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Revelation's Endtime Message

Mark Finley

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God's goal through the ages from creation through the Dark Ages and now.

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • June 25, 2019
    7:30 PM
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It's a joy for my wife and I to be with you here at you Chey pines I think it's significant you pine celebrates its 50th anniversary and can you believe we have been married longer than you cheap Pine says been in existence. I must have married my wife very very young. But we are delighted to be with you we have always enjoyed the fellowship that we've had with our supporting ministry institutions down through the years and although I serve as the assistant to the president of the General Conference of 7th Day Adventists my heart really as elder Wilson's heart is is with our laypeople and our pastors and our institutions that are so faithful to Christ and that have carried that banner and that torch of truth high through the years. I want you to come back over the centuries over the millenniums to a rebellion that took place in heaven over 6000 years ago. Any change will created in the image of God. Developed in his heart in some mysterious way that pride that led him and one 3rd of the angels to repel the center in that controversy the central issue in that kind of verse in this into go lactic warrant that developed in this cosmic controversy between good and evil the essence of that is is God worthy to be trusted does God have the best interest in mind for all of his created beings is God a vindictive judge is Erath full tyrant is the one that wants to exact love and not give. That controversy was transferred to earth God created a magnificent earth and Desi did he put all the elements in Earth for those creatures that he created in in his image to sustain life and health but to do much more than sustain it to give them the most abundant life and it was there in Genesis that when God created this world that he gave to his earthly creatures pure air as a gift of love that they could breathe he gave them the best in nutrition and they were able to eat from the plant based diet in Eden fruits nuts grains and vegetables a loving creator a new the best fuel for his creation a loving Creator gave them pure water that was unpolluted and the brooks dance through the land he gave them the Sabbath as a day of rest from their useful labor that they would have in the garden all those essential oils for a wellness were given in that garden Lucifer came there to interrupt the companionship that Adam and Eve had with one another in their companionship with got because within that garden God placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and it was they are in that garden that Satan came he came to disrupt the relationship between God and His creatures he came to offer them something that he claimed was better than what God gave now in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve the gift of choice and choice is a God given gift it creation. I'd like you to take your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter one because in our presentation this evening we're going to travel from the Book of Genesis down through time throughout the Old Testament narrative through the New Testament narrative and we're going to travel to end times and we're going to look at what is one of the major themes of the Bible if not the major theme of scripture and we're looking there at Genesis chapter one and you're looking at verse 26 Then God said Let Us make man in Our image according to our likeness let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth so God created man in his own image in the image of God He created him male and female what does it mean that human beings were created in the image of God Well it means somebody says physical image that's quite limited isn't it must be much more than that what does it mean that human beings are created in the image of God where dogs and cats created in the image of God What do you think. It must mean it least that we have the ability to think it must mean at least that we have the ability to intelligently communicate with words it must mean that deep within our hearts God created a longing for worship it must mean it at least that we have the ability to love because creation in the image of God is has to be the ability to love and you cannot love one you do not know neither can you love one that you do not respect. And so the image of God given in the Garden of Eden God created human beings to appreciate the gifts that he had given them to make positive choices to live in harmony with those gifts he created them as worshipping beings who would find their greatest joy in his worship into that garden a fallen angel came in the form of a serpent if God would have taken the freedom of choice away from Adam and Eve. Satan would have said there you've merely created robots you've written merely created mechanical beings it is like taking a computer chip and putting it in a child's head. And then controlling that computer by programming them to obey every single day so the child would wake up in the morning and say Mommy I will eat my oatmeal Mummy I will clean my room Mommy I will help you make gluten States today you see. How would you like a child like that that every night you programmed exactly what they would know raise your hand to quickly please. But you see we wouldn't want children like that would we a computerized puppet robot child God didn't want that either so God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose that choice is the essence of being human Genesis chapter 2 verse 1617 read it with me please and the Lord God commanded the man saying