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3. The War Behind All Wars

Taylor Hinkle
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Taylor Hinkle

Pastor of two churches in Michigan Conferences and currently serves as the General Vice President of External Affairs for GYC.

Recorded

  • March 31, 2016
    7:15 PM
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Father in heaven. What a blessing it is to be able to come together the study your word tonight. Lord we thank you that you've given us the Bible that gives a such a clear picture of who Jesus is Lord are thankful for the book of revelation that's clearly just a revelation of Jesus Christ and Lord we just pray that you would help us to understand your words this evening Father as we look at this important theme of why is there pain and suffering in this world we pray that you would through your Holy Spirit explain to our hearts the truth of Scripture and Lord which is that that you would help these things to be clear and concise that Jesus could be lifted up in Christ's name we pray in the story of a man by the name of Kevin Carter and Kevin Kartel Carter was a photojournalist who took an award winning photo and the photo was of this one many of you may have seen this before and it was of a starving girl and South Sudan. Now shortly after this was featured in Time magazine. He won an award for this photo but just a few days after that Kevin committed suicide. Now people couldn't imagine why in award winning photographer would be taking his own life but notice what part of his suicide note said he says I'm haunted by the vivid memories of killing and corpses and anger and pain of starving or wounded children of trigger happy Mad Men often police or killer executioner. I am really really sorry the pain of life overrides the joy to the point that joy does not exist for me to see Kevin as he was exposed to all the suffering that was going on in the world at that time he wondered why is it possible for all of these atrocities to be happening and if life is this bad then I don't want anything to do with it I remember during two thousand and five I was visiting Uganda and I was there for a month the During that time there was a a movement going. Through Uganda called the Lord's Resistance Army I don't know if any of you remember that are familiar with and the Lord's Resistance Army would go through villages and wipe out all families and genocide form and I remember meeting young men and young women who were only in their teens who had no family left because they were killed and the genocide during those times I began to ask questions if God is so good why is this world so bad. How can a God of love. If the Bible tells us that God is loving and God is kind of god is all powerful. Then why does God allow these types of things to happen in the world. You know I would say that the number one reason why people are atheist or agnostic today is not due to a lack of evidence that God exists but to a large degree many atheist have admitted that the reason why they don't believe in God is because they don't believe that there could be a God who is so cruel who would allow these things in the world to continue to go on. I was at the I was at a funeral yesterday I was asked to do the funeral of a man who is sixty five years old he had suffered through diabetes for most of his life he was diagnosed as a child he had spent the last multiple years of his life over a decade. It's bound to his house because of his health condition. And the main question that everyone has at a funeral like that is of God is good. Why are these things taking place. Now this this afternoon of the see if they were going to be attempting to look through Scripture why would God allow these things to happen and we're going to see that revelation gives us a clear understanding of these things. Oftentimes many people have such a twisted picture of God and it's captured by this cartoon here where a man is walking down the street and there's a piano hanging over his head and God's getting ready to hit a button that says smug and you get this idea and some people think it's comical that God is just out there to get them and he's going to strike them with a lightning bolt and I can tell you that if God was. Like that I would probably be an atheist too. I remember going into a clothing store and I was looking for a shirt in Tempe Arizona when I lived there and as I was looking in the store there was a guy who was helping me and the guy came up and we talked a little bit and as I was walking out of the store I reached into a pocket and I just handed him a little Bible tract. And the guy looked at the track he's my age and looked a little bit confused that he just handed it back to me and said I don't believe in God and I just said well you know I wouldn't believe in God either if I saw him like you did and said what I mean if I saw him like you did I said well I don't believe the gods of and for God who wants nothing good for his people and allows all these atrocities to happen the kind of went through the list of what he assumed God would be he said well what is God like then I said well this is why we need the tracks right. And we're going to understand tonight that many of us might have a skewed picture of who God is and we're actually going to see this throughout the series of Revelation is the clearest book of helping us to really understand who God truly is that's why it calls it the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this evening we're going to be looking at a passage of scripture actually several passages of Scripture that make it clear about the character of God trying to answer the question if God is all loving if God is all good. Then why do bad things happen in this world. Now before we get into the study too far it's best to start at the beginning of the book would you agree. How many of you ever buy a book from the bookstore and go straight to the last chapter. Now I don't want to show your hands who I know there are some people who do that but what's helpful many times is to open to the opening chapters of scripture to realize what God's ideal for humanity was and I just want to do us quick survey with you through the first chapter of Genesis Genesis chapter one. Genesis Chapter one we're going to begin in verse one and these are familiar verses to many of us the creation story and I want you to tell me if you realize the repeating word that's used at the. And of each one of these passages that we read. Genesis Chapter one beginning in verse one. It says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said Let there be light and there was light and God saw the light and that it was good and God divided the light from the darkness so that So God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day skip down to verse ten with me. And God called the dry land Earth and gathering together of the waters he called seeds and God saw that it was what. Good no notice verse twelve. And the evening and the earth brought forth grass the herb that you'll see it according to its kind of the tree that yields fruit whose seed is in itself according to its kind and God saw that it was was good no notice just a couple more passages verse sixteen then God made two great lights the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night he made the stars also a God sent them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night and to divide the light from the darkness and God saw that it was good now notice the last passage here the last verse of Genesis chapter one. Genesis Chapter one Verse thirty one it says then God saw everything that he had made and indeed it was was very good. Now do you guys notice the pattern there. God creates something and it's good God creates the next day and as he steps back at the end of that day he looks on it and everyone looking around says that it was good and he gets all the way to day number five and everything that he creates is good and now when did God put man into the garden was a beef. For