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The Curse of Meroz

Steve Dickman
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God is calling His children to involve themselves in His work, earnest persevering work for the salvation of souls. In Mark 13:34 we find the parable where Jesus says He has given to every man his work. The question remains, though, will we do our work while there is still time or will we be found unfaithful when He returns?


Steve Dickman

President of Harbert Hills Academy




  • August 2, 2017
    7:00 PM


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Well Father in heaven we're here tonight. We're asking that you would pour out your spirit upon each person here. That we may hear your voice and not just hear your voice Lord but that we would respond to your CO. In Jesus' name we pray. I know some of you may have brought your Bibles this evening at least I hope you did and if you didn't maybe you have your Bible on your phone. We're going to be looking for a few moments here at Mark Chapter thirteen Jesus the context here is that Jesus is talking to His disciples about what the future is wholes what the future holds it says that in verse one of chapter thirteen that he went out from the temple and one of His disciples said to him Master see what manner of stones and what buildings are here and then Jesus privately began when he got to the Mount of Olives he privately began to explain to his disciples the end of the story and whether or not you know it this evening we are living in the time of the end of the story and so we read this with great interest we read this what Jesus was saying here with great interest because Jesus was talking not just to his disciples he's talking to us today because we are living actually the end of the story he says something interesting here in verse twenty four of Chapter thirteen of Mark he says but in those days after that tribulation the Sun show be darkened and the moon shall not give her light let me ask you a question tonight has this happened. OK so we're now entering the stream of time we find ourselves lived. In a time when prophecy is not something in the future but it's something that has already been fulfilled is that true so the sun has been darkened the the moon would not give her life and verse twenty five the stars of heaven shall fall in the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken has this happen. OK So again we're talking a now about a part of the scripture that we recognize it didn't happen in my day it happened actually before I was born. So that means if we're marking time it happened now. And then I come on the scene I'm living after these prophecies have all been fulfilled. Verse twenty six. The next verse and then shall they see the Son of Man in the clouds coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Now this is what this is the next verse. This is the next verse. And verse twenty seven Then he shall send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds from the uttermost parts of the earth and from the other most parts of heaven verse twenty eight and now learn a parable of the fig tree and so Jesus now begins to emphasize what he just said by telling a couple of parables so he tells the parable of the fig tree and he says here when you see the fig tree and its branches yet tender and it put a force leaves you know that summer is where summer is near. So verse twenty nine in like manner when you see these things come to pass know that it is not even at. The doors verse thirty verily I say unto you This generation shall not pass till all these things. To be done have an inertia pass away but my words shall not pass away. And then he goes to give this little warning he says but of that day and hour what. No it no man no not the angels that are in heaven neither the Son but the father. Verse thirty three he says I'm telling you when you see these things happen you should know that it is near even at the door and then he tells this little parable and then he says but take heed. Watch and pray for you know not when the time is. So Jesus here is saying something very interesting he says you can know when the time is near but you're not going to know when the time is. Well. For me I'm looking at the clock I'm thinking it's getting close to let's just say it's getting close to noon twelve o'clock I watch the clock and I see the hands moving around I can see that we're getting close to twelve o'clock and I know how long it is until twelve o'clock because the hand keeps moving and I say what's two minutes to twelve it's one minute to twelve it's thirty seconds to twelve and I can gauge how long it is but Jesus said give us a little warning here's this you're going to know that it's near but you're not going to know the exact time. He says Your job is to watch and to. Pray or watch a prayer at sounds pretty simple I keep my eyes open I stay on my knees I'm good to go right. Well we should read the next verse. Verse thirty four at this point verse thirty four for the Son of Man Now Jesus tells another little short one sentence parable here. He has clued his disciple that's of some danger ahead I you're going to know when it's near but you're not going to know the exact time I want you to be on the alert I want you to watch and pray for the son of man is as a man taking a what far journey who left his house and gave authority to his servants and to every man his work and commanded the porter to watch now let's review here what we've learned so far Jesus said in verse thirty three Take heed watch and do what pray and in verse thirty four he says I want you to not only watch and pray I want you to know that I'm going to a far country is going to be some time before I return and I want you to watch and pray while I'm gone but I don't want you to stop by watching and praying I want you to