Nature as a Source of Health

Scripture: Psalm 19:1-2, Genesis 2:1-25, Psalm 104:1-35
Date: 03/19/2011 
Lesson: 12
Though long marred by sin, the environment still contains many beautiful things from God. When used properly, nature can be a powerful source of spiritual and physical healing.
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Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you to central study hour, coming to you the Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church here in--today it's sunny, so sunny California. We welcome you wherever you are joining us from, across the country, around the world, whether you're listening on the radio this morning, live on our website at, or watching on the various television networks. You are part of our extended family and everybody here this morning, we're enjoying a beautiful Sabbath together singing songs. And our first request this morning is number 93, "all things bright and beautiful.

" Mel in Alaska; ameidi in australia; birdie, ralph, roMaine, veronica, angel, and jasmine in bahamas; kye in barbados; ameidi in belize; jacqueline in California; ashish in china; sadie in Connecticut; kaylie, paige, sherace in england; Esther and vaughn in florida; felecia in France; damar in grenada; eva, satish, sheela in india; isabelle in Iowa; kelitah and shavoya in jamaica; zawadi in kenya; yati in malaysia; vivian in Maryland; selma in Mexico; olivier in Mississippi; dennis in Missouri; sylvia in Ohio; jim, judy, tammy in Oregon; weldon and heather in Pennsylvania; cecil and retchell in Philippines; rudo in Solomon islands. That's one of our very few requests that have come in from the Solomon islands. That is very exciting. Natania and byron in south africa; abegail, ruby, rholyn, peace and yet in south korea; richard and roxanna in sweden; arnel, Georgia, Esther, amor, and June in thailand; Daniel and stephen in trinidad and tobago; and James and lorika in Washington. Whew.

Number 93. And we're going to sing the first--listen carefully. First, second, third, first, fifth, and first verse. Okay, it'll make sense when we start singing it. [Music] See, that wasn't very confusing, was it? Thank you so much for sending in your favorite requests and, of course, there's many of you that enjoy singing with us every week and you enjoy singing good, old hymns from the hymnal.

If you have a favorite that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, go to our website at, click on the contact us link, and you can send in any request from the adventist hymnal and we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. Four eighty-five, "I must tell Jesus" is our next song. This is from renee in Alabama; joyce in australia; ralph and birdie in bahamas; jeneane in Canada; Paula in Connecticut; betina in denmark; jim, dianne, jamie, buffy, and tanisha in florida; jonathan in germany; Danielle in jamaica; addisalem in Michigan; melvin and tina in Montana; joyann, riley, venita, and raymond in New York; jamie, jenny, sandie, in vernon, North Carolina; sara in norway; harvey in Philippines; yaw in Rhode Island; danier, merlinda in saint lucia; sonia in st. Vincent and the grenadines; chiemela in saudi arabia; Junefel in tennessee; and clement and bwalya in zambia. We're going to sing all three stanzas this morning.

"I must tell Jesus," 485. [Music] Thank you for sending in those requests. And this morning, it struck me funny that we have jessica, jolyne, my middle name's jane, j, jessica and joy. Jennifer, did I call you jessica? That's not the first time I've done that. So this is the j-team.

And then, of course, we have staci and jo and florentine and bernadette on instruments this morning. At this time, let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we are so thankful this morning that we can tell you our troubles and we know that you have the solution, even though some of us at this very moment wonder if there is a solution. But we know you know the end from the beginning and there are a thousand ways that we can't even think of that you already have. We thank you so much for loving us.

We thank you so much for blessing us with this beautiful Sabbath day that we can just spend it with you in fellowshipping with like-minded believers. Please be with pastor white this morning as he brings us the lesson study. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study will be brought to us by our administrative pastor here, pastor harold white. Thank you, j-team.

That was very nice. Sorry, my name's not jake, but it's harold. Welcome to all of you who are here this morning and all of you who are joining us from all those places that debbie just read. We're glad that you join us week by week. Many of you, I get the chance to communicate with by e-mail and I enjoy that part of my work very much.

