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Confidence in Crisis - Part 2: Survival in a Surveillance State

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • March 28, 2020
    11:15 AM
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Rather thank you for. The near newness of your presence through your Holy Spirit opened by the great condescension of your son reflecting who you are showing us the desires of your heart I pray now Lord bless us as we look for those revelations in your Word Help us to understand for the Times in which we live the ever present blessing of the simple and amazing gift. Of your. Gift of Jesus now Lord we put this message this time our times in your hands send your spirit now to both touch a noisy transform and teach in Jesus name a man. You wouldn't be surprised if I were to talk to you with a message untitled survival in a surveillance state you would be surprised me to talk with you about different countries around the world where we know a dictatorship is in place and surveillance and control through information about one's personal and private life are utilized as part of the apparatus to keep everyone in line. Writing in November of last year Charley Campbell tells about the surveillance state in China where it's estimated that they have 200000000 close caption televisions or television cameras to keep track of their 1000000000 citizens he specifically speaks of children cling with a census of 15350000 and 2500000 surveillance cameras he opens his article at the story about a woman waking early going down to join a small group of other older women for a exercise class in her hurry that morning she drops her purse which fortunately is seen by one of the surveillance cameras and taken by a police officer to lost and found the article is bookended by 2 very positive stories from the Chinese point of view of how wonderful it is to have this security and this overarching sense of someone looking out for you the purse is returned to its original owner and she is glad. Interestingly enough China appears to be the leader in the artificial intelligence facial recognition technology at least if not the leader certainly racing to the forefront with other developed nations especially the United States they've developed technology so good that it 150 feet away they can tell who you are by how you walk even if they can't see your face it turns out that white men are much easier to identify than women especially women of color Japanese scientists have developed a type of glasses that is designed to fool the technology and he ends his story interacting with a shopkeeper in Beijing. Actually and Shankly shopper Li Hong my sees only positives with the surveillance state she says that the public c.c.t.v. is closed captioned television cameras right outside her convenience store didn't stop a spate of thefts so she had 6 cameras installed inside the shop within days she says she nabbed the serial thieves who had been pill free milk from her shelves and the article ends with this statement from lie she says Chinese people don't care about privacy we want security it's still not enough cameras we need more truth of the matter is Americans are watch more than they know we're being tracked some call it a surveillance capitalistic environment it's not so much that it's about limiting our freedoms as much as it is tracking our habits our appetites are spending. Writing in what is a tracking pic saw we get this summary you probably don't know what a pixel is where you say Sure I know what a pixel is that's how you define what the resolution is on my computer monitor but there is a marketing pixel these small units measure digital images and graphics that you see on websites and when all these pixels join together they form an image a text or a video that splays on a computer device but if you're a marketer you've also likely heard of tracking pixels track tracking pixels are code snippets added to websites in order to gather information they're crucial for marketers when it comes to retarget in ads and improving conversion rates and today tracking pixels are used over the Internet without most of this even realizing So what does it do this snippet of code is added to your website to create a one by one pixel graphic that's pretty little You're not going to notice it the tiny size makes it unlikely to be noticed by visitors and tracking pixels are usually designed to blend in with your existing site or to be transparent and want to user visit your site attracting pixel loads to collect information about them as they browse your website what is a collect which pages they view which ads they click on the opening system they use that the operating system they use the type of device they use the screen resolution they use what time they visited activities during a session and your computer's I p address that may surprise you that may not you're familiar with cookies where you are at least warned that you've gone to a site that they exist most of you are not familiar with the tracking pixel and yet this is why when you get online to look at some item later on on another web page that ever ties in it for that exact same item is going to come up along the sidebar of your website and you sort of now. No and you've sort of know but what you don't realize is how much they know the New York Times tells us that health officials in Britain are building an app that would alert people who come in contact with someone known to have the corona virus the project aims to adapt China's tracking efforts for countries wary of government surveillance so we don't want to exactly what the Chinese have we want something different but if you have this app on your phone because they're using this g.p.s. locating technology along with a wide network of information they can tell you if in the course of your day you came into contact with someone who has a coronavirus Wall Street Journal records this as the country scramble to control the rapidly spreading coronavirus government agencies are putting in place or considering a range of tracking and surveillance technologies that test the limits of personal privacy the technologies include everything from geo location tracking that can monitor the locations of people through their phones to facial recognition systems that can analyze photos to determine who might have come in contact with an individual who later tested positive for the virus according to people familiar with the matter and Shenzhen China just outside of Hong Kong they have facial recognition software installed on many of the stop light to where if you cross as a jaywalker before you get to the other side you've been recognized as a person and publicly shamed for breaking the law some are suggesting that 5 g. technology