Let's make sure that we do not allow society around us, the age around us to drift in and we begin to accept the values and the standards of this world but to realize that we've got to change. It takes the spirit of God to do that, and that's exactly what God wants to do.
In Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
American King James Version×, we find a prophecy about the end time, Christ talking about His return to the earth.
Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
American King James Version×, King James version, He asks the question: "…Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?" So, Christ says when He comes back will He find faith, or as some translations say, "the faith" referring to the right way, the correct way that we should be living. Satan does everything in His power to undermine our faith. I think we realize that. He does everything in his power to undermine our conviction and our trust in God because He doesn't want us trusting in God or relying upon God.
How does He weaken our faith? How does he dent it, chip away at it, challenge it, destabilize us, undercut us, damage or emasculate our convictions and beliefs because that's exactly what he's doing. That is his sole purpose, to try to undermine the plan of God. To try to destroy that plan and us. Well, one of the giant ways he does that is by creating uncertainty and doubt in our minds.
Have you ever found that you begin to doubt things, or that you're uncertain of what seemed to be sure isn't so sure anymore? Well, this is what he does. He lobs giant missiles of doubt and fear at us, and concern. He is the power of the air, the Bible tells us. He is the influence of this world. It’s his world. It's called the present evil world. He is the unseen influence at work to destroy the church and to trash us spiritually. Let's go over to Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×, and you'll notice here, talking about Satan and the demons, the evil spirits:
Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version× - It says, "…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,…” that's not our real enemy, “…but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places." And so that's what we have to contend with.
"Satan, the devil, has deceived the whole world," as Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version× tells us. So the whole world has been deceived, misled, misdirected by him. He influences the popular culture around us. He bombards us daily with media messages you can't get away from, and you'll find that he tries to undermine religious values, modern education. He has declared war on moral values and standards, and sad to say, and unknown many times, we've all been influenced by these messages that Satan sends.
Today those who believe in absolute values are categorized as being biased, intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded, or fanatical. And you'll find that anyone who believes in certain standards, not to get off into politics, but anyone who is supposedly a conservative is today labeled as a fanatical conservative, or fanatical this or that. You know, you'll find those terms are flung around.
It's a hate crime in Canada now to speak out against homosexuality. In fact, the "Good News Magazine" coming out has a number of articles dealing with the Islamic situation going on, and we cannot distribute that in its present form in Australia because of the laws and the rules that they have down there. It would be considered hate mail or hate teachings to be able to do that.
How soon will Generation X, Generation Y, pretty soon we'll be a Z, but X and Y decide the intolerable ones should not only be adjudicated against but be democratically legislated as being dangerous against society, and our progressive type of society that we live in. Christianity is bashed all the time; made fun of, ridiculed, but you don't dare speak out against other religions. You know, anybody speaks out against another religion is immediately looked upon as being intolerant.
We find that people follow a philosophy today that's called relativism. It's taught, it's influenced many of us, especially the younger generation. Relativism denies the existence of moral and spiritual absolutes, that there's no such thing as absolute truth, and declares that all values are relative. Now that doesn't mean that they're kin to each other but that they’re relative. Different according to circumstances, personal culture, conditions, and other such variables.
So you can't have, they say, absolute values that you believe in. It's all relative so if you're living in the middle of Africa, and you're conducting yourself in a way that we would think here is terrible, and yet it's accepted by their culture supposedly who are we to say that that's wrong? And so everything is relative. They do not believe in a standard that applies to everyone across all ages, all times, all people.
Now in denying absolutes, the relativists reject God and they reject any supreme authority or judgment. So this is the reason why they don't believe in God because if there's a God then God has a right to tell us what to do, how to live. So if you can say there is no God then you do away with absolutes. So they do away with the Bible in its entirety.
Philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche rejected moral absolutes and values, and he said that those who believe in moral values are slaves of morality. He argued that God is dead, therefore if God is dead we're all free to create our own value system. Even the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of the U. S. after the Second World War made this statement. "Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes." Now to me, to have someone like that in America in charge of the Supreme Court making decisions that affect hundreds of millions of people was not a good thing.
Humanist John Dewey co-author and signer of the “Humanist Manifesto Number One” declared, "There is no God. There is no soul, hence there are no needs for the props of traditional religion with dogma and creed excluded then immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room," he said, "for fixed natural law or moral absolutes."
