Remember Do Not Forget

Scripture: Deuteronomy 9:7
Date: 12/04/2021 
Lesson: 10
God often tells His people to remember all the things that He has done for them; to remember His grace for them and His goodness toward them. How easy it is to forget what God has done for us.

Spiritual Israel - Paperback or Digital PDF

Spiritual Israel - Paperback or Digital PDF
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Shawn Brummund: Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour" right here in the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh Day Adventist Church. We're located in the metro area of Sacramento, California. It's always good to be able to have all of you who are joining us on live right now across the country and around the world, as well as, of course, many of our friends that are taking advantage of this and join us, as you are watching from different parts of the planet. We also are always happy to be able to have those who are with us locally in our Granite Bay Seventh Day Adventist family. And, of course, we also are very welcoming to those who are visiting. And one of the blessings of having the Granite Bay Church here associated with Amazing Facts media and ministry, and so on, is that we always have a number of people that sometimes travel great distances to come and be with us physically here in person on a Sabbath morning.

So, special welcome to you, as well, as we come to study this week's quarterly lesson, as we continue to make our way through the book of Deuteronomy, and we continue to make our way through lesson number 10 here today, which is "Remember and Do Not Forget," "Remember and Do Not Forget." We're looking at lesson number 10. If you have your quarterlies, make sure that you go ahead and grab those, open it up. And, of course, the most important textbook that we have for our lesson, as we do every week, which is the Holy Bible itself. And so, please go ahead and do that.

And before we open with prayer, before we worship in song, I want to also invite you to take advantage of the special gift offer that we have available today. Now, this is a very helpful booklet that I have read in the past, very well done, written by Doug Batchelor, as well as Pastor Steve Wohlberg, and it's entitled "Spiritual Israel." What does the New Testament speak on in concern to Israel? What is the Israel of the New Testament era, and are you involved? We want to be able to make this--get this straight, especially with a lot of different popular theories that are going around today in regards to the prophecies of the future, Israel's involvement. And again what is Israel in God's eyes? And so, go ahead and take advantage of that.

You just dial 1-866-788-3966. That's 1-866-788-3966. You want to ask for free offer #174. Now, this is available in person--or physically we can mail that out to you, if you're in the United States, Canada, and US territories. If you want to get a digital copy of that, you can also go ahead and text a special code to a certain number, and that particular text code is SH062. That's SH062, and you want to dial that to 40544.

Before we begin our study, let's open with prayer. Father in heaven, we want to pray that Your Holy Spirit will be with us, even as You have promised us that when we come to You and by faith and ask by faith, that You would give us Your Holy Spirit to be our teacher, to guide us into all truth, and to be able to understand and discern and rightly divide Your Word. We want to pray, God, that You will fulfill that promise, and we claim it by faith even right now. We want to pray, God in heaven, that You will help us to see and understand what you know is most important for us to see and understand from Your Word today, each and every one of us individually, as well as a group. In Jesus' name we pray, God, amen.

I invite you to open your Bibles to Genesis, the 9th chapter, as we look at the first Bible passage of this week's lesson study, "Remember and Do Not Forget." "Remember" is the key theme. "Do not forget" is another way of saying "Remember." And "remember" is another way of saying "Do not forget." And so, it's basically saying the same thing in two different ways, is it not? And so "Remember," or "Do Not Forget," that is the main theme. And the first remember that we're looking at here goes way back to a very unique time in history, and we're going to pick it up with verse 8. So, we're looking at Genesis chapter 9, and we're going to start with verse 8 and read through to verse 17.

Okay, so we're at Genesis chapter 9 and verse 8. In verse 8 it says, "Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 'And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, every beast of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark every beast of the earth. And thus I establish My covenant with you, never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.' And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall be when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which I made between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.'"

Do you see a theme there, a repetition? "'The rainbow shall be in the cloud; and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that's on the earth.' And God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant, which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.'" And so, here we have a very intriguing conversation that God is having with His prophet, with His patriarch, Noah.

We find here that God is establishing a very important and needful covenant. And the central sign of that covenant is a rainbow, is it not? All right, now we're very much accustomed to a rainbow. We've seen rainbows, and they've been in our planet, and we've seen them through our lifetime, since birth, and we've seen them for hundreds and hundreds of years now. It's like this conversation took place about 2500 years ago, so 25 plus 2000 AD, we're talking about 4500 years ago that this conversation took place.

So, a rainbow is old hat for us, is it not? And it's a rainbow--old hat for the last generation, and 300 years, 500 years, 6000-- I mean 600 years ago, it was still even old hat back then, but it wasn't old hat during Noah's time, during his generation. And so, as it turns out, the Bible points out, and God makes it very clear that he wants us to understand that the rainbow is more than just a beautiful, coincidental occurrence that takes place in nature. God makes it very clear, and He goes out of his way, through his Scriptures, and through His Bible to make sure that we understand that the rainbow is more than just a special refraction of light. As it separated, and as it makes its way through those different water droplets that occur and are floating in the air when there are rain clouds, when it is rainy and when it is raining outside.

