Creation and the Gospel

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:22
Date: 03/23/2013 
Lesson: 12
"The original Creation gives us confidence that God's creative power is able to change our lives and to bring us back into relationship with Him."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We are here in the capital city of California - Sacramento - and we are coming to you like we do every week. We open up God's Word, we study together, we always sing, and I'm just excited that you are tuning in and you are joining us. If this is your first time, you're in for a great surprise today. We have a special guest who is going to be providing our music so we're not singing our regular hymns - but you can still send them in at our website at 'saccentral.

org' - click on the 'contact us' link and you can send them in and we will continue singing those next week. So, our special guest - I want to get right to her because I know you're going to enjoy what you're going to hear. Margie salcedo rice is a Christian recording artist, composer and what else are you? A violinist, that's right. And she's from ukiah, California up north and today she is here. She is going to sing two songs for us and play and the first one is 'his eye is on the sparrow' and 'I have fixed my mind'.

Beautiful music. So, margie, come on up and bless us with your music. Happy Sabbath everyone. What a joy to be here this Sabbath morning. Just like Jesus cares for the sparrows, he cares for each one of us.

So if you feel discouraged, just give it to Jesus. He will lift up your burdens and we just love him, don't we? Amen. Praise God. He watches each one of us. Amen.

This next song is a beautiful hymn that is inspired by the words of william miller. He is one of the pioneers of seventh day adventist church and he wrote, "I have fixed my mind on another time and that is today - today until he comes." Amen. Thank you so much, margie. I love that song. If you want more information about margie salcedo rice she has a website 'salcedo' - no, let's see - ''. That's pretty simple. So it'll be up there on your screen. at this time, let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we are looking forward to that day when we will see your face.

It seems so far off, so long sometimes. But we know when we look around - the things that are happening in this world - that it's not long. Please help us not to lose our dedication and determination to be ready for when you come. Some of us have been in the church for almost what feels like a hundred years. We've been born in it.

We've grown up in it. Some of us have come into the church later in life - may we never lose that love for you so that we will be ready when you come. Be with us as we open up your word and we study together. I pray that you'll be with pastor mike as he brings us the lesson study. Be with our extended Sabbath school family around the world.

Be with each one. We thank you so much for the blessing that they are to us. We hear from so many of them every week - on the - online - and I know that you love them and we love them. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor mike thompson.

He is our health and visitation pastor here at Sacramento central church. Thank you debbie. Happy Sabbath everybody. Margie, thank you. There you are, yes.

They were beautiful songs. I really like that one about william miller. Yeah, I first heard that - it was reggie smith - he sang it at the end of the last general conference session - I'd never seen him before - hadn't heard The Song before, but I thought, 'oh, I like that.' Then I traced it down on youtube - the usual thing - and I actually have a copy now from 3abn. So thank you. I'd like to welcome you all to central study hour and before we begin we have a special offer.

It's offer #109 and it's called 'rescue from above'. You can call 866-study-more or -788-3966. I think it's the same number, actually. This talks about the rescue - the ultimate rescue that Jesus realizes in our lives. We're all sinners.

We all need help. We're all actually, literally drowning in something worse than the ocean here, which you see on the front. We're drowning in the prospect of eternal death. So, by all means, if you don't know anything about how to get saved - how to be rescued - call Amazing Facts and ask for offer #109 - 'rescue from above'. They'll send this to you absolutely free.

And when you're giving promotions you're supposed to say 'absolutely free', right? Okay, we're on lesson 12 and it's 'creation and the gospel'. And there's a memory text. It says, "for as in adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." At creation God manifested his - well, obviously - his creative power to bring life forth from nothing and especially the miracle of human life. And that life was meant to endure indefinitely - forever and ever and ever, not just within the borders of canaan but beyond. But, tragically, in all places such as paradise sin reared its ugly head to be - to come - to bring with it the verdict, the penalty, the wages of eternal death.

