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Doug Batchelor - Commands of the King - Part 2


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    Doug Batchelor - Commands of the King - Part 2
TOPICS: Bible Prophecy, Book of Daniel

One of the more bizarre laws in Minnesota forbids any game where participants chase a greased pig in order to catch it. It's also illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits in Natoma, Kansas. In West Virginia, using your ferret for hunting can land you in jail for up to 100 days. And you'd better not transport ice cream in your pocket in Kentucky. It's against the law to gather seaweed at night in New Hampshire. And in Vermont, a woman needs written permission from her husband before she can lawfully wear false teeth.

Doesn't it seem like humans excel at making things unnecessarily complex? On the other hand, God's moral code is streamlined, simple, and totally practical. The Ten Commandments are also a perfect reflection of the loving character of God. They help us to see sin in our lives and to point us in the right direction. So, join me today, as we look deeper into this essential law of love.


You know, I heard an interesting story. Pastor Joe Cruz used to share this illustration, that the shrimp out there in the ocean, when they molt, as they grow, they slough off their old skin. They have to swim down to the bottom of the shore, and they grab a piece of sand, and with their little hands, they've got a crevice in their head with a little pocket in it, and they push a piece of sand down in there, and it's called a status stone. And what happens is when the shrimp are getting beat up in the waves and the currents, and they're all swirling around, they always know how to swim right side up, because they've got this little piece of sand in their head that helps them keep their equilibrium, and so that they know which end is up.

Well, a marine biologist got a bright idea. He got an aquarium and filled them up with shrimp, but in the bottom of the aquarium there was no sand. He put little iron pellets. And when it came time for them to molt and to replace their status stone, they went down there; not finding any sand, they all grabbed a little piece of iron, and they stuck it in the crevice with their little claws, and everything was fine. But this marine biologist had a sense of humor. So, he got a large electromagnet, and he put it across the top of the aquarium. It was like a bar. And he flipped the switch and turned it on; and as soon as he did, all the shrimp spun around and began to swim upside down. And he would watch that, and he turned it off, and they swam normal. And he turned it back on, they flipped upside down. He thought, "This is amazing."

Then he got another idea. He said, "I wonder what'll happen if I take a normal shrimp that's got the normal rock in his head and drop him in with the other shrimp, will he flip upside down to fit in, or will he swim appropriately? So, he did that. He dropped this other shrimp in that was a normal shrimp with a piece of sand in his head, with all the other shrimps that had rusty iron in their heads, and this one shrimp, he swam right side up, and all the other shrimp began to talk about him. I don't know if that's true. But you can imagine what they were thinking. "Who does this guy think he is? Why is he swimming upside down?" He was actually the only one that was swimming right side up.

That's what's happening in our world today. We've got people everywhere swimming upside down. And since everyone else is swimming upside down, we think we're supposed to flip upside down, too. Someone once said because a million people believe a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea. Moses said, "Do not follow a multitude to do evil." And we're being just bombarded by media or the idea that we're supposed to sacrifice our principles so that we could fit in with the culture today. We will not be judged by the culture. We're going to be judged by the Word of God.

Now, the title for our presentation tonight is "The Commands of the King." You might be thinking, "Pastor Doug, in a prophecy seminar like this, why are we talking about the law of God?" Let me give you three quotes from the book of Revelation, the book of prophecy in the Bible, the last book in the Bible. Revelation chapter 12, verse 17, "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and he went to make war with the remnant of her seed that keeps the commandments of God."

Who does the devil make war with? The ones who keep the commandments of God. You look in Revelation chapter 14, verse 12, "Here is the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus." Go to the last chapter in the Bible. It's real easy to find, last chapter in Revelation, and it said, "Blessed are those that keep His commandments, that they might have a right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates of the city."

So, here's three times in Revelation it says that the people who are going to be successful and survive are the ones who are obedient. Indeed, when you look at the messages of Jesus to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, it says, "to him who overcomes," "to him who overcomes," "to him who overcomes," seven times. God wants His people to be an obedient people.

