The Blessings of the Prophetic Gift

The Blessings of the Prophetic Gift

Scripture: Amos 3:7, Leviticus 11:1-8, Genesis 1:1-3
Date: 03/21/2009  Lesson: 12
Throughout time, the gift of prophecy has been a blessing to the church in a number of ways.

Confidence in the Prophetic Gift by Doug Batchelor

Confidence in the Prophetic Gift by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. We welcome you as we do every week to "central study hour," coming to you from Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church here in sunny Sacramento, California. We hope that you've had a wonderful week. And this morning the first song that we are going to sing is a favorite request from me and was a unanimous vote by everybody up here, 'cause we like this song. We hope that you do too.

I think you will. It's number 80, "o world of God." And we're gonna sing all verses, number 80. [Music] Did you like that one? Amen. The words to that are beautiful. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, go to our website at saccentral.

org, click on the "contact us" link, and we will sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. Our opening song is 612, "onward Christian soldiers." And this is from Timothy in Alabama, Johnathan and dayali in Arizona, luiz in Connecticut, jim, dianne, jamie and buffy in florida, yang in inner mongolia, china. That's one of the very few requests that we have got from mongolia. Ali in malawi, tona in Montana, abel in puerto rico, Christa in Virginia, sharon and barb in Washington, and progress in zimbabwe. , Verses 1, 2, and 4.

[Music] Father in Heaven, this morning we want to be soldiers for you. We want to hold high the cross and March onward to heaven. One day you are coming to get us, and we want to be ready for that day, each one here and those who are joining us this morning from across the country and around the world. I pray that you'll just pour your spirit out on us this morning as we study together, that you will be with each one in a very special way, those that can't be with us. I pray that you'll be with our speaker as he brings us the lesson study this morning.

And we thank you so much for him and everyone here this morning. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you very much to debbie and our singers, our musicians. And thank you, friends, for coming here today, Sacramento central.

Glad to see each of you here. And for our friends who are watching on tv, we'd like to welcome you. We're glad that you could be part of this class. And we have a number of our central members that are actually scattered around the planet. Want to send a special welcome to the extended members of the Sacramento central church.

Some of you who are watching know that there are people who are isolated in different parts of the world because they're doing mission work, or there maybe is no Seventh-day Adventist Church they can study with in close proximity. Some are shut-ins. And they watch this program week after week online. And they're sort of our online members. And we want to welcome you.

If you want to know about how you can be part of that online family, you can just go to the church website. It's saccentral.org. And we'll be happy to welcome you to the family. Also want to tell those who might be joining us for the first time that the study guide we're going through, this is the Seventh-day Adventist quarterly study guide. And if you don't have one-- we're getting ready to enter a new quarterly soon.

I'm sure if you do have a neighborhood Seventh-day Adventist Church, you visit them; they'll be happy to give you one of these. And we'd encourage you to study with them if you can't study along with us at home. And we're very thankful that this program is on a number of satellite providers that carry it for free. I want to thank safe tv, abn, hope channel. Got some exciting news this week that hope channel now is not only on the amc-4 satellite, but they are now on direct tv.

Isn't that exciting? So it just added multiple millions of homes. And so we got more people in our class now. And we want to welcome the new viewers who are watching on the hope channel. And so that's very exciting. We're going through our lesson.

Right now we're in lesson number 12. Oh, I've been taking a little time at the beginning of each class. We're talking about the year of evangelism and things that you can be doing to help maximize soul-winning in your community. All over the world there's a number of initiatives to increase soul-winning. Here in North America, we're encouraging every single Seventh-day Adventist Church to be involved in some form of public evangelism.

Some of those meetings are being done by the pastor, maybe a conference evangelist. They might be bringing in Amazing Facts' evangelist or another or maybe a graduate from one of the evangelism schools. I'd like to give you a few tips about something you can do--pardon me. When you're encouraging people to come to an evangelistic meeting, there are a number of ways that you advertise evangelism. You've got handbills that are sent out to the community.

They might put up posters in store windows or laundromats or different public locations. Maybe the evangelistic meetings are advertised on television, radio, newspaper. What do you think is the most effective means of advertising to get people to come to an evangelistic event? They call it "word of mouth," or "personal invitation." When you interview people in the opening night of a meeting, and there may be several hundred people that are there, a lot of guests, and you say, "what brought you here?" And I like to do this during my meeting, because it helps me know what's effective for the next meeting. Invariably, number one is word of mouth. Someone received a personal invitation or one of the members invited a neighbor.

