Does God Destroy?


Fear and Revere

Audio: mp3

If anyone ever wants to follow the Lord or have the privileges of being in the kingdom of heaven, then we must experience the cross. But this cross is not just easily experienced. It is easily said, but it is not easily experienced. It is a hard experience. In Luke 13 Christ gave His experience and He likened it to a strait gate, a gate which was difficult to enter into. Someone came up to the Lord:

Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

To leave it at that is quite bad news. Many people will seek to enter in. Many people want to be Christians, want to be in heaven but because of this strait gate and the cross, only a few will enter in. I don’t know about you, but have you experienced a struggle between your will and God’s will where God’s way has been manifested to you and it is opposite to your way? Have you ever experienced that? Is that an easy thing to experience? It is quite difficult. Right there at the cross roads of my will crossing God’s will, or God’s will crossing my will, I have to make a decision that is like killing myself because I don’t get my own way. This is the difficulty of Christianity.

If it wasn’t for the cross, if it wasn’t for the strait gate, heaven would be full. No one would be lost. It is because of this little portion where people fail. It is called the stumbling block, a rock of offence. Christ was a stumbling block to the Jews. They tripped over Him. It didn’t suit their carnality and it doesn’t suit our carnality today either. Nevertheless, it is a fact that it is in the way and we need to address it and to talk about it and make sure that we are fully acquainted with the cross so that we know how to enter in.

Strive to enter in

To effect the salvation of men, God employs various agencies. He speaks to them by His word and by His ministers, and He sends by the Holy Spirit messages of warning, reproof, and instruction. These means are designed to enlighten the understanding of the people, to reveal to them their duty and their sins, and the blessings which they may receive, to awaken in them a sense of spiritual want, that they may go to Christ and find in Him the grace they need. But many choose to follow their own way instead of God’s way. They are not reconciled to God, neither can be, until self is crucified and Christ lives in the heart by faith. {5T 46.3}

Every individual, by his own act, either puts Christ from him by refusing to cherish His spirit and follow His example, or he enters into a personal union with Christ by self-renunciation, faith, and obedience. We must, each for himself, choose Christ, because He has first chosen us. This union with Christ is to be formed by those who are naturally at enmity with Him. It is a relation of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud heart. This is close work, and many who profess to be followers of Christ know nothing of it. They nominally accept the Saviour, but not as the sole ruler of their hearts. {5T 46.4}

Do you like someone ruling you? ‘I want to do my own way.’ We think, let me compromise a little bit, I will give a little bit to God and I will keep a little bit to myself creating a lukewarm situation. A little bit of hot and a little bit of cold creates lukewarmness. God hates that. He says I will spew you out of my mouth because you are lukewarm. Many know nothing of it – this is cross work. That cross is a very narrow way. It is a strait gate.

Some feel their need of the atonement, and with the recognition of this need, and the desire for a change of heart, a struggle begins. To renounce their own will, perhaps their chosen objects of affection or pursuit, requires an effort, at which many hesitate and falter and turn back. Yet this battle must be fought by every heart that is truly converted. We must war against temptations without and within. We must gain the victory over self, crucify the affections and lusts; and then begins the union of the soul with Christ. As the dry and apparently lifeless branch is grafted into the living tree, so may we become living branches of the True Vine. And the fruit which was borne by Christ will be borne by all His followers. After this union is formed, it can be preserved only by continual, earnest, painstaking effort. Christ exercises His power to preserve and guard this sacred tie, and the dependent, helpless sinner must act his part with untiring energy, or Satan by his cruel, cunning power will separate him from Christ. {5T 47.1}

I found this extremely challenging when I read this. Only when we’ve been through Calvary can we walk with God as Enoch walked. Was Enoch a Christian before his first son was born? He was. Why did he only start walking with God after his first born son? There is a deeper experience to be had in the walk of Christianity than many people even know about. To get to that, you’ve got to first go through the strait gate. First, you have to crucify self, the affections and the lusts and then begins the union of the soul with Christ. Many will seek to enter in and they will not be able.

