Creation and the Fall

Creation and the Fall

Scripture: Genesis 3:15
Date: 02/09/2013  Lesson: 6
"Satan is a defeated foe, he is here on the earth, and he is determined to wreak as much havoc and destruction as possible against God's creation. This week we'll look at Satan's original attack and what we can learn from it so that while we are still under his assault, we can claim the victory that's ours in Christ."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We hope that you had a wonderful week - that you are ready to open up God's Word and study together with us like we are here at Sacramento central. You - so many of you - across the country - around the world - join us every week for this one-hour program. And it's so exciting to hear from each of you - those of you who do send in your e-mails and your messages on our website at 'saccentral.org' when you request your favorite hymns. And we truly are a family united in Jesus, no matter where we are, and so, today is no exception - we're going to sing your favorite songs.

This is a good one - #334 - so those of you at home - those of you who are here let's start with #334 - 'come thou fount of every blessing' - this is from shosanna in argentina, ephraim in australia, natalie in barbados - oh, a long list - audrey in the cayman islands, takuddwa in england, liisi in estonia - I think this is maybe our first or second request from estonia, so that is very exciting. I love hearing all these different countries - Philip in india, victors in kuwait - I'm not biased, I like to read the international ones and, of course, the u.s. - But I just love our world-wide family so if your name isn't read, please don't take it personal - beth, joyann, and monica in New York - there we go - eric in the Philippines, celestin and andra in saint lucia, anusha in sri lanka, joeper in thailand, dave and shervette in trinidad and tobago, jacqui in the u.s. Virgin islands, and terrence and tinashe in zimbabwe. Long list - thank you so much to everyone who sent in this request and let's sing it - all three stanzas - 'come thou fount'.

I love that song. That's been one of my favorites for a long time. I love the tune and the words - 'take my heart. Take it and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.

' If you have a favorite song that you want to sing with us on an upcoming program, go to our website at 'saccentral.org' and click on the 'contact us' link and you can send in your favorite hymn and we will do our best to sing that for you as soon as we can. We started taking requests on our website when we made it - in 2004 - was the first one - and people used to write in - they used to write letters on paper and put a stamp on it and send it in the mail - and we think, 'how archaic!' - But that's how we started taking song requests back then and then we started doing it on the website. And songs that have come through the website - we have close to ,000 songs that have come in since then. Of course, we have sung a lot of those, but it's exciting. The people love to sing with us.

We never knew that it would grow into what it has - where every week we get maybe 50 or more song requests coming in. So, you are our family and we love hearing from you so keep sending in your songs and we're going to keep singing with you. Our new one - as we are working our way through the hymnal singing The Songs that I don't know - is #37 and this is a traditional finnish melody - so everyone in finland this morning should be singing extra loud - if you are in finland and you're watching - we don't get many requests from finland so let's stop that and let's start. So if you're in finland watching right now, go to our website, let us know you're watching, send in a song request, and we'll sing this with you. 'O sing my soul your maker's praise' - and we will do all three stanzas.

This is from ania and elizabeth in australia and francisco in California. #37. I was telling the group, as we were learning that earlier, the second stanza, I think, has a real message in it - well, the whole song is beautiful but the words that say, 'tho grief may tarry for a night. The morn shall break in joy and light with blessings from his presence.' Whatever you are going through - I don't know what each one here is going through and, of course, I don't know what you're going through, but God does. And if you are in that dark place and you have had horrible news this week - something bad has happened - take hope that the darkness is just for a moment and soon it will be gone forever and Jesus will be coming.

Join with me as we pray. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for loving us and for giving us the assurance that the darkness is not forever - that one day very soon the sky is going to open up and you are going to come in the clouds of glory with the angels and take us home. Thank you for that promise. Thank you for the trials that you do give us because we know that you give us nothing that we can't handle with you - and each experience that we go through is preparing our characters for heaven. Please help us to always remain thankful even when we don't feel like it.

