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2. When Church and State Unite

Mark Finley

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2017
    10:30 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.

 

Couple of things before we start this class, then we’ll pray. Some of you do not have a seat; if you don't and you want to stay and that's perfectly okay. Nobody will be embarrassed if you are not, if you sit on the floor, that's fine, if you wanna do that just however, you are most comfortable, feel free to do that. If there's not enough room in the back, if others come and you want to come up and sit on the floors over here over here, where however you are the most comfortable and get the most out of class. Does anybody have any seats by them that somebody may want to sit in? And there's a seat here. There's another seat over here. So we do have some hands raised with some seats, don't feel uncomfortable at all. I'm sure more people will come in.

 

And so some have asked about questions - what I’m gonna try to do in this session is I will teach till about 11:15-11:20, and then give you a chance for some questions as well at the end until 11:30. I think our time this particular second session is over at 11:30. Let me tell you what we're going to do this afternoon. I’ll tell a little bit about this class, I’ll give a brief summary of where we were this morning. How many of you were not here this morning? Let me know how much to summarize. Okay. How many of you were here this morning? All right. So, I'll give you a brief three or four minutes summary of the first class and so you kind of catch up to us where we are right now in the class period. This afternoon at the first period, I will talk about the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain. What's the difference between the early rain and the latter rain or the prerequisites of receiving the latter rain? So we'll talk about that.

 

Then the second section this afternoon, I'm gonna talk about the Shaking and the Sifting. You know if you look down through history, GOD has always purified HIS church by calling out a group of believers. If you look at the days of Abraham, GOD called out Abraham from the larger body. If you look at the days of Israel, GOD called out Israel from the pagan community. If you look at the New Testament church, GOD called out a group of believers. If you look at Protestantism, GOD called out Protestantism from Catholicism and if you look at Adventism, GOD called out Adventism. Here is the essential question: in the last days of earth’s history will God call out another movement out of the Adventist church, will there be a remnant of the remnant? And what I'm going to show this afternoon is theologically that's not true that all the idea of GOD calling out another movement; but GOD does have a method and it's the shaking. And so rather than calling out, they'll be a shaking out and we're going to say what elements lead to the shaking, what trends can we see in the Adventist church today that are preparing for that great shaking. Some are going out today. Many more are gonna go out in the future. And many more are gonna come in. And we're gonna see the mighty working of GOD in miraculous ways. So, this afternoon, the Latter Rain, Loud Cry, What is the Latter Rain, What is the Loud Cry, How does that function from the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. Then the shaking, we're going to look at that.

 

Let's pray and then we're gonna jump right into this session.

 

FATHER in heaven, we thank YOU with all of our hearts for JESUS. We sense that JESUS is the center of all prophecy. Prophecy without JESUS is like dry bones; but we know that JESUS has substance and HE teaches clarity of truth about the last day events. And we've been told that we who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. So grant to us, our Dear FATHER, eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to experience, and minds to comprehend. We pray these in CHRIST's name. Amen.

 

As you look down through history, GOD has always been with HIS people in times of crisis. Was GOD with Moses during the days of Egypt? Was GOD with Israel even in the days of apostasy in 40 days and 40 years when they wandered in the wilderness? HE was. Think about Daniel, faithful to God, yet a captive in Babylon and eventually thrown in the lion stand. Where was GOD? HE was with Daniel. Think about Joseph in his bondage in Egypt, where was GOD? HE was there. Think about the Apostle Paul, was he was beaten with rods, ship wrecked, stone and cast into prison, where was GOD? HE was there. Think about Peter in Acts chapter 12. GOD was there.

 

I wanna give you the absolute assurance that in the coming time of trouble, GOD does not forsake HIS people. Often, young people have come to me and they have said, “You know, I can't possibly think about making it through the time of trouble because I'm just not strong enough and I know I'm gonna fall apart at that period of time.” Let me assure you that nobody can make it through the time of trouble; but let me also assure you that in JESUS and by JESUS and through JESUS, you can make it.

 

I love the old song - Just when I need Him, JESUS is near; just when I falter, just when I fear, just when I need HIM most. So when we study the events of the future, CHRIST does not forsake HIS people at a time when we need HIM most. JESUS is there.

 

In the early session in the morning, we looked at the Book of Revelation and we've seen that there are three chapters in the Book of Revelation that describe the true church. Revelation 10 describes the prophetic rise of the true church: that just as New Testament Christianity rose out of disappointment; GOD would have a church, a people, a movement that would rise out of disappointment. That just as the disciples failed to understand prophecy of 31 A.D. and were bitterly disappointed when CHRIST was crucified, so another band of believe hers in 1844 would be bitterly disappointed; but yet just as the New Testament church looked to the resurrected CHRIST in the sanctuary, so GOD's people would look to JESUS in the heavenly sanctuary in the heavenly temple. There, they would see JESUS as the great High Priest. They would see a manifestation of CHRIST in the Law of GOD. They would understand HIS Law. And as a result of that, they would go out to proclaim that Law and proclaim the living CHRIST and lead men and women back to obedience. So we took a look at that. We pointed out in Revelation chapter 10 especially that the angel says in Revelation 10:6 that there would be time no longer. The Greek word for time is ‘kronos.’ The chronology - we get the word chronology from that. The chronology of the Book of Daniel would run out at the end of the 2300-year prophecy after 1844.

