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The Law of God in the Great Controversy

Charles Cleveland


Find out what role  God's law plays in the Great Controversy.


  • October 27, 2017
    7:00 PM
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Happy Sabbath. Have you member lest already tonight. Was a real blessing to hear those testimonies about going out and doing door to door work to hear from Sabrina and David and Samuel each one having a unique experience God is such a specialist in doing something just individual for each of us we go out to bless someone and we get to be blessed. I even enjoyed tonight's offering to peel an area about the boy's dormitory. And we can have more sympathy and empathy with you and I'm sure God's going to lead in that area it's nice to share your needs with each other a couple of months ago I had to go up I had to go to district court. When I got to the courthouse it's been many years since I've been to one and. It looked like they were having a sale. There were so many people there it really puzzled me how many people could be needing to go to court in one day they told us to get in line in a hallway and when the court room would open we'd need to be ready to go in. So I got in line. And there was a girl in front of me probably twenty five or so we struck up a little conversation she was quite nervous it was her fourth speeding ticket I'd be nervous too. Now some of your wonder why I was in line I can just assume that and I. Actually I was there to be a witness for an Adventist brother that I believed had been falsely accused. And he had got his lawyer about the idea of bringing So witnesses a character witness. I want to call his name Andrew. And one of the witnesses that was to come to join him besides some friends and former customers was an associate his other and as a construction person. He got to know the leader of the Mennonite community in the area that I live in near Chattanooga Tennessee. And this man had also volunteered to come as a character witness in fact there were six of us altogether. He needed a ride because he just didn't want to go forty five miles in the horse and buggy so I was asked if I'd pick him up and another person who had been a customer of my friend Andrew. What the last minute the Mennonite man found a more convenient ride and I ended up coming with a friend of Andrew whose name I'm going to call Anthony. When I picked up Anthony at those famous pick up places like Wal-Mart parking lot in Dunlap Tennessee where I live we had about forty five minutes of drive together to get to the courthouse and he turned to me very seriously and he said Would you mind telling me why you became a Seventh Day Adventists I was pleasantly surprised I like to share my story especially in a situation like this and as I looked at him I saw sincerity and he said so he said I am I just want you to know I'm serious not just curious I've been looking for a Bible based church for years and I really like to understand why you made that choice well we had a very nice time during that forty five minutes and I shared with him kind of bubbled over I'm sure why it was the some of the administers. And. But time to got to Cookeville and a courthouse I was wondering to myself how do I take this to the next level can you imagine but it was time to go in I could hope for the ride back. So many of the courtroom it was packed. The judge took first the speeding tickets and the driver's license offenses. He was firm but I say he was fair in most cases. He was very kind to some and very rough to others but it's usually because. The kind of deserve it. He was a judge of experience. Well finally the courtroom emptied except for Andrew our friend and his accuser and their lawyers and the witnesses. And so. The judge turned to the accuser his lawyer and asked them if they had witnesses. And they replied they had none. He turned to my friend's lawyer and he indicated that there were witnesses and he pointed to us now in the empty court room one two three four five six and the judge pulled down his glasses you can wait out in the hallway I'll call you if I need you and he dismissed us. The case was a little bit sensitive and so I thought OK we'll see how it goes so the six of us went outside and in the hallway we were praying they weren't all that miss the friends of Andrew but they were all praying people were praying together and talking. Fifteen or twenty minutes later Andrew walked out of the court room with his attorney and he looked happy. Sure enough that the court had ruled in his favor when the judge had asked for the accuser for a witnesses and they produce none except accusations. And my friend had all these witnesses and explained his side of the story the judge decided clearly that he was being honest. And it it was a happy time for all of us. Well the trip home from with Anthony was. Kind of rejoicing and talking about the case first of all and I kept looking for that opportunity lord he said he was really searching. How can I get back to that subject and I was just praying every mile of the way as we were talking and he's he's a an interesting person he's or he was born in in South America he's lived in Florida much of his life he was a very successful business men and he's retired at forty to enjoy life and he lives walking distance from the Dunlap some of the evidence church where I am editor. So I thought I really want to be able to carry this on to the next level. And so as we were driving along and and talking Finally I you know I suggested to him Why don't we get together and maybe I could answer more of your questions. And I was very happy that he agreed once he had agreed and we set a time a few days in advance from then I began praying or where would you have me begin with him Typically when I give a Bible study we don't always start the same way it kind of depends on their interests too