THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 9-1-13

LESSON TITLE: “DO NOT TEST GOD.”

WELCOME

Paul once declared, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation!” Praise be to God for His Gospel and praise be to God for you this morning, as you have joined together with us for the study of God’s Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our Creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in his sight and according to his will. Now, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer.

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS GOOD DAY AND FATHER WE THANK YOU FOR THE MANY GIFTS OF THIS LIFE. FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL GOOD GIFTS COME FROM YOU BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL. FATHER, WE ASK THIS DAY THAT YOU WILL HELP US TO LOOK TO YOUR WORD AND TO KNOW IT AND TO STUDY IT AND TO OBEY THOSE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE ASKED OF US SO THAT WE MIGHT BE FOUND FAITHFUL IN YOUR SIGHT. FATHER, WE KNOW THE FAITHFUL RECEIVE THAT GREAT REWARD OF HEAVEN IN THE END. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT GIFT OF YOUR SON JESUS AND THE BLOOD THAT HE SHED ON THE CROSS WHICH MAKES ALL THESE THINGS POSSIBLE THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THAT REWARD SOMEDAY. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. How encouraging it is to have this avenue of worship to our Creator! So, this morning won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning; the name of the song, “This World Is Not My Home!”

How many of us are good at keeping secrets? It has been interesting watching my children grow up and go through different stages in many aspects of their lives. At first, they just couldn’t keep their mouth shut. In fact, if you told them anything, you could be sure it would be repeated. Especially to the one who they were not supposed to tell it to.

I’ll have to admit however, that I know many adults that are just as bad. I guess every church has that individual that works better than the 10 o’clock news, if you tell them anything.

I mention all of this to remind us that God had a great secret that was hidden for a long time. In Ephesians 3:9, Paul said, “and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ.” You see for ages there was something hidden in God, until the proper time came.

So, what was hidden? Paul again answers this question in his book to the Colossians. In chapter 2, and verses 2 and 3, we read, “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” There we have it. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hidden by God until they were completely revealed through His glorious Son, Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful blessing we have today as Christians to have the promised, revealed secret through Jesus our Lord. Furthermore, the only way we can be pleasing to God today, is by accepting and following the revealed mysteries which we now have because of Christ. Are you taking advantage of the revealed knowledge and wisdom offered to you by God?

This morning we will continue our series of study together entitled, “Test Yourselves.” Our specific topic of the day will deal with this challenge, “Do Not Test God.” So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will return with this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus.”