Every Christian must stand on guard continually, watching every avenue of the soul where Satan might find access. He must pray for divine help and at the same time resolutely resist every inclination to sin. By courage, by faith, by persevering toil, he can conquer. But let him remember that to gain the victory Christ must abide in him and he in Christ. {5T 47.2}

Here we see the battle, the difficulty, and the whole problem with Christianity: I call it a problem because many people falter in this point, which is why I call it a problem. It is actually not a problem at all. It is the only way it can be put because people have chosen not to follow the Lord. I thought it needful that we lookay at aspects on how we can make this struggle easier if we can. Who wants to make the hard thing harder? It is already hard but is there a way we can make it easier? If there is we want to know about it because if you haven’t experienced the struggle yet, you will experience it. I pray that when you experience it you will not turn your back on the Lord like many people do. This work that Christ is doing is a separating work.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

When you lookay at the difference between sheep and goats, you can generally tell by the attitude that they have. Sheep will struggle for a bit and give up, but a goat doesn’t seem to give up so easily. These two animals are depicted here in the separation of those who end up yielding and those who don’t because it is the battle of the wills – your will or God’s will. It is all about obedience. If you wanted to do everything God wanted you to do, how do you know who you are obeying; God or yourself? It will never become evident who you obey if your will is always God’s will until God’s will is different to your will. At that point and that point only will it ever become evident whose will you are following.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was someone who submitted in Gethsemane. There was a battle where Christ wanted something different than His Father wanted. He said, if it is possible let it be this way. Can we do it this way instead of that way? I don’t like that way. Christ did not get His own way and because He did not get His own way, He yielded to the Father’s way and He became a lamb led to the slaughter. He opened not His mouth. God is separating all the goats from the sheep. Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell.

The attitude and the will

What will you do with this battle of the cross? When God’s will crosses your will, what will you do? Will you be a stubborn goat or will you be a submissive lamb? This is what it is all about.

John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

All those who will go through the strait gate will have that experience. They will never be able to recount the pain once they are in the glory because heaven is cheap enough. You may think, what was the whole pain about? Why were we whining over a bit of suffering for seven years now we’ve got heaven? When you equate it, it’s nothing compared to the wave of glory that shall be revealed in God’s people. Nevertheless, for the current time we’re here now and thus we go through it and the Bible does say we will weep and lament. It will be painful to yield up our will. It is all about obedience to God.

The Sermon on the Mount

When Jesus talks about this in His sermon, He gives a whole lot of principles to live by which are found in the Sermon on the Mount. As He finishes the Sermon on the Mount He says:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The profession of saying Lord, Lord is not enough. Jesus says many will say that however, not everyone who says that will get in as the bottom line is only those who obey. The scripture says, “he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”. Do you see the battles of the wills? Christ says not my will but thine be done. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. How many times do we pray that yet we don’t live it?

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Jesus clearly says that if anybody will do God’s will and not their own, he is a wise man. There is a lot of wisdom in choosing to do what God says and not what you think. The reason why there is a lot of wisdom in that is because God knows more than you. That is a fact. What can we say? He does know more than you and that is a little hard to admit because we esteem ourselves higher than God most of the time. We read the Bible and think, ‘God didn’t mean that. Let me interpret it for you.’ We put our mind on top of the Bible which is simply saying God doesn’t know what He is talking about. I need to process it through my brain filter and then expound upon it. But if we just do what God says, then Jesus says that is wise. When the floods and tempest come, who will stand? The wise will stand.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the bookay. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

When it comes to your battle, your personal cross and that can be in whatever scenario God puts in your life, His revealed will totally opposes your desire. Then you’ve got the choice now. Will I be a wise man or will I be a foolish man? What will I do? If I choose my way, I am foolish. If I choose God’s way then I will be wise. It is easily put like that but when it comes to the battle, some of this reasoning has no weight when it comes to the real heart battle of God’s way and what I desire to do. How can I get this wisdom in a more practical way than thinking my way is foolish? God’s way is wise but it doesn’t lessen the struggle within the internal turmoil of battling with my will versus God’s will. How can I get this wisdom? The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

If you want to be a wise man, where do you start? You start at the beginning don’t you? If you ever want to start anything it is best to start at the beginning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If I will have to meet the cross, if I will have to battle my will versus God’s will, then I need some fear of the Lord. It just so happens that it is the first angel’s message to the last generation, the closing people of this world’s history. The message comes, fear God. Give glory to Him. If I want to be wise I need to fear God.

