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05. The Little Time of Trouble

Norman McNulty
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As Seventh-day Adventists, some have wondered about the different between the "little time of trouble" and Jacob's time of trouble. In this presentation, we will see when the little time of trouble starts and how it differs from Jacob's time of trouble. We will also see how this relates to the importance of country living.

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Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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  • July 2, 2020
    9:00 AM
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Greetings again and welcome to part 5 in our “Last Day Events Explained” series. We have covered a lot of ground already, and I'm excited about our presentation for today. We're going to be covering the little time of trouble and the corresponding issue of country living, so I'm excited about that.

 

Before we get into the presentation, I just have a couple of questions we're going to address. One person asked, as they were reading in Ellen White’s writings, about Satan personating Christ. They saw that he will be able to heal the sick of their diseases and wanted to ask if that would be possible. Ellen White also makes it clear that Satan brings the disease on and then he removes the disease. He doesn't actually heal the way God heals. It does appear to be a supernatural manifestation. Remember Revelation 13 says that “he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of man,” meaning that there will be supernatural manifestations that will make it appear that God is on the side of this false religious movement. That's an important factor to consider as we're looking at what's happening with the last events. There are a lot of questions that have been coming and again they are good questions. We're probably going to reserve a time towards the end to address more of the questions. But if you have a question, especially as it pertains to what we're talking about in these presentations, you can send your question to contact@audioverse.org. I encourage you to do that and I appreciate the questions that have been coming in. 

 

Also, I want to remind you of my book on Daniel that you can obtain from Remnant Publications. There are a lot of questions about end time events, and I go through basically all of the key end time prophetic scenarios in the book, and it’s a verse by verse commentary. You can get that from Remnant Publications if you're interested so I wanted to mention that.

 

And now I want to have a word of prayer as we get into the presentation for today.  Let's bow our heads, and ask the Lord to be with us. Father in heaven, we thank You for this day. We thank You for the opportunity and the privilege that we have, to be alive at this time of Earth’s history. And so, Lord, I just pray that as we go through this topic today, that we would gain further conviction, clarity of understanding for the times that we are living in, and that we would follow the work that You have given us to do. Guide my mind as I speak. May the presentation be clear, and may we be found faithful when You come. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

So, we are going to start now on the presentation of the little time of trouble, and we're going to get into some issues pertaining to country living as well towards the end of this time. The little time of trouble is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. We know of Jacob's time of trouble. We're going to talk about that in a later presentation of the series. The little time of trouble, as you're going to see as we go through this presentation, is not so little. It's going to be a very trying ordeal, and it's a time of trouble that leads up to the great time of trouble. It's actually a term that Ellen White never used. The term that we Seventh-day Adventists have used (because we know of Jacob's time of trouble or the great time of trouble) isn't as bad as Jacob’s time of trouble. The term that has been used as the little time of trouble is not really so little as we're going to see in this presentation. Let's go ahead and look at some things now. I borrowed the slides from off the internet, and it's a pretty good depiction of what we can expect. What you see on the far-left hand of the slide, the national Sunday law begins in America. We saw last week that it will eventually become international, and when the national Sunday law begins, that's when the latter rain and the loud cry happens. The latter rain is poured out. The loud cry is given. We're going to talk about that next week in fact. As the latter rain is poured out, the loud cry given. We see the sealing of the 144,000, the blotting out of sin: this is the judgment of the living. The Sunday law crisis escalates. As we saw two weeks ago, there are four stages to the Sunday law which culminates with the death decree which then initiates Jacob’s time of trouble, and the seven last plagues just before Jesus comes back. The chart is a pretty good overview. Of course, leading up to the national Sunday law, there will be calamities that will precipitate the national Sunday law. I'm not making a prediction here, but it's things like what’s happening right now with this Covid-19 pandemic and the civil unrest that we've seen, that if things continue to escalate, those are the type of calamities that could trigger a Sunday law that could then lead to the next phase.

