Participants: Taj Pacleb
Series Code: 15GYC
Program Code: 15GYC000002A
00:36 Good morning, everyone.
00:38 We are so excited that we can all be here today
00:41 to come together,
00:43 to be with each other to spend time with Christ
00:48 on this very last day of the year.
00:51 And to realize that we are all a called generation
00:56 to serve the Lord.
00:57 Please join us as we'll be singing
00:58 some songs together.
01:00 Our first song this morning will be
01:02 "Wonderful Words of Life,"
01:04 so we invite you to raise your voice
01:06 and praise to God this morning with us.
01:16 Sing them over again to me Wonderful words of life
01:23 Let me more of their beauty see Wonderful words of life
01:29 Words of life and beauty Teach me faith and duty
01:35 Beautiful words, wonderful words
01:39 Wonderful words of life
01:42 Beautiful words, wonderful words
01:46 Wonderful words of life
01:49 Christ, The blessed One, gives to all
01:53 Wonderful words of life
01:56 Sinner, list to the loving call
01:59 Wonderful words of life
02:02 All so freely given Wooing us to heaven
02:08 Beautiful words, wonderful words
02:12 Wonderful words of life
02:16 Beautiful words, wonderful words
02:19 Wonderful words of life
02:22 Sweetly echo the gospel call Wonderful words of life
02:29 Offer pardon and peace to all Wonderful words of life
02:35 Jesus, only Savior Sanctify forever
02:42 Beautiful words, wonderful words
02:45 Wonderful words of life
02:48 Beautiful words, wonderful words
02:52 Wonderful words of life
02:56 Please join us in our theme song.
02:59 Amen, please stand.
03:14 Once to every man and nation
03:19 Comes the moment to decide
03:25 In the strife of truth with falsehood
03:30 For the good or evil side
03:35 Some great cause, God's new Messiah
03:40 Offering each the bloom or blight
03:46 And the choice goes by forever
03:51 'Twixt that darkness and that light
03:57 Then to side with truth is noble
04:02 When we share her wretched crust
04:08 Ere her cause bring fame and profit
04:13 And 'tis prosperous to be just
04:18 Then it is the brave man chooses
04:24 While the coward stands aside
04:29 Till the multitude make virtue
04:34 Of the faith they had denied
04:40 By the light of burning martyrs
04:45 Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track
04:51 Toiling up new Calvaries ever
04:56 With the cross that turns not back
05:01 New occasions teach new duties
05:07 Time makes ancient good uncouth
05:12 They must upward still and onward
05:17 Who would keep abreast of truth
05:23 Though the cause of evil prosper
05:28 Yet the truth alone is strong
05:34 Though her portion be the scaffold
05:39 And upon the throne be wrong
05:44 Yet that scaffold sways the future
05:49 And, behind the dim unknown
05:55 Standeth God within the shadow
06:00 Keeping watch above His own
06:12 You may be seated.
06:13 Good morning GYC.
06:15 Good morning.
06:16 You can do better than that.
06:17 Good morning.
06:19 Good morning. Amen, amen.
06:20 Did you sleep well?
06:22 The few hours that you were actually in your bed,
06:25 I trust and pray that God was with you last night,
06:29 and I appreciate you being here early this morning
06:32 something that I personally appreciate about GYC
06:35 is that there is a blessing all day long
06:38 from the morning to the evening,
06:39 and you will not want to miss out
06:41 on the morning devotional and the reason why is that
06:44 we are incredibly blessed to have speaker Taj Pacleb.
06:49 Taj Pacleb is the director and speaker
06:51 for Revelation of Hope Ministries
06:54 and he and his wife Wati
06:56 have the privilege of traveling around the world
06:59 sharing the gospel.
07:00 And Taj was not born into a Christian home,
07:05 but at the age of 16,
07:07 because of a Bible prophecy seminar,
07:09 he fully gave his life to Jesus.
07:13 And because of that decision
07:15 he has been sharing
07:17 the end time message of hope ever since then.
07:20 And I love what it says here in your booklet
07:23 about Taj Pacleb, it says,
07:25 "He and his wife's mission is to change
07:27 the population of heaven one soul at a time.
07:32 By sharing the hope, health
07:35 and harmony of heaven in all the world."
07:38 And praise God for his message.
07:40 He'll be speaking every single morning at GYC.
07:43 So this morning, Friday morning,
07:46 Sabbath morning, and Sunday morning at 7:30,
07:49 so I encourage you to invite your friends,
07:51 we know that there are more attendees than this.
07:53 Sometimes, it's hard getting their breakfast,
07:55 getting out of the room,
07:57 but I encourage you to bring your friends with you,
07:58 and I know that this will be a blessing.
08:00 So why don't we bow our heads and ask God
08:03 to be with us as we begin.
08:09 thank you, thank you, thank you
08:13 for being a God,
08:15 that is incredibly interested in lowly man.
08:21 Lord, we are but dust
08:23 and you still know the hairs on our head.
08:26 You still have incredible care and concern,
08:30 and love for each person here,
08:32 and Father, I pray that
08:33 You would pour out your Holy Spirit
08:35 on these morning devotionals.
08:37 I pray that you would speak through Taj.
08:39 And I pray that our hearts
08:41 would be open to Your working.
08:44 Lord, we give You permission to do
08:46 an awesome work here at GYC.
08:49 And this is not about the speakers,
08:51 this is not about us, this is about You.
08:53 And so we give You all the honor
08:55 and glory this morning.
08:57 We love You,
08:58 we invite Your presence to be here with us
09:01 as we continue to worship You,
09:03 and Father, would You silence the noise of our heart,
09:07 the distractions,
09:08 and we want to turn our eyes upon Jesus
09:12 in your name, amen, amen.
