Sighing and Crying in Jerusalem

Date: 04/03/2021 
Sighing and Crying in Jerusalem
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Preacher: Well, good evening.

Congregation: Good evening.

Preacher: These are the diehards, staying till the bitter end - I mean till the sweet end. Well, it's been a wonderful day. I had to sneak away this afternoon for a little while because I had a Zoom meeting. I had already scheduled it for a long time, so I couldn't cancel it. But I did catch the last part of Carlos' sermon and the entire sermon that James Rafferty preached, so I was blessed in my hotel room. Well, let's have a word of prayer, and then we'll get into our study.

Father and heaven, as we study about sighing and crying in Jerusalem, we asked for the company of Your Holy Spirit. Open minds and hearts, that we might realize how serious it is to obey You to the very letter. We thank You for the promise of Your presence, and we claim that promise in the precious and holy name of Jesus. Amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: I want to invite you to turn in your Bibles with me to Revelation chapter 7, and we're going to read verses 1 through 4 as we begin. It says, "After these things, I saw four angels, standing at the four corners of the earth." Now, remember these details as we read along. "And these four angels were holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of a living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.'"

Now, the big question is, why is it necessary for the servants of God to be sealed? The answer is found at the end of chapter 6, the previous chapter. Let's read chapter 6, beginning with verse 14. What has been described here is the end of the final tribulation period and the second coming of Christ that says, "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!'"

I've never seen a lamb that as wrathful, very interesting description of the lamb. And then comes the question, for the great day of his wrath has come and who is able to stand? The answer is that only those who are sealed will be able to stand. Now, in order to understand these passages from the Book of Revelation, we have to go back to the Book of Ezekiel, because Ezekiel has the backdrop to what we just read in Revelation 6:14 to 17 and Revelation chapter 7, and verses 1 through 4. So, we're going to go back to Ezekiel, but before we do, I want to mention a very important guiding principle in our study. That principle is that in Ezekiel, the first several chapters, we're dealing with the literal Jews in literal Jerusalem. That is the type. In the book of Revelation, we are dealing with spiritual Jerusalem and spiritual Israelites. That is the antitype. Is the principle clear? But in order to understand the antitype, we have to understand first of all the type. So, we have to go back to the book of Ezekiel.

The first thing that we want to notice is that the book of Ezekiel is describing apostasy among God's own professed people. It's not talking about the Philistines, it's not talking about the Egyptians and the Babylonians. It's describing a condition that existed in Jerusalem among those who profess to serve the true God. And those who were particularly to blame for all of the sins that were being committed among those who profess to be God's people, were the religious leaders. Notice Jeremiah chapter 5 and verse 31. "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power." And don't only blame the prophets and the priests, because then it says, "And my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?"

By the way, we can quote Jeremiah because he was a contemporary of Ezekiel. They're both writing, leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 586 BC. There's even a more direct text on the guilt of the religious leadership that misled Israel into apostasy. Notice Ezekiel chapter 22 and verse 26, and please remember the details of this verse because we're going to come back to the concept that we find in this verse a little later on in our study. Ezekiel 22 and verse 26, "Her priests have violated my law," does that sound familiar? "And profaned mine holy things: they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy," that means the common, by the way, "nor have made known the difference between the unclean and the clean. And they have hidden their eyes from my," what? "From my Sabbath, so I am profaned among them."

Not able to distinguish between the holy and the common, particularly with regard to the Sabbath. And it was the priesthood that was misleading the people. And so, God decided that he was going to come against Jerusalem in judgment. And in chapter 1 of Ezekiel, a very exotic chapter, we find God's chariot coming from the north. In other words, it's coming from heaven. And the purpose of the chariot is to come into the Jerusalem temple to perform a work of judgment. And as you read Ezekiel chapter 1, you'll find that this chariot comes from the north. There is one seated on the throne, who is God the Father, he is surrounded by cherubim. And underneath the wings of the cherubim are the hands of a man representing Jesus Christ.

Now, chapters 2 through 6, we're going to go through the chapters. Chapter 2 through 6, describes the deplorable spiritual condition of the city of Jerusalem. We don't have time to give examples from these chapters. But it describes the apostasy that existed among those who claimed to serve God. And so, God predicted that he was going to come in destruction against Jerusalem, from the four corners of the land. Does that ring a bell? Go with me to chapter 7 of Ezekiel. Ezekiel chapter 7, and let's read beginning at verse one. Just like in Revelation 7, you have four corners, four angels holding the winds before destruction comes.