 

So after 1844, there would never be a message again based on a specific definite time prophecy. You find that in the seventh volume of the Testimonies page. Let me check the reference again. I think it 971, but I don't want to misquote it, so I'll tell you exactly. It's 7th volume of Testimonies page 971. It says, after 1842 and 1844, there can be no definite prophetic time. The longest time reckoning is to the autumn of 1844.

 

So when you hear people say, for example, “Well, we need to figure out the 25-20 prophecy or 1335 and this is gonna come down to a specific time prophecy that's gonna give us an advantage. Let us know when the national Sunday law is.” When you see them look at, for example, Revelation in the 17th chapter and they begin to talk about the 7 heads and 10 horns and they claim that the 7 heads are 7 so-called popes, totally out of the context of the prophecy and try to talk about time events. You know immediately that they are going in the wrong direction because since 1844, GOD is not waiting for time. HE's rather waiting for a people who love HIM enough to proclaim HIS message to the ends of the earth, who reveal HIS loving character to a waiting world and a watching universe to reflect in their lives the obedience of CHRIST.

 

And so through JESUS and by JESUS, JESUS will have a people that are totally in love with HIM. So what we are looking at is great events that will take place but those events are not locked to a specific time period. They’re rather they are intimately related to a group of people who are committed to the living CHRIST who reveal JESUS or passionate about proclaiming HIS message to the world. As they proclaim that message,, it unleashes the forces of hell. For the marvelous working of GOD from above in the Latter Rain power is called forth. HE calls forth the marvelous working of Satan. So in the last days, there are two things that are really taking place. You have the marvelous working of GOD through HIS Holy Spirit; but you also have, you also have the marvelous working of Satan. And you see both of those blended.

 

Now to get a good idea of these last day events, we went to Revelation 14. And we're gonna go to Revelation 14 again and look at what the text itself says. Somebody asked once, can Seventh Day Adventists demonstrate from the Bible alone an outline of the last day events? And the answer is yes. Ellen White’s writings help to confirm our position from Scripture but indeed we can show from the Bible alone the outline of the last events. So we're going there to Revelation, the 14th chapter. We're looking at verse 6 and 7 in summary in these first few minutes for those of you the miss the first class and then we're going to jump right into the issues. Revelation chapter 14, we're looking there at verse 6, “And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven (this is the heart of the Adventism’s message in the last generation).” And I saw another angel flying -The angel flies. He goes urgently). “I saw another age of flying in the midst of heaven having the Everlasting Gospel…” The gospel, the good news that JESUS’ grace redeems us from the guilt of the past, the penalty of the past, and JESUS’ grace deliver us from the power of the present.

 

What is the gospel? The gospel is the message that GOD's grace justifies us; but that same grace sanctifies us. It's not that we are justified by grace and sanctified by works. It's all by grace, isn't it? HIS grace justifies us. HIS Grace sanctifies us; but HIS grace is sufficient. HIS grace is sufficient to deliver us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin. HIS grace is sufficient to deliver us from the guilt of sin and from the grip of sin.  GOD's grace is not merely grace that delivers us from what we have done in the past; but its grace that enters our life and transforms our life, so we live differently in the present. We come to CHRIST just as we are; but we don't remain just as we are because “where sin doth abound?” What grace does? What grace does? It abounds much more. So here is a message that goes to the ends of the earth. “I saw another angel flying… with the everlasting Gospel…” The Gospel is always everlasting. The Gospel is never out of date. The Gospel is always eternal.

 

Just about/ actually last week, week before last actually, I was in one of the Muslim countries. And we had four public meetings. And I open the Bible and talked about JESUS, very openly. And in that country, there are two million Syrian Muslim refugees. There are Iraqi refugees. And at the end of the meeting, “I said, I'm not gonna leave tonight. I'm not gonna go home tonight neither am I going to go to the door back door but I want to come down and anybody who needs prayer, I want you to come. I want you to talk to me about your heart aches, your longings; I want to pray with you. Muslim after Muslim came to the front and they said to me, “Pastor Finley, would you pray for us? Would you pray for our health? Would you pray for our jobs? We’re refugees in this country.”

 

The Gospel is always everlasting. It's always eternal. It speaks to men and women of every generation. It speaks to men and women of every background, every culture. The Gospel - the good news that CHRIST can deliver us from the guilt and grip of sin.

