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Revelation Final Class: Our Prophetic Identity and Mission

Norman McNulty

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Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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Recorded

  • December 13, 2008
    9:00 AM
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Good morning, everyone, and happy Sabbath. It’s good to see all of you here. And as Adrian said from up front, today is the last Revelation class. Next week is GYC, so I’ll be gone. And then the week after that is Christmas; I’ll be gone again. And we want to just start something new in January, start of the new year, start a new class, so that’s basically where we’re headed.

 

We’ve gotten through the first 20 chapters of Revelation, and what I’m going to do today is summarize some of the key high points of chapters 21 and 22. They are a little bit longer than chapters 19 and 20, which we did in one week last week. I’m just going to spend a few minutes on chapters 21 and 22. You can read chapters 21 and 22 basically on your own, and it is as it reads. There is nothing terribly complicated about Revelation 21 and Revelation 22. And the remainder of the time, since it is our last class period for Revelation, the remainder of our time I want to spend looking at where are we in the book of Revelation. And there are several places throughout the book that we can focus in on and say, “This is where we are right now.”

 

And when you put all of that together into one big picture, it really comes alive. When you’re just going through it verse by verse through the book, sometimes you can maybe have a tendency to get lost in the trees and forget to see the big picture of the forest. So, we’re going to try to do that today.

 

So, again, just as a reminder, this is being recorded for AudioVerse. If you have a question or a comment, we have a microphone in the back, and we’ll have the microphone for the recording.

 

At this time, let’s bow our heads for a word of prayer, and we’ll get started with our class. Father in heaven, we thank You that we can study the book of Revelation one more time today. Thank You for all the wonderful truths that we’ve studied throughout this year, and be with us now as we finish the class today, and may it come alive again in a special way. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Okay, so here we are, Revelation, chapters 21 and 22. We’re going to briefly look at some high points. You know, we did go through every verse of every chapter up to this point, but I’m just going to summarize some of the key points so that we can do our complete book of Revelation overview.

 

So, when we get to chapter 21, we’ve just finished studying about the thousand years, and we see Satan and the wicked are destroyed by fire that God sends from heaven. And then in chapter 21 we see the promise of the new heaven, the new Earth, and the promise that God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. It doesn’t say that there are going to be no tears during the thousand years, but that He will wipe away the tears, and that’s a time that we can certainly look forward to.

 

And there are a couple of other interesting points. In verse 6, Jesus says, “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” And if you remember when Alistair was teaching at the very beginning of the book, Alpha and Omega are the Greek letters of the first and last Greek letters of the alphabet, and Jesus is describing Himself as the Alpha and the Omega, or the first and the last of the alphabet. Or, you could say, because He’s using letters to describe Himself, you could also say He’s describing Himself as the Author and the Finisher. An author uses letters to write, and you go to the beginning and the end of the alphabet to use your letters.

 

And it’s interesting, in the book of Hebrews, chapter 12, Jesus is described as the Author and the Finisher of our faith. And that links into the characteristics of the 144,000 who have the patience of the saints, the faith of Jesus, which all those characteristics are in Hebrews 12. So, we’re just hitting some high points.

 

And verse 7 says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things.” This links back to the seven churches. To every church there’s the promise “to him who overcomes.” And then at the end of the book of Revelation, we see “He who overcomes shall inherit all things.” And we didn’t really talk about this, but Revelation does have a chiastic structure, so the beginning and the end of the book have a similar theme. And then, as you go towards the middle, it goes towards a peak, and then it comes back down, so the beginning and the end have similar concepts. So, you can see some of that here.

 

And there’s the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. Those who are wicked are going to be in the lake of fire. They experience the second death. And John clearly describes here as the angels showed him who the bride, the Lamb’s wife, is; it’s the New Jerusalem. It’s there in verse 10. We also see it in verse 2. Ellen White corroborates that in Great Controversy. We talked about that last week. And God’s people are represented as the fine linen or the righteousness of the saints.