God had already warned adam and eve of that. But right there in the garden, when it looked that all - looked like everything was lost for the first members of the human family, God's grace came forth - it came shining through to save not just the day - that's like a figure of speech - but to reserve for them an eternity still through the redeemer that God would send so that adam could have another chance and all his successors - all his naughty little children - and we're all his naughty little offspring - we too have an opportunity to have a second probation - well, we already have a second probation, but it's what we do with it that counts. And so, I'm going to move on to the first section, 'grace and the garden'. I've just mentioned grace and the Garden of Eden. I don't know whether this is a good thing to say or not but I'm going to say it.

Just imagine for a minute that you're the devil and you've just been cast out of heaven. Revelation 12 - 'there was war in heaven' - and you've lost that round and you've been cast here onto the earth. Now, who knows for how long up in heaven you were churning out this propaganda about God, saying he was unjust and he had this law that he used to govern everybody and really, it was just a means of keeping everybody under control - it restricted our freedom and God is really, really very unjust. So you've been churning this out - started off in a very subtle way but finally it just - you just start blurting it out. But you've been so good in your efforts and your deceptive abilities that you've actually won a third of the angels onto your side, which is no small number - while accusing God of being, you know, arbitrary - and at the same time you've been campaigning in your own interests.

You've had your stump speech, if you like, you've gone around heaven and the universe saying you would make a far better ruler and monarch of the universe than God himself. Well, that didn't get very far because, you know, the gloves came off and there was war in heaven and so you were cast out. And so, you lost the first battle but, as you've heard the saying, 'you may have lost the battle but you - it doesn't mean you've lost the war.' And so, you're down here and you're still determined to fight. And what's more, God has even given you some extra time so you can go ahead and try and do that. So here you are.

And so you seize on this opportunity. God says his law is for everybody's security and happiness and eternal good and God says that breaking out the bounds of this law will result in something called sin, which will bring terrible suffering and eternal death and you say, 'but, you know, it's just not true. God's Words are just a cover up because he still just wants to restrict everybody's freedom and keep us all under his control. God really doesn't care about our happiness and security. His law represents a God who is not fair and merciful.

It does not represent a God who is loving and kind, it represents a God who is stern and injustice - and unjust - and what's more, he's just waiting to condemn you and slap you down the moment you step out of line.' And being the devil you are, of course, being banished from heaven, you cite your own experience. 'You know, I was up in heaven and I was trying to exert my freedom - express my' - I'm not from America so excuse my ignorance - is it the second amendment - free speech? Come on, you don't have any excuse. What is it? Free speech? Which amendment is it? First amendment - okay, thank you. Well I am from england, aren't i? I said the second. - 'And you know what God did? He threw me down here.

' So you actually use your circumstances, you think, to strengthen and reinforce your argument that God doesn't stand any nonsense - you step out of line and - whack! - You're done for. Well, you decide that by some means or another you are going to get back at God because this battle isn't lost yet. And you believe that if you can find, maybe, another couple of people who can step out of line and God demonstrate, again, his same - then, you know, that's going to strengthen your argument even more and all those angels who stayed behind, they might think, 'you know, maybe - maybe lucifer's got something there.' Well, we'll fast forward to the Garden of Eden. Now you're the devil, right? Did you find a couple of people that you could get to step on the wrong side of the line? Yeah, adam and eve. Yeah, it was really, I mean, you know, we struggle with sin and it's not an excuse, but we have fallen natures so we have an affinity to take that path.

They had not fallen natures but, you see, the devil used deception so he's pretty slippery. And so here are these first two humans made in the image of God - very special order of creation - and you know that God loves them very, very much indeed - and you know - you know, you think to yourself, 'now God's got himself in a dilemma here. Let's see how he gets out of this one. Is he going to cast them out of the Garden of Eden? Is he going to smack them down like he smacked me down? Let me just see what God does about this whole thing. You see, because if he does treat them like me, then it reinforces my argument.