 

Notice, it says, “And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those that dwell on the earth…” It's everlasting, that is to say it's eternal. And it's international, it's universal “to those that every nation kindred, tongue and people.” The Gospel is not the prerogative of a Western Civilization. The Gospel comes from the Middle East and it's eternal and universal. Then it says, “Saying with a loud voice, fear GOD…”

 

We pointed out that the word ‘phobeō.’ It's ‘give reverential respect to GOD’, ‘obey GOD.’ It has to do with a respect that is so deep that you recognize the awesomeness of GOD and you obey HIM. “Fear GOD and give glory to HIM” in what you watch, what you eat, what you drink… “For the hour of HIS judgment is come.”

 

Seventh Day Adventists believe that it's no more business as usual. It's no more pleasure as usual. We do not believe that we are simply another denomination raised up to dot the landscape of denominations. We believe passionately that we are living in the judgment hour, just before the coming of JESUS. And that we are here by divine design to prepare people for the coming of CHRIST. So it says “Fear GOD, give glory for the hour of HIS judgment is come and worship HIM who made heaven, earth, the sea and the fountains of waters.” Worship the CREATOR. The Sabbath becomes significant?

 

Why is the Sabbath so significant in the eternal plan of GOD? There are really three reasons why the Sabbath is so significant. Reason no. 1: the Sabbath leads us back to the fact that we did not evolve, we're not a genetic accident, we're not merely skin covering bones, we're not merely accidental chromosomal arrangement. The Sabbath reminds us that we were created by the living GOD. It reminds us that we have worth and value in HIS sight. We have worth in GOD's sight. We have value in GOD's sight. We're not animated mud. We're not some genetic accident. So the Sabbath takes us back to the ONE that made us. The Sabbath takes us back to the ONE that created us. So in understanding GOD as our CREATOR gives us a sense a value; it gives us a sense of worth; but there's a second the value of the Sabbath, practical value. You know there are some that would separate the Sabbath from its theological implications. They would say sure we need the Sabbath. Everybody needs a day of rest. Everybody needs a day with their family. That's true. That's very true. But the Sabbath has deep theological significance; not only does it remind us of our CREATOR, but on the Sabbath, we rest from our labors. So the Sabbath is a symbol of righteousness by faith, not righteousness by works. If I accept the first day of the week, that is the work of man, because GOD never change the Sabbath, right? I may not understand it fully, but if I accept the Sabbath and I rest on the Sabbath. The truth theological significance of that is ‘I'm resting in HIS grace,’ resting in HIS love, resting in HIS care, resting in HIS justifying power. So, the Sabbath is not a symbol of work; it's a symbol of (what?) rest - resting in the salvation that HE provided on the cross. The Sabbath also reminds us that Eden is going to come again; that HE's gonna recreate a new heavens and a new earth. So what does the Sabbath do? Theologically, the Sabbath is so significantly important because it takes me from Genesis to Revelation. It's the eternal sign that GOD created me. It's the eternal sign that CHRIST redeemed me. It's the eternal sign that HE is coming again to make this earth over again. Do you see why the devil hates the Sabbath so much? Because for the Christian believer, the Sabbath becomes that sign of the Living CHRIST for creation, redemption and the re-creation that's coming.

 

So “Worship the ONE that made heaven, and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Worship the CREATOR. And you remember Revelation 4:11 that we looked at this morning? “THOU art worthy, oh LORD to receive glory and honor and power (why?) Because YOU (did what?) created all things.” So the worthiness of CHRIST to be worshipped is intimate and really related to creation. If HE did not create us, why do we worship HIM? If you are the devil, remember what we said this morning, what you do about it? You’d attack creation fiercely. So he has.

 

The second angel’s message has to do, in verse 8, with Babylon is fallen, is fallen because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. In the Bible, wine represents false doctrine. And so just as wine affects the fore brain, conscience, reason, and judgment, so Babylon confused religion has fallen and she has passed around her wine cup of false doctrine.

 

And then the third angel follows. “If anyone worships the beast…” Incidentally, the reason that GOD has raised up the Seventh Day Adventist Church is to proclaim the Everlasting Gospel; so people will be sobered up; so people will think clearly. The reason God has raised up the Adventist Church is in the light of the Gospel so men and women will fear or reverence GOD; verse 7 of Revelation 14, so they will give glory to HIM in everything they do physically, mentally. So they'll understand the judgment hour and so they worship HIM as CREATOR. So GOD has raised up the Adventist Church with the pure teaching of Scripture that in the light of the fall of Babylon. Does that mean that there are not CHRIST-centered good Christians in other denominations? Not at all because Scripture says in Revelation 18 – “Babylon has fallen, come out of her my people.” And so we are told that most of GOD's people today are aware they are in Babylon and GOD is calling them out to the fullness of understanding of HIS truth.

