To Love the Lord Your God

To Love the Lord Your God

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:5
Date: 10/23/2021  Lesson: 4
Loving God with all the heart and soul and strength means that our love for Him should be supreme over our love for everything and everyone else, because He is the foundation and ground of all our being and existence and everything else.

The High Cost of the Cross - Paper or Digital Download

The High Cost of the Cross - Paper or Digital Download
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Doug Batchelor: Something very special is happening. Now, as far as today, this is about a week and a half or two weeks away, but these programs are prerecorded, so when you actually see this broadcast, unless you're watching live, it will already be in progress, but there's going to be a very exciting international evangelistic program that's going to spring from this location. It's called "Panorama of Prophecy." It begins October 15, and continues on through November 13, and it'll be broadcast on Three Angels Broadcasting, Hope Channel, AFTV-- that's Amazing Facts Television, this is going to go all over the world, plus we're going to be sharing it with our friends in this community. If you want to know more about that, simply go to the website. We'd encourage you and your church or in your home groups. Invite your friends over. Study the Word of God, and you could lead somebody to Jesus. It's PanoramaOfProphecy.com. PanoramaOfProphecy.com.

Well, before we get to our study today, we're very thankful that we can have with us today the Weimar University Chamber Singers. Weimar University is just up the road from Amazing Facts and the Granite Bay Hilltop Church. We have a great relationship, and we look forward to seeing them here more often, but they're going to bless us today with our music before we go to our study. ♪♪♪

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♪ And can it be that I should gain ♪

♪ an interest in the Savior's blood? ♪

♪ Died He for me, who caused His pain, ♪

♪ for me, who Him to death pursued? ♪

♪ Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, ♪

♪ my God, shouldst die for me? ♪

♪ Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, ♪

♪ my God, shouldst die for me? ♪

♪ He left His Father's throne above, so free, ♪

♪ so infinite His grace ♪

♪ emptied Himself of all but love, ♪

♪ and bled for Adam's helpless race. ♪

♪ 'Tis mercy all, immense and free, ♪

♪ for O my God, it found out me. ♪

♪ Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, ♪

♪ my God, shouldst die for me? ♪

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♪ Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound ♪

♪ in sin and nature's night. ♪

♪ Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, ♪

♪ I woke, the dungeon flamed with light. ♪

♪ My chains fell off, my heart was free, ♪

♪ I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. ♪

♪ I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. ♪

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♪ No condemnation now I dread. ♪

♪ Jesus, and all in Him, is mine. ♪

♪ Alive in Him, my living head, ♪

♪ and clothed in righteousness divine, ♪

♪ bold I approach the eternal throne, ♪

♪ and claim the crown, through Christ my own. ♪

♪ Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, ♪

♪ my God, shouldst die for me? ♪

♪ That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? ♪♪

♪ That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? ♪♪

Doug: Let's have a word of prayer. Father, in heaven, we're just so thankful for this Sabbath Day opportunity to come together and study the Book of books. We pray for Your Holy Spirit to rest in a special way on our teacher today and guide him as he guides us. We pray in Jesus's name, amen. Pastor Shawn Brummund will be bringing us our lesson at this time.

Shawn Brummund: Well, good morning to everyone. It is a pleasure to be able to be here and to be able to teach this lesson. It's one of my favorite subjects by far as we look at lesson number four, "To Love the Lord Your God." Do you love Jesus? Do you love God? This is important, you know, Thursday's lesson, it opens up and points--I shouldn't say, "opens up," but Thursday's lesson points us to a encounter and conversation that Jesus had during His public ministry. It's found in Mark chapter 12, and starting with verse 28, right through to verse 34. And in that passage, we find that there is a scribe.

Now, we need to understand what a scribe is. A scribe is someone who is an expert in the law of God, an expert in the Torah, the writings of Moses, and the other prophets that continue to expand upon that up until Jesus's day. And so a scribe is someone that actually scribes the Scriptures because they didn't have publishing houses and printing houses. They had to copy each copy of the Bible by hand, and a scribe was just--that's what they did full time. And so the scribe was very familiar and was recognized as an expert in the Old Testament Scriptures, the writings of Moses. And when he'd listened in on the conversation that Jesus was having with the crowd that day, as they were reasoning amongst themselves, and Jesus was answering well in the mind of the scribe, he puts his hand up, and he says, "Rabbi, tell me, which is the first commandment in all of the law?"

