The tree of life was available for consumption before sin, the tree of life will be available for consumption after sin in the new world. Since Adam was denied access because of sin, we can no longer access that tree now, but we still need that life, but can’t get to the tree. Since we can’t get there and that future time has not yet come in the meantime how do we access the life from the tree, because that’s the life we need? How? Listen Evangelism page 138 paragraph 4, listen to this explosive statement: The Word of God is our sanctification and righteousness because it is spiritual food. To study it, is to eat the leaves of the tree of life. So, in the meantime while we’re waiting for that new world which is coming since the life of that tree is still the life we need, God has provided a means for us to access that life without having direct access to a tree and that life is in His word.
In the meantimeGod is good, all the time and all the time God is good. You know God is the inventor of singing and I can’t wait to get to heaven to hear Jesus sing and to sing with all the redeemed when the angels will keep quiet and listen to us sing from an experience they have not had. And so, I look forward to that day. You know suffering improves the voice? Are you listening to me? You listen to people who have never suffered and they have correct notes. You listen to people who have suffered and they sing and it moves you. And so, all those who are redeemed would have suffered for God and when they sing the angels will go quiet and listen.
So, I thank you and God bless you my beloved sister. Thank you very much for staying, it has been a long day for all of us. I want the focus to be on God because God said in Isaiah 42 verse 8 I am the Lord did that is my name My glory will I not give to another nor My praise to graven images. You know in Acts chapter 12, Herod gave a speech and all the people went crazy. They said this man is a god. He’s not a natural man, what a beautiful speech and instead of deflecting the glory to God, Herod kept it and God was unhappy and God sent worms and they devoured Herod right on the podium. Never take the glory that belongs to God. It is the worst form of theft. And so, I want to give God all the glory but I must say again thanks to the human instruments God used to make these three glorious weeks possible and I won’t go through a whole list, but again I must thank the pastor, Pastor Misiani and his associate pastor, pastor Fikoloma, I don’t see him. Elder Obert, all the elders who assisted. The wives of Pastor Fikoloma, sister Obert, for cooking delicious meals. Those who drove me back and forth, as the pastor said, any car I got into I called it my limousine. So, every night after the service, they said pastor wait, let’s see if the limousine is ready. You see when you’re in a car as a child of God, that car becomes a limousine. Can you say Amen? Even as the back of a horse, you in a limousine because of who you are, you are a son of God, you are daughter of God and because of what you are by God’s grace that vehicle becomes a limousine.
So, thank you for my limousine drivers, God bless you! You always try to be on time because I’m very fanatic about time and I really appreciate all that you have done. I really mean it. This is not idle words. I am speaking in the presence of a God who records every word. I have been terribly blessed, hugely honored and I will long remember this delicious experience with you for three weeks. God, bless you, God bless you, God bless you. When Christ comes, I want to see every last one of you plus those you’ve brought to Christ. Well, I’ll say more about I in my message. How many of you will say thanks to my wife for letting me come, can I see your hand? I’ll tell her, she’s a nice little girl, works very hard. I hope she doesn’t hear this recording, I may not live much longer, but she works very hard in a hospital. She runs the department of pediatrics Human Resources. She worked very well and I understand when you work well people reward you by giving you more work. So, that’s what she has to deal with. So, I’ll give her your love. Will I be right? Yes or no? All right her name is Maydis. She always says, just take the word dismay and turn it around and that’s her name. Serves God very faithfully, good preacher too by the way. So, I’ll take your love to her but again we want to focus on Jesus.
Tonight, our subject is in the meantime
What did I say? In with the meantime. It’s my final message. Before I begin, the pastor reminded you all cell phones turned off. Pray for me, this is the last chance you have, in this setting of course. And of course always think, always think. If you think, you’ll come to God. If when you listen to the Bible, you think you will come to God. Are you listening to me? The Bible was made for reasonable people, people who think. When you do not think that’s another story, but if you think this message will draw you to the author.
