Spring Camp Meeting 2014

The Great Controversy and the Second Coming

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Kameron Devasher


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000003S

00:37 Hello and welcome to the 3ABN Worship Center -
00:40 the Camp Meeting experience - as we take a closer look,
00:43 an in-depth look, at the second coming of our Lord
00:47 and Savior Jesus Christ.
00:48 You will be getting over the next several days
00:51 what we used to get in school called eschatology:
00:54 the study of the end things. Things dealing with the end.
00:58 We were a church born and birthed in the
01:01 matrix of eschatology. It was eschatology that drove us.
01:05 It was part of our name, our fabric.
01:08 We looked towards the end and tried to be prepared
01:11 for the end. And so during these next several days
01:15 we will do what some have accused the church of neglecting
01:18 to do, and that's concentrating on those things
01:21 dealing with the second coming of our Lord and Savior
01:24 Jesus Christ. We are so thankful for our first speaker.
01:27 John Bradshaw did a marvelous job, did he not?
01:30 Were you blessed by that presentation?
01:31 Surely we were.
01:33 And each speaker... You know
01:37 we say if you should have missed any speaker
01:39 it should have been the last one.
01:41 You don't want to miss this one. Our speaker now is
01:44 Pastor Kameron DeVasher. We met him some time ago
01:48 when he was an associate pastor in Florida.
01:50 He is now the pastor of the Muskegon and Fremont churches
01:56 in the Michigan Conference and doing a very, very fine job.
02:00 He's a GYC guy... a young person with energy
02:03 and much stamina. You may not recognize him
02:07 when he comes out. He's added a little something
02:09 to his lower face that he didn't have when last we met him.
02:12 He looks very professorial and very distinguished.
02:15 A little gray hair in there also.
02:17 So he's doing a very, very fine job for the Lord.
02:21 He is married to Emilie.
02:22 He has two sons: Henry and Edward.
02:25 And, of course, many of you know that Edward has had some
02:28 health challenges. We have prayed much for the DeVasher
02:31 family over the last several months. And he may want to
02:33 give you a little update on that.
02:35 I will allow him to do that if he wishes.
02:38 But Kameron is going to be speaking on The Great
02:40 Controversy Second Coming.
02:42 And that, of course, is a very powerful subject...
02:45 one that we want to know more about.
02:49 We invite you to open your Bibles; open your pads and
02:51 pencils; fire up your iPads.
02:53 We don't mind if you take notes.
02:55 In fact, we strongly encourage you to do so.
02:59 We are thankful that these messages will be available
03:02 after this weekend shall have ended.
03:03 But you may want to take some notes even while
03:05 the pastors are speaking for your own study and edification.
03:08 We'd be certainly happy if you would do that.
03:11 Just before Pastor DeVasher speaks, our music is coming from
03:15 our pastor and friend Pastor John Lomacang.
03:18 And he's going to be singing a song which is in the trajectory
03:21 of what we've been talking about. It's from our Pillars II
03:24 album: Don't You Hear My Jesus Coming?
03:28 But before Pastor Lomacang comes and Pastor DeVasher speaks
03:32 would you now bow your heads with me in a word of prayer.
03:36 Gracious Father, again we thank you and praise you
03:38 so very much for Your Word
03:40 which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
03:45 We are thankful, Lord Jesus, for the power of Your Word
03:48 and for the surety that we have that Jesus is coming soon.
03:53 Help us, Lord, as we learn more about that day
03:56 to prepare our hearts, our minds for that day
03:59 so that we can see You face to face.
04:02 And now, Father, we ask a very special blessing
04:05 on Pastor DeVasher as he speaks to us
04:07 and open our hearts that we may be receptive to the word.
04:11 Bless the music that shall be sung,
04:13 the sermon that shall be preached.
04:15 And we thank you, Father, in Jesus' name. Amen.
04:18 Pastor John Lomacang and then Pastor Kameron DeVasher.
04:40 Don't you see my Jesus coming?
04:46 Don't you see Him in yonder cloud?
04:53 With 10,000 angels 'round Him,
04:58 see how they my Jesus crowd!
05:05 I am bound for the kingdom,
05:10 Will you go
05:13 to glory with me?
05:17 Hallelujah!
05:20 O praise ye the Lord!
05:27 Don't you see the saints ascending?
05:32 Hear them shouting thro' the air.
05:38 Jesus smiling, trumpets sounding,
05:44 Now His glory they will share.
05:49 For I am bound for the kingdom,
05:54 will you go to glory with me?
06:00 Hallelujah!
06:03 O praise ye the Lord!
06:07 Hallelujah!
06:09 Hallelujah!
06:12 Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
06:14 Hallelujah!
06:20 Don't you see the heavens open
06:26 and the saints
06:28 in glory there?
06:33 Shouts of triumph bursting 'round them
06:38 glory glory
06:41 everywhere!
06:49 I am bound for the kingdom,
06:53 will you go to glory with me?
06:59 Hallelujah!
07:01 O praise ye the Lord!
07:05 Hallelujah!
07:08 O praise ye
07:11 the Lord!
07:29 And all the people said? Amen!
07:32 Has it been a blessing already this 3ABN Camp Meeting?
07:36 I hope so... in fact, I KNOW so.
07:37 I've been blessed just listening to it
07:39 and now being a part of it myself. I'm glad to be here.
07:41 I want to thank 3ABN for the opportunity to be here
07:43 and I would thank all of you for showing up and making this
07:46 one of the tremendous blessings that we get to experience
07:49 together as a church family.
07:50 The burden of my message this evening
07:53 is, of course, related to the second coming.
07:55 Everything this weekend is related to the second coming.
07:58 But I'm going to be addressing this particular topic from a
08:02 very specific perspective, OK?