Father, be with us as we open up your word and we study together. Be with our speaker and thank you so much for just blessing us with the Sabbath and the freedoms that we have here in this country to open up your word and to study together. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor white. He is our administrative pastor here at Sacramento central church and he does an amazing job keeping us all in line.

I won't tell you who the biggest challenge is in that regard. We appreciate our musicians, do we not? Amen. I am glad to be here with you this morning and want to welcome each of you and welcome all of you who are joining us - however you are joining us today - by satellite, live streaming, radio - we're glad you're with us. We have a free offer this week and it's something that if you have never gone through this lesson you really need to do so. 'Did God create the devil?' This answers a lot of questions that a lot of people have about some of the things that happen to us in this world and why - why do bad things happen? - And so on and so forth.

Offer #107 - excuse me - you just have to call 1-866-788-3966 and ask for offer #107. Well, we are studying this week chapter 6, 'creation and the fall'. And if you would join me I would appreciate it - in our memory text this morning, Genesis 3:15 - one of the most wonderful texts in the early part of God's word giving us tremendous assurance - Genesis 3:15 niv version. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." The opening paragraph in our lesson this morning talked about several years ago, a comedian who always used to say, 'the devil made me do it' - 'the devil made me do it.' Some of you remember that. Does the devil make you do anything? No.

Can't do it. God can make you do whatever he wants you to do but does he? No, he doesn't either. We have been given a free will - free choice. We choose whom to serve. We are masters of which master to follow.

That is a good little sentence to remember. We are masters to which master we want to follow. Isn't that true? Quite often we are faced with decisions that seem to pop in on us quite unexpectedly and we make wrong decisions for the wrong masters without even perhaps giving a lot of thought about it. It's kind of like what happened leading to our opening lesson on page - on Sunday's lesson entitled 'the serpent was more cunning.' Adam and eve did not start that day by thinking, 'well, I think I'll go out and sin today.' Or 'I think I will go out and allow that one we've been told about to come and tempt me today just to see what it's like.' No, they didn't think about that. It was the farthest thing from their mind, I'm sure, because they had been enjoying tremendous bliss with God in this beautiful place that we've been studying about so far in this quarter - everything thus far has been good up until the final day - and it was very good until now.

The enemy is so cunning that it can almost seem, sometimes, like he forces us, but he doesn't. Someone please read - to get us started - Genesis 3:1 - I think somebody has that verse over here. Right over here - Genesis 3:1 - this verse - the verse previous to this in chapter 2, verse 25, tells about how they were both naked and - the man and his wife - and that they were not ashamed. Now, they - maybe they didn't recognize in the full sense about their nakedness because we have been told that they were clothed with a robe of light so - anyway, let's read Genesis chapter 3, verse 1. Genesis 3:1 says, "now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

And he said to the woman, 'has God indeed said, 'you shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?'" Thank you. Thank you so much for that. The devil - the serpent - possesses a quality that would be good for all of us to possess. Can you guess what that is? Patience. He is so patient.

I don't know how long he had to wait for this opportunity to come about, but it wasn't the first day that they were created. It probably wasn't the first week. It probably wasn't the first month, but the serpent was ever so patient - waiting for his opportunity. The word 'subtle' is used - the definitions for subtle are 'delicately skillful or clever; depth or ingenious; not open or direct; crafty, sly; working insidiously; not easily detected.' And it takes time to be like that. It takes patience to actually do those kind of things - to be that kind of a being.

And you are his prey and I am his prey and that kind of puts it in a light that makes us sound awful, doesn't it? And I'm here to remind us it is awful. And we might liken ourselves to insects - an insect - surrounded by spiders' webs - everywhere we turn there's a web. Isn't that how the devil is with us? Everywhere we turn there he is and there he is and there he is - he's never-ending. He's tireless. He's vigilant.

He is patient. The amazing thing about this is adam and eve weren't just told that there would be the possibility of falling, but they were warned about the very temptation that they might have to contend with. Patriarchs and Prophets 51 says, "should they attempt to investigate it - the tree - its nature, they would be exposed to his wiles. They were admonished to give careful heed to the warning which God had sent them and to be content with the instruction which he had seen fit to impart." They even knew about the one referred to in that phrase 'his wiles' - they knew about him. They knew that it would be the one that fell from heaven.

