Clothed with Light

Scripture: Revelation 12:1-17, Revelation 17:1-18
Who is the woman described in Revelation 12 who is clothed in light? We are to be the bride of Christ. The church is represented by a woman in the Bible. God's church is a pure woman and the fallen churches are depicted as an immoral woman. Why do people pick a church? The best reason is that it follows the Bible.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB: Good evening!

DB: Good evening!

KB—Question and Answer #1: If I take a stand for the Sabbath I will lose my job, does God really expect me to go hungry?

DB: That’s a serious question. That is a serious question. (Uh) Some people when they learn the Sabbath truth (uh) they realize that could mean if they take a stand they will be unemployed. And they may have children it may be very difficult for them to find another job. And are they saying you know God must understand I’ll--I’ll need to at least break the Sabbath until I can find another job or until I can work things out with my employer.

You know Jesus said that, “Whosoever will come after Me must take up his cross, deny himself daily, and follow Me.” There is self denial and sacrifice and struggle whenever you decide to follow Jesus. Matter of fact, I’ll guarantee you something, anybody who is making a decision to completely commit their lives to Jesus there will be some cross, there will be some test, and when it comes to the commandments of God there’s only one option God gives us: Trust Me and obey Me.

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard miracles where people said well I’m gonna take a stand for the Lord I--I’ll lose my job or I don’t know what we’re gonna do and God says you step out in faith and you see if I don’t move the mountains and part the rivers for you, if I don’t part the ocean for you.

God will never ask you to obey Him without giving you the power to obey. And even if—don’t wanna frighten you but I need to be honest—even if it meant you would lose your job, there are going to be a lot of people you’ll meet on the streets of gold who lost their lives because they would not work on God’s holy day. Isn’t that right?

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were not only going to be unemployed if they didn’t bow down and break that commandment, they were gonna lose their lives. Same thing with Daniel and many others through history; they said we’re gonna serve and obey God even it costs me my life because I love Him so much. That’s why Jesus died.

And so friends, I know it’s a struggle and we’ll pray for you. But step out in faith. And you know the devil is very clever, he’ll say: well, just procrastinate when it becomes convenient then obey. The devil will see to it, it is never convenient. It’s like people who are trying to quit smoking or drinking they say: well, now is not a good time cause I got a lot of stress in my life; when I’ve got less stress. Now the Holy Spirit’s working on you, do it now.

KB: Amen.

DB: The best time to do God’s will is when you know God’s will. The best time to listen to His voice is when you’re hearing it because not everybody hears it. Amen?

KB—Question and Answer #2: That’s right. What is printed on the scroll in the front of the podium? I know everybody wants to know.

DB: It’s a--it’s actually Hebrew texts; those of you who know Hebrew, it’s a section of Isaiah 53. I figured when we picked (uh) o--our text I was hoping the only ones who could read it would be--are my Jewish brothers and sisters out there. And I wanted them to read that prophecy even though it’s a small section of it. One more question, please.

KB—Question and Answer #3: One more question. Okay. Our Bible study met today and I made the statement that Pastor Batchelor said you don’t have to be baptized to be saved. They decided to put me out of the church for putting words in your mouth. Please explain that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Thank you.

DB: Well, that--that I think is a loaded question in that it is necessary for those of us who are able to follow the Lord and be baptized. Why wouldn’t (uh) a Bible-believing Christian want to be? There are exceptions I explained, obviously, we are not saved by the rite of baptism because the thief on the cross and people on death row or in hospitals who accept the Lord, they can’t be baptized, that’s a different situation. But if someone can be baptized and they’re not, that is disobedience and I would question their salvation. See what I’m saying? Not only with baptism but in any area if you know God’s will and you’re refusing to do God’s will—sin is knowing to do good and not doing it. And so that would hold true with baptism as well.

(Sound effects starts and stops before DB speaks)

Sermon Questions: Douglas Batchelor

Well, we have an exciting program tonight, friends. One of--one of our very important studies, we’re talking about “Clothed with Light?” and the Study Guide that corresponds with this is the Amazing Facts Study Guide called, “The Bride of Christ.” It’s dealing with the woman that you find in Revelation chapter 12, well, the whole chapter, really. (Uh) Some of you may have read that last night. I asked you to read it before we came back, did you do that? See some hands, okay. Well, praise the Lord!

We’re going to (uh) take a closer look at what this means to be (uh) part of the bride of Christ and to be clothed with light. So if you (uh) have your Bibles you might even turn to Revelation 12 and while you’re doing that let me share with you a little amazing fact.

The great ship, “The Queen Mary,” built in the 1930s, at that time it was constructed was the biggest ship in the world; even far surpassing the Titanic in every way. And it has quite a history not only was it taking people back and forth across the Atlantic over a thousand trips, (uh) ten thousand, I’m sorry—ten thousand trips across the Atlantic, but (uh) it was transporting people during the war—sort of became a ship of salvation carrying (uh) the injured, and in some cases (uh) troops. At one time I understand it had the record for carrying the largest number of people: 16,000 people were transported—almost a perfect record; never was struck.

Hitler was so angered by what the “Queen Mary” was doing in rescuing people and carrying out the wounded. He was offering the highest medal in the German army to anybody who could participate in sinking it. (Uh) But they never found it; they always traveled in a zigzag pattern. Carried a lot of illustrious people; Winston Churchill and I could just go down the line, quite a history.

1963, Canard Lines sold the Queen Mary to the City of Long Beach where they converted it into a hotel with shops, and restaurants, and rooms. And--and (uh) now some of the people in Long Beach are sort of crying out they say that the ship really is false advertising because it’s a big white elephant, it doesn’t go anywhere. It has propeller that doesn’t spins, an engine that doesn’t turn, it’s got a bridge and a steering wheel but no captain, life boats that obviously are never gonna save anybody. It’s got all the trappings of a boat but it doesn’t go anywhere.

And I can’t help but wonder if that’s not something like some of the churches—have all of the external appearance of being vessels to transport, and to save, to explore, but they’re not--they never leave port, they never go anywhere, they’re anchored. It’s really for entertainment. It’s for shopping and for social gatherings; and there’s a lot of counterfeit churches in the world today.