08:06 My task - which I'm so excited about - is to present
08:10 the significance of the second coming in the context
08:16 of the great controversy.
08:18 The great controversy is the - as some call it -
08:21 the metanarrative
08:22 that underlies everything else in our understanding of God
08:25 and His work on our behalf.
08:27 And the second coming is a wonderful, awesome event
08:29 in and of itself, but it is an event in a much larger
08:33 spectrum of events or stream of events,
08:35 a process that God is doing to rid the universe
08:38 once and for all of sin and rebellion.
08:42 And so I praise the Lord that we are living so close
08:44 to the second coming where our study is not necessarily
08:48 theory but I have faith that in my lifetime
08:51 we're going to see Jesus come soon and very soon.
08:54 But before we dive into a study of God's Word
08:58 let's begin with a word of prayer.
09:00 Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for so many things
09:03 this evening. Thank you for life at all
09:07 but much more importantly, Lord, thank you for the eternal
09:10 life that is provided through Jesus Christ.
09:13 And as we look forward to and as scripture says
09:15 not only look for but hasten the coming of Christ,
09:19 Lord, help us to be Your people.
09:21 Not just on paper but in person, Lord,
09:24 make us like Jesus so that when we see Him
09:27 we go from this world to the next seamlessly.
09:30 Lord, bless us to that end.
09:32 Bless our minds now. Send Your Holy Spirit to teach us
09:34 as You have promised to do.
09:36 For we pray it all in Jesus' name, Amen.
09:41 The purpose of the great controversy
09:45 is to allow every sentient being in the universe
09:51 opportunity to see in Satan and his principles
09:57 what God has seen all along.
10:01 I'm going to say all that statement again because
10:03 that's going to be the foundation of what we build upon
10:06 in the rest of our time together.
10:08 The purpose of the great controversy
10:11 is to allow every sentient being
10:14 opportunity to see in Satan and his principles
10:19 what God has seen all along.
10:22 Let me demonstrate this to you in scripture.
10:27 Go to the book of Ezekiel... Ezekiel chapter 28.
10:33 There are a couple of passages that show us
10:36 the background to what we see in our world now.
10:41 We see Satan, we see evil, we see all the wake of his
10:46 rebellion in our experience. But before there was all that
10:50 there are a few passages of scripture that pull back
10:52 the veil and show us what we going on before the fall
10:56 and at the time of the fall in heaven.
10:58 Ezekiel chapter 28; we'll start with verse 14
11:01 and I want to bring something specific to your attention
11:03 tonight. When it describes Lucifer it says in verse 14:
11:08 "You were the anointed cherub who covers. " And of course,
11:12 as good Seventh-day Adventists our minds go back to that
11:14 Most Holy Place and the ark of the covenant
11:17 with the covering cherubs. That is a representation of
11:20 the position Lucifer once held.
11:23 "You were the anointed cherub who covers.
11:26 I established you. " Some versions even say
11:28 "I ordained you. "
11:30 You ever think about that? At one point Satan was an
11:32 ordained minister in the courts of heaven.
11:36 But it goes on: "You were on the holy mountain of God.
11:38 You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
11:40 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created
11:44 till iniquity was found in you. "
11:47 Now we'll pause right here for just a moment.
11:50 Iniquity - that is, sin - was found where?
11:52 "In you. " In him.
11:55 Let me ask you a very simple, logical question:
11:58 who is the only being in the universe who can see anything
12:01 in you? That's God.
12:05 Notice this is an internal... We're going to see this in
12:08 Isaiah. We're going to see it in Ezekiel where we are now
12:10 that this is an internal thing that's going on,
12:12 that we're just seeing the outward manifestation
12:15 in our lifetime and our experience.
12:17 But it continues: "Till iniquity was found in you. "
12:21 Verse 16: "By the abundance of your trading you became
12:24 filled with violence... " And here it is again:
12:26 "within... " The violence was within.
12:29 "Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of
12:32 the mountain of God and I destroyed you,
12:33 O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. "
12:36 Notice He did not destroy him from existence...
12:39 just he got fired from his job.
12:42 He got removed from that location.
12:44 Geographically he was displaced, but he was not
12:47 discontinued all together.
12:51 He was cast out instead of being blotted out of existence.
12:55 And I tell you, one of the issues that people have
12:57 with Christianity as a whole: if God knew, why didn't He
13:01 fix it the moment sin came into existence?
13:07 But we have an answer to this question right here
13:09 in scripture. Notice as the passage continues.
13:12 Verse 17: "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty.
13:16 You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. "
13:18 And I believe the key is found here:
13:20 "I cast you to the ground. I laid you before kings... "
13:25 For what purpose? "that they might gaze at you. "
13:31 Now, iniquity was already found within,
13:35 but apparently these other people can't see within.
13:39 Let me ask you a question: is it possible that you can have
13:41 something going on within that you don't necessarily express
13:45 without? Perhaps it's even happening right now as we
13:49 speak tonight. A lot of smiles... "Good to see you"
13:50 but inside "I don't know what you're thinking...
13:52 and I'd rather not know. "
13:55 When I see you, I just see what you decide to put out there.
13:58 Right? But Christ sees through.
14:01 He doesn't just see to you... He sees through you.
14:06 And notice the reason he was cast out instead of being
14:09 blotted out is so "they might gaze at you. "
14:14 Fascinating passage... fascinating concept.
14:16 Let's go to the book of Isaiah.
14:18 The parallel passage to what we find in Ezekiel
14:20 is Isaiah chapter 14 and again verse 12.
