EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 12-Apr-2009


by Robert Daniels


The thing that I would like to speak about today is something that I was thinking about all week.  I said, “Let me look in the Bible and research this a little bit.”  I am not going to look at all the verses, but hopefully you might see what I am trying to say. 

God tells us in the Bible how we are to approach Him, how we are to approach God.  When you think about it, it is amazing that God would allow sinful human beings, as we are by nature, to approach Him. 

We have to remember that God is “King of kings.”  He is “Lord of lords.”  He is the Creator of all things.  He is infinite in His wisdom.  He speaks and this world comes into existence, and our little human minds cannot fathom who God is; we cannot.  In our own minds, we could not deal with this. 

But God tells us in the Bible how we ought to approach Him.  We are to approach God knowing that He is His Majesty, “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” and who do we think we are?  We are nothing but dust.  Who are we that God would permit us to come, as He says in the Bible, “come boldly unto the throne of grace”?  We are sinners.  We deserve to be destroyed and we deserve nothing of Him.  He does not need us; God does not need us.  He is the Creator; He is the Creator of all things. 

Let us look at Isaiah 57:15 where God tells us a little bit about Himself, which we are so grateful for.  In Isaiah 57:15, He says:

For thus saith the high and lofty One…

God is King overall.  He is “the high and lofty One”:

…that inhabiteth eternity…

Do we know what eternity is?  No, we do not know.  He rules.  He is everything.  He says here that He “inhabiteth eternity”: 

…whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

So here He tells us that He inhabits eternity, but we do not know what eternity is.  We are all creatures of time.  Time catches up to all of us.  If the Lord does not come first, we die.  We die of an illness or we just simply die of old age.  Our body wears away and we go back to the dust from whence we were taken. 

So, you see, we are nothing; we are nothing.  Once we begin to see ourselves in this way, we can approach unto God.  Man in his pride walks around thinking that he is this or he is that; but when he begins to read the Bible, he begins to see that he is nothing. 

Let us go to the first book of the Bible, Genesis.  We cannot understand all of this language in Genesis.  But in Genesis, the book of beginning, in verse 3, we see God writing how He created the world, the universe, and all things.  All we see is God speaking, and He said in Genesis 1:3:

And God said, Let there be light…

And it was created.   As we read through the creation account, all we see God doing is simply speaking and things come into being!  As complex as this universe is, it is coming into existence.  We cannot fathom this.  He made it out of nothing.  What is nothing?  We do not know. 

When we come before God and we start to think about how great He is, we should know our place.  We should be humbled to no end because of who we are.  As we look at the creation and how complex it is, we marvel.  When we look at the birds and when we look at the human body and see how complex everything is, we have to marvel.  All we can do is sit there in open-mouth awe of how great God is! 

I believe the true believers in heaven and in eternity to come are still going to be learning more and more about Him.  Our little minds cannot contain how mighty and powerful God really is, and yet this mighty God permits us to come before Him.

Let us also turn over to Isaiah where God gives us bits of information about Himself.  He tells us how we are to approach Him.  If you were to meet the President of the United States, you would be very respectful.  You would follow the rules, and so forth.  But this is Almighty God!  In Isaiah 40:15-17, God says:

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket…

When you look at the nations of the world, you can see how some are smaller and some are larger.  And He says that they are nothing.  They are like “a drop of a bucket”:

…and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing…

“All nations” are as nothing in God’s eyes, nothing.  When you read that, you tremble.  They are nothing:

…and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

When you look at the expanse of the heavens and all the different planets and all that is out there, it is nothing to God, nothing at all. Verses 18-20, Isaiah 40:18-20:

To whom then will ye liken God?…

To whom can we liken Him?  We cannot even open our mouths.

…or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

God tells us here how powerful He is.  This whole universe, this whole planet is nothing to God, nothing, nothing whatsoever, and we should tremble before Him.  We have to tremble before God because this mighty God would have us to approach unto Him, sinners as we are.  We are dirty, rotten, filthy sinners, and yet He permits us to pray to Him.  He permits us to approach unto Him.  It is an awesome thing what God has done for His people! 

