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1. Power in the Word

Chester Clark III


The Word of God has incredible power to change lives. Tap into that power by learning how to properly understand and study the Bible!


Chester Clark III

Pastor, Evangelist, and Educator



  • December 29, 2016
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W W W T Y C Where Good morning. It's good to see you here. G Y C. And it's always a blessing to be here myself I. Look forward to each year. It's always. One of the highlights of my year and I trust that. It will be one of the highlights of two thousand and sixteen for you as well. How many of you were here G Y C. For the first time and I just see your hands. OK Quite a few of you and I just hope that this will be a very special time for you. I want to just briefly. Give an overview of what we're going to be looking at today we have four sessions together. And I realize that the we may not all be interested in all four of them but today we're going to start with a power in the word and we're talking about how God's word is important in our Christian growth in our Christian life and we're going to be looking at the Bible and I hope I sincerely hope that you brought your Bibles today. That's going to be helpful because we're going to be using our Bibles and we're going to be looking at them this morning. Their first period power in the Word of the irresistible incredible power to change the lives. The second session is going to be called the nature and revelation of Revelation and inspiration and basically we're going to be looking at how the Bible was was given to us. We're going to be looking at sort of defining some of the process. This is how God worked how God didn't work. What the prophets rules were and and so how we can understand biblical inspiration now our views on Revelation inspiration dictate how we interpret the Bible. And you're going to find that to be very interesting. The third seminars a brief history and biblical interpretation and we'll be looking at it starting around the Christian era the time of Christ. We're going to look at how the Bible has been viewed and interpreted and understood and what's interesting as we look at these patterns or cycles. We see that we see that there's really nothing new when we see new methods of interpretation they're really not new methods. They're the same old ones that have been used in the past and we're just sort of rediscovering them in some cases. Unfortunately. And then the fourth today is going to be practical pointers for interpret scripture and applying it to your life. So this is how to get into the Bible and to really start applying what it says you know. The kids are potations a very very important subject because if you look at Christianity and even within our own denomination The difference is that we have boiled down to our views on nature and the nature of revelation inspiration and how we interpret the Bible. We are the same Bible right. So we should all agree on everything. But we don't all read the same way we don't all understand at the same way and when I say we should all under agree on everything. I'm talking about the major things will never agree on every little my new Shahira little detail. But hopefully if we understand and we agree on our method of interpretation. We'll come to the same major conclusions tomorrow we're going to be looking at understanding prophecy. Principles of prophetic interpretation and then Sabbath will be looking at how to get the most out of personal devotional life. All right let's begin with the word of prayer. So. Father in heaven. We just thank you that you've given to us an opportunity today to be a G. Y.C. Lord. So many people young people around the world have been wishing they could be here and they're there with bated breath tuning in going online and logging in trying to get every benefit they can and Lord you've given us the blessing of actually being here. I just pray that you would help us to make the most of this opportunity and Lord as we look at your word today. I prayed you to help us to understand it and especially now in this recession that you help us to understand how important and powerful it is in our lives we think you in Jesus' name amen. I want to start with a story. This is a story going back to my college days. It happened in the in the in Eastern. Malaysia. And we were going on a mission trip there and a group of us were visiting a village in a fairly remote tribe where they lived in Long houses and this is a this is a picture of a long house. And think that's one of the long houses we stayed at and there's actually the whole village is like one or two of these long houses and. They all they all sort of share. The same porch and this same yard front yard back yard setter it's a sort of a just a big long house and we were there doing some medical missionary work and as we were finishing up in one village to our guide who was a native of that region. He said We've got to go to another village. This was on a Sabbath evening as I recall. We've got to go to another village Well how far is that other village Now remember we've got our backpacks and we're all carrying our gear and and he said he said well it's about one cigarette. They didn't have watches so they measured their. Time by how long it took to burn a cigarette and so they said that's not far one cigarette Well I decided they must have some very very long burning cigarettes because we left just before dark and after darkness fell we started getting a little bit slow down the problem was our guide he had a torch it was just some sort of a stick that was burning and he was walking along the trail with this stick but there are some twenty of us and I think we had three flashlights between us. So we're walking along this is in the tropics this is you know I'm sure it's rain in the last twenty four hours the trail is muddy at some places it's these. Steep hills up and down and and ultimately you would be going along and you would hear a piercing shriek. As another victim fell in the mud and sometimes when they fell they would go down the hill and take out everyone and below them as they went down the hill in the mud we were wading through rivers up to our waist or higher and in the dark. We couldn't see where we were going. It was quite an experience what I learned from this experience. Was that. It helps to have a flashlight. Yeah it really does it helps out a flashlight with batteries and with a bold and all the rest of the working flashlight because when you have a flashlight you can see where you're going. And when we return to the next afternoon when we return from that village we were able to see some of the places we've gone over the night before and some of them. We had we