Thompsonville Worship Hour

Plucked from the Fire

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr John Lomacang


Series Code: TWH

Program Code: TWH000020A

00:32 He is ours and we are His; a subtle way to remind us this
00:40 morning of the reality of the gospel.
00:44 He is ours and we are His.
00:47 I'd like you to bow your heads with me this morning.
00:52 Plucked From the Fire.
00:56 Let us pray. Our loving Father in Heaven, as we bow before
01:05 Your awesome presence to recognize what You
01:12 have done to redeem us.
01:14 Lord we pray that You will speak to ours hearts today,
01:19 to see You for the price You have paid to redeem us.
01:28 We pray Lord that You will give us new eyes to see ourselves
01:33 the way that You see us, and to fill our hearts with the courage
01:39 to continue to trust You and to serve You.
01:41 In Jesus' name, Amen.
01:45 If you have your Bibles with you this morning,
01:49 go with me to Zechariah.
01:54 It's not a book that we often preach from,
01:57 but it's a powerful message.
01:58 The servant Zechariah, the prophet Zechariah, brings in to
02:07 view the worth of the Christian.
02:14 And if I could expand the phrase, the Christian,
02:17 allow me to personalize it.
02:20 Zechariah has been given a vision by God to bring us into
02:26 focus to help us to see ourselves
02:30 the way that God sees us.
02:32 And what a word picture He gives in this vision of Joshua
02:39 given to Zechariah; the fourth vision of Zechariah.
02:43 This one moves upon our hearts to help us to understand something
02:48 about our standing before God that we can sometimes forget.
02:53 Zechariah 3 beginning with verse 1.
02:57 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the
03:03 angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand...
03:10 The position of authority.
03:12 oppose him.
03:28 And I love this passage.
03:43 Father help us to see ourselves the way You see us.
03:48 I heard a moving story about a young lady that was
03:53 attending a college.
03:54 She was in her freshman year in college, this college campus.
03:59 And she was an attractive young lady, which aroused the
04:05 interest of many of the young men.
04:06 But whenever they saw her walking the campus they
04:10 would see her arm in arm with a guy that was
04:13 considered hideous.
04:17 And they wondered what she could possibly see in this
04:23 hideously disfigured young man.
04:26 But she walked the campus proudly, arm in arm with this
04:30 young man until one day somebody brave enough to approach her
04:35 asked her the question, What do you see in this guy?
04:38 He's hideous! Look at him!
04:42 He's disfigured, not attractive.
04:48 What do you see in him?
04:51 And all the while as they challenged this young lady,
04:54 they looked at her face, and her face wouldn't change.
04:57 She just smiled right through all their
04:59 descriptions of this young man.
05:04 And she said to them, What I know about him,
05:07 and what you know about him is different.
05:10 This is not just another young man.
05:14 When I was four years old this young man during the time of a
05:23 horrendous fire in our home, put his life on
05:27 the line to save mine.
05:29 This hideous young man is my older brother.
05:32 And I will be forever grateful for what he did to save my life.
05:38 So what you see is not what I see.
05:41 I see a beautiful young man.
05:43 I see a man who loved me so much he was willing to put
05:48 himself in harm's way, risk his own life to save mine.
05:54 And she continued to telling the story.
05:56 And then her brother took over the story.
05:58 When my sister was four years old and our home caught on fire,
06:05 I walked through the flames, wrapped my sister in a blanket,
06:09 and this is her today.
06:12 You know, sometimes we look at the flaws in peoples characters
06:16 and we don't see them the way that God sees them.
06:23 It even goes deeper than that.
06:24 Sometimes we don't see ourselves the way that God sees us,
06:28 because we spend so much time on the flaws in our character.
06:35 You see, this fourth vision that God gave to Zechariah was to
06:39 help Israel understand that in spite of their stumbling,
06:43 their failures, their disappointing choices,
06:47 moving in the wrong direction, doing the wrong things,
06:51 God chose Joshua, the high priest, a man synonymous
06:58 with the Lord Himself, Jeshua, who is our high priest,
07:02 Jesus, who is our high priest.
07:04 Faultless and upright as Joshua lived his life, God said,
07:09 Let me choose a man that I can equate with My very mission,
07:14 Joshua, the high priest.
07:15 And He gave the vision to Zechariah.
07:19 And Joshua was clothed with filthy garments,
07:24 and was standing before the angel.
07:26 So this message is for you, if you have ever been discouraged
07:31 about the flaws in your character.
07:33 This message is for you if you have ever felt like giving up.
07:43 This message is for you if you have felt that you are
07:48 constantly reminded of your failures, and your fallings,
07:52 and your shortcomings.
07:53 This message is for you if you've felt that your trials
07:57 are too great to bear, or that temptations are greater than
08:01 your ability to resist, or you felt like your best is just not
08:05 good enough, or you think that you are solely responsible
08:09 for being victorious over sin.
08:13 This message is for every one of us.
08:22 Very few times though I ever go into my library
08:25 and recycle sermons.