 

Now going back to this chart, this area here between the national Sunday law and the close probation is the area of time that we call the little time of trouble. This is the time when the loud cry will be given. The latter rain will be poured out. The judgment of the living will place. You have the first three stages of the Sunday law. That’s the period of time that we call the little time of trouble. We're going to look at some statements now that set the stage for us to understand this a little bit more clearly. I've read the statement before, but it's such a good statement that helps us to understand what's coming. In “Manuscript Release,” volume 13, page 394 it says:

 

“We have no time to lose. Troublous times are before us.”

 

And you can make a case she's referring to the time of trouble there. 

 

“The world is stirred with the spirit of war.  Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. The prophecy of the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated. In the thirtieth verse a power is spoken of that ‘shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.’”

 

And again, she quotes all the way through verse 36 of Daniel 11. I'm just going to read verse 31 and a little bit beyond:

 

“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.”

 

It goes on to describe a few other things. Then the next statement Ellen White says (Manuscript Release, Volume 13, page 394):

 

“Scenes similar to those described in these words will take place. We see evidence that Satan is fast obtaining the control of human minds who have not the fear of God before them. Let all read and understand the prophecies of this book, for we are now entering upon a time of trouble spoken of.”

 

Then she quotes Daniel 12:1-4. It's very interesting that the portion of Daniel 11 that she quotes will be similar in the future. It’s the portion of Daniel 11 that describes the Dark Age papacy where we see the abomination of desolation in verse 31. I've done an entire presentation on the abomination of desolation in part two of this series. If you've been following along, you have an idea of what that's talking about. It’s the union of Church and state. That's the abomination that then leads to the desolation which is the persecution of the saints. Here is what's interesting to me. If you look at verse 33, it says, “they that understand among the people will instruct many.” I think you can make a good case that when it's repeated, it will be similar to the loud cry experience, when God's people under the power of the latter rain will be giving this message. But they will be giving it in the face of persecution, and it says, “yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.” There will be persecution during the little time of trouble before the death decree. Ellen White says that much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated. She's referring to the Dark Age papacy during the 1260 years. She says scenes similar to the persecution when the papacy was in control of the state (scenes similar to those I'm describing in these words), will take place. Persecution begins as what we call the little time of trouble leading towards the death decree. 

 

Let's keep looking at this here. The time between the initial Sunday law, (again we saw there are four stages to the Sunday law) and the death decree initiates the little time of trouble. There will be persecution during this time. This is during the first three stages of the Sunday law, specifically the little time of trouble. Persecution will continue beyond the end of the fourth stage obviously. But the little time of trouble is seen in the first three stages of the Sunday law. So, it’s very important to understand that there’s the little time of trouble once the Sunday law begins. It escalates eventually to the great time of trouble with stage four. As we saw in the first three stages, it starts where you can't work on Sunday and we use that time to do missionary labor and we do warn the world of what's coming. Then stage two escalates to where you have to worship on Sunday. You can't just take the day off. Then in stage three you have to worship. You'll be fined and imprisoned. You can't buy or sell and finally there's a death decree. We've talked about that. This is all during what is known as the little time of trouble. During this time, the latter rain is poured out.  The loud cry is given.  We have the judgment of the living. Here is the key thing. We’ve already talked about the first three bullet points on the screen. There will be martyrs for the faith during this time. Sometimes I think we forget that people will die for their faith during the end time crisis. We understand that once we get to the death decree, God's people will be delivered, and that they won’t be allowed to be put to death. But before the death decree, there actually will be martyrs. If you look at Daniel 11:33, it talks about this, “They that understand among the people shall instruct many.” I see that as a parallel to the loud cry message. “Yet many shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.” Now I’m not saying verse 33 is specifically foretelling the loud cry. I see that in Daniel 11:44. I'm just saying that as history repeats, many will instruct with the loud cry message. Many will respond to it, and this will lead to martyrdom. They will fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity, and by spoil. So, we need to be girding ourselves up for what is coming that we could be martyrs for the faith. But we will, as Revelation 12:11 says, 

 

“They overcame them by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they love not their lives unto the death.” 

 

If we love Jesus, we will be willing to die for Him no matter what, even now and especially during the final crisis. 

