Participants: Lonnie Melashenko
Series Code: VOPS
Program Code: VOPS000015
00:30 Hello, everyone.
00:31 For years Americans have been bombarded
00:35 with mysterious gurus claiming to be Jesus Christ or Elijah.
00:41 Back in 1978, you may remember,
00:43 a gentleman by the name of Jim Jones
00:46 of the People's Temple in San Francisco.
00:48 He led 913 followers to a place called Guyana
00:52 and they all committed mass suicide
00:54 when they drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.
00:58 Was he Messiah? Was he Elijah?
01:02 April 1993, David Koresh,
01:05 an 80-cult member branch Davidians in Waco,
01:08 Texas incinerated themselves
01:10 when FBI agents stormed the fortress
01:12 and burned their Mount Carmel Headquarters to the ground.
01:16 Was Koresh Elijah?
01:19 March 1997, Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego Herff Applewhite
01:24 and a 39-member cult called Heaven's Gate
01:26 committed mass suicides
01:28 when the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet
01:31 appeared and they decided to--
01:32 Well, they wanted to shed their containers
01:34 and move to the next level.
01:35 Was Applewhite Elijah? No.
01:39 As we begin our study today of Bible prophecy,
01:42 I want you to join me, I hope you brought your Bibles.
01:45 And we'll turn
01:46 to the Old Testament Book of Malachi.
01:49 We're going to do something a little different tonight.
01:51 We're going to read together
01:53 some mysterious verses out loud.
01:56 The last two verses of the last chapter
01:59 of the last book of the Old Testament,
02:00 the Book of Malachi.
02:02 Malachi 4:5, 6, we'll have this on the screen,
02:06 in case you're at a downlink location,
02:07 you want to read it off the screen.
02:08 But I want you to read it out loud with me, everyone.
02:12 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
02:16 before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
02:20 And He will turn the hearts
02:22 of the fathers to their children,
02:24 and the hearts of the children to their fathers
02:27 or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
02:33 Now, friend, here in one of most
02:34 unusual predictions in all of the Bible,
02:36 it says in language too clear to be misunderstood
02:40 that Elijah the prophet will return to this earth again
02:44 before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
02:48 What on earth do those words mean?
02:52 Will a man with a long white robe
02:54 and maybe a beard, a white hair and a shepherd's crook
02:57 appear on television in Times Square?
03:00 Or will he show up
03:01 with President Bush at the White House?
03:05 Now Elijah lived 2,800 years ago.
03:09 He mysteriously appeared in history
03:11 at a time of extreme crisis
03:12 and he did a very special work for God,
03:15 but then he mysteriously disappeared again
03:18 and you don't hear about him again
03:20 until here in the last book, the last chapter,
03:23 the last two verses of the Old Testament
03:26 where it says, that Elijah, the prophet, will appear
03:30 before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
03:34 Now most scholars and most churches agree that
03:37 that has got to be referring to the second coming of Jesus.
03:41 Anybody here seen Elijah?
03:44 Who is Elijah? Who is this Elijah?
03:47 You know, there's a man who's been bewitching
03:49 hundreds of thousands of youth.
03:51 He happens to be an automobile manufacturer from Korea,
03:55 his name is Moon.
03:58 He lives in a multimillion-dollar home,
04:00 I expect he's got several of them.
04:02 His followers are called "Moonies."
04:05 Some claim that he is Elijah, is he?
04:12 Well, now tonight let me explain
04:14 what I believe this verse means.
04:17 Then I'm gonna have you take your Bible
04:19 and you'll decide whether or not I'm right.
04:22 But, of course, it's not who's right, is it?
04:24 But what is right? Amen.
04:28 I believe that this prediction does not refer
04:32 to the coming of a man at all.
04:36 But rather I believe it refers to the coming of a message
04:40 similar to Elijah's that's to appear two times in history.
04:46 First, to prepare people for the first coming of Christ
04:51 and then a second special message similar to Elijah's
04:55 to prepare people for Jesus' second coming.
05:00 You say, now, Lonnie, where did you get that?
05:02 Well, I got that by eavesdropping
05:06 on a conversation between Christ and His disciples.
05:11 You see, the disciples
05:13 were perplexed about this same question.
05:15 They were puzzled over this Old Testament text
05:17 you have opened in your hands regarding the coming of Elijah.
05:21 Turn just a few pages forward to Matthew Chapter 17,
05:24 next book in your Bibles Matthew.
05:27 First, a little background.
05:29 One day Jesus took just three of His closest disciples
05:34 and the Bible says, He took them up into a mountain.
05:36 Verse-- Chapter 17:2 it says,
05:38 "There He was transfigured before them.
05:42 His face shone like the sun,
05:44 and His clothes became as white as the light."
05:48 God gave Jesus special affirmation
05:51 and encouragement just before His death on the cross.
05:54 Notice verses 5 and 6,
05:56 "While he was still speaking,
05:57 behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them
05:59 and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud,
06:02 saying, 'This is My beloved Son,
06:05 in whom I am well pleased.
06:06 Hear Him!'
06:08 And when the disciples heard it,
06:09 they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid."
06:13 You see, this was in effect a miniature
06:16 demonstration of the second coming.
06:19 It was so bright, so glorious, those disciples never forgot it
06:23 and they were convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt
06:25 that Jesus was indeed Messiah.
06:28 But suddenly that whole aura ended and it was just gone.
06:33 And absolutely speechless
06:34 those disciples descended the mountain.
06:37 Jesus told them not to tell anyone.
