and cried because I wanted to be like Adam and Eve. I wanted to be, to have a relationship with God as close as some of the Bible characters such as Abraham, and Noah, and Moses.

Sin affected our relationship with God. We lost that, that dimension, that spiritual dimension of the universe where we can see angels and talk to them and see God and talk to Him. Clearly, we lost that. We lost in regards to relationships with one another. You know, when you study Genesis chapter 1 all the way to chapter 11, two problems emerge, two great problems. And honestly, if you see that, you see that portion, the first 11 chapters of the Bible, roughly the first 2,000 years of the world, you'll see that the rest of the Bible is God fixing these two major problems. The first problem appears in Genesis chapter 3, as we just read it. Humanity's relationship with God is destroyed, it's severed. And then totally in chapter 11, that's when you'll see that our relationship with each other in the Tower of Babel's experienced there, you'll see that humanity was alienated from itself.

So, our vertical relationship with God, cut, our horizontal relationship, cut, severed. And the whole of the Bible, the rest of it, is God fixing these two problems. You'll see that in the Ten Commandments, for example. What is God saying? "Don't have any other gods. Don't make idols. Don't say My name in vain," which is largely misunderstood. Many people think that the third commandment has only to do with saying a phrase, "Oh, my God." Many people think that that is transgressing the third commandment, only that. You really think that God would isolate one of the Ten Commandments just for a sentence, just for a phrase? It's ridiculous. Taking the Lord's name in vain is saying that you are His child, but living against that. It's saying one thing, but living another. It would be like saying I'm taking my relationship with my wife in vain. "I love you, honey. I love you so much." But behind her back, I'm living the life that shows that I do not love her. I'm taking our marriage in vain.

The fourth commandment, keep the Sabbath, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. What is that trying to accomplish? To fix a relationship with God. That's what these first four commandments are all about, fixing and maintaining our relationship with the Lord Almighty. And the other six commandments, what are they about? Fixing their relationships with one another. Do you realize that in the New Testament, more than 70 times this phrase appears various times "one another, love one another, cherish one another, take care of one another, carry each other's, one another's burdens." "One another, one another, one another, more than 70 times in the pages of the New Testament.

God is trying to fix these two major problems. Our relationship with nature was broken. Right from the beginning, Adam and Eve, they made clothes for themselves out of what? Leaves, fig leaves. What does that include? What does that mean? They killed the leaves. Now, that might seem very trivial for us today, leaves. There was no death. There was no destruction. They had to destroy to cover them, their shame. You understand this? Death was involved when God had to cover them. Truly, the first sacrifice in the universe where God killed that little lamb to cover Adam and Eve's shame as a symbol that one day He would be that Lamb.

Sin affected our relationship with ourselves. We live in the era of stress. We live in the times of depression. People don't know how to relate to themselves anymore. People hate themselves. Solitude, loneliness, low self-esteem. Why do you think the self-help books are the most sold books? Because people have problems with themselves. Sin affected every area of relationships.

Now, I want to close saying one last thing. There is a philosophy that reigns in our world, a philosophy called, or an ideology, called deism. What is deism? Deism is the idea that God created this world, but then He turned His back and He walked away. It's the theory of an absent landlord. Ever heard of this deism? I don't find that God anywhere. The God that I find in the Bible is a God that, on the contrary, instead of walking, turning His back and walking away, I find a God that rolled up His sleeves and dived right into the middle of the mess. Do you see that too? When we see missionary service in the Bible, we're not talking about some abstract idea. We're talking about a very concrete, absolute, real identity to who God is. He is this. When He talked about "the least of these," whose words are these? They're Jesus's words. So, in the pages of the Bible, you don't find deism supported at all. The God of the Bible is a God that cared so much, that loved so much, that He came and He saved this world. He came and He redeemed it, and He gave us the chance, the privilege, to be instruments in the salvation of other people.

Now, I've asked myself many times why I chose to be a pastor, or why this turned out this way. You really want to know the reason? I think God was so good to me and He knew that I would have a hard time with salvation otherwise, that He allowed me to be an instrument. And He can do that for all of us. He wants to do that for you, maybe not as a pastor, maybe that's not your calling. But maybe as a nurse, maybe as the head of a soup kitchen, maybe as a greeter at church. We are called to extend love to a dying world. Now, the question is, are you doing this? Look within yourself and ask yourself, are you doing this? Are you being the face of God to a world that maybe sometimes only sees you as a representative of God? And I'll be honest with you, sometimes I had a hard time, I have a hard time with this. Sometimes I think that if it weren't for church and, you know, being able to preach and teach at a Sabbath school, well, then how would I be a missionary? And I've had to think long and hard about it, and maybe you have to think about that too. But know that God wants to use you.

This God that made a perfect world, a complete world, this relational God who asked you to be a steward, to be set apart. This God that was there in the brokenness of the first world, this God that was right there when Adam and Eve sinned and fell, and this God that made the promise that someday someone would come to fix this problem, and the same God that was here to fix that problem, He is right here right now and He can live inside of you, and He can transform you, and you can use you, and He can change you. One of the greatest satisfactions of life is knowing that I can be used by God.

May God bless you in the study of this lesson. May you truly, not only read, not only study, but apply it. We hope to see you back again next week for another lesson. We want to remember--remind you of our free offer, it's number 870. If you would like it, you call 866-788-3966. And we're waiting to see you again next Sabbath for another Bible hour.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts, changed lives.