Today, we're on lesson number 12, "nature as a source of health." And I would, first of all, remind you that the free offer today is "God's free health plan" and you can just get that by calling 1-866-788-3966, or 1-866-study-more if that helps you remember. All right, would you help me this morning and read the memory text along with me? It's found in psalm 19:1-2. "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge." Okay. Thank you very much.

Let's jump right into our lesson with Sunday's entitled "a perfect environment." How was it on the earth after the sixth day? Would somebody read our first text, Genesis 1:31. Who has that? And God saw everything that he'd made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Okay, so how was it? Very good, right? Everything on the earth was very good. It was perfect. God created everything and it was perfect.

Imagine how that would have been. That's what we are encouraged to do in the first part of our lesson this morning. Adam would never have had to take out the garbage. Right? And he would have never have had to listen to eve talk about all the other men in her life before adam. Things were different for adam and eve than all the rest of us, right? It was perfect for them.

So there are a lot of things, interesting things to think about, what the world would have been like if you could have lived back then. And somebody else said, "conversation at times must have been difficult between adam and eve because they had nobody to talk about." It was just the two of them and plus all the animals. So they couldn't talk about anybody. But they wouldn't have done it negatively because that was before sin and so it just kind of a--fascinates our minds to think about how it might have been. In light of our subject this week, that being "nature as a source of health," nature had a huge part to play in the health of adam and eve, didn't it? As they ate of the fruit from the Tree of Life, it gave them perfect health.

They didn't have one ache or pain or miserable feeling in all of their body. And as they continued eating of that fruit, it would give them continued life. Was meant to give them eternal life if they would simply have obeyed. So it stands to reason, even though we don't get a chance to partake of the Tree of Life, we eat a lot of good food, do we not? And in those foods are wonderful properties that give our bodies health and vitality. And the better food we eat, the better it is for our bodies.

So health and nature go hand-in-hand. Nature has a big part to play in our health. Think about this too, is one of the most amazing miracles--you really stop to think about it, it's the most amazing miracle and we take it for granted every single day. And that is every piece of food that you eat, whether it be fruits, nuts, grains, or vegetables, comes from dirt. Isn't that true? It comes from dirt.

I have a good friend who's a tremendous gardener. She can grow stuff and she gets some very good horse manure, she mixes it with her soil, and she grows the most beautiful tomatoes. They're that big and they're beautiful and they're so tasty. But imagine that. That comes--that big, juicy, red tomato comes from dirt.

That's a miracle, isn't it? It is amazing; it's incredible. Well, the lesson points out there on Sunday, God didn't create adam and eve and then place them in some luxurious palace. He placed them in the midst of nature. So nature, what is nature referred to as? The second book. The first book, of course, is the Bible.

God's second book is nature and here were adam and eve. They didn't have a Bible, but they had the audible voice of God, the Word of God live, and they live with nature around. That was the two things that were their lives. That was their lives. So they were immersed in this beautiful spot, and yes, adam didn't have take out garbage because there was no waste.

Nothing ever died, nothing ever decayed. Think about this. Adam would have been reminded, as we should be, every time he ate a piece of fruit that he too came from dirt, right? Wasn't he created from dust? And we are likewise and dust we shall return. So every time we eat a piece of fruit, we must remember that's where we came from. Now, do you think-- let me ask you a question.

Do you think dirt was different back before the fall than dirt is today? I do because there was nothing dead or decaying in any dirt anywhere 'cause nothing had ever died. Bacteria and germs, at least as we know it--in other words, they had clean dirt. Isn't that interesting? Clean dirt. That's a fascinating thought to me. That's one day how it will be again when God comes back, Christ comes back after the thousand years, and he destroys with that purifying fire.

He's going to create clean dirt again. We won't need anything. We won't need to have a compost to add to the soil. God's presence evidently somehow gives life to the soil, life to the fruit and vegetables, whatever we will eat, and so-- I don't know, it's just very fascinating to think about such things as clean dirt. Now, to build up the soils, I said today we have to have compost and fertilizers, but then God just evidently fortified things with his presence, just as he spoke and zillion of stars came into existence.

