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All Eyes on Waco

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions

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  • October 20, 2018
    12:00 PM
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About this morning I've been titled out for all eyes on Waco and as we as we open the Word of God together invite you to by your heads with me and we ask God to open our hearts and our minds so shall we pray. Heavenly Father. We thank you and we praise you that you are a god of mysteries but you do not leave us with mystery you revealed mysteries to Daniel and he praised you for it you revealed mysteries to John the Baptist and to Zachariah and Ana in the temple when Jesus was brought as a child a father you are not a god who creates mysteries and tantalizes us with your God who reveals and invites us to search for meaning and you promised Lord that as we search that we will find the understanding of these mysteries and so today Father we live in a world where it seems on a political sphere that things are going haywire but we affirm afresh father our faith that you're on your throne the disparities not fall to the ground but you know about it. And so fathers we consider the principles of prophetic interpretation this morning I ask the same spirit who breathes these words these principles through your right as in days gone by that your same spirit will breathe upon us a fresh this morning in the words of our Him Today Father guide us with our Great Jehovah I ask that you speak through me father and for me in the name of Jesus I humbly ask men. I'm sure that many of you are familiar with this image up on the screen his name was Vernon Howell later changed to David Koresh and in 1903 he led a group of believers called Branch Davidian Zz down in just name Waco in Texas at a place count called Mount Carmel Center ranch now the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms or the a.t.f. they suspected there was a stockpiling of illegal weapons and so they obtained a search warrant and they came to the compound with arrest warrants for Koresh and some of his leaders well they attempted to raid the ranch David Koresh and his fellow followers fought back with our weapons and there was the death of 4 federal agents and 6 Branch Davidian So after the failure of that initial raid there was a siege lasting for $51.00 days from the end of February to mid April 1903 I was growing up in England at the time and even in England the b.b.c. was showing daily updates of the siege of Waco and I'm sure that many of us were watching it here in the States as well eventually the f.b.i. they negotiated a tear gas attack on this on the center to force the Branch Davidian out of the ranch and during the attack a fire engulfed Mt Carmel Center they have a picture of the fire in total $76.00 people died women men and children including David Koresh himself. The survivors are still around today. Some of them are still publishing on the Internet and you can find their writings on the Internet and many of them have gone back to their churches about a half of those people came from the United Kingdom they were not people who were you might say crazy eyed. Many of the people at Waco were people who earns the seeking a deeper understanding of Scripture and they followed someone who allegedly offered a deeper understanding of scripture in 1903 the eyes of the world were indeed on Waco in 2018 it seems the eyes of the world are on the Middle East and but today I invite you to turn your eyes to Scripture and to the God who reveals himself through those scriptures we're going to be talking today about 8 principles of prophetic interpretation that we can apply to the study of Daniel and Revelation I'm not I'm not talking about my own ideas here there's a gentleman with us today called brother Dr Edwin de Kock I think you saw in the congregation today a d.l. brother in Christ and as I was preparing for this conference I did a lot of reading and of course many books weary ones eyes put to these principles of interpretation really struck me and I'd like to share them with you this morning so I'd like to thank Dr De Kock for graciously writing much of this material and putting it together in his various book some prophetic interpretation of Harry is that Dr De Kock thank you for your work in this area. So. The 1st principle that we're going to talk about today there are 8 of these principles so so you can kind of timely I know that people like to kind of count down as the preacher is preaching so there are a principles you can count down as we're going through this the sermon notes for this will be on Daniel 11 prophecy dot com Daniel 11 prophecy dot com It will be up there by Monday if you want to take these for yourself and reflect further upon them so the 1st principle that we find as we as we look at Daniel in particular and Revelation as well is this listen to the external acts positive as you see many Bible prophecies have a dual nature they are part of prophecy and they're Patek When nation and the explanation a many times in the Book of Daniel comes from an angel or from a human. That provides an explanation for the prophecy God not only provides prophecies which include complex symbols and but he also provides an external exposure to to tell the reader what those symbols mean So rule one therefore is to take seriously the internal expose of his now let me give you some practical examples of this in Daniel chapter so in Genesis Chapter 40 and Genesis Chapter 41 is a good example the butler the baker and the Pharaoh Pharaoh all have dreams remember those stories they were pagans to God revealed himself to a pagan Butler pagan bacon a pagan King but then God spoke and revealed the meaning of those