A relationship is what brought them there. Then number two is usually a handbill, the mailers that people get. And there's a variety-- some people get them, they're hung on the doorknob, or they come in the mail. But a beautiful, color flyer that advertises the meetings. If people can afford it, television is effective, but it's very expensive.

And it's hard with all the channels now you got hundreds of people watching thousands of channels. So how to hit your target is really a science that is very delicate. So personal invitation is one of the best things you can do. And in preparation for that, when you do invite a person to an evangelistic meeting, a few tips. Be real nice to them the week before, before you invite them.

Give 'em a loaf of bread, a plate of cookies, invite 'em over, just love 'em. Be real nice. Then you come to 'em and you say, "you know, I'd like you to do me a favor." And you know, help 'em paint their house, whatever you gotta do. But then say, "I'd like you to do me a favor. Our church is having a series of meetings.

And I'd just like to invite ya to come to the opening night. Don't say, "alert, listen, record, play. Tattoo this on your mind." Don't say, "our church is having 33 meetings. And we'd like you to come to the series." That scares 'em away and usually won't get 'em to the first one. Tell 'em, "our church is having some meetings.

And we've got a great speaker. And we'd like to encourage you to come. The first meetings, it's for everybody in the community. You'll really enjoy it. And I'll go with you.

Would you come with me?" And you know--and say if they have children, say, "we have something for the children." It's all free. They don't beg for money. And try, you know, diffuse some of their fears. But there's actually a right and a wrong way to invite people. And so make friends with your neighbors.

Do nice things for 'em and then invite 'em. Don't be bashful. Give 'em a handbill. And say, "you're gonna love this. It's for everybody in the community.

It's great. It'd mean a lot to me. And I did help you paint your house." So you get the idea. You show 'em love, develop a relationship. And then you invite them.

And that often works. You'd be surprised. It's the best means of advertising. Just a little tip. And it works.

So we want to like-- to maximize the harvest. Most of our churches are doing meetings this coming fall. Oh yes, we have a free offer for today. And I wanted to remind you. And it goes along with our study on the subject of prophecy and victory.

It's called "the armor of God," "the armor of God." It's a book written by yours truly talking about Ephesians 6. And it's got some interesting and humorous stories in there to help illustrate those truths. It's offer number 173. You'll need that, because when you call the toll-free number, -788-3966, You'll ask for offer number 173, we send it to you for free. This is something Amazing Facts just does by faith all the time.

We send out Christian literature. If you're already a Christian and member of the church, if you ask for that, read it, then give it to somebody. Amen? And we want to distribute these principles or truth on how to get these blessings and to overcome. Our lesson today is on "the prophetic gift," number 12. And it's on "the blessings of the prophetic gift.

" Now in this quarter, we've been talking more specifically about understanding the role and relationship of the ministry of Ellen g. White to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a lot of misunderstandings out there. How many of you have heard people say before, "Seventh-day Adventists: they're the ones that base their teachings on the writings of Ellen white." Have you heard that before? Now, get an audience shot. I don't know who's directing today, but get an audience shot. You ready? Alright.

By show of hands, what do we base our beliefs on as Seventh-day Adventists? The Bible. You got your Bibles today? How many of you have Bibles today? How many of you brought an Ellen white book with you? I see one hand. That's okay, nothing wrong with that. But I just wanted to illustrate, we come to church with our Bibles, we defend our beliefs with our Bibles, right? It's a myth that we base our teachings on Ellen white. But at the same time, how many of you believe that God inspired Ellen white, that she is an example of a modern-day prophet? Okay.

There are two different things. It's separate from the Bible. You know, God has prophets that he's inspired, that wrote books, that are not part of the Bible. Bible speaks about the book of gad the seer. Gad was a prophet.

Nathan the prophet, also wrote a book. The book of japher, the prophet. And so God inspired many people. And he spoke through 'em, gave them present truth for the church during their time, wasn't meant to be part of the canon of Scripture. And so the idea that God doesn't speak through people, if that's true, then why did God say--if God doesn't still speak through prophets-- "behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord?" And then Jesus said, "beware of false prophets.

" He says, "I'm sending you true prophets," and you "beware of the false prophets." And one of the gifts of the church is prophecy. God did not retract that gift anywhere in Scripture. So, "in the last day, I'll pour out my spirit on your sons and daughters. They'll dream dreams and see visions. And they'll prophecy.

" And so the Bible's very clear that the gift of prophecy is something that God gave to the church. It's meant to help and assist the church all the way through. Now, it's a great blessing to the church. I've in my mind conjured up this picture of soldiers on a battlefield at night. And you know some of these soldiers have these, there's like infrared, night-vision goggles.