but he had suggested in the specific area so I thought. Here's a Roman Catholic background but not practicing for many years and. He seemed so open I thought I want to be sure that he really is has confidence in the inspiration of the Bible. And so I suggested to him or no I thought to myself about maybe starting with the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures but somehow I just wasn't at peace with that you know you have a good idea sometimes but God doesn't always say it's the right one. And my wife and I Phoebe we were out walking we have about a week on our on our road out in the country is about a three mile loop that we can walk we often get out early in the morning before breakfast and sometimes I bring an audio verse sermon and enjoyed listening to a topic and the speaker that day was speaking at G Y C A former G Y C meeting and he was an F A size seen the importance of sharing the big picture with people in such a way that you can really get their attention and build on that and I thought well that sounds good and it reminded me of a preacher that I'd heard years ago when I first became an admin is that used to preach a message I'd like to call from eat into Eden anyone ever hear of that and who I'm talking about and I thought you know I'd like to try to do that because it always is a blessing for me when I had heard him share that kind of a story so I began to look into that and study it and prepared to share that with him so when Anthony I and I got. Together about a week later. I began with this story by the way since then we've met four times and our average Bible study is two and a half hours long. And it's not because I drag it out it just there's no other way to do it he just he just ready so it's been a really thrilling experience I were Sabrina where you shared a few minutes ago. I don't know if I see you. Hi you member how you said it's really great to get those amount used those hot Bibles that is that when people are ready it's a blessing I don't have to drag this man a lot he is ready and every time our week comes up he says I am looking I'll text in the night before and so looking forward to being with you tomorrow at one thirty and you say I cannot wait. And he's telling me what he's telling his wife and so it's it's really it's exciting so I decided to take him to heaven and try to paint with to him. The clearest picture I could imagine from the things I've studied. In the scripture about what heaven is like that it's a real place you know it's got trees and rivers the tree of life it's got gardens and vineyards and and even animals that we don't have to be afraid of there's it's it's going to be a wonderful place to be. And that. As as God made this beautiful creation there was a time where the Godhead had to obviously do some planning and so long ago and we talk about heaven and we say from Dawn Earth you're you know it was a long time ago what is a long time ago in eternity you know so it's it's hard to really say what we're trying to say but somewhere is way back then the Godhead got together and decided out of the love that they had with each other to expand the family of God It had to happen at some point because the Angels have not been around for eternity is that correct and so there was some time in it in the point in heaven that they made that decision and they created the angels. And. They they are called sometimes the the stars of heaven I like that name don't you the stars of heaven. And he created thousands of them in fact the Bible says ten thousand times ten thousand which are millions and millions of angels. It was really a happy time in heaven when they all came together and in the interest of order God made some of them leaders and I think David referred to or someone mentioned you know angels of a higher order are called sometimes when we call for help and so God has order in heaven. And one of his leaders was called the covering cherub or angel and you probably remember his name do you who is that. This of are it's OK to say it aloud or who is it Lucifer and do you remember where in the Old Testament you might find that Texas says his name anyone recall off in part in Isaiah OK I heard that plainer OK Isaiah So if you want to see that we'll come back to that again also but I was in chapter fourteen verse twelve. By the way Lucifer means the bright and shining one isn't that pretty the pride and shining one the light that was that's who Lucifer was he was one special person and in I say a fourteen twelve you'll also find that there is a little other part of his name he was called the Son of the morning doesn't that sound good so I mean this man was given a top position in the government of God with a beautiful descriptive name and a wonderful role in assisting in the leadership of heaven if you turn to is he killed the twenty eighth chapter let's look at a few verses here about Him It describes Lucifer back when he was in heaven in just three verses easy CULE twenty eight thirteen through fifteen. It says you were in Eden the garden of God You just see the beauty there can you sense the beauty and the the even the garden of God is not on Earth it's in at this time it was in heaven. Perfect and beautiful and glorious and he says you were created a right there in this beautiful place. Every precious stone was your covering Can you imagine though the kind of covering your garment that he wore. Be decked with all the beautiful stones that are mentioned here in that verse to follow you every precious stone with your covering the Sardis the topaz and Diamond Burleigh Onyx and Jasper and sapphire and turquoise and emerald with gold you know and God does something he does that is so special and so for this special angel he was so beautifully adorned and he said verse fourteen you were the anointed share of. This wasn't a random thing he was chosen he was set aside in a special role that