Participants: John Dinzey
Series Code: ASHF
Program Code: ASHF000170A
00:19 Welcome to a Sharper Focus.
00:21 This is a Bible study coming to you
00:25 live from the Thompsonville Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:27 and the 3ABN Worship Center.
00:30 We welcome every one of you.
00:32 We welcome every one of you that are here.
00:34 And we are glad that you have joined us to study
00:38 God's Word together,
00:39 we're glad that you are here.
00:41 And I see just about everybody has their Bible,
00:43 if not a literal Bible, a digital Bible.
00:47 So I praise the Lord for that.
00:49 We are going to study a topic
00:51 that I believe is in the minds of many people,
00:53 because many people are asking themselves
00:55 what is going on in this world.
00:59 But before we continue,
01:01 we like to go to the Lord in prayer
01:03 to ask for His blessing for all of us,
01:06 that as we study His word, He will guide us.
01:09 Let's go to the Lord in prayer.
01:12 Our loving, heavenly Father, we thank You so much
01:16 for Your goodness and mercy to us.
01:18 We pray that as we study Your Holy Spirit
01:21 will help us to understand the scriptures,
01:23 and understand this topic.
01:25 We pray, Lord, that Your name will be glorified.
01:28 I place myself in Your hands,
01:30 and I pray that every word
01:33 spoken will come from Your throne of grace.
01:36 Thank You, Lord,
01:38 for the promise of Your Holy Spirit,
01:39 and we ask for this blessing in Jesus name, amen.
01:45 Perhaps, you have noticed, I'm sure you have
01:48 if you either face another person in this world,
01:51 or you listen to the news, read the news,
01:54 you know that there have been many calamities going on
01:59 during this year, and even last year.
02:02 Even last year, we heard in the winter of tornadoes
02:06 that were going through different parts
02:08 of the United States of America.
02:10 And I want to talk to you about some of the things
02:12 that are going on in the world.
02:13 Right now there is financial insecurity.
02:16 Perhaps, you may have financial insecurity,
02:18 I don't know,
02:19 but I know the nations have financial insecurity.
02:22 We've heard many times about the Europe
02:25 that it may collapse, that nations may pull out.
02:29 The US dollar goes up and down.
02:31 And there is financial insecurity
02:34 practically around the world.
02:37 And currencies are being devalued,
02:39 and currencies are going through great difficulties.
02:43 I know one country that has accused
02:46 the United States of America
02:48 because of all the poverty that is in their country,
02:51 because the gas prices have just plummeted,
02:54 as a result of the US producing their own gasoline.
02:59 So there is financial insecurity in this world.
03:02 So we ask ourselves, how long will this go?
03:05 How long will it last
03:06 until we have these things figured out?
03:09 I tell you, the politicians do not have the answers.
03:13 Nobody has the answers for the world's problems.
03:16 But we have hope in Jesus Christ.
03:18 Now I want to talk to you about war.
03:21 I was doing a little research,
03:22 and there are more than 15 active wars right now
03:27 in some part of the world.
03:28 You may be at peace, you may walk in peace
03:31 throughout your home, throughout your little town,
03:34 but there are people that cannot walk in peace
03:38 in their city, in their country.
03:40 And I tell you, let's go just over a few of them
03:43 because hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.
03:48 Let me mention to you.
03:49 Syria, since 2011,
03:52 nearly 1.5 million people have been killed in war.
03:58 Iraq, there is civil war,
04:00 thousands upon thousands of people
04:02 have died in civil war
04:05 and other conflicts that Iraq is involved in.
04:08 The continent of Africa, the Somali Civil War
04:12 that since 1991, people have been fighting
04:16 about a half million people have been killed.
04:20 I'll talk to you about Afghanistan
04:22 that perhaps rings a bell in the US,
04:24 because the US is involved in the Afghanistan war.
04:27 And it's been years
04:29 and they've talked about pulling the troops out,
04:31 but the Afghanistan war began since around 1978,
04:36 and they do not really know how many people have died.
04:39 It's between one and two million people.
04:42 There is war, and there is rumors of war.
04:45 Have you heard rumors of war?
04:46 Would you say that's true?
04:48 Yes, you have.
04:49 Perhaps, you have heard that there is this rumor of war
04:53 between the US and North Korea.
04:57 They're going back and forth, "Yes, we can bomb you.
05:00 No, we can bomb you better.
05:02 We will devastate you, we will destroy you."
05:04 Back and forth they go,
05:05 and we do not know where it will end.
05:08 We see that the people are becoming uneasy,
05:12 the people of North Korea are getting ready for war,
05:16 and the US is also appears to be getting ready for war.
05:20 So there are wars and rumors of war.
05:23 And I can talk to you about
05:25 a horrendous amount of crimes all over the world.
05:30 The news is filled with them.
05:32 You listen to the radio, you read the newspapers.
05:34 Go online, read news,
05:36 and you will hear of horrible, horrible crimes.
05:39 The US was recently shocked
05:41 when October the 1st, a man went into a hotel room
05:45 with many high powered automatic weapons,
05:50 and started shooting people
05:52 that were listening to a concert.
05:54 Shot about 50 people, I don't know the exact number.
05:58 Yes, 58 people dead, 489 injured.
06:02 They say it was over 500, but 489 people injured,
06:06 one man doing so much harm.
06:09 So you ask yourself, what is going on?
06:13 So there are wars and rumors of wars.
06:16 Tornadoes, have any of you heard of tornadoes?
06:20 Yes, actually, we live in an area
06:22 that they call Tornado Alley.
06:26 And, yes, tornadoes have been causing devastation
06:29 in the United States of America and in other countries as well.
06:33 As a matter of fact, they have 1,423 tornado reports
06:39 just in the year 2017 thus far.
06:44 So tornadoes have been causing devastation.
06:47 And they began, they say,
06:49 exceptionally early in the year 2017
06:52 having the second most active January,
06:55 since the year 1950,
06:57 when they began to keep records of tornadoes.
07:01 Now, let's talk about hurricane.
07:03 Recently, certain hurricanes have become
07:07 known in the minds of people.
