Series Code: ASIC
Program Code: ASIC000002A
00:21 Good evening, ASI.
00:24 You know, it's truly an honor for me tonight
00:26 to introduce our speaker for the evening.
00:30 And I'd just tell you one thing,
00:32 I have spent many hours on the phone
00:35 with our speaker tonight.
00:37 But one thing is very interesting,
00:39 whenever, often times when I call him,
00:42 I'll pick up the phone and I will hear
00:44 something going in the background,
00:45 either a chainsaw, or a hammer,
00:48 or some other type of mechanical device
00:50 because Steve Dickman is always doing something.
00:54 As the president of Harbert Hills Academy,
00:57 he is as I asked him, I said,
00:59 "Steve, how do you want me to describe you."
01:01 And he said, "Well, just say I'm a back cooperator."
01:04 Steve is an enterprising man.
01:08 He teaches students there, fixes the air conditioners,
01:12 does just about everything it takes to run a school,
01:16 but more than that he is a humble man.
01:18 And those of you who know him, he is always helping people.
01:21 Always there to do whatever he can
01:24 to make something happen.
01:26 And as they say he's the kind of guy
01:29 who would give you the shirt off his back,
01:31 he even lent me this tie tonight
01:33 because I didn't have one.
01:35 So Steve spent, has spent 26 years
01:38 at Harbert Hills Academy and serves as the president
01:41 of that great school in Tennessee,
01:43 and he also serves as the chairman
01:45 of the E.A Sutherland Educational Association,
01:48 and as the chairman
01:49 of Outpost Centers International.
01:52 And there is no one that I know
01:55 that is more committed to the work of ASI
01:57 who has such a burden for supporting ministries in US
02:02 who has a passion for finishing the work.
02:05 And as of this evening,
02:06 I am happy to once again say that he is the newly elected,
02:10 newly reelected president of ASI.
02:14 And Steve, more than any of that,
02:17 he is a father of two children and two,
02:20 a grandfather of two grandkids.
02:22 His lovely wife Brenda is by his side.
02:25 And I just have to say that he truly models the example
02:29 of servant leadership.
02:31 A good leader gets in the trenches
02:34 and fights along those he leads.
02:36 And I cannot say anything less of my friend Steve Dickman,
02:41 whether it's traveling in the bush of Africa,
02:43 and Steve and I have been to Kibidula,
02:45 whether it's navigating the streets of Russia,
02:50 or visiting our many ASI members
02:53 across this division.
02:55 I've had the privilege of seeing Steve in action.
02:58 And above all, his passion is to see Jesus come soon.
03:04 And so the next voice you will hear
03:06 after our special music will be that of our ASI president,
03:09 Steve Dickman.
03:30 Holy Spirit, living breath of God
03:36 Breathe new life into my willing soul
03:43 Let a presence of the risen Lord
03:49 To renew my heart and make me whole
03:57 Cause Your Word to come alive in me
04:03 Give me faith for what I cannot see
04:10 Give me passion for Your purity
04:16 Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me
04:34 Holy Spirit, come abide within
04:40 May Your joy be seen in all I do
04:47 Love enough to cover evr'y sin
04:53 In each thought and deed and attitude
05:01 Kindness to the greatest and the least
05:08 Gentleness that sows the path of peace
05:15 Turn my striving into works of grace
05:21 Breath of God, show Christ in all I do
06:06 Holy Spirit, from creation's birth
06:13 Giving life to all that God has made
06:21 Show Your power once again on earth
06:27 Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways
06:34 Let the fragrance of our prayers arise
06:42 Lead us on the road of sacrifice
06:49 That in unity the face of Christ
06:56 Will be clear for all the world to see
07:27 Thank you for that beautiful music tonight.
07:31 It's a blessing to be here at ASI with you.
07:38 I just like to ask you this evening
07:40 if you would just bow your heads with me
07:41 as we begin?
07:44 Oh, Father, in heaven we're here tonight.
07:47 We're asking that You would pour out Your Spirit
07:49 upon each person here
07:52 that we may hear Your voice.
07:54 And not just hear Your voice, Lord,
07:56 but that we would respond to Your call.
08:00 In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
08:06 I know some of you
08:07 may have brought your Bibles this evening,
08:10 at least I hope you did, and if you didn't
08:12 maybe you have your Bible on your phone.
08:17 We're going to be looking for a few moments here
08:19 at Mark 13.
08:22 Jesus, the context here is that
08:25 Jesus is talking to His disciples
08:29 about what the future is holds, what the future holds.