dreams through Joseph to the people who had the visions in Daniel Chapter 2 we find it never you can as a has a dream and nobody could tell him the meaning of the dream and so God gave the interpretation to Daniel that Daniel themselves said Janetta can as on the screen he said but there is a God in heaven who reveal secrets and he is made known to King that he couldn't as a what will be in the latter days we listen to the we don't just worry what was the dream of Daniel to all about we can actually find the interpretation within the chapter itself in Daniel Chapter 4 now you can as I had another dream of a mysterious tree that was cut down but not destroyed and once again Daniel provides the interpretation of that vision within the same chapter the tree says Daniel represents maybe couldn't as are there for the 7 times a verse $32.00 Daniel 4 must be interpreted literally because it's talking about an individual King Nebuchadnezzar and we cannot interpret this as 2520 years or so as you have his witnesses say ending in 1914 because Daniel said that you are the tree this is a dream about you Ok never could never so an important principle here is to listen to the external exposure to us as we go as we go through the Book of Daniel Daniel Chapter 5 Belle Chasse a sees a handwriting on the wall does he not but we are not left in darkness as to what this means. Later in Daniel Chapter 5 God provides the interpretation through the new in Daniel Chapter 7 we see 4 beasts coming out of the sea and again we are not asked we are not left in the dark as to what is the meaning of these 4 beasts Once again God provides an interpretation within the text itself in Daniel Chapter 8 Daniel has a dream of a right vision of a ram and the goat and again we are not left in darkness most of the interpretation no God sends an angel to interpret this for the prophet Daniel Daniel Chapter 9 God instructs Gabriel to come bring understanding to Daniel of a vision that has already received and in Daniel Chapter 1011 and 12 which are a single unit we find that there was one like the son of man and a majestic angel and Gabriel says in Daniel 10 verse 14 I am come to make you understand and so as we look through the Book of Daniel in particular in chapter after chapter after chapter where there is a dream or of a revision there is also an explanation given for it and if we only look at the dreams or the visions without looking at the internal exposure to us the internal interpreters were going to go astray in our interpretation and so the 1st principle of prophetic interpretation is this Look for the internal Expositor look for the explanation in the vision or the chapter itself though often guide you into the correct interpretation which leads us to the 2nd principle of prophetic interpretation which is this to compare Scripture with Scripture to compare Scripture with Scripture a Schumann's that the Bible is a coherent whole that the Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God When a symbol is used in Genesis and then it appears again in Revelation we're not left in the dark in Revelation as to how to interpret that symbol we can compare passage with passage Scripture with Scripture many modern scriptures critics of the Word of God would say to you that the Bible is not a coherent whole it's just a random collection of random writings. But it's people who accept that this is the Word of God and see the evidence in our lives we recognize there is an internal consistency from Genesis to Revelation and if we are uncertain of what a symbol means in one passage we can look elsewhere in Scripture to see where that symbol is made clear. You might say that you might express this this principle in another way that that which is clear in scripture can be used to interpret that which is less clear and when there is clear light in one part of scripture we can use that light of trying to understand parts of Scripture that are less clear it is easy to interject our own meaning into a passage a good example is here Revelation Chapter 12 vs one and 2 where it says now a great sign a page in the heaven a woman clothes with a son with a moon under her feet and on her head was a garland of 12 stars and we ask ourselves Well what was the sun and what was the moon what were the stars in that passage you RIAA Smith wrote extensively on The Book of Daniel he wrote of the woman close to the sun in Revelation 12 he argued that the sun represents the Gospel era and the moon represents old testament Judaism he wrote quote The Mosaic period Sean with a light borrowed from the Christian era even as the moon shines with light borrowed from the sun and quote Now this is poetic it's imaginative but I believe it's actually indefensible from scripture if we were to compare Scripture with Scripture on this passage they are the only other part of Scripture where we find the sun moon and stars together is in Joseph streams. And Joseph dreams we have the sun moon and the stars bowing down to Joseph what is the message Well yes the poor woman represents the Church of God but she comes out of the Jewish nation and the Old Testament Judaism that gives birth to the Redeemer there's Revelation 1212 says the church is a modern day manifestation of God's God's people going all the way back to Adam and Eve and the God of the of Eden there is a communion of faith that stretches back from Old Testament through New Testament times and there's an essential continuity between those who walk in the faithful with God which leads us to the 3rd principle. Which is be consistent in your interpretation now that we may say this is common sense and if you are raising a child or you know that one of the basic principles of parenting is to be consistent with your children would you agree if you are not consistent