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Jesus Methods in the 21st Century, Part 1

Mark Finley

Presenter

Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • January 30, 2012
    9:00 AM
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father in heaven we thank you for the privilege of coming together to study your word and to discover how we can be more effective witnesses for you our churches can come alive in knowing you and serving you in being the active outreach centers that you long for them to be in the community we pray that every unfinished church that we represent would be filled with the Holy Spirit every member would be converted led to you that our churches would have an out of vision for the community leading men and women boys and girls to Jesus Gordon this class expand our minds and larger vision help us to see the potential for our own ministries whenever we serve whether we are pastors early leaders but help us get things here that we can apply it to make a difference board were living too late in Earth 's history simply to mark time reliving too late in the history of this world simply to come to a seminar go home the same people we pray that you would work your trance formation in us in Christ name number of years ago in fact was just three years ago now I was teaching fourth son University ICT masters students on the people that we were looking at church growth and so was a master 's class on church growth I set my students and first aid classes would like you to do like you take the Bible read the book of acts read it through in one or two settings will take about four hours to read it through reader through thoughtfully carefully and prayerfully after you've read the book of acts through once and go through it a second time in the list the major church growth principles that you find and discover the Max list for me what do you see happening there what are the major elements what was it that was so dynamic it can exciting about the book of acts it was the church to grow in the right from your five page paper on the topic my students came back the next week against the week to do it my students came back and is in and read the papers and sixteen students in the class as began to read the papers I was probably more amazed than I should have been when I looked at the papers it looked as if the papers were essentially the same the students and Raven reading the book of acts and they had grasped the reality of what was going on there they had sentenced what God was doing the book of acts in the book of acts we find the universal principles that enable us to understand how the church grows these universal principles are different the methods I really should begin by defining for you the difference is when a method and a principal a principal is eternal and universal those two characteristics are characteristics of the principal prince was eternal universal that means a principle can be applied at any time a method tends to be limited in time where principle you can find the first century can apply the ninth century the tenth century can find the 18th-century 21st-century sub principle is always eternal and thought it but let me give an example of that gravity gravity is a universal principle if I throw Apple up in the air in the first centuries to come down if I thrown up in twenty first century is going to come down you know if I if I stand up on this I'm not a tryout to either one the operational one another if I stand up on this stool and I and and I stamp allotment falloff where ever whenever I did Afrocentric first century have I will now it's the same with universality I knew a principle that is universal applies to all peoples all times all peoples for example if a Jamaican man smokes it's not have any effect in his lungs because he's a Jamaican mammoth American and smoke to have effect on his lungs because an American right what effect Jamaican lungs are different are they what about African lungs what about South American lungs see smoking their universal principles on an African man or Indian land or South American man or American man eats a high-fat diet easily predisposed to heart disease right so heart diseases cross cultural so a high-fat diet that's universal principles so a principle has to be universal in time I yet it has the eternal and signing universal in scope so that's the definition for principal a principal eternal in time universal in scope so what we want to do is we want to look at church growth principles in the book of acts that are eternal in time thereby the first century divide twenty first century they find that in their universal in scope they find the Bronx when they apply in a little village in the heart of Africa numbness this are neither universal in time or return when scope of method may work in one place but it may not work in another place I give you an example number of years doesn't hold evangelistic meeting the Philippines and I get off the airplane and they have this big sign welcome Doctor Mark Finley and the conference president came to me said that pastor Findley we are going to have a major advertising for your meetings tomorrow you hold your meetings at Beagle University and this is what's going to happen we have a truck a flatbed truck you will sit on the back of the truck on a little they are you sit there on that little chair on the back of the truck there will be a police car in front with a megaphone on it and we'll be shouting out welcome Doctor Mark Finley all the pastors will run on the side of the truck and devout handbills to the crowd still be balloons on the truck saying welcome Doctor Mark Finley do you think we might use that in New York City Times Square that method a truck down the center industry with other balloons I won't even what would happen if we did that past man in jail right so that's a method that you know what it worked in the Philippines nearly because a method works in one place does not mean the method is to work in the some methods are variable they may work and they may not during this class were looking at principles that works in the first century and it will work in the twenty first century let me kind of your resume of the week what's going to happen this week this week in the first class under the set out these eternal principles for you were to look at five eternal principles it may take me three hours to siphon out this morning but that's going to be a want to do that well because that's our foundation then I will take these five principles with my wife and apply them to local congregations in the context of health evangelism but I may give you a much broader foundation in the first presentation in health evangelism so this morning we go through the book of acts look at strategic planning permission the New Testament church began in Jerusalem acts two forty seven four four and six one seven it rapidly spread through the Judea and Samaria and penetrated to farthest corners of the earth if you look for example at Colossians chapter one verse twenty seven and I'll encourage you to bring your Bibles the class if you look at Colossians one you'll find that dear Ian Colossians chapter one that by the time we come to approximately sixty A.D. thirty years after the cross unit cautions one verse twenty seven the Bible says and an first through verse twenty nine to them God willed to make known what the riches of the glory of his mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you the hope of glory whom we preach warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus now notice what the Bible says to this and to this end I labor so the apostle Paul's great goal was to see the gospel go to every human being the challenge that the church face in the book of acts was enormous the population of the Roman Empire in the first century with a hundred and eighty million so you look at the first century of the population was one hundred and eighty million people you had about that if you look at the number of disciples that met the upper room there were one hundred twenty hundred twenty disciples in the upper room the challenge was to reach