14:26 This time looking from the perspective after the 2nd coming
14:31 during that millennium of destruction
14:34 where Satan has lost all influence - almost all influence
14:38 in the universe. And the lamentation
14:42 of the prophet Isaiah here in chapter 14 verse 12 is:
14:44 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the
14:47 morning! How you are cut down to the ground
14:50 you who weaken the nations! "
14:52 And he goes on to say what he was saying in his heart:
14:55 "For you have said in your heart
14:58 'I will ascend into heaven.
15:00 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. "
15:02 And he goes on to say: "I... I... I... "
15:04 But it concludes that "I" list in verse 15:
15:07 "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths
15:12 of the pit. " Notice: "You shall be. "
15:14 He hasn't been destroyed yet but you're on your way.
15:21 Why is it a process instead of an event...
15:25 this destruction of Satan and the quashing of rebellion?
15:30 Verse 16... notice the striking similar language...
15:34 strikingly similar:
15:35 "Those who see you will... " What? "gaze at you... "
15:40 And what's that next word? "and consider you. "
15:44 What are some other words for consider?
15:47 To think about; to ponder; to mull over;
15:50 to debate; to wrestle with; to struggle;
15:52 to think about something. They're going to look at you
15:55 and think about you.
15:58 They need to look and think about you and your principles.
16:04 What you have done. "Is this the man
16:08 who made the earth tremble? Who shook kingdoms?
16:10 Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed
16:12 its cities and who did not open the house of his prisoners? "
16:16 They're dumbfounded at the thought that is it possible
16:20 that this is what happened.
16:21 Now, I believe it's significant that both Isaiah and Ezekiel
16:26 tell us the reason why Satan was cast out
16:29 instead of being blotted out.
16:30 It's because God can see what man doesn't.
16:33 Imagine in your mind the throne room of heaven
16:36 before the fall or during the time this internal struggle
16:40 is happening with Lucifer, the covering cherub.
16:45 God the Father... you can imagine everyone
16:46 is coming together for a great Camp Meeting in heaven.
16:49 And they're singing the doxology.
16:51 Oh, there's the angel host; there's the unfallen beings;
16:54 there's the different orders... cherubim and seraphim...
16:56 there's the covering cherubs. Everyone is there.
16:58 There's all the members of the Godhead; everyone is around
17:00 and they're singing praises to God.
17:02 And the eye of God sweeps across that great
17:08 assembly, and the outside of everyone there harmonizes
17:13 perfectly with the inside of everyone there.
17:16 Purity; holiness; righteousness.
17:20 All one harmonious chord in praise to the Father.
17:26 You can imagine: "Praise God, from whom... "
17:29 Just really lifting it up.
17:31 Until He gets to the covering cherub.
17:39 And I'm guessing that on the outside
17:42 he was also "Praise God, from whom... "
17:45 But on the inside: "I will ascend... I will exalt. "
17:53 You can imagine God the Father saying:
17:56 "Everybody, hang on just a second. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.
18:00 Umm, Lucifer, can you step forward please? "
18:05 And again on the outside: "Oh yes, what can I do?
18:07 How can I help? "
18:09 He's like: "You can stop that now.
18:14 Don't even play games any more.
18:19 I see the iniquity within. "
18:23 And he goes: "What are you? Honest... what... ah? Me? "
18:28 "Yes, and the wages of sin is death. "
18:39 And the lifeless form of the covering cherub...
18:44 before the onlooking universe.
18:49 And then God would say:
18:51 "All right... where were we? " "Praise God, from whom all... "
18:58 Now they're not against God
19:01 but is it legitimate to assume that they might have some
19:05 questions for God?
19:08 Absolutely. Absolutely they would.
19:13 Let me illustrate this... from scripture, again.
19:16 Job chapter 1. Job chapter 1 is a fascinating piece
19:20 of scripture. Just before the book of Psalms we have Job.
19:24 In outlines oftentimes people think it's the struggles of Job
19:28 and the issues of Job, but let me tell you something.
19:30 The person on trial in the book of Job is not Job.
19:35 It's God. Let me demonstrate this to you.
19:37 Of course the first five verses of chapter 1 of the book of Job
19:40 describes the goodness of this man Job. He's blameless,
19:44 he's upright... one who fears God and shuns evil.
19:48 And then after verse 5 it jerks us to verse 6 where it says
19:53 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present
19:56 themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. "
20:02 Which by the way, apparently there are schedules to keep
20:05 in heaven even. And there are perhaps - dare I say it? -
20:09 committee meetings in heaven.
20:12 Somebody somewhere just thought: "Now do I even want to go? "
20:17 Let me tell you: order is not against God.
20:21 Spiritual things are organized for service, OK?
20:24 But here we go: "There was a day when the sons of God
20:27 came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also
20:30 came among them. And the Lord said to Satan:
20:32 'From where do you come? '
20:34 So Satan answered the Lord and said: 'From going to and fro
20:37 on the earth and from walking back and forth on it. ' "
20:40 Basically, "I was cast out of Your kingdom but I've taken over
20:44 that other kingdom You made in Your image. "
20:49 You can imagine... he's starting his ascendency again.
20:53 "I'm here... I represent the earth. "
20:55 And, of course, who should have been at that meeting?
20:57 Adam as the representative.
20:59 But Adam handed the keys over. And by the way,
21:04 Lucifer admits as much.
21:07 Leave your finger right there in Job. Let me show you something
21:09 in Luke chapter 4. Luke chapter 4.
21:14 When he wrestles with Jesus in the wilderness of temptation
21:18 which, of course, Jesus is victorious. Praise the Lord!
21:21 But you notice what state- ment comes out of Satan's mouth.
21:25 Luke chapter 4 and verse 5.
