Garments of Splendor

Garments of Splendor

Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-11, Isaiah 6:5
Date: 05/21/2011  Lesson: 8
The prophet Isaiah describes Israel's glory, downfall, redemption and salvation through clothing imagery.

Help Wanted: Workers in the Vineyard by Doug Batchelor

Help Wanted: Workers in the Vineyard by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church this morning in Sacramento, California. Thank you for joining us and worshipping with us this morning. I know you will truly be blessed. Very special welcome to those of you that are joining us this morning in our sanctuary, our regular members and the visitors alike.

And a very special welcome to you that are joining us from across the country and around the world faithfully like you do every Sabbath, either live streaming this morning on the internet, on the radio, television, however you're joining us, welcome. Get out your hymnals at home and here in the sanctuary and let's begin to sing to our Lord this morning. Hymn number 198, "and can it be?" And we're going to sing the first, the second and the last stanza. This comes as a request from jizelle in antigua and barbuda, kadian in argentina, ashok, donna, carol, edith, jean, lorna, gwen, ina, aaron, shirley and jim in australia, mirian and corwin in California, sharon, veronica, angel, jasmine, orencia in the bahamas, the gibson family, tony and ruby in Canada, susannah in england, debra in florida, aida, jean, ching, Esther and cristy in italy, dehanney, Paula, njerie and nadine in jamaica, wilson in kenya, selina and jonathan in the netherlands, nalini and joanne in New York, sandie, vern, jamie, jenny in North Carolina, kayle, joan, charles in saint lucia, shellyann in saint vincent and the grenadines, ian in south africa, maria in thailand, and last but not least, alison and bobby in trinidad and tobago. "And can it be?" Hymn number 198.

.. I learned that hymn by singing along with some requests that came in. That is a beautiful, beautiful hymn. If you have a favorite hymn that you would like to teach to us on a coming Sabbath, or one that we already know, go to our website at www.saccentral.org. And there you can click on the "contact us" link.

And you can request any hymn in our hymnal, and we would love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath. Our next hymn is another favorite, hymn number 334, "come, thou fount of every blessing." This comes as a request from chanel, nola, and katie in australia, carmetta, linzel and alexandros in the bahamas, veronica, anyel, jasmine and norma also in the bahamas, william and Daniel in barbados, valenciam, abelino, justina in belize, johannes is in California, tony in Canada, the grenville adventist church and the sween family, wilfred, Karen, diana, linda and naomi all from grenada, bob and Paula in Idaho, deb in Illinois, jean, gloria, carol and sweety in italy, terry ann in jamaica, beverly in Massachusetts, dian and howard in Mississippi, natasha, etajih, zayne and kevin in the netherlands antilles, joe in North Carolina, amor and marian in the Philippines, ann in puerto rico, samantha in saint vincent and the grenadines, sheila in singapore, rahal and patrik in sweden, emanuel in tanzania, cheryl ann, marion and ronell in trinidad tobago, and Joseph and malia in zambia. Hymn number 334, "come, thou fount of every blessing." And we will sing all three verses... Let's pray. Our Heavenly Father, thank you so much that you bind our hearts to you, that you bind us to you.

And we are happy to be slaves to you, Jesus, because what a great master you are. Thank you that we can come and worship before you. Humble our hearts, Lord, and help us to just hear what you have to say to us through Pastor Doug this morning, so that we can take your message to those around us, that we can hasten your coming, Lord. We're anxious and looking forward to that day when you come and you take us home and we can dwell with you forever. What a blessing.

Lord, we love you. And we pray these things in your name. Amen. This morning, our talk will be brought to us by Pastor Doug bachelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you, debbie and jolyne, our musicians, appreciate it.

Morning, friends. Happy Sabbath. I know my mustache is missing. It's actually there. It's just been trimmed way back.

Ha! Anyway, got that out of the way. Now let's get on with our lesson, 'cause I just saw the looks on some of your faces like... Ha, ha, ha. Well, you know, I've been losing my hair for years. I finally lost my mustache.

So, alright, our lesson today, more serious, talking about "garments of grace." And we're in lesson number eight today, dealing with the subject of "garments of splendor," "garments of splendor." And we're going to be talking a lot about Isaiah, several passages in Isaiah. If we get to it, we'll be talking about Luke, we'll be talking about the gibeonites. And we have a memory verse. It's from Isaiah 61:10, Isaiah 61:10. I'd appreciate it if you can say it with me.