Now, if you might not think dirt was all that different before the fall and after the fall, think about the difference of the fruit. In "Patriarchs and Prophets," page 44, it has this to say, "in the midst of the garden stood the Tree of Life, surpassing in glory all other trees. Its fruit appeared like apples of gold and silver and had the power to perpetuate life." Now, a gold and silver apple doesn't seem all that appealing to me. I like my red, juicy apples. But it just kind of indicates how things changed, how we look upon life different.

We don't have gold and silver looking fruit as they had on that tree. Eve, one of those--another one of those little, cute sayings that people come up with. Eve was the first woman who ever said, "I haven't got a thing to wear," and she meant it. She wore, as with adam, they wore a robe of light. Right? That's what covered them.

This robe of light and they were contented with that robe of light and they never experienced a degree of heat or a degree of coldness that was unpleasant to them. I like that, don't you? Some of you love the summers because you like the heat. That's me. Some of you love the winter because you like colder temperatures. That place, when we get on the earth made new, is going to be perfect, just like it was then.

Now, I have no way of proving this, but I have a hunch. Now, even though adam and eve evidently did not possess what we think of as a glorified body after what we will get at the end, you know, when God transforms us, a glorified body, it is my hunch that with the robe that they were wearing, they could have, if God pleased, they could have traveled anywhere and everywhere without any problems. Now, I ran--i had that hunch and I ran across something kind of backs it up a little bit. "Patriarch and prophets," again, page 45, it says, "this sinless pair wore no artificial garments. They were clothed with a covering of light and glory such as the angels wear.

" Do angels travel back and forth without any problems? Yeah. They don't need a space suit. They just go and they come. They go and they come. I don't know.

You can't prove it, of course, but I think if they could have-- they could have traveled anywhere. We consider the intellect also of adam and eve. It says, of course, as we know, adam named every animal. That's a lot of animals. That's a lot of names to come up with.

And so it was no small task and, again in "Patriarchs and Prophets," it says, "the laws and operations of nature which have engaged men's study for 6,000 years were open to their minds by the infinite framer and upholder of all. They held converse with leaf and flower and tree, gathering from each the secrets of its life." Imagine the minds that adam and eve had to hold converse with leaf and flower. I don't believe leaf and flower audibly spoke to them, but they were able to study the intricacies of life and it spoke to them and they could basically kind of speak back, I guess, somehow. It's just an amazing thing. And it goes on to say, "with every living creature from the mighty leviathan that playeth among the waters to the insect moat that floats in the sunbeam, adam was familiar.

He had given to each its name and he was acquainted with the nature and habits of all." This indicates to me that there was a considerable amount of time probably while they existed on earth before the fall, before they fell and partook of the forbidden fruit. Seems to indicate that there's probably a pretty good amount of time. As I said, they didn't have the Bible like we have today. They listened to God audibly and I'm sure they must have had photographic minds. I believe that adam named every animal and he remembered exactly the name of that animal when he saw it again.

Don't you? Photographic minds, that's probably what we'll have when we are recreated. I would imagine it amazes probably angels to watch us spend so little time with the Word of God and the second book, the nature, God's second book, nature. This was all that adam and eve had. This was what they were immersed in every day, all day long, either God's audible voice or surrounding book of nature. And yet they fell.

So think about that. If we spend little time with these wonderful books we-- that's a good indication why we fall too, isn't it? Well, I think it's good for us to ponder, let our thoughts go back to that time before there was any sin, a perfect environment, for as we do, we are reminded that one day soon a perfect environment will all there will be in the entire universe. That, of course, was a reason the lesson brings out the concept up--so that we could project our thoughts forward to the day when that will be a reality. Now, I want to make a point. I think I made this point probably several years ago, and maybe I made it in a Sabbath school class.

