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To Hope Again

Mark Finley

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 21, 2019
    11:00 AM

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Is Father's Day today I had the joy of talking to each of my children and what a blessing I want to give encouragement I just felt impressed to do this before I preach tonight because I know that there are parents here tonight that you've raised your children for God You've raised them in Sabbath school some have gone to Adventists elementary schools and academies and colleges and some have made choices that have disappointed you and have walked away and you've been troubled about the youth you've wondered what did I do wrong in the raising of my son or my daughter or my child what mistakes did I make if you go down that road you ultimately blame God because you have to ask What mistakes did God make in heaven why Lucifer rebelled Was there something wrong that God did there or what mistakes did God make in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve rebelled when you give the power of choice there is always the possibility that the wrong choice will be made you can never stay away from that you see you can be an Adventist evolutionist without knowing it because evolution says that we are largely shaped by our heredity and our environment and the gospel says that heredity and environment plays a part in our choices but ultimately God gives to every one of us the power of choice. And I want to read to you a very familiar Bible text and I want you to see it for the depth of its meaning before I preach and this Come be an encouragement to something somebody tonight these next 3 minutes maybe more encouraging than the whole sermon now don't don't fall asleep during the sermon and it's go be far afield to what I want you to turn to Proverbs $22.00 verse 6 many Adventists parents read this and they feel guilty but I'm going to help you understand the background of that passage and it's going to give you hope rather than guilt are you ready Proverbs 22 verse 6 you've read it before and it says Train Up a Child in the way he should go and when he's old he will not depart from it so many parents say look my child made choices to go astray and I must have not trained them up the right way Ok but here's the meaning of that text you see that word train up it comes from a Hebrew word that has its origin in an era maniac expression and these expression does not say train up at all it says rub your child's gums rub the gums What's that all about when a Hebrew mother was teaching her child to nurse if the child had a difficult time nursing the mother would take her finger and put a little fig paste in a honey in that finger and put it in the child's mouth and the child would begin to suck and what this text is really saying is this place a taste in your child's mouth when they are young for spiritual things and no matter what choices they make in life that taste for spirituality will always be there. So whatever your choices your kids have made if you did the best you could as parents and you prayed with them and you brought them to Sabbath school you have placed within their heart a spiritual longing and a spiritual taste and they may make choices but that spiritual taste is always going to be there and the Holy Spirit's going to work on that spiritual taste to lead them to make a choice for Jesus and His kingdom so this is a wonderful promise because for its promise for parents who've done the very best they could with their kids sure they made mistakes what parent has never made mistakes with their child but you have placed a spiritual taste in their mouth that spiritual taste is still there today on this Father's Day Can we say Praise the Lord Let's pray together Father in heaven I want to thank you for every godly parent that's here they've done the very best they could sure they made some mistakes but they put a spiritual taste in their child's mouth and that spiritual taste is still there that spiritual longing is still in their heart and Lord I pray that you would nurture that spiritual longing just like that baby who had that longing to nurse at her mother's breast just like that baby who who had that taste in their mouth that sweet taste Lord I pray that our children every single one of the wherever they are tonight they would have that spiritual longing that spiritual taste that we know Richard by the Holy Spirit and that you would lead them closer to you and save them in your kingdom we pray in Jesus name Amen on those rare occasions where my wife can spin sis me to go shopping I often get lost. My wife and I have been married for 52 years and she knows that shopping is not my most favorite thing to do I would not say that she is an expert shopper either but there are those times when shopping calls and it becomes a necessity and that the times I and Company her to the mall I often get lost now when I get lost my wife knows where to find me I'm often in a bookstore there's something about books that fascinate me books have this magnetic draw that brings me in and book titles particularly fascinate me recently I got lost in a mall and I