But if God kind of cuts them some slack - alters his law - bends his law - or maybe suspends his law for a little while to kind of make an excuse, then hey, God's playing favorites. That's not fair.' And so, you think that perhaps now you've got it. If God is going to excuse them then he's got to let you back into heaven. And so you listen and lo and behold, it becomes very obvious that God is not going to bend. God is not going to change or abolish or suspend his law to accommodate their sin.

And you hear with glee the consequences - that death is going to come upon the guilty pair. Oh, this argument with suit you, surely. Let's go to Genesis 3, chapter 19. And I'd like somebody to read that if they would. Genesis 3:19 - sue - sue's right over here if you have a roving microphone somewhere.

Right here - keep your hand up please sue so he can see you. In a moment we'll - I'll ask you to read in a moment. Wait a minute - excuse me - okay, we'll just go to Genesis 3:15 - let's go there instead. We'll skip whatever that verse was - I don't remember. But let's read Genesis 3:15 please, sue.

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Okay, thank you. So you're listening to this now - now the other thing - of course, you know, God's told them it's death - and you're very happy for that, but this thing in 3:16 - there's something God said here that just leaves you a little puzzled and leaves you a tiny bit anxious. Who is this that's going to put enmity between you and her children - adam and eve's offspring? Who is this one that's going to come here who will - you will bruise his heel but he will bruise your head. What's all this about bruising? It sounds like another fight again. And it's pretty obvious you're going to score some points.

You're going to do some bruising here, but that bruise to the head that you have coming, that doesn't sound too good, does it? I mean, head wounds can sometimes be fatal. Indeed, it's going to be fatal. Now, you can stop imagining you're the devil right now, okay? Maybe you'd forgotten anyway. But here in Genesis 3:15 was predicted that the most marvelous way in which God would maintain the justice of his law, executing the death penalty, ultimately upon satan, while at the same time - keeping his law perfectly intact - yet at the same time exercising mercy toward adam and eve. Now satan himself would finally expose his true evil and his true character.

He would confirm his guilt when, at the cross, of course, he murdered Jesus - that's exactly what happened. But while Jesus was the victim of satan's guilt - and this was all encapsulated here, about how God would resolve this issue of sin - it was all encapsulated in Genesis 3:15, but while Jesus would be the victim of satan's cruelty, Jesus, at the same time, became the sin bearer or the sin offering for every human being. And, as such, suffering the death penalty under the curse of the law, for adam's sin and ours. So again, God upheld the justice of his law while at the same time equally demonstrating his love and mercy and his redeeming grace to his earthly children - showing that the devil was a liar. Of course we already knew that, but the angels were not fully sure.

And that grace became immediately available in the garden, as soon as adam and eve transgressed. God's sacred unchangeable law reMained intact but he said that there would be help coming. There was a Savior who would come and pay the price for their sins and he would pay the price for that violated law so that God could equally maintain his justice and his mercy. And this innocent one to come, Christ, was prefigured right away there in the garden because, you know, they fell and they were aware that they were naked and they got leaves and probably they turned a little chill. Next thing we're reading Genesis - God had clothed them in skins - not just for the sake of any thermal benefits, but it was the clothing of their nakedness which, in the Bible, nakedness means you're shown there in all your unrighteousness.

And so, some innocent one - two at least - innocent creatures had already been sacrificed to cover their nakedness. And this, of course, typified the one who was to come - that would be Jesus. You know what Jesus - when he died - let me put it this way - on the cross. Jesus died in our rags so we could live in his robes. Jesus died in our rags so we could live in his robes.

And that's a wonderful thing - God's mercy. I was going to read it today, but I knew I wouldn't have time. There's a statement in 'desire of ages' and I'm paraphrasing, but the servant of the Lord says that - it goes something like this: all the love that has ever been between men and women down through the ages - and that's an awful lot of love, right? - Is really just a tiny rill compared to the ocean of God's love that he feels for us fallen human beings. That ocean of love is just absolutely boundless. And, you know what, the more you think about God's love, the more it - it's a wonderful - you know, very often it is - and I'm - here I go again, I'm getting sidetracked, but very often we think too much about ourselves and there's nothing encouraging about that.

