Voice of Prophecy Speaks

Why So Much Suffering?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Lonnie Melashenko


Series Code: VOPS

Program Code: VOPS000003

00:32 Did you see CBS's television's
00:34 Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes not too long ago?
00:38 When ever I get a chance I like to watch Andy Rooney.
00:42 He did a piece on lawsuits.
00:45 He said, "You know, Americans are suing everybody these days.
00:49 It's a big business.
00:51 Sue McDonalds if your coffee is too hot.
00:54 Sue the tobacco companies because you never had a clue
00:57 that cigarettes might cause cancer.
00:59 Sue. Sue. Sue."
01:02 Well, a man sued his insurance company
01:05 when he was shocked by high-power electrical lines.
01:09 The insurance company refused to pay
01:11 for the injuries on the grounds
01:13 that the accident was, in legal terms, what?
01:18 An Act of God.
01:22 Well, the man decided, if it's an Act of God,
01:24 I'll file suit against God and company.
01:28 And he went on to name 55 Christian churches in his city.
01:33 Believe it or not, it actually went to trial.
01:35 Until finally on the witness stand,
01:37 one minister testified, Your Honor, listen.
01:40 I believe that the expression, an Act of God is a misnomer.
01:44 It's wrongly used.
01:46 He said, Sir, God wasn't responsible for that accident.
01:51 It should be called an Act of the Devil.
01:54 He's responsible for the accidents and problems
01:56 that confront mankind.
01:58 You know, I believe that that
01:59 clergyman was correct, don't you?
02:02 This was not an Act of God. But God still gets the blame.
02:07 Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires,
02:11 terrorist attacks, earthquakes today
02:13 right near Atlanta, Georgia, are called Acts of God.
02:17 And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude
02:21 that there is an evil force out there in our world.
02:25 Because everywhere you look, you see evidences of terrible
02:28 tragedies taking place every day.
02:32 But who's responsible for the sniper attacks?
02:35 Who brings sorrow? Who brings suffering?
02:38 Many people complain, why did God do this to me?
02:44 Where was God on September 11th in New York City?
02:48 Where's God in this whole Iraqi crisis?
02:52 Tonight we're going to uncover a big cover up in the Bible.
02:58 An expose of the most puzzling mystery of all time.
03:02 Where did evil originate?
03:06 Why the great controversy battle headlines everyday
03:10 between the forces of good and the forces of evil,
03:13 between right and wrong?
03:15 Who is responsible?
03:19 As we begin, I want to tell you
03:21 that the Bible pulls no punches.
03:24 It puts the finger on the guilty party.
03:28 One day, Jesus told a story,
03:31 Jesus liked to tell stories and I like to read His stories.
03:33 He told a story about a farmer
03:35 who planted good seed in his garden like
03:37 we're doing everywhere in the spring
03:38 at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere.
03:41 Down in Australia of course it's autumn for you.
03:44 But when those plants in that garden sprang up,
03:48 there are whole bunch of noxious weeds
03:50 out there in the field.
03:51 And growing up in the farm of my native
03:54 Saskatchewan, Canada, I know the frustration.
03:57 Hey, I didn't plant weeds.
04:00 So the disciples asked,
04:02 "Lord, if the farmer planted good seed,
04:06 where did the weeds come from?"
04:08 Matthew 13:37-39
04:11 "Jesus answered and said to them,
04:13 'He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
04:18 The field is the world,
04:20 the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,
04:23 but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
04:27 The enemy who sowed them is--'"
04:28 Who? "The devil."
04:31 You see God is loving, God is good to everyone.
04:35 But the Bible tells us
04:36 that there's an enemy out there in the camp,
04:38 another power bringing disaster,
04:41 bringing tragedy, bringing death.
04:44 The very last book of Bible Prophecy,
04:48 Revelation Chapter 12, unveils how it all started.
04:52 The mystery of iniquity.
04:54 Fasten your seatbelt, because a cosmic watergate
04:57 with subversive supernatural forces
04:59 duking it out actually began, hold on, in heaven.
05:06 And then it spread like cancer to this earth.
05:09 And this is precisely what's causing
05:11 so much trouble on planet earth tonight.
05:14 Tonight, we're gonna pull back the curtain of prophecy
05:17 and look behind-the-scenes
05:19 to this original "Star Wars" in heaven.
05:22 Notice verses 7-9, "And war broke out in heaven:
05:27 Michael and his angels fought with the dragon,
05:31 and the dragon and his angels fought,
05:32 but they did not prevail,
05:34 nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
05:37 So the great dragon, that serpent of old,
05:41 called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world,
05:44 he was cast to the earth,
05:46 and his angels were cast out with him."
05:48 Now, notice please, how this dragon-devil
05:51 is introduced in Revelation 12:3, 4.
05:56 It says "And I saw another sign that appeared in heaven:
06:00 behold, a great fiery red dragon
06:03 having seven heads and ten horns,
06:05 and seven diadems on his heads.
06:08 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven
06:11 and threw them to the earth."
06:14 Now can you imagine
06:15 that one-third of the angels of heaven
06:20 followed this deceiver in his rebellion against God,
06:22 but there's more.
06:24 This fallen angel called Lucifer,
06:28 back in the Old Testament.
06:29 He is described metaphorically as the King of Tyre.
06:34 Now, Tyre is a city up there
06:35 in the northwest coast of Palestine,
06:37 but it says this about him in Ezekiel 28:12-14.