was in a bookstore and looking over book titles and eventually I came across a book titled Here was the title that really captured my attention it was called outnumbered incredible stories of history's most surprising battlefield upsets the book was the story of military wars that should have been lost but they were one it talks about cannibals armies of 55000 that came across the mountains of northern Italy and attacked the invincible Roman army of 80000 and how Hannibal armies one it talks about the battles of Alexander the Great in fighting the Persians where he never should have won but he won out numbered as I thought about that book title My mind began to be stirred and I thought about the fact that in this life as Christians we are often outnumbered the forces of Hell are marshalled against us. The devil in all his evil angels throws every temptation after us we may seem to be facing certain loss defeat may seem inevitable victory may seem out of sight but thank God though we may be out numbered Victory in Jesus Christ is certain. Jesus will win at last. The theme of the last book of the Bible is Jesus wins and Satan loses the heart of this battle is found in the Book of Revelation and it's found in Revelation Chapter 12 revelation the 12th chapter is the hinges upon which the entire book of Revelation turns in Revelation Chapter 12 you have 4 episodes these episodes take you down the corridors of Tibe they take you down the millenniums They describe an inter go lactic struggle a Star Wars controversy a cosmic controversy between good and evil 18 for epis odds episodes for D.V.D.'s snapshots in it for vignettes in 4 chapters Revelation 12 takes you from the fall of Lucifer down through the centuries to the birth of Christ down through the Middle Ages down to Satan making war on the remnant and in these 4 great battles these 4 great universal struggles were a Satan marshals all his forces against the people of God and the plan of God in the purpose of God in every one of these instances Jesus wins and Satan looses and the purpose of Revelation 12 that introduces Revelation 13 the chapters on the beast and the chapters on the final conflict when man cannot buy or sell and when it introduces Revelation 14 that comes to the triumph of the Gospel in the 3 angels message in Revelation 15 and 16 the 7 last place in Revelation 17 the women rides upon the scarlet colored beast in Revelation 18 where it talks about the Babel in his fall and in Revelation 19. In the coming of Christ and 20 the millennium and 21 and 22 the new heavens and the new earth the reason why Revelation 12 is so strategic because it writes indelibly upon our mind that whatever conflict we go through whatever trial we go through whatever difficulty we go through however dark the last days because in Jesus because of Jesus and through Jesus we indeed will be victorious Revelation Chapter 12 introduces us to the theme that Jesus wins and Satan loses in Christ is a victorious is victorious we begin with Revelation the 12th chapter and we say we look at that chapter in fairly extensive detail tonight Revelation Chapter 12 we begin with verse 7. And war broke out in heaven Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought but they did not prevail and the there was a place found for them in heaven any longer so the great dragon was cast out that serpent of old called The Devil in Satan to deceive the whole world he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him no notice and war broke out in heaven that's a strange place for war isn't it you think about war on earth you think about the struggle between nations you think about the rise of the kingdoms but the Bible says war broke out in a have it now in heaven every angel had to make a choice was this merely a mental ward game it was that but it was much more there was a physical conflict that actually took place because the Bible says and Michael and his angels fought there was no neutrality in this conflict in heaven every angel had to make a decision 2 thirds of the angels made a decision for Christ one 3rd of the angels made a decision against him Satan said God is arbitrary God is unfair God is unjust the law of God restricts our freedom and Satan claim that God was a vindictive judge that God was a rascal tyrant that it was not necessary to worship God to have joy and happiness in the universe and every angel had to make a decision and down through history every human being has been part of this larger universal struggle this larger universal conflict is God worthy to be worshiped does god have his best interests in view for his all of his creatures is God worthy of our praise of our work. Ship is God worthy of our obedience these with the issues in this great controversy between good and evil there was no there could be no neutrality some time ago a college student going to a Christian college needed a summer job he wanted the best paying possible summer job so he looked through the newspaper and he found an ad in a lumberjack camp up in Canada that he would go and work in the camp all summer cutting wood in the deep Canadian forests and as he would do that he was going to be paid quite a handsome sub he signed up