Cleansing the Temples

Cleansing the Temples

Scripture: Malachi 3:1
Date: 10/22/2011 
Our body is the temple of God. How does He want us to treat it?
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Hello friends. I want to welcome you to a special new series that we're presenting called 'doctrines that divide' and we're going to be talking about some of the distinguishing doctrines that differentiate seventh day adventist Christians from other Christians in mainline or evangelical denominations. My name is Doug Batchelor and I have been a Christian - I have been ordained in a Sunday-keeping organization and I am now an ordained seventh day adventist minister. I am going to sort of be doing a debate here - it won't be totally objective - between who I am now and where I was before - looking at the differences from a biblical perspective. And I think you're going to find this interesting.

We're very glad that you've joined us today. We'd like to start our program with a word of prayer then we'll introduce the subject. Father in Heaven, we're very thankful for the promise that we can come to you and ask for wisdom and discernment and that you'll guide us. Now, as we open your word and as we explore some of these doctrinal differences, we trust that you'll speak to our hearts. Please bless these presentations and those who are listening.

We ask in Jesus' name, amen. Now again, in this presentation today dealing with doctrines that divide, we're going to be talking about the subject of cleansing the temples - the sanctuary, the church, and our bodies. And for those who may be joining us for the first time, let me explain the suit - the uniform. I am going to be representing a couple of different views. I am a seventh day adventist Christian.

I know that the greatest part of Christ's true followers are in the fellowship of other churches and denominations. But i, obviously, believe through my study of the word, that the seventh day adventist teachings are close to the Bible. There are certain doctrines that divide us from other Christians. You'll notice on the pillars here it says, Christians - adventists/other - Christians. We recognize that there are other Christians in other churches.

I don't believe it's God's will for us to be so divided and - but the Lord doesn't want us to unite on the sake - or for the sake of unity. He wants us to unite on the truth of His Word. And so, I thinks it's important - I am just wanting to put out there what I understand, the teachings are of the adventists. I've not always been an adventist and so when I'm standing here I will represent Pastor Doug and what I believe now as a seventh day adventist minister. Do you know that I'm also ordained as a non-adventist before I was ordained as a seventh day adventist.

It's true. I can show you my credentials. And on this side, I will be representing who we're calling - what's his name? Pastor barney. This is pastor barney. I just give him a couple of names so we don't get the two confused.

And it's not a fair debate - it's lopsided, I admit it. But it just helps you get a couple of different perspectives. And this is not only for our friends that might be watching or visiting here who are not seventh day adventist Christians, I think this is also for seventh day adventists, to better understand why we believe what we believe and what the common arguments are so we can study these things for ourselves. You know, there are some churches that teach their members are not allowed to look at anything that is presented or printed or produced by another denomination. They have their members go through their experience with blinders on because they're afraid that if their members look at or study something that another church has put out they might change.

In the seventh day adventist church we invite people to study. I think that the truth should not be afraid to stand up under investigation. And that's just what we're doing now, is we're talking about these truths. Now, today we're going to be dealing with the subject of the sanctuary and you really have three different examples of the sanctuary, spiritually, in the Bible. You have the sanctuary of the church, which we would call the body of Christ.

You know John chapter 2, verse through 21 "Jesus answered and said, 'destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' The jews said, 'it's taken forty-six years to build this temple, are you going to raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the temple of his body." What is the church called? The body of Christ. And so, we'll be talking about that. You know, there's a prophecy in the old testament I'd like to begin with and it's in Malachi chapter 3, verse 1. Malachi 3, verse 1 "behold, I will send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord, who you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant.

" That's Jesus. John the baptist went to prepare the way before the Lord who was to come suddenly to the temple. "'The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight. Behold, he will come,' says the lord of hosts." You know, Jesus did come to his temple. Right near the end of his ministry one of the things that Jesus did was he cleansed the sanctuary.

He cleansed the temple. And you find that in Mark 11, verses 15 through 17. Matter of fact, I know you agree with this pastor barney, I'm just going to let you start out and read this one here. Mark 11:15-17 "so they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and he began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

And he would not allow anyone to carry any wares through the temple. And he taught them saying, 'is it not written, 'my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a den of thieves.'" the Lord wants his temple to be pure. He wants his temple to be clean. He wants it to be a place of prayer. He wants it to be his dwelling place.