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING WITH US NOW AS WE GO TO GOD'S WORD ONCE AGAIN TO STUDY THOSE THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO OUR MAIN LESSON. AS WE EACH SUNDAY HAVE THE OPPURTUNITY TO GO TO GOD'S WORD AND TO STUDY THOSE THINGS THAT HOPEFULLY WILL CHALLENGE US TO BETTER CHRISTIANS, BETTER SERVANTS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD SO THAT GOD HIMSELF MIGHT KNOW HOW SERIOUS WE ARE IN GIVING OUR LIVES TO HIM. THAT WE MIGHT TRULY PROVE OUR LOVE AND OBEY HIM AND THAT THE WORLD MIGHT KNOW GOD THROUGH US. AS WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING TOGETHER CONCERNING THOSE DIFFERENT TESTS OF THE CHRISTIAN, WE HAVE LOOKED AT MANY DIFFERENT THINGS THAT APPLY TO OUR DAILY NEED TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS AND THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO TEST OURSELVES IN OUR RELIGION AND WHERE WE STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO GOOD THINGS OR EVIL THINGS. WHERE WE STAND IN RELATIONSHIP TO FORGIVENESS, AND FAITH, AND SO MANY DIFFREENT ASPECTS THAT WE HAVE CONSIDERED TOGETHER. WE HAVE AN INTERESTING WAY TO LOOK AT IT TODAY BECAUSE AS WE CONSIDER THE TEST THAT WE HAVE IN A SENSE FROM GOD OR WE CONSIDER THE IDEA OF A TEST THAT WE HAVE STUDIED ABOUT GIVING OURSELVES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE RIGHT IN THE EYES OF GOD AND THAT WE ARE DOING WHAT HE SAYS. THERE IS ALSO A TYPE OF TEST THAT WE REALLY SHOULD NOT BE ENGAGED IN. THAT TEST IS INTRODUCED TO US IN ACTS CHAPTER 5. AFTER THAT, WE WILL LOOK IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHERE WE WILL SEE THE SAME IDEA AS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BUT WE BEGIN NOW IN ACTS 5 WITH THE FAMILIAR STORY OF A COUPLE CALLED ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA. YOU RECALL WITH ME THE STORY PROBABLY VERY WELL, THEY CAME BEFORE THE APOSTLES AND LAID THEIR GIFTS, SPECIFICALLY TALKING ABOUT MOST LIKELY ABOUT THEIR OFFERING TO GOD. WHAT THEY HAD DONE IS THEY HAD SOLD A PIECE OF LAND AND THEY BROUGHT THE PROCEEDS OF THAT LAND BEFORE THE APOSTLES FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORK OF THE CHURCH. AS THEY BROUGHT THAT OFFERING THE PROBLEM IS, AS WE SEE IN THE STORY, THAT THEY ACTUALLY LIED IN REGARD TO WHAT THEY HAD GIVEN. IT'S OBVIOUS IN THE STORY THAT THE PROBLEM IS NOT NECESSARILY THAT THEY CHOSE TO GIVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OR MAYBE THEY WOULD'VE CHOSE ONLY TO GIVE A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS BUT THEY ACTUALLY LIED AND PETER WHEN HE WAS TALKING TO SAPPHIRA ACTUALLY ASKED HER THE QUESTION WHETHER SHE SOLD THE LAND FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT AND SHE SAID YES TO THE SPECIFIC AMOUNT. IT WAS THE SAME AMOUNT THAT ANANIAS HAD SPOKEN. THEN PETER SAYS TO HER IN VERSE 9 OF ACTS 5, “HOW IS IT THAT YOU HAVE AGREED TOGETHER TO TEST THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD? HOW HAVE YOU DECIDED WITH YOUR HUSBAND TO TEST GOD?” THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF TESTS IN LIFE AND GOD MIGHT EVEN TEST US IN A WAY THROUGH HIS WORD. HE DOESN'T TEMPT US, AS JAMES SAYS IN JAMES CHAPTER 1, BUT HE MIGHT TEST US. WE MIGHT BE CHALLENGED TO PROVE OUR LOVE AND TO PROVE OUR GOODNESS BEFORE HIM AND OUR WILLINGNESS TO DO HIS WILL. WE MIGHT TEST OURSELVES BUT WE SHOULD NIGHT AND WE MUST NOT, IN THE SENSE OF TESTING GOD, PUT HIM TO THE TEST. NOW, WE MIGHT CERTAINLY ASK QUESTIONS AT TIMES OR WONDER WHAT THE ANSWER IS TO