 

So, I’m moving kind of fast here. And then we see a description of the city, the 12 gates, the 12 foundations. It’s very symmetric. Then we see that there’s no night there. And that’s basically, you know, Revelation 21 is as it reads; there’s nothing complicated. We’re not trying to figure out who the seven heads are or anything like that. It is what it is. If we had more time, we would go into more detail, but that’s chapter 21.

 

Then chapter 22, then we see the river of life which comes out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. We see 12 manner of fruits. And the number 12 seems to keep coming back up. We saw it with the 12 foundations, the 12 gates. There is also the 12 tribes of Israel from which the 144,000 come from. There are 12 fruits. So, the number 12 keeps coming back up.

 

And we see, in verse 4 we see that the righteous have the Father’s name in their foreheads. This reminds us of the 144,000 in chapter 7 who have the seal of God in their foreheads.

 

And as we come down further, then we see the concept of the close of probation. At the very end of the book, we are reminded that there is going to come a time when everything that has been done has been done. There’s going to be no more going back. And when God says, “That’s it,” that’s it. And so, we know that this correlates with Daniel, chapter 12, verse 1, when Michael stands up. And this is, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

 

I don’t have a whole lot of time to talk about this, but there’s one key point I wanted to bring out. It’s interesting, where it says, “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still,” so the word “righteous” is used two times here. Now, I’m not good at pronouncing Greek words, but the Greek words that are used for the word “righteous” in these two words “righteous,” are actually very similar but just a little bit different. Now, the word “righteous” means righteous for the first one. But the second word, a better translation would be “justified.”

 

And we’ve kind of talked about this a little bit, but the final justification comes with the final blotting out of sin at the end of the atonement, at the end of the investigative judgment. So, when Michael stands up, that means the sins of God’s people are blotted out. Now, you can write down Isaiah 43:25,26 to see how justification and the blotting out of sin are related.

 

But when the close of probation takes place, and God says, “You are righteous,” that is the final justification, if you will, of God’s people. After that, there’s no more going back. There’s no more forgiveness of sins. And so, the final justification or the final atonement takes place at the close of probation.

 

So, it’s actually here in the Greek, but it’s not as clear in the English. “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still,” or he that is righteous, let him justified still. So, another way of looking at it is, in order to be justified, we need to be righteous. And it goes against some popular concepts of theology that say you can be justified, covered with Christ’s righteousness and still sinning. What this is teaching us is God is only going to justify people in the judgment if they’re living a holy life. And we’re going to go back to that as we look at the overall concept of the book of Revelation.

 

And then as we come to the end, again we see Jesus as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Verse 14 says, “Blessed are they that do his commandments.” Some translations say, “Blessed are they that wash their robes.” I’m not sure how they got that translation. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life,” so obedience is a condition to salvation; that’s the bottom line. Of course, it’s only through the righteousness of Christ that we can be obedient.

 

And then again the contrast, we see that the wicked are outside the city; the righteous are in the city. And then the final appeal is made, verses 17, 18, 19, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him that heareth say, ‘Come.’ And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” And I can’t pass over that concept.

 

You know, we go through the whole book of Revelation, and we come to the end, and God is saying, “You know, this is free. There’s no price tag to being among the righteous who will be in the holy city. All you have to do is accept and take action, but it’s free.” And, you know, sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they feel like they’re giving up so much in this world. It would be asking “so much” to give up whatever it is that God is asking them to give up when He’s offering us salvation for free.

 

God offers us salvation for free, and we say it’s too expensive to give up our favorite idol here on this earth. That doesn’t make any sense at all. And somehow Satan clouds our minds to think that we’re just giving up so much to receive the free gift of salvation, which lasts for all eternity. But, hey, we’re going to get 70 years of sin and wickedness if we hang onto our idol. That’s a terrible tradeoff. And God is saying, “Hey, this is free. If you will, you can have it.” And that’s how the book of Revelation closes. “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

 

And then he closes, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book,” And then, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

It's fascinating to me, you know, I’ve heard this verse my whole life, how people, well, at least in other churches outside of the Adventist Church, will talk about how the book of Revelation really shouldn’t be part of the Cannon and all that kind of stuff, when it’s very clear that this is straight from God. It’s a revelation of who Jesus Christ is.