08:26 Pastor C. A. knows that's the cardinal sin, to go back
08:30 and look at a past sermon.
08:36 I have about 700 or 800 sermons.
08:41 And what caused me to go back and look through these messages
08:44 is that I look at my sermons in 1996, 1987, 2001, 2011, 2015,
08:58 2017, and I read through it and I say, Who was that?
09:05 He didn't know what he was saying.
09:10 Because I'd go back to Bible verses that to me then were so
09:13 elementary, and were so shallow.
09:15 I was, as it were, a water skier just enjoying the harbor
09:20 when out in the depths of the ocean was undiscovered elements
09:25 of God's deep and abiding truth.
09:27 And I've discovered that as the grey begins to set in,
09:31 as the wounds begin to heal, as the scars remind me of my
09:36 journey, I go back to those places of my Ebenezer,
09:40 as it were, and say, Father show me what I missed.
09:45 Because that's not the message in this Scripture.
09:51 And I discovered that the Christian life is a journey
09:54 sometimes of apparent contradictions.
09:56 You know there are times that we have to close our
09:59 eyes to be able to see.
10:00 There are times we have to plug our ears to be able to hear.
10:04 There are times we have to learn to bow on our knees so that
10:09 we can learn to walk.
10:10 And sometimes it's not until we experience defeat that we can
10:16 appreciate a victory.
10:18 And this irony called Christianity is really not
10:24 designed to appeal to those that live their lives
10:27 in a logical world.
10:31 I mean who in their right minds would leave the courts of glory,
10:38 a perfect sinless setting, to put their lives on the line
10:46 for this small grain of sand called Earth in the vast
10:51 ocean of God's creation?
10:55 Who would risk even losing himself
11:06 to redeem a fallen world?
11:11 I've had a journey that has reminded me that though I'm a
11:20 speck, on a speck, in a speck, there's a God who was willing
11:28 to risk it all just to save me.
11:31 But before I go into the sermon, the heart of the message,
11:35 I want to spend a little time so that I can
11:41 destroy a gospel cliché.
11:47 This morning I want to destroy a gospel cloche that we have
11:52 adopted that insults the mission of Jesus.
11:57 And I'd like you to go to Romans 5:19 with me.
12:17 You've got two categories.
12:20 You have sinners. Let me put them on the left.
12:23 You have righteous on the right.
12:26 Let me methodically destroy this gospel cleche'.
12:34 The gospel changes our standing before God.
12:47 Before we accept Jesus... Hear me carefully.
12:50 ...we were sinners.
12:54 What word did I say? We were sinners.
12:59 But after we accepted Jesus, we are righteous.
13:06 Let me make that really clear.
13:10 And this thesis is not going to be supported by my ramblings,
13:15 but by the word of God.
13:17 Is that okay? Amen!
13:30 So now let's pause for a moment.
13:32 You either have to be the righteous one, who by God's
13:36 grace is scarcely saved, or you have to be the ungodly,
13:40 and the sinner who will not appear at all.
13:42 So if I were given two categories this morning,
13:46 can I declare I'd rather be the righteous one that's scarcely
13:49 saved than the ungodly, and the sinner that will
13:52 have no place to stand.
13:54 Come on, can I get an Amen? Amen!
13:56 But this is not just a point of choice.
13:59 You see, when Jesus comes into our lives we are no longer
14:02 sinners but saints.
14:04 We are forgiven and cleansed of our sins, 1 John 1:9,
14:07 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
14:09 our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
14:13 Matthew 1:21... call his name Jesus, for He shall save His
14:18 people in their sins.
14:21 Did I misquote it? So if He saves us from our sins
14:28 and cleanses us from all unrighteousness...
14:34 Let's get this now.
14:36 You just got your car out of the carwash,
14:38 but this time it got detailed.
14:41 You can't find a speck of dust.
14:44 You bring it in the garage and you are afraid to take it out.
14:48 Because you know as it happens here in Southern Illinois,
14:52 all that you need to do for it to rain is to wash your car.
14:59 So you keep it there because you want to admire the beauty of
15:05 temporary perfection.
15:08 They have gone under the seats, in the glove compartment,
15:10 and in the trunk. They put it all together.
15:11 And you drive that car home ever so slowly,
15:14 just to maintain, as it were, the perfection that
15:17 you now are surrounded by.
15:23 That's a car that was cleaned by man.
15:27 If man can make an inanimate object spotless,
15:30 how much more can the blood of Jesus
15:35 make the sinner into a saint?
15:38 How much more can the blood of Jesus remove
15:41 the spots in our lives?
15:43 You see, when we receive Jesus we become children of God.
15:46 We are no longer alienated.
15:49 As many as received Him to them He gave power to become
15:53 the children of God.
15:54 This morning I, and you, if you have accepted Jesus
15:58 you are a child of the Most High God. Amen!
16:02 He took you out of the category of sinner, and He put you into
16:08 the category of saint.
16:09 Now let me pause for a moment on that word saint.
16:12 You know, we have been so messed up over the idea,
16:15 and I want to say in some religious circles saints have
16:19 been elevated to be perfect beings that have died
16:22 and gone to heaven.