How many of you have heard of that before? And it's amazing. It could be pitch-black to you. It could appear to be a moonless, pitch-black night. And you can't see anything. And you put on those goggles, and all of a sudden, you'll see there's people walking up and around the streets.

And you can all of a sudden. It's miraculous how it works. So suppose that you've got one sergeant in the platoon. He's got night-vision goggles. He needs to send his men up this dangerous corridor where there might be enemies, and there might be mines.

And he can see them, but they can't. And they've got radios on. Soldiers today, you know, they all got earpieces when they go out in the special operations. They all talk to each other. And so the sergeant's guiding them up this treacherous street.

And he's saying, "duck. Up. Run. To the left. To the right.

Stop." Are they gonna listen to him? He's got a perspective and a vision that they don't have. And it can mean the difference of life and death for them. We're in a dark world. And God has given a gift of prophecy to the church to help us through the unique circumstances of the last days. It's foolish not to embrace that gift.

Now that leads me into our memory verse. Memory verse is from Amos 3:7. This is the new king James version. I'd like to invite everybody, both here at Sacramento central and our friends watching. Say it out loud.

Helps you remember the memory verse when you hear yourself say it. Amos 3:7. You ready? "Surely, the Lord God does nothing unless he reveals his secret to his servants, the prophets," meaning whenever God does anything significant in history, he always reveals it through prophets. And you could go through the mountains and valleys of Bible history, and you'll see whenever the Lord was about to take the people off into some great experience, he rose up, inspired men and women to guide the church. And you can think, of course, of the Exodus.

There was Moses, the flood. There was Noah. You had Enoch, of course, before the flood. You've got Elijah, who was sent to bring back the people during a time of revival, Jeremiah before the Babylonian captivity to warn them, Daniel during the Babylonian captivity. And just when they were occupied by the philistines, he sent Samuel to be the means of delivering them.

And David, of course, was a prophet. Before Jesus' first coming, who did he send? He sent John the baptist. And actually, he sent the apostles too, ended up becoming prophets. Didn't they? In their own right. Wouldn't it make sense to you that before the climax of the great battle between good and evil, the second coming of Jesus, that God suddenly would find that he's bankrupt on the gift of prophecy? If ever there was a time, when satan has been sharpening his skills for 6,000 years to deceive, if ever there was a time for us to get extra guidance, it would be during this last time in the world's history.

Right? "Surely the Lord God does nothing, except he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets." He's not going to come again without giving us some preparation through this gift of prophecy. And I might add, I don't think that Ellen white is the last manifestation of that gift. I believe God used her in a special sense to raise up a people, just as he used Moses and the apostles. And he uses these prophets to help consolidate a message and a people and a movement. And Ellen white certainly did that, because I'll tell you, friends, listen carefully.

If there is any single factor that has been a unifying influence on the movement of Seventh-day Adventists in the last 150 years, it's been through the ministry of Ellen white. You missed a great opportunity for an "amen." Are there other churches out there that know the Sabbath truth? Yeah, sure. We don't have a copyright on that. It's in the Bible. A lot of seventh-day churches out there.

Are there other churches out there that believe their bodies are the Holy Spirit and they should take care of their bodies? Are there other churches out there that have hospitals and clinics? Other churches that have mission work around the world? Are there other churches that believe in baptism by immersion? Salvation by grace? I mean we don't have the exclusive corner on the Market on most of these teachings. Now, when it comes to the sanctuary subject, I think we probably have our black belt in that area. But you know, that's not such a divisive doctrine for people. So what is it that makes us unique? It's the consolidation of all these truths that have been lost. And through the ministry of Ellen white, she helped people recognize these things need to be together.

Now we're gonna talk about that in our lesson. That was a lengthy introduction. Oh, by the way, we have a special website we're recommending. A lot of confusion about who Ellen white was and the ministry of Ellen white. And there's a website I'd like to recommend.

It's very simple. It's www--do you need to say that anymore? People usually know that. It's Ellengwhitetruth or if you just write Ellenwhitetruth.com, that'll get you to it. And so we'd encourage you to go to Ellengwhitetruth.com. There's other links there of other good e.

g. White websites out there that have a lot of information. Link your church. If your church has a web page, put that on there. 'Cause sometimes people are searching around, and they go to some of these really inaccurate websites that are kind of nauseating.

If you want 'em to go to the right website, connect 'em with Ellenwhitetruth, and that's a good move if you ask me. Alright, to our lesson. In Monday, it talks about, or Sunday, what did God's elect Israel--or "why did God elect Israel as his special people?" Now I'll read the first verse, but let me give you a couple. Someone look up for me Isaiah 44:8. I think I gave that out.