coverage. And to have said and I have set these so God Himself position Lucifer to be his assistant. I mean he had a lot to be thankful for then he said in verse fifteen you were how perfect in your ways from the day that you were created there was never a day there was a flaw in you Lucifer you are made perfect like all my creation then i wish of course probably like you do the next six words were never written. But it finishes till iniquity was found in the. Other shoe drops Why would Lucifer. In such a exalted position jeopardize his entire freedom. And his eternity to turn against God to undermine the order of heaven like he did why would he do that. Someone once said if you could actually explain it it would open the door to excuse it because there just isn't any excuse. The exercise freedom that he had but did it selfishly. Well we can't fully understand why he fell maybe why he fell so much we do see a process that went on that led to his failure. You can see that going to the text we first referred to in Isaiah Chapter fourteen versus twelve through fourteen How are you fallen from heaven over Lucifer son of the morning. For you have said in in your heart I will ascend and to heaven I will exalt my throwing above the stars of God Who do we see in the stars were the angels I'm going and as exult myself above them I'm going to have control all the angels and I will sit on them out of the congregation on the farthest sides of the North. And that's a description of where God the Father sits. And Lucifer pictured himself being a right there in charge or at least equal with God I will ascend above the heights of the clouds I will be like the most high unbelievable words to me. Lucifer aspired to be like God in his position in his power. In his glory. But not in his character. That was his downfall didn't he didn't get it together when see transgressed. But this is really like. To be like the most high on the biblical point of view in Exodus thirty four verses six and seven God Himself. In is describing himself as he speaks to Moses Exodus thirty four six and seven. The Lord the Lord God merciful and gracious. Long suffering. And abundant goodness and truth keeping mercy for thousands for given in equity and transgression and sin. I wonder that Tex just for a moment think held beautiful that is see how how long suffering our Father is how long suffering the planet US of A should is see how it describes him is as his gracious you know if you've done something wrong and someone comes to you and has to confront you about it. Isn't it that we appreciate it when it's done in such a way that it doesn't rub it in demean us but maybe in such a way that draws us out to be truly sorry for what we did rather than defensive. God the Father is longing to redeem all of us and so and ordered to do that he has to be long suffering and gracious and abundant goodness and and truth keeping mercy for not just a few people but for thousands it is showing it is not limited. And then he's willing to apply that. To where we've had iniquity in transcript Russian and sin and this is the message that we're that we're privileged to be able to give to the whole world this is the kind of God that we're talking about that we're serving this is the kind of God who's law we delight to keep because he does so much for us. Earlier we read the scripture reading Isaiah fifty seven fifteen For thus saith the high and lofty one describing God again the one that inhabited the turn to be whose name is holy I do well in the high and holy place with him also that is a book on trite heart so God a saying the kind of people that will be. Safe to save. People of a cog try to heart and a humble spirit. In that beautiful you know if you are an angel in heaven. And you were part of the group that never sinned you heard Lucifer his appeal you were tempted but you resisted you knew better. And you never fell. And then you see the plan of salvation unfold and you see Earth created and you see people created and you see people fall and you see this world that is just become a terrible mess today. And you look upon all those myriads of people. In the heaven that went through a war once. And only who remained are those who are faithful what you want to think twice who you bring to heaven later from this planet or. Is it any wonder we read in Revelation that that in order to be there we need to be overcomers and that we need to demonstrate that somehow for them to be able to vote to have us be there with them because once we go it's for ever and ever. Want to be fun and joy to find more Bible study contacts that we could tell the story to and invite them to join us as we seek by the grace of God to be ready for heaven and to share it for eternity. Well when you think about Lucifer though he's certainly not with a contrary to humble heart. In John eight verse forty four Do you remember what it calls Him for He is a liar We've got white widow I hope none of us will ever be called a liar but he is a liar. And it says in fact he is the what of it the father of it what a title. But he's earned it and there is no truth in him. Ever since his rebellion he has sought to undermine God's character he's seeking to make him appear as a severe and tie radical person. And Satan's pitches been we don't need his law. It's too restrictive there are other ways to be righteous without following God's commandments. And we hear that today even. Sometimes we hear from people that maybe aren't Christians even they say you know this god thing that might be all right but I handle life pretty well on my own I'm a good dad I pay my bills I pay my taxes. I don't really need God in order to be good and besides where was God in Houston or in Florida or Puerto Rico or California when we needed him and they mock. God. But you know what's sad even worse than that is when you hear people who are Christians. Who go to church on another day. And