a hundred and eighty million people now that would mean that there was one Christian for every one six million not the statistics were enormous today in the world there's one Seventh-day Adventist for every four hundred and twenty one people it's a little less now for meeting people in the world so we have one address to reform eighteen we talk about a secular culture godless culture how difficult it is to reach our society but you look at what the disciples faced a minute they if you if you analyze New Testament society I've read some books on Roman gringo culture the New Testament society was a godless society it was a society that was bathed in Greek philosophy it was a society that was bathed in Roman military might it was a society that was sports mad it was a society that had these that lasted for months and even those piece of the Emperor with well-written drug Avastin for months they had moves were after you had eaten so much and you were sold the old you would go out on and they provided as part of the menu a feather that you could tickle your throat with when you ate so much and they had what they called the Macy's basins and was perfectly proper to take a little amazing space in your little bronze basin and tickling you take that in your feather you go to the throw up or vomit room you put the feather down your throat and vomiting your basin and you can back need more submenus included little pink and you can read these ancient Roman venues that if they included little baby pink mice that you would hold by the tale as they flopped around in honey and swallow a live so that you could vomit when you went to the Macy's root even easier feast lasted for months sporting events we have a movie called the gladiator they had the real thing and so you look at the society it was characterized by Greek philosophy often you would go to the Roman forum and it would be arguments in the street by Socrates and Plato I need by bike the proponents of Socrates and Plato to be arguing the street over philosophy so intellectualism and Greco-Roman society the Roman army was the strongest army in the world and it had military might they were dominating the world with military might in addition to that the sporting events concerts the immorality homosexuality was common in the Roman baths prostitution was very common so the things that we see in our society really the seams of the Roman Empire have flourished in our society today but ancient Rome was a class structure you have the very wealthy and you have a very poor in in Rome and within that context that sacking of philosophy of military life sports and culture it was in that context that you had a hundred and twenty disciples that met her next one in the upper room and when you see what happened it was it is actually amazing let's just take one moment and look at some of the numbers in the book of acts you're familiar of course in acts chapter two that three thousand are baptized in a single day and so if you look here at acts the second chapter and you look at verse forty one gorgeous look at some of the numbers we start in the upper room and asked one with a hundred and twenty disciples meeting in the upper room we go to ask the second chapter and you'll notice in verse forty one then those who gladly received his word were baptized in the same day three thousand were added under that the disciples woke up in the morning of acts chapter two hundred and ten a cost and they had no idea what was going to happen they had no idea that the world was to be changed that morning and they prepare their hearts and the Holy Spirit was poured out dramatically and God did some things surprises and that's the kind God we serve they woke up in the morning in the spirit of God was poured out in an incredible powerful way three thousand were baptized that day ask chapter four verse four how many of those who heard the word believed in the number of men five thousand so in acts chapter five for you have five thousand believers just men you have a five thousand women and children the church now in a few short days comes to fifteen thousand from hundred and twenty you ask chapter five when you look at their adverse forty two verse forty two vote and daily in the temple in every house they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus so the preaching or teaching Jesus by acts chapter six verse seven many of the priests last part of act six seven many of the priests are now obedient to the faith give religious leaders that are becoming Christians as you go through the book of acts thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of active available to backs the Bible uses the word millions in the word myriads in the Greek language means tens of thousands the Holy Spirit is being poured out quite dramatically tens of thousands of people are becoming Christians by the time you come to the end of the book of acts as clear as we can tell most students of religion and the sociology of religion indicate that there are one million believers by the time the company in the book of acts and what I want to see as well as the population Roman Empire what did we say hundred eighty million and you look at acts wanting in the hundred twenty believers in the ratio is one believer to every one six million but you come to the end of the book of action about million Christians now and the and you and your ratio is now one to one hundred and eighty it is just dramatic what happened in the book of acts the outpouring of the Holy Spirit enable the church in forty years to reach the world and that's why the apostle Paul could say the Gospels bridge of refrigerator have tenant happen again will it happen again I will God brought his spirit dramatically to reach our world indeed indeed he will the mandate to evangelize the world and make disciples of all nation comes directly from Jesus any church that is not growing any short this ensures that has little interest in the community is this obedient to the commandment of Christ this will be the Antichrist the idea that we are and we have to save ourselves and that the whole world is lost God has called us to sanctification holiness we can say myself that is contrary to the gospel is contrary to the best advantage is because the mandate to evangelize the world and make disciples the good news is so good we want to share it is his will that every person on the planet earth be saved they all will not be but that is not because of God 's intent is because of their choice he is unwilling for any to perish he's passionate about reaching lost people in the book of acts the church grew spiritually numerically geographically and girls cross culturally so we talk about church growth were not talking simply about numerical growth we talk about church growth we're not talking simply about the numbers we are talking about numbers but in acts the church is growing spiritually closer to Christ and his grace and power the growing numerically people are being added to the growing geographically from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth and right cross culturally that is with people of varied ethnic groups you have Jews you have Gentiles becoming part of the church the Greeks becoming party with Africans becoming part so that's the beauty of the Christian church it grows spiritually numerically geographically in a gross cross culturally Luke uses two significant Greek words and acts if I asked you who wrote more in the New Testament than anybody else you probably might think Paul it's Luke Luke if you look at the gospel of Luke in the Gospel of acts there is more there than in the writings of Paul salute is the foremost writer Luke was a physician isn't it rather interesting that a physician wrote more in the book of acts that it broke wrote the book of acts about church grow in the mood uses two significant terms that describe the explosive growth of New Testament church the first is oxide that's an agricultural term which means to grow increase it has to grow at the rate has to do with a rapidly growing harvest so when Paul is talking about the church growing in the book of acts we sung about