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1. Revelation Unlocks the Future

Mark Finley

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2017
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the GYC 2017 Conference: Arise in Phoenix Arizona. For other resources like this, visit us online at www.gycweb.org.

 

Before we pray, let me tell a little bit about my intent in the class. When you think about last day events and you think about coming events, many thoughts can come to your mind. Some young people think about coming mark of the beast - the time when no man can buy or sell, no woman can buy or sell. They think about a coming death decree, time of trouble. And they really focus on that and it brings them a lot of fear and uncertainty. Some young people have heard about a time of trouble when there is no mediator and they say, “Well, look, I really am filled with fear.” So, one of my goals is to help you sense the presence of Christ in the coming conflict. So we will focus on the events that are coming; but we're going to focus on Christ in the coming conflict.

 

Second goal is this: I want to show you Biblically that what Seventh Day Adventists believe about last day events is solidly in Scripture. There are many people who will say to you, “Let's study coming events” and they will dominantly study that from the gift of prophecy of Ellen White. We're gonna look at the teachings of Ellen White about the last events; but the first presentation or two, this presentation and the next one, this morning, I'm gonna really spend a lot of time in the Bible. We will look at statements from the Spirit of Prophecy as corollary to the Bible; but I'm gonna give you a very solid Biblical base so that you'll be able to explain to any friend what Seventh Day Adventists understandably from the Bible.

 

You are aware of that Seventh Day Adventists understand last day events quite differently than the traditional evangelical world. The evangelical world basically will say that CHRIST can come essentially come at any time and you might be walking down the street and JESUS will come. Seventh Day Adventists don't believe that. We believe that there are certain events that must take place before the return of the LORD. And those events are all part of a larger picture of the great controversy and if you understand the great controversy that makes all the difference in the world. So we're going to look at the great controversy theme in the light of last events. So that's another goal of mine is to give you a strong Biblical foundation. If you come to one class, you will get something out of it; but if you stay with us all five classes, it'll make a dramatic difference in your life. You will see last day events in a new perspective, in a new way that you really haven't seen before.

 

I have a third objective. And the third objective is to give you a very solid Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy understanding of the sequence of events and to help you to avoid a lot of the heresies that are currently in the Adventist Church and currently and a lot more will be coming in the future.

 

So those three goals: (1) a CHRIST-centered approach to last day events, (2) a Biblical approach to last day events, and (3) an approach to last day events that helps us to avoid many of the conflicts, many of the controversies and crises that are coming, and the heresies that coming in our world.

 

So, let's bow our heads and pray and then we're going right into Scripture.

 

FATHER in heaven, we thank YOU with all of our hearts for the Word of GOD. We thank YOU for the events that YOU have clearly outlined in Scripture. And as we study particularly the Book of Revelation combined with the Book of Daniel combined with the prophetic understanding of JESUS in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13 and as we look at those varying chapters, give us a clear mind and give us a deep understanding of YOUR Word. In CHRIST's name. Amen.

 

 If you have your Bible, I invite you to take it and turn to the book of Thessalonians and we're gonna be taking a look at First Thessalonians, the fifth chapter. Because here Paul invites us to have our eyes wide open. There are many who look at the events that are taking place in our world and have very little understanding of them. They will see hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, natural disaster; they will see a world that is arming for nuclear war, then they won't quite understand these events. They'll see in a con a me that is teetering on disaster and they look out at the world and they see these things through natural eyes. We, who are Bible students, see them through divine eyes.

 

We see them differently and here in First Thessalonians chapter 5, the Apostle Paul begins with verse 1, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you know yourselves perfectly that the day of the LORD comes like a thief in the night.”

 

Now notice the expression “thief in the night” does not mean in any way that JESUS is coming silently or in some kind of rapture. You know, in Revelation 1:7 say HE comes with clouds and what? Every eye is gonna see HIM. Psalm 50:3 says, HE comes and HE will not keep silence.” And so throughout Scripture, the coming of CHRIST that is described is a glorious coming with every eye to see it, every ear to hear it. But when the Bible uses the term “thief in the night,” it uses it as quickly, rapidly, unexpectedly. So, CHRIST is coming quickly. HE’s coming rapidly. HE’s coming unexpectedly.

Now, notice verse 3, “When they say peace and safety.” Do you see the word ‘safety’ in that text? The Greek word means ‘security.’ And so people today are looking for a security. Security when it comes to financial security. Security when it comes to health care. Security when it comes to national security and freedom from terrorism. It says, “When they say peace and security.” The world talks about peace and security. “Then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”

 

Now, notice ‘you're not in darkness’ and its verse 5 and 6 that I wanna look at. “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others, but let us watch and be sober.” So here, the Apostle Paul calls us to be alert. He calls us to be cognizant of what's going on in our world.

 

Ellen White makes two fascinating statements commenting on this idea of being alert. The first is found in the 8th Volume of the Testimonies page 28; that's 8th Volume of the Testimonies page 28, she says this, “We who know the truth, (we who do what? truth. know what? the truth. The Seventh Day Adventists know and understand the truth certainly) should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.” So something's gonna come to this world. And for the world, it's gonna be what? An overwhelming surprise. But what does the Apostle Paul say? He says, “Concerning the times and seasons, I don't need to write to you because you know perfectly the LORD's gonna come as a thief in the night.”