06:43 "Thus says the Lord God:
06:46 You were the seal of perfection,
06:49 full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
06:51 You were in Eden, the garden of God,
06:53 every precious stone was your covering.
06:56 You were the anointed cherub who covers.
06:59 You were on the holy mountain of God;
07:01 you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones."
07:06 Lucifer, originally a perfect angel in heaven,
07:10 beautiful in every way, the angel who stood
07:13 right next to God's throne as covering cherub.
07:17 He held the top position in heaven.
07:20 As I understand the Bible, on either side of God's throne,
07:23 two angels, one on the right, one on the left.
07:27 One of these was Lucifer.
07:30 But something happened to this beautiful being
07:34 so richly blessed by God.
07:37 He began to harbor some rather strange feelings about himself.
07:44 I'm good, in fact I am invincible.
07:49 Maybe, maybe I am as good as God.
07:53 And he allowed these questions to grow in his mind
07:56 until they began to affect his relationship with God
08:00 as it's said in Ezekiel 28:15, 17,
08:04 "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
08:09 till iniquity was found in you."
08:11 Notice.
08:12 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
08:16 you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor."
08:22 Somehow, incredibly, this glorious, exalted angel
08:27 became lost on an ego trip.
08:30 He coveted the splendor and the majesty
08:32 and the prestige and the honor due God alone.
08:36 We would say today, he became power hungry
08:40 to the point that this created angelic being
08:43 had the audacity to challenge his Creator
08:46 for the rulership of the universe.
08:48 Listen carefully.
08:50 In Isaiah 14:12, 14,
08:55 "How you are fallen from heaven,
08:58 O Lucifer, son of the morning!
09:00 How you are cut down to the ground,
09:03 for you have said in your heart,
09:05 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne
09:09 above the stars of God, I will be like the most High.'"
09:14 Arrogant thoughts,
09:17 until one day those thoughts began to spill
09:20 from Lucifer's lips very quietly, very innocently.
09:25 At first just kind sharing with other angels,
09:27 kind of a little chitchat, you know, on break.
09:32 Want to talk?
09:33 You ever had any doubts, any questions about God?
09:38 Now He wasn't open about this.
09:40 He was very innocuously, very subtle.
09:43 Kind of like a rotten apple in a box,
09:47 but his rebellion began to spread
09:49 to more angels shattering the perfect love
09:52 and harmony of heaven into a million selfish pieces.
09:56 So that discontent kind of like cancer began infecting
10:02 the other angels undermining God's love and God's justice.
10:07 Now if you like me and you like to ask questions
10:10 and raise some issues and talk about theology
10:12 sometime perhaps you are saying, you know,
10:15 Pastor Lonnie, it is so hard to comprehend or believe
10:19 that anyone created so perfect with the power of choice
10:24 would deliberately choose evil.
10:29 I mean, how could sin have possibly begun?
10:33 Difficult to get our minds around the origin of evil
10:36 because all sin is really selfishness.
10:41 It's abnormally self-directed love.
10:46 So that the origin of sin is, we make it,
10:52 Satan made it, not God.
10:58 I want you to be like a big class tonight
10:59 and whether you are watching in Sydney, Australia,
11:01 or you are in Canada, or the South America,
11:04 or the Islands of the Pacific Rim.
11:06 But here in Carolina particularly
11:08 I want you to respond out loud so they hear you.
11:11 Speak right out loud,
11:13 is this match good or evil, which is it?
11:16 Come on. Evil.
11:19 How many of you think it's good?
11:20 Just put your hand up.
11:21 How many of you think it's evil?
11:24 How many of you don't think.
11:27 Well, I heard some of you say
11:28 and you're right, it isn't either, is it?
11:31 It's just a match. It isn't good or evil.
11:34 Now the man who invented this match
11:38 made it for what we call, a good purpose.
11:41 Is that all right?
11:43 Well, what do we mean by good, who defines good?
11:45 Well, we would I think all agree that good is
11:48 that which God is and God supports life,
11:52 God supports health, He supports happiness.
11:55 So this match isn't supporting life,
11:57 it isn't supporting health, it isn't supporting happiness.
12:00 It's just a match, unless you use it.
12:07 Now if I take this match and I light it
12:11 and I light a fire in our fire place
12:14 and I light the gas stoves
12:15 so the genie can do some cooking.
12:17 Invite my family home for Christmas or Thanksgiving
12:20 or some other holiday, and we heat our house,
12:23 we're all together, we have life,
12:25 we have health, we have happiness,
12:27 we're living, that's good, isn't it?
12:30 That match has become a blessing.
12:32 But if I take that same match
12:36 and I choose to light the curtains in my house
12:40 and burn the house down with my wife and children
12:43 and cats and dogs and pets in it.
12:45 Now is that bad or good? Come on.
12:47 Bad. That's terrible.
12:49 Because I love my wife, I love my family.
12:51 Now why has it become evil?
12:54 Because it's destroyed life, it's destroyed health,
12:57 it's destroyed happiness, this match has become a curse.
13:01 But let's get one thing very important crystal clear.
13:04 Where does the use or the abuse of the match originate?
13:08 In the match? No.
13:10 No, where? Up here.
13:14 In the mind.
13:17 The match can't abuse or misuse itself.
13:20 But mankind, a woman, a man,
13:23 a rational thinking being can take that match
13:28 and they can choose to use it or abuse it.
13:33 Evil begins here, in the mind, in the power of choice.