members being added to the church is using this word axonal which is like the harvest is here it's like the harvest is just exploding it's like he walks out into a field oxide was an amazing word it's like oxide it was the worst farmer would use when he walks out in the field in Michigan into an apple orchard and everywhere he looks the apple trees are just field without her it's like a farmer in Florida who walks into the beautiful orange grove NEC is this incorrect temple orange grove and you can't see anything else that are just arches argues that the farmer looked those up so another words look at the harvest and that's the word that Lou Hughes is to describe the harvest in the New Testament that replacing looks just like when you every place you in the orange grove everyplace he looks people are coming to know the Lord and harvest of the second great word is another interesting word please know he uses that to grow as well with the mill is an interesting word it is the word multiply and multiply is like when you have a baby it's like women are pregnant and having children and so the church is growing like the harvest it acts in the church is pregnant having children David Hicks a writer the theologian puts it this way will describes the growth of the early church in the same terms that the Septuagint when you see this word here it means L thanks that is fifty times had less Septuagint the seventy scholars that the Old Testament Hebrew translated in Greek so they can be more readable for the average reader but that's what that means the Septuagint describes the increasing population of the earth in the increasing number for the children of Israel just as children are a blessing from the Lord and just as the increase of Abraham 's descendents was a blessing so also the growth of God 's kingdom is a blessing from God you never what the Bible says in Proverbs children are a blessing from what the Lord this worked with filling out the issues means that the last thing that God gives the church when the gospel is shared and your children are born into the kingdom of God so God wants to bless your church with many new children God wants to bless what God wants to increase the family and just as we rejoice when a baby has a child so we can literally read I'm a winner when a mother has a child babies which are when a mother has a child just as we can rejoice that when mother as a child so we rejoice when new children for the kingdom of God now a careful study the book of acts reveals the disciple success was based on five universal principles were to talk about those these eternal evangelistic principles bridge cultural barriers and ensure success in soul winning if a church applies one of these principles it will grow some if it applies to these principles it may grow a little more than any church that applies these five church growth principles from the book of acts is the new exploding growth any church that will take these principles seriously have their church board study how to apply them will see grow that is unusual and unprecedented they are simple principles it's this master strategy minimally shared our first class is based on five church growth principles as I've traveled the world and interview pastors pastors who may have never thought consciously about these principals and pastors who may never have studied themselves but they've applied them inadvertently they haven't no is necessarily about the principles but they may applied to three for I traveled throughout China and into the largest church in the world in China it has six to seven thousand members we have a large church building there it's an amazing congregation pastored by a woman incidentally I was in her church when she made an appeal four hundred came forward for baptism that Sabbath in her church three of four hundred is just amazing but she understood these principles and was applying them in China I've been in churches in Africa where they understood these principles and are applying small churches in North America that have applied these principles and as they've applied them their churches have grown and there no longer small churches the five keys to the successful evangelism or biblical Christ centered principles and they testify to their explosive power by producing growing churches what are the first is revival churches grow as members are revived churches grow as members are transformed by the grace of Christ all numerical growth in a local congregation is based on spiritual growth you're not have very much numerical growth unless you have spirit children spiritual growth becomes very a current becomes very foundation what is spiritual revival it's the renewal of spiritual life that leads to a deep sense of dependence and reliance on God spiritual revival takes place when our spiritual lives are renewed when we have a new sense of independence and reliance upon God the book of acts testifies to the dynamic power of God working through converted believers God must do something in me before he can do something through me God you must do something for me if Oregon do something with me God must do something in my heart before I can do something in the world increase general life being is more important than doing you can do without being but you can never be without doing you can do without being union will involve an activity activity activity and still have a very shallow formal experience with Jesus and activity can become your God and your Savior so you can do without being but you can never be without doing when you come to Christ that he transforms your life a mix you over again and you understand his grace and you're immersed in his love and you understand the uniqueness of the message that God has given to transform the world and you understand the three angels message itself burns in your heart and so transforms your life that you have to share you can do nothing else but share it so you can do without being but you can never be without doing this for the next testifies New Testament church grew largely because each member experienced a personal encounter with Jesus but the back and review what was happening the lives of these investment believers that's one per se Jesus said to them you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you'll be witnesses to me in other words and Holy Spirit transformed your life you will be a witness witnessing is an something after manufacture witnessing isn't something you have to put pressure on yourself to do you will be a witness when the Holy Spirit comes upon you remember when Peter and John were told no one that they were no longer to witness no longer to share what do they say we cannot but speak the things we've seen and heard Dennis we been transformed by the grace of Christ does not have to thrust right this is no option when they had prayed the place where they assemble together was shaken and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness notice the relation between the two they were filled with what the Holy Spirit and the results of that was what speaking for God Whipple 's and with great power the apostles gave witness the resurrection so there is a relationship between what's happening inside of them and what they are proclaimed look at John that which was from the beginning which we've heard which we've seen with our eyes which we've looked upon in our hands have handled concerning the Word of life was manifest and we have seen an bear witness and declare to you eternal life so I bear witness and declare to you eternal life what I've heard something what I've seen something what looked upon something what might he ends up touched when Jesus comes into my life and I am transformed by his grace that leads me to Paris club proclaim and declare that which we have seen and heard in other words that which is the essence of our own life that which is part and parcel of our own being that also may have fellowship with us truly our fellowship is with the father and with his son Jesus Christ revival leads the witness without genuine authentic revival there is no genuine authentic witness this is a principal advisor