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4. God's Final Call

Mark Finley

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2017
    4:00 PM
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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.

 

You recognize that in five sessions, I'm just doing the highlights of last day events or coming events. Some of you have asked about this workbook that I've been quoting from, a number of years ago I wrote a workbook with instructors, lectures for a local churches on the last day events, it was designed as a prayer meeting series. Seminars Unlimited carries it; so most of you are familiar. You can Google Seminars Unlimited. Thank you very much. You can Google Seminars Unlimited. You can get their phone numbers etc, but if you're interested in holding a coming event seminar for your local church, they've got all the material, lectures, and their workbook makes it really simple because there is charts and diagrams and stuff to fill in. I wanted to mention that to you.

 

Somebody talk to me in the break about a book that I've written on the Holy Spirit called Revive us Again. Is that person here? Do you have the book, you could hold up Revive Us Again on the Holy Spirit? It was somebody here that had a copy of it. They may have left now, but it's called Revive Us Again, you get it in the A.B.C. It's a book on the Holy Spirit and the Latter Rain. That is also can be a blessing for your prayer meetings.

 

Somebody else asked me in the break about I mentioned our Living Hope School of Evangelism and some of you have asked me to explain a little more about that I will do that. We have many wonderful sixmonths programs that are being conducted throughout the United States. Amazing Fact School of Evangelism is amazing. Arise really helps you to arise. Soul's west really helps you to win souls. I recommend all of those programs. Michigan has an excellent program. We do not have anything like that to train Bible instructors. What we do is very simple. I have a five to seven day training program for pastors and laypeople. So pastors from all over America over the world come and we spend about five days with these pastors,immersing them in principles of evangelism, principles of church growth, the Bible, the spirit of prophecy, etc. They see our little church. We had a church of 25 to 30 people and now every Sabbath will now have 120 members. And every Sabbath when I preach there, there's 200 to 250 people. If I'm not there, there's probably 160. So here's a church of that's gone from 30, 35 people to 120 with an attendance of 160. We have all kind of professional people coming. It's quite an amazing story of what GOD has done. In our facility, we have a church, we have a media center. In our media center, we have, we are broadcasting now streaming to 190 different countries in the world, you know local church media center. We have a large presence. We are starting a national radio program across America, doing a lot in television. We have a health center where people are coming in. We have a program called Health to the Max that they participate in natural lifestyle cooking. We do stress management courses, all kind of health courses, Bible courses, archaeology, et cetera for the public. And so, in the last we are in a very up-market community, it's a gated community. It had no Seventh Day Adventist Church three years ago. And it is a community has two golf courses, five club houses, very, very well to do community. And in the last two years, we've had about 300 non-Adventists walk through our doors of our different programs. And so we're seeing GOD work some incredible miracles of HIS grace.

 

What do we do for laypeople or students? There are times of the year where different organizations want to do a spiritual retreat. So GYC brought its leadership team to us and they did a spiritual retreat for five days with us. There are local churches that bring pastors and lay people come and they'll come like on a Friday night to a Sabbath or a Sunday and we spend time with them; but we have many times where I will teach courses on lay evangelism, teach courses with my wife on health evangelism, teach courses on lay preaching and how lay people can be effective preachers. We teach courses on a variety of kinds of witness. Usually laypeople come for five to seven days. They usually will come like on a Sunday and stayed the following Sabbath. We have class about six hours a day and then in the evening, they go out to programs with us. I have been an Adventist ministry now for 50 years and so we don't charge for our tuition at all. There it's people come they have to take be responsible for their own housing and usually they get breakfast in the hotel. We charge eight dollars at our school for a meal and they participate; so the only charge we charge is eight dollars for the meal. We don't charge any tuition charge at all. And somebody says, “how do you exist?”Well, GOD just supplies our needs. They just supply our needs. And but if you have any interest, and we are completely filled the first six months. I don't like to take more than, we can take up to 20, I mean I could take 40 people, if we wanted in the classrooms; but I like to take about 15 to 20 because we spend time personally together in the evening. We talk to people about their own spiritual life. We talk to them about witness. We help pastors particularly. We have some time left in our July classes, in our September and October. We have about six sessions in a year. I am there about 35 to 40 percent of my time; the rest of the time, I'm travelling the world and we are holding evangelist meetings in different parts of the world. I'm gonna give you a couple things that you can check out if you have any interest in our classes or if you know your churches will, you can call the General Conference, my administrative assistant. Her name is Joy Brando. That’s Joy and it's B-R-A-N-D-O and I'll give you her direct line. If you have any interest or your pastor of your church does in our classes, her number is 301-680-6619; that's 301-680-6619. Also, we are just redoing our website; but our website is called Hope Lives 365. Within the next two or three weeks, it will be completely done; but Hope Lives 365, we always publish our schedule there as well. But the best most reliable way is to call Joy. And if you have, a lot of times youth groups will come to our church and we'll spend five days with them, studying the Bible and they go away with really great spiritual renewal in their own lives.