06:38 That was hard to do.
06:40 But now they were in an awful dilemma.
06:42 You see, those disciples had been taught
06:44 since they were children that before Messiah came,
06:50 Elijah must first come.
06:52 Notice verse 10 now,
06:54 "And His disciples asked Him, saying,
06:58 'Why then...' Lord, if you're Messiah,
07:01 we believe now that You are.
07:03 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must first come?'"
07:09 In other words, if You're Messiah,
07:12 where is Elijah?
07:14 Notice verse 11 and 12,
07:15 "Jesus answered and said to them,
07:18 'Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
07:24 But I say unto you,' what?
07:26 'That Elijah has come already,
07:31 and they did not know him
07:32 but did to him whatever they wished.
07:35 Likewise, the Son of Man is
07:36 also about to suffer at their hands.'''
07:38 Now I want you to read out loud together,
07:39 everyone, verse 13.
07:42 "Then the disciples understood that
07:45 He spoke to them of," whom?
07:47 "John the Baptist."
07:49 Clearly John the Baptist was the Elijah of Christ's day.
07:54 But people hadn't recognized John the Baptist as Elijah.
07:58 The Elijah message that was sent to prepare
08:01 the way for Christ's first coming was through whom?
08:05 John the Baptist.
08:06 Now, ladies and gentlemen,
08:07 the conclusions that we're about
08:09 to reach are so vital and so important,
08:12 we want to make absolutely certain we're correct.
08:14 So I want you to take your Bibles
08:15 and turn a few more books forward, to the Book of John.
08:18 Chapter 1, we'll pick it up in verses 19 to 23.
08:21 Let's go to John the Baptist,
08:23 let's ask him what he thinks about it.
08:26 Did John the Baptist admit to being Elijah?
08:31 Notice verse 19 and on.
08:33 It says, "Now this is the testimony of John,
08:36 when the Jews sent priests and Levites
08:39 from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'"
08:43 Where are your credentials? Who pays your groceries?
08:46 What authority do you have, John?
08:48 And it says, "He confessed, he did not deny,
08:51 but confessed, 'I am not the Christ.'
08:54 And they asked him, 'What then?
08:56 Are you Elijah?' And He said," what?
09:00 I am not.
09:04 Jesus said He was, John said he wasn't.
09:09 Now they press him a little further and they say,
09:11 "'Well, are you that prophet?' And he answered, 'No.'"
09:15 Are you folks a little confused right now?
09:18 "Then they said to him, 'Who are you
09:21 that we may give an answer to those who sent us?
09:23 What do you say about yourself?'"
09:26 I want you to read together with me, verse 23, everyone.
09:29 "He said, 'I am the voice
09:32 of one crying in the wilderness:
09:34 Make straight the way of the Lord.'''
09:36 I am not Elijah in person.
09:39 I am a voice similar to Elijah's.
09:42 I bring a message similar to Elijah's
09:45 to prepare the way for Messiah, for Christ,
09:47 to make straight the way of the Lord.
09:50 Now the next text is gonna clear up
09:52 any mystery with absolute certainty.
09:55 Let's go over to the Book of Luke.
09:58 Matthew, Mark, Luke just back one book.
10:01 Luke 1:17, now this happens to be a very special message
10:06 that the angel Gabriel gave to John the Baptist's father,
10:10 Zacharias before John's miraculous birth.
10:14 Notice first, though, verses 15 and 16.
10:18 It says, "For he," that's John, the angel will say that,
10:21 "John will be great in the sight of the Lord,
10:24 and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.
10:26 He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit,
10:28 even from his mother's womb.
10:30 And he will turn many of the children of Israel
10:33 to the Lord their God."
10:34 Now, folks, notice very carefully,
10:36 what the physician Luke says in Luke 1:17,
10:40 talking about John,
10:42 "He will go before Him," who's the "Him" here?
10:45 This is Messiah he's talking about,
10:47 John will go before Messiah, in what?
10:51 "The spirit and power of Elijah,
10:54 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,'
10:57 and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
10:59 to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.''
11:02 Where did we read those words before tonight?
11:06 In our first text in Malachi 4:5, 6,
11:10 he's quoting him here.
11:11 In other words, John the Baptist
11:14 was not Elijah in person.
11:18 But he came in the spirit and power of Elijah.
11:22 You see, this isn't talking tonight about reincarnation.
11:25 It's talking about a message similar to Elijah's
11:30 and if you receive it, it becomes Elijah to you.
11:34 And Jesus verifies this in Matthew 11:7, 10
11:38 if you have any questions.
11:40 Matthew 11, you can see it on the screen.
11:42 "As they departed, Jesus began to say
11:45 to the multitudes concerning John,
11:47 'What did you go out into the wilderness to see?
11:50 A reed shaken by the wind?'
11:53 For this is he of whom it is written,
11:55 'Behold, I send my messenger before Your face,
11:58 who will prepare your way before you.'
12:00 And if you are willing to receive it," what?
12:03 "He is Elijah who is to come."
12:07 Now may I have your eyes?
12:10 We found in our first text there in Malachi
12:13 that Elijah must come before the second coming of Christ,
12:18 the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
12:21 But we see clearly here that there's sometimes a primary
12:25 and a secondary fulfillment of prophecy,
12:27 there was a parallel fulfillment
12:29 of that prophecy at Christ's first coming.
12:33 John the Baptist, Jesus said,
12:35 was the Elijah message to prepare
12:37 the way for Christ's first coming.