You also have this in Ezekiel 7, it says, "Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon,' what, 'the four corners of the land. Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways.'" Notice that this is a judgment of those within the city who profess to serve God. And then God says at the end of verse 3, "Now the end has come upon you, I will send my anger against you. I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your..." Now comes a keyword, "...for all your abominations. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will repay your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you shall know that I am the Lord!'" A critically important word, abominations were being committed in the city.

Now, let's go to chapter 8. The reason why God said that he was going to destroy the city, not everyone, not those who had the mark but those who were in apostasy, was because the people were committing abominations. And in chapter 8, you have a list, an escalating list of the abominations in order of gravity. So, you find this expression, God says to Ezekiel, "I will show you abominations greater than these." So, God shows Ezekiel an abomination. He says, "Oh, Lord, that's terrible." God says, "You haven't seen anything yet. I'm going to show you one worse." Then God shows him another abomination, and Ezekiel says, "Wow, that's terrible, Lord." God says, "You haven't seen anything yet. There are greater abominations than these." And what was at the top of the list? We're going to see in a moment after we define what abomination is in the Bible.

Let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 7 and verses 25 to 26. Deuteronomy 7:25 to 26. Abomination in the Old Testament refers to the worship of idols and refers to idolatry. Notice when it says here, God is giving counsel to Israel as they're going into the promised land, "You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is..." What? " ... an abomination to the LORD your God. Nor shall you bring an..." See what the idol is called? " ... an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing."

So, what is an abomination in the sight of Lord? It is the sin of idolatry. Now, let's go back to the escalating list. What was the worst abomination that was being committed among God's professed people in the city of Jerusalem? Let's notice Ezekiel 8, verses 16 through 18, Ezekiel 8:16 through 18. This is the drop that filled the cup or the straw that broke the camel's back, if you please. It says, "So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord ’s house." That is the temple folks. "And there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about 25 men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east."

What was the worst abomination that was going to bring destruction from the four corners of the land? The worship of the sun. I think you might be starting to get some picture. This is the type. Later on, we're going to deal with the antitype. And so, God says, "Because of the abominations, the worst of which is worshiping the sun, I am going to come in destruction against the city." Notice, Ezekiel chapter 8 and verses 17 and 18, God says to Israel, through Ezekiel, "And he said to me, 'Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit..." Here's the keyword again, " ... abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to the nose. Therefore, I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.'"

So, God says, "Because of the abominations, the idolatry, the worst sin of which is the worship of the sun, I am going to come in destruction of the city." Now, here's the very important point, God had given Israel the Sabbath to remind him that he was the only true God. Let's notice Ezekiel, chapter 20 and verses 12 through verse 20. It's a long passage, but I want you to notice the expression "My Sabbaths". Ezekiel 20, verses 12 through 20. And by the way, at first, God is describing how he bore their sins that they committed in the wilderness. Notice when it says in verse 12, God says, "Moreover, also I gave them my," what? "My Sabbath to be a," what? "To be a sign between them and me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctified them." In other words, I am the Lord who sets them apart because sanctifying means setting something apart.

Verse 13, "Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them; and they greatly defiled..." Here comes again, "My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to consume them. But I acted it for my namesake, that it should not be profane before the Gentiles in whose sight I had brought them up." In other words, if I destroy them, that nations are going to say, "Hey, he took them out of Egypt, and now he destroys them."

Verse 15, "So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands, because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes," now here comes a third time, "but profaned," what? "My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, My judgments, and do them,'" and now, notice again, "and hallow," what? "My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.'"

Ellen White has an interesting comment, and I'd like to read that comment at this point, if I can find it here in my notes. Well, here it is on the back of this page. This is Great Controversy 438. "Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man's thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel." So, what would have happened if Israel had remembered the Sabbath? They could not be worshiping the sun. They would not be practicing the abominations because the Sabbath shows that there's only one true God, and that God set them apart for himself not for false gods. By the way, in the Bible, worship and the Sabbath are linked together.

Notice what we find in Revelation chapter 14, which we read this morning, Revelation 14 and verse 6, and 7, the first angels' message. "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue and people saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgment has come and worship Him who made," what? "Heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." The Sabbath is linked to worship. When we worship on the Sabbath, we are worshiping the true God. When we trample on the Sabbath or profane the Sabbath, we are worshiping a counterfeit God, if you please.