08:34 It says that in verse 1 of chapter 13
08:38 that "He went out from the temple,
08:40 and one of His disciples said unto Him,
08:42 Master, see what manner of stones
08:44 and what buildings are here."
08:46 And then Jesus privately began,
08:49 when He got to the Mount of Olives,
08:50 He privately began to explain to His disciples
08:54 the end of the story,
08:57 and whether or not you know it, this evening
09:00 we are living in the time of the end of the story,
09:05 and so we read this with great interest.
09:07 We read this
09:08 what Jesus was saying here with great interest
09:10 because Jesus was talking
09:12 not just to His disciples, He's talking to us today
09:15 because we are living actually the end of the story.
09:19 He says something interesting here in Mark 13:24,
09:24 he says, "But in those days after that tribulation,
09:29 the sun shall be darkened,
09:31 and the moon shall not give her light."
09:33 Let me ask you a question tonight,
09:35 has this happened?
09:37 Yes. Okay.
09:39 So we're now entering the stream of time,
09:42 we find ourselves living in a time
09:45 when prophecy is not something in the future,
09:48 but it's something that has already been fulfilled,
09:50 is that true?
09:52 So the sun has been darkened,
09:56 the moon would not give her light.
09:58 And verse 25,
10:00 "The stars of heaven shall fall,
10:01 and the powers that are in the heavens
10:03 shall be shaken."
10:04 Has this happened? Yes.
10:06 Okay, so, again we're talking now
10:08 about a part of the scripture that we recognize
10:12 it didn't happen in my day,
10:13 it happened actually before I was born.
10:18 So that means if we're marking time,
10:21 it happened now.
10:24 And then I come on the scene,
10:26 I'm living after these prophecies
10:28 have all been fulfilled.
10:31 Verse 26, the next verse,
10:36 "And then shall they see the Son of man
10:40 coming in the clouds with great power and glory."
10:47 Now this is what?
10:49 This is the next verse.
10:51 This is the next verse.
10:55 And verse 27, "Then he shall send his angels,
10:57 and shall gather together his elect from the four winds,
11:00 from the uttermost parts of the earth
11:02 and from the uttermost parts of heaven."
11:04 In verse 28, "And now learn a parable of the fig tree."
11:07 And so Jesus now begins to emphasize
11:10 what He just said by telling a couple of parables,
11:13 so He tells the parable of the fig tree
11:14 and He says here.
11:16 When you see the fig tree and its branch is yet tender,
11:18 and it putteth forth leaves,
11:20 you know that summer is where?
11:23 "Summer is near."
11:26 So verse 29,
11:27 "In like manner,
11:29 when ye shall see these things come to pass,
11:32 know that it is nigh, even at the doors."
11:38 Verse 30, "Verily I say unto you,
11:41 this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
11:45 Heaven and earth shall pass away:
11:47 but my word shall not pass away."
11:50 And then He goes to give this little warning,
11:53 He says, "But of that day and hour" what?
11:58 "Knoweth no man,
11:59 no, not the angels that are in heaven,
12:01 neither the Son, but the Father."
12:05 Verse 33, so He says, I'm telling you
12:09 when you see these things happen,
12:11 you should know that it is near even at the door.
12:15 And then he tells this little parable
12:18 and then He says
12:19 but "Take heed, watch and pray:
12:26 for you know not when the time is."
12:33 So Jesus here is saying something very interesting.
12:35 He says, you can know when the time is near
12:37 but you're not going to know when the time is.
12:43 Well, for me I'm looking at the clock,
12:46 I'm thinking it's getting close to,
12:48 let's just say it's getting close to noon,
12:50 12 o'clock.
12:52 I watch the clock
12:53 and I see the hands moving around.
12:55 I can see that we're getting close to 12 o'clock
12:58 and I know how long it is until 12 o'clock
13:00 because the hand keeps moving
13:03 and I say that's two minutes to 12,
13:05 it's one minute to 12, it's 30 seconds to 12,
13:08 and I can gauge how long it is,
13:11 but Jesus said,
13:12 He give us a little warning here says,
13:13 you're going to know that it's near
13:15 but you're not going to know the exact time.
13:18 He says, your job is to watch and to pray.
13:23 Watch and pray, that sounds pretty simple.
13:25 I keep my eyes open, I stay on my knees,
13:28 I'm good to go, right?
13:31 Well, we should read the next verse.
13:35 Verse 34 at this point, verse 34,
13:38 "For the Son of Man..."