07:09 If I mention to you Hurricane Harvey
07:11 right away in the US,
07:13 you start thinking of Houston, flooding, homes destroyed,
07:20 people lost their lives,
07:22 and they estimate over $180 billion in damage.
07:27 And that's more than any other natural disaster
07:31 in the US history,
07:33 flooding and people desperate
07:36 because they lost their homes.
07:39 So if we continue talking, we can mention hurricane Irma.
07:45 We have also that caused widespread destruction
07:49 throughout the Caribbean.
07:51 And they say that Barbuda, a tiny island
07:54 over 90% of the homes and vehicles
07:58 were destroyed by this hurricane.
08:01 How many of you have seen pictures
08:02 of some of the destruction?
08:03 Some of you are shaking their heads
08:05 and raising your hands.
08:06 Yes, this is something that we have to ask ourselves.
08:10 What is going on?
08:13 And if we continue, Hurricane Irma
08:16 went through Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy,
08:20 US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico,
08:22 Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Florida.
08:25 And just when people were beginning to kind of pick up
08:28 their feet from Hurricane Irma,
08:31 along comes another hurricane by the name of Maria,
08:36 yes, Maria, practically the same trajectory.
08:39 But this time, it went straight
08:42 almost through the middle of Puerto Rico,
08:44 and Puerto Rico suffering the greater damage
08:47 than any other place,
08:48 however other damage was done in other places.
08:51 They say that in Puerto Rico, according to CNN
08:57 cost apocalyptic devastation flooding,
09:01 crippled communications, decimated buildings,
09:04 and knocked out electricity over 90% of the country.
09:08 And they say that even today, after almost three weeks
09:13 about 90% of the people do not have electricity.
09:16 So people are going, they're starving
09:19 because they don't have access to food.
09:21 All of the vegetation has been destroyed,
09:23 and so people are suffering.
09:25 Fresh water is an issue.
09:27 And I have heard of people dying
09:29 because of lack of electricity in hospitals.
09:31 We were in Colombia when the hurricane hit.
09:34 We heard of two people dying in a hospital
09:37 because they did not have enough fuel
09:39 to keep the generator going.
09:41 And so serious problems still underway,
09:44 people are still trying to pick themselves up on their feet.
09:47 But recently, we have also heard of firestorms.
09:51 Anybody hear about firestorm?
09:53 Yes, firestorms.
09:55 California has thousands of wildfires each year.
10:00 And they're often isolated
10:02 to sparsely populated area but not this time.
10:06 The firestorm that engulfed
10:08 large parts of Napa and Sonoma Counties
10:11 in California on Monday, this past Monday,
10:14 will go down in history as one of the worse
10:17 such events ever recorded in the Golden State.
10:20 And interestingly enough,
10:23 when you talk about a firestorm,
10:25 they call it a firestorm
10:26 because the winds increase to storm capacity
10:33 if you want to call it.
10:34 The storms, they measured
10:36 reached winds of 79 miles per hour.
10:41 In other words, the firemen were not able
10:44 to keep up with this fire
10:45 as they quickly spread destroying home, properties,
10:49 I've seen vehicles that you don't know
10:50 what color they were,
10:53 homes where there's just a fireplace left.
10:55 And home after home, and people have been crying,
10:59 devastated because they have lost everything,
11:03 and this is the world that we live in.
11:05 Again, interestingly enough, they call them Diablo winds.
11:10 Now recently somebody asked me, what's Diablo?
11:14 In Spanish, the word means devil.
11:17 They call these devil winds.
11:19 And I think they're rightly named
11:21 because the devil is causing destruction,
11:24 and people do not know
11:26 it's the devil causing destruction.
11:28 So I say to you, what is going on?
11:33 So about 100,000 acres have been destroyed
11:38 because of fires,
11:40 millions and millions of dollars in damage.
11:44 So what is going on?
11:46 Who's responsible?
11:47 Is God causing the earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes?
11:51 Is the devil causing them?
11:52 What does all this mean?
11:55 I would like to begin our Bible study
11:58 by going to Jeremiah 31:3.
12:01 We need to get acquainted with these things,
12:03 because the Bible tells us
12:06 that there is a great controversy
12:08 between good and evil.
12:10 On one side, you have Satan and his angels
12:13 that rebel from heaven.
12:14 And on the other side, you have God,
12:16 and his interest in saving humanity
12:20 from destruction,
12:22 and He wants to save each and every one of us.
12:25 We read in the Bible that God is not willing
12:26 that any should perish,
12:28 but that all come to repentance.
12:31 And so Jeremiah 31:3, the Bible says,
12:35 "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying,
12:39 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.
12:43 Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'"
12:48 So I question, is this the God
12:51 that we would consider responsible
12:53 for the widespread damage and destruction?
12:57 I would say to you, no.
12:59 When you look at the Bible,
13:00 you see that God is consistent there.
13:03 When God takes into action to punish people,
13:07 He does it for a reason.
13:08 But God does not do indiscriminate destruction,
13:14 such as these devastations caused by hurricanes,
13:17 tornadoes, cyclones, typhoons
13:20 whatever you may want to call them.
13:22 In Jeremiah 29:11,
13:25 just a couple of chapters before.
13:27 Jeremiah 29:11, the Bible tells us,
13:30 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
13:33 says the Lord,
13:35 thoughts of peace and not of evil,
13:37 to give you a future and a hope."
13:40 To give you an expected end,
13:42 you read in the King James Version.
13:44 So this is God.
13:46 God has thoughts of peace, thoughts of love,
13:49 loves you with an everlasting love.
13:52 And I ask you, does the devil love you?
13:56 The Bible tells us concerning the devil in 1 Peter 5:8,
14:01 1 Peter 5:8.
14:03 I don't know if you'll have a chance to find it
14:05 before I began reading it.
14:07 1 Peter 5:8, so I have it in my notes, I read.
14:11 It says, "Be sober, be vigilant,
14:14 because your adversary the devil walks
14:19 about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
14:25 So I ask, what is going on?
14:27 Is the Bible...