 

The second reference is found in the 7th Volume of the Testimonies page 14 and it says, “Those who place themselves under God's control (That's where I wanna be, don't you? Under God's control) to be led in guided by HIM will catch the steady tread of events ordained by HIM to take place.” I'm interested in this expression ‘the steady tread of events.’ When you look at the books of Daniel and Revelation, there’s a clear outline of the events that are going to take place just before the coming of JESUS and that's what we're going to take a look at ‘this steady tread of events’ in the first session.

 

 

So let's go back to the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation is really divided into two parts: the first 11 chapters are largely historical; the last 11 chapters are largely prophetic. The first 11 chapters of The Book of Revelation largely deal with the 7 churches, the 7 seals and the 7 trumpets. They all start in John's day and they end with the coming of CHRIST. So when you look at the first 11 chapters of the book of Revelation, they start in John's day and they end in the second coming of CHRIST.

 

Here are two very important principles of prophetic interpretation: first, the prophecy always begins where the prophet is. You remember Daniel chapter 2, the head of gold, breast and arms of silver, thighs of brass, legs of iron. The image, where does the prophecy begin in Daniel 2? In Babylon. Where is Daniel living? In Babylon. The prophecy begins where the prophet is. Somebody said the journey of a thousand miles begins where you are, with the first step; so in the prophecies of Revelation, they typically don't take you back to Babylon. John is living at the end of the first century and they begin there. Seven churches are sequential prophecies that begin in the first century. The same with the seven seals and the seven trumpets.

 

 The second principle of prophetic interpretation is this: it's called repetition and enlargement, just like you have Daniel 2 in the image, so when you go to Daniel 7, you repeat Daniel 2 and you enlarge. Daniel 8, you repeat and enlarge. Daniel 11, you repeat then enlarge. Same thing in Revelation. You have the 7 churches and then the 7 trumpets cover 7 seals, cover the exact same area but repeat enlarge, same with the seven trumpets.

 

We’re gonna begin with Revelation chapter 1 and I'm gonna give you an overview of Revelation and then in the first section look at Revelation 10, 12, and 14 but you need the setting of that. Revelation 1:1. Now, notice the name of this book is what? Revelation. Is Revelation something that is sealed or unsealed? The word Revelation actually in the Greek language is Apocalypse and it means ‘unfolding or unsealing.’ Some people have the idea that Revelation is a closed book; but in actual fact Revelation is an open book and it's the last book of the Bible.

 

Revelation 1:1. Some of our evangelical friends say “I don't wanna study Revelation. I just wanna study about Jesus.” Well, Revelation 1:1 should answer that question shouldn't it? “The Revelation of JESUS CHRIST” Whose revelation is this? JESUS. If JESUS has a revelation, I certainly want to know JESUS’ revelation for end time, don't you? If JESUS gave to John a revelation, where JESUS get it? Who? GOD gave it to HIM. Verse 1. Why? “To show HIS servants things which must surely take place” and HE sent it and signified it by HIS angel to HIS servant John. So, GOD had a special message for mankind and GOD gave that message to whom? To JESUS. And who did JESUS give it to? The angel. Then what did the angel do? He left the courts of heaven and he came down, he blessed John with that prophetic vision. And John wrote it down in a book. So, when you and I pick up the Bible and we turn to the Book of Revelation, we stand in awe, we stand in wonder. Here is a book conceived in the mind of GOD given to JESUS, sent by an angel, and John wrote it down, and we read it today. This is no common message. This is no ordinary message. It's a message given by GOD to JESUS through the angel. To whom? To John. And you and I beat with eager anticipation as we read it.

 

Every book has a central theme. In verse 7 introduces the central theme of the Book of Revelation. You find it in verse 7. If we have it, let's read it all together. Revelation 1:7, “Behold, HE is coming with clouds; and every eye will see HIM; and they also who pierced HIM: and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of HIM. Even so, Amen.”

 

The great theme of the Book of Revelation is the second coming of CHRIST. If you look at the sequence prophecies, the seven churches end up with the church at Laodicea which means ‘the people are judged’ - the judgment, the second coming of CHRIST. The 7 seals end up with the second coming of CHRIST. The 7 trumpets end up with the second coming of CHRIST.

 

So, when you look at the Book of Revelation, the great theme of Revelation, you can summarize in four words: JESUS wins and Satan loses. So, the great theme of Revelation is what everybody? JESUS wins and Satan loses.

 

Now, there are three great chapters in the Book of Revelation on the true church: Revelation chapter 10 describes the historical rise of the true church; Revelation chapter 12 describes the identifying characteristics of the true church; and Revelation chapter 14 describes the message of the true church. So you really have three chapters in the Book of Revelation on the true church. Revelation 10 is the historic rise of the true church. Revelation chapter 12 is the identifying characteristics of the true church. Revelation chapter 14 is the message of the true church. It's in this context that we can understand last day events. And so we're gonna look at those three chapters in some detail in this first session. And so take your Bible and turn to Revelation chapter 10. And we're gonna look at Revelation 10, Revelation 12, and Revelation 14 to get a general outline of the last day events in this first session.