That it was the evil one. Now, how long he had to wait for this to happen, we're not sure. Did he wait in the tree? Did he watch them? Survey them? And as soon as eve started going towards that tree he flew to the tree? We don't know, but he was there and he had his opportunity he was waiting for. And even with this opportunity, he didn't blow it by impatience. He was patient.

He didn't come on direct with her - he was so calm and wily. Amazing. How the good angels must have looked on with intensity but they were not allowed to intervene. The test comes to man, not angels. The angels that looked on from above had passed their test.

Some of the serpents' human agents are just as patient with their false teachings in this world. I'm amazed, sometimes, with how patient they are to snag their victims. They are so careful just to drop a little thing here and a little thing there to cause you doubt in God or cause you doubt in one of his teachings. It is amazing. Cunning is the word, to be sure.

Now there's an interesting text about the serpents. If somebody would read for us Matthew 10:16 - who has that? Okay, right over here. Matthew 10, verse 16. Jesus is the one talking in this verse - right up here in front - and what he is saying in this verse really shows us and tells us that Jesus understands, very clearly, who he is dealing with when it comes to his enemy. Matthew chapter 10, verse 16.

Okay. "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." So we are to exercise the alertness and the wisdom abilities of the serpents but, of course, not imitate his wiliness. Jesus shows us how well he understood his enemy. I think in our world we sometimes forget about how terrible our enemy is.

In fact, we are so surrounded with evil that we become very - I don't know - complacent - what's a good word? It's around us. In fact, sometimes we think of evil and we patronize evil - or the evil ones. Remember a few years ago this guy stole a bunch of money and he jumped out of plane over a forest and they never did catch him? He almost became a folk hero. 'Wow, what a guy. What a guy.

' We patronize evil. But our enemy is nothing like that. He is totally evil. All he thinks about every single day - 24 hours of our time every day - is how he can ensnare you and cause you pain and cause your death. That's all he thinks about.

He's totally evil. Totally bad. We must never forget that about who our enemy is. Even in sports, the winning team or teams are the ones that often know their opponents the best. They know everything about them and they often win that way.

Now we must not study about him to become enchanted by him, but we must study enough to know how evil evil really is. Moving on to Monday, somebody has Genesis 3, verses 2 and 3? Who has that? Right back here. Genesis chapter 3, verses 2 and - one might get the idea - as you read this, maybe this was the first day in paradise - to be caught off guard so badly that you engage yourself in talking with a snake. And what that tells us, again, is just how wily the enemy is. It's like he automatically planted a seed.

Wow, a talking snake. Maybe there is something about this tree. If he's in this tree it's kind of like a seed was planted. Okay, Genesis 3:2 and 3. And the woman said to the serpent, 'we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.

'" Okay, thank you very much. The lesson points out how eve might have stated something beyond what they had been told because nowhere in Scripture do we find that God told them not to touch. But I kind of take the other side of that a little bit because often God gives us details a little bit indirectly. I suspect that God did tell them not to even touch it - but it doesn't matter because if she didn't touch it she wouldn't have eaten it, right? So it doesn't matter. But on the other hand, eve was a smart person, right? She was very smart.

She saw the serpent in the tree and, perhaps holding a piece of the fruit, she heard him speaking to her and she quickly perceived that he knew things she probably didn't know. So she formed this question - or she gave this little thing about 'God told us we couldn't eat' to see what he was going to say about that. 'We're not even supposed to touch it.' But, with that, can we say that the rules were clear to eve? Did she know the rules? The rules are very clear. Did eve know right from wrong? Yes. So where did she go wrong? Well, she had planted in her mind this small desire that she could have something, perhaps, that she didn't have.

