Anchors of Truth

The Great Controversy: Seeing The Big Picture

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: John Bradshaw


Series Code: AOT

Program Code: AOT000061

00:12 Welcome to Anchors Of Truth from the 3ABN Worship Center.
00:17 The Great Controversy with John Bradshaw.
00:22 And we do welcome you and we're so happy that you could join us.
00:26 The Anchors Of Truth series has become a very popular series
00:32 here at 3ABN.
00:33 And we look forward to it month after month
00:36 as we bring to you these speakers that come from
00:39 all around the world.
00:41 John Bradshaw is coming to us from 1000 Oaks, California
00:45 where he is the speaker and director of It Is Written.
00:49 And John has been traveling a lot since he took that position.
00:53 He has been holding evangelistic meetings.
00:55 He just finished a large meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
00:59 We carried that on 3ABN.
01:02 The Lord blessed with a lot of baptisms there.
01:06 The last Sabbath, they baptized over a hundred.
01:09 They had over 250 decisions for baptism
01:13 in that particular meeting.
01:15 And they continue to develop interest from it.
01:19 So it was not only a reaping meeting,
01:21 it was a meeting that is developing a lot of people
01:25 who are studying the message and continuing
01:28 to attend church and attend follow up meetings.
01:31 And we just know that this is going to bear fruit
01:34 for a long time.
01:35 Many of the people there came as a result of watching on
01:40 channel 43, which is our television channel in Las Vegas.
01:46 And in fact, on the last Sabbath a couple came
01:50 and they asked them "Have you been attending the meetings?"
01:55 They said, "We have not missed a single meeting.
01:58 We've been watching it on 3ABN.
02:00 And we want to be baptized."
02:02 And so we just praise God for that.
02:06 We're excited about that ministry and the
02:09 ministry of John Bradshaw.
02:10 And we're excited about this particular series
02:14 on the great controversy.
02:16 Because I believe that this is a message that is so important
02:21 for these last days.
02:23 The subject for John Bradshaw tonight is going to be,
02:26 Seeing The Big Picture.
02:28 And we're going to be taking a good look at the big picture.
02:32 And I know that he's going to be presenting some things
02:36 that will be extremely interesting to each one of us.
02:41 But you know, before John comes, I want to have a
02:45 little word of prayer with you.
02:47 And then we're going to invite another John to come.
02:49 This is John night.
02:51 We're going to have John Lomacang come
02:54 and sing for us, This Is My Father's World.
02:57 But before John comes, let's bow our heads.
03:01 Father in heaven, we thank You for all the blessings
03:05 that You've given to us.
03:06 We thank You for truth.
03:08 Because You have said, "You shall know the truth,
03:11 and the truth shall set you free."
03:14 And Father, we just thank You for that.
03:16 We know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
03:20 And we just thank You that knowing Jesus is truth.
03:26 And tonight, Lord, this is Your world.
03:29 It is Your world.
03:31 It was Your world because You created it.
03:33 It's Your world because Your Son Jesus, even after it was
03:37 taken away by an enemy, by Satan, that He
03:40 came to this earth, He went to the cross,
03:43 and He died on that cross to win this world back.
03:48 So Father, we thank You that this is Your world.
03:53 And we thank You for Jesus and His wonderful name.
03:57 Amen.
03:58 John, thank you for singing for us tonight.
04:16 This is my Father's world.
04:22 And to my listening ears
04:29 all nature sings, and round me rings
04:36 the music of the spheres.
04:42 This is my Father's world.
04:49 I rest me in the thought
04:55 of rocks and trees, of skies and seas.
05:03 His hands the wonders wrought.
05:12 This is my Father's world.
05:18 The birds their carols sing,
05:24 the morning light, the lily white,
05:30 declare their Maker's praise.
05:36 This is my Father's world,
05:42 He shines in all that's fair.
05:48 In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
05:54 He speaks to me everywhere.
06:03 This is my Father's world.
06:09 O let me never forget
06:15 that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
06:21 God is the ruler yet.
06:26 This is my Father's world,
06:32 the battle is not done.
06:38 Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
06:44 and earth and heaven be one.
06:59 For this is my Father's world,
07:06 the battle is not done.
07:11 Jesus who died will be glorified,
07:20 and earth and heaven be one.
07:47 Well, thank you so very much, John.
07:50 Beautiful.
07:51 Good evening, everyone.
07:53 What a blessing to see you, what a privilege to be here.
07:57 I am thankful to be part of Anchors Of Truth
08:03 this month of this year.
08:05 What a great time we're going to have as we spend some time
08:07 studying the subject of the great controversy.
08:12 Now that's a familiar subject to a lot of people, I know.
08:15 A familiar name.
08:17 But we're going to have a look, not just at a title of a book.
08:21 We're going to look at a grand theme that winds its way
08:26 through the Bible like a golden thread.
08:29 We're going to look at the big picture.
08:31 As a matter of fact, tonight out subject is,
08:33 Seeing The Big Picture.
08:35 Seeing the Big Picture.
08:38 As Elder Gilley said just a few moments ago,
08:41 we've been busy at It Is Written.
08:42 In recent times we just came back from Las Vegas, Nevada.
08:47 We must have finished there about that long ago.
08:51 And what a blessing it was.
08:53 You know...
08:57 ...several things really impressed themselves
08:59 on my mind while we were in Las Vegas.
09:03 One...
09:05 And I'm not going to tell you anything you haven't heard
09:07 or that you're surprised to hear.
09:10 But as we were making an altar call the second last day of
09:15 the meeting in the morning...
09:17 We had two meetings a day in Las Vegas; morning and evening.
09:22 As we were making an altar call and people came forward,
09:27 en masse, I just had this very, very strong impression;
09:34 you know, there's something about public evangelism that's
09:37 still effective and still powerful.
09:40 It still works.
09:42 Because there are still people who are willing to respond,
09:46 waiting to respond, wanting to respond,
09:49 to the voice of the Holy Spirit of almighty God.
09:52 And that's just encouraging.
09:54 I can't see it enough.
09:56 Somebody, the lights go on in their mind.
10:00 You know, when people come to you and say,
10:02 "Thank you for being here. I now have a reason for living."
10:08 You go away and say, "I'm glad that I'm doing what I'm doing."
10:11 And please don't misunderstand.
10:13 We preachers are just there as spokespersons.
10:16 This is God's work. It's the work that God is doing.
10:19 But we're happy to be working with God
10:21 seeing men and women responding to Jesus
10:23 and accepting His message and His gift of salvation.
10:28 People have said to me, "I've been studying the Bible
10:30 all my life, and now it makes sense.