Two principal women that you find in Revelation: you’ve got the woman in Revelation 12 and then you’ve got Babylon, this sometimes she’s called the “scarlet harlot,” that woman in Revelation 17 and her daughters. And they represent all of the counterfeit religions of the world and a little more beside that.

Now before Jesus comes back I believe that circumstances are going to force people to make choices between worshiping the beast and his image or receiving the seal of God and worshiping God. Right now God has His people that are scattered and infiltrated into a broad spectrum of different Christian churches. Indeed, God has his children in many different persuasions. But it’s not gonna stay that way. There is going to be a shaking and through circumstances people are going to be forced to choose. How do you know how to choose what church to go? How do people choose a church?

I heard about a man from (uh) Russia number of years ago that (uh) immigrated to the US and he was trying to assimilate as many of the customs as quickly as he could and one day he asked a friend he says: so what do Americans eat for breakfast? And they say: well, it’s a common thing it’s called “cereal.”

So he went to a local mega supermarket and he said (uh): where is your cereal, breakfast cereal? And they directed him to an isle longer than an airport terminal, and there on every side were rows and rows of boxes—every imaginable color and shape, and there was cereal for children and cereal for old folks, cereal for the healthy and cereal for the sick. They had cereal with cartoon characters on it and cereal with (uh) nature scenes on it, and cereals with prizes inside and some were very pure and others had all kinds of mixtures and he didn’t know what to buy. He’d finally left bewildered.

You know shopping for church is something like that. There are so many different kinds of churches. Matter of fact, you can find a church that will basically let you do whatever you wanna do. If you want a church that will entertain you, there are churches like that. If you want a church that will not make you accountable for sin, there are churches like that. If you want a church that’s known for its music, there are churches like that, good children’s program.

And some of these things in and of themselves are good. You know the main reasons people pick a church? I’ll see if I can remember. I’ve wrote a book called, “How to Survive in Church,” I should remember this but I--I forgot. I’m getting old!

It’s close to my house. One of the main reasons people pick a church. It’s the church my family has always attended. It’s the church that I grew up in so that’s where I go. I go there because the people are friendly. Now let me stop. Do we all want to go to a church where people are friendly?—nothing wrong with that. (Uh) Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the same church your family goes to? It’s nice to go to a church if it’s not too far from the house.

Let’s keep going. I go there because they have a choir and I like to sing. Ah, it’s nice to have a good music program. I go to that church they have a great children’s program; kids they entertain and I can go sit down and enjoy myself undistracted. Ah, it’s good to have a church with a good children’s program. I go there cause the minister’s good looking and charismatic. (Audience laughs) And I know that’s why you’re all tuning in, right? (Audience laughs) (Laughs)

Or they go to that church because (uh) it’s exciting. (Uh) Some people go to that church because it’s where the prestigious, important intelligentsia of the community go, it’s the influential church!

I understand that (uh) when President Bush happens to be attending the church in DC where he goes, that they got a lot of calls saying: will the president be attending this week? They wanna go when the president goes. Now nothing wrong with going to the same church as the president, or going to the church where the minister can keep you awake, or going to a church that has a good music program, good children. Some people pick a church get this; believe it or not: why do you go? It’s a beautiful building, the stained glass, oh, I feel so peaceful.

None of those things are necessarily wrong. But none of those are the reason to pick a church and yet those are the primary reasons the average person picks a church. You probably found yourself in there somewhere at least a little bit, amen?

You know what the one right reason to pick a church is? It’s the way I shop for cereal; I don’t look at the cover, I don’t look at the back, I look at the side of the box; I wanna know what are the ingredients. (Audience says “Amen”) And most of the time the first ingredient’s sugar I put it back on the shelf. And some people pick their church they want sugar. That’s right! They want it to taste good, feel good.

Americans are so used to being entertained that now they take that problem to church. And they say entertain me and if the pastor doesn’t entertain them enough—and I struggle with this because I know it’s a challenge, we are so saturated with the entertainment industry people come to church and you feel like you’re competing with what they’ve been digesting all week long just to get them to listen to a few scriptures.

Read the ingredients. You pick a church because its foundational teachings are the teachings of Jesus, that’s the reason. If you find a church and the foundational teachings of that church are the teachings of the Bible then it doesn’t matter if the building is broken down travel trailer, it doesn’t matter if the pastor puts you to sleep and is homely, it doesn’t matter if they can’t sing—

sounds like feeding time at the zoo when they sing (Audience laughs), it doesn’t matter if they have nobody to take care of the children—they don’t have a children’s program, it doesn’t matter if it’s 50 miles from the house and nobody in your family goes; if they are teaching what Jesus taught that is His church and that’s where you should go. (Audience says “Amen”)

And yet very few people make their decisions based on the biblical criteria what are the teachings. You could ask the average person. That’s like (uh) I heard a story about someone asked this man: so what does your church believe? And the man said: well, my church believes, we believe like our pastor. (Audience laughs) Oh, what does your pastor believe? Well, he believes what the church teaches. (Audience laughs) Oh, what is your pastor and your church believe? Well, they believe the same thing. (Audience laughs)

The average person has no idea what their official position of the church is. Let’s face it there are good people in virtually every denomination, am I right? (Audience answers “Amen”) And just about every church has its kooks too, am I right? We have our share—probably more than our share. (Laughs) But that’s not how you pick a church. You pick a church based on what are the teachings.

We’re gonna find out what the Bible criteria is. How do we find God’s church? There are things in prophecy that will unlock the keys to identify so you can know you’re part of God’s people in the last days cause there is going to be a polarizing that will take place and soon everybody is gonna be marked. You will either have the seal of God or the mark of the beast. And so you need to know how to pick. You cannot do what the popular thing is because we already know that which is popular is gonna be the broad road to destruction, am I right? So if you’re waiting for it to be popular to be part of God’s church, it won’t be.

Some of you remember the story in the Bible where a couple of women came to Solomon. They both claimed that this baby was theirs, yet one of them had (uh) neglected her child and suffocated the baby during the night; the other one was the genuine mother. So now they’re before King Solomon—you know how he decided who the real mother was? He pulled out a sword and as soon as he pulled out a sword the real mother said: don’t kill the baby, let her have it. Solomon said: that’s the mother, give her the baby. The sword was how they decided the right woman.

