Law of Life and Death

The Bible's Two Mysteries

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: LLD

Program Code: LLD000001

00:37 Shall we bow our heads for prayer.
00:41 Father in heaven, thank You so much for the privilege
00:43 of being in Your house.
00:46 We thank You for Your holy Sabbath.
00:49 We thank You for the message which You have given
00:52 to Your church.
00:54 We ask, Father, that as we open Your holy Word this morning
00:57 that You will help us to handle it with reverence.
01:01 Open our minds and our hearts so that we might discern Your will,
01:06 and give us the power to make it a part of our lives.
01:10 And we thank You, Father, for hearing our prayer.
01:13 For we ask it in the precious name
01:16 of Your beloved Son, Jesus, amen.
01:22 The Bible mentions two great mysteries.
01:30 And the subject of our study for today is
01:35 the mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity,
01:42 and the principles which are involved in each one
01:45 of these mysteries.
01:48 Let's take a look at the first mystery;
01:52 the mystery of godliness.
01:55 We find this mystery described in 1 Timothy chapter 3
02:01 and verse 16.
02:03 So I invite you to go with me to 1 Timothy chapter 3
02:07 and verse 16.
02:10 And I want you to notice in this passage
02:13 that you have a clear distinction between
02:18 downward mobility and upward mobility.
02:23 You're going to see in a moment what I mean by
02:26 downward mobility and upward mobility.
02:30 1 Timothy 3 and verse 16.
02:34 There's a clear sequence of events in this specific
02:39 verse of Scripture.
02:42 The apostle Paul says this...
03:02 You see the downward mobility there?
03:04 "God was manifested in the flesh."
03:08 In other words, God came down.
03:12 And then you have the process of upward mobility.
03:16 He came down, and then notice the sequence.
03:23 That's a reference to the resurrection of Jesus.
03:26 If you notice 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 18,
03:31 He was made alive in the Spirit.
03:34 So you have the incarnation of Jesus,
03:37 "Justified in the Spirit" is His resurrection.
03:41 "Seen by angels" is a reference to His ascension.
03:47 "Preached among the Gentiles."
03:50 That's acts of the apostles.
03:53 "Believed on in the world."
03:55 That's the result of the apostolic preaching.
03:59 And then the last phrase says, "Received up in glory."
04:05 Or as most modern versions say, "Taken up in glory."
04:11 And I believe that's referring to the final glorification
04:16 of Jesus in heaven when He is crowned as King of kings
04:22 and Lord of lords upon His return to heaven
04:25 after His second coming.
04:28 So you have this downward mobility and upward mobility.
04:32 God was manifested in flesh, then He resurrected
04:36 justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, ascends.
04:40 And meanwhile, the gospel is preached in all of the world.
04:43 And then Jesus is taken up in glory.
04:48 He's glorified.
04:49 He came down and then He went up.
04:54 The mystery of iniquity is the other great mystery
04:57 which is mentioned in Scripture.
05:00 This mystery works in the opposite direction.
05:04 It is a mystery which works from down up.
05:09 In other words, you have first of all upward mobility
05:12 and then you have downward mobility.
05:16 Notice this mystery as it's described in 2 Thessalonians
05:19 chapter 2 and verses 3 and 4.
05:24 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and verses 3 and 4.
05:30 Here, the apostle Paul is speaking about the
05:33 spirit of the antichrist.
05:35 Which is the opposite of the mystery of godliness.
05:39 And it says there...
05:44 "That Day" is the Day of the coming of Jesus.
06:08 So you have the man of sin who "exalts himself
06:12 above all that is called God or that is worshiped..."
06:28 So you have this mere man who actually has this
06:32 upward mobility.
06:34 In other words, he wants to move up.
06:37 He exalts himself, according to this.
06:41 And by the way, this is called a mystery because
06:45 a little later on in this chapter, we find
06:48 the expression, "For the mystery of lawlessness
06:53 is already at work."
