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June 6, 2020 2:00 am
Children ask uncomfortable questions like, "How big is God? Where does He live? Why can't I see Him? Does He ever come out and play?" We adults hem and haw trying to find answers because we want to know the same things! Unfortunately we don't always have good answers. The first commandment on God's Top Ten was to ensure that people worship Him exclusively; the second commandment was to ensure that people worship Him correctly.
This teaching is from the series God's Top Ten.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Did you know the cross was not the first symbol of Christian never was the cross doesn't even appear the crucifixion scene as a depiction in Christian art of the seventh century A.D. was never an early symbol became a symbol of the earliest symbol of Christianity was a peacock and an anchor and a fish several of the finest in the catacombs in Rome and for a very good reason. Keep in mind the cross was a implement of torture, capital punishment earliest Christians 2000 years ago when hung up cross in their assembly any more than we would hang an electric chair and ours. But what the cross came to represent is wonderful and holy and random people have noticed over the years I noticed the cross in their church or church doesn't have a cross I'm not will say I'm not opposed to find a great cross to put up there. I'm not opposed to it. I know the symbol represents say one thing we preach the cross and I met a whole lot of people and even churches get hung up on having a cross that they don't live under the cross.
They don't preach the cross and they don't live a witness of Jesus Christ superstition his way of following sports leagues if you know the Michael Jordan wars blue North Carolina shorts under his bulls uniform every game of his career, or the tennis superstar Serena Williams has a series of moves including how she ties her shoes and how many times she bounces the ball before Sir Athletics are an easy place to find ideas like this, but you can find them in the Christian community as well and today here in Québec we Skip weekend division Skip Heitzigs. He continues her dynamic look at the 10 commandment with our newest series, God's top 10, first we want to tell you what's in store for you this month in the connect we Skip resource Center. The most recent state of the Bible survey revealed that only 9% of millennial's read the Bible on a daily basis most skeptical generation on record is also uninformed about the word of God.
Small wonder such lifestyle confusion about your own children or your grandchildren passing your faith to a younger generation so they don't become a statistic and stepped to help you encourage a young person in your life to get excited about God's word and all he has for them, soaring to the Bible, Skip Heitzigs, kids and twins. An overview of the entire Bible and exciting travel guide format illustrations and fascinating facts to keep them engaged will send you your copy of this may produce resource give a generous donation of $35 or more to help keep his Bible-based teachings on the air connecting more people like you to God's word.
Call now to give and receive your copy of sword to the Bible 892 1888 or securely connectwithskip.com/offer. The focus of today's teaching is Exodus chapter 20 verses four through six. So if you have a viable BioLab handy. I hope you'll turn there as we begin now, here's Pastor Skip seen that Pontius Pilate had special shields made for his soldiers in the Antonia fortress and on the shield was an image of Tiberius Caesar, the new reigning monarch in Rome. He wanted to ingratiate himself with.
He had these shields place in the Antonia fortress and later on in the palace of Herod in Jerusalem the Jews revolted, wrote to Caesar, demanded they be taken out. Caesar rebukes Pontius Pilate personally saying what you can govern these people very well. This is two times that they have rebelled against so this put him now on probation so that by the time Jesus Christ is on trial and Pontius Pilate reviews a case he says to the people I'm in a letting go, I find no fault in this man member how they responded. They said if you let him go.
You are no friend of Caesar, you know, I said that will let me finish the statement if you let this man go. You're no friend of Caesar, for whoever makes himself a king is not Caesar's friend.
This was a not so veiled threat.
Caesar has your number Bubba. This is gonna be strike three against you yard he messed up twice you're on probation.
You let this guy go with you. Let Caesar know about it so that's one pilot capitulated to the will of the people and so do whatever you want. I find no fault in him.
I wash my so let's move from the Old Testament through the New Testament to modern times. Modern worshipers view the second commandment will frankly most don't really care.
I think view of most modern worshipers is faith that leads me to God ever reminds me of God. What you care right but you remember Paul when he was in Athens. He saw all those images of all the gods of Greece and it says he was grieved in his heart by what he saw and you could say, well, those were false images of false gods.
But then he stood on the Areopagus on Mars Hill and this is what Paul the apostle said acts 1729 and 30. We ought not to think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone or something shaped by art or man's devising truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent. So naturally the first question people have been hearing all this is isn't it okay to have art. What about engravings are or what about drawings. After all, the astute Bible student would say what about the tabernacle. I mean, didn't God violate his own commandment by having ornate depictions in the tabernacle you remember on the veil the tabernacle drawings of cherubim angels. They dwell in heaven on the menorah knobs and flowers on the E Fahd of the high priest engravings of cherubim. And what about the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant.
It was a graven image of two cherubim with their wings outstretched and touching each other. The God violate his own command. He did, and here's why none of those things represented God number one and number two according to Hebrews 8 and nine.