13:40 Now Jesus tells another little short
13:42 one sentence parable here.
13:44 He has clued His disciple that there's some danger ahead,
13:48 you're going to know when it's near,
13:50 but you're not going to know the exact time.
13:52 I want you to be on the alert.
13:53 I want you to watch and pray,
13:55 "For the Son of Man is as a man taking a" what?
14:01 "A far journey, who left his house,
14:05 and gave authority to his servants,
14:08 and to every man his work,
14:13 and commanded the porter to watch."
14:18 Now let's review here, what we've learned so far.
14:21 Jesus said in verse 33, "Take heed, watch and do" what?
14:27 And in verse 34, He says,
14:30 I want you to not only watch and pray,
14:32 I want you to know
14:34 that I am going to a far country,
14:35 is going to be some time before I return,
14:38 and I want you to watch and pray while I am gone,
14:40 but I don't want you to stop by watching and praying,
14:42 I want you to work because He says,
14:45 He has given to every man His work.
14:51 Now let me ask you what every means?
14:53 Does every mean every, or does every mean only some?
14:59 If you are within the hearing of my voice tonight
15:03 and you can understand what I am saying,
15:06 then you are included in this idea
15:09 that God has given to every man His work.
15:13 I am included in that idea
15:14 that God has given to every man His work.
15:18 This is part of what Jesus is saying to His disciples,
15:22 He says, "Yes, I want you to watch
15:25 and I want you to pray, but I also want you to work."
15:31 There is something for us to do.
15:34 There is something that God has given us
15:37 not just corporately, for surely He did that.
15:40 In the Great Commission, He told His disciples, He says,
15:44 "I am on my way, and I'm going to give you
15:47 this great commission."
15:49 Matthew 28, "Go ye therefore and do" what?
15:54 "Teach all nations, baptizing them
15:56 in the name of the Father, and the Son,
15:57 and the Holy Spirit."
15:59 And that commission is for God's family,
16:01 for His church and for us individually.
16:05 God has given to us a work to do.
16:08 God has not left us wondering what we should do.
16:12 He has given to us a specific and certain work to do.
16:17 I'm thinking that this is not the only place in scripture
16:21 where we find this,
16:23 Jesus was talking to His disciples.
16:29 And He told them another parable.
16:30 Actually in Matthew 20 you find this parable
16:34 that Jesus is sharing with His disciples,
16:37 and He tells them the story about the vineyard owner
16:42 who went to get some workers for his vineyard.
16:44 And he went down to the place
16:45 where the workers were hanging out and he said,
16:47 "Hey, at 6 o'clock in the morning,
16:49 I need a few workers."
16:50 Some of the guys said, "Yeah, we'll go."
16:53 And later he comes back and he find some more workers,
16:55 and he keeps coming back and finding more workers,
16:58 and finally he comes back at the eleventh hour
17:01 which is according to the way they reckon time at that point,
17:06 it is one hour before the end of the day,
17:08 it's the last little bit of time
17:10 that workday is going to be complete
17:13 and then you're off, then you're done.
17:16 And he comes back at the eleventh hour
17:18 and he find these guys standing around and he says,
17:22 "What are you doing here."
17:24 And their response was, "No one hired us."
17:29 And his response was,
17:32 "Go to my vineyard and go to work."
17:37 I would suggest to you tonight that we are living
17:39 in the eleventh hour of this story,
17:41 and God is still calling for workers
17:43 to enter the vineyard.
17:47 Maybe we're living past the eleventh hour.
17:49 Maybe we're living closer to the twelfth hour.
17:52 Maybe we're living in the last few moments
17:54 as it were in earth's history,
17:56 and Jesus is still calling for workers
17:59 to enter His vineyard.
18:02 Until you take your last breath,
18:04 until Jesus comes,
18:05 there is a work for every man to do.
18:08 There is a work allocated
18:11 that cannot be shifted to another.
18:15 What God has called you to do, no other man can do.
18:18 What God has called you to do, no other woman can do,
18:22 because God is very specific in His calling.
18:24 Did you know that God knew you
18:27 before you were formed in your mother's womb,
18:29 that's what the Bible says.
18:33 We find recorded in scripture
18:35 certain individuals found out the fact
18:38 that He had called them before they were born
18:40 to do a certain work.
18:42 And I believe that, that is not a story
18:45 that is without significance to my own life
18:48 because I believe that God has called
18:50 every single one of us before we were even born
18:53 God knew who we were.
18:54 He knew what He fashioned in the womb,
18:56 and He knew that He had a certain job for us to do,
19:00 and He has called us to do that work.
