It is the prerogative of God alone to prescribe the duty of men and angels. The will of God is a perfect will and must be obeyed as it is set forth in his Holy Law, because every requirement is just and is set forth by infinite wisdom. The Law of God should be obeyed even though there were no authority to enforce it and no rewards for its obedience. The highest interests of men and angels are conserved in obeying the Law of God. God’s will expressed in his Law, is the supreme will and no invention nor device of men can take its place. Obedience to the commandments of men instead of the commandments of God will be as abomination in the sight of God. For what God requires is essential to the highest good of his subjects and is therefore essential for the glory of God – Signs of the Time, September 24 1894 paragraph 4
A people of powerIt is the prerogative of God alone to prescribe the duty of men and angels. The will of God is a perfect will and must be obeyed as it is set forth in his Holy Law, because every requirement is just and is set forth by infinite wisdom. The Law of God should be obeyed even though there were no authority to enforce it and no rewards for its obedience. The highest interests of men and angels are conserved in obeying the Law of God. God’s will expressed in his Law, is the supreme will and no invention nor device of men can take its place. Obedience to the commandments of men instead of the commandments of God will be as abomination in the sight of God. For what God requires is essential to the highest good of his subjects and is therefore essential for the glory of God (Signs of the Time, September 24 1894 paragraph 4).
God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good. Let’s try that again, God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good. Good afternoon everyone, thank you very much for staying by for the afternoon the final preaching session of this long day. I hope that you have been blessed to some degree by all that you have participated in from morning until now, and I hope you realize that your greatest blessing is not in the delicious food that is served, but in the food, that comes from this desk and other places where people have spoken. You know Job said, I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food, Job 23 verse 12. Jeremiah said, thy words were found and I did eat them, Jeremiah 15:16. Of course we must value God’s Word above everything else because God Himself has magnified His Word above all His name. So, I say one more time, God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.
Our subject for this afternoon, a people of power.
- If you have a Bible, I prefer that you use that rather than a phone or any other electronic gadget. I realized the Bible is going out of style I’m fighting a one-man war to keep it in style. So where if you can if you have a Bible, experience the joy of holding a Bible in your hand. A phone is not a Bible, it really isn’t.
- Second favor I ask is that you pray for me while I speak, all I want you to say is Lord put your words in that man’s mouth. That is based on Jeremiah chapter one verse nine, which says then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth and the Lord said unto me behold I have put my words in thy mouth. The words of the Lord are pure words, the words of the Lord are Spirit and their life. Jesus told the disciples in John 15:3, now you clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. God’s words will clean your life. Ellen White writes in Christ’s object lessons page 100 paragraph 1, if studied and obeyed the Word of God works in the heart subduing every unholy attribute. Councils on Sabbath School Work page 43 paragraph 2 study the word and practice the word for it is your life.
- And favor number 3, I want you to think as you listen. Isaiah 1:18, come now let us reason together set the Lord. The capacity to reason is that which elevates us above the lower creation. We can think, we can reason, we can analyze and in so doing we behave like God.
Father in Heaven, we are grateful dear God, that we could come to you 24 hours a day seven days a week in the name of Jesus. A name you always accept. As we bow in your presence Father if we’ve sinned against you we ask you to forgive us fully and freely. I ask you Father to take possession of my mind put your words in my mind in my heart and my mouth God. I humble myself before you Father I, really humble myself before you. How I wish dear God that your people will hear not me but You and that they will see not me but the cross of Christ with Christ on it, not crucified but risen, standing by that cross. Speak to us dear God, speak your will into our souls and give us a desire for spiritual things that exceeds our desire for natural things. A special blessing on our guests, bless her life in every possible way Father. At the end of this presentation let us know we have heard from You, not from me. I offer this prayer from my heart, in Jesus name, let God’s people say amen and amen.
