Participants: Dale Leamon
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000006
00:29 I'm so glad you could join us for today's program.
00:33 My name is Dale Lemon and I Pastor the Adventist church
00:38 in Battle Creek Michigan.
00:39 Today we are going to be looking
00:43 more at the ten promises that God has given us.
00:47 Ten fantastic promises.
00:50 I think you will really be surprised as you
00:53 understand where these promises are found.
00:56 But first let us have a word of prayer, Father in heaven
00:59 Thank you that we can be together now to understand
01:04 your word better.
01:05 Please send Your Spirit to bless this time.
01:09 In the homes where many are viewing and right
01:12 here as I share.
01:14 Use me that Your own words will come through and
01:18 hearts will be changed. In Jesus name, Amen!
01:22 Well the ten promises that we have in mind are usually called
01:28 the Ten Commandments and many people think of them more
01:32 as a source of guilt than they do as something to rejoice in.
01:36 But that only because they haven't understood God's reason
01:39 for giving those Ten Commandments or ten promises.
01:42 Because, in fact, as we look at them and realize that they are
01:47 far beyond our moral ability.
01:49 Then we look to Jesus and we see that He has already
01:53 full filled all ten of those wonderful promises
01:56 for us and is ready to write them in our hearts.
01:58 That is such a blessing.
02:00 To come to that understanding changes our whole attitude.
02:05 So the gospel is actually promised in the Ten Commandments
02:11 Why did God give His laws?
02:13 Was it just because He wanted to show who was boss?
02:16 He wanted to say I Am the boss and everybody needs to know it?
02:21 So these are the rules and you better obey them! No Not at all.
02:26 If you have looked carefully at the Ten Commandments, you
02:28 notice that they are all written for our happiness.
02:33 They all are intimately connected with our own
02:39 being as humans.
02:40 In other words, those who don't receive the grace of
02:44 God to obey those commandments, to live that kind of life,
02:48 cannot possibly be happy.
02:50 But those who do receive God's grace
02:52 to live in harmony with those commandments will be happy
02:56 because our very natures are created in such a way
03:03 that we cannot possibly have a good life if we separate
03:07 ourselves from God's will and the commandments.
03:10 So it was not God's desire to be boss, but it was
03:13 because He loved us that He made rules for our happiness.
03:17 Now folks, you and I have all had experiences,
03:19 especially if you are a parent.
03:21 You may remember taking your two year old the grocery store.
03:27 Two year old, of course, like to get into everything.
03:31 They know what they want and what they like.
03:35 If you go by a long counter with lots of candy, bags of candy
03:43 candy bars and so forth.
03:45 Your two year old may begin to pick these things up.
03:49 May begin to say in his/her childish way
03:54 I want this. This is what I want.
03:57 Now you are the parent, you have wisdom.
04:00 And so you realize that a two year old can't handle very
04:06 much sweets and if you let them have too many they will get sick
04:09 So in your parental wisdom you say
04:11 No, not this time.
04:13 We won't be able to buy that this time!
04:16 Of course the two year old looks at the parental rule as a
04:21 negative thing.
04:25 My mom or my dad just doesn't want me to have fun.
04:26 My mom or dad doesn't want me to have what I want.
04:29 Their restricting my desires.
04:31 He doesn't understand that you are making
04:36 your ruling out of love in fact your only motivation is that
04:41 your concerned about his well-being.
04:42 And so that is what God has to face.
04:47 It has to be really hard being God because He has to constantly
04:54 try to keep us out of trouble, which means He's making rules.
04:57 At the same time convincing us that He loves us
04:59 and is interested in our happiness.
05:01 But we think our happiness requires us to do something
05:03 that He knows would only hurt us,
05:04 that puts Him in a hard position.
05:06 But as we get more mature and grow and trust Him more,
05:10 experience more of life, we more understand that everything God
05:14 has commanded is really love.
05:17 It is an expression of His protective, parental love for us
05:21 We have the same experiences with teenagers.
05:23 Of course they are quiet a little more advanced than
05:26 the two year old in knowing what is good for them.
05:29 Although they try hard to forget it.
05:31 They often will not appreciate our rules.
05:36 The teenager will wonder why I have to be in by 10 PM.
05:40 Why do you have to know where I am all the time?
05:43 Why do you have to know whom I am with all the time?
05:46 But good parents must make such rules in order to
05:51 be responsible for their young people.
05:54 And so God is responsible with us.
05:56 He is not arbitrary, He's not bossy, He's not dogmatic.