Now that holds true of God's body - his people - but the devil has brought in his wares. There are doctrines of devils that have found their way into the church. That's what Paul said would happen. God wants our bodies to be his dwelling place and, ultimately, God wants the universe to be clean of sin and sinners. All right, let's deal with our first question to introduce us.

Let's first talk about the church temple - God's body on earth, the church. First question. Is it true that adventist Christians think that they are the remnant church? - Or the true church? Pastor barney is going to introduce this to begin with. Pastor Doug, I think it's a little narrow if seventh day adventists are saying they are the true church because obviously the Lord has his people in many different denominations - I heard you say that yourself. And then, of course, it says in Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 19 through 22 "now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitly framed together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.

" It's like the breastplate of the high priest. One priest, many different kinds of stones. God's got many different kinds of denominations in his church. And again, Jesus said in John , verse 16, "other sheep I have that are not of this fold." And Pastor Doug, while we're talking about it - you know, because the adventists think that they're the remnant church or the true church, some of us ministers in other churches, we think you do a little bit of sheep stealing. We often lose our members and we find out that now they're going to church on Saturday and they've joined the adventist church.

Well, pastor barney, I apologize for that - for hurting your feelings - we don't apologize for inviting people to join, what we believe is, the remnant church. We're not trying to be arrogant or exclusive, but we believe that in the Bible God has a peculiar people to whom he has committed the oracles of truth. Now, would you agree that in the old testament times God had a people, a specific people? Yes, he did have the children of Israel and he did communicate the oracles of truth to them, I would agree with that. Now, even though they were God's people, were they his only people that he saved? Well, no, God had his people in other nations, you've got naaman who was healed of leprosy and he said he worshiped the Lord, and then Ruth the moabitess and God has had his people - even Paul says in Romans chapter 1 - so I understand that, but he's really only got one spiritual church here in the world. Well, I agree with that pastor barney, I think he does have one church.

But you have to read the rest of that verse you read a moment ago from John chapter 10. Jesus said, "other sheep I have that are not of this fold." We agree. God has got the majority of his other sheep not in the adventist church. But you've got to read the rest of that verse. "Them also I must bring and they will hear my voice and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

" Jesus is calling people to come together. So, you're interpretation of that is the only way we're going to be one is by being members of your church? Yes. And I expect that if I were to ask you 'are you comfortable with the teachings of your church? Do you like it when people join your church?' You would say yes also. And if you don't say 'yes' I would say, 'then you're in the wrong church.' You've got to go where you feel comfortable inviting people. If you feel like your doctrines are the most biblical doctrines, then why not invite everybody to take a stand on that foundation of truth? If you don't feel like your doctrines are the most biblical doctrines, then find out where they are and go there, right? And so, yes we do believe that and it says in Revelation chapter 12, verse 17 "the dragon was wroth with the woman and he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed" - and two outstanding identifying characteristics - "they keep the commandments of God and they have the testimony of Jesus.

" Now, we recognize seventh day adventists are not the only Christians out there, there are many Godly spirit-filled Christians. We also know that not everybody that is on the books in the seventh day adventist church is going to heaven. Just as I'm sure that you would admit that not everybody who might be a member of any other evangelical denomination is automatically saved by an outward profession. Man looks on the outside and God looks on the heart. But it's not God's will that we are so divided.

Listen to the prayer of Jesus in John 17, verse 20. This is the final prayer that he prayed before he went to the garden of Gethsemane - for his church. By the way, the longest prayer of Christ. John 17:20 "I do not pray for these alone, but for those who believe in me through their word;" right there friends, you're reading a prayer that Jesus prayed for you that reaches to today. Are you hearing His Word? What is he praying? "That they all may be one.

" Not that just the baptists might be one, and the adventists might be one, and the assembly of God might be one, and the nazarenes might be one, and the methodists might be one, and the presbyterians might be one, but they all might be one. He wants there to be a unity. "As you father are in me and I in you." How does he want us to be one? Just in word but not in doctrine? Or to be one as The Father and The Son are one? How are The Father and The Son one? Do they believe the same thing? Then God's people need to come together at least on the major points of truth before Jesus comes. He doesn't want these doctrines dividing us, he wants us united in truth. And he says, "and the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one:" - wow - that's heavy.

