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The Big Picture of Bible Study

Ivor Myers

Presenter

Ivor Myers

President and Founder of ARME Ministries and Pastor of Templeton Hills Church

Conference

Recorded

  • May 29, 2010
    3:15 PM
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We should open up with the word of prayer and we’re going to talk because you guys are here to learn how to study the Bible. Right? And what if I told you that you can have a totally different, you know, attitude, a new way of Bible study in 90 days. How many of you would be excited about that? Ok. 

 

Let’s pray and let’s get started. 

 

HEAVENLY FATHER, we come before YOU this time just thanking YOU for YOUR Word, thanking YOU for YOUR Truth. LORD, we just ask that YOU would just tabernacle with us LORD as we look into the deep issues of the word of GOD. LORD, guide us, give us understanding and prepare our hearts LORD to be transformed. We pray this in JESUS’ name. Amen.

 

I have two presentations that I’m going to be doing specifically on how to study the Bible. This is the first. The second one will be my session tomorrow at ‘I don’t remember what time it is;’ but the second one will be tomorrow. And what I'm going to do in this presentation today is I'm going to share with you what I believe is the most important method of Bible study that you can possibly use. - What I believe is the most important method of Bible study. I will let you know that I came to the church in 1995 or 96. And for the first 5 or 6 years or so, and I remember that I'd go and speak. And as I go and speak places, people would come up to me afterward and say you know, “Pastor, how long you been in the church?” So, I tell them, “5 or 6 years,” and they say, “We don't get it. How do you come up with the things that you've come up with? How do you break open the Scripture like that?” And I would always point to, you know, techniques “this is how you do this and this is how you do that.” 

 

And I had an experience that changed the way that I studied the Bible. And I can tell you that the method of Bible study that GOD eventually taught me, I would learn more in one session of this particular type of method than I had maybe in all my experience prior. Do you follow that? In this method of Bible study, I would learn more in one session than many sessions that I would be involved in previous to this. So, as I was contemplating in and realizing I wanted to share some different things with you and some things happen, you know, what I need to know that at least two studies in with you that deal specifically with ‘this is how you study the Bible.’ I thought I need to condense this and I wanna give it to you so that you can be a new you in 90 days. Anybody want to be a ‘new’ you in 90 days? How does this sound - a deeper you in 90 days? 

 

Okay. There are more chairs that are coming in. So for those of you that are standing at the back, just be patient and we’ll get those chairs coming in. 

 

Okay, I have entitled this seminar - The Big Picture of Bible Study. The Big Picture of Bible Study. People usually ask me, “Pastor, how is it that you find these gems in the Bible?” And you know, what is the secret? What is a secret? How do you study the Bible? How do you come off, how do you find these gems, and how can I do the same thing? And I would say that, you know, there is a serious problem. A lot of people face a problem of how to study the Scriptures. Let me ask you, do you have that problem? Anybody here’s like, “Yeah, I have a real problem. I really want to know how to study the Scriptures and I feel like my mind just, you know, it's just, I don't see those things.” 

 

And then when I hear someone say, “Aha, how come I didn't see that ever?” Ever had that experience? Yeah? Okay. So, in order for us to find the remedy for this problem, right, we must identify the cause of the problem. And so the question then is ‘What is the cause of the problem?” I would suggest that the cause is a lack of sensitivity – a lack of sensitivity. The mind is unable to grasp, to see, to sense. Have you ever had experience maybe once or twice or you know, you're reading the Bible and you look at a verse and you know that normally you would've read over the verse; but something said, “Stay right there” and in your mind, you're like “I sense something here” but I'm not sure what it is. Have you ever gone through that experience in your Bible study? Where it feels that you are on the verge of discovering something, a gem? 

