Starting with Adam and Eve, the devil has created a strategy, a modus operandi if you will, of getting people to doubt God’s Word. He wants us to disobey God. But consequences of disobedience are sad.
Adam was not deceived, he decided to choose the beautiful human being who was his wife, his pride and joy, over a loving God who provided the woman in the first place.
There was only one perfect man (other than Jesus) and perfect woman who ever lived. Try to imagine the difficult position in which Adam found himself.
He knew that Eve would be separated from him because her disobedience. He loved her very much, and like Romeo and Juliet, he chose to die with her.
You know the story of Romeo and Juliet. However, it was not a matter of loyalty and love for his wife, was the issue, it was his love and loyalty to God.
Today that same difficult decision is being played out in millions of homes the world over. One spouse chooses one way, and the other spouse chooses another way.
What do you do? The answer is to pray, pray, pray, and obey, obey, obey God. The worst thing a person can do is to trust his or her own feelings and disobey God.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Hosea 8:7. “For they have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.”
Jesus Christ was the greatest example of God’s love for us. Satan’s big argument against God is that He was unfair, unjust, and that He’s cruel. God only has us to vindicate Him. We must continue to do so by the way we live our lives until Christ returns.
If God could have changed His law, He could have saved His Son’s life. Instead God had to carry out the death sentence on His only Son whom He loves very much.
If The Father can do that to His own Son, how much more just do you think He will be in in carrying out the death sentence on those of us who are disobedient to His will? Yes, friends, obedience is the only way to go.
On the cross, love and justice kissed each other. Christ demonstrated the love of God by dying for us, and Christ demonstrated the justice of God by dying for us.
However, satan is again accusing God that what Christ did on the cross of Calvary, no human being could ever do. Satan is once again challenging God.
Can you and I do what Christ did on the cross? Can you endure the the spitting in the face, the crown of thorns shoved deep into your skull?
Can you bear the whipping of 39 lashes of the cat-o-nine tails? How about on the cross, can you bear to be nailed by your hands and feet while your mother, family, and friends look on?
While you think about the answers to those questions, think about this also:
Foxes Book of Martyrs is a famous book detailing the severe tortures and cruelty early Christians had to endure. I encourage you to read the book. You’ll most likely get it at the Adventist Book Store.
The Waldensians endured unbelieable hardships at the hand of the Catholic church. As a matter of fact, during the dark ages the papal persecution against true Bible believers was so intense, that over 50 million people died in some of the most horrible ways known to man.
The papacy using the Inquisition, tortured people like John Wickliffe, William Tynsdale, John Calvin, and many other great individuals of the protestant movement. Many individuals were burned at the stake, while others were left to die on the rack.
The Spanish inquisitors would sometimes force the Christian to consume and hold vast quantities of water or other fluids. They would also at times heap burning coals on parts of the body.
The rack was another well-known torture method associated with inquisition. The subject had his hands and feet tied or chained to rollers at one or both ends of a wooden or metal frame.
The torturer turned the rollers with a handle, which pulled the chains or ropes in increments and stretched the Christian’s joints, often until they dislocated. The accused’s arms and legs could eventually be torn off by using this evil. As bad as that sounds, we are warned that those days of torture will eventually return.
“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Now, let’s go back to my question. Can you endure the same experiences of Jesus on the cross? Well, regardless of your answer, you will have no choice. because the time is soon upon us where the persecutions that those Protestant church pioneers endured will return. The time is almost here when the Bible tells us that we will have to endure, by God’s magnificent grace a great time of trouble such as never was since the beginning of the world.
“We are near the close of time. I have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. The Lord has given us warning of the events about to take place. Light is shining from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people.” “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; . . . and they shall not escape.” Testimonies for the Church – Volume 5. Page 9
Let us underscore the issue. The fact of the matter is, God has not changed. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Has mankind changed? The answer is a resounding, yes! If anything, man’s condition has gotten progressive worse over the past centuries. Let’s go to 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
You can see in this generation the progressive evil of man. Here are actual headlines from news of this week. These are real headlines. I did not alter them in any way.