God wants us to know that He had a plan, and all those laws of nature that we've kind of unpacked and discovered, and can explain to a large degree, did not come by coincidence, but it was divinely, intelligently designed by a loving God for our benefit. Now, we still benefit from it, do we not? Okay, we see the beauty of it. It reminds us of a God behind it, especially if you read the Bible record as we're looking and reviewing here this morning and such, and so we understand that there is a hand of an intelligent Almighty, loving Creator behind it. It certainly is beautiful to look upon on a cloudy, rainy day, which is usually a little bit more glum and more depressing and maybe even for some of us sometimes discouraging if we're having a hard time, but there's that rainbow. It's like God's smile to mankind.

But the rainbow in this record, in this conversation that we're reading is not intended to be understood as some kind of legend from the past. You know, sometimes we think because we can scientifically explain some of the different ways in which God uses these laws of nature that He Himself formed and designed, that therefore this is just, you know, a fable, a legend, but that's not true. It's not coincidence. It's not just nature that happened to create this beautiful phenomenon but rather it was something very new for the first generations that occurred.

Noah and his family, when they first saw the rainbow it was like, "Wow, that's amazing. I've never heard of a rainbow. I've never seen a rainbow. I've never experienced a rainbow. What is all that about?" And God tells us what it's all about, and he told that first generation what that rainbow was all about. We have to remember, though, let's look at the context of the flood itself or at least the post flood, you know, when the ark of Noah and his family finally settled down on Mount Ararat, on solid ground after being in the ship for about a year's time, you know, they put their feet on solid ground for the first time, which I'm sure they were very grateful to be able to do so. But think of the contrast that took place.

You know, just envision, remember that the planet before the flood was a global paradise. You didn't have to say, oh, boy, I'd do anything to live in San Diego. If I could afford it, I'd love to live there, all right? What I would do to be able to have a beautiful home on the oceanside in Hawaii, or in Fiji, or in the Bahamas, or Florida, or some of these other paradises that we think of on our planet. The whole planet was Hawaii. The whole planet was a gorgeous paradise. And so, we have to remember that for Noah and his family and then for the stories and the conversations that the next generations would hear, as the children were growing up in the homes, and so on, was this massive loss that the planet had experienced, that mankind had experienced. Because when Noah and his family came down out of the ship, and they started to be able to walk on solid ground again, paradise was lost.

You know, it was just a giant global moonscape after that. Some of us here in this part of the country, you know, we've become more and more--because we've always been accustomed to forest fires here in California. But lately, you know, we're breaking records. You know, we're losing more acreages and more buildings and more lives than ever in the history of California, and this is another subject and I believe one of the signs of the times. But just up the road here--you don't have to go very far north to Paradise. Just a few years ago, two or three years ago, I think it was, and we lost more lives and more buildings and more destruction than ever in California history.

My wife and I went up in there and visited, I don't know, about six months ago, and we'd never been to Paradise or Chico, and so--we're newer to California. We said, "Let's just take a day trip. We'll go up and visit, take a look at the church. Well, the church is no longer in existence, just the foundation, but there ADRA and so on is doing a--making a factory. There's a factory where the church used to be, where they're actually reproducing and just producing hundreds of storage sheds for residents that are still healing and restoring their lives emotionally, psychologically, physically, monetarily.

You know, so the town that was rightly called Paradise was reduced to a moonscape. And even though there's a number of houses that have been rebuilt--and certainly they look nicer than the houses that were burned, at least, you know, the post-fire house look, it's going to take decades, you know, to rebuild that town. And not only that, but it's going to take a couple hundred years to be able to even start to reproduce the look of what it was before the fire. And so, we have some examples of that on a smaller scale, but we have to take Paradise and its experience and expand it globally around the entire planet. Very challenging times in history, you know.

So, those first generations didn't have it easy. I think we're fortunate that we're not in those first generations. So, it would take decades for the earth to be able to start to heal and to regrow the beauty that was once around it, and we never recaptured it completely, not even close, and we never will until God makes the planet new again. Not only that, but the concept of rain, sky, coming down from the sky, you know, these rain clouds. This was a new concept.

We have to remember that the Genesis record tells us in the first chapters that indeed, you know, there was no such thing as rain before the flood. Rain didn't exist. The rainbow is not the only new concept and new law of nature that God introduced into the ecosystem and climate of our planet, but rain was, as well, because after the flood receded and the waters receded off the dry land and started to expose the plains and the mountains and so on, and valleys that were formed.

Because not only did rain come down and destroy all the planet, but Genesis record tells us in the first chapters that God originally used to water all and irrigate all plant life from tables, massive tables of water that were under the earth's surface. And so, that water actually fed the roots that, of course, the plants grew down to be able to drink from. And so, those water tables burst up through the planet surface, and at the same time that water was pouring down from the sky, and so it wasn't just 40 days of rain, but it was 40 days of these massive irrigation tables that were breaking up through the earth's surface. And, of course, the crust of the earth was moving and developing new continents and such, and mountain ranges, and grand canyons and such.

