The Gift of Prophecy and God's Remnant Church

The Gift of Prophecy and God's Remnant Church

Scripture: Revelation 12:1-17, Revelation 19:10, Revelation 14:6-12
Date: 01/24/2009  Lesson: 4
Revelation chapter 12 depicts a church at the end of time that keeps God's commandments and has the spirit of prophecy.

Prophets and Kings CD Audio Set by Ellen White

Prophets and Kings CD Audio Set by Ellen White
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath and we welcome you to another "central study hour." We're glad that you're joining us this morning from across the country, around the world, wherever you are, welcome. Those of you listening on the radio this morning, we don't wanna forget you. Or if you're watching live this morning on our website at saccentral.org or watching on the various television networks, we welcome you. We're so glad that you're gonna join us this morning as we sing some song requests that have come in. The first one is 468, "a child of the King.

" This is from ich in Alaska, saluka in australia, Michael in barbados, raulie and Timothy in California, marjorie in Canada, marcy in dominica, moritz in germany, beau, David, na in ghana, deon in ghana, kevin, Simone and justin in jamaica, eliana in kuwait, morimna in Massachusetts, dalinda in the netherlands, andre in North Carolina, kerry and jean in norway, phil in Oklahoma, let's see, shirley in the Philippines, shalina in saint lucia, rolando in spain, Ruth in sadone, and bob in Washington. We have quite a group this morning and this is a favorite, "a child of the King." We'll sing all four verses, 468... [Music] We are children of the King. We have nothing to worry about as long as we remember that. If you have a favorite song request that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, please go to our website saccentral.

org, click on the "contact us" link and you can send in your song request no matter where you are. And we will sing that. Our next song this morning is 503, "a quiet place," 503. And this is a request from gima in Alabama, marilyn in australia, darlene, jane, joanne, marilyn, suki and Daniel and raulie in California, anthony and leticia in Canada, thomas in columbia, yvette and antoinette in dominican, sharon in england, erno in florida, levi in Idaho, jennifer and nicolea in jamaica, jazreal in New York, natasha in south africa, and bill in tennessee; , "a quiet place..." [Music] Father in Heaven, this morning we do want to find that quiet place where we can spend more time with you on this Sabbath day. We thank you so much for waking us up this morning and for giving us life and health and strength.

Those of us that are here, we thank you so much for bringing us to this place. We pray that you will send your angels and your Holy Spirit to be with us as we study Your Word together. Please be with our speaker as he brings us this Sabbath school lesson. And be with our extended family across the country and around the world. Be with each one this morning.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor mike thomson. He is our health and outreach pastor here at central church. Thank you very much, debbie. Happy Sabbath everybody, you're all looking good.

For those who are looking in, God bless you too. For us, it's our first Sabbath in 2009, by the time you watch this, it'll be your third, somewhere thereabouts. But some of you are watching on live streaming video, so, good to have you with us as well. So, you're all looking good and blessed and we have a lot to be thankful for. Do we not? Well, we're in our new lesson study book, we're actually on the fourth lesson quarterly called "the prophetic gift.

" And then before I go any further, I have to do my little advertisement here. This is free offer number 712, it's called "the church is at Babylon." Good question, number 712. And you can get this free if you live in the continental United States if you go to www.amazingfacts.org or if you call one of the two Numbers, -866-788-3966 Or 1-866-study-more. Study more, that's a good acronym. Anyway, get that offer free and we'll try and remember that again at the end of the lesson this morning.

So, we're looking at lesson number 4, the gift of prophecy and God's remnant church. And as a memory text from Revelation 12:17, it says and the dragon was wrath with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed or her offspring which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now, in the previous three lessons, we've kind of been laying the ground work here for this one. The gift of prophecy in God's remnant church. And what we're going to do, we're going to kinda establish this a little further on, we're gonna come back to Revelation 12:17 later.