church in Africa by some church in South America plastic surgeon Inter-American churches grow when they experience spiritual revival churches grow when members understand God 's grace and God 's power the discipleship to Jesus Christ they knew they proclaim that Christ to experience they witnessed the Christ and changed them personally these newly converted disciples filled with the Spirit had hearts overflowing with the desire to proclaim his love to every single person they met steps of price pay seventy eight let's read together no sooner does one come to Christ then there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus this saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart reminds me of a story that comes out of Africa Mugabe was the general conference he remember not just a few years back in Sudan poses terrible civil war in Sudan and many people fled the Civil War because villages of being burdened that women were being raped in a Windows poverty it was just a terrible situation villagers were being taken out at night young men and being killed so many Sudanese fled across the border and Uganda as they did the refugee camp set up as are in many countries in that kind of work situations regardless of the refugee countries could camp in one of the refugee camps was an old Adventist pastor and he met a young man the chemin was nineteen twenty years old he had fled from Sudan in the Adventist pastor sharing with this young man about Jesus we began sharing with him about the principles of the Bible Bishop accepted Jesus except the fact that Christ was coming again and he accepted the Sabbath except at the end of this message as the warmth lessened and abated the young man decided to go back to his village he said I think it's safe to go back to the rebel forces have moved on to a different part of the country so we get back to his village and as he went back there he had just accepted the Adventist message gave been baptized in the refugee camp so he went back as he's back in his village he began to share Jesus because what does it say no sooner does one come to Christ that is born of his hard-won desire to make known to others for depression and mission managers couldn't keep still so I began sharing Jesus with this friend and that friend pretty soon you have a separate of his friends that would comment to me round the campfire picture everything you knew about the Bible he didn't know that much but he didn't know Jesus changed his life he didn't know Jesus is coming again he didn't know the seventh day Sabbath was Saturday he didn't know what was wrong the park so you a lot more and and and any shared within everything you will pretty soon they said to them next to obvious now six months ago I buy these things and what we do now isn't what I accepted I was baptized they said that tries me is I can baptize you I'm just a layperson but after a while do that all pastor in that camp I bet you still there I will go find Jim and I'll bring them back it's only about two hundred kilometers from here and I will walk there so he made his way down those during trails he made his way down those wanting the roads and through the jungles came to the camp and found your past music you won't believe this I have several converts in my village I been telling them about Jesus I couldn't stay still pastor the past is that what I'm an old man now there are rebels still in the woods I just can't I just can't do it it's too far two hundred kilometers so the young man walking back two hundred kilometers my nose was four hundred kilometers and he said to those seven four is the phrase I found the following have to do is want back to him let out a no sooner does one come to Christ then there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others you can use theologies realizing your that young Sudanese boy walked back another to our daughters now this is a health seminar I'm a kilometers is that now six hundred he walked back to the village those seven were baptized in that village and then they walked back now the interesting thing is when I heard the sort of the General conference I sat down with the president the Middle East Union at the time I said ten minutes of Sudan at that I was in the Middle East unionize and tell me how long did it take them to walk that to her kilometers show to her comments about hundred what thirty forty miles he said they were averaging probably twenty miles a day which is not impossible unity walk three miles an hour need one miles a day they said they rested on it he said the young man would rest oversensitive and eight or nine days to get there to the village from his village to the refugee camp he said here's the interesting thing when the seven converts walked back it took them six months and I said why six months and he said because every village they stopped in they preached an evangelistic meeting and now we have churches all the way from the refugee camp that village when you new Jesus went sure when Elder comes to Jesus when a decent and falls in love with Jesus there is that desire to share Ellen White says the revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of our needs to seek this should be our first work so the first work of any past the first work of anyway leader this is foundation the first work the most urgent so this is the distinguishing the operator must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of God not because God is not willing to bestow his blessing on us but because we are unprepared receipt our heavenly father is more willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask the earthly parents to give good gifts to their children so God belongs to party spirit on your church God wants the party spirit on your family got a long support his spear in your community so our first priority the first key is revival churches are revised now when there is a renewed emphasis on intercessory prayer we talked about the need for revival we've talked about the fact that churches will not grow unless there is a revival how does revival take place first churches are revived when his renewed emphasis on intercessory prayer let's look at the elements in Jesus prayer life and see what we can discover from Jesus prayer life that we can apply to our congregation to initiate spiritual revival the other three things about Jesus Verlag I think there's significant one Jesus had a time to pray Mark chapter one verse thirty five sometimes the simplest things are the most profound Jesus of the time to pray he set aside a specific time to pray Mark chapter one verse thirty five now in the morning having risen a long while before daylight he went out and departed to a solitary place and there he prayed as a pastor deal the time to pray a timer unit set aside to meet God to know God some Israelites right all the time is like a princess that you all the time you know you can eat all the time yet again very much nourishment typically if you do that you get a little snack your little snack there but when you sit down and eat a meal with adequate protein and adequate carbohydrates in the potatoes and vegetables and salad in your regular time to your eyes were up in my home as a boy I knew that mom was to have the food on the table and we needed five thirty every night if I was not there I was not there but my family five thirty every single night my dad worked I was not brought up and administer home but we knew regularly regularity was important we had that meal on the table five thirty you have the time to pray at times nothing interrupts the time that you come in your heart is one with God in prayer Jesus had time to pray the Bible says and did there in our prayer times we can open our hearts to God our hearts are changed and transformed testimonies line six page forty seven communion with God through prayer and study of his Word must not be neglected for here is the source of his the pastor strength no work for the church should take precedence over this no work for the church that you do should take precedence over your relationship with God if you become too busy as a pastor to know God you have become so