is not so much about enhanced phone ability as it is the backbone the bridge for an enhanced artificial intelligence and surveillance system that would allow for things like the massive influx of information that's needed to keep this kind of track of people just a little over a year ago as I was looking through my a r p magazine they were dealing. What the idea of how much data are you leaving behind how much personal information are you sharing and one part of the. Of the magazine they were they were referencing to the idea of having one of these Google devices or smart speakers in your hall Doc Searls editor in chief at line external calls a smart speaker a personal data fire hose squirting from your house no I don't think the word squirting fits with the fire hose gushing Tory whatever the word might be so actually this morning I'd like to invite one of my social it's the come up here because he had an interesting experience one of these devices one of your relatives bought you this device Pastor Dennis and you used to enjoy almost trying to annoy this device tell me about some of the questions you'd ask Well you're right my son did bias the device and the Google home device and you know I'd ask it questions about who is Jesus what they the Sabbath I'd ask it about the weather and different things and asked Are you telling me the truth Google and it would give me this feel about how honest it is not even ask it at times are you spying on us Google only your security is of the most importance and one day a friend had come over and I was sharing with him some of the questions I'd ask and I was asking Google these questions and were going through the whole spiel and my wife would tell me to stop messing with that thing like it was an actual person Right right and I just said you know what honey I said it makes me laugh. And you know you have to say he googled to get it to talk to you now now and it's supposed to be that way because by design this device is listening for commands That's right and in some of the early days of this device they say in the beta format before it was really out in the public it was taking in scores of information scores of chapters of people's lives that they didn't know about supposedly that was fixed so this is a very important vote point you're supposed to say Hey Google That's right so you said this thing makes you laugh that's right and I and start talking to a canal men are in dialogue with my wife and I'm still talking my friend and this guest my guest and I see talking then I said well it makes me laugh now in my wife just reminded me this thing laughed at me at that moment but it did not laugh in a woman's voice it laughed in a man's voice. And how that make you feel now that is weird to me and my friend was shot my wife said her hair on her arm stood up and I just looked at her and said Honey I think it's time gone plug it and throw it out in the yard All right so this chapter perhaps the fire hose had been had been pouring information about your life that you don't know about were not as conspirators here this afternoon but it sure made you feel a little bit uncertain slightly understated about having that device in your home that's right it's no longer in our home now All right thank you for sharing with me you know through the years we've been getting a little bit more of a sense of what's going on as a matter of fact in 2010 the Atlantic gave a full video reproduce duction of an interview that had taken place with the former c.e.o. of Google Now at that point time Eric Schmidt was the c.e.o. and writing in The Business Insider Nick same would say this he would say c.e.o. Eric Smith really has a knack for expressing relatively benign ideas in a way that makes him and his company look incredibly creepy the Atlantic posted a video of the full interview with Eric Schmidt about the creepy line and it's chock full of unsettling sound bites in particular he had the following to say on privacy with your permission you give us more information about you about your friends and we can improve the quality of your searches we don't need you to type at all and here's the creepy line we know where you are we know where you've been and and we can more or less know what you're thinking about he goes on to say that sounds absolutely terrifying and it's too bad Eric is clearly extremely bright has a lot of interesting things to say in this interview about technology the rise of China the role of lobbyists in crafting less legislation and more he's just not very good. At choosing his words some of you may know that last year Eric Snowden published his biography permanent record he's he's an outlaw with our country. Whatever perspective you have on his actions as he broke the law and shared a variety of information that was classified his journey of conscientious conviction that brought him to the place that America should know the broad strokes of information gathering that are going on in regards to our personal and private lives it turned him into a fugitive on planet earth his passport was denied was revoked in midair he lived for 40 days in the airport one of the airports in Russia would not cooperate with the Russians in is still a perpetual fugitive whether you see his actions as a violation of law or a legitimate expression of conscience is up for you to decide but what he did share to the world was an extensive reach he would suggest more than overreach about the amount of information that's being gathered about us and then just yesterday I had one of our members text me a copy of an Ottawa County. Paper. And this is what the article says written by John Tennyson but to a county is created an e-mail address to take complaints about people violating gov Gretchen Whitmer stay at home order during the coronavirus crisis many local police departments have advised people to call their non-emergency numbers and it gives the number it says in Ottawa County those with violation reports should email and it tells us how to do it now I understand that depending on where you are in the spectrum of fear in regards to security and personal privacy my reflections on this action may not meet with your approval and I am somewhat hesitant to utilize this illustration because of that I am intensely interested that nobody comes down with a coronavirus who doesn't need to come down and I believe a shelter in place or stay home stay safe law is legitimate within the purview of the gov and is appropriate for China to manage the crisis before the crisis runs over our medical capabilities but once we turn to making operative people spying and complaining about each other in regards to what might be legitimate trips away from the house it feels to me like removing backwards into a type of state that is more reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia then we are the American society in which we live in which there are certain rights that are granted to us I'm glad this morning that in our Michigan law we are granted the right to assemble without rep recut Shin's even in the midst of this crisis the assembly is very small obviously but religious liberty is at least afforded in there but the idea that I'm being encouraged by someone in civil authority to report on my personal behaviors and actions feels like an extreme overreach and yet here. It is 2 counties away from where I reside and if you want to check it out you can go straight to the Grand Haven Public Safety Web page and you can figure out how to make sure you're able to do those things you feel compelled to do I understand that fear is a dynamic that's related to experience there are some people whose experience is so different than someone else's that all they know when they come up to crisis is fear that or others who have faced many crises and they're not afraid telling somebody not to be afraid without explaining to them how they can change their understanding about a circumstance or their way of thinking is a terrible waste of time but the here today I'm I'm here to dialogue with those that are watching online or here in the sanctuary about how one could actually make a move away from the panic mode and the self preservation modes that seem to have taken so much of the world by storm so this morning let's look in God's word and let's see if indeed there might be a way to actually do more than survive maybe even through thrive in a surveillance state take your Bibles this morning open them up to the book of 2nd Kings 2nd Kings Chapter 6 there's nothing new under the sun as a matter of fact while you're turning there I want to read you from a letter written in 892 the author says as we near the close of time the opposing element will work in the same lines in which it is work in times past every soul will be tested under persecution it will be made manifest just what Banner every individual has chosen to stand under That's what I'm more interested in day what banner are you standing on or what level of personal confidence in the ability to face a situation is residing in your heart and what tendency is there to move simply according to the. Ears that can overrun our lives and 2nd Kings Chapter 6 we're looking at the story of Elijah's. As the one who came after Alija this is Eliza the one who began by pouring water on the hands and feet of his master the Alija Elijah is now a mature prophet he's been ridiculed he's been doubted God is establishing his credibility and part of that journey is going to volved a personal attack on the experience of Elijah said Kings Chapter 6 beginning with Verse 8 it says now the king of a ram was warned against Israel and he counseled with his servants saying in such and such a place John one can't be so let's make sure we understand what's going on this is the high command of the Arameans and they're in dialogue with their commander in chief the heads of the different branches of their armed services and they're determining where they're going to go as they make forays into the Land of Israel verse 9 the man of God sent word to the king of israel same beware that you do not pass this place for the Arameans are coming down there the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him and thus he warned him so that he guarded himself there more than once or twice the important thing for us to notice at the beginning of this journey is that God has the ability to communicate with his servants on a level that far exceed out exceeds anything that humanity has ever known even our current 2121st century technological society that we're in now this ability for Eliza to know what the King was saying in private was very disconcerting to the king himself that is the king of a ram now the heart of the king verse 11 was enraged over this thing and he called his servants and he said to them will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel. Now I want to understand right from the very beginning we're going to see a contrast between 2 types of people in this story we're going to see those who can only see it through the eyes of humanity no sense that there's a battle on behind the scenes the king of air ram is certainly in that category we're going to find that Alicia servant is still in that category and in contradiction to the 2 of these individuals on both sides of this story is Ilyse who sees beyond it verse 121 of his servants said No my lord oh king but he lives the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom so he said Go and see where he is that I may send and take him and was told Him same behold he's in Dolphin so he sent horses and chariots and a great army there and they came by night and they surrounded the city. What I want to notice also is that when we look at a situation like this we see that no amount of human strategy is going to deliver in the scenario that's developing now it seems a bit foolish to me to think that the king of Erin could expect that Elijah who's known every other place that he was going wouldn't have a sense that he'd eventually or maybe specifically know when he's coming for him the city of dolphin is on a hill surrounded by a plane so sneaking up in the middle of the night surrounding the place wasn't that hard to do now when the attendant of the man of God had risen verse 15 and gone l. behold an army with horses and chariots was circling the city and his servants said to him Class my master what shall we do so he answered Do not fear for those who are with us or more than those who are with them then your life should pray and he said Oh Lord I pray open his eyes that he may see and the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw and behold the mouth was full of horses and chariots and fire all around Ilija when they came down to him Alicia prayed to the Lord and said strike this people with blindness I pray he struck them with blindness according to the word of a lie so when I lie she said to them this is not the way nor is this the city follow me bring you to the man whom you seek and he brought them to some area when they come into some area Life has said oh Lord open their eyes of these men that they may see so the Lord opened their eyes and they saw and behold they were in the midst of Samarian when the king of Israel says when he saw them said to Alicia my father shall I kill them shall I kill them. He answered he said you should not kill them would you kill those you had taken captive with your sword and with your bow set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink and go to their master so we prepared a great piece for them