you hear them saying oh what's this about the law oh you admin as you're always talking the law haven't you heard why you don't have to keep the law. Why the commandments were done away with I mean after all what do you think Jesus did on the cross. Why we live under grace now really. You think about that could they be serious Is there any nation even that dares to operate without laws you think God of order would do away with law why if you see these rogue countries at times words Anarky people aren't even safe to go other homes they're not even safe in their homes there's murder everywhere don't think there's a lot today but you know it's so inconsistent they're not against the law they're just against one part of the law they want to keep nine parts of the not that one part and they just don't want to take the Sabbath and the Devils polish that one for so long that it just comes out of them without them really knowing the true history. That mentality all originated with Lucifer was in heaven and has been his strategy there for since to under a law undermined the law. Well eventually after God gave looser first sufficient time to show his colors one third of all the angels were so messed up rise by him that they joined him in his rebellion. And some what some of us would say. Why in the world didn't God Early on deal with this problem. And I know probably most of you would know the answer but most people out there do not because they wonder that if God is a good God why does he put up with this but we know today that God is a good God and it was his method to let the universe see the results of Lucifer's challenge and it's been painful but it has to go through so we can see the difference. So how is this challenge of Lucifer going to really be settled then how can it be finished in such a way that the entire universe will be able to see that it was fair and that God's character is righteous. Well in Deuteronomy Chapter nineteen starting with her sixteen I'm just going to refer to the principle there in Deuteronomy nineteen verse sixteen through nineteen God lays out a principle to Moses on how to deal with disputes whenever there's a controversy between two people. There should be witnesses a third party that will discern between the two parties I mean after all if two people had serious disagreements with each with each other and one of them decides to be the judge of the other that would be very fair would today we call that a conflict of what conflict of interest we have labels for them today and so the ideal system then is that there has to be a third party or sometimes it courts we talk all that having a jury listen to the evidence and come to a decision so in heaven most a first challenge. Had polarized the angels of the two sides God's way it Lucifer's way. But what adventure they happen is so amazing to me in that is that God has himself been willing to submit this challenge of Lucifer to a jury. A third party. Rather than him settling himself whether we like it or not isn't that amazing. Back and is eco twenty eight were Lucifer really looser of his rebellion was described in verse seventeen it says about him. God out talking about Lucifer I will lay the before who kings. That they may be hold the and that word behold it is that that these kings may wait what you have done. And guess who the Kings are that he is referring to. It's actually us eventually if you go to First Corinthians Chapter six vs wonder three I'll just summarize it no you not that we show judge who angels remember that that we should judge angels. And we know about the thousand years and after the Second Coming in the judgment time and that review time well once Lucifer. Was taken out of heaven. And he was allowed to come to this beautiful perfect earth. Where he saw Adam and Eve had been created perfectly also and they got it given to dominion over the whole world he realized that they might be part of those kings that some day may judge him and he determined to undermine their trust in God so as to disqualify them from serving on the jury so Satan as we now call him which means enemy adversary Satan comes to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And remember his name the father of lies and he lies to Adam and Eve and he tells them you boat guy from eating of this forbidden fruit in fact eating it will open the doors for you like it did me and you can you can be like God and you can judge yourself what is good and evil same thing you did in heaven he brought to Earth and it's still going on you don't have to obey God to be like him but as Adam and Eve ate from that tree they lost their ability to discern between right and wrong in fact now they were just part of it. And they were no longer a law abiding citizens. They were disqualified at least for then. To be part of the jury but you know the good thing about God is that you might sometimes regrettably lose a battle. But that doesn't mean you've lost the war and we don't want to give up and praise God Adam and Eve didn't either. Genesis three fifteen came on after their sin. And there was a promise of the Messiah Jesus would come as a savior and it was he would give humanity help to overcome their sin and rebellion but what a terrible worst followed ever since. I mean you look right back to the Garden of Eden and you see from this beautiful creation and then Adam and Eve's fall. First Peter five eight says your adversary the devil is like a roaring lion. He walked with about and what seeking. Whom he may devour he doesn't care who it is he wants all of us on the same level seeking whomever he will devour its brutal. Imagine the transition with Lucifer he was the first part of the honor guard a covering cherub next to God's throne over the mercy seat of the Ark of the covenant that contained the goddess Ten Commandments and he threw all that away to strike out in his own is not sensible but sin doesn't