This sermons looks at the what of most asked questions "What is the meaning of life?".
[Ken Martin] Well, good afternoon everyone and a pleasant greetings on God’s Sabbath to all of you. We come back from a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles, something we look forward to through the whole year because it’s the culmination as we come to the annual Holy Days of God, and we come to this wonderful period of time, looking forward to great anticipation of what God has purposed and wants us to remember about the future of mankind, your future, my future and the future of the whole world.
As I mentioned before, this world is dying and this world really doesn’t have any hope per se. They hope against hope things are going to get better, but you know what happened as we came back from the Festival of Tabernacles? Events are happening all over the world that just reminds us of one thing: The time is short and we can see the demonic activity increasing and we can ask ourselves all we want well what is the motive behind these things, these crazy killings and behaviors of people? The answer is: demonic activity. People don’t realize how much they are being influenced and oppressed of the devil. Satan is alive and well on this earth and he knows his time is short.
The question we have to come to grips with: Do we clearly see how this is all playing out? Do we recognize the seriousness of what God has been showing us as men and women, young and old, in the Church of God for years? We are all part of something that is far greater than any of us can comprehend because that which we are involved with is something far greater than any one can understand.
Now let me point this out in this manner. We are going to talk about a subject today that really you and I need to be able to give an answer for this. The scripture tells us in 1 Peter, give an answer for the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×), but do it with humility, and you need to understand that you are dealing with other human beings and they are not all necessarily on the same page with you when you talk to them.
Remember when Jesus talked to the people? People heard Him but they didn’t understand Him and the reason they didn’t understand Him is because most of them were not being called at that time – in their lifetime. That’s why the disciples asked – they said, “Master, why is it that when you talk to us you talk one way and just kind of lay it all out, but when you talk to them you’re talking in these parables?” And then Jesus of course answered the question. He said, “Because unto you it is given to know the Kingdom – answers to the Kingdom of God - but to them, it is not given” – meaning it wasn’t their time to see, to understand what you and I have been blessed to understand.
Of all the periods of time in human history you and I are placed exactly where God wanted us to be. You know we sometimes think about things like that. What if you were born in the Middle Ages or in the Roman Empire or something? No, no. You were not meant to be in there. You were meant to be right here. This is our time and this is our responsibility in the plan of God. It is a wonderful one because God has taken us through various elements to train us and to teach us because that is what we are in training for: to become the teachers, the kings and the priests in the service of God in the Kingdom of God and we have to eternalize those things and those principles because God is not going use anyone to be a teacher or a king and a priest that has different ideas from what He has. So He is teaching us, He is showing us, this is what I want. Now, are you going to walk in My ways or not? And so every day of human experience is a test. It is a test each and every day how you live this thing that you experience, called, life.
The human experience is something most unique but it is something most people have never really focused on or really delved into the seriousness of, what do you mean, life? People are out there sending astronauts, you know, into the heavens and all kinds of things, thinking that if we can go out there maybe we will find life somewhere with some of our probes and what have you. They haven’t found it yet and they are not going to find it either because life as we know it, is here on this planet and each and anyone of us as human beings are unique in a very special way and I want to comment on that today in the topic that I have because this is a bleed-over from the Feast of Tabernacles.
This covers a very important area that we need to understand from the Feast of Tabernacles to where we are now and where we are going to march through the days and weeks yet ahead, and then we will start the cycle all over again because that is ordained of God. But the thing that really brought this message to focus in my mind was the fact that the Millennials, as they call them, the Millennials – these are people who are in their early twenties, maybe going up to thirties, maybe forty at the latest, but they are the Millennials and that early group of individuals who are now beginning to flex their own desires, their own muscles so to speak and become an influence in the society that we live in.
Well one of the big questions that they are constantly seeking answers to is this and it is one that we should be able to answer for them so we need to look at this very carefully. Their question is this: They want to know the meaning of life. The meaning of life, and frankly that’s the title of the sermon: What is the meaning of life?