10:34 Now I'm seeing things I never saw before.
10:36 Now the Word of God means more to me
10:39 than it has ever meant before."
10:40 And so I just can't tell you how thrilled I am about that.
10:43 So Las Vegas was a blessing.
10:45 And thank you 3ABN for the continued great work
10:48 you're doing there with, I think you said channel 43.
10:51 Jim, didn't you? Channel 43?
10:53 And so, you know what?
10:54 I don't want to do this, it's kind of corny.
10:56 But we've got people watching in Las Vegas right now
10:58 and I just want to say, "Hi, Las Vegas."
11:00 We had a wonderful time in Las Vegas.
11:03 You know how you can have a good time in Las Vegas?
11:05 There's two things; share Jesus and keep out of the casinos.
11:09 You go there and you're not going to have a good time.
11:11 Stay away and you can have a happy time.
11:14 And coming up, from the It Is Written point of view,
11:17 we've got our foot down on the accelerator
11:20 when it come to evangelism.
11:21 We've got a series coming up in Loma Linda, California
11:24 very soon in a few weeks.
11:26 And right after that, we go to Paris in France.
11:29 You know that's going to be something.
11:31 Europe is very, very secular.
11:32 I was just there. Very secular.
11:35 Not religious.
11:37 France of all places.
11:38 I was reading about a French mega church.
11:42 Now I can only tell you what I read.
11:45 I was reading about a French mega church.
11:49 Now how big is a mega church in the United States.
11:52 How many people would be going to an American mega church?
11:55 What would you say?
11:57 15 or 20 thousand?
11:58 That's not unreasonable, is it?
11:59 That's right.
12:01 15 or 20 thousand, and maybe more.
12:04 They said the mega church in France,
12:06 and I believe it was Paris, had 200 people attending.
12:13 Isn't that remarkable?
12:15 Yeah, 200 people.
12:18 And that just goes to show that some parts of the world
12:22 are kind of tough and jaded and resistant to the
12:27 message of the gospel.
12:29 But you know, we go to Paris not because we're
12:32 expecting trouble, but because we're expecting people
12:35 to say "yes" to Jesus and "no" to the devil.
12:37 We're expecting people to say, "This is what
12:39 I've been looking for."
12:40 We're expecting someone to say,
12:42 "You know, I read the Bible once,"
12:44 or "I've been reading the Bible and I've been having these
12:45 thoughts and the Spirit of God has been leading me.
12:48 And now it makes sense."
12:49 I'm expecting that.
12:50 Somebody once said that anywhere you go, there are
12:53 people looking wistly towards heaven.
12:55 And they would go if only somebody was there
12:57 to show them the way.
12:58 So Paris is going to be a great challenge.
13:00 You know what I've discovered?
13:01 I've discovered that when I tell people we're going to Paris,
13:04 no one looks at me with sympathy.
13:08 No one.
13:09 And I have a hard time convincing people I'm not
13:11 going there for a vacation.
13:13 I'm not going there for a vacation.
13:15 Whether you're convinced or not, it's the truth.
13:18 I'm sure there are worse places to go, but we're going to
13:20 go there and see Jesus do a great work.
13:22 And then later this year, man am I excited about this,
13:24 Dayton, Ohio.
13:26 Dayton, Ohio.
13:27 God is...
13:28 I wish I had time to tell you about what
13:29 God is doing there now.
13:31 You know, if you've shared Jesus, if you've done any
13:34 evangelistic endeavor of any kind, you're excited
13:38 when you find out you're going to a place where there's
13:40 people on the ground working hard and sharing Jesus.
13:42 And the people are excited and they're getting the place ready.
13:45 And they're doing great things.
13:46 That's what's going on in Dayton, Ohio.
13:48 Oh, we've got some wonderful people there.
13:50 Wonderful churches, wonderful church members,
13:52 who are getting busy.
13:53 We've had evangelism training.
13:56 I think it was 220 people have trained to be Bible workers.
14:00 That's not bad.
14:01 In fact, you all should have said amen.
14:03 That's wonderful.
14:04 So anyway, a crowded calendar this year.
14:06 And I wouldn't want to have it any other way.
14:08 I believe that Jesus is coming back soon.
14:11 Can you say amen to that?
14:12 I believe that.
14:13 You know something?
14:15 If I'm wrong, that's not such a bad thing.
14:19 But I don't think I am.
14:20 I think I'm dead right.
14:21 I think Jesus is coming back soon.
14:23 And I believe it's the privilege of us, most of us, many of us.
14:27 It will be our privilege to be able to stand on the
14:29 circle of the earth and look up when Jesus comes and say,
14:32 "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him.
14:35 And He will save us."
14:37 He is coming back soon.
14:40 Well, let's consider the great controversy.
14:43 Tonight, seeing the big picture.
14:45 I would be honored if you would bow your head with me
14:47 and we will pray together and ask God's blessing.
14:51 Father in heaven, we thank You that we can come to You tonight
14:57 in the name of Jesus.
15:00 All around the world we pause to pray humbly
15:08 to ask that You, the God who upholds all things by the
15:14 Word of His power, would be gracious enough
15:18 to bless us with a powerful moving of Your Holy Spirit.
15:22 I know better than to ask that You would send Your Spirit.
15:25 We're in Your house, Your Spirit is here.
15:28 I'm praying that Your Spirit will work with power
15:31 and that all who speak, those who hear,
15:36 would have hearts that are open to the moving of Your Spirit,
15:39 ears that are open to hearing Your message,
15:43 feet that are open to going where You want us to go,
15:45 and hands that are open to doing Your bidding.
15:49 So bless us, please Lord, we pray.
15:51 These are exciting times to be alive.
15:54 And we sense we are living on the edge of eternity.
15:59 So be with us to that end, please.
16:00 We pray that we might know you more and be blessed.
16:04 And we ask this of You in Jesus' name.
16:06 Please say amen.
16:13 You might not be surprised to hear me say this.
16:16 You may have even heard me say this before.
16:19 But I am convinced that I have two of the most
16:24 wonderful children alive.
16:28 If fact, they may even be the most wonderful children alive.
16:32 Maybe with the exception of your children.
16:36 Or grandchildren.
16:38 But that's what I think.
16:39 I think they're wonderful.
16:40 And whenever I say what I'm about to say next,
16:42 people say, "Oh, you're just being humble."
16:46 I'm not.
16:48 One of the main reasons that my children are wonderful children
16:51 is that they have a wonderful mother.
16:53 There's no doubt about it.
16:55 I just say, "I'll keep out of the way and let you take,
17:00 just do your thing."
17:01 And things are working pretty well.