There are some counterfeit religions. We’re gonna use the sword of God’s word tonight to discover that, alright—got a lot to cover.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Question number one. By what prophetic symbol does Jesus represent His church?

Some of this is review. Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 2. He tells us: “I have likened the daughter of Zion,” daughter of Zion, “to a comely and delicate woman.” And then it goes on to tell us who Zion is. Isaiah 51 verse 16. “And say unto Zion thou art my people.” A woman is a symbol for the church.

“Husbands,” Ephesians 5:22, “love your wives even as Christ loves the,” what?—“the church!” And if you read in III John (II John), he says your elect sister—“I’m writing from the lady to the elect sister,” using the--the (uh) metaphors of the church being a woman.

DB—Sermon Question #2: Number two. In Revelation chapter 12 verse 1 Jesus symbolizes His church as a woman. Now we wanna find out what those symbols mean. She’s clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and she’s wearing a garland, a crown—a stephas, it’s called a stephanos—of twelve stars. What do these symbols mean?

A) Answer A? What does the sun represent? The Bible talks about Malachi chapter 4 verse 2: “The Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings.” Jesus, the light of the world—it represents the light of the New Testament—Christ, truth, the glory of Christ.

B) The moon under her feet. Well, the moon doesn’t have any light of its own, it reflects the light of the sun and sometimes the moon has shadows. The Old Testament—the ceremonies and types and shadows that pointed forward to the time when the Sun of Righteousness will arise—all of the New Testament teachings stand on the Old Testament, am I right? God’s church stands on the foundation of the Old Testament teachings, and that’s why I pity those churches that have thrown away their Old Testament.

C) Answer C. She got twe--twelve stars above her head. That represents—above the head in the Bible, I Corinthians 11—means leadership.

D) Stars. The 12 is the number for the apostles; leadership of the church. Old Testament there was the 12 tribes, the 12 judges—it’s the leadership of the church.

That makes sense so far? God said to the church you are the light of the world. Also notice something else: this woman is clothed with the light that God made—sun, moon, stars; God made light—God is the One who illuminates His church with the light of His Spirit.

DB—Sermon Question #3: Number three. The next in the prophecy it states that the woman delivers a man child who is taken up to the throne of God in heaven. Who is this baby, this man child?

Revelation 12, yeah, you know the answer. It tells us, “And she brought forth a man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up to God into His throne.” This represents Jesus. I think I’ve already told you there are seven cases in the Bible of women who were barren that had miracle baby boys. All of those boys were types of Christ. The last miracle birth in the Bible is Jesus. They were pointing forward to Him.

In Revelation you’ve got this woman who’s bringing forth this man child, it is the culmination of all the Old Testament, the Seed of the woman that would save us, the Messiah. And she brings forth this man child that is then caught up to the throne. Of course, it’s covering the life of Jesus very quickly cause the focus on this chapter’s not on Jesus so much as it is on what happens to the woman.

DB—Sermon Question #4: Number four. In Revelation 12 verse 3 and 4 it introduces a great red dragon who hates the man child and tries to kill him at birth. Who is the dragon?

You know the answer to that? The devil! Some of you remember the advertising that we’ve used for this series. It’s got sort of an apocalyptic picture of Michael slaying the dragon and delivering this woman. That really is the image that you find in Revelation 12. It’s got Michael fighting with the dragon, he’s cast out of heaven; the dragon is trying to destroy the woman.

You know how many fairy tales and fables and legends are based upon the scenario that you find in (uh) Revelation chapter 12? It is the foundation for thousands of stories. It comes from the Bible. And I’ll talk more about Michael another night. Somebody write down a question about that.

This great red dragon, Revelation 12, says is cast out that old serpent called the devil and Satan. So we know who he is. Who is he working through? It says, “The dragon stands before the woman who is ready to be delivered to devour her man child as soon as it is born.” Now do you remember as soon as Jesus was born, did the dragon want to devour Him while He was little?

What power did the dragon use to try to kill Jesus when He was still a baby? The Empire of Rome—it was Roman soldiers that went through and killed all the babies in Bethlehem. It’s not the first time the devil did that. The devil did not want God to come to earth in the form of a man to save man. He also tried the same thing with the Pharaoh of Egypt—tried to kill all the baby boys cause he knew it was time for a great Deliverer to appear. He didn’t know if it was gonna be the Messiah because Moses hadn’t written any books of the Bible yet, right? So maybe this is the time, so he said there are prophecies among the Jews about a great Savior coming; kill all the baby boys and prevent it from happening.

Then again you perhaps remember when Queen Athaliah, when her son, Ahaziah, died, the devil again tried to use her to kill the royal seed. She tried to exterminate the seed of David so that there would be no Savior. The devil has worked through governments. Often the devil works through governments. If you read the prophecies in Isaiah 14, in Ezekiel 28, when it talks about Lucifer, it is talking about the devil operating through Tyre and Babylon. He works through—Daniel chapter 10 talks about him working through the king of Persia. The devil operates through these government leaders to try to persecute God’s people.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Number five. What’s the meaning now of the seven heads and the ten horns of the dragon and of the third part of the stars of heaven being cast to the earth?

Revelation 12 verse 9. “So the great dragon was cast out that old serpent,” and it says, “his angels were cast out with him.” We’re talking first about the stars. So what are those stars that were cast to the earth? That represents the angels that came out.

And you know most of the time when people say well, the devil made me do it, the devil was tempting me—devil actually has nothing to do with most of you. He doesn’t know who most of you are. He is not all-knowing like Jesus is. He has angels that are well organized and assigned to tempt, and manipulate, and study your weaknesses. And (uh) I expect that if you are getting victory over sin, the devil gets upset and he probably gets a more specialized angel to work on you—fallen angel. And so the devil does have his angels and thank the Lord that God has His guardian angels watch over us too, amen? (Audience says “Amen”) So these are the fallen angels.

What is the (uh) seven heads and the ten horns represent? Here is the mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are the seven mountains on which the woman sits. Now we already learned in a previous study that (uh) Rome is known as what?—the city of seven hills. And it tells us in Revelation chapter 17, the last verse: “That woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth.”

