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A Final Generation Part 1

Steven Grabiner

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Steven Grabiner

President, Outpost Centers International

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Recorded

  • February 2, 2019
    11:45 AM
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Thank you Curtis was beautiful. Morning everyone. So this morning during Sabbath school something that never happened before my voice just quit. It's back a little bit thanks to Nancy's cough drops I guess and whatever elixir is in them but this may be a very short sermon. Where you help turn to a scripture reading Let's read it and we'll go home. Before we do that again welcome to everybody that you hear glad that you each come to join us this Sabbath morning pray as Mike said that you will continue to visit with us make this part of your church home. Recently I was in Cuba and so I just want to show a couple of pictures I was at the seminary there and this is why my voice all of a sudden disappeared I was teaching about 9 hours a day $9.00 to $10.00 hours a day. Plus giving prayer meetings and just this morning it's like OK I quit. It was really good we had a great time there this is their main classroom Priscilla T.. Off to the side that's like one of the dorms and those 2 pictures with all those smiling faces are my students after the end of the class they did not look that way during the class as hard as it is to teach for a to 9 hours a day could you imagine listening to the same guy talking for 4 or 5 mean I know I'm interesting but. And that's what I said I said you guys have a hard time but it was a really good visit great trip great group of students and they send their greetings back to each one of you as well in fact they heard that there's going to be a mission trip youth mission trip to Cuba did you know that that this church is sponsoring a mission trip to Cuba Well now you do and at least they did the invitation there hoping that the group would come down for 2 weeks of possible be done organize things if we want to should be a great thing and if we could pray for the youth that would be going and think of ways to support them I think that would be a real blessing for them for sure. Some of you are are not really very familiar with 7 day Adventism some of your visitors some of you have been 7th Day Adventists for a very long time some of you were new 7th Day Adventists one of the classes that I taught there was 7th Day Adventist history and that was my afternoon class in the morning we went through the Book of Daniel and it was very refreshing to go through you know in 2 weeks the whole Adventist history I was reminded over and over again as how God has led the church and it's tremendously encouraging that God has a plan you know the sum they have in a church is a really unique and heavenly experimenting and by that I mean some Damast a nomination is the largest the 2nd largest denomination the world the 1st largest church is the Roman Catholic Church but our structures are very different you know the room Catholic Church is very hierarchical. Obviously the Pope the head of the church and cardinals and bishops and an authority in decisions kind of come from top down our church is very different We've had a lot of challenges but it's exciting to be part of this church and so in that light I wanted to discuss this topic which the Sabbath the next Sabbath be kind of a different sermon for me this is becoming another one of those heated conversations in the 7th Day Adventist Church in fact in March March 22 and 23 a friend of mine just sent me a flyer on this in California at the SAC central church there's going to be a meeting discussing this topic March 22 and 23 you probably have a live stream it Dr Don who used to teach at the seminary who lives nearby here now he's going to be there and Dr McNulty neurologist not too far away from others are going to be there as well. And they're going to be exploring this this topic and I just like to say that there's a lot of confusion or misunderstanding about this topic and so that's what I want to explore with you this morning but before we do I want to share this quotation with you it's from testimonies to ministers page $49.00 and it says the church in feeble than defective needing to be reproved warned in counseled is the only object upon the earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard and that's a really amazing thought the church and then what's the description about the church that in feeble defective needing to be reproved in Warrington counseled is what it's the place where God lavish is his law. Just like a few weeks back we looked at a shared a quotation about how we're continually sinning or we sin continually and yet God's love is constantly embracing us as well and he does that individually and he does that in relation to the church as a whole. You know that as I said earlier the church is an amazing experiment it's really his workshop and God's really trying to do amazing things as humanity and divinity interact so I have a question for you like how many of you had your lives changed in some aspect since you've known Jesus. And you know it's that's what God does right and he does it through the daily interactions of life that's the key point that all throughout Providence the Providence that God brings into our lives and jelly beans are in all of the transformations that's taking place which then isn't to many another amazing thought for me so as we kind of think through this or as we just think about conflict in the church and generally are questions in the church in general let's keep the big picture in mind the Church is an amazing experiment that God's doing but it's moving toward an end and no matter how weak a church or we feel like we are. In feeble old or defective we are the object of God's supreme regard but that love is for a purpose and that's always important for us to keep in mind that when God lavishes his love on us it's not simply that we could enjoy the benefits of that love but that we could be transformative agents of sharing that love with others. Now going to the topic final generation I said there's a lot of controversy there's been several books written on the topic by a number of different writers and next Sabbath will look a little bit more at that but this week I wanted to share some areas where everybody agrees and then look in the Scriptures and see if we can get some clear teachings so areas agreement I think everybody that's a 70 have been asked to I really