 

And I’ll say this, if we understand the prophecies of this book, there’s no excuse for being deceived at the end of time, no excuse. We know how the end-time scenario is going to play out. God has made it very clear through this book and also through Daniel, and also through Ellen White’s writings, by the way. There’s no excuse.

 

And if we start to minimize some of the teachings of the book of Revelation, what we’re preparing ourselves for is to receive the pouring out of the seven last plagues, and God doesn’t want that to happen to us. He again sends His messages of mercy so that we will receive of salvation. And He has entrusted His remnant church with the three angels’ messages, which are the last messages of mercy to this world so that those who dwell on the earth will not have to receive the seven last plagues that are poured out.

 

And it would be foolish for us to minimize the teachings of this book, which will prepare us to be with God eternally and will keep us from receiving the plagues at the end of time. And that’s what God is telling us here at the end of this book.

 

And then verse 20, “He which testifieth these things saith, ‘Surely I come quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” And John had to add that last little phrase “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” because John really wanted to see Jesus come back. Jesus was his best friend. He wasn’t like, “Yeah, Jesus, come in my lifetime, but let me finish school first, get married and have children, and then I want You to come.” He says, “No, come quickly!”

 

And John is showing that Jesus is truly his best friend, that he loves Jesus, that he wants to see Jesus come. He says, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” And that should be the prayer on our lips every day, not like, “Oh, I hope that’s not the first sign of the Sunday law because if that is, that would be a major inconvenience. I’d have to really change my life plans. And, man, I’d like to have a few more years to kind of get settled in.”

 

The spirit of Revelation is, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” That should be the spirit of each one of us. And then verse 21, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

 

So that’s the book of Revelation in totality, and now we’re going to go back, and we’re going to look at the book of Revelation, which is a prophetic book. And when this book was written, a small portion of this book was in the present tense. Most of it was in the future. And since it has been written, a tremendous amount of prophecy has been fulfilled just as God said it would be. And if that’s the case, we can have great confidence that whatever is left to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled just as God said it would be.

 

And the other point I would say is that we don’t have to get into new fanciful interpretations where we start reinterpreting things that have clearly been already fulfilled and then trying to make a new application to put them off sometime into the future. All we need to do is look at what has been fulfilled, where are we now, and what’s going to be fulfilled in the future so that we will know what God’s purpose is for us right now in Earth’s history.

 

And when we understand that, we as God’s people will have a clear understanding of our prophetic identity and mission. And one thing that I hope that those of who have been coming this class throughout this year will walk away from it as we finish this class is a clear understanding of the prophetic identity and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

We’re not just another church. God raised up the remnant church to prepare a people for translation. And that started in 1844, and we’re here in 2008. And so, one of the reasons I want to look at where we are right now, is, when you look at where we are in the seven churches, where we are in the seven seals, where we are in the seven trumpets, where we are in the three angels’ messages, where we are in Revelation 17 and Revelation 13, you will see that it all goes clearly together, and there’s a clear reason why we are still here.

 

We, as Seventh-day Adventists, have the answer to why sin and suffering have gone on for 2,000 years since the cross. No other Christians have that answer. So let’s take a look at this overarching theme that keeps coming back through the book of Revelation.

 

And you can divide Revelation basically into two parts. Revelation 1 through 11 is one section. You have chapter 12, which is the dividing point, and then 13 through the end of the [book]. And in the first 11 chapters, you have the seven churches, the seven the seals, and the seven trumpets. And when you get to the end of the seven churches, you’re left with the thought, “Wow, this is the church of God at the end of time?! How could that be? This is the worst one yet.”

 

And then you come to the seven seals, and you say, “Well, wow, out of God’s worst church, we get the 144,000; how did that happen?” Then you get to the seven trumpets, and you say, “Oh, it’s the Second Advent Message Movement that raises up the 144,000.” And then you see, “Well, what’s the power of the Second Advent Movement?” It’s the three angels’ messages. The three angels’ messages prepare the 144,000 in the Second Advent Movement.