Of every tree of the garden you may freely lead but of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil You shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die and God says my way of life is better for you. As you make choices to obey you will be more like me and reflect my image the tree of life represented all that was good positive healthy and life giving the tree of life represented all those positive choices the Tree of Knowledge of Good needful represented the poor choices with their negative unhealthy wife destroying practices so before Adam and Eve There were there were 2 choices will I choose daily constantly to participate in the tree of life that brings vital is a shin that brings in figuration will I trust God that God knows what's best for me so the issue was trust or will I. Listen to the voice of the evil one and make those poor choices and receive negative unhealthy life destroying practices God's commands are never arbitrary and God's commands are always life giving I love the way it's put in the book of Deuteronomy it will read shortly all God's commands were given in love to preserve our health and ensure our happiness God's commands are never a legal listicle requirements given by an arbitrary god that wants to force us into submission God gives us the freedom of choice he presents before us the way of life in the way of death and he invites us to accept his way of life because his principles bring the greatest joy and the greatest happiness read with me to run before verse 40 you shall therefore keep his statutes and His commandments which I command you today that it may go well with you and with your children after you and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time so when we follow obediently out of the flow of the commands of Christ that are written both in the moral law and written in every nerve in tissue in our bodies when we do that God says I'm giving those to you that it may go what with you well with you and that it may do what prolonging your day is in the land which the LORD your God has given you for all time when Adam and Eve see in. They opened a door that God wanted for shut after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree they were filled with guilt and anxiety because sin produces things I have seen produces fear scene produces suffering in sickness and disease and sin ultimately produces death so what is the goal of the Gospel the ultimate goal of God throughout the Old Testament in the New Testament period is to restore man into his image and the uniqueness of 7th Day Adventists theology that is unique from all Protestant religions is this. 7th Day Adventists recognize that human beings of sea and and the image of God is marred in the human race so Adventists believe. That God has a divine plan to restock or eat the human race in a sinful wicked world back into his image emotional e mentally spiritually and physically so the message of health intrusted to the advantage church as a divine gift from God is not merely so that we will live 7 years longer or 10 years longer or 12 years longer it is to restore the human race back to the image of God Now we live in a sinful world where that image can only be partially restored but that's God's ultimate goal after Adam and Eve see and in the garden. Juries went on and the wee kid Nyssa of this world became so great the God destroyed the world with a flood. But after he did that Scripture tells us that God was raising up a new generation that would honor him and you have Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the 12 sons of Jacob and the nation of Israel arises and God had a divine plan for Israel and did God's divine plan for Israel was that Israel was to witness to the haven nations around it they were to reveal the loving character of God they were to reveal the beauty of Heaven's way of life there. Joseph came in captive by his selfish brothers to Egypt and as you see the story of Israel and the story of Israel's being called out of Egypt eventually and wondering in the desert you also see God's love thing kindness in the desert to Israel in preserving their health you remember a see Israel one 3rd there in the desert God gave to them clouds to cover that he protected them from the scorching sun god rain manna down from heaven they wanted the world's diet of quail in meat but God rain manna down from heaven and it says the 18 jewels food and all the nutrition necessary was in that manner just as God in the Garden of Eden gave to Israel a diet that contained all the nutrition necessary God miraculously put it in that manner now the something I was thinking about just a few weeks ago a few weeks ago I was out at the Red Sea and we came from what we believe to be Israel's crossing of the Red Sea We came up through the desert to Mt need both in the you know you have Amman Jordan that's name for the M. and knights they lived in the Amman area then you have the Moabites then you have the IJA might so we took that journey. The desert was hot it was scorching hot and I thought how gracious God is to provide shade but then I thought about the manna in a way I had never thought about it before let's suppose you're going through the dirty desert with the sand and the man of falls on the ground gets all dirty you going to pick it up and eat it. You going to pick it up you know what I think God did I think he put a layer of man a down 1st. And then he put the next layer that they were going to eat and that 1st layer just rotted and melted in the sun I think God is so gracious that he thought about everything in providing for their food the Israelites way of life was to be a different way of life than the Egyptian God promise to give his people abundant health Exodus 15 1st 26 if you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what's