And then when the water receded into the basins now that had been developed by this completely distorted and changed surface of the planet, the oceans developed, and the water now receded into these huge basins that developed what we now call the oceans. Seventy percent of the earth's planet now was covered with uninhabitable saltwater that we can't even drink, we can't even use as life-giving water anymore. And so, the planet was completely different. The ecosystem was completely different.

Now these massive bodies of water called oceans began to produce massive amounts of evaporation that the planet had never experienced before either, and it began to develop these massive cloud formations that the earth had never seen. And as those clouds started to move off the ocean and onto the dry land, as we see it even coming off of our western coast here of the Pacific Ocean and such, it would hit the different elevations and develop big enough and heavy enough that it would either fall or hit the mountain ranges and be forced up far enough that it just can't go any further. And gravity overtakes it, and the water falls down and waters the plants that God knew that would need watering in a different way than it got its water before the flood.

And so, there was a lot of newness, but none of it outside the flood was really all that positive. I mean, outside of the rainbow part of it, outside of the rainbow there wasn't really anything else that positive in all of that newness. It was a lot more messy. Now we have to buy rain jackets, and umbrellas, and all kinds of other kinds of inventions that we have to develop and so on. And so, the planet experienced a major downgrade permanently after the flood.

Well, you can imagine the first generations, you know, that not only saw the continuous evidence of this massive, massive, largest natural catastrophe and disaster that this planet had ever experienced before that point, and ever has experienced since that point, and ever will experience until Jesus Himself comes in judgment and deliverance. At that point, He does tell us that every mountain and island will be moved out of its place. There will be a reproduction on a global scale of that which we see in the flood. But the flood is, by far, the largest natural disaster in all of human history. And so, we could imagine the natural anxiety, the apprehension that would come when the clouds would come off of the ocean and start to float over the dry land, and then began to drop that rain, it would bring back immediate memories for Noah's and first family that actually experienced it and witnessed it.

And then, of course, for the following generations of children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that would sit at the knee of Noah and of Mrs. Noah and hear these stories firsthand and hear Noah's family, you know, talk about those times, and there would be a natural apprehension, some emotional negative challenges that would take place. Is it going to happen again? And so God, in His loving, kind, and typical merciful way, looked down upon us with our vulnerable and fragile emotions and so on and He formed a rainbow. And He said, "Not only am I going to develop this new ecosystem that will make sure that the lands are watered, and the plant life is watered in a way that will meet in a new way, but I'm going to make sure that the water particles is going to be able to refract the light in such a special way-- only when it rains. The rainbow will only come at the exact time in which we require it, in which we would benefit from it and which we would need it.

So, those first generations would have this reminder that God had made a covenant. He had made a promise that He will never destroy all life and distort the planet and destroy all the earth's surface in the way that He did that one time during the flood. And so, we learned a number of different, important truths there concerning the character of God, concerning the rainbow, concerning the needs that were there those first generations after the flood.

I was just recently at a place that a lot of locals have told our family, since we moved here, that we really need to go and visit. It's called Angel Island. Anybody been to Angel Island? Beautiful place. If you haven't been there, it's more than I expected, and you can take a little ferry there from Marin County. And I forget what the name of the town was that we--Sausalito? Okay, so Sausalito was the little town there in Marin County and just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was like a ten-minute ferry ride. And you get on this national park island, just a small island, I think you can bike around it. It's two or three miles around the whole peripheral. But there's a small mountain range in the middle of it and such, and so we just had a great, great time, my wife and I, and my daughter--oldest daughter's boyfriend, Alistair. You know, we just spent the afternoon there one Sunday afternoon, and seeing it for the first time, going hiking, and had a little picnic on the beach there.

But one of the bonuses that we didn't plan was that the air show was taking place that day, and we didn't know that, but what a bonus. So, we went up and we hiked one of the summits there, where we could have a nice lookout and timed it when the Blue Angels were going to come by and do all their air tricks and so on. So, we got this million-dollar view, you know, and such. It wasn't close to the shoreline, though, because the shore of downtown San Francisco on Pier 39 and so on, that's where I'm sure there was tens of thousands of people, way more than Angel Island. That's where they were a little bit closer.

But there's this large passenger plane, and I don't know what the novelty was of a large 747 or whatever it was coming through, but anyway it kind of came by and did a low, you know--he was able to do some maneuvers that he would never be able to do otherwise, the pilots. And so, they came by. And then as they came by along the shoreline, you know, and gave a nice view to all the different, the largest crowds there in San Francisco, they came to downtown where all the high rises are. And as that large plane kind of veered, it kind of slowly made its way over and just barely missed, you know, the high rises there.

And I'm not an American. I was born and raised in Canada. I've been here for four years, and having a good time, and loving it. But, you know, even as neighbors of America, watching my television, you know, and 9/11 when those Towers, you know, just watching those large passenger planes come over and then they didn't just do a close fly by like they did in San Francisco, but they went right into those Twin Towers.