The tabernacle was an earthly depiction of what was going on in heaven simply a reminder of what was going on in heaven. So here's the here's the synthesis of it. Here's the bottom line here is the irreducible minimum. This commandment refers to worship really doesn't have a whole lot to do with art but has everything to do with worship. The commandment is saying this God is spirit, and nothing material could ever represent God adequately. If God is spirit. Anything people make in the material world by necessity could never encapsulate or represent all the goddess so the idea here is not art but I'll say this if art leads to an image in your mind that lessens who God is.
It's wrong. Any image that lessens who God is in his nature and character is wrong. I give an example right out of the Bible. Let me refresh your memory, a story that happened in Numbers 21. The children of Israel in the desert. The murmuring or complaining. They did a lot. God sent snakes into the camp to bite them and they start falling off like flies right there start Diane so God says Moses quick. Get a brass serpent and put it on a pole and lifted up his people look to the brass serpent by faith. But he'll that's secure he does that. It worked because the people looked at it by faith. But did you know that the people of Israel didn't throw it away. They kept it is a sacred icon for years and as years went on, they didn't look at that icon the same way they once did by faith. They looked at it superstitiously. So we find it again in second Kings 18 were were told King Hezekiah broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it and called it was time see what was happening. The symbol became a substitute.
They were looking at it by faith anymore is just a symbol of what God did in the wilderness, but they were worshiping that symbol in the symbol became a substitute that can happen. By the way with any symbol.
It can happen with the cross people have crosses and look at it superstitiously forgot my cross to. I'm not wearing okay so what so what is my lucky cross. They have viewed it was some kind of mystical power almost by the way, did you know the cross was not the first symbol of Christians never was the cross doesn't even appear the crucifixion scene as a depiction in Christian art of the seventh century A.D. was never an early symbol became a symbol but the earliest symbol of Christianity was a peacock and an anchor and a fish. There were several of them find it in the catacombs in Rome and for a very good reason. Keep in mind the cross was a implement of torture, capital punishment earliest Christians 2000 years ago when the panga cross in their assembly any more than we would hang an electric chair and ours. But what the cross came to represent is wonderful and holy and and your people have noticed over the years I noticed it on the cross under church.
What kind of a church doesn't have a cross I'm not a sound outpost to find a great cross to put up there. I'm not opposed to it.
I know what the symbol represents say one thing we preach the cross and I met a whole lot of people and even churches get hung up on having a cross, but they don't live under the cross.
They don't preach the cross and then a little witness of Jesus Christ. It's all about the sacred symbol in the Aiken listen to the words of George McLeod. He said I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as the steeple of the church.
I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves on a town garbage heap at a crossroads of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek at the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse and soldiers gamble but that is where he died. That is what he died about and that is where Christ men ought to be and what church people ought to be about, so I think we've exhausted that first point, this prohibition we understand what that means. It was an image constructed for worship that people would bow down to in their worship system. Let's discuss the second that is the problem why are people driven to break this commandment God must've known something that it's number two on the top 10 list and it's repeated and amplified throughout the Old Testament. There's a few different problems that would push people toward the use of images, number one is peer pressure. Keep in mind pretend for a moment. You are a Jew living in ancient Israel. You just been delivered from Egypt surrounding you all day long were images of false gods in the Pantheon of Egypt.
You just got out of that you coming to Canaan, you find the same thing, only different names for God's. It's very tangible in the belief system of an ancient Canaanites, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, is that the spirit of their God actually resided in the image that they made so once they carved it out they dedicated to their God. Whatever happened to that image happened to the God. That's why you read accounts of ancient peoples washing their gods and dressing up their gods and placing food in front of their gods because the God would derive energy from that food so that the spirit of the god or goddess resided in the image that was crafted while the children of Israel come from that to that they don't have any images so they see a very tangible religious system around them. They see gods and goddesses dotting the landscape and the people of Canaan say whoa where your God's peers are God's. And over time that peer pressure caused Israel to worship Neyland*than Molex, etc. in fact, in some 115 there is a hint of this peer pressure. The psalmist writes, why should the Gentiles say so where is their God, and the answers it in our God is in heaven. He does whatever he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold. The work of men's hand. Can you hear that peer pressure they get into Canaan people so well where your God's ears are God's psalmist is out.
They were our God is he's in heaven. He is sovereign.
He made it all your worship and a bunch of false nonsense and our God does whatever he wants.
Second problem personal loss when a person makes an image is making a statement saying no longer do I have the conscious awareness of the presence of God. I now need an image to remind me of that God. And casting that idol is a desperate measure to recover that which was lost.
