Author Topic: 3rd Qtr--2013--SDA SS LESSON 13--The Promised Revival-God’s Mission Completed  (Read 1975 times)

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Wally

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 Lesson 13 September 21-27




The Promised Revival: God’s Mission Completed




SABBATH AFTERNOON

Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 28:18-20; James 5:7, 8; Zech. 10:1; Matt.3:11; Rev. 18:1; 19:11-16.

Memory Text: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7, 8, NKJV).

The challenge of preaching the gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages to the entire world may seem impossible. Although the Seventh-day Adventist Church is growing rapidly, it is not keeping up with the population. There are multiple areas of the world where the name “Seventh-day Adventist” (much less our message) is not known.

The reality of this harsh fact leads to serious questions. Is it possible for the gospel to be preached to the entire world in this generation? Will there be some unusual breakthrough that will dramatically speed up the proclamation of the three angels’ messages? There is always one thing to keep in mind when we discuss this topic: the mission is God’s, and He will accomplish it. At the same time, however, we must remember that we have been called to a crucial role in that final work, as well.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 28.

SUNDAY September 22

The Promised Power

Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is accompanied by His great promise. What is that promise, what does it mean in a practical sense, and how can we draw comfort from it? Why is that promise so important to us?

The disciples preached not in their strength but in Christ’s. According to Paul, in fact, the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven in just a few short years (Col. 1:23). Although some might question the precise meaning of Paul’s words, it is undeniable that the gospel made a powerful impact on first century society. It changed the world. Christ promised His disciples that He would “‘send the Promise of My Father’” and they would receive “‘power from on high’” (Luke 24:49, NKJV). The Savior added, “‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).

No matter how challenging the task, the promises of God are sure. Jesus’ statement that “‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come’” (Matt. 24:14, NKJV) is a promise . The proclamation of the gospel to the entire world may seem impossible, but God’s power will overcome every obstacle. Every person on planet Earth will have a reasonable opportunity to hear and understand God’s message of love and truth before the return of our Lord (See Rev. 18:1).

“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere.”-Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 277.

God will finish His work. He will pour out His Spirit in mighty power and accomplish what seems impossible according to all human planning.

What are ways that you can, in your immediate sphere, be a more effective witness for the Lord? That is, what can you do to help see the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14?

MONDAY September 23

The Early and Latter Rain

Both the Old and New Testament use the symbolism of water to represent the Holy Spirit. The prophet Isaiah quotes the words of our Lord, “‘“I will pour water on him who is thirsty. . . . I will pour My Spirit on your descendants”’” (Isa. 44:3, NKJV). Isaiah uses a common Hebrew literary device called parallelism. The second phrase in the passage explains the first. The prophet Joel also discusses the symbolism of water. God promises to water Israel’s fields, then declares, “‘And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh’” (Joel 2:28, NKJV). Jesus uses the symbolism of water to represent the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).

What are the two symbols that each of the following texts use regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Joel 2:21-24; 28-32; James 5:7, 8. How are we to understand what they mean?

In Bible times, sowing and plowing took place from the middle of October, shortly after the falling of the early rains. These early rains brought the seed to germination and nurtured its early growth. The latter rain came in the late spring to bring the ripening fruit to harvest. The barley harvest and other grain harvests were spring events, followed by the fruit harvest in the summer and fall.

God uses the symbolism of the early and latter rain in two ways. The early rain of the Spirit fell upon the disciples at Pentecost in order to launch the Christian mission. The latter rain will be poured out on God’s church at the end of time in order to complete His mission on earth. The term the “early rain” also refers to the daily work of God’s Spirit convicting, instructing, guiding, and empowering each believer. The “latter rain” is a term used to describe a special endowment of God’s Holy Spirit on Christ’s church just before the coming of Jesus.

“Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. . . .

“But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles , pp. 54, 55.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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TUESDAY September 24

Prerequisites for the Latter Rain

What do the following texts tell us about the preparation needed in order to receive the Holy Spirit’s power in its fullness? Acts 1:14, Zech. 10:1, Acts 3:18-20, 4:31, Ps. 119:25, John 6:63.