So the mother, and we’ve discovered that the Roman Catholic Church (uh) accepts the title—matter of fact, somewhat demands the title as the mother church, and it is true that most of the Protestant movements came out of—including Martin Luther—the Catholic Church. Some of them didn’t come all the way out and they still retain in their teachings relics of popery. And so you’ve got Babylon and her daughters and she’s identified as sitting among seven hills.

Again, it tells us that when Rome fell, remember the dragon tries to devour the man child, what Empire did the devil use to try to kill Jesus when He was a baby? Rome. It’s the Roman power transitions now to a woman sitting or riding on it. When the Rome ceased to be ruled by the Caesars, it then began to be ruled by the church. So you’ve got these ten horns that you see on the (uh) head of the woman tells you the ten horns which he saw are the ten kings. And then we’ve learned that as Rome began to disintegrate in its place, you had the ten nations of Europe, right?—the ten kingdoms. And so that’s where the Church began to grow and turn into that woman.

DB—Sermon Question #6: Number six. What did Satan do after he failed in his plan to destroy baby Jesus?

Answer? Revelation 12 verse 13. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child.” Now what do you suppose as the object on earth upon which God bestows His supreme regard? When God looks down on earth and when Jesus is looking down on earth where do you think His heart yearns?

What does a man miss the most when he’s gone from home? Should miss his bride, right? If they got children: wife and children. And Christ’s bride and her children is the object of His supreme regard.

If you wanna hurt somebody there’s a few ways of doing it. You can really hurt someone without ever laying a hand on him. You could of course, torture him, you know—put bamboo shoots under their finger nails and do all these horrific things, but if you really wanna hurt somebody, hurt their child.

I just about wept the other day when I heard in the news they were looking for that little girl that disappeared and they found that she had been kidnapped indeed and was molested and murdered. And it just breaks your heart and I--my heart goes after the parents. I think--you know it’s one thing if your child dies in an accident or something like that, but to have him die like that (uh) (uh) the--the pain from that is just unimaginable.

The devil wants to extract the maximum amount of pain from Jesus cause he knows he has a short time—Revelation 12 tells us that. And he is like a ravenous, rabid pit bull and he is thrashing, and biting, and snarling every step of the way to try to inflict as much suffering on God’s people because he knows if he wants to hurt Jesus he must hurt that which Jesus loves. That’s why the devil tempts you. That’s why he tries to make you suffer is because God loves you. And (uh) the devil knows, he may not understand it, but he knows God loves you and he knows the way to hurt God is by hurting you.

So the devil now vents his fury on the woman and you could clearly see that in the early centuries of the church. (Uhm) First the devil had a plan to try to eradicate Christianity through genocide, just annihilate them. And (uh) Christianity was declared “religio illicita” or forbidden religion. And the Caesars of Rome, one after another for several years, (uh) they took great pleasure in trying to exterminate the Christians. And they would tell them if they did not pray to their Roman deities, they would be enslaved or they would be executed, take away all their possessions. They would sometimes torture their children in front of them until they re--renounced their faith in Christ.

And that’s--why I’ve been to Rome and the catacombs underneath the city. It’s like a beehive that--of a city under the city that they built. Every time they try and dig a new subway in Rome they have to stop and excavate some more catacombs. I mean it was a virtual city they built under Rome. Christianity began to spread because you know with real Christians the more you persecute them the more it grows.

Who was it? Tertullian that said the blood of the martyrs is seed. And these pagans in the coliseums where the Christians were being fed to the lions they’d see the Christians dying calmly; singing and praying as they released the lions on them; they had a peace. And the pagans said we don’t have that peace and they’d found out where a Christian was and say: what am I missing? Tell me what is going on? And Christianity just exploded because Christians are the best witness when they go through trial.

That’s why I try to keep emphasizing; yes, there is going to be a time of trouble when Christians will suffer. We are not gonna get raptured away before that small time of trouble, and that’s when the church is gonna shine the brightest in the darkness—during the darkest hour. God does not save His people from trial, He saves us through it—because it’s during those times of trial, that’s when Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego—I mean Jesus was right there with them in the furnace.

He was right there. God has sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouth. Maybe that angel was Jesus that came to Daniel there in the lions’ den. God is with His people. He says when you pass through the fires I will be with you. And so yes they went through fiery trials during that time and the church was exploding.

And the devil said plan A, plan A is not working I’m going to plan B. Plan B was so effective he’s never had a plan c. You know what plan B is? Join the church, legalize it, and destroy it from the inside. Destroy it with indifference, give them the allusion that they’re saves, have them saying Lord, Lord, and not really doing God’s will. And give them just enough Christianity to inoculate them from ever getting the real thing.

So with the legalization of Christianity by Constantine about 321 AD, it became suddenly very vogue to be a Christian. And all these pagans began to flow into the church and suddenly the church which had been very pure when it was persecuted, because you know what--h--if you wanna get the hypocrites out of the church, fastest thing to do that is persecution. As soon as it becomes illegal to be a real Christian in North America all the hypocrites excuse themselves very quickly.

I heard a story in Russia. Karen and I went to Russia in 92, must be 92, Steven wasn’t born yet. And (uh) you know back before Christianity was permitted, if you are caught gathering (uh) as Christians i--it was--you really get persecuted. And I saw somebody had a Bible they showed me that they had hand-typed, they would put blankets over tables so that they couldn’t hear the typewriter going and they would type the Bible—sweltering underneath this table by candlelight, typing out the Bible so that their group can meet and study the Bible, they would produce their copies that way.

And I remember when Karen and I announced at our meetings there in Stavropol, Russia that we were gonna be sharing free Bibles after the program—big mistake. Everybody’s sitting in this big auditorium and they all got up and ran to the door to get in line for the Bibles, they weren’t gonna hear the sermon. So the pastor said you shouldn’t have said that so we’ll give them the Bibles and tell them to come back in. (Audience laughs)

Well, I heard this one story that (uh) some of these Christians were gathered at one of their secret meetings and they heard a knock at the door and in came the secret police—armed, two or three soldiers, and they said this is a Christian meeting, we know what you’re doing here. And they put a Bible on the floor and they said (uh) you must renounce Christianity and spit on this Bible or you gonna get shot. And (uh) they all looked around, looked very nervous, and one by one some of them spat on the Bible and they went out.

