Creation Care

Scripture: Genesis 2:15
Date: 02/25/2012 
Lesson: 8
"No question, this world is coming to an end it will not last forever. And yes, Jesus is coming soon. All that's true, but noting in these truths gives us the right, or the mandate, to defile the earth. If anything, as Christians, we should seek to take care of the world that our God has created for us.
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Greetings from Sacramento central seventh day adventist church in Sacramento, California of the United States of America. However you're joining us, whether it's through the internet, on television, radio, wherever you are on this planet, it is no mistake that you are here. You will be blessed this study with us as we open up God's Word and we're so thrilled that you have joined us. We're going to sing some songs together before we get into God's Word and I invite you to hymn #422 - 'marching to Zion'. This comes as a request from kenyon, felicia, and anthony in australia, karla in barbados, william in brazil, cedonette and damian in Canada, charles in china, maisie and karl in France, nicola in germany, jalene in honduras, bob and Paula in Idaho, hezron in india, heibert in indonesia, syian, Michael, and t'shae in jamaica, josiah in Mississippi, tina in Montana, kevin in netherlands antilles, philina in saint lucia, nita in Texas, jayelle in trinidad and tobago, allan and janice in the united arab emirates, and lee-roy in zimbabwe.

This is a favorite from all over the planet. Hymn #422 - we're Marching to Zion. We'll sing the first, the second and the last verses. Just a couple Sabbaths ago I was driving home from church with a car full of teenagers and we were singing that song and I was just reminded of that - what a beautiful thing to hear teenagers singing 'marching to Zion'. If you have a favorite hymn that you would like to sing with us on a coming presentation, I invite you to go to our website on saccentral.

org, click on the 'contact us' link and then you can request any hymn in the hymnal and we would love to sing that with you on a coming presentation. Our next hymn is #305 - 'give me Jesus'. This comes as a request from anne marie in antigua and barbuda, janie in ArKansas, ralph and birdie in the bahamas, kaydian in bermuda, verna may, bryan, and samu in Canada, Daniela in the czech republic, kaylia in england, Ruth in florida, Isaac in ghana, dana, susan, bob, and Paula in Idaho, rosa in Illinois, sofia and eleanor in Iowa, ren in jamaica, danny and kimberly in Kansas, magalie and micha in mauritius, ana in Mexico, howard and dian in Mississippi, joyann in new york, Joel in North Carolina, John in Oklahoma, henry in the Philippines, willington in the Solomon islands, Sarah in south dakota, patrik in sweden, krishna in tennessee, ronell and rodney in trinidad and tobago, joy in Virginia, and william in Wisconsin. That's a whole bunch of you. You love that song.

We love that song. 'Give me Jesus' - let's all sing together - hymn's first, second, and the fourth verses. Let's pray Lord, it is our heart cry this morning - give us Jesus. Give us more of him that he can fill our hearts - that he can change us to be just like him. And that when people look at us that it is a reflection of who you are and the miracles that you perform every day.

Be with us now as we study with Pastor Doug, that we can apply the things that he has to say to us through you that we can take them to a cold dark world that is dying. And Lord, help us to just share the light and the love and the mercy and the grace that you offer every day and help us to be ready when you come Lord. You are coming soon and we know it. Help us to do our part so that we can throw our crowns at your feet and we can thank you face to face. We pray these things in your precious name Jesus, amen.

Our study will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento seventh day adventist church. Thank you jolyne and singers, musicians who are leading us in those songs. I want to thank our friends who are calling in the different song requests - always among the favorites. Again, welcome to any who might be visiting here locally at Sacramento central. We're glad that you're here.

And we not only have visitors who are watching online, but we also have some of our members - those who are some of the remote membership of Sacramento central around the world. A lot of people out there don't have a local church they can attend and we do the best we can to welcome them into the family by being part of our online membership. If you're in that category and you think, 'i'd like to be connected with your church', you can go to We have pastors that actually e-mail and counsel and keep you in touch with the videos and as much as we can do without being able to download the aroma of a potluck and a hug - cyber hug - but there are some limitations. But we'd love to be able to minister in that way if we can.

We want you to be connected with a church family. Also, we like to remind our friends that we have a special offer we've been sharing the last couple of weeks - a wonderful book written by wellesley muir, called 'higher still' and this is a free offer we're willing to send to those in North America. Because of customs and shipping we cannot send it overseas, but if you'd like a copy of this, call the number on the screen. That's 866-study-more. -788-3966 And ask for offer #0406.

