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A Final Generation Part 3

Steven Grabiner

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Steven Grabiner

President, Outpost Centers International

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  • February 16, 2019
    12:15 PM
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You could tell by the title final generation number 3 that I'm kind of continuing the thoughts that we started a couple of weeks back looking at this idea that there are going to be a group of people that live to see Jesus come we agree with that that's one of the reasons that this church exists because we believe Jesus is coming that's the Adventist part in the name of the congregation but we also believe there are going to be a group of people that will live to see him we studied this a couple of weeks ago in our early morning Bible study going through the Book of Revelation we looked at the 144000 so Jesus is coming there is going to be a group of people and that group of people have a unique role in this world's history simply of the idea part of a group of people that will live to see Jesus come that means they're going to be unique right. That part of that group will not well all those that live to see Jesus come will not taste death according to scriptures there's only been 2 people that have had that experience so again this is definitely a unique group of people and what Jesus is doing now for us in heaven is very important in a couple weeks ago I.D.N. looking at this or I refer to these to this book it's called God's character in the last generation you can get at the A.B.C. if you like and the concerns of the writers is to correct wrong thinking about this final generation and a few weeks ago we looked at some of their concerns. Is there any way that the final generation contributes to God's vindication we looked at Revelation Chapter 12 and we saw that in fact that last group of people although Jesus clearly has vindicated God in his death there is something for you and I to participate in our lives do tell for the truthfulness of the Word of God and that's an important aspect we also looked at. A couple of weeks ago with this idea of absolute perfection or absolute sinlessness and we realize there is no such thing here as absolute perfection the only absolutely perfect being in the universe is to where the god is the only absolute perfect being at the same time God wants you and I to continue to mature in our characters where we come to the point where we would rather die than commit sin that's what God's longing for in our growth in our character our character perfection always based on what Jesus Christ has done the writers have some other concerns and that's what I want to look at this morning can be our last in this short series and one of the concerns of the writers is this they say several times throughout the book that there's a group of people that believe that Jesus is quote exactly like us and that if you overcome somehow that is mirror Torrijos What do I mean by that word meritorious What does meritorious mean well it's got merit OK yeah. But does that mean meritorious. OK it makes you worthy So the concern of the writers is that they feel that some people are saying if you overcome somehow that makes you were the what you do make yourself worthy those both those ideas that Jesus quote is exactly like us or if we overcome that is meritorious both of those ideas we would be uncomfortable with those ideas actually would be. Heretical in a certain aspect to think that Jesus is exactly like us because we sin and he didn't. Or to think that our overcoming is meritorious So I wonder explore this morning is this idea about Jesus and the incarnation but before I do I need to say something else and that is this this argument that there are certain people that are saying that Jesus must be exactly like us or that our overcoming is in the mirror Tory yes is what we would call a straw man in an argument what is a straw man logical fallacies What's a straw man argument no I'm not talking about The Wizard of Oz in the straw man what what. You set up the position and then you attack it and you say for example so just kind of a random illustration here since Richard spoke up of if I were to say. Someone usual thing about Richard what could I say about you. Help me Sue. Yeah you know if I were to say you know that Richard was a racist for example and I were to do a claim that he was a racist and then defended or say how bad racism was well that would be a straw man Richards not a racist but I would be pinning something on him that he doesn't believe in then I would be demolishing that's kind of a straw man argument and it's a bit of a concern to me in this book that some of the authors they say there are people that are arguing that when you overcome that's the meritorious but I really don't know anybody that says that there may be people out there that do but the the concerns of the writers of that book they haven't demonstrated that to me some a little concerned about straw man fallacy straw man arguments if we're going to critique something it would be very important for us to have an honest critique of it would you agree with that that I'm going to disagree with somebody or they're going to disagree with me we should at least all honestly or clearly portray that person's position so this morning what I want to look at is 3 questions with you and I realize this is a sensitive topic. Lot of people might disagree with me on this topic but 3 questions for us this morning what kind of man and when I say man I mean human being here man obviously because Jesus became a man but what kind of man did God become what what religion did Jesus walk into into the yarn incarnation question number one question number 2 is what was God's purpose for the Incarnation Why did God become man and then the last question for us as well how long does God remain man and for me these are very important topics because the humanity of Jesus Christ is very sensitive