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2. Behind the Curtain

David Shin

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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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  • April 25, 2015
    11:30 AM
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He wrote another book called a trip into the supernatural after he wrote that book and Roger Moore No tells his testimony of how he came out of spiritualism and became a Day Adventist Christian he tells some harrowing accounts of some of the experiences that he had in in one of his stories he talks about how he was giving a Bible study after he became a Christian to another individual and he says that in that moment that the curtain was lifted between the visible and the invisible and while he was giving the Bible study to this certain gentleman he said that behind the man that was receiving the Bible study he saw another being that was standing behind him this was not a human being a supernatural being and it seemed that as Roger would relay the contents of the Holy Scripture that this supernatural being would try to influence and counteract the bible study that was taking place at a certain moment Roger says that the being and him had I contact in the supernatural being was startled recognizing that he was now visible to Roger after a moment he kind of shrugged it off and continue to try to influence a bible study the Bible tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood a man but against principalities against powers of darkness against spiritual wickedness in high places and there is believe it or not an invisible reality around us that we cannot see there are evil angels there are. Righteous angels that are all around us and I think that if all of us were able to see the great controversy being played out right before our very eyes it would drive us to our knees today we are continuing in our series of messages called the great controversy and in our scripture reading today we are given a glimpse for a brief moment in which the curtain between the visible and the invisible is taken back and you're able to see a conversation between Satan and God This is the only place I believe in the Holy Scriptures where we're able to see this type of dialogue between God and Satan that is not on planet earth so I want to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles to the Book of Job Job Chapter one Verse 6 through 12 and we want to pick up as this dialogue begins in another place in another time Genesis Genesis but the job Book of Job was written before the book of Genesis Job Chapter one verses 6 through 12 now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan came among them scholars believe that this was a kind of United Nations meeting in the universe the sons of God are representatives from these other places in the far reaches of Gaunt's creation and Satan notice comes as a representative of planet Earth Adam was the original representative but after the fall he forfeited that title and even in the New Testament you'll notice that Jesus refers to Satan as the prince of this world he assumed that title. And in verse 7 you have almost kind of a greeting and initial part it's a nice is it niceties are exchanged as it were and verse 7 and the Lord said to Satan from where do you come so Satan answered the Lord and said from going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it then the Lord said to Satan Have you considered my servant job that there is none like him on the earth blameless an upright man one who fears God and shuns evil So Saint Nance of the Lord and said Does Joe fear gone for nothing have you not made a hedge around him around his household around all that he has on every side you have bless the work of his hands and his possessions am and increased in the land now stretch out your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse you to your face and the Lord said to Satan behold all that he has in your power only do not lay a hand on his person so st in one hour from the presence of the Lord and interesting dialogue you're able to see some of the nuances in the great controversy as you study these passages and I want to invite you at this time to take out your study guide which is in your bulletin and if you don't have one Raise your hand Daniels and inference is in the back in will get you a study guide this is a brief outline of today's presentation it's a study guide and I want to begin with asking some elementary questions about this dialogue which we have just read who were present at this special meeting. Before God verse 6 now there was a day when the sons of God were came to present themselves before the Lord in Satan also came among them so there are 3 parties that are present at this meeting 3 constituents as it were the lord Satan and the sons of God and you will notice that the person on trial in this dialogue is not job it's actually gone as you look at some of the implications and some of the nuances of Satan's argument the person that is really being grilled is gone and we'll get into that a little bit later so this dialogue is taking place between God and Satan and the universe is watching this dialogue the book of Krynn peons tells us that we are made a spectacle before men and angels to the universe is watching this exchange between God and Satan before the sons of God is this interesting and fascinating dialogue what did God point out in Job's life here we get to the crux of a central issue in the great controversy God immediately after exchanging some of the niceties niceties after saying hey where have you come from and then he says come from going to and fro on the planet job is immediately brought up by God he says hey have you considered my servant Joe. That there is nothing like him on the earth and you can fill out your study guide I wanted to highlight this word blameless he's blameless I looked up the word blameless in atheist