 

So, that’s kind of how you look at the big picture of Revelation, but when we look at where we are presently in Revelation, starting with the seven churches, which is the first of the series of sevens, we come to the Laodicean church, which is the judgment-hour church. Laodicea means “a judged people,” and we see that God’s people are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. And wretched also describes the man of Romans 7.

 

So, the Seventh-day Adventist people essentially, according to the book of Revelation, have the experience of Romans 7, and God says, “I’m going to spew you out of My mouth because you have that experience,” and most Seventh-day Adventists say that’s the experience that God accepts as being righteous on our way to heaven. So, if you wonder why Adventists are Laodicean, if your theology says, “Hey, Romans 7 is perfectly fine; that’s just the way we live on our way to heaven,” God is saying, “No way! I’m going to spew you out of my mouth.”

 

And so, what’s the remedy. Well, Jesus is standing at the door knocking, saying, “Let Me come in.” And He says, after He says that, “If you overcome as I overcame,” so we overcome the same way Jesus overcame in His human nature, He will grant to sit with us on His throne, or as He sits on the Father’s throne.

 

And here’s the key point: When we let Jesus come in, then, as the Laodicean church, we will be prepared to stand in the judgment. So, why is the judgment not finished yet? Because Laodicea hasn’t let Jesus come in. So, Jesus in His great mercy is not going to stand up and say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still,” when a great majority of Laodicea is saying, “Yeah, I can hear that door knock on my heart, but I’m going to do it my way. In fact, I think being wretched, my pastor said it’s okay to be wretched on the way to heaven, so, hey, why not?” And Jesus is saying, “No, no! Let Me come in. I’ll clean you up so you don’t have to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked anymore.”

 

And one other point I’ll add. So, the word “wretched” shows up twice in the Bible; it’s Romans 7 and Revelation 3. The word “miserable” shows up twice in the Bible; it’s 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 3. And the word “miserable” in 1 Corinthians 15 is, those who think they’re going to heaven, but they actually aren’t. And it says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable,” which suggests that Laodicea thinks they’re going to heaven, and they’re actually miserable because they’re not. They have a wrong experience with God.

 

So, the book of Revelation has very practical answers for us to help us be prepared to meet Jesus in the clouds of heaven. It’s not just a book about symbols, beasts, and horns. That’s in there of course, but it’s not just about that. Christ is through it all the way through.

 

So, when we look at our first example of where we are in the book of Revelation, we find that we are in the Laodicean church. We find that we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We see that Jesus is desperately trying to come in, but He will only come in if we allow Him. And when He comes into our hearts, He will enable us to overcome our wretchedness, miserableness and all of that.

 

And then when that happens, we will fit to stand in the judgment, and He will grant us to sit on the throne as He sits on the throne with His Father. And that’s a powerful message of mercy. And so, that’s the first picture of where we see where we are in the book of Revelation.

 

The next place is in the seven seals. So, seven churches, then we go the seven seals. The seven seals show us the persecution of the saints, especially in the first four seals. God’s saints figuratively are crying under the altar in verse 10 in the fifth seal. The sixth seal we get some event prophecies that have specific dates/length to them.

 

Starting in verse 12 of chapter 6, there’s the great earthquake; that’s 1755. Then there’s the dark day; that’s 1780. There’s the falling of the stars; that’s 1833. And the very next event is the Second Coming. So, now we go from Revelation 3 where we see that we’re in the judgment-hour church; Christ is knocking on the door, and we’re still wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

 

Now, we go to the seals, and we see that we’re somewhere in between 1833 and the Second Coming. Well, we know from the rest of Daniel and Revelation that one other major significant event has been fulfilled prophetically at least since 1833, and that’s the moving of Jesus from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place on October 22, 1844, which we see in the seven trumpets, and we’ll get to that next.

 

So, that tells us that we are living in the judgment before the Second Coming, and so the next major event to happen, really, in the seals, is the Second Coming, but that hasn’t happened yet. And the question is, why has it not happened yet? And the interlude of the seals in chapter 7 tells us why.

