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Pagan Christianity Fulfilling Prophecy

Mark Finley
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The coming events prophesied in Revelation can be seen to those who know and understand the Bible scriptures. Soon church and state will unite and our religious freedom will fade away. Though these events may seem scary and overwhelming all hope is not lost. The ultimate triumph of God's people will come at the second coming of Jesus. Join Pastor Mark Finley as he studies the word of God.

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • January 23, 2021
    8:00 AM
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3 squarish sailed ships were blown by Atlantic bring iss on a top storm tourist see there were times the journey was rough and these sailors wondered whether they would make it to their destination or they would Terra ship the sea for 5 weeks these small vessels the Nina the Pinta and the Santa Maria travelled in unknown uncharted sea but the captain was sure the voyage would be successful because it was a well known well used by Bow in the captain's cabin that he had read in it guide it is spiritual life on this epic journey the captain's name you guessed it Christopher Columbus the date was August 3 1492 now in his journal Columbus wrote these words it was the warrant who put it into my mind I could feel his hand upon me the fact that it would be possible to sail from here that Spain to the Indians all who heard of my project rejected it with the laughter ridiculing me there is no question that the inspiration from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from those scriptures I said I would state my reasons now he said here's my reasons why a left Spain and headed for what he believed to be in the end he bumped into a continent on the way called that was eventually named America he thought he landed in India so we called the people here what Indians but here's what Columbus said I stated my reasons for the journey I hold alone to the sacred scriptures and holy script the sacred and holy scriptures and to the interpretation of prophecy given by certain devout persons. Columbus was a student of prophecy and the Book of Daniel really intrigued Columbus as he studied the book of Daniel particularly prophecies like Daniel chapter 2 that talked about Babylon me to Persia Greece and Rome Columbus compared those prophecies to history he saw that the European nations were divided and he recognized that the stone was going to smite the image and so he then as he compared Daniel to Daniel 7 Daniel 8 he believed that Christ was coming and was going to come soon Columbus also read Matthew chapter $24.00 and he came to the conclusion that as he read Matthew $2414.00 that this gospel of the kingdom would be preached to all the nations as a witness then the end would come and so Columbus thought if there are those in the world that don't know about the coming of Jesus that have never accepted Christ that delays Christ coming so he set out on a journey because he had heard of India that had not yet heard of the gospel he understood he knew it was a Hindu nation so he set out as he set out he discovered America a little did he know that the American continent would become a beacon of religious liberty his journey. To the new world open up to an entire continent that would be a Bashan of religious and political freedom it would become a government for the people by the people and of the people it would be have the ideal of liberty and justice although America's not always lived up to that ideal that ideal has been part of its founding it's part of the very foundation of this society the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor with her beacon of light held high states it well in the words of Emma Lazarus when she writes Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to be free the wretched refuse of your teeming sure send these homeless tempest tossed to me I lift up my hand beside the golden door so America has been fuel by the desire to be a nation that champion political and religious freedom religious liberty has been called America's 1st liberty because freedom of the mind is logically and philosophically prior to all of the freedoms protected by the Constitution I remember a number of years ago I was holding a Vangelis to meetings in the Olympic Stadium in Moscow just after Billy Graham and held his meetings and during that time the Russian parliament voted about $219.00 to $14.00 to restrict religious freedom. There was a meeting of all the churches in Russia the Baptists the been a cost Stolz the Adventists the Orthodox did not participate in that meeting because the idea was to be Russian was to be Orthodox and so in that meeting the Baptists are really concerned the administration certain the Methodists were concerned and they said look if this proposal that has been voted in Parliament passes we will be severely restricted and so they said we've got a debate so the churches in Russia came to the Adventist and they said Pastor Finley is here we want to go on national television and debate the sponsor of this bill who is a brilliant a brilliant Congressman that they would call in their parliament I did not want to enter into that debate at all but we did over national television and I will never forget his opening line he came on loaded I mean he was loaded and he looked at me and he said You're from the United States aren't you I said yes or I said but I you need to know I don't represent the United States Arabs and Jesus and there are more Adventists in other parts of the world than there are in America but he said you and your country don't have freedom he said there are only 5 basic human rights we have them all and you don't have any number one the right to housing you have homeless people we have none in this country the government provides homeless Secondly the right to health care you charge people we don't we give it to him free 3rd the right to