busy that you wash your source of power if you're overwhelmed with the duties and details of ministry you've lost that which gives you strength secondly Jesus a place to pray that your remember reading in Mark one verse thirty five with the Bible says here in Mark one thirty five that Jesus came to a solitary place and there he prayed Jesus and this alone put this is very difficult in the world we live of technology with cell phones in the computers to have time alone time that is uninterrupted timely you can listen to your heart speak to God time that God as they are defined in alone place I have friend who punished children became about nine or ten years older than I was at ninety tenth birthday he would give them a little prayer rug and he would that would be a kind of initiation for them it taught them to pray since they were little children any given missile prayer rug and put it right the basement that would be handwoven beautiful beautiful Rodney put it there gets into the children our children have freed morning you get out this is your prayer time Mister Shapira points Neil on this rug and seek God who I remember when I was becoming a Seventh-day Adventist my sponsor was anadromous I was not allowed to play basketball on Friday nights and I come home and be ten eleven o'clock and it lived for the television seventeen years old watch the late late late late show watch Alfred Hitchcock did watch some bizarro movie of some Frankenstein movie out it allows interest in those things we have to forgive me because I was even in those days as I lay in front in a television a look at that stuff and look out of the corner my eye a Friday night I can still see it now you know I was with my dad yesterday he was in the areas a seven years old my mom two years ago cancer her grave is just about the amount half from here since my father recently unset by moms grave yesterday afternoon we talked about the resurrection in Jesus of common idiom tears running down his face because he was married sixty six years my mother but I am a father great deal I would I would like for that television is a seventeen -year-old boy had little interest in faith and religion that looked through the corner my eye and they are in the living room there was that it had been kneeling down by this old black and white share in our group assume all black and white vinyl chair stuffing coming out to have his head not sure to be praying I see his mouth moving and Savior Lord be with my boy Bill Mark doesn't know you is not too interesting you will be with my son and had been praying he'll just placed the price that was his old print share now in my home I have little study and the blue chair investment furniture love to go to venture right in July our bedroom with little blue couch and I go to my face and a couch and pray my wife likes the prey walking she does a lot of prayer walking and we have a seventy miles of trails where we live she goes out with the birds are singing in the morning and she grades given time to pray is there a special place that you have that your prayer place you go there when Jesus went to Gethsemane a lot in the Bible tells us that Christ love to go to Barton he loved Neil beneath the olive trees when he went to Gethsemane and we haven't a semi- prayer recorded in Matthew chapter twenty six that was not the first time Jesus ever been Gethsemane he went there regularly what are the essentials of revival first prayer review and Herald August eighth eighteen seventy eight the praying minister who has living faith love corresponding works great results will attend his labors despite the combined obstacles of earth and hell I love that don't you see what great results to attend your work great results the Prime Minister Westlife living faith will have corresponding works and great results look at his labors despite the combined obstacles the devil can throw everything on civilian shoot them up and throw every single challenge against you but it's a praying preacher praying layperson of great results thirdly Jesus and a method of prayer Jesus not only the time to pray Jesus and place the private uses a method of prayer of this surprises some people because when you study Jesus prayers Jesus strongest prayers were not silent prayer this singular priority is not necessarily silent prayer both of the Jesus prayer life will get to three passages on Jesus prayer life Matthew the twenty sixth chapter of Matthew chapter twenty six many people have the idea that secret prayer must be silent prayer not necessarily so Matthew chapter twenty six verse thirty nine he went a little farther and fell on his face and prayed next word saying all my father is possible let this cup pass from it was in the spring allowed the first forty to be one way again a second time and prayed saying verse forty four so he left and went again and prayed the third time saying so evidently Jesus pray out loud experience when you look at the Lord 's prayer why did the disciples asked Jesus to pray the Lord to teach them how to pray because they came upon him and what happened they were to pray in a new native rate like that and so when a person praying out loud or if you look at Hebrews chapter five Hebrews chapter five 's it now don't misunderstand it's appropriate to pray silently anytime you want any place you want but if you really want an experience with God learn to pray out loud and I'll explain why shortly but let's look at he was justified verse seven who in the days of his flash when he had offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to him was able to save him from death was hurt well what did Jesus do he offered up prayers and supplications with vehement or strong crisis hearts to Jesus prayed out loud as your mind ever wondered when you pray you now down to pray and pray for about thirty seconds increasing your mind was thinking about all man I got to go to the grocery store I forgot to buy milk for supper over breakfast or you I think it all buoyed my job as a test today I hope they pass it really nailing down your thinking what was the score of that game last night iPhone dramatic outing of have you ever downtown and you've had your mind wander in prior and your mind is old and you even recognize it for a while right and pretty soon you'll recognize I am supposed to be great yet in my mind is wandering what's going on when you pray out loud you are brain has to engage your mouth and as the result of that your check your tendency to will have your mind wanders a lot less in when your mind it does begin wandering what happens stopped verbally gray and you recognize it immediately it's easy to bring your mind back but some recent pastor I am not going to pray out loud here's why I want the devil to hear whimpering and since the devil can't read your mind I don't want to ever give you any ships now my dear sister my dear brother do you think the devil is omniscient visit him on Ellery though is the devil omnipresence as he present everywhere how is the devil present anywhere through always evil angels right is the devil 's omnipresent right beside the when you begin to pray the good angels surround you close you win chase away the evil angels and shelter you when the arms of God so you don't worry about the devil he renew because the last place is written at the sound of the earnest prayer Satan 's host trembles in fleas at the sound of earnest prayer that's the last place those demons want to be because God is sending good Angels when we're on her knees praying a worse seeking God and we're teaching our members how do you lead your church and a revival you teach them how to pray you do you send it to you teach them how to have a time to pray and place to pray and seek God allowed him to pray for people by name I love our high calling page one thirty let's really together learn to pray aloud where only God can what what's the first word what is learning is learned something comes naturally is learned something that we automatically spontaneously gave so learn to pray aloud it's an art that you learn the more you learn to deal with the more you're closer to God in the more touches your