Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Mark Finley

5. An End Time Life Worth Living

Mark Finley

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 29, 2017
    9:15 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Copyright ©2017 AudioVerse.

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.

SPONSORED

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

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.

 

FATHER in heaven, we're thankful that we can study the principles of heaven. We're thankful that the road ahead has clear light, that we have a sure word of prophecy, that we've not followed cunningly devised fables, and I pray that as we study that more than information would fill our heads, but that JESUS would fill our hearts, that we would sense closeness to HIM and a deeper relationship with HIM. In CHRIST's name. Amen.

 

Now, most of you were here the last couple days and I wanna review some of the things we've been going over and focus on different aspects of them. This class is not designed to speculate about coming events. You remember the Bible says in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto (whom?) the LORD our GOD; but the things that are (what?) revealed belong unto us…” and His servants, the prophets. So we want to study the things that are revealed. There are those people who look at last day events and they speculate about what might happen and they come to you saying’ we have new light on the future.’ You know, I'm always concerned about that. GOD has given us enough light that is plain to prepare for HIS soon return.

 

And so let's look at some of the things we know. Where are we today? Where are we going in the last events? One of the things that we observe with our natural eyes is an increasing frequency of natural disasters. We notice that there are more tornadoes and floods and cyclones and hurricanes that are taking place. Have you noticed that worldwide, more tsunami disaster? Did Jesus say something about that? Matthew 24:6 and 7, Jesus said, “There will be wars and rumors of wars; there will be famines and earthquakes and pestilences…” What is a pestilence? How would one define a pestilence? A pestilence is a strange disease either on crops or on human beings that science at this point has not been able to definitely resolve. Have you ever heard of pesticides? Yes. Why did they use pesticides? Because there are pestilences. Have, 50 years ago or 100 years ago, were there very many pesticides that are being used? Not at all; but how many times they spray your apples today? Is there a great movement in America and around the western world on organic eating and are there dangers about pesticides today? So Jesus said, “There will be (what?) famines. There would be pestilences. There would be earthquakes” in Matthew 24:6 and 7. JESUS adds to that in Luke chapter 21, HE says “Men's hearts failing them for fear and looking at the things that are coming on the world.”

 

What should we expect as the children of GOD? JESUS said, “You are children of light and not of darkness.” And you remember Ellen White's very clear statement in which she says, “We who believe the truth should be watching for what's going to come upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.” So we see the steady tread of events. We look at natural disasters.

 

A second thing that we notice is world-wide instability. There's a certain instability, certain uncertainty in the world today. When you look at the economy of the Western world and you see America's national debt, that is, well over 18 trillion dollars, that’s just government debt that's not the corporate debt. And does the Bible talk at all about a rapid economic crash? Just take your Bible and look at Revelation the 18th chapter. Revelation chapter 18, there is an instability, an economic instability. You look at many of the nations of Europe, take Greece, Spain, Italy, very serious economic challenges that they're facing. Look for example at Revelation the 18th chapter and here is GOD's final call to humanity. Revelation 18:1, “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons…” Now notice verse 3, it's very interesting, “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…”  So Babylon representing fallen or false religion. She commits fornication, illicit union with the kings of the earth and they commit fornication and the merchants of the earth join her. So here you have a triumph for it. The political power is the nations of the of the world. The false religious powers of the world, Babylon, and the merchants of the world, the financers. But notice what it says as you let your eyes drop down even further; verse 7, “In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,...”  So here is Western society filled with secularism that leads ultimately to a union of church state in the financial power. And notice what the seventh verse says, “In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine…”  

 

Now as you go down and read that chapter, look at verse 14, “the fruit of her riches is gone” and look at verse 17, “in one hour such great riches came to (what?) nothing.” In one hour, that's a sudden financial collapse. Look at James the fifth chapter, the Bible teaches that there will be world-wide instability.

See, all of these are the setting for the mark of the beast because ever increasing frequency of natural disasters that will turn people toward GOD, there will be a true revival and a false revival. Worldwide instability where the economic bottom falls out eventually of society, turning people to say ‘what must we do?’

 

Look at for example James the fifth chapter. James chapter 5 again is a picture of the last days of human history. And here in James chapter 5, the Bible puts it very clearly when it says (James the fifth chapter) and in fact let's even go back a little earlier than that and a look at a couple passages in Scripture. Will look first at let's look at James 5 on the latter rain. “Therefore be patient brethren,” verse 7, “until the coming of the LORD and see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth waiting patiently until it receives the early and the latter rain. You also be patient, establish your hearts for the coming of the LORD is at hand.” So natural disasters, we've talked a little bit about world wide instability; but under the power of the Spirit, the gospel will be proclaimed.