And I'm gonna start out while we're getting that situated, I want to read to you Deuteronomy 7:7. Why did he call the Israelites? First of all, it wasn't 'cause they were all good looking. Deuteronomy 7:7, "the Lord did not set his love on you, nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people. For you were the least of all people. But because the Lord loves you, and because he would keep the oath that he swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage and from the hand of the King of Egypt.

" God said, "I did not choose you because you were the greatest in number." He didn't choose them because they were the tallest. There were other nations that were taller. He did not choose them because they were the most cooperative. He said, "indeed you are a stubborn and a stiff-necked people." He chose them to show his grace through people that were a nation of slaves. And having said that, the Jewish nation is unique in history.

There is no nation like the jews. I don't see anyone disagreeing with me. You don't find any people who have first of all been as resilient anywhere in the world. They have been conquered and scattered over history occupied by the Egyptians, came out, became a great nation, conquered again by the philistines and again by the edomites, the ammonites, the moabites, the assyrians, the Babylonians, the persians, the Romans, and yet they still exist and have their own language. They still have their Scriptures.

By the way, what kept 'em together all those years? Their sacred writings, the Spirit of the Lord. Scattered 1,900 years the last time. Now they're back again. That's phenomenal. Nobody else in history like that.

Am I right? Unique. And wherever they go, they seem to bubble to the surface of success. God blessed them. Um, very talented people. That's 'cause God blesses his people.

When you've got His Word, you will rise. And he does it also with modern Israel. So who has Isaiah 44:8. Alright, we're gonna do that next. And why did God choose Israel? "Do not fear, nor be afraid; have not I told you from that time, and declared it? You are my witnesses.

There is a God besides me? Indeed there is no other rock; I know not one." Alright, God says, "you are my witnesses. Is there a God beside me?" So Lord called them for the purpose that they might be his witnesses. Peter 2:9. Is that the one you got, mike? Okay, why don't--we ready? Let's go ahead and have you read that. 1 Peter 2:9, "but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

" You know, the reason God saves us is, first of all, because he loves us, but he wants to save others through us. And if you believe your salvation is only for you, you lose it. Everybody needs to realize that they have been saved because God loves them, wants them in heaven, but he then wants to use them to be a witness to others. I've got a theory. Everything that happens to you in life, happens to you to in some way sanctify you and to reach others through you.

Have you gone through a very difficult experience? You wonder, "why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? What good can come from this?" If nothing else, if you can't think of any way it sanctifies you, then God is gonna allow that experience to be a blessing to someone else that you will meet. You may not know who it is yet. But somewhere down the line, you'll look back and you'll say, "now I know why I went through that. I had my gall bladder taken out, because God wanted me to comfort someone else that was having that problem." Or whatever it might be. But you just Mark my words.

God will allow you to witness through it. So how does that relate to the Seventh-day Adventist Church? You know, when the adventist church was first being born, they came out of what's called the great advent movement. Not all advents in the 1800s were Seventh-day Adventists. The adventists grew around an event in 1844. Seventh-day Adventists were not even formed as an organization 'til 1863.

There were a lot of adventists. There were people who believed in the second coming of Jesus across North America. Sometimes they were called millerites. They believed that the coming of the Lord was eminent. And when he didn't come in 1844, many of 'em kept setting dates.

They were doing almost no mission work, because they thought, "we don't have time to develop a mission program. Doesn't make sense for us to try to learn new languages. the Lord's coming any day now. Well, maybe if you could tell your neighbor, if you can speak to him that's great." But they weren't preparing for a worldwide work. They figured that was behind them.

Well, Ellen white came along and said, "no. We may be here a while. We need to start learning new languages. We need to go to other parts of the world. There's a great mission work to do before Jesus comes.

" That was so out of the normal thinking for what adventists believed back then. They basically thought that they were at the train station. They were just standing there waiting for the train. They weren't going out to try and get other passengers. You see the difference? The mindset was very different.

But Ellen white said--matter of fact, in the book, "life sketches," 204, she said, "young men should be qualifying themselves to become familiar with our language. God may use them as mediums to communicate his saving truth with those of other nations." In 1874, she had an impressive dream of giving the third angel's message to the world. In the dream she was told, "you are entertaining too limited of an idea of the work for this time." Now I've actually got one of the dreams she was given about this. And this was also 1874. I like it 'cause it mentions Sacramento specifically.

I don't usually read this much. Just bear with me, friends. This is kinda neat. This is from, by the way, "testimonies volume 7," page 34-35. You'll also find excerpts of this in "Christian experience," page 216-217.