hope this is true everybody has a 70 AD Minister agree is that Jesus is coming I mean we are yes everybody has that so we all agree that Jesus is coming and then by extension if Jesus is coming that means there will be a final generation so we agree on those 2 things and there's a few other things that people agree on and that's a few of these things are this there's going to be a special work of character change in order to live to see Jesus come something has to happen right so there's going to be a special work of character change and that Jesus in Heaven is trying to bring not change about in our lives right now and the last thing I think everybody agrees with is that the great controversy needs to end our lesson study this morning with the Revelation Chapter 6 and what's the cry that they say the souls under the altars where they cry out how long so there's this desire in the universe in our own hearts that the great controversy the cosmic conflict be concluded and one day that's going to happen so those are areas of agreement Jesus is going to come there is going to be a final generation that group of people is going to have something happen to them what Cheesus is doing in heaven now is at the center of it and it will bring the controversy to a close next week we'll talk about some things that we don't all agree about but let's look at scripture. Let's look in the scripture Revelation Chapter 17 and is this microphone sound OK. Revelation 17 verse 14. A beautiful passage and this 1st in a sense in capsule it's in summary for the great the ME The Book of Revelation Revelation 17 in verse 14. To save my voice when somebody read that please me. So if somebody asks you what the Book of Revelation is about you can just point to this verse this is what the book is about there's a war there's a conflict and it's in involves the lamb and the larger context is there is opposing force to God but the lay on is going to overcome a man because he is Lord of Lords King of Kings but he has a group with him and what are the characteristics of that group call chosen and faithful we've looked at this before probably a year or so ago but these are key characteristics the point I want to stress with you this morning is the overarching view is there is a battle between 2 opposing forces the Lamb on one side and Satan on the other side and then those with each one of them Satan has his followers the Lamb has his followers and those with the lamb are called by God they are chosen they respond to God's choice they choose as well and the are faithful they are faithful when I was in. Kuba one of the extra duty things they asked me to do was speak to a group of. Graduated students and they have a meeting one this was the 1st meeting of this year and so the teacher that was in charge asked me to speak on integrity so faithfulness was a key component integrity in lots of different areas of life we all are tested in different areas and I shared with those students that they're going to be tested in finances they're going to be tested in sexual relationships they're going to be tested in their pride they're going to be tested in beginning to coast and plateau those are areas that they get they will get tested and it's those are areas that each one of us get tested as well and how we respond Well the final generation is call chosen and faithful What else do we find about them out. Pardon me let me go back if I can do this there we go let's go to Revelation Chapter 15 revelation 15 you're looking at 2 small passages 2 smaller passages and then we're going to spend most of the rest of our time in chapter 19 Revelation Chapter 15 in verse 2 and it says this revelation 1002 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name standing on the sea of glass holding the harps of God So there's going to be a group of people all just as the Lamb overcomes there is going to be a group of people that do what better overcome as well they are victorious who are they victorious over. The beast what else his image the number of his name what does all this referring to. Why no we haven't started Revelation 13 in our Sabbath school class yet but you've studied it before what is all this talking about the beast and his image what's this describing OK false worship anyone else have you all lost your voices to. God's this is the conflict at the end of time right this is the issue of Revelation 13 you're not going to be able to buy or sell the whole world is going to have to worship in a certain way and this group of people overcomes this group of people goes through the final conflict they go through a time of trouble such as never once so the final generation their faith all the final generation is going to overcome the powers of the beast his image the mark of the beast the number of his name all of that they overcome that at the end and they are victorious in there to get to that point they go through a host of different situations again the whole world joining together to put pressure on them and then if you'll drop down with me to verse 8 of the same chapter revelation 15 in verse 8 and says there and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power and no one was able to enter the temple until the 7 plagues of the 7 injuries were finished no one's able to enter the temple what does that image mean. OK So it's it's a close a probation it's a shift in the ministry of which is this is doing he shifts from interceding to ruling and at that point there's no more intercession that does not mean that those people are left without the aid of the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit is going to be with his people but this is a clematis time they go through this difficult period and I have a quotation and like to share with you. Referring to what Travis just mentioned the book great controversy it says those living upon the earth scuse me those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the century above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator that means the intercession pauses it ceases and she continues through the grace of God through the walk everyone grace of God and what own diligent effort cooperation they must be conquerors in the battle with evil not only do they overcome the extra little pressures of the beast and his image but they also overcome the internal pressures that each one of us face. The tendency the the desire for evil that too often plagues each one of us but how do they do it through the grace of God and their own diligent effort remember a couple weeks ago we were talking about sanctification