12:39 But the primary emphasis of the Book of Malachi
12:44 is that before the second coming of Jesus Christ,
12:47 Elijah will first come.
12:50 Now I have a question for you.
12:53 Why, oh, why did God choose to call His last day message
12:58 to prepare people for the second coming of Jesus,
13:00 why did He choose to call it, the Elijah message?
13:05 Why didn't He call it,
13:06 Isaiah's message or Peter's message,
13:09 especially the Book of Daniel, Daniel's message?
13:12 Folks, everything in the next few minutes
13:15 will answer that question.
13:17 You see, just as a very special Elijah message
13:22 before the first coming of Christ
13:24 prepared the way for Messiah,
13:26 so a message similar to Elijah's
13:29 will prepare the way
13:30 for the second coming of Jesus Christ,
13:33 a major last day
13:35 Book of Revelation call for decision and reformation
13:37 and repentance, just like Elijah's.
13:41 And you know what?
13:44 Such a message is found
13:46 right in the heart of the Book of Revelation,
13:49 God's last call strikingly similar to Elijah's.
13:55 But back to my question,
13:57 why call this last message, the Elijah message?
14:03 What was Elijah's message?
14:06 Let's go back to the Old Testament
14:08 and discover what Elijah's message was,
14:10 so we can identify somewhere
14:11 here in these last days some church, some movement
14:16 that is preaching the Elijah message, okay?
14:20 Now Elijah lived way back there 400 years before Malachi.
14:27 But Elijah did a work that was very similar
14:29 to John the Baptist.
14:31 In fact, his dress, his speech,
14:33 his attire, they were identical.
14:36 And he spoke with the same power.
14:39 Remember John the Baptist's message
14:41 was a call to return to holy living, wasn't it?
14:45 Boy, he pointed some fingers at those Pharisees.
14:47 "You snakes, vipers, Pharisees, get your act together, guys,
14:52 proper spirit of keeping God's commandments.
14:55 You got to reform, you got to repent,
14:56 you got to get baptized.
14:58 Folks, its decision time.
15:00 Choose today Messiah is coming with fire and judgment.
15:03 Repent." Amen.
15:06 Now let's notice Elijah's message.
15:09 Go back to the Book of 2 Kings 17:13-16.
15:17 It says, ''Yet the Lord God testified against Israel
15:22 and against Judah, by all of His prophets,
15:24 every seer saying,
15:26 'Turn from your evil ways,'" and what?
15:29 "Keep My commandments and My statutes."
15:33 There it is, that's the message,
15:34 just like John the Baptist.
15:36 "According to all the law which I commanded your fathers,
15:39 and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.
15:42 Nevertheless they would not hear,
15:45 but stiffened their necks."
15:46 What does that mean? They became stubborn.
15:49 "Like the necks of their fathers,
15:51 who did not believe in the Lord their God.
15:53 And they," what?
15:55 "Rejected His statutes and His covenant
15:58 that He had made with their fathers,
15:59 and His testimonies which He had testified against them,
16:02 they followed idols, and became idolaters,
16:05 and went after the nations who were all around them,
16:07 concerning whom the Lord had charged them
16:09 that they should not do like them."
16:12 Now here we go again, class,
16:13 I want to hear you all read together, everyone.
16:16 "So they left all the commandments
16:19 of the Lord their God,
16:21 made for themselves a molded image
16:23 and two calves, made a wooden image
16:26 and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal."
16:31 All the host of heaven means,
16:32 the sun, and the moon, and the stars.
16:35 So they became sun worshipers.
16:37 Ra, the sun god.
16:39 Moon worshipers. Star worshipers.
16:41 Baal, the storm God, Ishtar, the fertility god
16:44 of the harlots and prostitutes, El and Amon,
16:46 the cow God, Godess Hathor and Osiris, the crocodile god.
16:50 They worshiped all the host of heaven.
16:54 You say, Lonnie, just a minute,
16:56 if that's the Elijah message to stop worshiping
16:58 all the stuff in the skies and the heavens,
17:00 we don't worship the sun and the moon and the stars.
17:04 Here in the 21st century,
17:05 we're intelligent people, we're enlightened people.
17:08 So why would God call the last final message,
17:11 the Elijah message?
17:15 One more scripture, but may I have your eyes first?
17:20 Remind you that God put His nation Israel
17:25 in that strategic little narrow neck of land
17:27 in the Middle East Palestine to witness for Him.
17:31 That was a crossroads
17:33 of the trade routes in the ancient world.
17:35 But instead of the Jewish people
17:36 witnessing to the heathen,
17:38 they turned and tramped off after all the other gods
17:41 and became like the heathen.
17:43 To the point geographically,
17:45 Israel was completely surrounded by sun worship.
17:50 To the north you had the Phoenicians,
17:52 they worship the sun.
17:53 Down to the southwest
17:55 you have Egypt, all of the pyramids,
17:56 all of the sun worship there.
17:58 To the south and the southeast
17:59 you have the kingdom of Petra and Edom.
18:02 I've been there to those high altars
18:04 where they worship the sun, sacrifice their kids.
18:07 Well, King Ahab, one of God's chosen people,
18:12 instead of Ahab marrying a nice young,
18:14 God fearing Jewish girl,
18:17 Ahab went north and he married
18:18 a Phoenician princess by the name of Jezebel.
18:24 How many of you mothers here tonight
18:25 named your daughter Jezebel?
18:29 Why do we smile?
18:31 Well, because nobody's ever named their daughter Jez--
18:33 I remember a cow once that we had was named Jezebel.