We are experiencing something most unique. It is called life. Well, where does it come from? How do you get it? Why do we have it? Is it like some people say, well life is because we were seeded on this planet by alien forces out there and they gave it to us? It is amazing you know, people will believe that the moon is made of Swiss cheese or that there are aliens behind the moon, and they - are you right? Are you sure about that? They are quick to jump but if you tell them Somebody created all of this - Aw, no, no, no. That couldn’t be. This is all is just a big accident.
No, it is not an accident my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something very, very special that you and I need to really thank God for each and every day. There is nothing like the gift of life. Without it you begin to look and when you see somebody who has had life and lies in a coffin and they no longer have life, you realize something very precious has departed, and that’s why God wants us to take a look at this because you see, we just came back from a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles and we are all excited about the Feast and the things we have learned and again, if you are not learning you are not growing. So it is not a matter of somebody looking and saying, well, I am not hearing any new truth. What do you mean, new truth? The Bible is truth. Everything about the Bible is truth. Are you looking for something that will tickle your fancies apart from the truth, God is asking, because there is a God who reigns in the heavens above. How do I know? Because of a man named Daniel.
The man Daniel stood before a king, Nebuchadnezzar, and he said there is a God in heaven. There really is? Well he thought there was. He said: Nebuchadnezzar, this God in heaven reveals secrets and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the latter days. Phenomenal! There is a God who knows how to do this?
Then you have David, a man after God’s own heart. Psalm 8 - He beholds the creation and all the stars when he was sitting on those mountainsides with the sheep as a young man, tending those sheep and thinking and asking questions. And he looks up and sees the celestial magnification. It just blows him away. Like diamonds in the heavens. And he says: what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you would, you know, have any interest or concern in to us? And the answer is: It is far reaching and much more than any of us can fully understand but I hope in the time remaining I’ll give you some things to consider and why this Feast of Tabernacles was so important, and they all are, and why they have to be repeated on a yearly basis because none of us can comprehend this marvelous thing we have called, life. We experience it; we are granted it for a period of time; we are required according to the great Majesty of the heavens to use this life to glorify Him because, the bottom line is, He is the source of all life.
One of the key things we’ve learnt years ago - some of the proofs. What are some of the seven basic proofs of God? Well, the very first one is life can only come from a source of life. So evolutionists are all off the wall. Nothing makes any sense when you talk that it is just a big crazy accident that took place. Now many people want to believe it is just a crazy accident. They would rather live, eat, drink, be merry and tomorrow you die and that is it! But that is not it. If they are wrong they are going to find it is going to be a rude day of awakening.
Now are we wrong because we believe there is a God who is responsible for all this? The answer is: No, because He reveals Himself in the pages of His Holy scriptures and He gives us tangible proof so that you and I can build our lives on something that never will be shaken. It is called the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.
That is so important to keep in mind. We came back from the Feast and there are many lessons that we’ve learnt from those sermons. You know, if you took this Feast of Tabernacles and you pulled out those sermons and you pulled out the opportunities to worship God in spirit and truth as He has commanded about these festivals, especially the Feast of Tabernacles, what would you have? You just have a lot of people going out, eating and drinking and it wouldn’t mean anything but when you put together the purpose for which those days have been given, suddenly there is an explosion in the mind of things that you’ve never thought about before. Sermons that begin like some of the sermons I’ve heard that just set bells off in my mind and I began to realize: Whoa, I haven’t thought about that one before. Wow, that is good and here it is, confirmed in the word of God.
Now here is what I want to drive home and we are going to get into this in more depth. We know Leviticus 23:33-43 Leviticus 23:33-43 33 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.
36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein.
37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing on his day:
38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
40 And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version× tells us about the fact that we are to do what? We are to take on that first day beautiful branches of palm trees and boughs and willow trees and we are supposed to make booths. Now we don’t do that. So is somebody going to condemn us and say: Hey, how come you are not doing what the Bible says? Well, that is what they did back there because that is what they had to do back there at that time. We don’t have enough trees today and besides the ecology people would drive us crazy if we started cutting down all the trees to fulfill the literal Old Testament command, but remember we keep the Feast of Tabernacles in the spirit of the New Covenant.