19:03 Our theme for these two years has been what?
19:08 Called, Chosen and Committed.
19:14 To every man has been given His work to do.
19:18 Now we find some other interesting stories
19:20 in the Bible.
19:21 For instance we could review the story of Jonah.
19:23 Now Jonah had a call, right?
19:27 God said, "I want you to go to a certain city
19:29 called Nineveh, and I want you to preach there
19:32 to those people that the end of their city is near.
19:37 In fact they have how many?
19:40 Forty days and then Nineveh will be destroyed.
19:44 Now, Jonah had a better idea than God, and he said,
19:47 "Hmm, I think I'll go the other direction."
19:56 I wonder if any of us have ever tried
20:02 to escape from the work that God has called us
20:07 to do specifically.
20:11 Jonah tried it, didn't turn out too well.
20:14 I don't advise it.
20:16 Okay, if you want to know my recommendation,
20:18 I don't advice Jonah's approach.
20:20 I advice that we should cooperate with God's calling
20:24 instead of rebelling against God's calling.
20:27 I think of another individual, Elijah.
20:30 He was called by God to go to Ahab and to tell him,
20:34 it's not going to rain in Israel until I say so.
20:39 Well, finally after three and a half years,
20:42 the attention of the people had been sufficiently
20:46 gotten interested in actually getting some rain
20:48 that they said, maybe we should do something
20:51 and God sent Elijah to the top of Mount Carmel
20:55 and he, a great victory was won for God there.
20:58 He preached a sermon
21:00 and thousands of people were converted,
21:02 and the priest of Baal
21:04 who had led the people astray in were destroyed,
21:09 and it was a great victory for the cause of God
21:12 and He led the king back to the palace
21:15 and He laid down there and a messenger came
21:18 and he became afraid.
21:21 If you read the story in the Spirit of Prophecy,
21:25 it says that he became fearful, his human nature was tired,
21:29 he was worn out and his human nature
21:31 just kind of took over and he became afraid
21:34 of what might happen there that night.
21:37 And it, but it says there also that if Elijah had stayed
21:44 that there would have been a victory
21:46 that God would have brought judgment upon Jezebel
21:49 and there would been this amazing victory
21:51 but he didn't, he became afraid,
21:54 he began to run
21:55 and he didn't run just a little bit,
21:57 it says that he ran until he got so weary,
21:59 the angels had to feed him.
22:01 And they fed him some really good stuff
22:03 because after that he ran for 40 days,
22:05 and he came to the mountain
22:07 and he got alone there with God in the mountain,
22:09 and God asked him a question in the mountain.
22:12 And the question that He asked Elijah in the mountain
22:15 I think is the same question
22:16 He may be asking some of us tonight,
22:19 "What doest thou here?"
22:23 God had sent Elijah on a mission.
22:25 He hadn't sent him on a mission to this departed point,
22:29 He had sent him on a mission,
22:30 He expected him to stay engaged in his mission.
22:33 Elijah became weary, abandoned his mission
22:35 and began to run,
22:37 and God asked him this simple question,
22:40 "What doest thou here?"
22:44 And tonight if I don't miss my mark,
22:46 some of us are being asked that same question by God,
22:52 "What are we doing?"
22:58 Review and Herald, 1893, December 12,
23:02 this is what it says,
23:04 "To every one work has been allotted,
23:12 and no one can substitute for another."
23:21 Now I have noticed that I like to get people to do my work,
23:26 I don't know about you,
23:27 but sometimes it's kind of makes things easier
23:32 when I can find somebody else to do the job,
23:34 especially if it's a tough one, especially if it's a hard one,
23:37 I would like to find somebody else that can do it,
23:39 and I might even say, listen,
23:41 I will pay you to do this work for me.
23:45 Especially if it's a hot sweaty job
23:47 and it's a hot day, I might say, hey,
23:48 listen, you know, I'll give you 20 bucks
23:50 if you'll do this work for me, whatever it is, you know.
23:55 God does not allow us
23:57 to have someone else do our work for us.
24:00 We cannot even hire people to do our work for us.
24:03 I've heard some people say, I'm going to stay at home
24:07 and I'm going to just support people
24:09 to do the work.
24:13 It's a good idea,
24:15 but it is not an option
24:19 if God is calling you personally.
24:23 Now, for some folks
24:24 He may call them to sit at home and support things,
24:27 and that's wonderful.