16:23 That's not a saint.
16:25 And somebody is declared a saint because of a miracle
16:27 that was performed.
16:28 That's not a saint.
16:30 Not according to Scripture.
16:31 A saint is one who has been transformed from his fallen
16:34 condition to a son and a daughter of God, who has been
16:38 adopted into the family of a perfect heavenly Father,
16:42 and who is being molded and shapened so that one day he
16:46 and she can fit into a perfect environment.
16:50 You see, angels, and I could understand angels,
16:55 because, you know, there's some folk that are so bad
16:57 you don't want them in your house.
16:58 We're not talking about church members.
17:03 But sometimes you watch a story on television,
17:05 or you hear a movie, or you hear an account of somebody's life,
17:07 and you say, I don't want that person in my house.
17:10 But I could only imagine how the angels that did not fall must
17:14 feel at times because Jesus in preparing the kingdom for us,
17:18 which He's doing now, by the way,
17:20 I can imagine an angel walking up to Christ and saying,
17:23 Are You sure You want John up here?
17:29 Come on now! You know you, and God knows you.
17:32 Amen somebody. Amen.
17:34 Are You sure You want him up here?
17:39 And Jesus says, Yes, I'm building a mansion for him.
17:43 And the angel says, But I've been following him.
17:49 Are you sure You want him up here?
17:53 And the angel opens my record and turns back.
17:56 Ah, okay, now check this out.
17:57 Look at that Lord. Are You sure You want him up here?
18:01 And Jesus said, I ain't finished yet. Amen!
18:06 He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.
18:12 Hallelujah. It has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
18:18 but we do know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him,
18:21 for we shall see Him as He is.
18:25 That's not a Scripture alone, but that's a promise from God.
18:31 You see, there's a division of Zachariah was to let the church
18:35 know, and you've got to use this.
18:36 You've got to get out of the, you've got to get out of the
18:38 I'm only human; I'm just a man.
18:40 I'm only human. I'm just doing...
18:42 I was listening to that song this week on Pandora.
18:44 I'm only human; I'm just a man.
18:48 And I started yelling back at the radio, No, you're not!
18:53 You're not just a man.
18:54 You have been extracted from the jaws of death, and you have
19:00 now been introduced into the fellowship of the saints.
19:04 You are not just a man.
19:06 You have been a recipient of a divine nature.
19:09 And God is working on you like he's working on me so that one
19:12 day we can fit into the environment of the sinless.
19:16 Amen, somebody. Amen!
19:18 But so often we say, Well, you know, I'm must a sinner.
19:22 Now let's listen to that song, too.
19:24 I'm just a sinner saved by grace.
19:28 And I thought, No you're not.
19:29 You're a saint walking in grace.
19:38 Because I tried my best to look through the Bible.
19:41 I went into the commentaries: Matthew Henry Commentary,
19:45 the Eastern Commentary, the SDA Bible Commentary,
19:48 the writings of Ellen White.
19:49 And I thought, Wait a minute, why are we not saying what they
19:53 all agree on? and that when you come into fellowship with
19:57 Jesus, you are no longer a sinner, but you are now a saint
20:01 who has been entered into a work that Jesus promises He
20:05 will complete, that we may be in a perfect kingdom.
20:08 Now we know this. We say it because we say that the saints
20:17 out to be equipped for the work of the ministry, right?
20:20 For we are equipping the saints.
20:22 We are not called to equip sinners for the
20:26 work of the ministry.
20:27 We are called to equip saints for the work of the ministry.
20:30 And then one of our favorite Adventist texts...
20:32 Are you Adventists ready?
20:34 Here is the patience of the sinners.
20:42 Here is the patience of the sinners.
20:44 Here are they... Sinners can't keep God's commandments.
20:50 Here is the patience of the saints.
20:55 So why do we walk around; I'm just a sinner?
20:59 And, you know, the longer you massage that, and the longer you
21:06 condition yourself in that way, you live like that.
21:10 Because you're just a sinner.
21:14 And we go on sinning, believing we cannot stop sinning,
21:18 because we're just, come on, sinners.
21:22 But that's not what the Bible teaches.
21:24 Ephesians 2:19. Go there with me.
21:26 Go there with me.
21:41 When you are a member of the household of God,
21:46 you are no longer a sinner, but you are a saint.
21:49 Now why do we have a hard time saying that?
21:53 Because our definition of a saint is perfect.
21:58 Are you ready? If you're covered by the righteousness of Jesus,
22:11 and when the Father looks at you, you've heard it,
22:14 when the Father looks at you, excuse me, when the Father looks
22:23 at you He sees His Son.
22:26 Now get the picture now.
22:27 You're covered by the righteousness of Jesus.
22:30 When the Father looks at you, He sees His Son.
22:42 His Son is pure and clean.
22:44 When He looks at me, who's covered by the righteousness
22:50 of His Son, and He sees His Son, what does He see?
23:00 Come on now! He sees His Son!
23:06 If we're covered by the righteousness of His Son...
