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Monday: Revelation’s End-Time Focus — 20 Comments

  1. When I visited China a few years ago, I entered a very unnerving environment. While to a large extent the cities looked very much like western cities with vehicles driving on the road, much the same as in Australia (albeit on the wrong side), the fact that hardly anybody spoke English was really quite unsettling. The problem was that I could be in a dangerous situation, crossing a road in the wrong place say, and people could be shouting at me trying to warn me of my danger, all to no avail, simply because I do not understand a word of Mandarin or Cantonese. It was just unintelligible sound to me. We Australian tourists took refuge by sticking together and waiting for our tour guide to tell us when it was safe to move.

    My mother-in-law, who was on the same tour, is gluten intolerant. Every time we had a meal, we had to call the tour guide to ensure that the restaurant understood the issue and served her the appropriate food, otherwise, she had to stay hungry (or wait till they served the watermelon that always came at the end of every meal). This often meant a very animated discussion between the cook, the translator and my mother-in-law.

    The language barrier was not just an inconvenience, it affected our well-being!

    I have made the point in this discussion many times over, that our Christian language is incomprehensible to unchurched folk. Look back over the comments that you have written in the Sabbath School Net forums over the last few months and ask yourself how much of the discussion would make sense to unchurched folk. We like to think that we have the truth, but if we do not have the language to share it, what use is it?

    Perhaps, if we are to have a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit today, we may learn a new language that unchurched folk can understand.

    Amen!(61)
    • Maurice - thank God that Heaven has used a language that the believing Christian can understand! Compassion - a genuine interest in our fellow man's wellbeing. There is no need for a grand, theological discourse when we are attentive to someone's needs - may these be physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs or just needs to become 'visible'.

      As you so often have pointed out, actions are the language of the heart of those that love God with all their heart, mind, and soul. Accompanying those actions are words of encouragement, understanding of the problems, sympathy, empathy, and spiritual guidance should the circumstances warrant the inclusion of this.

      The Holy Spirit stands at the ready to meet those 'challenges' at the moment they are encountered by a faithful, believing Christian; He has no hesitation to spring into action to address the circumstances met at that time through a willing vessel of faith.
      The unchurched folks are given the same attention as those within the family of believers - all receive equally our dedicated effort to be helpful in time of need.
      I believe that this is a universal language; everyone can understand the language of unselfish love, though it is up to the person encountering the circumstances to be willing to act upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
      We do have the Truth and the Light - if you do not believe this, it will be difficult to share it with someone else.

      Amen!(29)
      • Yes, Brigitte. I think that if we are looking for the right fountain to drink from, we sure will have enough to give away to those who are thirsty themselves. God can find ways for us to testify of His love through the rescue of our own lives. It is good to have the consciousness that we may have to communicate with people with totally different point of views and cultures, but God can certainly use us wherever we are right now. Once we are surrendered to God's will every day, He can use us as instruments for His own glory!

        Amen!(10)
        • Yes, indeed, JC - Those who have drunk from the spiritual well know intimately the fountain we drink from; they know the Father and the Father's fountain of Life and Truth. Why would we want to keep this spiritual-thirst quenching understanding just to ourselves?

          The parable of the unfaithful servant shows the consequence of such unwillingness to share. Whatever the reason, insecurities within ourselves or not fully trusting what we believe in, in the end it does not matter. We will be uneffectual in our testimony and are in danger to loose even that which we 'fearfully' hid. Matt.12:41-51

          Our trust in our Heavenly Father keeping His promises and reward/honor those which put what they have believe in into practice/action, establishes the relationship with Him by Faith. If we do not trust Him or count Him as 'not relevant' enough to our life, we will not be able to share His live-giving Truth-testimony which is based on gratefully experienced faith.

          Amen!(3)
    • Maybe your mother-in-law will take along a bag of quinoa next excursion, not only grown in the Andean region, but its cultivation has spread to 70 other countries.