work because he says he has given to every man his work. Now let me ask you what every means does every mean every Or does every mean only some. If you are within the hearing of my voice tonight and you can understand what I am saying then you are included in this idea that God has given to every man his work. I am included in that idea that God has given to every man his work. This is part of what Jesus is saying to his disciples he says I Yes I want you to watch and I want you to pray but I also want you to. Work. There is something for us to do there is something that God has given us not just corporately for surely he did that in the Great Commission he told his disciples he says. I'm on my way and I'm going to give you this great commission Matthew chapter twenty eight he therefore and do what teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and that commission is for God's family for his church and for us individually. God has given to us a work to do God has not left us wondering what we should do he has given to us a specific and certain work to do I'm thinking that this is not the only place in scripture where we find this Jesus was talking to his disciples. And he told them another parable actually he in Matthew chapter twenty you find this parable that Jesus is sharing with his disciples and he tells them the story about the vineyard owner who went to get some workers for his vineyard and he went down to the place where the workers were hanging out and he said hey the six o'clock in the morning I need a few workers some the guy said Yeah we'll go and later he comes back and find some more workers and he keeps coming back and finding more workers and finally he comes back at the eleventh hour which is according to the way they reckon time at that point it is one hour before the end of the day it's the last little bit of time that work day is going to be complete and then you're off then you're done and he comes back at the eleventh hour Any find these guys standing around and he says what he had doing here. And their response was no one hired us. And his response was go to my vineyard and go to work I would suggest to you tonight that we are living in the eleventh hour of this story and God is still calling for workers to end. To the vineyard. Maybe we're living past the eleventh hour maybe we're living closer to the twelfth hour maybe we're living in the last few moments as it were Earth's history and Jesus is still calling for workers to enter his men year. Until you take your last breath until Jesus comes there is a work for every man to do there is a work allocated that cannot be shifted to another. What God has called you to do no other man can do what God has called you to do no other woman can do because God is very specific in his calling Did you know that God knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb that's what the Bible says. We find recorded in scripture certain individuals found out the fact that he had called them before they were born to do a certain work and I believe that that is not a story that is without significance to my own life because I believe that God has called every single one of us before we were even born God knew who we were he knew what he fashioned in the womb and he knew that he had a certain job for us to do and he has called us to do that work our theme for these two years has been what I call chosen and committed. To every man has been given his work to do now we find some other interesting stories in the Bible for instance we could review the story of Jonah now Jonah had a call right. God said I want you to go to a certain city called Nineveh and I want you to preach there to those people that the end of their city is near in fact they have how many forty days and then Nineveh will be destroyed. Now Jonah had a better idea than God and he said. I think I'll go the other direction. I wonder. If any of us have ever tried to escape from the work that God has called us to do specifically. John a tried it didn't turn out too well I don't advise it OK if you want to know my recommendation I don't advise Jonah's approach I advise that we should cooperate with God's calling instead of rebelling against God's calling I think of another individual. He was called by God to go to a have and to tell him it's not going to rain and it is real until I say so well finally after three and a half years the attention of the people had been sufficiently gotten interested in actually getting some rain that they said maybe we should do something and God sent it to the top of Mount Carmel and he a great victory was one for God there he preached a sermon and thousands of people were converted and the priest of Bale who had led the people astray and were destroyed and it was a great victory for the Cause of God and he led the king back to the palace and he laid down there in a messenger came and he became afraid. If you read the story in The Spirit of Prophecy it says that he became fearful His human nature was tired he was worn out and his human nature just kind of took over and he became afraid of what might happen there that night. And it but it says there also that if your head stayed. That there would have been a victory that God would have brought judgment upon just about there would been this amazing victory but he did and he became he became afraid of began to run and he didn't run just a little bit it says that he ran and till he got so weary The angels had to feed him and they fed him some really good stuff because after that he ran for forty days and he came to the mountain and he got alone there with God in the mountain and God asked him a question in the mountain and the question that he asked a light in the mountain I think is the same question he may be asking some of us tonight what do us now hear. God had said in lodge on a mission he had sent him on a