SOMETHING. WE MIGHT EVEN ASK IN OUR HEARTS OR OUR MINDS IS THIS TRUE OR IS THIS RIGHT? WE HAVE TO BUILD FAITH SO CERTAINLY WE ARE NOT SAYING THAT YOU CAN'T ASK QUESTIONS CONCERNING GOD OR ABOUT GOD OR OF GOD IN THE SENSE OF THROUGH HIS WORD. BUT IN THE SENSE TO TEST GOD AS TO SOMEHOW AGAIN YOU DO THAT WHICH IS WRONG OR TO SOMEHOW BE DISRESPECTFUL TO GOD OR TO DISHONOR GOD. NOT REALLY SO MUCH INTERESTED IN THE ANSWER AS WE ARE TO SOMEHOW FEEL THAT GOD HAS LET US DOWN. HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT WAY? HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE GOD DID SOMETHING? HAVE YOU EVER HAD A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOR OR MAYBE EVEN YOURSELF WHO LOST A LOVED ONE AND THEN THEY BLAME GOD? WELL, THAT'S ONE WAY THAT ONE WOULD TEST GOD. WHEN THEY KNOW THAT CERTAINLY GOD WOULD NOT DO SUCH TO THOSE THAT HE LOVES TO TRY TO BRING THEM DOWN OR TRY TO HARM THEM SOMEWAY BUT YET THEY WANT TO SAY WHY HAS GOD ALLOWED THIS? WHY HAS GOD DONE THIS? NOW, TO UNDERSTAND THAT BETTER I WOULD ASK YOU TO GO BACK TO THE BOOK OF JOB WITH ME. WE REALLY COULD GO BACK TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS AND WE COULD SEE WHERE ADAM AND EVE IN THE GARDEN WERE TESTING GOD WONDERING IF GOD WOULD REALLY CAUSE US TO BE CAST OUT ETERNALLY OF THE GARDEN. WOULD GOD REALLY CAUSE US TO DIE SOMEDAY? YOU SEE, WE ARE ALMOST TESTING GOD. I DON'T REALLY THINK GOD WILL REALLY DO IT SO I THINK I'M GONNA TRY THE FRUIT. WE GO TO STORIES LIKE NOAH AND WE SEE IN HIS DAY THAT EVERY INTENT OF THE HEART AND MIND OF MAN WAS WICKED AND IT'S IF MAN WAS TESTING GOD. WHAT IS GOD GOING TO DO TO US? WE ARE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER. WE HAVE AUTHORITY AND WE HAVE POWER AND WE ARE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER. WE ALSO SEE STORIES LIKE THIS IN THE STORY OF ABRAHAM. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE HAD THE VISITORS COME AND THEY WERE ACTUALLY TALKING WITH HIM. IT WAS THE LORD AND SOME OF THE MESSENGERS OR ANGELS WITH THE LORD AND THEY WERE TALKING WITH ABRAHAM ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE WOULD KNOW OR NOT KNOW THAT LOT AND THE CITY OF SODOM WERE ABOUT TO BE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF HER WICKEDNESS. THAT BEING THE CASE, WE MIGHT JUST TURN BACK BRIEFLY TO GENESIS CHAPTER 18. YOU REMEMBER THERE THAT IN A WAY WE FIND THE TEST. THE TEST ON WHAT? THE WICKEDNESS OF SODOM. IN FACT, IT SAYS THERE THAT THE OUTCRY AGAINST SODOM WAS SO GREAT THAT GOD HAD DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD DESTROY THEM. ABRAHAM ASKED GOD SOME QUESTIONS BUT HE WASN'T TRYING TO TRICK GOD OR BRING HIM DOWN OR BELITTLE HIM LIKE SATAN MIGHT DO. THE TEST HERE, AT LEAST TO ME, WAS THE FACT THAT THE PEOPLE OF SODOM REALLY DIDN'T BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF GOD. THE DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT GOD WOULD DO WHAT HE SAID TO THOSE THAT WERE WICKED OF THIS WORLD. WE COULD LOOK AT MANY MORE GENERAL EXMPLES BUT I WANT YOU TO LOOK WITH ME BRIEFLY AT THE STORY OF JOB. IF YOU TURN OVER TO THE BOOK OF JOB WE FIND A MAN WHO GOD BLESSES AND BLESSES AND BLESSES. IN THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF JOB WE FIND THAT SATAN ACTUALLY COMES TO GOD AND TELLS HIM THAT JOB IS ONLY FAITHFUL BECAUSE YOU BUILT A HEDGE AROUND HIM LIKE A FENCE. YOU HAVE LOCKED HIM UP TO WHERE I CAN'T GET IN AND NO EVIL WILL COME UPON HIM. HE IS WEALTHY AND BLESSED. HE