Preamble to Deuteronomy

Preamble to Deuteronomy

Scripture: 1 John 4:8
Date: 10/02/2021  Lesson: 1
Why must love, to be love, be freely given?

Does God's Grace Blot out the Law? - Paper or Download

Does God's Grace Blot out the Law? - Paper or Download
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Shawn Brummund: Hello, friends, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." Welcome to our church here in the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Greater Sacramento area. My name is Pastor Shawn Brummund, and I have the privilege of hosting our Sabbath School here today. Pastor Doug Bachelor will be our teacher.

It is always good to be able to have all our online friends that are watching even live right now. Of course, in the future, those who are watching on different various broadcasts, we are always glad that you have made that decision to be able to join us. For those of you who have joined us in the past, welcome back. For those of you who are joining us for the very first time, we pray and trust that your investment in the next hour will make a real difference in your faith, your understanding of God's Word, and that you will be able to look heaven-bound that much more clear. It's always good to be able to have our local members here in the Granite Bay Church as well. I thank you for coming and joining us as we continue to study.

We're looking at a new quarterly. This particular quarterly is called "Present Truth in the Book of Deuteronomy," some of you are saying. The ones that have already got a quarterly, they faithfully studied over the last week. They know exactly what it's called. So nice to have you here. If you haven't studied, make sure that you pay attention because there's lots to be able to absorb as we look at one of the most important books in the Old Testament, the book of Deuteronomy, written by Moses himself.

So this is a new quarterly. We're looking at lesson number one, a "Preamble to Deuteronomy," as we look at the context of this particular very powerful book. And, again, we are glad that you are here to be able to join us and study together.

Before we invite our musicians forward to be able to lead us out in song or in music and worship, I want to invite you to take advantage of a free gift offer that we want to give to you today, and it's entitled "Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law?" "Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law?" This is important question has been asked by Christians for centuries. It's still asked today. It's an important answer to be able to get to the bottom of biblically, and so this book is going to help you to do that, one of the best books written on the subject by Joe Crews himself. Free offer number 715 is all you have to ask for when you dial in to 1-866-788-3966, and we'll be happy to be able to send that out for you. That's available in North America and the different various U.S. territories.

Now, if you are in the United States and, you'd like to get a digital download of that to your phone, you can also do that by texting the code "SH149," and you want to dial that to 40544, and you'll receive the link to be able to receive that. And there's also a website address that you can see on the screen there if you'd like to go to the Amazing Facts website and find that on your computer anywhere in the world where you have Internet access.

For those of you who don't have a quarterly, by the way, quarterlies are usually and normally provided for free at your local Seventh-day Adventist Church. And so if you don't have a copy and you'd like a physical copy, you're not in town and can't attend our church here, we'd like to invite you to attend your local Seventh-day Adventist Church on a Saturday morning. Typically that is 11 o'clock, and Sabbath School at 10, and they will be happy to be able to serve you with that and give you a copy for your study. If you'd like a digital download, you can also find that by doing a search in the Granite--or the Amazing Facts website, which is AmazingFacts.org. Again, thank you for joining us. We have a special musical that is going to be presented now as we continue to worship the Lord.

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Shawn: I want to invite you to join me as we ask the Lord to be with us in prayer. Father in heaven, as we stop, we pause for a moment in reflection of the music in which we have just received, that we might worship You in prayer and now also in study. I want to pray that You will be with our teacher, Pastor Doug Batchelor, as he brings to us the Word of God. And, God, we want to pray that You will fulfill Your promise, that You will send Your Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and teach us all truth. Please give us that promise. Give us Your Spirit. We pray it in Christ's name, amen.

Doug Batchelor: Thank you, Pastor Shawn. Morning, everybody. Good to see you here. I want to welcome those that are not only here in the Granite Bay Hilltop building, I want to welcome our friends that are watching on "Amazing Facts" television or Facebook or YouTube or one of the hundreds of different ways now. The program seemed to fragment and multiply, and we're always thankful for that.

Today I'm excited. I specifically asked--today I decided I'm either going to preach or teach, and I wanted to teach because this is the first lesson in the book of Deuteronomy that we're covering today, and I don't know if I've ever shared with you, but Deuteronomy is probably one of my favorite books in the Bible. Favorite book in the New Testament, Luke, since you asked. Favorite book in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy. And maybe you'll understand why a little bit better as we proceed.