A people of power. Let us go to Exodus 19 we’ll read from verse 4. This is God speaking to the Israelites just before He comes down on Sinai to proclaim His Ten Commandments. Exodus 19 reading from verse 4, 4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. 5Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: 6And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. God told the Israelites, I want you to be special to Me above every of the nation on the face of the earth. Now God’s desire has not changed. Listen to me carefully, the same way God wanted a special people who would be closer to Him than any other people, the same way He wanted that thousands of years ago, God wants the same thing today. Let me say differently, the same way God had a people in the past, special to Him, God has a people today just a special to Him.
Let’s go back and identify the condition that makes a people special to God. Exodus 19 verse 4, God tells the Israelites, Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians. Now why did God bring ten plagues upon the Egyptians? For the sake of the Israelites, in order that the Egyptians might be urged and encouraged to let the Israelites go. Now it was God’s preference to send no plagues at all, if Pharaoh had listened to Moses. And that’s a lesson for us: when we don’t listen the first time, God has to come a second time and the second time is more severe than the first. When dealing with God, learn your lesson as quickly as possible and save yourself some suffering. Are you following me? The word suffering may not be the best, but I let it stand. When dealing with God, learn your lesson as quickly as possible. If Pharaoh had obeyed Moses when Moses said let God’s people go, there would have been no plagues at all. If he had obeyed after the first plague, there would not have been the second. Because he disobeyed, each plague was worse than the preceding one until the final and the tenth plague broke Pharaoh’s back, every firstborn in the land of Egypt human and animal was slain and Pharaoh said go. There was no need for that, had he listened when Moses and Aaron spoke to him.
Many of us, we suffer because we do not listen to God the first time. You’ve seen what I did unto the Egyptians and I did it for you and how I bear you on eagle’s wings and brought you unto myself. A relationship with God must be intimate and close. That’s the only kind of relationship God understands; close. If you read John 14:1-3, the Bible says, 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. It’s I and you, that’s the way God functions.
Now the Bible makes it very clear that through the Holy Ghost, Christ dwells in us, but that’s not close enough. Let me say that again, a little more slowly, the Bible is very clear particularly in John 14, through the Spirit of God, Christ dwells in us. By the way, when Christ walked on this earth He was with the disciples, He was not in them. Today through the Holy Spirit’s agency, Christ is in us. Which means that we are closer to Christ now that the disciples were when they walked with Him. Maybe that’s a little difficult for you to assimilate and to digest. Let me say it again, through the agency of the Spirit of God, we are closer to God now, those of us who faithful, than the disciples were when they traveled in the boat with Christ and walked right next to Him. And so, through the Spirit Christ dwells in us, but this is not good enough for Christ. He wants to be closer because even though through the Spirit he dwells in us He is not with us personally, He’s in Heaven.
When Mary and the other women came to the tomb of Christ Matthew 20 at 5 and 6, the angel said I know that ye seek Jesus, He is not here, He’s risen. The angel said He isn’t here, He’s gone. While I am glad the Holy Ghost represents Christ, the Holy Ghost is not Christ. And so, Jesus Himself says in the same chapter when He says the Holy Ghost will be in you and I will come to you through the Holy Ghost, in that same chapter, He begins it by saying let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, which means we are not yet unto Himself, even though His Spirit is in us. If that’s clear say Amen. We are not yet in the personal presence of Christ. That where I am there ye may be also. Where Christ is, we’re not yet there. Are you following me? Christ wants us to be so close to Him that in His humanity He reaches out and can touch us. He cannot do that now.
What am I saying? Let’s listen to Christ speaking to the Israelites, and by the way it was Christ speaking to Moses, Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians and how I bare you on eagle’s wings and brought you unto Myself. Question for you, when they were in Egypt were they God’s people? Yes, but they weren’t close enough. They were God’s people in Egypt but for God, that was not good enough. I need you out of Egypt right with me. And how I bare your own eagle’s wings and brought you unto Myself. You need to understand God is a God of intimate relationships, not long-distance relationships, intimate relationships. Now therefore if ye will obey My voice indeed and keep My covenant then we shall be a peculiar, different from everybody else, treasure. What is a treasure? Something highly valued. God valued His people back then above everyone else.