13:39 Way back there, that is evidently what Lucifer,
13:43 this absolutely perfect sinless angel did
13:46 with God's perfect love and perfect freedom.
13:51 He chose to challenge it, he chose to abuse it,
13:54 he chose to misuse it.
13:56 He chose evil.
13:58 He chose sin, He was not created this way.
14:03 Well, perhaps you are wondering though,
14:05 you know, why didn't God just destroy
14:08 Satan at that time, just zap him out.
14:13 God could have eliminated Lucifer and all of those angels
14:15 who joined in the "Star Wars" revolution
14:17 in one blinding flash from Luke Skywalker
14:21 as the young people would say.
14:23 But, you know, had God done that,
14:26 don't you think that perhaps all of God's intelligent beings
14:30 would have served Him out of fear?
14:34 Oh, yeah, right.
14:36 Hey did you hear what happened when you challenge God?
14:39 Zap.
14:41 They would obey Him and follow Him
14:43 for perhaps the same reasons that all of the Germans
14:47 followed Hitler during World War II.
14:49 Is that good?
14:50 Or the Iraqis and the Ba'ath Parties that we've just seen.
14:54 You see, our God is not only a God of love.
14:59 He's a God of freedom.
15:02 And He can only be happy in a love relationship
15:05 with His created creatures where they worship Him
15:08 because they choose to love Him and trust Him.
15:12 Now Satan had challenged this, he had challenged God's laws,
15:17 challenged His justice,
15:18 challenged God's idea of freedom.
15:22 You know what,
15:24 freedom ought to mean license to do as you please.
15:31 But folks, God didn't put His laws
15:33 in force to show who is boss.
15:37 He made His universal laws to protect His creatures,
15:41 to ensure their peace and provide for their happiness
15:45 and guarantee their freedom.
15:48 We would say I suppose here in western world at least
15:51 that His laws are something like stop lights.
15:55 I wouldn't always like them there, but speed limit signs,
16:00 we know very well that they are planned
16:02 for our safety and everyone's well-being.
16:05 Our country's laws are designed to protect
16:08 and preserve rights and our liberties
16:12 and our freedoms, not restrict us.
16:14 But this most honored angel in all of God's heaven thought,
16:20 you know what, I think I can run a universe better than God.
16:26 And I will, even if it means all-out war
16:30 and that's when Revelation Chapter 12 says,
16:33 "War broke out in heaven."
16:34 And that's when Satan became as the Bible calls it,
16:37 the adversary of God, he made a devil out of himself,
16:43 twisting freedom into slavery,
16:46 liberty into license, there you have it, evil.
16:54 Now God evidently out of fairness
16:57 and love continued to allow Satan
16:59 to demonstrate to the rest of the universe the way
17:02 he was choosing to run a world.
17:04 Now I must confess I cannot get my mind
17:07 around this completely to understand and grasp
17:09 how this could have all possibly happened.
17:11 In fact, the Bible calls it the mystery of iniquity.
17:17 Only a God in eternity will fully ever be
17:19 able to explain it to us someday
17:22 because that battle begun in heaven isn't over.
17:27 It's just changed places.
17:30 The Bible says, planet earth has now become the center stage
17:34 of this Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.
17:37 But you say, why our earth?
17:41 Why didn't he leave us alone,
17:42 why did Satan get into the Garden of Eden
17:45 to act out in wicked technicolor
17:47 his kind of government, how he'd run a world?
17:49 Why did he have to come to our planet,
17:51 how come as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:9,
17:54 "We have become a spectacle to the world,
17:57 both to angels and to men?"
18:02 Genesis Chapter 1 says that way back in the Garden of Eden
18:07 when human life first began,
18:10 fresh from the hand of the Creator,
18:12 it was absolutely beautiful beyond description.
18:15 Satan thought so, too, got an idea, say, look at this.
18:23 This is a prize worth capturing.
18:28 Satan, the original Taliban terrorist decided
18:31 to hijack this world and seize control
18:35 because it was just a brand newborn planet
18:37 of such fragile and delicate beauty.
18:40 And Satan announced, hey, God, look these beings here
18:44 are absolutely totally innocent,
18:46 may be even little naive, let's have a contest.
18:50 Adam and Eve will be our experiment,
18:52 they are the new father
18:53 and the mother of the human race,
18:54 created absolutely perfect, they are unbiased,
18:57 they are unprejudiced, let's put them
18:59 in an experimental laboratory, Eden.
19:04 Total freedom, total freedom, God,
19:07 except you can't place them
19:09 beyond the possibility of wrong doing.
19:11 They must be absolutely free to choose,
19:14 either to follow love
19:16 and to follow You God and Your rules.
19:19 Or they ought to be able to be free to ignore your rules
19:22 and choose my way, no rules, license.
19:26 But let's test their loyalty.
19:30 And this survivor's contest
19:32 will focus on just one single tree.
19:38 And so God warned the newlyweds,
19:40 as you find it over there in Genesis 2:16 and 17.
19:43 God said, "Adam and Eve,
19:45 listen of every tree of the garden
19:49 you may eat freely ever."
19:51 The California grapes, Chiquita bananas,
19:54 the Santa Rosa plums, you know, whatever.
19:59 You can eat of every fruit,
20:00 "But of the tree of the knowledge
20:04 of good and evil you shall not eat,
20:06 for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die."
20:11 Well, that seemed like a reasonable request.
20:13 They had everything they wanted,
20:15 more than they needed.
