As we go through these Fall Festivals we are given that glimpse of what is behind the curtain. Don’t let Satan fool you to take the envelope or what’s in the box or anything else. What would you sell out for? Keep striving for, keep looking to, and keep seeking what is behind the curtain.
[Shawn Cortelyou] Well, there are a lot of things we can watch on TV today, and I must admit one of my favorite things is game shows. There’s something about game shows. I’ve loved game shows since I was a kid. I love The Price is Right, Family Feud, Press Your Luck, whammy, no whammy. You’ve got different ones. I loved. There’s something about them, I don’t know what it is. But there’s one specifically I really enjoyed. One that was called Let’s Make a Deal. It’s been on the air forever. It even has a new host now. But back in the days when I remember it, it was Monty Hall. Back, started in ‘63, the first time it came on the air. There’s something about it. I love game shows just in the sense I love to watch people win things; I love to see their excitement. Also, you start to see human nature come out and you see this greed of no, no, I’ve got $5,000 here, but no I want what’s behind the curtain, and there’s nothing behind the curtain. You see this come out sometimes.
Let’s Make a Deal was an interesting game show. Each episode consisted of several deals between the host and a member of the audience. Sometimes it was couples. Audience members were picked at random by the host, Monty Hall. The deals were kind of mini-games within the show that took several formats. The simplest format, the contestant was given a prize of medium value. Maybe a television, an envelope of money usually to start off with, you know, two hundred bucks, and will you give it up for what’s in the box? Or what’s behind the curtain? They were offered this opportunity to trade for another prize. And kind of going hand in hand with the sermonette yesterday, we think about this prize offered. It was usually unknown. It might be in a box or behind a huge curtain on stage. Prizes were genuinely either a legitimate prize, cash, or a zonk is what they called them. Legitimate prizes varied from trips around the world, electronics, furniture, appliances, and, ah, the car. Everyone loved to get the car. Zonks were the unwanted gag prizes. They could be anything from animals; pigs, sheep, you get all this excitement, you open up the curtain and there’s a pig. You win. Oh joy. Or one of my favorites, you win a brand new car. And they’re just so excited, jumping up and down, and they pull the curtain back, and it’s a little Matchbox car. Oh, you see them deflated.
And they had other type of gag gifts. Generally, the host would try to get you to give up what you had in your hand. You knew what you had, whatever it was, but it could be bigger if you give it up for what you can get next. Or, sometimes there was always that, what if it’s a zonk? What if it is that gag prize?
Let’s Make a Deal has a few similarities to life. You know we think of God offering us something behind this curtain. I’m going to try to paint a picture today as we go through what the Millennium represents and ultimately what all the fall festivals represent. And as we do, picture this curtain back here. We have this huge curtain that God lets us see what’s behind it. We don’t have to, whoa, whoa, whoa, what is behind it? He gives us that glimpse through scripture what is behind it. I gave this sermon a couple of years ago and after the sermon one of the little boys went up behind the stage and looked behind the curtain. Is it back there? Unfortunately, it’s not. But we see what it is back there in the scripture, what we have. We see what the scriptures show us. Again, Satan is the host. He will try to offer us anything he can to give up what is behind the curtain. And he has all kinds of enticements for us.
Again, I think about us a youth, growing up in the church, for the kids, the ones up here singing, the teens, doesn’t matter what’s your age, we’re all excited about what is behind the curtain. What we’re here all week, picturing, looking forward to.
Turn over to Deuteronomy 30. One of those verses I always enjoy reading because when you get to God’s plan, it’s so simple. Talking to the nation of Israel, ultimately as well, us, as spiritual Israel. Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
American King James Version×. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you. That I have set before you life and death. Blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live. See, this urgency when He’s saying it. It’s not, well, there’s something behind the curtain, but I can’t tell you what it is. No, it’s life. Life is there, and you can take what the world offers you, death, but choose life. Choose it. Please. You just see this urgency. Because we see many throughout the days, throughout the years, who choose death. They don’t think about it. Oh, you know, I’ve decided yes, I want death. No, but it’s dressed up as other things as we see in scripture, and what we’ll look at.
Again, I’m not trying to trivialize life as to some type of a game show, but we see what God shows us in scripture. He sets before each and every one of us life and death. And He says, oh, please, choose life. I’m even going to show you what life is about. What you look forward to. Choose it and you will be blessed. You and all of your descendants. And so we have that choice in life.
This morning I would like to remind us what God has to offer us and what Satan tries to offer us to try to give it up. And he does it in so many different ways.
The title I’ve given this sermon is simply “What is behind the curtain!” No question mark at the end. An explanation point. What is behind the curtain!
During the Holy Day season, God reminds us by pulling back the curtain and giving us a glimpse of what the future will be like. There’s even some that we’ll be going through today, you think, boy, I think it’s going to be like this, but really, we’re not going to have a full understanding until we get there. You think, wow, even better than what I thought it was going to be. But God gives us that glimpse. Especially during this fall festival.
We began in the fall festivals with the Feast of Trumpets. That longing for Christ’s return. Looking forward to that day. Also, a reminder that it’s not just the seventh trumpet is what the Feast of Trumpets pictures, but pictures all seven, and those things that will occur on this earth.
We also look forward to the Day of Atonement being fulfilled when Satan, the devil, and his demons will be locked away. We look forward to it. We realize how much we need that influence removed from this earth.
And then we get to the Feast of Tabernacles, the millennial rule of Jesus Christ and His saints, what we’ve been picturing all week. Again, the Feast of Tabernacles and what it pictures. The focus behind it. Again, a focus on those who survive the collapse of man’s world and live on into that millennial time. Those baptized will be spirit beings as we’ve been reminded through the week.