 

Well, I believe that the problem that many of us have is that we are weak minding. Now, don't think that offensively. What I mean by weak minded is that the mind needs to be strengthened in order to be able to grasp spiritual truths. The mind must be strengthened in order to grasp spiritual truths. Many of us have what I call a lazy mind or a lazy eye. And you know, you we read something in the Scripture and unless it is some truth that jumps right out of us, we’re not gonna look or even think something is there, right? And so we read the Scriptures and we wait for something big to jump out. And we say, “Oh, I see that” but very often we’re not willing to persevere and do what? Strain the mind to focus on a particular verse or thought and actually grasp or dig for that gem. And so here's what we need to consider. And what I have here is I have some quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy. Actually that's all I'm going to be reading today - quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy that are going to lead us into that precious exercise of Bible study, something that at first, you will may be like “ha, you build me up and this all that you’ll tell me;” but I guarantee you that if you do this your Bible study habits, your method of reading the Scriptures in 90 days will be totally revolutionized. 

 

Are you ready? Listen. I don't have those (quotes) in there because I just pulled these quotes together like an hour and a half ago. I'm sorry. Let me tell you something, my church knows this. There are times where I mean I’m pretty much always studying the Bible, there are times where it will be Friday night and I’m like, “LORD, You know that tomorrow, I have to preach a sermon, right?” And the LORD, “I know, I’m just teaching you to trust Me.” And there have been times where it was 6 o'clock Sabbath morning and I’m like, “LORD, You know that I do have to preach in just a few hours” and then I get up there and preach. And people are like, “Pastor, how long ago …” Yeah. And I don’t know why the LORD has done that with me, but HE has done with me for the last I don't know since I've been preaching. Seriously, like I just gotten used to, I mean, you know, trust me, it's a mind-boggling being because, you know, sometime I have nightmares of getting up in front of people and having nothing to say. But the LORD keeps me dependent upon HIM. Amen. So, anyway, I can get these notes to you, you know, some other way at a later time, if you so choose; but just write them down.

 

Counsels on Health page 405 – Ellen White says this: “Let not intellectual slothfulness close out your path to greater knowledge. Learn to reflect as well as to study (Listen to this. Listen to this now) that your minds may expand, strengthen, and develop.” “Wow.” “Wow.” Now, maybe you’re saying, “wow, what?” Page 405. Wow to what? Ellen White tells us that the mind can expand.

 

Let me ask you something. If I had a cup that was this big and that wide and I would say, “I’m thirsty, would you fill my cup?” How much water would you get? This much. But if my cup could expand, right? And now, my cup is this big, and I say, “Fill my cup.” Are you getting the picture? In other words, we’re being told here that the mind has the capacity to expand and to strengthen. 

 

Anybody who lifts weights here or ever lift weights? Okay, you know what it's like when you have a weak muscle, you can’t lift. But if you, what? Exercise. What happens to that muscle? It grows and is able to grasps heavy things that it could not grasp before. Are you with me? So think of the mind, if you will, as a muscle. And if we are lazy with the mind, we’re not gonna be able to grasp heavy things, right? So, how many of you want a mind that is able to grasp heavy things? Yeah. So, when you have a mind that is able to grasp heavy things, you can read something in the Scripture and whereas those who are weak minded, (and remember I’m not using that term in a derogatory way, the way that you usually think “oh, you’re weak minded.” I simply mean - unable to grasp heavy truths if you're reading the Bible.) A person with a weak mind and a person with an exercised mind can read the same verse and the person with the mind that has been exercised can look and go – “Glory to GOD” and the other person will “What are you talking about?” Right. Okay. So we understand that I want to expand or to exercise my mind. 

 

Notice what is said here. Review and Herald, September 30, 1890, - “By dwelling upon the revelation, HE had made Himself [that is JESUS], we may behold something on HIS greatness and majesty. The more we contemplate HIS character, the more will our minds be expanded to take in the grand and solemn plan of redemption.” So, what is the problem? What is the problem? We’re not what? Contemplating. We’re not contemplating. We want things easy. You know fast food? Right now, right away, my way. Do I have to work on this? Do I have to contemplate? Do I have to actually spend time thinking? No, I just want to be the … I just wanna get the truth. Just give it to me. But as we expand the mind, as we meditate, or as we contemplate HIS character, the more our minds will expand. So, what should our prayer be? Like the prayer of Jabez – “LORD, expand, enlarge my territory.” Right? Because as your territory, as your mind is exercised, it expands and is then able to take in things that you were not able to see and to understand before. How many of you want to get into this exercise program? Anybody of you heard the P90? P90 – 90 days to a deeper you. Exercising the mind and saying, “LORD, expand my mind so that I can have a deeper appreciation for the word of GOD.”