17:06 I have great kids who have a great mother,
17:09 who also happens to be a wonderful human being
17:11 and my best friend.
17:13 Now you might think that by me starting by saying this
17:15 that I'm in trouble at home.
17:17 I'm not in trouble at home.
17:18 Everything is good.
17:20 As a matter of fact, I was in a super market once
17:23 and I was standing in line at the checkout with a
17:25 big bouquet of flowers in my hand.
17:28 And the lady in...
17:29 She was in front of me or behind me, I'm not sure which one.
17:32 She said, "Uh-ho."
17:35 And I turned and she said, "So what did you do wrong?"
17:41 And I looked at her and I smiled, and I said,
17:44 "Lady, if you buy enough of these, you can do no wrong."
17:51 Anyway, things are alright.
17:54 I'm not in trouble.
17:56 I just happen to have wonderful kids and a wonderful wife.
17:59 That's all.
18:00 And you know how it is with kids.
18:03 Things are sort of seasonal at home.
18:06 I mean, one weekend or one week or one fortnight,
18:11 one two week period, all they want to do is play Monopoly.
18:14 That's all they want to do, is Monopoly.
18:16 And then they might ride their bikes a lot.
18:19 But I don't know what it is.
18:20 For two weeks or three weeks, or a week or a day,
18:22 all they want to do is ride their bicycles.
18:24 That's it, it's like that's the only thing left
18:26 in the world to do.
18:27 Things seem to be seasonal.
18:30 They may want to bounce the ball and play Four Square
18:33 on the back patio.
18:35 And then they forget about it and move on to something else.
18:37 The might want to play Uno.
18:40 It's kind of fun when you get to the age where you can
18:42 play Uno your hardest and still not win.
18:46 And maybe it's not fun, maybe that's not fun.
18:48 Maybe it was better when they were two years old.
18:52 But it's seasonal, you know.
18:54 One day it's one thing, one week it's another thing.
18:56 It's one pursuit, it's one game, it's one pastime.
19:00 I mean, we were geocaching like...
19:02 You know what geocaching is, right?
19:04 If you don't you'll have to Google it.
19:06 We were geocaching...
19:08 If you don't know what geocaching is,
19:10 it's like a treasure hunt.
19:11 You go online and people leave these...
19:12 It's nothing stuff.
19:14 They leave a little thing somewhere and they'll
19:18 give you the coordinates.
19:19 And so you go out with your GPS.
19:20 And you take your GPS around the place and you find the stuff.
19:25 And then you write your name on the log and you say,
19:27 "I was here," you know.
19:29 And then you go on the little website and you say,
19:31 "I was there."
19:33 It's kind of pointless really, but it's fun.
19:35 It's pointlessness with fun.
19:36 You go find stuff and you see things and you discover...
19:40 And it's great if you're a dad because you're with your kids.
19:43 You know, I don't mind watching paint dry if I'm with my kids.
19:46 That's good.
19:48 So we've done that until we've geocached
19:50 ourselves into oblivion.
19:54 Recently we went through another jigsaw puzzle thing.
19:58 Every now and then, someone in the family will just
20:00 get it in their minds that what they need to do,
20:02 what we need to do as a family is a jigsaw puzzle.
20:05 And we've done some nice ones.
20:06 In fact, we did a beautiful one recently with
20:07 dogs on a little pier.
20:09 And my son decided he needed to keep that.
20:11 And so we bought the jigsaw puzzle glue.
20:12 And that one is going to be a keeper.
20:16 You know what I'm really thankful for when
20:18 we put jigsaw puzzles together; a couple of things.
20:20 I'm thankful that my children are very good at it.
20:23 In fact, my daughter and I are very grateful to
20:26 my son and my wife because when we do jigsaw puzzles,
20:30 it's like Melissa and Jacob have ten eyes.
20:33 And they can see just everything.
20:36 I'm looking around for a piece and they're
20:38 grabbing things here and there.
20:40 And they know where they go.
20:41 It's almost intuitive.
20:43 So I'm glad for that.
20:44 But I'm also glad for the second thing.
20:46 I'm glad that when we do jigsaw puzzles,
20:48 there's a picture of what we're trying to do
20:50 on the front of the box.
20:53 You can relate to that?
20:55 I am glad that I can pick up a little piece,
20:59 and I have no idea where it goes,
21:03 but I can look on the box and see;
21:07 ah-ha, that's part of the paw of the dog.
21:12 That's part of the tiger's tail.
21:15 That's a bit of a tree, but not that tree over there.
21:18 That's a piece of the tree up in the top left hand corner.
21:21 All that water looks the same, but there's a little
21:24 ripple in this piece.
21:25 And so I know it goes here.
21:27 When we do jigsaw puzzles, I am appreciative of
21:31 the big picture.
21:35 Because without the big picture, I might be lost.
21:39 I would take a year to put a jigsaw puzzle together
21:43 that might only take us a couple of days.
21:45 You understand.
21:46 And we did this one, in fact, it was the puppies on the pier.
21:49 And they did one better than just the picture on the box.
21:51 Because if there's four of you in a family, like in my family,
21:54 and there's only one box, it's like, "Let me have the box."
21:56 "I need to see the box."
21:57 "Would you give the box back?"
21:59 But we have the box and a little poster
22:03 of the dogs on the pier.
22:05 Two copies of the big picture.
22:08 When you're looking at a puzzle, the big picture can be
22:13 tremendously helpful.
22:16 You get an idea where that little piece fits in.
22:21 You can start making sense of what you've got in your hand
22:26 because you have the context that comes from
22:29 seeing the big picture.
22:33 Now I'd been kicking around Christianity for a little while
22:36 before I actually gave my heart to Jesus and became a Christian.
22:41 I was searching, I was looking, I was seeking.
22:44 I was dabbling a little bit.
22:49 But it wasn't until I saw the big picture
22:54 that Jesus was really able to get a hold of my heart.
22:57 When I gave my life to Christ, I was thankful that I could
23:02 see the big picture.
23:05 Because now the Bible made much more sense to me.
23:09 Now I was able to understand certain subjects that,
23:12 isolated and on their own, I might not have been able
23:14 to get my head around.
23:16 I got the view from a distance.
23:19 I mean, if you go to the zoo and you take a telescope,
23:22 you might look at something and say, "I don't know what that is.
23:24 I'm seeing a patch of gray."
23:27 But if you back off and look through your eye glasses,
23:30 you see that's an elephant in front of you.
23:33 When you get a picture of the whole, a view of the whole
23:38 when you back up, you don't want to get in too close.
23:41 If you've got one piece of the jigsaw puzzle
23:44 and you look at it very close,
23:45 it's of no use to you whatsoever.