Now, we don't want to misunderstand "first." "First" means "the greatest," "foremost." It's not chronological that he was asking, but he was asking, "Which is the most important commandment in all the law?" And Jesus, He goes ahead, and He quotes one of the most famous quotes still that we find from our Jewish friends, even today, which is in Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4 and 5: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." But then He goes on, and He's setting that up for that which is not quoted as often, which is the greatest commandment of all the Scriptures, which is "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, with all of your strength." And then He says, "And the second one--" the one that comes second place to the greatest commandment in all the Scriptures is quoting from Leviticus chapter 19, in verse 18, where He says, "It is very much like it. 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'"

And so the good news is that the scribe responded positively, and he said, "This is true, Rabbi, this is-- What You say is the truth that these two commandments, of all the law, trump everything else in all of the Scriptures." Important as everything else is, the greatest, most important truths that God brings to us is to love God and to love man with everything we have. God has called us to be loving beings, why? Because God has called us to be godly, and God is love, is He not? God is love, the three most important words, I would say, if we were to boil it down, and what are the three most important theological words in all of Scripture, it is the fact that God is love.

And I don't know about you, but I'm thankful that the God that is in charge of all the universe, the One that made the heavens and the earth, the One that is from eternity past and will live into eternity future, the One that is responsible and sustainer of all life is love, that means we can trust Him. That means that He always has our best interest in mind. That means that He truly cares for you, and He cares about you, and He wants you to have the very best life that you can in this life, and then, of course, He wants to spend an eternity getting to know you better throughout the endless ages of time. And so Jesus finally said to the scribe, as the scribe responded positively, "You are very close to the kingdom of God." Love, my favorite subject.

You know, there's a five-volume series that was written by a woman by the name of Ellen White. Many of us are familiar with her writings, and I strongly recommend all of her writings, but the favorite that I have amongst all her writings is a five-volume series that she wrote, and that five-volume series basically traces and is a commentary, essentially, it's a Bible commentary of the Bible, right from Genesis, all the way through to the end of Revelation, that traces chronologically the history of the world from the creation of the planet and even heaven before that, and then brings us all the way to our time, covers future prophesies that we still have ahead of us until the Second Coming of Jesus, and then, of course, also then carries us beyond that into the ceaseless ages of eternity.

So powerful, powerful Bible commentary volume that she has given to this planet, and it's one of the greatest gifts this world has ever received since the Bible was written. The first volume, which is entitled "Patriarchs and Prophets," starts with those three key words, 1 John chapter 4, in verse 8, "God is love." The interesting thing is that, when you get to the very last volume that she wrote, which is entitled "The Great Controversy," and you go to the very last page, and you go to the very last sentence, the last three words of that volume, in the last book, is "God is love."

There's a powerful statement that I believe that was trying to be made there and that those three words are the bookends of the entire history of the great controversy, this "conflict of ages" as this series that she wrote is referred to. God is love. And so it shouldn't surprise us that the two greatest commandments that God has given to us that He reveals through His prophets is to love God and to love man with everything we have.

Well, Sunday's lesson brings us to Deuteronomy chapter 6, verses 1 through 5, and so I want to invite you, if you have your Bibles, your tablets, your phones, to be able to come with me and follow along as we kind of continue in this Bible study. We're going back to the actual book that this quarterly is bringing us through in a thematic type way, a topical way, and today it is about love. And so, again, I'm just so excited about that.

Let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 6, and verses 1 through 5, is what we're going to look at. So let's just take some time and look that as a whole. It says, "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God and keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, and you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, that your days may be prolonged."

Does that sound like a God who cares? Sure it is. It's a God who loves. It's a God that has your best interests in mind, "that your days may be prolonged," that you may have better, longer days. "Therefore hear, O Israel--" the great Shema, or as our Jewish friends call it today, which is reflecting the first word there or the second word of that verse in verse 3, "hear," "listen," "take heed," as the lesson study points out, even, "to obey."

You know, sometimes we use the word "listen" to mean more than just actually hearing the words that come out of your mouth and then enter into my ear and to my brain. "Listen," sometimes--we do that as parents sometimes. You know, we tell our kids something, and then they don't do what we told them to do, and we say--when we find out, we say, "You weren't listening, were you?" Well, I didn't mean "You didn't hear me," right? I meant, "You didn't take heed to what I said. It came into your ears, and it hit your brain, but your brain didn't decide to follow it." And so, even today, we use that term, and so the word here is "Hear, take heed, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly."

Again, we hear the clear evidence that God wants to prosper us and to bless us and to have a more abundant life-- "that you may multiply greatly as the Lord your God, the God of your fathers has promised you, 'a land flowing with milk and honey.'" "A land flowing with milk and honey" is the promise that God had given to His--that generation and the generation before them that actually had escaped from the slavery and bondage of Egypt. And so, "a land flowing with milk and honey," again, is an ancient symbol of prosperity, of blessings. God wants to bless us. He loves us. He wants us to have the very best life we can.

Verse 4, it goes on and says, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." Sorry, I jumped the gun here. Verse 4, is actually the Shema. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your-- in your heart." God wants it in our heart, does He not?