But we're going to according to the lesson, and there's a lot of ground to cover. And I probably won't do it justice, but we're going to go back into Revelation 12 to some prior verses and have a look at some history. The history that kinda sets the scene for this remnant church to make its appearance toward the end of the 1,260 years, visible church which is identified by two things; church that keeps the commandments of God, all ten including the forth which means, it will be a church which keeps the seventh-day Sabbath. Can you say, amen? And also, it has the Spirit of prophecy, which I'll tell you now, should already know, and we'll look at it again later. But according to Revelation 19:10, the Spirit of prophecy is what? Sorry, got it the wrong way around, no, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

See, I give you the answers first. And that, there's only one church on the face of this earth--it's true, friends, there's only one church on the face of this earth that can rightly step up to the plate and say--and it needs to be said very humbly--that this church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church fits this description. You won't find anybody else. And in case I don't get this said at the end, I'll say it now. To be a Seventh-day Adventist and apart of this remnant church which is clearly identified in the Word of God, doesn't give me or you--it doesn't make us part of an exclusive club or a clique.

You and I as human beings, fallen human beings, possess no virtue in ourselves, not a bit. The only virtue we possess is in the truths that we find in tHis Word. The only virtue you and I possess is in the Savior who was nailed to the cross for us. You and me, we're fallen, we need to cling to Christ. And there's nothing that we possess through tHis Word and through Christ that no other single human being on the face of this earth cannot also possess.

I wanna say that now, in case some of us might be inclined to think, oh, you know, I'm one of the remnant. No, not a bit, Christ is our righteousness. So, with that understanding, I hope, let's continue on here. We're gonna go into Revelation 12 and some of you or probably most of you, a lot of the symbolism we look at you'll be very familiar with it. But for the sake of those who are not familiar with this, if you'll indulge me we're gonna look into this--in a this historic context here and see how we get up to this point in a.

d., The end of the 1,260 days when we see the remnant church make a visible appearance. So, you wanna go to Revelation 12:1, I would like somebody to read this. Do we have our roving microphones somewhere around? Do we or don't we? Yeah, okay, who would like to read Revelation 12:1? David, I think I saw your hand good up. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, set upon her head a crown of 12 stars." Thank you very much, David. So, here we see a woman.

John looks up into the starry heavens and he sees this woman, just so gloriously adorned. Not in a beautiful wedding dress, which kinda would take our breath away as human beings. But he sees her in this glorious apparel, she's clothed with the sun. And what a site to behold. Now, we'll pause here a second, just to remind ourselves that in symbolic prophecy, Scripture, a woman represents a church, right? In the book of Revelation if you see two women, we find this woman here in Revelation 12, it was a righteous and a pure woman, we'll establish that in a moment.

But also in Revelation 17, we see another woman and she's a harlot, all decked out in jewels and kind of a cheap lookin' lady. She represents a church also, but also an apostate. A church that embraces a body of impure and corrupt doctrine. So, we see in symbolic prophecy that this is the case. Let's look at a verse in Jeremiah 6:2, and we'll establish this fact right now.

And it's the second David, David right here who's gonna read this one. Please, David. Jeremiah 6:2. Yes, please. "I have likened the daughter of Zion to a commonly and delicate woman.

" Thank you very much. "I've likened the daughter of Zion." Who's Zion? Well, that's God's people in old testament times. And God refers to her as a daughter and as a delicate or beautiful woman. Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:2, usually the same terminology, symbolism. And I'll read this, he says, "for I'm jealous always--" he's speaking of the church in corinth--"for I'm jealous of you with Godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

" Says, "I'm jealous of you and I want you to be a pure virgin." And that's what we are as God's church. And he wants us it's his purpose that we should be washed clean, spiritually pure and innocent as a chaste virgin. You know, the wonderful thing about the Gospel is this, through the power and the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed upon the cross, somebody may have fallen as low as they possibly could. And physically, they may have lost their innocence and physically, they may have long gone--long before lost their physical virginity. You can't replace that, but you know what? God is so gracious and kind.

Spiritually in his site, he will wash us clean and he gives us back our purity and our virginity; gives us back our innocence. That is the most wonderful and precious thing that we can receive. And that cleansing and that restoration of our virginity, morally is what Jesus can give to us. You'll never buy that with all the money in the world. You know, today there's people walkin' around in this city and all around the world that just feeling this guilt.

I remember long--even when I was a philistine, a long time ago, I was--I'm getting sidetracked, but I wanna tell you this, it comes to mind. I was having a tea break, I was in england, okay, having a tea break. And I'm in the little cafeteria, well, canteen with a couple of girls I worked with in the store. And we're all pagans and this girl had this woman's magazine and strange as it seemed, in this woman's magazine there was a lady giving a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ. Can you believe it? And this girl I worked with, jean, jean wood, she starts reading this story.