Opening prayer –
Let’s bow our heads and pray:
Holy Father in Heaven, as I stand to represent you dear God help me again. I ask in the name of Jesus, put your words in my mouth, your Spirit in my heart that I may not only speak the truth but speak it the right way. Touch every listening heart I pray and at the end of this message will be the end of the series, let us be drawn a little closer to our Redeemer Jesus Christ your son our Savior. We offer this prayer in His powerful name, let all God’s people say amen and amen.
My concern, my burden whenever I travel to preach and God has sent me to all six continents of the earth is what will happen after I leave? How many will stay faithful?
You know when the three Hebrew boys refused to bow, Nebuchadnezzar was furious and he said to them in Daniel 3:15 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Are you listening to me? Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? I have a sermon entitled, meet God. You want to know who He is? Meet God. Who is that God? Says Nebuchadnezzar that can deliver you out of the hands of the most powerful King on the earth at that time 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, now here’s a lesson for how we serve God. Many people serve God if He does that or does that, you give me a job I serve you. You heal my disease, I serve you. Listen to me, how we should serve God – 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
I love the way verse 18 goes – 18 But if not, hmm. If God does not give me what I want, I’ll still serve Him. If God puts His hand around my neck and starts to choke, I’ll serve him. If I God afflicts me with disease, I’ll serve Him. What did Job say, though He slay me, you must let God know there’s nothing you can do to stop me from serving you. Now that determination makes the devil tremble. And so, they said 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king – you have to let your friends know, you’ve got to let your relatives know, your classmates in the school room, your colleagues on the job, half-hearted half-baked members of the church – you’ve got to let them know, be it known unto you – that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Be it known unto you.
You know how many Christians never make it known they love God? Hmm. Every aspect of our lives must be, be it known unto you. Those on the job, they must know you’re a child of God without a tremor of hesitation. Your family members who are unconverted, they must know. And so, those three boys, captive slaves, they looked at the most powerful man on the earth at that time, the Bible world, and they said with respect, be it known unto you, O powerful King on the earth, we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou has set up, we only worship what God sets up. What did God set up? Christ. Never be afraid to let people know where you stand. A made-up mind is a powerful thing.
Daniel 1: 5 – Nebuchadnezzar appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so, nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Verse 8 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart. I have heard people say, if you were to ask them, if you found yourself in such and such a situation would you be faithful to God? They say well, I’ll have to wait until I get to that situation. Wrong, wrong. If that’s what you do when you get to it, you’ll fail most likely. Make up your mind before it arises, that if it arises this is my position I adopt.
The Bible says Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: – make up your mind, I’m not following my friends into sin. Make up your mind, I will avoid circumstances that make it easy for me to sin. Make up your mind that no matter how busy my day is, I will take time for the supernaturally powerful Word of God. It was the Defense for Christ, it must be for defense from me. Make up your mind. You know how many people make up their minds to commit crimes? And they do, they make it a career? And so, you put a wall around your house, you put an electric fence, you get dogs, you get lions, you get whatever you can. But when a criminal makes up his mind, he finds a way to get into your house because he’s made up his mind.
Now you’ve got to make up your mind, I don’t care what the devil does, I’m not disgracing God. I don’t care how many class assignments I have, I begin the day with God’s word. Can you say amen? Make up your mind, that’s what God wants – the mind. That’s not really what I wanted to say in my message. How can you remain strong, not just those who are baptized, all of us? You think the devil only tempts new baptismal, new members? He tempts everybody. The devil doesn’t care about gender, age social, status. He’s trying to get as many people into the flames of hell with him. How can you and I remain strong? Let’s listen to Peter, tremendous pastor and Paul a great pastor. Let’s start with Paul because we go alphabetically.