 

Now notice verse 9, “Then a third angel followed them saying with a loud voice…” Incidentally if God pictures HIS last day message as being carried by three angels in the middle of heaven, do you think that messages is pretty important? If GOD pictures that way, it must be incredibly important. “Then a third angel followed them saying, if anyone who worships the beast and his image and receives its mark on his forehead or in his hand…”

 

Now where is the seal of God received? Only in the forehead. Where is the mark of the beast received?  Hand or the forehead. So the forehead symbolizes the forebrain. So the seal of God, what is that? It's the settling into the truth; so it's both spiritually and intellectually so you can't be moved. The Sabbath becomes the visible sense of the sealing. And who is the agent of the sealing? The Bible says in Ephesians 4 that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. So what is the sealing and how does that take place? The sealing is a process that begins at the time of your conversion. And the Holy Spirit begins revealing into our lives at the time of conversion the divine truth of GOD's Word. And as we accept those Divine Truth, as the Holy Spirit, the representative of the Living CHRIST, writes them indelibly upon our minds, so we know them; and He writes them indelibly in our hearts, so we love them. And so the sealing is a process in the life of the believer by the Holy Spirit where the person comes to the point in their life where they cannot be moved, where they are anchored in CHRIST. And that takes place in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain. And GOD pours HIS Spirit out in the Latter Rain just before the coming of JESUS, which we're gonna study.

 

So what is the mark of the beast in the forehead or in the hand if the seal of GOD is only placed in the forehead? GOD never uses force. If the seal of GOD is the settling intellectually into the truth guided and molded by the Holy Spirit, then the mark of the beast is the opposite of that. The mark of the beast can take place in the forehead or in the hand. What is the hand? In the Bible, the hand is a symbol of force. It's a symbol of coercion. It's a symbol of power. So the devil says, “Hey, look, I'm either gonna intellectually convince you and deceive you or I'm going to force you; one of those two.” But GOD never uses force because GOD only works through (what?) love.

 

So we go to now verse 9, Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anybody worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead [in the brain - that person is you know obviously deceived. They've drunk the wine of Babylon] or on his hand [They are forced], he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of GOD…”

 

Now, we look to earlier what is the wine of the wrath of GOD? Revelation 15:1, when you look at the wrath of GOD, wrath of GOD is not the anger of God. It's not that God is angry. The wrath of GOD in the Bible has to do with the judgments of GOD. So it says the wrath of God. What is the wrath of God? Revelation 15:1, “Then I saw another sign in heaven in great in marvelous seven angels having seven last plagues for in them is (what?) the wrath of God is (what?) complete.” So the ‘wrath of God’ are the judgments of GOD upon this world in the seven last plagues.

 

It says, “It's poured out,” verse 10 of Revelation 14, “poured out full strength into the cup of HIS indignation.” And so what do we see here? Revelation 10 - GOD raises up the people - that people go through disappointment. GOD moves powerfully through them to proclaim HIS message - the message of the three angels. That message is being proclaimed. Men and women are being led back to worship the CREATOR. Thousands are coming to CHRIST. At the same time, Satan works to enforce something called the mark of the beast. So you have worshiping the CREATOR and notice verse 9, It says, “If any man worships the (what?) beast.” So we have worshiping the CREATOR; worshipping the beast.

 

Verse 12 – “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those that keep the commandments of GOD and the faith of Jesus.” So this matter of worshipping the CREATOR or worshipping the beast finds its focus in the Commandments of GOD. So what is the sign of worshipping the CREATOR? That's the what? Sabbath. So the final conflict is one over worship. You remember in the days of Daniel, you had the conflict over worship. It was the second commandment. Will you bow down and worship the great golden image? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to that image and so the test question was the second commandment. The test question at the end of time will be the fourth commandment; where everybody has had the opportunity to fully accept JESUS’ way or the devil's way, where everybody has the opportunity to receive the seal of GOD or the mark of the beast. When they've made their final irrevocably decision, when it can be written: “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.” When that could be written, when everybody has made their decision.

 

Now, let me point out something that's quite critically important. Turn over to Revelation 22 and we need to talk a little bit about the close of probation. Revelation 22:11 “He who is unjust, let him be (what?) unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be (what?) filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. Behold, I'm coming quickly and my reward is with me.” When everybody has made their final irrevocably decision, and we're the only two classes left on earth, those who receive the seal of GOD and those who receive the mark of the beast, previous to that time the Gospel goes to the ends of the earth, previous to that time GOD's Holy Spirit has been poured out powerfully so that everybody who has desired to know CHRIST, to know its truth has had that opportunity. So everybody has made their final decision. It's at that point that probation closes. Probation does not close because of some arbitrary act on the part of GOD where GOD says, “OK I'm gonna shut the door of heaven. Anybody that wants to be saved after this ‘Too bad, you didn't make a decision soon enough, the door shut.’” That's not true at all. What happens in heaven signals what has already happened on Earth. “He that is righteous, let him be (what?) righteous still; he that is filthy, let him be (what?) filthy still.”