when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away and he went to their master and the marauding bands of the Arameans did not come again into the Land of Israel there are several important elements that we need to understand as we experience the coronavirus pandemic and as we anticipate more now remember in Matthew chapter 24 Jesus talked about all kinds of things that were going to come upon the face of the earth one of them did include pestilence those pestilences are a part of wars and rumors of war and earthquakes and famines in various places but Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 20 Chapter 24 that the end is not yet while this is a certain wakeup call to God's people and it's a reminder that civility and science as we know them are not enough to protect us from the very little is thing let alone the greatest This is not the last birth pangs before the deliverance that Jesus is bringing on this earth this birth paying is the way God's people up it's a call this back to a posture attentiveness it's a moment to look at our priorities systems it's an opportunity to stare deep inside our own soul and see how much fear regulates our emotions in our actions in a time of stress God is calling his people in the midst of this crisis to realize that what he has said will come will come but at this moment it's important for us not to pander to the idea that because worse things are coming there will be no more opportunities to take and proclaim the glory of who God is and light in this world with the glory of the 4th and the 1st 3 angels messages when we look at this story we have to realize that no amount of human strategy is going to deliver Ilyse of from this scenario God's people are always at a disadvantage in this battle plays out on the face of. Planet but we take the words of the Samas who reminds us that of God before us who can be against us but go back to the stories of the Scriptures pay attention to how it's always worked out it's Gideon with his 300 men it's Jonathan in his armor bear before a garrison of the Philistines it's David before Goliath it's just awesome fat with the choir you go down through the list of the ages of scriptural history and you always see that God allows his people to come into moments of extremity for do things to strengthen their faith and as a witness to the rest of the world that there is no God like the unseen God who is the Living God on if you're not comfortable with the idea that you will always be on the disadvantaged side except for the presence of Jesus you can be certain that fear will only strengthen its grip upon you and at some point in time in the future the devil will shake all that can be loosened out of the experience of Christ Church in its glorious future God is calling us right from the very moment in this very hour to realize that we will always be in a disadvantage you might even say impossible situation and some people listen to me right now may say I'm already there I don't have a job I had no savings I have no way of providing for myself good news just a day ago 2 trillion dollars was set aside to meet our needs friends I'm here to tell you the day will come when no human arm will be able to support our needs your needs my needs in this moment even when it looks for some like we don't have what we need we're tempted to look at what we can see and say it won't work or we're tempted not tented tempted but invited to turn to the living Christ who's promised that he takes care of the flowers and the birds and then he will take care of us and say Lord from a human perspective this looks pretty bleak but I'm choosing Lord to recognize that that which is unseen is more real than that. Which is seen and well all throughout Scripture it's look like it's a total loss before it's a perfect success I'm calling you now to strengthen my faith and help me not to come with negativity and faithfulness to this moment but instead to come by leaving that you have provision for me like you had provision for those in the past last week it was the widow of their fat she had to make a decision when she put God 1st actually in this moment in time God Calling all kinds of people to make a renewed commitment to putting God back where he should be time to come together and pray time to give time to share my talents time to care about people time to serve time to be in the word time for the 1st things and the best things not always the most urgent but certainly the most important if we don't see the limitations of a person who can only see by human sight not by the eyes of faith I don't know what's going to show it to us except there are chapters coming in our view ger in which no solution will be available except the provision of the Living Christ in our ranks and meeting our needs disadvantage the underdog Absolutely but we can't go into self-preservation mode we can't move into the dynamic of over reacting in a moment by some kind of extreme human exertion this is a call to serious self reflection and a prayer and during the time of this coronavirus Well we're sequestered to our homes while we have time to think about our budgets our schedules our kids our view church our church our devotion ally Christ is actually calling us to say start by letting me show you now what I can do so that when you come to a crisis of a greater and more colossal set size you're not afraid or intimidated What do you see friends 12 spies went into the Promised Land 10 of them came back saying this is impossible Can you fathom how that happened they. Themselves had walked through on dry ground not the sloppy muddy mucky bottom of the Red Sea But the Scripture says dry ground with a wall of water on the right and a wall of water on the left they had already had food on the ground there already had water out of Iraq they had a cloud over them by day and a fire by night they had seen the Egyptian army destroyed that wall of fire that separated them while they were crossing the Red Sea They became a wall of cloud they had watched 10 plagues come on and yet they still chose to only look through the eyes of self interest which is not the eyes of faith and thus they were at a moment when they should have said God's got this and instead they said it's impossible we're going to find as we discussed in the Sabbath school class that you'll have 2 groups at the end of time one will have been Spirit led in a personal and private way not outside of community not outside of accountability and they're going to find their faith growing as God leads them to do things that look impossible God You want me to stretch and embrace this responsibility God You want me to give this god you want me to increase in my commitments of time whatever it might be God has to be the one that's preparing us for this moment I