How do I fear God?

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.

The Fear of the Lord

What comes to your mind when you talk about fearing God? Generally the thought that comes to people’s mind is being scared stiff of God. That if you disobey God He is going to bash you around the head until you listen. Who likes to be hit on the head? I don’t so we better do what God says, right? People have revered God like this in all generations. If you disobey you are down. This is generally being accepted when viewing God as fear, being scared, terror, or being frightened.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

On one hand the Bible is saying if you want to be wise, if you want to choose God’s ways and not your own, you need the fear of the Lord because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. On the other hand the Bible says he that feareth is not made perfect in love. Clearly there are two types of fears that are recorded in the Bible. The one that has torment in it is the wrong one. How do I know that? Because that is what the Bible says. Fear hath torment. If I am scared stiff of God then I don’t have the fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom. I have the fear of God that destroys love. We want to understand a little bit about God because it says the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. To understand God, to be able to fear Him in the way of getting wisdom so that when my will and God’s will cross each other, I will be able to build my house upon the rock because I will have the beginning of wisdom.

There is something about God that we want to understand and that is Jesus Christ came to represent the Father. If we have seen Him, we have seen the Father and what the Father does, the Son does likewise. In other words whatever Jesus does is what the Father is. That is what it says. If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.

Often people have said there is an Old Testament God and there is a New Testament God. The Old Testament God is an angry God who if anyone disobeys will send lightening from the skies and burn you. The New Testament God is the one that comes in between and appeases the Old Testament God, makes Him a little bit happy so that He won’t burn us. But if that is the case, then how can Jesus be right when He says if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father? If the Father is angry and Jesus isn’t, so are they the same representation? Not at all, and if they are not then someone told a lie either about the character of God in the Old Testament or Jesus about Himself in the New.

To top it off, Christ preached a sermon and He says love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you and be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect. If the Father in heaven is an angry God and He says love those that curse you but be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect who is angry, it doesn’t make sense at all. The battle is either not correct at all if there is an Old Testament God and there is a different New Testament God or our thinking is wrong in relation to who God really is. If we lookay at Jesus according to Jesus’ words, we are lookaying at the Father.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw [this], they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save [them]. And they went to another village.

James and John like most Israelites had the wrong conception of God’s character. They said, ‘these people didn’t receive you, therefore let us burn them. Let us kill them, they are not paying respect.’ Jesus says you don’t know what manner of spirit you are of. What would have the Father done in this circumstance? Here we see Jesus. What about the Father; what would He have done in this circumstance? Do you think He would have done the same? Jesus said whatever the Father does the Son does likewise. In other words, the Father wouldn’t have burnt them either because it is a different spirit, a different mentality. If someone doesn’t listen to me – I will burn, them is a different mentality than God has. That raises a thousand questions in people’s minds when we say this because what about the thousand stories in the Old Testament where it is so apparent that God burns people when they didn’t listen to Him? We want to address some of these but we don’t have time in this sermon to address them all but we’ll cover some principles of God’s character that we can gain a fear of God without the torment. If we can gain the fear of God then we have the beginning of wisdom and if we have wisdom we can do God’s will not our will. Does that make sense?

It is no part of Christ’s mission to compel men to receive Him. It is Satan, and men actuated by his spirit, that seek to compel the conscience…There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas. {DA 487.3}

This disposition and tendency if someone doesn’t appreciate my idea that I may physically hurt them, at least verbally hurt them, I may just think about hurting them, either way it is a disposition. Where does this one come from? The spirit of Satan. You might think, doesn’t God do that all through the Old Testament where someone doesn’t listen to Him so that He comes out and hurts them? It wasn’t part of Christ’s example when He was on earth. Do we have any record of Christ hurting people in His life? No. He came to bless them and bless only. If He is a manifestation of the Father then the same stands.

The Wrath of God

We want to see how the wrath of God is revealed. When we talk about the wrath, we interpret it the way we get angry. If you lookay up the word wrath in the dictionary (www.dictionary.com) you will get man’s idea of wrath. Is God’s wrath and man’s wrath the same thing? Are our ways God’s ways? Are our thoughts God’s thoughts? No.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We must bear that in mind. Let the Bible tell us what the wrath of God is:

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 9 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed [it] unto them.