24:29 But what I read here, it says that
24:31 no one can be a substitute
24:33 for what God has called me to do,
24:36 and no one can be a substitute
24:38 for what God has called you to do.
24:43 Each one, goes on to say,
24:44 each one has a mission of wonderful importance.
24:50 Wonderful importance.
24:52 God has something important for every single person
24:58 on planet earth to do.
25:00 No one is excluded.
25:05 The child in its early years
25:09 has a work to do for God.
25:12 Those who are older...
25:14 Some are even what we would call elderly
25:18 still have a work to do for God.
25:29 Five Testimonies, page 462 says this,
25:32 "God never designed
25:36 that the lay members of the church
25:38 should be excused from labor in His cause."
25:44 Now, the reason I am saying that
25:47 is because some of us would say,
25:50 listen, you don't have to worry,
25:52 we've got a great preacher at our church
25:54 and he works really hard.
25:56 I mean, we pay the guy.
25:58 Think about this, we pay him,
26:00 he is the one who takes care of pretty much everything,
26:03 and he works hard and we're happy.
26:06 We can sit in the pew,
26:07 he will go out and give the Bible studies.
26:10 He will go out and take care of these things
26:12 and isn't that the way it's supposed to work.
26:18 According to what I read here, the answer to that is no.
26:24 If the church members
26:26 do not individually take hold of this work,
26:29 then they show that they have
26:31 no living connection with God.
26:44 If the church members
26:45 do not individually take hold of this work,
26:52 then they show that they have, how much?
26:55 No living connection with God.
27:01 Their names are registered as slothful servants.
27:09 She goes on to ask the question,
27:11 "Can you discern the reason
27:13 why there is no more spirituality
27:16 in our churches?
27:19 And then she answers her own question by saying,
27:22 it is because
27:24 you are not co-laborers with Christ.
27:32 That's a wake up call.
27:35 We wonder
27:36 why is it that our church is struggling spiritually.
27:39 Why don't we have more, you know, things going on here?
27:42 It's because we have chosen
27:45 individually not to take hold of the work God
27:47 has given us to do, instead we have...
27:52 We've been registered as slothful servants.
28:01 Kyle used this quote earlier this evening,
28:05 and this is one of my favorites
28:08 because it gives us as lay people
28:12 our marching orders.
28:15 It says that the work of God on this earth
28:17 can never be finished until men and women,
28:22 that's us, that's the laity
28:24 comprising the church membership
28:27 rally to the work
28:29 and unite their efforts
28:30 with those of the ministers and church officers.
28:34 If that's not a rallying call to help finish God's work,
28:37 I don't know what would be.
28:39 It says that the work will, what?
28:42 Never be finished.
28:44 Let me ask you a question tonight.
28:45 Are you interested in seeing Jesus come?
28:49 How many of you tonight want to be alive
28:51 when Jesus comes?
29:03 It can't happen,
29:06 it won't happen
29:07 according to this statement
29:10 until we engage as laypeople,
29:16 the men and women who are members of the church,
29:21 and not just kind of wander in and say,
29:26 well, I know I'm a little late today
29:29 but I'm here.
29:32 I know I don't, not really with it.
29:34 I don't have as much energy as maybe I should have today
29:38 but I'm here, and I'm going to help out,
29:41 and our steps are slow and our thinking is,
29:46 maybe confused.
29:48 This statement says, we've got to rally to the work.
29:52 Now, what happens when you rally to something?
29:54 Let me ask that question?
29:56 Is that something
29:57 where it just kind of moves along slowly?
30:00 Now, to me what it's saying is,
30:02 listen, we've got to get going on this thing.
30:05 We've got to make some progress here,
30:07 and we've got to make it quickly.
30:10 Some of you probably have watched a game or two
30:14 of some kind of sport thing.
30:17 Basketball game, or a football game,
30:19 or something, you say,
30:21 "Boy, my team,
30:22 they had to rally right down near the end.
30:24 The clock was two seconds to quitting time,
30:26 and they made two touchdowns in two seconds"
30:29 or whatever happened, that's rallying, right?
30:32 Well, it's time for us to rally to the work.
30:34 It's time for us to do something
30:37 that God has already been calling us to do,
30:39 but to do it in a different way
30:40 and with a different level of energy,
30:42 and with a different level of passion,
30:44 and individually to do things for God
30:47 that might even be hard,
30:48 that it might even require self-sacrifice,
30:51 that it might even drain our bank account,
30:53 that it might even drain our energy,
30:55 that it might even be dangerous,
30:57 but God is calling us,
30:58 and He's calling us individually,
31:00 so I cannot stand here tonight and tell you what to do.