Turn over to Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×. We see this time period being referred to here. Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×. Talking about this first resurrection when Christ returns. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such, the second death has no power. Again, as spirit beings on this earth. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Oftentimes we can get in our minds I’m going to reign, yes; I’m going to have power, finally. No, we’re going to be serving. Helping. As we go through some of these verses that talk about this millennial time and what we look forward to. We think about what there won’t be. There will be no planes flown into buildings like we saw on 9/11. When you start to think, people are, well, where were you? Do you remember where you were when 9/11? Yeah, I remember those things. You start thinking, the millennium, you start thinking what will be the questions we ask then? Do you remember when you heard the seventh trump? Where were you? You think about where were you when you saw Satan being bound and thrown into the bottomless pit. Where were you? You remember? Well, that was just, where were you at that time? The excitement level of those events.
Turn over to Zechariah 14, referenced in the sermonette, they go hand in hand as well, we think about these events that take place and hopefully I can paint this picture as we look at these scriptures that God gives us of this time period and to think what is behind the curtain. God gives us that glimpse of what is there. What we long for. What we look forward to.
Zechariah 14:16 Zechariah 14:16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
American King James Version×. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. For those who say, well, God’s festivals don’t mean anything, you see, they’re going to be kept in the Millennium. They’re to be kept now, as well. We see what they picture. Zechariah 14:17 Zechariah 14:17And it shall be, that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even on them shall be no rain.
American King James Version×and it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, on them there will be no rain. In the millennial period, there will still be a time period where there will be those that think, I don’t want this way. They don’t want to go and keep the Feast. God doesn’t say, tough, you have to come, you’re forced to. No, He says it’s still your choice. I set before you life and death, if you don’t wish to come up and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and God’s festivals, you won’t have rain that year.
Start to think about what will that first year be like for them. See, I didn’t have to keep the Feast. Nothing happened to me. Where’s the rain? I’ve got to grow my crops. Where is the rain at? We see this continue in Zechariah 14:18 Zechariah 14:18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, with which the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
American King James Version×. If the families of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain. They shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Two key verses. Anyone who says it’s a waste of time to keep the Feast, well, what does God think? You see what God thinks about it here in the Millennium and He doesn’t think any differently of it now. We think about how important God’s festivals are. Zechariah 14:19 Zechariah 14:19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
American King James Version×This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. We see that reminder of importance of God’s festivals. To keep them. God doesn’t force them and say you have to do it. You have that option. In the millennium those individuals will be given that choice and there will be some that will rebel and say, oh no, I don’t have to keep it. But we see what God says. You don’t have to, but here is what the punishment is. There are repercussions that will occur.
Also back in Zechariah 8:3-5 Zechariah 8:3-5  Thus said the LORD; I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the middle of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
 Thus said the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
American King James Version×. Several throughout this chapter as well, pictures Jerusalem, the Holy City of the future. Zechariah 8:3 Zechariah 8:3Thus said the LORD; I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the middle of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
American King James Version×, thus says the Lord, I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth. The Mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the Holy Mountain. We know its future because it’s certainly not being called that now. But we see what God’s presence is. What happens there. Zechariah 8:4 Zechariah 8:4Thus said the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
American King James Version×thus says the Lord of Hosts, old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Again, safety. Picturing that time of safety. Oh no, you’ve got to get out, you have to worry about this, or that. Young kids, maybe some of our young kids sitting here today that will be running around and enjoying safety in Jerusalem at that time. Complete safety. Dropping down to Zechariah 8:7 Zechariah 8:7Thus said the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
American King James Version×, thus says the Lord of Hosts, behold I will save my people from the land of the east and from the land of the west. I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.
Again, a standard that’s there. It’s not well, we’re going to bring them all into Jerusalem and live however you want. Whatever you think works. If you think this works better for you, whatever. No, by God’s standards, truth, and righteousness, and they’ll dwell there.
Dropping down to Zechariah 8:20 Zechariah 8:20Thus said the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
American King James Version×, 23. Again, the whole chapter in going through this time period. Zechariah 8:20 Zechariah 8:20Thus said the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
American King James Version×Thus says the Lord of Hosts people shall yet come inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of Hosts. I myself will go also. Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to pray before the Lord. You start to think about a different time. People longing, where do we follow, how do we follow God? How do we do it? A longing to come before God. What a period of time we look forward to. Zechariah 8:23 Zechariah 8:23Thus said the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
American King James Version×. Thus says the Lord of Hosts, in those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of the Jewish man, saying let us go with you for we have heard that God is with you. Again, looking for God’s people. We know they’re keeping God’s ways. We want to learn it. We want to see those blessings in our life, as well. Again, an excitement.
Also back in Isaiah 30. So many in Isaiah. We’ll just hit a few. Just beautiful scriptures that paint that picture of what God has in store for all of mankind. We think about these verses, we read them often, but they’re good reminders. We think about our kids sitting here. Do you picture yourself there? Do you picture what will it be like for you to be there? To be behind that curtain. What the future holds.
Now we think about as baptized members being spirit beings, and well, these things won’t affect us because you know, you can’t get bitten by lions, you can’t be harmed. But yet, as our kids as well, you’ll be protected. There’ll be this safety, this time period you’ll long for.
Isaiah 30:19 Isaiah 30:19For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: you shall weep no more: he will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer you.
American King James Version×. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. A statement that you start to really think about what the Feast of Trumpets pictures, going through those seven trumpets and everything that occurred before the seven trumpets. You start to think about hardship, disaster, plague upon plague of Satan’s world and the things that will occur because of unrepentance. Not following God. And you think about that time period and coming out of just what will these people look like? You start to think about every little blast or every little big noise, and you just, oh, what was that? Is that another trumpet? No, no, the trumpets are over. You start to think about those people coming out of that time period. You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears it He will answer you, and the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore. But your eyes shall see your teachers, your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand, or whenever you turn to the left. We think about this future time and think that voice in the ear is us, as saints ruling and helping serve mankind. Helping give that guidance. You start to think, boy, am I going to be able to tell them here’s the way you turn. You’re turning away from God, now you’ve got to come back. Again, it’s not forcing. It’s not yanking them, come on, this is the way. It’s that gentle voice of, no, no, I remember making that mistake, too. You’ve got to go this way. God’s way directs you here and you’re hoping they make that choice. Again, I set before you life and death and here’s life, go that way. And that excitement of helping them, helping show and teach God’s ways.