Offer #0406 and we'll send that to you just for asking. We're continuing through our study guide dealing with glimpses of God. And today, in particular, we're on lesson #8 talking about creation care. We're going to be talking - there's some - wow - you're going to get wound up today is my guess, because we're going to be talking about some biblically and even politically sensitive subjects. What is a Christian's relationship to the creation - the environment - that's the key word there - and what should our response be? Some interesting things for us to consider.

We have a memory verse. The memory verse comes to us from the second chapter of Genesis, Genesis 2:15 - and you're invited to say this with me, you ready? Genesis 2:15, "and the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." And so, here we're going to talk a little bit about how do we relate, as Christians, to the environment. Now, this lesson started out with an interesting section called 'the lobster liberation movement'. I don't know that we've ever had a section begin like that. And they tell a story about some passionate environmentalists that would sneak into restaurants that sold seafood - and you've probably been in the restaurants - even some supermarkets - they've got the lobsters alive in the tank and they would, when no one was looking, they would snag them, run them out to their car, drop them in a tank in their car, race them to a nearby airport where a helicopter was waiting that would take them out over the ocean and drop them back into the sea where they would be as happy as clams - or lobsters.

And they felt like - while they had stolen somebody's lobster, they felt like they had liberated that lobster from being a main course. And people feel very passionate about this. And there are varying extremes of how should we relate to the environment. Now, if you turn in your Bibles to the book of Isaiah, chapter - a lot of Scriptures we're going to read here. Matter of fact, I'll set you up - I've got something I'm going to ask you to help me read.

One would be Proverbs 12:10 if we have a hand. Right over here we've got Proverbs 12:10 and somebody else - maybe Deuteronomy 5 - Deuteronomy 5, verse 14 - up here - will be next. Now, while we're getting ready for that I'm going to read 11 - of Isaiah - Isaiah 11, verse 6 - I'll read through verse 9. Why did God make the animals? To be our entrée, hors d'oeuvres, or main course? Let's read - what does the Bible say? Isaiah 11, verse 6 through verse 9, in heaven - the new earth - "the wolf also will dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the lion and the fatling - we mean a fatling calf - will feed together and a little child will lead them." A little child will lead a leopard? "And the cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together." Little baby bear cubs playing with baby calves?" Their young ones will play together - or lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the ox.

" A vegetarian lion? Now, one of the most popular nature scenes is to get a lion or a cheetah in a high speed chase after some impala or gazelle and to see who's going to win that battle of life. But, in heaven, the lions will be chasing celery. I mean, it's hard for us to picture this. It's very different. And the celery will run really fast, I guess - or the straw.

Anyway, "the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child" - little infant - "will play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper's den." - There have been times when parents had picnics they were horrified to discover that their children - little children sitting down on the grass, saw a snake and thought it was pretty and reached out and it turned out to be a venomous serpent and they may have been fatally bitten. Parents worry about setting their children down when there could be snakes around because little children don't know they're dangerous. And so, it's emphasizing this here that you don't have anything to be afraid of. We caught a little baby rosy boa in our yard - you know what a rosy boa is? It's a little bitty - you'd think it's a worm except it's a snake - it's a little - it's a baby boa constrictor.

They don't every get very big. We caught it and we played with it - I told the boys, 'it's harmless' and they had a lot of fun playing with it and nathan was afraid - he wanted to keep it as a pet - but he said, 'you know, it doesn't understand sanitary potty training' and he put a band-aid on it as a diaper. He was trying to figure out how do you put a diaper on a snake? So we've got this picture of a little rosy boa with a band-aid on it. But they're harmless - but not all snakes are. "The weaned child shall put his hand on the viper's den.

They'll not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. As the waters cover the sea." So, what is God's perfect plan? None of the animals will hurt each other and we will not hurt the animals and everybody and everything will be a vegetarian in the Kingdom. So, is that the way things should be now? I'm not answering that yet, that was a question to make you think. All right, read for us Proverbs , verse 10. Are we ready for that? A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

" How should Christians feel about the animal kingdom? Now, we're going to talk about three things here - we're going to talk about animal, mineral, and vegetable. That's the environment. Everything falls into one of those three categories. It's the rocks, the trees, and the creatures, right? And how should we relate to those things? The resources of the world God made - animal, mineral, vegetable. How does a man - how does a Christian, a righteous man, care about the animals? 'A righteous man regards the life of his beast but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

' Does the Lord want us to care for animals? All right, in the ten commandments - now, you find this in the Deuteronomy version - and jenny, you're next - you find this in - do you have a microphone? Oh, let's get you a microphone. There it is. You find this in the Deuteronomy version, but you do not find this in the Exodus version the same exact way and that's why I'm picking this commandment from Deuteronomy, it's the Sabbath commandment. Go ahead, please read for us Deuteronomy, chapter 5, verse 14. "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.

