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1. Tree Without a Fence: Religious Liberty in Bible Times

Dave Steward


Dave Steward

Evangelist with Amazing Facts and General Vice-President of ARME Bible Camp



  • December 31, 2015
    8:45 AM
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This message was presented at the Jew I see twenty fifteen conference called chosen in Louisville Kentucky. For other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C Web All right my topic this morning. Is untitled tree without offence. Tree without offence. Want to begin with a quote from Acts of the Apostles page sixty eight. The banner of truth. And religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the Gospel Church. And by God's witnesses during the centuries that have passed since then has in this last conflict. Been committed to our hands. The responsibility for this Great Gift rest with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His Word. Do you guys there's very few people in this world that know the three angels message. Very few. Have you been given the gift of understanding God's Word and the three engines message to one degree or another. Everybody in this room know something about the three engines message right. And so this responsibility of carrying the truth forward. That has been handed to us from other generations. Is a very incredible responsibility. The sacred trust. I used to run a relay race. When I was in law enforcement. That goes every year in the spring. It starts in a little town called Baker California and ends up in Las Vegas. They pick a different casino every year for the finish line. The race is one hundred twenty miles long and that spread out among twenty runners on your team so it's a relay race and. So every runner has an average of I guess that would be six miles that they run. And I usually ran the mill the night. Toward the end of the race. But the race would start in the middle of the day when it was hot. And when I remember every time I did it. I think for years and every time I would carry that baton. I was mindful of all the blood sweat and tears that got the baton to the stage where I was at all those runners that are run so hard on my team. I wasn't just running for myself. I was running for the whole team. And it wasn't just that day where we had ran it was think of all the training that taken place all year long to get us to that point. OK. So the same thing in the Protestant Reformation. We stand on the shoulders of amazing people that it God has raised up through the centuries. Especially in the last five hundred years. And so we are carrying on an amazing legacy. Now. We're talking about religious liberty let's just start with some basic definitions. What does liberty mean. OK it's a noun right. What is Liberty It means freedom freedom from restraint slavery or opposition. Oppression and muti from arbitrary exercise of authority. The capacity to exercise free choice. Free Will a man. Are you glad that God has given us free choice. And a free will. What about religion what does religion mean well one definition is that the system of faith in and worship of God. So put them together what do you come up with religious liberty. That's really when you think about it. The freedom of choice. To worship God. Is that the end of the story though. Or not. OK. It's the freedom to worship God if you want. And it's also the freedom to not worship God. If you want. It includes freedom to to worship the God you want. When you want how you want and where you want or not. Are you thankful for the or not part or do you wish that God had made us that we have to worship him. You know this first talk is focused on the Bible. Because my friend John is going to focus a lot on the history of the Reformation. I'm going to talk about the mark of the beast which. You know. I just want to do a study in the Bible. On religious liberty and what we can find in the Bible and there's a whole lot there. There's a lot more than I ever realized that you can find about religious liberty. And of course I just have an hour to share some of the highlights. But there's so much more. Really when you look at it. Religious liberty in the Bible highlights the difference between two kingdoms. The kingdom of Jesus. It came of freedom. And the kingdom of Satan. Which is a kingdom based on force and fear. Satan loves to use force. The love of force. But Jesus loves the. He uses the force of love. And it really highlights the differences between the two. So the TA the art. Our topic today is a tree without offence so let's take a look at that passage in Genesis chapter two verse nine. Where I think it kind of begins at least for humans. On religious liberty. The Bible says an out of the ground. Made the Lord God to grow every tree. That is pleasant to the site. And good for food. The Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden. And the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So how many trees. They got put in the Garden of Eden. A lot right. We don't know how many trees. We serve an amazing guy he put probably hundreds if not thousands of trees. And he said look you can eat from all these trees. But he also especially gave them the tree of life. And then the Tree of Knowledge of Good Knievel. Now in verse sixteen the Lord God says. Command of the man saying Of every tree of the garden now me as freely eat. There's that word free. Because God's all about freedom. I think