Courage Amidst End Time Chaos

By John Thiel

We are familiar by now that prophecy is a light that shines in a dark place. We are told that right now according to Isaiah;

Isaiah 60;2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 

Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. This is our time. What light may prophecy shed upon us in reference to understanding this darkness? What is our darkness of this time so that we may know what is happening to us and how to meet it as overcomers? This is the subject of this hour, to gain courage during the end time chaos in which you will see we are living, according to the revelations of prophecy.

A Brief Rundown

I will go through a very brief rundown of prophecy in regards to identifying our time. When you study Revelation, the seven churches, the seven seals and the seven trumpets we know that prophecy identifies for us that we are living in the period of Laodicea the very last church period of which it is written (which our faithful and true Witness has identified) that it is lukewarm. The church of God is lukewarm. They do not know that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. To these people He says; “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man will open the door”. We are living in this time. Regarding the seven seals in the rundown of prophecy from the time of Christ to now, we can identify according to prophecy where precisely we are.

Revelation 6;12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 

For our prophetic explanation we understand that the great Lisbon earthquake was here identified. Then the dark day that affected all of America, and the falling of the stars, these were the heralds for the end that after that 1844 had been reached and now is the end of the world. We live between verse 13 and verse 14 because in verse 14 the heavens departed as a scroll. We live right there between those two verses. Then we come to the seven trumpets. The wars that have existed throughout history from the time of Christ were delineated in the seven trumpets, the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire under the Mohammedan attack. In Revelation chapter 11 we see the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 11;18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.  19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. 

We live under these descriptions. The nations are angry are they not? The temple of God has been opened in heaven in 1844 and we see into His most holy place by faith as Jesus is working there. In these descriptions of prophecy we have a backdrop of understanding which then in Revelation 12 begins to unveil something in living experience in these matters. Revelation 12 is a summary of the church and its experiences through the time of the seven churches to the very end.

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.

We are living, according to prophecy at a time in which God’s church, the woman, with whom the dragon was wrath has diminished into a remnant of her seed which he makes war with. If you desire to be part of that remnant, it is the remnant of her seed, it’s the delineation of the church throughout the periods to this point in time and all that is left at the very end is not just the seed, but the remnant of her seed. Relevant to that is Romans 9.

Romans 9;27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved; 28 For he will finish the work, and cut (it) short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

In this time Christianity is well covering the earth. It is like the sands of the sea but only a remnant shall be saved. Why only a remnant should be saved? The remnant of the woman’s seed. Why only a remnant and a very small one at that?

Isaiah 1;9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, (and) we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Isn’t the world like Sodom and Gomorrah just about? It’s not yet been destroyed. Why? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. If it would not be for the very small remnant it would be destroyed. That very small remnant needs to be yet redeemed completely and this very small remnant, the remnant of the woman’s seed, a company that God is at work with as we read that only that remnant can be saved like Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah. A very small remnant. Here is another prophecy that unveils this reality of a very small remnant amidst a large number of Christians.

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 

Like the sands of the sea. Many organisations, many Christian organisations, queens, concubines, virgins, little companies everywhere. Amongst all of them ;

Song of Solomon 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is (but) one; she (is) the (only) one of her mother, she (is) the choice (one) of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; (yea), the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who (is) she (that) looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, (and) terrible as (an army) with banners? 

Only a very little remnant. Why only a very little remnant? There must be a reason for it. Jesus puts it very simply in Matthew. He is speaking in Matthew 24 a wide-ranging prophecy just like in Revelation.

Matthew 24;11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Many concubines and false prophets.) 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The love of many Christians shall wax cold. That’s why, because iniquity abounds. People’s faithfulness, people’s intensity to be hot for Jesus grows lukewarm. Because the iniquity that abounds is of a nature that weakens our faithfulness, it is written of in 2 Timothy. Here is the abounding iniquity that causes God’s people as it says, even the very elect could be drawn into that.

2 Timothy 3;1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 

What are the perils?

2 Timothy  3;2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,   4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. 