 

Go back a little bit in the book of James and look for example at the fourth chapter of the book of James. Verse 13, the fourth chapter, verse 13 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” In other words, here people clinging to riches in the time of James and the Scripture points out as we did read in Revelation that they'll be a sudden economic total collapse. Indeed that is happening. James also says, “you rich men, weep and howl for your riches that have come upon you!” So what are we expecting? Natural disasters, worldwide instability. There is an economic instability.

 

But there's another uncertainty today. When you look at the number of nations that are developing nuclear weaponry, the world is unstable. Have you read anything about North Korea recently and the instability of nuclear weapons? Now the interesting thing that's happening there in just this last week is the real fear is biological warfare, chemical warfare mounted on some of those missile warheads. When you look at the Book of Revelation; go over to Revelation chapter 11.  One of the most poignant verses in all the Bible. Revelation the eleventh chapter and look at Revelation 11 and we're going to start there with Revelation 11:18 and 19. Revelation 11:18 and 19, “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that the should be judged...” When is that, the time of the dead? The coming of JESUS, right? Just before the coming of JESUS. “… that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great…” Now, notice that next phrase – “And should destroy those who (do what?) destroy the earth.”

 

 

A hundred and fifty years ago, did the human race have the capacity to destroy itself? 150 years ago? A hundred years ago did the human race have the capacity to destroy itself? With thermonuclear warfare, we can destroy life on planet earth today because if you ever had a major nuclear attack, it would not only devastate cities, I have read a Senate report on what a limited nuclear attack would do to America, even if it were limited. And the Senate report said because the United States government commissioned a major report on what would a limited nuclear strike do to America. What would happen would be not only would be there be hundreds of thousands of deaths with the immediate strike, it would interrupt the supply chain, so even people who were not immediately affected would be it would be very difficult to purchase food because we only have about three to five days-worth of food in our supermarkets, about three to five days. So a limited nuclear attack would totally disrupt the supply chain. In addition to that, it would affect the climate dramatically.

 

Now notice what Scripture says that CHRIST would come to destroy those who did what? Destroy the earth. So at a time that the human race was unstable. So you see these increasing natural disasters; you see the winds of strife beginning to blow; you see worldwide instability, with economic instability, political instability; you see instability in the area of nations with the whole threat of nuclear warfare. Have you heard anything about climate change? Have we discussed climate change in 50/100 years ago? No. And what's the real danger of climate change? It is the increasing temperatures of the world with the polar ice caps melting and as the result of that, the flooding of major coastal cities around the world. So there is this natural disaster and worldwide instability.

 

What comment does Ellen White make about natural disasters? What specific comment? There is quite a fascinating comment that she makes. She says, and this is Great Controversy page 589, “In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes, in terrific hail storms, in tempests, floods , cyclones, and tidal waves and earthquakes in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power.” “These visitations [what these? hurricanes, tornadoes, natural disasters] will become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.” So what can we expect? Greater natural disasters, greater worldwide instability. This will enable people to have a greater openness and receptivity to the gospel. So if there ever was a time for the proclamation of the gospel with power, we have entered into that time. Secular people are being awakened by the natural disasters, by the instability of our world, and that is going to increase. If ever there was a generation of young people that should prepare to give GOD's last day message to the world that generation is now because the stage is being set for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.

 

I'm amazed at what is happening even in our little church. In our church, in the last six to nine months, four very professional families walked through the door who had no contact with Seventh Day Adventists before and found us on the internet and said, ‘We have been searching; we have been looking; and we found you guys on the internet.” I was greeting at the door one day, and a professional couple came in, this man is a financial officer, a CFO for a large government agency in the Washington D.C. area. He and his wife walk through the door of the church. We greet them, “How did you learn about us?” “Oh, we were looking for truth.” And the wife said this, she said, just recently, three weeks ago, she was at one of our health programs, and I talked to her and I said, “Tell me your story again.” She said, “I was looking for meaning. I was looking for purpose. It was late at night, I was searching the internet and I don't know how, Pastor Mark, but I came across your programs on the Internet - Hope Lives 365” and she said, “I knew I needed hope. So I came, I watched it and something touched my heart and something moved in my soul and I went woke my husband up” and I said, “You gotta see this.” What, what do you say, dear?” “You gotta see this.” And she said, “We watched and we learned that you had a church here. We walked in.” They walked through the door of the church.