HAS EVERYTHING SO WHY WOULDN'T HE FOLLOW YOU. THAT IS KIND OF THE ATTITUDE OF SATAN. SATAN DOES TEST GOD TO TRY TO DECEIVE OR HARM OR HURT HIM. WE KNOW THAT BECAUSE HE DID THAT TO JESUS IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 4. BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT JOB AND THE LIFE OF JOB AS HE BEGAN THE TRIALS OF THAT BOOK, WE SEE HE IS ABLE TO STAND STRONG. LITTLE BY LITTLE AS FRIENDS CHALLENGED HIM AND HIS WIFE CHALLENGED HIM, WE BEGIN TO SEE THE ATTITUDE OF JOB TURN JUST A LITTLE BIT. HE BEGINS TO SIN AGAINST GOD AT ONE POINT WHEN HE BEGINS TO QUESTION GOD. NOT QUESTIONING GOD IN THE SENSE OF ASKING WHY HAVEN'T YOU HELPED ME OR HOW CAN I LEARN AND GROW BUT HE WAS TESTING GOD BY ASKING WHERE ARE YOU GOD? WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING THIS? I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME, FOR INSTANCE IN VERSE 27, THE STATEMENT HE BEGINS TO MAKE IN VERSE2. IT SAYS, “AS GOD LIVES WHO HAS TAKEN AWAY MY JUSTICE. GOD TOOK IT AWAY AND THE ALMIGHTY WHO HAS MADE MY SOUL BITTER.” GOD HAS MADE ME MAD. GOD HAS TAKEN AWAY MY THINGS. GOD HAS TAKEN AWAY THAT WHICH IS RIGHT. I HAVE BEEN RIGHTEOUS AND LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAS DONE. WHERE DID THAT GET JOB? WELL, IT GOT HIM INTO A LOT OF TROUBLE AND IT FINALLY TOOK A YOUNG MAN LIKE ELIHU TO SHAKE HIM UP A LITTLE BIT BUT THAT STILL WASN'T ENOUGH. FINALLY, IT TOOK GOD HIMSELF TO REALLY BEGIN TO ASK SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS OF JOB. GOD BEGAN TO ASK JOB: WHY HAVE YOU SAID THESE THINGS? I LIKE CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT THERE OF THE BOOK OF JOB AND THERE IN VERSE TWO IT SAYS: WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENS COUNSEL BY WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE? THE LORD IS ASKING JOB. THEN HE SAYS: NOW PREPARE YOURSELF LIKE A MAN BECAUSE I WILL QUESTION YOU AND YOU WILL ANSWER ME. THEN GOD BEGINS TO SAY: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH SO THAT THEY MIGHT ORBIT AND THAT ALL THINGS WOULD BE SET IN ORDER? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I HELD BACK THE SEAS AND I MADE THE LAND AND I CREATED ALL THINGS? HE KEEPS GOING ON WITH QUESTIONING JOB AFTER JOB IMPROPERLY QUESTIONS GOD. DO YOU KNOW WHAT JOB FINALLY DOES? WE GO TO THE LAST CHAPTER IN JOB, CHAPTER42, AND HERE JOB FINALLY IS CLEARLY BROUGHT TO HIS KNEES. HE SAYS IN VERSE 1, “I KNOW YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING AND THAT NO PURPOSE OF YOURS CAN BE HELD FROM YOU. YOU ASK WHO IS THIS WHO HIDES COUNSEL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE? THEREFORE I HAVE UTTERED WHAT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. THINGS TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME WHICH I DID NOT KNOW. LISTEN TO ME. I WILL QUESTION YOU AND YOU WILL ANSWER ME AND I HAVE HEARD YOU BY THE HEARING IN MY EAR BUT NOW MY EYES SEE YOU. THEREFORE,” IN VERSE SIX CHAPTER FORTY-TWO, “I ABHOR MYSELF AND REPENT IN DUST AND ASHES.” WELL, THANKFULLY JOB WAS BROUGHT TO HIS SENSES BY THE POWER OF GOD. WHY? BECAUSE JOB HAD BEGAN TO DISRESPECT GOD AND BLAME GOD FOR THOSE THINGS THAT THE BIBLE SAYS GOD DOES NOT DO AND HE TURNED AWAY FROM THOSE THINGS THAT GOD DID DO. IN FACT, WHO BETTER THAN JOB TO HAVE KNOWN THE BLESSINGS OF GOD EARLIER IN HIS LIFE? I DON'T KNOW OF ANYBODY IN THE BIBLE WHO WOULD HAVE REALLY BEEN RICHER OR MORE GREATLY BLESSED MORE THAN JOB. HE KNEW GOD AND HE