Look also in Revelation 1.  As we speak about God, we have to be very careful, very careful when we speak about Him.  In Revelation 1:7-8, we read:

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

“The Almighty” is one of His titles.  He is Almighty.  There is nothing that He cannot do. 

Let us turn to another verse.  Look at 1 Timothy 6:13-15:

I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

This word “Potentate” could be used in the sense that He has great authority; He is “King of kings,” and this part of the Bible says that He is “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”  He is the “only Potentate.”  He has great authority; there is no higher authority than God Himself.  He speaks and it is done. 

When we look at the different attributes of God, His great patience, His love, His mercy, and all the things about God, we tremble.  At this point, He has been patient with the human race for over thirteen thousand years.  What great patience He has!  We know that He will not hold His patience forever, yet He tells us that He is great in mercy, that He has great kindness: all of these things that we could not know about Him.  And this is Almighty God who does not need us at all.  He does not have to save anyone, but thank God that He did elect a people for Himself. 

So in verse 15 of 1 Timothy 6, we see that He is the “only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.”  Then verse 16 says, 1 Timothy 6:16:

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting.  Amen.

This is Jehovah God of the Bible.  He is the Creator of all things, and He tells us here about Himself a little bit.  He is everything.  He has great authority, and yet He permits us to approach unto the throne of grace.  We can come before Him and plead for mercy, for mercy, for mercy.  Who can tell if He might save us? 

When we come before God, we do not come with an “attitude” or with a long laundry list of demands.  We come before His Majesty, King of kings, and we come, as it were, with our faces to the ground. 

Remember in the book of Daniel?  God was showing Daniel a vision and what kind of position was he in?  He was face down.  He was face down before God and that is how we should approach unto Him.  We do not approach Him in our pride or arrogance.  We come recognizing who He is and that He does not have to save us.  He does not have to do anything.  He could take any one of us out in death, just like that.   He does not have to ask our permission.  He does not have to come and ask, “Can I take you in death today?” 

No, He comes and He does what He wishes because God is God.  We do not dictate to Him as to when He ought to save us.  We do not come as dictators to God; we come as beggars.  Remember the blind man?  We come as beggars—we beg for mercy—and that is how we are to come before God.  We come as beggars before Him as we approach the throne of grace.  He tells us, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace.”   And why are we coming before the throne of grace?  We are coming to beg for mercy, because we stand guilty before God as sinners. 

We all have broken the Law of God.  God says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and the Law of God demands death.  The death sentence is over all of us and we desperately want to have that death sentence removed, yet only God can do this. 

So if we recognize this, then we come beseeching God for His mercy.  We come as the Ninevites did, should we not?  We should not come before Him with, “O Lord, you must save me in two weeks,” or “You must do this,” or “You must do that.”  No, we come before God as beggars. 

God is the One who set up all the parabolic language in the Bible, like the blind man or the two men who went up into the temple to pray.  One of them recognized who he was, that he had broken the Law of God and that he deserved God’s anger and judgment.  He could not even look up to Heaven.  He just smote upon his breast and cried out to God, “Be merciful to me a sinner.”  This is how we are to approach unto God. 

Many people today have designed a god in their own minds.  Have you ever heard people say, “My God would not do this?”  Your god might not, but the God of the Bible will destroy the unsaved.  It is God of the Bible who will destroy the unsaved on the last day. 

So as we come before God, we come as the Ninevites.  We have heard many, many times that the Ninevites only had forty days warning.  We have about twenty-five months, and twenty-five months compared to forty days is a much longer time.  They had forty days and they did not know whether or not God was going to spare them; they did not know.  But we see God demonstrating His great mercy to these people, and that same merciful God who spared the Ninevites is the same merciful God who is operating today. 

It is now twenty-five months before the end of the world and we hear the warning of judgment coming.  At least back in the day of the Ninevites, it was not the last day of this world’s existence.  However, this time will be the last day of this world’s existence, but we can still beg God for His mercy. 

It is twenty-five months away, so what are we going to do with this information?  What are we going to do with it?  Are we going to hear the warning or is the warning just going to go through this ear and out the other?  Will it just roll off our backs?  We should take it to heart.  If you are not saved, you do not know whether or not God is going to save you.  We just beseech and beg of Him, and then we wait; we wait. 

