Series Code: HCAU
Program Code: HCAU180014A
00:20 Welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming.
00:27 Hello friends, welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming 2018,
00:33 Rosemary, has this been a blessing?
00:34 It has been a blessing, many people told me
00:37 how much they're enjoying it so that's really good.
00:40 Have you been blessed? Can you say, "Amen. "
00:42 Audience: Amen.
00:43 And this evening's program is not going to be any different
00:46 as we continue in the theme of knowing God
00:48 and we thank you for taking the time to join us.
00:51 We believe as this is the first Homecoming
00:54 that 3ABN Australia has done, am I correct?
00:56 And... and look at all the family that's come to join us.
00:58 That's right...
01:00 and we also thank you for joining us
01:01 wherever you are, maybe you're in your car or home
01:03 or wherever you may be,
01:05 we thank you for taking the time to tune in
01:06 and I'm so glad that the Homecoming has caught on here
01:09 in Australia...
01:11 if you're part of the 3ABN family,
01:12 you've seen our homecomings for many years at 3ABN America.
01:16 That's right.
01:18 But this is the first and should we do this again?
01:21 Audience: Yes!
01:23 I had someone say to me... she may even be here...
01:26 I saw her in K-Mart the other day and she said,
01:29 "I've always wanted to go to a 3ABN Camp Meeting
01:32 but I can't go there, so you're bringing it to us. "
01:34 John: That's right.
01:35 Rosemary: So that was really good.
01:37 So this is... this is a representation
01:39 of America and an Auzzie, right eh...
01:42 Rosemary: Down Under and Up Over.
01:44 Audience: Laughter.
01:46 John: Well, I remember visiting someone here in Australia
01:48 and they had the picture on the wall of the map upside down
01:51 and they said, "You're down under,
01:53 we're up above. "
01:55 But beside all that, we've been blessed by
01:58 the "Knowing God" theme
01:59 that has gone from message to message...
02:01 from song to song...
02:02 and tell us about our Speaker for this...
02:05 for this segment of the program.
02:06 The Speaker for this program is Pastor Abel lorgulescu...
02:11 say that fast a few times and you'll twist your tongue.
02:16 He is the Senior Pastor for this church Avondale Memorial.
02:21 And he's only been here this year but he's a good Pastor.
02:24 He's a sharp gentleman...
02:26 And he's a good preacher.
02:27 I am looking forward to hearing that message
02:28 but just before he comes,
02:30 Diane Hope is going to be blessing us with the song,
02:33 "My Grateful Spirit Sings. "
02:39 Thank you Rosemary.
02:41 And her spirit sings.
02:43 And so, after this next song,
02:45 the next voice that you'll hear
02:48 will be that of Pastor Abel, amen.
02:51 You're going to say his surname... lorgulescu.
02:56 Audience: Laughter.
02:57 Thank you Diane.
03:09 more piano...
03:17 In all they works
03:21 I see thy glory
03:25 In mighty wonders,
03:28 in small and simple things
03:33 My heart rejoices in the bounty set before me
03:41 And my grateful spirit sings
03:50 Each rising sun
03:55 tells of Thy goodness
03:59 The rain proclaims Thee
04:03 in the life it brings
04:07 All creation bears the sure and silent witness
04:14 And my grateful spirit sings
04:23 The stars that crown
04:27 the realms of space
04:30 Reflect the image
04:33 of thy grace
04:37 The rolling seas,
04:40 the earth and sky
04:43 Declare thy pow'r,
04:47 thy majesty and might
04:51 I see thy hand
04:54 in man's compassion
04:58 Thou art the font
05:00 of kindness whence it springs
05:05 Thy boundless charity hath wrought my soul's salvation
05:12 And my grateful
05:16 spirit sings.
05:20 For changeless love
05:23 and endless mercy
05:26 For countless blessings beyond the wealth of kings
05:34 For every perfect gift Thou sendest, Lord, I praise Thee
05:41 And my grateful
05:46 spirit sings.
06:05 Audience: Amen... clapping.
06:10 Thank you very much, Diane, good evening everyone,
06:13 it is a privilege to be standing up here before you guys
06:17 and I'd like to thank John and Rosemary Malkiewycz
06:21 for this opportunity that I have
06:22 to share the Word of God with you tonight,
06:25 it's a privilege and I'd like to affirm them
06:27 for the work they're doing through 3ABN
06:30 not only in Australia, but also beyond.
06:32 Can we say, "Praise God for 3ABN... "
06:35 I'm really grateful for the theme they have chosen this year
06:39 for the first homecoming ever,
06:41 "Knowing God. "
06:43 Unbeknownst to them, this has been one of the verses
06:46 that has really impacted my life a number of years ago
06:48 because for me as a young person,
06:51 developing faith in God,
06:53 I thought of eternal life as an event...
06:56 something that was going to take place
06:58 when Jesus Christ will return at the second coming
07:02 that we will... you have eternal life...
07:04 we will no longer die,
07:06 we will no longer experience pain and suffering
07:08 and I always thought of eternal life as second coming
07:12 until I came across this verse in John chapter 17 verse 3
07:15 and it says, "And this is eternal life,
07:19 that they might know You, the only true God,
07:21 and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. "
07:23 What Jesus is telling us here
07:24 is that eternal life is not an event, my friends,
07:27 eternal life is a relationship
07:29 and that relationship begins here and now
07:32 which means that you and I can have eternal life now,
07:35 we don't have to wait for the second coming,
07:37 that brings a new dimension to it
07:39 and hopefully, tonight we're going to continue our journey
07:43 in understanding more about God...
07:45 knowing God especially through the works of the Old Testament.
07:49 Some of you are aware that many books have been written
07:54 about God's actions in the Old Testament...
07:56 that some of these actions are very well received...
07:59 perceived... understood... or applied.
08:02 For example, and I quote,
08:04 "God is described as nothing but a bully,
08:08 a murderer and a cosmic child abuser. "
08:11 Now, what do you think of such a description?