That’s important, because the lesson of the days that we talk about as the Feast of Tabernacles, is a feast that reminds us of the one great lesson we must never forget in the time frame in which we are living: It is a temporary situation. Everything is temporary. You and I are told, according to that, that we have to go away to the place where God places His name. We find it in Jekyll Island; Panama City; Bend, Oregon; other places, and it could be around the world. It is not the location unless it is where God wants it to be. When God opens a door and God’s people assemble, there we are.
We live in a temporary state of affairs for those seven days, the eighth day following and what do we learn from all that? Well, we learn many things because we are all on a little different levels of conversion so one sermon will hit you harder than another sermon. Of one you’ll say: I know about that. Oh, that one! I never thought about any thing like that before, so it is a growing process and of course we are all going through various phases of our conversion, as you’ll see in a little bit.
Life is a phase that moves step, by step, by step, according to God’s great plan and wisdom, but temporary dwellings is exactly right and you’ll find out also in Deuteronomy 14:22-26 Deuteronomy 14:22-26 22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.
23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
24 And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD your God has blessed you:
25 Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose:
26 And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,
American King James Version× that God tells us something else. That when you go to this Festival of Tabernacles, it is a foretaste of God’s millennial Kingdom coming to this earth and when it comes to this earth there is going to be tremendous blessing and prosperity and peace; neither will they learn war anymore; animal natures will change; it will just be absolutely awesome. And we look forward to that in spirit because we can see where our minds are because God has given that to us through His spirit.
But He told the people back at that time, He said - You know it was an agrarian society, and if you lived in this agrarian society and you find, low and behold, you can’t go and take everything, then turn it into money and go and use that money and what are you supposed to do with it? You are supposed to go with your family and your loved ones and spend it on “ whatsoever your heart desires ”. (Deuteronomy 14:26 Deuteronomy 14:26And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,
American King James Version×) Whoa! Whatsoever! And then we are commanded that you shall not just rejoice, you shall surely rejoice before the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 16:15 Deuteronomy 16:15Seven days shall you keep a solemn feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.
American King James Version×) because you are supposed to realize: Whoa! This is awesome to be able to do this during this period of time and it is a foretaste of what is yet to come on a mammoth scale that God will bring forth.
Well, we go, we rejoice with our family and our household, and what do we learn? Well, we learn that this world is not where we want to stay. We want to stay under the guidance of God’s Spirit and be a part of the world that is yet to come under His guidance. Now as we study the Feast of Tabernacles we learn something: In the scriptures and in the Jewish community, certain elements within the Jewish community, they read what is called The book of Ecclesiastes during that period of time and The book of Ecclesiastes has a lot of information in there that is very much tied to understanding the Feast of Tabernacles.
What is the overview that we should all keep in mind? That life, this marvelous thing of life, is temporary. What is the Feast of Tabernacles? It is temporary. It is going to last for a 1000 years and then things are going to change and then we move to another aspect of God’s great plan. But here is the thing we must keep in mind: Our purpose now is not to live with the desire just to get to the Feast of Tabernacles because that is only temporary. Our desire is to go a way beyond that. Not only through the temporary period of the Tabernacles but the eighth day and on into eternity with God. That’s got to be our mindset and our goal. Everything else is on a temporary basis.
The scriptures are filled with reminders of this. In Job 4:18-19 Job 4:18-19 18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
American King James Version× he talks about our bodies, our homes, as homes or houses of clay because that is what we are. These bodies are made of clay. They are of the dust of the ground.
2 Peter 1:13 2 Peter 1:13Yes, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
American King James Version× When Peter is talking, he says: “as long as I am in this tabernacle” meaning this body, he said, I am going to do what? Remind you of these responsibilities of what God wants of us. He also mentions:
V.14 – knowing that shortly I must put off my tabernacle.