06:57 So you have one mystery where God, who is up here,
07:02 comes down and becomes flesh.
07:05 And then He moves up and He is finally glorified.
07:10 In this second mystery, you have one who is down here
07:14 who has upward mobility and wants to exalt himself
07:18 to the point of sitting in the temple of God.
07:21 And 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 says that he will be destroyed
07:26 by the breath of the mouth of God and by the brightness
07:30 of the coming of Jesus.
07:32 In other words, he will be cast down.
07:35 So you have these two mysteries that are
07:37 mentioned in holy Scripture.
07:39 The mystery of godliness where God comes down
07:42 and then He is exalted, He goes up.
07:44 You have on the other hand the mystery of iniquity
07:47 where one who is down here wants to move and occupy
07:51 the high position, and then he is thrown down
07:53 and destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Jesus.
08:00 The whole world is characterized mainly by the mystery
08:05 of iniquity.
08:07 There are very few individuals in this world
08:10 who have experienced in their lives the principles
08:15 of the mystery of godliness.
08:18 I'd like us to go back to the times of Jesus.
08:22 Please turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 23
08:27 and we're going to read verses 1 through 12.
08:31 You see, this mystery of iniquity
08:34 and this mystery of godliness are actually contagious.
08:40 And everyone in this world is grasped by either one
08:45 or the other of these mysteries.
08:47 And what I would like us to look at now is a group of individuals
08:51 in the days of Jesus who were controlled by the principles
08:56 of the mystery of iniquity.
09:00 Jesus here is presenting His woes against the scribes
09:05 and the Pharisees.
09:07 Verse 1...
09:20 That sounds very similar to 2 Thessalonians 2.
09:24 For it says that he would "sit in the temple of God."
09:27 By the way, Moses' seat was a sign of position, of power,
09:33 of prestige, of authority.
09:35 The Pharisees thought that this gave them authorization
09:38 to control the people and to dictate what the
09:40 people should believe.
09:43 Notice verse 3, "Therefore whatever they tell you
09:47 to observe, that observe and do..."
10:06 In other words, they want everybody to serve them,
10:08 but they want to serve no one.
10:12 But it gets worse.
10:13 Notice what we find in verse 5.
10:27 Phylacteries were kind of little boxes with pieces of parchment
10:32 with Scripture.
10:33 And they would actually paste these to their foreheads
10:36 to show how pious they were.
10:40 And so it says, "They make their phylacteries broad
10:43 and enlarge the borders of their garments..."
10:49 Do you see the upward mobility here?
11:06 And then Jesus says to His disciples...
11:26 It doesn't mean that we can't call our
11:28 earthly fathers, "father," and our teachers, "teacher."
11:31 What Jesus is saying is that we should not do this
11:34 in a prideful way.
11:37 That's the context.
11:39 "Oh, I'm a teacher." "I'm a Rabbi."
11:41 "I'm a doctor." "I'm your father."
11:45 What principle governed the minds of the
11:49 scribes and the Pharisees?
11:51 It was the principle of the mystery of iniquity.
11:54 In fact, notice what we find in verse 11.
11:58 Jesus is reaching the conclusion of the
12:00 first portion of His argument.
12:02 He says...
12:08 "God was manifested in flesh."
12:10 He's not asking for something that He didn't do before.
12:14 And then notice the conclusion in verse 12.
12:18 It says there...
12:25 Who does the exalting?
12:29 I do.
12:37 Who does the humbling?
12:41 I do the exalting.
12:43 Somebody else does the humbling because it's passive.
12:46 "...will be humbled..."
12:48 So if I exalt myself, someone else is going to what?
12:53 Humble me.
12:55 But then there's the other side of the equation.
12:57 The equation says, "...and he who humbles himself..."
13:01 Whose task is it to humble?
13:04 Ours.
13:05 Whoever humbles himself.
13:07 If you choose to humble yourself,
13:09 what's going to happen?
13:11 "...will be exalted."
13:13 Somebody else does the exalting.