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is speaking to us and He says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Therefore, we cannot be lazy.  We should spend time reading the Bible and we should continue to read the Bible, praying that God would open our understanding and that He might apply His Word to our hearts.  We do not know whether He is going to do this or not, so we just throw ourselves on the mercy seat and we plead for mercy. 

Let us look at Psalm 50.  God gives us a little bit more information here in Psalm 50.  I said earlier that many people have designed a doctrine that is not based on the Bible at all.   Their doctrine comes out of the rebellious heart of man.  This is one of the reasons why the churches are now under God’s judgment.  They have designed a doctrine or a teaching that is based on what they think God is commanding us to do.  In Psalm 50:16-18 we read:

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

For instance, when you are bringing another gospel, you are stealing from the Bible.  These are the doctrines that the churches have come up with.  Whatever the case might be, they are stealing from the Bible.  They are marrying it with their own ideas, and so they are thieves.  If you remember in John 10, God talked about a thief coming to kill and to steal.  That thief is Satan.  When man comes up with another gospel, he is stealing from the Bible. 

Men who are not saved have “itching ears” and their false gospels or doctrines are patterned to suit man, not God.  If you look at these false gospels in the churches, you will discover that they are devised to fill the church pews and that they are full of practices that men love to do. 

Look at some of these churches; for instance, the Catholic Church.  What unsaved man would not like that gospel?  “All you have to do is…whatever…and all is well.”  But, you see, they are stealing from the Word of God.   Mankind, by nature, does not want to hear the true Gospel, so we gravitate toward falsehood.  This is how they are stealing from the Word of God. 

Psalm 50:19-21 goes on to say:

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself…

Do you see what mankind has done?  He has created a god.  Verse 21 is the verse I wanted to get to because man has created a god like unto himself. 

Look at the other nations of the world.  They have a Buddha.  They have a statute where they worship a cow, or whatever.  Mankind, in his rebellion, has attempted to bring God down to his own level. 

Have you ever heard people say, “The man upstairs,” as if they could talk to God eye-to-eye?  Mankind, in his rebellion, does not recognize who God is, so he has designed a god like unto himself, a god whom he can dial up, so-to-speak, on demand or when he feels like it or when he is in a jam.  Maybe he is in the hospital and he is lying on his bed, “You know, Lord, if you get me out of here, I will do this.”  His god is on demand.  Man does not recognize who God is, so he goes about to do his own thing. 

Turn to 1 Chronicles.  When God opens our eyes, we begin to see who God really is.  Remember that prayer of David that God records in the Bible?  In 1 Chronicles 29:10-13, we read:

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

God is the Father of true believers.

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all…

God is King over all.  When God opens our eyes, we begin to fear God; we begin to see who He is, “Thou reignest over all”: 

…and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

As God opens our eyes, can you begin to see how we should see God?  If we approach unto Him for mercy, we begin to get an idea of who He is.  God is in control of all things. 

Do you remember that vision that God gave to Isaiah in chapter 6?  God was seated “upon a throne, high and lifted up.”  He is a God who has permitted us to approach unto Him.  

Here in 1 Chronicles 29, we read a few verses about who He is: “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory.”  Yet God permits us to approach unto Him and plead for mercy, for mercy. 

As we see the end of the world coming, what should we be doing?  We should be pleading for mercy, pleading for mercy.  He has permitted us to do so.  And we come with no preconditions.  We come with no preconditions before God, none whatsoever.  We come, as it were, on our bellies. 

“Well,” some people might say, “I am not going to stoop that low; I am not that bad.”  We are that bad.  Sin is that bad and we should never take sin lightly.  Sin is horrible. 

When you go back to the Genesis account, you do not see that Adam and Eve had murdered someone.  They did not do anything like that.  All they did was eat fruit off a tree, and look what God did; look at His reaction to it!  It brought us all under the curse of God.  All they did was eat of the fruit.  I mean, come on!  You have a child and the child steals a cookie.  You are not going to throw the child in jail.   It was one sin, seemingly a little sin, an innocent sin that they did in the garden, and yet look at God’s reaction to what they did.  He came down on them hard.  Sin is offensive, sin is rebellion, and it is breaking the Law of God.

