The Law as Teacher

The Law as Teacher

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:5
Date: 10/17/2020  Lesson: 3
This week we will study the role of God’s law in the whole question of Christian education. As part of Christian education we need to keep God’s law as a central component of what it means to live by faith and trusting in God’s grace.

Is Obedience Legalism? - Paper or Digital Download

Is Obedience Legalism? - Paper or Digital Download
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Jëan Ross: Good morning, friends. We'd like to welcome all of you to Sabbath School Study Hour, coming here from the Amazing Facts offices in Granite Bay, California. I'd like to welcome those joining us not only here in Northern California but also across the country. And I know we have folks joining us outside of North America, so a very warm welcome to you.

We're studying our lesson quarter, the new lesson quarterly, dealing with the subject of education. That is the title of the lesson. Today, we're in lesson number 3 and it's, "The Law as a Teacher." How does the law of God teach us? But before we get to our study this morning, Pastor Doug, let's start with a word of prayer.

Dear Father, we thank You that we're able to gather together and open up Your Word and study a very important topic: the law that is our teacher to lead us to Christ, to come to a clear understanding of Your will for our lives. And so we do ask the Holy Spirit to be with us here in the studio and be with those who are watching wherever they are, for we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Jëan: Well, Pastor Doug, just before we get into our study for today, which is lesson number 3, we've got an exciting upcoming event that I think we want to tell folks about. It starts October 23.

Doug: Yes, and at the time of this broadcast, it's only going to be about a week away and it's a special evangelistic program, international prophecy program, called "The Revelation Now." And you simply go to the website, Revelation Now, you can find out how you can participate in this soul-winning endeavor that's going to be broadcast on AFTV, 3ABN, Amazing Facts Facebook, the Doug Batchelor page, YouTube, Twitter, Birds in the Sky, I don't know, we're going to use every viable method we know of to get this program out there. And you can do it in your church. Invite people to your church or your home. There's lessons online and it's all free. Your church can sign up and be part of Revelation Now. We're going to be doing a full 20-part evangelistic program to bring people to Christ, and I can't think of a better time with everything happening in the world than right now.

Jëan: Absolutely, so just simply go to revelationnow.com. You'll be able to sign up and get notifications as to when we're going to be live and, as Pastor Doug mentioned, it starts October 23 and this will be a full Bible prophecy seminar. So I want to encourage you to encourage your friends to tune in and, again, just go to the website.

We do have a free offer for our study this morning that goes along with the topic and it's entitled "Obedience. Is it Legalism?" "Is Obedience Legalism?" And if you'd like to receive a free copy of this Amazing Facts Study Guide, the number to call is 866-788-3966. That is 866-Study-More, and ask for Offer number 706. You're also able to get a digital download of the study by texting the code "SH041" to the number "40544," and you'll be able to get a link as to how you can read this on your phone or on your computer. So "Is Obedience Legalism?" It's part of our Amazing Facts Study Guide series and it's a very important study there.

Well, Pastor Doug, our title for our lesson today is "The Law as a Teacher," and we have a memory verse and our memory verse is probably well known to a lot of our viewers: Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 5, and this is what it says: "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your strength." Now, of course, this verse we find in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy chapter 6, but this is also a verse that Jesus quotes when he was asked, "What is the greatest commandment in the law?" And Jesus said, "There are two. The first is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second, to love your neighbor as yourself."

Doug: Amen, we're going to be talking now in this lesson about the themes of the law, grace, the requirements of the law, some of the challenges of the law, and we'd also like to invite those of you who are watching if you have any questions, we're going to do our best to take some of your live questions. So those of you who might be watching our study right now on Facebook or YouTube, then you can--I guess you can't do it on YouTube, but you can text us on Facebook. They'll call out what those questions are and we'll do our best to answer some questions on the lesson live. So think about that now and start sending them in.

Jëan: You can just, as Pastor Doug mentioned, in you're on Facebook, just type it in there in the comments section. We have a team of folks here who are looking at the comments and we'll try and answer as many of those as we can. Well, let's get into it then, our study on Sabbath afternoon, the title for which is "To Love and To Fear God."

Doug: A lot of people wonder, "What does that mean? Is that the kind of fear or terror where you run from somebody, that you dread a person, or what does it mean? Is it just respect?"

Jëan: Well, you know, I think if you're, well, all of us, when you come to a knowledge of our sin, and we realize that we need a Savior, there is a certain degree of fear or perhaps even terror standing before God in judgment, clothed in your own filthy garments and not the righteousness of Jesus. There is a fear. But as we learn to see God's love and grace, that fear moves into a holy reverence and awe for God.

The Bible talks about angels that stand in the presence of God and they have six wings. With two, they cover their feet; with two, they cover their faces; with two, they fly. And they constant cry: "Holy, holy, holy." So just being in the presence of God and witnessing His character and His glory and His acts awakens an awe amongst the angels. How much more should God's glory awaken an awe and a reverence amongst human beings?

Doug: You know, there's a verse, if you want to look at that. It's in Job 1:1. It tells us about a godly man and his attitude about this. Do you want to read that?

Jëan: Job chapter 1, verse 1, yes. It says: "There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and this man was blameless and upright," and then almost defines that for us. It says: "One who feared God and shunned evil." So it's interesting how you have blameless and upright connected with fearing God and shunning evil.