18:37 Because Jezebel represents everything wicked, right?
18:40 When he married her, Jezebel just didn't bring--
18:43 pack her trousseau and come down, her hope chest.
18:45 She brought 450 pagan prophets of Baal
18:49 and 400 heathen sun-worshiping prophets of the groves
18:52 and she fed them all with the king's groceries.
18:55 So that soon the whole nation of Israel
18:58 tramped off in apostasy
19:00 and Israel began worshiping Baal
19:03 and the god of storms, the god of water
19:05 and the winter rains and lightning
19:07 and all the hosts of heaven.
19:09 So what did God do?
19:11 He sent Elijah with a message to Israel.
19:15 All right, Israel,
19:16 because you have forsaken the commandments of God,
19:18 Jehovah has sent me to tell you, in 1 Kings 17:1
19:22 "As the Lord God of Israel lives,
19:25 before whom I stand, there shall be no dew,
19:28 no rain these years, except at my word."
19:32 You folks are worshiping Baal,
19:33 the god of storms and rain and lightning,
19:36 Jehovah says there'll be no rain,
19:37 there'll be no water, there'll be no storms,
19:40 not even any dew for 3 1/2 years,
19:43 except at my word.
19:46 You see, Elijah knew how to pray for God
19:49 to shut off the spigots of heaven.
19:52 Then suddenly Elijah disappeared and he hid.
19:56 And there was no rain the Bible says.
19:58 Everything dried up. Crops dried.
20:01 Food became scarce. Even livestock died.
20:04 By the way, Elijah was the most
20:05 hunted man alive by Ahab's FBI.
20:09 And all of a sudden mysteriously
20:11 Elijah shows up again after 3 1/2 years
20:14 and he appears at the palace with a message for Ahab.
20:19 Well, Ahab already was out there,
20:20 he couldn't get angry at him, because maybe Elijah
20:23 would do something else worse.
20:25 1 Kings 18:17-20, notice it says,
20:28 "And it happened, then when Ahab saw Elijah,
20:33 that Ahab said to him,
20:36 'Is that you, O troubler of Israel?'
20:40 Elijah answered, 'I have not troubled Israel,
20:43 but you and your father's house have,
20:45 in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord
20:48 and have followed the Baals.
20:50 Now therefore, Ahab send and gather
20:52 all Israel to me on Mt. Carmel,
20:55 the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal,
20:57 and the four hundred prophets of Asherah,
20:59 who eat the king's groceries at Jezebel's table.'
21:04 "So," it says, "Ahab sent for all the children of Israel,
21:08 and gathered the prophets together on Mt. Carmel.''
21:10 I've stood up there on that mountain.
21:12 Right up there near Armageddon.
21:14 Now before we read verse 21,
21:17 let me point out, this became essentially a showdown,
21:23 a contest and Ahab agreed to the conditions,
21:26 ''Yes, Elijah, Jezebel and I will bring all of our prophets
21:30 and we'll bring our televangelists
21:31 and our magicians and tricksters,
21:33 we'll all be up there at Mt. Carmel."
21:35 Elijah says, "Okay, here we are.
21:37 You build an altar and you put a sacrifice on it.
21:42 But I'll do the same.
21:43 We'll each call on our own gods of fire
21:46 and rain to ignite a fire to burn up the sacrifice.
21:51 You call on your sun god or better,
21:53 why don't you call on Baal?
21:54 He's the storm god, we need some water and moisture.
21:57 But there's got to be no trickery."
21:59 You know the story.
22:00 Elijah watched carefully all day long
22:02 as they started to cry and dance all day long.
22:06 And the Bible, it's kind of an interesting insight here,
22:09 Elijah begins to goad them after a while
22:11 when they're getting tired, he says,
22:12 "Maybe your God went on vacation,
22:14 maybe he's got a timeshare somewhere
22:15 and he can't hear you.
22:17 Holler a little louder."
22:18 And then the original in the Bible says,
22:20 the next time he prodded them he says,
22:22 "Maybe your God had to go on a bathroom break,
22:26 or maybe he's sleeping.
22:27 Shout louder, you'll wake Him up."
22:29 Well, the bedlam got louder and more violent
22:31 as they shrieked and hollered,
22:32 "O Baal, hear us."
22:35 Bible says, they began to cut themselves with knives
22:37 and finally when they were totally foaming at the mouth
22:40 and exhausted and hoarse at evening,
22:42 the Bible says, Elijah came forward,
22:45 very quietly began to rebuild the altar of the Lord.
22:50 They'd had their turn, hadn't worked
22:52 and he laid a sacrifice on it
22:55 and then he dug a trench around that altar
22:57 and he ordered 12 barrels of precious water
23:01 to be poured over that sacrifice.
23:04 And then they'd had all day, 12 hours.
23:07 Elijah prayed a prayer, you read it
23:09 in your Bibles, it lasted 90 seconds.
23:13 And instantly fire flashed like lightning from heaven,
23:17 it burned up the sacrifice and the wood,
23:19 disintegrated the stones, and even licked up the water
23:22 and the dirt in the trench.
23:25 Because he who made the atom
23:27 knows how to control it, doesn't He?
23:30 Amen. Praise the Lord.
23:31 Notice 1 Kings 18:21, it says,
23:33 "And then Elijah came to all the people, and said,
23:38 'How long will you falter between two opinions?
23:42 If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him.'
23:48 And the people answered him," what?
23:50 "Not a word."