So this book of Deuteronomy is really foundational to understanding so much in the Bible, and our title for our lesson today--this is lesson number one--is "Preamble to Deuteronomy," and the memory verse is from 1 John 4, verse 8. If you got your Bibles, you can look that up, and if you want, you can say it with me. It's a short verse. I bet most of you know if by heart already. 1 John 4, verse 8, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

And we talked in our message last week about the priority of knowing God. And it says, of course, that love is the essence of God. That quintessential essence of God is love. It doesn't say God is loving, though He is. It doesn't say that God can be lovable, though He can. It's saying His essence is, if you were to define Him, love. When you look at the Ten Commandments, the first four deal with our love relationship with God. Last six deal with our love relationship with our fellow man. But it all springs from love.

Anyway, with that, I want to dive into our study of Deuteronomy with a little disclaimer. We got a lot of folks out there that watch "Sabbath School Study Hour," and some of you are teachers, and if I don't get all the way through the lessons, the teachers kindly chastise me. And I'm telling you in advance, it may happen again today. I'll do my best, but there's so much I want to say, I may not get to all the categories, so please be patient with me, and "I will pay thee all" at some point.

All right, Deuteronomy. The name Deuteronomy, it comes from a couple of Greek words. It means the second or repeating of the law. In Hebrew, Deuteronomy is "Devarim," and it means "the words." The reason for that--if you got your Bibles, I'm hoping--open your Bibles to Deuteronomy chapter 1. It is the fifth book of Moses in the Pentateuch. Pentateuch, five books. It may be the sixth book if Moses wrote Job first, which most scholars believe Job was probably the first book that was written, but in the Pentateuch of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy--Deuteronomy is the fifth book. Deuteronomy transpires in a short period of time.

Oh, I was going to read something to you. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 1. It says, "These are the words." That's where you get the Hebrew word for the book of Deuteronomy." Now, sometimes they called it "Devarim," and sometimes it was "Mishneh Torah." That means a repeating of the law. And, of course, in Greek, it's Deuteronomy. Now, sometimes I wish that they had found a shorter title for the book because I've still not learned how to spell that.

Now, the Book of Deuteronomy is called the repeating of the law, but it is not an addition to the law. In other words, Moses spends some time reviewing God's leading. In the Book of Deuteronomy, he actually expands a little bit. Even in the Ten Commandments that are given in Deuteronomy, you'll see that Moses does a little bit of commentary and expansion, but there's no conflict between what he says in Deuteronomy and the other books.

Deuteronomy--well, let me--you know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to give you the what, the where, the who, the why, and the when of Deuteronomy before we dive into it. Talking a little bit about the "what." Deuteronomy is divided really into three sections. It was probably delivered over a period of, oh, maybe three weeks. We're not sure. It's sort of the last message of Moses to the people, and he's renewing the covenant. You've got verses 1 through--or chapters 1 through 4 of Deuteronomy that are dealing with what you would call the review. He's reviewing God's history and how He led them. Then, as you get to chapter 5, he repeats the Ten Commandments.

You know, the two principle places where you're going to find the Ten Commandment, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5. And then from chapter 5 to 26, you've got the requirements. Well, first you've got the review, then you have the requirements, and then, if you go to chapter 27 through the end of the book-- 34 chapters in Deuteronomy. There you've got the review. He's talking--not the review. Sorry--the road ahead. So he's talking about the review, the requirements, and the road ahead. It's broken up nicely into those segments. There are 34 chapters. It takes about 2.5 hours to read the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is basically--it's a big sermon of Moses renewing the covenant.

Now, why does he need to renew the covenant? Well, when they left Egypt, how long ago was that? Forty years earlier. What has happened to virtually every adult from the time they left Egypt to this point in history? They've all died. Everybody 20 years old and upward has died. How old was the oldest person when Moses gives Deuteronomy that had left Egypt? Fifty-nine or sixty, right? Forty plus twenty. Am in the right ballpark? So you've got a very interesting dynamic here.

You've got a nation where there is no senior citizens. Well, not too many--except three. Aaron has died when Deuteronomy is given. Miriam has died. Moses is alive, and Joshua and Caleb. Everybody else is young. And most of the people--you know, God told them, "Be fruitful and multiply," and they did. You read the beginning of Exodus, it says the people grew, they grew, they multiplied, they grew exceedingly, and it's really emphasizing that the nation exploded. That also happened in the wilderness.