23:48 But when you back up just a few steps
23:51 and look through a lens that takes in a full field of view,
23:56 now you're able to make sense of what you're looking at.
24:00 What do you do with the subjects in the Holy Bible?
24:04 How do you find a harmony in the various teachings
24:07 of the Word of God?
24:09 How do you help Genesis to go together with Revelation?
24:11 How does Isaiah and Jeremiah work with John
24:16 and the book of Acts?
24:17 How do we wrestle with, successfully wrestle with,
24:21 the big questions, the pressing questions,
24:24 the difficult questions, life's most challenging questions?
24:29 We see in society today many people have turned their
24:33 back on God and don't want to know anything about God
24:36 because they see a small piece, a tiny sliver
24:41 of the big picture.
24:42 Someone sees suffering in the world and they say,
24:46 "Why does God permit that?
24:48 If God lets that go on, He is unjust and He's unfair in that."
24:51 You know, Steve Jobs, the Apple computer man who died recently,
24:55 Steve Jobs was raised as a Christian.
24:57 I don't know if you knew that.
24:58 He was well known as being a some kind of
25:00 Buddhist sort of a man.
25:02 But he was raised by people who took him to a Christian church.
25:06 And one day he took a cover, I believe it was TIME Magazine
25:09 or LIFE Magazine, some magazine, he took it with him to church.
25:11 And one that front cover of the magazine, there was a picture of
25:15 starving children in Biafra.
25:18 And some of you remember Biafra, and some of you don't.
25:20 Biafra was a part of Nigeria.
25:23 It's just part of Nigeria today.
25:26 And there were tremendous challenges in Biafra,
25:28 lots of starving people in Biafra.
25:31 And Steve Jobs took the magazine to church and he asked
25:33 his pastor, "What about this?
25:35 Does God know what's going on?"
25:37 And the pastor said to him, "Steve, I can assure you that
25:40 God knows what's going on."
25:41 And he pressed him a little bit further.
25:43 And he asked him, "If God knows what's going on
25:45 then why doesn't He do something about it?"
25:46 And I wish I could remember the pastor's exact words.
25:48 It's in the biography on Jobs written by Walter Isaacson.
25:54 And Isaacson reported about this and he wrote it in his book.
25:57 And when the pastor gave Steve Jobs the answer to the question,
26:01 Jobs was not satisfied.
26:03 Jobs or Jobs?
26:05 Jobs?
26:06 Okay.
26:08 Jobs.
26:09 I see J-o-b and it's a man's name, I want to call him Job.
26:12 The Bible, you know.
26:13 Okay, Steve Jobs.
26:14 Someone is tearing their hair out right now.
26:17 Steve Jobs.
26:19 Jobs asked the man about this difficulty in Biafra.
26:25 And when the pastor was done, Steve Jobs said,
26:29 "If that's what God is like, then I don't want to have
26:35 anything to do with Him."
26:37 And he left church and never went back.
26:43 I mean, somebody that talented seems to me to be a tremendous
26:47 waste to the cause of Christ.
26:49 To have someone working at odds with Jesus rather than
26:52 working with Jesus.
26:54 Anyone's soul who has decided not to walk with Jesus
26:56 is a great waste.
26:59 You see, Jobs didn't see the big picture.
27:03 I remember hearing that Oprah Winfrey was in church one day.
27:06 This is what I read.
27:07 I know you can't believe everything you read,
27:08 but this seemed to be legitimate.
27:11 And she heard one day the pastor saying that
27:13 God was a jealous God.
27:15 And she didn't like that.
27:17 Didn't seem to make much sense to her.
27:18 And so she kind of severed her ties with
27:20 Christianity right about there.
27:22 That is, as a practicing, fully paid up,
27:24 go to church on Sunday, Christian.
27:26 She was done with it right then. She was done.
27:29 I spoke with a lady one day.
27:31 And as I stood at the door of her apartment in the South,
27:33 I was at her apartment at the door,
27:36 I noticed that there was something a little bit
27:38 different about her.
27:40 There were several things different about her.
27:42 Her clothing was different, her jewelry was different,
27:45 her make-up was different, her hair was different.
27:47 Just different.
27:48 I mean she wasn't a freak, she wasn't way out.
27:51 You wouldn't be scared of her.
27:53 But she was a little bit different,
27:54 if I can just say that.
27:56 And as I got to talking to her, we got onto a discussion
28:00 of a spiritual nature, she said, "Well, I use to go to church.
28:03 And now I don't, but I do sort of."
28:07 And I asked her about that.
28:08 I don't know what that means, you know.
28:09 So I said, "What do you mean that you use to go to church
28:11 and now you don't, but you do sort of?"
28:13 And she talked around it and talked this way
28:15 and over it and under it.
28:16 Anyway, when she said it again, I said, "Mary Ellen..."
28:19 Her name was Mary Ellen. I remember her name.
28:21 "Mary Ellen, you've got to tell me what you mean.
28:25 You don't go to church, but you do sort of."
28:29 She said, "Well John, I was raised in a hell fire and
28:34 brimstone spitting..."
28:36 And then she named the denomination
28:37 ""
28:38 "A hellfire and brimstone"
28:42 "And I would go to church every Sunday and the pastor would
28:44 talk about a God who would take the sinners and burn them
28:47 and roast them and toast them and fry them
28:48 and frazzle them forever.
28:50 Old people, little babies. It didn't matter.
28:52 The lost were going to burn forever.
28:58 I decided that if that is what God is like,
28:59 I'd be better off without Him.
29:01 So I am done with going to church.
29:03 Except I still go, sort of."
29:09 She said, "John, I don't want to frighten you or anything.
29:13 But these days, I'm a witch."
29:18 And you know, when people say that kind of thing to you,
29:20 you try to act cool.
29:22 Like everyone you meet is a witch.
29:24 "Oh yeah. I'm fine with that."
29:29 And she said...
29:30 Well actually, I'll tell you what I did.
29:32 You'll think this is funny, but I really did this.
29:34 When she said, "I'm a witch," I said, "Oh."
29:39 I looked around for a broomstick.
29:40 I honestly did. I looked around.
29:43 All there was, was a little red car out
29:44 in front of her apartment.
29:45 No broomstick.
29:47 This dear lady, and she was a sweetheart...
29:51 And then I understood the hair and the make-up and the jewelry
29:54 and the clothing, all just a little bit different.
29:55 She was a witch.
29:56 Told me about her witch stuff and the witch church
29:59 that she went to, and so forth.
30:01 And she was driven away, she was driven away from Jesus
30:06 because someone had presented to her with just a small piece.