So, again, we find this all the way through the covenant as God was writing this covenant, as He was giving Moses and instructing Moses, both to speak it to the people as well to put it on paper--and papyrus. Whatever it was that they used and Moses used back at that day to be able to write these words. He over and over, multiplied times--multiple times throughout the Scriptures tells us how important it is for God to write His words, His law, His statutes, His principles and truths upon our hearts. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand. They shall be as the frontlets between your eyes."

And I know I said we were only going to read verse 1 through 5, but, you know, it's just such a powerful passage there, I can't stop. You know, God tells us that we are, just, to get excited about these things, to get excited about His ways, His truth, His life, His commandments, and you should be so into them that you talk about them with your children. They become part of your conversation around the dinner table, when you're driving them to school or when you're going on a trip with your family. Well, and, you know, and He says, "When you're on the way, when you're traveling, when you're sitting, when you're lying down," whenever it is, you know, that God and His ways and His truth should be a regular part of our conversation, why? Because it's written where? It's written in our hearts. It's part of our experience. It's just not part of our knowledge. It's just not an intellectual theory and philosophy and religion, but it is an experience that we have in Christ, and when you experience Christ and the Holy Spirit in your heart, your mind, then you get excited about His Word, about His commandments.

As we're going to look at later, you know, when we love God, you know, we want to obey Him and keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome, we're excited about them. Now, that doesn't mean that they're always easy to keep. We'll talk about that too.

So what's the context of Deuteronomy in this key passage that this lesson study brings us to, which has the key verse, you know, "Love the Lord your God with all your mind, your soul, your strength"? The context is that this is the first of multiple speeches that Moses is giving to the Israelites, this generation that's about to enter the Promised Land. The previous chapter, in chapter 5, reviews the Ten Commandments of God. Now, this is God's ultimate code of ethics, His ultimate code of pure godly morality. It is the foundation of His government. It's under the mercy seat, you know, when God had instructed Moses and the Israelites in that first generation when they had escaped out of Egypt, He said, "Now, I want you to get your craftsmen and start to get busy at work, and I want you to make this golden-covered box, called the ark," and inside that ark, you know, it's about foot-and-a-half wide, and foot-and-a-half high, and about three feet long, and He said, "Now, I want you to put inside that ark, I want you to put the two tablets of stone that contain My Ten Commandments, the foundation of My government.

Then I want you to take a golden-covered lid, called the mercy seat, and I want you to put it on top of the ark and on top of the commandments because I know that as a fallen, broken human race, that you're going to transgress My law at times. You're going to be guilty in different ways. And so I want you to know and be reminded that there's mercy at the throne of Jesus, this is My mercy seat.

And then, one with that lid, I want you to have these two cherubim, these grand angels that are positioned at My left and right hand of My throne, the highest positioned angels, and as they're reverently and fearfully bowing down and covering their face before Me," the Shechinah glory, the Bible describes as the very presence that was originally between those two cherubim, above the mercy seat and above the Ten Commandments, the foundation of His government. And so this is the context of what we're looking at here in Deuteronomy chapter 6, and the subject that we're looking at, and so to take God's commandments to our heart, to follow them, is our ultimate demonstration of love towards God, and we want to be able to touch on that more later.

Now, is keeping the commandments the only way to love God? Is keeping the--very clearly, the Bible tells us that keeping His commandments, obeying Him is one of the clearest, most direct directives that God gives to us in demonstrating our love to God, but is that the only way that we demonstrate our love to God? No, not at all, okay, there's additional ways that we also love Him, we talk with Him, we pray to Him. You know, I love my wife, and so, because of that, I love to hang out with her, I love to chat with her, I love to talk about life and her day and what her goals are and encourage her and learn from her in different ways, and so I have this communication. I talk with her on a regular basis, and so that's part of my demonstration of my love for her, and the same with God, and so we have to make sure that we also not only obey Him but that we stay in regular communication with Him as well. That's so important for us to be able to have in this experience that God wants us to have and that feeds that love and that feeds that experience and connection with God, and so we demonstrate our love to God by talking with Him, also walking with Him, sharing our day with Him.

Again, that's tied in with communication and saying, "Lord, I want to keep Your commandments, write them upon my heart," but then He also gives us other directives, personally. You know, "I want you to go and apply for this job," or "I want you to get this education," or "I want you to help this person next door," your family member, or whatever it is, and so He gives us personal directives that we also obey that demonstrate that love. We walk with God in different ways in addition to the commandments. We fear and we worship Him.

I would like to think that we're all here in this room because we have chosen to worship Him because we want to express our love towards the Maker of the universe because of all that He's done for us that we might be able to connect with Him and glorify Him and demonstrate both to a fallen, broken world, as well as to the universe, that we love and choose God again today, that He is worthy of our time, He's worthy of our worship. And so I think that's important for us to be able to understand as well.