 

I've had young people come to me and tremble and they said, “Pastor Mark, what if probation has already closed? What if, what if GOD has come to my name already up in heaven and probation has already closed, there's no chance for me?” That simply is not true. Banish that thought from your mind. If you want to be saved, there is mercy and grace in CHRIST to save you.

 

Now look, what about Ellen White's Great controversy where she says, “soon none know how soon (I'm quoting directly because this quote has been abused and I want to un-abuse it.) “Soon, none know how soon, the judgment will pass from the dead to the living.” She makes that statement and somebody says, “Wait a minute, what if it's already passed to the living?” The judgment of the living takes place when men and women choose either to receive the mark of the beast or the seal of GOD. That's exactly when the judgment of the living takes place. So they are then righteous or unrighteous. So when she makes the statement, “soon none know how soon…,” the probation will close. She is talking about the Church proclaiming the gospel so that men and women can make their final choice; not some arbitrary act there in heaven where GOD said, “Hey it's too late for you.” So I want you to see the setting. Will go back over here and I'm walking this way. Here's the timeline. OK. GOD raises up a church, an end-time people. They look to the sanctuary. GOD anoints them with His Holy Spirit. They go out to preach the Gospel to the world in the setting of the three Angel’s messages. As that Gospel is being preached to the world, what takes place? As that Gospel is being preached to the world, they are preaching a message of obedience and faithfulness to GOD. They're preaching the Everlasting Gospel. They're preaching the good news of Christ soon return, the judgment, the message of health, and their preaching about true worship on the Sabbath. That riles up Satan. And Satan becomes angry, he begins working marvelously.

 

Eventually, the worship of the CREATOR and the worship of the beast come to a focal point and that's where we're going now in our study. They come to a focal point where everybody's made their final irrevocably decision for or against CHRIST; the seven last plagues are poured out.

 

Now look at Revelation 15 again. Revelation 15:8. Can anybody enter the temple before the plagues? You know when you give Bible studies; you will meet many evangelical Christians who have the idea that we're raptured before the time of trouble, right? And they say, we do not go through this tribulation, they will link this to a seven-year tribulation which there is not; but they will link it to that. But let me show you the evidence that GOD's people go through this period of time but they are protected by GOD. Revelation 15:8, “The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of GOD and from HIS power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels are completed.” Does anybody enter the temple before the plagues? What does the Bible say?  Not. Then it gives you Chapter 16 - the plagues are poured out. And look at Revelation chapter 16 and I have to quote most of this because most of my Revelation is ripped out of my Bible. So if I don't know it, I don't know where the texts are. OK. So Revelation 16, I gonna find this. Look around verse 13 for me, would you? “Behold, I’m coming as a thief.” Is that verse 13 or 15? OK. I'm two verses down. “Behold, I'm coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garment, and they walk naked and they won’t see their shame.”

 

Now, notice what he says after sixth plagues, “I am coming as a (what?) thief.” If HE says after six plagues, HE's coming as a thief, what does that mean? HE has not what? come as a thief when? Before the plagues, right? So if Revelation 15:8, nobody can enter the temple till the plagues are (what?) fulfilled, and if in Revelation 16:15, HE is coming as a thief after (what?) the plagues. See, there’s an easygoing accommodating Christianity today. And the easygoing accommodating Christianity is like a potato chip Christianity. It's like a Christianity that like socks and M&M. I'm not against potato chips and M&M's occasionally, you know, occasional. OK. Very occasionally. OK. I'd rather eat carob. I’d rather eat carob any day and popcorn. You know popcorn has good health; no I can't get off the thing. OK. So, look there is an easy going cross Christianity and it says, “Hey, if you believe in JESUS, you're going to be healthy, wealthy and wise. You're never going to go through any trouble. And if you go through any trouble, it's because you're off the map and not on the map. In fact in the last days, don't worry about mark of the beast, don't worry about seal of GOD, don't worry about time of trouble, HE is going to come and whisk you away.” See what that's preparing people for is - it's a superficial Christianity that prepares them to collapse in the final crisis of earth’s history.

 

And what is GOD saying to you and me? This is what HE's saying, “Look, I was with Moses and I was with Daniel and I was with Joseph and I was with Paul and I was with Peter. Every single one of them went through crisis in their life; but I never left them and I never forsake them.” “And I want you to know,” JESUS is saying, “that in the crisis as you go through today, I'm gonna be with you; in the heartache that you go through today, I'm gonna be there; in the disappointment that you go through today, I'm gonna be with you, and; when the final crisis breaks, never think that I'm gonna leave you or forsake you because I don't forsake MY people.” HE's with us always -Matthew 28:20, even to the ends of the world.” HE says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” - Hebrews 13:5 and onward.