 

In chapter 7, we see the four angels holding the four winds, and they are holding back the winds of strife, so to speak, until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. And who are the servants of God? The rest of Revelation 7 tells us it’s the 144,000.

 

So, Revelation, chapter 3, Jesus is basically waiting for us to let Him come in. Revelation, chapter 6 and 7, God is not allowing the four winds of strife that will blow on the earth just before He comes to be unleashed until His people are ready for those winds to be unleashed. Because if those winds were unleashed before the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads, what you would have would be a group of people called Seventh-day Adventists who are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. And what do wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked people do when they are put to the test? They act wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. And what does God say He’s going to do to those who are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked? He says He’s going to spew them out of His mouth.

 

So, God in His mercy is not going to allow the final crisis to hit until His Laodicean people are ready for it to come. And they will not be ready for that time to come until they allow Christ to come into their hearts. And when Christ comes into their hearts in the time of the judgment hour, then He can place His seal on their foreheads. And when He places His seal on their foreheads, then He has a group of people called the 144,000.

 

So, if you were wondering what your purpose is as a Seventh-day Adventist on this earth, it’s to receive the seal of the living God in your forehead in the judgment hour so that Jesus can come back. It’s not to get 10 more degrees next to your name. That’s not necessarily a bad thing to do, but it shouldn’t be the driving force in your life.

 

Okay, so we see that when we look at the churches and the seals, we can put together where we are, and based on the seals, the last major event was the falling of the stars in 1833. The next major event is Second Coming. And of course, verse 17 of chapter 6 says, “The great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” One thing’s for sure, those who are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked would not be able to stand in the great day of His wrath. So, God needs to have a people who are not wretched, miserable, poor, blind or naked.

 

So, that’s the seals; then we come to the trumpets. So, we see in the churches that the last church is the judgment-hour church. We see in the seals, and we’ve studied this before, there’s a need for a judgment because Pagan and Papal Rome have persecuted God’s people. And we see then in the trumpets that Pagan and Papal Rome are judged for the persecution that they placed upon God’s people.

 

And we’ve studied this before, but the first four trumpets are a judgment on Western Pagan Rome through the barbaric tribes, and chapter 8 goes through all of that. And it takes you through verses 12 and 13 with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D.

 

Then in chapter 9 we get the fifth and the sixth trumpets, which also are the same as the first and second woes. And this is where God uses the Islamic Ottoman Empire to afflict the Eastern Roman Empire. These are specific time prophecies of 150 years, 391 years and 15 days, and the second one ending on August 11, 1840.

 

And, by the way, Ellen White verifies the 391 years and 15 days that Josiah Litch discovered as validity to the historicist method of prophetic interpretation. So, if you have a Bible teacher who’s coming up with a new interpretation for one hour, one day, one month, one year, that doesn’t go along with what the Millerites said, they’re coming up with private interpretation that doesn’t go along with historicist hermeneutic, so I’ll just throw that out there.

 

So, the sixth trumpet takes us to August 11, 1840, and then the seventh trumpet, well, then you have the interlude, chapter 10, which is the mighty Angel, Jesus, coming down from heaven. He’s here to start the Second Advent Movement. And the bitter disappointment is prophesied here, which now it’s in history.

 

And then in verse 11 it says, “You must prophesy again before...nations, and tongues, and kings.” But there’s something significant with the raising up of the Second Advent Movement, which began…Well, actually the book of Daniel was opened in Revelation 10, which we know is the time of the end, 1798. So, something significant happens in chapter 10 that relates to the Second Advent Movement.

 

We see that there’s no more prophetic time in verse 6, but in verse 7 we see that when the seventh trumpet begins to sound, which by the way started sounding on October 22, 1844, that the mystery of God should be finished. And the mystery of God, which we know from Colossians 1:27, is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Now, does that sound like anything familiar with what we’ve already talked about? Let’s think about this.