08:14 Pretty terrible, right?
08:17 And the list of accusations continues, in that,
08:21 God is accused of being arrogant and jealous.
08:24 He punishes people too harshly, is guilty of ethnic cleansing,
08:30 oppresses women, endorses slavery
08:32 and causes violence.
08:34 This is a picture that people in the 21st Century get about God,
08:38 especially through the Old Testament...
08:40 at least this is what has been dished out... fed to them...
08:43 And the question for us tonight is,
08:46 "How can we know God by His works in the Old Testament?"
08:51 In 2006 which was a while ago, a known Atheist... the author,
08:56 Richard Dawkins published a book entitled, "The God Delusion"
09:02 and I've got a slide for you.
09:03 In that book, he made the following reference,
09:05 and I'll step aside so you can see it,
09:07 hopefully, it's coming, if not, I'll read it to you.
09:10 "The God of the Old Testament" you got it,
09:14 "The God of the Old Testament
09:15 is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction... "
09:20 let just that sink in
09:22 and I'm sorry that I have to go through some of these words,
09:23 I don't feel comfortable
09:25 but I just want to paint a picture
09:26 of what people think of God
09:28 and His actions in the Old Testament.
09:30 "He is jealous and proud of it;
09:32 a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak;
09:35 vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser... "
09:38 and I don't feel comfortable continuing.
09:41 I... I'll leave the passage there
09:43 for you to have an understanding of Richard's opinion
09:47 of God's actions in the Old Testament.
09:52 Is this the type of God
09:53 you'd like to have a relationship with?
09:55 Is this the type of God
09:58 you'd like to introduce your children to?
10:02 A year later... 2007...
10:05 another world-renowned Atheist author, Christopher Hitchens,
10:10 he made... he wrote a book entitled,
10:13 "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"
10:18 and in that, if we can have the next slide,
10:22 Christopher Hitchens made the following remark
10:25 about God in the Old Testament.
10:27 "He's violent, irrational, intolerant,
10:28 allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry,
10:31 invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry,
10:34 contemptuous of women and coercive towards children:
10:37 organized religion ought to have a great deal
10:40 on its conscience. "
10:42 And some of this diet is being fed in schools and universities
10:46 and no wonder, we are experiencing a massive exodus
10:49 of young people and young adults leaving the church
10:53 because we don't understand God.
10:56 I don't think we can fully understand everything about Him
10:59 because that's what makes Him God...
11:00 but I believe... God is willing to reveal Himself to us
11:06 and that's what we will be attempting to do here
11:09 tonight by God's grace
11:10 and before we go any further I'd like to pray
11:14 not only for myself but I'd like to pray for you
11:17 that you may stay awake after this dinner
11:19 and that we will be blessed together
11:22 and that, at the end, we will be able to say,
11:25 "God has been in our midst. "
11:26 So, let's bow our heads together.
11:28 "Father, we pray that this time will be only about You,
11:32 may You hide me behind Your cross,
11:35 anoint my thoughts and on my lips
11:37 and may the words I proclaim come straight from You.
11:40 Father, may You convict us,
11:43 may You bring forgiveness into our lives
11:46 and may You renew us through the power of the Holy Spirit,
11:48 we ask in Jesus' name, amen. "
11:50 If we are honest with ourselves and we think of our journey
11:58 sometimes when we read the Bible...
12:00 when we read the Scripture,
12:02 which is the Old Testament...
12:03 sorry, which is the New Testament
12:05 over the Old Testament.
12:06 because we read about Jesus, we read about the apostles,
12:09 we read about the miracles, like the story where...
12:12 where Jesus writes things on the sand
12:14 and, you know, the lady is forgiven...
12:16 and these are great...
12:17 but what about the Old Testament stories?
12:19 If we're honest with ourselves
12:22 sometimes, we're actually struggling
12:23 and we avoid them
12:25 and new Christians...
12:28 they struggle to make sense of all these things
12:30 and it's not easy
12:32 but with God, all things are possible.
12:35 so, the question is, "How can we know God
12:38 from His works in the Old Testament?
12:40 I like to address a question back to these two authors,
12:46 Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens
12:48 and the accusations they have made.
12:50 How is it possible to accuse God of being evil
12:54 when Atheism based on Evolution does not have a standard
13:01 for what is good or right?
13:03 Sorry... for what is good or bad.
13:06 Because Morality...
13:07 to say that God is unjust and immoral,
13:09 you need to have a standard for morality
13:12 and the only standard that Society has created for morality
13:15 is based upon this Holy Scriptures.
13:17 A Christian author by the name of Paul Copan
13:21 that spends a lot of time in the Old Testament...
13:24 understanding God's actions in the Old Testament...
13:26 wrote this about Dawkins' accusations
13:29 addressed against God
13:30 and He said... if we can have the next slide,
13:31 "Despite Dawkins' moral outrage, his metaphysics disallows it,
13:37 admitting that a universe full of electrons
13:40 contains 'no evil and no good... '"
13:43 so Richard Dawkins himself says,
13:45 "Because of the universe in which we live in... "
13:47 and based on their belief that everything has evolved...
13:50 "there is no evil and no good,
13:52 nothing but blind pitiless indifference. '
13:57 Indeed, science 'has no method for deciding what is ethical. '"
14:03 So, on one hand, they have the ability...
14:05 the authority to say that this world does not give us
14:09 the tools to say what is good and what is bad
14:12 and on the other hand, they accuse God as being unjust.
14:17 So, how can we make sense of these principles,
14:19 how can we make sense of these accusations.
14:22 First of all, I believe that you and I have to be very humble
14:26 as we approach those stories in the Old Testament
14:30 because God's wisdom transcends our understanding.
14:34 We are told in the Bible that His ways are not our ways
14:40 and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
14:44 So while we may not understand everything about what God did,
14:49 I believe there are some principles
14:51 that if we humbly incorporate them into our teaching
14:55 and living and preaching,
14:57 they can give us a bit of direction.