09:32 Time measured out my days
09:38 Life carried me along
09:44 In my soul I yearned to follow God
09:51 But knew I'd never be so strong
09:56 I looked hard at this world
10:00 To learn how heaven could be gained
10:08 Just to end where I began
10:12 Where human effort
10:15 Was all in vain
10:21 Were it not for grace
10:27 I can tell you where
10:30 I'd be Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
10:38 With my salvation up to me
10:43 I know how that can go
10:49 The battles I would face
10:55 Forever running but losing the race
11:01 Were it not for grace
11:10 So here is all my praise
11:16 Expressed with all my heart
11:22 Offered to the Friend who took my place
11:29 And ran a course I could not start
11:34 And when He saw in full
11:38 Just how much His love would cost
11:44 He still went the final mile between me and heaven
11:51 So I would not be lost
11:57 Were it not for grace
12:03 I can tell you where I'd be
12:09 Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
12:15 With my salvation up to me
12:20 I know how that can go
12:26 The battles I would face
12:31 Forever running but losing the race
12:37 Were it not for grace
12:44 Forever running but losing the race
12:51 Were it not for grace.
13:02 All right.
13:04 Good morning GYC.
13:05 Good morning,
13:08 I didn't hear anyone respond.
13:10 Is it a good morning?
13:11 Good morning.
13:13 All right.
13:14 I want to just share that it's a very high honor
13:16 and a great privilege to stand before you here this morning,
13:18 and sharing in the morning devotionals.
13:20 I want to thank God first and foremost
13:22 as well as the GYC team
13:24 for orchestrating this wonderful opportunity
13:26 for us to come to press together
13:29 in preparation for our Lord Jesus' soon return.
13:31 How many are thankful to be here at GYC.
13:35 To begin this morning,
13:36 I want to make a few comments upon this year's theme,
13:39 "Called, Chosen, and Faithful."
13:42 These solemn words come from a very powerful prophecy
13:46 in the Book of Revelation 17.
13:48 A prophecy pointing to a time
13:50 when the nations of the world are going to come together,
13:54 not in a one-world government
13:55 or some type of new world order,
13:58 but ecumenical unity were differences are going to be
14:01 put aside for the common good of all.
14:04 It's a time when the nations will come together in one mind
14:07 the Bible says, one goal, one intent,
14:10 one resolve, one agenda
14:13 and they're going to come together in unity and unity
14:16 sounds good in a world that is fragmented
14:18 and divided and torn apart.
14:20 But the Bible tells us in this solemn prophecy
14:23 in the 17th of Revelation
14:24 that the inevitable results of this unity
14:27 is that they're going to look upon the beast
14:30 and they're going to give their power
14:31 and strength to the beast, and it says,
14:33 that they're going to make war with the Lamb.
14:36 And as the world is coming together in unity
14:39 to fight against God and the truth of God
14:42 and ultimately the people of God.
14:45 The Bible tells us that
14:46 in this controversy the Lamb wins.
14:50 And they that are with him are called,
14:54 Chosen and Faithful.
14:56 I'm so thankful, friends,
14:58 that in this war between good and evil.
15:00 And as the world is coming together today,
15:02 to fight against God and the truth of God,
15:05 that we are on the winning team
15:07 when we're on the Lamb's team, amen.
15:09 That we don't have to be afraid of the beast,
15:11 as long as we are connected
15:14 with the wonderful Lamb, Jesus Christ.
15:18 And so this morning and the other,
15:21 in the following mornings
15:23 for our morning devotional time.
15:25 I want to share with you some messages
15:26 that have been crafted to remind us
15:29 that we don't have to be afraid of
15:30 what's happening in the last days.
15:32 We just have to be with Jesus.
15:34 We want to share some messages to remind us
15:38 of what it means to be, Called, Chosen and Faithful.
15:43 I want to share with you two messages really,
15:45 broke it up into four parts, that deal with that theme
15:48 and so this morning's presentation is entitled,
15:51 "Called, Chosen, But Unfaithful."
15:56 Called, Chosen, But Unfaithful.
15:58 I invite you to take your Bible
16:00 and open with me to the Book of Matthew.
16:02 And we're going to go to the 12 chapter
16:03 as we begin our Bible study this morning.
16:06 Matthew Chapter 12,
16:08 as we study, Called, Chosen, But Unfaithful.
16:13 Matthew Chapter 12,
16:15 and notice in this passage the scribes and Pharisees
16:18 and religious leaders of that during the days of Christ
16:22 presents a very vain and immodest requests
16:25 to the Lord Jesus.
16:27 Notice what it says here in Matthew Chapter 12,
16:30 beginning with verse 38.
16:32 But let us pray first.
16:34 Father in heaven, we thank You so much Lord,
16:36 for gathering us together as Your children in this place
16:40 that we might press together,
16:42 that we might draw closer to You,
16:45 and Lord, we just pray that your Holy Spirit
16:47 would fill this room, fill our hearts.
16:50 Give us clarity of thought
16:52 and an open heart to receive the message of this hour,
16:56 speak to us Lord,
16:57 not only corporately as a church,
17:00 but personally and individually as Your child.
17:04 This is our prayer in Jesus' name, amen.
17:08 Matthew 12:38,
17:11 if you are there and if you are ready to study
17:12 the Bible this morning,
17:14 would you let me know by saying amen.
17:17 The Bible says in Matthew 12:38,
17:18 "Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered saying,
17:21 "Teacher we would see a..."
17:24 ' What did they want?
17:26 "A sign from thee."
17:28 Here the Pharisees and scribes are asking Jesus
17:31 to perform some type of sign to prove His Messiahship.
17:36 Now we have to understand that these seekers were skeptical,
17:40 but they had no reason to be skeptical
17:42 because they had abundant evidence in the Word
17:45 of the character mission and identity of the Messiah.
17:49 These were the guardians of the Torah.
17:51 The expositors of the second writings.
17:54 These were the facilitators of the temple services
17:56 the shepherds of the flock of God,
17:58 the priests of the Most High.
18:00 These who have been entrusted with much light
18:03 must much knowledge are asking Jesus to perform
18:06 some type of silly sign,
18:08 some miracle to prove himself to them.