Yeah, we're sinners, sure. And we need to watch what we're doing by the grace of God, but the more you dwell upon the love of God and the more you're able to plumb the length and the breadth and the depth of his love, it has a wonderful transforming, healing, sanctifying effect upon the heart and mind. It begets within us a desire to know him. 'If he loves me that much, whoa, I want to know him so bad.' Yeah. Love.

Anyway, moving on to sin and death, which is actually Monday's section, I've heard some people say that sin is a broken relationship between the sinner and God. I want to be as polite as I can be, but I disagree with that definition of sin. Sin is not a broken relationship, sin is a transgression of God's law and the separation is the consequence that comes about as a consequence of that transgression of God's law; however, the ultimate consequence of sin is that it does more than just separate us from God the source of all life. It will, if left unchecked, create an eternal separation from God through sin's ultimate consequence, which is eternal death - the second death. Now such an end is guaranteed for satan.

I mean he - and his angels. Why? Some people ask the question, 'well, satan didn't get a second chance but adam and eve did.' That's the wrong way of looking at it. Satan had plenty of chances. Satan first spent who knows how long - thousands of years? - Maybe millions of years. We don't know how long he was in existence.

He had thousands and thousands of years as a covering cherub to stand beside the throne of God and to know what God was like - to know that God was a just God - but he was a loving and a kind and a compassionate God and satan knew that so very, very well indeed. And so he had - when he sinned, it was in the face of great light because he'd had this long opportunity. And so it was for this reason that his sin and especially when it went as far as wanting to usurp the throne of God and take God's place, that was just totally unforgivable. Now second chance? He had more than a second chance. If you read 'patriarchs and prophets' near the beginning - 'why was sin permitted?' - It tells you there that God reasoned with satan.

We don't know for how long. It says that lucifer did not realize where his course was taking him, but God understood and he reasoned with him. And - but even still - even the great and eternal God finally exhausted his ability to get satan to turn around. Now if you read that chapter you'll find there that God did actually convince him that he was wrong, but you know what stopped him from turning around? It was pride. Yeah.

Pride forbade him - he'd got a thousand - a third of the angels on his side and now to say, 'well, you know guys, I hate to tell you this, but I was wrong.' It comes hard to a proud person, especially when you're the devil. And so he just stuck his ground. You know, when you are disconnected from God, you're actually insane, you know that? You may not have an insanity that manifests itself in climbing the walls or banging your head against the walls or screaming or shouting, but they - it actually means insanity - you're actually not in your right mind. That's what it amounted - he was not in his right mind and so, he was going to suffer the consequences of eternal death. But when adam and eve sinned, and they faced the consequences of eternal death, they did so not having had - certainly at this point a full knowledge of God such as satan had had.

They were still infants in a sense. And their experience of God - unlike satan's - had not had time to fully grow and develop and blossom. And so, for this reason, God pitied them deeply and he gave them another opportunity - he gave them a second probation so they would have a chance to return a life of loving obedience to their creator. Now there was still the consequence of death because of adam's transgression, but because of the promised Messiah that was to come, the second death, which should have been adam's - he knew that he would not suffer that but he still had an awful lot of years to live out in a world that he could look around and see his grandchildren and great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren and see them rebelling against God. It must have just torn his heart so terribly and he'd learned the bitter lesson that the wages of sin is death.

Now he repented - he knew he had to live through this, that there was eternal life, but he must have worried about all those grand kids because he saw them heading down the path to eternal death. So it must have grieved him tremendously to see his offspring treating life as one grand carnival and to see satan leading them on this path into sinful pleasures while spiritually blinding them and blunting their consciences and just blinding them to the eternal consequence of eternal death. But, you know, satan still works that way today, doesn't he? You know, as you - when you become a Christian - and hopefully you wise up - and when you've been one - I've been one 43 years now. I think I've grown some. I look back when I was 18 in a rock and roll band and I look back and I think, 'what a stupid kid I was.