What’s our subject? A people of power. Who’s the most powerful person in the universe? God (Father, Son, Holy Ghost). Anyone close to God is a beneficiary of God’s power. If I go through the airport with the president of United States, I do not have to go through security, you know why? Because I’m with him. If you go through the airport with the Prime Minister of Australia, you do not have to go through security because you are covered by his authority. I will say again anyone close to God is a beneficiary of God’s limitless power and we’re talking about a people of power.
You shall be a peculiar treasure unto me and I just said, what is a treasure? Something highly valued. Listen to Desire of Ages page 524 paragraph 1, the Savior bless all who sought His help. He loves all the human family, but to some, He is bound by peculiarly tender associations. Listen carefully, His heart was knit by a strong bond of affection to the family at Bethany. Name the members of that family (Mary, Martha and Lazarus). And for one of them, His most wonderful work was wrought.
The servant of the Lord tells us, Jesus Christ deliberately saved and reserved His most mighty miracle for the family closest to Him. No other family was as close to Christ as Mary, Martha and Lazarus. If you read Matthew chapter 8, Jesus spent some time in the house of Peter, He healed Peter’s mother-in-law, you remember that, and she rose from a fever and ministered to them. Christ was closer to Mary, Martha and Lazarus than to Peter’s family. Listen to me carefully, God is closer to some people than He is to others. You have to decide, how close is God to me? And that closeness can be measured, there’s a condition, there’s a standard. How close is God to me? We know from reading the Gospels that on very sensitive missions even though Christ had 12 disciples, which three did He always take on very sensitive missions? Peter, James and John, because they were closer to Him than the other nine. How close are you to God?
Let’s identify the condition for closeness to God. We read again Exodus 19:4 and 5, 4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. 5Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then – stop, stop, stop, then. There is a process – this, then that. What’s the condition for being close to God? Obedience, and I said the person who’s close to God is a beneficiary of God’s divine power. A powerful man or a powerful woman or a powerful people, is that man, that woman or that people that obey God.
Listen to God speaking to Joshua after the death of Moses. Tremendous promise God gave Joshua. Joshua chapter 1, let’s read from verse 5, our subject a people of power. Joshua 1:5, 5There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. Stop. Now I want you to as you read this statement of God to Joshua, don’t see Joshua only as an individual. What God is telling Joshua applies to the Israelites, if they will obey as God is telling Joshua obey. Let me say that differently, what God is promising Joshua is available to the Israelites if they will obey. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I’ll be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 7Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: yes, just obey me, turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. Stop.
Now look at verse 5, look at verse 7: in verse 5, God says no one will be able to oppose you all the days of your life and in verse 7, God says if you obey me you will prosper anywhere you go. Now, do you have to go to the United States to prosper? No. Can you prosper in the Solomon Islands? Yes. What’s the condition? Obey Me. Can you prosper in Fiji? Yes. What’s the condition? Obey Me. What kind of obedience? Total. What percentage? 100. Let’s look at 100% obedience look at verse 7 again, only be strong and very courageous that thou mayest observe to do what? ALL. My brothers and sisters the condition for being a powerful people, give me one word, obedience. Then if we are weak what’s our conclusion? What’s our conclusion? We’re disobedient.
Early Writings page 227 paragraph 1, I saw, and when reading Ellen White’s writings, when you see “I saw or I was shown” sit up. I saw that if the church had always retained a peculiar holy character, the power of the Holy Spirit which was imparted to the disciples would still be with her. The sick would be healed, devils would be rebuked and cast out and she would be mighty and a terror to her enemies. How can a church be mighty and a terror to others? Let’s find out from Joshua chapter 2 reading from verse 8.
