Spring Camp Meeting 2014

He's Coming When You Least Expect

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Lonnie Melashenko


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000007S

00:38 Welcome to 3ABN's 2014 Spring Camp Meeting.
00:43 And we've got a beautiful crowd here.
00:46 We're sorry that you couldn't join us if you're watching
00:48 from home or listening on the radio or on the Internet
00:51 but we are glad... We're sorry you couldn't be here in person.
00:57 That wasn't me, I promise.
01:01 We're sorry you couldn't be here in person, but
01:04 we are glad you're watching.
01:06 If you are having a wonderful time at Camp Meeting,
01:09 say praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
01:13 We're having a great time here
01:15 and it has been a time of special anointing.
01:18 And I know that your cups are already overflowing
01:22 and they're going to even more so.
01:25 We are going to have in this hour a beautiful message
01:29 from Lonnie Melashenko. Pastor Melashenko...
01:33 You probably know him best as the voice, the speaker/director
01:37 of the Voice of Prophecy.
01:39 And he was with them for nearly 20 years
01:42 but he was speaker/director for 17 years.
01:45 And now he is currently serving as a revivalist
01:48 for the Columbia Union Conference.
01:51 His message today will be He Is Coming When You Least Expect It.
01:57 And before that I believe we have Pastor C.A. Murray
02:00 who's going to be singing again.
02:02 And somehow I got out here on this stage live
02:05 without knowing the title to your song, C.A. What is it?
02:09 Jesus Lifts Me. Jesus Lifts Me.
02:30 He lifts my burden
02:35 whenever I'm down;
02:40 He gives me joy
02:44 when I'm wearing a frown;
02:49 He is my hope
02:53 in the midst of despair
02:58 and He... He is my comfort
03:03 for He's always there.
03:13 So I sing
03:16 not because I feel like singing.
03:22 And I praise Him
03:26 though the end I may not see.
03:33 For whenever
03:35 I lift the name of Jesus
03:40 Jesus reaches down
03:45 and He lifts me.
03:56 He is the music
04:00 that makes my heart glad;
04:05 He whispers peace
04:10 whenever I am sad;
04:14 He is the sunshine
04:19 that brightens my day
04:23 and He... He is the lighthouse
04:28 to show me the way.
04:33 So I sing
04:37 not because I feel like singing.
04:43 And I praise Him
04:47 though the end I may not see.
04:53 For whenever
04:55 I lift the name of Jesus
05:00 Jesus reaches down
05:05 and He lifts me.
05:11 So I sing
05:14 not because I just like singing.
05:20 And I praise Him
05:24 though the end I may not see.
05:30 For whenever
05:32 I lift the name of Jesus
05:37 Jesus reaches down,
05:42 turns me around
05:45 and He plants my feet on higher ground...
05:51 He reaches down
05:56 and He
06:00 lifts me.
06:23 Hello, saints! Hello! Welcome sinners.
06:28 Amen. We're all here.
06:31 Would you take your Bibles and turn to the book of II Peter
06:34 chapter 1.
06:37 The flight of Apollo 12 was normal
06:43 for 36 seconds... and then it happened.
06:47 Lightning struck the spacecraft from a Florida thunderstorm
06:52 and immediately the master alarm sounded
06:54 and lights blazed all over the control panel.
06:58 Said Astronaut Dick Gordon:
07:01 "In all of our training we'd never seen so many alarm lights
07:04 as went on inside that spacecraft.
07:06 If they'd given us something like that in the simulators
07:08 we'd have said: 'What are you trying to do?
07:10 This is impossible! ' "
07:12 Well... they did the next best thing possible: nothing.
07:17 But once in orbit everything depended on
07:20 getting the inertial guidance system back into shape,
07:22 and that was Astronaut Dick Gordon's job.
07:25 George Vandeman describes this in his book
07:29 how Astronaut Gordon climbed down into the equipment bay
07:34 and he tried to sight some stars in order to re-align...
07:37 re-align the guidance platform.
07:40 But he couldn't see a single star.
07:43 Nothing! He actually wondered if the stars had gone out.
07:46 Somebody turned them off.
07:48 But then as his eyes adjusted he caught sight of the bottom
07:51 of the constellation Orion then Rigel then Sirius
07:57 and Apollo 12 was back in business.
08:02 Whoever you are, wherever you're watching right now,
08:04 we too, today, are on board a spacecraft
08:07 struck by lightning.
08:10 Scientists will tell you that we are hurtling through space
08:13 at exactly this moment 67,000 miles an hour
08:17 with our guidance system badly out of adjustment.
08:22 As we move through the critical 2014's and 2015's
08:25 every single alarm on the capsule is flashing.
08:29 In fact, the speed with which we're tobogganing downhill
08:32 into the apocalypse takes one's breath away.
08:35 Say the thinking men who know what's going on
08:38 in the world today... they're saying
08:42 "This could be our last chance. "
08:44 Anybody here from Canada?
08:46 What is Time Magazine in Canada?
08:50 Macleans. Maclean's Magazine in Canada says: "It's over! "
08:57 And after 2012 the flight on this planet is over.
09:03 Maclean's says we should have been done with by now.
09:06 Way back in 1503 the psychic Nostradamus
09:10 who claimed to be a prophet... he said
09:12 society would last until December 2012.
09:17 Well... we made it just beyond there.
09:20 The South American Mayan Indians for thousands of years
09:24 have predicted that the end of civilization would happen
09:27 on December 21, 2012.
09:30 How many of you have heard of Billy Graham?
09:32 James Dobson? Chuck Swindall? Charles Stanley?
09:36 Well that's the evangelical Christian network
09:39 called Family Radio. It's all over North America.
09:42 You remember just a couple years ago
09:44 Harold Camping on that network predicted that May 21, 2011
09:50 would be the end. Well I don't know about you
09:53 but I notice that headlines every single month -
09:56 in fact, like Fox News Network - they trumpet unprecedented
10:01 catastrophes inexplicable in nature.