but it's a very important understood topic for us to understand it it's like the golden chain that links us to God. And we need to approach this topic gently we need to approach it reverently need to study it carefully in scriptures. But Jesus gave real proof of his humanity in his life. So again we approach this concept of Christ in the Incarnation Christ's divinity being clothed with humanity we need to be a little bit like Moses when he approached the burning bush What did God say when Moses came up to burning bush take off your shoes why because you're standing on holy ground and so when we began to ask these kind of questions particularly the 1st one what kind of man did God become one kind of humanity did God assume in the incarnation a little bit like Moses like this is sacred ground but it's a very fruitful study for us and so that's kind of go and you have your Bibles with you on the Sunni So let's ask this question what kind of man did God the common 1st of all let's be very clear that Jesus was not exactly like us because every one of us have committed sin would you agree with that statement yes or no yes and of course Jesus did not so I few verses for you 2nd print the NS 5 verse 21 going to put a number of verses on the screen we won't read all of them all simply refer to some of them but 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 21 it tells us verse 21 speaking about God He made him God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him so here is an exchange Christ knew no sin sack clear. We need to be 100 percent clear on that that any Christ life he never committed sin if he did he would not be able to be our savior that's tremendously clear and that's that's a bedrock foundation teaching that Christ was unique in the sense that he never committed sin. No number of years ago I met a man. He's a pastor now on the West Coast he's kind of changed his philosophy a little bit but I met him a long time ago and I remember when we met we were talking about different things and he said to me he says you know I have not sinned for about 3 months and wow that was kind of like my response was like wow really you just blew it now. So but he is feeling King was that he had gotten to this point where he was completely sinless and that's really dangerous thinking it's a very different thing for me to say that the last generation is going to come to a point where they would rather die than sin and I believe that that the final generation they are going to be willing to lay down their lives they love lost their life on to death Revelation 12 versa Levon we looked at that a couple of weeks ago they're going to come to that point but it's bets a very different from saying I cannot sin because if I come to the conclusion where I think I cannot sin that means all my actions are what they're all right if I cannot sin that no matter what I do is it's right even if what I'm doing is wrong or sinful. And so we may be very careful here. Jesus truly knew no sin. Other passage for us Lou chapter one in verse $35.00 this is the birth narrative where the angel comes to Mary and says that holy thing or the holy offspring that a holy child who is going to be born anew he will be called the Son of God So Christ in His incarnation in his birth he is called that holy thing Holy Child holy offspring and then in Hebrews Chapter 7 let's look here Hebrews Chapter 7 in verse 26. Hebrews 7 in verse 26 describing Christ's work as our High Priest The apostle Paul believes the author of The Book of Hebrews says for it was fitting for us to have such a high priest and then notice the words that the high priest is described in what are those words he's all right what else harmless undefiled innocent undefiled separate from sinners exalted above they have us who does not need like the earthly High Priest offer up sacrificed 1st for his own sins and then for the sins of the people Jesus was holy he's harmless he's innocent he's undefiled separate from sinners in the aspect that he never committed sin so very important for us as we think through this question what kind of humanity did Christ assume clearly Christ was sinless in his actions. For you this is from a magazine called the Youth instructor September 8th 1980 says no one looking upon the child like countenance shining with animation could say that Christ was just like other children you couldn't say that about the child Christ why she continues he was God in human flesh when urged by his companions to do wrong divinity flashed through humanity and he refused decided. So when he was child and he's tempted How does he respond he responds no to every temptation every temptation and so if somebody were to argue I don't know anybody that does but if somebody were to argue Well Jesus was exactly like us that would be an incorrect statement it's not exactly like trust he never said he's not a sinner he continually read Zeus did and rejected temptation and. Important Part of the foundation however when we look carefully at scriptures we find that although Jesus performance was very different than ours he never sinned the equipment that he had was in fact like ours so let's flesh that out with a few texts so Romans chapter one and verse 3 Romans chapter one in verse 3. I will start in verse one Romans chapter one starting in verse one through verse 3 Paul a bond servant of Christ Jesus called as an apostle set apart for the gospel of God which he that is God promised before hand through His prophets and always pictured scriptures verse 3 the Gospel concerning his son who was born how of the seed of David according to out according to the flesh according to humanity declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead according to the spirit of holiness notice what Paul does in those 2 passages he contrasts or perhaps compares born according to the flesh with according to the spirit of holiness in Christ's life he's continually motivated by the Holy Spirit continually demonstrating what God is like but he comes according to the flesh he comes into humanity