had we had been a sort of feeling our way and with some dim light of a light nearby we had gone across these logs not realizing there was a creek a long ways down below that we had crossed over in the dark. Having a light makes a big difference. And so today we're going to be talking about how the word of God is important in our lives and the Bible uses the. The metaphor of a lamp to describe the Bible Psalm one thousand one hundred five. I word is a lamp in the my feet and a light under my. Path verse one thirty says the entrance of your words gives the light. It gives understanding to the simple Now this is a reality. If we want to grow spiritually. We have to go to the source of understanding the Bible says that the Word of God the entrance of your words gives light it gives understanding to the simple if we want to understand we need to go to the source the source is the Word of God Now there are many people who when they become a Christian they sort of feel like well you know I've learned the doctrines were maybe even I've grown up in the church. I already understand about God's love and know about these things right. What more is there to learn. It's sort of like becoming a basketball player you know once you reach the N.B.A. you decide you know I'm in the N.B.A.. I don't need to practice anymore. Right. What would would a person that didn't practice in the N.B.A. with a stay at professional very long. Of course not because they need to continue straining and practicing No one reaches medical school and says I've arrived I don't need to study. This is this is this is where I wanted to go I want to go to medical school. No one reaches adulthood and decides they don't need to eat anymore. Do that when we are fully grown we don't decide Well that's all I needed you know I don't want to get any bigger. So well some of us I suppose we need to do that but. We don't make those decisions it doesn't make sense. So why does it seem like sometimes we don't feel a need to keep learning and growing as a Christian so we're going to examine a little bit about the Bible what the Bible says about itself and how the Bible realizes its own importance. We're going to look at a couple of verses here and we're going to look at the the Bible as a sword in fact sharper than a two edged sword. So follow me through a number of verses here as we're going to be looking at them together we're going to start in second printings chapter four and verse six for God commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shine. In our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now let's just parse this a little bit. We're going to be talking more about how to understand this these type of passages in the future and they're coming seminars but let's just look at this verse a little bit more closely who first says for God to command the light to shine out of darkness has shined where it's in our hearts so that's us personally right that's not talking about an our denomination it's not talking about Aggi Y.C. this is talking about us personally God commands the same God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shined in our hearts. Now this is a this is a precious promise. Because young people there is no way that you are alive and God hasn't been working in your life. That's the truth. God commands a light to shine out of darkness and even if there's there's problems or in your past even if you don't come from a perfect environment or background God commands allied to shine out of darkness and that line light shines in our hearts it's a personal thing for us today to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. So this is interesting because in the Bible. We understand glory to often talk about character right. Have you ever heard that comparison before that comes from Exodus Chapter thirty three and thirty four. When when when Moses asked God show me your glory and God caused his character to pass before him right. We all are changed when we behold isn't glass the glory of the Lord are changed from glory to glory into that same image right. The Prince tells us so. So the glory is a character so the Bible is is telling us he's shining in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory or character of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now usually when we we think of the face of Jesus Christ. We don't all. I always say well. I don't even how do I. How do I have the character of God from the face of Jesus Christ right. That doesn't even make sense when we don't know exactly what Jesus looked like. But this is this is not what the Bible is trying to say if we look at the face of Jesus Christ in Revelation Chapter nineteen in verse fifteen we notice what is prominent out of his mouth goes forth a what. A sharp sword. So looking at the face of Jesus Christ one of the things we're going to see is the sharp sword right and what is that sharp sword fish and Chapter six in verse seventeen tells us and the sort of the Spirit which is the Word of God the sort of the Spirit is the Word of God He was chapter four in verse twelve says for the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the dividing of the soul and spirit and of the joints and morrow and as a dessert or of the thoughts and intents of the heart. So this is what we're seeing from God's word. So for God's Word is very central to who Jesus is if we look at the face of Jesus what we see is God's word right. We say will turn our eyes upon Jesus right look full in his wonderful face. Keep your eyes on Jesus you hear people say that. How do you keep your eyes on Jesus. Well one of the most effective ways to keep your eyes on Jesus is to keep looking at his word because that's what we see when we see the face of Jesus and the face of Jesus is how we read it. We have revealed to us the character of God. The character of God is very important how we learn. It's how we learn and so the the sort of the spirit the Bible says is the Word of God and it's sharper than any two edged sword dividing the soul and spirit. I like to think of the Bible sort of like a surgeon's scalpel right now. None of us are very fond of surgery. We don't usually like to say yeah. For Christmas. I'm going to get a surgery. Her for Christmas. I'm I'm you know I can't wait to break I'm going to go on surgery. That's not what we usually look forward to. Right. So why do people go under the knife why do people have surgery it's usually because there's a problem. Right because they have a sickness there's a disease and the reality is that you and I are infected by the sickness of sin. We have cancer is growing in our character right. That's the reality. I'm not trying to judge. I'm just saying from my personal experience and the authority of God's word. We all have areas in