In it you shall not do any work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you." Thank you very much. Now, aside from the manservant and the maid servant, what else does God care about resting? Yeah, he's talking about all your cattle. He says your - and he lumps them with your children - not that they're supposed to be on the same level, but you notice they are in the same verse. And it says your son or your daughter and it tells us that your animals - your ox and your donkey nor any of your cattle - in case there was any doubt that any of the beasts of burden - they were to rest. Now, if you're a farmer and you've got a dairy farm, do you milk on Sabbath? Yeah - what happens - sure you do.

You have to. They get very uncomfortable. So yeah, you need to keep milking them. It also affects the milk flow if you don't do that and so that's something to be said. Do you feed them on Sabbath? Or do you tell them they have to fast every seventh day? Do you eat on Sabbath? And so, if you've got a farm you need to go out and you need to milk the cows and the goats and you need to give them their grain, but are you to hook up your oxen and make them plow your fields or to grind your grain on Sabbath? What about riding a horse to church? Well, you know, the pilgrims and the quakers and the methodists, and even the early adventists, they all hooked up their carriage if it meant you had to go ten miles to church, but they were real good to their animals.

They would still groom them and take care of them, but yeah, they'd do some of those necessary things. The Bible talks about even some of the Israelites riding on Sabbath, but you're supposed to let them rest. Now, with that in mind, God cares about animals, right? What about - how do you feel about when these medical institutions are developing new medicines and drugs and procedures and surgeries - when they practice and test on mice? Now, get ready - whoever is in the studio - get ready for an audience shot. I want to get their hands on this. How many of you think it's okay for us to test medically - and this is not - don't worry, nobody is going to single you out - we're not going to send peta to your door.

I just want to get a feel - to do tests on mice to discover drugs that might save your child. Let me see your hands. Okay. I feel the same way. I used to have pet mice - I care about mice.

All right, now, how about doing tests and surgeries and procedures on chimpanzees? Let me ask the question this way. How many of you think there's a difference between chimpanzees and mice in their importance to God. Let me see your hands. Well, you all get an f in my opinion. Let me tell you why I say that.

Pardon me. Let me restate that. I just want to make sure - how many of you might think that in God's view a chimpanzee is of greater value than a mouse? Let me try your hands again. Anyone? I see a couple hands, okay. Are chimpanzees of equal value to humans? No.

Now, did any of you see the report that was on the news this week that said that - I guess there was an interview and I really don't remember what station it was, but someone - some reporters were giving this laboratory a hard time because they were doing experiments, to discover drugs and things, on chimpanzees and they had found some drugs that were saving lives, but some of the chimps had reacted poorly to the surgeries or the drugs and they died. And so the reporter said, 'well, did you ask the chimps how they felt about this?' To the man that owned the laboratory or the president of this medical company, I wasn't sure what his title was. And he said, 'no, we didn't ask them' and he said, 'do we ask the pigs how they feel about being turned into sausage?' I thought, 'well, that was actually a good response.' He said, 'the question is, are they animals?' But here's where I think I might disagree with you. Is there a difference in value in the animal kingdom between a mosquito and a mouse. Do any of you feel worse about killing a mouse than you do - it depends if it's in your house getting in your cupboards - killing a mouse than a mosquito? Do you feel worse about killing a chimp than a mouse? Does Jesus tell us there is a variation of value in the animals? Are animals worth more than plants? What did God make first? He made plants.

Do you notice that there's a certain progression of value and intelligence in the creatures as God makes them? Does Jesus say, 'if God feeds the sparrows, are you not of more value than many sparrows?' Are you more valuable than sparrows? And then Jesus says again, 'if you brought your sheep out of the ditch on the Sabbath day, are you of more value than a sheep? Yes you are. So we know there's a variation in value between men. Did God make man differently than he made the other animals? He speaks them into existence - he takes his own hands and shapes man in his own image. And so, you are of great value to God. You are made in the image of God.

It doesn't say that about any other creature in the world. Man was designed to be the God of this world. But, recognizing that men are worth more than monkeys, is there a variation in value of the other creatures and, if so, what is that based on? What makes a monkey worth more than a beetle? They're creatures that God made. He made the creeping creatures. He made monkeys the same day as he made the bugs.