21:29 "Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain,
21:32 showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
21:35 And the devil said to Him: 'All this authority
21:38 I will give You and their glory. ' " Now pause
21:41 right there. Is this a legitimate claim to authority
21:45 over the earth? Yes. Jesus Himself in the gospel of
21:49 John would several times refer to Satan as the ruler
21:53 of this world.
21:54 Notice how Satan at least honestly admits
21:57 how he came by it. Does he say: "I created this world? "
21:59 No, no, no, no, no. He's talking to the Creator.
22:01 That's not going to work. But what does he explain?
22:04 Again, verse 6: "And the devil said to Him: 'All this authority
22:07 I will give You and their glory for this has been delivered
22:11 to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. ' "
22:16 So we go back to the book of Job.
22:18 He comes to this meeting as the representative from earth
22:23 saying: "I'm walking back and forth on it to and fro. "
22:26 The implication is "I run that place. "
22:30 And then the Lord says to Satan in verse 8:
22:32 "Have you considered... " Thought about, pondered,
22:37 realized, looked at, considered...
22:39 "My servant Job
22:42 that there is none like him on the earth? "
22:48 Said: "You may claim to run back and forth and run the
22:51 entirety of the earth, but you have a defector in your camp.
22:57 He's on my side. Have you considered that?
23:02 When you make your claim to run the whole world
23:04 I think you forgot about Brother Job. "
23:08 "A blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil. "
23:13 "So Satan answered the Lord and said... " And notice
23:15 the implication: "Does Job fear God for... " What?
23:19 "for nothing? "
23:21 Satan's answer to Christ's bringing up Job
23:24 as a representative of those who fear God and shun evil...
23:28 Satan says: "Yeah, of course he fears God and shuns evil.
23:31 You don't think he's doing it for free? "
23:36 "Of course, look at him. Did you read the first 5 verses
23:39 of the book? You blessed him with children and houses
23:42 and property and all these animals and all this affluence
23:45 and wealth and influence. Sure! Who wouldn't for that price? "
23:52 "Have You not made a hedge around him and his household
23:55 and around all that he has on every side?
23:57 You have blessed the work of his hands
23:59 and his possessions have increased in the land,
24:00 but now stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has
24:03 and he will surely curse You to Your face. "
24:07 And what's amazing about this - this is verse 12-
24:10 "And the Lord said to Satan: 'Behold, all that he has
24:13 is in your power only do not lay a hand on his person. '
24:17 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. "
24:21 My question about this incident is, though there are many:
24:28 it's fascinating what Christ says and it's fascinating even
24:31 what Satan says and to watch this, but what do
24:34 the sons of God who are assembled at that meeting say?
24:40 Not one word.
24:43 Not one word.
24:45 Now these are loyal to God, yes?
24:47 They're at the meeting in heaven.
24:50 But when Satan comes in with his arguments and his sophistry
24:53 and his accusations they don't raise a remonstrance.
24:59 They don't say: "Hey, get out of here. We're not... "
25:02 It's as if they're saying: "Look, we're loyal to God
25:04 but we need to understand what's all at stake here.
25:09 We need to see this thing play out.
25:11 Let's let him say his piece so we can understand. "
25:14 And that was the purpose of Christ kicking him out.
25:18 So that: "they might gaze at you and consider you. "
25:23 So the Lord allowed this what we read about in the
25:26 rest of the book of Job to unfold not because God
25:29 doesn't know His heart. But the other people need to see
25:34 the contrast between the two competing principles
25:38 for the government of the universe.
25:41 They need to see.
25:43 And when Jesus... Let's go to the other side of the Bible
25:46 in the New Testament in the book of John -
25:48 John chapter 8- Jesus has
25:54 an all-too-familiar encounter with the religious leaders
25:57 of His time. And in John chapter 8 and verse 44
26:00 He makes a stark claim to them.
26:05 And He says in John chapter 8 and verse 44
26:08 to these religious leaders: "You are of your father
26:11 the devil. " By the way, I don't know what kind of
26:15 sharp-pointed preaching you've ever heard
26:17 but I'm doubting you've heard a sermon that pointed
26:21 in a long time. But Jesus had no problem
26:25 calling things out as they were.
26:28 And He said: "You are of your father the devil
26:33 and the desires of your father you want to do. "
26:37 Now what was in the father the devil?
26:39 Self-exaltation.
26:42 Jealousy... envy...
26:44 and murderous intent.
26:47 Remember he was filled with violence within.
26:49 Now let me ask you a question:
26:51 This war in heaven... was it an openly violent,
26:55 there were bodies of angels strewn across the streets
26:58 of gold, kind of conflict?
27:00 No. Remember the iniquity was with... the violence was within.
27:03 The thing that got him cast out you can see is his
27:06 trafficking, his trading, his gossiping, his tale bearing.
27:11 It was a war of words! Right?
27:14 He never openly had an armed conflict with the Son of God
27:18 in heaven... but he wanted to.
27:21 Which by the way, isn't that what Christ defined as murder?
27:27 And He said: "The desires of your father you want to do.
27:30 You are going to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish
27:34 even back then. " We continue reading:
27:37 "He was a murderer from the beginning and does not
27:43 stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.
27:45 When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources
27:49 for he is a liar and the father of it. "
27:52 So you have this tension in the great controversy
27:58 where God claims to be love - not just loving and lovely
28:03 but love itself.
28:06 Which... you search all of scripture, love manifest in the
28:08 giving of ones' self for others. It's selflessness.
28:12 And He claims to be love.
28:14 Yet Satan comes along and says: "You're not love.
28:18 You bribe people. Have You ever noticed that all of the songs
28:20 are about You?
28:21 Everything's about You, You, You, You, You.
28:23 You're selfish. "
28:25 And of course God would say: "No, no, no, no, no.