and justification and how long does justification cover us anybody remember I know this I realize when I ask you what I preached on a few weeks ago I realized like that is a big stretch to try to remember I'm serious I mean like who remembers what anybody said a few weeks ago. I do but. That's because I said it and makes a whole different dynamic I understand that but we were talking about justification and justification is applies to what part of our lives our whole life right once we're converted we need justification all the way until we see Jesus face to face there is never a moment when we do not need justification no matter how much we grow in sanctification we still need to be under the covering of justification there's never a point where sanctification takes over and we can say goodbye to justification ever we always need the character the righteousness of Jesus Christ but that is going to be so transformative for the final generation that by the grace of God and their efforts by their own surrender they are called in the battle with evil do you want that experience friends. You know one major question when people talk about the plain old generation that they often overlook is a how do I D. come part of the final generation sort of arguing about all these issues how do I become part of it and again this world is a workshop in which God in cooperation with our own efforts is making amazing experiments in the human heart angels are constantly surrounding us calling us to cooperate with God. Continuing on this is also from the book great controversy a tremendous book on the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus death until the 2nd coming if you haven't read it let me know I'll get you a copy it says this It is in this life we are to separate sin from us how the latter. Through faith in what. That is how we separate sin from us not by creating our chief not by digging in our heels but by believing that Jesus is able to do something for us through faith in the atoning blood of Christ our precious savior invites us to join ourselves to Him unite our weakness to his strength our ignorance to his wisdom and our unworthiness to his merits and that that is a description of justification but it's a justification also that has transforming impact in our life our own unworthiness to his merits our weakness to his wisdom ignorance his wisdom and our weakness to his strength his Lord So let's go to the last passage Revelation 17 describes the final generation their faithful their call chosen faithful revelation 15 the final generation is going to go through a time of trouble such as never was they're going to stand in the side of God without a mediator intercessor that does not mean they're on their own that does not mean their efforts are meritorious they are always under the grace of Christ and needing his covering a man at the same time their lives are being changed and that's what we need we need to understand that we're continually dependent on Jesus and yet he continually wants to make us more like him Revelation 1000. Let's turn there. And then Revelation 1000 we find the final saw him in the Book of Revelation there are 7 major short him sections this is the last one. And it really brings out a contrast between Babylon which was described part of me described as a woman and the bride so in this particular section of Revelation we have a great contrast between these 2 women Babylon represents those that are aligned to Satan the bride represents those that are aligned to Jesus Christ IS THAT CLEAR 2 groups that one versus the bride and at the end not only is there going to be a final generation of the righteous there's also going to be a final generation of the wicked obviously there's going to be a group of people alive when Jesus comes and that's what these 2 women represent the followers of their respective leaders at the end of time so as we go through this passage we we see that there is for how Louis is. Reminds us of the how will your chorus from Handel's Messiah all these different how Louis is and there are 2 main reasons in this passage for celebration What are they and why are they so important let's look at Revelation 1000 verses one to John to hear something like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying how learn salvation glory power belong to our God verse 2 Why what is the reason for the hollow. What isn't OK because God's judgments are chewing righteous and what else. He's judging the harlot finally remember Sabbath school class How long oh lord wholly untrue now is the time in Revelation story where that prayer gets answered This is the judgement on the heart of it which represents Satan and all the kingdoms he's used and all the oppression that is in this world and all the injustice that's in this world one day it will be judged Amen that is a wonderful good news that's the 1st reason for celebration but there's another reason for celebration and that is in verse 7 the reason for the celebration in verse 7 is the marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride has made herself ready so in this song there are 2 main causes one is God's going to judge and the other is the church has finally got her act together and that brings us to the final generation but let's continue a little further so let's look a little more closely verses 6 and 7. Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude just like you did in the 1st verse and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peels of Thunder saying this is the last hallelujah hallelujah for the Lord our God nipping T. on Nipper to meet the Almighty rains and the thought here is his reign has begun in the story of revelation this is the point where God's Reign begins he judges the heart of it and God's Reign is starting Why verse 7 you notice what it says in verse 7 let us do 3 things one of those 3 things. Be glad. Rejoice and. Give Him glory threefold praise let's be glad that's rejoice and give Him glory because as I said the marriage of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready for the throng right in Revelation 19 clearly represents the last generation final generation and it gives us some insights into what the characteristics of that group of people is going to be they are described as a broad who has many herself ready ready for what ready for the marriage now of course when people get married. You know I've never been a bride I've been a bride groom but I've never been a bride but. You know Brides pride usually are more preoccupied than bridegrooms about weddings is that true