The Scriptures invite us to ask God for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). The disciples believed Christ’s promise, waited in unity, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, 14). The reason that God asks us to pray for the Holy Spirit is not because He is unwilling to give us the Spirit but because we are not prepared to receive it. As we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God works on our hearts to lead us to deeper repentance. Praying in small groups with other church members draws us into a closer bond of unity and fellowship. Both prayer and Bible study prepare our minds to be sensitive to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What is the natural result of spiritual renewal in our lives? Where does all spiritual revival and reformation lead? Ps. 51:10-13; Acts 4:13, 20; 5:33; 8:4.

All spiritual revival and genuine reformation lead to a passionate desire to witness. When our hearts are filled with a deep appreciation for everything that Jesus has done for us, then, like Peter and John “‘we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:20, NKJV). The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early rain on the day of Pentecost empowered the disciples to effectively witness. Their witness was so powerful that a rebellious mob in Thessalonica screamed in fear that “‘these who have turned the world upside down have come here too’” (Acts 17:6, NKJV).

Just as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost enabled the disciples to be a formidable witness to their generation, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in latter-rain power will empower God’s church to reach the world in the final generation. It will take nothing less than latter-rain power to complete God’s mission on earth, and God offers nothing less. Heaven’s most precious gift is offered in infinite supply in order to accomplish the most urgent and important task ever entrusted His church.

The early disciples turned the world “upside down” with their preaching and witness. Why isn’t that said of us?

WEDNESDAY September 25

The Baptism of Fire

Both the Old and New Testaments use a variety of symbols, such as water, wind, and oil, to describe the work of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist links another image, that of fire, to the work of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16).

There are many who have misunderstood John’s statement. The passage does not say, “‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit or with fire’” (NKJV) . It says, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The second expression, “‘and with fire,’” explains the first expression, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of fire. The word baptism in the New Testament is used 80 times and refers to total immersion.

Read the following passages and describe what the symbolism of fire represents in the Bible. Exod. 3:2-4; 24:17; 1 Kings 18:24; Mal. 3:2-3; Acts 2:1-4; Heb. 12:29.

The symbolism of fire is a symbol of the glory, presence, and power of God manifest in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized with fire is to be immersed in the glory of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit in order to witness in His power. Moses met God at the burning bush and then left the glory of His presence in order to witness to Pharaoh. Elijah witnessed to Israel in the glory of God’s fiery presence on Mount Carmel. When tongues of fire fell on Pentecost, the disciples witnessed in languages that they had never before known. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is immersion in the presence and power of God in order that we can effectively witness of His glory. Once again, in the last days of earth’s history, God’s people will be immersed in His presence, filled with His power, and sent out to witness of His glory to the world.

The earth will be filled with the glory of God. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14, NKJV). In prophetic vision, John saw an angel messenger descend from heaven and “the earth was illuminated with his glory” (Rev. 18:1, NKJV).

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit to a waiting world and a watching universe. Every person on planet Earth will have the opportunity to both hear and understand God’s last-day message.

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed to the world. How can you, right now, in your own sphere, reveal that glory in your life? What will that require on your part?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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THURSDAY September 26

The Great Controversy Ended

The entire book of Revelation can be summarized in just a few words: Jesus wins, Satan loses .

Read Revelation 12:17; 17:13-14; 19:11-16. What is the central message of these passages?

Here is good news: the same Jesus who defeated Satan on the cross will come again and triumph over the powers of hell and put a full end to evil (Rev. 19:19-21; Ezek. 28:18-19). Evil will not have the last word. Poverty and pestilence will not have the last word. Sickness and suffering will not have the last word. Chaos and crime will not have the last word. Disease and death will not have the last word.

Instead, God will.

Until then, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are doing everything possible to reach every person. God’s heart aches over a lost world. Soon His people will reveal to the world, in both the witness of their words and their works, Jesus’ amazing grace and truth.

Of course, Satan will do everything in His power to oppose this witness. The final crisis will break upon this world. Jesus will pour out His Spirit in latter-rain power, and the work of God on earth will be finished.

“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers.”-Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 612.

The work of God on earth will be finished. Jesus will come. All heaven and earth will rejoice. There is no more important priority in our lives than experiencing a revival of God’s grace in our hearts daily and inviting His Holy Spirit to make us into His image (1 John 3:1-3).

Our world is falling apart. Who can’t see that? Is there anything that matters more than opening our hearts to Jesus and pleading for the revival and reformation so needed, not just by each one of us individually but by our church as a whole? What would happen if our own hearts were totally surrendered to Him and we were completely devoted to spreading this message to the world?