 

So, the seven churches, Christ says, “Let Me come in. I’m knocking on the door of your heart.” And in the seven seals, God is waiting to put His seal or His character on the foreheads of His people. And in the Second Advent Movement, it is God’s designated purpose for the mystery of God to be finished, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 

So, in the Second Advent Movement, Christ will come into the hearts of His people and will do so in such a way that the complete character of Christ will be finished or completed in the lives of the Second Advent Movement. And if you look at verse 7, it says, “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” So, the mystery of God is Christ in you, that work began when the seventh angel began to sound.

 

When did the seventh angel begin to sound? We see in chapter 11, verse 15, it says, “The seventh angel sounded,” and it goes through a list of things, and in verse 19 it says, “The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” That’s October 22, 1844. Now, you may say, “How do you know that?”

 

Well, if you look at verse 14, it says, “The second woe is past.” That was fulfilled on August 11, 1840, and it says, “The third woe,” which is the same as the seventh trumpet, “cometh quickly.” So, “quickly” means between August 11, 1840, and October 22, 1844, there’s going to be a very short space of time between the sixth and the seventh trumpets. August 11, 1840, and then it’s fulfilled on October 22, 1844, so it’s like four years, two months, and eleven days. That’s pretty short.

 

And when the seventh trumpet begins to sound, the major work of God is, of course, to cleanse the sanctuary in heaven, which is the same as the mystery of God being finished, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” So, now you can connect the sanctuary being cleansed with the mystery of God being finished; it’s the same thing.

 

So, the sanctuary in heaven will not be cleansed until the mystery of God is finished, or vice versa. The mystery of God will not be finished, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” until the sanctuary is cleansed. So, here’s the bottom line, and you can also throw in Revelation 3: God’s people will not be fit to stand in the judgment during the judgment hour until they let Christ come in. And when they let Christ come in, the mystery of God can be finished, so that the sanctuary in heaven can be cleansed so that Michael can stand up and say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is holy; let him be holy still.”

 

And that is why God raised up the Second Advent Movement, so that He would have a group of people who would be ready to stand in the judgment so He could come back a second time. And so, when you understand the book of Revelation, Jesus could not have come back until after October 22, 1844, when He went into the Most Holy Place to begin the work of cleansing of His people.

 

And so, some people will ask, “Well, how come God allowed so much time to go on before He would raise up a group of people to finish the Great Controversy?” if you will. Well, the answer is actually in Revelation 10 and 11.

 

Revelation 10 shows us, well, God raised up the Second Advent Movement to finish the Great Controversy. And in Revelation 11 we see that it took 1,260 years for the principles of the papacy to be fully revealed, and at the end of the 1,260 years, what you have is the French Revolution or a godless society. Papal Rome claims to be working on behalf of God, and in actuality they’re suppressing the Bible, they’re distorting the picture of God. And so people who follow the papal teachings completely after 1,260 years come to a point where they say, “We don’t believe in God anymore. Let’s create the goddess of reason. Let’s do away with Scripture.” And when that happened, God was vindicated to say, “Okay, do you see what would happen on this earth if I let Satan take over?” because the dragon gave his power, seat and authority to the beast with seven heads and ten horns, and this is what the beast with seven heads and ten horns did for the 1,260 years.

 

They created such an antipathy towards God that now people want to do away with God. So, it took that long for the principles of Satan to be fully worked out here on this earth. Once that happened, God could raise up His group of people to say, “Now, let Me have a chance to show you what will happen when I raise up a group of people that have My message and My truth,” and you will see the contrast between the principles of Christ and the principles of Satan in a government here on this earth.

 

And so, our purpose as a remnant church is not to try to be like all the other churches, which, by the way, are the fallen churches of Babylon, and follow the principles of the dragon. God raises up the Second Advent Movement at the end of time so that He will have a group of people who will clearly demonstrate the principles of God’s government here on this earth.