That's not only a message for Christians from all different churches, that's also a message for just the members of our church. That means that all of us need to be one within the church. 'All men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.' "That they may be perfect in one." You know, I think one way we become perfected in Christ is the truth sets you free. We must preach the truth that the world might know that you have sent me. How is - what is going to be the most powerful testimony to the world in the last days when the beast power is urging its doctrine? It's going to be the unity of faith among God's people.

And so, before the end comes, God is going to have a people that will go all over the world preaching this message and a lot of people are going to be coming in and taking a stand. Revelation 18, verse 2 and verse 4, part of the three angel's message, "and that angel cried mightily with a loud voice saying, 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.'" - Now just - we've got to stop here for a moment friends. You realize God's people were in Babylon several times. God's people were in Babylon back when Abraham was called out of Babylon - he was God's child - to the promised land. Then the children of Israel were carried off to Babylon for 70 years during the time of Daniel.

And they got comfortable in Babylon and God had many of his people there. I'm reading the books of Ezra and Nehemiah right now at home and it was really tough for them to leave the comforts of Babylon and come back to the promised land and to reinstitute their ancient faith. But he called them back. Now, Revelation tells us in the last days God has his people in Babylon. He says, 'come out of her my people.

' Scattered throughout the realms of Christianity, God is calling his people out of the teachings that have been influenced by Babylon - out of their comfort zone - to come back to the faith that was once delivered to the saints. The truths of the apostles. I see the seventh day adventist church as a revival - a return to the truths that were given to the apostles - getting back to the basics of the Bible. And we've got a message to call people out of Babylon because there's an urgency there. You read in verse 4 "come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins and receive of her plagues.

" There are people in Babylon - God's going to save them. They are his people. They don't know yet. They've not seen yet. But a message is going to go out and if they stay in Babylon they will be guilty for the doctrines of devils and the plagues will fall on them.

And this is a message that's very important brother, and that's why we feel some urgency about this. All right. Now we're going to transition into the second segment of God's temple. Is there a temple in heaven? We talked a little bit about God's church, the temple on earth. What about a temple in heaven? Well, Pastor Doug, I've studied it and I know that you seventh day adventists build a whole doctrine based upon a priestly ministry of Jesus and there being a temple in heaven.

But I read right here in the Bible - the last book of the Bible - second to the last chapter in the Bible - Revelation 21 verses 21 and 22 "and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God almighty and the lamb are its temple." See, you talk a lot about this temple in heaven, but it tells us here that that's just a spiritual term. It's really God The Father and The Son, they are the temple. Well, pastor barney, the reason that you see in Revelation 21 it says there's no temple, is the purpose of the temple - both in the old testament, in the new testament - sacrifices were offered, atonement was made for sin. When you get to Revelation 21 and its talking about heaven is there anyone interceding for sin? Well, no, not at that point there isn't.

And so that's why you don't see a temple anymore because there's no blood being pled. There's no blood that Jesus is pleading at that point because redemption is over. But if you back up in the book of Revelation - chapter 11, verse 19, it says, "then the temple of God was" - this is Revelation 11:19 - "the temple of God was opened in heaven." That's called slam dunk. It says right there, 'the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of his covenant.' By the way, when we make a big deal about the seventh day Sabbath and the ten commandments, one reason Jesus said heaven and earth have to pass away before one jot passes from the law is God's got an original transcript up there in heaven, because it says, 'the ark of God is in the temple of God in heaven.' Whenever you make a covenant - you write a contract with somebody - how many copies do you produce? You've got one for their records and one for your records. God at least has a facsimile or something because he's got the ark in the temple in heaven.

Now, admittedly, things in the temple of heaven are probably a little different. The one that was on earth was a miniature of the temple in heaven and we accept that, but if you read on here - Hebrews 9, verse 11 "but Christ came as high priest of the good things to come, with a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with man's hands... Not of this creation." - Not of this world. As opposed to what? It's made by God's hands in another world. "Not with the blood of goats and calves" - he's not up there offering calves and goats and sheep - "but with his own blood he entered the most holy place once for all, having obtained eternal salvation.