mission to this part departed point he had sent him on a mission he expected him to stay engaged in his mission it became where he abandoned his mission and began to run and God ask him this simple question What do. Tonight I don't miss my mark some of us are being asked that same question by God What are we doing. Review and herald eight hundred ninety three December twelve this is what it says to every one has to every one work has been allotted. And no one can substitute for another. Now I have noticed that I like to get people to do my work I don't know about you but sometimes it's kind of it's kind of makes things easier when I can find somebody else to do the job especially if it's a tough one especially if it's a hard one I would like to find somebody else that can do it and I might even say listen I will pay you to do this work for me. Specially if it's a hot sweaty job and it's a hot day I might say hey listen I'll give you twenty bucks if you do this work for me whatever it is you know. God does not allow us to have someone else do our work for us we cannot even hire people to do our work for us I've heard some people say I'm going to stay at home and I'm going to just support people to do the work. It's a good idea but it is not a an option if God is calling you personally. Now for some folks he may come visit at home and support things and that's wonderful but what I read here it says that no one can be a substitute for what God has called me to do and no one can be a substitute for what God has called you to do. Each one goes on to say each one has a mission of wonderful importance. Wonderful importance God has something important for every single person on planet earth to do no one is excluded. The child. In its early years has a work to do for God. Those who are older. Some are even what we would call elderly. Still have a work to do for God. But testimonies page four sixty two says this god never designed that the Labor members of the church should be excused from the Labor in his cause. Now the reason I am saying that is because some of us would say listen you don't have to worry we've got a great preacher at our church and he works really hard I mean we pay the guy think about this we pay him he is the one who takes care of pretty much everything and he works hard and and we're happy we can sit in the pew he will go out and give the bible studies he will go out and take care of these things and and isn't that the way it's supposed to work. According to what I read here the answer to that is no. If the church members do not individually take hold of this work then they show that they have no. Living connection with God. If the church members do not individually take hold of this work and they show that they have how much. No living connection with God. Their names are registered as Sloss servants. She goes on to ask the question can you discern the reason why there is no more spirituality in our churches question mark and then she answers her own question by saying it is because you are not coerced laborers with Christ. That's a wake up call. When you wonder why is it that our Church is struggling Spears say why don't we have more you know things going on here it's because we have. Chosen individually not to take hold of the work God has given us to do instead we have. We've been registered as slothful sir. We've. Used this quote earlier this evening and this is this is one of my favorites because it gives us as lay people our marching orders it says that the work of God on this earth can never be finished until men and women that's us that's the laity comprising the church membership rally to the work and you ninth their efforts with those of the ministers and church officers if that's not a rallying call to help finish God's work I don't know what would be it says that the work will what never be finished let me ask you a question tonight are you interested in seeing Jesus come how many of you tonight want to be alive when Jesus comes can't happen. Won't happen according to this statement. Until we are in gauge as laypeople the men and women who are members of the church. And not just kind of wander in and say well I know I'm a little late today but I'm here. I know I don't not really with it I don't have as much energy as maybe I should have today but I'm here and I'm going to help out and our steps are slow and our thinking is. Maybe confused this statement says we've got to rally to the work now what happens when you rally to something let me ask that question is that something where it just kind of moves along slowly. Now to me what it's saying is listen we've got to get going on this thing we've got to make some progress here and we've got to make it quickly. Some of you probably. Watched a game or two of some kind of sporting. Basketball game or a football game or something you say Well I my team they had a rally right down near the end the clock was two seconds to quit in time and they made two touchdowns and two seconds or whatever happened that's rallying right well it's time for us to rally to the work it's time for us to do something that God has already been calling us to do but to do it in a different way and with a different level of energy and with a different level of passion and individually to do things for God That might even be hard they might even require self-sacrifice they might even drain our bank account they might even drain our energy they might even be dangerous but God is calling us and he's calling us individually so I cannot stand here tonight and tell you. What to do I cannot give you your marching orders because there's only one person in charge of what you should do and that should be God and if somebody else tries to tell you what your marching orders are you should say excuse me let me ask God about that. Because God knows the answer the problem is that