And I have to confess that even though I wasn't there in New York--I've never even visited New York City, yet-- I felt a little uncomfortable. You know, there wasn't large anxiety, but there was some real anxiety there. I said, you know, I just don't know if that was the best idea for them to do that, you know, with our history and so on. If I'm feeling uncomfortable, I can imagine people that are from New York State or New York City that maybe are visiting. I don't know. But anyway, just, if I felt a little anxiety--I didn't have to go see a therapist or anything after, you know, nothing of that nature, but it's, you know, it's still, it was a little bit uncomfortable seeing that scene.

So, you can imagine those first rain clouds, you know, for years after the flood, and you would have a little bit of discomfort with that and thinking, you know, we just came out of the largest--I mean, it just makes every natural disaster that we've had combined look like child's play compared to the flood that took place back then. And so, God gave that rainbow to remember.

This week, we're going to be looking at the great value of remembering God's promises, His past actions, as well as the warnings that He also gives to us, as He gave that covenant with Israel, through the times of Moses, and so we continue to study that covenant. The context of Deuteronomy, once again, just in a quick review, we have to remember that the Israelites are standing at the promise, the border of the Promised Land. They're on the east side of the Jordan River. They can probably see the city and the walls of Jericho across the river in the Promised Land.

They'd been there for a while now, for a number of days or weeks, and Moses now is led by God to be able to give a series of speeches before the children of Israel. Before Moses goes up on top of Mount Pisgah and meets his end and is buried by the Lord, we find that he is called to be able to give these speeches, and the Israelites were then to enter into the Promised Land, finally, after 40 long years after leaving the slavery and captivity that they had been in, in the nation of Egypt before that.

Now, because the Bible tells us that God had, at one point, because of the rebelliousness and the hardness of the hearts of the first generation of Israelites that were delivered out of Egypt, God finally said, okay, listen, enough is enough. Any man or woman that is 20 years old or older will not enter into the Promised Land. You're going to wander through the wilderness for the next 40 years until everybody that's 20 or older is going to die. And after you have met your end, then the next generation, those who were under 20 years of age when God made this declaration, will be able to have the opportunity to enter the Promised Land.

Now, that brings up some very unique statistics that I never thought of before I started studying for this week's lesson, and that is the fact that not one Israelite was older than 60 years of age when they entered into the Promised Land. When they crossed the Jordan River, there was no one older than 60 years old; why? Because everybody that was 20 or older, 40 years previous, God said would die before they entered the Promised Land. Now, they're just about to enter the Promised Land. They do enter the Promised Land at the end of that 40th year, and therefore we know for certain that everybody that was 20 years or older 40 years previous had died.

So, there's no retirees in the entire population of Israel. Now, that's kind of fascinating. Only those who are 40 years or older had even been in Egypt. So, when they're about to enter and when they do cross into the Promised Land, and when those who were listening to the speeches of Moses, those who are 40 and older had never even seen the land of Egypt. They were born in the wilderness, and they were born after they had escaped from the nation of Egypt. Even those who were 35 to 40 years old when they entered into the Promised Land were too young really to have any memories of Egypt. They were born in Egypt, the one, or two, or three, or four, or five years before they left Egypt, but typically when we're up to five years old, even during dramatic experiences, we typically don't have a permanent memory of that. Now, maybe the five-year-olds probably going to see some of these different things, maybe there was a couple that could remember. But for the most part, those who were 35 and younger have no recollection or experience with Egypt at all.

So, it's a much different generation, a much different experience for the population that is about to enter into the Promised Land. Not only that, but these are fascinating and interesting with some of these age statistics, but it seems to be another testimony of the blessing or the curses that our choices can bring us in this life. You know, and, of course, that's one of the themes in the last part of Deuteronomy. "I have set before you a blessing and a curse." Now, he had said that before the first generation, as well.

Now, sadly, most of that first generation that came out of Egypt had chosen the curse. And because of that, none of them lived past 60 years of age. Now, 60 is not very old. Now, you may say, "Well, in the old days they didn't live as long," yes, they did. Now, it's true that if you go back about 100 years, they didn't live as long, or 200 years, because sanitation and medicine advancements in healthcare and so on that extend our lives. But if you look at the bigger picture, and you go back to Moses's day 3500 years ago, living to 100 was standard. Living past 100 was normal, you know. Moses lived to 120, and the Bible says that he still had clarity of mind and eyesight. His hair was just starting to go gray. So, we know that living past 100 was not unusual back in those days. But sadly, because that generation had chosen the curse, none of them made it past 60.

Now, it doesn't give us the details on how and why and so on--disease, accidents, you know, plagues and so on I'm sure was part of the picture, and we see some of those details sometimes as God's judgment plague sometimes came upon them. But we do know that they didn't live a very long life, did they? Those who chose unbelief were not only robbed of entering into an experience, the Promised Land, the paradise of Canaan, but they also lost out on living a much longer life.