In your lesson it comes out of the n.i.v. Version. You ready? "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." So it's talking about these garments of splendor. And there in the memory verse it makes an analogy about a bridegroom and a bride.

Now we record these lessons 3 weeks in advance. And so you might think I'm a little behind the times when I reference this, but just yesterday morning, about two billion people around the world were transfixed watching a wedding. And I turned on the news for a little while to watch some of this spectacular, and that's an understatement, wedding between the prince of england and kate, who will be someday, if time lingers, a queen of england. And they call it a fairy tale wedding. And it was fun watching this and all the fanfare and all the people.

Some people came 2 or 3 days in advance and camped out on the street just to hope to get a glimpse. And all the buzz was about--they had kept top-secret, what would the dress look like? 'Cause when princess diana got married, they actually released the name of the designer that was making her dress. And before the wedding, the paparazzi just about drove them crazy trying to get the details on the dress, which hers ended up, princess diana had like a 25-foot train on her dress. And then yesterday, finally kate merged from the mercedes or rolls, whatever it was. And she had on a pretty wedding dress.

And I just, you know, you listen to some of the experts and the pundits and the designers all breaking down all the little nuances of her dress. And maybe, I think there must be other men out there like me, and if you were to ask me about it and you say, "what do you remember about the dress?" I would say, "it was white." Exactly, mike! [Laughing] men think in like 16 primary colors like the old windows 95. You know, the women, it's chartreuse. And it's plum. And there's all these different colors.

And you know, they got to talk about the veil and what was the veil made of. And what was the material and all kind of fluffs it had and all this stuff. But you know, it was a pretty spectacular wedding dress I suppose. It was white, and it was big is what you remember. But why is so much attention on a dress that you ostensibly are going to wear one time? Because that dress is connected with an event.

And there's quite a bit of fanfare there. You know, all the high church was there. And the queen comes in, and the trumpets blow. And because it's an event, it's a wedding, it's a merging, it's kind of a forming of a future kingdom. And so you don't see those kind of events much anymore around the world.

Everything now is so, you know, politicized with the secular governments that the old fanfare of a royal wedding, don't see much of that. So it's kind of fun to look at that a little bit, all the emphasis on the dress and what would the groom be wearing and how smart all the soldiers looked. Every button and everything on those uniforms, they all have some kind of meaning. And what about the garments that the Lord talks about? You'll notice in particular, in the verse we just read, in our memory verse, talks about a bride and a groom. And the bride is wearing his adornment.

I'm sorry, the groom is wearing his adornment. The bride is wearing her jewels it says. Now is there something wrong with jewels? Who made 'em? God made jewels. Isn't that right? Are gems pretty? What makes gems, gems? Well, they're rare typically. They're beautiful.

And they're usually durable. I mean, you know, you could call jelly beans gems. They're not rare, if you especially go to jelly belly. And they're not that durable, especially around reagan's white house. They disappeared pretty quick.

So what makes gems precious? They're valuable. They're actually money. You know, paper we got in our wallet, if you have any, that's not really money. Those are supposed to be notes for a value to something that is enduring. Real money like gold and silver and gems have endurance.

They have value. They usually have beauty. Sometimes they have functionality. Gold is a very functional metal. It's very much in demand in the computer industry these days.

And it represented wealth. Do you remember when eleazar wanted to thank Rebekah for watering his camels, he gave her some jewelry. They didn't have paper money back then. He basically was giving her a gift of money to thank her for her feat. But it says he gave her a bracelet.

He gave her a nose jewel. And so a bride would get wedding gifts. And she would often wear these things. Now someone look up for me a verse. I want to draw your attention.

We're talking about these garments and splendid garments. Ezekiel 28:13, we read this in an earlier lesson. Gene, you have that there? Let's get you a microphone. Ezekiel 28:13, and just before he reads that, I'm going to read Exodus 28:17. Now on the breastplate of the high priest, notice what it says.

