Participants: Lyndi Schwartz
Series Code: 15ASIC
Program Code: 15ASIC000009A
00:22 Introductory music...
00:51 Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
00:57 Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
01:03 Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
01:07 Call for songs of loudest praise.
01:11 Teach me ever to adore Thee,
01:16 May I still Thy goodness prove,
01:21 While the hope of endless glory
01:26 Fills my heart with joy and love.
01:30 Here I raise my Ebenezer,
01:36 Hither by Thy help I've come,
01:43 And I hope by Thy good pleasure
01:48 Safely to arrive at home...
01:53 Safely to arrive at home.
01:58 Jesus sought me when a stranger,
02:06 Wandering from the fold of God,
02:15 He to rescue me...
02:20 He to rescue me from danger
02:27 Interposed His...
02:33 precious blood...
02:40 precious blood,
02:47 precious... blood...
02:59 O, to grace how great a debtor
03:03 Daily I'm constrained to be!
03:06 Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
03:11 Bind me closer still to Thee.
03:17 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
03:21 Here's my heart... O, take and seal it;
03:23 Seal it for Thy courts above.
03:32 Seal it for Thy courts above...
03:40 Audience clapping.
03:44 Good morning, Sabbath School.
03:47 I hope there's going to be bells in heaven don't you?
03:52 Ring the bells of heaven... for heaven...
03:56 I have with me today Jim Rennie from Asian Aid,
04:01 he's the CEO for that Ministry...
04:02 far away ASI members are working all around the world,
04:06 Jim, we're so glad to have you here this morning
04:08 tell us about your ministry,
04:10 what do you do... what is your focus?
04:11 Well, my main activity is child sponsorship,
04:15 we take children based on need
04:18 and put them in Adventist Schools
04:20 in many countries in Asia,
04:23 we have over 3,000 children there... in Adventist Schools.
04:28 You've been involved in this ministry
04:31 for some years haven't you... it's not a new ministry,
04:34 3,000 young people to support in school is a lot of sponsors,
04:38 is that how it's done?
04:39 Yes, each child has a specific sponsor
04:44 and we're very heavily in India and Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
04:50 and we have just entered Myanmar,
04:52 the church in Myanmar has a huge need
04:55 and we've just had to take 800 children
04:58 so my need's not children... it's sponsors.
05:01 I see, Myanmar... that's former Burma...
05:04 I think we remember our history a little bit,
05:06 that's a challenging country to enter
05:09 and you're looking to help...
05:10 how many children are you going to help there?
05:12 Well, the church system in Myanmar
05:14 has about 8,000 children
05:16 and in Myanmar, the school outreach is critical
05:19 because they're not allowed to do public outreach,
05:23 the Army runs the Country but they have a good relationship
05:26 but the School System in Myanmar
05:29 is facing challenges
05:31 because the Government just made education free
05:34 so the church has asked for our help in Myanmar.
05:37 I see, well that... that is a challenge.
05:40 What other aspects of the ministry...
05:42 are you expanding in other areas?
05:45 Yes, we've just extended into a new project
05:48 called "Operation Child Rescue"
05:51 and Operation Child Rescue based in Bangalore... in India,
05:55 is involved in the rescue of children from beggary,
05:59 slave labor and girls from the sex industry.
06:03 Oh my! we hear about the...
06:06 we don't even like to hear about those stories
06:08 but we know that they're out there,
06:09 can you tell us, now that you've started this ministry,
06:13 do you have some experiences already?
06:15 Yes, well the first one is the one that's just fascinating
06:19 and heartbreaking
06:20 we have tied in with an
06:22 Adventist Rescue Scene here in Bangalore
06:24 and they're rescuing babies,
06:27 they have anywhere between 13 and 20 babies at a time
06:30 and it's heartbreaking to visit there
06:34 but we're actually really saving lives,
06:37 there's one little girl, Poomi,
06:38 Poomi was just found in a bush on the side of the road
06:42 and when we took...
06:44 they took her in, the Police brought her in...
06:47 she had a broken arm and wounds all over her body,
06:50 she would have died within the hour
06:53 so her life was... was changed...
06:56 How old are the babies...
06:57 when you say you found her in the bushes...
06:59 We believe... about three months...
07:01 Interviewer: Oh my!
07:02 the other one we have... and the pictures aren't there
07:06 but her name was Nalli... and the parents...
07:10 this was the fourth girl in the family,
07:14 and so, because of being a girl... sadly...
07:17 and because of shortage of money,
07:19 they sold her for a couple of thousand rupees
07:22 to a middleman,
07:23 he then sold the baby for 20,000 rupees
07:27 which is about 300 dollars to a gang
07:31 and it was just at the time that the police raided the gang
07:35 and so, she now is in the Home,
07:38 once again, we have no idea what would have happened to her
07:41 so it's a very exciting...
07:43 but man! when you walk into where those babies are,
07:47 it's pretty hard and heartbreaking.
07:49 So, Operation Child Rescue is really an exciting development
07:54 for us to be in, I could speak about the...
07:56 the rescuing the girls but...
07:58 come by and we're happy to share with you.
08:01 So, do you have school buildings and your own Facilities
08:05 or actually... because you sponsor them...
08:08 you're actually helping to integrate them
08:10 into our own Adventist Schools.
08:11 Yes, we own no schools or orphanages
08:14 all the schools... we're in about a 103 Adventist Schools
08:18 and the orphanages are all owned and run by the Church
08:23 and we're the funding and support Agency
08:26 to the sponsored children.
08:27 That's a very effective way
08:29 to do ministry because that way...
08:30 every dollar that comes to sponsor a child,
08:33 you're not having to pay for all the Facilities,
08:36 you're just directly being able to support them.
08:38 Well, the sponsorship's going
08:40 towards the operating of the Schools
08:42 but yes, and we're truly a supported ministry of the church
08:46 because about 85 percent of our funds go back to the church.
08:50 Well, now... you mentioned Nepal...
08:52 and we knew that Nepal has been in the news for...