She could arrive to a plateau in life that she was not at currently. But in so doing she had to discredit God. He had to plant a seed in her mind that God wasn't exactly the being he pretended to be? That's what kind of thought came into her mind. Do we still have a problem with that today? We are told that God is love. We are told that God has only our good in mind.

Do you ever question that? I bet you have - some of you. Times get hard, stress comes, tragic things happen - and who is there to suggest to you 'well why is God allowing that to happen to you? Doesn't God love you?' Yeah. Will someone read for us Matthew 15:7 through 9? I think somebody has that one. Matthew 17 - over - do you have that one? Okay. Matthew 15, verses 7 through 9.

This is a passage where Jesus is chastising the pharisees about some of their human traditions that they were adding these rules and they were adding these rules that they thought would help them be holier. So, if you'd read that - Matthew 15, verses 7 through 9. "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'these people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" Okay, well, that's the kind of thing that was going on back in those days. I kind of see the tendency in our time to be a little bit on the opposite end sometimes.

Some people suggest, you know, well, for example, if you're trying to live a holy life - you're trying to follow the guidelines that have been given to us healthfully - and somebody will come along an chide you, 'well, why are you - are you just trying to by holier than everybody else eating like that?' Or, you know how that goes, but that's not the kind of thing Jesus was talking about. He was talking about the meticulous things that the Jewish hierarchy had added to such things as the Sabbath. They took the delight out of the day of delight with all their meticulous rules. Now, do we need more laws or do we need to just keep the laws we have? Does this country need more laws or just the laws we have? Well, once in a while circumstances come about that we probably have to have a new law, but it's kind of laughable in this country when you hear them talking about 'this year we're going to make the tax laws more - or less complicated.' And everybody laughs because we know that never happens. They get so much more complicated that you cannot do them yourself - you have to have some kind of a professional helping you.

And all this goes back to the woman and the serpent, doesn't it? She just couldn't accept the laws that were in place. She had to put her own human stamp on things and did she ever! Up until now adam and eve were one. They were one in their marriage - man and wife - husband and wife. They were one in the Lord. They were as one - as perfect in oneness and unity as the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 - for his people to have oneness.

They had perfect unity. Just to think of that. So what transpires here between the woman and the serpent resulted in the first disunity that this world ever seen. That's a tragic thing. The body of Christ - they were the church - the body of Christ and up until now the body of Christ didn't have any disunity but now it does.

Patriarchs and Prophets says, "the angels had cautioned eve to beware of separating herself from her husband while occupied in their daily labor in the garden. With him she would be in less danger from temptation than if she were alone. On perceiving that she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger but dismissed her fears, deciding that she had sufficient wisdom and strength to discern evil and to withstand it." This was the first step towards disunity. What was it that cemented this disunity? Reading on it says, "by partaking of this tree he - the serpent - declared - listen to this - that they would attain to a more exalted sphere of existence and enter a broader field of knowledge." Wow, she was taken in by the promise of a more exalted sphere of existence. This desire was planted in her - she could be - she could have an even higher position than she already had.

Does that sound a little bit familiar? It has a certain ring to it - mankind separating themselves from the body of Christ - the church - on important teachings because we want a more exalted sphere of existence for some people. It's what brought about the first experience of disunity to God's church and will continue until Jesus comes. Any time actions are taken that bring disunity to God's church - any time actions are taken that bring disunity to God's church, it is a slap in the face to John and the most potent prayer that Jesus ever prayed for his people. The longest prayer recorded that we have of his. Well, we can't stop there though, eve wasn't the only one, in the end, making this choice.

We move onto Tuesday entitled 'deceived by the evidence.' Somebody read for us, if you would, Genesis 3, verses 4 through 6 - right up here in front - Genesis 3, verses 4 through 6. We will find these verses clues as to what evidences we are talking about. Now people don't often make choices unless there's some kind of evidence to base it on. Now go ahead. Genesis 3, verses 4 through 6.

"Then the serpent said to the woman, 'you will not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that is was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." Thank you. Evidence? The first evidence was that the fruit looked good. It looked good, no doubt. The serpent, either by talking about it or eating it, caused the saliva to get activated in eve's mouth.