Having a form of godliness, isn’t that Laodicea? Everything that we have just read has some dire ramifications in our life. It’s a condition in which when you have children and you are trying to lead them to obedience, there is an influence there that makes them disobedient deliberately. There is a condition of you will be despised if you will be good. All those other characteristics that have a dreadful impact upon the soft nature of the heart of Jesus Christ will be in danger of overwhelming and letting the love grow cold. That’s what Jesus warns in prophecy. There is a description of the consequence of this for our time in Isaiah. By reading it in the King James Version only partially helps us to understand so I will read from another version as well. Recall says in verse 12 it speaks about the confederacy and about not amalgamating together but only those that bind up the testimony, seal the law among the disciples (verse 16) if they speak not according to the law and the testimony there is no light in them (verse 20).

Isaiah 8;21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and (they shall be) driven to darkness.

How well described that is in the effect of what we were reading in 2 Timothy 3; 1-5 but let me read it in another version;

Isaiah 8;21 So despondency and fear will come over them. And then, when they are afraid and fearful, whether they turn their gaze upward or look down, everywhere is distress and darkness in escapable.22 Constraint and gloom that cannot be avoided, for there is no escape for an oppressed people.

How descriptive that is of the situation that God’s people find themselves in. They look up, they look down and wherever they look there is indescribable confusion, oppression, horror, dimness of anguish, trouble and darkness. How long ago did this begin? The beginning of this terrible time we think yes, this applies to us today but we’ve been conditioned. I want to uncondition your mind through prophecy at the moment to help us appreciate the kind of predicament we are in today. Come with me to the time of Sister White.

The youth of today are a sure index to the future of society; and as we view them, what can we hope for that future? The majority are fond of amusement and averse to work. . . . They have but little self-control and become excited and angry on the slightest occasion. Very many in every age and station of life are without principle or conscience; and with their idle, spendthrift habits they are rushing into vice and are corrupting society, until our world is becoming a second Sodom. If the appetites and passions were under the control of reason and religion, society would present a widely different aspect. God never designed that the present woeful condition of things should exist; it has been brought about through the gross violation of nature’s laws. CG 440.5

This is in Sister White’s time. How many generations ago is she talking about? She’s talking about our great grandparents, brethren and sisters and that was the index of what society will become. What I’ve described here, didn’t you think that applied to us today? Sorry, it’s much worse than that today. Much worse and we don’t even know it because we’ve become so conditioned to it. We have been brought up by parents that were the children of those youth of Sister White’s time. I mean my generation let alone those who could be children of mine today. Can we begin to grasp what the Lord is actually telling us through prophecy?

A terrible picture of the condition of the world has been presented before me. Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence. CG 440.5

That was her time. Immorality abounded in her time among our great grandparents. What did the testimony of Jesus reveal for the future society from that point? Remember? “the youth of today are a sure index to the future of society”. When she wrote that with these people, who became the next generation’s government? What is revealed in reference to them?

I was shown the inhabitants of the earth in the utmost confusion. War, bloodshed, privation, want, famine, and pestilence were abroad in the land. As these things surrounded God’s people, they began to press together, and to cast aside their little difficulties. Self-dignity no longer controlled them; deep humility took its place. Suffering, perplexity, and privation caused reason to resume its throne, and the passionate and unreasonable man became sane, and acted with discretion and wisdom. My attention was then called from the scene. There seemed to be a little time of peace. Once more the inhabitants of the earth were presented before me; and again everything was in the utmost confusion. Strife, war, and bloodshed, with famine and pestilence, raged everywhere. Other nations were engaged in this war and confusion. War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men’s hearts failed them for fear, “and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” 1T 268.1-2

We have just read prophecy fulfilled because when the First World War broke out it aroused God’s people to become aware and they put away their differences and they came together and who were they? They were the Seventh Day Adventists who were disfellowshipped from the Adventist Church for being faithful. That was the First World War and after the First World War there was a time of peace. The condition of the youth and their ongoing training of their children produced a small period of peace and then another outburst. The young Hitler became a despot over Europe and disaster struck the world. The terrible effect upon many other nations apart from those that were fighting in Europe in the First World War have now involved many, many other nations as well as we were reading.