for the job in his Christian friends said look we think this is a great mistake you're going to be up in this lumberjack camp and these men are cursing swearing they are in morrow you're going to have to live with them for the summer and once they find out you're a Christian they're going to break you like a twig they're going to tear you apart they're going to ridicule you they'll be cynical they'll be skeptical we don't think you want to go and he said look I need the money I'm gonna go so he went worked all summer June July and August came back to college with this handsome sum of money and his friend said to him How did you ever survive the summer How did you ever survive with these cursing swearing lumberjacks tough rough tumble he said it was very simple simple I just made sure all summer that nobody could ever figure out that I was a Christian there is no neutrality in the final crisis of this earth history. Ellen White makes a remarkable statement in the 5th Bible Commentary $1093.00 she says Christ shows that there can be no such thing as neutrality in his service the soul must not be satisfied with anything short of entire consecration consecration of thought voice spirit and every organ of mind and body it is not enough that the vessel be emptied it must be filled with the grace of Christ in the last days of her says St Just as there was a conflict in heaven in every angel had to make a choice so every one of us are confronted with this choice of all out total surrender to the living Christ and allowing Jesus to fill our lives notice what Scripture says Revelation 12 verse 7 and war broke out in heaven Michael and his angels fought against the dragon the dragon is that is angels fought but they did not prevail underline that expression circle that expression they did not prevail the devil was cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven and He will be cast through Jesus Christ out of the kingdom of your art he did not prevail then any will not prevail now he did not prevail they are and he will not prevail here he did not prevail in heaven in the kingdom there and when you and I come to the living Christ no matter what temptations we face no matter what challenges we face through Christ and by Christ because of Christ the devil will not prevail no notice what the Bible says it says Michael and his angels for. The question becomes who is Michael and why is this title of Michael used now the expression Michael is used 5 times in the Bible that's all so let's look at the expressions from Michael let's raise the question why the name Michael is used here in this specific spot now when we notice the end of the name Michael we notice the word the letters e.-l. And when we see those letters it means it leads us back to a low of him one who is like God Could it be that this Michael is another name for Jesus does the Bible evidence lead in that direction and if it does how do you explain the expression Michael the Archangel we're going to come to that 1st the Bible teaches that Christ is the great I am he never had a beginning and will never have an ending he is the eternal Christ and of Christ is not eternal if he never had a beginning he cannot offer us eternal life if God send somebody lesser than his divine Son to save us Jesus then would not have had the eternal life to save us of Christ never had a beginning never had an ending is not a created being is not an angel now whoever Michael is he has the power to cast Satan not to heaven if someone has the power to cast sate out of heaven he must be very powerful the 2nd mention of Michael is in the book of Jude now Jude only has one chapter and we look there at Jude and we'll look at verse 9 Jude 1st 9. Yet Michael the archangel in way to come back to this expression the archangel in contending with the devil when he disputed about the body of Moses Now what do you know about Moses you know that when Moses was on Mount Nivo and looked across to Jordan Moses longed to into the Promised Land but Moses died there in the deserts and after his death his grave couldn't be found Moses was resurrected from the dead as a type of those will be resurrected when Jesus come and you remember the great Transfiguration on the Mount of Transfiguration Moses who had died and was resurrected represents the dead who be resurrected when Jesus comes and he lives who did not see death appeared to Jesus and they talk to him about his death and I can suppose Moses said lord. Hang in there as you go to the cross to bear the sins of humanity remember that many like me will be resurrected so Moses was resurrected from the dead whoever Michaeli is he must have the authority not only to cast saint not to heaven but he must have the authority over death and the authority to raise Moses from the dead now that sounds a lot of like Jesus doesn't it but why would it say yet Michael the Archangel the word Archangel does not mean that Christ is an angel a created being the term Archangel simply means commander in chief of all the angels. The one who commands all the angels and one of Christ's function is to command the angels Now you remember the Bible says when Jesus comes in Matthew 17 verse 26 he comes with all the