So the body is looked at as a tabernacle or a house or a home for the Spirit of God that works in our lives. Now this is very important for us because Ecclesiastes was written, as you know, by one of the greatest kings ever recorded, king Solomon. Solomon was not just an average king. He was a type of Jesus Christ who is going to be King of Kings over a peaceful world for over a 1000 years and one thing that really magnifies king Solomon during his time, was his kingdom was a kingdom of peace and splendor and wealth and benefits and so there is much that can be learnt by studying these elements in the book of Ecclesiastes. We find out that Solomon also sat on the throne of the Lord as king. You’ll find that in 1 Chronicles 29:23 1 Chronicles 29:23Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
American King James Version× . So see he sat as it were, on the throne of the Lord by his representation.
When you and I are so blessed by the grace of God to serve as kings and priests in the Kingdom of God, what will we be doing? We will be sitting on the throne of the Lord and our responsibility. Remember it says you will be with Jesus who sits on His throne, on His Father’s throne. There is a throne relationship there that is designed to give us understanding of who and what we are and where our authority comes from. It comes from God Himself.
So there are things that we learn from the book of Ecclesiastes that were written in such a way to help us understand what is the meaning of life. Solomon wanted to know and he dedicated himself and was in a position to do something that you and I cannot do. Now we are just like him – we have hearts desires. Have you been able to have all your hearts desire? And the answer is, no. Why? You have limitations. You don’t have enough money; you don’t have enough time; you don’t have enough where withal to explore every desire of your heart and you’ve got lots of them. I’ve had desires of my heart and some of them have been granted and some of them have not been granted. And so this is part and parcel of what we learn when we read about Solomon because this individual had unlimited resources.
Now, who else do you know has unlimited resources? It is God. So you see Solomon is teaching us something here by his example. He may not fully understand it but God has written it for our learning because remember, if you are not learning something then you’re not growing on physical benefits or spiritual. You have to constantly stay on top of things, constantly learning. That is what keeps us alive and moving. It says in Scripture that we are to live, move and have being and you have to keep an active mind. The body may not cooperate as the years go by but your mind can stay active and you have to keep it. That’s why they have things like Lumosity that they advertise now, where they can play mind games on the computer with you to keep your mind active.
A lot of people in the past didn’t have Lumosity – what did they do? Puzzles. Have you ever seen people doing those puzzles in the magazines and so on? They get a book of puzzles and they are trying to get - what is the answer to this puzzle? That keeps the mind sharp because it keeps you thinking. God wants us to stay sharp in our service to Him.
Solomon, as king, was asked something by our great Creator in the heavens above. He came to him in a dream at night because God talks to people in their dreams and don’t be too quick to throw everybody out the window that has a dream and they say, I had this marvelous dream, you know. If that hasn’t happen to you, don’t knock it. Just compare it with the Scripture and see whether or not it is in accordance with Scripture. Put everything underneath the Scripture to validate. There are legitimate dreams and there are false dreams that are generated by the adversary and we need to be mindful of that, that we don’t, you know, somebody says: Oh, I saw a light in my dream. It doesn’t mean it is of God. Remember Satan is what? A counterfeit. He is the light bringer. He can create a false image and people can be led astray with things like that unless you get back to the Bible.
Well, Solomon had this wonderful opportunity and can you imagine, put yourself into that, what if God came to you in a dream and says, so and so, what shall I give you? You’re going to be like Aladdin with the lamp, and say three wishes? No. You are not going to say that. Or do we just say I want to live long or live forever? Well, what would you say? Now there are all kinds of things that you could say.
The point in question is: Solomon asked the right question and God was so impressed with this question because human beings always ask the wrong questions as a general rule but in this case Solomon said: Look, he said in 1 Kings 3:5 1 Kings 3:5In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give you.