right in his sight and give ear to his commandments and all his statutes put none of the diseases on you which I brought upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord who heals you so notice he doesn't say that the manna would heal them but as they made their best efforts to follow his principles his healing power would be in their body. Now does that mean that if you and I follow meticulously the principles that God has given us will never get sick Are there any issues beyond our power of choice that sometimes can bring disease sure there are environmental issues that sometimes we have no control over we do the best we can to eat the best proper diet we can but there are pesticides we hope that we are not eating too many but most of us some time in our life of imbibe some pesticides there's air pollution there's water pollution think of those people in Flint Michigan who were drinking polluted water and they may not have thought anything about that they thought they were drinking the water that was good right so there are environmental aspects think of our friends who lived not far from the chair noble disaster in Eastern Europe and the toxicity that came into their bodies because of that think about the child the baby that is born of parents a mother who has HIV did the child choose to be born HIV positive was that the child's choice not at all so there are environmental factors there or heredity factor it's so you say if there are environmental factors and heredity factors why indeed then should we do everything possible to keep our bodies and health there are at least 3 reasons I'll give you number one you build your immune system in your reduce the risk of these diseases and if there's a way to reduce the risk I want to do that don't you Secondly health is gives glory to God we add years to our life by following a health message so that we give more glory to God But there's something else too. Physical health impacts mental health and God doesn't communicate through your big toe we communicate through your brain so the more we get out and exercise and oxygenate our brain the more we drink water in purify our system the more we eat healthily the more our minds can be in touch with our creator God had a plan for Israel to demonstrate his way of life so Moses gave to Israel immutable health laws in the Bible says some $105.00 verse $37.00 that when they followed these health principles what does it say there was none feeble among his tribes God honors us when we step out in faith to follow the health principles written on every nerve in tissue of our bodies recent archaeological discoveries help us to see the contrast between the Egyptian way of life and heaven's way of life there as Israel camped in the wilderness there was a vast distinction between the way they lived and the Egyptians lived Incidentally the desert gets cold at night therefore God gave them the pillar of fire to warm them isn't God so gracious he gave them a cloud by day they got to exercise and as they walked the rain manna down a plant based diet came from the throne of God and the angels of God worked with our Heavenly Father to produce the right chemical formula for manna so it would nourish their life and be tasty I wish I had that formula today. Now you remember that it God said to Israel Exodus 25 Verse 8 let them build me a what sanctuary that I might do well among them so there we have the same jury service established. In the CT the sacrifices were offered then the blood was taken to the holy place but in the most holy place there were 3 things that were place there. In the Ark of the cousin it what were those 3 things that were in the ark of the covenant the law of God there Aaron's rod that budded and the part of manna God's law reveals his immutable moral law Arians fraud that budded was placed there against the rebels and it's a sign of submission to divine authority submission to divine authority the authority of God's people his leadership in his church the man who was placed in the most holy place why as a reminder of the Israel that God had provided the best diet for them today we look to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and we see the appeal of the Living Christ who was there before the throne of God as our great high priest there in the glory of God we hear the appeal that through Jesus Christ we can obey his moral law and be changing transformed we are the appeal to respect authority and we are the appeal to follow God's divine health message that is there now Israel attempted to do that and they were in good health when they did but let's go to Egypt some of the more recent in the last few 100 years and I will come up to the 1990 S. into thousands with these discoveries as well. The rocks are crying out today and we are seeing more and more of ferric vacation that's God's way of life as best it was in 798 that Napoleon attacked Egypt he brought with him 100 scholars and linguists as they were digging in a place called Rosetta not far from Cairo they came across an amazing archaeological find that we now know as the Rosetta Stone there are a set of stone was written in 3 languages the it was written in the hieroglyphs the top language demotic Now that's not demonic it's demotic which is a curse of Egypt and Greek in the bottom Why was this discovery so significant and how does it impact your life and mine which it does It was significant for this reason nobody up until this time could understand I recall a fix so you see all this picture writing on the pyramids what nobody understood what it meant but when you see the Rosetta Stone written in hieroglyphics demotic in Greek. The scholars could understand the Greek therefore you have the linguistic key to understand the hieroglyphs now Egypt should hieroglyphs a very very interesting