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Though the Heavens Fall

Norman McNulty

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Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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  • December 17, 2016
    11:00 AM
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Father in heaven. We thank you for this Sabbath day that we can worship you. We thank you for the students who are graduating. To have a desire to stand for the right the fall and I pray that you would be with me now give me the right words the speaker over the next few minutes. May the message be clear and may inspire each one of us to stand for Christ and another with Perri. In Jesus' name amen. The title for our sermon this morning is though the heavens fall. That is the theme that was chosen by the students of the graduating class and I love the theme as I saw it last night and it's based on this powerful quote from the book of education page fifty seven. I'm going to read that statement again today at the outset of this message the greatest want of the world is the want of men men who will not be bought or sold. Men who in their inmost souls are true and honest men who do not fear to call sin by its right name men whose conscience is as true to a duty as the needle to the pull men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. And I talked a lot about a number of these things last night. We're going to focus in today on what it means to stand for the right though the heavens fall. You know it's not just a flippant statement on why is making standing for the right though the heavens fall. I believe that there are many of us here today who are facing moments in the future where we will be called upon to stand and. From a human standpoint it will seem as if the heavens will fall if we stand to do the right thing and now is the time of preparation to stand for the right as we read bust my butt such a character is not the result of an accident. It is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence a noble character is the result of self discipline of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature the surrender of self for the service of love to God in man. So if we expect to stand for the right of the heavens fall. We need the character through the grace of God that will allow us to stand when facing such a challenge. And I believe one of the stories in scripture that bust exemplifies what it means to stand for the right of the heavens fall of the story in Daniel Chapter three this was a chapter of Scripture that I thought of a mediately when I thought about what messages to share this week and Daniel Chapter three is of course the famous story of the three Hebrew boys who stand. Now the interesting background of the story. If you look at the the whole picture of the Book of Daniel is the Daniel three doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's not as if Shadrack me shakin numbered Nego show up to the plane of Deraa and in a moment's notice the side we better not bow down. They have thought ahead of us and they have prepared ahead of time for this crisis. This was not an accident but they stood they were ready for this moment of crisis and if you look at what happens in Daniel Chapter one. They are among the Royal seed of Jerusalem that are taken captive along with Daniel and. And many of a. Years and they along with the Daniel those four young men were the faithful ones who were faithful in chapter one went tested on the issue of diet or shall we say they were faithful when it came to the area of the health message. Now they have this major trial coming in chapter three but it was a serious test of their faith in chapter one as well because easily they could have lost their lives by making such a simple request to have simple food rather than the cans and they saw the providence of God how after ten days of eating God's diet compared to their friends who also knew about this diet but decided to go along with the king's the. After ten days they were found to have a better appearance in their skin and in their countenance they had a healthier it's known to their skin. God bless their faithfulness interesting Lee when you go to the end of chapter one of Daniel Not only are they found to be ten times wiser than all the wise men of Babylon. But Daniel also is given an understanding in prophecies and dreams. So they are faithful in the health message and then Daniel is given the prophetic gift which comes in the play ending of chapter two. When Nabby can has or has this dream that he can't remember it is a Daniel who is given that dream by God also who then ensure prints that dream. So here you have a faithful group of God's people or remnant if you will. Who are faithful to the health message because they love the Lord and God then gives them an understanding of the prophetic message in that prophetic message that is given to you now you can as Or is that now because as are your. Of Babylon is going to fall and you know what we as God's people today have a massive. Babylon the Great is fall one is fallen and we also have a health message. So Chad wrecked me shackled to Bendigo and along with Daniel are illustrations or witnesses to what God's last the people should be faithful to the health message with a special understanding of God's last day prophetic message with the masses that Babylon is fallen. Now is not the time for us a Seventh Day Adventist to be adopting the