 

Revelation the 10th chapter - Understanding Revelation 10 will save you from a thousand heresies and all of the heresies are not outside the Adventist Church today. Every wind of doctrine is blowing within the Adventist Church and I want you to be solid in your understanding. I want you to have a solid foundation for your faith. We begin with Revelation 10.

 

Now, the theme of Revelation 10 is the historic rise of the true church. So we're gonna start with verse 1. And I saw a still another mighty angel come down from heaven.” When a mighty angel comes down from heaven, what do we do? We pay attention, right? “Then I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head. His face shone like the sun, and he had feet like pillars of fire.”

 

Before we go on, that first verse is power packed. Notice what it says, “I saw another angel, a mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud.” Can you think of another time when GOD used the symbolism of a cloud when he was leading his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land? When did that happen? In the wilderness. So are we modern Israel? Is GOD leading us from the Egypt of this world to heavenly Canaan? So, what was the cloud a symbol of? The cloud was a symbol of GOD's divine favor to protect Israel from the scorching sun of the Sinai desert. Throughout the Bible clouds represent the favor of the angels. They represent God's divine favor. Let me give you an example of that.

 

Keep your finger in Revelation 10 and turn to Proverbs 16:15. The clouds are a symbol of divine favor. They can represent angels or they can represent the blessing or the favor of GOD. Proverbs 16, you're looking there at verse 15. Proverbs 16:15. And I wanna show you just from the first verse how you can get the theme of Revelation 10 and how it's so easy to pass over significant passages in Scripture. So the angel is clothed with a cloud or clothed with GOD's divine favor. GOD's gonna bless HIS people with HIS favor. Look at Proverbs 16:15, “In the light of the king's faces life, in his favor like a cloud of the latter rain.” So here, the favor of the king is like the cloud. So God is gonna give favor to HIS last day church in the outpouring of the latter rain in the Holy Spirit so that HIS church can complete its work on earth. So we have introduced here the favor or blessing of GOD.

 

Now, notice ‘there was a rainbow on his head.’ When you think of a rainbow, what's the first thought that comes to your mind - rainbow Biblically? Noah’s flood. Now, keep your finger here and we'll see something very fascinating about the rainbow. Go back to Genesis chapter 9. When you read about the rainbow, that's covenant language. And when you think about the covenant, you're thinking about justice and mercy. So, Genesis the 9th chapter. Genesis 9. You can read it throughout Genesis 9; but we'll look at verses 12 and 13.

 

Speaking of the rainbow it says, “And GOD said, This is the sign of the covenant that I make between ME and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I set MY rainbow in the cloud and it shall be a sign of the covenant between ME and the earth.” So GOD introduces the covenant.

 

When you think of the covenant, you're thinking of justice and mercy. In the mercy of GOD, He sent Noah to prepare a world for the soon return of JESUS, to prepare the world for a flood as a type of a message that would prepare the world for the soon return of JESUS. So GOD sent Noah in mercy with a message to prepare the world for imminent destruction; but GOD also was just in destroying sin.

 

So when you come to Revelation chapter 10, it's talking about the favor and blessing of GOD upon HIS last day people by pouring out the clouds of blessing that are filled with rain namely, the latter rain. It's talking about the justice and mercy of GOD in the final end time judgment. We see GOD's justice and mercy revealed on the cross; but we also see GOD's justice and mercy revealed in the judgment just before the coming of JESUS because GOD reveals before a waiting world and a watching universe those people that everybody could have been saved if they would have responded.

 

So back to Revelation chapter 10. Notice also Revelation 4 verse 3 talks about the rainbow. Revelation 4:3 and it tells us where that rainbow is. Revelation 4:3 says, “And HE that sat there was like a jasper and a sardine stone in appearance: and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” So, a rainbow around GOD's throne. GOD's character is love. And what are the two aspects of love? Love reveals mercy and love reveals justice; because if you have mercy and you have no justice, sin goes on perpetually; but if you have justice and you have no mercy, you destroy Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. So GOD reveals justice and mercy; and that's what the covenant is all about, that's what the cross is all about. On the cross, CHRIST dies because the law could not be broken, so HE is just in receiving the condemnation of sin upon HIMSELF; but HE is also merciful in reaching out in love to save those who respond to HIS grace.

 

So, we see a mighty angel comes down from heaven. He is clothed with a cloud. A rainbow, justice and mercy, is on HIS face. HIS face is shining like the sun. The righteousness of CHRIST, the SUN of Righteousness. So this angel reveals he's iridescent with the glory of GOD and his feet were like pillars of what? Fire.

 

When do you read about a pillar of fire in the Old Testament? Moses. Yes; but what about how is Israel guided at night? By the pillar of what? Pillar of fire. So what is the pillar of fire indicate? Guidance. Guidance.