he created the good earth. No You see God prepared a perfect place for us to dwell. And once everything was good then you see that God creates men and puts them on the earth and then after that happened God says that it's very good and I want to ask you a question if all that you had in the Bible was Genesis chapter one would you think that God wanted good or bad things for his people good right. We see it repeated over and over again how many times through the Bible writer tell us that everything that God made for us was good. There's another passage of Scripture first John chapter one verse five and it says this is the message which we have heard from him and declare to you that God is was light and in Him is no darkness at all you know some say some people have this idea of the yang yang theory of God Are you familiar with what I'm talking about you know the yang yang if any of you have ever looked at them I might have should have put a picture up here but you have half of it that's black and a half of it's that's why right and you have this sort of mixing of the two and people believe that you have to have a little bit of evil and a little bit of good in order to really have balance in the universe that's kind of the theory behind. And some people think that this is about God you know sure God created everything good but maybe there's a little bit of evil in him as well that allows the earth to have this proper balance because we couldn't appreciate good without evil. Was that what the Bible tells us it tells us that in God There is only life now in first John chapter one here constantly referring to light as that God doesn't know sin he doesn't know evil but darkness is all the evil things of this world and God when he's telling us about him in a John as he's describing the one that he knew so well he says in God There is no darkness at all now we realize that through these passages it hasn't really helped us with our question we wonder if God is good if he created everything good and if God is the light and in him there's no do. At all then who is responsible for all of the suffering that we see in the world today. Now I'm thankful for the parables of Jesus that make things clear to us. We're doing this parable read this parable as a backdrop to what we're getting ready to read in Revelation Matthew chapter thirteen for those of you have your Bibles with you Matthew chapter thirteen Jesus gives us a parable that we're going to find very helpful in understanding this idea of if God is good why is this world so bad and why hasn't God done something about the evil that we're facing these are questions that we're looking at. Matthew chapter thirteen and verse twenty four. Matthew chapter thirteen of verse twenty four. Notice what Jesus says here it says another parable he put forth to them saying the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sewed what type of see good seed in his field. But while men slept his enemy came and sewed tares among the wheat and when his way and when the grain had sprouted and produced the crop then the tears also appear so the servants of the owner came and said to him sir. Did you not so good seed in your field. How then does it have tear notice would Jesus responses in verse twenty eight Jesus says an enemy has one done this you see when Jesus is asked the question by his the cycles and giving them the parable of understanding what the Kingdom of God is like he says hey the kingdom of God is like a man who went to ghosts. So good to see. And now what does all of this represent notice verse thirty six Matthew chapter thirteen in verse thirty six some of us might be reading that parable and think What does that have to do with this question just like the disciples. But notice Jesus gives us an explanation. Matthew chapter thirteen verse thirty six. It says then Jesus. Sent the multitude away and went into the house and his disciples came to him saying Explain to us the parable of the tears of the field. And he answered and said to them he who sews the good seed is who the son of men. This field is the world in the good seeds of the sons of the kingdom but the tears of the sons of the wicked one the enemy who so them is who the devil the harvest is the end of the age and the reapers are the angels. So as we plug these things back into the parable that Jesus just told us is there's a man who went and sowed good seed in his field who is that man sowing the good see itself as that's Jesus right and we realize that Jesus is the one who is active in creation and creating this world that we just read about in Genesis chapter one. And it tells us what type of things was he creating good or bad things good things but as people slept right there is this imagery of sleeping How much do you understand when you're asleep of the outside world. Not very much right. Unless you're a light sleeper then you wake up but we realize when you're asleep. It's N. perceptible the things that are happening around and we see that Jesus so good say that he created good things in this world but while no one could tell how it exactly happened there started to be sprouts of weeds that were coming out now what does that say that the weeds represented. Says a verse thirty eight that it's the sons of the wicked one. Right and we're told that the one who is selling that evolve or those who are sowing the seeds of wicked mis was only one person was responsible for that and that was the man the devil. Now we're going to get into this parable a little bit a little bit later to fit realize the ending that Jesus gives to us and gives us a clear understanding of wide Jesus didn't just immediately wipe the sound. But we realize when Jesus is trying to explain why bad things happen to good people and why if there's a good God why are there evil things happening. Jesus doesn't say you know the reason why you're suffering today is because I'm doing that to you. But he says the reason why there is pain and suffering on Earth today is because there is a devil who is active and persecuting all of those who are alive on this earth. Now when we often think of the devil we think of something like this right. Someone there with a pitchfork sitting in the center of the earth. You know boiling people and putting them over the roast or whatever your picture of the devil is but what we're going to realize this evening is that the Bible gives us a very interesting insight into the fall of Satan and the origin of evil and sin. Because people say well if God allowed Satan to do this that God create the devil did God create someone who is going to be so evil and wicked to us all this evening we're going to be looking at the explanation that the Bible gives that it was never God's plan that evil would exist but it was simply the outgrowth of freedom of choice notice what the Bible says in Revelation Chapter twelve and verse seven. Revelation Chapter twelve and verse seven it says that a war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fall but they did not prevail. Nor was the place found for them in heaven any longer so the great dragon was cast out that serpent of old called Who the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world and he was cast to this earth and his angels were cast out with him now from this passage of Scripture what do we find out about Satan. That tells us that there was a war and what location in Iraq and Afghanistan and hell and tells us that there is a war that first started in heaven. Now how many of you is it hard for you to imagine. That there is was ever a war going on and have I mean you think of heaven it's a perfect place it's a senseless place. It's a place where you think everyone would be happy. Why is it that there would ever be a war. Well we're going to look at this this evening of why the Bible tells us that this war took place and a little more of the details now Revelation Chapter twelve told us that there was a war in heaven and that there were two main parties involved one was Michael and his angels right. And you can look at Jude Chapter