with your children they pick up on it really quick I've discovered that teenagers have a sense when something is not fact and if and even if something is fab it's perceived as being unfair it is unfair in the teenager's mind and as parents we have to make every effort to make sure that we are not only consistent in how we parent our children but we are seen to be consistent and we can justify and explain why we are making the decisions we are as parents and this principle of consistency applies also to prophetic interpretation and it suggests that wherever possible where a symbol means x. in one book of the Bible and it appears in another book of the Bible unless there's a compelling reason otherwise we interpret that symbol as acts as well that there is a consistency of interpretation among symbols either the books of Daniel and Revelation are chaotic jumble of completely unrelated and random symbols. Or God is a God of order and those books have an internal harmony which allow us to interpret one passage by looking at another passage and they are revelation of it the future and God's will for his. People as Take a look at this in practice Daniel Chapter 2 we're very familiar with this the image of Daniel to the head of gold representing Babel in the Middle Persian being the arms and chest of silver greases the size of bronze I was look at these pictures because the size actually goes down to the kneecaps doesn't it. Having broken my leg last year I'm acutely aware of that behind biology down here and pretty much every vision every picture we have of the statue is incorrect because the size come away down to your kneecaps almost the legs of what happens below the knee caps but anyway that notwithstanding we have the legs of Rome and then the divided nations of Europe as the feet of iron and clay this gets a this isn't presented in further detail in Daniel Chapter 7 where you have a 1st for you the lion cut comes up parts of the earth with the wings representing the Babylonian Empire then you have the media Persians represented by the bear with 3 rips the bear is raised up on one side representing the fact that Persia was the dominant power within the media Persian Empire and the 3 ribs representing the conquests of Egypt Babylonia and the Lydia all of the central Turkey of today then you have the Greeks the 4 headed leopards and then you have the 4th piece the under indescribable beast with the 10 horns upon its head and it's Adventists we're very familiar with the interpretation of these particular beasts but if you come through to the Book of Revelation you find in Revelation 12 and Revelation 13 and in Revelation 17 beasts with 7 heads and 10 horns and if you look at this screen here how many heads are present in the piece of revelation of Daniel Chapter 7 how many heads you see. 123-4567 there are 7 heads how many horns are in the vision of Daniel Chapter 7 with only horns and here there are 10 of them and then so you have 7 heads and 10 horns in Daniel Chapter 7 which we know represents Mido Persia Babel and Greece and the Roman Roman system whether pagan or ultimately Papal Rome when you come to Revelation Chapter 12 and Revelation 13 and Revelation 173 other chapters of the Bible you have beasts with 10 heads 7 heads and 10 horns there you have the sea Beast of Revelation Chapter 13 it comes out of the sea has 7 heads and 10 horns now the horns of crowns on them but in the vision it has the head of a lion it has the feet of a bear on the body of a leopard and $107.00 heads and 10 horns and immediately we realize that this really is a composite of all the beasts of Daniel Chapter 7. Now if we are to be consistent in our application not to interpretation if if the 10 horns here represented the divided nations of Europe. Then logically speaking in this beast here of Revelation chapter. 12 these must also represent the divided nations of Europe and so forth and so there need to be consistency of interpretation as we go through as we compare symbol with symbol if we are not consistent in our interpretation just just case just take take this is a case of in point we end up a with 28 heads and 40 horns and if you say that these are all different then then you know all bets are off in terms of prophetic interpretation if there are 28 heads and 40 horns all of which require a separate historical actor this leads you to an infinite number of possible interpretations which is confusing we look again at Revelation Chapter 17 so we carried me away in the spirit since the wilderness and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy having again 7 heads and 10 horns and so once again we have the 7 heads and 10 horns appearing in the Book of Revelation and so if we had to be consistent in our obligation or interpretation we must look back to Daniel to see what was Daniel speaking about when he spoke of 10 horns and 7 heads and we know in the Book of Revelation that there are 3 major opponents of the Lamb there's the dragon there's a lap and a lot that would like Beast and there's a 200 based We know this because in Revelation 20 Those are the 3 piece that end up in the sea of fire at the end of time so therefore this Beast of Revelation 17 must correspond with one of those ultimately beasts that end up in the sea of fire in Revelation Chapter 20 The basic point here is this we must be consistent when applying symbols across different passages of Scripture if we are not consistent we end up with an illiterate infinite number of possible interpretations and then your guess is as good as mine as to what an individual passage might mean which leads us to the 4th principle of prophetic interpretation and it is this recognize. Prophetic organization see visions in Daniel from 227-282-9210 through 12 they basically cover the same time period in