31:04 I cannot give you your marching orders
31:06 because there's only one person
31:08 in charge of what you should do and that should be God.
31:13 And if somebody else tries to tell you
31:15 what your marching orders are,
31:16 you should say, excuse me,
31:18 let me ask God about that because God knows the answer.
31:22 The problem is that sometimes
31:24 we are not listening or we don't want to listen
31:28 to what God is asking us to do because we have our own plans.
31:35 The work of God needs men and women
31:37 who have some faith.
31:39 Men and women who have some courage.
31:41 You can read through the Bible,
31:42 I've been reading in the Book of Joshua,
31:46 and I am empowered
31:47 when I read about Joshua
31:48 because it gives Joshua instructions.
31:51 God came down,
31:53 He says, just have courage and be strong
31:57 because you're going to take the land,
31:59 and I'm going to drive the people out before you
32:02 and God is in charge.
32:07 And Joshua with the courage and faith
32:11 that God has imparted to him, he steps forward.
32:16 And when it's time to cross the Jordan River
32:19 and the flood waters are raging.
32:24 He commands the priest,
32:25 He says, I want you to get started.
32:26 We're going to follow you,
32:28 and God is going to open the way
32:29 before us as we go, but we've got to get started.
32:33 And the priest put the ark on their shoulders
32:35 and they begin to walk forward,
32:37 and they get to the edge of the water
32:39 and the water still there, and they step into the water,
32:42 and when they step into the water,
32:43 then God does something.
32:45 Have you ever had that experience in your life
32:48 where God has called you to do something?
32:50 You think this is impossible, I can't do this.
32:52 Look, there's a big river here God think about this,
32:54 You've got to imagine my circumstances, God,
32:57 I can't get across the river.
32:59 And He is yet urging you to go forward,
33:02 that is an act of faith,
33:04 that's what God is calling us to.
33:06 He's calling us
33:07 to acts of faith in this generation
33:09 I believe that if...
33:11 We were reading there in Mark and I kind of skipped over this
33:13 but I would like to go back to it
33:15 for just a second.
33:17 Verse 30 it says, "Verily I say unto you,
33:19 that this generation shall not pass,
33:21 till all these things be done."
33:24 Listen, I want to be a part of this generation
33:26 where it's not going to pass till all these things get done.
33:31 I want to be able to say,
33:34 yes, I was alive when Jesus came.
33:37 I had the opportunity to look up
33:39 with great joy and say, lo,
33:41 this is my God, I have waited for Him.
33:44 Do you want to experience that? Yes!
33:48 But God is waiting still for us to respond to His call.
33:53 He forces no one.
33:55 He calls, He chooses
33:58 but He waits for us to commit.
34:13 The world tonight,
34:15 I don't know if you've noticed this
34:17 but the world is in disarray.
34:24 I haven't lived that long,
34:26 but I'll tell you a little thing
34:27 and that is I have never personally seen
34:30 as much disarray in this world as I have seen recently.
34:35 I'll say recently,
34:37 it just seems like things keep getting worse and worse.
34:39 They don't get better and better,
34:41 they get worse and worse.
34:46 Nations are in turmoil.
34:49 The society is so confused, it doesn't even know
34:51 the difference between a man and a woman anymore.
34:54 I'm telling you, we're really confused.
35:00 And Jesus is calling every single one of us
35:05 to take the message of salvation
35:10 to this confused and dying world.
35:16 And He's waiting for us to do that.
35:21 I don't know if you read the recent review,
35:24 but there was an article there
35:26 and I excerpted a couple of things.
35:28 We know these, we know these statements
35:30 but I said, yes, this is powerful.
35:35 Desire of Ages, page 633,
35:39 "By giving the gospel to the world,
35:41 it is in our power to" what?
35:44 "Hasten our Lord's return."
35:47 Listen, if you want Jesus to come sooner,
35:49 then get to work.
35:51 Yes, there's a place to watch and there's a place to pray,
35:54 but there's a place to work too,
35:56 and God has given us a work to do,
35:58 and He's given it to us individually.
36:09 I want to take you to the Book of Judges
36:12 for just a minute, Judges 4 and 5.
36:15 If you have your Bibles, you should read this.
36:22 It's a story that challenges our thinking.
36:28 And here's what happens.
36:30 In Judges 4,
36:31 it begins with this amazing statement.
36:33 Verse 1,
36:35 "And the children of Israel again did" what?
36:39 "Evil in the sight of the Lord, and when Ehud was dead."