That having passed, what comes now after all the bloodshed, famine, pestilence that raged everywhere and the terrible confusion of the depression years and the horror that took place? War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. Do you remember the history of polio spreading around the world, all those terrible diseases and pestilences? When that was all over, then men’s hearts failed them for fear and of looking after those things which are coming on the earth. Are they not absolutely shuddering as they look at the generation that is coming up now? What future is there? Here it is the index of Ellen White’s time upon our situation today. There is a hopeless condition. If there would not be a very small remnant it would have already finished a long time ago. So how about the church? What is written about the church in Sister White’s time? Mark what she has to say regarding her experience in the aftermath of 1888. There is much that you can read that is very depressing in reference to what she said about her experience after 1888.

I expect anything and lean on no one, depend on no one. My work will not be hence forth to make any one believe but go forward, out of the atmosphere of unbelief and caviling and criticism. I have more freedom speaking to unbelievers than to those who hold responsible positions, and who have had so great light and great opportunities and have not responded to the light. I have placed my case as I have never before in the hands of my Advocate, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. I am sure that I cannot feel at liberty to converse as I have done with those to whom I have talked so freely. 1888 material page 798.1

She was able to talk freely to the brethren and now she says “I can’t do that. I cannot converse as I have done”. What a situation in the church.

I have a work to do, and I am now making decisions. I must remain away from conference meetings. I must not attend camp meetings. The spirit of drawing apart, as the result of judging one another, has become so common, and the churches are becoming so leavened with this spirit, that I have no desire to attend these meetings. 17 MR 64.2

That was before I was born. When I attended the meetings at the camps I used to think wonderful but she wouldn’t even attend them.

After returning from them, it is often weeks before I am able to take up my neglected work. Because those in positions of responsibility have for years left the Southern field unworked, notwithstanding the most decided testimonies urging them to take up this work; because they continue to neglect this field and use every manner of device in trying to uproot the confidence of the people in those who have done the hardest and most self-sacrificing work in the South, I have but very little confidence that the Lord is giving these men in positions of responsibility spiritual eyesight and heavenly discernment. I am thrown into perplexity over their course; and I desire now to attend to my special work, to have no part in any of their councils, and to attend no camp-meetings, nigh nor afar off. My mind shall not be dragged into confusion by the tendency they manifest to work directly contrary to the light that God has given me. I am done. I will preserve my God-given intelligence. My voice has been heard in the different conferences and at camp meetings. I must now make a change. I cannot enter the atmosphere of strife and then have to bear testimonies that cost me much more than those to whom they are sent can imagine. (You see, her love could grow cold too). When I attend the different meetings, I am compelled to deal with men, standing in responsible places, who I know are not exerting an influence that God can endorse. And when I bear a testimony in reference to their course of action, advantage is taken of this testimony. These men have not clear understanding. Should I say the things that I know, they would not, with their present experience, use this instruction wisely, and would bring upon me inconceivable burdens. 17 MR 64.2

I’m reading this to show what is meant with darkness that prophecy has unveiled whether in the world or whether in the church. She could trust no one in the church because they were not listening to a “Thus saith the Lord”. They were putting their own construction even on her own writings. How many times I have read these things e.g. “I am done. I will attend no more of the meetings”. I read a comment by the Adventists who had transcribed that who said that that’s the last time she ever said anything about it, she is loyal to the Adventist church. They wanted to gloss over these statements. Let the spirit of God illuminate the terrible condition that has continued to be transferred to us today. Even when Sister White had already said all those things, there came a report to her that things have changed now. She was about to write it, so happy to hear that at last a change had come.

After I received word in regard to the excellent meeting of confession and unity that had been held in Battle Creek I was writing in my diary and was about to record the thankfulness I felt because a change had come, when my hand was arrested, and there came to me the words; “Write it not. No change for the better has taken place. Teachings that are turning souls from the truth are being presented as of great worth. Doctrines are being taught that lead into bypaths and forbidden paths; doctrines that lead men to act in harmony with their own inclinations and to work out their unsanctified purposes; doctrines that, if received, would destroy the Page 7 of15 dignity and power of God’s people, obscuring the light that would otherwise come to them through God’s appointed agencies.” 8T 231.2

Let all these things percolate in reference to the ramifications of all this. You and I have grown up under these ramifications and what we thought was wonderful wasn’t wonderful at all. It was a perversion, a perversion of the pure and the right. Forecasting the experience of those in church affiliation, prophecy again shows us in the book Upward Look in the light of all this the reason why Sodom and Gomorrah hasn’t hit us yet in terms of destruction.