God protected them from disease. God gave them food every day. I mean, a lot of things--they take out the infants in other cultures--they weren't grappling with, and so you've got this explosion of young people, whole new generation, and they don't know everything or remember everything. Many are born during the wilderness wanderings. They don't remember the plagues that fell on Egypt. They need to hear it again. In fact, if you read in Deuteronomy chapter 6, the Lord says, "These words that I command you this day shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children when you lay down, when you rise up, when you go out, when you come in."

And so Moses, knowing that he was about to out, he wanted to repeat and remind them of God's leading, that they would not repeat the history of unbelief of their fathers. And so this is a very important renewal of the covenant that is happening here. Where does this happen? Well, in the first few words here it says, "He spoke to them in the wilderness, in the plain, opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, Dizahab. It's 11 days's journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea." And so this is happening in the plain on the east side of Jordan. It's what we would call today the modern Hashemite Kingdom, or the country of Jordan. They are on the east side of the Jordan River, great plain there.

Now, how many people are there? Well, we don't know exactly, but we can extrapolate. The Bible does tell us there were 600,000 that were qualified to fight. You had to be 20 years old or older to fight in a battle. We know all of the older ones had died off, but there's, like, 600,000 people. How many women and children would there be? And so conservative estimates are there's, like, two million-or-plus people that are gathered here on this plain. That's where it happened.

Who? Moses is speaking, now, is he speaking to all of Israel? Well, it says here--read right there. "These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel." But if you've got two million people, and you don't have artificial PA, can you really address two million people? One of the greatest preachers in history, who had the most booming voice was George Whitefield, and he was legendary for having a voice that he could talk to 10,000 people at once without a PA system. And Benjamin Franklin reports in his autobiography that he did a test, because he had heard about Whitefield's voice--they were actually friends and exchanged quite a few letters--that, one day, when he was preaching in Philadelphia. Franklin, You know, he's always a scientist--he paced off how far away he could go, and I think he got at least half a mile away, and you could still hear him, which is extraordinary.

It helps if you're up on an elevated spot, and even if Moses was standing on the mountainside and talking to the people in the plain, it'd be very difficult for two million people to hear. So when it says, "He spoke to Israel," what they often do--it says in other places--they spoke to the heads of the families. And so--and then they would, you know, subsequently relate this thing to the teachings to their families. But probably the 70 elders and the heads of the families and the tribes were at the forefront in the best seats where they could hear and see what Moses was saying.

Why? As I mentioned, he's renewing the covenant, and they needed to hear it again, when? This happens about 1406 B.C. That's about the year that Joshua also led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, and it contains an account of what happened in the wilderness from the first day--it gives you the dates here. It says, "From the first day of the 11th month of the 40th year, wandering in the wilderness after the departure from Egypt." And the book of Deuteronomy concludes with the death of Moses. It actually talks about 30 days of mourning following Moses's death. And so it's interesting that, in the 40th year, you've got this book that covers about 40 days. So God always does things in a fascinating way.

All right, and then I want you to turn with me in the Bible--this is one of the most important books in the Bible. Turn with me in Deuteronomy chapter 27. I want to read something to you. I'm going to read Deuteronomy 27, verses 1 through 8. Deuteronomy is something of a summary of the covenant that they used as their constitution. So you think about the most important documents in America, and you're going to think of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, Declaration of Independence.

Probably one of the most important books for the nation of Israel was the book of Deuteronomy. Notice what it says here. In verse 1, chapter 27 in Deuteronomy, "Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying, 'Keep the commandments which I command you today. And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, that you will set up for yourself large stones--'" and this was to happen between the mountains of Ebal and in the area of Ephraim-- "and whitewash them with lime. And you'll write on them all the words of this law--" and he's talking about the book of Deuteronomy-- "when you've crossed over, that you may enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, 'in a land flowing with milk and honey,' just as the Lord God your God, the God of your fathers promised you. Therefore, it shall be when you have crossed over the Jordan on that Mount Ebal, you shall set up these stones that I command you today, and you'll whitewash them with lime."

They basically had a form of primitive concrete back then, and they were going to mix that up. You know, they've been builders in Egypt. They knew the best technology-- "whitewash them with lime, and there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You'll not use an iron tool on them." Don't make any image. "You shall build them with whole stones the altar of the Lord your God. Offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. You'll offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before the Lord your God."