18:12 But Jesus response to this presumptuous prayer request
18:15 in verse 39, "And He answered and said to them,
18:18 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
18:22 and there shall no sign be given unto it."
18:26 Christ here refuses to satisfy the sight of their eyes.
18:31 He would not perform some type of miracle,
18:33 some silly sign to prove His Messiahship.
18:37 Because these religious leaders as I mentioned
18:40 already had sufficient evidence
18:42 that He was the Messiah in the prophetic word.
18:46 And therein,
18:47 in the Bible the scrolls of the prophets
18:49 was the character and identity of the Messiah reviewed.
18:53 But these religious leaders are like many religious leaders
18:56 and religious people today,
18:58 they instead of going by what the Bible clearly teaches,
19:00 they wanted to be satisfied with their eyes.
19:03 They want some type of outward demonstration,
19:06 some type of burning in the boot, bosom.
19:09 But Christ refused to do it, friends,
19:10 because our faith is not to be founded upon some sign
19:14 or wonder or miracle but upon the Word of God.
19:18 This is the foundation of faith.
19:21 Bible tells us,
19:22 "We walk by faith and not by sight
19:24 and faith comes by hearing
19:25 and hearing by the Word of God."
19:28 And so Christ refused to perform the miracle.
19:31 He performed many miracles
19:33 but He never performed the miracle to prove Himself.
19:38 Because miracles are not the evidence of true faith.
19:41 God wants us to live by the word.
19:44 However, there is one sign that Jesus would perform
19:49 that would unmistakably verify His identity.
19:54 Verify the fact that He is the Messiah,
19:57 and notice what this sign is in verse 39.
20:01 He continues the rest of verse 39,
20:03 "He said but the sign of the Prophet Jonas"
20:06 verse 40.
20:07 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights
20:09 in the whale's belly,
20:11 so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights
20:13 in the heart of the earth.
20:14 Then the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment
20:16 with this generation and shall condemn it,
20:19 because they repented at the preaching of Jonas,
20:22 and behold a greater than Jonas is here."
20:26 So here we find Jesus telling the Pharisees
20:29 that there is one sign that He would perform
20:32 that would verify His Messiahship.
20:35 And that was the sign of the Prophet Jonah.
20:38 In other words, Jonah or Jesus is likening
20:40 the experience of Jonah to that of himself,
20:43 as Jonah was three days and three nights
20:46 in the whale's belly.
20:47 So He would be three days and three nights
20:49 not in the grave but in the heart of the earth.
20:54 This my friends,
20:56 this singular sign is the sign
20:59 that Jesus gave to prove his Messiahship
21:02 and we're going to see today as well as tomorrow,
21:05 that it's the same sign
21:07 that proves our discipleship to Jesus.
21:12 It proves His Messiahship
21:14 but it also proves our discipleship.
21:17 We're going to see that this sign is the evidence
21:20 that we have been called and chosen.
21:23 But it's also the power
21:25 that enables us to be faithful in the last days,
21:29 and so the question is this.
21:30 What of Jonah teaches us about Christ?
21:34 And what of Jonah teaches us about ourselves?
21:38 Well now I invite you to take your Bible
21:40 and turn to the Book of Jonah.
21:42 As we look at this very famous story
21:47 and see some things that perhaps
21:48 you've never seen before.
21:50 Notice what the Bible says,
21:51 we're going to the Book of Jonah Chapter 1.
21:54 And as you're turning there,
21:55 first of all who was Jonah?
21:57 He was a prophet of God.
21:59 He was the runaway prophet of the Lord,
22:01 but nonetheless he was one that God had called
22:04 and chosen to do a special work.
22:06 Jonah is a worshipper of the true God.
22:09 He did not worship idols.
22:11 He was the worshipper of Jehovah the true God,
22:13 but the question is,
22:15 what constitutes a true worshipper of God.
22:18 Well, Jesus told us in the Book of John Chapter 4,
22:22 "That the true worshippers
22:23 worship God in spirit and truth."
22:28 Not just in spirit, not just in truth
22:30 but both of these two things together
22:32 constitute a true worshipper of God.
22:37 This is who Jonah is,
22:39 for notice in his very name we find his identity
22:44 and by extension his mission and his message.
22:47 Notice Jonah Chapter 1:1, the Bible says,
22:50 "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of..."
22:54 What is his daddy's name?
22:57 Now I want you to stop right there.
22:59 That word Jonah in the original,
23:01 it means dove.
23:04 That's what the word Jonah means,
23:06 it means dove.
23:08 Now what is the dove a symbol of in the Bible?
23:11 It's a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God.
23:15 And the Bible tells us
23:16 that Jonah's father's name was Amittai,
23:18 and that word Amittai
23:20 in the original Hebrew it means,
23:22 ''My truth''.
23:24 What does it mean everyone?
23:26 My truth and so when you look at the very name of Jonah
23:29 which means dove, a symbol of the spirit,
23:31 the son of Amittai, my truth,
23:33 we see that in Jonah's very name
23:36 we find his identity.
23:38 He is a son of truth
23:39 that is to be feared with the spirit,
23:41 a true worshipper that worships God
23:43 in spirit and in truth.
23:45 At least this is what he was called
23:50 and chosen to be.
23:53 In other words, his identity is found in his very name,
23:57 which by extension points out his mission
24:00 and defines his message.
24:02 In other words, Jonah's message is rooted,
24:04 friends, listen, listen to the point.
24:06 Jonah's message is rooted in his name or his identity.
24:12 He is to be a messenger of spirit and truth
24:16 and that's the same for us.
24:18 Now what specifically is Jonah's message?
24:20 Well, let's jump down to verse 9
24:22 Jonah Chapter 1.
24:24 And notice what Jonah said in verse 9.
24:27 This is when he was on the boat speaking to the mariners
24:30 and he said to them, "I am a Hebrew,
24:35 and I do, what everyone,
24:38 fear the Lord, the God of heaven,
24:41 who, did what, made the sea and the dry land."
24:46 So notice what Jonah says here is his message.