 

We are now going back and we're going to go back to taking a look at the Latter Rain,Loud Cry and the whole issue of the Shaking. So let's pray and we've got a lot to cover in this class. Are you ready to go? (Yes.) GYC, you're ready to go?(Yes.) I mean I'm 73 years old, might have more enthusiasm than you got. No. All right.

 

Let's pray, FATHER in heaven, thank YOU so much for JESUS and thank YOU for HIS love. Thank YOU for the promise of the Holy Spirit. As we study about how to be filled with YOUR Spirit, move upon our hearts. In JESUS’ name. Amen.

 

Now, we studied in our last session - the Latter Rain and the Loud Cry. We have shown, both from the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, that GOD is preparing to pour out HIS Spirit in abundant measure. We've shown also that the devil wants to hinder this work, so he wants to introduce a counterfeit revival. We pointed out the difference between the genuine and the counterfeit. In the genuine revival, men and women are seeking HIS Spirit, to be filled with HIS Spirit; and we looked at the baptism of the spirit and the baptism of fire. We've shown that fire in the Old Testament and the New represents/is a symbol of the abiding presence of CHRIST in the life. It's a symbol of the infilling of the presence of GOD. Baptism is immersion. The baptism of the Spirit is immersion in the presence of GODwhere the glory of GOD fills your life and changes your life. In the genuine manifestation of the Holy Spirit, men and women are on their knees seeking GOD and they make their major object to know CHRIST and to know the will of GOD. In the counterfeit manifestation, men and women are looking for any experience with GOD, rather than knowing GOD from the standpoint of doing HIS will. So any time, any emotional external experience substitutes for heart repentance in a desire to reflect the image of JESUS we know are in danger. Any time signs and wonders and miracles substitute for the desire to reflect the image of JESUS in living obedient life we know that that's the nights; we know the run slippery ground. One characteristic of false revivals is there's a great emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit rather than the fruits of the Spirit.GOD invites us to seek the fruits and HE gives us the gifts. The gifts are GOD's to give; the fruits are ours to seek.

 

So we ask the question: what is holding back the coming revival? What is holding back the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? What is heaven waiting for? Why doesn't GOD just pour out HIS Spirit on the church today? If GOD poured out HIS Spirit on lives in which there was known and cherished sin that would simply contribute to pride and arrogance and so what is heaven waiting for? Notice First Selected Messages page 121,a revival of true godliness (Notice the word true)among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.”So the first work is to seek genuine authentic revival. Somebody says, “That's the problem with my church. They need genuine revival.” No, the problem is with my heart and yours that I need genuine revival. The problem is not with the church. Who is the church? The church is you and me. So revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all of my needs. To seek this should be my first work.

 

You know, in Scotland, it is claimed that there is forty million pounds; the pound of course is the British Scottish currency,its price worth sixty million dollars of unclaimed deposits. In other words, people have died and they've left money to their relatives but the relatives have never claimed them. I wonder if there's any of my old Finley's over there in Scotland, you know, I’ll go there. Sixty million dollars of unclaimed deposits. It kind of reminds me that the Holy Spirit is an unclaimed deposit by many. GOD has promised HIS Spirit. Do we fail to claim the unlimited resources that the Holy Spirit holds for us? There is no way that as human beings, we can see GOD's work finished; unless the Holy Spirit is poured out in dramatic power the seeds that have been sown, the Bible studies given, the literature given out, the T.V. programs produced, radio programs, all of these seeds will come to harvest in the Latter Rain.

 

Now, what are the prerequisites for receiving the Latter Rain? In our last session, we pointed out the difference between the early and the latter rain. We pointed out that the early rain came at Pentecost historically and the latter rain will come in end time. We pointed out that the early rain nurtures in the life of the believers the desire for CHRIST, GOD fills our hearts with HIS Spirits; but to meet the challenge of Earth's final hour, GOD promises to pour out in abundance of HIS Spirit.

 

So the latter rain does not mean that there was no Spirit manifest in the church before and it's not that we simply say, “Hey, I'm gonna pray and wait for this latter rain to come, then GOD's gonna finish HIS work.” Not at all. We’re in prayer. We’re in Bible study. We’re involved in witness. And the latter rain is like a crescendo. Daily we are filled by the Holy Spirit. Remember Ellen White says, “Daily should believers plead for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” So daily we plead for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And the latter rain comes at the final crisis of Earth's history to empower the church to give the final witness to the ends of the earth so every human being on every planet on every continent of earth will hear the final message of GOD.

 

Now what is the first prerequisite to receive GOD's Holy Spirit? The first prerequisite may be simple - it's to ask GOD. Zechariah 10:1, let's read it together, “Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the Latter Rain.” So, ask the LORD for rain. Are we living in the time when GOD wants to pour out His Spirit in the latter rain? Are we living at that time? Are you asking GODday by day for the outpouring of His Spirit in your life?