Also over in Isaiah 11. Probably one of my favorite growing up, one of those, that I remember thinking, you know what do I want to get? Do I want a leopard? No, no leopards are fast, can I ride on them? How about a bear, you can get a good rumble with a bear you don’t have to worry about him killing you. What do you think about, as a kid, when you think about that millennial time?
Isaiah 11:3 Isaiah 11:3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
American King James Version×. His delight is in the fear of the Lord. And he shall not judge by the sight of his eyes, nor decide by the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness, he will judge the poor. That first part of Isaiah 11:4 Isaiah 11:4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
American King James Version×alone you get excited about, no more lawyers. With righteousness. Not who can best spin the truth, who can, yeah, but this person broke in and stole this but, boy it was because about the problems he had in the past. No. Stealing is wrong. By judgment, by righteousness, they will be judged. And you start to think about righteousness, how much we long for that period when God’s righteousness will be what the standard is. What we will be judged by. But with righteousness, He shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall strike the earth with a rod of his mouth and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins and faithfulness the belt of His waist. Again, the standard of God being there. God’s way of life, always there.
Isaiah 11:6 Isaiah 11:6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
American King James Version×. The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them. Maybe one of the little kids here. You start to think, whoa, whoa, what do you want to rumble with? What do you want to have as your pet? I remember talking with the girls when they were younger and thinking, well, what do you want? There’s so many options, well, maybe God will let me have a zoo and we can have a whole zoo area, with no cages! Just come in and pet whatever you like. I said well, you can ask God, who knows?
But you think about what do you look forward to? Again, ultimately, this verse is showing peace, safety, not having to worry about the viciousness of these animals.
It goes through these, continuing in Isaiah 11:7 Isaiah 11:7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
American King James Version×, the cow and the bear shall graze. Again, a change of nature. Their young ones shall lie down together. And the lion shall eat straw like the ox, the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole. Again, you just picture. I see some of the young little kids running around, you picture them going out and pulling out a snake right out of the hole. Look, mom, look what I got! You think about that now, ew, what is that? One of my daughters loved picking up snakes and we had to, wait a second, you’ve got to know what kind of snake it is first, it can bite you, it can be poisonous. What a time, yeah, you want to go? Go have fun, pick up a snake, give him a good shake! Because a little kid doesn’t, oh let’s be gentle. A little kid, ah, this is great, I love how much it wiggles! You picture that. You picture about the kids having fun. Not worrying about, well, it’s going to bite me. I’m going to have to worry about this. No we see that safety that’s there.
Continuing in Isaiah 11:18 Isaiah 11:18
American King James Version× and the weaning child shall put his hand in the viper's den. You just picture pulling him right out. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Again, God’s standard. His knowledge. Satan’s put away. No longer this deception that’s out there. And you think what a time we look forward to. What a time we long for.
We see this time period we are picturing all week long is that millennial period. A wonderful future we look forward to.
Turn back to Isaiah 35. So many of these verses I love to read all year long, but ones we look forward to hearing, and reading, and thinking about during the Feast. Isaiah 35:1 Isaiah 35:1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
American King James Version×.The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them. Again, the desert areas. And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice. Even with joy and singing the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it. The excellence of Carmel and Sharon they shall see the glory of the Lord. The Excellency of our God. Again, God’s standard. His way. They’re going to get to see this is the way I should have been living. Oh, why didn’t I see that? Well, there was Satan. He is good at what he does. He deceives in that teaching process. They get to finally get to see what God’s standard is without that deception.
Isaiah 35:3 Isaiah 35:3Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
American King James Version×. Strengthen the weak hands that make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted. Again, picturing those people coming out of that time. Every little thing, oh, is this something else I’m going to have to worry about? Oh boy, here’s something else. You just picture this really downtrodden individuals coming into God’s Millennial time. And they’re going to have to be comforted. Is this another? No, no, no. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to be scared anymore. God’s here to protect you. We see that time. Again, strengthen the weak hands, make firm the feeble knees, say to those who are fearful-hearted be strong, do not fear. Behold your God will come with vengeance and the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened. And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. And the lame shall leap like a deer. And the tongue of the dumb sing. The water shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water and the habitation of jackals where each lay there shall be grass with reeds and rushes. Again, a change. Well, we’re used to this area has always been desert. Not anymore. God’s going to say, here’s what went wrong. Here’s where we need to enrich the soil and here’s how you make it grow. We see God’s hand being there, helping us to learn His ways in every area. And we see these, you think about those who don’t have sight, those who are on crutches, those who use wheelchairs. A time when they will jump up. They will be healed. A time where they won’t have to have the weak knees. They will be made strong by God. We see that time period.
Continuing in Isaiah 35:8 Isaiah 35:8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
American King James Version×. A highway shall be there. And a road. It shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. No lion shall be there. Nor shall there be any ravenous beasts go up upon it. Again, the standard. Anytime you went on the roads back then you had to worry. Oh boy, the lions know where the people are. If they were hungry they’re going to lie in wait. There’s peace. There’s safety. They don’t want us as Happy Meals anymore, they’ve got grass. Which you wouldn’t have to worry about but you think about it, safety, peace. Continuing in Isaiah 35:9 Isaiah 35:9No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
American King James Version×, it shall not be found be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransom of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. A different time. There won’t be the sadness anymore of all the devastation that Satan brought out. It’ll be a time that God is showing here is My standard. Live by it. This is the way. Walk in it. We see a time of rejoicing.