How blind I was. Life was a grand carnival. I was looking for the big time.' One among thousands and thousands and thousands. But, you know, the carrot dangles there and you think, 'maybe I can do this.' And thoughts of heaven and the consequences of sin - oh, there was a numbness over my mind. I was okay - but I wasn't.

And so those of us who are wiser - and we look at our children and we think, 'oh, lord, please.' And we look at our grandchildren. Have you ever gone through some of that grief? Is debbie here listening? Oh, I've prayed over debbie. But praise the Lord, she sings in church. I'm glad for that. God works miracles in our children's lives.

If you're having challenges with your kids, pray, pray, pray, pray, pray, pray - never give up. Sometimes you may have been praying for 20 or 30 years but they're still your kids. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. I've heard of miracles 40, 50 years afterwards. Pray for your children because where sin abounds God's grace does much more abound.

And so here we are today, we see so many people in just sinful abandon - this grand carnival - but friends, as you know, the carnival is coming to an end. Probation is about to close. Let's go to Matthew 24 and if somebody would like to read Matthew 24, verses 37 through 39, I would very much appreciate that. Michael. My good namesake here.

Michael right here. Matthew 24:37-39. Matthew 24:37-39, "but as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of The Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of The Son of man be." Yeah, that's coming. Let us not be among those who are taken by surprise.

Unfortunately it seems that many seventh day adventists will be. Don't be among them. Okay, 'while we were yet sinners' - this is Tuesday's, yes. Romans chapter 5 and verse 6. This is a powerful chapter - especially this part here - that all we can do is just touch on this morning.

Romans 5 and verse 6 - we read the following words, "for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly." Notice how little God had in common with us. He's righteous and holy, Jesus is righteous and holy, and we're so unGodly - had so little in common with us - and yet, in spite of our actions and desires, which were gross and vile and offensive and everything else, he could not forget the fact, and he never does, that we're still his children and he loves us very much. And it tells us there in Romans :6, "in due time Christ died for the unGodly." Two mentions about 'in due time' - in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel 9:27 - the middle of the week - in due time Jesus came and he died. But there's another way we can look at this as well: Jesus came - in due time - he came at a time in earth's history when satan's defiling effect over humanity - and even the professed people of God - had reached a high - or should I say a low? Listen to this - this is from 'Desire of Ages' page 36 - this is the time Jesus came. "The deception" - this is from 'Desire of Ages' - I've forgotten the name of the chapter but it's page 36 - "the deception of sin had reached its height.

All the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation. The Son of God, looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery. With pity he saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty. He looked with compassion on those who had been corrupted, murdered, and lost. They had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as his captives.

Bewildered and deceived they were moving on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin to death in which is no hope of life - toward night to which comes no morning. Satanic agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, have become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men.

Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world's redeemer looked. What a spectacle for infinite purity to behold." That's how bad it was and that was the time - that was due time for Jesus to come. On one hand we have Jesus who was this sinless, sensitive, pure spirit, which must have just recoiled at the thought of coming down to this cesspit of a world. And yet, the driving compassion of his love toward us overruled every other personal consideration however unpleasant and painful it would be to him.

Praise God for it - for his love. I mean, he could have just looked and thought, 'forget it.' Wiped us out. Still in Romans - Romans 5 - I want to read verses 7 and 8. It says, "for scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

" Excuse me speaking about england, but you go over to england, even in every little village there was no place that wasn't touched by the first world war and, of course, the second world war - and it's the same over here - but over there you find these little villages, little church, little village green - there's a memorial there - there's thousands of them. And sometimes there's just one name, sometimes there's a dozen - even the smallest villages - maybe just one name 'jimmy brown, 19 years old - died in France 1919'. War is a terrible thing and, very often, on memorials you've seen it - it says, 'no greater love hath a man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.' If you had an epitaph, if you would, for Jesus - you could have written it on the cross maybe, 'greater love hath no man that this: that he lay down his life for his enemies' - because in verse 10 that's how we are described. Let's read that. It says, 'for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more being reconciled shall we be saved by his life.