Our subject, a people of power. My brothers and sisters were weak not because it’s God’s fault. We inflict weakness on ourselves by not obeying God. Joshua chapter 2 from verse 8, Rahab has hidden the spies in the roof of her house. Now the Jericho military have gone looking for the spies because Rahab lied to them. Now Rahab goes up to them 8And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; 9And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, what is Ellen White writing in Early writings? She would be mighty and a terror to her enemies. In other words, Ellen White is saying if the church would obey God, other people would say, leave that church alone. They have a God who will kill you. They have a God who defends them, leave those people alone. Rahab said I know that the Lord hath given you the land and that your terror from what we’ve heard about you we are afraid of you is fallen upon us and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. Do you see because of you at the end of verse nine? Well say yes or no. Because of you. 10For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea, what are the next few words, for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
Now let me tell you something about Jericho. Jericho was the most heavily fortified city in that time. The walls were so powerful God Himself had to bring them down. Rahab lived on the wall. Let me say it again, Jericho was the most heavily fortified city of the ancient world, and one of the citizens of Jericho knowing how fortified the city was, when she heard the Israelites were coming out of the wilderness she said, look I know the Lord has given you this place and we the citizens are the most powerful city in this part of the world, we are scared to death, with all our fortifications and our thick walls. We are afraid of you because we realize you have a God who cannot be shut out by walls. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you. Do you realize the things God wants to do for us, if we obey?
Go to Deuteronomy 28, let’s read from verse 1, our subject, a people of power.
Our theme is the power of God.
Father in Heaven, I have 10 minutes left. Speak through me, Father, very directly. Help me to speak clearly and simply, I pray. Teach us, I ask, in Jesus name Amen.
1And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: If Fiji will obey God to what percentage? 100%, as small as Fiji is, God would raise Fiji above the United States. Your “amen” didn’t have much energy. You see there’re some things in the Bible almost too good to be true. There’s no such thing in the Bible, if it’s in there it’s good. But because we’re human and our natural behavior is doubt we say, this is too good to be true. The Bible says if you will observe and to do all these commandments which I command you this day, the Lord thy God shall set thee on high above all nations of the earth. Because God always has a special people closer to Him than anybody else, and the identifying mark of that people, give me one word obedience – how many of his laws? All.
Go back to Joshua 1 and I’m closing. Let’s go to eight, Joshua 1:8, 8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: now in other words give me one word for all of that? Obey. If you obey, here’s the result. Now, finish verse 8, for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Now we already know from verse 7 that your prosperity will be anywhere you go.
My brothers and sisters, we are weak not because God does not know how to defend his people, we are weak because we are disobedient. Remember AI, that little city? You don’t remember AI? The Israelites went to fight AI, what happened? They lost, they were embarrassed, they were humiliated? Why? Akan. There was one act of disobedience, one. Patriarchs and Prophets page 479 paragraph 2, Ellen White writes, God shut Moses out of Canaan to teach a lesson which should never be forgotten, that He requires exact obedience. If God tells you to seventh day is the Sabbath, that’s the day you keep. Don’t tell God your best business on Saturday, God doesn’t care, I said keep the Sabbath holy, I don’t care whether your business flourishes on the seventh day or not. I said keep the Sabbath holy.
When Neman came to Elijah to be healed of leprosy Elijah said go dip in the Jordan seven times. If he had dipped 6.9999, he would have left that River a leper. But how do we hurt ourselves? We regard obedience as legalism and we suffer. The Bible says bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, bring the tithe. If you’ll observe to do all these Commandments which the LORD thy God command thee this day, all of them the condition of power in God’s people is, tell me the word, obedience. Whether as a people or an individual. You know why Christ was so powerful as a human being? He obeyed the Father. Everything the Father said Jesus, did. The human Jesus. Everything the Father said Jesus did. And how do we try to soothe our consciences because we’re disobedient? We say, well Jesus has an edge in the battle of sin. Christ had no edge, the only edge He had was obedience and that edge is available to us.