20:16 And Adam and Eve really felt quite secure.
20:19 But we humans are most vulnerable
20:23 when we're caught completely off guard.
20:27 One day I would imagine something like this
20:28 could have taken place.
20:29 Eve was so caught up in the beauty of the place
20:33 she went for a walk alone through the garden.
20:37 And as she was walking
20:38 she was startled to hear her name called.
20:41 Eve.
20:44 She look set by, I thought I heard my name.
20:47 Eve.
20:50 She looks up into the tree
20:51 and she sees a serpent munching on some fruit.
20:55 And the serpent opens his mouth and says, hi, Eve.
21:01 And she stops dead, I mean,
21:03 she's never suspected a talking snake.
21:07 But the words of course come from the enemy.
21:09 He knows he can't get her attention
21:11 unless he provides curiosity, and that he did.
21:15 I want you to notice though, Satan used his supernatural,
21:18 psychic power to deceive her, trick her.
21:24 I didn't know you could talk. I couldn't always talk, Eve.
21:31 All right, how come you're talking now?
21:34 Munch, munch, munch.
21:38 Well, Eve, one day I happened to be eating fruit
21:41 and I happened to this tree, munch, munch, munch,
21:47 and lo-and-behold
21:48 when I started eating the fruit of this tree,
21:50 munch, munch, munch, Eve, I can talk, I can talk.
21:57 By the way, Eve, oh, no, forget it.
22:01 No, no, what, what, what?
22:02 Now he's got her asking the questions.
22:04 Genesis 3:1-4, he says, well, Eve, munch, munch, munch.
22:11 "Eve, has God said,
22:13 'You should not eat of every tree in the garden?'"
22:17 "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden
22:21 except of the fruit of the tree
22:24 which is in the midst of the garden,
22:25 God has said, You shall not eat it,
22:27 nor shall you touch it, lest you die."
22:31 Munch, munch, munch, die?
22:36 Munch, munch, that's a lie.
22:42 I'm not dead. Genesis 3:5.
22:46 He says "For God knows Eve that in the day you eat of it
22:52 your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,
22:55 knowing good from evil."
22:59 Now Satan's trying to get Eve to commit the very same sin
23:02 he committed in heaven, to want to be like God.
23:08 Eve, listen, maybe God's holding something good
23:15 back from you, maybe He's begin a little unfair.
23:17 I mean, think of it, Eve.
23:19 As he plucks a piece of fruit, reaches it out toward her,
23:25 if this fruit, Eve, will make a serpent like me
23:29 start talking like a person,
23:32 oh, just think what it would do for you.
23:36 You will be like God. Here, Eve, try a piece.
23:46 Eve listened. It sounded so good.
23:50 Now it must have crossed her mind that he was saying
23:54 something different than what God told them.
23:56 But the Bible says she was convinced
23:58 and verse 6 of Genesis 3,
23:59 "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
24:03 that it was pleasant to the eyes,
24:06 and a tree desirable to make one wise,
24:09 she took of the fruit and she ate."
24:15 She gave some to her husband and he ate it, too.
24:18 And suddenly there you have it, a great big mess.
24:22 And they failed God's test of love and loyalty.
24:25 Humans were now sinners.
24:27 And Satan, the original Al-Qaeda terrorist,
24:30 hijacked a brand new world
24:32 and he had a whole planet in rebellion.
24:36 From that moment though, Satan claimed the title,
24:40 I'm now the Prince of this World.
24:42 Can you imagine what that first day must have been like,
24:48 how tragic it was as that first day when that,
24:52 particularly the fruit drew to a close.
24:55 The Bible indicates that God was evidently
24:57 coming each evening, in the cool of the evening,
24:59 and he'd come for an evening stroll with Adam and Eve.
25:01 And He'd call out, Adam, where are you?
25:03 Eve, time for our little special time together now
25:06 and up until now this has been the happiest time of the day.
25:10 Wow, a chance to walk and talk directly with the God
25:13 who had created them.
25:15 But now they hear him coming through the garden, Adam, Eve,
25:18 and they ran, they hid, diving into the brushes.
25:22 And finally, Adam, he slips out slowly
25:24 from behind someshrubs in the garden
25:26 wherever he and Eve were and they were
25:28 down there covering themselves with fig leaves
25:31 and Adam confesses in verse 10, Lord, here we are.
25:37 "I heard Your voice in the garden,
25:39 I was afraid because I'm naked, and I hid myself."
25:46 Adam had never been afraid before.
25:49 But, folks, that's what sin does.
25:52 It makes us afraid.
25:54 God replies in Genesis 3:11,
25:56 "Adam, have you eaten from the tree
26:00 which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
26:04 I want you to notice the old pass-the-buck routine here,
26:07 the blame game.
26:08 Verse 12.
26:11 "The woman whom you gave to me,
26:15 she gave me to eat, and I ate from the tree."
26:19 You know, just a few hours before,
26:20 Adam would have been willing to die for Eve.
26:23 But now he turns and he blames her for his problems
26:27 and incidentally God for creating her.
26:31 You see that's how sin shatters perfect love.
26:35 And Eve by the way was no less accusing.
26:37 Genesis 3:13.
26:40 "Oh, God, it's the serpent that You created.
26:44 He deceived me, and I ate of it."
26:46 So Eve is blaming God, too.
26:49 And as a result of sin, Adam and Eve sold out
26:53 to another master, not God, but Satan.
26:57 They didn't have to.