05:59 The rules He makes are simply inherent in our very being
06:05 as the necessities for our happiness and well-being.
06:08 He is, of course, the perfect parent
06:11 He loves to be called our Father.
06:15 It's really His favorite name because it implies
06:18 that He's caring for us even though He has to be the boss.
06:23 Of course He is the only one who could be the boss.
06:25 He is the only One that has the wisdom.
06:26 He made us. He knows exactly what we need.
06:29 Only He could know what is possibly in our best interest.
06:32 Well as we have discussed the Commandments we
06:36 have seen them as promises.
06:38 Good parents of course even in their rules are
06:42 really making promises, are they not to their children?
06:45 They are saying follow this rule for your health.
06:50 You'll have good health all of your life.
06:52 Follow this rule you'll have a long life.
06:54 Follow this rule you will have good relationships.
06:56 You'll have a happy marriage.
06:58 Follow this rule and you will develop spiritually.
07:01 You will have peace in your heart.
07:03 So every good rule in a way is a promise of a happy future.
07:08 So it is easy to see that God's Ten Commandments
07:12 are ten promises for a happy future.
07:15 The neat thing is though, they are promises in and of
07:19 themselves, that is they are not something we promised to do
07:23 for God, but each rule is something God
07:26 has promised to do for us.
07:27 It's not just that if we keep them we have hope for happy
07:31 ever after.
07:32 Its more that if we allow Jesus to give us these principles in
07:38 our heart, then of course we have eternal joy.
07:42 Each of them is a promise of God's work of grace in our lives
07:48 Looking at them one by one we find ourselves now at Ex. 20:13
07:54 The sixth commandment. It's a very brief one isn't it?
08:00 Let's read it. You shall not murder.
08:04 I think probably most people regard this as the
08:09 easiest commandment to keep.
08:10 Most people hate violence, I was never inclined to
08:16 to murder anyone.
08:18 I may have broken all the other commandments
08:21 but I am sure I never broken that commandment.
08:24 because I have never killed anybody.
08:26 And yet in our wicked, wicked world
08:30 killing people, unfortunately, is not that rare is it?
08:35 Many people that seem to be law-abiding citizens
08:40 suddenly, in a fit of anger will kill or in,
08:45 or in depression.
08:47 Millions, or course, are being killed before they are born
08:51 for the convenience of the parents.
08:55 There are dictators who are murdering thousands their
09:00 own countrymen. Millions even.
09:03 Every few years that happens.
09:05 We have wars of genocide in which neighbors just rise up
09:10 slaughter their neighbors and steal all their possessions.
09:15 These things have happened and we wonder
09:19 is it true ordinary people have a killing
09:22 instinct within themselves?
09:24 Recently we were horrified by stories in all the papers
09:30 of the mother, this just seems so unthinkable, mother of five
09:37 children, who apparently grew very depressed and felt
09:43 that she could not take care of her children.
09:46 Somehow, we assume she had some kind of psychosis going
09:50 on there because she apparently felt the best thing she could
09:53 do was to put her children to death, five little children.
09:57 According to the story, her after her husband went
10:01 away to work, she took the children, one by one into the
10:04 bathroom where she held them under the water in the bathtub
10:08 until they were drowned.
10:12 Imagine a mother watching her own children struggle
10:15 fight for breath until they died.
10:18 Unthinkable. Where this does horrible evil,
10:22 come from?
10:23 Obviously the human heart is capable of things we would
10:27 hardly imagine.
10:29 The father, when he found out, was horrified and shocked
10:32 because there had been no indication that
10:34 this might take place.
10:36 She had been a faithful mother.
10:38 We all need to look in our own hearts and see what
10:41 might really be there.
10:43 Sometimes we brag about the fact I may have told a few lies
10:51 but I have never killed anyone.
10:53 Sometimes we think of five or six of the commandments
10:56 that we think we have kept.
10:57 Well I don't steal.
10:59 I've been pretty good to my parents you know.
11:02 So forth. Oh Folks
11:04 When we really look carefully at God's law we discover
11:08 that these have to be promises.
11:11 Because none of them are capable of obedience by us
11:14 in our normal condition.
11:16 In fact we find that we have violated all of them.
11:21 According to Jesus' teaching even on this commandment
11:25 about murder, we are all murders
11:29 That's hard to imagine isn't it?
11:31 Lets see how that can be. Matthew 5 where we have Jesus
11:38 great long sermon on the mount.