23:10 Thank You, Jesus!... what does He see? His Son!
23:17 Now, His Son covers us with His righteousness.
23:23 So what's left? If you've ever seen a house covered before,
23:35 that they decide to refurbish, and rebuild,
23:38 you only see the covering.
23:41 You don't see the house.
23:43 But when they remove the covering, then you see what has
23:46 been done in the house.
23:48 You see, we are covered by the righteousness of Jesus so that
23:52 we appear before His Father as He sees His Son.
23:56 But where's the work still continuing?
23:59 The work is continuing where? in us, in us.
24:05 He's working on these clothes closets.
24:08 Come on, somebody! He's working on the junk room.
24:11 He's working on the movie room.
24:14 Come on! He's working on the attitude room.
24:17 He's working on the stuff hidden in the basement.
24:19 For it is God who works in us both to will and to do
24:25 of His good pleasure.
24:27 But while He's working in us, we are covered by the
24:35 righteousness of Jesus. Amen!
24:38 You see, some of you have been raised to think,
24:41 and this is the statement that's messed you up.
24:48 Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.
24:53 But then the thief on the cross ain't going
24:54 to be in the kingdom.
24:58 Let me say that for those of you who are grammatically correct.
25:01 The thief on the cross will not be in the kingdom.
25:07 The imputed and imparted righteousness of Jesus is
25:10 something that we've got to familiar ourselves with.
25:12 You see, when you wake up in the morning and you say, Lord,
25:15 I give You my heart, I give you my life.
25:17 Take my plans; change them.
25:20 Whatever is not like You, Lord, cancel it.
25:23 And we walk in the humble righteousness of Jesus.
25:28 And Christ is working in us.
25:30 I want to tell you what I like about our God is when He
25:33 begins work He is faithful to complete what He has started.
25:37 Amen! But until we see ourselves the way He sees us,
25:45 we will always embrace the title that we are just sinners.
25:56 So you have a new homework project.
26:00 You've got a new homework project.
26:01 Go home and read your Bible, and you tell me anywhere in
26:06 Scripture, where after we are redeemed
26:09 God still calls us sinners.
26:13 He calls us His saints.
26:17 Paul made it clear.
26:18 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,
26:21 as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33.
26:29 Now why this sermon?
26:30 And why the title, Plucked From the Fire? after the children of
26:35 Israel returned from Babylonian captivity.
26:37 When you're in captivity, and you live the life of a slave,
26:41 and you lose your standing before God, that is in your own
26:47 mind, you see yourself as nothing but a slave.
26:51 But when they returned and began to rebuild their cities,
26:54 began to rebuild their lives, in the process of their building,
26:59 in the process of their refurbishing, in the process of
27:02 getting their lives together, it concerned Satan that these
27:06 who were formally slaves, had been set free.
27:11 They were no longer in Babylonian captivity.
27:14 They were now free citizens of their own land.
27:17 In the restoration of God's deliverance they were getting
27:21 their lives together, and it concerned Satan.
27:26 And so, in the process, God gave Zachariah the vision,
27:31 chose Joshua as the perfect picture, as a substitute of the
27:35 righteousness of Christ.
27:37 And he said, I want you to see yourself the way that I see you.
27:46 If you're no longer in slavery, then you're no longer a slave.
27:50 If you've been extricated and delivered from battle,
27:52 and honor Egypt, you're no longer in Babylon, or in Egypt.
27:55 But God begins the work of restoring us to prepare us to be
28:00 all that He knows that we can be.
28:01 I'm in the process.
28:04 Amen somebody? But while I'm in the process,
28:08 I still rely every day on the righteous life of Jesus.
28:14 I cannot live my life from day to day.
28:17 You know, if you take your time and look at yourself,
28:22 if you spend all your time looking at yourself trying to
28:24 figure out whether or not you can make the kingdom,
28:26 you ain't going to make the kingdom.
28:28 Because there's nothing that you can do.
28:30 There's nothing that you can do.
28:32 There's nothing that you can do that can get you an inch off the
28:36 ground if you keep trying to fix you.
28:39 But if you look at Christ, if you allow Him to impart His
28:43 righteousness to you, when you keep your eyes on Him,
28:47 what happens? the contention, the lack of joy,
28:53 the lack of assurance.
28:55 That's why Jesus says often, Look unto Me,
28:58 the author and finisher of your faith.
29:00 Look unto Me and be saved. Isaiah 4:22, Look at Me.
29:08 Then the prophet says, He will keep us in perfect peace
29:12 whose mind is stayed on Him, because we what? trust in Him.
29:19 You see, the advancement of the Israelites caused
29:23 Satan consternation.
29:25 Ellen White says in Prophets and Kings, page 582,
29:28 The steady advancement made by the builders of the temple
29:32 greatly discomforted and alarmed the hosts of evil.
29:37 You see, to appreciate God they began to compare where they
29:40 were, where they are with where they used to be;
29:44 what they were to what they had become.
29:46 And sometimes God allows us, and I know this.
29:49 Historically this is a fact, and experience in my life.