as humanity is in the world that existed when he was incarnate Let me flesh that out let me fill that out sorry but that's continued here. Romans 8 verse 3 let's pass that accorded for you Paul tells us in Romans 83 but turn with me to Hebrews chapter 2 which is our scripture reading in Romans 83 Paul says that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh he actually uses that expression he says likeness because he realizes that Jesus never sinned but he came into humanity as you and I find it he came into the world with the equipment that you and I have let's look at our scripture reading Hebrews chapter 2 and. If you have a highlighter as our children story brought out a couple of words you might want to highlight in this passage and let's jump back to verse 14 Hebrews 2 going to start back in verse 14 and Paul's been talking about in chapter one he talks about Christ as God equal with God In Chapter 2 he starts talking about Christ in the Incarnation verse 14 Therefore since the children what children oh the children of Abraham humanity therefore since the children share what what do we all share we're all human we're all part of the great human race again that is why Christianity is an inclusive religion and not in Xclusive one because everybody every tribe tongue nation language is invited into the household of God There is no let me say it this way there should be no exclusivity in Christianity Christianity should be wide open come on in faith. And that's what he said therefore since the children share in flesh and blood were all one noticed what else he says here he himself seems a little redundant he himself likewise also part truck of what to say he himself also likewise partook of the same why so many redundant words because Paul's trying to drive home a point and the point is that just as the seed of Adam seed of Abraham to share in flesh and blood Jesus Christ came into the world as humanity was when during the incarnation as we find it today he himself likewise put target partook of the same why that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death that is the devil and verse 15 and mind free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives another part here but many people are under bondage to fear of death you know what does this life have for me and it brings us into this slavery and what Paul is telling us is that Christ has broken that power because he entered into the experience that you and I think he knows the difficulties he knows the trials he knows the temptations he knows the hardships he knows everything that you and I encounter because he walked into our experience that's what Paul say verse 16 are surely he does not give to help the angels but he gives help to the seed of Abraham descendants of Abraham verse 17 Paul's conclusion therefore this is the conclusion notice what Paul says there 1st 17 where is it say he what. Or that's if you have the King James it's got that unique engine English word there what does it. Behooved it be hooved him what does that mean it behooved him I like that word we don't use it very often what does it mean. Served its purpose what it was appropriate someone else have different translation it's it's to our benefit let me read it from the New American Standard is the New American Standard says therefore he had to be made the Greek word that's used there book who've is used in other places in the New Testament to talk about a sense of obligation. A debt for example John 13 where Jesus tells the disciples I have washed your feet therefore you ought to wash one another's feet it's the same word there it's a sense of obligation so what's Paul saying that he was under obligation to be what made like his brethren or you might think you know it's a little over the edge for the Apostle Paul to say that God is under obligation to do anything except that absent Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit so he could write this but what he's saying is it behooved him he was obligated he had to be made like his brother in in how much all things why. So that he could be a merciful and faithful high priest but what Paul's telling us there if we look back again verse 14 he him selfe also likewise partook of the same the same humanity that you and I find ourselves in in verse 17 he had to be made like his brother in all things so that he might become a merciful and playful High Priest and things pertaining to God to make pretty propitiation forgiveness for the sins of the people verse 18 for since he and self was tempted in that which he has suffered he is able to come to the aid of those who are being tempted Have you ever been tempted you know somebody that's tempted he can come to the aid because he entered into our experience he had to be made like us so that he understands our experience and then he comes to the aid those who are being tempted which incidentally who is tempted. Everybody So again there's that inclusive aspect of the message of the gospel he had to be made like this. Now to this teaching. That Christ came into humanity like you and I have that Christ took full in human nature on it this was very clear teaching in the 7 baboons church for well over 100 years at this point in time and have been a sister either is discussions that go on back and forth about it if you'd like more information on the historical background let me know I can give you some literature but again this was just very clear plain administration for a 1st 100 years of history by the way many feel logicians non have been is the logins also see the beauty of this truth for example this is a theologians named Karl Barth's is a German theologian in the 1900 he noticed what he writes There must be no weakening or obscuring of the saving truth that the nature with God assumed in Christ is identical with our nature as we see it in light of the fall so the allergen he's saying the same thing that the incarnation in the Incarnation Jesus had to walk in the humanity that exists in the world when he came into the world that's the