history but they are never identical in the details later versions include differences of emphasis they include additional details that you do not find in the early versions particularly the vision of Daniel 2 in the process the symbols of Daniel may remain the same or Daniel may expand or modify them but the interpretation itself remains consistent this is this is akin to a marriage I'm not saying that marriage is that into beasts but I'm what I'm saying what I'm suggesting is that when you're dating you get that's like Daniel 2 that's the outline prophecy you've got a general idea who you're going to marry but after 20 years of marriage that's what the base of Daniel 7 you've actually you actually see you have a much richer picture of the beast with whom you're married all right you know whether they have 10 horns or 7 heads or psychotic or psychosis or something like this so you understand my point yes as you go through time in marriage your understanding of your spouse is much richer you there's much more nuance to the picture things that you didn't know in your dating time you now understand after 20 years of marriage it is the same with the prophecies of Daniel that there are basic outline prophecies the beginning to and then 7 is kind of an outline prophecy that as you go through 891011128 lot more detail is added and the additional detail is added doesn't disqualify discredit that which went before it simply enriches our understanding of what went before and so there is this principle of prophetic organization once again we come back to Daniel Chapter 2 or again we're familiar with this and then you have and I know Chapter 7 you have a lot more detail added as as as to these individual nations in Daniel Chapter 2 Greece is represented by. Edifies of bronze it doesn't tell you much about the Greek empire but by the time you come to Daniel 7 you know that it's conquest or rapid because as the wings of an eagle you know that it has 4 heads so the the Empire's Ultimate going to divide into 4 after the death of Alexander is a good example of prophetic org mentation in practice Daniel 8 provides more details of how the little horn from Daniel 7 persecutes God's people and opposes the heavenly sanctuary Ministry of the Messiah Prince Daniel 10 through 12 is a further explanation of the vision of Daniel 8 expanding on the activities and final fate of the actors of Daniel the vision of Daniel Chapter 8 recognizing prophetic augmentation is crucially important as we study the books of Daniel in Revelation because it necessitates a realisation that the visions of Daniel revelation should be studied together you cannot study one without the other that the 2 of them fit hand in hand in hand like like 2 clubs going together they are not a series of disconnected snapshots but a connected film of interrelated sequences there are alternative schools of prophetic interpretations such as Futurism prate Prater's and they fail to recognise this principle of the interrelated nature of Daniel and Revelation and thus they fall far short in their interpretations of these 2 books and so the 4th principle is this recognized prophetic organization when you see it additional detail in later versions does not disqualify the earlier versions it's simply giving you a richer picture of what you've seen before the 1st principle is this to seek historical accurate notice correctness and that's a terrible word isn't accurate in us is that such a word is accurate in us Ok I should be accurate to my English language here so seek historical correctness and accuracy Simply put the predictions of scripture should be measured against historical events but you may ask yourselves whose history are we talking about. Whose history are we to assess Scripture against Can we be truly objective in our study of history at what point do objective facts merge into a subjective interpretation of those facts whence arises Newton here is here when he wrote his book called his chronology of ancient kingdoms in 1728 they have the date down there 728 quite a while ago almost 300 years ago he was working from the Bible and the works of classical Roman and Greek antiquity. 100 years later we have a t. Jones and in the when he wrote his empires of the Bible in the late 1900 so which is a magnificent 3 volume series on this here in Empire of the 4 pies of Daniel 2 and then the ecclesiastical empire that is the Roman Catholic Church when he wrote in the late 18th hundreds he had access to far greater historical knowledge than seraphic Newton. But we have grown since and in the 21st century we are witnessing an explosion of understanding and explosion of knowledge knowledge is increasing rapidly as we speak and so modern scholars they can stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before but we have much greater understanding of what actually happened in the past and we face the temptation all of us to twist history to suit our current needs. We do this in relationships this is what you did last year No it isn't Yes it is you did that before no i didn't yes you did we have this tendency to twist the facts to meet our own personal needs and the historians even in church history fall prey to this particular temptation in particular clerics within the Catholic Church we know from his history have been particularly prone to perverting or obscuring the facts and at times deliberately falsifying them will come to some specific examples in a moment zealous to promote the interests of the papacy and no doubt for the greater glory of God's clerics have resorted to blatant forgeries such as the Donation of Constantine and the decree tools of Hugo I saw during refraining from similar and shameful Abuse of History should be one of our goals in prophetic interpretation and when I was when I