 

Review and Herald, August 25, 1896, can we read it together? “We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost.”Are you praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life or you're praying that GOD will move through you and that HE will fill you with the Spirit? Are you seeking GOD daily for the baptism of the Spirit, the infilling of more and more of the Holy Spirit? Are you praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you have a prayer group that you're meeting with to seek GOD from the power of the latter rain?

 

You know, there are churches in North America that if you would go to that church at 8:30 on Sabbath morning, you would find groups of people praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They would be praying for the manifestation of GOD to come down on that church. When our church was just a little church, over in Warrenton, Virginia and that church had been there for probably 30 years, maybe 35 people came and there was a group of consecrated Godly Adventist lay people that would come to that church about 8:30, quarter to9in Sabbath morning and they would kneel down and begin to pray that the outpouring of the Spirit would take place, that GOD would miraculously lead people to that church. One Sabbath, I was preaching and I noticed a lady came in who I had never seen before. Now, when you only have 35 people, you notice new people pretty quickly. And so I thought I'm gonna go talk to this lady after the service. So I went up to her and you know with all my ministry,50 years, I never had anybody say this to me before. I said, “How did you happen to come to church this morning?” And this is her exact quote, she said, “I woke up and GOD kicked me in the pants and made me come.”I never had GOD kick them in the pants before to make them come. And I said, “There must be a story behind that.”And she said, “I'm a pilot. I'm an airline pilot. I fly for one of the largest airlines in America. I fly from Washington, Dallas Airport to Los Angeles.” And she said, “Pastor Finley, I had no idea that you were in this church.” I am a former Seventh Day Adventist but I've been spiritually nourished recently by listening to your sermons on the Internet. When I get up this morning, I felt a strong conviction, a strong conviction that I had to be here in church this morning.” In the last six months, in our new facility, there have been at least four families of professional people that felt impressed to come to our church. I was preaching about two Sabbaths ago in our church, 120 members. There were 230 people there. And as I was greeting at the door, a man and woman came out. I introduced myself to them and I said to him, “How did you learn about our church?” They told me that they had heard on Internet and they felt so impressed, they drove an hour and a half to be there. And I said, “My, what you might do? What’s your work?” He handed me his card, United States government. He's in the state department of the United States government. GOD led him that Sabbath by the Holy Spirit. We are praying that GOD will lead people to our congregation. You would not believe - psychiatrist in town saw us on the Internet, felt impressed by the Spirit. GOD is leading people by the Holy Spirit today for a praying church.

 

GOD is working some miracles even among the Muslim community in the Middle East. In one country that I was in recently, I was talking to a Muslim man who was there in church with about 15 or 20 other Muslims in this country. And I said to him, “How did you learn about the Adventist Church?” He said, “My story is an amazing one.” He said, “I am a refugee from Syria in this country.” And he said, “As a refugee, I had no work. I got sick, I couldn't feed my children and one day I went out on the balcony (in this little apartment they were living in) and I shook my fist at GOD and I said, ‘GOD,GOD, where are You? You’re not here.” And he said, “I heard an audible voice from heaven that said ‘Lo, I will be with you always even to the end of the earth. Trust me. I'm gonna be with you.’” He said, “The next day, somebody was coming to the airport; other refugees, I wanted to go pick them up, I had no way to get there, I had no money.My family hadn't eaten. As I walked out, a cab drove by me and stopped and the cab driver looked over and said, ‘Hey, I know you, I used to know you in Syria. How can I help you?’ And he said, “I need a ride to the airport.” He said, ‘No problem, I'll take you.’” He said, “I was going to get in the car, a man walked by, and the man said to me, ‘Hey, you asked me to borrow 100 dollars last week, I felt impress this morning I want to give it to you, here's 100 dollars.’” He said,“I knew there was a GOD then and I began seeking and I discovered the Seventh Day Adventists.” And now he is with about 20 or 30 Muslims coming and they were with us just a few weeks ago in that country; but the church there is praying.

 

My wife and I visited the largest Seventh Day Adventist Church in the world. It's in Shenyang China, Shenyang China. It had 6,000 members; now it has 8,000 members. The story of that church is incredibly amazing. It was started as a house church congregation and it is grown. We talked to the pastor of the church and the pastor said, “This” We said, “What is the secret of your growth?” The pastor said, “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” Every morning we meet together at 4:30 to pray. There are 100 church members;60 to 100 every morning that pray. We said, “Why 4:30 in the morning?” “Oh,” the pastor said, “Because I have lawyers and doctors and I have attorneys and I have professional university students; so we pray from about 4:30 to 6:30. Then 60 or 100 of us go on out on the streets every morning and we witness before work. “Oh but Pastor we don't do that seven days a week. We just do it six because on Sabbath we come at 6:00 in the morning and there we pray and we stay all day.

