Worship in Education

Worship in Education

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Date: 11/14/2020  Lesson: 7
Worship, proper worship, is so important that, in fact, it becomes central to the issues in the last days, before the second coming of Christ. Thus, Christian education needs to include the whole question of worship: what is it, how do we do it, why is it important, and whom do we worship?

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Shawn Brummund: Good morning, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." We are just so glad that you have joined us here this morning and, as we come together, to be able to worship the Lord in a very real and sincere way as we continue to connect with the one who has loved us and saved us. We are just so glad that you are with us. I know that there are many that are joining us locally as we continue to make our way through the pandemic, and I have the privilege of being able to join you from the brand-new studio that Amazing Facts has developed in their new facilities and in which Pastor Doug had opened up our new "Revelation Now!" prophecy seminar that just began as well.

And so for those of you who are joining us livestream locally, across the nation, in different parts of the world, we are thankful that you have joined us. For those of you who are watching this recorded program later on, on the different various TV networks, it is also nice to be able to have you join us, and it is always our prayer that God will bless you and that you will truly come closer to Christ in a knowledge of Him.

And so my name is Pastor Shawn Brummund and associate pastor, a family life pastor, over at the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I want to invite all of you to take advantage of a very special offer that we are offering here this morning, and it is entitled "The Rest of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know About the Sabbath." And so, many people, many Christians, and even some non-Christians are asking the question, "What does the Bible teach in concern to the Sabbath day and the fourth commandment found in the Ten Commandments?"

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So before we get into our study as we continue to look at this important quarterly that's entitled "Education," in the light of Christianity and the Bible message, I want to ask that all of us might be able to join together as we pray. Father in heaven, we are thankful to be able to come together here this morning, and for others that are watching under different time zones and replay of this program, Father, I want to pray that, no matter where they're at, that You will bless them and that You will enrich them with Your Spirit.

Father in heaven, we claim the promise that You gave to Your Son, Jesus, that, when He left this earth, that He would send a Comforter, a Teacher that would guide us into all truth. And so, Father, this morning, we want to pray that that Spirit will truly be our Teacher today. Father in heaven, I want to pray that I will fade in the background, Lord, and that Your Word and Your name will come forward, Lord, and be glorified even as we study these important truths. And so we worship You here this morning, Jesus. In Jesus's name we pray these things, amen.

All right, so we are in lesson number seven, which is "Worship in Education." "Worship in Education." And for many of us who have experienced Christian education either at the academy level or a local Seventh-day Adventist school during your grade-school experience or, for myself, in the different various Adventist universities and colleges, the term "chapel" is very familiar. In fact, if you talk about chapels or dorm worships or afterglows and vespers, and so on, I trust and hope that, for many of us, that brings back some very warm memories as we look back on our school or college and university days. Certainly, these were organized times when the student body came together for collective worship of the God in whom we claim as our God and Savior. And that's what we're looking at here today: worship, worship in the light of Christian education.

Now, as it turns out, the Bible has a lot to speak in regards to worship. It is a subject that is way more exhaustive than we are able to look at here today that the lesson study author was able to bring us through, but certainly we're going to look at some highlights, and I'd like to start actually by bringing us to the very last book of the Bible, which is the book of Revelation.

So turn with me, if you will, to Revelation chapter 14, and as we come to the 14th chapter of Revelation, we find there God has a three-pronged message for the very last years of Earth's history just before Jesus comes, and so this is a end-time, last-day message, the last message that God has for mankind, just before Jesus comes in deliverance and in judgment. And those three-pronged messages are symbolized by three angelic heavenly angels, and so when we are looking at the very first angel, which is what we're looking at here this morning, verses 6 and 7, it says, "Them I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and springs of water.'"

And so, friends, right in the heart of the very beginning of the very first prong or heavenly, angelic message that God has for mankind, just before Jesus comes--and, of course, we can't look at the study of this in regards to His judgment hour coming, but if we did, many of us have discovered that, indeed, that judgment hour has begun, and this message is relevant for our time in human history. And at the very heart of it, we find that there was a call from heaven for mankind to worship Him, who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.

And so, friends, this is the course, the very heart of our subject and topic here today, which is that of worship, a call to worship. Now, "worship" is an interesting word even in the book of Revelation. As we look at this last book of the Bible, you will discover that the word "worship" comes up 22 different times, and so it's a very prevalent theme and topic throughout that last book.

