Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190009B
00:01 So the text in Isaiah gives us a great insight as to
00:04 what went on in heaven and why we are in this
00:07 terrible mess that we're all in because of the awfulness of sin.
00:12 Let's continue in Isaiah 14:12-14.
00:17 It says, "O Lucifer, son of the morning.
00:18 How are you cut down to the ground,
00:21 that weakened the nations!"
00:22 God never meant for the nations to be weakened.
00:24 He never meant for death and sorrow, disease,
00:27 and all these things that we see everywhere, war and horrors.
00:32 "For you have said in your heart..."
00:34 Now that's interesting.
00:35 That's a very important point.
00:37 You see, God takes a risk when He makes
00:40 a human being or a free moral agent.
00:43 As I mentioned the other day, I used that little illustration
00:46 about your children being robots, would you
00:49 choose for them to be robots?
00:50 No. Because when they say, "I love you,"
00:52 you don't want to be listening to a computer.
00:55 No, you want your child to say that because
00:58 he really loves you.
01:01 So God takes a risk.
01:03 And He took a risk with Lucifer and all the angels.
01:05 He took a risk with all of us.
01:07 We have the power of choice, we can choose.
01:11 One person called this, the temptation from within.
01:14 Because you have the power to choose,
01:17 you can choose evil.
01:19 And Lucifer was not made a devil.
01:22 He was made a perfect, powerful, wonderful,
01:25 glorious being.
01:27 But because of his internal choices
01:29 and because yielding to that internal temptation,
01:32 he made a devil out of himself.
01:36 He destroyed himself.
01:38 That's why those sad words, "How are you fallen from heaven,
01:41 O Lucifer, son of the morning.
01:43 How are you cut down to the ground."
01:46 Because he said in his heart, the text says,
01:49 "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God."
01:52 Above the angels of God.
01:53 In other words, he wanted God's place.
01:58 Now a lot of people are not going to like me for this,
01:59 and that's okay, I love you just the same,
02:04 I know our world is filled with competition.
02:07 But heaven is not going to be filled with competition.
02:10 Heaven is going to be filled with cooperation.
02:14 It was the devil and his evil angels that invented
02:18 this competition.
02:19 You know, the board rooms of America and around the world,
02:22 they get, "What can we do to knock this one down
02:24 so we can put ourselves up?"
02:26 I know we live in that world.
02:29 But I'm looking forward to a heaven
02:31 where nobody is coveting anyone else,
02:39 no one wants to compete.
02:41 But Satan began to covet God's throne.
02:44 But he's a created being.
02:46 God is not created.
02:48 God always has been, always will be.
02:50 Satan couldn't say that.
02:51 He had a beginning. God has no beginning.
02:54 And God is love to His very core.
02:57 I'm glad that God never changes.
03:00 Because His love will never change.
03:02 His unselfish love.
03:04 So he says, "I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
03:07 on the sides of the north."
03:09 "I will be like," he says, "the Most High."
03:15 He wanted competition.
03:17 And so he went about it very cunningly
03:20 to get as many of the angels as he could get on his side.
03:23 And he had a very appealing line.
03:26 And I want to get down to what that line is.
03:28 You cannot run the universe without law.
03:33 Now I mentioned some of this before,
03:34 but I'm going to keep coming back to this theme.
03:36 Because I think our world doesn't understand it.
03:39 People think freedom is the ability to overthrow law.
03:42 Well yes, there are sometimes oppressive laws that man made.
03:45 But we're not talking about man's laws here.
03:47 We're talking about God's laws.
03:50 God created the universe.
03:52 And when I get to that subject on evolution,
03:54 I think I mentioned that earlier,
03:55 we're going to talk more about this.
03:57 But God runs the universe with finely tuned laws.
04:03 That's the way He makes it work.
04:05 That's the way life is possible.
04:08 Satan came up with another idea.
04:11 He says, "I don't believe that."
04:12 In other words, he didn't trust God.
04:15 He says, "No, I can get along.
04:17 I can live without obeying Your laws, God.
04:20 You know, we angels, we're pretty intelligent.
04:24 We can add and subtract, we know what's going on.
04:27 Why should we always have to be subject to Your laws?"
04:31 Now here comes the punch.
04:34 "No, we should be free. Free."
04:40 In other words, "In the name of freedom,
04:43 we want not to obey Your laws."
04:46 But those laws are essential to life.
04:50 Satan, nor the evil angels, are going to survive this.
04:54 They're all going to die.
04:56 Just like the whole human race is dying.
04:59 They're dying because they're ignoring the good, gracious,
05:04 essential laws of God.
05:07 So when God made the Ten Commandments,
05:09 He didn't sit up there and say, "Well, I kind of like this one.
05:11 Well, I kind of like..." No, no.
05:12 They're all essential.
05:14 You can't do away with any of them.
05:17 If you break any of them, you're going to undermine life itself.
05:22 And by the way, there's no freedom,
05:25 there's no freedom in being dead.
05:29 Have you ever gone to a graveyard
05:31 and look at all the people that are buried there
05:34 and say, "Oh, don't these people have lots of freedom?"
05:36 No, they don't have any freedom.
05:39 Most of the people that went there
05:41 would rather not have gone there.
05:44 And most of us are trying to stay out of there
05:47 because we like freedom.
05:51 But death doesn't bring freedom.
05:54 And sin brings death.
05:58 Now I want to say this clearly,
06:01 because people have a hard time getting it.
06:04 You can't play around with sin,
06:07 the transgression of God's law, breaking His law.
06:11 Just like you can't, if you had the power to start
06:14 shoving the planets around, you'd destroy
06:16 life on earth very quickly.
06:18 Shove the moon around, you destroy life.
06:21 You can't play around with that kind of thing.
06:23 Because breaking the law of God is fatal.