' Such unfathomable love is a mystery, yet what a wonderful mystery - that while a person is still an enemy of God, God's love and mercy goes out toward that person with no other desire and passion but to want to save them. And this should give us an encouragement no matter how fallen we might feel we are, no matter how far we think we are beyond God's reach to bring us back and be reconciled to him. God can save us - he can. I was talking to a gentleman just a few days ago who was deeply, deeply troubled about his past and he was convinced that God could not forgive him for what he had done and he was absolutely convinced that there was no place in heaven for him and it was obvious the dear man was genuinely repentant and longed to be forgiven and reconciled to God. I mean, he was - he's having Bible studies with a friend right now and he just longs after God but - but he just felt that because of what he had done in a certain period of his life he just felt that God could not forgive him.

And so he would go and seek God, he would go and pray but he always came away just feeling that 'no he can't' - but there was the desire there. But for those of you who may be kind of in the same boat - walking the same path as this gentleman who feels God can't forgive you but you long to be forgiven, here is something that, if you get this, it'll change your whole experience. As I told this gentleman, I said, 'that desire seeking after God', I said, 'you think that originated with you. You look at your sins and you think, 'lord, I want to find you. I want mercy.

' I said, 'you think that desire originated with you.' I said, 'it did not.' I said, 'that is God - the feeling originated with God. It's God actually calling you because he wants to be reconciled to you.' Some people have almost gone insane and have almost died with - well some have - with guilt. They don't realize it's God calling them. We should understand that. In John 6, verse 44 - let me read this here - John 6, verse 44, Jesus said, "no man can come to me, except The Father which hath sent me draw him:" this is grace.

Without the drawing of the Holy Spirit - our hearts are just so naturally hard and resistant to God and spiritual things - we have no desire. So it's God who reaches out for us. There's a statement here - where is it now? Yeah, it's from 5 testimonies, - I think it's paragraph 3 - it says, "every longing awakened in the soul to return to God is but the tender pleading of his spirit wooing, entreating, drawing to his father's heart of love." A wonderful thing. It's like the man who also was mistaken with this - he didn't realize it was God drawing him, he thought it was him - himself, in a futile fashion, trying to seek God. It's like an allegory.

But this man, he was weighed down with sin - it was just so terrible - and so, in desperation he wanders around, goes through this wood, and he finds this castle where God lives and he says, 'I'm going to go and press on that doorbell and I hope God will let me in because I just - I just want to be forgiven.' And so he presses on the doorbell and it rings and rings and the door doesn't open and he sits on the doorstep for a while and he's thinking, 'oh, well.' So he rings the doorbell again - again and again and again - he's there for an hour - two hours - and he falls on his knees and he says, 'lord, please open this door. I want so much to be forgiven.' And he rings the bell again and nobody comes and he just falls on his knees - he's just - he's down there weeping in despair and he thinks, 'I'm lost.' Then suddenly he hears a voice behind him. This voice calls his name and he turns around and there's God and he said, 'I was ringing your doorbell but you didn't come to the door.' 'Yeah, I know.' 'Well, I'm so very, very sorry. I'm so very sorry I sinned but I realized you weren't home.' And God says, 'yeah, that's true. I wasn't home.

I wasn't home. I was out in the forest looking for you.' And this man, if you get the lesson here, we may be banging on the door to get in and yet God - we think that God doesn't care but he's already out there looking for us to draw us back. So God lifts the man up and he says, 'son you're forgiven. Come on, let's go inside.' 'While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' See if we can get a few words in about the sin-bearing substitute. Yeah, it would be well for us all to ponder more prayerfully the significance of Christ being our sin bearer and as far as possible try to comprehend his sufferings - what he had to endure as a consequence.