Exodus 28:17, in a moment, gene is going to read Ezekiel 28:13, "and you will put settings of stone in it, four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx and a jasper. They'll be set in gold settings." Now that's talking about the high priest, what he had on. Who designed the high priest's clothing? God. We all in agreement? Okay, God designed it. Ezekiel 28, who is it talking about there? It's talking about the devil.

Now listen to what he's adorned with, "the sardius, the topaz, the--" oh, you're supposed to read that, not me. Alright, go ahead. I'm stealing your thunder. "You were in eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold." You notice all the connection there between what we read. These are the ones that were identical.

Everything that it talks about lucifer wearing, as far as gems, all of them are also mentioned on the breastplate of the high priest, but not as many. I think it lends--it mentions maybe nine there for lucifer, but where the high priest had the whole thing. So these were--and who gave--who gave lucifer his garments? Who created lucifer? God did. And so it's one thing when you are adorned by God. It's another thing when you adorn yourself.

Who gives us our crowns in heaven? Do we go shop at the mall and buy ourselves crowns? And I'll try and buy a bigger one than you have. Right now, the reason I'm setting it up that way is 'cause you're going to get into a difficult verse here that's in the lesson. Isaiah 3:18-23, under the section that talks about, "bring no more fetal sacrifices," it begins to chastise the daughters of Israel who had become vain. Isaiah 3:18-23, "in that day the Lord will take away the finery: the jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; the pendants, and the bracelets, the veils; the headdresses, the leg ornaments, the headbands; the perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; the nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles; the outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; the fine linen, the turbans, and the robes." Not all these things that are mentioned are necessarily bad in themselves. But what is the Lord saying? Matter of fact, before we even answer that question, somebody look up for me 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Did anybody get that handed to them? You got that right here, okay. 1 Timothy 2:9-10. When you finish, Isaiah 3:18. Go to Isaiah real quick. There's a very interesting passage that begins in chapter 4.

Isaiah 3:18, and you can even read down to, you know, it goes all the way to 23 describing it. And then it says instead of all these beautiful accessories, here you've got these women of Israel who just walked out of nordstroms on a shopping spree. I mean they're just done out. They're done up. They're dressed to kill, so to speak.

And right after that it says so it will be, "instead of a sweet smell," perfume, "there will be stench; instead of a sash, a rope," like a noose. "Instead of well-set hair, baldness; instead of a rich robe, the girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. Your men will fall by the sword, and your mighty men in the war. Her gates shall lament and mourn, she shall be desolate and sit on the ground." Alright, there's no chapters and verses given in the Bible. So this prophecy continues to flow.

Chapter 4:1, "in that day seven women will take hold of one man, saying, 'we will eat our own food and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.'" Alright, let me see if I can tie all this together real quick. What does a woman represent in Bible analogy or prophecy? So when it talks about the daughters of Zion or Israel, same thing, walking without stretched necks, and there's pride and there's outward adornment, but they're lacking something on the inside, that's also indicative of what happens to the church at the end. Then you go to chapter 4 and it says 7 women will take hold of one man, saying, "we'll eat our own bread. We'll wear our own apparel. Only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.

" Give me some liberty and I'll tell you what I think this could mean spiritually, if you're going to apply a spiritual analogy. In the last days there'll be many churches, and they'll say, "we want our own apparel." What does clothing represent, we've been learning? Character. They don't want Christ's righteousness; they want their own. They said, "we'll eat our own bread." What's the bread spiritually? Word of God. "Only let us be called by your name.

" They want his name, but their own righteousness, their own truth. But we want your name to take away our reproach. So it's describing kind of man-made religions and pride in the last days. Now in connection with that, and this is just a Christian principle to think about. Go ahead, read that next verse for us, mike, in 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Okay. 1 Timothy 2:9-10, "in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing Godliness, with good works." Now there's several verses here and it talks about women's apparel. And we're talking about women here. But do principals of modesty just apply to women? No. Applies to men too.

Typically who does most of the shopping when it comes to fashion? How many of you men hang out at the mall a lot? I was wondering. You wouldn't raise your hand. How many of you hang out waiting? [Laughing] but so the principle applies to men and women, but in the Bible it often talks about the women that seem preoccupied with the outward adorning. And then you read again 1 Peter 3:3-4, "whose adorning," it's talking about Godly women, "let it not be the outward adorning, the plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and a quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." Now I say this because, and I'm going to, you know, I don't know, it might be 5 more years before the Sabbath school lesson touches on this subject, so I may as well deal with it and we'll move on. But is it my imagination or has the world sort of become preoccupied with external adornment, piercings, tattoos.