methodology as in the worship practices of the fallen Babylonian churches. We have a special message. She you tell the world that Jesus is coming again and to come out about along come out of her my people so Daniel tells them he can over your kingdom will pass away and a kingdom inferior will come after you and it was an interesting way enough. Daniel who in Chapter five tells Bill Shuster you are weighed in the balances and found wanting your kingdom is divided and given to the meads and the Persians. So the same prophet who tells you he can has or your kingdom is going to fall is the same prophet who told Bill shows or Babylon is fallen. And he was faithful throughout his life and his friends Shadrach me shakin about in ago. They are then brought to this great service that we see in chapter three never can as Or rather than accepting the more sure word of prophecy. Decided to challenge the. Rather than an image of gold silver brass iron and iron and the way he decides to set up an image that is all gold never can as her is the following the God of heaven saying God You may say that Babylon is going to fall but now he can as are the king about Alonso's Babylon and will last for ever. Babylon will never fall and all the world will bow down and worship this image which I have set up which will prove that the world does not worship the God of heaven it worships me and my kingdom. He is defining the prophetic vision that God has given to him to let him understand these are the kingdoms of this world that will come and then the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed and he never can as or as the king of Babylon trysts you inch imitate those who are the followers of the true God into thinking that you better worship Me and My kingdom and my image because all of the world is doing it anyway. So you better fall into line. And so here we see in the story of Daniel Chapter three throwing in verse one never can as are the king made an image of gold whose fight was three score or sixty cubits in the brother of sixty it's he set it up in the plane of Dura in the province about alone now this is a pretty tall image. This was not built over nine. So when this image starts to go up. Obviously this became the talk of the town. It's not like people woke up one morning and said hey there's this tall golden. That's you out in the playing of dear I wonder what this is going for everybody knew why that image was going up and everybody had an opportunity to think about what was going to happen when everyone congregated together at this major meeting that Nabby can has or was calling for in fact when you see verse two it says he sent to gather together the princes the governors and the captains the judges the Treasurer's the councillors the sheriffs and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which never can as Or the king had set up so never can as or is calling for the leaders three from throughout his kingdom. So there is time for people to think about what is going to happen at the dedication of this image. It's not as if people who showed up to this dedication ceremony were caught off guard by the requests to bow down and worship the image. And if they were caught off guard. They should not have been they should have had time to think about and prepare for it. When we see who is there we see the political leaders the military leaders the judicial leaders the financial leaders the educators the local law enforcement officers in the rulers of the provinces those of the local political leaders all of the leaders of the kingdom were brought together to this dedication ceremony this was not just a minor occasion this was a major event. And if you're God's people. You have to be paying attention to what is happening. We see Mort's full time throughout and just after three words is this is the image which the king had set up and if you're paying attention with a prefer. With prophetic illustration you will see many similarities of Revelation thirteen in the image to the beast that will be set up the image that is set up will not happen overnight but will happen in such a way that God's people will see it coming and will have an opportunity to make a decision about what they are going to do you when faced with the greatest decision in the biggest crisis of our lives. What are we going to do in that moment. This is what God's people had back then as they saw this image of being set up and as the message goes out to all the provinces throughout the kingdom. Everybody has an understanding of what is coming. So finally the great day comes. If you want to call it a great day. But the big day. And we get to verse four and we see that everyone is gathered together. And the Herald cried aloud to us commanded O. people nations in languages that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet flew harp sackbut sultry dual summer and all kinds of music you fall down and worship the golden image that nebula can as are the king house set up. Now that's about enough. Bow down and worship a verse six this and who so follow if not down and worship of Shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. So here you are you're brought to this worship service. Now if you are a follower of the King and you've come from the ends of his kingdom choose this great dedication service when you hear this command about down in worship when all kinds of music begin to be played. It's not going to be. Much of a thought for you to think OK I'm going to bow down