By the way, Isaiah 66:22 and 23 also links worship with the Sabbath. In a passage well known, which we studied in our Sabbath School lesson, just last lesson last week, "'For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make shall remain before me,' says the LORD, 'so shall your descendants and your name remain, And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another..." Actually, the Hebrew says, "And from Sabbath to Sabbath," he uses the word Sabbath twice. "All flesh shall come to," what? "...shall come to worship before me."

The Sabbath is linked with worship. And if the people in Jerusalem had kept the Sabbath, they would have never practiced false worship. But there were a few in the city who were faithful to God. They were not practicing the abominations, a small remnant. And so, God before he brings the destruction, he says, "I have to do a work of separation, a work of judgment, among those who profess my name." It's not a judgment of the Philistines and the Egyptians and all the surrounding nations, it's a judgment of those who claim to serve the true God. And so, in Ezekiel, chapter 9, we'll read from verses 1 through verse 6. We find a description of the ceiling that has to take place before the destruction comes upon those who practice the abominations.

It says in verse 1, "Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, 'Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.' And suddenly, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now, the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He, that is the Lord, called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads..."

Does that sound similar to something that we read in Revelation? Absolutely. Put a mark on the foreheads of a man who, what? Who sigh and cry because of the abominations that are being committed within the city. Was everybody practicing the abominations? Was everybody worshiping the sun? No, God had a faithful remnant. Now, the question is, who is this man clothed in linen? Well, historically, it was Aaron. But prophetically, it is who? Jesus. Notice in Leviticus chapter 16 and verse 4, where we find the garments of Aaron described. It says, "He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body. He shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments." And so, historically, we're talking about Aaron. But prophetically, we are talking about Jesus Christ.

So, God says, "I'm going to put a seal and also sigh and cry. Those who do not have the seal, will be destroyed." And He describes the destruction of the city and those who are apostate in verse 5. Notice verse 5, "To the others He said in my hearing, 'Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.'" That is where the religious leaders were serving. "So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, 'Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!' And they went out and killed in the city."

But there's something that happened before, those who were in the city and were apostate were destroyed. Remember the chariot that came in chapter one to do this work of judgment, to separate those who sighed and cried from those individuals who were practicing the abominations, the main one of which was worshiping the sun? Well, if you go to chapter 10 and chapter 11, we once again meet this chariot. But now, the chariot is not coming to Jerusalem, the chariot is forsaking the temple. The Shekinah is leaving, and the city will no longer have any protection.

Notice Ezekiel chapter 10, verses 1 and 2. It says there, "And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne." And this is God the Father who was sitting on the throne. "Then He," the one on the throne, "spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, 'Go in among the wheels, under the cherub, fill your hands with coals of fire from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.' And he went in as I watched." In other words, the city's now going to be burned because the coals filled with fire are falling upon the city.

And then in chapter 11, we find the Shekinah leaving, and just resting for a moment upon the mountain, that is east of Jerusalem... What was the name of that mountain? By the way, this was fulfilled, again, before the destruction of Jerusalem. Remember, Jesus spoke about the destruction of the temple? Where did Jesus go immediately after He spoke about the destruction of the temple? He went to and sat down the Mount of Olives and spoke the words of Matthew chapter 24. For a while he lodged on the Mount of Olives, and then [inaudible] for the religious leaders.

So, Notice Ezekiel 11:22, and 23. "So, the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them." In other words, the chariot is leaving the temple now. "And the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city."

It stood there, it lingered there for a few moments in the hopes that the city would rectify its way. But it didn't. And so, God sent Nebuchadnezzar to the city. We find that Second Chronicles chapter 36, verses 17 through 19, a description of the destruction of the city except for those who have the seal.

It says there in chapter 36 of Second Chronicles. "Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary," notice the connection with what we read before, "and had no compassion on young man or virgin, or aged, or the weak. He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon." Then they, what? See, this is the symbolic act of throwing down the burning coals. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions."

Now, don't miss the next point. Time to wake up if anybody is sleeping. Do you know why God destroyed the city? Because they were breaking the Sabbath, worshiping the sun, and trampling on the Sabbath. You see, where does the Bible say that? Go with me to Jeremiah chapter 17. Jeremiah chapter 17 verses 21 to 27. I know these passages are long, I could just tell you the description, but you need to see it in the Bible.