And she was as pagan as I was, but I remember it. It was a story of this young woman who had lost her virginity, she'd become a harlot. And she was out there and she was talking and giving her testimony and this secular woman's magazine; the most amazing thing. How she would go home and she would shower herself, she felt so filthy and so defiled, she would shower herself. She get cleaned up and put perfume on, but she still felt filthy.

And she mentioned that she went through this experience time after time after time. And then I forget where she was, 'cause jean was reading the story fairly fast. But this young woman, she encountered Jesus Christ one day and she felt his forgiveness, she felt his love. And she fell at his feet on her knees and she just sobbed out her heart. And she said, "Lord, I'm just so filthy and I can't get rid of this feeling of filth and defilement.

" And she said the most wonderful feeling and experience came over her. She felt the presence of Jesus come and just put his arms around her. And not only did he give her the sense of assurance and forgiveness, but when she was done, she said she felt clean. Isn't that wonderful? She felt clean. Now, I know I'm looking at a lot of the saints here this mornin'.

So, maybe there's young men and women here who've never gone through that experience of defilement. Praise the Lord for that. But there's a lot people out there that carry that around and Jesus can take it away. Pray for those people that they find him. Okay, let's get back here to Revelation 12.

So, John sees this woman here, and we know it's the church, 'cause we've established that. And in Malachi 4:2, she's clothed with the sun. So, somebody, if they would, read Malachi 4:2, and it's gotta be somebody on this side to keep things fair; right? Do we have a microphone over here somewhere? All right, francis, all right. Malachi 4:2. "But for you who revere my name, The Son of righteousness shall rise.

With healing in its wings, you shall go out leaping like calves from the stall." Thank you very much, rhonda. Son righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings. And this woman, she's reflecting The Son, the righteousness of Jesus. And that is a wonderful thing. But you know, it's God's purpose that we should more than just reflect his righteousness, it's his purpose that we should possess that righteousness as well.

And I wanna share a verse with you, it's in Matthew 14:43, just part of the verse. And you speak in the context is when the saints get to the Kingdom of God. But it says, "then shall the righteous--" hear they are, they are righteous within themselves, because of what God has done for us. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as The Son in the Kingdom of their father." Don't you like that? So, the woman reflects the righteousness of Jesus Christ, but she also possesses it. And that is important for us as part of God's remnant church.

And of course we can rightly say that when we see the woman clothed in the sun on the moon, yes, she's reflecting the full glorious son of the new testament, where Jesus was the fulfillment of all the types and shadows of the old testament. Symbolized kind of by the moon that just reflects the light of The Son of righteousness. So, that's true as well. But let's move on to Revelation 12:2, the woman is seen in the pangs of labor, ready to give birth to a child. And this she does in verse 5, it says, "and she brought forth a man child, was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.

And a child was caught up to God and to his throne." This is obviously in reference to Jesus who was born, he was the man child. And yes, he was born of mary, but the woman--is the woman actually mary? In Revelation 12? No, it's not. We know it's not mary, because as we read further down, there's nothing in the Bible that tells that mary ran off into the wilderness for 1,260 days or literal years. So, we know it's not the real mary. This woman is the church.

And what it's showing us is that Jesus came forth from the womb of Zion. He came forth from the church. Jesus was a part of the family of God, his ancestors are all listed there. And Jesus came forth from the church from the woman. That's where he came from.

Came from the womb as it was, of this comely and delicate woman. Okay, we're having to move fast this morning and I hate to kinda have to do it like this. But the lesson not only covers Revelation 12, but also Revelation 14. And right there, you can spend a whole lesson just on that. But if we look back into Revelation 12:1-5, we find we have here a description of how the devil appears as the dragon and he's the one who tries to destroy the man child.

Revelation 12 and let see, verse 3. Would somebody read that for us? Maybe somebody over here? Verses 3 and 4. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads." Okay, let's just pause there a moment. So, we see here this great red dragon which is who? Go to verse 9, it says it's the devil, that old serpent. That's where he is.