was a student at Newbold I studied the writings of the teachings of David Koresh some length I was going to write a dissertation on it and the thing that struck me about his interpretation of Scripture was it was a definite skewing of history to fit a certain narrative and those who listen to maybe were not picking up on this but with a hindsight of history we can realize this is what he was doing which leads us to the next point which is to avoid history as forgery now we hear a lot these days about fake news don't we have fake news is nothing new back in the early seventy's hundreds the Germans invented the phrase look to the good troops which means he lies as though it were printed. With the invention of printing with a good and birds printing press and people not just printing truth but they were printing fake news back in the early seventies hundreds and this phrase came into German language in the early seventies hundreds because it was 300 years ago people recognized that just because it's print print doesn't mean it's necessarily the truth. Nothing can deceive like a document fake news true. Really is nothing new we see this throughout history here is a picture Rameses the 2nd known as Rameses the Great who lives in late 1200 b.c. he used to boast about his military victories his great spackle was against the Hittites of Turkey but it ended in a draw it was a stalemate but Rameses came comes back to Egypt and he boasts about the battle as though it were a great victory and of course people in Egypt most of them hadn't been there they didn't know they accepted this as a great victory snacker of the next Another good example of the in history of forgery he went on a rampage of conquest across the Middle East he comes down to the kingdom of Judah in the time of Hezekiah he takes most of the cities of Juda but he doesn't take Jerusalem remember the story where he was and camped around Jerusalem and the angel Lord came down that night and slew 185000 of the Syrian soldiers well snacker of records that event but he doesn't say he doesn't describe it how it's record record in the Bible what he says was and I quote he says Hezekiah was a prisoner in Jerusalem his royal residence like a bird in a cage Well that's one way to describe what happened that night down in Jerusalem where he lost 185000 of his soldiers in one night I might say that was truly history as forgery or fake news here is a rather famous example of fake news in church history you said b.s.. I think pretty much every student or Andrew's if you're in the seminary reads you said yes he is one of the standard textbooks of early church history but why did he write what he wrote well he wrote because he wanted to emphasize the legitimate use of legitimacy of a church led by monarchical bishops including the one from Rome and so he skews early church history to make it to to justify and to legitimize the onset of the early papacy who the bishops of Rome of a many years the papacy used a number of documents such as a dancer nation of Constantine to assert its legal rights to civil to minyan of Western Europe this was included in the documents called the decree tools utilized Dorie This is from 9th century a.d. and it's a collection of fictional accounts of early church councils most of them fictional they never happened from the 1st 7 centuries of church history to a certain buttress the power of the papacy these documents were in circulation in Western Europe for centuries and they were complete frauds history truly was fake for these historians. On the Donation of Constantine Lawrence are valid you can read it online and you can still get it as a very famous British historian he was a Catholic he lived in the late 18th hundreds in the Victorian Era His advice to persons about to write history is very simple Don't apologise when history teaches present here this morning. Don't write about history now Lord Acton was a very famous historian and he recognised the tendency even among Christians to use history as forgery to justify your intentions today and he was the guy who Koch coined those famous words power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely this is the guy that came up with that phrase and what was he talking about when he discovered he made this phrase Well there was a book came out in England in the late 18th hundreds about the. Nascence pope's And it kind of pain to them in this glorious light there was not a word about there's not a word about murder there's not a word about bribing people to become the pope there's not a word about the boy has there's not a word about the pope's having multiple mistresses and illegitimate children and then their children becoming Pope's and so forth and so forth he recognized this guy here Lord Acton though he was a Catholic he recognized that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Whenever we quote that phrase absolute power corrupts absolutely we're actually quoting a Catholic historian who is criticizing other Catholics for white washing the history of the papacy he opposed the doctrine of papal infallibility and which causes huge problems for the papacy today so how right was a Walter Scott when he 1st wrote oh what a tangled web we weave when 1st we practice to deceive so perverted history is a serious problem for prophetic interpreters truth is often the 1st casualty of war and also historical writings it lies as if it were printed say the Germans and alas it especially lies of clerics when they are involved in the writing of history so if the Bible's predictions are to be measured against current event past events as well as current events then we need to be scrupulously honest with how we review history and our understanding of history which leads us to our 7th principle is to avoid the trap of