But if I did, probably not one in a thousand people will remember the point I made, so I'll share it again today, okay? And that is there is a text in the Bible that I believe that is probably the most misused text of all texts put together. It's found in the first book of Corinthians, chapter 2. It's a reiteration of a verse that's found in Isaiah 64 and some of you, most of you probably can quote it by memory. It is the verse that says, "but as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him." Now, when we quote that text, we say, "well, you know, God's preparing something that we can't even begin to comprehend what it's going to be like." No, that's not what this chapter's all about. The very next verse actually says, "but God has revealed them to us through his spirit.

" That's what the whole chapter's about. God doesn't reveal these things to the unGodly, but he does reveal to us what he is preparing for us. We know that there will be an earth made new, where there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death, no more dying, no more pain of anything. We also know the city, we know the size. It's going to be about the size of Oregon.

This way, that way, and that way. We know what the gates are made out of. We know the colors. We know so many things. We know that we're going to have a country home and a city home.

We're going to plant vineyards. We're going to eat the fruit thereof. We're going to build houses and live in them. We know so much. The whole chapter is about what we do know compared about what those who don't know God don't know.

Isn't that interesting how we can misuse a text? Now, I know there's a lot about God we don't comprehend and it'll be fascinating and wonderful, but in the context of what this chapters are talking about, we know a great deal. But let's go on to Monday's, where we have to unfortunately discuss sin and nature. Somebody has Genesis 3:1-4. Genesis 3:1-4, "now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, 'ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' And the woman said unto the serpent, 'we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.

But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, 'ye shall not eat of, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' And the serpent said unto the woman, 'ye shall not surely die.'" Okay, so there we have the experience of the fall of man and how drastically things changed quickly. What was one of the first things that adam and eve experienced? They experienced cold, didn't they? They'd never been cold before. Was it because the robe of light was taken from them or did something start happening within their bodies? I kind of believe it's both. For without that life-giving-- eternal life-giving power of God, isn't it true--? I've read some place that the moment we die--i mean, the moment we live, start living as a baby, we have cells that begin to die. So I think as soon as they gave up that right to eternal life by disobeying God, things began to change within their body itself.

Cells probably started dying right away. And they experienced cold. So we know some things changed in their physical make up. The result of sin are long and lingering, but sometimes they're swift and decisive. And the lesson makes a statement.

I think it's worth considering. It says, "the chapter seems to imply that eve would have originally not had pain in childbirth." I totally agree with that. I was riding along a country road just yesterday and I saw a bull and a cow and they were mating, and this cow was going to be giving birth to a calf probably in the near future. And it reminded me of calves that I helped deliver. I remember one in particular, very--never will forget it.

It was a cold winter night in the midwest. We was in the barn, but it was bitter cold. And this poor cow was having a hard time delivering a baby or calf. So the farmer and myself, we tried to help. He finally was able to get one of the hoofs out and we hooked that hoof-- I don't know, the little come-along instrument, I'm sure they have a name.

And tied the other end to the bard, solid corner of the barn. And both of us with all our strength, and this man was twice as big as I am. And, of course, I'm small, but you know what they say about dynamite, right? So I was giving all my effort and we were pulling with all of our might to try to help this calf to be born. And we pulled and we pulled and the poor cow was struggling and we finally got the calf out. The cow was just about dead and the poor little calf--we had to work hard to try to keep that little calf alive.

I don't believe that's how childbirth, even for animals, was meant to be, do you? I don't believe so. In fact, when our first child was born, it was a breach baby. That was back in the days where they didn't let the husbands go in to watch the delivery. Probably would have chased me out anyway because it was breached. And it was a terrible experience for my wife.

And when I first saw her afterwards, I thought she was dead. It was such an awful thing. I do not believe childbirth in the beginning was meant to be that way, do you? No. Sin came in and spoiled everything. There are so many what-ifs if there had never had been sin.

How many people would God have allowed to inhabit the earth? Would he have just let people continue being born and maybe created another earth after this one got full and another earth-like place after this one got full? We don't know. It seems like this earth is getting filled up, wouldn't you say? I was just reading an article this week, it talked about how by the year 2050 my--we'll climb to 9 billion people. And it says to feel all those mouths, we'll need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000 years. That's amazing to think about. We know this world is waxing old like a garment and, anyway, what would God have done? One thing we do know and that is that sin is the thing that messed it all up, right? Sin has messed everything up.