education we give all of our people education free you charge forth the right to food we have nobody that's hungry here because we provide the food for them and 5th the right to job I just looked at your jobless rates in a civilian This is what you have but we provide all those for our people so don't talk to me about freedom that was his opening line. I looked and I smiled I said that's an interesting approach and I would agree with you that governments have responsibility to provide for their people so we have no argument there but let me ask you a question Are there any other freedoms freedom of the mind freedom of the soul and the difference or between you in the is this you think the Russian people are ignorant and I think they're intelligent he don't like them very much he said What do you mean I said you believe that the government has to make all the rights for their religion I believe that God has given every human being the freedom and they can either choose to be religious or not choose and the government has no right to legislate that when Columbus discovered America he had no idea that this nation would be a nation of religious freedom in fact religious liberty freedom of the mind is logically and philosophically the foundation for all other freedoms because if you take away the freedom of mind and thought you take away other freedoms now religious liberty How do you define that it's the freedom to believe and exercise or act upon religious convictions without interference from the government just as religious liberty involves the freedom to practice religion it also involves the freedom not to practice religion because if you can't say no your yes is meaningless now the guiding principles to support this definition are found in Article 6 of the Constitution and the opening words of the 1st Amendment. Article 6 of the Constitution concludes with these words no religious test show ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States see with this one bold stroke the framers of the Constitution preserved religious freedom and of course the 1st Amendments religious liberty cause that that concludes with or that begins with Congress shall make no law you know what respecting an establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof Taken together these 2 clauses Congress shall make no law that. Respects the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof those 2 clauses actually provide tect religious freedom these principles of religious liberty are Wolf in into the very fabric the very fabric of American life they have guided us from our very inception but it leads us to ask some very thought provoking questions some very serious questions one will liberty in this country ever fade away like a faith. Will church and state ever unite in America will they ever unite to enforce religious tenets of one set of beliefs over another will civil unrest will lead to the restriction of some of our 1st Amendment rights the 1st Amendment allows peaceable assembly but what if peaceable assembly turns to riots in Portland Oregon what if it turns to riots in Seattle Washington might those 1st Amendment rights of peaceable assembly because of the abuse of that the restrictive will hate speech which all Christians reject and condemn be so narrowly defined. That it restricts prophetic proclamation that a dent of the beast power revolution 30 Could that be considered by some as hate speech could it be possible that at a time of natural disasters economic upheaval civil unrest political divisiveness and international uncertainty that religious leaders you 90 to save society from impending disaster and to preserve the social order and a common day Everest's namely Sunday becomes the vehicle for unity just like it was in the days of the ancient Roman Empire are those things even remotely possible if this society is headed down a course where church and state unite to restrict religious freedom don't you think that that would be outlined in Scripture and don't you think it be wise for God's people to understand what's coming and prepare for it the Book of Revelation has 11 chapters that describe the coming crisis the 1st chapter the Book of Revelation reveals Jesus in all its fullness and beauty chapters 2 to Chapter 11 in Revelation describe the march of the church and the opposition against it down through the centuries but when you come to chapter 12 from Chapter 12 to chapter 2211 chapters in the Book of Revelation you have a discussion by John of the visions that God gave to him that talk about final events in Earth's history. The Bible's last book Revelation describes an amazing church state union and the restriction of religious freedom just before the coming of Jesus but it also describes the ultimate triumph of God's in time people in crisis victory over evil here is incredibly good news the beast will not win Jesus will. The evil powers of earth will not when Jesus will Christ will triumph over the Prince of palettes ease and powers of hero Jesus will return in blazing glory to deliver his people and Babilon representing the forces of evil representing the union of church and state will crumble like a sand castle beneath the waves we are a people of hope because we know how the story ends but the end of the story is not the whole story don't miss it we are a people of hope because we know the story ends but the end of the story is not the whole story before the coming of Jesus God's people will go through a time of tribulation a time of challenge a time of difficulty and scripture it's called the time of trouble some have called it tribulation but never think we have to go through this time alone never think that it's our strain that gets us through the final events Jesus is there to support to strengthen to sustain us and I want to spend some time this morning studying these last 8 years since with you and if you have your bible please take it and turn to Revelation the 17th chapter ovo we will look briefly at Chapter $12.13. The focus