14:58 Tonight we're going to look at two major stories...
15:00 both of them found in... in Samuel
15:03 but before we jump into these stories,
15:06 I would like to share with you four principles...
15:08 they are very short... I'll run quickly through them...
15:11 this is not...
15:13 they don't contain the whole truth
15:16 but it creates a starting point for you and for me
15:19 as we seek to understand God's works in the Old Testament
15:23 in getting to know Him.
15:24 Principle number one,
15:26 if we can have that on the screen,
15:27 1. Jesus is the perfect revelation of God.
15:32 Jesus is the perfect revelation of God.
15:37 So, what I'm saying is this,
15:39 when you're struggling with a story...
15:41 when you're struggling with a passage in the Old Testament,
15:43 leave that passage for a second and think of
15:47 Jesus. Why do I say that?
15:49 Because there's a passage that we have and I'll put on the
15:52 screen for you... in Hebrews, Chapter 1, verses 1 to 3
15:55 and it says, "God, who at various times
15:57 and in various ways spoke in time past
16:00 to the fathers by the prophets,
16:02 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,
16:08 Who being the brightness of His glory
16:11 and the express image of His... "
16:13 so, Jesus Christ is the express image of the Father,
16:18 no wonder Jesus said to His disciples,
16:20 "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. "
16:23 The reason why I'm bringing this verse here is...
16:26 is for this reason,
16:28 Jesus never distanced Himself
16:32 from the God of the Old Testament
16:34 or the teachings of the Old Testament
16:37 and this is a very important principle for us to understand.
16:40 Therefore, every single time we look at the Old Testament
16:43 stories that are a bit challenging,
16:44 we're going to see some of them tonight,
16:46 we need to put on some lenses... some glasses...
16:49 we need to look at them
16:51 from the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ
16:54 that we may understand it
16:55 and I call these lenses, "The Redemptive Lenses"
16:59 that whenever we find a story that is challenging,
17:02 we put on the redemptive lenses...
17:04 that we look at them through the life and sacrifice
17:07 of Jesus Christ.
17:09 Principle number two,
17:10 this is a bit broad but I want to mention it
17:13 is... people say the Old Testament...
17:15 it's shocking...
17:17 I'd like to suggest to you that the New Testament
17:20 also contains challenging passages as well,
17:23 it's not just the Old Testament.
17:25 Just to mention a couple... Ananias and Sapphira...
17:29 the only thing they did is they lied.
17:31 When was the last time when you lied?
17:34 Praise God you're still alive.
17:36 praise God I'm still alive...
17:41 they lied and... bang...
17:43 they were taken out.
17:46 Read the book of Revelation,
17:47 the wrath of God is not mixed with mercy.
17:50 You've got the Lake of Fire where Satan... the demons...
17:54 and the wicked are destroyed
17:55 and their smoke ascends into heaven forever and ever.
18:00 What I'm saying is, there's a common thread
18:04 between the Testaments.
18:05 You cannot separate them.
18:07 Is it easy to understand them?
18:09 Not really.
18:10 But that shouldn't stop us from knowing
18:12 or from attempting to know God
18:14 because this is eternal life.
18:17 Principle number three,
18:19 God acts like a surgeon.
18:21 Any surgeons? Any surgeons here?
18:25 I believe that God acts like a surgeon in the context that
18:32 He removes the infected part in order to save the body.
18:39 Sadly, people have experienced amputations.
18:43 For what purpose?
18:47 To stay alive
18:48 and there have been times in the Old Testament
18:50 when God has intervened as a surgeon
18:53 to remove an infected part
18:55 in order to save what was left.
18:58 Both Testaments... they proclaim this message
19:03 that God loves the sinner and hates the sin
19:07 and most of the times we emphasize it...
19:10 yeah, that God loves the sinner
19:11 and that is great... because He does...
19:13 that's the truth... that's the gospel
19:14 but we shouldn't ignore the fact
19:17 that God actually hates sin...
19:20 and I believe He hates it with passion.
19:26 Because it is sin the one that brought separation
19:28 between us and him
19:29 it's because of sin that we experience death
19:31 and pain and suffering and cancer
19:33 and... and abuse...
19:34 and God hates it
19:36 and He wants to deal with it,
19:38 therefore, He acts as a surgeon
19:40 in human history.
19:42 God is the One that knows everything about everyone.
19:46 He knows the beginning... sorry... no...
19:48 He knows the end from the beginning,
19:50 therefore, He has the moral right
19:52 to intervene in human history
19:54 and act according to His wisdom
19:57 and last principle, number four,
19:59 Place every story in the context of the Great Controversy.
20:08 Place everything in the context of the great controversy.
20:11 Sometimes we think of the battles between the Israelites
20:15 and other nations... with all the Canaanites and Hittites
20:19 and Philistines and all these...
20:20 and we think they're just battles between two countries
20:23 or two nations...
20:24 my friends in reality they were battles between two powers...
20:29 it was a battle between God
20:31 and it was a battle between God and Satan.
20:34 And I want to create a foundation for my point
20:38 to sustain what I'm saying here,
20:39 I want to take you through a small journey
20:41 of three Bible passages in which I'm trying to build up a case.
20:44 We can have the first passage that comes from
20:46 Genesis chapter 22 on the screen.
20:49 "God said to Abraham,
20:50 'In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
20:54 because you have obeyed my voice. '"
20:56 Here we have... out of all the nations,
20:58 God selected Abraham
21:00 and He said, "In your seed... " singular...
21:03 "all the nations of the earth shall be blessed... "
21:05 in other words, He's saying, "Out of Abraham,
21:08 the Savior for humanity is going to come... "
21:10 the One that is going to solve the problem of sin
21:12 for those in North America... welcome guys here...
21:15 South America...
21:16 Asia, Africa, Europe, all over the world...
21:20 that Savior is going to come from Abraham...