make sense does it well after Satan beguiled out of many things went like we say sometimes south Cain becomes the first murderer he kills his own brother. God's people begin to intermarry with Pagans and pagan nations the Tower of Babel is attempted by people who refuse to trust God and determined to be a law unto themselves. But in the midst of all those evil things praise God there were gods people that didn't follow the crowd there was people like Seth. Methuselah Noah and Father Abraham all who learned to trust God and obey as law. Today in the midst of a world that has become like Sodom and Gomorrah and more and more lawless and every way God calls his remnant people to honor his law and tell the old old story who to everyone that will listen our message to the world is don't be frightened by the the roaring lion rather fear God respect him the love him and give Him glory we like to quote Revelation fourteen seven Same with a loud voice Fear God to give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment is come and as we just pause before I finish that verse the hour of his judgment is come it goes back to the time we get to be part of the jury. And worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters. God is using people his people already the loud cry of the three angels messages started in different parts of the world praise God people are responding we're finding more and more people who are starting to slow down and think more deeply than ever before the world is changing many bad things are happening but it's calling out people who are honest and heart and there is more opportunity than we've ever had before and it's going to be that way more and more people are responding surrendering reconciling and becoming sound law abiding citizens for heaven and soon to be jurors in the Supreme Court. By the way what is the standard going to be in judgment of course the immutable everlasting law of God and the world is to know that we need to invite people to get into the to come back into the ark now is the Ark of the Covenant and explain to them the importance of that sanctuary service and how it how it shadows what's in heaven and help them to understand this and that in the arc of the Covenant is precious ten commandments of God This is not about legalism the whole shallow concept was a vetted by the Father of Lies the devil this is about loving obedience how do we know that Jesus said Those simple words in John fourteen fifteen we're going to just same with me if you love me keep my commandments. By the way speaking about liars first John Chapter two verses form five covers that he who says I know him. And does not keep his commandments is a liar the truth is not in him but whosoever keeps his word the legalism of God is perfected in him is that finishes not at all the love of God is perfected in it isn't so plain Could it be any more plain how the balance of the law and the love of God all fit together. This great controversy is serious business. We might be right with our doctrines we might know the Scriptures but still the end time intensifying controversy is not going to be easy and we will need to lean on Jesus like never before. Revelation is seven Revelation twelve seventeen warns us and the dragon was wroth RA angry hateful with the woman and went to make war. And he knows how to make war he made war in heaven he is not hesitant to make war on Earth and he makes war with the remnant ever see. And then I know we enjoy the rest of the description who goes around it people are who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus no matter the trial there are such peace when from the heart we love and obey the law of God. I tell you when I study with this friend of mine now Anthony. And I see him Crespin these truths these scriptures it is a thrill it's so precious because it is it is the Word of God and this man is is a well read individual he knows history he knows many things he's studied. He knows about the middle right movement it's just a joy to see where he puts things together and gives them to me is it back and forth David once said if he wrote as particular song one nineteen verse ninety seven Oh how I would love I the law it is my meditation all the day Henri said in one thousand nine hundred one sixty five great peace have they love the law and nothing can offend them. We know that kind of peace don't worry it were a law keeper not for legal istic reasons but because of the love of God we have that peace. Someday. With you I'm looking forward to hearing these words from Revelation. Blessed are they the DO His commandments. And that they may have a right to the Tree of Life Revelation twenty two for. I told you about my friend Andrew. And I have to be honest I enjoyed going to court to stand up for him. Because his character was being maligned. And God intervened in his behalf. Got us looking for a people to stand up for his character has been maligned what a privilege we have to be able to be some day judges in the celestial court of heaven or in the thousand years following the Second Coming of Christ. And for that to happen by the grace of God I know in my heart I need to be an overcomer I need to search my heart as a solace also says and let the Lord help to deal with each of these things that we can be saved to save in heaven is that what you'd like also may God help us as we think about the great plan of salvation and all that God has done and a great. Controversy that we're in and where the law play such an enterable part of it is that it's amazing how much Satan is deceived the world but the wren that people will stand and with a loud cry be able to clarify and make these things here and the honest and hard Joining us is my prayer. This media was brought to you by audio first 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W audio verse or.


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