He made the birds and the fish separately, right? Well, I think it's a variation of intelligence. I think that one reason we are so valuable to God is because we are God-like. And I think that a dolphin is of more value than a sardine. Why? Because they're bigger? Well, partly, but they're very intelligent. And you could have more of a relationship with a dolphin than a sardine.

Now is this starting to make sense? How many of you love your dogs and your cats? Okay, you care for your animals. And some of us have relationships with them, you know, we're friends, we walk with them, you know when they're expressing joy and praise or sadness - I mean, you get to know them. There's some intelligence there. And so, I think that there's a variation of value in these things. But that begs a lot of questions.

How does a Christian relate to the creatures? At what point do we protest and stop people from experimenting on mice? Christians ought to care about animals, but, having said that, is it a sin to catch a fish, clobber it and eat it? Did Jesus endorse fishing? Did he tell them what side of the boat to cast their net on to fill the net? Did he eat fish? Did God endorse the sacrificial system that involved oxen and goats and sheep and turtledoves dying? So, that doesn't mean that God likes to bring death - it's supposed to hurt us when we see an animal die because it's a sacrifice in our place. We should never feel good about anything dying. I feel bad when I'm driving down the road and a bumblebee hits my windshield. I feel bad for the bumblebee, I feel bad for my windshield. But you know what I mean.

So, I mean, as Christians you want to see life live. Aren't we looking forward to a world where there's no death? But I think we also need to recognize that there's a balance. Now, I'm a vegetarian. I'm a vegan - unless some of you all sneak stuff to me at the potluck - I know that happens. But, you know, I try to be a vegan.

I'm not fanatical about it. My shoes are leather - don't throw blood at me at a protest. I'm sorry, they feel a whole lot better than vinyl. I bought some vinyl dress shoes. I was at a camp meeting and I forgot my shoes.

I didn't want to spend a lot because I had nice shoes at home, but I forgot them and I didn't want to wear tennis shoes with my suit, so I went to payless and I bought the cheapest pair of plastic shoes I could find. I still have them. They don't feel the same. Do you all know what I mean? Have you ever worn plastic dress shoes? So, I wear leather. Sorry.

But, now I know I'm clowning a little bit, but it's because - do you see the kind of issues people are grappling with in the world? When you care about animals how far do you take it? I was going down the road one day - driving down highway 101 - it's important for you to know where this was - going by garberville, California - if that tells you anything - and I picked up somebody that was out in the road and they were wearing like a white robe and they had a beard and they were hitchhiking. And so I picked him up and I gave him a ride. And I always look for an opportunity to witness - somewhere along the way I said I was a believer and they said that they were too. And then the guy noticed - he said, 'are those shoes leather?' He was barefoot. I said, 'well, in fact, they are.

' He said, 'oh, well how can you call yourself a Christian?' And he began to excoriate me because I had a leather belt and I didn't feel the same way as him about this. And then along the way he began to share with me that God gave marijuana to everybody to enjoy. He says, 'he gave us the herb of the field.' And he was part of a religion that they kind of divested themselves of everything earthly, but they smoked a whole lot of pot - but they wouldn't wear any leather. And he felt very passionate about that. And I thought, 'well that's' - and he was using the Bible.

And that was a very interesting spin on the Scriptures. And so, there are people out there that use the Bible that have all kinds of different views on these things. Now, I'm taking this one section too far, but, you know, these things are in the news and so I just thought it would make more - be more interesting for us to talk about it. Numbers 22:31 - going back to what the perspective is. How many of you know the story of balaam? I thought this was interesting.

"Then the Lord opened balaam's eyes and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face. And the angel of the Lord" - this is after balaam's beat his donkey three times - "'why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I've come out to stand against you because your way is perverse before me.'" - This is what the angel says - "'the donkey saw me and he turned aside from me these three times" - sometimes donkeys can be more spiritually in tune than people. Can God speak through a donkey? Can God speak through an animal? He can. Some people's lives have been saved by the barking of a chihuahua. God can speak through the animals - and notice what the angel says, "'if she had not turned aside from me, surely I would have killed you by now and let her live.