angels and you remember when the Bible describes Christ coming in 1st the Saloni in chapter 4 and here you have the key that links Jesus as the commander in chief of the angels as the one coming with all the angels 1st this alone in chapter 4 Notice verse 16 the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of what everybody the voice of the archangel So Jesus comes with the voice of the archangel What does that mean he comes with the voice of triumph he comes as the commander of all the angels he comes to call the dead from the graves like Moses was called for the Lord Himself shouted sent from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel with the trumpet of God the dead in Christ will rise 1st then we who are alive and remain together shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord the air Jesus the mighty conqueror overstated Every time Michael is used in the bible 5 times it's always used in Christ in direct conflict with Satan and Jesus the commander in chief of the angels Jesus the mighty warrior Jesus the conquering general Jesus the victorious Lord Jesus Troy the triumphant gig Christ. The Michael commands all the angels in heaven and the victorious Christ cast they not to heaven Jesus the mighty warrior argues with Satan contends with Satan over the body of Moses and the one who is life in the one who has the gift of eternal life brings Moses forth from the grave resurrect him from the dead and Moses is in heaven tonight as a witness that Christ is power over the grave 3 times in the Book of Daniel it uses Michael twice in Daniel 10 when Daniel prays 3 times in his day and you'll praise 3 times for Israel to be allowed to go free from Babylonian captivity now that Persia is taken over Cyrus has a Tate's in signing the decree in the angels of hell surround Cyrus is mind and as they do Daniel prays and Michael comes down with the mighty angels of heaven as an illustration of the mighty deliverer and he beats back the forces of hail and Cyrus signs the decree so twice in Daniel Chapter 10 Michael battles over the mind of Cyrus so Israel can go free as a type of the last day Israel that will be delivered the last mention of Michael we have in Daniel is Daniel Chapter 12 now you will remember that in Daniel Chapter 7 the ancient It's of days sits and judgment begins and the one like the Son of Man comes to the Ancient of Days and Daniel 7 in Daniel Chapter 12 Michael stands up. Daniel 12 verse one this is the end of the judgment at that time Michael shall stand up who is Michael he is the great prince that stands watch over the sons of your people that they will be a in at that time will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time and at that time your people will be delivered every one found written in the book who is Michael he is the mighty conqueror he's the victorious Christ he is the one who stands up at the end of the judgment says it is enough anough war anough suffering another heartache enough cancer anough death enough famine enough pain it is enough he stands up judgement is over he come streaming down the court of the sky and see an end sickness and suffering will be no more he comes to deliver his people he calls in the graves are open he calls in the right just dead are resurrected they receive glorious immortal bodies and Christ living receive their immortal bodies and the s. and to heaven now in the pliable there are many names of Jesus help me tonight Jesus is the Lamb of God because he's that sacrifice Jesus is the lion because he is all powerful Jesus is the Rock of Ages because he is one in whom we can trust and place our feet upon and never be shaken Jesus is the bread of life because he satisfies our inner spiritual hunger he's the water of life because he satisfies the thirst in our soul for him to give me some other names of Jesus tonight what are the names of Jesus that we have he's a counselor because he counsels us in the times of our deepest need what else is he he is the light because he illuminates our darkness somebody from this side whatever who else is Jesus. He has the word because he is the one we can trust what are the names of Jesus to His Yes you know Jesus why so many different names to Jesus because He is the infinite Christ Michael is a special name of Jesus Michael is a war term Michael is a name used of Christ 5 times mentioned in the Bible as the one who is the commander in chief of all the angels the one who has never lost the battle with Satan and the one who will come to your aid to beat the forces of Hell back when you are going through the sphere sist him to Sion when you're about ready to give the end on your knees cry out to the mighty warrior on your knees cry out to the one that's never lost a battle with Satan the purpose of Revelation Chapter 12 is more than a history lesson it is to prepare a people to face the greatest temptations in history in the last days it's to prepare them to go through Earth's crisis it is to reveal the heart of the Book of Revelation is the living Christ he is the Jesus that was victorious over Satan in heaven and he's the Vicki the Jesus that cast him out of heaven He is the Jesus that caused Satan not to prevail there and he