have a friend who used to say this ain't my 1st grade rodeo. And you know pardon the poor english but you know if we come up to moments like this and it's our 1st rodeo we're going to be in trouble there's an experience base that builds confidence that experience base an encounter with a living Christ with a life of faithfulness in simplicity and obedience to the directions of the Spirit guided by the precepts in the principles of the word will actually lead us to do some things that look impossible I think about churches how many churches have gathered around them men and women who have human experience in dealing with businesses and educational centers etc But the real pedigree for board membership is not that you're human ability to strategize and your your litany of experiences covers all the bases it's the fact that the Spirit is leading in your personal private life combined with those things that's given you a real depth of experience with Christ you put so many people together on a church board who are being led by the Holy Spirit or any other board could be a conference committee a division committee or a general conference committee you put people on that board who have rich human experience but their personal processing with a God who will stretch them out call them to do a few things that seem beyond natural human ability if they don't have that preparation what you get is this cascading and this imploding sense of risk a verse ness and we end up doing only what we can see ourselves able to do I pastor a church once of almost $400.00 members probably $10000.00 plus square feet under roof large octagon old church brand new nice facility or quite new at least when I got there but they had fallen on financially hard times it was so bad that there came a moment in time when the soul vacuum cleaner in the church broke. I can remember the painful agonizing dynamics of sitting in a board with 15 plus maybe 20 people around our board tables and discussing for a half hour what we're going to do about the broken vacuum cleaner why because the church had found itself in a financially dressed moment but the truth of the matter is almost any person sitting at the board table could have gotten their checkbook out and written a check to replace the vacuum cleaner I learned a few things in that moment it became exceptionally important to me that I lead my leaders and experience understanding how to respect and honor the living Christ whose car should not be dragged down by arguing over little things by wringing our hands over little things that church over a period of time went from asking can we afford it to is this what God wants us to do and you wouldn't be surprised friends to know that the tide tripled and their finances were in such an array to where they were moving from victory to victory and God was opening the windows of heaven for them if ever there was a day in which we need leaders who are practicing whole what we need to be practicing in God's house in the church it's today but when you look at things only through the eyes of your own human experience you're bound to see impossibilities and sometimes you're going to see conundrums and difficulties that don't even appear to make sense for us to move towards to put our arms around to try to solve God is calling us not to see only what the eyes of our human experience but to combine that with a sense of what he's done for us in the past and even more importantly who he is in the present and the victories he wants in the future this is a spiritual battle and 2nd Kings Chapter 6 it's there there's no sword draw on. I know it's the age before bullets and bombs but if it wasn't there would be the 1st bullet fired or the 1st bomb going off this is a spiritual battle what's going on is that Satan would like to extinguish the witness of Israel he's been working hard to bale worship and other things mighty prophets have stood up and declared a call back to God but in this dynamic it's important for us or Stan be fine behind every difficult circumstance the devil still has the same goal he wants to put God's business out of business he wants to take the church and make it moot he wants to make it without credibility God's people cooperate sometimes by looking only through the eyes of what they can see but it's a spiritual battle and it's a battle that is built around the dynamic of prophets this prophet is worth more than the entire army of Israel for he has saved many lives and the dignity of the nation perhaps its very survival by simply taking divine directives from heaven and sharing them with the king and Ilyse has become so famous that all throughout Israel everybody knows that it's God's intervention that's protecting for and providing for the nation so much so to where the king says r I I want to know which one of you in my cabinets a traitor I want to know who the I want to know who the leaker is they say oh king you don't get it are you the only one that don't know the that doesn't know are you not aware that in Israel there's a man who can tell you what you said in the privacy of your bedroom and he says all right that's it we're going to put an end to him the prophet is the one that's been protecting the prophet he's the one that's been providing the information the prophet is the one that's going to give direction when the when the city of Deltona surrounded the prophet is the one who is praying now I need to ask everybody this listen to me here today how comfortable are you with the provide against. Because where there is no vision the people perish I challenge you to study that verse in the Book of Proverbs It's not about someone having the strategic abilities of an Alan Mullaly at Ford It's not about great strategic ability it's actually a reference to the voice the prophetic voice in the community of faith and when there is no prophetic voice in the community as a people do their own thing and the spirituality of the collective whole goes down down down the reality here is that the end time battle will be a prophetic battle as well. True prophets false prophets thing Jeremiah those true and false prophets exist today there are problems who will yet do according to 1st Corinthians 14 which to edify exhort and console and don't forget that in 1st Corinthians 14 Paul writes I wish every one of you had the gift of prophecy very interesting statement for him to make every parent every teacher every pastor every policeman every person with any element of authority is to speak the truth in love to remind people what it's right to do and to comfort them when they're spiritually sorrowful for not having done so but the gift of prophecy in its absence in our culture has created a place where people do what they feel like doing and the grave sin is to when somebody