 

A psychiatrist in our city walked through the door of our church, found us through a friend on the internet. The other day, I was greeting at the door and I started talking to a man. And he gave me his card. I told you last time about him, from the State Department of the United States government, speaks multiple languages, been posted all over the world. His wife watched us when they were in Brazil on our Brazilian Hope Channel. She then moved to the United States, they're posted in Washington D.C., searched the internet and found us.

 

What's taking place? Thinking people sense that there are natural disasters, that there is worldwide instability that's taking place.

 

One day I was teaching in a school, not far from our church, and a man walked in, sat next to me, suit and tie, here's the first words out of his mouth, “I know who you are but you don't know who I am.” He said, “Let me tell you who you are, then I'll tell you who I am.” And so, he begin, he had searched me on the Internet. So he begins to go through the internet. “You are this, you are this, you are this.” Then he says, “Let me tell you who I am” and he told me his story. He came to the United States as an immigrant, had no education, got a little job, bought a small car, began to sleep in the back of his car, learned that if you want to get ahead in America, you have to get some education, so he'd sleep in the back of his car. He would go to the library, and to study all day. He had no high school education. After months of studying, he took the GED and passed his high school equivalency. Then he kept studying. He applied to Harvard University. He did so well on his entrance exam that he gets into Harvard. He took medicine at Harvard University; but that wasn't enough for him, he graduated and got a PhD from Harvard as well as his medical degree. He became a teacher at one of the major, and I won't name the university, one of the major universities in Washington D.C. that he became the president of one of the larger universities there. He said, “That's who I am and let me tell you why I’m talking to you.” I said, “Yes.” He said, “How much do I have to pay you to work for me?” First time ever met him. I said, “What do you want me to do? I'll work for you but I'll do it for nothing.” I said, “I won't take a penny.” He said, “I want you to motivate students.” He said, “I've studied you on the Internet, you know how to motivate students.” He said, “I want you to motivate my students because I'm the president of the one of the largest community colleges in America. Will you come and teach students if they're getting a C and D how to get a B and A?” And I said, “I'll be happy to do it.” So, I began going to his university and they would put a banquet hall for the students and the students would come in. And you know what I taught them? I taught them the Adventist Health Message. It was amazing. I tell them, “OK, you want to.” I said, “I am not here to tell you what to do; but if you wanna take your grades from a D to a C, this is what you do, study for 45 minutes, you go take a walk for 15 minutes and you repeat what you've been going over.” I talked about oxygen to the brain, red blood cells to the brain, then we talked about Mrs. Finley's granola and eating more Vitamin B, you know, and we get them a good diet, we talked to them about alcohol. And I took all the studies of alcohol, you know, 140 universities have studied alcohol. It's amazing and you can correlate how much a student drinks and the grades they get. And so I said, “Look, what do you drink is up to you but I’m just gonna tell you I'm here to help you get better grades. You want that C to go up to a B, then you don't drink, you know.” And so, then I ask them, “How would you like to get on an airplane with the pilot walks on like this, you know?” You know, he's half drunk and the pilot walks on the airplane, you know. He can't think clearly because drinking affects the forebrain, conscience, reason, “Oh how I ever get to this, I gotta to go back to teaching coming events. Alright.”

 

There is an opportunity we have today with the natural disasters, the world wide instability for the proclamation of the Gospel. The seeds you sow today are going to be come to fruition tomorrow. So this is our time.

 

Now, if you were the devil, that's not very good if you were the devil, if you were the devil and you saw it, you were creating these natural disasters as much as GOD allows. You see this world wide instability, you see openness to the proclamation of the Gospel, what would you do? You will palm off a false Revival. You would do two things. You would work within the Adventist Church to create a Laodicean complacency, so people are half asleep. The second thing you do within the churches is bring in heresy and get people fighting among one another. Because you know there are natural disasters, you know worldwide instability, you know there is an openness, so you try to do two things: (1) you try to accomplish something within the church called the shaking to get as many people out and (2) shake the Adventist Church, you bring liberalism in, on the one hand, you bring Laodiceanism in, on the other, every wind of doctrine would be blowing. You would create in addition to that false revivals in the world. Why? Because you'd want to bring people to the final test. GOD would allow Satan to do that because as the final test comes, people either would receive the seal of GOD or the mark of the beast. And when they settled their conviction, the latter rain would be poured out and the Gospel could be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

 

Let's talk a little bit about false revivals and what the devil is going to try to do through those false revivals. Now, we're going to talk a little bit about the shaking of Adventism. I just introduced this momentarily yesterday; but I wanted to go back to it again today and look at the shaking of Adventism. Some of the things you need to be aware of, that the devil is going to do in the light of some of these false revivals. And so we're gonna go over to this aspect of the shaking of Adventism. And what the devil's gonna do? How he's going to try to shake some people out? And so, how he's going to work powerfully to accomplish those goals?