Doug: And the Bible says: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And, you know, talking about education. Now, you know, for me, I think probably one of the best ways to conceive this, Jesus said when we talk to God to say, "Our Father," and yet we're also told to fear God and give glory to Him. I remember when--and I'm sure you had the same experience with your boys or all three of your kids, actually. But I cut firewood and I'd take the boys out cutting firewood and I used a, somewhere between a 10- and a 16-pound maul depending on what kind of wood it was and I remember the boys, I used to give them a little Fisher-Price ax so they could pretend they were helping me cut firewood. I'm talking about, like, you know, four, three years old, whatever. And they'd go and try and pick up my ax. They couldn't even pick it up. And so then they'd see me pick it up and split wood and it would pop apart and they would be in awe and they'd think, "My dad is the strongest man in the world," as small as I am.

But for them, there was, like, a fear, "Wow, look at that power. I can't do that." And--but they weren't afraid to, you know, tug on my sleeve and climb in my lap. And so, it wasn't a fear where they ran from me. It was a love and an awe, and, yeah, of course, that's a small example of the great majesty of God and how he is an awesome God. The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, meaning in judgment, but He's also a God that we love and we can approach.

Jëan: You know, we do have some questions that's coming in and one of the questions, somewhat related to this. The question is: "Where in the Bible would you find the place where Satan is involved in healing someone?" And I guess the question is in the last days the devil is going to perform signs and wonders and even healing and do we know of any example in the Bible where Satan would at least appear as though he healed someone?

Doug: Well, you have a false prophet in the book of Acts and it says he did many wonders. I don't know that it specifically mentions that he healed, but we know that people followed this person and, you know, one of the most common counterfeit miracles that the false prophets would perform is healing and so that was Simon that I think you read about, is it Acts chapter 8, I believe.

And we know Satan does miracles. You, of course, see that with the Pharaoh and when they turn their rods into serpents but, specifically healing, that's the only thing I can think of. Well, you can read in Revelation it says: "This," or "Those three unclean spirits go forth to deceive the kings of the earth with their miracles." Doesn't specifically say miracles of healing but—

Jëan: And of course, Jesus did say that there would be false christs, false prophets, performing signs, and one of those signs, you'd assume, would be miracles, trying to win over the support of the masses on the earth. Another question relating to the Ten Commandments, it says: "I've been discussing with a friend," and this person believes that the Ten--or the new covenant abolishes the Ten Commandments. Why is it--and the question is, "Why is it that so many Christians have a misunderstanding of the role of the Ten Commandments as it relates to the new covenant?"

Doug: One word: Sabbath. People have no problem with the Ten Commandments. I mean, I could go to almost any evangelical, even dispensational, churches in North America and I could preach on honor your parents and they will say, "Amen." And I could preach on do not worship idols, they'll say, "Amen," unless, well, there's some orthodox Catholic churches, they might not like that. I could go and I could preach about don't commit adultery, people would squirm but they'd know it's true and they'd say, "Amen." And they have no problem with the Commandments until you say, "Remember--" Actually, you could say, "Remember the Sabbath day," they'll say, "Amen," but then you say, "The seventh day is the Sabbath," they go, "We're not under the law. We're under grace." I mean, I've seen it time and time again.

I don't know, this one church, I went to a particular Presbyterian church in a small town, and I visited them. They had the Ten Commandments on the wall. That same town, I did an evangelistic meeting, and after preaching on the law and the Sabbath, the pastor took the Ten Commandments down. He says, "We're not under the law. We're under grace," and everyone said, "Why'd you take them down?" Several of his members actually joined our church because he obviously didn't want the Ten Commandments because of the Sabbath.

Jëan: So, it really boils down to the Sabbath commandment which is a commandment that says: "Remember," and it's a sign of our allegiance and our connection with Christ. And we might even get into that a little bit more of how the Sabbath or the Ten Commandments in the whole teaches us that. So on the subject of fearing God, Proverbs chapter 16, verse 6, says: "By the fear of the Lord, one departs from evil." So there is this reverence, this awe, but there is a certain degree of fear, especially for the evildoer, that we are going to stand before God in judgment. And that's Ecclesiastes chapter 8, verse 12, which says: "Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it will be well with those who fear God who fear before Him."

Doug: And fearing God can also mean you love Him and you fear to disappoint Him. And so, you know, that would be--that would be the right approach. It's just when you think about the consequences of your sin in disobedience, we should be afraid of hurting God. I mean, you look at the cross and you think about we ought to dread that, we ought to flee from that because we don't want to hurt Him because we love Him.

Jëan: And, of course, this message is relevant for us today because we have the first angel's message which says: "Fear God. Give glory to Him. The hour of His judgment has come." And it's connected or it's--it has to do with the Ten Commandments, of course, it's worship the Creator which reminds us of the Sabbath. So fearing God is not an "old-fashioned" idea; it's really part of this last warning message that God wants us to take to the world.

Doug: Yup. Now, there's a section here, and you'll find this in your lesson. If you look in Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 12 and verse 13, Moses is told: "Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law that their children who have not known it might hear and learn and fear."

Now, we're talking about education, we're talking about the law. Notice the connection between hearing it, learning it, and fearing. "And fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you cross the Jordan to possess." You know, if part of education is you teach your kids, "You do not touch the stove when there's a fire in it," and you're letting them hear, you're teaching them, and you want them to fear because it'll hurt them. And one of the things that, if you live in a city, you've got to teach your kids, you don't step off the curb unless, you know, you've trained them very carefully about the light and looking both ways and you want to put the fear in them that it hurts and it is unpleasant to be run over, and they learn. So it's a learning, hearing, and a fearing that actually saves their lives. So it's not bad that they learn those things.