 

Listen to what it says. This Day with GOD or Gospel Workers page 76 - How do we enlarge in the territory? The Bible, she says, should be diligently studied. The truth of GOD, like gold, is not always lying right on the surface, it is to be obtained only by earnest thought and study. This study will not only store the mind with most valuable knowledge but will strengthen and expand the mental powers and will give a true estimate of eternal things.

 

May I share some things with you? Most of you probably know that I did not go to school to get an education on how to study the Bible. So as you guys are sitting here asking me, how you study the Bible, I had nobody to ask. All I could depend upon was who? GOD and the Bible. That's all I have. Now, I know that I will get myself in trouble because “Oh, you didn't go to school, so how could you really be teaching if you don't have a degree in theology?” I’m gonna come back to that in a moment. But what I’m sharing with you is this: if GOD could teach me how to dig into the Bible, then what do you think HE can do with you? Amen. You can go to school and you can learn from school, yes, all that. But if you don't have the privilege to go to school for theology, that does not eliminate you from being able to understand the deep things of the word of GOD. Amen. 

 

So, there must be something then available to every person that desires it. You wanna go deep? You wanna understand the Word of GOD for yourself? There must be something that we can do and we are learning that that thing is to what? Contemplate. Exercise the mind. In other words, I know, you may wanna say, “Pastor, what about the usage of words? And what about the concordance? And what about this…” What I’m telling you, before, we'll talk about that tomorrow, but before we get there, there was something way more vital. And we're reading about it here - expanding the mind. 

 

And how do we expand the mind? We just read - through the study of the Scriptures. But I want you to notice here. It also goes on to talk about or rather let me ask this way: How are we to expand the mind? What are we to do while we are contemplating? And I want you to listen to what she says here: Fundamentals of Education. Here's what she says – “The unfolding of GOD as represented in JESUS CHRIST furnishes a theme (A what everyone? A theme) that is grand to contemplate. What does it mean a grand to contemplate? Grand. What does word mean? Big. Grand to contemplate. Now, if your mind is like this, but this theme is grand, is there a problem? In order for you to grasp that theme, what you have to do? Think Big. No. Your mind has to expand. “LORD, help me to grasp…” She uses the word ‘this theme’, these themes. “LORD, help my mind to expand so I can grasp these themes.” 

 

It says, the unfolding of GOD as represented in JESUS CHRIST furnishes a theme that is grand to contemplate, and that will, if studied, sharpen the mind, and elevate at ennoble faculties.

How many of you want a sharper mind? The more you contemplate the themes of the gospel is sharper the mind will be. You want a sharper mind? Contemplate the grand themes. Page 450. 

 

Here’s the next one. Counsels to Churches, page 207. As a means of intellectual training, the Bible is more effective than any other book or all other books combined. Listen to this. The greatness of its themes… The greatness of its themes is what? Let me ask you something. Did you remember what we've been talking about over the last couple of days? What did we talk about with the great controversy? We talked about the what? The Big Picture. Didn’t we? We talked about the theme. Let me ask you, what did we do with that theme? What did we do with the big picture? We saw, we traced the great controversy in a thematic way, right? And what happened? Many of you said, “I've never seen it like that before.” Why? Because you are studying the what? The theme. Do feel like your minds, as you were listening, do you feel like your minds are expanding? As you are listening? Did you see like as you watching the great controversy unfold before your eyes and seeing the theme, may be for the first time, in a connected picture, did it feel like you’re “aah. I get this now.” “Oh, yeah, this is gonna be exciting to share to my friends and family.” Did anybody think that? Why? Because you are focusing, you’re contemplating on the theme. 