08:58 and a very tragic disaster there
09:02 you've brought someone extra with you
09:04 to share a little bit this morning,
09:06 give us some good news that came out of Nepal
09:09 and that terrible calamity.
09:11 Well, as you are aware,
09:14 there was a terrible earthquake in Nepal
09:16 and Asian Aid has the privilege of being involved
09:18 with Scheer Memorial Adventist Hospital
09:21 which is the only Adventist Institution in Nepal
09:25 and as soon as the earthquake happened,
09:30 I contacted Dr. Dale Mole who
09:32 we're excited to have with us today,
09:35 he's the CEO and we said, we have to do something.
09:38 Now we're not normally in the emergency business
09:41 but because of our relationship
09:43 and I was just determined to move very quickly,
09:45 we contacted ASI who shared it with their mailing list
09:50 and also 3ABN who very generously promoted it heavily
09:55 on the Network and we set an objective of 200,000 dollars
10:01 and today we're just so excited that we can officially hand over
10:06 to Scheer Adventist Memorial Hospital
10:08 a check for 320,000 dollars.
10:11 Well God has blessed, Adventist people are so generous
10:17 they did more than you asked for,
10:19 thank you so much for sharing and thank you so much so...
10:22 do you want to make a comment?
10:24 Yes, just on behalf of the hospital staff
10:26 and especially... the people of Nepal...
10:29 I have to tell you, I am personally overwhelmed
10:33 by the generosity and support that we have received
10:38 from Asian Aid USA, ASI and 3ABN Network
10:42 and the generous donors in the viewing audience
10:46 so, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say, "Thank you. "
10:49 And we thank you also, thank you for your ministry.
10:52 Thank you.
10:53 Well, are you ready to travel to another part of the world
10:57 in this magic Sabbath School class of today?
11:00 So we go from... over in Asia...
11:04 we go now to the jungles of the Amazon
11:07 and we're welcoming today Brad Mills
11:09 who is a Nurse Practitioner who has a fantastic ministry
11:14 there on the Amazon River, it's a mighty river...
11:18 what is this... comparison of the river
11:21 in terms of the largest in the world
11:23 or near-largest in the world?
11:25 Good morning, happy Sabbath,
11:27 Pastor Cleveland, the Amazon River is actually
11:29 the second-largest river in the whole world
11:31 only second to the Nile...
11:33 and it has the most water... even more than the Nile
11:37 in all of its tributaries.
11:38 So, it's quite a river highway isn't it,
11:41 that goes for such a long distance,
11:43 well, I've had the privilege of visiting your ministry one time
11:47 and it's just so impressive when you see that huge waterway
11:51 and see you folks nestled there on the edge of the Amazon
11:55 with a little Mission Station,
11:56 tell us what your Lifesaver Mission...
11:59 Lifesavers Mission does for the work on the Amazon.
12:03 So we're based out of the city of Manous which is Brazil...
12:06 we work in the Amazon region of Brazil,
12:09 the city of Manaus is actually a city of 2 million
12:12 and the Country of Brazil
12:15 has one of the largest Adventist populations
12:17 of any country in the world
12:19 but when you get into the Amazon,
12:21 you can travel for days...
12:22 you can travel over thousands of kilometers by boat
12:25 and enter regions full of villages
12:28 that have never had an Adventist presence,
12:30 there are no Adventist churches, no Adventists have visited
12:32 and that's really where we're targeting
12:35 so we use boats, we use Health Clinics,
12:39 we use volunteers and travel on the boats
12:42 up and down the rivers to bring in anything...
12:44 anything that can open up a village
12:46 and our main objective is church planting among the Amazon.
12:50 Amen, well, you have been there
12:53 a number of years already haven't you...
12:55 and your wife and your two boys and...
12:57 We've been there almost eight years.
12:58 And so tell us about some of the projects that you're doing
13:02 and how that's opened up some doors for you...
13:04 and experience, we'd love to hear some stories.
13:06 Sure, so among the Amazon,
13:09 we have three different health clinics
13:11 which is very little where we staff with nurses,
13:14 physicians and dentists that come in as volunteers
13:17 and live in these areas,
13:19 we do them kind of as a post that will reach a whole region,
13:22 we put them strategically in areas
13:24 where there's no Adventist presence
13:26 and obviously the medical work as you all know
13:28 opens the doors,
13:29 besides medical work, we do educational work,
13:32 we do village development,
13:34 we've done so many fun things like going into a village
13:36 where there's not a single outhouse
13:38 in a village of more than 50 families
13:40 and help them in building outhouses
13:43 which is a whole educational process.
13:45 In one village we had a lady that said to her husband,
13:48 "I don't know why they think
13:49 they need a bathroom in the house"
13:51 and, you know, they would just walk out
13:53 in the jungle and use the bathroom
13:55 and so once we got a pioneer worker living in the village,
13:58 that had a bathroom in their house,
13:59 it wasn't about two months and the lady said to her husband,
14:01 "I want you to put one of those in our house too. "
14:04 That's amazing, so, while you traveled up the Amazon
14:07 a lot of times, do you sense a...
14:10 some kind of a providence sometimes when you're traveling?
14:13 Where to stop and when to stop and...
14:15 Absolutely, you know, we pray so much
14:17 because there are so many people...
14:18 there are so many villages...
14:20 and so we say, "Lord, lead us...
14:21 lead us where people are searching for truth"
14:23 and I'll share a story with you, one of our Bible Workers...
14:25 our Pioneer Bible Workers was living in a village,
14:28 they travel by dugout canoes,
14:30 which on some tributaries,
14:32 there's a small river and that's fine
14:33 and some of them are large,
14:35 he was working on one of the rivers
14:36 that's seven kilometers wide in some areas
14:40 so when you get into a storm,
14:42 you're looking at waves just like the ocean
14:44 and so he's in this little dugout canoe,
14:46 with this little motor behind and he got into a storm
14:49 as he was traveling to one of the villages
14:51 to do a Bible Study and he tried to weather out the storm
14:54 and the waves were getting bigger and he said,
14:56 "This boat's going under
14:57 so I've got to get to shore as quick as I can"
14:59 so he started coming to shore and there was a house there
15:03 and he stopped in front, he pulled up the canoe
15:05 far away from the water
15:06 so it wouldn't get filled with waves
15:09 and he walked up to the house in the pouring rain and said,
15:12 "I'm just passing by can I stop here?"