Jëan: Then we find in Ecclesiastes 12, verse 13, it says: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man, for God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." So, once again, we have fearing God connected with keeping His commandments, and then the judgment. And of course, this is Ecclesiastes but we also find that same thing in Revelation: fearing God, give Him glory, the hour of His judgment's come.

Doug: A little earlier in Ecclesiastes, Solomon says, and this is chapter 8, verse 12: "Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days are prolonged," you know, sometimes it looks like, they're sinning and they seem to be having a good time, he says--Solomon says, "Don't be deceived. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him," meaning those who do not sin, who turn from disobedience. Now, of course, everyone has sinned. We've all broken the law, but living--it's talking about living a life of disobedience and commandment breaking.

Jëan: We do have a question, Pastor Doug, that's come in and this question is reference to a New Testament verse. Talks about a falling away that occurs and the question is: "Has this falling away begun?" And it's a falling away amongst those who are believers or in the church. "Has this falling away begun?"

Doug: And I think it's talking about 2 Thessalonians where it tells us that that wicked one will sit. It says that the Coming of the Lord will not happen until there come a falling away first and the son of perdition is revealed who sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is god.

Jëan: That's 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Doug: Thank you, yes. And this falling away is something that Paul foretold that the peer teachings that Jesus gave the apostles, Paul said, "After my departure I know grievous wolves will come in, not sparing the flock." That's in Acts, I believe. And that would come shortly after the death of the apostles. And it wasn't very long after the death of the apostles and the persecution during the age of the church of Smyrna that great compromise came in, and the church fell from those peer teachings of Christ. So, yes, that falling away, it came. It's not talking about a fall in the world; talking about a fall in the church.

Jëan: And, of course, it's interesting to note that a falling away is often associated with a falling away from the commandments of God. During the Old Testament time when the children of Israel fell away, they would often leave the commandments of God. When there was revival in the camp of Israel, they would return to obedience to God's commandments. So you can't have a falling away without setting aside the Ten Commandments. Doug: They always go hand in hand.

Jëan: And we see that even in the Christian world today, the setting aside of the Ten Commandments.

Doug: It never says in the Bible: "They fell away and became very obedient." It doesn't--those two don't happen together. And then we've got one more verse here and you can read that. Micah 6, verse 8.

Jëan: Yes, it is Micah 6:8. It says: "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Doug: Yeah, this is summarizing what it means to live a life of obedience and justice. And it sort of encompasses it that it's really out of love for God and love for your neighbor, which is what Jesus taught.

Jëan: Our next day's lesson is entitled, "A Witness Against You," and we're talking about the law here and folks have often wondered, "How does the law witness against us? And how does that tie in with our new covenant experience and relationship with God?" Colossians chapter 2, verse 14, it says, speaking about the death of Christ, "Having wiped out the handwriting of the requirements that were against us, which was contrary to us, and he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Now, sometimes, Pastor Doug, we hear people say when we do evangelism, "Oh, you don't have to keep the Ten Commandments anymore. You don't have to keep the Sabbath. It's nailed to the cross." It's a favorite phrase. Now, what exactly is Paul talking about here in Colossians 2 when he's saying something's nailed to the cross and it has to do with writing? I think the big clue there is handwriting.

Doug: Right, yeah. Well, first of all, all of the law in a sense is a witness against us in the judgment. You know, the Bible says we will be judged and I think this is James 2:12: "So speak and do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." And in the prior verses, he mentions two of the Ten Commandments. So, you know, we're going to be judged by the law of God, but the law that was nailed to the cross that was a witness against us, Paul was more specifically talking there about the law contained in ordinances. Now, you look in Deuteronomy 31, verse 26, and it tells us, Pastor Ross, there's a distinction there between the Ten Commandments that were in the ark and this other scroll of handwriting. You want to read that for us?

Jëan: Yeah, Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 26. This is God speaking to--or Moses speaking the Word of God. It says: "Take this book of the law and put it on the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God that it might be there a witness against you." So, Colossians 2:14 talks about the handwritten requirements that was against us. Deuteronomy 31:26 talks about the ceremonial law that was on the side of the ark and it says, specifically, was against you.

Doug: Yeah, it's interesting that a very strong teaching in the Hebrew law was that nobody was to be condemned or punished except in the mouth of two or three witnesses. And so within the ark of the covenant you've got two tables of stone, and it says, "written on both sides," and there's that dual nature there. And now, you've also got in the pocket on the outside of the ark, you've got the laws of the ordinances and some of the ceremonial laws. And when he, Moses, says, "This will be a witness against you," it means that it is recorded that you knew the will of God, you're to read it to the people and to teach them that it might be a witness. I think it says this here, Deuteronomy 31, verse 19: "Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths that this song might be a witness for me against the children of Israel." Now, why would he say that? It means that whenever they sang this Scripture song that dealt with the commandments of God, it was a witness that they knew what God wanted. It was part of His will. "When I brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, that they've eaten and they've filled themselves and they've grown fat, that they will turn to other gods and serve them. And they'll provoke Me and break My covenant. Then it shall be when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness." They'll be singing the song, going, "Oh, yeah, Moses said this would happen." "For it will not be forgotten in their mouths and their descendants for I know the inclination and behavior even today." So it was also supposed to be something of a protection for them as they sang these things to say, "We don't want to backslide and forget our God."

Jëan: And it's probably a good time for us to ask a question somebody texted in, one that we do hear from time to time: "As Christians that keep the Sabbath, shouldn't we also keep the sacred days of the Old Testament?"