24:49 "I am a Hebrew," this is who I am.
24:51 This is my identity and by extension of who I am,
24:55 I fear God the one that made the sea
24:59 and the dry lands,
25:00 the true creator that made all things.
25:03 I fear God the one that made all things.
25:05 And by the way when Jonah went to Nineveh,
25:07 he gave a message of judgment, did he not?
25:10 Basically when he came to the kingdom of Nineveh,
25:14 Jonah's message was that
25:16 the hour of God's judgment is come.
25:20 And so when you put that all together,
25:22 that sounds very familiar, doesn't it?
25:24 I fear God, the one that made all things
25:26 and I'm here to tell you
25:28 that the hour of His judgment is come.
25:29 Friends, this is exactly
25:31 what the first angel declares
25:33 in Revelation 14:7.
25:35 The point is this, friends,
25:37 Jonah's message is very similar to ours,
25:40 our message and our identity is the same as that of Jonah.
25:45 God is calling us, friends,
25:46 not only to be recipients of the message
25:49 but He's calling us to be participants of the mission.
25:53 We're not always to be on the receiving end.
25:55 God wants us
25:57 and He's calling us to be on the giving end.
25:58 And so if you receive the gospel,
26:00 if you've heard the truth,
26:02 if you have been a recipient,
26:03 automatically that enrolls you to be a participant
26:07 because Christianity is not a spectator sport.
26:11 God is calling us to receive so that we can give,
26:15 and so the word came to Jonah first,
26:17 he received this commission.
26:19 And I want you notice what God called Jonah to do?
26:24 Verse 2, notice what it says.
26:27 What is the first word that the Word of God said Jonah
26:30 or called Jonah to do?
26:32 What is that first word in verse 2?
26:33 It says, "Arise".
26:36 Now, friends, I like that word Arise.
26:38 It's a word that calls us to come up higher.
26:42 You see when the word of God comes to us,
26:44 God's word is an uplifting word.
26:47 Man's word brings us down but God's word brings us up.
26:51 Whenever the word of God comes to us,
26:53 it's always a call to come up on higher ground.
26:56 It's a call out of the darkness of deception
26:59 and into the light of truth.
27:00 God's word and call to us is a call
27:03 to come up out of the valley of despair
27:05 to stand upon the mountain of hope.
27:07 It's a call to come out of the raging waves of worry
27:10 and on to the peaceful shore of calm assurance.
27:13 It's a word that calls us out of the bondage of bitterness
27:17 and into the freedom of forgiveness
27:19 out of the slavery of sin
27:21 and into the security of full salvation.
27:24 And so my brothers and my sisters,
27:25 today if you find yourself discouraged
27:28 by your depressing circumstances,
27:30 the Word of God calls you to arise.
27:34 Arise and be encouraged
27:36 but the reality that God is still the sovereign King,
27:40 sitting up on the throne of the universe
27:42 and come what may, He is still in control.
27:45 Arise, realizing that God can make a way
27:49 when there seems to be no way,
27:51 for he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
27:54 He can open the Red Sea like He did for Moses
27:58 and provide a plain path before your feet
28:00 or He will give you the power
28:02 to walk on water like Peter did as a rider of the storm,
28:06 and so I call you in the name of Jesus today to arise,
28:10 arise out of your discouragement.
28:13 If you feel yourself ridden with guilt and shame
28:15 because of the mistakes of your past,
28:17 God's word says to arise.
28:19 Arise and receive the blessed assurance
28:22 of the pardon and forgiveness
28:23 that is so freely offered to us in Christ.
28:27 Bible tells us that we can come to Jesus
28:30 just as we are broken,
28:33 filled with issues, messed up.
28:37 God's love accepts us just as we are,
28:41 but He loves us enough not to leave us as we are,
28:45 Stop allowing the devil to rub your past in your face,
28:48 arise and washed in the fountain
28:50 filled with blood flowing from Immanuel's veins,
28:53 because the blood of Jesus is the best detergent
28:56 to cleanse every stain of sin upon the garment of your life.
29:00 And so today,
29:01 if you're ridden with guilt and shame, arise.
29:05 If you find yourself enslaved by the power
29:06 of your own sinful flesh,
29:09 perhaps it's the paralyzing
29:11 addictions of drugs and alcohol.
29:14 Maybe it's the consuming fire of lust,
29:17 pornography, adultery,
29:20 fornication or for others
29:21 it could be the chains of materialism
29:23 in the form of gambling, wasteful spending
29:26 or selfish hoarding that holds you as a slave
29:29 in the bondage to your stuff.
29:32 Maybe it's the captivating lights
29:36 and screens of the entertainment of the world.
29:41 The computer screen or the TV screen
29:43 or your phone screen in the church.
29:45 Hollywood entertainment and social media
29:48 and worldly music all the sound bites
29:50 and the flashing lights,
29:51 whatever the sin, friends, big or small,
29:53 our sovereign God sees it all,
29:56 and today His word is calling us to arise.
29:59 Arise and recognize that Jesus' blood
30:02 not only pardons our path, past but it gives us power
30:05 to live a new life of victorious life
30:08 in the present.
30:09 Arise, stop eating the pig's food.
30:13 why will you live like beggars when your father is rich?
30:16 Arise like the prodigal son did
30:18 and go back to the father's home.
30:20 Arise and come back
30:22 because you've been gone for too long,
30:23 your father misses you.
30:25 His heart weeps for you,
30:27 and heaven is not going to be the same
30:29 if you're not there.
30:31 Arise, and let the father cover your wretchedness
30:35 with his perfect righteousness.
30:37 That's what God's word calls Jonah to do.
30:40 And, friends, when we do that,
30:42 we will see that the chains of bondage
30:44 will fall off from our hands
30:46 as we raise them up into surrender
30:49 to our great God of heaven.
30:50 For he, my friends, is the great chain breaker,
30:53 he is the burden lifter, the undefeated emancipator,
30:57 our faithful father, and so in the name of Jesus,
31:00 I call you today to arise.