and I'll tell you how they discovered it if you look at this picture of the Rosetta Stone if you're careful in your observation you're going to see something different in one word so I want you to look carefully Is there anything you may know nothing about hiring don't neither do I but what is there different about one word. What did you say there's a circle around it that circle was called a cartoon so when the scholars were studying it they said there must be something special and if we can begin to decipher the hieroglyphs in that circle we might be able to look at the cursive writing and we might be able to understand the what the hieroglyphs mean because we can't understand the Greek. Up until this time nobody understood of course Egypt and Iran clippings there's a very brilliant French scholar whose name John Francis Schumpeter home and Schumpeter whom. Said You know what I'm going to take a guess and he was right he said what I'm going to guess is this I am going to guess that within that circle that cartouche are the kings names and he was right so he took the Greek language he gave then unlock the mystery of the hieroglyphs and when he could figure out those he began working on others he worked from the Greek and then the pyramids began talking to us we could now understand those hieroglyphs Incidentally the Rosetta Stone is housed in the British Museum it's if you're ever in London Be sure to go by and it is one of the most amazing discoveries in history why does this speak to a generation living at the crisis of the close of this or is history why is this discovery somewhat relevant to you cheap pines here is why once you could understand the hieroglyphs and they began talking to you you could then begin to understand something about the lifestyle of Egypt up until the 18 hundreds and on through we didn't know ferry much at all about the lifestyle of Egypt but now we have discovered the ancient Egyptian health records and this is what they reveal degenerative diseases killing numerous Egypt ssion leaders and I'm going to show you tonight some absolutely amazing new discoveries on its studies on the Egyptian mummies confirm the truthfulness of God's word. Now the ARA to. Preserve the mummified bodies of the road for thousands and thousands of years and now they have uncovered thousands of these mummies the shallow burials afforded natural mummification in ancient Egypt now how were mummies done well 1st you drain all the fluids out of the body then you take all of the organs out except the heart because they believed in an a judgment called the weighing of the heart and by the feather God much but you take all of the organs out you know how they got the brain out they got the brain out this way they did hydrate it and they took it out through the nose that's the way they got the brain out there when they took these organs out they put them in what was called cannot pick jars and all the internal organs except the heart were removed so you can study them you can also take an autopsy of the mummies and you can look at their veins in arteries of mummies that are that are thousands of years old you can do X. rays of these moments and you can see what they were dying of the truthfulness of God's word comes act going down the course of time Dr Rosalie David Manchester University of Manchester England has done autopsies on these mummies she spent a lifetime on it doing a top seeds on the mummies trying to figure out what did the Egyptians die of. Dr Corder roof a a French Mint has X. or a 14000 mummies What did they discover Now remember God gave Israel adequate exercise he gave them the clout he gave them fresh air he gave them the man a diet that's what he gave in the Garden of Eden what did we discover about the Egyptians in the later dynasties among the Egyptian royals they were dying of heart disease they had diabetes they had obesity largely from a lifestyle Here's RAMSI is the 2nd Do you know they've discovered Ramses the 2nd Mummy how would you like to see tonight Ramsey is the 2nd veins and arteries would you like to see him. Know you want to say. I just show you a picture of him I don't have him here. It's likely that RAMSI is the 2nd of Egypt died of a massive heart attack look at ancient Egyptians suffered hardening of the arteries C.T. scan show here's some more arteries we're going to come back and take a look at Ramsey's later so they've taken C.T. scans of these mummies The study was conceived by Dr Gregory Thomas a cardiologist at U.C. Irvine after he read the name plate of Mare Pharaoh man after in the Museum of the ancient take when he's of Cairo look. This man ran up to died at 60 years old and this what they discovered he was plagued with are 3 arthrosclerosis arthritis and dental decay because he had so many calcium plaques Now here are the veins the arteries of Ramses the 2nd what you notice here is the plaque ing and the lack of ability to get the blood flow through what's going on see all of God's commands are for our good and when you look at the commands of God. There for a good what God says is to keep us in good health but the archaeology confirms the truthfulness of God's word this is hat shipshape what do we know about have shattered she was Moses is what stepmother Moses stepmother but she lived in royalty queen have church it was likely the Faroes daughter who raised Moses' most a stepmother she was married to Moses too and look do you know they discovered her mummy and this what they did C.T. scans and D.N.A. testing on had Chechens mummy revealed obesity diabetes liver cancer and death in her fifty's. What was going on back there nanny of the same lifestyle diseases they did an autopsy on a young a Gyptian by the name of necked he revealed the presence of trick a Gnosis parasite and what Egypt just believed because they were