28:27 I'm selfless... you're selfish. "
28:29 "No, no, no, no, no. I'm selfless, You're... "
28:34 "Have You noticed that He's? " "Yes, but he...
28:37 Well... go ahead. " And you can imagine
28:40 from the heavenly unfallen beings' perspective
28:43 "We're loyal to God, but we don't understand all of these
28:48 arguments here. "
28:51 And at some point words just aren't enough.
28:58 For instance, if someone - not when someone
29:01 but if someone - were to ever tell you
29:05 or accuse you of being a liar
29:08 you know what you can't say?
29:12 "No I'm not. "
29:14 You know why? 'Cause that's what a liar would say.
29:20 They're gonna say: "Oh, there you go doin' it again. "
29:23 And you're going to say: "No, no, no. I really promise
29:26 I'm not. " You're just going to intensify the verbiage, right?
29:30 Intensify the... "I really, really, really.
29:33 I promise... I super promise. I'm not a liar. "
29:36 And they're just going to say: "Ah, man, you're just digging
29:38 a deeper hole. "
29:40 At some point when there is a...
29:45 a railing allegation against your character,
29:48 against your word, against your honesty
29:54 words just aren't enough.
29:57 And that, my friends, is why Jesus Christ came here:
30:02 to demonstrate in His person
30:07 the maligned character of God that Satan had been trafficking
30:12 around heaven and now in this earth.
30:15 Let me demonstrate this again from scripture.
30:18 Go to I John chapter 3.
30:20 Not the gospel of John this time but the epistle of I John
30:23 chapter 3 and verse 8.
30:29 "He who sins is of the devil
30:32 for the devil has sinned from the beginning. "
30:35 And notice this sentence:
30:37 "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested
30:42 that He might destroy the works of the devil. "
30:47 The whole purpose according to scripture
30:50 of Christ coming here was to end the things
30:53 that Satan had started there.
30:55 Does that make sense?
30:57 "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested
30:59 that He might destroy the works of the devil. "
31:03 And of course even in His life and ministry
31:05 He demonstrated the character of God.
31:07 He healed people, He taught people, but
31:09 the ultimate manifestation of the character of God
31:12 didn't come until Calvary.
31:17 And then all of that violence that had been within Satan
31:23 was unleashed through his agents
31:27 on the sinless Son of God.
31:32 And in one act
31:36 the entire unfallen universe
31:39 saw two things for the very first time.
31:46 First of all, they saw the character of the enemy of God...
31:49 that he truly was a liar and a murderer
31:53 from the very beginning.
31:55 That all of the things that God had said about him
31:58 were shown to be true.
32:02 And conversely, that all the things that God had claimed
32:07 about Himself - that He is love, that He is selfless,
32:11 that He would give Himself - was shown to be true as well.
32:17 In one act the entire unfallen universe saw for the very first
32:22 time the character of Christ and the character of His enemy.
32:28 What God had seen from the very beginning
32:31 they now saw with their own eyes.
32:34 Desire of Ages page 758.
32:37 "To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry
32:40 "It is finished! " had deep significance.
32:43 It was for them as well as for us that the great work
32:47 of redemption had been accomplished. "
32:50 Think about the power of that statement.
32:51 We think the reason Christ came to this earth was to save us
32:54 from sin. And yes - praise the Lord - that's part of the
32:57 process... but it's not the entirety.
33:01 Friends, God governs more than this world.
33:03 He governs a universe.
33:06 And He's not going to rest until the universe is pure.
33:11 "They with us share the fruits of Christ's victory.
33:15 Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan
33:18 clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds.
33:21 The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception
33:24 that even holy beings had not understood his principles.
33:27 They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion. "
33:33 Continuing on we read: "It was God's purpose to place
33:36 things on an eternal basis of security. And in the councils
33:39 of heaven it was decided that time must be given... "
33:43 Now hang onto that phrase: "time must be given. "
33:47 "for Satan to develop the prin- ciples which were the foundation
33:51 of his system of government.
33:52 He had claimed that these were superior to God's principles.
33:56 Time was given for the working of Satan's principles
33:59 that they may be seen by the heavenly universe. "
34:03 And finally Desire of Ages 761
34:06 speaking of the moment Jesus died victorious on the cross...
34:09 though from all human perspective it was a defeat
34:12 from eternity's perspective Jesus was victorious...
34:17 and we read: "Satan saw that his disguise
34:20 was torn away. His administration was laid open
34:24 before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe.
34:28 He had revealed himself as a murderer.
34:31 By shedding the blood of the Son of God he had uprooted
34:34 himself... " Catch this language...
34:36 "from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. "
34:41 Four thousand years at least after the beginning of this
34:44 whole process to some degree there was some level
34:48 of sympathy for Satan amongst the unfallen beings.
34:53 But when they saw Calvary
34:55 no... "We're done. "
35:00 Watch this now: "Henceforth his work was restricted. "
35:05 Now I don't believe that God put a hedge of protection and walls
35:08 so that Satan couldn't get in. No, no, no.
35:10 They're just not listening any more.
35:12 By the way, I'll cut to the end. Christ is looking for
35:15 a generation of people on the earth who aren't listening
35:17 to Satan any more.
35:19 He wants to put things on an eternal security basis.
35:22 He wants all heaven and earth to be reconciled.
35:25 Heaven at Calvary saw the difference
35:28 and they recognized and rejected the rebellion of Satan.
35:32 Again we read: "Whatever attitude he might
35:34 assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came
35:37 from the heavenly courts and before them accuse Christ's
35:40 brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness
35:42 and the defilement of sin.