Notice, Jeremiah 17:21, "Thus says the Lord, 'Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden...'" When? "'...on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; nor carry a burden out of your houses on the,'" what? "'Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day...'" I think he's trying to make a point, " I commanded your fathers. But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.' And it shall be. God says, 'Now, if you keep the Sabbath, it shall be...'" It says here, "'...that if you what, heed me carefully, to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day to do no work in it, then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding and chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city shall remain forever.'"

If they had kept the Sabbath, what would have happened? The city would have remained forever. But what happened because they broke the Sabbath? Let's continue reading verse 26. Let's just finish this part.

"And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the Lord." And now notice, "But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will," what? Why was the city destroyed? They were worshiping the sun, and they were trampling on, what? On the Sabbath. So, it says, "Then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.'" Are you catching the picture?

Now, let's transition. Are we going to have something similar in the Christian world at the end of time? What day is going to be kept by most of the Christian world at the end of time? The day of the sun? And somebody might say, "Well, Pastor [inaudible], it's not the same to worship the sun as it is to worship on the day of the sun." And I say that in principle, it is. Let me explain it this way. Who created the sun?

Congregation: God.

Preacher: God. Did He create it for worship?

Congregation: No.

Preacher: No, it's a secular object. So, what happens if you make the sun an object of worship? That is called, what?

Congregation: Idolatry.

Preacher: Idolatry. Now, let me ask you another three questions. Who created the first day of the week?

Congregation: God.

Preacher: God. Did He create it as a day of worship?

Congregation: No.

Preacher: No. So, what happens if you make Sunday the day of worship? It is idolatry. It doesn't matter if it's an object or a day. Anything that man makes for worship that God did not make for worship is, what? idolatry. Nobody today in the Christian world would actually worship the literal sun. But in principle, by worshiping on Sunday, a day made by man for worship, they're basically doing the same thing in principle, and it's God's professed people who are actually doing it.

Now, you remember the story of Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon? Let's go to Daniel chapter 5, verses 1 through 4. I want you to notice in this story, something very important, and that's this. The gist the story is that Belshazzar took what was holy, and he treated it as if it was common. Are you with me?

Congregation: Yes.

Preacher: He took what was holy, and he treated it as if it was common. And the reason why he did that is because he was under the influence of wine. Are you starting to catch a picture here? Let's read Daniel 5 verses 1 through 4. "Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels, which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then," we're told in verse 3, "they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them." Was that a sacrilege? Yes, because the vessels were, what? Holy. And they're going to be treated as if they are, what? Common.

And now, notice what we find at the end of verse 4, "They drank wine, and now comes the idolatry, "and praise the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone." What happens when you use that which is holy, and you treat it as if it's common? What follows is idolatry. Now, we find another story in the Old Testament, which illustrates how God looks upon people who take that which is common, and they treat it as if it were holy. Notice Leviticus chapter 10. You remember the story of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron? See, they committed the opposite sin. They took what was common, common fire, and they presented it before the Lord as if it was holy. And notice after they did this, what Ellen White had to say -- actually, what Leviticus says and then I'm going to read a statement from Ellen White.

Leviticus 10:8 through 11. "Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying," this is after the experience, after the two young men died, "Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die." Don't drink the Kool Aid. It continues, "It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations."

Now, why were they not to drink wine? It says, "That you may distinguish between holy and unholy." Is there a harlot in Revelation that gives all nations wine, where they cannot distinguish between the holy and the common? Yes. And so, verse 10 says, "That you may be able to distinguish between holy and unholy, between unclean and clean." And not only that, so that you can teach people to follow God's will, because it says, "And that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them, by the hand of Moses."

Ellen White wrote in volume 19 of Manuscript Releases page 244, the following words, "Among professed Christians, there are idolaters. Men and women who are not sealed by God. Many heads subverted the Christian faith into idolatry, giving to a man-made institution the glory and honor that God requires for His Sabbath day, and compelling others to worship this idol." She refers to Sunday as an idol. She then says, "Such ones will surely be visited with God's retributive judgments, which are to be poured out without mixture of mercy upon the unrepentant despisers of God's law." Interesting, huh?

How do you think that God feels when Christians take a common day of work, Sunday, and they present it to God as if it were holy? How do you think that God feels when they take a holy day, and they use it as if it were common? If God accepted that, he's going to have to apologize to Belshazzar and Nadab and Abihu. When God says Seventh Day Sabbath, He means the Sabbath. And some people say, "Well, it doesn't make any difference which day?"