of Satan and created the Garden of Eden he to put a thousand trees you couldn't eat from and then one you could be from right. God just the opposite. But of the chief of the Knowledge of Good need of all valid shall not eat of it for in the day that that eat us there of surely die. Now I think there's a little bit of a paradox here. God said they could freely eat. From the Tree of Life. And the other trees. But he said that they could. He commanded them not to eat from the chief of knowledge of good Knievel. Now where they still free to eat from that tree. So why didn't God say you're free to eat from all of them. Was it true freedom to eat. From the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It led to enslavement didn't it. And so here you have this tree. That God says don't eat from it even though God commanded them not to eat from it. He still gave them the freedom. If they wanted to eat from that tree. There was no fence around that tree. Are you thankful for that. Are you thankful that God provided the street. Some people say why did God put a tree in there. Which allowed. Adam and Eve to fail. Because he's Love Can you explain that Tim. Do you agree with that. Do you think that free choice is this important element of love. Would it be love without free choice. Could God have created man. To not have the power to break his law. He could have done that couldn't have he could have made us robots right. Without being free moral agents. Paychecks and profits page forty nine without freedom of choice. His obedience would have enforced. Not voluntary. There could have been no development of character. So without freedom of choice we can't develop character. It would have been unworthy of man as an intelligent being and would have sustained Satan's charge of God's arbitrary rule. God loves us too much to force us to do anything. Now speaking of love. Do you ever feel on loved. I have good news for you. You never have to fill. Unloved again. Did you know you can program computers now to express their love for you let me give you an example of what you can do with your computer look what I've done with mine. What do you think of that. Don't tell my wife. I have a love affair with my computer. Couldn't God of made us like that to be robots aren't you glad you're not a robot that you have freedom of choice. Love would really be love if it was forced. You know people like doubts full philosophical questions let me throw a philosophical question out to you can god. Make a rock. So big that he cannot lift it. I think the answer that question is yes. It's called the human heart. The greatest miracle on this earth isn't unconvert heart. Giving their life to Jesus Christ. Can you say men do that I know for me. That's when my life really changes when I gave my life to Jesus. At a crazy dance party called a rave which I had time to tell you that testimony today. All right let's move on so the Garden of Eden highlights. This freedom of choice. And then we come to Genesis Chapter four the story of two worshippers of God. Cain and Abel. Now where they both worshiping God at least over. At least on the outside they were shipping God right. I mean Cain wasn't overtly with worshipping the devil. Who did he bring his sacrifice for. It wasn't for Satan was it. He was bringing it to got the problem is he was being disobedient. It wasn't what God had asked for you know a lot of times people say Oh as long as you're sincere God except your worship no matter what it is. But is that really true. So God accepted. Abel's worship but not Keynes. And what happened after God did not accept Cain's worship. Which really was the fruit of his own labor rather than a lamb. That represents the blood of Jesus right. And so what happen. How did Cain react. He persecuted the true worshipper of God came was a counterfeiter. False worship. And he persecuted the true worshipper of got. And then what did Cain receive as a result. He received a mark. Do you guys that the story has prophetic significance about the mark of the beast which will be talking about three o'clock today. But this highlights the difference between those that truly worship God out of a free and obedient heart. From those that don't. And then we come to the exodus. Where God brings his people out of bondage. I think there's lessons even in this topic about religious liberty because liberty is about freedom right. What had been the condition of God's people for four hundred years. They'd been in slavery know what to slavery represent the Bible in a spiritual sense. It represents sin right being in bondage to sin and Satan. And so they were commanded to put blood on the doorposts. So that the destroying angel would pass over. And this really was kind of an introduction on their escape from Egypt. And of course. Then they came to the Red Sea which they seen my. They thought they were still basically in captivity where how are we going to escape. But God opened the way. He gave them freedom. You know the Bible is really a story of liberation. Work. Were held captive to Satan and sin. And it's a story about God willing to free us and give us all to move freedom. I'm thankful for a god of freedom how about you. Deep within the human heart is a desire to be free will then the children of Israel go into the wilderness. And they start getting hungry. So what does God do for them the rains down manna Exodus sixteen twenty nine thirty. See for that the Lord have given you the Sabbath. There