And as you read further down, it says, "he stands before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as he was born." Read that just a little further down, latter part of verse 4. So, here to--for the time of-- for the sake of expediency, we know that this is obviously in reference to how the devil tried to destroy Jesus, especially through king herod, who destroyed the babies in that part of the world up to to 2 years of age, just to be sure that he destroyed Jesus. Well, he wasn't actually able to do that. So, moving quickly now to the fact that satan is very frustrated, he's angry. He'd already been cast out of heaven, naturally at the cross as well, he was actually cast down another time.

He received a crushing defeat. So, now he's really mad and he's exceedingly angry. And in verse 6, we read this. As he comes against the woman, 'cause he couldn't destroy her child. It says, "and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God.

That they should feed there ,203 score days." Symbolically a day equals one literal year. Okay, we're familiar with that or should be. Numbers 4:6, Ezekiel 14:34. We're looking at this whole period of the Spiritual dark ages, which began, we use the date 538 to 1798. And during this time period, the dragon, the devil, through the agency of the roman church, came against the woman who was severely persecuted time after time after time.

And we're gonna get back to that in just a few moments. But following through chapter 12, we find--we go on little detours verses 7-12. And we see we go back to heaven and we see that there was a war in heaven and it gives us how evil originated. So, I'm gonna skip that, 'cause we don't have time. So, we're gonna move on again now to Revelation 12:12.

Now, the devil's really mad. Revelation 12:12, it says, "therefore rejoice ye heavens and ye that dwell in them." 'Cause the devil was cast down. But it says, "woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time." The devil was unsuccessful in crushing Christ, he was unsuccessful many times in destroying the woman, the church. But we find as we move on here, that he comes in these last hours that he has. Speaking in kind of broad terms, with such vehemence against the church.

And going to verse 14, which is like a mirror image of verse 6, we read this, about the woman, "and to the woman we're given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face from the serpent." Again we have this large time prophecy here. But also looking in verse 15, this is what the devil tries to do during this period of the dark ages. Verse 15, "and the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood, after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Now, we know in symbolic prophecy that water represents, what? Peoples, nations, languages, and tongues. But here it's speaking of a flood of waters. And if you looked in your lesson, you would have found three references, Jeremiah 46:7-8, Jeremiah 47:2, and Daniel 9:26.

And we see here when we get a flood of waters, it represents literally persecuting armies. In fact, we should probably read a couple of these verses. Who would like to read Jeremiah 46:7-8? Andrew, right over here. "Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitance thereof." Thank you very much, andrew. So, here we see, flood of waters, it's speaking of the Egyptians.

The passage in Daniel 9:26, it's speaking of the Romans. And so, here we see the devil spews this water out of his mouth. Meaning, he sends against the woman these persecuting forces. And it says, the woman fled into the wilderness. And as we look, history is replete with account after account after account that the church of rome persecuted those who were differed from her in teachings and in practices over a period of, well, well over a thousand years.

Conservative estimates state that the church of rome martyred at least 50 million people. On the other end of the spectrum, some say it was 150 million. We don't know for sure, but even if it's 50 million, that's a lot. But God has it all written down in heaven. And though never possessing an army of himself, of his own, the pope of rome had the Kings of europe just bowing at his feet.

And he could call the King of France. the King of France went into bat many times for the pope, by the way. And he could call on the King of France, king of France would send his armies up and go against those groups that they classed as dissident, nonconformist and many times a lot those solid, salt of the earth, Bible-believing Christians, they were destroyed. I almost brought my foxe's "book of martyrs" this morning, but I feel some of you may think I'd be boasting because it's an antique edition. It's about this thick, it's about this big, and it-- it's got engraving inside and it's just a beautiful book.

And it was given to me, actually, by a friend back in england. But in there I open it sometimes and you can just smell the history, it must be at least years old. But the writing, the "f"s are like, the "s"s are like "f"s. It's really interesting to look at. But in there, and there's several volumes all in one, when you get foxe's "book of martyrs," you get several all condensed into one.

You read some of the stories in there of these faithful Christians that were victims of this flood that the devil poured from his mouth. Not just necessarily papal armies that maybe went against the waldenses, the but the civil authorities, they were all under the power and the thumb of the papacy. I remember some years ago, I was in london, I was ubo college and I was doing a fine arts class. I was told that this would make me cultured and give me well-rounded education. So, I was in london on a fine arts class and we were looking at some of the architecture.