Also back in Isaiah 2. A final one here in Isaiah. So many to choose from, as I’m sure you’ve been going through during the week, looking up favorite verses, verses that remind us of this future time. Isaiah 2:1-4 Isaiah 2:1-4  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×. The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. You start to think about that alone. People desiring God’s law. I want God’s law. This is not the time period we’re in now.
You start to think about some of those that left the public schools and they’re on their way, you have friends and you have friends, well, why are you leaving? Well, same thing, we went last year. Start to think about your friends. Those neighbors, those individuals say why are they leaving? This will be that time that they’ll have the opportunity. Remember why you always asked why I was leaving? I told you it wasn’t vacation, it was God’s festivals and it was that weird phrase, the Feast of Tabernacles, you couldn’t, what, never heard of it before? Let’s learn about it. Let’s learn about it, let’s go up and learn God’s ways. Again, helping, instructing.
Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×. He shall judge between the nations and shall rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
One we heard a sermon on earlier in the week. You think about no more war. You read different books on history; we heard several in a sermon going through that time period. I think about some of the 300 Spartans and all the warfare. The Spartans had this. You learned war from a kid. It was your life. War was everything. Now, what am I supposed to do? You’re supposed to beat this instrument that I’m supposed to have always in my life, and I’m going to make a plow out of it? How exactly is that going to work? Again, that instruction. You don’t have to worry. Now, wait a second, what if they come and attack me? God’s your protector. Now, wait I need to have some, what if someone that didn’t keep the Feast this past year, they’re going to come in and try and rob me of my crop because they didn’t get rain and I got rain. What? God will protect you. That’s got to be a tough one. Oh, but, I’m used to always having my own protection. But you put your trust in God. God will protect you. Okay, if that’s what I’ve got to do. You start teaching them. Here you go. You take the instruments and you beat them into the harvesters, the plows that they’ll use to harvest their crops.
A different way of thinking. A different way of life. Instructions of teaching God’s ways. Learning His ways and the value and the blessings that come with them.
Over in Psalm 46. Another one that paints this picture as well of this picture of no warfare. Psalms 46:8 Psalms 46:8Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he has made in the earth.
American King James Version×. Come; behold the works of the Lord who has made desolation in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two. He burns the chariot in the fire. All the things, you have to have your bows, you don’t have to get close, you have to pick them off, you’ve got to have your chariots, it’s going to run over people, those are your prized possessions you’ve got to have them! No, they’ll be destroyed. You’re going to use them for farming, is what we saw back in Isaiah.
Psalms 46:10 Psalms 46:10Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
American King James Version×. Be still and know that I am God. I wonder if it’s again that reminder, but I’ve got to protect myself. No, be still. Watch God. There may those invasions, those that will come up, but God will protect those following His ways. We see that reminder, be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth. Again, the reminder. God is your protector. A tough reminder sometimes when you come out of that period of tribulation and you’re trying to fend for yourself. I’ve got to protect myself. I’ve got to do all these things. You’ve just got to follow God’s ways. Live God’s standard. Live His way of life.
And so we see that glimpse of what’s behind the curtain. A time period we long for, the stories we read, and the things you think about to put yourself in there. Especially the kids. You think about well, that could be you. I remember hearing a sermon growing up; I was probably 5 or 6, thinking you know the kids will have palaces. They’ll be able to live in homes, you start to think as parents, spirit beings, you’re going to build your kid a pretty nice house. You want him to live nice? It’s not about them; well we want them to be worshipped. No, but you’d like them to have a nice place to stay. I remember drawing up my diagram. I’d like my house to look like this and I had an Atari, translation, a Wii, in every room of the house. The old video game TV all this and I remember looking back, I still had it. I pulled it out a few years ago and I thought, yeah, I didn’t quite get it. But you think, oh boy, I can have this and this and this. Think about being princes. Princes and princesses in God‘s Kingdom. Your parents being spirit beings. You need them; they’re there in a snap. Oh dad, I need you. Boom, boom, instantly, what do you need? What can I do? How’s everything going? You want to go for a walk? You want to go zoom up in the sky with me? You think about what we picture. What we look forward to in God’s Kingdom. The lame man leaping. No handicaps. No illnesses. What a wonderful time. Aptly put the wonderful world tomorrow. The time we long for, we look forward to. And as we’ll be coming up to in three days, the Last Great Day, another one of those times of rejoicing when everyone who has never received their chance will receive that instruction from God. Here’s life and death. No longer Satan to deceive, here’s the way to live. Live it. Again, everyone given a chance. God is opening up their eyes, to be taught God’s ways.
We have a look behind the curtain. We know what lies behind it. It is not a gag gift. It is not the zonk. It is real and it is beautiful. That wonderful world tomorrow we long for. It is the real thing. It is our future if we don’t give it up. If we don’t take something else. Again, we are ambassadors representing the Kingdom right now. We think about that future. But Satan tries to sell us with other things. Wants to sell us out. Think about an envelope or a box. Satan’s way is broad. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You know, you can keep the Sabbath and you can still lie, cheat and do all these other things under Satan’s path. Yeah, if you still want to keep the Sabbath it’s still part of your tradition, keep the Sabbath, but you can still do other things. You don’t have to keep all of God’s ways. Satan’s way is broad. You can pick and choose. You know, I like this, oh I love the Feast, but boy, when I get back I don’t really care much about keeping a Holy Day every seven days. Sabbath doesn’t really fit in my schedule, but boy, I get a nice vacation on the Feast of Tabernacles. We can have a broad way under Satan’s path. Satan’s way is broad.