which the sort of the spirit that surgeon scalpel is able to slice and thankfully it's very very sharp it's able it's able to it's able to slice right between the good and the bad. Perfect margins. It's able to do what God needs it to do to change our hearts and lives. Now we don't always appreciate that. But the purpose of a scalpel is not to kill or to hurt the purpose of a scalpel is to bring healing right. It's to is to take those things that are necessary to be removed out of our life and to allow those things that are healthy to remain God's Word will do that if we allow it to say let's look in our Bibles if you have your Bibles. I want to notice a couple of passages first of all we can look at God's Word as an agent of conversion. We're going to look in in verse Peter chapter one first. Peter chapter one. We're going to study how God's Word is an agent of conversion. Now we understand that we can have all kinds of good things heard at G. Y.C. you can hear a lot of theology. You can hear a lot about God. And I believe God can even speak to you through sermons and through messages but ultimately if you and I are going to be can. Verted we need to have a personal encounter with the Word of God first. Peter chapter one and verse twenty three. This is what the Bible says. Since you have been born again not of perishable seeds but of imperishable through the living and abiding word of God. Did you find that zone it says I'm reading today from the in the standard version. But the Bible saying it's an incorruptible see the Kingdom says is an incredible seed which lives and abides for ever. There's something eternal about God's word. Are we turning No we're not eternal we're we're mortals. We are finite but God's word is eternal in the lives and abides forever. And if we want to live in abide forever we have to be born again and the Bible here Peter here tells us that we are born again through this internal word which lives in abides forever. The Word of God is the agent of our conversion. It's through the Word of God that we are converted born again I should say so when we neglect the Word of God we are neglecting the very agent that God has placed for our conversion. I want us to look at another another passage as the word as a agent of cleansing and we're going to get several passages here so your Bibles out again and we're going to look at the first chapter thirty six easy kill Chapter thirty six. And we're going to begin with. Verse twenty five or so. Is equal Chapter thirty six. We're going to read verse twenty five through twenty seven. This is God promising to put his spirit within us is equal Chapter thirty six verse twenty five and he says I will sprinkle clean water on you. And you will be clean from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. Will I cleanse you in the next verse is what we know a little better. Verse twenty six is best known verse I think of this chapter. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. Our move the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh and I'll put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. So this is a promise that God gives to us notice of me the promises. The promise is that I will sprinkle What does he say I will sprinkle what clean water on you and what's the effect of that going to be that will clean you of your clean ness or filthiness and purify you from your idols right now what it says is that is good news. Now we don't. Today I hope we don't have physical idols like the children of Israel might have had but the reality is we have the same hearts don't we. The same fallen hearts. We have the same sinful natures and we need the same purification that they needed in the days of his E.Q. and we still have idols don't we. They're just different. There may not be as visible it may not be as much objects. Maybe they are but they're there. It's things in our hearts that are of greater important to us than our relationship with Jesus that's an idol right there something that we struggle to give up you know some people ask me. They say Chester you know that you talk about surrender and you heard people talking about surrender how do I give my life to Jesus where you just surrender your life to Jesus and people have asked me young people have asked me How do I surrender everything to God I mean isn't that really a difficult task. Every day I have to remember everything. But I'm supposed to surrender. I mean how many things can I surrender every day you know I mean what if I miss something. What if I forget something I mean is an honest legitimate question how do I know if I've surrendered everything to Jesus right and the reality is my answer to that is always very simple. The Holy Spirit works upon your heart asking you to surrender something. Some thing. And usually it's something that's the dearest to your heart at least that you're aware of and when the Holy Spirit asked you to surrender something that's the nearest and dearest to your heart you have to make a decision. Am I going to give this to Jesus are my not. Now it's not always a bad thing by the way. Do you know that you have the Holy Spirit sometimes asked us to surrender good things. Because good things can be an idol to. Our job our career our family our relationships things that are not of themselves wrong. Still need to be placed on the altar of sacrifice that Jesus might reign supreme. In our hearts right. So what I tell people is look. If you are willing to surrender the things that is dearest to you that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of if you have surrendered that thing which is the hardest for you to surrender than you have surrendered everything. Think of it this way. OK. It's not so much a list of things that we must surrender as much as it is an attitude of our heart towards the things that we need to surrender. In other words I'll say it another way if our heart is surrendered. Things are surrendered. The opposite in my mind of surrender is rebellion. OK And my theory is that rebellion and surrender cannot co-exist in the heart the heart is either in a surrendered state or it's not. That's why the Bible teaches us the way we relate to the higher powers the government others around us is also the way that we're relating to God if we're in rebellion against one of the powers that God has placed over us then weak our heart cannot simultaneously be in rebellion and surrender that makes sense. So it's not so much god. You know have I surrendered everything is God is my heart. Am I willing to surrender everything and if God can bring us to that place we can surrender of them. So this is what is equals promising us. I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean from your filthiness and clean from all your idols. That's a good promise