you're a Babylonian this is what the Babylonians are asking you to do you. So as a Babylonian you're going to bow down and worship this image but they are not the only ones there there are God's people in this audiences. As well and the threat is clearly there. If you do not bow down and worship this image you will be thrown into that burning fiery furnace that's right over there see that fire that's what's waiting for you if you don't bow down and worship this image and here we see a contrast between the true worship of the true God who we worship out of for a motivation of love versus worship of a false god who tries to get worship through coercion. Interesting. Lee at this service. One of the things that will motivate people to bow down and worship. In verse five it says all kinds of music. Now listen friends. There is a right way to worship God in a wrong way to worship God and there is heavenly music in there is Babylonian music. And Babylonian music. Likes to draw from all kinds of music to play upon people's emotions and confuse me a lower nature. Shoe cause people to fall into line into a worship into a false worship into Balin down to the Babylonian way of thinking and friends that kind of music has no place in God's remnant years. God is looking for people who will be faithful to the worship of the true. Now seemingly in verse seven. Everybody bows down or seven therefore at that time when all the people hear the sound of the cornet flew harps activists all three in all kinds of music all the people the nations in the languages fall down and worship the golden image that nobody can has or the king had set up so if you read verse seven. You are thinking. Everybody back down. It's like Revelation Chapter thirteen where it says all the world wandered after the beast and it seems as if a Babylon has gained control over the whole world and in this story. It seems that everyone including God's professed people have bowed down to worship this image but that's not the end of the story verse eight where for at that time certain held beings came near and accuse the Jews they spake and said of the king. Oh never has or okaying live forever. And then they go on to say isn't it true that you said that when the music plays everyone suppose the Bow down. Then they said in verse twelve. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon Shad wrecked me shakin Abednego these men O. King have not regarded the they serve not by God nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up now notice this. They didn't say all the Jews stood up all of God's professed people stood true. They said there are certain Jeeves that means there were other Jews who bow down and worshiped the Amaj they were balancing down because they didn't want to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Now listen it's easy for us here in twenty sixteen to say what was wrong with those Jews. How could they defy the True and Living God Don't they remember the Ten Commandments which says that I shall not bow down myself to them nor serve them for I the Lord I got them a jealous god. Why are they bowing down and were. Shipping this image. Well it's actually not too hard to figure out because we see this mentality in the world today. This was the culturally sensitive thing to do. Right. If we don't bow down we're going to offend the Babylonians. If we don't bow down we're going to lose all of our influence with them. We've been working hard to gain their confidence and if we don't bow down at this service they're not going to like us anymore and we won't be able to preach your sermons anymore and witness and give Bible studies to them anymore. And then we will of lost all of the gains that we have made with them so far during the time of our captivity. Surely God would understand if we were not so strict about his law. I've ever heard that kind of thinking before. This would be the gracious loving practical expedient and wise thing to do but you know what we call this we call it compromise and there's this mentality of us as well I don't really believe in this image but I'm just going to bow down and as soon as this is over I'm going to ask God to forgive me. And he'll forgive me. It's this was not good. I didn't want to do that but now I can be thrown into the fiery furnace. But you know there were three young men that day who had a different mentality. They were not thinking about self preservation. They were thinking about the honor of God's name. And they were thinking about being faithful to the law of God and they knew that one of the reasons why they as Jews were captives in the land of the. Avalon was because their forefathers had worshipped idols and had bowed down to images and had been unfaithful to the true and living God And so now here they are in the land of Babylon and they are faced with this great moment this great crisis where if they bow down. They will be unfaithful to God But if they don't bow down. They're going to be thrown into the fiery furnace and they make a decision very clearly very distinctly to stand for the True and Living. You know it's interesting when we come to the in the verse history to the Final Crisis. Not all who profess to be seventy AD This will stand true. Great. Conversely Page Six their ways as the storm approaches a large class who have professed faith in the third angels message but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit. They have come to view matters in nearly the same light and when the test is brought