21:22 either you like it or not it doesn't matter.
21:25 It's from Abraham... it's His seed.
21:27 Paul in the book of Galatians... next slide...
21:30 tells us... Galatians 3:16,
21:32 "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made
21:35 and He does not say, 'And to seeds,'
21:37 as of many, but as of one,
21:40 'And to your seed,' who is Christ. "
21:44 So what was the prophecy about give to Abraham?
21:47 Christ will come out of Abraham, in other words,
21:50 "Christ was going to be a descendant of Abraham...
21:52 salvation was going to come from the Jews. "
21:56 While God was interested in the Chinese and those in Mongolia
21:59 and the Aztecs and people... Indians in America
22:02 and Aborigines here and all of the place...
22:05 He had His focus on one particular group
22:08 and that group were the Israelites
22:11 because of the promise made to Abraham
22:14 and Jesus was very unapologetically about it.
22:18 In John chapter 4 verse 22,
22:20 when He was talking to the woman at the well,
22:23 the Samaritan woman... Jesus said to her,
22:25 "You worship what you do not know... "
22:27 that's not an easy statement.
22:29 He wasn't encouraging her,
22:32 He wasn't necessarily being friendly,
22:33 He was like, telling the truth.
22:35 "You worship what you do not know... "
22:38 "we... " referring to the Jews...
22:41 "we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. "
22:47 Have you ever wondered why we have so many prophecies
22:53 with countries like Babylon and Persia and Greece and Rome,
22:57 but there's no specific prophecy about the kingdom of the Mongols
23:01 or the Chinese... why?
23:05 Because every single nation that appears in Bible prophecy
23:09 had something to do with the Israelites.
23:12 It was about God's people
23:14 and what He's saying here is salvation was going to come
23:17 through the Jews' Messiah...
23:18 it was going to come through the Jews.
23:21 Now, Thursday night, Pastor John used an expression
23:25 and He said, "If I were the devil... "
23:28 and he said, "I'm not... "
23:29 tonight I'll flip it and I'll say,
23:32 "If you were the devil... " and you're not...
23:35 Audience: Laughter.
23:37 "what would you try to do if you knew
23:41 that the solution to sin
23:43 and the solution for every single country in the world
23:47 was going to come from the Jews. "
23:48 If you were the devil... what would you do?
23:54 You would do your best to distract...
23:59 deceive and destroy the Israelites
24:03 hoping that by doing that,
24:05 you'll bring that promise to an end
24:08 and therefore, Planet Earth will be lost forever.
24:15 That's why, every single battle we have in the Old Testament...
24:19 every single conflict that we have there...
24:21 it's not just a conflict between Israelites and other nations,
24:24 there's a battle between Satan
24:26 who's trying to bring this promise to an end
24:30 by distracting, deceiving and destroying
24:34 and at the same time, you've got God
24:37 fighting to make sure that the Jews will last long enough
24:42 for the promise to become a reality.
24:45 therefore, every single action...
24:48 every single thing that God did in the Old Testament
24:52 had only one purpose in mind
24:54 and that was to bring this prophecy to fulfillment
24:57 that you and I may have the opportunity to be saved, amen.
25:02 All right, we got this done,
25:05 this... this whole idea is mentioned in the New Testament,
25:08 Revelation 12 verse 4, it says,
25:11 "... And the dragon stood before the woman
25:13 who was ready to give birth,
25:14 to devour her Child as soon as it was born. "
25:17 So we've got this whole process of Satan
25:19 trying to stop the prophecy from being fulfilled
25:23 and God making sure
25:25 that the prophecy was going to actually take place.
25:27 And I'll take you with me on a journey,
25:30 if you have your Bibles, 1st Samuel chapter 15
25:34 and this is where we sort of begin our in-depth study,
25:37 1st Samuel chapter 15 verses 1 to 3,
25:40 there are many passages that you find in the Old Testament
25:44 that can be challenging at times
25:45 this is one of my favorite,
25:48 1st Samuel 15 verses 1 to 3,
25:50 it really throws a spin on how God works
25:55 and we may not understand everything about Him
25:58 but it's just amazing what happens here,
26:01 1st Samuel 15 verses 1 to 3,
26:03 it says, "Samuel said to Saul... "
26:06 we're talking here about King Saul...
26:08 first king in Israel,
26:10 The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people... "
26:14 so the prophet is reminding Saul,
26:16 "Hey, you are here because God appointed you... "
26:19 in other words saying, "You better be prepared
26:23 to do what God is asking you to do. "
26:25 "Therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD."
26:31 Verse 2, "Thus says the LORD of hosts,
26:33 I will punish Amalek for what it did to Israel,
26:37 how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. "
26:41 And verse 3... that is like the pinnacle of this conversation,
26:45 and it's sort of the time when people turned away
26:49 and closed their eyes
26:50 and like, "Did it really happen?"
26:52 "Now go and attack Amalek,
26:54 and utterly destroy all that they have;
27:00 and do not spare them... "
27:03 and it says, "Kill both men and women,
27:09 infant and nursing child,
27:14 ox and sheep, camel and donkey. "
27:17 My question for you tonight is,
27:20 "How can we know God from this passage?"
27:23 "And this is eternal life, that we may know God. "
27:28 How can we know Him from this particular verse?
27:34 A God that orders the destruction of the entire nation
27:38 including infants... children that haven't really developed,
27:44 and kill all the animals
27:47 and destroy everything else around...
27:51 don't you find that a bit like, "Eh... "
27:57 we're trying to understand God through His works
28:00 in the Old Testament.
28:01 First of all, the destruction of the Amalek did not come
28:06 as an idea created by Saul and that's very important
28:10 it wasn't his initiative, it was God's.
28:14 Secondly, and that is in verse 2,
28:18 "I will punish Amalek
28:20 for what he did to Israel. "
28:22 This is God speaking,
28:23 "I will punish Amalek for what he did to My children. "
28:25 What happened?