FRIDAY September 27

Further Study: “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.”-Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 612.
Discussion Questions:

    In the quote above, Ellen G. White wrote: “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God.” In class, discuss what you think that means. What does it not mean? After all, our message is very logical, very reasonable, and it comes with some very powerful arguments in its favor. How are we to understand, then, what she is telling us?

    What spiritual application do the promises God gave to His people in the Old Testament have for His church today? Deut. 11:13-18, Hos. 6:1-3, 10:12.

    Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest scientists, called the concept of an afterlife a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Why does a statement like that show just how crucial and hopeful our message is for a world that knows neither God nor His love?

    Though we don’t know when Jesus is going to come back, we do know that we want Him to and that we want this sin-sick world to end and a new sinless world to begin. That’s why we believe revival and reformation are so crucial to us as a people, and it’s why our leaders are calling us to it. In the end, though, it will not come by anything other than the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and that will not happen until we, as individuals, make a conscious choice to surrender ourselves with all our hearts and souls and minds to the Lord. How can we, without judging others, without comparing ourselves among ourselves, do our part to encourage each other to be prepared for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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SABBATH AFTERNOON

Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 28:18-20; James 5:7, 8; Zech. 10:1; Matt.3:11; Rev. 18:1; 19:11-16.

Memory Text: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7, 8

The challenge of preaching the gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages to the entire world may seem impossible. Although the Seventh-day Adventist Church is growing rapidly, it is not keeping up with the population. There are multiple areas of the world where the name “Seventh-day Adventist” (much less our message) is not known.

The reality of this harsh fact leads to serious questions. Is it possible for the gospel to be preached to the entire world in this generation? Will there be some unusual breakthrough that will dramatically speed up the proclamation of the three angels’ messages? There is always one thing to keep in mind when we discuss this topic: the mission is God’s, and He will accomplish it. At the same time, however, we must remember that we have been called to a crucial role in that final work, as well.

A Laodicean church will not accomplish the task. Revival and reformation must come before the world will be warned.

"Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they, notwithstanding that the most solemn message of truth--the third angel's message--is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin?"


The call for revival is sounding throughout the churches. Will we, as a people repent?


"This is the last message of mercy, the last warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments.  19MR 176.

A shaking has begun, the church will appear as it is about to fall, but it will not. The Laodicean message will do it appointed work, then the message of God's love and justice will go like wildfire.


"I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God's people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. But God has given the message time to do its work. The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work. When it was first presented, it led to close examination of heart. Sins were confessed, and the people of God were stirred everywhere. Nearly all believed that this message would end in the loud cry of the third angel. But as they failed to see the powerful work accomplished in a short time, many lost the effect of the message. I saw that this message would not accomplish its work in a few short months. It is designed to arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and to lead to zealous repentance, that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel. As this message affected the heart, it led to deep humility before God. Angels were sent in every direction to prepare unbelieving hearts for the truth. The cause of God began to rise, and His people were acquainted with their position. If the counsel of the True Witness had been fully heeded, God would have wrought for His people in greater power. Yet the efforts made since the message has been given, have been blessed of God, and many souls have been brought from error and darkness to rejoice in the truth. 

God will prove His people. Jesus bears patiently with them, and does not spew them out of His mouth in a moment. Said the angel: "God is weighing His people." If the message had been of as short duration as many of us supposed, there would have been no time for them to develop character. Many moved from feeling, not from principle and faith, and this solemn, fearful message stirred them. It wrought upon their feelings, and excited their fears, but did not accomplish the work which God designed that it should. God reads the heart. Lest His people should be deceived in regard to themselves, He gives them time for the excitement to wear off, and then proves them to see if they will obey the counsel of the True Witness."
1T 186.

The last steps will be rapid ones. Jesus is coming soon. Revival is coming before Jesus can come. We must live the three angels message if we are to be successful in giving it. We must give glory to God before we can ask others to do so.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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SUNDAY September 22

The Promised Power


Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is accompanied by His great promise.

  28:18   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 
  28:19   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
  28:20   Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 


What is that promise, what does it mean in a practical sense, and how can we draw comfort from it? Why is that promise so important to us?

The disciples preached not in their strength but in Christ’s. According to Paul, in fact, the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven in just a few short years (Col. 1:23). Although some might question the precise meaning of Paul’s words, it is undeniable that the gospel made a powerful impact on first century society. It changed the world. Christ promised His disciples that He would "send the promise of my Father upon you" and they would receive “power from on high” Luke 24:49. The Savior added, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8.