And so love is expressed and demonstrated in a number of different ways, but if there's one thing that God knows that we can lose too quickly in our love relationship with God is to start to fall into the very popular and common trap within religion. I'm talking about Bible--professed Bible-religious people, Jews and Christians, and so on, that to love God is to obey Him. You cannot choose to disobey God, to disregard His commandments and also love Him, you just can't do it. And the Bible makes it so clear, and He knows it's so easy to fall into a alternative of that truth that He tells us indeed over and over. We find it multiplied dozens and dozens and dozens of times through the Old and New Testament, and so that's important for us, I believe, to understand.

Now, does that mean that obedience is always easy? Well, as I said earlier, no. It's not always easy to obey God, is it? Okay, sometimes obedience to God costs us some relationships. You know, you may choose God and say, "No, I'm going to go this direction. I'm going to make this choice because this is the choice in obedience that God has called me into," and you might lose relationships. Some of us have lost our marriage over our choice to obey God before man. So we can lose some very precious and important relationships, so obeying God is not always easy. It comes with loss at times. Some of us have lost our jobs. We choose to keep the fourth commandment.

You know, I lost one job. I know there's more than one person in this room that, because of their love and obedience to God, they've lost their job because they have chosen to obey the fourth commandment of God. Some have lost their jobs because they've chosen to keep some of the other commandments of God too, "You shall not lie," you know? So there's others as well, but some of us have lost our jobs. So obeying God is not always easy. Sometimes we lose our possessions. History attests to that, there's Christians today that are losing their households, their possessions. You know, some of us lose our freedoms, we're stuck in jail. There's Christians right now around the world that are in jail, only because they decided to obey and make God number one in their life.

Some lose their health. History is full of millions of Christians that have lost their health through nutrition deprivation as they're tortured at times, and it's horrible things that many of us as Christians have paid because we have chosen to obey God no matter what the cost. And so obeying God doesn't always come on an easy pathway. Jesus says, you know, "Narrow is the way and difficult is--narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to eternal life, and few are them who find it."

So Jesus tells us that following Him is not always easy. Sometimes it comes at a high price in this life as far as the things that we sometimes lose. But, nevertheless, Jesus says, "Listen, I lost more than any of you in this earthly life," and so it's not like we're not in this together, right? Jesus says, "Listen, we're all in this together. I'm there as well. I know what it's like to lose everything." Did Jesus lose precious relationships in His earthly life? Yeah. Did He lose His health? While in those last, those last hours, He sure did. He lost a lot of blood. Even before He got to the cross. Even before they nailed Him to the cross, He was extremely dehydrated, massive blood loss. So He lost His health, He lost His well-being, and then, of course, He lost His life. And so Jesus knows what it's like to lose precious things in this life and to follow a difficult pathway because of His ultimate love for His Father. And so it's important for us to understand that as well.

Now, fortunately, that's not always the case all the time, and most of the time, as God says, you know, we can enjoy different relationships. We can enjoy jobs, possessions, and these different types of things, even as the Israelites did. As God tells us very clearly, He wants that ultimately for us, but some of us, you know, in different times, in different ways, in different contexts, we have to know that all, the land flowing with milk and honey, might have to be postponed until we wake up at that first resurrection, and when we wake up at that first resurrection when Jesus comes, then He said, "It is guaranteed, and I'm going to give you a body and a mind that is so much better. You're going to enjoy way more just because of that alone. But not only that, but you will never be threatened in your well-being, your safety, your possessions. Your health will never be threatened again for all of eternity."

Now, loving God is the obvious foundation of the Old Testament that God was sealing with the Israelites in Moses's day. Ten times in the book of Deuteronomy, the Israelites were called to love God. I just want to read a sampling of that for you, just to make that point. Now, of course, the first one, Deuteronomy 6:5, the greatest first commandment of all the Old Testament law that God was sealing, that covenant that He made with that generation of Israelites and all that were to follow until Jesus came with the New Testament, says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, all your heart, your soul, and your strength."

And then, in Deuteronomy chapter-- and this is just half of them, Deuteronomy chapter 10, in verse 12, it says, "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you--to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord God with all your heart." Deuteronomy 11, verse 13, it says, 'And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy chapter 30, in verse 6, says, "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart."

You know, Paul, picked that up. You know, I remember reading Romans, and he says, "How important it is that a true Jew--" when he's using "Jew," he's using a grander sense in the book of Romans, meaning that, you know, you and I are spiritual Jews as well. And he says, "A true Jew," including a Christian Jew, "is one that is circumcised of the heart." And he was picking that up from, way back in the first Bible writer, Moses: "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy chapter 30, in verse 20, "that you may love the Lord your God and obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days, and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them."