 

So in Revelation 10:1, you have an introduction of the whole chapter. GOD is going to bless HIS people with clouds of favor in the latter rain. This GOD of justice and mercy at the end time judgment will reveal HIS grace to all humanity. This GOD will reveal JESUS as the Sun of Righteousness in his final last day message. And this GOD will guide HIS people just like HE guided Israel with the pillars of fire.

 

We continue. “He has a little book open in his hand: and he sets his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land.” What's this all about? A little book opened. Is there any book in the Bible that was ever closed? Daniel. Go back to Daniel chapter 12. Daniel, the 12th chapter. Notice three places here. It talks about the Book of Daniel being sealed, shut up or closed. Daniel 12:4. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, till the time of (what?) the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

 

You know, I've heard people say that that scientific knowledge that will increase. That would be a secondary application. Do you see where it says many shall run to and fro? The Hebrew expression is that they leap back and forth. They leaf back and forth. They'll go over the scroll. Knowledge of the Book of Daniel would increase at the time of the end. The book of Daniel would be shut up or sealed. What portion of the Book of Daniel would be shut up or sealed till the time of the end? The prophetic portion. Down through the ages, men and women always understood Daniel and the Lion's den. They’ve always read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace; but this prophetic portion of Daniel would be shut up.

 

Let your eyes drop down to verse 9 in Daniel 12. “And He said, Go your way Daniel for the words are closed up and sealed till (what time?) the time of the end.” Verse 13, “But go your way till the end: for you shall rest, and arise to your inheritance (when?) in the end of your days.” So the Book of Daniel, the prophetic portion, would be shut up or sealed till the time of the end. So the book that was closed would be opened. So get this picture: here is an angel that descends from the very presence of GOD that brings an eternal message to all mankind to guide GOD's people in a time when GOD's gonna reveal HIS mercy and justice in the judgment. This final last day message would understand the prophetic teaching of the Book of Daniel and proclaim it to the world.

 

Now, verse 4, verse 3, “He cries with a loud voice as would a lion roars: and when he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. But when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write: but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, seal the things which the seven thunders uttered, and don't write them.”

 

You know, a lot of people wanna know what GOD never revealed. And they are very speculative when it comes to last day events. There is no field that gives more speculation than last day events. Somebody will say, you know, ‘there were these seven popes and at the end of these seven popes’, this is supposed to happen or they'll be talking about some 1335 and some prophetic date or they'll take 2520 from Daniel chapter 4 and they'll have all this speculation. I give GOD credit for making most plain what's most important, don't you? And some people wanna know what the seven thunders uttered. If GOD felt that was important, he would reveal that, right? So GOD. Is GOD playing tricks on us? Is GOD wanting to hide truth from us? Does GOD just want to reveal truth to this person over there or that person over there and say ‘I've discovered a new truth and only if everybody understood it just like me, Jesus would come?’

 

GOD has made truth plain in HIS word. And if it's not very plain, if it's obscured, foggy if only one or two people know it, that must not be the revelation of GOD. I give GOD credit for making most plain what's most important because HE wants to save the largest number of people.

 

So we go, verse 5, verse 6 (verse 5 and 6) “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his hand to heaven.” Now notice the angel has one foot on the sea and one foot on the land. In Revelation 17:15, it says, “The sea which you saw are nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples.”  Land is always an unpopulated area in the Book of Revelation. So this is a message - one foot in the sea, one foot on the land, a universal message to go to all mankind. Notice what it says, “He swears by HIM…” Now when in angel lifts his hand to heaven and he swears by solemn oath, I wanna pay attention, don't you? Notice it says, “The angel lifts his hands to heaven and he swears by solemn oath,” verse 6. “He swears by HIM who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay or time no longer.”

 

 Now this is an absolutely key text. If you understand this Bible passage, you will be free from a thousand winds of false doctrine that are currently blowing within the Adventist church. Now, let me make this plain. What is the angel do? He lifts his hand to what? To heaven. And what does he do? He swears in solemn oath. When an angel swears in solemn oath, are you gonna believe it? You're not sure. When an angel swears in solemn oath, come on. Amen. Are you gonna believe it? Amen. What does he swear in solemn oath? Who has a King James Version of the Bible? The King James is a little better than the New King James here. Who has the King James Version? What does the angel swear in solemn oath that there should be what? Time no longer. Now, if an angel swears in solemn oath, based on the Book of Daniel that's been opened, that there would be time no longer, do you believe it? What is the longest time prophecy in the Book of Daniel? 2300 days. When did that run out? 1844. So what is the angel say? After 1844, prophetic time would run out. In other words, after 1844, there would never be a message again based on prophetic time.

 

Now, I wanna read to you a few statements from Ellen White who comments on this. At the Jackson Michigan camp meeting, there were certain groups that began to teach that probation would close on a certain date. Ellen White confronted those groups and this is what she said, “There has been no definite time message given of GOD since 1844.” Do you believe the angel? Do you believe Ellen White?