10:04 Like for example, there's millions of fish
10:06 that have suddenly washed up on the shores of
10:08 the Chesapeake Bay... mysteriously.
10:11 Or thousand and thousands of birds falling dead from the
10:14 skies from Manitoba - where I'm going to be up there
10:17 in a couple of days for Camp Meeting -
10:19 over to Sweden clear to the Vatican.
10:22 In fact, 8,000 of these birds
10:24 fell from the skies with some mysterious strange blue markings
10:28 on their beaks, and scientists don't know what this is all
10:31 about. And we've had more than ever in our lifetime
10:35 tsunamis, tornadoes. I drove through them last night
10:38 to try to get here. Earthquakes. Every single month
10:42 some kind of major catastrophe. Even in Australia, which is a
10:45 godless nation, they're calling them of Biblical proportions.
10:50 And so the news pundits are asking the question
10:54 what's the cause for all of these happenings?
10:57 They're global warming. Is that what it is, Al Gore?
11:00 Could it be maybe we're getting colder weather
11:02 based on this last winter?
11:04 Or is it disease and toxins?
11:07 What is the outcome of this planet's perilous mission?
11:11 Is it going to be flaming nuclear holocaust?
11:14 When will the end come?
11:17 How can we know when that great stone in the image of
11:22 Daniel chapter 2 is going to strike this planet
11:25 demolishing and crushing every earthly empire?
11:30 Put on your seat belts. Can you do that?
11:34 Like Astronaut Dick Gordon in the next 35 minutes
11:38 let's together attempt to climb down into the equipment bay
11:43 and sight some stars in the night.
11:48 Some steady, dependable check- points: footprints in the sky
11:54 that point past our trembling spacecraft -
11:59 strong evidence right here - exactly where we are
12:05 and what the time is.
12:08 Because Paul tells me in I Thessalonians 5:1
12:11 "Lonnie, Lonnie... "
12:33 You see, brothers and sisters,
12:35 write this one down: He's coming when you least expect it
12:40 ONLY if you don't read the manual.
12:45 Only if you choose to ignore it.
12:48 Only if you choose to make that fatal mistaken miscalculation.
12:55 I spent most of my years in Hollywood, in Los Angeles.
13:00 Sodom by the bay.
13:02 A lot of weirdos in California.
13:06 Well, Hollywood's Alfred Hitchcock
13:09 with his ultimate master macabre
13:13 produced some terrifying dramas.
13:16 In fact, in college if I ever wanted to watch a late-night
13:20 chiller on late-night TV I'd be guaranteed I couldn't sleep.
13:25 I mean, that was the industry's benchmark for chiller thrillers
13:30 stalking horrific and horrified viewers.
13:33 And it was guaranteed you would not sleep without some shivers
13:37 or nightmares or looking over to see what was...
13:39 And often unfortunately those stories were too true.
13:43 Like the story of one rather wicked, two-faced
13:48 evil woman who repeatedly got away with murder.
13:52 I mean literally as Jesus would have defined it.
13:54 Not just wrongdoing... she actually was found guilty
14:00 of murder and she was sentenced to life imprisonment
14:05 even though she screamed at the judge in the courtroom
14:08 "I'll escape... I'll get out of any prison! "
14:11 And she shook her finger at him but she took that final
14:14 infamous ride in the bus down to the prison.
14:19 Well in this Hitchcock movie while she's enroute
14:22 the camera zooms in on this wily wretch.
14:26 Perfect exhibit A of our human dilemma
14:30 riding down to our final destination.
14:34 But as the bus nears the prison she notices something.
14:39 Just outside there's an old man.
14:44 He's in his striped suit... he's an inmate...
14:46 but he's outside the walls and he's covering a grave.
14:49 Wow! He's going to become part of her plan to escape.
14:55 And on the television there's a wicked smile
14:59 and then a nod.
15:02 He's going to be her key.
15:04 He obviously assisted in the burial of prisoners who died.
15:10 Well, if she got to know him... And the bus arrives.
15:16 Well as you go on with the story you find out this old man
15:20 actually builds the caskets
15:22 as well as placing them in the ground.
15:25 The old man's job including rolling those caskets
15:29 down an old pathway in an old cart
15:34 to the cemetery. And his job included
15:38 lowering those caskets into the ground and covering them
15:42 all alone.
15:45 Well as this story unfolds the old man is going blind.
15:49 He needs cataract surgery
15:51 but he's got no money... he's penniless.
15:55 Well as the story unfolds she gets acquainted with him
15:59 and she finds out he needs cataract surgery. And she says
16:01 to him one day: "Old man, it's going to worth your while
16:07 if you help me escape. " "Oh no, I can't do that! "
16:10 "Yes, if you help me escape I've got money out there. "
16:14 And she told him how much.
16:16 "And I can help you get that cataract... "
16:17 "No, I can't do that. "
16:19 "Oh yes you can.
16:21 I have all the money you need but it's outside.
16:23 If you hope to ever have that operation,
16:26 you're going to have to help me out. "
16:28 Well reluctantly as this story unfolds he finally agrees
16:31 and the plot thickens. And he tells her: "Well the next
16:34 time you hear toll at midnight signaling the death of an inmate
16:38 you just wait... wait until the prescribed time...
16:41 wait until midnight and then in the blackness of the darkness
16:47 slip down to the workroom there where I work
16:50 and you locate the casket.
16:52 You secretly slide yourself inside that casket.
16:57 You pull the top lid down tightly.
17:02 Early the next morning well the old man would roll the casket
17:05 down with the corpse inside too
17:08 for the burial. He'd drop the casket in the hole.
17:11 He'd cover it with dirt. But the next day the plan was
17:14 that he would sneak back. He'd take the dirt off,
17:18 he'd pry the top loose,
17:20 and he'd set her free... and they would both escape.
17:23 Perfect plan.
17:27 Late one night she's on her cot.
17:31 She hears the deep toll of the bell.
17:41 Someone has died! Oh, this is her moment!
17:45 Secretly she slides off the cot.