And so, very clearly, there's a sampling of ten, just in the key summary book of Deuteronomy because, indeed, Deuteronomy is basically a series of speeches that is summarizing everything that God had did and said in the previous four books or at least the previous three, from Exodus through to Numbers. And so that's just a sampling of ten times in the book of Deuteronomy that God ties in love with obedience to God and is--obviously a love for God is the foundation of the Old Testament, the Old Covenant.

Jesus made it clear that this is also to be the same for the Christian in the New Testament that it was sealed through the blood and the life and the death of Jesus Christ, not only by confirming that Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 5, still stands at the top of the list for the Christian but through other statements that He Himself had made as well as His other prophets that came up after Him. The apostle John is one of the most prominent writers in regards to that. John chapter 14, verse 15, he records actually the words of Jesus. He says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 1 John chapter 5, in verse 3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."

Now, friends, there's more than one Christian today that has misunderstood the Old Testament as compared to the New Testament. You know, one day, I'm going to write a book. I've been saying this for years, so pray for me, and then I'll be able to, just--God will give me the time if He really wants me to write it, but I say it as a illustration at minimum. I want to write a book one day that's called--you know, because the more I read the Old Testament and the New Testament, there were--I realized that there's nothing new in the New Testament. In fact, that's what I was going to entitle the book--and maybe I will one day--"There's Nothing New in the New Testament." The more you read it and the more you study it, the more you'll see that.

Now, you know, I put together a bit of a list, and it's not complete yet, but I just want to share a couple of those different points just to show that the key elements that are found in the New Testament are also already found in the Old Testament. Now, the reason I think it's important for us to understand that is because there's a lot of our fellow Christians that have fallen into this trap, believing that "The Old Testament is much different than the New Testament, and that's why I'm a New Testament Christian." Well, the New Testament is only better in the fact that there is a better sacrifice, a better priesthood, and a better temple. Outside of that, all the other elements are exactly the same, and even those are the same ones, the symbology, and one is the reality fulfilled in Christ. But all the other essential elements are the same.

Some Christians have fallen into the trap, believing that the Old Testament God was one that He sealed through this kind of legalistic foundation in which the Israelite had to earn their way by obeying God in such a meticulous and exacting way that they were able to finally deserve heaven, to earn heaven somehow on kind of a legalistic basis, and they had to live under the watch care of a very angry and easily angered God, and then came Jesus with all His gentleness and grace, and mercy came to us, and now we're saved by grace, and the law is no longer relevant, that's just not true.

Now, it is true that the New Testament is based on love for God. Mark chapter 12, verse 30, Jesus made that clear: "Love the Lord your God with all your strength, your mind, your soul." John 14, verse 15, as we just quoted, John 3:16, our God's love back to us as well. It's reciprocal love, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." And so God loves us, and we love Him back. It's a reciprocal love that is based at--it's a foundation of the New Testament sealed with Christ, but the Old Testament that was sealed with the sacrifice of an animal during the days of Moses was also based on love. "Love the Lord your God with all your strength, your soul, your mind."

Okay, but then, in Deuteronomy chapter 10, in verse 15, it also tells us very clearly that God loves us back, and so it's reciprocal love. God's grace is found in the New Testament, obviously, in Philippians chapter 2, verse 8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. It's not of yourselves. It is a gift of God. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." And so we find that multiple times in the New Testament, but we also find it's sealed in the Old Testament as well. Some of us, you know, how in the world would any of the Old Testament characters make it without grace? You'll be hard pressed--you are very hard pressed to find the greatest champions--and these are just the outstanding champions that made it through life and through a spiritual, saved relationship with God without blundering in different ways.

David would be a lost man if it wasn't for the fact that the Old Testament also offered grace. Psalm 51, you know, David cries out, "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness, according to the multitude of Your mercies." "Mercy" is synonymous with "grace," undeserved mercy. David made it very clear in Psalm 51. He didn't deserve God's mercy, but he was pleading for God's grace, was he not? And David was a man that was living under the covenant of the Old Testament. Now, we don't find grace--the word grace used very often-- 12 times, and 10 of those are applied to Moses, but we find "mercy" comes up, you know, which is synonymous in its context, used dozens of times. Exodus chapter 20, verse 6, we come to the Second Commandment, "You shall not make for yourself any carved image of the likeness of anything both in heaven, on earth, or in the water that's under the earth. You shall not bow down or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, I'm a jealous God, visiting upon the iniquity of the fathers to the children of the third and fourth generation, but showing mercy unto those who love Me and keep My commandments."