are four he give a few on the sixth day the bread of two days a by the every man in his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Do you realize that even the Sabbath is a representation of freedom freedom from work. Rest are you thankful for the Sabbath. Now when you were growing up did you son of think the South was maybe boring. How many of you can Few can confess did you ever feel like the South was born ots the day I can't do things. Do you think that's the what God. How he wants us to look at the Sabbath. Now of course as we get older and we work. We begin to appreciate that day of rest right. My friend Calvin likes to call it. Taking a day cation. Every week you get a day cation and. So the Sabbath illustrates freedom and. You know it's funny sometimes people accuse Sabbath keepers of being legal less. You're keeping the Sabbath because you're a legal issue under the law. It's actually the opposite is true. The Sabbath represents freedom from being saved by our own works if you read Hebrews four right. It represents that we are saved through. Through faith in Christ not through our own works. The Sabbath actually represents not legalism but freedom. And so the children of Israel. Were free from having to work on the seventh day are gathering they would gather at the six days a week been on the seventh you know there was a three fold miracle. With regard to the manna. The fact the man who would fall six days a week. Double portion on Friday. And then that portion would keep throughout the Sabbath. Now did you know that we're going to be worshipping God on the Sabbath. For eternity. On the new earth and eyes is sixty six I think it's verse twenty three. Why are we going to be worshipping God on Sabbath. For all of eternity. And what does that symbolize in Deuteronomy five fifteen. It's kind of like Exodus twenty. It's a listing of the ten commandments again. OK. Notice. Deuteronomy gives us something that we don't have an Exodus twenty K.. It says Remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt. And that the Lord thy God brought the out fence through a mighty hand and by a stressed out arm. Therefore the LORD thy God commanded the to keep the Sabbath day. So in Deuteronomy five. What does the Sabbath symbolize it symbolizes freedom from slavery right. Freedom from sin. That's why we're going to be keeping the Sabbath throughout eternity because it's a symbol that we have been freed from sin and its consequences. So the Sabbath is a beautiful example of freedom to work in worshipping God and centrist thing that the Sabbath is that the heart of the controversy of the final conflict between became of Satan in the kingdom of God. We see some other examples where God is trying to show in every way possible he wants to free the human spirit. There were some other ways besides the Sabbath that this freedom was demonstrated the Old Testament. How about with regard to slavery. You know even after the the Hebrews the skate from Egypt they still had slaves. Exodus twenty one to they were commanded by God If thou by the Hebrew servant. Six years she shall serve. And in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. So even with. You know I think here God is just kind of winking at ignorance and human slavery God didn't like humans they were just like he doesn't like polygamy. But he put up with man. Right. But even with God allowing slavery he says look at should have an expiration date. After six years. Him and slaves should be free. Now what about this in Deuteronomy fifteen one into another example of freedom. This is having to do with freedom from debt. At the end of every seven years that make a release. How many of you would like to get ready or dead after seven years. Student loans I took me ten years to pay those off how about you. How about your house. And this is the manner of a release. Every creditor that Lenda ott. And is neighbor shall release it. And so we're supposed to release debts after seven years. And so God wanted freedom even from debt. Now why is debt something that takes away our freedom. You know in Proverbs twenty two seven it says the borrower is servant to the lender. You don't have to raise your hand but do you ever fill in slave the debt. I want to just throw something out here today. You know. We don't have to follow the American dream and. The American way of thinking. They American way of thinking is that we have to finish high school. It's just a given you're going to go into heavy student loan debt. To get an education. And then when you get out you're going to get a big fat mortgage. That's going to ensure that you're going to have to be a slave to your job the rest your life. And I think work is good but I know so many people are sad want to serve God like to be a missionary. But I have these huge student loans I have this huge mortgage. Do you know God has lots of ways to work things out we don't have to go into debt. I have a good friend that just finished we mar college. Which is it's not as expensive as some colleges but still you know they have to wish and you have to pay in my friend doesn't come from means he doesn't have rich parents. But thankfully I think this was a blessing because their creation issues the stuff he wasn't able to get student loans. I think that was a blessing in disguise. And so my friend was able to graduate and get his bashers degree in theology from we mar. Without going into debt. His parents help some he had some sponsors he