This text is telling us that the way God deals with the unrighteous men is revealed, there is a revelation of it. If you want to understand something about the wrath of God, it is revealed in the scriptures. You’ve got to lookay at it.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

We are talking about the battle of the wills. A wise man does God’s will and a foolish man does their own will. Here is a class of people that the Bible is talking about who have a battle between God’s will and their will. These people don’t put God’s will where it should be as God the person who knows, made and runs everything. They analysed their own desire, their own will and then lookayed at what God was saying and came to the conclusion that God’s way was wrong and their way was right therefore becoming fools because they thought their ways were wise. They were saying, let’s go the wise way and that wise way is actually the foolish way.

Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Here there is a battle between these people who hold the truth in unrighteousness so they are not heathen who don’t know anything. They know the truth and there is a battle of their wills. Their will they assess as the right one and they despise God’s will. Thus God gives them over. He gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. He said okayay, do it your way then.

Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

God gave them up. He said you are out of my control. You don’t want me to control you then you can control you. The problem is that only God can control us. God is the only qualified being in the whole world to control what He made. Doesn’t that make sense? He made it. He knows how it works but yet somehow the creature has this idea that God doesn’t know what He is doing and they know better and they want to follow their own lust, so God says I will give you up to your vile affections.

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Here was a class of people we don’t like to think about God so then God says okay, don’t think about me and He gives them over to a reprobate mind. If you don’t have God in your thoughts, what will you have in your thoughts? You will have a reprobate mind. If you don’t have light, what will you have? You will have darkness because darkness is only the absence of light. If you don’t want light, you get darkness. If you don’t want heat you get cold because cold is the absence of heat. If you don’t want God you will get a reprobate mind because that is just the absence of God. That is all it is.

If you don’t want life, you will get death because death is only the absence of life. God gave them over. Let go of them. We read at the beginning of this verse, here is the wrath of God revealed. Can you see the revelation of God’s wrath in Romans 1? This is God’s wrath, giving them over, totally different to our wrath. Someone has a different idea to it. Would you just let them go? In your wrath you’d go and hit them in the head. You wouldn’t let them go. You’d go and strangle them or do something like that. You’d do the exact opposite because man’s thoughts are not God’s thoughts. When man wants to punish somebody they have to approach them and take hold of them. When God wants to punish them He lets go of them – total opposite yet the word is the same, wrath. Then we put our human thinking on it and we blame God like we blame a man as if God was a man.

Here is an illustration and someone says hang on, God gave some clear expressions in the Old Testament especially with Pharaoh, who hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

Exodus 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

Many people would take that text thinking as a man thinks and say, ‘See! Right there! God is to blame for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart because that is what it says.’ The story goes that God told Moses you will be like God and Aaron will be like the prophet. It’s like a little parable play. Moses isn’t God but to Pharaoh you will be in this position and so Moses and Aaron go into Pharaoh and there is a rod. While they have the rod it is a rod. Before Pharaoh they throw down the rod. They let go of the rod and it becomes a snake. When it is in their hand, when they have control of the rod, it is a rod. When they let go it is a snake. For God to let go as Moses was in the position of God. For God to let go of the control, who takes control? The snake takes control. Then Pharaoh says who is God? I can do the same.

They understood the lesson. It is a very clear lesson. They knew a lot more than we think. They knew when it comes to what the snake represented. Does Pharaoh listen? No. He takes the rod to the river and now God lets go of the control of the river and the river turns to blood.

God Controls the Planet

If we understood how much God controls our planet, we’d fear Him and think, ‘I pray God every day for some safety in His planet.’ The power that is housed in His planet is so powerful that we could be dead instantly yet someone is controlling it. It is in somebody’s hands. If it goes out of their hands then it will destroy you. There is something about power that we need to understand and that is that power has the ability to destroy but yet it is a great blessing like gravity. Isn’t it a blessing to have gravity? Has the gravity the power to destroy you? It does. That is what you get with power. Anything that has power, whether it can be the most blessed thing in the world, could destroy you if it goes out of its purpose. So it is in our world around us. There is a force, a power that if God let go, of we’d be destroyed. Revelation talks about it. There are winds of strife and who is holding them? They are being held by God.