Notice verse 8, "And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law." There in the middle of the land, the Mount Ebal, the opposite on the Mount--what are the two mountains of blessing and cursing? Is it--okay, blank, brain cramp, it'll come back. On these two mountains--they had the mountain of blessing, which is where they put the stones, and then they had the other mountain where the people would stand. And they were to put these stones and write on--can you imagine being the guy, and they say, "We need a scribe." "Okay." "And we want you to write out the book of Deuteronomy in stone."

Like I said, it takes two and a half hours, but this was so important. They wanted to have a big wall, and on this wall the constitution of their covenant with the Lord in the middle of the Promised Land. I think that's very significant.

Something else I want you to notice. Go to Deuteronomy chapter 17, verse 18. Moses is giving some instructions. Deuteronomy 17, verse 18, "Also it shall be that when he, the king that you've chosen--" see, back in the book of Samuel, when the people asked for a king, and Samuel said, "You know, God is your King," God always knew they would ultimately do that because he gives a law here about it. He says, "When you pick a king from among your people," it says, "and he sits on the throne of the kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from before one of the priests in the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he might learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes--"

Now, how many of you remember the story where the priests were cleaning out the temple of the Lord during the time of Josiah? And it says, "We found the book." You know what book they found? They found the book of the law that was supposed to be read before the king, and Hilkiah the priest found it. He went in and said, "We have found the book of the law." He reads it to King Josiah, who weeps and tears his clothes. He thought, "If I'd only had this before."

So you find that the Book of Deuteronomy was to sort of be a constitution for them. It was in the middle of the land. It was supposed to be read before the king, and now to top things off, you go to the New Testament. In the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, you read in Matthew chapter 4, devil comes, and he says, "If you're the Son of God, turn these stones into bread." Christ responds, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.'" What book was Jesus quoting? Deuteronomy. Well, the devil goes for strike two, and he says--the devil then tempts Him, and he leads Him up to the temple, and he says, "If You're the Son of God, jump off, for it is written, 'His angels will bear--'" and he's quoting Psalm 91 or misquoting Psalm 91. "They'll bear You in Your hands lest You dash your foot against a stone." And he leaves out the part that says, "And keeps You in all Your ways." And Jesus says, "It is written," Matthew 4:7, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." And then the devil says, "Bow down and worship me, and I'll give You all these kingdoms. You don't need to die." And Jesus says, "Away with you, Satan, for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'"

Now, all three times Jesus was tempted, He returned to Scripture. What Scripture did He return to? Deuteronomy 8:3, "So He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and thirst--hunger, and He fed you with manna that you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." That's Deuteronomy. You read Deuteronomy 6:16, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah." You read in Deuteronomy 6:13-14, "You shall fear the name of the Lord your God and serve Him, and take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods--" that's why Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."

All three times Jesus was tempted, what book does he resort to? Deuteronomy. Now, I could be wrong, but I think it's safe to say Jesus had probably memorized this book, and so I just kind of want to give you a little backdrop. As you start studying the book of Deuteronomy, you're studying basically the foundation document of the Old Testament. Now, you can read in Deuteronomy 31--actually, I want to go to Deuteronomy verse 30. Deuteronomy is a book of prophecy. I don't know if you've ever thought of it that way, but it's not just a history book, it's a prophetic book.

For example, Deuteronomy 30:1-3, "Now it will come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessings and the cursing--" you can read about that in Deuteronomy 28-- "which I've set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all of your heart, with all of your soul, the Lord God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you."

Well, what's in here? Moses is saying, "You're going to play the harlot with other gods. You're going to be conquered. You're going to be carried off to captivity. When you return to Me in your land of captivity and you pray to Me, I will forgive you, and I'll bring you back, not just from the nation but from all of the nations." Now, did God do that? Did that all happen?

Anyone that knows a modicum of history knows how Israel has been carried off twice now, not only scattered and carried off by the Babylonians, but then conquered by the Romans and scattered in many nations and brought back again. And so Moses, of course, was a prophet. Nobody will contest that. You look in Deuteronomy 31, verse 16, "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Behold, you will rest with your fathers, and this people will rise up and play the harlot with the gods of foreigners of the land, which they go to be among them, and they'll forsake Me and break My covenant that I've made with them."