When we go to one of the most critical chapters in the Bible, which is chapter 13, we find there that the word "worship" comes up five times. And then, when we go to the following chapter, Revelation 14--and I would suggest that Revelation 13 and 14, are probably the two most instrumental chapters in the entire book of Revelation. And when we find ourselves in the book of Revelation chapter 14--13 and 14, I should say, we find that there are seven times that the word "worship" comes up, and all seven times of those, it is warning us against the deception of the evil one, against worshiping both Satan, as well as his biggest religious project in all of history and the beast power of Revelation chapter 13, warning us against both worshiping it as well as receiving its mark on our forehead or on our hand. And then, of course, as we've just read in Revelation chapter 14, the word "worship" comes up once, where it calls for us to make the best decision, the wisest decision, the life-giving decision of actually worshiping the true God of heaven. And all that the Bible tells us is wrapped up in what true biblical worship is. And so worship of God is very, very important.

Worship of God was first challenged in the Garden of Eden. When we read the 2nd chapter of Genesis, we find there--or sorry--the 3rd chapter of Genesis, we find there that there is an invitation by the serpent, who is being inspired, and as a mouthpiece for Satan, to be able to start to give our worship to something else besides the Lord. And, sadly, as we look at the next generation, we find that one of the first children of Adam and Eve also chose a different path of worship, a path of worship that was not inspired by God but was giving glory, rather, to the enemy of God Himself. And as we follow through the Scriptures in the pages of the Bible, we discover that, indeed, God has been challenged for worship. There has been a challenge to His throne for us to be able to choose either the true God of heaven, to worship Him, or worship Satan in the various different ways in which he has developed different religions and non-religions to be able to receive that worship himself.

Now, the Bible also reveals that God's challenge in concern to worship of His created beings did not begin here on this planet, but the Bible actually reveals that this particular challenge for God's worship began even before the foundation of this world, before mankind came to be. Who knows how long beforehand, but the Bible makes it very clear that, even before the world came to be, that a very exalted, beautiful, and holy angel, who originally was named Lucifer, came to challenge God for worship from the heavenly beings of heaven itself.

I want to read for you a quote from Isaiah chapter 14, and verses 12 through 14, where we find one of the key revelations in regards to that challenge for worship. And so it goes like this: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning. How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations. For you have said in your heart, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the furthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, and I will be like the Most High.'"

And so, very clearly, we find here that Lucifer was found with a very serious "I" problem, and, of course, that's our problem as well. We have inherited that since Adam and Eve first decided to give at least some of their temporary worship to Satan, brought sin upon this world, and ever since then, we also are born with an "I" problem, self-centeredness, pride, and so on. And so we find here that Lucifer was the first originator of this particular sin and mindset, this kind of headspace that he found himself in. And because he was so powerful, because he had so much influence, and he was at the right hand of Christ and the Father, he decided that, being at the right hand of Christ and the Father was not enough, but, rather, he decided that he wanted to replace Christ and/or the Father on their throne, that he might receive the worship, the ultimate worship of the heavenly beings, that only Christ and the Father truly are capable of receiving and not letting it get to their head, and, of course, capable and deserving of that worship as well.

And so, friends, in light of what the Bible says, both in the last-days message that we find in Revelation, and then also in the history book, of the history books of the Bible, from Genesis onward, does this make the subject of worship a very important topic? Well, yes, it does. It certainly does. True worship is so central to the Christian experience that all faithful Christian education must deal with the question of worship. And it is important for us, as educators, to be able to bring our children, both in the home as parental educators, as well as educators in our different academies, schools, universities, and colleges, and to be able to help establish our children in what the Bible teaches concerning true worship, and then to encourage them to make that best choice that we can possibly make to worship the Lord our God with all our heart, our strength, and our mind. And so that's the subject that we're looking at.

Sunday, we have some interesting things that are brought up. So if you have your quarterly with you, turn with me to Sunday's lesson study, and in Sunday's lesson study, it says we all worship something. And isn't that the truth? We all worship something. Now, when we study human history, it reveals that we have worshiped many different things in various levels at different ways under the name of "religion."