God controls the weather. Do you believe that? Some people think men control the weather but God controls the weather. If God lets go of the control of the weather it can destroy us. Do you want Him to be in control, or do you want you to be in control? This is the whole battle – whose will. Do you want God’s will or your will? If you come in your Christian walk and God’s will crosses your will you are simply making the choice of who is really God, who really has the right to control? Does God have the right to control or do I have the right to control? Foolishness says, ‘I have the right to control.’ Wisdom says ‘God has the right to control.’ If I go down the path of foolishness because I think I am wise, then I am simply saying that God let go of my life. God says I will give you up and we die. I will let you out of my hand and the rod of blessing becomes a snake. If He takes it back again it becomes a rod of blessing. God is the controller.

From the Spirit of Prophecy on this point of Pharaoh on what Moses was doing with Pharaoh and the lesson that he was learning through this apparently magical trick, is revealed. It wasn’t a magical trick it was a parable, a lesson for Pharaoh to learn that if God lets go of the control of the river, it turns to blood. If God lets go of the control of the hail it will come and crush you Egypt. If God lets go of anything it will hurt those who have told Him to let go.

The great I AM acquainted Pharaoh with his mighty works, showing him that he was the ruler of heaven and earth. But the king chose to defy the God of heaven. He would not consent to break his proud heart even before the King of kings, that he might receive the light; for he was determined to have his own way, and work out his own rebellion. His proud disregard of God’s command, “Let my people go,” confirmed him in his determination not to yield, though evidence was piled upon evidence; and every additional evidence of the power of God that the Egyptian monarch resisted, carried him on to a stronger and more persistent defiance of God. Thus the work went on, finite man warring against the expressed will of an infinite God. This case is a clear illustration of the sin against the Holy Ghost. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Gradually the Lord withdrew his Spirit. Removing his restraining power, he gave the king into the hands of the worst of all tyrants — self. {RH, July 27, 1897 par. 6}

Can we see right here with Pharaoh and God there is the battle of the wills? God says let my people go, Pharaoh says no. I don’t want to. Who will rule? Is God going to be the ruler? Will God give Egypt the blessings that they had no idea they were already having for centuries or was God going to say ‘okay, you rule it, you try and rule the weather, you try and rule the hail, you try and rule the fire, I am going? I leave you to it because you have no idea what you are doing. If you don’t let me, the only qualified person in the universe to be in control then it is utter foolishness but the proud king thinks that he is the best thing in the planet like we all do.

The battle of the wills

Let my people go. The psalmist says, the fool says in his heart there is no God. But do you know the word ‘there is’ is supplied? It is a supplied word, it is in italics. The fool says in his heart no God. That is what the fool says; God’s way and you say no. I don’t want that way God. That is a fool. Here we see this power going on. The typical way of looking at the Egyptian story was that God says let my people go. He said no so God comes and flogs him to pieces for not listening to Him. That is the man’s way of concluding but is that the case? Not at all, it is the exact opposite. God is the controller, He has already been controlling and now the time is coming when Egypt is fast closing their decision of who they wanted as ruler. Pharaoh and God’s will now come to the cross.

Calvary

Pharaoh experienced Calvary. Did he yield? Did Jesus yield? Yes. Did Pharaoh yield? No. God withdrew the restraining power, He backed off. The death of Jesus was experienced for every man. He tasted death for every man. There at Calvary was the wrath of God poured out upon Jesus but the Bible doesn’t say that God came up to Jesus and killed Him with His knife. What happened at Calvary if He tasted death and received the wrath of God for every man? What did the Father do? He withdrew Himself and so Jesus said my God, my God why have you forsaken me? In other words you never ever want God to leave your life. You don’t want that.