15:14 well Divine Providence was in this house...
15:17 this mother with her children was not from this area,
15:20 she actually had lived in a little jungle city
15:23 where her 16-year-old got involved in drugs
15:25 and one night... on the road, he got shot in the head
15:28 and so... imagine in a jungle city...
15:31 he was transported by boat which took a couple of days
15:35 to get to the hospital
15:36 where he was then put in the ICU
15:38 and he had several brain surgeries
15:39 and the Physician said, "He's not going to walk,
15:41 he's not going to talk, he's going to be a vegetable"
15:44 and this mother, who said,
15:48 "Is there any real... is there really a God?"
15:50 said, "Lord God, if you're out there, save my son"
15:53 and he walked out of the hospital
15:56 with half a head... the surgery they did...
16:00 he only has half a head now, he walked out of the hospital
16:02 talking, walking, and they went to this jungle
16:05 and they bought this house out in the jungle
16:08 that was closer to the city for further medical care
16:10 and she said, "Lord, you've saved my son,
16:12 now I want to know who you are
16:13 send someone to teach me Bible truth
16:16 and whoever that person is,
16:18 I want to see it in the Bible" so this day...
16:20 here our Bible Worker is traveling past...
16:22 gets in a storm, stops at her house
16:24 and he comes up and she says,
16:25 "Who are you and what are you doing?"
16:27 And he says, "Well, I live in this village,
16:28 we're working in this village development
16:30 and I'm actually going into another village
16:31 to do a Bible Study"
16:33 and she said, "You do Bible Studies?"
16:34 And he said, "Yeah"
16:35 and she said, "Teach me about the Bible"
16:37 so he said, "Well, let's sit here
16:40 while we're in this storm and talk... "
16:41 and she said, "I've been reading in the Bible
16:44 and I read something about the Sabbath,
16:45 do you know anything about that?"
16:47 And it was so exciting, he came back and shared with us
16:50 so, I went and met this family, the 16-year-old with half a head
16:54 can't remember things, he has a problem with memory
16:59 when he started studying the Bible
17:00 he remembers everything he studies
17:02 and he's now giving Bible Studies
17:03 to the village that's closer to him
17:05 and when I met him, he came and he said to me,
17:07 "I... I... I... I want to be a missionary"
17:09 it was so exciting to see that.
17:12 Oh my! isn't that wonderful
17:14 an unintentional stop on a village because of the storm...
17:18 the storm that brought him to that very special experience,
17:22 any other quick story? We have just a few seconds,
17:25 I know that families are there, they need education,
17:29 can you just give us a thought, what are you hoping to do
17:31 to help young people have an education?
17:34 Sure, well the Lord has provided us with a piece of land
17:37 in one of the jungle settings,
17:38 that we're... working with the local church
17:40 in the Union right now to open up a boarding school
17:43 in the jungle, Adventist families...
17:46 once they become Adventists
17:47 or those that are Adventists have no option for education
17:51 and so we're moving by faith right now
17:53 to start a school that would be able to provide
17:55 Adventist Education for people that live in the jungle as well.
17:58 Amen, you know there's a long history
18:00 of Adventist work on the Amazon River,
18:02 I think the Halliwells would be proud
18:05 of what you're doing Brad... and your family,
18:06 we thank you for Amazon Lifesavers.
18:10 Amen, God bless you.
18:11 Good morning... members and friends of ASI
18:17 my name is Jeremiah Weeks,
18:19 I am the new Director of ShareHim.
18:21 ShareHim is an evangelistic ministry
18:24 of the Carolina Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists
18:27 and this morning on behalf of
18:30 ShareHim... on behalf of the Carolina Conference,
18:32 on behalf of our Founder and Director Emeritus,
18:36 Elder Bob Folkenberg, also, one of our dedicated
18:40 team members, Pastor Benny Moore and our entire team,
18:43 I want to say a great big thank you.
18:46 Thank you for your support of young people
18:50 in evangelism
18:51 there is no better investment I can think of
18:55 than encouraging and mentoring and aiding
18:59 a young person to get involved in sharing Jesus Christ.
19:03 This year, ASI... you helped in a major way,
19:08 so many different projects,
19:11 so many that involve young people
19:12 in particular helped ShareHim with a...
19:15 what in fact was the largest project we've done to date.
19:20 In the month of June, we took about 230 young people,
19:24 young adults, primarily from Europe,
19:27 Australia and New Zealand
19:29 for two weeks of evangelistic preaching,
19:33 each one of those young people
19:34 preached an entire two-week evangelistic campaign
19:37 in Southern Mexico in 13 different cities...
19:40 we have a few maps that show where they come from,
19:45 they come from parts of the world
19:48 where to be honest... the Christian church
19:50 including the Seventh-day Adventist Church
19:53 has struggled in growth
19:55 and often it's not growth... it's decline...
19:57 Australia and New Zealand... our next map here...
20:01 several from Central Europe,
20:03 you can see their ages even there,
20:06 also from the UK and from Ireland...
20:07 The Republic of Ireland, our next map
20:09 and then our final map shows
20:12 so many that came from Europe... as a whole...
20:16 you helped make this possible, young people from Italy,
20:19 from France, from Belgium, The Netherlands,
20:22 from Finland
20:23 and at the close of this event in Southern Mexico,
20:28 we had the privilege of bringing these young people... over 200
20:32 to the General Conference Session in San Antonio,
20:36 here they are meeting in
20:37 what was the Nominating Committee Room
20:39 but here... filmed with our ShareHim Team
20:42 and it was a privilege to be with them all in one place,
20:45 Elder Wilson and others were with us
20:48 just a few weeks ago there in San Antonio
20:51 these young people will be changed
20:54 and are changed through this experience
20:56 they will never forget it
20:59 and it was a privilege
21:01 working with them and seeing the passion
21:03 that is growing in their hearts to share Jesus
21:06 especially in their number one mission field
21:09 right where they live.