      Amen!(3)
      • Hehe! Try carrying a big enough bag of quinoa to last for two weeks on a fast-bus-based tour, particularly when you have to cross international borders with strict quarantine regulations on food products. Quinoa is a good healthy food at home, but when travelling you have to run the gauntlet of what is available. And to be fair, in China, we had no problem getting food for my mother-in-law, once the issue was translated.

        Amen!(4)
    • Hi Maurice, all Praise to God for your insightful comments.

      I, too, agree that maybe the problem is Us Christians; maybe we are not communicating with unchurched folks in a way that shows that Jesus is calling them. Many of us here are missing the point of this entire Sabbath School quarterly, and the Gospel Commission, that we are suppose to be making disciples for Jesus, "Making Friends for God".

      Think about your Best Friend (not your wife or husband); think back to when you first meet them. What was it about them that attracted you to them, that something that you decide that he/she was your Friend? What common interests did you share? What made you want to continue to talk to them or hang out with them? Even when your wife or husband take you away from spending so much time with your Best Friend, you still tried to find a little time to call or visit your Friend. When we as Christian, are able to answer these questions about Jesus our Friend, then we will be able to attract the unchurched to Him too; we'll be able to show Jesus as an attractive Savior that is needed in all of our lives.

      So, what I'm trying (badly) to say is that no matter the relationship, it almost always starts out with some sort of Attraction. We have to be the type of folks, ourselves, that the Holy Spirit can use to attract others to us, then we can Introduce our new Friends to Jesus our Savior through our actions, words, and deeds. But unfortunately, this is not the case with some of us; the unchurched folks (our past friends and relatives) don't see anything attractive in us or our religion. Why is that? Our past friends and relatives should be able to see a difference in us, an attractive difference, a loving difference, a difference that they will want to emulate.

      We all know this, "A problem can not be solved unless you admit that there is a problem". We have to admit that we are the problem. We put on our Christian clothes and attitudes to go to church, then we lay down our Christian attitudes when we come home from church. Which attitude is being portrayed to our neighbors, past friends, and relatives, when we are not at church? Our Sabbath School author, Mark Finley, has been talking about this ALL Quarter long, and we still haven't got it: It's not about US, WE are here to learn, from the Holy Spirit, how to "Make Friends for Jesus".

      Maurice is right. Most of the time, when I read the comments, sometimes they are TOO DEEP for me, a 35+ Adventist Christian, to understand; so, I definitely understand what Maurice is saying: "Perhaps, if we are to have a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit today, we may learn a new language that unchurched folk can understand." We have to start talking or writing in a way that is attractive to both churched and unchurched folks, because to God the Holy Spirit we are all the same.

      I'm sorry if you think that my comments today is too negative, but we have to WAKE UP, and understand that the God the Holy Spirit is ready to pour out His later Rain on us, to complete the Gospel Commission, so that Jesus will Return soon. But we still are not ready yet. We have to understand our mission that was given to us almost 2,000 years about by Jesus Christ himself, "19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Help us Lord Jesus!

      Be blessed Everyone!

      Amen!(3)
  2. What is the message worth sharing?

    We have spent the most of this quarter discussing & discovering how to share the message but very little on what is the message.

    How: be a compassionate helpful friend as an example
    Who: Jesus is the ultimate & powerful friend
    What: There is good & evil in this world, very soon the Omnipotent Creator will eradicate all evil, now is the time to choose good or evil.

    Everyday language: the COVID-19 is an excellent way to start a discussion - there is a virus that can kill you, either avoid it or take a vaccine to protect yourself or if you get it you need a miracle cure or you die. Thousands are dying everyday.
    Imagine they found a spray that killed everyone infected with Covid-19 and the world powers made everyone walk through a spray tunnel so that Covid-19 was completely eradicated and everyone left was safe. (think Noah & the Ark) How important would it be to not have the Covid-19 virus.