It changed the whole picture. And like the lesson pointed out, whatever wonder and beauty we can find in nature, it is today a double-edged sword. Beauty and marvel coexist side by side with woe and misery in the form of famine, earthquakes, pestilence, and disease. For example, in keeping up with our lesson theme this morning, there are wonderful aspects to plants like mint, you know. Some mints are good for your health.

But there are other plants that maybe look kind of like it, like maybe tobacco plants and the heroin-producing poppy plants, you know? Plants that are good, plants that are not so good. So it can grow side by side. There are beauties in the majestic clouds of the sky that can turn into storm clouds, destructively powerful. There are beautiful rivers and lake that can turn into raging monsters. Beautiful and glorious mountaintops that can blow their top and ash all over the place and destroy life.

And even animals with their sleek and beauty and power, majesty, it can turn on humans and destroy. Even so-called domestic animals turn against human beings at time and we are in trouble. In lion--i mean, a lion in eden would lay with the lamb and there was no problem. Not so today. It would be interesting to note what some of the purposes for some of those animals were before sin.

What was the purpose for a mosquito? It must have had some positive purpose. What was the purpose for a rat or a mouse or a cockroach? I don't know. They had to have some positive influence before sin ruined everything. Well, how did God feel about these drastic changes? Somebody has Genesis 6:5-7. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.'" Well, God was grieved that he had created. Didn't he know? Of course he knew. He had foreknowledge. But does that lessen the emotions of the event? We all know that we're going to die.

We all know before we die of-- that many of our loved ones have died. Does knowing that fact lessen the emotional event of that particular thing? No. It grieved God. Parents get an idea of this when they have a child who may be experiencing pain because of some choice on their part. And sometimes I've heard parents grieve to the point they said, "I wish I had never even had any kids.

" One of the greatest and most fearsome results of sin is pain. And when you consider Monday's title, "sin in nature," and compare that with the title to the lesson, "nature as a source of health," it almost seems incompatible. Yet, God in his infinite mercy still allows nature to provide us with a source of health despite the ugliness that sin has thrust upon nature. A dandelion, for example, is a pest to a lawn, but is there some beauty to it? And actually, there's some good qualities. If you make dandelion tea, it's good for you.

Berries may be hard to pick because of the thorn, but berries have some of the most wonderful properties to ward off cancer, I am told. I have this comparison. Thursday's lesson focuses a little more on something positive when it talks about God's gift through nature. We would get a variety of answers from people here in this sanctuary even. What would you name as some of God's gifts? Some of you would say, "my dog is God's gift to me.

" Or some would say, "flowers are God's gift to me." Some would say, "popcorn and blueberries and eggplant are God's gifts to me." Some of the favorite things in life would be God's gifts through nature to you. And we can see that God always has the best. Even though there's ugliness in nature, God is a God of order and there's always something in order in God's creation. An agnostic was complaining, he was arguing with--kind of arguing with a Christian one day. He says, "oh, there's no God.

" He says, "take a look at that watermelon over there. It's this huge watermelon growing on that spindly little vine." And he says, "look at this big, majestic oak tree and up there hangs this little, bitty acorn." He says, "if there was a God, he would have had that watermelon growing on this big, majestic, powerful tree, and the acorn on that spindly little vine." And as he said that, one of the acorns dropped on top of his head. God knew what he was doing when he created everything, didn't he? He always knows. I remember back in grade school, my chemistry professor-- high school. He used the word "consequently" all the time.

One time, I counted it in class and I told him afterwards, "you used the word consequently 17 times." He didn't like that. I was just making a fact and he didn't like that for some reason. But you think about chemistry, that's a word you use consequently in, right? There are certain laws in chemistry and physics and so forth that you can stand on there--God is a God of order. Creation is a wonderful thing. Okay, well, let's see.