Charlie Green: My life was in turmoil. My wife and I were fighting all the time. I got away from everything and everybody. I don't know, I just, I always had this emptiness in my heart. I want it filled. I just felt like I went my whole life, you know, just searching for something. And my father died and that ruined me a lot. My father didn't believe suicide. I didn't want to live but rather than disrespect him, I decided I would just become so mean that someone else would do it to me and I wouldn't have to. So, I joined the Army thinking, what better place to get killed than in the Army? And while I was in the Army, my daughter got injured. She was in an accident, and she was blind and paraplegic, and it's just like I felt the whole world was coming down on me.

One morning, I just really got mad, and I gave God a cussing like you wouldn't believe. I said, "I'm not Moses, not Abraham, you know, I don't--but I put my sandals on just like they do and I'm a man. I don't want to know why this is happening to me, I just want to know that it's happening for a reason. If you tell me right now this is all for a reason, then you can stack it on me from here till the end of time and I will never complain again." And that little TV came on, had been sitting there just static all night long. And there's this minister when he pops up and he says, "Today's lesson's from the Book of Job. God only lets those suffer that He loves the most." And I said, "Well, that's all you had to say, Lord. I appreciate it."

From that day forward, I knew that He was there, He was in my life, and that He would help me. I went to prison just almost immediately. I was in prison for aggravated assault. I was in one the worst prisons in the state of Tennessee. It was full of gang activity. I got my throat cut, 52 stitches. My neck, I could take those fingers and stick them all the way to out my mouth. I'd gone to the library that day because it was really about the only thing to do. But I ran across this little book called "The Richest Caveman." This book is hilarious, but it is great. I'm sitting there with this big beard and I'm thinking, hey, I know what it's like to look like a caveman. I'm not an educated person, I guess you'd say, but I'm a simple guy. I'm just really a simple guy. That's what I loved about Doug Batchelor because this guy is just straight out as you can get.

And my wife and I, we've kept contact through all these years. And so much has gone on. And I told her, I said, "Listen, this is the center of my world right now." And I said, "I really want you to be involved in it with me. I need it," and I said, "And you will too if you ever just take hold of it." I told my wife I said, "Listen, they've got this Amazing Facts Bible study going here and this is the best way me to get this information, I think," I said, "because it's broken down and they give you questions and to make you look for these things, you know? So, it's not anyone telling you, you find it on your own, and they teach you actually to use the Bible." She was there faithfully every Wednesday until we decided, you know, she wanted to be baptized also. She saw it coming around.

The choice was made and October 4, 2014, my wife and I were, we were baptized in the water at the same time and we started our walk together, I guess you'd say. I went through everything that a man could possibly go through, I guess, from marital trouble, loss of family members, death in my family. My children were harmed. My daughter handicapped for life. I went to prison, which still I kept my Word to God that He could stack it on me as much as He wanted, and I'd never question Him again, and I didn't. But I can say this much, He never put nothing on me that I couldn't handle, and He walked with me through it all. And I'd like to say that anyone who is in prison, not to give up. Don't lose hope. Put your faith in the Lord and study and seek Him and He will seek you. And my name is Charlie Green, and I want you to know that you and Amazing Facts have changed my life.

Doug Batchelor: Friends, if you're scared of snakes, this may not be for you. I'm here at a reptile park outside of Durban, South Africa, and I'm holding my friend here who's a red tail Boa. Snakes are found all over the world, and they come in all sizes. Snakes can be found through the trees, they crawl on the ground, they live under the ground, and they swim in the water. Very interesting creatures. Some snakes are venomous, not my friend here, but the Black Mamba, very poisonous. Matter of fact, their bite is often referred to as the kiss of death. They can grow 15 feet long and could travel up to seven miles an hour. They don't call them Black Mambas because of the color of their skin, but the interior of their mouth is black. Snakes also come in all sizes, like this Boa or a Python, they can grow to great sizes.

Matter of fact, in South America, they found some fossils of a snake that they call Titanoboa. They believe it was as big as 50 feet long and weighed as much as a car. Say, "cheese." A lot of people are scared of snakes. I used to live in a mountain in a cave, and I ran into snakes frequently. They never bothered me unless I was bothering them. In the Bible, the snake is often a symbol of the devil. In reality, it's just a symbol. They're animals like other animals, but it says they were cursed to go upon their belly because they were the first medium that the devil used to tempt Adam and Eve.

In the Book of Numbers chapter 21, it tells a story of how when the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, they began to complain about God's manna. And it says the Lord allowed these fiery serpents to go among the people and many were bitten and the venom was deadly. I should probably mention at this point, that bread they were complaining about is a symbol for the Word of God. As many of the people were dying from this plague of serpents, they will went unto Moses and they said, "What shall we do?" God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and lift it up, that whoever looked upon the serpent, they would be healed of their venom. This is why it's so important because Jesus says in the gospel of John chapter 3, verse 14 and 15, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." They needed to look and to live.

You see, those ancient shepherds, when they would kill a venomous snake, they would carry it off on their staff and bury it. So, a serpent on a pole represented a defeated snake. It's talking about defeating the devil, friends. Have you been bitten by the serpent? We all have. The only cure for the venom of Satan is to look in faith at Jesus. He then defeated the devil. He took the venom of sin in His body to provide the antidote in His blood. So friends, I encourage you to look today and live.

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