Ultimately it comes down to one primary attitude. Turn over to 1 John 2. One primary attitude that is kind of divided into three parts here. 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
American King James Version×. We’re reminded as followers of God of what not to love. 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
American King James Version×. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. We see this love that is mentioned here, it’s Strong’s number 25. Agapao. A-G-A-P-A-O. this love means to esteem; to love; indicating a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in something or someone. It means literally to delight in. To delight in. To delight in the world. This is, what am I missing out there this week? Oh I really miss this. I really long for this way of life in the world. Again, Satan’s broad way.
I won’t turn back there, Luke 11:43 Luke 11:43Woe to you, Pharisees! for you love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
American King James Version×, the Pharisees are told, woe, for you love the best seats, the places of honor in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplace. The same word here. This love, oh boy, I like to be recognized, I like, wow, I want to have the best seat. What happens if the widow comes in and she…oh no, no, she can sit in the back. I’m important. I love the best seat. I want it. This. Who cares about what God thinks? I want it. This attitude that can get in to us at times and we have to be careful of.
Even Revelation 12:11 Revelation 12:11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.
American King James Version×, we won’t turn back there. Ultimately referring to the saints, they loved not their lives to the death. Time period we picture with the end time events, a time where we may have to make that decision. All you have to do is give up the Sabbath. Give up the Sabbath, you know, you can even keep the Feast if you like, give up the Sabbath and you can follow the Beast Power. That’s not that big a deal. Not that big a deal. No, you say, I’m sorry, but I know what’s behind the curtain. My life is not more important than what’s behind the curtain. Being willing to give it up for God’s ways. Even a very familiar verse, one of my favorites, Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×, of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seeking God’s ways first in our life. Knowing what’s behind that curtain.
Here we see again in 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
American King James Version×this love, or adoration, of the world. Doesn’t mean you can’t like things. I have an iPad. I enjoy my iPad. I enjoy my Nintendo Wii, currently, it’s broken and I’m looking forward to the next one coming out. But, you know, I’m not, I’ll take whatever it takes for the next Nintendo Wii, that’s better than behind the curtain. I get it now, I’ll have it, oh, that’s what I want! I’m told, you know, this is not God’s way, you can’t have it, pffft, where’s the nearest bin. Let me throw it. I know what’s behind the curtain. Not a love of I’ve got to have it. I want it. This desire. Nothing wrong with having enjoyment of things. We’re going to enjoy the laser tag this afternoon. Different things we enjoy. But they don’t replace God’s laws. They don’t replace God’s way of life. If we’re going to play laser tag this afternoon, this evening, going into sunset, you think, wait a second, no, I love God’s Sabbath. Sundown, it’s holy. That’s not more important. Oh yeah, but we’ll let you play free after sundown. Oh, okay thanks, but no thanks. We’ll come back later. Again, what do we put in front of God and His laws?
We think about those things that we do enjoy. But do we long for them; do we love them and put them before God? This word here, continuing in 1 John 2:16 1 John 2:16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×, this love of the world, says for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. These three concepts, these three ideas that are in the world are things we have to be careful of. Ultimately they come down to this lusting attitude, the first two that specifically mention lust. This word lust that’s used here in 1 John 2:16 1 John 2:16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×, Strong’s number 1939. It means a longing; especially for what is forbidden. Zodhiates Word Study says a strong desire; a longing. An irregular and inordinate desire; an appetite; a lust. The word lust is used here in the general sense of desire, or that which is the object of desire as Barnes Notes mentions. Again, this inordinate lust. This, I can hardly; I’ve got to have it. It’s on the Sabbath? Oh that’s alright, I’ve got to have it, I’ve got to do it. It’s a part of me. Satan uses what one main method in these three kind of summed up this way of life. This way of get. The way of get that the world puts.
Again, it continues here in 1 John 2:16 1 John 2:16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×, this three ways, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I’d like to look briefly at these three ways again the three primary ways that Satan wants us to give up what’s behind the curtain. It’s not just aimed at the kids, it’s not just aimed at the teens, it’s aimed at every single one. I can’t tell you how many pastors I grew up with having, being in the congregation. How many elders, how many pastors who gave it up. It’s all of us. Every one of us we can at any point say yeah, I remember what’s behind the curtain but I really want what’s right now. I want one of these.
We think of this very first one. The lust of the flesh. The lust of the flesh. This word for flesh, in the Greek, means an implied sinfulness; proneness to sin; the carnal nature. The seed of carnal appetites and desires; of sinful passions and affections, whether physical or moral. The lust of the flesh means carnal desires; appetites. Jamieson, Fausett & Brown says this about this phrase; Satan tried this temptation on Christ first. Matthew 4:3 Matthew 4:3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
American King James Version×. Command this stone to be made bread. Start to think, forty years, forty days of fasting, bread has got to look good. But He was close to God. He knew what God’s way was. Satan tries to entice Him. Barnes notes on the Bible says this. It says the lust of the flesh here denotes that which pampers the appetite. A large part of the world lives for little more than this. This is the lowest form of worldly indulgence. Those which are immediately specified being of a higher order though still merely worldly. So you start to think about what Satan wants to offer you. You know what’s behind the curtain till Satan pulls out his bag and says, you know, you hear a little bit about what’s behind the curtain, but you can have this now. You can have the lust of the flesh, well, we wouldn’t call it the lust of the flesh, this is good stuff. This is good, it’s not lust. You’re just really loving. It’s just a really good love. You can have this now, just turn your back on the curtain, don’t worry about it. But what’s in the big bag? Drugs, drunkenness, addictions, cigarettes, premarital sex, any sex outside of marriage. A lusting, a longing for. Well, you know, sex is beautiful in marriage but you can have it before. You don’t even have to get married. You can get drunk; you can do anything you want, just take this. And, boy, you will be popular. You’ll be the most popular kid in school. I remember those popular kids in school. I still remember the one who used to come back to school and the next Monday, oh wow, it was so great, we got plastered last night. I literally walked back and I was going from ditch to ditch to ditch. And I said, really? That sounds like a fun time. Wow, wish I was there. Not. But, oh, everyone was there. So? I don’t want to be there. I want what’s behind the curtain. I long for that way. But Satan will try to sell us out.