29:51 I know that sometimes God has to allow us to face the trials of
29:56 disobedience so that we can experience the
29:59 blessings of obedience.
30:03 Sometimes you've got to go through the dark valley
30:05 to appreciate the sunlight.
30:06 Sometimes you have to go through the hard times to know that the
30:08 good times are just ahead of you.
30:10 God sees us as we are, but He also sees us in the
30:14 righteousness of His Son.
30:16 And what's so wonderful about the story of the vision of
30:18 Zachariah is, as we are told in inspiration, that the journey
30:22 of the children of Israel, the very same way that God freed
30:25 them from Babylon, and God freed them from Egypt,
30:28 and God began to work in their lives so that they could reflect
30:31 His glory to the world.
30:32 The same way that God worked on them.
30:35 And it upset the Devil then the same way God
30:39 is working on us now.
30:41 But there's a difference.
30:42 The fury of Satan is more intense as we're getting
30:45 toward the end of time.
30:48 The Bible says he's come down having great wrath because he
30:51 knows that he has but a what? but a short time.
30:55 So how do we boast?
30:57 Galatians 6:14. Notice the Scriptures.
31:22 God forbid that I should boast.
31:25 We cannot boast about who we are, what we have done,
31:29 where we have been, what we have, what we possess.
31:33 We can only glory in the cross of Christ.
31:38 And what does that mean?
31:40 That means when we begin to see ourselves the way that Satan
31:44 presents us before God, there'll be no reason to glory.
31:47 But when we see ourselves the way that God sees us,
31:51 there will be reason for glory.
31:54 Walk with me. Zachariah 3, Zachariah 3.
31:59 Let's go to verse 1 again, to verse 1 again.
32:08 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before
32:18 the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right
32:21 hand to oppose him.
32:23 Satan was not opposing God.
32:25 Satan was opposing Joshua.
32:28 Satan was not opposing God, because he could not.
32:32 But he was opposing Joshua.
32:33 He was saying of Joshua, Look at your condition.
32:36 Look at yourself. Look at what you've done.
32:40 Look at the people of Israel.
32:42 Look at how faulty they are.
32:43 Look at how broken they are.
32:45 Look at all their sins.
32:46 Look at, look at what they've done to get
32:47 themselves into captivity.
32:49 And I want to tell you Satan's job is to amplify our faults.
32:53 But Jesus' job is to erase our faults.
33:07 He discourages us by holding before us the
33:11 imperfections of our character.
33:14 But you say, Well, Pastor John, how could the imperfections
33:16 of our character, and the righteousness of Jesus even
33:21 correlate together?
33:22 How could we be imperfect, but be covered by the righteousness
33:25 of Jesus at the same time?
33:26 Well, that's simple.
33:28 The righteousness of Jesus covers our imperfection.
33:33 Amen! Have you ever seen Extreme Makeover?
33:36 And when the house is all done what do they say?
33:39 Move that bus! And we all, we always hate it when they say,
33:45 Move that bus. It goes to a commercial.
33:48 Do you know what I'm talking about?
33:49 Oh, we say! We cannot wait till the commercial is over,
33:56 because we, as everybody else, we say, Is that the same house?
34:05 And why the people are so excited is because they know
34:08 that it's on the same lot, but it ain't the same house.
34:13 God does not slap a new coat of paint on our outside and leave
34:17 the inside putrid, and spoiled, and rancid.
34:20 He's cleaning us on the outside, and He's
34:23 cleaning us on the inside.
34:24 Amen, somebody. And He's doing it in such a way that sometimes
34:28 you feel the filing, sometimes you feel the chiseling,
34:32 sometimes you feel the lapping of the flames burning away
34:35 the imperfections in your character.
34:37 Sometimes you know that the reason why that Scripture hurt
34:42 is because it reminded us that God is not finished with us yet.
34:46 But I want to tell you, He has invested Himself, not just to
34:49 forgive us, but to release us.
34:52 Hebrews 2:14, 15. Go there with me.
34:55 The mission. Hebrews 2:14, 15.
34:58 Notice, the mission of Jesus is not just to
35:01 forgive, but to release us.
35:02 And there are some individuals that based on their,
35:05 based on their estimate of themselves,
35:07 they, all their lives, they were held in bondage. Notice this:
35:34 And what does he do in verse 15?
35:44 You see, the plan of salvation is not just to change our
35:47 condition, but the plan of salvation is to break Satan's
35:51 hold on the human family, and rescue us from his power.
35:58 Now unless you know about his power that wouldn't
36:02 even make any sense.
36:03 Unless you've been where you don't want to be,
36:06 unless you've done what you don't want to do,
36:08 unless you can go back in your own record and say,
36:12 Please let that record remain sealed.
36:17 Unless you have seen yourself, and then seen Christ,
36:21 that statement would not even make any sense to you.
36:23 Satan comes to accuse the brethren.
36:26 Whenever we get involved, whenever we get involved in
36:30 giving our lives to Christ, whenever we decide that we're
36:32 going to live for the Lord, it upsets the forces of darkness.