'" The donkey was obeying - balaam wasn't. That's interesting. One more story on this thought - you can do with it what you want, but I think it's interesting. Genesis 1:26 and 28 - oh no no, that's not the verse I was looking for - you know, I'm sorry 1 Kings 13, "and he spoke to his son" - do you remember the prophet that went astray, he didn't do what he was supposed to do? He said, 'don't eat bread or drink water in this place after you proclaim your prophecy against jeroboam, you just head home another way and don't stop.' He didn't listen and so the prophet had judgment pronounced on him and he was slain by a lion. He was jumped on his donkey riding home by a lion and was killed.

Another prophet wants to go recover his remains and to bury him and he says, 'saddle the donkey for me.' So they saddled it. He went and he found the corpse of this prophet thrown down on the road and the donkey and the lion standing by the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse nor torn the donkey. The donkey was spared but the man was slain. Interesting.

Just - I think the Lord cares about his creatures. Psalm 145:15 and 16. Psalm 145:15 and 16. Matter of fact, I didn't give that to anyone. Do we have a volunteer who wants to read that? We've got a hand right here.

Are you - go ahead - right here. You got the microphone? Either one. And while you're finding that, I'm going to read you one more. Genesis 1:26 and 28 "God said, 'let us make man in our image, after our likeness:'" - now, notice this part - God is making man in his own image - "'and let the man'" - man and woman - "'have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' And then God blessed them and said unto them, 'be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it.'" Now, I'll get to that in a minute. God told man to subdue the earth.

What about the earth needed subduing? I'll get to that in just a minute. 'And have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air and every living thing upon the earth.' How is man supposed to have dominion over the fish? I've got a theory - and I might be out there on a limb - but I think before sin, before man fell, that there was a whole world under the sea that adam could see. I don't think he just stood on the bank and looked down and wondered what was under the water all the time. You know, a lot of animals, they can see above the water and they can see under the water. Everything from penguins to alligators - they have another eyelid that they can open and close and they can see underwater - and I think before sin man could hold his breath a long time and he could dive down and he could look at the creation of God underwater.

And was man quarantined to the planet before sin? If angels could fly to and from earth - if the devil came from earth to represent the earth when The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord in the book of job, could adam have left the earth before sin? Or was he restricted here? Why would he be imprisoned on the planet if he was The Son of God here on this planet? Had he done something bad? I think sin has quarantined us. Will we be able to fly after we're redeemed? 'They'll mount up with wings like eagles.' I think adam - it says that he had dominion over the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. I think that you're going to be surprised that, you know, a lot of powers were lost - a lot was lost with sin. We were handicapped by sin. I know, you think I'm kooky, but I think there's Scripture for that.

But anyway, where was i? Oh, you're going to read for us psalm 145: 15 and 16. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." Does God care about feeding the animals? Does God say, 'I feed the sparrows and the beasts of the wilderness'? And they look to the Lord. Matter of fact, they don't worry about food as much as we do. Jesus tells us we can learn something from that.

So God gave man dominion and then I want to end with this - I want to end this section and go back to that part about - God said, 'have dominion and subdue the earth.' Now, was there any sin in the world - that was a goofy way to word that - I was going to say, 'was there any sin in the world before sin?' Was there anything wrong with the world before sin? So what about the world needed subduing? Think about this: when God planted a garden eastward in eden, what was different about the garden God planted from the rest of the world? Was there some boundary to the garden? Did God actually have gates to the garden where he put cherubim later? So there was a boundary to the garden? Does that mean something in the garden was different from that outside the garden? When God planted the garden in eden, it maybe had some order to it. It was more symmetrical, there was something to it that was more beautiful or more controlled or more subdued, but man was given the whole world. He said, 'you see what I've done with this garden? I want you to do that with the world.' And so there was something wild about the world. It was a paradise and there was nothing to hurt you out there, there were no thorns, there was no poison ivy - or at least it didn't hurt - and so everything was beautiful, but it was wild in some way. And men were to go forth and sort of train the vines and to organize it and to subdue the wildness of it and so man was given dominion of the resources of the world.

Not to be destroyed, but to be managed. Man was to be a steward of the planet. Now, does that make sense so far? And there is a great punishment for not doing that. Now, some people figure - do we know what the future holds prophetically for our planet? What's going to happen to the environment just before Jesus comes? Is it going to be good? Peter 3:10-14, "but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, do not care about the environment, it's all going to disintegrate anyway." Is that what it says? Some people think that. "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in all holy conduct and Godliness looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we look, according to his promise, for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. Therefore, beloved, look forward to these things, be diligent to be found by him in peace, without spot and blameless." Sorry I'm reading so fast. I've got a lot of new Scriptures left.