And we finished up in a place called smithfield. And smithfield actually now is the wholesale meat Market in london or it was 30 years ago. But smithfield is also the place where many faithful martyrs were burned at the stake for Jesus Christ. And we were there at smithfield, it was this kind of large square and there was st. Bartholomew's hospital right there, old, old hospital.

But out across on the kinda the big square there, there was just a simple--sorry, brass plaque. It just said a few words. It says that here--the martyrs were burned here at smithfield. And you know, in the modern day and age, 21 century, there's people in london even as we speak. They're probably walking right past that and it means nothing to them.

But so much happened in places like that. And going back to my foxe's "book of martyrs." Oh, a few months ago I just opened it and I was reading about a young blind boy and he had a few friends and he'd found out the truth that he could go to Jesus himself and he could have forgiveness for his sins. And he embraced Jesus as his Savior and he no longer felt he had need of taking the mass, he refused the host. And that young boy and he was taken and he was burned at the stake. And you think how can human beings do such things to other human beings? You know, it's easy for us to sit here and look back at catholics in the middle ages, but even some of the protestants, I mean, they could be just as bad.

Point being, that the human heart that is not under the control and the influence of the Holy Spirit can be exceedingly cruel. And let us be very careful and walk humbly before God, because we, each one of us, possess just the same potential to be just as cruel. So, I'm speaking of this in the context of history, human beings can do these things when the Holy Spirit is not in control of their lives. And so the flood of waters was poured forth to try and wash the woman, literally, away from the face of the earth. But the dragon, the devil, he could not succeed.

As satan was given a resounding defeat at the cross. So, he received a resounding defeat every time he took some faithful martyr to the cross and they refused to recant and they held firm and he burned them to ashes. It may have looked outwardly like he got a victory, but he didn't. Every time he got a defeat, he got a resounding defeat. Anyway, moving on here, I want us to notice right in the midst of this raging conflict here in Revelation 12, I'm gonna go to verses 10 and verse 11.

Right in the midst this raging conflict, we read these two passages. And these two passages apply now because there are people being martyred today, even as we speak, for being Christians. And they'll be martyrs before Jesus comes. But you know, you and I may be among them, you and I may be among them. But let us notice this little oasis here in the midst of this raging controversy.

Verse 10, "and I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation and strength and the Kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ. For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God, day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb. And by the word of their testimony and they love not their lives until the death." This is speaking here of those who the devil tried to secure their condemnation in the eyes of God. Told lies as he does about God, but he failed because these that he was seeking to condemn in their weaknessness--in their weakness, in their helplessness, in their unworthiness.

They clung to Jesus Christ, the Lord, their righteousness. And the devil, try as he might, he could not secure their condemnation. Because every time he came with his arguments, Jesus stood up and he says, "my blood, my blood, shut the devil's mouth." And so, because he could not secure their condemnation, their eternal condemnation before the throne of God. Then plan-b was to at least try and take away that life in this life. And very often he succeeded.

But what did we read? "But they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony and they love not their lives unto the death." Every one that shed their blood, it resounded the devil's death knell, it was a crushing and a resounding defeat. And those that fell asleep and the ashes of those fires, they fell asleep in the arms of Jesus. Nothing, nothing, can snatch any saint, however weak, them or us out of the hand of Jesus when we've given our lives to him. You know, remember the story of John wycliffe? I don't wanna boast, but John wycliffe was a yorkshire man and I'm from yorkshire in england. I just couldn't help that, forgive me.

But John wycliffe came just a stone's throw from where I live. And he was called the morning star of the reformation. And you know, the papacy, they tried to take him many times, but they couldn't do that. And he put the Word of God in the hands of the english people. And he finally died, he passed on and the devil was angry.

And the papacy was angry, but they could not take his life even though they wanted to. So, I mean, talk about being a loser. You know what the devil did? It was some years of after wycliffe died and there was a change in the circumstances, they dug up his bones and they ground 'em up and they through them in the river--why? And the bones, his ashes just went out to the sea. Well, you know, isn't that the action of a loser? John wycliffe's name is in heaven. His bones, what difference does that make? Praise God.