is feeling it's the prophetic voice is not so interested about how you feel in the now as how you'll feel in the future the prophetic voice understands it the truth set you free but it has become vogue inside of 7 they have in circles to critique and denigrate the work of the prophet now I use that word singularly although it ought to be used in the plural and collectively because as I said earlier every parent is to have a prophetic role they are to stand in the way of that generation their disciple in this hell bent on destroying themselves and they are to fulfill a journey of discipleship that has consolation and encouragement but certainly exhortation we decided that maintaining the harmony of relationships is the primary thing so we've abandoned the prophetic voice we should not be decrying the fact of political correctness of speech because it's nothing more than the new line of communication that is filled the vacancy in the void left behind by the absence of the prophetic voice in the pulpit and in the home and in the school. God is calling us back to the recognition of the primacy of the prophets It begins in these stories here and by the way in each of the 7 part of this series one of my primary goals is to show you that there will be absolutely no way that you can save yourself in the future coming crisis as a matter of fact writing in the same letter in 892 the writer states that while sin remains the offense of the cross will never cease and then this line caught my attention saint has a 1000 massed batteries which will be opened upon the loyal command the people keeping people of God to compel them to violate their conscience. Now I don't want you to think about little devices that have lead an acid in them that give you energy I want you to think about war a battery is a place from which a cannon or some kind of heavy artillery is lobbying and shells to destroy the enemy when she writes that saint has a 1000 master batteries and in fact what she's saying is we might feel like we're living in a but 9 moment we might be living in a time when it doesn't appear to be any real conflict everything's just kind of pleasant steady as she goes easy going but they'll come a time when all of these camouflaged dynamics of society that have been carefully woven together like a net including a surveillance state be it capitalistic surveillance now easily turned into compulsory surveillance later a 1000 mass batteries and when the covers are pulled off these batteries and the volleys are taking place God Himself will have to shield us for there will be no saving ourselves at any level or in any way as a matter of fact the only real preparation for the time of the end is spiritual preparation it's actually the preparation that comes from taking a posture that stretches me out in the name of the last human race who needs to know the glory of a god who would give himself to ignore me to all kinds of defilement and apparent defeat in order to save us from eternal loss the spiritual preparation of our lives is the growing of this relationship and nothing can be more clear about this narrative than the fact that the prophet is at the center of the story line he has the ability to undo the artifices of the evil one and he has the ability to bring confidence and assurance to the heart of those that are trembling and full of fear more than that before this story is over God will convert in some measure he the nation to the knowledge of his superiority but when we live on. We by sight and we allow human ingenuity and ingenuity when we allow the pedigree of professional training to circumcise to go beyond and above the dynamic of a spiritual dependence upon God they're not warring against each other but if there is one that is to supersede it is the directive of the Spirit the whole just as a fat put the choir out in front these kinds of dynamics are taking the wisdom of man and making nothing of it and what God is directing appears to be foolish but it is to his honor and his glory a 1000 math batteries so how are you with the prophet friends how are you with the prophetic role I'm talking about 2 different things now I'm talking about the fact that this church was built upon an extensive searching of the Scriptures but indeed there was a prophetic hand guiding the journey so that we should find ourselves walking the path of life on the road to heaven how often and how how how readily do you receive a prophetic word in your life it could be from a spouse it could be for out of a message like this it could be from a child actually it could be to a child the Bible is very clear that the voice of rebuke is the voice of the prophet and that voice of rebuke since our hearts so naturally are prone to go the wrong way is actually a gospel warning but when we refuse to listen and when our sense of our own understanding supersedes the divine impressive God in the prophetic voice we find ourselves on very very dangerous ground are you uncomfortable being associated with a prophet. I can tell you absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt there are some that are but this 7 day heavens church believes that God's remnant people are marked by the prophetic gift it's not just that God exhibited in a manifest way upon the life of a young woman in the early 18 hundreds it's that God Himself is guiding in the overall spirit of the church because it's dedicated to truth as it is in Jesus they keep the commandments of God and they have the testimony of Jesus which John will declare or write down at the declaration of the angel and Revelation $110.00 that is the Spirit of Prophecy the Spirit of Prophecy is accompanied by and announced by prophets it's announced in the power of the prophets as a matter of fact as we saw last Sabbath the before the great and terrible day of God before that day of sifting and burning Malakai declares that Alija will come Jesus affirmed it is well the prophetic work on Mount Carmel where there was a showdown between the false and the true prophets is what we're trending towards now but if we're uncomfortable with the gift of prophecy and the enactment of the preventive gift in our lives we're going to find ourselves in deep trouble because accepting prophecy is stablish is us and prosperous us what is a prophet of prophets of Spiritual Warrior it's a manifestation in an unseen battle a prophet in this situation that was announcing private things to the king of Israel the question I think we need to ask ourselves is this Was he surprised that they came he certainly didn't wake up early that was his attache and he walked outside and when he saw the city surrounded he was in terrible distress don't you think that God very well could have told Ilyse that they were coming and don't you think Eli should could