I mean we're talking about clothing. The whole lesson is dealing with apparel and things connected with that. Is it just my imagination or have things changed in the last 10 or 15 years in this area? So I think it's important for Christians, dealing with the issue of modesty, talk about this, that Christ wants his followers to be modest, to be simple, to be humble. That doesn't mean that Christians, you know, need to wear sackcloth. That's the different extreme.

But I don't think we ought to be preoccupied with the fashions of the world, because while you don't judge a book by its cover, people do judge covers; and we're advertising for Jesus. And we want to be representative, don't we? Now there's some principals here. I think I gave out another, another verse. Hosea 2:13, got a hand right here. Hosea 2:13.

And just so we can--we can talk about this frankly with each other, there's not very many left. But it used to be that Christians used to say, "Bible Christians don't wear jewelry." I'm not talking about my denomination. I'm talking about baptists, methodists, pentecostal. There was a principle of simplicity across the board, especially in protestant churches, also in catholic churches. And it was taught.

And people were taught that when you come to church, you should dress appropriately. And I think I mentioned to you before, I've visited some of the great, even catholic, churches where tourists come in to look at the stained glass. And there's a priest or a friar there. And if people aren't dress right when they come in, they send 'em out, just to come as tourists and even look. And so there was an awareness of what you're wearing.

Yeah, you ever seen the sign before: "no shirt, no shoes, no service?" And any of you ever go to a restaurant, you remember the days when they'd say you have to have a tie. I do. I remember going out to dinner with my dad several times. And we got turned away because my brother and I didn't have jackets and ties. Tie and jacket was required.

Anyone remember that? Am I the only one? I think you just think oh it's hard to imagine now. But there are a lot of restaurants you didn't come in without a tie a few years ago. And well you know, that's all sort of gone to the wind. In our church, we're still clinging to the remnants of this teaching that says we should represent Jesus with our apparel, including when it comes to adornment. And Hosea 2:3, are we all set up to read that? Go ahead, read that for us.

Hosea 2:13, I'm sorry, 2:13. "And I will visit upon her the days of baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord." So in the worship of pagan religions, it was often common to put Markings on the flesh, make cuttings in the flesh and also just to adorn and deck themselves with these charms and amulets. And that gradually found its way into the Christian church, and it's become pretty commonplace. I often get a question on the radio program, Pastor Ross and i, "does it say anything in the Bible that you're not supposed to tattoo yourself?" Have you ever heard this? Well, what's the answer? Let me read it to you. Leviticus 19:28, "you shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo Marks on you; for I am the Lord.

" I think I'm reading from the new king James version, but it's really the translation, it's pretty accurate. That was common among the pagans. And wow, that's just become so commonplace today. And it makes me sad. It doesn't mean that the person getting tattooed can't get saved, I mean, but your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

And you know, what would you think if somebody went up to the temple of God with that beautiful white marble, and they took out their spray can when nobody was looking. And then they tag it with some gang graffiti. Wouldn't you think that's like a desecration? I get mad when they do it to a freeway wall. Don't you? New freeway wall goes up, and you think, oh, that looks nice, you know. And then all the sudden you see somebody puts something.

Usually you can't even tell what it says. And they go and Mark it all up. And it's so sad. What about your body? Temple of God. And when it says, "don't make any cuttings in your flesh.

" Well, the word "cuttings," piercings, it means don't be mutilating your body, 'cause your body's a temple of the Holy Spirit. Someone look up for me 1 Kings 18:28. Who has that? We gave that to someone. Oh, right over here, regina. 1 Kings 18:28.

And while we're preparing for that, how many of you remember the story of the demoniac in Mark 5? He's on all three Gospels. Matter of fact, one Gospel says there were two men. Two Gospels say there was one man. But there's this demoniac by the sea of Galilee. And one of the characteristics is Mark 5:5, "always, night and day, he was in the mountains in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself.

" You know, I hear that it's becoming more common, and it's more common among girls than boys is self-mutilation or cutting. And boys do it too, but it's I think 70%, 80% it's girls that cut themselves. And they're trying to get a feel for life or something by this. Alright, go ahead read for us 1 Kings 18:28. Okay, 1 Kings 18:28, "so they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.