21:11 In closing, I want to share a story with you,
21:15 this is a story of Lisa... she was one of six young ladies,
21:20 she came from Finland and preached with us,
21:22 the Mentor of that group told me
21:26 this has made a real impact,
21:28 some of these young ladies are
21:30 looking at changing their career
21:32 so they can be more active in sharing Jesus
21:35 and I want to share with you now, Lisa's story,
21:38 again, thank you so much.
21:48 more music...
21:52 some more music...
21:56 My name is Lisa and I come from Finland.
21:59 I live in the countryside, we have like... two neighbors
22:02 and I'm the fourth child... youngest...
22:05 and I'm still in High School,
22:07 I came to God... one year ago...
22:09 I signed up for this
22:10 without really realizing what I was doing
22:12 and here I am.
22:14 It was great to go to Mexico and preach,
22:18 every day we start with morning devotion
22:20 and after that... I usually go through the...
22:22 I read about the sermon for a few hours
22:24 about seven o'clock we'll leave to that church
22:28 and my taxi driver and translator
22:30 will come with me, when we get there,
22:32 those people are really excited to meet me
22:34 and we have that worship and the sermon
22:37 and people pray and after that...
22:39 they chat with me and we... chat for a while...
22:42 I decided to go to this program
22:44 because spreading the gospel is really important to me,
22:48 when I go... get back to Finland
22:50 I think that one thing I will remember is
22:53 that I had my first sermon two weeks ago
22:56 and now when I look at it back,
22:58 it is not... at the moment, it is so natural
23:00 to just go there and spread the gospel... it's easy...
23:03 and when you ask the Father that "Please give me the words
23:05 I got to do this by myself... "
23:07 words just start coming out of your mouth...
23:09 and it's amazing, it's...
23:10 it just lets you know that God is with you
23:13 and now when I get back to Finland,
23:14 I know that He will be with me in Finland too
23:17 so when I preach... I... there's nothing to be afraid of
23:19 because He is with me.
23:24 Welcome to Washington State
23:27 and welcome to ASI.
23:29 Today I have been asked to present...
23:34 on the Sabbath School topic
23:37 and it's the book of Esther.
23:39 When I discovered the topic of the lesson...
23:44 the content of the lesson on the book of Esther
23:48 as I looked through the quarterly
23:51 I kept pointing and saying,
23:52 "Well, why couldn't it be this topic,
23:54 why couldn't it be that topic,
23:56 those are so much better than the book of Esther"
24:00 and I was quite concerned
24:01 but you know God is good and He knows what He's doing
24:04 and He never fails.
24:06 The topic for today is, "For Such a Time as This"
24:09 and before we get started... let's bow our heads for prayer.
24:13 Father in heaven,
24:15 we need an outpouring of your Holy Spirit
24:19 this morning, on me as well as on your people,
24:24 we ask that your Word comes alive
24:27 to our hearts and our hearts to your Word
24:31 that we may receive the blessing that you have for us today
24:35 for Jesus' sake, amen.
24:38 As I mentioned, our topic for today
24:41 is "For Such A Time As This"
24:43 it's covering the content of the book of Esther.
24:47 It turns out that the Book of Esther
24:49 is the only book in the Bible where the name of God
24:55 is not mentioned,
24:56 although God is all over the Book
24:59 so I want you to begin to turn in your Bibles
25:05 to the Book of Esther,
25:06 we will take a helicopter look at this book
25:11 although we won't cover every verse,
25:14 we will skim over the passages so we get some idea.
25:19 I had a thought
25:22 that the Bible and Seventh-day Adventists
25:26 have looked at the Bible in terms of the cosmic conflict.
25:30 The great controversy themes
25:33 and certainly the book of Esther, is no exception.
25:37 That theme runs also through this book
25:40 and so we're going to look at it in that context today.
25:43 We'll be skimming over, as I mentioned
25:45 until we get to chapter 4.
25:47 The setting is Medo-Persia and the questions is,
25:53 "Why Medo-Persia?"
25:54 The Bible tells us that the army of Cyrus
25:57 presented itself before the walls of Babylon,
26:01 The Jews held captive there,
26:03 so it is a sign of deliverance from captivity
26:06 and that their deliverance, in fact, was drawing nigh,
26:09 because for more than a century before his birth,
26:13 Inspiration had mentioned Cyrus by name.
26:17 Isaiah chapter 45 records some of these words
26:21 and they are really quite inspirational... things such as,
26:25 "Thus says the Lord to His anointed...
26:28 to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held,
26:30 I have called you by your name,
26:33 I have named you though you have not known me"
26:37 Ellen White says that Cyrus read these words
26:41 and his heart was deeply moved
26:44 and he determined to fulfill his divinely appointed mission.
26:48 So there was a decree that he sent out
26:51 50,000 of the children of the captivity
26:54 responded and returned to their own land
26:57 but Ellen White points out that thousands...
27:01 hundreds of thousands... the vast, super majority,
27:05 stayed behind in the land of their exile
27:08 not having zeal enough for God's house
27:11 and not wanting to undergo the hardships of the return journey.
27:15 One would think... that despising that wonderful
27:19 provision of God, that He would exclude them
27:23 from the special protection of providence,
27:28 but do you remember in the Book of Exodus,
27:32 when Moses asked God to show him His glory,
27:37 Moses... the Lord said to him...
27:39 "The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious,
27:43 longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth... "
27:47 that "abounding and goodness" in the original language
27:50 means, "Hesed,"
27:52 Hesed means... "a love that will not let you go"
27:55 and so God continued, Ellen White tells us...
27:58 through manifold agencies,
28:00 to plead with the exiles to return
28:02 and Zechariah pled with them, "Please leave Babylon now"
28:07 and that's how we find ourselves in Medo-Persia
28:11 and the children of the captivity still present there.