Now, this is not the fist time that the Bible reveals this. But let's look at the context of the chapter that we're introduced to in our study here today, which is Deuteronomy chapter 4. And so, you might as well get a head start and turn there. We're going to spend some time looking at some of the verses there. But in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 40 it says, "You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days." In the margin, you might have the Hebrew experts and translators tell us that literally means to live longer, just to make sure that it clarifies-- "that you may live longer in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time."

And so, God here is telling us that the Israelites had the opportunity to live long, if they only choose belief and faith. And so, faith extends life. Now, we even research today that verifies that, do we not? Some of you have been exposed to that, different Christian researchers, non-Christian research projects and so on have revealed that those who have a faith, those who follow God, those who pray, and attend church, and study their Bible, they heal faster, they heal more often, and they live longer. The Bible here is verifying that for us, as well. God said, "Yeah, I'm behind that. That's Me. Yeah, that was My idea." Exodus chapter 20 and verse 12, in the heart of the Ten Commandments, we come to the fifth Commandment, and we find that principle revealed again. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

And so, God is telling us, when we find ourselves giving ourselves over to God in obedience, He gives us longevity. He says there's longevity that's connected to that. Part of the blessing is that you get to live longer. Okay, Joshua chapter 24, verse 29 tells us--now, Joshua and Caleb are the only two exceptions. When God condemned that first generation that came out of Egypt, and he said, "Listen, none of you are going to enter into the Promised Land. Anybody that's 20 years or older, just forget it. You're not going, except for Joshua and Caleb." Some of you know the story, okay. So those were the only two faithful.

Now, you know the story of the spies that went in and checked out the land of Canaan, and came back, and ten were unbelieving. They were unfaithful. They did not trust or want to follow God. And so, they said, "There's no way we could take the Promised Land." Two were faithful: Joshua and Caleb. And so, God says, "Those are the only two exceptions. They will enter the Promised Land." And so, Joshua and Caleb went in. They lived well past 60. So, everybody else, can you imagine, all your colleagues, all your schoolmates, your neighbors, friends that used to--all of them die by the time they're 60. The luckiest ones make it to 60. Some of them I'm sure died before they reached 60. But Caleb--I mean, Joshua is on record in Joshua 24, verse 29. It says he lived 110 years. Now, friends, round numbers, that's as long.

So, Joshua outlived all his fellow generation, and neighbors, and colleagues, and school mates by two. And we can assume that Caleb also did, as well, lived well past 60. Makes me wonder, what were some of the last words of the parents who rebelled and died in the wilderness? Because as they looked at their children, and they're on their death bed, disease, pestilence, whatever it is that eventually took them prematurely, and they knew why. It makes me wonder if any of them came around and confessed to their children and said, "Listen, you need to do better than we did. You need to put your faith in the Lord. We really blew it." I'm sure some of them did. Sadly, a lot of them would go to the grave very obstinate, very stubborn, very proud, as many of us do.

You know, many of us have been around the death bed of too many people that, you know, just, you know, they just stay, they stay stubborn right to the end. But God doesn't want that for you and I. God wants us to be able to be faithful, to soften our hearts, to follow after God, amen? Well, here we have this new generation. They're standing on the eastern border of the Promised Land by the Jordan River, right across from Jericho. They're about to possess the land that is steeped in false religions, and these false religions include idols. Y

ou know, idolatry was the standard of the day back then. It didn't matter what nation you went to, what city and so on. You could travel far, east, west, north, south, doesn't matter. All the religions had some kind of visible representation of their god called an idol. They would carve it out of stone, or wood, or metal for the wealthier cities, and nations, and so on. And so, they would have this large, impressive-looking, you know, well-crafted representation of their god or their gods. For many of them, they had plural gods. And in the land of Canaan where Israel was about to go and inhabit, God knew that it was steeped in these false religions that included idolatry.

But God was calling the Israelites to be completely different and unique from those same nations and from their religions. Now, the Jews had a very unique--and for the rest of the nations would be very odd for them because if they were to walk into the Jewish temple, their sacred temple of religion, they would find no idol, no representation of the God of Israel. There would be a sacred art there, or there would be the worshiping cherubim over the ark representing the angels of God, but God Himself is nowhere to be seen, the form of God, you can't touch Him. You can't hear Him. There's no audible voice, very unique. And so, God knew that they would stand out, that they would be very different, and the rest of the nations would kind of look at them with their head cocked and sideways and saying, "What kind of weird religion is this?

So, you have to remember that the Israelites were the exception, and God knew that when He was sending them into there, and He knew the dangers that came with the cultural norm. They knew how dangerous it was and how readily the Israelites could find themselves being assimilated by the norm of the culture, which is idolatry, having a visible representation of your god, and of course a lot of the different immoral and perverted ethical codes that came and practices that came with those different idols and false gods, as well.