they are prepared to choose the easy popular side. Friends let me tell you something if you're making it a habit to choose the easy popular side now you're going to choose the easy popular side when the final to us comes when you're compromising now over things that are clearly revealed in inspiration don't think you're going to stand for God when the final test comes if you're not allowing God to sanctify you through obedience to the truth. If you're living on sanctified and converted life now you will not stand when the final throes comes. Jesus is looking for the US if you will defend the honor of his name she goes on to say men of talent and pleasing address. Who wants rejoice in the truth employ their powers to deceive and. Misleads souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brother and when Sabbath keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith these apostasy it's are the most efficient agents of Satan. It's a mis represent and accuse them and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. You know if we were going to make an application back to the story. The worst enemies a shed wrecked me shakin Abednego would have been the Jews who bow down. You know I think of some stories of my past where I remember one time my older brother and you won't hear the story but he had to do a traffic class for speeding in that class happened to be on Sabbath and he said I can't do this because it's on Sabbath and the people at the traffic laws that we've had other seventh day on this you have come on Sabbath why can't you come on we've got to we've got to be better than that for a month when you as a seventh day out in this compromise. You're making it harder for your brother or sister who stands to stand for what is true. And so here are these healthy and see there are certain Jews whom you have said over the affairs of the kingdom who have not bow down and friends have to say today. I hope and I pray that when the final test comes and the authorities come to those who are in charge and say there are certain Seventh Day Adventists who will not go along with this false system of worship that we have set up that I am that you will be the ones that are standing true for Jesus at that time because not everyone is going to stand and maybe not even the majority but God will have a faithful remnant who will stand and who will be true to Jesus and it will be very clear there are certain seventh has. Who will not bow down to this fall. If they have worship and we see in verses thirteen through fifteen because or is angry but he tries to use flattery with coersion to get these about down because he likes these they are leaders in his kingdom they are ten times wiser. He wants to keep them if he can but not if they will keep disrespecting. He says Please bow down and if you do. That's going to be great but if not if you do not bow down. If you do not worship you will be cast into the mercy midst of a burning fiery furnace This is the universe of King and notice the challenge that he throws to the God of heaven and who is that God That shall deliver you out of my hands. I am the king about along. I am the leader of the world there is no God in the universe that can deliver you out of my hand. And I'm afraid there are many seven Fayad in this today a face with such a challenge would say OK I'll do all this about on this one time but I'm not going to do it again just want but notice with these three men that verse sixteen shatter Acme shack and Abednego answered said to the king. Oh Nabby can is are we are not careful to answer the in this matter. Now when they say we are not careful to answer you in this matter. It's King James language to say listen can we are going to shoot straight with you. We're not going to give you a politically correct answer here. We're going to just tell it to you like it is and when we say what we're going to say to you you will understand very clearly what we mean and why we mean what we say and we need some more plain speaking out in us in the Who in the love of Christ we talked about this last night who will clear. Surely speak up in defense of the truth and who will not be ashamed to stand for what is right and notice what they say verse seventeen. You said that our God can deliver us here is what they say if it be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of the hand Oking Now notice the courage that is happening here they are speaking to the king and front of the assembled political military judicial financial and other leaders throughout the kingdom and they are standing in front of everyone and they are answering with the chairman nation and with firmness and with boldness and with faith and they're saying you set our God can deliver us if he chooses to he can deliver us and he will but notice earth eighteen. But if not be it known unto the king. That we will not serve God nor worship the golden image which than our house. And this is such a perfect demonstration of the theme for this we can but if not if I lose my wife. If I'm burned up in that fiery furnace. If my life on this earth comes to an end. Right now I am not going to be unfaithful to the God whom I serve. I will not bow down and worship your image. I will not worship this false god I will be thrown into the fiery furnace and if God doesn't deliver me so be I am going to be faithful and they were asking questions to God like you know God can I just about on this one because is this really a salvation ilish you are going to