 

And so we see then the plagues poured out here. Now let's go back and look at this class some of the events. What is it that's going to lead up to the mark of the beast being enforced? What are the events that are gonna lead up to that? How is that going to take place? And what I'm gonna do for you is draw here and some of you in the back may not be able to see this as well, so we're going to make this more vertical like this. OK. I’m gonna do a little drawing for you and then I'm going to go back to the Bible to prove it. But I wanna show you two things are gonna happen simultaneously. We'll gonna put two boxes here. And these events are gonna be happening simultaneously. Boy, this is so small, you will not gonna see it at the back at all; I can hardly see it from here. All right, can you see the white board back there? All right. I'm gonna erase those boxes. They're no good. I got the best eraser possible. I'm gonna try to write pretty big and we'll see what happens. OK. On this side, you're gonna see natural disasters. Whoa. All right, we're gonna forget that board, we don't need it anyway. Thank you for picking it up. All right. I can do this with my hands better. No, no. I'm using this board right here. OK. On this side, you're gonna see famines and earthquakes and floods and natural disasters. OK. That's one side. On this side, you gonna see chaos. You gonna see natural strife. On this side, you gonna see false revival. And when you see those two blends, now, let me give you some evidence of this from the Divine Writings of Ellen White and let me give you just a couple references that are going to help us understand this even more clearly. One of the things that we are going to see coming up - Great Controversy page 589 and 590. You got the reference? What references is it? 589, 590. “While appearing to the children of man as the great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster until the populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation.” Wow! The populous cities are reduced to (what?) ruin and (what else?) desolation. Even now (when? Even when? It’s now. When is now? Now is now) “Even now, he is at work in accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations (What's a conflagration? Fire) (What's a conflagration for southern California?) in fierce tornadoes and terrific hail storms, in tempest floods, cyclones, tidal waves and earthquakes in every place, in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest.” You look at Northern Africa. “Famine, distress follow in parts to the air a deadly taint. (What's that? Air pollution.) Thousands perish by the pestilence.” Now this next sentence – “These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.” So can we expect fewer or greater natural disasters? Fewer or Greater? Greater. Do we find that also in the Bible? Yeah you look at Matthew chapter 24, Luke chapter 21.

 

So Matthew chapter 24. Matthew 24, and again, if you look at Matthew chapter 24, and let your eyes drop down to verse 7: “nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. They'll be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places.” So you look at Luke chapter 21. So natural disasters both the Bible and Ellen White predict will become more frequent. Will we see more hurricanes? Will we see more earthquakes? [Will we see more tomato? Tomatoes, we hope so; they’re good for your health.] More, more tornadoes. Yes, I hope we see more tomatoes too, they're good for your health. All right.

 

Luke chapter 21. There we go. Luke 21:25, “They will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.” Notice - natural disasters, these natural disasters will become more and more frequent. We can expect more of these as we look at Scripture; not only this but on the same side. See, the devil delights in war (why?) because he wants two reasons: (1) he wants to sweep away people's lives who are unprepared for the coming of CHRIST. But there is another reason why and that is (2) he wants to create chaos and upheaval in society. If he's able to create this, notice Great Controversy page 590, “Then the great deceiver will persuade man that those who serve GOD are causing these evils.” See so what does the devil do? He works to cause tornado, earthquake, famine, flood. He works to court, to do natural disasters. Then it says, “The class that have provoked the displeasure of heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to GOD's Commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending GOD, that by the violation of the Sunday Sabbath, that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance will be strictly enforced and that those who present the claims of the Fourth Commandment thus destroying reverence for Sunday are troublers of the people preventing their restoration to divine favor in temporal prosperity.”

 

So here's what happens: in the last days of Earth’s history, every seed goes to harvest. In the last days of Earth's history, the righteous who believe in CHRIST and who accept HIS love and grace in their lives, they become more committed and more faithful. The wicked, who drift away from CHRIST, unbelievers, become more blatant in their unbelief. As that begins to take place, Satan begins to stir up and as far as GOD allows Satan creates natural disasters. As far as GOD allows that. There are not simply natural phenomena; but GOD withdraws HIS hand. And as GOD withdraws HIS hand.. You remember Revelation 7 says that “HE's holding back the winds of what? Holding back the winds of strife.” And so GOD allows those winds of strife to blow upon this earth. As he does, as he does, disasters begin taking place. They become more and more frequent; and more and more disastrous. The devil seeing that, knowing that this is a signal of the coming of CHRIST wanting to trap him in his snares as many as he can, the devil does something else. What does he do Revelation Chapter 13.

 

Revelation Chapter 13. On the one hand, you see conflict, you see strife, on the one hand, you see natural disasters; but there's something taking place on the other hand what do we see on the other hand there? Revelation chapter 13. We're looking there at Revelation 13 and let your eyes drop down to verses 13, 14. Notice what it says, it says, “He makes fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men and what is the devil doing? The devil wants to work miracles for miracles, false miracles. And as what is this about? He makes fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of man. What's that he talking about?