 

I want to read some statements to you from Ellen White that clearly outline this concept of the little time of trouble. This is found in “Early Writings,” pages 85 and 86. Ellen White is making some statements here. Notice that she says of the commencement of the time of trouble:

 

“We were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.”

 

Then she makes a clarifying statement. She's referring back to this from a prior writing and she says:

 

“The commencement of the time of trouble here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out.”

 

Now the time of trouble is Jacob's time of trouble so she's referring to a different time of trouble. She says it refers to a “short period just before they (plagues) are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary.” 

 

That means probation has not closed yet.

 

“At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel.”

 

So, notice Ellen White doesn't specifically use the word little time of trouble. We can deduce, as students of her writings and students of end time prophecy, that this is a time of trouble that precedes the great time of trouble. This correlates with the outpouring of the seven last plagues and the close of probation, once there has been a death decree. This time of trouble we call the little time of trouble when the Sabbath is proclaimed more fully under the outpouring of the latter rain with the giving of the loud cry while Christ is still in the sanctuary. This is the last work of the third angel during the Sunday law crisis. This is the little time of trouble when God's people give this warning message. Now there is more. This is from “Last Day Events,” page 145.  I might add that the whole section on last day events entitled “The Little Time of Trouble,” has excellent statements that you can look at. I’m using some of them in this presentation, obviously. In “Last Day Events,” page 145:

 

“Those religious bodies who refuse to hear God's messages of warning will be under strong deception and will unite with the civil power to persecute the saints. The Protestant churches will unite with the papal power in persecuting the commandment-keeping people of God.” 

 

Notice there is persecution that takes place when the civil power unites with the Church. There will be persecution of the commandment-keeping people of God. In “Manuscript Release,” Volume 14, page 162, in the year 1899, Ellen White says that this Lamb-like power (that’s the United States of America) unites with the dragon (which is Satan) who gives his power, seat, and authority to the first beast of Revelation 13 (which is the papacy).  

 

“This Lamb-like power unites with the dragon in making war upon those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

 

Notice there’s clearly persecution that is being described here so when the Sunday law starts, it's not as if the persecution begins once the death decree is given. I think you probably know that. There is a clear persecution that begins much before that. We talked about that in the fourth stage. It reaches the point where you can’t buy or sell. You can be put in prison. That's clearly persecution, so we see that there will be persecution. Here's a pretty clear description of what it's going to be like. If you expect to be treated fairly, if you expect your religious liberty to be acknowledged and recognized by the courts, think again. Notice this statement from “Signs of the Times,” May 26, 1898:

 

“Those who live during the last days of this earth's history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth sake. In the courts, injustice will prevail.  The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal to the commandments of God because they know the arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. They will say, ‘We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.’ God's law is nothing to them. ‘Our law’ with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, but those who will not bow to the idol Sabbath have no favors shown them.”

 

Of course, the idol Sabbath here is Sunday. In the courts the judges are not going to listen to our arguments. Pointing out that we have religious and civil liberties granted to us as citizens that should allow us to follow God's law over the laws of man, will not be an acceptable answer when this crisis hits. Notice the statement from “Selected Messages,” Volume three, page 387:

 

“The persecution of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined.”

 

Now that's very interesting and that goes along with what she said in that statement we read in the beginning where she quotes Daniel 11. Interestingly the Protestants were persecuted by Romanism and the religion of Jesus Christ was nearly rivaled. Notice this statement says that the persecution during the Dark Ages will be more than rivaled. When Protestantism and popery are combined, we will be the recipients of that persecution. It was bad during the Dark Ages. Ellen White says that persecution will be more than rivaled when this Church/state union comes together again just before Jesus comes back.

 

Friends, we need to be girding up our faith for the crisis that is to come. I mean, if you can barely handle the trials of life now, what's it going to be like when that final crisis comes? We need to be allowing the trials that we are dealing with on a daily basis today to be strengthening our faith and our hold upon the Lord so that we will claim His promises in our lives to be ready for that time. Now let's look at some more. This shows exactly what the persecution is going to look like during this little time of trouble.