Listen carefully, folks. We are told in the Bible that the Sabbath commemorates creation. God rested on the seventh day. Why do we have to rest on the same day that God rested? Well, let me give you an illustration. July 4 is Independence Day. Why do we celebrate it July 4? Because that's when the original historical event took place. Can we celebrate it July 20? No, because that's not the day when the event occurred. My anniversary is December 23. Imagine that, Christmas and marriage. It's a winner. How do you think my wife would feel if I said to my wife, "You know, I'm so tired..." By the way, this year, I'll be 50 years of marriage.

Congregation: Yes!

Preacher: She's a very patient woman. But what do you think she would say if I said, "You know, I am so bored. Every year, December 23, December 23. Let's celebrate our anniversary January 23"? She would say, "Are you all right?" Why can I celebrate our anniversary on January or February or March 23? Why? Because that's not when the original event occurred. So, when Francis I says that we're supposed to keep Sunday in memorization of creation, we can't, because that's not the day that God rested. Are you following me or not?

Congregation: Yes.

Preacher: It has to be the very day that the event occurred. Now, in Revelation chapter 17, we have the final fulfillment of this. We have a harlot. What does a woman represent in prophecy? You know this. It represents a church. A harlot woman would represent what kind of church? It would represent an apostate church, right? By the way, what is the name of that church? Babylon. That's right. Is that a global church? Yes, because the harlot sits on multitudes, nations, tongues, and people's. The fact that she sits on them means that she, what? She rules over them. Is she involved with the political systems of the world? She fornicates with the kings of the world, not only a church, but also a state. Does she have daughters? Yes, she has daughters because she's the mother of harlots.

Does she give intoxicating wine to the nations, saying that God's rest has been changed from Sabbath to Sunday? And by giving them wines, they can't distinguish between the holy and the common. Does she have a history of shedding the blood of God's people? And will she do so in the future? Yes. Does she claim to have change God's holy law, the seal in his law, to a different day? Yes. That's the final fulfillment of Ezekiel. Those who have the seal of God keep the Sabbath in honor of the Creator. They do not worship on Sunday, because that is equivalent to idolatry. And they're among Christians, thousands and thousands of people who love Jesus, sincere people who are living up to all of the light that they have. They need to know what the final issue is. Because if they're sincere, they will heed the call, come out of her, my people.

Now, as I mentioned before, the issue is not a matter of days, the issue is a matter of authority. You know what happened with Protestantism, is that the Protestants were never able to totally sever their relationship with the mother. You say, "Well, how's that?" Do Protestants teach that Sunday is the day we're supposed to keep? Where'd they get that from? From the mother. Do Protestants teach that the soul of man is immortal? Where did they get that from? The mother. Do they teach that Sunday is the day that we're supposed to keep and that sinners will burn in hell forever? Where did they get that from? From the mother. They never were able to totally sever their connection with the mother church, and therefore they will come back to mother.

Let me read you a statement by John O'Brien, who for many years taught theology at the University of Notre Dame. He wrote close to 50 books during his tenure there. He's actually challenging Protestants. He said, "But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn’t it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible and not from the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistency but this change was made about 15 centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They, that is Protestants, have continued the custom even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible." And now comes the key portion of the statement. Don't miss it. "That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair.”

Quite a statement, isn't it? And so, that's the reason why we are Seventh Day Adventists. People wonder, "That's a strange name." But folks, that shows that we believe in the divine beginning, supernatural beginning, and we believe in a supernatural end and everything supernatural in between. Ellen White said that the name that was chosen for a denomination was the correct name. It was chosen in the providence of God. We should not be embarrassed, we should not call our churches, Adventists Community Church or Adventists Fellowship. We should make it clear, Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Congregation: Yes.

Preacher: And when people ask, it's a witness, "Oh, by the way, yeah, we keep the Sabbath on the seventh day like the Bible says. And we believe that Jesus is coming very soon, and there's going to be a ceiling. And we need to prepare and we need to be ready. I trust, folks, that what we studied has been useful in our context with other people and that we will choose to let other people know about this, because I believe that we're living the last remnant of time.

Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank You for having been with us. We ask that You will be with us now as we leave this place. May Your spirit never leave us. We pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.


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