23:52 Now, ladies and gentlemen,
23:54 Elijah's work was essentially to call people away
23:58 from paganism and sun worship
24:00 and back to the commandments of God.
24:04 But you say, okay, Lon,
24:06 but why would God call His last message the Elijah message?
24:10 We don't worship the sun.
24:15 Or do we? Or do we?
24:23 Tonight when you get home you can turn that page
24:26 on the explanatory notes and get some more details,
24:29 but let me just summarize
24:30 what's there in that little worksheet
24:31 that you've been given tonight.
24:33 I want you to have that so you'd have the history.
24:36 Just a few months ago in mid December,
24:39 all around the Christian world
24:42 we removed the trinkets and the lights,
24:45 we took down the tree and little manger scene
24:47 with maybe some shepherds and a cradle
24:49 and a little baby and it all seemed to fit,
24:51 because Christmas was supposed
24:53 to represent the birth of Christ.
24:57 But just a few weeks ago at Easter,
25:01 every Sunday school in North America
25:03 gave the children an Easter basket
25:05 filled with chocolate eggs and a bunny rabbit
25:08 and some jelly beans until the children got sick.
25:12 What on earth do Easter eggs
25:15 and bunny rabbits have to do
25:17 with the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ?
25:18 Yes, talk through. Amen.
25:22 Absolutely nothing.
25:25 But here's the story that's behind it,
25:27 straight from Elijah's day.
25:31 Now I referred to this book once before.
25:33 You can find it in some used book stores,
25:36 it's called, "The Two Babylons,"
25:37 by Alexander Hislop.
25:40 You want to read something
25:41 that will not let you sleep at night, you read this book.
25:44 But let me take you back
25:45 to the earliest days of civilization.
25:48 During the war in Iraq, we were very much aware of the fact
25:51 that they destroyed the museums over there
25:53 that are the cradle of civilization.
25:56 The Tigris-Euphrates River there,
25:57 back to old Nineveh right there
26:00 near Baghdad on the Tigris-Euphrates.
26:04 The ancients worshiped life, anything reproductive.
26:10 So they worshiped, of course, bulls.
26:13 They worshiped sex organs, male and female.
26:16 You can buy them over there in Greece and India
26:18 and all of these countries today.
26:19 Tourists are shocked to see them.
26:21 They worshiped the sun, a source of life,
26:23 the moon, stars, they worshiped rivers, trees, sexuality.
26:27 But they especially worshiped the female egg.
26:32 Well, according to the ancient heathen legends,
26:37 legend had it, this never happened,
26:39 but the pagans believed it,
26:41 that one day an egg of wondrous size
26:44 fell out of heaven and fell into the River Euphrates.
26:48 Then fish nosed that giant egg up on the bank.
26:53 Some scholars think
26:54 that's where our Easter egg rolling comes from.
26:59 Then doves came down from heaven
27:01 and settled on the giant egg and out hatched Ishtar.
27:06 Now in other cultures, her name is called Venus,
27:10 Ashtarte, Astoreth, Semeramis,
27:13 who was the female deity of the moon,
27:16 as Re or Ra was the god of the sun,
27:19 or as Baal was god of lightning and the storms.
27:21 Now some scholars say that Ishtar
27:25 anglicized has become Easter.
27:30 But according to the legends,
27:32 Ishtar had a baby boy without a father.
27:37 Centuries before the virgin birth of Jesus Christ,
27:40 Satan counterfeited the virgin birth in heathen mythology.
27:44 In fact, the Bible speaks of Tammuz,
27:48 Ishtar's husband and the Bible specifically
27:50 warns against worshiping him.
27:52 Hold on to your seats.
27:54 Tammuz was born right around the 25th day of December.
28:00 Do you ever hear of that day? Yes.
28:02 But he was killed, in mythology,
28:04 by a wild boar in the spring.
28:06 But then in the legend,
28:08 Tammuz was resurrected every spring
28:12 on the first day of the week following the vernal Equinox.
28:15 What day is that? Easter.
28:19 But just before his resurrection
28:21 the people would weep and fast and sing dirges for Tammuz.
28:25 Have you ever heard of 40 days of fasting,
28:28 that we call, what?
28:29 Lent. I'm not finished yet.
28:33 Every year those pagans would go
28:35 to the top of the highest hill in every community
28:38 to watch for the resurrection of Tammuz at a sunrise service.
28:44 And the Bible even says in Jeremiah 7:18,
28:48 "That the women would knead dough,
28:50 and they would make cakes
28:52 for the queen of heaven and to the other gods."
28:54 And some say they put a "T" on those cakes for Tammuz.
28:58 Have you ever heard of hot cross buns?
29:04 Now, folks, please don't misunderstand me.
29:08 There's nothing morally wrong
29:09 in eating a chocolate egg at Easter,
29:12 nor singing Christmas carols at Christmas.
29:15 Everybody knows Jesus was not born on December 25.
29:21 And you can go to the top of every hill
29:23 in any community for a sunrise service
29:26 as long as you're not worshiping Tammuz or the sun.
29:29 And I thank the Lord for Christmas.
29:31 At least there is a little time
29:32 there we can focus on the Savior.
29:34 And by the way, there is nothing
29:35 morally wrong with fasting for 40 days.
29:39 These are not moral issues.
29:41 You're not saved or lost by eating a chocolate egg.
29:45 But, folks, here's my point.