I wonder, you know, "God, why did you tell that to Moses just before he died? But, anyway, God said this was what's going to happen. Also one of the most vivid prophecies of Jesus is found in the Book of Deuteronomy. Look in Deuteronomy 18, verse 15, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let us not hear again the voice of the Lord God anymore. Let us not see this great fire anymore, lest we die.' And the Lord said to me, 'What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet--'" in other words, God was saying--they were saying to the Lord, "We can't bear to talk to you face-to-face after Mount Sinai." God says, "I will give you a Mediator. I'll speak to Him, and He will speak to you."

Jesus is the ultimate Mediator in that God became a man. He says, "The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you like me." Moses the prophet, the priest, the lawgiver, the judge. Jesus is our prophet, our priest, our lawgiver, our judge. Moses was the savior born, you know, there in interesting circumstances as a baby. Born among the slaves, but he was not a slave. Jesus was born among sinners, but He was not a sinner. There are many, many ways where Jesus is a type of Moses. And the disciples, many times, when they spoke to Jesus--or John the Baptist, they said, "Are you Elijah?" This is Mark 6:15. "Are you Elijah?" He said, "Or are you the prophet?" They used to say, "Are you that prophet that we're looking for?" They didn't have a name for him, but they heard that Elijah was coming back, but there was this enigmatic prophet that Moses talked about that was nameless. So they always called him "that prophet." And so they knew this great prophet like Moses was coming.

All right, that was my introduction. I hope it was edifying. As I teach other lessons along the way, I'll be able to delve into some more. Now let's go to the first section under Sunday, "Love to be Loved." The word "love" is found 25 times in the book of Deuteronomy. People often say to me, "Oh, the Old Testament is all law, law, law. Jesus is love, love, love." But, in fact, there's a lot of love in the Old Testament. I don't know if I'll have time to read them all, but you read in Deuteronomy 6, verse 4, "Hear, O Israel--" this is called the great Mishnah-- "the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul and your strength."

That's the great commandment, Jesus said. Deuteronomy 7, verse 8, "Because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep his oath that He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage--" not just talks about us loving God. It says God loves us. In Deuteronomy 7:13, "And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He'll also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your grain--" he talks about God will love us.

And then Deuteronomy 30, this is the end of the book or near the end: "That you may love the Lord your God and obey His voice--" so the idea of loving God and keeping His commandments, do you just find that in John chapter 14, or is Jesus actually quoting the teachings of Moses? "Love and obey God."

In fact, in the Ten Commandments, do you find the word "love"? Come on, that's not a hard question, yes. "Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments." And so love is the foundation, it's the heart of the law. Now what is our problem? Our problem is sin, what is sin? Sin is selfishness. You want to find an easy way to define "sin"? Whenever I'm thinking sinful thoughts, I'm thinking selfish thoughts. Sin always springs from selfishness. Our problem is God created us where if--God is love, right? We all agree? God made man in His image. Man was made loving, and then, because of sin, the compass needle, God skewed 180 degrees. Instead of our thinking of loving God and loving others as we love ourself, we love ourself first. And because of that selfishness, every other sin flows from that. So when we're praying for salvation, we're praying for loving hearts.

What's the new birth? "I'll put a new heart within you." Instead of being motivated by selfishness, we're motivated by love. So where did this problem begin? It's a perversion of love. Instead of our being now in God's image, we took on the image of a new master, Satan, who rebels, was the highest of God's angels, and he began to think those selfish thoughts, wondering why he was not God, why he did not have all the power of God.

And you can read about this in Isaiah 14, "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 said in your heart--" something happened in his heart-- "I'll ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne--I want my glory--above the stars of God. I'll also sit on the mount of the congregation, the heavenly throne, on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds--" maybe nebula clouds-- "I'll be like the Most High."

So Satan was desiring the place of God, "I, I, I, I, I." And God is about love, love, love. And so God created a beautiful angel that of his own free will chose to not live for the glory of God but to decide to live for his own glory. And we've all been contaminated with that selfishness and that sin. During worship at "Amazing Facts" this week, I asked the question, "If you see a group photograph, and you're in the group, where do you first look?" If you're honest, do you say, "Oh, so-and-so looks really good, and they look really--" first thing you do is you go over that picture, and you look for yourself. It's because we've got a broken compass needle, and it always points to self.

So, of course, there was a war in heaven. We're leading up to Deuteronomy now. There was a rebellion. Satan was cast to the earth. This earth now has taken on a different master, and Satan--even Jesus calls the devil, "the prince of this world." That's why Satan said, "I'll give it back to You. You don't have to die if You worship me." So Christ came to redeem the world in a legitimate way by paying the price for our sin and transforming our hearts, re-creating us in His own image. That's the new birth, where God then gives us, once again, His own mind. The mind of Christ is in us.