31:04 That's what God called Jonah to do.
31:07 It was a call out of idleness and into action.
31:11 It was a call to not be afraid or ashamed of his name,
31:15 his identity, his mission and message.
31:17 It was a call to stand up and to stand out
31:20 and not be afraid to speak up
31:22 and speak out for the cause of Christ.
31:24 And so arise, arise and do what?
31:28 Notice, what is the very second word
31:31 God says to Jonah?
31:32 Arise and then the second word is what,
31:37 Arise and then go.
31:41 Why, friends, because where you are now is not
31:43 where you ought to be, so you have to go.
31:45 Go why, because you've been
31:47 spiritually stagnant for too long
31:49 and if you want to grow, you've got to go.
31:52 Go why because God says,
31:54 I know the thoughts that I think towards you,
31:56 thoughts of peace and not of evil,
31:58 to give you a future and a hope.
31:59 But you won't know unless you go.
32:03 Go why, because there is someone
32:05 that's waiting for your arrival.
32:07 Someone that needs to see the things
32:08 that your eyes have seen.
32:10 Someone that needs to hear the words
32:12 that your ears have heard.
32:14 Someone out there in the world
32:16 that must know the things that you know
32:18 and they won't know unless you go.
32:21 Go and share the message with others.
32:25 That's the same word Jesus said to the disciples,
32:27 isn't that right?
32:28 In that great commission the Lord said,
32:30 "Go to all nations and preach all things."
32:35 You see, friends, human nature is such
32:37 that we are so quick to spread bad news
32:42 and so slow to share good news,
32:44 isn't that right?
32:46 The gospel, that God is calling us to go
32:48 and give His good news, but why is it, friends,
32:51 that we are so hesitant to witness
32:53 and share the gospel.
32:55 You see many books have been written.
32:57 Many sermons have been preached.
32:59 Many seminars have been conducted
33:01 to teach people how to share their faith.
33:05 And yet despite all the books that have been written
33:07 and all the sermons that have been preached,
33:09 there is still a lack of laborers
33:13 to reap the great harvests
33:15 that's all around us.
33:16 And, friends,
33:17 I want to submit to us this morning,
33:19 that what we need is not so much
33:20 more opportunities to be trained.
33:23 What we really needed
33:24 and what we really lack is a personal encounter
33:28 and experience with the divine trainer.
33:32 There's lots of training available to us,
33:35 but what we lack is not training,
33:36 what we lack is an experience.
33:38 You see, my friends,
33:39 when you experience something good,
33:41 it's not hard to share with someone else.
33:44 If you tasted a good food,
33:46 it's not difficult to convince someone else to try it out.
33:52 The expression on your countenance
33:54 and the enthusiasm in your voice is enough
33:57 to convince someone else
33:59 that what you have is good
34:01 and they ought to try it for themselves.
34:03 I'll never forget, one Sabbath morning,
34:06 I was getting ready to preach.
34:09 And that morning I was going to share a message
34:11 on the importance of witnessing
34:13 and sharing our faith.
34:15 And with the mental preparation,
34:16 I also needed the physical preparation of breakfast.
34:20 And that morning or few days before that
34:22 some wonderful church member
34:25 gave my wife and I a bag of mangos.
34:28 And that's what I had for breakfast.
34:30 I must have eaten four or five mangoes
34:33 that morning.
34:34 And it was wonderful.
34:36 How many of you like mangos?
34:38 If you don't like mangoes,
34:40 it's probably because you've never tasted
34:41 a Hawaiian mango.
34:44 Our mangoes in Hawaii are so good.
34:47 And I remember I was eating these mangoes,
34:49 mango after mango
34:50 and I was hunched over the sink,
34:53 just devouring these mangos.
34:55 The juice was flowing down my hands and arms
34:58 and all the fiber was getting stuck in my teeth,
35:00 but I didn't care.
35:01 It was a happy Sabbath that morning,
35:03 let me tell you.
35:04 And as I'm eating these mangoes
35:06 and preparing in my mind to preach that morning,
35:08 I'm asking God,
35:10 Lord, what can I do
35:11 to help others to see how sweet You are.
35:14 Lord, what can I share this morning in church
35:16 that will encourage someone
35:18 to share their faith with their neighbors.
35:21 And then I started thinking about the mango
35:22 that was in my hand, and how sweet and juicy,
35:25 and wonderful that mango was.
35:27 It was filling, it was satisfying,
35:30 and God impressed me just tell the people
35:32 to taste and see that the Lord is good.
35:37 Taste and see for yourself.
35:40 You see, friends, when we taste
35:44 and see for ourselves
35:46 and people see us tasting,
35:49 then they're going to want to taste it
35:50 for themselves as well.
35:52 And so I started thinking about that mango
35:54 and I thought about the word mango
35:56 and in the word mango are two words.
36:08 that's the great commission friends.
36:11 Man-go that's what God called Jonah to do.
36:15 You see, friends, here's the point.
36:17 It's not hard to fulfill the great commission
36:20 when we have experienced the sweetness
36:22 of the great commissioner.
36:25 Training is helpful, but remember
36:29 that which is your greatest qualification to go
36:32 is your experience with God.
36:35 When you have an experience with the divine mango,
36:40 then it becomes easy to invite others
36:44 to taste and see, amen.
36:47 I hope and pray you never look at a mango
36:48 the same way ever again.
36:51 I love what Ellen White said in the book,
36:54 in the Review and Herald,
36:56 I want you to notice as we read this quotation.
36:59 "Do you think that it is those men only
37:01 who have been ordained as gospel ministers
37:05 that are to work for the uplifting of humanity?"
37:07 Here's her answer, "No, no!
37:11 she says it twice.
37:13 Everyone who names the name of Christ is expected by God
37:18 to engage in this work."
37:20 How many people, friends?
37:23 "The hands of ordination
37:25 may not have been laid upon you,
37:28 but you are none the less God's messengers.