keep me out of heaven. If I bow down you'll forgive me won't you don't you understand. I mean this is awkward. I mean do you want me to be awkward front of all these people. This is you know come on just just let me bow down this once and then I'll go on faithfully serving you after that. But is not the mentality our God whom we serve is able to deliver us. But if not we will not worship. Your image we will serve your gods. Friends. What do you like on a day to day basis. Maybe it's how you handle money or how the way you do your work in your class whatever it may be are you cutting corners fudging the truth a little bit here and there. To get by. Nobody will ever notice that's OK Nobody will pay attention on fudging a little bit here. Nobody knows I'm living pretty much a good moral life but I'm going to just see a little bit here and there nobody will ever know friends that is not being faithful in this and if you expect to have moral resolve through the grace of Christ at the end. Now is the testing time to be faithful in the great final to us. Listen Chadrick me second Abednego they saw that image being set up and they need when they came to that ceremony that they would be called upon to take a stand for Christ though the heavens fall. They knew that and they had made up their minds ahead of time that even if they were threatened with being thrown into the burning fiery furnace that they were going to stand for God even if it meant losing their lives and because of their faithfulness. We're still talking about Shadrack me shouting about and I got today and you know what we don't know a single name of any other Hebrew captive that came with Daniel and his three friends the Babylon because those men were not faithful to God. And you want when you get to the end of the Book of Daniel it says they that be wyse will shine as the brightness of the firmament and they that you're in many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. You're not going to shine as the brightness of the firmament. You're not going to tear in many to righteousness. If you are being an unfaithful witness and compromising and in your life right now. These three men were faithful. Even though the heavens fell and we if the heavens were to fall and they face this fiery furnace and never can as are becomes infuriated by their answer he commands them to be thrown into the fiery furnace and we have this beautiful promise and Isaiah Chapter forty three verses one and two. But now the see if a war that created the O.J. can he that form the O. Israel. Fear not for I have redeemed the I have called the by the name value are mine when thou passes through the waters I will be with the and through the rivers they shal motto overflow the when the walk us through the fire that I shall not be burned. Neither shall the flame Kindle upon the this was a promise that was fulfilled for Shadrach me shakin Abednego interesting Lee when you get to Hebrews chapter eleven verse thirty four in the face chapter. It speaks of these heroes of faith who it says quenched the violence of fire. And in the previous verse. Speaking of Daniel being thrown on the wall and the lions then they stop the mouths of lions. These are heroes of faith who were thrown into a fiery furnace and through their faith quenched of the violence of fire. Do you have a kind of faith that if you were placed in the same circumstance in the same setting. Would you stand as firmly for God as those three Here is the interesting way as they're thrown into the fiery furnace we see in scripture. Now because or so as the form of the fourth is like the Son of God on why. Answers the question how this is prophets and kings five and on how did that heathen king know what the Son of God was longing. The Hebrew CAPTUS filling positions of trust in Babylon. How to end life and character represented were before him the truth. When asked for a reason of their faith they had given it without hesitation plan Lee and simply they had presented the principles of righteousness. Thus teaching those around them. Of the God whom they worshiped they had told of Christ the Redeemer to come and in the form of the fourth in the midst of the fire the king recognized the Son of God. How about you today. Are you living a life that if you were placed in the same circumstance in the same situation that you would represent the Son of God in such a way that if he were to appear in bodily form that the people that have been connected would be with you would say that as the Son of God because he looks like the people that speak about him friends we are facing a crisis at the end of the world when all the world will follow after Babylon and as products in America sets an open image to the first beast the Revelation thirteen the Roman papal church state and has all the world wonders after the beast Seventh Day Adventists are going to be called upon to take a clear stand as to who side we are on and the question will be are we on the Lord's side will we follow God and will we be seeking the honor and the glory of his name and of his law and of his character or will we be like many of those other Jews who compromised and who bowed down and in our case if that were to be the case we would receive the mark of the B.. If you statements manuscript releases volumes pages three thousand and three and when. A legend is mixed with civil government it means much to some of the atom as a union of church and state means a recognition of a spurious Sabbath and a feller to