You know, it is interesting that the Israelites, even though their God is invisible, at least for now until Jesus comes, that even though the God of the Israelites was invisible, they did hear their God once, did they not? At Mount Sinai when God spoke to them the Ten Commandments out of the fire and the thick darkness, and the earthquake, and the thunder, and the lightning, and everything else that God had during that very impressive milestone in which he was sealing a covenant with Israel, with the testimony of the Ten Commandments, the government of God at its very base and foundation. They heard God speak to them the greatest and most important ethical code that mankind has ever received. And so, that's one that the Israelites and you and I can chalk up, that the false religions can't. They've never heard their god.

You know, the Israelite--God spoke through the prophets over and over. You know, they're worshiping these idols, these gods, these false gods. They don't talk, they don't speak, they don't move, they can't smell, they can't eat, they can't do anything. They just sit there. Isaiah used to make fun of them and say, "You know, you carve--you get a great big old tree, and you take half the tree, and you carve it into one of your idols, and you worship, and you believe it's alive, and you take the rest, and you make it into firewood." Said, "What is that? That's illogical." But when we're looking to escape God and His voice and His ethics and His obedience, we'll grab onto anything, no matter how ludicrous.

I mean, the most honest of unbelieving atheists and evolutionists will tell you that, you know, evolution has huge holes. It takes massive faith, and you have to turn a blind eye to massive holes in the theory of evolution to be able to accept it. Massive holes that evolutionists can't even come close to explaining on a logical objective basis, but that's not the point. The point is that it's a popular escape route; because if I accept evolution, I don't have to accept God. Same with idolatry back then, but that's a sideline. "Come out of them and be separate," says the Lord, 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 17. "Come out of them and be separate."

And so, Paul here, he's speaking to the Christian generation. He says, "Listen, even as the Israelites were called to be-- come out and be separate, so are the Israelites also called to come out and be separate." God was calling a special people out of the nations back then to be different, to represent the truth. That's what we've been doing over the last few weeks, have we not? We've been giving presentations night after night and helping people to understand that God has called us as Christians to be different from the world.

And as we're learning from the Bible, as I did as a new Christian when I came to a prophecy seminar like this, it was like, you know, I'm learning that God has called me to be much more different than I thought He did when I first came to put my faith in Him. You know, Christianity has been watered down, and we have abandoned so much of Bible teaching that we're not nearly as different as God wants us to be from the world. "Come out of them and be separate," says the Lord. Be different, be unique. It should be obvious.

Some of us have had neighbors for ten years and-- I'm not speaking to you. I know you're different, but some of us outside of our crowd here today that have neighbors for ten years, and they still don't even know that we're Christians. They should know you're Christians within a week. God calls us to be separate, to come out from among them. Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 32. We're going to run out of time far before we get through all this, but that's okay. There's always more material than we'll ever cover in Sabbath School lesson. That's why we do our Sabbath School lesson study as well at home, right? Right? Okay. Deuteronomy chapter 4, verses 32 to 35. We're not reading the whole passage from that day in the lesson, but we're going to look at the key verses.

So, Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 32, it says, "For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other whether any great thing like this has happened or anything like it has ever been heard." He says, "You go back to the very beginning from Adam and Eve all the way to you and I today," Moses's day, okay, 2500 years later and all those 2500 years of earth's history. When Moses is making the statement, when God is speaking to the Israelites, "Has anything this great ever happened?

Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fires you have heard and live? Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation by trials, by signs, wonders, war, a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other besides Him."

God is speaking to the Israelites and saying, "Listen, through the last 40 years and especially in the years that are going to follow after you cross that Jordan River, and you find yourself surrounded and tempted to assimilate into the religions and the idolatry and the false doctrines and beliefs that are being practiced there--as all that is taking place, I want you to remember and know that there is no other God besides Me, that all of it is counterfeit.

All of it comes up empty, and the only hope that you have is to put your faith in Me and believe that I am the One who made heaven and earth, and I have given you a boatload of evidence to be able to understand and accept Me as the true God of heaven. A boatload of evidence. The sea was parted supernaturally from one side to the other. And not only that, but then I dried the ground on the bottom. You didn't have to put your mud boots to get across like you would think we would have to once that was freshly departed, but no, then I went ahead and, phoo, I blew on the ground, and I dried it up. Solid ground as you walked across that ocean or through that ocean.

The fire, the cloud of fire that led you day by day, through the night when you traveled, and the cloud by day that protected you from the hot, scorching sun during the daytime, as you traveled, all of it supernaturally. The manna that supernaturally, miraculously appeared day by day on the ground before you." God had given them a boatload of evidence to accept Him as the true God, the only reason that they ever would've--ever, ever, ever, ever choose to reject God is because they didn't want God. They wanted to harden their hearts. They loved sin more than God, and that's why God condemned that first generation in the first place. They had this boatload of evidence. There was absolutely no logical, rational, objective reason that they could even come close to grabbing onto to be able to reject God, the God of Israel as the true God of heaven, except for the fact that they wanted to do things their own way. They didn't want God in their life.