37:33 If you have, what is the next word,
37:36 tasted that the Lord is gracious,
37:38 if you know his saving power,
37:41 you can no more keep from telling this to someone else
37:45 than you can keep the wind from blowing."
37:49 The point is this, friends.
37:51 When we have tasted and then seen for ourselves,
37:54 when we have an experience,
37:56 training is helpful but it's not really
37:58 the most important thing.
37:59 What we really need is an experience.
38:02 When the wind of the Holy Spirit blows,
38:04 the fire of evangelism is going to grow.
38:08 I'll never forget when I first came to the Lord,
38:11 I was 16 years old.
38:13 And time would not permit me to share my whole testimony.
38:17 But let me give you the short version.
38:19 As a 16 year old,
38:21 I was not raised up in the church
38:22 or any church.
38:23 Growing up, I had no idea what was God or who was God,
38:26 totally ignorant of spiritual things.
38:28 And as a result of not having a strong spiritual foundation,
38:31 I made a lot of mistakes, that was me, I was a druggie.
38:35 Burning up my brain cells, chasing the world,
38:37 not caring about anyone but myself.
38:40 And in this lost condition,
38:43 God send someone to my door.
38:46 Another young person who was 16, 17 years old,
38:51 and these two individuals knocked on my door
38:53 and they invited me to a Bible prophecy seminar.
38:57 Have ever heard of something like that before?
39:00 And I went to those meetings for the first time in my life,
39:06 I learned about Jesus.
39:08 In the context of His prophetic word
39:12 in the Three Angels' Messages.
39:14 And as these wonderful truths were being presented,
39:17 Jesus was magnified
39:18 and the Lord in those meetings rescued me
39:21 from the terrible life of drugs and emptiness.
39:23 He set me free from that love lifestyle
39:26 in one prayer and he sent me a blaze.
39:29 He turned me on fire for Him, I knew Him,
39:32 and as a result my greatest desire
39:35 was to make Him known to others.
39:37 To know Christ and to make Christ know
39:41 'cause what God is calling us to be and do.
39:45 And so what happened was this, I was 16 years old,
39:47 and I went back to my old public high school.
39:50 The place where people used to know me as a chronic,
39:53 as a stony boy, as a pothead,
39:55 I went back to that public high school
39:57 and I just let the light shine.
40:00 I would pass out Steps to Christ
40:01 all over campus in this public high school.
40:04 I would go back to my friends
40:05 who I used to do drugs with them,
40:07 I witness to them
40:08 and they would try to tempt me and say,
40:09 "Oh, you want to get high, don't you?"
40:11 I would say, "No, thanks, I found a better high,
40:12 a spiritual high,
40:14 you got to taste it for yourself."
40:15 I would preach in English class
40:17 and I'll be sharing my faith and the security guards,
40:19 whenever they saw me talking to someone during class,
40:22 they left us alone.
40:23 They didn't tell us to go to class
40:25 because they knew that I was encouraging
40:27 and giving counsel to other students.
40:30 And I held Bible studies every lunch period,
40:33 every single day.
40:34 And I would invite the whole school to come.
40:36 I was 16 years old,
40:38 I was the only one in that school
40:40 that I knew of that was interested in these things,
40:43 and I would invite all my friends
40:44 and many people,
40:46 multitudes would come to this Bible Study,
40:48 students as well as teachers would come.
40:53 I love what John Wesley said,
40:55 "Catch on fire and people will come from miles
40:57 to see you burn."
41:00 And so people are coming to these Bible studies
41:02 and they saw the fire in my life
41:04 and because of that they were open
41:07 to hear proclaimed on my lips.
41:09 Now you have to understand, friends,
41:11 that I was not trained to give Bible studies.
41:13 I've never gone to some type of
41:15 Bible training seminar at that point.
41:16 I was 16 years old,
41:18 just recently converted and baptized,
41:20 and I was the least likely candidate to preach.
41:23 I was slow at speech and introverted and very shy.
41:26 My vocabulary was very limited,
41:28 but nonetheless there was a fire in my heart
41:31 and I just had to share it with others,
41:33 and so every lunch period,
41:34 I would just open my Bible and open my mouth
41:37 and the Word of God would speak,
41:38 and as result of those Bible studies,
41:41 six of my friends and their family members
41:43 were baptized, accepted Christ
41:46 as well as the great truths that we believe, amen.
41:49 It was wonderful.
41:50 Now, friends, I share that simply to say this,
41:53 I'm just a beggar trying to share some bread.
41:56 Nothing special with me,
41:58 nothing that I have to boast about
42:00 except the mercy of God in my life.
42:02 I share that simply to encourage you
42:04 that if God can use someone like me.
42:07 Surely, He can use any one of us, amen.
42:12 So arise and go.
42:15 Training is helpful
42:17 but the most important thing
42:18 that we need is an experience with a divine trainer,
42:21 so come and taste for yourself,
42:23 then go and share with others.
42:25 You are called to come. You are chosen to go.
42:28 Man go, but go where God?
42:30 Notice verse 2, "Arise go to what?
42:35 Nineveh, that great city and cry against it
42:39 for their wickedness is come up before me,
42:41 so notice God called Jonah to go to Nineveh.
42:44 And Nineveh was a great city,
42:45 and Jonah was to give a loud cry message to Nineveh.
42:50 Does that sound familiar?
42:52 In Revelation 14:8 and 18:4, we find the same thing.
42:56 Another great city called Babylon,
42:58 a wicked city that God is calling us
43:01 to give a loud cry message to,
43:03 so friends, Nineveh and Babylon are a type.
43:07 Nineveh is a type of Babylon.
43:09 Babylon is a reflection of Nineveh.
43:11 Nimrod was the same founder of Nineveh and Babylon.
43:15 And in the Bible,
43:16 both Nineveh and Babylon are symbolized
43:19 by the same animal that of a lion.
43:23 The point is this.
43:24 Jonah's mission was to give a message of spirit in truth,
43:29 a loud cried message to Nineveh.
43:31 And that's the same mission that God has given to us,
43:34 so arise and go and give the loud cry.