29:47 If Christianity as we've just learned
29:49 in the last few minutes to our shock,
29:51 if Christianity has been so thoroughly
29:55 riddled with the remnants of sun worship in areas
29:59 that do not matter morally, could it be
30:03 that Christianity today is infected
30:05 and affected with sun worship in areas
30:08 that do matter morally?
30:11 And the answer, friend, is yes.
30:14 And we will see that next week in some shocking ways
30:16 because some of the best prophecy meetings
30:18 are yet ahead when God's voice of prophecy speaks.
30:22 Amen. Don't miss them.
30:25 But now we're ready to understand
30:26 God's Elijah's message for us today.
30:31 It's about sun worship, somehow it's tied in there
30:33 and it's found right in the heart
30:35 of the Book of Revelation 14:6-12.
30:39 Now please notice, right here we have the same Elijah message
30:45 in its current setting, of course, for 2003, 2004,
30:48 just before the second coming of Jesus.
30:51 And this has to do then with you and with me.
30:55 The Elijah message just before the coming of the great
30:58 and terrible day of the Lord, that's us.
31:01 In fact, if you have your Bibles
31:03 and you want to jump ahead
31:04 just two verses and notice verse 14,
31:06 the most glorious picture there
31:08 of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
31:09 It says, "Then I looked and behold a white cloud,
31:13 and on the cloud One sat like the Son of Man
31:16 having on His head a golden crown,
31:17 and in His hand a sharp sickle.
31:19 And another angel came out the temple,
31:21 crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud,
31:24 'Thrust in Your sickle and reap,
31:26 for the time has come for You to reap,
31:28 for the harvest of the earth is,'" what?
31:32 Now just immediately before these two verses
31:35 about the second coming of Jesus,
31:37 John describes the Elijah message.
31:40 For our day an identical message should call us
31:44 away from sun worship and paganism
31:47 back to God's commandments.
31:50 Now what does your Bible tell us?
31:52 I want you to notice carefully, friend, each verse.
31:54 Revelation 14:6, it says,
31:57 "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven
32:00 having the everlasting gospel to preach
32:03 to those who dwell on the earth
32:05 to every nation, tribe, tongue, people."
32:09 By the way, this word "angel,"
32:12 John saw an angel flying with the everlasting gospel.
32:15 Say, did God give the business
32:16 of preaching to angels or to people?
32:21 Which? People.
32:22 I'll be the first to admit
32:23 that angels would probably do a lot better job.
32:26 But remember, this is a symbolic book
32:29 and the word "angel" if you ever take Greek,
32:32 literally translated, simply means message or messenger.
32:38 There's a message that brings God's message to the world.
32:42 So what this is saying is it says,
32:44 worldwide message, every nation, kindred,
32:45 tongue, and people.
32:46 But it's a message of what? The everlasting gospel.
32:52 In other words, this isn't some new truth,
32:54 something strange, something man invented.
32:56 They got their special Bible or their special new light.
32:59 No, this is the same gospel given to Adam,
33:02 the same one that was given to Mosses,
33:03 the same one that Jesus preached and the apostles,
33:06 the same one in its current setting for 2003
33:09 and for these last days.
33:11 It's a message of salvation in Jesus Christ,
33:15 not by works, that goes to every nation,
33:19 tribe, tongue and people.
33:21 I have a question for you.
33:23 Could that have been fulfilled a hundred years ago?
33:28 Not really.
33:30 We know that Africa was a closed book,
33:32 Asia was asleep, India was shut tight,
33:37 but what happens in Baghdad or here in Columbia today
33:41 is known minutes later by satellite.
33:44 Folks, the gospel message could be preached overnight.
33:48 This is the last message, verse 7 says.
33:52 That's why it's the Elijah message
33:55 and it matches perfectly.
33:56 It says "With a loud voice,
33:58 'Fear God and give glory'" to brother Melashenko.
34:02 Is that what it says? No, no, no, no.
34:04 No, friend.
34:05 "Fear God and give glory to" who?
34:08 "To Him, for the hour of His judgment has come
34:12 and worship Him who made heaven, the earth,
34:14 and the seas and the springs of waters."
34:17 We've learned the judgment has come.
34:20 So do you see how relevant this Elijah message is?
34:23 It's a present message
34:25 for our last days about judgment.
34:28 Well, it says here, worship Him
34:31 who made by millions of years of evolution from slimy ooze
34:35 and through the reign of tooth and fang and claws.
34:38 Is that what it says? No.
34:39 No. Worship who?
34:43 The Creator. Amen.
34:45 This message then is the heart of the Sabbath commandment.
34:49 In fact, those words are quoting
34:51 from the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20.
34:55 By the way there are Three Angels Messages
34:58 that constitute here the Elijah message for our day.
35:03 It says, the second angel says, "Babylon is fallen."
35:08 That's not Baghdad.
35:10 It's talking about spiritual Babylon.
35:14 Notice verse 8, "And another angel followed saying,
35:17 Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city
35:20 because she has made all nations drink of the wine
35:22 of the wrath of her fornication."
35:24 In other words, all man-made efforts
35:28 and religion add up to zilch.
35:31 What that angel-- that message is saying
35:33 is that most churches out there,
35:35 most denominations, most man-made philosophies
35:38 have become confused, babble, Babel.
35:44 God is saying, modern and end-time churches
35:47 have become Babylon and are giving confused signals
35:49 to the point people are getting spiritually drunk.
35:53 And that's why God says by the way over in Revelation 18,
35:56 "Come out of her, my people."
35:59 But then in verses 9 to 11, the third angel swoops down
36:03 with the most dire warning of all time for Babylon
36:05 and the world's great religions,
36:07 the mark of the beast.