heavily eating pork. Were these commands that God gave us some legal listicle requirements because he doesn't want you to have the joy of eating a juicy piece appearing. Was that would that would God was doing what was God saying God was saying I want you to live the most abundant joyous life possible oh I want to restore my image in you physically mentally and spiritually what with the Egyptians dying of heart disease cancer arthritis obesity high blood pressure rheumatism parasites and S T D's are sexually transmitted diseases this is in the later dynasties certainly not among the common Egypt sions but among Egyptians royalty now in Israel there has been quite a controversy over the existence of David there are 2 major university. In Israel one is is tell of Eve University and the other is Hebrew University in Tel Aviv University there is there the liberal scholarship and in the liberal Jewish scholarship this what they say they say David never existed and David is more like King Arthur in the roundtables he's a fictitious figure and and we cannot there was no historical evidence for David Hebrew University says look we take the Old Testament narrative as Jews just like it reads We believe in the existence of David I'm going to show you some archaeological studies that demonstrate the existence of David and then I want to show you how that relates to health which is really fascinating 1st of all go to the north tell day and tell day and it's in the north I was there just a few weeks back and climbing over these rocks and so forth now when you go to tell Dan it's really interesting because just before the gate of Tel day and they were Escovedo entail day in and tell simply means a mound it's a hill that's built on other civilizations when they're escalating tell day and they came across an inscription in the inscription was so incredible that it made the front page of The New York Times tell day and the archaeologist discovered the inscription for the 1st time outside of the Bible. Historical archeological evidence that David existed and we call that the David stealer and here it is a picture of it of course and it talks about David and the House of David the house of dude House of David King of Israel. Now it was discovered in 1903 in 1903 a dramatic find confirm the historicity of David King of Israel a team of archaeologists digging in northern Galilee found a remarkable inscription from the 19th century B.C. you know David existed in 9th century B.C. just before that that refers were both to the house of David into the King of Israel David founded Dan this was such an exciting discovery that parliament stopped in Israel such an exciting discovery that it made the front page of The New York Times now incidentally in the 2000 as they've discovered another little silver amulet that has David King of Israel as well so we have confirmatory evidence the discovery was sensational enough to make the front page of The New York Times the inscription shows that Israel and Judah were important kingdoms in the 19th century front page National Geographic The search for king david new discoveries in the Holy Land now that the National Geographic is not known for religious journalists it anything but but yet there have been new discoveries here is the one that is really significant that has really significance for 7th they have innocence that curb it coauthored now curb it. Was the Jewish settlement where David. Left to meet Goliath OK so the curb it chaos that is in the ill of valley and this is where David battle now our team from Southern advantage university with Dr Michael Michael and I have done scores of television programs together we've done many many archaeology tours together but Southern evolution of versity worked with Hebrew University excavating this site. How do you choose a site to ask of 8 1st Samuel 171 to 3 at the Philistines gathered their forces for war assembled them at Sukkot in Judea they pitched the camp at F. THIS DAMN HIM between Sukkot and his acre Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah So if we can find out where a Sukkot is we find out where his think it is we can look across from that across the valley and we can try to determine where Israel was they drew up their battle line to meet the Philis times the Philistines occupied one hill the Israelites another with the valley between them so here's the valley right here so here is Sukkot on this side as a kid is over here you see the valley in the center and there was a place there that was never Escovedo we believed it was curb it cut off so to excavate that you had to take out 2 100000 tons of stone you missed 820-0000 tons of stowed How do you know this is a Jewish site well you Escovedo it you look at the ruins of the gate this is exactly the same kind of site the gates that had sore same kind of sites that look quiches which are Jewish sites so you're pretty well knowing when you begin to reconstruct the city architecturally it is a Jewish city also the swords that were discovered these are called the Caiaphas swords the Jews always had round swords the Philistines always had straight swords so you're pretty well sure you're on any Jewish site. Then you begin to look at the kind of food so you look at gas where came from you look at as a can you look at Akron say what kind of food was discovered there what would you expect to be different the most obvious difference in a Jewish site and in a Philistine site What's the most obvious difference. Was that poor So if you're ask of a ting in Khirbet Caiaphas what would you expect not to find pork if you're ask of aiding in goth in Akron what would you expect to find OK here's what we found Here's what they found in Akron and got there were 15 to 30 percent pig bones. Incur bit of chaos for no pic bones none 0 but I do have to