14:28 Is the God,
14:30 the Bible says is love that loves us
14:31 with an everlasting love doing destruction?
14:34 Or is the devil that the Bible says
14:35 is going around like a roaring lion,
14:38 seeking whom he may devour?
14:40 I would like to encourage you
14:41 to continue studying with us throughout this hour.
14:43 We only have about 43 minutes left,
14:45 and you will see that the Bible helps us to understand
14:49 who is causing destruction.
14:51 In John 10:10,
14:54 Jesus says concerning the devil.
14:57 John 10:10, he tells us the following.
15:02 "The thief," that is the devil
15:04 "does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
15:12 I have come" Jesus says "that they may have life,
15:15 and that they may have it more abundantly."
15:19 So this is Jesus.
15:22 This is God that says He loves us.
15:25 And so let's go to a scripture that helps us understand
15:29 that the devil is involved in causing pain and suffering.
15:34 We're going to go now to the Book of Luke 13,
15:38 Luke 13,
15:41 and we're gonna begin reading in verse 10.
15:43 We're gonna read a lot of scriptures,
15:45 so that we can get a nice firm foundation about this topic.
15:51 Luke 13:10, "Now he was teaching
15:54 in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
15:57 And behold, there was a woman
15:59 who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years,
16:02 and was bent over
16:04 and could in no ways raise herself up.
16:07 But when Jesus saw her,
16:09 He called her to Him and said to her,
16:11 'Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.'
16:16 And He laid His hands on her,
16:18 and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God."
16:23 She was healed.
16:24 Jesus healed this woman.
16:27 And all should be praising the Lord.
16:30 However, some people were not happy.
16:31 It says in verse 14,
16:33 "But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation,
16:37 because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.
16:40 And he said to the crowd,
16:41 'There are six days on which men ought to work,
16:44 therefore come and be healed on them,
16:47 and not on the Sabbath day.'"
16:49 This man did not recognize the work of God
16:54 and blamed Jesus to doing work on the Sabbath.
16:59 And he says in verse 15,
17:00 "The Lord then answered him and said, 'Hypocrite!
17:05 Does not each one of you on the Sabbath
17:08 loose his ox or his donkey
17:10 from the stall, and lead it away to water?
17:13 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham,
17:16 whom Satan has bound..."
17:18 Who bound her?
17:19 "Satan has bound.
17:21 Think of it, for eighteen years,
17:24 be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath.'
17:28 And when He said these things,
17:29 all His adversaries were put to shame,
17:31 and all the multitude rejoice
17:33 for all the glorious things that were done by Him."
17:37 So here, Jesus reveals to us that this woman was sick,
17:42 bent over, couldn't straighten herself up,
17:45 because Satan had bound her.
17:48 Now mind you, I want to draw a difference
17:50 between Satan causing a disease,
17:54 and we causing ourselves a disease.
17:57 We know nowadays, especially nowadays,
18:00 there's some a lot of information out there
18:02 that tells you, if you eat this,
18:05 your veins are gonna get clogged
18:07 and you may have heart disease.
18:09 You eat a lot of this type of food
18:12 and you're gonna get high blood pressure.
18:15 You keep eating these other kinds of food,
18:17 and you may get diabetes.
18:20 You keep smoking, and you may get lung cancer
18:24 or any other type of cancer
18:26 because it causes many different kinds of cancers.
18:28 And so we today have better information than before.
18:33 So I'm drawing a difference between
18:35 those that cause themselves disease,
18:38 and the ones that the devil causes.
18:40 But the devil causes diseases
18:43 and inflicts pain and suffering on people.
18:48 In Acts 10, Acts 10:38,
18:52 the Bible once again tells us that the devil causes sickness.
18:59 The Bible says in Acts 10:38,
19:01 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
19:05 with the Holy Spirit and with power,
19:08 who went about doing good
19:09 and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,
19:14 for God was with Him."
19:16 So the Bible teaches us that the devil causes diseases.
19:21 And we need to be aware of that
19:23 because the devil, it goes around doing evil
19:27 and nobody points the finger at him.
19:30 Nobody says it is him,
19:31 except the Christians
19:33 that understand this little better.
19:34 And so insurance companies,
19:36 they still have it in their records
19:39 that when a tornado or an earthquake
19:41 or some other thing happens not caused by man,
19:45 they say it's an act of God.
19:48 And many of these times, it is an act of the devil,
19:51 and they need to correct those insurance policies.
19:54 Now let's go into another scripture,
19:59 set of scriptures that helps us understand
20:01 how God deals with things.
20:03 In Genesis 18, Genesis 18,
20:07 we are going to read verses 20 through 32 rather quickly,
20:12 so please follow along.
20:14 Actually, we may skip a few just to save time,
20:18 but the context is very similar,
20:20 so you'll understand why I am
20:23 for the sake of time moving along in these.
20:26 Let's begin in verse 20.
20:27 "And the Lord said, 'Because the outcry against
20:30 Sodom and Gomorrah is great,
20:32 and because their sin is very grave.'"
20:34 Verse 21, "I will go down now
20:36 and see whether they have done altogether
20:38 according to the outcry against it
20:41 that has come to Me.
20:43 And if not, I will know."
20:45 In other words, God does an inspection
20:47 before He goes into action.
20:51 "Then the men turned away from there
20:53 and went toward Sodom,
20:54 but Abraham still stood before the Lord.
20:58 And Abraham came near and said,
21:00 'Would you also destroy the righteous
21:04 with the wicked?'"
21:05 That is a good question.
21:07 Abraham that knows God and knows about Him says,
21:12 "Are you also gonna destroy the righteous with the wicked?"
21:15 Now says verse 24,
21:17 "Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city,
21:21 would you also destroy the place
21:24 and not spare it
21:25 for the fifty righteous that were in it?"
21:28 Notice what he says then.
21:29 "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this,
21:34 to slay the righteous with the wicked,
21:36 so that the righteous should be as the wicked,
21:39 far be it from You!
21:41 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
21:47 So Abraham knew something about God.
21:49 He knew that God will not slay the righteous with the wicked.
21:53 In other words, God does not cause random destruction.