sometimes we are not listening or we don't want to listen to what God is asking us to do because we have our own plans. The work of God needs men and women who have some faith men and women who have some courage you can read through the Bible I've been reading in the in the Book of Joshua and I am empowered when I read about Joshua because it gives Joshua instructions God came down he says just have courage and be strong because you're going to take the land and I'm going to drive the people out before you and and God is in charge. And Joshua with the courage and faith that God has imparted to him he steps forward. And when it's time to cross the Jordan River in the the flood waters are raging. He commands the priest he says I want you to get started we're going to follow you and God is going to open the way before us as we go but we've got to get started and the priest put the ark on their shoulders and they began to walk forward and they get to the edge of the water in the water still there and they step into the water and when they step into the water then God does something have you ever had that experience in your life were God has called you to do something you think this is impossible I can't do this look there's a big river here God think about this you've got to you've got to imagine my circumstances God I can't get across the river and he said yes urging you to go forward that is an. Act of faith that's what God is calling us to he's calling us to two acts of faith in this generation I believe that if we are reading there and Mark and I kind of skipped over this but I would like to go back to it for just a second verse thirty it says verily I say unto you that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done Listen I want to be a part of this generation where it's not going to pass till all these things get done I want to be able to to say yes I was alive when Jesus came I had the opportunity to look up with great joy and say you love this is my God I have waited for him do you want to experience that hey man but God is waiting still for us to respond to his call. He forces no one he calls he chooses but he waits for us to commit the world tonight I don't know if you've noticed this but the world is in disarray. I think having lived that long but I'll tell you a little little thing and that is I have never personally seen as much disarray in the this world as I have seen recently say recently it just seems like things keep getting worse and worse they don't get better and better they get worse and worse. Nations are in turmoil the society is so confused it doesn't even know the difference between a man and a woman anymore I'm telling you we're really confused. And Jesus is calling every single one of us to take the message of salvation to this confused and and dying world. And he's waiting. For us to do that. I don't know if you read the recent review but there was an article there and I expected a couple of things we know these we know these statements but I said yes this is powerful. Desire pages page six thirty three by giving the Gospel to the world it is in our power to what Hassen our Lord's return lesson if you want Jesus to come sooner then get to work. Yes there's a place to watch and there's a place to pray but there's a place to work too and God has given us a work to do and he's given it to us and of it Julie. I want to take you to the Book of Judges for just a minute. Just chapter four and five if you have your Bibles. You should read this it's. It's a story that challenges our thinking. And here's what happens in Judges chapter four It begins with this amazing statement verse one and the children of Israel again did what evil in the side of the Lord and when he who was did so they had a king who was evidently on the right track and when he died they did what. Evil in the side of the Lord verse two in the Lord sold them into the hand of jabbing king of Canaan that reigned in Hades or in the captain of whose host was Cicero which dwelt in house arrest of the Gentiles so Israel had string aid from God's purposes they had failed to follow God fully and what happened they got sold into the hand of J. bit and so they cried out to God verse three they cried out to God and they said. Lord. Help us. Makes a little footnote here in verse three says they were concerned because Cicero had nine hundred chariots. They were facing to them an impossible situation. And they did Mina press for twenty years so God sends a message to Deborah the prophetess and he says to Deborah go call Beric I want him to do something for me and I'm going to help him Vera shows up he says you said what Listen he says to Deborah I'm not going unless you go never says well I'm going but I'll tell you something if I go the glory is going to go to someone else besides you because you're not willing to step. Out in faith the battle ensues Barrack is victorious The battle is won and in chapter find five we find Deborah singing a song is called the Song of Deborah and Derek verse to Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel and when the people willingly offered themselves why did God help them. What does it say here the people did what. They willingly offered themselves this is the first statement in this song talking about the victory this God helped us because we willingly offered ourselves to do something for him. He goes on down through this and she's singing about. The things that are amazing there that have happened and she says in verse eighteen Zabulon and not to why we're a people that jeopardized their lives on to the death in the high places of the field she says there's a couple of people I want to mention here who had courage for God They were called to do something for God and they had courage for God in the fact that they even laid their lives on the line to do what God was calling them to do. But