    Am I, are you, too scared to share the present truth?
    What else is Revelation about - choice between good & evil?
    What was the basis of Jesus' parables? He said: "the kingdom of heaven is like ...."
    wheat & tares - gather up the tares and burn them
    good fish & bad fish - throw away the bad
    wear wedding garment - or be thrown into outer darkness
    extra oil in lamps - or no entrance to wedding
    multiply your talents -or be thrown into outer darkness
    be kind to needy - or miss out on eternal life

    Revelation also gives similar choices:
    The 7 churches - be an overcomer or have your lampstand removed, or suffer the second death, or be slain by two-edged sword, or be cast into a sick bed & children killed, or name blotted out of Book of Life, or have your crown taken away, or be vomited out of His mouth.
    And of course Rev 13-19 worship the Creator or the Image of the Beast and receive the consequence - the seven plagues or eternal life with the King of Kings.

    What other everyday language? What about the many many movies where there is a huge danger and there is only one brave man who can do the incredible thing that saves everyone? Start a discussion with your non-believer friend? What about Star Wars where the Jedi Knights use the Force to conquer and eradicate the Evil Empire? What about the Lord of the Rings?

    Find out what interests the non-believer you know and I guarantee you will find an aspect that can be used to reveal the ultimate truth. I challenge you to find it, if you can't, bring it to this group and we can try and find it for you.

    Amen!(15)
    • Hi Shirley, Praise God! Now, you are talking a new language!

      If I was an unchurched person, and I stubbled on your post today, then it would understand it, and the parts that I didn't understand, I would want to learn more about it.

      This is what Maurice is saying, we have to learn a new language to communicate with the people that are seeking to find Jesus (because the one we are using now is not working). If we continue to use the same old Christian language that others can not understand, then we will continue get the same results we are getting now: they don't understand, it's too boring, and too judgmental.

      I love your posts; continue to serve God in this way. Be blessed.

      Amen!(1)
  3. Interesting that we seek a special language to reach unchurched people. I wonder what language the Holy Spirit speaks to reach souls?

    Yes we are His instruments and we just need to reach out in love, play our parts; see and treat everyone as a child of God and allow the Holy Spirit to touch hearts.

    Conviction of hearts is the job of the Holy Spirit.

    Amen!(16)
    • Hi Branson, Praise God for your comments.

      I agree with you, "We are His instruments" to be used to reach others, to "Make Friends for God".

      Somewhere along this Christian journey, we have forgotten that We are to be led (or use) by the Holy Spirit. Some of us Christian instead are trying to use the Holy Spirit. We are to surrender our wills to the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Spirit surrender to us, to take our selfish requests to God the Father on our behalf.

      We pray to God to lead us to someone to share His message. But then when the Holy Spirit comes to us, to share His Message to that person, then what? Do we listen to the Holy Spirit? (I'll be the first to admit that I have not listened to the Holy Spirit as closely as I should).

      I remember watching a video, and reading, a story about "a man went to visit a large popular Christian church. The man was dirty head to toe, and wear old dirty clothes. He was not greeted warmly at the front door; the greeter actually turned up their noses at the man. The ushers did not escorted him to a seat as they usually do for new visitors, but he was allowed to find his own seat. He sat down next to a well-dressed woman, who promptly got up and moved to another seat. No one came over to him, before church service starts, to welcome him. No talked to him at all. He did notice that many of the people in the church were talking and looking at him. Then the church service started. The church service went on as normal; however, the bulletin said that the New Pastor would be installed today. No one had seen the New Pastor before, and everyone was anxious to meet him. The Head Elder led out in the service all the way up to the time for the Sermon, and still the New Pastor had not been introduced. Then the man, the one who was dirty from Head to Toe, got up and walked down the long aisle, all the way to the front of the pulpit; everyone was looking at him, wondering what is going on. He stopped and turned around in front of the pulpit and became talking, "I came to your church today, and no one greeted me, from the front door and all the way to now. No one talked to me, to welcome me to this church today." Then he paused, and the congregation still did not understand, some even murmured to themselves. Then the man said, 'I am your new Pastor. My name is (his name). I asked the Head Elder to allow me to do this little experiment on my first day to see how my new congregation welcomes new visitors, even those that don't look so lovely. We are to welcome ALL. Everyone that walks into this church is a child of God, and we are to welcome them as such, whether they are look like it or not.' The entire congregation was speechless and amazed, then they were very ashamed of themselves for their attitudes towards him when they didn't know he was their new Pastor. The entire congregation vowed to change the way they interact with others, especially visitors." They had an Attitude Adjustment that day. Do we remember Mark Finley's lesson a few weeks ago, an Attitude Adjustment?