17:48 She makes her way down the eerie hallway
17:50 and finally looking into that dimly dark room...
17:53 and you can only imagine Alfred Hitchcock with all the
17:55 drama and the sounds... she sees the casket.
17:58 Then she goes over and she lifts the lid.
18:04 And yes, in the darkness she slips inside the box...
18:08 wiggling and squeezing in right beside the corpse.
18:12 Then she pulls the lid down and locks it.
18:19 Well within hours, sure enough,
18:22 she feels the wheels starting to roll
18:26 and she smiles. Oooh! The casket is out there
18:31 and then she can sense it must be being lowered
18:33 into that grave. And you actually on the TV
18:36 begin to hear the clumps of the dirt falling on the casket.
18:39 Before long she is sealed beneath the earth.
18:42 Oh, but she's still smiling!
18:45 Silence follows
18:47 but oh, she can hardly contain herself.
18:50 This is it! And time begins to drag.
18:53 The next day comes and passes
18:56 and now it's night. And time drags on without the old man.
19:03 By now her brow is a little bit worried.
19:05 And she lays there and she kind of breaks out into a cold sweat
19:09 and she wonders: "Where is he?
19:12 What could possibly have gone wrong?
19:15 Why didn't he show up? "
19:17 And finally in a moment of panic
19:20 she lights a match
19:22 and she glances at the corpse beside her.
19:27 You guessed it.
19:30 "It's the old man himself who's died! "
19:34 And slowly the Alfred Hitchcock movie as the movie ends
19:38 it lifts with the camera from the gravesite
19:41 and all you hear is a wailing cry of a woman
19:44 down there muffled who will never get out of the grave.
19:51 Now there would never be a more scary story
19:55 or awful climax to the story of the Bible
20:00 than to discover that our hopes in the second coming
20:03 return of Jesus was a hoax.
20:07 An Alfred Hitchcock horror.
20:11 That the final act in the drama was a big lie
20:16 and Christians have made a big miscalculation, a big mistake!
20:22 He didn't come!
20:24 We trusted in the one Man to deliver
20:28 but we were wrong, and we trusted in the wrong Man.
20:34 Question for you, church: is it possible?
20:39 Is the second coming just a fable as 90% of the
20:43 denominations and the seminaries of the country now teach? No!
20:48 Is it coming, really? For real? Yes! For sure? Yes!
20:53 Well is it possible that the 2nd coming is not really soon?
20:58 Hmmm? After all, scripture says
21:01 "Behold I come... " What? "quickly. " Well!
21:05 Talk to me, church.
21:07 Since the "old man" has obviously been delayed
21:11 what should Christians do in the interim?
21:15 As Dr. Francis Schaeffer says: "How should we then live? "
21:21 Well these are valid questions and they deserve some answers.
21:25 Dilemmas that we've got to explore here for the next few
21:27 minutes. Because the Bible warns: "Lonnie, watch out.
21:31 There is a way that seems right unto a man
21:36 but the end thereof are the ways of... " What? "death. "
21:39 Oh-oh... she thought she could escape death's jaws.
21:44 But the one person she placed her hope in
21:48 was himself the victim of the very thing she dreaded most.
21:52 So the big question is: is it possible to trust
21:55 the wrong person? I don't want to do that!
22:00 Well listen now to II Peter chapter 1.
22:02 I hope you have your Bibles open there.
22:05 And I'm going to read from The Clear Word
22:07 verses 16 to 19.
22:11 Peter says: "Lon... church... 3ABN audience... "
22:16 Peter's confessing now.
22:19 "We did not follow
22:23 cleverly-phrased fiction when we told you about
22:27 the power and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
22:29 We saw His majesty with our own eyes
22:32 right there on the mountain before our very eyes.
22:35 But you have something even more sure than our report.
22:41 You have... " What?
22:43 "the prophecies of the Old Testament
22:46 to which you do well... " In 2014, 2015...
22:49 "that you pay attention. Those prophecies are like a lamp
22:54 shining in the darkness
22:57 until the day of Christ's coming dawns
22:59 and He as the glorious Morning Star
23:02 fills your hearts. " Is that good news or what? Amen!
23:06 I don't know about you, but folks I want out of that casket.
23:10 Isn't that a relevant voice... passage?
23:14 You bet. "Listen up, " says Peter.
23:16 You and I want to make absolutely certain
23:18 that we don't make that kind of a mistaken miscalculation.
23:23 Question is: how?
23:26 Well it's right here... right in the Owner's manual,
23:29 in the Book. Because friends, unfortunately
23:33 there are a lot of fanatical extremes out there
23:36 about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
23:37 You can go to any Christian bookstore, you can see all kinds
23:40 of stuff... the second coming.
23:43 But as I read the pen of inspiration
23:46 those are going to get confused - even in the church.
23:48 Yes, among Christians and God's people
23:51 in the very last days right here especially down to the end.
23:54 Just like the first coming of Christ they kind of got it
23:58 misqueued, some Christians - maybe even some Adventists -
24:02 would drop right off the end straight into the pit
24:06 on this subject: fanatical extremes.
24:12 I will tell you personal experiences
24:14 but I won't tell you names or where this happened
24:15 'cause some of you might be from there
24:17 and you might know who I'm talking about.
24:18 Christ's coming? Yeah, He's coming soon.
24:21 Head for the hills... abandon ship!
24:24 I've had church members move off somewhere in Oregon
24:27 or Washington. I don't know where they were.
24:28 Don't pay your debts; don't worry about college;
24:31 don't worry about your career or ever getting married.
24:35 Don't sweat tomorrow any more;
24:37 just forget your responsibilities.
24:39 Quit your job; go up there and mooch off of others
24:42 waiting for the coming of Jesus.
24:45 I'm not fibbing.
24:47 Others, and I have friends who have set dates.
24:51 In my lifetime ministers have set dates.
24:54 "As it was in the days of Noah... "
24:56 120 years after 1844 when we got to 1964
25:02 all kinds of evangelists were setting dates.
25:05 It's going to be just like in the days of Noah.