So, world's all going to just have a meltdown before Jesus comes so why would we try so hard to preserve the environment? Any of you ever say to your parents - or do you have kids say to you, 'what's the point of making my bed? If I leave it unmade it's easier to get in. And why wash the dishes? They're just going to get dirty again? And why take a bath? I mean, this whole attitude about 'it's all going to be destroyed.' And why, you know, why take care of your health? We're going to get a new body. Do you know there are actually some Christians out there - I won't identify their denomination but their attitude is, 'hey look, these bodies - don't worry about being too health conscious with these bodies, because after all, these bodies are corruptible bodies - they're dying - they're going to die anyway. The sooner we die, the sooner we're with the Lord. So go ahead and eat deep-fried twinkies, because you know, eat and drink tomorrow we die and we get our glorified bodies and we'll be with the Lord.

Do we have a responsibility to take care of our health? Do we have a responsibility to take care of the world? This is my father's world and if we love God we're going to take - want to take care of his property. You are his property and, as Christians, we have a responsibility to take care of our bodies. And while it is true - these bodies get old and they corrupt and they fall apart and wear away - in the meantime, we're to take as good care of them as we can. I've illustrated this before by saying, 'suppose you come to me and say, 'hey doug, you know, I've got to go on this trip. My car's in the shop but I've got to go - there's a funeral, it's an emergency and I've got to drive down to Mexico and can I have it for a week?' And I say, 'all right.

Well, I've got an extra car. We'll get by. Yes, you can have my car.' And so I give you my fairly new car and you take off for a week. And then, a week later you drive back and as I hear you coming down the street, there's this awful noise because the muffler's torn off. And smoke is coming out from under the hood and the grill is all smashed up and one of the front tires is actually flat and you're driving on the rim and sparks are flying out and one door is missing, the back window is knocked out and you pull up next to me and the thing sputters and dies just as you get to the door and you say, 'hey doug, I really appreciate you lending me the car, you know, while we were down there for the funeral we figured, hey, you know, nice weather.

We can go to Mexico and have a little vacation. So we took a few days and did a little driving off the baja peninsula - matter of fact joined in a race on the baja peninsula and ran into a few cacti - but it was a blast. Thank you so much! And, matter of fact, we enjoyed it so much we might go to Mexico this time next year. Can we borrow the car again?' Am I going to let you borrow my car again? How many of you want to get a new body when Jesus comes? If you destroy this one by staying up late, you never get any sleep and you eat everything that crawls across your plate - the deep-fried twinkies and you don't get the exercise and you don't take care of your body - when Jesus comes and you say, 'where's my new body?' He's going to say, 'you must be kidding.' Do not be deceived. God is not mocked.

What a person sows they're going to reap. God - your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says 'whoever defiles that temple, him will God destroy.' Your body is holy. 'I beseech you, present yourselves as a holy sacrifice unto the Lord.' And so, we're accountable for how we treat our bodies. All right.

That's on the inside. What about on the outside? Should we care about the world? Well, God's going to make a new one. Somebody look up for me Isaiah :17 - Isaiah 65:17 - I think we gave it to someone right here. Okay. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.

And the former shall not be remembered nor come to life." So since God's going to make a new one and since this one's wearing out, should we care for it? How do you all feel about logging? Logging - cutting down trees? Be careful. If you've got any paper within your reach. I mean, if you're living in a house that's got wood in it. How do you feel about indiscriminate logging? Somewhere between indiscriminate logging and logging there's a balance. Now, I specifically bring that up because our family has had some land with some timber on it up in covelo for 30-something - years now and we have done something that's called organic selective - we actually have to have the property inspected, they call for owls - it's a very environmentally- friendly product.

The logs are actually then sold as kind of an organic log - you know what I'm talking about. But they thin the trees very carefully and, actually, since we did that - we did it 15 years ago the first time - the trees are bigger now than they were and it opens it all up and it's better for the wildlife and it's nice. You can fly over and you don't know that they've logged, because they've selectively thinned trees - they don't clear cut anything and it really looks nice. We're glad we did it. But then you see - you know I'm a pilot - you fly over some sections - it happens a lot in Oregon - where they've taken a quarter mile and they just say, 'clear cut it.

' I mean, it's just like you mowed it with a big - like my haircut. Just 'szhoosh' and it's gone. And there's nothing left. That's kind of scary - just the whole hill is bald. And that I don't think is God's plan because then you have tremendous erosion.