30:09 And worse than that, a misrepresentation of
30:15 what God was like.
30:17 See, what she had was a small piece.
30:21 There's a truth about hell and there is a real hell.
30:24 But you've got to step back from that and see if you can
30:27 make that piece of the puzzle fit with the rest of the puzzle.
30:30 And when you have the big picture, you understand now
30:35 starving children in Biafra, you understand God being a
30:38 jealous God, and you understand hell fire in its proper context.
30:43 When you see the big picture.
30:47 How can we line up the various teachings of the Bible
30:50 in some sort of a harmony?
30:52 How can we make sense of the world in which we
30:55 find ourselves today?
30:56 How can we make sense of this war that we seem to be in?
31:01 In life it seems as though we take one step forward
31:03 and two steps backward sometimes.
31:05 There is injustice.
31:07 It's still white hot across the fruited plain and
31:10 around the world.
31:11 There is oppression and there is depression.
31:14 There are people struggling and there are people battling.
31:17 And then there are unemployed people who are well qualified.
31:20 And there are people who bought homes in good faith
31:22 and they now owe way more on the home than the home is worth.
31:27 I've sat in the homes of people who've told me the numbers,
31:30 and it boggles your mind.
31:33 We have all of that in the world and we say, "How does that work
31:37 with the idea that God is love?"
31:40 Well I'm going to encourage you to take your Bible tonight.
31:42 We'll look at some passages in Scripture
31:43 that may indeed be familiar.
31:45 If they're familiar, then you can say, "Praise the Lord."
31:47 And if they're not, well you can say, "Praise the Lord."
31:50 We'll start in the book of Isaiah chapter 14.
31:53 Isaiah, Isaiah 14.
31:55 Oh, it was so liberating. I was recently in England.
31:57 It was so liberating.
31:58 I was able to say, "Isaiah."
32:03 When I came to the United States from New Zealand
32:05 and I was preaching, I would say to people,
32:08 "Now would you turn with me in your Bibles
32:09 to the book of Isaiah."
32:10 And I would turn to Isaiah and start reading.
32:12 And people would be looking like this and
32:14 shrugging their shoulders.
32:15 And the husband would nudge the wife and he'd ask her,
32:17 and she wouldn't know.
32:18 And they'd turn to the front of the Bible and start looking
32:21 for the book of Isaiah.
32:25 So to make it work; when in Rome do as the Romans.
32:29 Isaiah chapter 14 verse 12.
32:32 Here's what the Bible says.
32:34 Isaiah 14:12, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,
32:37 son of the morning!
32:38 How art thou cut down to the ground,
32:40 which didst weaken the nations!"
32:42 Now let's stop right there for a moment.
32:44 I think we can understand that when God created the universe,
32:46 He created it in perfection.
32:48 We can understand that, right?
32:49 Everything was good when He created the world.
32:52 And it's pretty evident that the world was here kind of
32:56 after some of the rest of the universe.
32:58 When He created the world, God said,
33:01 "It is good." "It is good." "It is good." "It is good."
33:03 Then He even said, "It is very good."
33:06 He created a perfect universe.
33:07 There was no sin, there was no sadness.
33:09 There was no corruption, there was no decay.
33:11 No none of that.
33:13 So in Isaiah chapter 14, we see something remarkable.
33:16 "How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.
33:18 How are you cut down to the ground,
33:20 which didst weaken the nations.
33:21 For you have said in your heart, 'I will ascend into heaven.
33:25 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.
33:28 I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation
33:31 on the sides of the north.
33:32 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
33:35 I will be like the Most High.'"
33:38 Lucifer said that.
33:41 Now "Lucifer," the word means, light bearer.
33:44 This brother dwelled in the presence of God.
33:46 You read a somehow parallel passage in Ezekiel chapter 28.
33:51 You discover this being was a covering cherub.
33:54 He was beautiful, he was favored.
33:57 Highly favored.
33:59 And then he went off the rails, and craziness happened.
34:03 As matter of fact, I'm going to go with you to the book
34:07 of Genesis and see what happened when Lucifer came down here.
34:10 The Bible says in Revelation chapter 12,
34:12 Lucifer came down to the earth.
34:14 And look what happened when he did.
34:16 Genesis chapter 3 and verse 1.
34:18 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field
34:21 which the Lord God had made.
34:24 And he said to the woman, 'Yea, hath God said,
34:26 "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"'"
34:29 Notice what he did.
34:30 "Has God really said that?"
34:32 Had God said it, yes or no?
34:33 Yes He had.
34:35 And He meant what He said.
34:36 You know something? It's interesting.
34:38 Lucifer will often come along and take the plainest statements
34:41 of the Word of God and twist them,
34:43 and question them, and second guess them,
34:47 and cast doubt over them.
34:49 Plain statements.
34:51 He did it right here.
34:52 "The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat of the fruit of
34:54 the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is
34:57 in the midst of the garden, God has said,
34:59 "You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it,
35:01 lest ye die."'
35:03 And the serpent said, 'You shall not surely die.
35:10 Because God knows that in the day you eat that fruit,
35:12 your eyes will be opened and you will be as gods
35:17 knowing good and evil.'
35:21 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food
35:23 and that it was pleasant to the eyes..."
35:26 You know, we make too many decisions based on
35:28 what's pleasant to the eyes.
35:34 "...and a tree desired to make one wise,
35:38 she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.
35:41 And gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
35:46 The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that
35:49 they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and
35:52 made themselves aprons."
35:54 There's a lot in that passage.
35:55 But look what happened.
35:58 Lucifer decided that he would lift himself up
36:01 and wanted to sit in God's place.
36:03 Clearly, that just didn't fly with God.
36:05 There was war in heaven.
36:09 "Michael and His angels fought against the dragon.
36:11 The dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not.
36:14 Neither was there place found anymore in heaven."
36:16 So we see the big picture.
36:17 Long ago there was war in heaven.
36:19 No, you didn't have anything to do with that war.
36:20 No, you're not to blame. You're not implicated.
36:23 It wasn't your fault, that's true.
36:24 I've had people say to me, "I didn't ask to be
36:26 put here in this world."
36:28 Well you didn't ask to be ransomed either.
36:29 And Jesus died on a cross to ransom you.
36:31 So you ought to be glad about that.
36:33 Long ago there was war in heaven.
36:36 Lucifer, for some inexplicable reason, decided to
36:39 rebel against God.
36:40 He was cast out of heaven. He came to the earth.
36:44 And full of hate and full of malignity.
36:47 Malignity. That's right, isn't it?
36:52 Sometimes words don't seem right.
36:53 Full of hate and malignity.