21:58 If somebody is doing evil, then God goes into action,
22:02 does an inspection, but interestingly enough,
22:04 we know that God warns people about coming destruction.
22:09 How many of you remember Noah's Ark?
22:13 Before the flood came,
22:16 was Noah sent to warn the people?
22:19 Yes or no?
22:20 Yes, Noah was sent to warn the people.
22:22 And we understand for 120 years,
22:25 he preached to the people.
22:27 And we also see in another discussion,
22:31 Abraham with God, that God says to Abraham,
22:35 know for a surety that your children
22:39 will go into captivity in such and such a land.
22:42 And after 430 years,
22:47 yes, they will be delivered from their bondage.
22:52 And he says,
22:53 because the iniquity of the Amorites
22:55 is not yet full, the Bible says.
22:58 In other words, God has a measuring,
23:02 a measure of sin,
23:03 when they reach this level of sin,
23:05 then God has to move into action,
23:07 and it was 430 years later for the Amorites.
23:11 Is God merciful?
23:12 Would you say, yes?
23:14 God is merciful.
23:15 If He is merciful, has been merciful to you,
23:17 would you say amen?
23:20 The Lord has been merciful to you and I,
23:22 and we're gonna see that in a moment.
23:24 Notice what the Lord says.
23:25 Verse 26, "So the Lord said,
23:27 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city,
23:33 then I will spare all the place for their sakes.'"
23:38 Would you say amen to that?
23:39 God was willing to be merciful to thousands of people,
23:44 if only 50 righteous,
23:47 50 good people were found in the city.
23:50 That's wonderful.
23:51 But Abraham has learned
23:54 to love his neighbor as himself.
23:56 Abraham does not know all the inhabitants
23:59 of Sodom and Gomorrah,
24:01 but he's concerned,
24:02 he's concerned about the good people.
24:05 And so he continues asking, he goes down 5 to 45,
24:09 he goes down to 40, and let's go to verse 30,
24:13 because Abraham that started at 50,
24:16 now he's asking the Lord about 30.
24:19 "Then he said, 'Let not the Lord be angry,
24:21 and I will speak, suppose thirty should be found there?'
24:25 So he said, 'I will not do it if I find thirty there.'"
24:32 Isn't that wonderful?
24:34 If 30 people, good people
24:36 are found in Sodom and Gomorrah,
24:38 the whole, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
24:41 would not be destroyed,
24:43 thousands of people will be spared
24:44 because of the 30 good people.
24:47 Did Abraham stop there?
24:50 According to the Bible, in verse 32, let's go there.
24:56 I skipped a few,
24:57 because, you know, the trajectory
24:58 he kept going down,
25:00 first by five, and then by ten.
25:01 Verse 32, "Then he said, 'Let not the Lord be angry,
25:04 and I will speak but once more,
25:06 suppose ten should be found there?'
25:09 And he said, 'I will not destroy it
25:12 for the sake of the ten.'
25:14 So the Lord went His way
25:16 as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham,
25:18 and Abraham returned to his place."
25:21 Was Abraham encouraged?
25:23 Yes, he was.
25:24 He was encouraged
25:26 because he knew that the Lord was gonna go and check.
25:29 And if ten good people were found in Sodom and Gomorrah,
25:33 they would be spared.
25:35 Unfortunately, the Bible reveals
25:37 that there were not even ten good people
25:39 in Sodom and Gomorrah.
25:41 But what did the Lord do?
25:43 The Lord went, sent the angels to find the good people
25:49 to ask them to leave Sodom and Gomorrah,
25:52 so that they would not be destroyed with the wicked.
25:55 Is the Lord good?
25:56 Yes. The Lord is good.
25:59 So we see that the Lord before He takes action
26:03 to punish the wicked, there is a warning.
26:05 And after warning after warning after warning,
26:09 He does a study to see,
26:13 is it as evil as I have come to know
26:16 as I have heard from the angels?
26:18 And He checks and then He takes action.
26:20 Do you remember Jonah?
26:22 Jonah went to warn the people of Nineveh.
26:26 Yes, he went to warn the people
26:28 and they repented, and they were spared.
26:32 And so we see that God takes action
26:34 only after warning after warning.
26:38 But the devil is different.
26:39 In the Bible, we read that the devil
26:41 goes about seeking whom he may devour,
26:44 and who can get devoured by the devil.
26:48 The Bible tells us that he's trying to destroy
26:51 whomever he can.
26:52 The best thing we can do
26:53 is to place ourselves in the Lord's hand,
26:56 so that we can have His protection.
26:59 Let's go to Job 1.
27:01 In Job 1,
27:05 we're gonna start reading in verse 6,
27:07 and we're gonna try to go to verse 22.
27:11 And some of you are familiar with this story,
27:13 but it reveals to us,
27:14 it's like the curtain is pulled aside,
27:17 so that we can see how the devil is so wicked.
27:21 If there's anybody bad, it's the devil, right?
27:24 Job 1:6, "Now there was a day
27:27 when the sons of God came
27:28 to present themselves before the Lord,
27:30 and Satan came also among them.
27:34 And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?'
27:37 From whence comest thou?
27:39 So Satan answered the Lord and said,
27:41 'From going to and fro on the earth,
27:43 and from walking up and back and forth on it.'
27:46 Then the Lord said to Satan,
27:47 'Have you considered My servant Job,
27:50 that there is none like him on the earth,
27:52 a blameless and upright man,
27:54 one who fears God and shuns evil?'"
27:59 Question, did the devil know about Job?
28:04 Oh, yes, Notice, "So Satan answered..."
28:06 Verse 9, "And said does Job fear God for nothing?"
28:11 Have you not made a hedge
28:13 around about him, around his household,
28:17 and around all that he has on every side?
28:21 You have blessed the work of his hands,
28:23 and his possessions have increased in the land.
28:27 Wow, what a tremendous testimony.
28:30 But we also understand that the devil had tried,
28:34 had tried to get into Job.
28:35 You have protected him on every side.
28:37 It's like he tried this side, that side, this side,
28:39 that side, this side and he couldn't get in,
28:41 he couldn't cause harm and damage to Job.