life John Bunyan said this you can do more than pray after you parade but you cannot do more than pray until you break you do more than pray after you have prayed but you can't do more than pray on until you have prayed if you want to be effective in reaching your community for Christ five keys what's the first day of revival churches are revived when they learned to pray when there's intercession my question is does your church have programs that meet on Sabbath morning that are seeking God I remember you in Orlando with an evangelistic meeting at the parsley church and the Derek Morris was the pastor number of years ago two thousand eight I came on Sabbath morning and Eric said Markey will be amazed at what happens in our church on Sabbath morning came on Sabbath morning and by seven thirty members were gathering in the Sabbath school rooms in the back of that church to seek God to pray the visitors would come to church that morning and that the Holy Spirit would be poured out dramatically in that evangelistic series we baptized over two hundred people in fact some of the folk they're helping here my wife for the nutrition zero this was baptized in a series that they are in Forest Lake when I would think that church on Sabbath morning they were often be thirty forty fifty people sadness maroons kneeling down twenty people praying that the Holy Spirit report out that Sabbath morning friend hearts and be touched Wednesday nights there are churches in North America where people come before the Bible study hour to seek God incorrect there is and has been for many years here in Forest Lake Mead we got hundred fifty people to her people coming out seeking God in a prayer called in a series series called a house of prayer selected messages volume two three seventy seven seven ministering angels are waiting about the throne of God it instantly obey the mandate of Jesus Christ to answer every prayer offering living thing you're on your knees praying any of the son or daughter that doesn't know Christ that son or daughter that son Billy is in Tampa going to go into a nightclub you brought them up in Sabbath school your heart is broken overbilling is easy it's a Saturday night is that it would deny you're on your knees interceding prayer ascends to Jesus thrown angels look at Jesus as a Jesus can I go Jesus can I go Jesus cannot go ministering angels are waiting about the throne of God instantly to obey the mandate of Jesus Christ that Angel wings his way from world so far beats back the Angels withheld in attempting Billy blazes non- ago no it does not mean that every time you pray every child is to make a positive response but it does mean this is can be more difficult for them to make a negative response they still must choose God doesn't choose but the battle is far more intensive yet the battle is far more intense it becomes more difficult to do wrong because as the angels of heaven are impressing them to do right pages and will make a decision to do right by that young people at the other group of young women coming to our evangelistic meetings New Haven Connecticut they were coming every single night and they accepted the entire Adventist message I preached the Sabbath they accepted but then they went to their preacher on Sunday morning the preacher began to use as text not under law or under Grayson on this business and they came that next Tuesday or Wednesday night that this big stack of books that we had given to them in all the magazines from the lecturers in all the books that we had given and they said to my one of our rushers here are our books here are your books he gives her legs were not coming back to the meetings were not under Lorinda Grace these are young students university student age they were now young students actually on the workforce women in their early twenties wonderful young women they simply want anything to do with address we want nothing to do with you we don't want to come to our home when I coming back to the meetings that night I went back and prayed and I have to confess to you in those years I didn't understand intercessory prayer is much as I do today I pray for a few minutes and went to my bed and I had a young Bible worker young man but in the Michael and Henderson intercessory he decided that night he wasn't going to go home and he went in heap to the church into the church as a viable worker he told me later he went and prayed and prayed any parade we pray from licking early into the morning without it's not how long you pray I've had many people say to me Pastor Finley how long do you pray every day in my response to them is always the same I pray long enough to know that I've been in the presence of God long enough to know that God is heard me some days my prayers are much longer than others and other days shorter it is not sanctification by the minute you pray it's knowing that you've entered the presence of God on some time that may be an hour in some time and maybe fifteen minutes and sometimes maybe shorter or longer but you spend time in God 's presence that's important things in time knowing God for this young man went than he told me later he said that even if they are about eleven o'clock we read his Bible he sat in church and he prayed by twelve thirty as he was praying he said I knew that God had answered my prayer I knew God 's will touch the hearts of those girls that was on Wednesday we invited the congregation or church on Sabbath morning our evangelistic audience and these girls had turned in all of their books they have said they never wanted to see us again on Sabbath morning he was out in the steps greeting people a car pulled up in those three young women get out he says something different we shouldn't set it was so surprising since the house what are you doing here I thought you tell me that you want to see you again when I was in a welcome welcome and where the young lady said let me tell your story last Tuesday evening and night that I brought the books back and told you I was never coming back but with the girls and ahead of these girls that I couldn't sleep it was twelve thirty at night and all the wisdom lights came on in his mind Ellis twelve thirty nine and I became so restless I got up nice and I have to study my Bible I study from Genesis to Revelation all the text you give me about the Sabbath I became convinced the next day girlfriends and we've studied the last two days there's no question in our mind Saturday is the Sabbath and we want to baptize the Seventh-day Adventists that young man what happens ministering angels in waiting where about the throne of God instantly obey the mandate of Jesus Christ what if every Seventh-day Adventist church had numerous caravans that were praying what if members had prayer lists what if groups of two and three were meeting to seek God what if we are partitioning these good Angels to come churches grow in experience revival and how we asked three five oh first through intercessory prayer there are three aspects of revival prayer Bible study meditation on God 's word churches are revived when there is a renewed emphasis on Bible study seeking one of the reasons why there is such a lack of interest in witness is because the spiritual quality of many of our churches is so low you can preach sermon after sermon after sermon on witness but the fall on good ears because unless there is spiritual renewal unless there is spiritual revival unless there is prior and this is what was happening the book of acts this is a universal principal churches grow when the revived in the book of acts the disciples were praying in the book of acts again and again and again the Bible says they studied the word they preached the word so churches never knew when his renewed emphasis on Bible study when the word of God as life transforming you through the word of God the Spirit searches are inmost souls he penetrates our thoughts he cleanses our hearts and he energizes our spiritual life when we read the Bible something miraculous happens it is a life transforming I have committed my life I will not go one day without saturating my mind in the word of God my best prayer time and