 

Now, we should not be surprised at what Satan is going to do because he has done this down through history. I'm gonna look first at the New Testament. In the New Testament, did church and state unite? They did. You had the Roman Church, the Roman state; there was a union. In the New Testament, did the apostle Paul, was he in prison that time? And I wanna look at some lessons from the New Testament.

 

We're gonna first turn to 2nd Timothy 2:14 – 19, 2nd Timothy 2: 14 - 19 and I want to compare, I wanna show you four different things the devil is going to try to do in the last days of Earth's history, to get people out of God's true church.

 

Second Timothy, we're going to look at chapter 2. Second Timothy chapter 2 and we're gonna look at verses 14 through 19 [2nd Timothy 2:14 – 19]. And as we look at that, we're gonna talk about just how the devil is going to try to get people out of GOD's church.

 

Let's look first, but let’s get to the setting. Let's look at First Timothy chapter 4 then we're going to go to 2nd Timothy; but 1st Timothy chapter 4:1 [1st Timothy 4:1], “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” What period of time is this? First Timothy 4:1, what period of time is it? The latter times. Now the Spirit says, what spirit is? That the Holy Spirit. And He's explaining to us that in latter time, some of them to depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits. If they depart from the faith, what do you know about them? They used to be in the faith, that's right. So here are people, so the devil creates a shaking where some who are in the faith leave. One of the reasons they leave, some as they fall for the false revivals; some fall to heresies.

 

And I wanna look at four agencies that produce the shaking. The first is 2nd Timothy chapter 2 [2 Timothy 2] and we're gonna start with verse 15 [2 Timothy 2:15], “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, [I wanna do that, don’t you? How you are approved to GOD?] a worker that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In other words, know the word of the Living God. So, a shaking will come to Adventism. Why is GOD gonna allow that shaking? HE's gonna allow that shaking because HE is about ready to pour out HIS latter rain.

 

There will be natural disasters that will increase worldwide instability, that will increase, that will prepare the way for the proclamation of the Gospel and GOD's final move. But the devil seeing this will shake the Adventist Church and we're looking at for aspects of that shaking. Now notice, God invites us to rightly divide the word of truth. Now notice verse 16, 2nd Timothy 2:16, “But shun profane and vain babblings…” What is a vain babbling? A vain babbling is openly proclaiming something that GOD has not said and taking what GOD has not said and making it a divine test of truth and thinking that everybody else who doesn't follow that is an apostate - that's what vain babbling is all about. Now we go down and this becomes even more interesting. “They will increase to more ungodliness.” In other words, vain babbling is taking what GOD has not said defining that as truth, bringing that as a test into the church, it divides the church, and it only creates ungodliness. Genuine revival leads us to prayer. You are not the Holy Spirit's brother neither are you the Holy Spirit's assistant. YOU ARE JESUS’ assistant. Some people think that they are the Holy Spirit and that they are to convict the church and everybody in it of what they have done wrong. And so here I remember I was getting up to preach once and I was sitting in the front row and a guy handed me a note. This is what the note says, the note says this, “Cry aloud, spare not, tell Israel my sins, their sins.” So he sends me that note. I write on the note on the bottom, “Isaiah also says, comfort ye, comfort ye, my people” and I sent the note back through him. Alright. We're going now to verse 16, “But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, …” What is the apostasy of Hymenaeus and Philetus? And was that impacting the Adventist Church today? Now notice what it says. The message of Hymenaeus and Philetus is like a what everybody? Like a cancer.