25:07 I have folders bulging from all kinds of Adventist
25:11 prognosticators. I've got a Southern California...
25:14 Ah, I won't say too much... said too much.
25:16 A doctor. He writes in his journals
25:20 "Get out of Loma Linda.
25:21 This is where the arsenals of God are going to fall.
25:24 And you will find that in the writings of Ellen White
25:26 in her apocryphal writings:
25:28 the back of the index to the writings of Ellen White. "
25:30 They're all there, but that's not what she wrote.
25:32 But he takes them as truth. Or in Huntington, West Virginia,
25:35 165 baptized are waiting the rapture now
25:40 and they're off in some culture... cult some place.
25:42 In the Los Angeles Times they've got so many articles...
25:45 One read this headline: Apocalyptic movement
25:48 stirs social crisis in South Korea.
25:52 People are selling their homes and quitting their jobs
25:55 and their school, abandoning their families
25:57 and even having abortions to prepare for October 28
26:01 because that's the day when 144,000 believers around
26:04 the world will be lifted up to heaven in the rapture.
26:08 You see, beloved, the devil loves people to go to extremes.
26:14 Get fanatical about this... insane.
26:17 He could come unexpectedly any moment.
26:21 Some set dates. Or of course then the other end of the
26:25 spectrum, the pendulum, is the other extreme:
26:29 ah, just be totally indifferent about it.
26:33 Theological ignorance: don't read too much.
26:36 It'll get you confused.
26:38 No reason at all to be on the alert.
26:41 I'm going to say this carefully;
26:43 I know I'm going to be criticized,
26:45 but an Adventist lay journal just came out
26:48 a couple of days ago - some of you get this -
26:52 and it says our evangelists and all of the preachers
26:55 got it wrong. Because it says all prophecies about the second
27:01 coming of Jesus are conditional.
27:04 Now we believe there are some conditional prophecies don't we?
27:07 But so many people seriously question whether there ever
27:10 will be a real second coming... many Adventists.
27:14 And that's a 21st century today pooh-pooh attitude.
27:17 "Well if and when your number finally comes up... "
27:22 "Well whatever. " Have you ever heard somebody say that?
27:24 "Whatever. "
27:26 But listen, it doesn't take a rocket scientist
27:29 to see that something is terribly wrong on this old
27:32 ball of mud. These are frighten- ing times in which we live.
27:37 They're exciting times!
27:39 They're thrilling times because all of us know
27:42 something is about to happen.
27:46 Even the pagan pundits out there in the news
27:49 on television, they're saying: "You know, we might need to
27:53 get... become more aware.
27:55 We need to dig into the Bible maybe and discover
27:58 how to live our lives just in case Christ's coming
28:01 could occur any moment. " Even secularists are saying that.
28:06 Los Angeles Times had an article here.
28:10 Dateline: Washington, D.C.
28:13 "The keepers of the doomsday clock... "
28:17 Now the Los Angeles Times is one of the most secular
28:20 newspapers in the country. I used to get the Times
28:23 and I enrolled it just because I wanted to see what the liberals
28:26 say. Here's what it said:
28:32 "The keepers of the doomsday clock want to move its hands
28:37 forward in Washington, D.C. to reflect what they call
28:40 worsening nuclear and climate threats to the world.
28:44 The symbolic clock created in 1947 and maintained by
28:47 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
28:50 currently is set at seven minutes to midnight
28:52 with midnight marking global disaster. "
28:57 The secular world is saying this!
29:01 So we ask the question: "Well what is the Biblical evidence? "
29:07 Is there reliable prophecy that's not conditional?
29:12 Hmmm? Or maybe we need to first ask another question.
29:16 Did Jesus Christ come, church, the first time as revealed
29:20 in prophecy? Yes! You say: "Well that's a ridiculous question,
29:24 Lonnie, because we date our calendar B.C. - before Christ -
29:27 A.D. - anno domini, in the year of our Lord -
29:31 or BCE - before the common era
29:32 if you're a Jewish friend. I mean, the world knows! "
29:35 Well hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of prophecies
29:39 foretold Jesus would come the first time.
29:42 And you know them; we could go over them.
29:44 Thousands of years before Bethlehem hundreds of specific
29:47 details about every phase of His life prophesied
29:51 like His virgin birth.
29:54 And then Micah said He would be born in Bethlehem
29:58 even though that wasn't His home. Nazareth was where
30:01 He grew up. And specific prophesies saying that He would
30:04 be betrayed by how many pieces of silver?
30:08 Twenty-six? Thirty-four?
30:10 Thirty pieces of silver... 30.
30:12 And then that He would be mocked...
30:14 that He would be nailed to a cross.
30:16 That a spear would be thrust in His side instead of His legs
30:20 being broken on Calvary.
30:22 And it even prophesied that soldiers would cast dice
30:25 for His tunic. Hundreds of prophecies which all came true.
30:30 Not one of them was conditional... correct?
30:32 So my question is... listen carefully:
30:35 If all of these came true about Christ coming the first time,
30:40 wouldn't you think ten times as many prophecies
30:43 about His second coming would be trying to stress
30:45 definitely that He's coming again? Amen!
30:48 Can we count on prophecy for the second time around? Amen!
30:52 Well, what's the Biblical evidence?
30:54 May I suggest II Peter 1 again
30:56 verses 16-19 for starters.
30:59 Now Peter is very very wise here because he made some
31:02 boo-boo's too, and he says we need balance
31:07 about this whole second coming theme that we're talking about
31:10 this weekend. But he says this:
31:13 "If there is a second coming,
31:17 it's the only answer to this world's needs. "
31:21 Can I hear an amen? Amen!
31:24 In other words, the only escape from the prison casket of this
31:29 world of sin and pain and sickness and suffering and death
31:35 is Jesus' coming.
31:37 But of course many people... the liberals don't believe that.
31:42 So for a few minutes let's examine the evidence.
31:44 Stay with II Peter as we unpack chapter 3
31:47 and verse 3 and 4.