And finally there was only 4 or 5 left in the room. The soldiers shut the door and they said we’re very sorry for what we have done to the Bible, we are Christians, we knew that they were spies here and they were hypocrites and we wanted to get them out before we told you. All the hypocrites left. What would you do?

Well, during this time of the Dark Ages, the church now began to persecute those that did not follow the new creed. And the new creed involved the commingling of pure Christianity with what was the religion of the state. The religion of the state was Roman paganism and you know what really what it is—it’s a combination of Babylonianism, and Persian religion, and Greek religion, and Roman religion—all in a milk shake blended up together. And that started to get poured in with Christianity.

Some of you ought to read that book by Hislop called, “The Two Babylons,” a fascinating study of how much paganism came in to the Christian church. And they had all these statues you know of Jupiter, and Apollo, and Mercury, and they said as Christianity became the state religion they say: what do we do with all of our beautiful statues? And they said well you probably at least ought to give them Christian names.

And for a while there is a great (uh) outcry about this but eventually they embraced idolatry. And some of the ideas that (uh) Hades and Pluto, we have learned about the mythology, and the legends that started coming into the Christian church, and all of these misconceptions that just are nowhere in the Bible.

And biblical Christianity was nearly lost they called it the Dark Ages, you know one reason? They took the Bible away from the people. They found that they’d make a lot of money if the folks were taught that you burn in purgatory or you burn in hell forever and ever unless you pay some money to the church, or if you want forgiveness they actually sold forgiveness, they called it “indulgences,” and you could pay. And so they kept the people in darkness, they took the Bibles away. A matter of fact, there was a time when the church would execute people found with a Bible. Isn’t that tragic? It’s true! Get your encyclopedia and look it up.

But the (uh) beast received the deadly wound by the sword when the first book that came off the printing press was the Gutenberg Bible in the 14th century. And all of a sudden the people began to see for themselves again what the Bible really taught and as soon as they saw for themselves what the ingredients were they said: I’m gonna find a church that goes by the ingredients. And they all began to flock out and there was a great reformation.

But what’s happen now is the multiplication of Bibles has bred contempt. And virtually in North America the average family’s got five Bibles and still there is biblical illiteracy. A lot of people think the epistles are the wives of the apostles. (Audience laughs) I heard one kid was giving some answer to his Sunday school teacher and she was asking (uh): who was Lot’s wife? Said: Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire at night. (Audience laughs) And they’ve got all these mixed up ideas, and David fought the Frankensteins instead of the Philistines. (Audience laughs) And the wise men brought gold, frankincense, and smurfs. (Audience laughs) And (uh) I got a whole list of these answers that children give about what’s in the Bible. It’s (uh) it’s funny but it really is pathetic. So this is what was happening.

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. What did the woman, the church, do to protect herself from this persecution?

It says that the woman fled, Revelation 12 verse 6 now, and you can just leave your Bible open to Revelation 12. “The woman fled into the wilderness where she hath a place prepared of God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.”

And so during this time period from 538 AD, for one thousand two hundred and three score, what does a day equal in prophecy? For one thousand two hundred and three score years, from 538 to 1798 we’ve learned that time period, the church had to go underground. And (uh) it--the state church made it illegal.

Now don’t miss the parallel for this. Remember the keys of prophecy to unlock the stories in Revelation or the prophecies in Revelation are the stories other places in the Bible. If you know your Bible, you remember that there was a wicked queen, what was her name? Jezebel! I knew you--may--the most wicked of ‘em all. Was she a Jewish queen or a Pagan queen? Pagan queen, who married a Jewish king—the government—and she began to manipulate him.

And she was able to get him to persecute the prophets of God like Elijah and the people of God. She commingled Baal worship with the worship of Jehovah that’s why Elijah had to say, “How long do you halt between two opinions?” You can’t make up your mind, if you’re really in to worship Elijah, I’m sorry, Jehovah, or if you’re gonna worship Baal. They were commingling which is what the church is doing today. You know when he had that showdown with him? After 1,200 and 60 days of famine—there was a famine during the dark ages for the word of God.

Now the same thing happened historically from 538 to 1798, God’s Elijahs had to go underground and there was a famine for the word of God. History is repeating itself and it’s gonna repeat itself some more.

DB—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. In Revelation 12:17 God calls His end-time Church the remnant. What does the word “remnant” mean?

How many of you (uh) ladies that sew, oh and there sh--maybe some of you men that sew, how many—I know how to sew—a button. (Laughs) (Uhm) You know what a remnant is. You’ve been to stores—yeah, some of you men might know—you go, you can get remnant carpet, you can get remnant flooring, and remnant cloth. And usually it comes in rolls because what happens is as it comes off the--the web at the factory where it’s woven, the great looms at the factory, it’s rolled up on these rolls and (uh) they sell it, they unroll it, and they cut pieces off and sell it to people. And they get down to the end and sometimes there’s une--uneven pieces at the end and (uh) they sell them as remnants.

And it’s sort of like (uh) a lady who is making pillows. She gets done making her eight pillows and she’s only get enough cloth for seven. She goes back to the store and she says: I’d like to buy some more of that cloth that’s got the (uh) purple flowers with the pink dots and the yellow honeybees on it. And he says we’re all out. But he said you know you might try checking in the remnant bin.

And she digs around there and lo, and behold, she’s brought a sample with her she finds the same cloth. And I wanna ask you, what color are the flowers? (Audience answers “Purple”) Purple. And the dots? (Audience answers “Pink”) Pink. Want to see if you’re listening; and the honeybees are? (Audience answers “Yellow”) Yellow. Is the remnant cloth gonna be identical to the original piece?

You know sometimes visual helps a little bit. Let me, let me illustrate something here for you. I’m gonna take a bill out of my wallet here, 5 dollar bill, kay? And this is how it works when you’re--when you’re at the loom and I’m rolling this up here, it goes on to the bolt like that, it rolls up and what goes on first comes off last, is that right? Alright.