28:15 It has near us, Xerxes the Great,
28:18 he was the king and we find him in chapter one
28:21 and Ellen White points out that because they did not leave,
28:27 now they were facing a momentous crisis,
28:31 they were facing death.
28:33 Chapter 1 tells us that during his...
28:36 the third year of Xerxes the Great's reign,
28:39 there was a lavish feast that was provided
28:41 lasting seven days,
28:43 everyone great and small was invited
28:46 to this lavish feast,
28:48 one thing was a problem,
28:49 Queen Vashti displeased the King...
28:52 in fact the verse says that "the King's anger burnt in him"
28:57 against Queen Vashti.
28:58 She was dismissed from her position as Queen
29:02 and now he needed a new Queen and Chapter two lays out for us
29:07 the auditioning process for having to get a new Queen.
29:11 Chapter two tells us that all these women
29:15 were lovely and beautiful and young... they were virgins
29:20 and there was one in particular, Esther, she was a Jew,
29:24 raised by her devout, Jewish cousin
29:28 and foster father, Mordecai, of the tribe of Benjamin.
29:32 The Biblical record states that she was lovely and beautiful
29:37 but she was a woman of principle,
29:40 possessed... of remarkable self-control,
29:43 what a wonderful quality to possess... self-control,
29:47 she had humility and practical noble self-sacrifice,
29:52 when it was her turn to go before the King,
29:55 the record says that she requested nothing
29:58 and because of her beauty and her character,
30:00 she became Queen.
30:02 There's another key player in this story
30:05 and that is Haman.
30:07 Haman was a prince
30:10 and he attained to an even higher position
30:14 in the King's Government, above all the Princes.
30:17 Once that happened,
30:19 the King demanded... or commanded...
30:22 that everyone bow down, worship him
30:25 and pay him homage.
30:27 Esther Chapter 3 verse 5... it tells us that Mordecai
30:33 refused to worship anyone but the God of heaven.
30:37 And so, because of that,
30:39 Haman's heart was filled with wrath against Mordecai
30:43 that he did not bow to him or to worship him
30:46 and he devised a plan to execute Mordecai
30:50 and to destroy all the Jews.
30:53 It's quite of a very dramatic
30:56 punishment for someone who wouldn't worship you.
31:00 In Chapter 6, we find Haman again,
31:03 now he's in the Outer Court of the King's palace
31:06 and he wants to ask the King permission
31:08 to hang Mordecai on a Gallow that he had constructed.
31:14 Coincidentally, the King was awake
31:17 and he went and spoke to him, and Haman presented his request.
31:21 The King said to him,
31:25 "You know I have somebody I want to honor"
31:27 and Haman thinking, you know,
31:29 "I am the guy... there is nobody more deserving than I am...
31:33 so here's the plan, King, I want you to...
31:37 to provide a royal robe that you have worn,
31:41 a horse on which you have ridden,
31:43 with a crest on the horse's head
31:46 and parade honoree and horse
31:49 through the streets of Medo-Persia. "
31:53 Haman's heart was lifted up,
31:57 he aspired to the highest place of honor
32:00 and pursued it by destroying others.
32:04 I want you to note two things, first of all,
32:08 worship of Haman was commanded by the King,
32:12 secondly, Haman's heart was lifted up,
32:15 there's a quote I want to read you from the Desire of Ages,
32:19 it will appear on the screen,
32:21 Ellen White says that the exercise of force
32:25 is contrary to the principles of God's government;
32:29 He desires only the service of love;
32:33 and love cannot be commanded;
32:36 it cannot be won by force or authority.
32:39 Only by love is love awakened.
32:43 Another quote in Patriarchs and Prophets,
32:46 she tells us, "God desires from His creatures
32:49 the service of love...
32:52 service that springs from an appreciation
32:55 of His character.
32:57 He takes no pleasure in forced obedience;
33:00 and to all He grants freedom of will,
33:04 that they may render Him voluntary service. "
33:09 It's interesting that as we look at Haman,
33:13 we see several principles
33:15 that began to awaken in Haman's heart
33:18 that is one of the principles in the cosmic conflict
33:22 and that's the principle of self-exaltation.
33:25 This slide, which will come up on the screen,
33:29 shows us some of these things,
33:30 this is an ominous sign,
33:36 however, praise the Lord, here it is,
33:39 "The Self-Exalting Principle"
33:41 one of the principles in the great controversy,
33:45 she says, "Little by little,
33:48 Lucifer came to indulge a desire for self-exaltation.
33:52 Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. "
33:58 That's in The Great Controversy.
34:00 In Isaiah we find words such as this,
34:03 "How did this happen to Lucifer?"
34:05 Isaiah says, "How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,
34:09 son of the morning! how has this happened?"
34:12 And then, recorded a few words where it says,
34:14 "You have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven,
34:18 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
34:21 I will also sit on the mount of the congregation,
34:24 I will ascend above the heights...
34:26 in fact, you know what?
34:27 I will be like the most High"
34:30 and then... the last line on there...
34:33 I'm sorry this slide was taken off,
34:35 she says that this was... sin originated in self-seeking.
34:40 As we look at that, we recognize that Lucifer...
34:45 the principle of Lucifer... that self-exalting principle...
34:49 was in the heart of Haman.
34:51 Ezekiel also tells us
34:53 that Lucifer was perfect in all his ways
34:56 until iniquity was found in him and what was the iniquity?
35:01 The Bible tells us, "his heart was lifted up. "
35:05 This is the self-exalting principle...
35:07 the self-centered principle and in fact,
35:11 this is the root, the foundational principle
35:14 of evil in all of our hearts.