The quarterly points us back to the ancient Egyptian society that existed in Moses's day, and we have discovered that, indeed, there was a plethora of different gods in which the Egyptians were found worshiping. Pharaoh was one of them, but there was also the sun god. There was the god of the flies. There was the god of the frogs. There was the god of the Nile. And, indeed, by the way, that is--it was not by coincidence that God, when He brought His judgment plagues upon Egypt to be able to free Israel, that He had chosen to be able to turn the Nile that was thought to be the greatest blessing and, certainly, on a physical basis, was for the Egyptian society and was the key--one of the keys--that made them the most prosperous superpower of the world.

And so this was very important on two counts: Number one, this was revealing, both to the Egyptians, as well as to the Israelites, first, to the Egyptians that their gods that they had chosen, that they had believed, were very real, divine deities that could bless them and prosper them and benefit them in different ways, were actually deceptive, false forms of worshiping gods.

And, second of all, God was then breaking the ties, as much as He possibly could, in the hearts of the Israelites that had been duped during the centuries that they had been integrated into this culture that, indeed, these different gods and their forms of worship was something that was actually a deception, and that God, the God of Israel, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, is actually the God of the Nile, that God of Jacob--of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was the God of the frogs, was the God of all these different entities and creatures and beautiful things that prospered the nation of Egypt, actually came from the true, creating God of the Bible and of Israel.

And so there was two very important accounts, or fronts, in which God was able to liberate as many people, both within the Egyptians and the Israelites, in regards to these various false gods and various false forms of worship. And, of course, Egypt is just an example of many nations throughout all of history find that the vast majority of mankind and the vast majority of all nations in all of human recorded history is found worshiping in different false ways towards different false gods. It reveals that, indeed, the devil has specialized in religion. That is where he pours most of his energies into-- throughout history and even is pouring vast resources into that same project even here today.

But, of course, we live in a day and age, especially in some countries like the United States of America and Europe, Australia, and other developed countries, where we find that we are leaving religion altogether. There is a growing population of people, especially in our educational systems, that is grooming the newer generations to reject a God of any kind and, instead, adopt a naturalistic, materialistic, atheistic kind of world view and conclusion, both in regards to our origins, our history, our past, and then, of course, the unknown future. But in the light of that, we can still find ourselves worshiping, as the quarterly points out for us. We can find ourselves worshiping ourselves.

I have to confess that I was steeped in this before I met the Lord. By the time I was 20 years old, I was a major worshiper of myself: me, myself, and I, "numero uno." This is who I looked out first and looked out for first, and I know I wasn't alone at that point. By God's grace, He had called me. I had been wise enough to respond, and that same summer, when I turned 21, I became born again, and God had started to take my focus off myself and started to put it upon the One who made me, who saved me and loves me with an unending love. And so Father--friends, I'm just so thankful for that. So we can find ourselves worshiping ourselves.

We can find ourselves worshiping fame, money, power, sex, rock stars, pop stars, celebrities. Friends, there's a long list of different things and people that we can put our worship in, and so I just want to read a quote from the quarterly on Sunday, and that's page 57, if you haven't opened your quarterly yet. And it's smack-dab in the middle. There's just one sentence that I want to read. It says, "Whatever we love the most, whatever we focus most of our attention on, whatever we live for, that is what we worship." And, friends, I think there's a lot of truth to that. I think that really hits the nail on the head in regards to where we can derail or where we can find ourselves, perhaps, like myself, who was raised secular, just experience being off the rails of worshiping the true God, for whatever time in your life before you meet the Lord, and so whatever we love the most.

And I brought to my mind when I read this and was studying the quarterly for Sabbath school here today-- and that is one of the most instrumental. In fact, Jesus says this is the most instrumental, most important verse in all of the Bible, and it's found in Deuteronomy chapter 6 and verse 5, and it calls for us, in the midst of that most important verse, "to love the Lord with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our strength."

And so, friends, "This is the greatest commandment of all, and then the second one is like it," Jesus says. "You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself." Jesus says, "All of the law and the prophets hang on these two greatest of all commandments, and the greatest of the two is to love the Lord your God with everything that you have." Friends, this is at the very heart of worship as well, is it not?

And so, friends, the topic that we're looking at today is also found in the greatest commandment and most important verse in all of the Bible. And so love must be at the heart of our worship of the true God. So choosing the true God is important. Of course, you need to start with the right and only living God, even as the Bible says, "I am God, and there is no other." "I am God, and there is none like Me." God points that out in multiple places, in multiple times throughout the Bible that we might choose the right God. The first commandment itself says, "You shall have no other gods before Me."