Saurus and it has some things like irreproachable impeccable righteous So there's something about Job's life his blameless life that validates or then indicates God's sign do you see that yes or no he immediately brings up Job's life he says look he lives a blameless and upright life by the grace of God one who fears God and shuns evil moving on very quickly to our next question look at Satan's response what did Satan claim was job's motive in faithfulness So Saint Mansur the Lord said to job you're gone for nothing have you not made a hedge around him around his household and around all that he has on every sign bless the work of his hands and his possessions and have increased in the land but now stretch out your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse you to your face the implication is the only reason why job or anyone for that matter would serve you is not because of who you are but because of the benefits that you bring. He's living up to and luxurious life and job is attacked by a saint in the insinuation given by Satan is that look if you take away all of the a cure chairmans all of the luxuries all of the benefits then job will have no reason to serve you because God's character is not such that is worth serving that is the assumption in this question and so we have the story unfold what did God allow Satan to do there it is in the Lord said to Satan behold all that he has is in your hand only do not lay a hand on this person so Satan went out from the presence of the Lord job Needless to say is a blip he is to this conversation he has no idea that this quote deal has been struck and the next you verses are astonishing in the rapid succession of loss that job undertakes 7 verses. And you'll notice a phrase that is repeated over and over again and I have the words on the screen because I looked it up in the New Living Translation it's not my favorite translation but sometimes some of these modern translations give us a little bit more of a bite to them and this was no exception the New Living Translation of it on the screen I want to read to you what happens in verse 13 as Satan unleashes his fury upon this poor unsuspecting individual named job after this conversation I have the words on the screen one day when Job sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother's house a messenger arrived at job home with the news your oxen were ploughing with the docks and with the docks and with a donkey. It's been a short night friends have mercy aright your oxen were ploughing with the donkeys feeding beside them when the Sabines raided us they stole all the animals and killed all the farm hands and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you one servant is freed or allowed to live to bear this news to job then it gets worse while he still speaking so as this individual is finishing his sentence of this tragic loss another messenger rise with the news the fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds I'm the only one who escaped to tell you notice that they always attributed to God Even the insurance companies is an act of God. All right the next verse while he's still speaking repetition a 3rd messenger arrived with the news 3 bands of Caledonians Raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants I am the only one who has escaped to tell you and your guest you never guess what the next phrase is. While he was still speaking another messenger a ride with the news and this is the worst news of all he's economically bankrupt which he probably could live with and recover but notice the next words your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home suddenly a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all signs the house collapsed and all your children are dead I am the only one who escaped to tell you parents one can only imagine the devastation that job is feeling in a few moments the time that it took me to read this is the time that Joe found out the devastating news economic bankruptcy and he's lost every one of his precious children Job stood up tore his robe in grief then shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship he said I came naked from my mother's womb and I will be naked when I leave the Lord gave what I had and the Lord has taken away and these last few words are mind blowing are a is the name of the Lord as we go back to our study guide how does the chapter conclude and here is the punch line. Here's the punchline of Chapter one Verse $22.00 in all this and job did not sin nor charge God with wrong this is the punchline that in this argument that started in heaven. Satan makes the claim that if you strip away all of Job's possessions he will curse God and die in other words he will sin but in all this job remained faithful to God Job indicated God by His faithfulness and when we go to the biblical definition of sin I have this in your study guide what is the Biblical definition of sin your member job did not sin and here is the Bible giving us the definition of sin sin is the transgression of the long remember last week the whole great controversy centered on the law of gone Satan claimed that the law of God could not be kept and you can see that the argument and the great controversy that began in heaven has been continued here on earth except it has to do with you and me and somehow in the scheme of this when you and I are faithful to God by the grace of God allow God to write his law within our hearts we validate Gaunts side and you say men this is what the job the Book of Job is implying and here's a quote from our study guide last week I have it this week as well from the beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan's purpose to overthrow the law is gone it was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the creator and though he was cast out of heaven he continued the same warfare upon the earth moving on in the opening of the great controversy Satan had declared that the law of God could not be 0 Bay So