Doug: Well, that goes along what we were just reading. It says: "Having wiped out the handwriting or ordinances that was against us, nailing it to the cross." There's a big distinction between the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and these other laws. The Sabbath of the Ten Commandment was perfect and part of God's plan before sin. You have it right there in Genesis chapter 2. All of the other ceremonial Sabbaths, they came after sin and they were connected with a sanctuary and services and the Bible tells us that when the veil was rent in the temple, the type met the anti-type. We don't need to sacrifice lambs anymore. We don't need to keep the Passover anymore. Christ is now our Passover which is sacrificed for us. And so these ceremonial Sabbaths, we can still learn from them but it would be really silly to keep the shadow when we now have the actual substance.

Jëan: It's also interesting to note that the Ten Commandments Sabbath, you know, the fourth Commandment, that was established way back in Eden. These other ceremonial Sabbaths were added at later times in Israel's history, depending on some lesson that God wanted to teach them. Of course, the sacrificial system was added after sin. It was not originally in the Garden of Eden, but the Ten Commandments we find right in the very beginning. So the Ten Commandments is on a separate plain, a different level, than the rest of the ceremonial Sabbaths and even the sacrificial system that came as a result of sin. It's secondary. The Ten Commandments was there first.

Doug: That's right.

Jëan: So, there is a clear distinction between the two. Then the next section that we coming to here, talking about a witness against you. It kind of leads us into a judgment scene and we find in Daniel chapter 7, verse 10, a very significant passage talking about judgment. It says: "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened." So, here we appear, or at least appears to be some kind of a heavenly judgment scene that's taking place. God the Father is seated. The books of record are open, and people are wondering, "Well, who's judged in this judgment and when does this judgment occur and how does the law play into this?"

Doug: Yeah, well, when it talks about that it may be a witness against you, you know, Jesus says in Matthew 12, and this is verse 36: "But I say to you that for every idle word that men will speak, they will give an account thereof in the day of judgment, for by your words you'll be justified and by your words you'll be condemned."

Now, we know that God knows everything but it seems like this judgment, and it says 10,000 times 10,000 are around Him. The Bible talks about the holy angels and I'm sure there's unfallen worlds, there's a record that is kept and, of course, God has a photographic memory so He knows everything, but I think beyond that, it talks about the books were opened. I don't know if they're books that are, you know, written on sheepskin. I doubt it. But some kind of book is kept in heaven.

I mean, look at how we store things now. We got servers that store, oh, it's bigger than terabytes and gigabytes. They're, ha, they're ooglebites, I don't know what they are, but there's so much information that Amazon and Google and these different companies have stored, they got warehouses out there in the desert that are just filled with ultra clean rooms that store information. Well, God has every thought that was thought, every word that was spoken, and they will rise up in the judgment against us unless they are covered by the blood of the Lamb. And so, it's giving us a picture of this in Daniel chapter 7.

Jëan: Now, this judgment that we find in Daniel 7, this rising up as you say, against us or contrary to us, this occurs even before Jesus comes. This is sort--we call it the pre-advent judgment and I think you're going to be preaching on that a little later today but a special type of judgment that occurs before the Second Coming and then, of course, we have a judgment that takes place during the 1000 years, a judgment for the wicked. But this is to kind of see those who are professing faith in God, are they genuine in their commitment. Are they loyal?

Doug: If--when the Lord comes, we know it says that he is dispensing rewards when He comes. It should stand to reason that some investigation must take place before He comes because when He comes one group goes up and one is destroyed by the brightness of His Coming. So does He do all that rewarding and then say, "All right, let's open the books"? Or there must be some books being opened before He comes. And I think that's what you're talking about.

Jëan: And then our next verse on here, Revelation chapter 20, verse 12, talks about a judgment that occurs at the end of the 1000 years and this is what it says, Revelation 20:12: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and the books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by the things that were written in the books."

So we have one judgment in Daniel chapter 7, the judgment of those whose names are written in the book of life. And then we have a judgment at the end of Revelation chapter 20 of those whose names were not found written in the book of life. So two different judgments that we find here in the New Testament.

Doug: And you notice that it's really talking about different books. It says, "The book of life," which is singular, and then it says, "they were judged out of those things that were written in the books," which is plural. And so, evidently, there's a few books that are being used. You get the book of life. The Bible talks about a book of remembrance. Is that Malachi?

Jëan: Mm-hm.

Doug: And so, yeah, everything is written down. Somehow, God's got it all recorded.

Jëan: You know, we have a question that's come in, Pastor Doug, and it's an important question. It says: "How do you give practically your heart fully to God?"

Doug: Well, I think that you can make a conscious decision. You know, there's a great statement in that book, "Steps to Christ," and it talks about we sometimes don't appreciate the power of the will that God has given to people, and that we can make a choice. Even if we're weak, we can say, "All right, Lord, I may not feel like it, I might be afraid, there might be part of me that doesn't want to, but by Your grace I am choosing to be Yours. Will You take my heart?" And you actually give the Holy Spirit permission to move into your mind and then begin to change your affections when you surrender your will to God by saying, "Lord, I am choosing to believe in You. I want to give You my heart." It's not--it's not an emotional feeling of ecstasy.