Now, I believe, in case there's any question, I don't want you to doubt this at all. We are saved by grace through faith. We are saved by faith. But I believe when you are saved by faith, you will obey. Obedience is not legalism. Some pastors are making it sound today like if you believe in or talk about obedience, you are automatically a legalist. The Bible does not teach that. The Bible teaches that we are to be obedient to God. He wants to save us from our sins, right?

Did Jesus keep the Ten Commandments? What is a Christian? A Christian is a follower of Christ. Isn't that right? So, if we do what Jesus did, you're safe. What does the Bible say? John 15, verse 10, Christ said, "I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." The Bible says, "Thy word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee." How many people have sinned? According to the Bible, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

Everybody sins. So, we're not talking about that there's no hope for anyone because we've all broken God's law. What is the punishment for living a life of sin? "The wages of sin is death." It's very serious. And when God saves us, he doesn't want us to just cut down on our sin because sin is deadly. He wants to save us from our sin. And the Lord can help you stop the things and the addictions that are a problem in your life. He can help you stop lying. He can help you stop stealing. And yet, even the churches say, "Pastor Doug, now you're getting legalistic."

I remember John Lomacang and I were doing an interview, a debate on television, channel 42, oh, it must be 30 years ago, with some other ministers about the commandments. And these ministers said, "We're not under the law. Nobody can keep the law." And I said, "Are you telling me that nobody can keep the Ten Commandments?" They said, "No." I said, "So, God gave people a law, told them to keep it, and then punished them for not keeping it, and He knew they could never keep it." "So, that's right. He needed them to understand that they couldn't do it, and so that He was just going to have to forgive them through Jesus." I said, "You don't think we can keep any of the commandments?" I said, "You married?" I said, "How about the seventh commandment?" I said, "Do you believe the devil can tempt us to sin?" "Yeah." Said, "But you don't think Jesus can keep us from sin?"

So, in my book, Jesus said, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Got all these bumper stickers out that say Christians aren't perfect. They're just forgiven. And while I agree that Christians may not be perfect, we are more than just forgiven. We should be different. God has called us to lives of holiness. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus came to save us from that by giving us new hearts. Some say the Ten Commandments are not binding for New Testament Christians. What does Jesus say about that? "If you would enter into life, keep the commandments." Now, is that ambiguous? Is that difficult to understand, or is that pretty plain coming from the lips of our Savior? If you would... and someone came to Him and said, "Lord, what must I do to be saved?" He says, "Do you know the commandments?" And now he could've said, "Well, I've broken them." And He would say, "Well, I'll forgive you for the ones you've broken, but take up your cross and follow Me." I live a new life. Jesus healed people. He said, "Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you." How can that be confused?

God wants us to stop our disobedience and not just be Christians in word but in deed. This is the Scriptures, friends. Amen? But you don't hear this very often. And there's a lot... that's why so many people are going to come to Jesus in the last days. "Okay, great. Lord, Lord, here I am." And He's going to say, "I don't know you." "Oh, but I taught in your streets and did many wonderful works." He says, "Depart from Me, you who are lawless." In a translation, that's what it says. "You who work iniquity..."

A lot of people just, they want Jesus, they want the benefits, they want the peace of mind. They don't want to surrender their lives and obey. "If you would enter into life, keep the commandments." Jesus said, "If you love Me," do what? "Keep My commandments."

Heard about this man that he had a drinking problem. And he would come home drunk late every night, and his wife would get so exasperated. Had to be stumbling around the house. She'd just lock him out. And then he'd stand out there below their two-story house, and he'd billow up to the window and say, "Honey, open up." And all the neighbors would start waking up. "Open up." And then he'd always say, "I've got three words for you: 'I love you, I love you.'" And she'd get tired of him bellowing out there, and she'd go down, and she's surrender, and she'd open the door. This happened time and time again until one night she couldn't take it anymore. She'd locked him out. He's out there on the street, waking up the whole neighborhood. "Three words: 'I love you, I love you.'" She opened the door, decided to practice some tough love, and she said, "I've got two words for you: 'Prove it,'" and she locked the door.