It looked good. It must have - it looked like it tasted good to the serpent. And then in patriarchs and prophets it says, 'he himself had eaten of the forbidden fruit and as a result had acquired the power of speech.' That's another evidence - there was power here. There was knowledge here that she didn't have. Here - this tree could make an animal speak - a snake, a serpent - and this fruit will increase your wisdom, it will change your speech.

Did it ever change her speech? Right? Just a short time later she was using her speech to drag her husband into this sin and shortly after that she was using her speech to blame God for making the serpent. Speech was altered because she ate of this fruit, but it wasn't altered in a positive way, that's for sure. Does that remind you of a time when people got new speech way back in the tower of babel? They were seeking their own way there too, and God gave them new speech - new language. Nobody could understand each other. So much so that the tower of babel came to an end.

And it often comes with the same tone that the serpent was bringing to eve - that we live in an enlightened age. Have you ever heard that? We live in an enlightened age so we need to get with the program. This church over here is doing this - we need to do it too. Look at how well they're thriving. This church over here is doing this too.

We live in this enlightened age - why do you insist on living there in the past? Well, because in the past our church was clinging to the fundamental doctrines. That's why we cling to that. We don't want to get away from that. It often comes with those kind of supposed evidences. As we need to get back to the evidences, never before had eve or adam witnessed any animal speaking their language.

Seeing and hearing is believing. Well, for a lot of people seeing and hearing is believing, but seeing and hearing is believing, sometimes, the wrong thing. If it isn't according to the Word of God then it's the wrong things, right? So adam is dragged into the scenario. And does he come willingly? No, in fact, he was very sad. He was very sad that he had let eve wander from his side.

He was extremely sad that she had partaken of this fruit and he didn't want to eat of it, so why did he? Well, because he was wrapped up more in his relationship with a human being than he was with his relationship with God. And a lot of people are going to be lost because of that very same thing. We think more of human relationships than we do with a relationship with God. It always amazes me sometimes to see somebody so with it in the church and then they meet that right person - supposedly - maybe not even of the faith, but they just think they're the swellest person in the world and they get hooked up with them and before long they're out of the church because of a human relationship. Well, people have asked, 'what would have happened if adam hadn't sinned?' Patriarchs and Prophets gives us a little insight.

It says, "he did not realize" - adam - "that the same infinite power who had, from the dust of the earth, created him a living beautiful form and had, in love, given him a companion, could supply her place." God, who had made him in the image of God and put him in this beautiful place and made him as happy as a human being could be - that if this woman was taken from him, God could have replaced that woman. Well, adam would have been sad, right? He probably would have grieved some, losing his companion, but God has the ability to wipe away all tears. For we are told that even in the book of Revelation at the end of time, when God creates a new heaven and a new earth after that thousand years - you've had a thousand years to mourn over those individuals that you loved so much here on earth that didn't make it and you wonder how you can live for eternity because they're not going to be there. Well, God wipes away all tears somehow someway. What a tragic day when adam and eve fell - in the course of probably less than an hour the world became doomed with sin.

It reminded me something of what a newscaster said recently during this severe recession. He began his newscast by saying, 'due to the current financial crisis, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off.' Indeed, such a bright light had gone out in this world - replaced by the darkness of sin. Sin and darkness began to reign. That takes us to Wednesday's lesson entitled 'grace and judgement - eden part 1'. Someone has Genesis 3, verses 9 through 13 - who has that one? - Genesis 3 - right over here.

Genesis 3 - kyle has that. And the Lord God called to adam and said to him, 'where are you?' So he said, 'I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.' And he said, 'who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?' Then the man said, 'the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.' And the Lord God said to the woman, 'what is this you have done?' The woman said, 'the serpent deceived me, and I ate.'" Alright. Thank you. And a new word came into existence called 'guilt'. They'd never known guilt before.