Now, conversion, some people have emotional feelings. That may not be wrong but choosing to give God your heart, I think, is a conscious, rational decision. That's where Jesus said, "What profit is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?" You know, you're an accountant, you don't make emotional decisions. You look at the profit and you want to make the profit. You don't want the loss. And so you make the reasonable decision. Jesus is saying, "Choose. Use your will to say, 'Lord, I don't want to lose everything. I want eternal life.'" And so, once you make that decision, and you give yourself to Him, it's a prayer you can pray. Say, "Lord, I'm choosing right now." Don't say, "Well, how do I feel?" You make the decision and then feelings may follow as the Holy Spirit comes but you make a conscious choice.

Jëan: And I think this choice of surrendering ourselves to God is not just a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There might be a specific point we can point back at and say, "That's when I surrendered my life to Christ," but the apostle Paul tells us it's the day-by-day experience. He says, "I die daily."

Doug: Several times a day.

Jëan: So, we shouldn't get discouraged, right. The devil comes and tempts us and then we think, "I didn't give my life to Christ. Why am I being tempted?" No, just surrender right then and there. It's a day-by-day surrendering to Christ.

Doug: And every time you are tempted, you're reminding yourself, "No, I can't do that. I made a choice."

Jëan: That's right. Well, moving on with our lesson then, the next section that we have deals with "That You May Prosper," and, well, there's a number of lessons that we can learn here from the Old Testament. Deuteronomy chapter 5, verse 29, that says: "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well for them and with their children forever!"

Now, there's an interesting story that leads into this verse. God had just given the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel. The children of Israel had responded and said, "Everything that You have said, we will do." And then God speaking to Moses says, "Oh, that there was a heart within them that they'd love Me." So, the children of Israel, their initial response is, "Oh, Ten Commandments, no problem, we can do that." But they didn't realize that true obedience comes from the heart, and God was saying, "Oh, I wish there was a heart within them that they would love Me and fear Me and keep My commandments, that it might be good for them." God wants to bless us, and in blessing us, he wants us to keep His commandments.

Doug: Yeah, and that's also a good segue from that last question: we can choose consciously but then the motive needs to ultimately be love. When you first come to the Lord, you may not feel love, but as you look at the cross and you see what Jesus did for you, the Bible says the goodness of God leads us to repentance, so we look at his goodness and it evokes repentance. And then the promise in the Bible is we love Him, why? Because He first loved us. So we look at the love of God and, you know, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." And so we learn what pleases the Lord. When we love Him, we don't want to hurt Him.

Jëan: Mm-hm, Pastor Doug, we have a question that's come in and it's a little different than this particular day's lesson but it is an interesting question. The question comes from Revelation chapter 19, verse 16, and it's--here's the verse. It says: "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords." Now, somebody says, "I'm trying to explain this verse for a while. Some have even said this is a type of tattoo. How do we understand this that on His robe and on His thigh a name is written: 'King of kings and Lord of lords,'" speaking of Jesus?

Doug: Right, well, first, it's a good idea to remember that there's a lot of symbols in this passage. Jesus, of course, is seen with a sword coming out of His mouth. Let's hope that's just a symbol and that we're not going to see Him walking around with a sword coming out of His head in heaven. And riding on a white horse was a symbol in the Bible of purity, conquering, victory. Having the Word of God written on His thigh, a thigh which is considered the strongest muscle, in the Bible, and the strength of the gospel is the Word of God. So it's--there's a lot of Bible symbolism there.

Jëan: And I think the biggest muscle for, you know, even today, but of course, with the Old Testament, the strongest muscle was the thigh. And often was connected with royalty or rulership, symbolizing strength and power. So here in Revelation chapter 19, Jesus is pictured as coming as a King coming to rule with strength and power and thus the name, King of kings and Lord of lords. So it's a symbol of strength and power, which is important.

Doug: Interesting, there's a story in the Bible when Abraham sends Eliezer to pick a wife for Isaac, he tells Eliezer, his servant, "Put your hand under my thigh," and so it was a symbol of the strength and it's connected with a covenant, yeah.

Jëan: Absolutely, all right, then moving on with the subject of "That You Might Prosper," we're talking about the Ten Commandments and the law of God. Psalm 1:1-3 is a well-known passage, beautiful psalm, and it says: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever does he shall prosper." So there's a promise: those who are faithful in obedience to God, that says they're going to prosper.

Now, some might look at that and think, "Well, if I keep God's commandments now, it doesn't seem as though I'm going to prosper. Maybe I'm going to lose my job if I choose to keep the Sabbath." So how do we explain that verse with the experience that people are facing now? Doug: Yeah, that's a good question. Actually, I think the next section talks about the toils of law-keepers. Sometimes they do struggle and--but it's really saying in the big picture they will be blessed.

Now, if you stand back, you look at the life of Abraham, it says: "Abraham kept My laws, My statutes, My commandments." I think that's Genesis 25. And Abraham had struggles. There were times of famine. He had some problems in the household. But if you look back at the panorama of his life, it was one of great prosperity and blessing. And you can see that with Job. Job is doubly blessed after his trials, but he still struggled.

But, you know, God promises to bless His people and that's why, you know, Solomon said, "I know even though you might seem like a sinner is prospering, I know in the long run it is not well with the wicked but it will be well with the righteous." And if you look in, let me see here, 2 Chronicles 31 and this is verse 20: "Thus Hezekiah did throughout all of Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his might. So he prospered."