not entirely maybe I don't know how I mean maybe a bit more different but. Brides are generally more preoccupied than bridegrooms brides are concerned about everything OK. What are they really concerned about though. I get your concern about how they look at their wedding dress religious is really important isn't it they're concerned about the wedding dress they're concerned about how they look when their wedding day comes What's their main focus. Will the groom. You want to spend on that then. OK and she's concerned about why the groom is going to show up because she is she's ready for the groom and all that other ancillary stuff flowers is nice all this other stuff but she's really interested in the groom right. And the church comes to a point where her main interest is the groom and that's the point of the passage the bride has made herself ready she's ready and in Jewish tradition at this time in Jewish history the brides would weave their own wedding garments they would make their own wedding tunics and John draws from that imagery Let's continue here a little bit more the marriage has come let's look at this in more detail verse 8. The bride had 1st sorry verse 7 1st and the bride has made herself ready verse 8 it was given to her it was given to her Sabbath school class what was that was given what has 10 yes I'm talking about my Sabbath school class when I taught this morning I'm looking at you guys because you're the only ones I see there you are was given we kind of talked about this I told you I was going to ask you in the service what. OK God's done it right it's a passive tense it's called the divine passive it was given gold has given her something what has God given her look at it carefully what is God given her. That's what we usually say but that's not what it says look at the text carefully. It was given to her that she should clothe herself or that she should be arranged in other words what's given her is the opportunity to receive the white Rainman the wedding garment it was given to her translation I'm reading your American Standard it was given to her to clothe herself to are a herself. That is the cooperative emphasis that we looked at when the previous verses it was given to her to clothe herself with what fine linen it's interesting that in chapter 18 the harlot is also a decked out in fine linen but these 2 women are very different one or 2 followers of God and one are an apostate followers it was given to her to clothe herself with fine linen and the marriage is a very familiar theme in the he in the in the entire scriptures where garden wall is to be married to his bride to his church why him feeble and defective as it is it is the one object that he loves more than anything else and finally at this point in history when we're talking about the last generation the last generation reciprocates in some measure the tremendous love that God has for the church and says You want to be with me forever I want to be with you forever and that is a key element of being part of the final generation wanting to be with Jesus forever and when the church reaches that point that's when the marriage comes that's when the harlot is judged that's when God is able to fully reign in the bride is fully ready again it's given to her part of her preparation is clothing herself looks like I lost it sorry. I'm not sure it's OK. It's our part of her preparation is being clothed in the fine linen the 2 women as I said they're very very different one has been corrupting the earth the other is preparing for the wedding and the question for us to simply is which group do you want to be part of. Do you want to be part of the bride that is with eager anticipation looking forward to being with the bride groom forever. The quotation from a book it says this It is only when the church has the will to be faithful to God that God is declared to be sovereign in the Book of Revelation it's when the church decides it's going to be faithful to God It's in this part of the story in revelation that God is declared to be sovereign is another question is do we want to be part of that last generation we want to be part of that group of people that just want to live to be with the bridegroom that's what God's calling us to do on despite all the controversy around the final generation there is going to be a final generation there is going to be coming a 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and what you and I need to know for sure is that we need to fall deeply in love with Jesus Christ as the bride loves her husband and Christ object lessons page 415 says the last rays of merciful light the last message of mercy to be given to the world is what a revelation of His character of love and as I said earlier the importance of a final generation is not simply so that we can escape this horrendous world although it is pretty bad and getting worse that's not the point the point is that we can reflect the love of God that we have experience with other people as well and for thinking I'm going to be a final generation but I'm going to build walls and barriers so I can be you know protected sure we shouldn't be participating in sin but we also need to be our Gresley to fusing the love of God and sharing it with others that's what God is calling us to the children of God are to manifest God's glory. And when they do then they're part fully of the final generation final generation is coming Jesus coming Jesus is coming question is are we going to be ready are we clothing ourselves with the fine linen which represents Christ character his righteousness are we daily choosing to represent him in every action the final generation Well so do you want to be part of the final generation Here's how I learned to surrender every day by the grace of God and your own efforts the overcomers in your personal battle with evil learn how much he loves you and how much he is longing to be with you and long to reflect that seem inclusive drawing compelling love with everyone that you me that will form us into that generation let's turn to our closing him. Number $500.00 take time to be a holy. Fam. So we. Will. Meet. A. To use. A. Knife. There's he. Was. Meet God man. Was. Was. My. Father in heaven thank you for the tremendous love that you have for us thank you lot that you love us. With a never ending love in feeble defective weak needing to be reproved yet you still consider us the apple of your eye father made that love be transformative in our lives and knew we share it with others in Jesus' name in.

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