So when Jesus came He rolled the truth up for His people—all the teachings of the New Testament church. And over time it’s been sold through history, when you get down to the end what you take off at the end is gonna be what went on first. God’s church at the end—the remnant, is going to be identical to what went on at the beginning.

That’s why the Bible tells us that we should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the faith, (uh) to the saints. Why do you think the Bible writers are telling this--that?—because we are losing the original biblical apostolic Christianity. I believe that God wants a church that will be doing the same miracles the disciples did. Jesus said these things that I have done greater things than these will you do because I’m going to the Father, I believe that. I think we’re going to see an outpouring of the Spirit and a revival of the primitive gifts of the Spirit.

When we start having this simple faith that they had—but you know what else they had that we’re missing? They were ready to lay their lives down and die for their faith. Peter said we ought to obey God rather than men—they said we’re gonna punish you, we’re gonna prison you, we’re gonna persecute you, if you don’t stop preaching about Jesus—and Peter now wasn’t afraid anymore because he’d been filled with the Holy Spirit and he said we ought to obey God rather than men, we’re gonna keep preaching about Jesus.

Right now there’s still a lot of Christians that are more concerned about what people think of them than what God thinks of them. And we need to be converted. We need to have that yearning for purity that has been lost. And when you have that kind of revival where the church gets on its knees again and starts praying for holiness then you’re going to see a real revival of the gifts of the Spirit again in God’s church. Would God that would happen!

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. What additional two points does Jesus provide in Revelation 12:17 to help us identify the last-day remnant church?

And the word remnant just say it remainder or remaining, that’s what it means. It says: “The dragon,” who’s the dragon? “Was wroth,” infuriated, “with the woman and he went to make to make war with the remnant of her seed,” her descendants. Now this is the woman that brought forth Jesus, she’s got the remainder of her descendants down near the end of time—two outstanding characteristics by which you identify her—“that keeps the,” what? “The commandments of God,” now does that--does that mean some of ‘em?

Will you agree that virtually any church in town keeps some of the commandments? Teaches some of them? Sure! There are a lot of people all over the street, almost everybody you could look at keeps some of them some of the time. God wants a people that will keep all of them all the time. “Oh, if they would fear Me and keep all of My commandments all of the time that it might be well with them and their children,” that’s the Lord’s prayer. “Commandments of God and has” what?—“the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And if you go to Revelation 19 verse 10 the angel tells John the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy.

So the two identifying characteristics are the: law and the prophets, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. Bind up the law or is it bind up the testimonies, seal the law among my disciples, Isaiah chapter 8. And so God is wanting to have the word of God, the commandments of God, the testimony of Jesus—His church will be teaching, preaching, and practicing those primary components. Jesus said, “If you love Me keep My commandments.” Why are they keeping these commandments?—because they love Him. They are a church that is not motivated by works, they are an obedient church but they’re motivated by love.

Again I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God,” how do we show our love? “That we keep His commandments.” That’s why Jesus says over and over again: “Why do you say to Me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say? Not everyone that says Lord, Lord but he that does the will of my Father.”

Jesus said it’s the wise man who builds on the rock; the fool builds on the sand. What is the difference between the wise man and the fool? Let me help you. “The wise man is he who hears My words and does them. The fool hears My words and doesn’t do them.” We’ve got a lot of people that go to churches every week and they say Lord, Lord but they’re not really doing His word. That’s how you identify God’s church—a people who are teaching that we should be doers of the word and not hearers only.

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. I’ve got a lot to cover yet. What other points does prophecy provide to help us identify God’s remnant church?

Now I’m gonna go through this litany of characteristics and you need to stay with me cause there’s a lot of information. I’m com--I’m commingling, basically, two studies here tonight because of the short length of this series of meetings.

A) First of all, A. It says this church will appear and do its more visible work after it emerges from the wilderness in 1798. The Bible tells us, of course, the remnant appears after the time of persecution, that 42 months, 1200 and 60 days. We know that this country was officially recognized as an international power by 1798. So this church began to grow.

You know I don’t have enough time to beat around the bush so let me just be straight with you here. (Uhm) We’re gonna talk about what the real church is, you’ve probably figured out by now, “Pastor Doug, you’re gonna tell us that you think your church is real the church, right”? Of course, I am! (Audience laughs) I mean what would you expect me to do? If I was to stand before you and say I wanna tell you about the church but it’s not the church I go to. What kind of hypocrite would I be, right? And you’d be asking me: why did you go somewhere else then?

I personally believe that God’s church is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now don’t misunderstand, one reason I joined this church is because I got tired of going to churches and studying with groups that said unless you’re a member of our church you’re lost. I’d study with groups and saying unless you speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit, unless you’re a member of our church you’re not the hundred and forty-four thousand, our church is the only church and everybody else is lost.

You know the official position of my Catholic brothers and sisters, the official—read the ingredients—is that Protestants can’t be saved. And I could go down the list there’s a lot of churches that teach that.

I read in the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church that the greatest part of Christ’s true followers are in the fellowship of other churches. You know, I said that makes sense. And the reason I joined this church is because it was the commingling of people from all different backgrounds that just said what does the Bible really teach? Let’s put aside all the denominational barriers--and I don’t even like using the word denomination, I like to think of this church as a movement. (Audience says “Amen”)

Let me tell you a couple of quick stories here. When I was up in the cave after I accepted Jesus and I started visiting different churches—lovely people, many different churches, I mean I could tell you about the teachings of virtually every main church, but they weren’t matching up with what I found in the Bible. I had no preference—you’ve heard about my background, I really didn’t care—I said I wanna know what the truth is.

I went back up to my cave in the mountains and I got on my knees and I said: Lord, there’s one Bible, one Jesus Christ, one Holy Spirit, it make sense there is one truth. There’s not all these different truths, it’s not like all rivers lead to the ocean, I said I wanna know what the truth is. You tell me. Right after I prayed that prayer somebody came to my cave—three thousand five hundred feet up in the desert mountains, they gave me a Seventh-day Adventist book on prophecy.