And so God says, "Listen, I, the Lord, the Lord God is one," and He is the only one. And so loving and choosing that true God and then having a foundation of real, genuine love for God is absolutely important in true worship. But I want to talk about something else in regards to worship, and we can find that principle and call in some of the first pages of the Bible. Come with me to 1 Kings in chapter 18. And so, again, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to join me here this morning, 1 Kings chapter 18, and we're looking at verse 21. 1 Kings chapter 18, in verse 21, and this is in the setting of one of the greatest, most biggest milestones in the history of all of Israel.

Israel had found themselves derailed as a nation in a very serious way. The king and its queen had led the way in derailing the country from worshiping the true God, and not only did they start to worship the false god of Baal and Moloch, and a number of different false--Ashtoreth, and so on. You know, they also found themselves leaving the Scriptures, leaving the commandments of God, and worshiping this other god. And so God had brought it to head through one of His most important and greatest prophets of history, and that is the prophet Elijah. And so Elijah comes out of hiding because the king was after his head after he had declared God's declaration that they would not have rain upon the land, and they didn't for three years. And so there's a serious drought upon the land. They were suffering physically in a very real way, and Elijah says, "Let's meet on the top of Mount Carmel," one of the mountains in the vicinity of Galilee in northern Israel.

And so they met there, and so as Elijah was having this great showdown between the false god Baal and the true God, Yahweh, the God of Israel, we find there that Elijah, as he addresses the people, starts with this declaration. "He says, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him.' But the people answered him not a word."

Now, they did answer the Lord in that call when it all came to its conclusion. A fire came down from heaven. It consumed the sacrifice that Elijah had set up-- had soaked with water, and God supernaturally, very powerfully consumed not only that sacrifice, but all the rocks and the water that that sacrifice was laid upon.

But what we want to pick up here in the context of this very powerful story is those first words that Elijah shared with the people of Israel, and he's saying, "Listen, if the Lord is God--" it just doesn't say, "Believe in Him, and believe that He exists." It actually says, "If the Lord is God, follow Him." And, friends, I fear that this has been all too lost in much of what is called "Christianity" today.

We need to follow God. This is part of our worship, and it points us to who is our final authority, and this is what Elijah was inspired to challenge the people with, not to believe only that Yahweh exists, and Baal doesn't, but also to choose to worship Him by choosing Him as our ultimate authority, that we will follow Him wherever He tells us to go, that He is the Master of our life, that He is the Lord of our life.

You know, so often as Christians, I think we refer to Jesus and God as "our Lord" or as "the Lord," but we've forgotten what "Lord" actually means. Means that He is the Master of your life, that He is the final say, that He is the final authority in regards to what is truth, in regards to doctrine, as well as regards to direction for your life. Friends, I know that many have started to experience that already, even as I've had the privilege of experiencing, but if you haven't experienced that, I want to encourage you to respond to these words that God has brought to us through Elijah, that if Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is truly God, then we need to believe in His existence.

Yes, we need to choose Him of all the plethora of gods that we can choose from, but then we also must choose to follow Him and surrender our lives and our hearts to Him. And when we do that, friends, we will never be the same, I guarantee you. I experienced it when I was first turning 21 that summer, and I've experienced it now for the last 30-something years. God is truly alive and well, and the God of the Bible is the One that changes our heart and works with us in a very real way.

Now, in Revelation chapter 14, verse 4, as God is describing those who are faithful and choose the God and follow Him, even as Elijah had challenged his generation of Israel to follow, we find that it says this key sentence. It says, "These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes," and so, friends, we find it in the first books of the Bible as we looked at 1 Kings chapter 18, but we also find it in the very last chapters in the last book of the Bible, in which God calls us to follow the Lamb, wherever He goes.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, as your Lord, as the One in whom you've chosen, not only to believe exists, but that you've put your life in the hands of the Almighty and that you have come to discover that, indeed, he loves you and will change you and strengthen you and give you that abundant life that Jesus talked about that He came to give?