have run. The question we ask ourselves is should be life should have run clearly by the outcome of the story we see that God brings peace between the 2 nations and at some level a lot of serious thinking we don't know how many people in the end will have come to worship the true God because of this experience a life that could have told his friend his attendant that they were coming but he didn't do that Diddy why not in the same way that God doesn't tell us all the difficult things that are coming God allows us to have a moment in which we get to choose which way we're turning Are we turning to the solution in Christ are we turning to fear and foreboding indeed this partner in ministry has a normal experience it's normal for us to be afraid as a matter of fact we have to determine whether or not the fear that we're experiencing is actually legitimate and to what degree because there is a certain amount of fear in the human experience that preserves oneself the problem is that when we allow that fear to direct our rational thinking when it's no longer a rational fear so here this man is saying what are we going to do where are we going to go Eliza has a prayer he says Lord open the eyes opened his eyes. A week or 2 ago I was sitting in the committee room watching a children's program that was being that had just been filmed with one of our leaders Michelle course. And as she was presenting the story about your life in Dover and I was struck by the fact of this lineage of Chariots of Fire. So here we have the story of Elijah who was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire and when you know it all around the city of don't than are all these Arameans and all around them are these chariots of fire and around Eliza himself a wall of fire and you see this this movie and continuity of God's provision tell me what line of defense could be better Eliza is himself safe and secure and the protective provisions of Jesus and he lives as praying give my servant the ability to see this may be the main takeaway out of this divine dialogue between the minister and his mentor really God is saying to us as he saying to this man I'd like to show you more than you can currently see do you want to see it the problem is with seeing more than we currently see in regards to the future and the unseen is that there are things in our own lives God wants to show us and the same question comes to us could I show you something about yourself Peter said no on the night before Christ crucifixion but Jesus didn't back away from it I won't deny you Peter said Jesus said you will and yet this element of being willing to say whatever God wants to show us might be the door opener for seeing the things that would comfort us as well not too long in the future we know from the prophetic annals from the recordings of the apocalypse that this world is going to go through much more than it's going through right now so what I want to ask all those that are watching me right now who are 7 the evidence why is it that we have so many 70 evidence they're afraid of the time of trouble but they're not afraid that people won't know there's a refuge in the midst of the time of trouble. How is it that we're so afraid that we could actually be motivated to participate like everybody else incline our ways to the top of the present preservation pack whether it's toilet paper which is kind of hard for me to fathom or whether it's beans and rice How is it that we could find ourselves moving just like everybody else when really we ought to be moving very much unlike everybody else it's not wrong to have some provision for hard times probably most of us should realize after this that supply chains are fragile and we should probably keep a little bit more in the house years ago they had to save up what they had from their fields to make it through to the whole next year so obviously setting something aside is not an act of faithlessness But why is it that the 7 day have a church is reduced to fearfulness and foreboding to impotence and inaction and a time in which the world most of all needs our action there are people who have frayed because they've put the roots of their life down into the Great Western dream American dream whatever you want to call it God is actually calling a still a very simple and very focused lives so that those who don't know there's a living Christ and He Himself is our refuge they need to understand there's a God who can actually be loved and not run to for the fears of an eternal burning hell fire but race towards for the sense that he will be a protection and a provision around all of those who cast their plight into his heart and arms God is calling us not to be debilitated by the sense that the future will be difficult but actually to be motivated for the sense of those for whom it will be absolutely untenable and beyond the ability to endure without a living Christ in their heart and without a living communion with those of God's people who came across an interesting quote in a book entitled last events it's time for us to start doing what this quote says. Let those who desire to be refreshed in mind and instructed in the truth study the history of the early church during and immediately following the Day of Pentecost study carefully in the book of Acts the experience of Paul and the other passes for God's people in our day must pass through similar experience of friends do you need to get afraid. Or do we need to get a grip on what God's going to do for his people in a greater measure than he did 2000 years ago the fact of the matter is this that when Paul was in the Philippi in jail with Silas he was singing in the middle of the night in the middle of the same night the Holy Spirit came down the angels whatever the instrumentality was and grabbed on to the foundations of the prison and shook them so hard that every shackle came open and every door was no longer bound by a lock but truth of the matter is when Peter was in prison one night the angel would come in even though there were 16 soldiers between him and freedom every hinged door with open without creaking every lock would turn without a key and God took his man out of the prison in silence and then send him to a prayer meeting so they could know their prayers had been answered and they were heard God is a able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or think and instead of looking with foreboding to the future we ought to be refreshing our minds by studying what God did for the early church Peter could be in a prison one night sleeping. Unafraid that James has already had his head lifted by the act executioner's axe God has provision for his people and we ought to realize that we ought to be recognizing there's an unseen host of heaven the angels that are waiting