 

If in the United States of America, what if we had people coming to the church on a Wednesday night, what if there were 30, 40, 50 that were praying in small groups for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? What if you lead, you left this GYC convention committed personally to start prayer groups in your church? What if there were groups coming at 8:30, quarter to9 on Sabbath mornings, praying that GOD would lead people?

 

You know, Ellen White says,Acts of the Apostles, “Many are on the verge of the kingdom waiting only to be gathered in.”I wonder how many people in your community are listening to Voice of Prophecy. I wonder how many in your community are watching It Is Written. I wonder how many are watching 3ABN or the Hope Channel. I wonder how GODis just waiting to do something amazing in your community. Once the Church is prepared to receive them,GOD will bring them. So do you have a prayer group that you're meeting with to seek GOD for the latter rain?

 

You know, I was teaching for the value of small groups and I had every excuse in the world not to start a small group in my home. I said, “Look, I'm travelling all over the world, I'm preaching in place, I'm only home 40 percent of my time. I can't start a small group in my home.” And the LORD kept on impressing me, “Start a small group in your home. Start a small group in your home.” So my wife and I were doing Bible programs and health programs and so, I said to many of the group, the non-Adventists that were there, “Look, I'm going to start a study verse by verse of the Book of Revelation. It may take me a year, it may take me two years, if you wanna come to the house, come on a Monday night.”Thirty people show up; 18 of them not Seventh Day Adventists, then we built on a 29 Adventist. So for the last four or five months, we have small group in our home. I try not to travel on Monday nights, I try to get back but often if we can't do it, I just print the schedule. We do it every other week or every third week and we have scores of people from our gated community that come to our home and it got so big that we had forty people at our house and my neighbors got concerned because we were blocking the streets and their cars all over. So they said and I wanna be a good neighbor, so I met with them. And they said, “Pastor, you know, it's blocking the streets, could you just move your group?” So we moved our small group now to our church and so on Monday nights we have our group. But do you have a prayer group you’re meeting with? In our small group, we seek GOD. We pray. I ask our group, “Arethere people in our group that have a need?” And people open up in that group. And then we taught them about the fact that what praises do you have. We pray that GOD's Spirit will come down. We study the Word of GODtogether. Do you have two or three prayer partners that you've covenant with to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and the life of your church?

 

One of the most successful evangelistic meetings that I had was down in San Antonio Texas. We had 1100 non-Adventists come to that meeting; but the pastor of the Scenic Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church Pastor Rodney Mills, you know Pastor Rodney? Yes. My dear friend and you know, we had a great time in San Antonio; but you know Pastor Rodney every Thursday, every Thursday morning at 5:30 met with his elders and they prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that church. Many of the church members were not even aware of it; but every Thursday morning 5:30 in the morning, he would pray. Do you have two or three prayer partners that you've committed to pray with for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and the life of the church?

 

One of the most amazing revivals that ever took place in the latter part of this revival, Satan took it over; but at the beginning of this revival, the Welsh revival is a young man by the name of Evan Roberts. Evan Roberts was 16 years old. In Wales during that time the churches were largely empty, you might get a church that would seat three four hundred people and you get five old people that would be meeting in that church to pray. Evan Roberts was 16 and he looked at the Country of Wales and he found spiritual poverty there. And this 16-year old young man said, “I'm going to pray for the country.” And he began praying. He worked in the mines with his father and he said, “Coal mining is not my destiny” but he worked in the mines in Wales. He prayed for six years; saw a no visible manifestation of the outpouring of the Spirit. And then one night, he was at Mariah chapel in Luxor, South Wales and he had about 20 young people with him and the Spirit of GOD came down, touched their lives. These young people began to go out to Wales and it's estimated that within nine months in that small country, one hundred thousand people were converted by the prayers and preaching of Evan Roberts and his young team. Churches were filled. The mighty revival swept through Wales. When a judge would try people, the judge would stop and pray with the criminals and the criminal to be converted on the spot. And he'd send them out to witness rather than sending them to jail. Many of the pubs or the alcoholic joints closed down on Saturday nights and the reason they did is they weren't selling any alcohol. And there is an interesting record of one pub owner that writes and it was published in the newspaper, he said, ‘I have had to close my pub because I always sold like 87 cents worth of alcohol all night. Nobody is coming because everybody's going to the prayer meetings.” There is a mighty revival. Now, there is a problem in the nation and here is what the problem was: the pit ponies that pulled the coal car down in the pits had to be retrained because they no longer responded to the commands of the miners. The miners were converted. They weren't cursing at the horses any more. So the horses wouldn't pull and so the revival even impacted the horses. Schools would stop three times a day for prayer meetings; largely the result of a young man who was seeking GOD in prayer. Now the real tragic story of this revival was Satan got involved in it and later it became emotionalism; but it really illustrates what GOD can do through young people who are serious about praying for the Holy Spirit.