No matter how challenging the task, the promises of God are sure. Jesus’ statement that “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come"( Matt. 24:14) is a promise . The proclamation of the gospel to the entire world may seem impossible, but God’s power will overcome every obstacle. Every person on planet Earth will have a reasonable opportunity to hear and understand God’s message of love and truth before the return of our Lord. "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory."  Rev. 18:1.

Amen! It is God's power united with our effort that will produce the same results seen at Pentecost.

“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere.”-Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 277.

God will finish His work. He will pour out His Spirit in mighty power and accomplish what seems impossible according to all human planning.

What are ways that you can, in your immediate sphere, be a more effective witness for the Lord? That is, what can you do to help see the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14?

Nicodemus was a powerful influence after the cross. What needed to happen in his life before he could become an effective witness for the Lord? He was also in a Laodicean church when Jesus came to this earth. Here is a message from God that reveals what we must experience before we are an effective witness for God. "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." Ezekiel 36:23.

Before we can give this message we must understand it. What does it mean to give glory to God? It means to reflect His character. We have to believe this before we can do this. Then we must receive His Spirit into our hearts. We must be "sanctified", past and present tense. How many believe this? That is the problem, not very many. When we believe we are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, we do not understand that we need Jesus. When we understand we are evil and lost unless filled with His Spirit, then we shall seek Christ with the whole heart. Then, we can receive the power of God when we become partakers of His divine nature. Then we, being filled with the fruits of His Spirit, will manifest His character. This is what it means to give glory to God. We must be sanctified by His Spirit.

Since we cannot in and of ourselves reflect His character, what must we do? It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. Then, by beholding His glory (character), we shall be changed into His image (character) by His Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18). It is a promise.

We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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MONDAY September 23

The Early and Latter Rain


Both the Old and New Testament use the symbolism of water to represent the Holy Spirit. The prophet Isaiah quotes the words of our Lord, "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.....I will pour my spirit upon thy seed." Isa. 44:3. Isaiah uses a common Hebrew literary device called parallelism. The second phrase in the passage explains the first. The prophet Joel also discusses the symbolism of water. God promises to water Israel’s fields, then declares, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh." Joel 2:28. Jesus uses the symbolism of water to represent the Holy Spirit.    In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"  John 7:37-39.

What are the two symbols that each of the following texts use regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Joel 2:21-24; 28-32; James 5:7, 8. How are we to understand what they mean?

In Bible times, sowing and plowing took place from the middle of October, shortly after the falling of the early rains. These early rains brought the seed to germination and nurtured its early growth. The latter rain came in the late spring to bring the ripening fruit to harvest. The barley harvest and other grain harvests were spring events, followed by the fruit harvest in the summer and fall.

God uses the symbolism of the early and latter rain in two ways. The early rain of the Spirit fell upon the disciples at Pentecost in order to launch the Christian mission. The latter rain will be poured out on God’s church at the end of time in order to complete His mission on earth. The term the “early rain” also refers to the daily work of God’s Spirit convicting, instructing, guiding, and empowering each believer. The “latter rain” is a term used to describe a special endowment of God’s Holy Spirit on Christ’s church just before the coming of Jesus.

“Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. . . .

“But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles , pp. 54, 55.


Notice who it is that receives the latter rain. If a seed of wheat is planted in the fall and  it does not germinate, will it bear fruit for the harvest after the spring rains come? No. A seed that did not germinate dies. I dead seed cannot live no matter how much rain falls on it. Likewise, when the Latter Rain comes, it will not mature one who has no spiritual life in them. Unless we have the life of Christ in the heart when the Latter Rain falls, we shall not benefit from it.

There are many today encouraging all to pray for the Latter Rain. That may be a mistake. In a Laodicean church, those who need to receive the Former Rain ought not think they can receive the Latter Rain, they cannot.  Such a deception!  When one is walking in sin, it is impossible to receive more of something they do not already possess.

"Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. . . . 

There must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.  FLB 333.


Those who continue to reject this truth are making it harder for Jesus to come into their hearts. It is indeed a hard message, but it is a message that when heeded will lead to everlasting life.