 

Now notice, next one, this comes from a Manuscript Release, if you're writing it down, 10 MR (MR is Manuscript Release) page 270. (10MR page 270). “Our position has been one of waiting and watching” What's our position everybody? Waiting and doing what else? Watching. “with no time proclamation to intervene between the close of prophetic periods in 1844 and our LORD's coming.” Did you get that? So anybody who tells you, ‘the national Sunday law is gonna to come tadadada,’ ‘This is gonna happen on this a certain date’ is a violation of what the angel says when he lifts his hand to swear to heaven because he says, ‘there's no prophetic time after 1844.’

 

I wanna explain that. Ellen White is clear: our position has been one of (what?) waiting and watching with no time proclamation to intervene between the close of prophetic periods in 1844 and our LORD's coming. So from 1844 to the coming of JESUS, we are not looking at a date on a time clock, we're looking rather at events that are gonna occur. Since 1844, we are looking not simply at prophetic timetables on a yearly calendar; but something quite different.

 

Notice this very interesting statement in 7th Bible Commentary 971, “After 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite prophetic time. The longest time reckoning is to the autumn of 1844.” So if GOD is not waiting for events to unfold, what is GOD waiting for and why hasn't JESUS come? If major issue is not 58 more earthquakes and five more popes, and if the major issue is not a calendar event, what then is GOD waiting for? The next verse tells us. Notice verse 6 says that “the angel swears by HIM who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are in it, and the earth, and the things that are in it, and the sea, and the things that are in it, there should be time (or delay) no longer.” But, so prophetic time runs out in 1844; but, in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel when he's about to sound, the mystery of GOD would be finished as he declared to his servants the prophets.

 

So what is GOD waiting for? The mystery of GOD to be finished. What is the mystery of GOD? Back to Colossians chapter 1. Back to Colossians chapter 1. What is the longing of GOD's heart? It is the mystery of GOD to be finished. Colossians chapter 1. And we're going to look there at Colossians 1, and we're gonna start with verse 26. Colossians 1:26. “The mystery which has been hidden from ages” – Colossians 1:26. There is a mystery that's been hidden from ages (and GOD is waiting for that mystery to be finished.) And from generations but now has been revealed to HIS saints. Verse 27 and 28 of Colossians 1, “To them GOD willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is CHRIST in you the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in JESUS:”

 

So notice the two aspects of this mystery. What is the mystery of CHRIST hidden down through the ages? It's CHRIST in you the hope of glory. What is JESUS waiting for? HE's waiting for a generation that are so committed to CHRIST that CHRIST lives in their hearts. CHRIST dwells in their life and HIS glory to a darkened world is revealed to them. JESUS is not waiting for 58 more earthquakes. HE's not waiting for more the economy to crash more, those things will happen and I'm gonna study about those in the class. HE's not waiting for the mark of the beast, although that will happen and we're going to study about that; but there are certain events within the church that lead to these events in the world.

 

The angels are holding back the winds of strife. How long will they hold? Until the servants of GOD are sealed in their forehead. What is the sealing? It is a settling into the truth of JESUS so that you cannot be moved. So what GOD is waiting for is a group of people that are serious about going home. What HE's waiting for is a group of people who revealed the loving character of JESUS before a waiting world and a watching universe. HE's waiting for the mystery of GOD. What is the mystery of GOD? The mystery of GOD is the reality that in a sinful decrepit world, HIS people are so in love with HIM that they reveal HIS loving gracious character before a waiting world and a watching universe. And they're so passionate about going home that they share HIS love and grace to that world. That's what Paul says here about the mystery of GOD.

 

Notice verse 28, “HIM [This CHRIST] whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in JESUS.” So what is JESUS waiting for? Two things: (1) a group of people that reveal HIS love and grace, (2) a group of people that proclaim HIS love and grace.

 

HE's waiting for the Gospel to go to the ends of the earth. So when you look at Revelation chapter 10, it talks about the raising up of an end-time people who reveal the character of JESUS in their lives, who have been forgiven by HIS grace, justified by HIS blood and who are transformed by HIS sanctifying power and go out and share that with the world. Now, Revelation chapter 10 describes that and then at the end of Revelation 10, it tells about the rise of the Advent movement.

 

Revelation 10 verses 8 to 11. “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, Go take the little book.” What's the little book everybody? What is that? Book of Daniel. “You go take the little book, which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth. And I went to the angel and said,… Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take and eat it and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be sweet as honey in your mouth. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand and I ate it; and it was sweet as honey in my mouth: but when I had eaten it, my stomach became (what?) bitter.”

 

I want you to come back with me to 1844. Adventists - they were Baptists and Methodists and Episcopalians and Congregationalists and many who were from no domination - great spiritual revival swept through the world. Down in South America, there was a Catholic priest by the name of Manuel Canza, he wrote under the pen name of Rabbi Ben Ezra. He began to study the prophecies of Daniel and as he did, he wrote about the coming of JESUS in the early 1800s. He believed JESUS would come in or around 1844.  There was Edward Irving over in England, 300 preachers in England and they were preaching powerfully about the coming of JESUS and they believe JESUS would come around 1844. There was Yohann Ben-gough in Germany; he believed CHRIST would come. There was Joseph Wolfe, the missionary to the Middle East; he was preaching the coming of JESUS. He actually came to America and preached before the American Congress. There was William Miller, here in the United States. And there was this advent awakening around the world. They believe CHRIST was going to come first 1843, then in 1844. Their hearts beat with this desire for JESUS. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people believe that. They read the Book of Daniel - The Little Book of Daniel was open; it was sweet in their mouth; but as JESUS didn't come, it was bitter in their belly.