31:51 Peter says: "3ABN audience... "
31:56 people looking in whoever you are out there,
31:58 from whatever denomination... He says: "Knowing this
32:01 first that there shall come... " When?
32:06 "in the last days... " right down here...
32:10 What would there come? Scoffers. "scoffers, walking after
32:13 their own lusts and saying: 'Where is the promise
32:17 of His coming? For since the fathers died
32:20 all things continue as they were since the beginning
32:23 of creation. ' "
32:25 Well there you have it right there: today's 21st century
32:28 scientific theory of uniformitarianism.
32:33 Some call it evolution.
32:35 You know that even our president believes that?
32:38 And our politicians are saying... in fact, I could name
32:41 the particular person... She's going to run maybe
32:43 for a presidential race. You'll know who it is.
32:47 "We're no longer a Christian nation...
32:49 we're a global village! "
32:52 And since time began there's been an uninterrupted flow
32:54 of events, so come weal or woe our status is quo.
32:59 Don't get nervous about end-time calamity howlers
33:02 like that 1844 bunch of fanatics with William Miller.
33:06 Wrong! says Peter.
33:09 Verses 5 and 6. These people forget about the flood.
33:15 They scoffed back in Noah's day too!
33:19 But did it come? Did it come? Yes. Yes.
33:23 We need to be ready because the great God of heaven
33:26 is going to step in again some day, only this time
33:28 verse 7 says: "But the heavens and the earth
33:30 which are now by the same word kept in store
33:34 reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
33:37 and perdition of ungodly men. "
33:40 By the way, I want you to notice something.
33:42 There's some good news tucked in there.
33:44 Sounds like fire and damnation... but it's not!
33:47 Notice that the good news is in verse 9.
33:49 It's very clear it is NOT God's desire
33:52 that anybody should perish. Amen!
33:55 That fire is reserved for who?
33:57 The devil. Yeah, don't say his name too loud.
34:01 And all of his hellish demons and evil angels.
34:03 The fire was prepared for the devil,
34:06 and this is precisely why God is waiting today
34:09 and why He's loitering... why He's delaying.
34:13 We don't really understand that, but He's so longsuffering.
34:17 He's so infinitely patient.
34:20 In verse 9 Peter tells us why God delays:
34:23 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise
34:26 as some men count slackness
34:29 but is longsuffering to usward
34:32 not willing that... " What? "any should perish
34:35 but that... " How many? All.
34:37 "all should come to repentance. "
34:38 Now that is crystal clear, isn't it?
34:40 Is there anything conditional about that?
34:43 No, it's specific. It's reliable information.
34:45 It's balanced. "Lonnie, in 2015
34:49 don't mistake your Lord's patience
34:53 in delay for permanent absence. "
34:58 And yet so many ignore the reality of Christ's soon
35:02 second coming. They're somehow confused by the delay.
35:07 And I can understand.
35:10 My dear parents just passed away.
35:15 My mother a couple years ago at the age of 89
35:18 and dad just died at 91.
35:22 While I was at Camp Meeting I heard the news
35:25 and five sons had to go for a funeral.
35:27 We hated to watch my dear parents growing old.
35:31 They were our heroes, and the closer we all came to their
35:34 death the more we realized that the second coming of Jesus
35:37 is the only thing to cling to.
35:40 It's the only hope to reunite our Melashenko family
35:43 singers again.
35:45 And when I finish here in just a couple of days
35:47 all of the five sons of the tribe of Joseph and Anne
35:50 are going up to Farley, Saskatchewan, Canada,
35:53 where we grew up - and their parents and grandparents -
35:56 that little Russian... We're going to bury their ashes
35:58 out there in the middle of a big field -
36:01 a wheat field. There's still a cemetery.
36:03 The church is long gone.
36:05 But we're going to stand around in a circle
36:06 and we're going to share some of the songs of the Blessed Hope
36:09 and sing some Russian songs that they sang.
36:11 That's the Blessed Hope
36:15 without which Paul says we would be "most miserable. "
36:19 Amen! Some of you here come to this Camp Meeting
36:23 with grieving hearts because you've recently experienced
36:26 death or tragedy
36:28 or an awful prognosis or a diagnosis... maybe cancer.
36:32 Murder. I know some people that are grieving deeply
36:36 with infant crib death.
36:38 Two of our dear friends this week.
36:41 And your home and your life suddenly just erupts and
36:44 as Ellen White says: "all hell seems to break loose. "
36:47 And the days go into a blur; they seem senseless,
36:50 dizzy, dark.
36:54 Like we're in a casket and things are out of control.
36:58 And life seems just absurd to even carry on.
37:01 But friend, listen: there's hope!
37:05 Deep in the heart of scripture God reminds us
37:08 "the end is not yet come. "
37:13 As my Italian friends say
37:16 "It ain't over until the fat lady sings. "
37:21 Because one of these days, friend, Jesus - when that little
37:24 dark cloud becomes brighter and brighter and gets closer
37:27 and closer - He's going to put all things back together again.
37:30 And one of these days it will all make sense. Amen!
37:33 He'll make sense of the crazy puzzles and enigmas of life
37:36 and the absurd abnormalities.
37:39 That's what the Bible calls The Blessed Hope!
37:43 When is that going to happen?
37:44 Well Paul tells us in II Thessalonians 4:16-18.
37:47 "Lon, it will happen when the Lord Himself shall
37:49 descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice
37:53 of the archangel, with the trump of God.
37:56 And the dead in Christ - your dad and mom -
38:00 will rise first right where you put them
38:03 and we shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
38:07 to meet the Lord in the air.
38:10 And so shall we ever be with the Lord. "
38:12 And then these wonderful words,
38:14 I'm going to read them in just a few days,
38:17 "Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. "
38:23 He's coming back - Amen! - just like He went.
38:27 He went literally, physically, visibly,
38:31 audibly, with clouds.
38:35 Well friends, these sacred scriptures describe
38:38 our destiny: that one of these days death bites the dust.
38:45 No more grim reaper.
38:47 Yes, we are all... every one of us...