      Be blessed and let's vow to listen and be led by the Holy Spirit each and every day.

      Amen!(2)
  4. Hi folks, there is a gentlemen who comes to our church because we worship on the Seventh day. To me that is a sign of Christ soon coming, having been taught that in the last days people from other churches will join us to take the place of those who are shaken out.

    Why would any one be shaken out? I find the answer in: Romans 9:33. Paul is quoting Isaiah 28:16. Also: Isaiah 8:14. Is in context.
    Praise the Lord all have the opertunity to accept Christ invitation to come through the open door and participate in His joy, love, and mercy, eagerly anticipating His return to join Him in inviting others to accept the message of His love.

    Worth reiteriting:
    "Behold, I have set before thee an open door," the Lord declares, "and no man can shut it." No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice earnestly and lovingly invites us: "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich." Revelation 3:8.

    Amen!(5)
  5. I totally agree with Branson that we are his instruments and tools, if we allow the holy spirit to lead us and having a heart fill with love for our neighbors God is capable of using us to speak in language that will communicate his message to man. Is it not written in Matthew 3:9 God is able to to raise stones as children unto Abraham ?.Yes we must never underestimate God and the holy spirit, he is able.I also agree with Maurice three is a language barrier among ( the learned & the unlearn ) many of us have not taken care to break God's words in a simple form that all who hear them may understand. There is also the literally language barrier eg. where one nation speaks English the other Japanese but, thanks be to God knowledge has increased our phones now have apps that can interpret most language for us. As servants and workers in the vineyard we must do our best to communicate in an understandable language fill with love to our fellow men that they will learn of God and glorify him .Holding fast to the promise that this gospel shall be preacher to all nation.

    Amen!(8)
  6. Shirley, you wrote: "Start a discussion with your non-believer friend? What about Star Wars where the Jedi Knights use the Force to conquer and eradicate the Evil Empire? What about the Lord of the Rings?"

    I can't do that. I have never watched Star Wars nor the Lord of the Rings.

    Amen!(3)
    • Nic, those are just examples, the point is find out what interests nonbelievers and look for a way to discuss what interests you - the present truth.

      Amen!(5)
  7. Are We Willing?
    As believers of prophecy, of Christ’s righteousness, and of His soon coming, are we willing to renew our commitment to Christ by following His example of warning the world and sharing His love? Are we willing to share the distinctive, prophetic three angels’ messages? Are we willing to be used by God in these last days of earth’s history to lovingly and powerfully share His final message of redemption, love, and judgment?

    Then let’s first receive and believe these messages for ourselves, allowing them to revive, reform, and transform us, so that the light of truth will shine through us to a world in darkness.

    One day very soon we will look up and see a small, dark cloud about half the size of a man’s hand. It will grow larger and larger, brighter and brighter. Millions of angels will make up that marvelous cloud with a brilliant rainbow above and lightning beneath. Right in the middle of that incredible cloud will be the One we have waited for: our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, coming as the King of kings and Lord of lords. What a day that will be!