we see that the strong lesson in the book of Joe when Joe by the grace of God keeps the law he vindicates before the universe that God's law can be obeyed. That is the central issue in Job Chapter one and I will add Joe Chapter 2 Now if you get a chance one Saturday afternoon I want to encourage you to read through the Book of Job because it's fascinating Job Chapter one chapter 2 begin with this unveiling or you're able to see behind the curtain and then job loses everything and in the next chapter which we will not have the opportunity to time to go into but one encourage you to read it he receives boils all over his body because Satan says look you haven't allowed me to touch him so he receives boils all over his body and still he does not sin and the rest of the Book of Job is beautiful Hebrew poetry but it is existentially troubling because if I were to summarize the next 30 plus chapters in the Book of Job You know what it is why why why I that's a good summary of the rest of the job is like was. And 3 of his friends who are not his friends come and sit before him and say you know what the reason why is because you have sinned that was the common theology of the day is a Y Y Y Y N You can't study this without asking about in explicable suffering because to job this poor guy I mean he's down on Earth minding his own business and suddenly there's a conversation in heaven about the law of God and he becomes the prime target of total loss total bankruptcy and loses all his children and when you look at this theme of the great controversy it seems almost callous. Which we will touch on a little bit next week I mean God is sitting up there on his throne and he says have you considered my servant job. And then Satan says it's not really what you think and then God says OK go for it I'm going to prove that I'm right and so this whole experience of suffering is in capsulated in the Book of Job and no other book of the bible asks more fundamentally the quiz question of the Odyssey the question of how could God allow it this is a question in the Book of Job in the next 30 plus chapters goes on and on why why why it's one thing that job indicates God before the universe now that's nice but poor guy at what personal cost those to us ski who I tried to read by the way 900 pages of one whose books and got through 1st few and he's deep way too deep for me but here's a quote He asks this question if all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony what have the children to do with it tell me please what about the children what am I to do about them he's asking look. I can understand adults suffering for their own decisions many times we suffer because we bring calamity upon ourselves but he's asking look what about the children how can you explain God not intervening when it comes to innocent little babies that are suffering and slaughtered on a weekly if not daily basis. I've gone a number of times to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and I went to the one here in Detroit as well the Detroit area and the one in Washington D.C. in particular is particularly difficult because as you walk through the halls it's very difficult to keep your composure and there's some nagging questions that come to mind at the end of your whole experience there which is quite remarkable when you see how cruel human beings can be there are testimonies on the video screen of individuals that have survived the Holocaust and there is one poignant testimony that I never forgot there was one lady she survived the concentration camps and she's telling the story of one day in the concentration camp as she's behind the barbed wire an S.S. truck comes speeding through the center of the camp and as this S.S. truck is speeding out of the back falls a child a jewish. The soldier stops the car gets out grabs the child and swinging that child like a rag doll slams him against the back of the truck and throws the child into the back and the lady stammering with tears in her eyes she says and that's when I stopped believing in God That's when I stopped believing in God These are questions. That are challenging to answer and I'm not going to be so pretentious here this morning to say that I'm going to answer these questions in a 30 minute presentation but there are very intelligent people out there that are claiming that events like the Holocaust or the genocide in Rwanda are evidence. To God's non existence and here is a quote from the former Israeli Supreme Court justice hom coom and he says I would say in his name that the Holocaust is final conclusive proof that there can be no God If there were a God he would not be a just and merciful God but a cruel and unjust God a God of inequity not a God who does not slumber sleep and watches over his people overall to attribute to God cruelty injustice and inequity we if I may say so should do him the favor of denying his existence the Holocaust to this individual is final prove that god cannot exist because if God did exist being loving and all powerful he would have certainly come down from his throne and intervened certainly in the church in the case of innocent children what purpose does it play and a logical and reasonable question that people can ask is look the great controversy sounds nice and we can say that there are arguments in the great controversy but what purpose does children suffering play in the arguments of the great controversy and I'll be honest with you I really can not have an answer when I study scripture to this question in here is an individual Harold Kushner he believed in God He was a theist and he had a son that had a rare to genetic disease called progeria his son would never grow beyond 3 feet tall never have hair on his head or body it hyper accelerates the aging process or have you seen these pictures of children that look like they're 90 or 95 years old that's exactly what happened to his son and they die at the age of $1112.00 or 13. And as his father lays his son in the grave