So, you see, some of the great thinkers, philosophers of the modern era have all come out with this, and they think that they are so progressive, and yet as the book of Ecclesiastes and other books of the Bible tells it, "there's nothing new under the sun." This has been a teaching and philosophy that has been talk for generations and for millennium. Those who believe in absolutes are rapidly being characterized today by the humanists in the media as detrimental to the enlightenment and advancement of society; so you would be a group of people who would be considered a problem in society because you believe in absolutes.
Now, let me let you in on a secret. True Christians believe in absolutes, and I think we all realize that. We acknowledge God's law as being supreme over all mankind, and God that created His law and exclusively runs the universe and all that dwells therein. The Christian absolutes are not something that we make up. I can't get up here and tell you, "Well, I believe such and such is a true value, moral standard, or absolute" if it's just something I think of because my thinking isn't any better than yours. But if it's based upon the Bible, or on the scripture, or on God's law and what He teaches us then that is from God; that's a Revelation from God.
The absolutes of the Bible can be denied by non-believers but they can never be changed. They're still there. They will and are truths. They're infallible, and beautiful, eternal, inalienable, intrinsic, and unchanging. We're talking about values. Principles that are timeless, unchanging, and they're not relative, and yet this world around us, that's exactly the direction they're going in.
Brethren, we've got to be aware of the forces aligned against our faith, our convictions, our beliefs, because Satan, the devil, will do anything to undermine us. He'll do anything to cast a doubt in our mind; to challenge us, and to destroy our conviction in trusting God. You and I must have utter, total, complete trust in God, in His direction. We have utter faith in the spiritual values that are taught in the scriptures. I remember back in Psalms 14, let's go back there.
Psalms 14:1 Psalms 14:1The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.
American King James Version× - The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”.... So even in David's day there were those who were going around saying, "Well, there is no God." And …They are corrupt, they have done abominable works. There is none that (who) does good.
Notice what what the theological book of the Old Testament says about this. A fool is a person who is ignoble and disgraceful, insensitive to God as well as immoral in sensibility; has closed the mind to reason. Now many times those who think they don't believe in God or profess that believe that, they reason but yet the very definition they show of a fool is one who does not.
Now they do not want God to tell them what to do. They want to decide right and wrong. Always when anyone wants to argue that there are no absolutes or that God doesn't exist know at the very core of their being why they want to do this or why they argue that way is because they do not want God telling them how to live; what standards; what's right, what's wrong. They want to decide what's right and what's wrong.
This attitude goes back to the Garden of Eden if you'll remember, the two trees. It's because of the direct influence of Satan, the devil. God told Adam and Eve, "Don't take of the tree of good and evil. The day you eat of it you'll die." The snake comes along, and what did he say? "You won't die." And of course, they took of it, they did eat of it, and they didn't drop dead immediately, did they? But they did die. "The wages of sin is death," the Bible tells us; so they were influenced by Satan, the devil.
In Romans 1:18 Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
American King James Version× - We find again, it's good to be reminded of this, why mankind has rejected the evidence for God because anyone who comes out and says there isn't a god isn't looking at the evidence, or deliberately rejects the evidence. And notice what God puts forth as evidence of His existence.
Romans 1:18 Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
American King James Version× - It says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness," or hold down the truth. They suppress it because -- whenever you read the word again – because - you know it’s going to tell you why.
V 19 - because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
V 20 - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,.... So God said you ought to be able to look at the heavens, and mankind can through our telescopes look at the heavens where you see the power, the brilliance, the harmony that's out there, and you can take a microscope and go in and what you see in is the same thing as you see out. I mean perfect harmony working together. So you see His eternal power and godhead, and God says then, "…they are without excuse."
V 21 - because, although they knew God, they did not glorify (Him as) God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
V 22 - Professing to be wise, they became fools.
So what did the book of Psalms say? “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” So here we read they became fools. Now why reject the evidence for God? Why turn your back on clear evidence that there is a God? Well, beginning in verse 28 we find out -
V 28 - And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things that are not fitting;
V 29 - being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-minded; they are whisperers,
V 30 - backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
V 31 - undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
V 32 - who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
So verses 28-32 explain their motives; that they want to be free to do all of these things, and if they study the word of God, God says, "Don't do this; don't do that; don't touch this; don't take that.” God tells you what day to keep; what customs to observe; how to treat one another; how your marriage should be run; how to rear your children; what foods to eat; God tells you all of this. And humanity wants to be free to do what they want to do.
