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The Dominion of the Earth

Posted Mar 25, 2017 by Adrian Ebens in Character of God
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The Dominion of the Earth - Sermon Presenation Sabbath March 25.

John sees the elements of nature--earthquake, tempest, and political strife-- represented as being held by four angels. These winds are under control until God gives the word to let them go. TM 444

Elements of nature include both human activity as well as nature.

It is by the mighty power of the Infinite One that the elements of nature in earth and sea and sky are kept within bounds. And these elements He uses for the happiness of His creatures. "His good treasure" is freely expended "to give the rain . . . in his season, and to bless all the work" of man's hands. PK 134

The blessings and cursings of Deut 28 are linked to the commandments.

Deu 28:1,2  And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

They would be protected from disease, famine, pestilence and from the sword their enemies. Deut 28:4-7

The breaking of the law and the covenant brings the curse on the earth that devours it

Isa 24:4-6  The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.  (5)  The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  (6)  Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

When did the curse begin?

Gen 3:17-19  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  (18)  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  (19)  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Gen 4:11-14  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;  (12)  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive [H5128] and a vagabond [H5110] shalt thou be in the earth.[[H776]  (13)  And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  (14)  Behold, thou hast driven me out [H1644 Divorced] this day from the face [H6440] of the earth; [H127] and from thy face shall I be hid; [H5641] and I shall be a fugitive [H5128] and a vagabond [H5110] in the earth; [H776] and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

They were informed that in their fall from innocence to guilt they gained no strength but great weakness. 1SP 44

Isa 24:20  The earth [H776] shall reel to and fro [H5128] [H5128] like a drunkard,H7910 and shall be removed [H5110] like a cottage; and the transgressionH6588 thereof shall be heavyH3513 upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

Winds and earthquakes and tempests are not capricious outbreaks of unregulated mechanical forces. All nature is in the fullest sense under the control of physical law. It is the expression of a higher will. "He holdest the winds in His fists;" "He gathereth the waters in the hollow of His hands;" "He maketh the clouds His chariots;" "The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth king forever." Let not human wisdom dethrone and defy the great Sovereign of the universe. "He that made the world, and all things that are therein," He is the sustainer. All nature is but the working out of the laws which He has made, a manifestation of His sovereign will.--Ms 10, 1906.  {3MR 342.2} 

It is a wonderful and grand fact that in the laws of God in nature, effect follows cause with unerring certainty. The seed sown will produce a harvest of its kind. So it is in human nature. He that sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. If human beings would consider that they are making their own harvest, they would be careful what seed they sow.--Ms 104, 1898.  {3MR 342.3} 

Compare these statements:

God’s ministers

Under the supposed wisdom of men, [Satan’s control] nature is placed where she becomes a destructive agency. The good things which were given to man only to bless him are converted into a curse. By the use of wine and liquor men become slaves to appetite. God does not interpose and work a miracle to convert evil into good; for He has laid all nature under His eternal laws. Let there be no peace to the wicked, He says. Let everything be at war with him. And nature responds, "There shall be none." If man takes himself in his own hands, to do with himself as he pleases, if he works against God and nature, his indulgences will become to him the instruments of death.  {3MR 344.2} 

     Under the hand of God, nature ministers against the transgressors of God's laws. She holds her destructive elements in her bosom till the time when they shall break forth to destroy man and purify the earth. When Pharaoh defied God through Moses and Aaron saying, "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice. . . ? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go," nature expressed her sympathy with her injured Maker, and cooperated with God to avenge the insult to Jehovah. All Egypt was laid desolate because of the stubborn resistance of Pharaoh.--Letter 209, 1899.

Satan’s control

      While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce [590] tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away," "the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:4, 5.  {GC 589.3} 


Divine Pattern of Man and Earth

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, [H776] and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 

1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 

Satan Rebelled against God.

Man Rebels against God

Animals and nature rebel and against man

Man and nature rebel against Satan.

Evil angels conspire with evil men, and the whole energies of apostasy are at work to destroy the advocates of truth, and to hedge up the way that they shall not come to Christ, their Redeemer, that they may have life. And when the truth is accepted, and the soul is brought to genuine repentance and faith in God, then there is joy in heaven, and anthems of praise are sung. Therefore if there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, let there be joy upon earth among men who love God, that sinners are brought to a knowledge of the truth.  {RH, April 19, 1887 par. 2} 

During the reign of Cambyses the work on the temple progressed slowly. And during the reign of the false Smerdis 573] (called Artaxerxes in Ezra 4:7) the Samaritans induced the unscrupulous impostor to issue a decree forbidding the Jews to rebuild their temple and city.  {PK 572.2}  For over a year the temple was neglected and well-nigh forsaken. The people dwelt in their homes and strove to attain temporal prosperity, but their situation was deplorable. Work as they might they did not prosper. The very elements of nature seemed to conspire against them. Because they had let the temple lie waste, the Lord sent upon their substance a wasting drought. God had bestowed upon them the fruits of field and garden, the corn and the wine and the oil, as a token of His favor; but because they had used these bountiful gifts so selfishly, the blessings were removed.  {PK 573.1} 

The terror of man and beast was beyond description. Above the roar of the tempest was heard the wailing of a people that had despised the authority of God. Satan himself, who was compelled to remain in the midst of the warring elements, feared for his own existence. He had delighted to control so powerful a race, and desired them to live to practice their abominations and continue their rebellion against the Ruler of heaven. He now uttered imprecations against God, [100] charging Him with injustice and cruelty. Many of the people, like Satan, blasphemed God, and had they been able, they would have torn Him from the throne of power. PP 99

Eze 28:6-7  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;  (7)  Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.

Psa 7:15  He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. 

Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10 GC 672

Isa 24:6  Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. 

Rom 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 

Connection Between Immorality and Earth Response

Lev 18:1-28  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  (2)  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.  (3)  After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.  (4)  Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.  (5)  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.  (6)  None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.  (7)  The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  (8)  The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.  (9)  The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.  (10)  The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.  (11)  The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  (12)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.  (13)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.  (14)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.  (15)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  (16)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.  (17)  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.  (18)  Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.  (19)  Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.  (20)  Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.  (21)  And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.  (22)  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.  (23)  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.  (24)  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  (25)  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.  (26)  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:  (27)  (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)  (28)  That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

Smite the Earth with a Curse

Mal 4:5-6  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  (6)  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Isa 24:5-6  The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  (6)  Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.