 

So listen to what she says, “The greatness of its themes, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the beauty of its imagery quicken and uplift the thoughts as nothing else can. No other study can impart such mental power as thus the effort to grasp this stupendous truths of revelation. The mind thus brought in contact with the thoughts of the Infinite cannot but expand and strengthen.”

 

Beloved, I guarantee that what I'm giving you here is the number one thing you can do to enhance your mental ability to grasp the deep things of GOD. Not a concordance. Yes, a concordance will help. But not a concordance, not the commentaries. All those things are vital in terms of understanding the Scriptures and doing which you can do to study. (We gonna talk about those things tomorrow. Emmanuel Becks talked about those things already.) But the most important thing that we can do is strengthen the mind so that we can grasp the deep things of GOD. 

 

Counsels to Teachers page 341. Those who are seeking the righteousness of CHRIST will be dwelling upon the themes of the great salvation. Dwelling upon the what? The themes of the great salvation. The Bible is the storehouse that supplies their souls with nourishing food. As they meditate upon the incarnation of CHRIST, as they do what? Meditate. 

 

Let me ask you something. Isn’t that “meditate” that cursed New Age word? As Christians, we don't meditate, do we? Do we? (No.) That’s right. We don't meditate because we are Christians. And that's why many of us are so shallow. The devil has taken the word meditate and applied it to what? To New Age. So that Christians, “Oh, no, we don’t meditate.” Well, really? How else do you contemplate the great themes of the Bible unless you meditate on it? Are you with me? And so, no, as Christians we are called to meditate, not after the same way that they do it – “Enter your mind and don't think of anything.” No. We are to meditate upon the grand themes of the Bible. They meditate upon the incarnation of CHRIST. They contemplate the great sacrifices made to save them from perdition, to bring in pardon, peace, and everlasting righteousness. The soul is aglow with these grand and elevating themes. Holiness and truth and grace and righteousness occupy the thoughts. Self dies and CHRIST lives in HIS servants. In contemplation of the Word, their hearts burn within them as did the hearts of the two disciples while they went to Emmaus. 

 

You want a heartburn? 

 

Can I tell you something? There are sometimes that I'm sitting down in prayer and I am meditating. And if you were to look at my face, this is what you would see: … “What? Heartburn.” Beloved, these are those times that you set aside the things of the world and say, “I am going to just sit down and just contemplate/meditate upon the theme of the gospel - meditate upon the cross of CHRIST.” I mean themes are so many. You can just pick on something. “I think I want to meditate on CHRIST's incarnation.” “No, I think today, I’m going to meditate on HIS love, HIS immeasurable love.”

 

And beloved, as you sit down and spend, not one minute. You know what New Age know? New Ages know… Anyone here knows a New Age that meditates? You know that when they meditate. I’ll tell you that to them like 20 minutes of meditation is warm-up time. Okay. Twenty minutes of meditation is simply empty your mind. It’s kind like drilling, you know. When you begin drilling, you know you’re not drilling deep. You have to spend time going deeper and deeper and deeper. They understand, yeah, 10, 15 minutes - that's just what my stretching. You know what we do as Christians in our exercise - spiritual exercise program - we stretch and never get to work out. What are you doing? Stretching. Ten minutes of warm-up. Ah, ah, do my jumping jacks, and then Amen. All right. You gonna workout? No. I stretched already. That’s what we’re doing. We’re warming up, but we never get to the place where the SPIRIT of GOD can begin to penetrate our minds and reveal to us things that are just absolutely…

 

Let me tell you something. When I began study like this, I began discovering things that I knew for a fact I would not have discovered, if I had spent 30 years on my own without the SPIRIT studying the same thing.

 

I have a quote here. Let me try to find it. You've heard this before. Maranatha page 23 – GOD can teach you more in one moment by HIS HOLY SPIRIT than you could learn from the great men of the earth.

 

Beloved, do you realize that one of the reasons why we are not going deeper in the word of GOD is because we’re not the taking the time to contemplate? Give it to me some other way. Give me a concordance. Okay, I can give you a concordance; but, that would be the equivalent of like, you know, studying the Bible without praying. You can study the Bible all you want; but, if you don't pray before you study, you’re gonna get less out of it than if you study. And if you prayed one minute before you studied, you’ll get less out of it than if you pray 5 minutes before you studied or 10 minutes before you studied. 