06:29 It's always lethal.
06:32 It will always destroy.
06:36 And Satan believed his own lie.
06:40 And he sold it to a lot of the angels,
06:43 that somehow they could have freedom,
06:47 they could be free by breaking God's law
06:51 and not being subject to His wisdom and His love.
06:55 God never does anything unless He does it in unselfish love.
07:01 So this is why Satan hates the woman, the church.
07:06 This woman, by the way.
07:08 This one that's dressed with the lights of the universe.
07:13 She's in harmony with the universe.
07:15 The rest of the universe.
07:17 Because Satan and his evil angels were kicked out of heaven
07:20 and he's making a huge problem down here for all of us.
07:24 But the Bible is very clear why he's angry.
07:27 And listen to it. Here it is in Revelation 12:17.
07:33 "And the dragon was enraged with the woman,
07:36 and he went to make war..."
07:39 There it is, just like he did in heaven.
07:42 "...went to make war with the rest of her offspring..."
07:46 In other words, we're talking about time.
07:49 This is not just a moment in time.
07:51 This is all of Christian history.
07:52 And this rest of her offspring, or remnant
07:55 as it's sometimes called, are those in the end of time,
07:59 in the time of the end, when the mark of the beast
08:02 and all of these great temptations are starting
08:06 to take their toll on humanity.
08:10 Here, this woman keeps the commandments of God
08:15 and has the testimony of Jesus.
08:17 There it is.
08:18 That's why he hates God's church.
08:20 He hates God's true church
08:23 because it keeps the commandments of God.
08:25 He hates every Christian who keeps the commandments of God.
08:29 He hates every Christian that has the testimony of Jesus.
08:34 By the way, the ark of the covenant was often called,
08:37 the ark of the testimony.
08:39 The Ten Commandments were often called, the testimony.
08:42 And Jesus here is also fulfilling
08:46 those Ten Commandments.
08:48 I'll talk about that in just a few moments, a little later.
08:50 But Jesus is really the Ten Commandments in living life.
08:57 They have the testimony of Jesus.
08:59 Yes, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
09:02 It's the Spirit through the prophets,
09:04 the Holy Spirit through the prophets
09:06 that teaches us what God's law is all about
09:10 and why it's good for us.
09:13 As you know, the psalmist would tell us how wonderful...
09:16 In fact, the longest psalm in the whole Bible,
09:18 the whole longest chapter in the Bible is a psalm all about
09:23 the law of God and why it brings life,
09:26 and why this testimony of God's character
09:30 is so important to all of us.
09:33 So how did we get into this mess?
09:36 Well, you know the story of the fall and the temptation.
09:40 And that's exactly what Satan went after Eve.
09:43 When she was standing there in front of that tree,
09:46 he says to her,
09:48 "Has God said you can't eat of the trees of the garden?"
09:51 "Oh no," she says.
09:52 "No, we can eat of all the trees of the garden except this one.
09:56 But the day we eat of that, we'll die."
09:59 And Satan cunningly says, "You won't die."
10:03 Contradicted God.
10:06 And then he says to her, "God knows..."
10:11 He cast doubt on God's love.
10:14 He cast doubt on God's goodness, on God's truth.
10:18 "God knows that in the day that you eat of it,
10:22 you'll be like Him."
10:26 That's what Satan wanted.
10:27 He wanted God's immortality. He wanted to be God.
10:32 And so he used the same temptation now to Eve.
10:36 He uses it externally.
10:39 And you know the story.
10:42 That's why we're all here.
10:44 She stands now in front of Adam, her hands filled with the fruit,
10:48 the forbidden fruit.
10:49 Adam is faced with a terrible decision.
10:52 Satan is now using Eve as his emissary.
10:55 You've got to be careful who you associate with.
10:58 You want to make sure that Satan doesn't use your friends
11:02 to influence you in the wrong way.
11:04 Even those you love.
11:06 And there is Eve, standing with the forbidden fruit,
11:10 in all of her beauty, in all of her loveliness.
11:12 Adam loves her.
11:14 But Adam has to make a choice.
11:16 Is he going to trust the God of heaven
11:21 who gave him Eve, or is he going to trust himself?
11:28 Who is he going to love the most,
11:30 the Giver or the gift?
11:36 Now we can understand a little better why Jesus said,
11:40 "If you love father or mother more than Me,
11:42 if you love husband or wife more than Me,
11:44 if you love children more than Me,
11:45 you're not worthy of Me."
11:47 It's not because Jesus was trying to be mean or arbitrary.
11:51 It's because He's the source of love.
11:54 The greatest security that anybody has,
11:58 that children have, or a husband has, or a wife has,
12:01 is if their parents or their spouse loves the Lord
12:05 more than they love them.
12:09 That gives them great security
12:12 for God's goodness in their life.
12:15 This war in heaven, this great controversy,
12:20 is about selfishness versus unselfish love.
12:26 That's why we had to have a Savior.
12:28 The Savior who is so full of unselfish love.
12:31 He came here, and He's the only one who has ever done it,
12:34 but He lived a life of unselfish love.
12:39 I mean, don't you think you can trust Him?
12:42 Don't you think you should trust your life to Him?
12:45 Why would you just want to practice a few of the pleasures
12:48 of unselfish love only to lose life eternal?
12:52 Not to speak of the challenges here.
12:55 I want to appeal to you.
12:56 That war is raging in every human being's heart.
12:59 Are you going to be selfish or unselfish?
13:02 With the power of the Lord Jesus, you can become
13:06 an unselfish person.
13:08 A person that moves from selfishness to unselfishness.
13:12 That war can be won in your heart.
13:15 It can be won in your heart because the Savior,
13:17 if He comes into your heart by faith, He wins.
13:22 He turns you into a being of unselfish love.