Bible Picture Pathways

Who Are We? 

by Cobus Fourie

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.” – Revelation 12:17

Revelation 19:10 - “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” – Revelation 19:10

We are the Remnant, the last part of Christ’s Church, who still keeps ALL God’s commandments and have the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Bible gives another description of the last Church or the Remnant in the Bible.

Revelation 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;” Revelation 3:14

When we do a study on the first three chapters of Revelation we will see that Christ’s Church from the early Church until the Second Coming is divided in the 7 Churches of Revelation. The Last Church or the Remnant is called Laodicea. This message given by Christ to us is important. Let’s see what it says about our state. 

What State are we in? 

Revelation 3:15-17  - “ I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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:” – Revelation 3:15-17 

Yes we are the Remnant, yes we are Laodicea, the last Church of Christ before the Second Coming BUT we are not in a good state. We have an attitude of “I am Rich, Increased with goods, and have need of nothing”, we think because we are in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, all is good. We have nothing to worry about. We think we are saved by association. We think the mere fact of being a member of the SDA Church will give us a free pass to Salvation. 

Notice this statement:

1. Laodicean Message for Adventists.

Bible Commentary Volume 7, Page 961 

--The message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time, but has not been heeded as it should have been. When the work of repentance is earnest and deep, the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven.

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

 

Oh, how many behold things in a perverted light, in the light in which Satan would have them see.  {7BC 961.7}

You may manifest great zeal in missionary effort, and yet because it is corrupted with selfishness, and tastes strongly of self, it is nought in the sight of God; for it is a tainted, corrupted offering. Unless the door of the heart is open to Jesus, unless He occupies the soul temple, unless the heart is imbued with His divine attributes, human actions when weighed in the heavenly balances, will be pronounced "Wanting." The love of Christ would make you rich; but many do not realize the value of His love. Many do not realize that the spirit which they cherish is destitute of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, destitute of the love that would constitute them channels of light (MS 33, 1894).  {7BC 961.8}

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” – 2 Peter 3:11

 

Peter is saying, seeing that everything in this world is going to be burned to a stubble, should we not be concentrating more on being people of holy conversation and godliness? Should this not be our major concerns?

 

Has God Made a Mistake?--The Laodicean message is applicable to the church at this time. Do you believe this message? Have you hearts that feel? Or are you constantly saying, We are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing? Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been given to this nation to be carried to all the nations of the world? God has chosen a people and made them the repositories of truth weighty with eternal results. To them has been given the light that must illuminate the world. Has God made a mistake? Are we indeed His chosen instrumentalities? Are we the men and women who are to bear to the world the messages of Revelation fourteen, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who are standing on the brink of ruin? Do we act as if we were (MS 51, 1901)?  {7BC 961.9}

 “Weighty and eternal results” – God has given us a light, a work to do. It is a very important work and the result of it bears eternal results, while we are occupied with what the world has to offer, all the pleasures of this world, people are perishing. There are churches in this town far more active than us, the Kingdom of Darkness is advancing claiming souls for the eternity while the light of God’s Kingdom is hidden away in a small, withered bar.

2. Bible Commentary Volume 7, Page 959

To the church of the present day this message is sent. I call upon our church members to read the whole of the third chapter of Revelation, and to make an application of it. The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies especially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen [Rev_3:14-18 quoted] (RH Aug. 20, 1903).  {7BC 959.5}

First she asks a question, do we live the way a chosen people is suppose to live? Then she answers it by saying we have become so much like the world that almost no difference can be seen.

There’s this saying “If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it most definitely is a duck”.

Brothers and Sisters if we walk and talk like the world, if there is almost no difference between us and the world, then are we not THE WORLD?


Our Work?

1. …“to bear to the world the messages of Revelation fourteen, to proclaim the message of salvation”… {7BC 961.9}

 

She says we are to proclaim the message of Salvation to the world which is the messages of Revelation fourteen. This is our commission given by Christ Himself. His last message to us as Christians before he Ascended to our Father in Heaven, was to proclaim the message of salvation to the whole world.

Matthew 28:18-20 -  “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.” – Matthew 28:18-20

But she likened this commission for the message of Salvation unto Revelation fourteen:

Revelation 14:6-11  - “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having (1) the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, (2) Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, (3) If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:6-11

Notice the message we are to give, is that the Judgment Is come, not will come, we are, since 1844 already living in the time of Judgment. How can we still be sleeping in such a time as this. God is now weighing us, trying our hearts to see whether we love Him and whether we are obedient to His laws.

Brothers we are asleep behind the wheel of a truck in the middle of the night on a slippery mountain pass with very narrow roads, and a drop that no one could survive, while our lights are off. It’s time for us to wake up.