 

However, there is an even deeper way to study than praying and then studying. It is praying and studying. It is going down. Yes. There are times when I have my Bible in my hand and I'm praying; but as I'm praying, the LORD is beginning to bring Scriptures together in a way that I know I would've never connected myself. Did you understand? This thing really boils down to your connection with GOD and your willingness to have the SPIRIT of GOD expand your mind. 

And we know, please don't get me wrong here, I’m not saying that we don’t need, you know, other tools and of course anything. You know, some people are kind of afraid because, “Well, how do you know if what you’ll come up with is in the Bible?” Well, you test it by the Bible, right? To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according this Word, it is because there is no light in them. So, know that if you begin to think or contemplate on something that cannot be proven by the word of GOD, what you're thinking on and what you're contemplating on is junk food. You're wasting your time. Your mind is actually getting bloating, not expanding, right? 

 

So, we begin to understand that in order for us to exercise the mind so they can become strong enough to grab heavy things is that we must spend time contemplating the grand themes of the Bible.

 

Counsels to Teachers, page 462. The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with Scripture. The students should learn to view the Word as a whole and to see the relations of its part. I love this. You know what we did yesterday? We looked at the great controversy as a what? Whole. And then we look at the relation of each of its parts. We saw the whole picture and then the millennium made more sense to us. And the fall from heaven made more sense to us because it was all connected to the big picture. 

 

Let me say something about big picture for a moment. I have to tell you this because, you know, GOD uses our past in a way that will glorify HIM. You know that? I used to be a martial artist. Some of you know that. Yes. And some you may have read the book that I wrote called the Christian Arts of War. You know what GOD did? HE took my martial arts background, showed me the error of it, but then showed me – “Look, that is really a counterfeit of a genuine war that as Christians we are called to fight.” And so GOD took something from my past and said, “I’m gonna use this as an object lesson for a reality for your present.” 

 

Here's why I shared that. My best friend and I, when we were younger, we had these vivid imaginations. And we were movie junkies. So, we would always, you know, I’m talking about like six or seven years old. His name is T and I’d say, “You know, T, imagine this: it's me and you in the desert alone.” And we’re coming up with all these crazy, you know, scenarios. We had these vivid, vivid imaginations. And always at the end of our stories, we would scream together- “Aaaah.” We just get excited. So, if you wonder where I get it from… You understand? I mean, we were just, we were just… You know if we heard some song playing, you know, song that really grip us, “Listen to this, it’s me and you in the classroom, some kind of creature come out of the floor and all the kids run away and it's me and T, the only ones to defend the whole classroom.” This is the kind of imagination that we had. Okay. They were just like 10 in the Richter Scale. I mean it is just out there. And so, when I began to understand, I mean, that’s why things like Star Wars and, you know, all these different movies, they gripped me because I would consider the themes. What everyone? The themes. And the themes to me were so like “What?” My friend is a movie producer today. My best friend. And I just thought about it. I said, “Man, my best friend does not know the Ultimate Theme.” And here we are taking two separate paths; but I'm still as excited but this time for something that is genuine. 

 

So you see, beloved, when I come to the word of GOD, I can't help but see it in panoramic vision. You understand? I can't help but consider the themes. And it’s the theme that makes me go, “Oooh.” It’s the themes that get me excited because when I think now about the lake of fire, I’m not looking at it as “Oh, that’s the doctrine of the lake of fire.” I’m seeing it in the light of the big picture. You understand what I’m saying? I’m seeing it in light of the theme. Beloved, in my mind, I’m hearing that that. I'm seeing that in all its drama. I’m seeing the tears of the saints. I’m seeing them as they weep for ones that they love. I’m seeing the wicked as they are contemplating what they have rejected. It is like… And beloved, it is this theme that when you begin to see the theme, your mind begins to expand and now when you take that mind expanded by the SPIRIT of GOD, you’ll say, “Pastor, that’s imagination. Imagination is wrong.” Did you know that Ellen White says that CHRIST reached the hearts of the people through the imagination

 

“When I come again, I will separate the sheep from the goats.” Ha? Sheep from the goats? Think about it. What kind of picture does that create in your mind? It creates. You’re thinking sheeps and goat? No. HE’s talking about human beings. JESUS says “I want you to use your imagination.” 