35:16 But there was another principle and it's in Esther chapter 4
35:20 and I want you to turn now into Esther, chapter 4,
35:25 this is very important, Esther, chapter 4,
35:28 Esther, Job, Psalm,
35:32 and in Esther chapter 4
35:35 Mordecai gets the message about what is going on
35:38 and he begins to mourn in sackcloth and ashes
35:42 and Esther asked what's going on,
35:44 she sends a messenger,
35:45 he sends a message back that all the Jews have been commanded
35:48 to be destroyed
35:50 and he gave a copy of the decree to the messenger
35:54 to give to Esther, I want you to notice
35:56 in verse 10 and 11, what happened at this point,
35:59 Esther spoke to Hatach and gave him a command
36:03 for Mordecai, the command was this,
36:06 "All the Kings servants and the people of the King's provinces
36:10 know that any man or woman
36:13 who goes into the inner court of the King,
36:16 who was not been called, he has but one law
36:19 and that is... he would be put to death"
36:22 I read in these words, Esther said,
36:25 "This is really scary, I'm not going to do this,
36:28 I've not been called now for three months
36:30 for 30 days... I can't do this. "
36:33 And then we read in verses 14 and 15,
36:36 something remarkable.
36:39 In verse 13 it says that
36:41 Mordecai told them to answer Esther,
36:44 "Do not think in your heart
36:46 that you will escape in the King's palace,
36:49 any more than all the other Jews,
36:51 for if you remain completely silent
36:55 at this time,
36:57 relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews
37:01 from another place
37:02 but you and your father's house will perish,
37:05 yet, who knows,
37:08 whether you have come to the kingdom
37:10 for such a time as this. "
37:12 Esther begins to recognize that
37:17 there is something important about this mission,
37:21 this is not now...
37:22 just about her... and her own safety and her salvation,
37:26 this is for something bigger than herself
37:29 and the call is going to be significant.
37:32 Let's keep reading, verse 15,
37:35 once Esther heard the inspiring command of Mordecai,
37:41 "You have been called to the kingdom
37:44 for such a time as this... " verse 15 says,
37:48 "Esther told them to return this answer to Mordecai,
37:52 'Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan
37:56 and fast for me, neither eat nor drink
38:00 for three days, night or day:
38:03 my maids and I will fast likewise;
38:05 and so I will go to the king which is against the law:
38:08 and if I perish, I perish. '"
38:12 I can see two things going on in verse 16
38:16 and verse 11,
38:18 on the one hand there's an attempt for self-preservation
38:22 and somehow by the miracle of God,
38:25 by verse 16, she recognizes, "You know what?
38:28 There's something more important than my own life
38:32 and that is the life of my people. "
38:34 She begins to intercede for her people
38:36 and she develops a spirit of self-sacrifice,
38:40 "If I lose my life in this attempt to save my people,
38:44 then so be it... " the fate of an entire nation
38:48 hung on that single decision to lose her life.
38:52 That decision on the side of self-sacrifice
38:56 was the only remedy
38:59 for the self-exalting principle of Haman.
39:01 I want to summarize where we've been.
39:05 The Jews were now in Medo-Persia,
39:07 they shouldn't have been there,
39:10 God had asked them to leave and they did not leave
39:12 and by His love that will not let them go,
39:16 he has now provided and is going to provide for them.
39:20 There's a slide, thanks to Dan Halton,
39:23 that I want to show you, it is a slide of Nathan Greene,
39:28 it's Jesus Christ interceding for the world,
39:33 this picture has captivated my heart.
39:36 I'm going to read the verse on the bottom of this slide
39:40 but as we look at this picture of Jesus Christ
39:43 interceding for mankind,
39:45 it occurred to me that as He is praying for us,
39:49 He is praying because each of us in our hearts,
39:52 have in our hearts the principle of Haman,
39:56 that's a self-exalting principle and he's praying,
39:59 I want to read what it says,
40:00 John chapter 12, verses 24 and 25,
40:03 "Most assuredly, I say to you,
40:05 unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,
40:09 it remains alone;
40:11 but if it dies, it produces much grain.
40:14 He who loves his life will lose it;
40:17 and he who hates his life in this world
40:20 will keep it for eternal life. "
40:22 The principle of self-sacrifice
40:24 is a principle that is willing to lose life.
40:29 I want to focus on the greater realities,
40:34 we know the story about Esther and the outcome of that decision
40:37 to save others rather than just herself
40:40 and I want to focus on these greater realities.
40:45 There's a quote that Ellen White has in the Desire of Ages,
40:49 page 20, and it says this,
40:53 "It will be seen
40:56 that the glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ
41:00 is the glory of self-sacrificing love.
41:03 In the light of Calvary it will be seen
41:06 that the law of self-renouncing love
41:09 is the law of life for earth and heaven;
41:12 that the love which 'seeketh not her own'
41:15 has its source in the heart of God... "
41:18 I want to
41:23 read to you something
41:26 before we look at this next slide
41:30 although we couldn't put the slide up...
41:32 about Jesus in Gethsemane and this slide, likewise,
41:37 I think is a very important slide,
41:39 I want you to focus on the picture
41:41 of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane.
41:43 I'm going to read something here from the Desire of Ages,
41:47 "When Jesus Christ was in Gethsemane... "
41:50 I want you to picture him in his agony and grief
41:56 and I want to read something here from the Desire of Ages.
41:59 "Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan
42:03 as having no special bearing on their own life
42:07 and for them, it is of little interest
42:10 but within the domain of every human heart,
42:14 this controversy is repeated. "
42:17 What's the controversy?
42:18 It's this idea of self-exaltation
42:21 versus self-sacrifice
42:23 and why is this in the... in the case of Jesus Christ?
42:27 In our humanity,
42:29 Christ was to redeem Adam's failure,
42:32 but when Adam was assailed by the tempter,
42:35 notice this very carefully,
42:36 "None of the effects of sin were upon him... " that's Adam,
42:40 "he stood in the strength of perfect manhood,
42:44 possessing the full vigor of mind and body,
42:48 it was not thus with Jesus, for 4,000 years,
42:51 the race had been decreasing in physical strength
42:55 and in mental power and in moral worth
42:57 and Christ took upon Him the infirmities
43:00 of degenerate humanity
43:02 and only thus could He rescue the race.