" Who was it that was cutting themselves in this story? Prophets of baal, right? Why were they cutting themselves? Trying to get the attention of jehovah, or their pagan God? Pagan God. This was common among pagans for them to cut themselves and mutilate themselves and make themselves bleed. And at a funeral they did a lot of it, so don't cut yourself for the dead. God told--and I've talked about this before I know--God told aaron, the high priest, even when his own sons died. He said, "don't tear your garments.

" And they were sacred garments. So, you know, this is more and more common. Deuteronomy 14:1-2, "you are the children of the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the people who are on the face of the earth." There's to be a purity, a healthiness, a simplicity about the people of God where we shouldn't be marring and scaring and mutilating our bodies. Now having said that, you know, it's a miracle that I never did tattoo myself.

I don't know why, 'cause I did just about everything else you're not supposed to do. But that never just appealed to me. And I got a lot of friends that where do they not pierce these days? I mean it used to be just you pierce the ears. And then that wasn't enough. And then it started being two.

I remember when it was just two. I thought, "wow, they're really getting out on the edge, two earrings." And then they started going up the ear. Someone wanted to top it with three or four or five. Then they went all the way around the ear. And I'm not trying, please understand, I'm not trying to be unkind to anybody that thinks this is attractive or wants to do this.

I'm just trying to say--i don't know what I'm trying to say. I think it's odd. I don't think it's what God planned is I guess what I'm trying to say. And then it got to be, you know, the eyebrows and the nose and the tongue. Now that--do you really want someone in a fast food restaurant filling your burrito when they got tongue jewels on? I mean you can't hardly swallow.

That always makes me, worries me. I mean they say, "can I take your order please?" And i--and dentists say that's not good for you. You can crack your teeth with that stuff. They have more and more people coming in, that have chipped their teeth because the tongue jewels--that's not healthy. That's just plain not healthy.

And so I'm sorry. I'm not trying to make anyone uncomfortable, but don't you think it's gone a little far? And you know, it starts with one thing and then--i wrote a little book once called, "jewelry: how much is too much?" Because I want to go on record, there's going to be a lot of people in heaven that wore jewelry. Everyone clear? I'm not trying to say that this is a salvation issue. I'm trying to say it's a principle that we need to think about. And so the Bible addresses it.

We should address it. Somebody read 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Got a hand back here. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

" So it's just telling us a principle, we are the temple of God, and we should treat these bodies holy. In God's temple, was there gold? Lots of it. Was it on the outside or the inside? It was on the inside. And so the Bible says, "let it not be the outward adorning." But there ought to be that inner gold that God has for us, that he talks about. When the children of Israel made a golden calf, what did they make their calf out of? They made it out--he said, "break off the jewels that were in the nose and the ears of your sons and your daughters.

" And they made that into a calf. They made a God out of it. And then afterward, in Exodus 33:5, and in verse 6, "the Lord said to Moses, 'say unto the children of Israel, you are a stiff-necked people: I'll come up to you in the mist of you in a moment, and consume you; therefore now as a sign of humility, put off thine ornaments from thee that I might know what to do with thee. And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by mount horeb," or Mount Sinai, same thing. You know, if we're gonna meet with the Lord, we ought to do it with a sense of humility.

And that's what he was talking about, these daughters of Zion there in Isaiah. Let me give you one more verse on this principle. When in Genesis 35 when Jacob was going to meet with the Lord, and I'll read verse 1 to 4, Genesis 35. "And God said to Jacob, 'arise, and go up to bethel--" the word "bethel" means house of God-- "and dwell there; and make an altar unto God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of esau your brother." "Then Jacob said unto his household and to those that were with him, 'put away the foreign Gods that are among you--'" notice foreign Gods, pagan Gods-- "purify yourself, change your garments," clean garments, clean clothes. "Let us arise and go up to bethel; and I'll make there an altar unto the God," we're going to go worship God, "to which I went.