38:50 on Alfred Hitchcock's cart.
38:52 We're rolling down toward the end.
38:56 But the marvelous good news for us is
38:58 a change is coming.
39:01 President Obama: it's not YOUR new day.
39:04 It's God's new day that's coming. Amen! Not maybe.
39:08 Not if you vote right in your Congress or your Parliament.
39:12 Or if they figure it out, the politicians over there
39:14 in the G7 Conference or G8 when Putin gets it all together.
39:17 Not if the stock market suddenly sails off the charts.
39:21 No! Because Jesus Christ died and rose again:
39:26 that's the secret; that's the key that unlocks it.
39:31 He's coming again. And listen:
39:34 this change is guaranteed. It's sure; it is absolute;
39:39 it is certain. It's fact. It's not a conditional prophecy.
39:46 Not necessarily tonight but it's going to be quickly.
39:50 Soon. The signs of the times of Matthew 24 are increasing
39:54 with intensity and with frequency.
39:58 In fact, all of the big signs that Jesus foretold there -
40:02 He said "You watch for them" - they've already happened.
40:04 Did you know that? Every one of them.
40:06 He told about three giant footprints in the sky.
40:11 First thing to look there if you want to look in Matthew
40:13 chapter 24 verses 15-20:
40:16 "This is the first big sign. You watch for this and you will
40:18 know that I am coming back. It will be the destruction of
40:20 Jerusalem in 70 AD. " Which we know, of course,
40:24 and He puts a little sign post.
40:25 He sticks it in the sand there.
40:26 The disciples: "Wow! It's really going to happen? " "Yep.
40:28 You watch for that. When it happens
40:30 that's the first sign I'm coming back. "
40:32 Did it happen? Yes. Yes.
40:34 He sticks another signpost, number 2, in the sand
40:37 and He says: "Right after that will be an awful period of great
40:40 persecution. " Tribulation the Bible calls it.
40:44 "Soon after Jerusalem is destroyed
40:46 there'll be an awful period we call it in history
40:49 The Dark Ages. Look for it, " Jesus says,
40:52 "millions will die. 538 AD to 1798 AD.
40:57 They'll be burned at the stake. Some will be thrown to the
40:59 lions. They'll be boiled in oil. They'll be torched,
41:01 sawn asunder, thrown to the gladiators. "
41:04 Jesus said: "You look for it. But listen, " He said
41:06 to the disciples and He makes another little card
41:08 and sticks it in the sand, signpost number three,
41:11 "immediately after those days -
41:14 those terrible days, the Dark Ages -
41:16 three amazing things will happen in the heavens
41:20 in rapid succession like footprints in the sky. "
41:24 More amazing than the pope's overture this year
41:28 to the charismatic's in Texas you know, with Ken Copeland
41:30 saying "We're coming, we're coming.
41:31 We're not going to have the word Protestant any more.
41:33 We're all coming back to the church of Rome. "
41:35 Or this past month the pope was making overtures to the Jewish
41:39 world and the Muslim world. Jesus said: "That's nothing
41:42 compared to the three cosmic unmistakable omens you'll see
41:46 in the sky! You will see the sun go black.
41:50 Darkened. Well as soon as the Dark Ages were over
41:56 look for the darkening of the sun. " Did that happen?
41:59 Dark Ages ended about 1755 AD actually.
42:03 And any encyclopedia will tell you if you look under
42:06 the Dark Day that that took place on May 19, 1780.
42:13 Jesus said "immediately after the Dark Ages. "
42:16 Then He said next "the moon would turn to blood. "
42:22 It's no coincidence that very next night
42:24 the moon appeared as a clotter of blood
42:27 fulfilling Joel chapter 2 verse 31.
42:30 But Jesus puts another signpost in the ground there.
42:33 He says: "Immediately after this you will see the stars
42:36 fall from heaven. " Did it happen?
42:39 A lot of arguments about this in some of the Adventist journals
42:42 and so forth 'cause we've had many many major
42:45 meteoric showers. But scientific journals continue to relate
42:49 how suddenly just 53 years later on November 13, 1833,
42:53 the world experienced the greatest display of celestial
42:56 fireworks ever seen. But now watch closely with me.
43:01 Watch closely... I hope you have your seatbelts on.
43:03 The very next big event
43:07 would be what? Verse 31.
43:11 "And then, " Jesus says, "shall appear the sign of the Son of
43:16 Man in the heavens. Everyone... the whole world
43:20 will see Me coming in heaven with power and great glory. "
43:26 Folks, that is it. That's the end of human history.
43:29 Immediately after the Dark Ages
43:33 we today - right now, at this very moment -
43:35 are living between verse 29 and verse 30
43:39 of Matthew 24.
43:41 Listen, those were the last big signs:
43:45 the Dark Day, the moon turned to blood, the falling of the stars.
43:50 To this very moment it's been exactly 180 years
43:53 since that last big sign.
43:55 I want to tell you, friend, that the second coming of Jesus
43:58 is long overdue.
44:01 That's why He's coming when you least expect:
44:05 because there are no more big signs.
44:09 Oh yes, prophecy tosses in hundreds of others more.
44:11 We could talk about them, but I want to tell you this afternoon
44:14 He's overdue... He's waiting.
44:18 Could He be waiting for you?
44:21 Waiting for you to make up your mind?
44:23 Well, friend, He won't wait forever.
44:26 He promised the disciples, He promised us,
44:30 that His coming would be right after 1833 AD
44:34 when the stars fell.
44:35 And He IS coming... never doubt that for a moment.
44:38 All the signs that He forecasted have come true.
44:42 I don't know if you noticed this week The Weather Channel
44:44 has just said we are now in hurricane season.
44:50 Some of you might remember this. On September 21...
44:53 now remember the date... September 21, 1938,
44:57 a monstrous hurricane of enormous proportions
45:02 struck the East Coast. The famous author William Manchester
45:06 writing in his book The Glory and The Dream
45:09 he says, and I'm going to be quoting here:
45:12 "The great wall of brine struck the beach between
45:17 Babylon and Patchogue, New York, at 2:30 PM.