one Verse nine that Michael is the Arc Angel which in Greek means the ruler of the angels in other words it was Jesus Himself as you look at Michael throughout Scripture you can realize that it was God Himself in symbolic language drawing Michael and his angels fought and who were they fighting against. It said the dragon now wasn't literally a dragon and it went on to explain the symbolic language there and it was God fighting against the people of Satan who would align themselves with him. Now there came a point during the war where God said enough is enough but this evening what we want to do is try to understand what was going on in this war was it a battle of fist or was there something different that took place. Turn the committees kill this evening and we're going to be trying to find out what it is that caused this battle and have an easy. Chapter twenty eight. Chapter twenty eight and verse eleven we remember last night we talked about Revelation is the last chapter of the Bible and if it's the last chapter of the Bible or the last chapter of the book we have to understand the whole book in order to understand Revelation right we see the theme coming out of a war in heaven but we realize that he's twenty eight as what gives us a clearer understanding of what took place in this wall is equal Chapter twenty eight and verse eleven tells us. Moreover the word of the Lord came to me saying Son of Man take up a limitation for the King of Tire and. Say to him thus says the Lord God Now some of you might be thinking why in the world they were reading about what God says to the king of tire when we're discussing the battle that went on in heaven between Satan and God will notice with me and I would propose that the person who God is talking about is the power that was actually motivating and prompting the king of tire to carry out his evil deeds God was not specifically just talking to the King of Tire even though he was a wretched man that you can read about in scripture but you realize that God was talking to the power that was actuating his mode. Now we understand this as Christians that were either possessed by the Spirit of God or were possessed by the spirit of the world or the spirit of Satan and as you look notice what it does to describe the king of tire to show us that it's specifically describing Satan the power that was actuating him and not just the king himself notice that continues talking about this person it says you were the seal of perfection full of wisdom and perfect and beauty you were in it in the garden of God I want to ask you a question how many people were in the Garden of Eden that the Bible tells us about. There was Adam there was Eve Another some people we don't know naturally think about in Genesis Chapter three we see that God was in the garden right that he was walking with them as the usher them out of the garden and then there's another one Genesis Chapter three verses one through six that came in a different form and he was the form of a serpent right now we know in Genesis chapter three that the serpent was Satan right there tempting Eve. Now if we only have four people to choose from and this person that's being described in Ezekiel is said to have been in the Garden of Eden is this person describing Adam Eve God or Satan what were natural going to find out is that this is the scribing the fall of loose. For out of heaven Notice it says that you are indeed in the garden of God and every precious stone was your covering the Sardis the topaz and diamond the barrel the on X. and Jasper the sapphire the turquoise an emerald with gold the workmanship of your temples and pipes was preparing for you on the day that you were created you were the annoying to add what is that word chair of who covers Now what's a chair. It's an angel right it's just another word for an angel and it says I established you on the holy mountain of God Now we know that God the Father is not an angel right. And it couldn't have been Adam and Eve they were an angels The only other person described was in the Garden of Eden was Lucifer himself. And here we have that God is telling us about Lucifer and his fall and notice how we started the last verse he says that you were perfect right. You were the seal of perfection in other words if I was going to show someone who was perfect and model them before the universe I would have chosen you. You see you were perfect in all of your ways and that even give us the position that Lucifer held in heaven before you fell. It says that you were the anointed cherub who covers now to understand this we are to talk about last night that the setting of Revelation is the setting of the sanctuary remember we talked about that in one of the seven keys to understanding Bible prophecy and what we're going to see tonight and to understand what the cherub was we have to understand a little bit about the Israel sanctuary and the sanctuary that's and have been. Now in heaven or in the same sure that God told Moses to make in the wilderness. There was three main compartment center. Right there was the courtyard. There was the holy place and there was the most holy place many of you are familiar with us as you've read through Exodus and Leviticus and some of those places and you notice that the sacrifice would take place in the courtyard and then the priests work would mainly take place and the holy place and then the high priests would go into. The most holy place once a year. Now the most holy place there was a really special piece of furniture in there called the Ark of the covenant which is pictured here. It's this this box that that inside was the law of God Aaron's rod that bought it in a jar of manna and then on top there were two engines just like you see here and in the middle you can read about this in Exodus Chapter twenty five and verse eighteen to twenty two that between the angels that we're covering they call that the Mercy see you see the justice of the law of God was underneath but Mercy was on top and when we know that Jesus when he came he blended justice and mercy together right righteousness and peace kissed one another and we see that as they're there and the angels are covering that it said that God himself when he was going to be in his temple he would be dwelling between the two angels on top of the mercy of sea and what they call the kind of glory that's what God called them. Now when we understand this this gives us a picture of what the throne room of heaven is luck. In other words when God takes a seat in heaven he modeled after the sanctuary and he said that there's two angels that were covering him. And when we think about the description that God gives us of Lucifer before his fall in heaven as that he was one of the anointed angels who did was cover. How many other angels were there just one right now can you think of a much higher position in heaven than being right there at the right hand or left hand of God at His throne. Here's this position that Satan held before his fall it says that he was the anointed cherub who cover Now notice the passage continues on it says you walk back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones and you were what perfect in your ways from the day that you were created till a nick Whitty was found. And you know this is just a quick recap of what we just read in this passage. We're looking at Lucifer and fall but we want to understand who he was number one is that Lucifer was a created being in other words God created him just like he created all of the other angels right isn't that what he just said in the last verse notice what it says that God didn't create. Lucifer as the devil. God didn't create him knowing that he would be the next Hitler type or even worse. But God created Lucifer perfect. You see Lucifer was just like every other angel in heaven. There was no sin there. And God created him just to love God and there was no manufacturer defect that caused Lucifer to become what we know now as the devil. Now it continues on and we see that he was the covering cherub he was