American King James Version×, I sure would love to have the blessing of an understanding heart. I want my heart, my innermost sanctum, I want to be able to understand the plight of human beings, my fellow human beings. How can I advise them? Who am I? You put me on the throne of my father David and here am I, and these people have all these problems and difficulties, how do I answer those questions?
My point being: life is complicated isn’t it my dear brethren? Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here comes something else you haven’t seen because life is so complicated.
I pause at this juncture here just to emphasize again what we are as human beings. Look what went into making us as human beings. First of all you take dust, mix it with water; create a skeletal system; then you create a fluid system called your circulatory system; then you have to have a nervous system; then you have to have a visual system; an audio system - are you getting the message? One, two, three, four, five, on and on it goes. All these different senses you have to have in order to function as, what we call, a human being. Take away any of those things and what happens? As a human being we begin to shut down some, don’t we? A person who has no sight – suddenly the world has become black and dark - still can function but not like it once was and then what happens most of all when a human being doesn’t have the capacity to fully comprehend? You begin to realize how precious is the mental computer that runs the whole operation.
All of us are very uniquely made by the hand of God. There may be others of us who are similar, look a likes and what have you, but I’ll tell you, there is no one like you because each and every one of us are a unique creation at the hand of God. All life comes from God. That is affirmed. That’s why the most important thing we have to understand is - we read these things here and I highlight some of these things in the book of Ecclesiastes and why the Feast of Tabernacles remind us of this - is that look, you better make the most of time and life because it is going by fast and you are going to see in a little bit how fast it does go.
Solomon wanted to know. He wanted to have this understanding heart and guess what? God is no respecter of persons. He says if you would like to have an understanding heart, ask. You have not because you ask not but be careful how you ask. May your heart be right when you ask. It is written in the book of James – he tells us that God is gracious and liberal to want to give us an understanding heart. That is something we should pray for because we need to understand not only what God is doing but what is going on in this crazy world and again what is going on within us as human beings, which I had been emphasizing.
So Solomon surpassed all the other different kings. It is amazing to read some of the different things that are recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes. He had so much gold and silver that gold and silver were like the stones that were found on the side of the road. When he had vessels to drink in – solid gold! Whoa! We can’t even begin to fathom this. He built houses. He built ships and he built all these things that are recorded there and sometimes you can read over that and you miss some of the great lessons that are in this.
What Solomon is saying is: Look, you can try and live this gift of life God is giving you. You can go over here and you can go over there and you can try this and you can try that, and people have. They’ve constantly been trying different things; trying to plug the hole and find the answer to the meaning of life and because today Millennials now are caught in the vice of all this upheaval that is going on, living in a day and age of evolution and all this wrong teaching where you don’t even learn the three r’s anymore, reading, writing and arithmetic. You have to learn common core and all this crazy stuff that is driving people nuts, where even parents can’t sit down with their kids anymore and help them with their homework because, I’m sorry Dad, I’m sorry Grandpa, you have to do this - forty some steps and loops to come through.
Hey, I thought, you know, 2 minus 4 is 2, right? No, no, no, you’ve got to go through all these loops. So, I mean it’s crazy today. 2 minus 4 by the way – its 4 minus 2! I saw you all laughing. At least I know you’re listening. Some times it is good to make a mistake or just go around like that just to make everybody come alive.
But it does show you a very important principle that we are living in a day and age where things are off the chart today where things are off the chart. People are loosing sight of what life is all about because they’ve lost sight of God. When you loose sight of God then life itself deteriorates very quickly because all you have is the physical and that’s where Jesus said: Verily, you have your reward. You are only going to be there for a short period of time.
It is only a temporary little gift that God has given to you and He says: I want to see how you are going to use it. Are you going to love me with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength and mind? Are you going to love your fellow human beings who are the same way like you are? A special gift made by the hand of God. It is not an accident. Not some fluke that came about. Not some alien. If it were an alien, then who made the alien? The crazy things they come up with.