You can go on Google earth and you go down to brazil and you can look and you can see just from the satellite images what once was the amazon jungle - how much of it has disappeared. It is kind of frightening. So, we should be concerned as people that, you know, the environment is cared for, but at the same time, we can't go to the extreme and say, 'don't buy anything made out of wood or paper. There's just - you know we really need to pray for solutions. What about drilling for oil? When you think about it, that's probably - if they find safe ways to get it out of the ground without wrecking the environment - what the oil is is the oil really is the residue of the world that was destroyed back in the time of the flood.

Those coal beds - just massive coal beds, some 200-feet thick. They still can't figure out how that happened. And these oil deposits that formed quickly. If we're going to get 30% of our oil from another country, and if there's energy problems here, why not drill for it? In the meantime, find other ways and develop the other means. And this is - now I'm getting a little political.

But these are big environmental questions. How do you approach them as a Christian? What's God's view? Not that any one person can say 'I have God's view'. But there's principles of balance. Does that make sense? And, you know, the Lord wants us to be responsible. And for us to say, 'we don't want to take any of our resources but we're going to have other countries take theirs.

We're going to send money out of the country rather than risk our environment." I think then that starts getting where you're making the same ethical mistake somewhere else. And if you're going to use the oil, use your own and don't send your money like a river out of the country. So there's really strange things happening - all connected with the environment - in our country. And then, at that time, develop as much as you can. All right.

Now that is sounding a little political. Sorry. Do we need to care for the earth? Revelation 11:18, listen to this verse. "The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward your servants, the prophets, and the saints, and those who fear your name, great and small" - now here's the part I want you to catch - 'and should destroy those who are destroying the earth." "And you should destroy those who destroy the earth." Will there be a judgment on those who destroy their bodies? I mean God can - if you've lived half of your life not taking care of your health, if you repent, God will forgive you. If you lived half of your life and you just were completely reckless with the environment and you repent, God will forgive you.

But those who persist in destroying their bodies and destroying the environment, there's a judgement for that. God will destroy those who destroy the earth. I think the idea is we want to find ways to use the resources that God has given us in a sustainable way. I think that's the key. Somebody read psalm 24, verse 1 - who'd we give that to? We've got a hand right here.

Hold your hand up so we can get you a microphone. Psalm 24, verse 1. "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." All right, thank you. I'd like to read a quote for you - a beautiful quote - it's in your lesson. From the book 'Desire of Ages' and this is pages 20 and 21.

"In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth. It was his hand that hung the worlds in space and fashioned the flowers of the field. His strength set fast the mountains. The sea is his and he made it.

It was he that filled the earth with beauty and the air with song, and upon all things in the earth and the air and the sky he wrote the message of the father's love." So that's one point right there. If you love Jesus and he made all these things, then you'd want to care for something that they've made. How many of you have taken some chaotic crayon drawing that your child hands you? And they say, 'here mommy. Here daddy.' And you look at it and in your mind you say, 'what in the world is it?' But you say to them, 'thank you so much' and you put it up on the refrigerator. Right? Why? Because you love them and they made it.

So if you love Jesus and, certainly what he's made is a lot better than some of our kindergarten crayon drawings, if you love Jesus are we going to care about what he's made? He made all these things to tell us about The Father's love. I'm reading on, this is page 20, I believe, 'Desire of Ages' "but even now, sin has marred God's perfect work, yet that handwriting remains." - Even though the world's been marred by sin, it doesn't look like it did in its edenic beauty. - "Even now all created things declare his glory, his excEllence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but administers to some other life.

There's no leaf of the forest or lowly blade of grass but it has its ministry." - I thought that's interesting - there's really no creature on the planet that lives unto itself except man. Everything else that God made in some way, it has a symbiotic relationship with other things - it gives as well as taking. And, you know, men can also give to the environment and care for the environment, but let's face it, what has done the most damage to the environment? It's the people. And I think Christians should care. I remember one time I was driving down a mountain road, a truck was in front of me and they took a bag - a box full of fast-food wrapping leftovers - it had the little container for their hamburger and the thing for their fries and the wrappings and stuff, and the cup for their big gulp and they just heaved it out the window in this beautiful mountain road, right in front of me.

There was no one up there but me and them. I was so mad. I stopped and I picked it all up, I put it in my car and I started to chase them. I was mad. Actually, this wasn't too far from where I lived also and I just thought - I thought - can I say this on tv? 'What pigs!' I think I can say that.