13:16 Did you catch what Jesus is saying in this verse?
13:18 If I choose to exalt myself, someone else
13:22 is going to humble me.
13:23 If I choose to humble myself, someone else is going to what?
13:28 Is going to exalt me.
13:32 The two principles, the two mysteries that are spoken of
13:36 in Scripture are contained in this one short verse.
13:39 In fact, Ellen White tells us in Desire Of Ages that
13:42 the essence of the teachings of Jesus is, being emptied of self.
13:49 Now where did this idea of upward mobility take place?
13:57 Where was it established originally?
14:01 Go with me to Isaiah 14 verses 12 through 15.
14:04 I want you to remember the upward and downward mobility.
14:07 He who exalts himself will be humbled.
14:08 He who humbles himself will be exalted.
14:11 Now notice Isaiah 14 and verses 12 through 15.
14:16 This is speaking about the original rebel who established
14:20 the mystery of iniquity.
14:22 And I want you to notice the movement in these verses.
14:26 It says here...
14:32 What kind of mobility is that?
14:34 That's downward mobility, yes.
14:36 But was there upward mobility before the downward mobility?
14:39 Let's continue reading.
14:44 Did he fall from heaven on his own
14:46 like a ripe fruit from a tree?
14:49 No.
14:50 Was he cast out?
14:51 He sure was.
14:59 What kind of mobility is that?
15:01 "Cut down," downward movement.
15:08 Now why did this happen?
15:13 Now we're going to talk about the upward mobility
15:15 that came before the downward mobility.
15:24 What mobility is that? Upward.
15:51 North is up.
15:52 In other words, the highest point in heaven.
15:59 Do you see the upward mobility, the language that's used here?
16:14 I think this individual had a serious problem
16:17 with upward mobility.
16:20 I think his big problem was he had an eye disease, Earl.
16:27 It's called myopia.
16:29 He was nearsighted.
16:31 He could only see himself.
16:34 He wanted to go up.
16:36 And so God says, "Because you want to go up, you're fallen.
16:39 I cut you down."
16:40 He who exalts himself will be what? Humbled.
16:44 Notice the last part of this passage.
16:48 "Yet you shall be brought down to sheol."
16:56 That's the grave, by the way.
16:57 To the lowest depths of the pit.
17:00 "You wanted to occupy the highest place in heaven?
17:03 You're going to go to the lowest place in the pit."
17:06 He who exalts himself will be humbled.
17:13 Another description of this we find in Ezekiel 28.
17:16 The same being, he's called the covering cherub there
17:19 in Ezekiel chapter 28.
17:21 Let's go and read there verses 14 through 20 of Ezekiel 28.
17:28 You tell me if we have this same phenomenon
17:31 of the mystery of iniquity, one who wanted upward mobility.
17:34 And as a result had downward mobility.
17:38 It says there...
17:47 Your heart was what?
17:49 Lifted up.
17:51 What kind of mobility is that?
17:53 Upward.
17:59 Later on in this series, I'm going to preach a sermon titled,
18:02 The Four Sins of Pride.
18:06 Beauty is one of those dangers.
18:16 But because he was lifted up, notice what God says.
18:24 What kind of mobility is that?
18:26 Downward mobility.
18:43 What kind of mobility is that?
18:46 Definitely downward.
18:48 He became dust, he's going to become dust, in other words.
19:03 What does the mystery of iniquity do?
19:05 It destroys.
19:08 It ultimately disintegrates.
19:15 On the other hand, we have the other mystery.
19:18 The mystery of godliness.
19:21 Let's go to Philippians chapter 2
19:23 and verses 5 through 11.
19:25 And I want you to notice once again the upward and the
19:27 downward mobility in this passage.
19:29 Philippians chapter 2 and verses 5 through 11.
19:33 This is a very well known passage.
19:35 Many of you might have it almost memorized.
19:38 It says here...
19:47 What kind of mind do we need to have?