There's that again, right at the heart of the commandments. We have this tie-in to loving God and keeping His commandments, but there's also that mercy that is there as well, is there not? Because God knows that you and I still need mercy. If you're married, you know that you need to extend mercy to your spouse. Still, today, I know that I need mercy from my wife from time to time still. I need her grace, undeserved grace and mercy. And so grace is very much alive and well in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament believers understood that. Otherwise, they knew that they would have no hope. And so it's important for us to understand grace is a foundational element in the Old Testament as well as in the New.

What about faith? Well, you know, "The just shall live by faith," in the Old Testament, Habakkuk chapter 2, in verse 4. Now, again, "faith" is not used--in fact, it's only used twice in regards to the Old Covenant, but we find "trust" that comes up over and over and over again and again, and the context of the use of that "trust" is synonymous with that of "faith." And, of course, Philippians chapter 2, verse 8, tells us, the New Testament, again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith." The confession of sin, Psalm 51, verses 3 and 4, okay, David says, "I have sinned against You and against heaven." He owns and confesses his sin, even as we are also called to confess our sins. He who confesses his sin," God is just and? To forgive us and to cleanse us from? From all unrighteousness, yeah.

Does God forgive us and cleanse us of our sin? Yes, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness it says in the New Testament but also in the Old Testament. David, living under the Old Covenant promises and that God had sealed through Moses. Psalm 51, at verses 1 through 2, "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness, according to the multitude of Your mercies." Then he goes later on in verse 2, he says, "And blot out my transgressions." "Cleanse me and make me clean," because he understood that was available under the terms of the Old Testament, the Old Covenant.

What about the Holy Spirit's presence, being born again? Now, we know that Jesus told Nicodemus in the night, "You must be born again. You cannot enter the kingdom unless you have been born of the water and of the Spirit," in John chapter 3. But did we find that also in the conditions of the Old Testament? Well, we see David again, living under the conditions of the Old Testament, and very clearly as he found himself with his relationship being threatened because of some very serious sins that he was guilty of and had committed, he cries out, "Do not take Your presence from me. Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." "Cast me not away from Your presence," I should say, "and take not Your Holy Spirit from me." And we find that in Psalm 51 and verse 11. So David understood that one of the vital elements of living under the Old Testament and its conditions was to have the presence of God available and very much present in the mind and heart of the believer. David was born again even as we must also understand we find in the New.

Then, number 7, God sanctifies us through His presence, through the Holy Spirit. Psalm 51, in verse 10, again, we find that David cries out very clear, "Create in me a clean heart, O God." "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast Spirit within me." David is asking for the power and presence of God to sanctify him. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, that I might obey You, that I might be able to follow Your ways. Sanctify me and help me to live and follow a godly life. Your New Testament, of course, over and over also talks about the presence of the Holy Spirit sanctifying us. Philippians chapter 2, in verse 10, he says, "For we are His workmanship. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works."

That's sanctification, isn't it? That's God giving us the power and the direction and the motivation to be able to do His will. Philippians chapter 2, verse 13, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure." So God works in us and motivates us and changes our hearts as He writes His presence and His law upon our heart. We get excited about His ways, and His commandments are no longer burdensome, and He gives us a motivation and says, "I want to keep His commandments." And so He works in us both to will--that's the motivation-- and to do His good pleasure. And His commandments and statutes, His ways, His principles, is His good pleasure. And so we find that also in the New Testament.

And, again, some of us as Christians have made the mistake of plugging some of these elements and attaching it only to the Old Testament, and some have made the mistake of only attaching them to the New Testament. But, again, the more you study this--and I'm giving you Scripture, all the way through, to be able to demonstrate that it's actually both. And this is relevant for our topic, in the book of Deuteronomy, because this is the final, kind of, summary of the Old Testament that was sealed with that first generation of Israelites that escaped from Egypt.

Giving God our willing obedience is important. It's a condition that is important for us to enter not only for as a believer in the Old Testament, Covenant, but also in the New Testament or Covenant. And so both are there, willing obedience in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy chapter 11, verse 13. In fact, I think it's Wednesday on this lesson study gives us a long list. There's about--I don't know--ten different places in Deuteronomy alone that talks about how important it is to give our willing obedience to God to enter into that covenant with God. Does He also offer that same condition in the New Testament? Well, sure He does. 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 19, Paul says, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters."

Does that sound like keeping the commandments of God is a condition of entering into the New Testament with Christ? Sure, it is. Of course, it is. Jesus Himself said it in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 5, verse 19. He said, "Do not think that I have come to destroy the law. I've not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will pass from the law." And so Jesus was making very clear, as He was approaching His death in sealing that New Testament, that indeed until--He didn't say, "Indeed, until I die on the cross, one jot or one tittle of the law will be done away with." That's what many of our Christian friends believe, but that's not what the Bible teaches, that's not what Christ says. He says, "Until heaven and earth pass away."