45:21 So mighty was the power of that first storm wave
45:24 that its impact registered on a seismograph in Sitka, Alaska,
45:29 while the spray carried northward at well over
45:32 100 miles an hour whitened windows in Montpelier, Vermont.
45:36 As the torrential 40-foot wave approached, some Long Islanders
45:41 jumped into their cars and raced inland.
45:43 No one knows precisely how many lost that race for their lives,
45:47 but the survivors later estimated they had to keep
45:51 the speedometer well over fifty miles per hour all of the way. "
45:55 Now for some reason, meteor- ologists who should have known,
46:00 they should have warned the public.
46:03 They seemed strangely blind to the impending disaster.
46:07 I mean, either they ignored their instruments
46:10 or they simply couldn't believe what they indicated.
46:13 And of course, if the forecasters were blind
46:16 the public was too.
46:18 I'm reading again from Manchester:
46:20 "Among the striking stories which later came to light
46:24 was the experience of a Long Islander
46:26 who had bought a barometer a few days earlier
46:30 in a New York store. It arrived in the morning post
46:34 September 21. At his annoyance
46:38 the needle pointed below 29
46:41 where the dial read hurricanes, tornadoes.
46:44 He shook it, banged it against the wall.
46:47 The needle wouldn't budge.
46:48 Indignant, he repacked it, drove to the post office,
46:52 and mailed it back. While he was gone his house blew away! "
47:04 I'm saying this with tears in my throat:
47:06 that's the way it is with us.
47:09 If we can't cope with the forecast,
47:12 we blame the barometer or we ignore it...
47:17 for many are throwing away the red books.
47:22 Friend, listen to me: only once ever in human history
47:27 was a world-wide storm warning ever issued.
47:31 God Himself told Noah: "Warn the world of a global flood. "
47:37 Now there were no barometers back in those days.
47:40 But human nature then was exactly what it is now
47:44 and people laughed at Noah.
47:46 Called him a fanatic.
47:48 "He's deranged. " In fact, Spirit of Prophecy says they
47:51 made his boat a tourist attraction.
47:55 Here we are now at the end of human history.
47:57 In 2015 at the final wind-up of human history once again Jesus
48:03 issues storm warnings of global peril more disastrous
48:07 than any natural disaster.
48:10 And at its center are whirling 2,500 barometric
48:15 low pressure alarm systems.
48:17 Evil winds that have been developing for centuries
48:21 measured not by a man-made barometer
48:24 but by God's own Word.
48:25 Revelation is God's barometer for today. Amen!
48:29 You don't have to be a meteorologist or a scientist
48:31 or a doctor or a theologian to read it.
48:34 My Bible tells me in Revelation chapter 7 verse 1
48:38 God has also commissioned four angels to hold back
48:42 the final winds of war and strife and self-destruction
48:46 from hurtling ourselves into World War 3 and eternal
48:49 oblivion. Angels!
48:52 Why? They're waiting for something.
48:57 What? Something to happen in your life and my life.
49:03 In mercy God is stalling for us.
49:08 Gives urgency to the words of the prophet in Amos 4 verse 12
49:13 "Lonnie, prepare to meet your God. "
49:16 How? Simple. You can do it now this very moment.
49:21 Accept Jesus as the master control.
49:25 Give control of your life to His loving capable hands
49:28 because time is running out, friends.
49:30 Just a narrow interval now between now and eternity.
49:33 Footprints in the sky. We can hear them,
49:38 we can see them, we can feel them, we can
49:40 smell a storm is coming. We must be ready to meet Him. Amen?
49:43 Amen! Dr. H.M.S. Richards
49:46 used to tell the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
49:49 Great explorer of the Antarctic.
49:51 And this is way before the days of radios or cell phones,
49:54 or airplanes and helicopters. Just brave intrepid men
49:58 who took out to the sea with courage.
50:00 Well, while on one of these dangerous expeditions
50:02 to the South Pole Shackleton had to turn back
50:06 from his men and leave some of his men on Elephant Island
50:09 amidst the snow and ice.
50:11 They were stranded desperately low on supplies,
50:13 in need of food. Their only hope was if Shackleton
50:17 personally went to get help from the nearest settlement
50:21 in the South Pacific. Wow! Could he? Would he?
50:24 It's an incredible thriller-chiller story.
50:27 But by heroic efforts Shackleton and five others
50:31 reached the island of Georgia. And then in the worst weather
50:34 possible they began an unbelievably perilous
50:38 trip over the snowy mountains. And he finally came to the
50:41 little settlement. And as soon as he had obtained the necessary
50:44 supplies he secured another ship and he turned around
50:47 and immediately started back for his men.
50:49 Now the weather was worse than before.
50:52 In fact, every time he tried to reach Elephant Island
50:54 he failed. Fog would come in; there were storms.
50:58 Ice packs would block the way
51:00 and it seemed like an Alfred Hitchcock doomsday macabre.
51:04 Finally one day the fog lifted
51:07 and there was a narrow narrow opening appeared through some
51:10 ice leading straight to the island.
51:12 And Shackleton saw a chance and he quickly ran his ship
51:15 straight through this channel. And he got his men on board
51:18 and they came back out just before the ice closed up
51:20 behind them... a daring rescue within just 30 minutes.
51:25 Well, when the excitement was over, Shackleton
51:27 asked one of his men who had stayed on Elephant Island
51:30 "How did it happen you were all packed and ready
51:33 for my coming? You were standing on the shore
51:35 ready to leave at a moment's notice. "
51:38 "Well sir, you said you'd come back for us
51:41 so we never gave up.
51:43 We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea became
51:45 partly free of ice we'd roll up our sleeping bags
51:48 and we'd pack all of our things and we'd say: 'Well maybe
51:50 Shackleton will come back today. '
51:52 We were always ready for your coming. "
51:56 Always ready... any hour, any time.
52:02 Are you ready for Jesus to come?
52:05 If you are, His coming is not a dread...