19:50 The mind of Lucifer or the mind of Jesus?
19:53 The mind of Jesus.
19:54 Now what was the mind of Jesus?
19:55 Notice...
19:59 Where was Jesus?
20:01 Way up there in the form of God.
20:08 And the New King James says, "Did not consider it robbery
20:11 to be equal with God."
20:12 The modern versions have a much better rendering of this,
20:16 "Did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped."
20:22 Or, "as something to be hung on to."
20:26 In other words, Jesus, even though He was God,
20:28 He did not hang on to His rights as God.
20:31 He did not demand His rights as God.
20:34 What did He do instead?
20:38 It says there, "But made," now notice this,
20:41 "made Himself..."
20:44 Who did it?
20:45 Did God say, "Jesus, You go down there and redeem those people."
20:51 No.
20:52 Even though Jesus could have stayed in heaven,
20:54 He could have demanded His rights,
20:56 the passage tells us that He made Himself.
21:00 This was a choice of His own.
21:02 "He made himself of no reputation."
21:06 Actually, a better translation is, "He emptied Himself."
21:12 "Not I but My Father."
21:16 "He emptied himself..."
21:18 Now notice His descent.
21:23 From God to what?
21:25 To a bondservant.
21:26 He's coming down.
21:31 The great God has come down. Now He's a man.
21:33 But He's going to go even further down.
21:43 Is this related to what we read in Matthew 23 verse 12?
21:47 "He who humbles himself..."
21:50 Absolutely.
21:51 "He humbled Himself..."
21:53 He did it Himself.
21:59 In other words, Jesus went down, down, down.
22:05 But he who humbles himself is going to be what?
22:07 Exalted.
22:08 Now notice the rest of this passage.
22:12 What does that word, "therefore," indicate?
22:15 Because He did this other, because He humbled Himself.
22:31 Who did the exalting?
22:34 God.
22:35 "He who humbles himself will be exalted."
22:39 Jesus humbled Himself.
22:41 Did somebody else exalt Him?
22:43 Yes, absolutely.
22:45 Or did Jesus come back to heaven and say,
22:49 "I gained the victory.
22:51 I want My throne back.
22:54 And I want a name; the name of a conqueror,
22:56 the name of the victor.
22:59 I want the reverence of the angels for what I've done."
23:01 Jesus doesn't do that.
23:03 He humbles Himself and He let's His Father do the exalting.
23:09 And notice what it continues saying.
23:12 "God also has highly exalted Him..."
23:17 Notice the upward mobility.
23:18 "...highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above..."
23:25 See, "above;" there you have the upward mobility.
23:27 "...above every name, that at the name of Jesus
23:31 every knee should bow, of those in heaven..."
23:45 Lucifer said, "I'm going up."
23:47 God says, "No, you're going down."
23:50 Jesus says, "I'm going down."
23:52 The Father says, "No, You're going up."
23:54 This is the difference between the mystery of godliness
23:57 and the mystery of iniquity.
23:59 The mystery of iniquity is when a mere human being
24:02 wants to ascend to the heights.
24:05 It wants to be recognized.
24:06 It wants a position of power.
24:10 It wants a position of rank.
24:11 It wants to be recognized.
24:15 The mystery of godliness, on the other hand,
24:17 is a person who occupies the position that God has
24:22 for him or her willingly and joyfully.
24:28 You know, it's interesting that all nature
24:32 teaches this great lesson.
24:36 The coming down and giving is the principle of life.
24:43 Right outside these windows, which you can't see through,
24:49 we have the majestic Sierra Nevada.
24:54 Most of the time, you can't even see the
24:56 Sierra Nevada from outside.
25:00 But you know, we have a great lesson to learn
25:03 from the Sierra Nevada.
25:04 You say, what is the lesson?
25:07 The fact is, folks, that the fluffy beautiful clouds
25:11 in the winter time give their snow to the mountains.
25:18 In the spring time, the mountains give their snow
25:24 in the form of water to the brooks.