 

I'd like you to imagine that it's October 22, 1844 and you were living up there in New England where Low Hampton, New York where William Miller had preached so powerfully. And all across America there was this great Advent awakening. But I’d like you to imagine that you are an early Adventist and you are there that night, it's October 22, it's about five o'clock in the evening, the sun has just set and you gather with your family. There is husband and wife and there's 3 children: one boy John is 13 and Betty is 11 and Sally is 5 and you're sitting around and it's that night and you profoundly believe that JESUS is gonna come. And you hang up your chart your adventure on the wall because you want to reinforce it in the minds of your children and you go down over the great image with the head of gold, breasts and arms of silver, and thighs of brass, legs of iron, “you say children, look, look at the toes of the image, that's what we are children, JESUS is coming. And you remember the great prophecies, children, of Daniel 7 with the lion, the bear, the leopard, the dragon, they've all been fulfilled, children.” And you remember Pastor Miller preaching with this chart you show the 70 weeks to your kids and you say, “This is the night JESUS is going to come and you are sitting there” and your little daughter Betty, 11 years old, speaks up in she says to you, “Will we see grandpa?” “Oh in a few hours, the resurrection is gonna take place, in a few hours, JESUS is going to come.” “You remember 1st Thessalonians 4: 16 and 17 - The LORD himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel. The dead in CHRIST are gonna rise first. Then grandpa is gonna come out of the grave. You can see grandpa.” “Will he walk with me again?” Will he hug me?” “He will.” And what about what about you or your mama?” “Mommy she died, too.” “Oh yes. She was a believer.” And so you and your family and children can't wait. But HE hasn't come yet, it's 10 o'clock; and he hasn't come yet and it's 11; and clock strikes midnight and JESUS doesn't. You don't know what to say to your children. We believe the prophecies. Have the prophecies failed? Your wife cries all night. You wanna be alone. And you sit in the rocking chair by the fire and rock back and forth and wonder what to tell your children the next morning.

 

There are those that look at the Seventh Day Adventist church and say how could the Seventh Day Adventist Church possibly be the true church if it was born out of a misunderstanding of prophecy? Let me take you back though to another aspect of Daniel's prophecy. Let me take you back to another disappointment - the year is 31 AD. The disciples believed that CHRIST is gonna set up HIS eternal everlasting kingdom. They believed that JESUS is gonna come and that CHRIST is gonna give them victory over the Romans. They believed that JESUS is gonna establish a Messianic Kingdom. And as CHRIST goes to the cross and they see the nails through HIS hands and they see the crown of thorns upon HIS head and as they see the broken, bruised, bloody body of CHRIST taken off the cross, the disciples say, “We think HE was the One that would redeem Israel.” Where the prophecies in the Bible that CHRIST would be crucified, were they there? Did the disciples understand that? They misunderstood them. They didn't see CHRIST coming as a suffering servant. They saw HIM coming as a conquering KING. So, the disciples were bitterly disappointed and there, the next day after the crucifixion, they gathered in the upper room and that was the darkest Sabbath they could ever experience, right? They were disappointed; but then CHRIST was resurrected from the dead; spent 40 days with the disciples; and they looked to the sanctuary and from that sanctuary, JESUS poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 were baptized on the day of Pentecost. The New Testament church was raised up based on a misunderstanding of prophecy. It was based on the disciples lack of comprehension; but out of that disappointment, GOD raised up the New Testament Church to move the world.

 

Fast forward to 1844 - exactly parallel. Again GOD's faithful believe first misunderstand prophecy. Again GOD's faithful believe hers are disappointed. Again they look to the sanctuary and again GOD raises up and end-time movement based on exactly Revelation chapter 10. Look first at verse 11. Revelation 10:11 and 11:1. “And he said to me, you must prophesy again.”  Notice, out of the disappointment, you would prophesy again. Did the New Testament church prophesy again? Would GOD have again a latter day people that would prophesy again? About many or too many peoples, nations and tongues. Chapter 11 verse 1.

 

Now you know in the text, in the original text, there are no chapter divisions; they didn’t come to that until the 14th century. Chapter 11 verse 1, “And then I was given a reed like a measuring rod: and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of GOD.”  In other words, after you disappointment, look up to the temple of GOD, find your solution, find your answer in the sanctuary just as the disciples looked to the sanctuary, saw a CHRIST in inaugurated in the sanctuary and the early rain was poured out. So GOD will have a last-day people who have been raised up based on disappointment; so rather than the disappointment of 1844 being a black mark on Adventists history, it is a glorious sign of a movement raised up by GOD exactly parallel to the New Testament movement. So with that understanding, we now go to the great controversy.