I thought, 'you're just - to throw that stuff out their window.' Now, if I'm eating an orange and I'm up in the woods, - or an apple - I might throw the core out there and hope it forms a tree. That's different than the wrappings from fast food stuff, you know what I mean? There's stuff that's biodegradable. I might chuck my toothpick out the window in the woods because it's just going to turn back into compost, but you know, to throw your garbage out like that is just pretty rude. And I chased them down the road and pretty soon they saw I was coming after them and they realized what happened and they started running from me. I finally realized this is probably not - this confrontation is not - but when they stopped I planned on just throwing it in their front window and saying, 'keep your garbage!' I was mad.

And y'all pray for me. But - and I - one time somebody took their bag of garbage - they didn't want to pay the fifty cents at the dump down in town - they took a plastic bag full of garbage, they drove up the hill, they threw it out of their window on our land. I opened it up - Karen and I went and cleaned it all up - and I started sifting through it and found papers that had their address in town where they lived. And then I started to plot how I could put on my camo gear at night and about 2:00 in the morning go and dump it all on their front lawn because I had their address. So I guess I am a little radical but - oh no, I'm not an environmental nut.

Anyway, I just don't like when people litter like that because we've got mechanisms - it's bad enough with the landfills, but you don't throw it in somebody's yard. Anyway, all right. So, this is our father's world and if we love God we ought to care for it that way. Hebrews 1:1 and 2 - Jesus made it - "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to The Fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom he made the world;" - when we don't take care of the world God made - animal, mineral, vegetable - then it's really a reflection on how we feel about the maker. If we care about Jesus, we'll care about what he cares about.

Jesus said, Matthew 22 - 'you love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and the great commandment and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' Now, when God first made man he put him in the garden to dress it and to keep it. There's a work to do in the garden.

There were resources he could use in the garden. Does God say it's a sin to cut down a tree? Did God use lumber in building the temple? Did he? Did God say it's a sin to kill an animal? Did God use the skin of animals in his temple? It is wrong to quarry stone? No. Did God use stone in his temple? So there you've got it. Animal, mineral, vegetable, all in the house of God, but it was made to the glory of God and it was probably not done indiscriminately. Have you noticed, though, in heaven is there any vegetable or animal in the temple of God? Well, there are pearly gates, but you know it's not the oyster it's actually the pearl.

And the promised land talks about it flowing with milk and honey. You know, you can eat honey and you can drink milk without killing the animal. Right? I know, the vegans among us are wondering, 'milk in heaven?' I think it's sort of a symbol for that which is rich and sweet. But you notice there's no wood. They don't kill.

Nothing dies in heaven. Everything in the temple of God is gold and jasper and precious stones and it names all the stones in the foundation of the city of God because nothing dies there. But here on earth in this world, yeah, there is some death, but God wants us to be responsible. I'm running out of time. What about the - no, you know there's a verse, Proverbs 27:20.

I want someone to read this. Who did I give that to? Right here. Do you have that verse? Proverbs 27 - hold your hand up so he sees you. Proverbs 27:20. Man should not be using up the resources of the world willy-nilly.

I think there is to be a responsibility. By the way, the seventh day adventist church has voted - you'll find it in your Sabbath school lesson - what is our church's position on the environment and how we're to care for it. You might take a look at that and - but just the nature of man, we seem to be consumers and we've got to be balanced on how much we do that. All right, read for us please Proverbs 27:20. "Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

" It seems like we always want more and more. The eyes of man are never satisfied and - how many have full garages? Don't raise your hand. And we have closets that - we have closets that are full of things and we can't seem to contain all of the stuff because we always seem to want more and more. And so, you know, we're never going to be satisfied that there's enough in this life. We need to just learn to live more simply.

You look at the life of Jesus and what did Jesus own? And the Lord said to that rich young ruler, 'sell what you have, give it to the poor, take up your cross and follow me. You'll have treasure in heaven.' Now, I'm not telling you to all liquidate. The day may come to do that but I think that we could probably simplify our lives a little more than we do and if we did that there'd probably be a lot more. Well, we have run out of time. I want to remind those who may have missed this at the opening of our Sabbath school class.

We do have a free offer. It's a great devotional book about how you can have a closer walk with Jesus, it's called 'higher still' written by our friend wellesley muir and if you simply call the number on the screen, 866-788-3966 we'll be happy to send you a copy. That's, of course, for North America. God bless you friends until we study again next Sabbath. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs visit our website at There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including Amazing Facts presents. One location, so many possibilities.

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