KNEW THE POWER OF GOD. HE KNEW THE BLESSINGS OF GOD AND HE KNEW THAT GOD HAD BLESSED AND BLESSED AND BLESSED. WHAT DID HE DO? HE STILL BLAMED GOD WHEN SIMPLE TRIALS CAME IN HIS LIFE. IN FACT, WHAT HAS GOD WARNED US ALL ABOUT? WELL, GOD HAS WARNED US ALL THAT THOSE TRIALS WILL COME. SO JOB REPENTED AFTER TESTING GOD AND SETTING THINGS IN AN IMPROPER WAY THAT WERE NOT RIGHT IN HIS SIGHT. NOW, I WANNA GO BACK AGAIN TO THE BOOK OF ACTS WHERE WE WERE EARLIER BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND CLEARLY WITH ME THAT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE IS THE TEST. THE TEST OF A MAN AGAINST GOD. WE KNOW IT WAS GOD WHO IS BEING SPOKEN OF HERE FOR TWO REASONS. AS WE GO BACK THERE WE SEE THAT THEY LIED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU RECALL WITH ME THAT PETER ACTUALLY MADE THE STATEMENT: WHY HAVE YOU AGREED TOGETHER TO TEST THE SPIRIT OF GOD? I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME WHAT THEY HAD ACTUALLY DONE THAT WAS SINFUL. IF YOU BACK UP TO VERSE THREE OF ACTS CHAPTER 5 PETER SAID, “ANANIAS, WHY HAS SATAN FILLED YOUR HEART TO LIE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT? WHY DID YOU KEEP BACK A PORTION OF THE PRICE YOURSELF WHEN YOU ARE SAYING THAT YOU ARE GIVING ALL THE PROCEEDS FROM THAT LAND?” THE NEXT THING THAT WE LEARN IS WHO THIS SPIRIT IS. WHY HAVE YOU LIED TO THE SPIRIT? READ VERSE 4 WITH ME. “WHAT REMAINS ANANIAS? WAS IT NOT YOUR OWN? AFTER YOU SOLD IT, WAS IT NOT IN YOUR OWN CONTROL? YOU COULD'VE MADE THE DECISION, BUT NOW YOU ARE LYING ABOUT IT. WHY HAVE YOU CONCEIVED THIS THING IN YOUR HEART? YOU HAVE NOT LIED TO A MAN. YOU'VE LIED TO GOD. WHY HAVE YOU LIED TO THE SPIRIT? YOU HAVE LIED TO GOD.” AND THAT'S WHY PETER, LATER IN THE SAME VERSE, SAID CLEARLY, TELL ME IF YOU SOLD IT FOR THIS AMOUNT? AND THEN SHE LIES AGAIN AFTER HER HUSBAND ALSO LIED. IN VERSE 9 HE SAYS: WHY IS IT THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO TEST YOUR GOD? THIS IS LITERALLY TALKING ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WE KNOW THE THREE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE GODHEAD. THEY ARE THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND CERTAINLY THE HOLY SPIRIT IS AS MUCH GOD AS ANY OTHER PART OF THE GODHEAD. HERE HE IS IDENTIFIED AS THE ONE WHO THEY HAVE LIED TO. THE LAST ILLUSTRATION THAT I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR DISCUSSION THIS MORNING IS FOUND AGAIN IN THE BOOK OF ACTS BUT IN CHAPTER 15. THIS IS AN INTERESTING PART OF THE STUDY BECAUSE IT IS BUILDING ON WHAT HAPPENED IN ACTS CHAPTER 10 WHEN PETER WENT TO CORNELIUS. YOU MIGHT RECALL THE STORY WITH ME WHERE HE WENT TO CORNELIUS AND ACTUALLY THE SPIRIT OF GOD LET CORNELIUS TO SEND FOR PETER. HE COMES AND PREACHES TO THEM AND THERE IN THE TEXT IN CHAPTER 10 IN VERSE 44 PETER ACTUALLY SAYS THAT WHILE HE WAS SPEAKING THE WORDS OF GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTUALLY FILLED EVEN THE GENTILES JUST LIKE THE APOSTLES HAD BEEN FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT BEFORE. SO, WHAT THIS IDENTIFIED TO PETER, WHO WAS A JEW, WAS THAT GOD ALSO NOW RECEIVED WHOM? THE GENTILE PEOPLE, THE GREEK PEOPLE, AS WELL AS THE JEWISH PEOPLE. IN OTHER WORDS, THE JEWS COULD NOT BE ONLY THE FAMILY OF GOD AND THEY WERE NOT THE ONLY ONES SAVED BY FAITH. NOW, THE GENTILES COULD BE SAVED UNDER AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. THERE ARE NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK. REMEMBER