 

GOD would raise up an end-time movement- that movement would look to the sanctuary, that end-time movement would discover in the sanctuary the very law of God. Notice Revelation 11. We're looking there at Revelation 11 verse 1, “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod; and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of GOD.” What do you see when you look up into the temple of GOD? Revelation chapter 11 verse 19. Revelation 11:19, what do you see when you look up? Verse 1 says, “Look into the temple,” verse 19 shows you what you see.” “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of HIS covenant was seen in HIS temple: and there were lightnings, and noises, and thundering, and an earthquake, and great hail.” When you open the temple of GOD, what do you see in the temple of GOD, everybody, what do you see? There - the Ark of the Covenant. What three things are in the Ark of the Covenant? What three things? - Aaron's rod that budded, the pot of manna, and what else? Ten Commandments. So when you look at Aaron's rod that budded, Aaron's rod is a symbol of divine authority. So, in an age where many people say, “I'm a law unto myself, I don't want to respect any authority,” GOD says, HE has divine authority in HIS church. The pot of manna - what do you know about manna? What did many of the Israelites want and they didn't want manna? What did they want? They wanted the flesh pots of Egypt. What do you know about manna? Did manna had a mother? Did manna have bones and feathers? Where did manna come from? Heaven. Manna represents heaven’s diet or the health reform message.

 

And what else was in there? The law of GOD. And what is in the heart of GOD's law? The Sabbath commandment. So based on the disappointment of 1844, Revelation chapter (what?) 10, GOD would raise up an end-time (what?) movement or people that would prophesy again. He would direct their attention to (where?) the heavenly sanctuary. And when they looked in the heavenly sanctuary, what would they see? The love of GOD and the Sabbath that would be restored to Christianity to climax the Reformation.

 

What else would they see? They would see there the pot of manna. They would understand that their bodies were GOD's temple and that men and women were physically, mentally, spiritually unified as whole people and they would become, they would see health not merely to give them more years of life in this world, but they would see health as part of an end-time message to prepare them for the coming of JESUS.

 

They also would look there and see Aaron's rod which would be a symbol of divine authority, that GOD would have a people on earth that would have the authority of CHRIST based on the Word of GOD to go out and proclaim HIS message.

 

Now, when you come to Revelation chapter 12 and 14. In Revelation chapter 12, this controversy comes to a focal point over the law of GOD. And we look at Revelation Chapter 12 verse 17. The dragon (who’s the dragon? Satan) was (what) enraged (what's another word for enraged? or angry) with (what?) the woman (who's the woman? the church). (And what does she do?) makes war with the (rest or the) remnant who keep the commandments of GOD and of the testimony of JESUS. From here and out in the Book of Revelation, we have a description of Satan's attack upon the church. We have a description of the final conflict and that's what we're going to spend time studying.

 

So Revelation 10, GOD raises up an end-time movement. HE raises them up out of disappointment. Revelation 11 - they look to the sanctuary to find JESUS in the sanctuary and to find a message for end-time. In Revelation chapter 12, Satan hates them.

 

Now in Revelation 12, you have four basic snapshot pictures. Let me summarize them before we go to Revelation 14. In Revelation (verse 4), it's like you look at four video clips and they come real quick. Te first video clip you look at is Satan making war with CHRIST in heaven and Satan is cast out, he loses. The second video clip you look at is a video clip of Satan trying to destroy JESUS, when HE's born. Again, Satan loses, JESUS wins. The third video clip you look at is a long period known as 1260 years where Satan tries to attack GOD's people and destroy them; and again JESUS wins, Satan loses. The fourth video clip; it is the one that we are gonna be concentrating on in our class from here and out. And the fourth video clip is the devil makes war (who does he make war upon?) the woman or the church (why?) because this church - faithful to CHRIST reveals in their very life and teachings obedience to the law of GOD and Satan hates the law of GOD. So the devil is angry with the church.

 

In Revelation chapter 13, you have the rise of the beast power which unites church and state and attempts to force a decree. Before we study Revelation 13, which we will do in our coming sessions, in fact our next session, we're gonna look at it quite a bit. We need to look at Revelation 14. Revelation 14 verse 6 and 7. Revelation 14: 6, 7. Revelation 14:6, “And I saw another angel flying in the middle of heaven…” Notice the angel does not float, the angel does (what?) flies. So here’s something urgent. “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, with the everlasting gospel” - The good news that through CHRIST our sins can be pardoned; the good news that through JESUS, our sins can be, that we can be justified; the good news that grace gives us the power to be overcomers. “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to go (to whom?) to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”

 

Here is something big. Here is something large. Here is something that can capture our imagination. Here is a destiny to which young people have been called to participate in the proclamation of the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. This is something big. This is something large. This is something worth giving your life to.