11:41 It gives us an explanation of spiritual character of God's law
11:47 It helps us to see why we can't achieve even one
11:52 principle of it in our own strength.
11:54 Let's look at the verses together from Matthew 5:21-22.
12:33 So here we see Jesus re-interpreting this commandment
12:39 Thou salt not murder and showing that even anger
12:42 now He says anger without a cause, I want you to remember
12:46 the Bible, the apostle Paul, Ephesians tells us that we are
12:51 not to be angry past the sunset, if we are then we have sinned.
12:56 So we know what it means to be angry without a cause is to
13:00 it means to hold on to our anger until it becomes
13:02 resentment and hatred.
13:04 It is okay to have a little flare of anger when we see a
13:09 wrong thing happen.
13:10 There are things in this world that are worth getting angry
13:12 about, but to hold on to that and to be hateful and to be
13:15 resentful and desire vengeance against the other person
13:19 that is wrong isn't it?
13:21 And when we do that, Jesus says that we are
13:24 in violation of the sixth commandment.
13:27 How can that be?
13:28 I think it is because it is natural to wish that person dead
13:33 Whom we really hate, we wish they would just disappear
13:41 Sometimes don't we? Have you ever been there?
13:43 Well I hope you haven't.
13:44 But this is certainly an important thing to
13:47 ponder in our hearts.
13:48 I want you to understand our own liability to this
13:54 commandment so that you can appreciate Christ's promise
13:57 in full filling it in our hearts.
14:01 We often have excessive anger.
14:05 And excessive anger, of course, is the first cause of murder.
14:10 Also we sometimes lose respect for people.
14:13 We say we don't hate them.
14:16 But we just don't have any respect for them.
14:19 I want to point out to you friends, that is the same as
14:22 calling someone a fool according to the scripture here.
14:24 And Jesus says that those people who call people fools
14:27 are also in danger of hell fire.
14:29 Remember that when we lose respect for people we are not
14:32 being Christ-like because Christ respects everyone.
14:35 You say wait a minute the Bible says He doesn't respect anybody.
14:38 Yeah but that is Old English, it just means He doesn't favor
14:41 anyone over anybody else.
14:42 But He respects everyone, He respects doesn't He?
14:45 He gives you free choice, He listens to your
14:47 prayers, He does not seek to distance Himself from you,
14:50 He listens to your thinking even though your thinking is
14:53 so immature and unwise.
14:54 And He reasons with you, He says come let us reason together
14:59 Jesus and the Father respect you.
15:01 Even though you have done a lot of things which would
15:05 deserve to be disrespected.
15:06 He respects you.
15:09 And He asks us to respect each other also.
15:12 And if we don't do that we are in violation
15:15 again of the sixth commandment.
15:19 Well I found myself in violation of that
15:23 commandment one time.
15:25 In fact, of course, several times.
15:27 But one really serious occasion, in my life.
15:30 It came home to me.
15:32 I know the Lord allowed this to happen to me because He
15:33 wanted me to learn something and to grow.
15:36 I had a colleague that I worked with.
15:39 And you know when in ministry and when you have someone
15:43 you work closely with, in ministry it is a special bond.
15:47 You feel that person is a real ally, and a real
15:51 brother or sister in Christ.
15:52 In this instance I certainly felt that way.
15:55 The work we did together came out so well.
15:57 We often prayed together.
15:58 We often did various programs together and I felt really
16:04 bonded to this person.
16:06 Then one day I discovered.
16:09 To my complete amazement.
16:12 That this person was really my enemy.
16:14 That this person was jealous of me.
16:16 And had been undermining me, with my friends and with others
16:20 I was trying to minister to.
16:21 That this person had been like Absalom at the gates.
16:24 Turning people away from me and trying to gather
16:27 other people to himself.
16:29 I found that this person had tried to damage
16:33 my relationship at home, and to hurt my marriage.
16:37 I found that this person had also tried to damage my career,
16:41 by spreading tales about me to my superiors.
16:45 I was shocked.
16:48 I was horrified.
16:49 I was devastated.
16:51 I felt betrayed.
16:52 I felt absolutely abused because this had been a person
16:56 that I thought was a real brother In Christ.
17:00 Well, of course, I supposed I had some right to a little
17:04 bit of anger, but then the sun went down and I was
17:06 suppose to forgive, Jesus says forgive or your Father
17:09 can't forgive you.
17:10 He says for us to pray forgive our debts as we
17:14 forgive our debtors.
17:16 But I would not forgive.
17:17 I was angry, I went to bed angry.