36:45 So they had a king
36:49 who was evidently on the right track
36:51 and when he died, they did what?
36:55 Evil in the sight of the Lord.
36:57 Verse 2, "And the Lord sold them
36:59 into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan,
37:01 that reigned in Hazor,
37:02 the captain of whose host was Sisera,
37:04 which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles."
37:08 So Israel had strayed from God's purposes.
37:13 They had failed to follow God fully,
37:15 and what happened?
37:17 They got sold into the hand of Jabin.
37:21 And so they cried out to God.
37:23 Verse 3, "They cried out to God,
37:25 and they said, 'Lord, help us.'"
37:30 Makes a little footnote here in verse 3,
37:32 it says, they were concerned
37:34 because Sisera had 900 chariots.
37:38 They were facing to them an impossible situation.
37:43 And they had been oppressed for 20 years.
37:46 So God sends a message to Deborah,
37:48 the prophetess, and He says to Deborah,
37:51 "Go call Barak,
37:52 I want him to do something for Me,
37:54 and I'm going to help him."
37:56 Barak shows up. He says, you said what?
38:00 Listen, he says to Deborah, I'm not going unless you go.
38:05 Deborah says, well, I'm going
38:07 but I'll tell you something
38:08 if I go, the glory is going to go
38:10 to someone else besides you
38:11 because you're not willing to step out in faith.
38:14 The battle ensues, Barak is victorious.
38:17 The battle is won.
38:19 And in chapter 5, we find Deborah singing a song,
38:24 it's called the Song of Deborah and Barak.
38:27 Verse 2, "Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel."
38:31 And when the people willingly offered themselves,
38:34 why did God help them?
38:38 What does it say here, the people did what?
38:41 They willingly offered themselves.
38:43 This is the first statement in this song
38:45 talking about the victory.
38:47 It says, God helped us
38:48 because we willingly offered ourselves
38:51 to do something for Him.
38:54 He goes on down through this
38:56 and she's singing about the things
38:59 that are amazing there, that have happened,
39:02 and she says in verse 18,
39:04 "Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeopardized
39:08 their lives unto the death
39:10 in the high places of the field."
39:12 She says, there's a couple of people
39:14 I want to mention here who had courage for God.
39:17 They were called to do something for God,
39:19 and they had courage for God in the fact
39:21 that they even laid their lives on the line to do
39:25 what God was calling them to do.
39:34 But in verse 23,
39:39 we find a sad statement recorded.
39:43 It says here in her song of victory,
39:47 she mentions one thing,
39:49 she says, "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord,
39:54 curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof,
39:57 because they came not to the help of the Lord,
40:00 and to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
40:05 So there was a blessing for those
40:07 who responded to God's call and there was a what?
40:11 There was a curse for those who didn't respond.
40:13 Deuteronomy 11, you find the story there,
40:15 and what's being offered there is a curse or a blessing,
40:20 you can go and read it.
40:22 Our time is running out,
40:23 we're not going to be able to read it here tonight.
40:25 There's a curse or a blessing offered.
40:26 If you obey, you will be blessed.
40:28 If you don't respond and obey,
40:30 you will be cursed.
40:36 Unfortunately tonight,
40:38 it's possible that some of us,
40:43 if they were to sing a song
40:46 about this process of this great victory,
40:49 we might be in the wrong category.
40:54 God requires of each members of His church
40:58 to engage in the work that He has called us to do.
41:01 In Testimonies volume 2, page 165, it says this,
41:05 "It is not left with you to decide
41:08 whether it is best for you to obey the call of God."
41:12 What? It's not my decision. That's what it says.
41:16 It is not left with you to decide
41:19 whether you obey the call of God.
41:20 Obedience is required,
41:23 and unless you obey
41:25 you will stand on worse than neutral ground.
41:37 You need to go home.
41:39 Go to your hotel room
41:42 and you need to study some of the references
41:45 that are associated with this Curse ye Meroz.
41:49 Ellen White mentions
41:51 it almost 50 times in her writings.
41:53 One little statement in the Bible,
41:55 it's mentioned one place she uses this as an example
41:57 over and over and over again about people,
42:00 or individuals, or church members
42:03 that were unwilling to engage to respond to the call of God.
42:07 God needs us in His work today not so much.
42:11 And this is pointed out as you read and study this.
42:13 Not so much for the, what?
42:15 He wants us to do for Him,
42:16 but more what He wants to do for us.