to co-operate with us and what we are called to do intrusted with more than any other Reformation church has ever been given to proclaim the glory of a refuge in a time a shelter in a time of storm God does not intend that would be caught up in the pleasures of this life the comforts of this day and age and for the economic disadvantage is that are upon us as well as the restrictions of movement as well as the fear of disease God is reminding us that our life must be hid in Christ but the he himself is our shelter in the time of storm and Isaiah Chapter 4 if you turn there with me in closing. Isaiah records in the imagery of the exodus a promise that is for the end of times now Israel forfeited its special relationship with God as a nation God however went forward with those who would still by faith become sons and daughters of Abraham if you don't understand that you're not going to agree with where I'm going with this text but if you understand that when Stephen was stoned in the 490 years of Daniel 9 came to an end then you realize that probation for Israel as a national witness ended and now the Act The exclamation of God's glory through an international witness through the church those who are Israelites are not Israelites in the flesh but there is are light circumcised of heart according to Paul this Israel is yet to experience the Church is yet to experience the promises made to the literal nation. But this promise here cording to the pen of Ellen White is for those who will go through the end of time beginning in Isaiah Chapter 4 verse 4 when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purge the blood shed of Jerusalem from our midst but the spirit of judgment and the spirit of Bertie In other words are going to be a work of tremendous reform done inside the church then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day even smoke and the brightness of a flaming fire by night for over all the glory will be a canopy there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day and a refuge in a protection from the storm and the rain do you know friends that all of the stories in the Bible are all faith based foundations to the edifice of faith that were to be built and there is no story in all of the Old Testament a New Testament Scripture from which we should expect less by way of provision for God as he wraps up the story of grace when the Israelites were coming out of Egypt and Pharaoh was hot on their trail the pillar of cloud came down and separated the Israelites from the armies of Egypt and when it became dark the cloud changed into a fire when they March across that Red Sea The cloud was above them in the day and the fire in the night. And while their crossing was primarily in the dark it must have been the fire alumina 80 the wall of water on the right and the wall of water on the left and the dusty dirty path through the bottom of this part of the ocean what we need to know as we go forward in the future is for those whose faith is simple enough. And for those whose life is surrendered in obedience to the directions of the Holy Spirit in a living relationship with Christ in His Word as the Living Word of God is going to do even more than he's done in the past God is going to provide for his people in a miraculous way it will be a surveillance state beyond which anyone is ever dream never in the face of human history never in the annals of the past has there will there have been the ability for Satan to cinch his hangman's noose tighter than he will have at the end of time but it won't succeed in destroying the faith and the existence of God's people for he will still stand by their side and provide as he has in ages past the question is will we have the faith because we exercised it now will we have the confidence because we followed him in the moment will we move forward collectively and individually lead in Christ mark out the way knowing that we're going to be stretched out knowing that our faith is going to be tested for some the answer will be no they're going to live by sight they don't want to be bothered with the inconvenience of conviction in the Holy Spirit they don't want to be put in a position that stretches them out and makes them afraid. I tell you you can't become unafraid without having to face and face off with those things that make you afraid so financial security is everything for you be certain friends like the rich young ruler Jesus are going to ask more of you there if family security is everything to you be sure and friends that Christ at that moment is going to allow you to claim him as the 1st and foremost member of the family the greatest filial time and be sure friends if somehow social networking or some other kind of security whether it be in material acquisitions be certain Christ is going to ask you to offer those up on behalf of his work and for those who have need be certain friends in the end every human support will be removed and the only thing you'll be left with is Christ as the Old Testament Scriptures say burying his righteous right hand to show Himself strong to save his people yes indeed Christ alone is the shelter in the time of stone Christ and long will be peace in the midst of trauma and chaos Christ is enough for this moment the question is when we're done with this moment will Christ be the singular focus of our life and will his church be called in in readiness waiting to do what perhaps 6 decades of affluence and abundant provision has lulled us away from doing the time is now we're going to make it through this let's keep praying for those who are sick and those that are serving the sick let's keep praying for those who are flying people home back to their original countries let's be praying for those who are stocking the shelves let's be praying for every truck driver let's be praying for every worried mother or father who's lost their job let's be doing more than pray must be passing out words of encouragement and financial assistance may God's people be the most generous of all on the face of the planet. But let's not be afraid there is a survival state there is a survival in a surveillance state that's coming but it won't be by any human strategizing sure you can throw your sim card you can even run over your cellphone It doesn't matter friends we live in an age where a drone could drop down and stare right into your windows and deliver a lethal dose of something never has a as the human race been so liable to abuse of power as it is now that we'd never sure would be so dependent upon the power of the present crisis a man. This media was brought to you by audio to a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio. You like to listen to more sermons. W.w.w. audio verse or.

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