They had never known it. And how quickly they learned how to avoid owning up to their own guilt. Did God have to ask them these questions for him to understand what happened? No. Did he know how they would even answer the questions? Yes. But this was all unfolding, of course, for their benefit.

Imagine how awful it must have been for them. Everything was perfect and instantaneously everything is different. It's so weird. It's awful. It's an awful feeling.

They even start to feel cold. Why? I contend because their bodies are already beginning to lose cells. Cells within their bodies are dying. The wages of sin - the wages of eating this fruit on this tree is death and death began immediately once they did that. Their bodies started to die.

No, they didn't drop dead right then, but they began dying, just like all of our bodies are having dying cells going on in our bodies every day. It must have been awful. What a moment in history. But what does God do? Someone has the most wonderful verses for us. Genesis 3, verses 14 and 15 - who has that one? Right over here.

Genesis 3, verses 14 and 15. Not only does God step in and tell the couple of the help he is going to provide, but he also addresses the enemy that caused all this whole mess in the first place. Genesis 3:14 and 15. "So the Lord God said to the serpent: 'because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

'" Alright, thank you. The lesson points out that before God pronounces judgment on adam and eve, he gives them the hope of grace and salvation. The promise of salvation and then the judgment. Is that important? I think it is. For whenever the word judgment is even mentioned, people kind of get all excited and nervous because it causes fear sometimes and condemnation within our souls.

'The judgment' - but the judgment in the right light is good news, actually, for who is to be our judge? Jesus is our judge. Is that good news or bad news? Well, it depends on which side of the fence you happen to be sitting on. Standing before a judge for a serious crime must be a very nerve-wracking experience. I have never had that experience yet but it must be. But the judgment for the true believer - the judge is Jesus and not only is Jesus judge, he is your lawyer.

He is the advocate. And even though here on Wednesday we're talking about the immediate judgment of adam and eve that they were about to receive concerning childbirth and the thistles and the thorns that were going to be in the way of adam and his work - I think it's very important for us to cope with these daily judgments that come our way by having a good look at the overall judgment - the great judgement in the end of time - because in the great judgment in the end of time the accuser of the brethren is going to be there and he is going to point out, very accurately - very totally accurately, everything you did wrong. He's not going to forget anything. He's going to say some things that you have forgotten about and he's going to bring it to light as clear as crystal. And we would be sunk if it wasn't for our advocate.

But sometimes in this world we tend to try not own up to our sins. We try to not own up to our guilt. We try to sometimes avoid it as if, you know, by such things as well, why do bad things happen to good people? Well, yeah, bad things happen to good people. I'm having this happen to me because I'm such a good person. Well, there's only been one good person and that was Jesus.

The rest of us are all sinners. Deceitful above all that we can ask - all that we can think. I think I - I know I did - several years ago - I talked about this in a sermon. But I'm going to share it again because it's very applicable. When I was a pretty new adventist - very young - in my early 20s, I was in college and I took a summer trip for six credits - credit hours.

We took this three-week grueling travel on this bus seeing everything across the middle of the United States in the east and down south. We stopped at every place you could think of that was historical and so forth. We stopped in Washington d.c. - Of course there was so much to see there. We went to the supreme court building.

Now I grew up in a little town - anthon, Iowa - of less than a thousand people. I had never known in my life a judge - I don't think I even knew a lawyer. I never - never met a judge, never talked to a judge, anything. But there I was in the supreme court of the United States of America and it just so happens at that time that I had a cousin serving as one of the supreme court justices whom I had never met. So I was there and down in the lobby and I wrote a little note and I gave it to the lady there and asked if she could take it up to the supreme court justice and give it to justice white.