We are to preach the Gospel (The Good News), we are to preach about Babylon the Harlot Church and her daughters and her false doctrines. We are to preach and warn people of the “Mark of the Beast”, The “Sunday Laws” that is to come. We are to warn the people to come out from Babylon. This is the Three Angels Message.

When we do a Prophecy Study on the Sunday Laws and we will, we will see that when those laws are implemented, when they are enforced on the people, then the probation for us as Seventh-Day Adventists closes, those still clinging to the world will be lost. We need to be ready, if we don’t have the characteristics of the Saints then we will not make it.

Revelation 14:12  - “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” – Revelation 14:12

Brothers and Sisters this is what we need to be doing as a people, as the Remnant of Christ’s Church. 

We have to prepare our lives according to the Word of God and we also need to be faithful Watchmen, warning the people.

Ezekiel 33:1-11  -“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” – Ezekiel 33:1-11

We see here that not only are we to prepare ourselves, not only do we have to turn away from our sins BUT we need to warn our Brothers and Sisters, we need to warn the world.

Let’s look at the message John the Baptist gave:

3. The Elijah Message.

Bible Commentary Volume 4. 1184 --In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. Just such a work as that which John did, is to be carried on in these last days. The Lord is giving messages to His people, through the instruments He has chosen, and He would have all heed the admonitions and warnings He sends. The message preceding the public ministry of Christ was, Repent, publicans and sinners; repent, Pharisees and Sadducees; "for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Our message is not to be one of peace and safety. As a people who believe in Christ's soon appearing, we have a definite message to bear,--"Prepare to meet thy God."  {4BC 1184.6}

Our message must be as direct as was that of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. Notwithstanding the peril his life was in, he never allowed truth to languish on his lips. Our work in this age must be as faithfully done. . . .  {4BC 1184.7}

In this time of well-nigh universal apostasy, God calls upon His messengers to proclaim His law in the spirit and power of Elias. As John the Baptist, in preparing a people for Christ's first advent, called their attention to the Ten Commandments, so we are to give, with no uncertain sound, the message: "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." With the earnestness that characterized Elijah the prophet and John the Baptist, we are to strive to prepare the way for Christ's second advent (SW March 21, 1905).  {4BC 1184.8}

 We should not be worried about being mocked, persecuted or to suffer for the Lord. We have a work to do, we have to strive to prepare the way by preaching the Three Angels messages,  to preach repentance and the Second Advent of Christ. Can we take this message to the world if we do not obey God’s commandments? Our Lord is coming, are we ready to meet Him?

4. 1888 Materials 1025

--One matter burdens my soul: The great lack of the love of God, which has been lost through continued resistance of light and truth, and the influence of those who have been engaged in active labor, who, in the face of evidence piled upon evidence, have exerted an influence to counteract the work of the message God has sent. I point them to the Jewish nation and ask, Must we leave our brethren to pass over the same path of blind resistance, till the very end of probation? If ever a people needed true and faithful watchmen, who will not hold their peace, who will cry day and night, sounding the warnings God has given, it is Seventh-day Adventists. Those who have had great light, blessed opportunities, who, like Capernaum, have been exalted to heaven in point of privilege, shall they by non-improvement be left to darkness corresponding to the greatness of the light given? {1888 1025.3}

She says that there is a great lack of love for God among us because of our continual resistance of light given by God. If we do not accept the light given we can not grow as Christians and will not be prepared for Christ’s coming.

Should we let our Brothers and Sisters resist the light until it is too late, until they end up crucifying our Saviour? NO, God says we are to be faithful watchmen, sounding warnings day and night.

We are given ample light, ample resources, if we do not make use of it, if we do not grow, we will be left in Darkness.

There is so much to say on being obedient, being a light for the people, witnessing and spreading the Gospel BUT unless we understand what motivates us, all is vanity. If we do not know why we are doing something we won’t have that zeal in us necessary to finish the work

 

Our Power and Motivation?

Jeremiah 31:3  - “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”- Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD loves us with an everlasting love and with this love He draws us unto Himself.

John 12:32, 33 -And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” John 12:32, 33

Jesus said that when He was to be lifted up from the earth He will draw all men unto Himself. John tells us that Christ was referring to the death that Christ was to die. So what death did Christ die?

John 19:15-18  - “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.” – John 19:15-18

Christ was crucified on the Cross. The Bible says that this love, the everlasting love, by which God draws us to Himself, this love was manifested on the cross. We are drawn to Christ by this act of Sacrifice on the cross, this act of everlasting love.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Paul tells us that the preaching of this act, the preaching of this everlasting love, the preaching of the cross is indeed the POWER OF GOD.