Let’s go to the book of Acts chapter 20. Paul is speaking to the elders of Ephesus. He had been in Ephesus three years. I’ve been here three weeks and he’s telling them what they need to do to keep the members strong. Acts 20 reading from verse 25 – 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. What did he mean? Paul tells the church leaders; my hands have no blood, why? verse 27 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God– I could give you in three years and I could give you in three weeks. What Paul is saying, if you end up in hell, it’s not my fault because I told you and I told you directly and I told you boldly and I told you at night and I told you at one to one counseling. I am pure from the blood of all men. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Paul begs the elders, feed the church, teach them this (the Word of God), 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Paul says people will come in, teach all kinds of rubbish. Verse 30 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. In many ways, the greatest danger of the church is the church, people from within and all kinds of strange doctrines that they try to spread that Jesus is less than God and the Holy Ghost is electricity and they are very vigorous in trying to spread it around and Paul gives a defense against that.
Verse 31 31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. That is spiritual immunity against spiritual disease and there’s no spiritual disease like sin and the most frequent form in which sin comes is deception. Paul says, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up and to give an inheritance. That’s what God’s Word can do
Listen to Peter. Now 1 Peter 5 reading verse 1. Peter is speaking to the elders of a church most likely at Rome which he calls Babylon and here’s what he says: The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: What is verse 2 say, feed what? The flock of God. Peter says feed them, Paul says feed them.
In John 21 verse 15 – 17 – Jesus said to Simon Peter, lovest though me? What did Simon Peter say? Yes. What did Jesus say? Feed my lambs. He said to him again lovest though me more than these? Yes. Feed my sheep. Lovest though me more than these? Lord thou knowest I lovest thee. Peter was getting irritated now. Christ kept persisting, Jesus said, feed my sheep.
Many years ago, a pastor told me as a young man, feed the sheep they will produce wool. You don’t have to argue and beg, feed the sheep they will produce the wool. Now why is this the recommendation of Paul and the recommendation of Peter, the recommendation of Jesus, why the Word? Here’s where we get into the middle of in the meantime.
Go with me to Genesis chapter 2. Let’s understand why the Word is the primary recommendation. Genesis 2:9 – 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now we have two trees identified by name and a third one in chapter 3 which is the fig tree (Gen. 3:7 – and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons). We have three trees identified by name in the first three chapters of Genesis:
- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
- the tree of life and
- the fig tree
Peter says in 1 Peter 4:15 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. There two ways to suffer: doing something stupid and just the natural way God develops His people. Sometimes God allows trials in the life of a righteous man or woman to develop that person to a higher level because you don’t develop in good times, you developed in trying times. You want to go to the gym to build muscles, you don’t lift the lightest weight, you lift the weight that makes you grunt and grown and perspire and collapse with exhaustion so that the muscles are challenged and they adapt. That’s the way God builds us. God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of that tree after they sinned. And so, what looks harsh was an act of mercy. The Bible says, – 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Now when the world was made, God granted access to the Tree of Life to Adam and Eve in their sinless state. Follow me closely.
Let’s skip from Genesis 3 all the way to revelation 22. In the meantime, is our subject. The Tree of Life was designed to give life or preserve life. God gives life, the tree preserves it. Revelation 22 verse 1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. What we’re seeing in Revelation is the new world, the world made new. Remember 21 verse 1 says and I saw a new heaven and a new earth. In this new world, there’s the tree of life again. The leaves of that tree, the fruits are for the healing of the nation because when we go to the new world as we eat, you see, we will grow up. You know Ellen White said Adam was more than twice as tall as man living. We will go through some physical changes, as we eat, we change.
So, the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. What we’re seeing is that the tree of life was available for consumption before sin, the tree of life will be available for consumption after sin in the new world. So, we have before sin, we have after sin. But let me ask you this, what life was it that a tree of life preserved? You see what life was it that the tree of life preserved? Because when Adam and Eve left they were alive, are you listening to me? So, there’s life and there’s life. The Bible says in 1 Timothy chapter 5 verse 6 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. So, there is life and there is life. The life that the Tree of Life preserved was different from the life with which Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. But to enter God’s new world, to be a member of God’s kingdom we have to receive life.