" Now that leads us to the next question in this subject, question 3. Is Jesus ministering now as our high priest? Pastor Doug, I'm not going to let you rush past something you just read a minute ago. You said that when Christ ascended to heaven he entered the most holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Then how come adventists are always saying that Jesus is ministering in the holy place? Wait - not yet - I still have more to read. Hebrews 1, verse 3 "who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he by himself purged our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.

" Notice, when Jesus died on the cross he ascended to heaven, he sat down by The Father right there in the holy place, because that's where the holy place is, it's the presence of God. Let me give you one more before you interrupt me. Hebrews 10, verse 11 "and every priest standeth daily" - notice when the priests are doing their daily ministrations through the year, they're standing. But what is Jesus doing? It says, "every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which never can take away sin. But this man" - speaking of Christ - "after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, he sat down at the right hand of God.

" Jesus is done sacrificing. You adventists make it sound like you don't believe in the finish - I can't cross the line yet, I'm not done talking - you make it sound like you don't believe in the finished work of Jesus. It says, 'he has sat down by The Father.' One sacrifice - it's completed. What is this stuff about the daily sacrifice that he's had to make? And then the day of atonement, the yearly sacrifice he's made? All right, pastor barney, you know that is a very controversial point and I think that we ought to address it. If you read in Hebrews chapter , verse 25 it says, "therefore he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

" So right there we've read that yes, it does tell us that Christ sat down and was enthroned after he ascended, but after that - being coronated there in the temple of heaven, he is still our intercessor. He is ever pleading for us. We pray and through Christ, we have his merits to plead. It is true he doesn't continue to sacrifice himself, his blood was adequate the he can continue pleading his blood all through the time from his death until his second coming. He doesn't need to keep sacrificing lambs or keep sacrificing himself.

But he continued for the first years of church history, interceding as a priest would on the daily basis. But when we entered the last age of the church, called the church of what? Laodicea. You know what laodicea means - a people being judged or a just people. A people being justified. We entered the last phase of church history.

Christ at that point entered into the last phase of the day of atonement - what they celebrated on earth during yom kippur - of cleansing the sanctuary. Pastor Doug, you're trying to tell me that there's something in heaven that needs cleansing? That doesn't make any sense to me. That makes it sound like there's something dirty in heaven. How can there ever be anything dirty in heaven? Well, pastor barney, are there things dirty here on earth? Yes. Where did they come from? They came from the devil.

And where did he start out? In heaven - but he was cast out of heaven. So you're telling me that at least, at one point, there was something impure in heaven? Well, yeah, if you look at it that way, but I don't want to look at it that way. And so, the idea that the sins of God's people that Christ is bearing, that they must be ultimately cleansed somehow - from the universe, not just from God's dwelling place - it's not inconsistent with what happened when there was a rebellion in heaven. The rebellion, by the way, is not over. There is still sin in the universe.

Christ is dealing with that. So let me go on here and talk about that. Matter of fact, I better take my position here and read the next question. So what then is the cleansing of the sanctuary? Pastor Doug, you can start this one off. You have to go in the Bible to the book of Daniel chapter 8 - and bear with me for a moment.

This gets a little deep, but I'm sure that you can all take this in. This is one of the longest time prophecies in the Bible. Daniel 8 and I'm going to start with verse 11 "he even exalted himself as high as the prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of his sanctuary cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices;" - speaking of the beast power and I know we both agree that this is talking about that beast power - "and he cast the truth down to the ground." Now what does the beast power do? What does he cast down to the ground? The truth is cast down. Before Jesus comes back there must be a restoration of truth.

"And he did all this and he practiced and he prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, 'how long will the vision be concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot? And he said to me, 'for two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'" Now, there's only one starting period for prophecy that's given in the book of Daniel and that's from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. That is very clearly given in the book of Ezra chapter 7. It's 457 b.c. If you count 2,300 days from 457 b.

c. That comes to 1844. In 1844 God entered his final stage in the salvation of man. Through history he's done things in different stages. He had the age of the patriarchs.

He had the age of Israel. There was the great reformation. There was the great awakening and the great revival during the age of the church of philadelphia. In 1844 we entered the age of the church of laodicea. Now, Pastor Doug, you're trying to tell me then in 1844 that Jesus went from what a priest might do on the daily basis of interceding and now he's gone to do what a priest did on the final day of atonement.