So, it's one thing to say, "I love you, Lord, I love you, Lord," and a lot of Christians sing, "I love you, Lord, I love you, Lord," but they don't obey Him. The best way to show, "Obedience is better than sacrifice," the Bible says. The highest form of worship is to obey God, to do His will. "Blessed are those who do His commandments." I shared this with you earlier, Revelation 22:14, last chapter in the Bible. It is a prophecy subject. We don't understand this. None of the mark of the beast and any of that is going to even matter if you don't understand God wants a people that will obey. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.

How is it possible to keep the commandments? I mean, we're all weak. We all struggle with sin and the devil and temptation every day, but He can transform you. Romans 8:3-4, Paul said, "God did this by sending His own Son. He condemned sin in the flesh," meaning in us, "that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us." I came to the Lord, I had a terrible problem with cursing and using God's name in vain, but the Holy Spirit came into my mind; and through the power of Christ in me, I was able to get the victory over that, and many other things. And the Lord can give you the victory. He can change you. Don't underestimate the power of God. "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6. "I can do all things..." How many things? "...all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Now, what is the old covenant; and why did it fail? And I want to just illustrate something I think most of us know. We've got Bibles. And in most normal Bibles, you've got your New Testament and your Old Testament. I just got lucky and grabbed right here, this is the New Testament is about one-quarter of your Bible. Old Testament, the word "testament" and "covenant" are the same thing. All of this is inspired. People often call this the old covenant and this New Testament our new covenant. What does that mean? What is that distinction all about?

The Bible tells us in Hebrews that the old covenant was replaced by the new covenant, and I believe we are saved by the new covenant. Do you know how that goes? By the way, where do you find the new covenant? In the Old Testament. In Jeremiah 31:31, it says, "A new covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days." So, some people think that people are saved by the old covenant. Everybody's really saved by the new covenant, even the people in the Old Testament.

I'm going to get to that in a little more detail here. "So He declared to you His covenant that He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments." What is the covenant? "The Ten Commandments: and He wrote them on two tables of stone." In the beginning, when the children of Israel heard God proclaim His law, first, He proclaimed it. If you're going to make a contract with someone, first you get a verbal agreement. When you both agree verbally, then you write it down. Isn't that how you do it? No sense, you go to a car dealership, you're going to go back and forth haggling with the dealer. When you finally agree on a number, then they write it down. Then they do the contract. They don't keep writing contracts.

And so, God pronounced His law audibly for the whole nation, Ten Commandments. The people said, "All the Lord has said, we will do." They made a promise: "We will keep the covenant." Well, while Moses was getting the written copy, they had a wild party, they made a golden calf, they worshiped idols and broke all the other commandments. And the Bible says in Hebrews 8:8, "Because finding fault with them..." What was the fault of the old covenant? Was it the law or the people? They broke the terms of the covenant. "Finding fault with them, He said, 'I'll make a new covenant with the house of Israel.'"

By the way, who is the new covenant made with? The house of Israel. You find nowhere in the Bible it says, "I'll make a new covenant with the Gentiles." Everybody saved is saved through the covenant that He made with the house of Israel. That's who He makes the new covenant with. But we, as Christians, are grafted into the stock of Abraham. We become Abraham's seed by faith, so Paul tells us in the New Testament. Upon what law is the new covenant based? Same law. Hebrews 8:10, "'For this is the covenant that I will make,' says the Lord: 'I will put my law...'" Now He's talking about the new covenant. "'I'll put my law,'" same law, "'in their mind and write them in their hearts.'" It's the same law written in a different place.

See, for the Christian, it's not just the letter of the law; it's the spirit of the law. Christ, when He began teaching, He said, "It's not just the action; it's the attitude." It's not just the action of committing adultery. Jesus said, "If you're thinking about adultery in your heart, you're guilty of the attitude. You're breaking the law." He wants us to keep it in our lives and in our hearts, but you've got to start in the heart, if it's going to be kept in the life. See what I'm saying? So, you need a new heart. You can not only break the law, but it says murder by committing homicide, but you can break it, Jesus said, by being angry with your brother without a cause.