How many of you want cancer? You’re just praying every day, “O LORD, give me that.” But what is this message of Hymenaeus and Philetus? It's like what? Cancer. Wouldn't it be interesting to know what that message is? I'm gonna contend to you today that the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in a various number of ways, that there are those both on the liberal right liberal left and the conservative right that are introducing that heresy. Now, let's look at it. What is that heresy? It says, “They have strayed concerning the truth.” So were Hymenaeus and Philetus in the church? Where they in the church? Yes. And what did they stray concerning? The truth. Now, what was the truth? “Saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless, the solid foundation of GOD stands sure…” Now what did they say about the resurrection? They said the resurrection was what? Past. Were they right in declaring that there was a resurrection? They were. They would talk about the resurrection of the dead incidentally. Where they right in declaring that there would be a resurrection of the dead? Where they correct? What was their problem? Somebody said it, I heard it. The timing. Their problem was the timing. So what is the error? What is the error of Hymenaeus and Philetus? It is misunderstanding the timing of an event. Are any of those people today, we have any Hymenaeus and Philetus that say when you look at the Book of Genesis for example these are long ages; and you know, maybe GOD didn't mean that the days of Genesis were 24-hour periods. “Oh, we believe in creation but this is just thousands of years and this was just the way that Moses expressed it.” Is there anybody today that says, “You know, I'm not sure about the timing of the 2,300 days, why that could be reinterpreted in different ways. Whoa, we believe, sure; but do you have any of the 2520 people coming along in the area of timing? Any of those kind of people? What is the cancer of Hymenaeus and Philetus? It is taking things that GOD has said were sure and making those the test of truth in introducing them into the Adventist Church and dividing the church to accomplish Satan's goal so that the proclamation of the Gospel does not occur.

 

Now notice what Ellen White says. We're looking only at point 1. How will the shaking take place? They'll be false doctrine introduced into the church. Ellen White is clear. She says this, Testimonies to Ministers page 112. Now what book is Ellen White writing? Testimonies to Ministers. These are the testimonies to Adventist Ministers. This is what she says, “When the shaking comes by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers anchored nowhere are like shifting sand.” So what do you find? These are surface readers. They read the Bible surface-ly. They don't have any solid anchor; no biblical foundation. There are a pastors like that unfortunately among us. There are administrators unfortunately among us. There are church elders like that unfortunately among us. There are laypeople unfortunately among us. And what is gonna happen? False doctrine will enter into Adventism. False theories and as it does, they will embrace it as reality and truth. Why? Because they are surface readers. They have not saturated their minds. Remember what Great Controversy says, “Only those that have (what?) filled their mind with the Scriptures will stand through the last great conflict.” Notice this statement - volume 5, page 80 – “The days are fast approaching when they'll be great perplexity and confusion. Satan clothed in angel robes will deceive if possible the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. The only solution is to have your mind filled with the Word of GOD.” So there is, the devil is gonna shake HIS (GOD’s] church and there will be heresies that come in. There will be false revival that will come in.

 

Now that the first thing we've noticed in this great area of the shaking is this idea of false revival. The next thing that we want to notice is in, we've also notice that there will be false teachings that come into the church.

 

Now the next thing I want you to notice is that the Bible talks about miracles in the last days of Earth’s history. Take your Bible please and turn and we’ll just look at one text because of time. I want you to look at Revelation chapter 16, Revelation chapter 16. And we're gonna look at the Revelation the 16th chapter, Revelation chapter 16 and you go to look at Revelation 16 and you're gonna look there at verse 19 or verse 14 rather. Revelation 16:14, it talks about the battle of Armageddon. And Revelation 16 start with about verse 14, the reason I say about is that much of my Revelation is ripped out of the Bible and I have to do it by memory and so as the result of that I don't see what this. See this page is ripped so I'm kind of looking. Somebody says, “Why don't you get rid of your old Bible?” I've been married to my wife 50 years and I’m not getting rid of her, right? This Bible and I have travelled around; it's a little rumpled and wrinkled. I won't say anything more. But yeah, we stick with the old. Alright.

 

Revelation chapter 16, it's in verse 16. Somebody help me here. “They're the spirits of demons.” Yeah, okay. “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs” Yes. They go to the kings of the earth and they do, what do they do? They gather them. What else they do? They're working miracles, right? Working miracles. So what is it that eventually, what is it that eventually leads the kings of the earth, the merchants of the earth, and the false teachers of the earth together? It's false miracles. It's false miracles.