She said she would and I explained who I was and how I was related to him and I was his cousin and how my grandfather - he had been to visit him many times - they lived close to us even though I had never seen him and so I told him where I was staying and that night his secretary called me and said, 'well justice white would love to meet you. Would you come down to the supreme court building?' I said, 'y-y-y-yes I will.' So I got on my clothes and went down to the supreme court building and I'm going to meet the justice of the United States supreme court and I'm so excited and I'm so nervous and I didn't know what to say. And I went there - I told the policeman down there - I said who I was and why I was there. And he said, 'okay, I'll call up there.' And so he calls up and he says, 'okay, his secretary will be right down.' Well, I'm standing there and in a couple minutes here he comes bounding down the stairs and he said, 'hey bill! (To the police officer) - that's my cousin all the way from Iowa here to see me.' Wow, he just came up to me and greeted me and took me up to his office - I mean this was a huge office and there was all - he was called wizzer white because he had been a professional football player and a college player and so he had all these trophies and he had all these pictures of kennedy family - because he was a good friend of jfk - and jfk had him in his cabinet and then he put him to the supreme court so he had all these pictures. I was still pretty nervous, but the more I was there the more comfortable I was being because he was - just seemed like a very nice, common, ordinary man and then I'll never forget him putting his feet on the desk and there on the bottom of his shoe was a hole coming in his shoe.

This guy isn't any different than I am in a lot of ways. I don't even have holes in my shoes. I wasn't afraid anymore. Why? Because I got to know the judge. I got to personally know him and he's really a nice guy.

And when it comes to the judgment, if you really know the judge you're not going to worry. Because he's not only your judge, he's your lawyer. You cannot lose. Yeah, get to know Jesus. It's the only way.

It's the only way to face the judgment. It's the only way to face the big judgment and the everyday judgments. And we shouldn't say, 'well, judgment is falling on him or her because they're - must have done something wrong.' No, that's too much like the jews. But when something bad happens to us, you think we should consider that perhaps God is trying to get through to us? Yeah, I think so. I think we should.

We shouldn't try to dismiss it. Well, Jesus is our judge. Turning to Thursday's 'grace and judgment in eden - part 2' and a point is made here on Thursday for the second time when it says, 'after all, what's the purpose of the gospel? What's the good news if there were no judgment, no condemnation from which to be spared?' What is the ultimate condemnation to man? It's death, right? That's the ultimate condemnation. Death. Well, do we all deserve death? Yes.

Can we all have life? Yes we can. If our faith weakens - well, that's a terrible thing and I couldn't help but think about something I'd read recently in the old testament in 1 Samuel about a time when Saul was king and Saul's faith was in the dirt. He had witnessed David killing Goliath and he had seen how he was popular and Samuel had already told him that he was going to lose his Kingship because of his waywardness and so his faith, it was horrible, and here were these philistines in their backyard and they were gathering themselves to fight with Israel. And listen to what it says in 1 Samuel chapter 13 - just listen to this verse, it's interesting. 'When the men of Israel saw that they were in a straight' - in other words, a straight way - 'for the people were distressed, then the people did hide themselves in caves and in thickets and in rocks and in high places and in pits.

And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of gad and gila' - in other words, they were running away - 'and as for Saul, he was yet in gilgal but all the people that were with him followed him trembling.' What a terrible scene because this leader has no faith. Because the leader has no faith, everybody else is trembling. Everybody else is trying to find a place to hide - crawl away and be away from the enemy. We can't face the enemy because we have no faith. What a sad picture - a total lack of faith.

And when judgment is imminent or possible judgments or trials are upon us, we may feel like scattering with trembling and fear too. And it reminds us of how things will be in the very end of time when Jesus comes back to this earth. When he comes back a second time we have a verse in Revelation 7, verses 15 and 16 that sounds a lot like the verse in 1 Samuel that we just read. Revelation 7, verses 15 and 16 says this, "and the Kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the chief captains and the mighty men and every bond man and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains" and what'd they say? "They said to the mountains" - what? - "And to the rocks, 'fall on us! Hide us!" It sounds just like what was happening there in 1 Samuel, doesn't it. 'We've got to hide.