The new covenant is about the law of God in our hearts, and then we'll keep it in our lives. We'll be keeping the spirit; and once you keep the spirit, you will automatically keep the letter. Did that make sense? Thank you. Doesn't living under grace and faith make keeping the law non-essential? No, it's actually the opposite. Paul says in Romans 6:15, "What then? Shall we sin because we're not under the law but under grace? Certainly not! God forbid." Romans 3:31, "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not!" And the King James says, "God forbid. On the contrary. It's the opposite. We establish the law by faith in our lives."

Jesus said, "It's not the hearers of the law that are just." Or actually, Paul says this in Romans chapter 2, verse 13. "It is not the hearers of the law that are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified." That's just so clear. Christ said, "Think not that I've come to destroy the law or the prophets. Do not think this." He said, "I did not come to destroy but fulfill." And people think fulfill means that He kept it and now we don't have to. That's absurd. The word "fulfill" does not mean take away. It means to fill it full; otherwise, Jesus would be saying, "Do not think that I came to destroy the law. I did not come to destroy the law but to do away with it." That wouldn't make any sense, would it? Fulfill means to fulfill it in your life. He said that the blessing is on those who do and teach it.

Are people saved by keeping the law? No. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." I remember one time when a policeman pulled me over, and I actually passed him. I was deep in thought, and I don't know what I was thinking. I'd just come off a road where you drive 70 miles an hour. Now I'm on another highway, and it's 50 miles an hour, and I went zinging by a highway patrolman, while he was following another car. He had left that car, and he got behind me, and he pulled me over. And he said, you know, you see, I had places to go, people to see, things to do. I did not want to pull over; but when you see the blue and white lights in the back, and you look at your...how many of you automatically look at your speedometer when you see a highway patrolman? How many of you automatically take your foot off the accelerator? You're going five miles an hour, and you go, it's a guilty conscience.

So, once I broke the law, I am under the law. When you break it, you're under the law. I did not want to pull over, but I had to pull over. He came over to me, and I said, "Officer, can you please have mercy? I just came off the freeway. It was 70 miles an hour. I wasn't paying attention. Please", He said, "You weren't going that fast, but I was following someone, and you passed me." I said, "I am so sorry." Said, "You know, I've got to believe that you just weren't thinking." I said, "Have mercy." I said, "My insurance rates are going to go up. My wife's going to find out, and then you know how that goes." And he said, "Ah, yeah, okay." So, he said, "I'll have mercy." And I was so thankful because, you know, you get the feeling when you get pulled over, and they walk back, and they check your license plate, and they're taking little notes. You're going, "Oh, man. I've got to go to traffic school again," and all these things. And when he came back over, he said, "Okay, I'm giving you a warning. It won't be on your record. Slow down." I said, "Hallelujah." I was so thankful.

So, I thought, "Praise the Lord, I am no longer under the law. I'm now under grace." So, before he got back to his car, I revved my engine, and I popped it into second, I let out the clutch, and I went peeling away, spraying gravel all over his hood because I thought, "I am not under the law; now I'm under grace." And I went 90 miles an hour. Is that what I did? Oh, no. I put on my blinker, and I looked both ways until there was no cars for, you know, three miles in either direction, and I crawled out onto the road, and I just putted along. I waved to the policeman, goodbye. Because he's shown me mercy, I am more careful than anybody, right? Because now I'm not under the law. Now I'm under grace.

Out of gratitude and love, you obey. What motivates a person to obey God's law? Answer: "Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." When we love God, we will want to obey Him. If you're having obedience problems, you're probably having love problems. You need to spend more time with Jesus in prayer and in the Word, and that shapes you. It gives you that strength. It's through the Holy Spirit in your life, through being connected and abiding in Christ. "Whoever abides in Him sinneth not." Whenever we get into trouble, we cease abiding. We usually forget about the Lord and get in trouble. "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind." It's through love. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." 1 John 5, verse 3.