And they gave unto Jacob all the foreign Gods that were in their hand, and the rings that were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by shechem." You see the connection they're making there between the amulets, the charms, the rings and the foreign Gods and the idols? He said, "I want you to return, we consecrate ourselves to the God of my fathers." And so there was a revival. They did some reformation in their midst. So this is--like I said, it's not a popular subject. I just want to cover it, and then we'll move on. Maybe it's time to move on now.

Let's see what we got going on here. Yeah, it is time to move on. Let's talk a little bit about, go to Isaiah 1. This is also under still the first section. Isaiah 1:11-15.

And this verse sometimes troubles people. "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me?" Says the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of fed cattle. I don't delight in the blood of bulls, or lambs or goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required this from your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense and abominations to me.

The new moons, and the Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure iniquity." So God is saying, first of all, the sacrificial system is what God designed, right? Right? So he's not saying, "I'm against that." It was his plan. He's saying if you're doing these things without the heart and the Spirit, and you're living evil lives, away with it. Is it possible to keep a feast unto the Lord, or even a Sabbath in the wrong spirit? So what does the Lord want first and foremost when we come to worship him? He wants our hearts, right? And he goes on, and he says, "I cannot endure iniquity. And the sacred meeting, your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they are trouble to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear.

Your hands are full of blood." So going through outward, religious motions without heart transformation, how does the Lord feel about that? Not very good. You know what it makes me think of, Luke 20:46-47, talking about garments and sincerity. Luke 20:46-47, "beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, they love greetings in the Marketplace, the best seats in the synagogues, the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive the greater condemnation." There with outward forms of religion, they're working evil. And it's like a cover-up, kind of wolves in sheep's clothing, talking about garments.

Someone 1 Samuel 15:22. We gave that to somebody. I don't know who has it. Over here. Let's get a microphone back there.

Hold your hand up so he can see you please. 1 Samuel 15:22, and I'm going to read this in the meantime. Micah 6:6-8, "with what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord not be pleased with thousands of rams, 10,000 rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" What kind of religion or sacrifice is God really looking for? He goes on. "He has shown thee, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you?" Here it is. "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.

" So when we talk about these garments, and we talk about the fanfare and the ostentatious and the flamboyance of these proud daughters of Israel and even in the churches, we gotta think about what does the Lord want? "Walk humbly with your God." I don't want to beat a dead horse, but let me just say one more thing. A few years ago there was a little bouquet of very public evangelists that got caught in a variety of scandals. It kind of came in a wave a few years back. Some of you remember. I won't name their names right now.

But, you know, they had television programs and big meetings and big followers, big offerings and raising millions. And they began to look into their lives, and there's a lot of inconsistency, sexual sin, squandering of money. And one of the things that the media really liked to key in on was the flamboyance of their dress. The wives were wearing fox coats. They had big rolex watches and gaudy rings to show--they were preaching prosperity preaching and they needed to demonstrate me God's blessed me with prosperity and so they just had all this ostentatious, gilded stages and it was just way over the top.

Someone even wrote a song, "would Jesus wear a rolex?" Making fun of some of these televangelists that fell. Is the world watching what we wear? You bet they are. And so if we are going to serve God, we ought to do it with a sense of humility. Walk humbly with your God. Alright, you're going to read for us 1 Samuel 15:22 please.

Are you ready? "And Samuel said, hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of the rams." When Saul came back from the battle, he had not obeyed God; God said to destroy all the amalekites. And he said, "but I've brought these extra sheep here as a sacrifice," as though I could buy the right to sin. I've met people before that are successful, and they say, "oh, I know my life may not be what it should be, but I give big offerings." Does that impress God? Does the Lord already own everything in the world? So when we tell God I give a big offering and so that somehow is credit, I mean we should, you know, be generous from a loving heart. the Lord loves a cheerful giver. But if we think we're buying forgiveness by an offering, it's really an insult to the King of the universe.

What can you give him he's impressed with? I mean what tangible, earthly thing? You're gonna offer him a gold coin and he owns all the gold in all the mines in all of africa? You know what I'm saying? So what God wants is obedience is better than sacrifice. He wants our hearts. But the religious leader back in Christ's day, oh I've got it right here. Matthew 23:5, still talking about garments. Over here, jolyne has it.