And so, Jesus says in John 10:10 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. But He said that to people who were already living. So, the life He brought was different from the life an unconverted person lives. The life that tree preserved is the life we live when Christ comes into our lives and He converts us. Are you listening to me? That’s the life Adam and Eve lived. That’s the life we will live in the new world. Since Adam was denied access because of sin, we can no longer access that tree now, but we still need that life, but can’t get to the tree, that’s why the sermon title is in the meantime. Since we can’t get there and that future time has not yet come in the meantime how do we access the life from the tree, because that’s the life we need? How?
Listen Evangelism page 138 paragraph 4, listen to this explosive statement: The Word of God is our sanctification and righteousness because it is spiritual food. To study it, is to eat the leaves of the tree of life. So, in the meantime while we’re waiting for that new world which is coming since the life of that tree is still the life we need, God has provided a means for us to access that life without having direct access to a tree and that life is in His word. And so, Jesus told His listeners in John 6:63 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. The words that I speak and here are the words that Jesus Has spoken and continues to speak. What am I saying my brothers and sisters? Eternal life lies in the Word of God. Let me say it again, eternal life lies in the Word of God, but the word has to be studied and obeyed. Another word for obedience is? Faith. No obedience, you don’t have faith. Obedience is faith in action, you see.
Listen to what the Bible says about the ancient Israelites compared to those in the days of Paul: for unto us in the days of Paul was the gospel preached as well as unto them in the wilderness with Moses. That’s about 1,500 years difference. But the word preached, which is a gospel did not profit them. Why? Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it, they never obeyed that’s why Moses said, ye have been stiff necked from the day that I met you, stiff necked – disobedient. Moses said in Deuteronomy 9 I believe 24 or 25 you have been stiff necked, rebellious, disobedient from the day that I met you. Moses did not meet them when he began to lead them, he had met them 40 years earlier. And so, the gospel preached to them did not profit them. But what is the gospel?
Listen to Romans 1:16 for I am Not Afraid of the gospel of Jesus Christ, why? For it is the power of God unto salvation. What is the power of God that did not work in the lives of the Israelites because they did not obey the word. The gospel is all the power of God. Let me say that again. Let me say it differently. In order for God to deliver us from sin, it requires all the power of God. You didn’t hear me. The plan, the gospel that God created, devised, developed with His son to save us required all the power of God, and God is infinite how can you amass all the power of an infinite being? I don’t know. That’s how big a problem sin is! All the power of God was required to deal with sin.
Education page 76 paragraph 3 I believe it is Ellen White rights Christ came to this world with the accumulated love of an eternity. You didn’t hear me. You didn’t hear me. How long is eternity? What’s she saying, (does eternity have an end, yes or no? No), and somehow God gathered up all the love in eternity and sent it with Christ to save us. That’s what the Word says. Your strength, your power is in God’s Word. You know Jesus when He was tempted, then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, Matthew 4:1 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungered. 3 And when the tempter came to Him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
The devil will try that trick on you. If you’re truly converted, if you see he doesn’t come and say oh you’re not converted, he doesn’t do that because if he did that, that’s too, dogmatic. He invites you to participate in the discussion. Are you truly converted? When a question is asked, there must be an answer. Then you begin to say, wait a minute, I’m I truly converted? What did he say to Eve? Has God said? What did He say to Jesus? If you’re the son of God. And so, he said if thou be the Son of God, if you’re truly converted, are you sure you are converted? That sin you committed 25 years ago, was so horrible, did God really forgive you? You know how many people don’t accept the forgiveness of God because they conclude, no this sin is too big for God, He could not have forgiven me. When the Bible says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all big and small, long and short.
If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said it is written? When Jesus did that the devil changed his temptation. He said that one didn’t work as powerful as it was, he said 6 And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands, they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, all these things will I give thee. I’ll give you a job. I’ll give you a raise. Just compromise on the principles of God, all these things will I give you. The devil packages sin so attractively – if thou will fall down and worship me, 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. While the devil was changing his temptations, Jesus Christ never changed His approach, He never changed His response. Listen to me, your safety and mine lies in thus saith the Lord.