isn't it. Would you like some of that water. That's what the Bible is saying and I will give you a new heart a new spirit will I put within you and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh. And give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. So this is an amazing promise and it all starts with God sprinkling what clean water upon it. So what is that clean water the god sprinkles upon us. Let's look at another verse John Chapter fifteen. John Chapter fifteen. We understand the Bible by precept upon precept line upon line here a little in there a little you know that means it does not mean that we take verses out of context. Try to make them say things they don't say you know. I once heard the story of a man who wanted to understand God's will for his life. So he used the the random the random method you know of Bible study where he just. Close his eyes and flip his pages around and put his finger on a text open his eyes to see what God was going to say him. If you heard of that method. It's not really recommended really it's there's nothing wrong with reading random Bible texts but how we put them together can sometimes be problematic in this. Perhaps. Perhaps imaginary story illustrates that he the first verse that he looked at. Said Judas went and hanged himself. Well is one sure exactly that meant so he tried again he went flipping the Bible and and the next verse he landed on he read it and it said Go thou and do likewise. So he said this isn't too good. So he put the pages again and the third verse he's landed on said that without do is to quickly. So. That's the abuse of what we would call the proof text method right that's not a proof text message that's just sort of randomly looking at Bible verses. But the proof text message takes different passages and helps the each passage helps explain another passage so we're going to look in John Chapter fifteen help us understand what this clean water is that God promises to sprinkle upon us. We're going to read verse three. John fifteen verse three are there. And this is what it says and you are clean through the word that I have spoken to you. You see that. So the disciples Jesus says you have experienced cleansing your clean through what Through the word. Through the word. Now the disciples weren't studying their Bibles. They may have been reading some of the Old Testament I don't know but Jesus is the word that I have spoken to you has power to clean you just like that clean water that we read of. Out in Chapter thirty six and verse twenty five. Let's look at one more verse. Or two more verses here. If he jps chapter five verses twenty five and twenty six. If Chapter five vs twenty five and twenty six. And we're going to see here another passage that Reeve reveals to us how God works to cleanse us. It starts by saying Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her having cleansed her by the washing of water with what does this say the word by the word. Of washing of water by the word so that he might present to the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish So this is the promise that God says he's going to do. He's going to sprinkle clean water upon us from John Chapter fifteen and the Friesian chapter five we can understand that clean water. The agent of God's cleansing is actually the word of God. Jesus says you are clean to the word which I've spoken to you. Jesus chapter five says he'll wash you cleanse the church by the washing of water by the word the word of God has the ability to clean our hearts and our lives. If it's accepted and and allowed into our hearts to do its work how that happens we'll understand a little later but we're going to today or this first period we're wanting to simply understand how important it is in the Christian's life to have this agent of conversion. This agent of cleansing You see we have here one more verse were to look at this on this question Second Corinthians chapter three and verse eighteen Second Corinthians. After three. And verse eighteen. I don't know about you but I want that experience of cleansing. I need that experience of cleansing. I need freedom from those things that would seek to say to sit on the throne of my heart instead of the Lord Jesus Christ vision in this chapter three in verse eighteen says this. Now and we all with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another and this comes from the Lord who is the spirit we're being transformed from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord the King James says so this is the experience that God wants us to have right. Always growing always improving always learning that cleansing experience that washing experience that freedom from the idols experience that is equal talked about all of that happens that character transformation happens as we experience the Word of God now. I want to be very very honest with you. It's very important that we understand as G.Y. see as young people as something admin as young people very important. We understand that coming to G Y C. And being straightened out. Theologically is not going to help us be ready for the second coming. Not that not that that's not important. I believe in truth you understand but ultimately ultimately what we need is that glory to glory experience right. We need that experience of personal experience of our lives being changed. I want to I want to just illustrate this to you by looking at two passages in the book of revelation before you move on. I want to just look at two passages you're very familiar with. I want you to see how I think. Jesus is waiting for a new experience in the church and God's people. A Revelation Chapter fourteen we're going to start with the three angels messages and I want you to see here something very. Very important Revelation Chapter fourteen we're going to start and we're going to read verse six right. Revelation Chapter fourteen in verse six when you're there. Can you say amen. All right so let's read it then I saw another angel flying directly overhead in the midst of heaven with an everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell in the earth to every nation tribe tongue and people and he said with a loud voice say what a loud voice Fear God give glory to Him for the hour. His judgment is come and worship him and made heaven and earth in the sea of the springs of waters. So what kind of a voice did this angel give the message in a loud voice right. A very loud voice and by the way the second angel followed saying Babbitt has fallen to thirteen Joel said follow them saying with a loud voice also if any man worship the beast his image receives the markets for his hand he will drink the Rhine wine of the wrath of God So here you have the three angels messages and their going all around the world