    If you wish to humbly submit to the Lord, the One who inspired the writing of the books of Daniel and Revelation, the One who gave and invites us to be revived and proclaim the three angels’ messages, and the One who can save you through His robe of righteousness and His sanctifying power to become more and more like Him—if you want to ask Him to use you in sharing His prophetic messages in this momentous end-time hour of earth’s history, I invite you right now, as you read this, wherever you may be, to bow your head and make a commitment to Christ, asking Him to revive you through an understanding and acceptance of His powerful three angels’ messages. Then may He give you the courage and strength to share these astounding messages with the world.

    Jesus is coming soon!

    Amen!(6)
  8. There is only ONE GOSPEL, the gospel of Jesus Christ!!!! The lesson writer refers to gospels, plural. I assume he looks at the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as gospels. But they are not gospels, they are accounts of Jesus' life and ministry and speak about the Gospel of Jesus - which is the Word of the Father to all mankind.
    The core of Jesus' Gospel message is, narrowly defined , found in Matt.22:36-40 - (37)"...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind."(38)This is the first and great commandment." (39)"And the second is like unto it, "Though shalt love they neighbour as thyself."
    Yes, this statement attributed to Jesus is found in the book of Matthew, but it is a red-letter quote, meaning it is regarded as the direct word spoken by Jesus.

    Jesus' Gospel message has a definitive purpose, a beginning and an end - it speaks to the lost estate of mankind in need of a Saviour to lead them out of this world's darkness into the everlasting Heavenly Light. It speaks to the Way, the Truth and the Light which will guide those that seek to find the way out of the darkness and bring them ultimately into the Light to gain life everlasting.
    Salvation is gained as we walk His Way by Faith; it takes our faithfully lived life during the here and now toward the life everlasting.

    The book of Revelation is the enhanced version of what we have learned and understood to be Truth when we first believed and accepted Jesus' Gospel message from the Father. Nothing new is added in the book of Revelation that Jesus has not already addressed; the 'Three Angels Messages' are a more in depth illustration of what we already know and believe.

    When we heard Jesus' warnings about the end of this present age, we understood that we will need to be prepared to stand firmly grounded in our faith in order to withstand the pressures assailing us. These pressures against the Faith are experienced now and will increase when experienced 'later'.
    John4:14 - ".....; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
    Rev.22:17 - "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
    The last book of the Scripture, the book of Revelation, extends one more time the invitation to all who seek unchanging, ultimate, spiritual Truth to prepare diligently, faithfully to join Jesus and His Heavenly Hosts.

    Amen!(2)
  9. Usually in society we find it is easier to think of the powerful, rich, the free, the rough, and so on, as people in serious need of repentance else judgement will catch up with them. But in Revelation 19 verse 18 the phrase '..of all men, both free and bond, both small and great' awakened the realisation in me that, even the weak, the poor, the child, will be judged, not just the powerful and rich. When in a weak position, we tend to blame and pray for the judgement of those who 'persecute' us, the bad hearted rich man. But the Bible here is telling us even the slave will also be judged. I guess that's why the message has to reach every place on earth, even to those in very difficulty situations like refugees.

    Amen!(0)
  10. let’s not forget acts 2:6-every man heard them speak in his own language. The point I am making begins in vs. 3, with the Holy Spirit speaking through men.
    Our greatest need along with being relevant is the baptism of the Holy Spirit in our lives who brings about understanding and conversion. More of your spirit in our lives lord, more of your spirit.

    Amen!(0)
  11. Hi Maurice. You made a true observation there I must say. I think what you said might also apply to the 'jargon' we so often use. People who listen to us using 'Adventist jargon' could think we speak a strange language. I like to take a non-Adventist friend to church and it is when she is with me that I become aware of our Christian or 'church language' .For instance: "now we will have our Epaphras moment' My friend would turn to me with wide eyes waiting for an explanation because they don't have this activity in their church !!! Then I wish we could have simply called it prayer. This is but one example.

    Amen!(0)

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