Friends, the devil has convinced too many of us that worship is limited to only singing, praying, and attending church. And I don't want to say that in such a way that it diminishes those essential elements that God has clearly modeled both through His New Testament Church and the Old Testament, as well as given us instructions that we are to have a holy convocation, that we are to gather together as believers and to be able to worship the Lord and lift Him up, that we are to sing our praises as one. And it tells us, even Isaiah 66, that "From every new moon and from every Sabbath to Sabbath, that we will come together," friends, and we will find ourselves worshiping on the Sabbath day collectively before the Lord. And so this is an important element, but, again, I believe that the devil has convinced too many of us, as Christians, that that's the beginning and the end of what we call "worship," of what God calls worship.

But, friends, we've already started to discover in the Bible that that's just not true. Jesus said it the strongest when He was preaching the greatest sermon that was ever preached on the Mount of Olives, and as He was preaching that great inauguration sermon before the hearers that day, God had made certain that every word was recorded for you and I. And as we come to the concluding words of that great sermon in verse 21 of the 7th chapter of Matthew, again, that's Matthew chapter 7, starting with verse 21 through verse 24, I read it again here this morning. It says, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'" And, friends, these are church-going, active, worshiping Christians, yes or no? Sure, it is.

Okay, friends, these are people that use the name of Jesus on a regular basis. These are people that are in church on a regular basis. Verse 23, Jesus sadly says, "Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" You see, friends, they had chosen a different authority, maybe themselves, maybe it was the culture and their peer pressure and their family traditions and morals and ethics, friends. But God has told us that when we truly make Jesus our Lord and our Savior, when we truly give Him all of our worship and love Him with all of our strength, of all of our heart and with all of our soul, that, friends, then it is then that we find ourselves in a right place. If our worship service doesn't include an attitude of surrendered obedience to God's law and sayings, Jesus tells us in that same passage, we are still lost and without the Spirit of God. And so being active, churchgoing, worshiping Christians doesn't guarantee our salvation.

Peter said it another way. He said it very succinctly and very clearly, for you and I, in Acts chapter 5, in verse 32, when he stated before the religious leaders of Israel of his day that had called them on the carpet and were trying to force them and have them stop preaching in the name of Jesus and the gospel of Christ, and he said to them, "We are His witnesses--" "His," with a capital H, that's Jesus. "We are Christ's witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." And so here Peter is, again, reiterating the fact that the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer can only come-- and the life of a human being can only exist when we surrender everything before Him. And so, friends, our whole entire life experience must be an experience of worship, not just during those hours in chapels or dorm worships or church services on Sabbath or Sunday mornings.

In Daniel chapter 3, we find that--the quarterly points us to some very faithful Jewish friends of Daniel, and these particular three friends find themselves in a very difficult situation in regards to their authority-- in regards to their God's authority in their life and their worship of God. And so, of course, we don't have time to read the entire story, but to put it in a nutshell, the king of Babylon, in which they were servants and slaves and captives, found themselves serving in the king's court, and because of that, they, as well as every single important name, leader, judge, and so on, that existed throughout all of the entire vast empire of Babylon, was called together and, in one collective service, under the signal of a great orchestra of music, was to bow down there on the Plains of Dura before this great golden image that we can only assume is that of the great King Nebuchadnezzar himself.

And so as Nebuchadnezzar was having this worship service that was not extracurricular--it was not an option for those who were the leaders and the biggest names in Babylon, but, rather, it was a required activity. And he had a very hot furnace to be able to enforce that and to encourage you to be able to follow his commands.

We find that three of those Jewish people, those Jewish young men, the friends of Daniel, found themselves forced to be able to decide "Who is my ultimate authority? Who do I truly worship and love from my heart?" And once they had determined that, indeed, the God of Israel was the only God in whom they would worship, and as they recollected those first two great commandments of the Ten Commandments that God had given to them, and as they recalled that God had said, "You shall have no other gods before Me," and as they recalled that the second commandment had told them, as well, straight from the Lord Himself, "You shall not make for yourselves any carved image of anything of the likeness of anything in heaven, on earth, or under the earth. You shall not bow down to them and worship them."

And so, friends, as they recounted those two great commandments, and as they regarded their love and their surrender before the Lord and the surrendered obedience that they had given to them, they decided that no matter what comes before them, whether they are incinerated in the furnace or whether the Lord delivers them that day, they would not bow down and worship that image.

Friends, this is one of the most powerful examples that we have in all of Scripture that helps us to--and models for us that we must follow God no matter where He asks us to go. Friends, history is full of millions of faithful followers of Christ that, unlike those three Hebrews that were miraculously delivered as many have been delivered over history, but, friends, history books has millions on the records in which they were incinerated, in which they were burnt at the stake, in which they were found and finding themselves dying on a cross as they were crucified as the Lord had been, and dying in dungeons from starvation and deprivation, and so on.