If you are moving in a direction toward sin, you should stop and cry out to the Lord, “What am I doing?  What am I thinking?” and turn away from it.  Sin is terrible.  It is not just the little white lie, or whatever it is.  No, sin is horrible; sin is terrible.  If you are rebelling against God’s Word, that is terrible.  I do not know if one sin is worse than any other; sin is terrible. 

But here in 1 Chronicles 29, as God moved David to write about His glory, we can see the praise and the exaltation that David is saying to God and who God is.  He is great and powerful, and this is who we are approaching unto for mercy, for mercy.  The Lord God of the Bible, the Almighty God who has permitted us to plead for mercy, guilty though we are, might still forgive us! 

If you die in your sins, all hope is gone.  Who can tell if you are going to be alive tomorrow?  We do not know this.  You do not know this.  God does not tell us how long we are going to live.  We do not know. 

Every day, a couple of hundred thousand people die of all ages, all ages.  You do not have to be old to die.  You could be in perfect health when, all of a sudden, you could just fall down.  God could take you out, just like that, without warning, without notice, without anything, because God is God. 

How wonderful it is that He has permitted us to come to Him for mercy, for mercy.  We know that we are living in that day when He is saving the greatest amount of people ever.  The greatest amount of people ever are being saved in our day, so what should we be doing? 

Children, what should you be doing?  You know that Judgment Day is going to affect you, too.  Did you know that when Judgment Day begins, there are going to be hundreds of millions of children here, of all ages, of all races?  They are going to be destroyed during those 153 days, and then everything will be destroyed on October 21, 2011. There are going to be millions and millions of children who are going to be left behind.  If you are not saved and your parents are, your parents will not be here to comfort you; they will not be here.  You are going to be left here to face this Almighty God whom we are reading about.  Remember, He says that He is “a consuming fire.”  You are going to have to face this.  I hope that you are taking this warning from the Bible that we are right at the end of the world very seriously.  This is not a joke.  It is going to affect you, all of you.  It is going to affect you. 

For the true believers, this is a wonderful thing because, immediately, they will be caught up to be with Christ.  However, if you are not a true believer and you are left behind, you are going to have to face this Almighty God on your own and there will be no more mercy, none.  The mercy of God will have ended. 

Have you really thought about this?  In your room at night, do you really think about the fact that we are only about twenty-five months away from the end?   Have you ever really thought about this?  Momma and Daddy speak to you about this and you could not care less.  It is in this ear and out the other. 

I was a teenager once, and not too long ago.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I am forty-eight, if you are curious.  By God’s mercy, I will be forty-nine.   But I was once a teenager and my Dad used to talk to me about things.  It went in this ear and out the other, right out. 

But this is God’s Word, the Bible.  This is God who is speaking to us and He is not playing games with us.  He is telling us what is going to happen and how wonderful it is that today we can still beseech Him for His mercy. 

You know, we are living in a land where this world is very attractive, is it not?  Yes, it is.  It is very attractive.  You see the gold, the clothes, the cars, the games.  You name it, it is very attractive.   It is very attractive to the eyes, but it is temporary.  Do not let the world attract you.  All of this that we see is going to be destroyed.  All of this is going to be burned up and it is going to be gone. 

So let us get back to the issue.  Where does this leave me?  Where does this leave you?  If there ever was a day, children, when we should be listening to the Bible, it is today. 

I know what you are experiencing.  I have four teenagers myself.  Your mom and dad open up the Bible and your mind is a thousand miles away.  You cannot wait for Mom and Dad to stop reading the Bible or singing the hymns, “Oh, we have to do this again?”  You are here, but you are not really here, “I just come because Mom and Dad say I have to come.  But if they did not say this, I would not come.”  Well, you are not doing Mom and Dad a favor. 

We have to listen to the Bible, because we are right at the end of the world.   This is not the time to try and veer off and sit here as if you are a thousand miles away.  You are not listening to the Bible.  You had better listen, because God will destroy you. 

He gives us all of these examples in the Bible, like the flood of Noah’s day.  The people back then did not listen to Noah, either, and there were children there; there were children of different ages there.  Did they listen?  And yet God did what He said He was going to do.  He destroyed them.  In Sodom and Gomorrah, there had to be children there.  Any city you go to, there will be children of all ages.  God will destroy them.  So this should be a warning to us.  