Let me read this to you. "While in California in 1874, I was given an impressive dream. I dreamed that several of the brethren in California were in counsel," considering the best way to solve the budget dilemma--no, I threw that in. It wasn't in there. "I dreamed that the brethren were in counsel--" I shouldn't do that.

I'm sorry-- "considering the best plan for labor during the coming season. Some thought it best not to enter the large cities, but to begin to work in small places, in remote country places from the city. Here they'd meet with less opposition from clergy and they'd avoid a great expense." So the church leaders in this meeting were saying, "we can't afford to go in the big cities, you know. Let's go in more rural areas. It's too expensive.

And the ministers will oppose our message in those big cities, because they got all the power and influence." "Again it was urged that because of our limited means--" they were very poor back then-- "because of our limited means and because of the many changes from moving that might be expected from a church in a large city, it'd be difficult to build up a church that would be a strength to the cause. My husband--" she sees this in the vision at night, her husband James-- "was earnestly urging that broader plans be laid and more extended effort be made, which would better compare with the character of our message. Then a young man, who I'd frequently seen in my dreams, came into the counsel." Who do you think that young man was? It was an angel that she had seen in many of her dreams. "He listened with deep interest to the words that were spoken. And then speaking with deliberation and authoritative confidence, he said, 'the cities and the villages constitute a part of the Lord's vineyard.

They must hear the message of warning.'" By the way, you know, Jesus' ministry is summed up in Matthew 9:35. It says, "he went throughout all of the cities and villages, cities and villages." Country and city, we're to go everywhere. And this is exactly what the angel was saying. "They are to hear the message of warning. The enemy of truth is making desperate efforts to turn people from the truth of God to falsehood.

You are to sow beside all waters." You're to go everywhere. And by the way, you know what that means, "sowing beside all waters?" It's called broadcasting. That's why I like this vision. It's what we do. By the way, when she had this vision, did she know what tv was? Did she know what radio was? Not in 1874 she didn't.

The messenger continued, "you are entertaining too limited ideas of the work for this time. You're trying to plan the work so you can embrace it in your arms. You must take broader views. You must not put your light under a bushel or under a bed, but on a candlestick, that it might give light to all that are in the house." Your house is the world. So your light was to go where? To the world.

And here she had this dream and she shared it. And yet the church at that time was saying, "oh, he's about to come, you know. And we're just sort of waiting for him to come." And they didn't see that it would be important to start schools and to put down roots and to plan for--ahead for an international work. "The verity and the truth and the binding claims of the fourth commandment must be presented in clear lines before the people. You are my witnesses.

The message will go in power to all parts of the world, to Oregon and europe, to australia, to the islands of the sea." We have a visitor here from australia. Isn't that right? Right in the front row. Yeah, see. That's why you're here today, fulfillment of prophecy. "To all parts of the sea, to all nations, tongues and people.

We need to preserve the dignity of the truth." This angel is still speaking here. "It will grow to large proportions. Many countries are waiting for the advanced light the Lord has for them. And your faith is limited. It is very small.

Your conception of the work needs to be greatly enlarged. Oakland, san francisco, Sacramento--" angel told us to do this right--? "Woodland and the large cities of the United States must hear the message of truth. Go forward. God will work with great power. If you walk in humility of mind before him, it is not faith to talk of impossibilities.

Nothing is impossible with God." And so I believe that we actually have seen the fulfillment of that from this church here in Sacramento. We're now broadcasting to the world. And this is exactly what she said the angel said should happen back in a time when they were thinking, "well, you know, we don't need to do a worldwide work; he's about to come." And so God gave her that vision. Let's go on to Monday I believe the next part where it talks about, "how were the young people in Israel educated in old testament times?" Why did the Israelites write God's Word on the doorposts of their house? Someone read for me Genesis 18:19. Who has that first of all? Let's hold your hand up.

And while you're finding that, I'll read Deuteronomy 6:6-9. Here in this famous statement, Moses said, "and these words that I command you today--" by the way, he had just given them the law of God-- "shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You'll bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Now when he says you're to hang them, "as frontlets between your eyes. You shall bind them for a sign upon your hand," what does that mean? Does that mean he wanted them to tattoo them on his hand-- on their hand? Or that he wanted them to wear headbands that had Scripture on them? Even back then--well, you know what the clue is? He said, "you shall write them on your hearts." Was that literal or symbolic? So obviously if writing it on their heart was symbolic, it was also symbolic when he said, "they shall be written on your hand. They shall be between your eyes." The jews understood that when you said, "give me a hand." They didn't mean cut off your hand and toss it to them. It meant action, help. Right? In the Bible it says, "my hand will be with you.

" Well, that doesn't mean, "I'm gonna send my hand with you." It meant, "I'm gonna support you. There'll be action." In their mind--it says, "their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness." It's talking about between the eyes. They knew you thought with your brain back then. I know there were some primitive cultures that thought that the brain was a useless organ. The jews knew better.

They knew if you got bonked on your head, you didn't think right anymore. They knew you thought with your head. And so they meant in your thoughts and in your hands, you were to have the law of God. So there was to be education of the young people. Alright, do we have Genesis 18:19? Right over here.

We ready? Go ahead. Genesis 18:19, "for I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has spoken to him." Alright so here, the Lord is telling again very clearly, "you are to educate your children. Tell your children these truths. If you want your message to survive, you've gotta plant it in the hearts of children when they're young. You know, our catholic friends say that, "you give us your children when they're kids, and they'll be catholics for life.

" That hasn't proven to always be true, but there is a lot of truth to it. I've got some friends that they've heard the message, they know what the Bible says, they said, "you know, but I just went to catholic school all my life. And it's kind of engrained in my character. And I could never leave the church." And that happens all over the world. By the way, besides Seventh-day Adventists, the next--the only group that has more schools than Seventh-day Adventists are catholics.

Seventh-day Adventists are number two of a religious-- I'm talking about of a religious or Christian group. It's so important to teach the principles of the Bible to children when they're young, if you want your message to be both in the heart and to spread. And that's very important, and yet--boy, I won't say that. There was a dream that Ellen white had. You can find this in "fundamentals of Christian education," page 45 and 46, "we need a school where those who are just entering the ministry might be taught, at least the common branches of education, and where they may also learn more perfectly the truths of God's Word for this time.

" And that began to be the foundation of this school system that is now all over the world, going all the way from preschool to university level, all around the world, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has an education system that is very influential because she had this dream. And this is someone with a third-grade education that understood the importance of that. How could she know that? How could she do that? Well, I would say the Holy Spirit educated her and revealed these things to her, that it was very important. And back then, church leaders were saying, "you know, we can't afford that. Let's just send 'em off to other schools.

There's other good Christian schools. You know, we don't need to have our own schools. It's too expensive." And she said, "no, it's a unique message. We need our own schools. We have a special work to do.

" And we've seen the wisdom of that now. By the way, Deuteronomy 6:20, "when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'what is the meaning of the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord God has commanded you?' Then you will say to your son: 'we were slaves of pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand.'" So they were to reverse to their children their history. Now that's something that's sort of being lost. A lot of young people that grow up through the system, that often are not acquainted with the history of the movement-- and it's possible just how the classes are arranged over the course of their grades that they can go through all kinds of Christian education, and if you're not careful they can come out the other end of the conveyer belt, and they've never heard a message on who is the beast? What is the Mark? What is the history of the movement? I was very thankful. I went to southwestern adventist university.

I only took about a year and a half there. And then I got involved in evangelism. And I regretted I didn't stick around to graduate, but they were nice enough to give me an honorary doctorate later. But one of the classes I took there I really appreciated was "advent movement," because here I was already out preaching about the Seventh-day Adventist message. And I really didn't know the history of it.

And it was such a blessing to me to get my mind wrapped around the timeline of the history of that movement. Then there's the other aspect of health. You know back when people think that Jesus is about to come, what's the use in worrying about your body? You're about to get a new body, right? And so the attitude of the early adventists, they just, you know, they drank caffeine, and ate pork chops. And they just didn't have a very health-conscious diet. But what happened? And Ellen white and James white, they were in there too.

But God began to reveal to them, "you need to take care of your bodies. And you need to take care of health. And you need to teach healing and offer healing. And that's gonna involve a different lifestyle than what the world follows." Exodus 15:26, is this how God spoke through his prophets in the old testament? Who has that for me? Hold your hand up, please, and we'll get you a microphone. Someone else look up Leviticus 13:46.

Where's Leviticus--we'll give you the mic next, jean, okay? Alright, let's go ahead and hear Exodus 15:26. "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians." Okay, and before I comment on that, I want you to hand the microphone behind you there. Jean, I want you to read Leviticus 13:46. We'll find out what some of those specifics were. "He shall be unclean.

All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp." All the way back in the days of Moses they understood that there was a distinction between clean and unclean. Some people were healthy and contagious. Some animals were clean and unclean. They had all these laws regarding purifying and washing.

And a lot of it was basic sanitation that you would think would be common sense for us today, but they didn't know back then. I've been in parts of the world, I probably won't mention them by name right now, and they would do well to read some of the things in Leviticus about how you're supposed to have a little paddle on the end of your spear or your staff and what the purpose of that was. And they understood sanitation. Matter of fact, when the bubonic plague swept through europe, and it just was rampaging, one out of three people died, black death, finally the church leaders went to Leviticus and they said, "oh, maybe we ought to be using quarantined principles and sanitation and burning the garments of those infected." And it was through following the principles of Moses that they were finally able to stay the spread of the bubonic plague, biblical principles. Well, back in the 1800s, things were not much better than medieval europe.

Do you know when Ellen white was having her visions in New York city, a lot of the houses, three and four-story houses, they did not have a septic tank. There was an outhouse in the house that just kind of went down to the basement, all throughout New York city. It was just absolutely appalling the sanitation conditions. And so this was the thought and the environment. And health, I mean during world war--no, no, during the civil war, which was contemporaneous with the time we're talking about right now, more soldiers died of infection than anything.

The surgeons were often going from soldier to soldier, often without any kind of anesthetic or antiseptic and sawing off limbs, because they said, "once you're shot, the infection will set in, you're gonna lose the limb anyway. If you got shot in your extremities, they just sawed it off. And they'd go with the same saw without even washing it. That was before the days of Joseph lister. And so this is the context of when Ellen white began to get information on health and cleanliness and purity and diet that has--virtually all of her predictions and information has been substantiated by science.

"On June 6, 1863, Ellen white received a vision in which she was shown the need for health reform. She says, "I saw--" and this is the book "selected messages--" "I saw that it was a sacred duty to attend to our health and to arouse others to their sacred duty. And from that time, one of the principle tings that she taught that was just totally out of vogue was that we should avoid animal products. Can you imagine telling people, where most people in America live on farms, that many animals are diseased and we should avoid animal products. Even going as far as saying, "you're better off without milk and eggs.

" Can you imagine how crazy that would sound? Now if you tell somebody, especially in California where we're, you know, this is where people learn things first, "I'm a vegetarian," or "I'm a vegan." You're a better category human being, right, at that point. I'm not even talking about among Christians. I'm just talking about among Californians. Now, it's become such common knowledge that there's a lot less disease among people who avoid animal products that-- she was considered crazy back then when she said that. Well, unless you've got the Holy Spirit telling you, "I know something about the body that people may not realize," and it was--now it's recognized as basic information.

In "healthful living" is, "as much as you can avoid animal products, the better off you are." Stay away from fat and sugar, anything addictive. That's what she taught. That's what's being taught today. I mean, I'm just simplifying a lot of these principles but-- she said smoking was an insidious poison. I can show you cigarette advertisements where it says, "lucky strikes: the cigarette preferred by doctors.

" And that was, you know, , 70 years after Ellen white. So in the context when she was telling people that smoking was a deadly poison, doctors were prescribing it for asthma. I know that seems crazy to us now, but you've gotta realize, she was a light in the darkness back then when she was saying these things. You ever read the book by, is it jethro kloss called, "back to eden?" Not a Seventh-day Adventist. It's a book on national remedies and healing, became a best-seller, best-seller across the country.

Nothing to do with religion. The beginning of his book he credits Ellen and James white with inspiring him to write the book. And so they had knowledge that obviously came through the Holy Spirit. One of the great blessings to the church was the health knowledge that God gave Ellen white. Then you get onto the category of publishing.

Did God believe in writing down the messages of truth. Someone read for me Exodus 34:27. We got a hand. Did we give that to somebody. Exodus 34:27.

You've got it, right here, okay. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.'" Very good. Was Moses a prophet? God told him to write it down. Up 'til the time of Moses, do we have a record of anybody writing anything? Well, Noah might have written down some of the plans God gave him, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't. He probably had a photographic memory.

Back then when you live years, you better have a good memory. Because if I'm starting to lose mine at 50, can you imagine how bad you'd be at 900? They must have had better brains than we have now, right? So by the time of Moses, his life was 120, men were losing their sharp memories. And in order to preserve the truth, it used to be passed on verbally, orally, they needed to cartify the truth. And so the publishing work began. Again, you can find in Deuteronomy 31, "so Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, The Sons of levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

And Moses commanded them, saying: 'at the end of seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which he chooses, you shall read the law before all Israel in their hearing." They were to at a minimum read it to the whole nation every years. I think it'd be great that you were on a reading program, if every Seventh-day Adventist would not only--i read my Bible through every year. And, well actually I have a 3-year program too, but I read different parts of the Bible every year. And in addition to that, it'd be great if you were going through the "conflict of the ages" series. That's a phenomenal, inspired series of books that Ellen white wrote, starting with where sin came from to when we're back in heaven and sin is all gone.

Matter of fact, first book starts with "God is love." Last words in "Great Controversy": "God is love." It's wonderful. Sandwiched between those two "God is loves," you've got "Patriarchs and Prophets," "Prophets and Kings," "Desire of Ages," "Acts of the Apostles," "the Great Controversy." You get yourself on a 7-year cycle, you read those books, boy, you'll be rooted in the faith, friends. I'll tell ya, they are classics. And by the way, if you think I know anything as a pastor, I would have to give 90% of my understanding of Scripture to reading those books. I don't get credit for it.

Most of what you're hearing is me simply expounding on the inspired commentary in those books. And so I recommend that to you. "In 1848, Ellen g. White had a vision in the home of otis nichols in dorchester, Massachusetts." Say that three times fast. "When she came out of it, she said to James, her husband, 'I have a message for you.

You must begin to print a little paper and send it out--'" I apologize. "You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first. But as the people read it, they'll send means to you with which to print. And it will be a success from the first.

And from this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear around the world. From the infancy of this printing that you'll begin, God has shown me in vision that this publishing, printing work of encartifying the message will be like streams of light that will go around the world." Now when she had that vision, printing was really it. Do we right now have publishing houses around the world? And the books of the Seventh-day Adventist movement are all around the world. And I just want to read something directly from the lesson. "How could it be that Jesus," they believed that Jesus was coming soon.

"The number of adventists were so few. There were no wealthy persons or great scholars among them. The world was unbelieving, and yet here was a young woman who predicted that a work of publishing was to be started by her penNiless husband and would grow until it encompassed the globe." That's a pretty lofty prediction for a young girl with a third-grade education. Did it come true? It came true more than you might even think, because I believe that vision, when she talked about those streams of light going around the world, the magazine, the printed part was just part of it. Not only was it the printed part that you read; now it is the television, the vision of h.

m.s. Richards sr., Of radio, george vandemen, his vision for television. Amazing Facts vision for the internet. There's all--these have combined and it's now streams of light. Danny shelton's vision for satellite.

Streams of light just going around the world. And the message is going everywhere right now. And I think that's all part of what she saw. She said this message is gonna go everywhere. We need to start investing now in getting the word out.

And we're not done yet, are we? I believe that God is blessing. I got 2 minutes left. Last category: theology. Psalms 33:6. One of these blessings, her gift of prophecy has been a blessing in guiding the church theologically.

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." Are we living in a day when the truth about creation is being challenged? Are Christians scoffed at and mocked by much of society because we believe that God created the world in a literal 6-day week? That's right. Is this what the Bible says? Do we believe what the Bible says? I think the world would be struggling a lot less with evolutionary thinking if they had been listening to the Sabbath truth, because the Sabbath really every week is a memorial to God's power and creative ability, that he could in 6 days make the world and he rested the seventh. And just because we can't explain it all, or we weren't back there then, does not deny the fact that he says he did it. You gotta decide, "do we believe the Bible?" God said he did it. Now I think there's a lot of scientific evidence for intelligent design.

But do you know what evolution really does is it says that there is no purpose of life, that you have no purpose, that we are all just kind of nameless blobs in space. And we just how--popped up, we wiggled around and then we die. And so if you wonder why people live these despairing existences, a lot of it is because of that theology. Ellen white talked about believing in creation. She talked about--she guided the church when they got confused on the subject of tongues.

When the church began to drift off into legalism, she was a guiding light in all kinds of fanaticism that tried to find its way into the church. And it became a great blessing, a great stabilizing influence. Churches that do not have this, you go from church to church, these neighborhood community churches, and their doctrines just--they're like a ship without an anchor. It depends on who the pastor is from one year to the next what their doctrines are gonna be. Trust me, friends, I've been there.

And there's a unity. And by the way, if there's disunity as I travel, I can often pinpoint it to, "are you folks still believing in the ministry of Ellen white?" "Well--" if they're not, then you're gonna notice they're kind of floating around with the wind like a broken rudder. That's often the way it works. I want to remind our friends watching, we have a free offer. It's offer number 173.

Call toll-free number, -788-3966. And we'll send you a free copy of "the armor of God." Thank you again for studying with us. We ran out of time as you probably guessed. And we hope to see you next week for our last study in this very interesting quarter dealing with "the prophetic gift." God bless you.

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