tell you about Beth Seamus there must have been somebody in apostasy there because it was a Jewish city made from point 01 percent. What is this telling us it is telling us that God had a way of life and he wants to restore his image in us. It's telling us. That when you look at the big trays they would bake bread they ate natural diet they weren't pure invention Tarion in these days of Israel but they lean very heavily to a point based diet they had figs they had dates they had nuts they had grain a lot of barley a lot of the wheat grape juice we know that from many of the ascriptions that we can read and from the baking dishes as you look at scripture Lucifer cast out of heaven comes to earth says to Adam and Eve God is keeping the best from you Adam and Eve make that choice and enter into rebellion against God But God has one goal and that's to restore his image in man and so into this wicked sinful world the Messiah comes but the time of Jesus there are over 30 kinds of fruit that are flourishing in Israel 30 kinds more fruit and you travel to Israel today and you see the tremendous agricultural land particularly in the north part of Israel the lush grapes in the wonderful UN fermented grape juice in the great grains in the barley is in the we see in the the fruit it was God's plan even in the days of Christ that Israel reveal his love and grace Jesus came really for 3 reasons number one to reveal God's Love to all mankind number 2 to live the life that we should have lived to die the death that we should have had to free us from the condemnation of guilt not only of Adam's sin Barone sin and thirdly Jesus came not only. To be our substitute but he also came to be our example he came to reveal a way of life of obedience to the father's principles and war is the Isaiah 61 verse one says The Lord is anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor he sent me to heal the broken hearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and to open the prison to those that are bound and those words come echoing and react when down the centuries to us tonight Christ comes to give liberty to those that are captives to to their diet those that are captive to over eating those that are captive to alcohol and tobacco those who are captive in their are sugar hall X. and that are captive to sweets and dessert see Jesus comes to proclaim liberty to the captives to opening the prison to those they're bound Jesus wants to open the prison door to give us that abundant health he came as our example our example of love and life in Jesus walked through the middle eastern land of Israel and walked through the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem and he provided forgiveness and grace and mercy and he touched the eyes of the blind and they were opened in the ears of the deaf and they were and stopped in the with the demands are many reached out again so Jesus came to reveal healing he came to reveal what the father really wants for the human race that's why John 10 verse 10 says Jesus that I've come to give them life and give it what more abundantly Jesus desire is that you and I live in this sinful world life to the fullest that's why he broke the loaves and fishes and gave them their that wonderful he fed there he met their physical needs on the hillsides of Galilee. Christ revealed to his disciples. That he had given them that mission that mission to go to the ends of the earth with his message of physical mental emotional and spiritual healing he was sending them out in that vein as these disciples went out the Christian Church grew rapidly the disciples went to the ends of the earth and the Christian church exploded in its growth Let me give you some figures that may be helpful to you the population of the 1st century Roman Empire was about 60000000. The disciples met in the upper room and actually chapter one and you remember how many people were met in Acts chapter one in the upper room you know 120 right so what's the ratio of 120 to 60000000 is about one in 500000 so basically there's about one Christian there probably were more but I use that one in 500000 as clear as we can tell by the end of the 1st by the after 40 years of the book of Acts most sociologists of Christianity tell us that there were 1000000 Christians in the Empire In fact if you look at Acts 23000. If you look at Acts Chapter 4 there were 5000 and you look you continue through the book of Acts you see thousands and thousands coming to Christ one Roman writer wrote this You Christians are everywhere your in your army is your in our Navy is your in the market place in shops you are in our Senate in universities are everywhere now recently a book has been published that is beginning to turn the Christian world on its head and. Because we've never seriously looked before at the impact of the health message that that is such that the New Testament Christian church bore we've looked at the Book of Acts and we've seen the fact that there were miracles that were worked but what about the 2nd century the 3rd century why is it that Christianity grew so rapidly in those centuries Rodney Stark has just written a monumental work called The rise of Christianity and he's gone back to the primary sources and studied the growth of Christianity from the death of the apostles to the 3rd 4th century and I want to read you some historical statements that are really amazing this is Dionysius and diet and dining E.C.S. writes a lengthy tribute to the heroic nursing efforts of the Christians many who lost their lives while caring for others an epidemic came through the Roman Empire in 8260 so die and he says this most of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty never sparing themselves thinking only of one another heedless of danger they took charge of the sick they attended to every