25:28 And the brooks give their water to the streams.
25:31 And the streams give their water to the rivers.
25:34 And the rivers give their water to the ocean.
25:38 And then the ocean once again gives its waters
25:42 to the clouds.
25:44 It's called, the cycle of water.
25:47 Give, give, give.
25:51 What if the clouds at some point should say,
25:54 if I can personalize the clouds for a few moments,
25:56 what if they should say, "Oh, we're so beautiful and
25:59 fluffy up here.
26:01 Everybody enjoys seeing these beautiful and fluffy clouds.
26:05 We're not going to give anything to anyone.
26:08 We're going to keep our fluffiness."
26:11 Everything in the San Joaquin Valley would die.
26:15 What if the mountains, once they got the snow,
26:18 said, "Oh, everybody admires us.
26:20 Everybody loves to come and ski on us.
26:24 And we're not going to give our snow to anyone.
26:27 Because if we do, we're going to look jagged and ugly.
26:31 So we're going to hang on to our snow."
26:34 Everything in the San Joaquin Valley would die.
26:40 Because the principle of life, the principle of the mystery
26:44 of godliness, is to come down and give and serve.
26:52 You see, it's interesting that the water that comes down
26:56 goes up again.
26:59 Have you ever noticed that?
27:01 The water comes down from the clouds
27:02 and goes up to the clouds.
27:03 Comes down, goes up.
27:05 If it didn't come down, it couldn't go up.
27:08 There you have the principle of the mystery
27:10 of godliness illustrated.
27:11 You come down to go up.
27:14 And God will place you at the heights.
27:18 The secret of life is giving.
27:20 The secret of death is hording.
27:26 I've had the privilege of visiting Israel once
27:31 and visiting also the country of Jordon several years ago
27:36 with Sarkis Kinablein and Al Brown.
27:41 And you know, the Dead Sea has greatly fascinated me.
27:45 I've had the privilege of swimming in the Dead Sea
27:48 on both sides; on the Jordanian side and on the Israeli side.
27:53 I don't know whether you're aware, but the Dead Sea
27:56 actually originates way up in the northern sector
28:00 beyond the borders of Israel.
28:04 Actually, the Dead Sea originates on Mount Herman
28:10 which is snowcapped a good share of the year.
28:13 And what happens in the spring, the snow on Mount Herman melts.
28:18 And the snow becomes water and it rushes down like a torrent,
28:24 it rushes down the side of the mountain.
28:26 In fact, the name Jordan means, the descender.
28:32 And that's where the Jordan River originates.
28:34 The water comes down like a rushing torrent from
28:37 Mount Herman and it forms the riverbed of the Jordan River.
28:45 And interestingly enough, the Jordan River then
28:48 serpentines its way, it flows south.
28:52 And on the northern side, it enters the Sea of Galilee.
28:57 I've been to the Sea of Galilee.
28:59 It's bubbling with life.
29:01 In fact, we stayed at Tiberius when we were there in Israel.
29:07 The lake, because it's really a lake, the sea is full of fish.
29:12 All around the lake, you have greenery.
29:16 You know, on the northern edge near Capernaum
29:19 is where Jesus gave the beatitudes.
29:22 Beautiful setting, according to the spirit of prophecy
29:24 where Jesus gave the beatitudes.
29:25 He actually pointed to the lily.
29:27 Many of the things He mentioned in the sermon on the mount
29:29 He was actually pointing to live as He was
29:32 speaking to the multitudes.
29:35 Lots of birds in the air.
29:38 Bubbling with life.
29:42 But then what happens is that from the southern tip
29:46 of the Sea of Galilee the water continues moving
29:50 south in the Jordan River.
29:51 Because the Jordan enters on the north and the
29:53 Jordan exits on the south.
29:56 The water continues flowing south.
30:00 And it finally ends up in the Dead Sea.
30:06 You see, the Sea of Galilee receives water to give.
30:10 It's bubbling with life because it receives to give.