28:44 And Job was still faithful, faithful.
28:47 Tempt the Job and Job was faithful.
28:51 And so what happens...
28:53 How did he know?
28:55 Because he had tried.
28:56 Let's go to, for a moment, keep your finger in Job 1,
28:59 and we'll go to Psalm 34,
29:03 we'll read two verses in Psalm 34:7 and 8,
29:06 Psalm 34:7 and 8.
29:09 The Bible says,
29:10 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around
29:14 those who fear Him, and delivers them."
29:17 I know this in the King James Version,
29:18 I'm reading from the New King James.
29:20 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear him,
29:23 and delivers them."
29:24 Verse 8.
29:26 "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,
29:30 blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
29:33 So what does the Bible say? That the Lord is good.
29:38 And He sends his angel
29:39 to encamp around all the saints of the Lord,
29:44 and protects them.
29:45 They may suffer damage to property,
29:47 but the Lord protects their life.
29:50 Let's go, let's continue in Job 1:13.
29:58 I think I skipped a few verses.
30:01 Yes, we continue with verse 13, we read last verse...
30:07 I think I skipped somewhere since here.
30:09 Let's go to Job, we were at verse what?
30:14 Verse 9, so it's Job 1.
30:18 And Job 1, we've read through verse 9,
30:20 so now we're gonna read verse 10.
30:23 No, we read 10.
30:25 And so the devil says,
30:26 "But put forth your hand now and touch all that he has,
30:32 and he will curse you to your face."
30:35 Job, I mean, the devil is now challenging God.
30:40 He says, "Put forth your hand now,
30:42 and touch all that he has,
30:43 and he will curse you to your face."
30:45 And the Lord said onto Satan,
30:49 "Behold, all that he has
30:51 is in your power only upon himself,
30:56 put not forth your hand."
30:58 So Satan went forth from the presence of Lord.
31:02 Satan went forth from the presence of Lord.
31:05 So Satan now could reach Job,
31:10 but he had orders, what were the orders?
31:12 Do not touch? Do not touch him.
31:18 Also in other words, do not kill him.
31:21 Now verse 13,
31:22 "Now there was a day
31:24 when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
31:26 in their oldest brother's house.
31:28 And a messenger came to Job, and said,
31:30 'The oxen were plowing,
31:32 and the donkeys feeding beside them.
31:34 When the Sabeans raided them, and took them away.
31:37 Indeed, they have killed the servants
31:40 with the edge of the sword,
31:41 and I alone have escaped to tell you.'"
31:45 Is that bad news? That's bad news.
31:49 But I don't know
31:51 if you've ever had an experience like this
31:53 that sometimes something happens to you,
31:55 and then sometimes later, something else happens to you,
31:57 perhaps in the same day, and you go, another thing.
32:02 It's going from bad to worse.
32:03 But in this scripture,
32:06 we find that while this man was still speaking,
32:10 according to verse 16,
32:11 while he was still speaking, another also came,
32:13 and he said,
32:14 "The fire of God fell from heaven,
32:17 and burned up the sheep,
32:19 and the servants, and consumed them,
32:21 and I alone have escaped to tell you."
32:24 Now notice this for a moment.
32:27 His oxen and his donkeys were taken away,
32:32 and they killed the servants, so now he...
32:36 His possessions are being effected,
32:38 and his sheep and his servants were consumed.
32:43 Now he says, fire from where?
32:47 The servant reported that it was fire from God.
32:50 Was it lightning?
32:52 The Bible doesn't tell us what it was.
32:53 But it appeared to him that it came from the sky,
32:56 so he's saying it was from God.
32:58 Who do we know caused this destruction?
33:01 The devil.
33:03 The devil caused this destruction,
33:06 and so that's the curtain being pushed aside
33:09 so that we understand who is doing the destroying.
33:12 Verse 17,
33:13 "While he was still speaking, another also came and said,
33:17 'The Chaldeans formed three bands,
33:20 raided the camels and took them away,
33:22 yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword,
33:26 and I alone have escaped to tell you.'
33:29 While he was still speaking, another also came and said,
33:32 'Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
33:35 in their oldest brother's house,
33:37 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness,
33:40 and struck the four corners of the house,
33:42 and it fell on the young man, and they are dead,
33:46 and I alone have escaped to tell you.'"
33:50 Horrible, horrible news.
33:53 One after another in quick successions,
33:56 while one is speaking,
33:58 another one comes with bad news.
34:00 And it says...
34:02 What kind?
34:03 A wind came from the wilderness.
34:06 Some natural disaster occurred.
34:08 And so I say these things to you
34:11 so that you understand,
34:13 so that we understand
34:14 that the devil is allowed from time to time control
34:20 over the natural elements of the earth.
34:22 In this case, we heard a fire coming down from the sky,
34:26 it may have been lighting,
34:28 and the Lord allowed him
34:30 to have control over these elements.
34:32 The Lord also allowed him
34:33 to have control over the wind at that time,
34:36 and it caused the house to fall on Job's children
34:40 and killed them.
34:42 So today, when you think about natural disasters,
34:46 please understand
34:48 that just because I say natural disaster
34:51 that you would blame God for this.
34:53 We have to understand
34:54 that the devil is allowed sometimes
34:57 to cause natural catastrophes.
35:01 And there is an understanding
35:04 that we need to have before this hour is over,
35:06 and you need to stand by so that we understand this.
35:09 "Then Job arose," verse 20, "tore his robe,
35:12 and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground,
35:15 and worshiped.
35:16 And he said, Naked I came from my mother's womb,
35:19 and naked shall I return there."
35:24 So we see that
35:26 the devil caused great suffering,
35:29 lost his possessions,
35:31 lost including his home, including his children,
35:35 and all the flock of sheep that he had, etcetera.
35:40 If you continue reading in Job,
35:42 you will also know
35:43 that eventually the Lord gave him,
35:45 allowed him to touch Job with physical ailment,
35:50 and the description is horrendous.