As we near the end of this quarter's lessons, let us review what we have studied. The call for revival and reformation did not begin with Pastors Finley and Wilson, but with God. Let us hear what Jesus has to say to the last church that lives on this Earth before He returns. From our first week's lesson in this quarter on Revival and Reformation:


SABBATH AFTERNOON

Read  for This Week's Study: Rev. 3:14-21, Heb. 12:7-11, Matt. 25:1-13, Zech. 3:1-5, Song of Sol. 5:2-5.

Memory Text: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:20

Laodicea is the last church in Revelation’s sequence of seven churches......
Nevertheless, the Laodicean message is filled with hope. Christ speaks to His people in love, offering to meet their heart needs and revive their deepest spiritual longings.


  3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
  3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
  3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
  3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
  3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
  3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
  3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
  3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
  3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


Is Jesus standing at the door of your heart wanting in?
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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TUESDAY September 24

Prerequisites for the Latter Rain

What do the following texts tell us about the preparation needed in order to receive the Holy Spirit’s power in its fullness?

Acts 1:14
  1:14   These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. 

Zech. 10:1
  10:1   Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. 

Acts 3:18-20
  3:18   But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 
  3:19   Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 
  3:20   And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 

Acts 4:31
  4:31   And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 

Ps. 119:25
 119:25   DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. 

John 6:63
6:63   It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 


The Scriptures invite us to ask God for the Holy Spirit. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:13. The disciples believed Christ’s promise, waited in unity, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.....These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Acts 1:8, 14. The reason that God asks us to pray for the Holy Spirit is not because He is unwilling to give us the Spirit but because we are not prepared to receive it. As we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God works on our hearts to lead us to deeper repentance. Praying in small groups with other church members draws us into a closer bond of unity and fellowship. Both prayer and Bible study prepare our minds to be sensitive to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What is the natural result of spiritual renewal in our lives? Where does all spiritual revival and reformation lead?

Ps. 51:10-13
  51:10   Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 
  51:11   Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 
  51:12   Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit. 
  51:13   [Then] will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 

Acts 4:13, 20; 5:33; 8:4
  4:13   Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 
  4:20   For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 
  5:33   When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 
  8:4     Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 


All spiritual revival and genuine reformation lead to a passionate desire to witness. When our hearts are filled with a deep appreciation for everything that Jesus has done for us, then, like Peter and John “we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early rain on the day of Pentecost empowered the disciples to effectively witness. Their witness was so powerful that a rebellious mob in Thessalonica screamed in fear that “these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” (Acts 17:6.

Just as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost enabled the disciples to be a formidable witness to their generation, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in latter-rain power will empower God’s church to reach the world in the final generation. It will take nothing less than latter-rain power to complete God’s mission on earth, and God offers nothing less. Heaven’s most precious gift is offered in infinite supply in order to accomplish the most urgent and important task ever entrusted His church.

The early disciples turned the world “upside down” with their preaching and witness. Why isn’t that said of us?

The last message of warning began sounding in 1844. Why is it that we are still here? Noah preached for 120 years and the end came. Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. How long before we can come out of the wilderness and enter the heavenly Canaan? In 1994 it was 150 years. Next year it will be 170 years since we were given the three angels message to take to the world. Pastor Finley asks us why we have not turned the world upside down? Is there something standing between us and Christ? Does the Laodicean condition apply to me....to you? If so, Jesus has given us the solution that we may be converted and hasten His soon coming. The solution is Jesus. He stands at the door of many hearts today, knocking, wanting in. Why keep Him out? Open the door and let Him in. As we have seen, the prerequisite for receiving the Latter Rain is being converted, already in possession of a new heart filled with the Spirit. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication." They were in "one accord" because they were dead to self and alive unto Christ.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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WEDNESDAY September 25

The Baptism of Fire


Both the Old and New Testaments use a variety of symbols, such as water, wind, and oil, to describe the work of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist links another image, that of fire, to the work of the Holy Spirit. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."  Matt. 3:11.  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."   Luke 3:16.

There are many who have misunderstood John’s statement. The passage does not say, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost or with fire". It says, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." The second expression, “‘and with fire,’” explains the first expression, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of fire. The word baptism in the New Testament is used 80 times and refers to total immersion.

Read the following passages and describe what the symbolism of fire represents in the Bible.