need they ministered to the sick in Christ and with them departed this life serenely happy for they were infected by others with the disease drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors in cheerfully accepting their pains many in nursing in curing others transferred their death to themselves and died in their stead. Why did Christianity grow so rapidly because these Christians were so moved by the love of God They were so moved by unselfish service that during the plagues they would out they gave water treatments hydrotherapy they nursed the sick and they took upon themselves their diseases know what about the heathens Listen to this here is the 1st 2nd 3rd centuries would die and he says the heathen pagans behaved in a very opposite way at the 1st onset of disease they pushed the sufferers away fled from their dearest they threw them into the roads before they were dead they treated the UN buried corpses as dirt hoping thereby to avert the spread and contagion of the faithful faithful disease so the pagans would take their own loved ones and throw them into the streets and watch him die but the Christians would minister and take upon themselves the amazing possibility of disease now the Romans right and. Here is is Turtill Ian is writing in his apologies and he's talking about why is it that Christianity is growing so rapidly it was not merely because they preached the message it is because they lived in the message here's tr to wing it it is our care of the helpless our practice of loving kindness that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents only look they say how they love one another now here's another one that's really interesting the early Christians I'm quoting acting in obedience to Christ began to care for the poor the sick and the marginalised so Alienware their charitable acts and so self sacrificial their lives right in the Stark says that the Romans referred to them as the 3rd race. The Romans the pagan Romans talked about these Christians and they said they're from another planet they must be the 3rd race Oh that the Spirit of God would so fill our hearts. That we would step out in faith. In self sacrificial living so that Adventists would be called the 3rd race there is nobody like them in the world now nothing could stop the progress of Christianity in the 1st century and the 2nd in the 3rd so the devil knew that he had to do something and what did he do he brought in compromise because he saw that the New Testament church was rapidly growing he saw that there was a biblical message of truth being presented and that was being lived out in the life and so the devil brought in compromise we have the union a church and state and we have that period known as the Dark Ages but there in the 12th hundreds God begins to raise up a new generation it begins to raise up somebody called the somebody a group of people called the world ends or yes now the world in Sian's fled from the population centers of Europe they fled from north up to northern Italy they came to Southern France here is a hidden while dancing in village these were densely and young people were educated there in these mountain hideouts but then they were sent to the great universities of Europe they were they hand copied the Bible here is in a regional here and copying table of the world dances that they used in the 12th and 13th centuries they would copy the Bible by hand their mothers would slow would so them long flowing robes they would put their Bibo portions in these robes and go down they would go down as merchants but every single one of the world densities had a medical missionary training every one they weren't physical medicine they even learned surgery there's some interesting historical information probably one of the leading scholars in the world is Professor Alford vouchers. And he says that he's quoting an early wall densely in document and he says this Moreover the greatest part of the world densities gave themselves to study and the practice of Physical Medicine and Surgery and here in they excelled thereby rendering themselves the most able and skilful physicians of both soul and body they had much experience in medicine and surgery and in these arts possessed amazing secrets wonderful in their simplicity you see the world in seas used the 8 natural remedies to help cure to see seek God's had a goal after the length of the Dark Ages God was going to restore the fullness of truth to an end time generation in which he wanted to send out to the world in a loving kindness so that the image of God could be restored in man so we see the world densities part of that that nurturing of this restoration of the image of God Think about John Wesley great Methodist preacher Adventists find their roots in Methodism did you know that John Wesley began to establish schools for Christian education he began to establish hospitals what one of the best selling medical textbooks on natural remedies came from John Wesley's hand in fact Wesley what many people don't realize is that Wesley became a vegetarian now let me read to you a letter that John Wesley wrote to the Bishop of. He wrote it to the Bishop of London and here's a letter that Wesley writes for the Bishop of London it's really interesting he says see Wesley believed in resorting the image of God to men he believe that human beings were physical mental emotional and social beings so he writes to a friend in the 1700s it will be a double blessing if you give yourself up to the Great Physician that he may heal soul and body together in unquestionably This is his design he wants to give you both inward and outward health so Wesley becomes a vegetarian $1747.00 he writes to the Bishop of London thanks be to God since the time I gave up the use of flesh meats and wine I've been delivered from all physical ills