The Bible makes it very clear that Solomon made great works. Solomon built cities. He had a fleet of ships that transversed the world and brought all kinds of marvelous things from around the world to this king Solomon. Well God is going to have marvelous things happen around the world because it is 1000 years of His Kingdom, reigning supreme.
Along with those riches, honors and wisdom, God said because you have asked for this – it was so pleasing to God, He said – what you didn’t ask for I am going to give you. Well, isn’t it amazing a lot of times how God is kind to us? We ask God for certain things and when our prayers are right and when our prayers please God, many times He gives us so much more than what we were praying for. He opens those doors and the floodgates come out and we are so blessed, more than we realized and think well, wow! I can’t …..
You see there is our problem. When these things happen, what is the first word out of our mouth? I can’t believe it. Believe it! Believe it because when we say I can’t believe it we are showing a lack of faith! God says, I am the God, the God of all flesh and I can do what? I can do anything! I can supply your every need and what do children look to as they grow up with their parents? That mom and dad will always be there to supply their every need. God is there to supply our every need but it is important for parents to train their children in the way of the Lord. Why? Because in this human form one day, mom and dad won’t be there any longer. That’s not to be a heavy, but it is reality. I don’t like to think about it, you don’t like to think about it, but there is sin in this world and we’ve all been damaged by sin
What God wants us to understand then is that what we find in Ecclesiastes 3 - this was done one time in the music industry by a group called, The Birds. You might remember them. It was called “Turn, Turn, Turn”, and they actually took Ecclesiastes 3 and used that as the basis of that song which was very popular at that time.
What you begin to realize, like it says in:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 Ecclesiastes 3:1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
American King James Version× To everything (listen! That’s everything that goes on in the school of life ) there is a season , (We run through the cycle of the seasons year after year. Now why do we do that? It says) a time for every purpose under heaven:
And then it lists all the different things that go on at that particular time. What it shows: there is a time for this, a time for that. Who is the author of time? Where do you first come up with time? Genesis 1 . God sets the heavens, the stars and all these things for times, for seasons, showing that what we go through when we say: What is this thing, what is the meaning of life? It is a cycle of seasons that God has ordained that starts with little babies, moves into young children running around, into young and teen youth or what we call young teens, young adults, and then it becomes young husbands and wives, and then we move through a cycle of later on it is called the middle-life crisis by some as they get older, and then you move into the fall-season after you pass that and then into the winter season of life.
All that is talked about in the book of Ecclesiastes by Solomon and the reason it is written is to show you that God has allowed human life to exist as a test. It is a test every day. What will your attitude be today? Will your attitude be a good one? Then tomorrow will you wake up being Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy? The choice is yours! You determine so much and what gives us this marvelous blessing when we are on this side of conversion, is the fact that prior to conversion all people can do is the works of the flesh. That’s all you and I could do. Once conversion and the call came and when the goodness of God brings you to repentance, what happens? You then realize there is a need to be baptized. There is a need to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Christ was raised from the grave and when He came out of the grave, what we then find in the book of Romans, like Paul said, one very important thing becomes evident: that now our sins are blotted out with the blood of Christ. That is precious knowledge – to know that you don’t have to live under the umbrella of guilt the rest of your life for the wrong things we all do. Then he takes us and shows us not only does that justify you but then God sanctifies you through a calling. You are called and chosen and we have to remain faithful in that calling and then, where does it go from there? It goes from there to a very important realization: that with Jesus Christ raised at the right hand of God the Father, you and I are empowered with God’s Spirit and we now can do something we could never do before and that is, we can say no to sin. We don’t have to sin. Without Christ we are going to sin all the time. That’s the only way we go but now we can say, with the help of God, and this is where Paul brings it out:
I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, yet it is not I, it is Christ who lives in me; (Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×) and what does that bring about? It brings this: That where you used to fall for a certain thing in the past with the works of the flesh, now you will say, no, and with the help of God’s Spirit you can stay clear of that particular problem.