Conflict Courage page 34 paragraph 6 – Ellen White writes there’s only one safe way for any man and that is the way of obedience towards thus saith the Lord. In other words, what did God say? What does the Bible say? That’s your power, that’s your strength, at any age.
You will be severely tempted. Sorely tempted to put secular things above the spiritual. The Bible says, 29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore, was his name called Edom. Verse 31 Genesis 25 the Bible says 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. Now the birthright was the most precious thing to a boy, back then in the Hebrew culture. The birthright meant the firstborn boy he’d get a double portion of the father’s possessions, he’d be the high priest of the house, he would get the father’s blessing. It was the most coveted thing in a family, the birthright. So, Jacob says 31 And Jacob said, sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said in verse 32 of Genesis 25 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? Hmm.
Now before we look down our noses at Esau, human beings are human beings regardless of the historic era. The carnal nature doesn’t change, only except it gets worse. How many times have you or have I said or any Adventist, I’ve been looking for a job for six years. Here’s an excellent offer, I just have to work one Sabbath a month. What profit shall this Sabbath commandment do to me? Are you listening to me? I have studied in medical school five hard years, my final exam to get my degree is on the Sabbath. I look back at a million of rand I paid and the possibilities to serve the world. We love to justify sin. One exam on the Sabbath, what profit shall this Sabbath commandment do to me, if it frustrates my medical career? I’ve been trying for 25 years to get my hands on a man, hmm. Here comes a nice one, but he’s not a member of the church but he’s nice, real nice, what profit shall this “be not an equally yoked” be to me, if it causes me to let him slip through my hungry fingers. We reason like that all the time. What profit shall this birthright do to me? I’m hungry. So, we place the physical above the spiritual. We devalue the spiritual in pursuit of the physical. Jesus says what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul. Jesus says it makes no sense, heaven or earth, to lose eternal life for something temporary. Did you know what I said? You lose an eternity for something temporary. You must think clearly, is this spiritual? Is this temporal? And the emphasis must be on the spiritual. Esau should have said Jacob I’m hungry but I’m not stupid, there is no way in the world I’ll sell you my birthright. I will die before I sell my birthright. But he sold it for one bowl of lentils soup, whatever it was Jacob was making. Did you hear what I said? He was dazzled, he was blinded. The physical, the temporal, the secular took preeminence over the spiritual. Don’t do that, don’t do, that don’t do that.
When Jesus said, what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul, Jesus did not say don’t gain the whole world. Now I’m hitting a lot of subjects, you see this is the last time. He never said, don’t gain the world. He never said don’t rise to the highest level of your profession. He never said that. He said don’t do it at the cost of your salvation. If you can rise to the highest go ahead with your salvation secure like Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon. Are you with me? But never endanger your salvation for something that may last next week because you may die.
And so, my beloved brothers and sisters recently baptized, more established friends, you’ve got to establish priorities in your life and the Bible gives the way to prioritize. Matthew 6:33 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. When God is first everything else takes its proper place. Are you following me? Never, never remove God from position one. When you do that, He is unable to save you. I told you a couple of weeks ago, God can only save from position one in the life. Now from position two and three and four wherever we put Him, He can convict, the holy ghost can touch you and trouble you, but to save you, to justify you and make you right in His sight and fit for His company, He must occupy position one and there must be no position two unless it’s God again. He must be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten! Satan must have no ground in your life. And so, in the meantime as we wait for that new world, this is how we access the Tree of Life (the Word).
Spirit of Prophecy volume 1 page 69 paragraph 1 interesting words, in order for man to possess an endless life he must continue to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Deprived of that tree, his life would gradually wear away. Listen again in order for Adam to maintain an endless life he had to continue to eat, if he had stopped his life would have worn away. So, it is essential that we partake of the Tree of Life and how do we do that now? Through His word. And so, Jesus says verily, verily I say unto you except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life – not will have, hath eternal life and He was referring to His Word eaten like food and drink.