 

One of the greatest things that could happen in GYC would be: GOD would send you from this place with a real burden for prayer. HE would send you from this place with the desire to seek GOD powerfully in prayer and that you would start youth prayer groups and adult prayer groups in your local church.

 

Now, the second prerequisite for the outpouring of the latter rain is an undivided heart. See, if we're not praying for the Holy Spirit, it's not gonna come; but as we pray for it,GOD fills us with the Spirit, leads us,and empowers us by His Spirit, does something through a witness that wouldn’t be possible. The second prerequisite for the Holy Spirit is an undivided heart. When GODhas a group of people whose main desire is to please HIM, they don't want glory for themselves, they do not desire first place, HE will then pour out His Spirit in abundance.

 

You remember what it says in John 8:29, let's read it together, “HE who sent ME is with ME. The FATHER has not left ME alone, for I always do those things that please HIM.” The great desire of CHRIST was to do what pleased the FATHER. Now, here is the problem that solves all problems - there's one problem in the Christian life, if you get it solved, you'll solve every other problem. Here's what it is. It's the problem of the human will. Once you solve this problem, the Christian life becomes much less complicated. Remember what Jesus prayed in Matthew 26:39, HE says, “If it is possible let this cup (let the cross) pass from me but not as I will but as (what?)you will.” So here is the basic problem? Who has the will? Who has the will? See, if I have not surrendered my will to CHRIST, I will battle with every new truth GOD reveals to me. HE reveals to me something that I've been watching in media that's not in harmony with HIS will, so I going to fight HIM about it. HE reveals to me something in the article of diet or an article of dress or reveals to me something in my deep inner attitude of pride, arrogance, reveals lust, if my will is not totally surrendered, I'm gonna battle GOD on each thing. I'm going to GOD, “Well, that's not that bad” and “GOD, look this is what that other person is doing;” but if my will is totally surrendered to CHRIST, all I say is “GOD, all YOU need to do is show me what YOU want me to do and I'll do it. See, I've already made the fundamental decision to surrender my life to YOU. I've already made the fundamental decision to surrender my will to YOU.All I wanna know is what YOU want me to do.”

 

Let me share a practical application of this. The names that I'm going to use are not real names; I've made them up purposely. And let's say they’re John and Kate. John and Kate were a young married couple in their 20's. They were having marital difficulty, arguing a lotlargely over finances. John and Kate couldn't control their credit card and so it seemed that when they wanted to go on vacation, they had a credit card they used it. When they wanted to buy a new car, they had a credit card and they used it. When Kate wanted to go shopping, she took the credit card and came back with a 560-dollar bills whatever it is. They built up about 15 to 20 thousand dollars in credit card bills. They couldn't pay their bills effectively. They didn't have the income coming in. They were arguing, fighting. Their marriage was going south. They attended a seminar on the Holy Spirit and for the first time in their life, something dawn on them that the Holy Spirit was leading them to make a critical decision and the decision was not to make any decision in their life, unless, they make any major decision unless they were certain it was GOD's will. And so they covenanted it in Holy Spirit seminar, on their knees as husband and wife holding hands, and the prayed a prayer something like this: “Dear JESUS, we feel convicted by the Holy Spirit that all we want is YOUR will and we know it's not your will for us to go deeper in debt so we make a commitment that unless YOUR Spirit impress us we're not gonna use our credit card. We are gonna get out of debt. We're not gonna be using that credit card unless YOUR Spirit prompts us.” As time went on, they were doing extremely well. They love skiing. And one day after ski season was over, they were in the mall and they noticed a big sign that said, “All ski equipment 50% off.” And they said, “This must be GOD’s will. Sale 50%, let’s go in. Let’s at least look.” So, they look at the skis. They had skis but they said, “Man, these are much better that the ones they have.” But then they said, “We're gonna need new ski boots too! And these are much better than what we have.” “But what if we get new skis and new ski boots, and we have our old ski jackets, we need new ski jackets too!” So they got everything, they were sized up to the skis, and they were making their order,and as they were going out, it was all going to be the price, you know, it was about five six thousand around their credit card, you know. So they came out, you know, so John took out the credit card, gave it the lady. And Kate looked at him. And he looked at him. And before they could go zit,zit, you know how it does that. You know. Kate said, “We haven't prayed about this.” So John said, “We haven’t.” He said to the lady, “Could you hold this for a moment?” And they went out in the mall, found a quite spot and they said, “LORD, not as we will, but as YOU will.GOD we're not looking for our will; we’re looking at YOUR will. We wanted undivided heart, all we wanted to do is please YOU.” As they prayed, they felt the deep conviction that they should not move ahead with the sale. They went in and then ripped off the order and told the lady, “We're sorry, maybe we're not ready to get that order.” They said later that's the first time in their life that they ever made a decision based on what GOD wanted rather than what they wanted.