They did not want to acknowledge God in their heart, as Paul had written in Romans chapter 1. Hebrews chapter 3 and verses 15 to 16, it says, "While it is said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'" What rebellion? "For who having heard rebelled." The question is asked, "Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?" And so, Paul here in Hebrews, in the New Testament, is testifying and clarifying, confirming indeed that the only reason that that generation was condemned that was 20 years or older, "The only reason," God says, "you're going to die in the wilderness a premature early death and never enter the Promised Land is because you hardened your heart. You refused to accept the God of heaven in your heart. Not only did I give you physical evidence to be able to accept Me and know that I am the only true God and there is none besides Me, but I have given you a boatload of evidence that I am a God of kindness, and of mercy, and of love, and I have nothing more than your best interest in mind."

Can you say amen? And so, God is calling to us again today. And we need to close. Revelation chapter 12 and verse 11, it says, "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony." And at the end of that same chapter in verse 17, it says that, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Friends, we want to be part of that last day people that have the testimony of God, and keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation chapter 14, in the last verse--or verse 12. Revelation 14, verse 12, it says, "Here is the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ. That's the part that we want to be in.

May God bless you. We look forward to having you again next week. We're going to come together for our Bible study, and the Bible study--"Sabbath School Study Hour," I should say. And if you haven't taken advantage of our free offer, please take advantage of that, even today, and it's entitled, "Spiritual Israel." What does the New Testament teach concerning Israel? How are we involved in that, and how should we be involved in it? Very important in these last days.

Free offer number 174. This is the number you ask for. 1-866-788-3966. Please take advantage of that. Call in if you're in the US territories or in continental USA or Canada, and we'll be happy to send that out to you. Until next time, God bless you.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts, Changed Lives.

Brian: It was ongoing with me. I would get up and drink. I would go to work and drink. I would come home and drink. And that was--that was my way of life. I had an older sister, and in 2008, we received a phone call from her husband saying that she was involved in a very serious home accident. She had fallen outside on her patio. It was a concrete patio, and she hit her head because she was in a drunken stupor. And she needed emergency brain surgery because of the trauma that she had suffered. And so, they were able to stop the bleeding in her brain, but her organs started shutting down one by one.

So here I was, you know, hadn't had a drink, being a full blown alcoholic myself, hadn't had a drink in probably a full day, which was, you know, a lifetime for me. And during the time we were watching there and they said that she wasn't going to make it, and we had made the decision as a group, you know, with her children present and her husband that they were just going to go ahead and pull the plug. During that time, watching her fade away, God forgive me, but I sat there asking her to die fast so I could go get a drink.

And you know, I didn't even see it then, I didn't see how bad I was at that time. But you know, I look back at it now and it just tears me up. Alcohol, that's what it does to you. I was walking out to go to work one morning with my breakfast, which was a six pack of beer. And as I was climbing into my truck, it just hit me that it was enough. So I turned around, I took the six pack of beer, and I threw it in the trash can, and I went and told my wife I needed help. And there's two things I never do, ask for help and throw away beer. And you know, thank God I was able to do both.

Well, when I finally got to the hospital, and they came and got me and took me in. And when they did a blood alcohol on me, they had to do it twice because they weren't quite sure it was right, but it was 0.38. They were all amazed I was even able to walk in there, let alone, you know, being conscious. It was about two months after I'd got out of treatment and starting my fresh life. I had left home, left my wife, and I was going to start my new life of sobriety, and she wasn't going to be a part of it.

So I moved out and I was on my way to the store one morning when I was T-boned, broadsided by an oncoming SUV on the driver's side door of my truck. And this driver was doing an estimated 65 to 70 miles an hour. And he smacked on my side of the door. I woke up in the passenger seat of the truck. And I remember coming to and hearing people standing outside, "Look, he's still alive." There was hairline fractures in my pelvis and there was a compression fracture in my spine.

And so, on all intents and purposes, I walked away from an accident I had no business living. Well, with a broken back, I wasn't allowed to be vertical for but very short periods of time. And I wasn't very mobile with a fractured pelvis, so I was forced to move back home. And you know, thank God I've got a stubborn wife who was willing to take me back and put up with all this. During my recovery, the only thing I could really do was watch television.

And so, as I was thumbing through the channels, I noticed a gentleman. And I happened to stop because he was proclaiming that you can't prove biblically that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday and that it's not biblical. I thought, "Well, you know what, I think I can do this." You know, so I took up my Bible and I did something strange to me, which was actually study.

You know, and over the course of several months of watching this man, who I would later discover was Pastor Doug Batchelor, I started trying to disprove everything he was saying. And the more I read and the more I studied, the more I found out that not only could I not disprove it, I was believing it. I realized it was the truth. Then I started soaking up everything that "Amazing Facts" had--I was at their website, you know, doing all the reading, I was looking at the Sabbath truths. I was, you know, downloading, streaming everything they had, and I was really, really getting it, and it helped me so much. Over a process of about three months while studying, you know, with Doug Batchelor and the "Amazing Facts" team and then, you know, of course my Bible.