43:05 Jesus Christ was in the fight of His life
43:07 and actually, the conflict of the ages,
43:10 was for our lives.
43:11 As I read through these things on Gethsemane,
43:15 I want you to focus on this slide
43:18 and what Jesus Christ went through.
43:22 She tells us, "Behold Him contemplating
43:25 the price to be paid for the human soul,
43:29 in His agony, He clings to the cold ground
43:33 as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God.
43:36 Terrible was the temptation
43:40 to let the human race bear the consequences
43:43 of its own guilt... while He stood innocent before God.
43:47 Again, the Son of God was seized with super human agony
43:51 and fainting and exhausted He staggered back to the place
43:55 of His former struggle,
43:56 His suffering was even greater than before
43:59 as the agony of soul came upon Him,
44:02 His sweat was as it were
44:03 great drops of blood falling to the ground,
44:06 a short time before,
44:08 Jesus had stood like a mighty Cedar,
44:11 withstanding the storm of opposition
44:14 that spent its fury on Him.
44:15 He stood forth in divine majesty as the Son of God.
44:20 Now, He was like a reed beaten and bent by the angry storm. "
44:25 Now she goes through some very important things
44:27 and she says here, "The humanity of the Son of God,
44:32 trembled in that trying hour
44:35 He prayed not now for His disciples
44:37 that their faith might not fail
44:40 but for His own tempted agonized soul.
44:43 Christ, even now,
44:46 might have refused to drink the cup
44:47 apportioned to guilty man it was not yet too late,
44:50 He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow
44:53 and lead men to perish in his iniquity,
44:55 He might say,
44:57 'Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin,
45:00 I will go back to my Father,'
45:02 three times He prayed, 'Oh my Father,
45:05 let this cup pass from me but now... '"
45:08 she says, "the history of the human race
45:11 comes up before the world's Redeemer,
45:14 He sees that the transgressors of the Law
45:17 if left to themselves, must perish.
45:20 He sees the helplessness of man,
45:22 He sees the power of sin,
45:24 the woes and lamentations of a doomed world
45:27 rise before Him,
45:28 He beholds its impending fate and His decision is made,
45:32 He will save man at any cost to Himself. "
45:37 Doesn't this sound just like Esther?
45:40 "If I perish, I perish" and His decision was made.
45:44 I want to tell you that as Seventh-day Adventists,
45:49 we have a message that is so powerful
45:52 to be given to the world
45:53 and I believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church
45:57 has been called to the Kingdom for such a time as this.
46:01 This quote in the Christ's Object Lessons page 415
46:05 in case it doesn't come up on the screen right away,
46:09 Ellen White says in this quote,
46:11 "It is the darkness of misapprehension of God
46:15 that is enshrouding the world.
46:17 Men are losing their knowledge of His character.
46:21 It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. "
46:25 She says, "At this time
46:27 a message from God is to be proclaimed,
46:30 a message illuminating in its influence
46:33 and saving in its power...
46:34 the last rays of merciful light,
46:37 the last message of mercy to be given to the world,
46:40 is a revelation of His character of love.
46:43 The children of God are to manifest His glory.
46:47 In their own life and character
46:50 they are to reveal
46:52 what the grace of God has done for them. "
46:54 Elsewhere, Ellen White points out
46:56 that the message that was given
46:59 at the Minneapolis General Conference,
47:01 she said that that message, portrayed and proclaimed
47:04 an uplifted Savior
47:06 that presented not only justification
47:09 but asked us to receive the righteousness of Christ
47:12 made obedient to all the commandments of God.
47:15 Brothers and Sisters, I believe that today,
47:18 the Seventh-day Adventist Church
47:19 has been raised up "for such a time as this,"
47:22 to present a message that's illuminating in its influence
47:25 and saving in its power.
47:27 Speaker is looking at her notes...
47:33 As we contemplate these things,
47:38 we are aware that there are, in our own hearts,
47:45 things that are vying for supremacy
47:48 and self-sacrifice versus the self-emptying principle
47:58 and so, I wanted to look a little bit
48:03 at the disciples themselves.
48:06 Up until Thursday afternoon of Passion Week,
48:12 Jesus appeared to be a failure.
48:17 Some people,
48:19 thought that perhaps He was successful
48:22 and that was because He had done a few miracles
48:25 and a few things like that but as He looked at His life...
48:30 it was the last week of His life,
48:33 and for all intents and purposes,
48:36 few people really comprehended
48:39 what His ministry really was all about.
48:41 If you had one week
48:44 and you were at the very last week of your ministry
48:46 after three-and-a-half years
48:47 and your disciples who would spread the gospel...
48:50 carry on your work had no idea what you were up to,
48:54 how would you feel?
48:55 Jesus was about to face the cross
48:58 and His disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest
49:03 and for three-and-a-half years with them,
49:06 Jesus Christ had spent that time
49:09 trying to explain this principle of self-sacrifice
49:13 and self-emptying love and service
49:17 by any rational measure, He was a failure.
49:21 As they argued about who was the greatest,
49:24 this wasn't a little issue, it was the issue
49:28 that had started all of sin in the first place
49:33 and after three-and-a-half unsuccessful years
49:38 of publicly demonstrating
49:40 the principle of selfless service,
49:43 Jesus said, "I'll try it one more day. "
49:48 It was going to be the most stunning example
49:52 of faith that the universe has ever seen.
49:57 Faith that God was right faith that this would work,
50:01 faith that somehow
50:03 in the hearts and minds of humanity,
50:06 we would grab hold of this principle
50:09 of self-sacrifice, self-emptying love
50:11 and we would be transformed
50:13 and yet Jesus... in the next 24 hours...
50:20 what He was to do wasn't going to be the same
50:24 as he'd always done,
50:25 yes, he'd demonstrate the principle of selfless service...
50:28 one more day,
50:30 but this time He went to the extreme...