35:45 The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly
35:48 world was broken. " So then the question comes up in my mind:
35:55 If at that point all of those who knew Satan
36:01 when he was still Lucifer -
36:04 the light bearer, the covering cherub -
36:06 now understand what God saw in his rebellion all along
36:11 and they understand the justice of ending his existence,
36:16 the question remains:
36:18 "Why didn't Satan die at Calvary too? "
36:24 Pretty legitimate question, eh?
36:26 If the whole purpose was to destroy the works of the devil,
36:29 and he clearly revealed him as a murderer and a liar
36:32 and deserving of death,
36:35 why 2,000 years later is Satan still apparently
36:39 ruling this world?
36:44 Because, friends, the short answer is this:
36:48 it's not called the plan of destruction.
36:51 It's called the plan of redemption.
36:55 And in order for it to be complete, something has to be
36:59 redeemed. If the only objective
37:04 in the great controversy was ending Satan and any who
37:08 followed him, it could have legitimately been done
37:11 at Calvary.
37:14 But you can imagine from heaven's perspective.
37:16 Gabriel who knew him, who was working beside him,
37:19 who had looked up to Lucifer and seen the whole fall,
37:21 he was one of those who gazed and considered him
37:24 now comes to the Father: "Father, I understand why
37:29 he needs to be ended. "
37:31 And you could almost imagine the Father saying:
37:35 "Good... now let's go to phase two:
37:40 I want to bring some of them - his followers on earth -
37:45 back here. "
37:50 And I would imagine that Gabriel was kind of like
37:55 "Slow down.
37:59 It took us 4,000 years to figure out that this guy
38:02 should die, and now You want to bring some of them here? "
38:06 He's like: "Yes! And I'm going to give Kameron DeVasher
38:09 the apartment right next to you. "
38:14 He's like: "Now I'm still with You, God,
38:20 but I need to see some evidence of the wisdom of Your plan. "
38:27 Friends, when we talk about the second coming oftentimes
38:29 we talk about the beautiful passage. Please go to it
38:32 in the book of John. John chapter 14.
38:35 You likely know it by heart. John chapter 14 verse 1:
38:39 "Let not your heart be troubled.
38:40 You believe in God... believe also in Me. "
38:43 Speaking to humanity - fallen, sinful humanity -
38:46 He gives a beautiful promise: "In My Father's house
38:49 are many mansions. "
38:51 By the way, you notice that when He was speaking that
38:53 the mansions already existed and were in present tense.
38:58 Apparently part of God's plan is that humanity would fulfill
39:02 the vacancies left by the fall.
39:05 "In My Father's house are many mansions.
39:07 If it were not so, I would have told you.
39:10 I go to prepare a place for you
39:13 and if I go and prepare a place for you
39:15 I will... " What are those next two words?
39:17 "come again and receive you to Myself that where I am
39:21 there you may be also. "
39:23 We love those words... I love those words!
39:25 It has brought more comfort and joy than perhaps any other
39:27 scripture save John 3:16:
39:29 that Jesus is coming again and He's going to take us
39:31 all home to heaven.
39:32 But think about it from the angels' perspective.
39:37 "Slow down. You're going to bring all of 3ABN Camp Meeting
39:42 here? "
39:51 "I mean I trust You, yeah... but I need... "
39:54 "How does it work, Lord? "
39:58 Ephesians chapter 3. Ephesians chapter 3.
40:03 The apostle Paul writes these powerful words.
40:07 One of these sentences that's incredibly long.
40:13 I think the apostle Paul can probably go through
40:15 an entire book of scripture
40:17 and maybe have 2-3 sentences. Three periods maybe.
40:21 Lots of commas and all the things.
40:24 But look at chapter 3 and verse 8.
40:26 And we're going to break this down for you. I want you to see
40:27 something critical here.
40:29 He's giving his job description as a missionary, as a minister
40:32 of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And notice what Paul says.
40:35 Ephesians chapter 3 verse 8:
40:37 "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints,
40:40 this grace was given
40:43 that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable
40:47 riches of Christ. "
40:49 And we might think: "What was Paul's job description? "
40:53 And we say: "Oh, he was to preach the gospel to the
40:55 Gentiles. " Period. That's not what he stops with.
40:58 Comma... watch this now:
41:00 "and... " verse 9... "to make all see
41:05 what is the fellowship of the mystery
41:11 which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden
41:14 in God who created all things through Jesus Christ. "
41:16 Apparently there's some mystery that has been hidden in God
41:19 that has not been understood, has not been revealed,
41:21 has not been seen, but now, Paul says,
41:24 it's time to show it.
41:26 Interesting. Keep going... verse 10:
41:28 "to the intent that now the manifold wisdom
41:33 of God might be made known by the church to the
41:38 principalities and powers in the heavenly places. "
41:41 Especially let's break down verse 10.
41:44 "To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God
41:47 might be made known. " Now, might be made known
41:50 to whom in this scripture? Who does it say?
41:54 It does not say to the church.
41:56 It says to the principalities and powers in the heavenly
41:59 places. Now... common sense question:
42:04 where does God live?
42:06 In heaven, right?
42:08 And He's trying to teach this great mystery, this deep wisdom
42:11 of His, to people who also live in heaven.
42:16 Wouldn't the easiest way to communicate or teach
42:19 to those people to simply turn to them
42:23 and explain it?
42:26 "Here is My wisdom. You're not lacking for intellect at all.
42:30 Let Me explain it to you. "
42:34 But He doesn't do it that way.
42:36 How does God show His wisdom
42:41 to these heavenly beings?
42:44 By the church.
42:50 Is it possible, friends, that those angel hosts are no longer
42:54 looking for a reason why Satan should die?
42:55 They're looking for a reason
42:56 why any of his followers should live.