1. REPORT: US planned to blow up moon during Cold War.
2. Pediatricians push to give young teens birth control pill.
3. 11 dead puppies found skinned in PA park.
4. Churches offer concealed weapons training.
5. Obese woman dies in Hungary after airlines say she’s too fat to fly.
6. Islamic Terrorists Bomb Egyptian-Gaza Border Base.
7. Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm Hamas.
8. NYC STORM VICTIMS’ HOMES LOOTED OVER HOLIDAY.
9. COPS: Woman Stabbed Brother In Neck With Fork During Thanksgiving Dinner Argument.
10. Manhattan cop busted for shoplifting.
As you can see, this old world is going downhill very fast, to say the least. Right now we’re snoozing. Life is so comfortable that no matter how urgently the message is preached sabbath after Sabbath, it’s not making a dent.
We come to church and some of us actually use this as an opportunity to get our sleep on. Some nod and doze while others in the congregation occasionally murmur an amen during the pastor`s sermon. We feel that we`re on the right track to heaven because we’re in church on Sabbath and we occasionally make it on time for Sabbath school…occasionally.
There’s a world around us that is dying to hear about someone who can alleviate their misery. That someone is Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that we should work while it is yet day. For the night is soon coming when no one can work.
Jesus and His disciples were once sitting on a hill, and down below they could see the temple in Jerusalem. The disiciples turned to the Master after He described the destruction of the beautiful temple, and asked, tell us when will these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the wold? This is found in Matthew 24.2 onwards. Forty years later, in AD 70 Christ’s words came to past. 1Cor. 10:11 “And all these things happened as an example…”
Remember, the experience of the Children of Israel as they got ready to cross into the promised land? God through Moses had led them out of bondage, but because of unbelief they were forced to turn back and wander the wilderness for ofrty terrible years, until those unbelievers had died.
Now here they were again, this was there last chance to make it into Caanan. As they camped there on the banks of the Jordan getting ready to go across the river, here comes Balaam.
Balaam tries to curse Israel, but he failed. He tries again and was still not successful. Then he comes up with a plan. His plan was to infiltrate the camp of God’s chosen people with prostitutes.
The Bible tells the story of how these Midianitish women started coming into the camp a little at a time. Moses was totally unaware of this. Next thing you know, there was adultery and idol worshipping taking place. As a matter of fact the Children of Israel were invited to a feast. There they got drunk. Next thing you know they were not only drunk, but were committing adultery and worshipping idols.
The Ellen White’s book Patriarchs and Prophecy tells the story. The chapter is entitled, “Apostasy at the Jordan.” You should read it sometime.
Think about it for a momement. Just when they were about to cross over the Jordan river and take possession of the land of milk and honey that was promised them by God, satan infiltrates deep into the camp.
We’re right on the edge of going into Caanan, my brothers and sisters. Here we are at the bank of the Jordan. We can almost look up and see the promised land.
Just over the mountains in the promised land
Lies the Holy City built by God’s own hand.
As our weary footsteps gain the mountain’s crest,
We can view our homeland of eternal rest.
We are nearing home, we are nearing home!
See the splendor gleaming from the domes afar,
See the glory streaming through the gates ajar!
There we soon will enter never more to roam,
Hear the angels singing–
We are nearing home, We are nearing home!
Some counterfeit money looks and feels the same as the real ones. People get fooled. Let’s face it brethren, if fake twenties were an orange colour we would not be deceived. Or if the hundred dollar bill was a black colour we would say, “Uh, oh. Something is wrong here.” Or of the bill had a picture of the pope on it, you would not be deceived. You would say, no way this is a real hundred dollar bill.
But the counterfeit bill could look so much like the original; there was so much truth in it that it could deceive us.
That’s satan’s game plan.
Deceptions are mostly truth. It’s just that a tiny, hardly noticeable part of it is false. Today the greatest deceptions come from people who are preaching from the Bible. They preach mostly light, but it`s mixed with a little bit of poison.