worked here a little there a little mazing facts helped him out from Canada and you know before you know it. It paid everything. I think we need to get away from this idea why I have to go into debt to get an education. That's not necessarily to do you know that there's people out there who like to invest in young people. And this idea you have to go into debt to buy a house not always. I know a family and again they weren't rich. They said we don't want to go into debt. We'll build as we have the money. And they worked and they saved and they built and they today have a nice house and never had to go into debt to get it. God has ways of providing. I'm think that a year ago my wife and I almost signed a mortgage to buy a house that we wouldn't be in very much because we're traveling all the time live in a fifth wheel. I'm thankful that it didn't go through. Because I can't imagine having that payment today. So I think we need to think about not going to debt. Going into debt and being a slave. And that's because all right now let's talk about Daniel Daniel has some great lessons on religious liberty in the Bible. What happened in Daniel Chapter three. You have a king. Representing the Cain of Babylon he's a king political power of the government and he sets up a golden image. And then went to see command people to do to with the image. Ballad down and worship it. And if you don't worship it you will be killed. Thrown into a fiery furnace. This is an amazing story. That's prophetic about the mark of the beast at the end. There's a lot of parallels between Daniel three. And Revelation thirteen. Where it talks about the second. Be setting up an image. And people having to worship that image or they will be killed. And so you have all these people. Which was wrecked they were representative of the whole province of Babylon bowing down to worshipping that image. Except three three people said. We're not going to bow down to the image. Daniel was probably on vacation I don't know. The king maybe he was smart enough to send him on away on business. This is a good illustration of the establishment of religion which the First Amendment the Constitution prohibits will be talking more about that the softer noon and tomorrow. The king establish a religion he expected people to comply. Let's take a closer look at this story. Daniel three Verse one never can as of the king made an image of gold whose height was three score cubits he set it up in the planet or in the province of Babylon. Then a herald cried aloud to you it is commanded O.-P. pull nations and languages that it what time you hear all kinds of music. Is the devil sometimes use music to get people in the mood for false worship music can be such a blessing sacred uplifting holy heavenly music right. But there's a lot of counterfeit music that is entered into the church. I don't believe when we get into heaven there's going to be different rooms for people's different musical styles and tastes. I don't believe there's going to be in heaven. Groups that go you know I don't feel comfortable with that music. You know when you have truly sacred uplifting music you don't hear people complaining that it's. I don't feel comfortable or they may go it's boring. It's a little slow but they don't go I'm feeling come to with it I don't like it's worshipful full of God right. Music should be heavenly and uplifting Amen. Right Karl. I appreciate Carl's seminar. Bakit in San Jose. About Music. It's done audio verses in it. What's the what's the title of it. Karl celibacy this. Yes. It's used to refer you as Karl with the last them I couldn't pronounce tea with a bunch of let's call celibacy the Great. Seminar music. At what time you hear all kinds of music you fall down and worship the golden image that never can as of the king hath set up. And who so far if not down and worship with Kate Make no mistake worship is at the heart of this battle between good and evil gone sane. If you fall down. Not down to worship a shell the same ARE be cast in the midst of a burning fire furnace. This really illustrates how Satan operates. His type of worship. Uses force and fear to get people to comply. God never uses that he does not want to heart. Forces. Or is forced to worship him. It's always about freedom. Verse sixteen shadow Acme shack in a Bendigo said our God whom we serve. Is able to deliver us from the burning fire furnace and he will deliver us out of the in hand OK. But if not be it known on to the Oking that we will not serve a God nor worship the golden image which that was set up. You know this is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Verse seven sixteen expresses faith tremendous faith in God God's going to God is going to save us. But even if he doesn't even if he chooses not to. We will not engage in the worship of an idol. Because we worship God the true God. The greatest want. Of the world is the want to men men who will not be bought or sold. Men who in their inner In most souls are true and honest men who do not fear to call sin by its right name. Men whose conscience is true to duty is the Nields of the Paul Minn who will stand for the right though they have install. Don't you want to be that kind of person who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. That's the way these three people were. And so they refused to engage in false worship. Now did they understand they had the freedom to choose. No death decree. No threat. Can get you to do anything