How are you going to prove that? You got any videotape? And why would God give us a prophecy about Jesus going from one aspect of his heavenly ministry - we can't comprehend these things - to going into the final aspect. What difference would that make to us here on earth? That is, I think, a very important part of the prophecy that even seventh day adventists have missed and I think that we've gotten in a lot of confusion and trouble because of that. Follow me very closely. When Jesus died on the cross, right after he arose from the tomb he had not yet ascended to The Father when he first revealed himself to mary. She went to grab him by the feet and to worship him and he said, 'do not detain me' - king James says, 'do not cling to me' or 'do not touch me.

' The others say 'do not cling to me for I have not yet ascended to my father.' Something had to happen when Christ ascended to The Father. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he did in the heavenly sanctuary what Moses did in the old testament to the earthly sanctuary. How many times a year did the high priest go into the holy of holies in the sanctuary? Once. With one exception. If you don't know that exception you get into trouble.

When they first built the sanctuary and it was activated, Moses went in and he sprinkled all of the furniture with blood. He activated it and then they began to serve there and began to utilize it on a daily basis. Paul alludes to that here in the book of Hebrews. In Hebrews he says that Moses, when he consecrated everything he went into the sanctuary and he sprinkled it and the people and the priests with blood. You'll find that also in Exodus as the example of that.

He consecrated the sanctuary then they began to use it. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he consecrated the heavenly sanctuary and then he came back down to earth and you know what he said to the disciples? 'All hail.' When he consecrated the heavenly sanctuary Jesus went into the holy of holies. He went into the presence of The Father. The angels sang. He was seated.

He was crowned as victorious at that point. Then he said - we don't know time in heaven is maybe different than time on earth - then he said, 'I now need to go back down.' He went down to the disciples. He said, 'all hail.' They worshiped him. Then for forty days he continued to meet with them, to reinforce them in the word, then he ascended into heaven - and the Bible tells us that he ascended to continue his work as our high priest. It tells us in the Bible - here it is - Hebrews 9:21 - that's the verse I was looking for.

"Then likewise (Moses) sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry." This was not aaron, this was Moses who went in to activate the earthly temple. From that point on, the only time someone went into the holy of holies was on the day of atonement. From the time that Christ ascended and was enthroned and the heavenly sanctuary was activated - by the way there was a temple in heaven, right? We just read that. What blood was being pled in the temple of heaven before Christ died? Well he hadn't died yet. None.

So it wasn't until Jesus died that he was pleading his blood. He ascended to heaven, went before The Father in the holy of holies, he sat down at the father's right hand. He was enthroned - all these parables talking about him receiving a kingdom - he received the victory at that point, but the war was not over. He had to come back down to earth and to encourage his disciples. And so then something else happened on earth in 1844 and I'll get to that.

Hebrews 4:14 to 16 "seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus The Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we don't have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but who was in all points tempted as we are," - Jesus was tempted the way we're tempted and he got the victory the way we can get the victory, amen? "All points tempted as we are yet without sin. Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need." Pastor Doug, I asked you a question a minute ago and you didn't answer it. What difference would this 2,300 days and 1844 make on earth? What happened in 1844 here on earth? Well, this is the part I think many people have missed. We have no videotape of Jesus moving from one transition of work into the other - from the daily ministration to the day of atonement ministration, but we do have an example on earth in of what happened to his temple on earth.

God has a temple in heaven. He still has a temple on earth? Where is his temple on earth? It's not this building. It's you and me. It's the body of Christ and you also individually. He also wants to dwell in his people on earth.

But what was the beast power going to do? Cast the truth to the ground. In 1844 God began a movement on earth. They were organized in 1863. And they were called the seventh day adventists. And in 1844 they discovered the truth about the Sabbath - Joseph bates got it from, actually, a seventh day baptist.

They discovered the truth about the health message. They discovered the truth about the dead are asleep until the resurrection - I'll talk about that in another presentation. They discovered, of course, baptism by immersion - some of them didn't know that - salvation by faith - all the fundamentals of the apostles they discovered in that year. God began to cleanse his sanctuary on earth from the truths that had been cast to the ground. They were restored to their place of respect.