Romans 1:16  - “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16

He continues to say that that this act on the cross, this manifestation of the Everlasting love God has for us, this preaching of the cross is the Gospel, which is the Power of God.

We are to preach the cross, to take the gospel, the Power of God, to the World.

John 3:16  - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

We read in this well known verse that it’s because of this love towards us that God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us

1 John 4:19 - “We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

It is because of this love that we love God, we love God because He loves us.

5. The Adventist Home, 425 

The most careful cultivation of the outward proprieties of life is not sufficient to shut out all fretfulness, harsh judgment, and unbecoming speech. True refinement will never be revealed so long as self is considered as the supreme object. Love must dwell in the heart. A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep heart-love for his Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ springs an unselfish interest in his brethren.  {AH 425.4}

We see now that it is our love for God that motivates us to spread the Gospel, to work for Christ, it is our love for God that makes us active in the preaching of the cross to the world. We can only have the zeal to finish this important work if we understand that it is our love for God that motivates us, and that we can only have this love for God if we understand and appreciate the love He has for us. 

In closing I want to end with the following statements from the book “Great Controversy”

In Conclusion

6. Great Controversy, 452-454 

The prophet thus points out the ordinance which has been forsaken: "Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord." Isaiah_58:12-14. This prophecy also applies in our time. The breach was made in the law of God when the Sabbath was changed by the Roman power. But the time has come for that divine institution to be restored. The breach is to be repaired and the foundation of many generations to be raised up.  {GC 452.4}

   Hallowed by the Creator's rest and blessing, the Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in holy Eden; by Adam, fallen yet repentant, when he was driven from his happy estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs, from Abel to righteous Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob. When the chosen people were in bondage in Egypt, many, in the midst of prevailing idolatry, lost their knowledge of God's law; but when the Lord delivered Israel, He proclaimed His law in awful grandeur to the assembled multitude, that they might know His will and fear and obey Him forever.  {GC 453.1} 

 From that day to the present the knowledge of God's law has been preserved in the earth, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been kept. Though the "man of sin" succeeded in trampling underfoot God's holy day, yet even in the period of his supremacy there were, hidden in secret places, faithful souls who paid it honor. Since the Reformation, there have been some in every generation to maintain its observance. Though often in the midst of reproach and persecution, a constant testimony has been borne to the perpetuity of the law of God and the sacred obligation of the creation Sabbath.  {GC 453.2} 

These truths, as presented in Revelation 14 in connection with "the everlasting gospel," will distinguish the church of Christ at the time of His appearing. For as the result of the threefold message it is announced: "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." And this message is the last to be given before the coming of the Lord. Immediately following its proclamation the Son of man is seen by the prophet, coming in glory to reap the harvest of the earth.  {GC 453.3}

  Those who received the light concerning the sanctuary and the immutability of the law of God were filled with joy and wonder as they saw the beauty and harmony of the system of truth that opened to their understanding. They desired that the light which appeared to them so precious might be imparted to all Christians; and they could not but believe that it would be joyfully accepted. But truths that would place them at variance with the world were not welcome to many who claimed to be followers of Christ. Obedience to the fourth commandment required a sacrifice from which the majority drew back.  {GC 454.1

 

7. Great Controversy, 458-459 

It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But "they could not enter in because of unbelief." Heb_3:19. Because of their backsliding and apostasy they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the Promised Land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.  {GC 458.1}


Now as in former ages, the presentation of a truth that reproves the sins and errors of the times will excite opposition. "Everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John_3:20. In view of this, what is the duty of the messenger of truth? Shall he conclude that the truth ought not to be presented, since often its only effect is to arouse men to evade or resist its claims? No; he has no more reason for withholding the testimony of God's word, because it excites opposition, than had earlier Reformers. The confession of faith made by saints and martyrs was recorded for the benefit of succeeding generations. Those living examples of holiness and steadfast integrity have come down to inspire courage in those who are now called to stand as witnesses for God. They received grace and truth, not for themselves alone, but that, through them, the knowledge of God might enlighten the earth. Has God given light to His servants in this generation? Then they should let it shine forth to the world.  {GC 459.1}

 

Brothers In closing, we are to be the light in darkness, we are to take the good news to the world. It is a COMMAND from God, not a suggestion. The quicker we start doing it, the quicker we all can go home. Now none of us would really prefer to remain in this sinful world?

We need to be a light for Luderitz, we need to be a light for the South, we need to be a light for Namibia.

Let’s start working, let’s take each other’s hands and finish this work together.

Brothers I have a 7 point plan to start us off with. Those willing to let go of the world, those willing to dedicate him-or herself to the work of the Lord, you can either come see me after the sermon or during the week.

Let’s start preparing ourselves and the world for the Coming of our Saviour.

Amen.