 

How can you know you are generally converted? Here’s how you can tell. When your will and GOD’s will counters, you make the decision based on GOD’s will. If you only do GOD's will when you want to do GOD's will, you're not doing GOD's will; you’re doing your will. But when the tough decisions come, and you know in your heart this is what GOD wants you to do, and through that battle, you say, “GOD, not my will but THY will be done.” Incidentally, John and Kate said that it was the best years that they ever had. They used their old equipment. They only went when they could afford it. They’ve learned to get ticket ---which was cheaper for them. They saved the money; didn't put it on their credit card; and they said, “It was the greatest year.” They said that that decision changed their life.

 

What is GOD waiting for? HE’s waiting for group of people that seek HIM in prayer. HE's waiting for a group of people that say, “Not my will but THY will be done.” Each test is an opportunity to discover what's in our hearts. Every time GOD brings us to our task, it's not the thing that’s being tested on; it's the heart that we are being tested on. So every test is an opportunity to discover whether GOD is in our hearts. Spiritual power comes when you're connected to the Source of our Living GOD. Spiritual power comes when we are connected to the Source of the Living GOD. What GOD wants to do through your life is really amazing.

 

Testimonies Volume 8, p19 – “There is no limit to the usefulness of the one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.” There is no limit to the usefulness.

 

I was in South America, in the country of Brazil, any Brazilians here? Oh we have some Brazilians here. OK. You know, Brazil is an amazing country and I was in the country of Brazil and the conference president said to me, “I wanna introduce you to the leading soul winner in our conference. This man is a simple godly man with an undivided heart totally committed to CHRIST. He sent 1200 people to CHRIST. 1200 people.” And so I thought I said, “Man, I can't wait to meet this man. He must be a large strapping man, booming voice, must be a lay preacher. I can use this as an illustration.” I never thought he was a dwarf, a midget. And got on my knees, you know, to talk to him eyeball to eyeball because I want to straight as neck when he looks at me. And so I said, “I understand you're a great lay preacher.” “Pastor, I never preached a sermon in my life.” “You must give a lot of Bible studies?” “Pastor, I never gave a Bible study in my life.” I said, “What's your secret you led twelve hundred people to CHRIST?” He said, “You got to be three things, Pastor. Three things.” Are you ready to know the three secrets? Are ready to do it right now? Are you sure? All right. First, you gotta smile. Get ready we’re gonna be practicing here at GYC. You gonna do it like this and like this. You gonna do it, come on. Smile. Come on.  I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Every place I go out for the parade and I smile and then I get acquainted these people. I say, “How about coming to my house for a meal?” And then after to come to my house for a meal, I do this ---- pushing the power button on the D.V.D. player and this is really Pastor Finley your DVDs.” He said, “I smile. I make friends. I do this and I do this --- and we get small groups for CHRIST.” “Did that make you think when you started this that he would win 1200?” Well, he said, “There is no limit to the (what?) usefulness.” GOD is going to help you know what to do. I’m not telling you to put in Pastor Finley’s DVDs.” GOD is gonna help you to know what to do to win people to HIM. When we come to CHRIST and we say JESUS, fill me with YOUR Spirit and you are serious about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and when we come to CHRIST, putting self aside, longing to only please HIM, there is no limit to the usefulness.

 

I know a lady in India, in Chennai. She was blind. She is blind and she had her grandson or one of her children read her the Bible. She memorized all the texts like on the Second Coming of CHRIST. She would have one of the church members lead her to a home; she would knock on the door with her Bible and say, “I'm an old woman, could you help me read the Bible?” “Whose gonna turn that down?” Then she said, “I wanna study the Second Coming of CHRIST. I think there is something in Revelation 1:7, “would you read that to me?””Every eye will see HIM.” “What did that say again? How many eyes will see HIM?” “Every eye will see HIM.” And in Psalm 50:3, could you read it for me? I’m a blind old woman, I can’t read it.” “Our GOD shall come, and shall not keep silent.” “What will GOD do if HE doesn’t keep silent and what’s gonna happen when HE comes? Find it over in 1st Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, please.” “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. “ She then says, “Is there a rapture?” “Oh no, it says every eyes shall see it.” She has won soul after soul after soul as a blind woman getting other people to read the Bible to her. What did we just read? There is no (what?) limit (to what?) to the usefulness of the one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit in their life.

 

Now, the third prerequisite for the reception of the Holy Spirit is saturating our minds with the word of GOD. Who inspired the Bible? The Holy Spirit. When you read the Bible, you are filled with the Spirit that inspired the Bible. See, any so-called revival that bypasses Bible study leads us to a false emotional experience. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible inspires us we read the Bible.

 

Notice Psalm 119:25, let's read it together, “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to YOUR word.” ‘The souls clinging to the dust’ is a symbol of repentance and we are revived according to truth, GOD's Word.  “My soul by melts for heaviness; strengthen me according to (what?) YOUR word.” (Psalm 119:28)

 

Psalm 119:81, “My soul faints for YOUR salvation, But I hope in YOUR word.” The foundation of all true revival is the Living Word of GOD. Spirit filled lives are guided by the Word, instructed by the Word, empowered by the Word, sanctified by the Word, transformed by the Word.