26:58 But that very day by their own free choice
27:01 they threw away everything.
27:04 They lost their face-to-face communion with God,
27:06 they lost their purity, they lost their robes of glory,
27:10 they lost family happiness,
27:11 they lost equality with each other,
27:13 they lost dominion over the animals,
27:15 they lost their perfect home,
27:16 and they lost access to the tree of life.
27:19 They threw it all away.
27:21 Besides, now they were doomed to die.
27:24 The devil had said, Eve, you won't die.
27:29 But the Bible says a couple of chapters later in Genesis 5:5,
27:33 "So all the days of Adam that he lived
27:35 were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died."
27:40 Too late, they discovered
27:42 that the devil was a liar and the father of it.
27:46 Now, ladies and gentleman, here's the point,
27:49 you see, it's so easy for us to blame God
27:54 for today's heartaches and devastation.
27:57 But Satan is really responsible.
27:59 He's the one who brought trouble to this planet
28:02 and who causes sin and suffering
28:04 and AIDS and cancer.
28:06 By the way, that's why Jesus
28:07 when He came to this earth 2000 years ago,
28:10 He made a point to personally unmask
28:13 the devil as the culprit who afflicts people.
28:16 One day Jesus was teaching in the synagogue
28:20 and He noticed over in the corner
28:22 a dear little shriveled up woman
28:24 all bent over with a crippling deformity,
28:26 horrific to look at.
28:29 And Jesus paused, touched by her pathetic circumstances.
28:34 The Bible says He healed her.
28:37 Well, the rulers of the synagogue
28:39 began to criticize Him because this healing happened
28:41 to take place on the Sabbath, God's holy day of worship,
28:44 but notice how Jesus defended His actions in Luke 13:16.
28:48 He said, "So ought not this woman,
28:52 being a daughter of Abraham,
28:55 whom Satan has bound for eighteen years,
28:58 be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"
29:02 Who did Jesus say had harassed that woman?
29:05 Satan bound this woman for eighteen years.
29:07 Satan's the guilty one.
29:11 Now please listen carefully. I want to be very bold tonight.
29:15 Most denominations do not teach you what I have
29:18 just expressed from the Bible, they don't teach this.
29:22 The many evangelical friends that I have out there,
29:24 they teach a doctrine called the "Sovereignty of God."
29:29 They say and I could quote to you people,
29:31 you've heard him on national television.
29:33 They say that what happened for example on September 11th
29:36 is part of the Sovereignty of God.
29:39 God brings these events to teach us lessons, of course.
29:43 But He decreed the events of September 11th.
29:47 In fact, I can quote you denominations
29:49 in this community in every city in this country and Canada.
29:53 They say, well, it's because
29:56 God can thereby work out His mysterious will.
30:00 And other denominations
30:01 I could name them for you tonight.
30:03 They say, God permitted.
30:05 He allowed those snipers in Washington for His glory.
30:09 To serve a particular divine purpose we don't understand.
30:13 But, friends, I would like to submit that
30:15 that is contrary to scripture.
30:17 Now intend to prove it.
30:18 Listen very carefully,
30:19 as the Voice of Prophecy speaks.
30:24 Nowhere in all of the Bible do we see Satan's strategy
30:28 more clearly exposed than in the oldest book
30:31 in all of the Bible, anybody know what that is?
30:33 Book of Job, thank you.
30:35 Book of Job, Chapter 1,
30:37 we find right there in Chapter 1
30:38 a conversation between the devil and God.
30:42 Evidently, this was some time after the fall of Satan
30:45 and maybe even into the new world sometime
30:49 that all the sons of God, it says,
30:51 presented themselves before Him.
30:53 I don't understand what that all means
30:54 but perhaps there was representatives
30:56 and ambassadors from other worlds
30:59 and in some great big summit conference.
31:01 And it says, Satan came, too.
31:05 Uninvited, notice Job 1:7.
31:09 "And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?'
31:13 '' Satan, who invited you?
31:14 What right do you have to be here?
31:16 And Satan answered,
31:18 "Oh, from going to and fro on the earth
31:20 and walking back and forth on it."
31:23 Satan was saying,
31:24 I claim to represent planet earth, thank you.
31:28 I've taken over Adam's dominion as the Son of God.
31:31 Luke 3:38.
31:32 "And his position as representative
31:34 of the human race."
31:35 Well, God didn't let that claim go unchallenged.
31:39 The Lord said to Satan, in Job 1:8, 9, 11,
31:42 "Well, Satan, have you considered my servant Job,
31:46 that there is none like him on the earth,
31:49 a blameless and upright man,
31:51 one who fears God and shuns evil?"
31:54 And it says, so Satan answered the Lord and said,
32:00 "Does Job fear God for nothing?
32:05 Stretch forth your hand and touch all that he has.
32:10 He will surely curse You to Your face."
32:12 I challenge You, God, to another duel!
32:15 The only reason Job is loyal to You is for the goodies.
32:18 You're Santa Claus to him.
32:20 He's not loyal because he loves and trusts You.
32:23 So the Lord said to Satan, okay.
32:27 How about it, test him, Job 1:12.
32:30 And the Lord said to Satan,
32:31 ''Behold all that he has is in your power;
32:35 only do not lay a hand on his person.''
32:39 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
32:41 I mean, he couldn't wait to get his hands on Job's possessions.
32:45 Blow after blow they began to fall.
32:48 First, the stock market collapsed.