The devil can take us, he can grind us, he can stew us, he can roast us, he can burn us to ashes, he can blow us to smithereens, he can do what he wants; but when your name and mine is in the lamb's book of life, we're home and dry. Praise God. Praise the Lord. So there we have the faithful saints, right? An oasis right in the middle of this conflict here. And of course, there's others, hus and jerome and cramer, latimer, ridley, just you read the lives of these men.

And you know, it should inspire us, it should inspire us as we see the lives of these men. We look at them and we think somehow they were different to us. No, they weren't. They struggled, they sometimes got up in the morning and just were empty inside and they had to go before the cross and be broken and ask Jesus to just fill their cup. They were just like us.

And what they did, we can be through the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. If we will be surrendered to Christ as they were. Can you say, amen? Oh, all right, and of course, yeah, okay, let's get back to the lesson here. It says here verse 15, "the serpent cast out of his mouth, water as a flood after the woman, that it might cause her to be carried away of the flood." And then verse 16, it tells us, "and the earth helped the woman and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." So, the earth helped the woman. This really did happen, it really did happen.

I wanna site a couple of ways in which the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood. We've heard of the waldenses, they lived in the alpine regions of southern France and all that. Well, albertenses northern italy they were faithful people, they had the Word of God in their own language, they lived in the alpine valleys, they had little farms, little houses, but once in a while, the pope would send his armies against them and these people just salt of the earth; they had to flee. And many of them were slain, those that were left to get up into the alpine pastures and they knew the caves and the nooks and the crannies. And literally, God used the mountains as a fortress to preserve the light that was shining there in the heart of europe, when it had just about gone out everywhere else.

God kept his faithful children alive, he kept the candle burning. And I remember a story one time, I really didn't intend to talk about all this, but it just inspires me when I talk about people like the waldenses. There was one time waldenses that were escaping from the papal army and they were going up this small pass, there was a ravine to the side and it was extremely dangerous. And they got--found their way up, they knew those passes pretty well. They got up into safety, but the papal soldiers, they were following.

And the waldenses looked down and they could see this line, like a line of ants finding their way along this ledge, along this precipice. And they prayed and they prayed. And lo and behold, seemingly out of nowhere, this thick, heavy, dark mist just starts rolling, rolling down the mountain, just slithered down and just engulfed the papal army in this darkness. And just inflicted upon them this feeling of terror and panic. And before you know it, they were jostling and pushing one another and just one by--it's not very nice, I know, but they just started falling off down into the ravine below.

Thus things, those miraculous deliverances happened many times as the earth opened to swallow up the flood and spare the lives of God's people. And sometimes the papal armies themselves didn't suffer injury, just frustration. They were looking for these people and they're gone. And way up on these high pinnacles and ridges, they'd hear drifting down the singing of God's saints; just this beautiful music echoing in the alpine. Talk about acoustics.

Just these simple little servants of God, singing songs of praise. It would just echo down, what sweet music. And the dragon was there with his hordes and they couldn't do anything, but gnash their teeth. And the earth opened her mouth and helped the woman. And you know what? Before Jesus comes, some of us are gonna need the earth to open her mouth again, if some of us are going to escape and we can be sure that, that will happen in some cases.

Some of us it won't. The jails will open their mouths as well, and we're saying, what on earth is going on? I'm done, father. Trust Jesus, trust Jesus whatever comes, just keep your life in his hands and you will be safe. Whether the earth opens or the jail opens, one of the way, Jesus will be right there, right there with you. And so, the earth opened and swallowed up the flood, and that happened many times.

But God's purpose has known no haste and God's purpose has known no delay. In his own time, God brings to pass the councils of his will. And while persecution raged in the old world, the late 15th century, early 16th century, God opened up the earth again, opened up the earth again to swallow up the flood of persecution and grant the woman even greater refuge from the forces of evil. Beginning of the turn of this period, of course, was the dawning of a new day. And lo and behold, this almost virgin continent was opened up, which was spoken of in those days as the new world.

Relatively sparsely populated destined to become this great nation; the United States of America. Hey, you know what? I'm from england, right? I'm still a british subject, but you know what? I think I have more pride in the American flag than a lot Americans do. I just wanna tell you that. I think I am more proud of the American flag than a lot of Americans. And that is a very sad thing, it's a very sad thing.