 

And then the question is, “Well, He did that in 1844; why hasn’t He come yet?” Well, believe it or not, Seventh-day Adventists are a stubborn group of people; we are. We like to do things our way, and sometimes we don’t think that God’s idea of how to do things on this earth are the greatest plan. And sometimes we realize that if Christ were to come into our hearts, we’d actually have to be nice to some people that we don’t particularly care for. We’d actually have to say something to someone that we don’t really like. We’d actually have to go out and try to serve the Lord and win souls for Him instead of sitting on our couch and watching TV for three hours at night.

 

And so, God waits and says, “Well, one of these days, according to My Word, I will have a group of people who has My character completely finished in their lives, and when that happens, I’m going to finish this up.” And in the meantime, He hopes and waits for a group of people who will let the three angels’ messages do their work.

 

So, that takes us through the seven trumpets, so those are the series of sevens. Then we come to Revelation 12, and probably in the present time, verse 17 would be an accurate description of where we are. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 19:10, of course, tells us the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.

 

There is an attack on the Word of God and on the Spirit of Prophecy in the time in which we live, and it would only make sense that the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy would be attacked in the time in which we live because the devil knows that those are the best weapons that God has to prepare a people to stand in the judgment.

 

If we as a people would live by every word of the Bible and by every word of the Spirit of Prophecy and stop saying, “Well, Ellen White was just writing for her time. She’s a little bit rigid for our day,”…You know, God can’t work with us when we have that kind of an attitude. But if we have a willing heart, and we say, “You know what, I am a Laodicean, proud, stubborn person. Lord, speak to me through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy today because You’re speaking to me.” And sometimes it may not feel so good humanly, but God loves us, and He’s just trying to do everything He can to save us.

 

And He’s given us as a remnant people more information than any other group of people that’s ever existed. We have no excuse. So, that’s where we are right now. Satan’s attacking the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

 

Chapter 13, still to come, the image of the beast and all the world wondering after the beast, but it’s soon to come. But I will say this, it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening here on this earth, but it’s more important to pay attention to God’s purpose for us. So, we know what the pope is doing, but do we know if we’ve surrendered to the Lord or not?

 

Are we allowing Christ to come in so that He can declare us fit to stand in the judgment? And if we’re spending so much time thinking about the pope, we may miss the boat, so to speak. It’s good to know that, of course; that’s why it’s here in the Bible.

 

Then we get to Revelation 14, we have three angels’ messages. These three messages prepare the 144,000. We see the characteristics of the 144,000 in verses 1 through 5. “They are without fault before the throne of God.” “In their mouth was found no guile.” And in 1 Peter 2, the very same description of Jesus is found. So, the 144,000, which come from God’s last-day church have the same characteristics as Jesus Himself. And they have the faith of Jesus, that they keep the commandments of God.

 

So, we’re going to have to wrap up here. Chapter 17 we have why Babylon was judged. We see the seven heads. We are on the sixth head right now, which is the United States. The seventh head is one-world government.

 

And then we see that even though Babylon is judged, and all the world wonders after the beast, there will come a time when God sends a message that will lighten the earth with His glory. Why does that happen? Because the mystery of God has been finished in the lives of His people.

 

When the mystery of God is finished, then we will have a message to share with the world. If we wonder why our evangelistic efforts and the three angels’ messages don’t go too far right now, it’s because we don’t let Jesus come in, and we try to go out and share this message of truth and still do things our own selfish way. But when God has a people who do it His way, there will be a message that lightens the earth with His glory.

 

So, I hope that you understand, looking at the big picture of Revelation, we have a prophetic identity and mission. Our identity is to be God’s remnant church. Our mission is to allow the mystery of God to be finished in our lives so that the judgment can be wrapped up, and Jesus can come. The Great Controversy can be finished, and the character of God will be vindicated as He vindicates Himself through the lives of His last-day people.

 

That’s why we’re here. We’re not here for any other reason. We’re here to receive the seal of God in our foreheads. So, let’s be faithful to that message and mission, and let’s give this message to the world.

 

So, it’s been a privilege to teach this class. It’s probably been one of the favorite things I’ve done here since I’ve been in Loma Linda. And I hope it’s awakened in all of us a desire to be among the 144,000. And I hope that Jesus will come soon. So, thank you, everyone.

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