52:10 it's a comfort. But if you're not ready
52:13 it is a dread like an Alfred Hitchcock terror movie.
52:17 The secret is being sure
52:19 you know the One who can get you out.
52:22 Who can deliver you and rescue you.
52:23 The King is coming... He's on His way! Amen!
52:28 His coming is sure. The question is: are you?
52:33 H.M.S. Richards, Jr. - Harold, as I knew him -
52:36 was only 61 when I joined the Voice of Prophecy in 1991
52:39 but he was already quite frail.
52:41 But we took Del Delker and the old Kings Heralds
52:43 down to Brazil for their 50th anniversary of
52:46 La Voz De La Profecia.
52:48 Jeanne and I went south with the Arautos do Rei;
52:51 Harold went north and took the Kings Heralds...
52:53 the old Kings Heralds that you remember:
52:55 John Thurber, Bob Edwards,
52:58 Jerry Dill, Wayne Hooper.
53:01 They plunged into the Amazon jungles where Harold
53:04 contracted typhoid fever twice.
53:06 He landed in a hospital twice; almost died both times.
53:09 And we eventually got him back at my side, and he preached
53:12 in crowded soccer stadiums in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro
53:15 with 65,000 people in attendance.
53:18 But Harold never got well.
53:20 When we finally got him back to Glendale, California,
53:22 he succumbed to a litany of near-fatal health problems.
53:25 He had a leaky heart valve; he had shingles;
53:27 half of his body was paralyzed.
53:29 He was in absolute terrible excruciating pain.
53:32 Then Parkinson's came in and kidney failure...
53:35 and amyloid deposits and protein on the kidneys
53:37 and even cancer. And finally complications
53:40 just too great to overcome came and he died of heart failure
53:43 April 11, 2000. He was only 70 years old.
53:47 But Harold had huge hands and a huge heart
53:49 and he had a huge love of preaching and giving altar calls
53:52 and a passion for Jesus. He spent more time in the hospital
53:56 now than he did in our broadcast studios.
53:58 The final two years he was just too weak
54:01 to get to the office and yet he had a dream.
54:04 And he said: "Lonnie, I want to preach. "
54:05 Then things began to shut down.
54:08 But a serendipitous moment came.
54:11 Happened at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center
54:13 for an anointing service that I had with Tony Anobile,
54:17 his pastor at that time, and Jeanne and I.
54:19 We went in, and when we finished Harold motioned for me to come
54:21 over. He could not speak with his vocal cords...
54:23 were half paralyzed. "Lon, come over here.
54:26 I want to tell you something: you're God's man. "
54:30 He was breathing very heavy but he spoke with determination.
54:34 "I personally pray for you. I chose you, Lon. "
54:38 We were both weeping now and I sensed that this might
54:41 be Harold's final statement.
54:43 But his eye was steady and his eyes riveted on me.
54:46 "Lon, if God raises me up I want to preach again.
54:48 Even got a sermon. You want to know the title? "
54:51 "Yeah, Harold, what is it? "
54:55 "He's On His Way. "
54:57 Not that He might be coming or prophecy says He's coming soon.
55:00 "He's On His Way. "
55:02 Now Harold was well read. He knew about the headlines
55:04 and he was an expert in astronomy and physics.
55:06 And the L.A. headlines of the Times had just stated
55:09 that on May 5, 2000, a half a dozen planets were
55:13 lining up in conjunction. And he said: "Astronomers can tell
55:16 that something is going to be big out there
55:18 of cosmic import. " And then he began his little sermon.
55:21 And he gave me a few sentences.
55:22 "Far out in space, light years behind the great nebula
55:26 and the Pleiades there's a great stirring
55:28 and a rush of excitement beyond human description.
55:31 You can hear the chariots rumble.
55:33 The thunder's rolling its kettle drums and the lightning
55:36 is shaking its fiery white lances.
55:38 Trumpets sound! He's on His way!
55:42 Down past unnumbered universes,
55:44 down through the corridor of Orion,
55:45 down down to a blue planet hanging out there
55:48 in space. Do you see it? That lonely one out there?
55:51 One that spat upon Him, crucified Him.
55:54 The one He couldn't forget. He's on His way! "
55:58 And Harold laid back with a twinkle and he heaved a sigh
56:01 and he said: "What do you think, Lon? "
56:03 Said: "Harold, I think it's your finest hour. "
56:06 Said: "I'm feeling sleepy now. "
56:08 I leaned in and I prayed: "Dear God, please
56:10 hold Your servant close. "
56:12 Then Jeanne and I slipped out of the E.R. room and went
56:14 into the hallway. We wept like babies.
56:17 Said the prophet: "At eventide it shall be light. "
56:22 'Cause there's always light and joy and life in the
56:25 dwellings of God's saints. Amen?
56:27 No matter how black or stormy. And Harold Richards believed
56:31 in the soon return of Jesus. Filled him with zest and love
56:34 to the point it defined him. He was passionate about
56:36 the second coming of Jesus.
56:38 The Jesus, who more than anything else, wishes He were
56:40 your friend, too. So for 70 years an evening star
56:45 pushed back the dark world of night with light and joy
56:48 and radiance. And you know, evening stars aren't always
56:51 with us, but we love it when they are.
56:53 For now, this evening star has set.
56:56 But soon he will rise with the Bright and Morning Star,
56:59 this time never to set.
57:01 This time to shine for eternity because He's on His way.
57:06 Amen!
57:08 Heavenly Father, Lord, the secret of escape
57:10 from this casket of our world isn't Hollywood-style macabre.
57:13 It's being sure we know the One who can get us out of the grave.
57:16 Help us get ready by getting to know you
57:19 one to one. Now we know even more calamitous events
57:23 are going to come: the plagues and the great earthquakes
57:25 where islands will disappear and fires and floods
57:27 and our coastal cities. Ellen White says they'll go
57:29 under water, but we need not fear.
57:31 These are exciting times, they're frightening times,
57:34 thrilling times. All of us know something is about to happen.


Revised 2022-03-07