right. And there being proclaim with a what kind of voice. A loud voice now is a loud voice a good thing when you're trying to get a message out yet is. There's nothing wrong with having a loud voice. This is this isn't my words is the Bible. Right. The Bible said there would be this experience of a global message the end of time we don't have time to really dwell on the interpretation of the thirty three messages but this I believe to be a a prediction of the Advent movement of the message of Adventism a message calling people back to the Word of God preaching the hour of his judgment calling people back to Sabbath worship by the way creation in the flood is all in that first angel's message as well. Giving glory to him Give glory to God the first in business as the health message whether for before you eat or drink or whatsoever you do this is a prediction of Adventism arising and is it going to be just a local phenomenon or is going to be worldwide worldwide is going to be successful in telling people. Yes is a loud voice the world hears it. And by the way the some damage church one of the. Youngest denominations in the world is also one of the fastest growing. We have done a good job of getting the message out to the world not as good as we'd like to do and sure not as good as the Lord would like us to do but the message has gone right. We have admin is present. In more countries than any other Protestant denomination in fact if you count the work of address. We are in more countries than even the Roman Catholic Church more countries and territories. We have a global message and by the way that's one of the ways we. I believe that I'm a part of God's last day remnant movement is because I'm a part of a global one that's that's that's one of the characteristics right of God Lastly church going to be a global movement a global message. So this is a loud voice I want you to notice something before Jesus comes the message of the movement need something more than a loud voice fact if you read this chapter thirteen you realize that loud voices. If I say have a loud voice but I don't have love. I'm just a nuisance. We won't. We don't pause there but look I'm in Revelation Chapter eighteen. This is what we sometimes refer to as the Fourth Angel which angel. The Fourth Angel and the fourth angel's message like the three into his messages. The fourth angel's message is a prediction of Adventism. In its final and most glorious stages as a movement it's a prediction that there is something going to happen beyond just giving the three news messages with a loud voice notice what it says and I saw another angel coming down from heaven having great authority and the earth was made bright with His glory and a cloud cried out with a modded mighty voice Oh there's that loud voice again. Babylon is fallen is fallen and so forth. Now there's nothing new. Listen carefully. There is nothing new in the message of the Fourth Angel that is not also. Included are implied in the message of the first three angels. There's no new ideology in other words the fact that Babylon is fall'n has already been expressed in the second angel's message write. It. The second angel's message was given a loud voice just like before thing Jules messed with or something different about the fourth angel's message noticed me verse one again I saw another angel coming down from heaven having great authority. And the earth was made what. Bright with His glory of the earth was lightened with His glory Now what did we understand is this glory symbolizing in the Bible. Character right. We are changed looking in that looking glass of God's word being cleansed by the washing of the water of the word we are changed from glory to glory right. Character to character God is transforming us to become more like Christ more like him to reflect his character of love the Fourth Angel not only has a loud voice when it gives its message. It has a character that is so a stone being that it true lightens the whole world with the glory of God You understand what's what the difference is I want you to understand friends. I'm not trying to cast any disparaging remarks upon Adventism in the last one hundred sixty hundred seventy years that's not my point by point is that the message in the future is going to be more glorious. The work is not going to be finished by us proving with more texts the truth. The work is going to be finished by those texts changing our hearts and lives to be more like Christ. So the world sees the Avonex message as wow that is the character of God the character of love the whole earth is going to be lightened with the glory of God Now how does that happen is because angels come down or is it because you and I have a deeper experience with God's Word to demonstrate that God can use us. Even now if we're not fully. Reflecting the character of God to demonstrate that God can use the first three messages just with a loud voice. We have to look no further than the story of Jonah. Jever think of John in the three messages. Well this is how I see the connection OK. Jonah was called to go and preach with a loud voice wasn't. He was called to go to Nineveh we know he was reluctant more than reluctant to disobedient rebellious he didn't go to Nineveh you went the opposite direction. God had a course reversal in store for him and he ended up being deposited by that fish on the shore to head towards Nineveh he went to Nineveh. And I wish I had a transcript of Jonah sermons because Jonah had arguably the most successful evangelist It series of all times. The city of An end of it was a great none of it was New York City of to that day. This was a wealthy city. This was a city of arts and culture this was a city of Cosmopolitan integration of many different peoples This was a this was a wicked city as well. They were a godless people least just in relation to the God of heaven. And Jonah somehow. Sent by God right with a message of truth right. He preached the truth and the whole city became converted. If you come back next year. G. Y.C. and said I have one New York City for Christ. The mayor and Donald Trump an heir but he's repented and there. They're all they're all turning to God I shake your hand. That be amazing. Wouldn't it. The greatest evangelist series of all times. Jonah. Evangelist Jonah. God used him in a mighty way would you agree. You remember how the story ends. Jonah heads outside of Nineveh after preaching is avenged. There's everybody's repented. Jonah heads outside to watch the fireworks. And when God did not destroy the Nineveh as he had warned that he would what was Jonah's attitude. Remember that. Member. Jonah became angry and insolent. Because God had not done what he thought God should do destroying this wicked pagan city. I did my part. Now God