Morris starts out telling the story about when he was humiliated while he was a pastor in Lincoln Nebraska.
The problem of pride is pretty simple. It’s a continuation of the original sin. Lucifer was the smartest most beautiful angel God had created, so the story goes, and the pride of man has continued to be the basis for a multitude of sins. It’s at the root of every man’s failure to enter into a relationship with God.
THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!
“The first is the worst!”
That commandment requires humility in order for it to be obeyed.
Self-centered man prefers to worship himself.
Pride is self worship!
We read the last six commandments and think of them as being ‘the bad stuff’, but the commandment that is broken most often is the first. The entire Bible is chucked full of stories about God trying to get His people to come back from a broken relationship with Him!
Pride! Self worship, and what was equally as bad was the worship of other gods like money, the gods of pleasure, let alone the gods of stone or the sun, moon & stars etc.
I never could understand ancient man’s attraction to the heathen gods of stone. It seemed like the Israelite’s were constantly falling for those. Why would a man want to worship something they can hold in their hand or hide in the luggage?
It is much easier for me to understand man’s prideful self worship, like King Nebuchadnezzar being struck down by God for his pride in the kingdom God had given him, and failing to give God the glory as he should have. Pride!
But we teach our children to develop pride from a very early age,
as if it is a good trait of character!
You should be proud of what you do!
I am so proud of you!
We constantly reprimand children who do a sloppy job by saying,
‘take some pride in your work,’
expecting them to do a better job next time.
People today would think you had lost your mind
if, when attending your child’s graduation ceremony,
you shook their hand, or gave them a big hug and said,
“Praise God, You’ve Graduated!”
They’d automatically look at your child as if he/she had some kind of disability that you had fully expected would keep them from graduating, but God in His mercy had performed some kind of miracle, and so they made it!
Hey, maybe that’s what you did mean, but still, you get my drift?
There are millions of people today who are interested in the end of the world. All you need to do to get an idea is take a look at the lists of YouTube videos on the subject to see how many millions of times they’ve each been viewed.
It used to be that SDA’s were the only ones talking about it, but not any more. There is a great deal coming from the scientific community in a constantly increasing number of articles and videos with prognostications of doom.
Preachers and politicians from all over the world are heralding their own versions of what they believe is taking place, and when we see all of that, it just makes us think of Jesus Own Book! Revelation, is Jesus Own Book.
Re 1:1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
When we get into Jesus own book, we find that it is about the end time events of this worlds history, & has a lot of symbolism involved in the descriptions of what has, and is yet to take place. It’s not the easiest book of the Bible to understand.
Revelation chapter 14 is an interesting chapter that has particular significance for our times. It is packed with the same truths that relate to the righteousness by faith doctrines being taught in these seminars. We often refer to this chapter as the 3 angels messages chapter.
Those of us who grew up around these teaching will generally summarize the chapter as 1. A warning about the judgment, 2. watch out for Babylon, & 3. beware of the Beast. But like everywhere else in the Bible, we had better be able to find Jesus in there somewhere!
Re 14:6 ¶ Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth–to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people–
From oxcart to airplane in one generation. From airplane to robotic warfare in another generation. We’re so bent on destruction we spend billions building machines we can use to destroy ourselves. So why all of this sudden rapid increase in knowledge?
Angels flying in the midst of heaven indicate a rapid spreading of this message. The world is now ripe for the message to reach the entire world in an instant, and to continually repeat itself automatically, over and over again, every hour until Jesus returns!
Think of what would have happened if this increase in knowledge had happened a thousand years ago. Man would have already destroyed themselves! And so for 1,000’s of years people “borrowed fire from the neighbors & plowed with a crooked stick”.
Today, computers create virtual realities that we never imagined possible. Video games allow little children to kill, maim, steal and destroy as if they were all powerful evil gods in total control of the world.
Parents have become so callused to cursing, violence and crime in movies & video games they no longer think twice about letting their kids play games like Grand Theft Auto, with the nastiest language and “missions of crime”, because they figure that all the kids want to do is drive the cars around! Get Real!