That’s why the Scripture says in the famous Lord’s Prayer outline: Heavenly Father, lead us not into temptation. Don’t allow us to be in a position where the weaknesses of our flesh will cause us to sin. We have to remind ourselves constantly that there are areas that we are highly vulnerable and Satan knows it and he will use every opportunity to try to pull you down and sometimes he gets us. Sometimes he can really wreak havoc in our lives. Don’t underestimate the Devil but just don’t give him more credit than he is due. Remember it is God who is the one who deserves credit, glory and honor and Jesus Christ our Savior who died for us.
So basically speaking, what are we learning? That human life is a test that can be very frustrating at times but with the help of God we can overcome. That’s why the Bible talks in Revelation: To him that overcometh . (Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×) We are called to be overcomers of this frustration of the flesh, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. We don’t have to go that way. We now have help through the Spirit of God and we can say no to it and know that God will give us the help we need. He is a loving parent wanting to provide what we need and He has provided.
That’s why the glory goes to Him.
When it is all said and done, what God is doing, He is telling us that as you live life, you will go through the cycle and remember Ecclesiastes 12 ? He tells young people what? He says: enjoy your youth. You are in that early phase. He says, just remember what you do is going to be evaluated and judged on a daily basis. All of us are being judged. Judgment is on the house of God now.
How much do we really want God’s way, hunger for that? Or do we want to have one foot in the world and one foot in God’s way of life, in His Church? Well, that is determined by our daily struggle we all go through.
Remember Paul said what? He summarizes it in Romans 7 . He says: The good I want to do, I don’t. If I am not staying close to God in my thoughts and my desires then I do what I don’t want to do - just the opposite. In other words, he is showing the struggle that goes on. He says, but with my mind I serve God. With the flesh, if I forget about God, I go right back to the flesh again. This is why he says, Oh wretched man that I am, who is going to save me from this condition, this constant frustration, this battle against the flesh, against the spirit? The answer: God must. God has to supply what we lack and He does.
He supplies our every need and He brings that to pass and so in essence, what we find here, and a part of studying Solomon, he says: Everything that I have looked at, everything I have considered - I have looked at it from everything. I’ve looked at laughter; I’ve looked at food, eating, drinking, all the things that people can do. He says: It is madness! It is striving after wind. It is a lot of vanity. He says wisdom is wonderful. I don’t want to be a fool. I want to be wise but how does the wise man die? Just like the fool and if I am being very good and responsible and I’ve taken care of everything, done what I should have be doing, what happens? I am out of the picture and everything I’ve worked for goes to the fool and the fool spends it all and he acts foolishly.
So, the bottom line is what? He said: While you live your life for God, seek wisdom. Wisdom is the principle thing. Proverbs 3 talks about that. He says that in all your seeking wisdom, get understanding. You have to have an understanding heart of how to use the things of God properly and that is a lifetime process. So to the young he says, live your life but remember your God and the days of your Creator.
Remember how you got here. See, most people just take it for granted. Everything is for granted. We just live life, come and go, and all of a sudden it is gone, like a vapor. That’s why God says savor every moment of it. Do not look to the past. Like Paul says: I forget the things behind, I learn the lessons but I keep moving forward to the calling of God, the high calling of God. We’ve been given the high calling of God, folks.
That’s what the Feast of Tabernacles – it reminds us this is a high calling and we have a destiny to play a part in that 1000 year Millennial Kingdom but, it is all temporary. That’s why God says, all right, now have you learnt the lesson? Now go back into the world and get a taste of the world again. You come back to the world and aai, ja, jaai, look what happens. It is heartbreak and how many people are suffering and crying because God is not their anchor point? They don’t look to God for the answers.
In summary, what God is telling us in Ecclesiastes - what Solomon had, with everything working for him - he says look, this is the conclusion of the matter: ( Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
American King James Version×) If you really want to understand - he says it is so simple a child can understand. I am not getting all involved and all kinds of foolish questions and things that people ask, but he says the thing you need to keep in mind is that your hearts desire must be affixed to something that is everlasting because everything else is temporary including the very life you have been blessed to have by God.