the best devotional times in the word often I'll take the book of Psalms and I open my Bible at all read Psalms as I pray read Islam and pray read a few verses and songs and pray God speaks to us through his Word prayer and praise in Psalms that the theme of the Psalms is the strength of the Lord his God is our protector our Redeemer intercessor adjudging arcane and let me just share with you how this goes we combine and teach people to combine Bible study and prayer because when you combine those to your devotional life becomes richer it becomes much fuller and so the theme of the Psalms is the strength of the Lawrence if you want this for four so let's suppose I'm training so in my prayer life sometimes I'll sit now write down the things we want to praise God for things we thank you for but very often and most often recently I found the richest times of my devotional life as I pray through sobs so I'll open the word of God may begin to read on you give you an example of Psalm forty I read so before I start to read I may bow my head and say Gilmore today I want to know you today and want to really experience your presence in my life that I want a sense that your nearby my side today want to know your powered my life and I'm a read more the Psalms today as I read I want to talk to you and I want you to talk to me please speak to me through your book today I waited patiently for the Lord inclined to me and heard my cry Lord use I'm waiting patiently for you recently my heart still drive my spiritual life is still brought them waiting patiently for you I'm inclining my year to you today Lord I'm hearing your cry Lord speak to me today he brought me up out of a horrible pit or if it's real challenges real obstacles like a mountain but on a miry clay and set me up my feet upon a rock when claiming that by faith you taking the unelected today that the kids worry that an anxiety that people fear that through darkness though not standing on the claimant standing on a solid rock your establishing my steps you putting a new song in my mouth today Lord I'm just thankful for that of verse four Blessed is the man I know more than the word blessed in Hebrew means at her happy peaceful content word I want to be contented and want to have the contentment that you can handle the issues that the face of my life and I want to make you my trust many award verse five my God are your wonderful works which are done what I slept was unthinkable the things you done for me this past week the wonderful works using a printer designs and makes much difference in your life because they are not kneeling and praying for or two minutes and say no one electric for next what what what I ask for next pass got four things I want Alaskan for what winners do next you know it's a whole different relationship you're your Bible is open your praying for the sons of God 's word becomes the subject matter for prayer and God is speaking to you through prayer as we teach our members to form little prayer groups as we teach them intercessory prayer revival breaks out in our churches as we share with them how to read Psalms very practically and pray so we teach prayer praise and through the Psalms and spearmint times I started with Psalm one in Parade is going straight through the song we also like to do is we study the Bible with thematic study the epistles my wife and I have done this for many many months and we will read Philippians three through any book in the Bible you can take Philippians you can take and we try to summarize that Bible book with one sentence so like for us Philippians we read through the keywording Philippians is July so we write down the joy of the Lord Philippians chapter one join trial Philippians chapter two joy humility Philippians three join surrender footings for joy and gratitude so for example we look at Philippians one joy in trial Paul is thrown in prison but yet he says my heart is filled with joy Philippians chapter two he says that Christ humbled himself and Philippians chapter three the whole store stories surrender so we read those passages and we pray them through was awarded the trials of our life tedious to be joyful in the successes of our life teach us to be humble imaged in the challenges of her life teach us to surrender in every aspect of her life teach us to be filled with gratitude so we go through the Bible in our devotions my wife and I often read the Bible out loud and we pray about the things that we have read as you enter into Bible study and prayer can get other with a close friend with a spouse it enriches your life we have studied Ephesians together we called at the symphony of salvation and that chapter one Christ reaches RRS chapter to Christ grace is ours chapter three Christ power is ours so we read chapter one we read about all the riches of Christ arise chapter two but all the grace of Christ and the power price there are the last part price unity is ours Christ loves RC get the idea studying the Bible and prior one of the most powerful aspects of studying God 's word is what I caught contemplative study on the death of my probably should mention a little bit about the difference between contemplative prayer and contemplative study you hear some today about centering prayer or contemplative prayer that basically comes from a group called the Desert offers the they were monks that lived in the seventh and eighth century and on and you will have the revival of that in some humor what is called emerging Christian churches today the concept of contemplative or centering prayer is that you enter into a silence within you and a sense of stillness within it which you want every thought steel there's two problems with this problem number one it's not biblical there is no place in the Bible that leaves us to have a stillness within what we try to quiet our thoughts because that which enables us to be created in the image of God is the you think anything that bypasses the conscious reasoning process and the ability to think is incredibly dangerous so God is not leading us to a stillness within some he says what about the text that says be still and know that I am God read Psalm forty reads Psalm forty six it's totally different the Bible says in Psalm forty six God is a refuge and strength a very present help in trouble so there's trouble in the chapter David is in the midst of conflict war and strife chariots are in remembrance says he defeats the chariots he breaks the bow once under he cracks the spirit hath in it says be still and know that I am God in the midst of conflict all around David in the midst of war all around David in the midst of destruction in strife the Hebrew for me still is cease and desist in other words seizure labors trust in me I've got it's not this illness in our mind where you have knows the lots that the Bible is talking about it's being it's resting from my own laborers believing that God is my defendant there are two problems with this idea of trying to empty your mind the first is it's not biblical and second is it comes Eastern mysticism in the Bible when we talk about contemplative study we are not talking about emptying our minds but we're talking about filling our minds and that you are opposite when I talked about emptying her mind in some silent stillness which are not filling her mind with worry got because the word God it's like transforming its wording of its life-changing it's the word of God that that transforms your intervene there are six chapters in the Bible on the death of Christ in your member Ellen White says it would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour as some people are confused about that passage as they say does that mean that she's encouraging us to spend an hour every day as I read that whole passage in other times we don't want our prayer the hour of our evening meal certainly it would be good if one could spend an hour every day that's fine but I'm not so interested he spent sixty minutes uninterested you spend some time and so don't get caught up in the time it would be well for suspend thought flower thoughtful a thoughtful period of time contemplating like the crisis