And so tonight as I reluctantly come to the close of a people of power, our power with God is based on simple obedience to Him. I’ll tell you something else, our righteousness is obedience to God.
Go to Deuteronomy chapter 6. Let’s read verse 25, 25And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us. Righteousness is obedience to God. And so, Paul says, in Romans 8:1, 1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
What is the Bible saying? It is possible to obey God perfectly, but that power to give God perfect obedience is the very life of Christ in us. And so, Paul writes, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. Now, it was the Father living in Jesus that allowed Jesus to be so obedient. Jesus said, believest thou not that I’m in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth works. And it is Christ in us that allows us to obey perfectly. The Bible says righteousness exalteth a nation. Righteousness is simple obedience to God and God told the Israelites repeatedly, if you obey Me, I will raise you above every other nation on the face of the earth.
My brothers and sisters, that promise is not only for nation, that promise is for an individual. Tonight, I want you to make a decision or make a choice and to act on that choice by the power of God. Father give me a spirit, a heart to obey you to the limit of my knowledge, as much as I know, let me obey. How many of you will say Father give me a heart to obey you, can I see your hand? Stand up with me. A spirit to obey, a mind I to obey, a disposition to obey, so that obedience becomes our highest joy not watching Australian rules football or Manchester United or some basketball game, our highest joy becomes knowing we have put a smile on God’s face by doing exactly what He says. This is not legalism, this is living by faith. What did Jesus say of himself and us, if ye keep my Commandments, you shall abide in My love, even as I have kept my Father’s Commandments and abide in His love. Tonight, recommit your life to God.
Our High Calling page 215 paragraph 2, genuine conversion is not needed once in years but daily. Ah, you didn’t hear what I said. Genuine conversion is not needed once in years but daily. When you wake in the morning you open your eyes, don’t wait to get out of the bed because you can collapse between the bed and the floor and die, doesn’t take long to die. As soon as you open your eyes, you recommit your life to God. Genuine conversion is needed not once in years but daily. A people of power. You tell me now with energy and confidence, what is the condition of a powerful people? Obedience. What is the condition of a powerful person? Obedience. Is there any other condition? No. How many will try to obey by God’s power and grace, can I see your right hand?
Father in Heaven, we are born with the nature that hates obedience. Your Word says in Romans eight verse seven and eight, because the carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be so that they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Father we want to be in this Spirit and that’s what conversion does, it puts us in the Spirit. And so, Jesus says in John three four six, that which is born of the flesh is flesh that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. We want to function in the Spirit dear God. Forgive us for our disobedience Father, forgive us for our rebellious attitude, forgive us for thinking we know more than you do, in the name of Jesus Christ we confess. Forgive us father and grant us the humility to accept receive and agree that obedience is a foundation of a powerful life. Foundation is a condition upon which a man or a nation, a woman or a nation is closer to Christ than anyone else.
Put into our hearts dear God, a love for obedience so that it may be said of us as it was said of Jesus Christ, I delight to do thy will O My God, yea thy law is within My heart. Put your Law in our heart dear God, that we may obey you gladly. Bless every man, woman, boy and girl dear God. Let us yearn for that closeness to you, so that we may make obedience our joy. Bless us, hear us, dear God. Watch over us tonight.
Now bless the food we’re about to eat we thank you for it in a world where so many people go hungry every day. Use us to ease the suffering of others I pray in, Jesus name, let God’s people say amen and amen.
God bless you. The Sun has set, hold on a minute, the sun has set so the holy day is gone. The sun does not set on your personal holiness, are you following me? No, you’re not following me. Are we supposed to be a holy people? Yes. How many days a week? 7. How many hours of the day? 24. How many minutes? However many as they are. The sun did not set on your personal holiness, you are still required to behave like a holy person even though the holy day is gone, are you with me? God, bless you, I love you, enjoy your food. Eat like a child of God. God, bless you.