you should do your part. You see at at it's basic element the story of Jonah teaches us that we can be successful in evangelism without having the character of God. We can give the three messages the whole world with a loud voice and be successful at it without having the character of God. Jonah sitting out there in the desert and remember God caused a a gourd to grow up with those big leaves you know and he's shaded by this gourd in the desert sun and then as he's moaning and groaning and lamenting the fact that God hasn't done what he thinks he should do and hasn't got rid of these evil. Ninevites who have caused him so much grief and you know being swallowed by a fish and all the rest and he's out there feeling sorry for himself. God sends a worm. The second thing the story of Jonah teaches me is that when God uses we shouldn't get proud because God can use worms right. God send a worm is what the Bible says I'm not making it up right read of yours of the God sends a worm destroys the gourd the gourd Wilts and Jonah God points out this to Jonah. This is with the way it in the book. Jonah you have more concern. Over a plant that you didn't even nurture than you do over a city with a couple hundred thousand people who were doing wrong just because they didn't know better. It ends with that question of God interrogating Jonah. Is that the right priorities is your character the way it should be right and so we understand what I'm saying today. What I'm saying to you today is that if we want to be a part of God's final generation. You know the character of of G Y C. The spirit of G Y C is to take the three messages to the world in this generation. If we want to be a part of that generation that sees Jesus come if we want to avoid the nursing homes. All the rest that will come if Jesus doesn't come right. Then we have to not just be giving with a loud voice. We have to be having that word transform our hearts and lives from glory to glory. So that we can be a part of that fourth angel's message predicted listen it's going to happen. Do you believe it. I mean the Bible says right here Revelation Chapter eighteen. Just like the first three messages happened eight hundred forty four and on we see that the bible prophecy can be trusted. It's going to happen the question is is it going to be US is going to be our generation that allows God to work in our hearts to cleanse us to changes from glory to glory. Even as by the Spirit of God so the Word of God reveals to us the character of God If we surrender to what the Word of God says we will be changed more and more into the character of God there. I also often say. There are only two things that we really need to know in order to be saved. I'm not talking about two things. You only need to do. I'm saying there's only two pieces of knowledge of information that you really need to know in order to be saved. OK I like to simplify things down to their most. Basic Element. Right. So in my in my mind. There's only two things you know if in order to be saved. You don't need to have to worry about all the rest of the knowledge God will teach you as you need to know other things but there are two things to be saved. You need to know. The first is who God is you need to meet Jesus and understand something about Grace something about his character something about his unconditional love. If you know who God is there's one other thing you need to know. You need to know who you are. The Word of God is the instrument by which God both reveals to us God's character and reveals to us our character. And that really is the only thing that you need those two things. If you know who God is and you know who you are you can make a decision based on that knowledge that will be for salvation. That is the that is the simplest way I can express explain that to we have to know what we have to know we have to know who God is we have know who we are. Well you might say I know God is I read I read my little friend and my. Was my Bible friends. I grew up in Sabbath school. I go to church. I know who God is I know who I am you know. The reality is what I'm trying to say it's not just like. It's not who you are you like your name and Social Security number. We need to know that we are sinners in need of grace. Forgiveness on a daily basis. OK we need to recognize our frailty and our faultiness our humanity. Our need for Jesus. I'll be honest sometimes when we do evangelism we teach people how to stop. To understand the doctrines. We aren't always as good at teaching people how to study the Word of God. So that it can show them every day their need for Jesus. It's easier for us to say well are you going to surrender your job which has Sabbath conflicts. Than it is to teach someone to study God's word and learn to surrender what ever that Idol is in their heart that day because listen I don't care how long you've been a Christian. There's still something God is calling for you to lay on the altar. And allowed Jesus to take and either give you something better or to take it. Give it back and sanctify it. Now it's in the right place in your life. So when we study the Word of God our Bible studies we're going to talk about later our personal devotions are not so much to be able to show what we believe that's important too but the most important thing in our devotional life is that we can for today understand that God loves me. And that I need him. I study my Bible not so that I can have to prove texts to baffle the Baptists. I study my Bible so that I can be converted for today. It's a daily experience. It's a daily walk. And today I may know that I need Jesus particularly when I'm presenting a seminar G.Y. see I feel my need tomorrow. That knowledge of my need today does not necessarily mean that I stay with that knowledge tomorrow it's as bad as it as I spent time in God's word that I revealed to that he reveals to me my need for him. I really find my character and so the decision I make will then allow me to grow in my experience with G.. It is now real quickly. If we surrender to Jesus. If we surrender to the Word of God. We'll be changed more and more into the character of God. Real quickly I want to go through a couple of basic bible steps how to study the Bible because I don't think all of you are going to be here for all six seminars. So this is going to be something that you can say you're welcome to by the way I'd be happy for you to but I know how seminars go at you I see there are so many good things and and you may you may be moving on to something else that you're interested in next in or what I want you to leave with is at least some basic ideas about how to say the Bible because we want that washing of water by the word right. We want God to sprinkle as clean water upon us to cleanse us from our