right next to God he saw the glory of God in the character of God clearer than anyone else was able to. But notice the fourth point what is the turning point and the passage of easy kill Chapter twenty eight. It says that you were perfect in all of your ways until what took place verse fifteen till a Nick when he was found where. And you know what's a nick witty. That's not a word we use every day right. Sin right. A new quit is just another word for sin. Now the parable that Jesus gave is that he was sowing seed and while men slept there were these tears that started to come up but it was it was imperceptible right everyone a sleeping they couldn't see how it happened and just when God's describing the fall in heaven he doesn't say well one two three this is how Lucifer fell but if somehow and Lucifer his heart there became a desire for him to go against God and to sin and stead of living in perfect harmony with him now and order to understand what Lucifer did a little bit better. We have to understand what is sin first John chapter three verse four tells us that sin is the transgression of the law. Now you see there came a point where Lucifer looked at God and we know that one of the commandments of God is that I shall not have any other gods before me right and Lucifer said well why is it that he has to be go. Maybe I can do it my own way and Lucifer starts to go against the law of God which God gave to set up boundaries of peace and then stepping outside of those bounds a nick with the was found in Him Now this isn't the only passage that we have noticed that continues on Chapter twenty eight and this is really interesting verse sixteen. It says by the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within. And you did what sin right he said yet iniquity was found in you and now we just flat out says that you say and therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the Mountain of God. And I destroyed you OK covering cherub from the midst of the fiery stones. Now isn't it interesting that when describing this God says by the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence. Now does anyone have a passage or a version of scripture that says something different than trading I think the King James says trafficking right and some of you might have something that says a little bit different but what's interesting to know is the idea of trading or trafficking as this idea to go around and sell like a merchant right that's what you would naturally think it was so by the by the abundance of your merchants sales you have what become filled with violence well that doesn't really make a lot of sense what was was the selling you know going around selling vacuums for Kirby I mean what was what was Satan doing that led to this fall. Well what's interesting is the same root word that's. Used for the word trading is the same word that comes out of gossip or backbiting. You see Satan started going around and he was trafficking this idea of god stuff about gone now something that's fascinating to note about this is that the word the oblasts and Greek for Satan actually means one who is an accuser and that's where we get this idea of Satan first he started off into heaven by the abundance of his accusations and who was the accuser he wasn't accusing the other angel. He started accusing God of being unfair and unjust notice we don't have to continue to guess at this it's not just my theory but notice what the Bible continues on to talk about it says that your heart was lifted up because of your beauty you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of splendor and as Satan there started getting so proud of himself he really thought well why do I have to respect dawn and honor him so much I'm pretty good. I mean has anyone looked at the picture I mean I'm a really beautiful and I'm pretty talented. And he started to a stand himself much more highly than he should and he started to traffic this idea around with the other angels. Now notice with me what Isaiah Chapter fourteen Isaiah fourteen is kind of the companion to chapter twenty eight and describing the fall of Lucifer is it will Chapter twenty eight tells us that Lucifer fell and that he was trafficking something but I'd say a chapter fourteen tells us exactly what Lucifer was trafficking Isaiah Chapter fourteen beginning in verse twelve. As a chapter fourteen beginning in verse twelve notice what the Bible says says how you are fallen from heaven. Oh Lucifer son of the morning. How you are cut down to the ground. You who weaken the nation for you have said in your heart right isn't this what it said until iniquity was found in him. There's this idea of it's in his heart that I will ascend into heaven. I will exult life throne of the stars of God I will sit on the cut on the Mount of the congregation on the farther side of the nor I will ascend above the hides of the cloud and ah I will be like the wall most high. Who's he talking about who's the most high God Now can you imagine this the very nearest person to Jesus or God himself was Lucifer and some other angel. And as Lucifer was there and seeing the position that God had he started to think you know I really want that position. I want what God has and as an angel I can't get it and so I need to get everyone else to start supporting this idea. Now we realize that through the fall of Lucifer and Revelation it tells us that he drew a third of the stars with his tail and we can see that the stars represent angels and scripture. And that through Lucifer is a gossiping and trading that we hear about and he called Chapter twenty eight a third of the angels of heaven are cast you see Satan had an issue in his issue was with God Satan wanted the honor and the respect that only God could get and he knew that he had to convince other people to get it now I want to ask you a question What is it that God gets that an angel can know is there something that God in his position can receive that an angel came. Now I know that's a very generic question notice this passage of Scripture going to allow Revelation twenty two to answer it Revelation twenty two in verse say. Notice the sequence of events that happened to the John the scroll now. I John saw and heard these things and when I saw all. And what I heard and saw I fell down and did what I worship before the feet of who the angel OK here's John he's blown away by the fact the angel just told him that Jesus is coming soon any falls down and starts to worship the same Joel who showed me these things now notice the response of the Angel. Then he the angel said to me See that you do not do what that and that that was referring to that worshipping that John was giving to the same Joe right. And why is it that John was not supposed to worship the same fuel for I am your fellow servant of your brother in the prophets and of those who keep the words of this book and then what's the injunction there at the end worship God You see there's only one person in this world who deserves worship and who is that it's gone himself and as Lucifer is seeing the adoration of the angels towards God he says you know I want that for myself. I want to get the honor that God deserves and take that because I'm a pretty good person. And as he's trafficking this idea Lucifer finally comes up with the fact that you know what I need to be in the place of the most high that I like god as well can receive worship for myself. Now we're going to talk about this in the next following nights is how do we worship God are the things in our lives that we do where we make choices do the worship God or worship Satan sometimes you know Satan obviously knows that many of us aren't dumb enough if he were to come here and say I'm Lucifer worship me that we would just fall on our face and worship Him right we're Christians we we wouldn't do something like that but we realize that Lucifer knew by usurping the power that God had and the authority of God's Law that he could cause the world to start to worship Satan and. Of worshipping God Now we're going to talk about that