I know, no country's perfect, the place I came from is far from perfect and this country's not perfect. I mean, oh, there's a history that's written out for us in the book of Revelation, we're not quite there, we're getting there. But right now if it wasn't for this country, friends, you and I long ago would have been under hitler's jack boot. If it wasn't for this country, we'd be--our kids would be going to communist schools. If it wasn't for this country, who knows who's slave we would be.

So, while we don't worship the flag, let us realize that God put his hand over this continent. This land became that where the earth opened its mouth to take out and swallow up the flood. If it wasn't for this country, you and I wouldn't be--have the freedoms today to be here to worship God on the seventh-day Sabbath. So, let's be thankful, right? Let's be thankful. I'm thankful I can be here.

And actually this year, I'm gonna attempt to get my citizenship. I think I can still keep my british one, so I'll have best of both worlds. But you know, I'll be proud to be an American. So, let's be thankful, I didn't plan that, but I'm saying it this morning, because we need to be thankful for the freedoms that we have. So, where was i? Yes, so the United States, this great nation opens up and it was this great experiment.

Think it was jefferson described it as that. This radical experiment where a country, a nation was founded, we had a country without a king, and a church without a pope. Now, we think nothing of it, but if you can go back to the mindset of the 16th century, that was absolutely radical. Nobody thought like that. But the founding fathers of this country did.

Praise God for that. It had to be the time to get away from monarchies, especially king george iii. I've seen his statue in london and, you know, even in london, it's hidden behind some bushes if you wanna know. I stumbled across it one day. So, thank God for the freedoms that we have.

And so it was in this great nation where there was to be a king--a country without a king and a church without a pope. That at the end of the ,260 years, the remnants, the offspring of the woman, sometime after that time was to make an appearance, visibly being recognized and become the end-time church. Characterized in Revelation 12:17, let's read it again. Revelation 12:17, "the offspring of the woman, the remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Commandments of God, now, when the Bible speaks of the commandments of God, how many is it speaking about? All ten, yeah, it never speaks of nine or three or one, it speaks of all ten. So, when it says, keep the commandments of God, it's speaking of the fourth commandment as well.

So, we're looking for a church that would make an appearance, become a visible body over here in the new world, sometime after , which would keep the commandments of God, all ten, including the fourth, a Sabbath keeping church, and also have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Which is, according to Revelation 19:10, the Spirit of prophecy. Okay, well, the only church, visible body, that came into being after 1798 in the new world, the United States of America, is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now, I'm glad I already said at the beginning, let's not get puffed up and think we're special, 'cause we're not, absolutely not. The only virtue I possess is what--is the truth that God gives me from tHis Word.

The only virtue I possess is what Jesus gives me. I'm as fickle and frail as anybody else. The only virtue I possess is what I have in tHis Word. , A church was finally, officially denominated called the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863. But the actual Seventh-day Adventist Church existed sometime prior to that.

They already recognized themselves as having those that keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. But it wasn't 'til 1863, they officially became incorporated so that they could hold title to property, and so on and so forth. But they were already established before that time. And so I want to read in and as we're gettin' close to the end, something from Thursday's section in the lesson here. It says near the bottom of that first section there, third paragraph, "the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not just one church--" sorry-- "among many as a church prophetically foreseen.

God has called this church into existence for a very specific purpose: to proclaim the three angel's messages to a dying world." And then in bold print underneath that, we read this; it says--it makes reference to Revelation 14:6-12, it says, "what is happening there that helps us understand some of the characteristics of God's end-time people; what elements come into play and what ways are we justified in see ourselves in our calling?" I hope you took time to read this. I don't really--i really don't have time right now, but I'm gonna especially look at the first angel's message in Revelation 14:6-7. And let's see how this applies to Seventh-day Adventists and see if we truly can show that this is speaking of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. So, Revelation 14:6-7, and you read this, "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. Saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.

And worship him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters." I won't get time today to go on to the second and third angel's message which speaks of the beast and the Mark of the beast and so on and so forth. You'll have to study that out yourself. But especially the first angel's message, there's a lot of identifying Marks in here which we're going to briefly look at before we have to close. We're looking at this church, this remnant church, that appears sometime after 1798 in new world, preaches the everlasting Gospel. Now, if ever a people have been blessed with an understanding of the everlasting Gospel in the context of Jesus Christ, as Seventh-day Adventists, we most certainly have.