 

“As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all of this now seems impossible but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God's fear and love are removed.”

 

That is written in “The Great Controversy,” page 608. Notice those of us who refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath will be thrust into prison, some will be put into exile, some will be treated as slaves. There is going to be a lot of different forms of persecution that will be taking place. Imprisonment, exile, and slavery are some of the key features of persecution that will be taking place.  

 

Here is the next set of quotes. This makes it very clear with these next statements that there will be martyrs for the faith during this so-called little time of trouble prior to the death decree. Yes, it's true that once a death decree comes, there will be no further deaths among God's people. Then we will go through that great time of trouble or Jacob's time of trouble. During this little time of trouble, there will be martyrs for the faith. I get concerned sometimes when I hear theologies that basically teach that you can keep sinning until Jesus comes, and that we are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness. That's not going to sustain you during the final crisis of Earth’s history. The way that we will be sustained through the end of earth’s history in the little time of trouble is by being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Because the only way we will stand through facing martyrdom is to be like Christ in character. Let's look at these statements.  These are all found in “Last Day Events,” page 149-150, but they come from different sources. This first one is from the “Selected Messages,” Volume three, page 420. Notice the statement:

 

“The best thing for us is to come into close connection with God and, if He would have us be martyrs for the truth’s sake, it may be the means of bringing many more into the truth.”

 

As the loud cry is going forth, as the earth is being illuminated with the glory of God’s character, some who give out the loud cry message will be martyrs for Christ. As people in Babylon see our steadfast faith and Christ-like character, it will cause them to say, “That's what I need. That's what I want.” The blood of martyrs will be seed for the salvation of souls during this period of time of the little time of trouble. In this next statement “Selected Message,” Volume three, page 397:

 

“Many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ's sake in standing in defense of the truth.”

 

Friends, we need to be willing to stand in defense of the truth now. That might mean, that every so often, you're the only person at your church who stands for what is true even now. That's preparing you to stand in defense of the truth by God's grace when the final crisis comes. Don’t be afraid just to stand alone. Do it with the spirit of Christ. Learn to stand alone even now because that's preparedness for the final crisis when nearly all the world wonders after the beast. Notice the statement finally from “Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 5, page 712 shows: 

 

“And there is a prospect before us of a continued struggle, at the risk of imprisonment, loss of property and even of life itself to defend the law of God.”

 

Friends, God is looking for people who will overcome by the blood of the Lamb or by the word of His testimony. Revelation 12:11 says, “They will not love their lives unto death.” God is looking for faithful Seventh-day Adventists who would be willing to lay their lives on the line and to die to honor God's name and His cause as the final crisis of Earth’s history unfolds. And that begins by being faithful in the little things. Every day of our lives that we are faithful, that we follow the Lord, that we love Him with all of our hearts, even in the little things, we prove faithful to Him because we love Jesus so much.  We do see this little time of trouble coming. Notice in “Prophets and Kings,” page 588 (this was one of the last books Ellen White wrote before she died):  

 

“Men will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who are true to God will be menaced, denounced, proscribed. They will be ‘betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends,’ even unto death.”

 

We see that many will face death. Finally, in “Our High Calling,” page 125:

 

“We are not to have the courage and fortitude of martyrs of old until brought into the position they were in.... Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show true heroism.” 

 

You may be saying, “There is no way that I could burn at the stake the way John Huss did. There's no way I could be the way Martin Luther was when he faced death and said, ‘Here I stand.’ How can I be as faithful as those heroes of the Reformation? How could I face this onslaught in the world that we live in now where I would be forced to stand with the world potentially watching, and to be faithful to the Lord?” If you're faithful to the Lord in the little things, He will give you the grace to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism when that time comes. The key is that you're being faithful in the little things now. If you're not faithful in the little things, then don't expect to be faithful in the big things. You're going to compromise like most of the world. If you're faithful by the grace of God, every day surrender your life to the Lord, lay it all on the altar, then the Lord can use you to be one of His heroes of faith. You know, I’ve even heard some say we're not the heroes in the story. Jesus is the hero of the story. Well, clearly Jesus is the hero of the story through Scripture. But Jesus when He places the power of His character in our lives, He will produce heroes of faith in the end just as He has heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. God will have heroes who will show true heroism at the end by the grace of Jesus alone, not of our own strength I'm sure, but in the strength of the power of Jesus Christ. Based on the fact that a time of trouble is coming, and that we are going to face this crisis, we do need to be mindful that we don't want to place ourselves at a disadvantage when the crisis comes. 