36:10 Notice, "Then a third angel followed them
36:12 saying with a loud voice, 'If any man,
36:15 any person worships the beast and his image
36:17 and receives his mark on his forehead or in his hand,
36:20 he himself shall also drink of the wine
36:23 of the wrath of God which is poured out full strength,
36:26 into the cup of His indignation.
36:28 He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone
36:30 in the presence of the holy angels
36:32 and in the presence of the Lamb.
36:33 And the smoke with their torment ascends
36:35 forever and ever, and they have no rest
36:36 day or night who worship the beast in his image,
36:39 and whoever receives the mark of his name.'"
36:42 Now we're gonna study about
36:44 the mark of the beast on another evening.
36:48 But please notice now verse 12
36:51 because here is the fruit of Elijah's message,
36:56 here is the result,
36:57 here's why this message has to go to the world.
37:00 This is what God is looking for with this Elijah message.
37:03 The same result as the first Elijah,
37:06 the same result as John the Baptist in Jesus' day,
37:09 only this Elijah message results in the final climax,
37:13 the final last day message of preparation
37:16 for the second coming of Jesus Christ,
37:18 same consistent message.
37:20 And God can finally look at His universe and say,
37:22 "Look, here they are, here's My saints, here's My people."
37:26 God's called out Israel elect, in verse 12.
37:30 Here is the patience of the saints.
37:33 Here are those who keep the commandments of God
37:38 and the faith of Jesus.
37:40 Do you see it, friend? Yes.
37:43 God's saints are simply people who keep the commandments
37:48 and they have the faith of Jesus.
37:50 So evidently commandment keeping
37:53 and the faith of Jesus go together.
37:57 This is profoundly significant.
38:00 The Elijah message of the Old Testament,
38:03 the Elijah message of Jesus' day
38:06 and the final Elijah message
38:07 just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord,
38:09 folks, they're all the same.
38:12 The Elijah message is a message
38:14 that calls for special reformation,
38:16 special revival just before Christ coming,
38:20 just before Jesus returns, the very same Elijah message
38:25 calls people back to God's commandments
38:27 and the faith of Jesus.
38:30 And Jesus did say in John 14:15 and John 15:14,
38:35 "If you love me, keep my commandments."
38:40 Revelation 14:6 says, this Elijah message
38:43 is to be proclaimed worldwide,
38:45 every kindred, nation, tongue and people by satellite,
38:49 by radio, by television,
38:51 by discover Bible course, by Internet.
38:54 Join me tonight on the Internet,
38:58 I'll be there 10 o'clock and 10:30.
39:00 But God's voice of prophecy to the world,
39:04 folks, that is being fulfilled
39:06 right now in this satellite series.
39:10 That's helping to do that.
39:12 But, friends, notice the climax, notice the result,
39:15 immediately after this Elijah message is given
39:17 we have that magnificent picture
39:19 of the second coming of Jesus.
39:21 Notice verses 14 and 15,
39:24 "Then I looked, behold, a white cloud
39:26 and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man
39:29 having on His head a golden crown
39:31 and in His hand a sharp sickle."
39:33 Folks, could anything be more clear?
39:37 God's special Elijah message for today
39:39 is the Three Angels Messages to prepare
39:42 a remnant, last day people
39:44 from all different walks of life and faith
39:46 and churches and denominations, to prepare them
39:49 for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
39:51 And that is precisely why the devil
39:53 doesn't want that passage studied,
39:56 but nothing's more important.
39:59 I know this may be new, new light to some.
40:04 Jesus says in 1 John 1:7,
40:07 "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light,
40:12 we have fellowship with one another,
40:13 and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
40:16 cleanses us from all sin."
40:21 Tell you a little story about Jeanie and me,
40:23 when we were first married, we were quite young very naive.
40:26 We went on our first camping trip
40:27 and we haven't been on too many since.
40:30 I can count them on less than one hand.
40:33 You know where we went for our first camping trip?
40:35 Death Valley.
40:37 Camping in the dark, didn't have any equipment,
40:40 didn't have sleeping bags, a place called Furnace Creek.
40:46 I discovered that Jeanie was very much afraid of the dark,
40:48 in fact, she was petrified.
40:50 And she had to go to the bathroom.
40:52 A little flashlight.
40:53 Let me tell you, she was walking
40:54 right on my feet as I walked her.
40:57 But as long as she walked in the light
40:59 and moved forward as I moved,
41:01 fine, we made progress together.
41:03 Friend, it's the very, very same thing
41:05 the Bible says today.
41:07 We're out here living in a world
41:08 of spiritual darkness and it's getting darker.
41:12 Jesus with the preaching of His Elijah messages,
41:14 shining light onto the pathways of millions of lives
41:18 and into their homes and into their hearts
41:21 and He's extending a loving invitation
41:23 for you to follow Jesus,
41:25 step out of Babylon and spiritual confusion
41:27 and start to walk in the light.
41:31 Be born again, live for Jesus,
41:33 love for Jesus, obey for Jesus, follow Jesus
41:37 and begin an exciting new fellowship with others
41:40 who also believe the Elijah message
41:42 as you've now heard and discovered.
41:45 I want you to notice what that text says,
41:47 the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
41:50 cleanses us from all sin if we walk in the light.
41:55 You see, what's important is we must respond,
41:58 we must do, we must obey,
42:01 we must walk in the light, then His blood cleanses
42:05 and we have fellowship and then we're saints.