On Tuesday's lesson that points out that we all know that nature sometimes turns against us and we don't have the answers for when and where, but we know why bad things happen, right? Because of sin. And I've often referred to a question that is asked, why do bad things happen to good people? That's a wrong question because there's no good people. We're all bad people. Bad things happen to us because we're all sinners, right? There's only one person that was good and the very worst thing happened to him. He was crucified.

So that's a bad question. Bad things happen to everybody. David is referred to a man after God's own heart and he killed, he committed adultery, he yoked up with the philistines, God's enemies for a season. Then he got so proud he counted Israel. But he was a man after God's own heart, but he's still a bad man.

He was a sinner. We're all sinners. Jesus often used things in nature to give us parables and lessons. He says to look to the flowers and see how beautiful they are. Does God care for a flower more than he cares for you? Nope.

The Bible tells us to observe the ant. Why? Because the ant has--is an industrious little creature working in harmony and unity to get things done. That's how God wants to see his church. As we move to Wednesday, it is entitled "communion with God and nature." We continue this lesson, learning about God from nature and creation. We learn about God from all things around us, but we have to be careful.

There are some things that people come up with false ideas and false teachings as they draw things from the creation around us. Did you know one of the areas that the church is dealing with today is this matter of we-- it took millions of years for us to be created. You know, that's one of the big issues today. Do you know that came about because of something else? Let me read it to you. "Patriarchs and Prophets," it says, "such reasoning has led many professed Bible believers to adopt the position that the days of creation were vast, indefinite periods.

What--" it says, "such reasoning." So what is this reasoning that caused people to adopt that? It says it in the previous quotations. It says, "geologists claimed to find evidence from the earth itself that it is very much older than the mosaic record teaches." Did you get that? The reason people believe it took millions of years for us to be created because they twist the mosaic record on how creation took place. I'm here to go on record today with that one statement, that's all I would really need, that the earth is not millions of years old itself. It's 6,000 years. And it's in the context of Genesis itself.

You can--there's nothing in the creation story that is out of context, saying, "oh yeah, but the earth was here millions of years before" no, it says, "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In the beginning of what? In the beginning of this creative process. But some say, "well, the earth was there without form and void for millions of years." No, the earth was not there. It was created by God without form and void, and in no way indicates that creation took place at an earlier time. Now, to further clarify this, all you have to do is go down to the fourth day of creation. Somebody has Genesis 1:14-19.

"Then God said, 'let there be lights in the firmament of the havens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.'" And it was so. Then God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.

And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day." Okay, did you happen to hear anything in those verses that talked about those stars, sun, and moon being created years and years and years before and God just somehow turned on a switch now? Is that what it said? No, it says he created the stars that day. Now, some people say, "yeah, but you know what? If God created stars that day, we wouldn't still be getting the light because they're millions of light years away from us." I was thinking that's a little bit farfetched reasoning. If God can create a star, don't you think he can create the star so that it gets its light here in an instant too? How long does it take God to get from heaven to earth? How long does it take an angel to get to heaven to earth? How long does it take for light to get here if God wants to get it here in an instant? He created that day--the light began to divide the day and the night that day, the fourth day of creation. And then it goes on to say in the fourth--let's see, fourth chapter.

No, the second chapter, verse 4, "this is the history, or the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created." When? "In that day that the Lord made the earth and the heaven." God created the earth 6,000 years ago. And the reason we have people saying and teaching from classrooms today that it took millions of years for us to come in existence is because they fell hook, line, and sinker for the misteachings that this earth and a study of those rocks show that they're millions of years old. Not so if you go by the mosaic record. "Oh yeah," but somebody says, "well, there were other worlds, right, before earth was ever created." Sure. So what? Do we know what those worlds were like? Do we know that they were planets like earth with stars and moons and suns? We don't know.

And they could be so far on the other side of this universe, could be totally different than ours. And even if they were exactly like ours, they could be so far away, we wouldn't see their stars, moons, and even with the greatest telescopes today. Well, that's my--that's my stand on creation, right? I challenge anyone to find any verse in the creation story that gives a slight inference that parts of the earth or this, what we see around us, was created millions of years ago. But because geologists study rocks and report them to be millions of years old, as I said, many fall hook, line, and sinker for that misteaching. And because of that, they go on to the next error.