Then they wonder why the kids are cussing and disobedient!
So, the Angels are flying in the midst of heaven having the Everlasting Gospel and that Gospel definitely includes Jesus. He is the whole focal point of the Gospel Message. Verse 7 continues with the first angel…
Re 14:7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
When you dissect the sentences in this message it is revealing as to what this judgment is all about. The good old grade school sentence diagrams now have some usefulness. So the first part is…
…but that isn’t quite complete. We need to realize it is assuming that we understand it is talking to us, so…
This correctly describes what the intent is. You are the subject, fear is the verb & God is the object. Next is a prepositional phrase…
and then the last part…
All this surrounds the hour of HIS judgment.
“The hour of His Judgment is come”, is actually secondary to the rest of the message. The Respect, Glory and Worship is the focal point here.
There is a common thread that goes through all of these messages in this chapter. First of all…
Justification by faith is
the work of God laying the glory of man in the dust!
It is the same as when we
Give Glory to Him!
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
All we need to do is remember that text and all the self pride and glory of man is put into it’s proper place. Then you add…
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
… and things fall right back into their proper places again. It is all so very simple that it should be impossible to miss, and yet 90% of the people in the survey still thought that Christianity is all about their good deeds!
If without Him you can do nothing,
and with Him you can do all things,
Then the only thing we need to focus on
is getting with Him and staying with Him.
Let’s break down the three elements here.
Fear God. If we are in a Loving Personal Relationship with God we have no reason to fear Him. Respect is a much better word here!
Viewing God in Awe! God is Awesome! All one needs to do is read chapter one of Ezekiel to get the picture of God on His Awesome throne with the four cherubim below, waiting for instructions, and then racing like a lightening bolt to do His will! Wow! If we all were as quick to do God’s will as they are… Wow!
Give Glory. If we are giving God glory we have put aside our pride and are obviously in a saving relationship with God. Man should never pride himself in what he does, but should give glory to God for providing the means, knowledge and power to do what we do. Paul made this clear here…
Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
During the ‘glory years’ of Egypt a lot of statues were built to glorify the various Pharaohs. Ramses was considered to be one of the greatest but it was discovered that he commissioned workers to go around and to chisel changes to the other statues to make them all bring glory to his name!
What a waste! All of that fleeting glory has departed from Egypt.
We live in a time when centuries of time are compressed into a few short years. Names of great men appear on the horizon, flicker for a moment and are lost forever in a sea of forgetfulness.
There is just one name that grows stronger with every passing day, and it is the name of Jesus!
And now, the last part is the worship.
Worship Him! Do I worship Him, or am I still worshiping myself? Worshiping Him means more than just going to church to the worship service! If we’re victims of self worship then we need to get the message of this angel!
We need to get away from our self centered nature & Worship Him.
We need to discover Righteousness by faith. If we think we can get up in the morning and go about our day without spending any time with God, we are telling God that we don’t need Him and that we can do just fine on our own.
Self Worship. If all I have is a ‘Thought for the day’ as I’m heading out to ‘do my thing’ then I’m worshiping myself. I’m thinking that I’m big enough or great enough to manage that day without God. Self worship.
Morris tells the story here (23:30 mark) about the ‘Music Celebration’ leader who would lead the congregation in peppy songs each Sabbath, and he became so good at the mix of music that he was invited to organize the music for different camp meetings each year.
After listening to the series on Righteousness by Faith, he made a public confession. He realized that he had been leading these ‘Praise Services’ for the purpose of worshiping God, but that He had not taken the time he needed day by day in order to get to know God as a personal friend.
He didn’t have TIME for God even though the ‘music celebrations’ were supposedly all about praising God! He suddenly realized that God must not be very impressed with the kind of worship that he had been doing every Sabbath.
He felt like a politician kissing babies in public while hating kids in private. He told the congregation that he was determined to get into a daily relationship with God so that his service to God would become more meaningful. It made a deep impression on the church.
The only way
that I can avoid self worship
is to be certain that I have
Top Priority Time with God
every single day of my life!