 

Does anybody remember what fire symbol of? Fire is in the Bible. The Holy Spirit yes; but even deeper than that? When is the first time fires mentioned in the Bible? Before. Before. Eden. Remember the flaming sword of fire? What did that represent? The presence of God. What about Moses? The Shekinah glory above the tabernacle between the two angels? What was that? The presence of GOD. What about the pillar of fire? The presence of GOD. So all through the Old Testament, fire is a symbol of the presence of GOD.

 

Now, what when do you read about fire in the New Testament? The Holy Spirit comes down like a dove on JESUS; but HE also comes down as tongues of fire in Acts chapter 2. So you have fire representing the presence of GOD through the Holy Spirit. So fire always represents the presence of GOD through the Holy Spirit. One way or the other, the presence of GOD.

 

When you have tongues of, when you have the fire coming down from heaven, Satan calling that down, what is that? That's the false fire or the false presence of GOD in a false revival movements. So that's what it's generally, it's the false revival movement. Do some of those false revival movements use the gift of tongues? They do. But the idea of fire coming down from heaven is not some atomic blast that comes down from heaven. The Bible has to be used to interpret itself. It really has to do with the false manifestation of the presence of GOD; not strictly limited to the gift of tongues but all false manifestations of emotion in the presence of GOD.

 

We're gonna talk this afternoon a lot about the true and false manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

 

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

 

Now, let's continue to look here in Scripture. Let's go over to Revelation. But I wanna go over the Revelation, the 16th chapter. Revelation, let's go to Revelation 19. Let’s go to Revelation 19. Revelation 19, and notice this is talking about the battle of Armageddon.

 

Revelation 19 and you gonna look at verses 19 and 20. Revelation 19: 19, 20 – “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against HIM who sat on the horse and against HIS army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who works signs in his presence (In the King James Version, it says work miracles in his presence) by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.”

 

How were those who received the mark of the beast deceived? How were they deceived? By the false miracles, you got it. That's what it says in the text, isn't it? Then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who works signs or miracles in his presence by which he deceived those (the by which refers to the signs or miracles) (by which he deceived those) who received the mark of the beast.

 

Go back to Revelation 16 now and read verse 14. Revelation 16, and look at verse 14. What is it that enables? It says in Revelation 16: 14 - “These are the spirits of demons (performing what?) performing miracles (or signs) which go out to the kings of the whole earth.” So you have two things that are happening: on the one side, natural disasters. On the one side, the arming and planning of war. On the other side, a false religious revival and the false religious revival with a false manifestation and understanding of what Christianity is all about.

 

Ellen White comments on that, again in the book Great Controversy page 588. She says, “As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it is greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light through the agency of spiritualism. Miracles will be wrought. The sick will be healed and many undeniable wonders will be performed.”

 

So, let me summarize it this way: At the time when the economic bottom falls out of America, at a time when there are calamities all over the earth, at a time when there are uncertainty and political leaders do not understand the solution to the problems, GOD begins to work through HIS Holy Spirit, honest in heart are lead in to HIS true movement. Satan works with a false religious revival; and that false religious revival is one in which there are false miracles. The sick will be healed - apparently healed. And it will be filled with emotions, signs, and wonders. It will then be proposed that those who don't go along with this false religious revival are the cause of these natural disasters, these wars, and these calamities. Pressure will be put on politicians.

 

Now, we should never think that the beast power is gonna rise from above and enforce the mark of the beast. That's not the way it's gonna happen at all. See, many people say, “Hey, what's going on now in Congress? Is there some secret Sunday law? There is not.” The strategy of the devil is different. Let me read to you Great Conversely 592, “Rulers and legislators (whose that rulers and legislators? Whose that? could be Congress, could be Senate) in order to secure public favor (what do they want to secure? What's public favor? Votes) will yield to the popular demand (what is the demand? popular demand. What does it mean popular demand? Yeah, popular demand, that's the people right? It's a movement among the people.) The popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance.”

 

So notice that sentence carefully in the context of everything we've said. What happens? Natural disasters, wars, strife over the world, false religious revival, apparently Satan begins to work and people thinks this is the working of GOD, and then there is a popular demand, there is a popular uprising among the people, and what is the popular demand say? Those people that don't go along, that are not worshipping on the true Bible on Sunday, they are the cause of all these things. Therefore, the legislators yield to the popular demand. So how does this work? How does this work? First, we see these developments taking place in America; but then as we do that, we see as we show this afternoon, Protestantism reaching across the Gulf.

 

Now, notice Great Conversely 588, “Through two great errors, (how many errors? Two) the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation for spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be what? The foremost in stretching their hands across the Gulf to grasp the hands of spiritualism. They will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power and under the influence of this threefold union, that’s spiritualism which infiltrates Protestantism and Catholicism, this country will follow in the steps of Rome and trampling on the rights of conscience.