So, tonight I leave you with the counsel of Paul and Peter and above all Jesus Christ, this is your defense. Let me tell you something else quickly and I let you go. Look at the temptation of Christ and I give you some clues and we pray. Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Now Jesus knew Satan would come. That’s not the same thing as saying Jesus went looking for Satan. Never go looking for the devil. Did you hear me? When you’re alone in a house with a woman at 12:30 at night and she’s not your sister or your wife or your mother or your aunt you have gone looking for the devil and you’ll find him. He’ll be wearing a dress but you’ll find him, don’t go looking for the devil. Come on say Amen! He finds you good enough don’t go looking for him. And when the tempter came to Him not when He went to the tempter. To many of us, we go to the devil. Are you with me? We go looking for him and when we find him we blame God, where were you when I was looking for the devil. Are you with me? Don’t go looking for Satan. And when the tempter came to Him he said if thou be the Son of God. Satan will question, question, question. Command these stones be made bread. Resisting sin is a science, temptation is a science.
Satan then come to Christ and say if thou be the Son of God, tell a lie. He tempted Christ at His most vulnerable. In an area where it hurt. You see when you’re hungry all this time you begin to hallucinate and those rocks in the desert look like bread. Just turn them to bread they belong to no one, there in the wilderness, you’re not stealing they belong to no one, turn some into bread to save your life, I’m on your side. Are you listening to me? I’m on your side, says Satan, I want to see you live. The devil never comes as someone trying to hurt you. He told Eve and Adam for God doth know Genesis 3:5 that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. He presented himself as someone concerned about them in a way God was not concerned. Hey listen, your eyes will be opened, you shall be as gods, you’ll know good and evil. I want to see you prosper. The devil never brings temptation as something to hurt you.
Listen to Jesus it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word. As precise as a devil’s temptation was and fit the circumstances of Christ, His response was just a scientific and precise. He didn’t say it is written thou shalt not covet. He didn’t say it is written forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, He chose a verse that fit the temptation perfectly. That’s why you must know God’s Word. So, when the temptation comes you say, thou shalt not steal. You want to lose your temper – he that ruleth over his temper is better than he that taketh a city, or you go to Ephesians chapter 4 – let not the sun go down on your wrath. You feel like telling someone off, giving them a piece of your mind even if you have a little bit less left, huh, you give away a piece – you think of Ephesians 4:29 let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. When you curse a person out have you ministered grace? You save that verse that fits. Resisting temptation is an organized thing because the temptation is deliberately planned, it is not haphazard and so make God’s word your first love, know it.
A young girl came to me. I was in Kenya – and the pastor is right, after I’ll be Kenyan for a month, all the month of August I’ll be in Kenya – Nairobi suburb called Lavington. This young lady came to me a few years ago, she said pastor I can’t sleep at night. I think I told you the story, spirit something comes at night and bothers her – I gave her 1 John 3 – he that committeth sin is of the devil for the devil sinneth from the beginning for this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil – I gave her a revelation 12:9 and a great dragon was cast out. Christ has not forgotten how to do that – I gave her Hebrews 2:14 for us much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood he also himself likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death And I said you read those verses, meditate on them let them be the last thing on your mind before you sleep. Sleep thinking about them. She came back the next day, she said I slept for the first time in months. Listen to me, this is your defense. And so, don’t go looking for the devil, he’s skillful enough you don’t need to help him. Don’t live your Christian life by yourself.
1 Peter 5:8 be sober. What does that mean? Keep your head clear. Keep your head clear, your senses alert. Be sober, be vigilant. What is vigilant? When you keep a vigil overnight what are you doing? Sleeping? You’re watching. Keep looking, keep looking, be sober, be vigilant. Why? Because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Now Christ (the Bible) is drawing from the natural. You know wild animals don’t just attack any animal. They scatter the herd searching for the old, the weak, the injured or the young. Because that animal does not want to waste energy. Animals are very intelligent. Nor does the animal want to tangle with the healthiest in the herd and so they look for the smallest, the weakest, the injured and the old. And when they scatter the herd and they focus on one, they run through the herd right at that one and if one member of the herd has strayed from the herd like a buffalo caught in the swamp then he’s in trouble.