32:51 The Sabeans, the Bible says,
32:52 stole Job's cattle, murdered his workers.
32:56 But second, lightning struck the pentagon,
32:58 killing Job's sheep and his shepherds.
33:00 Third, the Chaldeans plundered Job's camels.
33:04 And fourth, the most heartbreaking news of all,
33:06 a tornado demolished the home of Job's oldest son.
33:09 A party was going on,
33:11 and all ten of Job's children were killed.
33:15 I remember, God wasn't causing this, but whom?
33:18 Satan. But poor Job.
33:21 He didn't understand what we're learning tonight
33:23 yet evidently, and he thought you know,
33:27 maybe, maybe God is upset,
33:30 maybe he's caused all this heartache.
33:33 He didn't understand that the devil had done all this.
33:37 And you see we still don't understand it today either.
33:40 What goes on behind the scenes.
33:43 But notice, although he was completely overcome with grief,
33:47 Job's loyalty to God was unchanged.
33:49 And He says, in Job 1:21, "The Lord gave,
33:55 and the Lord has taken away,
33:57 blessed be the name of the Lord."
33:59 Amen. Amen.
34:01 He couldn't understand the tragedy.
34:03 Yet he trusted in God's goodness just the same.
34:06 But Satan wasn't through.
34:08 He challenged God again in Job 2:4-6,
34:11 "Yes, yes, you know what,
34:17 all that a man has he will give in exchange for his life.
34:23 You stretch out Your hand now,
34:25 and you touch his bone and his flesh,
34:27 and he shall surely curse You to Your face."
34:33 Pretty big dare.
34:36 And the Lord said to Satan, okay, behold,
34:42 he is in your hand, but you got to spare his life.
34:46 Now the real survivor's test was on.
34:49 Would Job remain loyal to God
34:51 or would he turn his back on God?
34:54 Job 2:7, "So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord
34:58 and struck Job with painful boils
35:00 from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head."
35:02 Have you ever had a boil?
35:05 Not very much fun, are they? I've had one.
35:08 You know how painful they can be.
35:09 But imagine being covered from head to toe.
35:13 Job was saying, you know, if I can't get him
35:15 through his possessions and his kids,
35:17 I'm gonna attack his health.
35:20 You got to be listening to what to talk or not us talk
35:23 from night to night, it's good stuff.
35:25 Yet Job remained loyal to God, an incredible man of faith,
35:30 the Bible says, in Job 1:22,
35:32 "In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."
35:38 Now I want you to answer out loud.
35:40 Who hurt Job? Satan.
35:43 Who was it that plagued Job? Satan.
35:45 Who stole his livestock and killed his servants?
35:49 Satan. Satan.
35:50 Who brought that tornado
35:51 and destroyed his sons and daughters?
35:53 Now listen, friend, the Lord may permit difficulties
35:59 to come and test our loyalty and our love,
36:01 but who is responsible for all of the evil on planet earth?
36:04 Satan. Satan is the guilty one.
36:07 But you and I are caught in the center
36:10 of a bewildering cosmic drama.
36:14 A conflict between good and evil,
36:17 between authority and lawlessness,
36:19 between the Creator and Satan, the original rebel.
36:23 And we're not spectators.
36:26 When you drive into the supermarket,
36:28 when you go to the grocery store,
36:30 when you go to the post office wherever it is,
36:32 we are involved, whether we want to be or not.
36:36 In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:9
36:40 that earth is the theater of the universe.
36:43 We're on stage set forth as a spectacle.
36:48 I don't know how many of you studied William Shakespeare
36:50 but I went to a British school when I was growing up
36:52 and I remember reading this.
36:54 Shakespeare said it perfectly, "All the world's a stage.
36:58 And all the men and women merely players.
37:00 We each have our entrances and our exits.
37:03 And one man in his time plays many parts."
37:07 You and I, ladies and gentlemen
37:09 have leading roles in this cosmic drama.
37:12 We're on stage. Our life isn't an act.
37:16 This isn't TV. This is the real thing.
37:21 I'm reminded of an illustration,
37:22 a little cartoon once,
37:25 it showed a family going on vacation
37:27 like Americans will be in just a few weeks.
37:30 This little kid is sitting in the backseat
37:31 of the station wagon, the family car
37:33 and they'd had a flat tire and dad is outside there
37:35 and it shows him changing the tire.
37:37 And the little boy is so bored and he is so fussing.
37:42 And dad says this, "Son, this isn't TV.
37:46 We can't change channels. This is life."
37:52 Now the popular idea that Satan is only a myth
37:57 or an influence, ladies and gentlemen,
37:59 that leaves us totally unprepared
38:02 to confront the intelligent being
38:04 he actually is, working through the Taliban,
38:07 working through the Osama Bin Ladens
38:09 and the Saddam Husseins.
38:10 And we could name some over here in this country and more,
38:13 but much more that we'll discover
38:14 as the Voice of Prophecy Speaks.
38:17 Amen.
38:18 But the Book of Revelation says in Revelation 12:12, it says,
38:24 "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea!
38:27 For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath,
38:31 because he knows that he has a short time."
38:35 The Apostle Peter warned us in 1 Peter 5:8,
38:39 "Be sober, be vigilant,
38:41 because your adversary the devil walks
38:44 about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
38:50 Well, that's kind of depressing.
38:53 But I'm happy tonight that the story does not end there.
38:57 Amen.
38:58 Or our future would be pretty gloomy and pretty dark.