 

Listen. Desire of Ages, page 254, Through the imagination, HE [that is CHRIST] reached the hearts. Anybody here have an imagination? Do you know GOD tells you to use your imagination? When you meditate upon HIM?

 

Isaiah 26:3 says this – “Thou wilt keep HIM in perfect peace, whose mind is (what?) stayed on Thee…” Anybody here who has a King James Bible? Tell me what the word for mind is in your margin? Look in your margin and look at the word ‘mind’ and tell me what you see. Look in Isaiah 26:3. Look at the word ‘mind,’ tell me what word is in the margin for the word ‘mind.’ Anyone have it? Just yell it out. Okay. No, you got it? What does it say? Thought or imagination. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace on whose thought or (what everyone?) imagination is stayed on Thee. There's a reason why the devil is after your imagination. There's a reason why he's got Hollywood out there doing what they're doing. There's a reason why he’s got all these video games going. It’s because if he can capture your imagination so that you do not use it where you are supposed to use it, it will be impossible to expand the mind.

 

I'm getting there to the close. I must give you this. How much do we have left? Fifteen minutes? Yes. Excellent. Here we go. 

 

“The plan of invention, by which the merciful divine-human Redeemer rescued man from the thralldom of sin, is beyond the comprehension of men or of angels. It is indeed a mystery so surprising, so grand, so sublime, that we can never hope fully to understand it. CHRIST's sacrifice for fallen man has no parallel. It is the most exalted, sacred theme on which we can meditate.” Beloved, as we begin to meditate on it, as we begin to meditate upon these deep heavy broad themes, what’s gonna happen to our minds? They too will become broad. They too will expand. And beloved, as we apply everything we have, all of our energy, going down in prayer and using your imagination, and when the Bible talks about the children of Israel crossing through the Red Sea, you go down and like a little child, yeah, like a little child, imagine that scenario and ask the LORD to speak to you, to show you the grand theme of what it means to cross over the sea. I'm telling you, you will come out with themes, you'll be like “How can I explain this?” How can I put into words what the SPIRIT of GOD just spoke to my experience?

 

Do you know what Ellen White often says, “I lay down my pen because words fail me when I contemplate…” (Here’s the word she used) - the grand and glorious themes of the gospel.” You pick the theme and GOD will begin to show you incredible things. 

 

You know, I’ll share these with you. I’m gonna share two examples with you, then we’ll close. One example. By the way, how many of you are ready to do P90? Prayer 90, right? Meditate, study, pray 90 days to a deeper you. Take a Before picture and an After picture. 

 