36:36 Over every soul, Prophets and Kings, 585, listen to this:
36:40 Over every soul that has rescued from the power of evil,
36:43 and whose name is registered in the Lamb's book of life,
36:47 the controversy is repeated.
36:50 Never is one received into the family of God without exciting
36:54 the determined resistance of the enemy.
36:57 Have you ever felt it?
36:59 Have you ever tried to study your Bible and you can't do it?
37:05 Or while you're reading a Scripture you get discouraged?
37:07 Because the enemy whispers into your ear your faults,
37:10 your failures, your shortcomings.
37:13 And sometimes an experience comes back to your mind
37:15 and you wonder, Why am I remembering that now
37:18 at the time of my Bible study?
37:19 Because we feel ourselves in the faulty and failure places of our
37:24 lives, and we forget that when the Lord rebukes,
37:27 He rebukes completely.
37:29 I thank God today that when Satan reminds me of my past,
37:34 God tells him about His future.
37:41 So verse 2 is powerful to me.
37:43 Verse 2 is powerful for me.
38:05 Why does Zachariah say that?
38:07 You see, Matthew, the apostle Matthew, the disciple says,
38:13 that hell is prepared just for the Devil and his angels.
38:19 It's not for me, it's not for you.
38:20 Come on, somebody! Amen!
38:21 Hell is prepared for just the Devil and his angels.
38:25 So it does not make any sense.
38:27 You know, the older you get, do you ever have one of those
38:30 moments where you you've got to say to yourself,
38:32 What are you doing?
38:33 Do you ever have those moments when you talk to yourself?
38:35 Come on, get real! You're in the mirror.
38:36 I'm getting too old for this.
38:41 You've have those moments?
38:42 What was that all about?
38:44 Did I do that? You've had those moments?
38:49 You've got the, What was I thinking moment?
38:52 How did I get into that situation?
38:54 How can I get myself out?
38:55 You've ever had those moments?
38:57 But when God brings you out here's what the Devil does.
39:01 Remember those moments?
39:02 Remember when you did fall?
39:04 The accuser of our brethren.
39:07 He points to the transgressions of Israel as to the reason why
39:11 they should not be restored to the favor of God.
39:14 He claims them as his prey, and demands that they be
39:18 given into his hands.
39:20 It reminds me of the dream that I read about Martin Luther,
39:24 the great reformer.
39:25 Martin Luther had a dream.
39:27 He said that it frightened him.
39:29 He dreamed that his sins were written on a scroll.
39:37 Some of you may have heard the dream before.
39:39 And in the dream the Devil just rolled out his scroll,
39:45 and all along that scroll Martin Luther's sins were chronicled.
39:49 Everything he had ever done was chronicled on that scroll.
39:54 And Martin Luther said he fainted within himself.
39:57 He became weak and discouraged.
40:02 But he said he looked again at the scroll, and then he saw
40:06 over his sins, the blotter of Jesus over his
40:19 Come on somebody! FORGIVEN, PARDONED, BLOTTED OUT!
40:23 Had it not been for the grace of God, where would we be?
40:27 Where could we be? Discouraged by our faults.
40:31 But the Lord doesn't stop there.
40:32 He doesn't just rebuke the Devil, but look what He does.
40:35 Verse 3 and 4. Look what He does. Look what He does.
40:48 And, by the way, when you read the story clearly,
40:51 Joshua could not change his standing.
40:52 But he's standing before the angel almost
40:55 in a helpless setting.
40:57 Standing before the angel wondering what do I do next?
41:01 And the command comes:
41:33 Let's get our robes again.
41:36 By the way, it ain't your robe.
41:38 It's His robe. Somebody say Amen. Yes!
41:41 I knew I had a hankie for a reason.
41:45 Take away his garments, and clothe him with a rich robe.
41:54 He didn't say just get something and put on them.
41:57 See the righteousness of Jesus is rich!
42:03 We've got to study that.
42:04 That's our message; the righteous.
42:06 Our message is not the Sabbath.
42:12 Our message is not about...
42:17 I don't want to get some of the saints upset.
42:19 Because you ain't sinners, you're saints.
42:20 But saints can get upset.
42:23 Our message is about good health, but our salvation is
42:28 not based on good health.
42:32 It's based on the righteousness of Jesus. Amen!
42:37 So often when we meet people... I'm on a new kick now,
42:41 so bear with me for a moment.
42:43 When I did the sermon called Why? you know, Pastor C. A.
42:46 and I, we had a chance to, you know,
42:48 pow wow about this whole idea.
42:50 You see, when I meet somebody and they say, What are you?
43:00 I've learned that what I am, and how I do what I am,
43:04 is not as important as why I am what I am.
43:09 See, why do I need Jesus in my life is the question,
43:20 not are you a Baptist?
43:22 Are you a Pentecostal?
43:23 Are you a Presbyterian?
43:24 Are you a Catholic?
43:26 Are you a Methodist?
43:27 All of these categories; the people of God are
43:30 sprinkled everywhere.
43:31 But there's a message that calls them from a partial gospel,
43:35 from a partial truth to an abundant glorious light.