Well, following--you get the fall of the human race. Now we've got the fall and the flood. So God creates man. Satan there, in the Garden of Eden, he tempts Adam and Eve to surrender their freedom. The Bible says in Romans 6, "Whoever you obey, that's whose servant you are, whoever you obey." And when they chose to obey what the devil said, instead of what God said, they surrendered the dominion that God had given them of this world, to the arch deceiver, and the devil and his angels were ultimately restricted to this planet.

Prior to this, I think that they roamed through the cosmos and tried to get other worlds to follow them. Satan had gotten one-third of the angels. He thought he might get another, maybe, unfallen intelligent beings, but there were none except this beautiful new planet where people were made in God's image, and Satan took this as his headquarters. This is now the beachhead where Satan is carrying out the great controversy on this planet.

You can see what happened to the world in the days of Noah, when the sons of God, children of Seth, who still worshiped God, they stayed separate from his brother Cain and their descendants, who were living purely selfish, hedonistic lives. When the children of Seth, in their shopping at the mall, they saw the daughters of men, the daughters of Cain, that they were fair. The distinction was lost because the sons of God began to intermarry with the daughters of men.

Some people think this is talking about aliens or angels marrying with humans, and they're just totally missing the language in the Bible. Bible says--what? "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God." When we are saved, the Bible calls us "sons and daughters of God." It is used for angels in other places, but it's used for people. So these are the children of Seth, intermarried with the children of Cain. They lost their spiritual holiness and identity, and then it says, "The thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually. Violence filled the world."

God then declared something that's heartbreaking. It made God sorry that he made man, and he said, "I'm going to wipe them all out." But he said, "I love them, so I'll save a remnant, and from them, I'll repopulate the world, and we'll try it again." So you got the story of Noah and that he finds grace in the Lord. Well, not too long after Noah, he discovers wine, and we have problems again. And then you got the Tower of Babel, and they sort of try and develop a man-made religion on the earth, salvation by works. "In case God floods the world, we'll build a tower to heaven." And God confounds that and scatters them.

Well, then God says, "I'm going to call another remnant," and he finds a faithful man, a man that he believes has a heart after his heart. His name is Abraham. And that's in section three. And God says in Genesis 12:1, "The Lord says to Abram--" his name isn't Abraham yet-- "Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you, and I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. And I'll bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." And He's talking about bless with the ultimate blessing.

Now, what is the ultimate blessing? God, through Abraham, God the Son would come, and Jesus would be born, the Messiah. And through Jesus, salvation would come, not just through one race of people, but to all people whosoever will. All the nations of the world would be blessed through Christ. It's amazing that the disciples did not understand until A.D. 34, that the Gospel was not just for Jews, but Jesus was meant to save everybody because it's even in the Old Testament.

So you read in Galatians chapter 3, verse 7--I know I'm bouncing around, trying to cover as much of this as I can. "Therefore know that only those who are sons of Abraham--" I'll say that again: "Therefore know that only those who are sons of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations will be blessed.' So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham."

Now, Jesus made it pretty clear, John the Baptist made it clear, "Think not to say unto yourself that we are children of Abraham, so God has to save us." And it's a tragedy when I encounter people--you know, I've got a Jewish family. Many of them are indifferent about looking for God. They think they've got a one-way ticket to heaven because they're Jewish. I don't know any other way to say it. They're very secular, but they think, "We're the chosen people, and God's going to save us. And our ancestors suffered so much, that we kind of go to heaven without passing 'Go.'" And it's really sad because the Bible is clear, Jesus said to the religious leaders, "You're not sons of Abraham. You're sons of your father the devil." Children do the works of their parents, and the Bible says, "Many will come from the east and west and sit down in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the children of the kingdom--" meaning the natural children of the kingdom-- "will be in outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth."

You and I can learn from that also because don't think to say to yourself, "Wow, I've been in this church for four generations." You ever heard anyone brag about how many generations their family's been in the church? Huh? Do you get extra credit for that? No, God has no grandchildren. Everybody must be born again. You must be a child of God yourself. You can't say, "Well, my dad was a preacher," and that's somehow going to give you extra points. It doesn't work that way. Bible tells us that "They that believe are the children of Abraham. He is not a Jew which is one outwardly in the flesh, he is a Jew which is one inwardly." And, you know, every Jew or Gentile can be saved, but we must all be grafted into the stock of Christ, and so this is one of the very important teachings that we encounter.