Lord, there is--friends, there is a plethora of martyrs throughout history that have revealed that God was the one that they had decided to worship with their heart no matter where that consequence might be. And, friends, I look forward to meeting and eating and fellowshipping with those martyrs when Jesus comes and the resurrection of life takes place, and we are able to eat with our Lord around the table, and they can tell their stories and how the Holy Spirit and God's presence had strengthened them when they had made that decision, when we can sit down with the three Hebrew faithfuls that day and be able to share some of the details that the Bible is not able to record for us even today.

Well, then we go to Monday's lesson, and Monday's lesson is interesting because it points us to a Psalm, Psalm 78, and it's a psalm of praise. It's a psalm of worship. I think it was the chief of the singing Levites, Asaph, that had been inspired to write that particular psalm. And as the quarterly points out, a psalm in the original Hebrew actually means "songs of praise." And even today, if we were to modernize that word, "psalms," it's actually an outdated English word that literally means "songs."

And so, friends, this is a beautiful, inspired book that covers, just, a whole range of life experiences and faith and struggles and victories, and so on. But in the midst of it, we find Psalm 78, and in Psalm 78, I'm just going to read two verses because it's just--these passages are just too long for us to be able to cover here this morning. But if you haven't read it all, I encourage you to read at all. Versus in 5 and 7, is where I'd like to point out and focus here this morning. It says, "For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children, that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children--"

Sounds a whole lot like Christian education, doesn't it? That they might know them, passing on knowledge. And it tells us that we bring it to our children-- "that they might set their hope in God--" this is the ultimate hope. This is the ultimate goal as the quarterly asks us that question, "What is the goal of this psalm?" "What is the goal of worship?" and "What is the goal of Christian education?"-- "that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments." And so, friends, when we establish those roots with our children and help them to know both the law of God as it points out His commandments, to be sure, but in addition to that, also history, Christian history, Seventh-day Adventist history, sharing with them the different stories of how God had delivered them and had led them in some very powerful ways.

Friends, there is some of the most fascinating history that you can find, both in the history of the Christian church in general, and then also in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist prophetic movement that we're involved in here as well-- powerful stories of how God had allowed this small, fledgling group of believers to take these new truths, including the Sabbath of the Ten Commandment, and to be able to establish themselves and expand to the point now where they--the Seventh-day Adventist movement is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, and it is the fastest-growing denomination in the world today as well. It has one of the largest, by far, educational systems, Christian educational systems, and medical and hospital systems across the world.

And so teaching our children these histories of-- these history stories about how God has led in the past can be so helpful for helping our children just set their hope in God and know that He is still living today, that He didn't just live in Moses's day, that He wasn't just alive during the days of Christ, some 2,000 years ago. He is still alive and willing to work in your life today. And so, friends, I want to encourage you to teach our children, both in our schools and in our homes. And, friends, I'm not sure if we've covered that in this quarterly yet--I'm sure it will--of the importance of the home being the first and primary place of where children receive their Christian education.

Well, in our last few minutes, we'll look at Tuesday's lesson, and this is one of my favorite encounters that Jesus had with someone while He was on this planet. In this case, it was a Samaritan woman, and while this particular Samaritan woman was having this life-changing encounter with Jesus-- and, again, time does not permit us to be able to look at the whole story, but as she was having this life-changing encounter with Jesus beside a famous historical well that Jacob himself once owned, we find there that she starts to bring up the subject of worship, and because that's our subject here today, I think it is something that could be helpful for us in regards to true worship.

So come with me to John chapter 4. We'll go to the gospel of John chapter 4, and we're going to pick it up with verse 20. John chapter 4, and we're going to pick it up with verse 20, and, again, this is where the Samaritan woman brings up the subject of worship. She says, "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain--" okay, and Mount Gerizim, if I remember correctly, is the mountain there by Sychar, her city, and the well of Jacob. "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain." Now, when she says their fathers, she's talking about this is Jacob's well, we have to remember, and this is the land, as the Bible says in the same chapter, that Jacob gave to his son Joseph, and so, friends, there's a deep heritage, the patriarchs of the Jewish people, the patriarchs of the great nation of Israel that came out from their genetic pool and reproduction, friends. It is them that worshiped on that mountain in many centuries past, and she points that out in pride, in religious and heretical--not heretical, but as a prideful heritage. "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place in where one ought to worship."