of our attention will be Revelation 17 it's imperative that we know what is coming so that by the grace of God and through his power we can prepare for it so I invite you to take your Bibles and turn to Revelation 17 if you don't have a Bible you can certainly look on the screen and we're going to look at verse is one through 6 I'll make a few comments on them and then we will study them in very careful detail Revelation 171 to 6 then one of the 7 angels who had the 7 bulls came and talked with me saying to me now what are the 7 bowls the 7 poles have to do with the 7 last plagues look at Revelation 16 verse one then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the 7 angels go imperiled the bowls of your wrath of God on the earth so John describes the 7 last plagues that will come upon the earth as 7 bowls of God's judgment when he introduces Revelation 17 he says then one of the 7 angels who had the 7 bulls came and talked with me so Revelation 17 tells us what leads up to the 7 last play and the climax of history within the plagues verse one then one of the 7 angels who had 7 bulls came and talked with me saying Come out show you the judgment of the great harlot So here are the terms we have to study the great harlot. The prostitute woman who who who leaves or true love or Jesus she sits on many water is what does that mean with whom the kings of the earth of committed fornication What's that all about in the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication what is that wine of her fornication so he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet colored beast who is this woman what is the east which is full of names of blasphemy What's that all about having 7 heads and 10 horns What are these 7 heads 10 horns the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color white purple and scarlet color she was adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations in the filthiness of her fornication what's that and on her head a name was written Mystery Babylon the Great why Mystery Babylon the Great Why is she the mother of harlots in the above a Nation's of the earth and I saw the woman drunk with the blood of saints obviously no religious liberty here she is drunk with the blood of saints and with the bottom martyrs of Jesus when I saw her I marveled with amazement you would marvel too if you saw her wouldn't you now the description in these verses point us back to Revelation Chapter 12 so let's go back to Revelation 12 and see if we can or in some insight into what these verses are all about Revelation Chapter 12 you're going to look there at verse one. Now a great sign appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and on her head a garland of 12 stars now notice the contrast between these 2 women you have the woman in Revelation 12 in the woman in Revelation 17 the woman in Revelation 12 is clothed with the sun She's adore and with the glory of Christ's righteousness the woman in Revelation 17 is dressed in purple and scarlet garments bored with human falshood and tradition the pure woman in Revelation 12 has a garland of 12 stars on her head What's that all about she is guided by the teachings of the Apostles in her mission the Scarlet Woman a Revelation 17 is adorned with gold precious stones and pearls she depends on her laugh ish wealth and outward adorning to impress an attractor followers the pure woman stands on the moon she drives her power from the prophetic word as the moon reflects the light of the sun so the Old Testament faintly reflects the glory of Jesus in the Old Testament we see Jesus revealed veiled in splendor in the new test and we see Jesus revealed in glory the New Testament church was based on the revelation of Christ in the Old Testament but there his glory was veiled when you come to the New Testament Jesus glorious revealed so here you have the picture of the New Testament church rising she is guided by 12 apostles with the garland of 12 stars upon her head she is standing on the moon the glory of the Old Testament Christ will be revealed in the New Testament church she is clothed with white the righteousness of Christ but the church in Revelation 17 is dramatically different notice what. She gets her authority from the scarlet woman in Revelation 17 derives her power from the state or political power as she the church is riding upon the beast not only is she influenced by the state but she influences the state she gets her power her authority from tradition from state powers from political alliances not the Word of God the Scarlet Woman is a den of 5 by Babylon by a name written on her forehead her followers have a mark in their foreheads It's called the mark of the beast and she sits on this beast the followers of God bear a mark on their foreheads It's called the seal of God The contrast between the pure woman of Revelation 12 God Church and the fallen church of Revelation Chapter 17 could not be more clear the scarlet woman sits on a scarlet colored beast which has 7 heads and 10 horns so this is fascinating this is really fascinating So she's sitting on this scarlet colored beast that has 7 heads 10 horns now in Revelation 12 the dragon that attacks the woman also has 7 heads and 10 horns the dragon represents of course 8 now in Revelation Chapter 13 the Beast also has 7 heads and 10 or so here's the point the dragon Satan who attacks God's people in. Revelation 12 need some allies to join with him. So the beast from the c.e.o. and the Beast from the land in Revelation Chapter 13 namely the papacy and false religion in America join with the dragon in a union of church and state with a quote apparent attempt to unite the social order under the auspices of the 1st day of the week and that's the picture of Revelation 17 it's summarizing what has happened in Revelation Chapter 12 The scarlet woman see in Revelation 17 symbolizes the religious component it symbolizes not only a single religion but all false religions you 90 with the beast namely all political or state powers