36:56 Full of a miserable hatred for God and everything God loves.
37:02 Lucifer came here to this earth determined to deface,
37:09 or even eradicate from this earth, the image of God.
37:15 Very important.
37:16 God said, "Let us make man in Our..." What?
37:21 " Our image."
37:23 So as long as there were people walking on this earth,
37:25 Lucifer was reminded of God's goodness.
37:28 And God's love and God's kindness and God's fairness.
37:31 And it was a rebuke to him; the hateful one, the proud one,
37:35 the deceitful one, the lying one, the father of lies.
37:38 It was a rebuke to him, you understand.
37:41 And here he came, guns blazing.
37:44 Gunning at the thing that God loved more than anything.
37:49 The jewel of creation; Adam and Eve.
37:51 Our original grandparents.
37:53 Lucifer came for them, Satan came for them.
37:55 And they fell, and they fell into sin.
37:59 And from then till now, that same devil has been doing
38:03 everything he can to win entirely this planet.
38:07 Now thank God we're going to get to the
38:09 good news in just a moment.
38:10 Revelation chapter 13, let's see where it goes.
38:12 Revelation chapter 13.
38:15 Where is the big picture leading us?
38:17 Revelation chapter 13.
38:19 We're going to start in chapter 13 verse 1.
38:24 Revelation chapter 13 verse 1.
38:26 This is where John writes, "I stood upon the sand of the sea,
38:28 and I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and
38:32 ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads
38:36 the name of blasphemy.
38:37 The beast which I saw was like unto a leopard..."
38:39 And so on. Let's get to verse three.
38:41 "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;
38:44 and his deadly wound was healed."
38:46 And who? Can you tell me please?
38:48 All the world did what?
38:50 Wondered after who?
38:52 The whole world was swept up in delusion and deception.
38:57 We drop down to verse 11.
38:58 "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth.
39:00 He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke
39:03 just like a dragon speaks.
39:04 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him,
39:08 and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship
39:12 the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
39:16 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire
39:19 come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."
39:21 Let's drop down to verse 16.
39:25 "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor,
39:29 free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand
39:32 or in their foreheads.
39:33 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark,
39:37 or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
39:41 There is a battle raging now.
39:46 Long ago an angry devil decided, or a jealous devil decided
39:52 that he wanted to sit in God's place and receive the worship
39:55 that only God was due.
39:58 I imagine, the Bible doesn't give us the details, but I've
40:02 got to imagine that God went the extra mile with Lucifer.
40:06 You don't think that Lucifer just had a thought
40:08 and God took him by the hand like a principle getting
40:10 a rowdy school boy.
40:12 Now I don't know anything about that, but grabbing a rowdy
40:15 school boy by the upper arm and saying,
40:16 "You need to come with me now."
40:19 Lucifer had an errant thought one day and God just booted him.
40:23 Wouldn't have been like that.
40:25 I imagine God pled with him.
40:26 I imagine God reasoned with him.
40:28 And I'm being honest and telling you that I imagine this.
40:32 I imagine God did everything He could.
40:36 But Lucifer hardened his heart in sin, and rebellion
40:38 grew up, and there was no turning back.
40:40 And he was cast out of heaven, He came to this earth.
40:42 And misery loves company.
40:44 He spotted Adam and Eve who were not miserable.
40:46 And he said, "I would feel so much better if they
40:47 were miserable like me."
40:49 And he deceived them.
40:50 The Bible says Eve was beguiled.
40:52 Now they were on the opposite side of the ledger;
40:54 opposed to God, separated from God, enemies of God.
40:57 At enmity with God because sin had now
41:01 entered into their being.
41:02 And they were now, rather than walking in union with God,
41:05 God turns up and they ran.
41:06 We didn't read that verse in Genesis 3.
41:08 It was the next verse. They ran.
41:10 They hear God coming and they go, and they take off.
41:12 Can't be around God because sin has done its dirty work.
41:17 And as we consider this big picture,
41:21 we consider, we see, we understand
41:23 what is going on in this world.
41:24 There's an angry devil, a jealous devil.
41:26 He's after worship.
41:27 We read in Revelation chapter 13, he's after worship.
41:30 You can blame God when a tornado tears through town if you want.
41:33 Or you can say, "That's the devil doing his dirty work."
41:37 You can wonder when you see strange things going on
41:39 in the world today, or you can say, "Yes, there is a master
41:42 conspirator at work."
41:44 And he's seeking to line this world up like so many dominos.
41:49 And at the right time, he's going to flip that first one
41:51 and everything is going to fall.
41:53 Maybe like a house of cards might have been
41:54 a better illustration.
41:57 There is a battle raging, a warfare.
42:00 We look at this big picture, this great controversy.
42:03 Imagine, if you would, a violin playing a note.
42:07 A violin.
42:09 You're in a house, maybe, with many rooms.
42:11 And you enter in a room, and a violin is playing a note.
42:15 I like the violin.
42:16 I like the violin to play more than a note though.
42:18 I go into the next room and there's a cello.
42:20 There's my friend, Tim, who's taking cello lessons.
42:23 And he's beautifully playing one note on a cello.
42:26 I would prefer if he played other notes,
42:28 but he's playing one note.
42:29 I go to another room, and perhaps there's a flute
42:34 playing a note.
42:35 And the next room, a trumpet or a French horn
42:38 or a clarinet or an oboe.
42:40 Maybe a timpani is beating in one place and a glockenspiel
42:44 doing its thing in another.
42:46 And apart, they don't make much beauty.
42:52 I'm not saying a violin cannot make much beauty.
42:54 But remember, I qualified this by saying they're
42:56 playing just one note, maybe two.
42:58 Not much.
42:59 Bring them together now, bring them together
43:05 and now you've got something beautiful taking place.
43:09 When we look at the Bible, a thought here,
43:12 a thought there, a doctrine there, a teaching there,
43:15 a question in some other place,
43:18 this can make about as much beautiful music
43:21 as instruments hidden away in various rooms playing one note.
43:25 But bring them together, the big picture,
43:28 maybe the orchestra under the leadership of a conductor,
43:31 now you've got some harmony, now you've got something
43:34 beautiful taking place.
43:35 When you begin to understand the big picture in the Bible,
43:38 you can start to make sense of questions.
43:41 You can start to answer questions.
43:43 You can take ideas and say, "I see how they fit.
43:46 I see where they go."
43:47 We go to Ephesians chapter 6 and God shines a little extra
43:51 light on what we see taking place in the world today.
43:54 Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 12.
43:57 It says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood,
43:59 but against principalities, against powers,
44:02 against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
44:04 against spiritual wickedness in high places."