the contemporary and this is a problem in prophetic interpretation that goes back to time immemorial Sometimes a writer will notice a superficial resemblance between what is happening in the news today and it's certain event within the Scripture and they rush to produce a book of these days to put up a website that looks exciting and is certain to impress certain types of readers however when subsequent history turns out differently in defiance expectations the writer is caught in the trap of the contemporary mockery and embarrassment follow avoiding this trap is another sound principle let me give some examples of this throughout history interpreters of argue the adult Hitler Jimmy Carter and even Henry Kissinger have been manifestations of anti christ the dispensations right to howl and how Lindsay argued the world would end within 2 generations of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1908 came and went and we are still here today when the podium Bonaparte was rampaging across Europe an English Biblical and prophetic interpreter call Samuel to the argue that Napoleon was the 2 horn Beast of Revelation 13 he. Try to find 666 in the name the podium Bonaparte inconveniently for him the podium was exiled by the British to the South Atlantic where he died and so the 2 home based a revelation that particular interpretation didn't go very far the truth is that very very few individuals have made it since a specific prophecies in Scripture in fact there are 3 primary individuals of Jesus Christ who made their way into into eschatological prophecy the 1st of Cyrus the Great in Isiah Chapter 45 the 2nd is now he couldn't as a in Daniel Chapter 2 and the 3rd is Alexander the Great in Daniel Chapter 8 The reason for singling out these 3 individuals in prophetic interpretation is they are synonymous with the empires which they founded and for the impact they had in God's people in their era and we wouldn't void a lot of embarrassment today if we were a little more cautious in avoiding the temptation to say that contemporary events are a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecies. Which leads us to our 8th and final principle prophetic interpretation is to respect the previous interpreters. Those who write today must be aware of those who wrote yesterday in the last century and in the last millennium we can learn as Adventists today from the writings of inflectional giants such as Martin Luther Lutheran Charles Wesley Wesley and so Isaac Newton and I can your I a Smith and Adventist and Leroy Edwin Froome there are giants of prophetic interpretation as we did our study group here in this church and Daniel 11 over the last 6 weeks we realized that there were people like Emmanuel concerned that there would Jesuits in the past who made crucial discoveries in prophetic interpretation such as the year day principle in the mid 12 sixties that we rely on today and so it's important for us to understand that we stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before some of them were Adventist but most of them were not if you magine the Christian world as a tree Judaism is the roots and the split between Catholic Orthodox and Protestants of the 3 bows of the tree we are a small twig on a minor branch and some humility in our prophetic interpretation is called for and we recognize we stand on the shoulders of those who go before Peter wrote this he said no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation This means that throughout South Asian history God has blessed his church with those who main target prophecy within the Body of Christ God gave us prophecy that so that we might know and also be blessed in the search for understanding the symbols of prophecy are difficult to understand but they are not unintelligible and those who have a desire to serve God and love for him they will seek to understand him and Matthew chapter 13 in verse $45.00 Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a search and a merchant who is searching for a pearl and we always assume that the Kingdom of God is the pole but Jesus says the kingdom of God is like a merchant in search of the pearl. And so the process of searching for understanding involves me leaving yesterday's understanding's behind maybe admitting where I was wrong and seeking to grow my understanding. To be in search of that pearl of understanding is to recognize I don't have all the answers today by need to move from where I am today to another understanding tomorrow I need to grow and deepen and broaden my understanding and so when Jesus says the kingdom of God is like a merchant in search of a pearl of great price he's inviting us to a life of continual study in continual growth he's inviting us to be different in the evening to those who raised got up in the morning that we've grown in our understanding that we've shed our prejudices or our biases or our lack of understanding of the morning and that we've grown closer to Christ spiritually and we've grown closer to God in our understanding of His Word the kingdom of God is like a merchant in search of a pearl and Jesus is calling us to a faithful study of scripture day by day because in the process of searching we leave Well God does not want us to be and we go closer to his kingdom itself so what are we saying conclusion today come back to Waco. When I was a back in when I was back in England new bulging my dissertation Newbold. I knew that there were Adventists in Britain who had been at Waco they fill the churches in Britain and some of them still bear the scars physically and psychologically of the tragedy of Waco and so I wanted to understand why did David Koresh interpret the Bible the way that he did so I spent 3 months of time that's a lot of time studying the videos in the writings of David Koresh I learned his history I learnt his life story I learnt the churches where he'd been what he'd been saying the videos have been putting out who has left tenants where the mighty men that he called them I learnt an awful lot about David Koresh at the end of 3 months I realise that so I was going down a cul de sacs a lot. Only that there's there's no light in this cul de sac. To mix metaphors isn't it but that this cul de sac was going nowhere and so I just put the study of chorus to one side and I had another 3 months knock out my dissertation so I went to the library of all college and I sat down for 3 months and I banged out a paper. 