43:00 Right? "To the intent that now the manifold wisdom
43:06 of God might be made known
43:08 by the church to the principalities and powers
43:12 in the heavenly places. "
43:16 By the way, immediately after that beautiful statement
43:18 we saw in Desire of Ages 761 where we read: "The last link
43:22 of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world
43:26 was broken" the very next sentence says this:
43:30 "Yet Satan was not then destroyed. "
43:37 Why? It continues:
43:39 "The angels did not even then understand all that was involved
43:44 in the great controversy.
43:46 The principles at stake must be more fully revealed. "
43:51 Now they had some principles at stake.
43:54 Namely, the character of God and the character of Satan
43:56 had been fully revealed.
43:58 But there were some other principles that still needed
44:00 to be fully revealed. Again, why should he die?
44:04 Clearly seen. Why should we live? Mmm, not yet.
44:09 Notice this: "The principles at stake must be more fully
44:15 revealed, and for the sake of man... "
44:21 Going to sound like one of the craziest sentences
44:23 you've ever heard. "for the sake of man
44:25 Satan's existence must be continued. "
44:32 Is it possible that what we see in the world around us
44:35 is actually in our best interest that it play out like this?
44:43 "Man as well as angels must see the contrast between
44:47 the Prince of light and the prince of darkness.
44:49 He must choose whom he will serve. "
44:55 And friends, that's the phase of the great controversy
44:58 we are living in. Basically, Satan's fall
44:59 takes place in four steps.
45:02 Step number one: God recognizes and rejects
45:05 Satan's rebellion the moment it sprang up in his heart
45:07 in heaven and he was cast out.
45:11 That was step number one. Step number two:
45:13 at Calvary the angelic host
45:19 and the unfallen sentient beings of the universe
45:22 saw in Satan and in God what God had known
45:26 from the very beginning. And they recognize and reject
45:29 Satan. The last link of sympathy was severed at Calvary.
45:37 Some day after Christ returns at the end of the 1,000 years
45:43 which we'll touch on in just a moment
45:45 Satan will be finally destroyed.
45:49 But we're not living in step 1, 2, or 4.
45:51 We're living in step 3.
45:54 Those people that Christ died for... will they choose
46:00 whom they will serve?
46:04 Friends, I'm going to tell you something: far too much of our,
46:08 our contemporary theology focuses on simply getting into
46:13 heaven. But there's something far greater than that
46:16 that God has in store.
46:19 Friends, salvation in Jesus Christ is not merely
46:21 a transaction that gets you in.
46:23 It's an entire character transformation
46:26 that fits you into the society of heaven.
46:31 We love... everybody loves... sinners love the idea of
46:33 gettin' into heaven, but Gabriel's saying:
46:36 "Yes, but will they fit in
46:39 because we're not going to go through this again. "
46:42 Am I right?
46:45 Perhaps the biggest promise of scripture is found in
46:48 one of the smallest books of scripture:
46:49 Nahum chapter 1 and verse 9.
46:51 "What you conspire against the Lord
46:54 surely I will make an utter end.
46:56 Affliction will not rise a second time. "
47:01 Friends, when this great controversy comes to a close
47:04 it's never going to reopen.
47:08 There's a reason God's taking His time because He's interested
47:12 in quality and getting the job done right
47:14 so it will never have to be redone.
47:18 So by the way, when Jesus comes
47:21 at the conclusion of this... Christ right now is
47:25 working in the heavenly sanctuary.
47:26 Yes? In the Most Holy Place.
47:32 Reviewing the record of those who claim His name.
47:35 Does it actually match with the society of heaven
47:39 where they will be living?
47:42 And when that process is done Christ will step out of that
47:45 work and take off His priestly robes
47:47 and put on His kingly robes and return to this earth.
47:52 And my question for you saints is what do we actually receive
47:55 at the second coming?
47:58 How changed will we be?
48:04 Let me tell you something: we are going to get new bodies.
48:07 Amen? And I'm not even that old and I'm looking forward to it
48:11 already, OK? I could use a new set of knees.
48:15 A new back would be nice. I could be a little taller...
48:17 I won't lie.
48:20 And I'm going to get a new body
48:22 if I keep my faith in Jesus Christ.
48:24 And so will you.
48:29 But you know what I won't get when Jesus returns
48:31 is a new character.
48:36 What we get when Jesus comes back is a body
48:38 but we don't get new characters.
48:40 Our High Calling page 278: "When Christ shall come
48:43 our vile bodies are to be changed and made like His
48:46 glorious body. But the vile character
48:49 will not be made holy then.
48:51 The transformation of character must take place before
48:54 His coming. Our natures must be pure and holy.
48:58 We must have the mind of Christ that we may behold with pleasure
49:01 His image reflected upon our souls. "
49:04 I love how she puts it so pithily in Signs of the Times
49:07 July 31, 1893.
49:10 "If we would see heaven, we must have heaven below.
49:15 We... " Listen to this: "We must have a heaven
49:19 to go to heaven in. "
49:23 You didn't catch it.
49:24 I'm sorry... there weren't enough amens.
49:26 "We must have a heaven to go to heaven in. "
49:33 Friends, that's what we are living.
49:35 As we talk about preparation for the second coming
49:39 it's not about - you know - enough bottled water.
49:44 Or like: "Oh, we're going to see glory. It's going to be great!
49:47 It's just brightness and loudness. "
49:48 And we know that it's visible and we know that it's audible.
49:50 And other speakers are going to come this weekend
49:52 and talk about the signs of Christ's coming.
49:54 And they're going to talk about the nature of Christ's coming,
49:56 the timing of Christ's coming... all of which are beautiful
49:58 but Christ's coming is simply the culmination
50:01 of a work that had finished at the close of probation.
50:05 The preparation for Christ's coming is character
50:11 preparation.