43:39 Amen somebody! Amen!
43:40 But as God works in their lives to lead them, we've got to know
43:48 why we are who we are.
43:51 And when I ask the question, Why do I need Jesus?
43:57 The answer always comes back, If it were not for Jesus,
44:01 I would surely be lost.
44:09 And so why was Satan so hard on Joshua?
44:13 Because he knew that if he could remind him of his failures,
44:19 he could not see the righteousness of Jesus.
44:23 If you remind him of where he was, he could not
44:27 see where he's headed.
44:28 And if you could get him to spend more time looking back
44:30 he wouldn't have the courage to to go forward.
44:32 He tries to crush and press.
44:34 And that's why she says continually, Satan knows that
44:37 those who ask for pardon and grace will obtain it.
44:41 Therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them.
44:46 And I like the way she finishes this quotation,
44:48 But God is faithful. Amen!
44:57 Never indulge the feeling.
45:00 The what? The feeling that you are not
45:04 esteemed as you should be.
45:07 Some people say they don't like me.
45:10 Well, I'm not good enough.
45:13 Nobody pays attention to me.
45:15 I'll never be a part of that group.
45:20 Never indulge the feeling that you are not esteemed as you
45:23 should be, that your efforts are not appreciated,
45:27 that your work is too difficult.
45:29 But do this, let the memory of what Christ has endured
45:34 for us silence every murmuring thought.
45:39 And here's why. We were treated better than our Lord.
45:53 You might feel like you got nailed to a tree, but I haven't
45:55 seen anybody nailed to trees in Thompsonville.
45:57 I haven't seen anybody hanging from a tree.
46:08 But I want to go to another level.
46:09 Guard against self-pity.
46:11 But here's another one.
46:14 Don't live your life doing what Satan has pledged himself to do.
46:25 Let me go ahead and read it.
46:26 Christ's Object Lessons, 168 and 169.
46:31 The work of Satan as an accuser of the brethren began in heaven.
46:39 This has been his work on earth ever since man's fall.
46:44 And it will be his work in a special sense as we approach
46:50 nearer the close of this world's history.
46:52 As he sees that his time is short he will work with greater
47:01 earnestness to deceive and to destroy.
47:04 To destroy what? our faith in God.
47:08 He works to deceive us of our character before God.
47:10 He works to get us to fear that we've not worthy of anything.
47:13 He accuses us, but then he goes even further.
47:16 He uses us to accuse others.
47:19 He uses us to point out that persons fault, and that persons
47:23 fault, and that persons failure, and that person's shortcoming.
47:27 And somehow in the process we think that we have arrived
47:29 when in fact by doing his work, we ourselves fall short again
47:35 of the glory of God.
47:36 Don't allow yourself to be used by the enemy to accuse others.
47:41 You are standing on the same ground, under the grace of God,
47:44 as they are. Amen, somebody! Amen!
47:46 The Lord didn't stop there.
47:48 He didn't just change His garments.
47:50 He didn't just put on Him rich robes,
47:52 but He did something else.
47:54 Verse 5. Notice what He did.
47:58 Zachariah 3:5.
48:18 Now why did they end with the Angel of the Lord stood by Him?
48:25 I studied this a little bit last night and something that amazed
48:28 me... Summer if you could come.
48:32 Something that amazed me about that picture
48:35 that I had never seen before.
48:38 Couldn't wake up my wife.
48:39 I was going to rejoice.
48:41 I had to rejoice quietly.
48:49 I leaned back in my seat so fast I almost threw it over.
48:52 Yes! Why is the angel of the Lord standing by him?
49:08 Joshua just went through an extreme makeover.
49:13 The Lord cleaned up his character,
49:18 purified him of all of his sin, took off his filthy character,
49:25 put on the clean robes of Christ's righteousness.
49:31 Then he put on his head a turban.
49:36 The word there, turban, can also be synonymous to a crown.
49:42 So that Joshua's identity would be that of a
49:48 person of royal standing.
49:52 But why did the angel stand by his side?
50:03 He didn't just stand by Joshua's side.
50:08 If you look at the Hebrew there as Joshua walked he continued
50:13 to stand by Joshua's side, to present Joshua wherever he went.
50:19 This is the righteousness of the Lord.
50:22 Wherever Joshua went he presented, this man represents
50:27 the righteousness of the Lord.
50:29 And there was one more function that the angel had.
50:32 The angel prevented anyone from touching the righteousness of
50:40 the Lord. Come on, somebody! Amen!
50:41 Don't touch him! Don't mess with him!
50:46 God cleaned him up, filled him up, covered him,
50:52 changed his standing, forgave his sin,
50:58 robed him in righteousness, and He assigned an angel on one side
51:04 and the other. And the angel said, Don't touch him.
51:08 I wondered about that because I thought to myself,
51:11 Now I got an answer.
51:13 Because you know what? if the Devil could touch us after God
51:17 redeemed us, he would have killed us a long time ago.
51:20 But there's an angel, and I found the quote.
51:24 Prophets and Kings, 587.