And so this, she points out another contentious issue that was feeding this enmity and this hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, and so the Samaritans continued to point to Sychar and Jacob's well is the ultimate place to worship God if you were to pick a spot, and the Jews say, "No, no, the temple, the holy temple of God." The Shekinah Glory that was once found, sadly, was not during the days of Christ and during this encounter, but used to actually dwell in the inner chamber, the most holy place of the temple, the holy city and capital of Israel. "This is where you must worship." Jesus doesn't take the bait. He doesn't fall into this contentious issue but simply says, "Woman, believe Me--" and, by the way, when He says, "Woman," just as He said to His mother earlier, you know, this was a term of respect. It's like saying, "Ma'am." "Believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father."

So Jesus is saying, "Listen, actually, both are going to become irrelevant very quickly." Verse 22, "You worship what you do not know, but we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews." So He does very tactfully and then directly say, you know, actually, the Jews are right on this account, but you know what? This is a non-issue starting very quickly here anyway, and so let's talk about worship from the heart and what true worship really is in the first place. Verse 23, it says, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

And so Jesus is saying, listen, one day it won't matter what part of the planet you're on. The main thing is that you're worshiping with these two key elements, the Spirit and in truth. And so, friends, these two elements are critical.

Now, I just appreciate the way that the author has pointed out the fact that too often, as Christians, we have been sold into buying exclusively one or the other. Either we're just really into the spirit, and truth and doctrine is really irrelevant or kind of falls into the background and backdrop, and, really, it's all about having the Holy Spirit and how he makes you feel, and so we become a very emotional-kind-of-based, kind of Christian experience. And Jesus here is pointing out to the woman, as well as you and I, that if we stop simply only with seeking the Holy Spirit, then we're going to find ourselves in deep trouble very quickly.

And so having the Spirit only is not the answer. Having Bible truth intellectually is also a problem, and we find that played out with the Pharisees, as well as many other Jews, religious Jews, during Jesus's day. They took great pride in having deep knowledge of the Scriptures of God. When King Herod came to the Jewish scholars and the scribes of Jerusalem in his day when the wise men came in and said, "Where is the Messiah, the King of the Jews? We have seen His star"-- and so he asked, you know, he asked the scholars, "Where is the Messiah to be born?" They didn't have to go to the concordance. They didn't have to look it up. They just said--well, it says in Micah chapter 3, I think it is verse 2, or something to that effect, and, you know-- "In Bethlehem of Ephrathah will He come from," and so they knew their Scriptures very well, and so intellectually they were very well acquainted with the Scriptures.

They knew vast--some of them knew vast passages by memory, but, friends, they had made the mistake of missing the Spirit in their life. And so, friends, they had a lot of truth, but the truth, Bible truth, even Bible truth without the Holy Spirit leads to a very dangerous spot as well. We can find ourselves into a legalistic self-righteousness that Paul says was the demise of his previous experience and the demise of many, the bulk of religious Jews of his generation as well.

And so Jesus very helpfully points out to us that we need to have both, and I just appreciate the quote from "Desire of Ages," as given to us on Tuesday's lesson, so, if you have your quarterly, you can follow along with me. If not, we can--I'll read it out loud here. That's on page 59. And right around the middle or just below the middle there, there's the quote, and it says, "The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve him right, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all his requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit."

And so, friends, we want to make sure that we don't fall into that kind of intellectual, self-righteous, legalistic experience that God is trying to protect us from as well. And then, again, I want to quote just from the author itself of the quarterly in the very last couple of sentences there, and he says, "Spirit without truth can lead to shallow, sentimentalism that's built more on fickle emotion than on anything else. In contrast, truth without Spirit can lead to a lifeless formalism and, hence, we need both." And that's what Jesus is teaching the woman at the well that day, and, of course, God had made sure that it was recorded, that He might be able to instruct us as well.

Well, we just have a minute or two left in our study here this morning, so we won't be able to look at everything that the quarterly covers, and, of course, I always have more that I'm hoping to share than I'm ever able to share, but, friends, I just want to encourage you, if you haven't gone through the quarterly, to make your way through that and make sure that you get everything you possibly can out of it.