the whole is motivated empowered by Satan and his hatred against God and His people now did you notice in Revelation Chapter 17 something very quite interesting it talks about Babylon. Now why Babilon in Revelation 17 why this expression Babilon the mother of harlots on her forehead Why is that they are throughout Scripture Babylon represents the oppressor of God's people it's the citadel of era it's the center of apostasy it's the fortress of forts that it stands for re Belial against God and disobedient to the divine commands God's judgments on Old Testament Babylon represent his final judgments on the world now the story of Babylon is very instructive to God's people to remember in the Book of Daniel it talks about Babilon attacking Jerusalem and whenever can answer a Babylon attacked Jerusalem he took Daniel and his friends captive in Daniel Chapter 3 there was a counterfeit image set up and a universal world ruler united church and state under the auspices of Babylon. So that God's people would be forced Kol worst or compelled to violate one of the Commandments that said Thou shall not have any other gods before me 1st commandment thou shall not worship any idols 2nd commandment So the 1st and 2nd commandments were a test question in the days of ancient Babylon when church and state unite so spiritual babble and also makes a test question namely the 4th Commandment church and state are united again again God's people like chatter going to Bendigo who went through the fiery furnace go through a time of trouble but once again Jesus steps forth once again Jesus protects this people once again Jesus comes to deliver his people once again at the time of the end God's people like in the days of ancient Babylon will be oppressed and persecuted now the Book of Revelation predicts that at a time of social chaos political crisis natural disaster is an economic collapse Jesus will return to triumph over the oppressive powers of the world and liberate his people here a good he'll reign eternally Hilla stablish his throne securely in the universe for ever but in the battle for this throne God's people will pass through a time of trouble and then the earth will be illuminate with the kauri of God and Christ will come and will walk through the streets it through the gates of the city into the limitless space to worship in New Jerusalem now Revelation 17 verse 6 talks about that time of difficulty when religious liberty fades like the sun fading in the western sky bringing in darkness. Take your bible please and turn to Revelation 17 verse 6 this is an expansion on Revelation Chapter 13 in Revelation Chapter 17 verse 6 it says I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of martyrs of Jesus and when I saw her I marveled with great amazement the universal death the Korea has been passed according to Revelation 13 which will look at momentarily and so much blood of the martyrs has been shed that she is drunk with their slaughter and according to this verse revels like a drunkard no let me be very plain with you God does not allow his people to be playthings of the devil just as in the dark ages the middle of a medieval church united church and state just as that took place and the blood of the martyrs shed and abled the Gospel to be spread so when an international decree is passed there will be some martyrdom but the only reason God allows that to happen is so that the testimony of our faith if we are cold to martyrdom is a witness to others and they step out to follow Christ once human probation close and the decree goes forth he that is just let him be unjust still and he that is righteous let him be righteous still and the 7 last plagues are poured out there is no more martyrdom because it would serve no ultimate purpose. So God only allows the blood of martyrs to be shed if indeed in some way it goes for the furtherance of the Gospel no Revelation Chapter 13 verse 15 to 17 describes this as well Revelation 131-5217 talks about that time when the woman rides upon the scarlet colored beast that time when religious liberty is taken away when God's people are oppressed Revelation 13 verse 15 to 17 he was granted power to give breath or a life to the image of the beast that the image of the bee should both speak out now in the Bible the beast represents a political power how do political powers speak how do they speak through their what through their laws so he was granted power to give life to the image of the beast that the image of the b. should speak that is to say that this political power influenced by the church the fallen church would speak that is would issue laws and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast be what killed and he causes all both small and great rich and poor free and bond free and slave to receive a mark on their right hand or their foreheads that no man buy buy or sells except one who has the mark or the name of the beast of the number of his name somebody says past the mark I shaken tremble when I think of that time and nobody can buy or sell I shake and tremble when I think of that time of religious liberty going because I don't know if I can make it the good news is you can't the better news is with Jesus you can Jesus does not give us the thing of martyrs until. The time a martyr Joe. As we develop faith in Jesus every day today as we trust him in the trials of life as we go through the challenges of life not in our own strength but as in Jesus straight we are developing faith that will be intensified magnified enlarged in the time of difficulty so that in his strange then by his power we can go through now commenting on Revelation the 13th chapter in this little book called The Last Day events in the l and why it is quoting the great controversy page 57579 I read so there is a comment on Revelation 13 the prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamb like horns show cause the Earth in them that dwell there into worship the papacy there symbolized by the beast like unto a leopard