51:28 The servant of the Lord says, Angels of God will walk on
51:33 either side of us in this world.
51:36 And they will stand at last among the angels that
51:41 surround the throne of God.
51:43 So when I walk out of here today, you ain't going to see
51:45 it, but I've got an angel over here,
51:48 and I have an angel over here.
51:50 Come on somebody! Amen!
51:51 You know what? You have one, too, Robbie D.
51:53 And Jim, you have one, too.
51:56 You have one, too, Irma.
51:58 I mean, pardon me, I called you Irma.
51:59 Irma, Adima, you have one, too.
52:03 Will, you have one, too.
52:04 Don't look! They're watching your back.
52:08 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about those that fear
52:15 Him, and deliver them.
52:17 How else can Jill and Greg reflect the
52:21 righteousness of Jesus?
52:23 How else can Jeff and Charletta allow God's glory to be seen?
52:29 How else? Because God cleaned them up.
52:33 And as the enemy is coming they said, Back! Don't touch him.
52:36 So today I want you to leave here knowing this,
52:41 my final quote: Nothing in the world is so dear to the heart
52:46 of God as His church.
52:51 It is not His will that worldly policy shall corrupt her record.
52:55 He does not leave His people to be overcome by
52:58 Satan's temptations.
52:59 He will punish those who misrepresent Him.
53:03 But He will be gracious to all who sincerely repent.
53:07 To those who call upon Him for strength, for the development
53:14 of Christian character He will give all the help they need.
53:21 Plucked from the fire.
53:24 Is there somebody here today that wants to
53:32 stand with their angel?
53:36 That wants to acknowledge that they have been redeemed
53:38 by the blood of the Lamb?
53:43 And they're going to walk out of here like those with divine
53:47 secret service protection.
53:50 And when the angel, when the enemy comes in like a flood,
53:53 God is going to lift up a standard against him.
53:56 So that as He's working on, as He's working in His children,
54:01 so that what's on the outside reflects what takes place on the
54:07 inside we need not walk this world fearful,
54:13 with intrepidation, and hesitation.
54:16 We need not walk this world thinking that somehow we are
54:21 just not good enough, for we are today the sons
54:28 and daughters of God. Amen
54:31 An angel on my right.
54:32 You know it's transformed the way I live my day.
54:37 Did you hear what I said?
54:40 If you know you've got an angel right here, and you know you
54:43 have an angel right here.
54:46 I don't know their names.
54:47 I'll meet them sooner or later.
54:50 And you're faced in a moment.
54:53 I'm living in this reality right now.
54:55 And you're faced with a moment of temptation, or tests.
55:01 Your angel said, Don't do it.
55:06 The angel said, Whatever he said: Don't do it.
55:12 Then I say, You guys with me?
55:15 We ain't going anywhere.
55:17 They're going to walk with me through this life.
55:20 And when we walk through the gates into the New Jerusalem,
55:23 I got a guarantee there are going to be at least twice as
55:28 many angels as there are people walking into the gates
55:32 of the New Jerusalem.
55:33 That day, that day, Mike, Pam, that day you're going to see
55:39 your angel walking into the gates with you.
55:42 Today I want to thank our Heavenly Father that He has
55:45 plucked every one of us by His grace from the fire that is
55:52 waiting to eradicate sin and suffering eternally.
55:58 Father in Heaven, it's hard to think that one day we're
56:09 going to be just as perfect as You see us:
56:11 spotless, sinless, glorified, clothed with Your righteousness,
56:21 redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, forgiven, in a perfect
56:28 environment where there is no sin and
56:30 suffering, no death, no pain.
56:32 Lord, there's nothing in this world that can offer us that
56:38 kind of eternal hope, that kind of eternal assurance.
56:44 There's nothing in this life that is worthy embracing and
56:51 trading for joy and peace forevermore.
56:56 But Father, the enemy wants to point our sins out.
56:59 He wants us to feel less than, unworthy, faulty, sinful.
57:06 He wants us to spend time rummaging through the records
57:10 of our past failures that we might lose courage for the
57:14 journey ahead of us.
57:16 But today, Lord, that's not the message.
57:17 Take off his filthy robes.
57:19 Put a turban on him.
57:21 Clean him up and stand by his side.
57:26 And so gracious Father today we accept the category of saint,
57:31 as you have redeemed us from the walk of a sinner.
57:38 Send us forth today, Father, from this place to reflect in a
57:42 powerful way Your glory and Your righteousness.
57:48 And when people hear us, and when they see us, may they hear
57:52 and see those who have been transformed by your grace.
57:55 May they see Christians, saints, under construction.
58:01 And, Lord, when You finish the project, oh what a day of
58:05 rejoicing that will be.
58:06 But keep us ever before Your throne of grace on our knees
58:10 that we may stand, on our backs that we may look up,
58:14 looking forward to find grace and strength,
58:17 and walking with Jesus every day.
58:19 This is our desire.
58:21 This is our prayer.
58:22 Accomplish it Father as only You can.
58:26 In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


Revised 2017-10-23