And so God, so often when you read about the kings, it says "He did not walk in the ways of the Lord," and he had wars and there was problems and the kingdom diminished. But whenever they had a king that obeyed, the kingdom ended up expanding and God blessed and strengthened them. Whenever they worshiped idols, they turned away and they struggled and it went backwards. So, as a--it doesn't mean they didn't have good days and bad days. And that's the way it is with the righteous, too. You're going to have good days and bad days but, in the long run, you'll obey if you prosper. Sin brings problems.

Jëan: Mm-hm, yeah, absolutely. Pastor Doug, here's a question that somebody has. They just sent it in. It's a good question. They say, "According to 2 Kings 2:3-9, Elijah was taken to heaven but then Jesus in John chapter 3, verse 13, seems to indicate that no one was taken to heaven. Can you explain these two verses?" John 3:13.

Doug: Yeah, that's where Christ said, "No man has ascended to heaven." He's talking not just about ascending. He's talking about no man has gone up and come back down again to give us information. Elijah did ascend. He appeared to Christ but Elijah did not go to heaven, then come back down and start talking to us. The one who has brought heaven to earth is Christ.

Jëan: Right, and he came to reveal truth.

Doug: Right, he's the only one.

Jëan: No one else has been sent from heaven to do so.

Doug: Came from the presence of the Father to do that.

Jëan: Another question that somebody has while we're on that same subject. The question is: "After Jesus rose from the dead, did He go to heaven after meeting with Mary and then come back down and meet with the disciples when He told Thomas to touch Him and see that it's Him?"

Doug: Yeah, we believe that when Mary saw Jesus at the tomb, of course, Christ Himself, He says, "Do not touch Me or cling to Me," is the actual--she fell at His feet to grab Him. He said, "Don't cling to Me." I think King James says: "Don't touch Me." That makes it sound like "You're dirty," but didn't mean that. He meant, "Don't detain Me because I've not yet ascended to My Father." So, she found Jesus right after the Resurrection, before He'd even ascended to the Father. "But go to My brethren and say, 'I ascend to My Father and Your Father.'"

So after Mary saw Him, He then ascended. His sacrifice--He went right before the Father. His sacrifice was declared accepted. He sat down at the right hand of God enthroned, received the kingdom, so to speak, and he kind of ransomed this world. And then He came back down again and--that Sunday night. Then He says, "All hail," and they held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. So for Mary, He says, "I'm not ascended. Don't cling to Me." After He comes back again, He says, "All hail, you can worship Me," which, by the way, is another good evidence that Jesus is God because we're only supposed to worship God.

Jëan: Right, it's kind of interesting that Jesus wasn't encouraging worship until He got the word from His Father that His sacrifice was enough. I mean, He had by faith believed His sacrifice would be enough, but he hadn't yet officially received the word from His Father and that was always very important to Christ: the salvation of mankind. Pastor

Doug, before we move on to the next section that we have, "Toils and Struggles of Keeping the Law," just one other thought here and that is the law as a teacher leading us to Christ, Psalm 19, verse 7 says: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul and the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." So, in the New Testament the law is referred to as a teacher or a tutor to lead us to Christ. So when we see ourselves reflected in the law of God, we realize our need of a Savior because we see our Sin, that is to guide us or point us to Jesus. The law in and of itself can't save, but the law teaches us or leads us to Jesus who can save.

Doug: Yeah, and at the end of that verse there, it says in verse 11: "And in keeping of them, there's also warning and great reward. It talks about the prosperity and so, it's instructing, it's warning, and there's great reward and prosperity, so to speak, in keeping them.

Jëan: The next section that we have is the toils and the struggles of law-keepers and we touched on this a little earlier. 1 John chapter 5, verse 3 says: "For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and that His commandments are not burdensome." Now, being a commandment-keeping Christian in a world that is filled with sin, it's going against the flow. It's swimming upstream, so to speak. And there are going to be oppositions. There were oppositions to Daniel, to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who wanted to keep God's law, keep the commandments. They ended up going into the fiery furnace. Daniel ended up in the lion's den and yet God delivered them out of those trials. So, even if we do face oppositions and trials, it's a lot better to face those trials with Christ than to face trials and difficulties as those who are setting aside God's law.

Doug: Yeah, and there are toils for law-keepers in keeping the law. You know, we--Paul describes that condition where he said, "I'm struggling to do what God wants me to do, but my flesh really wants to do something else. And who will deliver me from this?" And it says, of course, in chapter 8 of Romans, he says, "And thank God through Christ that we're delivered from that miserable condition where you're not thoroughly converted and you're trying to be saved by your law-keeping." And I think in the book, "Steps to Christ," it says: "Anyone who is trying to secure their salvation by obedience in the law is attempting--it's a drudgery.

Jëan: Yeah, impossibility.

Doug: Attempting an impossibility and it's drudgery, that's right. So, we--there's toils in trying to find salvation through keeping the law because you're going about it wrong. Now, if we're trying to keep the law for the wrong reason, should we still try and keep the law?

Jëan: I think it's better to keep the law than not keep the law.

Doug: Yeah.

Jëan: A child might not fully understand why his parent says, you know, "Don't chase your ball into the road. You've got to stop at the sidewalk." They might not understand all the details but the parent does and it's better for the child if they do. "Don't touch that hot stove." They might not understand how burning works but in obedience to their parents, they save themselves a lot of pain.

Doug: Yeah, exactly. And you look at the blessings that God promises for those that obey Him. If you look, for instance, in John chapter 14, verse 15, Jesus said--now, we know this part, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Now read verse 16: "And I will pray the Father and He will give you another helper that He may abide with you forever, the spirit of truth." And so it almost makes it sound like that one of the prerequisites to being Spirit-filled, it's a power of God, is to be surrendered to obey. That's why, I think, Peter says in Acts 5:32: "And we are His witnesses to these things. So also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those that obey Him." And so, you know, to be Spirit-filled, I think we need to be surrendered and willing to obey.