 

A great shaking will come to Adventism and men and women whose minds and hearts are not anchored by the Word of God will easily be shaken out. Now, there are those who wonder about how GOD is gonna purify HIS church in end-time. When you look at salvation history, GOD called Abraham out of the larger body and HE led Abraham to be faithful to HIM. GOD called Israel out of pagan apostasy and HE led him to be faithful. GOD called New Testament Christianity out of Judaism and GOD formed a new Israel, a new movement. GOD called, after there was an apostasy in the middle ages, GOD called Protestantism out of nominal superficial Catholicism and Christianity. And as Protestantism didn't go far enough, GOD called Adventist out to be a remnant people out of the Protestant Reformation.

 

But here's the question: if time goes on, will the Adventist Church apostatized and will GOD call out a remnant from the remnant? That's the question. The Bible does not teach that there will be a calling out. It teaches rather that there will be a shaking up. Because if there’s a calling out, when does that calling out ever cease? So here is the answer to every offshoot that ever was or ever will be. And I wanna spend a little time studying with you in the last few moments of class - the Shaking.

 

I invite you to turn your Bible in turn to Hebrews, the 12thchapter. Hebrews, the 12thchapter, and you're looking there at Hebrews12: 25 and onwards. “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”

 

When did GOD speak that it shook the earth? Spoke from Mount Sinai. And what did GOD give HIS people on Mount Sinai? The law of GOD. Does GOD have an end time movement? Of whom it is written in Revelation chapter 12:17, “The dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with (what?) those who keep the commandments of GOD and have the faith of JESUS.” Revelation 12:17 says, “Here are they that keep the commandments of GOD and the faith of JESUS.” So GOD has an end-time law-keeping people.

 

Notice what it says verse 27, Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken,…”  What happens to those that are being shaken? They are what? Removed. That's why they are not the remnant because they are removed. “ as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.” What happens to the things that cannot be shaken? They remain.

 

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” 

 

So the Bible talks about the shaking and the sifting. Shaking and the sifting and let me illustrate it with a simple illustration. Let's suppose I have a big jar, OK, and that big jar has in it walnuts and beans. Walnuts and beans. And in the jar on the top, there are holes. And the holes are big enough to let the beans through, but too small to let the walnuts through. Do you picture this in your mind? So, there’s big jar, in it are what everybody? Walnuts and beans. And the top of the jar has what? Holes big enough to let the beans through but not the walnuts. So, let's suppose that I am shaking the jar. If I shake that jar up right long enough, the walnuts are gonna go to the bottom and beans are gonna be at the top, right? So, I have separated through the shaking, the walnut and the beans; but if I turn over the jar, I’m sifting like this, what's gonna come out? The beans. So picture the jar as the church. There will be a great shaking time now. And right now within the church, there will be people that are taking a stand within the church. There will be certain things that shake it; but then in the great test that comes, the beans are gonna go out, right?

 

So why are we not interested in an offshoot? The reason we're not interested in an offshoot is because they shoot off. They do not do what? Remains. So the remnant remains faithful.

 

Now let me share with you a few powerful references to put this in perspective from the writings of Ellen White on the whole idea of the shaking and that we're gonna look in the classes – the shaking out.

 

Second Selected Messages page 380. Second Selected Messages, page 380. Incidentally before I read that, let me read to Isaiah 41:16, it says, “You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away.” So that’s Isaiah 41:16, “You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away.” In other words, those that are shaken like the chaff are carried away. The wheat remains. Another good one is in Matthew 3:12, “His shovel is ready in the hand, and He will winnow the threshing. The wheat He’ll gather into His granary.” So, it's like a great picture: we have hurled the chaff up, the wind blows it away. The wheat stays, it's heavier than the chaff.

 

The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.—Selected Messages 2:380 (1886).

 

Now, Ellen White, Second Selected Messages page 38, “The church may appear as about to fall.” What does this say? “The church may (do what?) appear as about to fall, but listen. “But it does not fall. It remains” And what we call those that remain? The remnants. “While the sinners in Zion will be (what?) sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. So, the remnants remain. There is no remnant coming out of a remnant according to the Bible or the writings of Ellen White.

In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.

 

What are some of the things that shake the church? There are, down through the centuries, we/I can look at all of these from the Bible with you; but I'm just gonna mention them to you. Ellen White talks about four (4) basis classes that will be shaken out. First, those who love the world. You find this in the fifth volume of the Testimonies, page 8, “Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death...  In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church.”