17:19 I woke up the next day angry.
17:21 In fact my anger was increasing and my
17:23 resentment kept increasing.
17:24 And I became so angry and it went on week after week.
17:28 This thought of anger would plague my thoughts whenever
17:32 wasn't really busy doing something else.
17:33 When I was just driving in my car, or wake up in the
17:36 middle of the night.
17:37 I would think about this person and how angry I was.
17:40 In fact I became aware of my anger had become totally hateful
17:44 I truly became aware that I was violating the sixth
17:48 commandment because I really began to desire
17:51 this person's death.
17:53 I thought they desired the worse possible vengeance.
17:57 I had even worked up a scenario in my mind where this person
18:00 would be on the road and run into a huge tanker truck.
18:04 All the fuel would spill out and it would be a terrible
18:06 confrontation in which this person would be
18:09 completely vaporized.
18:10 Boy was I angry.
18:11 Sounds really embarrassing now as I remember that.
18:15 Not at all Christian.
18:17 The Lord reminded me that He had forgiven me
18:21 of so many abuses.
18:22 He had forgiven me so wonderfully.
18:24 He told me you have to forgive this person.
18:27 He reminded me to of all His forgiveness of me
18:30 wouldn't do me any good unless I would turn
18:33 around and forgive also.
18:35 There are many scriptures that teach that.
18:38 Don't forget that precious beatitude from the sermon on
18:42 the mount, blessed are the merciful for they
18:46 shall obtain mercy.
18:50 So I was driving in my car one day and I had lost my
18:52 appetite and was beginning to get an ulcer, I was so upset.
18:53 I was going down the road and thinking
18:55 these terrible, terrible thoughts
18:56 The Spirit of God convicted me right there on the road.
19:00 You must forgive and I said Okay Lord I agree.
19:06 I want to, I am ready to, but I do know how.
19:11 I can't seem to, I've already tried but I can't seem to let go
19:14 of my anger.
19:15 That is where the Lord reminded me that He had kept this
19:19 commandment for me.
19:21 He had certainly faced the anger himself.
19:28 He had, as they nailed Him to the cross, He had said
19:36 Father, forgive them, as they nailed Him to the cross.
19:43 But then He was there to forgive, wasn't He?
19:46 that was the whole point of the cross, He was there to forgive.
19:49 Sins passed, sins present, and even sins future.
19:53 It was all covered there.
19:56 He knows how to forgive.
19:59 As I remembered that, I thought okay.
20:02 Certainly if you could forgive everyone, everyone.
20:06 Hitler, Paul Pot, surely you can help me
20:15 forgive my enemy.
20:17 So right there in my car, driving west bound, in
20:25 Los Angels California, I said Okay Lord help me
20:34 and help me now.
20:35 I choose to give up my hatred.
20:38 I choose to give up my feelings of vengeance.
20:42 I choose to stop condemning this person and leave the
20:45 judgment with You.
20:46 I choose to forgive.
20:49 Please give me that grace.
20:53 And you know what?
20:54 instantly I had peace in my heart and all my anger was gone.
20:59 I love to tell this story because so realistic.
21:03 Your going to say, What's realistic about that, I prayed
21:05 lots of times and nothing happened.
21:07 Oh yes, every time you pray for God's blessings
21:09 some thing happens.
21:10 The problem is, what happened to me
21:13 My peace, and my freedom from that anger, resentment
21:17 lasted for five minutes.
21:19 Then all my anger came back again.
21:21 But I was so glad that happened, because that is realistic.
21:24 God does answer your prayer.
21:26 When you pray for victory, He gives you victory right now.
21:28 But that victory doesn't always last.
21:31 In fact it almost never does.
21:32 Because God wants you to pray again.
21:34 Well I realized that.
21:37 And I said, You know that was the best five minutes
21:40 I've had in three months.
21:42 I said, Lord if You could give me five minutes that good
21:44 You did once You can do it for me again.
21:46 And so I asked Him again, I said, Lord would you please
21:49 give me the power to forgive my enemy again.
21:53 I choose to let go, and once again perfect
21:57 peace came upon me.
21:59 And this time it lasted for ten minutes.
22:01 But you know I was so grateful because
22:03 ten minutes was an improvement.
22:06 And instead of being discouraged, I said Lord
22:08 You did it twice, You can do it again.
22:10 And I prayed again.
22:11 I believe that we gain almost every victory,
22:14 in the Christian life, in that very way.
22:15 Sometimes people pray once and instantly they are
22:18 instantly they are transformed and never
22:20 have that temptation again.