Do not live your Christian life by yourself. Make sure you have one or two members of the church whom you can trust. Let me say, you can’t trust every member of the church. It applies to this mine and every church on the face of the earth. There’s someone who’s not serious about God and when they see you serious will try to pull you back so your life does not make them uncomfortable. Are you listening to me? You find one or two serious people not a lot. You know Jesus had 12 disciples but on sensitive missions, He took Peter, James and John, hmm, and you pray with them study with them. You are not designed to live your Christian life alone. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, He pleaded those men watch with me when they fell asleep, that’s why the Father sent an angel because God will not leave you alone, He must see to it that you have support. If there is no human support, God is morally obligated to dispatch an angel and if one angel doesn’t do it, He send another one and if two can do it according to Ellen White God will send every angel from heaven if necessary to sustain you if you do not want to sin.
Find someone you can pray with and talk with, and take your burdens too and say just pray with me, not because the person is your God but if Jesus needed someone to pray with Him, what about us? Are you with me? Never live an isolated Christian life because that’s the person the devil finds easiest to tempt. Be in God’s church, be where the people assemble because when you’re in a setting like this something makes you feel stronger. You’re not thinking of TV now, you’re not thinking of Facebook, hopefully you’re not thinking of those things. You get home, you’re by yourself Facebook, whatever else WhatsApp and what are the rest? You tell me, you know them, don’t look so innocent. But like this the mind is on spiritual things, so don’t live your spiritual life alone. This is your defense.
One day God will come back and He’s coming. We’re so busy with this life, we don’t think about it. Listen to me, Christ is coming back. He has suffered a lot 6,000 years of sin. He is coming back. When the Twin Towers of the United States, New York were attacked in 2001 September 11, people were running – you see the footage on television – they’re running, running left-right, clouds of smoke and the planes hit, they were running for their lives. The whole nation was stunned, could not believe it. Christ will come like that. He will come like that and He will catch many members of the church by surprise and that will be a crime because no child of God can be caught by surprise.
And so, I say to you from my heart prepare for the return of Jesus Christ. How do you do that? Stay close to Christ, abide in Him through His word. Get sin out of your life. God provides the grace you have to cast it out. Let me say it again, get sin out of your life. Some of you when this meeting was planned you never thought you could come to church every night for 23 straight nights. How many of you thought you wouldn’t do it, can I see your hand? I can’t do that but you came. What that has taught you, there may be other things I think I cannot do, I can do. One of them is, I can make time for God’s Word. I can cut away from all the other social activities that waste my time and other people’s time and I can commit it to God. If you do that by God’s grace your tastes will change. Do you know you could come to the place where you love God’s Word, where a Bible study on Saturday night does not sound like extremism? You know many Adventists would be shocked at the thought of a Bible study on Saturday night? I’ve been waiting 24 hours for the sun to set. What do you mean? It has set, what’s Manchester United doing? No Bible study! But when you love God it makes no difference what day of the week is. Your sweetness exposure is to God’s Word, spiritual things.
I have a friend in Loma Linda. Nice man wrote me up a few days ago, sent me an article he wrote on the law and the gospel. Every time we meet, which is not very often, but every time we meet within 2 or 3 minutes the discussion goes right to what? The Bible. And he always starts it, let me give him the credit. Within 2 minutes, we have never discussed as far as anything that was not connected because that’s just the way he is. I have a friend in British Columbia, God bless her, I call a cousin Margaret. The moment we meet, she says now let’s get the weightier matters right into the Bible. I mean the instant we meet, that’s her greatest joy, right into the Bible. That’s all she’s concerned about. Now she works and she doesn’t work well. But her joy and when she discusses her the Bible it’s as though there’s a bulb behind her face that lights up and you see the light coming out. As you study God’s Word your tastes will change, makes no difference how old you are.