once he writes that the Bishop of London begins to spread it around. When he does the other college women say Wesley's illegal list Wesley's all legal list so Wesley says I don't want to cause any offense he goes back to eating meat he gets sick goes to his doctor who is a very wise man and the doctor says Wesley I don't care what those preachers say you keeping that meat and those sweet Pods and drink it a little that wine you are going to be sick all the time go back to your vegetarian diet he does and his health improves what is god school gods goal from Genesis through revelation through the dark ages to today is to restore the image of God in man the Bible teaches that we're whole persons that God wants to save us completely physically mentally emotionally and spiritually take your Bibles police and turn to 1st. Thessalonians chapter 5 What is the ultimate goal of the people that are living at the crisis of this quote the world's greatest crisis at the close of this world's history what is God's will to make goal 1st Thessalonians Shapter 5 7th Day Adventists understand that salvation comes through the cross of Calvary that in Christ there is no condemnation but we also understand that the Christ that died for us lives for us as our heavenly High Priest We also understand that Jesus along this for us in a sinful wicked world to reveal his image and his glory to a waiting world in a watching universe so we find in 1st this only in Chapter 5 verse 23 Now May the God of peace can you read it with me please May the God of peace himself sanctify you holy or completely sanctify you holy or completely May your whole spirit that your mental attitude your soul that your spiritual nature and your body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ so Paul says that the great goal of the gospel is that mentally space physically and spiritually we are preserved until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ the 3 angels messages that are go to the end of the Earth are a proclamation of the everlasting gospel which is given by God to restore in us his image but yet as we look at scripture in full on our needs we say God I feel so far short in so many ways. How is it possible for your image to be restored in me how is it possible in a sinful polluted generation for that really to happen Philip in chapter 4 verse 13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me every command is a promise given by a loving God and every command has within it the possibility of keeping that command because all of his biddings are enabling and he that is begun a good work in you will do what finish it because he is the author and the finisher of our faith here in Philippians 413 it says I can do all things through through my will power through my strain because I I believe I can know I can do all things through Christ who does what strengthens me if I'm struggling with some habit who's the one that's going to strengthen me Christ if I failed in the past who's the one that's going to forgive me and change my life Jesus but without him I can do how much nothing so without Jesus my efforts are what in vain so here to vital principles without Christ you can do how much everybody nothing with Christ how much can you do all things that's why Jesus says Come my child. Open your heart to me let me work a miracle of my grace in your life do you like that him that hold him holy that. I think we can sing it together can't we take your Him No 308 doctors coming to the piano 308. Holy holy. Notice the words Let's make this Him as we sing it a prayer I would be a dear Savior what holy May the God of grace sanctify you what did Paul say holy what is God's goal for your life what's God's goal for your life everybody to do was to Re Store what his image are you going to let God do His work in your life. Do you see that Satan's great deception. Is that it is impossible to obey saves great deception is give up the ridge the restoration of God's image will never be accomplished in you but down through the ages Jesus has said I want to do something in your life I want to do something special in your life I want to work in your heart and change your thought patterns and I want to work through your life to empower you to be the man or woman God wants you to be I want to send you out in this final generation with a message of health and healing and restoration physically mentally spiritually. 3 o 8 1st verse I would be dear Savior holy that I teach me what how teach me how I would do thought I will ALL Lord not mine help me help me now let's sing it together who can help me to lead this song that's not my gift. Father in heaven. Tonight we have seen in a fuller broader way your desire to restore in us your glorious image and down through the centuries you've outlined principles of holy happy healthy living when Satan has led us to disregard those principles we've brought about premature suffering and heartache and sorrow and death and Lord in the midst of this sinful world we want your light to shine through us we want your glory to be revealed through us we want your image to be restored in us and Father you have said in John 15 verse 5 without me you can do nothing we have knowledge that but you've said in Philippians 413 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me you said in Philip Ians $16.00 and $7.00 that you would finish the work you began in us we believe tonight that you're fully able to accomplish what you've promised in our lives and Lord the words of the song are the words of our heart holy the holy the on Lord that's the longing of our heart. Grant us. Your power your strength your wisdom to be fully completely wholly yours in this generation in Christ in. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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