35:53 Sores all over his body,
35:55 he couldn't even sit comfortably,
35:57 suffered greatly that even friends,
35:59 when they came to see Job,
36:01 they were so shocked at his appearance
36:04 that they couldn't say a word for several days.
36:08 That's how bad it was.
36:10 And Job remained faithful to the Lord.
36:12 And so in verse 21, it ends with,
36:15 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
36:18 Blessed be the name of the Lord."
36:20 Verse 22,
36:21 "In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."
36:26 Praise the Lord.
36:28 And so when you think of tornadoes and destruction,
36:33 please understand that the devil is involved.
36:38 I'd like to invite you to Luke 13.
36:43 Luke 13.
36:46 In Luke 13,
36:49 we have another scripture
36:51 that helps us to understand
36:54 the wickedness of the devil and the damage he causes.
36:59 And we understand
37:02 that he uses people, he uses people.
37:07 This man that we mentioned about Las Vegas,
37:09 I have asked myself,
37:11 if this man was demon possessed,
37:13 they have found no reason, no notes, nothing
37:16 about him that they can say, oh, he was not well,
37:19 he was mentally deranged or something.
37:22 But as I consider the killings and police shooting people,
37:27 people shooting police.
37:29 In Chicago, every week is a tale of murders,
37:35 it's horrendous.
37:37 Chicago is one of the highest crime rate in the world.
37:42 And according to what I heard,
37:45 they have one of the strictest gun control
37:47 and yet
37:49 there is a lot of shootings and people being killed.
37:52 Luke 13, notice, beginning verse 1,
37:57 "There were present at that season some
38:00 who told him,"
38:01 that is Jesus, "about the Galileans,
38:03 whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
38:07 And Jesus answered and said to them,
38:09 "Do you suppose that these Galileans
38:12 were worse sinners than all the other Galileans,
38:16 because they suffered such things?
38:18 I tell you, no.
38:22 But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
38:27 Or those eighteen,
38:28 on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them,
38:31 do you think they were worse sinners
38:33 than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?"
38:36 I tell you what, no,
38:38 they were not worse sinners
38:39 than the people that dwell in Jerusalem,
38:41 Jesus is telling them.
38:42 "But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
38:47 So what is Jesus trying to say?
38:49 Jesus is trying to say that just because
38:52 you hear about calamity,
38:54 let's say Houston,
38:55 let's say Puerto Rico, Dominica, Barbuda,
39:00 and all these other places where there is destruction.
39:04 It does not mean that
39:05 they were worse sinners than we are,
39:08 worse sinners than in Thompsonville,
39:10 West Frankfurt, Benton, Chicago
39:13 because if we analyze these things
39:16 the way they should be.
39:17 The Bible says in Romans 3:23, what does it say?
39:22 "For all have sinned,
39:24 and come short of the glory of God."
39:26 If all have sinned,
39:28 and come short of the glory of God,
39:30 the whole world deserves to be punished.
39:32 Is that true? Yes or no?
39:34 The whole world deserves to be punished.
39:36 But yet God is merciful, God is kind,
39:40 and does not want any to perish,
39:43 but that all should come to repentance.
39:46 But we ask ourselves, what do these things mean?
39:50 I would like to bring to your attention,
39:53 the people of Israel.
39:54 God told the people of Israel,
39:56 you can read in beginning at Exodus,
39:58 Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy,
40:00 and you read how God promised and did great things.
40:04 You will plant,
40:05 and they will reap a great harvest.
40:09 Your wives will bear children,
40:11 there will be no diseases among you,
40:13 many wonderful blessings.
40:15 And the Lord warned them.
40:16 If you walk away and start doing wickedness,
40:21 then you will begin to face trouble.
40:24 And you will be taken captives, you will become slaves.
40:28 And you can read the story of Israel,
40:30 and when you get to the Book of Judges,
40:33 you already began to see
40:35 that God sent one judge after another
40:39 and then you read about kings,
40:41 and the different kings that come in,
40:43 and it's almost like every king
40:45 that came in was worse than the other.
40:47 And he did more evil than all the kings before him
40:50 and provoked God's anger.
40:52 And so now I bring you to the Book of Ezekiel 39,
40:56 in the Book of Ezekiel 39,
40:58 God reveals something to us that we need to understand.
41:02 In Ezekiel 39:23 and verse 23 says,
41:08 "And the nations shall know
41:11 that the house of Israel
41:13 was exiled for their iniquity because they sinned against Me,
41:19 therefore I hid My face from them,
41:21 and gave them into the hand of their enemies,
41:24 so they all fell by the sword."
41:27 Notice verse 24,
41:29 "According to their uncleanness
41:30 and according to their sins, I have done to them,
41:35 and have hidden My face from them."
41:38 So what is going on here with the people of Israel?
41:41 Please understand that prior to the Lord allowing them
41:46 to be taken captive, the Lord sent prophet, judges,
41:51 people to warn them return to the Lord.
41:54 You read of Jeremiah,
41:55 return to the Lord, return to the Lord.
41:58 Do the right thing,
41:59 put away the evil from before my face,
42:02 put away the evil from before me
42:04 and lock in righteousness
42:07 and they continued to do evil, continued to do evil.
42:10 So the time comes when God says, this is enough.
42:14 Now I'm going to allow you
42:16 to reap what you have sown.
42:21 And so here we have revealed to us
42:24 that the Lord allowed
42:25 the people of Israel to be taken away
42:27 to exile and to suffer.
42:31 Because basically, according to their sins,
42:34 that's the way the Lord did unto them.
42:36 In other words, God stepped back,
42:40 removed the hedge of protection,
42:42 and then they were suffering because of their iniquity.
42:48 And so what does God do?
42:50 God warns before He takes action.
42:53 And so when you look at these fires
42:55 that suddenly came upon people,
42:57 hurricanes that suddenly came upon people,
43:00 earthquakes that suddenly came upon people.
43:02 We then even mentioned Mexico
43:05 that over 200 people died in an earthquake,
43:11 and practically buried alive many in a building.
43:14 We have to ask ourselves, did God do this?
43:18 Or did the devil do this?