right. You know we call it forced worship. But can the devil really force us to worship. You know Flip Wilson was famous for that phrase the devil made me do it. Can the devil make you really do anything. We'll to merely have the choice ourself Dolly. This is a good illustration of the kingdom of Christ first of the kingdom of Satan the force a lover says the love of force. God only wants worship of a willing heart. Great conversely pays for ninety three. God desires from all His creatures the service of love that springs from an intelligent. Appreciation of his character. He takes no pleasure in a forced allegiance. And do all he grants freedom of will that they may render him voluntary service. How different from the way satan operates. One of the things I like about this story. Is it illustrates that all of us. If we serve Christ are going to have to go through trials. Have you been through a trial because of your faith before. Maybe someone today is going through a very difficult trial in your life. I have good news for you when you're going through the fiery trials. When the fire is the hottest who's the closest who showed up to save these men when they were in the middle of the fire. Jesus did. If you're going through a trial in your life. All the more reason to clean closely to Jesus and depend on him a man. He wants to help us when we come to Daniel six the story of Daniel getting thrown to the lions. Here you have Daniel worshipping got and. I hope that someday this is set of me. The presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Ghana concerning the K. number but they could find what. None. Occasion. Nor faults. For as much as he was faithful. Neither was there any air or fault. Found in him. Do you guys that Christians should be the most law abiding citizens on earth. With one exception. Speed limit. OK John we know where your weaknesses. Lords working with him. That that breaks up a good point you know that in fact. I challenge you to ask my friend Jonathan who's going to be preaching next. This question. So he doesn't think speed limits. Matter. OK Let no words. We have this ongoing argument. I believe. You know he says it's not a moral issue. I believe even whether you follow the speed limit is a moral issue do you agree with that. Should we follow the speed limit. Which one. All of them. You know Christian should be law abiding. Except. What's the one exception. Not speed limit. If it conflicts with the law of God right. Then said these men we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel than they kind of say this Daniel kind of like putting him down this Daniel guy. We will find no occasion against him except we find it against him concerning what the law of his god. When you like to be known as that kind of person. The only way we'll get them to do something that we don't want the you there we want them to do is to get him to break God's and I'm sorry. Let me said again. The only way we'll get against these people. Is that we finally KASIAN because they are keeping God's law. If we make a law against what God says that's the only way we'll get him to do something wrong. The image in Daniel three is a good illustration of a stablish in religion and interfering with that principle of the government. Not establishing religion. Daniel six is a good illustration of interfering with the free exercise of religion. OK. Here Daniels worshipping God his way. The way God has asked him to. And they try to interfere with that. So this stablish meant a religion is the government saying you have to do it our way. And the Free Exercise of Religion has to do with the government saying you can't do it your way. Very interesting comparison that will be looking at the First Amendment. Now let's talk about God's law. Since both of these stories and Daniel lend themselves to talking about law what does that have to do with freedom and religious liberty. You know David said. And I will. I will walk at liberty for I seek by precepts the laws. What is the connection between religious freedom. And the law of God is there a connection. Well this verse tells us there is right. What we find here is if you want true freedom. Then obey God's law. And what's so interesting is the devil has totally turned that around and he says. God's law takes away your freedom. If you want freedom. Then do your own thing. Do us what thou wilt. That's kind of the slogan of the Satanic Bible. Do what thou wilt. But the Bible tells us God's law brings freedom. James also makes this clear. Free That said do not commit adultery said also do not kill. Now fell commit no adultery yet if kill the hour become a transgressor of the law. What laws James or for him to hear some of the Law the Ten Commandments right. And then notice how he refers to the Ten Commandments so speaking and so do as they that shall be judged by the. Law. Of Liberty. He means God's law is a law about freedom. Have You can confess to me Have you ever considered God's law to take away your freedom. Maybe in the short term it seems that way but in the long term you realize that God's law brings freedom to the body have car keys here today I didn't bring any because I left him home. Because he may have car keys. That someone had to have driven here. OK Thank you sister. You know I have good news for you on the new earth will be no need for these. Do you realize that these keys symbolize that we do not truly live in a free society. This represents the facts that the fact