and to the following night so make sure not to miss that. But we realize that as we've looked here in Revelation right there's a war and haven't. There's this fall out we realize it's not a war of fists and punching and pushing but it's a war of words right and a war of ideology and finally it comes to the point where God says you know what Lucifer. If you want to be God and if you want to ignore all my regulations and the best way unlike government then you can go and take those with you who are going to follow and we see that this is exactly what happened in this is what Revelation describes is that Lucifer then was cast out of heaven and where did he go do you remember what Revelation Chapter twelve verse and nine said says he was cast to the earth. Now some of you might be saying that's really unfair one lives for to cast somewhere else like Pluto. You know that would be a little more fitting but will notice we're going to answer that question. And when Lucifer is cast to the earth revelation gives us a picture of the very thing that Lucifer is seeking Now before we look at that picture in Revelation we can see very clearly what Lucifer is seeking right. Many of you remember or are familiar with the passage of Matthew chapter four where Jesus is tempted in the wilderness are you familiar with that you know Jesus was baptized and after his baptism it says he is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and for forty days and nights. Jesus is fasting I don't know about you but I'm thankful Jesus was able to do that and we don't have to do that right. And Jesus was there fasting for forty days and forty nights and as a result of that Lucifer starts to come to him and tempt Jesus right. And it says you know if you're really God want to let these stones be made into one breath and then he goes through all these different temptations takes him up to the pinnacle of the temple and says if you Ballard down and do one worship me I'll give you everything that you see you see Lucifer finally came out and just he couldn't convince God to worship him in any. Another way by and directly doing it but he finally got to the point of just saying hey look you this I want your worship and this is what I'm here for now we notice that Satan still has the same object that he did with Jesus two thousand years ago but notice what Revelation Chapter thirteen tells us of how he's going to do this in the last days this is fascinating Revelation Chapter thirteen beginning in verse one. Revelation Chapter thirteen you see Lucifer isn't just coming to us today and saying bow down and worship me like he did to Jesus at the last temptation but notice what he does and Revelation Chapter thirteen and verse one. Says then I stood on the sand of the sea and I see a Big East. Rising up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns and on his horns ten crowns and on his heads the name of blaspheming this and then. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard and his feet were like the feet of a bear and his mouth was like the mouth of a lion and the dragon gave him his Law His power His throne and great authority Mel who is the dragon we saw in Revelation Chapter twelve verse nine that the dragon was Satan right. So in the last days God is describing that Satan is going to set up a system in which he gives it. Our he gives that authority right a throne and great authority not notice what happens. Satan sets up the system and he's standing off and he knows that he's really supporting that and it continues on and he says and I saw one of us heads as if it had been mortally wounded and his deadly wound was healed and we'll talk about this little bit more in a later night and all the world that was a marvel and followed the BE You see Lucifer wanted worship and have. He knew that he would have to be pretty crafty in order to get a bunch of people to worship him here on this earth. And so what he does is they sets up this fall system and which he gives that his power his authority and when people worship or worship that system or God through that system who is receiving the worship indirectly say and this is what we see is Satan's great deception in the last days and it says so they worship the dragon who is Satan who gave authority to the beast and they worship the beast saying who is like the beast and who is able to make war with him. Now you see this is what we're going to be talking about in some the later nights really getting into Revelation Chapter thirteen but in order to understand the subs we're going through the sequences that we are as you have to understand that Satan is desiring worship from the very beginning of his fall he desired in heaven he desired it when he came to the surf in the Garden of Eden and we see him dealing with Adam and Eve on that set we see him dealing with Jesus on that and in the last days has his tactic changed at all is he looking for anything different no he wants the exact same thing he always had and that was the allegiance that only we could give to him that really belongs to God. Now we recognize that God is allowing all of this to happen in verse eight It even tells us how prominent this becomes it says. All who dwell on the earth will do was worship him now is that a pretty broad statement all who dwell on the Earth are going to be worshiping say. Now I'm really thankful that there's a comma after that and it continues on right and said whose names have not been written where in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world we're going to be looking more at that who is this lamb that is slain that's prominent throughout the book of Revelation we know that to be Jesus Christ right. What we're told here is that everyone on earth in the final days of Earth's history is going to be worshipping Satan. The only exception are those who are worshipping. Jesus whose name is written in the Lambs Book of Life No I don't know about you but I want to make sure my name is in there right by the grace of Jesus. It's all that we have hope in these last day. And we have to recognize as we read about all these things and as we see what's going on there is a war in heaven and how it's transferred to the surface that we're not innocent bystander. You see we're not just looking at the Bible like this lady is watching the television thing you know that's kind of interesting you know that's really that's kind of a nice story that's that's interesting facts I'm glad to hear but we realize that instead of being innocent bystander Draxler caught right smack dab in the middle of this war. Satan is doing all that he can to pull our allegiance away from God He doesn't care how he does he's or makes God look so bad that we want nothing to do with him or he gives us a different version of God that the god were worshipping really isn't God at all have you ever heard of that before. It's called golden images they were doing it all the time in the Old Testament they would make a god after their own likeness and they would start to worship that even the golden calf they thought they were doing that and honor of God right an exodus. But we realize that as they were putting characteristics into God that really were not part of him that they were indirectly giving Satan the worship that he deserved. That's why and when God talks about his people in the last days he talks about a people who have the faith of Jesus. He talks about people who really know what it means to be in connection with Jesus and I don't know about you but when I read about the deception that satan is trying to bring on the surface. How many of you think that we need a revelation of Jesus Christ much clearer and that's why God in the very closing chapters of the book of the Bible says I'm going to give you the clearest Revelation of Jesus that I can. Now it's going to be so clear that I'm going to put it in symbols that takes a little bit of study but by studying this you will be clearly seeing where God is and how to make sure that we're walking with him in these final days of Earth's history. Now as