Exod. 3:2-4
  3:2   And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 
  3:3   And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 
  3:4   And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 

Exod. 24:17
 24:17   And the sight of the glory of the LORD [was] like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 

1 Kings 18:24
  18:24   And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 

Mal. 3:2-3
  3:2   But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 
  3:3   And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 
 
Acts 2:1-4
  2:1   And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 
  2:2   And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 
  2:3   And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 
  2:4   And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 

Heb. 12:29
12:29   For our God is a consuming fire. 


The symbolism of fire is a symbol of the glory, presence, and power of God manifest in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized with fire is to be immersed in the glory of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit in order to witness in His power. Moses met God at the burning bush and then left the glory of His presence in order to witness to Pharaoh. Elijah witnessed to Israel in the glory of God’s fiery presence on Mount Carmel. When tongues of fire fell on Pentecost, the disciples witnessed in languages that they had never before known. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is immersion in the presence and power of God in order that we can effectively witness of His glory. Once again, in the last days of earth’s history, God’s people will be immersed in His presence, filled with His power, and sent out to witness of His glory to the world.

The earth will be filled with the glory of God. "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk. 2:14. In prophetic vision, John saw an angel messenger descend from heaven and "the earth was lightened with his glory." Rev. 18:1.

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit to a waiting world and a watching universe.

Amen!!  It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. Truth is a revelation of the character of our God. Today the Spirit is opening minds to the love of God and His justice. But, soon the Holy Spirit will come with Latter Rain power. What does He do? What He always has done, reveal truth, the important truth, the character of our God. With great power, minds will be opened who want to know God. The Spirit will present through mortal man the loveliness of Jesus. And, by empowering converted Christians they will live a sanctified life so that Christ will be revealed in them. They will "fear God and give glory to Him" by revealing His character. His glory will fill the Earth through His church. We are to to His witnesses. Are you ready?


Every person on planet Earth will have the opportunity to both hear and understand God’s last-day message.

God’s glory, His loving character, will be revealed to the world. How can you, right now, in your own sphere, reveal that glory in your life? What will that require on your part?

The answer is always the same. We need Jesus. If we will surrender our hearts to Him, He will come in and sup with us (Rev. 3:20). We will become partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruption that is in this world (2 Peter 1:4). What must we do to be saved? What must we do that He will come in and sup with us? It is told us in Revelation chapter 3. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Revelation 3:18. Gold tried in the fire is faith that works by His love. We must behold that love if we want to be converted. We must learn of Him who gave all for us. White raiment is His character that He offers to us if  we will surrender our pride and will to Him. Eye salve is what opens our blind eyes. It is the Spirit of God that He wants us to ask for. Jesus stands at the door knocking. Salvation is free. Yes, it does cost our sin polluted hearts and our selfish pride. Is that too much to give for all Christ has done for us? No!! It is not!!! Then let us not deny Jesus His reward for all that He has suffered. What must we do? Behold the loveliness of Jesus. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating His life. By beholding we shall become changed into His image. How? By the Spirit of the living God (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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THURSDAY September 26

The Great Controversy Ended


Today's lesson is the last of this quarter other than the "further study" tomorrow. Appropriately it is on the Great Controversy ended. What is the "great controversy"? So many have read the book, so many have heard it discussed, but I think that it may be hard to simply state what it is. Yet, it is quite important that we can state it simply, for it involves the foundation of our faith. In a Laodicean church, it is not well understood. It seems we have two main groups in the church, neither which want to see the concept of the "great controversy".

Before I continue with the lesson, I want to stop and give others time to simply say what is "the great controversy".



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juliusnyar

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The great controversy is the war between good and evil, between God and Satan. The war started in heaven when Satan started supremacy wars with God and was hurled to this world.He continued the war on human beings trying to deceive human beings that God is cruel and a dictator. But God proved that he is merciful and just by sending his only son to come and die for our sins.If we wholly surrender ourselves to God then we are assured that when the controversy ends soon we will be victors

Richard Myers

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Brother Julius, you are a good student. As we seek to know God, He does not leave us in the dark. The Holy Spirit opens to us the light that has been shed upon our world. Many do not study to know God, but you have. God is blessing you, dear brother.