39:01 The Bible tells us, ladies and gentlemen,
39:03 that's why God sent Jesus down here to this earth.
39:09 Why did He come?
39:11 Why did He go to such great lengths
39:12 to save men and women?
39:16 Because God had a plan.
39:19 You see even though Satan did his very worst
39:22 and ruined this world,
39:25 God had a plan to destroy the devil
39:28 and in the process save us, too.
39:31 That wasn't easy.
39:33 The Bible says that Satan comes as a roaring lion.
39:36 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Satan was there,
39:40 he worked through King Herod to destroy the Christ child,
39:42 He was defeated.
39:44 Satan came to Jesus in Matthew 4
39:46 in the temptations of Christ out there in the wilderness,
39:48 Satan came masquerading as a friendly helpful angel
39:53 with three temptations, remember?
39:54 Why don't you just turn these stones into bread?
39:56 Why don't you jump off this cliff
39:58 and the angels will take care of you?
39:59 Why don't you just bow down and worship me?
40:01 Satan was defeated there, too.
40:03 Satan then worked in the crowd to destroy Jesus at Calvary,
40:07 crucify Him, crucify.
40:09 And he thought he finally had Him
40:11 when he hung Him on a cross.
40:13 But he was defeated forever on resurrection morning.
40:15 Can you say amen? Amen.
40:16 Praise the Lord.
40:17 And friend, right here is the incredible answer
40:20 to the problem of why there is so much suffering.
40:23 God in Heaven, our loving Heavenly parent who created us.
40:28 When we sinned and we blew it,
40:31 that God was lonely when we sinned.
40:36 We had cut ourselves off from Him by rebellion.
40:39 But He missed us,
40:40 He couldn't bear to be without us.
40:43 With a loneliness that could never be healed
40:45 except by the restoration of humankind.
40:48 He loved us so much He gave His Son Jesus
40:52 and the Son gave Himself, too, to reverse your fate and mine.
40:57 Calvary was the hour of victory,
40:59 the day to free all the devil's prisoners on planet earth
41:04 and on prisoner's row right here.
41:06 Thanks to Calvary, Satan tonight is a defeated foe.
41:11 Christ by His death earned the right
41:13 to destroy all death and evil and suffering.
41:17 And He will because Paul wrote in Hebrews 2:14.
41:21 "Inasmuch then as the children
41:23 have partaken of flesh and blood,
41:26 He Himself likewise shared in the same,
41:29 that through death He might destroy him
41:32 who had the power of death, that is, the devil."
41:36 You see for 6,000 years,
41:39 Satan has been demonstrating in technicolor
41:41 before all of the intelligence of the universe
41:44 what kind of a being he is, that he hasn't changed today.
41:49 Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, crime, disease,
41:52 heartache, pain, snipers standing behind all evil
41:57 is the supernatural working of Satan.
41:59 Tragedies, tragedies and carnage and Hitlers
42:01 and Talibans and terrorists, they're not acts of God.
42:06 Satan whispers, yeah, God did it.
42:11 No, they are acts of the devil. Satan is the destroyer.
42:14 God is the restorer. Amen.
42:18 You begin to see how cleverly though Satan's angels
42:22 use the supernatural to deceive and destroy.
42:27 Now hang on, I'm about to say something
42:28 that might shake you up a little bit,
42:30 'cause this is just the beginning.
42:32 The Voice of Prophecy is about to speak again.
42:36 2 Corinthians 11:14 says,
42:39 Lonn, you watch in the 2003 and 2004."
42:43 No wonder, Satan himself
42:46 transforms himself into an angel of light."
42:52 Maybe it never occurred to you, ladies and gentlemen,
42:54 when you watch some faith healers,
42:56 some of them I say, on television.
42:59 Maybe it never occurred to you that devils,
43:02 demons can work miracles, too.
43:06 Miracles in the church, accompanied by hymn-singing.
43:10 Revelation 16:14 says,
43:13 "For they are the spirits of demons, performing signs..."
43:19 Satan works miracles,
43:21 and his angels can work miracles.
43:23 The devil actually gives some human beings
43:26 power to work miracles whenever he chooses
43:28 and Jesus said, Lonn, watch out.
43:30 Matthew 24:24,
43:32 "For false christs and false prophets will rise
43:35 and showing great signs and wonders on television
43:39 to deceive, if possible, even the elect.''
43:42 You say, well, no wait a minute,
43:43 Pastor Lonn, how in the world then can we an average person
43:46 know the difference between the true and the false?"
43:48 That's why this prophetic seminar series.
43:51 Because the Voice of Prophecy Speaks.
43:55 Don't come up to me and ask me
43:56 well is this faith evil or good or is this not?
43:58 By the time this seminar series is over,
44:00 you will have the tools in your own hand
44:02 to be able to discriminate it, no.
44:05 But this Voice of Prophecy warns us that the time has come
44:08 when we can't go to our television
44:10 and trust our senses anymore.
44:12 When we can't trust what do we see out there in the world?
44:16 At time when counterfeit miracles in the church
44:19 where we are close, so closely resemble the genuine
44:22 that it's extremely difficult to distinguish between them
44:25 except by God's prophetic word.
44:29 But the good news tonight is
44:32 that our planet hijacked by Satan
44:35 is soon to be rescued from spiritual terrorism.
44:39 Prophecy gives us inside info that Jesus is going to win.
44:43 He's in control.
44:44 No need to fear, no need to be nervous,
44:47 no need to be anxious passengers
44:49 on a planet gone wrong.