22:21 But most cases we pray repeatedly.
22:24 And repeatedly the Lord give us the victory.
22:27 And as we continue to pray, it becomes a strength
22:29 of character to us to depend upon God.
22:31 in that area of our lives.
22:32 I want you to know that it took two weeks of praying
22:34 repeatedly for the victory in that area.
22:36 Before it became permanent.
22:38 I was never angry or resentful towards that person again.
22:40 But folks, it was only because Jesus had kept
22:47 the promise already in the commandments.
22:49 He had kept the promise in His human life.
22:52 He was born under the law.
22:55 That is what it says in Galatians.
22:56 He was born truly under the condemnation of the law.
22:59 He was truly born to carry the weight of all our sins
23:02 upon His back, and because He was born under
23:06 the law and kept the law so perfectly for us.
23:10 We may look at the law as a promise.
23:12 Instead of as a terrible condemnation.
23:15 When they nailed Him to the cross.
23:16 He said Father forgive them.
23:20 He could of said you fools.
23:22 You're killing your Messiah.
23:25 He could of said, Don't you realize you are killing the
23:28 only person who really loves you?
23:29 But He had no condemnation for them.
23:33 He simply said, Father they don't know what they are doing.
23:35 He could of said, you should crucify Satan not me.
23:40 He's the enemy.
23:41 But no He didn't.
23:43 He bore it all.
23:45 He didn't complain.
23:46 He had no self pity.
23:47 He didn't say, What are you doing to me.
23:50 He refused to condemn even those where crucifying Him.
23:55 He won the victory over hate.
23:59 Therefore He won the victory over killing, over murder.
24:05 The Bible says, you shall not murder.
24:10 And yet many of us have thought
24:14 Thoughts of bloody murder.
24:17 The Lord wants to deliver us from those.
24:21 In fact, we have a scripture right here that
24:25 I want to share with you from Matthew 5:44
24:40 Love your enemies, that is not possible.
24:45 Unless we have Jesus doing it for us, in us.
24:48 But that what we're call to isn't it?
24:51 Not only then is this a commandment not to do
24:55 something bad to others,
24:56 but it's a commandment to promote life,
24:59 to encourage others,
25:00 to strengthen them, to give them more energy.
25:05 Not to take it away.
25:07 Do good to your enemies.
25:09 I don't know about you, but I'm not capable of keeping
25:12 that commandment, as a commandment.
25:15 Only if it is a promise is there any hope for me.
25:18 Thank God it is a promise.
25:22 His covenant has been kept in Christ Jesus
25:28 So the natural attitude of all those who have this
25:33 commandment written in their heart.
25:35 Will be to forgive those who do them wrong.
25:39 To forgive fathers who have abused.
25:43 To forgive mothers who have neglected.
25:46 To forgive siblings who have been selfish.
25:50 Who have taken more than their share.
25:52 To forgive even God, well He hasn't done anything wrong.
25:58 but sometimes think He has.
25:59 And to forgive even God for allowing the trials
26:05 to come into our lives, to do so.
26:08 To let God take away all resentment
26:11 from our lives.
26:13 Oh folks we have to let Him do it.
26:14 Don't you know that when we really want to
26:17 kill somebody else, it ends up killing us.
26:20 The anger and resentment that we carry
26:22 ends up stealing the life from us.
26:25 Weakening our immune systems and making vulnerable
26:28 to every sort of illness.
26:29 Jesus not only doesn't want us to kill anybody else,
26:32 He doesn't want us to kill ourselves.
26:34 And by hanging on to anger and resentment we are dying
26:39 we are dying emotionally.
26:40 In our inability to really trust people.
26:44 And we are dying physically
26:47 as this inner turmoil eats away at our inner vitality.
26:52 It makes us vulnerable.
26:55 So Jesus has delivered us
26:57 From the violation of the sixth commandment.
27:01 By His perfect obedience.
27:04 He has done that.
27:05 And since Jesus has kept the commandment for you
27:09 you can now turn to Him and say now Lord I believe
27:12 That all the anger, resentment, malice in my heart
27:19 has already been nailed to Your cross.
27:22 I believe that when You said, Father forgive them
27:28 You were saying that for me.
27:31 I believe that those words are the very words that You
27:36 will put into my mouth, as I claim your grace
27:40 in relationship of those who have wronged me.
27:44 Thank you so much Lord for forgiving
27:50 and for planting your commandment of forgiveness
27:53 in my heart today.