in verse twenty three. We find a sad statement recorded. It says here in her song of victory she mentions one thing she says Khurshid Meraz said the Angel of the Lord Khurshid bitterly the inhabitants thereof because they came not to the help of the Lord into the help of the Lord against the mighty. So there was a blessing for those who responded to God's call and there was a what there was a curse for those who didn't respond due to. Chapter eleven you find the story there and then and what's being offered there is a curse or a blessing you can go and read it their time is running out we're not going to be able to read it here tonight there's a curse or a blessing offered if you obey you will be blessed if you don't respond and obey you will be cursed. Unfortunately tonight. It's possible. That some of us if they were to sing a song. About this process this great victory we might be in the wrong category. God requires of each the members of his church to engage in the work that he has called us to do in testimonies Volume two page one sixty five it says this It is not left with you to decide whether it is best for you to obey the call of God It's not my decision that's what it says it is not left with you to decide whether you will be the call of God Obedience is required and unless you obey you will stand on worse than neutral ground. You need to go home go to your hotel room and you need to study some of the references that are associated with this this curse of mirage Ellen White mentions that almost fifty times in the Writings one little state in the BIOS mentioned one place she uses this as an example over and over and over again about people or individuals or church members that were unwilling to engage to respond to the call of God God needs us in his work today not so much and this is pointed out as you read them study this not. So much for the what he wants us to do for him but more what he wants to do for us the work that he has designed for us to do is not only for the salvation of other people it is for our own salvation and unless we engage in responding to the call of God we could be a lost over this honestly we could be lost because we failed to engage in doing the work that God set before us and we became lazy because we thought well everything's OK I'm pretty good you study this out you'll find this is pointed out over and over again. You know the question I have for us tonight is will we fully commit ourselves to doing God's work are we willing to fully and completely without reserve Now that's a pretty comprehensive statement so I want you to think about it I don't want you just to jump up and say yeah I'm going to do that I want you to think about I want you to pray about it over this weekend while we're here together you're going to hear some stories you're going to be challenged by people who are giving seminars and talking and speaking about the passion that they have for doing and finishing God's work and God is going to tap you on the shoulder and he's going to give you some kind of call I believe that that's why we have A.S.I. that's why you come to is I because you want to hear what God is asking you to do it may happen in the exhibit hall it might happen around the dinner table it might happen in a private conversation but God is going to ask you to do something and the question is are you committed enough to do what God is calling you to do. I want to point out just a couple of things that we have done in preparation for this seventieth anniversary we've had two books reprinted one is Madison God's beautiful farm and the other one is an appeal for self-supporting labors to enter on work fields we're going to give you these books you come to the exhibit hall tonight we have them at the A.S.I. booth and surrounding booths there we're going to give them to you I challenge you to read this book gone. It is calling for people who will get out of their comfort zone and go to places in the earth where there's no one working. Now drive a stake in the ground and the say God I'm here now show me what you want me to do. If you read this book and you can walk away and do nothing well then you certainly are sleep along with a whole bunch of the rest of us God is calling God is calling for us tonight my friends and he wants to use us finish the work I believe personally that he wants us to do this in this generation. I for one want to be alive when Jesus comes. I want to be able. To look up and say Yes Lord whatever you ask me to do I tried to do it surely have made my mistakes but I. I want to do what God wants me to do. So tonight. I want to end with this question. And it comes from the view in Harold October seventeenth one thousand nine hundred two. It says Oh must Christ. The majesty of heaven the King of Glory bear the heavy cross and wear the thorny crown and drink the bitter cup while we reclining at ease glorify ourselves and forget the souls he died to be D.M.. I want you just think about that Jesus came here from the heavenly kingdom and he laid his life on the line. She answers this rhetorical question with this no let us. Give while we have power let us do while we have strength let us work while it is day let us devote our time and our means to the service of God that we may have his approbation and receive his reward. Tonight as you leave this place ask God what He wants you to do. And then get down on your knees and say God I am willing I may not know everything but I'm willing I challenge you during this weekend to be willing to do well God calls you to do. And to answer yes instead. This video was produced by audio verse forty S on avenues layman's services and industry. If you would like to learn more about the aside please visit. A site that is. Or if you like this or three lines or Minutes leave this is. Not a U. verse.


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