42:18 The work that He has designed for us to do
42:20 is not only for the salvation of other people,
42:23 it is for our own salvation.
42:25 And unless we engage
42:27 in responding to the call of God,
42:28 we could be lost over this.
42:31 Honestly, we could be lost
42:32 because we failed to engage in doing the work
42:35 that God set before us and we became lazy
42:39 because we thought,
42:40 well, everything's okay, I'm pretty good.
42:42 You study this out,
42:43 you'll find this is pointed out over and over again.
42:47 You know the question I have for us tonight is,
42:50 will we fully commit ourselves to doing God's work?
42:53 Are we willing to fully and completely without reserve?
42:57 Now, that's a pretty comprehensive statement,
42:59 so I want you to think about it.
43:00 I don't want you just to jump up and say,
43:02 yeah, I'm going to do that.
43:03 I want you to think about.
43:04 I want you to pray about it
43:06 over this weekend as while we're here together.
43:07 You're going to hear some stories.
43:09 You're going to be challenged by people
43:10 who are giving seminars
43:12 and talking and speaking about the passion
43:14 that they have for doing it and finishing God's work.
43:17 And God is going to tap you on the shoulder,
43:18 and He's going to give you
43:20 some kind of call I believe that.
43:21 That's why we have ASI, that's why you come to ASI,
43:25 because you want to hear what God is asking you to do.
43:27 It may happen in the exhibit hall.
43:29 It might happen around the dinner table.
43:31 It might happen in a private conversation,
43:33 but God is going to ask you to do something
43:35 and the question is,
43:37 are you committed enough to do what God is calling you to do.
43:44 So tonight, I want to end with this question.
43:49 And it comes from Review and Herald,
43:51 October 17, 1882.
43:55 It says, "Oh, must Christ, the Majesty of Heaven,
44:01 the King of glory, bear the heavy cross,
44:05 and wear the thorny crown, and drink the bitter cup,
44:09 while we recline at ease, glorify ourselves,
44:14 and forget the souls He died to redeem."
44:18 I want you to just think about that.
44:20 Jesus came here from the heavenly kingdom
44:22 and He laid his life on the line.
44:31 She answers this rhetorical question with this.
44:35 No, let us give while we have power.
44:41 Let us do while we have strength.
44:44 Let us work while it is day.
44:47 Let us devote our time
44:48 and our means to the service of God
44:51 that we may have His approbation
44:53 and receive His reward.
44:57 Tonight as you leave this place,
44:59 ask God what He wants you to do.
45:02 And then get down on your knees and say, God, I am willing.
45:06 I may not know everything but I'm willing.
45:09 I challenge you during this weekend
45:10 to be willing to do what God calls you to do.
45:15 And to answer yes instead of no.
45:51 There in heaven's gates above
45:54 The angels sway to hear about
45:58 Jesus' plan
46:00 To save all mankind
46:06 When they heard what would be done
46:09 It left them all dumb clearly stunned
46:13 Why should
46:14 Jesus die?
46:20 We are the reason that He gave His life
46:26 We are the reason that He suffered and died
46:32 To a world that was lost
46:34 He gave all He could give
46:38 To show us the reason to live
46:45 On a dark and gloomy day
46:49 It was time for Christ to pay
46:52 The greatest gift anyone could get
46:59 He gave His life and saves the lives
47:02 Restored us and cleanse our hearts
47:05 Could it be from sin we're all free
47:12 We are the reason that He gave His life
47:18 We are the reason that He suffered and died
47:24 To a world that was lost
47:26 He gave all He could give
47:30 To show us the reason
47:33 To live
47:39 I've finally found
47:42 The reason to live
47:46 I tell the story
47:49 What Jesus did
47:56 We are the reason that He gave His life
48:02 We are the reason that He suffered and died
48:08 To a world that was lost
48:10 He gave all He could give
48:14 To show us the reason to live
48:21 We are the reason that He gave His life
48:27 We are the reason that He suffered and died
48:32 To a world that was lost
48:35 He gave all He could give
48:39 To show us the reason to live
48:45 To show us the reason
48:51 To live
49:08 Will you stand with me for the benediction?
49:16 Our Heavenly Father,
49:17 we have been truly blessed this evening
49:19 to hear these testimonies
49:21 of how You're going about Your work
49:23 in these last days.
49:25 We are grateful that You're using us,
49:28 that You're using people around the world
49:30 to accomplish Your task.
49:33 Father, we thank You so much
49:34 for what You've done
49:36 in sending Your Son Jesus to die for us,
49:38 and so we thank You Father.