You can point right now to 17 million seventh day adventists all over the world and say, 'what happened in 1844?' He began to cleanse his sanctuary, yes in heaven and yes on earth. And I can't show you video of what happened in heaven, but I can show you video of what happened on earth and you can look at it right now friends. It's the final movement. God has given the seventh day adventist movement the oracles of truth as surely as he gave the children of Israel the Scriptures through Moses he gave them to us. And he's calling people everywhere into that movement.

Third temple - you just heard the shortest presentation on the cleansing of the sanctuary you're ever going to hear. Question #5 - should Christians follow the old testament dietary laws? Pastor Doug, you can start out this time. I know it seems like I'm giving myself a little too much time. But you realize that even when I'm over here I'm giving myself time. Corinthians 6:19 "do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

" We're talking right now about God dwelling in the temple - Jesus cleansing the temples. He wants to cleanse his church, he's cleansing the sanctuary in heaven, and he wants you as an individual - your body to be a dwelling place for his spirit. And there's something to be said - not only should we be cleansed from sin - some of us are struggling so much with sin because we've got to learn to get the victory in our body temples with our appetites. One of the greatest insults you could ever perform for a jew is if you had brought an unclean animal into the temple to offer it on the altar. Well, we shouldn't be bringing unclean animals into our bodies.

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. What do you think pastor barney? I do think our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But I don't think we need to make an issue about what we eat. It's just what's going on in your mind. It's not what goes in your mouth or what comes out of your mouth makes any difference.

Romans 14, verse 17 - we're friends, but you seventh day adventists put too much emphasis on what we eat and what we drink. "For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." And then you've got 1 Timothy :4 - this is really clear. "Every creature of God is good, nothing is to be refused." So you're trying to tell me, pastor barney, that no matter what anybody has put in front of you over the course of your life, you've never refused to eat anything? Well, I don't like vegetables very much. So, would you agree that taking this verse that says nothing is to be refused to the extreme could go a little far? I mean, if i, right now, made you a sandwich with maggots and buzzard meat and a little skunk seasoning and say 'you just pray and ask God to bless that because nothing should be refused.' Would you eat it? Oh, i, it wouldn't be very appetizing, but theoretically I could eat it. Well, I'd like to see you act out that theory.

I think that'd be pretty hard to choke that down. You've got to read everything it says regarding these verses. If you read the rest of Timothy, where it talks about every creature of God being good, read chapter 4, verses 3 through 5. It says that this power "would forbid to marry." It's not talking about the seventh day adventist church - there is another church that forbids it's priests to marry - "and commanding to abstain from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving" - so the context of this - some things are created - and God had identified in his word which things those are that are clean, that can be received with thanksgiving. There's one church that says on certain days of the week you're only supposed to eat fish.

And then he says, "for every creature of God is good and nothing is to be refused if it's received with thanksgiving;" notice Paul - to avoid anybody being confused - he says, "for it is sanctified by the Word of God." In other words, there are things that are sanctified by the word and prayer. You can't just pray over pork and it suddenly becomes healthy. And I should ask you, do you really think that the stomach of a jew and the digestional system of a jew is different from gentile Christians? Well, there are actually some diseases that jews are prone to more than other people, but no, I suppose, unless they've got a star shaped in their stomach that it's like everybody else's stomach and they would be affected the same way. But they were a spiritual people that were supposed to be spiritually clean and that was the reason for those laws. So where do the first health laws appear in the Bible? Well, God gave them to Moses and it's there in the book of Leviticus.

I need to correct you. The first time God makes a distinction between clean and unclean foods is to Noah and everybody is related to Noah. The laws regarding clean and unclean foods - these health laws - they didn't begin with the jews, they go all the way back to the Garden of Eden. And, you know, while we're talking about the subject pastor, do you think we're not supposed to obey any of the dietary or health laws? It's not what goes in your mouth that affects you, it's what comes out of your mouth. Well, the Bible says you're not supposed to eat blood either.

In the new testament. A special law for the gentiles. You can read here in acts chapter 15, verse 19 "therefore, I judge that we should not trouble those who from among the gentiles are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood." Why does he say 'things strangled and from blood.'? Because they would butcher the animals back then so the blood was still in them and it is forbidden in the Bible all the way back to Noah in Genesis all the way through the new testament - no believer is ever supposed to eat blood. But the fact is, and take it from someone who used to have his own meat business, the average American meat that's sold on the Market is killed with the blood still in the body. It is not butchered in a kosher way.