 

In the next few minutes, I'm just going to remind you of a few things that Ellen White has said about the importance of country living. As I've said in previous presentations, the national Sunday law is the last chance to flee the cities. I’m going to share that quote again. It is best to get out when you can. Do not wait until the last moment. If you can leave sooner, don't delay. Don't wait until the angels pull you out of the city. You get out and if your family is left behind, it’s because they've learned to love the city life and the ways of this world. Lot is the only one from his family that we will expect to see in the kingdom. He is called righteous in Scripture in the New Testament. We can expect to see Lot in the kingdom, but his wife is not going to be there, and his children won't be either. That could have been prevented if he had not pitched his tent towards Sodom. It's definitely true that the righteous have until the Sunday law to flee the cities. There are probably some exceptions or exceptional circumstances where some of the righteous are required to be in the city right now for reasons that God has made known. However by and large, you should be getting out of the city and making plans to leave the city. If this pandemic hasn't caused you to think that way, you really need to wake up. If this pandemic doesn't cause you to think that the city is not a good place to be, you need to be studying the Bible and the spirit of prophecy because it's clear the city is not the place to be. We continue to work the cities from out of those centers in the country. We don't abandon the cities, and not work them, and not share the message. But to live there and to become part of the city, that's not a wise thing to be doing. So, don't wait until the last moment when God opens doors for you to leave. 

 

We're going to look at a few points here. Country living is clearly a foreign concept.  Ellen White says about when we need to leave. I've read this before but it's worth repeating in Testimonies 5, pages 464-465:

 

“It is no time now for God's people to be fixing their affections or laying up their treasure in the world. The time is not far distant, when, like that early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.”

 

I've read the rest of the quote earlier in previous presentations. When the Sunday law comes, you’re going to leave the big cities. You're going to come to smaller towns but then even the smaller towns are not going to be so safe as the Sunday law crisis escalates through the four stages. Eventually we're going to try to get to the mountains. Many will be thrown into prison and captured before you can even get to the mountains. It's always best to be in the safest place possible, to be used by God for as long as possible to do his work. If you're in the cities, it's going to be easier to be captured. Then your work will be more limited in what you could have done during the little time of trouble to give the loud cry message. Keep that in mind. We want to do the best that we can for God. This is “Manuscript,” 115 written in 1907.  Ellen White says:

 

“In harmony with the light given me, I am urging people to come out from the great centers of population. Our cities are increasing in wickedness, and it is becoming more and more evident that those who remain in them unnecessarily do so at the peril of their soul’s salvation.”

 

By the way the picture on this frame is from the recent rioting in the city of Minneapolis. You can see how quickly anarchy can come into our cities. Notice these next statements from “Country Living” all found on page 8 and from the various sources. The first one is “Letter,” 158, 1902 

 

“There are reasons why we should not build in the cities. On these cities, God's judgments are soon to fall.” 

 

Now again we don't set dates for judgments that come to cities. Some have done that recently. It's going to come and go just like every other date that has been set. That's fanaticism. God's judgments are soon to fall on these cities, and we do need to be warning the cities in the right way, not with date setting, but with clear messages of Scripture. 

 

Notice this next one from “Evangelism,” page 29 written in 1900.

 

“The time is near when large cities will be swept away, and all should be warned of these coming judgments.” 

 

The next one is September 10, 1903 from the “Review Herald.” 

 

“O that God's people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost given to idolatry.” 