Now, God's second book, the book of nature, does not conflict with his first book, the Bible if you keep them both in the same realm. If something from this earth seems to contradict with something that's in the Bible, what are you going to take? I'm going to take what the Bible says. I'm going to stand upon what God says. I mean, you can have the most brilliant scientists in all the world study rocks and say they're millions of years old and I am going to say, "yeah, but I believe God. I still believe what God says.

" God's second book, the book of nature, does not conflict with the Word of God. So when we think about this topic on Wednesday entitled "communion with God's nature," let's make sure we keep uppermost in our minds that our first line of communion is his holy word. And anything else we might find in nature or the world around us seems to contradict our communion with God, would go astray and we deviate pretty quickly. Well, let's see, we need to move on to Thursday's, which is plainly entitled "Psalms 104." I'm glad I didn't live in the 19th century. As the lesson points out, one of the greatest teachings back there, false teachings, was deism.

And they believed that God created, all right, but he created this earth and then he just left us alone to do whatever we wanted to and end up however we was going to end up. That would be an awful thing to believe, wouldn't it? I don't want to believe in a God like that. In fact, all you have to do is spend a little bit of time reading about Jesus to know that God cares about us immensely. He didn't just create us, walk off, and leave us to our own. In fact, the world around us teaches us such a very different thing, logically speaking.

Anyone who creates anything--maybe you're a musician, you create a song. Or maybe you're a cook, you create a new recipe. Maybe you're a seamstress, you create something. You build a house. Whatever you do, if you do it, don't you want it to be used? Don't you want it to be seen or heard? Nobody creates a song just to tuck away and never anybody hear it.

Nobody builds a house and nobody--and not ever going to let anybody live in it or enjoy it. If you have a talent to create something, you're excited about it. I've never met a musician that's composed a song that isn't excited about their song. It's just the way we are. And that's the way God is.

He created and he's excited about us. Aren't you glad he's excited about you? Yeah, I'm excited that he's excited about me. I kind of wondered about this lesson really as I studied it. How did it fit into the bigger picture of the overall lessons? The overall lessons, entitled "Jesus wept: the Bible and human emotions," it seemed to be a little bit out of place. But, you know, Jesus wept.

Not for himself, of course. When mankind weeps, we usually, weep because we are hurt in some way. If you have ever wept because you felt so all alone, if you've ever wept because you wondered where God was and all the prayers you sent up to him, you were falling prey to a sort of deism, weren't you? Because God is there always. He says, "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." And if we ever feel like God has left us, that's deism. That's something we don't want to be a part of.

That is the time--that is the most important time in your life to express faith, when you feel so all alone, you feel hurt beyond measure, that's the time to express faith. Do you believe that? Because otherwise, if everything was all laid out for you, it wouldn't be much faith, would it? Faith is so important in human lives and in, actually, our eternal salvation. Somebody has Psalms 104:10-14. I'll go ahead and read it since I have it here. We want to read verses 10 through 14.

Psalms 104, "he sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers. The earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth." There's an excitement in the psalmist's words. He's excited about relating how God is intricately concerned in every detail of life, providing water for the springs and providing herb and everything else that we need as human beings. God takes note of everything, doesn't miss a thing. And it's exciting for us to get a little sample of that excitement also. We should be excited that God is not detached.

And I suppose if we didn't take anything else from this lesson today, it'll be good that we took that one point. God cares about you. He cares so much about you that he couldn't have proclaimed the universe any more boldly and any more loudly that he cares about you than by sending his son, Jesus, to die for us. Jesus says--he hangs on the cross, says, "I care for you. I care about every detail in your life.