recognize the conscientious observance of the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment this movement demanding the all observe a sacred and idle Sabbath resemble the act of Navigon as are in making a golden image and setting it up for all to worship. The manuscripts release Volume fourteen page ninety one an idol Sabbath has been set up as they go as the golden image was set up in the plains of Dura and is now because of the king about Balaam issued a decree of all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed. So a proclamation will be made to all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and what are you going to do when your life is on the line for you for your faith you going to choose the easy popular side because if you're doing that now you'll do it then God is looking for a faithful seventy AD in US who will be like Shadrack in the shack in a bit nigga. Education Page fifty seven going back to a quote for this week and reading a little bit sooner. What a life work was the of these noble he. As they bade farewell to their childhood home how little did they dream of their high destiny faithful in steadfast they yielded themselves to the divine guiding so that through them. God could fulfill His purpose students of Wildwood who are graduating this weekend. Do you realize what a high destiny. God has designed for each one of you. You didn't come to the school by accident. God brought you here to be his faithful heroes like Shadow rock me shakin Abednego at the end of the world. Those who will be faithful seventy AD in US who will not be embarrassed by our theological message who will not be embarrassed by our health message who will not be embarrassed by your standards but. I will say our God whom we serve will be faithful to us and will deliver us from Babylon at the end of the world and we will be his faithful witnesses friends you have come here to this institution to the school to learn about God and as you learn about God just as the faithful Hebrews were concerned about the honor of God's name. We are concerned about the honor of God's name. We're not asking questions like well as this is solve ational issue if I do this or if I do that we are asking will this bring honor to God's name. If I choose this way or if I choose that way. What will bring honor and glory to the name of God and God's faithful followers at the end of the world will be like Shadrach me shakin Abednego who will stand for the honor of God's name and just as the three Hebrews reached such a high death in the along with Daniel we can reach that high destiny as well. If we are faithful to the true and living on the same mighty trees that were revealed through these men God desires to reveal through the youth in the children of today the history of did just offend Daniel is an illustration of what he will do for those who yield themselves to him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish his purpose and now we get to the famous part of the greatest want of the world is the want to man men who will not be bought or sold or in other words he will just bow down when everyone bows them men who in their in most souls are true and honest men who do not fear to call sin by its right name who when they see idol worship in the church will say this is I don't worship when they see adultery in the church they will say this is adultery. This isn't compatible men who in their inmost souls are true and honest men who do not fear to call some by threatening men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall in front. I hope and pray that as you go out for a while. Would the ends of the earth that you will stand for the right of the heavens fall but such a character is not the result of action. It is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence a noble character is the result of self discipline of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man friends we have a high calling we have a high death and the seventy AD and this at the end of the world. God will have a special group of people a remnant who keep the commandments of God and have a testimony of Jesus Christ and God wants each one of us here today to be among that special group of people. We were not brought into existence by accident. We have come here to Wildwood by accident. We are part of a special movement raise that by God to finish his work here on this earth and by the grace of God may it be said of us that we will stand for the right though the heavens fall I am at this time I would invite the student coursers to come up for our closing song him Number five thirty seven Father in heaven we sank you that you were leading us and I thank you for how you have led the students in the school through the past six months or the past year or the past few years. What I pray that the time spent here will prepare each student and all of us who are here to stand for the right of the heavens will as we see the storm approaching on this world. May we not be among that large class of some of us who profess faith in the third angels most of but a band in the ranks and join the opposition may we be the. Who remain faithful under the death. So that you may give us a crown on. Thank you that you love us. I'm a real love you in return. I'm a we follow you and serve you faithfully every day I pray in Jesus' name. 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 service leader visit W.W.W.. Audio verse or.

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