 

Notice, what Ellen White says about spiritualism. This is one that requires a lot of study, maybe not a lot of comment. I think this is one of the most shocking statements in the writings of Ellen White - Second Selected Messages page 380, “Satan will work his miracles to deceive.” Can Satan work miracles? (Yes) Does Revelation 13 teach us that? (Yes.) He caused fire to come down from heaven, does great signs and wonders. Does JESUS say that in Matthew 24 – signs, wonders, false prophets. Does Revelation 16 say that miracles are gonna bring us Armageddon? Yes. What about Revelation chapter 19 verse 18 to 21? It talks about the miracles are those that lead them to accept the mark of the beast. “So Satan will work miracles to deceive. He'll set up his power supreme. He will make people sick, then suddenly remove from them his satanic power and they'll be regarded as healed.” Isn't that just like the devil? Is that what the devil does? He makes people sick that he removes his power. Now listen to this sentence: “These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh Day Adventists to the test.” These works of apparent healing… What should we expect in many Adventist Churches before Jesus comes? We should expect an emotional form of religion that ramps young people up based on music and emotionalism that is very light fare when it comes to the prophetic proclamation of GOD's word that actually dumbs down the intellect of youth and believes that all they can handle is an 11-minute homily that's a nice story rather than deep Biblical preaching. I will say to you unequivocal that that dumbs down young people and you're far more intelligent than that. Far more intelligent that the heart of youth today is longing for deep biblical teaching.

 

We should expect natural disasters to increase. We should expect worldwide instability. We should expect the greatest opportunity for youth to proclaim the gospel in the world that's ever seen; but the devil becomes so angry that he’ll introduce false theories; he will introduce false counterfeit revivals that are based on emotionalism, that are based on feeling good rather than being good, that are based solely on the gifts of the Spirit rather than manifesting the fruits of the Spirit. We seek the fruits to reveal the character of CHRIST and GOD gives us the gifts.

 

Will GOD perform miracles? HE will; but HE will perform miracles for young people who are on their knees pleading with GOD, seeking repentance of sin, and saturating their minds with the Bible. We can expect that there will be false revivals that the devil brings.

 

So how does this shaking come? First, by erroneous theories. Secondly, by false miracles. Thirdly, did all this happen in the days of the apostle Paul? In the apostle Paul, Hymenaeus and Philetus false, heresies. In the days of the apostle Paul, were there are again miracles that were worked by false miracle workers? Sure. Paul contended with this. And then there's a third area of the shaking. See and it’s this. Here's your third area: in the light of Laodiceanism, those who are not deceived by false doctrine, those who are not caught up in false emotionalism, there are many who will go out because they love the world and that's what Paul says as well and I'll read it to you again and Ellen White.

 

I'm showing you what shook the New Testament church and parallel is gonna take place. Look at 2nd Timothy 4. See when you look at the New Testament, the things that shook the New Testament church are gonna once again shake GOD's movement today. The same issues the church is gonna face- 2nd Timothy chapter 4 and you're going to look here at 2nd Timothy 4:7. Paul is making a strong appeal. He's in prison. He says, “I fought a good fight” (2nd Timothy 4:5) Paul says, look at verse 5 first, “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Look at verse 9, “Be diligent to come to me quickly for Demas has forsaken me having loved this present world.” Was Demas with Paul? Was he a trusted compatriot of Paul? (yes) But his heart was not there. Are there those people within the church today who are here but they're not here? They’re social Adventists. They don't understand the urgency and the heartbeat of our mission.

 

Turn to 1st John. First John, what took place in the first century will indeed take place again. 1st John 2:19. 1st John 2:19, what took place in the first century will take place again. Now, we're gonna look at verse 18 and 19. John says, “Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the anti-Christ is coming, even now there are many anti-christs that have come.” What does it mean the anti-Christ, capital, and many anti-christs?  The anti-Christ represents, of course, in its purest form Satan. He is the one who is against Christ or anti / “another” Christ.

 

As you look at Revelation 13, the anti-Christ principle is one when any human being exalts their authority above the authority of GOD. So the papacy that exalts its authority above the authority of GOD is a visible manifestation of the anti-Christ principle in thinking it can change GOD's law from Saturday, the seventh day, to the Sunday, the first day. What does it mean that many anti-christs? Any time an individual exalts himself above GOD, that's the anti-Christ principle.

 

But notice the next verse. It says, “They went out from us.” If they went out from us, where were they before they went out from us? With us. “But they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” Isn't that an amazing passage? Are there those people today? What does Ellen White say? “We must stand in defense in truth and righteousness that when (what?) the majority forsake us.” Are there those with us today in body but they are really not Adventists truly in their hearts. They don't have that heart beat passion and understanding of the prophetic nature of Adventism. They are with us, but they are not (what?) of us. And what is Scripture say? What is Ellen White say? That that third class will leave like Demas.