So, the Lord saved the nation of Israel, he called Abraham, he put him strategically in the land specifically for the purpose of being the crossroads to the world. I mean, you know, God couldn't put them everywhere all at once, so he picked this humble nation, started with, wasn't a nation, family, picked a man with no children, says, "I'm going to give you this land. This land is at the intersection of Africa, Asia, and Europe, it's a bridge," they had no airplanes back then. And when Jesus comes to that land and the gospel explodes at Pentecost, it's going to be on the road--the Roman roads that had been built that are going to take the gospel quickly to the world and ultimately over the oceans to every corner of the planet.

And then let me jump--I've got a couple of sections left and just a few minutes, so let me jump over here. And then you can hear the covenant is repeated at Sinai, now, keep in mind, Deuteronomy covers the period from the Exodus, it doesn't start with Genesis. Deuteronomy covers the period following the Exodus up to the death of Moses 40 years later, and then of course there are prophecies about what they could expect in the future.

So, the covenant he talks about, Deuteronomy 4, he reminds them of the repeating of the covenant at Sinai. "Or did God every try to go and take for himself a nation from the midst of another nation? By trials and by signs and by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an oustretched arm, by great terrors according to all the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes." He said, this has never happened in history before, never happened since. "To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord himself is God, and there is none other besides him."

He wanted to emphasize that to him, because all the other surrounding nations both in Egypt and when they would ultimately go to Canaan, they believed in multiple different gods. Some nations had many gods like the Greeks, some had, you know, one or two pagan gods that they worship, and he said, "Don't forget, there's one God, he made everything, he's not just the god of the rivers or the oceans or the birds or different things, he's the God that made everything."

So, Moses wanted to emphasize that on them. He said, "You see what I did to the Egyptians," and this is under the section "Apostacy and Punishment. He reminds them, "Don't turn from God, it doesn't end well, there is justice with God." You know, Paul talks about, "Behold the mercy and severity of God," we see both, you can't really have one without the other. "You've seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagle's wings, and I brought you to myself. Now therefore if indeed you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you will be a special treasure to me above all people, for all the earth is mine, not just the Promised Land."

So, God is calling his people to keep him as supreme in their lives. He says, "Obey me, if you love me, keep my commandments," and Jesus is pretty clear, Matthew 5:19, "Whosoever therefore will break one of the least of these commandments," he's talking about the law and the prophets that Moses wrote, "and teach men so, he will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great."

Some people think that Jesus came to do away the law of Moses, did he do that? Did Jesus come to do away the law of Moses? He said, "Think not that I have come to do away with the law and the prophets, I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Now, we all understand that there was a big transference, that a lot of the ceremonial laws, Christ then fulfilled those, but the idea that, you know, the principles of the covenant, the foundation, and what was the foundation for the covenant, written in stone, it's the Ten Commandments. Jesus said, "Don't think that," and yet how many of you have heard Christian leaders say, oh, it doesn't matter. Isn't that sad?

Well, we are out of time, and I want to remind our friends that may be watching that we do have a gift book that will enhance your study today, "Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law?" by my predecessor, great book, we've never changed it because it's just a great book. It's by Joe Crews, and you can have this by calling 866-788-3966, and that would be 866-Study-More, ask for offer number 715. Well, God bless you friends, and we look forward to studying his Word with you again next week.

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 key word 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: "Amazing Facts" changed lives.

Male speaker 1: I met my ex-wife, and her family were real big into drugs, and it started out with them wanting me to go to the doctor to help get them drugs, and, you know, I'm noticing, they're going to the doctor, they're coming back with, like, 60 pills, and they're selling these pills for, like, $1,000. And I'm thinking, wow, this is a lot of money I'm giving these people, so I'm just gonna start selling it myself.

My problem with that was that we had all this money, but we was absolutely miserable. She would go out and sleep with other guys to get drugs, and that ended my marriage. But during this time I have to get a job to build back up to where I was at to open my shop again, so I get a job at Food City, and when I get this job at Food City. There's my wife now, Rebecca, she's a cashier there, and when I walk in, she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life. I was like, man, I could never have a girl like that, wow, she's so beautiful.