But over that three months, I had fallen in love with Christ like I had never had before. And not only was my back and my pelvis healed, but my soul was healed. And I experienced an emotional and a mental healing that, you know, I had been longing for, for years. I've got to do something. What do I do next? So, I looked up in the phone book and I found the number for the local pastor. I called him and I said, "Hi, my name is Brian, I've just been converted. Where do I go?" And the poor guy was like, "Brian, it's nice to meet you. Converted from what and go where?" I said, "That's what I want to know."

But we had a little laugh over that and he thought it was funny. And before we knew it, I was, you know, heart and soul into this little church. And I was studying with the pastor and decided, you know, I want to be baptized, I want to be rebaptized. And we thought, "Great." So, I did some study, and we agreed that I was going to be baptized on this date. Well, the next morning, my wife asked me and said, "You realize what day this is?" I said, "Well, it's Sabbath." And you know, Sabbath was amazing in itself, but she said, "Look at the calendar."

And when I looked at the calendar, on that day was my one year anniversary of my sobriety. I was being baptized one year after being sober. And I just thought, you know, there's no such thing as coincidence. That was just amazing God would work that for me. God has done amazing things with my life, and I have to give Him, you know, all the credit because short of just responding, you know, I've done nothing. And it's been Him, and it's just pleasure, absolute pleasure be called a child of God. I am really thankful that God used "Amazing Facts" television program and Pastor Doug Batchelor to make a change in my life.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts, Changed Lives.

Daryl: I lived in a neighborhood in northwest DC in a neighborhood called Petworth. I went to a private school, and I didn't fit in well at school because I was from an inner-city neighborhood. I didn't fit in well at home because I went to a private school. I've always been a people pleaser, so I would do what they did. And if they started drinking, I started drinking. They started smoking marijuana, I smoked marijuana. Once I became aware of girls and what male-female relationships were all about, I was off to the races with these guys.

So, we started partying every weekend, and we'd stay out until all hours of the evening. My homework didn't get done. My grades suffered because of it. As soon as I went to college at a Catholic university here, I started smoking hashish, and back in those days you could smoke in class. I loved the way it made me feel. I didn't have to worry about how I fit in. It was fun. People liked to hang with me. I was kind of the life of the party. I came out of my shell.

And shortly thereafter, in my mid-20s, I was working at one of the biggest computer companies. After graduating college, I was at one of the biggest computer companies on the planet at the time. And I had money, I had women, I had, you know, a car every two years. My job performance started to suffer. Nothing else was the same in my life. I started missing work. I would get hired, maybe even be promoted. I did really well. Three or four months in, five months in, say, four to six months, I would lose a job.

I've forgotten more jobs than I can remember. I needed to smoke on a daily basis all day, every day, and that cost money. So, then, I started getting into stealing. I'm stealing from family and friends. And when that ran out and people were not trusting me anymore, I started to rob people. My family didn't want anything to do with me. My friends didn't want anything to do with me. When I called people, they didn't answer the phone. When I knocked on the door, they didn't answer the door.

I purchased a house, and a young lady and I purchased it together, and we were going to move in together, and that fell by the wayside because I started smoking, and I started taking things from the house and selling them. I started taking her personal items and selling them. I started stealing from her purse. I started stealing from stores. Pizza delivery guys were like an ATM. Nothing mattered. I've been homeless about four or five times in my life, and each time was drug related. Each time, I chose to do drugs rather than to live with this person, whoever it was I was dating.

During all this time, my sister and her family, they would engage me, they were taking me to church. I met this woman who happened to be going to my church, and I didn't even know it, and she was taking Bible studies from her brother-in-law and her sister, who were church leaders. They heard about a seminar by Doug Batchelor and Amazing Facts called "The Prophecy Code." I learned about the true meaning of the Sabbath. I learned about my health issues and how diet and exercise can positively affect my health and my well-being. I learned about forgiveness from God.

For me, I took to Pastor Doug right away because of the way he spoke, his cadence, the way he talked was so-- it was just like he was talking to me. He gave out his book, "The Richest Caveman." And when I read that book, I was astonished, all the things he had been through. His story was not exactly like mine, but it was a lot like mine. I just identified with it right from the start. I thank God that I went to the Prophecy Code Seminar. It was my introduction to the truth, and I even go to YouTube and catch some of the other seminars that they've had, you know, over the years. And I do it because I still feel a connection. It's like my roots. It's like my foundation was built on Amazing Facts.

And I like the free offers they give. I can imagine the call-taker on the other end when I call the 800 number. "Hi, Daryl, how are you? Which free gift would you like today?" I can't imagine life without getting those free offers because those books are so well-written, just like they're written for me. I really do appreciate Amazing Facts and Pastor Doug Batchelor because they brought-- they helped bring me to where I am today. My name is Daryl. You and Amazing Facts have changed my life.

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