28:26 This verse is actually referring to a prophecy that was authored
28:32 five hundred years before this event took place
28:36 and we got a passage on the screen...
28:39 Deuteronomy 25 verses 17 to 19,
28:43 and this is what it says, "Remember... "
28:44 this is God speaking to the leaders of Israel,
28:47 "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way
28:49 as you were coming out of Egypt,
28:51 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks,
28:55 all the stragglers at your rear,
28:57 when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.
29:01 Therefore it shall be,
29:03 when the Lord your God has given you rest...
29:05 that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek
29:08 from under Heaven.
29:09 You shall not forget. "
29:12 500 years before Saul was asked to do this,
29:14 the prophecy was given by God.
29:16 So, what was happening?
29:18 First of all, we need to understand that Amalek...
29:19 they were relatives of the Israelites,
29:21 they were descendants of Esau
29:23 and all of a sudden,
29:25 you have relatives attacking the Israelites,
29:27 they were first ones to attack Israel
29:29 after they crossed the Red Sea.
29:30 So, what do we see here?
29:32 None other than Satan himself using a nation
29:35 to stop Israel from becoming the nation that God wants them to be
29:40 and from... from hindering the prophecy
29:42 about Jesus Christ being fulfilled
29:45 and God said, "I will eventually destroy them
29:49 but I will give them some grace. "
29:52 And God waited... not ten... not 50 years...
29:56 not a 100... not 250...
29:59 but waited 500 years.
30:02 So, the picture that I get from here is, "Do we know God?"
30:05 "Yes... we know God. "
30:07 And the message is, "God is a God of grace. "
30:12 And this time of grace is given for us to make up our mind
30:17 where we want to spend eternity.
30:21 more pause...
30:23 And God allowed them... generation after generation...
30:27 but the time came for them to be utterly destroyed
30:30 because even in the time of Saul... King Saul...
30:33 the Amalekites were used by Satan to be distracted...
30:38 deceived... and destroyed...
30:40 and God decided to act like a surgeon...
30:44 remove the infected part
30:46 in order to save the nation of Israel
30:49 and also, to make sure that He will bring about salvation
30:53 for you and for me today.
30:55 Place every single story
30:58 in the context of the Great Controversy.
31:01 The question is, "What happens?"
31:04 Sorry... I need to also mention
31:07 when God asked them to go and destroy everything,
31:11 that type of war is called, "Herem"
31:14 which is a holy war...
31:16 which means that everything is dedicated to God
31:20 and it came as a divine judgment,
31:23 the soldiers weren't allowed to benefit from that.
31:26 They weren't allowed to take any servants or any goods.
31:29 They were going to move forward... burn everything...
31:32 because it was God's judgment upon the nation
31:34 it was a battle between two Gods.
31:37 Verse 9, "Saul and the people spared.. "
31:40 so, they are told to destroy everything
31:43 and then verse 9 says, "Saul spared Agag,
31:46 and the best of the sheep, oxen, the fatlings, the lambs,
31:50 and all that was good,
31:52 and were unwilling to utterly destroy them:
31:59 but everything despised
32:02 and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. "
32:07 They kept what was good for themselves
32:10 and they gave to God the leftovers.
32:13 And as a result of this disobedience
32:16 and I can't dwell too much on this point...
32:17 as a result of this disobedience,
32:19 the throne was taken away from Saul
32:20 and from his family.
32:24 Fast forward through... through Israel's history,
32:27 I want you to think of the time of Queen Esther,
32:29 what was the name of the man
32:34 that tried to get rid of the Jews?
32:39 Like I said... was a verse on the screen
32:42 Esther chapter 3 verse 1, look at this,
32:46 "After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman,
32:50 the son of Hammedatha the Agagite,
32:55 and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes
32:57 who were with him. "
32:58 Do you know who was Haman?
33:00 He was an Amalekite.
33:01 One of those that survived from the conquest
33:06 where Saul was meant to destroy everything and everyone
33:08 and because God...
33:10 sorry... because Saul was not obedient,
33:12 the nation had to suffer again in the coming-up years
33:20 and this is the son of the Agagite...
33:23 it's placed intentionally because there's ongoing tension
33:26 between the Amalekites and the Israelites
33:28 and what I see here this ongoing...
33:30 Satan is very perseverant...
33:32 Israel comes out of Egypt, he seeks to destroy them...
33:35 he uses Amalek all throughout these journeys...
33:38 Saul is disobedient in his command...
33:40 and then he uses Haman...
33:41 but throughout all of this, God protects His children
33:46 because He wants to make sure
33:49 that salvation will be made available
33:52 to every nation under the sun.
33:54 Therefore, God acts like a surgeon
33:57 removing the infected part,
33:59 therefore, every single story
34:01 that we read in the Old Testament,
34:03 needs to be placed in the context
34:05 of the great controversy.
34:09 So, as we wrap up this story, I'd like to say to you,
34:16 God... can we know God from this?
34:19 I believe that we can
34:21 and the message that I get is this,
34:23 God is a warrior...
34:24 do you like that?
34:26 God is a warrior...
34:28 God is a warrior
34:30 but He's not a warrior against you and me,
34:33 He's a warrior against sin
34:35 and He fights with passion to stop it and to destroy it
34:40 in order to bring salvation for you and for me.
34:45 Therefore, every action of God...
34:49 every command that He authors
34:51 including the command to destroy everything
34:54 with the Amalekites is made
34:57 in order to restore the fallen humanity
35:00 and to bring salvation a step closer
35:03 to its final fulfillment.
35:05 This is how we can know God in the Old Testament.
35:12 But I want to take you to another story.
35:15 In 2nd Samuel chapter 6
35:19 and this is a story that I sort of struggled as a young man
35:23 because I just didn't get it.
35:24 I'm not saying that I do get it now
35:26 but... 2nd Samuel chapter 6
35:30 and we're going to read verse 3 first of all.