 

Now notice what it says, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear GOD…” Now that word fear means this: it means having enough respect to GOD to obey HIM. Fear GOD doesn't mean to be afraid of GOD. It means, the word in Greek is ‘phobeō’ and ‘phobeō’ means a respect that it leads you to obey. It means an attitude of reverent obedience to GOD. “Fear GOD, and give glory to HIM.” Give glory to HIM in everything you do – in what you watch on T.V. or you don't watch, in what you listen to in music. Give glory to HIM in what you eat and drink. In other words, the totality of the being- mind, body, spirit giving glory to GOD. “Give glory to HIM and worship HIM who made heaven, earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

 

Now, it's this phrase we want to spend our last few moments on in class – “worship HIM who made heaven earth, sea, and the fountains of water.” What's another name for the One who made heaven, earth, sea, the fountains of waters? What else? The Creator. So, worship the Creator. Why is GOD worthy? Why is God worthy of our worship? Go back to Revelation chapter 4. Revelation the 4th chapter and look there at verse 11. Let's read it together Revelation 4:11. Do you have it? “You are worthy Oh LORD to receive glory and honor and power.” Why? Let’s read it. “For YOU created all things, by YOUR will they exist, and were created.” Why is GOD worthy of our worship? Because HE created us.

 

If you were the devil, if you were the devil, what is the single most effective thing you could do to destroy true worship? What theory would you introduce? Why would you introduce evolution? Because if you introduce evolution, you destroy (what?) GOD's creative authority. And if you destroy GOD's creative authority, HE's not worthy to be worshipped because HE does not have a life unborrowed and underived. So the devil has attacked the very concept of creation; but Seventh Day Adventists are some of the only Protestants now, there are a few, that still maintain that this world was created in six days and GOD rested on the seventh. And the Sabbath is a great memorial of what?  Creation. So Revelation 14:7 says, “Worship the CREATOR” and how do we worship the CREATOR? By keeping the what? Sabbath.

 

Now notice Revelation 14:8 talks about ‘Babylon is fallen,’ we will study more about that. Babylon represents religious confusion. So, is the world confused over the subject of the law of GOD? Are they? Are they confused over the Sabbath? Certain of it. So verse 9, notice verse 9, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anybody worships the (what?) beast…”

 

So in verse 7, we are told to worship the (who?) CREATOR. In verse 9, we’re told not to worship (who?) the beast. Verse 12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the (what?) commandments of GOD and (what else do they have?) the faith of JESUS.” So verse 7, do not worship; verse 7, worship the (what?) CREATOR; verse 9, do not worship the (what?) beast; and this entire conflict over worship in the CREATOR and worship in the beast will come to a focal point over (what?) the commandments of GOD. And which specific commandment? The one that has to do with worship in the CREATOR - the Sabbath.

 

Now, those that receive the mark of the beast, what will happen to them? Notice verse 10, “He himself also so drink of the wine of the wrath of GOD which is poured out full strength into the cup with HIS indignation.” So, those that receive the mark of the beast, they drink of the wine of the wrath of GOD. What is the wrath of GOD? Is it GOD's anger? Not at all. When you read about the wrath of GOD in the Bible, it's GOD's judgment against sin. It's GOD's judgment against sin.

 

Now, how does the Bible define the final wrath of GOD? Revelation 15:1, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them the wrath of GOD is complete.” So how are the judgments of GOD complete? They are complete in (what?) the seven last plagues, for the seven last plagues become that wrath of GOD.

 

Now, let me summarize in the next 30 seconds, then I’ll give you a break. The Book of Revelation is a book about whom everybody? JESUS. And it's a book, especially in the first 11 chapters that show you the history of the Christian Church and the persecution that it is going through down the ages. It shows you in the first 11 chapters that GOD has always been faithful. HE's never left HIS people alone. Coming to chapter 10, we have the rise of GOD's true Church out of disappointment - a Church that would go through the disappointment of 1844 like the disciples went through in 31 AD. Then that church would be raised up by GOD, it would look to the sanctuary, discover the truth about healthful living, the truth about divine authority and especially the truth about the Sabbath. This Church would move forward to proclaim GOD's Last Day message to the world. According to Revelation 12:17, Satan would be angry with the Church of GOD and he would be so angry he would try to destroy it. How would he try to destroy it? Eventually Revelation 13, by passing a death decree and preliminary to that, passing a decree that ‘no man could buy or sell.’ According to Revelation 14, a message would go to the end of the earth calling the everlasting gospel; but we call people to worship the CREATOR. How do you worship the CREATOR? By keeping the Sabbath. There will be a contradictory sign, the mark of the beast. This would be focused over the commandments that would when everybody either received the mark of the beast or the seal of GOD, the 7 last plagues would be poured out and eventually at the end of those plagues, Armageddon would take place and JESUS would come. That's the introduction to this course.

 

Now let's pray, FATHER, we thank YOU for the clear light on the road ahead. We thank YOU that JESUS is a winner and that Satan is a loser. FATHER, as we study in this course on last-day events, fill our hearts and minds with a love for JESUS and the HIS truth. In CHRIST's name. Amen.

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This message was recorded at the GYC 2017Conference: Arise in Phoenix Arizona. GYC, a supporting ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, seeks to inspire young people to be Bible-based, CHRIST-centered, and soul-winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this, visit us online at www.gycweb.org.

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