Faith Is the Victory

Audio: mp3

Relationships in the Last Days Conference

Satan will desire to test Gods people to the brink whether that bond is stronger than any other bond that can exist. We now enter into a time period in this study which is one that has never been before or after. It is the time period when the embassy is in lock down and evacuation is imminent. It is a time period described as a very troublesome time. It’s the time where God’s people have made it through test’s and trials in an era when the time is very worrisome to them.

Jeremiah 30:4 And these [are] the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. 5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

The time period here referred to is that of Jacobs’s trouble. It’s a particular experience which needs much preparation to meet it. As it says in the hymn, will your anchor hold in the storm of life? If your anchor doesn’t hold, what will happen? The chain might break. Our anchor is hooked to the rock Jesus which can’t break. Will our anchor hold in this time of trouble? For us to answer, we need to know if our anchor is strong enough, our ship. The time period referred to is the close of probation. A time when they have been sealed but they don’t know it yet.

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

This solemn moment in time is one that can bring fear and trepidation and uncertainty. One that no doubt will make our faces turn pale as is described in Jeremiah. To understand more about the time of Jacobs’s trouble, we read of the time as relating to our imminent future. It describes Jacob’s trouble.

Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau (Genesis 32:24-30), represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble. Because of the deception practiced to secure his Father’s blessing, intended for Esau, Jacob had fled for his life, alarmed by his brother’s deadly threats. After remaining for many years an exile, he had set out, at God’s command, to return with his wives and children, his flocks and herds, to his native country. On reaching the borders of the land, he was filled with terror by the tidings of Esau’s approach at the head of a band of warriors, doubtless bent upon revenge. Jacob’s company, unarmed and defenseless, seemed about to fall helpless victims of violence and slaughter. {GC 616.2}

In man’s warfare Jacob was unarmed, he had nothing. He wasn’t a warrior. He had a family and little children. He was unarmed. But he was armed with the weaponry needed in the spiritual warfare. Filled with fear that Esau was coming with his warriors. This is applicable to us as threats are given against our life also.

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

The governments of this world will receive power from that one beast which is described as the church originating from the Seven Hills of Rome. As governments unite together with the churches of the world, a death decree will be given upon those who are faithful and keep the commandments of God.

And to the burden of anxiety and fear was added the crushing weight of self-reproach, for it was his own sin that had brought this danger. His only hope was in the mercy of God; his only defense must be prayer. {GC 616.2}

That’s all he had. He didn’t have anything else. Prayer was his defense.

Genesis 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Was this presumptuous? Why not? Wasn’t the blessing already given to Jacob? We’ll get to that.

Having sent his family away, that they may not witness his distress, Jacob remains alone to intercede with God. He confesses his sin and gratefully acknowledges the mercy of God toward him while with deep humiliation he pleads the covenant made with his Fathers and the promises to himself in the night vision at Bethel and in the land of his exile. The crisis in his life has come; everything is at stake. In the darkness and solitude he continues praying and humbling himself before God. Suddenly a hand is laid upon his shoulder. He thinks that an enemy is seeking his life, and with all the energy of despair he wrestles with his assailant. {GC 616.3}

This is nothing unusual. Anyone in Jacob’s situation would have done the same but we’ll see how Jacob manifested his faith.

As the day begins to break, the stranger puts forth his superhuman power; at his touch the strong man seems paralyzed, and he falls, a helpless, weeping suppliant, upon the neck of his mysterious antagonist. Jacob knows now that it is the Angel of the covenant with whom he has been in conflict. Though disabled and suffering the keenest pain, he does not relinquish his purpose. Long has he endured perplexity, remorse, and trouble for his sin; now he must have the assurance that it is pardoned. The divine visitant seems about to depart; but Jacob clings to Him, pleading for a blessing. The Angel urges, “Let Me go, for the day breaketh;” but the patriarch exclaims, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” {GC 616.3}

What was the blessing Jacob was seeking at this time? Something different to what he had already received. He received the blessing that through his line the messiah would come. The deception he received in Laban’s house hold was a result of the wrongs he had done previously.

What confidence, what firmness and perseverance, are here displayed! Had this been a boastful, presumptuous claim, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his weakness and unworthiness, yet trusts the mercy of a covenant-keeping God. {GC 616.3}

This is important for us to understand and take with us. Jacob had relied wholly upon God. The particular trait of God was that he was merciful and covenant keeping. If we seek the promise in humility God will fulfill it.

Genesis 32:27 And he said unto him, What [is] thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked [him], and said, Tell [me], I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore [is] it [that] thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Here finally Jacob received the blessing. What a privilege for Jacob. In the darkest hour of his life he was able to see God face to face and his life was preserved. Because his life was preserved, he was forgiven for the guilt’s he had committed. He is called here a prince and he had power with God and man. Aren’t we also sons and daughters of God? Heirs to the kingdom. Doesn’t that make us princes and princess of that kingdom?

Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth. As Jacob was threatened with death by his angry brother, so the people of God will be in peril from the wicked who are seeking to destroy them. And as the patriarch wrestled all night for deliverance from the hand of Esau, so the righteous will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the enemies that surround them. . . . {CC 68.3}

The righteous will cry to God day and night. Will God hear them? He will. What about the wicked? He won’t.

When in his distress Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and made supplication with tears, the heavenly Messenger, in order to try his faith, also reminded him of his sin, and endeavored to escape from him. But Jacob would not be turned away. He had learned that God is merciful, and he cast himself upon His mercy. He pointed back to his repentance for his sin, and pleaded for deliverance. As he reviewed his life, he was driven almost to despair; but he held fast the Angel, and with earnest, agonizing cries urged his petition until he prevailed. {CC 68.4}

Have we learnt that God is merciful? Now is the time to learn this. If we don’t learn it now we will crumble at that time. Jacob laying hold of the angel with such a determined manner is similar to God’s people in the hour of trial. There are many promises in the word of God we need to learn now. Scripture should be committed to memory. When we are in flight, we won’t have a bible in our hand. We need to be able to give reason for our faith. Satan will bring before us the sins of our life. No man but Jesus has gone through this example before, we can only look at Jesus. Jesus experience was really one which was quite horrifying and he was the innocent one.

Psalms 22:1 To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our Fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

This was Jesus experience. On the cross, in his last breath, almost last breath, he cried, my Father my Father why have you forsake me. Jesus felt that his Father had forsaken him. Why are you so far? You’ve helped me all my life, all 33 years. Where was the Father

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” Not only did the darkness enshroud the immediate vicinity of the cross, but “there was darkness over the whole land.” {ST, December 8, 1898 par. 6}

God dwells in the thick darkness; He hides His glory from human eyes. The Father, with His heavenly angels, was inclosed in that thick darkness. God was close beside His Son, tho not manifesting Himself to Him or to any human being. Had one ray of His glory and power penetrated the thick darkness that enveloped Him, every human spectator would have been destroyed. And in that thick darkness God hid from prying eyes the last human agony of His Son. He clothed nature with sackcloth, that she might not look upon her suffering, dying Author in His last humiliation. {ST, December 8, 1898 par. 7}

The Father was right there with his angels in the darkness. The angels were desiring to help Jesus on the cross but they were told no, this must happen. Jesus suffered and died alone for our sins.

Psalms 22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou [art] my God from my mother’s belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble [is] near; for [there is] none to help. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

The Father was not in a position where he could help Jesus as he had to pass through this. Jesus went through 33 years of character building to pass that trial.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Do we have peace today? It’s a nice day, birds are singing, the governments good to us, we have peace because Jesus suffered. Otherwise there would be no peace.

Psalms 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He shall see the travail of his soul and he shall be satisfied. This is such a beautiful promise that all his life Jesus prepared himself for what was going to come. I’m not going to focus on the trial but the end result. He knew that perseverance of his Father’s unending love would help. In gethsemane he said if it be possible let this cup pass from me. In Isaiah 63 he said I have trodden the wine press alone. He bore the burdens of our iniquities. This describes what the faithful few will experience in the time of Jacob’s trouble. It will be self-awareness. Jesus felt like the sin placed upon him was separating him from his Father and we also in the time of Jacob’s trouble will have a greater degree of self-awareness. Satan will bring all kind of things to our awareness telling us how great a sinner we are. We know but Jesus died and he conquered. This needs to be our confident answer. Not in our self but in Christ.

Such will be the experience of God’s people in their final struggle with the powers of evil. God will test their faith, their perseverance, and their confidence in His power to deliver them. Satan will endeavor to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless; that their sins have been too great to receive pardon. They will have a deep sense of their shortcomings, and as they review their lives their hopes will sink. But remembering the greatness of God’s mercy, and their own sincere repentance, they will plead His promises made through Christ to helpless, repenting sinners. Their faith will not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. They will lay hold of the strength of God, as Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and the language of their souls will be, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” {CC 68.5}

Jesus on the cross when enveloped in darkness and when separated from his Father could have thought I’ve done something wrong, the Father has separated from me, I have to get off the cross, this is not where God wants me to be. But he remembered his Father’s mercy. It says we remember our own sincere repentance otherwise we can’t remember it at that time. We see here Jesus focus. Where did he turn his eyes to? What did he contemplate? He was despised and afflicted forsaken of everyone.