The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. UL 131.3

We read it in Song of Solomon, my dove, my undefiled, my chosen people.

When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. UL 131.3

But they go on working, don’t they? So, who’s working with them?

Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach. UL 131.3

From the time of Sister White through to our time according to this, we have seen a condition of one departure after another of Christ from among His professed people. That’s why we are where we are today. But as you see there is a warning for us. If the Lord can’t use us faithfully He will also have to put us through grievous times and maybe we can be bypassed. This is the situation of our time. Where are we? It’s a real hotchpotch. Have you felt it, got confused and thrown into chaos? A real mishmash of unprecedented bewilderment. Bewilderment of a nature that you cannot see your way through. Isn’t that what we read in Isaiah? Gloom, darkness and a horror.

Isaiah 8;21 So despondency and fear will come over them. And then, when they are afraid and fearful, whether they turn their gaze upward or look down, everywhere is distress and darkness in escapable.

You can’t escape it, it overwhelms.

Isaiah 22 Constraint and gloom that cannot be avoided, for there is no escape for an oppressed people.

There it is, it’s something you can’t get out from, underneath, it will strike. We are living in such a time. If you and I resolve to stand, which is our faith isn’t it?, our society to stand in defence of the first 50 years of the SDA teaching and practice its reforms; what would you expect today? It’s self-evident isn’t it? Prophecy throws light upon it. This is what you expect.

2 Timothy Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;

If you embrace the power and the godliness in reality, what will they do to you? How will you be regarded? Come to the words of Jesus;

Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 

Matthew 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 

Because iniquity abounds they had fallen as we have just seen it described in Sister White’s time already. It is continued through the First World War, the Second World War and now men’s hearts failing them and in the church if you are going to stand 100% on the platform that has been established by the early Adventists over those 50 years, what will the other servants do? They will begin to smite their fellow servants as they go on eating and drinking with the drunken. Dreadful. Here in the book Fundamentals of Christian Education we read a direct detail of how you are regarded and how they smite you with the tongue.

There are many in the church who at heart belong to the world, but God calls upon those who claim to believe the advanced truth, to rise above the present attitude of the popular churches of today. FE 289.1

That was in that time but how important is that now? To rise above the popular churches of today.

Where is the self-denial, where is the cross-bearing that Christ has said should characterize His followers? The reason we have had so little influence upon unbelieving relatives and associates is that we have manifested little decided difference in our practices from those of the world. Parents need to awake, and purify their souls by practicing the truth in their home life. FE 289.1

Now comes the important point;

When we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach, worldlings will regard Seventh-day Adventists as odd, singular, strait-laced extremists. “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” FE 289.1

What will they do if you will stand in total harmony with original true Adventism? You will be smitten and made little of. They will smite you with the tongue. If you are a person who is subject to peer pressure and you don’t like to feel out of harmony with those romping along beside you, you will be in danger of losing your first love. Sister White withdrew from them. That’s what it says in 2 Timothy – from such turn away otherwise you will be drawn in. There is the plain answer. This being the case that you will be regarded as strait-laced extremists, if you will stand faithful to original Adventism, we have a very powerful prophetic revelation. This is our message that we need to take to heart in the light of these things that have been painted before our mind in this Divine Service.

Now is the time for God’s people to show themselves true to principle. 5T 136.2

Mark that was written in Sister White’s time but notice for the future;

When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few–this will be our test. 5T 136.2

What must we do?

At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. 5T 136.2

That’s all you can get courage from. If what I have shared with you so far has been a very depressing scene, you need to gain what I have just read here. You have to look at the negative and say “Thank you Lord for throwing light upon my darkness” and “Thank you Lord, I am going to be enthused now to stand faithful for you be the cost what it may.”

…gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. 5T 136.2

As we look at this dilemma and the domestic situations that after church life we meet all the way through in our time now, in our social domestic life, our interactivity with the world, we have to work, we have to run our businesses, whatever we do, we are constantly being surrounded by the Sodomites. It’s horrible when I go through a public place and I see men holding hands and women walking along arm in arm which we know what it means today, Sodom. To see not only that but another manifestation of our domestic pressures is given;

Satan is now more earnestly engaged in playing the game of life for souls than at any previous time; and unless we are constantly on our guard, he will establish in our hearts, pride, love of self, love of the world, and many other evil traits. Paragraph 1 Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by it unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations, professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? “Go ye not … after them” 2SM 58.3

Are we not surrounded by it? People are giving over and all because Satan is playing the game of life. Rebellion and apostasy is in the very air we breathe. This is what you breathe in, it affects us.

We shall be affected by it unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. 2SM 58.3

Meditate upon this. How is it with the cares of this life and the interaction with our fellow man around us? The very air we breathe is thick with 2 Timothy 3; 1-5. It’s in the air we breathe, disobedience. Parents, what can you see in the children that are born nowadays? They’re breathing it in and they watch what’s going on around them. What will they do naturally? It’s already natural in the heart to be disobedient but then when they see it, have you got an easy time training your children to be absolutely obedient? How hard is that for children today? The atmosphere being breathed in is disloyalty and disobedience to those in authority. It’s in the very air we breathe. Then knowledge shall increase. Hasn’t it increased? Can your brain keep up with it? It is regarded as essential to go to university if you want to get a good job. You go to university and your brain crash yourself with all the study and if you get into any part of the work today you have to become computer efficient.

I tell you I’m having a hard time to be efficient for some little things on the computer. It crowds my brain, it puts me under stress and while I’m under that stress I am subjected to a loss of concentration on Jesus Christ. You have to keep up with this fast age and if you’re going to stand up for the old ways and stand true to those and only concentrate on the technology that is there for one purpose, your children and the next generation say “You’re behind the moon, let me show you”. They patronise you. “You know nothing dad”. The influence of the knowledge increases and the natural capability of the younger generation with its capabilities makes them feel energetic over the older generation. This is our predicament. As you try to train your little children parents, is it so hard that you feel like giving up? When you start giving up and you give the child a bit more reign it gets harder still. It becomes a little hell in the home because those children will run the home. If you put your foot down, you’re being an unchristian kind of person. What a bewilderment! Oh to be old fashioned. Oh to put those children on a firm straight line that they know they must control themselves. I read that in Child Guidance page 94. We mustn’t be violent and Jesus wasn’t violent yet, He was very firm and He would not be run over by evil. Neither must we in the home.

Parents are too fond of ease and pleasure to do the work appointed them of God in their home life. We should not see the terrible state of evil that exists among the youth of today if they had been properly trained at home. CG 94.3-4

That was in Sister White’s time already. How do we exist today?

If parents would take up their God-given work and would teach. CG 94.3-4

Teach what?

self-restraint, self-denial, and self-control to their children, both by precept and example, they would find that while they were seeking to do their duty, so as to meet the approval of God, they would be learning precious lessons in the school of Christ. CG 94.3-4

That’s what you will learn if you get to it correctly.

They would be learning patience, forbearance, love, and meekness; and these are the very lessons that they must teach to their children. CG 94.3-4

A bit overwhelming, isn’t it? When insubordination and apostasy etc. It is in the very air we breathe. It’s much harder now to train children than even when I trained ours. This is what one person once said to me – “After you had done home schooling, after you had done all that you still lost them”. This is a strange phenomenon. Have I lost my children? Are we losing the people when they are still claiming Christianity? Brethren and sisters we do because they are altering a few little points of strict truth and still claim to be Christians. You’ve lost them whether you think so or not. This is reality because they would not subject themselves to the pure 100% application of God’s pure truth. So how does prophecy indicate our challenge? I want to conclude today with not only the challenge but the victory because I’ve painted a pretty dark picture haven’t I. The prophecy has done that it’s not me, I’ve just identified it. What is our challenge? Remember what I read? There is gross darkness. Wherever you look, whatever you try to do, it’s just overwhelming, inescapable, it overwhelms you and it stops you in your tracks. How do I get through this Lord? What’s written in Jeremiah 30? This is where we are very closely heading to and we’re virtually already in certain experiences of it.