44:50 God has a plan to destroy old split foot, the devil.
44:53 And we'll uncover more precisely
44:55 what that plan is in future meetings.
44:57 It's shocking, some of the things
44:58 that Satan has spawned off in our Christian world
45:00 but let's take a quick sneak peek to see
45:03 what the Bible predicts God will one day say about Satan.
45:06 In Ezekiel 28:16-18,
45:11 "I destroyed you, O covering cherub.
45:14 Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
45:16 it devoured you, and turned you to ashes upon the earth."
45:21 Gone forever, no more sin, no more suffering, friend,
45:24 that's why Jesus is coming again soon.
45:27 Only this time he's not coming as the lonely Galileo.
45:30 Not as one ridiculed or spat upon and denied.
45:33 Not as one hanging on a cross, kicked around by the devil,
45:36 but He will come as King of Kings
45:37 and Lord of Lords with the right to reign
45:40 and the right to finally put an end to suffering.
45:42 Can you say amen? Amen.
45:43 And we must be ready to meet Him,
45:45 for if we miss that, friend, we miss everything.
45:49 The issue today is, who will we believe?
45:52 Who will we follow? A loving God or a fallen angel?
45:56 The lines have been drawn, tonight the whole world
45:59 is being divided into two sides.
46:01 Where is your loyalty?
46:03 Whose side do you choose to be on?
46:05 Because its decision time, friend,
46:08 and not to decide is to decide.
46:12 Tonight Jesus extends a personal invitation
46:14 to every restless, lonely heart,
46:17 to every aching, guilty soul,
46:19 to all His children on this planet in rebellion banged up,
46:22 bleeding, burned out, bruised, battered, and broken.
46:25 Jesus gives the loving invitation.
46:27 Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all of you who are struggling
46:31 and labor and are weary and heavy laden,
46:33 and I will give you rest."
46:36 The one who comes to Me I will in no means cast out."
46:41 Isn't that wonderful news?
46:42 Amen. Anyone can come.
46:45 You may wonder about tragedies that have struck your life.
46:48 Where's God today?
46:49 In the midst of life's sorrows, in heartbreak,
46:51 in cancer and disappointment, where is God today, friend?
46:54 Jesus is there, He understands.
46:57 He cares about my melanoma.
46:59 He cares about the 100 GIs who died in Iraq.
47:02 He knows pain, He's experienced loneliness.
47:04 God lost His only Son in battle, too.
47:07 But one of these days, Jesus promises to come back.
47:11 Settle the account, put an end to life's sufferings.
47:13 Satan will finally and fully and completely be defeated.
47:16 Tonight Jesus reaches out with good news.
47:19 And He says, "Friend,
47:20 I long to restore you to the family of God.
47:22 To give you eternal life on a planet made new."
47:26 But the decision is up to you,
47:29 who will be your Lord and Master?
47:31 It's a matter of choice. Eternal life, eternal death.
47:36 Tonight let's choose Jesus as Joey and Benith sing.
47:44 Choose ye this day whom ye will serve
47:50 And let it be the Lord
47:58 Choose ye this day whom ye will love
48:04 And make it rise all us above
48:12 God loves ye sinner He chose ye of all
48:20 His great love story on Calvary was told
48:28 So choose ye this day
48:33 Whom ye will serve
48:37 And let it be the Lord
48:47 Right now I'm gonna invite the row captains
48:49 to pass those containers to the end of the rows,
48:52 please take a response card.
48:55 And I want you to just fill in something tonight
48:57 as you've listened to this message.
49:00 Take a pen or pencil there and notice these four options
49:04 and please fill in your name and address right now.
49:09 Pass that right along to the others in your row
49:11 and wherever you're on the downlink sites
49:13 if you make sure that everyone has one right now.
49:15 The first one is, and I hope everyone will fill this in,
49:18 you know, I want to accept God's plan for my life
49:21 and look better forward to a better tomorrow.
49:23 You check number one. Check number one right now.
49:27 And then number 2, maybe you'd like to check this and say,
49:29 I want to accept Christ and His plan of salvation.
49:33 I want to accept Christ, His plan of salvation.
49:37 Number three, I want to study my Bible daily
49:40 and will pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life.
49:44 Maybe you want to go over to the Discover Bible tables
49:45 and pickup the lessons that match tonight's topic.
49:49 And number four, I hope you put down a prayer request
49:51 'cause our staff will pray for you
49:53 tomorrow morning at 10:30.
49:56 Prayerfully, consider your responses,
49:58 pass these down to the end of isle.
49:59 Let's pray together, Heavenly Father,
50:01 I want to thank you tonight for the wonderful plan that
50:03 You have to personally save us from sin and self destruction.
50:07 Tonight we've seen the larger picture
50:09 and we realize that we're part of the problem
50:11 but we thank you for providing a solution
50:13 through your free gift of salvation.
50:17 As we close our prayer tonight,
50:18 how many would like to just raise their hands to heaven
50:20 and say, Lord, remember me in this prayer
50:22 and I want thank Jesus for coming
50:24 and promising me a better tomorrow.
50:26 Help me to accept Your plan for my life,
50:28 prepare for a better future in Jesus' name, amen.
50:35 Thank you for being with us tonight.
50:37 Remember tomorrow night, one life changed the world.
50:42 Amen. Good night, everyone.
50:44 Thanks for coming, God bless you.


Revised 2014-12-17