44:06 There is a war taking place. A war.
44:09 You know what, I'm going to read you a little quote that I
44:11 came across yesterday.
44:13 My wife shared this with me.
44:14 Was it my wife? I think so.
44:16 "We are on the earth as combatants.
44:19 This is no time or place for us to be negligent,
44:21 indifferent, or careless.
44:22 We have a heaven to win and a hell to shun.
44:25 We are in an enemies country."
44:29 This is a hostile place.
44:32 You understand why you have these lousy days.
44:34 You understand why the devil seems to be
44:37 prodding you and poking you.
44:38 We're in a hostile place. We're in enemy territory.
44:41 Let me read this.
44:42 "Every Christian should understand that there is a
44:45 decided warfare going on between the chosen people
44:47 of God and the powers of darkness.
44:50 When men are content to live merely for this world,
44:53 the inclination of the heart unites with the suggestions of
44:56 the enemy, and his bidding is done.
45:00 But when they seek to leave the black banner of the
45:02 power of darkness, and range themselves under the
45:05 bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, the struggle begins,
45:08 and the warfare is carried on in the sight of
45:10 the universe of heaven.
45:11 Everyone who fights on the side of right
45:13 must fight hand to hand with the enemy."
45:15 There is an enemy.
45:18 And understanding the great controversy; it's not really the
45:21 great controversy between the enemy and us.
45:24 It's the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
45:28 Because, you know, as soon as there was sin,
45:30 there was a Savior.
45:31 And you go way back to the beginning and
45:33 what did the devil do?
45:34 The devil said, "Yea, hath God said..."
45:37 "Hath God, is that really what God meant?
45:41 You know what God is doing?
45:42 He's keeping good things from you.
45:44 He knows if you get your hands on that fruit,
45:46 man, you'd know some stuff.
45:47 Your eyes would be opened.
45:48 You would be like Him.
45:51 And God doesn't want that."
45:53 Isn't it interesting that Satan is saying,
45:56 "God doesn't want you wanting to be like Him."
46:00 He knew that from experience.
46:03 "So eat the fruit.
46:04 Everything will be so much better because
46:06 God is holding out on you."
46:08 And you know, I cannot understand why Eve fell.
46:12 I just don't get it.
46:14 Mind you, if people like you and me don't get why Eve fell,
46:17 maybe we should start asking the question,
46:19 "Why is it that we fall?"
46:21 If we think there was no excuse for her,
46:23 there is certainly no excuse for us.
46:25 She fell because there's a battle going on.
46:29 Satan seeks to misrepresent God.
46:32 Jesus steps in.
46:34 What did Jesus come to this world to do?
46:36 I know the classic answer, the textbook answer,
46:38 it's a good answer.
46:39 He came to this world to save us from our sins.
46:41 But you know something?
46:42 There is a more important reason why Jesus came to this earth.
46:45 More important. I have that on good authority.
46:48 More important than dying for our sins, Jesus came to this
46:51 earth to show the universe what His Father is really like.
46:55 More important.
46:56 So before we think that salvation is all about us,
47:01 and really it isn't; it's all about God.
47:05 In coming to this earth, Jesus demonstrated what God was like,
47:10 what the Father was truly like.
47:12 Answering finally and forever the accusations made
47:15 by the devil, and anybody else who wants to line up behind him,
47:19 accusing God of being unfair, unjust, deceitful,
47:22 deceptive, untrue.
47:25 Jesus would come to this earth and demonstrate to the universe
47:29 what God is really like and what God can really do
47:33 in the lives of people who have given themselves over to Him.
47:37 There is a controversy raging, burning.
47:41 It's a controversy between Christ and Satan.
47:44 Satan says, "God isn't good. Follow me."
47:48 And you know what he does?
47:49 He uses truth, some truth, he uses lies, he uses threats,
47:53 he uses flattery.
47:55 He uses just everything he can.
47:58 Jesus, on the other hand, uses truth and love.
48:01 Truth and love.
48:02 Jesus says, "If you will just follow Me,
48:05 if you'll just open up your heart, if you'll just
48:10 consider the truth of My word, then you'll know that there's
48:13 one place to stand in this great controversy."
48:16 And that's right where Jesus stands.
48:19 There is a battle raging.
48:20 I'll share a little story with you in the time we have left
48:23 in 2 Kings chapter 6 that helps us understand
48:26 that there is a story behind the story.
48:31 Behind the tragedies in the world there is a story,
48:36 there is a great controversy playing out.
48:39 Behind the false doctrines that are being spread around
48:44 Christianity there is a story, there is a
48:46 great controversy playing out.
48:48 You know, there's a reason the devil told Mary Ellen
48:51 that God's going to burn the babies forever and ever
48:53 and ever and ever.
48:54 There's a reason.
48:56 Because he knew that this woman with a thinking mind
48:59 would come to the place where she would say,
49:01 "I don't want to have anything to do with that God."
49:04 See, misrepresenting the character of God led
49:06 that dear lady out.
49:08 And not just out, but all the way into the arms of the devil
49:11 who was just waiting for her like this, "Come to daddy."
49:15 And she ran into his arms and embraced him and said,
49:17 "I think this is better than that."
49:21 Frankly, she was right.
49:24 Frankly, she was right.
49:25 The idea that God is a monster; terrible idea.
49:28 It has made more atheists than any other false teaching
49:31 you'll ever find.
49:32 2 Kings chapter 6, pick it up in verse..
49:34 Where are we? Verse 8.
49:36 "The king of Syria warred against Israel,
49:39 and took counsel with his servants, saying,
49:41 'In such and such a place shall be my camp.'"
49:45 Alright.
49:46 "The man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying,
49:48 'Beware that you do not pass such a place;
49:50 for there the Syrians are come down.'"
49:53 Now you got that right?
49:54 The king of Syria said, "Let's put our camp here."
49:57 And the prophet told the king of Israel, "Don't go there
50:01 because the Syrians have their camp there."
50:05 "And the king of Israel..."
50:06 Oh, I think we read that.
50:07 No we didn't.
50:08 "The king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God
50:11 told him and warned him of, and saved himself there,
50:15 not once nor twice."
50:17 You can imagine this must have been frustrating
50:19 for the king of Syria.
50:20 Every time he had a plan, it seemed like the Israelites
50:22 were a step ahead.
50:24 And how could that be?
50:26 "Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled,
50:29 sore troubled for this thing."
50:32 Now if you were to find a colloquialism for that phrase,
50:36 "sore troubled," you could probably find a colorful one.
50:39 He was sore troubled.
50:42 Where are we?
50:44 "And he called his servants and said to them,
50:46 'Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?'"