his whole theology comes crashing down around him because he believed in 2 tenets that are found in scripture a minit buttons in other words God can do anything he has the power to intervene in every situation and the other powerful tenant attribute of God is that he's a God of love he is the very definition of love so not only does God have the ability to intervene he wants to intervene because he is a loving God and hates suffering and so here Harold Kushner is left with a conundrum does he believe in an all powerful gone that has the desire to intervene and these 2 were at 10 in tension as he's laying his son in the grave and this is what he chose he said look I choose to believe in a loving God but not an all powerful God In other words God cares he cares deeply but even God cannot intervene in certain situations his hands are tied he doesn't have all of the power this is the conclusion that Harold Kushner came to David Hume asked this question in a similar way is he willing to prevent evil but not able then he's impotent is God able but not willing then he's metal and is he both able and willing when then is evil in summary of God is perfectly benevolent loving and also omnipotent or almighty why is there any evil in the world why does he permit it now if you will just for a moment. Think about the nature of omnipotence. Means that God can do anything but even of Nippur tense has certain limitations there are things that even gaunt cannot do for instance Hebrews Chapter 6 for it's 18 it is impossible for God to lie Augustine says this We do not wrote Augustine in the City of God less than God's power when we say that he cannot die or be deceived this kind of inability when removed would make God less powerful than he is God is rightly called omnipotent even though he's unable to die or be deceived it is priced precisely because he's omnipotent that for him some things are impossible so fundamentally within the nature of omnipotence there are inherent limitations in order for him to be all powerful Let's talk a little bit about love love has certain properties once you take away these properties it ceases to be love and some very bright philosophical individuals like to ask these types of questions Can God make a triangle with 4 signs if you make a triangle with 4 sides it by nature ceases to be a triangle Can God make a circle with a square edge a circle with a square edge is no longer a circle now I could care less about these questions but here's an important question Can God make a love without choice Can God make a love without choice inherent within the nature of love there has to be free moral will there has to be choice that's what makes love so powerful if someone goes to another individual and takes out a gun and says look you're going to be my wife that's not love friends that's anything but love you have. Gone against one of the fundamental tenets of what makes love love and what makes it so beautiful are 2 individuals voluntarily of their own moral choice choosing to be in a love relationship that's what makes love love and so when you add these 2 together omnipotence and love you see that there are certain inherent limitations within the nature of God Once he chooses to create individuals with the capacity to love him back in other words they have the right to walk away and that's exactly what happened in the beginning now I'm not saying today that God being omnipotent and loving means that there will be evil but it definitely leads to the conclusion that evil is a possibility Ravi Zacharias who's a Christian apologist was giving a lecture at one of our secular universities he goes all over the world and he's done lectures at Princeton Yale Harvard from a theistic stand point of view and at the end of his lecture he got up to answer some questions and a gentleman stood up with some tenacity and challenge Dr Zachary rise and said Dr Zacharias How can you believe in God when there is so much evil in this world doctors act arise said Look could you remain standing all I ask you some questions you've asked me How can I believe in God when there's so much evil in this world if there is evil there must be a good am I right and the man said Yes you're right. If there is good and evil there must be an objective standard a moral law that defines what is good and evil Am I right the man said is your right so if there is an objective standard called a moral law that determines what is good and evil there must be a law giver am I right and the man stood there and said what then am I asking. You see whenever you say that there is I can't believe in God when there is so much evil in this world you are fundamentally assuming the existence of God logically and philosophically speaking because without God there is moral no moral law without no moral law there is no definition of Good and Evil and some atheist have been asked the question look is there evil and they say no because they know once they say there is evil they will have to assume that God exists one atheist was asked Look if I placed a child in front of you and killed the child would that be evil and the man said I would not like it but it wouldn't be evil and the person said look there's something within your nature that is crying out to you saying this is not right that's why you're saying I would not like it when we go through this dialogue it's important for us to recognize that within all of us there are certain things in our world when we read the news when we look at the headlines when we see some of the atrocities and devastation that are on this planet that we within our nature it cries out and says this is not right this is wrong this is evil this shouldn't be happening and that I believe. Leads us to the conclusion that the existence of evil and the existence of a loving omnipotent God are not incompatible realities Now this does not answer all of our questions in when you look at the Book of Job job's asking a lot of questions and you will notice that inch