43:37 My friends, let's never be ashamed of our name,
43:40 our identity, our mission and our message.
43:43 Jonah had a God given name that stood for something
43:46 and so God has given us a name.
43:48 Notice what it says in the book,
43:50 The Faith I Live By, page 304,
43:52 "We are Seventh-day Adventists.
43:54 Are we have shamed of our name?
43:56 We answer, No, no!
44:00 We are not.
44:01 It is the name the Lord has given us.
44:04 It points out the truth
44:05 that is to be the test of the churches.
44:07 The name Seventh-day Adventists
44:09 carries the true features of our faith in front,
44:12 it will convict the inquiring mind.
44:15 Like an arrow from the Lord's quiver,
44:16 it will wound the transgressors of God's law,
44:19 and it will lead to repentance toward God
44:20 and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."
44:23 Jonah had a name that stood for something.
44:26 God has given us a name that stands for something as well.
44:29 Let's never be ashamed of our name or our identity.
44:33 For our name, friends,
44:34 points to the great truth of the great God
44:37 that made all things in six literal days
44:39 and rested on the seventh day of the week to remind us
44:42 that He is the true God, the true creator,
44:45 that we are made in His image
44:46 and He has a plan and purpose for our life.
44:48 Seventh-day reminds us of the God of creation
44:51 and the word Adventist reminds us of that same God
44:54 that made all things who is coming back.
44:56 He's returning to restore all things.
44:59 The name Seventh-day Adventist
45:01 points to the Alpha and the Omega,
45:03 the beginning and the end, and everything in between
45:06 and encompasses the entire gospel message,
45:09 the everlasting gospel from beginning to end.
45:13 The Lord of creation, and the Lord of restoration.
45:18 It glorifies the one that made all things
45:20 and is soon to return to restore all things,
45:23 not only that but our name
45:24 points to the great truth of righteousness by faith,
45:27 for the Sabbath, friends, listen carefully.
45:29 The Seventh-day Sabbath rightly understood highlights
45:33 the fact that we cannot save ourselves by our own works.
45:37 It invites us to rest
45:39 in the completed work of Christ at the cross
45:42 and the continued work of Christ for us
45:44 in the most holy place,
45:46 that's what our name means.
45:48 And so, friends, don't let anyone
45:50 tell you that your name is not important.
45:52 Don't let anyone ever tell you that
45:53 the distinctive doctrines that we hold don't really matter,
45:57 for everything that God has revealed
45:58 from Genesis to Revelation is significant
46:01 and important and relevant.
46:03 Jesus said, concerning the scriptures.
46:04 "These are they which testify of me."
46:07 And the testimony of Jesus is revealed
46:09 in the Spirit of Prophecy
46:11 and that's not just one prophet in the last days,
46:13 but it's God speaking through every single prophet
46:16 from the beginning, all the way to the end.
46:18 And so, friends, let us arise and let us go
46:20 and give our whole message to the world,
46:23 a message founded upon the word,
46:25 focused in Christ, framed in prophecy
46:28 and filled with the spirit.
46:30 Let us go.
46:32 Beware of one-sided preaching that throws us off balance,
46:36 and let us not have anything to do
46:38 with this ecumenical unity,
46:40 this counterfeit unity that is sweeping
46:42 across the world today,
46:43 a unity that sacrifices the truth
46:46 for the sake of the spirit.
46:47 The Bible says,
46:48 "That we are to have no fellowship
46:51 with the unfruitful works of darkness
46:53 but rather expose them."
46:55 And why not because, friends, God,
46:57 like Jonah has given us a name that points to our identity.
47:02 And our identity that defines our mission
47:05 and a mission that reveals our message
47:07 and so when we watered down or change our message,
47:10 it results in an identity crisis.
47:12 So let's not forget our identity.
47:15 Let's not neglect our mission.
47:16 Let us arise and let us go
47:18 and let us live up to the God given name
47:21 that He's placed upon us, amen.
47:23 That's what God called Jonah to do.
47:26 God called Jonah.
47:28 He chose Jonah,
47:30 he was called chosen but unfortunately,
47:34 he was unfaithful.
47:36 Called, chosen but unfaithful
47:39 because notice what happens next, verse 3.
47:42 What did Jonah do?
47:43 But Jonah arose to flee to where,
47:47 Tarshish from the presence of the Lord
47:50 and he went down to Joplin found a ship going to Tarshish.
47:53 He paid the fare there of them went down into it
47:55 to go with them to Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord.
47:58 So notice, friends, Jonah turns from God's mission.
48:02 He rose up simply to go down in disobedience
48:05 and he's fleeing to Tarshish,
48:07 a land of luxury to quiet his conscience.
48:09 You see, friends,
48:11 Tarshish was a port city located
48:13 on the southern coast of Spain
48:14 and this city in the Bible was known for their wealth,
48:17 known for their gold in fact.
48:19 And if you were to do a word study
48:21 on the word Tarshish in the Bible
48:23 you would know that Tarshish was a proverb.
48:26 It was a symbol of a place of ease,
48:29 a place of wealth, a place of comfort,
48:31 and a place of luxury,
48:33 and this is where Jonah is going to
48:35 in order to avoid his mission.
48:37 Instead of doing that which was right,
48:40 he was seeking to do that which was comfortable.
48:43 Because in this crowded city,
48:45 he was trying to silence the voice of risen.
48:48 He was trying to escape his duty
48:50 instead of doing that which was right,
48:52 he was seeking to do that which was easy.
48:54 And which direction did he go
48:55 instead of arising and going up,
48:57 the Bible says that "He went down,
48:59 down, down to Joppa.
49:02 That word Joppa in the Bible means beautiful.
49:05 He's seeking for a place of ease
49:07 and luxury and beauty,
49:08 and even though he's seeking for beauty,
49:10 things are about to get ugly for Jonah.
49:13 Why was Jonah so hesitant in going to Nineveh?
49:17 There are two main reasons.