God never designed this flesh to live forever. He says I’ve got a new model for you. Oh, are you going to like it. It is going to shine like the stars. You are going to shine like the stars but I’ve got to make sure the character is right before I combine the two. When I combine the two it will be to My glory that this will have been accomplished. And that is true. It is God’s glory.
So here again, when we realize the desire of our heart, what should it be? To fear God and to keep His commandments. Now isn’t that the reason we go to the Feast of Tabernacles? He says, to rejoice and to fear God. Why? Because the fear of God is what keeps you in check, keeps you in balance, so that you don’t go straining off course. When people don’t fear God, then like the statement goes: Fools run in where angels fear to tread. We don’t want to be fools. We want to be wise. We want to walk in the ways of God.
The two things that are constant upon every human being, to answer that question that the Millennials ask, what is the meaning of life? You’ll have to ask two questions of yourself:
Number one: Somewhere in your life you will have to prove to yourself that God does exist. That everything you see around you is His handy work and it is so involved and it is so complex even as the scriptures says, you can look, and you can look, and you can look and it just gets more complex and more involved and you just can’t comprehend the things of God. How did He do that? It is not supposed to be this way, people will say. But it does.
How does a bumble bee fly when he has got small wings? Why doesn’t he have big wings? He’s got small wings. He has a body bigger than his wings. What about that Australian duckbill platypus, of whatever it is called, down there? It is a mammal and yet it lays eggs. It’s a crazy looking creature. Now, why is it that way? So that you will ask and I will ask: why does it do that?
God does these things so that we will ask and that we will marvel at the greatness of our God and in all of it, when it is all said and done, God plans to take those who have been His sons and daughters, His children, who love Him and who love their Lord and Savior and our spiritual husband, as the bride of Christ. Remember, the bride of Christ prepares herself for the wedding supper. It is not Christ who does it. We have to do it. We have to prepare ourselves to be at that supper. God grant that we all will be there.
Eternal life comes from Jesus Christ. God gives us this physical life as a forerunner of the life to come. You see when people don’t seek God, then you see what? They look around like Solomon. If you leave God out of the question - he says, therefore I hated life. Why? Everything is the same old drudgery. I know I’ve got to do this again. You know children who can’t wait to grow up to be like an adult and pay bills and have all the frustrations of adulthood. They somehow have this illusionary idea that adults don’t have those problems. They can do anything they want. Stay up all night; watch TV. Then they learn, as they get older that the bed looks better as the years go by. Even a rocking chair looks good and so on and on it goes.
The lessons we learn, that we can learn from watching other people. We don’t have to learn the hard lessons of life ourselves if we will watch and observe and fear the word of God because God has already given a guy who has gone before us, his name king Solomon. You throw out what ever it is you want to do and Solomon says: I’ve been there, done that, it is no good. It is vanity, striving after wind.
So this is important and this is why I chose this subject today, because again the Millenials are confused. They don’t understand, what is the meaning of life. Life is so unique, it is so blessed of the hand of the Almighty Creator and Jesus Christ by whom God the Father used the Word to create everything in the heavens and the earth, and every time you look into the mirror you’re looking at a miraculous piece of workmanship called a human being, made in the image of what? A cow? No. A giraffe? No. No matter how you much stretch your neck out. He made you and gave you a gift to be made in the image of God and you can’t even fathom that. It is so complex.
That‘s why only God, only God, is worthy of praise, glory and honor. Your job and my job, given that honor: to make the most of it and may we do something that is very wonderful and that is, we need to spiritually hug God. Hug Him everyday. How do you do that? You hug the Word of God. You keep it close to you because when you have the Word of God you’ve got God and that is what we are going to need as we face the trials of the years to come.
May God help us all, dear brethren. It has been a wonderful Feast. Let’s learn the lessons of this phase. Let’s not get discouraged just because we live in a discouraging world. Remember, we live by faith, not by fear. May God bless your week and may it be a good one because every breath we take is a gift from our great God.