is the Christ that will not lose the battle for your soul as you cry out to him centuries pass and we come to the 2nd great battle in Revelation Revelation the 12th chapter and we're looking there centuries past Satan now focuses his hellish Wiles upon Christ as he's born. When the Bible tells the story in Revelation the 12th chapter and we look there at Revelation Chapter 12 verse 4 and onwards Revelation Chapter 12 verse 4 and onwards his tail that is the Dragon's Tail Satan Duerr 3rd part of the stars of heaven that's a 3rd of the angels he threw them to the earth the dragon Satan stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her child as soon it was as it was to be bored who is this child that was soon to be born who is that sated next verse she bore a male child who's that Jesus who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron a rod is a symbol of authority Christ came with all the authority of the father to usher in the Kingdom of Grace to prepare us for the kingdom of glory it is a rod of iron it is not a wooden rod that can be broken iron symbols authority so here you have this rod of unbroken authority the unbroken authority of Christ who comes from heaven to dwell in human flesh to die in our behalf to prefer to he has the authority of the Father as the eternal one to come to make that sacrifice to bear the guilt shame and sin of the world so the scripture says that Jesus comes he's born of a virgin but yet Satan focuses his hellish arts upon Jesus from the time he's born Satan tries to destroy him a decree is passed that all male children under to be killed and an angel appears to Joseph and Mary go to Jerusalem go to Egypt from Bethlehem. Satan fails but Satan dogs Jesus all of his life and there Satan attacks him in the wilderness with every temptation but Jesus is victorious and he meets 8 with the Word of God and on the cross Satan sure rounds him with darkness and whispers in his ear if you bear the guilt and shame of seein you'll never see the father's face again but Jesus dies victorious and he says father into the hands I command my spirit and it was a dark dark Friday Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him in the disciples forsook him and the Romans crucified he had it was dark dark Friday the clouds circled around the cross the lightning flash the thunder crash the birds stop their singing the the rain fell the flowers droop their heads the disciples wept that day it was dark dark Friday but how we a Sunday morning was coming there that Sunday morning the sun rose again this the clouds filled the sky again the flowers bloomed again and the birds sang again and the father said Son My father calls me and the stone was rolled away and the Roman soldiers fell over like dead man and Christ came out alive victorious over death and because Jesus is victorious over death your son your daughter can be resurrected again that husband that wife that you buried on that grassy hill side can be resurrected again and they can see Christ again Jesus was victorious over Satan in his life he was victorious over Satan in his death Jesus beat back the forces of hell in all the demons in the world must surrender to the living Christ. Not long ago we were holding an evangelist meeting in once a Tanzania it was satellited to 4500 different places 35000 people were out to the stadium on that 1st Sabbath now in that part of the world there is a lot of witchcraft there's a lot of spiritual ism and we saw God come down we have established a tent in which we had a 1000 people in different shifts praying and they prayed round the clock in the prayer tent the devil cannot have hold upon you unless you yield to his power there are 3 levels of demonic activity in the Bible there is temptation all of us are faced with temptation but if you yield to temptation repeatedly you have demonic oppression that is not posed session but the more we yield to temptation the more we give Satan access to our life but beyond oppression there is pose Aktion possession occurs when a person voluntarily yields today monic spiritual forces the devil cannot possess your life without your choice because if he could he would possess all of our lives. So God has granted us the freedom of choice and no committed Christian has to worry about demonic possession at all but there in Africa in many of these villages many people have given their own legions to the witch doctors and spirituous in those villages there was a village many hours from the ones that had a very powerful witch doctor in this witch doctor would cast a spell upon people who believed in demon possession and would control their lives they control their lives often through emule Let's walk through demonic charms and one of the most powerful witch doctors in that area cast a spell on these amulets or charms and place them on a trail outside the village and she wanted to show her power and upon that charm she placed a curse and the curse was that anybody who stepped on the charm would have severe paralysis in their legs and they would have severe pain in their legs a woman in her late twenty's early thirty's was walking down the trail and she was part of that village and had surrendered her