we're wrapping up notice this next passage. We're reminded of what we've already read before it says so the. Great Dragon was cast out that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole earth and we realize that he was cast out of heaven and it says that he was cast to this earth and his angels were cast out with him. Now notice what it says in verse twelve. It says therefore rejoice so heavens that why is he saying therefore rejoice Oh heavens. Well it's not because God sadistic and is happy about our turmoil that we're going to be going through but it's because heaven has finally gotten rid of the problem right. It's like kicking the bad kid out of school but sending him out of the through the other school district. You don't rejoice ific of public schools but then well to Alamo right. And you realize this is what takes place is that he kicks him out of heaven and is therefore rejoice Oh heavens and you would do well in them but woad to the end have a tense of where the earth and the sea says for the devil is come down to you having great wrath because he knows that he has how much time is now a Revelation Chapter one told us in our first night that we have a short time that Jesus is coming soon that the things of this earth are wrapping up and he says hey beware of this because Satan knows that all too well Satan knows that he is on a time schedule and then he has to make sure that he can get all the people he can before time runs out Satan came down to this earth and we see this described and Genesis Chapter three were not going to take a lot of time in Genesis Chapter three tonight looking at the inception of sin in this world but we do want to note a part of it and we all will pick this up tomorrow in our study but Genesis Chapter three and you wonder. Well if Satan is coming down what are his tactics going to be that will cause us to worship Him Could it be that Satan is going to use the exact same tactics with us that he used with Adam and Eve in the garden notice Genesis Chapter three. Genesis Chapter three and verse one Genesis Chapter three. Verse one it says Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made and he said to the woman now how many of you if you just heard a serpent speaking to you would already be freaked out somehow this was normal the right. So. She heard and she said to the woman. Has God indeed said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And the woman said to the serpent We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden but. Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden. God has said You shall not eat it nor do what touch it lest you die. Now this is pretty clear does this eve understand what God is asking her to do goddesses have provided all of these good things for you. I've given you everything I've supplied for all your needs it was there a food shortage in the Garden of Eden. No they have all of these trees but God says hey this one. Just stay away from this one now we're going to be looking at that question why did God put that one there right. But he puts this in the midst of the garden he makes it explicitly clear that it says Hey don't touch that right. But notice what Satan says in verse four the serpent said to the woman. What did God say would happen if they went to the tree. They would die. Notice what he says the woman you shall not surely die. Now I don't know about you but that's just about as blatant lying as you can get now John Chapter eight tells us that Satan is a liar and the father of it we see the father of this the section. Now notice what he continues on to say for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and that you will be like God knowing good and evil. You know as Lucifer is there with with even the garden she says you want to really know why God says that you can eat of that tree because he's trying to withhold good things from you you say it's a lot more fun if you would just eat that you would experience a much greater life than if you would just stay. Away from what God's telling you to God says you will die actually you won't die. You're going to have such a greater experience that you're actually going to become like God Now does this sound like temptations we see in the world today. Now you know drugs will actually hurt you write it it will actually enhance your life you'll feel so much better Have you ever talked to a cocaine addict who was so happy they started. No there's not this experience of where you continue on and Satan tries to make it look so appealing at the at the onset that we desire it but we realize what Saint was doing was merely taking the thing that God said to stay away from. And now repackaging it to make it look like we're missing out. Now we're going to notice that same as done this to a large degree in the Christian world today. You know many people say well I could never become a Christian because I have to give up. X. Y. and Z. You know I want to actually be happy and have fun in this world now. Can anyone tell me that they have such a stale and boring life as a personality don't tell me that but we realize that as a Christian you don't have to have a stale boring life right. You can have joy in Jesus as I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. And this is the desire that God has always had for his people but Lucifer says you know what that god guy over there. He's just so messed up you want nothing to do with him just steer clear because he's leading you down a path to utter boredom. You say he doesn't know what he's doing he doesn't know how he's running now does that sound like the trafficking that was going on in heaven. You know God doesn't really know what he's doing. I deserve worship see if I was your God I would actually lead you to the right choice. I wouldn't you know keep you from that one. And as he takes Eve through this process. What does Eve do notice it's so interesting that Eve doesn't say Oh yeah you're right. God didn't say that she doesn't have a revelation of God saying something different. But notice in Genesis Chapter three what takes place verse six. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes then a tree design. To make one wise. She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he you see put her judgment above the judgment of God was it. Why did God tell them not to eat of that tree was it because the tree was poisonous Was it because it was going to kill them immediately when they when they eat into it because it's just this terrible concoction of poison and then no God tells them not to eat of it it's not because the fruit is bad obviously the fruit look pretty good right. It was desirable it looked really nice but God allowed it to be a test of who do you want to fall. If you want to follow the things that I freely tell you we're going to be best if not I want to give you an option to where you don't have to follow me and you can follow your own way. What's interesting to note is that as God looks on to the server. God is weeping as he sees the suffering that's taking place. Some people said well why didn't God just kill Satan on the very outset of sin. Why didn't God just take him out because if. If Satan was was just so wicked then maybe God could have just taken him out immediately. But I want to ask you a question what would happen if God would have just killed Satan immediately once he stirred up this rebellion in heaven and just zapped Satan with lightning and took him out or what if he would have done the same thing with Eve notice. Let me let me give you an analogy that maybe helps you understand. Imagine that there's someone in the presidential cabinet who starts to say you know the president is really just a racist womanizer who wants nothing good for the people and citizens of this country. And you see that broadcast all over the news today and this guy's giving a speech and and he's going on and on about how terrible the president is. And the very next morning the breaking news is that cabinet member was shot. What would you. Be thinking when he just blast