Morris said that he was very interested to discover that
everyone in Walla Walla had a devotional life.
Some are devoted to the sports section of the Sunday paper and they spend a good part of the morning on it. They know all the players and coaches by name. They know the stats and the standings. They never hate to do it, and they don’t have a problem with their mind wandering. They are devoted to it!
Others sit for hours & hours in front of the TV set watching soap operas, the most self centered programming on the planet! The “Poor me”, “Look what he did to me! Poor ME”, garbage, and that’s considered normal.
If the same people were to begin spending that time with God their friends would think something was wrong with them, that they’d become fanatics.
Children today are allowed to sit for hours on end playing meaningless video games, some of which are blatantly evil in their very intent. They are also allowed to surf the net on their IPODS for hours because it keeps them entertained so that their self centered parents don’t have to deal with them.
But, in today’s society, that’s considered ‘normal’.
Others are devoted to sitting in front of the mirror for hours working on their face. The pride of their appearance is more important then spending time with God. & they are devoted to that.
All of that devotion to things of very little to no value at all! How do we get away from that vicious cycle? How do we warn the world? How can God compete with the shear volume of the devil’s devices that steal the time and the hearts of our children? How hard it is for us to take time with God!
Tithe your time!
10% of 16 hours a day = 1½ hours available
to enjoy a personal,
with your Creator.
Bring It On!
It is truly amazing when you take the time to sit back and analyze how you spent your time for that day. If we are willing to be honest with ourselves, most of us will realize that we wasted a half hour here, or an hour there that could have given us time to spend on the eternal values in life.
At the 29:45 mark Morris told some funny stories about taking music lessons.
The moral to the story is that after years of good intentions, including having a great desire to learn to play music, when it came right down to it he wasn’t devoted to spending the time in practice enough to actually make any solid progress. He never got serious about it.
Perhaps that is the problem with a lot of peoples relationships with God. They simply refuse to get serious about it.
The fact is that “many will be lost, while hoping and desiring to be saved.” They may want life eternal, but they are unwilling to take the time to become friends with their creator, the very one whom they claim they want to spend eternity with. They never took it seriously! Why?
One time Morris conducted a little questionnaire with a church group, and the question was “Why do people have problems with their devotional life?”
So, they began writing things down on the black board, and one of the major items was that people were actually afraid that “if they spent quality time with God that He might change something in their lives that they’d rather He didn’t!”
Wow! You’d think that we would trust God more than that, right?
Morris has experimented with a ‘gimmick’ that another preacher told him about. Standing behind the pulpit he said to the audience, “Imagine that I have a button up here that you can come down here and push, and from then on you will never sin.
There are only two responses that he gets, and they’re opposites. One is, “Quick, show me the button so I can push it”, and the other is “Not so fast. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for all that. It might change my life. It may ruin my fun!”
Let’s not be afraid of getting serious with God,
because it has eternal consequences.
Jer 9:23 ¶ “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
Now, the only thing left in the verse we’ve been studying, (Rev 14:7) is the judgment. ‘For the hour of His judgment is come;’
It isn’t OUR judgment being talked about here, it is God’s judgment!
God is the one being judged by the entire universe!
The critics of the judgment used to say, why does God need to have a judgment? He certainly knows who is going to be saved and who isn’t. Why does He need to take years to go through the lists? He doesn’t!
He is willing to put Himself, and the record of how He has dealt with the world, open for all to see that He has been just in all His dealings with mankind! Wow!
We would expect nothing less
The Almighty God,
The God of love,
The Creator of all things,
The Ruler of the Universe,
The King of kings
The Lord of lords,
At the 41:00 mark Morris tells the parable that came from a convention of attorneys in Michigan. It’s a really good illustration of why God feels the need to prove to the Universe that HE IS Good! The evidence must be viewed by the entire court to determine if the sentence is just.
Trust has to be based upon an intelligent understanding of the reasons for the judge’s decision.
Sorry, no bonus materials today, but thanks for the prayers & my lungs are beginning to clear up some so that I can sleep better these days.