Yes, the "great controversy" is the battle between good and evil, between Christ and Satan. Simply stated, Julius has shared the crux of the matter. It is the revelation of the character of God. Satan has maligned God's character, as have many who profess to be Christians. Sadly, we have misrepresented Him all too often. But, the Bible clearly reveals God's character. We have the blazing glory of the cross to reveal the love of God, His great mercy in that Jesus suffered and died for us while we were yet sinners, and just as important we see the justice of God. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalms 85:10. In the "great controversy" we see that God does not sacrifice mercy nor justice, both were clearly seen at the cross.

Rather than explain this myself, a better explanation is given in inspiration:

In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner.......

Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19. 
 
The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26. 

God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10. 

By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love."  The Desire of Ages, pgs. 761, 762. 


If the church were to understand this, then we would not see excuses made for sin and a false gospel that declares one is justified in sin. And, the Pharisee would be seen to be in error when he demands obedience and has no love and forgiveness for the sinner as does Jesus. The character of Christ is to be manifested in humanity. Satan has stolen a march on the church and has deceived so very many who stand in the pulpit and preach contrary to this truth. God will not forgive unrepentant sinners, and He will and does forgive all who will allow Christ to take possession of their lives. All sin, no matter how grievous will be forgiven if one is truly converted. God is both merciful and just.

The "promised revival" will come and the "great controversy" will end with a people who love God and keep His commandments. God will have a people who reflect His character of mercy and justice. All who are truly converted are both just and merciful because they are filled with His Spirit. All of the fruits of His Spirit are seen in their lives, not one is missing. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:22-24.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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THURSDAY September 26

The Great Controversy Ended


The entire book of Revelation can be summarized in just a few words: Jesus wins, Satan loses .

Read Revelation

  12:17   And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 
 
  17:13   These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 
  17:14   These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 

  19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 
  19:12   His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 
  19:13   And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 
  19:14   And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 
  19:15   And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 
  19:16   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 


What is the central message of these passages?

Here is good news: the same Jesus who defeated Satan on the cross will come again and triumph over the powers of hell and put a full end to evil (Rev. 19:19-21; Ezek. 28:18-19). Evil will not have the last word. Poverty and pestilence will not have the last word. Sickness and suffering will not have the last word. Chaos and crime will not have the last word. Disease and death will not have the last word.

Instead, God will.

Until then, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are doing everything possible to reach every person. God’s heart aches over a lost world. Soon His people will reveal to the world, in both the witness of their words and their works, Jesus’ amazing grace and truth.

Of course, Satan will do everything in His power to oppose this witness. The final crisis will break upon this world. Jesus will pour out His Spirit in latter-rain power, and the work of God on earth will be finished.

“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers.”-Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 612.

Amen! Pastor Finley has encouraged us with inspiration that reveals God will have a people who love God and keep His commandments. The victory will be won!


The work of God on earth will be finished. Jesus will come. All heaven and earth will rejoice. There is no more important priority in our lives than experiencing a revival of God’s grace in our hearts daily and inviting His Holy Spirit to make us into His image. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3:1-3.

Such promises!! They belong to all who will open the door and allow Jesus into their hearts. And, multitudes will do so. The harvest field is white!! Jesus is coming soon!!

Our world is falling apart. Who can’t see that? Is there anything that matters more than opening our hearts to Jesus and pleading for the revival and reformation so needed, not just by each one of us individually but by our church as a whole? What would happen if our own hearts were totally surrendered to Him and we were completely devoted to spreading this message to the world?

We all know the answer. When we repent of our sins and do what God has appointed us to do, the end will come. To every converted soul Jesus says: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." We have not done our part.
   

If God's people had the love of Christ in the heart; if every church member was thoroughly imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice; if all manifested thorough earnestness, there would be no lack of funds for home and foreign missions; our resources would be multiplied; a thousand doors of usefulness would be opened, and we should be invited to enter. Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving the message of mercy to the world, Christ would have come to the earth, and the saints would ere this have received their welcome into the city of God. 

We should now feel the responsibility of labouring with intense earnestness to impart to others the light we have received. We cannot be too much in earnest. Even those who have felt much have not felt enough. They must still feel more deeply. The heart of God is moved. Souls are very precious in His sight. It was for this world that Christ wept in agony; for this world He was crucified. He desires to see those who have had great light flashing that light upon the pathway of their fellow-men. One soul is of more value to heaven than a whole world of property, houses, lands, or money.  AUCR, October 15, 1898.