50:50 "I've got a traitor here. I am ticked off.
50:53 Somebody within my ranks is telling them
50:56 what our plans are."
50:58 "And one of his servants said, 'None, my lord, O king.
51:00 But Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, tells the
51:04 king of Israel the words that thou speakest
51:06 in thy bedchamber.'"
51:11 That's fascinating.
51:12 You see, ladies and gentlemen, there is something that's
51:14 going on behind the scenes.
51:17 We see this.
51:19 We don't see behind the dimension that separates us
51:21 from that unseen spiritual world.
51:24 And while that man thought that he was sharing his
51:28 secrets in private, he didn't realize that there was a
51:31 Watcher and a Holy One hearing and taking note of
51:34 everything that was being said and repeating that into the
51:37 heart of Elisha the prophet.
51:38 You see, there's a battle going on.
51:41 We're not just here and that's that.
51:44 We are the participants in a titanic spiritual struggle
51:47 that involves the entire universe.
51:51 "He said, 'Go and spy where he is that I may
51:53 send and fetch him.'"
51:56 You know, I love the power in the old
52:00 renderings of the Scripture.
52:02 But I had to look that word up.
52:03 Surely he didn't mean fetch.
52:05 I watched my brother... My brother.
52:07 I was about to call him my dog.
52:08 I was watching my son the other day play fetch
52:11 with a dog.
52:12 It was cool.
52:13 We were walking along a path in a park.
52:16 And a dog just ran up to him and plopped a
52:20 tennis ball at his feet.
52:21 A dog we had never met before.
52:23 And looked up at him as if to say, "You know what to do."
52:27 And so he would throw that ball, the dog would run after it.
52:31 It was a Border Collie.
52:32 Grab that ball and bring it back.
52:34 That's fetch.
52:35 No, that's not the fetch that he was talking about here.
52:37 He meant apprehend him, arrest him, take him, grab him.
52:41 Get him.
52:42 Fetch him, will you.
52:46 "It was told him, saying, 'Behold, he is in Dothan.'
52:49 Therefore he sent to Dothan horses, and chariots,
52:53 and a great host.
52:54 And they came by night, and compassed the city about.
52:58 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early
53:00 and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city
53:03 both with horses and chariots.
53:04 And his servant said to him, 'Alas, my master!
53:08 How shall we do?'"
53:12 The servant was scared stiff.
53:14 He saw the enemy army come and he realized when he did a
53:19 head count, "They be more than we.
53:22 They are mightier, they are stronger.
53:24 Our goose is cooked."
53:29 But he forgot there's a great controversy raging.
53:32 There is something going on behind the scenes.
53:36 You see, Satan is jealous for his own glory.
53:41 He wants to misrepresent God and manipulate the truth.
53:44 And maneuver in such a way as your heart will be snatched off,
53:51 and left to wonder in such a way that you're easy
53:54 pickings for the enemy of souls.
53:55 Easy.
53:56 The big picture tells us that long ago there was
53:59 war in heaven; Satan rebelled.
54:00 He has come down, here he is making war.
54:02 He will use any means he can to get you away from Jesus.
54:08 He will lie and he will misrepresent.
54:11 And he'll do it all.
54:13 On the other hand Jesus says, "Oh no, wait a minute.
54:15 The Word of God is truth."
54:17 And He fights with that.
54:18 The Spirit of God works in your heart.
54:21 Jesus came to this earth and lived a perfectly good life
54:23 to show you what God is really like.
54:26 Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have..." What?
54:29 "...seen the Father."
54:30 There are people who want to talk about God
54:32 as though He's unjust and unfair.
54:34 Look at Jesus.
54:35 If you can just figure out what Jesus is like,
54:38 you know what our heavenly Father is like.
54:41 And He's here on this earth, He was here on this earth,
54:44 representing God accurately.
54:47 Lifting up those who are fallen,
54:50 straightening out those who are crooked,
54:52 forgiving those who are erring,
54:53 healing the sick and raising the dead,
54:56 demonstrating to us that God is a good God.
54:59 There's a battle raging.
55:00 We don't always see what's going on behind the scenes.
55:04 "Alas, alas, master. There's more of them than us.
55:07 We're in trouble out here."
55:09 "And he said, 'Fear not.
55:10 For they that be with us are more than
55:13 they that be with them.'"
55:15 "How's that? Do the math, man.
55:18 There's more out there than here."
55:20 "And Elisha prayed and said, 'Lord, I pray thee,
55:22 open his eyes, that he may see.'"
55:24 What a prayer.
55:26 "The Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw.
55:28 And behold, the mountain was full of horses
55:30 and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
55:33 When he saw that, that's all he needed to see.
55:36 There's a prayer, "Lord, open his eyes."
55:41 He appealed to God, "Let this young man see
55:46 what's really going on out there."
55:48 In this great controversy, friends, maybe that's all
55:51 we need to pray.
55:52 Maybe that's all we need...
55:53 I shouldn't say that's all we need to pray, but maybe that's
55:56 the most important prayer that we can pray,
55:58 "Lord, open my eyes."
56:01 If my eyes are open, then I'm going to see
56:02 whatever is going on.
56:03 God is not asleep at the wheel, but He's in control.
56:07 I can pray when my finances are a challenge,
56:11 "Lord, open my eyes," and then I'll see that God is in control
56:14 even though I may feel as though I'm in trouble financially.
56:18 Peter slept in the prison cell.
56:20 Appearances said, "I'm going to die.
56:22 James just died, I'm in prison.
56:24 I'm next."
56:25 But his eyes were opened and he could see that God
56:28 had a plan and God was in control.
56:30 Daniel went to the lion's den.
56:31 He was going to be lunch for a hungry cat.
56:34 Appearances said he was doomed.
56:36 But his eyes were opened and he could see.
56:38 Lord, open my eyes. Open our eyes, Lord.
56:40 Let us see that when relationships are falling apart,
56:44 God is still in control.
56:46 I spoke to a man the other day.
56:49 They told him he had pancreatic cancer.
56:52 Now we both know, pancreatic cancer; that's a tough one.
56:54 Few people get through that in one piece.
56:56 I said to him, "When you were battling with that
56:59 terrible diagnosis, did your faith in God help you?"
57:03 He said, "My faith in God got me through."
57:06 You see, the diagnosis said, "You might die."
57:08 Faith in God said, "My eyes are open,
57:10 and I can see that whether I live or die, God is in control."
57:16 Thank God the man is alive and well.
57:18 And best of all, his eyes are open.
57:21 Let our eyes be opened in this great controversy.
57:24 That no matter what we see, behind what we see
57:27 God is in control.


Revised 2014-12-17