You can’t assume everything you hear and see from those tv preachers, unless you compare it with God`s Word. Too often on Sundays we turned on the tv and watch and listen to the popular Sunday preachers. We listen and nod our heads in agreement to what is being said, because it sounds like truth. And it is truth…except for a tiny portion of it.
Sometimes we catch the tiny lie and we gloss over it because we feel we can filter the lie. But we`re talking about satan here. He is the father of lies. He has his doctorate in lie-ol-ogy. He knows more about telling a lie than you have ever dreamed.
So, here you are listening to the tv. This richly dressed man, or maybe its a woman such as Joyce Meyer. The person is saying all kinds of wonderful things about God, and he is a fiery preacher who has the congregation shouting a lot of amens and hallelujahs, but then here comes the wee bit of a tiny lie. The lie is hardly noticeable.
It’s just a blip on our stream of consciousness. But our subsconscious is of such that it is recorded with clarity. We promptly forget the lie, however it resides there beneath the surface of our consciousness and helps shape who we are and what we believe.
Would you drink from a big jug of water where someone spit inside. It`s a little spit mind you. Not much. Would you drink it? Or how about if I gave you a nice pure glass of purified water, but just before I hand it to you, I put the tiniest drop of poison it, would you still drink it? Why not? It wouldn’t really kill you. It might make you sick, but it wouldn’t kill you. A little spit inside your cool glass of water wouldn’t kill you either, but you sure won’t drink it, would you?
God is saying, this church is His true church. It has 100% truth. No counterfeit. You can feel safe getting all your truth right here. No need to go anywhere else and be distracted by partial truth.
This in a nutshell is what happened on the banks of the Jordan long ago. Today, it`s not just mis-informed Sunday preachers, but it`s also the bright shiny lights this world has to offer that`s steering our minds away from God.
We are indeed nearing home, my brothers and sisters. What would God have us do right now that we’re standing on the banks of the Jordan. What must be our first priority? Yes, you’re right. First we have to foster a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to do this we need to tap into the Power Source. We need to spend time on intense prayer and fastings. We need to spend time in the Word. We need to eat up the Word like a man who hasn’t eat food in three days. We need to go out there and tell, tell, tell!
Look around you and see what’s happening in the world. Jesus said when you see these things happening He’s standing even at the door. If you invited someone to dinner, and then you got a phone call, it`s your friend using his cellphone sahying he`s arrived and about to knock on your door. Jesus is not saying any more that He’s about to arrive. He’s knocking on the door of your heart. He wants to come in and save you right now. Even at the doors. The ship is sinking. This world is rapidly sinking into toal chaos. Prepare to meet your God O Israel!
The Sandy storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Preliminary estimates of losses due to damage and business interruption are estimated at $65.5 billion (2012 USD), which would make it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane behind only Hurricane Katrina. At least 253 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries.
Unfortunately, things will get worse, much worse. The question remains, what are you doing about it? What am I doing about it?
“And at midnight the cry was made, behold the Bridegroom cometh. Go ye forth to meet Him.” Who made that cry? Someone had to be awake to shout the Bridegroom is coming. I hope that person who gives the shout, the Bridegroom is coming, is you, my friend. Lets get wide awake and not be like the sleeping foolish virgins.
Why are we working so hard to buy toys? Jesus taught us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It doesn`t say, give me this day a new suit. Or ladies it doesn’t say give me this day a new outfit with matching shoes and handbags. Jesus is saying be content with what God gives you today. If He will feed the lowly sparrow, he will also feed you today. Let us take the time from that overtime at work that is being offered, and instead invest it in doing God’s work.
Remember the parable of the three servants? Each was given an opportunity to invest in returning souls. But one buried his talent. Is that what we’rre doing by not helping to grow our congregation? God has given skills, gifts, and talents for the purpose of returning souls to Him.
1 Thessalonians 5
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”