Psalms 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

How did Jesus know that the Father heard? He didn’t. It’s a thing called faith. Only by faith did he know my Father hath heard my affliction and is with me through the trial. We read in Isaiah 53 he saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

That was a shameful death. Something I wouldn’t wish upon my enemies but yet we are so thankful that Jesus went through it. After Jesus death and resurrection, the first one to see him was Mary. A dear friend of Jesus. She didn’t recognise him at first thinking he was someone else. He was resurrected in new flesh. When she recognised him she went to embrace him but he said not yet as I’ve not seen my Father. Jesus wanted to return to heaven to see that his sacrifice was sufficient. When Jesus returned to heaven, the picture is given.

Psalms 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

That applied to Jesus.

Psalm 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

We understand from different passages in the bible, especially Ezekiel that when God creates thing he creates living creatures. It’s speaking to the gates, lift up, the king of glory is coming in. what is the reply?

Psalm 24:8 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah.

Why was he the king of glory? He was strong and mighty in battle. He had fought the battle to every last degree and was victorious. Praise to him. That tells us the experience of Jesus going through that darkest trial and the victory afterwards. What about during the trial? Where was he? What were his thoughts? What encouraged him? It is no coincidence that Psalms 23 is placed between the two. It is so precious in the concept that when Jesus was in the darkest moment, this Psalm was dear to him. It will encourage us countless times.

Psalms 23:1 The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Did Jesus go through the valley of the shadow of death? Darkness. Will we go through the same? We also. Jesus knew by faith that he would dwell in the house of the Lord forever more. It was these thoughts that encouraged him through that moment of trial. When we are thrown into the same confusion and feeling of guilt, uncertainty and insecurity, Satan will bring these things to us. We need to know how to deal with him. We need to know how to hold onto the promises that strengthened him.

Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Did Jesus know that he would be saved out of it? Only by faith. No one had actually been there before. There was no guarantee, it was faith alone. Here we have the assurances of God’s word. We know that when we go through that experience that the righteous will be righteous still. So great is that time of trouble that our heart will be wondering. Uncertainty coming in? Insecurity? No we have to banish those thoughts.

Jeremiah 30:8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. 10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make [him] afraid.

None will ever again make Jacob afraid because that will be the ultimate test and trial. The ultimate victory that will be one. We know the lessons that we can learn from the eagle. A very simple bird that God created. It has a brain smaller than pea and yet we can learn so much. When a storm comes about the eagle rises upon very strong wings. The wind is strong also. When the wind comes up he has to fight for hours. Knowing by faith and experience above the storm is sunshine and no wind. We need to have this experience from the storms of life today. The storms of life today they give us assurance that in that time of Jacobs trouble we shall be able to rise above the winds of strife. Ellen White was given a dream which she refers to as an impressive dream. It’s outlined in a title the same.

In the dream and she saw a company travelling along a pathway. It was reasonably comfortable. They were travelling along with horses. On one side the cliff was going down and the other the sky. As they travelled, they realised there is no more room for the wagons. So they took the precious things on the horses and off the wagons. Then they continued and they found it was difficult to let the horses stay and go on foot. They continued carrying what they can until the burden on the back wouldn’t let them continue. Till they were walking in single file one foot one in front of the other. Then as they went they realised they had to take off their shoes to get better grip. As they continued they saw a small thin cord in front. As they continued they placed more and more weight on that cord.

Eventually they were relying on that cord quite a bit. Then they came to a chasm with beautiful green gardens and they knew they had to get there but they knew the only way was by faith. Then one of the people in the company asked, what are these cords anchored to? These cords are cords of faith. We need to put our whole weight on them in order to make it through the time of Jacob’s trouble. They did. Ellen white recounts that great drops of sweat beat on James white brow. They were fearful but faith won out and they strung across. The experience in that dream is very applicable to us.

We are going along that path way. As that cord comes across our pathway, we need to use it more and more. No matter in what position on this pathway we find ourselves. No matter, practise exercising faith. Otherwise we’ll come to the end at the precipice saying no I can’t go on. Let us never be of those that can’t turn back for they will miss out on the reward. At the time of Jacob’s trouble, what lightens their faces? What brings joy to the heart again? Isn’t it the voice of God? Isn’t the realisation that Jesus is coming only days away.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

We all profess to be waiting for God but a profession is not a saving faith. We need a saving faith that is the only thing that will bring us through that final trial. My wish and prayer for each one of us is that the Lord will bring the right circumstances into our lives often unpleasant to try our faith, to show us where our failings are. This is never pleasant. It is not something naturally we would look forward to. Praise be to God that we have been given the promises and assurances. He is a merciful God for all that will come to him. As we increase in faith we will be found in that day.

Posted on October 29, 2010, in Relationships in the Last Days, Sermons by a ex member and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on mycountrylivingadventures and commented:
    Faith Is the Victory

  2. This message was such a blessing for me at this time. Oh, how I appreciate Sabbath Sermons for bring these messages to the forefront for all to read and be blessed. Praise God for this ministry, Praise Him for using these ministers.

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