GALATIANS CHAPTER 3? SO, THE GENTILES WERE EQUALLY HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY OF SALVATION AS WAS PROVEN THERE. LATER IN CHAPTER 15 HE IS ACTUALLY TRYING TO PROVE THESE THINGS TO THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL BECAUSE THOSE JEWS IN JERUSALEM ARE STILL SAYING NO, WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD AND GENTILES HAVE NO RIGHT AND ON AND ON. PETER STANDS UP AND SAYS, HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED. I SAW THE HOLY SPIRIT FALL UPON THE GENTILES IN THE SAME WAY THAT HE FELL UPON US. NOW, READ WITH ME THERE IN VERSE 10 WHAT IS THAT HE SPEAKS OF IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHAT VERSE EIGHT SAYS CAME FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT. NOW THEREFORE, WHY DO YOU TEST GOD PUTTING A YOKE ON THE NECK OF THE DISCIPLES WHICH NEITHER ARE FATHERS NOR WE ARE ABLE TO BEAR. WHY ARE YOU TESTING GOD TO IMPOSE THAT CHRISTIANITY IS ONLY FOR THE JEWS, THE CHOSEN PEOPLE ORIGINALLY UNDER THE OLD LAW, WHEN UNDER THE NEW COVENANT CHRIST HAS SAID: ALL MEN CAN BE SAVED OF ALL NATIONS, OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, OF ALL CULTURES, AND OF ALL RACES. YOU SEE, HE WAS SAYING THAT YOU ARE TESTING GOD BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT GOD HAS SAID. YET YOU STILL ARE WILLING TO SAY NO, THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT. THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT BECAUSE OF WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED OR WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE OR BECAUSE OF WHAT WE WANT. THAT'S WHAT THE JEWS WERE SAYING. WHY DO YOU TEST GOD? ULTIMATELY, THEY WERE BEING CHALLENGED HERE TO THINK OF HOW THIS WAS WRONG. LATER IN THE SAME TEXT, VERSE 12, WE SEE THAT EVEN BARNABAS AND PAUL STAND UP AND CONFIRM THE SAME FACTS. THEY AS WELL HAVE SEEN THE POWER OF GOD AMONG THE GENTILES AND THE FACT THAT GOD WANTS THE SOUL OF THE GENTILES TO BE SAVED. SO, DO YOU SEE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD, TO OBEY THE WILL OF GOD, TO UNDERSTAND THE WILL OF GOD AS HE HAS ASKED BUT NOT TO TEST GOD. WHEN YOU OR I OR ANYONE CHOOSE TO BEGIN TO ASK QUESTIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT WE DISHONOR OR DISRESPECT OUR GOD OR TO SOMEHOW BLAME OUR GOD FOR THINGS THAT WE DO NOT LIKE. THINGS THAT ARE OF OUR OWN PROBLEM OR BECAUSE OF THINGS THAT WE HAVE DONE THAT HAVE BROUGHT ABOUT PROBLEMS. WHEN WE TEST GOD IN SUCH WAYS WE HAVE SINNED AND NEED TO REPENT. WHEN WE AGAIN STORE OUR FAITH UP THEN THERE'S CERTAINLY NOTHING WRONG WITH ASKING QUESTIONS AND MAKING SURE THAT WE UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT GOD WANTS. THAT IS THE VERY PURPOSE OF THIS PROGRAM, IN THAT WE MIGHT KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS AND THEREFORE OBEY. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE OBEY? WE ARE NOT ONLY RIGHT BEFORE GOD BUT WE HAVE THAT PROMISE OF HEAVEN SOMEDAY. WILL YOU LIVE IN SUCH A WAY TO RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HEAVEN IN THE END? CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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May we never be guilty of testing God, thus finding ourselves in the same condition as those around us in this world. On the other hand, may we always meet up to the test from God, that we might be found pleasing in His sight and receive the promised reward in the end!