humanity that you and I have the one exception is he didn't say and he was tempted and all points like as we are yet he never said I don't know about you but to me that's tremendously good news that that God came all the way down to where I am or all the way down to where anybody is in order that he could raise them up. And that there is that the reach of his his human arm cannot be eclipsed or separated by any Gulf he came and he and braced humanity. Who quotation goes on to say he knows by this is not Karl Barth This is Ellen White writing he knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity what are our wallets and where lies the strength of our temptations for because he was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin you know in life you have different different levels of temptations you know little children have different kind of temptations teenage boys and girls have different levels of temptations early twenty's by the time you get old you know you have righteousness by simulate the where. I'm not there by the way. But in every phase in our human experience Jesus is able to help us goes on to say Are you tempted he will deliver are you weak he will strengthen are you ignorant he will in life are you wounded he will heal he came close to each one of us he was made like his brother and in all points so if we think of the question what kind of humanity did he assume he assumed a humanity like ours he had the same equipment that you and I have yet he never said and because of that he is able to help those who are tempted. So my phone decided to lock up one more time thank you so what's the purpose for the Incarnation couple of Bible verses we won't look at all of these again in our text that we're looking out for our scripture reading one of the main purposes of the the incarnation is that he could be a merciful faithful high priest that he could be our intercessor in the sanctuary in heaven that he can make pro Asian that's a large fancy word which means kind of like an atoning sacrifice that he could he could bring forgiveness to us he could show us what God is really like in the Incarnation Luke 1910 Jesus came into the world to seeking to save that which is lost turn with me to collage in chapter one collages chapter one. Purpose of the Incarnation is a broad topic he came to save us he came to be our High Priest he came to rescue us he came to reveal God not just to humanity but to the entire universe notice this passage Colossians chapter one start in verse 19. Collections one verse 194 it was the Father's good pleasure for all the form this to dwell in him dwell in Christ verse 20 and through him that's through Christ to reconcile all things to himself having the peace through the blood of his cross through him I say whether things are on Earth or what else things in heaven through Christ to reconcile the entire universe back to himself I call that the culmination the great controversy. Where their war began and heavens we've been studying in Sabbath school and that war were erupted over who God is what God's character is like is God selfless is God selfish accusations there can God's law be kept is it impossible to keep God's law and in the Incarnation Christ reconciles the entire universe because he demonstrates who God yes he demonstrates that God is a God of love he demonstrates that God's law can be kept in humanity as long as humanity is fully dependent upon God and that's what we see taking place as one aspect of the in carnation. Next slide please. Book Education Page $73.00 in him was found the perfect ideal he is the only perfect one to reveal this idea as the only true standard for attainment to show what every human might become through the end welling of humanity by divinity for this Christ came to the world why did he come he wants to make you like him this is part of God's plan this is part of God's call this is part of your privilege of being a child of God that the way he interacted with people you can interact with people and the terrible shame is that we begin to think about this when we think about overcoming or think about the last generation we focus so much on on on other xterm all things and not on character but the point we need to be focusing on is character that Christ was the great magnet for humanity I could like to be in his presence the little children love to come into His presence who else. Who to eat with and got in trouble with you know sinners publicans that's collectors you know all those lower class people whoever that might mean in this context whoever is outside the circle those are the ones you try to pull in and that is what God's longing to see in your life and mine that through the indwelling of humanity by developed by divinity Christ in New in the hope of glory that you and I can also show how God looks at how God interact with other people it's our next last question then is how long does God remain man a couple of texts. Just put the 2 checks up on the screen for me thank you Hebrews 724 and then Revelation 1414 let's look back in Hebrews 724. Hebrew 724 again speaking about the priesthood of Jesus Paul tells us here let's reverse 23 through 25 to get the setting in the context. Paul talks about the earthly priests and he says in verse 23 that the former priest on one hand existed in great numbers why because they were prevented by death from continuing very clear that the priests where they were passed away Aaron passed away and all the other priests they passed away but verse 24 but Jesus on the other hand because he continues for ever holds his priesthood how will permanently forever. He became a man Hebrews 2 so that he can become a priest and he holds that priesthood according to this text how long for after the Revelation $1414.00 is a picture of Jesus coming again and it calls in there one like the Son of Man sitting on the clouds so when Jesus comes back he still has his human form how long does God remain man Next slide please notice these 2 quotations from the book desire of ages to are sure you and me have