 

So here are four classes, we need to move because our class is going on. OK. There are four classes: class no. 1, they'll be shaken out by false theories; class no. 2, they will be shaken out by false miracles; class no. 3, they will be shaken out because they love the world; class no. 4, they are the conservative Laodiceans, they will be shaken out through Laodiceanism and they will be shaken out. You can read that of course in Revelation chapter 3.

 

So what do we expect? Natural disasters, famines, insecurity, worldwide instability, economic disasters, threat of nuclear war, great opportunity to proclaim the gospel, Satan sees that he begins a mighty shaking. Some are leaving by false doctrine; some are leaving because they love the world; some are leaving because they are emotionally caught up in miracles; some are leaving just because they're Laodicean and that they can't stand the test. All this is taking place, the proclamation of the Gospel, false revivals. Ultimately the test comes over the mark of the beast or the seal of GOD. As men and women make their decision either to receive GOD's seal.

 

Now what is the seal of GOD? Let me read you the clearest statement in the writings of Ellen White on the whole subject of the seal of GOD. And she defines pretty clearly what the seal is. And before I read that though, I want you to take a look at Ephesians. Ephesians chapter 4 and we're looking at what? The seal of GOD. Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 30. Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of GOD by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as GOD for CHRIST sake has forgiven you.” Now notice what it says, “Don't grieve the Holy Spirit by which you are sealed” When a person is converted, the Holy Spirit begins to work in their life in a process of sealing. So is not an act, it is a process like a potter, like a potter shaping clay, GOD is shaping us and molding us; but there will come a point when you shape clay that is shaped and you have to put it into the oven to be fired. When you put it into the oven to be fired, the clay is hardened and you cannot change that ceramic after that without breaking it.  So from the time you were converted, the Holy Spirit is working in your life to shape you and mold you. As we go through the test and make the decision for CHRIST, the Holy Spirit seals us. So he that is righteous, let him be (what?) righteous still; he that is holy, let him be holy still; he that unholy, let him be unholy still. So at the test, men and women either receive the seal of GOD or the mark of the beast; but never think that the sealing is a final act that takes place here. The sealing is rather a process that culminates there at that test.

 

Now, how do we define the Sabbath as the seal of GOD? There is a difference between the seal-ing and the seal. There's a difference between the agency of the sealing; the Holy Spirit is the one that seals us. The sealing is a process. The Sabbath becomes the visible manifestation of the seal at the time of the test. The Sabbath is the sign that we are settled into the truth and that we cannot be moved at the time of that test.

 

Now, in the fourth Bible Commentary page 1161, it says this, “Just as soon” and this I think is the clearest statement in the writings of Ellen White on the sealing. It’s fourth volume of the Bible Commentaries 1161, “Just as soon as the people of GOD are sealed in their foreheads, (it is not any seal or mark that can be seen but a settling into the truth both spiritually and intellectually so they cannot be moved). “Just as soon as GOD's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking it will come.” So the shaking starts actually back here; but the great shaking takes place at the time of the test.

 

And what is the seal of GOD? It is the settling into the truth, so intellectually and spiritually that you can't be moved. How does that happen? The only Spirit works in our life as that decision is made for CHRIST in eternity. A great shaking takes place in a great separation because there are those who at the test receive the seal of GOD, those who receive the mark of the beast. At this point, the latter rain is poured out because many don't understand the issues though the early rain has been doing its work, the Holy Spirit swells into this great culmination. And it's not that we wait for some great super manifestation; but GOD gives us more and more of His Spirit to proclaim the gospel from the time of the test to the close of probation. You make get a lot of speculation about how long that's going to be; the truth of the matter is “the secret things belong to the LORD our GOD.” The truth of the matter is we don't know. I'd rather spend time emphasizing what we do know than speculating about what we don't know. What we do know is that GOD longs for a people to reflect HIS image. HE longs for a people to repent of their sin. HE longs for people to be open to receive HIS Spirit of the latter rain. HE longs for people to be committed to proclaim the gospel. When every human being has made their decision, probation will close, and the plagues will be poured out.

 

Now, I want you to take your Bible and turn to Revelation 15 and Revelation 16. I have about four minutes I think; what time is this class supposed to end? Oh my! I have four minutes to cover CHRIST and the seven last plagues. But I know we can do it. This is a good class. What I want to show you in the next four minutes is this: where do you find CHRIST? I wanna show you CHRIST in the plagues. OK. So, and I want to show you that the plagues are not arbitrary acts on the part of GOD. Revelation 15:1, I’m gonna move quick. Revelation 15:1, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is the wrath of GOD complete.” What is the wrath of GOD? The wrath of GOD are the judgments of GOD; not the anger of GOD. Now there are those who believe you will be raptured before the plagues, the Bible is clear verse 8, chapter 15 – “The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of GOD and from HIS power, no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.” Could anybody enter the temple before the plagues? No. So, you know clearly that you're not raptured before the plague because you can't enter the heavenly temple before that. It says it clearly.