" And all these things of nature are there to refresh us in the Lord. Better than any medicine can be a trip to nature, right? Have you ever been down and discouraged and taken a trip out in nature sometime and just been revived? Your whole being is revived because you spend some time with that second book of God. Maybe you've taken along the first book too, I hope, but between the two of them, they minister to you and you came forth back a new man, a new woman. Countless thousands have been healed. You know, Ellen g.

White was married to a man called James white. And he was a man--i think he was the one that said, "I'd rather burn out than rust out." And he was a hard-working man. He was a driving force because he wanted to get the message of the soon coming of Jesus, he wanted to get the message of all these prophecies that they had studied, he wanted to give it to everyone, everyone everywhere. And he did burn out. He had some real problems.

We would call it nervous breakdown probably today. But Ellen white was very smart. She took him to the country and she ministered to him and let the Lord minister to him out there in nature. And he came back. He came back a healed man from his depression, from his nervous breakdown.

And there's a lot of lessons in that. First of all, we need to balance our life. It's good to be industrious. It's good to be enthusiastic and hard working. But we must balance it with temperance.

God doesn't want us to burn out. He wants us to work hard, but not burn out. And when we begin to feel tendencies of being burned out, that's when we need to take some time with the Lord and this beautiful creation that he's given to us, and just back fall back into his arms and relish in his love and praise God, that he cares for us individually. Now, we can carry it too far, can't we? Some people have. I've known people who say, "well, you know, nature is my church.

I go there every week. That's the only church I ever go to." That's overdoing it a little bit because God wants us-- he wants to call us together. In fact, he does. Forsake not the assembling of ourselves together because how are we ever gonna get the work done unless we come together and go out? Won't get done if you're just going out and worship God every week in nature. So that's overdoing it.

Other people have overdone it studying nature and come to the conclusion that God is that flower and God is that blade of grass and God is that tree. While inspiration tells us that God's name is stamped on every leaf and every flower, he's not the leaf. He is not the flower. That's pantheism. That's carrying it too far.

You can always carry even wonderfully good things too far, can't you? So we always have to be very careful not to do that. Have any of you ever overdone it on one of those areas? Probably some of us have. But God calls us to fellowship. That all of us could use a time now and then to get away into nature to recharge our batteries is indeed a good thing. Would you say amen to that? God's wonderful book of nature can be so healing.

And, you know, we've had this message for so long, the health message and how-- what benefits come from. And then it kind of got stolen from us from hippies and people like that. Yeah, they got more excited about it than we were. That's terrible. But then they carried it too far too.

I even went to one of these health food stores one time when there was a long line of people waiting just to sit in this chair. For what? For this person evidently who had some special natural healing powers, and she'd stand there and go all the way around and never touch 'em, never touch 'em once. But this energy that was flowing from her into the person there was going to give them healing, I guess. And a long line out the door awaiting to sit in that chair. So it's easy to go overboard and get wrapped up in things that are wrong, but the right is so wonderful, isn't it? The right and true messages from God and His Word and nature is so wonderful and so healing and so beneficial to us as human beings.

I am here to remind us again that the free offer for today is "God's free health plan." Go to 1-866-study-more or 1-866-788-3966. Well, we have one more week. Can you imagine that? We were just talking-- I was just talking to somebody this morning. We still have some of the decorations for December up back there and it's almost March already. But we're on lesson 13 next week, "partnership with Jesus.

" So thank you for everyone here who's come to join us here in Sacramento, and thank you all of you who have joined us from wherever you're joining us from, on radio, live streaming, the internet, whatever. We're glad you're part of our program each week. Virtually everyone on the earth, regardless of religion or nationality, recognize that there is some form of battle raging in the world around us between the forces of good and evil, a colossal struggle between light and darkness, truth and error, oppression and freedom, right and wrong, and ultimately, life and death. Journey back through time to the center of the universe, discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan, the arch villain, the birth of evil, a rebellion in heaven, a mutiny that moved to earth. Behold the creation of a beautiful, new planet and the first humans.

Witness the temptation in eden. Discover God's amazing plan to save his children. This is a story that involves every life on earth, every life. "The cosmic conflict," if God is good, if God is all powerful, if God is love, then what went wrong?

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