And so one night, I’m praying and this is a fulfillment of that very verse - GOD will teach you more in a moment, than you can learn in a lifetime through the great men of the world. So, I’m praying one particular night or one morning, it was that actually was. And I remember, as I was praying and was listening for the voice of GOD and contemplating, that I suddenly heard this and some of you may have heard me say this before, bear with me. I suddenly heard the voice of GOD and in an audible way said to me, “33 and a half years and a day.” I remember hearing that voice and I said to myself, “33 and a half years and a day, LORD, what is that?” And HE said it again, “33 and a half years and a day.” And the second time, HE said it; it was like an explosion went off in my mind. I jump up on my prayer, I was just like “Wooh. Wait a minute.” I got my Bible, I opened it up and I began skimming from Matthew all the way through it to John. I was just skimming, and as I was skimming, I was going, “Oh, my goodness. Oh, goodness, wow.”  I can't believe this. I was verifying what the voice has said to me – 33 years and half and a day. And here is what the LORD showed me: That the life of CHRIST which was how long? 33 and half years is a pattern by which you and I can live out every day. So, think with me then. When CHRIST, you know, first thing that – We have CHRIST incarnation, CHRIST being born. Let me ask you, what is the first thing we are supposed to experience in the morning? We are to be born again, isn’t that right? And beloved, as I went, I have an entire study called 33 and a half years and a day that goes through the entire life of CHRIST and shows how each one of those themes represents an area of our life at some point of that day. For example, toward the end of CHRIST’s life, HE partook of the last what? Last Supper. And you know when you think of the Last Supper, HE gathered around HIS disciples. Do you know what we should be doing in the evening, as we eat, we should gather around our family? Do you know that after the Last Supper JESUS went and HE prayed in the garden? Do you know what we should be doing before we go to bed? Praying. Do you know that as JESUS closes, as JESUS went to death, you know, as we close our eyes laying on a bed, you know, we should be praying, “FATHER, into Thy hands, I commit, Watch over me, LORD.” As we sleep, we should be contemplating HIS death. Okay. All right. Come on. Think with me. What happened after JESUS’ death? HE was resurrected. Amen. And, but, remember there were Roman soldiers around the tomb trying to stop HIM from resurrecting, but the angels came and said, “JESUS, Your FATHER calls You.” Guess what happens in the morning. You are to get up because your FATHER calls you. And understand that there are demonic angels standing around your bed, so as you’re sleeping and the alarm clock goes, they’ll pick up your head and push the news button. “Keep him in his bed. Don’t let him get up.” Are you with me? And Mary, she comes to touch JESUS. And JESUS said, “Don’t touch me, I have not yet ascended…” Beloved, before we get off and go off our business and do all our things, we ought to say, “Don’t touch me. I've not yet what? Ascended.” Beloved, listen to me, GOD spoke that to me in one sentence. Do you understand what I just said? In one sentence: 33 years and a half in a day. “What LORD?” 33 and half years in a day. GOD can teach you more in a moment. HE’s trying to expand your mind so that HE can give you deeper truths. 

 

Exercise your minds. HE wants to show you the grand themes. There’s the theme of warfare in the Bible. There’s the theme of wedding in the Bible. 

 

I’ll close with this. Here, this is one that I love. I’d contemplated on this and I loved this picture so much, you know. Jesus… Let me ask you this? Have you all, any of you ever experience? I got to tell you the story. My older brother, he is 6’9” and he graduated from Penn State University and he was going to propose to his wife-to-be. And so here's how he proposed. It is really neat. Stacy is her name. She was graduating the year after. And so at the graduation, my brother had me and a friend of mine do this big, you know, banner. And so at the graduation, Stacy is getting ready to walk across the aisle to get her diploma and all of a sudden, this is at Penn State. All of a sudden, you heard “huh, huh, huh” and then people start pointing, they’re pointing up in the bleachers and there is my brother, 6’9” with his banner unfolded – ‘Stacy, will you marry me?’ And that’s when… 

 

So, listen, women, have you ever met a guy, it might be your husband right now. And when you first saw him, you’re like, “I don’t like you.”  And he’s like, “Man, she's really pretty and I wanna try to…” “Hi!” You’re like, “You’re not my kind. I don’t like you. You’re ugly. Leave me alone.” And he’s undaunted. “I think she's just playing hard to get.” And he keeps trying and you’re telling your friends. You sit down in a restaurant and there he is outside the window. You know and then and then one day, he does that thing. We don't know what that thing is, but he does that thing, you know, that ‘thing’ thing, magical, “Ow. He’s kinda cure, you know.”  Anybody had that kind of experience. Don’t raise your hand. 

 

We’re talking about themes. JESUS saw a girl that HE liked. HE came down to earth and said, “Hi!” And that woman says, “Sorry, you're not my type.” And JESUS steps back and says, “I think she’s playing hard to get” and so he tries again. And she says, “I said, You’re not my type. Leave me alone. I’m not interested in someone like you.” And JESUS loves this woman so much, HE says, “I’m not giving up. I just think she's playing hard to get.” And you know this woman begins frustrated and she says, “I said, you're not my type. Leave me alone.” And this woman begins to spit on JESUS, and she begins to beat Him, and kick Him. And JESUS, you would think, HE would back off, and HE says, “I know, I know, if she could just get to know who I AM.” And she says, “I don't like You. And listen, just to show You how much I hate You,” HE takes out a hammer and nails to HIM to a cross. And JESUS, the romantic that HE is, in the moment of her greatest hatred unfurls the banner before a watching universe, “Will you marry me now?” Beloved, listen to me: The Cross is CHRIST's proposal to humanity.