49:19 Number one, Nineveh was way out of his comfort zone.
49:22 You see Jonah like the rest of the Jews,
49:25 looked upon other nations as unclean.
49:28 Fit only for destruction.
49:29 Jonah was far more comfortable
49:32 preaching and being with his own people.
49:34 He had experience a lot of success preaching to Israel.
49:38 But now, God is calling him to Nineveh.
49:40 It was way out of his comfort zone,
49:42 and Jonah was not willing to do it.
49:44 The second reason why Jonah was so hesitant to go to Nineveh
49:46 is because Jonah had a reputation to preserve.
49:50 He knew that if he went to Nineveh
49:52 and said that it was going to be destroyed.
49:55 And if they repented and God spared the city,
49:57 then Jonah would have been looked upon
49:59 as an alarmist, an extremist, a false prophet.
50:03 He would have been labeled as such,
50:04 and so Jonah did not want to risk
50:07 this taint in his reputation.
50:08 Two reasons, it was out of his comfort zone
50:11 and because he did not want to taint his reputation.
50:16 Friends, Jonah is so many times like a lot of us.
50:20 We who are too concerned
50:22 or more concerned with our own comfort
50:24 instead of God's commission we live many times to guard,
50:28 guard our own reputation
50:30 instead of seeking to glorify God.
50:32 We prioritize that which will bring us
50:34 recognition and success,
50:36 while the mission is neglected.
50:37 We're willing to do something for God
50:39 as long as it doesn't inconvenience
50:41 our nice easy comfortable lives.
50:45 Lord have mercy.
50:46 One day, Jesus called a man to follow him
50:50 and he said, "Lord, let me first go
50:53 and bury my father,"
50:55 now that sounds like a reasonable request,
50:57 but the problem was that
50:58 this man's father was not dead yet.
51:01 What he was basically, saying to Jesus
51:04 wait until my father's dead.
51:06 And I don't have this responsibility.
51:09 Then I'll have more time to follow you.
51:12 That's what he was saying.
51:14 Many people are essentially saying the same thing.
51:16 They're saying to God wait until I'm finished
51:18 with this project, then I'll follow you.
51:20 After I graduate from college, after I establish my business.
51:24 Let me first settle down and get married,
51:26 there are other things
51:27 that are more of a priority at this time
51:29 and when things are more convenient,
51:31 then I will follow you. There are people
51:33 who are saying to God,
51:34 "Lord, I will go if I can go to Israel.
51:39 If I can go to Tarshish,
51:41 but if you want me to go to Nineveh,
51:43 you gonna have to wait until I'm old
51:44 and I can't do anything else."
51:46 Many people are want are giving
51:48 the leftover of their lives to God
51:51 and making God a retirement plan.
51:53 For young people, why not give
51:54 the best years of your life to the Lord, amen.
51:56 Jesus gave his best for us,
51:58 let's give the best years of our life to him.
52:01 You see, friends, in this journey called life,
52:03 God does not want us to make him the spare wheel
52:08 that we resort to when we're in trouble.
52:11 God is not to be the spare wheel
52:13 he's to be the steering wheel
52:15 that steers the direction of your life.
52:17 God knows what's best and when we put him first,
52:20 he will never lead us astray, amen.
52:23 Jesus responded to this man.
52:25 And He said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead
52:28 but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
52:32 What Christ was saying is this,
52:34 "Don't put off for tomorrow,
52:35 what I'm calling you to do today.
52:37 Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.
52:42 Let those who care not for eternal realities
52:44 deal with the temporal things of life.
52:46 Let those who do not know the truth,
52:48 deal with earthly affairs."
52:51 Because you my child are called to a much higher
52:53 and holier work than caring for the dead.
52:56 You are called to live for something more
52:57 than just flipping burgers and growing produce.
53:00 You are called to live for something more
53:01 than building houses and fixing cars
53:03 and counting money and teaching math
53:05 and pulling teeth and filling cavities
53:07 and prescribing drugs and performing surgeries
53:09 and singing songs and preaching sermons.
53:12 Surely God can use us
53:14 in all of these different contexts and capacities.
53:17 But remember that these things are not an end in themselves.
53:22 This is just a temporal means to an eternal end,
53:25 it is the means of connecting with people
53:27 and all those, all of those different contexts
53:30 so that we can connect them to Christ.
53:32 It is a making, it's making a living
53:33 so that we can show people how to live.
53:36 It's making money so that
53:37 we can move forward the mission.
53:39 I heard it once said that your job is what you're paid for
53:42 but your calling is what you're made for.
53:44 Don't allow your job or your career to be,
53:48 to be an excuse for neglecting your calling.
53:50 But let God use your job and career
53:54 to fulfill your calling.
53:58 You don't need a title or a position to work for God.
54:02 Just do the duty that lies nears,
54:04 be faithful in the little things.
54:06 And though no earthly hand is laid upon you,
54:09 make sure that your life is in the hands of God.
54:14 So Chapter 1 talks about the fact that
54:17 Jonah was called and chosen,
54:20 he had a name which reflected his mission
54:22 and his message.
54:24 But instead of being faithful, he went to Tarshish.
54:29 He was hiding and running from his calling.
54:32 He was unfaithful.
54:34 God sent the storm
54:36 but the storm did not wake Jonah up.
54:39 And so God provided a fish for Jonah,
54:42 not for him to eat but a fish to eat him.
54:47 And tomorrow morning we're going to continue
54:49 our study in Chapter 2 to see that
54:51 what Jonah experience in the belly of the fish
54:54 is the same thing that we need to experience
54:57 in order for us to be called and chosen and faithful.
55:02 And so today as we close,
55:04 are you running from your mission like Jonah was?
55:07 Are you wasting your time and money
55:09 doing your own thing?
55:11 Chasing your own dreams
55:12 instead of following God's will?
55:14 I want to invite you friends to taste
55:17 and to see that the Lord is good.
55:19 And let Him be in control of your life,
55:22 to put Him first.
55:24 Wake up from spiritual seekings.