 

Notice, it's an interesting statement isn't it? Those who have (done what?) step by step yielded to worldly demands. So do they yield to worldly demands all at once? There is a little compromise here, a little compromise there; and just pretty soon they're watching this T.V. program, absorbed with this on the Internet, this article of diet consumes them, they cherish criticism in their hearts, cherished pride, arrogance, lust; and so it happens step by step. The path of the slippery slope downward is a gradual path; it is step by step. And without them realizing it, they are praying less, they are studying the Word of God less, they are less committed to witness. And here is eventually when the test comes, the majority forsake us why? Because step by step, they've been yielding to worldly demands.

 

Now there is another group that is shaken out. The first groups that are shaken up are the worldly.  But did you know that Ellen White says that the conservatives will be shaken out. The conservative will be shaken out and that's a very interesting statement. And what is conservatism? The liberals are gonna be shaken out because they're too worldly. The conservatives are gonna be shaken out. Why? Well, here it is, volume 5 page 463, “The superficial, conservative class whose influence is steadily retarded the progress of the work will renounce their faith and take their stand with its avowed enemies.” So here, these groups of conservatives are very superficial. They are conservative in their understanding of doctrine; but their hearts are not broken with the living CHRIST. Their lives are not transformed by the grace of GOD. The fruits of the Spirit are not manifested in their lives. So they have a superficial conservative experience; but they are eventually shaken out.

 

Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures who receive the love of CHRIST. So who's going out? The worldly. Who's going out? The superficial. Who's going out? One more. Two more.

 

The Bible says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” Notice what Ellen White says. Those. (This is Testimonies volume 6, page 400). “Those who have had great light and precious privileges but have not improved them will, under one pretext or another, go out from us.” Those who have great light, those who thinks they're gonna stand. You know whose Satan has opened door to? The person who says, “I am never gonna leave.” You know what did Peter say? He said, “I'll never do what? I never deny YOU.” Do you have sweet oranges in Florida? You imagine, you are in an orange (You probably have not imagined that before.) Imagine you’re an orange. I’m gonna take you to the Disneyland of oranges. You’re ready to go? You’re an orange. OK. You're out there hanging in the Florida sun, getting an orange tan, becoming sweet. You’re become more orange all the time. You’re green at first and didn't look very healthy; but now you're orange. You weren’t very sweet at first but now you're sweet and you're hanging on an orange tree. And as you're hanging there, the pickers come and pick you and they put you in large trucks. If you ever travel to Florida, you see these big trucks going down the street with these oranges. These oranges are brought to a warehouse; it's an air conditioned warehouse. So you’re an orange and you are brought there. You say, “This is great. I'm brought to this warehouse.” The oranges are put on a conveyor belt and the oranges are bouncing on the wall of the conveyor belt going together. You say, “This is fantastic. This is the Disneyland for oranges, air-conditioned warehouse, and this conveyor belt, this is a beautiful ride. Now, when the oranges are just around the corner they come to a small set of holes. The set of holes are big enough for the great sea of oranges going through but not big enough for the big fruits. So, they go around the corner, all these big oranges separated from the smaller ones, and they sort them, the oranges.  The big says, “Those little oranges go through, too bad for them.” Around the corner you come and there are holes big enough for them to what? Big’s go through and they go through. And you say, “Too bad for those guys, they’re going to the end.” And right around the corner, there's a hole where the oranges go through right? Take heed for he that thinks he stand shall what? Fall. There is no way that any of us can get through the crisis ahead without JESUS.  Our salvation is always in CHRIST. HE is always our Justifier. HE is always our Sanctifier. HE is always the One who sustains and strengthens us. In CHRIST, the weakest saint can get through in times of trouble. Without CHRIST, the strongest believer will never make it through.

 

So who get shaken out? Three classes so far. The worldly, the superficial - the conservative, the self-confident, and fourthly, the compromising.

 

“The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth, and to sacrifice for God and His cause.”

 

The compromising. Ellen White says, Testimonies volume 5, page 50, "The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, (it will shake worse and worse) and all will be shaken who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth, and to sacrifice for GOD and HIS cause.” So notice volume 5, page 136, “To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the LORD, when champions are few - this will be our test.” To stand in defense of truth and righteousness…

 

Have you placed in your heart today that your only desire is to do GOD’s will? Deep within your life and your personal life, you know CHRIST. Is HE living within your heart? Do you saturate your mind with the words of GOD? There is not one reason for any young person or any adult to be lost. There's not one reason for us to be shaken out rather than remain. CHRIST is the Author of our faith and HE is the Finisher. Being confident of this thing that HE who begun a good work in YOU will finish it. If I allow JESUS, HE will finish the work HE started in me for the glory of HIS name. I will allow JESUS, don’t you? Amen. Let’s pray.

 

FATHER in Heaven, thank YOU so much that we need not fear when our life is anchored in CHRIST. Thank YOU for YOUR promise that YOU are the One who is the Author of our faith and YOU are the Finisher. Thank YOU for the glory of YOUR name, for the righteousness of CHRIST that you will finish what YOU have started in our hearts. We open our hearts to YOU just that. May YOUR loving grace change our lives. In CHRIST’s name. Amen.

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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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