that we live among thieves. Right. We don't truly live in a free society. Imagine if everybody kept God's law. Thank you you would need keys anymore. I know a family near and dear to me. Where one of the parents decided. God's law was little restrictive than one to go outside the marriage. Covenant and go find a new lover. Breaking up the family. Thinking oh this will bring freedom. In the end it takes away freedom. It breaks up the family. Now is liberty freedom from responsibility. No It includes responsibility doesn't it. True freedom comes through obedience to God. That's where we find freedom in fact. Proverbs twenty nine eight hundred says he that keep of the law of God happy. Is he. Now I don't know much about this picture or the photographer. But I know one thing that photographer had to have been glad that there was something between him and that ferocious lion. You know the Bible says Be sober be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. What has God given us. As protection against the attacks of the devil. Jesus and His law. The problem is too many of us. Try to get as close as we can to that boundary. This post to protect us right. We flirt with the devil or even get inside the pin and then guess who eats us for lunch. God's laws there protect us. You know to have true freedom require surrender. Ministry of healing. Page one thirty one giving up freedom to have true freedom. When one surrenders to Christ. The mind is brought under the control the law. But it is the royal law which proclaims liberty to every captive by becoming one with Christ man is made free. Subjection to the will of Christ means restoration to perfect manhood. Perfect womanhood. Obedience to God is liberty from the thraldom of sin. Deliverance from human passion an impulse. Man may stand conquer of himself conquer of himself conquer of his own inclinations conquer a principle of these and powers and of the rulers of the darkness of this world and of spiritual wickedness in high places. I want to be free from wickedness in high places how about you. And so God asks us to be obedient to do His will review and herald March fifteenth one thousand and six on White says each human being is given the freedom of choice. It is his just to decide whether he will stand under the black banner of rebellion or under the blood stained banner of Prince Emmanuel with the solicitude haven't watches the conflict between good and evil. None but the obedient can enter the gates of the City of God upon those who choose to continue transgression the death sentence must. Last be pronounced. The earth will be purified from their misdoings their defiance of God. Only one group's going to make it to heaven right. Those that love Jesus enough to be obedient to him. One tell you about a very cryptic creepy kidnapping case that I was involved in back in my DA days. This is in two thousand and seven. There was a couple that lived in Riverside California prominent business couple they had money. Their names were Ted and Linda. One day in March of two thousand and seven. Around noon. Ted received a frantic call from his wife Linda. She said Oh I've fallen down come home. Ted comes home. He looks are everywhere for his wife and he can't find her. But what he does find is a white envelope with his name on the outside. Ted. Which arrested his attention had his name on it. He opened up the envelope and found a nine page ransom note and two Polaroid pictures of his wife with a hood over her head. Balland. She was so scared when the pictures were taken she your unaided on herself. And this is what greeted Ted when he came home. Very creepy note. This is how the no religious give you a few of the highlights. We need to make a few things clear right out of the gate. Ted. First if you want to see your life with wife alive again and have your lives return anything close to normal again. Do not call the police or anyone else. If you do. Your wife will die. Read through this document. Twice. Take your time since we know. Your mind is racing at the bomb in the first page it said it is obvious that we have kidnapped your wife for ransom. We are very dangerous don't question our resolve. Just do what we say. Don't call the police were watching your every move. We are monitoring the F.B.I. and the police. And most of the note talks about how he should go get money. And he's asking for one hundred forty thousand dollars. He said You've got to go to your banker. Now don't tell him what's going on just act oxide about something you want to buy if you're into boats Tom you found a new boat. If you're into gold. Tom you're excited about buying some gold. You're into planes tell them you want to buy a plane. Telling you need the money and you need it now. Remember through all of this sound common even upbeat giddy at times. You're about to get something you really want and more ways than one. Very creepy. At the end the know. It said don't try to be a hero. Bruce Willis is not going to come rescue you. And then he gave instructions on how. There would be four different sites where they would be drop four different drop sites where there would be instructions to go to the next site colleague a scavenger hunt on take them on a chase. He said Follow or instructions to Linda will come out just fine. And this is how it ends. This guy so crazy says. If you don't follow our instructions. You'll be lamenting later saying things like the money wasn't important. I would have done