And so there is a quote that is found on Wednesday's study, so let's close with that particular quote, and that is in 1 Chronicles chapter 16, and verse 29. So, of course, you can find it in your Bibles. It's also in the quarterly itself. It says, "Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!"

And so, friends, the question is asked, "What does that mean, 'the beauty of holiness'?" Friends, God is holy. You know, there's a statement that's repeated more than once, many times throughout the Bible in regards to God's character, and that is "God is holy," and that "God is love." And in this case, it's talking about the beauty of holiness.

Friends, once you have the Holy Spirit, and you're interested in surrender before the true God and Savior of the world, friends, it is at that point that God's holiness is beautiful and that you be able to see it in all of its glorious light.

And, you know, I was at a conference once-- and I'll close with this. I was at a big conference with pastors, thousands of pastors there. There was a prominent professor. I think the other speaker in one of the seminars was a professor as well, perhaps a pastor. And they had different presentations. One was that the foundational truth about God's character is that God is holy, and the other one said the foundational primary factor of God's character is that He is love. And so there was this kind of battle that took place throughout those couple of days, you know: Is God being love first and foremost, or is God being holy first and foremost?

And as I've thought and kind of ruminated on that, I'd like to suggest that they're not exclusive one to another, but rather, they are very synonymous: God's holiness is full of pure love and the fact that God is pure love, and all of that love is truly holiness. And I think we make the mistake if we tried to separate the two. The two are inseparably connected one to another. God's love is pure holiness, and God's pure holiness is pure love.

And so, friends, we're going to have to close it with that here today. Don't forget to take advantage of our free offer that we made at the beginning of the program. Some of us had missed that particular free offer, so I'm going to just say quickly here again, "The Rest of Your Life: Everything You Need to Know About the Sabbath." And so this is one of the best reads and studies that you can find concerning the fourth commandment, Sabbath, the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible, and so just call in to 1-866-788-3966, as you see on the screen, and ask for free offer number 813, and if you want to get a digital download of that, you can from your digital devices, your phone, in particular, by texting the code "SH086." So, again, you put that in your message box of your text app, and then you want to text that to the number 40544. And you can receive a free digital copy.

Again, friends, thank you for joining us here again. We look forward to seeing you next week as we continue to study through this important subject of Christian education.

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 Batchelor: 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 multipart 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 was this big rest area, 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. 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 evangelist 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 that 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've 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 there, 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 know, 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: Port Royal, here in Jamaica, was once considered the most wicked city in the world. They had more bars and brothels per square foot than any other place on the planet. It was said to be just full of cutthroats and pirates, but during this time, the King of France, Louie XIV, he began to persecute the Protestants and the Huguenots in the kingdom, and many fled. That's when Lewis Galdy and his brother Laurent came to Port Royal.

When Lewis Galdy arrived, he was absolutely dumbfounded at the unrestrained immorality, violence, and extravagance that filled Port Royal. That's why nobody was surprised when the judgment of God finally happened. Just before noon, June 7, 1692, there was a massive earthquake that affected the whole island, Port Royal in particular. Two-thirds of it slid into the sea. Then came a tsunami. Thousands perished. Unfortunately, even Lewis Galdy was swallowed up in the earthquake.

You know, much of Jamaica is a rock, but Port Royal was built on the sand, and so, when the earthquake struck, the sand virtually liquified, swallowing much of the city and thousands of people. Lewis Galdy was buried alive, but while underground, he was still conscious, and he prayed. He resigned himself to his fate, prayed to the Lord, and then another miracle happened. There was an aftershock with a volcanic activity that exploded, blowing Lewis Galdy out of the earth, hundreds of yards off into the sea, where he had a pretty hard landing, but he was able to swim until he was rescued. Lewis Galdy dedicated the remaining 47 years of his life to serving Jesus in this island, and he's even buried here still today.

You know, the Bible tells us, just before Jesus comes back, conditions in the world will be very much like they were in Sodom and in Port Royal. There's going to be a tremendous earthquake, and even islands will be swallowed up. But God's people don't need to be afraid. The same way that the Lord took care of Lewis Galdy, He will take care of you. It says in Psalm 91, that you might see a thousand fall at your side or ten thousand at your right hand, but only with your eyes will you see and behold the destruction of the wicked. He can protect you and resurrect you.

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