Actually Ezekiel 18 nails it in the head. Let's go over to Ezekiel 18:25 Ezekiel 18:25Yet you say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
American King James Version×, and we'll pick up the story here in verse 25. Here the people of Israel, House of Israel, God is quoting our people, and this could be said today very clearly.
Ezekiel 18:25 Ezekiel 18:25Yet you say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
American King James Version×- "... you say, 'The way of the Lord is not fair….’” God’s way is not right, it’s not fair. “...Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”
"See, it's just the opposite," God says. "My way is fair but it’s your way, the ways, the way that we're living that is not fair." Remember the book of Proverbs again? Proverbs 16:25 Proverbs 16:25There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version× being one.
Proverbs 16:25 Proverbs 16:25There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version×- There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. There’s a way that man thinks is right. Going on here in verse 29 –
Ezekiel 18:29 Ezekiel 18:29Yet said the house of Israel, The way of the LORD is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
American King James Version× - "Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
V. 30 - "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,…." So we will be judged on how we live, how we conduct our lives according to our ways, says the Lord God. “…Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.
V. 31 - "Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourself… notice God’s solution, …get a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
V. 32 - "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord (God). "Therefore turn,…” repent, be converted. That’s what that means, “…and live!"
The word fair here in the Hebrew is an interesting word. It means to weigh, to estimate, to evaluate, to make a just determination of the value or quality of an object. You go to buy a house. What is the quality of that home? What’s the value of it? Somebody has to establish the value.
Society says that God’s way is not worth more, or valued more than human opinion. You see, that’s what mankind thinks. God gives us His opinion. I have my opinion, so they think that God’s way is not fair; in other words it’s not greater. What they classify as opinion or His way is not fair. He is not just simply any better than any human opinion. So mankind, then, doesn’t have a very high opinion of God’s way of life.
Humanists believe one should do as one feels is right. If it feels right, do it, and that’s what mankind’s been doing for almost the last six thousand years. You know, since the Garden of Eden, man, if you think it’s right…. Do you remember what Eve did? She saw the fruit and it looked good to the eye, and the tree to make one wise, she took of it. I’m sure she took a bite, and thought, “Aw, this is delicious.”
People eat everything you can think of. Do you ever watch the cooking channel? Some of these cooks going around the world eating everything that one could imagine. Well people, if it feels good, tastes good, smells good, feels good, and they do it. That’s not the standard, our senses.
You see, spiritual knowledge, remember always, spiritual knowledge is revealed knowledge. The only type of knowledge that you and I can come to through our five senses is physical knowledge. We can smell, touch, taste, …. I can see that this is a podium. I can bite it and tell that it’s wood. You know, I could kick it, hurt my foot, you know, and find out that it’s solid. You can make certain observations with the five senses but spiritual information must come through the Holy Spirit as Mr. Lichtenstein was saying in the sermonette.
Notice the Good News translation of V. 25 - You say, “What the Lord does isn't right. Listen to me, you Israelites. Do you think my way of doing things isn't right? It is your way that isn't right.”
And then the “Revised Standard Version” translates V. 25 - "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? So this is what it’s talking about. They say, “God’s way is not fair, it’s not right, it’s not just, and God says it is.
The arguments of those who believe in relativism are these:
1 – There are no absolutes.
2 – Truth is relative.
3 – Who knows what truth is, and how can you know?
4 – No one’s opinion is superior to anyone else’s opinion, so everybody’s opinion is okay.
They do not believe in a hierarchy of truth or values. Anyone’s opinion is as valid as anyone else. We all have “our truth,” so everybody believes that they have their truth.
Relativists don’t want you to impose your morality on them. You’ll hear on talk programs, “Well, you know, that’s good, and you believe that but don’t tell me that I’ve gotta do what you think is right.” They do not believe there are any rights or wrongs. They make their own reality up.
What about the atheists? Let me quote from an article titled, “Morality Theists Morality.” Atheists recognize that there are no moral absolutes in their own society. Moral values are transitional imperatives designed to give the greatest benefit to society.” I’m quoting basically what an atheist would say.
“Adultery, theft, murder are considered wrong because they harm the society in which these things take place, and not simply because a superior authority has decreed that they are wrong.” Again, that’s taken from this article.
So they say people in society can agree on certain things being wrong because it’s best for society but that’s not because God said, “Don’t do it.”