filthiness and from our idols. So first of all we want to make it a habit have a set time of day and protect it. There are some people. Who who have a have a difficult time doing it. First thing in the morning. I recommend it. First thing in the morning. I recommend it. The first thing when you wake up when your eyes are even before your eyes open when you're aware of your your of yourself. I guess your weight right. Have a prayer of surrender. First thing. And if you make it a habit then every single time you wake up the first thing you have. Is Lord I want to give this day to you. I want to give my heart to you. I want to give all of my plans lay them at your feet to be carried out and be given up as you indicate I want to. I want you to do well in my heart. So make it a habit and believe it or not one of the best ways to make it a habit to wake up with that prayer in your heart is to go to bed with that prayer and you heard. That's not my experience how do you how do you make a habit of waking up with a certain thought in your mind. Well what you could ask God Perhaps He answers prayers as it did. But if you will if you will go to bed with a prayer of surrender. You can wake up with a prayer of surrender as well and there's nothing more wonderful than just waking up and your first thought. Turning to God and if that's your habit. It's a wonderful habit to make. Make it. I have said it he said time of day and stay and protect that time for Bible study for some people depending on your family planning on a lot of other things it might have to be another time. Besides the first thing when you wake up. Others. I definitely find in the morning is when I need the strength for that day. So for me that's what I that's what I prefer but we see the Jesus spent time communing with God not just in the morning but also in the evening tooted. There were times when. Daniel would go three times a day and pray. The second the second point I would just make about how to study the Bible is to make it a conversation. There was a time in my devotional life when I segregated prayer and Bible study I prayed and I studied right. And I found that I have found that it's even better. Nothing wrong with that it's even better if the whole time I'm studying I'm also praying. It's supposed to be a conversation you don't have to you don't. When you go to see your friend you don't. OK this is my five minutes talk to be quiet and you talk for five minutes and then it's their friend. There's five minutes talk maybe some friends that way. I don't know but the reality is we usually have a conversation right and God wants to talk to us. So when I study my Bible. I'm not just reading and saying I wonder what that means I'm reading and saying Lord what does that mean. Not just what does it mean. But Lord how does that apply to my life and everything every every part of that passage I can make a conversation. So don't segregate Bible study and prayer. The second or the third. I would make is make it a thoughtful By this I mean. Ask questions and some of the questions that I like to ask are questions like this is there a promise for me to claim is there a sin for me to avoid Is there an action for me to follow a command for me to obey Is there something in this verse that can apply to my life and so I make it a thoughtful conversation with God where I'm actually thinking through and making application. We're going to study in a much more detail as we get down to the last our last time together today the fourth part of the series we're going to be studying much more detail. The process of understanding and applying Scripture to our daily lives. I'm just trying to give here here some brief summaries and point and helpful pointers and the the last is to make decisions. I want you to look at a couple of verses. I want you to look first is equal chapter thirty three is equal chapter thirty three. This is going to illustrate why we need to not just be feeding ourselves with knowledge but not making decisions about them. We about that knowledge easy chapter thirty three. We're going to start in verse thirty. If you can chapter thirty three in verse thirty. This is a very interesting story. God hears talking to the prophet is E.Q. all and he tells him some fascinating tidbit of information. Now what's a prophet a prophet. Someone who comes with God's message right and his E.Q. as a prophet taking God's message to Israel and this is what God says was really going on. As for you son of man. Your people who talk together about you. By the walls and at the doors of the houses say to one another each to his brother come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord and that's a good thing isn't it. Can you imagine if there was just sort of a bug. Was around Houston. Let's go to G Y C. Let's hear what the Word of God is that be a good thing right. I'm by the way. Thousands of come here and that's a good thing. So that's what was going on. People love to come and hear you there. You've dragged gathering their friends are saying. Come let's hear the word of the Lord and they come to you as people come and they sit before you as my people and they hear what you say but they of what is a say they will not do it for with lustful talk in their mouth as they act their heart is set on gain and behold you are to them like one who sings lustful songs a beautiful voice and plays well an instrument for they hear what they say you say but they will not do it in other words these people are sermon junkies. They love to listen to a good powerful sir. They actually get their friends to go and listen to a good sermon. Let's go hear what the word of the Lord is there's only one problem of the whole picture. It's good to love the Word of God and enjoy it. These people are doing it for entertainment. Not to allow to change who they are. They hear the Word of God but they don't do it right. They don't apply. So making decisions allowing God to actually change our lives is a very very important step in our Bible study would you agree. One more verse Matthew chapter seven. Matthew chapter seven. And we're going to notice here. The defining characteristic between those who are saved and those who are lost. It's very similar as we read in his equal Chapter thirty two thirty three. Matthew chapter seven was Notice in verse twenty one. Not everyone who says to me. Good Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven so profession does not save us. Does it. In less that profession is backed up by decisions to surrender to the Word of God. All the knowledge we have isn't going to help us many will say to me on that day. Lord Lord did we not prophesy on your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name and then I will declare to them. I never knew you Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness verse twenty four continues. Everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them right. Hearing and doing right. Here I will liken them to a wise man who built his house on the rock the rains fell the floods came the winds blew and beat on that house but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand the rain fell the floods came the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell and great was the fall of it. The distinguishing characteristic between those who are good peoples Christians but lost. And those who are good people. Christians and saved. Is that they don't just read it for entertainment value for head knowledge they put what they learn into practice. They are not hears the word only but they are hearers and doers. Of the word in the nineteenth century. One of the greatest evangelists was Dwight L. Moody. A lot we could learn from his life but I will share with you one story. He was asked invited to come to St Louis to do an evangelist of series. And those days a big name like white movie would bring out large crowds he heard before he arrived at St Louis that the the newspaper in town the St Louis globe dispatch was going to have Easter Naga for. At his meetings he was going to take down. Movies sermons word for word and they were going to be printed in the next morning's newspaper. We heard that he decided that he would put as much as possible in his sermons because movie knew something human words can change lives. God's word changes lives. So moody began to fill his sermons. With scripture more than usual. He quoted the word of God and allowed the Word of God to be transcribed in the morning paper in jail in St Louis was a criminal by the name of Valentino Burke. Balanchine was in criminal is in prison. He'd been in chrism in Peru and imprisoned more than twenty five times he was a career criminal all he did was crime. And he'd been in prison or in jail all over the country. One morning the jailer. When he brought him his breakfast he threw a newspaper in the cell. Valentyn saw a headline on the on the on the front cover of that newspaper and this is what the headline read the headline said how the jailer and Philip got caught. This was the title of a movie sermon from the night before. Well balancing said the jail and Philippa. That must be filled by Missouri I've been in jail there I know that jailer I want to see what he did and how he got caught so Valentyn picks up the newspaper and he opens to the article of how the jailer in Philip I got caught and it didn't take him long to realize that instead of a story about that jailer that he knew it was a story. It was actually a sermon. Valentino had no use for a sermon. He had news for God or Christianity the Bible or thing else and so with discussed. He threw the newspaper aside. But you know the Holy Spirit was working on Valentine's heart. And after a little while he went back and he picked up that paper and started reading it again and and then all of a sudden you realize what am I doing reading a sermon and he threw the newspaper aside over and over throughout the day kept going back to the newspaper picking it up and throwing it aside picking it up and throwing it aside until he had read that entire sermon from the night before. In fact he read it a couple times and alone in his jail cell that night. Valentino gave his hard to Jesus Christ. It was apparent immediately. There's been a change in his life. He didn't curse even next morning they saw a difference of just who's a different person. There's a peace there is a calmness about him. Eventually got out of jail and the. Problem was he even though he was he was determined to live a godly life he he had a hard time getting work he didn't know how to do anything legal and he lived with family members. He tried to get a job then surely he moved from St Louis up to New York where he tried to to get work there living with the sister and that didn't work either six weeks later he came back to Chicago to St Louis and when he arrived back he got a message from the sheriff's office saying he needed to come down for some questions though I think Valentino could think was one of his previous acts and caught up with him again. So he showed up at the sheriff's office and the sheriff began asking questions. What do you been doing Where have you been. How's it been going. Then he asked him a question. How's that new faith that you got you still care. Valjean said you know it's been hard. It's been a struggle but Jesus has been faithful to me and I want to be faithful to him. And I'm still still a Christian the jailer said something that completely surprised Valentyn he said balancing what you're saying is true we know it's true because when you got out of jail we were determined that you must be faking your Christianity. So we set a detective to follow you for the last six weeks and we know that your life has really changed. We have an opening for a sheriff's deputy and we want to hire you to work in the sheriff's office the Word of God change the criminal career criminal. To being a Christian who is trustworthy and dependable years later the story is that another Vaness was scheduled to come to St Louis doing a bad stick series and he canceled the last moment they looked around who can we find that could share the word of God and someone had the idea. Let's ask Valentino Valjean Burke preached in his own avenged series in the city of St Louis and some of the toughest criminals that knew his story knew the Word of God It changed him. They came to hear him they would have come to hear some of the other preachers Valentine's life was a testimony that the power of the power of God's word God's word changes lives. We're not talking about evolution here. Yes we grow gradually but there's something miraculous about God's word. I want to tell you something friends. If your Christianity offers you nothing better than what you can do for yourself. It's not true Christianity. We need a miraculous experience on a daily basis. And it's through God's Word that we. Let's pray Father in heaven. We thank you that you've called us to study your word. We pray Lord. That as we uncover in the next few sessions and throughout the wherever we're going and listening. We pray that your words would have an effect upon our hearts and lives that we might be changed or we need to be changed. We've come to see we're good people but we don't want to just be like those people as eagles day that were sermon junkies they heard but they never we want your words change. We want to understand it. So we ask this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas. Do you see a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.


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