And all of a sudden everything started making sense. The things I’m sharing with you started to click for me and changed my life. But I knew it a long time before I had the courage to take a stand you know what? I didn’t--people called Seventh-day Adventist all kinds of nasty things because they’re different. Biblical, but let’s face it, they’re not like Babylon.

And so I kept worshiping on Sunday, and every now and then I’d go visit with the Seventh-day Adventists. I was driving, I had--(uh) I came down from the cave, got a job selling sandwiches. You know when you buy sandwiches at 7-11 somebody delivers them, I was that person. (Audience laughs) And I had a truck with--(uh) refrigerated truck with sandwiches.

I’m driving through the desert one day and out in the middle of the desert this black gentleman is walking, he’s carrying a paper sack, and he’s by himself blistering. I stopped and I picked him up—I pick up hitchhikers you’ve heard me. And I thought maybe I’d witness to him so I picked him up and he--he gets in the car and first thing he says is: “Praise the Lord! It was hot out there.” (Audience laughs) And I said are you a Christian? He said yes. I said: well, so am I. He said: praise the Lord! And he said: what day do you go to church? I thought, well, that’s a strange question. I said: well, I--I go on Sunday—which is what I was doing. He said: you know what day the Sabbath is? I said: yeah, it’s Saturday. He said: praise the Lord! (Audience laughs)

I said--I said: you’re a Seventh-day Adventist? He said: a what? Said: a Seventh-day Adventist? I never heard of them. Said: really? And I started to talk to this gentleman, he knew everything that I’m sharing with you about the prophecies and what’s happening, all the corruption that came into the church, and the truth about not only of the Sabbath but what happens when you die, and baptism.

And we parked we went to a Denny’s. We sat there and talked and studied for hours, all the sandwiches m--went moldy in the truck (Audience laughs) cause the--and--and you know and then I never saw him again. I used to wonder if he was an angel because he confirmed for me that this was the truth and I didn’t have the courage to take a stand for it that time.

And I didn’t wanna the join the church because I didn’t wanna be different. But I said you know I’m already different. I--I thought (Audience laughs) what difference does it make you know I don’t wanna please man, I wanna please God. And I--if I’m gonna share my faith I don’t ever wanna be embarrassed and have someone say where in the Bible do you find this teaching?

Haven’t I opened up to you folks and said you ask me any question I’m not afraid and I’ll show you—I don’t know all the answers, but I have Bible reasons for everything I practice. And I think that’s the way it should be. And you know what? I am not committed to a church creed or a denomination. I am a Seventh-day Adventist because I have no other choice, you listening? It’s because I’ve nowhere else to go. If I can find a church closer to the Bible that’s where I’m going—I wanna be a Bible Christian, that’s what the remnant is, amen? This is the movement into which people from all over the world are being called. And by the way, it is one of the fastest growing protestant churches in the world today.

B) Answer B. It’s going to teach the same truths taught by the apostles. All of its teachings will agree with the Bible. It will be Bible-based not tradition-based.

C) Answer C. It will keep the Ten Commandments including the fourth commandment which says remember the Bible Sabbath. Now if this coming Sabbath Jesus should show up and He wanted to go to church He would walk up and down the streets around Washington DC and you know what He’d find? “Sorry, we’re closed,” Isn’t that right? The Bible says: “As His custom was,” Luke chapter 4:16. He went to church on the Sabbath day.

And He would say: where are My people on My holy day, this is the Lord’s day, where are they? Nowhere in the Bible does it call Sunday the Lord’s day, nowhere—doesn’t call a first day the Lord’s day anywhere in the Bible—and He’d be wondering where all His people. They’ll say well, Lord, we moved the day to another day. It’s not the day you blessed, and you chose, and you sanctified, you spoke, you wrote with your finger. “If you know these things happy are ye if you do them.”

D) It will have the spirit of prophecy. We just talked about that—commandments of God, testimony of Jesus. It’ll be teaching how the gifts of prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit.

E) Answer E. It will proclaim the three (uh) point end time messages with a loud voice.

Now I’m gonna take a detour, bear with me, I’m reviewing those three angels’ messages we’ve been touching on. Remember Revelation 14—three angels go to all the world, they proclaim these messages, then Jesus comes—so God’s true church is participating and proclaiming these three angels’ messages.

Says first angel: “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 is come.” God’s true church will be proclaiming the eminence of Jesus’ coming; it’s going to be an international movement as well.

You know the Bible says judgment must begin at the house of God. We’re living in that last phase of the seven churches in Revelation called, “The church of Laodicea,” know what the word “Laodicea” means? A judging of the people—we’re living in that period of time right now.

And then it goes on first angel still: “And worship Him that made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” You know that’s extracted from the Sabbath commandment. It’s prophesying here there will be a revival of remembering that commandment that identifies the Creator in an age where people are believing in evolution.

Never in the history of the world have there been more people denying that God created everything in six days, right? The Seventh-day Adventist Church is chained to that truth, they can’t go anywhere. Every Sabbath day is a memorial that He is the Creator. (Audience says “Amen”) And if we had remembered God’s Sabbath and proclaimed it you wouldn’t have this epidemic of people thinking we’ve evolved form lower forms of life. That is degrading on those who are made in the image of God.

Second angel’s message: “Another angel followed saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” I’ll talk about that wine, that intoxicating wine of Babylon in just a moment.

Going back in time, Genesis 11, you remember the story of the Tower of Babel? They wanted to save themselves in case there was another flood. They said: let’s build a tower whose top might reach up to heaven. And the Lord said: “Let us go down there and confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech. Therefore, the name of it is called Babel.” That’s why you say--the word “baby” comes from the word “Babel” cause they babble, it’s--they’re all connected with one another.

So what is this intoxicating wine? Keep in mind—Jesus, when He sealed His teachings, the New Testament Covenant, He did it with pure grape juice. This woman has intoxicating, fermented; cause the others are getting drunk on it, right? This woman in Revelation 17’s got a golden cup with intoxicating wine which is counterfeit teachings; what is the wine of Babylon?

Don’t forget, friends, one of the first things that happened at the Tower of Babel is identified with what? A confusion of tongues! Now I believe—I wanna stop right here and announce—I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit, I believe in the gift of tongues, I think I experienced the gift of tongues, maybe I’ll tell you about that some night, you all listening?