50:33 He was all in "sink or swim"
50:36 Selflessness would forever be defined
50:40 by what He was to do in those next 24 hours,
50:44 there's a graph that I'd like to show,
50:48 it's called the "Hockey Stick Graph"
50:49 and this graph shows something that I think is important,
50:54 if you look at this Hockey Stick Graph,
50:57 you see the horizontal line where something is going on,
51:01 this graph has been used to demonstrate things like
51:04 temperature changes
51:05 or poverty changes and those kinds of things,
51:08 but I want to use this graph to demonstrate what happened
51:11 in the life of Jesus the three-and-a-half years
51:15 and then... that final day.
51:17 If you look at the horizontal line,
51:19 that's the shaft of the hockey stick,
51:21 nothing is going on
51:22 but all of a sudden some event happens
51:25 and as you see,
51:26 that line going up diagonally there,
51:30 something dramatic happened
51:31 and I want to tell you that what happened in the
51:35 experience of the disciples had to be the uplifted Savior.
51:38 You know the story of Gethsemane... the betrayal,
51:41 we talked about some of the passage... in Gethsemane
51:44 but Jesus Christ, on the cross,
51:50 when He cried out,
51:51 "My God, my God... why have you forsaken me?"
51:54 And the disciples are witness to some of these things
51:58 and I just want to read
52:00 some of the things Ellen White said about this,
52:02 she says that the guilt of every descendent of Adam,
52:07 was pressing upon His heart,
52:09 the wrath of God against sin,
52:11 the terrible manifestation of His displeasure
52:14 because of iniquity... filled the soul of His Son
52:17 with consternation,
52:19 she says that the withdrawal
52:22 of the Divine countenance from the Savior,
52:23 in this hour of supreme anguish, pierced His heart with a sorrow
52:28 that can never be fully understood by man.
52:31 She said that Satan...
52:33 Satan with his fierce temptations,
52:36 wrung the heart of Jesus,
52:38 the Savior could not see through the portals of the tomb,
52:41 all these things were weighing in on Jesus
52:44 as He was facing the final hour
52:46 and when He said,
52:47 "My God, my God... why have you forsaken me?"
52:50 That was not an act,
52:52 he felt abandoned... forsaken of God.
52:56 This example of selflessness
53:00 is the ultimate gift of Jesus to the universe,
53:04 not just because He was saving mankind in the process,
53:08 but because the influence of selflessness
53:11 is the greatest gift that He could give to anyone
53:15 and why is that?
53:16 Because the light of Calvary...
53:20 it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love
53:24 is the law of life for earth and for heaven
53:27 that the love that seeketh not her own
53:30 has its source in the heart of God.
53:33 That influence... sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ,
53:37 then shown forth with a clarity
53:40 impossible to achieve before then
53:43 changing the lives and hearts
53:45 of the eleven disciples forever,
53:47 and changing the world and the universe as well.
53:50 At 9:30 on a July evening in 1988,
54:00 a disastrous explosion and fire
54:04 happened on an oil drilling platform
54:07 in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.
54:10 One hundred and sixty six crew members
54:14 and two rescuers died,
54:15 there were 63 crew members that survived,
54:19 one of them was Andy Mochan, a Superintendent on the Rig,
54:23 the explosion and the alarms awakened him
54:26 and he was badly hurt but he escaped from his quarters
54:30 to the edge of the platform,
54:32 as he looked down 15 stories
54:34 into the cold, frigid waters of the North Sea,
54:38 he saw twisted steel and debris
54:42 littered on the surface of the water
54:44 and he knew that if he jumped,
54:46 he would survive 20 minutes without rescue,
54:50 he looked to his right hand and he saw flames,
54:54 he looked on his left hand and he saw flames,
54:58 he looked behind him and he saw flames
55:00 and he made a decision to jump into the frigid waters,
55:05 when he was asked,
55:07 "Why did you jump into the frigid waters?"
55:13 He said, "Well, I faced two possibilities
55:18 one of them was possible death or certain death...
55:23 I could jump or fry... so I decided to jump. "
55:30 If we look at the life of Queen Esther,
55:34 her burning platform was recognizing
55:37 that the lives of her people were in jeopardy
55:40 and the question is,
55:43 "What will our burning platform be?"
55:47 Ellen White makes a comment...
55:53 before we show the last two slides,
55:54 she says that the heaven-appointed purpose
55:58 of giving the gospel to the world
56:01 in this generation is the noblest
56:03 that can appeal to any human being.
56:06 Millions upon millions have never so much as heard of God
56:11 or of His love revealed in Christ,
56:13 it is their right to receive this knowledge
56:17 to answer their cry,
56:19 to every household upon whom has show the light
56:23 of the gospel comes at this crisis,
56:26 the question put to Esther the Queen...
56:28 at that momentous crisis in Israel's history.
56:32 "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom
56:35 for such a time as this?"
56:37 But then she continues with two paragraphs
56:40 that I want to read to you that I want to be on the screen
56:43 because these, I think, are our burning platform.
56:47 "Those who think of hastening or hindering the gospel
56:52 think of it in relation to themselves
56:55 and to the world.
56:58 Few think of its relation to God.
57:00 Few give though to the suffering
57:03 that sin has caused our Creator.
57:05 All heaven
57:07 suffered in Christ's agony;
57:10 but that suffering did not begin or end
57:13 with His manifestation in humanity.
57:16 The cross is a revelation to our dull senses
57:20 of the pain that from its very inception,
57:24 sin has brought to the heart of God.
57:26 Every departure from the right...
57:29 every failure of humanity to reach His ideal,
57:33 brings grief to Him. "
57:35 "Our world is a vast lazar house,
57:39 a scene of misery that we dare not allow
57:43 even our thoughts to dwell upon.
57:46 Did we realize it as it is,
57:49 the burden would be too terrible.
57:51 Yet God feels it all.
57:54 In order to destroy sin and its results
57:58 He gave His best Beloved,
58:00 and He has put it in our power,
58:02 through co-operation with Him,
58:04 to bring this scene of misery to an end. "
58:07 Brothers and Sisters,
58:09 I believe that we have been called to the Kingdom
58:12 for such a time as this.
58:16 ASI Spokane, Washington.