35:32 2nd Samuel chapter 6 verse 3.
35:37 I'll actually go through this quite quickly.
35:42 "They set the ark of God on a new cart,
35:46 and brought it out of the house of Abinadab
35:49 which was on the hill:
35:50 and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab,
35:53 drove the new cart.
35:55 Look down to verses 6 through 8,
35:58 when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor,
36:02 Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God,
36:06 took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. "
36:11 Wasn't he trying to help?
36:14 You know while he was trying to stop the ark
36:17 from falling to the ground and having it dishonored.
36:21 "But then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah;
36:24 and God struck him there for his error;
36:28 and he died there by the ark of God. "
36:30 Now, look at King David's reaction,
36:33 "And David became angry... " not because of Uzzah...
36:38 "he became angry because of the LORD's outbreak against Uzzah:
36:42 and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. "
36:47 What do you think of this passage?
36:49 What is this passage telling you about God?
36:51 I mean, he was trying to help
36:53 and this is how He pays you back?
36:57 Isn't that what it reads on the surface?
37:00 And I struggled... I mean, this guy was trying to help,
37:04 he was trying to do the right thing,
37:05 why would God react in such a way?
37:07 How can we know God from His works in the Old Testament?
37:10 What can we know about Him?
37:13 Doesn't it seem to be a bit unfair?
37:15 I want to tell you that a careful study
37:19 would reveal something amazing about this story.
37:22 The death of Uzzah is actually the last
37:25 of three Old Testament stories
37:28 about those who desecrated the Ark of the Covenant
37:32 and were slain by God.
37:34 So, the story of Uzzah is part of three Old Testament stories
37:40 about those who desecrated the ark
37:43 and suffered as a result of that
37:45 and every single story leads to the other...
37:48 it actually builds on top of another,
37:50 so, we need to go back
37:51 about 85 years prior to this event
37:54 that took place in Uzzah's life.
37:58 First story... we're not going to read,
38:00 I'm going to tell you the summary,
38:01 you can check at home,
38:03 1st Samuel chapter 4,
38:04 it is a story when the Israelites
38:06 fight against the Philistines,
38:07 the Israelites were losing and they make a decision
38:10 to bring something into the camp.
38:11 What did they bring?
38:13 They bring the Ark of the Covenant...
38:15 they say, "If the Ark comes, we're going to be victorious. "
38:17 The Ark comes... they lose...
38:19 the Ark gets captured by the Philistines.
38:22 Isn't it amazing... it fascinates me...
38:25 that here we have these... these pagans
38:28 touching and handling the Ark...
38:33 are you hearing me?
38:35 They snatch it from the Jews
38:38 and they put it on their own cart
38:40 but God is not there to strike them dead
38:43 but He strikes the fellow that is trying to help.
38:49 Are you with me?
38:51 What is this revealing to us about God?
38:56 Someone said, "Mercy. "
38:59 Indeed, for the Philistines, it was the "sin of ignorance. "
39:03 They did not know how to handle the Ark
39:06 and God in His wisdom and mercy,
39:09 He said, "I'm going to take them on a journey...
39:12 I'm going to gradually reveal myself to them
39:15 because they don't have a clue of who I am. "
39:18 And this brings me so much hope
39:21 and this tells me so much about God in the Old Testament
39:24 that when you think of nations around the world,
39:26 He takes every single one on a journey.
39:29 You and I don't have to be at the same level
39:31 in order for us to be in heaven.
39:33 Did you know that?
39:37 some of the things that I consider to be wrong today,
39:39 I did not consider them to be wrong ten years ago
39:42 and I'm not necessarily proud of that,
39:44 I'm just stating as a fact
39:46 because we grow and we mature in our relationship with God
39:49 and God was very intentional here,
39:51 because He wanted to take the Philistines on a journey
39:54 so, do you have a family member that doesn't walk with God?
39:58 Don't expect them to believe...
40:00 to accept everything that you have
40:02 because God is taking them gradually.
40:05 They bring the Ark of the Covenant
40:07 into the temple of Dagon...
40:09 this fellow was half man... half fish... a statue...
40:12 they placed the Ark there,
40:14 in the morning... none in the city is affected
40:18 however, the idol is face to the ground,
40:21 first step, God is revealing saying,
40:23 "I've got power over your idol. "
40:26 The following morning, the idol is down again,
40:29 no one is affected in the city,
40:30 but the idol has the head chopped and the hands cut off.
40:34 What is God doing?
40:36 Gradually revealing Himself...
40:39 and then eventually He brings boils
40:41 and these guys are starting to hurt
40:42 and say, "We need to move the Ark... "
40:44 and they move it to another town
40:45 and everyone is in pain
40:46 and they push it from one to another
40:48 when in rebellion they end up dying,
40:50 they say, "We need to send it away. "
40:54 What is this telling me about God?
40:55 He takes people on a journey and He has patience
40:58 with those who have no clue about Him
41:01 and I believe we can learn a lot about God
41:03 through His works in the Old Testament.
41:08 so this is the first story
41:09 but what's sad is that the second story
41:11 take place in 1st Samuel chapter 6.
41:13 The Ark... I'm just cutting it short, guys,
41:16 the Ark is sent away from the Philistines...
41:18 God leads the cart
41:19 and it arrives in a town called Bethshemesh...
41:22 how many of you know what happened in Bethshemesh?
41:27 A number of you...
41:29 Bethshemesh... let me just remind you...
41:30 this is an Israelite town, all right.
41:33 This is an Israelite town.
41:34 These people in Bethshemesh... they see the miracle
41:38 of the cart returning with the Ark of the Covenant,
41:41 all by itself,
41:43 and they gather around that cart...
41:46 they remove whatever it had there,
41:49 and do you know what these guys did?
41:51 They look inside...
41:56 and God does not take them on a gradual journey.
42:05 because on that moment, God struck dead... 50,000 people
42:11 in Bethshemesh...
42:13 an Israelite town...