50:14 And I think there's far too many of us that expect
50:16 that "Oh, when Jesus comes then I'll be changed. "
50:21 But friends, let me tell you something: if you don't like Him
50:23 now, what makes you think you're going to like Him then?
50:28 By the way, the reason for the difference between body
50:30 and character: bodies can be given, right?
50:33 I mean, dust to the earth.
50:36 He made us out of dirt and He's going to do it again!
50:40 Praise the Lord! That's great!
50:42 A body can be given, but a character has to be grown.
50:48 And God will not make your decisions for you.
50:53 And He won't let Satan make your decisions for you.
50:55 You must choose whom you will serve.
50:59 And I've heard it said this way and I love it:
51:01 "Character isn't formed in a day but it is formed day by day. "
51:07 Which brings us to today.
51:09 If we're looking for Jesus to come someday,
51:13 the preparation must happen today
51:16 and day by day as we look forward to that great day
51:21 of the return of our King.
51:23 That's the preparation that we need.
51:27 And of course when Jesus returns
51:30 it simply inaugurates the final phase of the great controversy.
51:36 The wicked who are alive at His coming... which by the way,
51:39 many many people are going to live TO the second coming.
51:42 And I say: "Oh, I'm going to see Jesus come in my lifetime. "
51:45 And I genuinely believe that but I want to do more than
51:47 simply live to the second coming. Friends, I want to live
51:50 THROUGH the second coming.
51:51 There's a lot of people that are coincidentally going to be
51:54 alive at that point and they won't be alive when it's done.
51:58 The wicked will be gathered together in the graves.
52:02 The righteous will be gathered out of the graves and off of
52:06 this earth to be meeting the Lord in the air.
52:10 And during that thousand years
52:13 the wicked have their jury trial...
52:18 a trial by their peers.
52:21 Think about it by the way: if God destroyed the wicked
52:24 but He had never sinned, how could He sympathize?
52:29 Well Jesus Christ came, and He understood what it was like
52:32 to be tempted in all points as we are.
52:34 But just to make sure there is no question that could ever
52:37 be asked of God: "Could You have done more? "
52:41 Christ pulls up a chair for every one of the redeemed
52:44 and says: "You're going to do this work with Me. "
52:46 Revelation chapter 20.
52:50 Revelation chapter 20.
52:54 After Satan is bound to this earth with a chain
52:56 of circumstances we read in Revelation chapter 20
53:00 and verse 4: "And I saw thrones and they sat on them
53:03 and judgment was committed to them.
53:05 I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their
53:07 witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not
53:10 worshiped the beast or his image
53:11 and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on
53:13 their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ
53:15 for a thousand years. "
53:27 Great Controversy page 660
53:29 speaking of this particular moment:
53:31 "At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests
53:36 unto God. In union with Christ they judge the wicked,
53:40 comparing their acts with the statute book,
53:43 the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds
53:47 done in the body. Then the portion which the
53:50 wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works;
53:53 and it recorded against their names in the book of death. "
53:58 In a very real sense the millennium judgment -
54:00 that final phase of the destruction of Satan -
54:02 serves as a jury trial of the wicked.
54:06 "In assessing the records and assigning penalties
54:09 to those who have fallen and have stayed there
54:12 have chosen for themselves a king other than God
54:16 God does not leave this work to an unfallen creature
54:19 but instead to demonstrate unimpeachable fairness
54:22 Christ entrusts this task to a jury of their peers.
54:26 Thus when justice is finally and fully meted out
54:29 no one can say that there was more that God could have done. "
54:33 I'm going to close with these words from
54:35 The Great Controversy:
54:37 "In the day of final judgment every soul lost will understand
54:40 the nature of his own rejection of truth.
54:44 The cross will be presented
54:48 and its real bearing will be seen by every mind
54:51 that has been blinded by transgression. "
54:53 Which by the way, how phenomenal is that?
54:57 That God raises even the wicked to life
55:01 just so they can have their questions answered too.
55:07 Think about that, friend: God cares what you think.
55:17 "Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim
55:20 sinners will stand condemned.
55:22 Every lying excuse will be swept away.
55:26 Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character.
55:29 Men will see what their choice has been.
55:32 Every question of truth and error in the long-standing
55:35 controversy will then have been made plain.
55:37 In the judgment of the universe God will stand clear of blame
55:41 for the existence or continuance of evil.
55:44 It will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not
55:48 accessory to sin. There was no defect in God's government,
55:52 no cause for disaffection. When the thoughts of all
55:55 hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious
55:59 will unite in declaring: 'Just and true are Thy ways
56:04 Thou King of saints.
56:06 Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord,
56:08 and glorify Thy name?
56:10 for Thy judgments are made manifest. ' "
56:14 Friends, that's the one point in the universe
56:17 when every being who has ever lived will be alive
56:21 at the same time.
56:23 And in that moment the great prophecy that
56:27 "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess"
56:32 will be fulfilled.
56:34 We're all going to be there, friends.
56:38 My question is: which side are we going to be on?
56:46 Don't think that when Jesus comes: "Oh, that's when I'll
56:48 get right... " Friends, now is the day.
56:52 "Choose you THIS day whom you will serve. "
56:56 Preparation for the second coming begins tonight
56:59 right this moment here today.
57:01 Has the message tonight been clear?
57:04 Praise the Lord!
57:05 I'm looking forward to the second coming,
57:07 but preparation for it begins right now.
57:10 Let's bow our heads for a word of prayer.
57:12 Heavenly Father, I want to thank you so much
57:15 for promising to come and bring us home
57:18 and to get us into heaven, but even more, Lord,
57:20 for promising to fit us into heaven!


Revised 2021-08-02