There is a foundation called Candies Foundation. Candies is a company. Candies encourages viewers to be sexy. No doubt with the aid of Candies accessories. But not to have sex. This directive is always followed with a caveat. If you do have sex, use birth control or else you will suffer the devastating consequences. The baby is not the devastating consequences. We see breaking God’s law is. But, you know, if you’re going to do it, just make sure you have birth control. Don’t worry about it, the path is wide. You can be safe. Don’t worry about it.
There was also a national campaign a few years ago to prevent teen pregnancy. A 21st Century Effort. An advertisement that I saw in one magazine pictures a teen dressed up, in my opinion, looking like a tramp. It has big, bold letters across the page, cheap. C-H-E-A-P. But if you look closer there’s little words underneath it. Looking closer at the wording along the side of the ad it says: Condoms are cheap. If we had used one I wouldn’t have to tell my parents I’m pregnant. Oh put this out and they’ll quit. Being pregnant. Seeing what Satan tries to sell us on.
Turn over to Galatians 5. It’s nothing new when we think about the pressures we have in society, but we realize what is behind it. Satan wants us to give up what’s behind the curtain. We see what God reminds us of in Galatians 5:16 Galatians 5:16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
American King James Version×. I say then walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. God says, walk in the spirit. Oh is it easy? No, it takes time, it takes effort. Sometimes, oh, but all my best friends are doing it. Yeah, but we know what’s behind the curtain. Ultimately your best friends are going to say, wow, you kept the Sabbath all those years! We kept trying to get you to go to basketball Friday nights, playing football, doing all these things, you stuck it out! Teach me about it now. Show me what I’ve been missing all this time. They are going to see. Their eyes will be opened. They are going to appreciate that you stuck with God’s way. That you didn’t take what’s in the bag. And it is difficult at times. I remember at school you get called a prude. Or I used to love basketball, never played Friday night and you get called the Sundown Kid. Thanks. That’s a nice title you gave me, I appreciate it. But you’re following God’s way.
I remember you get those in the church at times when we had a girl in the same age bracket as I was in the church, and she let everyone know, when I turn 18, I’m going to go marry outside the church and I’ll be back. I’ll get away with it. I’ll get to marry who I want and I’ll be back. She came back about a year later, but she kept getting pulled away. Oh, my husband wants me to do this, he doesn’t keep the Sabbath, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this. Eventually, she never came back. You pray there’s repentance, you pray that there’s a turning back, but you keep getting pulled. You keep getting pulled when you make the wrong decisions.
What Satan doesn’t want you to know about what’s in the bag. You know, he wants, wow, good times, parties. Oh wow, you’re going to be popular. But what else is in the bag? Now, it’s kind of like the infomercials, well, you get this great thing, and then don’t forget, it may cause death, may cause this, oh, don’t want anyone to hear those. But what is in there?
Think about sexual promiscuous. What comes along with that price? Sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes. Interesting fact, genital herpes one in six in the age of 14 to 49 have genital herpes. But, you can sleep around, don’t worry it won’t affect you. Just one in six. HIV, AIDS, pregnancy. Zonks. The real gag is in the bag. I didn’t plan for that to rhyme, but it did work pretty good. Satan wants you to take the zonk, well, it’s not a zonk, it’s the good stuff. No, I know what’s behind the curtain. It’s not the good stuff. It’s death. It’s Satan’s way of life. And so we see what Satan has to offer.
Satan tries to tell us and to sell us, no, everyone is doing it. But we want what is behind the curtain. We don’t want the curses, we want the blessings.
Brings us to the second element we see in 1 John. The lust of the eyes. The lust of the eyes. The word here for eyes, in the Greek, means literally to gaze. Jamieson, Fausett & Brown says the avenue through which the outward riches pomp & beauty inflame us. Satan tried this temptation on Christ when he showed Him the kingdoms of the worlds in a moment. You wonder if he even told Christ, you know, you don’t have to die a horrendous death, you can have the nations now. Just bow down to me, don’t worry about that, but you can have it all now and you don’t have to worry about, and trust me I will make it a horrendous death for you, but you don’t have to go through it. You can have it now, but not with God’s laws. What good would that have been? Nothing. Christ knew what God offered. He knew what that future held, and He refused it. But Satan tried it, even on Christ. Think he doesn’t try it on us over and over?
Barnes Notes on the Bible says this about this phrase, the lust of the eyes: that which is merely to gratify the sight. That would include, of course, costly clothes, jewels, gorgeous furniture, splendid palaces, pleasure grounds, etc. The object is to refer to the frivolous vanities of this world; the thing on which the eyes delight to rest where there is no higher object in life. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy things. Talk about New Jerusalem coming, you’re talking about the beauty and the jewels of New Jerusalem? But what this is, well, you can have all these things now. You can have popularity, riches, all these things. They’re yours for the taking.
Over in Joshua 7. There’s a sin that’s mentioned here that fits in well with this topic. Joshua 7:21 Joshua 7:21When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.
American King James Version×. As we heard throughout this Feast, and a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot, is God gets to know us. What our heart really desires. You start to think, well what does my heart desire? What do I long for? Nothing wrong with good steak, nice wine and things, but I kind of ran out of my money this week and I can’t get home, I can’t even stay the whole week. Where do you put your priorities?
We think about what God has for us. I always think about, individuals sometimes will say, well, I just didn’t have enough money, I need more.