In other words, if the atheists would say theft and murder is wrong then murder would be wrong. We’d have rules and regulations. You murder somebody you gotta go to prison but they wouldn’t think going to war would be wrong, you know, you’d kill somebody under certain circumstances. So then you’d come up with all of these various standards, whereas the Bible says, “Thou shall not kill.” Very simple, precise, and you know, God is very clear.
God has not left us in confusion, has He? He clearly explains what the problems are that you and I are faced with today in society. Let’s notice over here in 2 Timothy 3:5 2 Timothy 3:5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
American King James Version×, and again, this is talking about the end time.
2 Timothy 3:5 2 Timothy 3:5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
American King James Version×– It says that people will have …a form of godliness but they will deny its power. And from such people turn away! You know, those aren’t the people that you want to make your bosom buddies.
What it means is that they’re Christian in form, or appearance, not in substance. They have the outward appearance. They have the name. They go through ceremonies, traditions, but they do not believe in the power or at its very core the substance and the essence in the central part, in the heart.
Christianity is in the heart. It’s within you. It’s your passion, your belief. It’s your conviction. It’s what you’re committed to, and there are so many who just simply have a form of religion.
V. 6 - For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
V. 7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. What is truth?
John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version× – …thy word is truth. So, not able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. So, you know, there are a lot who talk about Christianity, believing in Christ. Talking about him being their savior, and so on but they don’t walk the walk.
Our challenge is to believe God, submit to God, live by the eternal principles that He reveals to us. Now in order to do that there’s no human being alive who can do that on his own. You need supernatural power. You need the spirit of God otherwise there’s no difference, or we’re no different, maybe would be the best way to express it, from the unconverted. We would just have more understanding but God wants to translate our understanding into action, into Godly character, and complete submission to Him.
God has given us the spirit of power, a spirit of strength, a spirit of might. In 2 Timothy, just over here. This is a scripture I pray all the time. When I pray I mention to God that:
2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
American King James Version× – (For God) He has not given us a spirit of fear, but what? - of power and of love and of a sound mind. That’s something we should pray for every day. That God would give us His power, that His spirit would be there to energize us, to strengthen us. That God would give us His love, the love of God, and a sound mind.
A sound mind in Greek means “self-control.” A sound mind means you are in control. You control your thoughts. You rule over your thoughts. We have the power of God residing within us. The word for power here is a Greek word dunamas, the same word dynamite comes from, and we know the power in dynamite except the power we have dwelling within us is the power of God, and I’ve spoken on that here recently, how great the power of God is.
If God created the whole universe out of nothing that we could know or see but out of the spirit dimension, He upholds it. He sustains it. And that there are literally billions of galaxies out there, each one of them full of billions of stars pulsating with the energy and power, and they’re all held in orbit. The power that does that, and holds that there has got to be tremendous.
That power, not to the same degree that God has, but God shares it with us. He gives us what we need to make it into His kingdom, to overcome, to grow. So that power resides in us. Dunamas is that which overcomes resistance, inherent power. The power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, power which a person exerts or puts forth, and that comes from God.
God’s divine power is given to us for a purpose. God doesn’t give it to us so we can go out here and say, “I don’t like so and so. You wipe them off the face of the earth, and destroy their house. Or you know, you’re moving mountains. I don’t like the mountain there. I’d rather have it over here.” And so you’re just moving mountains around. No, let’s notice in 2 Peter 1:2 2 Peter 1:2Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
American King James Version×-
2 Peter 1:2 2 Peter 1:2Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
American King James Version×- Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
V. 3 - as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life …. So the spirit of God, the power of God gives us what we need for life, spiritual life, eternal life, …and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
V. 4 - by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, … So God’s spirit imparts to us His divine nature.
Galations 5:22 – The fruit of the spirit is given to us. The gifts of the spirit are given to us. God’s very character is given to us; mind, thoughts are given to us. … having escaped, it goes on to say, the corruption which is in the world through lust. So what are the divine promises that are given to us? The precious promises as it mentions here.
Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×- But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So you and I have to have faith. God promises to give us His Holy Spirit based upon our repentance, our baptism, the laying on of hands. That’s how we receive the Holy Spirit.
This imparts to us the fruit of the spirit. One of those is faith, not just faith in God but the faith that Jesus Christ had when He walked the earth. Christ lives in us, and therefore we can have faith. We also believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So we believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder.