this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall in force Sunday observance which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy Now listen to this quote or read it from the screen can you read it with me from the screen political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth and even in free America rulers and legislators in order to secure a public favor will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance No let's analyze that statement a little bit because it is a very critical statement extremely important to understand 1st political corruptions to strength of justice do we see any political corruption today. Do we see any political corruption today all right politicized destroying love of justice and regard for truth do we see that happening even in free America rulers and legislators in order to secure what public favor what's public favor that's votes right the votes to stay in position in order to secure public will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance No here is an area where I feel many Christians and some advocates make a serious mistake they have the idea that some dictator is going to arise and that dictator is going to enforce the mark of the beast some authoritarian power not at all oh at a time of economic difficulty at a time of political uncertainty at a time of natural disaster at a time of civil unrest what happens rulers and yet it legislators in order to secure what public favor will yield to the popular demand way or does the demand for our the law to worship on the 1st day of the week when a certain income from doesn't come from the top or is come from the bottom it comes from among what the people so it is a massive people movement to establish a day of worship in an attempt to reduce social unrest and to restore what they believe is God's favor to the nation what this leads up to is a Final Crisis let's study Revelation 17 more closely let's look at it phrase by phrase those 1st 6 verses and really have them clear in our brains Revelation 17 we're going back to it. With the background that we've given this will jump out at us in clear light now revelation the 17th chapter and we're looking here starting with verse one Revelation 17 verse one now will notice the clarity of this how clear it is then one of the 7 angels where the 7 bowls one of the 7 bowls everybody 7 last plagues came and took me come all show you the judgment the great harlot who is the great harlot it represents fall'n religion that has drifted away from the Word of God She sits on many waters what do waters represent Look at verse 15 then he said to me the waters which you saw where the harlot see it's our peoples multitudes nations and duns So just like the river Euphrates supported the ancient city of Babylon and provided life giving water so many people will support fall in religion and false churches Now notice what it says. Come out show you the judgment the great harlot this this church system that's drifted away from Christ it's introduced our own traditions and sits on waters with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication what is fornication it's an illicit Union an illicit relationship so rather than the church being united to Christ the fall and church apparently gets its power and strength from the political leaders she commits fornication with them she political leaders So what do we see a public trickle religious union that erodes religious liberty and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication Now let's pause there in the bible oh why not also represents the pure unadulterated truth of the Gospel remember Matthew chapter 26 Matthew chapter 26 Jesus talks about the wine but this in Revelation 17 is not the pure wine of the Gospel not at all oh. Revelation Matthew $26.00 you're looking there at verse $26.00 Matthew $26.00 here is the pure wine of the Gospel Matthew $26.00 verse $26.00 The Bible says as they were eating Jesus took bread communion service blessed and broke it gave it to the disciples and said to eat this is my body then he took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying drink from it all of you for this is my blood for the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins but I say to you I'll not drink of this fruit of the vibe now or until I did the day I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom so the pure juice of the great represents the wine of the gospel what is the Gospel it is the good news that Jesus came he tabernacle did human flesh he lived the perfect life we should have lived he died the death we should have died for it I preach that we can come to hear what is the good news of the gospel the good news of the gospel is that every man woman and child on planet Earth can be saved in God's kingdom the good news of the gospel is not one man woman and child need be lost what is the false gospel the false gospel is looking to man rather than looking to Jesus the false gospel as is trying to live the Christian life in your own strain the false gospel is looking to the traditions of the church rather than the Word of God the true Gospel reveals that although we are frail and full and sinful and defiled human beings through Christ and with Christ and because of Christ we can be saved with him forever the true Gospel leads us to depend totally and absolutely upon Jesus the wine a Babylon is the false gospel it represents human dependence pride self inflated importance. It's a gospel that leads men and women to depend on human tradition in non biblical teachings and human reason and in achievements now we discussed previously but the scarlet beast upon which the woman sits represents political or civil government now the main thrust of this chapter 17 is very clear if you look at the big picture of Revelation 17 here it is and apos date religious power will unite with the state to achieve absolute control over the world the mother church whose religious colors are purple and scarlet sitting on a hill of 7 sitting on a city of 