There’s a widow in our area, I love to visit. She’s an individual, doesn’t have income, and she makes it to every single Feast. I’ll probably see her a week or two after the Feast and she will be saying, I’ve already start setting out things for the Feast. She will be planning twelve months ahead. She probably planned before the next Feast for the next Feast. And you think, wow, you don’t have an income. Well, you know, I love magazines, you see them in the stores, and every time I see something that I don’t have to have, I look at that magazine and I say, pfft, that’s five bucks I can use at the Feast. You see an attitude. She’s not living like a queen, she’s on very limited resources, but she loves to be there and she can hardly wait. What’s the most important? Getting huge meals or getting God’s messages? Spiritually fed. We see this attitude she has. It’s a joy to see and I’m sure God loves it as well, that attitude. She longs for God’s ways. I’ll give up a few magazines during the year and I got a few meals during the Feast. You see an attitude. It’s a good reminder for me, as well. Sometimes we can think about ourselves only and you think, well, what about those that may not have that income. To help them out. Take them out for dinner. Help them enjoy that festival.
Joshua 7:21 Joshua 7:21When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.
American King James Version×. We see the sin of Akin mentioned here. This desire that’s mentioned here is an interesting one because it just really shows this lust of the eyes. Joshua 7:21 Joshua 7:21When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.
American King James Version×, when I saw among the spoils of beautiful Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them. Literally, this word means desired them. And took them. The instruction was very simple. God said you can go in and take over this, but don’t take anything. Oh, that doesn’t mean me. He surely didn’t mean this robe. This is the biggest chunk of gold I’ve ever seen. He surely didn’t mean I’ll even pay a tithe off it; I’m going to give a little. God says “Don’t”. Yet we see Akin, this desire. I want it, but God said this. I know, but it looks good, I want it. We see this lust of the eyes. Unfortunately, he gave in to that. Didn’t think about it.
Other examples throughout the scriptures we can look at. 2 Samuel 11:2 2 Samuel 11:2And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look on.
American King James Version×. It talks about David who lusted after Bathsheba. He came back to repentance. This is the thing I love about the stories about David. He made mistakes. We all make mistakes. Oh, that bag! Oh I’d like that. Mmm. And you may even pick it up. But you think, no I don’t. I’m sorry God I even looked at it. Help me to stay away from it. A repentance. We see David had that attitude, but he didn’t start that way. He lusted for Bathsheba.
And so you start to think about what Satan has to offer. You think about an envelope. Let’s make a deal. You know, literally there’s one million dollars in this envelope. You can have all the riches you want. Buy a house. Buy a brand new sports car. Whatever you want. Its Monopoly money, you don’t get told that. Monopoly money actually might be more important than the money you have in your wallets at some point. But a million bucks! Maybe even a real million. It could be real. Satan wants you to have it. Take it. You can have the whole thing and you don’t have to share it. You can have the whole envelope yourself. The whole thing. We think about what’s in the envelope. Latest fashions. Immodesty. One of those things. I appreciate the ladies, the young ladies, that dress modestly. It’s nice to look out and see where you don’t have to look away. The world sells you on dress however you want. Don’t worry about your brother. Don’t worry about anybody. Wear what you want. Besides, it’s impossible to find modest clothing. No it’s not. You see it all around. It just takes effort to find it. It takes effort. It takes effort to see that way. But we see the latest fashions in the world. Immodesty. Popularity, possessions, having things. I see this over and over in the church. Sometimes people will give things up. Boy I could have twenty percent of my income if I don’t tithe anymore. I could quit, and I’ve got more money. It never works. You never see the end of the story where they’re fighting their budget even more because for some reason you had more money when you tithed. How does that work? You follow God and there’s blessings. We see God’s ways, but Satan wants to offer us what’s in the envelope. But we realize what is in there. Things don’t bring happiness. Things don’t bring happiness. God’s way brings happiness.
There was a rich man on his deathbed who made a comment to his son. He was literally a day away from dying and he’s very rich. Possessions? Unbelievable. Everything he could possibly want, he could buy it. And on his deathbed, he said I would have sold all my possessions for a meaningful relationship. He was on his fourth, fifth wife, whatever it was at that point. One wife. A meaningful relationship. I would have sold everything I had. What he wasn’t really understanding what he said was I would have sold everything I had for God’s way. God’s way. A meaningful relationship. Why didn’t I do it?
And so we see what’s truly in the envelope isn’t happiness. You’re sold on it. Oh, you can have anything you want. You know, if you just work one more day of the week. Who cares about the Sabbath? You’ll be rich. You’ll be the next Bill Gates. That’s what the world tells you. You need to work every day of the week. You have to if you really want to get ahead. And yet we see a roomful of people who manage to survive by keeping the Sabbath. Keeping it holy.
But Satan wants us to take the envelope. But we want what’s behind the curtain. Leads us to the third thing we see mentioned, and the final one in 1 John, the pride of life. The pride of life. The word for pride, we often hear of being puffed up with pride, means literally boasting about what one is not, or does not possess. Someone goes about with empty and boastful professions of cures and other feats. Showing off what he thinks or pretends he possesses; an ostentatious quack, what one definition had. I immediately think of one of my friends, I use that word friend lightly. He was always one of those that was lying. You knew he was lying. I remember having him over and he wanted to stay overnight. I didn’t, he just lied all the time, he was someone I didn’t want to have around me. So I remember making sure Mom was on this side and we came up and I stood behind him, and I said, I won’t even say his name, “Can so and so stay the night, he’d like to stay?” He was right here, so he couldn’t see me, and I look at Mom and I say, and she very politely says sorry, it’s just not going to work. Ah, just relief!
This same kid, I remember a few years later, claimed to have this famous signature of so and so from one of the professional baseball teams. He brought the baseball, look at this, I got this, oh, I have it! I looked over at it, brought it up and said, well you misspelled his name and you pass it back. Oh, I got it, though. It’s nothing. You wrote it in yourself. People knew because of the way he treated, because of this pride.