But there is a counterfeit for the gift of tongues that is sweeping the Christian church like an epidemic. It is a--a physical, experiential kind of worship. And I don’t wanna condemn anybody cause this is the church I first came into when I first became a Christian. The big emphasis is: do you have the baptism of the Holy Spirit? And what they mean by that is not are you filled with the--the (uh) fruit of the Spirit but do you speak in tongues? Can you babble? Isn’t that right? And people tried to punctuate—I’ve got the Holy Spirit, how do you know? Cause I can speak in tongues.

Isn’t it appropriate for me to remind you that some of the very popular televangelist that fell by the wayside for immoral living could also speak in tongues? The Bible says in Acts chapter 4 God gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. So maybe there’s a counterfeit spirit out there. I also think it’s interesting that some of these evangelists that do a lot of babbling to prove they’ve got the Holy Spirit when they go overseas they bring an army of translators with ‘em. If they’ve got the gift of tongues why do they need—all of them, translators? (Audience laughs) There’s a counterfeit. And I think one of the ways you can identify Babylon is by this counterfeit gift of tongues. And there’s some dear people mixed up in that.

The idolatry in the church. This is a statue of Saint Peter that you (uh) can see in the Basilica and (uh) people, as I have told you before, have kissed the toe right off Peter. And they’ll say, oh we know it’s not Peter, but if kissing a statue isn’t idolatry then I don’t know what it is. Every Buddhist know that the statues of Buddha are not Buddha, he’s dead and buried. But they still pray to the statues.

If you are in a church that’s (uh) teaching that you can communicate with the dead; how many people around the world pray to Mary and all the other saints? We’re getting involved in seyonces. Mary was a saint, no question. But I’ll turn a camera around, show me one scripture that tells us we’re supposed to pray to Mary—one, one. It’s pretty risky cause the people in this audience are from all different backgrounds, am I right? You’ve gotten to know each other?

Do you wanna be a Bible Christian? I’m not trying to ridicule people but the Bible has told us that the dead don’t know anything and when you start praying to them, we’re supposed to pray to Jesus. Amen? (Audience says “Amen”) And you could go on and identify some of the characteristics of Babylon, there’s a counterfeit baptisms.

If you’re in a church that teaches you go right to heaven or hell when you die, you’re in Babylon. If you’re in a church that’s teaching that (uh) doesn’t matter whether or not you live a holy life, you’re in Babylon. You don’t need to take care of your body, just live any way, just pray over it, you’re in Babylon.

What does God say about Babylon? Revelation 18 verse 2. “And he cried with a strong voice saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become a habitation of devils, and the hole of every foul spirit.” And don’t miss this, He says: “Come out of her My people.” I love this. God is saying I’ve got my people in Babylon. They’re His people.

That’s why I was excited when I learned the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes the better part of God’s people—they’re--they’re out there in Babylon, they’re His people but they don’t know the truth. But they will hear His voice and come out and they’ve got to come out or they are partakers of her sins, they’ll receive of her plagues, and share in the punishment of Babylon. And you ought to then read Revelation 18 and find out what’s gonna happen to Babylon—it’s pretty frightening.

Third angel followed them saying with a loud voice: “If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand the same will drink the wine of the wrath of God that is poured out without mixture.” That’s the third angel’s message. It’s a message of warning that people must get out of Babylon or they will receive the mark of the beast. If they obey the laws of Babylon instead of the word of God they are then linked to Babylon, they are stamped, they are branded with the laws of Babylon—that’s the mark of the beast.

I wanna go back to my list here.

F) Answer F. It’s a worldwide movement. Well, the movement that I’m connected with is a worldwide movement. And just amazing facts, in the short time—ten plus years, that I’ve been connected with Amazing Facts, see those stars on the globe?—those are places where we’ve done meetings that were recorded, many of them broadcast by satellite. See the color green? The color green is where you can go in the world and either hear the programs on satellite or at least the internet, if not television, radio, printed page, can you say, amen? (Audience says “Amen”)

That’s just our ministry and we are one little brick in the temple of God of what’s happening. God’s word is going all over the world right now. It is a worldwide movement.

If you’re part of a church that is a local community fellowship, that might be a nice social gathering, that’s not the church of God. God’s church is a worldwide movement that is taking a specific message to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand and calling people out of Babylon. It will teach the everlasting gospel that we are saved through grace and Jesus Christ alone—not by works. We don’t keep the Sabbath day anymore to save us than we keep any of the other commandments. I mean someone calls you legalistic because you teach the Sabbath day. Do we call them legalistic because they teach not to steal? It’s the same--same attitude, same approach.

DB—Sermon Question #11: Number 11. Now that we’ve identified Jesus’ (uh) church through these points, the remnant church, what does the Lord want us to do with the results?

He tells us: seek and you will find. You apply these criteria and then you can find it. How many churches will fit these specifications? What do you think? “One Lord,” how many faiths?—“one faith, one baptism.” It is not, as many think, all rivers lead to the ocean. It doesn’t matter what church you’re part of just as long as you’re sincere you’ll get to heaven. There may have been times in history that was true but in the last days there’s only one way, friends. Christ is the way, amen? (Audience says “Amen”)

In the days of Noah, how many ways of escape were there? One way—and Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah so will it be when the Son of man returns”—one way of escape. And Jesus is calling you tonight to enter His fold.

Friends, I just want you to know that this is one of the most important evenings cause we’re giving you an opportunity to make a decision about what you’ve learned. Jesus is calling you. He’s waiting for you to come to Him.

(Background music starts)

You may feel Jesus knocking on the door of your heart. You need to open the door. You can make a decision and say, you know this is gonna be tough, Pastor Doug. I know. It’s tough to come out of Babylon; it was tough when Jesus walked out of His home church one day and He said your house is left to you desolate. He knows how you feel. He’s calling you into His fold. Friends, I hope and pray you’ll say yes now. Can I pray for you?

Loving Lord, we’re so thankful for the truth that Jesus is coming. He’s calling us out of Babylon. He’s calling us, His people. Give us the courage to make that decision. Be with these people in their struggles, and help us to come all the way out to follow you to the kingdom, we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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