42:16 on that very moment.
42:19 I don't know, it seems to me on the surface
42:22 that God had more patience with the Philistines...
42:24 these heathens than with His own children.
42:31 Can we understand something about God's character
42:34 in this particular story?
42:37 I believe God is inviting us...
42:39 God is expecting us to live the truth
42:44 that has been given to us.
42:48 The Israelites were given more,
42:50 therefore, they were expected to know more.
42:57 They knew better...
42:58 they knew that only the High Priest
43:00 would be able to stand before the Ark
43:02 and that'll be once a year in the Most Holy
43:05 and yet they disregarded the very instructions of God
43:11 and sometimes God acts because He knows everything
43:15 about everyone...
43:16 He knows the end from the beginning
43:17 and as a cosmic surgeon, He intervenes and He acts.
43:22 This is story number two
43:24 and this leads us to story number three
43:28 and that is the story of Uzzah
43:30 and we read that story.
43:33 So, what was wrong about Uzzah?
43:35 You know, David was excited,
43:37 he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem,
43:41 more pause...
43:44 but they left something out of that.
43:46 The Bible tells us... they placed the Ark of the Covenant
43:53 on a new cart...
43:55 was that the way in which the Ark of the Covenant
43:58 was meant to be transported?
44:01 No... we know that...
44:04 they knew that
44:06 however, instead of having it carried
44:10 on shoulders by the priest,
44:12 and that is the sons of Kohath no one else...
44:16 the sons of Kohath were chosen for this purpose.
44:20 They decided to put it on a cart, why?
44:23 Why a cart?
44:27 why a cart?
44:28 Because that's what the Philistines did
44:34 and instead of listening to God's instructions,
44:39 they copied the pattern of the world
44:44 and... and my question
44:47 as a leader in the church and for all of us,
44:50 are we tempted at times to copy the pattern of the world
44:57 instead of following the instructions of God?
45:03 Maybe David and the rest thought it's going to quicker
45:05 to put it on a cart and drag it along...
45:09 I'll tell you what...
45:11 we're going to fail every single time
45:12 when we try to copy the pattern of the world
45:15 instead of following the instructions of God.
45:19 more pause.
45:21 The Bible tells us that God elected the sons of Kohath
45:24 as the only ones to be allowed to transport the Ark
45:27 on their shoulders
45:29 but if you read carefully, Uzzah,
45:30 he wasn't a son of Kohath, he was the son of Abinadab
45:34 and they were never instructed
45:37 to carry the Ark of the Covenant.
45:41 Disregarding the Lord's instructions,
45:44 Uzzah placed himself where he should not have been
45:49 and he did what he should not have done
45:53 and the culmination of this disobedience...
45:57 he touched the Ark and he died.
46:02 Why did Uzzah do such a thing?
46:07 Maybe important for you to know that his father
46:10 had the Ark of the Covenant for 20 years in his house.
46:14 Now, what happens when you have something
46:16 for 20 years in your house?
46:20 You know, when you buy a new car,
46:22 you're going to vacuum that car every day.
46:23 You're going to wash it,
46:25 you're going to look for scratches and marks?
46:26 Twenty years later, there's a bomb.
46:29 Audience: Laughter.
46:33 Having the Ark of the Covenant in your house for 20 years...
46:36 we might suspect that Uzzah started to lose
46:41 the sacredness of the Ark.
46:46 "As that has been here, of course I can carry it...
46:48 it doesn't matter...
46:49 it's not going to make a difference,
46:53 and what I... I believe what God was trying to do here,
46:58 God was trying to help Israel regain a sense of His greatness
47:01 and holiness
47:03 and I'm going to get to this word later on... "Holiness"
47:06 before I finish tonight.
47:11 Look at verse 11
47:13 if you want to check with me in 2nd Samuel chapter 6 verse 11.
47:21 Uzzah died... David was angry
47:24 verse 11 tells us what happens next.
47:26 "The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obededom
47:31 the Gittite three months:
47:34 and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household. "
47:40 Pause... how come he didn't die?
47:46 When the presence of the Lord is taken seriously...
47:50 when He is invited in your life, in your house... in your church,
47:55 and you regard Him as a Holy God,
47:58 He ends up blessing you
48:01 because that's what He seeks to do anyway,
48:04 He ends up blessing you.
48:06 So here's my point, maybe from time to time,
48:11 we need to be reminded that God is holy.
48:16 Have you heard of that word before?
48:19 Jesus Himself says, "Be holy...
48:21 as our Father in heaven is holy. "
48:23 Be holy...
48:26 if there is any principle that the world has lost
48:30 in its view of God, it's His holiness.
48:35 Churches around the world are happy to proclaim a God
48:42 that is happy and friendly and welcoming
48:45 and there's nothing wrong with that
48:48 because He is... God is happy...
48:49 God is friendly and God is welcoming.
48:51 But in addition to all of this or above all of this,
48:55 God is also a holy God my church,
48:58 God is a holy God.
49:00 No wonder in the book of Isaiah we have the angels
49:04 that cover their faces with a pair of their wings
49:08 and cover their feet with the other pair
49:11 and they sing, "Holy, holy, holy... "
49:14 and here we have this being that has never experienced sin,
49:19 the angels in heaven
49:21 covering their faces and singing holy, holy
49:24 and you and I have the temptation
49:26 of forgetting the fact that God is indeed holy
49:30 and through this story, God is reminding us
49:33 that He is holy...
49:35 and He wants to create that holiness
49:39 in your heart too
49:40 because He wants us to be just like Him.
49:44 The message of the Bible is, "Come as you are... "
49:51 but I would fail and the church would fail,
49:54 it would proclaim a message like, "Stay as you are... "
50:02 because God has called you out of darkness
50:04 into His marvelous light that you may be like Him
50:09 and that is the message of God's character in the Old Testament.
50:14 So, here we have a God that seeks to remodel us
50:16 back into His image.