Jeremiah 30:5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 

What did we read? There is fear inescapable. That is for God’s people because it says:

Jeremiah 30:6 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;

That’s where we are already but follow the next word:

Jeremiah 30:7 but he shall be saved out of it.

What was Jacob’s dilemma? He was tricked by his uncle and h ended up with two wives. He had sinned hadn’t he? But worse than that is that he had done this terrible deed against his brother, a terrible sin. Sinned grievously. Have you? Have I? Have we denied Christ? What did we study in our Sabbath School lesson? How do we deny Christ? When we read these things we discover oh no and that was Jacob’s problem on top of all the other things I’ve just described.

Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, DA 357.2

Have you done that? You’ve denied Christ.

by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, DA 357.2

Do you have that? Do you love your own opinion? You deny Him.

by justifying self, DA 357.2

How many times have you justified yourself? You have denied Him.

by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. DA 357.2

When I read this my stomach turns into a knot. What hope have I got? I’m guilty of a lot of those things and Christ isn’t in me? Oh, no. So do you feel like giving up in this darkness? When it all comes upon your mind like a surging flood of hopeless recognition, you’ve denied Christ and you’ve sinned grievously. What will you do? Will you go Judas’ path or will you go Apostle Peter’s path? Apostle Peter denied Him grievously but what did Peter do? You see when the enemy comes in like a flood and overwhelms your mind the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. A standard. When you read it in Revelation to the Laodiceans, Revelation 14, the standard was the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The standard is Christ our Righteousness. Take heart brethren. No matter what our past has been, our heart is desiring to stand loyal and faithful to that which has been delivered to the saints. Correct? Is that your heart? That’s why we’re here. We’ve stuck to it, haven’t we? Through all the disappointing circumstances, throughout the hopelessness that we know is even arising in the future with nowhere to look, nothing to do but to just simply hang on the standard that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Holy Spirit will place up a standard against him. Here is the standard;

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. TMK 229.4

Do you believe it? This will be the challenge, to believe such a thing when you are totally overwhelmed with the hopelessness of our situation today.

Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God. DA 352.2

This flood that comes in and that is flooding us around, we are in the current running in the opposite direction to that which we want to go. We want to go contrary to the current. It takes a strong fish to swim against the current. The strength of God, the omnipotence and guidance as it said that God will guide us, God will help us with that disposition. It is as we hold onto this like Jacob did with all his grievous sins, it is then that he has conquered and we will conquer as we take hold of that what the Spirit rises up before us. Brethren and sisters take courage as we are surrounded in the revelations of prophecy to our consternation and how hopeless our situation is. It is but not if we put into action the reason why God has illuminated us with this information. He has illuminated us so that we will “gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice and loyalty from their treason”. If we turn now to the Scripture reading that we read in that we are surrounded by muck, dust and hopeless oppression, it’s so horrible that it wants to bury us under the dust, here is a “Thus saith the Lord” in our predicament in which we find ourselves;

Isaiah 52;2 Shake thyself from the dust; (Get up and shake it off. Don’t let it bury you). arise, (and) sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

“I’m here to give you strength, I’m here to support you. Trust Me.”

Isaiah 60;1-2 Arise, (Shake the dust) shine; (Shine under My banner) for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people;

What darkness? We’ve just explored it, and there’s much more to explore. The gross darkness means what I have shared with you.

Isaiah 60:2 but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

If you will remain loyal, steadfast and if you will conquer through all this morass and come through the time of Jacob’s trouble, what will happen?

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. 4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at (thy) side.

Shall we go forward in courage with the light that shines in the darkness that has been revealed in its grossest revelation through prophecy? So that we might know what our darkness is and then not become overwhelmed with that darkness but learn to focus on Jesus and conquer and be an overcomer.

Amen.

Posted on August 22, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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