of the president yesterday and this morning. Someone anonymous was shot him and the F.B.I. has no idea what happened. You're right right. If this was staged this guy was just silence because he was saying something and you think well why was he being silenced maybe what he was saying was true. Maybe the president really is and I'm not talking about the current president right this is just an analogy the maybe the president really is just the races womanizer who wants nothing good for a citizen. But could it be if the president just allowed it to play out that the true motives would come out in the situation. Many parents know this too that you have to sometimes allow the situation to play out in order for both parties to see what really is fair you know this is why God says in the parable that we looked at Matthew chapter thirteen that notice go back there with me really quick when he's talking about the see that Soden and how he didn't do it but an enemy had done it while they slept and there's these weeds coming up in the tears are growing they start to ask a very interesting question that many of us wish wished Jesus would have said yes to. Matthew chapter thirteen. Matthew chapter thirteen and notice what Jesus says here. Will start a verse twenty six just to get a little bit of the context again and it says but when the grain had sprouted Matthew chapter thirteen verse twenty six. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop then the tears appeared. So the servants now we were told in the explanation that the servants were the angels right there were the reports right. And so the servants or the angels come to the owner which the owner is God Himself and they said to him Sir did you not so good seed in your field. How then do you have tear notice the ants. Gone. He says an enemy has done this now we looked at all of this are ready and the servants said to him. Notice with the servants question is do you want us then to go and gather them up another words the angels come to God This is a parable that we're hearing is that the Angelus come to gun say God you see all these tears that we've been through so good stuff. Yeah I did do good stuff. Well can we take out the evil that's now creeping into the world and what's God's answer. No but notice he gives an explanation. Lest while you gather up the tears. You also uproot the wheat with that you see God as he's looking on to this problem of sin and suffering and as God saw all the rebellion in heaven we think well why did God ever cast Satan to the surface. Why don't you just put him off in his own corner. Well because of Satan was going around saying you know God is not fair. God is not fair. God is not fair. You shouldn't follow him he won't give you the best way of life and God just goes that. One of the other angels could be thinking well maybe he was on the something. And now instead of fear of serving God from freedom of choice. They're now serving God out of fear that man if I step on the line. He's going to zap me too. And so as he comes to this earth. God doesn't say hey I'm going to give you no opportunity to be tempted on this earth. But he valued freedom of choice so much that God said I'm going to allow Satan to have one tree. Out of millions. And he's going to have one small opportunity I'm going to warn you about it. I'm going to all I can to keep you away from me but I'm going to do my best so that you'll never fall into sin but I want you to have the opportunity if that's your desire. You see God is not a God who coerces people and the following God is not a god of forces people and obedience but God is a God who allows us to make free choice. And as we came we realize the choice that Eve made and that's a choice that has repercussions down through the ages to our day today and because of the. And of choice we realize that sin is in the world. Now people think well why can't God just create beings who would never sin. You know if God is all powerful couldn't he do that well I want to ask you what you call a person that has no freedom of choice or robot right. And you can find all sorts of interesting robots or a puppet or whatever you want to and if God is just up there and we don't really have a choice in what we're doing and he's just kind of directing our lives. I mean what kind of god is that you know what's very interesting is I have a robot here on the platform and it's called my computer right it's just doesn't have feet and legs and all those things but we realize that this is a robot and a machine just like any other robot they would see in a museum and I can program my robot or my computer to say I love you every morning when I wake up you're really candid you know that. It's kind of weird people just I guess don't have enough love in their lives and so you program it and you say I love you every morning every morning when you wake up it'll say I love you Taylor you know and every time it goes through that now does that give you warm fuzzy when you hear it say that to you now because it's I made you say that right. You didn't have any choice and that I just forced you to say what I wanted you to say no this is why God couldn't make us people who would just do whatever God said he wanted us to be free moral agents to have freedom of choice. Now I know that sin and evil is a bad thing but I'm so thankful that God allowed it for the sake of me not being a robot. But God wanted us to be able to have the freedom to either choose to follow him or choose to follow the same you see as it's played out for the last six thousand years we can see what Satan is all about we can see the pain in the suffering in this world and we can't blame it on gone because it's not God's fault. We read read the first two chapters of job and when job is talking about all the terrible things that happened to him why did they happen to him because it says very explicitly that Satan was the one afflicting Joe God wanted nothing to do with that God didn't want that to happen but he allowed it to happen. And just so that Satan would be proved wrong. And as we're going through all this you might say well are we just a bunch of mice. You know through this experiment to see if God is really fair you know this God really care that I'm going through this. Well I can tell you that God values us more than anything else. And as he sees the choices that we make it pains us hard but at the end of the day he knew that he couldn't force us to do anything. How many of you parents have just forced your children to do whatever you want and it turned out very well it doesn't work that way right. You know my wife and I reading parenting books as we're going into that and I haven't seen that you know chain them to the chair and just take them wherever you want them and don't let them do you know that's not part of the parenting stuff. Just like you wouldn't marry someone like in this scenario right. You don't have love in that situation but you realize that God had to give freedom of choice because love is the foundation of God's government do you agree with that it tells us that God is love and because God is loving he has to give us freedom of choice. Now as a parent when you've allowed your children to make choices that you even warned them against Has it ever brought any pain to your heart. I can think of all the pain I've brought to my mother's heart for years she wanted me to be a Christian she wanted me to go to church she wanted to do all those things but I wanted nothing to do with it and she allowed me to make choices that really broke her heart and broke the heart of God but what would have happened if she were to force me into obedience. You know I don't know where I would be today would I be a Christian today if there was this force and coercion that was happening but God allows there to be a choice. And the less last question that we're looking at the See evening is why doesn't God do something you know if God is all powerful and he still gives freedom of choice why doesn't God do something to alleviate the suffering. You know