 

Now when you look at those plagues; sores on the body, rivers turn to blood, sea turns to blood, sun scorches man, darkness on the seat of the beast, you say, where is JESUS and where is HIS love? Let me show you. OK. Verse 1 and 2, “then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of GOD (the judgments on the earth.) So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth and a foul loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worship his image. Sore from head to toe, a physical affliction, what did those who passed the mark of the beast say to those who would not receive it? They said unless you receive the mark of the beast, we are gonna physically punish you? You will be beaten, you'll be in prison and we’ll physically punish you. What does the first plague say? The first plague says to the whole universe, there is only physical security in CHRIST. There is no other place for physical security except JESUS.

 

Second plague, “then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea and it became as the blood of a dead man.” If anything like that ever happened, if every living creature died in the sea, what would that do to transportation? What would that do to economics of the world? The economics of the world would collapse immediately. If every living thing died in the sea, if there was no sea lanes and transportation, if no oil could be transported, if no food could be imported, the economic bottom would fall out.  What did those who enforce the mark of the beast say? They said, unless you follow us, you cannot buy or sell. What is the second plague say? All economic security is in CHRIST.

 

The first plague says all physical security is in CHRIST.

The second plague says, all economic security is in CHRIST.

 

Third plague, third plague, what does it say? And this is where you get your key in the third plague. The third angel, verse 4, poured out his bowl upon the rivers, they became blood. And I heard the angel say, “you’re righteous, O LORD… because YOU gave them… They shed the blood of saints and martyrs, gave them blood to drink.” What did they say when they passed the mark of the beast? They said, we’ll physically punish you, number 1. They said, number 2, you can't buy or sell. They said, number 3, if you don't receive the mark of the beast, we're going to do what? To you kill you. So what is the third plague say? Our life is hidden with CHRIST in GOD.

 

So the plagues are a corollary to the full system of the world. All physical security is where? In CHRIST. All economic security is where? In CHRIST. Our life is hidden with GOD where? In CHRIST.

 

What's the fourth plague? What happens in the fourth plague? The sun does what? The sun scorches men in the fourth plague. So, down through history, Egypt – Amon-ra, Babylon – Bel-Marduk, Persia - Mithraism, sun worship, and what have they done? They've said, they’ve passed a Sunday law. And so what is the fourth plague say? All true worship is in CHRIST, in the Bible Sabbath.

 

Where, what about the fifth plague? What is that fifth? Oh you know that's one. Fifth plague? Darkness on the seat of the beast. Where is the darkness on? The seat of the beast. What did they say? Look to the papal power for what? Light. But JESUS said in John 8:12, “I am (what?) the light of the world.”

 

So the first plague says, all physical security is where? In CHRIST.

Second plague says, all economic security is where? In CHRIST.

Third plague says, that all what? All of our life is in CHRIST.

The fourth plague says what? All of our worship is in CHRIST.

The fifth plague says what? All of our true light, JESUS the light of the world, is in CHRIST.

Sixth plague, battle of Armageddon. What do they say they say? Join us our armies, our armies are powerful, but what is Armageddon? It is the final battle between good and evil. It says, all deliverance is in CHRIST.

 

The seven plague says, CHRIST triumphs overall, the hailstones fall from heaven.

 

Here is the good news of Revelation: CHRIST wins, Satan loses.

 Your physical security is in CHRIST today. Your economic security is in CHRIST today. Your life is in CHRIST today. Your worship is in CHRIST today. Your true light is in CHRIST today. You are on the winning side; deliverance is in CHRIST today. And one day, HE will come. JESUS will win, Satan will lose. Hallelujah, let’s pray.  

 

FATHER in heaven, we thank YOU that we can go from this place knowing with the assurance that JESUS CHRIST is the One who will redeem us at last, that all of our true light, all of our true worship, all of our economic security, all of our physical security, all of it is in JESUS. We thank you for that. In CHRIST's name. Amen.

 

--------------------------------

This message was recorded at the GYC 2017 conference: ‘Arise’ in Phoenix Arizona. GYC, a 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.

Share

Embed Code

Short URL

http://audiover.se/2FuWoiI