And so, the Bible says that there are still health laws, even in the new testament and they expected that the Christians not only not eat the unclean animals, they said 'don't eat the clean animals killed in an unclean way' - the way the Romans and the Greeks were doing it. The Romans and the Greeks were butchering their chickens and their goats and their lambs, which are technically clean, still with the blood - or strangling them - because they liked the uric acid flavor in the blood. And the Bible says that is forbidden. That is a health law. A new testament reinforcement of the health law.

Well, Pastor Doug, there are some other verses here that I can give you to help straighten you out. In acts chapter 10 doesn't God declare that all animals are cleansed? Now, I know you've read this brother doug. This is that vision that Peter had in acts chapter 10. He was hungry and he was praying on his roof and as he could smell them preparing the food downstairs all he could smell was the kosher food and God told him it was okay to crave the unkosher food because he gave him a vision. It says, "he saw heaven open" - acts 10:11 - "and a certain vessel descending unto him as it had been a great sheet knit together at the four corners, and let down to earth.

Wherein were all kinds of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, 'rise Peter, kill and eat.' But Peter said, 'not so lord! For I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.' And the voice of God it spoke to him and said, 'what God has cleansed do not call common.'" Pastor Doug well, pastor barney, I think you need to read the whole context again and find out what he was talking about. First of all, I think it's very interesting to note that in acts chapter 10, which takes place about 37 a.d., Maybe 36 a.d., Years after Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter has still declared 'I have never eaten anything unclean.' And then you need to ask does the vision say that he ever took anything out of the sheet and ate it? Well, not specifically. Does the vision ever mention any specific food like pork or shrimp or crab or camel? Well it says it was full of all kinds of four-footed beasts. Well, what happens if you keep reading the story? Where does Peter go? It tells us that Peter then, while he's praying and after he has his vision and he's wondering within himself what the vision should mean - suddenly some people show up at his door and they invite him to go and to preach the gospel to a house full of gentiles.

A roman with a house full of slaves that are not jews and they were not supposed to do that. Peter says in acts 10, verse 28 "you know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a jew to keep company or to come unto one of another nation. But God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." That's an interesting way of spelling pig: m-a-n. He didn't say God showed me not to call any pig unclean, he said 'God showed me not to call any man common or unclean.' Because the Bible tells us that there are clean and unclean animals and it's still true today. Jesus dying on the cross did not make pork chops healthy.

God says, 'do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever you sow you will also reap.' Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and it does matter what we take into our bodies. Again, you can read in acts 11, verse 18 "when the disciples heard" - Peter relate this whole experience about cornelius and the vision - "when they heard these things, they held their peace; and they glorified God saying, 'praise the Lord we can eat anything at a potluck now.'" No, that's not what that verse says. It says, "they glorified God saying, 'then God also has given the gentiles repentance unto life.

" The whole purpose of that vision - it was an allegory to illustrate something. God doesn't believe that we can just eat anything and pray over it. That's really tempting the Lord. There is no parent here that would accept that argument from your children. If they said I don't want to eat my broccoli tonight, I just want dessert for dinner - but don't worry mom and dad, I promise to pray over it and God'll bless it because it's not what goes in your mouth but it's what comes out.

" Would you accept that pastor barney? I think you're making things more difficult. You're twisting my words now. Of course a parent wouldn't do that, but you also shouldn't make everything about eating and drinking - it's just pray and try and use good judgment. Well, you know, the fact is that it's pretty well proven now that those who eat a vegetarian diet have a lot less heart disease and a lot less cancer and diabetes and problems of other people. Seventh day adventist Christians, you know, have made it to the cover of the national geographic magazine as one of the - they talked about three of the longest-living people - two of the people, sardinia and japan - it had a lot to do with their environment, but they found one enigma, it was the seventh day adventist people they studied in southern California.

They said it was their diet and their lifestyle made them some of the longest-living people in the world. And so, I think there's real benefit in following the health diet. But Pastor Doug, doesn't Jesus state that it's not what goes in one's mouth that defiles us, it's what comes out? Let me read this to you. And I'm going to read from the niv version. "Are you so dull" - by the way, Mark 7, verses 18 and 19 "'are you so dull', he asked, 'don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean, for it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach and then it is cast out?'" In saying this Jesus declared all foods clean? How can you get around that? Well, that is a very unfortunate translation and it's caused a lot of people to stumble, because those words are not in the original Greek.