Do you know how quickly Christianity would spread if Christians really started living different, if we were holy, if we loved each other, we tried to live out the law of God in our lives? Are some Old Testament laws no longer binding upon New Testament Christians? Absolutely. The Bible tells us what they are. "Having abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances." And it's Ephesians 2:15. That's the yearly sabbaths, the meat offerings, the drink offerings. We don't have to sacrifice lambs anymore. Circumcision is not required. All these things came after sin.

Now catch this very important point. Before the Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sinai, Exodus 20, was it still wrong to kill, murder? When Cain killed Abel, God said, "Sin lies at your door." When Potiphar's wife, this Egyptian commander, when his wife was trying to seduce Joseph, Joseph said, "How can I do this thing and sin against God?" Adultery was a sin, murder was a sin, lying was a sin. The Ten Commandments have existed since before creation. And so before there was sin, they didn't have the ceremonial laws. They didn't have circumcision. Those things all came after sin. But the Ten Commandments are part of God's nature. It's always existed.

What are some of the glorious rewards of keeping God's law? Well, there are many, friends. For one thing, it says, John 15, verse 11, "These things I've spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." People think, "Oh, I've got to keep the law. I'll have no joy." You know, I used to think that. I'd like to be a Christian, but they're not allowed to have any fun." Because I had such a puny, corrupted idea of what fun was. I thought fun was drinking, and smoking, and all these sins. And I thought I can't party. And God said, "Look, Doug, I'm not going to force you to change. You think that's fun? Keep having fun." This is happening while I'm reading the Bible, you know? And I'd got to a party. I'd wake up hung over, throwing up, wake up in jail. God said, "You having fun, Doug?" I'd be smoking a cigarette, and a girl tells me kissing me is like kissing an ashtray, and cigarette head falls off, while I'm driving, in my lap, nearly wrecked the car, and wasting my last five dollars, when I have no food, on cigarettes. And God says, "Are you having fun, Doug?"

And I gradually realized that the things that God wants me to do is what really brings the abundant life. I have much more fun now than I did serving the devil. It's a joy. "Happy is he who keeps the law." Proverbs 29, verse 18. "Great peace have those that love Your law, and nothing will cause them to stumble."

I remember hearing a story about this man that was driving too quickly through a suburban neighborhood. And he not only went crawling through a stop sign, but he was speeding. And sure enough, one of the local sheriffs saw him, and he got out behind him, and he turned on his lights, and eventually the man pulled over. And he said, "Oh, man, I was in a hurry. This is the last thing I need." And so, he's a little agitated, and he sees the policeman approaching his car. He looks and he said, "I think I know that guy. That's Fred. He goes to my church." And Fred comes over, and he rolls down his window, and he says, "Hi Fred." He says, "Hi Bob." He says, "Hey, Fred," says, "give me a break. You know, I was in a hurry, and I've got places to go."

And he didn't say anything to him. And he went behind his car, and he began to write, and, oh, Bob got so mad. He said, "You know, I wasn't going that fast." And he said, as he's back to writing, he gets madder and madder, and he rolls up his window, and he folds his arm. His insurance rates are going to go up and, "I thought he was a friend, and he could've let me off." And he's thinking, "This is going to ruin my day." And he's thinking about all these things. And the policeman comes back over, and he taps his window, and Bob just rolls down his window that much for him to drop the ticket through. And policeman pulls away. And he takes the ticket to see, you know, what the court date is. And he looks. It's not a ticket. It's a note, and the note said, "Bob, I lost my four-year-old daughter to someone who was speeding three years ago." Said, "I'm struggling to forgive that person. Forgiving you today might help me in the healing process. Please slow down."

Ooh, so how do you think he felt? Did he speed away? I mean, that's so many people in the world. We forget how much Jesus has given, how much the Father has paid in giving His Son, that we might be forgiven for our lawlessness.
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