Jëan: And that becomes very significant as we look in end-time events in Revelation. God has a group of people that are described as keeping His commandments and having the testimony of Jesus: Revelation chapter 12, verse 17. We find the same thing or a similar thing in Revelation 14:12 that says: "Here are they who keep the commandments of God and have the patience or the faith of Jesus."

So two characteristics or three characteristics of God's people in the last days: they keep his commandments, they have the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy, and they have the faith of Jesus. Keeping God's commandments and having the faith of Jesus goes hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. Those who are trying to keep the commandments without faith in Jesus, you'd refer to that as legalism. So, in order for us to keep God's commandments, we do need to have the Spirit of Christ working in our hearts and lives. And that comes through the surrender of self.

Doug: Absolutely, so even though God promises blessings on those who obey, sometimes there are trials that come to even the obedient. You know, Jesus said, "In the world you'll have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." And then Paul kind of outlines some of his trials, and Paul was surrendered to the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 11:23: "Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes," that means being whipped, "above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often," facing death. "From the Jews five times I received 40 stripes minus 1," that's hard to comprehend. "Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep." You don't want to cruise with Paul, do you? Three times shipwrecked. "In journeys often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness," wow.

You read that and you say, "Would you like to be a Christian? No, that's not that way for every Christian but some Christians. You know, Paul, out preaching the gospel, he was a real target for the devil. He had an obedient life but he also had toils.

Jëan: And Paul goes on to say: "And we are more than conquerors in Him that loved us." So, yeah, despite the challenges that he had, he recognized that the reward is far greater.

Doug: And he said, "Rejoice in the Lord always and, again I say, rejoice. And I've learned in whatever state I'm in, to be content," and Paul had a peace and he had a joy in spite of the trials.

Jëan: Yeah, we do have a question. Someone's asking us about Isaiah 66:23 that says: "In the earth made new, the believers or the saved will go and worship from one Sabbath to another and from one moon to another." They're wondering about this new moon to another. What is that all about?

Doug: Well, first of all, they separated their months by the moon. And the Bible tells us that, of course, the new moon was a Sabbath. Now, we don't learn about the new moon Sabbaths being kept until after sin. You know, it's not part of the original Ten Commandments. It doesn't say anything about the new moon Sabbaths. You don't hear anything about the apostles keeping the new moon Sabbaths. And I've got a theory and I can't prove this, but I believe that in heaven when things are restored, you know, right now, the earth since the flood or something happened where our atmosphere changed, there's very cold, uninhabitable parts of the climate--world now that are freezing, others are burning hot, that we've got wild swings in the seasons.

I think that when things are restored in the new heaven and the new earth, that you're going to find that there's a new moon every 28 days, instead of it being slightly off that now. And that every new moon will also be a seventh day of the week because you've got 7 times 4 is 28. So it'll all line up then, so every new moon that you're keeping in heaven is also the seventh-day Sabbath.

Jëan: Right, somebody else mentioned--I like the idea that there's 12 different types of fruit on the tree of life and perhaps from one month to another you go to the New Jerusalem to try out the new fruit for that month. So there's a big gathering, a big harvest, that occurs once a month where people go and eat the new fruit from the tree of life, so interesting thought there. In our last little bit here, we always want to finish up with Jesus, our example when it comes to obedience to the law. John 13:15, it says: "For I have given you an example," the words of Christ, "that you should do as I have done." Of course, we know that Jesus kept His Father's commandments.

Doug: Yeah, and that's so important. It seems like such a simple basic truth but I meet people all the time and they say, "Well, Christ came and lived a holy life, so we don't have to." And I go, "Whoa, that's not Christianity. Christianity means you follow Christ. He said, 'I came to give you an example.'" He not only came to live a perfect life, to cover our sins, but then through the Holy Spirit and sanctification, it's not just justification, after we're justified, we then want to walk in a newness of life, and, by the way, that's--you look at 1 John 2:6: "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." I mean, that's as plain as it can be. He wants us to follow the example of Christ. And then also you find one like that, if you want to read it, in 1 Peter 2, verse 21.

Jëan: It says this: "For to you, you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps: 'Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.'" So that's pretty clear, Pastor Doug. It says: "Christ has left us an example. We should follow in His steps. He committed no sin. There was no deceit in His mouth." It's clear as to what God's goal and what our purpose is, that is to follow the example of Jesus.

Doug: Yeah, that we walk in His steps. A Christian is a follower of Christ. And hopefully, friends, you're learning, you know, what an important lesson we have in the law of God and, to me, I think this is one of the most important truths: the law of God is an expression of the character of God. So when you look at the law of God, it is not at odds with Jesus. It was written by Jesus. Keep in mind, all things that were made, were made by Him. I believe that Christ was there, just as He was writing in the dust of the temple floor, He was writing on those stones that He gave to Israel. It's His will and it says: "I love to do Thy will; Thy law is within my heart." And that's what real conversion is about: having the law of God in your heart.

Jëan: Like to remind our friends who are watching that we do have our free offer. It's entitled, "Is Obedience Legalism?" And we'll be happy to send this out to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 866-788-3966 and you want to ask for offer number 706. You can also text the code "SH041" to the number "40544," and you'll be able to get a digital copy of our lesson, talking about "Is Obedience Legalism?" Well, Pastor Doug, before we finish up our program, just want to remind our friends about our upcoming evangelistic online series entitled "Revelation Now."