Job Chapter 38 going back to our study guide God finally answers but it's not an answer that you would suspect Job Chapter 30 verse 3 fill it out in your study guide how does God answer job's question regarding suffering he says I will question you and you shall answer me now if you look through Job Chapter 38 you will see that there are 64 consecutive questions in rapid succession where were you when I created the heavens and the earth where were you when I loosed Orion's ban or let go of police at the sea goes on and on and on and on and on to which job answers look come to think of it there are a lot of things in life that I do not understand yet I accept and the implication in the Book of Job is God is saying to Joe Look there's a lot of questions in regards to suffering that you're just going to have to trust me that's the answer in the Book of Job What I have revealed about my nature my character that God being a God of love there's plenty of evidence is for that reality you're going to have to trust me with the things that you do not understand there's a lot of things in life that I don't understand I don't understand how my Toyota Prius. Works I understand very little about any car for that matter but I still choose to get in that car every single day and drive it right I don't understand how the Internet works I don't understand how I can talk into a block of aluminum with a glass plate on the front and talk to someone in South Africa but I still use the phone God's point is simply this there are plenty of things in life that you do not understand yet you accept and God is saying to job look children suffering your own children being lost all of these things genocide the Holocaust these are tough questions and the Book of Job has no direct answer job is never given God's response God is simply implying trust me when you go to the end of the story this is quite remarkable job Chapter 42 verse 12 you 13 fill it out in your study guide now the Lord blast the latter days of job more than his beginning for he had 14000 sheep 6000 camels 1000 yoke of oxen and 1000 female donkeys he also had 7 sons and 3 daughters this is the end of the story the beginning of the story job has everything he loses everything so at the end of the story he is resorted everything that he has lost and what God is saying is look you know the beginning of the story you know that in the middle of this story there is going to be lost lots of questions in regards to suffering that you will not have all of the answers to but he says Hold on hold on I promise you I'm going to give you the end of the story. I'm going to restore to you everything that you've lost plus more hang on hold on and in the same way even last even restored we know the end of the story a man by the grace of God and when we get to heaven I believe that God will take back the curtain and we will have every single answer that we did not have in the present here and now God is saying trust me hold on I'm going to give you enough evidence on which to base your faith but that's what makes faith faith he never removes the possibility of doubt this quote from the book of education I want to close with not until he I want to add we stand in the light of eternity will he see all things clearly God says Trust me because when you're standing on the sea of glass in heaven and you look back on this experience you know you'll be able to see it in a new light in which the curtain is removed and God says I promise you I will give you every answer to your question Amen praise God and stand together as we prepare to close you this morning. Spare a heads every had bowed in eyes closed on to make a simple appeal here today perhaps there is someone here that has experienced loss in their life. Perhaps you personally have gone through some suffering. And you have. Some logical questions for God. Not different than job and you're saying Lord why why is this happening to me. And today you want to say Lord. I don't understand but help me to trust you. I believe help my other unbelief and you won't say Lord. Please help me to hang on. Me to trust. Me to believe me. I want to say that I want to invite you just let your hand up here this morning the quietness of your own on God bless your friends is the Lord help me to trust. A last appeal is this. You want to be there when Jesus comes. But you're not sure if you were to died today. That you be saved. And you want to have the assurance. You can walk out of this room today with that assurance USA Lord please I want to have the assurance of salvation. Please take my heart for I can't give in when Except you as my Savior wanted by you to come forward for a special prayer this morning God bless your friend was the Lord come into my heart today I want to accept you as my Savior. Belief save me by your grace as a someone here today. I want to say that. This is between you and the Lord and you want to say Lord please save me by your grace come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay there's someone here today I want to make that profession before the Lord say Lord bless your burning. Bush. Amen let's parents together as we bring. Our Father in heaven we thank you that you are a loving god. That you are a merciful God. That you are an all powerful god. Lord recognized today that there are people that are going through immense trials and. Suffering that we can only imagine. We thank you for the promise. That one day you will give us the answers. We pray that you would help us in the mean time. To never let go. To trust you. To believe in the invisible. To believe in a God of love. A god that is long suffering. Help us in the valleys in those moments that we're tempted. To falter believe in. On the everlasting arms. We praise you for being our gaunt in our Savior the author in the finisher of our faith. We ask these things in Jesus' name. And for his say. 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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