Matthew 23:5, and I'm just going to let you read that next because I can't really go on until you do. Are you ready? Go ahead. "But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments." The religious leaders back in Christ's time, some of the priests, the scribes, you know, they had borders of blue on the edges of their garments in accordance with the law, symbol of loyalty and of phylactery. That's where you take a piece of parchment, of Scripture and typically they had Scriptures that contain like Exodus 13:9 or Deuteronomy 6:8, which said, "it will be a sign for you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord's law might be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt.

" You know, "these words that I command you this day shall be in your heart." "There shall be a sign upon your hand." "There'll be frontlets between your eyes." That's Deuteronomy 6:4. They took that literally. They had little leather boxes. They still do it today. And they would put quotes of Scripture, rolled up, stuck in this little box, so they could literally--and they'd wear the box on their hand, and strap it with leather tongs, so everyone could see I've got the Word of God on my hand.

And they'd strap it to their forehead. Any of you ever seen some of these Jewish leaders, the wailing wall? And I'm not trying to mock 'em, but they got little Scripture strapped to their forehead. Is that what Moses was talking about? How do we know that's not what Moses was talking about? Several ways. One, does the Bible ever say Moses walked around with pieces of Scripture or Ten Commandments bound to his forehead? So when he said, "these words I command you this day shall be in your heart," what does in your heart mean, is it literal or symbolic? Symbolic. So you need to also believe the next verse that says, "you shall bind them on your hand.

There'll be frontlets between your eyes." He meant the Word of God will be in your hand, your actions. It'll be in your mind, in your thoughts. That's an important verse to remember when it talks about the Mark of the beast being in the hand or in the forehead. It talks about service to the beast will be in your actions or in their worship, their thoughts. It has nothing to do with us strapping a piece of Scripture to our forehead.

Will strapping a piece of Scripture to your forehead make you any more holy? Will it keep you from sin? If you tattoo verses all over your body, will that make you more holy? No, that's not what God's talking about. "Thy word I have hid in my heart," not my epidermis, "that I might not sin against you." Right? You want it on the inside. And so that was something that they did quite literally. Alright, then we got a passage here in Isaiah 6, talking about garments of splendor. Kind of hopping around here a little bit.

And I'm just going to read the first verse. You know, I wish I had more time. I wrote a whole book on Isaiah 6:1-8, which is the next verse and we just don't have time right now. "In the year that king uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple." I don't know how long kate's wedding gown train was. I don't remember.

Anybody catch that? Nine feet? Nine feet, a modest nine feet, compared to diana's twenty-five feet. I do remember that. How about the train of God's robe? It filled the temple. I remember watching the little image yesterday of diana. They showed the old footage of her getting out of the carriage and all the work that went into getting her train out without it taking her head off because it was attached to her veil on her head.

And I actually saw a wedding blooper one time with this lady who, bride is walking down the aisle with her veil, its train is long, and she's got it attached to her head. And one of the little flower girls stepped on it while she was going to the aisle. And she fell backwards. Ha! I know, I wouldn't want it to be my wedding, but it's funny watching it afterward. What about the train of God's robe? It fills the temple.

Why would someone make a train long? What does that represent? Why was diana's so long? Doesn't it represent something about your status? The glory. So the glory of God's robe, it fills the temple of God. And so much so that when Isaiah sees God and he sees the attendance at his wedding, you've probably seen these weddings before where they typically have, you know, a modest two or three bridesmaids and groomsmen. And I've seen a couple weddings where they've got like 12 and 12. That gets expensive.

And God's got 10,000 times 10,000 around him. And he's just got the two, and Isaiah talks about these angels that just say, "holy, holy." And Isaiah sees all this and he falls down and says, "woe is me." He said, "the glory of God and the splendor of his garments." I think I might have time for one last thought. It says, "garments that do not last." Turn in the Bible to Joshua 9. And it talks about the gibeonites. Quickly, let me explain.

The gibeonites were a tribe. Gibeonites and hivites were the same people. You will hear them called two things. They saw the children of Israel under Joshua conquering nation after nation. They knew God was with them.

They knew that they had been numbered for destruction. And they thought, "look, our whole nation can't flee. Maybe we can make peace with them." But they were told, the Israelites were told, do not make any covenant with peace with the people that live in your land, less you intermarry with them and you take on their ways. You can make covenants with people of other nations for trade, but don't make any covenants with people that live in the land." Very specifically commanded. Gibeonites said, "look, let's come to them and we'll say we're from a far country.