Doug: Go to the website, friends. You'll be blessed. Sign up, revelationnow.com.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want. And most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: The statistics are grim. Millions have been infected by coronavirus, thousands have died. Race riots have broken out on streets, political tensions are at an all-time high. Does the Bible have anything to say about the times in which we are living?

Doug: Hi, friends, this is Pastor Doug Batchelor. Many people are wondering if the world's about to implode. Some are fearful that global events point to a coming crisis unlike anything we've ever witnessed. Did you know the Bible book of Revelation actually speaks about the days in which we're living now? And it contains a message of hope, if we would only listen. That's why I'd like to invite you to "Revelation Now! Decoding the Bible's Greatest Prophecies." In this multi-part series, I'll be sharing relevant truths for our time from the last book in the Bible.

Announcer: Coming October 23. To learn more, visit revelationnow.com. ♪♪♪

Announcer: Amazing Facts Changed Lives. Steve Johnson: I was heading south on Interstate 5. This commercial come on KFBK radio about a Revelation seminar by Amazing Facts. I began--my chest began to tighten up. I began sweating profusely. I had difficulty in breathing. There were this big rest area here and at this time I pulled into there. I thought, "Well, maybe I'm having a heart attack." I got out of my truck, walked into the men's restroom there and put cold water on my face. And then finally, things subsided.

A week later, again, I heard this Amazing Facts commercial come on the radio. In fact, the meetings were going to start that very night. This--and again, immediately, I had these same symptoms. I thought, "You know, this isn't my heart. I have to go to that meeting." And as I was going down to Sacramento, I decided to park and go inside. Well, I got in and walked into the furthermost rear seat they had in the pew there. And this particular evangelist, his name was Kim Kjaer, it was like taking one layer off at a time of an onion. He laid it out so perfectly that we could all understand it. And I was really motivated. I couldn't believe it.

Well, I finished. I didn't miss a meeting. In fact, on the fifth night, they had an altar call and my knees stood right up and I walked forward and I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I've learned throughout this whole thing that when you leave the devil's territory he gets pretty active in causing a lot of problems.

Well, I had the evangelists come out and they had prayer with me about my business. I would find a sick business and make it well and then market it. I finally ended up with a business that I really enjoyed. It was one that was building equestrian centers and they said to me, "Steve," he said, "you know, if you're going to really keep the Sabbath, you've got to shut your doors on the Sabbath." Well, I did and so I sold the business to my brother. Took me 22 years to build that business and he lost it in 33 months. My son who was my business partner, I'd been giving him 10% of the business every year. He thought I'd just fallen off the bridge. My son didn't talk to me for 5 1/2 years.

And then a few other things happened so I had an ex-employee living in my guest house. He kind of watched after our place and he said, "Steve," he said, "there's an Allied moving van backed up to your front door in your home." I said, "You're kidding." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "They're moving everything out of your house into this truck and your wife is out there supervising them." And when I went home and opened the front door, my voice echoed in that house. There wasn't any furniture left anywhere. There was one bed left in the house. I knew my wife was upset because of my coming to this church, but I had no idea that she would move out like this. That was a total shock to me.

It was some time that I locked myself in the bedroom and I began reading the Bible. It's been about a half a year, just every night, getting home and I would study. It allowed me to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Well, to make a long story short, I met Crystal and she was a godly woman. That was the Lord's doing, not mine. And He was just there to let me know that "I'm with you all the way. Even though you're going to have some trials and you're going to have some hardships, I want you to know that I'll be with you." Because, no matter what I do now, He is my leader. He's the leader of my marriage, He's the leader of everything in my life today.

That one meeting with the Amazing Facts seminar changed my entire life and, to this day, I'm still on fire for God. I'm still witnessing to my neighbors. My name is Steve Johnson and it's because of you that Amazing Facts has changed my life.

Doug: Have you ever heard the expression before, "They eat like a bird," talking about somebody that has a minuscule appetite. Well, you might want to think twice next time you use that expression. For example, take the hummingbird. In order for it to maintain its incredible metabolism, it has to eat about 50% of its bodyweight every day. To put that in perspective, if a 100-pound woman was to eat like a hummingbird, she would have to eat 50 pounds of sugar a day just to maintain her bodyweight.

Imagine that. Maybe you don't want to imagine that. Or perhaps you want to consider this another way. The hummingbird typically consumes between 4 to 7 calories a day. On the other hand, a human, about 3500 calories a day. But if you were to eat like a bird, a hummingbird, you'd have to eat over 150,000 calories a day. That's like a man, 170 pounds, that would be eating 3000 Oreo cookies.

Under normal conditions, a hummingbird needs to eat every five or ten minutes, but there's actually one time during the year the hummingbird will eat its entire bodyweight every day. You see, once a year, they make this migration of 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to the Yucatan Peninsula. In order to do that, the hummingbird feasts on nectar and gorges themselves on this nectar for about a week, doubling their bodyweight. That's the only way they can store enough calories to help them with their 70 wing beats per second, or roughly 4 million wing beats on that journey.

You know, in the same way, friends, as we near the end of time, we need to be feasting and gorging ourselves on the nectar of God's Word. We've got to be able to have that strength to get us through the times of trouble that are ahead. So when it comes to the Bible and your personal devotions, if you're going to eat like a bird, eat like a hummingbird.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top