here is immutable Council of peace what a word immutable What does that word mean immutable heaven what is immutable me unchangeable ha you should go to found unchangeable his true assurance of his unchangeable counsel of peace God gave His only begotten son to become one with the human family how long for ever to retain his human nature and you know I read that we think I knew that but we don't understand that at all what are we talking about here a change in the dynamic of the Godhead in which the God man continues as the God man for how low forever why so that you can have assurance that God is faithful to his word ever struggling with Tao darkness is kind of surrounding in questions of what's happening just think of the Incarnation the god stepped into humanity became one with you and with me and he bears that for ever so that you and I could have confidence that his promises are sure this is the pledge that he will fulfill his word and you know something you can't change it. No matter what you do you can't change the incarnation he he did it and he did it so that you will know that he will always fulfill his word Next slide please in Christ the family of Earth and the family of having our bound together Christ glorified is our brother Heaven is in shrine and in humanity and humanity is in the fold and in the bosom of infinite love a beautiful thought the humanity of Christ is everything to us it's important that we approach the topic reverently but it is full of encouragement to us are you tempted so was he you faced with trials and difficulties he was far more and whatever circumstance you're facing he is able to help you he is a merciful and faithful High Priest 24 hours every day he is interceding for you and for me and we begin to question his goodness and question Is love we can just think of the incarnation that this is the token that God's Word is true it's like please. Thinking about this and in relation to kind of our situation politics happening today you know there's this beautiful statue of liberty how many of you ever been to the Statue of Liberty really amazing statue you built in the 800 to get from France to United States and then there is this poem that was written by Emma Lazarus she is a Jewish poet is and she wrote the poem in order to help raise funds to construct the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island it was a gift from France they built it they sent it over but we had to figure a way to pay for it to construct. And so there was fundraising that took place and so he wrote this poem as kind of a fund raiser give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming sure excite send these the homeless attempt tossed tempest tossed to me I lift my lamp beside the golden door I lift my lamp beside the golden door that image I lift my lamp beside the golden door the lamp obviously the torch on the Statue of Liberty the Golden Door being a land of opportunity being United States but I can tell your friends that no matter how much opportunity there is the United States it does not reach the level of invitation that Jesus wants to give but this call here send me your homeless your tempest tossed send them to me send me the downtrodden send me all these people this is open invitation Come here but really the call I'd like to move the call to Jesus invitation to us next live place where Jesus tells us he's really the light of the world he's the lamp and the golden door of opportunity is not just living in the United States the golden door of opportunity is to be with God forever and eternity. And Jesus walked into this world to open that door for every single person and the last generation the final generation are going to reflect that invitation to everyone they are going to be completely in clues because they realize that Jesus entered into humanity not just one strew he became a Jew and then Judea 2000 years ago he came into a certain historical time but the purpose of becoming a human was to reach the entire human race and the last generation the final generation is going to catch that love that that desire that longing for people to be same and it's going to reflect out of every aspect of their life they're not going to be building walls or going to be tearing walls down they're going to be looking for ways that they could reflect the character of God to others want to be part of that final generation I do a group of people that are going to rather die than commit sin a group of people that are living to God's glory a group of people that want to contribute to the vindication that Christ did it cross a group of people that have a message for the world Next slide please those who wait for the bridegroom is coming are to say to the people behold your god the last rays of merciful light the last message of mercy to be given to the world is what it's a revelation of His character of love the last generation are going to be so amazing because they know how to love people I want that I want that to transcend my circle I want that to broaden to the people that I don't naturally love what about you. You know he's calling you know you may feel unworthy of that love but he's calling you to be inside that circle and when you're in that circle he wants you to be a voice to call others in as well want to be part of that group of people my friends that would say to the world behold your god this is what he's really like full of compassion full of mercy full of grace full of righteousness full of Justice calling the OS into a full balanced understanding of God's care for us the children of God are to manifest His glory that's God's call for us relieve our church service we go out into the mission field all around us remember that God's call to you is to manifest God's glory character of life. Think about that the next time you're about to get nearer to him. That he's calling you to reflect. His character. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more service leader Visit W W W audio verse or.

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