43:21 I have some things to share with you
43:24 that we need to understand.
43:25 First, all have sinned
43:27 and fall short of the glory of God.
43:29 So we all deserve to be punished.
43:33 How many of you think you deserve to be punished,
43:35 would you raise your hand?
43:38 Just about everyone raised their hand over here,
43:39 and perhaps, at home, you may also agree.
43:41 I would say to you
43:42 that God has been kind to each and every one of us.
43:45 I would like to ask you to join me in Lamentations 3.
43:51 In the Book of Lamentations 3,
43:53 we have some scriptures that open to us
43:57 an understanding of God's wonderful mercy.
44:01 Lamentations 3:22 and 23.
44:04 If you found then say amen.
44:06 Amen, we read.
44:08 It says that,
44:09 ''It is through the Lord's mercy
44:11 that we are not consumed
44:14 because His compassions fail not.
44:17 They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness."
44:23 Great is thy faithfulness, says in the King James.
44:26 So the Bible says that is
44:28 because of God's great mercy that we are not consumed.
44:34 God has been merciful to each and every one of us.
44:38 And then if you look at these natural disasters,
44:41 we have to ask ourselves what is going on?
44:43 And I would like to read to you
44:46 something that I've found that helps us understand
44:50 what is going on.
44:51 It says in Testimonies for the Church.
44:55 This is written by Ellen G. White,
44:57 volume 6, 408.
45:00 The condition...
45:02 Let me backup before I read this.
45:04 The condition of this world,
45:08 Jesus warned us
45:09 that it would become as the days of Noah.
45:14 Perhaps, we should read this in Matthew 24.
45:18 Let's go ahead and read this in Matthew 24.
45:21 And so we can paint the picture,
45:26 the true picture of what things are.
45:28 Basically, if you were able to bring video
45:32 or have video of what was going on
45:35 during the time of Noah,
45:37 and then if you compare it to what is going on now,
45:42 we are practically in the same condition,
45:45 practically in the same condition.
45:47 And even if you were to be able to pile up the sins
45:50 that were going on in those days,
45:52 the Bible says that the sins...
45:54 The thoughts of man's hearts were, what?
45:56 Evil, continually.
45:59 And in today's society, we are reaching,
46:02 practically reaching that level of sin.
46:06 And so there in Luke,
46:12 I mean, Matthew 24, Matthew 24,
46:17 beginning in verse 37.
46:19 Matthew 24:37,
46:22 "But as the days of Noah were,
46:27 so shall also at the coming of the Son of man be.
46:31 For as in the days that were before the flood
46:34 they were eating and drinking,
46:36 marrying and giving in marriage,
46:38 until the day
46:39 that Noah entered into the ark."
46:41 We'll stop there for a moment.
46:43 So question, is it wrong to eat?
46:48 No, it's okay to eat.
46:49 It's okay to eat,
46:51 but they were doing it to excess.
46:53 Is it wrong to drink?
46:54 Well, in this case, we have to ask ourselves,
46:57 Christians should not drink
46:58 wine or liquor or any such thing.
47:00 The Bible says that wine is a mocker,
47:03 strong drink is raging.
47:04 And fool is the man,
47:06 fool is the man that is deceived thereby.
47:08 This is talking about drinking things
47:11 to excess to begin with.
47:13 So they were going to excess in the things
47:15 that they were doing.
47:16 Is it wrong to marry?
47:20 The Bible says,
47:22 that a man shall leave his mother and father,
47:23 should be joined onto his wife,
47:24 and the two shall become one flesh,
47:26 but they were doing this to excess.
47:28 In today's time,
47:29 people are doing this to excess again.
47:31 "And giving in marriage
47:33 until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
47:34 and knew not until the flood came
47:36 and took them all away,
47:38 so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
47:41 And so we have a warning
47:44 that the conditions of the world
47:46 would reach such a level of sin,
47:49 just like the days of Noah.
47:52 Are you seeing widespread wickedness?
47:55 You read the newspapers and you hear of horrible crimes
47:58 being done by people.
48:00 We have not even mentioned which I will mention now
48:02 that people appear to be out of control.
48:06 Almost every year,
48:07 you hear of two, three, or more young man or person
48:12 that goes into school
48:14 and begins to shoot different people
48:17 with practically no explanation,
48:19 and sometimes kill themselves.
48:22 And we heard of people going into churches,
48:24 killing other people, and horrible, horrible crimes.
48:29 Fathers against children, mothers against children,
48:32 children against their fathers,
48:33 the world is mounting up
48:36 the amount of wickedness they are doing.
48:38 And so having this,
48:41 this as a foundation,
48:44 let's read Testimonies for the Church, 6, 408,
48:50 it says,
48:52 "The restraining Spirit of God
48:56 is even now being withdrawn from the world.
49:00 Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood,
49:06 disasters by sea and land,
49:08 follow each other in quick succession."
49:12 Has this been happening? Yes.
49:14 Science seeks to explain all these.
49:18 The signs thickening around us,
49:20 tell us of the near approach of the Son of God,
49:24 are attributed to any other than the true cause.
49:29 Men cannot discern
49:31 the sentinel angels restraining the four winds
49:34 that they shall not blow
49:36 until the servants of God are sealed,
49:39 but when God shall bid his angels loose the winds,
49:43 there shall be
49:44 such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.
49:49 So we see here that I submit to you
49:52 that we're living in a time
49:55 because of the increase of sin in the world
49:58 that God is beginning to step back,
50:02 and the devil is being allowed
50:04 to do more and more destruction.
50:07 God steps back and the devil is allowed to do destruction.
50:13 Question, does it mean...
50:15 Like I said before that the places
50:18 where destruction is taking place
50:19 that they're more sinners than this little town?
50:24 These things are happening as a warning to us,
50:29 to let us know that Jesus is coming soon,
50:31 to let us know that it is high-time
50:34 to awake out of sleep,
50:36 repent and seek the Lord with all of your heart.
50:40 If you believe that, would you say amen?
50:42 Amen. Amen.