50:18 At creation, He used His breath to bring life
50:22 and now He uses His Holy Spirit to recreate us
50:27 back into His image
50:28 to make us new and to be a new creation.
50:34 God is not only into destroying, He's also into blessing.
50:36 Why do I say that?
50:38 He blessed Obededom's house
50:41 and you know what's funny?
50:44 David learned his lesson... King David learned his lesson.
50:48 Look what it says in verses 12 and 13,
50:52 "Now it was told King David saying,
50:55 The LORD has blessed the house of Obededom,
50:58 and all that belongs to him because of the ark of God. "
51:00 And he looks on... David becomes a bit envious,
51:03 "Oh, God is blessing that fellow,
51:05 I would like Him to bless me too... "
51:08 and God is willing to bless you too my friend,
51:11 He's just waiting to be invited in your life...
51:15 in your family... in your church...
51:17 God is in the business of blessing people
51:21 to bring a redemption
51:22 and look what David does,
51:24 "David went out and brought up the ark of God
51:26 from the house of Obededom to the city of David
51:29 with gladness. "
51:30 So, he was successful in his mission
51:32 of transporting the ark.
51:34 but Verse 13 tells us how he did it
51:37 because he finally got the message and he obeyed,
51:40 he no longer followed the pattern of the world
51:43 but rather, followed God's instructions
51:46 because that's when... when we do that,
51:49 we are filled with His blessings.
51:52 Verse 13, "And so it was when the house... "
51:55 sorry, "And so it was
51:57 when those bearing the ark of the Lord
51:59 had gone six paces... "
52:02 Do you know what this means?
52:04 This fellow... we're walking now,
52:07 the ark was no longer on a cart,
52:10 it was no longer pulled by oxen,
52:13 they were no longer following the pattern of the world
52:16 and copying whatever was happening around them,
52:19 they decided to do what God asked them to do
52:21 and these guys with these six steps
52:24 and they would stop on the seventh... why?
52:28 It represented the Sabbath rest
52:32 and they did that for 17 kilometers
52:38 because you get burned only once, eh,
52:40 didn't learn the lesson...
52:44 and God blessed David
52:47 and the ark made it to Jerusalem
52:49 because God knows that when we follow His instructions,
52:53 we are blessed... and those around us are being blessed.
52:56 From the Philistines... as we finish this evening,
53:00 from the Philistines in our first story,
53:02 we learn about the Lord's patience
53:06 with those who are ignorant of His Laws.
53:08 The Lord is patient.
53:11 I would like you to carry that in your heart.
53:13 If you're praying for someone that
53:15 is not walking with the Lord,
53:16 I'd like you to have hope
53:18 and understand that the Lord is patient
53:21 and we don't have to be at the same level
53:24 in order to make it into heaven,
53:25 we just need to live according to the light
53:27 that has been revealed to us in a personal way.
53:31 From the people of Bethshemesh, sadly,
53:34 we learn the importance of reverencing what is sacred
53:39 because God is holy
53:42 and we have...
53:44 we're facing the risk of forgetting that
53:47 and finally, from the death of Uzzah,
53:49 we learn that good motivations do not rationalize disobedience.
53:55 Good motivations do not rationalize disobedience.
54:02 So, what is the end of all of this?
54:04 I'd like to read to you from Romans...
54:06 if we can have this verse on the screen,
54:07 Romans 15 verse 4,
54:09 and it says this,
54:11 the Apostle Paul talking about the stories
54:14 in the Old Testament.
54:15 "For whatever things were written for our learning... "
54:19 all these stories... crazy stories
54:22 that we may not make sense of every single one of them,
54:27 "that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures
54:31 might have hope. "
54:35 That is the whole purpose of these stories.
54:38 Why do I say that?
54:40 Because God did not allow Satan
54:42 to destroy the nation of Israel,
54:44 He wanted to make sure that the promise of His Son
54:48 bringing salvation will become a reality.
54:51 We need to have hope that this same God
54:54 that began a wonderful work in you,
54:56 will finish it until the day Jesus will return.
55:01 In the same way that the house of Obededom was blessed,
55:04 not because they deserved it,
55:06 but because they were willing to accept a God
55:09 that was holy.
55:10 God wants us to embrace Him and He's holy...
55:13 When everyone else ran from a holy God,
55:17 the house of Obededom
55:19 were willing to welcome Him in their house.
55:21 So, my friends, here's the challenge.
55:24 When the majority of people are running away
55:27 from a holy God...
55:29 when the majority of people are running away
55:32 from a holy God,
55:33 accept Him...
55:35 accept Him... because He's seeking to bless you.
55:41 He's not in the business of destroying...
55:44 He's in the business of re-fashioning you
55:47 in to His likeness.
55:51 Jesus loves you just the way you are
55:54 but He refuses to leave you that way.
55:58 He wants you to be like Him.
56:02 So it is my prayer that as we continue to know God
56:06 through the works of the Old Testament,
56:08 we will allow Him to make us holy as He is holy.
56:15 Let us bow our heads in prayer,
56:17 "Father, even though Your ways are not our ways
56:22 and Your thoughts are not our thoughts,
56:24 we are grateful that we can have a little understanding
56:28 of Your actions in the Old Testament.
56:30 We want to thank You that You're a God of patience,
56:34 You're a God of mercy.
56:35 You're a God that seeks to reveal Himself to us,
56:38 but Lord, You're a God that so loves us
56:42 that You want us to be made into Your image,
56:44 so, tonight, we consecrate ourselves into Your hands.
56:48 Forgive us for where we have failed
56:50 and please Lord, bestow Your Holy Spirit upon us,
56:54 and as You've taken out of darkness into marvelous light,
56:58 may we go from here shining for you
57:01 and help us to be unashamed of our faith,
57:04 help us to be bold and courageous
57:06 and help us Lord, to accept You as a Holy God
57:09 into our lives and into our families
57:11 and especially, into our churches.
57:14 This is our prayer in Jesus' name, amen. "