there might be someone here this evening was just lost the love you might be fighting with sickness or disease. You might just be dealing with internal turmoil and you might be wondering why in the world. Does god allow this to continue broken marriages split up families whatever it is and you think Can't God do something about it. I want to tell you this evening that God did do something about this. Amen. God knows what it's like to lose a family member because he gave up his family member on your behalf. You see Jesus was sacrificed so that we could experience the joy of salvation. Not because God wanted nothing to do with us and didn't care about us but because God loved us so much right John three sixteen For God so loved the world that he did was he. J. Every time we're going through suffering we can never imagine that we've suffered more than God as our heart is breaking with pain God looks at you and his heart is broken even more he says the things that you're going through and it's a struggle and all that he wants is for you to be able to have the joy that he off knows this passage of Scripture it's a beautiful passage first John chapter three verse eight and for this purpose. The Son of God was manifested that he might do was that he might destroy the works of the devil. If you have the question today why doesn't God do something just look the Calvary's cross God not only did something there as an active agent. You see that even before Calvary all the way back in the Garden of Eden we might look at this said another night and Genesis chapter three verse fifteen that God promised redemption to the people of God Did you realize that the prophecy in Genesis chapter three verse thirteen fifteen where God tells the serpent that he will crush his head even though that he will get a wounded heel out of it. In other words it's going to hurt God to take care of the sin problem but because he loves us so much. He's willing to do whatever it takes to make us finally have peace and harmony with him again. I don't know where where you're at the seeming I don't know what you've struggled with I don't know what the difficulties are but we can know that there is a God who cares for us in these times. Now there's a store. A British explorer by the name of Ernest Shackleton. And in one nine hundred fourteen he sailed to Antarctica with the desire to walk and explore an article on foot. Now as he got to Antarctica his boat got stuck in the ice and he was stuck there and his men were stuck there for so long that it finally came to the point that his ship was the stroller. So they got in the little lifeboats on the trench ill or on the the terrible ocean and they're going to land and they finally get to land. Now if any of you have ever seen anything about Antarctica is that where you want to be stranded. Maybe Maui right that would be OK but here they are in Antarctica and they're suffering the flick and Ernest Shackleton gets a bright idea and he says you know what I'm going to get back in this tiny little lifeboat with a few of my men and I'm going to sail back to England. Now these guys like this guy is crazy. He said you know what I'm not going to leave you here that I'll come back. And I promise that you will be facing this for the rest of your life now. Ernest gets into the boat and he starts to sail back and he's gone and the men are sitting there on the shore wondering if he's ever going to come again. It was a month and they hadn't seen two months three months and people are urging you know he must be dead. There's no way he's coming back. You know he's left you this long you're going through all these terrible things for months. He's still not there. After four and a half months. The man is there looking out on the sea finally see Ernest coming with the ship and had finally come to deliver them from their long experience of suffering. Now this is just a microcosm of what God is looking at as he looks at each one of them. He promised when Jesus left this earth as he sacrificed his life for us. He said I'm going to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you I will do what I will come again no Many of us as we're in this waiting period of waiting for Jesus to come we wonder is it. Possible that Jesus has forgotten about maybe God doesn't care anymore. Does he know the hurt that I'm feeling does he know the financial struggle that I'm facing does he know the pain that's in my heart. But as God is looking down. He's encouraging us to just hold onto the hope that Jesus is coming soon. So God never desired that sin would be so prolific in the world today. But you can see that gone throughout time even through the accusations of Satan has always been proven true as Satan told the people that and heaven that God was fair he didn't love his people anymore. But on Calvary's cross it was pretty clear that God loved us enough that he would sacrifice himself and order for us to be say how many of you can think of that even imaginable but God loves us so much that no matter what we're facing he wants to encourage us to keep looking to the Blessed and hope that we have in Jesus. Jesus tells us gives us an insight of maybe why it is in life that we don't have as much pieces we're looking for John Chapter five verse forty Jesus says of the says but you are not willing to come to me that you might have what life. You see Jesus as we've looked through this many of us a while I stay away from God because God so terrible if God is a God of of suffering if you allowed all of these things to happen I want nothing to do with it but tonight we can see that God is not one who's just sitting idly while his people are being persecuted but God is right there with us agonizing through the process sending his son doing all he can to provide life and life more abundantly for the question that we have this evening is have we accepted the life that only Jesus can offer. Have we just often been a spectator and not realize that we're explicitly engaged in a battle against the we have a choice to make and God is. Telling us this evening that we only have two choices You can either choose to worship God or to worship the other alternative who's trying to take the worship from God there's no middle ground there some people say well I don't worship either well the question is as you actually are and you're falling on the fence of Satan right. If we choose not to worship God Who are we choose and my plea to you this evening is don't wait any longer for those of us who know what it's like to experience the peace of Jesus there's nothing more blessed than that and I want to say to you tonight how many of you want to say Lord I want to trust you in a new way I want to see that you're not a god is just step back and left us. But you're gone who cares for and you promise that your coming again is that you desire the saving Lord help me to experience this trust in Jesus and a renewed faith in tomorrow night as we look at experiencing this how it is that we can experience is what Revelation tells us to say Lord I want to walk and newness of life and come to Jesus when we pray together as we close. Father in heaven. Lord as we've looked at this this grand question of why do terrible things happen if you're such a loving God Lord we can have peace in our hearts this evening as we realize it's not because you're a god who doesn't care for it's not because your god has left us but it's because God you've allowed the progress of sin to play out to really give us the freedom of choice so that we're not robots. So that we can choose who we want to fall and lower this evening. While overhead is bad Never Dies close you see our hearts and you see the ones of us who say Lord we want this to be X. our experience who want to come to that we might have life. Pray for those who are still wavering the Lord would help us to experience the joy that the risen Jesus draw closer to you in Christ's name we pray. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W.W.W. audio verse or.

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