mind to the evil spirits and she put her feet on the demonic charms and immediately felt pain shooting up her legs she became she had paralysis in the legs in terrible terrible pain they brought her to the witch doctors in other villages to get the spell off her they did incantations in charms through the night and that spell rested upon her they brought her to Christian pastors there was no deliverance. She met a group of 7th Day Adventists who began to study the Bible with her and these Adventists focused her attention upon Jesus as they read her the Bible promises greater is He that is in you than he was in the world they talk to her about the fact that on the cross of Calvary according to cautions to Christ triumph of the Prince of palate he's in powers of hell she struggled with this pain she struggled with this leg paralysis and they said we have heard Pastor Finley preaching in ones in the stadium we are going to give to you the money for a bus ticket and you get on the bus and you go to Milan and they've got people that believe in prayer they're on their knees praying and passive Finley's talking about the triumph of Christ he's focusing not on the power of evil but on the power of good he's focusing on the greatness of God he's focusing on this almighty Jesus who did sick casts a not a heaven this almighty Jesus that faced all of Hell's powers in our behalf all of hells strengthen our will be hath see we are tempted but we're not tempted with all of Satan's power that he's put on Jesus we are tempted but we're not tempted with all of Satan's temptations Jesus took the full power of Satan's temptations and he was victorious he took everyone to say the same day sions that he was victorious and they brought this woman to us we brought her to the prayer tent and our prayer warriors prayed over not for 2 minutes or 3 but they prayed over her and they prayed over her and they prayed over her we talked to her about the the mighty power of the living Christ. She said Pastor The pain is leaving pastor the pain is gone pastor I can walk again and we saw by the grace of Christ this woman delivered we saw a miracle after miracle after a miracle because Jesus Christ is victorious over the powers of Halo 4 great episodes in Revelation Chapter 12 Revelation 12 is more than a history lesson It introduces us to the Christ in Heaven that cast the devil out and he did not prevail and he will not prevail in your life it introduces us to the christ to this on this earth was victorious over the Prince of palaces and powers of Halo and bore it all for you and me and who went to the cross and was resurrected from the dead he triumphed over Christ overstated in his death and he crushed triumphed over Satan in his life we look now at the 3rd episode Revelation Chapter 12 verse 6 episode number 3 the New Testament church goes out in the power of the living Christ and the Gospel goes to the Mediterranean world and according to Paul and cautions 123 it goes to the ends of the earth and Satan brings compromise into the church we have the long period of dark ages but notice Revelation Chapter 12 verse 6 the woman who is the woman everybody the church fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by God that they should feed her there a 1260 days you know that you studied it in prophecy but I want you to see something in the text. That great theory to Middle Ages Dark Ages 53827098 but what did God do for the woman what does the tech say what God do for the woman he did what for her he prepared for her and what place now Revelation Chapter 12 it gets better than this it gets better than this look at Revelation Chapter 12 verse 14 but the woman verse 14 who's the woman everybody the church was given to wings of the great eagle that she might fly into her the wilderness to a place where she is what nourished for a time times and half a time the presence of the serpent now 2 expressions that are critical the church would go through the period of dark ages where church and state unite it but God would not be caught offguard he would prepare a place for his church not only would be prepare a place but she would be nourished in the wilderness of your life God is preparing a place for you when you're 48 years old and your kids are out of the home and you discover your husband has had an affair and you come to camp meeting alone in the wilderness of your life the victorious Christ has prepared a place for you and he's going to hold you close and nourish your heart when you buy your retirement home in a spot in Michigan in the warmth of the winter. And your husband dies of a heart attack or when you leave your friends behind in Michigan and you try to warm a climate. And you book go to a new community and you have no friends and your husband dies of a heart attack in the wilderness of your life because you've never lived without him before gods prepared a place for you he never issues you there he never church shoes there. You see whatever happens in our life God is not unprepared for it when the diagnosis is that you have just a few months to live and this is your wilderness this is your time of trouble and you hang on by faith God's prepared a place for God As for fair