And this word for life, the pride of life, means literally the period of extension or duration of life. So when you put this phrase together, this pride of life, it means showing off to fellow mortals. The pride, pomp, or manner of life; the ambitious or vain, glorious pursuit of the honors, glories, and splendors of this life; the luxury of life for the purpose of showing off. Whether in dress, house, furniture, servants, food, you just keep going down the list.
So, you think, what does Satan have to offer? What’s the deal? So you think about the box. Every “Let’s Make a Deal” had the box. You’ve got this, you’ve got that, but you can have what’s in this. You can take this. I mean, this is gigantic. Even going back, if you really would like it, you can have them all. The bag, the envelope, everything. The whole broad path. But you know if you don’t want those, don’t worry. They’re not my bag either. If you don’t really care for them you can have the box. Give up what’s behind the curtain, take the box. It’s not that big of a deal.
What’s in the box? Fame, popularity, being famous. A celebrity. Everyone will know you and they will want to be like you. That’s what you can have. That’s what Satan has to offer. We think about what’s in the box. What Satan tries to offer. Again we see this way of life that Satan shows. I’ve seen over and over, friends in the church that would go to Friday night basketball games. Or play football on Friday night. Oh, you could be the next superstar! It could be you.
I loved basketball growing up and I played it, I loved it, one of my favorite activities. Never played it on Friday night. But occasionally you get this, oh boy, you’re pretty good. Yeah, I am pretty good. Pfft. I wouldn’t even make a college team. I made the high school team because there was no tryouts. Boy, I must be pretty good. Yep, just show up and you’re on the team. But you think, wow, boy, the football coach says you’ve got to come. You could be our star quarterback. Yeah, but you’ve got to play on Friday nights. Oh, that’s just a little thing to give up, don’t worry about it. You could be the best superstar. You could be the next best thing.
We see Satan continually work on this throughout the church. Throughout the world. You can have it. And yet, you look at celebrities in this world, do they really look happy? Think about what they go through. They’re not living God’s way of life. They’ve sold out for what’s in the box. They gave up what’s behind the curtain.
Back in 1 John, we see these three again mentioned. 1 John 2:16 1 John 2:16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×again goes through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. Is not of the Father. Satan doesn’t try to tell you that. Oh, you know, its okay, try to do a little bit of both. You could still go to church, you just miss a few games, you miss a few Sabbaths, just a few hours of the Sabbath, really. You’re still keeping most of it holy. But God says to keep all of it holy. It’s all holy. We don’t trample on any part of the Sabbath.
We see everything that’s in the box. The envelope. The bag. What Satan has to offer is not of God. It isn’t of His way of life. Continuing in 1 John 2:17 1 John 2:17And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever.
American King James Version×, we’re reminded as we go through these days, we went through Trumpets, those things will pass away, 1 John 2:17 1 John 2:17And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever.
American King James Version×, and the world is passing away and the lust of it. But he who does the will of God abides forever. He who does the will of God sticks it out, gets what’s behind the curtain. Doesn’t sell out for any of the gag gifts. We see that over and over in the world. We won’t turn back there, Genesis 3:6 Genesis 3:6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
American King James Version×we see Eve sell out. Adam, as well. Going through these three things. Same three things. She saw the tree was good for food. The lust of the flesh. Pleasant for the eyes. A desirable thing, the lust of the eyes. A tree desirable to make one wise. The pride of life. You don’t need God’s law to tell you. You can know what’s good and evil. Wow, I can be a god. I can tell people what they need to do. We see this attitude, over and over. Even as we mentioned earlier, Jesus Christ being offered these same three things in Matthew 4. Going through, commanding that the stones be made to bread. The lust of the flesh. Throw yourself down off this pinnacle. Show me you’re really the Son of God. The pride of life. All the kingdoms can be yours now. The lust of the eyes.
We see Satan tries these three over and over. He’s good at what he does. He knows how to get at us if we’re not careful. If we’re not reminded of what is behind the curtain. What is there?
I often heard, I remember even growing up, you know, I can do what I want and I’ll get baptized later. You can if you really come back repentant, sorry for what you did, and you realize that was wrong, you can come back. You might come back with gonorrhea, AIDS, syphilis, whatever it is; you see those things that still are there. The things that are still in the gag gifts that Satan offers.
God give us His law and what the blessings bring. What true blessings are. The same laws that we see will be followed behind the curtain in the millennium. The same blessings that come in the future for following God’s ways. But we are trying and striving to do in this life.
Turn, finally, over to Micah 4. Part of this we read earlier. One of my favorites. I love this verse as we think and are reminded of what is behind the curtain. Micah 4:1 Micah 4:1But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it.
American King James Version×. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains; and shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples and shall rebuke strong nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But every one shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. Talking to those who live into that time period. For the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken. We see that time period. Micah 4:5 Micah 4:5For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
American King James Version×kind of shows the society today. For all people walk each in the name of his god. Now society today; money, power, fame. We walk in where we want. The name of our god. What do we choose? I love Micah 4:5 Micah 4:5For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
American King James Version×, the way it ends. But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. You can’t force others, oh yeah, you’ve got to do this. It still comes down to life and death. Which do you choose?
We see this again, this adamant response, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. Others will have to make their choice, but this is what I want. I want what is behind the curtain. I long for that time. I can hardly wait for that time to be fulfilled. A time we picture this week. A reminder all through the year, that time we look forward to.
Satan wants us to sell out and give up what is behind the curtain. Always remember what we look forward to. As we go through these Fall Festivals we are given that glimpse of what is behind the curtain. Don’t let Satan fool you to take the envelope or what’s in the box or anything else. What would you sell out for? Keep striving for, keep looking to, and keep seeking what is behind the curtain.