30:14 The Dead Sea gives its water to nobody.
30:18 And that's the reason why it's called the Dead Sea.
30:21 Because that's exactly what it is.
30:23 It is dead.
30:26 Listen, there are no fish in the Dead Sea.
30:29 I can guarantee it.
30:30 No risk that you're going to be eaten by a shark.
30:32 But sharks don't live in lakes anyway.
30:35 But there's no risk that any animal is going to eat you up.
30:38 Any marine creature.
30:40 Because everything is dead.
30:41 There are not even micro organisms in the Dead Sea.
30:46 In fact, there's no birds.
30:48 Everything is dry and arid.
30:52 In fact, there's so much mineral content in the
30:55 Dead Sea that you couldn't even drown if you tried to.
31:01 You actually float.
31:04 And beware about shaving in the morning before you go
31:08 to swim in the Dead Sea.
31:10 Because your face is going to burn like crazy.
31:15 It's dead.
31:18 It receives, and it does not give.
31:24 That's the principle of the mystery of iniquity.
31:26 Wanting to ascent, wanting to be served,
31:30 wanting to be at the top.
31:33 And not being willing to come down and serve
31:36 and help others in their need.
31:43 Dare I say that we live in a world today
31:46 where the mystery of iniquity greatly predominates?
31:52 Just look at Wall Street.
31:55 The survival of the fittest.
31:58 The desire to accumulate.
32:01 And in the process, you have to trample on other people.
32:06 There's no idea about using the money to benefit and help
32:10 those in need.
32:11 I think, for example, of the great oil conglomerates
32:15 in the United States.
32:17 Making billions and billions of dollars.
32:22 And always wanting more.
32:25 And people in the world starving.
32:29 Very sad.
32:31 But we don't have to go outside the church.
32:33 We can come right inside the church.
32:37 Allow me to address one little touchy issue.
32:41 The issue of Women's Ordination.
32:46 And I'm not going to take a position right now.
32:48 You know what my position is.
32:49 But I'd just like to throw out a question.
32:52 Do we want to ordain women because they will render
32:56 greater and more effective service in the church?
33:01 Because they will be more efficient in helping others
33:08 and working for others?
33:10 Or is it a matter of power, position, and rights?
33:19 Remember that the first individual to want to
33:21 occupy a position because of recognition, power, position,
33:25 rank, and rights was the one who established originally
33:29 the mystery of iniquity.
33:34 And then I'd like to think about the time when we're in
33:36 nominating committee.
33:38 See, we have two problems at nominating committee time.
33:43 The first problem is with people who are not elected to the
33:47 position they feel they should be elected to
33:51 and somebody else is elected.
33:53 "How does he rate?"
33:55 "How does she rate?"
33:56 "I can do that job as well or better."
34:00 "That position is mine by divine right."
34:04 That's one side of the problem.
34:05 The other side of the problem is getting anyone
34:09 to occupy a position.
34:14 Like the position of Head Deacon.
34:16 It's been very difficult.
34:17 We're in the nominating process now.
34:19 It should not be so.
34:21 Church should be our first priority.
34:24 The kingdom of God should be our first priority.
34:26 When we're called and asked to do something in the church,
34:29 if we feel the Lord has qualified us to do this
34:34 and He calls us to do it, is to say yes.
34:37 We can't say, "I don't have time."
34:41 That's a terrible indictment against ourselves
34:44 to say, "I don't have time."
34:45 You don't have time for the things of God?
34:49 Wow, that's a self indictment.
34:51 You're condemning yourself.
34:53 In other words, when we get to the heavenly throne
34:55 and we have to give an account for our lives,
34:57 and God says, "I called you to serve My cause at
35:02 Fresno Central Church as Head Deacon.
35:06 What was your reason for saying no?"
35:09 "Well Lord, I didn't have the time."
35:13 Talk about self incrimination in a court of law.
35:19 Maybe I'm waxing a little bit too bold.