Matter of fact, if you look in the King James version and in the new king James version it doesn't say that at all. And some people have taken this footnote that they found in the vaticanus or one of those manuscripts and they've added the scribe's interpretation of the footnote saying that Jesus had declared all foods clean. But the interesting thing is that even after this statement, Peter and none of the apostles made any comment on it or did they ever argue about it in the new testament or do you ever see any of them eating any unclean food? And, by the way, Jesus didn't mean it that way. They're not talking about what you eat, they're arguing about whether or not you should ceremonially wash your hands before you eat. That was the discussion in this verse and that's in Matthew chapter 15, verse 2 "why do your disciples" - the jews accuse them - "transgress the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread.

" And Jesus was simply saying, 'this isn't what defiles a man.' If it was eating with dirty hands that would defile us spiritually, all of our kids would be defiled because they - it's amazing how many pounds of dirt a kid eats before they get to adulthood. And they somehow survive. Jesus is saying, 'those things that go in your mouth - if you get a little bacteria and a little garden soil in your mouth, it goes through - it's just processed and purged in the digestive system and it's eliminated.' That's what he's saying. There's a purging that happens in our digestive systems. It doesn't mean that you can eat high cholesterol, high sugar food and you're not going to reap the consequences of that.

It does make a difference what we eat and what we drink. Is there anything wrong with Christians drinking a little alcohol? Oh Pastor Doug, you know, you folks, you're really missing out. I know seventh day adventists as well as some denominations are teetotalers - but Jesus turned the water to wine - he knew how to celebrate a little bit and have a good time. John 2, verse 10 "and he said unto them, 'every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have drunk well, then the inferior. But you have kept the good wine until now!'" Well, pastor barney, you're assuming that when Jesus talks about the good stuff he's talking about the hard liquor.

I respectfully disagree. You could get hard liquor in Israel all year long - they had fermented wine. By the way, the word for wine here, oinos, is used both for grape juice - pure grape juice - as well as the fermented variety. Jesus produced pure grape juice at this wedding when everyone else was expecting the reconstituted stuff or the fermented stuff and they were amazed that he was able to do it. And there's also a spiritual lesson here.

He said, 'you've saved the best for last.' You know, God created the world ,000 years ago, but he waited ,000 years and after all of the goats and all of the lambs, finally God, last of all gave the blood of his own son. It was not the blood - wine is a symbol of that - grape juice is a symbol of that - it wasn't the blood of the goats, it wasn't the blood of the lambs and the bulls and the pigeons that was going to wash away sin, it was the blood of his own son and he saved the best for last. So to take this miracle and turn it into an excuse for people getting drunk - to think that Jesus filled these six containers with over 60 gallons of booze to pep up the party - to think that Christ would contradict his own word where he says, in Proverbs 20 'wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging. Whoever is deceived by that is not wise.' When you think of all the misery that comes into our society from alcohol - that Jesus would condone that. Christ, at the last supper before he ascended to heaven, he gave them grape juice because he said to them - and I'll read this to you, Matthew 26:29 "drink ye all of it for I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the day I drink it with you new" - new.

Unfermented. "In my father's kingdom." Finally, Ephesians 5:18. The Bible says, "do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit." What kind of spirit does God want us to be filled with? The Holy Spirit in our lives friends. He wants to cleanse his sanctuary. He is right now completing his work of that heavenly cleansing.

And someday soon Michael is going to stand up and say, 'it is finished.' And Jesus is going to come. That judgment is going to be over and there is going to be a great time of trouble. He's going through the records of those who claim to be his children. God is calling his people out of Babylon. I want to have my vessel purified, don't you? I want to be filled with his spirit.

While the world is drunk on the wine of Babylon God is calling his children from their hangover and he's saying, 'come out of Babylon. The plagues are soon going to fall. My people.' God has his people in many different churches and before Jesus comes back he wants one body. He wants us to be one people. He is going to have one flock, one fold, one shepherd.

When the flood of Noah came, there was one door to the ark. We pray that you'll study more on these things that you're learning. Go to Bibleuniverse.com.

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