 

I’m just amazed sometimes at how I see Seventh-day Adventists. I'm going to go back to that statement. I see some of my Seventh-day Adventist friends who live in the cities and they’re participating in the same idolatrous forms of entertainment as the rest of the world. I'm thinking to myself, “Have you not read these statements and what the Bible says about the impending destruction of thousands of cities that are now almost given to idolatry? Why are we as God's people participating in the idolatry that is especially found in the cities just before Jesus comes? Listen, I’ll say this too. You can live in the country but bringing the city with you to the country through your television and through your internet--that's not an excuse to stay living in the city. By coming to the country, you have a lot more opportunities to get that city living out of your system. But don't bring the city with you when you come to the country. You want to have God’s way in your heart.

 

Now I want to close by reading a couple of passages. Here you see this picture on the screen of this revelry, and hearty partying, and people just carousing with the wickedness. I'm going to read to you first from Luke 17:26-32. Notice what Jesus says:

 

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he was shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife.”

 

I see too many Seventh-day Adventists who are strategizing about how to grow their portfolio, how to get richer and wealthier, and enjoy the things of this world. Meanwhile, Jesus is at the door and many of us are like Lot and his wife, just acquiring wealth and possessions and living the American dream or whatever country in the world you may be watching from, and just living the good life of this world. We know not the time of our visitation. Jesus is saying that in Noah’s day, and in Lot’s day, they were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. He's describing just the normal things of life that in and of themselves are not evil. But they became the consuming focus so that they were taken away at a moment's notice. 

 

I want to show you Ezekiel 16:49-50, another familiar passage that says:

 

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”

 

You know there's a lot of pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness even in the Church today. There are people who are seeking positions of influence and one of the reasons why the latter rain hasn't been poured out is because we would take the credit for the work that God is doing. I'm sorry, but I see it even in ministries: ministries competing amongst themselves; speakers competing amongst themselves, trying to be more noticed, trying to be more famous. That's not going to finish the work and God is not going to pour out the latter rain on people full of pride the way the people of Sodom were. 

 

Not only is there pride in the Church, there's fullness of bread. I mean Seventh-day Adventists are some of the most unhealthy people when it comes to diet that you'll find on the earth--the people who don't follow health reform. I'm not trying to come down hard on you. But if you're not following the health principles, and you don't have a healthy weight, and you don't have a healthy lifestyle, that's not a good witness to the world around us. There's just too much fullness of bread. We're just enjoying the good life: eating out; eating more than necessary to our heart's content. 

 

We have this abundance of idleness. We're just living up the entertainment. Hopefully one thing that this pandemic has taught us--this is especially a critical time when it is hard to go to a restaurant, all of the entertainment industry is shut down, there aren't games on television for people to watch, and all of that kind of stuff. What excuse do you have now to not be in the Word and to be studying and to be preparing? Don't be like Sodom. Don't be like the antediluvians before the flood, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah before they were taken away. God has given us time to flee the cities, to come out of the cities, to be in the country, to be preparing to be the people--a special people who God will pour out the Holy Spirit upon, who will give the last message of warning to the world. We need to be preparing to be martyrs for the faith if necessary, and to be faithful even under death if necessary. God is looking for a people who will flee the sins of Sodom, flee the sins of the antediluvians, and flee the cities. Put away the idolatry and be prepared to meet Jesus in the clouds because as the message of Scripture says, “...prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” Jesus is coming soon, and we need to be ready to meet him. I pray that you and I will be faithful, and that we will heed this message, and we will be found faithful when Jesus comes. Amen. 

 

Let's go ahead and close with a word of prayer. Father in heaven, thank You for being with us in this session. We see that a little time of trouble is coming.  Lord, I pray that we would be ready for that time of persecution. May we have the oil in our vessels with our lamps, ready to meet that crisis. Lord, I pray that we would follow your counsel to flee the cities as soon as possible and to be ready for what is coming upon this world. Forgive us for when we have been like Sodom, having pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness. May we fill our time doing the work that you have given us to do. May we be found faithful when you come. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

 

Thank you and next week we are going to have a presentation on the latter rain and the loud cry, and the message that is associated with us. You're not going to want to miss it. Tell your friends about it and we will see you next week. Thank you. 

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