We're afraid.' Well, they should be afraid at this time in earth's history because they are totally without defense and it would have no use for them to have faith now - which they won't have, of course, not true, genuine, living faith in God. And so they have every reason to be fearful and they have every reason for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them. "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb." I heard someone say, once, now I shouldn't maybe say this, but - because I hope it's not true here - I hope it doesn't - but somebody said once, 'you know, in the end of time when we're in the middle of the time of trouble and somebody comes out to our church - the authorities come to our church and they grab ahold of our senior pastor and they haul him off to prison or jail or whatever and maybe they take the whole pastoral staff with them, that you'll find members scattering like cockroaches when the light's turned on. No, I hope that's not true. It could be for some people that are just hanging on for whatever reason, but if you're here for the right reason, you're not going to scatter.

You're going to hang on to Jesus 'til the very end, right? That's why we're here because we're hanging on. We want to hang on. We don't want to give up. We believe in the Word of God. We trust in our Savior.

And we know times are going to get hard. We know judgments are going to begin to fall. We know that the time of trouble is going to be a time of trouble such as we have never seen and we know that. It's not going to be a picnic, we also know that, but praise God just as he gave those people the courage to be martyrs in the past - they didn't think that they were martyrs - they didn't think that they were so full of courage that they would stand up but God says that he will give man the courage that he needs to become a martyr, if that's what he needs to be, when the time comes. Not before then, but when the time comes.

So we cannot look forward to a time when everything is going to be peace and safety, but we look forward to a time when troubles come. But what does Psalms 46, I believe it says, 'God is a present help' - what? - 'In the time of trouble.' Not from the time of trouble, he's going to be a present help in any time of trouble we have. In the great last days or any day-to-day trouble you have. Anybody having trouble these days? Of course you are. Everybody's having troubles.

We're living in troublous times. Well, we have a Savior, do we not? Jesus is Savior, Jesus is master, Jesus is advocate, Jesus is a shelter in the time of storm, right? The good news of salvation precedes the judgment and it must precede judgment in our minds always keeping uppermost the wonderful truth that Jesus saves. Jesus saves. Who saves? Jesus saves. Absolutely.

Jesus saves and that's the good news that we are all blessed with. I really liked the closing quotes on Friday - I'm just going to read them and share them with you this morning because they were so good I'm sure you've all read them, but it's good for us to review. Right there on Friday it says, 'God gave our first parents the food he designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to his plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in eden.

Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the creator leading men to look upon God as the author of sin and suffering and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. But man was not abandoned to the results of the evil he had chosen.

In the sentence pronounced upon satan was given an intimation of redemption. This sentence, spoken in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. Before they heard of the thorn and thistle, of the toil and sorrow that must be their portion, or of the dust to which they must return, they listened to the words that could not fail of giving them hope. All that had been lost by yielding to satan could be regained through Christ.' So God is not the author of sin, suffering and death and that's one reason you need to get this little lesson if you've never read through it ever before. It's entitled, 'did God create the devil?' Did God create the devil? Well, he created lucifer, right? But he didn't create the devil - the devil chose to become the devil.

Lucifer chose to become the devil. But this answers a lot of wonderful questions that all of us will have. It's offer #107 and, again, all you have to do is dial up on the phone 866-788-3966. So up until now - up until this lesson, we've only been studying about positive things about the origins of mankind. Today we studied about the saddest moment in this earth's history, but praise God he didn't leave us there.

He didn't leave us there. He came through with a promise right away - Genesis 3:15 and that promise was all about Jesus - all about the Savior that would come and everything in the old testament pointed to the fact that this promise given in Genesis 3:15 would be a fulfillment. That the lamb of God would come one day to take away the sins of the world and Jesus is the lamb of God, right? And he did pay the price to take away the sins of the world. Journey back through time to the center of the universe. Discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan, the arch villain.

The birth of evil. A rebellion in heaven. A mutiny that moved to earth. Behold the creation of a beautiful new planet and the first humans. Witness the temptation in eden.

Discover God's amazing plan to save his children. This is a story that involves every life on earth. Every life. The cosmic conflict. If God is good.

If God is all-powerful. If God is love then what went wrong? Available now on dvd. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit 'Sabbathtruth.com'.

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