Remember, God tells us in the Bible that these things are written for our learning today.  We read these things and we look at how God operated in the past.  We see Him show great kindness, great mercy, and we see Him bring judgment.  He brought judgment, so we should read these things and look at them and see, “God says it and then He brings it to pass.  He said what He was going to do and then He did it.” 

But God can save a child, as we see in the Bible, just as quickly as an adult.  It does not make a difference whether you are in the womb or whether you are a toddler or whether you are a teenager.  We see in the Bible that God saved teenagers, also.  God gave us Joseph’s age.  He was seventeen and yet we saw that God saved him.  So age is not an excuse. 

We are living in a world which, sad to say, is very materialistic and has blinded the eyes of many.  We should not be caught up in this world.  We should keep our eyes on things above, as God says in Colossians.  We should keep our eyes on heavenly things, eternal things, things that are going to last forever.  This is where our focus ought to be.  Look away from this world.  If you have friends around you who are leading you down a wrong path, get away from them, get away from them.  Keep your eyes focused on Christ.

Let us go on a little bit further.  I think that I got away from what I wanted to say, so let me jump ahead.  God is warning us in Psalm 34:15-18 where He says:

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil…

If you are yet in your sins, God’s face is against you.

…to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

We know that this is going to happen shortly, that the wicked are going to be cut off; they are going to be destroyed. 

The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

What trouble were we in before we were saved?  We were in trouble with God.  Yet when we become saved, God delivers us from this trouble.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart…

Do you see how we are to approach unto God?  We approach Him with a broken heart over our sins.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

How am I going to get a contrite heart?  How will I go about doing this?  I cannot.  I cannot do anything to get this contrite heart. 

Let us go on to another verse.  Look at Psalm 51.  We will see the same idea in Psalm 51:17.  Here God is telling us how we should approach unto Him.  As I said earlier, we do not come with a list of demands or demanding anything of God, because we do not deserve anything.  God says in Psalm 51:17:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Look also at Isaiah 66:1-2.  There we read:

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

We tremble at the Word of God because we know what He says, and He says that He will bring it to pass.  Remember, God is speaking to us from the pages of the Bible.  This is the voice of God and we should tremble when He says that He is going to bring judgment.  

But here God is telling us how we are to approach unto Him.  This word “contrite” means “crushed,” having a crushed heart.  We see our sin and we see what we deserve, but we still come before God.  We are in rebellion against Him, yet salvation is not anything that we can do of ourselves.  So what must we do?

God says, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace.”  As we come before God, we begin to realize, as He tells us in Philippians 2, He is the One who has to work in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure.”  We beseech God that He would give us “a broken spirit.”  We cannot do this of ourselves.  Salvation is not a work that we can do, yet He permits me and you, this Mighty God, this Almighty God, He permits sinners to come before the throne of His grace.  As we do, we have to beg of God that He might give us a broken heart. 

He is the One who has to do this within us; He has to do a work of grace within us.  He works in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure.”  He is the One who has to give us a broken heart.  He has to give us that contrite spirit.  He has to give us that new heart that He talks about in Ezekiel 36.  He is the One who has to give us a new Spirit; all the work of saving us is of God.  He has to draw us to Himself.  He has to do all these things within us because, spiritually, we are dead. 

This is how we have to come before God.  We come with no preconditions, nothing.  We pray, as it says in Lamentations, and we wait for God to act, if it be His will.  We cannot do anything.  We come, so-to-speak, as I said earlier, on our bellies before God, pleading for mercy, pleading for mercy, and we never stop.  We do this because we see the Day approaching.  Judgment Day is almost here, but who can tell if He will take me or you in death tomorrow; we do not know. 

So we do not come with our self-pride intact or our self-respect.  We come as beggars before Almighty God and we simply throw ourselves at the mercy of God, pleading for mercy and begging for mercy, as the Ninevites did.   Keep Jonah 3 in mind, because who can tell if God will turn and save us?  They did not know what would happen, and so we come before God in this same way.  And as we approach Him, we come simply as beggars before God.

Let us stop here.