 

Themes – things that put the gospel in perspective. Beloved, listen to me: we’re taking the gospel to the world. We’re simply taking the proposal - this is how much JESUS loves you. This is His banner – ‘Will you marry me?’ 

 

Let me ask you a question. When somebody proposes to you, are you married? No. You’re only engaged. When are you officially married? After you exchange wedding vows. 

 

Think with me church. What are the wedding vows of JESUS? Okay. And so, do you promise to have no other gods before me? I do. Do you promise not to bow down before graven image? I do. Do you promise not to take my name in vain? I do. Do you promise to keep the Sabbath holy? A, hmm. Imagine with me that your standing before the altar with your spouse to be and when the minister says, “Do you promise to take this man or this woman in sickness or in health? “Sickness?” Whoa that bride has a fist balled out, right? And then you’ll ah, okay. Go on. Do you promise to have no other women? “aah.” “What? No other women?” “Honey, did you put that in the vows? Don’t to think that’s a bit legalistic? I mean, laws, what do you need laws like this for?” Guess what the world is saying, guess what the churches are saying when we say these – we don't want these laws. They’re saying, “We are rejecting the wedding vows.” Why because JESUS said, If you love ME, keep MY Commandment. The equivalent of saying that the law of GOD as legalism and bondage is like saying the marriage vow is bondage. nice mouth is bondage. “You really think that I could really be faithful all my life? Like seriously, no other women?” “Isn’t that legalistic?” 

 

Do you see when you paint a picture… Let’s say somebody says that they can break the law of GOD, give them that theme and see what they think about. 

 

Can I share something with you? We’re closing, I promise you. Do you know that the Bible says that we should bind the Commandments of GOD upon our fingers? A wedding ring. GOD does want us to wear jewelry in a sense. HE wants us to bind the law of GOD upon our fingers. But, guess what? What finger is the ring finger? … With this commandment, my dear brethren, do you wanna know who the true bride is? Show me your finger. Show me your finger.  

 

The devil says, “My goal is to take that ring off of your bride. I wanna take that Commandment away from her.” You wanna who the true church is? Is she wearing the commandment of GOD upon her finger. You see beloved, as we take time to contemplate the deep things of GOD, as we allow GOD to take our imagination, and say, “LORD, use it to YOUR glory,” I guarantee you, you will come out of prayer like John the Baptist's father came out on the Temple – speechless. 

 

Have you been feed? Are you excited? P90. Take a before and after picture.  

 

Let’s pray. HEAVENLY FATHER, LORD, we need our minds expanded. FATHER, we know that there are tools that YOU gave us, that we can use to help expand and to deepen our study. But the most critical thing we can do, the most crucial thing we can do is to sit at YOUR feet and allow YOUR SPIRIT to expand and exercise our mind as we meditate upon the grand themes of the gospel. FATHER, give us the desire like never before to read through the Desire of Ages again, to read through the Great Controversy again, to read through the word of GOD, to read through CHRIST Object Lessons. LORD, that we can get the pieces that we can put together to form the whole picture. And LORD, expand our territory that we might be different, that we may truly understand the deep things of the Word of GOD. Thank you LORD for speaking to our hearts, in JESUS’ precious name, we pray. Amen. 

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This message was recorded and produced by Power of the Lamb Ministries. Our mission is to help prepare GOD’s people for the soon coming of JESUS CHRIST by pointing to the supernatural power of the Lamb of GOD that gives us the experience of victorious Christian living. For more information on our multimedia resources or inquiries on speaking engagement, please log on to our website at www.powerofthelamb.com – that’s www.powerofthelamb.com. Thank you and GOD bless. 

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