So what must we believe to be a true Christian? If you and I are a true Christian what must we believe? Number 1, there is a God, and that’s fundamental. Number 2, He is a living God, not just sticks and stones, 3, He is a personal God, and 4, that He keeps His promises, and we have to believe those things.
Will there ever be a time when there is no God? And the answer is obviously no. There will never be that time. He is called in the Bible, the Eternal. The Old Testament translates that word, YAHWEH, or YHVH, meaning the Ever Living God; or the Eternal God. So God is The Eternal. He has always existed. He exists now. He will exist for eternity.
Now, will there ever be a time when the physical will cease; the physical as we know it; when humans or Satan will no longer hold sway over the affairs of mankind or influence the family of God? Mankind’s approach with all his vaunted intellectual powers and reasoning, which are nothing compared to God.
Man thinks he’s something, and yet God says, “All nations are like a drop in the bucket.” All nations are like the dust on the scales. You know, you clean the scales. You think you’ve got everything off, and there’s a little particle of dust here and there. That’s what God says all mankind is like. All mankind’s intellect, reasoning, and rebellion will cease. Only those who believe God, obey God from the heart will be given eternal life. And so, God isn’t going to give to the disobedient eternal life.
There are promises, fundamental principles that are absolute, undying, unending, perpetual, permanent, and eternal that God’s kingdom is going to be based upon. Physical things are temporary. Spiritual things are eternal. Notice in 2 Corinthians 4:18 2 Corinthians 4:18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
American King James Version×, it says,
2 Corinthians 4:18 2 Corinthians 4:18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
American King James Version×– “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, temporary,…” I can see this podium. It will not last forever. “…but the things which are not seen, which are spiritual, are eternal.” So, the things that are seen are temporal; the things which are not seen are eternal.
Then V. 14 - For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, and sold under sin. So the commandments are spiritual, and –
V. 16 - If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
The ten commandments, which are the spiritual law of God, is a reflection of God’s nature. It is a way of love, a way of giving, a way of service. The Bible tells us that “God is love.” We are told, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”
You remember back in 1 John 5:3 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
American King James Version×, the love of God is keeping His commandments.
Psalms 19:7 Psalms 19:7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
American King James Version×– It says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” You cannot put an end to spiritual or depose the dead. The spiritual cannot be overthrown. The physical can.
Every nation, every empire that’s ever existed has gone down, been overthrown, . governments are overthrown. Marriages don’t necessarily last in the age that we live in. Children rebel against their parents. There are all kinds of problems that we see on the earth but God’s law is perfect. The Father and the Son get along perfectly, and if we’re going to be in God’s kingdom, guess what? We’re going to have to learn to get along perfectly with one another, and we’re certainly going to have to with God.
Hebrews 12:25 Hebrews 12:25See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven:
American King James Version×, we read this - See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, (referring back to Moses) much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who spoke from heaven,
V. 26 – Those whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven."
V. 27 - Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken,…
Can the earth shake? Not only does it shake, it rattles and rolls. Earthquakes do occur, do they not? Floods occur, all kinds of things occur. The physical can be shaken …as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. So the things that cannot be shaken will remain.
The physical is temporary. It is not permanent. The spiritual is permanent. The word shaken means to be moved, to totter, to overthrow, cast down, to shake down, or to overthrow. So, it’s basically what happens to the physical things. Stars can be destroyed. The earth can cease to exist. The physical things run down after a period of time. Notice verse 28.
V. 28 - Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom, the kingdom of God that is spoken of, which cannot be shaken, God’s will not be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. So the kingdom of God cannot be shaken. It will go on forever.
If you and I are born into, the family of God, the kingdom of God then we will not, and it will not be shaken. Remember in Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×, that Daniel interpreted a dream for Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×– It says, "And in the days of these kings, the ten kings symbolized by the ten toes, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. It will last forever.
Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
American King James Version× - Daniel says the same thing, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
V. 14 -And there was given to him, to this Son of man, dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
So once the kingdom of God is set up on this earth it will not be destroyed. It will rule forever. We will receive eternal life in the age to come. This is the promise that God gives to us. Let’s notice in Mark 10. Let’s read Mark’s account of this beginning in verse 23.
Mark 10:23 Mark 10:23And Jesus looked round about, and said to his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
American King James Version×– (Then) Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
V. 24 - And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! You see, those who have riches, you and I might say, “Well, boy, if I were rich I wouldn’t trust in my riches.” You and I aren’t rich. Generally those who are trust in their riches. He says,
V. 25 - "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." People generally are unwilling to give up their riches.
V. 26 - And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" Well, you see, salvation, entering the kingdom of God is what we’re looking for. Who can be saved then if a rich man, if it’s difficult for him?