to place and God nourishes us God feeds us in the wilderness of our life you would think that the church in the dark ages driven into the wilderness was defeated but God prepared a place in Christ was victorious and out of that wilderness would arise the Protestant Reformation out of that wilderness would really rude arise the advent movement out of that wilderness would arise men and women who would be faithful to Christ at any cost come with me to Inner Mongolia and there in China not the country of on go go Mongolia but the Inner Mongolia and China come with me to a house meeting 8 or 10 gather they quietly read the Word of God together and their hearts are touched they know it's against the law and the leader of that small group knows that if she's discovered she can be put in prison but there is a hunger in the soul the next week 15 people come. The next week 25 people come in they have to move all of the furniture out of that room and they they sit on the floor but pretty soon too many people are coming and it draws the attention of the authorities and the authorities break into the Bible study. And they interrogate this little 5 foot 2 Chinese woman that's leading it and as the interrogator they say if you meet in your home again you will go to prison she says I won't meet in my home again but then she goes to other homes and continues the Bible study but pretty soon she's arrested and her sentence in prison for conducting a Bible study is one year one year in prison it's a woman's prison and she begins to sing in her prison cell the songs of heaven she begins to sing in her prison cell about Jesus These are hardened women they're thieves they're prostitutes they're women at the street but there's a need in their heart there's a longing in her heart in their heart and in the wilderness of this little 5 foot 2 women's one woman's life she sees that God has prepared a place for her in that prison she sees that God is nourishing her soul she begins to share the gospel and she shares about Christ she shares about as soon return and as the weeks and months go by there are now 60 to 80 prisoners almost half that prison are worshipping on Sabbath and the prison superintendent comes to her and he says we have made a great mistake in putting you in prison. Before you were in prison you had to find your own converts but we have given you a whole prison folk so we have decided to commute your sentence 6 months is up you can go to. She looked up at them and this this really happened I mean this not some preacher's No I didn't mean to say it that way I was going to say this isn't a preacher's story but no that would have been bad. Somebody's got it the rest of you your wife will explain it to you. This this really is is really happened so they say to her you can go home now it's 6 months you've gotten them she said no that's against the law to send me home after 6 months. Because my sentence is a year and my work here is not yet finished. They are in that prison in her wilderness she was nourished see Jesus is not caught off guard in the battle between good and evil in heaven Christ won and Satan lost in the battle for jesus jesus triumphed over the principalities and powers of hell Christ once it was in the middle ages all the forces of hail that tried to destroy Christ people in Christ's church did not prevail he prepared a place for them they were nourished the Word of God crew and florist in Revelation Chapter 12 focus is now on and. The whole purpose of Revelation Chapter 12 is to encourage God's people that Jesus says never lost a battle with Satan yet there are some Adventists that are so focused on the time of trouble that they're filled with fear and anxiety I say to you tonight our focus is not on the mark of the beast it's on the lamb of god. Our focus is not necessarily. On end events to the exclusion of the Living Christ I need to clarify this because somebody is going to take one stand it's like a splash on the Internet and say Pastor Finley doesn't believe we ought to study and even that is the furthest from the truth that I clarify that enough was I plain enough it's important to know that the events that are coming in the history of our world but you can know all about the events and prove them on some prophetic time shot and not have your heart broken over the living Christ and be lost because intellectual ism and a knowledge of the events is not going to get you through Christ is going to get you through for the Bible says Revelation Chapter 12 verse 17 the dragon who's the dragon everybody Satan was in rage what's enraged mean angry with do with the woman who's the woman the church are we going to face a battle at the end is it important to know what's coming certainly but is it him more important to know who is coming is it important to know about the beast definitely but is it more important to know the Lamb of God most certainly is it important to know about a union of church and state it is but is it more important to know about the union of my heart with Christ. Is it important to know about priests in the change of the law it is is it more important to know about Jesus Christ as my high priest who's never lost a battle with Satan