He see anybody who lives in communion with God doesn't need a reminder sound like you're walking the house. When Dana Seawright hello yes God got, I saw that because I'd forgotten. See if you live in communion with him and he is a reality in your life, you need a reminder Friedrich Jacoby in the 1700s, the German philosopher wrote something I want to share with you where idolatry ends there. Christianity begins and where idolatry begins their Christianity ends. How would you feel if somebody said I want to spend some time with you and they walked into your presence to spend time with you, but they brought an image of you well Skip I want to spend time with you Alexis have a few things I want to share with you standing there and are watching this person caring and empty headed plastic doll when you feel a little put off they went. When I'm over here.
You want to talk to me don't talk to the talk to me have a relationship with me.
You don't need that image. We have a an ongoing thing here, let me just backup and define an idol in modern terms, because any of us could thinking of this a great message that has nothing at all to do with my life. I don't bow before images I don't carve things in my backyard and set them in my front yard. Worship him every time I leave the driveway and idol is simply anything or anyone that replaces God, or let me restate anything or anyone that takes supreme devotion away from God's and idol. You can drive and idol you can live in an idol you can date and idol.
You can marry and idol you can raise idols if anyone or anything takes away supreme devotion to God, anything, to become an idol so John said little children. Keep your selves from idols. There's 1/3 problem but I think drives people to this and that is the problem of an invisible God. We just have a hard time relating to a person. We can't see where a visual people right.
Samuel said, man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart we look at the outward appearance were visual. How do you have a personal relationship with a person you never see member the story Hg Wells story the invisible man story is that I guide to science discovers how to make himself invisible, which sounds really cool at first, you can be in places and listen to conversations. Find out what people are doing push things around in the room and sounds pretty fun. After a while, the invisible man discovers it's not so fun because he discovers people don't trust somebody they don't see. So Isaiah says in chapter 45 of his prophecy verily you are a God who hides himself. Moses said, Lord, just show me your glory senior acts I've heard your words I've seen defenders I want to see you we can relate to that little boys that mommy sure gods up there yet but I'm sure is up there with non-Jewish mommy just poked his head out every now and then and show himself.
We all do. That is why every Christian has a deep longing for Jesus Christ to return. It's our hope is that when they were going to see him face to face and be totally changed. No longer do we have to live by faith will be able to see him.
We don't have to hold onto a promise inscriptions and I can't see it but I believe it you'll see him. Titus chapter 2 looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. So the bottom line is people want to God.
They can see and touch and one day you will on till then we walked by faith and not by sight be close in the slot invisible doesn't mean unavailable. Just because you can't see God doesn't mean he's not there, are available to you. Peter said whom having not seen yet.
You love and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The most important thing is not that you see God that God sees you. David declared where can I go from your spirit, where can I flee from your presence.
If I go up into the heavens. You are there.
If I make my bed in the depths, behold, you are there you can see God, but he can see you but how do I know he knows all about you and that's where you reach out with a touch of faith get in touch with all of the promises of the invisible yet powerful God years ago on television. It was done live and televise was a circus act in the part of the act was a Bengal tiger showed me at a large cage in the middle of the circus ring filled with Bengal Tigers and Tiger trainers so that this artwork they'd all get in the cage. The doors would be locked shut feel awkward.
The spotlights would come up the cameras would zoom in and show would begin in one night.
It began just fine as the trainers put these tigers through their paces. Then suddenly, without warning all the electricity went out and it was pitch black. Now imagine you're the trainer locked inside of a cage in total darkness with Bengal Tigers. You know their cats. They can see you in the dark that you can see them. What a relief when those lights.
30 seconds long. Seconds later went on. You know God can see in the dark you can't see him but he can see you there's no secrets with them is not a tiger but he is the lion of the tribe of Judah, and he is all-powerful and all of his resources, whether you feel or see or not that's all irrelevant cuts as this is who I am. No other gods, and all of these other accoutrements to worship you. We have a relationship.
We have a relationship with God that we cannot see in our longing to see it was truly a desire to see Jesus return we can reassure in the hope that one day he will. That's will have to close out two things message. Have you seen God lately. Our current series is called God's top 10 edits available for you to email@example.com all 17 messages are available as an audio CD package for only $39 plus shipping. Learn more.
In order today from Kodak was good.com you can also find out about this month's special resource. The Bible is the most important information you can pass along to the next generation in your family and that can be a challenge in this book, this Bible there are 16 six separate books, some long some very long. Some very, very short 31,173 versus sounds like a big book it is his success by looking really seem overwhelming Savior kids and grandchildren. That's why you want a copy of this resource is called soaring gives kids and cleans an overview of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Fun travel engaged all God has requested you are talking soaring to the Bible friendly resource you give a generous donation of $35 or more to keep this program going strong to you and others to God's word. Call now to give hundred 92 1888.
You can also give online securely skip.com/offer. What is the second commandment had to find out next time you and connect with Skip weekend edition Skip Heitzigs and continues the message. Have you seen God lately individual is a presentation of connection so you guys never changing to an ever-changing time