Through the Scriptures and also as a result of light that has been thrown on the Scriptures through the Spirit of prophecy writings. 'Cause remember, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. I don't have my copy of "Desire of Ages," see, but I could certainly hold it up to you this morning. But I want to read to you a letter that some of you have probably heard of over the years, but have never actually seen it. It is a library it--well, it's a--sorry, it's a letter from the library of congress.

It's a photo copy that I have here. And it's about the book "Desire of Ages" written by Ellen g. White. From the library of congress, Washington d.c., December 11, 1946, to a mr. Nicolas chai in havana, cuba.

And it's sent by w.e. Bement who is certainly a librarian of the library of congress. You know what the library of congress is? It's no small bookstore, right? It says, "dear mr. Chai--" mr. Chai wrote the to library of congress asking about a book on the life of Christ.

It says, "dear mr. Chai, I regret that absence and illness have kept me from answering your letter sooner. Now I will do so briefly. To select five or six books on the life of Christ, from the more ten thousand written in english--" chai had been asking about this. "To select five or six books on the life of Christ from the more than 10,000 written in english in the last 300 years, to say nothing of those in other languages and to say that they unqualifiably the best is no small task.

Happily you have eased the task by asking me to make my personal selection." This is what he says, "my preference or choice would be guided by what I wished to get from the book or books to be read. Let me put it this way, I would put 'Desire of Ages,' but Ellen g. White first, for spiritual discernment and practical application." Not bad, huh? Library of congress. Now it says, his personal choice being a librarian is to be familiar with a lot of the books out there. And I imagine the library of congress, you gotta be pretty good, so, "I would put 'Desire of Ages' first, for personal discernment and practical application.

" And then he continues on here with some other things. An answer to another one of inquiries I go on, and so forth. So, that is a--that's a pretty good recommendation for 'Desire of Ages,' would you not think? Not just the title of the book, but the book itself. If you've never read "Desire of Ages" or if you haven't read it for a while, get into that book again. It is a beautiful book.

I was just reading some again yesterday. "Who are my brethren?" Just a beautiful book, it just draws you to Christ and it doesn't take you from the Scriptures, it draws you in to the Word of God. So, it's so blessed as a people, absolutely, tremendously blessed. And then because of the light we have on the Scriptures and the writings of the Spirit of prophecy, we have some most wonderful insights into the cross, into justification by faith when Jesus died for us. But also, Seventh-day Adventists with our unique understanding and teaching of the sanctuary.

We're relating back to Daniel 8:14, the 2,300 days and the investigative judgment. We have a most unique and a tremendous insight and view of Jesus as our great high priest. And this whole aspect of not just justification, but sanctification. We are so extremely blessed and I hope, I hope you hear me this mornin', I hope I don't sound like I'm just ranting and raving here. I hope I listening to what I'm saying.

And you people out there watching on camera. So, extremely blessed. Another example, righteousness by faith. If you have the book "Christ object lessons", there's a chapter in there called the wedding-- "without a wedding garment." If you want a concise treatise on righteousness by faith, read "without a wedding garment" in "Christ object lessons." And just last night, right here, we had communion and as everybody was being served I have the privilege of reading from "Christ object lessons." And read a few paragraphs from the chapter, "lost and he's found," beautiful. So, we're so blessed indeed.

And actually from Ellen white's writings as well, others have come along and they've looked at this subject of righteousness by faith. This is a bit of a grubby looking book, I apologize, but it's still a wonderful book. It's called, "Christ, our righteousness." And it's comments and statements from the pen of Ellen g. White by arthur g. Daniels.

He was one time, he's now deceased, one time president of the general conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Pastor white was telling me, he became an adventist, I think, a year before me or a year after. It was 1968 or 1970. But he says, as soon as he came in the church, he read this book and it was such a tremendous blessing to him. I have read this many times.

This is still available at the a.b.c. "Christ our righteousness" by a. G. Daniels. If you don't have it, you need it.

All right and of course, moving on now to these identifying Marks. Where are we? Verse 6, this--the church symbolizes angels takin' the everlasting Gospel to them that dwell in the earth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. So, this visible church that arose--oh, the time is gone, would you believe it? I'm just getting started. Sorry, I saw 5 minutes on the clock and then now it's gone. Well, we have to stop, folks, so thank you for your participation there, we were just getting in to the good things.

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