Fear is the opposite. You are scared of God, you want Him to go away but the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom doesn’t want Him to go away. It is the opposite where I am actually scared of my own self than God. I know that if God had His way there wouldn’t be sin, there wouldn’t be death, tears or pain. Isn’t that right? But because we got our way, then we are where we are and we tend to blame God for it. God let us have it because if He didn’t let us have it, then we’d be upset with Him for not giving it to us. We’d claim, ‘you are then a tyrant because you are not giving us what we want.’ God – ‘Have what you want, but what you want is death and death happens to kill and there is nothing you can do about it. Do you want God to leave your life? Yes or no? Then you’ll want to think who you will choose as ruler. When your will crosses God’s will, you’ll think, ‘if I have my way God will let me have it.’ But what is the result of that? What is the result of me having my own way? That means God won’t be ruler anymore. If God is the only qualified ruler to rule and I am not qualified to rule, then my life will naturally go into a collision. I want to be a little afraid of how quickly I get rid of God. He is powerful. He controls powers that could wipe you out instantly but He won’t let them do it until you say go away.

Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart

The Bible says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. It is interesting that the way God hardened Pharaoh’s heart was only because God wanted to save him.

In his dealings with the human race, God bears long with the impenitent. He uses his appointed agencies to call men to allegiance, and offers them his full pardon if they will repent. But because God is long-suffering, men presume on his mercy. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” The patience and long-suffering of God, which should soften and subdue the soul, has an altogether different influence upon the careless and sinful. It leads them to cast off restraint, and strengthens them in resistance. {RH, August 14, 1900 par. 1}

What hardens people’s heart? Even God’s mercy can harden someone’s heart because they have done wrong, they should be killed. God should remove their heart beat from them because every heart beat on this planet is powered up by God and if you want God to go away, your heart should stop instantly. But people disobey God yet their hearts still beat. It is the mercy of God, pure mercy of God. Then people think, ‘I have disobeyed and I am still alive. That means I can continue to disobey.’ That mercy hardens people. It hardened Pharaoh. If mercy is the blessing of God and that blessing of God hardened some and yet softens others can you see how God can sort the goats from the sheep quite easily? All He has to do is give men six thousand years to live and He’ll see who’s who. God has to give men time. It is like the sun shine upon the clay or the wax. The sunshine hardens the clay but melts the wax. It is still the sunshine. We can’t blame God for hardening Pharaoh’s heart. It was Pharaoh’s decision to harden his own heart under God’s mercy. Can you see that?

Great blessings and privileges are ours. We may secure the most valuable heavenly treasures. Let ministers and people remember that gospel truth ruins if it does not save. The soul that refuses to listen to the invitations of mercy from day to day can soon listen to the most urgent appeals without an emotion stirring his soul. {5T 134.1}

The Gospel of Christ can be the means of your destruction or salvation. It all depends on whose will you choose. You can hear the gospel of Christ and then you go, ‘I don’t want God’s will, I want my will’ and then because you’ve heard that good news you can never respond in the same way again. Is there something to fear? There is something to fear. Fear God, give glory to Him. God is the ruler, God is working to save us and if we don’t respond we’ll be lost. Not because God wants us lost. He wants us saved but because we don’t choose His will above our will we are lost.

Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt [him]. 8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? [how] shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? [how] shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.

How many religious people, Christians within the realms of Christendom, think themselves smarter than God? God says remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ‘That was nailed to the cross or that was for the Jews, it doesn’t say that in the Bible.’ It is in the Ten Commandments. You chuck one out you chuck them all out and people say good we will chuck out all the Ten Commandments and if there are no Ten Commandments then you perpetuate sin. If you perpetuate sin you are perpetuating suffering and death. See you don’t chuck them out, and if you don’t want to chuck them out you better remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

There are the two other cities that were destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah. How shall I give you up? How will I ever let go of you? It is painful for God. He loves us so much. The cross is the manifestation of the love of God that He already had for mankind when they sinned. The cross wasn’t a means to appease an angry God. The cross was a manifestation of His love that already existed in the heart of the Father. He says, ‘how can I give you up?’ How can I let go of controlling you because God knows full well if He lets go of your life, you are lost. You are wrecked because as soon as the rod is gone out of the hand, it turns into a snake. God is most pained. He takes no pleasure at all in the death of the wicked because it is the removal of Himself from the control station of your life. He doesn’t like it. God is made to be ruler. God wasn’t made but that is His position. He feels it very much.

Hosea 4:17 Ephraim [is] joined to idols: let him alone.

To deliver up is not to spare them. It is to give them over.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

He was an example of the wrath of God. He didn’t spare the old world but He let the flood take its course. He gave them over. What did the people in the flood say to God?