7 hills in Rome has multiple daughters that is other religious groups who unite with her teaching on biblical doctrines Now you remember what was written on the head what was written on the head of this woman there was a word written where was it do you remember mystery what Babylon the Great what were the 2 great teachings of Babylon if you want to stay in the 2 great teachings of Babylon you have insight into what's coming in the future here they were the 2 great teachings of Babylon where number one the immortality of the soul that there was an immortal essence in human life that left the body at death and the worship of those ancestors that lived on Secondly Bellmawr Duke was the chief god of Babylon Bellmawr Duke was the god of sun worship so the 2 chief errors of inch and Babylon were what the immortality was hold sun worship. So therefore we should expect at a time of absolute chaos in society the devil to work force miracles we should expect the devil to attempt to unite society on the immortality of the soul and on Sun worship now look Ellen White makes this in a lightning statement you'll find it in great controversy page 588 through the 2 great errors the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacred us Satan will bring people under his deceptions while the former lays the foundation for spiritual ism the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome I quote the Protestants of the United States will be the foremost in stretching their hands of cross the go to grasp the hand of spiritual as they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power and under the influence of this threefold Union what's the threefold Union spiritual as I'm that's all pagan religions the papacy that's the beast power that's Catholicism and Protestantism So under that threefold union what will happen this country will follow in the steps of Rome trampling on the rights of conscience now the union of church and state is going to lead to Earth's final war we find that in Revelation 12 verse 17 so go back and look at Revelation 12 verse 17 revelation the 12th chapter the 17th verse. A war is coming a crisis is coming that God is going to have a people that stand firm and true to him through his power by his strength in his grace Revelation 1270 the dragon whose the dragon that's the devil is enraged are angry with the church he goes to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus what was the issue in the great controversy in heaven when Lucifer rebelled against God what was the issue it was the worthiness of Christ to be worshiped and the authority of God to keep is low so there were 2 major issues in Satan's rebellion in heaven what were they the worthy of g. the worthiness of Jesus to be worship and the ability of God to pass just laws by Satan's ingenious diabolical action of the change of the Sabbath he attempted to whack both of those out because if you knock out the Sabbath. And Christ is no longer the creator you know count the ability to worship truly because remember revelation 411 says that aren't worthy o. Lord to receive glory and honor and power because you created all things so you destroy the Sabbath and you destroy the basis of worship but if you destroy the Sabbath you would destroy the authority of the law of God because the law of God is based on the fact that God created us and therefore we're accountable to Him So the 2 issues in which say 10 attacked God in heaven become the issues in the final conflict over worshiping the creator and the authority of God's law so men and women are saved by grace transformed by love redeemed by power keep the Bible Sabbath not as a legal is sick requirement but as a sign of Jesus' worthiness in a sign of Jesus' authority and a sign of Jesus' redemption and all the powers of church and state unite are marshalled against them but look we know how the story ends Revelation Chapter 17 Revelation Chapter 17 we look here at verse 14. Well let's go back to Luke look at verse 13 These are one mind that's the powers of earth to unite and they will give their power authority to the beast political powers giving their authority to the beast power of the religious powers church state unite verse 14 these will make war with the law and though him will overcome them for he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and those that are with him are called in shows and invade who's going to win this war notice these will make war with the lamb the lamb will overcome them for he is Lord of Lords King of Kings and those that are with him are called chosen and faithful Jesus will win in Earth's last war Satan will lose in Earth's last war the work of Jesus will go forward to triumph notice those that are with him are called chosen in faith but what does that mean 1st was it mean to be called every human being ever born in this world is called by Christ to salvation everyone wherever whatever country they're born in the because the Bible says John 19 Christ is the light that lights every man. So when you were born God had a divine plan to save you it's not good news when you were born the Holy Spirit began to work in your life to redeem you when you were born God begin to reign circumstances in your life you were called by God you feel that nudging in your heart you feel that conviction of the Holy Spirit you feel that you're still being led to him that is God doing that you are cold when we make a choice to accept the calling of God in our life and all of your life. God's going to be calling you calling you deep or calling you another step in the Christian experience calling you deeper prayer deeper worship deeper commitment your call but once we accept that calling them which shows we are chosen to be an ambassador for Christ which chosen to be the light of the world we are chosen to be the salt of the earth we are chosen to witness for Him We are not the the frozen chosen we are not chosen to simply come in church and sit here and go home and do nothing we are chosen to be the light