 

So what can we expect? We can expect a false religious revival among Protestantism that leads Protestantism itself to downplay the authority of Scripture and place emphasis on an emotional religion. As they place emphasis on emotional religion, they will border on spiritualism, that is, the God within you. So we would expect Protestantism to be entering into forms of meditation, forms of religious experience that bypass Scripture, bypass the authority of Scripture, and place this self as the Supreme One of the dwelling place of GOD rather than worshipping the GOD who is there outside of us, rather than meditating upon the Word in HIM. So we should expect that. We should expect spiritualistic nuances to flow through Protestantism. We should expect as well natural disasters. We should expect nations to be arming for nuclear war. We should expect at this same time great calamities. This should drive us to our knees to know CHRIST in ways that we have not known HIM before for a deep longing manifestation to have CHRIST in our life. It should give us a passion to witness. We should expect the outpouring of the genuine Holy Spirit to counteract the outpouring of the spirits of demons. And we should believe that GOD is going to raise up a people to prepare the world for the coming of JESUS. That's the first two.

 

Now, I'll take five, six minutes of questions on anything we've covered so far, not in the future and we're gonna go into this much more deeply this afternoon on the different steps. See the mark of the beast isn't going to be enforced all at once. There will be steps and we'll take a look at those this afternoon. But some question? Yes.

 

I think it's pretty obvious when I look at Scripture this way that when probation closes, it is an individual thing. I think it is. Probation will close, not because of GOD’s saying it's just closed for you, but rather it is closing because of the decisions that that person has made in their own lives. So when the national Sunday law is passed, I'm sure that there will be people that will make final irrevocably decisions to compromise or receive the mark of the beast. So to whom much is given, much is required.

 

Yes. Sure. Her quote is this: “soon, none know how soon, the judgment will pass from the dead to the living.“ Some have use that to say, has the judgment already taken place for the living now? That's what they've done. Her quote is, there are two explanations for it. No. 1 is this, her quote is true and nobody knows when the national Sunday will be passed. So nobody knows when that probation will close. Nobody knows when the seal of GOD, the mark of the beast will be enforced. So you can look at it in that context. You can look at it also in this context - you know there are a number of statements in the writings of Ellen White where she says CHRIST could have come ere this. So had the church risen to its destiny and done the work that CHRIST had proclaimed it to do, the coming of JESUS would have been sooner and the judgment of the living, namely when men and women make their final year irrevocable decisions for or against CHRIST would have taken place sooner. OK. So you can look at it from two standpoints: (1) the standpoint of the fact that nobody does know when these events are gonna take place, the stand point number not that it already has taken place; (2) in the context of conditional prophecy. OK.

 

Sure. The Revelation 22:11 says, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is holy, let him be holy still.” The way I see it is this - when he says, “it is finished,” that's there. There are in the Book of Revelation, there is one place that it says, “it is finished,” there’s another place it says, “It is done.” Revelation 21 says , “It's done” - that's at the end of the thousand years; but the place it says, “It is finished” is at the end of the sixth plague, so that is talking about what has taken place at the end. It says, “It is finished.” It's talking about probation has closed at the beginning of those plagues. So it's referring you back to the beginning of those plagues. So that the “It is finished” statement is at the end of the closing of probation, not at the beginning. OK. So when it says, “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is holy, let him be holy still,” that is a continuous present. In other words, this is a fact that has happened. So the way I would look at it is very simple - that the statement “It is finished” does not refer to the beginning of the close of probation, but to the end of it. Because if you take the other position, I think it puts you in a very awkward place and the place that it puts you in is that does everybody make their decision to receive the mark of the beast or the seal of God at the same time? See does everybody make that decision at the same time? And if probation closes before a person receives the mark of the beast, what sense would it make for them to receive the mark of the beast at that time? I mean what or how would you figure that out? So to me, it's much more biblical in harmony with the spirit of prophecy and logic to say that when the national Sunday is passed, people will begin to make their decisions. As they make their decisions, probation closes for them and the statement that “It is finished” announces that everybody has already made their decision. That's the way I would see it.

 

The idea of the false prophet in the Book of Revelation is a much broader term. Some of those may fit under that term, I let GOD judge them. I look at their fruits. Let me answer your question. Let me answer your question. The term false prophet is in harmony, it says, “The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.” The dragon represents Satan of course. The beast represents the papacy. The false prophet is a general term to describe religious confusion, particularly Protestantism. OK.

 

I'll take one more question. Yes ma'am. I wanna be sure I hear you. OK. The question is They ate the little book  and it was bitter in their stomach. Why was it bitter? The honey in the mouth was sweet when they studied the book of Daniel. It was sweet in their mouth; they believed HE is going to come. The reason it was bitter is they were so bitterly disappointed when Jesus did not come. So its bitter because they were so bitterly disappointed. You will be bitterly disappointed, if you don't eat lunch on time; so it's 11:31 so I'm gonna let you out now. And now, this afternoon, what time is our class? What time? 2:45 for class. I’m gonna go to the graphics, I hope this afternoon we're gonna look at the Latter Rain. OK.

 

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This message was recorded at the GYC 2017 Conference: 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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