And so, family of Brixton and surrounding churches, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up while we wait for that great day when we will pick and eat from the tree of life. In the meantime, the life of that tree is available to us through God’s Word. Can you say amen? And so, may God bless you, sustain you, anyone who is lost is not God’s fault. Make up your mind, serve God put Him first, be a Christian at home, on the job, in the church, on the playground, on the bus, wherever you are, be a child of God. Commit everything you do to God, your studies, your work, you’re thinking of having a child, think why do I want a child and will this child glorify God? Think of God. I will raise this child for God’s glory. Everything you do, ask the question where is the glory for God? If there’s none step back and talk to God.
May God, bless you. I love you, be faithful and when Jesus Christ comes, let us all meet around the throne of grace, the sea of glass, where we shall live, how long? Forever and ever. No sickness, no disease, no war, no crime, no death, no members fighting each other. All, will be joy doing the Lord’s work, being busy. It’s a place where we’ll be busy the only difference is no sin and face to face communication with God. I want that, I desire it. How many of you want to be in the Lord’s Kingdom when He comes? God, bless you stand with me.
Let’s pray and sing our closing song for the last time. What sing them over again to me – wonderful words of life, while you’re standing for last time.
Who still needs to make a decision to be baptized? You haven’t made it yet, raise your hand. You still need to make a decision to be baptized, possibly re-baptized? If you’ve drifted from God very far and you want to make it. Now the last night you have not made it, you’ve been struggling put your hand up where I can see it, put it up, put your hand up. You want to be baptized, put your hand up so I can see it. Anyone? Put it up and move it. You’ve not yet made the decision, last chance in these series, anyone? My brother God bless you. Please get his information, this brother right here. Get his information. Thank you! God, bless you at this decision to be baptized. Someone else, ah here’s a brother, get his information as well. Where are my people? My good brother raise your hand. Right here, right here and there’s a brother to the back at the right. Anyone else? Finally, on the last day of the series, I’m deciding I want to be baptized, led by God to serve God, ah God bless you my sister, God bless you. Way in the back to the right a daughter of God. Let it church say Amen for the three.
Father in heaven, on this closing night I commit myself to you again. Father, you know I’ve told you I have no interest in anything else on earth but to preach the truth or to write about it in articles or to talk about it one-on-one in counseling, that’s my only interest. I have no other ambition. And so, Father I thank you from my heart for the privilege you gave me to be a part of this experience. I pray dear God for those who are baptized, in the name of Jesus, sustain them one day at a time.
Your servant Ellen White writes in Bible Commentary volume 7 page 974 paragraph 3, it is not necessary to gain strength a month ahead, we are to conquer from day to day. Help them to conquer tonight Father and if they rise in the morning, let the first action be Father thank you for life, I commit my life to you now to sustain me this day. All the members who are present dear God from Brixton and all of the other churches, give them the power of the Spirit dear God, that in all settings and circumstances they may be faithful. Bless the pastor, Oh God give him wisdom from above which is pure, peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits without partiality and without hypocrisy, give him that wisdom that he may lead this church higher and higher to present them to you dear God, this and all the other churches for which he’s responsible. Bless pastor Fikoloma the assistant, the head elder and all the elders, elder Obert and all the elders, the board, every member of the church.
Father in heaven, when people listen to these recordings, touch their hearts please. Make them aware we’re living in a dangerous world and that Christ will come with a suddenness that will stun people. But for those who walk in His Word they will be happy not shocked. Father have mercy on me because I am a sinner. Help me always to preach with humility God so that I may realize I need the same Jesus of which I preach. God take me to my next assignment, speak through me and wherever I go dear God, help me to remember my people at Brixton, to pray for them. I love them, I want everyone in your kingdom Father. Father work until you perspire to preserve them in your grasp. Thank you for hearing us, save us when you come without losing one. Let all God’s people say amen and amen.