V. 27 - But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible,…” you see, you don’t have the strength, the power, the ability, whatever it takes… “but not with God; for with God all things are possible." So with God, God can give us eternal life.
V. 28 - Then Peter began to say to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You."
V. 29 - So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's,
V. 30 - "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions…” So all of us, you know, we can look around, we know that there are hundreds of people, that you could call us your mother, your father, a brother, a sister. We become a family. But notice the last part of verse 30, “…and in the age to come, eternal life. So here’s the promise from God: that in the age to come we will have eternal life.
V. 31 - "But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
Okay brethren, what must you and I do if we’re going to be in God’s family, His kingdom? We must change the substance of our life. Remember, we read the scripture that they have form? Might I use the term without substance? You’ll find so many today have form, and no substance.
We must change the substance of our lives as well as the form, both. But there is a proper order to that. It starts inside, it’s reflected outside. It doesn’t start outside and come in.
Let’s notice Romans 12:1 Romans 12:1I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
American King James Version×- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. So we are, and God expects that we be a living sacrifice.
V. 2 - And do not be conformed to this world,… this present evil age. Satan’s world. Don’t be conformed to it; to its standards, its ways …but be transformed…. Now, if we’re to be transformed, where are we transformed? In our knee, our toe, our foot? No, it says, …by the renewing of your mind.… The renewal takes place in our mind; in our mind, in our hearts, in our very being. …that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Now the word conform is an interesting word here, and I’d like to quote out of West’s Word Study of the Bible. It’s made up of two words. It says, “The one word refers to the act of an individual assuming an outward expression that does not come from within, nor is it representative of his inner heart pocket. The prefix preposition son adds to the meaning of the verb the idea of assuming an expression that is patterned after some definite thing.”
Paul exhorts the saints, “Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after the world, an expression which does not come from, nor is it representative of what you are in your inner being instead of masquerading in the habiliments of this age.” Paul exhorts the saints to be transformed.
So, we’re not to be transformed to this world. To say, “Okay, this is the way the world is,” and isn’t this what drives so many people? Keeping up with the Joneses. We’ve got to have what everybody else has and, you know, people go by the standards of this world. Well, you and I are not to be that way.
We are to be transformed. Now, what does the word transformed mean? It comes from the Greek word metamorphamai; same word we get metamorphosis, which speaks to “the act of a person changing his outward expression from that which he has to a different one, an expression which comes from, and is representative of his inner being.” This word is used in Matthew 17:2 Matthew 17:2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
American King James Version× where it is translated transfigured.
So, brethren, you and I are to be transformed in our minds, and the way we live outwardly, the customs we do, the habits we have, the character we develop, our relationship with one another. All of these things come from within - meaning they’re motivated by our character. They’re motivated by God’s Spirit. They’re motivated from the power within us, and it’s not just an act being put on but it is the way we are. It is who we are. It is what we are; that we are truly that way.
So we find that we are to be renewed in your mind. Thayer defines the word, “a renewal, a renovation, a complete change for the better. This is the change of an outward expression is dependent on the renovation, the complete change for the better of the believer’s mental process.” So there is to be a total renovation. God is renovating us from the inside out. There is a renovation taking place.
Let me use the example of an old house. You buy an old house. You purchase it, and you decide you want to renovate it. What do you do? Well, in many cases you gut the old house, take everything out. You start all over and you re-wire it, put new dry wall up, you paint it. You do everything; new cabinets, whatever, a total renovation. It’s been remodeled. Generally you start on the inside, and then you work on the outside. Maybe you put some type of siding on it, a new roof, you landscape it so that the outside also reflects what’s gone on inside.
Well, that’s what God is doing with us. The substance, in other words, our very character, our very mind and outlook is being renovated within us. We’re being changed. We’re being renewed. We are to be a new creature.
So God is working with us, and He provides the power and the strength. So, brethren, let’s make sure that we do not allow society around us, the age around us to drift in and we begin to accept the values and the standards of this world but to realize that we’ve got to change. It takes the spirit of God to do that, and that’s exactly what God wants to do.
God is calling only a few now to be trained and prepared as kings and priests so that we can help ultimately God in bringing salvation to all mankind.