35:22 But I feel, folks, that we need to dedicate our talents
35:25 and our gifts to the service of God in the church.
35:33 You know, folks, we need to occupy the position that
35:35 God gives us, not aspire to positions that He has
35:38 not given us.
35:41 You know, there's this verse that we read a little while ago
35:44 with which I would like to bring our study today
35:47 to a conclusion.
35:50 Philippians 2, we read the whole passage
35:53 where it speaks about that even though Jesus was
35:55 in the position of God, He didn't hang on to that.
35:58 He didn't demand His rights.
36:01 He came down, He made Himself of no reputation,
36:04 He emptied Himself, and He became a bondservant.
36:09 Then He descended even more; death of the cross.
36:13 And therefore, God has highly exalted Jesus.
36:15 Do you know that there are very few passages in Scripture
36:19 that have caused a greater debate among theologians
36:24 than this passage.
36:26 You ought to see the fights that theologians
36:28 get in over this passage.
36:30 "What did Jesus leave in heaven?
36:33 What did He empty Himself of?
36:35 Did He empty Himself of His divinity?
36:37 Did He empty Himself of some of His attributes?
36:40 You know, what did He empty Himself of?"
36:42 And so they debate and they argue about this passage.
36:47 But the purpose of the passage is not to debate what Jesus
36:51 emptied Himself of.
36:53 The purpose of the passage, folks, is simply to inspire us
37:00 to follow the example of Jesus.
37:03 Notice Philippians 2 and verse 5.
37:05 At the very beginning of this passage, we find
37:10 this statement.
37:24 Is the apostle Paul waxing very practically?
37:29 He most certainly is.
37:31 Saying, "Don't argue about what the kenosis is,
37:36 what the emptying is."
37:37 He says, "What I want you to do is, I want you to
37:39 follow the example of Jesus.
37:41 If you're up here, come down to help and to serve.
37:46 And then God eventually will glorify you and exalt you."
37:52 Notice James chapter 4 and verse 10.
37:57 This is the counsel that God gives us, as we draw
38:01 our study to a close this morning.
38:04 Listen to this.
38:06 "Humble yourselves..."
38:11 "Humble yourselves..."
38:13 Who's suppose to do the humbling?
38:17 We are.
38:18 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
38:24 and He will lift you up."
38:32 Is that powerful?
38:34 That's the mystery of godliness in a nutshell.
38:39 And the mystery of iniquity is just the opposite.
38:43 I'd like to conclude by reminding you about the
38:46 story of Nebuchadnezzar.
38:47 He goes out one day on the balcony of the palace
38:51 and he says, "Isn't this great Babylon that I made
38:55 with my great power and my great wisdom
38:58 and my great ability."
39:01 And God is there, He says, "Oh yeah?
39:04 How much would you do if I didn't give you
39:06 the pearl of reason?"
39:10 And so God says to Nebuchadnezzar,
39:13 "You're going to go out and I'm going to make you a vegetarian
39:17 for seven years."
39:20 And he goes out and he behaves like an animal.
39:22 He exalted himself, and what did God do?
39:25 God humbled him.
39:27 And after seven years God returns the pearl of wisdom,
39:32 the pearl of reason, to Nebuchadnezzar.
39:36 And you can read at the end of Daniel chapter 4,
39:39 Nebuchadnezzar says, "Now I exalt and glorify
39:43 the God of heaven.
39:45 Because He is able to humble those who are
39:49 filled with pride."
39:52 So he learned that whoever exalts himself would be humbled.
39:56 And he also learned that now he should humble himself,
40:00 and God would exalt him.
40:02 And that's exactly what God did with Nebuchadnezzar.
40:08 I pray to God that we will learn this lesson today.
40:12 That what we've studied today will remain with us
40:14 throughout the course of this week and throughout the
40:16 course of our lives.
40:17 The highest position that we can aspire to
40:20 is the position which God gives us; to serve others
40:25 and reach others with the love and service of Jesus Christ.


Revised 2014-12-17