Now, I know about you, friends, but heaven and earth hasn't passed away yet. And so very clearly Jesus is telling us that keeping the law of God is important also for the Christian. Otherwise, He said, "Until I die on the cross, one jot or one tittle of the law will not pass away." But that's not what He said. And then as He comes to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, in chapter 7, verse 24, He says, "He who hears these sayings of Mine," and? Does them, and does them. Jesus makes very clear that not only hearing His saying but doing His sayings and His commandments is important. John 14:15, again, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Later on, He says the same thing in different wording, by the way. In the same chapter, John chapter 14, verse 21, He also says that "If we love Him and we have His commandments, we will keep His commandments as well."

And, of course, there's countless other times in the New Testament where He tells us that one of the conditions of entering the New Testament is to give God our willing obedience, but it has to be motivated by love. If it's motivated by fear, no, can't accept it. If it's motivated by a legalistic kind of self-righteous earning of heaven, no, God can't accept it. But if it's motivated by love, then God will accept it, and He says--and that's the condition. So not only is it a willing obedience, but it is obedience that is motivated by love and the Holy Spirit within our hearts. And that's why God gives us these essential truths. The Old Testament was sealed with a sacrifice through the priesthood. Hebrews chapter 5, verse 1, is just one verse that verifies that for us among many in the Old Testament, the writings of Moses, as well as the book of Hebrews.

Was there a sacrifice that was an essential element of the New Testament? Of course--the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. The ultimate sacrifice. He offered one sacrifice, one perfect sacrifice. Hebrews chapter 10, in verse 12. Hebrews chapter 12, in verse 14, "Through one sacrifice, through one offering," it tells us, "He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." And so a sacrifice was essential in the New Testament as well as the Old. There is the Old Testament temple that was essential. Hebrews chapter 8, verse 1 through 5, tells us that the Old Testament temple was an essential foundation and condition and element of the Old Testament, but it was pointing to a better temple that was also foundational to the New Testament, and so both testaments have a foundational temple. One is in the Middle East, up until Jesus's death on the cross, and then after that, they became irrelevant, and now the new one that it was pointing to is the New Testament temple, which is in heaven itself, where Jesus, the new priesthood is serving in place of the earthly priesthood, which is the next element that we find in both testaments.

And so Hebrews chapter 7, verses 20, through Hebrews chapter 8, in verse 1, tells us very clearly that there was a priesthood on earth in the Middle East, in Israel, but now that became irrelevant because it was fulfilled with a better Priest, High Priest and Priesthood which is one High Priest, Jesus Christ, in a heavenly temple. Hebrews chapter 7, verse 20, through chapter 8, verse 1, makes that clear for us. The Ten Commandments is obviously a foundational element that God gave to the Israelites that you were to enter into, and not only that generation but any Jew after that and any other person on the planet could become a Jew in the Old Testament era, but these are all the condition and elements that they had to--this was the package deal that God offered to any believer, anybody that wanted to become a believer before Jesus died, and in the New Testament era, the same conditions. The package is the same, and it's so important for us to understand.

Are the Ten Commandments important to the New Testament believer? Yes, they are. Jesus, again, said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the law. I've not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it." He perfectly lived it out. He's the only one that never broke the law in any point, at any point in all of His life. He perfectly fulfilled the law in your place and mine because He knows that you haven't fulfilled the law perfectly. "But I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle of the law will be done away with."

Now, some people will say, "Well, that's not the Ten Commandments He's talking about." Then why did He go move right directly into explaining the Ten Commandments right after He made that statement? "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not murder, and if you murder, you will be in danger of judgment and condemnation.' But I say to you that, even if you hate your brother or say, 'Raca' or call him a fool, an idiot, you have broken that commandment." Why would Jesus bring us deeper into the Ten Commandments if He wasn't talking about the Ten Commandments when He talked about "heaven and earth and one jot or one tittle would not pass away"? And so, very clearly, the Ten Commandments, and, of course, I could preach a whole sermon on that. Romans chapter 7, verse 12, Paul calls the Ten Commandment law of God holy, good, and just. Verse 14, he goes on and says that it's spiritual. He says, "Listen, there's nothing wrong with the Ten Commandment law. The only problem that we have with the Ten Commandment law is us." Says, "We're the only problem. There's a big part of us that doesn't want to keep the Ten Commandments." In fact, he said, "Before I was converted, every time I looked at the Ten Commandments, the more I wanted to break it."

I'm getting sidetracked here. All right, and then fear. This lesson study also talks about the importance of fearing God. Deuteronomy chapter 6 and verse 2, God has called us to fear Him as we looked at that passage here today, and then chapter 10, in verse 12, God calls us to fear and to love Him at the same time. And so we have to ask ourselves, "Well, how do we do that?" First of all, because I thought in the Bible, in the New Testament, it says in 1 John, that "Perfect love casts out all fear"? And so that can cause confusion sometimes because it says, "Perfect love casts out all fear."