42:11 Now suppose, I see some truth and I understand,
42:14 but it seems a little inconvenient and--
42:17 Can I disobey?
42:19 Notice what this text says,
42:20 if we walk in the light, as we keep on walking,
42:24 keep obeying God's truth, the blood constantly
42:27 cleanses us from all sin.
42:29 Folks, that's a wonderful promise.
42:33 When I was a lad growing up in Canada,
42:35 we lived on a farm in Saskatchewan,
42:37 didn't have any electricity, no running water,
42:40 but that was okay except I, too, was afraid of the dark.
42:45 No lights, no flashlight.
42:47 One day dad went out to milk the cows in the barn,
42:50 and I remember, I followed him closely.
42:52 He had a lantern.
42:54 As I followed by his side I said, "Daddy,
42:56 the light reaches such a little way there.
42:58 I mean, ahead there must be the boogieman
43:00 and shadows and it looks so scary."
43:03 He took my little hand and he said, "Yes, son,
43:05 but if you walk in the light
43:07 you now have, it would take you safe
43:10 to the end of the journey."
43:13 Friends, God wants to take you by the hand,
43:16 His light leads but one step at a time
43:18 and He promises to lead you safe to the end of the journey.
43:23 I invite you to put your hand in God's,
43:26 then listen, follow and obey.
43:31 His still small voice to you right now is a promise,
43:34 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light
43:37 we have fellowship with one another
43:39 and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
43:41 cleanses us from all sin."
43:45 Row captains, would you send down those containers?
43:48 Take out a commitment card right now
43:49 and make your decision to follow Jesus as Joey sings.
43:55 I will follow Thee, my Savior
44:02 Wheresoe'er my lot may be
44:08 Where Thou goest I will follow
44:15 Yes, my Lord, I'll follow Thee
44:22 I will follow Thee, my Savior
44:29 Thou didst shed Thy blood for me
44:36 And though all men should forsake Thee
44:43 By Thy grace
44:46 I'll follow Thee
44:53 Would you bow your heads with me as we pray together?
44:55 Father in Heaven, every day it's decision time,
45:01 every night, Lord, you've just shown us
45:04 another step in our spiritual journey.
45:08 Through Your holy scriptures You've revealed,
45:11 You want to save us and make us ready for Your coming.
45:14 In fact, You're so interested in us,
45:15 You sent three Elijah messages to prepare us.
45:20 An invitation, a call to repent, to obey,
45:24 to follow You and Your commandments all the way.
45:30 Lord, just now would You please help us,
45:33 impress us, empower us, enable us
45:37 and encourage us to believe Your promise
45:39 and to accept Your invitation and walk in the light
45:41 of obedience to Your commandments and to Your will
45:45 so that we can have fellowship
45:47 with one another and then the blood of Jesus
45:49 will keep on cleansing us from all of our sins.
45:53 As our heads are bowed
45:54 I'd like to have You take a look at that response card.
45:58 I'm gonna read these through with you
46:00 and I would like to have many people
46:01 check this first one, everyone to check number one.
46:04 I believe the Bible calls God's last day message
46:09 to prepare people for Christ's return,
46:12 "The Elijah message."
46:14 If you see that clearly tonight
46:15 just put a check after number one.
46:19 Number two is a personal commitment on your part,
46:21 I desire to follow all truth
46:23 and take steps away from modern Babylon,
46:26 keep God's Ten Commandments.
46:29 Would you put a check there?
46:31 Number three, I give my heart fully to Jesus
46:34 and want to walk with Him.
46:36 Put a check there, would you?
46:39 And some may like to have additional
46:40 reading materials, you put a check there,
46:42 we'll make sure to get that to you.
46:45 Make your decision, mark it
46:47 and return the baskets as Joey sings.
46:51 I will follow Thee, my Savior
46:58 Thou didst shed Thy blood for me
47:06 And though all men should forsake Thee
47:12 By Thy grace
47:16 I'll follow Thee
47:24 Father in heaven, as we close this prayer
47:25 I thank You for the light of Bible prophecy
47:30 that opens up new visions and vistas for us
47:34 to understand Your will for us in 2003.
47:38 Bless each commitment. In Jesus' name, amen.
47:43 We have a very special Discover Bible lesson tonight.
47:46 I hope you've been picking these up
47:48 from night to night at the Discover Bible stands,
47:51 get involved wherever you are, in your downlink locations,
47:53 it's not too late, you can take two, three,
47:55 four at a time, catch up
47:57 and join our graduation a couple of nights from now.
48:00 We're gonna be having a graduation,
48:01 so if you haven't been doing your homework,
48:03 take them with you on your break at lunch, fill these out.
48:07 Remember, please don't miss tomorrow's doubleheader,
48:10 Party for Prodigals,
48:12 11 o'clock in the morning at all the downlink location
48:15 and then in the evening at 7:15,
48:17 The Woman of Revelation.
48:20 Tonight following our session at all the locations,
48:24 please take advantage of meeting
48:25 your hosts and hostesses.
48:27 Some of our staff is gonna be over here
48:29 at the hospitality center.
48:31 Also those of you who've made decisions
48:33 for baptism for tomorrow,
48:35 particularly right here in Columbia,
48:38 I want you to come down,
48:39 meet us for just a minute here at the front,
48:41 we'd like to see you.
48:43 For the rest, have a wonderful and blessed happy Sabbath.
48:47 We'll see you tomorrow night.
48:48 Remember, as we go, friend, God really does love you.