Let us now, heed the counsel of the True Witness and buy of Him the gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eye salve. If we will, then He will come into our hearts and empower us to love as He loves. Then the world will know there is a God in heaven. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." Ezekiel 36:25-27, 23. 
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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FRIDAY September 27

Further Study: “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.”-Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 612.

Discussion Questions:

    In the quote above, Ellen G. White wrote: “The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God.” In class, discuss what you think that means. What does it not mean? After all, our message is very logical, very reasonable, and it comes with some very powerful arguments in its favor. How are we to understand, then, what she is telling us?

    What spiritual application do the promises God gave to His people in the Old Testament have for His church today?

Deut. 11:13-18
  11:13   And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 
  11:14   That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 
  11:15   And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. 
  11:16   Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 
  11:17   And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. 
  11:18   Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 

Hos. 6:1-3, 10:12
  6:1   Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 
  6:2   After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 
  6:3   Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. 
  10:12   Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.


These are precious promises. But, they are conditional promises. Revival is coming in response to us following the counsel being given. We must "seek the Lord". We must "return to the Lord." Jesus tells us to "lay up these my words in your heart,"  then we will be be revived. It is through a knowledge of God's character that we are changed into His image. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word. It is a revelation of Christ.


    Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest scientists, called the concept of an afterlife a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Why does a statement like that show just how crucial and hopeful our message is for a world that knows neither God nor His love?

    Though we don’t know when Jesus is going to come back, we do know that we want Him to and that we want this sin-sick world to end and a new sinless world to begin. That’s why we believe revival and reformation are so crucial to us as a people, and it’s why our leaders are calling us to it. In the end, though, it will not come by anything other than the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and that will not happen until we, as individuals, make a conscious choice to surrender ourselves with all our hearts and souls and minds to the Lord. How can we, without judging others, without comparing ourselves among ourselves, do our part to encourage each other to be prepared for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

The answer is always the same. We need Jesus. We need to heed the counsel of Jesus to the Laodiceans. This is an individual work, but the Laodicean message must continue to be given in the church. Pastor Finley has given it, now it is up to the leaders, the watchmen on the walls to let the revival and reformation begin in their own lives and then continue to give the Laodicean message in the church. We must be an example of the power of grace to transform the life. Pastor Finley asks "How can we?"  It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes. And thus, by beholding Jesus we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by His Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).

I want to encourage all that the church will be revived. We have done this all through this quarter, but I want to share another Bible promise that no matter how bad things look, and they will, for the church will appear as it is about to fall, God will sanctify His people. We have shared the promise in Ezekiel 36 that God will pour clean water upon His church and cleanse it from all sin. Now, let us go to the following chapter, Ezekiel 37.

  37:1   The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 
  37:2   And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 
  37:3   And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 
  37:4   Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 
  37:5   Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 
  37:6   And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 
  37:7   So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 
  37:8   And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 
  37:9   Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 
  37:10   So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 
  37:11   Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 
  37:12   Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 
  37:13   And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 


Dead, dry bones represent a Laodicean church dead in trespasses and sins. "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." To some it is impossible for the church to be revived. They call the church "Babylon". But, they deny the power of God to revive a church and they deny the Bible promises in Ezekiel 36 and 37.

I pray that this quarter's lessons have been an encouragement to you as they have been to me. Pastor Finley blessed us with much Bible truth. He has called sin sin, and has revealed to us the love that God has for His church. He has encouraged us that the grace of God will transform sinners into saints. Let us continue to study our Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy that we might better know our God and His plan of salvation. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to our continual need of Jesus. Let the fast coming revival and reformation begin in my life, in my family, and in  my church.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Mimi

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I pray that this quarter's lessons have been an encouragement to you as they have been to me. Pastor Finley blessed us with much Bible truth. He has called sin sin, and has revealed to us the love that God has for His church. He has encouraged us that the grace of God will transform sinners into saints. Let us continue to study our Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy that we might better know our God and His plan of salvation. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to our continual need of Jesus. Let the fast coming revival and reformation begin in my life, in my family, and in  my church.

Amen! It is the key.
Isaiah 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Richard Myers

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In June of last year we began publishing a three part series on the Laodicean Message entitled "The Shaking". Part one was "Gold Tried in the Fire", part two was "White Raiment", and part three was "Eyesalve".  If you are fully registered you may read them in the Newsletter Archive. If you have not fully registered and do not have access to the private "SDA" forums, you may request a copy of those newsletters.

In that series we discuss the Korah, Dathan, and Abirams of our day.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.