anything to get her back at cetera. Well now is the time to enact those policies. Don't be the guy known for the rest of your life. As the one that got us wife killed over one hundred forty thousand dollars. People may not say it to your face but they will always remember it. It will be the story that procedure every to precede you every time you go somewhere that someone knows you. It will be your legacy. Well Ted did not call the police he called his banker. Eventually the banker got suspicious and called the police. All of that didn't result in the apprehension of the suspect what happened was this van. Kept driving into this area in the lake Hills area between verse Riverside and Corona where the where the driver of the van. Actually would have a view of the one of the drop sites where Ted was supposed to go. And some neighbors got suspicious called the police and Deputy POR tell us is our hero. He showed up and saw this van point motorcycle. And a man. Fanning trying to put air into the back of the van. And he question the guy his story didn't make sense. He asked him Do you mind if I look inside. And when he looked in he saw this virtual casket. Cracked open. And when the officer looked he saw a woman inside that casket. There was Linda. Could hardly breathe with a hood on her head balland she'd been that way for seven hours and deputy for tell us rescued. The victim. Linda told the story of how earlier that day she got a knock at her door she thought it was a delivery man he had a uniform had a van with look like a delivery van for mail she opened the door and he immediately ran into her house. Attacked her. Shocked her with a stun gun. And then bound her and for sure to call her husband. And then letter around on this chase for seven hours. Very interesting in. What was really creepy is when they investigated the van and search this guy's apartment they found that for four months he'd been surveilling this couple. For four months he'd been watching them to see what their habits were who lived in the house. And they found files on fifteen different prominent families in Riverside. Where he'd been watching these families to see who he could take advantage of. Sometimes he would have notes in the file. Is she is the woman to old would she survive. Very creepy. Thankfully today Mark Warne is serving life without the possible. Billion parole. In California state prison. Which is where the kidnapper belongs. You know what's at you know I haven't visited and Tim. But I can give you his contact information. If you want to go pay a visit. You know as disturbing as this story is. There's something more disturbing in this world. That gets less attention. And that is the enemy of souls. Has kidnapped. Most of the people on this earth. And in slave them to sin. All of us have one time or another being kept of deceit. And when we continue to sin and live in the life of sin were. We remaining captive. Problems five point two says his own iniquities entrapped the wicked man. And he is caught in the chords. Of his sin you know the good news is we can be free from sin. Roman six sixteen No you're not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey His servants you are to whom you obey whether of sin unto death or obedience under righteousness. There's two paths that we can go on and you know. The good news is the Bible is full of promises that we can be complete overcomers. But gobby think that you were the servants a sin. But you have obeyed from the heart. That form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin you became the servants of righteousness. Which is true freedom. Are Really I guess it boils down to this. In the study that I did on some of these religious liberty themes in the Bible. What I discovered in the Bible. There's really two grand truths. Regarding religious liberty and that is. God gives us the freedom to sin if we want. He gives us that free choice. But when we're tired of that life. And we want to be rescued. He gives us the freedom from sin. Remember why was Jesus name Jesus. She should bring forth a sign that shall call his name Jesus for he saw save his people not in their sins but from their sins. Jesus Himself said. The spear the Lord is upon me because he at the Noida mean to preach the gospel of the poor he has sent me to heal the broken hearted. Is there someone broken hearted today. Jesus wants to heal you. To preach deliverance to the captives. Is there someone here today addicted to sin. Jesus wants to deliver you. The recovering of sights of the blind to set at liberty them that are bruised. And even in the life of Christ we see this principle of giving deliverance freedom. There were times when his disciples want to Jesus to use force. In Luke nine fifty four fifty six Lord will tell them we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them even as Elias did. This is when his disciples were slighted by the people of a Samaritan village. The apostle John was filled with think the nation that's one of the sons of thunder. And he says Jesus you want to command firing consume them with pity. Jesus rebuked this harsh spirit. And he said the son of man has not come to destroy men's lives but to save them to give them true freedom. You know Calvary. Is another tree without offence. There is nothing that stands in the way between someone. And their ability to come to Jesus and surrender their life to him. And I'm thankful for that opportunity for me when I was ready finally to surrender my life to Jesus. There was no condemnation. There was nothing to keep me away from but my own choice. And I finally surrendered that. And the good news of Calvary is that knowledge gives us freedom from the penalty of sin. Gives us freedom from the power of sin. Jesus said. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Whoever commit a sin is the servant of sin. But if the son show. Therefore make you free. You shall be free indeed. Jesus say Come unto me all that you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke. A yoke is an instrument of service right. Take my yoke upon you learn me from meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest and your souls. For my yoke is easy. And my burden is light. If you love me keep my commandments. Sometimes we use the expression. Jesus Christ our lord and savior right. That's an interesting study to look at those words Lord and Savior. You know whether we accept it or not. Jesus died to save us. Did any He's our Savior even if we reject that gift. But you know. The one title he really covets that can only be given if we freely surrender. I think that's why the Bible in facade is that word so much. How many times do you think the word savior appears in the King James Bible. And he guesses. Thirty seven times. That's it. How many times does the word Lord appear. Over seven thousand times. You cannot hardly turn a page of the by without seeing the word Lord Lord. Six times on every page. Think there's a message there. Because that's really where the great controversy is won and lost freedom is gained or not if we accept Jesus as our Lord. In every area of our life. Total surrender. Unfortunately the Jews. Even though he wanted to gather them together. They were not willing. You know to overcome sin and wickedness Without Jesus we cannot. And without Jesus. Without us Jesus would let me say that again I butchered that Dover come sin a Wiccan this Without Jesus we cannot. And without us Jesus will not. But Jesus so desperately wants to freedoms from sin. And I want to just encourage us to do like Jesus did when we're tempted. When the Satan comes around to get us to sin. And that is to use the words of Scripture. As our weapon. It is written. It is written it is written right. And there are so many promises in the Bible that promise us. Freedom from sin. Don't let people tell you you can't overcome in this life. That's not what the Bible says. The Bible is full of promises and I don't have time to go through them all. Second Peter one for is one of my favorite whereby a given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature. Having a scape the corruption that is of the world through sin. Or through lust. Our rights. Here are some more promises. And I think we're about out of time. Tomorrow tomorrow. We're going to be looking at eighty Joneses arguments. About rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's the things that are God the things to God how Jesus talked about the separation of church and state. And I had other things I want to go through but our time is up by the way is freedom true. Totally free. Or does it come with a price. Didn't Jesus demonstrate on the cross that freedom comes at a very sacred price. You go to Arlington Cemetery you realize that freedom. Actually cost something. But it's totally worth it and liberty of conscience is a sacred principle that we must uphold. Even at the price of blood. Our blood. Perhaps you heard the story of a slave who was on the auction block and. He was very strong. Strapping looked like he'd make a good worker. The only problem is he kept saying I will not work. But the bits kept going up. Finally a man paid a little high price to buy this lave and he kept saying. I will not work. I will not work. And he protested. And when the man took him to his estate. He actually took the handcuffs off in the man kept saying I will not work. And the man said I did not buy you. For you to be my slave I bought you to set you free. And when the man realized this man had purchased his liberty his freedom. He said I will work for youth for the rest of my life. And isn't that what Calvary's really about. When Jesus sets us free from sin. From slavery. We want to serve him for the rest of our life. Someone once asked the artist. Why isn't there a latch on the outside where Jesus is knocking. And the artist says oh there is a latch but it's on the inside. Jesus is a gentleman. He doesn't break in the door like the government. He only comes if we ask Him to how many of you want to open that door today to Jesus. Let's stand together show is we pray that you have any father. Lord we're so thankful that you are a god of freedom. And that you've given us many examples in the Bible of your desire to liberate us. And to give us freedom from sin and even ourselves at times. Lord I pray that we would accept this free gift. And that Lord that. If there's someone here struggling with sent a day in their life. Lord I pray that you would help that person. Realize that you have the power to give them victory. Through the blood of Jesus. Lord help us to be true for you to live with you forever. Jesus. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty fifteen conference called chosen. They fall in Louisville Kentucky. You I see the supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered in soul winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.


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