And we'll look like we've just made a far journey. And we'll make a covenant." And they keep their word when they make a vow to God, the Israelites keep their vows, "we'll be safe." There's a clever plan. That's what they did. So they sent some ambassadors that showed up. And here's what it says.

"When the inhabitants," Joshua 9:3, "when the inhabitants of gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and ai, they worked craftily, and they went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkey, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet, old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. And they went to Joshua, to the camp at gilgal, and they said to him and the men of Israel, 'we have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.'" So Joshua, without consulting the Lord, he and the elders, they looked at their moldy old bread, and they looked at their skinny donkeys, and they looked at their ragged, patched, clothes and shoes. And they said, "wow, they have come a long way. They want to make a covenant to trade.

They've come from a far country. They made a covenant with them. Then they found out 3 days later, they were their neighbors. And they said, "what do we do?" Joshua said, "we've opened our mouth to the Lord. We can't go back.

" So they ended up protecting the gibeonites. Gibeonites ended up becoming their servants. They were commanded to be jars of water and haulers of wood for the temple, which isn't the worst thing that can happen compared to dying. Now why does it use all these symbols regarding their clothing? What is our righteousness like according to Isaiah? Filthy rags. So notice the gibeonites come to Joshua.

What does Joshua mean in Greek? Jesus. How do you say Joshua in Greek? Jesus. They come to Joshua and say, "make a covenant with us." And they plead their poverty. They say, "look at our old rags. Look at our skinny animals.

Look at our worn out shoes. Look at our bags with holes. Look at our moldy bread." And they have pity on 'em. And they say, "we're from a far country, but we've heard about your God. We want to serve your God.

Make a covenant with us." And make a covenant. What do we plead when we go to Jesus? Our righteousness or our unworthiness? The most eloquent thing that we can plead to Jesus for forgiveness and for new garments is how bad our old ones are. Now what do these things mean? Let me just take a moment and go through these symbols. Old sacks represents being under the curse. In hagai, it says, "you've sown much and you bring in a little.

You bring your money to put in bags with holes," old holey bags. Old wine skins, oh you know what that means. That represents the old doctrine that's worn out. You don't put new wine in old wine skins, Jesus said. The old wine is fermented.

The wine of Babylon, it says, "she makes the earth drunk with her wine." It's old wine. That means the old covenant. It won't save. Old, patched sandals. What does footwear represent? Your walk.

Did God take care of the footwear for the Israelites for 40 years? They never wore out. Matthew, John the baptist says, "I'm not worthy to loose the sandals that are being worn by the Messiah." So it represents a new walk. The old garments. We are all wearing an unclean thing. Christ is offering us a garment without spot or wrinkle.

Zechariah 3:3, "Joshua was clothed with filthy garments." But God took away the filthy garments and gave him priestly, clean robes. That's what happens. We come and we plead our need. Dry, moldy bread, what does the bread represent again? Have any of you ever heard a dry-moldy-bread sermon before? Hopefully not here, but I'm sure you have. But you know what I'm talking about? You want fresh bread.

Anyone like fresh bread. It's nice out of the oven, put the butter on while it's still cooling. Wow, that's good. They say it's not good for you, but it's sure good. Fresh bread.

Old moldy bread, that means truth that just is not healthy anymore. The bread needs to be fresh. Children of Israel got fresh manna every day. And it says they came from a far country. The prodigal son who represented the lost, where did he come--go to? A far country.

And when he came home, he came home from a far country. We are separated. There's a great gulf fixed between us and our God. And so these gibeonites are a great example of people who have been separated from God. And it's evident from what they wear.

So they came in humility, and they ended up being servants of God. And their principle job was to keep--listen, what was their principle job? Keep the fire burning in the sanctuary, keep the water flowing in the laver. Unless you're born of the water and the Spirit, water baptism, fire baptism. Their job was to work for Joshua to keep the water flowing and the fire burning in the temple. And if we, like those gibeonites, come to our Joshua--I'm quoting Matthew henry now--he will give us new garments and we'll be servants in his temple.

What a--what a wonderful analogy in that story dealing with garments. Amen? In 6 days, God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years, man has worshipped God on the seventh day of the week. Now each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed.

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