specially the closing scenes there are six chapters on the death of Christ and the Bible here they are some twenty two Isaiah fifty three Matthew twenty seven March thirteen two twenty three and John nineteen I was preaching on the deeper spiritual life a little self-supporting institution apartments of the nebbish university called Wildwood medical missionary Institute and as I was they are there a number students you something that came in one young woman was a bow to nineteen or twenty -year-old nursing student after the meeting she came up to me and said Pastor Markowitz walk and I said sure just let me tell you a story she said I really been taking the heavy sciences and it's really really tough for me because I've been taking these heavy sciences at eighteen semester hours and I just have no time for devotions and walked I came to college I felt that I was a fairly committed Christian but now my my soul was dry and my heart is empty I don't study the Bible and pray very much at all anymore and she said can you help me as it sure looks it out together this is when what you do we went over these chapters she actually wrote them down in the flyleaf of revival and so she began to write some twenty two Isaiah fifty three look these are the six chapters in the Bible on the death of Christ this one I want you to get I'm not telling you to take an hour but I want to take some time every day over the next month I just want to read about the death of Christ in you thank Jesus Jesus death mold your minded voters thinking you praise as for his great sacrifice and be transformed by his grace as well as his care for you we had one contact I think after that she said am doing about nine months later this was in October in June June of that year July was preaching at the southern New England conference camping South Lancaster Massachusetts Utah without miles from Chattanooga Tennessee after I preached in the village church for gripping youth the young woman came up to me and she looked a lot like this girl this nursing students on and it wasn't her I knew it wasn't her it was a little older version asked hypothetical is this I think I know this person and the girl said to me I'm the sister of that girl and she said do you remember that experience I said I sure do we set out after the meeting and we talked about the death of Christ and she said I know you did she said Monica would happen my sister wrote those passages out of the fight for Rabat it transformed her life she had a vibrant experience with Jesus this was in October that she came to your sermon by November she came home for Thanksgiving break the college and she and my father were doing some Christmas shopping Christmas select music was playing Christmas lights are twinkling and when she was a little girl she had this heart murmur but shouldn't have anything any problems between then in college she had massive heart attack and store fell over dead in my father 's arms when we went to recover her Bible should we open the flyleaf of her Bible and it said I once was a foolish Virgin but now I'm a wise verge and she had listed that the date of your sermon that night and the fact that she had renewed their commitment to Christ and the fact that she now was growing in Jesus reading these chapters on the price of your the church revival churches were once a first principle churches grow when there is spiritual revival spiritual revival comes as we enter into a renewed experience in both prayer and Bible study here's a statement from desire pages eighty three would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ we should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones as we dwell upon his great sacrifice for us as we dwell upon what Jesus did as we go about his lungs while his love his grace what happens our confidence it will be more constant our love will be quick and will be more deeply imbued with the spirit twenty one is mixed this is revival right our confidence in him is more constant our love is more quick and were more deeply imbued with the spirit if we would be saved at last we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation the foot of the cross daughter some people to have a difficult time when they read the Bible and I they want new vitality and I developed a little acronym that I called him he high and vehement and get ready expression DNA and figure within the vigor what is at me it means these vitality okay when I read the Gospels let's suppose a meeting story about Jesus calming the storm first visualization I send myself what do I see in the Bible I see a boat I see disciples in the boat I see Jesus in the boat I see a storm I see clouds I see the disciples frustrated trying to save themselves what do I see that's the Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood for many years what do I see I see a woman bleeding I see your dirty ice here as the last garden society I see are rejected what do I see second how would I feel how I feel if I wanted his disciples what you're what I have how I feel about that woman how I feel if I would how I feel if I were the demoniac iCarly death of the person that I meditate on it was it needs me what it means to me that Jesus delivered the demoniac 's if you could do that he can deliver immediate need for many demilitarized arrest me what does it mean that Jesus fed five thousand one oh I see here he's feeding the five thousand how I feel if I were hungry and Jesus daily bread what does it mean to me today it means that Christ can be every physical needs I have to commute in the five thousand so as we go through Scripture it seems to me that's incredibly important as a pastor as a late leader as you do prayer meetings not simply to say the people we blame and what else he wants to ministry obvious is the need how do you get there how can you take a church that's a dead church and we did revive you begin working with the one or two or three people the five people the ten people that spiritually hot spiritual hearts don't wait for the whole church to be revived you start one prayer band overhearing one prayer band over there one pregnant over here beget small Bible study groups going we study the death of Christ are studying the songs are going through revival always begins with one man woman one boy one girl that's where it begins March chapter four verse thirty five Jesus calming the storm what do I see what I what I feel what does it mean as we study God 's word our lives are transformed what are the elements revival prayer Bible study and the third is witness the Bible says in Luke nineteen firsthand the Son of Man came to seek and save that which is lost if I really want revival it's necessary to serve so if you want a church to be revived as you begin to help people pray and study the Bible get actively involved in doing something for Christ you don't need to wait until your whole church is ready to a few people ready to go for Jesus because as those few are working for him and as they have something active to do their hearts and souls be revived without outreach there's arthritis of the soul there's a clogged arteries of the heart there is the malignancy or cancer the spirit there's a retardation of real genuine spiritual growth so without outreach the church is crippled the more serious like if two legs this is the leg of prayer and Bible study that will take me so far this is the leg of witness that takes me so far this is like a prayer Bible study that takes me so far this is like of witness so without witness the church is going to be spiritually anemic and spiritually dead so it takes energy to lead the church to pray and Bible study but then to get actively involved in service projects some people some people if it don't churches not happen but says you do more people become actively involved but we come to Christ 's cross we want to share his love with others asked twenty first thirty five says I've shown you in every way by laboring like this but you must support the week remember the words of the Lord Jesus he sends more blessed to give that it is to receive its more

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