First of all, there was the distress and suffering that came to Jesus by the fact that he actually took our sins upon him. It says he became sin for us - didn't sin but he actually took the sin himself. So here's Jesus, he had a fallen nature, okay - we've discussed this many times before - he had sinful flesh that was always trying to get his pure mind and his pure heart and his unfallen will to choose - to do the right, but he never did, but there was this tension going on. But here and now, he still has this pure heart, but now in his flesh he's actually taken on the sin of every human being and he feels the defilement of his physical body and if you're like this pure heart inside - you have to kind of use your imagination here, but this pure heart inside must have been writhing and squirming to get out of this flesh that had become so defiled by our sins. That in itself would have been just a terrible world of distress.

And then, as we've mentioned before, it's not just sin itself, but it spins off these byproducts of what - guilt and shame and remorse. And you see what Jesus did not assume for us - he could not resolve for us - so he had to take the sin, but he had to take the guilt, he had to take the remorse, he had to take the shame. Sin is quite a package when it's all put together. So Jesus went through those emotions as well, so the cup of suffering that he drank was filled with these different elements of the sin, the remorse, the guilt. It was a bitter cup to taste and it was an even bitter cup - more bitter - to actually swallow.

But I'd like to submit to you this morning, the most bitter and the most dreadful element added to this concoction of torture and suffering that Jesus had to drink was the reaction of his own father as he held his own son accountable for the sins of the world which he bore and took upon himself. God held his son accountable and accordingly, therefore, God drew the sword of divine justice to severely punish unto death his own son in the place of each one of us. The Father separated himself from Christ, turned his frowning face from him and poured upon him the full measure of divine wrath. Now I had a lady tell me one time that Jesus did not drink the wrath of God. I'm sure she's a very sweet lady, but she disagreed with me.

Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath. In 'Desire of Ages' 642 - this is when he was still in the upper room just during the passover. It says, "he was about to drink the cup of wrath. He must receive the final baptism of suffering." Now it's - I'm sure it's true to say that a lot of people, when they think of God's wrath, they think of, you know, burning in the flames of the lake of fire or Jesus suffering the physical agony upon the cross. And, yeah, that's part of it, but there is an abstract, an unseen, and an unspeakably terrible aspect to the wrath of God that does its dreadful work in the arena of the mind and the emotions, and it was this aspect of God's wrath that made the suffering that Christ had so unbearably dreadful - terrible.

'Desire of Ages' 753, "the wrath of God against sin" - this is it - "the terrible manifestation of his displeasure" - that's what Jesus felt - "the terrible manifestation of God's displeasure because of iniquity filled the soul of his son with consternation. The withdrawal of the divine countenance pierced his heart" - which was as a consequence of This terrible manifestation of the divine displeasure - God's withdrawal "pierced his heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that his physical pain was hardly felt." Friends, we have no idea what it was like. God, who made the human body, can afflict the human body if he wants. He does not willingly afflict The Sons of men, but he has - king herod, when he was giving that speech and he took the glory and God sent the - he afflicted him.

He was eaten up with worms. God can afflict the mind. Nebuchadnezzar, when he got puffed up - finished up crawling around eating grass for seven years. So God can afflict the mind as well and this is what God can do when it comes to this aspect of the wrath of God, which Jesus tasted for us and it is his hope that we never have to taste that ourselves. But, you know, those who turn away from this gift of mercy, one day they will.

You see, people have - men have been to the moon and back, they've been to the bottom of the ocean and back, they've been to the top of everest and back, they've been - and they can talk about it - it's part of the human experience, you know, we've been and done it. Nobody's tasted the wrath of God so it's a total unknown thing in so many ways and this is why satan blinds people from even thinking about it. This is why it's hard for them to grasp how awful it's going to be, but it's going to be terrible, but Jesus has been there and he's tasted it and he doesn't want us tasting it so he bids us, 'come to me. Come to me. Let me forgive you.

Let me wash you clean. You can have eternal life. You don't have to suffer eternal death. I'm so glad about that, praise God. There's a lot more stuff here but, as usual, we have to leave it.

Okay, our offer is #109, which is somewhere in my stack of stuff here, 'rescue from above'. If you call 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966 it's offer #109 - 'rescue from above' - find out how Jesus came down from above to rescue you so one day he can take you above.

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