30000 words or something and so I banged out another paper and I thought what a waste of time studying the writings of David Koresh that was in summer 2014 December 2014 there was the tsunami in Southeast Asia to member that call that the Southeast Asian tsunami and I was lying in bed on Boxing Day That's the after Christmas like a python after a big meal and I was feeling somewhat somewhat bloated I was due to start in a church in London on the 1st of January and I just handed in my dissertation and I got a call that said the division wants you to go out to Indonesia and lead address response for 6 months and I said Have you checked with my conference they said yeah they've released you and we'd like you to go today to the airport and fly out. So I drove to Heathrow Airport and I went to the check in desk and they gave me some tickets and the ticket said Colombo and I said I thought of going in the new easier now to Jakarta for my tickets for Colombo Why am I going to Colombo and they said well that's the ticket you have so I I figured somebody must know what they're doing here so the guy flew to Grenada and ended up in Granada here her kind of wonder was as if Louis flew from New York to landed in London and then he was flown down to the south of Spain and nowhere on the journey did he realize looking at the maps on the plane I'm on the wrong continent here you know there's an astonishing story anyway I got on a plane went to Colombo I was there for 6 months leading a pageant response I came back and I was asked by the b.b.c. radio service in London to interview a breakfast radio on Sunday morning and a stand simply this was a topic we want you to talk about what it's like to be an aid worker after the tsunami which is interesting topic and so I went in early Sunday morning and I was going to speak about being an aid worker as I sat there the 1st question live on breakfast radio was this We know that you studied at Newbold and the whacko from Waco David Koresh he was at Newbold Could you explain to us through relationship between nubile college and David Koresh. Just out of the blue. At that moment. I just this is this the thought flashed across my mind thank you lot the last year I spent 3 months boning up on this guy on his history on his theology on exactly his relationship with the church when he was disfellowshipped and I gave her a 5 minute on select a mini like a Encyclopedia Britannica Britannica answer I ran through the facts again of which the in the host said Well thank you very much we'll move on to the next question shall we and I kind of figured this was a kind of a trap live on breakfast radio to see how my going to answer this one that with a point is this. When you study prophecy it's never wasted you may think when you study prophecy that you haven't come to a full understanding but you don't know when you're going to have to answer for your faith one day you don't know when some is going to ask you a question about why do you believe what you believe you don't know when something's going to ask you does the Bible have anything to say about the crises we're going through in our world today we may not come to the full understanding in 2018 of Daniel 11 Probably not but as we search for understanding God grows us and he matures us so that when we are asked to defend our faith we can give a mature and responsible answer and we're not going to be caught short we can indeed glorify God in our answers and that we come across as Christians not as mindless lemmings but as people who have an intelligent faith who use our brains and think as we as we worship I have any father. So I want to conclude clude. With the prayer of Daniel Chapter 2. I'm going to paraphrase the last 2 sentences of that prayer. It says this blessed be the name of God from age to age this is Daniel praising God for revealing the mystery of the dream the vision and then be connected to him Blessed be the name of God from age to age for wisdom in power yours you change times and seasons you depose kings and you set up kings you give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding you reveal deep and hidden things you know what is in the darkness and light dwells with you to you a God of my ancestors we give thanks and praise now the paraphrase comes in for you alone give wisdom and power and we humbly ask that you reveal to us what we ask of you a fuller understanding of the open scroll of Daniel 11 and the boldness to share your last offer of mercy without dying world. Is my prayer that God will indeed as we search for understanding is that much in search for the pearl that God will grant us an understanding of his prophecies of Daniel $11.12 that our witness will burn brighter than our love will be deeper our faith will be stronger and the more people will enter the Kingdom of God through our living witness as God representatives on earth in my last and dying days May God bless us as we live as we study and as we witness for his namesake. This media was brought by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like or about. Your life or service leave. W w.

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