50:43 I would like to read to you, again, from the book,
50:45 Great Controversy,
50:47 well, first time from the Great Controversy,
50:48 the other one's from Testimonies to the Church,
50:51 volume 6, page 408.
50:54 And for those of you that want to write that down.
50:56 Talking about the devil,
50:58 it says the following, in Great Controversy, 589,
51:02 paragraph 3,
51:04 "Even now he's at work," talking about the devil.
51:07 "In accidents,
51:09 in calamities by sea and by land,
51:13 in great conflagrations,"
51:18 what's a conflagration?
51:20 It's a fire, intense fire that destroys.
51:23 So let me start again, "Even now he's at work.
51:25 In accidents, calamities by sea and by land,
51:28 in great conflagrations,
51:30 in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms,
51:34 in tempests, floods, cyclones,
51:38 tidal waves, and earthquakes,
51:40 in every place in a thousand forms,
51:44 Satan is exercising his power."
51:47 When? Even now.
51:50 "He sweeps away the ripening harvests,
51:53 and famine and distress follow.
51:55 He imparts to the air a deadly taint,
51:59 and thousands perish by the pestilence.
52:02 These visitations are to become
52:05 more and more frequent and disastrous.
52:08 Destruction will be upon man and beast."
52:12 Great Controversy, 589, paragraph 3.
52:16 And so I say to you that the devil has...
52:23 is allowed to control the elements.
52:26 And so be not surprised that he can cause a cyclone,
52:30 a hurricane, and earthquake.
52:34 And so I say to you, it is time to awake from sleep,
52:40 it is time to repent and seek the Lord while he can be found.
52:45 I would like to read to you from John 16:33,
52:50 John 16:33.
52:53 It is time for God's people
52:54 to preach the good news of salvation
52:56 that God is loved
52:58 and he's offering to a world
52:59 the opportunity to be saved
53:01 and find salvation in Jesus Christ.
53:04 But when all these things happen,
53:05 what are we to do?
53:07 What if we are found in an area where there is flooding,
53:10 where there is an earthquake,
53:11 where you see people that need water, need food?
53:14 What are we to do?
53:16 Are we to say,
53:18 you deserve what you're getting,
53:19 or should we try to relieve suffering?
53:22 What would Jesus do?
53:24 Let's look John 16:33,
53:28 because we need to also understand
53:30 that we will face difficult times.
53:32 "These things I have spoken to you
53:35 that in Me you may have peace.
53:38 In the world you will have tribulation,
53:41 but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
53:45 Praise the Lord.
53:46 And because Jesus has overcome the world,
53:49 we can take hope and courage in that He that said,
53:55 "I will come again,
53:56 and receive you unto myself
53:59 that where I am there you may be also."
54:02 We can take courage and accept His peace.
54:08 He says that he speaks these things unto you,
54:10 shares these things with us that we may have peace.
54:13 Notice, there in Romans 8:28,
54:16 if you encounter any type of suffering
54:20 than take courage in knowing that God may allow this,
54:24 just like He allowed things to happen to Job.
54:28 If you look at Joseph, was it a,
54:31 what you call a walk in the park for Joseph?
54:35 Or did he go through difficult times?
54:38 And if the Lord allows trials and problems
54:41 to come to you,
54:42 is because He sees
54:44 that something needs
54:46 to be developed in our character,
54:47 He sees that
54:49 there is work for us to understand
54:51 that we must change certain things.
54:54 If you face a trial,
54:56 it is but an opportunity
54:58 to grow in grace and in faith.
55:02 So Romans 8:28,
55:04 this scripture has given me a lot of hope and it says,
55:07 "And we know
55:08 that all things work together for good to those
55:12 who love God,
55:13 to those who are the called according to His purpose."
55:18 So I've been through difficult things
55:20 in my life
55:21 and this scripture has given me courage.
55:23 And sometimes, I don't know what good is being worked out,
55:27 but if I trust in the Lord,
55:29 I know that He will work it to my good,
55:32 even if I don't understand it in this world.
55:34 Matthew 5:16,
55:36 we talked about
55:37 what should you do if you're in...
55:40 See somebody going through some suffering?
55:42 Matthew 5:16 helps us to understand
55:46 that what we need to do.
55:49 "Let your light so shine before men,
55:52 that they may see your good work
55:54 and glorify your Father in heaven."
55:57 So I say to you,
55:58 when you see somebody in need is but an opportunity
56:02 to share the love of Jesus with them
56:06 and to lead them to Jesus,
56:07 to let them know
56:08 that God is not willing that any should perish,
56:11 but that all come to repentance.
56:12 And that they can have peace and salvation in Jesus Christ.
56:16 We have time to read one more scripture,
56:18 and that is found in Matthew 11:28 through 30.
56:22 And some of you may know either all of it or part of it,
56:25 and I read to you Matthew 11:28 through 30.
56:29 Jesus said, "Come to Me,
56:31 all you who labor and are heavy laden,
56:35 and I will give you rest.
56:37 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
56:40 for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
56:43 and you will find rest for your souls.
56:46 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
56:50 I praise the Lord that this invitation of Jesus
56:54 is still available for us today.
56:57 He says to me, He says to you,
57:00 come unto me
57:01 if you're weary and heavy laden.
57:03 If you don't have peace,
57:04 Jesus invites you to come to Him,
57:06 and He will give you rest.
57:09 And when you have rest in Jesus,
57:11 you have true rest.
57:14 So I invite you all to accept the invitation of Jesus.
57:18 How many are willing to accept the invitation of Jesus,
57:20 accept His rest,
57:22 accept for Him to take your burdens,
57:24 accept for Him to take your sorrows,
57:27 your sufferings, your needs,
57:29 and so that He can give you rest?
57:31 God promises to be with us,
57:34 God promises to help us
57:36 in whatever conflict we may face.
57:38 And again, I say to you,
57:40 the calamities and the crime
57:41 that we face in this world are telling us the signs
57:46 that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon.
57:49 So I hope that as you consider these things,
57:51 by no means, this is a complete study.
57:53 I encourage you to continue studying this topic
57:55 so that you may understand that God is good.
57:59 Or taste and see that the Lord is good.