God loves us. We love Him back. That should cast out all fear, and, yet He also calls us in the Old and in the New Testament, one of the conditions is to fear God. Well, obviously, there's two definitions there, isn't there? God is not contradicting Himself, but when John wrote that "Perfect love casts out all fear," he knew that he was talking about being scared of God. You know, you're kind of walking and tiptoeing through the day, you know, because you're afraid that, if you go to the left too far or to the right, you know, a lightning bolt is going to zap you, or He's going to, you know, condemn you instantly, and, so, God, no, He says, "Perfect love casts out all fear," because now you step into this loving, saving relationship that also entails grace to our lives, that we might be able to grow and walk with Him, and so we're no longer scared of Him.

But the fear that we find in Deuteronomy as well as we find in Revelation chapter 14, in the first angel's message, "Fear God and give glory to Him," and so the New Testament also calls Christians and New Testament believers to fear God, and so the command and the direction is there for both of us, again, an element, a condition in both. But this is the fear that when we awe and we respect God, when we use even the term "God," we use it in a very respectful way. And so, for putting OMGs in our text and our e-mails, and so on, and we're saying it out loud, you know, friends, this is a disrespectful--this is the opposite of fear. God has called us to fear God, to use anything that relates to God, the name of God, the person of God, that we are to use it with great reverence, with great respect.

I mean, this is the King of the universe. This is the One that made the heavens and the earth. This is the One from eternity past and eternity future. He's the one in charge of everything. The only reason that our hearts are beating right now is because of His grace and because He is making your heart beat. And so, when we approach Him, you know, sometimes some of us may have had the privilege of entering into the White House. Now, I've never had that privilege, but I can guarantee you that I would be just like any one of you, any respectable person that walks into the White House and meets the President. You've got to be very respectful of that person. Everything that that position represents comes with great authority and responsibility and power, and yet sometimes we just kind of drag God through the mud, and God says, no, we must fear Him, we must fear Him.

Well, friends, I had a feeling that the time was going to go much faster than I wanted it to, and sure enough, it did. I'm thankful to be able to go through one of the key points there, and I hope that you went through the lesson study and you were able to pick up some of the other points because there is much more than I was able to cover here today, and so I want to wish you a blessing for the rest of your Sabbath, and we're going to take an intermission even right now. It's always nice to be able to have our online members as well as different friends that have been watching online to join us here today. I want to wish you God's blessing, and join us for worship hour as we come back in just a few moments. Until then, God bless you, and we'll see you soon.

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Announcer: "'Amazing Facts' Changed Lives."

Female: Well, my conversion story is, when I was in the Philippines, I just graduated as a nurse, and afterwards, I did not have any religion, and one time, I found myself inside a small church, Catholic Church in Manila, and before a big cross, and I was kneeling before, and I could hear Jesus telling me to enter the convent, save myself and also my family, and I said, "Lord, I would like to follow You all the way." At that point, I seemed to be happy externally, but because inside the convent we don't read the Bible, we don't study about the Word of God, we pray the rosaries, we also, at the same time, study the lives of the saints and also our founders and the encyclicals of the Pope and the Virgin Mary, and so I do not know the truth, and I had this torture of conscience, the guilty feelings that cannot be resolved, so I will confess to the priests in the confessional box, saying, "Father, forgive me. Since my last confession was last week, since then, I have committed the following sin, including the root cause, why am I falling and falling in that same sin over and over again?"

And still, for 21 long years, I struggle, and I struggle, and I struggle. I realized that I was totally empty. I was totally helpless and hopeless and so depressed and so desperate that I would like already to end my life. I was working for five years as dean of the University of St. Augustine College of Nursing in Iloilo City, one of the islands in the Philippines.

After five years, I received a commission from my parents to help my sister, who was being a battered woman. This is one of the reasons why I came over to United States. It is because my sister needs my help. As I was working in the hospital in New York, my boss, Seraphin, he was so gracious enough to give me an invitation to the "Millennium Prophecy." As I was listening to Pastor Doug Batchelor's presentation, my heart really was beating so fast, and my mind--I'm able to grasp the truth that this is the truth that I've been longing to hear all my life that I have been seeking for so long. My personal relationship with Jesus, I can see Jesus as my personal Savior. He is not only the Savior of the whole world, but He is my personal Savior. He was the one who delivered me mightily from the depths of sin, from the miry clay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor has been used by the Lord in my conversion. The "Amazing Facts," I owe to them. The Lord really blessed this ministry, and I'm so proud I was able to attend this "Millennium Prophecy." My life has never been the same. It has given me that peace, that joy that never--I have never tasted in my life, and now I'm set free to be able to work for Him and to follow Him.

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