Job 22:15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? 16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: 17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

What did the antediluvian world say to God? Depart from us. So what can God do? He can’t do anything. He doesn’t spare them, He gives them over. He lets go of control of nature. The antediluvian world didn’t ponder the fact that God was holding the world from a worldwide flood. That was God’s work of upholding all things by the word of His power. He sustains what He creates. The antediluvian world didn’t calculate that. Their wisdom wasn’t so wise. They didn’t think, ‘Hang on, God controls the weather.’ How many people today think they can live quite fine without God? Our world is about to experience the seven last plagues and that is no different to what happened in the antediluvian world. All the plagues in Egypt is when God lets go of His rod. The wrath of God which is giving us over to the elements without His control and some weird things happen that we think they could never happen because we have no idea what God does. The fact is that God is smarter than us. I think that we can give God the privilege of being smarter than us. He knows more than we know. Just because we might not be able to explain every mystery doesn’t mean that those things don’t exist or can’t happen. God says they can and they will.

We look at the antediluvian world, we look at the Egyptians, we look at Sodom and Gomorrah, but even God’s own people have the same problem. Jesus was weeping over Jerusalem. He was crying and what we see Jesus do we see the Father doing. The Father also cried over Jerusalem.

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not! 35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until [the time] come when ye shall say, Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Jesus was making a declaration. I am leaving Jerusalem. What happens to Jerusalem? Forty years later it was destroyed. Did God destroy it? By virtue of living in it, He did. You could write down God was wrath with Jerusalem and went and smote the fattest of them all and all the language that the Bible uses, and say yes that is what took place by the fact He left them. Why did He leave them? Because He wanted to leave them? No. He didn’t want to leave them. They said, ‘we have no king but Caesar.’ He said, “you can have Caesar. You have him.’ In forty years Jerusalem was smashed to bits. That is your God. If I let go of the rod it will be a snake. It will be the worst of tyrants.

We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God’s mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejecters of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. Every ray of light rejected, every warning despised or unheeded, every passion indulged, every transgression of the law of God, is a seed sown which yields its unfailing harvest. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan. The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there given a more decisive testimony to God’s hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty. {GC 36.1}

God doesn’t come and say, ‘you did not listen to me, I will belch you out’. He says, ‘You don’t want me. I will leave you’. Isn’t that a totally different attitude? A totally different disposition, the disposition to hurt somebody that doesn’t like you or doesn’t listen to you is of the spirit of Satan. But the disposition to leave somebody alone when they don’t like you is a disposition of God. It is just that God has life and if you don’t want life you will get death. God knows that but He doesn’t do it very fast. He withdraws over a period of time because He knows the seriousness of Himself withdrawing. He is not easily pushed off His seat. Praise God for that.

It goes on to say that this is an example of the destruction of the world, of the Christian church, of God’s church that goes into apostasy as well as the world.

Do you want God to control your life or do you want your own way? Fear God. God has enormous power. He holds in His control powers that you don’t even know about. Don’t be too fast to choose your own way. Take your time before you choose your own way. Think very carefully before you choose your own way because the ramifications of saying, ‘God I don’t want you to control me’, is only to allow the snake to control you which you have no idea how fatuous he is without God’s restraining power.

We have many things to thank God for even just driving one kilometer on the road, breathing ten breaths. We can thank God for that because we don’t know how much God controls just for us to have that. The winds of strife are about to blow on this world, the wise will shine, the wise will be safe on the rock but the wise are those who choose God’s will and not their own because they fear God and they give glory to Him. They are not scared of Him. They want Him to control their lives.

Amen!

Posted on May 30, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Alfred Hokonya Jnr's Blog and commented:
    Does God Destroy

  2. Fernan Lacson

    Dear Sir,

    I would like to request in you kind hearted. Please send me through my email address a different kind of Power Point Divine Worship  Sermon for 30 minutes to 40 minutes long sermon. I hope you grant my simple request in order to spreed  the gospel of our Lord God Jesus Christ. Thank you and more power.

    Sincerely  yours,

    FERNAN LACSON

  1. Pingback: Does God Destroy? | Sabbath Sermons

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: