Confidence in the Prophetic Gift

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20:20, Luke 24:1-53, Psalm 16:9-10
Date: 03/28/2009 
Lesson: 13
Through the record of the lives of the prophets and careful study of the Scriptures, we can gain confidence in the prophetic gift.
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Good morning, Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you are joining us this morning from wherever you are. We welcome you. And we're looking forward to having a wonderful lesson study together this morning and singing, of course, some requests that have come in. And the first one is from claudia in australia-- claudia in australia, Martha in Connecticut, angela in Kentucky and David in Nevada.

And they would like us to sing this morning 606, "once to every man and nation," 606. And I want you to pay close attention to the words of this song. It's a beautiful song. , Verses 1, 2 and 4. [Music] There's a spot at a very busy Market in london where there's a small little plaque on the ground that says, "this is where martyrs where burnt to death.

" And many people have gone before us and have given their lives for Jesus, who is their best friend, who they love with all of their heart. And right now we might not feel that we have the strength that those martyrs had. But one day God has promised that if we need that strength, he will give that to us to follow in their footsteps. That's a beautiful song. Our opening song this morning is "blessed assurance, Jesus is mine," 462.

And this is from yolanda in Alabama, carmetta in bahamas, deshawn in belize, barbara in California, nada in croatia, ann in england, gunnevi in finland, sherley who is 4 years old, and she's in France. This is her favorite song. Gaurav in india, leslie in kuwait, gemedi in Minnesota, elisabeth in New York, tammy in Oregon, lynae in papua new guinea, carol in Pennsylvania, joyce in saint lucia, marlon in singapore, walter in south korea, edy and hilda in switzerland and grace in tennessee. I think that is one of the most international requests that we have had in a very long time. , "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

" And we'll do all three verses. [Music] I forgot to tell those of you who are watching or listening, if you have a favorite song, you can go on our website at Click on the "contact us" link, and send in your favorite request. And we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. At this time, let's bow our heads for prayer.

Father in Heaven, this morning we are praising you. We are thanking you for everything that you have done for us this week. And we just thank you so much for bringing us here this morning on your holy Sabbath day to worship you. There's not everyone here this morning, but we know that they are somewhere and that we pray that you'll be with each one, those that are here and those that are joining us from all over the place. We thank you so much for them.

We pray that you'll be with us as we open up Your Word this morning we study together. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, our senior pastor here at central church. Thank you debbie, our singers and musicians. And want to welcome our friends who are here at Sacramento central and those who are watching.

We know we have a lot of friends all over the world. It never ceases to amaze me as debbie sites some of the names that make the varied requests from every corner of the globe. People who are studying with us each week. And it's a privilege and an honor to have this extended class. And you know, many of the people who are watching and participating; we have a lot of people who are members of central church online because there is no local church they can attend.

And we're glad that we have this way that we can give you a sense of belonging and to be able to participate. If you are among the ones who are watching, you say, "I'd like to know more about that. I'm sort of isolated and this satellite or internet broadcast is my only connection for the church and the Sabbath school," if you'd like to know more about how you might be an online member, then go to I think it might show up on the bottom of your screen there: And we'll be happy to study with you and tell you what's involved in that.

Let me see. I've got several things to say. Oh, I've been trying to give you a little tidbit at the beginning of each study class dealing with tips on doing evangelism in your communities. This is in North America the year of evangelism. And thousands of churches across the country, and many in other parts of the world, are doing evangelistic meetings.

Some are in process right now and many are planning for a big thrust of meetings this fall. And we've been just sharing little tips. Amazing Facts, of course, is, evangelism sort of summarizes all that we do. And so we wanted to share as much as we can with you on things you might do in public evangelism. Something that is-- it's necessarily new, but it really has taken on a new life.

Before an evangelistic meeting, you want to make friends with people that are your neighbors or in the community through a variety of means. I talked to you about doing nice things for your neighbors; just overwhelm them with kindness and then tell them you need a favor. And that favor is you want them to come to the opening weekend, or the opening meeting, of the evangelistic series. Another thing is some churches do what they call bridging events. That means they'll have a special seminar a few weeks before the evangelistic program where they do a health program: recovering diabetes program like they have at weimar institute, or a new start program or a depression recovery or a weight control program or a stop smoking program.

And a lot of people are struggling with these things. And you can make friends and then during those meetings you say, "you know, we're having another meeting." And a number of people that will come to those will transition. It becomes a bridge into the evangelistic meetings. Well here's the one that's really going into orbit right now, and it probably won't surprise you, for a bridging event, do a financial seminar. Churches now that are doing financial counseling seminars are giving biblical principles of stewardship and prosperity are packed.

Do I need to tell you why? There's a lot of people struggling. And they're apprehensive. And when a church does this, you might be surprised if you advertise well that your church is having a free financial counseling seminar for the community, and bring in someone who's been trained. Just about every conference has a stewardship director or someone who can help, and the reports we're getting is those seminars are packed. So you might consider doing that.

And I know just right here in northern, dr. Gordon botting does financial seminars. They got a new book out on it. Ed reid at the general conference, he has a book on it. There's some great material out there that you can use.

And this is a good bridging event to invite people then to the evangelistic meetings. So we're starting here our new study next week dealing with--I'm excited about this--very simple, "the Christian life." I mean who wouldn't want to know more about that if you're a Christian. "The Christian life." And so we're excited about that. For those here at central church, we have some boxes. If you're part of the regular class, we'll distribute following our program this morning.

And for friends who are watching, you've been saying, "how do I get one of these quarterlies? I'm not--you know, I don't go to church," or "there's not a church in the area. And I'd like to study along." They have this online. You can go to the Sabbath school website. I think if you just type in Sabbathschoolsda it'll show you where the quarterlies are online. If you do live near a Seventh-day Adventist Church, I'm sure if you just go and say, "could I have one of your quarterlies--" best thing is if you went in person.

But if you're just studying online or on satellite, you can request one. You'll have it in your hands. Having said that, I think we're ready, we're getting into lesson 13, the last lesson in our series dealing with the prophetic gift. And today's lesson is dealing with, "confidence in the prophetic gift." Now the last quarter, we've been talking about specifically Ellen white and how the ministry and the teachings of Ellen white, how they're to be related to the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Before I was a Seventh-day Adventist, I went to many different churches.

And I studied the foundational teachings of many different churches. And I'd like to again repeat that the greatest part of Christ's true followers are not members of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. Now I don't know if that shocks you I would say something like that. By the way, Ellen white said that. It's in the book, "Great Controversy.

" The greatest part. One of the things that kind of turned me off about other churches is I'd study with one denomination; they'd say, "by the way, unless you're a member of this denomination, you're doomed. Only members of our church are being saved." And you know, some church doctrines have evolved that way, 'cause they thought it was necessary to get people to join their church, they had to almost, you know, decry the other churches, or to disqualify them. By the way, in the teachings of the catholic church they teach that. And pope benedict has been surprising people by dusting off some of those statements and basically saying that.

That kind of discouraged me because I could see Godly, spirit-filled people in many churches. One of the things that attracted me to the adventist church was the belief that we are a movement. People from all backgrounds are called into this movement. But we realize God has his people in other churches. But the idea is to get God's people back together again based on scriptural truth.

Now Jesus said, "all men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another." The devil heard that. The devil knows if all men are known--we'll know that we're Jesus' disciples by our love and our unity, that if the devil can divide us, it destroys our witness. And so right after the Christian church came out of the gate there after pentecost, the devil then sent in wolves to divide the flock, to scatter. And from the time of Christ's first coming to the present, the church has been scattered. It's been fragmented.

The teachings have been under attack. And before Jesus comes back again, the outpouring of the Spirit is gonna cause a polarization where one group is gonna worship the beast in his image--by the way, they're gonna claim to serve God while they do it. Didn't cain and abel both claim to worship the same God? One killed his brother. In the last days you're gonna have two groups both claiming to worship. One doing it God's way, according to His Word; one doing it his own way.

And one will persecute the other. So before Jesus comes back, things are gonna polarize. You know what that means? We know everybody's gonna either worship the beast in his image, right? And get that Mark. And they're all doomed. But then there's another group.

They've got the seal of God: their father's name in their forehead. They're worshipping God according to His Word. That means there'll be a great moving of the Spirit. And God's children that may be in Babylon, but they're his children, they're gonna hear his call come out and they'll be one people and a united truth again. Well, I believe the Seventh-day Adventist truth is that message that people are being called into.

Now I realize I haven't mentioned the free offer. I'll get to that in a minute. Also haven't done the memory verse yet. This is all my introduction. So before Jesus comes back, there's going to be a great shaking.

I am not naive enough to believe that everybody that joins my denomination is saved by joining. There's a lot of people who are on the church books in the Seventh-day Adventist Church that may not be in the Kingdom. You probably met some of 'em, you think just because they're a member doesn't mean that they're saved. Isn't that right? And there are a lot of people that are not yet part of the movement, that are out there somewhere that will come in. There will be a great shaking and a great shifting that will happen.

Persecution I think is gonna have a part of that. People that aren't sincere are gonna go flowing out. People that love the world rather than Christ are gonna go flowing out. People that love the truth are gonna recognize it. God's people will be preaching with power.

They're gonna come flowing in. And basically what's happening is not coming into the church or out of the church or joining a denomination; it's coming back to the Bible. And so that's what this is really all about. Now having said that for everybody we have a free offer. It shouldn't be hard to remember the number.

It's offer number 711. And the title of it is "a light for the last days." It's "a light for the last days," goes along with the theme we've been studying. And the number if you'd like to call in for that, it's -788-3966. I always read it because many people are listening on the radio, and they can't see the number that's on the screen. And we'll be happy to send that to you for asking.

Now as I traveled and studied with different churches, I learned about what the methodists believe. And I found out that the foundation of what the methodists believe was the Bible, but John wesley greatly influenced their understanding of the Bible. It probably would be odd for a person today to be a good methodist and not have any understanding of history of John wesley. Anyone here with methodist background? Well, I used to teach methodist Sunday school. Did you know that? Or can you imagine a lutheran who's in the lutheran church, and you ask him about martin luther, and they say, "who's luther?" Wouldn't that be odd? The whole church's named after him.

In the same way, it's sad if a person is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and they're not acquainted with the ministry and teachings of Ellen white, because it had such a profound impact. I think that's unfortunate, because you at least owe it to yourself to understand the history of a church you belong to. And the tremendous influence of her ministry is remarkable. Now the lesson today is dealing with "confidence in the prophetic gift." We have a memory verse, Chronicles 20:20, Chronicles 20:20. And this is king jehoshaphat speaking.

By the way, the context for this statement is when they were surrounded by the edomites, moabites and ammonites. They were completely outnumbered. And they're going into battle. And they knew they didn't have enough soldiers to win. But a prophet rose up and said, "stand still.

God will deliver you today." And jehoshaphat wanted to encourage the people, say, "listen, believe the testimony of the prophets, and you will prosper." And they did. They won the battle. So I didn't get you to say it with me, did i? Here we go. Chronicles 20:20, "jehoshaphat stood and said, 'here me, o judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe his prophets, and you shall prosper.'" Well, that was only true ,000 years ago, huh? Or 2,500 years ago. Is that right? Or is that still true today? You know it's exciting when you think about it that God had a modern example of a prophet alive less than 100 years ago.

And I think still people aren't--they squirm a little bit when they think, "you're really gonna call somebody a prophet like in the sense of a real, inspired prophet?" Yeah! That doesn't mean their writings are to supersede the Bible or in place of the Bible. But it's just as genuine a gift of prophecy. And again, it doesn't dehumanize people. When God calls someone as a prophet, it doesn't mean all of the sudden they turn into a spirit like an angel. They're still human.

And have we seen in the Bible that God has prophets that still did human things before and after they were called as prophets? Was Abraham a prophet? Oh, come on. Give me a little more. You think this is a trick question. So you're afraid to answer, 'cause you might get caught. Maybe it is.

Go with me though. Was Abraham a prophet? Okay, course he was. It calls him a prophet. Was he still a prophet when he lied about Sarah being his wife? Or when he took hagar? He was still a prophet. Did some really strange things for a prophet.

Was David a prophet? And I think that he was separated from the Lord during that whole episode with uriah and bathsheba. That was shameful. I just don't think he was full of the Spirit at that point. But as soon as he repented, he did Psalms 51. Is that an inspired psalm? The whole psalm is about his repentance for murder and adultery.

Was he a prophet? Was Peter a prophet, the apostle? Well, I hope so. You read his book. Do you think it's a prophetic book? I mean is it true? When Peter then was rebuked by Paul for being hypocritical, or when he was a little bit racist because he was a jew, he thought that only jews were gonna be saved--we're gonna talk about that today--was he still a prophet? Was Jonah a prophet when he was a little racist with the people of nineveh? So what I'm emphasize--and I could go on here, but I might be destroying your confidence in God's prophets. What I'm telling you is God called these people. And for the most part, these were Godly, holy men and women, filled with the Spirit of God.

Mary was a prophet, the mother of Jesus. Part of what she said is in the Scriptures. Miriam was a prophet. Hannah was a prophet. Anna was a prophetess.

So there's many examples in the Bible of these people, but they were people. And I think that's what throws us sometimes. If you say that there's a modern example of a prophet, we picture 'em going around like one of these medieval pictures with a halo around their head. They're humans. You know at the conclusion of Ellen white's life, the testimony of her Godliness is really remarkable that people mentioned.

"The st. Helena, California star," July 23, 1915, the author wrote, "the life of mrs. White is an example worthy of emulation by all. Though of limited education for the greater part of her life in poor health, she never faltered, but for 72 years carried and preached the message of Jesus Christ as understood by her to the furthermost corners of the earth. She was a humble, devout disciple of Christ and ever went about doing good.

Her writings have been published in books, papers and periodicals. And from her prolific pen has come writing on many religious topics. She was revered by all members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and honored and respected by all who appreciate noble womanhood, consecrated to unselfish labor for the uplifting and betterment of mankind. Her death Marks the calling of another noted leader of religious thought, and one whose almost 90 years were filled to overflowing with good deeds, kind words and earnest prayers for all mankind. This good samaritan will surely be greatly missed.

Her reward will be commensurate with her great good she has done." By the way, this is not a member of the church that wrote that. Matter of fact, even among her enemies, probably one of her most outspoken enemies in "pen and voice" was d.m. Canright, who when he heard she died traveled a great distance, went to her funeral, wept and heaved. And he said, "a noble Christian woman gone." He recognized that she was a genuine Christian. So the testimony of everybody that knew her on a personal level, they never denied her dedication and her Godly life.

And as I've said before, I think one of the best testimonies is her family life. I don't want to site the examples of others, but you know, I could go through many great teachers, preachers, leaders of history who made a big splash and made their Mark, but their families were in shambles. And I could talk about even king David and eli and many others. But her family loved her, believed in her, believed in her inspiration. And worked with her, the surviving sons and the family, 'til the day of her death.

And so you just had that testimony from within and without. It's like they said regarding Jesus, "the power of God in word and in deed before God and the people." It's not just that they lived before the people, but before God. Even in private, in public, in word and in deed, a consistency was there in the life and the ministry of Ellen white. Uriah smith sums it up this way writing in 1866, "the influence of Ellen white's--" oh, let me see here. I started in the wrong place.

Speaking of her writings, "their fruit is such as to show that the source from which they spring is the opposite of evil. They tend to the purest morality. They discountenance every vice and exhort to practice every virtue. They point out the perils through which we are to pass to the Kingdom. They reveal the devices of satan.

They warn us against his snares. They have been nipped in the bud scheme after scheme of fanaticism, which the enemy has tried to foist into our midst. Her writings have exposed the hidden inequity brought to light concealed wrongs and laid bear the evil motives of the falsehearted. They have warded off dangers from the cause of truth upon every hand. They have aroused and re-aroused us to greater consecration to God, more zealous efforts for holiness of heart and greater diligence in the cause and service of our master.

They lead us to Christ. They lead us to the Bible. They've brought comfort and consolation to many," many hearts. "They have strengthened the weak, encouraged the feeble, raised up the despondent, and they brought order out of confusion, made crooked places straight and thrown light on what was dark and obscure. And I could go on and read all these accolades of people whose lives have been touched.

Of course my personal testimony is I travelled through many churches, studied. I could probably give you a pretty good overview of the main denominations, what they believe and why they believe it and show you the verses they use, 'cause I studied with 'em. And after all that study-- and I prayed that the Lord would show me the truth. I had no bias. I knew I wasn't going back to the agnostic religion or atheism I grew up with.

I said, "Lord, I just want to know the truth." I had the Bible. All these Christians have the Bible, but they have these different interpretations. I said, "Lord, I want to know what the truth is." And I'm living 3,500 feet up in the mountains in a cave like a hermit. I'd go days without seeing people. And I prayed that prayer, and God sent someone to my cave with the book, "Great Controversy.

" I didn't even have to go find it. I mean the Lord's amazing how he does that. I read that book, and it wasn't easy. It was a big book for me. I read that book and even as I'm reading it, I'm thinking, "this is inspired.

" Everything began to make sense in the Bible where all the missing pieces started to fill in. And my sincerity about that I think can be proved by the fact once I read that book I stopped moving around. I never went to another church. I mean I visited other churches, but I never shifted in my thinking. It became an anchor.

And it's not that I wanted to be Seventh-day Adventist, frankly. I didn't. I mean let's face it; some people say that we're a cult. Not necessarily the most popular church. But I really didn't have a choice if I wanted to be a Bible Christian.

So I had to make a decision. If I really want to be a Bible Christian, if I'm gonna preach and live the Bible and defend what I'm doing from the Bible, I had nowhere else to go. And it was the writings of Ellen white that really brought it all into focus for me. But if you've ever been to one of my evangelistic meetings, when I teach and preach for up to 30 nights about what we believe, do I use Ellen white's books or do I use the Bible? Yeah, I invite anybody to challenge what Seventh-day Adventists believe, I'll open the Bible and show you why I believe it, which is a good place to segue into our lesson. That was part of my introduction.

"Biblical authority." Alright, let's have someone read a verse for me. Who has Luke 24:19-21? Luke 24, starting with verse 19, "he asked them, 'what things?' They replied, 'the things about Jesus of nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.'" Alright. One of the things that you'll discover in the history of great movements, they often are born out of deep disappointment.

When God raised up the church called Israel--you know it's called "the church in the wilderness--" when he raised them up, they had these expectations that they were going to walk out of Egypt easily into the promised land and get the land that had been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Did it happen that way? Or did they find out that they were held captive? When they wanted to leave, they couldn't go. When they finally did leave, it was at first when Moses came and they thought that they were just gonna walk out of there, the pharaoh tightened his grip, made them serve and make bricks without straw, things got harder. Then when they finally got into the wilderness and they sang the praises to God, they thought they were dying of thirst. They thought they were gonna die of hunger.

They got attacked from their enemies. And when they thought they were gonna cross over into the promised land, because of their lack of faith, they wandered years. Then they finally entered the promised land after coming through a great disappointment. Talk about 40 year delay. That's a great disappointment.

It didn't happen the way they thought it was gonna happen. They had confused ideas. The new testament church, we just read this verse. When Jesus appears to the disciples on the road to emmaus, are they discouraged? Are they disappointed? Are they bewildered? They're saying, "we didn't think it was going to happen this way. We had this idea that when the Messiah came, he would sit on the throne of David.

He'd overthrow the Romans. We'd again be a world empire greater than the Kingdom of Solomon. And we thought he was the one. Great disappointment. The new testament church was born out of a great disappointment.

The Seventh-day Adventist movement likewise was born out of what they call the great advent disappointment. Now, it's not talking about Seventh-day Adventists; the great disappointment of 1844 happened roughly 20 years before the Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized as a denomination. These were Sunday keepers and some were Sabbath keepers. Most were not. All different churches that thought Jesus was coming in 1844 because of the preaching of a baptist william miller and a jew named Joseph wolfe and others, even a catholic priest was doing it south America.

All over the world. They thought the prophecy said Jesus was coming in 1844. And people sold their farms and just gave up everything to preach because if you really believed, really believed the Lord was coming in 6 months, would you realign your priorities? Would you be excited? If you thought you were ready, you'd be excited. And if you were expecting heaven tomorrow, and you found out you had to hang around here another years, would you be disappointed? That would be crushing. It'd be a great disappointment.

Well the Seventh-day Adventist movement, those people came together following this great disappointment, just like the children of Israel and just like the new testament church. And at that time then God sent the gift of prophecy. Just like the Lord sent a prophet to Israel, just like he sent the prophets and apostles to the new testament church, he sent the gift of prophecy at this time when he was bringing people back to the Bible. Acts 1:6-8, I'll read this for you. "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him," the disciples asked Jesus, "saying, 'Lord, will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?'" Now what are they asking? I mean here he's taught with them 3 1/2 years.

And were they expecting him to die? No, but after he's risen from the dead, they think, "surely now you're gonna go show king herod who's boss. You're gonna go tell pilate he's unemployed. You're gonna establish the Kingdom of Israel now." They still were misinformed, confused, mixed up about how it was supposed to happen. Did Jesus not teach them right? Did the Lord know, the /2 years he walked with them, that they had some theological problems? Did he straighten them out in one day? They couldn't have handled it. So there's something very, very important for you to grasp is God's truth is progressive.

Alright, somebody read for me John 16:12. John 16:12, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." Who's speaking there? Jesus. He said, "there's truth that I want to say to you," but the problem is I'm not ready? Or he said, "you are not ready"? He said, "you can't bear them now. You can't carry it yet. It's too heavy for you.

" You know there's a lot of things I believe that God spoke through and inspired John wesley. I believe God spoke through and inspired martin luther. I don't believe it's good to drink beer. Martin luther drank beer. Back then, the water wasn't all good and everybody drank beer like water.

And they just weren't ready for it. He had learned so much truth that they just couldn't take it all in. You see what I'm saying? You just have to sometimes wink at the ignorance. Isn't that what the Lord says? At the times of this ignorance, God winked at. Winking means you kind of close one eye.

It's temporary. And the Lord has often winked at it. Did David have too many wives? Will he be in the Kingdom? Because God did not come down on David and give him truth about that polygamy and these Kings that had their harems; why? He couldn't handle it. the Lord gives us truth progressively. And so he did that with the adventist church.

How many believe that truth is progressive as we can digest it. Do you believe that? Does that make you wonder if we have all truth yet? Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church now have a copyright on all truth? Is God going to reveal new truth to us? Would you like to hear a new truth? I'm not gonna tell you one. I've got some ideas, but I'm not gonna tell ya. No. Actually, any new truth that I've shared, I've probably already shared a long time ago if I think it's new.

But you know, on the other hand, Solomon says, "there's nothing new under the sun." It's really the rediscovery of old truth is what's happening. So the church didn't know everything when--the Seventh-day Adventist Church didn't know everything when it began also. For instance, when the church began, they were all not only meat eaters, they were eating unclean foods. Later, after they got established and rooted in the truth about baptism by immersion and the Sabbath had not been changed and a number of things, that darkness that had enveloped the Christian church they came out of, he began to reveal things. He revealed about the distinction between the clean and the unclean.

And then the ideal diet would be the diet of adam and eve, adam and eve, the vegetarian diet. And truth was and is progressive, as the people can handle it. There's a lot of discussion these days about the trinity. How many of you have heard folks that are struggling with the issue of the trinity, even within the church? You've run into that? Yeah, it's out there. It's sort of in the shadows, but because many of the early believers in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, they were kind of--protestants and catholics were at war back then.

And if the catholics believed something, the protestants automatically thought, "it must be wrong." And that's not really clear thinking. Well, the catholics believe in the trinity. Now they believe it a little differently than the protestants do, but the idea that God is composed of three distinct persons of God The Father, son and Holy Spirit, protestants today recognize there's good biblical support for that. But in the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, many of the founders, uriah smith and James white, they didn't believe that. They were more anti-trinitarian in their teaching.

But as time went by and they studied the Word of God, it finally dawned on James white. Ellen white made it very clear. And you know some of these people believed that God was--Jesus was created in the remote recesses of history. Now let me tell you there's some problems with that. Let me tell you one problem right away.

All things that were made were made by him. Right? John 1. If all things that were made were made by him, if there was ever a day when he was made, that Scripture stops being true. The other thing is, if there was ever a day when The Father existed alone, and God is love, how can you be love if you only have you? Love is only love when it's given away. It ceases to be love when it all turns inward.

So God could not be love and be only one, meaning one person. God is one in that he's united like a man and woman are one flesh. So those things have confused people. Anyway, so truth is progressive. Um, gotta keep going here.

Luke 17:20: now when he was asked by the pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he said to them, "the Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'see here!' Or 'see there!' For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you." He tried to let them know that the Kingdom they were looking for, this earthly, Davidic kingdom was not coming yet. It's gonna happen when Jesus The Son of David reigns again here on earth at the end of the ,000 years. Acts 10:19-20. And I'll show you some other parallels. We got a hand back here I think that has that verse.

Acts 10:19-20. "While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.'" How many of you remember the vision that Peter had when he was in the--he was up on the roof praying. He saw this great sheet come down from heaven and it had all these unclean animals in it. And God said, "arise, kill and eat.

" Peter said, "not so, Lord. I've never eaten anything common or unclean." God says, "do not call common what I have cleansed." Now many people take that to talk about clean and unclean meat. Has nothing to do with that. Matter of fact, in the next chapter, Peter talking about the vision says, "God has shown me not to call any man common or unclean." Why? Because when Jesus came and ascended to heaven, he said, "I will come again," most of the disciples thought that would happen in a relatively short period of time, that they were to just preach to jews. Remember Jesus said, "do not go in the way of the gentiles.

Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." For the first 3 1/2 years of the Christian church, the apostles were not going to the gentiles. They short of thought, "well, you know, they're all lost." They were a little bit racist in the way they were approaching the Gospel. They thought, "it's too late for the gentiles. We just need to reach the jews with this message that the Messiah has come. And then Jesus will come back, and it'll all be over.

" And the Lord had to say, "no, you now need to preach to the gentiles." "What? There's still hope for them? We thought the door was closed for them." Well, you know, in the early days of the adventist movement, they thought that the Lord was just briefly delayed. Why bother going to the world? And yet Ellen white said, "no, we're gonna be here a while." This is a paraphrase. We need to go to the world. We have a great mission work to do. Jesus told them in acts 1, "you'll be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea--" and they were all happy with that.

But then he said, "and samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth." "We've gotta preach to the samaritans? We gotta go to the uttermost parts of the earth and preach to the pagans?" Some of the jews even understood--you know what the interpretation of that statement was? They thought what Jesus was saying is, "you are to go and preach to the jews in Jerusalem, and the jews in Judea, and the jews in samaria and the jews scattered throughout the roman empire." 'Cause they were scattered throughout the roman empire. Read acts 2. They thought it was all for jews. And so when Peter had this vision, and God says, "look, I want you to go preach to roman soldiers." "What! They're doomed. It's too late for them.

" And he had to get through to them. Well, that's not the first time the church has had that problem. And in the early days of the advent movement, some thought, "well, those who rejected the message of Christ's coming, it's too late for them now." We just need revival among those who had accepted it. And there was a lot of confusion about, "where do we go and to whom do we go now?" And it was an expanding knowledge. So the devil's often done that before, confused the people.

But the Bible must be the foundation for that. I see I'm running out of time and I got a lot left here. "Into the word" is the next session. Someone read for me acts 17:11. Acts 17, I gave that out to somebody.

Okay, I think irene has that one. "These were more noble than those in thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so." When someone comes and they claim to have the gift of prophecy, what should be your reaction? Let's suppose that they look normal. I mean right away if they look like they're, you know, all strung out on drugs, and someone says I've got a message from the Lord, you just sort of cross the street and pass on the other side, right? But if they look normal and intelligent, and they say, "I've got a message from the Lord," and you say, "what is that message?" I mean wouldn't you want to know? How do you decide--when Paul came to the people of berea, and he says, "I've got a message from the Lord: Jesus was the Messiah." And Paul basically is claiming to speak for God. He said, "I have a vision from Jesus. I'm a prophet.

" You know, whenever you claim to have a vision, you're sort of a prophet. How did they test gift of prophecy? They searched the Scriptures daily. Did Ellen white say--did Ellen white tell us that we should decipher her writings based on her writings? Or did she say "go to the Bible"? She said the Scripture is to be the foundation for all of this. Matter of fact, let me read this to you. This is from the book, "that they may know him," page 208, "Jesus, the central theme of the Scriptures," this is written by Ellen white, "there is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in searching the Scriptures: Christ and him crucified.

Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relationship to this theme. It is only in light of the cross that we can discern the exalted character of the law of God. The soul palsied by sin can be endowed with life only through the work wrought out upon the cross by the author of our salvation. The love of Christ constrains man to unite with him in his labors and sacrifice. The Revelation of divine love awakens within them a sense of their neglected obligation to be bearers to the world and inspires them with a missionary spirit.

This truth enlightens the mind and sanctifies the soul. The old testament is as verily the Gospel in types and shadows as the new testament in unfolding the power. The new testament does not present a new religion. The old testament does not present a religion to be superseded by the new. It is only the advancement and unfolding of the old.

Abel was a believer in Christ as verily, and was saved by the power, as was Peter and Paul. Enoch was a representative of Christ as surely as was the beloved disciple, John. That God who walked with Enoch was our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ, he was the light of the world then just as he is now. The truth for this time is broad in its outlines, far-reaching, embracing many doctrines.

But these doctrines are not detached items, which mean little. They are united by golden threads forming a complete whole with Christ as the living center." All of her teaching focused on the center of the Bible. A matter of fact, I read somewhere that in the writings of Ellen white, she incorporated about 78,000 Bible references and quotes in her works. I.h. Evans said in her obituary, "she believed in the divine inspiration of the Bible.

Of tHis Word she was a constant student all of her life. And it was to her the voice of God." Ellen white said in early writings, "I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of faith and practice." So I could go on reading you quotes about the exalted place that the Word of God had in her life. But it's just--i think I've already made my case there. Let's move along here. "Pointing them to Jesus.

" Someone read for me John 5:39, John 5:39. Have we got that over here? Okay. And we'll wait just a moment for them to get that lined up. I want to read for you Luke 4:20. Jesus, when he was teaching in nazareth, it says, "he closed the book, and he gave it back to the attendant.

And he sat down. The eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And Jesus began to say to them, 'today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" Christ--can you imagine the people there in nazareth thought he had a lot of audacity. He was quoting from Isaiah 61. He reads it to them, and he says, "today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

" In other words, his ministry was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Some accepted that, but some did not. And they actually, before that day was over, they tried to throw him off a cliff in nazareth, because he said, "the Scriptures are telling about me." Okay, let's go ahead and listen to John 5:39. "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And these are they which testify of me.

" Alright, somebody else Luke 24:27, who has that? Right up front here. Let's get a microphone. Luke 24:27. And so Jesus is saying, "when you search the Scriptures looking for eternal life, you're really looking at me, because the Scriptures are filled with messages of myself." Alright, that's born out more in the next verse. Luke 24:27 please.

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Moses and the prophets all the way from Genesis to Malachi, they're all telling us about Jesus. Jesus is the central message of the Scriptures. You know, you might think this is a little incongruous, but I want to quote something from spurgeon, where he talks about this, because he makes one of the most beautiful statements in his book. I don't know, some of you have seen the book by charles spurgeon called "morning and evening." And I don't agree with everything spurgeon says, but this page really touched my heart. John 5:39, "these are they that testify of me," by the way, this is from the book "morning and evening," June 10th.

Listen to this. This is beautiful. "Jesus is the alpha and omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages. From first to the last they testify of him.

At the creation we at once discern him as the one sacred trinity. We catch a glimpse of him in the promise of the woman's seed. We see him typified in the ark of Noah. We, with abram, see him in the Messiah's day. We dwell in the tense of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise.

We hear the venerable Israel, talking of shiloh, and the numerous types of the law we find the redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and Kings, priests and preachers all look one way. They all stand as the cherub did over the ark, desiring to look within and to read the mystery of God's great propriation. Still more manifestly in the new testament, we find our Lord the one pervading subject. It's not an ingot here or there or dust of gold thinly scattered.

But you stand upon a solid floor of gold. The whole substance of the new testament is Jesus Christ, even its closing sentences bejeweled with the redeemer's name--" where it says, "even so, come Lord Jesus--" "we should always read Scripture in this light." Always read Scripture in the light of seeing Christ everywhere, all the way from the beginning to the end. "We should always read Scripture in this light. We should consider the word to be as a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven and we, looking into Scripture see his face reflected as in a glass darkly. It is true, but still in such a way as to be blessed, preparation for seeing him as we'll see him face to face.

This volume," the Bible, "contains Jesus Christ's letters to us perfumed by his love. These pages are the garments of our king. They all smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides. It is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem.

The Scriptures of the swaddling bands of the holy child, Jesus. Unroll them and you find your Savior. The quintessence of the Word of God is Christ." Ooh! Those are some good words. That's why they called him "the prince of preachers." That's saying all and all, if you want to see Jesus, read the Bible. He is the word.

And that's why Ellen white also held it--by the way, he was a contemporary--held it in such high regard. It all pointed to Jesus. Jesus is the central theme of the Scriptures Ellen white says. In the book, "evangelism," page 186, she said, "put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy and the glory of Jesus be dwelt upon until Christ is formed within the hope of glory.

" You know, that's very important because, you know, Seventh-day Adventists sort of have a special challenge in helping our friends in other churches recognize the law of God has not changed. And that means, of course, the Sabbath is still what it always has been. And so there's a temptation to over-accentuate the law and preach about the law. And even Ellen white said, "some of our preachers have talked about the law until they're as dry as the hills of gilboa. And she said that Christ needs to be the center.

It doesn't matter if you're talking about the state of man in death or the punishment of the wicked or who the beast of Revelation is or the subject of baptism or whatever the doctrine is, you need to make sure Christ is the center. He needs to be the axis of that doctrine upon which the whole sermon revolves. And she, you know, that's what Paul said: "Jesus Christ and him crucified." "I'm determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." And that was the theme of what she said. And then our final section we're gonna have time to cover is "the blood of the prophets." In John 15:19, Jesus said, "if you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you're not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

" You know, Christ is basically saying to the disciples if you've got a teaching or a prophet in your midst that everybody thinks is just wonderful and it's trendy, you ought to be careful. But if you're going by the Word of God, and if you're talking about holiness and Godliness, it is not going to be popular in the world. It'll be under attack by the devil. You can plan on it. Schedule it.

Jesus said, Luke 6:26, "woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the," what kind of prophets? "False prophets." And so if God has a true prophet out there, you can almost count on the fact that it's going to be ridiculed. But they're gonna call people to holiness. Ultimately Jesus said, "you'll know them by," what? "Their fruits." As I read the writings of Ellen white, I'm inspired to be more like Jesus. As I read these books, I want to be ready for his coming. I want to follow the Bible more closely.

As I see her life, it's an example of Godliness. And so based on the fruits of the Spirit, I'm here to tell you today, I believe Ellen white was an inspired prophet of God sent to the church to prepare us for the last days. I'm sad that we're leaving this study. And it's been a delight. Looking forward to our next quarter.

But I'd like to commend to our friends that you take some time and taste and see for yourself. Read some of these writings. I recommend the book, "steps to Christ" as a starting point. Also wanted to mention there's a website that you can go to. We've talked about during our study before.

It's Or if you type in, you'll still get there. And there's a lot of resources there, a lot of information, a lot of history. Hope you'll link your church website to that and pass it around to your friends. Well friends, God bless you.

We are out of time for today's study. Next week, we'll be going into our new study, "the Christian life." God bless you, until that time we meet together again.

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