now I notice in the Dragon was angry with the woman he goes to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God of the testimony of Jesus God will still have a group of people who keep His commandments Revelation 14 verse 12 how do they keep His commandments Revelation 1412 says this here is the patience the in durance of the Saints Here at those who keep the commandments of God in the faith of Jesus notice it doesn't say they have faith in Jesus it's important faith in Jesus but it's more important the faith of Jesus what is the faith of Jesus the faith of Jesus comes when the living Christ interest my life and I have the quality of faith that he had to face Satan with absolute trust in the Father the faith of Jesus is the quality of faith that Jesus Christ had as he hung on the cross and with everything around him being dark trusted the father the faith of Jesus is the absolute trust in God and it's knowing Christ so we totally change your life no notice God's going to a group of people who have the faith of Jesus the quality of that faith and that faith is so dynamic so powerful that it leads them to keep the commandments of God and it leads them to trust God no big God completely Revelation Chapter 17 Revelation 17 1st 14 Revelation 17 verse 14 these will make war with the lamb where entering into the final conflict these will make war with the lab and the lamb will overcome them for he is Lord of Lords. And King of Kings and those that are with HIV Those that are what those that stand on their own Those that grit their teeth and say I'm to be obedient if it kills me those that are what where are they with him what are they they're called they are chosen they are faithful we are called to know Christ we are chosen to witness for Christ and we are to be faithful in the call to the call of the choosing the last days of verse history will usher in the greatest temptations in the history of this world in the greatest time of trouble but anchored in Christ trusting Him knowing him as a friend we will go through and witness to the glory of his name in our love that hold him what a Friend We Have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear what a privilege to carry everything to God Prayer have we trials and temptation is there trouble anywhere What a Friend We Have in hoot in Jesus you know this history that the story that song is amazing song was written by Joseph m. Scriven Joseph Scriven was a young man brought up in Ireland and of Irish in then English descent he was engaged to be married they had secured the preacher name the preacher that was married them the date for the marriage was coming they had the halt they sent out the invitations. And the day of his marriage his wife to be decided to take a swim just before the marriage and she drowned it's so devastated Joseph Scriven that he decided to to leave Ireland he moved to Canada he there lived in a little country town up in Canada he was in his early twenty's at the time and he said I can never love again the love of my life is gone 10 years went by he was now in his early thirty's and he met utilize it. He fell in love 10 years after the death of his fiance in Ireland they planned to be married. A few weeks before. She developed tuberculosis. He said nothing. In this life. Is worth living. He took about bringing me in. Decided minutes spent his life helping the poor disadvantaged people out would bring it. Lived on a. Just that it's. Got a telegram. That his mother. Had no money to be back tomorrow. One day he sat down. And I have to communicate with Mommy more day. He took a blank piece of paper he said Lord help me write something from. The words came to his mind. Mama. What a friend. Are Saying. They are. What a privilege carry. Everything to God. Joe's of some ribbon could hang on. Because he knew for. He knew. That his bets were in which. He knew that Christ. Had vanquished the powers and. He knew that one day. They did in the ring with. He knew the Christ that casts 8 not to heaven the Christ that was victorious and it's like the Christ that was victorious through the middle age. Shows that Christ was his best friend. Bother here we are your people before you. You know every need you know every heart. We come with absolute confidence. That you are the victorious writes. That you have triumphed over say. That Satan is a defeated so. Father we sense. That we're living in the climactic hours of verses. Father we long to know you more deeply. We're going to have our hearts filled. With the spirit of the living Christ. We long father. Descend share power in our lives. We're tired. Of our lives living. We're tired of Laodicean complacency. We're tired. Of the stranglehold of this earth. Our hearts are opened his. Father for many here tonight may this be a new beginning. A new beginning of a rich a deeper fuller relationship with. A new beginning. Of a sweet relationship. With our best friend she's. A new beginning of confidence your love in your care Jesus thank you that you're a best friend. You're a living Lord and we leave this place tonight with the absolute assurance. That we are yours. And you are. In Jesus. More of. 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