But as I'm working with her, she's actually kind of mean to me, and she's saying, "I don't want anything to do with you, get away from me." But, you know, I just keeping nice to her, and I keep trying to give her my phone number, and it's around Christmas Eve, we'd just been dating for a little while and moved in together, my ex-wife shows up with my three children that I had by her, and she's like, "Here's your kids, here's their birth certificates, here's their social security cards, I'm done." And we were starting a family, we have, already have three kids.

During this time, we spent the next year watching nothing but "Amazing Facts" on YouTube. I didn't even know they even had a website at this time, I just knew that this little guy on YouTube was super smart, was teaching Bible, and I wanted to follow him, I wanted to be a Christian, I gave my life to God now because of these truths that I'm learning from Doug Batchelor.

Just because Doug taught it didn't make me real sure about going to this church, I really didn't want anything to do with it, but I call the guy up, and I'm telling him, and I'm not very nice about it. Actually, I'm telling him, "Look, we was thinking about coming to your church," and he's really nice, and he's like, "Well, you're more than welcome to, we'd like to have you come."

And I'm like, "Well, hold on, I'm gonna lay down some ground rules." I'm telling him, I said, "Look here, I'm covered in tattoos, and I'm a tattoo artist, and he don't say, well, you know, wow, I didn't know all that, don't come to my church, he says, "You're more than welcome, we would love to have you, please come." He asked me what I wanna do, and I said, "Well, I want to preach." I said, "I have all these truths, I have all this knowledge, stuff I'd never known before, stuff, if I'd have had when I was younger, that would've been life changing to me." I said, "I got to share this with the world." I said, "I wanna preach, I wanna teach." He gives me the Book, says, "Study that."

Well, now that I'm a Bible worker, I'm able to go reach people that most of the normal churches wouldn't even bother to even speak to. I'm able to out and reach to people to who have lived the life that I've lived, I'm able to let them know that I am like you, I've been there, I've done that. I wanna show you what my life is like now, I wanna teach you this Bible, I wanna show you what Jesus can do for you, it's not too late. ♪♪♪

Andrew: When I was eight years old, I brought home a 5 foot rattlesnake, and it's gone downhill ever since. Rattlesnakes, sharks, cliff diving, free diving. I wouldn't call myself an adrenaline junkie, I just realize that the closest that I've ever been to being alive is when I'm so close to death. I was raised in the northern mountains of Mexico. I learned English because there was missionary groups that were coming from Colorado and then going to the northern mountains of Mexico, and they were all changed, in these short term mission trips, and they had these unbelievable experiences and their close encounters with God, and I would share their testimony.

I'd translate for them, and I was jealous, I was jealous because I didn't have a testimony, I didn't have something like that, I didn't have that life changing experience, that close encounter with God. I knew he was there, I just--I couldn't understand him, and I didn't really want anything to do with him, and part of me wanted him not to want anything to do with me. I felt like I was unworthy of God's love. I left Mexico to come to college. Once I got to college, I realized how expensive college was, and so in order to pay for college I became a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska, and the first time that I stepped on a boat, I knew I was gonna be a fisherman for the rest of my life.

I met this man in Tennessee in one of the rivers, and I found out that he had an orphanage in Honduras. And he said, you know, "You can come down to Honduras, you can help us put a support video together." And, you know, it's like, "Maybe you can get some college credits out of it." I said, "You know, that would be great, I would do that, I would love to do that." And so, I flew down to Honduras, and one of the conversations that we had during dinner, we were talking about this and that, and somehow I brought up rapture, and they said, "Well, find us a place in Scripture where it talks about rapture," and I said, "It's all over the Bible," and they said, "Is it, really though?"

So, they gave me a DVD that said "Amazing Facts," and I remember coming back to America and I started watching, and it said, "Amazing Facts" presents, and Doug Batchelor started talking. One of the things that he said is that the word rapture wasn't in Scripture, and that was the first time that I actually heard Pastor Batchelor speak. And then I run into YouTube, a video series called, "Prophecy Code," and I said, "Oh, this is gonna be good, sweet," but it was just torture, because everything I knew was just getting tossed out the window. He was just using Scripture after Scripture to take away everything and all--everything that I thought was normal and everything that I knew about the Book of Apocalypsis.

Ever since I've learned Scriptural truth and I've seen the light, I feel like there's been a fire rekindled in my heart, and I have this knowledge that I wanna share with people. It brings me peace, and I think that it does that for other people we've managed to share with. My name is Andrew, I am a fisherman and a dreamer, I want to thank you for changing my life.

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