of the world where chosen to be an ambassador for Christ were chosen to share his love to give out literature to give Bible studies to give out D.V.D.'s we are chosen to make a difference in this world. But I pray to God that not only will be called in Chosen but will be faithful will be faithful he that indoors to the end will be saved down through history God has called men and women. Of history God's chosen men and women and down through history God's people that are faithful Middle Ages in spite of persecution God's grace was sufficient while densities often burned at the stake martyred God's grace was sufficient if you could come with me and interview people in Eastern Europe as we were there during the days of communism God's grace was a fish one of the most moving stories comes from England in the 17th century it's the story of John James you may not be aware of it but there were many Sabbath keeping Christians in England in the 17th century John James was a Sabbath keeping pastor. He was preaching one Sabbath in the 1600s in his church and the authorities came in and arrested him he was tried for treason Now the interesting thing about this story is we have eyewitness accounts of what happened and we have the court records of his trial and I want to read to you a little bit about John James in the trial that he went through he was examined and committed to Newgate prison on the testimony of several false witnesses who accused him of speaking treasonable words against the king his trial took place about a month after with which he was conducted himself in such a manner as to create sympathy he was sentenced to be hanged and then after his hanging for his body to be chopped apart in his heart to be carved out this awful sentence did not dismay him in the least he calmly said Blessitt be God who man can damage but God justifies while he lay in prison under the sentence of death many persons of distinction visited him they were greatly affected by his piety and resignation they offered to exert themselves to secure his pardon but he had little hope of their success his wife went to the king who happen to be Charles the 2nd she appealed for his release but she was ridiculed and mocked in both instances she was repulsed with scoffs and laughter. Now at the scaffold on the day of his execution Mr James addressed the assembly in a very noble affecting manner after his address kneeling down he thanked God for His mercy and for his innocence he prayed for the witnesses against him for the executioner for the people of God for the removal of divisions for the coming of Christ for the spectators and for himself that he might enjoy a sense of God's favor and presence and entrance into Gori what he ended his prayer the executioner looked at John James and said The Lord receive your soul and Judge James replied Thank you friend a friend observing to him said this is a happy day and John-James answered I bless God it is then having thanked the sheriff for his courtesy he said Father into the hands like a man mice spirit when I think of his faith this thought comes to my mind I don't want anything in my life to stand between me and Jesus so he cannot strengthen me in that day wouldn't it be a terrible thing to Faith's Earth's crisis and your own strength to give up your faith and you 90 with God's enemies in condemning God's people and be one of the witnesses at a trial for your pastor for somebody else in your church and witness against them and see them martyred for their faith wouldn't it be a terrible terrible terrible thing to sell out so cheap and so quickly but think of the incredible good news the amazing goodness to stand faith. And see God's Holy Spirit poor and out to see the glory of God revealed. To see the Gospel preached see Jesus Christ. Think of the incredible good news that there is to be faithful to Christ until the the way it will be faithful to the end is to be faithful today we do not get strength for the crisis during the crisis we get strength for the crisis before the crisis and Jesus invites you and me today to say Ward I don't want anything between you and the Lord I I want only one thing and that's to push you in everything I do I want to see you when you come I want to live through all eternity because to sell out cheap is to lose your soul and to lose your soul is to lose everything that matters which I value heads with me and pray is there somebody here this morning or somebody watching on line that there's something in your life that you know is not in harmony with God's will and the spirit is convicting you right now to make a decision a decision for eternity if it is surrender that thing and give it up to ask Jesus to help you to be fully committed to him somebody that's holding something back you've never you've not yet surrendered this thing this is not a general call a specific it's a very specific call something you haven't yet surrendered but God's been convicting you on that you just want to raise your hand say God give me the strength give me the strength just raise your hand give me that strain. Isn't somebody here today. That you feel quite weak and frail at times you wonder whether you can make it but you want to walk away from the woman on the scarlet colored beast you want to Jesus. To his strength to his power. Who want to say Jesus grant to me. You are storing. Help me to think not of my weakness but of your strength. Of my frailty but your enduring light that without focus on. My faults but on your victory somebody here today that says Lord. I need you. And I open my heart to you and I want to focus on Jesus not on my weakness just raise your hand. Oh my father. Of the we see a crisis coming. We recognize that we have a Christ for the crisis we recognize that our Jesus is stronger and greater. Than any crisis. Thank you Lord. And we can be on the winning side. Thank you that we know the end of the storm. Thank you that in Jesus we did triumph that was. Christ. 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