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Last Day Events – Are They Relevant? October 27, 2011

Posted by amministry in Bible Studies.
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Last Day Events – Are They Relevant?

We ask that you take the time to thoroughly examine the facts before drawing any conclusions. Most importantly we desire that through prayer, you would seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and allow the Word of God to speak for itself.

In this study we will we will use the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy (SOP) as our authority.

 

     1). Does the Christian need to maintain a genuine relationship with Christ?  “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”  John 15:4-10.

Note.  In the above verses Jesus counsels His followers to abide in Him, thus Christ stresses the importance of having an abiding relationship with Him.

“Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness,–all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with Him, daily, hourly,–by abiding in Him, –that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the Author, but the Finisher of our faith. It is Christ first and last and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way. David says, ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ Psalm 16:8.

“Do you ask, ‘How am I to abide in Christ?’ In the same way as you received Him at first. ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.’ ‘The just shall live by faith.’ Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ’s sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ’s, and by faith you are to grow up in Him–by giving and taking. You are to give all,–your heart, your will, your service,–give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all,–Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper,–to give you power to obey.

“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.

“A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there should be an abiding, peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might. So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell upon self, but look to Christ. Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection, of His character. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, Christ in His matchless love –this is the subject for the soul’s contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness.”—SC 69-71.

Note.  There are many other statements in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy (SOP) confirming this fact.

 

    2). Does a relationship with Christ set aside His counsel to understand and know, or watch the Signs of the Time?  “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”  Matthew 24:3.

    

     Note.  The disciples were interested in knowing the signs that would foretell end time events and His coming. We will clearly see from the following verses that Christ considered it important for both them and generations to come to understand these end time events.  “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these [are] the beginning of sorrows…. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” Matthew 24: 4-8, 15-19.

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. ‘When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,’ said Jesus, ‘then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out.’ Luke 21:20, 21. After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But God’s merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour’s warning. Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestius, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city….

“Thousands perished from famine and pestilence. Natural affection seemed to have been destroyed. Husbands robbed their wives, and wives their husbands. Children would be seen snatching the food from the mouths of their aged parents. The question of the prophet, ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child?’ received the answer within the walls of that doomed city: ‘The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.’ Isaiah 49:15; Lamentations 4:10. Again was fulfilled the warning prophecy given fourteen centuries before: ‘The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, . . . and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.’ Deuteronomy 28:56, 57….

“The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God’s mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens, and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future. The records of the past,–the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the ‘battle of the warrior . . . with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood’ (Isaiah 9:5),– what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan’s rule….

“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Jesus declares: ‘There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.’ Luke 21:25; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-26; Revelation 6:12-17. Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to ‘know that it is near, even at the doors.’ Matthew 24:33. ‘Watch ye therefore,’ are His words of admonition. Mark 13:35. They that heed the warning shall not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, ‘the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5.

“The world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Saviour’s warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world’s progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security–then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, ‘and they shall not escape.’”—Verse 3.—GC11 30, 32, 36-38.

Note. The Hebrews who remained in Jerusalem after the sign foretold by Christ had been revealed were the careless and those who ignored His counsel concerning this event.  How obviously necessary then is it for us in these perilous times, as we look forward to the coming of Christ, to pay attention to the signs that disclose this event.

     3). What bearing does having an understanding of the signs of the times have to do with our relationship with Christ?  “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand….  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”  Luke 21: 25-30, 34-36.

     Note. As a result of knowing and understanding end time events we are driven to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ.  We are admonished in the above verses to watch (study) and to pray that we might be prepared for these events and ready for His coming.

“Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King. “When these things begin to come to pass,’ He said, “then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’ He pointed His followers to the budding trees of spring, and said: ‘When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.’ Luke 21:28, 30, 31.

“But as the spirit of humility and devotion in the church had given place to pride and formalism, love for Christ and faith in His coming had grown cold. Absorbed in worldliness and pleasure seeking, the professed people of God were blinded to the Saviour’s instructions concerning the signs of His appearing. The doctrine of the second advent had been neglected; the scriptures relating to it were obscured by misinterpretation, until it was, to a great extent, ignored and forgotten. Especially was this the case in the churches of America. The freedom and comfort enjoyed by all classes of society, the ambitious desire for wealth and luxury, begetting an absorbing devotion to money-making, the eager rush for popularity and power, which seemed to be within the reach of all, led men to center their interests and hopes on the things of this life, and to put far in the future that solemn day when the present order of things should pass away.

“When the Saviour pointed out to His followers the signs of His return, He foretold the state of backsliding that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly business and pleasure seeking–buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage–with forgetfulness of God and the future life. For those living at this time, Christ’s admonition is: ‘Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ Luke 21:34, 36.

“The condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Saviour’s words in the Revelation: ‘Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead’And to those who refuse to arouse from their careless security, the solemn warning is addressed: ‘If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee’ Revelation 3:1, 3.

“It was needful that men should be awakened to their danger; that they should be roused to prepare for the solemn events connected with the close of probation. The prophet of God declares: ‘The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?’ Who shall stand when He appeareth who is ‘of purer eyes than to behold evil,’ and cannot ‘look on iniquity’?–Joel 2:11; Habakkuk 1:13.”’—GC11 308-310.

 

     “The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger….

“God’s message for the inhabitants of earth today is, ‘Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ Matthew 24:44. The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God’s judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another–fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.”—PP 277-278.

“More than ever before I have been made to feel that our churches need the messages of warning which God has given to arouse them to a sense of their responsibility. Amid the dense darkness that covers the earth, every ray of light that has come from heaven must shine forth. The warnings and entreaties of the word of God and the fulfillment of prophecy in events daily taking place around us are but dimly comprehended by many who profess to believe the present truth. Satan would have men sleep, while he is actively at work sowing the seeds of error. Every eye in the unfallen universe is bent on the scenes unfolding before us, — the final scenes of the great controversy, — the consummation of the long struggle of evil against good, of hell with heaven. Satan with his miracle-working power is to deceive the world of the ungodly. But Christ, the atoning sacrifice, will be a refuge to every soul that trusts in Him. In the cleft of the Rock we may hide, secure from all the power and arts of the wicked one.”—Ellen White 1888 Materials 802.

We may deduce from the evidence here presented that it is essential to know current events as they pertain to prophecy because it preserves us from deception and prepares us for what is to come, which in effect causes us to have a more intimate relationship with Christ.

 

This is a brief synopsis of this subject; we could not put all of the passages of Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy pertaining to the importance of knowing end time events in a single study.

 

Abbreviations:

 

GC11 – Great Controversy (the), 1911 Edition

PP – Patriarchs and Prophets

SC – Steps to Christ

Please feel free to copy and use this Bible Study.  Do not alter or change the content.

 

Angel Messenger Publishing

egliterature@yahoo.com

 

Copyright © 2010 Everlasting Gospel Literature

 

 

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